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Epaphras Lovely spoken of by Paul (Col 1:7; Col 4:12) as "his dear fellow-servant," and "a faithful minister of Christ." He was thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians. He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the Colossian church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to Plm 1:23, where he is called by Paul his "fellow-prisoner."

Epaphroditus Fair, graceful; belonging to Aphrodite or Venus the messenger who came from Phillipi to the apostle when he was a prisoner at Rome (Phi 2:25; Phi 4:10). Paul mentions him in words of esteem and affection. On his return to Philippi he was the bearer of Paul's letter to the church there.

Epaenetus Commendable, a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation (Rom 16:5). He is spoken of as "the first fruits of Achaia" (R.V., "of Asia", i.e., of Proconsular Asia, which is probably the correct reading). As being the first convert in that region, he was peculiarly dear to the apostle. He calls him his "well beloved."

Ephah (1.) Gloom - (a.) One of the five sons of Midian, and grandson of Abraham (Gen 25:4). The city of Ephah, to which he gave his name, is mentioned Isa 60:6, Isa 60:7. This city, with its surrounding territory, formed part of Midian, on the east shore of the Dead Sea. It abounded in dromedaries and camels (Jdg 6:5). (b.) Ch1 2:46, a concubine of Caleb. (c.) Ch1 2:47, a descendant of Judah. (2.) A word of Egyptian origin, meaning measure; a grain measure containing "three seahs or ten omers," and equivalent to the bath for liquids (Exo 16:36; Sa1 17:17; Zac 5:6). The double ephah in Pro 20:10 (marg., "an ephah and an ephah"), Deu 25:14, means two ephahs, the one false and the other just.

Epher A calf. (1.) One of the sons of Midian, who was Abraham's son by Keturah (Gen 25:4). (2.) The head of one of the families of trans-Jordanic Manasseh who were carried captive by Tiglath-pileser (Ch1 5:24).

Ephes-dammim Boundary of blood, a place in the tribe of Judah where the Philistines encamped when David fought with Goliath (Sa1 17:1). It was probably so called as having been the scene of frequent sanguinary conflicts between Israel and the Philistines. It is called Pas-dammim (Ch1 11:13). It has been identified with the modern Beit Fased, i.e., "house of bleeding", near Shochoh (q.v.).

Ephesians, Epistle to Was written by Paul at Rome about the same time as that to the Colossians, which in many points it resembles. Contents of. The Epistle to the Colossians is mainly polemical, designed to refute certain theosophic errors that had crept into the church there. That to the Ephesians does not seem to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a letter springing from Paul's love to the church there, and indicative of his earnest desire that they should be fully instructed in the profound doctrines of the gospel. It contains (1.) the salutation (Eph 1:1, Eph 1:2); (2.) a general description of the blessings the gospel reveals, as to their source, means by which they are attained, purpose for which they are bestowed, and their final result, with a fervent prayer for the further spiritual enrichment of the Ephesians (Eph. 1:3 - 2:10); (3.) "a record of that marked change in spiritual position which the Gentile believers now possessed, ending with an account of the writer's selection to and qualification for the apostolate of heathendom, a fact so considered as to keep them from being dispirited, and to lead him to pray for enlarged spiritual benefactions on his absent sympathizers" (Eph. 2:12 - 3:21); (4.) a chapter on unity as undisturbed by diversity of gifts (Eph. 4:1-16); (5.) special injunctions bearing on ordinary life (Eph. 4:17 - 6:10); (6.) the imagery of a spiritual warfare, mission of Tychicus, and valedictory blessing (Eph 6:11). Planting of the church at Ephesus. Paul's first and hurried visit for the space of three months to Ephesus is recorded in Act 18:19. The work he began on this occasion was carried forward by Apollos (Act 18:24) and Aquila and Priscilla. On his second visit, early in the following year, he remained at Ephesus "three years," for he found it was the key to the western provinces of Asia Minor. Here "a great door and effectual" was opened to him (Co1 16:9), and the church was established and strengthened by his assiduous labours there (Act 20:20, Act 20:31). From Ephesus as a centre the gospel spread abroad "almost throughout all Asia" (Act 19:26). The word "mightily grew and prevailed" despite all the opposition and persecution he encountered. On his last journey to Jerusalem the apostle landed at Miletus, and summoning together the elders of the church from Ephesus, delivered to them his remarkable farewell charge (Acts 20:18-35), expecting to see them no more. The following parallels between this epistle and the Milesian charge may be traced:- (1.) Act 20:19 = Eph 4:2. The phrase "lowliness of mind" occurs nowhere else. (2.) Act 20:27 = Eph 1:11. The word "counsel," as denoting the divine plan, occurs only here and Heb 6:17. (3.) Act 20:32 = Eph 3:20. The divine ability. (4.) Act 20:32 = Eph 2:20. The building upon the foundation. (5.) Act 20:32 = Eph 1:14, Eph 1:18. "The inheritance of the saints." Place and date of the writing of the letter. It was evidently written from Rome during Paul's first imprisonment (Eph 3:1; Eph 4:1; Eph 6:20), and probably soon after his arrival there, about the year 62, four years after he had parted with the Ephesian elders at Miletus. The subscription of this epistle is correct. There seems to have been no special occasion for the writing of this letter, as already noted. Paul's object was plainly not polemical. No errors had sprung up in the church which he sought to point out and refute. The object of the apostle is "to set forth the ground, the cause, and the aim and end of the church of the faithful in Christ. He speaks to the Ephesians as a type or sample of the church universal." The church's foundations, its course, and its end, are his theme. "Everywhere the foundation of the church is the will of the Father; the course of the church is by the satisfaction of the Son; the end of the church is the life in the Holy Spirit." In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul writes from the point of view of justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ; here he writes from the point of view specially of union to the Redeemer, and hence of the oneness of the true church of Christ. "This is perhaps the profoundest book in existence." It is a book "which sounds the lowest depths of Christian doctrine, and scales the loftiest heights of Christian experience;" and the fact that the apostle evidently expected the Ephesians to understand it is an evidence of the "proficiency which Paul's converts had attained under his preaching at Ephesus." Relation between this epistle and that to the Colossians (q.v.). "The letters of the apostle are the fervent outburst of pastoral zeal and attachment, written without reserve and in unaffected simplicity; sentiments come warm from the heart, without the shaping out, pruning, and punctilious arrangement of a formal discourse. There is such a fresh and familiar transcription of feeling, so frequent an introduction of colloquial idiom, and so much of conversational frankness and vivacity, that the reader associates the image of the writer with every paragraph, and the ear seems to catch and recognize the very tones of living address." "It is then any matter of amazement that one letter should resemble another, or that two written about the same time should have so much in common and so much that is peculiar? The close relation as to style and subject between the epistles to Colosse and Ephesus must strike every reader. Their precise relation to each other has given rise to much discussion. The great probability is that the epistle to Colosse was first written; the parallel passages in Ephesians, which amount to about forty-two in number, having the appearance of being expansions from the epistle to Colosse. See table comparison: Compare with Eph 1:7 Col 1:14 Eph 1:10 Col 1:20 Eph 3:2 Col 1:25 Eph 5:19 Col 3:16 Eph 6:22 Col 4:8 Ephesians 1:19 - 2:5 Col 2:12, Col 2:13 Eph 4:2 Col 3:12 Eph 4:16 Col 2:19 Eph 4:32 Col 3:13 Eph 4:22 Col 3:9, Col 3:10 Eph 5:6 Col 3:6 Eph 5:15, Eph 5:16 Col 4:5 Eph 6:19, Eph 6:20 Col 4:3, Col 4:4 Ephesians 5:22 - 6:9 Colossians 3:18 - 4:1 "The style of this epistle is exceedingly animated, and corresponds with the state of the apostle's mind at the account which their messenger had brought him of their faith and holiness (Eph 1:15), and transported with the consideration of the unsearchable wisdom of God displayed in the work of man's redemption, and of his astonishing love towards the Gentiles in making them partakers through faith of all the benefits of Christ's death, he soars high in his sentiments on those grand subjects, and gives his thoughts utterance in sublime and copious expression."

Ephesus The capital of proconsular Asia, which was the western part of Asia Minor. It was colonized principally from Athens. In the time of the Romans it bore the title of "the first and greatest metropolis of Asia." It was distinguished for the Temple of Diana (q.v.), who there had her chief shrine; and for its theatre, which was the largest in the world, capable of containing 50,000 spectators. It was, like all ancient theatres, open to the sky. Here were exhibited the fights of wild beasts and of men with beasts. (Compare Co1 4:9; Co1 9:24, Co1 9:25; Co1 15:32.) Many Jews took up their residence in this city, and here the seeds of the gospel were sown immediately after Pentecost (Act 2:9; Act 6:9). At the close of his second missionary journey (about A.D. 51), when Paul was returning from Greece to Syria (Act 18:18), he first visited this city. He remained, however, for only a short time, as he was hastening to keep the feast, probably of Pentecost, at Jerusalem; but he left Aquila and Priscilla behind him to carry on the work of spreading the gospel. During his third missionary journey Paul reached Ephesus from the "upper coasts" (Act 19:1), i.e., from the inland parts of Asia Minor, and tarried here for about three years; and so successful and abundant were his labours that "all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks" (Act 19:10). Probably during this period the seven churches of the Apocalypse were founded, not by Paul's personal labours, but by missionaries whom he may have sent out from Ephesus, and by the influence of converts returning to their homes. On his return from his journey, Paul touched at Miletus, some 30 miles south of Ephesus (Act 20:15), and sending for the presbyters of Ephesus to meet him there, he delivered to them that touching farewell charge which is recorded in Acts 20:18-35. Ephesus is not again mentioned till near the close of Paul's life, when he writes to Timothy exhorting him to "abide still at Ephesus" (Ti1 1:3). Two of Paul's companions, Trophimus and Tychicus, were probably natives of Ephesus (Act 20:4; Act 21:29; Ti2 4:12). In his second epistle to Timothy, Paul speaks of Onesiphorus as having served him in many things at Ephesus (Ti2 1:18). He also "sent Tychicus to Ephesus" (Ti2 4:12), probably to attend to the interests of the church there. Ephesus is twice mentioned in the Apocalypse (Rev 1:11; Rev 2:1). The apostle John, according to tradition, spent many years in Ephesus, where he died and was buried. A part of the site of this once famous city is now occupied by a small Turkish village, Ayasaluk, which is regarded as a corruption of the two Greek words, hagios theologos ; i.e., "the holy divine."

Ephod Something girt, a sacred vestment worn originally by the high priest (Exo 28:4), afterwards by the ordinary priest (Sa1 22:18), and characteristic of his office (Sa1 2:18, Sa1 2:28; Sa1 14:3). It was worn by Samuel, and also by David (Sa2 6:14). It was made of fine linen, and consisted of two pieces, which hung from the neck, and covered both the back and front, above the tunic and outer garment (Exo 28:31). That of the high priest was embroidered with divers colours. The two pieces were joined together over the shoulders (hence in Latin called superhumerale ) by clasps or buckles of gold or precious stones, and fastened round the waist by a "curious girdle of gold, blue, purple, and fine twined linen" (Exo 28:6). The breastplate, with the Urim and Thummim, was attached to the ephod.

Ephphatha The Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning "Be opened," uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mar 7:34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips. (See Mar 3:17; Mar 5:41; Mar 7:11; Mar 14:36; Mar 15:34.)