How does Paul view the 1st Century church at Ephesus? In the opening of his letter, Paul draws on connective language that harkens to the days of Israel’s past. The clarion call remains the same today, to leave behind pagan practice and come into holy covenant living.
Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Messiah Yeshua by God’s will, To the kedoshim in Ephesus—those trusting in Messiah Yeshua:
Three early mss don’t contain Ephesus (a circular).
Colossians 4:16: And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
A circular letter that went to Ephesus and was coming to the Colossians from Laodicea – the circular we know call Ephesian’s!
Miriam: According to Epiphanius of Salmis, in the 4th century C.E; Miram the mother of our savior spent the last years of her life in Ephesus.
Diana: In 262 C.E the temple of Diana was burned to the ground.
In 341 a council for the Ephesian congregation.
Apostle: raven – dove!
Interconnected Ephesian’s and Colossians; the Colossians were ensnared in a kind of proto-Gnosticism.
GK term ‘tois hagiois’, from the HEB ‘kedoshim’ used to describe believers in Yahusha. believers in Yahusha are connected to a Tanakh term which directly connects back to the Melchizedik priesthood at the Mountain!
Torot of first mention LXX related word: Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy (hagiois) nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Leviticus 23:4 These are the feasts of יהוה , even holy(hagiois) convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. 5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is YHWH’s passover.
Ephesians 1:2 Grace and shalom to you, from Elohim our Father and the Lord/Kurios Yeshua the Messiah!
Kurios and the Divine name – Paul absolutely considers Yahusha the Messiah to be יהוה manifested to the nations at large in human flesh.
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the Elohim and Father of our Kurios/Lord Yeshua the Messiah, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Messiah.
The ‘bracha’ – a very Hebraic liturgical phrase that would of been employed daily in the lives of Yah’s people often in a synagogue liturgical sense!
Psalms 41:13 Blessed is יהוה the Elohim of Israel, From the age—and unto the age. Amen and Amen.
Psalms 66:20 Blessed is Elohim Who hath not turned aside my prayer, And His loving-kindness, from me!
Luke 1:68 ‘Blessed is יהוה , the Elohim of Israel, Because He did look upon, And wrought redemption for His people.
יהוה chose Israel not so she would alienate herself from the world, but that she would be ‘that’ difference that’s expressed in the world.
We are the firstborn son, a relationship that was established at the Exodus:
Exodus 4:22: and thou hast said unto Pharaoh, Thus said יהוה, My son, My first-born is Israel.
Isaiah 1:2 Listen! Heavens, and hear, earth, for יהוה has spoken: “Sons I have raised and brought up, but they have rebelled against Me. 3 The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.”4 Oy, a sinful nation, a people weighed down with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, sons dealing corruptly! They have abandoned יהוה. They have despised Israel’s Holy One. They have turned backwards.5 Where will you be struck again, as you stray away more and more? The whole head is sick, the whole heart faint.6 From the foot to the head there is no soundness. Wounds, bruises and raw sores: not pressed, nor bandaged, nor softened with oil. 7 Your land is desolate; your cities are burned with fire; your fields, strangers devour it in your presence—a desolation, overthrown by strangers.8 So the Daughter of Zion is left as a sukkah in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Unless YHWH-Tzva’ot had left us a small remnant, we would have been as Sodom, we would have been as Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of יהוה , you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the Torah of our ELOHIM, you people of Gomorrah! 11 “For what is it to Me—the multitude of your sacrifices?” says יהוה. “I am full of burnt offerings of rams and fat of fed animals. I have no delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or he-goats.12 When you come to appear before Me, who has required this at your hand—trampling My courts?13 Bring no more worthless offerings! Incense is an abomination to Me. New Month and Shabbat, the calling of convocations—I cannot endure it—iniquity with solemn assembly. 14 Your New Months and your Festivals My soul hates! They are a burden to Me. I am weary to bear them.15 When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you. When you multiply prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood!”16 Wash and make yourselves clean. Put away the evil of your deeds from before My eyes. Cease to do evil. 17 Learn to do good, seek justice, relieve the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. :18 “Come now, let us reason together,” says יהוה. “Though your sins be like scarlet, they will be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they will become like wool.19 If you are willing and obey, you will eat the good of the land. 20 But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured with the sword.” For the mouth of יהוה has spoken.
Ephesians 1:4 He chose us in the Messiah before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love. Ephesians 1:5 He predestined us for adoption as sons through Messiah Yeshua, in keeping with the good pleasure of His will— Ephesians 1:6 to the glorious praise of His grace, with which He favored us through the One He loves!
In context, the concept of election is corporate, not individual.
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood—the removal of trespasses—in keeping with the richness of His grace Ephesians 1:8 that He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight.
The born again life gives us insight to the hidden mysteries of the world.
Ephesians 1:9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, in keeping with His good pleasure that He planned in Messiah.
‘Musterion’ – would have been a term that false teachers would’ve used in Asia Minor – Paul addressed in Colossians – the Greek mystery cults.
Ephesians 1:10 The plan of the fullness of times is to bring all things together in the Messiah—both things in heaven and things on earth, all in Him.
The kingdom of Elohim is a present force.
Again in v. 10 we see Paul pointing us back to the Mountain where both things in heaven – “a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the very heavens” (Exodus 24:10) – and on earth – “you will be My own treasure from among all people, for all the earth is Mine” (Exodus19.5) – “both things in heaven and things on earth, all in Him” (Ephesians 1:10).
Ephesians 1:11 In Him we also were chosen, predestined according to His plan. He keeps working out all things according to the purpose of His will— Ephesians 1:12 so that we, who were first to put our hope in Messiah, might be for His glorious praise. Ephesians 1:13 After you heard the message of truth—the Good News of your salvation—and when you put your trust in Him, you were sealed with the promised Ruach ha-Kodesh. Ephesians 1:14 He is the guarantee of our klēronomia/inheritance, until the redemption of His possession—to His glorious praise!
klēronomia – ‘the guarantee of our inheritance, until the redemption of His possession.’
Klēron means to ‘allot’ or ‘assign’ where in the Torah יהוה ‘allotted’ or ‘assigned’ the borders of the people according to the number of the children of Israel:
Deuteronomy 32:8 In the Most High causing nations to inherit, In His separating sons of Adam—He setteth up the borders of the nations By the number of the sons of Israel.
Ephesians 1:15 Therefore, ever since I heard of your trust in the Lord Yeshua and of your love for all the kedoshim, Ephesians 1:16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I mention you in my prayers Ephesians 1:17 that the Elohim of our Master Yeshua the Messiah, our glorious Father, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in knowing Him.
Colossians 1:4 For we heard of your trust in Messiah Yeshua and the love you have for all the kedoshim
Colossians 2:1 I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those in Laodicea, as well as for those who have still not seen me face to face.
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what is the richness of His glorious inheritance in the kedoshim, Ephesians 1:19 and what is His exceedingly great power toward us who keep trusting Him—in keeping with the working of His mighty strength.
As Rashi famously declares on his commentary of Exodus 19:
Exodus 19:2, ”Israel encamps there “as one man, with one mind,” putting aside their conflicts to join together to await the giving of the Torah”. יהוה calls to Moshe from the top of the mountain. He delineates the divine Covenant which Moshe is to convey to Bnei Yisrael, outlining the privileges and responsibilities of the “chosen nation,” a precious treasure (am segulah) among the nations of the world (Exodus 19:4-6).
Paul links us back again to obeying YHWH is just part of being His ‘segulah’, ’treasured possession.’
Ephesians 1:20 This power He exercised in Messiah when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heaven. Ephesians 1:21 He is far above any ruler, authority, power, leader, and every name that is named—not only in the olam ha-zeh but also in the olam ha-ba. Ephesians 1:22 God placed all things under Messiah’s feet and appointed Him as head over all things for His community— Ephesians 1:23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
The heavenly powers rule all the nations except Israel, Paul is now saying those in the priesthood, united in Messiah, have been raised above those powers!
You have the power to take control generationally – you have the power to take control geographically.