Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Imitators of God (μιμηται του τεου mimētai tou theou). This old word from μιμεομαι mimeomai Paul boldly uses. If we are to be like God, we must imitate him.
An offering and a sacrifice to God (προσποραν και τυσιαν τωι τεωι prosphoran kai thusian tōi theōi). Accusative in apposition with εαυτον heauton (himself). Christ‘s death was an offering to God “in our behalf” (υπερ ημων huper hēmōn) not an offering to the devil (Anselm), a ransom (λυτρον lutron) as Christ himself said (Matthew 20:28), Christ‘s own view of his atoning death.For an odour of a sweet smell (εις οσμην ευωδιας eis osmēn euōdias). Same words in Philemon 4:18 from Leviticus 4:31 (of the expiatory offering). Paul often presents Christ‘s death as a propitiation (Romans 3:25) as in 1 John 2:2.
Or covetousness (η πλεονεχια ē pleonexia). In bad company surely. Debasing like sensuality.As becometh saints (κατως πρεπει αγιοις kathōs prepei hagiois). It is “unbecoming” for a saint to be sensual or covetous.
Filthiness (αισχροτης aischrotēs). Old word from αισχρος aischros (base), here alone in N.T.Foolish talking (μωρολογια mōrologia). Late word from μωρολογος mōrologos (μωροσ λογος mōrosευτραπελια logos), only here in N.T. Jesting (ευτραπελος eutrapelia). Old word from ευ τρεπω eutrapelos (απαχ λεγομενα euα ουκ ανηκεν 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 τα ουκ ανηκοντα hapax legomena in the N.T. Which are not befitting (τα μη κατηκοντα ha ouk anēken). Same idiom (imperfect with word of propriety about the present) in Colossians 3:18. Late MSS. read ta ouk anēkonta like ta mē kathēkonta in Romans 1:28.
Ye know of a surety (ιστε γινωσκοντες iste ginōskontes). The correct text has ιστε iste not εστε este It is the same form for present indicative (second person plural) and imperative, probably indicative here, “ye know.” But why γινωσκοντες ginōskontes added? Probably, “ye know recognizing by your own experience.”No (πασου pāṡ̇ou). Common idiom in the N.T. like the Hebrew= oudeis (Robertson, Grammar, p. 732). Covetous man (πλεονεκτησ πλεον εχω pleonektēsclass="normal greek">ο εστιν pleon echō). Old word, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 5:10.; 1 Corinthians 6:10. Which is (ος ho estin). So Aleph B. A D K L have ο hos (who), but ο ho is right. See note on Colossians 3:14 for this use of ειδωλολατρης ho (which thing is). On εν τηι βασιλειαι του Χριστου και τεου eidōlolatrēs (idolater) see note on 1 Corinthians 5:10. In the Kingdom of Christ and God (Χριστου και τεου 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 τεος 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.
With empty words (κενοις λογοις kenois logois). Instrumental case. Probably Paul has in mind the same Gnostic praters as in Colossians 2:4. See note on Ephesians 2:2.
Partakers with them (συνμετοχοι αυτων sunmetochoi autōn). Late double compound, only here in N.T., joint (συν sun) shares with (μετοχοι metochoi) them (αυτων autōn). These Gnostics.
But now light (νυν δε πως nun de phōs). Jesus called his disciples the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).
The fruit of light (ο καρπος του πωτος ho karpos tou phōtos). Two metaphors (fruit, light) combined. See note on Galatians 5:22 for “the fruit of the Spirit.” The late MSS. have “spirit” here in place of “light.”Goodness (αγατοσυνηι agathosunēi). Late and rare word from αγατος agathos See note on 2 Thessalonians 1:11; Galatians 5:22.
Proving (δοκιμαζοντες dokimazontes). Testing and so proving.
Have no fellowship with (μη συνκοινωνειτε mē sunKoinéōneite). No partnership with, present imperative with μη mē Followed by associative instrumental case εργοις ergois (works).Unfruitful (ακαρποις akarpois). Same metaphor of Ephesians 5:9 applied to darkness (σκοτος skotos). Reprove (ελεγχετε elegchete). Convict by turning the light on the darkness.
In secret (κρυπηι kruphēi). Old adverb, only here in N.T. Sin loves the dark.Even to speak of (και λεγειν kai legein). And yet one must sometimes speak out, turn on the light, even if to do so is disgraceful (αισχρον aischron like 1 Corinthians 11:6).
Are made manifest by the light (υπο του πωτος πανερουται 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.
Wherefore he saith (διο λεγει dio legei). Apparently a free adaptation of Isaiah 26:19; Isaiah 60:1. The form αναστα anasta for αναστητι anastēthi (second person singular imperative second aorist active of ανιστημι anistēmi) occurs in Acts 12:7.Shall shine (επιπαυσει epiphausei). Future active of επιπαυσκω epiphauskō a form occurring in Job (Job 25:5; Job 31:26), a variation of επιπωσκω epiphōskō The last line suggests the possibility that we have here the fragment of an early Christian hymn like 1 Timothy 3:16.
Carefully (ακριβως akribōs). Aleph B 17 put ακριβως akribōs before πως pōs (how) instead of πως ακριβως pōs akribōs (how exactly ye walk) as the Textus Receptus has it. On ακριβως akribōs (from ακριβης akribēs) see note on Matthew 2:8 and note on Luke 1:3.Unwise (ασοποι asophoi). Old adjective, only here in N.T.
Redeeming the time (εχαγοραζομενοι τον καιρον exagorazomenoi ton kairon). As in Colossians 4:5 which see.
Be ye not foolish (μη γινεστε απρονες mē ginesthe aphrones). “Stop becoming foolish.”
Be not drunken with wine (μη μετυσκεστε οινωι mē methuskesthe oinōi). Present passive imperative of μετυσκω methuskō old verb to intoxicate. Forbidden as a habit and to stop it also if guilty. Instrumental case οινωι oinōiRiot (ασωτια asōtia). Old word from ασωτος asōtos (adverb ασωτως asōtōs in Luke 15:13), in N.T. only here, Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4. But be filled with the Spirit (αλλα πληρουστε εν πνευματι alla plērousthe en pneumati). In contrast to a state of intoxication with wine.
To the Lord (τωι Κυριωι tōi Kuriōi). The Lord Jesus. In Colossians 3:16 we have τωι τεωι tōi theōi (to God) with all these varieties of praise, another proof of the deity of Christ. See note on Colossians 3:16 for discussion.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (εν ονοματι του Κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου en onomati tou Kuriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou). Jesus had told the disciples to use his name in prayer (John 16:23.).To God, even the Father (τωι τεωι και πατρι tōi theōi kai patri). Rather, “the God and Father.”
Subjecting yourselves to one another (υποτασσομενοι αλληλοις hupotassomenoi allēlois). Present middle participle of υποτασσω hupotassō old military figure to line up under (Colossians 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 υποτασσομενοι hupotassomenoi as an independent participle like an imperative.
Be in subjection. Not in the Greek text of B and Jerome knew of no MS. with it. K L and most MSS. have υποτασσεστε hupotassesthe like Colossians 3:18, while Aleph A P have υποτασσεστωσαν hupotassesthōsan (let them be subject to). But the case of ανδρασιν andrasin (dative) shows that the verb is understood from Ephesians 5:21 if not written originally. Ιδιοις Idiois (own) is genuine here, though not in Colossians 3:18.As unto the Lord (ως τωι Κυριωι hōs tōi Kuriōi). So here instead of ως ανηκεν εν Κυριωι hōs anēken en Kuriōi of Colossians 3:18.
For the husband is the head of the wife (οτι ανηρ εστιν κεπαλη της γυναικος hoti anēr estin kephalē tēs gunaikos). “For a husband is head of the (his) wife.” No article with ανηρ anēr or κεπαλη kephalēAs Christ also is the head of the church (ως και ο Χριστος κεπαλη της εκκλησιας hōs kai ho Christos kephalē tēs ekklēsias). No article with κεπαλη 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 (αυτος σωτηρ του σωματος autos sōtēr tou sōmatos). He means the church as the body of which Christ is head and Saviour.
But (αλλα alla). Perhaps, “nevertheless,” in spite of the difference just noted. Once again the verb υποτασσω hupotassō has to be supplied in the principal clause before τοις ανδρασιν tois andrasin either as indicative (υποτασσονται hupotassontai) or as imperative (υποτασσεστωσαν hupotassesthōsan).
Even as Christ also loved the church (κατως και ο Χριστος ηγαπησεν την εκκλησιαν kathōs kai ho Christos ēgapēsen tēn ekklēsian). This is the wonderful new point not in Colossians 3:19 that lifts this discussion of the husband‘s love for his wife to the highest plane.
That he might sanctify it (ινα αυτην αγιασηι hina autēn hagiasēi). Purpose clause with ινα hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of αγιαζω hagiazō Jesus stated this as his longing and his prayer (John 17:17-19). This was the purpose of Christ‘s death (Ephesians 5:25).Having cleansed it (καταρισας katharisas). First aorist active participle of καταριζω katharizō to cleanse, either simultaneous action or antecedent. By the washing of water (τωι λουτρωι του υδατος tōi loutrōi tou hudatos). If λουτρον loutron only means bath or bathing-place (= λουτρον loutron), then λουτρωι 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 λουτρον loutron is in Titus 3:5. The reference here seems to be to the baptismal bath (immersion) of water, “in the bath of water.” See note on 1 Corinthians 6:11 for the bringing together of απελουσαστε apelousasthe and ηγιαστητε 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 Romans 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” (εν ρηματι en rēmati). In John 17:17 Jesus connected “truth” with “sanctify.” That is possible here, though it may also be connected with καταρισας katharisas (having cleansed). Some take it to mean the baptismal formula.
That he might present (ινα παραστησηι hina parastēsēi). Final clause with ινα hina and first aorist active subjunctive of παριστημι paristēmi (see note on Colossians 1:22 for parallel) as in 2 Corinthians 11:2 of presenting the bride to the bridegroom. Note both αυτος autos (himself) and εαυτωι heautōi (to himself).Glorious (ενδοχον endoxon). Used of splendid clothing in Luke 7:25. Spot (σπιλος spilos). Late word, in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:13, but σπιλοω spiloō to defile in James 3:6; Judges 1:23. Wrinkle (ρυτιδα rutida). Old word from ρυω ruō to contract, only here in N.T. But that it should be holy and without blemish (αλλ ινα ηι αγια και αμωμος all' hina ēi hagia kai amōmos). Christ‘s goal for the church, his bride and his body, both negative purity and positive.
Even so ought (ουτως οπειλουσιν houtōs opheilousin). As Christ loves the church (his body). And yet some people actually say that Paul in 1 Corinthians 7 gives a degrading view of marriage. How can one say that after reading Ephesians 5:22-33 where the noblest picture of marriage ever drawn is given?
Nourisheth (εκτρεπει ektrephei). Old compound with perfective sense of εκ ek (to nourish up to maturity and on). In N.T. only here and Ephesians 6:4.Cherisheth (ταλπει thalpei). Late and rare word, once in a marriage contract in a papyrus. In N.T. only here and 1 Thessalonians 2:7. Primarily it means to warm (Latin foveo), then to foster with tender care as here. Even as Christ also (κατως και ο Χριστος kathōs kai ho Christos). Relative (correlative) adverb pointing back to ουτως houtōs at the beginning of the sentence (Ephesians 5:28) and repeating the statement in Ephesians 5:25.
Of his flesh and of his bones (εκ της σαρκος αυτου και εκ των οστεων αυτου 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.
For this cause (αντι τουτου anti toutou). “Answering to this” = ενεκεν τουτου heneken toutou of Genesis 2:24, in the sense of αντι anti seen in αντ ων anth' hōn (Luke 12:3). This whole verse is a practical quotation and application of the language to Paul‘s argument here. In Matthew 19:5 Jesus quotes Genesis 2:24. It seems absurd to make Paul mean Christ here by αντρωπος anthrōpos (man) as some commentators do.
This mystery is great (το μυστηριον τουτο μεγα εστιν to mustērion touto mega estin). For the word “mystery” see note on Ephesians 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 (εγω δε λεγω egō de legō). “Now I mean.” Cf. 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 15:50. In regard of Christ and of the church (εις Χριστον και εισ την εκκλησιαν eis Christon kai ̣eiš tēn ekklēsian). “With reference to Christ and the church.” That is all that εις eis here means.
Nevertheless (πλην plēn). “Howbeit,” not to dwell unduly (Abbott) on the matter of Christ and the church.Do ye also severally love (και υμεις οι κατ ενα εκαστος αγαπατω kai humeis hoi kath' hena hekastos agapātō). An unusual idiom. The verb αγαπατω agapātō (present active imperative) agrees with εκαστος hekastos and so is third singular instead of αγαπατε agapāte (second plural) like υμεις humeis The use of οι κατ ενα hoi kath' hena after υμεις humeis = “ye one by one” and then εκαστος hekastos takes up (individualizes) the “one” in partitive apposition and in the third person. Let the wife see that she fear (η γυνη ινα ποβηται hē gunē hina phobētai). There is no verb in the Greek for “let see” (βλεπετω blepetō). For this use of ινα hina with the subjunctive as a practical imperative without a principal verb (an elliptical imperative) see note on Mark 5:23, Matthew 20:32, 1 Corinthians 7:29, 2 Corinthians 8:7, Ephesians 4:29 (Robertson, Grammar, p. 994). “Fear” (ποβηται phobētai present middle subjunctive) here is “reverence.”
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 5". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://beta.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25