10248. And it shall be to them a statute of an age. That this signifies an eternal law of order, is evident from the signification of "a statute," as being a law of order (see n. 7884, 7995, 8537); and from the signification of "an age," as being what is eternal. That "an age" denotes what is eternal, is because by "an age" is meant duration even to the end; and in the internal sense this duration signifies what is eternal; moreover, the word by which "an age" is here expressed in the original tongue signifies eternity. That "an age" denotes what is eternal, is because "an age," when said in the Word about the church, signifies its duration even to the end; and consequently when it is said of heaven, where there is no end, and when it is said of the Lord, it signifies what is eternal. This is predicated in general of every church, but specifically of the celestial church. Moreover, "an age" also signifies the world and life there, and likewise life thereafter to eternity.
 As regards the FIRST meaning: That "an age" when said of the church, signifies its duration even to the end, is evident from the following passages:
The disciples said unto Jesus, Tell us what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age? (Matt. 24:3).
By "the consummation of the age" is signified the last time of the church, thus its end, when there is no longer any faith because no charity. That this is the consummation of the age, consequently that "an age" denotes the duration of the church even to its end, can be seen from all that was said by the Lord in that chapter, which may be seen unfolded in this work before the chapters of Genesis, from chapter 26 to chapter 40. The like is signified elsewhere by "an age" and its "consummation" in the same Gospel:
The harvest is the consummation of the age (Matt. 13:39, 40, 49).
I am with you all the days even unto the consummation of the age (Matt. 28:20).
Here also the "age" means the duration of the church from beginning to end.
 In Ezekiel:
They shall dwell upon the land, they and their sons, and their sons' sons, even to an age; David shall be their prince for an age. My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for an age (Ezek. 37:25, 28).
These things are said of Israel, by whom in the internal sense is meant the spiritual church; by the "land on which they shall dwell" is also signified the church; by the "sanctuary," everything of the church; and by "David," the Lord; from which it is evident that by "to an age" is signified even to the end. (That "Israel" in the Word denotes the spiritual church, see the places cited in n. 9340; that the "land" denotes the church, see the places cited in n. 9325; that the "sanctuary" denotes everything of the church, and that it is predicated of the good and truth of the spiritual church, n. 8330, 9479; and that "David" denotes the Lord, n. 1888, 9954.)
 In David:
Before the mountains were born, and the earth and the world were formed, even from age to age, Thou art God (Ps. 90:2).
By "the mountains being born," and by "the earth and the world being formed," is not meant the creation of the world, but the setting up of the church; for "mountains" in the Word signify celestial love, thus the church in which is this love; the "earth" also and the "world" signify the church; hence "from age to age" signifies from the setting up of churches to their ends; for churches follow on, one after another, because when one has been ended or vastated another is set up. (That a "mountain" denotes celestial love, consequently the church which is in this love, see n. 795, 796, 4210, 6435, 8758; and that "land" denotes the church specifically, and the "world" the church generally, see the places cited in n. 9325.)  SECONDLY: That "an age," when said of heaven where there is no end, and of the Lord, signifies what is eternal, is evident from the following passages:
Jehovah is King for an age, and forever (Ps. 10:16; also Exod. 15:18).
Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all the ages; and Thy dominion is to every generation and generation (Ps. 145:13).
The living God, the King of an age (Jer. 10:10).
His dominion is the dominion of an age which shall not pass away. Afterward the saints of the highests shall receive the kingdom, and shall confirm the kingdom even to an age, and even to ages of ages (Dan. 7:14, 18, 27).
Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, unto ages (Matt. 6:13).
God shall give unto Him the throne of David, that He may reign over the house of Jacob for ages (Luke 1:32, 33).
 To Jesus Christ be glory and strength unto ages of ages (Rev. 1:6).
Behold I am alive unto ages of ages (Rev. 1:18).
To the Lamb be blessing, and honor, and glory, and strength, unto ages of ages. The twenty-four elders worshiped Him that liveth unto ages of age (Rev. 5:13, 14; 10:6; 11:15).
My salvation shall be for an age, and My righteousness to generation of generations (Isa. 51:6, 8).
The angel of His faces carried them all the days of an age (Isa. 63:9).
Many of them that sleep shall awake to the life of an age (Dan. 12:2).
If anyone shall eat of this bread, he shall live for an age (John 6:51, 58).
I give unto them eternal life, and they shall not perish for an age (John 10:28).
Lead me in the way of an age (Ps. 139:24).
He hath established them forever and for an age, He hath made a statute which shall not pass away (Ps. 148:6).
 In these passages "an age" signifies what is eternal, because it is said of the Lord and of His kingdom, and of heaven and the life there, whereof there is no end; "ages of ages" do not mean eternities of eternities, but denote what is eternal; and the expression is used relatively to churches on earth of which one succeeds another. It is evident from the Word that on our earth a church has been set up four times, of which the first was the Most Ancient Church, which was before the flood; the second was the Ancient Church, which was after the flood; the third was the Israelitish and Jewish Church; and lastly there was the Christian Church. The period of each Church, from beginning to end is "an age;" moreover, after this last mentioned Church, a new one will begin. These successions of churches are meant by "ages of ages." (That "an age" denotes the duration of a church even to the end, was shown above.)
 THIRDLY: That "an age" is predicated in general of every church, but specifically of the celestial church, is evident from the following passages:
I will set up the tent of David that is fallen, and will build according to the days of an age (Amos 9:11);
where by "the days of an age" is meant the time of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial. And in Micah:
Bethlehem Ephrathah, out of thee shall He come forth unto Me who shall be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from the days of an age (Micah 5:2);
where the sense is the same. And in Moses:
Remember thou the days of an age; understand ye the years of generation and generation (Deut. 32:7).
Here "the days of an age" denote the time of the Most Ancient Church, which was celestial; and "the years of generation and generation" denote the time of the Ancient Church, which was spiritual.
 In Isaiah:
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of Jehovah; awake according to the days of antiquity, of the generation of ages (Isa. 51:8-9).
"According to the days of the generation of ages" denotes according to the states of love and faith in the Ancient Churches derived from the Most Ancient Church. In David:
I have considered the days of old, the years of ages (Ps. 77:5);
where the sense is the same.
Remember the former things from an age (Isa. 46:9).
Then shall the meat-offering of Judah and Jerusalem be sweet to Jehovah, according to the days of an age, and according to the ancient years (Mal. 3:4).
Judah shall be seated for an age, and Jerusalem to generation and generation (Joel 3:20);
where by "Judah" is signified the celestial church, of which it is therefore said, "according to the days of an age," and "for an age;" and by "Jerusalem" is signified the spiritual church, of which it is said, "according to the ancient days," and "to generation and generation." (That "Judah" denotes the celestial church, see n. 3654, 3881, 6363, 8780; and "Jerusalem," the spiritual church, n. 402, 3654.)
 FOURTHLY: That "an age" signifies the world and life there, is evident from the following passages:
He that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the Word, but the care of this age and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word (Matt. 13:22).
The sons of this age are more prudent than the sons of light (Luke 16:8).
The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage (Luke 20:34).
The wicked and the secure of the age multiply riches (Ps. 73:12).
 FIFTHLY: That "an age" signifies the life after death to eternity:
He shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, and in the age to come life eternal (Mark 10:30).
When I shall bring thee down with them that go down into the pit, to the people of an age (Ezek. 26:20).
And in other passages, as Luke 18:9, 30; 20:35; Isa. 34:10, 17; Rev. 14:11; 20:10; 22:5.