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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Ephesians 3:13

Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.


Adam Clarke Commentary

I desire that ye faint not - In those primitive times, when there was much persecution, people were in continual danger of falling away from the faith who were not well grounded in it. This the apostle deprecates, and advances a strong reason why they should be firm: "I suffer my present imprisonment on account of demonstrating your privileges, of which the Jews are envious: I bear my afflictions patiently, knowing that what I have advanced is of God, and thus I give ample proof of the sincerity of my own conviction. The sufferings, therefore, of your apostles are honorable to you and to your cause; and far from being any cause why you should faint, or draw back like cowards, in the day of distress, they should be an additional argument to induce you to persevere."


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/ephesians-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not - The connection here is this. Paul was then a prisoner at Rome. He had been made such in consequence of his efforts to diffuse the Christian religion among the Gentiles; see the notes at Ephesians 3:1. His zeal in this cause, and the opinions which he held on this subject, had roused the wrath of the Jews, and led to all the calamities which he was now suffering. Of that the Ephesians. he supposes, were aware. It was natural that they should be distressed at his sufferings, for all his privations were endured on their account. But here he tells them not to be troubled and disheartened. He was indeed suffering; but he was reconciled to it, and they should be also, since it was promoting their welfare. The word rendered “faint” - ἐκκακέω egkakeō- means literally, to turn out “a coward,” or to lose one‘s courage; then to be fainthearted, etc.; notes, 2 Corinthians 4:1. It is rendered “faint” in Luke 18:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:13, and “weary” in Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13. It does not elsewhere occur. It is rendered here by Locke “dismayed.” Koppe supposes it means that they should not suppose that the Christian religion was vain and false because he was suffering so much from his countrymen on account of it. But it rather means that they might be in danger of being discouraged by the fact that “he” was enduring so much. They might become disheartened in their attachment to a system of religion which exposed its friends to such calamities. Paul tells them that this ought not to follow. They were to be profited by all his sufferings, and they should, therefore, hold fast to a religion which was attended with so many benefits to them - though he should suffer.

Which is your glory - Which tends to your honor and welfare. You have occasion to rejoice that you have a friend who is willing thus to suffer for you; you have occasion to rejoice in all the benefits which will result to you from, his trials in your behalf.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/ephesians-3.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Ephesians 3:13

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Exhortation to steadfastness

1. We are prone, when ministers of the gospel are troubled, to forsake them and their gospel (Zechariah 13:7; Matthew 26:56).

2. We must be ready to suffer in the afflictions of the gospel with the ministers thereof.

Tribulation, the Church’s glory

Leonard Keyser, a friend and disciple of Luther, having been condemned by the bishop, had his head shaved, and being dressed in a smock frock, was placed on horseback. As the executioners were cursing and swearing because they could not disentangle the ropes with which his limbs were to be tied, he said to them mildly, “Dear friends, your bonds are not necessary; my Lord Christ has already bound me.” When he drew near the stake, Keyser looked at the crowd and exclaimed, “Behold the harvest! O Master, send forth Thy labourers!” And then ascending the scaffold, he cried, “O Jesus, save me!” These were his last words. “What am I, a wordy preacher,” said Luther, when he received the news of his death, “in comparison with this great doer of the Word?” (J. H. M. DAubigne, D. D.)

Joy through tribulation

It is related that in Germany there stood two vast towers, far apart, on the extremes of a castle; and that the old baron to whom this castle belonged stretched huge wires across from one to the other, thus constructing an AEolian harp. Ordinary winds produced no effect upon the mighty instrument; but when fierce storms and wild tempests came rushing down the sides of the mountains and through the valleys, and hurled themselves against those wires, then they began to roll out the most majestic strains of music that can be conceived. It is thus with many of the deepest and grandest emotions of the human soul. The soft and balmy zephyrs that fan the brows of ease and cheer the hours of prosperity and repose give no token of the inward strength and blessing which the tempest’s wrath discloses. But when storms and hurricanes assault the soul, the bursting wail of anguish rises with the swells of jubilant grandeur, and sweeps upward to the throne of God as a song of triumph, victory, and praise. (Biblical Treasury.)

Tribulations of the believer

The very word “tribulation” is full of significance in regard to the Christian’s trials. Tribulatio is the Latin for the winnowing or thrashing out of the corn from the husk. The early Christians, seeing that God intended sorrow as a holy discipline, gave to the word a high and spiritual import, which was, to its original meaning, as the soul of man is to his body. When sorrow came to them they called it tribulatio, the separation of the chaff that was in them from the wheat. And the Christian will so look at afflictions. They come to him as they did before he was brought to Christ. Now, however, he has a strength to bear them which he had not before. They sometimes come like a flood; sometimes in the small worries of his daily life. As when the sculptor, working on the marble block, with heavy strokes brings off large pieces of the stone, and again with nice and delicate touches develops the folds of the robe and the beauty of the form, so does God at one time bring upon us great afflictions, at another smaller griefs, but always in him who receives them rightly is He bringing out the character of Christ. He first makes the heart plastic in the fires of tribulation, and then, as with a royal signet, imprints upon it the image of His Son. (J. G. Pilkington.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Ephesians 3:13". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/ephesians-3.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory.

What a beautiful and selfless thought is this! The rigors of a Roman prison, though somewhat tempered in Paul's case, were nevertheless extremely galling, the very fact of being chained twenty-four hours a day to a Roman sentry was itself a terrible punishment. Paul at this time seems to have been kept, either within the vicinity of the Praetorian barracks, or within the compound that housed the royal bodyguard of the Caesars. In the final imprisonment which came some years later, Paul is thought to have been kept in a dungeon. However, the grand apostle's thoughts were not of his own trials and sufferings, but of the intimidation that such sufferings might cause among his converts. He was not concerned about Paul, but about them! Surely, there is a love here that approaches that of the dear Saviour himself.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/ephesians-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you,.... The apostle was a man attended with many tribulations, and great afflictions, which he did not suffer as an evildoer, either from God or men; wherefore he was not ashamed of them, but gloried in them; yea, he took pleasure in them, having much of the presence of God in them; they did not come to him unawares, he always expected them, and was helped to look to the glory which should follow them, the view of which greatly supported him under them; and these tribulations were endured for the sake of the elect, for Christ's body's sake; the church, and among others, for the Ephesians, for the sake of preaching the Gospel among them, and for the confirmation of their faith in it; and yet they were a stumbling to them, they were ready to faint at them; but he desires they would not, since they were on account of the Gospel, which he had such a distinct knowledge of, and so clear a call to; and since they were for their sakes, and since he and they had such nearness of access to God by the faith of Christ, with so much boldness and confidence; and seeing also they turned to their account: which is your glory; meaning either that it was matter of glorying to them, and what they might boast of, that the apostle's afflictions were not for any crime that was found in him, but for preaching the Gospel to them, and that it was an honour to suffer in such a cause; or that their perseverance and constancy in the doctrines of the Gospel, notwithstanding the scandal of the cross, would be an honour to them.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/ephesians-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

“I entreat you not to be dispirited.”

for you — in your behalf.

which is — rather, “which are your glory,” namely, inasmuch as showing that God loved you so much, as both to give His Son for you, and to permit His apostles to suffer “tribulations” for you [Chrysostom] in preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. See on Ephesians 3:1, “prisoner for you Gentiles.” My tribulations are your spiritual “glory,” as your faith is furthered thereby (1 Corinthians 4:10).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/ephesians-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That ye faint not (μη ενκακεινmē enkakein). Object infinitive with μηmē after αιτουμαιaitoumai The infinitive (present active) ενκακεινenkakein is a late and rare word (see already Luke 18:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1, 2 Corinthians 4:16; Galatians 6:9) and means to behave badly in, to give in to evil (εν κακοςenδοχα υμωνkakos). Paul urges all his apostolic authority to keep the readers from giving in to evil because of his tribulations for them.

Your glory (doxa humōn). As they could see.


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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/ephesians-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Faint ( ἐγκακεῖν )

Lit., lose heart. Κακός in classical Greek, but not in the New Testament, sometimes means cowardly.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/ephesians-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

The not fainting is your glory.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/ephesians-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Ye faint not; be not distressed and disheartened.--For you; for you Gentiles; not particularly for the Ephesians.--Which is your glory, which is for your glory; that is, his trials and sufferings were designed to be the means of promoting their eternal good.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/ephesians-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

13.Wherefore I desire. His reason for alluding formerly to his imprisonment is now manifest. It was to prevent them from being discouraged when they heard of his persecution. (134) O heroic breast, which drew from a prison, and from death itself, comfort to those who were not in danger! He says that, he endured tribulations for the Ephesians, because they tended to promote the edification of all the godly. How powerfully is the faith of the people confirmed, when a pastor does not hesitate to seal his doctrine by the surrender of his life! And accordingly he adds, which is your glory. Such lustre was thrown around his instructions, that all the churches among whom he had labored, had good reason to glory, when they beheld their faith ratified by the best of all pledges.


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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/ephesians-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Ver. 13. Wherefore I desire] αιτουμαι, mendico. Or, I beg of God, as one would do an alms, Acts 3:2, humbly, heartily. And here the apostle returns to his former discourse, after a long digression, Ephesians 3:2; to Ephesians 3:13.

At my tribulations for you] For your sakes am I maliced and molested by the Jews; by whose means also I am now a prisoner.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/ephesians-3.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

13.] Wherefore (‘quæ cum ita sint,’ viz. the glorious things spoken of Ephesians 3:1-12 : and especially his own personal part in them, ἐγὼ π., ἐμοὶ ἐδόθη, ἐγενήθην διάκονος:—since I am the appointed minister of so great a matter) I beseech you (not, beseech God,—which would awkwardly necessitate a new subject before ἐγκακεῖν: see below) not to be dispirited (not, ‘that I may not be dispirited,’ as Syr., Thdrt., Beng., Rück., Harl., Olsh. Such a reference is quite refuted by the reason rendered below, ἥτις ἐσ. δὸξα ὑμων, and by the insertion of μου after θλ., which in this case would be wholly superfluous: not to mention its inconsistency with all we know of the Apostle himself) in (of the element or sphere, in which the faint-heartedness would be shewn: ‘in the midst of’) my tribulations for you (the grammatical Commentators justify the absence of the article before ὑπέρ by the construction θλίβομαι ὑπέρ τινος. This surely is not necessary, in the presence of such expressions as τοῖς κυρίοις κατὰ σάρκα, ch. Ephesians 6:5. The strange view of Harl., that ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν is to be joined with αἰτοῦμαι, needs no refutation), seeing that they are (not ‘which is;’ ἥτις is not = , but = ‘quippe qui,’ ‘utpote qui:’ see examples in Palm and Rost’s Lex. ὅς, p. 547) your glory ( πῶς ἐστι δόξα αὐτῶν; ὅτι οὕτως αὐτοὺς ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεός, ὥστε καὶ τ. υἱὸν ὑπὲρ αὐτῶν δοῦναι, κ. τοὺς δούλους κακοῦν. ἵνα γὰρ αὐτοὶ τύχωσι τοσούτων ἀγαθῶν, παῦλος ἐδεσμεῖτο, Chrys. Bengel compares ὑμεῖς ἔνδοξοι, ἡμεῖς δὲ ἄτιμοι, 1 Corinthians 4:10 : and this certainly seems against Stier’s notion that δόξα ὑμῶν means ‘your glorification,’ ‘the glory of God in you’).


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/ephesians-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Ephesians 3:13. Once more reviewing the whole section concerning the great contents of his office as apostle of the Gentiles (Ephesians 3:2-12), he concludes it, in especial retrospective reference to the introduction thereof (Ephesians 3:1), with the entreaty to the readers not to become discouraged, etc., in order thereupon yet further to attach to Ephesians 3:14 ff. a rich outpouring of intercession for them, which terminates in an enthusiastic doxology (Ephesians 3:20 f.). According to this view, δίο has its reference not merely in Ephesians 3:12, but in the whole of what Paul has said, Ephesians 3:2-12, regarding his office, namely: On that account, because so great and blissful a task has by God’s grace been assigned to me in my calling, I entreat you, etc. The greater the office conferred by God, the less does it become those whom it concerns to take offence or become downcast at the sufferings and persecutions of its holder.

μὴ ἐκκακεῖν] applies to the readers: that ye become not disheartened, fainthearted and cowardly in the confession of the gospel,—not to Paul: that I become not disheartened, as Syriac, Theodoret, Jerome, Bengel, Semler, and others, including Rückert, Harless, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, take it. In opposition to the latter, it may be urged that the supplying of θεόν after αἰτοῦμαι, demanded in connection therewith, is in no wise indicated by the context, which rather in the bare αἰτοῦμαι, (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 10:2) conveys only the idea of a request to the readers (it is otherwise at Colossians 1:9; James 1:6). Further, ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑμῶν manifestly contains a motive for the readers, to fulfil that which Paul entreats. Only from τούτου χάριν, Ephesians 3:14, begins an intercession for the readers, that God may strengthen them.(180) The μου, finally, after θλίψεσι is wholly superfluous, if Paul is imploring constancy for himself; but not, if he is beseeching the readers not to become fainthearted, while he is suffering for them.

As to the form ἐγκακεῖν in Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Rückert, see on 2 Corinthians 4:1.

ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσί ΄ου ὑπὲρ ὑ΄.] in the tribulations which I endure for your sake (namely, as apostle of the Gentiles). Comp. Paul’s own so touching comment upon this ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, in Philippians 2:17. The ἐν denotes the subsisting relation, in which their courage is not to give way. See Winer, p. 346 [E. T. 483]. To this conception the explanation on account of (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, Estius, and others) is also to be referred, ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν is rightly attached, without repetition of the article, to ταῖς θλίψ. ΄ου, because one may say θλίβεσθαι ὑπέρ τινος (2 Corinthians 1:6; comp. Colossians 1:24). Comp. on Galatians 4:14. Harless connects ὑπὲρ ὑ΄. with αἰτοῦ΄αι: I pray for your benefit. How violently opposed to the order of the words, and, with the right view of αἰτοῦμαι, impossible!

ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑ΄ῶν] is designed to animate to the fulfilment of the entreaty, so that ἥτις introduces an explanation serving as a motive thereto (Herm. ad Oed. R. 688; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 385), not equivalent to , but referring what is predicated “ad ipsam rei naturam” (Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. p. 190), like qui quidem, quippe qui, utpote qui. ἥτις may be referred either to the ΄ὴ ἐκκακεῖν (Theodoret, Zanchius, Harless, Olshausen, Schenkel) or to ταῖς θλίψεσί ΄ου ὑπὲρ ὑ΄ῶν (so usually). In either case the relative is attracted by the following δόξα, and this not as Hebraizing (Beza, Matthies, and many), but as a Greek usage. Comp. as regards the ordinary exegesis, according to which the number also is attracted, Dem. c. Aphob. p. 853. 31: ἔχειὀγδόηκοντα μὲν μνᾶς, ἢν ἔλαβε προῖκα τῆς μητρός; and see, in general, Winer, p. 150 [E. T. 206]. The usual reference is the right one; the sufferings of the apostle for the readers were a glory of the latter, it redounded to their honour that he suffered for them,(181) and this relation could not but raise them far above the ἐκκακεῖν, else they would not have accorded with the thought brought to their consciousness by the ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑμῶν. The referring of ἥτις to μὴ ἐκκακεῖν is inconsistent with the correct explanation of the latter (see above); for if Paul had said that it was glorious for the readers not to grow faint, he would either have given expression to a very general and commonplace thought, or else to one of which the specific contents must first be mentally supplied (gloria spiritualis); whereas the proposition: “my tribulations are your glory,” is in a high degree appropriate alike to the ingenious mode of expression, and to the apostolic sense of personal dignity, in which is implied a holy pride. Comp. Philippians 2:17.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/ephesians-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Ephesians 3:13. αἰτοῦμαι) I desire,(46) ask God: comp. Ephesians 3:20; Ephesians 3:12. So, asking absolutely, Colossians 1:9 [“We do not cease desiring ( αἰτούμενοι) for you:” viz. desiring God].— μὴ ἐκκακεῖν, not to faint) that I may not prove wanting [that there be no defect on my part], but that I may speak boldly and allure many. The infinitive referring to the same person as the finite verb I ask.(47)θλίψεσί μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, in my afflictions for you) Ephesians 3:1.— δόξα) [your] glory spiritual; inasmuch as your faith is assisted thereby [1 Corinthians 4:10].


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/ephesians-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Wherefore I desire; I pray you. This is an exhortation to the Ephesians, not a prayer to God, for that follows, Ephesians 3:14.

That ye faint not at my tribulations for you; the truth I have preached to you being the cause of my sufferings, and your salvation (to which they tend as a means to confirm your faith) being the end of them.

Which is your glory; either he means, that their not fainting, or not falling away from Christ, by reason of his sufferings, was their glory; or rather, that his sufferings were their glory, in that he did by them seal the truth of the doctrine he had preached, being still ready to suffer for what he delivered to them.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/ephesians-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

My tribulations; on account of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, for which he was then a prisoner at Rome.

Your glory; the means of promoting your glory; that is, promotive of your heavenly glory, with all the earnests of it which ye now receive through the Holy Spirit.


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Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/ephesians-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

13. Διὸ. Such being the occasion and the effect of my sufferings.

αἰτοῦμαι. Elsewhere in St Paul only Ephesians 3:20; Colossians 1:9; in each case of a request from God. But the context is on the whole in favour of translating ‘I beg you not.’ Otherwise ‘I pray that there be no failing’ is possible. Robinson conjectures that ὑμᾶς has dropped out after αἰτοῦμαι, but cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20; Hebrews 13:19.

μὴ ἐνκακεῖν., 2 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Corinthians 4:1; Galatians 6:9; Luke 18:1. (So always in the true reading, never ἐκκακεῖν.) ‘Lose heart,’ ‘fail in perseverance.’ Cf. Lightfoot on Galatians 6:9.

ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου, i.e. his imprisonment (Ephesians 3:1). Notice how in Philippians 1:12-30 he puts a brave face on facts outwardly discouraging. Cf. Colossians 1:24. For ἐν, cf. Philippians 1:28, μὴ πτυρόμενοι ἐν μηδενί.

ἥτις ἐστὶν δόξα ὑμῶν. Cf. 1 Peter 4:14. The antecedent is either [1] ‘my sufferings on your behalf, which are,’ or [2] ‘that ye faint not … which is’ (so Lightfoot). ἥτις in any case is attracted into agreement with δόξα. Cf. 1 Corinthians 3:17; Philippians 1:28. For [1] cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 1:14; 2 Corinthians 5:12.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/ephesians-3.html. 1896.

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

(Ephesians 3:13.) διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐγκακεῖν—“Wherefore I entreat you that ye faint not.” διό—“wherefore,” since these things are so, referring us back to the sentiments of the five preceding verses. Lachmann and Tischendorf, after A, B, D1, E, prefer ἐγκακεῖν to the common reading ἐκκακεῖν, which has in its favour C, D3, F, G, I, K. It is doubtful, indeed, whether there be such a word. With all its apparent simplicity of style and construction, this verse is open to various interpretations. And, first, as to the accusative, which must be supplied before the infinitive, some prefer ἐμέ and others ὑμᾶς. In the former case the meaning is, “Wherefore I desire God that I faint not,” and in the latter case it is, “Wherefore I entreat you that you lose not heart.” The first is that adopted by the Syriac version, by Theodoret, Jerome, Bengel, Vater, Rückert, Harless, Olshausen, and Baumgarten-Crusius. Our objection to such an exposition is, that there is in the clause no formal or implied reference to God; that it is awkward to interpose a new subject, or make the object of the verb and the subject of the infinitive different-2 Corinthians 5:20; 2 Corinthians 6:1; 2 Corinthians 10:2; Hebrews 13:19; and that the apostle possessed little indeed of that faint-heartedness against which he is supposed to guard himself by prayer. Turner's objection to this last statement is only a misconception of it. Besides, as the last clause of the verse is plainly an argument to sustain the request, the connection is destroyed if the apostle be imagined to make petition for himself; while the meaning is clear and pertinent if the request be for them—“Let not my sufferings for you distress you; they are your glory.” The proposal of Harless to join ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν to αἰτοῦμαι—“I pray on your account,” has little to recommend it. Our view is that of Chrysostom and the majority of interpreters. “That ye faint not”-

ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν—“in my tribulations for you.” No article is needed before ὑπέρ. 2 Corinthians 1:6. ᾿εν is not properly “on account of,” as many render it, but it rather represents the close and sympathizing relation in which Paul and his readers stood. His afflictions had become theirs; they were in them as really as he was. Their sympathy with him had made his afflictions their own, and he implored them not to be dispirited or cowardly under such a pressure, and for this reason-

ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑμῶν—“which is your glory.” ῞ητις is used by attraction with the following predicate δόξα, and signifies “inasmuch as they are,” utpote quae. Winer, § 24, 3. But what is its antecedent? Theodoret, Zanchius, Harless, and Olshausen suppose it to be the thought contained in μὴ ἐγκακεῖν, as if the apostle's self-support in such sufferings were their glory. This exegesis proceeds upon an opinion which we have already gainsaid, viz., that Paul offers here a prayer for himself. Rückert exhales the meanings of the clause by finding in it only the vague indistinctness of oratorical declamation. The general opinion appears to be the correct one, that these sufferings of Paul, which came on him simply because he was the apostle of the Gentiles, were the “glory” of the Gentile believers, and not their disgrace, inasmuch as such persecutions not only proved the success of his ministerial labours, but were at the same time collateral evidence of the lofty and unfettered privileges which believing heathendom now possessed and retained, and which, by the apostle's firmness, were at length placed beyond the reach of Jewish fanaticism to annul or even to curtail. As you may measure the pyramid by its shadow, so these afflictions of Paul afforded a similar means of arriving at a relative or anti-thetical estimate of the spiritual liberty and prerogative of the Gentile churches. The apostle began the chapter by an allusion to the fact that he was a prisoner for the Gentiles, and he now concludes the digression by this natural admonition. His tribulations, the evidence of his official dignity and of their unconditioned exemption from ceremonial bondage, were their glory, and therefore they were not to sink into faintness and lassitude, as if by his “chain” they had been affronted and their apostle disgraced.

The apostle now resumes the thought broken off in Ephesians 3:1, and we are carried back at once to the magnificent imagery of a spiritual temple in the concluding section of the second chapter. The prayer must be regarded as immediately following that section, and its architectural terms and allusions will thus be more clearly understood. This connection with the closing paragraph of the former chapter, we take as affording the key to the correct exegesis of the following supplication.


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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/ephesians-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Wherefore I ask that you may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory.’

Some of his readers were clearly very constrained at what Paul was enduring. They were dispirited and concerned. Why did God not step in and deliver him so that he could carry on with his powerful ministry. What would happen when he was gone? How could the church survive? Do not worry says Paul, my sufferings are your glory. Either a cause for them to glory, or will result in glory for them, or both. Without his imprisonment there may well have been no letters, and what would we have done then?

‘Tribulations.’ The word means literally ‘squeezings’ or ‘pressings’, being pressed in and afflicted by circumstances.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/ephesians-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

13. Wherefore—In blessed review of the comprehensive results of this Gentile call and apostleship.

I desire—I beseech you for myself.

Faint not—Be not downcast or disheartened. There might be those who feared that the imprisonment of the apostle was a refutation of his doctrine. They might be disgusted at a cause that so poorly sustained its champion. Hence Paul alludes bravingly to his bonds; he is “an ambassador in Christ,” “the prisoner” of Christ. And hence, to inspirit them to a similar brave view, to thrill them with the same spirit, he uses these electric words.

For you—As Gentiles, and as sinners, then, he preached and suffered in their stead.

Your glory—That I and you should suffer chains and death for Christ and his elect.

Paul, having expanded the view of his apostolic office, (note, Ephesians 3:1,) is now ready for the apostolic prayer.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/ephesians-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In this verse the apostle returned to the thought with which he began this section ( Ephesians 3:1). God had entrusted Paul with the mystery of the church and had given him a ministry of evangelizing the Gentiles. Therefore his Ephesian readers should not view his present imprisonment as a tragedy but simply as part of his ministry. His ministry was for them and for their glory, so they should view his tribulations as part of God"s good will for him and for them (cf. Philippians 1:7).

"The mystery of Ephesians 3is the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the body of Christ. This equality and this body were not revealed in the Old Testament. They were made known only after the coming of Christ by the Spirit to the apostles and prophets including Paul but not excluding others." [Note: Ryrie, "The Mystery . . .," p31. This article contains an excellent explanation of the mystery from the dispensational viewpoint as well as refutation of the amillennial, covenant premillennial, and ultradispensational views.]

Saucy, a "progressive dispensationalist," interpreted the mystery in a slightly different way.

"Our examination of the mystery in Ephesians 3leads us to a mediating position between traditional dispensational and nondispensational views [i.e, the progressive dispensational view]. The unity of Jews and Gentiles in Christ is taking place in the church in partial fulfillment of Old Testament promises. Messianic days have dawned, albeit in a way not clearly anticipated in the prophecies. Rather than one grand age of fulfillment under the messianic reign, the prophetic fulfillment has been divided into two ages related to the two comings of Christ. In this first age of fulfillment, the spiritual messianic salvation is already present in the gospel. This gospel is broadly spoken of as the mystery, or the mystery of Christ, or the mystery of the gospel. The specific spiritual unity of all peoples entailed in this gospel is the content of the mystery of Ephesians 3." [Note: Saucy, "The Church . . .," p151.]

Whereas the Old Testament predicted the unity of Jewish and Gentile believers, it did not reveal their complete equality in Christ. On this point all dispensationalists and covenant theologians agree.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/ephesians-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Ephesians 3:13. Wherefore. In view of my position as the minister of such a gospel, thus leading back to Ephesians 3:1, the thought of which is resumed in Ephesians 3:14. This is preferable to referring it merely to the subordinate thought in Ephesians 3:12.

I desire you not to faint, or, ‘I pray God that I faint not’ The literal rendering: ‘I ask not to faint,’ will indicate the difficulty in interpreting the verse, namely, the absence of an object after the verb ‘ask,’ and of a subject with the infinitive, ‘to faint.’ One view supplies ‘you ‘as both object and subject; the other supplies ‘God’ as the object and ‘I’ as the subject. The verb ‘ask’ suits either explanation. Both views have able supporters, but the former has been rightly adopted by the majority of commentators. (1.) It seems unlike Paul to insert such a prayer for himself here; he rejoiced in suffering (Colossians 1:24) and gloried in infirmity (2 Corinthians 11:30), and was speaking of high privilege, little likely to imply faint-heartedness in himself. (2.) The next clause presents a motive (Meyer) which is irrelevant, unless this clause applies to them. (3.) ‘My’ does not imply that ‘faint’ refers to him. (4.) It is grammatically simpler to supply one word (‘you’) which need not be repeated, than to supply two, one of them (‘God’) not directly suggested by the context nor necessary to complete the sense of the verb. Galatians 4:14, where the correct reading is ‘your temptation which was in my flesh,’ shows that the sympathy between Paul and his converts was such as to make this view of the clause perfectly natural. The danger of the weakness was greater for them than for him.

At (‘lit,’ ‘in’) my tribulations in behalf of you, suggesting again the thought of Ephesians 3:1. The preposition ‘in’ points to the sphere in which their faint-heartedness might be shown.

Which are your glory. ‘Are’ shows that’ which’ refers to ‘tribulations,’ seeing they are ‘your glory.’ The thought is, not that it would be a disgrace for them to have a founder who fainted in tribulations, and that his not fainting is their glory, but that the reason they should not faint is the character of his tribulations, as the Apostle of the Gentiles. They were for his readers, were tokens of the love of God in sending his ministers to suffer that the gospel might be universal and the Gentiles sharers in its blessings. It was the sympathy of Christ, in whom the Apostle’s ‘boldness and access’ was possessed ‘in confidence,’ that gave to him such sympathy with them. He was concerned for them rather than for himself. It will be seen how well this view accords with the thought resumed in Ephesians 3:14, and the subsequent prayer.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/ephesians-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Ephesians 3:13. διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐγκακεῖν ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσί μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν: wherefore I ask that ye lose not heart in my tribulations in your behalf. The διό is referred by some (Mey., etc.) to the immediately preceding verse, the possession of these great privileges of “boldness and access” on the part of the Ephesians being Paul’s reason for urging on them the request which follows. It is better, however, to refer the διό to the great thought of the whole paragraph, to which the statement in Ephesians 3:12 is subordinate, viz., the dignity of the office committed to Paul and its significance for them. Because the great trust of the Apostleship among the Gentiles is what he has declared it to be for himself and for them, he puts this request before them. The αἰτεῖν, which sometimes expresses a demand (Luke 1:63; 1 Corinthians 1:22), has the simple sense of asking here; and in such connections as the present αἰτοῦμαι has the full sense of asking for one’s self. It is followed sometimes by the acc. and inf. (Luke 23:23; Acts 3:14), and sometimes, as here, by the simple inf. (Acts 7:46). The idea in the verb ἐγκακεῖν is that of losing courage, becoming faint of heart. The form ἐκκακεῖν, which is given in the TR, appears in (309) (310)3(311) (312) (313), etc. It is doubtful, however, whether that form occurs anywhere in ordinary Greek. It may have had a place in popular, oral use. The written form was ἐγκακεῖν, and that form appears here in most of the best MSS. ((314) (315) (316) (317)1, etc.). Hence LTrRV adopt ἐγκακεῖν; TWH, ἐνκακεῖν. But what is the construction here? Some supply θεόν, and make the sense either (1) “I pray God that ye faint not,” or (2) “I pray God that I faint not”. But if the subject of the αἰτοῦμαι had been God, the θεόν could scarcely have been omitted, as there is nothing in the context clearly to suggest it. And that it is the readers, not Paul himself, whose possible faint-heartedness is referred to appears from the force of the ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν and the ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑμῶν. Paul himself rejoiced in his tribulations (2 Corinthians 12:5; 2 Corinthians 12:10 : Colossians 1:24, etc.), and a prayer in such circumstances as the present betraying any fear about himself would be utterly unlike him. But he might have cause enough to apprehend that these converts might not all view painful things as he did. Hence ὑμᾶς is to be understood as the subject of αἰτοῦμαι (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20; Hebrews 13:19). The ἐν before θλίψεσι has the proper sense of in (not “at” as RV puts it), pointing to the circumstances, sphere, or relation in which the faint-heartedness ought not to show itself (cf. Win.-Moult., pp. 482, 483, and Ell., in loc.). These θλίψεις were ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν (the phrase ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν going surely with the θλίψεσί μου, not with αἰτοῦμαι as Harless strangely puts it), as sufferings endured in virtue of Paul’s Apostleship among the Gentiles; cf. Philippians 1:17. The defining article again is not required before ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, as the phrase makes in reality one idea.— ἥτις ἐστὶ δόξα ὑμῶν: which are your glory. The distinction between the definite or objective rel. ὅς and the indefinite, generic, or qualitative rel. ὅστις (cf. Jelf, Gr. Gram., 816) is not always maintained in the NT, and indeed the use of ὅστις for ὅς is as old as Herod. (ii., 92) and Ionic Greek generally (Kühner, Gr. Gram., ii., 906). In the Pauline Epistles, however, the distinction seems to be fairly maintained (Blass, Gram. of N. T. Greek, p. 173), and ἥτις appears here to have the force of an explanation—“inasmuch as they are,” “for indeed they are”. The rel. is referred by some (Theod., Olsh., Harl.) to the μὴ ἐγκακεῖν, or to the whole sentence beginning with that; in which case ἥτις would stand for . But it is most naturally referred to the θλίψεσι. It is a case of attraction, but one in which the noun of the rel. clause gives its number (cf. Dem. c. Aphob., p. 853, 31, and in the NT itself, Acts 24:11; Philippians 3:20) as well as its gender to the rel. (Win.-Moult., p. 206; Buttm., Gram. of NT Greek, p. 281; Donald., Gr. Gram., p. 362; Madvig, Syn., § 98). The clause, therefore, gives the readers a reason or motive for not yielding to faintness of heart. Paul’s tribulations were endured in their behalf, and were of value for them. The greater the office of the sufferer, the more did the afflictions which he was content to endure for them redound to their honour; and the better this was understood by them, the less should they give way to weakness and discouragement.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/ephesians-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Wherefore, I beseech you, be not discouraged nor disheartened at my tribulations and persecutions on the account of the gospel, nor at your own, which ought to be a subject both for you and me to glory in. (Witham)


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/ephesians-3.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Ephesians 3:13 “Wherefore I ask that ye may not faint at my tribulations for you, which are your glory”

“Wherefore”: In view of all the blessings available to Christians, including the Christians in Ephesus. “I ask”: Paul could not keep Christians from fainting or giving up, rather all he can do is exhort them with great objective truths. “May not faint”: To become weary or give up (Galatians 6:9; 2 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 4:16). “At my tribulations”: “I beg you not to be disheartened at the sufferings” (TCNT). “So please do not lose heart at what they are doing to me here” (Tay).

“Paul also had to encourage the Philippians ( and 2:17-18) and the Colossians (1:24) in regard to his imprisonment. Paul wants the Ephesian believers to see that imprisonment does not mean defeat” (Boles p. 253). “Paul"s readers might have lost heart. They might have supposed that the cause of Christ was failing. His work seemed to have ended. The Gentile believers might well have been discouraged. The apostle reasoned otherwise. However, painful imprisonment and distress must argue a great cause; they must signify an enterprise worthy of such a price. Unless some great purpose was being accomplished the Master would not allow his servant to suffer such pain. It indicated the dignity of their position, the exalted character of their destiny, which was being secured at so great a cost” (Erdman p. 71).

“For you, which are your glory”: “For it does you honor” (Gspd). “They could feel honored that one who was accomplishing so divine a mission was suffering for them” (Erdman p. 71).

“Indeed, Paul was defending their full and unhindered access to blessings in Christ for which every Gentile should be grateful!” (Spiritual Sword Lectureship p. 69). “If Paul is willing to endure everything for his work"s sake, that work must be great and valuable indeed; if God permitted Paul to endure so much as the consequence of his work, this showed God"s own estimate of his work” (Lenski p. 488). As a result Paul informs these Gentile Christians that the very existence of his suffering should greatly encourage them, because God knew that every effort should be made in affirming the right of Gentiles to be saved. We are reminded here that the souls of Gentiles have great worth (Matthew 16:26). If we are to spread the message, we must be prepared to endure some suffering (2 Timothy 3:12; Acts 14:22). Erdman reminds us, “Suffering is ever involved in the enterprise of evangelizing the world. So it is in all great causes. The most priceless possessions of mankind have ever been secured by peril, toil, and pain. Opposition, difficulty, even apparent failure, are not reasons for abandoning a divinely appointed task” (pp. 71-72).

“If the church is central to God"s purpose it must surely also be central to our lives. How dare we take lightly what God takes so seriously? How dare we push to the circumference what God has placed at the center? No, we shall seek to become responsible church members, active in some local manifestation of the universal church. We shall not be able to acquiesce in low standards which fall far short of the New Testament ideals for God"s new society, whether mechanical, meaningless worship services, or fellowship which is icy cold and even spoiled by rivalries which make the Lord"s Supper a farce, or such inward-looking isolationism as to turn the church into a ghetto which is indifferent to the outside world. If instead (like Paul) we keep before us the vision of God"s new society as His family, His dwelling place, and His instrument in the world, then we shall constantly be seeking to make our church"s worship more authentic, its fellowship more caring and its outreach more compassionate. In other words (like Paul again), we shall be ready to pray, to work and if necessary to suffer in order to turn the vision into a reality” (Stott pp. 129-130).


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/ephesians-3.html. 1999-2014.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

Thoughts On the Apostle"s Bondage

Paul was willing to suffer the hardships of Roman imprisonment if the gospel could be furthered by his chains. (Philippians 1:12-14.) He did not want the Ephesian brethren to give up because of his suffering in bonds. This was especially true since more Gentiles were being given an opportunity to learn of God"s great plan. Also, as the last verse would indicate, though he was chained, Paul was still free to approach God"s throne (3:13).


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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/ephesians-3.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

desire = beg. App-134.

faint not = not (Greek. me) to be cast down.

at. Greek. en App-104. The parenthesis ending with Ephesians 3:13, the teaching is continued from Ephesians 3:1, "For this cause", &c.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/ephesians-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Wherefore - since our spiritual privileges are such (Ephesians 3:12), 'I entreat you not to be dispirited' [ engkakein (G1457a)]: so intimate was their Christian union with him that they were in danger of losing heart at his afflictions, as though their own. For you - in your behalf.

Which is your glory - since God loved you so much as both to give His Son for you and to permit His apostles to suffer 'tribulations' (Chrysostom) in preaching the Gospel to you Gentiles (note, Ephesians 3:1). My tribulations are your "glory," as your faith is furthered thereby (1 Corinthians 4:10).


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/ephesians-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Do not be discouraged. "I have given you good reasons why you should not be discouraged by my suffering for you. I have showed you God's secret which has been revealed in Jesus Christ, and I have showed you that God accepts you Gentiles directly, without first becoming Jews. My suffering really proves the truth of the Good News I have preached to you!"


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/ephesians-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(13) Wherefore I desire . . .—The verse is parenthetical—a reflection suggested by the greatness of the trust and the littleness of the minister dwelt upon in Ephesians 3:8-12, and inserted as a warning to the Ephesians not to be disheartened at the present “tribulation” of his imprisonment, as if it were a failure of his mission. (See this idea more fully worked out in Philippians 1:12-29.) “To faint” (as in 2 Corinthians 4:1; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13) is “to play the coward,” as “thinking it (see 1 Peter 4:12-13) a strange thing” that trouble should fall on him or them. It might well seem strange, when for four years at least, at Cæsarea and Rome, the marvellous activity of St. Paul’s Apostolic career was apparently cut short.

At my tribulations for you, which is your glory.—There is a peculiar beauty in the thought suggested by the words “which is your glory.” The suffering, triumphantly borne and actually turned to the furtherance of the gospel, is certainly a “glory,” in the proof which it gives of the power of the truth and the grace of Christ. But the more obvious idea would have been to comfort the Ephesians by the declaration that St. Paul’s tribulations were to himself a cause, not of pain, but of joy and glory—as is, in fact, done in Colossians 1:24, and in the celebrated passage, 2 Corinthians 11:23-31. Here, however, instead of so doing, St. Paul pursues the same line of thought as in 1 Corinthians 4:10—there half ironically, here seriously—that, while the suffering falls on himself, the glory passes to the Church, for which he suffers, and in which he is content to sink himself. Hence he bids the Ephesians find encouragement and glory for themselves, instead of a cause for “fainting,” in the afflictions endured on their behalf and overcome in Christ. As he identifies himself with them, so he would have them take what might be his glory to be their own.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/ephesians-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
ye
Deuteronomy 20:3; Isaiah 40:30,31; Zephaniah 3:16; Acts 14:22; Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Hebrews 12:3-5
at
1; 2 Corinthians 1:6; Philippians 1:12-14; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:2-4

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/ephesians-3.html.

Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

Wherefore, i.e. because we have this access to God, the sum of all good, we ought to be superior to all the afflictions of this life, and maintain habitually a joyful spirit. Being the subjects of such a redemption and having this liberty of access to God, believers ought not to be discouraged by all the apparently adverse circumstances attending the propagation of the Gospel. As neither the object of the verb αἰτοῦμαι, nor the subject of the verb ἐκκακεῖν is expressed, this verse admits of different explanations. It may mean, ‘I pray you that you faint not;' or, ‘I pray God that I faint not;' or, ‘I pray God that ye faint not.' Whether the object of the verb be "God" or "you," it is hard to decide; as it would be alike appropriate and agreeable to usage to say, ‘I pray God,' or, ‘I pray you,' i.e. I beseech you not to be discouraged. The latter is on the whole to be preferred, as there is nothing in the context to suggest God as the object of address, and as the verb αἰτεῖν, though properly signifying simply to ask, whether of God or man, is often used in a stronger sense, to require, or demand, Luke 23:23; Acts 25:3, Acts 25:15. Paul might well require of the Ephesians, in view of the glories of the redemption of which they had become partakers, not to be discouraged. As to the second point, viz. the subject of the verb ἐκκακεῖν, there is less room to doubt. It is far more in keeping with the whole tone of the passage, that Paul should refer to their fainting than to his own. There was far more danger of the former than of the latter. And what follows ("which is your glory"), is a motive by which his exhortation to them is enforced.

The relative ἥτις in the next clause, admits of a twofold reference. It may relate to θλίψεσίν, afflictions; or to μὴ ἐκκακεῖν, not fainting. In the one case the sense would be: ‘The afflictions which I suffer for you instead of being a ground of discouragement are a glory to you.' In the other: ‘Not fainting is an honor to you.' The latter is flat, it amounts to nothing in such a context. It is perfectly in keeping with the heroic character of the apostle, who himself gloried in his afflictions, and with the elevated tone of feeling pervading the context, that he should represent the afflictions which he endured for the Gentiles as an honor and not as a disgrace and a cause of despondency.


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Bibliography
Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/ephesians-3.html.

Section Six: 3:13-21

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

"Desire" is a word that has many shades of meaning. There is the desire to see someone, which can be mild to strong desire. The principals desire to see a student in need of discipline lacks somewhat when compared to the desire of a boy to see the girl he is engaged to.

The desire here seems to be a strong desire as in crave, beg or require. This is something that is very important to the apostle. This desire is also something that is partially from without. He is moved with this desire due to some outside force, namely the Spirit of God.

"Faint" has the thought of weary or tired out, someone that has really had it with something. When we were on deputation, I made a number of trips to the Midwest from the west coast. We did not have motel money so I always drove straight through both ways. When I arrived at my destination, I was weary to the point of exhaustion. I would faint at the thought of further driving. One commentary mentions the word "despirited" as an option for "faint" which really gives the thought of the word.

Paul does not want them to be deterred in any way by his tribulations. He wanted none of that.

Instead of fainting or being discouraged by his tribulation on their part, they are to glory in it. "Glory" is the word normally translated glory, and is the Greek word "doxa" from which we gain doxology. The Ephesians were to glory in the tribulation of Paul. Now, that is a statement that is going to need some explaining. Why should they glory or be proud of his tribulation - the tribulation that was caused because of them?

Some possibilities:

1. The text states more specifically that the tribulation is their glory. The tribulation is somehow a glory to them, a good mark for them in some manner.

2. Some suggest that God loved them so much that he gave His Son for them as well as allowed Paul to suffer on their behalf. This may be the thought of it, but if so I think to add the Son into it is to read a lot more into the verse than is there.

3. It would seem that Paul"s tribulation is a glory to them in that Paul was willing to give his all for the propagation of the Gospel, which is a glory to all gentile believers. He was willing to do all for them, thus their worth in Paul"s mind must have been great.

Now, I am going to meddle here and I am warning pastors right now. I have met many (pastors) on internet forums that indicate that their parishioners are rather on the dumb side, often obnoxious, and seldom what the pastor wants of people he has to work with. I have seen a real "US" versus "THEM" mentality between pastors and their congregations.

I see pastors that think they are above apologizing to congregants when they are wrong. I have seen men that feel the people should overlook his flaws while he makes mountains of theirs.

Here, Paul says he has suffered imprisonment for their sakes. Pastors, please catch that vision - honor your people as co-heirs with you in Christ, for that is indeed what they are.

Now, go back and read the last three paragraphs and substitute your name where I mentioned pastor and substitute pastor where I indicated the congregation. We are all equal in the church, we are all co-heirs with Christ and we ought to value one another.


Copyright Statement
Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.

Bibliography
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Ephesians 3:13". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/ephesians-3.html.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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