New International Version
in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
New Living Translation
You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil--the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.
English Standard Version
in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
New American Standard Bible
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
King James Bible
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Holman Christian Standard Bible
in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient.
International Standard Version
that you once practiced as you lived according to the ways of this present world and according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now active in those who are disobedient.
in which you formerly lived according to this world's present path, according to the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the ruler of the spirit that is now energizing the sons of disobedience,
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And these things in which you walked from the first, you were in them according to the secular life of this world and according to the will of The Ruler of The Authority of The Air and of this spirit which is diligent in the children of disobedience.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
You followed the ways of this present world and its spiritual ruler. This ruler continues to work in people who refuse to obey God.
Jubilee Bible 2000
in which in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the will of the prince of the power of this air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience,
King James 2000 Bible
In which in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version
Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American Standard Version
wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;
Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of this air, of the spirit that now worketh on the children of unbelief:
Darby Bible Translation
in which ye once walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience:
English Revised Version
wherein aforetime ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience;
Webster's Bible Translation
In which in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Weymouth New Testament
which were once habitual to you while you walked in the ways of this world and obeyed the Prince of the powers of the air, the spirits that are now at work in the hearts of the sons of disobedience--to you God has given Life.
World English Bible
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience;
Young's Literal Translation
in which once ye did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience,
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
2:1-10 Sin is the death of the soul. A man dead in trespasses and sins has no desire for spiritual pleasures. When we look upon a corpse, it gives an awful feeling. A never-dying spirit is now fled, and has left nothing but the ruins of a man. But if we viewed things aright, we should be far more affected by the thought of a dead soul, a lost, fallen spirit. A state of sin is a state of conformity to this world. Wicked men are slaves to Satan. Satan is the author of that proud, carnal disposition which there is in ungodly men; he rules in the hearts of men. From Scripture it is clear, that whether men have been most prone to sensual or to spiritual wickedness, all men, being naturally children of disobedience, are also by nature children of wrath. What reason have sinners, then, to seek earnestly for that grace which will make them, of children of wrath, children of God and heirs of glory! God's eternal love or good-will toward his creatures, is the fountain whence all his mercies flow to us; and that love of God is great love, and that mercy is rich mercy. And every converted sinner is a saved sinner; delivered from sin and wrath. The grace that saves is the free, undeserved goodness and favour of God; and he saves, not by the works of the law, but through faith in Christ Jesus. Grace in the soul is a new life in the soul. A regenerated sinner becomes a living soul; he lives a life of holiness, being born of God: he lives, being delivered from the guilt of sin, by pardoning and justifying grace. Sinners roll themselves in the dust; sanctified souls sit in heavenly places, are raised above this world, by Christ's grace. The goodness of God in converting and saving sinners heretofore, encourages others in after-time, to hope in his grace and mercy. Our faith, our conversion, and our eternal salvation, are not of works, lest any man should boast. These things are not brought to pass by any thing done by us, therefore all boasting is shut out. All is the free gift of God, and the effect of being quickened by his power. It was his purpose, to which he prepared us, by blessing us with the knowledge of his will, and his Holy Spirit producing such a change in us, that we should glorify God by our good conversation, and perseverance in holiness. None can from Scripture abuse this doctrine, or accuse it of any tendency to evil. All who do so, are without excuse.
Verse 2. - Wherein aforetime ye walked according to the course of this world. The idea of a dead creature walking is not altogether incongruous. It implies that a kind of life remained sufficient for walking; but not the true, full, normal life; rather the life of a galvanized corpse, or of one walking in sleep. The figurative use of walking for living, or carrying on our life, is frequent in this Epistle (Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 5:2, etc.). "The course of this world," elsewhere" the world," denotes the present system of things, as conducted by those who have regard only to things seen and temporal, and no regard to God or to the future life. Where there is spiritual death there is insensibility to these things. According to the prince of the power of the air. It is obvious that this is equivalent to "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4), but the explanation of the term is difficult. Allusion is made to a corporate body, "the power [or, 'government'] (ἐξουσία) of the air," and to one who is "prince" of this government. There is no difficulty in identifying the evil one and his host, of whom Milton gives such graphic pictures. But why should they be specially connected with the air? The notion, entertained by some of the Fathers and others, that storms and disturbances of the atmosphere are caused by them, is preposterous; it is unscriptural (Psalm 148:8) and quite unscientific. The term seems to denote that evil spirits, who have some power of influencing us by their temptations, have their abode in the atmosphere, or at least haunt it, being invisible like it, yet exercising a real influence on human souls, and drawing them in worldly directions, and contrary to the will of God. The spirit which is now working hi the sons of disobedience. The fact that this spirit is still working in others makes the escape of the Ephesians from him the more striking. He is not destroyed, but vigorously at work even yet. Though Jesus beheld him fall from heaven as lightning, and though he said that the prince of this world had been judged, these expressions denote a prophetic rather than an actual condition. This spirit energizes in the "sons of disobedience." This designation is striking; it denotes persons born of disobedience, bred by disobedience, having disobedience in their very nature; comp. Romans 8:7, "The carnal mind is enmity against God," and passages where fallen man is called a rebel (Isaiah 1:2; Isaiah 63:10; Psalm 68:6; Jeremiah 5:23, etc.). It denotes the essential antagonism of man's will to God's, arising from man's devotion to this world and its interests, and God's regard to what is higher and holier - an antagonism often held in check and suppressed - but bursting out wildly at times in fierce opposition, as at the tower of Babel or the crucifixion of Jesus. The devil inflames man's inherent dislike to God's will, and encourages outbreaks of it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherein in time past ye walked,.... Sins and transgressions are a road or path, in which all unconverted sinners walk; and this path is a dark, crooked, and broad one, which leads to destruction and death, and yet is their own way, which they choose, approve of, and delight to walk in; and walking in it denotes a continued series of sinning, an obstinate persisting in it, a progress in iniquity, and pleasure therein: and the time of walking in this path, being said to be in time past, shows that the elect of. God before conversion, walk in the same road that others do; and that conversion is a turning out of this way; and that when persons are converted, the course of their walking is altered, which before was
according to the course of this world meaning this world, in distinction from the world to come, or the present age, in which the apostle lived, and designs the men of it; and the course of it is their custom, manner, and way of life; to which God's elect, during their state of unregeneracy, conform, both with respect to conversation and religious worship: great is the force that prevailing customs have over men; it is one branch of redemption by Christ, to deliver men from this present evil world, and to free them from a vain conversation in it; and it is only the grace of God that effectually teaches to deny the lusts of it; and it is only owing to the prevalent intercession and power of Christ, that even converted persons are kept from the evil of it:
according to the prince of the power of the air: which is not to be understood of any supposed power the devil has over the air, by divine permission, to raise winds, but of a posse, or body of devils, who have their residence in the air; for it was not only the notion of the Jews (m), that there are noxious and accusing spirits, who fly about "in the air", and that there is no space between the earth and the firmament free, and that the whole is full of a multitude of them; but also it was the opinion of the Chaldeans (n), and of Pythagoras (o), and Plato (p), that the air is full of demons: now there is a prince who is at the head of these, called Beelzebub, the prince of devils, or the lord of a fly, for the devils under him are as so many flies in the air, Matthew 12:24 and by the Jews called (q), , "the prince of spirits"; and is here styled, the Spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience; by which spirit is meant, not the lesser devils that are under the prince, nor the spirit of the world which comes from him, and is not of God; but Satan himself, who is a spirit, and an evil, and an unclean one; and who operates powerfully in unbelievers, for they are meant by children of disobedience, or unbelief; just as , "children of faith" (r), in the Jewish dialect, designs believers; and over these Satan has great influence, especially the reprobate part of them; whose minds he blinds, and whose hearts he fills, and puts it into them to do the worst of crimes; and indeed, he has great power over the elect themselves, while in unbelief, and leads them captive at his will; and these may be said in their unregeneracy to walk after him, when they imitate him, and do his lusts, and comply with what he suggests, dictates to them, or tempts them to.
(m) Shaare Ora, fol. 4. 1.((n) Laert. Procem. in Vit. Philos, p. 5. (o) lb. in Vit. Pythagor. p. 587. (p) Apuleius de Deo Socratis, p. 331. (q) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 21. 2.((r) Zohar in Gen. fol. 21. 2. & 22. 4. & 27. 4. & 28. 2. & 35. 2. & 44. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. the course of this world—the career (literally, "the age," compare Ga 1:4), or present system of this world (1Co 2:6, 12; 3:18, 19, as opposed to "the world to come"): alien from God, and lying in the wicked one (1Jo 5:19). "The age" (which is something more external and ethical) regulates "the world" (which is something more external).
the prince of the power of the air—the unseen God who lies underneath guiding "the course of this world" (2Co 4:4); ranging through the air around us: compare Mr 4:4, "fowls of the air" (Greek, "heaven") that is, (Eph 2:15), "Satan" and his demons. Compare Eph 6:12; Joh 12:31. Christ's ascension seems to have cast Satan out of heaven (Re 12:5, 9, 10, 12, 13), where he had been heretofore the accuser of the brethren (Job 1:6-11). No longer able to accuse in heaven those justified by Christ, the ascended Saviour (Ro 8:33, 34), he assails them on earth with all trials and temptations; and "we live in an atmosphere poisonous and impregnated with deadly elements. But a mighty purification of the air will be effected by Christ's coming" [Auberlen], for Satan shall be bound (Re 12:12, 13, 15, 17; 20:2, 3). "The power" is here used collectively for the "powers of the air"; in apposition with which "powers" stand the "spirits," comprehended in the singular, "the spirit," taken also collectively: the aggregate of the "seducing spirits" (1Ti 4:1) which "work now (still; not merely, as in your case, 'in time past') in the sons of disobedience" (a Hebraism: men who are not merely by accident disobedient, but who are essentially sons of disobedience itself: compare Mt 3:7), and of which Satan is here declared to be "the prince." The Greek does not allow "the spirit" to refer to Satan, "the prince" himself, but to "the powers of the air" of which he is prince. The powers of the air are the embodiment of that evil "spirit" which is the ruling principle of unbelievers, especially the heathen (Ac 26:18), as opposed to the spirit of the children of God (Lu 4:33). The potency of that "spirit" is shown in the "disobedience" of the former. Compare De 32:20, "children in whom is no faith" (Isa 30:9; 57:4). They disobey the Gospel both in faith and practice (2Th 1:8; 2Co 2:12).
Ephesians 2:2 Additional Commentaries
Alive with Christ
1And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.…
The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
1 Corinthians 6:11
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
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.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (which is done in the body by human hands)--
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
of the air.
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NT Letters: Ephesians 2:2 In which you once walked according (Ephes. Eph. Ep) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools