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2 To the saints and faith- 2 Τοις εν Κολοσσαις αγιful brethren in Christ, oις
και πιςοις αδελφους εν which areatColosse:grace Χρισω χαρις υμιν και ειρηbeunto you, and peace from
νη απο Θεου πατρος ημων, God our Father, and the
και Κυριου Ιησου Χριςου. Lord Jesus Christ.
3 We give thanks to 3 Ευχαριςουμεν τω Θεω God, and the Father of και σατρι του Κυριου ημων our Lord Jesus Christ, Ιησου Χριςου, παντοτε περι praying always for you; υμων προσευχόμενοι
4 Since we heard of 4 Ακουσαντες την σιςιν your faith in Christ Jesus, υμων εν Χριςω Ιησου, και and of the love τυhich ye την αγαπην την εις παντας have to all the saints;
τους αγιους, 5 For the hope which 5 Δια την ελπιδα την is laid up for you in hea- ασοκειμενην υμιν εν τοις ουven, whereof ye heard be
προηκουσατε εν τω fore in the word of the
λογω της αληθειας του ευtruth of the gospel;
αγγελιου, 6 Which is come unto 6 Του παροντος εις υμας, you, as it is in all the καθως και εν σαντι τω κοσworld, and bringeth forth
μω, και εςι καρποφορουμενον, fruit, as it doth also in
καθως και εν υμιν, αφ' ης since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace σε ημερας ηκουσατε και εσεγνωτε God in truth. .
την χαριν του Θεου εν αληθεια.
influence ; for which purpose also he calls him here, his brother, rather than
See Pref. to 1 Thess. sect. 2. about the middle. Ver. 2.-1. And faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colosse. If the apostle had called the Colossians saints, in a moral sense, there would have been no occasion to have added to their character the appellation of faithful brethren. Saints, means, all in Colosse who made an outward profession of believing the gospel: and faithful brethren, denotes those who to that profession, joined a suitable practice. This epistle, therefore, was addressed to the whole community of Christians at Colosse, and more especially to such of them as were sincere in their profession, as Christians.
2. From God our Father : that is, the Father of us who believe. According to Estius, God is called the Father of believers, to mark the high dignity to which they are raised by having the same Father with Jesus Christ, ver. 3. Also to shew that believers are the especial objects of God's love.
2. To the saints and 2 To the saints and faithful brethren faithful,
brethren in in Christ, who are at Colosse. May Christ, who are at Co- virtuous dispositions be to you, and losse, grace be to you, and happiness temporal and eternal (see peace from God our Fa. Rom. i. 7. notes 3, 4.) from God the ther, and FROM our Lord Father of Jews and Gentiles, and Jesus Christ.
from the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom God dispenses these blessings to
mankind. 3 We give thanks to 3 We Paul and Timothy, give the God and Father of our thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, always Lord Jesus Christ for your faith and when we pray for you;
love. This we do always when we
pray for you ; 4 (Ακέσαντες) Having 4 Having heard by Epaphras, heardı of your faith in (chap. i. 7.-9. iv. 12.) of the firmChrist Jesus, and of the ness of your faith in Christ Jesus, and love which YE HAVE to of the warmth of the love which ye all (aylors, 48.) the saints, bear to all who profess the Christian
religion. See Ephes. i. 15. note 2. 5 (Aia) Through the 5 Whom ye willingly relieve in hope ? which is laid up their distresses, with your worldly for you in the heavens ; of goods, Through the hope of far better which ye have formerly goods which are laid up for you in the heard in the word of the heavens : of which hope, ye have fortruth of the gospel, merly heard in the true preaching of
the gospel by me. See Pref. sect. 1. 6 Which is present (ers, 6 Which gospel subsists among 149.) among you, as also in you, as it does likewise in the most all the world,'and is bring- celebrated Gentile nations, and is ing forth fruit, even as bringing forth the good fruit of faith (ev, 172.) among you from and love, even as it does among you, the day ye heard and ac- from the day ye heard and embraced knowledged the grace of the gospel of God, as preached by me God 3 in truth.
Ver. 4.-1. Having beard of your faith in Christ Jesus. The apostle did not mean his having heard of the conversion of the Colossians, but of their persevering in the belief of the great doctrine of the gospel, that men are saved by faith without obedience to the law of Moses. See Pref. sect. 1. paragr. 3. Now, as some had been seduced by the false teachers from this true faith, Pref. sect. 2. paragr. 4. the apostle does not speak of the whole
7 As ye also learned of 7 Καθως και εμαθετε. απο Epaphras our dear fellow- Επαφρα του αγασητου συνservant, who is for you a δουλου ήμων, ος εςι πιςος υπερ faithful minister of Christ :
υμων διακονος του Χριςου. 8 Who also declared unto Ο και δηλωσας ήμιν us your love in the Spirit. την υμων αγαπην εν πνευμα.
τι. 9 For this cause we also, 9 Δια τουτο και μεις, αφ' since the day we heard it, ης ημερας ηκουσαμεν, ου παυdo not cease to pray
ομεθα υπερ υμων προσευyou, and to desire that
ye might be filled with the χομενοι, και αιτουμενοι, ένα knowledge of his will
, in πληρωθητε την επίγνωσιν all wisdom and spiritual του θεληματος αυτου, εν understanding :
παση σοφια και συνεσει πνευματική,
body of the saints at Colosse, but of the faithful brethren there ; that is, of those who had persevered in the truth, by rejecting all Jewish mixtures.
2. Love, which ye bave to all the saints. The word all, is emphatical here, and implies, that the faithful brethren at Colosse, loved not only the Gentile but the Jewish believers, although the latter differed from them in some points of faith and practice, respecting the Mosaic rites. See Ephes. 1. 15. note 2.
Ver. 5.-1. Through the hope wbich is laid up for you. Here, hope is put for eternal life, the object of the Colossians' hope.—If the sense given in the commentary is not admitted, the meaning may be, that the Colossians loved the saints on account of their entertaining the same hope of eternal life with themselves.
Ver. 6.-1. Which is present among you, as also in all the world. Ierti τω κοσμο. In this clause, the word κοσμG, translated world, signifies the Roman empire : a sense which it has in other passages, particularly, Luke ii. 1. There went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.-In like manner, every nation under beaven, Acts ïi. 5. signifies, those nations only with whom the Jews had some communication. So also Cyrus, in his decree concerning the Jews, says, Ezra i. 2. The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth. Thus understood, the apostle's affirmation is no hyperbole. For at the time the epistle to the Colossians was written, A. D. 61. the gospel had been preached and received in most of the countries within the Roman empire, and had produced a great change in the manners of those who received it.-As the word Engorro, present, is commonly applied to things having life, it is here used metaphorically .
7 As ye also learned 17 7 A8
also learned it from Epafrom Epaphras, our belov- phras our beloved fellow-servant, who, ed fellow-servant,' who - having taught you the same docis a faithful minister of trine with me, is a faith fal minister Christ, (utep) with respect of Christ with respect to you. to you. 2
8 Who likewise hath 8 This worthy person, besides designified to us your love in claring your faith and love to the spirit.
saints, (ver. 4.) likewise hath signified
to us your fervent spiritual love to me. 9 For this reason we 9 For this reason, that ye have also, from the day we great faith, and love, and sincere afheard THESE THINGS, do fection to me, we also from the day we not cease praying (see 1 heard these things, (ver. 4.) do not cease Thess. v. 17. note,) for praying for you, and requesting that ye you, and requesting that may be filled by God with the knowye may be filled with the ledge of his will, concerning the salknowledge of his will, vation of mankind by faith, (Ephes. through all wisdom and i. 5. 9. 11.) and that through an high spiritual understanding, degree of wisdom and understanding
in spiritual matters, given to you,
2. And is bringing forth fruit. Some MSS. following the Vulgate, add, xat avčavouryov, and increasing; is daily spreading itself. The apostle made this observation to confirm the Colossians in the faith of the gospel, which by its rapid progress, and happy influence in reforming mankind, was plainly declared to be from God.
3. Acknowledged the grace of God. Here, as in Tit. ii. 11. 1 Pet. v. 12. The grace of God signifies the gospel.-In writing to Gentiles, the apostle with great propriety, termed the gospel the grace of God, for this among other reasons, that therein God declared his gracions intention of making the Gentiles beirs of the heavenly country by faith, equally with the Jews, without requiring them to obey the law of Moses, ver. 12.—This doctrine in other passages, is called the truth; and, the truth of the gospel. Where. fore, their hearing and acknowledging the grace of God in truth, means their hearing and acknowledging the true doctrine of the gospel, concerning the salvation of the Gentiles by faith.
Ver. 7.-1. Epaphras our beloved fellow-servant. From the epistle to Phi. lemon, ver. 23. which was sent at the same time with this letter, it appears that Epaphras was in prison at Rome when the apostle wrote. But he did not choose to mention that circumstance, in a letter directed to the whole church of the Colossians, lest it might have grieved them too much.-Concerning Epaphras, see Philem. ver. 23. note.
2. Who is a faithful minister of Christ with respect to you. The apostle gave this konourable testimony to Epaphras, that the Colossians might
10 That ye might walk 10 Περιπατησαι υμας αξιworthy of the Lord unto ως του Κυριου εις
εις πασαν all pleasing, being fruitful αρεσκειαν
εργώ in every good work, and
αγαθω καρποφορουντες και increasing in the know
αυξανομενοι εις την εσιγνωledge of God;
σιν του Θεου· 11 Strengthened with 11 Εν πάση δυναμει δυall might according to his ναμουμενοι κατα το κρατος glorious power, unto all της δοξης αυτου, εις πασαν patience and long-sufer- υπομονην και μακροθυμιαν ing with joyfulness;
μετα χαρας. 12 Giving thanks unto 12 Ευχαριςουντες τω παthe Father, which hath τρι το έκανωσαντι μας εις made us meet to be par- την μεριδα του κληρου των takers of the inheritance αγιων εν τω φωτι. of the saints in light:
not suffer themselves to be drawn away from the doctrine which they had learned from him.
Ver. 8.–1. Hath signified to us your love in spirit. According to Grotius, this means, your love to me on account of the gifts of the spirit which I communicated to you : According to Peirce, it is, your love to me on a spiritual account: According to Whitby, it is your love wrought in you by the Spirit. Others think the phrase is a common Hebraism for great love. See Ess. iv. 56.
Ver. 10.-1. The Lord. Some MSS. mentioned by Mill, with the Syriac, Vulgate, and Ethiopic versions, read here, t8 Os8, of God.
Ver. 11.-1. According to his glorious power. The preposition κατα, with the accusative, may be rendered, by, or through. Here the glorious power of Christ is spoken of: but in the parallel passage, Ephes. iii. 16. the apostle speaks of the Father's power ; That according to the riches of bis glory, be would grant unto you to be exceedingly strengthened, dia, by bis Spirit.
2. All patience and long suffering. The Greek commentators observe, that patience is exercised towards them who are out of the church, and whom we have no right to punish; but long suffering is exercised towards persons of our own society, whom we can punish.
Ver. 12.-1. Who Faketo us ft for a portion, &c. Ικαγασαντι ήμας εις την μεριδα τα κληρα. This is an allusion to the partition of the land of Canaan, into so many respodes, portions, which were distributed to the Israelites by lot. And as the land of Canaan, the inheritance of the natural seed of Abraham, was a type of the inheritance of the spiritual seed, the allusion to the division of that land among the natural seed, is introduced with propriety, in the account which the apostle gives of the admission of the Gen.