Ephesians 6:8
Knowing that whatever good thing any man does, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) The same shall he receive of the Lord.—This verse clenches the previous exhortations by the inculcation of a sense of responsibility and hope. The phrase itself is emphatic—not “he shall receive the reward of his deed,” but “he shall receive the deed itself,” considered as a thing still living and returning on his head, both in the judgments of life and in what we rightly call the “Last Judgment” of the Great Day. A slave in the eye of the law had no rights, and therefore no responsibility or hope. St. Paul therefore bids him, as a Christian, lift his thoughts to a region in which all, bond and free alike, may hear the blessing, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

6:5-9 The duty of servants is summed up in one word, obedience. The servants of old were generally slaves. The apostles were to teach servants and masters their duties, in doing which evils would be lessened, till slavery should be rooted out by the influence of Christianity. Servants are to reverence those over them. They are to be sincere; not pretending obedience when they mean to disobey, but serving faithfully. And they must serve their masters not only when their master's eye is upon them; but must be strict in the discharge of their duty, when he is absent and out of the way. Steady regard to the Lord Jesus Christ will make men faithful and sincere in every station, not grudgingly or by constraint, but from a principle of love to the masters and their concerns. This makes service easy to them, pleasing to their masters, and acceptable to the Lord Christ. God will reward even the meanest drudgery done from a sense of duty, and with a view to glorify him. Here is the duty of masters. Act after the same manner. Be just to servants, as you expect they should be to you; show the like good-will and concern for them, and be careful herein to approve yourselves to God. Be not tyrannical and overbearing. You have a Master to obey, and you and they are but fellow-servants in respect to Christ Jesus. If masters and servants would consider their duties to God, and the account they must shortly give to him, they would be more mindful of their duty to each other, and thus families would be more orderly and happy.Knowing that whatsoever good thing - Whatever a man does that is right, for that he shall be appropriately rewarded. No matter what his rank in life, if he discharges his duty to God and man, he will be accepted. A man in a state of servitude may so live as to honor God; and, so living, he should not be greatly solicitous about his condition. A master may fail to render suitable recompense to a slave. But, if the servant is faithful to God, he will recompense him in the future world. It is in this way that religion would make the evils of life tolerable, by teaching those who are oppressed to hear their trials in a patient spirit, and to look forward to the future world of reward. Religion does not approve of slavery. It is the friend of human rights. If it had full influence on earth, it would restore every man to freedom, and impart to each one his rights. Christianity nowhere requires its friends to make or to own a slave. No one under the proper influence of religion ever yet made a man a slave; there is no one under its proper influence who would not desire that all should be free; and just in proportion as true religion spreads over the world, will universal freedom be its attendant. But Christianity would lighten the evils of slavery even while it exists, and would comfort those who are doomed to so hard a lot, by assuring them that there they may render acceptable service to God, and that they soon will be admitted to a world where galling servitude will be known no more. If they may not have freedom here, they may have contentment if they feel that wrong is done them by men, they may feel that right will be done them by God; if their masters do not reward them for their services here, God will; and if they may not enjoy liberty here, they will soon be received into the world of perfect freedom - heaven. 8. any man doeth—Greek, "any man shall have done," that is, shall be found at the Lord's coming to have done.

the same—in full payment, in heaven's currency.

shall … receive—(2Co 5:10; Col 3:25; but all of grace, Lu 17:10).

bond or free—(1Co 7:22; 12:13; Ga 3:28; Col 3:11). Christ does not regard such distinctions in His present dealings of grace, or in His future judgment. The slave that has acted faithfully for the Lord's sake to his master, though the latter may not repay his faithfulness, shall have the Lord for his Paymaster. So the freeman who has done good for the Lord's sake, though man may not pay him, has the Lord for his Debtor (Pr 19:17).

Whatsoever good thing any man doeth; viz. as the servant of Christ and as unto the Lord.

The same shall he receive of the Lord; the reward of the same, by a metonymy.

Whether he be bond or free: Christ regards not those differences of men at the present, nor will in the day of judgment, 1 Corinthians 7:22 12:13 Galatians 3:28 Colossians 3:11. Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doth,.... According to the will of God, from right principles in his heart, and with a view to God's glory:

the same shall he receive of the Lord; that is, he shall receive the fruit and advantage of it, in a way of grace,

whether he be bond or free; a bondman or a free man, a master or a servant.

{10} Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.

(10) Although they serve unkind and cruel masters, yet the obedience of servants is no less acceptable to God, than the obedience of those that are free.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Ephesians 6:8. Εἰδότες] Incitement to the mode of service demanded, Ephesians 6:5-7 : since ye know that whatever good thing each one shall have done, he shall bear off this (the good done) from the Lord, whether he be slave or free.

ὃ ἐάν τι ἕκαστος] ἐάν in the relative clause with the subjunctive instead of ἄν (Buttmann, neut. Gramm. p. 63 [E. T. 72]), and τί separated from ὅς, as in Plato, Legg. ix. p. 864 E: ἣν ἄν τινα καταβλάψῃ, Lys. p. 160: ὃς ἄν τις ὑμᾶς εὖ ποιῇ.

τοῦτο κομ.] Expression of entirely adequate recompense. See on 2 Corinthians 5:10.

παρὰ κυρίου] from Christ, at the judgment.

εἴτε δοῦλος, εἴτε ἐλεύθ.] ἔδειξε τῷ παρόντι βίῳ πεπωρισμένην τὴν δουλείαν καὶ δεσποτείαν, μετὰ δέ γε τὴν ἐντεῦθεν ἐκδημίαν οὐκ ἔτι δουλείας καὶ δεσποτείας, ἀλλʼ ἀρετῆς καὶ κακίας ἐσομένην διαφοράν, Theodoret. It is evident, we may add, from our passage that Paul did not think of a ceasing of slavery among Christians before the Parousia,—a view which was very naturally connected with the conception of the nearness of the latter, which did not admit of his looking forth upon the development of centuries.Ephesians 6:8. εἰδότες ὅτο ὅ ἐάν τι ἕκαστος ποιήση ἀναθόν: knowing that whatsoever good thing each shall have done. Or, according to the text of T and WH = “knowing that each, if he shall have done any good thing”. Participal clause subjoining a reason or encouragement for a service rendered in sincerity, with hearty good-will, and as to the Lord Himself. The encouragement lies in their Christian knowledge of the Lord’s reward. εἰδότες, not = “who know” as if οἱ εἰδότες, but “seeing ye know,” “knowing as ye do”. The ποιήσῃ, as followed by the κομίσεται, is best rendered “shall have done”. The readings vary greatly. Passing over minor diversities, e.g., εἰδόντες for εἰδόντες, ἐάν τις ἕκαστος, ὃ ἕκαστος ποιήσῃ with omission of ἐάν τι, etc., we find exceptional uncertainty in the text of the ἐάν clause. The TR reads ὅτι ὅ ἐάν τι ἕκαστος, which is given in L2 and most cursives. In that case ἐὰν is the potential ἄν, the and the τι being separated by tmesis (cf. ἣν ἄν τινα καταβλάψῃ, Plato, Laws, ix., 864 E), and the sense being = “whatsoever each,” etc. But in a considerable number of Manuscripts and Versions ([757] [758] [759] [760], 17, 37, Vulg., Arm., etc.) we find ὅτι ἕκαστος ὃ ἄν (or ἐὰν) ποιήσῃ,; in [761] [762], ὅτι (probably ὅ τι) ἐὰν ποιήσῃ, while [763]3 inserts before ἐάν; in [764]*, and one or two cursives (46, 62, 115, 129), ὅτι ἐάν τι ἕκαστος; and in B d, e, Petr. alex. Song of Solomon 6, ὅτι ἔκαστος ἐάν τι ποιήσῃ. This last reading is preferred by Tisch., ed. viii.th, Alf., WH, and is placed in the margin by Lach. In this ἐὰν is the conditional particle and the sense is = “knowing as ye do that each, if he shall have done any good thing”. The Manuscripts constantly vary between ἄν and ἐάν. In classical Greek the conditional ἐάν, if, took also the contracted form ἄν, especially in Thucydides and Plato, and this possibly is the explanation of the biblical use of ἐὰν as = the potential ἄν. In any case the use of ἐὰν, attached to relative pronouns and adverbs, ὁ ἐάν, ὅπου ἐάν, οὗ ἐάν, ὁσάκις ἐάν, etc., with the potential force, appears to occur (making all due allowance for uncertainties in the texts) with some frequency both in the LXX and in the NT, and it is found in the papyri; cf. Thayer-Grimm, Lex., p. 168; Buttm., Gram. of N. T. Greek, p. 72; Blass, Gram. of N. T. Greek, pp. 60, 61, 216.—τοῦτο κομιεῖται [κομίσεται] παρὰ [τοῦ] Κυρίου: this shall he receive again from the Lord. The κομιεῖται of the TR is supported by [765]3[766]3 [767] [768], Bas., Chr., Theodor., etc.; P gives κομίσηται. The best reading is κομίσεται, which is that of [769] [770] [771] [772] [773]*[774], etc. In the NT the verb κομίζειν is used once in the simple sense of carrying or bringing to one (Luke 7:37, of the woman’s ἀλάβαστρον); oftener in the sense of obtaining (1 Peter 1:9; 2 Peter 2:13; Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 11:39), or in that of receiving back, recovering one’s own (Matthew 25:27; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Colossians 3:25). The word has this last sense also in classical Greek (e.g., τὴν ἀδελφήν, Eurip., Iph. T., 1362; Thuc., i., 113, etc.). So here the idea is that of receiving back. The “good thing” done is represented as being itself given back to the doer; the certainty, equity and adequacy of the reward being thus signified (cf. especially 2 Corinthians 5:10). Whether the Middle is to be taken as the appropriative Middle, expressing as it were the receiving back of a deposit (Ell.) is doubtful in view of the fact that in every NT occurrence but one (Luke 7:37) Middle forms are used. The best uncials omit τοῦ before Κυρίου, and so LTTrWHRV.—εἴτε δοῦλος, εἴτε ἐλεύθερος: whether bond or free. The reward in view is that of the Great Day, the Parousia, which will have regard not to social distinctions or external circumstances, but only to spiritual conditions.

[757] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[758] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[759] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.

[760] Codex Porphyrianus (sæc. ix.), at St. Petersburg, collated by Tischendorf. Its text is deficient for chap. Ephesians 2:13-16.

[761] Autograph of the original scribe of א.

[762] Autograph of the original scribe of א.

[763] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[764] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[765] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[766] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[767] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[768] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[769] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[770] Autograph of the original scribe of א.

[771] Autograph of the original scribe of א.

[772] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[773] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[774] Codex Boernerianus (sæc. ix.), a Græco-Latin MS., at Dresden, edited by Matthæi in 1791. Written by an Irish scribe, it once formed part of the same volume as Codex Sangallensis (δ) of the Gospels. The Latin text, g, is based on the O.L. translation.8. knowing] as a certainty of the Gospel. For the Christian’s prospect of “reward,” cp. Matthew 5:12; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:4; Matthew 16:27; Luke 6:35; Luke 14:14; Romans 2:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 10:35; Revelation 22:12; &c. The essence of the truth is that the obedience of love is infallibly welcomed and remembered by Him to whom it is rendered. “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21; Matthew 25:23), is His certain ultimate response to every true act of the will given up to His will. This prospect, taken along with the conditions to it, has nothing that is not deeply harmonious with our justification for Christ’s Merit only, embraced by faith only. It is the recognition of love by Love, of grace by the Giver. From another point of view it is the outcome of a process of growth and result (Galatians 6:7-9).

the Lord] Christ. Cp. among many passages Matthew 25:34-36; 2 Corinthians 5:9-10. In view of the context, the point would be still clearer if the Gr. were rendered the Master.Ephesians 6:8. Ὃ ἐάν τι) A Tmesis for ὅτι ἐὰν, Colossians 3:23.—ἀγαθὸν, good) in Christ.Verse 8. - Knowing that whatsover good thing each man shall have done, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond or free. The hope of reward is brought in to supplement the more disinterested motive, such addition being specially useful in the case of slaves (as of children, vers. 2, 3). For the slave the hope of reward is future - it is at the Lord's coming that he will have his reward. Shall he receive (κομίσεται)

See on 1 Peter 1:8; compare Colossians 3:25.

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