Chapter Five
Copyright ©2002, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington
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[ 31 ] [ 32 ] [ 33 ]

Five topics are discussed in this chapter[ 1 ] (see chart OUTLINE OF EPHESIANS 5).

  1. Walking in love (Eph 5:1, 2).
  2. Various sins of flesh condemned (Eph 5:3-7).
  3. Walking as children of light " (Eph 5:8-14).
  4. Walk as wise (Eph 5:15-21).
  5. Christ and church under figure of husband and wife (Eph 5:22-33).


5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.

Therefore be imitators of God [be ye therefore imitators of God, followers of God].[ 2 ] The Greek MIMEETAI imitators gives us the word "mimic." God's children are to become His mimics or imitators. They are to keep on following Him (Greek present tense).

As dear children [as beloved children]. In the context of love, Jesus said, "Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Mt 5:48; compare Mt 5:45). Because Christians are God's children, they imitate Him, especially in love and forgiveness (refer back to Eph 4:32). Luke explains, in part, what being perfect means. "Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful" (Lu 6:36).


5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

And walk in love. In chapter 4, Paul mentioned the tenderhearted, forgiving nature of God (Eph 4:32). He now expands the thought by saying, "Walk in love." The love demanded is a sacrificial love like that in Christ's new commandment (see Joh 13:34). John explained the relationship of a "born-again" child of God and the love Christians have for one another when he wrote, "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God" (1Jo 4:7; compare 1Pe 1:22). When Christians walk in love, they please God. Through them, God unfolds His harmonious plan according to His revealed and providential will.

As Christ also has loved us [even as Christ, the Christ, loved us, also hath loved us, also loved you] (see notes on John 13:34; 15:13).

And given Himself for us [and gave himself up, and hath given himself, and delivered himself up, for us] (see note on Ga 1:4).

An offering and a sacrifice to God [an offering and sacrifice to God]. A sincere, but unscriptural, offering is affront to God (see 1Co 13:1-3). A Scriptural offering by one who walks in love is pleasing to Him.

For a sweet-smelling aroma [for an odor of a sweet smell, a sweet-smelling savor, a fragrant offering]. The figure of "a sweet-smelling aroma" comes from the OT (see Ge 8:21; Le 4:31; compare 2Co 2:14-16). It denotes that which pleases God. Jesus pleased the Father when He offered Himself. There is a correspondence between the love-offering of the crucified Jesus and a Christian walking in love. The dedicated Christian who walks in love figuratively emits "a sweet-smelling aroma" to the Lord. That is to say he becomes very pleasing to Him just as Christ did when He suffered on the cross.


5:3, 4 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

But fornication.[ 3 ] The word "fornication" is broad enough to include various forms of sexual uncleanness, including sex between unmarried people, adultery, homosexuality and even bestiality (see Mt 5:32; 19:9). In some of the heathen temples,[ 4 ] sexual impurity was a form of idol worship. The odor of such a "sacrifice" was a stench in the nostrils of God.

And all uncleanness [and all impurity].[ 5 ] The basic meaning of the Greek word for "uncleanness" is impurity or dirt. It is used here of every kind of immorality (compare Eph 4:19). Dirt carries a similar meaning in modern times.

Or covetousness [or unbridled lust].[ 6 ] Covetousness is greed. Like fornication, it is idolatry (compare verse 5; note on Col 3:5).

Let it not even be named among you [let it not be even, be once, must not even be, named among you]. The command not to name covetousness does not forbid mentioning sins in a condemnatory manner. If so, Paul would have sinned in writing this very verse. Sins of the flesh are absolutely not to exist in the church.[ 7 ] Neither should they be topics of gossip or jokes (Eph 5:12).

As is fitting for saints [among, as becometh, as it becomes, saints].[ 8 ] There is a manner of life that matches what a Christian is to be. Most people realize this and quit drinking, dancing and using foul language after they are baptized.

(Eph 5:3)
  1. For thus it is PREPON fitting to fulfill all righteousness (Mt 3:15).
  2. Judge among yourselves: is it PREPON fitting for a woman unveiled to pray (1Co 11:13).
  3. Let it not be named among you as PREPEI is fitting for saints (Eph 5:3).
  4. For EPREPEN it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things . . . to make the author of their salvation perfect (Heb 2:10).

[5:4] Neither filthiness [and, nor, let there be no, filthiness].[ 9 ] Filthy, immoral actions are forbidden as well as filthy talk.

(Eph 5:4)
  1. Deceitful (Pr 14:8).
  2. Rages, is over-confident, impenitent (Pr 14:16).
  3. Quick-tempered (Pr 14:17).
  4. Anger rests in his bosom (Ec 7:9).
  5. Worships earthly things instead of the true God (Ro 1:22, 23).

(Eph 5:4)
  1. Mocks at sin (Pr 14:9).
  2. Repeats his folly (Pr 26:11).
  3. Utters all his feelings (Pr 29:11).
  4. Becomes weary of labor (Ec 10:15).

(Eph 5:4)
  1. Says there is no God (Ps 14:1; 53:1).
  2. His words begin with foolishness and the end of his talk is raving madness (Ec 10:13).
  3. Multiplies words (Ec 10:14).

Nor foolish talking [and, nor, silly talk].[ 10 ] Foolish talking includes expression of idolatrous and atheistic ideas and deception. Speech that lends approval to sin, venting anger by uncontrolled words and just talking too much are also "foolish talking" (see charts THE HEART OF A FOOL; A FOOL; LISTENING TO A FOOL).

Nor coarse jesting [or, nor, levity].[ 11 ] Dirty jokes and language with double sexual suggestive innuendoes are forbidden.

Which are not fitting [which are not befitting, not convenient].[ 11 ] Some have called silly talking and jesting "borderline" sins. It does not matter. They are not becoming to a Christian.

But rather giving of thanks [but instead thanksgiving, let there be thanksgiving].[ 13 ] God may be glorified and praised in everything wholesome and good. If one is considering a questionable activity, give thanks to God for it. Impossible? Then the activity should not be engaged in. Sincere and thoughtful thanksgiving will severely limit a lot of silly talking. Can one tell an off-color joke and immediately give thanks for it? Taking this one precaution will curtail a great deal of foolish, filthy, foul and inappropriate language (see note on verse 10).


5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

For this you know [for this ye are well informed of, ye know, know of a surety, be sure of this].[ 14 ] The language here is very forceful. "You know, recognizing" is the sense. There was no doubt in the minds of Paul's readers that fornicators, unclean and covetous persons would go to hell.

That no fornicator [that no, knowing that no, whoremonger] (see note on verse 3).

Unclean person [or, nor, impure man] (see note on verse 3).

Nor covetous man [or one who is covetous, or person of unbridled lust] (see notes on verse 3; Col 3:5).

Who is an idolater [that is, an idolater]. A covetous person puts his own desire for worldly things ahead of God's will. This makes him an idolater. In the parallel in Colossians, Paul adds passion and evil desire to the list of sins not fitting (Col 3:5, 6).

Has any inheritance [has inheritance, hath any inheritance]. Having no inheritance is another way of saying that fornicators, unclean and covetous persons will miss heaven. The Christian's eternal inheritance is conditional upon a faithful life. A faithful life includes frequent repentance and divine forgiveness (see Eph 1:7, 13, 14; Col 1:14). Those Christians who continue to practice works of the flesh will be lost in hell (Ga 5:19-21; Re 21:8).

In the kingdom of Christ and God [in the kingdom of Christ and of God]. The kingdom is "of Christ" (Mt 16:28; Lu 22:30; Joh 18:36). It is "of God" (Mk 9:1; 1Co 4:20). This suggests that both Christ and God are Deity.


5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Let no one deceive you with empty words [let no man deceive you with vain words].[ 15 ] Pleasant-sounding false teaching must not be allowed to deceive Christians (see 1Co 6:12-20). In our day of situation ethics and sexual freedom, some wonder if Bible morality is old-fashioned. Friend, God is not old-fashioned! He is eternal. His word has not changed (1Pe 1:25). It is for all ages and times. Jesus Christ remains the same (Heb 13:8). He does not allow man's "accommodative" hermeneutic to adjust His standards of morality.

For because of these things [for it is because, for on account, of these things]. "These things" are the sins of the flesh mentioned in verses 3-5.

The wrath of God comes [cometh the wrath of God, that the wrath of God comes]. God's wrath is "against all ungodliness and unrighteousness" (Ro 1:18). It was not Adam's sin but evil thoughts and practices of erring Christians that bring God's awful wrath.

A horrible concept has been handed down by philosophers and spread by the entertainment media. That notion is that sin may be taken lightly. Christians, wake up! You have been saved out of the kingdom of darkness! Do not be deceived again by Satan's tattered lures to influence you to walk in the same old worldly ways (1Co 6:9-11; Col 1:13; 1Th 5:5). Christians who live a worldly life will not inherit the kingdom of God. In eternity, they will realize that hell is just as terrible for modern sinners as for ancient ones (see Ga 5:19-21).

Upon the sons of disobedience [children of disobedience]. Sons of disobedience include both erring Christians and alien sinners (suggested by verse 7; see chart "SONS OF"=MORAL OR SPIRITUAL CHARACTERISTICS at Col 3:6). Still Paul's letter primarily warns unfaithful Christians of the impending wrath of God. Some denominational creeds imply that it is impossible for a child of God to sin and be lost! Paul did not agree. If he did, why did he waste time warning them?


5:7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

Therefore. "Therefore" refers back to the dreadful wrath of God as a motivating factor not to partake of sin (see verse 6).

Do not be partakers with them [be not ye partakers, fellow-partakers, do not associate, with them]. Paul is writing to Christians. He warns them not to be partakers with the sons of disobedience (verse 6). He implies that if they (Christians) partake of the same sins, they (Christians) will partake of the same punishment.


5:8-10 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

For you were once darkness [for ye were once, were sometimes, for once you were, darkness]. Christians have been delivered from the power of darkness and translated into the kingdom of the Christ (Col 1:13; see note on Eph 2:12).

But now you are light in the Lord [but now, but are now, light, are ye light in the Lord]. Underline the words "But now." What a wonderful change has been wrought on sinners of darkness. Now they are light! This is a motivation to avoid sin and live righteous lives. Christians are light because Christ has "enlightened" them (Eph 1:18). They are seen as lights in the world (Php 2:15). They are partakers of the Holy Spirit (Heb 6:4). There are two classes of accountable people: "children of this world" and "children of light" (Lu 16:8; 1Th 5:5). "The light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" has shone on the children of light (2Co 4:4). They "walk in the light as He is in the light" (1Jo 1:7).

Walk as children of light. Please look ahead in verse 10. to see what follows the parenthesis of verse 9. The walk itself has an effect of "proving what is acceptable to the Lord" (see Ro 12:2).

[5:9] (For the fruit of the Spirit [for the fruit of light, of the light]. Notice the variation in phrases. Instead of "fruit of the Spirit" some versions have "fruit of light."[ 16 ] The words are different but there is no contradiction in thought. The light that produces spiritual fruit is "the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ" (2Co 4:4). In another passage, the gospel itself is called "the Spirit" while the Law is called "the flesh" (see Ga 3:2, 3). There is a similar correspondence here. The fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of the gospel that was given by the Spirit. It is the light of the gospel that changes lives and bears fruit. To illustrate: sunlight is necessary for photosynthesis. In that process, water and carbon dioxide are turned first into sugar and then into various plant substances and fruit. The analogy is that the Holy Spirit, like the sun, first produces the gospel which, in turn, changes hearts that produce the fruit of the Spirit (see Ga 5:22).

Is in all goodness [is found in all that is good].[ 17 ] The good fruit of the Spirit is produced first by studying the word of the Spirit and then by putting it into practice (see chart GOOD FRUIT).

(Eph 5:9)
  1. He who abides in Me and I in him the same bears much fruit (Joh 15:5).
  2. You have your fruit unto sanctification and the end eternal life (Ro 6:22).
  3. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace (Ga 5:22, 23).
  4. The fruit of the Spirit [Light in many versions] is in all goodness and righteousness and truth (Eph 5:9).
  5. Filled with the fruits of righteousness (Php 1:11).
  6. [Chastening] yields peaceable fruit (Heb 12:11).
  7. Wisdom from above . . . full of mercy and good fruits (Jas 3:17).

Righteousness [and righteousness, and right].[ 18 ] Christian soldiers are to wear the breastplate of righteousness (Eph 6:14). They are filled with the fruits of righteousness (Php 1:11). In order to replace works of the flesh, they pursue righteousness (1Ti 6:11).

And truth) [and true].[ 19 ] The truth of God is absolute. It does not change like the philosophies of men. It is precious (Ps 119:72, 127, 162; Pr 23:23). It is a boldfaced lie to say that truth changes from age to age or circumstance to circumstance (see Ps 146:6). "Like the sun in the heavens, 'the light' never changes."[ 20 ] Christians serve the true God who is the God of truth. As they grow in His likeness, they become completely trustworthy and dependable (see Eph 4:25; 6:14). The "outward man" changes and perishes but the inward man is renewed day by day (see 2Co 4:18; charts THINGS THAT CHANGE A and B; THINGS THAT DO NOT CHANGE).

(Eph 5:10)
  1. Earth and heavens will grow old like a garment (Ps 102:26) (Isa 24:2).
  2. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved (Isa 34:4).
  3. The heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment (Isa 51:6).
  4. The form of this world is passing away (1Co 7:31).

(Eph 5:10)
  1. The heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up (2Pe 3:10).
  2. And the world is passing away (1Jo 2:17).
  3. The first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Re 21:1).
  4. No more sea (Re 21:1).

(Eph 5:10)
  1. The counsel of the LORD stands forever (Ps 33:11).
  2. You [God] are the same, and Your years will have no end (Ps 102:27; Heb 1:12).
  3. The word of our God shall stand forever (Isa 40:8).
  4. For I am the LORD, I do not change (Mal 3:6).
  5. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Heb 13:8).
  6. The Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning (Jas 1:17).
  7. The word of the Lord abides forever (1Pe 1:25).

People who pick and choose the parts of the Bible they are willing to accept and discard other parts make a sad, sad mistake. When a few bricks are removed from a chimney "here and there," it does not draw right and pretty soon the whole structure tumbles down. Those who cancel a few small parts of God's word "here and there" will one day have no idea what they believe. To illustrate. Several years ago certain denominations departed from the Scriptural pattern and began ordaining women. Many of the same churches are now ordaining homosexuals. Once they have opened the gate to doctrinal changes, they have found no way to close it![ 21 ] What will be their next departure from truth?

[5:10] Finding out what is acceptable to the Lord [proving what is well-pleasing, agreeable, and try to learn what is pleasing, unto the Lord]. This verse follows the parenthesis of verse 9. Look back at verse 8 in order to connect the thought. Christians never even consider situation ethics. They know that what is wrong for one cannot be right for another. Their standard of life is not what seems right in a given circumstance or what is approved by the masses. Their focus is on what is right in the sight of God. Their standard is "what is acceptable to the Lord." Their goal is to find out what is pleasing to Him and then live by it. They desire to echo Paul's thought. "Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him" (2Co 5:9). Do you want an answer about a questionable activity? Ask yourself whether the Lord would do it. Would he approve of it (see also note on verse 4)?


5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

And have no fellowship with [take no part in, and do not have fellowship with].[ 22 ] Evidently some of the Ephesian Christians were still partaking of the sins of the pagans, either openly or in secret. They were told to stop it (Greek present imperative). God charges His people, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues" (Re 18:4; compare 2Co 6:14-18).

The unfruitful works of darkness [useless, unproductive works]. The light of the gospel is fruitful but the works of darkness are not. In the present chapter, "unfruitful works of darkness" are fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking and coarse jesting (Eph 5:3, 4). The works of darkness also include revelry, drunkenness, licentiousness, lewdness, strife, envy, passion and evil desire (Ro 13:13; Col 3:5, 6).

But rather expose them [but instead, also, reprove, even reprove, them].[ 23 ] Not only are Christians to stop partaking in the sins of darkness, they are to expose them! Elsewhere the Greek word for "expose" is translated "rebuke" and "convince" (1Ti 5:20; 2Ti 4:2). Christians must not remain silent. They must bring sin out into the open and show its futility by the truth of the gospel message. They must speak up and be heard on the topics of homosexuality, abortion on demand, free sex, substance abuse and all other forms of evil. Not only are they to oppose immorality, they are to counter false teaching as well (see Ro 16:17; Ga 1:8, 9).


5:12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.

For it is shameful [for it is a shame].[ 24 ] It is disgraceful for Christians to lend approval to works of darkness. This command forbids enjoying most soap operas and/or similar programs and many movies, magazines and books.

Even to speak of those things [even to speak of the things, the things even to say]. Christians must not gossip or joke about the evil, secret activities of the unsaved. Such talk is shameful.

Which are done by them in secret [that are done of them in secret, that they do in secret]. In 1970, a brother[ 25 ] theorized that every kind of evil, sexual or otherwise, would one day be shown on television. His prediction has come true. In Paul's day, it was a shame to speak of what was done secretly. Now it is a shame to speak of what is done openly!


5:13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.

But all things that are exposed [but all things when they are reproved, that are reproved, but when anything is exposed, but all things having their true character exposed]. Christians are to expose evil practices by the searchlight of the word of God.

Are made manifest by the light [by the light it becomes visible, are made manifest]. So-called "grey areas" may be proven to be darkness by the clear light of the word of God.

For whatever makes manifest is light [for everything that is made manifest, for whatsoever doth make manifest, for anything that becomes visible, for that which makes everything manifest, is light]. It is the word of God that makes everything manifest. Even the negative, condemning, rebuking parts of the word of God are light in that they make known and counter the works of the flesh (see 2Co 2:14-16).


5:14 Therefore He says: "Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

Therefore He says: Awake, you who sleep [wherefore he saith, therefore it is said, Wake up, O sleeper, thou that sleepest]. Some have suggested that this may be part of a baptismal song. Others submit that it may be a quotation of Christ not recorded in the Gospels. Even others, including the writer, admit they do not know.

Arise from the dead [and arise from the dead, and arise up from among the dead]. Contrary to Calvinism, when reproved by the light of God's word, those dead in sins can arise from spiritual death. After an alien sinner obeys the gospel (is baptized into Christ), he arises to walk in newness of life (Ro 6:3, 4). When an erring child of God repents, acknowledges his wrong and prays, he is forgiven (see Ac 8:22; 1Jo 1:9).

And Christ will give you light [and the Christ shall shine upon thee, shall give thee, you, light]. When one is converted, he is "enlightened" (see Heb 6:4). Paul writes to Christians whose light, to say the least, had become dim. In order to brighten their light, he was waking them up. They needed to get up and seriously study the word and then practice it (walk circumspectly). To the Galatian Christians who had started moving into error, Paul taught in such a way that Christ would be formed in them again (Ga 4:19).


5:15, 16 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

See then that you walk circumspectly [look carefully then, look therefore carefully, how you, ye, walk, see therefore how ye walk carefully].[ 26 ] "Circumspectly" means "with exactness." Walking carefully prevents stumbling. It also sets a good example (see Col 4:5).

Not as fools [not as unwise, as unwise men].[ 27 ] Fools walk in darkness (Ec 2:14; see charts at verse 4, A FOOL; LISTENING TO A FOOL; THE HEART OF A FOOL; PEOPLE ARE UNWISE A and B at verse 17).

But as wise.[ 28 ] It is through experience in what is good that Christians become wise (Ec 2:26; Eph 1:17; Col 1:9; Heb 5:14). The revealed word of God is the written source of wisdom (1Co 2:6-13). Paul is not telling the Ephesians that they are walking unwisely, nor that they should be sort of careful in their Christian walk. He is telling them to exercise great care in how they walk before others (see charts WALK AS WISE A and B).

(Eph 5:15)
  1. More understanding than all my teachers, for Your testimonies are meditation (Ps 119:99).
  2. He who wins souls is wise (Pr 11:30).
  3. Hearing and doing Jesus' sayings, like a wise man who built on the rock (Mt 7:24-27).
  4. Wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Mt 10:16).
  5. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time (Col 4:5).

(Eph 5:15)
  1. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God (Jas 1:5).
  2. Shown by good conduct (Jas 3:13).
  3. Rules out bitter envy, self-seeking, boasting, lying against the truth, confusion, every evil thing (Jas 3:14, 16).
  4. Wisdom from above is pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits (Jas 3:17).
  5. Without partiality, without hypocrisy, sown in peace (Jas 3:17, 18).

Redeeming the time [making the most of the time].[ 29 ] A literal translation of "redeeming the time" is "buying up the opportunity" or "Make the most of your opportunity."[ 30 ] Opportunities may be lost through neglect. If "redeeming the time" means anything, it means Christians ought to spend time praying fervently and diligently studying the word. They should give attention to deeds of kindness and mercy. They must worship faithfully and not forget to go about teaching and encouraging others. They must work "while it is day" (Joh 9:4).

Because the days are evil.[ 31 ] Days are difficult and full of trouble. For most, life is a hard struggle. Jacob's complaint to Pharaoh reflects the sentiment of many. He said, "The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life" (Ge 47:9). Have you had a hard day? Do not stop off for a drink. Instead, "Redeem the time!" Take advantage of an opportunity to serve the Lord you otherwise would have missed.

The challenging and unpleasant times of old age are "difficult" or "evil" days (Ec 12:1). Many problems of later life are due to unfaithful family members, sickness and sorrow. These troubles may be catalyzed by improper responses to the word of God. They may be brought about or intensified as people become involved in social, economic or power struggles. The worst culprits bringing about "evil days" are sin and death.

(Eph 5:17)
  1. When they spread slander (Pr 10:18).
  2. When deceived by others (Pr 14:8).
  3. When they have no delight in understanding (Pr 18:2).
  4. If they make decisions without the facts (Pr 18:13).
  5. When they start a quarrel (Pr 20:3).

(Eph 5:17)
  1. When they turn back into sin (Pr 26:11).
  2. When they trust in their own heart (Pr 28:26).
  3. When clean outside but corrupt inside (Lu 11:39, 40).
  4. When they trust in riches and long life (Lu 12:20).
  5. When they fail to understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:17).


5:17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Therefore do not be unwise [for this reason be not, be ye not, do not be, foolish, unwise].[ 32 ] The "unwise" may be highly educated but still be devoid of good sense. One characteristic of them is that they are deficient in the prudent study of God's word.

But understand what the will of the Lord is [but understanding what is the will of the Lord].[ 33 ] The proper use of the mind is not a suggestion. It is commanded. What takes place in the mind has an effect upon the whole life (Pr 23:7). The correct and diligent exercise of the mind is one way Christians love the Lord. They are to love Him with the mind (Mt 22:37).

The Greek present tense tells us to "be understanding" or to "keep on understanding" the will of the Lord. Life's decisions are not to be based upon pleasure or dollars but "what the will of the Lord is." Christians who have been renewed in the spirit of their minds use them to understand more and more of the will of the Lord (see Eph 4:23). Their studies motivate them to think and live righteously. Those who take His will within respond by growing into the likeness of Jesus. They are astounded that others would ever want to perform an act of darkness.


5:18-21 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of the Lord.

And do not be drunk with wine [and be not, do not get, drunk, drunken, with wine].[ 34 ] Pagans celebrated with drunken feasts, whoredoms and riots.[ 35 ] W. J. Conybeare saw a contrast implied between this kind of heathen "enjoyment" and the singing of Christians. His paraphrase of Ephesians 5:18-20 reflects this thought:

When you meet, let your enjoyment consist, not in fullness of wine, but fullness of the Spirit; let your songs be, not the drinking-songs of heathen feasts, but psalms and hymns; and their accompaniment, not the music of the lyre, but the melody of the heart; while you sing to them in the praise, not of Bacchus or Venus, but of the Lord Jesus Christ.[ 36 ]

Notice the following OT verses that have to do with music that the Lord scorns as nothing more than noise:

Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may follow intoxicating drink; who continue until night, till wine inflames them! 12 The harp and the strings, the tambourine and flute, and wine are in their feasts; but they do not regard the work of the LORD, nor consider the operation of His hands (Isa 5:11, 12).

Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, and the sound of your stringed instruments; the maggot is spread under you, and worms cover you' (Isa 14:11).

Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments (Am 5:23).

Woe to you who put far off the day of doom, who cause the seat of violence to come near; 4 Who lie on beds of ivory, stretch out on your couches, eat lambs from the flock and calves from the midst of the stall; 5 Who sing idly to the sound of stringed instruments, and invent for yourselves musical instruments like David; 6 Who drink wine from bowls, and anoint yourselves with the best ointments, but are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph (Am 6:3-6).

In which is dissipation [wherein is riot, excess, for that is, in which is, debauchery].[ 37 ] The heathen god of wine was Bacchus.[ 38 ] Christians have no business worshipping that god even a little. They should never get drunk or even a little tipsy. Those who attempt to justify drinking alcohol for social reasons are deceiving themselves.[ 39 ] Has not every old church drunk quoted, "No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities" (1Ti 5:23)? He ought to be quoting, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine" (Pr 23:29, 30). Satan whispers, "Try it just once," "Take just a little," "Only use it occasionally" or "You have had a hard day, you deserve it."

The writer is now threescore and twelve years old[ 40 ] and has seen a terrible storm of abuse, misery, poverty and death from alcohol consumption. The amount of good I have seen from drinking was just a tiny drizzle. I have never known one who totally abstained who regretted it.[ 41 ] On the other hand, many who "tried it once" or used it "occasionally" or in "moderation" have become hopeless addicts.

But be filled with the Spirit.[ 42 ] "Be filled" is in the Greek imperative mood. It is a command. Christians are to obey the command to be filled with the Spirit.[ 43 ] The Greek present tense suggests that they are to continue to obey it. This fact proves it does not refer to baptism of the Holy Spirit. People in the first century received that as a gift from heaven. They did not obey it, nor could they!

In the first century miraculous gifts were extant in the church at Ephesus (Ac 19:6). There is no doubt that individuals had a certain amount of control over the exercise of their gifts. For example, Timothy was encouraged to "Stir up the gift of God" within him (2Ti 1:6; compare 1Co 14:32). Literally, he was to stir up as fire the spiritual gift.[ 44 ] The command to be filled with the Spirit is general. It us not limited to only a few Christians who had miraculous gifts. It is as extensive as the command not to be drunk with wine. It applies to every Christian who has the Spirit of Christ (see Ro 8:9). Paul prayed that the Ephesians would "Be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man" (Eph 3:16). In the very next verse, he wrote, "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith" (Eph 3:17).

The parallel of the present verse with Colossians 3:16 is striking. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write both passages. Notice how one verse clarifies the other. In Ephesians, Christians are commanded to be filled with the Spirit. In Colossians, they are told to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly. How can a person obey the command to be filled with the Spirit?[ 45 ] Paul explains in Colossians. The way it is done is to let the word of Christ richly indwell the heart. In the sense of the present context, one is filled with the Spirit when he is filled with the word of God.[ 46 ] Jeremiah employed a similar figure when he wrote:

Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart (Jer 15:16).

Speaking to one another [speaking one to another, to yourselves, addressing one another, to yourselves].[ 47 ] Christians who are richly indwelt with the word of God speak to each other about it. A beautiful way to do this is by vocal music. Obedience to this passage is fulfilled by congregational singing. I once thought solos and choirs were permitted and even endorsed by such statements as, "Each one of you has a psalm" (1Co 14:26). However, it is now my consideration that the Greek reflexive pronouns "to one another" (here and in Col 3:16) were never intended to authorize "special" music in the church.

Although "speaking" may be defined as the opposite of keeping silence, the parallel in Colossians 3 definitely emphasizes its teaching and admonishing aspect. "Teaching and admonishing" are effected by the communication of ideas expressed in words. Music that does not fit into the category of edification in the form of speaking should be deleted from worship assemblies. Little or no effective teaching is done by playing instruments, whistling or humming. Entertainers who mimic musical instruments with their own voices are in no sense following the instruction of the Holy Spirit to teach and admonish. That kind of performance should never be allowed as a substitute for worship. Hymn writers and publishers would be advised to bypass "humming" parts in their new compositions and productions. Praises to God may be brought more in line with Scripture when leaders encourage everybody to sing.

In psalms.[ 48 ] A "psalm" is an OT Psalm or a song that follows the pattern of one of them (see note on Col 3:16).

And hymns.[ 49 ] Hymns are songs that praise God.

And spiritual songs.[ 50 ] Spiritual songs include all songs with spiritual content.

(Eph 5:19)
  1. Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God (Ac 16:25).
  2. And sing to Your name (Ro 15:9).
  3. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding (1Co 14:15).
  4. Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord (Eph 5:19).

(Eph 5:19)
  1. Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Col 3:16).
  2. In the midst of the congregation I will sing praise to You (Heb 2:12).
  3. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (Jas 5:13).

Singing.[ 51 ] The Greek for "singing" authorizes both singing and chanting in praise to God (see charts CHURCH MUSIC A and B).

(Eph 5:19)
  1. We played flute for you (Mt 11:17; Lu 7:32).
  2. When they had sung a hymn (Mt 26:30; Mk 14:26).
  3. As sounding brass or a clanging symbol (1Co 13:1).
  4. Whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? (1Co 14:7).
  5. Each having a harp . . . sang a new song (Re 5:8, 9).
  6. Harpists playing their harps; sang as it were a new song (Re (14:2, 3).
  7. They sing the song of Moses . . . and the song of the Lamb (Re 15:3).

And making melody [and chanting].[ 52 ] The reader will recognize a similarity between PSALLONTES making melody and PSALLOO to sing. Scholars are pretty well agreed that it means to make melody or to sing praise. There is nothing in this passage (or any other that I know of) that authorizes the use of instrumental music in worship in the church of Christ. In the OT, "making melody" may have meant to pluck or play a stringed instrument but, even in the Septuagint in Psalm 7:17; 9:11 and 108:3, it does not have this meaning. In the present context, all translators that I know of render the Greek as "making melody" or the equivalent.[ 53 ] Some scholars insist that "chanting" was the only kind of singing God's people knew about in both old and new testament days. It is easy for them to say this when they do not know. Listening to a Catholic monk chant something certainly does not prove it.

In your heart to the Lord [with your heart to the Lord, to the Lord with all your heart].[ 54 ] If by "making melody" an instrument of music was intended, it was not a harp but the heart!

Giving thanks always for all things [always for everything giving thanks, giving thanks at all times for all things].[ 55 ] One delightful activity that comes from the grateful heart of a Christian is joyful singing (Eph 5:19). He praises God by giving thanks to Him (verse 20). They humbly thank Him for all things including His goodness, mercy, salvation and love. Since "All things work together for good to those who love God," Christians praise Him for His general mercy to mankind and for all the happiness they are permitted to enjoy (see Ac 14:17; 1Ti 6:17). They give thanks in happy times. They give thanks when they cannot see any present good. They give thanks in times of adversity, sickness and poverty. They are thankful that they are allowed to suffer for Christ. They give thanks "in everything" (1Th 5:18). They give thanks for all men,[ 56 ] in their behalf or for their sake (1Ti 2:1).[ 57 ] They praise Him for His love to mankind as shown in creation, providence, and redemption.[ 58 ] An appreciative child shows gratitude for thoughtfulness shown to his brothers and sisters. Christians give thanks for blessings bestowed upon others (see chart PAUL EMPHASIZES THANKSGIVING at Col 1:12; compare Ro 1:21; Eph 5:4, 20; Col 3:15).

To God the Father [to God, even the Father, unto God and the Father, to him who is God and the Father]. In general, prayers should be addressed to the Father (but see note on Ac 7:59).

In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayers to God are to be offered in the name of Christ (see Joh 14:14; 15:16; 16:23, 24).

Submitting to one another [subjecting yourselves one to another, be subject to one another].[ 59 ] Spirit-filled Christians are submissive to one another. Mutual subjection makes for peace among brothers and sisters in Christ (see Eph 4:3, 16). Beginning in Ephesians 5:22, Paul discusses relationships of husbands, wives, parents, children, masters and servants (see Eph 5:22-6:8). Everyone is to be in subjection to someone. In itself, that is not bad. Paul himself must have been submissive to Aquilla, his fellow-tentmaker (Ac 18:3), He also abased himself by working so that he could preach without pay (2Co 11:7; 12:13; see chart EVERYONE IN SUBJECTION TO SOMEONE).

(Eph 5:21)
  1. For though I was free from all men, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more (1Co 9:19).
  2. Through love be servants to one another (Ga 5:13).
  3. In lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself (Php 2:3).
  4. All of you be likeminded (1Pe 3:8).
  5. Likewise, you younger, be subject to the elder (1Pe 5:5).

In the fear of God [in the fear of Christ, out of reverence for Christ].[ 60 ] Subjection one to another is not to be taken lightly. It is to be done in godly fear. Fear should be a motivation today just as it was for Paul. He wrote, "Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2Co 5:11). Respect? Yes. Trembling? Certainly! (see Php 2:12). Numerous Bible examples of divine retribution for sin prove that "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31).


5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

Wives, submit to your own husbands [wives, be in subjection, submit yourselves, be subject, unto your husbands].[ 61 ] Wives do not have an option as to whether to be in submission to their husbands (see chart SUBMISSIVE WIVES). What if husbands are not Christians? Must wives still be in subjection? Yes. Peter wrote, "Even if some do not obey the word" (1Pe 3:1).

(Eph 5:22)
  1. The head of woman is man (1Co 11:3).
  2. Let them be in subjection as the Law also says (1Co 14:34).
  3. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord (Eph 5:22).
  4. As is fitting in the Lord (Col 3:18).
  5. Obedient to their own husbands that the word of God not be blasphemed (Tit 2:5).
  6. You wives, be submissive to your own husbands (1Pe 3:1).
  7. Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord (1Pe 3:6).

As to the Lord [as unto the Lord]. Depending upon the attitude of both husband and wife, submission may be sweet and pleasant or bitter and unpalatable. Some relationships are irritating and even obnoxious. However, even in such cases, love for the Lord enables the dedicated Christian to fulfill their God-given role with grace and even with joy (compare Lu 6:22, 23).


5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

For the husband is head of the wife [for a husband is the head of the wife].[ 62 ] The husband's preeminence over the wife is not questioned by the Holy Spirit (see 1Co 11:3). His authority ought, however, to be based upon love and concern. In OT days, subjection was according to God's direction. "To the woman He said, I will greatly multiply your pain and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children, and your desire shall be to your husband and he shall rule over you" (Ge 3:16). An excellent wife is "the crown of her husband" (Pr 12:4). She is his helper (see note on verse 24). A good wife brings the Lord's favor upon her mate (Pr 18:22). Generally, the husband is provider and protector. Yet the worthy wife finds a way to help (see Pr 31:11-19).

A great deal has been written about ancient abusive practices of husbands who took unfair advantage of their authoritative position.[ 63 ] However, even in OT days, women were not entirely without rights (see charts WOMAN'S OT RIGHTS A and B). The teaching and example of Jesus brought the status of women to a higher plane. During His personal ministry, a female could speak in a public place (Mt 15:21-28; Joh 4:7-26; 20:11-18). A lady carried a message from an angel to the disciples (Mt 28:7, 8). Although not recommended, it was possible for a woman to legally divorce her husband (Mk 10:12).

(Eph 5:24)
  1. To be active outside the home (Ex 2:1-9).
  2. To lead singing women with timbrels and dances (Ex 15:20, 21).
  3. The right of inheritance (Nu 27:1-8).
  4. To be active in government (Jg 4:5, 8-10, 14).
  5. 5. To be active in a military campaign (Jg 4:18-21; 5:24-27).

(Eph 5:24)
  1. To pray (1Sa 2:1-10).
  2. To plead before a king (1Ki 1:15-31; 2Sa 14:3-7; 2Sa 6:20-23; 14; Es 5:1-8).
  3. To teach a son who was a king (Pr 31:1-9).
  4. To engage in commerce (Pr 31:14, 18, 24).
  5. To own real estate (Pr 31:16).

As also Christ is head of the church [as Christ, as Christ also, as also the Christ, even as Christ, is the head of the church, of the assembly]. The headship of the husband over the wife is not derived from primitive customs. It comes about because of the divine order, "as Christ is head of the church" (compare 1Co 11:3). This does not mean the wife is a slave. She is to "manage the house" under her husband, of course (1Ti 5:14).

And He is the Savior of the body [He is Savior, being himself the savior, of his body, and is himself its Savior].[ 64 ] In the context of Ephesians, the church of Christ is the body of Christ (Eph 1:22, 23). By saying that Christ is the Savior of the body, Paul makes it clear that Christ saves the church. He purchased it with His own blood (Ac 20:28). There is no salvation promised to those who remain outside of Christ, outside His body (see chart SALVATION IN THE ONE CHURCH). For information on how to get into Christ, see Romans 6:3; 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Galatians 3:27.

(Eph 5:23)
  1. Christ is the Savior of the body [the church] (Eph 5:23; compare 1:22, 23).
  2. Loved the church and gave Himself up for it (Eph 5:25).
  3. Sanctified and cleansed the church with the washing of water by the word (Eph 5:26).


5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ [but even as the assembly, but as the church, is subjected unto Christ, the Christ]. If a wife disagrees with her husband, she surely has every right to express her views to him. If he is not convinced by calm reasoning, she ought to drop the subject lest she become a contentious woman (see Pr 19:13; 21:9; 25:24; 27:15, 16). In cases where his decision involves definite sin, dire emergency or salvation of a family member, a woman may consider herself free to gently challenge and even overtly oppose her husband's decision (see Ac 5:29). If a "scoundrel" husband has made a totally ridiculous determination, she may act independently of him (see 1Sa 25:18, 19).

So let the wives be to their own husbands [also be subject to their husbands, so also wives to their own husbands].[ 65 ] Note that wives are to be subject "so." This means they are to follow the example of Christ in His subjection to the Father (see verses 28, 33). The wife is to be in subjection to her husband. In everything?

In everything.[ 66 ] There is no realm of a woman's life that is entirely independent of her husband (see note on verse 23). How can she be in subjection in everything? She probably cannot unless she sincerely loves the Lord and her husband too. Certainly a selfish, stubborn wife would have difficulty being in subjection in everything.

The fact that a wife is to be in subjection to her husband does not make her insignificant in God's sight (Ga 3:28). She is as important to her husband as the church is to Christ. Like her husband, she has a responsibility to assist in his journey toward heaven. Her help[ 67 ] is vital in the rearing of children.


5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Husbands, love your wives [husbands, love your own wives].[ 68 ] The love commanded here is not the passionate love of sexual desire.[ 69 ] Although carnal relations are pure within marriage (see Heb 13:4), this verse deals with another kind of love. It is the magnanimous, self-denying love that "gives honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel" (1Pe 3:7). It is that selfless affection borne as fruit by one filled with the Spirit (Ga 5:22; Eph 5:18). This marvelous love of the will is one of the graces of 2 Peter 1:5-11. It is observed in unselfish actions and gracious words that it prompts (see Col 4:6).

Are wives commanded to love their husbands? Not in the present passage, except by implication. Is not the church to love Christ? The relationship the husband sustains to Christ compares to the relationship of the wife to her husband. If the first is one of love, the second has to be.[ 70 ]

Just as Christ also loved the church [as Christ, even as Christ, the Christ, also, loved the church, the assembly]. The Savior's love is constant. "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Ro 8:35). His love motivates Christians. It "constrains us" (2Co 5:14). Love motivated Him to suffer for mankind. Because of love, He gave His life for us (Ga 2:20). "He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (1Jo 3:16).

And gave Himself for her [and gave himself up, and has delivered himself up, for it]. Because of Christ's love, He gave Himself for the church (Ac 20:28; Ga 1:4). Not only that, but He nourishes and cherishes it (see note on Eph 5:29). The love of a husband for his wife is the same kind of sacrificial love. It manifests itself "in deed and in truth" (1Jo 3:18). If he does not give up some of "his" time and "his" money for his wife, it is doubtful that he would ever give his life for her.

[5:26] That He might sanctify [that, in order that, he might sanctify it, sanctify her].[ 71 ] Jesus prayed to God for the apostles, "Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth" (Joh 17:17). Without His death, there would be no sanctification of the church.

And cleanse her [and cleanse it, having cleansed it, purifying it].[ 72 ] Looking back upon the conversion of his readers, Peter wrote,

"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever" (1Pe 1:22, 23; compare Ac 15:9; 1Co 4:15; 2Th 2:13, 14; Jas 1:18).

The husband has a tremendous responsibility toward his wife and children (see Eph 5:25-6:4). He may lead them toward heaven or hell. Christ died to save the church. The husband, like Jesus, must be willing to do any righteous thing to save the soul of his wife. He should consider the salvation of his family to be the great purpose of his life.

With the washing of water [by the washing of water].[ 73 ] Those who refer this to the OT figure of the laver in order to skip over NT baptism are making a mistake. They need to be aware that Paul's Greek word for "washing" means bath, not laver. There is not a doubt in the world that "the washing of water" refers to Great Commission baptism (see Mk 16:16). There is no allusion to a special power of water to cleanse from sin. The reference is to obedience to the gospel of Him who died for our sins (see Ac 22:16; 1Pe 3:21).

By the word [with the word].[ 74 ] The church is cleansed with the washing of water. It is purified in the blood of Christ (Re 1:5). NT baptism is always united with the word of God and is never independent of it. Faith comes by hearing the word (Ro 10:17). The phrase "by the word" designates the one, sin-cleansing baptism (see Eph 4:5). None of the Ephesians were baptized when they were babies. Theirs was a baptism of accountable believers. At the time of their conversion, they had believed "the word of truth" (see Eph 1:13).

[5:27] That He might present her to Himself [present it, the church, to himself, that he might present the assembly to himself]. The holy church will be presented to Christ in heaven. That will occur on "the day of redemption" (Eph 4:30).

(Eph 5:27)
  1. The king's daughter within is all glorious (Ps 45:13).
  2. Continual cleansing by the blood of Christ (1Jo 1:7).
  3. Raised, changed, incorruptible (1Co 15:51-53).
  4. Caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1Th 4:17).
  5. Shall be like Him (1Jo 3:2).
  6. Clothed with white robes of salvation (Re 7:9, 10).
  7. The holy city Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God (Re 21:10, 11).

A glorious church [glorious, in splendor].[ 75 ] Paul once described himself as a "paranymph"[ 76 ] who was to present the church as a pure virgin to Christ:

For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ (2Co 11:2; (compare Col 1:22, 28).

The glory of the church is "the righteous deeds of the saints" who are made perfect by the forgiveness of Christ (see Heb 12:23; chart THE GLORIOUS CHURCH).

When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me!

(Gabriel in Songs of the Church 630)

Not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing [without spot, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any of such things]. The forgiveness of Christ removes the spots and wrinkles. She [the church] will make herself ready (Re 19:7). She will be "arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright" (Re 19:8).

But that she should be holy [but that it should, that she might, that it might be holy]. "The adornment of the glorified church is the perfection of character with which the Lord has endowed her, so that she is 'free from spot, wrinkle, or anything of the sort'."[ 77 ] The church is to be "a pure virgin" (2Co 11:2). This compares with Paul's desire to "present every man perfect in Christ" (Col 1:28).

And without blemish [and blameless]. The church is presented as a bride to Christ who is "without blemish and without spot" (1Pe 1:19). She will be arrayed in the righteous acts of the saints (Re 19:8; compare Eph 6:14; 1Pe 1:19).


5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

So husbands ought to love their own wives [even so husbands, so ought men, ought husbands, also, to love, should love, their wives, their own wives].[ 78 ] Husbands are to model their love after Christ (see verses 24, 33). A man is to love his own wife as his own body. His constant, special, caring, volitional affection is her exclusive legacy and right. She has conjugal rights to his body just as he has to hers (1Co 7:3-5). Her beautiful skin charms her husband and should not be displayed in order to excite somebody else's husband. Respect for her own body and for her own mate motivates her to dress modestly.

(Eph 5:25)
  1. Their own wives (Eph 5:25).
  2. Their own wives as their own bodies (Eph 5:28).
  3. He who loves his wife loves himself (Eph 5:28.
  4. Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself (Eph 5:33).
  5. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be bitter against them (Col 3:19).
  6. Dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life 1Pe 3:7).

As their own bodies. The husband is to care for his wife as he does for his own physical body.

He who loves his wife loves himself [he that loves, loveth, his own wife loves, loveth, himself]. In this figure, the husband (the head) should love his own body (his wife). "He is as united to her as the members of the body are united to each other. He no more thinks of separating from her than he would think of tearing his own body apart."[ 79 ]


5:29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

For no one ever hated his own flesh [for no man ever, has ever, yet hated, ever hates, his own flesh].[ 80 ] The tender care of a husband for his wife is reciprocal. That is, the husband receives immense benefit from his effort. He who treats his wife well, by honoring and providing for her physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, does himself a big favor. He receives back much more than he invests.

But nourishes and cherishes it [but nourisheth and cherisheth it].[ 81 ] The Lord tenderly loves the church. He "nourishes and cherishes" it.

Just as the Lord does the church [as Christ does, even as the Lord, even as Christ also, even as also the Christ, the assembly]. The union of the members with Christ is intimate and enduring. He loves and cares for each one (Eph 5:2). In this figure, the church is His bride. Each Christian should remember--yes, every discouraged, downhearted saint should remember--that their Savior lovingly, tenderly and constantly cares for His bride.


5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

For we are members of His body [because we are members of his body]. Christians are members of the church which is the body of Christ. They are "partakers" of it.

Of His flesh and of His bones [we are of his flesh, and of his bones]. This phrase, although not found in certain Greek manuscripts, is carried in the KJV and NKJV. Could this be an insertion adapted from Adam's words, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (Ge 2:23)? Eve was quite literally bone of Adam's bones. By decendancy from Adam, this is remotely true of every husband and wife. Every Christian husband in the life-long marriage bond regards his own wife as his own flesh and bones. There is also an allusion to the close relationship of Christ and the church. Every Christian who realizes he is a member of the body of Christ strives always to be holy and pure.


5:31 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."

For this reason [for this cause, because of this]. The reason a man leaves father and mother is given in Genesis (see below). Paul implies that he leaves his parents and lives with his wife because he regards his wife as his own body.

A man shall leave his father and mother [shall a man leave his father and mother].

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Ge 2:24).

Christ left His heavenly Father to make possible the church which is His bride. One must be careful not to press figurative language too far. For instance, if one proposes that a man leaving his father corresponds with Christ leaving His heavenly Father, then who is the mother?

And be joined to his wife [and shall be united to, unto, his wife, and shall cleave to his wife].[ 82 ] Husband and wife are to "stick together" (see footnote).

And the two shall become one flesh [and they two shall be one flesh, shall become one].[ 83 ] Husband and wife are "one flesh" in two senses. First, by physical intimacy. Second, by the mutual contribution of chromosomes in procreation. The children are literally of one flesh, a flesh that is the product of both parents.


5:32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

This is a great mystery [this mystery is great, is a profound one]. One aspect of this "great mystery" is that Christ loves the church as Himself. He has only one bride. Both Jewish and Gentile Christians make up the one church (see Eph 3:4, 9; 4:4). The union of husband and wife corresponds to the relationship of Christ and the church. Albert Barnes beautifully expressed the meaning of the mystery as follows:

"The mystery was that the eternal Son of God should form such a union with men; that He should take them into a connection with Himself, implying an ardor of attachment, and a strength of affection superior to even that which exists in the marriage relation."[ 84 ]

But I speak concerning Christ and the church [but I speak in regard of, and I am saying that it refers to, Christ, as to Christ, and of the church, and as to the assembly].[ 85 ] Paul's main thought concerns Christ and the church. The analogy of husband and wife, though beautiful and essential, is secondary. A couple with a good marriage understands something about the relationship of Christ and the church. Again, when a couple learns of the relationship of Christ and the church, they seek to transform their marriage into what it ought to be.

The original 1946 version of the RSV departed from translating the Greek with the paraphrase, "I take it to be Christ and the church." Foy E. Wallace, Jr. had no pity for that error as shown by the following quotation.

Paul did not "take it to mean" anything. He said exactly what the great mystery is--the great plan is Christ and the church, and the two cannot be separated in the divine plan. They are one, so the church is God's plan of salvation.[ 86 ]

Later editions of the RSV were corrected to read, "And I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." Notice the last statement by Wallace, "The church is God's plan of salvation." He understood correctly that Christ loved and gave Himself for the church (verse 25). It is this sacrifice that makes salvation possible only in the church that Jesus loves. He is the Savior of the body (verse 23).


5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love is own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Nevertheless let each one of you in particular [do ye also severally, let every one of you in particular, however, let each one of you, but ye also, every one of you].[ 87 ] Why was it necessary to say this? Would anybody ever spiritualize Paul's words to the extent that they applied them only to Christ and the church? The answer is yes they would just as some have misapplied almost every other Scripture.

So love his own wife as himself [let each so love, love each one his own, love his, so love his, wife, even as himself].[ 88 ] Paul reaffirms the command to "so" love (see verses 25, 28). "So" indicates the husband's love is to be like the example of Christ's unrestrained love for the church. Wives expect it. Husbands should be satisfied with nothing less.

And let the wife see that she respects her husband [that she fear, reverence, her husband, but as to the wife I speak that she may fear the husband].[ 89 ] The wife is to respect her husband. The implication is that as the church loves Christ, she is to love her husband (see verse 21). Her love for him is implied. If that is not sufficient, read it plainly in Titus 2:5 (see also note on verse Eph 5:24).


[ 1 ] The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Some wording in charts reflects the ASV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]GINESTHE OUN MIMEETAI TOU THEOU, be ye therefore imitators of God (Marshall 770); GINESTHE is second person plural, present middle imperative of GINOMAI (Han 361); keep on following God's example (Williams).
[ 3 ]PORNEIA DE, but fornication (Marshall 770); illicit sexual intercourse (Vine 455); prostitution, unchastity, fornication, of every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse (Arndt 693); illicit sexual intercourse in general (Thayer 532); but sexual vice (Williams); now fornication (Lenski 595).
[ 4 ]In the temple of Aphrodite at Corinth, there were 1,000 priestesses who committed fornication with the "worshippers." This was not the case with the virgin priestesses in the temple of Diana at Ephesus.
[ 5 ]KAI AKATHARASIA PASA, and uncleanness all (Marshall 770); immorality, viciousness, especially of sexual sins (Arndt 28, 29).
[ 6 ]EE PLEONEXIA, or greediness (Marshall 770); greediness, insatiableness, avarice, covetousness; literally, a desire to have more (Arndt 667); or sensual greed [or greed for anything] (Williams); or covetousness (Lenski 595); Conybeare and Howson [434, 774] argue with some force that this word refers to wantonness and lust in the writings of Paul, except in 2 Corinthians 9:5 [where PLEONEXIAN is translated "greediness" or "grudging obligation". Vincent [3.388] points out that "or" sets this sin emphatically by itself, apart from the sexual sins mentioned above.
[ 7 ]Paul said a man having his father's wife was a sin "not even among the Gentiles" (1Co 5:1).
[ 8 ]KATHOOS PREPEI HAGIOIS, as is fitting for saints (Marshall 770); PREPEI is third person singular, present active impersonal construction of PREPOO (Han 361); means to be conspicuous among a number, to be eminent, distinguished by a thing, hence, to be becoming, seemly, fit. . . . In the impersonal sense, it signifies it is fitting, it becometh (Vine 98).
[ 9 ]KAI AISCHROTEES, and baseness (Marshall 770); obscenity (Vincent 3.398); ugliness, wickedness (Arndt 25); whatever is vile or disgusting in speech or conduct (Lipscomb 98); obscenity, all that is contrary to purity (Vine 428).
[ 10 ]KAI MOOROLOGIA, and foolish talking (Marshall 770); foolish, silly talk (Arndt 531); more than mere idle talk, but that talk of fools which is foolishness and sin together (Vine 112); foolish talking (Thayer 420); speaking foolishly [from MOOROS foolish, LEGOO to speak], that type of speech that betrays a person as foolish (Zodhiates 1001).
[ 11 ]EE EUTRAPELIA, or railery (Marshall 770); course jesting (Vine 604); course jesting, buffoonery; giving double meanings to otherwise innocent words (Macknight 339).
[ 12 ]HA OUK ANEEKEN, which things not are becoming (Marshall 770); ANEEKEN is third person singular, imperfect active indicative of ANEEKOO (Han 361); primarily, to have arrived at, reached to, pertained to, came to denote what is due to a person, one's duty, what is befitting. It is used ethically in the NT (Vine 99).
[ 13 ]ALLA MALLON EUCHARISTIA, but rather thanksgiving (Marshall 770).
[ 14 ]TOUTO GAR ISTE GINOOSKONTES, this for be ye knowing (Marshall 770); for you may be absolutely sure (Williams).
[ 15 ]MEEDEIS HUMAS APATATOO KENOIS LOGOIS, no man you let deceive with empty words (Marshall 770); APATATOO is third person singular, present active imperative of APATAOO (Han 361); stop letting anyone deceive you with groundless arguments about these things (Williams).
[ 16 ]See Westcott-Hort, Nestle-Aland and United Bible Society's Greek texts.
[ 17 ]EN PASEE AGATHOSUNEE, in all goodness (Marshall 770); all genuine moral excellence (Lenski 606); good in character, morality, kindness.
[ 18 ]KAI DIKAIOSUNEE, and righteousness (Marshall 770); this meaning of right action is frequent also in Paul's writings, as in all five of its occurrences in Romans 6; Ephesians 6:14, etc. But for the most part he uses it of that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God (Vine 970); righteousness, justice, faithfulness, truthfulness.
[ 19 ]KAI ALEETHEIA, and truth (Marshall 770); verity, reality, namely spiritual and moral reality as opposed to all lying, perversion, sham, deception, pretense (Lenski 606); and true (Williams).
[ 20 ]Lenski 606.
[ 21 ]F. LaGarde Smith effectively made this point in a 1997 lecture at Pepperdine University.
[ 22 ]KAI MEE SUNKOINOONEITE, and do not have fellowship with (Marshall 771); SUNKOINOONEITE is second person plural, present active imperative of SUNKOINOONEOO (Han 361); literally, stop having fellowship (Harrison 746); stop having anything to do with (Williams).
[ 23 ]MALLON DE KAI ELENCHETE, but rather even reprove [them] (Marshall 771); ELENCHETE is second person plural, present active imperative of ELENCHOO (Han 361); bring to light, expose, set forth (Arndt 249).
[ 24 ]AISCHRON ESTIN, shameful it is (Marshall 771); base, shameful, immodest, impure, disgraceful.
[ 25 ]Alan Bryan at La Mesa, Washington.
[ 26 ]BLEPETE OUN AKRIBOOS POOS PERIPATEITE, see ye therefore carefully how ye walk (Marshall 771); so then be careful about your conduct (Bruce 378); therefore see how accurately you are walking. . . some of the very best texts place the adverb [carefully, circumspectly] so as to modify "to walk" (Lenski 613).
[ 27 ]MEE HOS ASOPHOI, not as unwise (Marshall 771); do not live unwisely (Bruce 378).
[ 28 ]ALL' HOS SOPHOI, but as wise (Marshall 771); but as wise persons (Bruce 378).
[ 29 ]EXAGORAZOMENOI TON KAIRON, redeeming the time (Marshall 771); EXAGORAZOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of EXAGORAZOO (Han 362); a strengthened form of AGORAZOO to buy, denotes to buy out [EX for EK], especially of purchasing a slave with a view to his freedom. . . . in the middle voice, to buy up for oneself, Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5, of "buying up the opportunity" . . . where "time" is KAIROS, a season [a time in which something is seasonable], that is, making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed (Vine 935).
[ 30 ]Charles B. Williams.
[ 31 ]HOTI HAI HEEMERAI PONEERAI EISIN, because the days evil are (Marshall 771); [akin to PONOS, labor, toil], denotes evil that causes labor, pain, sorrow, malignant evil . . . with the meaning toilsome, painful, Ephesians 5:16; 6:13; Revelation 16:2 (Vine 380).
[ 32 ]DIA TOUTO MEE GINESTHE APHRONES, therefore be ye not foolish (Marshall 771); as madmen (Macknight 340); without reason, sanity, sobriety and common sense; compare verse 15 where wise and unwise are SOPHOI and ASOPHOI. ASOPHOI and APHRONES have similar meanings.
[ 33 ]ALLA SUNIETE TI TO THELEEMA TOU KURIOU, but understand what the will of the Lord [is] (Marshall 771); SUNIETE is second person plural, present active indicative or imperative (Han 362); gain[ing] insight into the word (Arndt 790); SUNIETE=to bring the mind into conjunction with some object and thus really to grasp and understand it (Lenski 616).
[ 34 ]KAI MEE METHUSKESTHE OINOO, and be ye not drunk with wine (Marshall 771); METHUSKESTHE is second person plural, present passive imperative of METHUSKOO (Han 362); signifies to make drunk, or to grow drunk (an inceptive verb, marking the process of the state expressed in METHUO [to be drunk with wine], to become intoxicated (Vine 333); stop getting drunk on wine (Williams).
[ 35 ]Macknight 340.
[ 36 ]Conybeare 775.
[ 37 ]EN HOO ESTIN ASOOTIA, in which is wantonness (Marshall 771); denotes prodigality, profligacy, riot [from A negative, and SOZOO to save] (Vine 387). Profligacy is the state of being completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness. Prodigality is wasteful spending. Riot is the indulgence in revelry or wantonness. Wantonness is unchecked and luxurious self-enjoyment.
[ 38 ]Bacchus is sometimes spelled "Baccus."
[ 39 ]Those who argue that Christians may engage in social drinking should read Jim McGuiggan's book, The Bible, The Saint, and The Liquor Industry, McGuiggan, 1977.
[ 40 ]The writer was born April 15, 1929.
[ 41 ]The same is true for the use of recreational drugs.
[ 42 ]ALLA PLEEROUSTHE EN PNEUMATI, but be filled by [the] Spirit (Marshall 771); PLEEROUSTHE is second person plural, present passive imperative of PLEEROOO (Han 363); make full, fill to the full; in the passive voice, to be filled, made full (Vine 426); but ever be filled with the Spirit (Williams).
[ 43 ]Harrison 747.
[ 44 ]Macknight 420.
[ 45 ]It is irrelevant to equate Ephesians 3:18 with Luke 1:15, 41, concerning John the Baptist and Elizabeth being filled with the Spirit. These were miraculous fillings. They were not in any sense obedience to a command as is the case in Ephesians 5:19.
[ 46 ]Please do not over-simplify what I am saying by accusing me of believing that the Holy Spirit is the word. However, in the verses considered here, the terms are synonymous (compare also Joh 6:63).
[ 47 ]LALOUNTES HEAUTOIS, speaking to yourselves (Marshall 771); LALOUNTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of LALEOO (Han 362); speak in psalms (Arndt 463); [HEAUTOIS] denotes that the agents and the persons acted on are the same (Thayer 163); the reflexive "for yourselves" is not ALLEELOIS (verse 21), "one to another" (RV), for the benefit of each other, but HEAUTOIS, for your own sakes (Lenski 619); reflexive pronouns are used either as objects or after a preposition when the person or thing to which they refer is the same as the person or thing to which the subject refers (Nunn 55); and always be speaking to one another (Williams).
[ 48 ]PSALMOIS, in psalms (Marshall 771); the idea of accompaniment passed away in usage, and the psalm, in NT phraseology, is an OT psalm or a composition having that character (Vincent 3.506).
[ 49 ]KAI HUMNOIS, and hymns (Marshall 771); a song of praise addressed to God (Vine 581).
[ 50 ]KAI ODAIS PNEUMATIKAIS, and songs spiritual (Marshall 771); the general term for songs with spiritual content (Weed 91).
[ 51 ]ADONTES, singing (Marshall 771); present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ADOO (Han 362); singing (Arndt 19); to sing, chant . . . in both Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, "of the lyrical emotion of a devout and grateful soul" (Thayer 13); is used always of praise to God" (Vine 1048).
[ 52 ]KAI PSALLONTES, and psalms (Marshall 771); PSALLONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of PSALLOO (Han 362); the idea here is, that of singing in the heart, or praising God from the heart (Barnes 7.106); the original meaning of PSALOO was "pluck", "play" (a stringed instrument); this persisted at least to the time of Lucian (compare Parasite 17). In the Septuagint PSALOO frequently means "sing", whether to the accompaniment of a harp or (as usually) not (Ps 7:18; 9:12; 107:4 others). This process continued until PSALOO in modern Greek means "sing" exclusively; compare PSALTES=singer, chanter, with no reference to instrumental accompaniment. Although the NT does not voice opposition to instrumental music, in view of Christian resistance to mystery cults, as well as Pharisaic aversion to musical instruments in worship . . . it is likely that some such sense as make melody is best here. . . . Those who favor "play" may be relying too much on the earliest meaning of PSALLOO; singing and playing in your hearts to the Lord (Arndt 19, 891); in the NT, to sing a hymn, sing praise (Vine 730); and playing [with your heart] (Lenski 617) Ferguson (18-23) sites multiple examples where PSALLOO meant "to sing" without accompaniment. He states that even "Greek Christian authors of the third century continue the vocal use of PSALLOO." PSALOO, in Romans 15:9 and twice in 1 Corinthians 14:15, is translated "sing." In James 5:13, PSALLETOO is "sing psalms." No form of this word occurs elsewhere in the NT.
[ 53 ]One possible exception to rendering PSALLONTES as "making melody" is the James Moffatt translation which paraphrases with "Praise the Lord heartily with words and music." Even this paraphrase does not actually imply the use of instrumental music in worship.
[ 54 ]TEE KARDIA HUMOON TOO KURIOO, with the heart of you to the Lord (Marshall 771).
[ 55 ]EUCHARISTOUNTES PANTOTE HUPER PANTOON, giving thanks always for all things (Marshall 771).
[ 56 ]HUPER PANTOON ANTHROOPOON, on behalf of all men.
[ 57 ]Arndt 838.
[ 58 ]Barnes 7.107.
[ 59 ]HUPOTASSOMENOI ALLEELOIS, being subject to one another (Marshall 771); HUPOTASSOMENOI is the present middle participle, nominative plural masculine of HUPOTASSOO (Han 362); keep on living in subordination to one another (Williams); subjecting yourselves to each other (Lenski 617); be subject one to another (Bruce 381).
[ 60 ]EN PHOBOO CHRISTOU, in [the] fear of Christ (Marshall 771); reverential fear of God, as a controlling motive of the life, in matters spiritual and moral, not a mere fear of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him, a fear which banishes the terror that shrinks from His presence, Romans 8:15, and which influences the disposition and attitude of one whose circumstances are guided by trust in God, through the indwelling Spirit of God (Vine 414).
[ 61 ]HAI GUNAIKES TOIS HIDIOIS ANDRASIN, the wives to the[ir] own husbands (Marshall 771).
[ 62 ]HOTI ANEER ESTIN KEPHALEE TEES GUNAIKOS, because a man is head of the woman (Marshall 772); metaphorically, of the authority or direction . . . of the husband in relation to the wife . . . of Christ in relation to the church (Vine 532).
[ 63 ]See Barclay 199-201.
[ 64 ]The church as the body of Christ is alluded to in several other NT letters (see Ro 12:5; 1Co 12:27; Col 1:18, 24; 2:19).
[ 65 ]HOUTOOS KAI HAI GUNAIKES TOIS ANDRASIN, so also the wives to the[ir] husbands (Marshall 772).
[ 66 ]EN PANTI, in everything (Marshall 772); in every respect or way, in everything (Arndt 632).
[ 67 ]In Eden, God said, "I will make him a helper comparable to him" (Ge 2:18). Older versions that have "a help meet" should be understood as "a help suitable."
[ 68 ]HOI ANDRES, AGAPATE TAS GUNAIKAS, the husbands, love ye the (your) wives (Marshall 772).
[ 69 ]Passionate or sexual love would translate from EROS, a Greek word not found in the NT. Sexual love, however, is enjoined in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (see note on Eph 5:28).
[ 70 ]Among other things, older women are to admonish the younger women PHILANDROUS EINAI lovers of their husbands to be (Tit 2:4).
[ 71 ]HINA AUTEEN HAGIASEE, in order that it he might sanctify (Marshall 772); HAGIASEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of HAGIAZOO (Han 362).
[ 72 ]KATHARISAS, cleansing (Marshall 772); the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of KATHARIZO (Han 362); after cleansing her through His word (Williams); Weed (180) is of the opinion that the Greek aorist tense refers to the specific act of baptism rather than the continual growth of the Christian. No doubt he is correct in saying that baptism is in view here. However, undue stress should not be placed upon the implication of the aorist tense.
[ 73 ]TOO LOUTROO TOU HUDATOS, by the washing of the water (Marshall 772); the allusion is to baptism (Vincent 3.402); LOUTROO means bath, not laver (Macknight 341); referring to water baptism [so Expositor's Greek Testament, and most exegetes] (Williams); washing of water [LOUTROO TOU HUDATOS, bath of water] refers to baptism as does LOUTROU [the] washing of regeneration in Titus 3:5.
[ 74 ]EN RHEEMATI, by word (Marshall 772).

[ 75 ]ENDOXON TEEN EKKLEESIAN, glorious the church (Marshall 772); ENDOXON signifies splendid, glorious (Vine 484).
[ 76 ]A "paranymph" was a man who, in ancient times, went with a bridegroom to get the bride and bring her to her new home.
[ 77 ]Bruce 389, 390.
[ 78 ]HOUTOOS OPHEILOUSIN [KAI] HOI ANDRES AGAPAN TAS HEAUTOON GUNAIKAS, so ought also the husbands to love the of themselves wives (Marshall 772). ANDRES may be translated "men" or "husbands". The same is true for wives. GUNAIKAS may be either wives or women. In the present context, "husbands" and "wives" is correct. The reason may be seen if one goes back to verse 23, where the husband is said to be head of the wife as Christ is head of the church. The comparison of Christ and the church is to husband and wife, not to man and woman.
[ 79 ]Barclay 207.
[ 80 ]OUDES GAR POTE TEEN HEAUTOU SARKA EMISEESEN, for no man ever the of himself flesh hated (Marshall 772); pursued with hatred, detested (Thayer 415).
[ 81 ]ALLA EKTREPHEI KAI THALPEI AUTEEN, but nourishes and cherishes it (Marshall 772); nourishes; in Ephesians 6:4, rear, bring up (Arndt 246); THALPEI [cherishes]=to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care (Thayer 282).
[ 82 ]KAI PROSKOLLEETHEESETAI PROS TEEN GUNAIKA AUTOU, and shall cleave to the wife of him (Marshall 772, 773); PROSKOLLEETHEESETAI is third person singular, future passive indicative of PROSKOLLAOO (Han 362); in the passive voice, used reflexively, to cleave unto (Vine 188); figuratively, adhere closely to, be faithfully devoted to, join . . . of the attachment felt by a husband for his wife (after Ge 2:24) . . . of a wife in relation to her husband (Arndt 716); and shall be glued to his wife (Lenski 640); to join one's self to closely, cleave to, stick to (Thayer 547).
[ 83 ]KAI ESONTAI HOI DUO EIS SARKA MIAN, and shall be the two for flesh one (Marshall 773); the two one flesh (Lenski 642); that the two shall be one (Williams); and the two will become one flesh (Bruce 383).
[ 84 ]Barnes 7.113.
[ 85 ]EGOO DE LEGOO EIS CHRISTON KAI [EIS] TEEN EKKLEESIAN, I but say as to Christ and as to the church (Marshall 773).
[ 86 ]Wallace, Versions 145.
[ 87 ]PLEEN KAI HUMEIS HOI KATH' HENA HEKASTOS, nevertheless also ye the one by one each (Marshall 773).
[ 88 ]TEEN HEAUTOU GUNAIKA HOUTOOS AGAPATOO HOOS EAUTON, the of himself wife so let him love as himself (Marshall 773).
[ 89 ]HEE DE GUNEE HINA PHOBEETAI TON ANDRA, and the wife in order that she fears the (her) husband (Marshall 773); PHOBEETAI is third person singular, present middle subjunctive of PHOBEOO (Han 362); of the reverential fear on the part of a wife for a husband (Vine 965); and the married woman, too, must respect her husband (Williams); and let the wife reverence her husband (Bruce 383).

Copyright ©2002, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

Published in The Old Paths Archive (http://www.oldpaths.com)

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