|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:18-25 The epistles most taken up in displaying the glory of the Divine grace, and magnifying the Lord Jesus, are the most particular in pressing the duties of the Christian life. We must never separate the privileges and duties of the gospel. Submission is the duty of wives. But it is submission, not to a severe lord or stern tyrant, but to her own husband, who is engaged to affectionate duty. And husbands must love their wives with tender and faithful affection. Dutiful children are the most likely to prosper. And parents must be tender, as well as children obedient. Servants are to do their duty, and obey their masters' commands, in all things consistent with duty to God their heavenly Master. They must be both just and diligent; without selfish designs, or hypocrisy and disguise. Those who fear God, will be just and faithful when from under their master's eye, because they know they are under the eye of God. And do all with diligence, not idly and slothfully; cheerfully, not discontented at the providence of God which put them in that relation. And for servants' encouragement, let them know, that in serving their masters according to the command of Christ, they serve Christ, and he will give them a glorious reward at last. But, on the other hand, he who doeth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done. God will punish the unjust, as well as reward the faithful servant; and the same if masters wrong their servants. For the righteous Judge of the earth will deal justly between master and servant. Both will stand upon a level at his tribunal. How happy would true religion make the world, if it every where prevailed, influenced every state of things, and every relation of life! But the profession of those persons who are regardless of duties, and give just cause for complaint to those they are connected with, deceives themselves, as well as brings reproach on the gospel.
Verse 19. - Ye husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them (Ephesians 5:25-31; 1 Peter 3:7). "Love" is ἀγαπάω, the word which expresses the highest spiritual affection - "even as Christ loved the Church" (Ephesians 5:25). Here, first and most of all, the "new commandment" of John 13:34 applies. St. Paul only uses the verb πικραίνω ("to make bitter") here, but he has the noun πικρία ("bitterness") in a wider application in Ephesians 4:31. It denotes "exasperation," prompting to hasty severity. Bengel defines it as "odium amori mixtum" - hatred infused into love.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Husbands, love your wives,.... See Gill on Ephesians 5:25.
and be not bitter against them; turning love into hatred of their persons; ruling with rigour, and in a tyrannical manner; behaving towards them in a morose, churlish, and ill natured way; giving them either bitter words, or blows, and denying them their affection, care, provision, protection, and assistance, but using them as servants, or worse. All which is barbarous, brutish, and unchristian, and utterly unbecoming the Gospel.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. (Eph 5:22-33.)
be not bitter—ill-tempered and provoking. Many who are polite abroad, are rude and bitter at home because they are not afraid to be so there.
Colossians 3:19 Parallel Commentaries
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