Ephesians 2:13
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) This verse speaks of the restoration of the heathen as taking place, first, “in Christ Jesus”—in virtue, that is, of union with Him through all the acts of His mediation; and next, “by the blood of Christ”—that is, through that especial act of mediation, which is emphatically an atonement for sin—such sin as St. Paul had been declaring above to be the cause of spiritual deadness. They had power now “to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).

Ephesians 2:13-14. But now in Christ Jesus — In consequence of your union with him, and your interest in him by faith, ye, who formerly were far off — From God and his people, (as in Ephesians 2:12,) are made nigh to both, by the blood of Christ — Whereby he hath atoned for your sins, and opened a free and honourable way for your approaching God, and becoming entitled to all the privileges of his people. For he is our peace — Not only as he purchased it, and confers it on such as truly believe in him, but as he is the very bond and centre of the union of believers with God and each other; who hath made both — Believing Jews and Gentiles, one church, one flock of Christ. This union of the Jews and the Gentiles, so as to make them one people, was foretold by our Lord, when he said, (John 10:16,) Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: are not Jews; and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold: Greek, μια ποιμνη, one flock, though in different folds, and one shepherd. The apostle here describes, 1st, The conjunction of the Gentiles with Israel, Ephesians 2:14-15; and, 2d, The conjunction of both with God, Ephesians 2:16-18. And hath broken down the middle wall of partition — The ceremonial law, which the apostle here compares to that wall in the Jewish temple, which separated the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles. For many of the rites of that law could be performed nowhere but in the temple of Jerusalem. But Christ, having now taken away that law, and prescribed, under the gospel, a spiritual form of worship, which may be performed everywhere, he hath thereby provided for joining Jews and Gentiles in one church, and making them all one people in God: a union which could not have taken place if the Mosaic law had been continued. For the worship of God, as to various branches of it, being confined by that law to the temple at Jerusalem, the greatest part of the Gentiles could certainly not have come thither to worship with the Jews.

2:11-13 Christ and his covenant are the foundation of all the Christian's hopes. A sad and terrible description is here; but who is able to remove himself out of it? Would that this were not a true description of many baptized in the name of Christ. Who can, without trembling, reflect upon the misery of a person, separated for ever from the people of God, cut off from the body of Christ, fallen from the covenant of promise, having no hope, no Saviour, and without any God but a God of vengeance, to all eternity? To have no part in Christ! What true Christian can hear this without horror? Salvation is far from the wicked; but God is a help at hand to his people; and this is by the sufferings and death of Christ.But now, in Christ Jesus - By the coming and atonement of the Lord Jesus, and by the gospel which he preached.

Ye who sometimes were afar off - Who were "formerly" - ποτὲ pote Tyndale translates it, "a whyle agoo." The phrase "afar off" - μακρὰν makran - means that they were formerly far off from God and his people. The expression is derived from the custom of speaking among the Hebrews. God was supposed to reside in the temple. It was a privilege to be near the temple. Those who were remote from Jerusalem and the temple were regarded as far off from God, and hence as especially irreligious and wicked; see the notes at Isaiah 57:19.

Are made nigh - Are admitted to the favor of God, and permitted to approach him as his worshippers.

By the blood of Christ - The Jews came near to the mercy seat on which the symbol of the divine presence rested (the notes at Romans 3:25), by the blood that was offered in sacrifice; that is, the high priest approached that mercy-seat with blood and sprinkled it before God. Now we are permitted to approach him with the blood of the atonement. The shedding of that blood has prepared the way by which Gentiles as well as Jews may approach God, and it is by that offering that we are led to seek God.

13. now—in contrast to "at that time" (Eph 2:12).

in Christ Jesus—"Jesus" is here added, whereas the expression before (Eph 2:12) had been merely "Christ," to mark that they know Christ as the personal Saviour, "Jesus."

sometimes—Greek, "aforetime."

far off—the Jewish description of the Gentiles. Far off from God and from the people of God (Eph 2:17; Isa 57:19; Ac 2:39).

are—Greek, "have been."

by—Greek, "in." Thus "the blood of Christ" is made the seal of a covenant IN which their nearness to God consists. In Eph 1:7, where the blood is more directly spoken of as the instrument, it is "through His blood" [Alford].

But now in Christ Jesus; either in the kingdom of Christ, or gospel administration, Galatians 5:6; or, ye being in Christ, united to him by the Spirit and faith. Being

in Christ, here, is opposed to being in the world, Ephesians 1:12.

Ye who sometimes were far off; far from God, from his church, from his promises, &c., having no communion with him by his Spirit. He means a spiritual distance, yet seems to allude to Isaiah 49:1,12; those Gentiles there mentioned being estranged from God in their hearts, as well as removed from his people in place.

And made nigh; brought into a state of communion with God and his people, and participation of their privileges, and right to the promises.

By the blood of Christ; the merit of his death expiating sin, (which caused this distance), and so making way for their approach to God, and enjoyment of gospel blessings.

But now in Christ Jesus,.... Being openly and visibly in Christ, created in him, and become believers in him; as they were before secretly in him, as chosen and blessed in him before the foundation of the world:

ye who sometimes were far off; who in their state of unregeneracy were afar off from God, and from his law, and from any spiritual knowledge of him and fellowship with him; and from Jesus Christ, and from the knowledge of his righteousness, and the way of salvation by him; and from the Spirit, and any acquaintance with the things of the Spirit, and from minding them, and from walking after him; and from the saints and people of God, and from any love to them, and communion with them; and from any solid hopes of happiness, or real peace and comfort; which distance was owing both to Adam's sin and to their own transgressions: it is an observation of a Jewish writer (a) on Genesis 3:9 "where art thou?" he (God) knew where he was, but he said so to show him that he was "afar off from" God by his sin: see Isaiah 59:2, and yet

are made nigh by the blood of Christ: so as to have nearness of access to and communion with God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and the saints, in virtue of the blood of Christ; which gives boldness and speaks peace; by which their persons are justified, the pardon of their sins is procured, reconciliation is made, and their garments are washed, and made white; and so they draw nigh with confidence by the faith of him.

(a) R. Abraham Seba, Tzeror Hammor, fol. 7. 2.

{11} But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

(11) Christ is the only bond of the Jews and Gentiles, by whom they are reconciled to God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 2:13. But now in Christ Jesus ye, once afar off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

νυνὶ δέ] contrast to τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ, Ephesians 2:12 : but as your relation now stands. Comp. Romans 6:22; Romans 7:6; Colossians 1:21; Colossians 3:8.

ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ] not to be supplemented by ἐστέ (Baumgarten-Crusius), nor yet a more precise definition of νυνί (Rückert: “under the new constitution, founded by Christ”), in which case several, proceeding more accurately, supply ὄντες (Calvin: “postquam in Christo estis recepti,” Koppe, Harless, Bleek). But such a more precise definition would be very unnecessary, and would have significant weight only if a special emphasis rested upon ἐν as in contradistinction to χωρίς, Ephesians 2:12, which, however, cannot be the case, since there is not again used merely ἐν Χριστῷ, but ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. The ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ εἶναι of the readers, moreover, was not prior to the ἐγγὺς ἐγενήθητε, but its immediate consequence; hence we should have at least to explain it, not: postquam in Christo estis recepti, but: cum in Christo sitis recepti, wherewithal there would still remain the very unnecessary character of this more precise definition, or of this conditional accessory clause (de Wette). Accordingly ἐν Χρ. . is to be connected with ἐγγὺς ἐγενήθ.: ye are in Christ Jesus, in whom this has its efficient cause, made near; and ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ Χρ. is then the more precise definition of the mode of ἐν Χρ. . Comp. διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ, Ephesians 1:7. Hence we have not to place a comma, as Lachmann and Tischendorf have done, either before or after ἐν Χρ. .

Ἰησοῦ] could not be added at Ephesians 2:12, but might be added here, where the Christ who historically appeared in the person of Jesus is intended.

μακράν] figurative description of the same relation as was expressed in Ephesians 2:12 by ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι τῆς πολιτ. τοῦ Ἰσρ., and ξένοι τῶν διαθηκ. τῆς ἐπαγγ.

ἐγγὺς ἐγενήθ. ἐν τῷ αἵμ. τ. Χρ.] For, by the fact that Christ shed His blood, the separation of the Gentiles from the Jews was done away, and consequently the fellowship of the former with the community of God’s people (which the true Christian Israel henceforth was) was effected. See Ephesians 2:14 ff. The bringing to participation in the blessings of the theocracy is, after the precedent of Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 57:19, expressed often also among the Rabbins by the figurative propinquum facere (which with them is, with special frequency, equivalent to proselytum facere), and in that case the subject to whom the approach is made is always to be derived from the context; as e.g. Vayikra R. 14, where God, and Mechilta, f. 38. 12, where, as here, the theocracy is to be thought of. See, in general, the passage in Wetstein and Schöttgen, Horae, p. 761 ff.

ἐγγὺς γίνεσθαι, to come near; only here in the N.T., frequent in the classic writers (Xen. Anab. v. 4. 16, iv. 7. 23; Thuc. iii. 40. 6).

Ephesians 2:13. νυνὶ δὲ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ὑμεῖς οἵ ποτε ὄντες μακρὰν ἐγγὺς ἐγενηθητε: but now in Christ Jesus ye that aforetime were far off are become nigh. In classical Greek νυνί is used only of time, mostly with present tenses, rarely with the future, and means at this very moment. In the NT it is used mostly of time, but also as a logical particle, bringing a statement to a conclusion, = rebus sic stantibus, as the case stands (Romans 7:17; 1 Corinthians 15:20, etc.). Here it has the usual temporal meaning—now as contrasted with the previous period, the καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ. The ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ is put emphatically first and is to be connected with the νυνί (Ell., etc.) rather than with the ἐγενήθητε, the point being this—then ye were separate from Christ, but now ye are in Him, united with Him, and so are become nigh. It is difficult, if not impracticable, to discover in each case a reason for the use of Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς instead of the simple Χριστὸς; and the Ἰησοῦ indeed is dropped by some ancient authorities (L., Iren., Orig., Tert., etc.). But the double designation is appropriate here—then they were without Christ, having no part in the Messiah in whom the Jew had hope; now they are in living, present, personal fellowship with the Saviour known among men as Christ Jesus. The μακράν repeats the idea of distance and separation previously expressed by ἀπηλλοτριωμένοι and ξένοι. The expression ἐγγὺς γίνεσθαι, to come or become near, which is common enough in profane Greek, occurs only here in the NT. The order of the TR, ἐγγὺς ἐγενήθητε, is supported by [153] [154] [155] [156], etc.; but ἐγενήθητε ἐγγύς is the reading of [157] [158] [159], 17, Vulg., Goth., etc., and is adopted by most (LTTrWHRV). For the designation of the Gentiles as “far off” and the use of the phrase “bring nigh” in the sense of making them members of the theocracy, cf. Isaiah 57:19; Daniel 9:7; and for examples in Jewish literature, see Wetst., in loc.; Schöttg., Horæ Hebr., i., 76. The verses which immediately follow refer to the removal of the ancient barrier between Jew and Gentile. The ἐγενήθητε ἐγγύς, however, need not be restricted to that. It is in contrast with the whole previous condition of separation from Christ, with all that that meant with regard to the commonwealth of Israel, the covenants, hope, and God. It is probably to be taken, therefore, in the large sense of being brought into the Kingdom of God, made near to God Himself and so brought to hope and privilege.—ἐν τῷ αἵματι τοῦ χριστοῦ: in (or, by) the blood of Christ. On the import of the phrase “the blood of Christ” see under Ephesians 1:7 above. The ἐν here has much the same sense as the διὰ there. They both express instrumentality. If there is any difference between them it is that διὰ expresses simple, objective, instrumentality, while ἐν denotes what Ell. calls immanent instrumentality, the action of the verb being regarded as existing in the means. See Ell. on the present passage and on 1 Thessalonians 4:18. There is little to be gained, however, by attempting much finesse in such matters.

[153] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[154] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[155] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[156] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[157] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[158] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[159] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

13. but now] under the changed conditions of actual and accepted Redemption.

in Christ Jesus] In living union with the true Messiah. Just before, Ephesians 2:12, we have “without Christ” merely; here, “in Christ Jesus.” The Messiah of Prophecy is now known as also the Jesus of the Gospel.

sometimes] Once, as R. V. The A. V. uses a word now antiquated in this sense, or appearing only as “sometime”—the word used here in Wiclif’s Version (1382), in “The Great Bible” (1539), and the Rhemish Version (1582).

far off … nigh] That is, from and to the Citizenship of Israel and the Covenants of promise; the realm, in fact, of Messiah. Cp. Acts 2:39, and see Isaiah 57:19.—The thought of remoteness and nearness in respect of God is of course implied, and comes out clearly in Ephesians 2:18; but it is not the immediate thought of this passage, which rather speaks of the incorporation of once heathen souls into the true Israel. But the two views cannot be quite separated.—“Nigh” and “far” were familiar terms with the Rabbis in the sense of having or not having part in the covenant. Wetstein on this verse quotes, inter alia, the following from the Talmud: “A woman came to R. Eliezer, to be made a proselyte; saying to him, Rabbi, make me nigh. He refused her, and she went to R. Joshua, who received her. The scholars of R. Joshua therefore said, Did R. Eliezer put her far off, and dost thou make her nigh?

by the blood of Christ] Lit. and better, in the blood, &c. To illustrate the phrase cp. Hebrews 9:22; Hebrews 9:25; “almost all things according to the law are purged in blood;” “the High Priest entereth the Holy Place … in blood not his own.” Whatever the first use of the phrase, it had thus become an almost technicality of sacrificial language, nearly equalling “with (shed) blood” as the accompanying condition of acceptable approach. It is not necessary to import into the idea here the other, though kindred, idea of washing in blood, or even of surrounding with a circle of sprinkled blood. The “in” is, by usage, as nearly instrumental as possible. The sacred bloodshedding of the Messiah’s sacrificial death for His true Israel was the necessary condition to, and so instrument of, the admission of the new Gentile members. It is the “blood of the covenant” (Exodus 24:8; quoted Hebrews 9:20); and cp. the all-important words of the Lord Himself (Matthew 26:28), “This is My blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

Ephesians 2:13. Μακρὰν) far off from the people of God, and from God, Ephesians 2:17, note.—αἵματι, by the blood) ch. Ephesians 1:7.

Verse 13. - But now; antithesis to ποτὲ in ver. 11, and τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ in ver. 12. Another of the very powerful "buts" of this Epistle, completely reversing the picture going before (see ver. 4). In Christ Jesus. This expression is the pivot of the Epistle, denoting, not only that Christ Jesus is the Source of blessing, but also that we get the blessing, i.e. by vital union and fellowship with, him. The "without Christ" of ver. 12 contrasts powerfully with "in Christ Jesus" of this verse; and the addition of "Jesus" to the name is significant, denoting his saving power, denoting One who is not merely an official Savior, but to whom we get linked by all manner of endearing qualities and personal attractions, whose human name is Jesus, because he saves his people from their sins. Ye that once were far off are become near. The apostle has slidden into a new figure; formerly the contrast was between death and life, now it is between distance and nearness. Not merely geographical distance, or remoteness in respect of outward position, but moral distance too: ye were far off from God, i.e. from his favor, his fellowship, his gracious pardoning and renewing grace. In this sense too ye are now brought near. God is become your God and Father. Your orbit is changed to a near and blessed position, where the light of God's countenance falls upon you. In the blood of Christ. This is the particular instrument of the change; not merely Christ manifesting the Father's readiness to receive you, but shedding his blood to make atonement for you (see Ephesians 1:7). The preposition ἐν (not merely διὰ) is again significant, denoting more than the instrumentality, viz. personal connection with the blood, as if sprinkled on us, so that we are symbolically in it. Cleansing us from all sin, it brings us nigh. Ephesians 2:13Now in Christ Jesus

Now, in contrast with at that time. In Christ Jesus, in contrast with alienated from, etc. Jesus is added because the Christ who was the subject of promise, the Messiah, has come into the world under that personal name. The phrase includes the promised Messiah and the actual Savior.

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