Ephesians 4:9
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth?

King James Bible
(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

Darby Bible Translation
But that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

World English Bible
Now this, "He ascended," what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

Young's Literal Translation
and that, he went up, what is it except that he also went down first to the lower parts of the earth?

Ephesians 4:9 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Now that he ascended - That is, it is affirmed in the Psalm that he "ascended" - "Thou hast ascended on high." This implies that there must have been a previous "descent;" or, as applicable to the Messiah, "it is a truth that he previously descended." It is by no means certain that Paul meant to say that the "word" "ascended" demonstrated that there must have been a previous descent; but he probably means that in the case of Christ there was, "in fact," a descent into the lower parts of the earth first. The language used here will appropriately express his descent to earth.

Into the lower parts of the earth - To the lowest state of humiliation. This seems to be the fair meaning of the words. Heaven stands opposed to earth. One is above; the other is beneath. From the one Christ descended to the other; and he came not only to the earth, but he stooped to the most humble condition of humanity here; see Philippians 2:6-8; compare notes on Isaiah 44:23. Some have understood this of the grave; others of the region of departed spirits; but these interpretations do not seem to be necessary. It is the "earth itself" that stands in contrast with the heavens; and the idea is, that the Redeemer descended from his lofty eminence in heaven, and became a man of humble rank and condition; compare Psalm 139:15.

Ephesians 4:9 Parallel Commentaries

Library
June 15. "Grow up into Him in all Things" (Eph. Iv. 15).
"Grow up into Him in all things" (Eph. iv. 15). Harvest is a time of ripeness. Then the fruit and grain are fully developed, both in size and weight. Time has tempered the acid of the green fruit. It has been mellowed and softened by the rains and the heat of summer. The sun has tinted it into rich colors, and at last it is ready and ripe to fall into the hand. So Christian life ought to be. There are many things in life that need to be mellowed and ripened. Many Christians have orchards full of
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Of the Church
"I beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:1-6. 1. How much do we almost continually hear about the Church!
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

The Ascension of Christ
It seemed expedient for him to stay, to accomplish the conversion of the world. Would not his presence have had an influence to win by eloquence of gracious word and argument of loving miracle? If he put forth his power the battle would soon be over, and his rule over all hearts would be for ever established. "Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee." Go not from the conflict, thou mighty bowman, but still cast thine all-subduing darts abroad.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 17: 1871

Cross References
Isaiah 44:23
Shout for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the LORD has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

Ezekiel 31:14
so that all the trees by the waters may not be exalted in their stature, nor set their top among the clouds, nor their well-watered mighty ones stand erect in their height. For they have all been given over to death, to the earth beneath, among the sons of men, with those who go down to the pit."

John 3:13
"No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.

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