The Meaning of Ephesians 2:17 Explained

Ephesians 2:17

KJV: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

YLT: and having come, he did proclaim good news -- peace to you -- the far-off and the nigh,

Darby: and, coming, he has preached the glad tidings of peace to you who were afar off, and the glad tidings of peace to those who were nigh.

ASV: and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were nigh:

What does Ephesians 2:17 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Not only is Jesus Christ our peace ( Ephesians 2:14), but He also preached peace. He preached the message of peace, the gospel, through His apostles following His ascension (cf. Acts 1:1-2; Acts 1:8) to both Gentiles and Jews ( Ephesians 2:12-13).

Context Summary

Ephesians 2:11-22 - Reconciled And United By The Cross
The state of the unconverted must be described by a series of negations. Shut the sun out of the world, love out of the home, liberty out of the state! The unsaved know not of their infinite loss; but if they could see what we inherit through union with Jesus, they could cease to wonder that we run not with them into the same excess of riot. Does a maiden need much persuasion to cast aside paste jewels when real ones are offered her!
There was no natural affinity between Jew and Gentile. This arose partly because of diverse nationality and genius; but in addition the whole code of Jewish customs as to eating clean meats and ceremonial pollution, prevented it. All these party-walls of division were swept away by Christ. In Him, as the cornerstone, two walls, running in different directions, met. Two sections of humanity, East and West, became united to each other, because each was united to Him, and thus was formed a new unit of humanity.
What a noble conception is given of the Church and ultimately of the redeemed race, growing slowly through the ages and becoming God's dwelling-place! Notice the Trinity; through Jesus, the Eternal Father comes by His Spirit to dwell in the heart of man. [source]

Chapter Summary: Ephesians 2

1  By comparing what we were by nature, with what we are by grace,
10  he declares that we are made for good works: and being brought near by Christ,
19  should not live as Gentiles and foreigners, but as citizens with the saints, and the family of God

Greek Commentary for Ephesians 2:17

Preached peace [ευηγγελισατο ειρηνην]
First aorist middle of ευαγγελιζω — euaggelizō “He gospelized peace” to both Jew and Gentile, “to the far off ones” By the Cross and after the Cross Christ could preach that message. [source]
You which were afar off []
Gentiles. [source]
Them that were nigh []
Jews. See on Romans 3:30. As children of the messianic covenant. See on Ephesians 2:12. Compare Isaiah 57:9, where the Septuagint reads, peace upon peace to those who are far and to those who are near. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Ephesians 2:17

Acts 10:36 Preaching good tidings of peace through Jesus Christ [ευαγγελιζομενος ειρηνην δια Ιησου Χριστου]
Gospelizing peace through Jesus Christ. There is no other way to have real peace between individuals and God, between races and nations, than by Jesus Christ. Almost this very language occurs in Ephesians 2:17 where Paul states that Jesus on the cross “preached (gospelized) peace to you who are afar off and peace to you who are near.” Peter here sees what Paul will see later with great clearness. He is Lord of all (ουτος εστιν παντων κυριος — houtos estin pantōn kurios). A triumphant parenthesis that Peter throws in as the reason for his new truth. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, both Jews and Gentiles. [source]
Acts 2:39 To you [υμιν]
You Jews. To your descendants, sons and daughters of Acts 2:17. To all that are afar off (πασιν τοις εις μακραν — pāsin tois eis makran The horizon widens and includes the Gentiles. Those “afar off” from the Jews were the heathen (Isaiah 49:1; Isaiah 57:19; Ephesians 2:13, Ephesians 2:17). The rabbis so used it. Shall call First aorist middle subjunctive with αν — an in an indefinite relative clause, a perfectly regular construction. The Lord God calls men of every nation anywhere whether Jews or Gentiles. It may be doubted how clearly Peter grasped the significance of these words for he will have trouble over this very matter on the housetop in Joppa and in Caesarea, but he will see before long the full sweep of the great truth that he here proclaims under the impulse of the Holy Spirit. It was a great moment that Peter here reaches. [source]
Romans 3:30 By faith - through faith [ἐκ - διά]
Some make the two prepositions equivalent. The difference may be explained from the fact that the real Jew has already a germinating faith from the completion of which justification arises as fruit from a tree. So Wordsworth: “The Jews are justified out of ( ἐκ ) the faith which their father Abraham had, and which they are supposed to have in him The Gentiles must enter that door and pass through it in order to be justified.” Compare Ephesians 2:17. [source]
1 Thessalonians 5:23 The very God of peace [αὐτὸς ὁ Θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης]
Better, the God of peace himself. God's work is contrasted with human efforts to carry out the preceding injunctions. The phrase God of peace only in Paul and Hebrews. See Romans 15:33; Romans 16:20; Philemon 4:9; Hebrews 13:20. The meaning is, God who is the source and giver of peace. Peace, in the Pauline sense, is not mere calm or tranquillity. It is always conceived as based upon reconciliation with God. God is the God of peace only to those who have ceased to be at war with him, and are at one with him. God's peace is not sentimental but moral. Hence the God of peace is the sanctifier. “Peace” is habitually used, both in the Old and New Testaments, in connection with the messianic salvation. The Messiah himself will be Peace (Micah 5:5). Peace is associated with righteousness as a messianic blessing (Psalm 72:7; Psalm 85:10). Peace, founded in reconciliation with God, is the theme of the gospel (Acts 10:36). The gospel is the gospel of peace (Ephesians 2:17; Ephesians 6:15; Romans 10:15). Christ is the giver of peace (John 14:27; John 16:33). [source]

What do the individual words in Ephesians 2:17 mean?

And having come He proclaimed the gospel peace to you the [ones] far off to those near
Καὶ ἐλθὼν εὐηγγελίσατο εἰρήνην ὑμῖν τοῖς μακρὰν τοῖς ἐγγύς

ἐλθὼν  having  come 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
εὐηγγελίσατο  He  proclaimed  the  gospel 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εὐαγγελίζω  
Sense: to bring good news, to announce glad tidings.
εἰρήνην  peace 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: εἰρήνη  
Sense: a state of national tranquillity.
ὑμῖν  to  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
τοῖς  the  [ones] 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μακρὰν  far  off 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: μακράν  
Sense: far, a great way.
τοῖς  to  those 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐγγύς  near 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ἐγγύς  
Sense: near, of place and position.