Skip to content

Generation

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

( Latin Vulgate, generatio ).

This word, of very varied meaning, corresponds to the two Hebrew terms: dôr, tôledôth . As a rendering of the later, the Vulgate plural form, generationes , is treated in the article GENEALOGY. As a rendering of the former, the word generation is used in the following principal senses.

  • It designates a definite period of time, with a special reference to the average length of man's life. It is in this sense, for example, that, during the long-lived patriarchal age, a "generation" is rated as a period of 100 years ( Genesis 15:16 , compared with Genesis 15:13 , and Exodus 12:40 ), and that, at a later date, it is represented as of only 30 to 40 years.
  • The word generation is used to mean an indefinite period of time : of time past , as in Deut., xxxii, 7, where we read: "Remember the days of old, think upon every generation", and in Isaias, lviii, 12, etc.; of time future , as in Ps. xliv (Heb. xlv), 18, etc.
  • In a concrete sense, generation designates the men who lived in the same period of time, who were contemporaries, as for instance in Gen., vi, 9: " Noah was a just and perfect man in his generations"; see also: Num., xxxii, 13; Deut., i, 35; Matt., xxiv, 34; etc.
  • Independently of the idea of time, generation is employed to mean a race or class of men as characterized by the same recurring condition or quality. In this sense, the Bible speaks of a "just generation", literally "generation of the just" [Ps. xiii (Heb., xiv), 6; etc.], a "perverse generation", equivalent to: "generation of the wicked" [Deut., xxxii, 5; Mark, ix, 18 (Gr., verse 19); etc.].
  • Lastly, in Is., xxxviii, 12, the word generation is used to designate a dwelling place or habitation, probably from the circular for of the nomad tent. Whence it can be readily seen that, in its various principal acceptations, the word generation (usually in the Septuagint and in the Greek New Testament : genea ) preserves something of the primitive meaning of "circuit", "period", conveyed by the Hebrew term dôr.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.