Ephesians 4:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.

New Living Translation
Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him.

English Standard Version
They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

Berean Study Bible
They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.

Berean Literal Bible
being darkened in the understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance being in them on account of the hardness of their heart,

New American Standard Bible
being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

King James Bible
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They are darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them and because of the hardness of their hearts.

International Standard Version
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.

NET Bible
They are darkened in their understanding, being alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts.

New Heart English Bible
being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they are dark in their intellects and are aliens to the Life of God, because there is no knowledge in them and because of the blindness of their heart,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They can't understand because they are in the dark. They are excluded from the life that God approves of because of their ignorance and stubbornness.

New American Standard 1977
being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;

Jubilee Bible 2000
having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them because of the blindness of their heart,

King James 2000 Bible
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

American King James Version
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

American Standard Version
being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts.

Darby Bible Translation
being darkened in understanding, estranged from the life of God by reason of the ignorance which is in them, by reason of the hardness of their hearts,

English Revised Version
being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

Webster's Bible Translation
Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

Weymouth New Testament
with darkened understandings, having by reason of the ignorance which is deep-seated in them and the insensibility of their moral nature, no share in the Life which God gives.

World English Bible
being darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their hearts;

Young's Literal Translation
being darkened in the understanding, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart,
Study Bible
New Life in Christ
17So I tell you this, and testify to it in the Lord: You must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. 19Having lost all sense of shame, they have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with a craving for more.…
Cross References
Isaiah 25:7
And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations.

Mark 3:5
Jesus looked around at them with anger and sorrow at their hardness of heart. Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out, and it was restored.

Acts 3:17
And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.

Acts 17:30
Although God overlooked the ignorance of earlier times, He now commands all men everywhere to repent.

Romans 1:21
For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts.

Romans 11:7
What then? What Israel was seeking, it failed to obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,

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.

1 Corinthians 2:8
None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

2 Corinthians 3:14
But their minds were closed. For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed.

Ephesians 2:1
As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins,
Treasury of Scripture

Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

the understanding.

Psalm 74:20 Have respect to the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are …

Psalm 115:4-8 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands…

Isaiah 44:18-20 They have not known nor understood: for he has shut their eyes, that …

Isaiah 46:5-8 To whom will you liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that …

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all …

Acts 26:17,18 Delivering you from the people, and from the Gentiles, to whom now I send you…

Romans 1:21-23,28 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, …

1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God…

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which …

Galatians 4:8 However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which …

1 Thessalonians 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

alienated.

Ephesians 2:12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the …

Romans 8:7,8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject …

Galatians 4:8 However, then, when you knew not God, you did service to them which …

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by …

1 Thessalonians 4:5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

James 4:4 You adulterers and adulteresses, know you not that the friendship …

because.

Romans 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, …

Romans 2:19 And are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light …

1 John 2:11 But he that hates his brother is in darkness, and walks in darkness, …

blindness. or, hardness.

Daniel 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, …

Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of …

John 12:40 He has blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should …

Romans 11:25 For I would not, brothers, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, …

(18) Having the understanding darkened.--Of this vanity the first result noted is the intellectual. They are "darkened in the understanding," and so, "by the ignorance in them alienated from the life of God." The phrase "the life of God" is unique. It may, however, be interpreted by a similar phrase, the "righteousness of God" (Romans 1:7), i.e., the righteousness given by God. What the life given by God is, we know by our Lord's own words (John 17:3), "This is the life eternal, to know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent." So far as the understanding is concerned, this alienation signifies the loss of the central light of Truth in God, and with it the loss, partial or complete, of the vision of other truths in their right proportion and harmony.

But the second result is moral. St. Paul attributes the alienation from God, or (possibly, though less probably) "the ignorance which is in them," to the hardness of their heart--for the marginal reading is correct; the word used signifies, almost technically, "callousness" and insensibility. To make his meaning clearer still he adds, "who (or, inasmuch as they) being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness." There is precisely a similar current of thought (noting, however, the characteristic difference referred to above) in Romans 1:24-32, where St. Paul draws out, as consequences of the same vanity, first lusts of uncleanness, next unnatural sin, and at last breaks out into a fearful enumeration of the signs of the reprobate mind. On this side, therefore, "the alienation from the life of God" is the loss of the grace by which He dwells in the soul, and by indwelling gives it the moral and spiritual life.

Verse 18. - Being darkened in their understanding (second point of difference), and thus blind to all that is most vital - ignorant of God, of the way of salvation, of the love of Christ. Even at best the natural understanding cannot discover these things, and when it is not only imperfect but darkened - made more obscure than ever by sin (see after) - its guidance is altogether defective. It has been said truly that the youngest scholar in a Sunday school that has been taught the elements of the gospel has more light than the wisest of the heathen. Alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart (third point of difference). Two causes are given for their alienation, viz. ignorance, and hardness of heart, this last being the ultimate cause. Through worldly living, their hearts have become hard, callous, insensible to spiritual influences, perceiving no beauty in Divine things, no preciousness in Divine promises, no excellence in the Divine image; this makes them ignorant, careless, foolish; and such being their state of heart, they are alienated from the life of God, can't bear vital religion, hate the very idea of spiritual and holy service. Having the understanding darkened,.... Not that the natural faculty of the understanding is lost in men, nor the understanding in things natural and civil, and which is quick enough, especially in things that are evil; but in things spiritual it is very dark and ignorant, as about the nature and perfections of God, his holiness and righteousness; about sin and the consequences of it; about Christ, his person, office, and work, and salvation by him; about the Spirit, and his work of grace upon the soul; and about the Scripture, and the doctrines contained in it; and so it came to be by sin: the understanding of man was at first filled both with natural and divine knowledge; but man was not content with this, and being ambitious of more, even of being as God, lost what he had; for on account of his sin he was banished from the divine presence, which brought not only a darkness upon him, but upon all his posterity; and which is increased by personal iniquity, and oftentimes by Satan the god of this world, who blinds the minds of men; and sometimes men are given up in just judgment by God, to a judicial blindness and hardness of heart; and which issues in utter darkness, in blackness of darkness for evermore:

being alienated from the life of God; not that which God lives in himself, but that which he lives in his people; nor that natural life which men receive from him, but a spiritual life, a life of grace, faith and holiness; and which may be called the life of God, because it is infused by the Spirit of God, and the word of God is the means of it, and it is supported and secured by the power of God, and is according to the will of God, and is directed to his glory: now wicked and unconverted men are alienated from this life; they are estranged from God the fountain of it; and go astray from the law, the rule of an holy life; and are entirely destitute of a principle of life, from whence men can only act and are utterly unacquainted with the pleasures and sweetness of the life of faith and holiness; nor do they approve of such a life, but have the utmost aversion to it:

through the ignorance that is in them; every unregenerate man is an ignorant man, and especially the Gentiles were very ignorant of God, and of divine things; ignorance is natural to men, it comes by sin, and is itself sinful, and is sometimes the punishment of sin, and also the cause of it, as here of alienation from the life of God; for where is ignorance of God, there can be no desire after him, no communion with him, no faith in him, had dependence on him; no true worship of him, or living according to his will, and to his glory: and this ignorance is,

because of the blindness of their hearts, or "the hardness of it"; there is a natural hardness of the heart, the heart is naturally stony, and so it remains till grace takes away the stony heart, and gives an heart of flesh; it is insensible and inflexible, and not susceptive of any impression; and there is a voluntary hardness of it, men willingly harden themselves against the Lord, and make their hearts like an adamant stone, all sin is of an hardening nature; and there is a judicial hardness, which God gives up men unto; and when and where this is the case, in either sense, it is no wonder men should be so ignorant of God, and so alienated from the life of him: , "blindness of heart" (c), is a Rabbinical phrase.

(c) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 105. 1.18. More literally, "Being darkened in their understanding," that is, their intelligence, or perceptions (compare Eph 5:8; Ac 26:18; 1Th 5:4, 5).

alienated—This and "darkened," imply that before the fall they (in the person of their first father) had been partakers of life and light: and that they had revolted from the primitive revelation (compare Eph 2:12).

life of God—that life whereby God lives in His own people: as He was the life and light in Adam before the irruption of death and darkness into human nature; and as He is the life in the regenerate (Ga 2:20). "Spiritual life in believers is kindled from the life itself of God" [Bengel].

through—rather as Greek, "on account of the ignorance," namely, of God. Wilful ignorance in the first instance, their fathers not "choosing to retain God in their knowledge." This is the beginning point of their misery (Ac 17:30; Ro 1:21, 23, 28; 1Pe 1:14).

because of—"on account of."

blindness—Greek, "hardness," literally, the hardening of the skin so as not to be sensible of touch. Hence a soul's callousness to feeling (Mr 3:5). Where there is spiritual "life" ("the life of God") there is feeling; where there is not, there is "hardness."4:17-24 The apostle charged the Ephesians in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus, that having professed the gospel, they should not be as the unconverted Gentiles, who walked in vain fancies and carnal affections. Do not men, on every side, walk in the vanity of their minds? Must not we then urge the distinction between real and nominal Christians? They were void of all saving knowledge; they sat in darkness, and loved it rather than light. They had a dislike and hatred to a life of holiness, which is not only the way of life God requires and approves, and by which we live to him, but which has some likeness to God himself in his purity, righteousness, truth, and goodness. The truth of Christ appears in its beauty and power, when it appears as in Jesus. The corrupt nature is called a man; like the human body, it is of divers parts, supporting and strengthening one another. Sinful desires are deceitful lusts; they promise men happiness, but render them more miserable; and bring them to destruction, if not subdued and mortified. These therefore must be put off, as an old garment, a filthy garment; they must be subdued and mortified. But it is not enough to shake off corrupt principles; we must have gracious ones. By the new man, is meant the new nature, the new creature, directed by a new principle, even regenerating grace, enabling a man to lead a new life of righteousness and holiness. This is created, or brought forth by God's almighty power.
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