Ephesians 3:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,

King James Bible
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;

Darby Bible Translation
To me, less than the least of all saints, has this grace been given, to announce among the nations the glad tidings of the unsearchable riches of the Christ,

World English Bible
To me, the very least of all saints, was this grace given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,

Young's Literal Translation
to me -- the less than the least of all the saints -- was given this grace, among the nations to proclaim good news -- the untraceable riches of the Christ,

Ephesians 3:8 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Less than the least of all saints - Ελαχιστοτερῳ παντων ἁγιων. As the design of the apostle was to magnify the grace of Christ in the salvation of the world, he uses every precaution to prevent the eyes of the people from being turned to any thing but Christ crucified; and although he was obliged to speak of himself as the particular instrument which God had chosen to bring the Gentile world to the knowledge of the truth, yet he does it in such a manner as to show that the excellency of the power was of God, and not of him; and that, highly as he and his follow apostles were honored; they had the heavenly treasure in earthen vessels. To lay himself as low as possible, consistently with his being in the number of Divinely commissioned men, he calls himself less than the least; and is obliged to make a new word, by strangely forming a comparative degree, not from the positive, which would have been a regular grammatical procedure, but from the superlative. The adjective ελαχυς signifies little, ελασσων or ελαττων, less, and ελαχιστος, least. On this latter, which is the superlative of ελαχυς, little, St. Paul forms his comparative, ελαχιστοτερος, less than the least, a word of which it would be vain to attempt a better translation than that given in our own version. It most strongly marks the unparalleled humility of the apostle; and the amazing condescension of God, in favoring him, who had been before a persecutor and blasphemer, with the knowledge of this glorious scheme of human redemption, and the power to preach it so successfully among the Gentiles.

The unsearchable riches of Christ - The word ανεξιχνιαστος, from α, privative, and εξιχνιαζω, to trace out, from ιχνος, a step, is exceedingly well chosen here: it refers to the footsteps of God, the plans he had formed, the dispensations which he had published, and the innumerable providences which he had combined, to prepare, mature, and bring to full effect and view his gracious designs in the salvation of a ruined world, by the incarnation, passion, death, and resurrection of his Son. There were in these schemes and providences such riches - such an abundance, such a variety, as could not be comprehended even by the naturally vast, and, through the Divine inspiration, unparalleledly capacious mind of the apostle.

Yet he was to proclaim among the Gentiles these astonishing wonders and mysteries of grace; and as he proceeds in this great and glorious work, the Holy Spirit that dwelt in him opens to his mind more and more of those riches - leads him into those footsteps of the Almighty which could not be investigated by man nor angel, so that his preaching and epistles, taken all in their chronological order, will prove that his views brighten, and his discoveries become more numerous and more distinct in proportion as he advances. And had he lived, preached, and written to the present day, he had not exhausted the subject, nor fully declared to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ - the endless depths of wisdom and knowledge treasured up in him, and the infinity of saving acts and saving power displayed by him.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

who am.

Proverbs 30:2,3 Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man...

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another;

1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Timothy 1:13,15 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief...

1 Peter 5:5,6 Likewise, you younger, submit yourselves to the elder. Yes, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility...

is this.

1 Chronicles 17:16 And David the king came and sat before the LORD, and said, Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house...

1 Chronicles 29:14,15 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of you...

Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Romans 15:15-17 Nevertheless, brothers, I have written the more boldly to you in some sort, as putting you in mind...

I. See on ver.

Ephesians 3:2 If you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

Galatians 2:8 (For he that worked effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ...

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

unsearchable.

Ephesians 3:16,19 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man...

Ephesians 1:7,8 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace...

Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Psalm 31:19 Oh how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for them that fear you...

John 1:16 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man...

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you...

Colossians 2:1-3 For I would that you knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea...

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed...

Library
April 15. "Rooted and Grounded in Love" (Eph. Iii. 17).
"Rooted and grounded in love" (Eph. iii. 17). There is a very singular shrub, which grows abundantly in the west, and is to be found in all parts of Texas. It is no less than the "mosquito tree." It is a very slim, and willowy looking shrub, and would seem to be of little use for any industrial purposes; but is has extraordinary roots growing like great timbers underground, and possessing such qualities of endurance in all situations that it is used and very highly valued for good pavements. The
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

'The Whole Family'
'The whole family in heaven and earth.'--Eph. iii. 15. Grammatically, we are driven to recognise that the Revised Version is more correct than the Authorised, when it reads 'every family,' instead of 'the whole family.' There is in the expression no reference to the thought, however true it is in itself, that the redeemed in heaven and the believers on earth make up but one family. The thought rather is, that, as has been said, 'the father makes the family,' and if any community of intelligent beings,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

The Measure of the Cross
EPHESIANS iii. 18, 19. That ye may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. These words are very deep, and difficult to understand; for St. Paul does not tell us exactly of what he is speaking. He does not say what it is, the breadth and length, and depth, and height of which we are to comprehend and take in. Only he tells us afterwards what will come of our taking it in; we shall know the
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Past Knowledge.
(Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity.) EPHESIANS iii. 19. "To know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge." There are some things which no earthly school can teach us, no earthly science explain. Science can do very much, it has done marvellous things, and will do still more. Men can work now with ease such wonders as would have sent them to the fire as wizards three hundred years ago. Science can calculate the exact time of an eclipse ages before the time, science can connect two worlds with the
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Cross References
Acts 9:15
But the Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel.

Romans 2:4
Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

1 Corinthians 15:9
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Ephesians 1:7
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Ephesians 3:1
For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles--

Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

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