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Colossians 2:15

    Colossians 2:15 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Having made himself free from the rule of authorities and powers, he put them openly to shame, glorying over them in it.

    Webster's Revision

    having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    World English Bible

    having stripped the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    having put off from himself the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

    Clarke's Commentary on Colossians 2:15

    And having spoiled principalities and powers - Here is an allusion to the treatment of enemies when conquered: they are spoiled of their armor, so much the word απεκδυειν implies; and they are exhibited with contumely and reproach to the populace, especially when the victor has the honor of a triumph; to the former of which there is an allusion in the words εδειγματισεν εν παρῥησιᾳ, making a public exhibition of them; and to the latter in the words θριαμβευσας αυτους, triumphing over them. And the principalities and powers refer to the emperors, kings, and generals taken in battle, and reserved to grace the victor's triumph. It is very likely that by the αρχας και εξουσιας, principalities and powers, over whom Christ triumphed, the apostle means the נשיאות nesioth and רשות roshoth, who were the rulers and chiefs in the Sanhedrin and synagogues, and who had great authority among the people, both in making constitutions and explaining traditions. The propagation of Christianity in Judea quite destroyed their spiritual power and domination; just as the propagation of Protestantism, which was Christianity revived, destroyed, wherever it appeared, the false doctrine and domination of the pope of Rome.

    In it - The words εν αυτῳ refer rather to Christ, than to the cross, if indeed they be genuine; of which there is much reason to doubt, as the versions and fathers differ so greatly in quoting them. Griesbach has left them out of the text.

    Barnes' Notes on Colossians 2:15

    And having spoiled - Plundered as a victorious army does a conquered country. Notes, Colossians 2:8. The terms used in this verse are all military, and the idea is, that Christ has completely subdued our enemies by his death. A complete victory was achieved by his death, so that every thing is now in subjection to him, and we have nothing to fear.

    Principalities and powers - Notes, Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 6:12, note. The "principalities and powers" here referred to, are the formidable enemies that had held man in subjection, and prevented his serving God. There can be no doubt, I think, that the apostle refers to the ranks of fallen, evil spirits which had usurped a dominion over the world, John 12:31, note; Ephesians 2:2, note. The Saviour, by his death, wrested the dominion from them, and seized upon what they had captured as a conqueror seizes upon his prey. Satan and his legions had invaded the earth and drawn its inhabitants into captivity, and subjected them to their evil reign. Christ, by his death. subdues the invaders and recaptures those whom they had subdued.

    He made a show of them openly - As a conqueror, returning from a victory, displays in a triumphal procession the kings and princes whom he has taken, and the spoils of victory. This was commonly done when a "triumph" was decreed for a conqueror. On such occasions it sometimes happened that a considerable number of prisoners were led along amidst the scenes of triumph see the notes at 2 Corinthians 2:14. Paul says that this was now done "openly" - that is, it was in the face of the whole universe - a grand victory; a glorious triumph over all the powers of hell It does not refer to any public procession or display on the earth; but to the grand victory as achieved in view of the universe, by which Christ, as a conqueror, dragged Satan and his legions at his triumphal car; compare Romans 16:20.

    Triumphing over them in it - Margin, or, "himself." Either "by the cross," or "by himself." Or, it may mean, as Rosenmuller suggests, that "God Colossians 2:12 triumphed over these foes in him; i. e., in Christ. The sense is substantially the same, that this triumph was effected by the atonement made for sin by the Redeemer. See the word "triumph" explained in the Notes on 2 Corinthians 2:14. The meaning of all this is, that since Christ has achieved for us such a victory, and has subdued all the foes of man, we should not be led captive, but should regard ourselves as freemen. We should not be made again the slaves of custom, or habit, or ritual observances, or superstitious rites, or anything whatever that has its origin in the kingdom of darkness. We are bound to assert and to use our freedom, and should not allow any hostile power in the form of philosophy or false teaching of any kind, to plunder or "spoil" us; Colossians 2:8. The Christian is a freeman. His great Captain has subdued all his enemies, and we should not allow them again to set up their dark empire over our souls. The argument of the apostle in these verses Colossians 2:13-15 is derived from what Christ has done for us. He mentions four things:

    (1) He has given us spiritual life.

    (2) he has forgiven all our trespasses.

    (3) he has blotted out or abolished the "ordinances" that were against us.

    (4) he has triumphed over all our foes. From all this he infers (Colossians 2:16 ff) that we should not be made captive or subdued by any of the rites of superstition, or any of the influences of the kingdom of darkness.

    Wesley's Notes on Colossians 2:15

    2:15 And having spoiled the principalities and powers - The evil angels, of their usurped dominion. He - God the Father. Exposed them openly - Before all the hosts of hell and heaven. Triumphing over them in or by him - By Christ. Thus the paragraph begins with Christ, goes on with him, and ends with him.

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