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EPHESIANS - Chapter 2 - Verse 15

Verse 15. Having abolished. Having brought to naught or put an end to it—katarghsav.

In his flesh. By the sacrifice of his body on the cross. It was not by instruction merely; it was not by communicating the knowledge of God; it was not as a teacher; it was not by the mere exertion of power; it was by his flesh—his human nature—and this can mean only that he did it by his sacrifice of himself. It is such language as is appropriate to the doctrine of the atonement—not indeed teaching it directly—but still such as one would use who believed that doctrine, and such as no other one would employ. Who would now say of a moral teacher that he accomplished an important result by his flesh? Who would say of a man that was instrumental in reconciling his contending neighbors, that he did it by his flesh? Who would say of Dr. Priestly that he established Unitarianism in his flesh? No man would have ever used this language who did not believe that Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin.

The enmity. Between the Jew and the Gentile. Tindal renders this, "the cause of hatred, that is to say, the law of commandments contained in the law written." This is expressive of the true sense. The idea is, that the ceremonial law of the Jews, on which they so much prided themselves, was the cause of the hostility existing between them. That made them different people, and laid the foundation for the alienation which existed between them. They had different laws; different institutions; a different, religion. The Jews looked upon themselves as the favourites of Heaven, and as in possession of the knowledge of the only way of salvation; the Gentiles regarded their laws with contempt, and looked upon the peculiar institutions with scorn. When Christ came, and abolished by his death their peculiar ceremonial laws, of course the cause of this alienation ceased.

Even the law of commandments. The law of positive commandments. This does not refer to the moral law, which was not the cause of the alienation, and which was not abolished by the death of Christ, but to the laws commanding sacrifices, festivals, fasts, etc., which constituted the peculiarity of the Jewish system. These were the occasion of the enmity between the Jews and the Gentiles, and these were abolished by the great sacrifice which the Redeemer made; and of course when that was made, the purpose for which these laws were instituted was accomplished, and they ceased to be of value and to be binding. Contained in ordinances. In the Mosaic commandments. The word ordinance means decree, edict, law, Lu 2:1; Ac 16:4; 17:7; Col 2:14.


For to make in himself. By virtue of his death, or under him as the head.

Of twain one new man. Of the two—Jews and Gentiles—one new spiritual person; that they might be united. The idea is, that as two persons who had been at enmity might become reconciled, and become one in aim and pursuit, so it was in the effect of the work of Christ on the Jews and Gentiles. When they were converted they would be united and harmonious.

{d} "in his flesh" Col 2:14 {+} "contained" "consisting" {++} "twain" "the two into"

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