Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 1

Interested in the Protestant Scholastics?  Systematic Theology I

As so I proceed to the second Question set forth in § 1, Whence were the words borrowed that occur in this verse? Ἔχομεν βεβαιότερον τὸν προφητικὸν λόγον, ᾧ καλῶς ποιεῖτε προσέχοντες, ὡς λύχνῳ φαίνοντι ἐν αὐχμηρῷ τόπῳ, ἕως οὗ ἡμέρα διαυγάσῃ, καὶ φωσφόρος ἀνατείλῃ ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν, We have a more sure prophetic words; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts, says Peter, 2 Peter 1:19, being about to confirm the Apostolic preaching from the writings of the Prophets; see my Commentarium on that passage.  Similarly in our text Paul teaches according to the manner customary to the Apostles.  For I think that it is sufficiently evident from those things that we have discussed above that by that διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, at the beginning of the verse we are sent off to the Scripture of the Old Testament.  Hence the opinions just now mentioned of those that maintain that these words are either of the man filled with light, or of the Spirit speaking in the regenerate man, or of the Lord now speaking through Paul, or of the preachers of the Gospel under the New Testament, all thus redoubling repeatedly, come together of themselves.  Hence likewise are to be rejected the opinions, surveyed and dexterously confuted by WOLF, of those that maintain that the Apostle has alluded to the blowing of the trumpet, which at the beginning of the new year, as they say, was formerly wont to be sounded publicly among the Jews, and especially to the words customarily added by the herald; or of those that hold the three declarations of the Apostle occurring in this verse as three verse of a Song that had customarily been sung piously in the Churches at that time; or of those that say that the word of Christ is here related, with which in the general resurrection He is going to address each and every dead man, by saying, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, to which formula Paul added of himself, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, and Christ shall give thee light.  Indeed, if our assertion should stand, of which we have little doubt, that διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, is to be held as a formula for alleging the Sacred Codex of the Old Testament, fail also do those things that are now read in the books of the Ancients concerning the words of this verse drawn by the Apostle out of some Apocryphal writing, a monument of a bygone age, since they were not finding these things to occur with sufficient clarity in the Canonical Books of the Old Testament.  Or now they make them the words of a Prophet or of some Apocryphal writing of the same in general, with JEROME on this passage, who, responding to the question, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead. One may ask, who then is he that says:  Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead:  or of whose testimony does the Apostle make use? then subjoins some other things, namely: But another, as the Apostle would figure a προσωποποιῒαν, taking on of the character, of the Holy Spirit, will relate these sayings for an exhortation to repentance. I, according to my own humble ability diligently sifting all the edition of the ancient scriptures, and the very scrolls of the Hebrews, certainly never found this written.  Unless perhaps we might say this also:  just as formerly the Prophets were speaking in the assembly of the people, thus saith the Lord, and because the Lord hath spoken: so also the Apostle being full of the Holy Spirit, in words that Christ was speaking in him, suddenly erupted and spoke, thus saith the Lord:  but in the first place he responds:  And indeed he that is content with a simple response will say that he has brought forth these readings in hidden Prophets and these which are called Apocryphal: just as it is manifest that he has done in other places also:  not that he would approve the Apocrypha, but so that he might make use of the verses of Aratus,[1] Epimenides,[2] and Menander[3] to confirm those things that he had just set forth. Yet not all things that Aratus, Epimenides, and Menander wrote are holy, simply because he testified that they said something truly.  Indeed, FABRICIUS, in his Codice pseudepigrapho Veteris Testamenti, chapter CCXVII, pages 1105, 1106, also cites Hippolytus, as if he had also related that the argument of our text was drawn by Paul from the apocryphal writing of some Prophet:  yet the words of the Blessed Martyr do not clearly display that, which words are able to be explained of the Canonical writing of some Prophet, as well as of an Apocryphal writing.  Now, the words of our text are found in HIPPOLYTUS’ libro de Antichristo, chapter LXV, and are less dexterously explained by the same of the last Resurrection:  Περὶ μὲν οὖν τῆς ἀναστάσεως καὶ τῆς βασιλείας τῶν ἁγίων, λέγει Δανιήλ· καὶ πολλοὶ τῶν καθευδόντων ἐν γῆς χώματι ἀναστήσονται· οὗτοι εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον—Ἡσαΐας λέγει· ἀναστήσονται οἱ νεκροὶ, καὶ ἐγερθήσονται οἱ ἐν τοῖς μνημείοις, ὅτι ἡ δρόσος ἡ παρά σου ἴαμα αὐτοῖς ἐστιν. Ὁ Κύριος λέγει·  πολλοὶ ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἀκούσονται τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ Υἱοῦ τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ οἱ ἀκούσαντες ζήσονται. Ὁ δὲ προφήτης λέγει· ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἐξεγέρθητι ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, Moreover, concerning the resurrection and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says, And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise, some to everlasting life…. Isaiah says, The dead men shall arise, and they that are in their tombs shall awake; for the dew from you is healing to them.  The Lord says, Many in that day shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live.  And the prophet says, Awake, you that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light:  on which words COMBEFIS, after some other things, ingeniously noted, “Hippolytus also thought that this prophetic saying was seized upon by Paul; whether from the Apocryphal Book just now referenced, or that he thus brought together those things of the genuine Isaiah, Isaiah 60, Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, etc., and made use of them for the true light, Christ, as the Holy Doctor not improbably perceived.”  Or in particular they appeal to the Apocalypse of Elijah or some other Apocryphal work of this Prophet with EPIPHANIUS, adversus Hæreses, book I, tome 3, heresy XLII, opera, tome I, page 372, where after citing our text he adds:  Πόθεν τῷ Ἀποστόλῳ τὸ, διὸ καὶ λέγει, ἀλλὰ ἀπὸ τῆς παλαιᾶς δῆλον διαθήκης; τοῦτο δὲ ἐμφέρεται παρὰ τῷ Ἠλίᾳ. πόθεν δὲ ὁρμᾶτο ὁ Ἠλίας; ἀλλὰ εἷς ἦν τῶν Προφητῶν, etc., Whence then did the Apostle fetch those words, where he saith? Certainly from no other place than the Old Testament.  For these things are found in the work of Elijah.  But from which company did Elijah emerge?  Is he not one of the Prophets? etc.  From which in passing it is evident that GROTIUS wrote erroneously on Ephesians 5:14, and COMBEFIS on the passage of Hippolytius just cited, because EPIPHANIUS is to be numbered among those that think that the words of which we treat were taken by Paul from the Apocryphal writings of Jeremiah:  whence this παρόραμα/oversight arose, FABRICIUS points out in his Codice apocrypho Novi Testamenti, tome 2, page 524, in the notes.  GEORGE SYNCELLUS is able to have believed that these things are more truly said to have been taken from the apocryphal writings of Jeremiah; these are SYNCELLUS’ words, page 27, Πλὴν καὶ ὁ μακάριος Παῦλος σπανίως ἐχρήσατό τισιν ἐξ Ἀποκρύφων χρήσεσιν. ὡς ὅταν φησὶν ἐν τῇ πρὸς Κορινθίους πρώτῃ ἐπιστολῇ, Ἃ ὁ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε, καὶ οὖς οὐκ ἤκουσε, καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἀνέβη. καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς, ἐκ τῶν Ἠλία ἀποκρύφων. καὶ πάλιν ἐν τῇ πρὸς Γαλάτας, ἐκ τῆς Μωσέως Ἀποκαλύψεως, Οὔτε περιτομὴ τί ἐστιν, οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις. καὶ ἐν τῇ πρὸς Ἐφεσίους, ἐκ τῶν Ιἐρεμίου λεγομένων Ἀποκρύφων, ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, Save that the bless Paul sometimes, although rarely, consulted some passages out of Apocryphal Books: as when he says in the first epistle to the Corinthians, What things eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man.  And those things you will find out of the apocryphal works of Elijah.  And again in the epistle to the Galatians out of the Apocalypse of Moses, Neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.  And in the epistle to the Ephesians, from the Apocryphal sayings of Jeremiah, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.  But both these, and a great many other, Apocryphal writings, that among the Ancients go by the name of one or another Prophet, are destitute of all solid foundation; and they enjoy no greater authority than what is excessively bestowed upon them by credulous men; forged by idle minds in not-so-pious fraud, so that either they might seek patronage for their errors from the name of some lauded man, or have a hiding-place for their ignorance, in which they were thinking some words to be cited in the New Testament, that were not so readily meeting them in the writings of the Old Testament; just as Syncellus was just now alleging those things to have been taken from the Apocryphal Books of Elijah, which the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 2:9 most certainly repeated out of Isaiah 64:4.  Which JEROME himself in the passage of Isaiah cited acknowledges, and therefore in that same place he gravely inveighs against the patrons of those Apocryphal works: The paraphrase of this testimony, says he, the Apostle Paul, as a Hebrew of the Hebrews, takes from the authentic books in the Epistle that he writes to the Corinthians: not rendering it word for word, which he altogether disdains to do:  but expressing the truth of the sense, of which use is made for that which he wishes to be confirmed.  Whence let the delusions of the Apocryphal Books keep silent, which upon occasion of this testimony are carried into the Churches of Christ.  Of which it is able truly to be said that the devil lies in wait with the rich in hidden/apocryphal places, so that he might slay the innocent, Psalm 10:8. And again in verse 9, He lies in ambush in an hidden/apocryphal place, as a lion in his den: he lies in ambush so that he might catch the poor.  For the Ascension of Isaiah and the Apocalypse of Elijah have this testimony.  And by this occasion, and many difficulties of this sort, the foolish women of Lusitania[4] have been deceived, heavy laden with sins, who are led by various lusts, always learning, and never arriving at a knowledge of the truth:[5]  so that they might accept the portents of Basilides, Balsamus and Thesaurus, Barbelo and Leusibora,[6] and the rest of the names, etc.  And doubtlessly in the case of Ephesians 5:14 they would have held Jerome no more favorable to Apocryphal writings, unless we had heard him concede that he, diligently perusing all the editions of the ancient Scriptures, and the very scrolls of the Hebrews, had never and nowhere found this written.  Concerning all the Apocryphal writings of this sort FABRICIUS, in his Præfatione Codicis pseudepigraphi Veteris Testamenti, rightly wrote, being about to render an account of his plan in publishing the same:  “I am not led by fables of this sort, or rather I prove them frauds; but I think that nothing more fitting is able to be do to reject and explode them than that they might be exhibited thus side-by-side for inspection and be exposed to the contempt of all.”  So then it is not at all strange that those that formerly thought the words of our text to be borrowed from the Apocrypha generally have found no follower among the more recent Writers.  But it is fitting that this be the less marveled at, as Interpreters have indicated with greater certainty the words cited by the Apostle in the Canonical Codex of the Old Testament.

[1] Aratus (c. 315-240 BC) was a Greek didactic poet.  He is cited by Paul in Acts 17:28.

[2] Epimenides (circa seventh century BC) was a Greek Seer, Philosopher, and Poet.  He is cited by Paul in Titus 1:12.

[3] Menander (c. 342-c. 290 BC) was a Greek Comedic Playwright.  He is cited by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:33.

[4] Lusitania was a region of the Iberian Peninsula.

[5] See 2 Timothy 3:6, 7.

[6] With the exception of Thesaurus, which appears to be a title of a work by Mani, explaining Gnostic cosmology, these appear to be names for divine emanations in Basilidian and Priscillian Gnosticism.

Formulae for Old Testament Citations in the New, Part 3

But you may say that the text alleged in the first place from Psalm 97:7 hinders. Since that, καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ, and let all the angels of God worship Him, could appear to be a divine mandate of such a sort that no creature would be capable of commanding the good Angels with such authority, in which manner the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS, Dissertationibus Academicis, XVIII, § I, “Suddenly by an Apostrophe[1] the speech is turned toward Elohim, to whom the Adoration of Jehovah as Lord of the whole earth is commanded.[2]  Yet notwithstanding the Person speaking is also Jehovah, God the Father or the Holy Spirit.  Indeed, the Prophet in the Spirit heard and wrote this commandment; he did not give it.  For, that the Prophets or Apostles as Ministers of God commanded evil Angels in the name of God, is evident from Acts 16:16-18; but it is unheard of to give commandments to Good and Holy Angels, and to exhort them to their duties concerning God.  Therefore, God speaks here of God, one Divine Person concerning Another, commanding the Angels as His creatures to worship Him.  Which mystery Paul indicates, when concerning God Introducing the First into the world he says, He said concerning God the Firstborn, and the Lord of every creature and of the whole world, Let all the Angels of God worship Him.”  But, with the reverence due to this man preserved, I believe that to this commentary an answer is able to be returned, that not incorrectly are the words of the Psalm that are treated taken to be an exhortation, whereby the Angels are incited to their proper duty:  why this sort of urging of Angels and whatever creatures to ascribe praise, glory, and worship to God would not be befitting every pious man urged by God, I do not think that reasons are able to be alleged; much less, when the contrary practice is also expressly confirmed by examples from Psalm 148 in its entirety; Psalm 103:20-22; so that it is not altogether unheard of for Prophets, as Ministers of God, to exhort Good Angels to their duties concerning God; in which manner they indicate τὸ πρέπον, the propriety, of that matter itself, and demonstrate by their pious wish their zeal to advance the glory of God.  At the same time, an exhortation of this sort, proceeding from a holy Man urged by the prophetic Spirit and recorded in the Canon, with respect to rational beings, for example, Angels, unto whom it is directed, obtains the force of a precept entirely because of the θεοπνευστίαν/inspiration, whereby it was brought forth.  And so the argument brought forth by the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS is hardly sufficient to conclude that God the Father ought to be considered properly as the person speaking in Psalm 97:7b.  The Most Illustrious ALPHEN, in his Explicatione analytica of Psalm 97, pages 117-119, following the torch that he believes the Apostle displays in Hebrews 1:6, thinks that God the Father is introduced as speaking in the prior seven verse of this Psalm, and as discoursing in exalted manner concerning the economic Kingdom of His glorious exalted Son:  but he thinks that in the other part of the Psalm the speech is continued by someone that piously reveres Jehovah, the reigning Son, and he then speaks to this very King with a reverent address, verses 8 and 9, and exhorts those sharing his faith as subjects of this King to fulfill their holy and joyous duties, and supports their souls with strong consolations, verses 10-12.  I acknowledge that the layout of the Psalm is thus neatly arranged.  But whether a convincing argument for this exegesis occurs in the words of the Apostle in Hebrews 1:6, I doubt:  yet unless the Illustrious Interpreter had taken occasion from them, I do not know whether this division of the Psalm would have come to mind.  Certianly from what precedes it sufficiently appears, if I am not mistaken, that the same λέγει, He saith, with the three passages following cited in verses 7-12, is not able to be urged with such force that you might conclude from it that God the Father is to be contemplated in them specifically as the person speaking.  In the same manner, why might not that λέγει in the first place in verse 6 be taken similarly in the much more common sense?  The argument of Psalm 95, which came just a little before, clearly evinces that the sacred hymn are given in which partly men, and partly a Divine Person, speak:  indeed, in verses 1-7a the reader undoubtedly meets the pious people of God inciting one another to joyous and reverent worship of Jehovah, their God and King:  in verses 7b-11 a weighty admonition or dehortation from a divine Person, supported with a threat, follows; which divine Person the Apostle taught us to be the Holy Spirit, who sternly calls every one from hardness toward the royal voice of the Messiah, the Son of God, Hebrews 3:7, διό, καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, Σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε, etc., wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, etc.  In the same manner the matter is able to be compared with Psalm 97, so that in that place the Holy Spirit Himself first prophesies through the Prophet concerning the glorious Kingdom of Messiah; and then He supplies the words of this King to His Ministers, by which they might learn in a suitable manner to extol this King, and to admonish and comfort His subjects.  Which again in the more common sense explained above at the end of § 5 is indeed able to be attribed to God the Father; nevertheless, others think that even here our attention is not so fixed by the λέγει, He saith, of the Apostle upon the first person of the Deity speaking in the Psalm, that they might not also on this verse explain the λέγει by λέγεται, it is said, or λέγει ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture saith:  see JAMES CAPPEL[3] in Bibliciis Criticis on Hebrews 1:5.  Let us also attend on this passage, Hebrews 1:6, to the French annotation of the Reverend MARTIN:  “[Il [est] dit, He saith, or it is said]  Greek, He saith; as it is not God the Father Himself that speaks in the Psalm from which these words are taken, but the Prophet, as in the other citations of the Psalms that are added in the following verse, it is necessary to supply in all these places, as some versions do, the word Scripture, and to translate it, the Scripture saith; or to translate it, as we have done, by the impersonal verb, il est dit, it is said, in accordance with the style of the Hebrews, as can be seen on the Note on Ephesians 5:14.”  This Note we cited at the end of § 3; and from all the things hitherto considered we now conclude that the διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, in this our passage, Ephesians 5:14, is to be taken as a formula for the citation of the Scripture of the Old Testament; and that the λέγει is best supplied by ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, or that the active λέγει is to be taken as the impersonal passive λέγεται, it is said.  In which opinion we especially agree with the Most Illustrious COCCEIUS in his Commentario on this passage, § 77, where you read: Verse 14, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith. Grotius:  τὸ φῶς, the light, that is, the pious man. And he thinks that they are not the words of Scripture.  But it is better that it is a confirmation from the words of Scripture.  But also with PISCATOR, whose Scholium on this passage is this:  “Λέγει, he/it saith.  Namely, ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture.  There is a similar ellipsis in James 4:6.”  Likewise with LE CLERC in his Notis ad Hammondum in Novum Testamentum on Ephesians 5:14:  “Διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith.  Γραφὴ/Scripture is to be understood.”  And also with WOLF writing on this passage: Now, while I myself consider which of these diverse opinions is most safely able to be adopted, I deny that those have ever satisfied me that refer the διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, to the φῶς/light mentioned immediately before, that is, the man filled with divine light, who is wont and ought to make use of this formula for the correction of others. But there is one reason why I am not able to plant my foot here.  I see that Paul, elsewhere making use of this formula of exhortation, always goes back to some passage of Scripture.  So, for example, Ephesians 4:8, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, where he brings forth a passage of a Psalm. And so I am unwilling to draw back from the force and notion of the phrase in this passage either.  After he had already also said before that this φράσιν/phrase, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, used by Paul elsewhere, always recalls the reader to some passage of Scripture; and that this is evident from Romans 15:9, 10.  In interpreting the verb λέγει, He saith, impersonally by λέγεται, it is said, the Most Illustrious MARCKIUS has also gone before, Historia Exaltationis Jesu Christi, book III, chapter IX, § 5, although, being doubtful, he is more hesitant in determining whether by this verb in our text the Scripture of the Old Testament ought to be thought to be alleged, or not.  Discoursing in the place cited concerning the text of Psalm 68:18, cited by Paul in Ephesians 4:8, he writes: Moreover, those preceding words of the Psalm Paul cites in such a way that he sets down first, διὸ λέγει, propter quod, wherefore, in the Vulgate, or quapropter/wherefore in Beza, he saith, with the Syriac having here, it was said. Certainly, when the verb λέγει, He saith, is active here without any person speaking added, either the Prophetic Scripture, or God, or the Spirit, or the Prophets who thus spoke in the Scripture by the urging of God, is indeed able not incorrectly to be understood. Which sort of names are sometimes added elsewhere; but I doubt whether it might not be simpler to take that Verb Impersonally, and to render it here passively, it is said, by an obvious Hebraism, comparing 2 Corinthians 6:2; Hebrews 1:7; James 4:6; etc.  To which you might best refer the text of Ephesians 5:14 also, διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων, καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light; in which, nevertheless, others just as here want to understand some agreeable name, if regard is not to be had to τὸ φῶς, or the light, by personification, of which mention was previously made in verse 13. On which passage this also is to be noted, that, while the words adduced there are never found thus, with respect to the whole or to one or the other member, in the Old Testament, Isaiah 9:2; 26:19; 60:1, 2, which texts are generally wont to be cited here, or in any other place, it is perhaps no less fitting to refer that impersonal expression to the Apostles and Ministers of the Gospel thus speaking with Paul continually, as a summary of Evangelical preaching with respect to duty and promise, by comparison with Romans 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; etc. Into which matter the Most Learned Men have gone before, rather than that on account of the general phrase, it is said, they should think here, either concerning some Apocryphal Book, or even of some last Canonical Book.  And let these things suffice as a response to the first Question propounded above.

[1] That is, an exclamatory passage addressed to a person (usually absent).

[2] Psalm 97:6, 7:  “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.  Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols:  worship him, all ye gods/Elohim (הִשְׁתַּחֲווּ־ל֜וֹ כָּל־אֱלֹהִֽים׃).”

[3] James Cappel (1570-1614) was the older brother of Louis Cappel.  He was Professor of Hebrew and Theology at the Academy of Sedan.

Formulae for Old Testament Citations in the New, Part 2

Moreover, with our text the Pauline pericope in Romans 15:9-12 is able to be compared, τὰ δὲ ἔθνη ὑπὲρ ἐλέους δοξάσαι τὸν Θεόν, καθὼς γέγραπται, Διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι ἐν ἔθνεσι, etc. Καὶ πάλιν λέγει, Εὐφράνθητε, ἔθνη, μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ. Καὶ πάλιν, Αἰνεῖτε τὸν Κύριον πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, etc. Καὶ πάλιν Ἠσαΐας λέγει, etc., and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, etcAnd again He saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, etc. And again, Esaias saith, etc.:  in which, when in the first place is a formula of citation, καθὼς γέγραπται, as it is written, and in the fourth place, καὶ πάλιν Ἠσαΐας λέγει, and again, Isaiah saith; in the intervening place we have, καὶ πάλιν λέγει, and again He saith, which λέγει, He saith, is to be repeated in sense under the following καὶ πάλιν, and again:  now, this λέγει, He saith, posited absolutely after γέγραπται, it is written, is to be supplemented by ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, or is to be expounded by λέγει, He saith, that is, ἐν τῇ γραφῇ, in the Scripture.  Not to repeat the text of Ephesians 4:8, in which we saw that that διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, is not able to be supplied from the immediate context; but it ought necessarily to be explained, wherefore the Scripture saith, or wherefore it is said, namely, by the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture:  before I turn to other things, the Pauline context of Hebrews 1:6-12 is worthy of notice, ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ τὸν πρωτότοκον εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην λέγει, Καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ. Καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους λέγει, Ὁ ποιῶν τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ πνεύματα, καὶ τοὺς λειτουργοὺς αὐτοῦ πυρὸς φλόγα· πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, Ὁ θρόνος σου, ὁ Θεός, εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος· ῥάβδος εὐθύτητος ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας σου. Ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην, καὶ ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν· διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέ σε ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θεός σου, ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου. Καί, Σὺ κατ᾽ ἀρχάς, Κύριε, τὴν γῆν ἐθεμελίωσας, καὶ ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σού εἰσιν οἱ οὐρανοί· αὐτοὶ ἀπολοῦνται, σὺ δὲ διαμένεις· καὶ πάντες ὡς ἱμάτιον παλαιωθήσονται, καὶ ὡσεὶ περιβόλαιον ἑλίξεις αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀλλαγήσονται· σὺ δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς εἶ, καὶ τὰ ἔτη σου οὐκ ἐκλείψουσι, And again, when He bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire:  But unto the Son, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:  a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.  And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment:  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed:  but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.  Four diverse passage of the Old Testament are here adduced by that λέγει, He saith, express or understood, namely, Psalm 97:7; 104:4; 45:6, 7; 102:25-27.

 

We do not, as might be expected, devote any attention to Socinus, who denies that the καί/and at the beginning of Hebrews 1:10 is to be more sharply divided from the words that follow, and to be held as an indication of a new testimony concerning Christ the Son of God to be cited out of the Old Testament and to be added to those going before:  to whom BECMANN[1] responds with fullness, Exercitationibus Theologicis, VIII, pages 123-125.

 

If we wish to supplement this λέγει, He saith, out of the antecedent context, it is to be referred to God the Father, unto whom alone squares the expression of those things that occur in verse 5, τίνι γὰρ εἶπέ ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων, Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε; Καὶ πάλιν, Ἐγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι εἰς υἱόν, for unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? and again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?:  but one may not affirm the same concerning those things that are alleged in verses 6-12.  And indeed, if we consider those passages in reverse order, in Psalm 102 God, or a divine person, is most certainly not introduced as speaking, but it is most manifestly, as also the Title has it, a Prayer of the afflicted, or for the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his meditation or complaint before Jehovah.[2]  Unto that Jehovah, by which name Paul in Hebrews 1 teaches us specifically God the Son is indicated, in the words cited by him is directed a speech from a subject of this sort, that in the immediately preceding verse 24 he had prefaced this complaint from himself before Him, or he professes that this prayer was to be poured out by himself before Him, I was saying, or, I shall say, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days; thy years are unto every generation! Which things certainly do not square with God the Father speaking.  In the next place, in Psalm 45 the Prophet is introduced as speaking by the Holy Spirit, if you attend to verse 1, my heart is gushing forth a good word; I am going to speak my poems concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a swift scribe:  in which context, moreover, the speech in this epithalamium[3] is directed both to the King, verses 2-9, and to the Queen, verses 10 and following.  But, either the Prophet himself, the author of this Song, is believed to extend in this Psalm unto the praises of Messiah and His spiritual bride, as the words of verse 1 most simply and immediately pertain to Him; or he may be thought to represent other persons speaking also; I believe that to accommodate the argument of verse 1 to God the Father is certainly going to please very few.  But, if in verse 1 God the Father is not speaking, it does not appear that He is able to be introduced in verses 6 and 7 either as the person speaking, to which neither does the structure of the oration in verses 6 and 7 urge us in any way:  where Messiah is addressed twice by the Name אֱלֹהִים/Elohim/God; and speech is made in the third person concerning God the Father as His God, anointing Him; and not one single word is added that ought to be believed to proceed from God the Father specifically.  The situation is no different in Psalm 104, in which God the Father does not meet us as speaking; but rather the Prophet, by his own example going before all the pious, rouses his soul to the praises of God, verse 1a, Bless Jehovah, O my soul; then turning from his own soul to God, so that he might bear witness before Him, addressed in the second person, to his own piety most devout veneration, Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty, verse 1b; in which context, moreover, speaking concerning God in the third person, whether in soliloquy, or to all hearers and readers, verses 2-32, he relates in a sublime style Jehovah’s magnificent works, both of Creation and of Providence, on account of which He was to be praised eternally:  returning to himself in verses 33 and 34, and promising that he is going to persist continually in that to which he had roused his soul, and that he had immediately begun to fulfill in verse 1, I will sing to Jehovah in my life; I will sing a Psalm to my God as long as I shall be. My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in Jehovah:  even while to the impious, who are not roused by so many stupendous works of Divinity, so many benefits of benign Providence, to proclaim the praises of God in words and works, in holy zeal and by the prophetic Spirit he gravely threatens and predicts eternal destruction, verse 35a, let sinners be consumed, or sinners shall be consumed, from the earth, and let the wicked be, or the wicked shall be, no more; and with a clause filled with emotion he reaches deeply to stir his own soul, just as he had done in the exordium of the Psalm, and at the same time each soul, to extol that Jehovah, who has openly manifested Himself in such wonderful and divine works, verse 35b, Bless thou Jehovah, O my soul; praise ye Jah! From which simple abstract of the argument of this Psalm it is immediately evident that Jehovah the Father is not able to be considered as the person speaking, when for the praise of Jehovah it is related concerning Him in the third person, verse 4, who maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire.  In addition, that I might teach this in passing, in Hebrews 1:7, 8, the use of the preposition πρὸς is worthy of consideration, καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους λέγει—πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, and of the angels He saith…but to the Son.  And indeed, the words cited in verses 8 and 9 are directed toward the Messiah, God the Son, by direct address, but what things are repeated out of Psalm 104:4 in verse 7 it is altogether clear are expressed not to the Angels but concerning the Angels.  Hence, so that πρὸς, in these twin expressions so closely connected with each other, might be taken in one and the same sense, since in verse 7 it is not able to have the more common signification of to, the matter is to be set right in one or the other way; for either a comma is to be set before λέγει, He saith, and the sense is to be arrested after these words, καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους, πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν: in which case there is an elliptical expression, to be translated, and [with respect to] the Angels, but [with respect to] the Son He says:  which would be fully expressed, καὶ ὅσον μὲν πρὸς τοὺς ἀγγέλους προσήκει, ὅσον δὲ πρὸς τὸν Υἱόν προσήκει, as far as the Angels are concerned, as far as the Son is concerned.  Or πρὸς in this place shall carry the notion of περὶ/concerning, and concerning the angels He saith, but concerning the Son He saith.  Each is able best to be compared with the diction of the Greeks, and also πρὸς does thus occur in the place of περὶ/concerning in the New Testament, Luke 20:19:[4]  see WOLF’S Curas philologicas et criticas on Hebrews 1:7.  BEZA also translates verse 7, And concerning the Angels He saith; and he adds in his notis, “Concerning the Angels, πρὸς ἀγγέλους. Hebrew:  אֶל/to/concerning, עַל/concerning.”  To which things compare what SCHULTENS has on Job 5:8:[5] Nothing is more common than for אֶל/to/concerning to be taken for עַל/ concerning. Let Job 42:7, 8 suffice, לֹא דִבַּרְתֶּם אֵלַי נְכוֹנָה, ye have not spoken concerning me the thing that is right.  Likewise MARCKIUS, in his Exercitationibus textualibus, Part III, Exercise XV, § 12, on Psalm 2:7:[6] …Others expound אֶל/to by עַל/concerning, so that it might be about, or concerning, by comparison with Genesis 20:2;[7] 2 Kings 19:32;[8] Job 42:7; Psalm 69:26;[9] Jeremiah 27:19;[10] 40:16;[11] 51:60;[12] Ezekiel 21:28;[13] etc.: just as also πρὸς/to is sometimes used in Greek, Hebrews 1:7; 4:13;[14] etc.  Similarly the Reverend MARTIN translates it, Car quant aux Anges, il [est] dit. Mais [il est dit] quant au Fils, for as for the Angels, He says [it is said]…but as for the Son, He says [it is said].  As also DE BEAUSOBRE and LENFANT[15] render it:  Mais à l’égard des Anges, voici comme il en parle: Au lieu qu’il dit, en parlant du Fils, But with regard to the Angels, here is how He speaks: Instead He says, speaking of the Son.  But this is ὡς ἐν παρόδῳ, in passing.

From the things just now observed I think that it is now sufficiently evident that, when it is asked concerning the specific person speaking in the passages out of Psalm 104, 45, and 102, cited by Paul, this cannot rightly be said to be God the Father: and so, when that λέγει, He saith, of the Apostle with respect to these three passages shall be supplied from what precedes by Θεὸν/God, who said, Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, etc., Thou art my Son, etc., God the Father is not able to be contemplated as speaking in those passages, except in that most general sense, in which πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, all Scripture is God-breathed, 2 Timothy 3:16, and πάλαι ὁ Θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, in time past God spake to the fathers by the prophets; which the Apostle in Hebrews 1:1 does indeed oppose to the speech of God made in these last days ἐν Υἱῷ, through the Son, but understanding the Son ἔνσαρκον/incarnate, Θεάνθρωπον, the God-man, walking about in the earth:  while the speech formerly delivered to the Fathers by the Prophets pertains equally to God the Son and God the Father, 1 Peter 3:18-20, Χριστὸς—θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκί, ζωοποιηθεὶς δὲ τῷ πνεύματι, ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασι πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασί ποτε, ὅτε ἅπαξ ἐξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε, etc., Christ…being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, etc:  1 Peter 1:11, ἐρευνῶντες [προφῆται] εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ, προμαρτυρόμενον τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήματα, καὶ τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας, [the prophets] searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow:  to which purpose are those things that Paul cites in Hebrews 1 out of Psalm 45, and to which they have regard.  Therefore, when God the Father in the passages before us is said to speak only by means of the inspiration of the Prophets by the Holy Spirit, this does not differ much from the common supplement of the word ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, in the verb λέγει, He/it saith, or of the interpretation of λέγει by λέγεται, it is said, which others perhaps will prefer from the similar use of that λέγει, He/it saith, in many passages.

[1] Christian Becmann (1580-1648) was a German Reformed theologian; he served as Professor of Theology at Zerbst (1627-1648).

[2] Psalm 102 (title):  “A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord (תְּ֭פִלָּה לְעָנִ֣י כִֽי־יַעֲטֹ֑ף וְלִפְנֵ֥י יְ֜הוָ֗ה יִשְׁפֹּ֥ךְ שִׂיחֽוֹ׃).”

[3] That is, a poem celebrating marriage.

[4] Luke 20:19:  “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people:  for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against (πρὸς) them.”

[5] Job 5:8:  “I would seek unto God (אֶל־אֵל), and unto God (וְאֶל־אֱלֹהִים) would I commit my cause…”

[6] Psalm 2:7:  “I will declare the decree:  the Lord hath said unto me (אֵלַי), Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

[7] Genesis 20:2:  “And Abraham said of Sarah (אֶל־שָׂרָה) his wife, She is my sister:  and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

[8] 2 Kings 19:32a:  “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king (אֶל־מֶלֶךְ) of Assyria, He shall not come into this city…”

[9] Psalm 69:26:  “For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and to the grief (וְאֶל־מַכְאוֹב) of those whom thou hast wounded they talked.”

[10] Jeremiah 27:19:  “For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vesselsאֶל־הָֽעַמֻּדִ֔ים וְעַל־הַיָּ֖ם וְעַל־הַמְּכֹנ֑וֹת וְעַל֙) יֶ֣תֶר הַכֵּלִ֔ים) that remain in this city…”

[11] Jeremiah 40:16:  “But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing:  for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael (אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵאל).”

[12] Jeremiah 51:60:  “So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon (אֶל־בָּבֶל).”

[13] Ezekiel 21:28a:  “And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach (אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וְאֶל־חֶרְפָּתָ֑ם); even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn…”

[14] Hebrews 4:13:  “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος).”

[15] Isaac de Beausobre (1659-1738) was a French Protestant Pastor, best known for his Histoire Critique de Manichée et du Manichéisme. Jacques L’enfant (1661-1728) was a French Protestant Theologian and Minister.  They worked together to produce a new French translation of the New Testament, with a large introduction and annotations.

Formulae for Old Testament Citations in the New

Lest anyone should much hesitate in admitting the observation that I have proposed, it is fitting for me to provide illustration and confirmation of the same by one and another example. We have in Acts 13:35, διὸ καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ λέγει, Οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν, wherefore he saith also in another, Thou shalt not suffer thing Holy One to see corruption. Our Version translates it, Waarom hy ook in enen anderen [Psalm] zegt, etc., wherefore he also says in another [Psalm], etc.  If that λέγει, He saith, is taken actively, and the person speaking is supplied from the immediately preceding context, it is to be understood of God the Father:  but the words alleged from Psalm 16:10 ἀναμφισβητήτως/indisputably belong, not to God the Father, but the Son Messiah, according to the interpretation of the Apostles; hence these words of Luke are more easily rendered impersonally, wherefore also it is said or was said, unless we supply ἡ γραφὴ λέγει, the Scripture saith.  An ellipsis of the substantive also obtains in the adjective here occurring ἐν ἑτέρῳ, in another, which according to the truth of the matter indeed the DUTCH supplies by the noun ψαλμῷ/psalm, which had also preceded in verse 33, ὡς καὶ ἐν τῷ ψαλμῷ τῷ δευτέρῳ γέγραπται, as also in the second psalm it is written:  but the words that had immediately preceded in verse 34 were borrowed, not from the book of Psalms, but from Isaiah 55:3; whence perhaps under that ἐν ἑτέρῳ, in another, the more common substantive τόπῳ/place, ἐν ἑτέρῳ τόπῳ, in another place, would be better understood, just as our DUTCH Translators also took the matter in Hebrews 5:6, where in the place of καθὼς καὶ ἐν ἑτέρῳ λέγει, as also in another he saith, they have, Gelijk hy ook in ene andere [plaatse] zegt, as he also in another [place] says; even if the twin testimonies found in verses 5 and 6 are both fetched from the book of Psalms, which nevertheless is not indicated in verse 5, as is otherwise done in Acts 13:33.  Similarly in Hebrews 4:5, καὶ ἐν τούτῳ πάλιν, and in this again, Our Translators rendered it, Ende in deze [plaatse] wederom, and in this [place] again.  Indeed, when Paul had related in Luke’s Acts 13:34 concerning God the Father, ὅτι δὲ ἀνέστησεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν, μηκέτι μέλλοντα ὑποστρέφειν εἰς διαφθοράν, that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he subjoins, οὕτως εἴρηκεν ὅτι Δώσω ὑμῖν τὰ ὅσια Δαβὶδ τὰ πιστά, He said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.  But these words are also in Isaiah 55:3.  God the Son the Messiah appears to speak, rather than God the Father; see the Most Illustrious MARCKIUS’ Historiam Exaltationis Christi, book II, chapter VI, whence it could also be considered, whether it be well-considered to refer that οὕτως εἴρηκεν, He said on this wise, and equally also the following λέγει, He saith, in verse 35, not so much to God the Father, but either to supply οὕτως εἴρηκεν ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture said on this wise, or to expound the same passively and impersonally, οὕτως εἴρηται, or ἐῤῥέθη, it is said on this wise.  In the same manner they judged of the text in Hebrews 4:3, 4, εἰσερχόμεθα γὰρ εἰς τὴν κατάπαυσιν οἱ πιστεύσαντες, καθὼς εἴρηκεν, Ὡς ὤμοσα ἐν τῇ ὀργῇ μου, etc., εἴρηκε γάρ που περὶ τῆς ἑβδόμης οὕτω, Καὶ κατέπαυσεν ὁ Θεὸς, etc., for we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in my wrath, etc.: for He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God said, etc.; who rendered these words in French, Suivant ce qui a été dit, etc.: Car il a été dit ainsi en quelque lieu, etc., according to that which had been said, etc.: for it had thus been said in some place, etc.; where again the Reverend MARTIN has in his Notis, “The Greek, He has said:  but it is a Hebraism in the place of it is said.”  But when it follows in addition in verse 7, πάλιν τινὰ ὁρίζει ἡμέραν, σήμερον, ἐν Δαυὶδ λέγων, etc., again, He limiteth a certain day, saying in David, etc., when certain words of Psalm 95 are repeated, having already been set forth in Hebrews 3:7 and following, with this preface, διό, καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, Σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε, wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, etc., I would rather suppose that in the unbroken context that the Holy Spirit is contemplated as speaking again and again, so that under that repeated εἴρηκεν, He said, and the following ὁρίζει, He limiteth, is understood τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, the Holy Spirit, from what precedes.

The Formula for Scripture-Citation in Ephesians 5:14

But, so that I might return to the question proposed, Interpreters appear to have raised a tempest in a teacup, and to have applied excessive labor in resolving the doubt, where all things appear to me to be altogether plain. Certainly that λέγει, he says, or διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says, thus posited absolutely as it occurs here, is to the Apostle a familiar formula for citicing the text of the Old Testament, answering to the Hebrews’ manner of speech in citing the old Scripture, לכך אמר, wherefore he says,לכך נאמר, wherefore it is said:  see SURENHUSIUS’[1] Βίβλον καταλλαγῆς on this passage.  Indeed, as one is able to prove from the inspection of Concordances, in the citation of the words of the Old Testament it is most frequently read with greater fullness, λέγει ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture says:  ἵνα ἡ γραφὴ πληρωθῇ ἡ λέγουσα, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, John 19:24; καὶ πάλιν ἑτέρα γραφὴ λέγει, and again another Scripture saith, John 19:37; τί γὰρ ἡ γραφὴ λέγει, for what saith the Scripture? Romans 4:3; λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφή, for the Scripture saith, Romans 10:11; etc.:  or, καθὼς ὁ προφήτης λέγει, as the prophet saith, Acts 7:48; καὶ αὐτὸς Δαβὶδ λέγει ἐν βίβλῳ ψαλμῶν, and David himself saith in the Book of Psalms, Luke 20:42; καὶ Δαβὶδ λέγει, and David saith, Romans 11:9; Ἠσαΐας γὰρ λέγει, for Esaias saith, Romans 10:16; etc.:  καθὼς εἶπεν ὁ Θεὸς, as God hath said, 2 Corinthians 6:16; λέγει Κύριος, saith the Lord, 2 Corinthians 6:17; λέγει Κύριος παντοκράτωρ, saith the Lord Almighty, 2 Corinthians 6:18; καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, as the Holy Ghost saith, Hebrews 3:7; etc.  But elsewhere, especially in the writings of Paul, it occurs simply, λέγει, he says, or διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says, where to supply the sense one ought to think of the Sacred Scripture, הכתוב, ἡ γραφὴ, which through personification in the placed cited and more frequently elsewhere is said to speak, although it is properly God or the Spirit of God that speaks in Scripture as its principal author; in which manner sometimes indeed from the context this expression is able aptly to be supplied, as in 2 Corinthians 6:2, λέγει γάρ, Καιρῷ δεκτῷ ἐπήκουσά σου, etc., for he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, etc., where from verse 1 in sense ὁ Θεὸς, God, is able to be repeated, συνεργοῦντες δὲ καὶ παρακαλοῦμεν μὴ εἰς κενὸν τὴν χάριν τοῦ Θεοῦ δέξασθαι ὑμᾶς, we then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.  Λέγει γάρ, for He saith, namely, ὁ Θεὸς, God, that God, whose grace we do not want you to have received in vain.  Thus in James 4:6, διὸ λέγει, Ὁ Θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, etc., wherefore it saith, God resisteth the proud, etc.; supply ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, out of verse 5, ἢ δοκεῖτε ὅτι κενῶς ἡ γραφὴ λέγει, etc., or do ye think that the Scripture saith in vain, etc.  But the method of this sort of supplement of the sense from the immediate context does not fit all places, where the formula of this sort of citation of the ancient Scripture occurs; in § 2 we have already shown this from Ephesians 4:8.  And so under that λέγει, it saith, ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, shall everywhere be understood, which will be said to speak as the word of God Himself and of His Spirit κατ᾽ ἐξοχὴν, par excellence:  or let the Hebraism in this formula of speech be noted also, to which it is known that the Writers of the New Testament are not strangers, by which an active Verb of the third person, which does not have a nominative expressly added, bears the sense of a passive, impersonal expression, such that λέγει, it saith, is the same as λέγεται, it is said, and διὸ λέγει, wherefore it saith, is the same as for what reason, or wherefore, it is said:  when from this familiar formula of citing the sacred Codex it was yet sufficiently well known, that a saying of this sort alleged is not to be sought in some out of the way place, but in the γραφῇ θεοπνεύστῳ, inspired Scripture, written by Moses and the Prophets.  This Hebraism is illustrated with many examples by BUXTORF in his Thesauro Grammatico, book II, chapter X, pages 417, 418; and by GLASSIUS in his Grammaticis Sacris, tractate III, canon XXIII, pages 301-304.  With respect to the grammatical analogy on the expressions, it is by no means incorrectly observed, that an active verb of this sort, of the third person, without a nominative of agent added, is set down elliptically; and that a present participle of the same root and form is able to be understood to complete the imperfect sense, so that λέγει, he says, is the same thing as ὁ λέγων λέγει, the one saying says:  see FRANCIS STERCK, Dissertatione theologica inaugurale, chapter I, § 4-7.  But thus the one saying that yet remains an indeterminate subject, which is to be searched out and defined from the context and use of the expressions; and at the same time the one saying says means the same things as an impersonal it is said.  The more recent French version prefers this, which renders that διὸ λέγει, wherefore it says, c’est pourquoi il [est] dit, this is why it is said; which the Reverend MARTIN rightly illustrates, noting, “The Greek, he says, in the place of it is said, as in Ephesians 4:8; Matthew 19:5; Galatians 3:16; Hebrews 1:6, 7; 4:4; 7:17; and in 1 Peter 2:16, it contains, in the place of it is contained;[2] for it is common for the Hebrews thus to make use of an active verb in the place of an impersonal verb, as in Genesis 16:14;[3] Numbers 26:59;[4] 1 Samuel 23:22;[5] 2 Samuel 21:8;[6] 24:1;[7] Isaiah 9:6.[8]”  But HEINSIUS had already advised us in a similar manner in his Exercitationibus Sacris on Ephesians 5:14, “Moreover, that λέγει, he says, which precedes, is in the place of λέγεται, it is said, or λέγει ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture says, when the Scripture is cited, which is common among the Hebrews, who everywhere use אמר, he says, in the place of נאמר, it is said, we have advised in more than one place.”

[1] Willem Surenhuys (1666-1729) was a Dutch Reformed scholar and Hebraist.  He was Professor of Oriental and Greek Languages at Amsterdam (1704-1729).

[2] 1 Peter 2:16:  “Wherefore also it is contained (περιέχει, in the Active Voice) in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

[3] Genesis 16:14:  “Wherefore the well was called (קָרָ֣א לַבְּאֵ֔ר, one calls the well) Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

[4] Numbers 26:59:  “And the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born (אֲשֶׁ֙ר יָלְדָ֥ה אֹתָ֛הּ, whom she bore) to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.”

[5] 1 Samuel 23:22:  “Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there:  for it is told me (אָמַ֣ר אֵלַ֔י, one saith to me) that he dealeth very subtilly.”

[6] 2 Samuel 21:8:  “But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up (אֲשֶׁ֥ר יָלְדָ֛ה, whom she bare, or, who were born) for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite…”

[7] 2 Samuel 24:1:  “And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David (וַיָּ֙סֶת אֶת־דָּוִ֤ד, and one moved David, or, David was moved) against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.”

[8] Isaiah 9:6:  “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:  and his name shall be called (וַיִּקְרָ֙א שְׁמ֜וֹ, and one shall call His name) Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Some Failed Attempts to Interpret Ephesians 5:14

As far as the first Question is concerned, you can see the diverse opinions of Interpreters concerning this matter enumerated both in POOLE’S Synopsi Criticorum,[1] and in WOLF’S Curis philologicis et criticis, on this passage.  Namely, various interpreters think that the supplement of the phrase, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says, is to be fetched from the context, whether they reach back to Πνεῦμα, the Spirit, mentioned in verse 9, or to Κύριον, the Lord, in verse 10, or to Χριστὸν/Christ, at the end of this verse 14, which opinion of OEDER WOLF specifically calls in for examination:  from whom, as you learn that this opinion last mentioned is to be indicated as undoubtedly harsher; so it is observed, that those that supply the text in the ways previously set forth thus interpret the same, that either, with the remaining things in this Epistle and in this context delivered by Paul, there is an imposition, as if those things did not so much proceed from the Holy Spirit; or the manner of speaking agrees more with the sermons of the Prophets, than with the writings of the Apostles and especially of Paul.  To the word φῶς/light, which had immediately preceded, a number of learned Men more or less earnestly return:  but who by the φῶς/light again in a diversity of ways understand either the Light of the Holy Spirit speaking and admonishing within the regenerated and illuminated man, or the Light of the Word or the ancient Scripture, which is a torch to the feet and a lamp to the path of the faithful, Psalm 119:105, or the man filled with Light, in comparison with verses 8 and 13.  BEZA on this passage hesitantly sets forth this opinion:  “He says, that is, Scripture, or God speaking through a Prophet, or even light itself by personification, just as in Hebrews 12:5, ἡ παράκλησις, the exhortation, is said διαλέγεσθαι, to reason with or speak to, us as children.  Now, it appears that this was taken partly from Isaiah, etc.”  GROTIUS with greater παῤῥησίᾳ/license embraces this exegesis:  “Διὸ λέγει, wherefore that light, that is, the man filled with light says to another. Paul does not appear to me to adduce some passage, but to ascribe to the light, that is, to the man filled with light, words that are worthy of him.”  Grotius is followed by JAKOB ELSNER, in his Observationibus Sacris, “Διὸ λέγει,” says he, “I understand with Grotius, φῶς/light, that is, the man filled with new light, verse 13, who is commanded ἐλέγχειν, to reprove, those ἔργα σκότους, works of darkness, verse 11, as φῶς/light and a child of the φωτὸς/light, verse 8, in such a way that the words here following contain a prescribed formula whereby one ought ἐλέγχειν, to reprove, wicked men and to call them back to the light.”  The Most Illustrious JAN VAN DEN HONERT cites Grotius and Elsner and professes to stand in their footsteps, in his De voornamste heilige eu schrifftuurlyke Sinnebeelden, uit verscheidene oudheden opgeheldert, door wylen Arnoldus Ruiquig, on the word Opstaan/rise, tome 2, pages 1045-1048, as far as τὸ φῶς, the light, is introduced as speaking by personification:  but he explains τὸ φῶς λέγον, the light speaking, of the Holy Spirit speaking not through testimony that He had taken care to be consigned to writing by holy Men; but through internal testimony in the heart of the regenerate man, who himself, now as made Light in the Lord,  according to this convicting light of the Spirit, is held to refute, and to excite to duty, both himself and others; in which manner the twin signification of τοῦ φωτὸς, the Light, occurring together in verse 8, comes into consideration.  I discover that the Most Illustrious PETRUS LAAN,[2] in his Concionibus selectis, Sermon XVII, pages 303, 304, understood it of the Light of the Word speaking, which he thinks to have been understood by the Apostle immediately before in verse 13 by τὸ φῶς, the light.  Unless these learned Men had held it as certain that the following words read in verse 14 are nowhere found in any certain place of the Old Testament codex, and are not borrowed from there; I believe that most of them would not have stooped so easily unto this opinion.  Now, the Apostle is not accustomed by this, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says, or a similar formula, in express words to introduce either the Holy Spirit speaking, unless he is reciting His words read in the Old Testament, or even a man filled with the Light of the illuminating and sanctifying Spirit.  Where any defect of speech is perceived, indeed it appears that it is to be supplied most suitably from the immediate context:  but that in the case of the formula of which the Apostle here makes use, λέγει, he says, or διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says, is not always able to be done so conveniently.  For example, in Ephesians 4:8 we also have διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says:  it would be most nearly at hand to accommodate this declaration τῷ Χριστῷ, to Christ, of whom the Apostle had just made mention in verse 7, teaching, ἑνὶ δὲ ἑκάστῳ ἡμῶν ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις κατὰ τὸ μέτρον τῆς δωρεᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ, unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  It immediately follows in verse 8, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says.  However, what words are cited in verse 8 out of Psalm 68:18 are not composed in such a way that in them we are able to propose to ourselves Christ the Lord speaking in particular; since, on the other hand, in them the speech is made either to Christ according to the construction of the Hebrew text, or concerning Christ according to the form of the words in the Pauline citation.  Now, the more reluctantly I consent in understanding under the verb λέγει, he says, in our text the noun φωτὸς/light, the more difficultly is the signification of the noun φωτὸς/light in the immediately preceding verse 13 determined; yet to what is more attention to be paid than to the more remote verse 8, when the name of φωτὸς/light is not ever repeated in our text, but is supplied from the immediate context.  For by no means beyond controversy is it posited, whether τὸ φῶς, the light, in verse 13, occurring twice, once in each hemistich, comes in one and the same sense, or in diverse senses, the first metaphorical, the next proper, or in more than one metaphorical sense.  Therefore also, because neither is it certain, whether τὸ φανερούμενον[3] is to be taken actively or passively; whether φῶς/light is to be taken as the subject or the predicate of the latter clause; whether πᾶν/all/whatsoever is to be construed with τὸ φανερούμενον in the nominative; whether indeed πᾶν/all/ whatsoever in the accusative case is to be supposed to be the object, concerning which the action expressed by τὸ φανερούμενον belongs. Hence the manifest divergence of opinions among Theologians in the explanation of that verse; some of which, for example, consider the latter words, πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστί, as a common saying, by which the native force of natural Light is indicated, for the confirmation of that which the Apostle had already said concerning metaphorical Light: or they believe whatever works of darkness are thus made manifest throught the refutation of spiritual Light are thus indicated, so that they might be set in clear light.  Others through that entire verse discuss either the Light of the Spirit shining within and the man filled with this light; or the Light of the Word declaring all things and also shining within the regenerate man; or the Light of the divine omniscience and providence; or even the final Judgment or the light of the last day, on which the universal Judgment shall be help by the Lord, in which every works shall be brought into the light, with all that is hidden, whether good or bad, comparing Ecclesiastes 12:14; 1 Corinthians 3:13:  although WOLF taxes this opinion in OEDER, who certainly incorrectly draw the argument of verse 14 here, as if he would refer the word by which Christ on the last day is going to compel the dead in their Resurrection, properly so called, to appear before His tribunal; yet I see that the same with respect to the sense of verse 13 has approved itself also to the Most Learned MARTIN, certainly not an Interpreter of the least rand, writing on this passage in his notis Gallicis ad Biblia Sacra, after other things having regard to this also, which had been set down before on the prior part of the verse:  “[Because the light]  The light of the last day.  [It is that manifests all]  It will be that which will manifest all the actions of men, Romans 2:16, so that the present tense is put many times in this text in the place of the future, as in verse 6, and often elsewhere”:  with whom compare also DIODATI in his notis Gallicis on verses 13 and 14.

[1] Matthew Poole (1624-1679) was an English, Noncomformist Presbyterian Pastor, Theologian, and Exegete.  Having been ejected from the ministry by the Act of Uniformity (1662), he undertook the compilation of his massive and masterly Synopsis Criticorum, a verse-by-verse history of interpretation.  Poole’s Synopsis was tremendously influential in the work of Matthew Henry and Jonathan Edwards.

[2] Petrus Laan (1696-1743) was Professor of Theology at Franeker from 1738 to 1743.

[3] Ephesians 5:13:  “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light:  for whatsoever doth make manifest is light (τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστί).”

Questions Surrounding Ephesians 5:14

Interested in Protestant Scholasticism?  Systematic Theology I

When the Apostle had admonished the Ephesians, Ephesians 5:8, that, with the manner of their remarkable conversion considered, which they had undergone with respect to their spiritual state, through which these, who previously were pure darkness, were made light in the Lord, they should walk worthily as children of light:  and when he had added that other precept, verse 11, by which he not only wills that the faithful Ephesians stay far from communion with the works of darkness, which are without any good fruit; but also earnestly commands that they reprove works of this sort, even those that are intent upon perpetrating them, convict them of a most indecent manner of living, and recall them to better fruit; after other things with which he had confirmed these admonitions, he urges the same with an argument taken from authority, verse 14, διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.  Various things are able to be asked concerning this text, in the abundant explaining of which Interpreters appear to have been engage in their very office:  however, I believe that a gleaning remains here for me after the harvest for the purpose of exercise.  So that I might express my mind distinctly, I call attention to a few heads, which it is agreeable now to pass over briefly.  It is asked, namely, 1.  Who then is introduced as speaking, when the Apostle writes, διὸ λέγει, wherefore he says?  2.  From what source are the words that occur in this sentence borrowed?  3.  Whether by the terms ὁ καθεύδων, one that sleeps, and νεκρῶν, the dead, are set forth to us two different sorts of men?  4.  Whether to the regenerate and faithful alone this speech is here directed, or to the unregenerate, who in condition after the fall yet lie insensible in the natural sleep of spiritual death in errors and sins?  5.  In what way the dead might be able to be made spiritually mindful, that they might wake up and arise?  6.  What is the meaning of the promise subjoined to the admonition, and Christ shall dawn upon thee?  And whether supernatural grace is only going to follow upon the right use of natural gifts?  7.  Finally, how does the Apostle, in citing this prophecy, reach the goal that he intends?

 

Class on Christian Political Theory

Defense of Heinsius’ Position, Part 4

It is no objection that the Crucifixion of the two thieves mentioned at last in Mark 15:27 most likely followed immediately upon the Crucifixion of Christ, and was not delayed for three whole hours. Since, 1.  the Evangelist rightly narrates first in continuous succession those things that have regard unto the Crucifixion of Christ Himself and its consequences, even if those should happen somewhat later:  which sort of circumstances pertaining to the execution of this punishment were the title affixed to the Cross and the division of His garments.  Only after these have been related do Matthew and Mark subjoin the Crucifixion of the two thieves with Christ, as a fellowship given to the Lord to increase His reproach.  2.  Although they might have divided the garments of the Lord sooner, they do not appear to have done it before the Crucifixion of the thieves was accomplished, which Luke also narrates in the prior place, Luke 23:32-34, but in Matthew and Mark the division of the garments precedes in the order of narration.  3.  Similarly in Matthew 27 the Crucifixion of the two thieves related in verse 38 is preceded by the continuous activity of the Watch of Jesus’ cross, verse 36, which is immediately conjoined with the division of His garments mentioned in verse 36; because of course the Watch of the Cross was also pertaining to the circumstances and consequences of the suffering endured by the Lord Himself; with which the crucifixion of the thieves did not have so close a tie, which was added more circumstantially to the suffering of the Lord to aggravate His shame:  seeing that it is otherwise certain that the crucifixion of the two thieves was first accomplished, before the soldiers composed themselves to sit by the Lord’s Cross and to keep watch over it.  4.  Not dissimilarly could a quarrel be moved concerning the history of the Title affixed to the Cross, which is not narrated in its own place by Luke, Luke 23:38, if you compare the other Evangelists.  But it is able to be observed that Luke wanted to relate that particle of the history, although somewhat later, so that thus in the argument related of this Title, This is the King of the Jews, also written in Latin, he might indicate what furnished the opportunity for even Roman soldiers in their ignorance to mock our crucified Jesus in the manner that precedes in verses 36, 37.  But that is enough.

 

This Disputation was defended publicly on December 4, 1754, by JOHANNES HABBEMA, of Frisian Leeuwarden, now Doctor of Theology and Minister of the Divine Word in the towns of t’Wyzel and Kooten.[1]

[1] Johannes Habbema (1732-1800) was a Dutch Reformed Theologian and Pastor.

Defense of Heinsius’ Position, Part 3

5. In addition, it is to be observed that Mark in this brief verse makes use of two verbs, the one in the imperfect, the other in first aorist, ἦν δὲ ὥρα τρίτη, καὶ ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτόν: but if the latter verb was not to be translated they had crucified, but they were crucifying, why, I ask, when ἦν, it was, precedes in the Imperfect, does not ἐσταύρουν follow correspondingly in the Imperfect? Certainly Mark would not change the tense of the verb in this brief pericope without reason.  The same construction of speech plainly occurs in John 7:39, already cited,[1] where the same distinction in signification also comes to be observed between the verb of the Imperfect tense, ἦν, He was, and the verb of the first Aorist, ἐδοξάσθη, He had been glorified.  6.  But if, in addition to all these things, we should be able to bring in a probable reason why the soldiers waited for three hours after the crucifixion to divide His garments; hardly anything else could be desired in order to value this opinion above all the others.  Which we would not soon abandon, even if the reason for this matter did not occur to us, as it frequently happens in the circumstances of the sacred history.  But here, not without a great appearance of truth, it is conjectured that the soldiers were delayed for so long a time, before they might divide the Lord’s garments; because, before they had completely finished what things were pertaining to the Crucifixion of the Lord and of the two thieves, that darkness spread, which endured through the three hours:  which unusual phenomenon was able to strike these soldiers with fear and bewilderment, uncertain as to what might follow upon this matter; who, being accordingly astonished, sat, keeping watch over the crucified, until by degress the darkness was dispelled again and the ordinary light returned, when they divided the garments of our crucified Lord among themselves:  consult Matthew 27:54; 28:4; Luke 23:47, 48.

[1] John 7:39b:  “…for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified (οὔπω γὰρ ἦν Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον, ὅτι ὁ Ἰησοῦς οὐδέπω ἐδοξάσθη).”