ESV - 18 You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.
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The captives mentioned in this prophetic verse from Psalm 68 are the spiritual forces of evil over which Christ won victory through his death and resurrection. As Paul noted in Colossians 2:13-15, "When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." Paul also makes reference to these powers in his epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:8), where he says, as one translation puts it, that Jesus "took captive those who had captured us." Also, later in the same epistle, Paul again says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12). However, God's final victory in this struggle is assured, because of Christ's finished work for our salvation.
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