See on Act 3:19 : compare Rev 3:5. The simple verb ἀλείφω means to anoint, see on Joh 11:2. Hence to besmear. The compounded preposition ἐξ means completely. The compound verb here is used by Thucydides of whitewashing a wall; 1Ch 29:4, of overlaying walls with gold. The preposition also carries the sense of removal; hence to smear out; to wipe away.
The handwriting (τὸ χειρόγραφον)
The A.V. has simply translated according to the composition of the noun, χείρ hand, γράφω to write. Properly an autograph, and specially a note of hand, bond. Compare Tobit 5:3; 9:5. Transcribed, chirographus and chirographon, it appears often in Latin authors, especially in law-books. So Juvenal, of a rascally neighbor, who declares his note of hand void, and the tablets on which it is written as so much useless wood (xvi., 41). Suetonius, of the promise of marriage given by Caligula to Ennia Naevia “under oath and bond” (chirographo, “Caligula,” 12).
Of ordinances (τοῖς δόγμασιν)
See on Luk 2:1. Lit., in ordinances; consisting in, or, as Rev., written in, as suggested by handwriting. As Paul declares this bond to be against us, including both Jews and Gentiles, the reference, while primarily to the Mosaic law, is to be taken in a wider sense, as including the moral law of God in general, which applied to the Gentiles as much as to the Jews. See Rom 3:19. The law is frequently conceived by Paul with this wider reference, as a principle which has its chief representative in the Mosaic law, but the applications of which are much wider. See on Rom 2:12. This law is conceived here as a bond, a bill of debt, standing against those who have not received Christ. As the form of error at Colossae was largely Judaic, insisting on the Jewish ceremonial law, the phrase is probably colored by this fact. Compare Eph 2:15.
Which was contrary to us (ὃ ἦν ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν)
He has just said which was against us (το καθ' ἡμῶν); which stood to our debit, binding us legally. This phrase enlarges on that idea, emphasizing the hostile character of the bond, as a hindrance. Compare Rom 4:15; Rom 5:20; 1Co 15:56; Gal 3:23. “Law is against us, because it comes like a taskmaster, bidding us do, but neither putting the inclination into our hearts nor the power into our hands. And law is against us, because the revelation of unfulfilled duty is the accusation of the defaulter, and a revelation to him of his guilt. And law is against us, because it comes with threatenings and foretastes of penalty and pain. Thus, as standard, accuser, and avenger it is against us” (Maclaren).
Took it out of the way (αὐτὸ ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου)
Lit., out of the midst.
Nailing it to His cross (προσηλώσας αὐτὸ τῷ σταυρῷ)
Rev., the cross. The verb occurs nowhere else. The law with its decrees was abolished in Christ's death, as if crucified with Him. It was no longer in the midst, in the foreground, as a debtor's obligation is perpetually before him, embarrassing his whole life. Ignatius: “I perceived that ye were settled in unmovable faith, as if nailed (καθηλωμένους) upon the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, both in flesh and spirit” (To Smyrna, 1).