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Ephesians 4:1-8

Context
Live in Unity

4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, 1  urge you to live 2  worthily of the calling with which you have been called, 3  4:2 with all humility and gentleness, 4  with patience, bearing with 5  one another in love, 4:3 making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling, 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 4:8 Therefore it says,When he ascended on high he captured 6  captives; he gave gifts to men.” 7 

1 tn Grk “prisoner in the Lord.”

2 tn Grk “walk.” The verb “walk” in the NT letters refers to the conduct of one’s life, not to physical walking.

3 sn With which you have been called. The calling refers to the Holy Spirit’s prompting that caused them to believe. The author is thus urging his readers to live a life that conforms to their saved status before God.

4 tn Or “meekness.” The word is often used in Hellenistic Greek of the merciful execution of justice on behalf of those who have no voice by those who are in a position of authority (Matt 11:29; 21:5).

5 tn Or “putting up with”; or “forbearing.”

6 tn Grk “he led captive captivity.”

7 sn A quotation which is perhaps ultimately derived from Ps 68:18. However, the wording here differs from that of Ps 68 in both the Hebrew text and the LXX in a few places, the most significant of which is reading “gave gifts to” in place of “received gifts from” as in HT and LXX. It has sometimes been suggested that the author of Ephesians modified the text he was citing in order to better support what he wanted to say here. Such modifications are sometimes found in rabbinic exegesis from this and later periods, but it is also possible that the author was simply citing a variant of Ps 68 known to him but which has not survived outside its quotation here (W. H. Harris, The Descent of Christ [AGJU 32], 104). Another possibility is that the words here, which strongly resemble Ps 68:19 HT and LXX (68:18 ET), are actually part of an early Christian hymn quoted by the author.



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