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EPHESIANS - Chapter 6 - Verse 15

Verse 15. And your feet shod. There is undoubtedly an allusion here to what was worn by the ancient soldier to guard his feet. The Greek is, literally, "having underbound the feet;" that is, having bound on the shoes, or sandals, or whatever was worn by the ancient soldier. The protection of the feet and ankles consisted of two parts:

(1.) the sandals, or shoes, which were probably made so as to cover the foot, and which often were fitted with nails, or armed with spikes, to make the hold firm in the ground; or

(2.) with greaves that were fitted to the legs, and designed to defend them from any danger. These greaves, or boots, 1 Sa 17:6, were made of brass, and were in almost universal use among the Greeks and Romans. See the figure of the "Grecian warrior" on page 159.

With the preparation. Prepared with the gospel of peace. The sense is, that the Christian soldier is to be prepared with the gospel of peace to meet attacks similar to those against which the ancient soldier designed to guard himself by the sandals or greaves which he wore. The word rendered preparationetoimasia means, properly, readiness, fitness for, alacrity; and the idea, according to Robinson, (Lex.,) is, that they were to be ever ready to go forth to preach the gospel. Taylor (Fragments to Calmet's Dic., No. 219) supposes that it means, "Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel; not iron, not steel— but patient investigation, calm inquiry, assiduous, laborious, lasting; or with firm footing in the gospel of peace." Locke supposes it to mean, "with a readiness to walk in the gospel of peace." Doddridge supposes that the allusion is to greaves, and the spirit recommended: is that peaceful and benevolent temper recommended in the gospel, and which, like the boots worn by soldiers, would bear them safe through many obstructions and trials that might be opposed to them, as a soldier might encounter sharp-pointed thorns that would oppose his progress. It is difficult to determine the exact meaning; and perhaps all expositors have erred in endeavouring to explain the reference of these parts of armour by some particular thing in the gospel. The apostle figured to himself a soldier, clad in the usual manner. Christians were to resemble him. One part of his dress or preparation consisted in the covering and defence of the foot. It was to preserve the foot from danger, and to secure the facility of his march, and perhaps to make him firm in battle. Christians were to have the principles of the gospel of peace—the peaceful and pure gospel—to facilitate them; to aid them in their marches; to make them firm in the day of conflict with their foes. They were not to be furnished with carnal weapons, but with the peaceful: gospel of the Redeemer; and, sustained by this, they were to go on in their march through the world. The principles of the gospel: were to do for them what the greaves and iron-spiked sandals did: for the soldier—to make them ready for the march, to make them firm in their foot-tread, and to be a part of their defence against their foes.

{a} "shod" So 7:1

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