7 And to each of us grace is given, according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. 8 Wherefore it is said: He ascended on high, and carried captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. 9 Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also previously descended to the interior regions of the earth? 10 He who descended, is also the same that ascended up, high above all the heavens, that he might fulfill all things. Murdock (1852 literal translation of the Syriac Peshitta)
7 ενι δε εκαστω ημων εδοθη [η] χαρις κατα το μετρον της δωρεας του χριστου 8 διο λεγει αναβας εις υψος ηχμαλωτευσεν αιχμαλωσιαν [και] εδωκεν δοματα τοις ανθρωποις 9 το δε ανεβη τι εστιν ει μη οτι και κατεβη εις τα κατωτερα μερη της γης 10 ο καταβας αυτος εστιν και ο αναβας υπερανω παντων των ουρανων ινα πληρωση τα παντα WHNU
Verse 7 "7 And to each of us grace is given, according to the measure of the gift of the Messiah. Murdock" ενι δε εκαστω ημων εδοθη [η] χαρις κατα το μετρον της δωρεας του χριστου WHNU "and each one of us has been given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ MP"
The Greek word χαρις means "grace", which bears forth the idea of a gift given without a sense fo reward nor for merit. Further, as the verse continues, it is "according to the measure (meter) of the gift of Christ", which is to say, this grace is given to us according to the manner and desires of Christ, and not our own heritage, talents, legacies. or desires. Christ alone is the distributor of these gifts, and done so according to His will and purpose. The gift we are given, because it is from Christ, should also be understood from Him. I detest "spiritual gifts" tests and inventories -- man's analytical solution, wholly manipulable, to a deeply spiritual connection. If a person is serious about understanding the gift they have been given, I always suggest they get on their face and commune with the Giver for understanding and direction -- not expedient, not Western, I know, but it is spiritual work for spiritual epiphany.
Verse 8, "Wherefore it is said: He ascended on high, and carried captivity captive, and gave gifts to men. Murdock" διο λεγει αναβας εις υψος ηχμαλωτευσεν αιχμαλωσιαν [και] εδωκεν δοματα τοις ανθρωποις WHNU "Therefore (he/it) says (the one) having ascended into high (places) (he) led away captive captivity (he) gave gifts to men MP"
The whole phrasing of this verse is unidiomatic, missing, as it were, the commonly supplied articles and pronouns I have surrounded in parenthesis. I have also preserved the Greek tense of Murdock's "it is said", which is past tense, while the Greek is present tense "he/it says". "It" is more relevant here as the subject pronoun of "says", since Psalm 68:18 is being quoted here. This is not a direct quote from the Septuagint (LXX), which uses the second person throughout (since it is being declared to the Lord in the Psalm), whereas Paul uses the third person, pointing the reader to Christ. This also accounts for the somewhat clumsy phrasing. The expression "led away captive" which is ηχμαλωτευσεν (1st aorist active, third person singular), of which αιχμαλωτευω is the base verb. I see the expression of "(he) led away captive captivity" with "captivity" being synonymous with "the elect', those of God who had been trapped in sin and death (held captive by sin and death), whom Christ freed to take unto Himself (making them His captives, from whom no one nor nothing can steal them from His grasp).
Continuing "gave gifts to men. Murdock", this is a turn on the Psalm, where it clearly states "He received gifts". Paul took liberty here to bridge between the significance in the heavenly and eternal realm of Christ's ascension, and His power that abides within us through His gifts, about which Paul will articulate in verse 11.
Verses 9-10, "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also previously descended to the interior regions of the earth? He who descended, is also the same that ascended up, high above all the heavens, that he might fulfill all things. Murdock" το δε ανεβη τι εστιν ει μη οτι και κατεβη εις τα κατωτερα μερη της γης ο καταβας αυτος εστιν και ο αναβας υπερανω παντων των ουρανων ινα πληρωση τα παντα WHNU Paul recalls the death of Christ and His descent, drawing attention to the power of Christ, while at the time affirming Psalm 68 as being messianic in nature (remember, what we know now as the Old Testament, was also the Bible of the Apostles, and these few letters, which collected with a few other noted first century writers became our New Testament. Further, Paul writes "He who descended, is also the same that ascended up, high above all the heavens, that he might fulfill all things Murdock" Paul points us to the resurrection of Christ, and the absolute supremacy of His position -- ruling even above the heavens ο αναβας υπερανω παντων των ουρανων "the one who ascended far (hyper) above all the heavens". How many heavens are there? One? Two? Three? More? It does not matter, Christ is above all about which we know, and all of which we do not know. Following, "that he might fulfill all things. Murdock" ινα πληρωση τα παντα "In order that, to the extent that he might fulfill all things MP" The purpose of Christ's resurrection was not only our redemption, our salvation, but also so that everything in creation might be subjected to the God-Man Jesus Christ. The fact that redemption is even possible is due to His position. Our security in salvation is a result of His position. The gifts He imparts is possible because of His position. all things are summed up in the One who both descended into the earth, and also ascended above all the heavens. All power and authority is His...