Ephesians 2:2...?


Ephesians 2:2 King James Version (KJV)
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air , the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience

Can anyone explain this to me, what ‘times past’ is this referring to in relation to the course of the world?


I’m in a study of the Book of Revelation which also has something to say to the saints at Ephesus.

The community that Paul is writing to is composed of Jewish and Gentile Christians. so, he may be referring to the time before they became Christians, when they were under the control of the power of Satan.


Ditto’s on Sirach’s putting in the historical context of the Literal Sense.:thumbsup:

In the Spiritual Sense, it can be viewed as allegory; as the story of all those who come to Christ, whether today, or 2 millennium ago, and anagogically as what it takes to gain eternal life.



Try a Catholic Bible - it has footnotes to help explain.

Ephesians 2:2New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

2 in which you once lived following the age of this world,[a] following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the disobedient.

2:2 Age of this world: or “aeon,” a term found in gnostic thought, possibly synonymous with the rulers of this world, but also reflecting the Jewish idea of “two ages,” this present evil age and “the age to come”; cf. 1 Cor 3:19; 5:10; 7:31; Gal 1:4; Ti 2:12. The disobedient: literally, “the sons of disobedience,” a Semitism as at Is 30:9.


The Navarre commentary says Paul is addressing Christians of Gentile origin (“you”), in contrast to when he uses “we” to mean Christians of Jewish origin. And that he is referring to the fact that:

prior to their conversion to Christ a pagan was, as it were, en route to death, that is liable to condemnation on account of sin – both original sin and sin caused by worldly behavior, that is, actions opposed to God. That is what the Apostle means here by “this world” – a world which is under the power of the devil

The Navarre us the RSV as its text so Ephesians 2:1-2 reads:

And you he made alive, when you were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the courses of this world, following the princes of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.


I don’t think that “times past” refers to the course of the world, but to a person’s life before their conversion. As God promised: in the New Covenant he would write his laws upon our hearts. Before our conversion we walked in disobedience–as those who are motivated by worldly passions walk–but since his Spirit has been poured into our hearts, we now walk according to his spirit who helps us to obey God’s commandments out of love.

“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17


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