Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown
ALFORD, ELLICOTT, and others translate the Greek to accord with the translation of the same Greek, Colossians 3:9, "Stripping off from Himself the principalities and the powers: " GOD put off from Himself the angels, that is, their ministry, not employing them to be promulgators of the Gospel in the way that He had given the law by their "disposition" or ministry (Acts 7:53; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2, Hebrews 2:5): God manifested Himself without a veil in Jesus. "THE principalities and THE powers" refers back to Colossians 2:10, Jesus, "the Head of all principality and power," and Colossians 1:16. In the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, God subjected all the principalities, etc., to Jesus, declaring them to be powerless as to His work and His people (Ephesians 1:21). Thus Paul's argument against those grafting on Christianity Jewish observances, along with angel-worship, is, whatever part angels may be supposed to have had under the law, now at an end, God having put the legal dispensation itself away. But the objection is, that the context seems to refer to a triumph over bad angels: in II Corinthians 2:14, however, Christ's triumph over those subjected to Him, is not a triumph for destruction, but for their salvation, so that good angels may be referred to (Colossians 1:20). But the Greek middle is susceptible of English Version, "having spoiled," or, literally [TITTMANN], "having completely stripped," or "despoiled" for Himself (compare Romans 8:38; I Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 6:2). English Version accords with Matthew 12:29; Luke 11:22; Hebrews 2:14. Translate as the Greek, "The rules and authorities."
made a show of them—at His ascension (see on Ephesians 4:8; confirming English Version of this verse).
openly—John 7:4; John 11:54, support English Version against ALFORD'S translation, "in openness of speech."
in it—namely, His cross, or crucifixion: so the Greek fathers translate. Many of the Latins, "In Himself" or "in Him." Ephesians 2:16 favors English Version, "reconcile . . . by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." If "in Him," that is, Christ, be read, still the Cross will be the place and means of God's triumph in Christ over the principalities (Ephesians 1:20; Ephesians 2:5). Demons, like other angels, were in heaven up to Christ's ascension, and influenced earth from their heavenly abodes. As heaven was not yet opened to man before Christ (John 3:13), so it was not yet shut against demons (Job 1:6; Job 2:1). But at the ascension Satan and his demons were "judged" and "cast out" by Christ's obedience unto death (John 12:31; John 16:11; Hebrews 2:14; Revelation 12:5-10), and the Son of man was raised to the throne of God; thus His resurrection and ascension are a public solemn triumph over the principalities and powers of death. It is striking that the heathen oracles were silenced soon after Christ's ascension.
Other Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown entries containing Colossians 2:15:
2 Corinthians 2:14
1 Peter 3:22
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