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The Pauline Formula Induere Christum With Special Reference To The Works Of St. John Chrysostom by Saint John Chrysostom

We have seen how Chrysostom explains the phrase ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν and further illustrates and confirms it by the use of a Greek proverb. Of the few exegetes who take cognizance of this illustration, Zahn and Bloomfield object to it. Zahn does not positively reject Chrysostom’s explanation, but merely says that the phrase used in illustration of the formula ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν by Chrysostom “gehört vielleicht einem bereits christlich gefärbten Sprachgebrauch an”; in other words, it is a result of a Christian tendency.

What is the truth concerning this tendency? Viewed in its true light, the existence of such a tendency does not constitute an objection to the explanation given by Chrysostom of ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν, but it is rather a powerful confirmation thereof. For, if the use of the phrase ὁ δεῖνα τὸν δεῖνα ἐνεδύσατο, as an expression of friendship, in the sense in which it was explained by Chrysostom, should have originated from the Pauline formula through the influence of a Christian tendency, it would be a splendid and important testimony of the understanding of St. Paul’s words by the Christians of the first three centuries of our era. This testimony would be all the more decisive since this specific meaning was supposedly given to a common and well-known phrase by men who wrote and spoke the same language as the Apostle, and were, therefore, good judges of the meaning of the latter’s phrase.

This interpretation of ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν is a strong confirmation of the assumption that Paul penned his words in the current meaning of the phrase ἐνδύεσθαί τινα. For, as we have already remarked and as we shall presently show, the expression was not coined by St. Paul, but it was in vogue before his time. But the use of the phrase by the Apostle in Rom. 13:14, and Gal. 3:27, could hardly have been sufficient to give rise to a proverbial saying that was understood in a meaning essentially different from that which was attached to the original phrase, and to which the people were accustomed.

Bloomfield’s objection is of a more serious nature. He contends that the “common phrase” adduced by Chrysostom in explanation of the Pauline formula “is scarcely apposite.” The idea expressed by the proverb, he adds in his commentary to Rom. 13:14, “is quite different with that here meant to be inculcated by the Apostle, which only implies imitation of our Lord.” He concludes with the remark referred to in our first chapter, that “in the numerous other passages” found in Greek literature and “cited by the Philological Commentators of ἐνδύεσθαι, ἀποδύεσθαι, induere, exuere, there is no more than a slight allusion to conduct considered figuratively, as a dress.” This is indeed a serious objection, and if it is true, then Chrysostom’s interpretation of the Pauline formula is, if not positively false, at least foreign to Greek usage. Like Bloomfield, other exegetes who think the phrase of the Apostle is of Greek origin, interpret it in the sense of mere imitation of conduct. Although, as we have noted, other commentators who base their interpretation of our formula on the use of the phrase ἐνδύεσθαί τινα, explain the Apostle’s words as denoting imitation of internal dispositions and even union, still none admit that the words express the idea of possession. What then does the history of the phrase reveal about its real meaning?

If we turn to lexicographers, we can obtain no clear and definite results as to the meaning of ἐνδύεσθαι. According to Liddell-Scott ἐνδύω means, I, “to go into” and is used:

a) “of clothes,” in the sense of “to put on.”

b) in the meaning of to “enter, press into.”—As an example of the metaphorical use of ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal object, these authors refer to the phrase τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυόμενοι which means “assume (the person of) T.”—2. Ἐνδύω, these authors further state, may have a casual signification, “to put on another.”

Menge says that ἐνδύω when used transitively signifies “in etw. einhüllen, jm. ein Kleid anlegen od. anziehen”; when used intransitively, however, and in the middle voice, it means:

a) sich etwas anziehen—sich mit etw. waffnen,

b) hinein = gehen, = schlüpfen, … dringen,=geraten.”

Pape gives the same meanings of this verb as Menge. He adds several examples of the metaphorical use of the verb; when used figuratively ἐνδύω = etwas “unternehmen,” “sich,” etwas “unterziehen”; while the phrase τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυόμενοι = “den T. anlegen, d.i., sich wie T. benehmen.”

According to Benseler, ἐνδύω in its figurative meaning = “eindringen, sich einlassen, sich einschleichen.” In the N. T., the metaphorical use of the word signifies “sich anziehen.”

The result of this brief review is not satisfactory. We see that the lexicographers as well as the exegetes do not agree with Chrysostom in explaining this important term. Who is right? And how can we solve the difficulty? The great authority of Chrysostom, who still lived in the milieu in which St. Paul wrote, and who was thoroughly conversant with the peculiarities of his native tongue, would go far to establish the meaning of ἐνδύεσθαι in the sense in which he explains the word. But he does not ask us to accept his interpretation merely on his authority; he himself gives us the key to a definite and certain solution of the problem. By using a Greek proverb in illustration of the Pauline formula, he not only points to the Hellenic literature as the source whence Paul derived his formula and whence he himself took his explanation of it, but at the same time he suggests the method by which we may prove the correctness of his exposition, namely by a historio-literary investigation of the term ἐνδύεσθαι. Therefore, in order to establish beyond the shadow of a doubt the meaning of Paul’s phrase, we shall in the following pages examine the original meaning of ἐνδύεσθαι and trace the historical development of the phrase in Hellenic literature, paying special attention to the metaphorical use of the word as well as to its use with a personal object. In our investigation it will be of the utmost importance to note the similarities with, or the differences from, the meaning attributed to the phrase by Chrysostom. Such an investigation will set forth the meaning of Paul’s words in a clearer light, and, if it results in a confirmation of Chrysostom’s exposition, it will prove definitely and with certainty that his interpretation of the Apostle’s words is the only correct one.

Since ἐνδύω is composed of ἐν + δύω, an inquiry into the original meaning and use of the simple component δύω-δύομαι will be eminently useful, if not absolutely necessary, in order to establish the precise meaning of ἐνδύω-ἐνδύομαι. For the compound is only a further development of the simple component and receives its meaning from the latter. Moreover, the letter does not create the idea; but the idea forms the letter. We may add that, according to lexicographers, the meaning and the use of δύω are similar to those of ἐνδύω. These authors agree that the literal meaning of δύω is “to enter.”

Already in Homer we find the use of δύειν or δύεσθαι. In his epics, the word is frequently employed in its strictly literal meaning, in a naive material sense, implying a local motion of persons or bodies by which they go from one place to another and enter physically into, and are enclosed by, some thing or place. This idea is expressed, in the first place, by δύειν or δύεσθαι followed by the simple accusative of the thing or place entered. Thus Homer speaks of persons entering a city, the walls of a city, the bosom of the sea, and the earth.

For instance, Athena comes to meet Odysseus when he is about to enter the beautiful city of Scheria—ἀλλʼ ὅτε δὴ ἀρʼ ἔμελλε πόλιν δύεσθαι ἐραννήν.

When the parents of Hector entreat him to seek safety within the walls he refuses and says: Woe be to me! if I indeed entered within the gates and walls—ὥ μοι ἐγών, εἰ μέν κε πύλας καὶ τείχεα δύω.

In Il. 18, 140, Thetis, the sea goddess, tells the Nereids, sea nymphs, to enter into the broad bosom of the deep—ὑμεῖς μὲν νῦν δῦτε θαλάσσης εὐρέα κόλπον.

When Axylus and his attendant Calesius are killed in the battle of Troy, both enter the earth—τὼ δʼ ἄμφω γαῖαν ἐδύτην.

Andromache, the wife of Hector, pleads with her husband not to expose himself to the danger of death. For, she says, it were better for me to enter the earth (i.e., to die) if I am to be deprived of thee—ἐμοὶ δέ κε κέρδιον εἴη σεῦ ἀφαμαρτούσῃ χθόνα δύμεναι.

In Homer we also find δύειν-δύεσθαι used with the simple accusative to express the idea of clothing or arming oneself. In his epics, the phrase δύειν χιτῶνα, and expressions like δύειν-δύεσθαι τεύχεα, δύειν κυνέην, or δύεσθαι νώροπα χαλκόν, recur several times.

In a similar manner, Homer frequently employs δύειν-δύεσθαι to express the sinking of the stars and especially of the sun. The word in this connection is apparently used absolutely, but the sea as the object is understood.

Δύειν-δύεσθαι is found in Homer in its naive material sense also with the preposition εἰς or ἐς, thus expressing more emphatically the local motion by which the subject of the verb enters into the object.

The horse of Gerenian Nestor, which was shot in the head, rears in torture, for the arrow has entered the brain—βέλος δʼ εἰς ἐγκέφαλον δῦ.

Ino, after giving the shipwrecked Odysseus a wimple, wherewith he might swim safely to shore, goes back into the surging sea—αὐτὴ δʼ ἂψ ἐς πόντον ἐδύσετο κυμαίνοντα.

Again, Odysseus says that if those who have slain the kine of the Sun do not make fit atonement, he will go into Hades and shine among the dead—δύσομαι εἰς Ἀίδαο καὶ ἐν νεκύεσσι φαείνω.

In the same manner, δύειν-δύεσθαι with εἰς or ἐς and ἐν or ἐνι—which originally meant the same as εἰς or ἐς—is used with regard to armor. In the Iliad and the Odyssey, we find the expressions δύειν ἐς τεύχεα, δύεσθαι ἐν τεύχεσσι and ὅπλοισιν ἐνι δεινοῖσιν δύειν.

From the foregoing examples of δύειν-δύεσθαι, used either alone or with the prepositions εἰς or ἐν, it is clear that the Greeks conceived the act of clothing or of arming oneself, expressed by δύειν-δύεσθαι, as an entering into a garment or armor.

What conclusion can we draw from the foregoing examples taken from Homer?

a) Some expressions are so colorless that from them we can not conclude anything as to the meaning of ἐνδύεσθαι. Thus, when it is said that Odysseus is about to enter the city, δύεσθαι has no special characteristic. The idea expressed is merely the motion from one place to another, and consequently the ceasing to be in one place and the beginning to be in another. But even this is interesting enough.

b) Likewise, in the phrases—the arrow enters into the brain and Hector enters within the gates and walls, the δύειν of itself has no distinctive meaning. The fundamental idea expressed by this verb is here again the moving from one place to another, the ceasing to exist in one place and the beginning to exist in another. In both phrases, however, the idea of power is apparent. But this idea is strictly speaking not expressed in δύειν. For, in the one case, the power to wound or kill is in the arrow; and in the other, the power to protect is in the gates and the walls. Still neither the arrow nor the gates and the walls can exercise this power except through the δύειν: the arrow can not wound or kill unless it enters the body; and the gates and walls can not afford protection unless Hector gets behind them. Δύειν in these phrases seems to be connected with the idea of power in the sense of to exercise power, or to be subject to power, respectively. And this idea of power is predominant over that of motion. Likewise, it may be noted, that in these phrases δύειν expresses, not so much the idea of ceasing to be in one place and beginning to be in another, but rather the idea of ceasing to be in a certain state or condition and of beginning to be in another.

c) More characteristic are the expressions δύειν-δύεσθαι χιτῶνα, τεύχεα. Here again the basic idea is the moving from one place to another. But this idea does not stand in the foreground. Δύειν-δύεσθαι here emphasizes, not the motion from one place to another, but the action by which the person receives a new outward appearance from the object,—the garment or the armor. The question is whether such an effect on the subject (which implies the idea of the exercise of a quasi power) is intimately and permanently or only accidentally connected with δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι. The characteristic must be noted at all events.

d) Still more distinctive are the expressions to enter the earth, the sea, Hades. Here, too, the fundamental idea is: to move from one place, not only to another, but into another; to cease to be in one place and begin to be in another; to leave the former and to be united with the latter. But something more is connoted: the “terminus ad quem” is a place that surrounds and encloses and, as it were, holds the subject, takes possession of it, and controls it. Thus, for instance, when the Nereids enter the sea, the idea is implied that their action is modified by, and according to, the nature of the sea; they pass under its dominion.

When Axylus and Calesius are said to enter the earth, not merely the going from the one place to the other is expressed but the passing under death’s dominion,—generally speaking, the passing under the dominion of something else. Consequently, here again δύειν implies, not only the ceasing to be in one place and the beginning to be in another, but the ceasing to be in one state or condition and the beginning to be in another; and this new existence is effected by the power of that which is “entered.”

Especially striking is the example of Andromache. She would rather give herself up to the other place, i.e., to the dominion of the earth, i.e., death, than be deprived of Hector. Here a further parallel is to be noted. As before she was the property of Hector, so now she would be the property of Hades. The important question is: Is this idea of possession and power only accidentally connected with δύειν, or does a general, a permanent, connection exist between the two?

From the foregoing investigation we can draw the following conclusions:

a) The fundamental idea expressed by δύειν or δύεσθαι is the moving from one place to another and consequently

b) The ceasing to be in one place or one state and the beginning to be in another place or state; this last idea implies usually

c) The power and dominion of the subject of the verb over the object or vice versa, in consequence of which

d) The weaker element is changed; this change usually conforms the weaker element to the stronger.

e) In the foregoing examples δύειν and δύεσθαι show no difference in meaning since they are used promiscuously.

A slight development of the naive material sense of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is to be noted in the following examples. Nestor tells the wounded Agamemnon, I do not counsel that we should enter the battle, for it is not meet that a wounded man should fight—πόλεμον δʼοὐκ ἄμμε κελεύω δύμεναι• οὐ γάρ πως βεβλημένον ἔστι μαχέσθαι.

In a similar sense, Homer uses ἐνδύεσθαι or ἐσδύεσθαι. Achilles giving a prize to the aged Nestor says: Now I give thee this prize unwon, for thou wilt not wield the cestus, nor wrestle, nor enter the javelin contest—οὐδὲ τʼἀκοντισὺν ἐσδύσεαι.

In these examples, δύειν and ἐσδύεσθαι or ἐνδύεσθαι are used, not in their most strictly literal meaning, implying physical entrance of the subject into an object by which it is enveloped, but in the sense of participating in. We have here the first visible progress from the naive material expression. In the former example, “to enter the battle” is evidently equivalent to the phrase “to fight”; whereas “to enter a contest” means the same as “to contend.” Now, if a person takes part in a battle or contest he

a) Goes from one place to another, and consequently he

b) Ceases to be in the place and state in which he was and begins to be in a new state or condition. This implies

c) A surrendering of the subject to the power and control of the object,

d) A change in the subject according to the task and the requirements of the object.

It is worthy of note that, in proportion as the strictly literal meaning of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is lost, the idea of power and possession projects itself. The question here is again: Are the self-surrender of the subject to the power of the object and the former’s consequent change only accidentally connected with the verb? Here we note that the II aorist active is used like the middle in the sense, “to give oneself up to the power of.”

In Homer we, moreover, find δύεσθαι followed by εἰς and a personal object. Here again the giving up of oneself to the superior power of another is strongly emphasized. In a battle against the Trojans, Teucer, the archer, takes his stand beneath the shield of Ajax. Ajax stealthily withdraws the shield and Teucer spies his chance; and when he has shot and hit one of the enemy, he returns, and as a child behind its mother, he enters into Ajax, who hides him with his shining shield—

αὐτὰρ ὁ αὖτις ἰὼν πάις ὣς ὑπὸ μητέρα δύσκεν

εἰς Αἴανθʼ• ὁ δέ μιν σάκει κρύπτασκε φανεινῷ.

In the phrase δύσκεν εἰς Αἴανθʼ there is evidently expressed:

a) The going from one place to another;

b) Union with the new place; Teucer gets as closely as possible to Ajax; this implies further the

c) Surrender to the power of Ajax, which has as its effect the

d) Protection of Teucer.

e) Teucer not only ceases to be in one place and begins to be in another place, but he also begins to be in a new state or condition, namely, of protection, which again is the result of his coming under the power of Ajax.

f) The picture of the child running behind its mother may suggest the confident surrender of Teucer to the power of Ajax. But this is only a picture, and that specific idea may not be expressed in ἐνδύεσθαι.

The question again presents itself: Is the idea of possession and power here only accidentally connected with δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι or do these words themselves imply it? The fact that the words always appear in the same complex of ideas suggests that these ideas are inherent in them.

A further development of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is found in the expressions in which Homer speaks of dispositions and passions as entering into man. Menge and Pape, in their dictionaries, mark these phrases as examples of the metaphorical use of the respective words.

Athena is said to allow the haughty suitors of Odysseus’s wife to give free vent to their biting scorn, for she wishes greater pain to enter the heart of Odysseus—ὄφρʼ ἔτι μᾶλλον δύη ἄχος κραδίην Λαερτιάδεω Ὀδυσῆος.

Again, when Achilles looks at the armor Thetis has brought to him, still greater fury enters into him—ὡς εἶδʼ, ὥς μιν μᾶλλον ἔδυ χόλος.

Another example: Odysseus tells Achilles that Hector does not reverence at all either men or gods, but that great madness has entered into him-κρατερὴ δέ ἑ λύσσα δέδυκεν.

These examples are remarkable. The predominant feature is that these passions take possession of man; although the expression “to take possession” is not used, still a proper analysis of the text demands this interpretation. In these examples, δύειν is a strong and emphatic word that expresses:

a) The moving from one place to another, and especially

b) The possession and control of the passion over the person, which has as its effect

c) The change of the person in conformity with the passion.

In some of the examples, this change is then described. Since in these examples the passions are regarded as the stronger and consequently controlling factor, δύειν here means to take possession of and not to surrender to the power of.

The idea of the control and possession of man by the passion is brought out with surprising clearness and force in the following example, which is found in the fifth book of the Iliad, v. 811–812. Athena tells Tydeus that she stands beside him and guards him and with all her heart bids him fight the Trojans; yet, she adds: Either weariness of much striving has entered into thy limbs, or at least disheartening terror has taken hold of thee—

ἀλλά σευ ἢ κάματος πολυᾶιξ γυῖα δέδυκεν,

νύ σέ που δέος ἴσχει ἀκήριον.

Here we have the solution of the mysterious meaning of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι by the identification of δύειν with ἴσχειν. Δύειν in these contexts means to take possession. Besides, it is clear from this passage that the idea of possession and control expressed in the preceding examples is, not merely accidentally, but permanently and essentially connected with δύειν-δύεσθαι. This result is of the greatest importance.

Also in Iliad, ἐνδύειν is used to express the possession and control of man by a passion. In this example, however, ἐν is separated from δύειν by tmesis. Homer describes the distress of Achilles over the death of Patroclus. Into his heart, he says, intolerable anguish has entered—ἐν δέ οἱ ἦτορ δῦνʼ ἄχος ἄτλητον.

A striking example of the use of δύειν in the sense of taking possession is found in the seventeenth book of the Iliad (v. 210–212). When Hector puts on the armor of Patroclus, Ares, the dread war god, enters into him, i.e., takes possession of him, and his limbs are filled with valor and strength—δῦ δέ μιν Ἄρης δεινὸς ἐνυάλιος, πλῆσθεν δʼἄρ οἱ μέλἐ ἐντὸς ἀλκῆς καὶ σθένεος.

Perhaps such an example can be fully understood only in the light of ancient mythological and demonological views. The ancients not only regarded concrete material objects as deities, but even conceived the various dispositions that affect man for good or for evil as good or bad demons, which enter physically into man and operate in him. “Was den Menschen plagt und ängstigt,” says Dieterich, “was ihn verunreinigt und hemmt, sind böse Dämonen, die materiell an und in ihm sitzen; was er leistet, handelt, was ihn treibt und stärkt, sind gute Dämonen, die in ihm wohnen und wirken. Durch die Leibesöffnungen,” he continues, “gehen sie ein und aus, werden herein-und herausgezwungen, werden zitiert und ausgetrieben.” In these words the author briefly characterizes this primitive belief, which, he says, we find among all “Naturvölkern,” and which still survives “in festgewordenen z.T. abgegriffenen Bildern bei allen Kulturvölkern, ohne dass sie noch ins Bewusstsein treten.”

This view gives us a powerful illustration of the development of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι from its naive material sense to its metaphorical meaning. For originally madness, fury, and the like, were conceived also by the Greeks as demons that entered physically into man and dominated him. Later when this belief no longer prevailed, the same expression was preserved but taken metaphorically.

In the examples cited above, dispositions and passions are conceived as entering into man. It is of great interest and importance to note that Homer reverses this expression and speaks of man as entering into dispositions or qualities. An example of this latter phrase is found in the Iliad. Odysseus tells Achilles, who out of wrath against Agamemnon has refused to fight, that the Greeks dread a very great disaster at the hands of the Trojans. Now it is doubtful, he says, whether we shall save the well-benched ships or behold them perish, if thou enterest not into valor—εἰ μὴ σύ γε δύσεαι ἀλκήν. This expression, like the phrase “madness entered Hector,” which occurs in the same passage, undoubtedly implies domination and control of the person by the respective passion. An apparent difficulty is created by the difference in the grammatical construction of the two phrases. In the expression “madness entered Hector,” the object is possessed and controlled by the subject; whereas in the phrase “Achilles should enter into valor,” the subject is represented as being in the possession and under the control of the object. This difficulty can be easily solved. For in both cases, as the law of language itself demands, the verb describes the action of the subject. Accordingly, in the former phrase, madness is described as taking possession and gaining control of Hector; while in the latter expression, Achilles himself gives himself up to the possession and domination of valor. In the one case, then, the passion takes control; in the other, the person passes under the control of the passion.

It is to be noted that in the examples suggesting possession and control of man by passion, the active voice is used; whereas, in the last example, in which the verb means that man gives himself up to the control of might, the middle is used. This seems to point to the probability that the Greek mind knew of a distinction between the meanings here expressed by the active and the middle. We have to keep this in mind for our investigation to find out whether this supposition holds good.

To sum up, the phrase under discussion clearly expresses:

a) The moving of Achilles from one place to another, or rather

b) The ceasing to be in one state or condition and the entering into another condition, which includes

c) The giving over of himself by Achilles to the possession and power of valor, and consequently

d) A change in Achilles effected by, and according to, the object—valor; he should be, as it were, the personification of valor.

Since Homer uses δύειν-δύεσθαι of man in connection with armor and garments, which not only envelop, but, as it were, give their form to the person that “enters into” them, it would seem that Homer derived this metaphorical expression from the figure of a garment. This assumption acquires greater probability from Homer’s use of the cognate expression ἕννυσθαι or ἐπιέννυσθαι ἀλκήν. Thus he describes the Ajaces as clothed with impetuous valor—Αἴαντες θοῦριν ἐπιειμένοι ἀλκήν. Likewise he says the heart of Achilles is clothed with valor—Ἀχιλεὺς—φρεσὶν εἱμένος ἀλκήν.

It will hardly be denied that the words ἕννυσθαι or ἐπιέννυσθαι ἀλκήν are equivalent to the phrase δύεσθαι ἀλκήν. Ἕννυσθαι or ἐπιέννυσθαι means, in the first place, to clothe, to envelop. The conception of valor in the expression “Achilles should enter into valor,” as a garment, accords perfectly with the explanation we have given. For, if a person enters into a garment, he not only moves, as it were, from one place to another, but he freely gives himself over to the quasi possession of the garment, which changes his outward appearance.

Having investigated in detail the use and the meaning of δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι in Homer, we shall now proceed to examine the meaning and the use of these words in later authors. In our investigation, we shall pay special attention to such phrases as may throw further light on the original meaning of ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι and on its historical development, especially in a figurative sense.

In Aeschylus’s (b. 525) Agamemnon, 228, we note an example of the metaphorical use of δύειν. The chorus relates how Agamemnon, after some hesitation, finally decides to yield to the demand of Artemis and sacrifice his daughter in order not to disappoint his allies. His yielding to this bitter alternative is expressed by the phrase—δʼἀνάγκας ἔδυ λέπαδνον. Necessity is here conceived as a yoke that controls Agamemnon and determines his course of action. Moreover, in this phrase Agamemnon is the subject. Consequently he is described as giving himself over to the power of the necessity of sacrificing his own daughter, for he is free to accept the other alternative. The effect of this surrender is, of course the sacrificing of his daughter. Here the II aorist is used in the sense, to enter into, to give oneself up to the power of. Perhaps the active expresses that Agamemnon is free to submit to the yoke or not.—In this example we have

a) The ceasing to be in one state and the entering into another, which implies,

b) The surrender of Agamemnon to the possession and power of necessity, and

c) The consequent change in Agamemnon effected by, and in conformity with, this necessity.

Like Homer, Herodotus (b. 484) uses δύειν in its naive material sense. In his Historiae VIII, he speaks of an expert diver (δύτης) who dives into the sea—δὺς ἐς τὴν θάλασσαν.

Likewise, we find ἐσδύεσθαι, or rather ἐσδύνειν, used by Herodotus in its strictly literal sense. We may remark here that already in this author the compounds ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι and especially ἐσδύειν-ἐσδύεσθαι occur more frequently than in Homer. Describing the cultivation of palm trees in Babylonia, he says the natnes tie the fruit of the so-called male palms to the branches of the date-bearing palms, to let the gall-fly enter the date—ὁ ψὴν τὴν βάλανον ἐσδύνων.

He uses ἐσδύειν also absolutely with the object understood. Speaking of the robbery of an Egyptian king’s treasury, he says that one of the thieves entered in (ἐσδύντος τοῦ ἑτέρου αὐτῶν), and that, when he was caught in a trap, he ordered his brother to enter in as quickly as possible (τὴν ταχίστην ἐσδύντα) and to cut off his head.

Herodotus employs ἐνδύειν, not only in connection with garments, as is the case with Homer, but also with armor—ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι τὰ ὅπλα.

In the Historiae II there occurs a phrase that deserves special attention. Here we find ἐσδύνειν and ἐσδύεσθαι used in their naive material sense, but in connection with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. The Egyptians, says our historian, were also the first to broach the opinion that the soul of man is immortal, and that, when the body dies, the soul always enters into the form of another animal, which then comes into being—τοῦ σώματος δὲ καταφθίνοντος ἐς ἄλλο ζῷον αἰεὶ γινόμενον ἐσδύεται, until it has circled through the forms of all the creatures which tenant the earth, the water, and the air, after which it enters again into a human body, which then comes into being—αὖτις ἐς ἀνθρώπου σῶμα γινόμενον ἐσδύνειν. It may be observed in this example that the middle of ἐσδύειν is used synonymously with the active of ἐσδύνειν.

The phrase “the soul enters the body” undoubtedly expresses a moving from one place to another which results in an intimate union between the soul and the body. Here, too, the idea of possession is implied. As we have seen, in Homer δύειν-δύεσθαι may mean either to take possession of or to surrender to the possession and power of; so the expression before us may be interpreted to signify: the soul gives itself up to the possession and power of the body or the soul takes possession of the body, according as the body or the soul is regarded as the stronger principle. Which idea is conveyed here, can not be determined with absolute certainty; but, if the notion of the Egyptians concerning the nature of the relation between the body and the soul was the same as that of the Greek metempsychosists, especially Pythagoras and Plato, who, as Herodotus says, borrowed the doctrine of the transmigration of souls from the Egyptians, then the phrase means: the soul gives itself up to the possession and power of the body. In consequence of its entering into the body, the soul not only gives life to it but also ceases to be in one state or condition and begins to be in a new state. It not only receives a new mode of existence, but it is variously affected by, and according to, the nature of the body to which it is united.

This example is the more interesting as we see such a striking parallel to the texts of St. Paul we are investigating. In both cases, the general frame in which the ἐνδύεσθαι or ἐσδύνειν-ἐσδύεσθαι occurs is the regeneration; and in both cases the subject of the verb loses one mode of existence and enters on a new one, becomes subject to the power of the object of the ἐνδύεσθαι, and is changed by, and in conformity with, it. It is important to note the essential elements connected with ἐσδύνειν-ἐσδύεσθαι in the phrase before us:

a) The moving from one place to another.

b) The surrender to the possession and power of the body and

c) The consequent change in the life of the soul; this implies

d) The ceasing to be in one state and entering on another.

e) The new life of the soul may be styled a regeneration.

As Homer uses δύειν-δύεσθαι and ἐνδύειν, so Herodotus employs ἐσδύνειν figuratively of passions that enter and take possession of man. The historian tells us that, when the Pelasgians learned that the sons of their Athenian concubines took concerted action against the sons of their Pelasgian wives, they consulted together and on considering the matter terror entered—καί σφι βουλευομένοισι δεινόν τι ἰσέδυνς, i.e., took possession of them. Here ἐσδύνειν is used in the same sense as ἐσδύειν.

Like Homer and Herodotus, Sophocles (b. 496) uses δύειν in its naive material sense. The chorus says of Ajax, who committed suicide: O that he had ere this entered into the vast ether or the common Hades—ὄφελε πρότερον αἰθέρα δῦναι μέγαν ἢ τὸν πολύκοινον Ἅιδαν. This phrase includes the idea of possession and power. But since Hades is deemed the stronger, the dominating factor, the meaning is not Ajax took possession of Hades, but gave himself up to the realm, the possession and power of Hades.

Ἐνδύειν is employed by Sophocles in connection with garments. It seems that already at his time ἐνδύειν was the commonly accepted compound of δύειν. In the Trachiniae, the playwright speaks of a garment which poisoned Heracles who put it on—ὃν κεῖνος ἐνδύς. This example is interesting, since it indicates clearly that, by entering into the garment, Heracles gave himself up to the power of the poison of the garment, which exercised its sinister effect on him. The exercise of the power of poisoning is here only accidentally connected with ἐνδύειν; but it is important to note that ἐνδύειν is used to express such accidental features together with its own essential meaning—to pass under the possession and power of. Note the use of the II aorist active in this and the preceding example.

Finally, Sophocles, like Homer and Herodotus, speaks of dispositions as entering man and taking possession of him. He, however, uses εἰσδύειν to express this figure. When Oedipus Tyrannus discovers that he has killed his father and married his mother, he pierces his own eyes. Thereupon, he exclaims, How both the sting of the points and the memory of the evils entered me together—οἷον—εἰσέδυ μʼἅμα κέντρων τε τῶδʼ οἴστρημα καὶ μνήμη κακῶν. This exclamation of pain, not only expresses the mere entering of the sting of the points and the memory of the evils, but implies that the one as well as the other exercises a power over him, the power of torturing. This twofold idea is fully expressed by the phrase “they took possession of him.”—In the two foregoing examples the II aorist active = to give oneself up to the possession of; here it = to take possession of.

Also this tragedian (b. 480) employs δύεσθαι and εἰσδύειν in their strictly literal sense. Thus in Electra, Castor says the Furies enter into the earth’s abyss—χάσμα δύσονται χθονός.

Again, we read that, when Iphigenia is sacrificed, no one knows whither she has gone—οὗ γῆς εἰσέδυ.

Also in Euripides we find ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι used in connection with garments. In the Bacchantes he speaks of Pentheus putting on woman’s clothes—θῆλυν ἐνδῦναι and ἐνδύσεται. The purpose of putting on this disguise was that he might observe unnoticed the orgies of the bacchant women. As we have already remarked, δύειν-δύεσθαι or ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι, when used in connection with garments, emphasizes, not the motion of going from one place to another, but the action by which the person receives a new outward appearance. This implies that the person gives himself up to the quasi possession of the garment. These ideas are more clearly expressed in the example before us. For surely, when a man puts on a garment of a woman he gives himself up to the quasi possession of the garment, which changes his outward appearance; he receives the outward appearance of a woman.

It is likewise noteworthy that Euripides speaks of the σαρκὸς ἐνδυτά, i.e., that into which the flesh has entered, meaning the skin. The σάρξ is, as it were, the property of the skin, which envelopes and holds it and gives it a new outward appearance.

This dramatist (b.c. 448) uses ἐνδύειν, ἐνδύεσθαι, not only in its literal meaning with garment as its object, but also ἐνδύεσθαι in a metaphorical sense. In Ecclesiazusae we read of a plot formed by some women of Athens to attend the public meeting under the guise of old men and vote a change in government. Their action is referred to in the words—ἐνδυόμεναι—τόλημα τηλικοῦντον, entering into such a daring scheme. Here the scheme is regarded as a power to which they give themselves over, and which consequently governs and controls their actions. The middle is used to denote the surrender to the possession and power of something.

A still more curious example of the metaphorical use of ἐνδύειν is found in Vespae. At the end of the third act, the chorus sings the praises of the author of the play. He, they sing, imitating the art of divination used by Eurycles, has entered into the “ventres” of others and poured forth from there many a comical jest—εἰς ἀλλοτρίας γαστέρας ἐνδὺς κωμῳδικὰ πολλὰ χέασθαι. This expression evidently implies possession and control. For, as it was believed that a spirit entered and took possession of soothsayers like Eurycles and poured forth his ideas through the soothsayer’s lips, so the poet describes himself as having entered into the “venter” of the players—taken possession of them—and as having consequently poured forth his wit and humor from their lips. In this figurative phrase there are expressed most clearly:

a) The moving from one place to another;

b) The possession and control of the object, which implies

c) Union, and effects

d) A change in the object in conformity to the possessor.

The players speak the words and imitate the actions of the playwright.—Here the II aorist active is again used to express the taking possession of.

It is of interest to remember Chrysostom’s interpretation of the Pauline formula. He has the same exegesis of possession but significantly in the inverted order. What is more important, however, is that he calls our becoming the possession of Christ a “mysterium horrendum.” Certainly no one would think of a “mysterium horrendum” in Aristophanes’s example, since his words are not to be taken literally. The reason for the appellation “mysterium horrendum” in Chrysostom’s interpretation is the fact that the expression ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν is to be understood in its literal and real signification. In the light of this passage, especially when it is considered in connection with all the preceding examples, the ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν of St. Paul would find its final solution.

In Xenophon (b.c. 434) we find the active voice ἐνδύειν used in the causative sense of to clothe someone with a garment.

It is more important to note several examples of the figurative use of ἐνδύεσθαι by this author. One of the leaders of the allies of Cyrus asks the king to address their troops, since his words would enter deepest into the minds of the hearers—λόγοι οὗτοι καὶ μάλιστα ἐνδύονται ταῖς ψυχαῖς τῶν ἀκουόντων. Ἐνδύονται here seems to be a passive form, and it means: the words are entered into by the souls, i.e., the souls give themselves up to the power and influence of Cyrus’s words.

We have in Xenophon another example of the metaphorical use of ἐνδύειν. He tells us that Cyrus entered into the care—ἐνέδυ μὲν—εἰς ταύτην τὴν ἐπιμέλειαν, of providing the best possible men for the most important offices in his realm. The care is here conceived as a duty, a power to which Cyrus surrenders himself, and which in turn regulates his actions.

As Herodotus uses ἐνδύειν and ἐνδύεσθαι, so Plato employs the middle of ἐνδύειν in connection with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. In Phaedo he teaches that the souls of the wicked are compelled to flit about the tombs until, through the desire of the corporeal which clings to them, they are again imprisoned in a body—ἐνδεθῶσιν εἰς σῶμα,—and they are likely to be imprisoned in natures (ἐνδοῦνται δὲ, ὥσπερ εἰκὸς, εἰς—ἤθη) which correspond to the practice of their former life. Thus, those who have indulged in gluttony and violence and drunkenness are likely to enter into the species of asses and similar beasts—εἰς τὰ τῶν ὄνων γένη καὶ τοιούτων θηρίων εἰκὸς ἐνδύεσθαι; while those that have practiced injustice and tyranny and robbery go into, εἰς—ἰέναι, the species of wolves and hawks and kites and the like. Evidently in this example ἐνδύεσθαι εἰς is used synonymously with ἐνδεῖσθαι εἰς, which means to be imprisoned in, and with ἰέναι εἰς, which simply expresses the moving from one place to another. Ἐνδύεσθαι and ἰέναι receive their most emphatic interpretation from ἐνδεῖσθαι. For the phrase, to be imprisoned, includes the idea to be subject to a controlling and dominating power, which here is the nature of the beasts into which the soul enters or to whose power the soul gives itself up. In consequence of this imprisonment, the soul receives a new mode of existence and is variously changed according to the nature of the prison.

In the Respublica, Plato uses ἐνδύεσθαι with the simple accusative in the same sense. A certain Erus, who has returned from Hades, relates that he saw the soul of the buffoon Thersites entering into an ape—ἰδεῖν τὴν τοῦ γελωτοποιοῦ Θερσίτου (ψυχὴν) πίθηκον ἐνδυομένην, i.e., becoming the possession of an ape.

Equally interesting are the examples of ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι used in a figurative sense. Plato speaks of an image entering man, and conversely of man or the mind of man entering an object.

In the Respublica II, XVII, the philosopher treats of the education of the citizens. Especially when the mind is young and tender is the image which we wish to imprint on each individual formed and enters in—μάλιστα γὰρ δὴ τότε πλάττεται καὶ ἐνδύεται τύπος, ὃν ἄν τις βούληται ἐνσημήνασθαι ἑκάστῳ. In this phrase, ἐνδύεται seems to be the passive form and to mean that the soul submits more easily to the possession and control of the τύπος, by which and conformably to which it is consequently molded.

Again, Plato speaks of the mind entering into its object. He tells us that only he is competent to judge the relative happiness of the just and the unjust man who is not struck with the outward pomp of a tyrant, but who is able by reflection to enter into and see through the nature of man—ὃς δύναται τῆ διανοίᾳ εἰς ἀνδρὸς ἧθος ἐνδὺς διιδεῖν. Not merely the figurative entering into the nature of some one else is here expressed, but also the exercise of the power of the subject that enters. In the previous examples we saw that the power implied by the ἐνδύεσθαι is exercised in shaping the object into something else. Here, however, by the ἐνδύειν it is merely stated that the intellect exercises its power, namely the power to scrutinize; but this connotes that it subjects the object to its scrutinizing power. The phrase then supposes an intellectual domination over the secret and mysterious ways of the human heart; an intellectual possession.

In Cratylus ἐνδύειν occurs in the sense of to clothe, but with a figurative connotation. Plato is discussing the derivation of names. When he is asked by Hermogenes to give the etymology of the names of various virtues, he replies that, since he has entered into the lion’s skin—ἐπειδήπερ τὴν λεοντῆν ἐνδέδυκα, it is proper for him, not to shrink from the task, but to examine those names. The phrase ἐνδύεται τὴν λεοντῆν, as we learn from Gregory of Constantinople, was a familiar proverbial expression with the Greeks, and, according to Apostolius, it was applied to those who “magna aggrediuntur.” In our text, Plato seems to mean that, since he has made bold to give the etymology of other words, he should not shrink from an attempt to comply with the request of Hermogenes.

We have here a figure taken from the idea of putting on a garment. And what the phrase, to enter a garment, intimates, this figure clearly expresses; namely, to give oneself up to the influence or control of that which the garment represents—in our case, courage. The words then mean to enter into the possession of courage, to be possessed by courage. The effect of being thus possessed is Plato’s attempt to explain the names. In the figure of a garment then we have:

a) The surrender to the possession of that for which the garment stands, which implies

b) A union, and effects

c) A change in the subject in accordance with that for which the garment stands.—It is strange that in this figure the perfect of the active is used synonymously with the middle.

Aristotle (b. 384) objects to those philosophers who indeed admit that the soul is united to the body, but who do not determine further the relation of the body to the soul, just as if it were possible, as the Pythagorean fables say, that any soul can enter any body—τὴν τυχοῦσαν ψυχὴν εἰς τὸ τυχὸν ἐνδύεσθαι σῶμα. This idea is just as ridiculous as if some one would say that the carpenter’s art could enter into pipes—τὴν τεκτονικὴν εἰς αὐλοὺς ἐνδύεσθαι. For, he concludes, just as an art must use (χρῆσθαι) its (corresponding) instruments, so must the soul use the body, i.e., must have such a body as is adapted to its use. Ἐνδύεσθαι, in the first phrase, means that the proper soul be possessed by the proper body. This meaning is evident from the example that follows, which says that the carpenter’s art can not be possessed by pipes.

In Ant. Rom., XI, V, of Dionysius of Halicarnassus (b.c. 54 B.C.) we note an example of the metaphorical use of ἐνδύεσθαι followed by a personal object. This citation deserves special attention, not only on account of its close similarity with the phrase of St. Paul, but especially because it has again and again been quoted and referred to by exegetes as a proof that ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν means nothing more than imitation. It is also this example that Bloomfield has in mind when he says that, in the passages cited by commentators of ἐνδύεσθαι, “there is no more than a slight allusion to conduct considered figuratively, as a dress.”

The important expression in question is found in a description of a meeting of the Roman senate. When Valerius was speaking, Appius and the rest of the decemviri sprang up and prevented him from continuing. A great noise ensued. Finally Marcus Horatius, no longer able to restrain his anger, addressed Appius and his associates: Very quickly do you force me, Appius, to rend the bridles in twain, since you are no longer moderate but put on that Tarquin—οὐκέτι μετριάζοντες, ἀλλὰ τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυόμενοι; for you do not allow those to say a word who wish to speak in behalf of the common welfare. What is the precise meaning of the phrase τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυόμενοι?

We have seen that, in the Greek literature from Homer down to Dionysius, ἐνδύεσθαι implies, in the first place, possession. We have further seen that he who is possessed, or becomes the possession, of another thing, is changed according to the possessor.

If then we wish to interpret the words of Dionysius in accordance with the unanimous testimony of the Greek writers, we must say that the fundamental idea implied in this phrase is possession. To exclude this idea and to interpret the words merely in the sense of to imitate is to establish an exception which is unwarranted.

Moreover, with this interpretation the context of our passage is in perfect agreement. Appius and his associates have, so to say, surrendered to the possession and power of Tarquin, are so possessed by Tarquin that they are changed according to him; they become, as it were, other Tarquins. Since the context clearly shows that, in consequence of this possession, Appius and his associates are changed or conformed to Tarquin and not vice versa, the words τὸν Ταρκύνιον ἐκεῖνον ἐνδυόμενοι evidently mean to surrender to the possession of Tarquin, or to let oneself be possessed by Tarquin, and not to take possession of Tarquin.

The context, moreover, tells us precisely how Appius and his comrades are changed: they receive the qualities of Tarquin; namely, his intolerance and arrogance. By receiving these qualities, they are made quasi Tarquins. Horatius tells us this when he adds: For you do not allow those to say a word who wish to speak in behalf of the common welfare.

The circumstance that the context gives us the key to the precise interpretation of the phrase ἐνδύεσθαί τινα, for determining not only the subject of the possession, but also the precise nature of its effects, is most important, yet it seems to be not generally recognized by commentators.

Since in this phrase the effect of the possession is explicitly described, commentators conclude that external imitation, or assumption of the qualities of another, is the primary and only idea contained in the word ἐνδύεσθαι both in this instance and in all others in which it is used. Imitation is certainly included in this phrase. But to render the expression by “you are imitating that Tarquin” is to emasculate it. The fundamental and dominating idea would be better expressed by “you are possessed, you are bewitched by Tarquin.” That Appius and his associates consequently act like Tarquin, is only the result of the possession which forms the fundamental idea. And this effect is more than mere imitation. It is conceived as being effected by Tarquin; he, his power, is conceived as acting in them.

Finally, from the fact that Dionysius represents Horatius as speaking these words in ordinary conversation, yes in a heated debate, we must infer that this metaphorical expression was a common and popular phrase.

This example of the use of ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal object is certainly most remarkable and bears a striking similarity to St. Paul’s expression. But neither to this example can we apply the words of Chrysostom, “mysterium horrendum,” for here we evidently have a metaphorical use of ἐνδύεσθαι. Appius and his comrades are not actually possessed and changed by Tarquin. Certainly Chrysostom saw in St. Paul’s use of the same phrase more than is expressed here. This additional meaning, as we have seen, consists in the reality of Christ’s possession of us; we are actually His property and He actually dwells in us and conforms us to Himself. There is no question that here we have the key to the solution of the Pauline formula.

In the De Mundo IV of Philo (b. 25 B.C.), we meet with a strange use of ἐνδύεσθαι. Speaking of the specific differences between the various classes of creatures, he says that of the bodies some enter into habit, and others nature, and others soul, and others a rational soul—τῶν σωμάτων, τὰ μὲν ἐνεδύσατο ἕξιν, τὰ δὲ φύσιν, τὰ δὲ ψυχὴν, τὰ δὲ λογικὴν ψυχήν. Evidently, in this citation, ἐνδύεσθαι can not mean to enter. For Philo immediately describes habit (ἕξιν) which one class of bodies ἐνεδύσατο, not as enclosing the bodies, but as being enclosed by them. In the same manner, he conceives the soul to be enclosed in the body as in a prison. Ἐνδύεσθαι, then, in this case, does not mean to enter, but it implies the idea of possession. But does Philo mean that the bodies take possession of or become the possession of habit, etc.? The latter is evidently his meaning, for the change that is effected in the possessed is here predicated of the bodies. Thus through their union with a φύσις or ψυχή, as Philo explains, bodies become plants or animals or men, respectively.

This author (b. 37 A.D.) uses the word only in its literal signification with clothing and armor as its object. In Antiq. XIX, 1, 5, he speaks of the Emperor Cajus who put on woman’s clothes—στολὰς γὰρ ἐνδυόμενος γυναικείας. He did this, adds Josephus, to make the company mistake him for a woman. As we have already remarked, when a man puts on the garment of a woman he gives himself up to the quasi possession of the garment, and consequently is changed by it; he receives the outward appearance of a woman.

In the first age of the Christian era, we repeatedly find ἐνδύεσθαι used in a figurative sense by the Christian writers.

a) St. Clement of Rome

The first example we wish to adduce is found in the (first) letter of St. Clement of Rome, which was written in the last decade of the first century of our era. In the third chapter, the author exhorts his readers to cleave to those to whom grace is given from God and to enter into concord—ἐνδυσώμεθα τὴν ὁμόνοιαν. At the same time he points out the manner in which it should manifest itself in them: being lowly-minded and temperate, holding ourselves aloof from all backbiting and evil speaking, being justified by works and not by words. The words ἐνδυσώμεθα τὴν ὁμόνοιαν, which are similar to Homer’s phrase δύεσθαι ἀλκήν, clearly mean: let us enter into the possession of concord, let us be possessed by concord, and thereby assume its qualities, i.e., become truly harmonious.

b) St. Ignatius

In his letter to St. Polycarp, written between 98 and 117, this holy martyr exhorts his friend by the grace wherewith he is clothed παρακαλῶ σε ἐν χάριτι ἧ ἐνδέδυσαι, to press forward in his course and to exhort all men that they may be saved. Ἐνδύεσθαι in this expression, as in the words of St. Clement, can not mean to enter physically into, for grace is not about us but in us. The natural meaning of the phrase is that Polycarp has become the possession of grace, that he has been possessed and transformed by it.

c) Shepherd of Hermas

In the Shepherd of Hermas (written between 140 and 155), the metaphorical use of ἐνδύεσθαι as an expression denoting the entrance into the possession of various virtues and vices and other qualities, is quite frequent. He speaks of entering into (ἐνδύεσθαι) the faith of the Lord, justice, reverence, long-suffering, truth, good and holy desire, cheerfulness, strength, as also much folly, and great pride. A good desire he also designates as an ἔνδυμα.

In the above-mentioned phrases, ἐνδύεσθαι can not have its strictly literal meaning of to enter; for all the qualities mentioned are conceived as being in man, penetrating and affecting his very nature. The words can only mean that man surrenders himself to the possession and control of these qualities, and consequently assumes the nature and the qualities of the possessor. To convince ourselves that this is the meaning of the phrase, we need only examine an example.

In the 3. Vision, a young man appears to Hermas and relates the following parable. An old man, who has lost all hope in himself by reason of his weakness and his poverty, and who is waiting only for the last day of his life, suddenly receives an inheritance. He hears the news, rises, and full of joy enters into strength—ἐνεδύσατο τὴν ἰσχύν, and no longer lies down, but stands up, and his spirit, which was broken by reason of his former condition, is renewed again, and he no longer sits, but takes courage. Strength is here conceived as a power that came from without and took possession of the old man. The phrase ἐνεδύσατο τὴν ἰσχύν then means: he was possessed by strength, and received the qualities of his possessor, i.e., he became strong, as the vision says, he no longer lies down, and his broken spirit is renewed. The possessing power inaugurates a restoration and renovation.

We now come to an example which has been adduced by a few exegetes to explain the Pauline formula. The phrase occurs in Lucian’s (b.c. 120 A.D.) Gallus 19, and reads, ἀποδυσάμενος δὲ τὸν Πυθαγόραν τίνας μετημφιάσω μετʼ αὐτόν. According to Schleusner, this ἀποδύεσθαι is the contrary of ἐνδύεσθαι used in the sense of to imitate the “naturam et mores” of some one. Similarly, Olshausen regards it as an example of ἀποδύεσθαι in the meaning of “fashioning oneself unlike—a person.” Barnes gives a curious translation and explanation of this expression. According to him Lucian says “having received him as a teacher and guide.” Although Bloomfield mentions no particular passage, still he most probably has this example in mind when he says that in the passages cited by commentators of ἀποδύεσθαι—“exuere,” “there is no more than a slight allusion to conduct considered figuratively, as a dress.” And this example should then serve as a confirmation or proof of his assertion that the explanation of ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν in Rom. 13:14, by St. John Chrysostom “is scarcely apposite.”

But let us examine the context of Lucian’s phrase. In a dialogue between a cobbler, named Micyllus, and a cock, the latter at his master’s request explains the various transmigrations he has undergone, how his soul, coming from Apollo to the earth, entered into the body of a man—ἡ ψυχή μοι—ἐνέδυ εἰς ἀνθρώπου σῶμα, how he became Euphorbus, and how, after a lapse of time, he came into Pythagoras ἐς Πυθαγόραν ἧκον. When the cock has related several incidents from his life as Pythagoras, Micyllus asks him: Ἀποδυσάμενος δὲ τὸν Πυθαγόραν τίνας μετημφιάσω μετʼ αὐτόν. To this question the cock answers: Ἀσπασίαν τὴν ἐκ Μιλήτου ἑταίραν. Micyllus rejoins: Φεῦ τοῦ λόγου, καὶ γυνὴ γὰρ ἐν τοῖς ἄλλοις ὁ Πυθαγόρας ἐγένετο.

It is inconceivable how any one who has only superficially read this passage and noted its context, can say that ἀποδύεσθαι here refers to imitation. It is evident that the phrase must be interpreted in the light of what precedes and follows; namely, in the light of the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and it clearly means to go out of.

It is likewise strange that the phrase ἐνέδυ εἰς ἀνθρώπου σῶμα, which occurs in the same context, has been entirely overlooked by commentators.

This latter phrase is evidently synonymous with the expression that occurs a few lines later, ἐς Πυθαγόραν ἧκον—I came into Pythagoras. Ἐνδύειν, accordingly, implies the union of the soul with the body; and ἀποδύεσθαι, its opposite, the disunion, the separation of the soul from the body—and not imitation. But the ἐνδύειν here implies more than mere union; it expresses a qualified union. Like the ἐσδύνειν-ἐσδύεσθαι found in Herodotus and the ἐνδύεσθαι in Plato, ἐνδύειν here means that the soul becomes the possession of the body and is changed by it. In other words, the soul by its entrance into the body loses its former mode of existence and receives a new mode of being; yes, it is here represented as becoming that into which it enters. Thus, when the soul of the cock enters the body of Euphorbus, it becomes Euphorbus (Εὔφορβος ἐγενόμην); when it enters the body of Aspasia, it is transformed (μετημφιάσω) into Aspasia and becomes a woman (γυνὴ—ἐγένετο). Note here again the II aorist used in the sense of the middle.

If ἐνέδυ here means: the soul became the possession of the body, then ἀποδυσάμενος τὸν Πυθαγόραν must mean: having left the possession of Pythagoras, i.e., of his body, having been freed from its control and dominion.

In the introduction of Eusebius’s (b. 265 A.D.) Life of Constantine, we find an excellent example of the metaphor ἐνδύεσθαί τινα, which, however, has apparently not been adduced in explanation of the Pauline formula, except by Gataker.

In the beginning of his introduction, the historian declares that whithersoever he gazes, whether to the east or to the west or at the whole world or towards heaven itself, everywhere he sees the blessed king present to his kingdom. His sons, he continues, I see as new lights of the earth, filling the universe with his rays, and him (I see) living by his power and governing the life of all together better than before, being multiplied by the succession of his children; for heretofore they shared indeed the honor of Emperors, but now they have entered into their father wholly—οἱ Καισάρων μὲν ἔτι πρότερον μετεῖχον τιμῆς, νυνὶ δʼὅλον αὐτὸν ἐνδυσάμενοι.

This expression is very similar to the phrase, to enter into Tarquin, found in the Ant. Rom. of Dionysius, and, like it, it implies possession and dominion. The sons of Constantine, Eusebius wishes to say, have, as it were, completely surrendered themselves to the possession of their father; they are completely possessed by him, and are consequently changed according to him; they have become, so to say, other Constantines. The context tells in what respect the sons are controlled by their father, so that they have become other Constantines. It is by the acquisition of his qualities. Eusebius says they were wholly possessed by their father, so that they showed themselves as emperors both by their virtue of religion and by upholding the glorious institutions of their fathers—δʼὅλον αὐτὸν ἐνδυσάμενοι, θεοσεβείας ἀρετῆ αὐτοκράτορες, Αὔγουστοι, σεβαστοὶ, βασιλεῖς, τοῖς τοῦ πατρὸς ἐμπρέποντες καλλωπίσμασιν, ἀνεδείχθησαν. So pronounced is their conformity or identity with their father through this acquisition of his qualities in the eyes of Eusebius that he continues: I see him living by his power and governing all better than before.

It is clear that in this example not mere imitation is expressed. Constantine or his virtues are here conceived as a power that is actually working in the sons and conforming them wholly to itself.

It is highly interesting to compare this metaphorical use of ἐνδύεσθαι with the meaning of the word in its literal sense; as, for instance, in the examples taken from the doctrine of the transmigration of souls. In both cases ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι implies possession and dominion, and consequently a change in the object controlled. It ceases to be in one place, or rather in one state or condition, and begins to be in another. This change is effected both by and according to the possessor. The important difference between the two examples is this: In the literal phrase, the dominating factor actually and physically possesses, controls, and changes the other; whereas in the metaphorical expression of Eusebius, the dominating element is merely conceived as possessing, controlling, and changing the other.

The last example we shall adduce is contained in a letter of Libanius (b.c. 314 A.D.) to Alcibiades. Libanius, having heard that Firminus, his former pupil, has given up military life and devoted himself to literary pursuits, writes to Alcibiades: Indeed, if you had given me all your goods (οὐσίαν) and likewise those of your relatives and friends, you would not have given me more than what has been given to me now. For what gift could ever appear to be greater than the present one, or even its equal. Then he says what he understands by this great gift: Φιρμῖνον ρίψας τὸν στρατιώτην ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν.

Cremer explains this phrase as meaning “ ‘den Sophisten spielen,’ sich verhalten, sich geben, darstellen als wäre man u.s.w.” Accordingly he thinks it is “völlig verfehlt” to seek to explain the Pauline formula by this example or that taken from Dionysius of Halicarnassus. It is difficult to see how the phrase ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν, as it is used by Libanius, means merely “ ‘den Sophisten spielen,’ sich—darstellen als ware man u.s.w.” For the context clearly indicates that the phrase means he really became a sophist, a rhetor, and not only mimicked a sophist. In the first place, Firminus was a soldier; but he gave up this avocation and ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν. The evident meaning is, he adopted the profession of a sophist, he became a real sophist, giving up his former profession. Moreover, how could Libanius call the news concerning Firminus the greatest gift he could receive, if Firminus was only posing as a sophist?

The words Libanius adds immediately in explanation of the phrase ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν bear out our contention. He says: There is a chair suited to him, and there are benches and books, and young men are being educated, and speeches are being worked out and delivered which stir up his educated audience. In these words, Libanius depicts the activities of a true rhetorician. The context then clearly shows that the phrase ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν means Firminus became a real sophist; that, in other words, he was changed according to the object of the verb, or that he ceased to be in one state and began to be in another.

But is this change the fundamental idea of the phrase or only its effect? If this expression is interpreted in the light of the meaning of ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι discovered in other examples, both literal and figurative, it means that Firminus gave himself up to the determining power of sophism, and in consequence of this surrender he was changed into a sophist. The context, too, seems to suggest this interpretation. For Firminus was a soldier by profession, but he threw off the soldier—ῥίψας τὸν στρατιώτην, and entered into the sophist—ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν. These metaphorical expressions can be taken to mean that he freed himself from the occupation of a soldier and gave himself up to the occupation of a sophist. As in his military occupation he was under the power of military discipline, so in his sophistic occupation he is under the power of sophism. He is subject to its regulations and influences. He belongs to the school of sophists; they call him their own. Here the idea of possession, power, and control is apparent. In this example, we again have the II aorist active used in the sense of the middle.

Summary and Valuation

We may now summarize the results of our historical literary investigation.

1. The principal outstanding result is that in all the examples investigated the idea of possession and power is connected with (ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν)δύεσθαι.

2. When used in their naive material sense, these verbs = to move from one place to another, the place to which one moves is a place of domination. This implies the ceasing to be in one place and the beginning to be in another.

3. In their more developed literal sense, as also in their figurative meaning, they express:

a) Possession and dominion, and as its effect a

b) Change in the possessed by and in accordance with the possessor. This implies that the possessed ceases to be in one state or condition and begins to be in another.

4. a) The active voice (except in the II aorist) = to take possession. The only exceptions to this rule, besides Homer’s phrase πύλας καὶ τείχεα δύω, is the use of these verbs by earlier writers with garments and arms as object, and the figure of Plato which is derived from the idea of putting on a garment, τὴν λεοντῆν ἐνδέδυκα. Later, however, this proverbial figure is likewise expressed by the middle.

N. B. ἐσδύνειν, with the ν, is used by Herodotus in the sense of to take possession of and to surrender to the possession of.

b) The middle voice always = to surrender to the possession and dominion of, to become the property and possession of.

c) The II aorist active (ἐν) έδυν = to take possession, and to surrender to the possession of. When used in the latter sense, it seems to emphasize the general meaning of the active, i.e., to bring out the free will of the agent.

5. The context always clearly tells us which is the precise meaning of the verb:

a) If the subject is the stronger element and the change is effected in the object, it = to take possession and control of.

b) If the object is the stronger element and the change is effected in the subject, it = to surrender to the possession and power of, to become the property of.

6. The context tells us also the precise nature of the change. Where the change is made by and according to a person, it means a change according to what the person stands for in the context.

7. When (ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν) δύεσθαι is used in a metaphorical sense, the possession is not real but only imagined, and the change, though real, is conceived as being made by the possessor.

8. In the κοινὴ period ἐνδύεσθαι is used in a stereotyped form, according to which the object is the stronger element and the change is wrought in the subject, and = to give oneself up to the possession and power of, to become the property of.

9. The possession connotes union. Indeed, in some cases, the effect of the possession is described as an identity of the possessed with the possessor.

10. The change that results from the possession implies imitation; imitation, however, is not the fundamental idea contained in (ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν) δύεσθαι, but only its effect, nor should it be styled mere imitation, but rather assimilation.

11. (Ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν) δύεσθαι, as used in the philosophical system of the Greeks to express the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, is most characteristic and interesting, for here

a) (Ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν) δύεσθαι is taken in its literal meaning;

b) It effects a union, a oneness of the possessor and the possessed.

c) The further effect of the (ἐν) δύειν-(ἐν) δύεσθαι is a kind of παλινγενεσία, a new mode of life for the possessed.

The question now arises whether the same meaning and use attach to ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι in the Biblical as in the profane Greek literature, and, in any case, whether Paul in his formula followed either of these literary currents. Since Paul is known to follow his own ways, the meaning of ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι in Biblical literature can not of itself prove decisive for the interpretation of the ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν in the Pauline epistles. But, in so far as the Biblical Greek writings should agree with the profane Greek literature as to the meaning and use of ἐνδύεσθαι, they would seem to be a striking illustration and powerful confirmation of the results attained from the latter source.

a) Use of Ἐνδύειν-Ἐνδύεσθαι with an Impersonal Object

The term occurs more than 110 times in the LXX, and in almost every case where it has a Hebrew equivalent it is the rendering of one or the other form of the verb לבשׁ, which properly means to put on, to clothe. More than 60 times this word is used in its literal, naive material sense and is followed by the accusative of garment, or in a causative sense with the accusative of person and garment or only of person. In all these cases, except three, ἐνδύεσθαι is the equivalent of the Hebrew לבשׁ. In 2 Kings 6:14, it stands for חגר = to gird, to surround; in Lev. 8:7, it is the translation of כתו = to give; while in Ez. 44:17, it is the rendering of עלה = to go up, to ascend, In these three cases, ἐνδύεσθαι is merely a free rendering of the Hebrew.

Besides its frequent use with garment, ἐνδύεσθαι is found four times in the LXX in the sense of to put on a breastplate. Likewise here, where it has a Hebrew equivalent, it is the equation of לבשׁ.

Like the expressions ἐνδύεσθαι χιτῶνα-τεύχεα found in profane Greek literature, all these phrases may imply that the person gives himself up to the quasi influence of the garment or armor, and consequently is changed by and according to it, i.e., receives from it a new outward appearance.

In some instances in which ἐνδύεσθαι-לבשׁ is used in its literal sense with garment as its object, we find garment modified by a word that denotes a disposition or quality. Thus, before Judith went to the camp of Holofernes, she put off the garments of her widowhood and put on the garments of her gladness—ἐνεδύσατο τὰ ἱμάτια τῆς εὐφροσύνης αὐτῆς. There is no Hebrew equivalent for this phrase. In this expression, the symbolic signification of the word garment predominates.

Again, in relating the acts of penance and humiliation Esther performed before appearing before the king with her plea in behalf of the Jewish people, the text says that, when she had laid aside the garments of her glory, she put on the garments of distress and grief—ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτια στενοχωρίας καὶ πένθους. Here, too, we have no Hebrew equivalent. Although this expression, like the preceding, is to be taken literally, still it emphasizes the symbolic signification of the garments.

A similar example is contained in Isaias. Describing the joy of the Messias he says: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God. For he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation and with the robe of justice”—ἐνέδυσε γάρ με ἱμάτιον σωτηρίου καὶ χιτῶνα εὐφροσύνης. The Hebrew has:כִּי הִלְבִּישַׁבִי בִּגְדְ־יֶשַׁע מְעִיל צְדָקָה יְעָטָבִי. This phrase is not only symbolic, but also metaphorical. By metonomy, the “garments of salvation” here stand for “salvation” itself. It is important to note here that to put on the garment of something is the same as to put on the thing itself. The active is here used in a causative sense. The notion of possession always connected with ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι has a very interesting meaning here; it emphasizes that the being possessed by salvation is the gift of God. It means: God has caused me to be possessed by salvation.

The figurative phrase, to put on the garment of a certain disposition, is less frequently met than the metaphorical expression, to put on a disposition as a garment. Thus we find the expressions: to put on a curse as a garment—ἐνεδύσατο κατάραν ὡς ἱμάτιον; Hebrew—יִּלְבַּשׁ קְלָלָה כְּמַדּוֹ; to put on wisdom as a robe of glory—στολὴν δόξης ἐνδύσῃ αὐτήν; to put on justice as a long robe of honor—ἐνδύσῃ αὐτὸ ὡς ποδήρη δόξης. We also have the phrase, to put on justice as a breastplate—ἐνεδύσατο δικαιοσύνην ὡς θώρακα; Hebrew—וַיִּלְבַּשׁ עדָקָה כַּשִּׁרְיָן. These phrases mean to be possessed and dominated by these qualities. This idea is consistently expressed in the Greek by the middle. The expression “he put on curse as a garment” is further developed in the text by the Psalmist, and it is the most plastic and illustrative use of ἐνδύεσθαι we have seen so far. The text reads: “And he loved the curse, and it shall come unto him: and he would not have blessing, and it shall be far from him.” He loved the curse means, of course, that he loved evil, which brings the curse, so to say, automatically. The text continues, καὶ ἐνεδύσατο κατάραν ὡς ἱμάτιον—“and he put on cursing like a garment,” i.e., he became subject to its power, “and it went in like water into his entrails, and like oil in his bones. May it be unto him like a garment that covereth him: and like a girdle with which he is girded continually.” These expressions seem to imply that in this figure of a garment is contained also the idea of the completeness, the totality of the possession. This same notion is also suggested by the phrase “long robe of honor,” ποδήρη, which completely covers the body.

Likewise, the text “thou shalt put her (wisdom) on as a robe of glory” is very interesting when considered in the light of its context. Wisdom is described as a mighty power that holds and controls those who give themselves up to its possession. In Eccli. 6:25, the inspired writer says, “Put thy feet into her fetters, and thy neck into her chains. 26: Bow down thy shoulder, and bear her: and be not grieved with her bands. 30: Then (i.e., in the latter end) shall her fetters be a strong defense for thee and a firm foundation and her chain a robe of glory. 31: For in her is the beauty of life: and her bands are a healthful binding.” Here then follows our text: στολὴν δόξης ἐνδύσῃ αὐτήν. This phrase not only means thou shalt pass under her power, but it implies that your surrender to her will redound to your own glory.

Finally, ἐνδύεσθαι is used figuratively of a disposition or quality. Thus, power and strength, praise and beauty, justice and salvation, likewise confusion and shame and sorrow are said to be put on. This manner of expression, which logically belongs to the more developed stage of the language, is very similar in form and contents to the phrase of Homer δύεσθαι ἀλκήν and to the expressions of the early Christian writers who use ἐνδύεσθαι of a disposition. Like these phrases, the figurative expressions in the LXX can be most naturally understood as meaning to give oneself over to the possession and power of the respective disposition or quality, which in turn conforms the subject to it, so that the latter can be said to have the quality.

Another example of לבשׁ, which is rather surprising. The Hebrew text of Ps. 65:14, reads: לָֽבֵשׁוּ כָרִים הַצֹּאן = “the pastures clothe themselves with the cattle or sheep.” Because כָרִים in its first sense means sheep, the LXX translates this passage: Ἐνεδύσαντο οἱ κρίοι τῶν προβάτων = the rams of the flock were clothed. This translation is incorrect, for כָרם is not in the construct but in the absolute state. The meaning of the Hebrew text seems to be: The pastures are possessed by the cattle or sheep. But לָֽבֵשׁוּ here implies more than mere possession. This expression is probably derived from the figure of a garment and the “tertium comparationis” very likely is the totality of the covering. The sheep are so numerous that they cover the whole field. Here again then the completeness, the totality of the possession is emphasized.

b) Use of Ἐνδύειν-Ἐνδύεσθαι with a Personal Object

It is of interest to note that in the O. T. ἐνδύειν-לבשׁ is used with a personal object. In three of these examples, the Spirit of God is said to put on some one. Thus, in Judges 6:34, we read that πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐνέδυσε τὸν Γεδεών = וְרוּחַ יְהוָֹה לָֽבְשָׁה אֶת־גִּדְעוֹן. This phrase means that the Spirit of the Lord entered into Gedeon, took possession of him, and consequently ruled his actions, as the context shows. The text continues, “And he sounded the trumpet and called together the house of Abiezer, to follow him,” etc. These actions are the result of the Spirit’s possession. The phrase “the Spirit of the Lord possessed Gedeon” is similar to the expressions found in the profane Greek literature, which declare that fury, pain, madness, and similar qualities enter man and take possession of him. But here the phrase seems to have its literal meaning: the Spirit of the Lord literally entered into Gedeon and took possession of him. It is important to note, however, that this phrase, like the Greek, implies, first, possession and control; second, a change in the possessed.—The aorist active ἐνέδυσε again is used to denote the taking possession of man by the Spirit.

Another example. When David, who had fled from Saul, doubted in what spirit the men of Benjamin and of Juda came to him, the Spirit “put on” Amasai: καὶ πνεῦμα ἐνέδυσε τὸν Αμασαί = וְרוּחַ לָֽבְשָׁה אֶת־עֲמָשַׂי. Here again the I aorist active ἐνέδυσε is used and means that the Spirit took possession of Amasai and dominated him. The effects of this possession are the words of reassurance Amasai spoke to David.

Finally, when the princes of Juda, who after the death of Joiada worshiped idols, would not listen to the prophets that were sent to bring them back to the Lord, the Spirit of God put on Zacharias: καὶ πνεῦμα θεοῦ ἐνέδυσε τὸν Ἀζαρίαν. Also here ἐνέδυσε equates the Hebrew לָֽבְשָׁה It has the same meaning as in the preceding examples. The effects of the possession of Zacharias by the Spirit are the words of reproach that the prophet thereupon speaks to the princes.

A confirmation of this interpretation of לבשׁ is found in the Syriac, the sister language of the Hebrew. For the first metaphorical meaning of the Syriac equivalent lebash is to invade, occupy, obsess. The variant reading of B in the first passage, and of A in the first and second passages is not opposed to this interpretation. For ἐνδυναμόω—to strengthen, surely implies the exercise of a power.

In Isaias 49:18, we have another example of the use of ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal object. The prophet says of Sion: “Lift up thy eyes round about and see. And these are gathered together, they are come to thee. I live, saith the Lord, that thou shalt be clothed with all these as with an ornament”—ὅτι πάντας αὐτοὺς ὡς κόσμον ἐνδύσῃ—“and as a bride thou shalt put them about thee”—περιθήσεις αὐτούς. For ἐνδύσῃ the Hebrew has the Qal form of תִלְבָשִׁי ׃לבשׁ In this example, the middle is used and = thou shalt be possessed by all these; but the emphasis seems to be on the fulness or totality of the possession, which is expressed by לבשׁ and by the words “all these.” Moreover, the phrase also expresses that the possession redounds to the glory of Sion, “as an ornament.”

Summary and Valuation

We may now summarize the results of our Septuagintal investigation and compare them with the results obtained from our study of the Hellenic writers:

1. In the LXX, as in the profane Greek literature, the idea of possession and power is always connected with ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι.

2. In the LXX, a strict distinction between the active and the middle voice is observed throughout:

a) The active: ἐνδύειν always = to take possession;

b) The middle: ἐνδύεσθαι invariably = to become the property of; to surrender to the control and possession of. The II aorist active is never used.

3. In the profane Greek literature, but not in the LXX, ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is used in its primary local meaning, to go into a place.

4. In both literatures, ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is used in its literal meaning with garment or armor as its object.

5. In the O. T., however, the symbolic meaning is often in the foreground, even when the phrase is taken literally; e.g., Esther put on the garments of distress and grief.

6. When used figuratively in the O. T., ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι often emphasizes:

a) The symbolic element; e.g., to put on the garments of salvation.

b) The totality of possession; e.g., to put on a curse as a garment.

7. In both the profane Greek literature and the LXX, ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is used of various dispositions and qualities, and it implies the possession and domination of the person by the disposition. But the grammatical structure of the phrase is different in the two literatures:

a) In the earlier Greek writers, the disposition or quality is the subject, and ἐνδύειν is used in the sense to take possession of;

b) In the LXX, as in the one phrase of Homer δύεσθαι ἀλκήν and in the early Christian writers, the person is the subject and the middle ἐνδύεσθαι is employed, meaning to give oneself over to the possession and power of.

8. In both literatures, ἐνδύεσθαι is used with a personal subject and object. In the LXX, we have the example: the Spirit of the Lord put on some one. Here the active is used and means: to take possession of. In the profane Greek writings, however, especially in the κοινή period, the middle ἐνδύεσθαι is used, in this connection, and means: to surrender to the possession of, to become the property of. In the LXX, the phrases here referred to may be taken in their literal sense; whereas in the Greek writings, they are undoubtedly metaphorical.

We see then from this summary that the use of ἐνδύεσθαι in the profane Greek writings is noticeably different from that in the LXX, and especially that only in the former do we find an exact parallel to the formula of Paul ἐνδύεσθαι Χριστόν. Yet, in both literatures; the fundamental and essential idea of ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is the same; it involves possession and dominion, which imply a change in the possessed by and according to the possessor.

a) In non-Pauline Writings

In the N. T. writers, St. Paul excluded, the word occurs thirteen times. In all these cases, except one, ἐνδύειν-ἐνδύεσθαι is used in its literal meaning with garment as its object.

St. Luke is the only N. T. writer, besides St. Paul, who uses the term in a figurative sense. He thus renders Christ’s last words to the Apostles before His Ascension: “And I send the promise of my Father upon you”—ἐγὼ ἐξαποστέλλω τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τοῦ πατρός μου ἐφʼὑμᾶς, “stay you in the city” ἕως οὗ ἐνδύσησθε ἐξ ὕψους δύναμιν—which in the light of our investigation means: till you have entered into the possession of the power from on high. Already the phrase “I send the promise of my Father upon you” includes the idea of possession and power, as is evident from the ἐφʼὑμᾶς, i.e., the Holy Ghost will come over you; He is thought of as the power that will take possession of the Apostles. This idea of possession and power is brought out most forcibly in the following words: “But stay you … till you have entered under the power from on high.” They are commanded to surrender themselves to the power that is coming to take possession of them: ἑφʼὑμᾶς. If St. Luke had used “Him” instead of “power,” the meaning would be the same; but by writing “power” he made the thought more emphatic. To explain this phrase further is superfluous. Suffice it to say that the δύναμις which we had to supply in the passages quoted from Greek literature, is here expressly mentioned. This then is an irrefragable proof for the correctness of our interpretation of the examples from the Greek literature. Here the use of the middle is to be noted; it = to become the possession of; to surrender to the possession of.

b) In Pauline Writings

Paul uses ἐνδύνειν once in its literal sense. He speaks of evil men who enter into houses—οἱ ἐνδύνοντες εἰς οἰκίας, “and lead captive silly women laden with sins.” The ἐνδύνειν seems to imply that they entered with violence.

The middle ἐνδύεσθαι is employed by St. Paul metaphorically fourteen times.

α) Figurative Use of Ἐνδύεσθαι with an Impersonal Object

In four passages the term occurs in a figure taken from the armor of a soldier. He exhorts the soldiers of Christ to put on the armor of light—ἐνδυσώμεθα δὲ τὰ ὅπλα τοῦ φωτός, the panoply of God—ἐνδυσασθετὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, and in particular the breastplate of justice—ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης, and again the breastplate of faith and charity, and for a helmet the hope of salvation—ἐνδυσάμενοι θώρακα πίστεως καὶ ἀγάπης, καὶ περικεφαλαίαν ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας. In these phrases in which the symbolic element is in the foreground, ἐνδύεσθαι implies possession. The only question is: Do the readers take possession of the various virtues or do the virtues take possession of the readers, so that the latter are regarded as passing under the possession and power of the virtues? In the light of our investigation, we must answer that, unless Paul has changed the sense of the middle ἐνδύεσθαι, the latter is the meaning. That Paul’s use of ἐνδύεσθαι agrees with that of the profane literature and of the LXX, is apparent if we ask: Which is the transforming power and who is transformed? Evidently the virtues are the superior power, to which the readers should submit, and by which consequently they are transformed. The very comparison of these virtues with the arms of a soldier clearly indicates that Paul conceived them as powers, as means of resisting the snares and assaults of satan and as helps for doing good.

Likewise, the origin of these expressions may be of some interest. They strongly remind us of the Hebrew figures derived from the idea of garment. The phrase in Eph. 6:14, ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης, may have been directly suggested by the LXX, for it is very similar to the expression found in Wisdom 5:19: ἐνδύσεται θώρακα δικαιοσύνην, and in Isaias 59:17: ἐνεδύσατο δικαιοσύνην ὡς θώρακα. But Paul goes further and speaks of passing under the possession also of the breastplate of faith and charity and in general of the arms of light and the panoply of God. Although it is probable that in the use of these phrases Paul had the LXX in mind, still we are not warranted to conclude with Cremer from this one similarity that the O. T. origin of Paul’s use of ἐνδύεσθαί in all cases is evident.

St. Paul, moreover, uses ἐνδύεσθαι with virtues as the object, without any reference to arms. In Col. 3:12, he exhorts the readers to put on the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience—Ἐνδύσασθε οὖν—σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ, χρηστότητα, ταπεινοφροσύνην, πραύτητα, μακροθυμίαν. Here again the symbolic element, especially in connection with the word σπλάγχνα, suggests the Hebrew origin of this phrase. The sense, at any rate, is clear: The Colossians should be possessed and transformed by these virtues.

A very striking example of the figurative use of ἐνδύεσθαι is found in 1 Cor. 15:53–54. Explaining the manner of our resurrection, St. Paul says that on the last day “the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed” (v. 52). He then describes the change by which the risen shall be made incorruptible, by the figure of ἐνδύεσθαι. For, he says, “This corruptible must put on incorruption; and this mortal must put on immortality.”—δεῖ γὰρ τὸ φθαρτὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσασθαι ἀφθαρσίαν καὶ τὸ θνητὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσασθαι ἀθανασίαν. The contrasts in this example throw the clearest light on the meaning of ἐνδύσασθαι. The fundamental idea of property or possession and power is evident. But who is possessed? Clearly the ἀφθαρσία and the ἀθανασία are the stronger elements; they are the power that takes possession of the weaker elements, the τὸ φθαρτόν and the τὸ θνητόν, and change them. The sense then can only be: The corruptible and the mortal, i.e., the body, are possessed and controlled by incorruptibility and immortality. In consequence of this possession, corruptibility and mortality cease to be, and incorruptibility and immortality take their place, so that the body which was corruptible and mortal (τὸ φθαρτόν-τὸ θνητόν), is now incorruptible and immortal. Note here again the use of the middle: ἐνδύσασθαι.

It is also in this sense that Chrysostom explains the figure. He pictures this process as a clash between two powers. By St. Paul’s phrase “this corruptible and this mortal,” he says, the body is meant. Therefore, he concludes, the body remains, for it is the to τὸ ἐνδυόμενον, one might say the object of possession and contention; but mortality and corruption are destroyed and vanish (ἀφανίζεται) when immortality and incorruption take possession of the body—ἡ δὲ θνητότης καὶ ἡ φθορὰ ἀφανίζεται, ἀθανασίας καὶ ἀφθαρσίας ἐπιούσης αὐτῷ. In consequence of this possession, the body itself becomes immortal and incorruptible. Chrysostom continues: Therefore doubt no longer how it will live a life without end, when you hear that it is made incorruptible—ὅτι ἄφθαρτον γίνεται.

St. Paul repeats his figure in verse 54: “And when this corruptible hath put on (ἐνδύσηται) incorruption and this mortal hath put on (ἐνδύσηται) immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory”—κατεπόθη ὁ θάνατος εἰς νῖκος. Here it is made still clearer which is the dominating power. Immortality gains the victory over mortality or death. The sense evidently is: the body passes under the dominion and power of incorruption and immortality. The expression κατεπόθη—is swallowed up, is consumed—shows us the powerful effect produced in the body by the possession of incorruption and immortality. The latter, not only overcome and expel mortality and corruption from the body, but utterly destroy them. As Chrysostom says, neither a remnant of it, i.e., corruption, nor the hope of its return remains, for incorruption has destroyed corruption—τῆς ἀφθαρσίας τὴν φθορὰν ἀναλωσάσης. In this example, we, therefore, have a most emphatic use of ἐνδύεσθαι, which suggests also the completeness, the totality of possession. A similar figurative use of ἐνδύεσθαι is found in 2 Cor. 5:2–4. In the first verse of this chapter, St. Paul says we know that, if this body is dissolved, we shall receive a glorified body, not made by hands, but eternal. Therefore, he continues in verse 2, “in this also we groan, desiring to be clothed upon (ἐπενδύσασθαι) with our habitation that is from heaven,” i.e., already in this body we desire to be possessed by the glorified body. This meaning is postulated by the middle form of the verb. The being possessed by the glorified body is curiously described by ἐπενδύσασθαι, which supposes the having become possessed by something else that has previously taken place by an ἐνδύεσθαι. The latter surrender to the possession of something else is explained in the next verse: εἴ γε καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι οὐ γυμνοὶ εὑρεθησόμεθα. This verse has been a crux for exegetes and has received a great variety of interpretations. But in the new light of our investigation of ἐνδύεσθαι, it can be satisfactorily solved. The ἐνδύεσθαι seems to refer to the possession par excellence of St. Paul, i.e., the possession by the new life, the possession by Christ. The sense then is: Already in this body, although we have become the possession of Christ, we long to be possessed by the glorified bodies, i.e., to be glorified. According to this interpretation, both the ἐνδύεσθαι and the ἐπενδύεσθαι belong to the supernatural order; the former transforms the soul, the latter the body; the ἐπενδύεσθαι is the natural completion of the ἐνδύεσθαι. The ἐνδύεσθαι may be regarded as a technical term which Paul used so frequently that his readers here knew what he meant without any explicit modification of the term. One who was baptized, then, was simply an ἐνδυσάμενος. This will become clearer when we come to the other passages where Paul speaks of the ἐνδύεσθαι par excellence.

β) Figurative Use of Ἐνδύεσθαι with a Personal Object

Apart from the two renowned passages in Gal. 3:27, and Rom. 13:14, St. Paul uses ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal object in the phrase “to put on the new man.”

In Eph. 4:22–24, he says the Ephesians have been taught “to put off, according to former conversation, the old man, who is corrupted according to the desire of error, and to be renewed in the spirit of their mind and to put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth”—καὶ ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον τὸν κατὰ θεὸν κτισθέντα ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ὁσιότητι τῆς ἀληθείας.

The phrase ἐνδύσασθαι τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωπον is parallel with Libanius’s expression ἐνέδυ τὸν σοφιστήν. But it is here more realistic. In both phrases, the object of ἐνδύεσθαι is designated by a generic noun which denotes, not a particular individual, but a class of persons. In both cases, moreover, possession is implied.

But who is the possessor, and who the possessed? The words of Libanius mean to give oneself up to the possession and power of sophism, and consequently to be changed according to the object, i.e., to become a sophist. This meaning, as we have seen, is clear from the context in which the phrase occurs.

St. Paul’s words likewise mean, as already the middle indicates, to give oneself up to the possession and power of the new man, to be possessed by the new man, i.e., the new life, and consequently to be changed by and according to the object, i.e., to become new men, to become men of the new life. As in the example from Libanius, the military life is replaced by the sophistic life, so here the old life is replaced by the new. The difference between the two examples is this: The new life to which Firminus gives himself up is merely an avocation; the new life, according to Paul, however, is not merely an avocation, a profession, but something that affects the very essence of the soul. The new man to whose possession we should surrender, is described by Paul as one “who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth,” i.e., in true justice and holiness. Our new life then is a life of justice and holiness. By creating this new man, says Chrysostom, God created man a son; but this takes place in Baptism.—Υἱὸν εὐθέως, φησὶν, αὐτὸν ἔκτισε• τοῦτο γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ βαπτίσματος γίνεται. In these words, Chrysostom describes the grand effect (υἱὸν—ἔκτισε) and the cause (ἀπὸ τοῦ βαπτίσματος γίνεται) of this ἐνδύεσθαι.

The figurative use of ἐνδύεσθαι in Col. 3:10, is very similar to its use in Eph. 4:24; and it must be explained in the same way. In an exhortation to the Colossians, Paul says: “But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth; lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds, and putting on the new, who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him who created him”—ἀπεκδυσάμενοι τὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον σὺν ταῖς πράξεσιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατʼ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν.

In this passage, Paul distinguishes between the “old man” and “his deeds.” By the “old man,” therefore, the principle of the old life or simply the old life, must be meant; and by the “new man,” the new life. Paul tells us that we should free ourselves of the possession and power of the old life and surrender ourselves to the possession of the new life. Note that already the ἐνδύεσθαι implies the ἐκδύεσθαι; the new life, when it takes possession of us, frees us from the dominion of the old; it replaces, destroys the old. But Paul emphasizes the utter destruction of the old life by expressly mentioning first the ἐκδύεσθαι.

The use of ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal subject and object in the phrase to be possessed by the new man, has no parallel in the O. T. But it has a perfect parallel in Greek literature, in the words of Libanius; and it bears a great similarity to the examples taken from Dionysius Hal. and Eusebius. True, also in the O. T. ἐνδύεσθαι-לבשׁ occurs with a personal subject and object and denotes possession; but, as we have seen, these examples differ from those found in Hellenic literature, in the κοινή period, and also in St. Paul. For in the former examples, the subject takes possession of the personal object; while in the latter, the subject enters into, gives himself up to the possession and dominion of the object. In the former, the active ἐνδύειν is used; in the latter, the middle ἐνδύεσθαι. This shows that Paul derived the use of ἐνδύεσθαι with a personal object, not from the O. T., but from the Hellenic literature.

The other two instances in which Paul uses ἐνδύεσθαι are the famous passages in Gal. 3:27, and Rom. 13:14. We shall take these up in our next chapter.

Our investigation of the other passages in the N. T., especially in Paul, where the expression occurs, has yielded the same results as to the meaning of the word as we derived from the study of the term in the profane Greek literature and, in its main and essential idea, also in the LXX. But Paul goes further than even the Hellenists inasmuch as he strongly emphasizes the fact that the power to which we surrender ourselves wholly replaces and utterly destroys its contrary power.








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