“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:8 Wherefore he saith - That is, in reference to which God saith by David, Having ascended on high, he led captivity captive - He triumphed over all his enemies, Satan, sin, and death, which had before enslaved all the world: alluding to the custom of ancient conquerors, who led those they had conquered in chains after them. And, as they also used to give donatives to the people, at their return from victory, so he gave gifts to men - Both the ordinary and extraordinary gifts of the Spirit. #Psa 68:18|.
Eph 4:8 Wherefore he saith. The citation is from Ps 68:18. It is cited to show that Christ gives. When he ascended on high. Paul applies this to Christ's ascension to heaven. He led captivity captive. The captives, led captive by Christ, are sin, the curse of the law, and death. And gave gifts to men. As a conqueror, returning in triumph, was wont to distribute gifts, so Christ signalized his ascension by gifts.