6:10 De cetero, fratres, confortamini in Domino, et in potentia virtutis ejus. [n. 352]
6:10 Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord and in the power of his virtue. [n. 352]
6:11 Induite vos armaturam Dei, ut possitis stare adversus insidias diaboli: [n. 353]
6:11 Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. [n. 353]
6:12 quoniam non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, sed adversus principes, et potestates, adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, contra spiritualia nequitiae, in caelestibus. [n. 354]
6:12 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. [n. 354]
351. Supra posuit Apostolus multa praecepta generalia, et specialia ad destruendam vetustatem peccati, et inducendam novitatem gratiae, hic ostendit qua virtute debent uti ad praecepta haec implenda, quia fiducia auxilii divini.
351. The Apostle has previously written down many general and particular instructions aimed at destroying the old man of sin and encouraging the newness of grace. Now he speaks of the power by which we must carry out these precepts, for we must trust in divine assistance.
Circa quod duo facit.
Concerning this he does two things:
Primo, ponit monitionem;
first, he sets down the advice;
secundo, in speciali explicat eam, ibi quoniam non est nobis colluctatio, et cetera.
second, he explains it in detail, at for our wrestling is not against.
Prima in duas, quia
The first has two sections:
primo ostendit, de quo debemus confidere, sicut de interiori;
first, he shows what interior reality we ought to trust in;
secundo ostendit de quo debemus confidere sicut de exteriori, ibi induite vos, et cetera.
second, then he shows what exterior reality we must trust in, at put on the armor.
352. Illud autem interius, de quo debemus confidere, est auxilium divinum, et ideo dicit de caetero, fratres, confortamini. Ier. XVII, 7: benedictus vir, qui confidit in Domino, et erit Dominus fiducia eius, et cetera.
352. The inner reality we should have confidence in is the divine help, thus he states finally, brethren, be strengthened. Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence (Jer 17:7).
Duplici autem ratione confidit quis de aliquo. Una est, quia ad eum pertinet sua defensio; alia est, quia potens est, et paratus est eum defendere. Et haec duo sunt in Deo respectu creaturae suae, quia cura est Deo de vobis, ut dicitur I Petr. ult.: omnem sollicitudinem vestram proiicientes in eum, quoniam ipsi cura est de vobis. Item, ipse potens est, et promptus auxiliari.
There are two reasons why anyone would trust in another person. One is that this person is charged with protecting him; and the other reason is that he is strong and prepared to defend him. These two are realized in God with respect to his creatures; for God is concerned with you: casting all your care upon him, for he has care of you (1 Pet 5:7). Moreover, he is powerful and prompt to grant assistance.
Et ideo dicit de caetero, fratres, etc., quasi dicat: postquam vos instruxi supra de praeceptis implendis, iam confortamini, non in vobis, sed in Domino, qui curam habet de vobis. Ps. LXXII, 28: mihi autem adhaerere Deo bonum est, et cetera. Is. XXXV, 4: dicite pusillanimis: confortamini, et cetera. Ier. XX, 11: Dominus mecum est tamquam bellator fortis, idcirco qui me persequuntur, cadent, et cetera.
Therefore he asserts finally brethren, as if to say: now that I have advised you above concerning the fulfillment of the precepts, be strengthened, not in yourselves, but in the Lord who has care of you. It is good for me to adhere to my God, to put my hope in the Lord God (Ps 73:28). Say to the fainthearted, take courage, and fear not . . . God himself will come and will save you (Isa 35:4). The Lord is with me as a strong warrior: therefore they that persecute me shall fall and shall be weak (Jer 20:11).
Et in potentia, et cetera. Lc. I, 49: qui potens est. Et licet in Deo virtus et potentia sint idem, tamen, quia virtus est ultimum de potentia, et, quasi perfectio potentiae, ideo dicit in potentia virtutis eius, id est, in potentia virtuosa. Phil. IV, 13: omnia possum in eo, qui me confortat. Iob XVII, 3: pone me iuxta te, et cuiusvis manus pugnet contra me.
And in the power: for he is mighty (Luke 1:49). Although in God virtue and power are identical, nonetheless, since virtue is the ultimate of power, and as it were the perfection of power, on this account he says in the power of his virtue, that is, in his virtuous power. I can do all things in him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13). O Lord, set me beside you; and let any man’s hand fight against me (Job 17:3).
353. Sed posset dici: si Deus potest et vult, debemus esse securi. Ideo respondens, dicit quod non, imo debet quilibet facere quod in se est, quia si inermis iret ad bellum, quantumcumque rex protegeret eum, esset in periculo. Et ideo dicit induite vos armaturam Dei, id est dona et virtutes. Rom. c. XIII, 12: abiiciamus ergo opera tenebrarum, et induamur arma lucis, et cetera. Col. III, v. 12: induite vos ergo sicut electi Dei sancti et dilecti viscera misericordiae, benignitatem, humilitatem, modestiam, et cetera. Quia per virtutes homo protegitur contra vitia.
353. Someone might say: if God is powerful and wills to protect us, we ought to be unconcerned. He replies that this is not so; indeed, everyone must do what he can since, if an unarmed man went into battle, no matter how much the king protected him he would still be in danger. Hence he says put on the armor of God, that is, the gifts and virtues. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Rom 13:12). Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience (Col 3:12). For the virtues protect man from vices.
Sed contra: Dominus est rex ita potens, quod nullus potest eum impugnare.
An objection: the Lord is so powerful a king that no one can attack him.
Respondeo. Verum est per violentiam, sed per insidias et fallaciam impugnat eum diabolus in membris suis, non in se, quia, ut dicitur Eccli. XI, 31: multae sunt insidiae dolosi, et cetera. Et ideo subdit ut possitis stare contra insidias diaboli. I Petr. V, 8: sobrii estote, et vigilate, et cetera. Ps. IX, 30: insidiatur in abscondito, quasi leo, et cetera.
I reply. This is true concerning violence; yet the devil does attack him, not in himself, but in his members through deceit and illusions. For many are the snares of the deceitful (Sir 11:31). Thus he adds that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. Be sober and watch; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8). He lies in wait in secret like a lion in his den (Ps 10:8).
354. Consequenter cum dicit quia non est nobis colluctatio, etc., explicat in speciali monitionem. Et
354. At for our wrestling is not against, he then goes on to explain this warning in detail:
primo de insidiis inimicorum;
first, concerning the snares of the enemies;
secundo de armatura sumenda, ibi propterea accipite, etc.;
second, what arms should be taken up, at therefore take unto you (Eph 6:13);
tertio de fiducia Christi habenda ibi per omnium orationem, et cetera.
third, the confidence which must be had in Christ, at by all prayer (Eph 6:18).
355. Describit autem insidias, quia quando aliquis hostis imminet, si sit debilis, stultus et huiusmodi, non est multum cavendum nec timendum de eo; sed quando est potens, nequam et callidus, tunc est timendus. Haec tria sunt in diabolo.
355. He describes the snares because, when an enemy is near at hand, there is not much reason to be on one’s guard or fear him if he is weak, stupid and the like. But when he is strong, evil and shrewd, then he ought to be dreaded. These latter three are found in the devil.
Primo quia non est debilis. Et propter hoc dicit, quod non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, et cetera. Per carnem et sanguinem intelliguntur vitia carnis, I Cor. c. XV, 50: caro et sanguis regnum Dei non possidebunt, et homines carnales. Gal. I, 16: continuo non acquievi carni et sanguini, id est, hominibus carnalibus. Dicit ergo non est nobis colluctatio, et cetera.
First, he is not weak. For this reason he states that our wrestling is not against flesh and blood. By flesh and blood sins of the flesh are to be understood: flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God (1 Cor 15:50), nor can carnal men. Immediately I condescended not to flesh and blood (Gal 1:16), that is, to carnal men. Therefore he says our wrestling is not against flesh and blood.
Quod videtur esse falsum qualitercumque accipiatur; quia, ut dicitur Gal. V, 17: caro concupiscit adversus spiritum, et cetera. Ps. CXVIII, v. 157: multi qui persequuntur me.
But, this saying seems to be false no matter how it is understood since, for the flesh lusts against the spirit; and the spirit against the flesh (Gal 5:17). Many are they that persecute me and afflict me (Ps 119:157).
Respondeo dupliciter. Primo ut dicamus non est nobis colluctatio adversus, etc., supple tantum, quin etiam adversus diabolum. Vel aliter, quia actio quae instrumento attribuitur, est principaliter agentis, sicut accipitur illud Rom. IX, 16: non est volentis, neque currentis, sed miserentis Dei, quasi dicat: quod vultis aliquid, vel facitis, a vobis non est, sed aliunde, scilicet a Deo; sic hic non est nobis colluctatio, etc., exponatur, id est quod nos impugnent, scilicet caro et sanguis, hoc non est eorum principaliter, sed a superiore movente, scilicet a diabolo.
I reply in two ways. First, supply only so that we could say our wrestling is not only against flesh and blood without it also being against the devil. A second answer is that an action which is attributed to an instrument is principally of the agent. It is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy (Rom 9:16). He seems to say: when you will or do anything, it is not from yourself, but from another, namely God. Thus here, our wrestling is not against flesh and blood would be interpreted: when flesh and blood attack us, it is not of themselves principally but from a higher moving force, namely, from the devil.
356. Consequenter describitur a potentia, quia adversus principes et potestates tenebrarum harum. Io. XIV, 30: venit enim princeps huius mundi, et cetera.
356. Next, the devil’s power is described, for we fight against principalities and powers . . . of this darkness. The prince of this world comes, and in me he does not have anything (John 14:30).
Dicitur autem princeps mundi, non creatione sed imitatione mundanorum. Io. I, 10: et mundus eum non cognovit, id est principes mundani. Vel dicitur princeps, quasi primatum capiens. Unde principes quasi primi duces ad aliquid. Ps. LXVII, 26: principes coniuncti psallentibus. Gen. XXIII, 6: princeps Dei es apud nos.
He is called the prince of the world, not by reason of creation, but because the worldly minded imitate him. And the world knew him not (John 1:10), that is, the worldly princes. Or, he is called the prince as though he had captured the primacy. Hence princes are, as it were, the first leaders in something. Princes went before joined with singers (Ps 68:25). You are a prince of God among us (Gen 23:6).
Ad potestatem autem pertinet iustitiam exercere. Inquantum ergo aliqui daemones inducunt aliquos ad rebellandum Deo, dicuntur principes, inquantum vero habent potestatem puniendi illos, qui eis subiiciuntur, dicuntur potestates. Lc. XXII, 53: haec est hora vestra, et potestas tenebrarum, et cetera.
The exercise of justice pertains to power. Hence, insofar as some demons incite others to rebel against God, they are called principalities; insofar as they have the power to punish those who are subjected to them, they are called powers. But this is your hour and the power of darkness (Luke 22:53).
357. Sed cum ex ordinibus omnibus ceciderint aliqui, quare mentionem facit Apostolus de illis duobus ordinibus, denominans daemones?
357. But since some angels fell from every one of the ranks, why does the Apostle only mention those two ranks, calling them demons?
Respondeo. In nominibus ordinum sunt tria in quibusdam enim importatur ordo ad Deum, in quibusdam vero potestas, in quibusdam vero Dei ministerium. In nominibus enim cherubim et seraphim et thronorum, importatur conversio ad Deum. Daemones autem adversi sunt Deo, et ideo eis non competunt haec nomina. Item quaedam nomina important ordinem ad ministerium Dei, sicut angeli et archangeli: et ista etiam nomina non competunt daemonibus, nisi cum adiuncto scilicet Satanae. Tertio etiam, quia virtutes et dominationes important ordinem ad servitium Dei: ideo eis non conveniunt haec nomina, sed tantum ista duo, quae communia sunt bonis et malis, scilicet principatus et potestates.
I reply. There are three characteristics in the names of the ranks. For in some is implied a relation to God, in others power, in still others the service of God. In the names cherubim, seraphim and thrones, a turning toward God is connoted. The devils, on the other hand, are turned away from God, and hence these names do not apply to them. Again, certain names imply an ordination to the service of God, as the angels and archangels; these also are not applicable to the demons, unless one joins of Satan to the names. Third, since virtues and dominations also imply an ordering toward God’s worship these names cannot be applicable to the demons. Only those two, principalities and powers, are common to the good and bad angels.
Sunt ergo et potentes et magni, ideo habent magnum exercitum, contra quem habemus pugnare adversus mundi rectores tenebrarum harum, scilicet peccatorum. Supra V, v. 8: eratis enim aliquando tenebrae, et cetera. Quia quidquid est tenebrosum, totum est de ordine istorum, et subiectum eis. Glossa: mali homines sunt equi, diaboli equites, ergo occidamus equites, et equos possideamus. Io. I, 5: et tenebrae eum non comprehenderunt.
Hence, they are powerful and great, possessing an immense army against which we must fight as against the rulers of the world of this darkness of sin. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord (Eph 5:8). Whatever is darksome is wholly of their rank and subject to them. As a Gloss comments: evil men are horses, and the demons the riders; hence, if we kill the riders, the horses will be ours. And the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:5).
358. Sunt etiam astuti, quia contra spiritualia nequitiae, id est contra spirituales nequitias, emphatice loquendo, per quod intelligitur plenitudo nequitiae.
358. They are also cunning, for we must fight against the spirits of wickedness; this is an emphatic way of saying spiritual wickedness, by which is understood the fullness of evil.
Dicit autem spiritualia nequitiae, quia quanto est altior secundum naturam, tanto, quando convertitur ad malum, est peior et nequior. Unde Philosophus dicit, quod homo malus est pessimus omnium animalium. Et ideo dicit spiritualia nequitiae, quia spirituales et nequissimi sunt.
He affirms the spirits of wickedness because the higher one’s nature is, the more terrible and pernicious it is when one turns to evil. Whence the Philosopher states that an evil man is worse than all the animals. Thus he says the spirits of wickedness since they are spiritual and most wicked.
Et dicit in caelestibus, duplici de causa. Vel ut ostendat virtutem et avantagium, ad superandum nos: quia nos in terra, ipsi autem in alto, scilicet in aere caliginoso, et ideo habent partem meliorem. Lc. VIII, 5: volucres caeli comederunt illud. Vel dicit in caelestibus, quia pro caelestibus est ista pugna: et hoc debet animare nos ad pugnam.
He mentions in the high places for two possible reasons. Either to show the strength and advantage they possess to overcome us; we are on the earth, but they are on high in the dusky atmosphere so that they have the better position. And the fowls of the air devoured it (Luke 8:5). Or, he says in the high places because this struggle is for heaven, and this should urge us on to fight.