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EPHESIANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 2

Verse 2. If ye have heard. eige. "If at least, if indeed, if so be, spoken of what is taken for granted." Robinson. Comp. 2 Co 5:3; Ga 3:4; Eph 4:21; Col 1:23, for the use of the particle. The particle here is not designed to express a doubt whether they had heard of it or not, for he takes it for granted that they had. Doddridge renders it, "Since I well know you have heard," etc. He had informed them of his being called to be the minister to the Gentiles, Eph 3:3, but still there was a possibility that they had not received the letter containing the information, and he goes, therefore, into another statement on the subject, that they might fully comprehend it. Hence this long parenthetical sentence—one of the longest that occurs in the writings of Paul, and expressed under the impulse of a mind full of the subject; so full, as we would say, that he did not know what to say first. Hence it is exceedingly difficult to understand the exact state of mind in which he was. It seems to me that the whole of this long statement grew out of the incidental mention Eph 3:1 of the fact that he was a prisoner for the Gentiles. Instantly he seems to have reflected that they would be grieved at the intelligence that he was suffering on their account. He goes, therefore, into this long account, to show them how it happened; that it was by the appointment of God; that it was in the evolving of a great and glorious mystery; that it was in a cause adapted to promote, in an eminent degree, the glory of God; that it was according to an eternal purpose; and he, therefore, Eph 3:13, says, that he desires that they would not "faint" or be unduly distressed on account of his sufferings for them, since his sufferings were designed to promote their "glory." He was comforted in the belief that he was making known the glorious and eternal plan of God, and in the belief that was for the welfare of mankind; and he, therefore, entreated then also not to be troubled inordinately at his sufferings.

The dispensation, Gr. economy; rendered stewardship Lu 16:2-4; and dispensation, Eph 1:10; 3:2; Col 1:25.

See Barnes "Eph 1:10".

It means here, that this arrangement was made that he should be the apostle to the Gentiles. In the assignment of the different parts of the work of preaching the gospel, the office had been committed to him of making it known to the heathen.

Of the grace of God. In the arrangements of his grace.

Which is given me to you-ward. Toward you who are Gentiles. Not to the Ephesians particularly, but to the nations at large. See Barnes "Gal 2:7".

 

{*} "ye have heard" "since" {a} "dispensation of the grace" Col 1:25 {b} "of God" Ro 12:3.

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