lightness of affliction and heaviness of glory

We quickly experience oppression and suffering as heavy. But Paul, who knew from experience much more than us what tribulation was, uses a completely different approach. He puts the tribulation into perspective in the light of the coming glory. The tribulation is light and the glory that awaits us is heavy, he says:

2 Corinthians 4
17 For our momentary lightness of affliction produces for us, from exaltation to exaltation, an everlasting heaviness of glory.

Paul contrasts a number of things in this verse: tribulation versus glory, ephemeral versus aeonic (that is, for the future aeons = epochs)*** and lightness versus heaviness. Where it would be human to complain about a long, heavy tribulation, Paul turns the matter completely around. We expect an aeonian heaviness of glory!

from surpassing to surpassing
But what about the phrase from surpassing to surpassing? Is this just a figurative statement, or is it meant literally? I also think literally, because there are two more future aeons awaiting us (Eph.2:7) after this present evil aeon (Gal.1:4) will have ended: the aeon to come (Luke 18:30) and the aeon of the aeons (Eph.3:21). That last aeon will be the most surpassing aeon of all the aeons. Hence Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17 that an aeonian weight of glory awaits us from exaltation to exaltation.

The glory of the aeon to come, surpasses the glory of the present aeon, in which our glory is still hidden. But the Aeon of Aeons will again surpass the glory of the Aeon to come. What a prospect!

***Aeons are epochs with a beginning and an end. Unfortunately, this concept has been arbitrarily translated in the Bible translations with different translation words, such as: eternity, world, forever, century, etc.

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