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Ephesians 2:2-3

Context
2:2 in which 1  you formerly lived 2  according to this world’s present path, 3  according to the ruler of the kingdom 4  of the air, the ruler of 5  the spirit 6  that is now energizing 7  the sons of disobedience, 8  2:3 among whom 9  all of us 10  also 11  formerly lived out our lives in the cravings of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath 12  even as the rest… 13 

1 sn The relative pronoun which is feminine as is sins, indicating that sins is the antecedent.

2 tn Grk “walked.”

sn The Greek verb translated lived (περιπατέω, peripatew) in the NT letters refers to the conduct of one’s life, not to physical walking.

3 tn Or possibly “Aeon.”

sn The word translated present path is the same as that which has been translated [this] age in 1:21 (αἰών, aiwn).

4 tn Grk “domain, [place of] authority.”

5 tn Grk “of” (but see the note on the word “spirit” later in this verse).

6 sn The ruler of the kingdom of the air is also the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience. Although several translations regard the ruler to be the same as the spirit, this is unlikely since the cases in Greek are different (ruler is accusative and spirit is genitive). To get around this, some have suggested that the genitive for spirit is a genitive of apposition. However, the semantics of the genitive of apposition are against such an interpretation (cf. ExSyn 100).

7 tn Grk “working in.”

8 sn Sons of disobedience is a Semitic idiom that means “people characterized by disobedience.” However, it also contains a subtle allusion to vv. 4-10: Some of those sons of disobedience have become sons of God.

9 sn Among whom. The relative pronoun phrase that begins v. 3 is identical, except for gender, to the one that begins v. 2 (ἐν αἵς [en Jais], ἐν οἵς [en Jois]). By the structure, the author is building an argument for our hopeless condition: We lived in sin and we lived among sinful people. Our doom looked to be sealed as well in v. 2: Both the external environment (kingdom of the air) and our internal motivation and attitude (the spirit that is now energizing) were under the devil’s thumb (cf. 2 Cor 4:4).

10 tn Grk “we all.”

11 tn Or “even.”

12 sn Children of wrath is a Semitic idiom which may mean either “people characterized by wrath” or “people destined for wrath.”

13 sn Eph 2:1-3. The translation of vv. 1-3 is very literal, even to the point of retaining the awkward syntax of the original. See note on the word dead in 2:1.



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