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EPHESIANS - Chapter 4 - Verse 9

Verse 9. Now that he ascended. That is, it is affirmed in the Psalm that he ascended—"Thou hast ascended on high." This implies that there must have been a previous descent; or, as applicable to the Messiah, "it is a truth that he previously descended." It is by no means certain that Paul meant to say that the word "ascended" demonstrated that there must have been a previous descent; but he probably means, that in the case of Christ there was, in fact, a descent into the lower parts of the earth first. The language here used will appropriately express his decent to earth.

Into the lower parts of the earth. To the lowest state of humiliation. This seems to be the fair meaning of the words. Heaven stands opposed to earth. One is above; the other is beneath. From the one, Christ descended to the other; and he came not only to the earth, but he stooped to the most humble condition of humanity here. See Php 2:6-8. Comp. See Barnes "Isa 44:23".

Some have understood this of the grave; others of the region of departed spirits; but these interpretations do not seem to be necessary. It is the earth itself that stands in contrast with the heavens; and the idea is, that the Redeemer descended from his lofty eminence in heaven, and became a man of humble rank and condition. Comp. Ps 139:15.

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