articles of chapter 9

A Jubile and ‘Owlam’ (eternal)

Hebrew ‘owlam’ and Greek ‘aion’ and ‘aionios’ do not mean eternal or endless time.

An example of the use of the word owlam: Exo 21:6 then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to the door or to the door-post, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.(עוֹלָם owlam)

Does the Hebrew word owlam really mean eternity, or some shorter period of time is perhaps best explored by looking at the verses where the word occurs. Exo 21: 6, for example, tells how the slave’s ear is marked so that the slave becomes the master’s property forever, or owlam. This is by no means possible! There was a rule of jubilee in Israel, according to which a slave was released every 50 years.

The “eternal” i.e. owlam used by the Old Testament and the Hebrew language appears in Exodus, Chapter 21, about God’s system. However, everyone in ancient Israel knew that slavery was not eternal, even though the word owlam is considered to mean just that. Such slaves were liberated by the ordinance of God (Exodus 21:2) normally in the seventh year of service, but in the jubilee those, who had not yet served full time, were also released. All the hereditary possessions that had been forced to sell were returned, and every debtor could return to his fathers’ lands.

God created a system in which the jubilee year guaranteed the people of Israel and even the slaves the liberation: at that time man could sell himself as a slave because of his debts. 21:6 … and he shall serve him forever(owlam). ASV: and he shall serve him forever. Septuaginta: …εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. In Septuaginta ‘owlam’ has been translated in many places by the word aionios.

Strong’s (of future) H5956: forever, always continuous existence, perpetual everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity. –

Although many translations say “forever”, the translators certainly have known that slavery was not forever. Not even “your whole life” as NIV translates. It should be noted that the Septuagint uses the word αἰῶνα, so it could have been very well translated “by [God-imposed] time.”

The question, therefore, was a theocratic organization of God: by following this arrangement, the entire nation of Israel was restored each Jubilee Year to the theocratic state to which God meant it, and which he had revealed through Moses. This did not result in inequality between the different groups of the people, but each jubilee leveled the situation.

Jesus Christ said in Luk 4:18, ”He has sent me … to proclaim release to the captives”. Joh The question was not about the release of prisoners, but about the slavery of sin: 8:36 ”If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”  Paul says Rom 8:2 ”For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.

During the millennial kingdom, the administration of Christ restores the earthly paradise in which the righteousness and the love of God prevail. Everything is finally ready for a New World where God is all in all.

Rev 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. And death shall be no longer, nor mourning, nor outcry, nor pain will be any longer; for the first things passed away. 5 He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.  6 He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.

The system described above was intended for God’s chosen people. However, Jesus Christ came to proclaim the Word of God to be spread to the whole world. The second coming of Jesus means a new return of the theocratic kingdom of God. The jubilee and the theocratic government of God show that the power of sin is not eternal, nor is the punishment endless, but ‘owlam’.