|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:6-9 Those who receive the doctrine of Christ as Divine, and, having been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, have looked well into it, see not only the plain history of Christ, and him crucified, but the deep and admirable designs of Divine wisdom therein. It is the mystery made manifest to the saints, Col 1:26, though formerly hid from the heathen world; it was only shown in dark types and distant prophecies, but now is revealed and made known by the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory; a title much too great for any creature. There are many things which people would not do, if they knew the wisdom of God in the great work of redemption. There are things God hath prepared for those that love him, and wait for him, which sense cannot discover, no teaching can convey to our ears, nor can it yet enter our hearts. We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures, as God hath been pleased to reveal them to us.
Verse 7. - In a mystery; that is, "in a truth, once hidden, now revealed." The word is now used for what is dark and incomprehensible, but it has no such meaning in the New Testament, where it means "what was once secret, but has now been made manifest" (Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:4, 9; Colossians 1:26; 1 Timothy 3:16). It implies the very reverse of any esoteric teaching. Hidden. It was "hidden from the wise and prudent, but revealed to babes" (Matthew 11:25). Before the worlds; literally, before the ages; before time began. Unto our glory. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews clearly states that "the future age" is in God's counsels subjected, not to the angels, but to man. But "our glory" is that we are "called to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus" (1 Peter 5:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But we speak the wisdom of God,.... Not of men, not of the wise politicians, the learned philosophers and Rabbins; that which human wisdom has no hand in forming, nor in revealing, nor in propagating, and which is disliked and disapproved of by it: the Gospel is the sole produce of divine wisdom, and in which there is a glorious display of it; even in those doctrines which are the most charged with folly, as salvation by a crucified Christ, justification by his righteousness, pardon by his blood, satisfaction by his sacrifice, &c.
in a mystery; it is mysterious wisdom. The Gospel is full of mysteries; there is the mystery of God, of a trinity of persons in the divine essence; the mystery of Christ, of his person, as God manifest in the flesh, of his divine sonship, and incarnation in the womb of a virgin; the mystery of the Spirit's grace in regeneration, of the saints' union to Christ, and communion with him, the resurrection of the same body, the change of living saints at Christ's coming, with many others:
even the hidden wisdom; the Gospel lay hid in God, in the thoughts of his heart, in the deep things of his mind, the counsels of his will, and purposes of his grace; it was hid in Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; it was hid under the types and shadows of the ceremonial law; and is hid in the Scriptures, which must be diligently searched for it, as for hidden treasures. It was hid from angels, and from Adam, until revealed; it was in some measure hid from the Jews under the former dispensation, to whom it was made known; and in some sense from believers, under the present dispensation, who as yet know it but in part; and is entirely hid from natural men, even from the most wise and prudent among them. This epithet expresses the preciousness, secrecy, and also security of the Gospel; hidden things being commonly of value, and being kept secret, are also safe; hidden and secret wisdom has been always esteemed, both by Greeks and Jews: hence that saying (u) of the latter,
"he that would be rich in learning of the law, "and that wisdom which is hidden", in a hidden and secret place, should hide and secrete himself from the children of men.''
The apostle adds,
which God ordained before the world. The Egyptians and Grecians boasted much of the "earliness" of their wisdom, but neither of them are to be mentioned with the Gospel for the antiquity of it; it is the birth of God's counsels of old, the produce of his purposes, which he purposed in Christ before the world was; a scheme of things he drew in his eternal mind; it is a transcript of the council of peace and covenant of grace, which were from everlasting; what the Jews (w) say of the law, is much more true of the Gospel,
"that it was treasured up with God (they say two thousand years, and sometimes nine hundred and seventy four ages), before the world was created;''
and often speak of it as one of the seven things created before the world was (x). Moreover, this was to our glory; under the present dispensation, which by reason of the Gospel has a glory in it surpassing the former; it is to the glory both of the ministers of it, whose honour it is to be employed in preaching it, and in being by it the instruments of converting such who will be their glory another day, and to the glory of all believers who are by it called to the obtaining of the glory of Christ Jesus.
(u) Caphtor, fol. 81. (w) T. Bab. Zebacbim, fol. 116. 1. Zohar. in Exod. fol. 20. 4. & 35. 1, 2. & 66. 3. & in Numb. fol. 66. 3.((x) T. Bab. Pesachim. fol. 54. 1. Nedarim, fol. 39. 2. Zohar. in Lev. fol. 14. 4. Targum Jon. ben Uzziel in Genesis 3.24.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. wisdom of God—emphatically contrasted with the wisdom of men and of this world (1Co 2:5, 6).
in a mystery—connected in construction with "we speak": We speak as dealing with a mystery; that is not something to be kept hidden, but what heretofore was so, but is now revealed. Whereas the pagan mysteries were revealed only to a chosen few, the Gospel mysteries were made known to all who would obey the truth. "If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost" (2Co 4:3), "whom the God of this world hath blinded." Ordinarily we use "mystery" in reference to those from whom the knowledge is withheld; the apostles, in reference to those to whom it is revealed [Whately]. It is hidden before it is brought forward, and when it is brought forward it still remains hidden to those that are imperfect [Bengel].
ordained—literally, "foreordained" (compare 1Co 2:9), "prepared for them that love Him."
before the world—rather, "before the ages" (of time), that is, from eternity. This infinitely antedates worldly wisdom in antiquity. It was before not only the wisdom of the world, but eternally before the world itself and its ages.
to our glory—ours both now and hereafter, from "the Lord of glory" (1Co 2:8), who brings to naught "the princes of this world."
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