Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2.The Doctrine of Christ.
(1) His SALVATION AND REDEMPTION of us all (Colossians 1:13-14).
(2) His NATURE AS THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, the creator and sustainer of all things heavenly and earthly (Colossians 1:15-17).
(3) His HEADSHIP OF THE CHURCH (Colossians 1:18).
(4) His MEDIATION, reconciling all to God, first generally stated, then applied especially to the Colossians (Colossians 1:19-23).]
(13-23) In this we have the great characteristic section of this Epistle, distinguished from corresponding parts of the Epistle to the Ephesians by the explicit and emphatic stress laid upon the divine majesty of Christ. It corresponds very closely with the remarkable passage opening the Epistle to the Hebrews. In the Epistles of the preceding group, to the Corinthians, Galatians, and Romans, chief and almost exclusive prominence is given to the universal mediation of Christ, as justifying and sanctifying all the souls of men. In these Epistles (this truth being accepted) we pass on to that which such universal mediation necessitates—the conception of Christ as the Head of all created being, and as the perfect manifestation of the Godhead. The former is the key-note of the Ephesian Epistle; the latter is dominant here, although the former remains as an undertone; as also in the great passage of the Epistle to the Philippians (Colossians 2:6-11), speaking of Him as “in the form of God,” and having “the Name which is above every name.” The especial reason for St. Paul’s emphatic assertion of the great truth here we see in the next chapter. But it is clear that it comes naturally in the order of revelation, leading up to the full doctrine of, “the Word” in St. John. As the spiritual meaning of the Resurrection, the great subject of the first preaching, had to be sought in the Atonement, so the inquiry into the possibility of an universal Atonement led back to the Incarnation, and to Christ as pre-existent from “the beginning” in God.
(13, 14) We enter on this great passage, as is natural, and accordant with St. Paul’s universal practice, through that living and practical truth of our redemption in Christ Jesus, which in the earlier Epistles he had taught as the one thing needful (1Corinthians 2:2).
(13) Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness.—“Delivered” is “rescued,” properly applied to dragging a person out of battle or the jaws of danger. “The power of darkness” (see Luke 22:53) is, of course, the power of evil, permitted (see Luke 4:6) to exist, but in itself a usurped tyranny (as Chrysostom expresses it), not a true “kingdom. Salvation is, first of all, rescue from the guilt and bondage of sin, to which man has given occasion by his own choice, but which, once admitted, he cannot himself break. It is here described in its first origination from the love of the Father. “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.”
And hath translated us . . .—The word “translated” is a word properly applied to the transplanting of races, and the settlement of them in a new home. Salvation, begun by rescue, is completed by the settlement of the rescued captives in the new kingdom of Christ. The two acts, indeed, are distinct, but inseparable. Thus baptism is at once “for the remission of sins” and an “entrance into the kingdom of God.”
His dear Son.—The original is far more striking and beautiful. It is, “The Son of His love,” corresponding to “the beloved” of the parallel passage in the Ephesian Epistle (Colossians 1:6), but perhaps going beyond it. God is love; the Son of God is, therefore, the “Son of His love,” partaking of and manifesting this His essential attribute.
In whom we have . . .—This verse corresponds verbally with Ephesians 1:7, where see Note. From the love of the Father, the first cause of salvation, we pass to the efficient cause in the redemption and propitiation of the Son.
Colossians 1:15-17 pass from Christ as our Mediator to Christ as He is in Himself from all eternity, “the image of the invisible God,” and as He is from the beginning of time, the creator and sustainer of all things in heaven and earth. What was before implied is now explicitly asserted; what was before emphatic ally asserted is now taken for granted, and made the stepping-stone to yet higher and more mysterious truth.
(3) misery and death.
Over us, by nature, these things had uncontrollable power; but now we are delivered from them, and brought to the enjoyment of the privileges of those who are connected with the kingdom of light. Darkness is often used to represent the state in which men are by nature; compare Luke 1:79; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 2:8.
And hath translated us - The word rendered here "translated" is often used in the sense of removing a people from one country to another; see Josephus, Ant. ix. 11. 1. It means, here, that they who are Christians have been transferred from one kingdom to another, as if a people were thus removed. They become subjects of a new kingdom, are under different laws, and belong to a different community. This change is made in regeneration, by which we pass from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light; from the empire of sin, ignorance, and misery, to one of holiness, knowledge, and happiness. No change, therefore, in a man's life is so important as this; and no words can suitably express the gratitude which they should feel who are thus transferred from the empire of darkness to that of light.
darkness—blindness, hatred, misery [Bengel].
translated—Those thus translated as to state, are also transformed as to character. Satan has an organized dominion with various orders of powers of evil (Eph 2:2; 6:12). But the term "kingdom" is rarely applied to his usurped rule (Mt 12:26); it is generally restricted to the kingdom of God.
his dear Son—rather as Greek, "the Son of His love": the Son on whom His love rests (Joh 17:26; Eph 1:6): contrasted with the "darkness" where all is hatred and hateful.The power of darkness, which signifies the sadness and despair of the damned, Ephesians 6:12 Judges 1:8, that they who are made meet to walk in the light as children of the light, Ephesians 5:8, are eternally freed from. The word which the apostle useth to express God’s delivering of believers from the power of sin and Satan is very emphatical, signifying a gratuitous freedom, where a stranger hath delivered him from slavery who did not deserve it, nor then desire it, Mark 3:27 Luke 1:74,79 Eph 2:2,5,6 Heb 2:14,15, though he was held fast as in fetters of iron. And which is more, he adds another word,
hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; intimating he did not leave us as Adam was before the fall, but transport us without any precedent will of ours, by the effectual call of his insuperable grace, John 6:44 1 Thessalonians 2:12 1 Peter 2:9, from the dominion of Satan, into that of his own Son, the Son of his love, Matthew 3:17 17:5 Ephesians 1:6, amongst his subjects and servants, where he reigns, in his kingdom of grace, Matthew 13:11, where Christ dwells in the heart by his Spirit, that is united to him by faith, Ephesians 3:17 Ephesians 4:12,13 Heb 12:22,23; and of glory indeed in our Head, Colossians 1:24, with Ephesians 2:6, by right of adoption, Romans 8:17, and hope of salvation through him promised by the omnipotent and true God, Romans 8:24 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 Tit 1:2; who may well call it the kingdom of his dear Son, in that he admits none into it but by the mediation of his Son, who makes his subjects willing, Psalm 110:3, and received this government of his Father, Matthew 28:18 Luke 22:29 Ephesians 1:6,7; of whose dear Son Paul hath more to say, to the comfort of his faithful subjects at Colosse, and every where. Acts 26:18, who, though once an angel of light, is now darkness itself, and is reserved in chains of darkness; he is a ruler of the darkness of this world; his kingdom is a kingdom of darkness; and he blinds the minds of them that believe not, keeps them in darkness, and increases the natural darkness of their minds; he delights in works of darkness, and tempts men to them; and his everlasting state and portion will be blackness of darkness: his power over men, in a state of unregeneracy, which he usurps, and is suffered to exercise, is very great; he works effectually in them, and leads them captive at his will; and nothing less than the power of God, who is stronger than the strong man armed, can deliver out of his hands; and which is at least one part of the mercy for which thanks are here given; See Gill on Luke 22:53; with the Jews, one of the names of Satan is "darkness" (e). Moreover, the darkness of sin, ignorance, and unbelief, with which God's elect, while in a state of nature, are surrounded, and, as it were shut up and imprisoned, so that they have not the least spark of true spiritual light and knowledge, may be also meant; under the power of which they are to such a degree, that they know nothing of God in Christ, of the way of salvation by him, or of the work of the Spirit on their souls, or of the doctrines of the Gospel in an experimental manner; and so they continue, till, by an almighty power, they are turned from darkness to light; when, by powerful grace, they are plucked as brands out of the burning, and delivered from wrath to come, and from that utter darkness of misery and destruction their ways of sin and darkness led and exposed them to. This deliverance is wrought out for them in the effectual calling, when they are internally called, and powerfully brought out of this darkness, by introducing light into them, revealing Christ in them, causing the prince of darkness to flee from them, and the scales of darkness and blindness to fall from their eyes; and which is both an instance or the wonderful grace of God, and of his almighty power, and in which lies in part the saints' meetness for the inheritance; for these words are, in some sort, explanative of the former; for so long as a person is under the power of darkness, he cannot be meet for an inheritance which is in light: it follows, as another branch of this mercy, for which thanks are given,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son; not into the kingdom of glory; for though the saints are heirs of it, and rejoice in hope of it, they have not yet an entrance into it; which they will have abundantly when Christ shall introduce them into it, not only as his Father's, but as his own kingdom and glory: but the kingdom of grace is here meant, or that state of grace, light, and life, which such are brought into, when rescued out of Satan's hands, and recovered out of their former state of ignorance and infidelity; when they are by the drawings of the Father, by his powerful and efficacious grace, brought to Christ, and, in the day his power on their souls, are made willing to submit to his righteousness, and to embrace him as the alone Saviour and Redeemer, and be subject to him as King of saints, observing his commands, keeping his ordinances, and walking in his statutes and judgments with other saints, in a Gospel church state; which is Christ's kingdom here on earth, where he reigns as King over God's holy hill of Zion, being set there by his Father, from whom he has received this kingdom, and will deliver it to him, when it is complete and perfect. Now those whom Jehovah the Father snatches out of Satan's hands, and breaks in upon their souls with divine light and knowledge, he brings into such a state, and into this kingdom of Christ, who is called "his dear Son": or "the Son of his love"; or "his Son of love"; who being his Son by nature, of the same nature with him, and equal to him, always was, is, and will be, the object of his love, complacency, and delight; as he cannot be otherwise, since he is the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; and even as this Son of his is in an office capacity, as the Mediator between God and man, he is his elect, in whom his soul delights; and he is always well pleased with all the chosen ones in him, who are the sons of God through him, and always beloved in him. This clause is added, partly to distinguish the kingdom of Christ, into which the saints are brought in this life, from the kingdom of the Father, or the ultimate glory they shall possess hereafter; and partly to express the security of the saints, and their continuance in the love of God, being in the kingdom, and under the care and government of the Son of his love; and also to make way for what the apostle has further to discourse concerning the person, office, and grace of Christ, in the following verses,Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Colossians 1:13. A more precise elucidation of the divine benefit previously expressed by τῷ ἱκανώσαντι … φωτί. This verse forms the transition, by which Paul is led on to the instructions as to Christ, which he has it in view to give down to Colossians 1:20.
ἐκ τῆς ἐξουσ. τοῦ σκοτ.] τοῦ σκοτ. is not genitive of apposition (Hofmann), but, corresponding to the εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν that follows, genitive of the subject: out of the power, which darkness has. The latter, as the influential power of non-Christian humanity (of the κόσμος, which is ruled by the devil, Ephesians 2:2), is personified; its essence is the negation of the intellectual and ethical divine ἀλήθεια, and the affirmation of the opposite. Comp. Luke 22:53; Matthew 4:16; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; Ephesians 6:12, et al. The act of the ἑῤῥύσατο has taken place by means of the conversion to Christ, which is the work of God, Romans 8:29 f.; Ephesians 2:4 ff. It is to be observed, that the expression ἐκ τ. ἐξουσ. τ. σκότους is chosen as the correlative of ἐν τῷ φωτί in Colossians 1:12.
καὶ μετέστησεν] The matter is to be conceived locally (εἰς ἕτερον τόπον, Plat. Legg. vi. p. 762 B), so that the deliverance from the power of darkness appears to be united with the removing away into the kingdom, etc. Comp. Plat. Rep. p. 518 A: ἔκ τε φωτὸς εἰς σκότος μεθισταμένων καὶ ἐκ σκότους εἰς φῶς.
εἰς τὴν βασιλ. κ.τ.λ., that is, into the kingdom of the Messiah, Ephesians 5:5; 2 Peter 1:11; for this and nothing else is meant by ἡ βασιλεία Χριστοῦ (τοῦ Θεοῦ, τῶν οὐρανῶν) in all passages of the N. T. Comp. Colossians 4:11; and see on Romans 14:17; 1 Corinthians 4:20; Matthew 3:2; Matthew 6:10. The aorist μετέστ. is to be explained by the matter being conceived proleptically (τῇ γὰρ ἐλπίδι ἐσώθημεν, Romans 8:24), as something already consummated (comp. on ἐδόξασε, Romans 8:30). Thus the kingdom which is nigh is, by means of their fellowship of life with their Lord (Ephesians 2:6), as certain to the redeemed as if they were already translated into it. The explanation which refers it to the Christian church (so still Heinrichs, Bähr, Huther, and most expositors) as contrasted with the κόσμος, is just as unhistorical as that which makes it the invisible inward, ethical kingdom (see especially Olshausen, following an erroneous view of Luke 17:21), to which also Bleek and Hofmann ultimately come. Certainly all who name Christ their Lord are under this king (Hofmann); but this is not yet his βασιλεία; that belongs to the future αἰών, Ephesians 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:9 f., 1 Corinthians 15:24; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Galatians 5:21, et al.; John 18:36.
τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ] in essential meaning, indeed, nothing else than τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ (Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5, et al.), or τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ αὐτοῦ (Matthew 12:18; Mark 12:6), but more prominently singling out the attribute (Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 141 [E. T. 162]): of the Son of His love, that is, of the Son who is the object of His love, genitive of the subject. Comp. Genesis 35:18 : υἱὸς ὀδύνης μου. Entirely parallel is Ephesians 1:6 f.: ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ, ἐν ᾧ ἔχομεν κ.τ.λ. Augustine, de Trin. xv. 19, understood it as genitive of origin, making ἀγάπη αὐτοῦ denote the divine substantia. So again Olshausen, in whose view the expression is meant to correspond to the Johannine ΜΟΝΟΓΕΝΉς. This is entirely without analogy in the N. T. mode of conception, according to which not the procreation (Colossians 1:15), but the sending of the Son is referred to the divine love as its act; and the love is not the essence of God (in the metaphysical sense), but His essential disposition (the essence in the ethical sense), even in 1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16. Consequently it might be explained: “of the Son, whom His love has sent,” if this were suggested by the context; so far, however, from this being the case, the language refers to the exalted Christ who rules (βασιλείαν). The expression itself, Ὁ ΥἹῸς Τῆς ἈΓΆΠ. ΑὐΤΟῦ, is found in the N. T. only here, but could not he chosen more suitably or with deeper feeling to characterize the opposite of the God-hated element of σκότος, which in its nature is directly opposed to the divine love. The view, that it is meant to be intimated that the sharing in the kingdom brings with it the ΥἹΟΘΕΣΊΑ (Huther, de Wette), imports what is not expressed, and anticipates the sequel. Holtzmann without ground, and unfairly, asserts that in comparison with Ephesians 1:6 our passage presents “stereotyped modes of connection and turns of an ecclesiastical orator,” under which he includes the Hebraizing Ὁ ΥἹῸς Τῆς ἈΓΆΠΗς ΑὐΤ. as being thoroughly un-Pauline—as if the linguistic resources of the apostle could not even extend to an expression which is not indeed elsewhere used by him, but is in the highest degree appropriate to a specially vivid sense of the divine act of love; something sentimental in the best sense.
 This Chiristological outburst runs on in the form of purely positive statement, although having already in view doctrinal dangers of the kind in Colossae. According to Holtzmann, the Christology belongs to the compiler; the whole passage, vv. 14–20, is forced and without motive, and it is only in ver. 21 that we find the direct sequel to ver. 13. The latter statement is incorrect. And why should this excursus, as a grand basis for all the exhortations and warnings that follow, be held without due motive? Holtzmann forms too harsh a judgment as to the whole passage Colossians 1:9-23, when he declares it incompatible with any strict exegetical treatment.
 Theodore of Mopsuestia finds in the expression the contrast that Christ was the Son of God οὐ φύσει, ἀλλʼ ἀγάπῃ τῆς υἱοθεσίας.Colossians 1:13. Paul now explains how God has qualified them for their share in the heavenly inheritance. On this passage Acts 26:18 should be compared; the parallels extend to Colossians 1:12; Colossians 1:14 also.—ἐρύσατο. The aorist refers to the time of conversion. The metaphor implies the miserable state of those delivered and the struggle necessary to deliver them.—ἐξουσίας: “ubi τῇ βασιλείᾳ opponitur, est tyrannis” (Wetstein, so also Chrys., Lightf., Kl). This would heighten the contrast between the power of darkness and the “kingdom of the son of His love”. But Abbott argues forcibly against this view, especially with relation to the N.T. usage. He quotes Revelation 12:10, ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν καὶ ἐξουσία τοῦ Χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ, where the contrast obviously cannot be maintained. Grimm takes the term as a collective expression for the demoniacal powers; and Klöpper says that in Paul ἐξ. is not a mere abstract term, but signifies the possessors of power. Here, however, he rightly sees that the contrast to βας. makes this meaning inappropriate, and that for it ἐρύς. ἀπό would have been expected rather than ἐρύς. ἐκ. Accordingly he interprets it as the dominion possessed by the (personified) darkness.—τοῦ σκότους: taken by Hofmann as a genitive of apposition, but the obvious interpretation is to take it as a subjective genitive, the dominion which darkness exercises. We should have expected simply “out of darkness” to correspond to “in light,” but Paul changes the form, partly to insist that the darkness is not a mere state but exercises an active authority, partly to secure a parallel with the kingdom of God’s Son. But we are not justified (with Mey., Kl) in personifying σκότος, for the primary contrast is with φωτί not υἱοῦ.—μετέστησεν. Wetstein quotes Jos., Ant., ix., 11, 1 (Tiglath-Pileser’s deportation of N.E. Israel), and Lightfoot thinks that this use of the word suggested the choice of it here, and this is made more probable by the addition of εἰς τ. βας. Meyer, however, quotes a striking parallel from Plato, where no such reference is present: ἔκ τε φωτὸς εἰς σκότος μεθισταμένων καὶ ἐκ σκότους εἰς φῶς (Rep., p. 518 A).—βασιλείαν. Meyer insists that this is the Messianic kingdom, and as the realisation of this lay in the future to Paul the clause must have a proleptic reference, citizenship in the kingdom being guaranteed by their conversion. But the argument rests on a false premiss, for in 1 Corinthians 4:20, Romans 14:17, the sense is not eschatological. Nor, indeed, can it be so here, for the translation into the kingdom must have taken place at the same time as the deliverance.—υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ. Augustine, followed by Olshausen and Lightfoot, takes ἀγάπης as a genitive of origin, and interprets, the Son begotten of the essence of the Father, which is love. This has no parallel in the N.T., and rests, as Meyer points out, on a confusion of the metaphysical with the ethical essence of God. The phrase is practically equivalent to His beloved Son, but is chosen for the sake of emphasis to indicate His greatness and the excellence of His kingdom. There is, perhaps, the further thought that the love which rests on the Son must rest also on those who are one with Him.
 Klöpper.13–14. The thought pursued: the greatness of their Redemption, and of their Redeemer
13. hath delivered] Better, delivered, rescued. The time-reference is the same as that of “qualified us,” explained in the last note but one. The verb is that used in the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:13), and e.g. 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 4:17-18.
the power of darkness] Lit., the authority of the darkness; Latin Versions, de potestate tenebrarum. The exact phrase recurs, in our blessed Lord’s lips, and in the very crisis of His work for our “rescue,” Luke 22:53.—The word rendered “authority” (exousia) is distinguished from mere “force” (dunamis), and denotes some sort of recognized dominion, whether lawful (e.g. Matthew 10:1; Romans 13:1, &c.) or unlawful. In secular Greek (as Lightfoot shews) it has a slight tendency to denote excessive or tyrannous dominion. This must not be pressed in the N.T., as a Concordance will shew; but in this Epistle (Colossians 1:16, Colossians 2:15) and its Ephesian companion (Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 3:10, Ephesians 6:12), it certainly takes that direction, referring to evil spiritual powers and their sphere of dominion.
Man, in the Fall, so surrendered himself to the Usurper that, but for the action of his Divine King and Deliverer, he would now lie not merely under the force but under the dominion of his enemy. Cp. Ephesians 6:12 and our note.
“The darkness:”—cp. again Ephesians 6:12. Here the idea presented is the antithesis to that of the holy “light” of Colossians 1:12; a (moral) region of delusion, woe, pollution, and death, in which the “Antipathist of Light” rules over those who “are darkness” (Ephesians 5:8) and “do its works” (Ephesians 5:11; cp. 1 John 1:6). On the whole expression here, cp. 1 Peter 2:9.
 So Coleridge, Ne plus Ultra.
hath translated] Lit. and better (as above) translated, or transferred.
the kingdom] Rescued from a tyranny, they stepped not into a “no man’s land” but at once under the righteous, beneficent sovereignty and protection of the true King. The “kingdom” here is, immediately, our present subjection, in grace, to the Son of God; to be developed hereafter into the life of glorified order and service (Revelation 22:3). See on Ephesians 5:5 in this Series.
Lightfoot, in an interesting note here, says that St Paul uses this positive language about the actual deliverance of the Colossians, inasmuch as “they are [in St Paul’s view] potentially saved, because the knowledge of God is itself salvation, and this knowledge is within their reach … He hopes to make them saints by dwelling on their calling as saints.” True; but the meaning put on the word “calling” is, we think, inadequate. On the general phenomenon of “inclusive” apostolic language see above on Colossians 1:2.
his dear Son] Lit. and far better, the Son of His love. Lightfoot, following Augustine, takes this most precious phrase to mean, in effect, the Son of the Father who is (1 John 4:8; 1 John 4:16) Love; the Son who accordingly manifests and as it were embodies the Father’s Love (1 John 4:9-10). But surely the more probable meaning is that the Son is the blessed Object of the Father’s love (so Ellicott); the supremely Beloved One (cp. the parallel passage, Ephesians 1:6, where see our note). Far from “destroying the whole force of the expression” (Lightfoot), this interpretation is full of ideas in point here. The “kingdom” is what it is to its happy subjects because its King is the Beloved Son, in whom the subjects are therefore not subjects only but sons, and beloved. See Ephesians 1:6-7, in connexion, for a strong suggestion in this direction.Colossians 1:13. Ὃς, who) the Father.—ἐξουσίας, from the power) The antithesis is kingdom: power detains captives; a kingdom fosters willing citizens; comp. Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:5; Ephesians 6:12.—σκότους, of darkness) the darkness of blindness, of hatred, of misery.—τοῦ Υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ, the Son of His love) [His dear Son, Engl. Vers.] John 17:26; Ephesians 1:6. This is treated in the 15th and following verses.Verse 13. - Who (sc. the Father) rescued us from the dominion of the darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love (Ephesians 5:8; Ephesians 6:12; Romans 7:14-8:4; 1 Corinthians 15:56, 57; 1 Thessalonians 1:9, 10; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 John 1:5-7; 1 John 2:7-11). To "rescue" (ῤύομαι: 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 7:24; 2 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:17, 18, - to be carefully distinguished from other Greek verbs rendered "deliver") implies the evil state of the rescued, the superior power of the rescuer, and a conflict issuing in deliverance. St. Paul repeatedly associates the figure of darkness with the language of warfare (Ephesians 6:12; Romans 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; comp. John 1:5, R.V. margin). "Dominion of darkness" - same as "dominion of Satan" (Acts 26:18). Αξουσία, as distinguished from δύναμις ("power," vers. 11, 29), is "right," "authority" (comp. 1 Corinthians 9:4-6; John 1:12;. 17:2): the power of Satan is not mere external force, but takes the form of established and (as it were) legalized dominion (1 Corinthians 15:56; Luke 4:6; John 12:31). "The darkness" is precisely opposed to "the light" (ver. 12), being the region of falsehood and hatred, whether in this world or outside of it, where Satan rules (Ephesians 6:12; Ephesians 5:8, 11; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 2:8-11; Matthew 8:12; Luke 22:53; John 3:19, 20; John 12:35). To "translate" (μεθίστημι) is to remove from one place, office, etc., to another; Josephus ('Ant.,' 9:11, 1) uses it of the deportation of the Israelites by the Assyrian king. The Father, rescuing his captive children, brings them "into the kingdom of the Son of his love." Here we touch the central and governing idea of this Epistle, that of the supreme lordship of Christ (vers. 15-20; Colossians 2:6, 10, 19, etc.); and this passage affords a clue which will, we trust, guide us through some of the greatest difficulties which follow. (On "the kingdom of the Son," comp. Ephesians 1:20-23; Philippians 2:6-11; Romans 14:9; 1 Corinthians 8:6; 1 Corinthians 15:24 28; Hebrews 1:1-4; Hebrews 2:5-10; Revelation 1:5-7, 18; Revelation 5, etc.; John 5:22-27; John 17:2; John 18:36; Matthew 25:31-46; Matthew 28:18-20.) Only here and in Ephesians 5:5; 2 Timothy 4:1, 18; 1 Corinthians 15:24, 25, does the apostle speak of the kingdom as Christ's; otherwise as God's (and future). The "Son of his love" is not simply the "beloved Son" (Ephesians 1:6; Matthew 3:17, etc.), but the representative and depositary of his love: "Who is his love made manifest" (Augustine, Lightfoot; see ver. 2, note; John 3:16; John 17:26; 1 John 4:8, 9, 14-16; Ephesians 2:4; Titus 3:4-6; Romans 5:8), being at once our "Redeemer King "(ver. 13, 14) and the" Image of the invisible God" (ver. 15).
See on Mark 2:10.
The word occurs five times in the New Testament: of putting out of the stewardship, Luke 16:4; of the removal of Saul from the kingdom, Acts 13:22; of Paul turning away much people, Acts 19:26; and of removing mountains, 1 Corinthians 13:2. A change of kingdoms is indicated.
Hence God's kingdom is in the present, no less than in heaven. See on Luke 6:20.
Of His dear Son (τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἀγάπης αὐτοῦ)
Lit., of the Son of His love. So Rev. The Son who is the object of His love, and to whom, therefore, the kingdom is given. See Psalm 2:7, Psalm 2:8; Hebrews 1:3-9. It is true that love is the essence of the Son as of the Father; also, that the Son's mission is the revelation of the Father's love; but, as Meyer correctly says, "the language refers to the exalted Christ who rules."
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