Ephesians 5:14 - What is being quoted?

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Puritan Board Freshman
I was wondering just what Paul is quoting in Ephesians 5:14, specifically when he says,

"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Just curious really, methinks I understand what he is trying to say, if anyone knows for sure I wouldn't mind checking my interpretation.

Thanks much,


Puritan Board Graduate
John Gill

Eph 5:14 - Wherefore he saith,.... Either the man that is light in the Lord, who reproves the unfruitful works of darkness; or else the Holy Ghost by Paul, who here speaks after the manner of the prophets; or God, or the Spirit, or the Scripture; see Jam_4:6; but where is it said? some think the apostle refers to Isa_9:2; others to Isa_26:19; others to Isa_60:1; some are of opinion the words are cited out of an apocryphal book of Jeremy, or from some writing now lost; and some have thought them to be a saying of Christ, that was fresh in memory: it may not be improper to observe what Maimonides says (m), that

"the blowing of the trumpet in the beginning of the year had an intimation in it, as if was said, עורו ×™×©×™× ×™× "awake ye that sleep", from your sleep, and ye that slumber rouse up from your slumber, and search into your actions, and return by repentance, and remember your Creator;''


Puritanboard Librarian
Here are the thoughts of some select commentators on the subject:

Dutch Annotations (Theodore Haak):

Some take this for the words of the Apostle, who being moved by the Spirit of Christ, speaketh thus, as the prophets everywhere testify, Thus speaketh the Lord. Namely, by me to you. Others take it for a rehearsal of words out of the Prophets, which Paul joins together and expounds. see Isa. 9.1 and 26.19 and 60.1, wherein the sum of mans conversion is contained.

Westminster Annotations (Daniel Featley):

Some do take these to be the Apostles own words, uttering them as moved by the Spirit of Christ, as it is ordinary with the Prophets to testify, Thus saith the Lord; wherefore he saith, that is, God saith by me unto you. Others, as Georgius Syncellus, conceive, that as S. Jude alledgeth a sentence out of the Apocryphall book of Enoch, so Saint Paul here alledgeth this out of an Apocryphall book of Jeremie, in which these formal words are found. Saint Cyrill conceiveth, that these words are taken out of Esay 51.9, Awake, awake, &c. but the words following, O arme of the Lord, awake, as in the ancient days, shew, that there God calleth not upon us as to awake, but we upon him. It seemeth most probable, that this allegation of the Apostle is taken out of diverse propheticall words, collected together, as namely in the six and twentieth chapter Esay and the nineteeth verse, The dead shall live, awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust; and chap. 60 verse 1, Arise, for the light is come.

Matthew Poole []:

Eph 5:14. He saith; either God by the prophets, of whose preaching this is the sum; it may allude in particular to Isa 60:1. Or, Christ by his ministers, in the preaching of the gospel, who daily calls men to arise from the death of sin by repentance, and encourageth them with the promise of eternal life.

Matthew Henry (Samuel Rosewell):

The apostle further urges this duty from the example of God or Christ: Wherefore he saith, etc. (Eph 5:14); as if he had said, "In doing this, you will copy after the great God, who has set himself to awaken sinners from their sleep, and to raise them from the death of sin, that they might receive light from Christ." He saith. The Lord is constantly saying in his word what is more particularly expressed in Isa 60:1. Or, Christ, by his ministers, who preach the everlasting gospel, is continually calling upon sinners to this effect: Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.


I believe Paul is proclaiming what the Holy Spirit is telling him and it my be a fulfillment of Isaiah 60:1. Just don't fall into the Romish trap of proposing Paul is quoting an extra-biblical hymn. There is no evidence of that whatsoever.


Puritan Board Graduate
Originally posted by WrittenFromUtopia
Originally posted by Jeff_Bartel
You just have to show off those new Dutch and Westminster Annotations don't you?!! :D

Where are these coming from? What book?


They are seperate commentaries on the Bible; one produced by the Dutch divines at Dort, the other by the divines at Westminster.

I believe that Andrew bought the electronic version here on the PB not all that long ago. At Reformation Heritage, the books can cost some $$.

Too much reading to do. :book2:
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