Ephesians 5:14: How Does the Old Testament Citation Serve Paul’s Purposes?

Finally, it remains to respond in a few words to the seventh Question mentioned in § 1, How does the Apostle, in citing this prophecy, reach the goal that he intends? tying verse 14 with what precedes by the logical conjunction διό/wherefore.  In context, Paul addresses believing Ephesians, who were sometimes darkness, but now were made Light in the Lord, verse 8.  He had instruct these, in verse 11, καὶ μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους, μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them:  and this admonition he had confirmed in verses 12, 13, with arguments sought from nature of the matter.  But now in verse 14 the Apostle cites to them a formula taken from the Prophetic word, whereby they might be able to refute those that were going on to indulge and to serve the unfruitful works of darkness, and to rouse them to better fruit.  Likewise, in verse 8 he had admonished the believing Ephesians, who were made Light in the Lord, that by abstaining from fellowship with works of darkness they should contrariwise walk as children of light, ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε: and in verses 9 and 10 he had taught them the way in which they might fulfill this.  But he also urges this admonition in verse 14 in the words of Isaiah, which for those conducting themselves worthily of their state and calling were at the same time creating the hope of an ample and most joyous recompense, of greater Illumination to be expected daily from Christ; which ought to make each one especially active in painstakingly fulfilling the dutche that the text prescribes, in comparison with Psalm 89:15-18; Isaiah 58:8; Ephesians 1:15-18.  But that in this matter the Apostle appeals very suitably to the prophecy of Isaiah, Isaiah 60:1-3, appears from those things that were discussed in § 11-15; where it was seen that this prophetic pericope also has complete regard to the beginnings of the New Testament, and that in that very place to the Gentiles, hitherto removed from the communion of God and salvation, a portion is particularly and expressly assigned, which at this juncture of time would arise to the Church, to which therefore these Nations were also held to join themselves conformably.  Such that another prophecy more suited to his scope, whereby he might urge the preceding admonitions, the Apostle was hardly able to city.  Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν δὴ ταῦτα, and this indeed is thus.


On February 11, March 11, and April 5, 1758, in the public defense of this disputation they exercised themselves:

ABRAHAMUS RUYSCH, Son of Joh. Wilh., Vlardinga-Batavus, now Pastor of the Church of Auxelles.

ADRIANUS VAN ASSENDELFT, Harlemo-Batavus, now Pastor of the Church that is gathered to Christ in country district of Nieuwenhoorn.

ARNOLDUS DUIRCANT, Dordracenus, now by the Will of the Great God in the country district of Ysselmuyden.

Ephesians 5:14: Is Supernatural Grace Dependent upon the Right Use of Natural Gifts?

But now, when the text applies this promise to those awaking from sleep and rising from the dead, from this it is not gathered that supernatural Grace is only going to follow upon the right use of natural gifts and strength; as if by virture of these natural man could be awakened from spiritual torpor and arise from the death of sin.  The contrary is taught by the whole Scripture; our National Synod of Dort, closely following the Scripture in this matter, is to be revered in the determination of Articles III and IV controverted between us and the Remonstrants.  But, as it is not advantageous to one sleeping, even if the night be past and the day come; and it is at the same time unbecoming, after the sun has a short time ago risen and shining widely in all directions, by snoring to lose the time, and willingly to neglect the immense advantages, which from the shining rays of the sun are otherwise able to return to us:  so the Apostle recalls into the memory of the Ephesians the day of grace, which had also begun to dawn upon the Gentiles through Christ, the Light of the world, incarnate in the fullness of time and perfected in sufferings, according to the promises of the Father formerly made to Him; he sets forth to them a duty most becoming, being incumbent upon those called through the Gospel; and he renders the same more certain of the bond of the fulfillment of this duty with a gracious reward, especially fitting and most excellent, of which reward, on the other hand, they would be destitute, unless they should act diligently in fulfilling the preceding admonition.  But by no means in this manner is it signified, that the promised Illumination following the ἔγερσιν/waking from sleep and resurrection from the dead would be the first gift of grace to be granted to man by the power of the merits of Christ; and in no way is prevenient grace thus excluded, through which those called might fulfill this admonition:  while everywhere in Sacred Scripture the beginning of all good in natural man, who is declared to be altogether inept for the fulfillment of it, is traced back to divine grace; the omnipotent, efficacious, insuperable power of which is everywhere declared as preceding in order all cooperation of man in the elect man’s regeneration, new creation, vivification, and resurrection from the sleep and death of sin:  to which supernatural and divine operation the moral method of operating, occurring in our text in a manner altogether suited to God’s independence and man’s dependence, as I already advised above, ought to be subjoined.  Compare similar propositions found in the Sacred Codex, Proverbs 8:17; Ezekiel 33:11; Malachi 4:2; James 4:8; Revelation 3:20:  and in what manner generally these come to be taken in accordance with sounder Theology, in such a way Pelagianism might gain nothing from them, you will learn from the passages already cited in § XVIII:  see, if you please, MARCKIUS’ Compendium Theologiæ, chapter XV, § 26, chapter XXIII, § 7, 9.  PAREUS on this passage:  “It appears that the Apostle makes illumination our work:  as if we might at last be illuminated, after we have risen by our own strength from our sins.  Such is the Syllogism:  To whom now awakened from the sleep of sin Christ at last gives light, those go before grace:  But the Apostle attributes that to us:  Therefore, the beginning of conversion is of us.  RESPONSE:  The minor is denied:  The Apostle does not give notice about the effect, so that we might reflect upon the cause:  as it often happens, that the cause, prior in nature, only becomes known after the effect.  Thus illumination by the Holy Spirit is the cause of our conversion, preceding our conversion in nature:  but we only learn that we have been illuminated after we have been converted to Christ and have risen from sins.  Therefore, the Apostle exhorts that we arise, so that we micht see that we are illuminated by Christ. Second, even with the minor conceded, it does not follow:  The Apostle orders us to arise:  Therefore, we are able to arise by our own strength. Third, it is not a promise of the beginning of conversion, but of its increase, which does not take away the promise of its beginning, to which Scripture testifies that it is from God alone: Lord, turn thou me, and I shall be turned.[1] Without me my can do nothing, John 15:5. No man cometh to me, except the Father draw him, John 6:44.  Therefore, the sense is:  Rise, and Christ shall give thee light:  that is, more and more, so that thou mightest make progress in true repentance, according to the promise, Whosover hath, to him shall be given, etc.[2]

[1] Jeremiah 31:18.

[2] Matthew 13:12; Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18; 19:26.

Ephesians 5:14: The Meaning of the Promise

We proceed to the sixth Question moved in § 1, 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? With respect to the first member of the Question, we do not entertain here one and another variant reading, less suitable, or even inept, which already of old CHRYSOSTOM rejected and JEROME exploded, and concerning which Interpreters everywhere treat.  When the Apostle writes, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός, and Christ shall give thee light, the sense of this promise is able to be fixed with sufficient confidence from those things that were observed in § 11 on the text of Isaiah 60:1-3, with those things compared that had been prefaced in § 10 for the illustration of the prophecy of the same Prophet, Isaiah 9:1, 2.  That is, as the grace and salvation to be brought by Christ alone as the Redeemer and Savior of the world is wont not only to be magnified most brilliantly in the Sacred Scripture in proper words, but also to be commended under various emblems borrow from whatever matters eminent in excellence, pleasantness, and usefulness:  so all saving benefits to be merited by Christ and to be conferred upon the redeemed elect occur here under the emblem of Illumination, proceeding from Christ, as the Dayspring from on high, ἀνατολῇ ἐξ ὕψους, Luke 1:78; the Sun of Righteousness, under whose wings are spiritual healing and enlargement, Malachi 4:2; the true Light that, coming into the world, illuminates whatever man; the Word in whom was life, which life was the Light of men, shining in the darkness, John 1:9, 4, 5.  This Sun of Righteousness in his rising would bring a gladsome day of grace, whereby the former darkness of ignorance, impurity, shame, and terror would be dissipated; and the agreeable light of saving wisdom, spiritual healing, divine favor, true holiness, continued enlargement of the new life, the very safest guidance, solid glory, and heavenly joy, would succeed according to the effects and adjuncts proper to Light, especially Solar Light.  In the collation of which benefits Christ the Mediator would show the efficacy of His Sacerdotal merits, would extend His Prophetic instruction, and at the same time His Royal guidance, government, and liberality; which prerogatives the elect in Israel had already of old enjoyed, by the retroactive power of the satisfaction and obedience of the promised and coming Mediator:  but who, coming into the world through incarnation in a time of the thickest gloom, would in actuality merit these benefits, the distribution of which, extended even to the Gentiles, to whom previously communion in the same had been denied, and bring light out of darkness, a most welcome day dawning after a terrible night.  And from none other than Christ, the sole Mediator between God and men, 1 Timothy 2:5; the way, the truth, and the life, without whom no no comes to the Father, John 14:6; was this Illumination able to be expected and to proceed, who is uniquely qualified as the Sun of Righteousness and at the same time is alone sufficient to bless fully the entire world of the elect; just as also the Sun alone is given in nature, illuminating the entire world, warming, vivifying, and benignly nourishing and cherishing all things by its rays.

Ephesians 5:14: Do Those spiritually Dead Have the Ability to Arise?

Thus briefly we consider this forth difficulty to have been loosed. But from the response to the same just now given a fifth Question spontaneously arises, which I enumerated in § 1 as worthy of careful consideration, namely, In what manner the spiritually dead are able to be made mindful to awake and arise? I respond, 1.  the divine commandments and admonitions are not the measure of our strength, but they show us our appropriate duty, even if we have lost the strength to fulfill it in Adam.  2.  In the resurrection of the dead to natural life we find that the Lord everywhere also makes use of His resounding voice, Mark 5:41; Luke 7:14; John 11:43, while nevertheless these dead men, as long as they be such, were in no way able to hear or understand that voice.  It is not so strange that the Spirit commands those that were asleep and dead in sins to awake and arise:  since these, however they might be without spiritual life and sense, nevertheless enjoy the natural faculty of hearing and understanding.  3.  We saw in § 17 by these words not only were the unregenerate made mindful of their duty, but those truly believing also; but the latter were provided with life and spiritual strength in Christ through the Spirit of life, and hence they as second causes are actually able to comply with this divine admonition.  4.  Moreover, the unregenerate are either reprobate or chosen unto salvation.  With respect to the former, who while this life lasts are ignorant of that, their most miserable state, perhaps with those that have sinned against the Holy Spirit excepted; admonitions of this sort make for their conviction and greater ἀναπολογησίαν/inexcusability:[1]  while the fault of their impotence does not rest on God; and on the other hand, although they are wont inanely to presume much concerning their own strength, they refuse to yield to divine admonitions, in which manner they aggravate their guilt.  Now, with respect to the yet unregenerate elect of God, admonitions of this sort to awake from sleep, to arise from spiritual death, are moral means subservient to the omnipotent grace of God, the Changer of hearts; such that, while God supernaturally and internally, in a completely divine manner of operating, in predetermined moments grants life and spiritual strength, in comparison with 2 Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 1:19, 20, He at the same time externally, in a moral manner accommodated to the nature of a rational creature, sets forth to man his duty, displays the comeliness of it, urges it with threats and promises:  so that man might know what he must do, and, knowing his natural impotence, might in earnest prayers entreat form God repentance unto life and strength[2] for yielding to all His commandments, and then might make use of the granted strength to submit most willingly to the call of God, and to work out his own salvation, while God is at work in Him both to will and to work for His own good pleasure.[3]  See the Heidelburg Catechism IX;[4] MARCKIUS’ Compendium Theologiæ, chapter XV, § 26, chapter XXIII, § 7-9, 11, 12; and the Præfationem which I set down before my Dutch Commentary on 2 Peter, chapter I.  PAREUS on this passage:  “Why does He then command, if it is not in our power?  Response:  So that by commanding He might excite us, and move us to do that which He wills to do in us:  and because He wills to bless those obeying the command.”  CALOVIUS on this passage:  “For the rest, the things that are commanded are not therefore able to be done by us and our own strength, simply because they are commanded by God:  we certainly gather our obligation from the divine precept; but we are not able certainly to conclude our ability to fulfill it.”  The observation is quite appropriate, that the divine admonition in the text, turning into ardent prayers, which are in Novo Testamento Gallico cum Observationibus moralibus, which are owed to QUESNEL, is subjoined to our text in these words:  But, Lord, does it not belong to thy light to go and seek the idle, who turns away to avoid seeing; to awaken the one that sleep through the forgetfulness of God and His salvation, and to open his eyes; to resurrect the dead and hardened heart that hates the light; to give him eyes to see it and a willingness to love it? It is unquestionably thine own light that goes before, and prepares the heart in which it intends to dwell.  Let this divine light of thine shine in our hearts, that it might work there, and dispel our darkness!  Which prayer depends upon those things that have been asserted in the observations immediately preceding concerning the natural misery and impotence of man, and which the Bull of Clement XI, wont to be called Unigenitus, condemned without good cause,[5] thesis XLVIII.

[1] See Romans 1:20; 2:1.

[2] See Acts 11:18; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

[3] See Philippians 2:12, 13.

[4] Heidelburg Catechism 9: Doth not God then do injustice to man, by requiring from him in His law, that which he cannot perform? Not at all; for God made man capable of performing it; but man, by the instigation of the devil, and his own wilful disobedience, deprived himself and all his posterity of those divine gifts.

[5] Pope Clement XI, born Giovanni Francesco Albani (1649-1721), reigned as Pope from 1700 to 1721.  He was a patron of learning and the arts.  He issued the Bull Unigenitus in 1713 against Jansenists.

Ephesians 5:14: Are “the Sleepers” and “the Dead” One and the Same?

I advised in § 1 that it is able to be asked in the third place, Whether in our text by the words ὁ καθεύδων, thou that sleepest, and νεκρῶν, the dead, two different sorts of men are set forth to us?  NICHOLAS DE LYRA does not appear to think so, giving this paraphrase of the text:  “Awake thou that sleepest, in the languor brought on by sin. And arise from the dead, in separating thyself from unbelievers, who are called dead men, Matthew 8, Send ye the dead to bury their dead.”  But in this opinion others are better versed, who assert that the speech in this admonition is uniquely directed to regenerate men, believers, those already made partakers of spiritual life; but who were made drowsy and seized with spiritual lukewarmness and torpor, especially because of their too familiar relations with the dead, with ψυχικοῖς, Πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχουσι, sensual men, not having the Spirit,[1] to whom they were also rendered very similar:  which sort are indeed living, but as sleepers shall be roused in the text so that they might awake, and, by arising from the midst of the dead, separate themselves from their communion.  But I do not believe that in the Sacred Books this is the sense of this common enough expression, arising, resurrection or resuscitation ἐκ or ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν, from the dead.  It may indeed be allowed thus to interpret this expression concerning the resuscitation and resurrection from the midst of the dead, when it is used of individual men, who are restored to life by divine power through miracle; and especially concerning Christ the Lord Himself (of whom this phraseology is frequently used, see MARCKIUS’ Historiam Exaltationis Jesu Christi, book I, chapter I, § 5, 6), who both after the fulfillment of His suretyship was loosed from the chains of death by His Father acting as Judge, and, having tasted death, arose to life by His own ἐξουσίᾳ/authority and δυνάμει/power; while the rest, having died, remained asleep under the power of death.  But the same manner of speech presents itself in the Sacred Books concerning the absolutely universal Resuscitation and Resurrection of the dead at the consummation of the ages, Mark 12:25, ὅταν γὰρ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῶσιν, οὔτε γαμοῦσιν, οὔτε γαμίσκονται, etc., for when they shall arise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, etc.; Luke 20:35, οἱ δὲ καταξιωθέντες τοῦ αἰῶνος ἐκείνου τυχεῖν καὶ τῆς ἀναστάσεως τῆς ἐκ νεκρῶν οὔτε γαμοῦσιν οὔτε ἐκγαμίσκονται, but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; Acts 4:2, καταγγέλλειν ἐν τῷ Ἰησοῦ τὴν ἀνάστασιν τὴν ἐκ νεκρῶν, that they preached through Jesus the resurrection of the dead.  But, since in the last Resurrection on that day absolutely no dead will remain in graves and dust, but all at the same time, the impious and the just, will revive, the ἀνάστασις ἀπὸ or ἐκ νεκρῶν, resurrection from the dead, in this case is not able to be explained of the Resurrection from the midst of dead men that continue to be such:  but it is to be said, either that in this expression a concrete has been posited in the place of an abstraction, νεκροὺς, dead men, in the place of θανάτῳ/death; or that the expression is elliptical, so that from the dead is the same as from the state or condition of the dead.  Moreover, that this same expression repeated so many times in the New Testament concerning the bodily Resurrection, whether the speech be made of individual persons, or the universal Resurrection, is to be taken everywhere in the same manner, rather than in diverse manners, since it is able to be done agreeably, everyone will readily agree, I suppose:  but it will be done, where ἀνάστασις ἀπὸ or ἐκ νεκρῶν, resurrection from the dead, is always explained, not of a Resurrection from the midst of the dead, but from the dead, or from the state and condition of the dead.  Thus by that added ἀπὸ or ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, from the dead, the sort of Resurrection, which is able to be various, and both of the living and of the dead, shall be better determined; to which we are emphatically led by the article repeated in this expression in the passaged cited above, Luke 20:35; Acts 4:2, ἡ ἀνάστασις ἡ ἐκ νεκρῶν, the resurrection that is from the dead.  Thus everyone arising ἀπὸ or ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, from the dead, all the way to the moment of this Resurrection shall be indicated, not only to have dwelt in the fellowship of the dead, but also to have been liable to death, and devoid of that life to which he is returned through the Resurrection; such that concerning all that will rise ἀπὸ or ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, from the dead, it is able to be said that νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται, the dead are raised up, Matthew 11:5; Luke 20:37.  With marked emphasis Paul thus urges the sort of Christ’s Resurrection, which was a Resurrection from death, so that he might place the possibility of a Resurrection of the dead beyond all controversy, 1 Corinthians 15:12, εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς κηρύσσεται ὅτι ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγήγερται, πῶς λέγουσί τινες ἐν ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔστιν, Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?; Similarly the sort of the Rousing of a son not from the σώματι καὶ μήτρᾳ νενεκρωμένῃ, dead body and womb, of parents, in comparison with Romans 4:19, but from death itself, which Abraham did not at all believe exceeded the Divine Power, the Apostle points out in Hebrews 11:19, relating concerning the father of the faithful that λογισάμενος ὅτι καὶ ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγείρειν δυνατὸς ὁ Θεός, he reckoned that God was able to raise him from the dead.  But it is fair to believe now that this phrase, while it is transferred from its proper signification to another on account of similitude, as it happens in our text, preserves and imitates the character of the expression taken more in the proper and corporal sense:  hence ἀνάστασις ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, resurrection from the dead, in this place is also to be explained, not of Resurrection from the midst of the dead, but of Rising from death, or from the state or condition of the dead.  And so by καθεύδοντα, one sleeping, not another sort of man, indeed one of a far better condition, shall be indicated to us than by νεκροὺς, the dead:  but, when ὁ καθεύδων, the one sleeping, is commanded ἀναστῆναι ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, to arise from the dead, he is to be contemplated as one that hitherto is dwelling in death or the condition of the dead.  In this sense you will best interpret the similar metaphorical expression in Roman 6:13, παραστήσατε ἑαυτοὺς τῷ Θεῷ ὡς ἐκ νεκρῶν ζῶντας, yield yourselves unto God, as thouse alive from the dead; in Romans 11:15, εἰ γὰρ ἡ ἀποβολὴ αὐτῶν καταλλαγὴ κόσμου, τίς ἡ πρόσληψις, εἰ μὴ ζωὴ ἐκ νεκρῶν, For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?; in which passages the present life is opposed to the preceding condition of death, which in the same subjects now living had previously obtained; rather than that by νεκροὺς, the dead, the past fellowship of these living men might be nakedly indicated.  The Most Illustrious MARCKIUS went before us in this observation, Exercitationibus Miscellaneis, Disputation VII, text IX, page 300, where you may read:  “Nothing is more evident than that the concrete name of the dead is commonly put in the place of the abstraction death, where resurrection is treated, when it is everywhere read of rising or resurrection from the dead, ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἐκ νεκρῶν, Matthew 14:2;[2] 17:9;[3] 27:64;[4] 28:7;[5] etc.  So that you might not object to these and similar passages that, not the state of the dead, but other dead men are signified, from whom by rising one is removed or separated, behold another, when the universal resurrection of all, in which none shall be left in their tomb, is set forth by the same phrase, Marke 12:25, compared with Luke 20:35, and likewise Acts 4:2.  Nothing is clearer than that the state of death is indicated in Romans 6:13; 11:15; Ephesians 5:14, Arise from the dead.  Neither is that express harsh, since men raised from the dead are made alive, and by change of state cease to be dead.  Unless you would rather that the expression be elliptical, with the substantive of state or condition to be understood.”

[1] Jude 19.

[2] Matthew 14:2:  “And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead (αὐτὸς ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν); and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.”

[3] Matthew 17:9:  “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead (ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῇ).”

[4] Matthew 27:64:  “Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead (ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν):  so the last error shall be worse than the first.”

[5] Matthew 28:7:  “And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead (ἠγέρθη ἀπὸ τῶν νεκρῶν); and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him:  lo, I have told you.”

Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 10

c.  Finally, with respect to the promise occurring in Isaiah 59:20, וּבָ֤א לְצִיּוֹן֙ גּוֹאֵ֔ל וּלְשָׁבֵ֥י פֶ֖שַׁע בְּיַֽעֲקֹ֑ב נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָֽה׃, and the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith Jehovah, to which the Apostle appeals in Romans 11:26, καὶ οὕτω πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ σωθήσεται, καθὼς γέγραπται· Ἥξει ἐκ Σιὼν ὁ ῥυόμενος, καὶ ἀποστρέψει ἀσεβείας ἀπὸ Ἰακώβ, and so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; not even does this evince that the argument of the following chapter, Isaiah 60, is to be referred only to the last times of the New Testament. Indeed, by some a two-part prophecy is not unskillfully observed here; the former concerning the Advent of the Goel to Zion, for Zion’s sake, for the good of Zion, which the expound of the Advent of Messiah in the flesh to procure Redemption: the other, subjoined to the former by the connective and progressive ו/and, concerning the bodily Advent of Messiah to apply the procured Redemption especially to those to be converted by His grace among the posterity of Jacob at the end of days:  to which latter promise of these words the citation made by Paul is especially to be referred; whence perhaps in the place of לְצִיּוֹן, to Zion, which the Septuagint rendered ἕνεκεν Σιὼν, for Zion’s sake, in the Apostle it is ἐκ Σιὼν, from Zion, upon which see FRANCIS JUNIUS’ Parallela:  unless this come to be attributed to a joining together of more than one prophetic oracle in the Pauline text, as the Most Illustrious VITRINGA supposes in his Commentario on this passage.  But it is also rightly said concerning the sense of this passage, just as we also advised concerning the argument of chapter 60 in § 14, that the promise occurs here in the greatest fullness, which sends forth a most abundant sense, and which began to be fulfilled in the Advent of the Messiah to the Church through the Incarnation, the purchase of Redemption, and the beginning of the erection of the kingdom promised to the Θεανθρώπῳ/God-man, through which He lured to His saving communion from Israel λεῖμμα κατ᾽ ἐκλογὴν χάριτος, a remnant according to the election of grace, which, says the Apostle, γέγονε καὶ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, is also at this present time, Romans 11:5, and which will be able to reckoned finally complete ἐν τελειώσει, in fulfillment, and perfectly, when at the end of days πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ σωθήσεται, all Israel shall be saved, which Paul by his divine wisdom taught us to expect from this prophecy taken in the full extent of its sense.  This exegesis is confirmed from a comparison of the verse immediately following in Paul, Romans 11:27, καὶ αὕτη αὐτοῖς ἡ παρ᾽ ἐμοῦ διαθήκη, ὅταν ἀφέλωμαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας αὐτῶν, for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins, in which perhaps the Apostle has regard to several other pericopes of the prophetic Word, but most probably also to Jeremiah 31:33, 34, which promise the Apostle in Hebrews 8:6-13 referred to the renovation of the economy of the Covenant of Grace with the first, personal Advent of Messiah:  but he will indicate a further fulfillment of the same at a later time in the yet expected conversion of the Jews, Romans 11:27.  Thus WITSIUS, in Meletematis Leudensiis, Dissertation IX, § 8, “One and the same prophecy finds its fulfillment in a remarkable variety of times.  Thus, what was predicted in Isaiah 59:20, The Redeemer shall come to Zion and to those converted from defection in Jacob, began to be fulfilled when Christ, coming in the flesh, brought everlasting righteousness;[1] but it will also be fulfilled in the future, universal conversion of the Jews to Christ, Romans 11:26.  So also in Isaiah 65:17, Behold, I am going to create new heavens and a new earth, was fulfilled in the renovation of the Church through the preaching of the Gospel and the effusion of the Holy Spirit; but it is also going to be fulfilled on the last day, 2 Peter 3:12, 13.  And in Jeremiah 31:31, Behold, the days are going to come, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, began to be fulfilled when with the Old Testament abrogated the New Testament was substituted, Hebrews 8:13; but it shall fulfilled at a distance, when the house of Israel and the house of Judah conjointly will possess the goods of that covenant, never again to be defrauded of them.  And the parable of the gathering of the dispersed bones, and vivification of the dry bones, Ezekiel 37, began to be fulfilled through the leading of the people out of Babylonian captivity; but the consummation of the fulfillment in both advents of Christ:”  compare FRANCIS JUNIUS’ Parallela; SCHMIDT on Isaiah; CALOVIUS’ Biblia illustrate on Romans 11:26, 27; RIDDER’S Schriftuurlyk Licht; HELLENBROEK on Jesaiam, part IV, pages 941-944, 963; DAVID MARTIN on Romans 11:26, 27; DINANT on Ephesians 5:14, page m. 146, 147.  It is not agreeable to add more things in response to the Question, Whence the words that occur in Ephesians 5:14 might be borrowed.

[1] See Daniel 9:24.

Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 9

b.  We refer Revelation 21 and 22, not to some glorious state of the militant Church yet to be expected on earth, but in these chapters we believe a vivid delineation of the Church gloriously triumphing in heaven is represented; after the holding of the final, universal Judgment, and through that the delivery of the enemies of the Church to eternal destruction, which from the very vision exhibited in chapter 20 John has most clearly described. But if in depicting these things the Apostle John borrowed some phrases from Isaiah, and he is here to be designated as an Interpreter of Isaiah; one may retort that John thus attended to the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, not begun in this world sooner or later, but final, perfect, and consummate in heaven: as thus many prophecies of the Prophets are fulfilled by parts, in a prior and latter time, partly on earth and partly in heaven, which the Most Illustrious VITRINGA also teaches, when he dwells upon the reconciliation of the text of 2 Peter 3:13 with Isaiah 65:17; 66:22.  Let us hear that Most Illustrious Man speaking in his Commentario on Isaiah 65:17:  “Certainly (says he) I do not deny that Peter among other places had this, our passage also before his eyes:  but I definitely think that Peter did not take the passage according to the primary Prophetic sense, upon which we are chiefly intent, but according to every sense and emphasis that it is able to be thought to lie hidden in the words of Isaiah (as the Writers of the New Testament also model repeated elsewhere):  when truly, and I do not deny it, that which he teaches concerning the physical obliteration of the heavens and the earth is involved in the Isaianic sentence.”  Unto the same purpose the same Illustrious VITRINGA wrote, in his Observationum Sacrarum, book IV, chapter XVI, § 23:  “I do not deny that those passages of Isaiah, first of all, are to be understood of some Economy or condition of the Church in this world, to be changed into another, better Economy or condition….  But this is to be observed, that Peter, according to the custom received by the Writers of the New Testament, considers the Blessedness of the Church, promised in these passages, in its τελειώσει/fulfillment, without which τελειώσει/ fulfillment that blessedness could not consist, and without respect to which that could not have been promised to the Church in that fullness and abundance of predictions that occur in Isaiah.  Evidently all the benefits that God furnishes for the Church in this world to perfect and bring to completion its state will receive their ἀποτέλεσμα/fulfillment in that most perfect and consummate state of the Church, which is to be revealed in the last time.  Therefore, whatever is promised to the Church in this world with great fullness and majesty of expression, truly it is promised to it with respect to that state of τελειώσεως/fulfillment:  and in short it appears thus to us, that the Holy Spirit was not going to make use of such full and emphatic expressions in describing those benefits, as He has done in these Chapters, as well as in Isaiah 32; 35; 49; 60; 61, and in many other passages of Prophecies both of the Old and of the New Testaments, unless the Spirit had had regard to this τελείωσιν/fulfillment.  While Peter certainly saw it much more clearly than we now understand that:  it is not to be marveled at that he relates this prophetcy to the ἀποτέλεσμα/ fulfillment of that state, to the beginning of which this prophecy is properly to be referred according to the mind of Isaiah.”  Thus the Most Illustrious VITRINGA supplies for us what things are able to be given in response to him, when elsewhere in reconciling Isaiah 60 with Revelation 21 and 22, expounded according to our opinion, he hesitates; and at the same time what things are conducive to commend our thoughts just now proposed concerning the sense of Isaiah 60, consult the Most Illustrious MARCKIUS’ Commentarium in Apocalypsin, and the Most Illustrious WESSELIUS’ Præfationem ante Analysin Belgicam Apocalypseos ex Marckii Commentario concinnatam a Reverendo Cornelius van Santvoort, **** 1-3.

Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 8

So that I might respond to the proposed difficulties in order:

a.  With respect to the first, I observe that Isaiah in that sublimer, but especially well-known, prophetic style thus depicts that blessed state of the Church, to be gathered under the New Testament, in this chapter 60, so that from the very beginnings of that Economy the fulfillment of this Prophecy in great part was looked for; a fuller exhibition of which we expect day-by-day, but the perfect fulfillment of which, in all details, is rightly said to be reserved for heaven. Compare SCHMIDT and HELLENBROEK on Isaiah, and RIDDER’S Schriftuurlyk Licht. And so with the words of Isaiah Paul was able best, and according to the sense intended by the Holy Spirit, to stir up and to console the Gentiles to whom he was writing, called out through the Gospel to communion with God and Christ.  The Most Illustrious VITRINGA himself, in his Commentario on Isaiah 60:1, tome 2, page 802, asserts:  “There are those, says Jerome, that await in the future all these things that we relate as both to be ACCOMPLISHED IN PART, and to be completely fulfilled, after the first advent of the Savior unto the consummation of the World; they await them in the future, when, with the fullness of the Gentiles coming in, all Israel is to be saved:[1]  whose opinion is by no means to be despised, since we know that these things are to be fulfilled only spiritually, and not carnally.  He wrote this with complete accuracy, and this is the sense of the most ancient Doctors of the Church.  Jerome himself certainly professes that in his own time these things were only fulfilled IN PART, which I would gladly concede:  he was awaiting perfect fulfillment in the future.”  But if the Most Illustrious VITRINGA would gladly concede the argument the Isaiah 60 was fulfilled in part already in the time of Jerome; the prophecies occurring here ought also to have regard, according to the intention of the Spirit, in part to the time preceding the age of Jerome, and so to predict the gathering of the Church of Jews and Gentiles soon after the advent of Messiah.

[1] Romans 11:25, 26.

Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 7

Moreover, I did not will to set before the eyes of the Reader this consensus of the most excellent Interpreters of divers ages and professions, so that by the prejudice of authority I might compel him, as it were, to embrace the opinion that pleases me more than the other: but so that I might show the reading in Paul occurring in the place that we are treating did not appear to so many most weighty Men so different from the manner received by the Writers of the New Testament of citing the text of the Old Testament κατὰ τὸν διάνοιαν, according to the sense, and not so precisely κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν, according to the wording, since they judged that the words of the Apostle are easily able to be harmonized with those of Isaiah, Isaiah 60:1, 2, as alleged by him.  But, even if far more and weightier Doctors also should be inclined to this, their footsteps ought to be forsaken, if reasons supplied from the sacred text itself should validly obstruct, so as to prevent us from approving their opinion.  So some do indeed think, whom I shall endeavor to answer in a few words, lest, if I shall not have been able to remove their scruples, they should too greatly vex others.  1.  No one will hesitate any longer in this, that between the text of Isaiah 60:1, 2, and the words of Paul in Ephesians 5:14, there is such a great difference that the former is not able to be said to be alleged in the latter passage.  For I am confident that this difficulty has already been anticipated and taken away through those things that were observed in § 8, 11, 12.  2.  Likewise, through those things that we set forth in § 11, the other objection shall readily vanish, namely, that in Isaiah the speech is not directed to the same persons as in the Epistle to the Ephesians, many of whom were Gentiles, or converted from Gentilism.  3.  But it is believed that our opinion is most grievously pressed by the argument taken from the Time with which the prophecy of Isaiah 60 lines up; which is judged by many not to have regard to the beginnings of the New Testament, so that it might be able to be applied by the Apostle in due justice to believers then living; but that it is to be referred to the final generations of the New Economy alone, in which opinion COCCEIUS, VITRINGA, and others share.  But, α. even if we should support the same interpretation of the Isaianic context, we could nevertheless say with the same COCCEIUS in the words cited above in § 12, that the admonition of Paul in Ephesians 5:14 is taken from the words of Isaiah, but explicated and accommodated:  while the words of Isaiah taken simply contain a παραίνεσιν/exhortation, the twin of that which the Apostles sets forth here.  But, β. whence will the most learned Interpreters give it up as a settled point, that the Spirit of God had regard only to the final period of the New Economy in the grand speech that He speaks through Isaiah in Isaiah 60?  There are three things especially from which the patrons of that exegesis attempt to elicit this.  a.  They say that such magnificent and grand things are here predicted concerning the Church, that the fulfillment of the same according to the whole emphasis of the phrases has not hitherto appeared in the Church, and so is yet to be expected in the future.  b.  The Interpretation of this vision made by John in Revelation 21 and 22 is added, where he teaches that this new Jerusalem is not going to appear until the end of time, after the destruction of the Beast and Babylon.  c.  They manifestly think that the same is able to be gathered out of the connection of chapter 60 with chapter 59, in verse 20 of which Isaiah now prophesies concerning the Conversion of the Jewish Nation, hitherto rejected and delivered to the hardness of an unbelieving heart, a Coversion yet to be expected, according to the infallible exegesis of the Apostle Paul, Romans 11:26.

Whence the Words of Ephesians 5:14? Part 6

And since, with the precautions applied, that I advised in § 8 are to be observed time and again in the citation of the Old Testament made by the Writers of the New Testament, all things are plain and clear, if we establish that the words of Paul in Ephesians 5:14 were borrowed from the beginning of chapter of Isaiah 60; it is not at all strange that Interpreters, many and eminent, turned to this opinion, which affirms that the words of the Apostle in our text were fetched either completely or in the greatest part from the pericope of Isaiah just now mentioned.  Thus we heard in § 8 FRANCIS JUNIUS pronouncing in his Parallelis, whom see at greater length in the place cited by us above; and in the same place we saw GLASSIUS agreeing with this.  To these are added from the Papists THOMAS AQUINAS, CAJETAN, and ESTIUS.[1]  From the Lutherans LUCAS OSIANDER, ABRAHAM CALOVIUS, and MICHAEL WALTHER in his Harmonia Biblica on Ephesians 5:14, where he comments in this manner:  “Most with Francis Junius think that a finger is pointed to the passage in Isaiah 60:1….  To me also this is made very close to the truth; for, just as the Prophet there exhorts the Church to acknowledge the light of the Gospel, which has arisen upon it, with a thankful heart, and to walk in it; so also Paul exhorts the Ephesians, after the have been illuminated by Evangelical truth, to reject darkness and spiritual sleep, and to walk in that light.  Now, although the words in the Prophet sound somewhat different than those cited by the Apostle, nevertheless the sense in both places is clearly the same.  For, when the Prophet says, arise, Paul expresses that at greater length, and ἕνεκα, for the sake of, greater δεινότητος/forcefulness thus relates: Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, understanding the death of sin, which men are born, from which they are roused, when they begin to live piously.  When the Prophet writes, the Glory of Jehovah is risen upon thee, Paul explains it of Christ, concerning whom the Scripture elsewhere testifies in John 1:9 that He is the true Light, illuminating every man that cometh (I would rather read coming, referring back to Light) into this world.”  Additionally, JOHANN CHRISTIAN WOLF on this passage, of which after the weighing of the various opinions of others this is the epicrisis:  “And so I am unwilling to draw back from the force and notion of the phrase διὸ λέγει, wherefore He saith, even in this place, but rather to take part with those that think that the Apostle turned his gaze to Isaiah 60:1.  I acknowledge that not so much the words are related here, as the sense is expressed.  But this is sufficient, since it is evident that both Paul and the other Sacred Writers have thus done.”  Likewise JOHANN GOTTLOB CARPZOV in Critica Sacra Veteris Testamenti, where indeed in part I, chapter III, § 6, to objection X against the uncorrupted integrity of the Hebrew Codex of the Old Testament, an objection fetched from passages cited from the Old Testament, which are read differently in the New Testament, among other things he responds, page 121:  “Finally, in passage that are not clearly found in the Old Testament, and yet are cited in the New, careful attention is to be paid to the formula of citation.  For, such things are cited, not as written, but only as expressed by mouth, for example, Matthew 2:23, ὅπως πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν, ὅτι Ναζωραῖος κληθήσεται, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.  Thus in Ephesians 5:14, διὸ λέγει, wherefore He saith (that is, the Lord, yet not precisely in the writings of the Old Testament, but now through me, or Christ in the days of His flesh), ἔγειρε, ὁ καθεύδων, etc., awake thou that sleepest, etc.”  But in part III, contra Pseudocriticam Whistoni, chapter II, § 4, concerning the fount and seat of the citations from the Old Testament in the New, he observes after other things:  “At the same time, a saying cited κατὰ τὸ ῥητὸν, according to the wording, in the Old Testament is nowhere found, but from that it is cited κατὰ τὸν διάνοιαν, according to the sense, or by consequence also, whence a lacuna or a corruption of the modern codex is not to be argued, but the force of the argument and the divine Logic of the Holy Spirit is to be discerned and elicited; to this regard is paid in Matthew 2:23, He shall be called a Nazarene, which is nowhere found in the Prophets ῥητῶς/verbatim, etc.:  likewise in 1 Timothy 5:18, the laborer is worthy of his reward, which words are deduced from the sense of the law in Leviticus 19:13 and Deuteronomy 24:14 and following:  and in Ephesians 5:14, which words are elicited from the sense of the prophecy in Isaiah 60:1.”  And in part III, contra Pseudocriticam Whistoni, chapter II, § 10, where, as an example of a passaged alleged out of the Old Testament in the New, which nevertheless today is altogether missing in the Old Testament, Ephesians 5:14 is cited by Whiston, CARPZOV answers in a similar manner on page 869:  “Indeed, the entire sense of Isaiah 60:1, 2 is evident, which Paul ahs ingeniously accommodated to his scope/purpose.”  Of Our Men, the Most Illustrious COCCEIUS has:  “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 more suitable that they be a confirmation from the words of Scripture, but explicated and accommodated.  Isaiah 60:1, Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee; if we should thus take it simply, the παραίνεσις/exhortation will be the twin of that which the Apostles sets forth here.”  In a time now passed, DANIEL TOSSANUS, a celebrated Theologian of the Palatinate, had also judged that the words of Paul in this place were repeated out of Isaiah 60, in his Prælectionibus in Epistlam ad Ephesios:  “But even if (says he) Jerome thinks that that saying in verse 14, Arise thou that sleepest, is nowhere found in Scripture; yet there is no doubt that he alluded to at least some passage of Scripture, and has interpreted paraphrastically, as it were:  and we happily refer this to that passage in Isaiah 60:1, in which, with the hope of the Savior and Protector of the Church depicted, he exhorts the Church to arise, that is, to raise itself, and to appear in order to acknowledge and enjoy the benefits of Christ when His light will have come, that is, the time of grace and renewal through Christ.”  But JOHN PISCATOR of Herborn in his Analysi of Ephesians 5 also wrote:  “In verse 14 he confirms the instituted exhortation by prophetic testimony; which appears to have been taken, although not verbatim, from Isaiah 60:1, 2.”  Among English Interpreters WALTON advises that here a citation of the text of Isaiah 60:1, or an allusion to the same, obtains.  HAMMOND thus παραφράζει/ paraphrases our verse:  “Verse 14:  According to the saying of Isaiah the Prophet, Isaiah 60:1, Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  As it is signified that Christianity is the brightest day, as it were, the light and promises of which everyone will long to enjoy; it is fitting that there be a rejection of all dark and hidden lusts, of which men are ashamed in the open light.”  From whom LE CLERC does not dissent in his own Note:  “Διὸ λέγει, wherefore it/he saith:  γραφὴ/Scripture is to be understood, so that the passage in Isaiah might be indicated, cited paraphrastically in our text; the sense of which, rather than the words, is cited.”  Francis Junius is closely followed by WILLEM SURENHUSIUS in his Βίβλῳ Καταλλαγῆς, which see. The Reverend DAVID MARTIN thinks that the words were borrowed by the Apostle partly from Isaiah 26:19, and partly from Isaiah 60:1.  But again, that this Pauline pericope was fetched only from Isaiah 60:1, in view of the fact it approaches most nearly to the truth, is held by Reverend DINANT in his Commentari Belgico on Epistola ad Ephesios.

[1] William Estius (1542-1613) labored first as a lecturer on Divinity, then as the Chancellor at Doway.  Theologically, he bears the imprint of the modified Augustinianism of Michael Baius.  In his commentary writing, as exemplified in his Commentarii in Sacram Scripturam and Commentarii in Epistolas Apostolicas, he focuses on the literal meaning of the text; and he is widely regarded for his exegetical skill and judgment.