Ephesians 6:15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
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(15) Shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.—This passage is one which even to the Greek interpreters (see Chrysostom) was obscure. What is “the preparation of the gospel of peace”? (1) It has seemed to many natural to illustrate this phrase by the celebrated passage (Isaiah 52:7; Romans 10:15), “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace”; and to interpret, “shod in (or, for) preparing the way of the gospel of peace.” But this is inappropriate to the whole context; for each piece of armour is a quality, and not a function. (2) Again, the word rendered “preparation,” is found nowhere else in the New Testament; in the LXX. we find it used in its most obvious sense of “preparedness” or “readiness” (as in Psalm 10:17, “preparedness of heart,” and Nehemiah 2:3); but this sense will not suit the passage, for “readiness of the gospel of peace” is hardly intelligible, and certainly is not a quality of the soul. (3) We come therefore, at last, to a derivative and improper sense, which, however, is most frequently used in the LXX., viz., “foundation” or “base,” as in Daniel 11:7; Ezra 2:6; Ezra 3:3; Zechariah 5:10; Psalm 88:14. The context certainly suggests that we should explain the word here by this last Hellenistic use, as signifying simply the “footing” or “basis.” The caligœ, or sandals, of the Roman soldiers were heavy sandals studded with hobnails, to give a secure foothold to those who would stand firm. St. Paul identifies these with the firm “footing of the gospel of peace.” Clearly the word “peace” is here emphatic. The gospel is looked upon as the declaration of “peace on earth, goodwill towards men.” The firm stand on this message is the firm assurance of God’s love. In this, and this alone, we stand. No doubt, this is in some sense faith, but faith of a wholly different character from the defensive faith of the next verse.



Ephesians 6:15Paul drew the first draft of this picture of the Christian armour in his first letter. It is a finished picture here. One can fancy that the Roman soldier to whom he was chained in his captivity, whilst this letter was being written, unconsciously sat for his likeness, and that each piece of his accoutrements was seized in succession by the Apostle’s imagination and turned to a Christian use. It is worth noticing that there is only one offensive weapon mentioned-’the sword of the Spirit.’ All the rest are defensive-helmet, breastplate, shield, girdle, and shoes. That is to say, the main part of our warfare consists in defence, in resistance, and in keeping what we have, in spite of everybody, men and devils, who attempt to take it from us. ‘Hold fast that thou hast; let no man take thy crown.’

Now, it seems to me that the ordinary reader does not quite grasp the meaning of our text, and that it would be more intelligible if, instead of ‘preparation,’ which means the process of getting a thing ready, we read ‘preparedness,’ which means the state of mind of the man who is ready. Then we have to notice that the little word ‘of’ does duty to express two different relations, in the two instances of its use here. In the first case-’the preparedness of the Gospel’-it states the origin of the thing in question. That condition of being ready comes from the good news of Christ. In the second case-’the Gospel of peace’-it states the result of the thing in question. The good news of Christ gives peace. So, taking the whole clause, we may paraphrase it by saying that the preparedness of spirit, the alacrity which comes from the possession of a Gospel that sheds a calm over the heart and brings a man into peace with God, is what the Apostle thinks is like the heavy hob-nailed boots that the legionaries wore, by which they could stand firm, whatever came against them.

I. The first thing that I would notice here is that the Gospel brings peace.

I suppose that there was ringing in Paul’s head some echoes of the music of Isaiah’s words, ‘How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings of good!’ But there is a great deal more than an unconscious quotation of ancient words here; for in Paul’s thought, the one power which brings a man into harmony with the universe and to peace with himself, is the power which proclaims that God is at peace with him. And Jesus Christ is our peace, because He has swept away the root and bitter fountain of all the disquiet of men’s hearts, and all their chafing at providences-the consciousness that there is discord between themselves and God. The Gospel brings peace in the deepest sense of that word, and, primarily, peace with God, from out of which all other kinds of tranquillity and heart-repose do come-and they come from nothing besides.

But what strikes me most here is not so much the allusion to the blessed truth that was believed and experienced by these Ephesian Christians, that the Gospel brought peace, and was the only thing that did, as the singular emergence of that idea that the Gospel was a peace-bringing power, in the midst of this picture of fighting. Yes, it brings both. It brings us peace first, and then it says to us, ‘Now, having got peace in your heart, because peace with God, go out and fight to keep it.’ For, if we are warring with the devil we are at peace with God; and if we are at peace with the devil we are warring with God. So the two states of peace and war go together. There is no real peace which has not conflict in it, and the Gospel is ‘the Gospel of peace,’ precisely because it enlists us in Christ’s army and sends us out to fight Christ’s battles.

So, then, dear brother, the only way to realise and preserve ‘the peace of God which passes understanding’ is to fling ourselves manfully into the fight to which all Christ’s soldiers are pledged and bound. The two conditions, though they seem to be opposite, will unite; for this is the paradox of the Christian life, that in all regions it makes compatible apparently incompatible and contradictory emotions. ‘As sorrowful’-and Paul might have said ‘therefore’ instead of ‘yet’-’as sorrowful yet always rejoicing; as having nothing yet’-therefore-’possessing all things’; as in the thick of the fight, and yet kept in perfect peace, because the soul is stayed on God. The peace that comes from friendship with Him, the peace that fills a heart tranquil because satisfied, the peace that soothes a conscience emptied of all poison and robbed of all its sting, the peace that abides because, on all the horizon in front of us nothing can be seen that we need to be afraid of-that peace is the peace which the Gospel brings, and it is realised in warfare and is consistent with it. All the armies of the world may camp round the fortress, and the hurtling noise of battle may be loud in the plains, but up upon the impregnable cliff crowned by its battlements there is a central citadel, with a chapel in the heart of it; and to the worshippers there none of the noise ever penetrates. The Gospel which laps us in peace and puts it in our hearts makes us soldiers.

II. Further, this Gospel of peace will prepare us for the march.

A wise general looks after his soldiers’ boots. If they give out, nothing else is of much use. The roads are very rough and very long, and there need to be strong soles and well-sewed uppers, and they will be none the worse for a bit of iron on the heels and the toes, in order that they may not wear out in the midst of the campaign. ‘Thy shoes shall be iron and brass,’ and these metals are harder than any of the rock that you will have to clamber over. Which being translated into plain fact is just this-a tranquil heart in amity with God is ready for all the road, is likely to make progress, and is fit for anything that it may be called to do.

A calm heart makes a light foot; and he who is living at peace with God, and with all disturbance within hushed to rest, will, for one thing, be able to see what his duty is. He will see his way as far as is needful for the moment. That is more than a good many of us can do when our eyes get confused, because our hearts are beating so loudly and fast, and our own wishes come in to hide from us God’s will. But if we are weaned from ourselves, as we shall be if we are living in possession of the peace of God which passes understanding, the atmosphere will be transparent, as it is on some of the calm last days of autumn, and we shall see far ahead and know where we ought to go.

The quiet heart will be able to fling its whole strength into its work. And that is what troubled hearts never can do, for half their energy is taken up in steadying or quieting themselves, or is dissipated in going after a hundred other things. But when we are wholly engaged in quiet fellowship with Jesus Christ we have the whole of our energies at our command, and can fling ourselves wholly into our work for Him. The steam-engine is said to be a very imperfect machine which wastes more power than it utilises. That is true of a great many Christian people; they have the power, but they are so far away from that deep sense of tranquillity with God, of which my text speaks, that they waste much of the power that they have. And if we are to have for our motto ‘Always Ready.’ as an old Scottish family has, the only way to secure that is by having ‘our feet shod with the preparedness’ that comes from the Gospel that brings us peace. Brethren, duty that is done reluctantly, with hesitation, is not done. We must fling ourselves into the work gladly and be always ‘ready for all Thy perfect will.’

There was an English commander, who died some years ago, who was sent for to the Horse Guards one day and asked, ‘How long will it take for you to be ready to go to Scinde?’ ‘Half an hour,’ said he; and in three-quarters he was in the train, on his road to reconquer a kingdom. That is how we ought to be; but we never shall be, unless we live habitually in tranquil communion with God, and in the full faith that we are at peace with Him through the blood of His Son. A quiet heart makes us ready for duty.

III. Again, the Gospel of peace prepares us for combat.

In ancient warfare battles were lost or won very largely according to the weight of the masses of men that were hurled against each other; and the heavier men, with the firmer footing, were likely to be the victors. Our modern scientific way of fighting is different from that. But in the old time the one thing needful was that a man should stand firm and resist the shock of the enemies as they rushed upon him. Unless our footing is good we shall be tumbled over by the onset of some unexpected antagonist. And for good footing there are two things necessary. One is a good, solid piece of ground to stand on, that is not slippery nor muddy, and the other is a good, strong pair of soldier’s boots, that will take hold on the ground and help the wearer to steady himself. Christ has set our feet on the rock, and so the first requisite is secured. If we, for our part, will keep near to that Gospel which brings peace into our hearts, the peace that it brings will make us able to stand and bear unmoved any force that may be hurled against us. If we are to be ‘steadfast, unmovable,’ we can only be so when our feet are shod with the preparedness of the Gospel of peace.

The most of your temptations, most of the things that would pluck you away from Jesus Christ, and upset you in your standing will come down upon you unexpectedly. Nothing happens in this world except the unexpected; and it is the sudden assaults that we were not looking for that work most disastrously against us. A man may be aware of some special weakness in his character, and have given himself carefully and patiently to try to fortify himself against it, and, lo! all at once a temptation springs up from the opposite side; the enemy was lying in hiding there, and whilst his face was turned to fight with one foe, a foe that he knew nothing about came storming behind him. There is only one way to stand, and that is not merely by cultivating careful watchfulness against our own weaknesses, but by keeping fast hold of Jesus Christ manifested to us in His Gospel. Then the peace that comes from that communion will itself guard us.

You remember what Paul says in one of his other letters, where he has the same beautiful blending together of the two ideas of peace and warfare: ‘The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall garrison your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.’ It will be, as it were, an armed force within your heart which will repel all antagonism, and will enable you to abide in that Christ, through whom and in whom alone all peace comes. So, because we are thus liable to be overwhelmed by a sudden rush of unexpected temptation, and surprised into a sin before we know where we are, let us keep fast hold by that Gospel which brings peace, which will give us steadfastness, however suddenly the masked battery may begin to play upon us, and the foe may steal out of his ambush and make a rush against our unprotectedness. That is the only way, as I think, by which we can walk scatheless through the world.

Now, dear brethren, remember that this text is part of a commandment. We are to put on the shoes. How is that to be done? By a very simple way: a way which, I am afraid, a great many Christian people do not practise with anything like the constancy that they ought. For it is the Gospel that brings the peace, and if its peace brings the preparedness, then the way to get the preparedness is by soaking our minds and hearts in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You hear a good deal nowadays about deepening the spiritual life, and people hold conventions for the purpose. All right; I have not a word to say against that. But, conventions or no conventions, there is only one thing that deepens the spiritual life, and that is keeping near the Christ from whom all the fulness of the spiritual life flows. If we will hold fast by our Gospel, and let its peace lie upon our minds, as the negative of a photograph lies upon the paper that it is to be printed upon, until the image of Jesus Christ Himself is reproduced in us, then we may laugh at temptation. For there will be no temptation when the heart is full of Him, and there will be no sense of surrendering anything that we wish to keep when the superior sweetness of His grace fills our souls. It is empty vessels into which poison can be poured. If the vessel is full there will be no room for it. Get your hearts and minds filled with the wine of the kingdom, and the devil’s venom of temptation will have no space to get in. It is well to resist temptation; it is better to be lifted above it, so that it ceases to tempt. And the one way to secure that is to live near Jesus Christ, and let the Gospel of His grace take up more of our thoughts and more of our affections than it has done in the past. Then we shall realise the fulfilment of the promise: ‘He will not suffer thy foot to be moved.’

Ephesians 6:15. And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace — Let peace with God, and, consequent thereon, peace of conscience and tranquillity of mind, in all circumstances and situations, (for which ample provision is made in the gospel,) arm you with confidence and resolution to proceed forward in all the ways of duty, however rough and difficult, through which you are called to pass, and enable you to receive with resignation and patience all the dispensations of that wise and gracious Providence, which is always watching over you for good, and is engaged to support you under your trials, to sanctify them to you, and in due time to deliver you out of them. In this way, and in no other, will you be enabled to pass through all difficulties unhurt, surmount all oppositions which obstruct your progress, to endure to the end, and finish your course with joy.

6:10-18 Spiritual strength and courage are needed for our spiritual warfare and suffering. Those who would prove themselves to have true grace, must aim at all grace; and put on the whole armour of God, which he prepares and bestows. The Christian armour is made to be worn; and there is no putting off our armour till we have done our warfare, and finished our course. The combat is not against human enemies, nor against our own corrupt nature only; we have to do with an enemy who has a thousand ways of beguiling unstable souls. The devils assault us in the things that belong to our souls, and labour to deface the heavenly image in our hearts. We must resolve by God's grace, not to yield to Satan. Resist him, and he will flee. If we give way, he will get ground. If we distrust either our cause, or our Leader, or our armour, we give him advantage. The different parts of the armour of heavy-armed soldiers, who had to sustain the fiercest assaults of the enemy, are here described. There is none for the back; nothing to defend those who turn back in the Christian warfare. Truth, or sincerity, is the girdle. This girds on all the other pieces of our armour, and is first mentioned. There can be no religion without sincerity. The righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, is a breastplate against the arrows of Divine wrath. The righteousness of Christ implanted in us, fortifies the heart against the attacks of Satan. Resolution must be as greaves, or armour to our legs; and to stand their ground or to march forward in rugged paths, the feet must be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Motives to obedience, amidst trials, must be drawn from a clear knowledge of the gospel. Faith is all in all in an hour of temptation. Faith, as relying on unseen objects, receiving Christ and the benefits of redemption, and so deriving grace from him, is like a shield, a defence every way. The devil is the wicked one. Violent temptations, by which the soul is set on fire of hell, are darts Satan shoots at us. Also, hard thoughts of God, and as to ourselves. Faith applying the word of God and the grace of Christ, quenches the darts of temptation. Salvation must be our helmet. A good hope of salvation, a Scriptural expectation of victory, will purify the soul, and keep it from being defiled by Satan. To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary. Prayer must fasten all the other parts of our Christian armour. There are other duties of religion, and of our stations in the world, but we must keep up times of prayer. Though set and solemn prayer may not be seasonable when other duties are to be done, yet short pious prayers darted out, always are so. We must use holy thoughts in our ordinary course. A vain heart will be vain in prayer. We must pray with all kinds of prayer, public, private, and secret; social and solitary; solemn and sudden: with all the parts of prayer; confession of sin, petition for mercy, and thanksgiving for favours received. And we must do it by the grace of God the Holy Spirit, in dependence on, and according to, his teaching. We must preserve in particular requests, notwithstanding discouragements. We must pray, not for ourselves only, but for all saints. Our enemies are mighty, and we are without strength, but our Redeemer is almighty, and in the power of his mighty we may overcome. Wherefore we must stir up ourselves. Have not we, when God has called, often neglected to answer? Let us think upon these things, and continue our prayers with patience.And your feet shod - There is undoubtedly an allusion here to what was worn by the ancient soldier to guard his feet. The Greek is, literally, "having underbound the feet;" that is, having bound on the shoes, or sandais, or whatever was worn by the ancient soldier. The protection of the feet and ankles consisted of two parts:

(1) The sandals, or shoes, which were probably made so as to cover the foot, and which often were fitted with nails, or armed with spikes, to make the hold firm in the ground: or.

(2) with "greaves" that were fitted to the legs, and designed to defond them from any danger. These "greaves," or boots 1 Samuel 17:6, were made of brass, and were in almost universal use among the Greeks and Romans.

With the preparation - Prepared with the gospel of peace. The sense is, that the Christian soldier is to be prepared with the gospel of peace to meet attacks similar to those against which the ancient soldier designed to guard himself by the sandals or greaves which he wore. The word rendered "preparation" - (ἑτοιμασία hetoimasia) - means properly readiness, fitness for, alacrity; and the idea, according to Robinson (Lexicon), is, that they were to be ever ready to go forth to preach the gospel. Taylor (Fragments to Calmet's Dic., No. 219) supposes that it means, "Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel; not iron, not steel - but patient investigation, calm inquiry, assiduous, laborious, lasting; or with "firm footing" in the gospel of peace." Locke supposes it to mean," with a readiness to walk in the gospel of peace." Doddridge supposes that the allusion is to "greaves," and the spirit recommended is that peaceful and benevolent temper recommended in the gospel, and which, like the boots worn by soldiers, would bear them safe through many obstructions and trials that might be opposed to them, as a soldier might encounter sharp-pointed thorns that would oppose his progress.

It is difficult to determine the exact meaning; and perhaps all expositors have erred in endeavoring to explain the reference of these parts of armor by some particular thing in the gospel. The apostle figured to himself a soldier, clad in the usual manner. Christians were to resemble him. One part of his dress or preparation consisted in the covering and defense of the foot. It was to preserve the foot from danger, and to secure the facility of his march, and perhaps to make him firm in battle. Christians were to have the principles of the gospel of peace - the peaceful and pure gospel - to facilitate them; to aid them in their marches; to make them firm in the day of conflict with their foes. They were not to be furnished with carnal weapons, but with the peaceful gospel of the Redeemer; and, sustained by this, they were to go on in their march through the world. The principles of the gospel were to do for them what the greaves and iron-spiked sandals did for the soldier - to make them ready for the march, to make them firm in their foot-tread, and to be a part of their defense against their foes.

15. Translate, "Having shod your feet" (referring to the sandals, or to the military shoes then used).

the preparation—rather, "the preparedness," or "readiness of," that is, arising from the "Gospel" (Ps 10:17). Preparedness to do and suffer all that God wills; readiness for march, as a Christian soldier.

gospel of peace—(compare Lu 1:79; Ro 10:15). The "peace" within forms a beautiful contrast to the raging of the outward conflict (Isa 26:3; Php 4:7).

Your feet shod; in allusion to the greaves or military shoes with which soldiers covered their feet and legs. A Christian’s way lies through rough places, through briers and thorns, and therefore he needs this piece of armour. He must be prepared to hold the faith, and confess Christ in the most difficult times.

With the preparation of the gospel of peace; with that furniture which the gospel affords him, which being a

gospel of peace, and bringing the glad tidings of reconciliation to God by Christ, prepares men best to undergo the troubles of the world: see John 16:33.

And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. The Gospel is so called, because it makes men to be of peaceable tempers and behaviour, and gives peace to distressed minds: it directs the way to eternal peace, and publishes peace made by the blood of Christ; and has a much better claim to this name, and epithet, than the law has, which is often called "peace" by the Jews (l): the "preparation" of it does not design a promptitude or readiness to preach the Gospel, or to receive it, or profess it, or to give a reason of faith in it, or to endure reproach and persecution for it; nor that readiness which the Gospel is a means of, as for every good work, for the spiritual warfare, for the Christian's journey heavenward, or for heaven itself: but the word signifies a "base", or foundation; and so it is used by the Septuagint interpreters on Zechariah 5:11; and here it designs a firm and solid knowledge of the Gospel, as it publishes peace by Jesus Christ, which yields a sure foundation for the Christian soldier to set his foot upon, and stand fast on; it being that to him, as the shoe is to the foot, its base or foundation: and for the feet to be "shod with" it, does not mean the outward conversation being agreeably to the Gospel, though such a walk and conversation is very beautiful and safe, and such may walk and war with intrepidity: but it designs the constant and firm standing of believers in the faith of the Gospel, and so striving and contending for it, without being moved from it, that it may continue with them. Shoes or boots, which were sometimes of iron, and sometimes of brass, are reckoned among the armour of soldiers (m).

(l) Zohar in Numb. fol. 73. 3. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 9. 3.((m) Pausan. l. 6. p. 362, 378. Julian. Orat. 2. p. 105. Alex. ab Alexandro, l. 6. c. 22.

And your feet shod with the {k} preparation of the gospel of peace;

(k) The preparation of the Gospel may be as it were shoes to you: and it is very fitly called the Gospel of peace, because, seeing we have to go to God through most dangerous ranks of enemies, this may encourage us to go on bravely, in that you know by the doctrine of the Gospel, that we are travelling to God who is at peace with us.

Ephesians 6:15. And the service which the ὑποδήματα, the military sandals, Xen. Anab. iv. 5. 14 [Josephus, B. J. vi. 1. 8] (caligae, compare the Heb. סְאוֹן, Isaiah 9:4; see Gesenius, Thes. II. 932; Bynaeus, de calc. Hebr. p. 83 f.), render to the actual warrior, enabling him, namely, to advance against the enemy with agile and sure step, the ἑτοιμασία τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης is to render to you spiritual warriors, inasmuch as by virtue of it you march briskly and firmly against the Satanic powers.

ὑποδησάμενοι κ.τ.λ.] having your feet underbound with the preparedness of the gospel of peace. ἐν does not stand for εἰς (Vulgate, Erasmus, Vatablus, and others), but is instrumental, as in Ephesians 6:14, so that the ἑτοιμασία is conceived of as the foot-clothing itself. Beza well remarks: “non enim vult nos docere dumtaxat, oportere nos esse calceatos, sed calceos etiam, ut ita loquar, nobis praebet.”

ἑτοιμασία (with classical writers ἑτοιμότης, Dem. 1268, 7, but see also Hippocr. p. 24, 47) is preparedness,[308] whether it be an outward standing ready (Josephus, Antt. x. 1. Ephesians 2 : δισχιλίους ἐκ τῆς ἐμοὶ παρούσης ἵππους εἰς ἑτοιμασίαν ὑμῖν παρέχειν ἕτοιμος εἰμι), or an inward being ready, promptitudo animi. So LXX. Psalm 10:17, comp. ἑτοίμη ἡ καρδία, Psalm 57:7; Psalm 112:7, where the LXX. indicate the notion of a prepared mind, which is expressed in Hebrew by forms of the stem כּוּן, by the use of ἑτοιμασία and ἕτοιμος, following the signification of making ready, adjusting, which כּוּן has in all the conjugations of it which occur (Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalm 8:4; Genesis 43:16; Proverbs 19:29; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalm 14:5), alongside of the signification of laying down, establishing, from which the former one is derived. Hence the LXX. translate מָכוֹן too (foundation, as Psalm 89:15) by ἑτοιμασία; not as though in their usage ἑτοιμασία signified foundation, which it never does, but because they understood מָכוֹן in the sense of ἑτοιμασία. So Ezra 2:68, where the house of God is to be erected upon τὴν ἑτοιμασίαν αὐτοῦ, upon the preparation thereof, i.e. upon the foundation already lying prepared. So also Ezra 3:3; Psalm 89:15; Daniel 11:20-21. Wrongly, therefore, have Wolf (after the older expositors), Bengel, Zachariae, Morus, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Bleek, and others, explained ἑτοιμασία by fundamentum or firmitas; so that Paul is supposed to indicate “vel constantiam in tuenda religione Christi, vel religionem adeo ipsam, certam illam quidem et fundamento, cui insistere possis, similem,” Koppe. This is not only contrary to linguistic usage (see above), but also opposed to the context, since the notion does not suit the figurative conception of putting on shoes (ὑποδησάμ.). It is the readiness, the ready mind; not, however, for the proclamation of the gospel (so, in some instances with a reference to Isaiah 52:7, Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Pelagius, Erasmus, Luther, Vatablus, Clarius, Cornelius a Lapide, Erasmus Schmid, Estius, Grotius, Calovius, Calixtus, Michaelis, and others, including Rückert, Meier, Baumgarten-Crusius),—since, in fact, Paul is speaking to fellow-Christians, not to fellow-teachers,—but the promptitudo—and that for the conflict in question—which the gospel bestows, which is produced by means of it. So Oecumenius (who has this interpretation alongside the former one), Calvin, Castalio, and others, including Matthies, Holzhausen, Harless, Olshausen, Winzer, de Wette, Schenkel. The explanation of Schleusner: “instar pedum armaturae sit vobis doctrina salutaris … quae vobis semper in promptu sit,” is to be rejected on account of Ephesians 6:17, according to which the gospel is the sword.

τῆς εἰρήνης] Subject-matter of the gospel, and that purposely designated in harmony with the context. For the gospel proclaims peace κατʼ ἐξοχήν, i.e. peace with God, Romans 5:1, Php 1:20, and produces precisely thereby the inner consecration of courageous readiness for the conflict in question (Romans 8:31; Romans 8:38-39). At variance with the context, Erasmus, Paraphr., makes it: “evangelium, quod non tumultu, sed tolerantia tranquillitateque defenditur;” and Michaelis holds: the peace between Jews and Gentiles is meant. If, however, it is taken, with Koppe and Morus, in accordance with the more extended sense of שָׁלוֹם (comp. Romans 10:15), the salvation-bringing (rather: the salvation-proclaiming, comp. Ephesians 1:13) gospel, this is done without any justification from the text, and to the injury of the special colouring of the several particulars. Winzer, finally, contrary to the unity of the sense, combines peace with God and everlasting salvation.

[308] In Wis 13:12 it means making ready (food). The Vulg. translates it in our passage in praeparatione (comp. Artemid. ii. 57).

Ephesians 6:15. καὶ ὑποδησάμενοι τοὺς πόδας: and having shod your feet. So the RV; better than “and your feet shod” of AV. The reference comes in naturally in connection with the στῆτε. The soldier, who will make this stand, must have his feet protected. The Heb. נַעַל, sandal, is represented in the LXX by ὑπόδημα, which also occurs repeatedly in the Gospels and Acts, σανδάλιον being also used both in the NT (Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8), and in the LXX, as well as in Josephus, with the same sense. Here, however, the military sandal (Hebr. סְאו̇ר, Isaiah 9:4; Lat. caliga; cf. Joseph., Jew. Wars, Ephesians 6:1; Ephesians 6:8, and Xen., Anab., iv., 5) is in view, which protected the soldier’s feet and made it possible for him to move with quick and certain step.—ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ: with the preparedness. The form ἑτοιμασία occurs in later Greek (e.g., Hippocr., p. 24; Joseph., Antiq., x., 1, 2) and in the LXX (cf. Psalm 10:17), for the classical ἑτοιμότης. It means (a) preparation in the active sense of making ready (Wis 13:12); (b) a state of preparedness, whether external (e.g., ἵππους εἰς ἑτοιμασίαν παρέχειν, Joseph., Antiq., x., 1, 2), or internal (Psalm 10:17); perhaps also (c) something fixed, a foundation (= Heb. מָבֹון; Daniel 11:7). Some have given it this last sense here, either as = stedfastness in keeping the faith, or as = on the foundation, the strong and certain ground, of the Christian religion (Beng., Bleek, etc.). But in harmony with the general idea of the ethical equipment of the Christian, it means readiness, preparedness of mind. The ἐν is again the instrum prep.—τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης: of the Gospel of peace. The first gen, is that of origin, the second that of contents, = “the preparedness which comes from the Gospel whose message is peace”. The εἰρήνη here is doubtless peace with God (Romans 5:1), that peace which alone imparts the sense of freedom, relieves us of what burdens us, and gives the spirit of courageous readiness for the battle with evil. The phrase “the Gospel of peace” is elsewhere associated with the idea of the message preached (Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15; cf. Romans 10:15). Here, however, the readiness is not zeal in proclaiming the Gospel, but promptitude with reference to the conflict. The preparedness, the mental alacrity with which we are inspired by the Gospel with its message of peace with God, is to be to us the protection and equipment which the sandals that cover his feet are to the soldier. With this we shall be helped to face the foe with courage and with promptitude.

15. your feet shod] Lit., and better, having shod your feet. See note above, on “having on.”—If the warrior is to “stand” he must have no unprotected and uncertain foot-hold.

the preparation] The Gr. word occurs here only in N.T. In the LXX. it occurs several times, and tends, curiously, to denote equipment in the special form of base or pedestal (e.g. Ezra 3:3; A.V. “bases”). Such a meaning is obviously in point here, where the imagery suggests not readiness to run, but foothold for standing. Equipment will be a fair rendering.

the gospel of peace] Cp. Isaiah 52:7; Nahum 1:15; and the quotation, Romans 10:15. Those passages are closely linked to this by the concurrence in them of the words “feet” and “message of peace.” But in them the imagery distinctly suggests movement, message-bearing; in this, as distinctly, steadfastness in personal spiritual warfare. Here, accordingly, we interpret “the Gospel, the glad message, of peace,” to mean the Divine revelation of peace as heard and welcomed by the Christian for himself. See above, Ephesians 2:17 (and note), where the words “Gospel” (in the Gr.) and “peace” also concur; and, for other mentions of the Gospel message and work in the Epistle, Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 3:6; Ephesians 3:8, and below Ephesians 6:19.

The paradox here, “peace” as part of the panoply of the holy war, is as significant as it is beautiful. The warrior’s foothold needs to be settled, sure, and restful, just in proportion to the stress around him. “Peace with God” (Romans 5:1), the peace of justification, and its holy sequel and accompaniment, “the peace of God, keeping the heart and thoughts in Christ Jesus” (Php 4:7), are just then most necessary to the saint’s spirit, and most real to his consciousness, when put to the proof “in the evil day.” Christ, in Himself, is the Rock of vantage; a clear view and personal hold of Him revealed is the secret of a true foothold upon Him.—The Apostle himself stood in this strength when he wrote, “I know Whom I have believed, &c.” (2 Timothy 1:12).

Ephesians 6:15. Τοὺς πόδας, the feet) The feet are often mentioned in connection with the gospel and with peace, Romans 10:15; Romans 3:15, etc.; Luke 1:79.—ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ) ἑτοιμασία often corresponds to the Hebrew word מכון, for example Ezra 2:68; Ezra 3:3; Psalm 10:17; Psalm 89:15. The feet of the Christian soldier are strengthened [steadied] by the Gospel, lest he should be moved from his place or yield.[104] [1 Peter 5:9.—V. g.]

[104] Wahl translates ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ, dum habetis animum promptum, quem gignit τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, “having the feet shod, or sandalled, in your having the prompt and ready mind which the Gospel of peace produces.”—ED.

Verse 15. - And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. The metaphor becomes somewhat difficult to follow; the feet have to be shod or armed as with military sandals, and the sandal is the ἑτοιμασία, or preparedness of, or caused by, the gospel of peace. The idea seems to be that the mind is to be steadied, kept from fear and flutter, by means of the good news of peace - the good news that we are at peace with God; and "if God be for us, who can be against us?" The Roman sandal was furnished with nails that gripped the ground firmly, even when it was sloping or slippery; so the good news of peace keeps us upright and firm. Ephesians 6:15Preparation (ἑτοιμασίᾳ)

Only here in the New Testament. The Roman soldier substituted for the greaves of the Greek (metal plates covering the lower part of the leg) the caligae or sandals, bound by thongs over the instep and round the ankle, and having the soles thickly studded with nails. They were not worn by the superior officers, so that the common soldiers were distinguished as caligati. Ἑτοιμασία means readiness; but in Hellenistic Greek it was sometimes used in the sense of establishment or firm foundation, which would suit this passage: firm-footing. Compare Isaiah 52:7.

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