New American Standard Bible
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
King James Bible
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Darby Bible Translation
in which ye once walked according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience:
World English Bible
in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience;
Young's Literal Translation
in which once ye did walk according to the age of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience,
Ephesians 2:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Wherein - In which sins, or in the practice of which transgressions.
Ye walked - You lived, life being often compared to a journey or a race. note, Romans 6:4.
According to the course of this world - In conformity with the customs and manners of the world at large. The word rendered here as "world" - αἰων aiōn - means properly "age," but is often used to denote the present world, with its cares, temptations, and desires; and here denotes particularly the people of this world. The meaning is, that they had lived formerly as other people lived, and the idea is strongly conveyed that the course of the people of this world is to walk in trespasses and sins. The sense is, that there was by nature no difference between them and others, and that all the difference which now existed had been made by grace.
According to the prince of the power of the air - see Ephesians 6:12; compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:4. There can be no doubt that Satan is here intended, and that Paul means to say that they were under his control as their leader and prince. The phrase, "the prince of the power," may mean either "the powerful prince," or it may mean that this prince had power over the air, and lived and reigned there particularly. The word "prince" - ἄρχοντα archonta - "Archon," means one first in authority and power, and is then applied to anyone who has the pre-eminence or rule. It is applied to Satan, or the chief of the fallen angels, as where he is called "the prince - ἄρχων archōn - of the devils," Matthew 9:34; Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15; "the prince of this world," John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11. But "why" he is here called the prince having power "over the air," it is not easy to determine.
Robinson (Lexicon) supposes it to be because he is lord of the powers of the air; that is, of the demons who dwell and rule in the atmosphere. So Doddridge supposes that it means that he controls the fallen spirits who are permitted to range the regions of the atmosphere. It is generally admitted that the apostle here refers to the prevailing opinions both among the Jews and pagan, that the air was thickly populated with spirits or demons. That this was a current opinion, may be seen fully proved in Wetstein; compare Bloomfield, Grotius, and particularly Koppe. Why the region of the air was supposed to be the dwelling-place of such spirits, is now unknown. The opinion may have been either that such spirits "dwelt" in the air, or that they had control over it, according to the later Jewish belief. Cocceius and some others explain the word "air" here as meaning the same as "darkness," as in profane writers. It is evident to my mind that Paul does not speak of this as a mere tradition, opinion, or vagary of the fancy, or as a superstitious belief: but that he refers to it as a thing which he regarded as true. In this opinion I see no absurdity that should make it impossible to believe it. For:
(1) the Scriptures abundantly teach that there are fallen, wicked spirits; and the existence of fallen angels is no more improbable than the existence of fallen people.
(2) the Bible teaches that they have much to do with this world. They tempted man; they inflicted disease in the time of the Saviour; they are represented as alluring and deceiving the race.
(3) they must have "some" locality - some part of the universe where they dwell. That they were not confined down to hell in the time of the Redeemer, is clear from the New Testament; for they are often represented as having afflicted and tortured people.
(4) why is there any improbability in the belief that their residence should have been in the regions of the air? That while they were suffered to be on earth to tempt and afflict people, they should have been permitted especially to occupy these! regions? Who can tell what may be in the invisible world, and what spirits may be permitted to fill up the vast space that now composes the universe? And who can tell what control may have been given to such fallen spirits over the regions of the atmosphere - over clouds, and storms, and pestilential air? People have control over the earth, and pervert and abuse the powers of nature to their own ruin and the ruin of each other. The elements they employ for the purposes of ruin and of temptation. Fruit and grain they convert to poison; minerals, to the destruction caused by war. In itself considered, there is nothing more improbable that spirits of darkness may have had control over the regions of the air, than that fallen man has over the earth; and no more improbability that that power has been abused to ruin people, than that the power of people is abused to destroy each other. No one can "prove" that the sentiment here referred to by Paul is "not" true; and no one can show how the doctrine that fallen spirits may do mischief in any part of the works of God, is anymore improbable than that wicked "men" should do the same thing. The word "power" here - "power of the air" - I regard as synonymous with "dominion or rule;" "a prince having dominion or rule over the air."
The spirit that now worketh - That still lives, and whose energy for evil is still seen and felt among the wicked. Paul here means undoubtedly to teach that there was such a spirit, and that he was still active in controlling people.
The children of disobedience - The wicked; Colossians 3:6.
LibraryOctober 1. "That in the Ages to Come He Might Show the Exceeding Riches of his Grace" (Eph. Ii. 7).
"That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace" (Eph. ii. 7). Christ's great purpose for His people is to train them up to know the hope of their calling, and the riches of the glory of their inheritance and what the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe. Let us prove, in all our varied walks of life, and scenes of conflict, the fulness of His power and grace and thus shall we know "In the ages to come the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness to …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
'The Riches of Grace'
Our Glorious Transforming
"There is Therefore Now no Condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,
"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
but the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.
1 Corinthians 6:11
Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called "Uncircumcision " by the so-called "Circumcision," which is performed in the flesh by human hands--
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Jump to NextAge Air Authority Children Course Disobedience Disobedient Followed Following Habitual Hearts Kingdom Life Obeyed Once Past Pleasure Power Powers Present Prince Purpose Ruler Spirit Spirits Time Used Walk Walked Ways Wherein Work Worketh Working Works World
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