An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 126 of 270
The use of the word 'spirit' as a pledge or earnest does not occur here for
the first time.  We meet it in Romans 8 and there are accompanying features
in that chapter that illuminate Ephesians 1:13 while not speaking of it.  In
Romans 8:15 and 16 we read of 'the spirit of adoption', and that this spirit
bears witness with our spirit.  The structure of Romans 8:15 -17 is as
Romans 8:15 -17
Ye have received.
The sonship spirit.
We cry.
Abba Father.
spirit itself bears witness with our spirit.
We are the children of God.
And if children.
Then heirs.
Heirs of God.
This section, denominated 'the spirit of adoption', is balanced in the
structure of the chapter by verses 22 to 28, 'waiting for the adoption'.
Romans 8:15 speaks of the spirit of adoption enjoyed now in this life; Romans
8:23 speaks of the literal, future adoption, 'the redemption of the body',
for which the believer waits and which cannot be enjoyed apart from
resurrection.  What is called 'the spirit of adoption' in verse 15, is called
'the firstfruits' of the spirit in verse 23.  Now the firstfruits was a
pledge of the yet future harvest, so Paul, who wrote Romans 8, could link the
spirit of the promise with the earnest of a future inheritance.  Not only is
there in both passages the 'adoption', there is 'predestination' and 'hope'.
Let us turn then to the word 'earnest' and see what we can learn.  This
is arrhabon, a word exactly the same as the Hebrew of Genesis 38:17 except,
of course, the characters used are Hebrew instead of Greek.  Arrhabon seems
to have passed from the Phoenicians in their trading, to the Greeks, and
thence to the Romans, (Latin arrha, arrhabo).  Our English 'earnest' is a
descendant of this Hebrew word.  The terminal 't' is an addition, and like
many other additions it may have grown out of the idea that the word meant
one was in earnest when promising, and this form of speculation is a cause of
many etymological pitfalls.  In Middle English, the word was spelt ernes and
sometimes earles, whence comes the early English equivalent, 'earlspenny', a
term not unknown in some parts of Scotland today.  The English word was
derived from the Old French arrhes.
Blackstone in his commentary says of the earnest:
'If any part of the price is paid down, if it be but a penny, or any
portion of the goods delivered by way of earnest, the property of the
goods is absolutely bound by it ...'.
Erabon, the Hebrew word which appears in Greek form in Ephesians 1:14,
occurs three times in Genesis, chapter 38 and is translated 'pledge'.  The
simpler word arab occurs twenty -two times, and is translated 'surety',
'pledge', 'mortgage', 'engage', 'undertake', 'mingle', 'meddle' and 'sweet'.
Note although for certain reasons one word begins in English with 'e', and
the other with 'a', both represent the one Hebrew letter ayin.  It may not be