Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:

Four Ages

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rom orderly progressions such as morning, noon, evening, and night, and also spring, summer, fall, and winter, the wise men of ancient times inferred that there were four ages of the world (TCR 762). Ancient writers gave the four ages the names Golden, Silver, Copper, and Iron to describe the gradual deterioration of the purity and integrity of the lives of the people who lived at these times (CL 73). From a knowledge of correspondences, they named the ages according to the spiritual signification of these metals, according to the states of good and truth in the people (AE 70, AC 1551). The Golden Age was the Most Ancient Church, the Silver Age was the Ancient Church, the Copper Age was the Hebrew Church, and the Iron Age was the Israelitish or Jewish Church. The same representation was meant by the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan 2:32-33), which had a head of pure gold, arms and a breast of silver, a belly and thighs of brass, and legs and feet of iron mixed with clay (DP 328).

No written records of the Golden, Silver, or Copper ages remain for us to learn about them historically. However, because the Iron Age began around the time of the ancient writers who gave the ages their names, we still have written records of that age. Here we can learn about the lives of some of the kings, judges, and wise men who lived at that time, in Greece and elsewhere (CL 73).

It is interesting to note that in another place the Writings identify the Golden Age as the Most Ancient Church, the Silver Age as the Ancient Church, the Copper Age as the Jewish Church, and the Iron Age as the Christian Church (AC 10355).

See also:

The Fall, Greece and Rome, Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue, Posterities

Passages relating to the Four Ages and the Ancient Churches:

AC 1551; AC 2995; AC 4326; AC 5658; AC 10160; AC 10355; AE 70; AE 176; AE 988; AR 211; CL 42; CL 57; CL 73; CL 75; CL 76; CL 77; CL 78; CL 79; CL 104; Coro 2; Coro 37; Coro 44; De Conj 114; De Conj 119; DP 215; DP 328; HD 255; HH 115; HH 252; Inv 34; Inv 52; SS 117; TCR 9; TCR 275; TCR 762; WH 6
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