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Bible Commentaries
Ephesians 6

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Ephesians 6:1 . After ὑμῶν Elz. Scholz, Tisch. have ἐν κυρίῳ , in opposition to B D * F G, It. Marcion, Cyril, Cypr. Ambrosiast. Rejected by Mill, suspected by Griesb., deleted by Lachm. and Rück., but defended (on the ground of Colossians 3:20 ) by Harless and Reiche. The latter with justice; since the witnesses who omit do not preponderate, and since for the purpose of a gloss not ἐν κυρίῳ but ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ (Ephesians 5:22 ) would have suggested itself. If, however, ἐν κυρίῳ had been added from Col. l.c. , it would have been brought in after δίκαιον .

Ephesians 6:5 . τοῖς κυρίοις κατὰ σάρκα ] Lachm. and Rück.: τοῖς κατὰ σάρκα κυρίοις , following A B א , min. Clem. Dam. Theophyl. From Colossians 3:22 .

Ephesians 6:6 . The article before Χριστοῦ is, with Lachm. and Tisch., in accordance with preponderating testimony, to be deleted.

Ephesians 6:7 . ὡς , which is wanting with Elz., is decidedly attested.

Ephesians 6:8 . ὃ ἐάν τι ἓκαστος ] Lachm. and Rück. have ἓκαστος ὃ ἐάν , which was also recommended by Griesb., following A D E F G, min. Vulg. It. Bas. Dam. Other variations are, ἓκαστος ἐάν τι (B), ἐὰν ποιήσ . ἕκαστος ( א * ), ἐάν τι ποι . ἓκ . ( א ** ), ὃ ἐάν τις ἓκαστος (1, 27, 32, al.), ἐάν τι ἕκαστ . (46, 115, al., Theoph. ms.), ἐάν τις ἓκαστ . (62, 197, al.), ἐάν τις (or τι ) ἄνθρωπος (Chrys. in Comment.). The best attested reading is accordingly ἓκαστος ὃ ἐάν . But if this had been the original one, it would not be at all easy to see how it could have given rise to variations, and specially to the introducing of the τι . The Recepta, on the other hand (again adopted by Tisch.), became very easily the source of the other readings, if the copyist passed over from OTI at once to the subsequent TI. Thus arose the corruption ὃτι ἓκαστος ποιήσῃ κ . τ . λ ., and thence, by means of different ways of restoring what had been omitted, were formed the variations, in which case ἄνθρωπος came in instead of ἓκαστος as a gloss, designed to indicate the general sense of ἓκαστος .

κομιεῖται ] A B D * F G * א Petr. alex.: κομίσεται . [291] So Lachm. Tisch. Rück. In Colossians 3:25 , likewise, these two forms are found side by side in the critical witnesses. Nevertheless here, as there, κομίσεται is more strongly attested, and hence to be preferred. κομιεῖται may have originated in a reminiscence of 1 Peter 5:4

Ephesians 6:9 . ἱμῶν αὐτῶν ] many variations, among which αὐτῶν κ . ὑμῶν (so Lachm. Tisch. Rück, and Harless; recommended also by Griesb.) is that most strongly attested, namely, by A B D * min. Arm. Vulg. Goth. Copt. Clem. Pet. Chrys. (alicubi) Damasc. Jer. Aug. Pel. Rightly. The mention of the slaves ( αὐτῶν ) appeared here partly in itself, partly from a comparison with Colossians 4:1 , not relevant; hence the Recepta (anew defended by Reiche) ὑμῶν αὐτῶν , in which case αὐτῶν applies to the masters , just as αὐτῶν ὑμῶν in E F G, and merely ὑμῶν in 17. Others, leaving the καί standing, at least prefixed ὑμῶν (L, min. Syr. p. Fathers: ὑμῶν καί αὐτῶν ). א * testifies in favour of Lachmann’s reading by ἑαυτῶν καὶ ὑμῶν , whereas א ** , like the others, has regarded the prefixing of ὑμῶν (thus ὑμ . κ . ἑαυτ .) as necessary.

Ephesians 6:10 . τὸ λοιπόν ] Lachm. and Rück. read τοῦ λοιποῦ , following A B א * 17, 73, 118, Cyril, Procop. Dam. Thus at least not preponderantly supported. In favour, however, of τὸ λοιπόν , testifies also the reading δυναμοῦσθε , which is found in B 17, instead of the following ἐνδυναμοῦσθε , and probably has arisen from the confounding on the part of the copyist of the N in λοιπόν with the N in ΕΝδυναμοῦσθε . Since, moreover, τὸ λοιπόν better accords with the sense than τοῦ λοιποῦ (see on Galatians 6:17 ), I hold the latter to be a mechanical repetition from Gal. l.c.

The following ἈΔΕΛΦΟΊ ΜΟΥ is wanting in B D E א * Aeth. Arm. Clar. Germ. Goth. Cyril, Damasc. Lucifer, Ambrosiast. Jerome; while in A [292] F G, codd. Ital. Syr. p. Vulg. Theodoret, only ΜΟΥ is wanting. ἈΔΕΛΦΟΊ ΜΟΥ , which Griesb. also holds suspected, and Lachm. Tisch. Rück. have deleted, is an addition from Philippians 3:1 ; Philippians 4:8 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:1 ; 2 Corinthians 13:11 . And this addition, too, tells in favour of the originality of ΤῸ ΛΟΙΠΌΝ .

Ephesians 6:12 . ἩΜῖΝ ] B D * F G, 52, 115, Syr. Ar. pol. Slav. ant. It. Goth. Lucif. Ambrosiast.: ὙΜῖΝ . Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Rück. But how naturally would ὙΜῖΝ suggest itself to the copyists, inasmuch as the whole context speaks in the second person!

ΤΟῦ ΣΚΌΤΟΥς ΤΟΎΤΟΥ ] Elz. has ΤΟῦ ΣΚ . ΤΟῦ ΑἸῶΝΟς ΤΟΎΤΟΥ , in opposition to decisive witnesses. Expansion by way of gloss.

Ephesians 6:16 . ἘΠῚ ΠᾶΣΙΝ ] Lachm. reads ἘΝ ΠᾶΣΙΝ , for which more current expression, however, only B א , min. Vulg. It. and some Fathers testify, and several vss. are doubtful.

ΤΆ before ΠΕΠΥΡ . is wanting, indeed, in B D * F G, and is deleted by Lachm., but was easily regarded as superfluous and thus passed over.

Ephesians 6:17 . ΔΈΞΑΣΘΕ ] is wanting in D * F G, codd. It. and various Fathers, while A D *** K L and min. read ΔΈΞΑΣΘΑΙ (so Matth.), and Arm. places ΔΆΞΑΣΘΕ before ΤῊΝ ΠΕΡΙΚΕΦ . Suspected by Griesb. But if no verb had stood, and a gloss had been supplied, we should most naturally expect ἀναλάβετε to be added. In consideration, however, of the seeming redundancy , it is much more likely that the omission was made. The infinitive has come in after the preceding ΣΒΈΣΑΙ .

Ephesians 6:18 . ΑὐΤῸ ΤΟῦΤΟ ] A B א , min. Basil, Chrys. (in commentary) Damasc. have only ΑὐΤΌ ; D * F G have ΑὐΤΌΝ , and Latins in illum or in illo s. ipso, which readings likewise tell in favour of the simple ΑὐΤΌ . With reason (in opposition to Reiche) ΤΟῦΤΟ is disapproved by Griesb., and rejected by Lachm. Tisch. Rück. An exegetical, more precise definition in accordance with Paul’s practice elsewhere.

Ephesians 6:19 . ΔΟΘῇ ] Elz. has ΔΟΘΕΊΗ , in opposition to decisive testimony. Perhaps occasioned by a mere repetition of the H in copying.

Ephesians 6:21 . ΕἸΔῆΤΕ ΚΑῚ ὙΜΕῖς ] Lachm. and Rück. read ΚΑῚ ὙΜΕῖς ΕἸΔῆΤΕ . So A D E E G א , min. Vulg. It. Theodoret, Lat. Fathers. In what follows Lachm. and Rück. place ΓΝΩΡΊΣΕΙ before ὙΜῖΝ , following B D E F G א , min. It. Goth. Ambrosiast. The latter from Colossians 4:7 . And the former is to be explained from the circumstance that ΚΑῚ ὙΜΕῖς was, through inattention to the reference of the ΚΑΊ , omitted as superfluous (so still in cod. 17), and was thereupon reintroduced according to the order of the words which primarily suggested itself, by which means it came before εἰδῆτε .

[291] A reads ΚΟΜΙΣΕΤΕ , and thus testifies indirectly in favour of κομίσεται .

[292] A has ἀδελφοί only after ἐνδυναμοῦσθε .


How the children (Ephesians 6:1-3 ), the fathers (Ephesians 6:4 ), the slaves (Ephesians 6:5-8 ), and the masters (Ephesians 6:9 ) are to demean themselves. Concluding exhortation to the acquiring of Christian strength, for which purpose the readers are to put on the whole armour of God, and thus armed to stand forth, in order victoriously to sustain the conflict with the diabolic powers (Ephesians 6:10-17 ); in connection with which they are ever to apply themselves to prayer, and to make intercession for all Christians, and, in particular, for the apostle (Ephesians 6:18-20 ). Sending of Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21-22 ). Concluding wishes (Ephesians 6:23-24 ).

Verse 1

Ephesians 6:1 . Ἐν κυρίῳ ] characterizes the obedience as Christian , the activity of which moves in Christ , with whom the Christian withal stands in communion of life. The reference to God (“praeter naturae legem … Dei quoque auctoritate sancitum docent,” Calvin; comp. Wolf) is already refuted by the very ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ , Ephesians 4:21 , placed at the head of all these precepts, as also by the standing formula itself (comp. Colossians 3:20 ).

δίκαιον ] right , i.e. κατὰ τὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ νόμον , Theodoret. Comp. Colossians 4:1 ; Philippians 1:7 ; Php 4:8 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:6 ; Luke 12:57 .

In favour of infant baptism , i.e. in favour of the view that the children of Christians were as early as that time baptized, nothing at all follows from the exhortation of the apostle to the children (in opposition to Hofmann, Schriftbew . II. 2, p. 192). The children of Christians were, through their fellowship of life with their Christian parents, even without baptism ἅγιοι (see on 1 Corinthians 7:14 ; Acts 16:15 ), and had to render to their parents obedience ἐν κυρίῳ .

Verse 2

Ephesians 6:2 . The frame of mind towards the parents, from which the ὑπακούειν just demanded of the children must proceed, is the τιμᾶν . Hence Paul continues, and that in the express hallowed words of the fourth commandment: τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου κ . τ . λ . (Exodus 20:12 ; Deuteronomy 5:16 ). And as he had before subjoined the general motive of morality τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι δίκαιον , so he now subjoins the particular incitement ἥτις ἐστιν ἐντολὴ πρώτη ἐν ἐπαγγελ ., so that the relation as well of the two precepts themselves, as of their motives, Ephesians 6:1-2 , is climactic , and ἥτις … ἐπαγγελίᾳ can by no means be a parenthesis (Griesbach, Rückert, and others).

ἥτις ] utpote quae , specifies a reason. See on Ephesians 3:13 .

ἐντολὴ πρώτη ἐν ἐπαγγελ .] The article is not necessary with the πρώτη , which is in itself defining, or with the ordinal numbers generally (Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 35). Comp. Acts 16:12 ; Philippians 1:12 , al. And the statement that the commandment first as to number in the Decalogue has a promise, is not inconsistent with the facts, since the promise, Exodus 20:6 , Deuteronomy 5:10 , is a general one, having reference to the commandments as a whole . Just as little is it to be objected that no further commandment with a promise follows in the Decalogue; for Paul says πρώτη , having before his mind not only the Decalogue, but also the entire series of all the divine precepts , which begins with the Decalogue. Among the commandments, which God has given at the time of the Mosaic legislation and in all the subsequent period, the commandment: “Honour father and mother,” is the first which is given with a promise. The apparent objection is thus removed in a simple manner by our taking ἐντολή as divine commandment in general, and not restricting it to the sense “commandment in the Decalogue.” If Paul had had merely the Decalogue in mind, he must have written: the only commandment. [293] For the assumption that “it is the first, not with regard to those which follow, but to those which have preceded” (Harless), would not even be necessarily resorted to, if it were really established which, however, is assumed entirely without proof that Paul had taken into account merely the ten commandments, seeing that he and every one of his readers knew that no other commandment of the ten had a promise. From the arbitrary presupposition, that merely the Decalogue was taken into account, it followed of necessity in the case of other expositors, either that they restricted ἐντολή simply to the commandments of the second table [294] (Ambrosiaster, Zachariae, Michaelis, the latter misconstruing the absence of the article before ἐντολὴ πρώτη as favouring his view), in connection with which Holzhausen even maintained that ἐντολή never denotes a commandment in reference to God (see Matthew 22:36 ; Matthew 22:38 ; Mark 12:28 ); or else that they tampered with the numerical sense of πρώτη , and made out of it a very important, a chief commandment (Koppe, Morus, Flatt, Matthies, Meier). What a feeble motive would thus result! and πρώτη would in fact mean the most important , which, however, the fifth commandment is not (Matthew 22:38 ; Romans 13:9-10 ; Galatians 5:14 ). Further, the proposal of Erasmus, that πρώτη ἐν ἐπαγγελ . should be held to apply to the definite promise of Ephesians 6:3 , mention of which first occurs in the fifth commandment, is not worthy of attention (Harless), but erroneous; because the same promise occurs after the fifth commandment only with a general reference to the commandments as a whole (Deuteronomy 5:33 ; Deuteronomy 6:2 ), as it has also occurred even before the fifth commandment in such a general form (Deuteronomy 4:40 ); and because, besides, ἐπαγγ . could not but have the article .

ἐν ἐπαγγελ .] is to be closely attached to πρώτη , as expressing that, wherein this commandment is the first, the point in which the predicate pertains to it. Comp. Diodor. xii. 37: ἐν δὲ εὐγενείᾳ καὶ πλούτῳ πρῶτος , Soph. O. R . 33: πρῶτος ἐν συμφοραῖς . In point of promise it is the first ( οὐ τῇ τάξει , Chrysostom).

[293] According to Bleek, Paul had not at the moment the form of the following commandments of the Decalogue definitely before his mind. But with such inadvertence no one is less to be charged than Paul.

[294] In opposition to this, Erasmus aptly remarks: “Haec distinctio non est fundata in s. literis, sed est commentum recentiorum theologorum.” In general it is to be observed that, according to Philo and Josephus, each of the two tables contained five commandments, not, as Augustine (whom Luther followed) supposed, the first three , and the second seven , and thus two sacred numbers, in which case, moreover, there was found in the first table a reference to the Trinity.

Verse 3

Ephesians 6:3 . After Paul has just said: “ the first commandment with promise ,” he now adduces the definite promise, on account of which this predicate pertains to that commandment, and that according to the LXX. of Exodus 20:12 , Deuteronomy 5:16 , with immaterial variation (LXX.: καὶ ἵνα μακροχρ . γένῃ ἐπὶ τ . γ .), and with omission of the more precise designation of Palestine, which in the LXX. follows after γῆς . This omission, however, was not occasioned by the circumstance that the promise was to bear upon long life in general (Calvin, Koppe, Rückert, Matthies, Schenkel, and many), in which case, indeed, ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς might also have been left out; but Paul could so fully presuppose acquaintance with the complete words of the promise, that with the mere ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς enough was said to preclude any misunderstanding which should depart from the original sense: in the land , i.e. Palestine. So, namely, in accordance with the sense of the original text well known to the readers, is ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς to be understood, not as “ upon earth ;” for the promise is here adduced historically . Hence its original sense is not at all to be altered or spiritualized, or to be taken conditionally, as e.g. was done by Zanchius: if the promise is not fulfilled simpliciter , yet it is fulfilled commutations in majus ; or by Calovius: “Promissiones temporales cum conditions intelligendae, quantum sc. temporalia illa nobis salutaria fore Deus censuerit;” comp. also Estius, who at the same time remarks (so again typically Olshausen, comp. Baumgarten-Crusius) that the land of Canaan prefigures the kingdom of heaven (comp. Matthew 5:5 ), and the long life everlasting blessedness. Nor is it to be said, with Bengel, Morus, Stolz, Rosenmüller, Flatt, and Harless, that the earthly blessing is promised not to the individual , but to the people . For in the summons “ thou shalt ” in the Decalogue, although the latter on the whole (as a whole) is directed to the people , the individual is withal addressed, as is evident from the very commandments in which the neighbour is mentioned, and as is the view underlying all the N.T. citations from the Decalogue-law, Matthew 15:4 ; Matthew 5:21 ; Matthew 5:27 ; Romans 7:7 ; Romans 13:9 .

εὖ σοι γένηται ] Comp. Genesis 2:13 ; Deuteronomy 4:40 ; Sir 1:13 . A Greek would employ εὖ πάσχειν , εὖ πράττειν , or the like, or even ἀγαθά σοι γένηται .

καὶ ἔσῃ κ . τ . λ .] is regarded by Winer, p. 258 [E. T. 361], and de Wette (comp. already Erasmus), not as dependent upon ἵνα , but as a direct continuation of the discourse. But this expedient is unnecessary, inasmuch as ἵνα with the future actually occurs in the case of Paul (see on 1 Corinthians 9:18 ; Galatians 2:4 ); and is, moreover, here out of place, since there is not any direct continuation of the discourse in those passages of the O. T., the sense of which Paul reproduces. At Revelation 22:14 also the future and subjunctive are interchanged after ἵνα , as also in classical writers the same variation after ὅπως is well known (see on the erroneous canon Dawesianus , Bremi, in Schaef. Appar. ad Dem. I. p. 277; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 335 f.; Buttmann, Neutest. Gramm . p. 184 [E. T. 213]). And how aptly do the two modes of construction here suit the sense, so that γένηται expresses the pure becoming realized , and ἔσῃ μακροχρόν . the certain emergence and continued subsistence (Kühner, II. p. 491). The change is a logical climax.

Verse 4

Ephesians 6:4 . The duty of fathers , negative and positive.

καὶ οἱ πατέρες ] and ye fathers , so that καί quickly subjoins. Comp. Ephesians 6:9 . Paul does not address the mothers , not because he is thinking of the training of grown-up children (so quite arbitrarily Olshausen), nor on account of an Oriental depreciation of the mothers (Rückert), in opposition to which view even apart from passages like Proverbs 14:1 ; Proverbs 31:10 ff. the whole teaching of the apostle concerning the relation of husband and wife in marriage (Ephesians 5:25 ff.) is decisive; but because the husband, as the head of the wife, has, even in the bringing up of children the rule , and the wives join in prosecuting the work of training ὑποτασσόμεναι τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν (Ephesians 5:22 ff.).

μὴ παροργίζετε ] by injustice, harshness, hastiness of temper, undue severity, and the like, whereby the children are irritated against the fathers; at Colossians 3:21 there is subjoined as motive ἵνα μὴ ἀθυμῶσιν .

ἐκτρέφετε ] not as at Ephesians 5:29 , but of the bringing up , and that on its moral side. Proverbs 23:24 ; 1Ma 6:15 ; 1Ma 6:55 ; Plato, Gorg . p. 471 C; Polyb. vi. 6. 2. See Wyttenbach, ad Plut. de educ. p. 66; Lennep. ad Phalar , p. 350 b .

ἐν παιδείᾳ καὶ νουθεσίᾳ κυρίου ] ἐν denotes the regulative element, in which the training is to take place. Comp. Polyb. i. 65. 7: τῶν ἐν παιδείαις κ . νόμοις κ . πολιτικοῖς ἔθεσιν ἐκτεθραμμένων . Hence: in the Lord’s training and correction . παιδεία is the general term, the training of children as a whole, and νουθεσία is the special one, the reproof aiming at amendment, whether this admonition take place by means of words ( νουθετικοὶ λόγοι , Xen. Mem. i. 2. 21) or of actual punishments ( οἱ μὲν ῥάβδοι νουθετοῦσι κ . τ . λ ., Plut. Quaest. Rom . p. 283). See Gellius, vi. 4; Kypke, Obss. ad 1 Thess . v. 14. With regard to the form, in place of which the better Greek has νουθέτησις , see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 512. κυρίου means neither to the Lord (Luther), nor according to the doctrine of Christ (Erasmus, Beza, Vatablus, Menochius, Estius, Zachariae, Koppe, Morus, Rosenmüller, Bisping, and others, including Holzhausen, who, however, takes κυρ . of God ), nor worthily of the Lord (Matthies), or the like; but it is the genitive subjecti , so that the Lord Himself is conceived as exercising the training and reproof , in so far, namely, as Christ by His Spirit impels and governs the fathers therein. Comp. Soph. Electr . 335: ἅπαντα γάρ σοι ταʼ μὰ νουθετήματα κείνης διδακτὰ , κοὐδὲν ἐκ σαυτῆς λέγεις . Rückert is unable to come to a decision, and doubts whether Paul himself had a distinct idea before his mind.

Verse 5

Ephesians 6:5 . On Ephesians 6:5-9 , comp. Colossians 3:22 to Colossians 4:1 .

Here, too, there is doubtless no approval, but at the same time no disapproval of the existing slavery in itself, which in accordance with the apostolic view of a Christian’s position (Galatians 3:28 ; 1 Corinthians 7:22 ; comp. Titus 2:9 f.; 1 Peter 2:18 ) like every other outward relation of life, ought not to affect spiritual freedom and Christian unity; hence at 1 Corinthians 7:21 it is expressly prescribed that the slave is to remain in his position (comp. Ignat. ad Polyc. 4; Constitt. Apost. iv. 12, vii. 13; viii. 32, 2 f.), as, indeed. Paul even sent back Onesimus after his conversion to his master, without requiring of the latter his manumission. [295]

τοῖς κυρίοις κατὰ σάρκα ] to those, who in a merely human relation are your rulers, i.e. your human masters , whose slaves you are as regards outward temporal position in life, by way of distinction from the higher divine master, Christ; hence also τοῖς κυρ . κ . σ . stands without repetition of the article, combined into one idea; comp. on Ephesians 2:11 . As Paul immediately after makes mention of the higher master Christ ( ὡς τῷ Χριστῷ ), it was very natural for him, in view of the twofold and very diverse relation of masters which was now present to his mind, to add κατὰ σάρκα , in the use of which any special set purpose cannot be made good. This in opposition to Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Theophylact, who find in it a consolatory allusion to the δεσποτεία πρόσκαιρος ; in opposition to Calvin, who supposes a softening of the relation to be conveyed in this expression, as being one that leaves the spiritual freedom untouched (comp. Beza, Zanchius, Grotius, Flatt, and others); and in opposition to Harless, who finds in the predicate the thought that, although in another domain they are free, yet in earthly relations they had masters.

μετὰ φόβου κ . τρόμ .] i.e. with that zeal, which is ever keenly apprehensive of not doing enough. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 2:3 ; 2 Corinthians 7:15 ; Philippians 2:12 .

ἐν ἁπλότητι τῆς καρδ . ὑμ .] State of heart, in which the obedience with fear and trembling is to take place; it is to be no hypocritical one, in which we are otherwise minded than we outwardly seem, but an upright , inwardly true one, without duplicity of disposition and act. Comp. Romans 12:8 ; 2Co 8:2 ; 2 Corinthians 9:11 ; James 1:5 . In Philo joined with ἀκακία . See Loesner, Obss. p. 262. Oecumenius well observes: ἔνι γὰρ καὶ μετὰ φόβου κ . τρόμου δουλεύειν , ἀλλʼ οὐκ ἐξ εὐνοίας ἀλλὰ κακούργως .

ὡς τῷ Χριστῷ ] as to Christ , so that you regard your obedience to your masters as rendered to Christ (comp. Ephesians 5:22 ). See Ephesians 6:6 . An allusion to reward (Theodoret) is imported.

[295] The reforming efficacy of the gospel addresses itself to knowledge and feeling, out of which, and so out of the inner life of faith, the alterations of the outward forms and relations of life gradually take shape with moral necessity by way of consequence; as history, too, has shown, which, when it has developed itself in a revolutionary manner, has either violently precipitated, or forsaken, or inverted that course, or else in its necessary development has encountered such hindrances as disowned the influence of this necessary development, and yet could not arrest it. “Civitates malis studiis malis que doctrinis repente evertuntur,” Cic. Leg . ii. 15. 39. It is not, however, to be overlooked that by the apostle’s mode of regarding the relation of freedom and slavery which he found existing , the slavery introduced by Christians, the enslaving of free men, the slave trade, etc., are by no means justified rather are these things impossible, where the knowledge and feeling, that spring from evangelical faith, are the principles which shape the life and the forms assumed by it.

Verses 6-7

Ephesians 6:6-7 . The ἐν ἁπλότητι … Χριστῷ just spoken of is now more precisely described.

μὴ κατʼ ὀφθαλμ . ὡς ἀνθρ .] not after an eye-serving manner as men-pleasers . The word ὀφθαλμοδουλεία occurs nowhere else than here and Colossians 3:3 , but its meaning is, from its composition, clear. Comp. ὀφθαλμόδουλος in the Constitt. Apost. iv. 12. 2. It is the service which is rendered to the eyes of the master, but in which the aim is merely to acquire the semblance of fidelity, inasmuch as one makes himself thus noticeable when seen by the master, but is in reality not such, acting, on the contrary, otherwise when his back is turned. Theodoret: τὴν οὐκ ἐξ εἰλικρινοῦς καρδίας προσφερομένην θεραπείαν , ἀλλὰ τῷ σχήματι κεχρωσμένην .

ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι ] Comp. Psalms 53:5 ; Psalt. Sal. iv. 8. 10, in Fabric. Cod. Pseud , i. p. 929; and see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 621. The men whom such slaves endeavour to please are just their masters , and the fault of this behaviour lies in the fact that such endeavour is not conditioned by the higher point of view of serving Christ and doing the will of God, but has as its aim simply human approbation. Even of slaves Matthew 6:24 holds good. Comp. Galatians 1:10 .

ἀλλʼ ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ , ποιοῦντες τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς ] but as slaves of Christ, in that ye do the will of God from the heart . The contrast lies in δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ (comp. Ephesians 6:7 ), and ποιοῦντες κ . τ . λ . is a modal definition of this their service, whereupon there follows in Ephesians 6:7 yet a second modal definition. Now to be a slave of Christ and not to do the will of God, and that indeed ex animo (from a genuine impulse of the soul), would be a contradiction, seeing that God is the Father of Christ, has sent Christ, and is the Head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3 ; 1 Corinthians 3:23 ). According to Rückert, ὡς δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ is subordinate , and ποιοῦντες τ . θέλ . τ . Θεοῦ ἐκ ψυχῆς forms the contrast: “but doing as Christ’s servants the will of God from the heart.” But after ἀνθρωπάρεσκοι , comp. with Ephesians 6:5 , this subordination of ὡς δοῦλοι Χρ . is altogether arbitrary and opposed to the context. ἐκ ψυχῆς is no doubt attached to what follows by Syriac, Chrysostom, Jerome, Bengel, Koppe, Knapp, Lachmann, Harless, de Wette; but μετʼ εὐνοίας (comp. Xen. Oec. xii. 5. 7), since it expresses the well-meaning disposition , already in fact includes in itself the sense of ἐκ ψυχῆς ( ex animi sententia , Colossians 3:23 ; Mark 12:30 ; Mark 12:33 ; Luke 10:27 ; Joseph. Antt. xvii. 6. 3; Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 43; Nicarch. epigr. 2; Theocr. Idyll , iii. 35); and it is arbitrary to assume, with Harless, that ἐκ ψ . expresses the relation of the true servant to his service , and μετʼ εὐνοίας his relation to his master .

ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ ] sc . δουλεύοντες , as to the Lord , the true mode of regarding his service as rendered to Christ .

καὶ οὐκ ἀνθρ .] Comp. on Galatians 1:1 .

Verse 8

Ephesians 6:8 . Εἰδότες ] Incitement to the mode of service demanded, Ephesians 6:5-7 : since ye know that whatever good thing each one shall have done, he shall bear off this (the good done) from the Lord, whether he be slave or free .

ὃ ἐάν τι ἕκαστος ] ἐάν in the relative clause with the subjunctive instead of ἄν (Buttmann, neut. Gramm . p. 63 [E. T. 72]), and τί separated from ὅς , as in Plato, Legg. ix. p. 864 E: ἣν ἄν τινα καταβλάψῃ , Lys. p. 160: ὃς ἄν τις ὑμᾶς εὖ ποιῇ .

τοῦτο κομ .] Expression of entirely adequate recompense . See on 2 Corinthians 5:10 .

παρὰ κυρίου ] from Christ , at the judgment.

εἴτε δοῦλος , εἴτε ἐλεύθ .] ἔδειξε τῷ παρόντι βίῳ πεπωρισμένην τὴν δουλείαν καὶ δεσποτείαν , μετὰ δέ γε τὴν ἐντεῦθεν ἐκδημίαν οὐκ ἔτι δουλείας καὶ δεσποτείας , ἀλλʼ ἀρετῆς καὶ κακίας ἐσομένην διαφοράν , Theodoret. It is evident, we may add, from our passage that Paul did not think of a ceasing of slavery among Christians before the Parousia, a view which was very naturally connected with the conception of the nearness of the latter, which did not admit of his looking forth upon the development of centuries.

Verse 9

Ephesians 6:9 . Καὶ οἱ κύριοι ] like καὶ οἱ πατέρες , Ephesians 6:4 .

τὰ αὐτά ] the same . The master, namely, who treats his servants μετʼ εὐνοίας , does essentially (measured by the disposition as the inner essence of the act) the same thing towards the slaves as the slave serving μετʼ εὐνοίας does towards his master.

ἀνιέντες τὴν ἀπειλ .] Negative modal definition of the τὰ αὐτὰ ποιεῖτε πρὸς αὐτούς , especially to be laid to heart in the circumstances by the masters. By ἀνιέντες may be denoted either the abating , or the entire leaving off, giving up , of the threatening. In the former sense ( Wis 16:24 ) it has been taken by Erasmus (“minus feroces minusque minabundi”), Vatablus, Zeger; but certainly the latter sense alone (comp. Thucyd. iii. 10. Ephesians 2 : ἔχθραν ἀνιέντας ) is appropriate to the τὰ αὐτὰ ποιεῖτε ; especially as τὴν ἀπειλήν (with the article) denotes not threatening in general, but the threatening, namely, “quemadmodum vulgus dominorum solet” (Erasmus, Paraphr .).

εἰδότες ] specifying a motive, as in Ephesians 6:8 . Comp. Colossians 4:1 ; Barnab. 19; Constitt, ap. vii. 13. Inasmuch, namely, as they know that He, who is Lord as well of the slaves as of the masters ( καὶ αὐτῶν καὶ ὑμῶν , see the critical remarks), is in heaven (the exalted Christ), and with Him is no partiality, so that He gives to the master as such no preference over the slave as such: how should they not cease to comport themselves with their threatening, as though Christ were not the Lord of both in heaven in heaven , whence at the judgment He will, without partiality , alike sustain the injured rights of the slaves, and punish the unchristian threatening of the masters, which, instead of operating by moral means, only terrifies by rude authority. Comp. Seneca, Thyest. 607:

“Vos, quibus rector maris atque terrae

Jus dedit magnum necis atque vitae

Ponite inflatos tumidosque vultus.

Quicquid a vobis minor extimescit,

Major hoc vobis dominus minatur;

Omne sub regno graviore regnum est.”

As to the notion of προσωποληψία , see on Galatians 2:6 .

Verse 10

Ephesians 6:10 . [296] After this special table of domestic duties laid down since v. 21, now follows, in a full energetic effusion down to Ephesians 6:20 , a general final exhortation , winding up the whole paraenetic portion of the Epistle (Ephesians 4:1 ff.).

τὸ λοιπόν ] as concerns the rest , namely, what you have still to do in addition to what has been hitherto mentioned. Comp. 2 Corinthians 13:11 ; Philippians 3:1 ; Php 4:8 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:1 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:1 .

ἐνδυναμοῦσθε ἐν κυρίῳ ] denotes the Christian strengthening, which cannot subsist outside of Christ, but only in Him as the life-element of the Christian (Philippians 4:13 ). As to ἐνδυναμοῦσθαι , to become strong, gain strength , which is not a middle (“corroborate vos,” Piscator), see on Romans 4:20 .

καὶ ἐν τῷ κράτει τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ ] and by means of the might of His strength , which might, namely, must produce the strengthening in you. As to the respective notions, see on Ephesians 1:19 . The καί is not explicative, but annexes to the element, in which the strengthening is to take place, the effective principle of it (2 Corinthians 12:9 ). “Domini virtus nostra est,” Bengel.

[296] On vv. 10 17, see Winzer, Leipz. Pfingstprogramm , 1840.

Verse 11

Ephesians 6:11 . What they are to do in order to become thus strong, in connection with which the figurative discourse represents the readers as warriors (comp. 2 Corinthians 10:4 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ; Romans 6:13 ; Romans 6:23 ; Romans 13:12 ; 1Ti 1:18 ; 1 Timothy 6:12 ; 2 Timothy 4:7 ). The more familiar, however, this figure was to the apostle, the more freely and independently is it here carried out, although (comp. on τοῦ σωτηρίου , Ephesians 6:17 ) a reminiscence of Isaiah 59:17 (comp. Wis 5:17 ff., and thereon Grimm, Handb . p. 119 f.) underlies it. [297]

τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ ] τὴν πανοπλ . has the emphasis. In the very fact that not merely single pieces of the armour (Luther: harness ), but the whole armour of God is put on (“ne quid nobis desit,” Calvin), resides the capacity of resistance to the devil. If τοῦ Θεοῦ had the emphasis (Harless), there must have been a contrast to other spiritual weapons (for that no material, actual weapons were meant, was self-evident). Rightly, therefore, have most expositors kept by the literal meaning of πανοπλία , complete suit of armour of the heavy-armed soldier, ὁπλίτης (see Herod, i. 60; Plato, Legg. vii. p. 796 B; Bos, Exercitt . p. 192; Ottii Spicileg . p. 409); and the assertion (recently by Harless) that it here is equivalent generally to armatura (Vulgate, which was justly censured by Beza), is arbitrary and contrary to linguistic usage; even in Jdt 14:3 , 2Ma 3:25 , the notion of the complete equipment is to be adhered to. [298] According to Polybius, vi. 23. 2 ff., there belong to the Roman ΠΑΝΟΠΛΊΑ shield, sword, greaves, spear, breastplate, helmet. But the circumstance that in the detailed carrying out of the figure, Ephesians 6:13 ff., not all these parts are mentioned (the spear is wanting), and withal some portions are brought in (girdle, military sandals) which did not belong exclusively to the equipment of the heavy-armed soldier, but to military equipment in general, can, least of all in the case of Paul, occasion surprise or betray a special set purpose. Whether, we may add, the apostle thought of a Jewish or a Roman warrior is, doubtless, substantially in itself a matter of indifference, since the kinds of armour in the two cases were in general the same (see Keil, Arch . § 158); but the latter supposition is the most natural, inasmuch as the Roman soldiery wielded the power in all the provinces, Paul himself was surrounded by Roman soldiery, and for most Gentile readers in a non-Jewish province the term πανοπλία could not but call up the thought of the Roman soldier. Even though Paul had, as we must suppose, the recollection of Isaiah 59:17 when he was employing such figurative language, this did not prevent his transferring the prophetic reminiscence to the conception of a Roman warrior (in opposition to Harless).

τοῦ Θεοῦ ] genitivus auctoris : the πανοπλία , which comes from God , which God furnishes. Sense without the figure: “ appropriate to yourselves all the means of defence and offence which God bestows, in order to be in a position to withstand the machinations of the devil .”

στῆναι πρός ] stand one’s ground against ; a military expression in keeping with the figure. See Kypke, II. p. 301. Comp. Thucyd. v. 104, and Poppo’s note thereon. The same thing is implied by στῆναι , with the dative, Hom. Il. xxi. 600. Comp. ἀντίστητε τῷ διαβόλῳ , James 4:7 .

ΤᾺς ΜΕΘΟΔ .] See on Ephesians 4:14 . The plural denotes the concrete manifestations, Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 1. 11. Luther aptly renders: the wily assaults.

τοῦ διαβόλου ] “principis hostium, qui Ephesians 6:12 ostenduntur,” Bengel.

[297] According to de Wette, we have here “a playful imitation in detail of 1 Thessalonians 5:8 , in which use is made of Isaiah 59:17 (perhaps also of Wis 5:17 ff.).” An unwarranted judgment, inasmuch as Paul himself could here carry out more comprehensively his figure elsewhere thrown out in only a few outlines, and this he has done worthily and without attempt at play. An imitator , on the other hand, would here have assigned no other signification to the pieces of armour mentioned 1 Thessalonians 5:3 than they bear in that place.

[298] Of the manner in which Paul himself wore and wielded the πανοπλία τοῦ Θεοῦ , his whole labours and each one of his Epistles afford the most brilliant evidence; the latter especially in such outbursts as Romans 8:31 ff.; 2 Corinthians 4:4 ff., 2 Corinthians 4:11 ; 2 Corinthians 4:13 ff. Comp. also 2 Corinthians 10:4 f.

Verse 12

Ephesians 6:12 . I am warranted in saying πρὸς τὰς μεθοδ . τοῦ διαβόλου ; for we have not the wrestling with feeble men , but we have to contend with the diabolic powers . This contrast Paul expresses descriptively , and with what rhetorical power and swelling fulness! Observe, moreover, that the conflict to which Paul here refers is, according to Ephesians 6:13 , still future ; but it is by ἔστιν realized as present .

οὐκ … ἀλλά ] The negation is not non tam , or non tantum (Cajetanus, Vatablus, Grotius, and others), but absolute (Winer, p. 439 ff. [E. T. 622]); since the conflict on the part of our opponents is one excited and waged not by men, but by the devilish powers (though these make use of men too as organs of their hostility to the kingdom of God). [299]

ἡ πάλη ] The article denotes generically the kind of conflict, which does not take place in the case of the Christians ( ἡμῖν ); they have not the wrestling with blood and flesh . Nothing else, namely, than lucta , a wrestling , is the meaning of the πάλη (Hom. Il. xxiii. 635, 700 ff.; Xen. Mem. iv. 8. 27; Plat. Legg. vii. 795 D; and Ast, ad Legg. p. 378), a word occurring only here in the N.T., and evidently one specially chosen by the apostle (who elsewhere employs ἀγών or ΜΆΧΗ ), with the view of bringing out the more strongly in connection with ΠΡῸς ΑἿΜΑ ΚΑῚ ΣΆΡΚ . the contrast between this less perilous form of contest and that which follows. Now, as the notion of the ΠΆΛΗ is not appropriate to the actual conflict of the Christians ΠΡῸς ΤᾺς ἈΡΧΆς Κ . Τ . Λ . , because it is not in keeping either with the ΠΑΝΟΠΛΊΑ in general or with its several constituent parts afterwards mentioned Ephesians 6:14 ff., but serves only to express what the Christian conflict is not ; after ἀλλά we have not mentally to supply again ΠΆΛΗ , but rather the general notion of kindred signification ἡ μάχη , or ΜΑΧΕΤΈΟΝ , [300] as frequently with Greek writers (see Döderlein, de brachyl . in his Reden u. Aufs . ii. p. 269 ff. Krüger, Regist. zu Thucyd ., p. 318), and in the N.T. (Buttmann, Neutest. Gramm . p. 336 [E. T. 392]) we have to derive from a preceding special notion an analogous more general one. What we have to sustain, Paul would say, is not the (less perilous) wrestling contest with blood and flesh, but we have to contend with the powers and authorities, etc. We have accordingly neither to say that with πάλη Paul only lighted in passing on another metaphor (my own former view), nor to suppose (the usual opinion) that he employed πάλη in the general sense of certamen , which, however, is only done in isolated poetic passages (Lycophr. 124, 1358), and hence we have the less reason to overlook the designed choice of the expression in our passage, or to depart from its proper signification.

πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα ] i.e. against feeble men , just as Galatians 1:16 . Only here and Hebrews 2:14 (Lachmann, Tischendorf) does αἷμα stand first, which, however, is to be regarded as accidental. Matthies (so already Prudentius, Jerome, Cajetanus) understands the lusts and desires having their root in one’s own sensuous individuality ; but this idea must have been expressed by πρὸς τὴν σάρκα alone without αἷμα (Galatians 5:17 ; Galatians 5:24 , al. ), and is, moreover, at variance with the context, since the contrast is not with enemies outside of us , but with superhuman and superterrestrial enemies.

πρὸς τὰς ἀρχάς ] This, as well as the following πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας , designates the demons , and that according to their classes (analogous to the classes of angels), [301] of which the ἀρχαί seem to be of higher rank than the ἐξουσίαι (see on Ephesians 1:21 ), in which designation there is at the same time given the token of their power , and this their power is then in the two following clauses ( πρὸς τοὺς … ἐπουρανίοις ) characterized with regard to its sphere and to its ethical quality . [302] The exploded views, according to which human potentates of different kinds were supposed to be denoted by ἀρχ ., ἐξουσ . κ . τ . λ ., may be seen in Wolf.

πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτ . τοῦ σκότ . τούτου ] i.e. against the rulers of the world, whose domain is the present darkness . The σκότος τοῦτο is the existing, present darkness, which, namely, is characteristic of the αἰὼν οὗτος , and from which only believers are delivered, inasmuch as they have become φῶς ἐν κυρίῳ , τέκνα τοῦ φωτός (Ephesians 4:8-9 ), being translated out of the domain opposed to divine truth into the possession of the same, and thus becoming themselves ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ (Philippians 2:15 ). The reading τοῦ σκότους τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου is a correct gloss. This pre-Messianic darkness is the element adverse to God, in which the sway of the world-ruling demons has its essence and operation , and without which their dominion would not take place. The devils are called κοσμοκράτορες (comp. Orph. H . viii. 11, xi. 11), because their dominion extends over the whole world, inasmuch as all men (the believers alone excepted, Ephesians 2:2 ) are subject to them. Thus Satan is called ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου , 2 Corinthians 4:4 , ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου , John 12:31 ; John 16:11 (comp. John 14:30 ), and of the world it is said that ὁ κόσμος ὅλος ἐν τῷ Πονηρῷ κεῖται , 1 John 5:19 . The Rabbins, too, adopted the word קזמוקרטור , and employed it sometimes of kings, while they also say of the angel of death that God has made him κοσμοκράτωρ . See Schoettgen, Horae , p. 790; Buxtorf, Lex. Talmud , p. 2006 f.; Wetstein, p. 259. Later also the Gnostics called the devil by this name (Iren. i. 1), and in the Testamentum Salomonis (Fabricius, Pseudepigr . i. p. 1047) the demons say to Solomon: ἡμεῖς ἐσμεν τὰ λεγόμενα στοιχεῖα , οἱ κοσμοκράτορες τοῦ κόσμου τούτου . The opinion that the compound has been weakened into the general signification rulers (Harless) is not susceptible of proof, and not to be supported by such Rabbinical passages as Bresh. rabba , sect. 58 f., 57. Ephesians 1 : “Abrahamus persecutus quatuor κοσμοκράτορας ,” where κοσμοκράτ . denotes the category of the kings, and this chosen designation has the aim of glorifying . See also, in opposition to this alleged weakening, Shir. R . 3, Ephesians 4 : “Tres reges κοσμοκράτορες : dominantes ab extremitate mundi ad extremitatem ejus , Nebucadnezar, Evilmerodach, Belsazar.”

ΠΡῸς ΤᾺ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΙΚᾺ Τῆς ΠΟΝΗΡΊΑς ] against the spirit-hosts of wickedness . The adjective neuter, singular or plural, is collective, comprehending the beings in question according to their qualitative category as a corporate body, like τὸ πολιτικόν , the burgess-body (Herod. vii. 103); τὸ ἱππικόν , the cavalry (Revelation 9:16 ); τὰ ληστρικά , the robbers (Polyaen. v. 14, 141), τὰ δοῦλα , τὰ αἰχμάλωτα κ . τ . λ . See Bernhardy, p. 326. Winer, p. 213 [E. T. 299], correctly compares τὰ δαιμόνια according to its original adjectival nature.

Τῆς ΠΟΝΗΡΊΑς ] genitivus qualitatis, characterizing the spirit-hosts meant; ἐπειδὴ γάρ εἰσι καὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι πνεύματα , προσέθηκε τῆς πονηρίας , Theodoret. Moral wickedness is their essential quality; hence the devil is pre-eminently ὁ πονηρός . The explanation spirituales nequitias (Erasmus, Beza, Castalio, Clarius, Zeger, Cornelius a Lapide, Wolf, and others) is impossible, since, if ΤᾺ ΠΝΕΥΜΑΤΙΚΆ expressed the quality substantively and raised it to the position of subject (see Matthiae, p. 994; Kühner, II. p. 122), we should have to analyse it as: the spiritual nature , or the spiritual part, the spiritual side of wickedness, all of which are unsuitable to the context.

ἘΝ ΤΟῖς ἘΠΟΥΡΑΝΊΟΙς ] Chrysostom, Theodoret, Photius, Oecumenius, Cajetanus, Castalio, Camerarius, Heinsius, Clarius, Calovius, Glass, Witsius, Wolf, Morus, Flatt, and others incorrectly render: for the heavenly possessions , so that it would indicate the object of the conflict, and ἐν would stand for ὑπέρ or διά . Against this view we may urge not the order of the words, since in fact this element pushed on to the end would be brought out with emphasis (Kühner, II. p. 625), but certainly the ἘΝ , which does not mean on account of , [303] and τὰ ἐπουράνια , which in our Epistle is always meant in a local sense (see on Ephesians 1:3 ). The view of Matthies is also incorrect, that it denotes the place where of the conflict: “in the kingdom of heaven, in which the Christians, as received into that kingdom, are also constantly contending against the enemies of God.” τὰ ἐπουράνια does not signify the kingdom of heaven in the sense of Matthies, but the heavenly regions , heaven. Rückert, too, is incorrect, who likewise understands the place where of the conflict, holding that the contest is to be sustained, as not with flesh and blood, so also not upon the same solid ground , but away in the air , and is thus most strictly mars iniquus . Apart from the oddness of this thought, according to it the contrast would in fact be one not of terrestrial and superterrestrial locality, but of solid ground and baseless air , so that Paul in employing ἐν τοῖς ἐπουραν . would have selected a quite inappropriate designation, and must have said ἐν τῷ ἀέρι . Baumgarten-Crusius gives us the choice between two incorrect interpretations: the kingdom of spirits , to which the kingdom of Christ too belongs, or the affairs of that kingdom . The correct connection is with τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας , so that it expresses the seat of the evil spirits. So Jerome, Ambrosiaster, Luther, Beza, Calvin, Vatablus, Estius, Grotius, Erasmus Schmid, Bengel, Koppe, and many, including Usteri, Meier, Holzhausen, Harless, Olshausen, de Wette, Bleek. This “ in the heavenly regions ” is not, however, in accordance with the context, to be understood of the abode of God, of Christ, and of the angels (Ephesians 3:10 ); [304] but, according to the popular view (comp. Matthew 6:26 ) in virtue of the flexible character of the conception “heaven,” which embraces very different degrees of height (compare the conception of the seven heavens, 2 Corinthians 12:2 ) of the superterrestrial regions , which, although still pertaining to the domain of the earth’s atmosphere, yet relatively appear as heaven, so that in substance τὰ ἐπουράνια here denotes the same as ὁ ἀήρ , by which at Ephesians 2:2 the domain of the Satanic kingdom is accurately and properly designated. [305] This passage serves as a guide to the import of ours, which is wrongly denied by Hahn ( Theol. d. N.T. I. p. 336 f.) on the basis of an erroneous interpretation of ἀήρ , Ephesians 2:2 . According to the Rabbins, too, the lower of the seven heavens still fall within the region of the atmosphere. See Wetstein, ad 2 Corinthians 12:2 . And the reason why Paul does not here say ἐν τῷ ἀέρι is, that he wishes to bring out as strongly as possible the superhuman and superterrestrial nature of the hostile spirits, for which purpose to name the air as the place of their dwelling might be less appropriate than to speak of the heavenly regions , an expression which entirely accords with the lively colouring of his picture. [306] Semler and Storr, ignoring this significant bearing and suitableness of the expression, have arbitrarily imported a formerly , as though the previous abode of the demons had any connection with the matter! Schenkel has even imported the irony of a paradox , which has the design of making the assumption of divine power and glory on the part of the demons ridiculous, as though anything of the sort were at all in keeping with the whole profound seriousness of our passage, or could have been recognised by any reader whatever! Hofmann finally ( Schriftbeweis , I. p. 455) has, after a rationalizing fashion, transformed the simple direct statement of place into the thought: “not limited to this or that locality of the earthly world, but overruling the same, as the heavens encircle the earth.” The thought of this turn so easily made Paul would have known how to express even though he had but said: τὰ ὄντα ὡς ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις , or more clearly: τὰ ὄντα πανταχοῦ ὑπὸ τὸν οὐρανόν . The absence of a connective article is not at all opposed to our interpretation, since τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις might the more be combined into one idea , as it was the counterpart of such spirits upon earth. Comp. τοῖς πλουσίοις ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι , 1 Timothy 6:17 , and see on Ephesians 2:11 , Ephesians 3:10 .

The πρός , four times occurring after ἀλλά , has rhetorical emphasis, as it needed to be used but once. Comp. Dem. 842, 7: πρὸς παίδων , πρὸς γυναικῶν , πρὸς τῶν ὄντων ὑμῖν ἀγαθῶν , Winer, p. 374 [E. T. 524]; Buttmann, Neutest. Gramm . p. 341 [E. T. 398].

As at Ephesians 2:2 , so here also, Gnosticism is found by Baur in expression and conception, because, forsooth, Marcion and the Valentinians designated the devil as the κοσμοκράτωρ , and the demoniac powers as τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας (Iren. i. 5. 4, i. 28. 2). This is the inverting method of critical procedure.

[299] Comp. already Augustine, De verbo Deuteronomy 8:0; Deuteronomy 8:0 : “Non est nobis colluctatio adversus carnem et sanguinem, i.e. adversus homines, quos videtis saevire in nos. Vasa sunt, alius utitur; organa sunt, alius tangit.”

[300] Comp. Plato, Soph. p. 249 C: πρός γε τοῦτον παντὶ λόγῳ μαχετέον .

[301] “As every kingdom as such is inwardly organised, so also is the kingdom of the evil spirits,” Hahn, Theol. d. N.T. I. p. 347.

[302] Observe how in our passage every word rises up as a witness against all attempts to make of the devil a mere abstraction, a personified cosmic principle, and the like. Beyschlag too, Christol. d. N.T. p. 244 f., contests, without, however, at the time entering into a detailed argument, the personality of Satan, as of the world of angels and spirits in general, and regards him as the vital principle of matter, the self-seeking of nature, etc.

[303] Where it is rendered so according to the approximate sense, the analysis follows another course. See on Matthew 6:7 ; John 16:30 ; Act 7:29 ; 2 Corinthians 9:4 .

[304] In opposition to Hahn, Theol. d. N.T. I. p. 345.

[305] Comp. Philippi, Glaubensl . III. p. 309 f. Prudentius has already, Hamartigenia , S13 ff., in a poetic paraphrase of our passage, correctly apprehended the meaning:

[306] Entirely uncalled for, therefore, and less in keeping with the colouring of the passage, would be the alteration already discussed in Photius, Quaest. Amphiloch. 94, whereby, namely, τίνες had changed the ἐπουρανίοις into ὑπουρανίοις a conjecture approved by Erasmus, Beza, and Grundling (in Wolf). Luther, who translates “ under the heaven,” probably did so, not as taking ἐν for ὑπό , like Alting subsequently (in Wolf), but by way of explanation . Already in Homer οὐρανός is, as is well known, employed of the higher region of air ( under the firmament). See Nägelsbach, Hom. Theol . p. 19.

“Sed cum spiritibus tenebrosis nocte dieque

Congredimur, quorum dominatibus humidus iste

Et pigris densus nebulis obtemperat aër.

Scilicet hoc medium coelum inter et infima terrae,

Quod patet ac vacuo nubes suspendit hiatu,

Frena potestatum variarum sustinet ac sub

Principe Belial rectoribus horret iniquis.

His conluctamur praedonibus, ut sacra nobis

Oris apostolici testis sententia prodit.”

Comp. Photius, Quaest. Amphil. 144.

According to Ascens. Isaiah 10:0 , it is the Jirmamentum , in which the devil dwells.

Verse 13

Ephesians 6:13 . Διὰ τοῦτο ] because we have to fight against these powers.

ἀναλάβετε ] the usual word for the taking up of armour . See Kypke and Wetstein. The opposite: κατατίθημι .

ἀντιστῆναι ] namely, the assaults of the demons.

ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πονηρᾷ ] The evil day means here, according to the context, neither the present life (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, who at the same time believed βραχὺν τὸν τοῦ πολεμοῦ καιρόν to be hinted at), nor the day of death (Erasmus Schmid), nor the day of judgment (Jerome); nor yet, as most expositors suppose, in general the day of conflict and of peril, which the devil prepares for us (so also Rückert, Harless, Matthies, Meier, Winzer, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Bleek), for every day was such, whereas the evil day here manifestly appears as a peculiar and still future day, for the conflict of which the readers were to arm themselves. Hence also not: every day, on which the devil has special power (Bengel, Zachariae, Olshausen); but the emphatic designation ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ πονηρά could suggest to the reader only a single, κατʼ ἐξοχήν morally evil, day well known to him, and that is the day in which the Satanic power ( ὁ Πονηρός ) puts forth its last and greatest outbreak , which last outbreak of the anti-Christian kingdom Paul expected shortly before the Parousia (see Usteri, Lehrbegriff , p. 348 ff.). Comp. also the ἐνεστὼς αἰὼν πονηρός , Galatians 1:4 , and the remark thereon.

καὶ ἅπαντα κατεργασάμενοι στῆναι ] This στῆναι corresponds to the preceding ἀντιστῆναι , of which it is the result ; and in the midst, between ἀντιστῆναι and στῆναι , lies ἅπαντα κατεργασ .: “ to withstand in the evil day, and, after you shall have accomplished all things, to stand .” The latter expression is the designation of the victor, who, after the fight is finished, is not laid prostrate, or put to flight, but stands . Comp. Xen. Anab. i. 10. 1. What is meant by ἅπαντα , is necessarily yielded by the connection, namely, everything which belongs to the conflict in question , the whole work of the combat in all its parts and actions. The κατεργάζεσθαι retains its ordinary signification peragere, conficere, consummare (comp. van Hengel, ad Rom. I. p. 205), and is not, with Oecumenius, Theophylact, Camerarius, Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Kypke, Koppe, Flatt, Holzhausen, Harless, Olshausen, de Wette, Bleek, and others, to be taken in the sense of debellare, overpower , in which sense it is, like the German abthun and niedermachen and the Latin conficere , usual enough (see Kypke, II. p. 301), but is never so employed by Paul frequently as the word occurs with him or elsewhere in the N.T., and here would only be required by the text, if ἅπαντας were the reading. [307] De Wette objects to our interpretation as being tame. This, however, it is not, and the less so, because κατεργάζεσθαι is the characteristic word for a great and difficult work (Herod. v. 24; Plato, Legg. iii. p. 686 E, al. ; and see Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 107), and ἅπαντα also is purposely chosen ( all without exception ; see Valckenaer, Schol . I. p. 339). To be rejected also is the construction of Erasmus, Beza (who proposes this explanation alongside of the rendering prostratis , and is inclined to regard it as the better one), Calixtus, Morus, Rosenmüller, and others: “ omnibus rebus probe comparatis ad pugnam ” (Bengel). This would be παρασκευασάμενοι (1 Corinthians 14:8 ), and what a redundant thought would thus result, especially since ΣΤῆΝΑΙ would then be not at all different from ἈΝΤΙΣΤῆΝΑΙ ! Lastly, the translation of the Vulgate, which is best attested critically: in omnibus perfecti (comp. Lucifer, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius), is not to be regarded, with Estius, as the sense of our reading, but expresses the reading κατειργασμένοι , which is, moreover, to be found in a vitiated form ( ΚΑΤΕΡΓΑΣΜΈΝΟΙ ) in codex A. Erasmus conjectured a corruption of the Latin codices.

[307] Koppe felt this, hence he viewed ἅπαντα as masculine , in accordance with Kypke’s proposal! Even in those passages which Kypke adduces for κατεργάζεσθαι πάντα , instead of κατεργ . πάντας , πάντα is to be left in the neuter sense , and κατεργ . is to complete, to execute . Freely, but correctly in accordance with the sense, Luther renders: “that ye may perform all well, and keep the field.”

Verse 14

Ephesians 6:14 . In what manner they accordingly , clad conformably to the preceding requirement in the πανοπλία τοῦ Θεοῦ , are to stand forth .

στῆτε ] is not again, like the preceding στῆναι , the standing of the victor, but the standing forth of the man ready for the combat . Besides Isaiah 59:17 , Wis 5:17 ff., see also Rabbinical passages for the figurative reference of particular weapons to the means of spiritual conflict, in Schoettgen, Horae , p. 791 f.

περιζωσάμενοι τὴν ὀσφύν ] having your loins girt about . Comp. Isaiah 11:5 . For the singular τ . ὀσφ ., comp. Eur. Electr . 454: ταχυπόρος πόδα , and see Elmsley, ad Eur. Med. 1077. The girdle or belt ( ζωστήρ , covering the loins and the part of the body below the breastplate, also called ζώνη , Jacobs, ad Anthol. VIII. p. 177, not to be confounded with ζῶμα , the lower part of the coat of mail) is first mentioned by the apostle, because to have put on this was the first and most essential requirement of the warrior standing armed ready for the fight; to speak of a well-equipped warrior without a girdle is a contradictio in adjecto , for it was just the girdle which produced the free bearing and movement and the necessary attitude of the warrior. Hence it is not to be assumed, with Harless, that Paul thought of the girdle as an ornament . Comp. 1 Peter 1:13 .

ἐν ἀληθείᾳ ] instrumental. With truth they are to be girt about, i.e. truth is to be their girdle . Comp. Isaiah 11:5 . As for the actual warrior the whole aptus habitus for the combat (this is the tertium comparationis ) would be wanting in the absence of the girdle; so also for the spiritual warrior, if he is not furnished with truth. From this it is at once clear that ἀλήθεια is not to be taken objectively , of the gospel , which, on the contrary, is only designated later, Ephesians 6:17 , by ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ; but subjectively , of truth as inward property, i.e. harmony of knowledge with the objective truth given in the gospel . The explanation sincerity (Calvin, Boyd, Estius, Olshausen, Bisping, and others) is, as expressive only of a single virtue, according to the context too narrow (compare the following δικαιοσύνη , πίστις κ . τ . λ .), and the notion, moreover, would merge into that of the following δικαιοσύνη , an objection which applies likewise to the explanation Christian integrity (Morus, Winzer).

τὴν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσ .] Genitivus appositionis ; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ; Wis 5:19 ; Soph. O. R . 170: φροντίδος ἔγχος . As the actual warrior has protected the breast, when he “ θώρηκα περὶ στήθεσσιν ἔδυνεν ” (Hom. Il. iii. 332), so with you δικαιοσύνη is to be that, which renders your breast (heart and will) inaccessible to the hostile influences of the demons. δικαιοσύνη is here Christian moral rectitude (Romans 6:13 ), inasmuch as, justified through faith, we are dead to sin and live ἐν καινότητι ζωῆς (Romans 6:4 ). Harless and Winzer understand the righteousness by faith , by which, however, inasmuch as this righteousness is given with faith, the θυρεὸς τῆς πίστεως , subsequently singled out quite specially, is anticipated. As previously the intellectual rectitude of the Christian was denoted by ἀλήθεια , so here his moral rectitude by δικαιοσύνη .

Verse 15

Ephesians 6:15 . And the service which the ὑποδήματα , the military sandals , Xen. Anab. iv. 5. 14 [Josephus, B. J . vi. 1. 8] ( caligae , compare the Heb. סְאוֹן , Isaiah 9:4 ; see Gesenius, Thes. II. 932; Bynaeus, de calc. Hebr. p. 83 f.), render to the actual warrior, enabling him, namely, to advance against the enemy with agile and sure step, the ἑτοιμασία τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης is to render to you spiritual warriors, inasmuch as by virtue of it you march briskly and firmly against the Satanic powers.

ὑποδησάμενοι κ . τ . λ .] having your feet underbound with the preparedness of the gospel of peace. ἐν does not stand for εἰς (Vulgate, Erasmus, Vatablus, and others), but is instrumental, as in Ephesians 6:14 , so that the ἑτοιμασία is conceived of as the foot-clothing itself. Beza well remarks: “non enim vult nos docere dumtaxat, oportere nos esse calceatos, sed calceos etiam, ut ita loquar, nobis praebet.”

ἑτοιμασία (with classical writers ἑτοιμότης , Dem. 1268, 7, but see also Hippocr. p. 24, 47) is preparedness, [308] whether it be an outward standing ready (Josephus, Antt. x. 1. Ephesians 2 : δισχιλίους ἐκ τῆς ἐμοὶ παρούσης ἵππους εἰς ἑτοιμασίαν ὑμῖν παρέχειν ἕτοιμος εἰμι ), or an inward being ready, promptitudo animi . So LXX. Psalms 10:17 , comp. ἑτοίμη ἡ καρδία , Psalms 57:7 ; Psalms 112:7 , where the LXX. indicate the notion of a prepared mind, which is expressed in Hebrew by forms of the stem כּוּן , by the use of ἑτοιμασία and ἕτοιμος , following the signification of making ready, adjusting , which כּוּן has in all the conjugations of it which occur (Deuteronomy 32:6 ; Psalms 8:4 ; Genesis 43:16 ; Proverbs 19:29 ; Nehemiah 8:10 ; Psalms 14:5 ), alongside of the signification of laying down, establishing, from which the former one is derived. Hence the LXX. translate מָכוֹן too ( foundation , as Psalms 89:15 ) by ἑτοιμασία ; not as though in their usage ἑτοιμασία signified foundation, which it never does, but because they understood מָכוֹן in the sense of ἑτοιμασία . So Ezra 2:68 , where the house of God is to be erected upon τὴν ἑτοιμασίαν αὐτοῦ , upon the preparation thereof , i.e. upon the foundation already lying prepared. So also Ezra 3:3 ; Psalms 89:15 ; Daniel 11:20-21 . Wrongly, therefore, have Wolf (after the older expositors), Bengel, Zachariae, Morus, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Bleek, and others, explained ἑτοιμασία by fundamentum or firmitas ; so that Paul is supposed to indicate “vel constantiam in tuenda religione Christi, vel religionem adeo ipsam, certam illam quidem et fundamento, cui insistere possis, similem,” Koppe. This is not only contrary to linguistic usage (see above), but also opposed to the context, since the notion does not suit the figurative conception of putting on shoes ( ὑποδησάμ .). It is the readiness , the ready mind; not, however, for the proclamation of the gospel (so, in some instances with a reference to Isaiah 52:7 , Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Pelagius, Erasmus, Luther, Vatablus, Clarius, Cornelius a Lapide, Erasmus Schmid, Estius, Grotius, Calovius, Calixtus, Michaelis, and others, including Rückert, Meier, Baumgarten-Crusius), since, in fact, Paul is speaking to fellow- Christians , not to fellow- teachers , but the promptitudo and that for the conflict in question which the gospel bestows , which is produced by means of it. So Oecumenius (who has this interpretation alongside the former one), Calvin, Castalio, and others, including Matthies, Holzhausen, Harless, Olshausen, Winzer, de Wette, Schenkel. The explanation of Schleusner: “instar pedum armaturae sit vobis doctrina salutaris … quae vobis semper in promptu sit ,” is to be rejected on account of Ephesians 6:17 , according to which the gospel is the sword .

τῆς εἰρήνης ] Subject-matter of the gospel, and that purposely designated in harmony with the context. For the gospel proclaims peace κατʼ ἐξοχήν , i.e. peace with God, Romans 5:1 , Philippians 1:20 , and produces precisely thereby the inner consecration of courageous readiness for the conflict in question (Romans 8:31 ; Romans 8:38-39 ). At variance with the context, Erasmus, Paraphr. , makes it: “evangelium, quod non tumultu, sed tolerantia tranquillitateque defenditur ;” and Michaelis holds: the peace between Jews and Gentiles is meant. If, however, it is taken, with Koppe and Morus, in accordance with the more extended sense of שָׁלוֹם (comp. Romans 10:15 ), the salvation-bringing (rather: the salvation-proclaiming , comp. Ephesians 1:13 ) gospel, this is done without any justification from the text, and to the injury of the special colouring of the several particulars. Winzer, finally, contrary to the unity of the sense, combines peace with God and everlasting salvation.

[308] In Wis 13:12 it means making ready (food). The Vulg. translates it in our passage in praeparatione (comp. Artemid. ii. 57).

Verse 16

Ephesians 6:16 . Ἐπὶ πᾶσιν ] not: before all things (Luther, Castalio, Michaelis, and others), but: in addition to all . Comp. Luke 3:20 ; Polyb. vi. 23. 12: ἐπὶ δὲ πᾶσι τούτοις προσεπικοσμοῦνται πτερίνῳ στεφάνῳ . See Wetstein, ad Luc. xvi. 26; Matthiae, p. 1371. By the three pieces previously mentioned, Ephesians 6:14-15 (which were all made fast to the body), the body is clothed upon for warlike purposes; what is still wanting, and must be added to all that has preceded, is shield, helmet, sword, Ephesians 6:16-17 .

τὸν θυρεόν ] θυρεός , which Polybius mentions and more fully describes as the first part of the Roman πανοπλία (Ephesians 6:23 ; Ephesians 6:22 ff.), is, with Homer, that which is placed in front of the doorway and blocks the entrance ( Od. ix. 240, 313); and only with later writers (Plutarch, Strabo, etc.) is the shield (see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 336, and Wetstein, ad loc ), and that the scutum , the large shield, 4 feet in length and 2½ feet in width, as distinguished from the small round buckler, clypeus , ἀσπίς . See Lipsius, de milit. Rom. iii. 2, ed. Plant. 1614, p. 106 ff.; Alberti and Kypke in loc. ; Ottii Spicileg . p. 409 f. Comp. the Homeric σάκος and the Hebrew צִנָּה . Paul does not say ἀσπίς , because he is representing the Christian warrior as heavy-armed.

τῆς πίστεως ] Genitivus appositionis, as τῆς δικαιοσύνης , Ephesians 6:14 . The faith, however, is not the faith of miracles (Chrysostom), but the fides salvifica (Ephesians 2:8 ), by which the Christian is assured of the forgiveness of his sins on account of the sacrificial death of Christ, and at the same time is assured of the Messianic blessedness (Ephesians 1:7 , Ephesians 2:5 ff., Ephesians 3:12 ), has the Holy Spirit as the earnest of everlasting life (Ephesians 1:13-14 ), and consequently has Christ in the heart (Ephesians 2:17 ; Galatians 2:20 ), and as child of God (Ephesians 1:5 ; Romans 8:15 f.; Galatians 4:5 ff.) under the government of grace (Romans 8:14 ) belongs so wholly to God (Romans 6:11 ; comp. 1 John 3:7 ff.), that he cannot be separated by anything from the love of God towards him (Romans 8:38 ); and on his part is consecrated only to the service of God (Ephesians 1:4 ; Romans 7:4 ; Romans 7:6 ; Romans 6:22 ), and hence through God carries off the victory over the power of Satan opposed to God (Romans 16:20 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ). Only wavering faith is accessible to the devil (2 Corinthians 11:3 ; comp. 1 Peter 5:8-9 ).

ἐν ᾧ ] by means of which, i.e. by holding it in front.

δυνήσεσθε ] for the conflict in question is future. See on Ephesians 6:12-13 .

τοῦ πονηροῦ ] of the morally evil one κατʼ ἐξοχήν , i.e. the devil; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ; Matthew 5:37 ; Matthew 6:13 ; Matthew 13:19 ; Matthew 13:38 ; John 17:15 ; 1 John 5:19 .

τὰ [309] πεπυρωμένα ] those set on fire, the burning ones . Comp. Apollod. Bibl . ii. 5. 2; Leo, Tact . xv. 27, ed. Heyn.; also πυρφόροι ὀϊστοί in Thucyd. ii. 75. 4; βέλη πυρφόρα , Diod. xx. 96; Zosim. Hist . p. 256, 2. The malleoli are meant, i.e. arrows tipped with inflammable material (tow, pitch) and shot off after being kindled, which, known also to the Hebrews (see expositors on Psalms 7:14 ), were in use among the Greeks and Romans, and are to be distinguished from the javelins of the same kind ( falaricae , see Vegetius, iv. 8). For the description of the malleoli , see Ammian. Marcell. xxiii. 4; and see, in general, Lydius, Agonist . p. 45, de re mil. p. 119, 315; Spanheim, ad Julian. Orat. p. 193. Poisoned arrows ( od. i. 260 f.; Virg. Aen. ix. 773; Psalms 38:3 ; Job 6:4 ; and see Lyd. de re mil. p. 118) are not meant (as supposed by Boyd, Hammond, Bochart), since these are not on fire ( πεπυρωμένα ), but excite a fire (inflammation). The aim of the predicate, we may add, is to present in strong colours the hostile and destructive character of the Satanic assaults; but more special explanations of its import, such as of the burning desires excited by Satan (Chrysostom, Theophylact; comp. Oecumenius), or of doubts and of the anguish of despair (Boyd), are inappropriate; and the more so, inasmuch as in the whole context the apostle is speaking of diabolic assaults in general, not of particular kinds thereof.

σβέσαι ] The shields of the Greeks and Romans were as a rule of wood, with a thick coating of leather (Hom. Il. v. 452; Herod, vii. 91; Polyb. l.c. ; Plin. viii. 39; and see, in general, Lipsius, de milit. Rom. iii. 2, p. 109 ff.). So Paul conceives of faith under the figure of such a shield, which not only prevents the missiles from injuring the warrior, but also by reason of its coating brings it about that these do not set on fire the wood of the shield, but must needs be themselves extinguished, so that thus the warrior, by holding the shield in front of him, can quench the fiery arrows.

[309] The article implies that Satan discharges other arrows besides burning ones. See Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. iv. 6. 1.

Verse 17

Ephesians 6:17 . We have to prefix not a full stop , as is done by Lachmann and Tischendorf, seeing that Ephesians 6:18 has reference to the whole from στῆτε onward, Ephesians 6:14-17 (see on Ephesians 6:18 ), but only a comma . Paul, namely, passes over from the participial construction into that of the verbum finitum , as at Ephesians 1:20 , a change to which he was drawn by the increasing vivacity of his figurative conception, which, moreover, induced him now to prefix the object ( περικεφαλαίαν and μάχαιραν , Ephesians 6:17 ).

In natural sequence he brings forward first the taking of the helmet, and then that of the sword; because the left hand already grasps the shield (Ephesians 6:16 ), and thus after the taking of the sword there is no hand free.

τοῦ σωτηρίου ] again genitive of apposition. The salvation , i.e. the salvation κατʼ ἐξοχήν the salvation of the Messianic kingdom , of which the Christian is partaker ( before the Parousia, as an ideal possession, Romans 8:24 [310] ), serves, appropriated in his consciousness, to protect him against the assaults of the devil aimed at his everlasting life, like the helmet, which defends the warrior from deadly wounds on the head. As to the Roman helmets , see Lipsius, de milit. Rom. iii. 5, p. 122 ff. For the use of σωτήριον as a substantive, comp. Luke 2:20 ; Luke 3:6 ; Acts 28:28 ; frequently met with in the classics and the LXX.; see Schleusner, Thes. sub voce. Neither Christ Himself (Theodoret, Bengel) nor the gospel (Holzhausen) is meant. It is true that the word σωτήριον is not elsewhere used by Paul; but here it is explained as a reminiscence from the LXX. Isaiah 59:17 .

ΔΈΞΑΣΘΕ ] receive , namely, from God (Ephesians 6:13 ), who offers you this helmet.

τὴν μάχαιραν τοῦ πνεύματος ] The genitive cannot here be appositional (in opposition to Harless, Olshausen, Schenkel, and older expositors), since there follows the explanation ὅ ἐστι ῥῆμα Θεοῦ , from which it is clear that the sword of the Spirit is not the Spirit itself, but something distinct therefrom, namely, the word of God (comp. Hebrews 4:12 ). Comp. also Bleek. If Paul had wished to designate the Spirit itself as sword, the explanation ὅ ἐστι ῥῆμα Θεοῦ would have been inappropriate, inasmuch as the word of God and the Holy Spirit are different things; [311] in Romans, too, πνεῦμα means nothing else than the Holy Spirit. The ΜΆΧΑΙΡΑ ΤΟῦ ΠΝΕΎΜ . is the sword, which the Holy Spirit furnishes (comp. τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ Θεοῦ , Ephesians 6:11 ; Ephesians 6:13 ), and this sword is the word of God, the gospel (comp. on Ephesians 5:26 ), the contents of which the Spirit brings vividly to the consciousness of the Christian, in order that he may defend himself by the divine power of the gospel (Romans 1:16 ) against the assaults of the diabolic powers, and may vanquish them, as the warrior wards off and vanquishes the enemy with the sword. Limitations of the ῥῆμα Θεοῦ , either to the commandments of God (Flatt), or to the divine threatenings against the enemies of the Christians (Koppe), are as arbitrary and inappropriate as is the explaining τοῦ πνεύματος of the human spirit (Morus, Rosenmüller), or by πνευματικήν (Grotius, Michaelis, and others; comp. already Chrysostom and Erasmus), which, according to Grotius, is to serve “ molliendis translationibus ,” but yet would have again to be explained by τοῦ πνεύματος in the sense of the Holy Spirit.

ὅ ἐστι ] applying, according to the ordinary attraction, to ΤῊΝ ΜΆΧΑΙΡΑΝ . Olshausen, in accordance with his erroneous conception of ΤΟῦ ΠΝΕΎΜΑΤΟς , refers it to the latter. So already Basil, contr. Eunom. 11, who proves from our passage that not only the Son, but also the Spirit is the Word!

[310] Hence Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 says: περικεφαλαίαν ἐλπίδα σωτηρίας , which, however, does not justify in our passage the explanation hope of salvation , given to it by Cajetanus, Calvin, Zanchius, Boyd, Estius, Grotius, Calixtus, Michaelis, Rosenmüller, Meier, Winzer, and others.

[311] It is true Olshausen observes that the Word as to its inner essence is Spirit , as the efflux of God the Spirit. But that is a quid pro quo ; for the word would not here be termed Spirit (as John 6:63 ), but the Spirit , i.e. the Holy Spirit Himself . A like quid pro quo is made by Schenkel, namely, that the word of God is the most adequate expression of the absolute Spirit (John 4:24 ).

REMARK ON Ephesians 6:14-17 .

In the exposition of these several portions of the armour of the spiritual warrior, it is just as unwarrantable to press the comparisons, by pursuing the points of comparison into such particular details as it may please us to select from the various uses of the pieces of armour in question (an error which several of the older expositors committed), whereby free room is given for the play of subjectivity, and the vivid objective delineation of the apostle’s figure is arbitrarily broken up, as it is, on the other hand, arbitrary to disregard the differences in the figures derived from military equipment, and to say: “ universa potius armorum notio tenenda est” (Winzer, l.c. p. 14; comp. Moras, Rosenmüller, and others). The essential characteristic the specific main point whereby the pieces named are distinguished from each other in respect of that for which they serve, must be furnished by the nature of the comparison with the respective means of spiritual conflict; so that Paul must have been conscious why he here designated, e.g. , δικαιοσύνη as the breastplate, faith as the shield, etc., namely, inasmuch as he looked at the former really from the point of view of the essential destination of the breastplate, the latter from that of the essential destination of the shield, etc. Otherwise his representation would be a play of figures, of which the separate images, so different in themselves, would have no basis in the conception of what is represented . To this there is nothing opposed in the fact that here δικαιοσύνη appears as the breastplate, while at 1 Thessalonians 5:8 it is faith and love which so appear; for the figurative mode of regarding the subject can by no means, with a mind so many-sided, rich, and versatile as that of St. Paul, be so stereotyped that the very same thing which he has here viewed under the figure of the protecting breastplate, must have presented itself another time under this very same figure. Thus, e.g. , there appears to him, as an offering well-pleasing to God, at one time Christ (Ephesians 5:2 ), at another the gifts of love received (Philippians 4:18 ), at another time the bodies of Christians (Romans 12:1 ); under the figure of the seed-corn, at one time the body becoming buried (1 Corinthians 15:36 f.), at another time the moral conduct (Galatians 6:7 ); under the figure of the leaven, once moral corruption (1 Corinthians 5:6 ), another time doctrinal corruption (Galatians 5:9 ); under the figure of clothing which is put on, once the new man (Ephesians 4:24 ), another time Christ (Galatians 3:27 ), at another time the body (2 Corinthians 5:3 ), and other similar instances.

Verse 18

Ephesians 6:18 . After Paul has, Ephesians 6:14-17 , placed before his readers in what armour they are to stand forth, he shows yet further how this standing ready for the combat must be combined with prayer : “with prayer and entreaty of every kind, praying at each moment in virtue of the Spirit.” These are two parallel specifications of mode, whereof the second more precisely defines the first, and which stand in grammatical and logical connection with στῆτε οὖν , Ephesians 6:14 ; not with the intervening δέξασθε , Ephesians 6:17 , which rather is itself subordinate to the στῆτε , and only by a deviation from the construction has come to be expressed in the imperative instead of the participle, wherefore στῆτε οὖν remains the precept ruling the whole description, Ephesians 6:14-17 . Should we join them to δέξασθε , neither πάσης nor ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ would be appropriate to this momentary act; for we would, in fact, be told not how the sword of the Spirit should be handled (Olshausen; comp. Harless: “the temper in which they are to wield such weapons”), but how it should be taken! An imperative signification (Bleek) the participle has not.

διὰ πάσης προσευχ . κ . δεήσ .] is to be taken by itself, not to be joined to the following προσευχόμ . (so usually , as also by Rückert, Matthies, Harless, Bleek; not Meier and Baumgarten-Crusius), since otherwise a tautological redundancy of expression would arise (not to be confounded with the mode of expression προσευχῇ προσεύχεσθαι , James 5:17 ), arbitrarily conjectured by de Wette to have been occasioned by Philippians 4:6 , and because it is an impossibility to pray διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ . [312] διά here denotes “ conditionem, in qua locatus aliquid vel facias vel patiaris,” Fritzsche, ad Rom. I. p. 138; Winer, p. 339 [E. T. 453], i.e. while ye employ every kind of prayer and entreaty , omit no sort of prayer and entreaty. Those who join with προσευχόμ . take διά as by means of . But see above. The expression πάσης προσευχ . receives its elucidation from the following ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ , inasmuch as to different circumstances of the time different kinds of prayer, as respects contents and form, are appropriate. προσευχή and δέησις are distinguished not so, that the former applies to the obtaining of a blessing, the latter to the averting of an evil (Grotius and many) a meaning which, quite without proof from the linguistic usage of the single words, is derived merely from the combination of the two; but rather as prayer and entreaty , of which only the former has the sacred character and may be of any tenor; the latter, on the other hand, may be addressed not merely to God, as here, but also to men, and is supplicatory in tenor. See Harless on the passage, and Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 372 f.

ἐν παντί καιρῷ ] at every season , not merely under special circumstances and on particular occasions. Comp. Luke 21:36 . It is the ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθαι , 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ; 1Th 2:13 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ; Romans 1:9 .

ἐν πνεύματι ] understood of the human spirit (Romans 8:10 ), would denote the heartfelt prayer in contrast to the mere utterance of the lips (Castalio, Zanchius, Erasmus Schmid, Grotius, Morus, Koppe, Rosenmüller, and others). But this contrast was so obvious of itself, that such a description of prayer would be quite out of place in the flow of the passage before us, accumulating, as it does, simply elements that are specifically Christian. The Holy Spirit is meant (Ephesians 6:17 ), by virtue of whom the Christian is to pray. See Romans 8:15 ; Romans 8:26 ; Galatians 4:6 .

καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπν . κ . τ . λ .] attaches to the general προσευχόμενοι ἐν π . κ . ἐν πν . something special , namely, intercession , and that for all Christians, and in particular for the apostle himself: and in that ye on this behalf are watchful in every kind of perseverance and entreaty for all saints and for me , etc. According to de Wette, εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρ . is to be held as still belonging to the general exhortation to prayer, and ἐν π . προσκαρτ . κ . τ . λ . to be the addition of a special element, like ἐν εὐχαρ ., Colossians 4:2 . But how idly would κ . εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρ . then be used, seeing that the continual praying is already before so urgently expressed! Moreover, καί betrays the transition to a new element of prayer.

εἰς αὐτό ] in reference thereto, on behalf of this , namely, of the προσεύχεσθαι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι just required. By αὐτό , namely, is denoted that which is just being spoken of , and it is distinguished from αὐτὸ τοῦτο (the Recepta ) only in this respect, that the latter (comp. on Romans 9:17 ) designates the subject in question at the same time demonstratively, and so still more definitely; see on Ephesians 6:22 ; Kühner, ad Xen, Mem. iii. 10. 14; Stallb. ad Plat. Rep. ii. p. 362 D. According to Holzhausen (comp. Koppe), it has reference to ἵνα μοι δοθῇ . But in that case εἰς τοῦτο must have been written; and, moreover, περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων would be from a logical point of view opposed to it.

ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτ . κ . δεήσει περὶ π . τ . ἁγ .] denotes the domain , wherein, etc. On behalf of the required προσεύχεσθαι they are to be watchful in every kind of perseverance and entreaty for all saints . The προσκαρτέρησις is, according to the context (and comp. Colossians 4:2 ), the perseverance in prayer , so that ἐν π . προσκ . corresponds to the διὰ πάσ . προσευχῆς at the beginning of the verse, and then with καὶ ( ἐν πάσῃ ) δεήσει , as there, the entreaty attaches itself, but now with the more precise definition: περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων , which hence belongs not to προσκαρτ ., but only to δεήσει , as, indeed, accordingly the latter may not be amalgamated with προσκαρτ . into a ἓν διὰ δυοῖν . According to Rückert, ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτ . κ . δεήσει is added, in order to be able to annex περὶ πάντ . τ . ἁγ . But in that case could not Paul have written merely εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπν . περὶ πάντ . τ . ἁγ ., and that without risk of being misunderstood? No, the ἐν πάσῃ προσκ . κ . δεήσ ., in itself not essential, gives to his discourse the emphasis of earnestness and solemnity. Comp. Bornemann, Schol. in Luc . p. xxxviii. f.

πάσῃ ] as previously πάσης .

[312] The case would be otherwise, and this impossibility would not exist, if it were said: διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς κ . δεήσ . καὶ ἐν π . καιρῷ .

Verse 19

Ephesians 6:19 . Καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ ] καί : and in particular . See Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 11, 713. The special point which, in connection with the intercession embracing all Christians, he would have to be made matter of supplication for himself , is stated in what follows. ὑπέρ expresses, as previously the περί in current use, the sense in commodum (see Schaefer, App. ad Dem. I. p. 190; Buttmann, Ind. ad Mid . p. 188); and only the form of sensuous perception, which underlies the two prepositions, is different, as in the case of the Germ. über and um ; comp. 1 Peter 3:18 . It is wrongly assumed by Harless that only ὑπέρ expresses in itself the relation of care for , and not περί . The notion of the latter that of encircling in fact sensuously embodies such care ; hence with classical writers too, especially with Demosthenes, περί and ὑπέρ are interchanged without any difference of sense, e.g. phil . ii. p. 74, 35: μὴ περὶ τῶν δικαίων μηδʼ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἔξω πραγμάτων εἶναι τὴν βουλήν , ἀλλʼ ὑπὲρ τῶν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ , 10. 16: οὐ περὶ δόξης οὐδʼ ὑπὲρ μέρους χώρας πολεμοῦσι , Xen. Mem. i. 1. 17: ὑπὲρ τούτων περὶ αὐτοῦ παραγνῶναι , Thucyd. vi. 78. Ephesians 1 : ὑπέρ γε τῆς ἐμῆς κινδυνεύειν , ἐνθυμηθήτω οὐ περὶ τῆς ἐμῆς μᾶλλον .

ἵνα μοι δοθῇ κ . τ . λ .] Aim of the καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ , and consequently contents of the intercession for the apostle (comp. on Ephesians 3:16 ): in order that utterance may be given to me on the opening of my mouth , i.e. that there may not be withheld from me by God, but may on the contrary be conferred, that which I ought to speak when I open my mouth. That Paul means the speaking with a view to the proclamation of the gospel , is from the context (see ἐν παῤῥησ . γνωρ . κ . τ . λ .) clear. The emphasis, however, is upon δοθῇ , to which, in the sequel, ἐν παῤῥησίᾳ significantly corresponds; for this freedom of speech is the consequence wished for by Paul from that bestowal. Comp. Luke 21:15 . As to ἀνοίγειν τὸ στόμα , which in itself represents nothing else than the opening of the mouth to speak, comp. on Mat 5:2 ; 2 Corinthians 6:11 ; on the substantive ἄνοιξις , comp. Thuc. iv. 67. 3. The expression is graphic , and has here something of a pathetic nature, without, however, containing a qualitative feature of the discourse itself , not even the character of unpremeditated utterance (Oecumenius: ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ ἀνοῖξαι ὁ λόγος προήει ), which would have been expressed by ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἀνοίξει τοῦ στ ., or in a similar significant way. This at the same time in opposition to Calvin, Boyd, Zanchius, Michaelis, Zachariae, and others, including Koppe, Rückert, Matthies, Meier, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Bleek, Schenkel, who explain: unreservedly, frankly , which would have to be attached not to what follows (see below), but closely to λόγος , and thereby, again, the ἐν παῤῥησίᾳ γνωρ . would be unwarrantably anticipated. Following Bullinger, Calovius, Cornelius a Lapide, and others, [313] Harless and Olshausen understand the ἌΝΟΙΞΙς ΤΟῦ ΣΤΌΜΑΤΟς as the act of God (comp. Ezekiel 3:27 ; Ezekiel 29:21 ; Ezekiel 32:22 ; Psalms 51:17 ), holding it to denote: the bestowed capacity of speaking in contrast to an earlier bound state of the tongue . Paul would thus have said: “in order that utterance may be given unto me through my mouth being opened.” But what needless diffuseness of expression, since ΔΟΘῇ ΛΌΓΟς and ἌΝΟΙΞΙς ΤΟῦ ΣΤΌΜΑΤΟς would be just the same thing! Kypke and Koppe attach ἐν ἀνοίξει τοῦ στ . μ . to what follows; in which case Kypke regards ἐν παῤῥησίᾳ as epexegesis of ἀνοίξει τ . στ . μ ., and Koppe, following Grotius, [314] refers ἐν παῤῥ . to the outward freedom: “non vinculis constrictus in carcere latens.” The latter explanation is logically erroneous, since, thus understood, ἐν παῤῥησ . would be something quite other than the ἄνοιξις τοῦ στόματος , and thus could not be added by way of apposition, without καί ; and linguistically erroneous, since παῤῥησία never denotes outward freedom, and here especially its signification of boldness is rendered clear by the παῤῥησιάσωμαι of Ephesians 6:20 . Comp. Fritzsche, Diss . II. in 2 Cor. p. 99 f. In opposition to Kypke, it may be urged that an addition of so purely exegetical a character, as ἐν παῤῥ . would be to ἐν ἀνοίξ . τ . στόμ . μ ., would not be in keeping with the elevated style of the discourse, which is not couched in anything like a didactic tone. Köster (in the Stud. u. Krit. 1854, p. 317), with whom, in the main, Bleek agrees, attaches ἐν ἀνοίξ . τ . στόμ . μ . to what follows, and takes δοθῇ λόγος in the well-known classical sense: to allow one to come to speech , to let him speak (Deuteronomy 26:18 ; Deuteronomy 27:9 ; 508, 16; 1220, 20; comp. λόγου τυχεῖν , 229, 13); so that Paul is supposed to say: “that opportunity to speak may be given to me, namely, at the opening of my mouth (that is, when I wish to speak) frankly to proclaim,” etc. But even in this way ἐν ἀνοίξει τοῦ στόμ . μου . would be only a needless and cumbrous addition.

ἐν παῤῥησίᾳ γνωρίσαι κ . τ . λ .] with frankness to make known the mystery of the gospel , i.e. the mystery (see on Ephesians 1:9 ) which forms the contents of the gospel. The opportunity of preaching was not taken from the apostle in his captivity at Caesarea (Acts 24:23 ), nor yet afterwards at Rome (Acts 28:30 f.). Should we attach ἐν παῤῥ . to what precedes (Vatablus: “ut detur mihi aperto ore loqui libere, ut notum faciam,” etc.), γνωρίσαι would be without a necessary modal definition.

[313] Grotius also regards the ἄνοιξις τοῦ στόματος as the act of God: “sic Deus labia aperire dicitur, ubi materiam suppeditat sibi gratias agendi, Psalms 51:15 ,” yet makes out of it, after the Rabbinical פתחון פה (see Capell. Spicileg. p. 112; Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 1872), occasione (loquendi) data. But the sense, “opportunity to speak,” could only so be brought out in the event of the words running thus: ἵνα μοι δοθῇ ἄνοιξις τοῦ στόματός μου .

[314] “Ut ab hac custodia militari liber per omnem urbem perferre possem sermonem evang.,” etc.


If the Recepta δοθείη were genuine, the statement of aim, introduced by ἵνα , would be adduced from the mind of the persons praying , thus in the character of the oratio obliqua. See on Ephesians 1:17 .

Verse 20

Ephesians 6:20 . For which (to conduct its cause) I discharge the office of ambassador in a chain . Comp. on 2 Corinthians 5:20 . It is to be explained neither as though ὑπὲρ οὗ πρεσβεύων ἐν ἁλύσει εἰμί (Zachariae, Rückert, Matthies) were written, nor as though ὑπὲρ οὗ καὶ ἐν ἁλύσει πρεσβεύω were the reading (Grotius: “nunc quoque non desino legationem,” etc.); nor is οὗ to be referred, as is usually the case, merely to τοῦ εὐαγγελ ., but to τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ εὐαγγ ., seeing that this was the object of γνωρίσαι , and to this γνωρίσαι the πρεσβεύω significantly corresponds. Comp. Colossians 4:3 : λαλῆσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ , διʼ ὃ καὶ δέδεμαι .

πρεσβεύω ] whose ambassador he is, was at once understood by the reader, namely, Christ’s ; and equally so to whom his embassy was addressed, namely, to all peoples, specially the Gentiles (Acts 9:15 ; Acts 22:15 ; Romans 1:14 ; Romans 11:13 ; Galatians 2:9 ). The opinion of Michaelis, that Paul designates himself as delegate of Christ to the Roman court , would, even if he had written the Epistle in Rome, be imported, since no reader could find anything else than the apostle denoted by πρεσβεύω without more precise definition.

ἐν ἁλύσει ] On ἐν , comp. phrases like εἰς τὴν ἅλυσιν ἐμπίπτειν , Polyb. xxi. 3. 3. Wetstein, we may add, aptly observes: “alias legati, jure gentium sancti et inviolabiles, in vinculis haberi non poterant.” To infer, however, from the use of the singular (Baumgarten, Paley, Flatt, Steiger) the custodia militaris , in which Paul was at Rome (Acts 28:20 ; 2 Timothy 1:16 ), is too hasty; partly for the general reason that the singular must by no means be urged, but may be taken collectively (Bernhardy, p. 58 f.), and partly for the special reason that we have to think of Paul at Caesarea too, and that from the very beginning of his captivity there (see on Acts 24:23 ), as in the custodia militaris ; Acts 24:27 ; Acts 26:29 . [315] The significant bearing of the addition ἐν ἁλύσει is to make palpable the so much greater need of the παῤῥησία , and so the more fully to justify the longing for the intercessory prayer of the readers.

ἽΝΑ ἘΝ ΑὐΤῷ ΠΑῤῬΗΣ . Ὡς ΔΕῖ ΜΕ ΛΑΛ .] Parallel to the ἵνα μοι δοθῇ … εὐαγγελίου , Ephesians 6:19 , and indeed not tautological (in opposition to Harless), but, by means of Ὡς ΔΕῖ ΜΕ ΛΑΛῆΣΑΙ , more precisely defining the thought already expressed. As similar parallels by means of a second ἵνα , comp. Romans 7:13 ; Galatians 3:14 ; 1Co 12:20 ; 2 Corinthians 9:3 . Harless regards this second ἽΝΑ as subordinate to the first. Thus the words would express not the aim on account of which Paul summons his readers to prayer , as stated by Harless, but the aim of the δοθῇ λόγος κ . τ . λ . But this would be inappropriate, since ΔΟΘῇ ΛΌΓΟς Κ . Τ . Λ . has already the definition of aim appropriate to it, namely, in ἐν παῤῥ . γνωρ . κ . τ . λ . Bengel and Meier make ἽΝΑ dependent on ΠΡΕΣΒΕΎΩ ἘΝ ἉΛΎΣΕΙ (in which case Meier imports the sense, as if the words were ἽΝΑ ΚΑῚ ἘΝ ΑὐΤῇ ΠΑῤῬ .); but the clause expressive of the aim: “in order that I may therein speak as boldly as I am bound to speak ,” does not logically correspond to the πρεσβεύω ἐν ἁλύσει , because without any reference to ἘΝ ἉΛΎΣΕΙ . Had Paul merely written: ἽΝΑ ΠΑῤῬΗΣΙΆΣΩΜΑΙ ἘΝ ΑὐΤῷ (without Ὡς ΔΕῖ ΜΕ ΛΑΛῆΣΑΙ ), by which the ΠΑῤῬΗΣ . would have become emphatic, [316] or: ἽΝΑ ΠΟΛΛῷ ΜᾶΛΛΟΝ ΠΑῤῬΗΣ . ἘΝ ΑὐΤῷ , the logical relation would be satisfied.

ἘΝ ΑὐΤῷ ] namely, in the mystery of the gospel , i.e. occupied therewith, in the proclamation thereof (Matthiae, p. 1342). Comp. Acts 9:27 . Harless understands ἐν of the source or ground of the παῤῥησία , which has its basis in the message itself [rather: in the mystery of the gospel; see on ὙΠῈΡ ΟὟ ]. But the context represents the ΜΥΣΤΉΡΙΟΝ ΤΟῦ ΕὐΑΓΓ . as the object of the bold discourse (Ephesians 6:19 ); and the source of the παῤῥησία is in God (see 1 Thessalonians 2:2 ), which is not indeed here expressed, but is implied in the fact that it is to be obtained for the apostle by prayer on the part of the readers.

ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι ] to be taken together (comp. Colossians 4:4 ); and after με there is not to be put any comma, by which ΛΑΛῆΣΑΙ would be connected with ΠΑῤῬΗΣ . (Koppe), a course, which is impossible just because ΠΑῤῬΗΣ . already expresses the bold speaking ; and thus λαλῆσαι , if it were to be more precisely defining, could not but of necessity have with it a modal definition (comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:2 ). See Fritzsche, Diss . II. in 2 Cor. p. 100 f.

[315] In the latter passage the plural τῶν δεσμ . τούτων is not at variance with this view, as it is rather the categoric plural, and leaves the question entirely undecided, whether Paul was bound with one or more chains.

[316] This seems also to have been felt by Bengel, who connected ὡς δεῖ με λαλ . with γνωρίσαι , which certainly could not occur to any reader.

Verse 21

Ephesians 6:21 . Δέ ] Serving to make the transition to another subject.

καὶ ὑμεῖς ] ye also , not merely the Colossians, Colossians 4:8-9 . See Introd. § 2. While most of the older expositors pass over this καί in silence (rightly, however, explained in a general sense by Bengel: “perinde ut alii”), Rückert and Matthies strangely enough think that it stands in contradistinction to the apostle himself . From this there would in fact result the absurd thought: “in order that not only I, but also ye may know how it fares with me.”

τὰ κατʼ ἐμέ ] my circumstances, my position , Philippians 1:22 ; Colossians 4:7 . See Kühner, II. p. 119.

τί πράσσω ] more precise definition of τὰ κατʼ ἐμέ : what I experience . i.e. how it fares with me, how I find myself . [317] So often also in classical writers, “de statu et rebus, in quibus quis constitutus est et versatur,” Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. 629. Comp. Ael. V. H . ii. 35, where the sick Gorgias is asked τί πράττοι , Plato, Theaet . p. 174 B; Soph. Oed. R . 74; and see Wetstein and Kypke.

Τύχικος ] See Acts 20:4 ; Colossians 4:7 ; 2 Timothy 4:12 . Beyond these passages unknown.

ἈΓΑΠΗΤῸς ἈΔΕΛΦῸς ΚΑῚ ΠΙΣΤ . ΔΙΆΚ . ἘΝ ΚΥΡ .] So Paul characterizes Tychicus by way of commendation , [318] and that ( a ) as his beloved fellow-Christian, and ( b ) as his faithful official servant. As the latter, he was employed by Paul for just such journeys as the present. Comp. 2 Timothy 4:12 . Mark likewise, according to 2 Timothy 4:11 , receives from the apostle the testimony that he is for him εὔχρηστος εἰς διακονίαν . Others , like Grotius (comp. Calvin), do not refer διάκονος to the relation to the apostle, but explain it: servant of the gospel [minister evangelii], while Estius and many understand specially the ecclesiastical office of the deacon . But Colossians 4:7 , where διάκονος καὶ σύνδουλος are united (the latter word softening the relation of service towards the apostle expressed by διάκονος ), speaks in favour of our view.

ἐν κυρίῳ ] belongs only to διάκονος , not to ἀδελφός as well (in opposition to Meier and Harless), since only the former had need of a specific definition (comp. on Philippians 1:14 ), in order to be brought out in its true relation (and not to bear the semblance of harshness). Not beyond the pale of Christian relations was Tychicus servant of the apostle, but in Christ his service was carried on, Christ was the sphere of the same, inasmuch as Tychicus was official διάκονος of the apostle. ἐν κυρίῳ is attached without an article, because combined with διάκονος so as to form one idea.

[317] Others, like Wolf: what I am doing . But that the reader knew. He was doing the one thing, which always occupied him. See vv. 19, 20.

[318] The assumption of a more special design as regards πιστός , namely, that it is meant to represent Tychicus as a trustworthy reporter (Grotius), is inadmissible, because Tychicus without doubt was known to the readers (Acts 20:4 ). It was otherwise in relation to the Colossians. See on Colossians 4:7 .

Verse 22

Ephesians 6:22 . Ἔπεμψα πρὸς ὑμᾶς ] namely, that he should travel from Colossae to you, Colossians 4:7-9 . See Introd. § 2.

εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ] in this very design . See on Ephesians 6:18 , and Bornemann, ad Xen. Mem. iii. 12. 2; Pflugk, ad Eur. Androm. 41.

ἵνα γνῶτε τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν ] must on account of εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο necessarily convey the same thing as was said by ἵνα εἰδῆτε τὰ κατʼ ἐμέ , τί πράσσω , Ephesians 6:21 ; hence the conjecture of Rückert, ἵνα γνῷ τε τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν , is entirely baseless; and at Colossians 4:8 also we have, in accordance with preponderant evidence, to read ἵνα γνῶτε τὰ περὶ ἡμῶν .

By ἡμῶν Paul means himself and those that are with him (see Colossians 4:10 ff.; Philemon 1:10 f., Philemon 1:23 ff.), concerning whom information was likewise reserved for the report of Tychicus.

παρακαλέσῃ ] might comfort . For Tychicus had to tell of sufferings and afflictions which Paul must needs endure (comp. Ephesians 6:20 ), and on account of them the readers were called μὴ ἐκκακεῖν , Ephesians 3:13 . Amplifications of the notion (Rückert: “to elevate by address to them of every kind;” Baumgarten-Crusius: to strengthen ; comp. Estius, who proposes exhortetur ) are arbitrary.

Verse 23

Ephesians 6:23 f. Twofold wish of blessing at the close, in which, however, Paul does not, as in the closing formulae of the other Epistles, directly address the readers ( μεθʼ ὑμῶν , μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν , μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν ). This variation is to be regarded as merely accidental , and the more so, seeing that he has in fact been just addressing his readers directly, and seeing that a μεθʼ ὑμῶν or the like would simply address the readers, as has so often been done in the Epistle itself, leaving, we may add, the question, who these readers are, in itself wholly undetermined. For what is asserted by Grotius on Ephesians 6:24 : “ Now, Ephesios tantum salutat, sed et omnes in Asia Christianos ,” is not implied in τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς which, on the contrary, represents quite the simple ὑμῖν , inasmuch as Paul conceives of the recipients of the Epistle in the third person . According to Wieseler, p. 444 f., the apostle in Ephesians 6:23 salutes the Jewish Christians ( ἀδελφ .), and in Ephesians 6:24 the Gentile Christians ( πάντων ) in Ephesus. Improbable in itself, more particularly in this Epistle, which so carefully brings into prominence the unity of the two; and the alleged distinguishing reference would neither be recognisable, nor in keeping with the apostolic wisdom.

εἰρήνη ] not concordia , as recommended by Calvin (“quia mox fit dilectionis mentio;” comp. also Theodoret and Oecumenius), but, as Calvin himself explains: welfare, blessing , שָׁלוֹם , without more precise definition, because it takes the place of the valete ( ἔῤῥωσθε , Acts 15:29 ) at the close of our Epistle, [319] and because that special sense is not at all suggested from the contents of the Epistle (comp. on the other hand, 2 Corinthians 13:11 ).

ἀγάπη μετὰ πίστεως ] is one object of the wish for blessing, not two. After the general fare well! namely, Paul singles out further the highest moral element, which he wishes for his readers. He does not, however, write καὶ ἀγάπη καὶ πίστις , because with good reason he presupposes faith (in the atonement achieved by Christ) as already present, but has doubtless to wish for them that which, as the constant life of faith, is to be combined with it (1 Corinthians 13:0 ; Galatians 5:6 ), Christian brotherly love, consequently love with faith ( ἀγάπη has the emphasis, not μετὰ πίστ .). Comp. Plato, Phaed . p. 253 E: κάλλος μετὰ ὑγιείας λαμβάνειν . Bengel and Meier understand the divine love, to which, however, μετὰ πίστ . is unsuitable, although Meier explains it: in conformity with their own faith , partly at variance with linguistic usage, [320] partly importing a thought ( their own ). The reading ἔλεος (instead of ἈΓΆΠΗ ) is to be regarded simply as a glossematic consequence of the explaining it of the divine love, and yet, though found only in codex A, it is held by Rückert to be the true one (comp. Galatians 6:16 ); Paul, he says, wishes to the readers εἰρήνη κ . ἔλεος for the reward (?) of faith.

ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πατρὸς κ . κυρ . Ἰ . Χ .] See on Romans 1:7 . Grotius, we may add, rightly observes: “conjungit causam principem cum causa secunda.” [321] For Christ is exalted on the part of God to the government of the world, and particularly to the Lordship of the church (Ephesians 1:22 ; Philippians 2:9 ); and His dominion has in God, the Head of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:3 ), not merely its ground (comp. also Ephesians 1:17 ), but also its goal (1 Corinthians 3:23 ; 1 Corinthians 15:28 ).

[319] Hence also not to be explained of the peace of reconciliation (Bengel, Matthies, Schenkel, and others), any more here than in the opening salutations of the Epistle, where it takes the place of the epistolary salutem , εὖ πράττειν .

[320] μετά may, it is true, sometimes be approximately as to sense rendered by conformably to , but the analysis in those cases is such as does not suit our passage. See e.g. Dem. Lept . p. 490; Plato, Phaed . p. 66 B, where μετὰ τῶν νόμων and μετὰ τοῦ λόγου is to be explained, in connection with the laws, etc., i.e. with the aid of the same. Comp. also Thucyd. iii. 82. 5, and Krüger in loc. See in general, Bernhardy, p. 255.

[321] The order in the combination of the two causes is inverted in Gal. l.c. : διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χρ . καὶ Θεοῦ πατρός .

Verse 24

Ephesians 6:24 . While Paul has in Ephesians 6:23 expressed his wish of blessing for the readers ( τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ), he now annexes thereto a further such general wish, namely, for all who love Christ imperishably , just as at 1 Corinthians 16:22 he takes up into the closing wish an ἀνάθεμα upon all those who do not love Christ.

ἡ χάρις ] the grace κατʼ ἐξοχήν , i.e. the grace of God in Christ. Comp. Colossians 4:18 ; 1Ti 6:21 ; 2 Timothy 4:22 ; Titus 3:15 . In the conclusion of other Epistles: the grace of Christ, Romans 16:20 ; Romans 16:24 ; 1 Corinthians 16:23 ; 2 Corinthians 13:13 ; Galatians 6:18 ; Philippians 4:23 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:28 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:18 ; Phil. 25.

ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ ] belongs neither to Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν (Wetstein: “Christum immortalem et gloriosum, non humilem,” etc.; see also Reiners in Wolf and Semler), nor to ἡ χάρις (“favor immortalis,” Castalio, Drusius; comp. Piscator and Michaelis, who take ἐν as equivalent to σύν , while the latter supposes a reference to deniers of the resurrection!), nor yet to the sit to be supplied after ἡ χάρις , as is held, after Beza (who, however, took ἐν for εἰς ) and Bengel, recently by Matthies (“that grace with all … may be in eternity ;” comp. Baumgarten-Crusius), Harless (according to whom ἐν denotes the element in which the χάρις manifests itself, and ἀφθαρσ . is all imperishable being, whether appearing in this life or in eternity), Bleek, and Olshausen, which last supposes a breviloquentia for ἵνα ζωὴν ἔχωσιν ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ , i.e. ζωὴν αἰώνιον . But, in opposition to Matthies, it may be urged that the purely temporal notion eternity ( εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ) is foisted upon the word imperishableness ; and in opposition to Harless, that the abstract notion imperishableness is transmuted into the concrete notion of imperishable being , which is not the meaning of ἀφθαρσ ., even in 2 Timothy 1:10 (but imperishableness in abstracto ), and that ἐν ἀφθαρσίᾳ , instead of adding, in accordance with its emphatic position, a very weighty and important element, would express something which is self-evident, namely, that according to the wish of the apostle the grace might display itself not ἐν φθαρτοῖς (1 Peter 1:18 ), but ἐν ἀφθάρτοις ; the breviloquentia , lastly, assumed by Olshausen is, although ἀφθαρσ . in itself might be equivalent to ζωὴ αἰώνιος (see Grimm, Handb . p. 60), a pure invention, the sense of which Paul would have expressed by εἰς ἀφθαρσίαν . The right connection is the usual one, namely, with ἀγαπώντων . And in accordance with this, we have to explain it: who love the Lord in imperishableness , i.e. so that their love does not pass away , in which case ἐν expresses the manner. Comp. the concluding wish Titus 3:15 , where ἐν πίστει is in like manner to be combined with φιλοῦντας . Others , following the same connection, have understood the sinceritas either of the love itself (Pelagius, Anselm, Calvin, Calovius, and others) or of the disposition and the life in general (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Erasmus, Flacius, Estius, Zeger, Grotius: “significatur is, qui nulla vi, nullis precibus, nullis illecebris se corrumpi, i.e. a recto abduci , patitur,” and others, including Wieseler), but against this Beza has already with reason urged the linguistic usage; for uncorruptedness is not ἀφθαρσία (not even in Wis 6:18-19 ), but ἀφθορία (Titus 2:7 ) and ἀδιαφθορία (Wetstein, II. p. 373). On ἀφθαρσία , imperishableness (at 1Co 15:42 ; 1 Corinthians 15:52 , it is in accordance with the context specially incorruptibility ), comp. Plut. Arist . 6; Romans 2:7 ; 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; 1Ti 1:17 ; 2 Timothy 1:10 ; Wis 2:23 ; Wis 6:18 f.; 4Ma 9:22 ; 4Ma 17:12 .

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Ephesians 6". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/ephesians-6.html. 1832.
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