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Chapter 2:14 The power of death, etc This is rendered by Stuart “deadly power.” The genitive after χράτος; is no doubt in several instances rendered adjectively, as “the power of his glory,” in Colossians 1:11, “his glorious power;” and “the power of his might,” in Ephesians 6:10, may be rendered “His mighty power.” But there is here an antithesis which ought to be preserved, — the death of Christ and the death over which Satan is said to have power. Christ by his death deprived Satan of his power to cause death.

To “destroy” does not suitably express what is meant by the verb here used. It means to render void, useless, inefficacious, and hence to overcome, to subdue. When applied to the Law, it means to render void or to abolish: but when it refers to a person, as here, or to a hostile power, as in 1 Corinthians 15:24, it means to subjugate, to put down, or to overcome. So here, the rendering most suitable would be, “that by death he might overcome (or subdue) him who had the power of death,” that is, the power of causing eternal ruin; for death here must mean the second death. And hence the Rabbinical notion about the angel of death, that is, of temporal death, has no connection with this passage.

There is here evidently an allusion to Genesis 3:13. The originator of death is Satan, both as to the soul and the body; and hence our Savior calls him a murderer. To subdue this murderer was to remove the sin which he introduced, by means of which he brought in death; and this removal of sin was effected by death, so that the remedy for sin was the same with the effect which sin produced.

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