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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Perpetual; Perpetually; Perpetuity

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pẽr - pet̬´ū́ - al , pẽr - pet̬´ū́ - al - i , pûr - pḗ - tū´i - ti ( עילם , ‛ōlām , נצח , necaḥ , תּמיד , tāmı̄dh ):

Perpetual is usually the translation of ‛ōlām , properly, "a wrapping up" or "hiding," used often of time indefinitely long, and of eternity when applied to God; hence, we have, "for perpetual generations" ( Genesis 9:12 ); "the priesthood by a perpetual statute" (Exodus 29:9 ; compare Exodus 31:16 ; Leviticus 3:17 ; Leviticus 24:9 , etc.); "placed the sand for the bound of the sea, by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it" (Jeremiah 5:22 , the Revised Version margin "an everlasting ordinance which it cannot pass"); "sleep a perpetual sleep" (Jeremiah 51:39 , Jeremiah 51:57 ); "Moab shall be ... a perpetual desolation" (Zephaniah 2:9 ), etc.; necaḥ , "preeminence," "perpetuity," "eternity" (often translated "for ever," Psalm 9:6 ), is translated "perpetual" (Psalm 74:3 ; Jeremiah 15:18 ); nācaḥ (participle) (Jeremiah 8:5 ); tāmı̄dh , "continuance," generally rendered "continually," but sometimes "perpetual" or "perpetually" (Exodus 30:8 ; Leviticus 6:20 ).

Perpetually is the rendering of ‛adh , properly "progress," "duration," hence, long or indefinite time, eternity (usually in the King James Version rendered "for ever "), in Amos 1:11 , "His anger did tear perpetually"; and of kōl ha -yāmı̄m , "all the days" (1 Kings 9:3 ; 2 Chronicles 7:16 , "my heart shall be there perpetually"; compare Matthew 28:20 , pásas tás hēméras , literally, "all the days").

Perpetuity occurs in the Revised Version (British and American) of Leviticus 25:23 , Leviticus 25:30 , "The land shall not be sold in perpetuity," "The house ... shall be made sure in perpetuity."

Perpetual is frequent in the Apocrypha, most often as the translation of aiṓnios and kindred words, e.g. Judith 13:20 , "a perpetual praise"; The Wisdom of Song of Solomon 10:14 , "perpetual glory," the Revised Version (British and American) "eternal"; Sirach 11:33 , "a perpetual blot," the Revised Version (British and American) "blame for ever"; 1 Maccabees 6:44 , "a perpetual name," the Revised Version (British and American) "everlasting"; aénaos , "ever-flowing," occurs in The Wisdom of Song of Solomon 11:6 (so the Revised Version); endelechḗs , "constant" ( Sirach 41:6 , "perpetual reproach").

For "perpetual" (Jeremiah 50:5 ; Habakkuk 3:6 ) the Revised Version has "everlasting"; for "the old hatred" (Ezekiel 25:15 ), "perpetual enmity"; for "perpetual desolation" (Jeremiah 25:12 ) "desolate forever," margin "Hebrew 'everlasting desolations.'"

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Perpetual; Perpetually; Perpetuity'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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