Ephesians 3:8
To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Less than the least of all saints.—Compare with this expression of deep humility the well-known passages 1Corinthians 15:9-10; 2Corinthians 11:30; 2Corinthians 12:9-11; 1Timothy 1:12-16. It may be noted that in each case his deep sense of unworthiness is brought out by the thought of God’s especial grace and favour to him. Thus in 1Corinthians 15:9-10, the feeling that he is “the least of the Apostles, not meet to be called an Apostle,” rises out of the contemplation of the special manifestation of the risen Lord to him as “one born out of due time;” in 2Corinthians 11:30; 2Corinthians 12:9-11, “boasting” has been forced upon him, and so, having been compelled to dwell on the special work done by him, and the special revelations vouchsafed to him, he immediately adds, “though I am nothing;” in 1Timothy 1:12-16, as also here, it is the greatness of his message of universal salvation which reminds him that he was “a persecutor and injurious,” “the chief of sinners,” and “less than the least of all saints.” Elation in the sense of privilege—“the glorying in that which we have received,” so emphatically rebuked in 1Corinthians 4:7—is the temptation of the first superficial enthusiasm; deep sense of weakness and unworthiness, the result of second and deeper thought, contrasting the heavenly treasure with the earthen vessels which contain it (2Corinthians 4:7). Possibly there is a “third thought,” deeper still, belonging to the times of highest spiritual aspiration, which loses all idea of self, even of weakness and unworthiness, in the thought of “the strength made perfect in weakness,” and the consciousness (as in Philippians 4:12-13) that “we can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth us.” See this last brought out in peculiar fulness and freedom in 2Corinthians 5:13 to 2Corinthians 6:10; a passage almost unique in its disclosure of spiritual experience.

The unsearchable riches of Christ.—The word “unsearchable” properly carries with it the metaphor (latent in our word “investigate”) of tracking the footsteps, but not tracking them completely to their source or issue—thus gaining an evidence of a living power, but “not knowing whence it cometh or whither it goeth.” In this proper sense it is used in Romans 11:33, “How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!” (as also in Job 5:9; Job 9:10). Here it is used in a slightly different sense—applied to that “wealth” or fulness of Christ on which this Epistle lays such especial stress, as a wealth of truth which we can see in part but cannot wholly measure, and a wealth of grace which we can enjoy but cannot exhaust.

Ephesians 3:8-9. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, &c. — Here are the noblest strains of eloquence, to paint the exceeding low opinion which the apostle had of himself, and the fulness of unfathomable blessings which are treasured up in Christ. The word ελαχιστοτερω is a comparative, formed from the superlative ελαχιστος, the force of which it is difficult to express in the English language. Doubtless he speaks of himself in this humble manner, on account of his having been formerly a blasphemer of Christ, a persecutor of his disciples, and exceedingly injurious in so acting. Is this grace given — This unmerited favour bestowed; that I should preach among the Gentiles — Ignorant of divine things as they had been from generation to generation, and apparently abandoned of God to vice and wretchedness; the unsearchable riches of Christ — Those unsearchable perfections, (Colossians 2:9,) whereby he is qualified to be the Saviour of the world, and to bestow on all who believe the greatest spiritual blessings, which are the only true riches, because they render the possessors perfectly happy. In other words, In the riches of Christ, here justly said to be unsearchable, are included, 1st, His redeeming acts; such as his incarnation, his enduring temptation, his obedience unto death, his resurrection, ascension, intercession. 2d, His saving benefits; as illumination, justification, adoption, the spirit of adoption and regeneration, the restoration of God’s image to the soul, communion with God, and eternal life. 3d, The ways and means of the application of these acts and benefits; as (1,) The properties and powers exerted by Christ, such as his wisdom, power, love, patience: (2,) The means and ordinances, as affliction, the word of God, prayer, the fellowship of saints: (3,) The graces and virtues to be exercised by us; as faith, hope, love, obedience; in all which particulars unsearchable riches are comprehended, and by which we may be unspeakably and eternally enriched. And to make men see — To enlighten and instruct, as well the Gentiles as the Jews, and show them what is the fellowship of the mystery — What those mysterious blessings are whereof all believers are called jointly to partake; which from the beginning of the world — Greek, απο των αιωνων, from ages, and from generations, (Colossians 1:26,) hath been hid in God — Concealed in his secret counsels; who created all things by Jesus Christ — His eternal Word and Son, John 1:3; Hebrews 1:2; where see the notes. This is the foundation of all his dispensations.3:8-12 Those whom God advances to honourable employments, he makes low in their own eyes; and where God gives grace to be humble, there he gives all other needful grace. How highly he speaks of Jesus Christ; the unsearchable riches of Christ! Though many are not enriched with these riches; yet how great a favour to have them preached among us, and to have an offer of them! And if we are not enriched with them it is our own fault. The first creation, when God made all things out of nothing, and the new creation, whereby sinners are made new creatures by converting grace, are of God by Jesus Christ. His riches are as unsearchable and as sure as ever, yet while angels adore the wisdom of God in the redemption of his church, the ignorance of self-wise and carnal men deems the whole to be foolishness.Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints - This is one of the class of expressions unique to Paul. The ordinary terms of language do not express the idea which he wishes to convey, and a word is therefore coined to convey an idea more emphatically; compare the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:17. The word used here - ἐλαχιστότερος elachistoteros - does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament. It is a comparative made from the superlative. Similar expressions are found, however, in later Greek writers; see Bloomfield and Rosenmuller for examples. The word means here, "who am incomparably the least of all the saints; or who am not worthy to be reckoned among the saints." It is expressive of the deep sense which he had of the sinfulness of his past life; of his guilt in persecuting the church and the Saviour; and perhaps of his sense of his low attainments in piety; see the notes at 1 Corinthians 15:9. Paul never could forget the guilt of his former life; never forget the time when he was engaged in persecuting the church of God.

The unsearchable riches of Christ - On the word "riches," as used by Paul, see the notes at Ephesians 1:7. The word rendered "unsearchable," ἀνεξιχνίαστον anexichniaston, occurs but once elsewhere in the New Testament Romans 11:33, where it is rendered "past finding out;" see the notes at that verse. It means that which cannot be "traced out," or explored; which is inscrutable, or incomprehensible. The meaning here is, that there was a "sufficiency" in Christ which could not be traced out or explored. It was wholly incomprehensible. The fullness of the riches in him could not be appreciated. There is no more emphatic expression in the New Testament than this. It shows that the heart of the apostle was full of admiration of the sufficiency and glory that was in the Saviour; that he wanted words to express it; and that he considered it the highest honor to be permitted to tell the world that there were such riches in the Redeemer.

8. am—Not merely was I in times past, but I still am the least worthy of so high an office (compare 1Ti 1:15, end).

least of all saints—not merely "of all apostles" (1Co 15:9, 10).

is—Greek, "has been given."

among—omitted in the oldest manuscripts Translate, "to announce to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the unsearchable (Job 5:9) riches," namely, of Christ's grace (Eph 1:7; 2:7). Ro 11:33, "unsearchable" as a mine inexhaustible, whose treasures can never be fully explored (Eph 3:18, 19).

Who am less than the least of all saints; this the apostle speaks considering his former estate in Judaism, when he persecuted the church of Christ: so 1 Corinthians 15:9 1 Timothy 1:13,15. Thus modest is the apostle, when speaking of himself, and not of his office.

The unsearchable riches of Christ; all that grace of Christ which he was to make known to the Gentiles in his preaching, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30. Unto me who am less than the least of all saints,.... This is an instance of the great humility of the apostle, and indeed the greatest saints are generally speaking, the most humble souls, as Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, and others; these have the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others; they rejoice in the grace of God manifested to others; they are willing to receive instruction, nay admonition, from the meanest believer; they have the least opinion of their own works, and are the greatest admirers of the grace of God; and do most contentedly submit to the sovereign will of God: the reasons of their great humility are, because they have the largest discoveries of the love and grace of God and Christ, which are of a soul humbling nature; they are the most sensible of their own sinfulness, vileness, and unworthiness, which keeps them low in their own sight; they are commonly the most afflicted with Satan's temptations, which are suffered to attend them, lest they should be exalted above measure; they are the most fruitful souls, and boughs laden with fruit hang lowest; and they are the most conformable to Christ, who is meek and lowly. The phrase seems to be Jewish: there was one R. Jose "the little", who was so called, it is said, because he was , "the least of saints" (l): but the apostle uses a still more diminutive word, and calls himself less than the least of them; and adds,

is this grace given; that is, the gift of grace, as before, the ministerial gift:

that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; the riches of Christ, as God, lie in the perfections of his nature, in the works of his hands, in his empire and dominion over all, and in the revenues of glory, which result from thence; and these riches are underived and incommunicable, and are ineffable, yea inconceivable: his riches, as Mediator, lie in the persons of the elect, in the grace that is laid up in him for them, called the riches of grace, and in the inheritance he is possessed of for them, called the riches of glory; and these rich things are communicable, as well as solid, satisfying, and lasting; and they are unsearchable to the natural man, and cannot be fully investigated by believers themselves; they will be telling over to all eternity: and they will appear unsearchable, when it is considered what they have procured, and what blessings have been dispensed according to them; what a large family Christ has maintained by them, and how richly and fully he has provided for them, and to what honour and grandeur he raises them all. Now it was great grace to intrust the apostle with such a ministry, to put such treasure into an earthen vessel; it was great grace that qualified him for it; and it was great grace in particular to the Gentiles, that he should be appointed to publish these among them; and so the apostle esteemed it, and himself unworthy of such honour.

(l) T. Hieros. Bava Kama, fol. 3, 4. Misna Sota, c. 9. sect. 15. Juchasin, fol. 79. 2.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 3:8. The apostle now explains himself more fully on what had been said in Ephesians 3:7, and that entirely from the standpoint of the humility, with which, in the deep feeling of his personal unworthiness, he looked forth upon the greatness and glory of his vocation. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:9.

After Ephesians 3:7 a full stop is to be placed, and τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγ. is the explanation of the χάρις αὕτη. Harless regards ἐμοὶαὕτη as a parenthetic exclamation, like Ephesians 2:6, and τοῖς ἔθν. εὐαγγ. as a more precise definition of what is meant by δωρεά. He finds it contrary to nature to meet in the long intercalation (Ephesians 3:2-13) a halting-point, and yet not a return to the main subject. But in opposition to the whole view of such an intercalation, see on Ephesians 3:1. And hardly could it occur to a reader not to connect εὐαγγελίσασθαι with the immediately preceding ἡ χάρις αὕτη, specially when τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ κ.τ.λ. points to the contrast of the greatness of the vocation, which very greatness is depicted, and in how truly grand a style! from τοῖς ἔθνεσιν forward.

On the forms of degree constructed from the superlative (or even the comparative, as 3 John 1:4), see Sturz, ad Maitt. p. 44; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 135 f.; Winer, p. 65 [E. T. 81]. In the analysis the comparative sense is to be maintained (the least, lesser than all).

The expression of humility πάντων ἁγίων,[175] i.e. than all Christians, is even far stronger than 1 Corinthians 15:9. Οὐκ εἶπε τῶν ἀποστόλων, Chrysostom. What was the ground of this self-abasement (which, indeed, Baur, p. 447, enumerates among the “heightening imitations”) the reader knew, without the necessity for Paul writing it to him,—namely, not the consciousness of sin in general (Harless), in which respect Paul knew that he stood on the same level with any other (Romans 3:22; Romans 11:32; Galatians 3:22), as with every believer upon an equal footing of redemption by the death of Christ (Galatians 3:13-14; Romans 7:25; Romans 8:2), but the deeply humbling consciousness of having persecuted Christ, which, inextinguishable in him, so often accompanied his recalling of the grace of the apostolic office vouchsafed to him (1 Corinthians 15:9; Php 3:6; comp. 1 Timothy 1:13).

τοῖς ἔθνεσιν] Paul was apostle of the Gentiles.

τὸ ἀνεξιχν. πλοῦτος τοῦ Χριστοῦ] By this is meant the whole divine fulness of salvation, of which Christ is the possessor and bestower, and which is of such a nature that the human intellect cannot explore it so as to form an adequate conception of it. This does not hinder the proclamation, which, on the contrary, is rendered possible by revelation, but imposes on the cognition (1 Corinthians 13:9-12) as on the proclamation their limits. As to ἀνεξιχν., see on Romans 11:33.

[175] The readings ἀνθρώπων in 4 and Chrys., ἀποστόλων in Archel., and ἁγίων ἀποστόλων in 46, are attempts at interpretation, of which ἀνθρώπων was meant to guard against understanding the ἅγιοι of the angels; ἁγίων is wanting only in Marcion and 72*, and Semler ought not to have looked upon it as spurious.Ephesians 3:8. ἐμοὶ τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων ἐδόθη ἡ χάρις αὕτη: to me, who am less then the least of all saints, was given this grace. The τῶν inserted by the TR, on slender documentary evidence, before ἁγίων must be omitted as wanting in [256] [257] [258] [259] [260] [261] [262] [263], etc. The thought of the dignity of the office he had received at the cost of such grace and power at once evokes the sense of his own utter unworthiness, to which he gives stronger expression here than even in 1 Corinthians 15:9, or 2 Corinthians 12:11. The form ἐλαχιστότερος, a comparative of the superlative ἔλαχιστος, is found only here. It belongs to a class of double comparisons which had a place probably in the popular modes of speech, but of which a considerable number are found in later literature, especially in poetry. The only other example in the NT is the double comparative μειζότερος in 3 John 1:4; cf. Buttm., Gram. of NT Greek, p. 28.—ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν εὐαγγελίσασθαι τὸν ἀνεξιχνίαστον πλοῦτον τοῦ Χριστοῦ: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. The TR inserts ἐν before τοῖς ἔθνεσιν with) [264] [265] [266] [267], etc.); but it is not found in [268] [269] [270] [271], etc., and is best omitted. The former reading would define the sphere assigned to Paul in his ministry; the latter, the subjects of that ministry. For τὸν πλοῦτον the better accredited form is τὸ πλοῦτος. The τοῦ Χριστοῦ is prob. the gen. of possess., = the riches that Christ has, or that are in Him. The πλοῦτος thus contained in Christ is the whole wealth of the salvation He bestows; and this is “unsearchable,” i.e., not in the sense of inexhaustible, but rather in that of unfathomable, “past finding out,” such as cannot be fully comprehended by man; cf. Romans 11:33, the only other NT occurrence of ἀνεξιχνίαστον; also Job 5:9; Job 9:10; Job 34:24, the only occurrences in the LXX. It is a picturesque and suggestive word, meaning literally such as cannot be traced out by footprints.

[256] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[257] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[258] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[259] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

[260] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[261] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[262] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[263] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[264] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[265] Codex Augiensis (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Trinity College, Cambridge, edited by Scrivener in 1859. Its Greek text is almost identical with that of G, and it is therefore not cited save where it differs from that MS. Its Latin version, f, presents the Vulgate text with some modifications.

[266] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[267] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[268] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[269] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[270] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[271] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.8. Unto me] A slight pause and new start here occurs in the long parenthesis. The thought of his commission, and of the Divine power which enabled him, leads by contrast to the thought of the personal insignificance and unworthiness of the subject of that power, in view of the field and of the message.

less than the least] One Greek word, and that a unique one. It is a comparative-superlative; “more least,” “leaster,” where “lesser” would be the regular form. The holy intensity of thought breaks the bounds of accidence. For the sentiment—no flight of rhetoric, but the strong and true result of a profound view of the glory and mercy of Christ—cp. 1 Corinthians 15:9; 1 Timothy 1:15-16.

this grace] See on Ephesians 3:2 above.

among] Better, unto.

unsearchable] Lit., “not to be tracked by footprints,” a deeply suggestive word. In N.T. the word occurs only here and Romans 11:33 (A.V., “past finding out”). In the LXX. it appears thrice, in the Book of Job 5:9; Job 9:10; Job 34:24.

riches] See on Ephesians 1:7 for St Paul’s love of this and kindred words.

The whole phrase here before us is one of the greatest in holy Scripture. It presents the truths, harmonized into one truth, of the simplicity and the infinity of the Gospel. All is centralized in Christ, the Christ of Pauline, of New Testament, theology, the Incarnate Son slain, risen, and glorified; and from that Centre diverge countless lines of application to every need of the human soul. A Gospel thus described is totally different from an ethical code, or system; and equally different from a mere growth, however sublime, of human sentiment and aspiration. It claims to be nothing less than a direct unfolding of Divine resources of love and power.—See Appendix E for a remarkable incident in Christian biography, connected with this clause.

E. THE UNSEARCHABLE RICHES OF CHRIST. (Ch. Ephesians 3:8.)

The following passage, referred to in the notes, is extracted from “A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of St Paul’s, Deptford, on Sunday, May 7, 1786, on the lamented occasion of the death of Richard Conyers, LL.D., late Rector of that Parish,” by the Rev. John Newton.

“When he entered upon his ministry at his beloved Helmsley, in Yorkshire, he found the place ignorant and dissolute to a proverb … With much zeal and diligence, he attempted the reformation of his parish, which was of great extent and divided into several hamlets. He preached frequently in them all. He encouraged his parishioners to come to his house. He distributed them into little companies, that he might instruct them with more convenience; he met them in rotation by appointment. In this manner … I have been assured that he often preached or exhorted, publicly or more privately, twenty times in a week. These labours were not in vain; a great, visible, and almost universal reformation took place. About the time I am speaking of, a clergyman in his neighbourhood made very honourable mention of Mr Conyers, in a letter to the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (which I have seen in print), as perhaps the most exemplary, indefatigable and successful, parochial minister in the kingdom. Yet, in the midst of applause and apparent success, he was far from being satisfied with himself. He did what he could; he did more than most others; but he felt there was something still wanting, though for a time he knew not what; but he was desirous to know. He studied the Scriptures, and he prayed to the Father of lights. They who thus seek shall surely find. Important consequences often follow from a sudden, involuntary turn ot thought. One day an expression of St Paul’s, ‘the unsearchable riches of Christ’ (Ephesians 3:8), engaged his attention. He had often read the passage, but never noticed the word ‘unsearchable’ before. The Gospel, in his view of it, had appeared plain and within his comprehension; but the Apostle spoke of it as containing something that was ‘unsearchable.’ A conclusion, therefore forced itself upon him that the idea he had hitherto affixed to the word ‘Gospel,’ could not be the same with that of the Apostle.… Thus he was brought, with the Apostle, to account his former gain but loss. The ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’ opened to his mind; he received power to believe; his perplexities were removed, and he ‘rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ … He, from that time, preached Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, as the only ground of hope for sinners, and the only source from whence they could derive wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption, 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30.… This change in his sentiments, and manner of preaching, though it added efficacy to his moral instructions, and endeared him to his people at home, lost him much of that high estimation in which he had been held abroad. But he knew the gospel of God too well to be ashamed of it: whatever disgrace he suffered in such a cause he could bear with patience[43].”

[43] Conyers’ name occurs in Cowper’s Truth:“[Heaven’s] open, and ye cannot enter—why?Because ye will not, Conyers would reply.”Ephesians 3:8. Τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ, less than the least) The idea of the name Paul,[43] increased by a comparative which rises higher than even the superlative; whereby it is implied that he scarcely reckons himself among the saints. This is modestly and very elegantly expressed.—τῶν ἁγίων, of the saints) The saints here are opposed to the Gentiles; comp. the note on Acts 20:32.—ἀνεξιχνίαστον, unsearchable [never capable of being fully traced out]) Ephesians 3:18-19. There is a similar epithet found at Ephesians 3:10, manifold.—πλοῦτον, riches) Here heavenly riches are commended; presently after, wisdom, Ephesians 3:10.

[43] Paulus seems to be derived by Beng. from paulus, a diminution of paucus, little. This would give point to the ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ; not only paulus, little, but less than the least; but the Roman name, Paulus, probably had no connection with the adj. paulus. Cruden makes Paul Hebrew = a worker: as his former name Saul = a sepulchre, or destroyer.—ED.Verse 8. - Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints; not only of apostles and prophets, but even of all believers - a profound expression of humility, founded not only on his persecuting career, but on his consciousness of sin, of inborn rebellion against God's Law, of fountains of unlawful desire in his flesh (Romans 7:18; 1 Timothy 1:13-15), making him feel himself to be, in heart and essence, the chief of sinners. The sense of sin is not usually in proportion to the acts of outward transgression, but to the insight into the springs of evil in one's heart, and the true nature of sin as direct antagonism to the holy God. Was this grace given. The third time in this chapter that he speaks of his office as a fruit of grace, showing that, notwithstanding his being a prisoner on account of it, and all the perils it involved (2 Corinthians 11:24-27), he was overwhelmed with God's unmerited goodness in conferring it on him. It was substantially the post of a foreign missionary, with hardly one human comfort! To preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; εὐγγελίσασθαι, to evangelize, to proclaim good tidings. The force of the εὐ is not given in "preach," but the idea is amply conveyed by the words that follow. The balance of authority for τοῖς ἔθνεσι, "to the Gentiles," and ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσι, "among the Gentiles," is about equal; the meaning really the same. Ἔθνος, heathen, was almost an offensive name; yet with that name the apostle associates the highest blessings of God. The unsearchable riches of Christ; two attractive words, riches and unsearchable, conveying the idea of the things that are most precious being infinitely abundant. Usually precious things are rare; their very rarity increases their price; but here that which is most precious is also boundless - riches of compassion and love, of merit, of sanctifying, comforting, and transforming power, all without limit, and capable of satisfying every want, craving, and yearning of the heart, now and evermore. The thought of his having such riches to offer to all made him regard his office as most glorious, raised him far above the point of view from which the world would despise it, and filled him with adoring gratitude to God for having conferred it on him. Less than the least (τῷ ἐλαχιστοτέρῳ)

Only here in the New Testament, and very characteristic. A comparative is formed upon a superlative: more least than all the saints. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:8.

Unsearchable (ἀνεξιχνίαστον)

Only here and Romans 11:33 (note). Which cannot be tracked out.

Links
Ephesians 3:8 Interlinear
Ephesians 3:8 Parallel Texts


Ephesians 3:8 NIV
Ephesians 3:8 NLT
Ephesians 3:8 ESV
Ephesians 3:8 NASB
Ephesians 3:8 KJV

Ephesians 3:8 Bible Apps
Ephesians 3:8 Parallel
Ephesians 3:8 Biblia Paralela
Ephesians 3:8 Chinese Bible
Ephesians 3:8 French Bible
Ephesians 3:8 German Bible

Bible Hub






Ephesians 3:7
Top of Page
Top of Page