[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Ephesians: Chapter 2)

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

2:2 {According to the course of this world} (kata ton aiōna tou kosmou toutou). Curious combinations of aiōn (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 archonta tēs exousias tou aeros). Aēr was used by the ancients for the lower and denser atmosphere and aithēr 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 archōn 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 tēs apethias). In 5:6 also. A Hebrew idiom found in the papyri like "sons of light" (1Th 5:5).

2:3 {We also all} (kai hēmeis pantes). We Jews.
{Once lived} (anestraphēmen pote). Second aorist passive indicative of anastrephō, old verb, to turn back and forth, to live (2Co 1:12). Cf. pote periepatēsate, of the Gentiles in verse 2. {The desires} (ta thelēmata). Late and rare word except in LXX and N.T., from thelō, to will, to wish. Plural here "the wishes," "the wills" of the flesh like tais epithumiais tēs sarkos just before. Gentiles had no monopoly of such sinful impulses.
{Of the mind} (tōn dianoiōn). Plural again, "of the thoughts or purposes."
{Were by nature children of wrath} (ēmetha tekna phusei orgēs). 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 (orgēs) 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 phusei (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 phusei 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 theos). Change in the structure of the sentence here, resuming verse 1 after the break.
{Being rich in mercy} (plousios ōn en eleei). More than eleēmōn (being merciful).
{Wherewith} (hēn). Cognate accusative with ēgapēsen (loved).

2:5 {Even when we were dead} (kai ontas hēmās nekrous). Repeats the beginning of verse 1, but he changes humās (you Gentiles) to hēmās (us Jews).
{Quickened us together with Christ} (sunezōopoiēsen tōi Christōi). First aorist active indicative of the double compound verb sunzōopoieō as in Col 2:13 which see. Associative instrumental case in Christōi. Literal resurrection in the case of Jesus, spiritual in our case as pictured in baptism.
{By grace have ye been saved} (chariti este sesōsmenoi). Instrumental case of chariti and perfect passive periphrastic indicative of sōzō. Parenthetical clause interjected in the sentence. All of grace because we were dead.

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

2:7 {That he might shew} (hina endeixētai). 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 chrēstotēti eph' hēmās). See Ro 2:7 for this word from chrēstos and that from chraomai, here God's benignity toward us.

2:8 {For by grace} (tēi gar chariti). Explanatory reason. "By the grace" already mentioned in verse 5 and so with the article.
{Through faith} (dia pisteōs). 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 tautē, and so refers not to pistis (feminine) or to charis (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 humōn, out of you) in men, but from God. Besides, it is God's gift (dōron) and not the result of our work.

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

2:10 {Workmanship} (poiēma). Old word from poieō with the ending -mat meaning result. In N.T. only here and Re 1:20. {Created} (ktisthentes). First aorist passive participle of ktizō, 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 agathois). 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 proētoimasen) to case of the antecedent ergois.
{Afore prepared} (proētoimasen). First aorist active indicative of proētoimazō, 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 peripatēsōmen). 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 tōi kairōi ekeinōi (for pote) "that at that time" and inserts ēte (ye were).
{Uncircumcision} (akrobustia), {circumcision} (peritomēs). The abstract words are used to describe Gentiles and Jews as in Ga 5:6; Rom 2:27. {Made by hands} (cheiropoiētou). Agreeing with peritomēs. Verbal (Mr 14:58) from cheiropoieō like acheiropoiētos in Col 2:11.

2:12 {Separate from Christ} (chōris Christou). Ablative case with adverbial preposition chōris, describing their former condition as heathen.
{Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel} (apēllotriōmenoi tēs politeias tou Israēl). Perfect passive participle of apallotrioō, for which see Col 1:21. Here followed by ablative case politeias, old word from politeuō, to be a citizen (Php 1:27) from politēs 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 tōn diathēkōn tēs 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 diathēkōn.
{Having no hope} (elpida mē echontes). No hope of any kind. In Ga 4:8 ouk (strong negative) occurs with eidotes theon, but here gives a more subjective picture (1Th 4:5).
{Without God} (atheoi). 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 tōi kosmōi) 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} (egenēthēte 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 tōi haimati tou Christou). 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 hē eirēnē hēmōn). 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 amphotera 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 mesotoichon tou phragmou lusas). "Having loosened (first aorist active participle of luō, 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 (phragmou, old word, fence, from phrassō, 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} (katargēsas). First aorist active participle of katargeō, to make null and void.
{The enmity} (tēn echthran). But it is very doubtful if tēn echthran (old word from echthros, hostile, Lu 23:12) is the object of katargēsas. It looks as if it is in apposition with to mesotoichon and so the further object of lusas. The enmity between Jew and Gentile was the middle wall of partition. And then it must be decided whether "in his flesh" (en tēi sarki autou) should be taken with lusas and refer especially to the Cross (Col 1:22) or be taken with katargēsas. Either makes sense, but better sense with lusas. Certainly "the law of commandments in ordinances (ton nomon tōn entolōn en dogmasin) is governed by katargēsas.
{That he might create} (hina ktisēi). Final clause with first aorist active subjunctive of ktizō.
{The twain} (tous duo). The two men (masculine here, neuter in verse 14), Jew and Gentile.
{One new man} (eis hena kainon anthrōpon). Into one fresh man (Col 3:9-11) "in himself" (en hautōi). Thus alone is it possible.
{Making peace} (poiōn eirēnēn). Thus alone can it be done. Christ is the peace-maker between men, nations, races, classes.

2:16 {And might reconcile} (kai apokatallaxēi). Final clause with hina understood of first aorist active subjunctive of apokatallassō for which see Col 1:20,22.
{Them both} (tous amphoterous). "The both," "the two" (tous duo), Jew and Gentile.
{In one body} (en heni sōmati). 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 autōi). On the Cross where he slew the enmity (repeated here) between Jew and Gentile.

2:17 {Preached peace} (euēggelisato eirēnēn). First aorist middle of euaggelizō. "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 amphoteroi). "We the both" (Jew and Gentile).
{Our access} (tēn prosagōgēn). 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 then} (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 theou). 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} (epoikodomēthentes). First aorist passive participle of epoikodomeō, for which double compound verb see 1Co 3:10; Co; 2:17.
{The foundation} (epi tōi themeliōi). Repetition of epi with the locative case. See 1Co 3:11 for this word.
{Of the apostles and prophets} (ton apostolōn kai prophētōn). Genitive of apposition with themeliōi, 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} (ontōs akrogōnianiou autou Christou Iēsou). Genitive absolute. The compound akrogōniaios occurs only in the LXX (first in Isa 28:16) and in the N.T. (here, 1Pe 2:6). Lithos (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 kephalēn gōnias. "The akrogōniaios 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} (pāsa oikodomē). So without article Aleph B D G K L. Oikodomē is a late word from oikos and demō, to build for building up (edification) as in Eph 4:29, then 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 theou (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 oikodomē. But there are examples of pās without the article where "all" is the idea as in pāsēs ktiseōs (all creation) in Col 1:15. {Fitly framed together} (sunarmologoumenē). Double compound from sun and harmologos (binding, harmos, joint and legō), 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 sunoikodomeisthe). Ye Gentiles also. Present passive indicative (continuous process) of common old verb sunoikodomeō, to build together with others or out of varied materials as here. Only here in N.T. In 1Pe 2:5 Peter uses oikodomeisthe for the same process.
{For a habitation} (eis katoikētērion). Late word (LXX), in N.T. only here and Re 18:2. From katoikeō, 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.

[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Ephesians: Chapter 2)

| About LW | Site Map | LW Publications | Search
Developed by © Levend Water All rights reserved