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Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Obey, [ hupakouete (G5219)] - stronger than as to wives "submitting," or 'being subject' (Ephesians 5:21). Obedience is unreasoning and implicit; submission is the willing subjection of an inferior in point of order to one having a right to command.
In the Lord - join with "obey." 'Aleph (') A, Vulgate, support; B Delta G f g omit. Both parents and children being Christians, "in the Lord" expresses the element in which the obedience has place, and the motive to it. In Colossians 3:20 it is, "Children, obey your parents in all things." "In the Lord" suggests the limitation of the obedience required (Acts 5:29: cf., on the other hand, the abuse, Mark 7:11-13). Right - not merely becoming. Even natural law requires obedience to them from whom we derive life.
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
Here the authority of revealed law is added.
Which is ... [ heetis (G3748 ): inasmuch as it is] promise. The "promise" is not the main motive, but an incidental one. The main motive is, it is God's will (Deuteronomy 5:16, "Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath COMMANDED thee"): that it is so, is shown by His accompanying it 'with a ( en (G1722): the first in respect to) promise.
First - in the decalogue, with a special promise.' The promise in the second commandment is general. Their duty is more expressly prescribed to children than to parents; for love descends rather than ascends (Bengel). This verse proves the law in the New Testament is not abolished.
That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.
Thou mayest live (literally, thou shalt: a lasting and sure effect of obedience) long on the earth. In Exodus 20:12, "long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee," which Paul adapts to Gospel times by taking away the local reference to Canaan. The godly are equally blessed in every land, as the Jews were in the land which God gave them. This promise is always fulfilled, either literally or by a higher blessing-namely, one spiritual and eternal (Job 5:26; Proverbs 10:27). The essence of the law is eternally in force; its accidents alone (applying to Israel) are abolished (Romans 6:15).
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
And - superiors also have duties to the inferiors. Fathers - including mothers. The fathers are specified, as being the fountains of domestic authority. Fathers are more prone to passion toward their children than mothers, whose fault is rather over-indulgence.
Provoke not - by vexatious commands, unreasonable blame, and uncertain temper (Alford). Colossians 3:21, "lest they be discouraged."
Nurture - `discipline;' namely, training by chastening in act where needed (Job 5:17; Hebrews 12:7).
Admonition, [ nouthesia (G3559)] - training by words (Deuteronomy 6:7; Proverbs 22:6, margin, 'catechize'), whether of encouragement, remonstrance, or reproof (Trench). Contrast 1 Samuel 3:13, margin.
Of the Lord - such as the Lord approves, and by His Spirit dictates.
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Servants - literally, 'slaves.'
Masters according to the flesh - in contrast to your heavenly Master (Ephesians 6:4). A consolatory hint that the mastership to which they were subject was but for a time (Chrysostom): their real liberty was still their own (1 Corinthians 7:22).
Fear and trembling - not slavish terror, but (1 Corinthians 2:3, note; 2 Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 2:12) anxious solicitude to do your duty, and fear of displeasing, as great as is produced in the ordinary slave by "threatening" (Ephesians 6:9).
Singleness - without double-mindedness, hypocrisy, or "eye-service" (Ephesians 6:6), which seeks to satisfy the master's eye, but not to make the master's interest at all times the first consideration (1 Chronicles 29:17; Matthew 6:22-23; Luke 11:34). [ Haplotees (G572), 'simplicity:' 2 Corinthians 11:3; Romans 12:8.]
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
(Colossians 3:22.) Seeking to please masters only so long as their eyes are on them: as Gehazi was very different in his master's presence from what he was in his absence, (2 Kings 5:1-27.) Men-pleasers - not Christ-pleasers (cf. Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4).
As the servants of Christ - Christ's 'bond-servants' will not make 'men-pleasing' their aim.
Doing the will of God - the unseen but ever-present Master: the best guarantee for serving faithfully your earthly master alike when present and absent.
From the heart - literally, soul (Psalms 111:1; Romans 13:5).
With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Good will - expressing the servant's feeling toward his master; as "doing the will of God from the heart" (soul) expresses the source of that feeling (Colossians 3:23) - namely, his having given his 'soul' to "God" to do 'His will.' "Good, will" is stated by Xenophon ('Economics') to be the slave's principal virtue toward his master; a real regard to his master's interest as his own; a good will which not even a master's severity can extinguish.
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
Knowing - encouraging reason why they were to act so (Ellicott).
The same - `this' in full payment, in heaven's currency.
Shall he receive (back again, as a deposit: the appropriative middle [ komisetai (G2865)]; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 3:24) - but all of grace (Luke 17:10).
Bond or free (1 Corinthians 7:22; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Colossians 3:11). Christ will not regard such present distinctions in His future judgment. The slave that has acted faithfully for the Lord's sake, though the master may not repay his faithfulness, shall have the Lord for his Paymaster. The freeman who has done good for the Lord's sake, though man may not reward him, has the Lord for his Debtor (Proverbs 19:17).
And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
The same things - mutatis mutandis. Show the same regard to God's will, and your servant's well-being, in relation to them, as they ought is relation to you. Love regulates the duties both of servants and masters, as the same light attempers various colours. Equality of nature and faith is superior to distractions of rank (Bengel). Christianity makes all men brothers (cf. Leviticus 25:42-43; Deuteronomy 15:12; Jeremiah 34:14, as to how the Hebrews were to treat brethren in service; much more ought Christians to act with love).
Threatening, [ teen (G3588)] - 'the threatening' which masters commonly use. "Masters" [ hoi (G3588) kurioi (G2962)] is not so strong a term as 'despots:' it implies authority, not absolute domination.
Your Master also. 'Aleph (') A B C Delta, Vulgate, read 'the Master both of them and you.' This more forcibly brings out the equality of slaves and masters in the sight of God. Seneca says, 'Whatever an inferior dreads from you, this a superior Master threatens yourselves with.' As you treat your servants, so will He treat you.
Neither is there respect of persons. He will not, in judging, acquit thee because thou art a master, or condemn him because he is a servant (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Galatians 2:6; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17). Derived from Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
My brethren. So C G g, Vulgate. But 'Aleph (') A B Delta omit. The phrase occurs nowhere else (see, however, Ephesians 6:23): if genuine, it is appropriate in the close of the letter, where he is urging his fellow-soldiers to the good fight. 'Aleph (') A B for 'finally' [ to (G3588) loipon (G3063): C Delta G] read 'henceforward,' or 'from henceforth' [ tou (G3588) loipou (G3064)] (Galatians 6:17).
Be strong, [ endunamousthe (G1743)] - 'be strengthened.'
In the power (in action) of his might (passive) - Christ's might (2 Corinthians 12:9): as in Ephesians 1:19 it is the Father's.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
The whole armour - "the armour of light" (Romans 13:12) on the right hand and left (2 Corinthians 6:7). The panoply, offensive and defensive. An image suggested by the Roman armoury, Paul being in Rome. Repeated emphatically Ephesians 6:13. In Romans 13:14 it is, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." On putting on Him, and the new man in Him, we put on "the armour of light," "the whole armour of God." No opening at the head, the feet, the belly, the eye, the ear, or the tongue, is to be given to Satan. Believers have once for all overcome him. On the ground of this fundamental victory already gained, they are ever again to fight against and overcome him, even as they who once die with Christ have continually to mortify their members upon earth (Romans 6:2-14; Colossians 3:3; Colossians 3:5).
Of God - furnished by God: not our own, else it would not stand (Psalms 35:1-3). Spiritual and mighty through God: not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4).
Wiles - literally, 'schemes sought out; the methodical stratagems' (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:14).
The devil - the ruling chief of the foes (Ephesians 6:12) organized into a kingdom of darkness (Matthew 12:26), opposed to the kingdom of light.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
'For the [ hee (G3588)] wrestling to us [so 'Aleph (') A, Vulgate. But B Delta G f 'to you'] ('the wrestling' in which we are engaged) is not against flesh,' etc. Not merely against feeble man, but against powerful spirits of evil. 'Wrestling,' for it is a hand-to-hand and foot-to-foot personal, individual struggle: to wrestle successfully with Satan, we must wrestle with GOD in irresistible prayer, like Jacob (Genesis 32:24-29; Hosea 12:4). Translate, 'the principalities ... the powers' (Ephesians 1:21, note; 3:10; 1:16). The same grades occur in the case of the demons here as in that of the angels there (cf. Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Colossians 2:15). The Ephesians having practiced sorcery (Acts 19:19), he appropriately treats of evil spirits in addressing them. The more any Scripture treats of the kingdom of light, the more clearly does it set forth the kingdom of darkness. Hence, nowhere does the Satanic kingdom come more distinctly into view than in the gospels which treat of Christ, the true Light.
Rulers of the darkness of this world, [tous kosmokratoras tou skotous tou aionos toutou (G5127)] - 'the world-rulers of the darkness of this age.' But 'Aleph (') A B Delta G f g Vulgate, omit 'of age' [ tou (G3588) aioonos (G165)]. 'Against the world-rulers of this (present) darkness' (Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 5:8; Luke 22:53; Colossians 1:13). On 'world-rulers' cf. John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; Luke 4:6; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 5:19, Greek, 'lieth in the wicked one.' They rule not merely the disordered world, but the civilized, in so far as it is alienated from God. Though Satan and his demons be 'world-rulers,' they are not rulers of the universe: their usurped rule is soon to cease, when He shall "come whose right it is" (Ezekiel 21:27). Two cases prove Satan not a subjective fancy: (1) Christ's temptation;
(2) The entrance of demons into the swine (for these are incapable of such fancies).
Satan tries to parody God's working (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). So when God became incarnate, Satan, by demons, took possession of human bodies. The demoniacally possessed were not peculiarly wicked, but miserable, and so fit subjects for Jesus' pity. Paul makes no mention of demoniacal possession: in the time he wrote, it seems to have ceased; it probably lasted only during the Lord's stay on earth, and the foundation of His Church.
Spiritual wickedness [ ta (G3588) pneumatika (G4152) tees (G3588) poneerias (G4189)] - 'the spiritual hosts of wickedness.' As three clauses describe the power, so this fourth the wickedness, of our spiritual foes (Matthew 12:45).
In high places - Greek, 'heavenly places:' in Ephesians 2:2, "the air," where see note. The alteration to 'in heavenly places,' 'supernal regions,' is to mark the higher range of their powers than ours, they having been, up to the ascension (Revelation 12:5; Revelation 12:9-10), dwellers 'in the heavenly places' (Job 1:7), and being now in the regions of the air called the heavens (cf. Luke 8:5; Luke 8:12). Pride and presumption are the sins in heavenly places, to which especially they tempt (Luke 4:9-12), being those by which they themselves fell from heavenly places (Isaiah 14:12-15). Believers have nought to fear, being 'blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 1:3).
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Wherefore - since we have such formidable foes.
Take ... of God - not 'make;' God has done that: you have only to 'take up' [ analabete (G353)] and put it on. The Ephesians had myths of gods giving armour to heroes: thus Paul's allusion is appropriate.
The evil day - the day of Satan's special assaults (Ephesians 6:12; Ephesians 6:16; Ephesians 5:16), and at the dying hour (cf. Revelation 3:10). Our armour must always be on, to be ready against "the evil day" of especial temptation, which may come at any moment, the war being perpetual (Psalms 41:1, margin).
Stand. The repetition in Ephesians 6:11; Ephesians 6:14 shows that standing - i:e., maintaining our ground during the life-long battle, not yielding or fleeing-is the grand aim.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Stand therefore - ready for battle. 'Having girt about [ perizoosamenoi (G4024)] your loins with (in: en (G1722)) truth' - i:e., with sincerity, a good conscience (2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 Timothy 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 3:9). 'Truth in Jesus' (Ephesians 4:21), experimentally appropriated, is the band that girds up the flowing robes, so that the Christian soldier may be unencumbered for action. So the Passover was eaten with the loins girt and the shoes on the feet (Exodus 12:11: cf. lsa. 5:27; Luke 12:35). The girdle kept the armour in its place, and supported the sword. Faithfulness (Septuagint, 'truth') is the girdle of Messiah (Isaiah 11:5): so truth of His followers.
Having on, [ endusamenoi (G1746)] - 'having put on.'
Breastplate of righteousness (Isaiah 59:17) - similarly of Messiah. "Righteousness" is joined with "truth," as in Eph. Ephesians 6:9: righteousness in works, truth in words (1 John 3:7): Christ's righteousness in worked in us by the Spirit. "Faith and love" - i:e., faith working righteousness by love-are "the breastplate" in 1 Thessalonians 5:8.
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Translate, 'Having shod your feet' (referring to the military sandals then used).
The preparation, [ hetoimasia (G2091)] - 'the preparedness' or readiness (for the good warfare) of' (i:e., produced by) the "Gospel" (Psalms 10:17). Preparedness to do and suffer all that God wills, as a Christian soldier.
Gospel of peace - (cf. Luke 1:79; Romans 10:15.) "Peace" within forms a beautiful contrast to the conflict raging without. We maintain peace with God so long as we maintain war with Satan (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:7).
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Above all, [ epi (G1909)]. So A. Delta G 'Over all:' so as to cover all that was put on before. Three integuments are specified-the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses-the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons-the sword and the spear (prayer). Ellicott, etc., 'Besides (in addition to) all,' as in Luke 3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (cf. Colossians 3:14). But 'Aleph (') B f g, Vulgate read [ en (G1722)] 'In all (things).'
Taking, [ analabontes (G353)] - 'taking up.'
Ye shall be able - not merely 'ye may.' The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so 'quench all the fire-rapt [pepuromena] darts,' (ancient fire-darts were formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head, so as to set fire to wood-work, tents, etc.)
Of the wicked - `of the EVIL ONE.' Faith conquers (1 Peter 5:9) his darts of temptation to, wrath, lust, revenge, despair, etc. It overcomes the world (1 John 5:4), and so the prince of the world (1 John 5:18).
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Take, [ dexasthe (G1209)] - different Greek from Ephesians 6:13; Ephesians 6:16. 'Receive' the helmet provided by the Lord-namely, "salvation," appropriated already, as 1 Thessalonians 5:8, "helmet, the hope of salvation;" not uncertain, but bringing with it no shame of disappointment. It is subjoined to the shield of faith, as its inseparable accompaniment (cf. Romans 5:1; Romans 5:5). The head was among the principal parts to be defended, as on it the deadliest strokes might fall, and it commands the whole body. The head is the seat of the mind, which, when it has the sure "hope" of eternal life, will not receive false doctrine, or give way to Satan's temptation to despair. God, by this hope, "lifts up the head" (Psalms 3:3; Luke 21:28).
Sword of the Spirit - i:e., furnished by the Spirit, who inspired the writers of the Word (2 Peter 1:21). The Gospel word is "the power of God" to the believer (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18). The Trinity is implied: the Spirit here; Christ in "salvation;" and God the Father, Ephesians 6:13 (cf. Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:12). The two-edged sword, cutting both ways (Psalms 45:3; Psalms 45:5), some with conviction and conversion, others with condemnation (Isaiah 11:4; Revelation 19:15), is in the mouth of Christ (Isaiah 49:2), in the hand of His saints (Psalms 149:6). Christ's use of it in the temptation is our pattern how we are to wield it against Satan (Matthew 4:4; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10). There is no armour for the back, but only for the front; we must never turn our back to the foe (Luke 9:62); our only safety is in resisting ceaselessly (Matthew 4:11; James 4:7).
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; Praying - joined with the principal verb "stand" (Ephesians 6:14).
Always, [ en (G1722) panti (G3956) kairoo (G2540)] - 'in every season:' implying opportunity and exigency: the mind being always ready for prayer (Colossians 4:2). Paul uses Jesus' very words in Luke 21:36 (a gospel which he quotes elsewhere, in undesigned consonance with the account in Acts 16:17, of Luke being his associate in travel; 1 Corinthians 11:23, etc.; 1 Timothy 5:18: cf. Luke 18:1; Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
With all - i:e., every kind of; implying the earnestness of one leaving nothing untried.
Prayer, [ proseuchees (G4335)] - a sacred term for prayer in general.
Supplication, [ deeeseoos (G1162)] - a common term for one kind of prayer (Harless); an imploring request. "Prayer" for obtaining blessings, "supplication" for averting evil (Grotius).
In the Spirit - joined with "praying." It is He in us, as the Spirit of adoption, who prays, and enables us to pray (Romans 8:15; Romans 8:26; Galatians 4:6; Jude 1:20).
Watching - not sleeping (Ephesians 5:14; Psalms 88:13; Matthew 26:41). So in the temple a perpetual watch was maintained (cf. Anna, Luke 2:37). It was while Saul slept that his spear and cruse were taken. While Samson slept in Delilah's lap he was shorn of his locks. Sisera's head was nailed to the ground (a type of those fastened to earthly things) while sleeping in Jael's tent. Like Jonah sleeping in the storm, those spiritually asleep shall only awake to be plunged in destruction.
Thereunto - with a view to prayer and supplication.
With - Greek, 'in.' Persevering constancy [ proskartereesei (G4343)] and (as a particular instance of it) supplication are to be the element in which watchfulness is to be exercised, and that supplication is to extend to others besides yourselves.
For all saints - as none is so perfect as not to need the intercessions of his fellow-Christians.
And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
That I may open my mouth boldly, [ en (G1722) anoixei (G457) tou (G3588) stomatos (G4750) mou (G3450) en (G1722) parreesia (G3954) gnoorisai (G1107)] - 'that there, may be given to me "utterance" ('speech') in the opening of my mouth (when I undertake to speak: a formula in set and solemn speech: Job 3:1; Daniel 10:16; Matthew 5:2), so as with boldness to make known,' etc. Plainness of speech was the more needed, as the Gospel is a "mystery" indiscoverable by reason; only known by revelation. 'Aleph (') A Delta f, Vulgate, support "of the Gospel." B G omit. Paul looked for utterance to be given him: he did not depend on natural or acquired power. The shortest road to any heart is round by heaven: pray to God to open the door and to open your mouth, so as to avail yourself of every opening (Jeremiah 1:7-8; Ezekiel 3:8-9; Ezekiel 3:11; 2 Corinthians 4:13).
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
For, [ huper (G5228)] - 'On behalf of which.'
An ambassador in bonds. A paradox. Ambassadors were inviolable by the law of nations, and could not, without outrage to sacred right, be put in chains. Yet Christ's 'ambassador is in a chain!' [ en (G1722) halusei (G254), singular.] The Romans used to bind a prisoner to a soldier by a single chain, in a kind of half-free custody. So Acts 28:16; Acts 28:20. "Bonds" (plural) is used when the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together (Acts 26:29: cf. Acts 12:6). An undesigned accuracy, marking truth.
Therein - in making known the Gospel mystery.
As I ought to speak - qualifying the "boldly" in Ephesians 6:19.
But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:
That Ye also - as I have been discussing things relating to you, that ye also may know about me, (cf. Colossians 4:7-8). Neander takes it, 'ye also,' as well as the Colossians: presuming the letter to Colosse was written first.
How I do - how I fare.
Tychicus - an Asiatic: so a fit messenger for bearing the respective letters to Ephesus and Colesse (Acts 20:4; 2 Timothy 4:12; Titus 3:12). Tradition states that he became Bishop of Chalcedon.
A - Greek, 'the beloved brother,' etc.
Minister - i:e., servant.
In the Lord - in the Lord's work.
Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
For the same purpose - Greek, 'for this, very purpose' (Colossians 4:8).
Our affairs - Greek, 'the things concerning us.'
Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Love with [ meta (G3326 )] faith. Faith is presupposed: he prays that love may accompany it (Galatians 5:6).
Grace - The [ hee (G3588)] grace of God in Christ. Contrast the malediction on all who love Him not (1 Corinthians 16:22).
In sincerity, [ en (G1722) aphtharsia (G861)] - 'in incorruption,' 'in imperishableness,' 'with an immortal, undecaying love.' Compare "that which is not corruptible" (1 Peter 3:4). Not fleeting as earthly love, but spiritual and enduriug. Contrast Colossians 2:22, worldly things 'which perish with the using.' Compare 1 Corinthians 9:25. 'Purely' (Estius), without the corruption of sin (note, 1 Corinthians 3:17; 2 Peter 1:4; Jude 1:10). He who is good enough for Christ is good enough for me (R. Hall). The differences on non-essentials among real Christians show that they are not following one another like silly sheep, each trusting the one before him, but independent witnesses. Their agreement in the main can only be accounted for by their being all in the right direction (Acts 15:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 12:3).
Amen. 'Aleph (') A B G omit; Delta supports. It was added for liturgical purposes.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 6". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany