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Author Topic: psalm 136  (Read 2438 times)

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  • Guest
psalm 136
« on: October 27, 2008, 03:39:22 PM »

I need clarification on psalm 136.

Throughout it says "for his mercy endureth for ever."

YLT has it as "for to the age [is] His kindness."

Now given that there is no "for ever" in the bible, is this statement limiting his mercy/kindness "to the age"?  I don't think so, I believe it is just refering to God being kind and merciful in these ages.

Thanks for your help,


  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2008, 03:50:42 PM »

I think it would be kind of redundent for God's mercy to endure forever anyway.

Since God is making us in His image there won't be any need for His mercy to endure forever.

If it did it would kind of be like implying that God remembers our sins after the everybody has been made perfect.


  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2008, 04:13:27 PM »

Here is an excerpt from Ray's paper to John Hagee regarding forever, everlasting, eternal, etc:

will prove that both of these eons, over which Christ will reign, have beginnings and have ends, which excludes any possibility that they last "for ever."

See its simplicity: There was a time before God made any eons (I Cor. 2:7). Then God made the eons (Heb. 1:2). There were eons in the past (Col 1:26). We are living in this present wicked eon (Gal. 1:4). Satan is the god of this eon (II Cor. 4:4). Christ, not Satan, will reign a thousand years in the next eon (Lk 1:33). The thousand years will come to an end (Rev. 20:3). Christ will reign in the eon that follows the thousand years (Rev. 22:5 and Lk. 1:33). Hence, He reigns for the "eons" (the next two) "of the eons" (all others).

Then the last eon comes to an end (I Cor. 10:11). Christ ceases to reign after the eons come to an end (I Cor. 15:24:28) because He turns over the Kingdom to God His Father and God becomes "all in all." The eons end, but that which is of the Kingdom continues (Lk 1:33 & Isa. 9:7). We all continue "living" after the eons because, just like God, we will then all have been given immortality.

But Mr. Hagee, we insult Christ to contend that He reigns for ever. If that were true, then He would never accomplish His mission of " ... placing all His enemies under His feet" (I Cor. 15:25). That's why the Scriptures plainly tell us that He reigns until that is accomplished.

There is not one word in either the Hebrew or Greek Scriptures that can be properly translated "forever" or "eternity," or any other word meaning "endless" time. Some might suggest that a verse such as Rom. 16:26-- " ... the everlasting [Greek: 'aionian'] God" proves that aionian is eternal. It does not. Paul isn't trying to tell us here that God lives "for ever." The Scriptures have long ago told us that God's life has no end (Psalm 102:27). Paul is telling us that God is not off in a corner somewhere unconcerned with mankind, but that He is " ... the eonian God." That is, He is God of the eons in which we live (Rev. 15:8 ). This does not say God ceases to exist at the end of the eons any more than Christ ceases to exist after He is no longer "King of the eons (Rev. 5:3)."

When there are no more eons, Christ ceases to be the King of the eons (I Cor. 15:24). He certainly doesn't cease to exist. When the eons end (and they all will), then God will be the same God He has always been. It's just that there will be no more eons or ages. Consider: the Scriptures tell us that God is "The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." Would we deduce from this that God is not the God of Noah, King David, the Apostles, or even you or me?

It is silly to suggest that a simple statement of fact limits either God or Christ to that fact.

" ... Christ liveth in me ... " (Gal. 2:20).

Does this prove that Christ lives in no one else?

"As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth" (II Sam. 14:11).

So when this person eventually died, did God then die?

"And I saw thrones ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years" (Rev. 20:4).

Would anyone suggest that at the end of the thousand years the subjects of this prophecy all died?

"Immortality" likewise does not mean by definition, "eternity." The Greek word is athanasa and means UN-DEATH (or deathlessness). Of course, contrary to popular Christian teaching,

"He is King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality ... " (I Tim. 6:16).

We must be given immortality (I Cor. 15:53-54). Believers are promised "eonian life" so they are given "immortality," which sees them through and beyond eonian life. Unbelievers are NOT given "eonian life" or "immortality" at the same time we are given it. Hence they can die in the second death. However, after the eons end, they too, (all unsaved from Adam on) are "vivified" [Greek: zoopoieo] (LIVE-DO)--given life beyond the reach of death. This confers immortality (Jn 5:21-22, Rom. 4:17, I Tim. 6:13). Read I Cor. 15:22-28.

I know you are not trying to limit God in any way Kevin, I was just showing how this scripture does not limit God's mercy. His mercy endures for all the ages (another verse of 'all will be saved' by the way). But that doesn't mean He stops being merciful at the conclusion of the age. God does not change as He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. If He is merciful now, He will always be merciful.

Hope this helps,


P.S. Ray did a great bible study titled, 'Does a Sovereign God Change?',8256.0.html. It's the May 2008 one.


  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2008, 04:24:11 PM »

I think God's mercy will endure for as long as we need it. For this age or any other age, as long as it is needed, God knows!
Kathy :)


  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2008, 06:20:08 PM »

Hi Kevin,

The Hebrew word translated as ‘to the age’ in YLT and ‘forever’ in most other translations is owlam.  I would venture to say that the English phrases ‘to the age’ or ‘age-lasting’ or ‘age-during’ are more correct than ‘forever,’ but still do not convey the entire scope of what this word may have meant to the Hebrews.  Here’s what I mean:

The root word from which the word owlam comes is alam.  And according to Strong’s, alam means the following:

   to conceal, hide, be hidden, be concealed, be secret

In other words, owlam can refer to a duration that is hidden and concealed beyond the sight of individual or collective human knowledge or understanding. 

In the Scriptures, it refers to a duration of time as little as three days and three nights in the case of Jonah in the belly of the whale…

Jonah 2:6   …the earth with her bars was about me for ever (owlam).

…or as much as the length of time that God has been and will be God.
Psalm 90:2   …even from everlasting (owlam) to everlasting (owlam), thou art God.

Whatever is being spoken of in relation to this word owlam extends beyond the limits of our sight, whether it be into the future, into the past, or both.  While in regards to the Father, 'everlasting' may be a legitimate description of His existence and many of His attributes, that definition alone does not convey the entire meaning of the word as it is used throughout the rest of the OT Scriptures.

Though it deals with distance and not time, one practical example that I have read that may convey what I'm trying to say is that of the sea stretching to the horizon.  How much further does it go?  Of course, today, all we have to do is look at a map or globe, and we can tell exactly how far the sea stretches from one point to another, but to the ancient Hebrews, the limits of the seas (or at least some of them) beyond the horizon was unknown or hidden from their sight and understanding. 

Same with the hills in Scripture:

Gen 49:26     The blessings of your father Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting (owlam) hills...

Though scientists today can at least give a round-about number of billions or millions of years that these hills or those mountains were formed by the action of glaciers or the effects of volcanoes,...etc, to the ancient Hebrews the hills and mountains were formed by God sometime in the distant past beyond the limits of their sight or knowledge.  Obviously, they understood, as we do, that God created all things, including the earth and everything in it, so naturally the hills could not be described simply as 'everlasting' or existing 'forever.'

While the Greek word aion is closely associated with this Hebrew word owlam and can mean the same (aion and its adjective form aionios are used in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to translate the Hebrew owlam), aion is used many times in the New Testament to refer to a more specific duration of time, i.e the age to come, this present age, and the end of the age.

And for a thorough explanation of aion and aionios, I will refer you to Ray’s paper: “Is Everlasting Scriptural” at the following url:

Does this help?



  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2008, 02:04:28 PM »

Thanks for the comments.

I had read through Ray's aeonion/everlasting paper, but hadn't seen anything specifically on psalm 136.

I figured it was just describing God's behavior for the eons, but not meaning that God's mercy would end after the eons.  Just wanted to see what other people thought.

Good point Martinez, God's mercy may not be needed once everyone has been perfected and is in the image of God.



  • Guest
Re: psalm 136
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 05:37:02 PM »

Eric I must say that reply was awesom,
Man, This is good, real good to know. Owlam: to hide, concealed, be hidden and be secret. One must really look at the word being used. aion/owlam. I guess I need that dictionary now. ??? ???


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