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.

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