Ephesians 4:27
Neither give place to the devil.
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(27) Neither give place (i.e., scope) to the devil.—The name “Devil” is used by St. Paul only in his later Epistles (see Ephesians 6:11; 1Timothy 3:6-7; 1Timothy 6:9; 2Timothy 2:26; Titus 2:3); in the earlier Epistles (Romans 16:20; 1Corinthians 5:5; 1Corinthians 7:5; 2Corinthians 2:11; 2Corinthians 11:14, 2Co_12:7; 1Thessalonians 2:18; 2Thessalonians 2:9) we have the name “Satan,” which is also found, less frequently, in the later also (1Timothy 1:20; 1Timothy 5:15). The latter name simply describes him as “the enemy “; the former describes one method of his enmity (as “the Tempter” another), for it signifies “one who sets at variance,” man with God, and man with man. Since this fiendish work is mostly contemplated as wrought by slander, the name is commonly taken to mean “the slanderer;” and when applied to human beings (as in 1Timothy 3:11; 2Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3) it seems to convey some such meaning. But here the original sense suits the distinctive idea of the passage. In accordance with the general principle noted above, excess of wrath is forbidden, as giving opportunity to the enemy, who desires to break up unity, and “set at variance” those who should be one in Jesus Christ.

4:25-28 Notice the particulars wherewith we should adorn our Christian profession. Take heed of every thing contrary to truth. No longer flatter or deceive others. God's people are children who will not lie, who dare not lie, who hate and abhor lying. Take heed of anger and ungoverned passions. If there is just occasion to express displeasure at what is wrong, and to reprove, see that it be without sin. We give place to the devil, when the first motions of sin are not grievous to our souls; when we consent to them; and when we repeat an evil deed. This teaches that as sin, if yielded unto, lets in the devil upon us, we are to resist it, keeping from all appearance of evil. Idleness makes thieves. Those who will not work, expose themselves to temptations to steal. Men ought to be industrious, that they may do some good, and that they may be kept from temptation. They must labour, not only that they may live honestly, but that they may have to give to the wants of others. What then must we think of those called Christians, who grow rich by fraud, oppression, and deceitful practices! Alms, to be accepted of God, must not be gained by unrighteousness and robbery, but by honesty and industry. God hates robbery for burnt-offerings.Neither give place to the devil - This has respect probably to the exhortation in the former verse. "Do not yield to the suggestions and temptations of Satan, who would take every opportunity to persuade you to cherish unkind and angry feelings, and to keep up a spirit of resentment among brethren." Many of our feelings, when we suppose we are merely defending our rights, and securing what is our own, are produced by the temptations of the devil. The heart is deceitful; and seldom more deceitful in any case than when a man is attempting to vindicate himself from injuries done to his person and reputation. The devil is always busy when we are angry, and in some way, if possible, will lead us into sin; and the best way to avoid his wiles is to curb the temper, and restrain even sudden anger. No man sins by "restraining" his anger: no man is certain that he will not who indulges it for a moment. 27. Neither give place—that is, occasion, or scope, to the devil, by continuing in "wrath." The keeping of anger through the darkness of night, is giving place to the devil, the prince of darkness (Eph 6:12). Do not give advantage to the devil to possess your hearts, and put you upon more and greater evils: see Luke 22:3 John 13:27 Acts 5:3.

Neither give place to the devil. Or "to the accuser", or "slanderer"; that is, to any adversary, that takes delight in slandering and reproaching the saints; give such no room, nor reason, to calumniate the doctrine and ways of Christ, through an unbecoming conversation, by lying and sinful anger, or by other means; or rather the devil, the great accuser of the brethren is meant; and the Ethiopic version renders it, "do not give way to Satan"; which is done, when men indulge any lust or corruption; and when they easily fall in with his suggestions and temptations; when they are off of their watch and guard; and when they do not resist, but quietly yield unto him. Neither give place to the devil.
Ephesians 4:27. μήτε δίδοτε τόπον τῷ διαβόλῳ: neither give place to the devil. The μήτε of the TR is supported by cursives and certain Fathers, but must be displaced by μηδέ, for which the evidence is overwhelming ([462] [463] [464] [465] [466] [467], etc.). μήτε properly used would have required μήτε, not μή, in the previous prohibition. μηδέ on the other hand is grammatically correct as it adds a new negative clause, = “also do not,” “nor yet” (Hartung, Partikl., i., p. 210; Buttm., Gram. of N. T. Greek, p. 366; Jelf, Greek Gram., § 776). τόπον, = room, opportunity; cf. Romans 12:19. διάβολος is not = calumniator (Luth., etc.), as if the reference were to heathen slanderers of Christians (Erasm.), but = the devil, the word having always that sense in the NT when used as a noun (in 1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3 it is probably an adject.); cf. Matthew 4:1; Matthew 4:5; Matthew 13:39; Matthew 25:41, etc. It has that sense again in 1 Timothy 3:6. The more personal name Σατανᾶς occurs more frequently in the Pauline writings, while it is used only once in John’s Gospel (John 13:27) and never in his Epistles. On the other hand διάβολος is strange to Mark.

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

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

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

[465] 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.

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

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

27. give place to the devil] The rendering suggested by some, “to the calumniator,” the heathen or Jewish slanderer, is quite untenable, in view of St Paul’s use elsewhere of the word diabolos (lit., “Accuser”) for the great Enemy.

Give place:—as to one who would fain intrude at a half-open door, intent on occupying the house. Personal anger gives just such a point d’appui to the Spirit of pride and hatred. “Wherever the devil finds a heart shut, he finds a door open” (Monod). And this is true not of individuals only, but of the Church and its life.

Ephesians 4:27. Μήτε, Neither) Place is given to the devil by persisting in anger, especially during the night; comp. [the Rulers] of the darkness, ch. Ephesians 6:12.[74]—μήτε is used as ΚΑῚ ΜῊ, Ephesians 4:30.

[74] This reference also implies that Beng. takes the night, during which anger is retained, as figurative of the darkness over which the devil is prince. This does not exclude the literal sense. The literal keeping of anger during the night is typical of spiritual giving place to the devil, the ruler of darkness.—ED.

Verse 27. - Neither give place to the devil. Place or room, opportunity and scope for acting in and through you. There seems no special reference to the last exhortation, but as that demands a special act of vigilance and self-control, so the activity of the devil demands vigilance and self-control on all occasions, and especially on those on which the devil is most apt to try to get a foothold. The reference to the devil is not a figure, but an obvious recognition of his personality, and of the liability of all Christians to fall under his influence. Ephesians 4:27Place


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