Ephesians 5:14
Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Wherefore he (or, it) saith.—This phrase is used (as also in James 4:6) in Ephesians 4:8 to introduce a scriptural quotation; and the most natural completion of the elliptical expression is by the supply of the nominative, “God,” or “the scripture,” from the ordinary phrase of quotation or citation. But no scriptural passage can be adduced which, with the fullest allowance for the apostolic freedom of quotation, comes near enough to be a satisfactory original of this passage. The nearest is Isaiah 60:1, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee;” and this is certainly very far off indeed. Nor is the case much helped by blending other passages (as, for example, Isaiah 26:19) with this. Some additional verbal coincidences may be gained, but at the expense of still greater diversity from the spirit of the passage as a whole. Hence we are driven to conclude that the quotation is not from Holy Scripture. Yet the very form shows that it is from something well known. An apocryphal quotation is imagined by some, but with no knowledge of any quotation at all resembling it. Others have supposed it a traditional saying of our Lord (like Acts 20:35); but the form seems decisive against this. On the whole, it seems most likely that it is from some well-known Christian hymn. In the original a rhythmical character, rough, but by no means indistinct, strikes us at once. The growth of defined and formal expressions—mostly, it is true, of embryo creeds of Christian faith, as in 1Corinthians 15:3-4; Hebrews 6:1-2; 1Timothy 3:16, in the last of which the acknowledged difficulty of etymological construction in the true reading may perhaps be best explained by the supposition of quotation—is notable in the later Epistles, and especially in the “faithful sayings” of the Pastoral Epistles. The use of some liturgical forms is traced with high probability to a very early date. The embodiment of popular faith in hymns, always natural, was peculiarly natural as adapted to the imperfect education of many early converts, and to the practice of trusting so much to memory, and so comparatively little to writing. Some such usage certainly appears to be referred to in the celebrated letter of Pliny to Trajan, the first heathen description of Christian worship.

Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.—The word “awake” is used in our version to render two different words: one which properly means “to wake,” or “be awake,” or “watch,” as in 1Corinthians 15:34; 1Thessalonians 5:6; 1Thessalonians 5:8; 2Timothy 4:5; 1Peter 1:12; 1Peter 4:7; 1Peter 5:8); the other, as here, which properly means “Up!” “Rouse thyself!” preparatory to “arising” and coming forth. The exhortation in both forms is common enough (see especially the famous passage in Romans 13:11-14); but the following words, “Arise from the dead,” are a bold and unique exhortation. Generally we are said to be raised up from the death of sin by God, as in Romans 8:11, “He that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken your mortal bodies;” or Romans 6:11, “Reckon yourselves to be dead unto sin, but alive unto God;” or Colossians 3:1, “If ye are risen in Christ.” Here the soul is described as hearing the Saviour’s call, “Come forth,” and as itself rising at that call from the grave. If distinction between the two clauses is to be drawn, we may be rightly said to “awake” out of lethargy and carelessness, and to “arise” out of the deadness of sin.

Christ shall give thee light.—Properly, Christ shall dawn upon thee. The word is virtually the same which is used for the literal dawn in Matthew 28:1, Luke 23:54. The same idea is strikingly enunciated in 2Peter 1:19, where prophecy, looking forward to Christ, is compared to “a light shining in a dark place,” “till the day dawn, and the Day-star arise in your hearts”—He, that is, who is “the bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). Christ, as the “Day-star,” or as the “Sun of Righteousness,” is already risen. The soul needs only to come out of the darkness of the grave, and the new rays shine down upon it, till (see Ephesians 5:7) they pervade it and transfigure it into light.

(3 c.) In Ephesians 5:15-21 the Apostle passes from lust and impurity to the cognate spirit of reckless levity, and the love of excitement, of which drunkenness is the commonest expression. He opposes to this the united forces of soberness and sacred enthusiasm, each tempering and yet strengthening the other.

5:3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light.Wherefore he saith - Margin, or "it." Διὸ λέγει Dio legei. The meaning may be, either that the Lord says, or the Scripture. Much difficulty has been experienced in endeavoring to ascertain "where" this is said. It is agreed on all hands that it is not found, in so many words, in the Old Testament. Some have supposed that the allusion is to Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live - awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs," etc. But the objections to this are obvious and conclusive.

(1) this is not a quotation of that place, nor has it a "resemblance" to it, except in the word "awake."

(2) the passage in Isaiah refers to a different matter, and has a different sense altogether; see the notes on the passage.

To make it refer to those to whom the gospel comes, is most forced and unnatural. Others have supposed that the reference is to Isaiah 60:1-3, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come," etc. But the objection to this is not less decisive.

(1) it is "not" a quotation of that passage, and the resemblance is very remote, if it can be seen at all.

(2) "that" is addressed to the church, calling on her to let her light shine; "this," to awake and arise from the dead, with the assurance that Christ would give them light. The exhortation here is to Christians, to "avoid the vices of the pagan around them;" the exhortation in Isaiah is to the church, to "rejoice and exult" in view of the fact that the day of triumph had come, and that the pagan were to be converted, and to come in multitudes and devote themselves to God. In the "design" of the two passages there is no resemblance. Some have supposed that the words are taken from some book among the Hebrews which is now lost. Epiphanius supposed that it was a quotation from a prophecy of Elijah; Syncellus and Euthalius, from some writing of Jeremiah; Hippolytus, from the writing of some now unknown prophet. Jerome supposed it was taken from some apocryphal writings. Grotius supposes that it refers to the word "light" in Ephesians 5:13, and that the sense is," That light says; that is, that a man who is pervaded by that light, let him so say to another." Heumann, and after him Storr, Michaelis, and Jennings (Jewish Ant. 2:252), suppose that the reference is to a song or hymn that was sung by the early Christians, beginning in this manner, arid that the meaning is, "Wherefore, as it is said in the hymns which we sing,

'Awake, thou that sleepest;

Arise from the dead;

Christ shall give thee light.'

Others have supposed that there is an allusion to a sentiment which prevailed among the Jews, respecting the significancy of blowing the trumpet on the first day of the month, or the feast of the new moon. Maimonides conjectures that that call of the trumpet, especially in the month Tisri, in which the great day of atonement occurred, was designed to signify a special call to repentance; meaning, "You who sleep, arouse from your slumbers; search and try yourselves; think on your Creator, repent, and attend to the salvation of the soul." "Burder," in Ros. Alt. u. neu. Morgenland, in loc. But all this is evidently conjecture. I see no evidence that Paul meant to make a quotation at all. Why may we not suppose that he speaks as an inspired man, and that he means to say, simply, that God now gives this command, or that God now speaks in this way? The sense then would be, "Be separate from sinners. Come out from among the pagan. Do not mingle with their abominations; do not name them. You are the children of light; and God says to you, awake from false security, rouse from the death of sin, and Christ shall enlighten you." Whatever be the origin of the sentiment in this verse, it is worthy of inspiration, and accords with all that is elsewhere said in the Scriptures.

(The grand objection to this view of our author is, that the apostle evidently introduces a citation. In the writings of Paul, the form διὸ λέγει dio legei is never used in any other sense. Whence then is the quotation taken? There is nothing absurd in supposing, with Scott and Guyse, that the apostle gives the general sense of the Old Testament prophecies con cerning the calling of the Gentiles. But Isaiah 60:1-3, bears a sufficiently close resemblance to the passage in Ephesians, to vindicate the very commonly received opinion, that the apostle quotes that prophecy, in which the subject is the increase of the Church by the accession of the pagan nations. The church is called to arise and shine, and the apostle reminds the converted Ephesians of their lofty vocation. It forms no very serious objection, that between the place in Isaiah and that in Ephesians, there are certain verbal discrepancies. No one will make much of this, who remembers, nat in a multitude of cases similar variations occur, the apostles contenting themselves with giving the sense of the places to which they refer. "Accordingly," says Dr. Dodridge, "the sense of tire passage before us is so fairly deducible from the words of Isaiah, that I do not see any necessity of having recourse to this supposition," namely, that the quotation was from an apocryphal book ascribed to Jeremiah.)

Awake thou that sleepest - Arouse from a state of slumber and false security. "Sleep and death" are striking representations of the state in which people are by nature. In "sleep" we are, though living, insensible to any danger that may be near; we are unconscious of what may he going on around us; we hear not the voice of our friends; we see not the beauty of the grove or the landscape; we are forgetful of our real character and condition. So With the sinner. It is as if his faculties were locked in a deep slumber. He hears not when God calls; he has no sense of danger; he is insensible to the beauties and glories of the heavenly world; he is forgetful of his true character and condition. To see all this, he must be first awakened; and hence this solemn command is addressed to man. He must rouse from this condition, or he cannot be saved. But can he awaken himself? Is it not the work of God to awaken a sinner? Can he rouse himself to a sense of his condition and danger? How do we do in other things? The man that is sleeping on the verge of a dangerous precipice we would approach, and say, "Awake, you are in danger." The child that is sleeping quietly in its bed, while the flames are bursting into the room, we would rouse, and say, "Awake, or you will perish." Why not use the same language to the sinner slumbering on the verge of ruin, in a deep sleep, while the flames of wrath are kindling around him? We have no difficulty in calling on sleepers elsewhere to awake when in danger; how can we have any difficulty when speaking to the sinner?

And arise from the dead - The state of the sinner, is often compared to death; see the notes on Ephesians 2:1. People are by nature dead in sins; yet they must rouse from this condition, or they will perish. How singular, it may be said, to call upon the dead to rise! How could they raise themselves up? Yet God speak thus to people, and commands them to rise from the death of sin. Therefore, learn:

(1) That people are not dead in sin in any such sense that they are not moral agents, or responsible.

continued...

14. Wherefore—referring to the whole foregoing argument (Eph 5:8, 11, 13). Seeing that light (spiritual) dispels the pre-existing darkness, He (God) saith … (compare the same phrase, Eph 4:8).

Awake—The reading of all the oldest manuscripts is "Up!" or, "Rouse thee!" a phrase used in stirring men to activity. The words are a paraphrase of Isa 60:1, 2, not an exact quotation. The word "Christ," shows that in quoting the prophecy, he views it in the light thrown on it by its Gospel fulfilment. As Israel is called on to "awake" from its previous state of "darkness" and "death" (Isa 59:10; 60:2), for that her Light is come; so the Church, and each individual is similarly called to awake. Believers are called on to "awake" out of sleep; unbelievers, to "arise" from the dead (compare Mt 25:5; Ro 13:11; 1Th 5:6, with Eph 2:1).

Christ—"the true light," "the Sun of righteousness."

give thee light—rather, as Greek, "shall shine upon thee" (so enabling thee by being "made manifest" to become, and be, by the very fact, "light," Eph 5:13; then being so "enlightened," Eph 1:18, thou shalt be able, by "reproving," to enlighten others).

He saith; either God by the prophets, of whose preaching this is the sum; it may allude in particular to Isaiah 60:1. Or, Christ by his ministers, in the preaching of the gospel, who daily calls men to arise from the death of sin by repentance, and encourageth them with the promise of eternal life.

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead; the same thing in two different expressions. Sinners in some respects are said to be asleep, in others, to be dead. They are as full of dreams and vain imaginations, and as unfit for any good action, as they that are asleep are for natural; and they are as full of stench and loathsomeness as they that are dead. Here therefore they are bid to awake from sin as a sleep, and to arise from it as a death. The meaning is, that they should arise by faith and repentance out of that state of spiritual death in which they lie while in their sins.

And Christ shall give thee light; the light of peace and joy here, and eternal glory hereafter. The apostle intimates, that what is the way of Christ in the gospel should likewise be the practice of these Ephesians, whom he calls light in the Lord, viz. to reprove the unfruitful works of darkness, and awaken sleeping, dead sinners, and bring them to the light of Christ. Wherefore he saith,.... Either the man that is light in the Lord, who reproves the unfruitful works of darkness; or else the Holy Ghost by Paul, who here speaks after the manner of the prophets; or God, or the Spirit, or the Scripture; see James 4:6; but where is it said? some think the apostle refers to Isaiah 9:2; others to Isaiah 26:19; others to Isaiah 60:1; some are of opinion the words are cited out of an apocryphal book of Jeremy, or from some writing now lost; and some have thought them to be a saying of Christ, that was fresh in memory: it may not be improper to observe what Maimonides says (m), that

"the blowing of the trumpet in the beginning of the year had an intimation in it, as if was said, "awake ye that sleep", from your sleep, and ye that slumber rouse up from your slumber, and search into your actions, and return by repentance, and remember your Creator;''

whether any reference may be had to this, may be considered: the words are spoken not to unregenerate men, for though they are asleep, and dead in sin, and need awaking out of sleep, and raising from the dead, yet they are never called upon to awake and arise of themselves; such a sense would countenance the doctrine of man's free will and power, against the quickening and efficacious grace of God; but to regenerate persons, professors of religion, to whom the epistle in general was written; and who are spoken to, and exhorted in the context:

awake thou that sleepest: the children of God are sometimes asleep, and need awaking; of the nature, causes, and ill consequences of such sleeping, and of the methods by which they are sometimes awaked out of it; see Gill on Romans 13:11.

And arise from the dead; living saints are sometimes among dead sinners, and it becomes them to arise from among them, and quit their company, which is oftentimes the occasion of their sleepiness: besides, the company of dead sinners is infectious and dangerous; it is a means of hardening in sin, and of grieving of the people of God, who observe it; and by abstaining from their company, a testimony is bore against sin, and conviction is struck into the minds of sinners themselves; to which add, that so to do is well pleasing to God, who promises to receive such who come out from among them, and separate themselves from them: and it follows here as an encouragement, and Christ shall give thee light; for such who are made light in the Lord, stand in need of more light; and by keeping close to the word, ways, ordinances, and people of Christ, they may expect more light from Christ: they need fresh light into pardoning grace and mercy, through the blood of Christ; they want more to direct them in the way they should go; and they are often without the light of God's countenance; and they may hope for light from Christ, since it is sown in him, and promised through him; and he is given to be a light unto them, and he is the giver of it himself.

(m) Hilchot Heshuba, c. 3. sect 4.

Wherefore {f} he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the {g} dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

(f) The scripture, or God in the scripture.

(g) He speaks of the death of sin.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 5:14. This necessity and salutariness of the ἔλεγξις, which Paul has just set forth in Ephesians 5:12-13 (not of the mere subsidiary thought, πᾶν γὰρ κ.τ.λ.), he now further confirms by a word of God out of the Scripture.

διό] wherefore,—because the ἐγέγχετε is so highly necessary as I have shown in Ephesians 5:12, and of such salutary effect as is seen from Ephesians 5:13,—wherefore he saith: Up, thou sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. This call of God to the υἱοὶ τῆς ἀπειθείας to awake out of the sleep and death of sin confirms the necessity of the ἔλεγξις, and this promise: “Christ shall shine upon thee,” confirms the salutary influence of the light, under which they are placed by the ἐλέγχειν. Beza refers back διό to Ephesians 5:8, which is erroneous for this reason, if there were no other, that the citation addresses the as yet unconverted. According to Rückert (comp. Erasmus, Paraphr.), the design is to give support to the hope expressed in Ephesians 5:13, namely, that the sinner, earnestly reproved and convicted, may possibly be brought over from darkness into light. But see on Ephesians 5:13. With the correct interpretation of πᾶν γὰρ κ.τ.λ., the expositions are untenable, which are given by Meier: “on that account, because only what is enlightened by the light of truth can be improved;” and by Olshausen: “because the action of the light upon the darkness cannot fail of its effect.” Harless indicates the connection only with the words of Plutarch (tom. xiv. p. 364, ed. Hutt.): χαίρειν χρὴ τοῖς ἐλέγχουσιν· … ἡμᾶς γὰρ λυποῦντες διεγείρουσιν. Inexact, and—inasmuch as with Plutarch χαίρειν and λυποῦντες stand in emphatic correlation, and λυποῦντες thus is essential—inappropriate.

λέγει] introduces, with the supplying of ὁ Θεός (as Ephesians 4:8), a passage of Scripture, of which the Hebrew words would run: עוּרָה יָשֵׁן וְהָקִיצָה מִן־הַמֵּתִים וְהֵאִיר לְךָ מָשִׁיחַ. But what passage is that? Already Jerome says: “Nunquam hoc scriptum reperi.” Most expositors answer: Isaiah 60:1. So Thomas, Cajetanus, Calvin, Piscator, Estius, Calovius, Surenhusius, Wolf, Wetstein, Bengel,[263] and others, including Harless and Olshausen; while others at the same time bring in Isaiah 26:19 (Beza, Calixtus, Clericus, Meier, Baumgarten-Crusius, and others), as also Isaiah 52:1 (Schenkel) and Isaiah 9:1 (Baumgarten, Holzhausen). But all these passages are so essentially different from ours, that we cannot with unbiassed judgment discover the latter in any of them, and should have to hold our citation—if it is assumed to contain Old Testament words—as a mingling of Old Testament reminiscences, nothing similar to which is met with, even apart from the fact that this citation bears in itself the living impress of unity and originality; hence the less is there room to get out of the difficulty by means of Bengel’s expedient: “apostolus expressius loquitur ex luce N.T.” Doubtless Harless says that the apostle was here concerned not about the word, but about the matter in general, and that he cites the word of pre-announcement with the modification which it has itself undergone through fulfilment, and adduces by way of analogy Romans 10:6 ff. But in opposition to this may be urged, first generally, that such a modification of Isaiah 60:1 would have been not a mere modification, but would have quite done away with the identity of the passage; secondly, in particular, that the passage Isaiah 60:1, specially according to the LXX. (φωτίζου, φωτίζου Ἰηρουσαλὴμ, ἥκει γάρ σου τὸ φῶς, καὶ ἡ δόξα κυρίου ἐπὶ σὲ ἀνατέταλκεν), needed no change whatever in order to serve for the intended Scriptural confirmation, for which, moreover, various other passages from the O. T. would have stood at the command of the apostle, without needing any change; and lastly, that Romans 10:6 is not analogous, because there the identity with Deuteronomy 30:12-14 is unmistakeably evident in the words themselves, and the additions concerning Christ are not there given as constituent parts of the Scripture utterance, but expressly indicated as elucidations of the apostle (by means of τοῦτʼ ἔστι). Quite baseless is the view of de Wette, that the author is quoting, as at Ephesians 4:8 (where, indeed, the citation is quite undoubted), an O. T. passage in an application which, by frequency of use, has become so familiar to him that he is no longer precisely conscious of the distinction between text and application. Others, including Morus, have discovered here a quotation from an apocryphal book, under which character Epiphanius names the prophecy of Elias, Georgius Syncellus an apocryphal authority of Jeremiah, and Godex G on the margin, the book (“Secretum”) of Enoch. See, in general, Fabricius, Cod. Pseudepigr. V. T. pp. 1074, 1105; Apocr. N.T. I. p. 524. That, however, Paul wittingly cited an apocryphal book,[264] is to be decisively rejected, inasmuch as this is never done by him, but, on the contrary, the formula of citation always means canonical passages. Hence, also, we have not, with Heumann (Poicile, II. p. 390), Michaelis, Storr, Stolz, Flatt, to guess at an early hymn of the Church as the source.[265] Others have found therein a saying of Christ, like Oeder in Syntagm. Obss. sacr. p. 697 ff., in opposition to which may be urged, not indeed the following ὁ Χριστός, which Jesus might doubtless have said of Himself, but rather the fact that the subject ΧΡΙΣΤΌς to ΛΈΓΕΙ could not be at all divined, as indeed Paul has never adduced sayings of Christ in his Epistles. This also in opposition to the opinion mentioned in Jerome (comp. also Bugenhagen and Calixtus), that Paul here, after the manner of the prophets (comp. the prophetic: thus saith the Lord), “προσωποποιΐαν Spiritus sancti figuraverit.” Grotius (comp. Koppe) regards even ΤῸ Φῶς as subject: “Lux illa, i.e. homo luce perfusus, dicit alteri.” As if previously the φῶς were homo luce perfusus! and as if every reader could not but have recognised a citation as well in διὸ λέγει as in the character of the saying itself! Erroneously Bornemann also, Schol. in Luc. p. xlviii. f., holds that λέγει is to be taken impersonaliter; in this respect it is said, one may say, so that no passage of Scripture is cited, but perhaps allusion is made to Mark 5:41. This impersonal use is found only with φησί. See the instances cited by Bornemann, and Bernhardy, p. 419. In view of all these opinions, my conclusion, as at 1 Corinthians 2:9, is to this effect: From ΔΙῸ ΛΈΓΕΙ it is evident that Paul desired to adduce a passage of canonical Scripture, but—as the passage is not canonical—in virtue of a lapsus memoriae he adduces an apocryphal saying, which, citing from memory, he held as canonical. From what Apocryphal writing the passage is drawn, we do not know.

ἔγειρε] up! Comp. ἄγε, ἜΠΕΙΓΕ. See, in opposition to the form of the Recepta ἔγειραι (so also Lachmann), Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 55 f.

ὁ καθεύδων] and then ἘΚ ΝΕΚΡῶΝ form a climactic twofold description of the state of man under the dominion of sin, in which state the true spiritual life, the moral vital activity, is suppressed and gone, as is the physical life in the sleeping (comp. Romans 13:11) and in the dead respectively. Comp. Isaiah 59:10. How often with the classical writers, too, the expression dead is employed for the expression of moral insensibility, see on Matthew 8:22; Luke 15:14; Musgrave, ad Oed. R. 45; Bornemann, in Luc. p. 97. On ὁ καθεύδων, comp. Sohar. Levit. f. 33, c. 130: “Quotiescunque lex occurrit, toties omnia hominum genera excitat, verum omnes somno sepulti jacent in peccatis, nihil intelligunt neque attendunt.”

ἀνάστα] On the form, see Winer, p. 73 [E. T. 94]; Matthiae, p. 484.

ἘΠΙΦΑΎΣΕΙ] from ἘΠΙΦΑΎΣΚΩ, see Winer, p. 82 [E. T. 110]; Job 25:5; Job 31:26. The readings ἘΠΙΨΑΎΣΕΙ ΣΟΙ Ὁ ΧΡ. and ἘΠΙΨΑΎΣΕΙς ΤΟῦ ΧΡ. are ancient (see Chrysostom and Jerome ad loc.), and are not to be explained merely from an accidental interchange in copying, but are connected with the preposterous fiction that the words were addressed to Adam buried under the cross of Christ, whom Christ would touch with His body and blood, thereby causing him to become alive and to rise. See Jerome. The words themselves: Christ shall shine upon thee, signify not: He will be gracious to thee (so, at variance with the context, Bretschneider), but: He will by the gracious operation of His Spirit annul in thee the ethical darkness (λύων τὴν νύκτα τῆς ἁμαρτίας, Gregory of Nazianzus), and impart to thee the divine ἈΛΉΘΕΙΑ, of which He is the possessor and bearer (Christ, the light of the world). Observe, moreover, that the arising is not an act of one’s own, independent of God and anticipating His gracious operation, but that it takes place just through God’s effectual awakening call. On this effectual calling then ensues the Christian enlightening.

[263] Who, however, at the same time following older expositors in Wolf (comp. Rosenmüller, Morgenland, VI. p. 142), called to his aid a reminiscence of the “formula in festo buccinarum adhiberi solita.” See, in opposition to the error as to the existence of such a formula, based upon a passage of Maimonides, Wolf, Curae.

[264] According to Jerome, he is held not to have done it, “quod apocrypha comprobaret, sed quod et Arati et Epimenidis et Menandri versibus sit abusus ad ea, quae voluerat, in tempore comprobanda.”

[265] This opinion is already mentioned by Theodoret: τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἑρμηνευτῶν ἔφασαν πνευματικῆς χάριτος ἀξιωθέντας τινὰς ψαλμοὺς συγγράψαι, in connection with which they had appealed to 1 Corinthians 14:26. Bleek, too, ad loc. and already in the Stud. u. Krit. 1853, p. 331, finds it probable that the saying is taken from a writing composed by a Christian poet of that early age.Ephesians 5:14. διὸ λέγει, Ἔγειραι ὁ καθεύδων καὶ ἀνάστα ἑκ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ χριστός: Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. So the RV, better on the whole than the “shall give thee light” of the AV. The verse contains a quotation, but the great difficulty is in ascertaining its source and understanding its precise point. It is introduced by the subordinating, co-ordinating, and causal particle διό (on which see under Ephesians 2:11, and cf. Buttm., Gram. of N. T. Greek, p. 233; Blass, Gram. of N. T. Greek, p. 274) = διʼ ὅ, “on which account,” i.e., “things being as I have stated them we have the Divine word, ‘Arise,’ ” etc. The λέγει is taken by some (Haupt, Abb.) as = it is said; but in Paul’s general use it is personal, ὁ Θεός or similar subject being understood; while φησὶ is the formula that may be used impersonally. (See on Ephesians 4:8, and cf. Bernh., Synt., xii., 4, p. 419.) For ἔγειραι of the TR, which is the reading of the cursives, ἔγειρε, which is supported by [549] [550] [551] [552] [553] [554] [555] and practically all uncials, must be accepted. It requires no σεαυτόν to be supplied; neither is it to be explained as an Active with a Middle sense; but is best understood as a formula like ἄγε, with the force of up! The imper. ἀνάστα for ἀνάστηθι occurs again in Acts 12:7, as also in Theocr., 24, 36; Menander (Mein.), p. 48, etc.; cf. ἀνάβα (Revelation 4:1), κατάβα (Mark 15:30; but with a v. l.). The verb ἑπιφαύσει means properly to dawn, corresponding to the ordinary Greek ἐπιφώσκω, which is used also in the narratives of the Resurrection in Matthew 28:1; Luke 23:54. This is the only occurrence in the NT of the form ἐπιφαύσκω, which is found occasionally, however, in the LXX (Job 25:5; Job 31:6; Job 41:10, etc.). The noun ὑπόφαυσις also occurs in Herod., vii., 30. Instead of ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός [556]* and certain manuscripts mentioned by Chrys., Theod., Jer., etc., read ἑπιψαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός or ἐπιψαύσει τοῦ Χριστός. This reading was connected with the legend that our Lord’s Cross was planted above Adam’s burial-place, and that our first father was to be raised from the dead by the touch of the Saviour’s body and blood. The clause as we have it means not merely “Christ will cause His face to shine graciously upon thee,” but “Christ will shine upon thee with the light of His truth and bring thee out of the pagan darkness of ignorance and immorality”.

[549] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[550] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[551] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[552] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[553] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[554] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[555] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[556] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

So much for the terms. But whence does the passage come? The answer which first suggests itself, and which is given by many (Calv., Est., Beng., Harl., Olsh., Hofm., Weiss, Alf., Ell., etc.), is that it is a quotation from the OT, as the formula λέγει indicates, and in fact a very free reproduction and application of Isaiah 60:1. The difficulty lies in the extreme freedom with which the original words are handled. There is but a very slender resemblance between what we have here and the LXX version of the prophetic verse, viz., φωτίζου, φωτίζου, Ἰερουσαλήμ, ἥκει γάρ σου τὸ φῶς καὶ ἡ δόξα Κυρίου ἐπί σε ἀνατέταλκεν. Nor should we have a different condition, if we supposed Paul in this case to have followed the Hebrew text. Hence some (Beza, etc.) imagine that Paul has combined with Isaiah 60:1 other Isaianic passages (e.g., Isaiah 9:1, Isaiah 26:19, Isaiah 52:1). But while it is true that Paul does elsewhere use great liberty in modifying, combining, and applying OT passages, it cannot be said either that these words of Isaiah have much relation to the quotation, or that we have in Paul’s writings (even Romans 10:6, etc., not excepted) any case quite parallel to this. Others, therefore, conclude that the passage is from some apocryphal writing, the Apocalypse of Elias (Epiph.), a prophecy under the name of Jeremiah (Geor. Syncell.), one of the writings attributed to Enoch (Cod. [557], margin). But though Paul might have quoted from an apocryphal book, and some think he has done it, e.g., in 1 Corinthians 2:9, it is certain that his habit is to quote only from the OT, and further this formula of citation appears always to introduce an OT passage. Meyer tries to solve the difficulty by the somewhat far-fetched supposition that Paul really quoted from some apocryphal writing, but by a lapse of memory took it for a part of canonical Scripture. Others suggest that he is quoting a saying of our Lord not recorded in the Gospels (cf. Resch., Agrapha, pp. 222, 289), or a baptismal formula, or some hymn (Mich., Storr, etc.). The choice must be between the first-mentioned explanation and the last. Notwithstanding the confessed difficulties of the case, there is not a little to incline us to the idea that, although in a very inexact and unusual form, we have a biblical quotation before us here. On the other hand it is urged (e.g., by Haupt) with some force that the rhythmical character of the passage favours the supposition that we have here a snatch from some very ancient hymn or liturgical composition. The question must be confessed to be still open. But what in any case is the point of the quotation here? The passage is introduced in connection with the reference to the effects of a faithful ἔλεγξεις and under the impression of the figure of the light. It takes the form of an appeal to wake out of the pagan condition of sin, described by the two-fold figure of sleep and death, and of a promise that then Christ will shine upon the sinner with the saving light of His truth. The quotation comes in relevantly, therefore, as a further enforcement both of the need for the reproof which is enjoined, and of the good effects of such a reproof faithfully exercised.

[557] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.14. Wherefore] With regard to the fact that whatever is really brought to light, in the sense of true spiritual conviction, becomes light.

he saith] Or possibly it (the Scripture) saith. See note on Ephesians 4:8.

Awake, &c.] These words occur nowhere in the O.T. verbatim. St Jerome, on the verse, makes many suggestions; as that St Paul may have used an “apocryphal” passage, exactly as he used words from pagan writers (e.g. Titus 1:12); or that he utters an immediate inspiration granted to himself, in prophetic form. Thomas Aquinas (quoted by Vallarsius on St Jerome) suggests that we have here the essence of Isaiah 60:1; where the Lat. reads “Rise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come &c.” Surely this is the true solution, if we add to it the probability that other prophecies contributed to the phraseology here. Dr Kay (in the Speaker’s Commentary) on Isaiah 60:1 writes, “In Ephesians 5:14 this verse is combined, in a paraphrase form, with Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 52:1-2. The Ephesians had been walking in darkness, as dead men … but the Redeemer had come and the Spirit been given. Therefore they were to awake (ch. Isaiah 51:17, Isaiah 52:1) out of sleep, and arise from the dead, that Christ the Lord might shine upon them, and they again shed His light on the Gentiles round.”

To the believer in the Divine plan and coherence of Scripture it will be abundantly credible that “the Lord” (Jehovah) of Isaiah should be the “Christ” of St Paul (cp. Isaiah 6:5 with John 12:41), and that the “Jerusalem” of Isaiah should have an inner reference to the True Israel (Galatians 3:29; Galatians 6:16), in its actual or potential members.

Dr Edersheim (Temple and its Services, p. 262), suggests that the Apostle may have had present to his mind language used in synagogue worship at the Feast of Trumpets. Rabbinic writers explain the trumpet blasts as, inter alia, a call to repentance; and one of them words the call, “Rouse ye from your slumber, awake from your sleep, &c.” Some such formula may have been in public use. Bengel makes a similar suggestion here. But this would not exclude, only supplement, the reference to Isaiah.

Another suggestion is that the words are a primitive Christian “psalm” (1 Corinthians 14:26); perhaps “the morning hymn used each day by the Christians in Rome in St Paul’s lodging,” or “a baptismal hymn.” Here again we have an interesting possibility, for such a “psalm” may have given or influenced the phrase here. But the introductory word “He, or it, saith,” seems to us to weigh decidedly for the view that the words are, in essence, a Scripture quotation.

sleepestthe dead] The sleep is more than sleep; the sleep of death. But death itself is but as sleep that can be broken (Matthew 9:24) to the Lord of Life. On spiritual death see above, on Ephesians 2:1.

shall give thee light] Better, as R.V., shall shine upon thee.—The idea, by context, is not so much of the light of conviction, as of that of spiritual transfiguration (2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6). The thought of “being light in the Lord” runs through the passage. It is a light consequent upon awaking and arising.—Another, but certainly mistaken, reading gives, “thou shalt touch Christ” The “Old Latin” followed it. It is due, in part at least, to the close similarity in form of two widely different Gr. verbs.Ephesians 5:14. Διὸ λέγει, Wherefore He says) The chief part of this exhortation is in Isaiah 60:1, φωτίζου φωτίζου, Ἱερουσαλήμ· ἥκει γάρ σου τὸ φῶς, Heb. קומי אורי; so ibid. Isaiah 52:1-2, ἐξεγείρου· ἀνάστηθι. But the apostle speaks more expressly in accordance with (out of) the light of the New Testament, and according to the state of him who requires to be awakened. At the same time he seems to have had in his mind the particular phraseology which had been ordinarily used at the feast of trumpets: Arise, Arise out of your sleep; awake from your sleep, ye who deal in vain things, for very heavy sleep is sent to you; see Hotting. ad Godw., p. 601. And perhaps he wrote this epistle at that time of the year: comp. 1 Corinthians 5:7, note.—ἔγειραιἀνάστα) Ammonius: ἀναστῆναι, ἐπὶ ἔργον· ἐγερθῆναι, ἐξ ὓπνου, to rise up, viz. so as to engage in work; to be awakened, viz. out of sleep.—ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, from the dead) ch. Ephesians 2:1.—ἐπιφαύσει) will begin to shine on thee, as the sun, Isaiah 60:2. The primitive word, ἐπιφαύσκω, is in the LXX.; so from γηράσκω, γηράσω, ἀρέσκω, αρέσω.Verse 14. - Therefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. This is evidently intended to give an additional impulse to the Ephesians to walk as children of the light; but a difficulty arises as to the source of the quotation. There is no difficulty with the formula, "he saith," which, like the same expression in Ephesians 4:8, is clearly to be referred to God. But no such words occur in the Old Testament. The passage that comes nearest to them is Isaiah 60:1," Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord hath risen upon thee." The simplest and best explanation is, not that the apostle quoted from any lost book, but flint he did not mean to give the words, but only the spirit of the passage. This is evident from his introducing the word "Christ." It must be owned that the apostle makes a very free use of the prophet's words. But the fundamental idea in the prophecy is, that when the Church gets the light of heaven, she is not to lie still, as it' she were asleep or dead, but is to be active, is to make use of the light, is to use it for illuminating the world. The apostle maintains that the Ephesian Church had got the light of heaven; she, therefore, was not to sleep or loiter, but spring forth as if from the grave, and pour light on the world. The changes which the apostle makes on the form of the prophecy are remarkable, and show that it was to its spirit and substance rather than to its precise form and letter that he attached the authority of inspiration. He saith

God. This use of the personal pronoun is frequent in Paul's writings. See Galatians 3:16; Ephesians 4:8; 1 Corinthians 6:16.

Awake. etc.

The quotation is probably a combination and free rendering of Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 26:19. For similar combinations see on Romans 3:10; see on Romans 9:33. By some the words are regarded as the fragment of a hymn.

Shall give thee light

Rev., correctly, shall shine upon thee.

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