Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Wherewith ye were called (ης εκλητητε hēs eklēthēte). Attraction of the relative ης hēs to the genitive of the antecedent κλησεως klēseōs (calling) from the cognate accusative ην hēn with εκλητητε eklēthēte (first aorist passive indicative of καλεω kaleō to call. For the list of virtues here see note on Colossians 3:12. To ανεχομενοι αλληλων anechomenoi allēlōn (Colossians 3:13) Paul here adds “in love” (εν αγαπηι en agapēi), singled out in Colossians 3:14.
The unity (την ενοτητα tēn henotēta). Late and rare word (from εις heis one), in Aristotle and Plutarch, though in N.T. only here and Ephesians 4:13.In the bond of peace (εν τωι συνδεσμωι της ειρηνης en tōi sundesmōi tēs eirēnēs). In Colossians 3:14 αγαπη agapē (love) is the συνδεσμος sundesmos (bond). But there is no peace without love (Ephesians 4:2).
One body (εν σωμα hen sōma). One mystical body of Christ (the spiritual church or kingdom, cf. Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 2:16).One Spirit (εν πνευμα hen pneuma). One Holy Spirit, grammatical neuter gender (not to be referred to by “it,” but by “he”). In one hope (εν μιαι ελπιδι en miāi elpidi). The same hope as a result of their calling for both Jew and Greek as shown in chapter 2.
One Lord (εις Κυριος heis Kurios). The Lord Jesus Christ and he alone (no series of aeons).One faith (μια πιστις mia pistis). One act of trust in Christ, the same for all (Jew or Gentile), one way of being saved. One baptism (εν βαπτισμα hen baptisma). The result of baptizing (βαπτισμα baptisma), while βαπτισμος baptismos is the act. Only in the N.T. (βαπτισμος baptismos in Josephus) and ecclesiastical writers naturally. See note on Mark 10:38. There is only one act of baptism for all (Jews and Gentiles) who confess Christ by means of this symbol, not that they are made disciples by this one act, but merely so profess him, put Christ on publicly by this ordinance.
One God and Father of all (εις τεος και πατηρ παντων heis theos kai patēr pantōn). Not a separate God for each nation or religion. One God for all men. See here the Trinity again (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit).Who is over all (ο επι παντων ho epi pantōn), and through all (και δια παντων kai dia pantōn), and in all (και εν πασιν kai en pāsin). Thus by three prepositions (επι δια εν epiπαντων παντων πασιν diaen) Paul has endeavoured to express the universal sweep and power of God in men‘s lives. The pronouns (pantōnpantōnpāsin) can be all masculine, all neuter, or part one or the other. The last “in all” is certainly masculine and probably all are.
According to the measure of the gifts of Christ (κατα το μετρον της δωρεας του Χριστου kata to metron tēs dōreas tou Christou). Each gets the gift that Christ has to bestow for his special case. See note on 1 Corinthians 12:4.; Romans 12:4-6.
Wherefore he saith (διο λεγει dio legei). As a confirmation of what Paul has said. No subject is expressed in the Greek and commentators argue whether it should be ο τεος ho theos (God) or η γραπη hē graphē (Scripture). But it comes to God after all. See note on Acts 2:17. The quotation is from Psalm 68:18, a Messianic Psalm of victory which Paul adapts and interprets for Christ‘s triumph over death.He led captivity captive (ηιχμαλωτευσεν αιχμαλωσιαν ēichmalōteusen aichmalōsian). Cognate accusative of αιχμαλωσιαν aichmalōsian late word, in N.T. only here and Revelation 13:10. The verb also (αιχμαλωτευω aichmalōteuō) is from the old word αιχμαλωτος aichmalōtos captive in war (in N.T. only in Luke 4:18), in lxx and only here in N.T.
Now this (το δε to de). Paul picks out the verb αναβας anabas (second aorist active participle of αναβαινω anabainō to go up), changes its form to ανεβη anebē (second aorist indicative), and points the article (το to) at it. Then he concludes that it implied a previous καταβας katabas (coming down).Into the lower parts of the earth (εις τα κατωτερα της γης eis ta katōtera tēs gēs). If the αναβας anabas is the Ascension of Christ, then the καταβας katabas would be the Descent (Incarnation) to earth and της γης tēs gēs would be the genitive of apposition. What follows in Ephesians 4:10 argues for this view. Otherwise one must think of the death of Christ (the descent into Hades of Acts 2:31).
Is the same also (αυτος εστιν autos estin). Rather, “the one who came down (ο καταβας ho katabas the Incarnation) is himself also the one who ascended (ο αναβας ho anabas the Ascension).”Far above (υπερανω huperanō). See note on Ephesians 1:21. All the heavens (παντων των ουρανων pantōn tōn ouranōn). Ablative case after υπερανω huperanō For the plural used of Christ‘s ascent see note on Hebrews 4:14 and note on Hebrews 7:27. Whether Paul has in mind the Jewish notion of a graded heaven like the third heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2 or the seven heavens idea one does not know. That he might fill all things (ινα πληρωσηι τα παντα hina plērōsēi ta panta). This purpose we can understand, the supremacy of Christ (Colossians 2:9.).
And he gave (και αυτος εδωκεν kai autos edōken). First aorist active indicative of διδωμι didōmi In 1 Corinthians 12:28 Paul uses ετετο etheto (more common verb, appointed), but here repeats εδωκεν edōken from the quotation in Ephesians 4:8. There are four groups (τους μεν tous men τους δε tous de three times, as the direct object of εδωκεν edōken). The titles are in the predicate accusative (αποστολουσ προπητασ ποιμενας και διδασκαλους apostolousποιμενας prophētasclass="normal greek">ποιμην poimenas kai didaskalous). Each of these words occurs in 1 Corinthians 12:28 (which see note for discussion) except ποιμαινω poimenas (shepherds). This word poimēn is from a root meaning to protect. Jesus said the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11) and called himself the Good Shepherd. In Hebrews 13:20 Christ is the Great Shepherd (cf. 1 Peter 2:25). Only here are preachers termed shepherds (Latin pastores) in the N.T. But the verb poimainō to shepherd, is employed by Jesus to Peter (John 21:16), by Peter to other ministers (1 Peter 5:2), by Paul to the elders (bishops) of Ephesus (Acts 20:28). Here Paul groups “shepherds and teachers” together. All these gifts can be found in one man, though not always. Some have only one.
For the perfecting (προς τον καταρτισμον pros ton katartismon). Late and rare word (in Galen in medical sense, in papyri for house-furnishing), only here in N.T., though καταρτισις katartisis in 2 Corinthians 13:9, both from καταρτιζω katartizō to mend (Matthew 4:21; Galatians 6:1). “For the mending (repair) of the saints.”Unto the building up (εις οικοδομην eis oikodomēn). See note on Ephesians 2:21. This is the ultimate goal in all these varied gifts, “building up.”
Till we all attain (μεχρι καταντησωμεν οι παντες mechri katantēsōmen hoi pantes). Temporal clause with purpose idea with μεχρι mechri and the first aorist active subjunctive of κατανταω katantaō late verb, to come down to the goal (Philemon 3:11). “The whole” including every individual. Hence the need of so many gifts.Unto the unity of the faith (εις την ενοτητα της πιστεως eis tēn henotēta tēs pisteōs). “Unto oneness of faith” (of trust) in Christ (Ephesians 4:3) which the Gnostics were disturbing. And of the knowledge of the Son of God (και της επιγνωσεως του υιου του τεου kai tēs epignōseōs tou huiou tou theou). Three genitives in a chain dependent also on την ενοτητα tēn henotēta “the oneness of full (επι epi̇) knowledge of the Son of God,” in opposition to the Gnostic vagaries. Unto a full-grown man (εις ανδρα τελειον eis andra teleion). Same figure as in Ephesians 2:15 and τελειος teleios in sense of adult as opposed to νηπιοι nēpioi (infants) in Ephesians 4:14. Unto the measure of the stature (εις μετρον ηλικιας eis metron hēlikias). So apparently ηλικια hēlikia here as in Luke 2:52, not age (John 9:21). Boys rejoice in gaining the height of a man. But Paul adds to this idea “the fulness of Christ” (του πληρωματος του Χριστου tou plērōmatos tou Christou), like “the fulness of God” in Ephesians 3:19. And yet some actually profess to be “perfect” with a standard like this to measure by! No pastor has finished his work when the sheep fall so far short of the goal.
That we may be no longer children (ινα μηκετι ωμεν νηπιοι hina mēketi ōmen nēpioi). Negative final clause with present subjunctive. Some Christians are quite content to remain “babes” in Christ and never cut their eye-teeth (Hebrews 5:11-14), the victims of every charlatan who comes along.Tossed to and fro (κλυδωνιζομενοι kludōnizomenoi). Present passive participle of κλυδωνιζομαι kludōnizomai late verb from κλυδων kludōn (wave, James 1:6), to be agitated by the waves, in lxx, only here in N.T. One example in Vettius Valens. Carried about (περιπερομενοι peripheromenoi). Present passive participle of περιπερω peripherō old verb, to carry round, whirled round “by every wind (ανεμωι anemōi instrumental case) of teaching.” In some it is all wind, even like a hurricane or a tornado. If not anchored by full knowledge of Christ, folks are at the mercy of these squalls. By the sleight (εν τηι κυβιαι en tēi kubiāi). “In the deceit,” “in the throw of the dice” (κυβια kubia from κυβος kubos cube), sometimes cheating. In craftiness (εν πανουργιαι en panourgiāi). Old word from πανουργος panourgos (παν εργον panπρος την μετοδιαν της πλανης ergon any deed, every deed), cleverness, trickiness. After the wiles of error (Μετοδια pros tēn methodian tēs planēs). μετοδευω Methodia is from μετα οδος methodeuō (πλανης metahodos) to follow after or up, to practise deceit, and occurs nowhere else (Ephesians 4:13; Ephesians 6:11) save in late papyri in the sense of method. The word planēs (wandering like our “planet”) adds to the evil idea in the word. Paul has covered the whole ground in this picture of Gnostic error.
In love (εν αγαπηι en agapēi). If truth were always spoken only in love!May grow into him (αυχησωμεν εις αυτον auxēsōmen eis auton). Supply ινα hina and then note the final use of the first aorist active subjunctive. It is the metaphor of Ephesians 4:13 (the full-grown man). We are the body and Christ is the Head. We are to grow up to his stature.
From which (εχ ου ex hou). Out of which as the source of energy and direction.Fitly framed (συναρμολογουμενον sunarmologoumenon). See note on Ephesians 2:21 for this verb. Through that which every joint supplieth (δια πασης απης της επιχορηγιας dia pasēs haphēs tēs epichorēgias). Literally, “through every joint of the supply.” See note on Colossians 2:19 for απη haphē and Philemon 1:19 for the late word επιχορηγια epichorēgia (only two examples in N.T.) from επιχορηγεω epichorēgeō to supply (Colossians 2:19). In due measure (εν μετρωι en metrōi). Just “in measure” in the Greek, but the assumption is that each part of the body functions properly in its own sphere. Unto the building up of itself (εις οικοδομην εαυτου eis oikodomēn heautou). Modern knowledge of cell life in the human body greatly strengthens the force of Paul‘s metaphor. This is the way the body grows by cooperation under the control of the head and all “in love” (εν αγαπηι en agapēi).
That ye no longer walk (μηκετι υμας περιπατειν mēketi humas peripatein). Infinitive (present active) in indirect command (not indirect assertion) with accusative υμας humas of general reference.In vanity of their mind (εν ματαιοτητι του νοος αυτων en mataiotēti tou noos autōn). “In emptiness (from ματαιος mataios late and rare word. See note on Romans 8:20) of their intellect (νοος noos late form for earlier genitive νου nou from νους nous).
Being darkened (εσκοτωμενοι οντες eskotōmenoi ontes). Periphrastic perfect passive participle of σκοτοω skotoō old verb from σκοτος skotos (darkness), in N.T. only here and Revelation 9:2; Revelation 16:10.In their understanding (τηι διανοιαι tēi dianoiāi). Locative case. Probably διανοια dianoia (δια νους diaνους nous) includes the emotions as well as the intellect (οντες nous). It is possible to take απηλλοτριωμενοι ontes with εσκοτωμενοι apēllotriōmenoi (see note on Ephesians 2:12) which would then be periphrastic (instead of της ζωης του τεου eskotōmenoi) perfect passive participle. From the life of God (ζωης tēs zōēs tou theou). Ablative case απηλλοτριωμενοι zōēs after δια την αγνοιαν apēllotriōmenoi (Ephesians 2:12). Because of the ignorance (αγνοεω dia tēn agnoian). Old word from πωρωσιν agnoeō not to know. Rare in N.T. See note on Acts 3:17. Hardening (pōrōsin). Late medical term (Hippocrates) for callous hardening. Only other N.T. examples are Mark 3:5; Romans 11:25.
Being past feeling (απηλγηκοτες apēlgēkotes). Perfect active participle of απαλγεω apalgeō old word to cease to feel pain, only here in N.T.To lasciviousness (τηι ασελγειαι tēi aselgeiāi). Unbridled lust as in 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19. To work all uncleanness (εις εργασιαν ακαταρσιας πασης eis ergasian akatharsias pasēs). Perhaps prostitution, “for a trading (or work) in all uncleanness.” Certainly Corinth and Ephesus could qualify for this charge. With greediness (εν πλεονεχιαι en pleonexiāi). From πλεονεκτης pleonektēs one who always wants more whether money or sexual indulgence as here. The two vices are often connected in the N.T.
But ye did not so learn Christ (υμεις δε ουχ ουτως εματετε τον Χριστον Humeis de ouch houtōs emathete ton Christon). In sharp contrast to pagan life (ουτως houtōs). Second aorist active indicative of μαντανω manthanō f0).
If so be that (ει γε ei ge). “If indeed.” Condition of first class with aorist indicatives here, assumed to be true (ηκουσατε και εδιδαχτητε ēkousate kai edidachthēte).Even as truth is in Jesus (κατως εστιν αλητεια εν τωι Ιησου kathōs estin alētheia en tōi Iēsou). It is not clear what Paul‘s precise idea is here. The Cerinthian Gnostics did distinguish between the man Jesus and the aeon Christ. Paul here identifies Christ (Ephesians 4:20) and Jesus (Ephesians 4:21). At any rate he flatly affirms that there is “truth in Jesus” which is in direct opposition to the heathen manner of life and which is further explained by the epexegetical infinitives that follow (αποτεσται ανανεουσται δε και ενδυσασται apothesthaiananeousthai dekai endusasthai).
That ye put away (αποτεσται apothesthai). Second aorist middle infinitive of αποτιτημι apotithēmi with the metaphor of putting off clothing or habits as αποτεστε apothesthe in Colossians 3:8 (which see) with the same addition of “the old man” (τον παλαιον αντρωπον ton palaion anthrōpon) as in Colossians 3:9. For αναστροπην anastrophēn (manner of life) see note on Galatians 1:13.Which waxeth corrupt (τον πτειρομενον ton phtheiromenon). Either present middle or passive participle of πτειρω phtheirō but it is a process of corruption (worse and worse).
That ye be renewed (ανανεουσται ananeousthai). Present passive infinitive (epexegetical, like αποτεσται apothesthai of αλητεια εν τωι Ιησου alētheia en tōi Iēsou) and to be compared with ανακαινουμενον anakainoumenon in Colossians 3:10. It is an old verb, ανανεοω ananeoō to make new (young) again; though only here in N.T.The spirit (τωι πνευματι tōi pneumati). Not the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit.
Put on (ενδυσασται endusasthai). First aorist middle infinitive of ενδυω enduō (νω ̇nō), for which see note on Colossians 3:10.The new man (τον καινον αντρωπον ton kainon anthrōpon). “The brand-new (see note on Ephesians 2:15) man,” though τον νεον ton neon in Colossians 3:10. After God (κατα τεον kata theon). After the pattern God, the new birth, the new life in Christ, destined to be like God in the end (Romans 8:29).
Wherefore (διο dio). Because of putting off the old man, and putting on the new man.Putting away (αποτεμενοι apothemenoi). Second aorist middle participle of αποτιτημι apotithēmi (Ephesians 4:22). Lying (πσευδος pseudos), truth (αλητειαν alētheian) in direct contrast. Each one (εκαστος hekastos). Partitive apposition with λαλειτε laleite See Colossians 3:8 μη πσευδεστε mē pseudesthe f0).
Be ye angry and sin not (οργιζεστε και μη αμαρτανετε orgizesthe kai mē hamartanete). Permissive imperative, not a command to be angry. Prohibition against sinning as the peril in anger. Quotation from Psalm 4:4.Let not the sun go down upon your wrath (ο ηλιος μη επιδυετω επι παροργισμωι ho hēlios mē epiduetō epi parorgismōi). Danger in settled mood of anger. Παροργισμος Parorgismos (provocation), from παροργιζω parorgizō to exasperate to anger, occurs only in lxx and here in N.T.
Neither give place to the devil (μηδε διδοτε τοπον τωι διαβολωι mēde didote topon tōi diabolōi). Present active imperative in prohibition, either stop doing it or do not have the habit. See note on Romans 12:19 for this idiom.
Steal no more (μηκετι κλεπτετω mēketi kleptetō). Clearly here, cease stealing (present active imperative with μηκετι mēketi).The thing that is good (το αγατον to agathon). “The good thing” opposed to his stealing and “with his hands” (ταις χερσιν tais chersin instrumental case) that did the stealing. See note on 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Even unemployment is no excuse for stealing. To give (μεταδιδοναι metadidonai). Present active infinitive of μεταδιδωμι metadidōmi to share with one.
Corrupt (σαπρος sapros). Rotten, putrid, like fruit (Matthew 7:17.), fish (Matthew 13:48), here the opposite of αγατος agathos (good).For edifying as the need may be (προς οικοδομην της χρειας pros oikodomēn tēs chreias). “For the build-up of the need,” “for supplying help when there is need.” Let no other words come out. That it may give (ινα δωι hina dōi). For this elliptical use of ινα hina see note on Ephesians 5:33.
Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God (μη λυπειτε το πνευμα το αγιον του τεου mē lupeite to pneuma to hagion tou theou). “Cease grieving” or “do not have the habit of grieving.” Who of us has not sometimes grieved the Holy Spirit?In whom (εν ωι en hōi). Not “in which.” Ye were sealed (εσπραγιστητε esphragisthēte). See note on Ephesians 1:13 for this verb, and Ephesians 1:14 for απολυτρωσεως apolutrōseōs the day when final redemption is realized.
Bitterness (πικρια pikria). Old word from πικρος pikros (bitter), in N.T. only here and Acts 8:23; Romans 3:14; Hebrews 12:15.Clamour (κραυγη kraugē). Old word for outcry (Matthew 25:6; Luke 1:42). See note on Colossians 3:8 for the other words. Be put away (αρτητω arthētō). First aorist passive imperative of αιρω airō old verb, to pick up and carry away, to make a clean sweep.
Be ye kind to one another (γινεστε εις αλληλους χρηστοι ginesthe eis allēlous chrēstoi). Present middle imperative of γινομαι ginomai “keep on becoming kind (χρηστος chrēstos used of God in Romans 2:4) toward one another.” See notes on Colossians 3:12.Tenderhearted (ευσπλαγχνοι eusplagchnoi). Late word (ευ σπλαγχνα eusplagchna) once in Hippocrates, in lxx, here and 1 Peter 3:8 in N.T.
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)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Ephesians 4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25