Ephesians 3:9

Ephesians 3:9

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the
mystery
Or "the dispensation of the mystery" as the Complutensian, and several copies, and the Vulgate Latin and Syriac versions, read. The mystery is the Gospel; the fellowship of it is the communication of grace by it, a participation of the truths and doctrines of it, communion with Father, Son, and Spirit, which the Gospel calls and leads unto, and that equal concern and interest which both Jews and Gentiles have in the privileges of it. Now men are naturally in the dark about these things, and the ministry of the word is the means of enlightening them, and is indeed the grand design of it; and the ministers of the Gospel do instrumentally enlighten persons, though it is God only that does it efficiently; and for this, gifts of grace were bestowed upon the apostle, even for the enlightening of all men, not every individual person in the world, but some of all sorts, particularly Gentiles, as well as Jews. The word (pantav) , rendered "all men", is left out in the Alexandrian copy.

Which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God;
in the heart of God, in his counsel and covenant; which shows the original and source of the Gospel, and expresses the richness and valuableness of it, as well as its safety and secrecy: here it was hid in some measure from the elect angels, and from Old Testament saints, and altogether from natural men, and especially from the Gentiles, whose times of ignorance God winked at, or overlooked: and this was kept so from ages past, from the beginning of time, till now, and was laid up in the breast of God from all eternity; for it was ordained before the world for the glory, of his people. What the apostle says of the Gospel, the Jews say of the law, that it was hid and treasured up two thousand years before the world was created {m}; yea, they say F14, that many ages before the creation of the world it was written and left, (hb'qh lv wqyxb) , "in the bosom of God": and he is here described, as he who created all things by Jesus Christ;
not as an instrument, but as a co-efficient cause: and this is to be understood, not of the new creation, but of the old, and of all things in it; for without Christ, was not anything made that is made. The phrase, "by Jesus Christ", is left out in the Alexandrian and Claromontane copies, and in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions.


FOOTNOTES:

F13 Zohar in Exod. fol. 20. 4. & in Numb. fol. 66. 3. Targ. Jon. & Jeras. in Gen. iii. 24.
F14 Abot R. Nathan, c. 31. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 88. 2.
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