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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - EPHESIANS 2

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    2:1 {And you did he quicken} (kai humas). The verb for {did he quicken} does not occur till verse #5 and qen with hemas (us) instead of humas (you). There is a like ellipsis or anacoluthon in #Col 1:21,22, only there is no change from humas to hemas. {When ye were dead} (ontas nekrous). Present active participle referring to their former state. Spiritually dead. {Trespasses and sins} (paraptwmasin kai hamartiais). Both words (locative case) though only one in verse #5.

    2:2 {According to the course of this world} (kata ton aiwna tou kosmou toutou). Curious combinations of aiwn (a period of time), kosmos (the world in that period). See #1Co 1:20 for " this age" and #1Co 3:9 for " this world." {The prince of the power of the air} (ton arconta tes exousias tou aeros). Ałr was used by the ancients for the lower and denser atmosphere and aiqer for the higher and rarer. Satan is here pictured as ruler of the demons and other agencies of evil. Jesus called him "the prince of this world" (ho arcwn tou kosmou toutou, #Joh 16:11). {That now worketh} (tou nun energountos). Those who deny the existence of a personal devil cannot successfully deny the vicious tendencies, the crime waves, in modern men. The power of the devil in the lives of men does explain the evil at work "in the sons of disobedience" (en tois huiois tes apeqias). In #5:6 also. A Hebrew idiom found in the papyri like "sons of light" (#1Th 5:5).

    2:3 {We also all} (kai hemeis pantes). We Jews. {Once lived} (anestrafemen pote). Second aorist passive indicative of anastrefw, old verb, to turn back and forth, to live (#2Co 1:12). Cf. pote periepatesate, of the Gentiles in verse #2. {The desires} (ta qelemata). Late and rare word except in LXX and N.T., from qelw, to will, to wish. Plural here "the wishes,"the wills" of the flesh like tais epithumiais tłs sarkos just before. Gentiles had no monopoly of such sinful impulses. {Of the mind} (twn dianoiwn). Plural again, "of the thoughts or purposes." {Were by nature children of wrath} (emeqa tekna fusei orges). this is the proper order of these words which have been the occasion of much controversy. There is no article with tekna. Paul is insisting that Jews as well as Gentiles ("even as the rest") are the objects of God's wrath (orges) because of their lives of Sin. See #Ro 2:1-3:20 for the full discussion of this to Jews unpalatable truth. The use of fusei (associative instrumental case of manner) is but the application of Paul's use of "all" (pantes) as shown also in #Ro 3:20; 5:12. See fusei of Gentiles in #Ro 2:14. The implication of original Sin is here, but not in the form that God's wrath rests upon little children before they have committed acts of Sin. The salvation of children dying before the age of responsibility is clearly involved in #Ro 5:13f.

    2:4 {But God} (ho de qeos). Change in the structure of the sentence here, resuming verse #1 after the break. {Being rich in mercy} (plousios wn en eleei). More than eleemwn (being merciful). {Wherewith} (hen). Cognate accusative with egapesen (loved).

    2:5 {Even when we were dead} (kai ontas hemas nekrous). Repeats the beginning of verse #1, but he changes humas (you Gentiles) to hemas (us Jews). {Quickened us together with Christ} (sunezwopoiesen t"i Christ"i). First aorist active indicative of the double compound verb sunzwopoiew as in #Col 2:13 which see. Associative instrumental case in Christ"i. Literal resurrection in the case of Jesus, spiritual in our case as pictured in baptism. {By grace have ye been saved} (cariti este seswsmenoi). Instrumental case of cariti and perfect passive periphrastic indicative of swzw. Parenthetical clause interjected in the sentence. All of grace because we were dead.

    2:6 {In Christ Jesus} (en Christ"i iesou). All the preceding turns on this phrase. See #Col 3:1 for the word sunegeiren. {Made to sit with him} (sunekaqisen). First aorist active indicative of sunkaqizw, old causative verb, but in N.T. only here and #Lu 22:55.

    2:7 {That he might shew} (hina endeixetai). Final clause with hina and first aorist middle subjunctive of endeiknumi. See #1:7 for "riches of grace" and #1:19 for "exceeding" (huperballon). {In kindness toward us} (en crestoteti ef' hemas). See #Ro 2:7 for this word from crestos and that from craomai, here God's benignity toward us.

    2:8 {For by grace} (tei gar cariti). Explanatory reason. "By the grace" already mentioned in verse #5 and so with the article. {Through faith} (dia pistews). this phrase he adds in repeating what he said in verse #5 to make it plainer. "Grace" is God's part, "faith" ours. {And that} (kai touto). Neuter, not feminine taute, and so refers not to pistis (feminine) or to caris (feminine also), but to the act of being saved by grace conditioned on faith on our part. Paul shows that salvation does not have its source (ex humwn, out of you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God's gift (dwron) and not the result of our work.

    2:9 {That no man should glory} (hina me tis kaucesetai). Negative final clause (hina me) with first aorist middle subjunctive of kaucaomai. It is all of God's grace.

    2:10 {Workmanship} (poiema). Old word from poiew with the ending -mat meaning result. In N.T. only here and #Re 1:20. {Created} (ktisqentes). First aorist passive participle of ktizw, not the original creation as in #Col 1:16; Eph 3:9, but the moral and spiritual renewal in Christ, the new birth, as in #Eph 2:15; 4:24. {For good works} (epi ergois agaqois). Probably the true dative of purpose here with epi (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 605). Purpose of the new creation in Christ. {Which} (hois). Attraction of the relative ha (accusative after prołtoimasen) to case of the antecedent ergois. {Afore prepared} (proetoimasen). First aorist active indicative of proetoimazw, old verb to make ready beforehand. In N.T. only here and #Ro 9:23. Good works by us were included in the eternal foreordination by God. {That we should walk in them} (hina en autois peripateswmen). Expexegetic final clause explanatory of the election to good works.

    2:11 {Wherefore} (dio). this conjunction applies to the Gentile Christians the arguments in #2:1-10. {That aforetime ye} (hoti pote humeis). No verb is expressed, but in verse #12 Paul repeats hoti en twi kairwi ekein"i (for pote) "that at that time" and inserts ete (ye were). {Uncircumcision} (akrobustia), {circumcision} (peritomes). The abstract words are used to describe Gentiles and Jews as in #Ga 5:6; Rom 2:27. {Made by hands} (ceiropoietou). Agreeing with peritomes. Verbal (#Mr 14:58) from ceiropoiew like aceiropoietos in #Col 2:11.

    2:12 {Separate from Christ} (cwris cristou). Ablative case with adverbial preposition cwris, describing their former condition as heathen. {Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel} (apellotriwmenoi tes politeias tou israel). Perfect passive participle of apallotriow, for which see #Col 1:21. Here followed by ablative case politeias, old word from politeuw, to be a citizen (#Php 1:27) from polites and that from polis (city). Only twice in N.T., here as commonwealth (the spiritual Israel or Kingdom of God) and #Ac 22:28 as citizenship. {Strangers from the covenants of the promise} (xenoi twn diaqekwn tes epaggelias). For xenos (Latin _hospes_), as stranger see #Mt 25:35,38,43f., as guest-friend see #Ro 16:23. Here it is followed by the ablative case diaqekwn. {Having no hope} (elpida me econtes). No hope of any kind. In #Ga 4:8 ouk (strong negative) occurs with eidotes qeon, but here me gives a more subjective picture (#1Th 4:5). {Without God} (aqeoi). Old Greek word, not in LXX, only here in N.T. Atheists in the original sense of being without God and also in the sense of hostility to God from failure to worship him. See Paul's words in #Ro 1:18-32. "In the world" (en twi kosmwi) goes with both phrases. It is a terrible picture that Paul gives, but a true one.

    2:13 {But now} (nuni de). Strong contrast, as opposed to "at that time." {Afar off} (makran). Adverb (accusative feminine adjective with hodon understood). From the politeia and its hope in God. {Are made nigh} (egeneqete eggus). First aorist passive indicative of ginomai, a sort of timeless aorist. Nigh to the commonwealth of Israel in Christ. {In the blood of Christ} (en twi haimati tou cristou). Not a perfunctory addition, but essential (#1:7), particularly in view of the Gnostic denial of Christ's real humanity.

    2:14 {For he is our peace} (autos gar estin he eirene hemwn). He himself, not just what he did (necessary as that was and is). He is our peace with God and so with each other (Jews and Gentiles). {Both one} (ta amfotera hen). "The both" (Jew and Gentile). Jesus had said "other sheep I have which are not of this fold" (#Joh 10:16). {One} (hen) is neuter singular (oneness, unity, identity) as in #Ga 3:28. Race and national distinctions vanish in Christ. If all men were really in Christ, war would disappear. {Brake down the middle wall of partition} (to mesotoicon tou fragmou lusas). "Having loosened (first aorist active participle of luw, see #Joh 2:19) the middle-wall (late word, only here in N.T., and very rare anywhere, one in papyri, and one inscription) of partition (fragmou, old word, fence, from frassw, to fence or hedge, as in #Mt 21:33)." In the temple courts a partition wall divided the court of the Gentiles from the court of Israel with an inscription forbidding a Gentile from going further (Josephus, _Ant_. VIII. 3, 2). See the uproar when Paul was accused of taking Trophimus beyond this wall (#Ac 21:28).

    2:15 {Having abolished} (katargesas). First aorist active participle of katargew, to make null and void. {The enmity} (ten ecqran). But it is very doubtful if ten ecqran (old word from ecqros, hostile, #Lu 23:12) is the object of katargesas. It looks as if it is in apposition with to mesotoicon and so the further object of lusas. The enmity between Jew and Gentile was the middle wall of partition. And qen it must be decided whether "in his flesh" (en tei sarki autou) should be taken with lusas and refer especially to the Cross (#Col 1:22) or be taken with katargesas. Either makes sense, but better sense with lusas. Certainly "the law of commandments in ordinances (ton nomon twn entolwn en dogmasin) is governed by katargesas. {That he might create} (hina ktisei). Final clause with first aorist active subjunctive of ktizw. {The twain} (tous duo). The two men (masculine here, neuter in verse #14), Jew and Gentile. {One new man} (eis hena kainon anqrwpon). Into one fresh man (#Col 3:9-11) "in himself" (en hautwi). Thus alone is it possible. {Making peace} (poiwn eirenen). Thus alone can it be done. Christ is the peace-maker between men, nations, races, classes.

    2:16 {And might reconcile} (kai apokatallaxei). Final clause with hina understood of first aorist active subjunctive of apokatallassw for which see #Col 1:20,22. {Them both} (tous amfoterous). "The both,"the two" (tous duo), Jew and Gentile. {In one body} (en heni swmati). The "one new man" of verse #15 of which Christ is Head (#1:23), the spiritual church. Paul piles up metaphors to express his idea of the Kingdom of God with Christ as King (the church, the body, the commonwealth of Israel, oneness, one new man in Christ, fellow-citizens, the family of God, the temple of God). {Thereby} (en autwi). On the Cross where he slew the enmity (repeated here) between Jew and Gentile.

    2:17 {Preached peace} (eueggelisato eirenen). First aorist middle of euaggelizw. "He gospelized peace" to both Jew and Gentile, "to the far off ones" (tois makran) and "to the nigh ones" (tois eggus). By the Cross and after the Cross Christ could preach that message.

    2:18 {Through him} (di' autou). Christ. {We both} (hoi amfoteroi). "We the both" (Jew and Gentile). {Our access} (ten prosagwgen). The approach, the introduction as in #Ro 5:2. {In one Spirit} (en heni pneumati). The Holy Spirit. {Unto the Father} (pros ton patera). So the Trinity as in #1:13f. The Three Persons all share in the work of redemption.

    2:19 {So qen} (ara oun). Two inferential particles (accordingly therefore). {No more} (ouketi). No longer. {Sojourners} (paroikoi). Old word for dweller by (near by, but not in). So #Ac 7:6,29; 1Pe 2:11 (only other N.T. examples). Dwellers just outside the house or family of God. {Fellow-citizens} (sunpolitai, old, but rare word, here only in N.T.), members now of the politeia of Israel (verse #12), the opposite of xenoi kai paroikoi. {Of the household of God} (oikeioi tou qeou). Old word from oikos (house, household), but in N.T. only here, #Ga 6:10; 1Ti 5:8. Gentiles now in the family of God (#Ro 8:29).

    2:20 {Being built upon} (epoikodomeqentes). First aorist passive participle of epoikodomew, for which double compound verb see #1Co 3:10; Co; 2:17. {The foundation} (epi twi qemeliwi). Repetition of epi with the locative case. See #1Co 3:11 for this word. {Of the apostles and prophets} (ton apostolwn kai profetwn). Genitive of apposition with qemeliwi, consisting in. If one is surprised that Paul should refer so to the apostles, he being one himself, Peter does the same thing (#2Pe 3:2). Paul repeats this language in #3:5. {Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone} (ontws akrogwnianiou autou cristou iesou). Genitive absolute. The compound akrogwniaios occurs only in the LXX (first in #Isa 28:16) and in the N.T. (here, #1Pe 2:6). liqos (stone) is understood. Jesus had spoken of himself as the stone, rejected by the Jewish builders (experts), but chosen of God as the head of the corner (#Mt 21:42), eis kefalen gwnias. "The akrogwniaios here is the primary foundation-stone at the angle of the structure by which the architect fixes a standard for the bearings of the walls and cross-walls throughout" (W. W. Lloyd).

    2:21 {Each several building} (pasa oikodome). So without article Aleph B D G K L. oikodome is a late word from oikos and demw, to build for building up (edification) as in #Eph 4:29, qen for the building itself as here (#Mr 13:1f.). Ordinary Greek idiom here calls for "every building," not for "all the building" (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 772), though it is not perfectly clear what that means. Each believer is called a naos qeou (#1Co 3:16). One may note the plural in #Mr 13:1 (oikodomai) of the various parts of the temple. Perhaps that is the idea here without precise definition of each oikodome. But there are examples of pas without the article where "all" is the idea as in pases ktisews (all creation) in #Col 1:15. {Fitly framed together} (sunarmologoumene). Double compound from sun and harmologos (binding, harmos, joint and legw), apparently made by Paul and in N.T. only here and #Eph 4:16. Architectural metaphor. {Into a holy temple} (eis naon hagion). The whole structure with all the oikodomai. Another metaphor for the Kingdom of God with which compare Peter's "spiritual house" (oikos pneumatikos) in which each is a living stone being built in (#1Pe 2:5).

    2:22 {Ye also are builded together} (kai humeis sunoikodomeisqe). Ye Gentiles also. Present passive indicative (continuous process) of common old verb sunoikodomew, to build together with others or out of varied materials as here. Only here in N.T. In #1Pe 2:5 Peter uses oikodomeisqe for the same process. {For a habitation} (eis katoiketerion). Late word (LXX), in N.T. only here and #Re 18:2. From katoikew, to dwell, as #Eph 3:17. Possibly each of us is meant here to be the "habitation of God in the Spirit" and all together growing (auxei) "into a holy temple in the Lord," a noble conception of the brotherhood in Christ.

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