Gifts to the people (Eph. 4:8)

“Therefore,

It is said.

‘When he ascended

On high,

He made captivity itself

A captive.

He gave gifts

To his human people.’”

διὸ λέγει Ἀναβὰς εἰς ὕψος ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν, ἔδωκεν δόματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις.

Paul said, “Therefore, it is said (διὸ λέγει).  ‘When he ascended (Ἀναβὰς) on high (εἰς ὕψος), he made captivity itself a captive (ᾐχμαλώτευσεν αἰχμαλωσίαν).  He gave gifts (ἔδωκεν δόματα) to his human people (τοῖς ἀνθρώποις).”  Only this Ephesian letter used this unique word ᾐχμαλώτευσεν, that means to lead captive, take captive, or captivate.  Only the Pauline letters used this word αἰχμαλωσίαν, that means captivity.  Paul used a reference to Psalm 68:18-20.  “You ascended the high mountain.  You lead captives in your train.  You received gifts from people, even from those who rebelled against Yahweh God’s abiding there.”  God came into or ascended the new holy place leaving many captives along the way.  Everyone gave him gifts, even those opposed to his stay at Mount Zion.  This was an allusion to the Israelites who left Egypt but ascended up Mount Zion in Jerusalem with a victory from God, Yahweh.  The new Christians were going to share in Christ’ victory over death.  We too will receive gifts and graces like the Israelites of ancient times.  Have you received gifts from God?

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