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17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

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17. A fit prayer for all Christians.

the God of our Lord Jesus—appropriate title here; as in Eph 1:20-22 he treats of God's raising Jesus to be Head over all things to the Church. Jesus Himself called the Father "My God" (Mt 27:46).

the Father of glory—(Compare Ac 7:2). The Father of that infinite glory which shines in the face of Christ, who is "the glory" (the true Shekinah); through whom also "the glory of the inheritance" (Eph 1:18) shall be ours (Joh 17:24; 2Co 3:7-4:6).

the spirit of wisdom—whose attribute is infinite wisdom and who works wisdom in believers (Isa 11:2).

and revelation—whose function it is to reveal to believers spiritual mysteries (Joh 16:14, 15; 1Co 2:10).

in the knowledge—rather, as Greek (see on 1Co 13:12), "in the full knowledge of Him," namely, God.

18. understanding—The oldest manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, read "heart." Compare the contrary state of unbelieving, the heart being in fault (Eph 4:18; Mt 13:15). Translate, "Having the eyes of your heart enlightened" (Eph 5:14; Mt 4:16). The first effect of the Spirit moving in the new creation, as in the original physical creation (Ge 1:3; 2Co 4:6). So Theophilus to Autolycus (1.3), "the ears of the heart." Where spiritual light is, there is life (Joh 1:4). The heart is "the core of life" [Harless], and the fountain of the thoughts; whence "the heart" in Scripture includes the mind, as well as the inclination. Its "eye," or inward vision, both receives and contemplates the light (Mt 6:22, 23). The eye is the symbol of intelligence (Eze 1:18).

the hope of his calling—the hope appertaining to His having called you; or, to the calling wherewith He has called you.

and—omitted in the oldest manuscripts and versions.

riches of the glory—(Col 1:27).

his inheritance in the saints—The inheritance which he has in store in the case of the saints. I prefer explaining, "The inheritance which He has in his saints." (See on Eph 1:11; De 32:9).

19. exceeding—"surpassing."

power to us-ward who believe—The whole of the working of His grace, which He is carrying on, and will carry on, in us who believe. By the term "saints" (Eph 1:18), believers are regarded as absolutely perfected, and so as being God's inheritance; in this verse, as in the course of fighting the good fight of faith.

according to—in accordance wit,h, what might be expected from.

workingGreek, "the energizing"; translate, "the effectual working" (Eph 3:7). The same superhuman power was needed and exerted to make us believe, as was needed and exerted to raise Christ from the dead (Eph 1:20). Compare Php 3:10, "the power of His resurrection" (Col 2:12; 1Pe 1:3-5).

of his mighty powerGreek, "of the strength of His might."

20. in Christ—as our "first-fruits" of the resurrection, and Head, in virtue of God's mighty working in whom His power to us-ward is made possible and actual [Alford].

when he raised him—"in that He raised Him." The raising of Christ is not only an earnest of our bodies being hereafter raised, but has a spiritual power in it involving (by virtue of our living union with Him, as members with the Head) the resurrection, spiritually of the believer's soul now, and, consequently, of his body hereafter (Ro 6:8-11; 8:11). The Son, too, as God (though not as man), had a share in raising His own human body (Joh 2:19; 10:17, 18). Also the Holy Spirit (Ro 1:4; 1Pe 3:18).

set himGreek, "made Him sit." The glorious spirits stand about the throne of God, but they do not sit at God's right hand (Heb 1:13).

at his own right hand—(Ps 110:1). Where He remains till all His enemies have been put under His feet (1Co 15:24). Being appointed to "rule in the midst of His enemies" during their rebellion (Ps 110:2), He shall resign His commission after their subjection [Pearson] (Mr 16:19; Heb 1:3; 10:12).

in the heavenly places—(Eph 1:3). As Christ has a literal body, heaven is not merely a state, but a place; and where He is, there His people shall be (Joh 14:3).

21. Greek, "Far (or high) above all (Eph 4:10) principality (or rule, 1Co 15:24), and authority, and power (Mt 28:18), and dominion (or lordship)." Compare Php 2:9; Col 1:16; Heb 7:26; 1Pe 3:22. Evil spirits (who are similarly divided into various ranks, Eph 6:12), as well as angels of light, and earthly potentates, are included (compare Ro 8:38). Jesus is "King of kings, and Lord of lords" (Re 19:16). The higher is His honor, the greater is that of His people, who are His members joined to Him, the Head. Some philosophizing teachers of the school of Simon Magus, in Western Asia Minor, had, according to Irenæus and Epiphanius, taught their hearers these names of various ranks of angels. Paul shows that the truest wisdom is to know Christ as reigning above them all.

every name—every being whatever. "Any other creature" (Ro 8:39).

in this worldGreek, "age," that is, the present order of things. "Things present … things to come" (Ro 8:38).

that … to come—"Names which now we know not, but shall know hereafter in heaven. We know that the emperor goes before all, though we cannot enumerate all the satraps and ministers of his court; so we know that Christ is set above all, although we cannot name them all" [Bengel].

22. put … underGreek, "put in subjection under" (Ps 8:6; 1Co 15:27).

gave … to the church—for her special advantage. The Greek order is emphatic: "HIM He gave as Head over all things to the Church." Had it been anyone save Him, her Head, it would not have been the boon it is to the Church. But as He is Head over all things who is also her Head (and she the body), all things are hers (1Co 3:21-23). He is OVER ("far above") all things; in contrast to the words, "TO the Church," namely, for her advantage. The former are subject; the latter is joined with Him in His dominion over them. "Head" implies not only His dominion, but our union; therefore, while we look upon Him at the right hand of God, we see ourselves in heaven (Re 3:21). For the Head and body are not severed by anything intervening, else the body would cease to be the body, and the Head cease to be the Head [Pearson from Chrysostom].

23. his body—His mystical and spiritual, not literal, body. Not, however, merely figurative, or metaphorical. He is really, though spiritually, the Church's Head. His life is her life. She shares His crucifixion and His consequent glory. He possesses everything, His fellowship with the Father, His fulness of the Spirit, and His glorified manhood, not merely for Himself, but for her, who has a membership of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (Eph 5:30).

fulness—"the filled-up receptacle" [Eadie]. The Church is dwelt in and filled by Christ. She is the receptacle, not of His inherent, but of His communicated, plenitude of gifts and graces. As His is the "fulness" (Joh 1:16; Col 1:19; 2:9) inherently, so she is His "fulness" by His impartation of it to her, in virtue of her union to Him (Eph 5:18; Col 2:10). "The full manifestation of His being, because penetrated by His life" [Conybeare and Howson]. She is the continued revelation of His divine life in human form; the fullest representative of His plenitude. Not the angelic hierarchy, as false teachers taught (Col 2:9, 10, 18), but Christ Himself is the "fulness of the Godhead," and she represents Him. Koppe translates less probably, "the whole universal multitude."

filleth all in all—Christ as the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of the world, constituted by God (Col 1:16-19), fills all the universe of things with all things. "Fills all creation with whatever it possesses" [Alford]. The Greek is, "filleth for Himself."