Ephesians 3:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

New Living Translation
I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

English Standard Version
and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things,

Berean Study Bible
and to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was hidden in God, who created all things.

Berean Literal Bible
and to enlighten all what is the administration of the mystery having been hidden from the ages in God, the One having created all things,

New American Standard Bible
and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

King James Bible
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.

International Standard Version
and help everyone see how this secret that has been at work was hidden for ages by God, who created all things.

NET Bible
and to enlighten everyone about God's secret plan--a secret that has been hidden for ages in God who has created all things.

New Heart English Bible
and to bring to light for all what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And that I may enlighten every person by the administration of the mystery which was hidden from the world in God The Creator of all,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He allowed me to explain the way this mystery works. God, who created all things, kept it hidden in the past.

New American Standard 1977
and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things;

Jubilee Bible 2000
and to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the ages has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ.

King James 2000 Bible
And to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

American King James Version
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

American Standard Version
and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which for ages hath been hid in God who created all things;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God, who created all things:

Darby Bible Translation
and to enlighten all [with the knowledge of] what is the administration of the mystery hidden throughout the ages in God, who has created all things,

English Revised Version
and to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery which from all ages hath been hid in God who created all things;

Webster's Bible Translation
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Weymouth New Testament
and to show all men in a clear light what my stewardship is. It is the stewardship of the truth which from all the Ages lay concealed in the mind of God, the Creator of all things--

World English Bible
and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things through Jesus Christ;

Young's Literal Translation
and to cause all to see what is the fellowship of the secret that hath been hid from the ages in God, who the all things did create by Jesus Christ,
Study Bible
The Mystery of the Gospel
8Though I am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9and to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was hidden in God, who created all things. 10His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,…
Cross References
Romans 11:25
I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you will not be conceited: A hardening in part has come to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

Romans 16:25
Now to Him who is able to strengthen you by my gospel and by the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery concealed for ages past,

Ephesians 3:2
Surely you have heard about the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you,

Ephesians 3:3
that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.

Ephesians 3:4
In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,

Ephesians 6:19
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, divine utterance may be given me, so that I will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel,

Colossians 1:26
the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations but is now revealed to His saints,

Colossians 3:3
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 4:3
as you pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.

Revelation 4:11
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things; by Your will they exist, and came to be."
Treasury of Scripture

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

to.

Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak you in light: and what you …

Matthew 28:19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name …

Mark 16:15,16 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel …

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his …

Romans 16:26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, …

Colossians 1:23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved …

2 Timothy 4:17 Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that …

Revelation 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting …

fellowship.

Ephesians 3:3-5 How that by revelation he made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote …

Ephesians 1:9,10 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his …

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was …

beginning.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the …

Matthew 13:35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, …

Matthew 25:34 Then shall the King say to them on his right hand, Come, you blessed …

Acts 15:18 Known to God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, …

1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, …

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brothers beloved …

2 Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according …

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before …

1 Peter 1:20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but …

Revelation 13:8 And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him…

Revelation 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the …

hid.

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations, …

Colossians 3:3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

created.

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of …

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

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the …

John 5:17,19 But Jesus answered them, My Father works till now, and I work…

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

Colossians 1:16,17 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that …

Hebrews 1:2,3 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 …

(9) To make all men see.--St. Paul speaks here first of manifestation to all men. The phrase used in the original is at once stronger and weaker than our version of it. It is stronger, for the word is, properly, to enlighten or illuminate--the same word used above (Ephesians 1:18), "the eyes of your heart being enlightened." Strictly, Christ alone is the Light of the world, "which enlightens every man" (John 1:4-5; John 1:9; John 8:2); but, as reflecting Him, He declared His servants to be the "light of the world." Yet it is weaker, for while we can enlighten, it is our daily sorrow that we cannot "make men see." Even He wept over Jerusalem because His light was, by wilful blindness, "hidden from their eyes" (Luke 19:41). To "open the eyes, and turn men from darkness to light," although (as in Acts 26:18) attributed in general terms to the servants of God, because naturally following on their ministry, is properly the work of the Holy Spirit, even in relation to the words of our Lord Himself (John 14:26).

The fellowship of the mystery.--Both MS. authority and internal evidence point here to "the dispensation of the mystery" as the true reading. Probably here the reference is not to the commission of the mystery to the Apostle (as in Ephesians 3:2), but (as in Ephesians 1:10) to the law or order which God Himself has ordained for the manifestation of the truth, both to men and angels.

Who created all things by Jesus Christ.--The words "by Jesus Christ" should be omitted, probably having crept in from a gloss, and not belonging to the original. The description of God as "He who created all things," material and spiritual, is here emphatic--designed to call attention to the dispensation of the gospel as existing in the primeval purpose of the Divine Mind (comp. Ephesians 1:4; 1Corinthians 1:7), hidden from the beginning of the world (properly, from the ages) till the time of its revelation was come. The New Testament constantly dwells on this view of the Mediation of Christ, as belonging in some form to the relation of humanity to God in itself, and not merely to that relation as affected by the Fall; but nowhere with greater emphasis than in the profound and universal teaching of these Epistles.

Verse 9. - And to make all men see what is the dispensation of the mystery. Another branch of his office, and another fruit of God's grace in conferring it. He was not only to benefit man, but also to vindicate God. For "fellowship of the mystery" (A.V.), the R.V. has "dispensation of the mystery," founded on the preference of the reading οἰκονομια, for which there is a great preponderance of authority over κοινωνία. It was the apostle's function to show how this mystery had been dispensed - concealed for a long time and at last revealed. Which from the beginning of the ages hath been hid in God. The counsel itself was πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων, before the foundation of the world; the concealment of it ἀπό τῶν αἰώνων, from the beginning of the ages, when there were intelligent beings capable of understanding it - whether angels or men. Whatever the angels may have known of the Divine plans, this feature of them was not known till revealed to the New Testament Church. Who created all things. The reason for adding this particular designation of God is not obvious; probably it is to indicate the relation of the matter in hand to the mightiest works of God. This is no trifling matter; it connects itself with God's grandest operations; it has supremely glorious bearings. It might be supposed to have relations only to one race and to one period of time; but it has relations to "all things;" it is an integral element in God's plan. The words, by Jesus Christ (A.V.), are not found in a great preponderance of textual authorities. And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery,.... Or "the dispensation of the mystery" as the Complutensian, and several copies, and the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read. The mystery is the Gospel; the fellowship of it is the communication of grace by it, a participation of the truths and doctrines of it, communion with Father, Son, and Spirit, which the Gospel calls and leads unto, and that equal concern and interest which both Jews and Gentiles have in the privileges of it. Now men are naturally in the dark about these things, and the ministry of the word is the means of enlightening them, and is indeed the grand design of it; and the ministers of the Gospel do instrumentally enlighten persons, though it is God only that does it efficiently; and for this, gifts of grace were bestowed upon the apostle, even for the enlightening of all men, not every individual person in the world, but some of all sorts, particularly Gentiles, as well as Jews. The word rendered "all men", is left out in the Alexandrian copy.

Which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God; in the heart of God, in his counsel and covenant; which shows the original and source of the Gospel, and expresses the richness and valuableness of it, as well as its safety and secrecy: here it was hid in some measure from the elect angels, and from Old Testament saints, and altogether from natural men, and especially from the Gentiles, whose times of ignorance God winked at, or overlooked: and this was kept so from ages past, from the beginning of time, till now, and was laid up in the breast of God from all eternity; for it was ordained before the world for the glory, of his people. What the apostle says of the Gospel, the Jews say of the law, that it was hid and treasured up two thousand years before the world was created (m); yea, they say (n), that many ages before the creation of the world it was written and left, , "in the bosom of God": and he is here described, as he

who created all things by Jesus Christ; not as an instrument, but as a co-efficient cause: and this is to be understood, not of the new creation, but of the old, and of all things in it; for without Christ, was not anything made that is made. The phrase, "by Jesus Christ", is left out in the Alexandrian and Claromontane copies, and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions.

(m) Zohar in Exod. fol. 20. 4. & in Numb. fol. 66. 3. Targ. Jon. & Jeras. in Genesis 3.24. (n) Abot R. Nathan, c. 31. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 88. 2.9. to make all men see—Greek, "to enlighten all" (Eph 1:18; Ps 18:28; Heb 6:4). "All" (compare Col 1:28).

fellowship—The oldest manuscripts read, "economy," or "dispensation" (compare Col 1:25, 26; and see on [2365]Eph 1:10, above). "To make all see how it hath seemed good to God at this time to dispense (through me and others, His stewards) what heretofore was a mystery." Ellicott explains it, "the arrangement," or "regulation" of the mystery (the union of Jews and Gentiles in Christ) which was now to be humbly traced and acknowledged in the fact of its having secretly existed in the counsel of God, and now having been revealed to the heavenly powers by means of the Church.

from the beginning of the world—Greek, "from (the beginning of) the ages." Compare Eph 1:4; Ro 16:25; 1Co 2:7. The "ages" are the vast successive periods of time, marked by successive stages of creation and orders of beings.

in God—"hidden in" His counsels (Eph 1:9).

created all things by Jesus Christ—God's creation of the world and all things therein is the foundation of the rest of the "economy," which is freely dispensed according to the universal power of God [Bengel]. AS God created "the whole range of things" (so the Greek), physical and spiritual alike, He must have an absolute right to adjust all things as He will. Hence, we may see His right to keep the mystery of world-wide salvation in Christ "hidden in Himself," till his own good time for revealing it. The oldest manuscripts omit "by Jesus Christ."3:8-12 Those whom God advances to honourable employments, he makes low in their own eyes; and where God gives grace to be humble, there he gives all other needful grace. How highly he speaks of Jesus Christ; the unsearchable riches of Christ! Though many are not enriched with these riches; yet how great a favour to have them preached among us, and to have an offer of them! And if we are not enriched with them it is our own fault. The first creation, when God made all things out of nothing, and the new creation, whereby sinners are made new creatures by converting grace, are of God by Jesus Christ. His riches are as unsearchable and as sure as ever, yet while angels adore the wisdom of God in the redemption of his church, the ignorance of self-wise and carnal men deems the whole to be foolishness.
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