An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 180 of 270
Heavenly Places.  Not only has the translation, 'before the overthrow of the
world', been subjected to attack by one school of thought and the meaning of
all 'spiritual' blessings been questioned, the sphere of these blessings, 'in
heavenly places', has been so modified and explained by another, that the
idea that the earth and not heaven is the home of all the redeemed is assumed
to have been justified.  This third feature of our high calling being
imperilled we must give the matter our most earnest and prayerful attention.
It has been our contention that the Greek phrase, en tois epouraniois,
'in the heavenlies', occurs nowhere else, either in the LXX, or in the New
Testament  other than in Ephesians, and when we were recommended to take a
dose of our own prescription and consult the LXX, we imagined that we must
have slipped up badly, and that a fairly lengthy list of occurrences of this
phrase was in the Septuagint which we had overlooked.  This same feeling we
discovered had been induced in the mind of some other readers who had no
facilities to 'search and see'.  We immediately opened our concordance to the
LXX, and at first glance failed to see any occurrence.  However, at last, we
found the occurrences referred to which we set out before the reader here.
Epouranios (Psa. 67:15; Dan. 4:23 A).
Daniel 4:23 is marked with the letter A to show that this reading is
found only in the Alexandrian MSS.  This leaves One reference only that is
unchallengeable.  The reader may say that this one reference is nevertheless
important.  We reply, it would be, and would have been taken into account
long ago, if it were legitimate.  The writer who thus appealed to the LXX has
entirely missed the point.  We have reiterated almost to weariness, when
dealing with Ephesians 1:3 that we are Not concerned with epouranios.  This
word is not in question; we are only concerned with the peculiar phrase, en
tois epouraniois, which we repeat occurs nowhere else in either the Old or
the New Testament, but in the Epistle to the Ephesians.  The one occurrence
of epouranios in the LXX is used in Psalm 67:15 or according to the A.V.,
Psalm 68:14 which reads in the English version:
'When the Almighty scattered kings in it',
and this solitary and obscure usage of the wrong Greek word, is supposed to
be proof that 'in heavenly places' is wrong, and should read, 'among the
mighty ones'!  The Hebrew word thus translated is the Hebrew, El -Shaddai,
and as this title occurs forty -eight times, it is rather strange to discover
that elsewhere it is translated, Theos tou ouranon, 'The God of heaven',
Pantokrator, Omnipotent, and other titles of Deity, showing that when the LXX
on one occasion used the simple word, epouranios, it implied, 'The God of
heaven', leaving the word heaven to mean a sphere or place, the Divine abode.
But we are reminded en, 'in', followed by the plural, means 'among'.
This again is a statement that needs modifying.  Sometimes en when followed
by the plural means 'among', but it frequently means 'in'.  Let us test this
for ourselves.  Would anyone tolerate the following as translations?  'When
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea Among the days of Herod' (Matt. 2:1) or
'In Bethlehem Among the coasts' (Matt. 2:16), or 'Among the streets' (Matt.
6:2); or to come to Ephesians itself, would anyone impose this rule and offer
as a translation the following: 'among the children of disobedience'; 'among
the lusts of our flesh'; 'among the ages to come'; 'walk among them'; 'among
ordinances'; 'among a few words'; 'among other ages'; 'among my
tribulations'; 'that worketh among us'.  Here is the way in which en followed