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Here are all of Stephen Davey's articles and his answers to Bible questions. You can browse this section, or use the togle to narrow your options. 

Who were the captives that Jesus led out of captivity?

Annette asked: Who were the captives that Jesus led out of captivity?

You are referring to Ephesians 4:8. Paul is quoting Psalm 68:18 and applying it to Jesus. Paul writes:

Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.

I believe that Paul uses the phrase "led a host of captives" to refer to those who had died before his appearing.

Jesus was the Messiah that all of the Old Testament saints were waiting for. When He conquered death with His resurrection, He secured eternal life for all would believe in Him, including those who believed prior to His coming.

Believers in the Old Testament awaited Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sin to have access to heaven. The Bible tells us that the souls of believer who died before Jesus came were in a place called Sheol. Jesus led them from Sheol into Paradise. He led them into the promised freedom of life with God.

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