Since there is no good reason to assume there to be more, it seems most reasonable to believe that the total number of eons which God planned before creation, and which will transpire before the consummation (when death is abolished and Christ delivers the kingdom to God), is five. That there are five total eons can also be inferred from the fact that there are four great cataclysms referred to in Scripture. If every eon ends with one of these great cataclysms (except the last, which will end with God's being "all in all"), then the total number of eons is five.
 The reason is this: ton aionon is in the genitive form meaning "of" or "belonging to" the aionon. And there is no conjunction in the Greek expression tous aionas ton aionon (the Greek word for "and" is "kai," not "ton"). So to replace the Greek "of the" (a genitive plural article) with "and" (a conjunction) is dubious, to say the least. There is no grammatical or linguistic reason for any translator to do this. And if the word aion is rendered "eon" or "age" by an English Bible translation, then to be consistent, the plural form of aion (aionon) should be rendered "eons" or "ages."
 It should be noted, however, that some believe this expression should be understood idiomatically rather than literally. Even if this is the case, we have no reason to assume that an endless duration of time is in view. If the expression tous aionas ton aionon should be understood idiomatically rather than literally, it could simply be understood to mean, "into the distant future," or "for a long time," and would convey the same general idea that is expressed in expressions such as, "from generation to generation" (Isaiah 34:10) or "throughout all generations" (Eph 3:21; cf. Col 1:26). Whether such expressions are to be understood literally or figuratively, no idea of an absolute "eternity" or a literal "forever" need be implied.