← Back

What did Paul mean in Ephesians 2:15 that "abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two"?


Ephesians 2:15

ESV - 15 By abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 19 2014 Mini Anonymous

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Emilio 1992 Emo Tenorio Shomer
Great question that the God man Lord Jesus brought forth a new covenant by His completed work on the cross, paying the bill that was do from us all under the law.

Ephesians 2: 11-12 Gentiles who were once without citizenship among the Jewish people, hope or God.

Ephesians 2:13 Were now made dual heirs of the kingdom via our kinsman-redeemer the Lord Jesus Himself.

Ephesians 2:15 Breaking down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile, He created one new man in Himself.

Ephesians 2:16 By His death on the cross Christ reconciled both the Jew and Gentile to God and hung our hostility to each other on the cross to die.

Ephesians 2:17 The Kingdom message was now for both Jew who were near and Gentile who were far away from God.

Ephesians 2:18-22 Together we are now one new man in spirit with Lord Jesus as the foundation cornerstone operating under a new covenant.

In the lord's freedom and great mercy...........warrior on

April 20 2014 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Ari Ariel HaNaviy Messianic Jew and Torah Teacher with Messianic Congregation 'The Harvest'
Emo's answer was concise and pinpoint accurate. I especially liked the fact that in commenting on Eph. 2:15 the answer forthrightly reinforced the central truth that Yeshua (Jesus) broke down the wall of separation between Jew and Gentile and created one new man in himself. 

I want to elaborate on the antecedent theology as well as the 1st century historic and social implications of this “separation,” thus further uncovering the true meaning behind what it meant that Messiah “abolished the law of commandments expressed in ordinances…” I think my answer might go a long way towards helping to better understand some of the challenges Paul faced as a Messianic Jew sent to the Gentiles (Acts 22:21; Eph. 3:1).

I will start with Eph. 2:14 to build context, then work towards Eph. 2:15.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…”

It is commonly taught that the “dividing wall of hostility” being broken down was the Law of Moses, the Torah. In my study and teaching of the Bible I firmly maintain that the barrier being destroyed cannot possibly be the Torah because the Torah NEVER commanded a “dividing wall of hostility” between Jews and Gentiles. It is true that Isra'el was singled out by God to be a nation separated unto himself (Ex. 19:6; Amos 3:2), but this separation is the paradigm presented to demonstrate the basis for a unique covenant relationship in which the Husband would love and cherish his Bride with a unique love not intended for other “women” (Is. 54:5).

Moreover, this separation did not forbid those from the Nations (Gentiles) from attaching themselves to Isra'el, to her God, and thus by covenant, to Isra'el’s Torah (Ex. 12:49; Lev. 24:22; Num. 15:29). In fact Isaiah says the coastlands (Gentiles) would be eagerly waiting for the Servant of the LORD (Messiah) to bring this Law to them (Is. 42:4). Jew and Gentile coming together under one identifier called “Isra'el” is clearly shown in the TaNaKH.

So, if the Torah cannot be the dividing wall, what WAS it? Whatever it was, it created the “enmity/hostility” (Greek=echthran) mentioned in both Eph. 2:15 and in Eph. 2:16.

By the 1st century, Jews outnumbered Gentiles in national Isra'el. But more importantly, Jewish Isra'el forgot that Gentiles in Isra'el were to be counted as equal covenant members, and instead imposed a manmade proselyte ceremony upon them if new prospects wished to join Isra'el. This was wrong. God commanded Isra'el to practice communal ritual purity. The practical outworking of the Oral Torah and Rabbinic laws of purity, however, raised a strong wall of jealousy, shared resentment, and separation between the Jews in Isra'el and the Gentiles outside of Isra'el, even if this was not the original intent.

The “dividing wall of hostility” in Eph. 2:14 was the vile, man-made social class/caste system set in place by Oral Torah and Jewish leaders seeking to keep a social and religious difference between Jews and Gentiles. Jewish religious pride and Gentile resentment of that pride fostered the shared social hostility. Jesus came to establish once and for all that Jews and Gentiles in Him constituted a “spiritual Isra'el within national Isra'el” (Rom. 9:6-8; Rom. 9:23, 24; Rom. 11:1-7)—the Remnant of Isra'el. In the Remnant, Jews and Gentile believers were equal, something Paul states later in Eph. 2:18-22.

Using the whole context of Eph. 2 to bolster my argument, I would paraphrase Eph. 2:14, 15 thusly, “For he himself is our peace, who has made both Jews and Gentiles in Messiah into fellow citizens with one another and both into members of Isra'el, and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility created by the class/caste system, by abolishing the laws of oral commandments found in manmade dogma, that he might create in himself one new, redeemed humanity in place of the fractured and separated two, so making peace…”

September 08 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Fred Berryman
To get the full answer of Ep. 2/15 you have to finish the chapter. But Jesus came because no one could keep the commandments. And with his sacrifice he was able to bridge the gap not just between the Jews and Gentiles but everyone. Because with him we become one with him. For without him to bridge the gap it all in vain. And this is where you get the two into one.

August 26 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining