Colossians 1:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

New Living Translation
for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see--such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.

English Standard Version
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

New American Standard Bible
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.

King James Bible
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him.

International Standard Version
For by him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether they are kings, lords, rulers, or powers. All things have been created through him and for him.

NET Bible
for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him--all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers--all things were created through him and for him.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
By him was everything created which is in Heaven and in The Earth: everything that is seen and everything that is unseen, whether Thrones or Dominions or Principalities or Rulers; everything has been created by his hand and in him.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He created all things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. Whether they are kings or lords, rulers or powers- everything has been created through him and for him.

Jubilee Bible 2000
for by him were all things created, that are in the heavens and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they are thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things were created by him and in him;

King James 2000 Bible
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

American King James Version
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

American Standard Version
for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.

Darby Bible Translation
because by him were created all things, the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or authorities: all things have been created by him and for him.

English Revised Version
for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him;

Webster's Bible Translation
For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are upon earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Weymouth New Testament
For in Him was created the universe of things in heaven and on earth, things seen and things unseen, thrones, dominions, princedoms, powers--all were created, and exist through and for Him.

World English Bible
For by him all things were created, in the heavens and on the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and for him.

Young's Literal Translation
because in him were the all things created, those in the heavens, and those upon the earth, those visible, and those invisible, whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether authorities; all things through him, and for him, have been created,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:15-23 Christ in his human nature, is the visible discovery of the invisible God, and he that hath seen Him hath seen the Father. Let us adore these mysteries in humble faith, and behold the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus. He was born or begotten before all the creation, before any creature was made; which is the Scripture way of representing eternity, and by which the eternity of God is represented to us. All things being created by Him, were created for him; being made by his power, they were made according to his pleasure, and for his praise and glory. He not only created them all at first, but it is by the word of his power that they are upheld. Christ as Mediator is the Head of the body, the church; all grace and strength are from him; and the church is his body. All fulness dwells in him; a fulness of merit and righteousness, of strength and grace for us. God showed his justice in requiring full satisfaction. This mode of redeeming mankind by the death of Christ was most suitable. Here is presented to our view the method of being reconciled. And that, notwithstanding the hatred of sin on God's part, it pleased God to reconcile fallen man to himself. If convinced that we were enemies in our minds by wicked works, and that we are now reconciled to God by the sacrifice and death of Christ in our nature, we shall not attempt to explain away, nor yet think fully to comprehend these mysteries; but we shall see the glory of this plan of redemption, and rejoice in the hope set before us. If this be so, that God's love is so great to us, what shall we do now for God? Be frequent in prayer, and abound in holy duties; and live no more to yourselves, but to Christ. Christ died for us. But wherefore? That we should still live in sin? No; but that we should die to sin, and live henceforth not to ourselves, but to Him.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 16.

(b) For in Him were created all things,

(c) In the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible - whether thrones, whether lordships, whether principalities, whether dominions -

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For by him were all things created,.... This is a reason proving Christ to be before all creatures, to be the common Parent of them, and to have the government over them, since he is the Creator of them. The creation of all things, by him, is not to be understood of the new creation, for whenever that is spoken of, the word "new" is generally used, or what is equivalent to it, or some clause or phrase added, which determines the sense, and is not the case here: besides, all things that are in heaven are said to be created here: which, to say nothing of the sun, moon, and stars, which are not capable subjects of the new creation, to restrain them to angels, cannot be true of them; for as for those who were once in heaven, but kept not their first estate, and quitted their habitation, these find no place there any more; they never were, nor will be renewed and restored by Christ; and as for the good angels, since they never sinned, they stand in no need of renovation. Moreover, all things that are on earth are also said to be created by him, and are, but not anew: for to confine these only to men, all men are not renewed in the spirit of their minds; all have not faith, nor a good hope through grace, nor love to God and Christ, the greater part of the world lies in open wickedness; and all that profess religion are not new creatures, these are a chosen generation, and a peculiar people: wherefore these words must be understood, not metaphorically, but literally; in which sense all things are created by Christ, not by him as an instrument, but as the efficient cause; for the preposition "by" does not always signify the former; but sometimes the latter; see 1 Corinthians 1:9; nor to the exclusion of the Father and Spirit, who, with the Son, were jointly concerned in the creating of all things out of nothing: and these "all things" can only refer to the things that are made: eternal things can never be said to be created; this is a contradiction in terms; the Father is not created by him, nor he himself as the Son of God, nor the Spirit; but everything that is made is created by him: hence it follows, that he himself is no creature, otherwise he must create himself, which also is a contradiction, since every creature is made by him; and consequently he must be God, for he that made and built all things is God. These are divided as to the subject of them, or place where they are, into things

that are in heaven, and that are in earth. The things that are in heaven, are the things that are in the airy and starry heavens, and in the heaven of heavens. The things in the airy heavens, the fowls thereof, were on the fifth day created by him; and the things in the starry heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, were on the fourth day ordained by him; and the inhabitants of the third heaven, the angels, were made by him, Hebrews 1:7; and, as the Jewish writers (i) say, on the second day of the creation, though some say on the fifth. The earth comprehends the whole terraqueous globe, consisting of land and sea; and the things in it are all that are in the seas, the fishes and other things in it; and all that are in the bowels of the earth, as well as on the surface of it, all metals and minerals, all plants, herbs, and trees, every beast of the forest, the cattle on a thousand hills, the fowls on the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field, and all human creatures. Again, these all things are, as to the quality of them, distributed into

visible and invisible, both in heaven and in earth: the visible things in heaven are the fowls that fly in the airy heaven, the sun, and moon, and stars in the starry heaven, and the bodies of those saints that have been either translated, or raised, in the third heaven; the visible things in the earth are all creatures, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational, all bodies, all corporeal and material beings: the invisible things in earth are not only those that are in the innermost parts of it, but the spirits or souls of men; and those in heaven are not the invisible God, Father, Son, and Spirit, but the angels, who are incorporeal and immaterial spirits, and so invisible: and which,

whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers, are all made by him; by these some understand civil magistrates among men, and the various degrees and orders of them. By "thrones" they think kings, or monarchs, are meant, who sit on thrones; and by "dominions", little petty kings, or lords, dukes, and earls; and by "principalities", governors of provinces and cities; and by "powers", interior magistrates; and indeed, political governors are sometimes called dominions, dignities, principalities, and powers; and there are different orders of them, the king as supreme, and governors under him; see Jde 1:8. But since these seem rather to be said of the invisible things in heaven, and to be an explanation of them, angels may rather be thought to be intended; and are so called, not as denoting different orders and degrees among them, which some have rashly ventured to describe, but because of the use that God makes of them in the government of the world, and the executions of the various affairs of Providence relating to particular persons and kingdoms; though these several names are not so much such as the apostle chose to call them by, as what they were called by others; the three latter are indeed elsewhere used by himself, Ephesians 1:21; but not the former, "thrones", which yet are used by Jewish writers, and given to angels. Thus, in a book of theirs, which they esteem very ancient, and ascribe to the patriarch Abraham, it is said (k),

"there is no angel in which the name Jehovah is not found, which is everywhere, as the soul is in every member; wherefore men ought to allow Jehovah to reign in all the members, , "and in all the thrones", and in all the angels, and in every member of men.

And elsewhere, speaking of the garments of God,

"by these (say they (l)) , "the holy blessed God created the thrones", and the angels, and the living creatures, and the "seraphim", and the heavens, and the earth, and all that he created.

And the thrones in Daniel 7:9; are interpreted (m), of

"the superior princes, , "the spiritual angels", who sit first in the kingdom; and they are called in the words of the Rabbins, "the throne of glory"; for so is the way of kings, that their princes sit before them, everyone on his throne, according to their dignity.

Now the apostle's sense is, that the angels, the invisible inhabitants of the upper world, are all created by Christ, let them be called by what names they will, that the Jews, or the false teachers, or any sort of heretics of those times thought fit to give them, whether they called them thrones or dominions, &c. And so the Arabic version, rather interpreting than translating the words, renders them thus, "whether you say thrones, or whether you mention dominions, or whether you understand princes, or whether you say powers"; speak of them under what title or appellation you please, they are all the creatures of the Son of God. The apostle seems to have in view, and to oppose some notions of some heretics of his time, the followers of Simon Magus, who held, that the angels were created by his Helena; or, as others, by what they call "Ennea", and that these angels created the world, and are to be worshipped; but he here affirms, that

all things were created by him, by Christ, even all the angels; and therefore he, and not they, are to be worshipped, a notion he afterwards takes notice of in the following chapter: and as all things are affirmed to be created by him, which demonstrates the dignity and deity of his person, so likewise

for him; that is, for his pleasure, that he may take delight and complacency in them, and in his own perfections displayed by them; and for his service and use, as the angels, to worship him and minister to him and for others, he sends them to: elect men are made to serve and glorify him with their bodies and spirits, which are his; and even the non-elect are made to subserve his mediatorial kingdom and interest; yea, the whole world is built and kept in being purely on his account, until he has finished the great affair of the salvation of his people, in the application of it to each of them, as he has completed the impetration of it; and then he will dissolve the heavens, and burn up the earth and all the works that are therein: all are made for his glory, and that end is, and will be answered by them in one way or another,

(i) Targum Jon. in Gen. i. 26. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 1. 1. & 3. 3. Menass. ben Israel, Conciliator in Gen. Qu. 12. (k) Sepher Jetzira, p. 17, Ed. Rittangel. (l) Tikkune Zohar in ib. p. 127, 128. & Zohar in Exod. fol. 18. 2. & in Lev. fol. 39. 1. & 47. 2.((m) Abarbinel in Dan. fol. 45. 4. & 46. 4.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. For—Greek, "Because." This gives the proof that He is not included in the things created, but is the "first-begotten" before "every creature" (Col 1:15), begotten as "the Son of God's love" (Col 1:13), antecedently to all other emanations: "for" all these other emanations came from Him, and whatever was created, was created by Him.

by him—rather as Greek, "in Him": as the conditional element, pre-existent and all-including: the creation of all things BY Him is expressed afterwards, and is a different fact from the present one, though implied in it [Alford]. God revealed Himself in the Son, the Word of the Father, before all created existence (Col 1:15). That Divine Word carries IN Himself the archetypes of all existences, so that "IN Him all things that are in heaven and earth have been created." The "in Him" indicates that the Word is the ideal ground of all existence; the "by Him," below, that He is the instrument of actually realizing the divine idea [Neander]. His essential nature as the Word of the Father is not a mere appendage of His incarnation, but is the ground of it. The original relation of the Eternal Word to men "made in His image" (Ge 1:27), is the source of the new relation to them by redemption, formed in His incarnation, whereby He restores them to His lost image. "In Him" implies something prior to "by" and "for Him" presently after: the three prepositions mark in succession the beginning, the progress, and the end [Bengel].

all things—Greek, "the universe of things." That the new creation is not meant in this verse (as Socinians interpret), is plain; for angels, who are included in the catalogue, were not new created by Christ; and he does not speak of the new creation till Col 1:18. The creation "of the things that are in the heavens" (so Greek) includes the creation of the heavens themselves: the former are rather named, since the inhabitants are more noble than their dwellings. Heaven and earth and all that is m them (1Ch 29:11; Ne 9:6; Re 10:6).

invisible—the world of spirits.

thrones, or dominions—lordships: the thrones are the greater of the two.

principalities, or powers—rather, "rules, or authorities": the former are stronger than the latter (compare Note, see on [2402]Eph 1:21). The latter pair refer to offices in respect to God's creatures: "thrones and dominions" express exalted relation to God, they being the chariots on which He rides displaying His glory (Ps 68:17). The existence of various orders of angels is established by this passage.

all things—Greek, "the whole universe of things."

were—rather, to distinguish the Greek aorist, which precedes from the perfect tense here, "have been created." In the former case the creation was viewed as a past act at a point of time, or as done once for all; here it is viewed, not merely as one historic act of creation in the past, but as the permanent result now and eternally continuing.

by him—as the instrumental Agent (Joh 1:3).

for him—as the grand End of creation; containing in Himself the reason why creation is at all, and why it is as it is [Alford]. He is the final cause as well as the efficient cause. Lachmann's punctuation of Col 1:15-18 is best, whereby "the first-born of every creature" (Col 1:15) answers to "the first-born from the dead" (Col 1:18), the whole forming one sentence with the words ("All things were created by Him and for Him, and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist, and He is the Head of the body, the Church") intervening as a parenthesis. Thus Paul puts first, the origination by Him of the natural creation; secondly, of the new creation. The parenthesis falls into four clauses, two and two: the former two support the first assertion, "the first-born of every creature"; the latter two prepare us for "the first-born from the dead"'; the former two correspond to the latter two in their form—"All things by Him … and He is," and "By Him all things … and He is."

Colossians 1:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Supremacy of Christ
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.…
Cross References
Nehemiah 9:6
You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

John 1:3
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

John 1:10
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.

Romans 9:5
Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.

Romans 11:36
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

1 Corinthians 8:6
yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Ephesians 1:10
to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment--to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Ephesians 1:20
he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

Ephesians 1:21
far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

Colossians 1:20
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 2:15
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Hebrews 1:2
but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
Treasury of Scripture

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

by him were.

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Psalm 102:25-27 Of old have you laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens …

Isaiah 40:9-12 O Zion, that bring good tidings, get you up into the high mountain; …

Isaiah 44:24 Thus said the LORD, your redeemer, and he that formed you from the …

John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made …

1 Corinthians 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, …

Ephesians 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which …

Hebrews 1:2,10-12 Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed …

Hebrews 3:3,4 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch …

in heaven.

Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to …

Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in your heart, that the …

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and …

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather …

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, …

Revelation 5:13,14 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under …

thrones.

Colossians 2:10,15 And you are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power…

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor …

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and …

Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly …

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, …

1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels …

by.

Proverbs 16:4 The LORD has made all things for himself: yes, even the wicked for …

Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Romans 11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom …

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, …

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