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Chapter 5

5:1 Imitators of God [mimētai tou theou]. This old word from [mimeomai] Paul boldly uses. If we are to be like God, we must imitate him.

5:2 An offering and a sacrifice to God [prosphoran kai thusian tōi theōi]. Accusative in apposition with [heauton] (himself). Christ’s death was an offering to God “in our behalf” [huper hēmōn] not an offering to the devil (Anselm), a ransom [lutron] as Christ himself said (Mt 20:28), Christ’s own view of his atoning death. For an odour of a sweet smell [eis osmēn euōdias]. Same words in Php 4:18 from Le 4:31 (of the expiatory offering). Paul often presents Christ’s death as a propitiation (Ro 3:25) as in 1Jo 2:2.

5:3 Or covetousness [ē pleonexia]. In bad company surely. Debasing like sensuality. As becometh saints [kathōs prepei hagiois]. It is “unbecoming” for a saint to be sensual or covetous.

5:4 Filthiness [aischrotēs]. Old word from [aischros] (base), here alone in N.T. Foolish talking [mōrologia]. Late word from [mōrologos] [mōros, logos], only here in N.T. Jesting [eutrapelia]. Old word from [eutrapelos] [eu, trepō], to turn) nimbleness of wit, quickness in making repartee (so in Plato and Plutarch), but in low sense as here ribaldry, scurrility, only here in N.T. All of these disapproved vices are [hapax legomena] in the N.T. Which are not befitting [ha ouk anēken]. Same idiom (imperfect with word of propriety about the present) in Col 3:18. Late MSS. read [ta ouk anēkonta] like [ta mē kathēkonta] in Ro 1:28.

5:5 Ye know of a surety [iste ginōskontes]. The correct text has [iste], not [este]. It is the same form for present indicative (second person plural) and imperative, probably indicative here, “ye know.” But why [ginōskontes] added? Probably, “ye know recognizing by your own experience.” No [pās—ou]. Common idiom in the N.T. like the Hebrew= oudeis (Robertson, Grammar, p. 732). Covetous man [pleonektēs, pleon echō]. Old word, in N.T. only here and 1Co 5:10f.; 6:10. Which is [ho estin]. So Aleph B. A D K L have [hos] (who), but [ho] is right. See Col 3:14 for this use of [ho] (which thing is). On [eidōlolatrēs] (idolater) see 1Co 5:10f. In the Kingdom of Christ and God [en tēi basileiāi tou Christou kai theou]. Certainly the same kingdom and Paul may here mean to affirm the deity of Christ by the use of the one article with [Christou kai theou]. But Sharp’s rule cannot be insisted on here because [theos] is often definite without the article like a proper name. Paul did teach the deity of Christ and may do it here.

5:6 With empty words [kenois logois]. Instrumental case. Probably Paul has in mind the same Gnostic praters as in Col 2:4f. See 2:2.

5:7 Partakers with them [sunmetochoi autōn]. Late double compound, only here in N.T., joint [sun] shares with [metochoi] them [autōn]. These Gnostics.

5:8 But now light [nun de phōs]. Jesus called his disciples the light of the world (Mt 5:14).

5:9 The fruit of light [ho karpos tou phōtos]. Two metaphors (fruit, light) combined. See Ga 5:22 for “the fruit of the Spirit.” The late MSS. have “spirit” here in place of “light.” Goodness [agathosunēi]. Late and rare word from [agathos]. See 2Th 1:11; Ga 5:22.

5:10 Proving [dokimazontes]. Testing and so proving.

5:11 Have no fellowship with [mē sunkoinōneite]. No partnership with, present imperative with []. Followed by associative instrumental case [ergois] (works). Unfruitful [akarpois]. Same metaphor of verse 9 applied to darkness [skotos]. Reprove [elegchete]. Convict by turning the light on the darkness.

5:12 In secret [kruphēi]. Old adverb, only here in N.T. Sin loves the dark. Even to speak of [kai legein]. And yet one must sometimes speak out, turn on the light, even if to do so is disgraceful [aischron], like 1Co 11:6).

5:13 Are made manifest by the light [hupo tou phōtos phaneroutai]. Turn on the light. Often the preacher is the only man brave enough to turn the light on the private sins of men and women or even those of a community.

5:14 Wherefore he saith [dio legei]. Apparently a free adaptation of Isa 26:19; 60:1. The form [anasta] for [anastēthi] (second person singular imperative second aorist active of [anistēmi] occurs in Ac 12:7. Shall shine [epiphausei]. Future active of [epiphauskō], a form occurring in Job (Job 25:5; 31:26), a variation of [epiphōskō]. The last line suggests the possibility that we have here the fragment of an early Christian hymn like 1Ti 3:16.

5:15 Carefully [akribōs]. Aleph B 17 put [akribōs] before [pōs] (how) instead of [pōs akribōs] (how exactly ye walk) as the Textus Receptus has it. On [akribōs] (from [akribēs] see Mt 2:8; Lu 1:3. Unwise [asophoi]. Old adjective, only here in N.T.

5:16 Redeeming the time [exagorazomenoi ton kairon]. As in Col 4:5 which see.

5:17 Be ye not foolish [mē ginesthe aphrones]. “Stop becoming foolish.”

5:18 Be not drunken with wine [mē methuskesthe oinōi]. Present passive imperative of [methuskō], old verb to intoxicate. Forbidden as a habit and to stop it also if guilty. Instrumental case [oinōi]. Riot [asōtia]. Old word from [asōtos] (adverb [asōtōs] in Lu 15:13), in N.T. only here, Tit 1:6; 1Pe 4:4. But be filled with the Spirit [alla plērousthe en pneumati]. In contrast to a state of intoxication with wine.

5:19 To the Lord [tōi Kuriōi]. The Lord Jesus. In Col 3:16 we have [tōi theōi] (to God) with all these varieties of praise, another proof of the deity of Christ. See Col 3:16 for discussion.

5:20 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [en onomati tou Kuriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou]. Jesus had told the disciples to use his name in prayer (Joh 16:23f.). To God, even the Father [tōi theōi kai patri]. Rather, “the God and Father.”

5:21 Subjecting yourselves to one another [hupotassomenoi allēlois]. Present middle participle of [hupotassō], old military figure to line up under (Col 3:18). The construction here is rather loose, coordinate with the preceding participles of praise and prayer. It is possible to start a new paragraph here and regard [hupotassomenoi] as an independent participle like an imperative.

5:22 Be in subjection. Not in the Greek text of B and Jerome knew of no MS. with it. K L and most MSS. have [hupotassesthe] like Col 3:18, while Aleph A P have [hupotassesthōsan] (let them be subject to). But the case of [andrasin] (dative) shows that the verb is understood from verse 21 if not written originally. [Idiois] (own) is genuine here, though not in Col 3:18. As unto the Lord [hōs tōi Kuriōi]. So here instead of [hōs anēken en Kuriōi] of Col 3:18.

5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife [hoti anēr estin kephalē tēs gunaikos]. “For a husband is head of the (his) wife.” No article with [anēr] or [kephalē]. As Christ also is the head of the church [hōs kai ho Christos kephalē tēs ekklēsias]. No article with [kephalē], “as also Christ is head of the church.” This is the comparison, but with a tremendous difference which Paul hastens to add either in an appositional clause or as a separate sentence. Himself the saviour of the body [autos sōtēr tou sōmatos]. He means the church as the body of which Christ is head and Saviour.

5:24 But [alla]. Perhaps, “nevertheless,” in spite of the difference just noted. Once again the verb [hupotassō] has to be supplied in the principal clause before [tois andrasin] either as indicative [hupotassontai] or as imperative [hupotassesthōsan].

5:25 Even as Christ also loved the church [kathōs kai ho Christos ēgapēsen tēn ekklēsian]. This is the wonderful new point not in Col 3:19 that lifts this discussion of the husband’s love for his wife to the highest plane.

5:26 That he might sanctify it [hina autēn hagiasēi]. Purpose clause with [hina] and the first aorist active subjunctive of [hagiazō]. Jesus stated this as his longing and his prayer (Joh 17:17-19). This was the purpose of Christ’s death (verse 25). Having cleansed it [katharisas]. First aorist active participle of [katharizō], to cleanse, either simultaneous action or antecedent. By the washing of water [tōi loutrōi tou hudatos]. If [loutron] only means bath or bathing-place ( = [loutron], then [loutrōi] is in the locative. If it can mean bathing or washing, it is in the instrumental case. The usual meaning from Homer to the papyri is the bath or bathing-place, though some examples seem to mean bathing or washing. Salmond doubts if there are any clear instances. The only other N.T. example of [loutron] is in Tit 3:5. The reference here seems to be to the baptismal bath (immersion) of water, “in the bath of water.” See 1Co 6:11 for the bringing together of [apelousasthe] and [hēgiasthēte]. Neither there nor here does Paul mean that the cleansing or sanctification took place in the bath save in a symbolic fashion as in Ro 6:4-6. Some think that Paul has also a reference to the bath of the bride before marriage. Still more difficult is the phrase “with the word” [en rēmati]. In Joh 17:17 Jesus connected “truth” with “sanctify.” That is possible here, though it may also be connected with [katharisas] (having cleansed). Some take it to mean the baptismal formula.

5:27 That he might present [hina parastēsēi]. Final clause with [hina] and first aorist active subjunctive of [paristēmi] (see Col 1:22 for parallel) as in 2Co 11:2 of presenting the bride to the bridegroom. Note both [autos] (himself) and [heautōi] (to himself). Glorious [endoxon]. Used of splendid clothing in Lu 7:25. Spot [spilos]. Late word, in N.T. only here and 2Pe 2:13, but [spiloō], to defile in Jas 3:6; Jude 1:23. Wrinkle [rutida]. Old word from [ruō], to contract, only here in N.T. But that it should be holy and without blemish [all’ hina ēi hagia kai amōmos]. Christ’s goal for the church, his bride and his body, both negative purity and positive.

5:28 Even so ought [houtōs opheilousin]. As Christ loves the church (his body). And yet some people actually say that Paul in 1Co 7 gives a degrading view of marriage. How can one say that after reading Eph 5:22-33 where the noblest picture of marriage ever drawn is given?

5:29 Nourisheth [ektrephei]. Old compound with perfective sense of [ek] (to nourish up to maturity and on). In N.T. only here and 6:4. Cherisheth [thalpei]. Late and rare word, once in a marriage contract in a papyrus. In N.T. only here and 1Th 2:7. Primarily it means to warm (Latin foveo), then to foster with tender care as here. Even as Christ also [kathōs kai ho Christos]. Relative (correlative) adverb pointing back to [houtōs] at the beginning of the sentence (verse 28) and repeating the statement in verse 25.

5:30 Of his flesh and of his bones [ek tēs sarkos autou kai ek tōn osteōn autou]. These words are in the Textus Receptus (Authorized Version) supported by D G L P cursives Syriac, etc., though wanting in Aleph A B 17 Bohairic. Certainly not genuine.

5:31 For this cause [anti toutou]. “Answering to this” = [heneken toutou] of Ge 2:24, in the sense of [anti] seen in [anth’ hōn] (Lu 12:3). This whole verse is a practical quotation and application of the language to Paul’s argument here. In Mt 19:5 Jesus quotes Ge 2:24. It seems absurd to make Paul mean Christ here by [anthrōpos] (man) as some commentators do.

5:32 This mystery is great [to mustērion touto mega estin]. For the word “mystery” see 1:9. Clearly Paul means to say that the comparison of marriage to the union of Christ and the church is the mystery. He makes that plain by the next words. But I speak [egō de legō]. “Now I mean.” Cf. 1Co 7:29; 15:50. In regard of Christ and of the church [eis Christon kai [eis] tēn ekklēsian]. “With reference to Christ and the church.” That is all that [eis] here means.

5:33 Nevertheless [plēn]. “Howbeit,” not to dwell unduly (Abbott) on the matter of Christ and the church. Do ye also severally love [kai humeis hoi kath’ hena hekastos agapātō]. An unusual idiom. The verb [agapātō] (present active imperative) agrees with [hekastos] and so is third singular instead of [agapāte] (second plural) like [humeis]. The use of [hoi kath’ hena] after [humeis] = ” ye one by one ” and then [hekastos] takes up (individualizes) the “one” in partitive apposition and in the third person. Let the wife see that she fear [hē gunē hina phobētai]. There is no verb in the Greek for “let see” [blepetō]. For this use of [hina] with the subjunctive as a practical imperative without a principal verb (an elliptical imperative) see Mr 5:23; Mt 20:32; 1Co 7:29; 2Co 8:7; Eph 4:29; 5:33 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 994). “Fear” [phobētai], present middle subjunctive) here is “reverence.”

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