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Ephesians 6:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places].
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but against principalities, against authorities, against the universal lords of this darkness, against spiritual [power] of wickedness in the heavenlies.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Because our struggle is not against blood and flesh, but, against the principalities, against the authorities, against the world-holders, of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenlies.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— because we have not the wrestling with blood and flesh, but with the principalities, with the authorities, with the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, with the spiritual things of the evil in the heavenly places;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— For wee wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darknes of this world, against spirituall wickednes in high places.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— For your wrestling is not with flesh and blood (only), but with princes, and with powers, and with the possessors of this dark world, and with the evil spirits who are under heaven.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— For our conflict is not with flesh and blood, but with principalities, and with those in authority, and with the possessors of this dark world, and with the evil spirits that are beneath heaven.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
For 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
we 2254
{2254} Prime
ἡμῖν
hemin
{hay-meen'}
Dative plural of G1473; to (or for, with, by) us.
wrestle 3823
{3823} Prime
πάλη
pale
{pal'-ay}
From πάλλω [[pallo]] (to vibrate; another form for G0906); wrestling.
x2076
(2076) Complement
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
against 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
y2076
[2076] Standard
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
flesh 4561
{4561} Prime
σάρξ
sarx
{sarx}
Probably from the base of G4563; flesh (as stripped of the skin), that is, (strictly) the meat of an animal (as food), or (by extension) the body (as opposed to the soul (or spirit), or as the symbol of what is external, or as the means of kindred, or (by implication) human nature (with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions), or (specifically) a human being (as such).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
blood, 129
{0129} Prime
αἷμα
haima
{hah'-ee-mah}
Of uncertain derivation; blood, literally (of men or animals), figuratively (the juice of grapes) or specifically (the atoning blood of Christ); by implication bloodshed, also kindred.
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
against 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
principalities, 746
{0746} Prime
ἀρχή
arche
{ar-khay'}
From G0756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank).
against 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
powers, 1849
{1849} Prime
ἐξουσία
exousia
{ex-oo-see'-ah}
From G1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, that is, (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence.
against 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
rulers 2888
{2888} Prime
κοσμοκράτωρ
kosmokrator
{kos-mok-fat'-ore}
From G2889 and G2902; a world ruler, an epithet of Satan.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
darkness 4655
{4655} Prime
σκότος
skotos
{skot'-os}
From the base of G4639; shadiness, that is, obscurity (literally or figuratively).
of this 5127
{5127} Prime
τούτου
toutou
{too'-too}
Genitive singular masculine or neuter of G3778; of (from or concerning) this (person or thing).
world, 165
{0165} Prime
αἰών
aion
{ahee-ohn'}
From the same as G0104; properly an age; by extension perpetuity (also past); by implication the world; specifically (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future).
against 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
spiritual 4152
{4152} Prime
πνευματικός
pneumatikos
{pnyoo-mat-ik-os'}
From G4151; non-carnal, that is, (humanly) ethereal (as opposed to gross), or (daemoniacally) a spirit (concretely), or (divinely) supernatural, regenerate, religious.
wickedness 4189
{4189} Prime
πονηρία
poneria
{pon-ay-ree'-ah}
From G4190; depravity, that is, (specifically) malice; plural (concretely) plots, sins.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
high 2032
{2032} Prime
ἐπουράνιος
epouranios
{ep-oo-ran'-ee-os}
From G1909 and G3772; above the sky.
[places].
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Ephesians 6:12

_ _ Greek, “For our wrestling (‘the wrestling’ in which we are engaged) is not against flesh,” etc. Flesh and blood foes are Satan’s mere tools, the real foe lurking behind them is Satan himself, with whom our conflict is. “Wrestling” implies that it is a hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot struggle for the mastery: to wrestle successfully with Satan, we must wrestle with God in irresistible prayer like Jacob (Genesis 32:24-29; Hosea 12:4). Translate, “The principalities ... the powers” (Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16; see on Ephesians 3:10). The same grades of powers are specified in the case of the demons here, as in that of angels there (compare Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Colossians 2:15). The Ephesians had practiced sorcery (Acts 19:19), so that he appropriately treats of evil spirits in addressing them. The more clearly any book of Scripture, as this, treats of the economy of the kingdom of light, the more clearly does it set forth the kingdom of darkness. Hence, nowhere does the satanic kingdom come more clearly into view than in the Gospels which treat of Christ, the true Light.

_ _ rulers of the darkness of this worldGreek, “age” or “course of the world.” But the oldest manuscripts omit “of world.” Translate, “Against the world rulers of this (present) darkness” (Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:8; Luke 22:53; Colossians 1:13). On Satan and his demons being “world rulers,” compare John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; Luke 4:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19, Greek, “lieth in the wicked one.” Though they be “world rulers,” they are not the ruler of the universe; and their usurped rule of the world is soon to cease, when He shall “come whose right it is” (Ezekiel 21:27). Two cases prove Satan not to be a mere subjective fancy: (1) Christ’s temptation; (2) the entrance of demons into the swine (for these are incapable of such fancies). Satan tries to parody, or imitate in a perverted way, God’s working (2 Corinthians 11:13, 2 Corinthians 11:14). So when God became incarnate, Satan, by his demons, took forcible possession of human bodies. Thus the demoniacally possessed were not peculiarly wicked, but miserable, and so fit subjects for Jesus’ pity. Paul makes no mention of demoniacal possession, so that in the time he wrote, it seems to have ceased; it probably was restricted to the period of the Lord’s incarnation, and of the foundation of His Church.

_ _ spiritual wickedness — rather as Greek,The spiritual hosts of wickedness.” As three of the clauses describe the power, so this fourth, the wickedness of our spiritual foes (Matthew 12:45).

_ _ in high placesGreek, “heavenly places”: in Ephesians 2:2, “the air,” see on Ephesians 2:2. The alteration of expression to “in heavenly places,” is in order to mark the higher range of their powers than ours, they having been, up to the ascension (Revelation 12:5, Revelation 12:9, Revelation 12:10), dwellers “in the heavenly places” (Job 1:7), and being now in the regions of the air which are called the heavens. Moreover, pride and presumption are the sins in heavenly places to which they tempt especially, being those by which they themselves fell from heavenly places (Isaiah 14:12-15). But believers have naught to fear, being “blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Ephesians 6:10-18.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Ephesians 6:12

For our wrestling is not only, not chiefly, against flesh and blood — Weak men, or fleshly appetites. But against principalities, against powers — The mighty princes of all the infernal legions. And great is their power, and that likewise of those legions whom they command. Against the rulers of the world — Perhaps these principalities and powers remain mostly in the citadel of their kingdom of darkness. But there are other evil spirits who range abroad, to whom the provinces of the world are committed. Of the darkness — This is chiefly spiritual darkness. Of this age — Which prevails during the present state of things. Against wicked spirits — Who continually oppose faith, love, holiness, either by force or fraud; and labour to infuse unbelief, pride, idolatry malice, envy, anger, hatred. In heavenly places — Which were once their abode, and which they still aspire to, as far as they are permitted.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Ephesians 6:12

(13) For we wrestle not against flesh and (g) blood, but against (h) principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].

(13) Secondly, he declares that our chiefest and mightiest enemies are invisible, so that we may not think that our chiefest conflict is with men.

(g) Against men, who are of a frail and brittle nature, against whom are set spiritual wiles, a thousand times more mighty than the flesh.

(h) He gives these names to the evil angels, by reason of the effects which they work: not that they are able to do the same in and of themselves, but because God gives them permission.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
wrestle:

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. ... But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
2 Timothy 2:5 And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Hebrews 12:4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

flesh and blood:
Gr. blood and flesh,
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

principalities:

Ephesians 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Ephesians 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Colossians 2:15 [And] having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
1 Peter 3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

against the:

Ephesians 2:2 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:
Job 2:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
John 16:11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, [and] to turn [them] from darkness to light, and [from] the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:

spiritual wickedness:
or, wicked spirits

high:
or, heavenly,
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Jb 2:2. Mt 16:17. Lk 13:24; 22:53. Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11. Ac 26:18. Ro 8:38. 1Co 9:25; 15:50. 2Co 4:4. Ga 1:16. Ep 1:3, 21; 2:2; 3:10. Col 1:13; 2:15. 2Ti 2:5. He 12:1, 4. 1P 3:22.

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