Ephesians Chapter 5

(Tap footnote to read it.  Old Testament quotations are underlined.  "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love".  However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior.  It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings.  (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".)  Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé".  Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing.  It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )

Imitate God
  1. Therefore, be imitators of God like beloved children,
  2. and walk in ^love, just as the Anointed also ^loved us and gave Himself up for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.
  3. But fornication and all impurity or coveting must not even be named among you, just as is appropriate for saints.
  4. (Also, obscenity and foolish talk or crude joking, which weren’t proper; but rather giving thanks.)
  5. For you *know this; understanding that every fornicator, or impure man or covetous man who is an idolater doesn’t have an inheritance in the kingdom of the Anointed and God.
  6. Let no one deceive you with empty words or reasoning,1“words or reasoning” is one word in Greek, which is “λόγος” (logos).  It properly refers to a reasoned thought which is then expressed through words.  Thus it can focus on the reasoning side or the word side depending on the context.  In this context, both are relevant and likely intended, so both definitions were included. for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
  7. Therefore, don’t become fellow partakers with them.
  8. For you were once darkness, but now you’re light in the Lord; walk as children of light.
  9. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth,
  10. examining what is pleasing to the Lord.
  11. And don’t become a fellow partaker in the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather, also expose them.
  12. For it’s shameful to even speak of the things being done by them in secret.
  13. But all things being exposed become visible by the light, for everything becoming visible is light.
  14. Therefore it says: “Awake, you sleeping man and rise from the dead, and the Anointed will shine upon you.”2This isn’t a scriptural quotation or allusion.  Some believe it was an early Christian hymn.
  15. Therefore, carefully watch how you walk; not as unwise men, but as wise men,
  16. seizing the opportune time because the days are evil.
  17. Because of this, don’t become foolish but understand what the will of the Lord is.
  18. And don’t be drunk with wine, in which is wasteful excess,3“wasteful excess” this Greek word is comes from “ἀ”(a) as a negative prefix (like “amoral” meaning “not moral”) and the Greek word “σῴζω”(sozo) which means “to save”.  It means “that which isn’t saved”, but not in a salvation sense.  Rather, it means things which are wasted (thrown out) because they aren’t saved for later use by the user.  It thus has the sense of “wasting” on useless things, and can refer to the consequences of such wasteful excess. but be filled by the Spirit:
  19. speaking to each other in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making music4“making music” primarily refers to playing an instrument, but could also refer to singing or perhaps humming. to the Lord in your heart,
  20. always giving thanks to our God and Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed,
  21. and men5“men submitting themselves to one another”  is two words in Greek.  The first is a masculine plural participle (“men submitting themselves”).  The second word is a masculine plural reciprocal pronoun (“to one another”).  Since both the participle and reciprocal pronoun are masculine, men are being told to submit to “one another”, meaning other men. submitting themselves to one another in reverent fear6“reverent fear” is one word in Greek.  Its primary meaning is “fear”, but it can also mean “awe” or “reverence” depending on the context.  (The Hebrew word for “fear” has the same range of meaning)  Since both fear and reverence are appropriate toward God, both definitions were included.  Further, the word can mean both, and both were likely intended. of the Anointed.
Husbands and Wives
  1. The wives [must submit themselves]7“must submit themselves” There’s a textual variant in this verse centering on the verb for “submit”.  In the source text for most modern translations, the word “submit” isn’t present and is implied/carried over from verse 21 (“men submitting themselves”).  However, this omission is based on extremely scant textual evidence.  Very few manuscripts (just: P46 B Cl Hiermss) don’t have an imperative verb (a command) here.  Those manuscripts are early, but belong to a textual family known for omission. Every other manuscript has an imperative verb (a command) in either the 3rd person (“they must submit themselves“) or 2nd person (“you must submit yourselves“).  The third person reading was chosen here because it has far more support from early manuscripts.  Also, the endings for the middle and passive voice for this Greek verb are the same.  In the middle voice, it contains reflexive force and thus has the connotation of voluntary obedience, so “wives must obey” is more accurate to the intended sense (though less literal, despite this meaning being in the lexicons).  In the passive voice it could be translated “must be submitted”.  The middle voice is more likely intended because the passive voice could indicate that their submission/obedience is being done to them (i.e. they’re being made to submit). to their own husbands in the same manner as8“in the same manner as” is one word in Greek, which indicates the manner or way of doing something.  It’s typically translated simply “as” here.  Some take “as” to mean that a wife’s submission to her husband is done out of submission to the Lord.  While that’s not untrue, the Greek points to how her submission is done, not why it’s done. they do to the Lord,
  2. because the husband is head of the wife, even as the Anointed is the head of the church.  (He Himself being the body’s savior.)
  3. But in the same manner as the church submits itself to the Anointed, in this way also, wives should submit themselves to their husbands in everything.
  4. Husbands, ^love your wives, just as the Anointed also ^loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so
  5. that He might make her holy; having cleansed her by washing9“washing” this Greek word properly refers to a bath for washing yourself, either public or private.  It was used by some Patristic fathers as a synonym for baptism which is possibly part of the sense here, though likely not the primary meaning. her in water by the spoken word,10“spoken word”  The Greek word used here refers only to words that are spoken, never to words that are written.
  6. so He might present the church to Himself in glory; having no spot or wrinkle or any such things, but so she might be holy and blameless.
  7. In this way also, husbands are obligated11“are obligated” is one word in Greek with that exact meaning.  It was originally a financial term that literally meant to owe or be indebted to. (It’s used of debts in Matthew 18:28, 30, and 34.)  This included moral obligations to deities and others.  In New Testament times, it referred to anything which someone was legally or morally obligated to do. to ^love their own wives as their own bodies.  The man ^loving his own wife ^loves himself.
  8. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Anointed also does to the church,
  9. because we are parts of His body; [of His flesh and of His bones.12quotation allusion to Genesis 2:23]13“of His flesh and of His bones” this textual variant is interesting.  While some of the earliest manuscripts omit it, it has support from very early church fathers like Irenaeus, as well as early Bible translations.  It’s possible it was original to Paul and accidentally omitted via parablepsis. (A scribe accidentally skipping everything between two occurrences of the same word).  In Greek, the shorter readings ends with “τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ” (the body of Him), while the longer reading ends with “τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ” (the bones of Him).  If the longer reading is original, and if the scribe accidentally skipped from the first instance of “αὐτοῦ” to the second, it would perfectly explain the deletion.  On the other hand, there seems to be no clear reason for it being added.  However, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been.
  10. Because of this, a man will leave his father and mother, and will be joined to his wife, and the two will be in one flesh.14quotation/allusion to Genesis 2:24; 1 Corinthians 6:16 makes it clear that this is a reference to sex, not anything more.  More literally it reads “and the two will be into one flesh”.  In the Old testament, “into” is often used to speak of sex (e.g. Ruth 4:13, where Boaz “went into her” and then she conceived) which is another indication that “two will be in one” refers only to sex, as opposed to sex in addition to something else.
  11. This mystery is great, but I speak about the Anointed and about the church.
  12. And nevertheless, each one of you must ^love his own wife in the same way as he does to himself; but the wife must see that she reveres15“reveres” is the weakest possible way to accurately translate the Greek word here.  It’s the same Greek word that’s used in the phrase “reverently fear the Lord”.  Therefore, translating it “the wife must see that she reverently fears her husband” would be more consistent with typical biblical usage.  While its primary meaning is “fear”, it can also have the additional nuance of to “awe” or to “revere”.  In that last sense, it means “to reverence, venerate, to treat with deference or reverential obedience” (Thayer’s).  It’s typically translated “reverently fear” in the BOS Bible, and the noun form of this word is used in verse 21 of this very chapter. her husband.


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