For Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.Ephesians 2:14
There is an allusion here to a particular wall, but which one. The alternatives are as follows:
- The wall of partition in the temple by which the court of the Gentiles was separated from that of the Jews. The idea here is, that that was now broken down, and that the Gentiles had the same access to the temple as the Jews. The sense is, that in virtue of the sacrifice of the Redeemer they were admitted to the same privileges and hopes. [Barnes]
- The veil of temple dividing off the Holiest place (the presence of God). At the death of Christ, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom, it was an emblem that the way to the holiest was laid open, and that the people at large, both Jews and Gentiles, were to have access to the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Jesus Christ abolished those customs, admitting all into his Church, both Jews and Gentiles, by repentance and faith, he may be said to have broken down the middle wall of partition. Some think there is an allusion here to the wall called chel, which separated the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles; but this was not broken down till the temple itself was destroyed: and to this transaction the apostle cannot be supposed to allude, as it did not take place till long after the writing of this epistle. [Clarke]
- The Wall of the Law – The ceremonial law, which was made up of many hard and intolerable commands, and distinguished, and divided, and kept up a division between Jews and Gentiles: so the Jews call the law a wall, “if she be a wall”, Son_8:9 “this is the law”. Sometimes the phrase, a “partition wall”, is used for a division or disagreement over the law. There was a great difference and distance between the Jew and Gentile, by reason of the law; but Christ removed it, and made up the difference. The allusion seems to be to the wall which divided the court of Israel from the court of the Gentiles, in the temple, and which kept them at a distance in worship. [Gill]
- The middle wall of partition — a balustrade of stone which separated the court of the Gentiles from the holy place, which it was death for a Gentile to pass. But this, though incidentally alluded to, was but a symbol of the partition itself, namely, “the enmity” between “both” and God (Eph_2:15), the real cause of separation from God, and so the mediate cause of their separation from one another. Hence there was a twofold wall of partition, one the inner wall, severing the Jewish people from entrance to the holy part of the temple where the priests officiated, the other the outer wall, separating the Gentile proselytes from access to the court of the Jews (compare Eze_44:7; Act_21:28). Thus this twofold wall represented the Sinaitic law, which both severed all men, even the Jews, from access to God (through sin, which is the violation of the law), and also separated the Gentiles from the Jews. As the term “wall” implies the strength of the partition, so “fence” implies that it was easily removed by God when the due time came. [Jamieson Fawcett and Brown]
I obtained this information from the E-Sword Commentaries for just by highlighting the verse in question (Eph 2:14) then clicking on each commentary I have loaded. Then all this useful information pops up. It’s really easy. Get into habit of doing it for verses you want to dig deeper on.
Now I will leave you to weigh up each of these options and decide where you stand on it. Have fun.
Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.Anon
Build bridges instead of walls and you will have a friend.Anon
The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy.Jim Rohn