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4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
7 Be not ye, therefore, partakers with them.
8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light,
4 becometh saints: Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor pleasantry of discourse of this kind, which are none of them 5 convenient, but rather giving of thanks. For this you are thoroughly instructed in, and acquainted with, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor lewd, lascivious libertine in such matters, who is in truth an idolater, shall have any part 6 in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain, empty talk: these things in themselves are highly offensive to God, and are that which he will bring the heathen world (who will not come in, and submit to the 7 law of Christ) to judgment for . Be ye not, therefore, par8 takers with them. For ye were heretofore, in your Gentile state, perfectly in the dark; but now, by believing in Christ, and receiving the Gospel, light and knowledge is given to
6 b One would guess by this, that as there were Jews who would persuade them that it was necessary for all Christians to be circumcised, and observe the law of Moses; so there were others, who retained so much of their ancient heathenism, as to endeavour to make them believe that those venereal abominations and uncleannesses, were no other, than what the Gentiles esteemed them, barely indifferent actions, not offensive to God, or inconsistent with his worship, but only a part of the peculiar and positive ceremonial law of the Jews, whereby they distinguished themselves from other people, and thought themselves holier than the rest of the world, as they did, by their distinction of food into clean and unclean; these actions being, in themselves as indifferent as those meats, which the apostle confutes in the following words.
"Children of disobedience," here, and chap. ii. 2, and Col. iii. 6, are plainly the Gentiles who refused to come in, and submit themselves to the Gospel, as will appear to any one who will read these places and the contexts with
8 St. Paul, to express the great darkness the Gentiles were in, calls them darkness itself.
Which is thus expressed, Col. i. 12, 13: "Giving thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." The kingdom of Satan, over the Gentile world, was a
9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth)
10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
9 you, walk as those who are in a state of light, (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth') 10 Practising that which, upon examination, you find acceptable 11 to the Lord. And do not partake in the fruitless works of darkness; do not go on in the practice of those shameful actions, as if they were indifferent, but rather reprove them. 12 For the things, that the Gentile idolaters" do in secret, are
so filthy and abominable, that it is a shame so much as to 13 name them. This you now see, which is an evidence of your being enlightened; for all things, that are discovered to 14 be amiss, are made manifest by the light. Wherefore he
saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light; for whatsoever shows them to be
kingdom of darkness: see Eph. vi. 12. And so we see Jesus is pronounced by
Simeon, a light to lighten the Gentiles," see Luke ii. 32.
9 This parenthesis serves to give us the literal sense of all that is here required by the apostle, in this allegorical discourse of light.
11 These deeds of the unconverted heathen, who remained in the kingdom of darkness, are thus expressed by St. Paul, Rom. vi. 21: "What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death." 12h That by them," here, are meant the unconverted Gentiles, is so visible, that there needs nothing to be said to justify the interpretation of the word.
13 i See John iii. 20. The apostle's argument here, to keep the Ephesian converts from being misled by those that would persuade them, that the Gentile impurities were indifferent actions, was to show them that they were now better enlightened; to which purpose, ver. 5, he tells them that they know that no such person hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, or of God. This he tells them, ver. 8, &c. was light, which they had received from the Gospel, which, before their conversion, they knew nothing of, but were in perfect darkness and ignorance of it, but now they were better instructed, and saw the difference, which was a sign of light; and, therefore, they should follow that light, which they had received from Christ, who had raised them from among the Gentiles, (who were so far dead as to be wholly insensible of the evil course and state they were in) and had given them light, and a prospect into a future state, and the way to attain everlasting happiness.
15 See, then, that ye walk circumspectly; not as fools, but as wise; 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 such, is light. Since then you are in the light, make use of your eyes to walk exactly in the right way, not as fools, rambling at adventures, but as wise, in a steady, right-chosen course, 16 Securing yourselves, by your prudent carriage, from the inconveniencies of those difficult times which threaten them 17 with danger. Wherefore, be ye not unwise, but understand18 ing what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunken with
wine, wherein there is excess; seek not diversion in the noisy and intemperate jollity of drinking; but, when you are disposed to a cheerful entertainment of one another, let it be with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that you are filled with, 19 Singing hymns, and psalms, and spiritual songs among your
selves; this makes real and solid mirth in the heart, and is 20 melody well pleasing to God himself; Giving thanks always, for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father.
16 St. Paul here intimates, ver. 6, that the unconverted heathens they lived among would be forward to tempt them to their former lewd, dissolute lives; but to keep them from any approaches that way, that they have light now, by the Gospel, to know that such actions are provoking to God, and will find the effects of his wrath in the judgments of the world to come. All those pollutions, so familiar among the Gentiles, he exhorts them carefully to avoid; but yet to take care, by their prudent carriage to the Gentiles they lived amongst, to give them no offence, that so they might escape the danger and trouble that might otherwise arise to them, from the intemperance and violence of those heathen idolaters, whose shameful lives the Christian practice could not but reprove. This seems to be the meaning of "redeeming the time" here, which Col. iv. 5, the other place where it occurs, seems so manifestly to confirm and give light to. If this be not the sense of " redeeming the time" here, I must own myself ignorant of the precise meaning of the phrase, in this place.
18 St. Paul dehorts them from wine, in a too free use of it, because therein is excess the Greek word is dowτla, which may signify luxury or dissoluteness: i. e. that drinking is no friend to continency and chastity, but gives up the reins to lust and uncleanness, the vice he had been warning them against: or curia may signify the intemperance and disorder opposite to that sober and prudent demeanour advised in redeeming the time.
CHAPTER V. 21-VI. 9.
In this section he gives rules concerning the duties arising from the several relations men stand in one to another, in society: those which he particularly insists on are these three, husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another, in the fear of God.
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head
of the church and he is the Saviour of the body.
24 Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
21 Submit yourselves one to another, in the fear of God. 22 As for example, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, or, as being members of the church, you submit your23 selves to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife,
as Christ himself is the head of the church, and it is he, the head, that preserves that his body; so stands it between man 24 and wife. Therefore, as the church is subject to Christ, so 25 let wives be to their husbands, in every thing. And, you husbands, do you, on your side, love your wives, even as
21 This, though in grammatical construction it be joined to the foregoing discourse, yet I think it ought to be looked on as introductory to what follows in this section, and to be a general rule given to the Ephesians, to submit to those duties which the several relations they stood in to one another required of them.
23 It is from the head that the body receives its healthy and vigorous constitution of health and life; this St. Paul pronounces here of Christ, as head of the church, that by that parallel which he makes use of, to represent the relation between husband and wife, he may both show the wife the reasonableness of her subjection to her husband, and the duty incumbent on the husband to cherish and preserve his wife, as we see he pursues it in the following verses.
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies: he that loveth his wife, loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Christ also loved the church, and gave himself to death for it; 26 That he might sanctify and fit it to himself, purifying it by the washing of baptism, joined with the preaching and re27 ception of the Gospel; That so he himself might present it to himself an honourable spouse, without the least spot of uncleanness, or misbecoming feature, or any thing amiss; but that it might be holy, and without all manner of blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives, as their own bodies: he 29 that loveth his wife, loveth himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the 30 Lord Christ doth the church: For we are members of his 31 body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined unto 32 his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. These words
26 'Evрhμati, "by the word." The purifying of men is ascribed so much, throughout the whole New Testament, to the word, i. e. the preaching of the Gospel, and baptism, that there needs little to be said to prove it: see John xv. 3, and xviii. 17. 1 Pet. i. 22. Tit. iii. 5. Heb. x. 22. Col. ii. 12, 13, and as it is at large explained in the former part of the sixth chapter to the Romans.
27 d He himself:" so the Alexandrine copy reads it aùròs, and not aur, more
suitable to the apostle's meaning here, who, to recommend to husbands love and tenderness to their wives, in imitation of Christ's affection to the church, shows, that whereas other brides take care to spruce themselves, and set off their persons with all manner of neatness and cleanness, to recommend themselves to their bridegrooms; Christ himself, at the expense of his own pain and blood, purified and prepared himself his spouse, the church, that he might present it to himself, without spot or wrinkle.
30 and 31 These two verses may seem to stand here disorderly, so as to disturb the connexion, and make the inferences disjointed, and very loose and