FOR THIS REASON IT SAYS:
dio legei, (3SPAI): (Isaiah 51:17; 52:1; 60:1; Romans
13:11,12; 1Corinthians 15:34; 1Thessalonians 5:6; 2Timothy 2:26)
has this note...
The following passage has been
typeset as poetry because many scholars regard this passage as poetic or
hymnic. These terms are used broadly to refer to the genre of writing,
not to the content. There are two broad criteria for determining if a
passage is poetic or hymnic: "(a) stylistic: a certain rhythmical lilt
when the passages are read aloud, the presence of parallelismus
membrorum (i.e., an arrangement into couplets), the semblance of some
metre, and the presence of rhetorical devices such as alliteration,
chiasmus, and antithesis; and (b) linguistic: an unusual vocabulary,
particularly the presence of theological terms, which is different from
the surrounding context" (P. T. O'Brien, Philippians [NIGTC], 188–89).
Classifying a passage as hymnic or poetic is important because
understanding this genre can provide keys to interpretation. However,
not all scholars agree that the above criteria are present in this
passage, so the decision to typeset it as poetry should be viewed as a
tentative decision about its genre.
For this reason
(dio) is a relatively emphatic marker of a result, usually
denoting that the inference is self-evident. Synonyms = So then.
Consequently. For that reason. On which account. This genre of
phraseology should always pique our attention, prompting us to pause and
ponder, specifically asking questions such as "for what “reason”?
In context Paul is alluding to the truth of the previous verses in which
he had just explained that light exposes the darkness.
It says (3004)
(lego) raises the question of to what does "it" refer?
Many commentators interpret this as a quotation from a non-biblical
source, possibly a Christian hymn. Others feel Paul may be alluding to
Scripture although this is not a direct quote of any known Scripture.
One verse that has some consider to be a passage Paul was alluding to is
Arise, shine; for your light has
come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. (Isaiah 60:1)
SLEEPER AND ARISE
FROM THE DEAD:
Egeire, (2SAAM) o katheudon, (PAPMSVocative) kai
anasta (2SAAM) ek ton
(Eph 2:5; Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:4,
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; John 5:25, 26, 27, 28, 29; 11:43,44; Romans 6:4,5,13;
raised by this passage is to whom is it preached--to unbelievers or
to believers? Here is C H Spurgeon's analysis...
To whom is this text addressed? Nine
times out of ten when it is preached from, it is taken as though it were
addressed to the ungodly. It is a very proper text to address to
the ungodly, but I do not see that the connection permits it. There are
some who would think it altogether unscriptural and unsound to address
these words to those who have no spiritual life. We are not of their
number. If we see a man ever so deadly asleep we believe we are
commissioned by God to preach the gospel to him, and to say, “Awake,
thou that sleepest;” and though more and more persuaded of the want
of moral sensibility in man and the desperate character of his
depravity, we are not amongst those who fear to preach to dead sinners,
but dare to say, even to the dead, “Thus saith the Lord, Ye dry
bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Ye dry bones,
live!” We can, therefore, very well take this text, and address it
to the ungodly.
But this is not intended to be a
sermon to the unconverted. It appears to me to have been addressed to
the church of God at Ephesus, to have been the language of Paul to God’s
own people, warning them not to fall into the same habits as did the
children of darkness, but to come out and show themselves to be God’s
I know the objection will be raised,
that they are told to come forth from the dead; but I do not see
that that is any obstacle at all, for albeit that the people of God may
not be spiritually dead in the sense in which the ungodly are,
yet how often do we speak of ourselves as feeling as if we were dead,
and speak of our graces and of our piety as though they were come into a
cold and dead state. It is comparative death that the apostle here
means, and we may use the words employed here as we would use them in
common conversation, and say that though there are some quivers of
spiritual life in the breast of every believer, yet there are multitudes
who are outwardly dead as to their usefulness, and there are Christians
and churches too of whom we may say, without at all libeling them. “You
are dead; awake thou that sleepest.”
Whatever objection there may be to
addressing the text to the converted, there will be far more difficulty
in addressing it to the unconverted, and I think there ought to be no
hesitation in directing it to either. To raise difficulties is very
easy, but meekly to try to learn what the Savior would say is far
5:14 The Church Aroused/ Awakened)
(At the end of this commentary section see this same message in
means to waken, rouse from sleep, from sitting or lying, from disease,
from death; from inactivity, ruins, nonexistence. The
is a command calling for the sleepers continually awaken. "Don't hit the
snooze alarm!" It is notable that Paul uses egeiro about 30
times to describe rising again from the dead. He uses the following verb
anistemi to describe the resurrection two times (1Th 4:14, 16).
rightly observes that "The life of the believer should
always be preaching a sermon, should always be exposing the surrounding
darkness, should always be extending this invitation to
unbelievers...awake...arise from the dead. (MacDonald,
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
144x in 138v - Matt 1:24; 2:13f, 20f; 3:9; 8:15, 25f; 9:5ff, 19, 25;
10:8; 11:5, 11; 12:11, 42; 14:2; 16:21; 17:7, 9, 23; 20:19; 24:7, 11,
24; 25:7; 26:32, 46; 27:52, 63f; 28:6f; Mark 1:31; 2:9, 11f; 3:3; 4:27,
38; 5:41; 6:14, 16; 9:27; 10:49; 12:26; 13:8, 22; 14:28, 42; 16:6, 14;
Luke 1:69; 3:8; 5:23f; 6:8; 7:14, 16, 22; 8:54; 9:7, 22; 11:8, 31;
13:25; 20:37; 21:10; 24:6, 34; John 2:19f, 22; 5:8, 21; 7:52; 11:29;
12:1, 9, 17; 13:4; 14:31; 21:14; Acts 3:6f, 15; 4:10; 5:30; 9:8; 10:26,
40; 12:7; 13:22, 30, 37; 26:8; Rom 4:24f; 6:4, 9; 7:4; 8:11, 34; 10:9;
13:11; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:4, 12ff, 20, 29, 32, 35, 42ff, 52; 2 Cor 1:9;
4:14; 5:15; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; 5:14; Phil 1:17; Col 2:12; 1Th 1:10; 2
Tim 2:8; Heb 11:19; Jas 5:15; 1 Pet 1:21; Rev 11:1
and arise from the dead - The meaning of Paul's quote which may be from Isaiah
(some say from Isaiah 26:19 and others from Isaiah 60:1) is debated.
applies Paul's cry to awake to the unconverted asking...
How do you obey a command to wake up
from sleep? If your house has carbon monoxide in it, and someone cries
out, “Wake up! Save yourself! Get out!” you don’t obey by waking
yourself up. The loud, powerful command itself wakes you up. You obey by
doing what wakeful people do in the face of danger. You get up and leave
the house. The call creates the waking. You respond in the power of what
the call created. (A Godward life : Savoring the supremacy of God in all
To you—children, teenagers, adults—I
plead, along with the apostle Paul, “Wake up, O sleeper, and arise from
the dead, and Christ shall give you light” (Ephesians 5:14). Don’t be
like the person who goes to the Grand Canyon with a little garden shovel
in his hand, and on the precipice of that majesty turns his back to the
Canyon, kneels down, and digs a little trough with his shovel and
shouts, “Hey, look at this! Look at my trough! Isn’t that cool!” I know
that the pressing and desirable things of your life seem big. But just a
little clearheaded thought will show you they are not. Get up and turn
around and look at the Canyon. Don’t live your life walking down the E
Concourse thinking that yogurt and sweet rolls and short skirts are
really what it’s all about.
Some evangelical writers believe that Paul is extending an invitation for salvation to the unsaved, in order that
they may be transformed from children of darkness into children of light.
Authors favoring this interpretation include John MacArthur (ref),
William MacDonald (ref),
It is interesting
that there is no clear consensus on this verse, and one commentator says
it applies to both believers and unbelievers.
Commentary - This is a call from drowsiness to spiritual life.
Stand up from the dead among you.
- The passage is introduced in connection with the reference to
the effects of a faithful ‘reproof’ and under the impression of the
figure of the light. It takes the form of an appeal to wake out of the
pagan condition of sin, described by the two-fold figure of sleep and
death, and of a promise that then Christ will shine upon the sinner with
the saving light of His truth. The quotation comes in relevantly,
therefore, as a further enforcement both of the need for the reproof
which is enjoined, and of the good effects of such a reproof faithfully
Believers are called on to awake
out of sleep; unbelievers, to arise from the dead (compare Mt 25:5; Ro
13:11; 1Th 5:6, with Eph 2:1). (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset,
A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on
the Old and New Testaments)
In the context of
chapters 4 and 5, Paul has been speaking to believing Gentiles, those
who had once walked in total darkness, and those who were still
surrounded by that darkness. The temptation to drift back into that
darkness would be an ever present danger. In fact the repetition of
negative commands in the present imperative (Stop doing this or that...)
clearly indicates that the readers were involved to some degree in the
deeds of darkness. In that context, it would be reasonable for Paul to
issue a call to those believers to wake up.
Also Paul uses the
metaphor of sleep in other passages to address saints...
But you, brethren, are not in
darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are
all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness;
6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and
sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who
get drunk get drunk at night. (1Thes 5:4-7-note)
In the "practical"
(a misnomer because all Scripture is practical) section of Romans 12-16,
Paul uses the metaphor of sleep, clearly referring to believers,
And this do, knowing the time, that
it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now
salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost
gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of
darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in
the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and
sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus
Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (See
We ought to be like the little boy whose family clock malfunctioned and
struck 15 times so that he rushed wide-eyed to his mother crying, “Mommy,
it’s later than it’s ever been before!” What sanctifying logic! We
should also keep in mind that if Christ does not return in our time, He
will certainly come individually for us in death. Each ache, pain, gray
hair, new wrinkle or funeral is another reminder that it is later than
it has ever been before. It is time to love our neighbors as ourselves.
IT'S LATER THAN YOU THINK. Redeem the time!
As noted above,
while there is not a consensus, the majority of evangelical writers
interpret Paul's call to "Awake sleeper" not as a call to the
spiritually dead to arise but instead
as a call to believers who have been lulled asleep and lapsed into some
of the "deeds of
J C Ryle
IS ANY READER OF THIS PAPER ASLEEP
AND UTTERLY THOUGHTLESS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY? Oh, awake and sleep no more!
Look at the churchyards and cemeteries. One by one the people around you
are dropping into them, and you must lie there one day. Look forward to
a world to come, and lay your hand on your heart, and say, if you dare,
that you ready to die and meet God. Ah! You are like one sleeping in a
boat drifting down the stream towards the falls of Niagara! "What
meanest you, oh sleeper! Arise and call on your God!"--"Awake you that
sheep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light!""
(Jonah 1:6; Ephesians 5:14). (Practical Religion)
Press writes that...
these words do call the Christian to
abandon the domain of darkness and death, and to forsake fellowship with
those who dwell there. (Boles, K. L.. Galatians & Ephesians. The
College Press NIV Commentary. Joplin, Mo.: College Press)
A W Pink discusses
the backslidden Christian, who has to
all appearances lapsed back into a state of unregeneracy. Is it not
faith’s response to that word (addressed to Christians) “Awake thou that
sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”
(Eph. 5:14)! (Exposition of Hebrews)
Our Father subjects us to trials in
order to cure our slothfulness. God calls out, “Awake thou that sleepest”
(Eph. 5:14), but we heed Him not; and therefore He often employs rough
servants to rudely arouse us. (The Lord's Prayer on Mt 6:13).
writes that this section (beginning with "Awake sleeper...) is...
Perhaps a portion of an early
Christian hymn exhorting the sinning believer to Awake and arise. (The
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
When you think of light, you think of
waking up to a new day, and Paul presented this picture (Eph 5:14),
paraphrasing Isaiah 60:1. You have the same image in Romans 13:11-13 and
1Thessalonians 5:1-10. That Easter morning, when Christ arose from the
dead, was the dawning of a new day for the world. Christians are not
sleeping in sin and death. We have been raised from the dead through
faith in Him. The darkness of the graveyard is past, and we are now
walking in the light of salvation. Salvation is the beginning of a new
day, and we ought to live as those who belong to the light, not to the
darkness. “Lazarus, come forth!” (Wiersbe,
W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
S Lewis Johnson
believes this text is addressed to believers writing that...
This is a text taken from the Old
Testament, but it is applied by the Apostle to the believers. He is
telling them that if their lives are not characterized by this purity of
which he is talking, they are sleeping morally, and they should awake,
and they should arise from the dead and Christ will give them
light...Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ
shall give thee light. It’s a promise that as we, by the grace of God
and the enablement of God, get down upon our knees and ask him to
deliver us from the failures of our Christian life, well we have the
assurance that God will undertake for us and we shall be given light. (Ephesians 5:3-21 Purity in the
Application commentary writes that just...
As the prophets appealed to Israel to
awaken from its state of darkness and death, so Paul was appealing to
the Ephesians to wake up, stay alert, and realize the dangerous
condition into which some of them had been slipping by listening to
false teachings. (Barton,
B, et al: The NIV Life Application Commentary Series: Tyndale)
This is evidently intended to give an
additional impulse to the Ephesians to walk as children of the light..
But the fundamental idea in the prophecy is, that when the Church gets
the light of heaven, she is not to lie still, as if she were asleep or
dead, but is to be active, is to make use of the light, is to use it for
illuminating the world. The apostle maintains that the Ephesian Church
had got the light of heaven; she, therefore, was not to sleep or loiter,
but spring forth as if from the grave, and pour light on the world. The
changes which the apostle makes on the form of the prophecy are
remarkable, and show that it was to its spirit and substance rather than
to its precise form and letter that he attached the authority of
inspiration. (See The
Pulpit Commentary - Exposition of Ephesians 5:14)
W E Vine
favors arise as referring to believers, calling for their "spiritual
awakening from lethargy."
Bible Commentary writes...
Awake thou that sleepest. This
is a call from drowsiness to spiritual life. Arise from the dead.
Stand up from the dead among you. Christ shall give thee light.
Make day dawn upon you. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson)
“Wake up!” says Paul. “Look what’s
happening in your lives.” I know of young men who could have turned this
world upside down for the Lord. I know of young guys who could have
really made a mark for the kingdom. But because they weren’t awake to
what the Word of God says concerning filthiness, coarse jesting,
uncleanness, fornication, and pornography, they’re ineffective to this
J. Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson
explains it this way...
A believer who has committed “deeds
of darkness,” is to wake up and rise from the dead since he was involved
with the deeds of evildoers. (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).
Here is a command which is humanly
impossible to obey. How can a person awake from the dead? How can a
person awake out of spiritual death? Only God can awaken us. I think
what Paul means here is that the believers who have fallen into a
spiritual stupor are to wake up. (McGee,
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Comment: A supernatural
awakening necessitates a supernatural source. McGee is correct.
The only way to obey this imperative is to yield to the enabling
ministry of the Holy Spirit who indwells believers. If this does refer
to unbelievers, the only way they could possibly obey this command is
likewise by the supernatural work of the Spirit giving them the desire
and the power (Phil 2:13NLT-note),
for we know that (absolutely) no man (left to himself) seeks after God!
quoting Psalm 14:2-note,
cp John 6:37, 44, 65)
feels that Paul is speaking to believers writing...
Most people think Paul is using that
verse to say, "This is God’s plea to the whole world, ‘Wake up and I’ll
shine on you. Once I shine on you, you can become light for other
people.’" I disagree with that. Looking at the context Paul is saying,
"You Christians, you see in Isaiah 60:1 when God spoke that, He spoke it
to His people."
To me Paul is saying, "God is saying the word to the church, ‘Wake up!
You are sleeping! Death is all around you. Darkness has enveloped you.
Wake up. Let Jesus shine on you first and reprove you for the things
wrong in your life. Then Jesus can shine through you and we can start
seeing darkness dissipate because it is light that puts out the
Folks, when you walk into a dark room
in the morning, you don’t switch the darkness off and switch the light
on. No, you just switch the light on and the darkness has to flee.
Darkness does not put out light. Folks, darkness is not the problem, and
it never has been the problem. The problem is no light. Christians are
sound asleep. You don’t have to go out on the street corner and get a
box and tell the world. Live it! Your neighbors will see the difference.
Your wife will see the difference. Everybody will see the difference. It
is incredible when you put the garment on. It is incredible when you are
strengthened in the inner man. Immediately people are affected. You
don’t even know it, but that light is penetrating the deeds of darkness
and the world of evil. When you put on that garment, it puts out
Paul here offers an invitation, a
call for those who are not children of light to come to the light and be
saved. The words are adapted from Isaiah 60:1, which reads, “Arise,
shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon
you.” Paul shows the prophetic meaning of those texts by declaring that
“the glory of the Lord [that] has risen” is none other than Jesus
Christ, the Messiah for whom and in whom Isaiah and every other godly
Jew had so longed hoped. Many commentators believe verse 14 is taken
from an Easter hymn sung by the early church and used as an invitation
to unbelievers who might have been in the congregation. The words are a
capsule summary of the gospel. Awake, sleeper describes the sinner who
is asleep in the darkness of sin and unaware of his lost condition and
tragic destiny. Like a spiritual Rip Van Winkle, he will sleep through
God’s time of grace unless someone awakens him to his predicament and
need. Arise from the dead is a summons to repentance, an appeal to
turn away from the dead ways of sin.
J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press
Bishop Ryle declares...
I put before you now a simple
question. Look through the pages of this paper and you will soon see why
I ask it. "Are you asleep about your soul?"
There are many who have the name of Christians, but not the character
which should go with the name. God is not King of their hearts. They
mind earthly things. Such persons are often quick and clever about the
affairs of this life. They are, many of them, good men of business, good
at their daily work, good masters, good servants, good neighbors, good
subjects of the Queen: all this I fully allow. But it is the eternal
part of them that I speak of; it is their never dying souls. And about
that, if a man may judge by the little they do for it, they are
careless, thoughtless, reckless, and unconcerned. They are asleep.
I do not say that God and salvation are subjects that never come across
their minds: but this I say,—they have not the uppermost place there.
Neither do I say that they are all alike in their lives; some of them
doubtless go further in sin than others: but this I say,—they have all
turned every one to his own way, and that way is not God's. I know no
rule by which to judge of a man's estate but the Bible. Now when I look
at the Bible I can come to only one conclusion about these people:
they are asleep about their souls.
These people do not see the sinfulness of sin, and their own lost
condition by nature. They appear to make light of breaking God's
commandments, and to care little whether they live according to His law
or not. Yet God says that sin is the transgression of the law,—that His
commandment is exceeding broad,—that every imagination of the natural
heart is evil,—that sin is the thing He cannot bear, He hates it,—that
the wages of sin is death, and the soul that sinneth shall die. Surely
they are asleep. Is this the state of your soul? Remember my question.
ARE You ASLEEP? (Are
You Asleep -- J. C. Ryle)
from katá = an intensifier + heúdo = to sleep) can refer
to literal sleep but here is used figuratively to refer to those who are
spiritually asleep, feeling secure and unconcerned in sin, indolent and
careless in the performance of duty.
(anistemi from ana = up, again + histemi = stand,
to cause to stand)
means literally to get up, to stand up, to stand again, to cause
to rise (thus "to raise"), to stand or be erect (Acts 9:41). To
rise from a lying or reclined position. To stand straight up from a
prostrate position (Acts 14:10). Most uses of anistemi denote the
act of getting up from a seated or reclined position.
especially common of the preparation of a journey Lk 1:39, Lk
15.18, 20; 17.19.
Anistemi can also
can be used in the sense of “to appear” or “to come” (Mt 12:41)
can refer to a change of position, of “rising” to a position of
preeminence or power; e.g., of Christ as a prophet, Acts 3:22; 7:37; as
God’s servant in the midst of the nation of Israel, Acts 3:26; as the
Son of God in the midst of the nation, Acts 13:33; as a priest, Heb
7:11, 15; as king over the nations, Ro. 15:12;
Here in Ephesians
5:14, anistemi is in the
is a command calling for the hearer to do this now. It often conveys a
sense of urgency -- Do not delay! Anistemi is
used metaphorically in Eph 5:14 calling for the hearer (as discussed
above some feel the recipients of this command are believers and some
feel they are unbelievers) to arise from the darkness of sin (for
the first time if referring to unbelievers who arise and receive
salvation or if referring to believers to arise from a state of
spiritual sluggishness or "somnolence." See related resource:
Discussion of Backsliding
22:24 the idea of anistemi is to cause to be born. Anistemi is combined with
sperma (seed) in an idiom "to raise up seed" meaning to
beget or to procreate (Mt 22:24, Lxx of Gen 38:8).
used in the sense of causing someone to appear as in Acts 3:22 (speaking
of the prophecy of Jesus in Dt 18:15).
sometimes used of a hostile reaction meaning to stand against, to rise
up antagonistically against someone - rising up of Satan = Mk 3:26;
officials against people Acts 5:17; seditious leader = Acts 5:36-37;
Jews against other Jews = Acts 6:9; false teachers = Acts 20:30; Nu 16:2
The most important
figurative use of anistemi is to raise up from the dead or to
bring back to life. Below are the 30 uses of anistemi that
refer to resurrection -
Mark 8:31, 9:9, 31, 10:34, 12:23, 25, Lk 9:8, 19, 16:31, 18:33, Lk 24:7,
46, John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, Jn 11:23, 11:31, Jn 20:9, Acts 2:24, 32,
Acts 9:40, 9:41, 10:41, 13:16, 34, Acts 13:33, Eph 5:14, 1Th 4:14,
Comment: The other NT verb
used to describe the resurrection is egeiro (the same word used
here in Eph 5:14 in the command to "Awake").
The following uses of egeiro describe resurrection from the dead - Jn
12:9, 17; Acts 3:15; 4:10; Acts 5:30; Acts 10:40; Acts 13:30; Acts
13:37, Ro 4:24, 25; Ro 6:4, 9; Ro 7:4; 8:11 (twice), Ro 8:34; 10:9; 1Cor
6:14; 15:4, 12, 13, 14, 15 (twice), 1Cor 15:16 (twice), 1Cor 15:17, 20,
29, 32, 35, 42, 43 (twice), 1Cor 15:52; 2Cor 1:9; 4:14 (twice); 2Cor
5:15; Gal 1:1; Eph 1:20; 5:14; Col 2:12; 1Th 1:10; 2Ti 2:8; 1 Pet 1:21.
It is notable that Paul favors the use of egeiro over anistemi
when describing the resurrection of Jesus.
Egeiro is used to describe
Abraham's belief in resurrection at the time he was called to sacrifice
his son Isaac - Heb 11:19. See other uses of egeiro to describe
resurrection in Mt 10:8; John 5:21; Acts 26:8; 2Cor 1:9.
Richards summarizes: In
the NT, two families of words are used to express this basic doctrine.
The verb anistemi means "to raise" or "to arouse [from sleep]."
In this word group are also
("resurrection") and exanistemi ("to raise," "to arouse"). The NT
uses all of these words in ordinary senses as well as in the context of
resurrection from the dead. These words, almost never used in Greek
thought of a recall to life, are used in the NT both of Jesus'
resurrection and of the believer's resurrection. Egeiro is a
transitive verb meaning "to wake up," "to rouse." Egersis is
found only once in the NT (Mt 27:53) and means "an awakening," "a
resurrection." Both these groups of words are used when NT writers turn
their attention to what happened to Jesus and to what will happen to
those who are His.
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Related Study: Noun =
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT?
I have heard some
make the statement that God never alludes to resurrection in the Old
Testament. But what "saith the LORD"? This study of the uses of anistemi
takes us to several passages that help answer this question. Other OT
passages that clearly allude to resurrection (but do not use
And as for me, I know
that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the
earth. Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see
God (Compare Job's question in Job 14:14 "If a man dies, will he
live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait, Until my change
comes."); Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes shall see and
not another. My heart faints within me.
Comment: In addition to Job,
the patriarch Job also believed in the resurrection of the dead (Compare
Abraham's confident statement in Ge 22:5 with understanding of life
after death as explained in the Heb 11:19)
Psalm 16:8 (Note) (Clearly a Messianic
Psalm) I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my
right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will
10 For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; Neither wilt Thou
allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay. (Ed: This passage
foreshadows the Resurrection of Jesus).
11 Thou wilt make known to me the path of life; In Thy presence is
fulness of joy; In Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.
Comment: From the NT quotation
of this Psalm 16 passage, we know that David's words transcended his own
experience of deliverance from death and ultimately were fulfilled by
Christ. Thus Peter (Acts 2:25-28) and Paul (Acts 13:35) both applied the
truth prophesied in Psalm 16 to the resurrection of the the Lord Jesus
Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom
them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death,
where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be
hidden from My sight.
Comment: This passage is
considered by many to speak of resurrection.
Ryrie: The first two
statements are rhetorical questions to be answered in the negative:
"Will I ransom them from the power of Sheol? No. Will I redeem them from
death? No." The next two questions call upon Death and Sheol to unleash
their power against Israel. But Paul used this to celebrate victory over
death (1 Cor. 15:55).
Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody
John MacArthur: Placing the
strong affirmation of deliverance so abruptly after a denunciation
intensified the wonder of His unrequited love (cf. Hos 11:8, 9; Lev
26:44). This can apply to God’s restoration of Israel from Assyria, and
in future times from all the lands of the dispersion, preserving them
and bringing them back to their land for the kingdom of Messiah (Eze
37). It also speaks of the time of personal resurrection as in Da 12:2,
3. Repentant Israelites will be restored to the land and even raised
from death to glory. Paul uses this text in 1Co 15:55 (quoting the LXX)
to celebrate the future resurrection of the church. The Messiah’s great
victory over death and the grave is the firstfruits of the full harvest
to come, when all believers will likewise experience the power of His
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word
In addition the OT records at least
two instances of miracles during which a dead individual was restored to
life - See 2Ki 4:32-35 and 2Ki 13:21.
used up to 4 times in the Septuagint in passages that describe
Isaiah 26:19 (Note the
- Isa 26:20 - the "indignation"
for a "little while" refers to the
Great Tribulation - see
by Dr Henry Morris) Your dead will live (Hebrew = chayah = to
live; Lxx = anistemi = rise again - Thus the Lxx is translated "The dead
will rise"); Their corpses will rise (egeiro). You who lie in the dust,
awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the
earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
Ryrie Comments: (John A Martin
in the Bible Knowledge Commentary agrees with Ryrie): This verse, along
with Job 19:26 and Da 12:2-note,
explicitly teaches the bodily resurrection of OT believers.
John MacArthur has a somewhat
different interpretation - This speaks of the raising of corporate
Israel to participate in the great future banquet (cf. Ezek 37:1ff-note).
speaks of the resurrection of individual OT saints.
Jeremiah 30:9 'But they
shall serve the LORD their God and David their king, whom I will
raise up (Hebrew = qum; Lxx = anistemi) for them.
Comment: This use might be
questioned by some, for not everyone agrees that David will be raised up
literally and literally will reign as a king under the King of kings in
the Messianic Kingdom. I believe David here refers to David and not the
Son of David. Jesus is never called "David" but is called "Son of
David." The angelic messenger in Daniel 10-12 certainly ended with a
promise to the man of high esteem that he would arise at the end of the
age (Da 12:14-note). What is this time phrase refer to? I think this is at the end of
the age we are in now -- the "times of the Gentiles" will come to an end
when the "fulness of the Gentiles" has come in and Messiah returns to
bring an end to the last horrific 3.5 year period of persecution wrought
by the Satanically inspired Anti-Christ and all who oppose God's rule.
Messiah then sets up His Kingdom based in the Holy City of Jerusalem and
rules as "King of kings." If Daniel was promised future resurrection,
surely Jeremiah 30:9 can be interpreted as referring to resurrection of
King David, a man after God's own heart. (For more discussion see
notes attached to the fascinating 1891 book by Jewish believer David Baron
The Jewish Problem)
"Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake (Hebrew =
qits; Lxx = anistemi; "will rise again"), these to everlasting life
the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt ("Unbelievers").
"But as for you (Angel speaking to Daniel - this dialogue began in
Daniel 10 and spans chapters 10-12), go your way to the end; then you will enter into rest
and rise again (Lxx = anistemi) for your allotted
portion at the end of the age.
Richards adds that...
While the doctrine of resurrection is
not developed in the OT, it is certainly fair to say that the emergence
of the NT's clear teaching comes as no surprise. The Pharisees, who held
to the doctrine of resurrection, and the Sadducees, who denied it, might
argue about the OT's implications for the resurrection, but Jesus justly
condemned the denial of the Sadducees, saying, "You are in error because
you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God" (Mt 22:29; cf. Mk
12:27; Lk 20:38). (Ibid)
Related Resources on Resurrection:
Resurrection (noun) = word study of
The Two Resurrections - "First" and
"Second" - on a timeline
Resurrections in Scripture
Resurrection - Is it Taught in the
Prophesied in the Old Testament...
First Fruits as a prophetic picture
of Christ's Resurrection
The Sign of Jonah as a prophecy of
The "Third Day" in Hosea - Does it
predict Christ's Resurrection?
Resurrection in the Old Testament
108x in 107v in the NT (NAS) - NAS translates anistemi as - arise(4), arises(2), arose(4), get(15),
getting(1), got(24), raise(7), raised(4), raised...up again(1), raised
up again(1), raising(1), rise(3), rise again(10), risen(2), risen
again(2), rises(1), rising(1), rose(6), rose again(1), stand(5),
used in the non-apocryphal
in 400 passages - Gen 4:8; 9:9; 13:17; 19:14f, 33, 35; 21:14, 18, 32;
22:3, 19; 23:3, 7; 24:10, 54, 61; 25:34; 26:31; 27:19, 31, 43; 28:2, 18;
31:13, 17, 35, 55; 32:22; 35:1, 3; 37:7; 38:8, 19; 43:8, 13, 15; 44:4;
46:5; Ex 1:8; 2:17; 12:30f; 24:13; 26:30; 32:1, 6; Lev 26:1; Num 1:51;
7:1; 11:32; 16:2, 25; 22:13f, 20ff; 23:18, 24; 24:9, 17, 25; 32:14; Deut
2:13, 24; 9:12; 13:1; 17:8; 18:15, 18; 22:4; 25:7; 28:9; 29:22; 31:16;
32:38; 33:11; 34:10; Josh 1:2; 6:12, 15; 7:10, 13; 8:1, 3; 18:4, 8;
21:44; 24:9; Jdg 2:10; 3:21, 31; 4:9, 14; 5:7, 12; 7:9, 15; 8:20f; 9:32,
34f, 43; 10:1, 3; 13:11; 16:3; 18:9; 19:3, 5, 7, 9f, 27f; 20:5, 8, 18f,
33; Ruth 1:6; 2:15; 3:14; 4:5, 10; 1 Sam 1:9; 2:8, 35; 3:8; 9:3, 26;
13:15; 15:12; 16:12f; 17:48, 52; 18:27; 20:41f; 21:10; 23:4, 13, 16, 24;
24:4, 7f; 25:1, 29, 41f; 26:2, 5; 27:2; 28:23, 25; 31:12; 2 Sam 2:14f;
3:10, 21; 6:2; 7:12; 11:2; 12:17, 20f; 13:15, 29, 31; 14:23, 31; 15:9,
14; 17:1, 21ff; 19:7f; 22:39; 23:1, 10; 24:11; 1Kgs 1:50; 2:40; 3:4, 12,
15, 20f; 8:20, 54; 9:5; 11:18, 40; 12:24; 17:9f; 19:3, 5ff, 21; 21:7,
15f, 18; 2Kgs 1:3, 15; 3:24; 4:30; 6:15; 7:5, 7, 12; 8:1f, 21; 9:2, 6;
10:12; 12:20; 13:21; 21:3; 23:3, 25; 25:26; 1Chr 17:11; 22:16; 2Chr
6:10, 41; 7:18; 10:15; 13:4, 6; 20:5, 19, 23; 21:4; 23:18; 24:13, 20;
25:5; 28:12, 15; 29:12; 30:14, 27; 35:19; Ezra 1:5; 2:63; 3:2; 5:2; 9:5,
9; 10:3ff, 10; Neh 2:12, 18; 3:1; 4:14; 7:65; 9:5; Job 1:5, 20; 4:16;
7:4; 14:12; 16:8; 19:18, 26; 24:22; 42:17; Ps 1:5; 3:7; 7:6; 9:19;
10:12; 12:5; 17:13; 20:8; 35:2, 11; 41:8, 10; 44:23, 26; 68:1; 74:22;
76:9; 78:5f; 82:8; 88:10; 94:16; 102:13; 132:8; Pr 24:16; 29:4; 31:15,
26; Eccl 12:4; Song 2:10, 13; 3:2; 5:5; Isa 2:10, 19, 21; 11:10; 14:21;
21:5; 24:20; 26:14, 19; 28:21; 32:9; 33:10; 38:9; 39:1; 43:17; 49:7;
51:17; 52:2; 54:17; Jer 1:17; 2:27f; 6:4f; 8:4; 13:4, 6; 18:2; 23:4f,
20; 25:27; 26:17; 30:9, 12; 31:6; 37:10; 41:2; 46:16; 49:14, 28, 31;
50:32; 51:64; Lam 2:19; Ezek 3:22f; 13:5f; 16:60, 62; 26:20; 34:23, 29;
Dan 2:39; 3:24; 4:8; 7:5; 8:22f, 27; 11:4, 7, 14, 20f; 12:2, 13; Hos
6:2; Amos 5:2; 7:2, 5, 9; 8:14; 9:11; Obad 1:1; Jonah 1:2f, 6; 3:2f; Mic
2:10; 4:13; 6:1; 7:8; Hab 2:7; Hag 2:9
Here are a few
Ge 4:8 Cain arising against
Ge 9:9 God "raises up" [establishes] His covenant with
Noah to never destroy the world by flood,
Ge 13:17 God tells Abram "Arise, walk about the land through its
length and breadth; for I will give it to you."
Ge 38:8 raise up offspring
(Idiomatic expression - anistemi sperma = seed),
Ex 1:8 "a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph,"
Ex 32:6 "rose up to play" [most take this as licentious behavior]
and quoted by Paul in 1Cor 10:7,
Lev 26:1 setting up idols,
Nu 7:1 setting up the Tabernacle,
Dt 18:18 raising up a prophet foretelling Jesus first coming,
Isa 11:10 of Messiah "will stand [arise] as a signal for
the" Gentiles quoted in Ro 15:12.
It is also notable that anistemi in
the Septuagint frequently introduces divine commissions (e.g., Ge
21:18; Ge 31:13; 1Ki 17:9; Jonah 1:2).
Here are all
108 uses of anistemi in the NT with the uses that refer to resurrection
highlighted in yellow...
Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from
there, He saw a man called Matthew, sitting in the tax collector's
booth; and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and
Matthew 12:41 "The men of Nineveh will stand up with this
generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at
the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is
Matthew 22:24 asking, "Teacher, Moses said, 'IF A MAN DIES HAVING NO
CHILDREN, HIS BROTHER AS NEXT OF KIN SHALL MARRY HIS WIFE, AND RAISE
UP CHILDREN FOR HIS BROTHER.'
Matthew 26:62 The high priest stood up and said to Him, "Do You
not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?"
Mark 1:35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got
up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying
Mark 2:14 As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting in
the tax booth, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" And he got up and
Mark 3:26 "If Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand, but he is finished!
Mark 5:42 Immediately the girl got
(rose) up and began to walk, for she
was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.
Comment: Clearly Jairus'
daughter (Mk 5:22) was dead, so the fact that she "got up" is synonymous
with her "rising from the dead" (although she would still have to
Mark 7:24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of
Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it;
yet He could not escape notice.
Mark 8:31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer
many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the
scribes, and be killed, and after three days
Mark 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, He gave them orders
not to relate to anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man
rose from the
dead. 10 They seized upon that statement, discussing with one another
what rising from
the dead meant.
Mark 9:27 But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got
Mark 9:31 For He was teaching His disciples and telling them, "The Son
of Man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him;
and when He has been killed, He will
rise three days
Mark 10:1 Getting up, He went from there to the region of Judea
and beyond the Jordan; crowds gathered around Him again, and, according
to His custom, He once more began to teach them.
Mark 10:34 "They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill
Him, and three days later He will
Mark 12:23 "In the resurrection, when they
rise again, which
one's wife will she be? For all seven had married her."
Mark 12:25 "For when they
rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in
marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
Mark 14:57 Some stood up and began to give false testimony
against Him, saying,
Mark 14:60 The high priest stood up and came forward and questioned
Jesus, saying, "Do You not answer? What is it that these men are
testifying against You?"
Mark 16:9 Now after He had risen early on the first day of the
week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out
Luke 1:39 Now at this time Mary arose and went in a hurry to the
hill country, to a city of Judah,
Luke 4:16 And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as
was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood
up to read.
Luke 4:29 and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led
Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order
to throw Him down the cliff.
Luke 4:38 Then He got up and left the synagogue, and entered
Simon's home. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever,
and they asked Him to help her. 39 And standing over her, He rebuked the
fever, and it left her; and she immediately got up and waited on
Luke 5:25 Immediately he got
up before them, and picked up what he had been lying on, and went home
Luke 5:28 And he left everything behind, and got up and began to
MacArthur comments: The
of the verb anistemi (got up) coupled with the
of the verb akoloutheo (began to follow) illustrates Matthew’s
response. There was a decisive decision (Ed: "got up" at a moment
in time) to break with his past, then a continual pattern of following
Christ (Ed: This is the sense of the imperfect tense). He began
to experience new longings, new aspirations, new affections, a new mind,
and a new will; in short, he became a new creature (2Cor 5:17-note).
The traitor, extortioner, robber, and outcast sinner became the apostle
and evangelist of Jesus Christ. Matthew lost a temporal career, but
gained an eternal destiny; he forfeited material possessions, but gained
“an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade
away, reserved in heaven” (1Peter 1:4-note);
he lost sinful companions, but gained the fellowship of the Son of God.
Luke 6:8 But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man
with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward!" And he got up
and came forward.
Luke 8:55 And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately;
and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.
Luke 9:8 and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of
the prophets of old had risen
Comment: It is interesting
that in Lk 9:7 Luke used egeiro, the other NT verb which is most
often used for resurrection.
Luke 9:19 They answered and said, "John the Baptist, and others say
Elijah; but others, that one of the prophets of old has
Luke 10:25 And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test,
saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
Luke 11:7 and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the
door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot
get up and give you anything.' 8 "I tell you, even though he will
not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet
because of his persistence he will get up (egeiro) and give him as much
as he needs.
Luke 11:32 "The men of Nineveh will
stand up (ESV = "rise up") with this generation at the judgment
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and
behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
Luke 15:18 'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to
him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;...20 "So
he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long
way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and
embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 16:31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the
Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone
rises from the
Luke 17:19 And He said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has
made you well."
Luke 18:33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the
third day He will rise
Luke 22:45 When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and
found them sleeping from sorrow, 46 and said to them, "Why are you
sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into
Luke 23:1 Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him
Luke 24:7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of
sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day
Luke 24:12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and
looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his
home, marveling at what had happened.
Luke 24:33 And they got up that very hour and returned to
Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were
Luke 24:46 and He said to them, "Thus it is written (OT
Scriptures), that the Christ
would suffer and rise again
from the dead the third day,
Comment: Jesus states clearly
that the doctrine of the resurrection was taught in the OT.
John 6:39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has
given Me I lose nothing, but
raise it up on the last day. 40 "For this is the will of My
Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have
eternal life, and I Myself will
raise him up on the last day."...44 "No one can come to Me
unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will
raise him up on
the last day....54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal
life, and I will raise
him up on the last day.
John 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will
24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will
rise again in the
resurrection on the last day."
John 11:31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling
her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they
followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
John 20:9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must
rise again from
Acts 1:15 At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the
brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there
together), and said,
Acts 2:24 "But God raised
Him up again,
putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to
be held in its power.
Acts 2:32 "This Jesus God
raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
Acts 3:22 "Moses said, 'THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A
PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to
everything He says to you.
Comment: Although some
consider the phrase "will raise up" as a foreshadowing on the
resurrection of Christ, most do not see this as a prophecy of
Acts 3:26 "For you first, God
raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning
every one of you from your wicked ways."
Comment: It should be noted
that some favor this use as signifying God elevating Jesus to this
position (i.e., His incarnation), and not to resurrection of Jesus. To
be sure - Jesus was "raised up" both before and after He died.
Barnes: This expression does
not refer to his having raised him from the dead, but is used in the
same sense as in Acts 3:22, where God promised that he would raise up a
prophet, and send him to teach the people. Peter means that God had
appointed his Son Jesus, or had commissioned him to go and preach to the
people to turn them away from their sins.
Acts 5:6 The young men got up and covered him up, and after
carrying him out, they buried him.
Acts 5:17 But the high priest rose
up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees),
and they were filled with jealousy.
Acts 5:34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected
by all the people, stood up (first in Greek for emphasis) in the
Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.
Acts 5:36 "For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be
somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But
he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to
Acts 5:37 "After this man, Judas of Galilee
up in the days of the census and
drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who
followed him were scattered.
Acts 6:9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the
Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from
Cilicia and Asia,
up and argued with Stephen.
Acts 7:18 until THERE
ANOTHER KING OVER EGYPT WHO KNEW NOTHING ABOUT JOSEPH.
Acts 7:37 "This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, 'GOD
WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN.'
Acts 8:26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, "Get
up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This
is a desert road.)
Acts 8:27 So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian
eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in
charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship,
Acts 9:6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you
what you must do."
Acts 9:11 And the Lord said to him, "Get up and go to the street
called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus
named Saul, for he is praying,
Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes something like
scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was
Acts 9:34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get
up and make your bed." Immediately he got up.
Acts 9:39 So Peter arose and went with them. When he arrived,
they brought him into the upper room; and all the widows stood beside
him, weeping and showing all the tunics and garments that Dorcas used to
make while she was with them.
Acts 9:40 But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and
turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha,
arise." And she
opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.
Acts 9:41 And he gave her his hand and raised her up; and calling
the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
Acts 10:13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!"
Acts 10:20 "But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without
misgivings, for I have sent them Myself."
Acts 10:23 So he invited them in and gave them lodging. And on the next
day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren
from Joppa accompanied him.
Acts 10:26 But Peter raised him up, saying, "Stand up; I too am
just a man."
Acts 10:41 not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen
beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He
arose from the
Acts 11:7 "I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Get up, Peter;
kill and eat.'
Acts 11:28 One of them named Agabus stood up and began to
indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all
over the world. And this took place in the reign of Claudius.
Acts 12:7 And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared and a light
shone in the cell; and he struck Peter's side and woke him up, saying, "Get
up quickly." And his chains fell off his hands.
Acts 13:16 Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, "Men
of Israel, and you who fear God, listen:
Acts 13:33 that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that
He raised up
Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY
I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.' (Quoting from Psalm 2:7)
Comment: Although I have
chosen to classify this use as related to Jesus' resurrection (Henry
Alford favors that interpretation), there are those (Expositor's Greek
Testament, Charles Ryrie) who favor this use as indicative of His
can certainly have that latter sense as seen in Acts 7:37.
Acts 13:34 "As for the fact that He
raised Him up from
the dead, no longer to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: 'I
WILL GIVE YOU THE HOLY and SURE blessings OF DAVID.'
Acts 14:10 said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet."
And he leaped up and began to walk.
Acts 14:20 But while the disciples stood around him, he
got up and entered the city. The next day he went away with
Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 15:7 After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and
said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a
choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of
the gospel and believe.
Acts 17:3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer
and rise again
from the dead, and saying, "This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is
Acts 17:31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world
in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished
proof to all men by raising
Him from the dead."
and from among your own selves men will
arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after
Acts 22:10 "And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to
me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told
of all that has been appointed for you to do.'
Acts 22:16 'Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and
wash away your sins, calling on His name.'
Acts 23:9 And there occurred a great uproar; and some of the scribes of
the Pharisaic party stood up and began to argue heatedly, saying,
"We find nothing wrong with this man; suppose a spirit or an angel has
spoken to him?"
Acts 26:16 'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I
have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only
to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I
will appear to you;
Acts 26:30 The king stood up and the governor and Bernice, and
those who were sitting with them,
Again Isaiah says, "THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE, AND HE WHO
ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE."
1 Corinthians 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is
written, "THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP
For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And
arise from the
dead, And Christ will shine on you."
1 Thessalonians 4:14-note
For if we believe that Jesus died and
even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-note
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the
voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in
Christ will rise
Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis
of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for
another priest to arise
according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according
to the order of Aaron?
And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to
the likeness of Melchizedek
is a body without life and used figuratively in Ephesians 5:14 either to
describe the state
of unbelievers who have
no spiritual life for they are dead in their trespasses and sins (Eph
or to describe the state of believers, in a "death like" stuporous
(state of reduced or suspended sensibility) spiritual condition
which results from the dulling, deceiving, stupefying (rendering
insensitive) effects of sin (hamartia)
(even [or especially] in believers! -
See related discussion -
Deceitfulness of Sin!)
S D F
Salmond favors that Paul is addressing unbelievers with his call to
The passage is introduced in
connection with the reference to the effects of a faithful ‘reproof’ and
under the impression of the figure of the light. It takes the form of an
appeal to wake out of the pagan condition of sin, described by the
two-fold figure of sleep and death, and of a promise that then Christ
will shine upon the sinner with the saving light of His truth. The
quotation comes in relevantly, therefore, as a further enforcement both
of the need for the reproof which is enjoined, and of the good effects
of such a reproof faithfully exercised. (See
Ephesians 5:14 Commentary
- in the Expositors Greek Testament)
Napoleon said to his executives after
touring China, "This nation is a sleeping giant. If she is ever
awakened, she will rock the world." The Church is much more a sleeping
giant that needs to be aroused out of her sleep. (Golden Nuggets)
AND CHRIST WILL SHINE ON YOU:
kai epiphausei (3SPAI) soi o Christos
(John 8:12; 9:5; Acts 13:47; 2Co 4:6;
path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.
Note by William Arnot (1858)
And Christ will
shine on you - A conditional promise. The question is will the
hearer "Arise!" (Hear and Heed)?
(who interprets this section as a call to the unregenerate soul to come to the light of the Gospel of
Christ and be saved) gives us a sad illustration of failing to lay hold of
The story is told of a great fire in
Edinburgh, Scotland, in which people hurried to exit the building
through a passage that led to the street. They were almost safe when a
rush of smoke met them, blowing into the passage from the outside.
Instead of running through the smoke, they entered a door into a room
that seemed safe. But soon all the oxygen was exhausted and they all
suffocated. If only they had seen the light they might have lived.
(Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate
to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being
the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah.
Note Again therefore Jesus spoke
to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows (present
shall not (this is a "double negative" [ou me] in Greek which is
the strongest way it could have been stated!) walk in the darkness, but
shall have the light of life.”
Comment: Notice that there are
only 2 options - chose to follow Christ and walk in His light or refuse
to follow Christ and walk in darkness! In the context of Eph 5:14,
whether the recipients of the command to "Arise" are believers or
unbelievers, the result is the same for those who hear and obey the
command - they will receive the "light of life." In other words they
will be enabled by the Spirit of Christ to live a life filled with light
rather than darkness (of sinful deeds). This is life abundant. This is a
life in which one's joy is filled to the brim by Christ's Spirit.
Acts 13:47 “For thus the Lord has
commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES,
THAT YOU SHOULD BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.’”
Comment: Those who come to the
Light receive salvation (cp Jn 8:12).
For God, Who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the
One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Christ.
but now (Context = 2Ti 1:9) has been revealed by the appearing of our
Savior Christ Jesus (Incarnation), Who abolished (made ineffective)
death, and brought life and immortality to light through the
from epí = upon, to, + phaúo = to shine) means to shine
upon, give light to, to illuminate. Epiphauo is used here in its
only NT use in a figurative sense referring to spiritual enlightenment
(cause to understand). The means employed by Christ are compared to the
rays of the rising sun (Son). Epiphauo is used in the Septuagint of
heavenly bodies shining (Job 25:5, 31:26) and once in Job 41:10.
epiphauo means to...
“to shine forth,” is used
figuratively of Christ upon the slumbering believer who awakes and
arises from among the dead...“shall give … light,” in Eph. 5:14, kjv (rv,
“shall shine upon”), of the glory of Christ, illumining the believer who
fulfills the conditions, so that being guided by His “light” he reflects
THE RISEN SON WILL RISE WITH HEALING
Observe how this
description of the Messiah is compared to the rays of the rising sun (cp
"Risen Son"). God’s glory or light appearing exerts life-giving power,
even as does the sun as it courses over the earth. This reminds of the
beautiful prophetic promise in Malachi that...
for you who fear My name the Sun of
righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth
and skip about like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:2)
Comment by A M Hodgkin -
Amidst all the hypocrisy and formalism there was a little
feared the Lord. His ear was bent down to hear them as they spoke
together of Him. He promised that they should be His own special
treasure in the coming Day of the Lord [Mal 3:16-18]. That Day should be as
an oven and consume the wicked as stubble, but it should arise upon this
faithful remnant as ''The Sun of Righteousness with healing in His
wings'' [Mal 4:1,2]. (Christ
in All the Scriptures)
Christ’s shining on him speaks of His
approval, an indication that he is discerning and following what is
pleasing to the Lord (Eph. 5:10). (Walvoord,
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985. Victor).
Christ will pour upon thee the light
of divine truth as the sun gives light to men aroused from sleep.
Charles Simeon writes that...
Light in Scripture imports knowledge
(Isa 8:20), holiness (1Jn 1:7), comfort (Ps 97:11), and glory
(Col 1:12); and all these blessings shall they receive from Christ, the
fountain of light (Mal 4:2, John 1:9).
Listen to this beautiful vocal
Heard The Voice of Jesus Say
Sung by Joanna Hogg
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s light;
Look unto Me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright.”
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my star, my sun;
And in that light of life I’ll walk,
Till traveling days are done
Biblical Illustrator entries on
Christ the Light Giver
by Puritan Writer
That the great intent of Christ in the gospel is to call people out of
their woeful estate by sin into the marvellous light of His salvation.
This is the great truth here represented; and to clear it up to you—
I. Observe how woeful and dangerous the present case of carnal
unregenerate men is. It is represented to us under the notions of
spiritual sleep and spiritual death; which I shall speak of both
generally and apart, and then conjointly and together. First: To speak
of them generally, and apart.
1. They are asleep in sin, whereas the regenerate are awakened
(1Thessalonians 5:5, 6). Here, then, is their misery upon the first
account, they sleep in sin; and a great misery it is.
(1) Because their insensibility and security make their other sins more
(2) Though they sleep, their damnation sleepeth not (2 Peter 2:3).
(3) The sun is up, and shines into their windows (Romans 13:11).
2. The next notion is spiritual death; for we are bidden to "Arise from
the dead," which showeth this sleep is deadly (Ephesians 2:1). How are
we dead? Two ways—
(1) Dead as we are destitute of spiritual life;
(2) Dead as we are destitute of the favour and peace of God.
Secondly: Let us speak of these terms conjunctly; the one helpeth to
explain the other. When we hear that man sleepeth in sin, possibly we
might be apt to be conceited that man's heart is not so corrupt as it
is, and are ready to say of it, as Christ did of the damsel whom He
raised to life, "She is not dead, but sleepeth" (Matthew 9:24).
Therefore we must take in the ether expression to help it. We do not
only sleep in sin, but are dead in trespasses and sins. So, on the other
side, when we hear that we are in the state of the dead, we may
misconceive of God's work in conversion, and press the rigour of the
notion too far, as if He wrought upon us only as stocks and stones;
therefore we must take in the other expression; we sleep in sins. Life
natural is still left us; there is reason and conscience still to work
upon, though we are wholly disabled from doing anything pleasing to God;
that is to say—
1. We have reason. Thou art a man, and hast reason, and therefore art to
be dealt with by way of exhortations. God influenceth all things
according to their natural inclination, as He enlighteneth the world by
the sun, burneth with fire, so he reasoneth with man.
2. We have conscience (which is reason applying things to our case), and
can judge of our actions morally considered with respect to reward and
punishment, and accuse or excuse as the nature of the action deserveth
(Romans 2:14, 15).
3. That we have a natural self-love and desire of happiness (Psalms
4:6), "There be many that say, Who will show us any good?" (Matthew
13:45, 46). So that, though we are dead, so as to do nothing savingly
and acceptably, yet we must remember that we are also asleep, ignorant,
slight, careless, do not improve our natural reason, conscience, and
desires of happiness to any saving purpose, and will not mind things.
Both together giveth us a right apprehension of our woeful condition by
nature, that we are corrupt, and so are said to be dead; and senseless
and secure, so we are said to be asleep, mindless of our danger and
II. The manner of our recovery out of this wretched estate.
1. In the general, it is by calling of us. "Awake, arise" (see 1 Peter
2:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14).
2. More particularly, the order of this calling is set down in the text,
in these two injunctions, "Awake," and "Arise from the dead." We are
reduced and brought home to God two ways—either
(1) Preparatively and dispositively; or
(2) Formally and constitutively.
III. The next thing is, what a blessed estate Christ calleth them
into; He doth not only rescue them out of the power of darkness, but "He
will give them light." Many things are intended hereby.
1. By light is meant the lively light of the Spirit, or a clear
affective knowledge both of our misery and remedy.
2. Light is put for God's favour, and the solid consolation which
floweth from thence (Psalm 4:6, 7).
3. It implies eternal glory and happiness, to which we have a right now,
and for which we are prepared and fitted by grace. A tender waking
conscience is a great mercy, whereas a dead and stupid conscience is a
heavy judgment; for then neither reason nor grace is of any use to us;
we can neither do the functions of a man or a Christian while we are
asleep. First: "Awake thou that sleepest."
Consider these motives—
1. Doth it become any to sleep in your ease, while you know not God to
be a friend or an enemy? yea, when you have so much reason to think that
He is an enemy to you, for you are enemies to Him by your minds in evil
works (Colossians 1:21).
2. You sleep in that ship that is swiftly carried to eternity, and are
just upon the entrance into another world: "Lest coming suddenly He find
you sleeping" (Mark 13:36).
3. Yon have slept out too much precious time already: "The time past of
our life may suffice us" (1 Peter 4:3).
4. Thou hast been long and often called upon. If God had not sought to
awaken you, you had the better excuse: "How long wilt thou sleep, O
sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of sleep? yet a little sleep, a
little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep." (Proverbs 6:9,
5. Now is your time and season: "He that gathereth in summer is a wise
son; but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame"
(Proverbs 10:5). To lose time is sad, but to lose the season worst of
all, and a season that bringeth profit as well as labour, as harvest
6. Others care for their souls, and are hard at work for God; their
diligence should awaken us (Acts 26:7).
7. The devil is awake, and will you sleep? (1 Peter 5:8).
8. If nature were well awake, it would disprove your courses as much as
religion. Secondly: "Arise from the dead"; that is, be converted to God;
for the voice of Christ doth not only conduce to awaken us, but to raise
us from the dead (John 5:25). Look about you, then; entertain serious
thoughts of getting out of a state of sin into a state of grace.
Take two motives to quicken you to this—
1. Better never be awakened if still we continue in our sins, for this
aggravateth them (John 3:19).
2. Better never rise in the last day if we be not raised from the death
(1) Do not say, It is too soon; for we can never soon enough get out of
so great a danger.
(2) Do not say, It is too late; for the work is yet possible, as short
as your time is like to be in the world; and it will be your fault if it
be not done. (Thomas Manton)
Call to Slumbering Souls
J. Lathrop, D. D
I. The character of those addressed.
1. If you allow yourself in the
practice of known wickedness, your conscience is asleep.
2. If you live in the customary neglect of self-examination, you are in
a state of slumber.
3. If you have never been in any degree affected with a sense of your
guilt, and of your dependence on the mercy of God in Christ, you are
among those who are asleep.
4. If you have no conflicts with sin and temptation, you are in a state
5. The prevalence of a sensual and carnal disposition is a sign of
6. Stupidity under the warnings of God's word and providence, indicates
such a state of soul as the Scripture compares to sleep.
II. Apply the call.
1. This awakening must suppose and
imply a conviction of your sin, and a sense of your danger.
2. This awakening from sleep, and arising" from the dead, implies a
repentance of sin and turning to God.
3. They who have awoke from their sleep and risen from the dead will
experience the properties, and maintain the exercises of a holy and
III. The encouragement—"Christ shall
give thee light," shall shine upon and enlighten thee.
1. This may be understood as a promise of pardon and eternal life on
2. The words farther import God's gracious attention to awakened souls,
when they frame their doings to turn to Him. The call is, Awake, arise
from the dead, repair to the Saviour. Say not, "We are unable to discern
the way." Christ will shine upon you and give you light. Say not, "We
are unable to rise and walk." He will meet you with His grace. Arise, He
calleth you. He will guide your steps. (J. Lathrop, D. D.)
I. Images of the sinner's state.
1. Sleep. This state, though usually benign and refreshing, is sometimes
one of great danger. The traveller who sleeps when exposed to excessive
frost, the sailor who sleeps upon the mast, are examples.
2. Darkness. This is emblematical of ignorance, error, and iniquity, and
especially of the want of any certain prospect for the future.
3. Death. The insensibility, powerlessness, and immovableness of the
corpse are an awful representation of the sinner's state.
II. Representations of the sinner's need.
3. Raising to life.
The ministry of our Lord Jesus affords us many and striking instances of
the exercise of a Divine power in these ways.
III. A revelation of the sinner's hope.
1. A Divine command: Awake! arise! There is something for man to do in
order that he may enjoy the blessings of the gospel.
2. A Divine promise: Christ will enlighten thee. (Clerical World.)
C. H. Spurgeon
I. The state of mind into which a Christian may sometimes get.
1. The insidious character of it,
(1) A Christian may be asleep and not know it. Indeed, if he did know
it, he would not be asleep.
(2) A man who is asleep may be kept in very good countenance by his
neighbours. They may be in the same state, and sleeping people are not
likely to be very active in rebuking one another.
(3) One who is asleep may have taken care before he went to sleep to
prevent anybody coming in to wake him. There is a way of bolting the
door of your heart against anybody.
(4) A man can do a great deal while asleep that will make him look as if
he were quite awake. For instance, some people talk in their sleep, and
many professors will talk just as if they were the most active, the most
earnest, the most gracious, the most warm-hearted people anywhere.
2. What is the evil itself? It is an unconsciousness of one's own state,
and a carelessness of such a kind as not to want to be conscious of it.
The man takes everything for granted in religion. He seems, too, to be
perfectly immovable to all appeals. The best argument is lost on a
sleeping man, and then this slumbering spirit spreads itself over
everything else. There is a heartlessness in the manner in which
everything is gone about.
3. Now, two or three words upon what makes this evil of Christians being
asleep a great deal worse.
(1) It is this: they are Christ's servants, and they ought not to be
asleep. If a servant is set to do a certain duty, you do not continue
him in your service if he drops off asleep.
(2) It is so bad for us to be asleep, too, because it is quite certain
that the enemy is awake. You recollect old Hugh Latimer's sermon, in
which he says that the devil is the busiest bishop in the kingdom.
(3) And meanwhile souls are being lost.
4. What is it that sends us to sleep?
(1) We are inclined to slumber from the evil of our nature.
(2) It is easy to send a man to sleep if you give him the chloroform of
(3) The sultry sum of prosperity sends many to sleep. Fulness of bread
is a strong temptation.
(4) In some people it is the intoxication of pride.
(5) In others it is the want of heart which is at the bottom of
everything they do. They never were intense, they never were earnest,
and consequently they have such little zeal that that zeal soon goes to
sleep. This is the age of the Enchanted Ground. He that can go through
this age and not sleep must have something more than mortal about him.
God must be with him, keeping him awake. You cannot be long in the
soporific air of this particular period of time without feeling that in
spiritual things you grow lax, for it is a lax age—lax in doctrine, lax
in principle, lax in morals, lax in everything—and only God can come in
and help the Pilgrim to keep awake in this Enchanted Ground.
II. Christ's message to those of His people who are asleep.
1. Jesus speaks this in love. He would not say "awake," were it not the
kindest thing He could say to you. Sometimes a mother's love lulls her
child to sleep, but if there is a house on fire the mother's love would
take another expression and startle it from its slumbers; and Christ's
love takes that turn when He says to you, "Awake! Awake! awake!"
2. It is His wisdom as well as His love that makes Him say it. He knows
that you are losing much by sleeping.
3. It is a voice, too, which you ought to own, for it is backed up by
the authority of the person from whom it comes.
4. It is a voice which has been very often repeated. Christ has been
saying, "Awake! Awake!" to some of us many hundreds of times. You were
sick, were you, a few months ago? That was Christ, as it were, shaking
you in your sleep, and saying, "Awake, My beloved, awake out of thine
5. A personal cry—"Thou." Not, "Awake all of you"; but, "Awake thou!"
Shall I pick you out one by one?
6. He puts it very pressingly in the present tense. "Awake! awake now."
Not a few years hence, but now. This moment.
III. The promise with which Christ encourages us to awake—"Christ shall
give thee light." What means this?
2. The light of joy.
(C. H. Spurgeon.)