Vol. 4, No. 6
~ Page 12 ~
A question has come about 2 Chronicles 29:25:
"And he [Hezekiah] set the Levites in the house of Jehovah with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Jehovah by his prophets."
It is clear that Old Testament worship services included not only instruments of music (Psalm 33:2; 43:4; 71:22), but also burnt-offerings of bulls and rams and he-goats (Leviticus 16:1-19), and clouds of "sweet incense" (Leviticus 16:12-13; Exodus 30:7; Deuteronomy 33:10), and dancing (2 Samuel 6:14: Psalm 150:4), and hand-clapping (Psalm 47:1), and shouting (Psalm 47:1). It is clear also that the entire Old Testament worship services have been cancelled, nailed to Jesus' cross (Ephesians 2:5-16; Colossians 2:14:16).
It is clear also that the New Testament worship services include singing, the "fruit of the lips" (Hebrews 13:15; Romans 15:9; 1 Corinthians 14:15), and playing, not on a literal harp (as in Psalm 71:22), but figuratively on the strings of the human heart, "making melody with your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians 5:19), and praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and, on the first day of the week, the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7), and the collection (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
A careful reader of the Scriptures thinks that the KJV does not follow the Greek in Matthew 28:20 in reporting Jesus' promise to his apostles "I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (and so in the ASV). She thinks that the NIV is more correct: "I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
The NIV translation of the Greek is accurate, and so are the translations of the KJV and the ASV. Jesus' word aion means "age" and also "world" or "universe," as seen in the NIV translation of aion in Romans 12:2, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world"; and in Hebrews 1:2, of what God did by Jesus, "through whom he made the universe" (NIV); and in Hebrews 11:3, "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command" (NIV).
Thayer (p. 19) cites the double usage of aion. Abbott-Smith (p. 15) says that kosmos, "the ordered universe," is a synonym for Jesus' word aion.
Scripturally, no age follows our present age: on "us" is "the fulfillment of the ages has come" (1 Corinthians 10:11, NIV), "the ends of the world are come" (KJV). Christ has appeared "at the end of the ages" (Hebrews 9:26, NIV), "in the end of the world" (KJV). After "the end of the age" is not another one on this planet, but then comes the "harvest," and "the harvesters are angels" (Matthew 13:39, NIV), when "the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age" (Matthew 13:40, NIV), "in the end of this world" (KJV). Jesus said, "This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous" (Matthew 13:49, NIV), "at the end of the world" (KJV).
Because some might infer that there is to be another age after our present age before the end of the world, it is better to stick with the KJV and the ASV translations of Matthew 28:20.