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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - EPHESIANS 1

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    1:1 {Of Christ Jesus} (cristou iesou). So B D, though Aleph A L have iesou cristou. Paul is named as the author and so he is. Otherwise the epistle is pseudepigraphic. {By the will of God} (dia qelematos qeou). As in #1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1; Ro 1:1. {At Ephesus} (en efeswi). In Aleph and B these words are inserted by later hands, though both MSS. give the title pros efesious. Origen explains the words tois hagiois tois ousin as meaning "the saints that are" (genuine saints), showing that his MSS. did not have the words en efeswi. The explanation of the insertion of these words has already been given in the remarks on "The Destination" as one copy of the general letter that was preserved in Ephesus. It is perfectly proper to call it the epistle to the Ephesians if we understand the facts.

    1:3 {Blessed} (eulogetos). Verbal of eulogew, common in the LXX for Hebrew _baruk_ (Vulgate _benedictus_) and applied usually to God, sometimes to men (#Ge 24:31), but in N.T. always to God (#Lu 1:68), while eulogemenos (perfect passive participle) is applied to men (#Lu 1:42). "While eulogemenos points to an isolated act or acts, eulogetos describes the intrinsic character" (Lightfoot). Instead of the usual eucaristoumen (#Col 1:3) Paul here uses eulogetos, elsewhere only in #2Co 1:3 in opening, though in a doxology in #Ro 1:25; 9:5; 2Co 11:31. The copula here is probably estin (is), though either estw (imperative) or eie (optative as wish) will make sense. {The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ} (ho qeos kai pater tou kuriou hemwn iesou cristou). kai is genuine here, though not in #Col 1:3. The one article (ho) with qeos kai pater links them together as in #1Th 1:3; 3:11,13; Ga 1:4. See also the one article in #2Pe 1:1,11. In #Eph 1:17 we have ho qeos tou kuriou hemwn iesou cristou, and the words of Jesus in #Joh 20:17. {Who hath blessed us} (ho eulogesas humas). First aorist active participle of eulogew, the same word, antecedent action to the doxology (eulogetos). {With} (en). So-called instrumental use of en though {in} is clear. {Every spiritual blessing} (pasei eulogiai pneumatikei). Third use of the root eulog (verbal, verb, substantive). Paul lovingly plays with the idea. The believer is a citizen of heaven and the spiritual blessings count for most to him. {In the heavenly places in Christ} (en tois epouraniois en Christ"i). In four other places in Eph. (#1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12). this precise phrase (with en) occurs nowhere else in the N.T. and has a clearly local meaning in #1:20; 2:6; 3:10, doubtful in #6:12, but probably so here. In #2:6 the believer is conceived as already seated with Christ. Heaven is the real abode of the citizen of Christ's kingdom (#Php 3:20) who is a stranger on earth (#Php 1:27; Eph 2:19). The word epouranios (heavenly) occurs in various passages in the N.T. in contrast with ta epigeia (the earthly) as in #Joh 3:12; 1Co 15:40,48,49; Php 2:10, with patris (country) in #Heb 11:16, with klesis (calling) in #Heb 3:1, with dwrea (gift) in #Heb 6:4, with basileia (kingdom) in #2Ti 4:18.

    1:4 {Even as he chose us in him} (kaqws exelexato hemas en autwi). First aorist middle indicative of eklegw, to pick out, to choose. Definitive statement of God's elective grace concerning believers in Christ. {Before the foundation of the world} (pro kataboles kosmou). Old word from kataballw, to fling down, used of the deposit of seed, the laying of a foundation. this very phrase with pro in the Prayer of Jesus (#Joh 17:24) of love of the Father toward the Son. It occurs also in #1Pe 1:20. Elsewhere we have apo (from) used with it (#Mt 25:34; Lu 11:50; Heb 4:3; 9:26; Re 13:8; 17:8). But Paul uses neither phrase elsewhere, though he has apo t"n aiwn"n (from the ages) in #Eph 3:9. Here in #Eph 1:3-14. Paul in summary fashion gives an outline of his view of God's redemptive plans for the race. {That we should be} (einai hemas). Infinitive of purpose with the accusative of general reference (hemas). See #Col 1:22 for the same two adjectives and also katen"pion autou.

    1:5 {Having foreordained us} (proorisas hemas). First aorist active participle of proorizw, late and rare compound to define or decide beforehand. Already in #Ac 4:28; 1Co 2:7; Ro 8:29. See also verse #11. Only other N.T. example in verse #11. To be taken with exelexato either simultaneous or antecedent (causal). {Unto adoption as sons} (eis huioqesian). For this interesting word see #Ga 4:5; Ro 8:15; 9:4. {Unto himself} (eis auton). Unto God. {According to the good pleasure of his will} (kata ten eudokian tou qelematos autou). Here eudokian means {purpose} like boulen in verse #11 rather than {benevolence} (good pleasure). Note the preposition kata here for standard.

    1:6 {To the praise} (eis epainon). Note the prepositions in this sentence. {Which} (hes). Genitive case of the relative hen (cognate accusative with ecaritwsen (he freely bestowed), late verb caritow (from caris, grace), in N.T. attracted to case of antecedent caritos only here and #Lu 1:28. {In the Beloved} (en twi egapemenwi). Perfect passive participle of agapaw. this phrase nowhere else in the N.T. though in the Apostolic Fathers.

    1:7 {In whom} (en hwi). Just like #Col 1:14 with paraptwmatwn (trespasses) in place of hamartiwn (sins) and with the addition of dia tou haimatos autou (through his blood) as in #Col 1:20. Clearly Paul makes the blood of Christ the cost of redemption, the ransom money (lutron, #Mt 20:28; Mr 10:45; antilutron, #1Ti 2:6). See #Col 1:9.

    1:8 {According to the riches of his grace} (kata to ploutos tes caritos autou). A thoroughly Pauline phrase, riches of kindness (#Ro 2:4), riches of glory (#Col 1:27; Eph 3:16; Php 4:19), riches of fulness of understanding (#Col 2:7), riches of Christ (#Eph 3:8), and in #Eph 2:7 "the surpassing riches of grace." {Which} (hes). Genitive attracted again to case of antecedent caritos.

    1:9 {The mystery of his will} (to musterion tou qelematos autou). Once hidden, now revealed as in #Col 1:26 which see. See also #Col 2:3. {Which he purposed} (hen proeqeto). Second aorist middle of protiqemi, old verb, for which see #Ro 1:13; 3:25.

    1:10 {Unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times} (eis oikonomian tou plerwmatos twn kairwn). See #Col 1:25 for oikonomian. In #Ga 4:4 "the fulness of the time" (to plerwma tou cronou) the time before Christ is treated as a unit, here as a series of epochs (kairwn). Cf. #Mr 1:15; Heb 1:1. On plerwma see also #Ro 11:26; Eph 3:19; 4:13. {To sum up} (anakefalaiwsasqai). Purpose clause (amounting to result) with first aorist middle infinitive of anakefalaiow, late compound verb ana and kefalaiow (from kefalaion, #Heb 8:1, and that from kefale, head), to head up all things in Christ, a literary word. In N.T. only here and #Ro 13:9. For the headship of Christ in nature and grace see #Col 1:15-20.

    1:11 {In him} (en autwi). Repeats the idea of en twi Christ"i of verse #10. {We were made a heritage} (eklerwqemen). First aorist passive of klerow, an old word, to assign by lot (kleros), to make a kleros or heritage. So in LXX and papyri. Only time in N.T., though prosklerow once also (#Ac 17:4). {Purpose} (proqesin). Common substantive from protiqemi, a setting before as in #Ac 11:23; 27:13.

    1:12 {To the end that we should be} (eis to einai hemas). Final clause with eis to and the infinitive einai (see the mere infinitive einai in verse #4) and the accusative of general reference. {Who had before hoped in Christ} (tous proˆlpikotas en twi Christ"i). Articular perfect active participle of proelpizw, late and rare compound (here only in N.T.) and the reference of pro not clear. Probably the reference is to those who like Paul had once been Jews and had now found the Messiah in Jesus, some of whom like Simeon and Anna had even looked for the spiritual Messiah before his coming.

    1:13 {Ye also} (kai humeis). Ye Gentiles (now Christians), in contrast to hemas (we) in #12. {In whom} (en hwi). Repeated third time (once in verse #11, twice in #13), and note ho or hos in #14. {Ye were sealed} (esfragisqete). First aorist passive indicative of sfragizw, old verb, to set a seal on one as a mark or stamp, sometimes the marks of ownership or of worship of deities like stigmata (#Ga 6:17). Marked and authenticated as God's heritage as in #4:30. See #2Co 1:22 for the very use of the metaphor here applied to the Holy Spirit even with the word arrabwn (earnest). {Spirit} (pneumati). In the instrumental case.

    1:14 {An earnest} (arrabwn). See #2Co 1:22 for discussion of arrabwn. Here "of promise" (tes epaggelias) is added to the Holy Spirit to show that Gentiles are also included in God's promise of salvation. {Of our inheritance} (tes kleronomias hemwn). God's gift of the Holy Spirit is the pledge and first payment for the final inheritance in Christ. {Of God's own possession} (tes peripoiesews). The word {God's} is not in the Greek, but is implied. Late and rare word (from peripoiew, to make a survival) with the notion of obtaining (#1Th 5:9; 2Th 3:14) and qen of preserving (so in the papyri). So in #1Pe 2:9; Heb 10:39, and here. God has purchased us back to himself. The sealing extends (eis) to the redemption and to the glory of God.

    1:15 {And which ye shew toward all the saints} (kai ten eis pantas tous hagious). The words "ye show" do not occur in the Greek. The Textus Receptus has ten agapen (the love) before tˆn supported by D G K L Syr., Lat., Copt., but Aleph A B P Origen do not have the word agapen. It could have been omitted, but is probably not genuine. The use of the article referring to pistin and the change from en to eis probably justifies the translation "which ye shew toward."

    1:16 {I do not cease} (ou pauomai). Singular present middle, while in #Col 1:9 Paul uses the plural (literary, or including Timothy), ou pauomeqa.

    1:17 {The Father of glory} (ho pater tes doxes). The God characterized by glory (the shekinah, #Heb 9:5) as in #Ac 7:2; 1Co 2:8; 2Co 1:3; Jas 2:1. {That--may give} (hina--dwie). In #Col 1:9 hina is preceded by aitoumenoi, but here the sub-final use depends on the general idea asking in the sentence. The form dwie is a late _Koin‚_ optative (second aorist active) for the usual doie. It occurs also in #2Th 3:16; Ro 15:5; 2Ti 1:16,18 in the text of Westcott and Hort. Here B 63 read dwi (like #Joh 15:16) second aorist active subjunctive, the form naturally looked for after a primary tense (pauomai). this use of the volitive optative with hina after a primary tense is rare, but not unknown in ancient Greek. {A spirit of wisdom and revelation} (pneuma sofias kai apokaluyews). The Revised Version does not refer this use of pneuma to the Holy Spirit (cf. #Ga 6:1; Ro 8:15), but it is open to question if it is possible to obtain this wisdom and revelation apart from the Holy Spirit. {In the knowledge of him} (en epignwsei autou). In the full knowledge of Christ as in Colossians.

    1:18 {Having the eyes of your heart enlightened} (pefwtismenous tous ofqalmous tes kardias humwn). A beautiful figure, the heart regarded as having eyes looking out toward Christ. But the grammar is difficult. There are three possible interpretations. One is an anacoluthon, the case of pefwtismenous being changed from the dative humin (to you) to the accusative because of the following infinitive like eklexamenous (#Ac 15:22) after apostolois. Another way of explaining it is to regard it as a tertiary predicate of dwie, a loose expansion of pneuma. The third way is to regard the construction as the accusative absolute, a rare idiom possible in #Ac 26:3; 1Co 16:3; 1Ti 2:6. In this case, the participle merely agrees with tous ofqalmous, not with humin, "the eyes of your heart having been enlightened." Otherwise tous ofqalmous is the accusative retained after the passive participle. {That ye may know} (eis to eidenai). Final use of eis to and the infinitive (second perfect of oida) as in verse #12. Note three indirect questions after eidenai (what the hope tis hˆ elpis, what the riches tis ho ploutos, and what the surpassing greatness kai ti to huperballon megeqos). When the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the heart, one will be able to see all these great truths. {In the saints} (en tois hagiois). Our riches is in God, God's is in his saints.

    1:19 {The exceeding greatness of his power} (to huperballon megeqos tes dunamews autou). megeqos is an old word (from megas), but here only in N.T. huperballon, present active participle of huperballw, reappears in #2:7; 3:19 and seen already in #2Co 3:10; 9:14. To enlightened eyes the greatness of God's power is even more "surpassing."

    1:20 {Which he wrought} (energeken). Reading of A B rather than aorist energesen. Perfect active indicative, "which he has wrought." hen is cognate accusative of the relative referring to energeian (energy) with energeken and note also kratous (strength) and iscuos (might), three words trying to express what surpasses (huperballon) expression or comprehension. {Made him to sit} (kaqisas). First aorist active participle of kaqizw in causative sense as in #1Co 6:4. Metaphorical local expression like dexiai and en tois epour aniois.

    1:21 {Far above all rule} (huperanw pases arces). Late compound adverbial preposition (huper, anw) with the ablative case. In N.T. only here and #Heb 9:5. As in #Col 1:16, so here Paul claims primacy for Jesus Christ above all angels, aeons, what not. These titles all were used in the Gnostic speculations with a graduated angelic hierarchy. {World} (aiwni). "Age." See this identical expression in #Mt 12:32 for the present time (#Gal 1:4; 1Ti 6:17) and the future life (#Eph 2:7; Lu 20:35). Both combined in #Mr 10:30; Lu 18:30.

    1:22 {He put all things in subjection} (panta hupetaxen). First aorist active indicative of hupotassw, quoted from #Ps 8:7 as in #1Co 15:27. {Gave him to be head} (auton edwken kefalen). {Gave} (edwken, first aorist active indicative of didwmi) to the church (the universal spiritual church or kingdom as in #Col 1:18,24) Christ as Head (kefalen, predicate accusative). this conception of ekklesia runs all through Ephesians (#3:10,21; 5:23,24,25,27,29,32).

    1:23 {Which} (hetis). "Which in fact is," explanatory use of hetis rather than hˆ. {The fulness of him that filleth all in all} (to plerwma tou ta panta en pasin pleroumenou). this is probably the correct translation of a much disputed phrase. this view takes plerwma in the passive sense (that which is filled, as is usual, #Col 1:19) and pleroumenou as present middle participle, not passive. All things are summed up in Christ (#1:10), who is the plerwma of God (#Col 1:19), and in particular does Christ fill the church universal as his body. Hence we see in Ephesians the Dignity of the Body of Christ which is ultimately to be filled with the fulness (plerwma) of God (#3:19) when it grows up into the fulness (plerwma) of Christ (#4:13,16).

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