Ephesians 4:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?

New Living Translation
Notice that it says "he ascended." This clearly means that Christ also descended to our lowly world.

English Standard Version
(In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?

New American Standard Bible
(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?

King James Bible
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But what does "He ascended" mean except that He descended to the lower parts of the earth?

International Standard Version
Now what does this "he went up" mean except that he also had gone down into the lower parts of the earth?

NET Bible
Now what is the meaning of "he ascended," except that he also descended to the lower regions, namely, the earth?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But that he ascended, what is it but that also he first descended to the lower regions of The Earth?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Now what does it mean that he went up except that he also had gone down to the lowest parts of the earth?

Jubilee Bible 2000
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

King James 2000 Bible
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

American King James Version
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

American Standard Version
(Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now that he ascended, what is it, but because he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Darby Bible Translation
But that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

English Revised Version
(Now this, He ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Webster's Bible Translation
Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Weymouth New Testament


World English Bible
Now this, "He ascended," what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Young's Literal Translation
and that, he went up, what is it except that he also went down first to the lower parts of the earth?
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:7-16 Unto every believer is given some gift of grace, for their mutual help. All is given as seems best to Christ to bestow upon every one. He received for them, that he might give to them, a large measure of gifts and graces; particularly the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not a mere head knowledge, or bare acknowledging Christ to be the Son of God, but such as brings trust and obedience. There is a fulness in Christ, and a measure of that fulness given in the counsel of God to every believer; but we never come to the perfect measure till we come to heaven. God's children are growing, as long as they are in this world; and the Christian's growth tends to the glory of Christ. The more a man finds himself drawn out to improve in his station, and according to his measure, all that he has received, to the spiritual good of others, he may the more certainly believe that he has the grace of sincere love and charity rooted in his heart.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - Now (the fact) that he ascended, what does it imply but that he descended first? The ascent implied a previous descent; that is, the ascent of the Son of God - of one who was himself in heaven, who was in the bosom of the Father (comp. John 3:13), implied that he had come down from heaven, a striking proof of his interest in and love for the children of men. And the descent was net merely to the ordinary condition of humanity, but to a more than ordinarily degraded condition, not merely to the surface of the earth, but to the lower parts of the earth. This has sometimes been interpreted of Hades, but surely without reason. If the expression denotes more than Christ's humble condition, it probably means the grave. This was the climax of Christ's humiliation; to be removed out of men's sight, as too offensive for them to look on - to be hidden away in the depths of the earth, in the grave, was indeed supremely humbling. The object is to show that, in bestowing gifts on men, Christ did not merely bring into play his inherent bountifulness as the Son of God, but acted as Mediator, by right of special purchase, through his work of humiliation on earth; and thus to lead us to think the more highly both of the Giver and of his gifts.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now that he ascended,.... These words are a conclusion of Christ's descent from heaven, from his ascension thither; for had he not first descended from thence, it could not have been said of him that he ascended; for no man hath ascended to heaven but he that came down from heaven, John 3:13 and they are also an explanation of the sense of the psalmist in the above citation, which takes in his humiliation as well as his exaltation; which humiliation is signified by his descent into the earth:

what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? this the Papists understand of his decent into a place they call Limbus Patrum, which they make to be contiguous to hell; and where they say the patriarchs were detained till Christ's coming; and that he went thither to deliver them out of it; and that these are the captivity he led captive; all which is fictitious and fabulous: for certain it is, that the place where Abraham was with Lazarus in his bosom was not near to hell, but afar off, and that there was a great gulf between them, Luke 16:23 and the spirits or souls of the patriarchs returned to God that gave them, when separated from their bodies, as the souls of men do now, Ecclesiastes 12:7 nor did Christ enter any such feigned place at his death, but went to paradise, where the penitent thief was that day with him; nor were the patriarchs, but the principalities and powers Christ spoiled, the captivity he led captive and triumphed over: some interpret this of Christ's descent into hell, which must be understood not locally, but of his enduring the wrath of God for sin, which was equivalent to the torments of hell, and of his being in the state of the dead; but it may rather design the whole of his humiliation, as his descent from heaven and incarnation in the virgin's womb, where his human nature was curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth; and his humbling himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, when he was made sin and a curse for his people, and bore all the punishment due to their transgressions; and his being in Hades, in the state of the dead, in the grave, in the heart of the earth, as Jonah in the whale's belly: reference seems to be had to Psalm 139:15 where "the lower parts of the earth", is interpreted by the Targum on the place of , "his mother's womb"; and so it is by Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melec. The Alexandrian copy and the Ethiopic version leave out the word "first" in this clause.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. Paul reasons that (assuming Him to be God) His ascent implies a previous descent; and that the language of the Psalm can only refer to Christ, who first descended, then ascended. For God the Father does not ascend or descend. Yet the Psalm plainly refers to God (Eph 4:8, 17, 18). It must therefore be God the Son (Joh 6:33, 62). As He declares (Joh 3:13), "No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven." Others, though they did not previously descend, have ascended; but none save Christ can be referred to in the Psalm as having done so; for it is of God it speaks.

lower parts of the earth—The antithesis or contrast to "far above all heavens," is the argument of Alford and others, to show that this phrase means more than simply the earth, namely, the regions beneath it, even as He ascended not merely to the visible heavens, but "far above" them. Moreover, His design "that He might fill all things" (Eph 4:10, Greek, "the whole universe of things") may imply the same. But see on [2368]Eph 4:10 on those words. Also the leading "captive" of the "captive hand" ("captivity") of satanic powers, may imply that the warfare reached to their habitation itself (Ps 63:9). Christ, as Lord of all, took possession first of the earth the unseen world beneath it (some conjecture that the region of the lost is in the central parts of our globe), then of heaven (Ac 2:27, 28). However, all we surely know is, that His soul at death descended to Hades, that is, underwent the ordinary condition of departed spirits of men. The leading captive of satanic powers here, is not said to be at His descent, but at His ascension; so that no argument can be drawn from it for a descent to the abodes of Satan. Ac 2:27, 28, and Ro 10:7, favor the view of the reference being simply to His descent to Hades. So Pearson in Exposition of the Creed (Php 2:10).

Ephesians 4:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Unity in the Body
8Therefore it says, "WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN." 9(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)…
Cross References
Isaiah 44:23
Sing for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done this; shout aloud, you earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel.

Ezekiel 31:14
Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined for death, for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.

John 3:13
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven--the Son of Man.
Treasury of Scripture

(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

he ascended.

Proverbs 30:4 Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? who has gathered the …

John 3:13 And no man has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from …

John 6:33,62 For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives …

John 20:17 Jesus said to her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my …

Acts 2:34-36 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, …

he also.

Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children …

Exodus 19:20 And the LORD came down on mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and …

John 6:33,38,41,51,58 For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives …

John 8:14 Jesus answered and said to them, Though I bear record of myself, …

John 16:27,28 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and …

the lower.

Psalm 8:5 For you have made him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned …

Psalm 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower …

Psalm 139:15 My substance was not hid from you, when I was made in secret, and …

Matthew 12:40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly…

Hebrews 2:7,9 You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with …

Jump to Previous
Ascended Descended Earth Earthly Except Expression First Lower Mean Parts Regions
Jump to Next
Ascended Descended Earth Earthly Except Expression First Lower Mean Parts Regions
Links
Ephesians 4:9 NIV
Ephesians 4:9 NLT
Ephesians 4:9 ESV
Ephesians 4:9 NASB
Ephesians 4:9 KJV

Ephesians 4:9 Bible Apps
Ephesians 4:9 Bible Suite
Ephesians 4:9 Biblia Paralela
Ephesians 4:9 Chinese Bible
Ephesians 4:9 French Bible
Ephesians 4:9 German Bible

Alphabetical: Now What also ascended descended does earth earthly except expression had he into it lower mean of parts regions that the this to what

NT Letters: Ephesians 4:9 Now this He ascended what is it (Ephes. Eph. Ep) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

Bible Hub
Ephesians 4:8
Top of Page
Top of Page