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Bible Commentaries

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

Ephesians 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

(Ephesians 5:1.) γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ—“Do ye then become followers of God.” The collective οὖν connects this verse with the preceding exhortation, and its γίνεσθε δέ-indeed μιμητής is usually accompanied with γίνομαι. The example of God's forgiving generosity is set before them, and they are solicited to copy it. God for Christ's sake has forgiven you; “become ye then imitators of God,” and cherish a forgiving spirit towards one another. God's example has an authoritative power. The imitation of God is here limited to this peculiar duty, and cannot, as Stier thinks, have connection with the long paragraph which precedes, especially as the verb περιπατεῖτε, which is so commonly employed, need not be taken as resumptive of περιπατῆσαι in Ephesians 4:1. The words μιμηταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ are peculiar, and occur only in this place, though the terms, in an ethical sense, and with reference to a human model, are to be found in 1 Corinthians 4:16; 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 6:12. Ye should forgive, as God forgives, and thus be imitators of Him, or, as Theodoret says- ζηλώσατε τὴν συγγένειαν. And they are enjoined to study and perfect this moral resemblance by the blessed thought that, in doing so, they feel and act-

ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητά—“as children beloved;” as children who, in their adoption, have enjoyed so much of a father's affection. They cannot be imitators of God as Creator. They may resemble Him as the God of Providence, in feeding and clothing the indigent; but especially can they copy Him in His highest character as Redeemer, when, like Him, they pardon offenders, and so imitate His royal and lofty prerogative. Disinterested love is a high element of perfection, as described by the great Teacher Himself. Matthew 5:45-48. Tholuck, Bergpredigt, Matthew 5:45. This duty of imitation on the part of God's children is well expressed by Photius—“To institute an action against one who has injured us is human; not to take revenge on him is the part of a philosopher: but to compensate him with benefit is Divine, and shows men of earth to be followers of the Father who is in heaven.”


Verse 2

(Ephesians 5:2.) καὶ περιπατεῖτε ἐν ἀγάπῃ—“And walk in love.” The same admonition under another and closer aspect is continued in this verse. The love in which we are to walk is such a love in kind as Christ displayed in dying for us. The apostle had just spoken of “God in Christ” forgiving men, and now, and very naturally, that Christ in the plenitude and glory of His love is also introduced-

καθὼς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς—“as also, or even as, Christ loved us.” Tischendorf, after A and B, reads ὑμᾶς, and on the authority of B reads also ὑμῶν in the following clause; but the ordinary reading is preferable, as the direct form of address may have suggested the emendation. The immeasurable fervour of Christ's love is beyond description. See under Ephesians 3:19. That love which is set before us was noble, ardent, and self-sacrificing; eternal, boundless, and unchanging as its possessor-more to Him than the possession of visible equality with God, for He veiled the splendours of divinity; more to Him than heaven, for He left it; more to Him than the conscious enjoyment of His Father's countenance, for on the cross He suffered the horrors of a spiritual eclipse, and cried, “Why hast Thou forsaken me?” more to Him, in fine, than His life, for He freely surrendered it. That love was embodied in Christ as He walked on earth, and especially as He bled on the cross; for He loved us-

καὶ παρέδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν—“and gave Himself for us”-in proof and manifestation of His love- καί being exegetical. The verb implies full surrender, and the preposition ὑπέρ points out those over whom or in room of whom such self-tradition is made. Usteri, Lehrb. p. 117; Meyer on Romans 5:6; Ellicott on Galatians 3:13. John 15:13; Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:20. The general idea is, that Christ's love led to His self - surrender as a sacrifice. He was no passive victim of circumstances, but in active and spontaneous attachment He gave up Himself to death, and for such as we are-His poor, guilty, and ungrateful murderers. The context and not simply ὑπέρ shows that this is the meaning. The manner of His self-sacrifice is defined in the next words-

προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν—“an offering and a sacrifice”-oblationem et hostiam. Vulgate. The words are in the accusative, and in apposition with ἑαυτόν, forming its predicate nouns. Madvig, § 24. A similar combination of terms occurs in Hebrews 10:5; Hebrews 10:8, while δῶρα, a noun of kindred meaning, is used with θυσία in Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:9. δῶρον usually represents in Leviticus and Numbers the Hebrew קָרַבָּן, H7933, and is not in sense different from προσφορά . Deyling, Observ. 1.352. The first substantive, προσφορά, represents only the Hebrew מִנַחָה, H4966, once in the Septuagint, though oftener in the Apocrypha. It may mean a bloodless oblation, though sometimes in a wider signification it denotes an oblation of any kind, and even one of slain victims. Acts 21:26 ; Hebrews 10:10; Hebrews 10:18. θυσία, as its derivation imports, is the slaying of a victim-the shedding of its blood, and the burning of its carcase, and frequently represents ‡ ֶזבַח, H2285, in the Septuagint; Exodus 34:15 ; Leviticus 2, 3 passim, 7:29; Deuteronomy 12:6; Deuteronomy 12:27; 1 Samuel 2:14; Matthew 9:13; Mark 12:33; Luke 2:24; Luke 13:1; Acts 7:41-42; 1 Corinthians 10:18; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 10:12. It sometimes in the Septuagint represents חַטָּאת, H2633, sin-offering, and often in representing מִנַחָה, H4966, it means a victim. See Tromm. Concord. We do not apprehend that the apostle, in the use of these terms, meant to express any such precise distinction as that now described. We cannot say with Harless, “that Jesus, in reference to Himself and His own free-will, was an offering, but in reference to others was a sacrifice.” On the other hand, “the last term,” says Meyer, “is a nearer definition of the former.” We prefer the opinion, that both terms convey, a nd are meant to convey, the full idea of a sacrifice. It is a gift, and the gift is a victim; or the victim slain is laid on the altar an offering to God. Not only is the animal slain, but it is presented to God. Sacrifice is the offering of a victim. The idea contained in προσφορά covers the whole transaction, while that contained in θυσία is a distinct and characteristic portion of the process. Jesus gave Himself as a sacrifice in its completest sense-a holy victim, whose blood was poured out in His presentation to God. In the meantime it may be remarked, that the suffering involved in sacrifice, such unparalleled suffering as Christ endured as our sacrifice, proves the depth and fervour of His affection, and brightens that example of love which the apostle sets before the Ephesian church.

τῷ θεῷ εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας—“to God for the savour of a sweet smell”-the genitive being that of characterizing quality. Winer, § 30, 2; Scheuerlein, § 16, 3. Some, such as Meyer and Holzhausen, join τῷ θεῷ to the verb παρέδωκεν, but the majority connect them with the following phrase:-1. They may stand in close connection with the nouns προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν, with which they may be joined as an ethical dative. Harless says indeed, that εἰς θάνατον is the proper supplement after παρέδωκε, but θυσία here implies it. εἰς θάνατον may be implied in such places as Romans 4:25; Romans 8:32, but here we have the same preposition in the phrase εἰς ὀσμήν. The preposition εἰς occurring with the verb denotes the purpose, as in Matthew 24:9; Acts 13:2. Winer, § 49; Bernhardy, p. 218. In those portions of the Septuagint where the phraseology occurs, κυρίῳ follows εὐωδίας, so that the connection cannot be mistaken. 2. Or the words τῷ θεῷ may occupy their present position because of their close connection with ὀσμή, and we may read—“He gave Himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.” It is not easy to say which is preferable, τῷ θεῷ being peculiarly placed in reference both to the beginning and the end of the verse. The phrase is based on the peculiar sacrificial idiom of the Old Testament-˜ ֵריחַאּנִיחָוֹחַ . Genesis 8:21; Leviticus 1:9; Leviticus 1:13; Leviticus 1:17; Leviticus 2:9; Leviticus 2:12; Leviticus 3:5. It is used tropically in 2 Corinthians 2:14, and is explained and expanded in Philippians 4:18—“a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God.” The burning of spices or incense, so fragrant to the Oriental senses, is figuratively applied to God. Not that He has pleasure in suffering for its own sake. Nor can we say, wi th Olshausen, that the Divine pleasure arises wholly from the love and obedience which Jesus exhibited in His sufferings and death. This idea of Olshausen is to some extent similar to that of several recent writers, who do not give its own prominence to the vicarious suffering of our Lord, but, as we think, lay undue stress on several minor concomitants.

Now the radical idea of sacrifice is violent and vicarious suffering and death. But the theory referred to seems to place the value of Christ's sufferings not in their substitutionary nature, but in the moral excellence of Him who endured them. This is a onesided view. That Jehovah rejoiced in the devoted and self-sacrificing spirit of His Son-in His meekness, heroism, and love, is most surely believed by us. And we maintain, that the sufferings of Christ gave occasion for the exhibition of those qualities and graces, and that without such sufferings as a dark setting, they could never have been so brilliantly displayed. The sacrifice must be voluntary, for forced suffering can have no merit, and an unwilling death no expiatory virtue. But we cannot say with Dr. Halley—“that the sufferings, indirectly, as giving occasion to these acts, feelings, and thoughts of the holy Sufferer, procured our redemption.” Congregational Lecture-The Sacraments, part ii. p. 271, Lond. 1852. The virtues of the holy Sufferer are subordinate, although indispensable elements in the work of atonement, which consisted in His obedience unto the death. That death was an act of obedience beyond parallel; yet it was also, and in itself-not simply, as Grotius held, a great penal example-but a propitiatory oblation. The endurance of the law by our Surety is as necessary to us as His perfect submission to its statutes. The sufferings of the Son of God, viewed as a vicarious endurance of the penalty we had incurred, were therefore the direct means of our redemption. In insisting on the necessity of Christ's obedience, the equal necessity of His expiatory death must not be overlooked. That Jesus did suffer and die in our room is the fact of atonement; and the mode in which He bore those sufferings is the proof of His holy obedience, which was made “perfect through suffering.” But if the manifestation of Christ's personal virtues, and not the satisfaction of law, is said to be the prime end of those sufferings, then do we reckon such an opinion subversive of the great doctrine of our Lord's propitiation, and in direct antagonism to the theology taught us in the inspired oracles. “It pleased the Lord to bruise him”—“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain”—“He suffered once for sins,” etc. The uniform testimony of the word of God is, that the sufferings of Jesus were expiatory-that is, so borne in the room of guilty men, that they might not suffer themselves-and that this expiatory merit lies in the sufferings themselves, and is not merely or mainly dependent on those personal virtues of love, faith, and submission, which such anguish evoked and glorified. True, indeed, the victim must be sinless-pure as the fire from heaven by which it is consumed; but its atoning virtue is not to be referred to the bright display of innocence and love in the agonies of immolation, as if all the purposes of sacrifice had been to exhibit unoffending goodness, and bring out affection in bold relief. No; in the sufferings of the “Holy One,” God was glorified, the law magnified, the curse borne away, and salvation secured to believers.

Nor do we deem it correct on the part of Abelard and Peter Lombard in the olden time, or of Maurice recently, to regard the love of Christ alone as the redeeming element of the atonement, overlooking the merit of all that spontaneous and indescribable anguish to which it conducted. Such a hypothesis places the motive in the room of the act. It is true, as Maurice remarks, that we usually turn the mind of sinners to the love of Christ, and that this truth comforts and sustains the heart of the afflicted and dying; but he forgets that this love evolved its ardour in suffering for human transgressors, and derives all its charm from the thought that the agony which it sustained was the endurance of a penalty which a guilty world has righteously incurred. The love on which sinners lean is a love that not only did not shrink from assuming their nature, but that feared not to die for them. The justice of God in exacting a satisfaction is not our first consolation, but the fact, that what justice deemed indispensable, love nobly presented. If love alone was needed to save, why should death have been endured? or would a love that fainted not in a mere martyrdom and tragedy be a stay for a convicted spirit? No; it is atoning love that soothes and blesses, and the objective or legal aspect of the work of Christ is not to be merged in any subjective or moral phases of it; for both are presented and illustrated in the inspired pages. Even in the first ages of the church this cardinal doctrine was damaged by the place assigned in it to the devil, and the notion of a price or a ransom was carried often to absurd extremes, as it has also been in some theories of Protestant theology, in which absolute goodness and absolute justice appear to neutralize one another. But still, to warrant the application of the term “sacrifice” to the death of Christ, it must have been something more than the natural, fitting, and graceful conclusion of a self-denied life-it must have been a violent and vicarious decease and a voluntary presentation. Many questions as to the kind and amount of suffering, its necessity, its merits as satisfactio vicaria, and its connection with salvation, come not within our province.

Harless and Meyer have well shown the nullity of the Socinian view first propounded by Slichting, and advocated by Usteri (Paulin. Lehrbegriff, p. 112) and Rückert, that the language of this verse does not represent the death of Christ as a sin-offering. But the Pauline theology always holds out that death as a sacrifice. He died for our sins- ὑπέρ-1 Corinthians 15:3; died for us- ὑπέρ-1 Thessalonians 5:10; gave Himself for our sins- περί-Galatians 1:4; died for the ungodly- ὑπὲρ ἀσεβῶν-Romans 5:6; died for all- ὑπὲρ πάντων-2 Corinthians 5:14; and a brother is one on whose behalf Christ died- δἰ ὃν χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν-1 Corinthians 8:11. His death is an offering for sin- προσφορὰ περί-Hebrews 10:18; one sacrifice for sin- μίαν ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν θυσίαν-Hebrews 10:12; the blood of Him who offered Himself- τὸ αἷμα, ὃς ἑαυτὸν προσήνεγκεν-Hebrews 9:14; the offering of His body once for all- διὰ τῆς προσφορᾶς τοῦ σώματος ἐφάπαξ-Hebrews 10:10. His death makes expiation- εἰς τὸ ἱλάσκεσθαι-Hebrews 2:17; there is propitiation in His blood- ἱλαστήριον-Romans 3:25; we are justified in His blood- δικαιωθέντες ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ-Romans 5:9; and we are reconciled by His death- κατηλλάγημεν-Romans 5:10. He gave Himself a ransom- ἀντίλυτρον-1 Timothy 2:6; He redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us- γενόμενος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν κατάρα-Galatians 3:13; Christ our passover was sacrificed for us- ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐτύθη-1 Corinthians 5:7. So too in Matthew 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-19. The view of Hofmann, which is not that commonly received as orthodox, is defended at length by him against Ebrard and Philippi in his Schriftb. 2.329. See Ebrard, Lehre von de r stellvertretenden Genugthuung, Königsberg, 1857, or a note in his Commentary on 1 John 1:9, in which some important points in the previous treatise are condensed; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, § 57, dritter Theil; and Bodemeyer, Zur Lehre von der Versöhnung und Rechtfertigung, mit Beziehung auf den Hofmann-Philippischen Streit über die Versöhnungs-lehre, Göttingen, 1859; Lechler, das Apost. Zeit. p. 77. The death of Christ was a sacrifice which had in it all the elements of acceptance, as the death of one who had assumed the sinning nature, and was yet possessed of Divinity-who could therefore place Himself in man's room, and assume his legal liabilities-who voluntarily obeyed and suffered in our stead, in unison with God's will and in furtherance of His gracious purposes. What love on Christ's part! And what an inducement to obey the injunction—“walk in love”-in that love the possession of which the apostle inculcates and commends by the example of Christ! And, first, their love must be like their Lord's love, ardent in its nature and unconquerable in its attachment; no cool and transient friendship which but evaporates in words, and only fawns upon and fondles the creatures of its capricious selection; but a genuine, vehement, and universal emotion. Secondly, it must be a self-sacrificing love, in imitation of Christ's, that is, in its own place and on its own limited scale, denying itself to secure benefits to others; stooping and suffering in order to convey spiritual blessing to the objects of its affection. Matthew 20:26-28. Such a love is at once the proof of discipleship, and the test and fruit of a spiritual change. John 13:35; 1 John 3:14.

In a word, we can see no ground at all for adopting the exegesis of Stier, that the last clause of the verse stands in close connection with the first, as if the apostle had said—“Walk in love, that ye may be an odour of a sweet smell to God.” Such an exegesis is violent, though the idea is virtually implied, for Christian love in the act of self-devotion is pleasing to God.


Verse 3

(Ephesians 5:3.) πορνεία δὲ, καὶ πᾶσα ἀκαθαρσία, ἢ πλεονεξία—“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness.” Again the apostle recurs by δέ, which is not without a distinct adversative force, to vices prevalent in the heathen world. πορνεία—“fornication,” a sin which had eaten deep into the Gentile world (Acts 15:20; Acts 15:29) - καὶ ἀκαθαρσία - “and uncleanness”- πᾶσα-in every form and aspect of it. πλεονεξία is not insatiable lust, as many maintain, but “covetousness.” See Ephesians 4:19. The word was the matter of a sharp encounter between Heinsius (Exercitat. Sac. 467) and Salmasius (De Foenere Trapezitico, 121), the latter inflicting on the former a castigation of characteristic severity, because he held that πλεονεξία denoted inordinate concupiscence. The apostle uses the noun in Colossians 3:5, and in all other passages it denotes avaricious greed. Luke 12:15; Romans 1:29; 2 Corinthians 9:5. And it is joined to these preceding words, as it springs from the same selfishness, and is but a different form of development from the same unholy root. It is a dreadful scourge-saeva cupido, as the Latin satirist names it. More and more yet, as the word denotes; more may be possessed, but more is still desired, without limit or termination. Yet Conybeare affirms that πλεονεξία in the meaning of covetousness “yields no intelligible sense.” But, as de Wette and Meyer remark, the disjunctive shows it to belong to a different class of vices from those just mentioned. It is greed, avarice, unconquerable love of appropriation, morbid lust of acquisition, carrying in itself a violation of almost every precept of the decalogue. See Harris' Mammon. As for each of those sins-

μηδὲ ὀνομαζέσθω ἐν ὑμῖν—“let it not be named even among you.” ΄ηδέ—“not even.” Mark 2:2; 1 Corinthians 5:11; Herodotus, 1.138- ποιέειν οὐκ ἔξεστι, ταῦτα οὐδὲ λέγειν ἔξεστιν. Not only were these sins to be avoided in fact, but to be shunned in their very name. Their absence should be so universal, that there should be no occasion to refer to them, or make any mention of them. Indelicate allusion to such sins should not soil Christian lips. For the apostle assigns a reason-

καθὼς πρέπει ἁγίοις—“as becometh saints.” Were the apostle to say, Let despondency be banished, he might add, as becometh believers, or, Let enmity be suppressed, he might subjoin, as becometh brethren; but he pointedly says in this place, “as becometh saints.” “Saints” are not a higher class of Christians who possess a rare and transcendental morality-all genuine believers are “saints.” See under Ephesians 1:1. The inconsistency is marked and degrading between the purity and self-consecration of the Christian life and indulgence in or the naming of those sensual and selfish gratifications. “Let their memorial perish with them.”


Verse 4

(Ephesians 5:4.) καὶ αἰσχρότης—“And filthiness”-immunditia, Vulgate. Some MSS., such as A, D1, E1, F, G, read ἢ αἰσχρότης, and there are other variations which need not be noted. Tischendorf retains the Textus Receptus, on the authority of B, D3, E2, K, L, and almost all mss. Some, such as OEcumenius, imitated by Olshausen, Rückert, Meier, and Baumgarten-Crusius, regard, without foundation, αἰσχρότης as equivalent to αἰσχρολογία. Colossians 3:8. αἰσχρότητος γέμουσαν τὴν ψυχὴν εἶδεν-Plato, Gorg.; Op. vol. ii. p. 366, ed. Bekker. The noun denotes indecency, obscenity, or wantonness; whatever, not merely in speech but in anything, is opposed to purity.

καὶ μωρολογία—“and foolish talking.” The MSS. just quoted insert before this noun too, but καί is found in the majority, and in those already named. Not mere gossip or tattle, but speech wretched in itself and offensive to Christian decency and sobriety is condemned. The noun occurs only here, but we have not only the Latin compound stultiloquium in Plautus (Miles Gloriosus, 2.3, 25, the scene of which drama is laid at Ephesus), but also the Latin form morologus in the same dramatist. Persa, 1.1, 50. The Emperor Hadrian, in his well-known address to his departing spirit, ends the melancholy ode with these words-

“Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos.”

The term may look back to Ephesians 4:29, and is, as Trench says, the talk of fools, which is folly and sin together. Synon. § 34.

ἢ εὐτραπελία - “or jesting” - the disjunctive being employed. This noun is a ἅπαξ λεγόμενον as well as the preceding. It denotes urbanity - urbanitas - and as its derivation implies, dexterity of turning a discourse- παρὰ τὸ εὖ τρέπεσθαι τὸν λόγον; then wit or humour; and lastly deceptive speech, so formed that the speaker easily contrives to wriggle out of its meaning or engagements. Josephus, Antiq. 12.4, 3; Thucyd. 2.41; Plato, Pol. 8.563; Arist. Ethic. Nicom. 4.8; Pindar, Pythia, Carmen 1.176, 4.186; Cicero, Ep. ad Div. 7.32, Opera, p. 716, ed. Nobbe, 1850. It is defined in the Etymologicon Magnum- ἡ μωρολογία, κουφότης, ἀπαιδευσία - levity, or grossness. Chrysostom's amplified definition is- ὁ ποικίλος, ὁ παντοδαπός, ὁ ἄστακτος, ὁ εὔκολος, ὁ πάντα γινόμενος—“the man called εὐτράπελος is the man who is versatile, of all complexions, the restless one, the fickle one, the man who is everything or anything.” Jerome also says of it-vel urbana verba, vel rustica, vel turpia, vel faceta. It is here used evidently in a bad sense, almost equivalent to βωμόλοχος, from which Aristotle distinguishes it, and denotes that ribaldry, studied artifice, and polite equivoque, which are worse in many cases than open foulness of tongue. The distinction which Jerome makes between μωρολογία and εὐτραπελία is indicated by the Latin terms, stultiloquium and scurrilitas. Pleasantry of every sort is not condemned by the apostle. He seems to refer to wit in connection with lewdness-double entendre. See Trench on the history of the word. Synon. § 34. The vices here mentioned are severely reprobated by Clement in the sixth chapter of the second book o f his παιδαγωγός. Allusions to such “jestings” are not unfrequent in the classics. Even the author of the “Ars Amoris” pleads with Augustus, that his writings are not so bad as others referred to-

“Quid si scripsissem Mimos obscoena jocantes,

Qui vetiti semper crimen amoris habent,” etc.

τὰ οὐκ ἀνήκοντα—“which are not becoming things”-in opposition to the concluding clause in the previous verse. Another reading- ἃ οὐκ ἀνῆκεν-is supported by A, B, and C, while Chrysostom and Theodoret, following the reading in Romans 1:28, read τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα-but wrongly; for here the apostle refers to an objective reality. Winer, § 55, 5. Buttmann, Gram. des Neutest. Sprach. § 148, 7. Suidas defines ἀνῆκον by πρέπον. The Vulgate confines the connection of this clause to the term immediately preceding-scurrilitas quae ad rem non pertinet. All the three vices-but certainly, from the contrast in the following clause, the two previous ones - may be included. Such sins of the tongue are to be superseded by thanksgiving-

ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εὐχαριστία, “but rather giving of thanks.” There is a meaning which may attach to εὐχαριστία, which is plausible, but appears to be wholly contrary to Pauline usage. It signifies, in the opinion of some, pleasant and grateful discourse, as opposed to that foolish and indecorous levity which the apostle condemns. Jerome says-Forsitan igitur gratiarum actio in hoc loco non ista nominata juxta quam gratias agimus Deo, sed juxta quam grati, sive gratiosi et salsi apud homines appellamur. So Clement of Alexandria - χαριεντιστέον τε οὐ γελωτοποιητέον. This opinion has been followed by Calvin, Cajetan, Heinsius, Salmasius, Hammond, Semler, Michaelis, Meier, and by Wahl, Wilke, and Bretschneider. However consonant to the context this interpretation may appear, it cannot be sustained by any analogies. Such examples as γυνὴ χάριτος or γυνὴ εὐχάριστος belong not to New Testament usage. We therefore prefer the ordinary signification, “thanksgiving,” and it is contrary to sound hermeneutical discipline on the part of Bullinger, Musculus, and Zanchius, to take the term in both acceptations. The verb usually supplied is ἔστω—“but let there be rather thanksgiving.” Examples of such brachylogy are numerous. Kühner, § 852, i.; Jelf, § 895; Winer, § 66, 1, 2. But why may not ὀνομαζέσθω still guide the construction? “Rather let thanksgiving be named”-let there be vocal expression to your grateful emotions. Bengel, justified by Stier, supplies ἀνήκει, which is not a probable supplement. For the apostolic idea of the duty of thanksgiving, the reader may compare Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:18. The Christian life is one of continuous reception, which should prompt to continuous praise. Were this the ruling emotion, an effectual check should be given to such si ns of the tongue as are here condemned.


Verse 5

(Ephesians 5:5.) τοῦτο γὰρ ἴστε γινώσκοντες, “For this ye know-being as you are aware.” Winer, § 45, 8. γάρ states a reason, and an awful and solemn one it is. For the ἐστε of the Textus Receptus, found in D3, E, H, L, and the Syriac, ἴστε is now generally acknowledged to be the genuine reading, as having the preponderance of authority, as A, B, D1, F, G, the Vulgate (scitote intelligentes), Coptic, and several of the Fathers. ῎ιστε γινώσκοντες is a peculiar construction, and is not wholly identical with the Hebrew usage of connecting two parts of the same Hebrew verb together, or with the similar usage in Greek. Kühner, 675, 3; Jelf, § 708, 3. The instances adduced from the Septuagint, Genesis 15:13 - γινώσκων γνώσῃ, and Jeremiah 42:19 - γνόντες γνώσεσθε, are therefore not in point, as ἴστε is the second person plural of οἶδα. We take the phrase to be in the indicative-as is done by Calvin, Harless, Meyer, and de Wette, for the appeal in the participle is to a matter of fact-and not in the imperative, as is found in the Vulgate, and is thought by Estius, Bengel, Rückert, Matthies, and Stier. Wickliffe renders—“Wite ye this and vndirstonde” (see under Ephesians 5:3). Ye know-

ὅτι πᾶς πόρνος, ἢ ἀκάθαρτος, ἢ πλεονέκτης, ὅς ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης—“that every whoremonger or unclean person, or covetous man who is an idolater.” Colossians 3:5. πλεονέκτης is explained under the preceding verse. See under Ephesians 4:19. The differences of reading are these:-Griesbach, Lachmann, and Alford read after B and Jerome who has quod. Other MSS., such as F, G, have εἰδωλολατρεία, which reading is found in the Vulgate, Cyprian, and Ambrosiaster. The first reading, found in A, D, E, K, L, the Syriac, and Coptic, seems to be the correct one-the others are merely emendations. Harless, Meier, von Gerlach, and Stier, suppose the relative to refer to the three antecedents. Harless can adduce no reason for this opinion save his own view of the meaning of πλεονεξία. As in Colossians 3:5, the apostle particularizes covetousness as idolatry. Wetstein and Schoettgen adduce rabbinical citations in proof that some sins were named by the Jews idolatry, but to little purpose in the present instance. The covetous man makes a god of his possessions, and offers to them the entire homage of his heart. That world of which the love and worship fill his nature, is his god, for whose sake he rises up early and sits up late. The phrase is not to be diluted into this—“who is as bad as an heathen,” as in the loose paraphrase of Barlee-but it means, that the covetous man deifying the world rejects the true Jehovah. Job 8:13; Matthew 6:24. Every one of them-

οὐκ ἔχει κληρονομίαν—“has no inheritance,” and shall or can have none; the present stating a fact, or law unalterably determined. Winer, § 40, 2. πᾶς . . . οὐκ. Winer, § 26; see under Ephesians 4:29 -and for κληρονομία, see under Ephesians 1:11, Ephesians 3:6. And the very name of the inheritance vindicates this exclusion; for it is-

ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ—“in the kingdom of Christ and God.” Philippians 3:19. F and G read εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ χριστοῦ-an evident emendation. The genitive χριστοῦ has its analogy in the expressions used Matthew 16:28; 2 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:18. βασιλεία and ἐκκλησία have been sometimes distinguished, as if the first referred to the church in heaven, and the other to the church on earth, while others reverse this opinion. Usteri, Paulin. Lehrbeg. 352; Koppe, Excursus I. ad Thessalon. But such a distinction cannot be sustained. βασιλεία is used with perfect propriety here; ἐκκλησία is the church called and collected together, into which one of these bad characters may intrude himself; but βασιλεία is the kingdom under the special jurisdiction of its King, and no one can or dare enter without His sanction; for it is, as Origen calls it, πόλις εὐνομουμένη. That kingdom which begins here, but is fully developed in the heavens, is that of Christ and God, the second noun wanting the article. Winer, § 19, 4. We do not apprehend that the apostle means to identify Christ and God, though the latter noun wants the article. Though Christ is possessed of Divinity, yet He is distinct from God. Jerome, indeed, says-ipsum Deum et Christum intelligamus . . . ubi autem Deus est, tam Pater quam Filius intelligi potest. Such is the general view of Beza, Zanchius, Glassius, Bengel, Rückert, Harless, Hodge, and Middleton. Others, such as Meyer, Stier, Olshausen, and Ellicott, suppose the apostle to mean that the kingdom of Christ is also the kingdom God—“in the kingdom which is Christ's and God's.” θεός often wants the article, and the use of it here would have seemed to deny the real Divinity of Christ. Christ is called God in other places of Paul's writ ings; but the idea here is, that the inheritance is common to Christ and God. The identity of the kingdom is the principal thought, and the apostle does not formally say- καὶ τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ, as such phraseology might imply that there were two kingdoms; nor, as Stier remarks, does he even say- τοῦ θεοῦ, as he wishes to show the close connection, or place both nouns in a single conception. Bishop Middleton's canon does not therefore apply, whatever may be thought of its application to such passages as Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, Judges 1:4, in all of which the pronoun ἡμῶν is inserted, while in two of them σωτήρ is an attributive, and in one of them δεσπότης has a similar meaning. θεοῦ appears to be added, not merely to exhibit the authority by which the exclusion of selfish and covetous men is warranted, but principally to show the righteous doom of the idolater who has chosen a different deity. It is baseless to say, with Grotius, Vatablus, Gerhardt, Moldenhauer, and Baumgarten, that Christ's kingdom exists on earth and God's in heaven. The kingdom is named Christ's inasmuch as He secures it, prepares it, holds it for us, and at length conveys us to it; and it is God's as it is His originally, and would have remained His though Christ had never come; for He is in Christ, and Christ's mediation is only the working out of His gracious purposes-God having committed the administration of this kingdom into His hands. Into Christ's kingdom the fornicator and sensualist cannot come; for, unsanctified and unprepared, they are not susceptible of its spiritual enjoyments, and are filled with antipathy to its unfleshly occupations; and specially into God's kingdom “the covetous man, who is an idolater,” cannot come, for that God is not his god, and disowning the God of the kingdom, he is self-excluded. As his treasure is not there, so neither there could his heart find satisfaction and repo se.


Verse 6

(Ephesians 5:6.) ΄ηδεὶς ὑμᾶς ἀπατάτω κενοῖς λόγοις—“Let no one deceive you with vain words.” Whatever apologies were made for such sensual indulgences were vain words, or sophistry-words without truth, pernicious in their tendency, and tending to mislead. See examples from Kypke, in loc.; Septuagint-Exodus 5:9; Hosea 12:1. The Gothic reads-uslusto, concupiscat. It is a refinement on the part of Olshausen to refer such opinions to antinomian teachers, and on that of Meier to confine them to heathen philosophers. Harless admits that the precise class of persons referred to by the apostle cannot now be defined; but we agree with Meyer in the idea, that they appear to be their heathen neighbours; for they were not to associate with them (Ephesians 5:7), and they were to remember that their present profession placed them in a state of perfect separation from old habits and confederates (Ephesians 5:8). Such vices have not wanted apologists in every age. The language of Bullinger, quoted also by Harless, has a peculiar power and terseness-Erant apud Ephesios homines corrupti, ut hodie apud nos plurimi sunt, qui haec salutaria Dei praecepta cachinno excipientes obstrepunt: humanum esse quod faciant amatores, utile quod foeneratores, facetum quod joculatores, et iccirco Deum non usque adeo graviter animadvertere in istiusmodi lapsus.They were to be on their guard-

διὰ ταῦτα γὰρ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας—“for because of these things cometh the wrath of God on the sons of disobedience.” The phrase διὰ ταῦτα, emphatic in position, refers not to the “vain words,” but more naturally to the vices specified—“on account of these sins.” Colossians 3:6. The Greek commentators, followed by Stier, combine both opinions, but without any necessity. The noun stands between two warnings against certain classes of sins and sinners, and naturally refers to them by ταῦτα. ᾿οργή has been illustrated, and so has υἱοὶ ἀπειθείας, under Ephesians 2:2-3. Suicer, sub voce. Many, such as Meyer, restrict the manifestation of the Divine anger to the other world. His argument is, that ὀργὴ θεοῦ is in contrast with βασιλεία θεοῦ. Granted, but we find the verb ἔχει in the present tense, as indicating a present exclusion-an exclusion which, though specially to be felt in the future, was yet ordained when the apostle wrote. So this anger, though it is to be signally poured out at the Second Coming, is descending at this very time- ἔρχεται. It is thus, on the other hand, too narrow a view of Calvin, Meier, and Baumgarten-Crusius, to confine this ὀργή to the present life. It begins here-the dark cloud pours out a few drops, but does not discharge all its terrible contents. Such sins especially incur it, and such sinners receive in themselves “that recompense of their error which is meet.” Romans 1:27. The wrath of God is also poured out on impenitent offenders in the other world. Revelation 21:8.


Verse 7

(Ephesians 5:7.) ΄ὴ οὖν γίνεσθε συνμέτοχοι αὐτῶν—“Become not then partakers with them.” The spelling συνμέτοχοι has the authority of A, B1, D1, F, G see also under Ephesians 3:6. The meaning is not, as Koppe paraphrases, “Take care lest their fate befall you,” but, “become not partakers with them in their sins;” Ephesians 5:11. Do not through any temptation fall into their wicked courses. οὖν is collective: because they are addicted to those sins on which Divine judgment now falls, and continued indulgence in which bars a man out of heaven-become not ye their associates.


Verse 8

(Ephesians 5:8.) ῏ητε γὰρ ποτὲ σκότος—“For ye were once darkness.” As Chrysostom says, he reminds them τῆς προτέρας κακίας. γάρ introduces a special reason for an entire separation between the Church and the Gentile world. Their past and present state were in perfect contrast- ἦτε ποτὲ σκότος—“ye were once darkness- ἦτε-emphatic;” and deeds of darkness were in harmony with such a state. σκότος is the abstract-darkness itself-employed to intensify the idea expressed. See Ephesians 4:18. Darkness is the emblem and region of ignorance and depravity, and in such a miserable condition they were “once.” But that state was over—“the dayspring from on high” had visited them-

νῦν δὲ φῶς ἐν κυρίῳ—“but now ye are light in the Lord.” No μέν precedes, as the first clause is of an absolute nature. Klotz, ad Devarius, vol. ii. p. 356. δέ is adversative, “now” being opposed to “once.” Chrysostom says, ἐννοήσαντες τι ἦτέ ποτε ὑμεῖς καὶ τι γεγόνατε νῦν. φῶς, an abstract noun also, is the image of knowledge and purity. See under Ephesians 1:18. Their condition being so thoroughly changed, their conduct was to be in harmony with such a transformation. ᾿εν κυρίῳ—“in fellowship with the Lord;” and light can be enjoyed in no other element. The phrase is never to be diluted as is done by Fritzsche in his allusion to similar phrases. Comment. ad Roman. 8.4; 1 John 1:5-7. For κύριος as applied to Christ, see Ephesians 1:2-3. Such being the case, there follows the imperative injunction-

ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε—“walk as children of light.” There needs no formal οὖν to introduce the inference, it makes itself so apparent, and is all the more forcible from the want of the particle. 2 Corinthians 6:14; 2 Corinthians 6:16. υἱός is often used in a similar connection. See τέκνον under Ephesians 2:3. The genitive is one of source, and neither noun has the article. Middleton, Gr. Art. p. 49. Luke 10:6; Luke 16:8; John 12:36; 1 Thessalonians 4:5. Negatively they were not to be partakers; but neutrality is not sufficient-positively they were to walk as children of the light. “As children of light,” they were to show by their conduct that they loved it, enjoyed it, and reflected its lustre. Their course of conduct ought to prove that they hated the previous darkness, that they were content with no ambiguous twilight, but lived and acted in the full splendour of the Sun of Righteousness, hating the secret and unfruitful deeds of darkness referred to in the following context. περιπατεῖτε, under Ephesians 2:2. First, the apostle has referred to love as an element of Christian walk, Ephesians 5:1-2; and now he refers to light as an element of the same walk; different aspects of the same spiritual purity; love, and not angry and vengeful passions; light, and not dark and unnameable deeds.


Verse 9

(Ephesians 5:9.) This verse is a parenthesis, illustrative and confirmatory of the previous clause.

῾ο γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ φωτός—“For the fruit of the light.” Instead of φωτός the Textus Receptus has πνεύματος. For φωτός we have the authority of A, B, D, E1, F, G, and the Vulgate; while the Stephanic text is found in D3, E2, K, L, the majority of mss., in the Syriac too, and in two of the Greek commentators. Internal evidence here can have but little weight. One may say that φωτός was inserted in room of πνεύματος, to give correspondence with the φῶς of the preceding verse; or one may say, on the other hand, that πνεύματος supplanted φωτός from a reminiscence of Galatians 5:22. The particle γάρ is used here, as often, to introduce a parenthetic confirmation. The verse not only explains what is meant by walking as children of light, but really holds out an inducement to the duty. “The fruit is”-

ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ—“in all goodness.” We cannot say, with so many expositors, that ἐστι being supplied, the meaning is-the fruit of the Spirit is in, that is-ponitur-consists in, all goodness, etc. In that case, the simple nominative might have been employed. We understand the apostle to mean, that the fruit is always associated with goodness as its element or sphere. Winer, § 48 (3) a. These qualities uniformly characterize its fruits. No one will assent to the unscholarly remark of Küttner, that the three following nouns are merely synonymous. ᾿αγαθωσύνη does not signify beneficence, properly so called, but that moral excellence which springs from religious principle (Galatians 5:22; Romans 15:14), and leads to kindness, generosity, or goodness. It here may stand opposed to the dark and malignant passions which the apostle has been reprobating- κακία.

καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ—“and righteousness.” This is integrity or moral rectitude (Romans 6:13; 1 Timothy 6:11), and is in contrast not only with the theft and covetousness already condemned, but with all defective sense of obligation, for it rules itself by the Divine law, and in every relation of life strives to be as it ought to be-and is opposed to ἀδικία. For the spelling of this and the preceding noun, see Etymol. Mag. sub voce δίκαιος. See under Ephesians 4:24.

καὶ ἀληθείᾳ - “and truth.” Truth stands opposed to insincerity and dissimulation- ψεῦδος. These three ethical terms characterize Christian duty. We cannot agree with Baumgarten-Crusius, who thus distinguishes the three nouns: the first as alluding to what is internal, the second as pertaining to human relations, and the third as having reference to God. For the good, the right, and the true, distinguish that fruit which is produced out of, or belongs to, the condition which is called “light in the Lord,” and are always distinctive elements of the virtues which adorn Christianity.


Verse 10

(Ephesians 5:10.) δοκιμάζοντες τί ἐστιν εὐάρεστον τῷ κυρίῳ—“Proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.” Romans 12:2; Philippians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:21. The participle agrees with the previous verb περιπατεῖτε, as a predicate of mode, and so used in its ordinary sense-trying-proving. Philippians 1:10. As they walked, they were to be examining or distinguishing what is pleasing to the Lord. εὐάρεστον—“well-pleasing”-what the Lord has enjoined and therefore approves. The obedience of Christians is not prompted by traditionary or unthinking acquiescence, but is founded on clear and discriminative perception of the law and the will of Christ. And that obedience is accepted not because it pleases them to offer it, but because the Lord hath exacted it. The believer is not to prove and discover what suits himself, but what pleases his Divine Master. The one point of his ethical investigation is, Is it pleasing to the Lord, or in harmony with His law and example? This faculty belongs, as Theophylact says, to the perfect- τῶν τελείων ἐστὶ τῶν κρίνειν δυναμένων.


Verse 11

(Ephesians 5:11.) καὶ μὴ συνκοινωνεῖτε τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους—“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” The spelling συνκοινωνεῖτε is found in A, B1, D1, F, G, L, and the reason for preferring it is given by Tischendorf, with many examples, in his Prolegomena, page xlvii. καί connects this clause with περιπατεῖτε. Philippians 4:14; Revelation 18:4. ῎ακαρπος is plainly in contrast with καρπός in Ephesians 5:9. These ἔργα have no good fruits-their only fruit, as Theophylact says, is death and shame. See the contrast between ἔργα and καρπός in Galatians 5:19; Galatians 5:22. σκότος has been explained under the 8th verse. This admonition is much the same as that contained in the 7th verse. Romans 6:21; Romans 8:12; Galatians 6:8. A line of broad demarcation was to separate the church from the world; and not only was there to be no participation and no connivance, but there was in addition to be rebuke-

μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε. ΄ᾶλλον δὲ καί—“Yea, much more”-or better, “but rather even”-a formula which gives special intensity to the antithesis. Fritzsche, ad Romans 8:34; Hartung, 1.134; Galatians 4:9. It was a duty to have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness; but it was a far higher obligation to reprimand them. There was to be not simply negative separation, but positive rebuke-not by the contrast of their own purity, but by formal and solemn reproof. 1 Corinthians 14:24; 2 Timothy 4:2; Xen. Symp. 8.43.


Verse 12

(Ephesians 5:12.) τὰ γὰρ κρυφῆ γινόμενα ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν αἰσχρόν ἐστιν καὶ λέγειν—“for the things in secret done by them it is shameful even to speak of.” Such a use of καί discursive is explained in Hartung, vol. 1.136, and more fully by Klotz, ad Devarius, vol. 2.633, etc. The adverb κρυφῆ occurs only here, and according to some should be written κρυφῇ, with iota subscribed. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. sub voce; Passow, sub voce. Deuteronomy 28:57; Wisdom of Solomon 18:9. The connection of this verse with the preceding has led to no little dispute:-1. Baumgarten-Crusius regards it as a hyperbole of indignation, and easily evades the difficulty. 2. Koppe and Rückert give γάρ the sense of “although,” as if the apostle meant to say-Rebuke these sins, even though you should blush to mention them. But γάρ cannot bear such a meaning. 3. Von Gerlach fills in such a supplement as this-It is a shame even to speak of their secret sins, yet that should not keep us from exposing and rebuking them. 4. On the other hand, Bengel, Baumgarten, and Matthies, preceded, it would seem, by OEcumenius, take the clause as giving a reason why the deeds of darkness are not specified like the fruit of the light: “Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; I pause not to name them-it is a shame to mention them.” But such sentimental qualms did not trouble the apostle, as may be seen from many portions of his writings. Romans 1:24-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Timothy 1:9-10. This opinion also identifies “deeds of darkness” with “the things done of them in secret.” Now such an opinion cannot be sustained, as it changes the meaning of σκότος from a moral into a material sense. It is used in a moral sense in Ephesians 5:8, and we know that many of the sins of this darkness were not committed in secret, but were open and public vices. 5. The opinions of Meier and Holzhausen are somewhat allied. Meier's notion is, that λέγειν means to speak in a loose and indecorous way, and he supposes the apostle to say, “Rebuke these sins openly, for it is a shame to make mention of them in any other way than that of reproof;” or as Alford says—“Your connection with them must only be that which the act of ἔλεγξις necessitates.” 6. Holzhausen imagines that in the phrase τὰ κρυφῆ γινόμενα there is reference to the heathen mysteries, and that the apostle warns Christians not to unveil even in speech their hideous sensualities. But both interpretations give an emphatic and unwonted meaning to the clause. Nor is there the remotest proof that the so-called mysteries are referred to. 7. Stier's idea, which is that of Photius, Theophylact, and Erasmus, is, that ἐλέγχειν cannot mean verbal reproof, for this verse would forbid it-it being a shame to speak of those secret sins-but that it signifies reproof conveyed in the form of a consistent life of light. Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:15. “The only rebuke you can give must be in the holy contrast of your own conduct, for to speak of their secret vices is a shame.” Such is virtually also the exegesis of Bloomfield and Peile. But that ἐλέγχω signifies other than verbal rebuke, cannot be proved. Where the verb may be rendered “convince”-as in 1 Corinthians 14:24, James 2:9 - language is supposed to be the medium of conviction. The word, in John 3:20, has the sense of—“exposed,” but such a sense would not well suit the exegesis of Stier. This exposition thus requires more supplementary ideas than sound interpretation will warrant. 8. Anselm, Piscator, Zanchius, Flatt, and Harless take the verse not in connection with ἐλέγχετε, but with συγκοινωνεῖτε, that is—“Have no fellowship with such deeds, for it is a shame even to speak of them, surely much more to do them.” This opinion identifies too strongly ἔργα σκότους with τὰ κρυφῆ γινόμενα-the latter being a special class of the former. Lastly, Musculus, de Wette, Meyer, and Olshausen, connect the verse immediately with μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε-the meaning being, “By all means reprove them, and there is the more need of it, for it is a shame even to speak of their secret sins.” This connection is on the whole the simplest, and follows, we think, most naturally the order of thought and earnest admonition. That these “things done in secret” have any reference to the foul orgies of the heathen mysteries, is a position that cannot be proved, though it has been advanced by Grotius, Elsner, Wolf, Michaelis, Holzhausen, Macknight, and Whitby. But there were in heathendom forms of sins so base and bestial, that they shunned the light and courted secrecy.


Verse 13

(Ephesians 5:13.) τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐλεγχόμενα, ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται—“But all those things being reproved, are by the light made manifest.” This verse shows why Christians should engage in the work of reproof-it is so salutary: for it exhibits such vices in all their odious debasement, and proves its own purity and lustre in the very exposure. Many and varied have been the interpretations of this statement. Olshausen remarks, that the words have gnomenartige Kürze. We take τὰ δὲ πάντα as referring to the τὰ κρυφῆ γινόμενα, and not, as Rückert does-in a general sense, or all things generally. Jerome thus understands it-haud dubie quin ea quae occulte fiunt. δέ has its adversative force-they are done in secret, but they may and ought to be exposed. The apostle bids them reprove those sins, and he here states the result. Reprove them, and the effect is, “all these sins being so reproved, are made manifest by the light.” Storr in his Dissertationes Exegeticae, and Kuinoel-in a paper on this verse printed in the third volume of the Commentationes Theologicae of Velthusen, Kuinoel, and Ruperti-needlessly argue that the neuter here stands for the masculine. Kuinoel's view is, “all who are reproved and amended ought to be reproved and amended by a man who is a genuine and consistent Christian. He who engages in this work of instruction is light-is a son of the light-is a true Christian.” Such a violent interpretation cannot be received.

But with which of the terms should ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτός be associated? 1. De Wette, Crocius, Bloomfield, and Peile, join them to the participle ἐλεγχόμενα-all “these reproved by the light.” Our objection to this connection is, that φῶς agrees more naturally with φανεροῦται-the idea being homogeneous, for light is the agent which reveals. De Wette's objection, that rebuke is not uniformly followed by such manifestation, proceeds on the assumption that rebuke is all but identical with conversion. 2. On the other hand, Stephens and Mill place a comma after ἐλεγχόμενα, and the connection of φῶς with the verb is advocated by Bengel, Meier, Harless, Olshausen, Meyer, and Stier. All those sins done in secret, if they are reproved, are brought into open view by the light. φῶς is used, as in a previous verse, to denote the gospel as a source of light. When such sins are reproved, they are exposed, they are unveiled in their hideousness by the light let in upon them. Being deeds of darkness, they need the light of Christianity to make them manifest, for other boasted lights only flickered and failed to reveal them. Philosophy was only “darkness visible” around them.

πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστιν. πᾶν τό. Winer, § 18, 4. The meaning depends greatly on this-whether φανερούμενον be taken in a middle or passive sense. Many prefer the passive sense, which is certainly the prevailing one in the New Testament, and occurs in the previous clause. The exposition of Olshausen, Stier, Ellicott, and Alford is—“whatever is made manifest is light”—“all things illuminated by the light are themselves light.” Well may Olshausen add—“this idea has somewhat strange in it,” for he is compelled to admit “that light does not always exercise this transforming influence, for the devil and all the wicked are reproved by the light, without becoming themselves light.” Alford calls this objection “null,” as being a misapprehension of φῶς ἐστι, but φῶς in his exegesis changes its meaning from the previous verse. This opinion of Olshausen is virtually that of the Greek patristic expositors, who are followed by Peter Lombard. Theophylact says- ἐπειδὰν δὲ φανερωθῇ, γίνεται φῶς. Harless renders, “what has been revealed is no longer a hidden work of darkness: it is light.” The view of Röell, Robinson, and Wilke is not dissimilar. Thus also Ellicott—“becomes light, as of the nature of light.” A dark object suddenly illumined may indeed be said to be all light, because it is surrounded with light, and this is the notion of Bretschneider. But if this be the view, it seems to make the apostle use a tautology, “whatever is revealed, is enlightened;” unless you understand the apostle to say, that by such a process they themselves who were once darkness become light. De Wette's explanation of the same rendering is-without φῶς there is no φανερούμενον, and where there is φανερούμενον there is light. But the apostle doe s not utter such a truism-where everything is manifested there is light. Piscator's hypothesis is equally baseless—“whatever is manifested is light, that is, is manifested by the light.” The passive meaning may be adopted, with the proviso that the apostle does not say whether the light be for conversion or condemnation. But while this view may thus be grammatically defended, still we feel as if the context led us to take the last clause as a reason of the statement contained in the first. Thus, some prefer, with Beza, Calvin, Vatablus, Grotius, Rollock, Zanchius, Morus, Wahl, Turner, and the Peschito, to give the participle a reflexive or medial signification. Meyer affirms that φανεροῦμαι is always passive, but the passive may have a medial signification, as it seems to have sometimes in the New Testament. Mark 16:12; John 1:31; John 9:3; 2 Corinthians 4:10-11; Jelf, § 367, 2. Olshausen takes up the exegesis of Grotius, which is also that of Bodius and Dickson—“for the light is the element that makes all clear,” and then argues grammatically against such a rendering. But according to the accurate position of subject and predicate, the meaning is—“whatever makes manifest or renders apparent, is light.” Such manifestation is the nature and function of light. These clandestine sins, when reproved, are disclosed by the light so cast upon them, for it belongs to light to make such disclosures. The apostle urges his readers to reprove such sins, which, though done in secret, will and must be exposed; yea, all of them being reproved, are shone upon by the light-that light which radiates from Christianity. And this power of unveiling in Christianity is properly called “light,” for whatever causes such things to disclose themselves is of the essence of light. Such is a natural and simple view of the verse. See Lücke-Commentar, John 3:21, vol. i. p. 550, 3rd ed.

And that this rebuke is a duty, the discharge of which is attended with the most salutary results, is now shown by a reference to the ancient inspired oracles.


Verse 14

(Ephesians 5:14.) διὸ λέγει—“Wherefore He saith.” See under Ephesians 4:8; διό, Ephesians 2:11. It would be quite contrary to Pauline usage to suppose that this formula introduced any citation but one from the Old Testament. But the quotation is not found literally in any portion of the Hebrew oracles. Grotius and Elsner propose to make φῶς the nominative to λέγει—“wherefore a man of light-one of these reprovers says;” an opinion not very remote from Seiler's version - die Erleuchteten sollen sprechen-those who are light themselves should speak to the children of darkness in the following terms—“Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead.” An early opinion, reported by Theodoret as belonging to τινὲς τῶν ἑρμηνευτῶν, has been adopted by Heumann, Poecile, ii. p. 396; Michaelis; Döpke, Hermeneutik, p. 275, Leipzig, 1829; Storr, Stolz, Flatt, and Bleek, Stud. und Krit. 1853, p. 331. It is that the quotation is taken from one of the hymns of the early Christian church. Michaelis regards it, indeed, as an excerpt from some baptismal formula. Of such a supposition there is no proof; and the reference to 1 Corinthians 14:26 is certainly no argument in its favour. In a similar spirit Barnes says—“I see no evidence that Paul meant to make a quotation at all.” The idea of Stier is, that the apostle quotes some Geisteswort-some saying given to the church by its inspired prophets, and based upon Isaiah 60, and therefore warranting the διὸ λέγει, as truly as any clause of canonical writ. But the language of the apostle gives no hint of such a source of quotation, nor have we any parallel example. Others have recourse to the hypothesis that Paul has quoted from some apocryphal composition. Such an opinion has been mentioned by Jerome as a simplex responsio, while he adds the saving clause-non quod apocrypha comprobaret; by Epiphanius, Contra Haereses, p. 42, who refers to the prophecy of Elias; by Euthalius, and George Syncellus (Chronolog. p. 21), who appeal to the apocryphal treatise named Jeremiah; while Codex G gives the citation to the book of Enoch, and Morus holds generally by the hypothesis, which is also espoused by Schrader, that the clause is borrowed from some lost Jewish oracle. Rhenferd contends that reference is made here, as in Acts 20:35, to one of Christ's unwritten sayings. Nor is the difficulty removed by adopting the clumsy theory to which Jerome has also alluded, and which Bugenhagen and Calixtus have adopted, that the nominative to λέγει is a subjective influence-the Spirit, or Christ within Paul himself, an imitation of the older idiom—“thus saith the Lord.” Nor is the solution proposed by Bornemann at all more tenable, viz. that λέγει is impersonal, and that the clause may be rendered—“wherefore it may be said”-or “one may say.” Scholia in Lucam, p. 48. But the active form is not used impersonally, though the passive is, and φησί is the common term. Pape, and Passow, sub vocibus; Bernhardy, p. 419. Rückert confesses that the subject lies in impenetrable darkness; but the most extraordinary of all the solutions is the explanation of Meyer, and by those who believe in a plenary inspiration it will be rebuked-not refuted. His words are—“The διὸ λέγει shows that Paul intended to quote from a canonical writing, but as the citation is not from any canonical book, he adduced, through lapse of memory, an apocryphal passage, which he, citing from memory, took to be canonical. But out of what apocryphal writing the quotation is taken we know not.”

Assuming that the quotation is made from the Old Testament, as the uniform use of διὸ λέγει implies, the question still remains-what place is cited? Various verses and clauses have been fixed upon by critics, the majority of whom, from Thomas Aquinas down to Olshausen, refer to Isaiah 60:1, though some, such as Beza, Meier, and others, prefer Isaiah 26:19. Isaiah 9:2 is combined, by Baumgarten, Holzhausen, and Klausen, with Isaiah 60:1 (Hermeneutik, p. 416, Leipzig, 1841). Other combinations have been proposed. The matter is involved in difficulty, and none of these places is wholly similar to the verse before us. Harless and Olshausen make it plausible that the reference is to Isaiah 60:1 - קוּמִי אוֹרִי כִּי בָא אוֹרֵךְ וּכְבוֹד יַהוָה עָלַיִךְזָרָח —“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.” The imperative is there used with the verb “arise;” and if we turn back to Isaiah 59:10, the figure of darkness is employed by the prophet, as well as in Isaiah 60:2. The words of the apostle may, therefore, be viewed as the quintessence of the prophet's exclamation—“Arise.” That idea suggested to the apostle's mind the previous condition of those to whom this trumpet-note was addressed, and he describes it thus—“Awake, thou that sleepest;” and as that species of slumber was a lethargy of death, he adds—“arise from the dead.” “Arise, be light,” says the prophet, “for thy light is come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen upon thee;”-but the apostle resolves the prophecy into a more prosaic description of its fulfilment—“and Christ shall give thee light.” The use of the name Christ shows us, as Alford insists, that the apostle meant to make no direct or verbal quotation. But the entire subject o f New Testament quotation is not without its difficulties. Gouge, New Testament Quotations, London, 1855; Davidson, Hermeneutics, p. 334. We find that similar examples of quotation, according to spirit, are found in the New Testament, as in James 4:5; 2 Corinthians 6:16-17; Matthew 2:23. The prophecy is primarily addressed to Zion, as the symbol of the church. Nor do we apprehend that the application is different in the quotation before us, as the words are addressed still to the church-as one that had been asleep and dead, but the Divine appeal had startled it. It had realized the blessed change of awakening and resurrection, and had also rejoiced in the light poured upon it by Christ. Nay, though it was “some time darkness, it was now light in the Lord;” and its light was not to be hidden-it was to break in upon the dark and secret places around it, that they too might be illuminated. In the formation and extension of any church the prophecy is always realized in spirit; for it shows of whom a church is composed, what was the first condition of its members, by what means they have been transformed, and what is one primary duty of their organization.

ἔγειρε ὁ καθεύδων—“awake, thou that sleepest.” For the case, see Winer, § 29, 2. Lachmann reads ἔγειραι after the Textus Receptus, but the majority of critics adopt the spelling ἔγειρε. It is used not as the active for the middle, but, as Fritzsche suggests, it was the form apparently employed in common speech. Comm. ad Marc, 2.9. That sleep was profound, but there had been a summons to awake. To awake is man's duty, for he is commanded to obey, and he does obey under the influence of the Divine Spirit.

καὶ ἀνάστα ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν—“and arise from the dead.” The meaning of νέκρος so used may be seen under Ephesians 2:1. Bornemann, in Luc. p. 97. ᾿ανάστα is a later form for ἀνάστηθι. Winer, § 14, 1, h. The command is similar to that given by our Lord to the man with the withered hand—“Stretch it forth.” The man might have objected and said, “Could I obey thee in this, I would not have troubled thee. Why mock me with my infirmity, and bid me do the very thing I cannot?” But the man did not so perplex himself; and Christ, in exciting the desire to obey, imparted the power to obey. See under Ephesians 2:2, Ephesians 5:6.

καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ χριστός—“and Christ shall enlighten thee.” The various spellings of the verb, and the change of φ into ψ, have arisen from inadvertence. On the different forms of this verb, see Fritzsche on Mark 2:11; Winer, § 15. This variation is as old as the days of Chrysostom, for he notices it, and decides for the common reading. The verb itself occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, though it is once found in the “Acts of Thomas”- ἐπέφαυσε γάρ μοι-§ 34. This light Christ flashes upon the dead, and startles them into life. And the apostle continues-


Verse 15

(Ephesians 5:15.) βλέπετε, οὖν, ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖτε. “Take heed then how ye walk correctly.” Calvin has been felicitous in his view of the connection-si aliorum discutere tenebras fideles debent fulgore suo: quanto minus coecutire ipsi debent in proprio vitae instituto? In this view οὖν is closely joined to the verse immediately preceding, and such is the view of Harless. De Wette and Alford, however, connect it with Ephesians 5:8 -a connection which reduces unwarrantably all the preceding verses to a parenthesis; while Meyer quite arbitrarily joins it to the last clause of the 11th verse. The truth is, that the whole train of thought from the 8th verse to the 14th is so similar, that the apostle follows it all up with the injunction before us. οὖν is retrospective, indeed (Klotz, ad Devarius, 2.718), but the last verse is present specially to the apostle's mind. The indicative, and not the subjunctive, is used, the meaning being, how you walk, not how you should walk. Winer, § 41, b, 1, b; or videte igitur . . . quomodo illud efficiatis ut provide vivatis. Fritzschiorum, Opuscula, pp. 208, 209, note. The necessity of personal holiness in themselves, and the special duty of reproof and enlightenment which lay on them toward their unbelieving fellows, taught them this accuracy of walk. πῶς is different in aspect from ἵνα as in 1 Corinthians 16:10, and it stands after βλεπέτω in 1 Corinthians 3:10. The verb is followed by ἀπό in Mark 8:15, and by a simple accusative in Philippians 3:2; Colossians 4:17. Such passages show that it would be finical to suppose that this verb of vision was used from its connection with the term light in the former verse. To ἀκριβῶς, which qualifies not βλέπετε but περιπατεῖτε, some give the meaning of “accurately,” or as Be ngel renders it-pünktlich, a rendering in which Harless and Stier acquiesce; while others follow Luther, who translates vorsichtig, of which the “circumspectly” of our version is an imitation. Colossians 4:5 adds - πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω, a phrase which Olshausen supposes should be understood here. 1 Thessalonians 4:1. The first meaning is more in accordance with the prevailing usage of the word in all other places of the New Testament. Matthew 2:8; Luke 1:3; Acts 18:25; 1 Thessalonians 5:2. Still the second meaning is virtually involved in the first, for this accuracy or perfection of walk has a special reference to observers. They were to see to it that they were walking-

μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι, ἀλλ᾿ ὡς σοφοί—“not as unwise, but as wise men;” first a negative, and secondly a positive aspect. Kypke, p. 350; Winer, § 65, 5. The subjective μή connects the clause with περιπατεῖτε. If the Ephesian Christians walked without taking heed to their ways, then they walked as fools do, who stumble and fall or miss the path. Wisdom, not in theory, but in practice-wisdom, and not mere intelligence - was to characterize them; that wisdom which preserves in rectitude, guides amidst temptations, and affords a lesson of consistency to surrounding spectators. And if there be any allusion to Ephesians 5:11, then the inferential meaning is-it would be the height of folly to rebuke that sin which the reprover is openly committing; to condemn profane swearing, and barb the reprimand with an oath; or exemplify the vices of wrath and clamour in anathematizing such as may be guilty of them. It is strange infatuation to be obliged, in pointing others to heaven, to point over one's shoulder. And one peculiar proof and specimen of wisdom is now given-


Verse 16

(Ephesians 5:16.) ᾿εξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν—“Redeeming the time.” Colossians 4:5. The participle has been variously understood. The translation of Luther—“suit yourselves to the time,” is plainly without foundation-schicket euch in die Zeit. The paraphrase of Ambrosiaster is similar-scire quemadmodum unicunque respondeat. The verb denotes to buy out of- ἐκ; and the middle voice intimates that the purchase is for oneself-for one's own personal benefit. καιρός, probably allied to κείρω, is not χρόνος, simply time, but opportunity. Tittmann, De Synon. p. 39; Donaldson, New Cratylus, p. 320; see, however, Benfey, Wurzellex. vol. ii. p. 288. This opportunity is supposed to be in some other's possession, and you buy it. You make it your own by purchase, by giving in exchange those pleasures or that indolence, the indulgence of which would have made you forego such a bargain. The meaning is, then-making the most of every opportunity. Such is at least a signification that neither the words themselves nor the context disprove. We are not on the one hand to say with Meyer, that ἐκ is merely intensive, for it points to that out of which, or out of whose power, the purchase is to be made; still, we are not anxiously, on the other hand, to find out and specify from whom or what the time is to be redeemed, and to call it “bad men,” with Jerome and Bengel, or “the devil,” with Calvin. Such is too hard a pressure upon the figure. Neither are we curiously to ask, what is the price given in exchange? Such is the gratuitous minuteness of Chrysostom, Theophylact, and OEcumenius, who refer us to “opponents bribed off,” and of Augustine, Calvin, Estius, Zanchius, Rückert, and Stier, who understand by the alleged price the offering of all earthly hindrance and pleasure. Beza's better illustration is that of a merchant whose foresight enables him to use all things for his own purposes; and Olshausen remarks that such a lesson is taught in the parable recorded in Luke 16:1-16. The exegesis of Harless is by far too restricted, for he confines the phrase to this meaning—“to know the right point of time when the light of reproof should be let in on the darkness of sin.” Still farther removed from the right conception is the interpretation of Grotius, as if the command were one addressed to Christians, to avoid danger and so prolong their l ife; or that of Wilke, Macknight, and Bretschneider, which is—“seize every opportunity to shun danger.” It is thought by some that the phrase is founded on the Greek version of Daniel 2:8, where Nebuchadnezzar said to the Magi of Babylon- דּי עִדָּנָא אַנַתּוּןזָבְנִין à , ִ rendered - ὅτι καιρὸν ὑμεῖς ἐξαγοράζετε. Even though we were obliged to agree with Dathe, Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Maurer, and Hitzig, that the phrase meant there, to buy up or to prolong the time, or seek delay, yet here the article prefixed by the apostle gives the noun a definite speciality. Sese (id quod difficillimum fuerit) tempus ipsum emisse judicii sui. Cicero in Verrem, iii. p. 240; Opera, ed. Nobbe, Lipsiae, 1850. The “unwise” allow the propitious moment to pass, and it cannot be recalled. They may eulogize it, but they have missed it. The “wise,” on the other hand, who walk correctly, recognize it, appreciate it, take hold of it, make it at whatever sacrifice their own, and thriftily turn it to the best advantage. They redeem it, as Severianus says- ὥστε καταχρήσασθαι αὐτῷ πρὸς εὐσέβειαν. The apostle adds a weighty reason-

ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν—“because the days are evil.” The apostle, as Olshausen remarks, does not adduce the fewness of the days to inculcate in general the diligent use of time, but he insists on the evil of the days for the purpose of urging Christians to seize on every opportunity to counteract that evil. Beza, Grotius, Rückert, Robinson, Wilke, and Wahl, take the adjective in the sense of - “sorrowful, calamitous, or dangerous.” But we prefer the ordinary meaning—“evil,” morally evil, and it furnishes a strong argument. Their days were evil. All days have indeed been evil, for sin abounds in the world. But the days of that period were characterized by many enormities, and the refining power of Christianity was only partially and unequally felt. If these days so evil afforded any opportunities of doing good, it was all the more incumbent on Christians to win them and seize them. The very abundance of the evil was a powerful argument to redeem the time, and the apostle writing that letter in a prison was a living example of his own counsel. It is wholly foreign to the context, on the part of Holzhausen, to refer these evil days to the period of the mystery of iniquity. 2 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Timothy 4:1. The Greek fathers are careful to remark that the apostle calls the days evil, not in themselves- τὴν οὐσίαν-as they are creatures of God; but on account of the events with which they are connected.


Verse 17

(Ephesians 5:17.) διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες - “On this account become not senseless.” On this account-not because the days are evil- ἐπειδὴ ἡ πονηρία ἀνθεῖ-as is supposed by OEcumenius, Menochius, Zanchius, Estius, Rückert, and de Wette; but because we are summoned to walk wisely, redeeming the time, the days being evil, therefore we are to possess a high amount of Christian intelligence. The epithet ἄφρων characterizes a man who does not use his rational powers. Ast, Lex. Plat. sub voce. It differs from ἄσοφος, which has reference more to folly in action and daily work; whereas it, as this verse intimates, signifies a non-comprehension of the principles on which that walk is to be regulated. Tittmann, De Synon. 143.

ἀλλὰ συνιέντες τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ κυρίου—“but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” The participle is variously read. A and B read in the imperative, συνίετε, which Jerome follows, a reading also approved by Lachmann and Rückert, though it is probably an emendation conforming to the other imperatives; while συνιόντες is the reading of D1, F, G, and is preferred by Harless, Alford, and Meyer; while D3, E, K, L, and almost all MSS. read as the Textus Receptus - συνιέντες. We have no objection to the common reading, which is retained by Tischendorf. The participle signifies knowing intelligently, and means more than γινώσκειν. Luke 12:47. That will which it is their duty to understand is the authoritative expression of the mind of Christ, who embodied in His own example the purity and benignity of all His precepts. Codex B adds ἡμῶν, and Codex A has θεοῦ-both evidently without authority. The Ephesian Christians, in order to enable themselves to redeem the time, were not to be thoughtless, but to possess a perfect understanding of the Master's will. They would then form just conceptions of daily duty, and would not lose time through the perplexity of conflicting obligations. For θέλημα see under Ephesians 1:5; Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 1:11, and for κύριος, under Ephesians 1:2-3.


Verse 18

(Ephesians 5:18.) καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ—“And be not made drunk with wine.” Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:7. Again, there is first the negative, and then the positive injunction. By καί transition is made from a general counsel to a particular instance, and the injunction thus becomes climactic. The dative οἴνῳ is like the Latin ablative of instrument. Winer, § 31, 7. There is no proof in the context for the opinion held, and reckoned possible by de Wette, Koppe, and Holzhausen, that the apostle alludes, as in 1 Corinthians 11, to any abuse of the old love-feasts, or of the Lord's Supper. οἶνος (with the digamma-vinum, Wein), as the common drink of the times, is specified by the apostle as the means of intoxication. And he adds-

ἐν ᾧ ἐστὶν ἀσωτία—“in which is dissoluteness,” or profligacy-Luxuria; Vulgate. Tittmann, De Synon. p. 152; Trench, Synon. § 16. Proverbs 28:7; Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4. The antecedent to is not οἶνος, but the entire previous clause. The Syriac borrows simply- אוֹסוּטוּתוֹא The term ἄσωτος, from α privative and σώζω, is the picture of a sad and very common result. It is sometimes used by the classics to signify one who is, as we say, “past redemption”- παρὰ τὸ σώζω (Etymolog. Mag.); oftener one qui servare nequit. The adverb ἀσώτως is used of the conduct of the prodigal son in the far country in Luke 15:13. See Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4; Sept. Proverbs 28:7; 2 Maccabees 4:6. Aristotle, in his Ethics, iv., virtually defines the term thus- τὸ φθείρειν τὴν οὐσίαν,-or again, ἀσωτία ἐστιν ὑπερβολὴ περὶ χρήματα-or again, τοὺς ἀκρατεῖς καὶ εἰς ἀκολασίαν δαπανηροὺς ἀσώτους καλοῦμεν. Cicero (De Finibus) says - nolim mihi fingere asotus, ut soletis, qui in mensam vomant, p. 1006, Opera, ed. Nobbe. Theophylact, alluding to the etymology, says- οὐ σώζει ἀλλ᾿ ἀπόλλυσιν οὐ τὸ σῶμα μόνον ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ψυχήν; and the drunkard's progress, described by Clement in the first chapter of the second book of his Paedagogue, is a series of tableaux without veil or reserve. Referring to the origin which he assigns to the term, he also says- ᾿ασώτους τε αὐτοὺς οἱ καλέσαντες εὖ μοι δοκοῦσιν αἰνίττεσθαι τὸ τέλος αὑτῶν, ἀσώστους αὐτοὺς, κατὰ ἔκθλιψιν τοῦ σ στοιχείου νενοηκότες.

There is in the vice of intemperance that kind of dissoluteness which brooks no restraint, which defies all efforts to reform it, and which sinks lower and lower into hopeless and helpless ruin. It is erroneous, therefore, on the part of Schoettgen, to restrict the term to lasciviousness, though intemperance be, as Varro called it, Veneris suscitabulum; as Jerome too, venter mero aestuans facile despumat in libidinem. The connection between the two vices is notorious; but libidinous indulgence is only one element of the ἀσωτία. This tremendous sin of intemperance is all the more to be shunned as its hold is so great on its victims, for with periodical remorse there is periodical inebriety; the fatal cup is again coveted and drained; while character, fortune, and life are risked and lost in the gratification of an appetite of all others the most brutal in form and brutifying in result. There are few vices out of which there is less hope of recovery-its haunts are so numerous and its hold is so tremendous. As Ephesus was a commercial town and busy seaport, its wealth led to excessive luxury, and Bacchus was the rival o f Diana. The women of Ephesus, as the priestesses of Bacchus, danced round Mark Antony's chariot on his entrance into the city. Drunkenness was indeed an epidemic in those times and lands. Alexander the Great, who died a sacrifice to Bacchus and not to Mars, offered a prize to him who could drink most wine, and thirty of the rivals died in the act of competition. Plato boasts of the immense quantities of liquor which Socrates could swill uninjured; and the philosopher Xenocrates got a golden crown from Dionysius for swallowing a gallon at a draught. Cato often lost his senses over his choice Falernian. The “excess” or dissoluteness attendant on drunkenness and the other vices referred to in the previous context, is also illustrated by many passages in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus, the Latin version of an older Greek drama. The “braggart captain,” a citizen of Ephesus, is described in the prologue by his own servant as “a vain, impudent, foul fellow, brimful of lying and lasciviousness.” Another character of the piece thus boasts—“Either the merry banterer likewise, or the agreeable boon companion will I be; no interrupter of another am I at a feast. I bear in mind how properly to keep myself from proving disagreeable to my fellow-guest,” etc. . . . “In fine, at Ephesus was I born, not among the Apulians, not at Animula”-(there being in this last term a difference of reading).

ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι—“but be filled with the Spirit.” The terms οἶνος and πνεῦμα are not contrasted simply, as is pleaded by Harless, but the two clauses are in antithesis. The verb is in the passive voice, and is followed by the instrumental ἐν-an unusual construction. It has after it sometimes the genitive and sometimes the dative or accusative, with different meanings. Winer, § 31, 7. ᾿εν, therefore, may denote the element, as frequently, and not the instrument; the Spirit, as Matthies says, being represented not merely als Mittel und Inhalt. Colossians 2:10; Colossians 4:12. Not only were they to possess the Spirit, but they were to be filled in the Spirit, as vessels filled to overflowing with the Holy Ghost. Men are intoxicated with wine, and they attempt to “fill” themselves with it; but they cannot. The exhilaration which they covet can only be felt periodically, and again and again must they drain the wine cup to relieve themselves of despondency. But Christians are “filled” in or with the Spirit, whose influences are not only powerful, but replete with satisfaction to the heart of man. Psalms 36:8; Acts 2:15-16. It is a sensation of want-a desire to fly from himself, a craving after something which is felt to be out of reach, eager and restless thirst to enjoy, if at all possible, some happiness and enlargement of heart-that usually leads to intemperance. But the Spirit fills Christians, and gives them all the elements of cheerfulness and peace; genuine elevation and mental freedom; superiority to all depressing influences; and refined and permanent enjoyment. Of course, if they are so filled with the Spirit, they feel no appetite for debasing and material stimulants.


Verse 19

(Ephesians 5:19.) λαλοῦντες ἑαυτοῖς—“Speaking to one another.” Under the relaxing influence of wine the tongue is loosened, and the unrestrained conversation too often passes into that species of language, the infamy of which the apostle has already exposed. The participle is connected in syntax with πληροῦσθε, for this “speaking” is the result of spiritual fulness. ῾εαυτοῖς is for ἀλλήλοις, as in Ephesians 4:32, and cannot signify, as Morus and Michaelis would render it—“with yourselves,” or “within you,” but “among yourselves,” or “in concert.” The verb λαλεῖν has the general signification of “using the voice,” and is specifically different from εἰπεῖν and λέγειν, for it is used of the sounds of animals and musical instruments. See the Lexicons, and Tittmann, De Synon. pp. 79, 80. Each was not to repeat a psalm to his neighbour, for in such a case confusion and jargon would be the result; but the meaning of the clause seems to be this—“Giving expression among yourselves, or in concert, to your joyous emotions in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” λαλοῦντες ἑαυτοῖς, different from λέγοντες πρὸς ἑαυτούς, may, perhaps, signify “in responsive chorus,” or dicere secum invicem, as Pliny's letter describes it. We know that ancient sacred song was of this antiphonal nature; nay, Nicephorus Callistus in his History, 13.8, says, that such a practice was handed down from the apostles- τὴν τῶν ἀντιφώνων συνήθειαν ἄνωθεν ἀποστόλων ἡ ἐκκλησία παρέλαβε. Theodoret traces the same custom to the church at Antioch (Hist. Ecclesiastes 2:24), while Socrates ascribes the origin of it to Ignatius. Hist. 6.8. Augustine, however, carries such responsoria no higher than th e episcopate of Ambrose at Milan. But indeed many of the psalms were composed so as to be sung by a chorus and semichorus, as is plainly marked in the 2nd and in the 24th.

The apostle refers certainly to social intercourse, and in all probability also, and at the same time, to meetings for Divine service. The heathen festivals were noted for intemperate revelry and song, but the Christian congregation was to set an example of hallowed exhilaration and rapture. The pages of Clement of Alexandria throw some light on such ancient practices. Paedagog. lib. ii. cap. 4. We cannot say, with Le Clerc and Rückert, that the three following terms are synonymous repetitions, and that the apostle does not characterize different kinds of sacred poetry:-

ψαλμοῖς—“in psalms”-the dative being what Winer calls “the simple dative of direction.” § 31, 4. This term, from ψάλλειν-to strike the lyre, is, according to its derivation, a sacred song chanted to the accompaniment of instrumental music. So Basil rightly defines it- ὁ ψαλμὸς, λόγος ἐστὶ μουσικὸς, ὅταν εὐρύθμως κατὰ τοὺς ἁρμονικοὺς λόγους πρὸς τὸ ὄργανον κρούηται. On Psalms 29. The definition of Gregory of Nyssa is similar- ψαλμός ἐστιν ἡ διὰ τοῦ ὀργάνου τοῦ μουσικοῦ μελῳδία. This specific idea was lost in course of time, and the word retained only the general sense of a sacred poetical composition, and corresponds to the Hebrew מִזַמוֹר, H4660. It denotes sometimes the Book of Psalms (Luke 20:42 ; Acts 1:20; Acts 13:33); and in one place it signifies the improvised effusion of one who possessed some of the charismata, or gifts of the early church. 1 Corinthians 14:26.

καὶ ὕμνοις—“and hymns.” These are also sacred poetical compositions, the primary purpose of which is to praise, as may be seen in those instances in which the verb occurs, Acts 16:25; Hebrews 2:12. The term corresponds to the Hebrew words שִׁיר, H8877, and תְּהִלָּה, H9335. Deyling, Observat. Sacr. vol. 3.430; Le Moyne, Notae in Varia Sacra, p. 970. The hymn was more elaborate and solemn in its structure than the ode. The idea of Grotius appears to be quite baseless, that hymns were extemporales Dei laudes. The idea of improvisation is not necessarily implied in the word, but belongs rather to the following term. The hymn is thus defined by Phavorinus- ὕμνος, ἡ πρὸς θεὸν ᾠδή ; and by Gregory of Nyssa- ὕμνος, ἡ τῷ θεῷ εὐφημία. The same meaning of the term is found in Arrian- ὕμνοι μὲν ἐς τοὺς θεοὺς ποιοῦνται, etc.—“hymns are composed for the gods, but eulogies for men”- ἔπαινοι δὲ ἐς ἀνθρώπους. Exped. Alex. 4. Augustine on Psalms 82 says-si sit laus, et nisi sit Dei, non est hymnus; si sit laus, et Dei laus, et non cantetur, non est hymnus. Oportet ergo, ut si sit hymnus, habeat haec tria, et laudem, et Dei, et canticum. The Coptic version translates the noun by-—“doxologies.”

καὶ ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς—“and spiritual songs.” πνευματικαῖς is put within brackets by Lachmann and Alford, on the authority of B and a few authorities. The ode is a general term, and denotes the natural outburst of an excited bosom-the language of the sudden impulses of an Oriental temperament. Such odes as were allowed to Christians are termed “spiritual,” that is, prompted by the Spirit which filled them. But the psalms and hymns are already marked out as consecrated, and needed no such additional epithet. For the prevailing meaning of the adjective, see under Ephesians 1:3. Odes of this nature are found in Scripture, as that of Hannah at her boy's consecration, that of the Virgin at the Annunciation, and that of Zechariah on the birth of his son. It is plain that the hymn and the ode might pass into one another, but we cannot agree with Harless, in regarding the “songs” as simply a more general designation; or with Meyer, in supposing, whatever the general meaning and the usage elsewhere, that here and in such a connection they are the genus of which psalms and hymns are the species, and that the clause is one of the apostle's common cumulations. As a considerable portion of the church at Ephesus was composed of Jews, these psalms in the idiom of a Jew might be the Psalms of the Old Testament, and not merely sacred poems thus named by them, as is the opinion of Harless; and the hymns might be compositions of praise specially adapted to the Gentile mind, though not inapposite to the Jew. The imagery, allusions, and typical references of the Psalms could not be fully appreciated by the Gentile sections of the churches. And these “spiritual odes,” perhaps of a more glowing and individual nature, taking the shape both of psalms and hymns, might be recited or chanted in their assemblies or churches, as the Spirit gave utterance. Acts 10:46. Tertullian says in his Apology-u t quisquis de Scripturis Sanctis, vel de proprio ingenio potest, provocatur in medium Deo canere. Many hymns which were originally private and personal, have thus become incorporated with the psalmody of our churches. Stier, who does not coincide with all we have said on this subject, yet gives this definition “biblical, ecclesiastical, and private poems;” and his idea is far better than that of Baumgarten-Crusius, who understands the terms as denoting “songs of thanks, of praise, and lyrics.” Jerome says-Hymni sunt qui fortitudinem et majestatem praedicant Dei, et ejusdem semper vel beneficia vel facta mirantur. Quod omnes psalmi continent, quibus Alleluja vel praepositum, vel subjectum est, Psalmi autem proprie ad ethicum locum pertinent, ut per organum corporis, quid faciendum et quid vitandum sit, noverimus. Qui vero de superioribus disputat et concentum mundi omniumque creaturarum ordinem atque concordiam subtilis disputator edisserit, iste spirituale canticum canit. The service of song enjoyed peculiar prominence in the ancient church. The Fathers often eulogize the Psalms of David. An exuberant encomium of Basil's may be found in his commentary on the first Psalm. Hooker has some beautiful remarks on the same theme in the fifth book of his Ecclesiastical Polity, and the tender and exquisite preface of Bishop Horne must be fresh in the memory of every reader. Eusebius testifies, that besides the Psalms, other compositions were sung in the churches. They were to be-

ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν—“singing and making melody in your heart.” Some MSS., such as A, D, E, F, G, read καρδίαις, but they are counterbalanced by Codices B, K, L, the Syriac version, and the Greek fathers. The previous λαλοῦντες is defined by ᾄδοντες as being co-ordinate with it. The second participle may denote an additional exercise. Their speech was to be song, or they were to be singing as well as speaking. ψάλλειν, originally “to strike the lyre,” came to signify “to strike up a tune,” and it denotes the prime accompaniment of these songs, to wit, the symphony of the soul. This is indeed secret and inaudible melody, but it is indispensable to the acceptance of the service-

“Non vox, sed votum, non chordula musica, sed cor;

Non clamans, sed amans, cantat in aure Dei.”

Rückert, Harless, Baumgarten-Crusius, Olshausen, and Meyer understand the apostle to inculcate a species of silent warbling, totally distinct from the common practice of song, and which was to be felt as the result of this fulness of the Spirit. But it seems to be to the open and audible expression of Christian feeling that the apostle refers in the phrase λαλοῦντες- καὶ ᾄδοντες; while coupled with this, he adds with emphasis—“playing in your hearts.” The words, indeed, denote secret melody, but may not the secret and inner melody form an accompaniment to the uttered song? The phrase, as Harless says, does not mean heartily, or ἐκ καρδίας would have been employed. Compare Romans 1:9 - ἐν τῷ πνεύματί μου. Theodoret comes nearer our view when he says—“He sings with his heart who not only moves his tongue, but also excites his mind to the understanding of the sentiments repeated,”- ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸν νοῦν εἰς τὴν τῶν λεγομένων κατανόησιν διεγείρων. Now this silent playing in the heart will be that sincere and genuine emotion, which ought to accompany sacred song. The heart pulsates in unison with the melody. Mere music is but an empty sound; for compass of voice, graceful execution, and thrilling notes are a vain offering in themselves. The Fathers complained sometimes that the mere melody of the church service took away attention from the spirit and meaning of the exercise. Thus Jerome says justly on this passage—“Let young men hear this: let those hear it who have the office of singing in the church, that they sing not with their voice, but with their heart, to the Lord; not like tragedians physically preparing their throat and mouth, that they may sing after the fashion of the theatre in the church. He that has but an ill voice, if he has good works, is a sweet singer before God.” . . . “Let the servant of Christ so order his singing, that the words which are read may please more than the voice of the singer; that the spirit which was in Saul may be cast out of them who are possessed with it, and not find admittance in those who have turned the house of God into a stage and theatre of the people.” Cowper, with a delicate stroke of satire, says of some in his day-

“Ten thousand sit

Patiently present at a sacred song

. . . . . . . . Content to hear

(O wonderful effect of music's powers!)

Messiah's eulogies, for Handel's sake.”

τῷ κυρίῳ—“to the Lord,” or as Pliny reported-Christo quasi Deo. To Him who loved the church, and died for it-to Him, the Lord of all, who sends down that Spirit which fills the heart and prompts it to melody-such praise is to be rendered. And the early church, in obedience to the apostle's mandate, acknowledged His Divinity, and sang praise to Him as its God. The hymnology of the primitive church leaves not a doubt of its belief in Christ's supreme Divinity. Pye Smith's Scripture Testimony, vol. ii. p. 460, ed. 1859; August., Christl. Archäol. vol. ii. p. 113; Bingham, Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 380. One of these very old and venerable relics, the Morning Hymn preserved in the Liturgy of the Church of England, is subjoined as a specimen, not only in its spirit and theology, but in its antiphonal structure-

“Glory be to God on high, and in earth peace, good will towards men. We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty.

“O Lord, the only-begotten Son Jesu Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sins of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us.

“For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord; Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


Verse 20

(Ephesians 5:20.) εὐχαριστοῦντες πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων—“Giving thanks always for all things.” Many collocations as πάντοτε- πάντων are given by Lobeck, Paralip. vol. i. pp. 56, 57. This clause is still connected with πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, and is further descriptive of one of its results and accompaniments. The heart becomes so susceptible in the possession of this fulness of the Spirit, that grateful emotions predominate, for its own unworthiness is contrasted with God's gifts poured down upon it in crowded succession. 1 Thessalonians 5:18. And this thanksgiving, from its very nature and causes, is continuous- πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων. Thanksgiving cannot be always formally rendered, but the adverb has the same popular intensive meaning in 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Some, such as Theodoret, take πάντων in the masculine, which is against the context; for it is of duty toward God the apostle speaks, not duty toward man, nor can we, with Meyer and others, limit the “all things” to blessings. We take it in a more extended and absolute sense, with Chrysostom, Jerome, and others. Chrysostom, indeed, says—“we are to thank God for hell”- ὑπὲρ τῆς γεέννης αὐτῆς. Whether this extreme sentiment be just or not, it is foreign to the context, for the apostle speaks of “all things” now possessed by us, or sent upon us- οὐχ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀγαθῶν μόνον, says Theophylact; etiam in iis quae adversa putantur, says Jerome. It is an easy thing to thank God for blessings enjoyed, but not so easy to bless Him in seasons of suffering; yet when men are filled with the Spirit, their modes of thought are so refined and exalted, and their confidence in the Divine benignity is so unhesitating, that they feel even adversity and affliction to be grounds of thanksgiving, for-

“Behind a frowning providence,

He hides a smiling face.”

So many and so salutary are the lessons imparted by chastisement-so much mercy is mingled in all their trials-so many proofs are experienced of God's staying “His rough wind in the day of His east wind,” that the saints will not hang their harps on the willows, but engage in earnest and blessed minstrelsy. And such eucharistic service is to be presented-

ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν ᾿ιησοῦ χριστοῦ—“in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” These thanks are rendered not to “the honour of His name,” for the phrase is not εἰς τὸ ὄνομα. To do anything “to the name of,” and to do it “in the name” of another, are widely different. The former implies honour and homage; the latter authority and warrant. Compare εἰς τὸ ὄνομα, Matthew 28:19; Acts 19:5; 1 Corinthians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 1:15; but ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι has a very different meaning, as may be seen in John 14:13; Acts 4:12; Acts 10:48; Colossians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Peter 4:14. His name is the one element in which thanks are to be rendered-that is, by His warrant thanks are offered, and for His sake they are accepted. The phrase occurs in many connections, of which Harless has given only a sample. Thus in His name miracles are done, Luke 10:17, Acts 3:6; Acts 4:10; Acts 16:18, James 5:14; ordinances are dispensed, Acts 10:48, 1 Corinthians 5:4; devotional service is offered and prayer answered, John 14:13; John 16:23; John 16:26, Philippians 2:10; claim of Divine commission is made, Mark 11:9, Luke 19:38; blessing is enjoyed, Acts 4:12, 1 Corinthians 6:11; the spiritual rule of life is enjoined, Colossians 3:17; a solemn charge is made, 2 Thessalonians 3:6; reproach is borne, 1 Peter 4:14; or certain states of mind are possessed, Acts 9:27-28. Whatever the varieties of relation, or act, or state, the same generic idea underlies them all-as Bengel says, ut perinde sit ac si Christus faciat. Giving thanks-

τῷ θεῷ καὶ πατρί—“to God and the Father.” The article, as in similar places, is not repeated before the second noun, for it is but another epithet of Him who is named under the first term. Winer, § 19, 3, note. See under Ephesians 1:3. As to the relation of πατήρ, Erasmus, Estius, Harless, Meyer, and Baumgarten-Crusius refer it to Christ; but others, as Zanchius, Rückert, and Matthies, refer it to believers. The word, however, appears to have been employed in a general sense, for the paternal character of God has relation as well to His own Son, as to all His adopted human children.


Verse 21

(Ephesians 5:21.) ῾υποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ χριστοῦ—“Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of Christ.” Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13; 1 Peter 5:5. The authority for θεοῦ is so slight, that it need not be recounted. This additional participial clause, which concludes the paragraph, forms also a link between it and the next. Indeed, it commences a new section in Knapp's edition, and Olshausen inclines to the same opinion, but the participial form ὑποτασσόμενοι forbids such a supposition. Chrysostom joins the clause to the former verses, and his arrangement is followed by Rückert, Meier, Estius, Meyer, Harless. Winer, § 45, 6. Olshausen mistakes the connection when he wonders how an advice to subordination can be introduced as a sequel to spiritual joy. But the participle ὑποτασσόμενοι is joined to πληροῦσθε, and has no necessary or explanatory connection with the other dependent participles preceding it. It introduces a new train of thought, and is so far connected with the previous verb, as to indicate that this reciprocal deference has its root and origin in the fulness of the Spirit. It would perhaps be going too far to say, that as the phrase, “be not drunk with wine,” is related to the clause, “be filled with the Spirit,” so this connected verse stands opposed, at the same time, to that self-willed perversity and that fond and foolish egotism which inebriety so often creates. It is out of all rule, on the part of Calvin, Zanchius, Koppe, Flatt, and Matthies, to take the participle as an imperative. The words ἐν φόβῳ χριστοῦ describe the element of this submission. It is reverential submission to Christ. Acts 9:31; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Peter 3:2. φόβος here is not terror or slavish apprehension, but that solemn awe which the authority of Christ inspires. In this the mutual deference and submission commanded by the apostle must have their seat. This Christian virtue is not cringing obsequiousness; and while it stands opposed to rude and dictatorial insolence, and to that selfish preference for our own opinion and position which amounts to a claim of infallibility, it is not inconsistent with that honest independence of disposition and sentiment which every rational and responsible being must exercise. It lays the foundation also, as is seen in the following context, for the discharge of relative duty, as in the three instances of wives, children, and servants, nor is it without room for exhibition in the case of husbands, parents, and masters; in short, it should be seen to develop itself in all the relations of domestic life.


Verse 22

(Ephesians 5:22.) With regard to the following admonition it is to be borne in mind, that in those days wives, when converted and elevated from comparative servitude, might be tempted, in the novel consciousness of freedom, to encroach a little-as if to put to the test the extent of their recent liberty and enlargement. The case was also no uncommon one for Christian wives to have unbelieving husbands, and the wife might imagine that there was for her an opportunity to manifest the superiority of a new and happy creed. 1 Peter 3:1-6. And those Ephesian wives had little of the literary and none of the religious education enjoyed by the daughters of modern Christian households. Even under the Mosaic law, women and wives had few legal rights, and they too, when baptized. needed the injunction of the apostle-

αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν, ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ—“wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” The sentence has no verb, and it afforded, therefore, a fair opportunity for the ingenuity of the early copyists. Some MSS., such as D, E, F, G, add ὑποτάσσεσθε after γυναῖκες. Scholz and Hahn place the same word after ἀνδράσιν, while A and some minusculi add ὑποτασσέσθωσαν-a reading followed by Lachmann. There are other variations in the form of attempted supplement. Jerome proves that there was nothing in the Greek Codices to correspond to the subditae sint of the Latin version. The continuity of the apostle's style did not require any verbal supplement, and though the gender differs, every tyro will acquiesce in the reason given by Jerome- ἐκ κοινοῦ resonat. Jelf, § 391. The idea conveyed in the participle of the previous verse guides the sense. Wives, in the spirit of this submission, are to be directed in their duty to their husbands. The noun ἀνήρ often signifies a husband, as “man” does in vernacular Scotch. Matthew 1:16; John 4:16-18; Homer, Od. 24.195; Herod. 1.140. So also אישׁ ö ךִנ Hebrew, Deuteronomy 22:23. The precise meaning of ἰδίοις in this connection has been disputed. There are two extremes; that indicated by Valla, Bullinger, Bengel, Steiger, and Meyer, as if the apostle meant to say, Your own husbands-not other and stranger men; and that maintained by de Wette, Harless, and Olshausen, that ἰδίοις merely stands for the common possessive pronoun. But in all such injunctions in which ἰδίοις is used, as in 1 Corinthians 7:2, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1, the word seems to indicate peculiar closeness of possession and relation, though indeed in later Greek its meaning is somewhat relaxed. John 5:18; Romans 7; Romans 1:32; 1 Corinthians 14:35, etc. Winer, § 22, 7; Phrynich. ed. Lobeck, 441. The duty of submission is plainly based on that tenderness, speciality, or exclusiveness of relationship which ἰδίοις implies. But that submission is not servitude, for the wife is not a mere vassal. The sentiment of Paul is not that of the heathen poet-

πᾶσα γὰρ δούλη πέφυκεν ἀνδρὸς ἡ σώφρων γυνή,

ἡ δὲ μὴ σώφρων ἀνοίᾳ τὸν ξυνόνθ᾿ ὑπερφρονεῖ.

The insubordination of wives has always been a fertile source of satire; and yet Christian ladies in early times drew forth this compliment from Libanius, the “last glory of expiring paganism”-proh, quales feminas habent Christiani! The essence of this submission is explained by the important words-

ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ—“as to the Lord.” Pelagius, Thomas Aquinas, and Semler capriciously regard this noun as standing for the plural κυρίοις, and render it “as to your masters,” referring to their husbands. Rückert, Harless, Olshausen, Meyer, and Matthies take it to mean, that ye render this submission to your husbands as if it were rendered to Christ who enjoins it; or, as Chrysostom more lucidly explains it- ὡς εἰδυῖαι ὅτι τῷ κυρίῳ δουλεύετε. The adverb ὡς denotes the character of the obedience enjoined, and such seems to be the grammatical meaning of the clause. The context, however, might suggest another phase of meaning. “Women,” says Olshausen, “are to be in submission, not to their husbands as such, but to the ordinance of God in the institution of marriage.” And so de Wette, preceded by Erasmus, observes that the clause is explained by the following verse. The husband stands to the wife in the same relation as Christ stands to the church, and the meaning then is, not as if she were doing a religious duty, but “in like manner as to the Lord”-the duties of the church to Him being the same in Spirit as those of a wife to her husband. In either case, the submission of a wife is a religious obligation. She may be in many things man's superior-in sympathy, in delicacy of sentiment, warmth of devotion, in moral heroism, and in power and patience of self-denial. Still the obedience inculcated by the apostle sits gracefully upon her, and is in harmony with all that is fair and feminine in her position and temperament:

“For contemplation he and valour formed-

For softness she and sweet attractive grace:

He for God only, she for God and him.”


Verse 23

(Ephesians 5:23.) ῞οτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς, ὡς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας—“For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is Head of the church.” The preponderance of authority is against the article before ἀνήρ, which appears in the Received Text. It does not need the article (Winer, § 19), though the article would not alter the meaning. It stands here as a species of monadic noun; or it may be rendered as a general proposition—“as a husband is the head of the wife”-the article before γυναικός pointing out the special relation—“his wife.” ῞οτι introduces the reason why wives should be submissive—“as to the Lord.” In the phrase ὡς καί—“as also”- καί is not superfluous, though it occurs only in the second clause and marks the sameness of relation in κεφαλή. Klotz, Devar. vol. 2.635. The meaning of the sentiment, Christ is the Head of the church, has been already explained under Ephesians 1:22, and again under Ephesians 4:15-16. The reader may turn to these explanations. As Christ is Head of the church, so the husband is head of the wife. Authority and government are lodged in him; the household has its unity and centre in him; from him the wife receives her cherished help; his views and feelings are naturally adopted and acted out by her; and to him she looks up for instruction and defence. Severed from him she becomes a widow, desolate and cheerless; the ivy which clasped itself so lovingly round the oak, pines and withers when its tree has fallen. And there is only one head; dualism would be perpetual antagonism. This marital headship is man's prerogative in virtue of his prior creation, for he was first formed in sole and original dignity. 1 Timothy 2:13. “Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man,” so that he is in position the superior. “The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man”-a portion of himself-his other self; taken out from near his heart; and, therefore, though his equal in personality and fellowship, being of him and for him and after him, she is second to him. Nay, more, “Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression;” and to her the Lord God said, “Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee,” though the gospel lightens this portion of the curse which has been so terribly felt in all non-Christian lands. Each sex is indeed imperfect by itself, and the truest unity is conjugal duality. Still, though the woman was originally of the man, yet now “the man is by the woman”—“the mother of all living.” Finally, the apostle illustrates this headship by the striking declaration, that the woman is the “glory of the man,” but “the man is the image and glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 11:3-12; 1 Timothy 2:14.

αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος—“Himself Saviour of the body.” The words καί and ἐστι in the Received Text are found in D2, D3, E2, K, L, in the majority of MSS., and in the Syriac and Gothic versions. Tittmann and Reiche also hold by the longer reading, but the words are wanting in A, B, D1, E1, F, G, while Codex A reads ὁ σωτήρ. αὐτός is emphatic, and can refer only to χριστός. “Christ is Head of the church-Himself, and none other, Saviour of the body.” Winer, § 59, 7, note. Some refer it to ἀνήρ. Chrysostom's exposition would seem to imply such a reference, and Holzhausen formally adopts it. But it is of Christ the apostle is speaking, and the independent and emphatic clause, thrown off without any connecting particle, gives a reason why He is head of the church, to wit—“Himself Saviour of the body.” The reader may turn to the meaning of σῶμα under Ephesians 1:23, Ephesians 4:15-16. The paronomasia is imitated by Clement, ad Corinth. xxxviii.- σωζεσθω οὖν ἡμῶν ὅλον τὸ σῶμα ἐν χριστῷ ᾿ιησοῦ. Christ is the Saviour of His body the church-not only its Redeemer by an act of atonement, but its continued Deliverer, Preserver, and Benefactor, and so is deservedly its Head. This Headship originated in the benefits which His church has enjoyed, and is based on His saving work; while the conscious enjoyment of that salvation brings the church gladly to acknowledge His sole supremacy. Some, indeed, suppose that in this clause there is an implied comparison, and that the husband is a species of σωτήρ to his wife. Bucer, Bullinger, Musculus, Aretius, Zanchius, Erasmus, Grotius, Beza, Schrader, Rückert, Baumgarten-Crusius, Meier, Matthies, de Wette, and Peile are of this mind. But the clause is peculiar, αὐτός separating it from what is said before. There is a comparison in κεφαλή, that is, in the point of position and authority, but none in σωτήρ; for the love and protection which a husband may afford a wife can never be called σωτηρία, and has no resemblance to Christ's salvation. Some even suppose that the wife is here called σῶμα, basing their opinion on the language of Ephesians 5:28. There is no warrant for supposing that in the apostle's mind there was any etymological affinity between σωτήρ and σῶμα, which in Homer signifies a dead body. See Stier, in loc.; Benfey, Wurzellex. i. p. 412; and the two derivations in Plato, Cratylus, § 38, p. 233; Op. vol. iv. ed. Bekker.


Verse 24

(Ephesians 5:24.) ᾿αλλ᾿ ὡς ἡ ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται τῷ χριστῷ—“But as the church is subject to Christ.” The reading ὥσπερ has no decided authority. The commencement of this clause occasions some difficulty. The hypothesis of Harless-not unlike that of Rückert, that ἀλλά is used to resume the main discourse-has been ably refuted by Olshausen. It is true that ἀλλά does often follow a digression, but there is none here; and even if the words were a digression, they form but a single clause, and did not surely necessitate a formal ἀλλά. To give this particle, with Zanchius and others, the meaning of “now” or “wherefore,” cannot be allowed, however such a meaning may seem to suit the reasoning. ᾿αλλά, says Olshausen, simply introduces the proof drawn from what precedes. The husband is head of the wife, as Christ is Head of the church, and the apostle argues—“but as the church is subject to Christ, so ought wives to be to their husbands.” Winer, § 53, 7, a, says that ἀλλά concludes the demonstration. De Wette's view is similar—“the clause exhibits the other aspect of the relation, as if he said-aber daraus folgt auch.” Hofmann understands the antithesis thus—“but where the husband is not to his wife what he should be, in imitation of Christ, still subordination on her part remains a duty.” Schriftb. vol. Ephesians 2:2, p. 116. Robinson says that ἀλλά is used in an antithetic clause to express something additional, and may be rendered “but,” “but now,” “but further.” In the instances adduced by him there is marked antithesis; but though this passage is placed among them, there is in it no expressed contrast. Baumgarten-Crusius smiles at such as find any difficult y in ἀλλά, for it means, he says, dennoch aber-though the husband has his obligation as saviour of the body, the wife, yet the wife has hers too, and should be obedient. This interpretation creates an antithesis by giving the clause “He is Saviour of the body” a meaning it cannot bear. See Bretschneider's Lexicon, sub voce. Meyer and Stier follow an alternative explanation of Calvin, making the antithesis of the following nature—“Christ has this as a special characteristic, that He is Saviour of His church; nevertheless, let wives know, that their husbands are over them after the example of Christ.” Meyer's improved representation of this idea is—“He Himself, and none other, is the Saviour of the body, yet this relation, which belongs to Him exclusively, does not supersede the obligation of obedience on the part of wives towards their husband; but as the church is subject to Christ, so ought wives to submit to their husbands.” The same antithesis is more lucidly phrased by Bengel—“though Christ and not the husband is the Saviour, and though the husband can have no such claim on his wife, yet the wife is to obey him as the church obeys Christ.” Similarly Hodge, Ellicott, and Alford. The sense is good, but sounds like a truism. “Himself is Saviour of the body-that certainly man is not and cannot be, nevertheless as,” etc.-you are to obey your husbands, who can never have claims on you like Christ. The choice is between this and giving ἀλλά an antithetic reference. It is very often used after an implied negative, especially after questions which imply a negative answer. Luke 7:7; John 7:49; Acts 19:2. See also Romans 3:31; Romans 8:37; 1 Corinthians 6:8; 1 Corinthians 9:12. And without a question, such usage, implying a suppressed negative answer, is prevalent. Compare Luke 23:15; 2 Corinthians 8:7; 2 Corinthians 13:4; Galatians 2:3; Philippians 1:18; Philippians 2:17; 1 Timothy 1:15-16; Vigerus, De Idiotismis, cap. viii. § 1. A singularly acute paper on οὐκ ἀλλά will be found in the appendix to the Commentary of Fritzsche on Mark. If we apply such an idiom to the passage before us, the sense will then be this: The man is head of the woman, as Christ is Head of the church-Himself Saviour of the body-do not disallow the marital headship, for it is a Divine institution- ἀλλά-but as the church is subject to Christ-

οὕτως καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐν παντί ( ὑποτασσέσθωσαν)—“so let the wives be subject to their husbands in everything.” ᾿ιδίοις, which in the Received Text stands before ἀνδράσιν, is properly rejected from the text. The words ἐν πάντι mean in everything within the proper circuit of conjugal obligation. If the husband trespass beyond this sphere he usurps, and cannot insist upon the obedience implied in the matrimonial contract. Obedience on the part of a wife is not a superinduced obligation. It springs from the affection and softness of her very nature, which is not fitted for robust and masculine independence, but feels the necessity of reliance and protection. It is made to confide, not to govern. In the domestic economy, though government and obedience certainly exist, they are not felt in painful or even formal contrast; and, in fact, they are so blended in affectionate adjustment, that the line which severs them cannot be distinguished. The law of marital government is a νόμος ἄγραφος. Even the heathen poets, as may be seen in the following quotations from Menander, Philemon, and Euripides, acknowledged such a law, though they could not treat the subject with the tenderness, beauty, and propriety of the apostle. Their notions are harder-

᾿αγαθῆς γυναικός ἐστιν, . . . .

΄ὴ κρεῖττον εἶναι τ᾿ ἀνδρὸς, ἀλλ᾿ ὑπήκοον.

Their images are humiliating-

τὰ δευτερεῖα τὴν γυναῖκα δεῖ λέγειν,

and the feminine consciousness both of weakness and degradation occasionally breaks out-

᾿αλλ᾿ ἐννοεῖν χρὴ τοῦτο μὴν, γυναῖχ᾿ ὅτι

῎εφυμεν, ὡς πρὸς ἄνδρας οὐ μαχουμένα.


Verse 25

(Ephesians 5:25.) οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας ἑαυτῶν—“Husbands, love your own wives.” The apostle now turns to the duties of husbands. There is some doubt as to the word ἑαυτῶν. Lachmann and Tischendorf reject it; A and B want it; but D, E, K, L, have it. Some MSS., such as F and G, read ὑμῶν instead. But there is not sufficient ground to reject it. As wives are summoned to obedience, so husbands are commanded to cherish love. The apostle dwells upon it. In Eastern countries, where polygamy was so frequent, conjugal love was easily dissipated; and among the Jews, the seclusion of unmarried young women often made it possible that the bridegroom was a stranger not only to the temper and manners of his bride, but even to the features of her face. Disappointment, followed by quarrel and divorce, must have been a frequent result. Therefore the apostle wished Christian husbands to be patterns of domestic virtue, and to love their wives. If love leads to conjugal union, and to the selection of a woman to be a wife, surely the affection which originated such an alliance ought to sustain and cheer it. Surliness, outbursts of temper, passionate remonstrances for mere trifles, are condemned. Husbands are not to be domestic tyrants; but their dominion is to be a reign of love. As the example of the church in her relation to Christ is set before wives, so the example of Christ, in His relation to the church, is set before husbands-

καθὼς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν—“as also Christ loved the church.” For καθώς, see Ephesians 1:4, and καθὼς καί, Ephesians 4:32 and Ephesians 5:2; and for ἐκκλησια, see Ephesians 1:22. That church was originally impure and sinful-an infant exposed on the day of its birth, “to the loathing of its person;” but the Divine Lover passed by and said to it, “Live,” for its “time was the time of love.” The exposed foundling was His foster-child before it became His bride. Ezekiel 16. Similar phraseology as to love embodied in atonement has been employed in the 2nd verse of this chapter. What infinite pity and ineffable condescension are found in Christ's love to His church! Every blessing enjoyed by her must be traced upward and backward to the attachment of the Saviour. The church did not crave His love: He bestowed it. It was not excited by any loveliness of aspect on the part of the church, for she was guilty and impure-unworthy of His affection. But His love for her was a fondness tender beyond all conception, and ardent beyond all parallel-

καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς—“and gave Himself for her.” This phraseology has also occurred in the 2nd verse of this chapter, and been there considered. Christ's sacrificial death in the room of His church, is the proof and expression of His love. What love to present such a gift! None could be nobler than Himself-the God-man-and so cheerfully conferred! That gift involved a death of inexpressible anguish, rendered still more awful by the endurance of the terrible penalty; and yet He shrank not from it. Who can doubt a love which has proved its strength and glory in such suffering and death? Now the love of the husband towards his wife is to be an image or reflection of Christ's love to the church; like it, ardent and devoted; like it, tender and self-abandoning; and like it, anxious above all things and by any sacrifice to secure the happiness of its object. He gave Himself-


Verse 26

(Ephesians 5:26.) ῞ινα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ, καθαρίσας τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι—“In order that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the laver of the water in the word.” This verse contains the nearer purpose, and the following verse unfolds the ulterior design of the Saviour's love and death, both being introduced by the telic ἵνα. The account given of the term ἅγιος under Ephesians 1:1, will serve so far to explain the meaning of the allied verb which occurs in this clause. It denotes to consecrate or to set apart, and then to make holy as the result of this consecration. Matthew 23:17; 1 Corinthians 7:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 2:11. Calvin, Beza, Harless, and Meier take the verb in the former sense. Others, such as Piscator, Rückert, Meyer, de Wette, Baumgarten - Crusius, Matthies, and Stier, give the meaning of moral or spiritual purification. The first appears to us to be the prominent idea, but not, certainly, to the exclusion of the last signification. That He might consecrate her, or set her apart to Himself as His own redeemed and peculiar possession-that she should be His and His alone-His by a special tie of tender devotedness-was the object of His death. Rückert objects to this exegesis, that the dative ἑαυτῷ or τῷ θεῷ is wanting, but the supplement is implied in the verb itself. Wholly out of the question is the interpretation of Koppe, Flatt, and Matthies, that the verb means to make expiation for-to absolve from guilt. It is true that ἁγιάζω is used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew- כִּפֵּר (Exodus 29:33; Exodus 29:36), and Stuart (Commentary on Hebrews 2:10) maintains that the verb has such a meaning in the Epistle to the Hebrews, but the examples which he has adduced admit of the meaning we have assigned to the word in the passage before us. Hebrews 10:10, etc., Hebrews 13:11-12. See Delitzsch in loc., Comment. zum B. an die Hebräer, p. 71, and Bleek in loc., Der B. an die Hebräer, who hold our view. Moreover, if καθαρίσας refer, as it does, to spiritual purification, then it can scarcely be thought that the apostle expresses the same idea in the previous verb ἁγιάσῃ. The meaning is, that having purified her He might consecrate her to Himself; this idea being suspended till it is brought out with special emphasis in the following verse. Meyer distinguishes ἁγιάσῃ from καθαρίσας, as if the last were the negative and the first the positive aspect of the idea. The distinction is baseless, for the purifying is as positive as is the sanctification. Harless errs in denying that here, whatever may be the fact elsewhere, the action of the participle precedes that of the verb, and in supposing that they coincide in time- καθαρίσας being a further definition of ἁγιάσῃ. Hofmann, loc. cit., connects καθαρίσας immediately with ἵνα παραστήσῃ, but very needlessly. This exegesis is as baseless as is the Syriac version and our English translation—“that He might sanctify and cleanse it.” The nominative to the verb is contained in the participle. Rückert, Matthies, and Olshausen render it “after that He has purified”-nachdem. De Wette, on the other hand, prefers indem—“since that.” The meaning is not different, if the participle be thus supposed to contain a pre-existent cause.

The idea expressed by καθαρίσας is that of purification, and its nature is to be learned from the following terms expressive of instrumentality. That the phrase τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος refers to the rite of baptism, is the general and correct opinion, the genitive being that of material, and the dative that of instrument, while the two articles express the recognized prominence as well of the water as of the laver. But as the entire paragraph presents a nuptial image, we see no reason on the part of Harless, Olshausen, and others, for denying all allusion to the peculiar and customary antenuptial lustrations. The church is the bride, “the Lamb's wife;” and described under this appellation, her baptism may be viewed as being at the same time- λουτρὸν νυμφικόν. Bos (Exercitat. p. 186), Elsner, Wetstein, Flatt, Bengel, Rückert, Matthies, Holzhausen, and Stier concur in the same representation. The washing of water in baptism was the sacrament expressive of purification. Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Hebrews 10:22. Baptism is called λουτρὸν παλιγγενεσίας—“the laver of regeneration,” a phrase farther explained by the following words- ἀνακαινώσεως πνεύματος ἁγίου—“the renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Titus 3:5.

But the additional words, ἐν ῥήματι, are not so easily understood. Quite foreign to the thought is the opinion of Hofmann, that as a man declares his will to make a woman his wife by a word or declaration, and so takes her from the unhonour of her maiden condition, so has Christ done to the church. Schriftb. vol. 2:2, 173. Some of the conflicting opinions may be noted:-

I. The Greek fathers, followed by Ambrosiaster, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Calovius, Flatt, and de Wette, easily understand the phrase of the baptismal formula. Chrysostom says- ἐν ῥήματι φησί; then he puts the question, ποίῳ? “in what word?” and his ready answer is, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” But it is not at all probable that ῥῆμα should stand for ὄνομα; and if it did, we should expect, as Harless intimates, to have it emphasized with an article prefixed. Nor has the word such a signification in any other portion of the New Testament.

II. Semler would strike out the words altogether; Michaelis would regard ῥῆμα as a Pauline Cilicism for ῥεῦμα; while Ernesti and Koppe, imitated by Stolz, join the words ἐν ῥήματι ἵνα together, and suppose that they stand for the Hebrew formula- עַל דּבַר אֲשֶׁר - “in order that.” The Seventy, however, never so render the Hebrew idiom, but translate it by ἕνεκεν. Genesis 20:6; Genesis 20:11; Numbers 16:49; Psalms 44:4.

III. Some join ἐν ῥήματι to the verb ἁγιάσῃ—“that He might sanctify by the word,” the intervening clause, “having cleansed by the washing of water,” being a parenthesis. This exegesis yields a good meaning, and is contended for by Jerome, Flacius, Baumgarten, Morus, Bisping, Rückert, Meyer, and Winer, § 20, 2 (b.). But the position of ἐν ῥήματι at the very end of the verse, forbids such an exegesis. It is a forced expedient, and the only reason for adopting it is the confessed difficulty of explaining the words in their obvious and natural connection.

IV. By other critics the phrase ἐν ῥήματι is joined to τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος, as a qualificative or descriptive epithet. Such is the view of Augustine, Sedulius, Luther, Estius, Calvin, Erasmus, Flatt, Storr, Homberg, Holzhausen, and Stier. But though these scholars agree as to the general connection, their opinions vary much as to the special signification. The common argument against this and similar constructions, to wit, that the article should have been repeated before ἐν ῥήματι, has many exceptions, though in such a proposed construction its insertion would appear to be necessary:-

1. Augustine (Tractatus lxxx. in Johannem), Estius, Bodius, Röell, Crellius, Slichtingius, Flatt, Holzhausen, and the critics generally who are enumerated under No. IV., take ῥῆμα as signifying the gospel. Augustine says-accedit verbum ad elementum, et fit sacramentum. Sacramento simul et fidei, says Estius; or again, aquae baptismo per verbum evangelii creditum ac fide susceptum mundat. Bodius writes-verbum ut diploma, sacramentum ut sigillum. These meanings give ἐν an unwonted sense of “along with, or by means of.” Had the apostle meant to say that the efficacy of baptism lies in faith in the word, surely other language would have been employed. The view of Knapp (Vorlesungen über die Christ. Glaubenslehre, ii. § 140) is of the same nature, and is liable to similar objections. “The Word,” he says, “is the evangelical system in its fullest extent - its precepts and promises.” “In baptism,” he adds, “the latter are made over, and we pledge ourselves to obey the former. Baptism may be thus called verbum Dei visibile.

2. Others look on ῥῆμα as denotive of Divine agency in baptism. This was Luther's view, as expressed in his Smaller Catechism-verbum Dei quod in et cum aqua est (Die Symbolischen Bücher der Evang. Luth. Kirche, p. 362, ed. Müller). Calvin's view is somewhat similar-verbo sublato perit tota vis sacramentorum. . . . Porro verbum hic promissionem significat, qua vis et usus signi explicatur. . . In verbo tantum valet atque per verbum. This notion is imitated also by Rollock. The preposition ἐν may bear such a signification. Still, had the apostle meant to say that baptism derived its efficacy from the word, surely something more than the simple addition ἐν ῥήματι might have been expected. Olshausen looks upon ἐν ῥήματι as equivalent to ἐν πνεύματι—“as signifying a bath in the word, that is, a bath in which one is born of water and of the Spirit.” This strange opinion cuts the knot, but does not untie it. Similar is the view of Stier, and Homberg who paraphrases-aqua verbalis et spiritualis. The proposition of Grotius is no less violent, inserting the particle ὡς before τῷ λουτρῷ-washing them by the word “as” in a bath of water.

3. A third party, such as Storr-Opuscula Academica, 1.194-and Peile, give ῥῆμα the sense of mandate-praescriptum. “The apostle,” says Peile, “declares water - baptism to be the divinely-instituted sign or sacrament whereby men are regenerated.” This notion gives ἐν the strange sense of “in conformity to.”

V. and lastly. Others, such as Bengel, Matthies, and Harless, join the words ἐν ῥήματι with καθαρίσας. To this opinion we incline; but we cannot agree with Harless in giving the phrase the meaning of ausspruchsweise, verheissungsweise. The idea in such an explanation is, that the cleansing is given in the form of a declaration or promise made in the ordinance. But there is no need to depart from the ordinary meaning of ῥῆμα in the New Testament. The Syriac reads—“that he might sanctify and purify her in the laver of water and by the word;” and the Vulgate has-in verbo vitae. But we regard ἐν as denoting the instrument in its internal operation, and so far different from διά; and by ῥῆμα we understand the gospel, the usual meaning of the Greek term. Acts 10:44; Acts 11:14; Romans 10:8; Romans 10:17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 6:5. It wants the article as if it were used, as Meyer suggests, like a proper name. It is a mere refinement on the part of Baumgarten-Crusius to understand by it “a preached gospel.” The church is cleansed “by the laver of the water” - cleansed by “the word.” The washing of water symbolizes the pardon of sin and the regeneration of the heart. While this cleansing has its sacramental symbol in the washing of water, it has its special instrument in the word; or τῷ λουτρῷ in the simple dative may denote the instrument (Bernhardy, p. 100), and ἐν ῥήματι the “conditional element,” as Alford calls it. The word is the Spirit's element in effecting a blessed and radical change, and in guiding, ruling, and prompting the heart into which the new life has been infused. Men are thus cleansed by baptism in the word. Psalms 119:9; 1 Peter 1:23. Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, § 66, Erlangen, 1859. Christ accomplishes these results through His death, and what is properly done by His Spirit may be ascribed to Himself, who for this other purpose loved the church and gave Himself for it-


Verse 27

(Ephesians 5:27.) ῞ινα παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ ἔνδοξον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν—“in order that He might present, Himself to Himself, the church glorious.” αὐτός, supported by the authority of A, B, D1, F, G, L, and many versions and Fathers, is decidedly to be preferred to the αὐτήν of the Textus Receptus. This verse declares the ultimate purpose of the love and death of Him who is “both Ransom and Redeemer voluntary.” Harless errs in regarding the two clauses beginning with ἵνα as co-ordinate. The allusion is still to a nuptial ceremony, and to the presentation of the bride to her husband- αὐτὸς- ἑαυτῷ. The august Bridegroom does not present His spouse to Himself till He can look upon her with complacency. Harless affirms that the presentation described is that of a sacrifice on the altar, because the epithets employed by the apostle are occasionally applied to victims and offerings; but such a view is in conflict with the entire language and imagery on to the end of the chapter. Nay, there is a peculiar beauty in applying sacrificial terms to the fair and immaculate bride, as she is fit, even according to legal prescription, to be presented to her Lord. So Meyer remarks ἑαυτῷ would be out of place in the theory of Harless-Jesus presenting an oblation to Himself! The word παραστήσῃ occurs with a similar meaning in 2 Corinthians 11:2—“that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” αὐτὸς- ἑαυτῷ-He and none other presents the bride, and HE and none other receives her to HIMSELF. No inferior agency is permitted; a proof in itself, as well as His death, of His love to the church. ῎ενδοξον—“glorious;” the epithet being a tertiary predicate and emphatic in position. Donaldson, § 489. The same idea occurs in Revelation 19:7-8. The term refers original ly to external appearance-the combined effect of person and dress. The illustrious epithet is explained by the succeeding clauses-first negative-

μὴ ἔχουσαν σπίλον, ἢ ῥυτίδα, ἤ τι τῶν τοιούτων—“having neither spot, or wrinkle, or any one of such things.” σπῖλος, which ought to be spelled with a simple accent- σπίλος ( ἄσπιλος forming a dactyle), is a stain or blemish, and is one of the words of the later Greeks. 2 Peter 2:13. λέγε δὲ κηλίς, as the older Attic term, says Phrynicus (p. 28). ῾πυτίς is a wrinkle or fold on the face, indicative of age or disease. Dioscorides, 1:39; Passow, sub voce. Not only are spots and wrinkles excluded, but every similar blemish. The terms are taken from physical beauty, health, and symmetry, to denote spiritual perfection. Song of Solomon 4:7. The attempts made by some critics, such as Anselm, Estius, and Grotius, to distinguish nicely and formally between the virtues or graces described in these terms respectively, are needless. Thus Augustine takes the first term to mean deformitas operis, and the second duplicitas intentionis, and the last inclusive phrase to comprehend reliquiae peccatorum ut pravae inclinationis, motus involuntarii et multiplicis ignorantiae. Not only negatively but positively-

ἀλλ᾿ ἵνα ᾖ ἁγία καὶ ἄμωμος—“but that she should be holy and without blemish.” One might have expected ἀλλ᾿ οὖσαν, but it is as if ἵνα μὴ ἔχῃ σπίλον had stood in the previous clause. The syntax is thus changed, no uncommon occurrence in Greek composition, as may be seen in John 8:53; Romans 12:1-2. On the oratio variata, compare Winer, § 63, 2, 1. The syntactic change here, with the repetition of ἵνα, gives special prominence to the idea which has been expressed, first negatively, but now in this clause with positive affirmation. The meaning of ἁγία has been given already under Ephesians 1:1; Ephesians 1:4; and of ἄμωμος under Ephesians 1:4, and needs not be repeated here. Such, then, is to be the ultimate perfection and destiny of the church. In her spotless purity the love of Christ finds its extreme and glorious design realized. That love which led Him to die, in order to bestow pardon and to secure holiness, is not contented till its object be robed in unsullied and unchanging purity.

But when is this perfection to be for the first time possessed, and when does this presentation take place? We have already said that the presentation is not contemporary with the consecration, but is posterior to it, and does not finally and formally take place on earth. The “church” we understand in its full significance, as the whole company of the redeemed, personified and represented as a spiritual Spouse. The presentation belongs therefore to the period of the second coming, when the human species shall have completed its cycle of existence on earth; and every one whom the Saviour's all-seeing eye beheld as belonging to His church, and whom, therefore, He loved and died for, and cleansed, has shared in the final redemption. (The reader may turn to what is said upon the phrase—“redemption of the purchased possession,” Ephesians 1:14.) Augustine and Jerome among the Fathers, Primasius, Bernard, and Thomas Aquinas among scholastic divines, along with Estius, Calvin, and Beza, hold to this view as to the epoch of the presentation, in antagonism with Cajetan, Bucer, Wolf, Bengel, and Harless, who regard the glorification of the church as a species of present operation. The loose language of the Greek commentators seems to intimate that they held the same hypothesis. Augustine flagellates the Donatists and Pelagians, who believed in the present sinlessness of the church; for truly such a state can only be such a comparative perfection as John Wesley describes when he says, “Christian perfection does not imply an exemption from ignorance or mistakes, infirmities or temptations.” The church as it now is, and as it has always been, has many spots and wrinkles upon it. But perfection is secured by a process of continuous and successful operation, and shall be ultimately enjoyed. “The bride, the Lamb's wife,” hath for centuries been making herself ready, and at length Christ, as He looks upon His church, will pr onounce her perfect without tinge of sin or trace of any corruption; she will appear “holy and without blemish” in His view whose “eyes are a flame of fire.” As He originally loved her in her impurity, how deep and ardent must be His attachment now to her when He sees in her the realization of His own gracious and eternal purpose! The nuptial union is at length consummated amidst the pealing halleluiahs of triumph and congratulation. So fervent, self-sacrificing, and successful is Christ's love to His church; and now He rejoices over her with joy, and His toil and death being amply compensated, “He will rest in His love.”


Verse 28

(Ephesians 5:28.) οὕτως καὶ οἱ ἄνδρες ὀφείλουσιν ἀγαπᾶν τὰς ἑαυτῶν γυναῖκας, ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα—“So also ought husbands to love their own wives, as being their own bodies.” The reading adopted has A, D, E, F, G, and the Vulgate, Gothic, and Coptic versions in its favour. The adverb οὕτως carries us back to καθώς, and indicates the bringing home of the argument. It is contrary to the plain current of thought on the part of Estius, Meier, de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, and Alford, to make it refer to ὡς in the following clause, as if the apostle said, Ye are to love your wives in the way in which ye love your own bodies. The οὕτως takes up the comparison between the husband and Christ, the wife and the church. “Thus,” that is, in imitation of Christ's love, “husbands ought to love their own wives.” The instances adduced by Alford and Ellicott against the statement in our first edition are not all of them quite parallel, in the position and use of οὕτως, in reference to praecedentia. There is no parenthesis in the two preceding verses, as Zanchius and Harless suppose. It is putting a special pressure upon the words to insist, after the example of Macknight and Barnes, that the husband's love to his wife shall be an imitation of Christ's love, in all those enumerated features of it. When Christ's love is mentioned, the full heart of the apostle dilates upon it, and in its fervour, tenderness, devotedness, and nobility of aim, a husband's love should resemble it. In the phrase “as their own bodies,” Harless and Stier, in imitation of Theophylact, Zanchius, and Calovius, suppose that ὡς is used argumentatively, and that the verse contains two comparisons—“As Christ loved the church, so husbands are to love their wives”—“As they love their own bodies, so are they to love their wives.” But the introduction of a double comparison only cumbers the argument. The idea is well expressed by Meyer—“So ought husbands to love their wives, as being indeed their own bodies.” The language is based on the previous imagery. The apostle calls Christ the Head, and the church the body, that body of which He is Saviour. Christ loved the church as being His body. Now the husband is the head of the wife, and as her head he ought to love her as being his body. And therefore-

ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἑαυτὸν ἀγαπᾷ—“he that loveth his own wife loveth himself.” But the phrase, “loveth himself,” is not identical with the formula of the preceding clause—“as their own bodies;” it is rather an inference from it. If the husband, as the head of the wife, loves his wife as being his own body, it is a plain inference that he is only loving himself. His love is not misspent: it is not wasted on some foreign object; it is a hallowed phasis of self-love.


Verse 29

(Ephesians 5:29.) οὐδεὶς γάρ ποτε τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα ἐμίσησεν—“For nobody ever hated his own flesh” (fools and fanatics excepted). This is a general law of nature. Ecclesiastes 6:7. γάρ is argumentative, and σάρξ is used by the apostle rather than σῶμα, because of its occurrence in the words of the first institution of marriage—“they twain shall be one flesh.” It has here also its simple original meaning, and not such a sense as it has in Ephesians 2:3. It is as if the apostle had said, “It is as unnatural a thing not to love one's wife, as it is not to love oneself.” Every one loves his own flesh, and in harmony with the same law of nature he will love his other self-his wife. The commentators have adduced similar phraseology from the classics, such as Curtius, Seneca, and Plutarch.

ἀλλὰ ἐκτρέφει καὶ θάλπει αὐτήν—“but nourisheth and cherisheth it.” ῞εκαστος is understood before the two verbs. Stallbaum, Plato, De Rep. ii. p. 366. A man's care over his body, is that of a nursing-mother over a child. The verbs may be distinguished thus, that the former means to supply nutriment- ἐκ-referring to result; and the latter literally to supply warmth, but really and generally to cherish-more than Bengel's-id spectat amictum. Deuteronomy 22:6; Job 39:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:7. More, certainly, than food and clothing is meant by the two verbs. This being a man's instinct towards his own flesh, it would, if freely developed, dictate his duty toward her who is with him “one flesh”-the complement of his being.

καθὼς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν—“as also Christ the church.” On the authority of A, B, D,1 E, F, G, the Syriac, and Vulgate, with Chrysostom and Theodoret, χριστός is the preferable reading to κύριος, and is adopted by Lachmann and Tischendorf. Christ nourishes the church, feeds it with His word, fosters it by His Spirit, gives it the means of growth in the plenitude and variety of His gifts, revives and quickens it by His presence, and guards it by His own almighty power from harm and destruction. It is a quaint and formal interpretation of Grotius—“that Jesus nourishes the church by his Spirit, and clothes it with virtues.” Something more, therefore, than food and clothing is demanded from the husband to the wife; he is to give her love and loyalty, honour and support. As Christ nourishes and cherishes His church, and as every man nourishes and cherishes his own flesh; so the bidding of nature and the claim of religious duty should lead the husband to nourish and cherish his wife.


Verse 30

(Ephesians 5:30.) ῞οτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ—“For members we are of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” The last two clauses beginning with ἐκ are not found in A, B, and other Codices of less note, such as 17 and 672; but they are found in D, E, F, G, K, L, almost all mss., in Chrysostom and Theodoret, and in the Syriac and Vulgate versions. We cannot, therefore, exclude them with Lachmann and Davidson, Biblical Criticism, vol. ii. p. 378. Tischendorf adopts them in his seventh edition. They have been omitted at first, as de Wette suggests, by a ὁμοιοτέλευτον; αὐτοῦ . . . αὐτοῦ, or because they seem to express gross and material ideas. This verse adduces a reason why Christ nourishes and cherishes the church, for it stands in the nearest and dearest relation to Him. We are members of His body, as being members of His church, and, as members of that body, we are nourished and cherished by the Head- ἐκ in both the last clauses pointing to origin. Winer, § 47. See under Ephesians 4:15-16. Bengel, Harless, Olshausen, and Stier understand by σῶμα the actual personal body of Jesus-the body of His glorified humanity. But in what sense are or can we be members- μέλη-of that body? It has its own organs and members, which it took in the Virgin's womb. But the apostle has his thoughts occupied with conjugal duties, and he has, in subordination to this, introduced Christ and His church as bridegroom and bride; therefore his mind reverts naturally to the imagery and language of the original matrimonial institute, and so he adds—“we are members of His flesh and of His bones.” Genesis 2:23. The argument of Harless against this view, which appears so natural, is lame and inconclusive, and he holds the opinion, that the two clauses are simply a further explanation of the statement—“we are members of His body.” What is really meant by the striking phraseology has been a subject of no little dispute.

1. Cajetan, Vatablus, Calovius, Bullinger, Vorstius, Grotius, Zanchius, and Zachariae refer the words to the origin of the church from the flesh and bones of Christ, nailed to the cross, and there presented to God. Such an idea is neither prominent in the words nor latent in the context.

2. Not more satisfactory is the view which is held in part by Theodoret, by Calvin, Beza, and Grotius, who find in the phrase a reference to the Lord's Supper. Kahnis, Abendmahl, p. 143. These critics differ in the way in which they understand such a reference, and no wonder; for the communion there enjoyed is only a result of the union which this verse describes. Strange, if there be any allusion to the eucharist, that there is a reference to the bones, but none to the blood of Christ.

3. Not so remote from the real sense is the opinion of Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ambrosiaster, OEcumenius, Bengel, and Matthies, who suppose an allusion in the phraseology to that new birth which is effected by Christ, as if it had been shadowed out by Eve's extraction from Adam's side. OEcumenius says- ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ καθὸ ἀπαρχὴ ἡμῶν ἐστι τῆς δευτέρας πλάσεως ὥσπερ ἐκ τοῦ ᾿αδὰμ διὰ τὴν πρώτην. It is indeed as renewed men that believers have any fellowship with Christ. But the idea of birth is not naturally nor necessarily implied in the apostle's language, and it is founded upon an incorrect interpretation of our Lord's expression about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. John 6:53.

4. As plausible is the theory which explains the clauses by a reference to that identity of nature which Christ and His people possess. They are partakers of one humanity. Chrysostom and Theophylact also give this view; Irenaeus, Augustine, and Jerome maintain it; and it has been held by Thomas Aquinas, Aretius, Cocceius, and Michaelis. The reply, “that in that case the language must have been, He took upon Him our flesh and bone,” has been met by Estius, who says, “the language is just, because in His incarnate state He is the Head and we are only members.” But our principal objection is, that this simple community of nature with Christ is common to all men; whereas it is only of believers, and of a union peculiar to them, that the apostle speaks.

5. We confess our inability to understand the meaning of Bisping, Olshausen, and others. “The words refer,” they say, “to Christ's imparting of His glorified humanity to believers through the communion of His flesh and blood. . . . It is by the self-communication of His divine-human (theanthropic) nature that Christ makes us His flesh and bone. He gives to His followers His flesh to eat and His blood to drink.” Bisping, a Romanist, says, “In the regeneration through baptism, the glorified body of Christ is communicated to us.” That is, as he explains, “the germ of the resurrection of the body is implanted in us at baptism, and this germ is only an outflow from Christ's glorified body.” Such an idea could only be consistently based on the Lutheran view of consubstantiation, or some species of pantheism, or what Turner calls Panchristism. But-

6. The apostle has the idea of marriage and its relations before him, and he employs the imagery of the original institute, which first depicted the unity of man and wife, to describe the origin and union of the church and Christ. As the woman was literally, by being taken out of Adam, bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh; as this duality sprung from unity, and was speedily resolved into it: so the church is originated out of Christ, and, united to Him as its Head or Husband, is one with Him. The language is, therefore, a metaphorical expression of this union, borrowed from the graphic diction of Genesis; and this image evidently presented itself to the apostle's mind from its connection with the origin and nature of those conjugal duties which he is inculcating in the paragraph before us. The error of Meyer's exegesis is his restriction of the imagery to the one example of Adam and Eve, whereas it has its verification in every nuptial union, and hence the apostle's use of it. As Eve derived her life and being out of Adam, and was physically of his body, his flesh, and his bones, so believers are really of Christ-of His body, His flesh, and His bones, for they are one with Christ in nature and derive their life from His humanity, nay, are connected with Him, not simply and generally by a spiritual union, but in some close and derivative way which the apostle calls a mystery, with His body; so that they live as its members, and become with it “one flesh.” Besides, in the next verse, the apostle takes his readers to the source of his imagery-


Verse 31

(Ephesians 5:31.) ᾿αντὶ τούτου, καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα, καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν ψυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν. “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” There are some variations of reading. Some MSS. of superior weight omit the articles τόν and τήν, as well as αὐτοῦ, but the longer reading has A, D3, E, K, L in its favour, with many Codices, and the Syriac and Coptic versions. It is, however, rejected by Lachmann and Tischendorf as a conformation to the Seventy. The critical note of Origen seems to confirm the suspicion. Instead of πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα found in B, D3, E, K, L, τῇ γυναικί is read in D1, E1, F, G, and is introduced by Lachmann. The words are a free quotation from Genesis 2:24, though the formula of quotation is wanting. This want of such a formula was not unfrequent. Surenhusius, Bib. Katal. p. 21. ῎ανθρωπος is without the article (not used for ἀνήρ), but having “its general aphorismatic sense”-an argument in itself against Alford's interpretation. These future verbs indicate prophetically the future impulse and acting of the race which was to spring from Adam and Eve. Winer, § 40, 6. The Septuagint has ἕνεκεν τούτου changed by the apostle into ἀντὶ τούτου, “on this account” (Winer, § 47, a; Donaldson, § 474, a, dd), and these words are in this place no introduction to the quotation, but simply a portion of it; and therefore Estius, Holzhausen, Meier, and Matthies labour to no purpose in endeavouring to affix a special meaning to them. The quotation is introduced to show the apostle's meaning, and exhibit the source of his imagery. His language was remarkable; but this verse points out its true signification, by showing whence it was taken, and how it was originally employed. From early times, however, the language has been directly applied to Christ. Jerome's interpretation is the following:-primus homo et primus vates Adam hoc de Christo et ecclesia prophetavit; quod reliquerit Dominus noster atque Salvator patrem suum Deum et matrem suam coelestem Jerusalem, et venerit ad terras propter suum corpus ecclesiam, et de suo eam latere fabricatus sit et propter illam Verbum caro factum sit. Such is the view of Heinsius, Balduin, Bengel, Bisping, who explains μητέρα by die Synagoge, and even of Grotius. Some of the critics who held this view refer the words so mystically understood to Christ's second coming, when He shall present the bride to Himself in formal wedlock. Such, also, is Meyer's view. His words are, “This, therefore, is the interpretation, Wherefore, that is, because we are members of Christ, of His flesh and bones, shall a man leave (that is, Christ as the second Adam) his Father and his Mother (that is, according to the mystical sense of Paul, He will leave His seat at the right hand of God) and shall be joined to His wife (that is, to the church), and they two shall be one flesh,” etc. Such an exegesis, which may be found also in Jeremy Taylor's sermon of The Marriage Ring, has nothing to justify it, for there is no hint in this verse that the apostle intends to allegorize. In spite of what Ellicott and Alford have said, we cannot adopt that view, or see the propriety of the language as applied formally to Christ. The allegory is not in this verse, but in the application of nuptial figure and language to Christ and His Church; this verse showing the source and authority. True, as Alford says, “the allegory is the key to the whole,” but the apostle does not in this citation allegorize Genesis 2:24, by applying its language directly to Christ. Nor is it deep thought or research that finds allegories in the interpretation of this place or other places. The process is often of a contrary nature.

Others, again, suppose a reference to Christ and the church only in the last clause, for the sake of which the preceding words of the verse have been introduced. This is the exegesis of Harless and Olshausen, who conceive in the phrase a reference to the Lord's Supper, and Olshausen illustrates his meaning with an approach to indelicacy. But there is no ground for deeming all the preceding part of the verse superfluous, nor is there any reason for departing from the plain, ordinary, and original meaning of the terms. The words of the quotation, then, are to be understood simply of human marriage, as if to show why language borrowed from it was applied in the preceding verse to depict the union of Christ and His church. The verse in Genesis appears to be not the language of Adam, as if, as in Jerome's description of him, he had been primus vates, but is at once a legislative and prophetic comment upon the language of Adam—“This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” The love which a son bears to a father and a mother, is at length surmounted by a more powerful attachment. He leaves them in whose love and society he has spent his previous life; so that, while love cements families, love also scatters them. “He is joined to his wife” in a union nearer and more intimate than that which united him to his parents; for his wife and he become “one flesh”-not one in spirit, or in affection, or in pursuit, but in personality, filled with “coequal and homogeneal fire”-

“The only bliss

Of Paradise that has survived the fall.”

They are “one flesh,” and a junction so characterized supplied the apostle with language to describe the union of Christ and His Church—“we are of His flesh and of His bones.” This doctrine of marriage must have excited surprise when divorce was of scandalous frequency by an action of ἀπόλειψις or ἀπόπεμψις in Grecian states, and with less formality under the emperors in the West, by diffarreatio and remancipatio. See Harless, Ethik, § 52, and his Die Ehescheidungsfrage. Eine erneute Versuch der Neut. Schriftstellen, 1860.


Verse 32

(Ephesians 5:32.) τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν, ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω εἰς χριστὸν καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν—“This mystery is a great one, but I speak concerning Christ and concerning the church.” ΄υστήριον is rendered in the Vulgate sacramentum, and the Popish church regards marriage as one of its sacraments. Cajetan and Estius, however, disavow the Latin translation, on which their own church rests its proof. The Cardinal honestly says, non habes ex hoc loco, prudens lector, a Paulo conjugium esse sacramentum. Non enim dixit, esse sacramentum, sed mysterium. Bisping more guardedly says that the sacramental character of marriage cannot be proved directly and immediately. Erasmus is yet more cautious. Neque nego matrimonium esse sacramentum, sed an ex hoc loco doceri possit proprie dici sacramentum quemadmodum baptismus dicitur, excuti volo. The phrase סוֹדגָּדוֹל, “a great mystery,” is found among the rabbinical formulae. Those who hold that the previous verse refers to Christ leaving His Father and Mother, and coming down to our earth to woo and win His spiritual bride, find no difficulty in the explanation of the verse before us. Such a representation, couched in such language, might well be named a great mystery, in connection with Christ and the church. But the language of this verse does not prove it, or afford any explanation of it.

The question to be determined is, What is the real or implied antecedent to τοῦτο? 1. Is the meaning this: Marriage as described in the preceding verse is a great mystery, but I speak of it in its mystical or typical connection with Christ and the church? Those who, like Harless, Olshausen, and others, take the last clause, “they two shall be one flesh,” as referring to Christ and His church, say that the sense is—“the mystery thus described is a great one, but it refers to Christ and the church.” But were the meaning of that clause so plain as Harless supposes, then this exegetical note, “I speak concerning Christ and the church,” might be dispensed with. 2. Others, such as Baumgarten-Crusius, look upon the word μυστήριον as equivalent to allegory, and suppose the apostle to refer to a well-known Jewish view as to the typical nature of the marriage of Adam and Eve. Schoettgen, Hor. Heb. p. 783. The allegory, however, of Philo on the place is of quite a different kind. ῞ενεκα τῆς αἰσθήσεως ὁ νοῦς, ὅταν αὐτῇ δουλωθῇ, καταλίπῃ καὶ τὸν πατέρα, τὸν ὅλων θεὸν, καὶ τὴν μητέρα τῶν συμπάντων, τὴν ἀρετὴν καὶ σοφίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ προσκολλᾶται καὶ ἑνοῦται τῇ αἰσθήσει, καὶ ἀναλύεται εἰς αἴσθησιν, ἵνα γίνωνται μία σάρξ, καὶ ἓν πάθος, οἱ δύο. “On account of the external sensation, the mind, when it has become enslaved to it, shall leave both its father, the God of the universe, and the mother of all things, namely, the virtue and wisdom of God, and cleaves to and becomes united to the external sensations, and is dissolved into external sensation, so that the two become one flesh and one passion.” Allix, in his Judgment of the Jewish Church, says the first match between Adam and Eve was a type of that between Christ and His church. A note on this subject may be seen in Whitby's Commentary. Suc h an opinion gives the word μυστήριον the meaning of something spoken, having in it a deep or occult sense; a meaning which Koppe, Morus, de Wette, Meier, and Grotius, and Stier to some extent, without any biblical foundation, attach to the term in this place. 3. The exegesis of Peile is wholly out of the question—“this mystery is of great depth of meaning, and for my part I interpret it as having reference to Christ;” a paraphrase as untenable as that of Grotius - verba ista explicavi vobis non κατὰ πόδας, sed sensu μυστικωτέρῳ. But Scripture affords us no warrant for such notions; nor is such allegorization any portion of the apostle's hermeneutics. 4. Hofmann, loc. cit., quite apart from the reasoning and context, understands the apostle to say that the sacred unity of marriage-one flesh-is a great mystery to the heathen. 5. We understand the apostle to refer to the general sentiment of the preceding section, summed up in the last verse, and in the clause, “they two shall be one flesh;” or rather to the special image which that clause illustrates, viz., that Christ and the church stand in the relation of husband and wife. The allowed application of conjugal terms to Christ and the church is “a great mystery;” and lest any one should think that the apostle refers to the “one flesh” of an earthly relationship, he is cautious to add, “I speak concerning Christ and the church.” This great truth is a great mystery, understood only by the initiated; for the blessedness of such a union with Christ is known only to those who enjoy it. Somewhat differently from Ellicott, we would say that Ephesians 5:25-28 introduce the spiritual nuptial relation, that Ephesians 5:29 affirms its reality, that Ephesians 5:30 gives the deep spiritual ground or origin of it, while the quotation in Ephesians 5:31 shows the authorized source of the image, and Ephesians 5:32 its ultimate appl ication guarding against mistake. The meaning of μυστήριον the reader will find under Ephesians 1:9. The word is used in the same sense as here in Ephesians 6:19; 1 Timothy 3:16.

ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω εἰς χριστὸν, καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν—“but I am speaking in reference to Christ, and in reference to the church.” The pronoun is not without subjective significance. Winer, § 22, 6. The δέ is not simply explicative, but has also an adversative meaning, as if the writer supposed in his mind that the phraseology employed by him might be interpreted in another and different way. λέγω, introducing an explanation, is followed by the εἰς of reference (von der Richtung, Winer, § 49, a, ( δ)), as in Acts 2:25; and ἐλάλησεν has a similar complement in Hebrews 7:14. The interpretation of Zanchius, Bodius, and Cameron, imitated by Macknight, supposes the marriage of Eve with Adam to be a type or a designed emblem of the union of Christ and His church. Macknight dwells at length and with more than usual unction on the theme. But the apostle simply compares Christ and His church to husband and wife, and the comparison helps him to illustrate and enforce conjugal duty. Nay, so close and tender is the union between Christ and His church, that the language of Adam concerning Eve may be applied to it. The nuptial union of our first parents was not a formal type of this spiritual matrimony, nor does the apostle allegorize the record of it, or say that the words contain a deep or mystic sense. But these primitive espousals afforded imagery and language which might aptly and truly be applied to Christ and the church, which is of His “flesh and His bones;” and the application of such imagery and language is indeed a mystery-a truth, the secret glory and felicity of which are known but to those who are wedded to the Lord in a “perpetual covenant.” The apostle might have in his eye such passages as Psalms 45; Hosea 2:19-23; the Song of Solomon; Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 61:10; Ezekiel 16:8. The same imagery is found in 2 Corinthians 11:2, and in the conclusion of the Apocalypse.


Verse 33

(Ephesians 5:33.) πλὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ καθ᾿ ἕνα, ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα οὕτως ἀγαπάτω ὡς ἑαυτόν—“Nevertheless also as to every one of you, let each love his wife as himself.” The word πλήν does not indicate, as Bengel, Harless, and Olshausen wrongly suppose, any return from a digression. The preceding verses are no digression, but an interlinked and extended illustration. As Meyer insists, πλήν means, “yet apart from this;” that is, apart from this illustration of the conjugal relationship of Christ to His church. The term, therefore, does not indicate a return from a formal digression, but rather a return to the starting thought. The καί contains an allusion to the leading idea of the preceding illustration-the love of Christ to His spiritual spouse. As He loves His spouse, do you also, every one of you, love his wife. οἱ καθ᾿ ἕνα. 1 Corinthians 14:27-31; Jelf, § 629; Winer, § 49, d. The verb ἀγαπάτω is singular, agreeing with ἕκαστος and not ὑμεῖς-a mode of construction which individualizes and intensifies the injunction.

ὡς ἑαυτόν—“as being himself” one flesh with him. (Ephesians 5:31; Ephesians 5:28.) Not that he is to idolize her, as if, among all his other bones, Adam's “extracted rib alone had been of ivory.”

ἡ δὲ γυνὴ ἵνα φοβῆται τὸν ἄνδρα—“and the wife that she reverence her husband.” The construction of this clause is idiomatic, as in Galatians 2:10; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Mark 5:23; Winer, § 63, II.1. In such an idiom γυνή, in effect, is the nominative absolute, though in the resolution of the idiom a verb must be supplied; or as Ellicott, who objects to our statement, admits-it is not so definitely unsyntactic as Acts 7:40, and that is all we meant to say. δέ may be slightly adversative, the conjugal duties being in contrast. The verb to be supplied, and on which, in the mind of the writer, ἵνα depends, is furnished by the context (Meyer on 2 Corinthians 8:7, and Osiander on the same place), as, “I command,” or “let her see.” In such a case ὅπως is used by the classical writers. Raphelius, Annotat. 488. The wife is to reverence her husband-numquam enim erit voluntaria subjectio nisi proecedat reverentia. Calvin. One peculiarity in this injunction has been usually overlooked. What is instinctive on either side is not enforced, but what is necessary to direct and hallow such an instinct is inculcated. The woman loves, but to teach her how this fondness should know and fill its appropriate sphere, she is commanded to obey- μὴ δουλοπρεπῶς. OEcumenius. The man, on the other hand, feels that his position is to govern; but to show him what should be the essence and means of his government, he is enjoined to love. “He rules her by authority, and she rules him by love: she ought by all means to please him, and he must by no means displease her.” Sermon on the Marriage Ring, by Jeremy Taylor; Works, vol. xv. When this balance of power is unsettled, happiness is lost, and mutual recriminations ensue. “A masterly wife,” as Gataker says, “is as much despised and derided for taking rule over her husband as he for yielding to it.”

In fine, the apostle, by the language he has employed in reference to Christ and His church, has given marriage its highest honour. No ascetic condemnation of it occurs in the New Testament. “Single life makes men in one instance to be like angels, but marriage in very many things makes the chaste pair to be like Christ.” Sermon on the Marriage Ring, by Jeremy Taylor; Works, vol. xv.

 


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Bibliography Information
Eadie, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 5:4". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/ephesians-5.html.


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