Ephesians 5:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,

New Living Translation
singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.

English Standard Version
addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

New American Standard Bible
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

King James Bible
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord,

International Standard Version
Then you will recite to one another psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; you will sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts;

NET Bible
speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But speak to yourselves in Psalms and hymns and songs of The Spirit; be singing in your hearts to THE LORD JEHOVAH.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
by reciting psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for your own good. Sing and make music to the Lord with your hearts.

Jubilee Bible 2000
speaking among yourselves with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and praising the Lord in your hearts,

King James 2000 Bible
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

American King James Version
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

American Standard Version
speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord;

Darby Bible Translation
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and chanting with your heart to the Lord;

English Revised Version
speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Webster's Bible Translation
Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,

Weymouth New Testament
but drink deeply of God's Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and offer praise in your hearts to the Lord.

World English Bible
speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Young's Literal Translation
speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:15-21 Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must double our diligence for the future. Of that time which thousands on a dying bed would gladly redeem at the price of the whole world, how little do men think, and to what trifles they daily sacrifice it! People are very apt to complain of bad times; it were well if that stirred them more to redeem time. Be not unwise. Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of our souls, show the greatest folly. Drunkenness is a sin that never goes alone, but carries men into other evils; it is a sin very provoking to God. The drunkard holds out to his family and to the world the sad spectacle of a sinner hardened beyond what is common, and hastening to perdition. When afflicted or weary, let us not seek to raise our spirits by strong drink, which is hateful and hurtful, and only ends in making sorrows more felt. But by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit, and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter. All God's people have reason to sing for joy. Though we are not always singing, we should be always giving thanks; we should never want disposition for this duty, as we never want matter for it, through the whole course of our lives. Always, even in trials and afflictions, and for all things; being satisfied of their loving intent, and good tendency. God keeps believers from sinning against him, and engages them to submit one to another in all he has commanded, to promote his glory, and to fulfil their duties to each other.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 19. - Speaking to one another. Literally, this would denote antiphonal singing, but this is rather an artificial idea for so simple times. It seems here to denote one person singing one hymn, then another another, and so on; and the meetings would seem to have been for social Christian enjoyment rather than for the public worship of God. In the Epistle to the Colossians it is, "Teaching and admonishing one another with psalms," and this has more of the idea of public worship; and if it be proper to express joyful feelings in the comparatively private social gatherings of Christians, it is proper to do the same in united public worship. In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. The precise meaning of these terms is not easily seen; "psalms" we should naturally apply to the Old Testament psalms, but the want of the article makes the meaning more general, equivalent to "songs with the character of the psalms;" hymns, songs celebrating the praises of the Divine Being, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; "spiritual songs" or odes of a more general cast, meditative, historical, hortatory, or didactic. But these must be "spiritual," such as the Holy Spirit would lead us to use and would use with us for our good. The two clauses correspond: "be filled with the Spirit;" "speaking in spiritual songs." Receive the Spirit - pour out the Spirit; let your songs be effusions sent forth from your hearts with the aroma of the Holy Spirit. Singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; i.e. to the Lord Jesus. Some have argued that while ἄδοντες denotes singing, ψάλλοντες means striking the musical instrument. But ψάλλω is so frequently used in a more general sense, that it can hardly be restricted to this meaning here. The great thought is that this musical service must not be musical only, but a service of the heart, in rendering which the heart must be in a state of worship.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Speaking to yourselves in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs,.... By psalms are meant the Psalms of David, and others which compose the book that goes by that name, for other psalms there are none; and by "hymns" we are to understand, not such as are made by good men, without the inspiration of the Spirit of God; since they are placed between psalms and spiritual songs, made by men inspired by the Holy Ghost; and are put upon a level with them, and to be sung along with them, to the edification of churches; but these are only another name for the Book of Psalms, the running title of which may as well be the Book of Hymns, as it is rendered by Ainsworth; and the psalm which our Lord sung with his disciples after the supper, is called an hymn; and so are the psalms in general called hymns, by Philo the Jew (n); and songs and hymns by Josephus (o); and , "songs and praises", or "hymns", in the Talmud (p): and by "spiritual songs" are meant the same Psalms of David, Asaph, &c. and the titles of many of them are songs, and sometimes a psalm and song, and song and psalm, a song of degrees; together with all other Scriptural songs, written by inspired men; and which are called "spiritual", because they are indited by the Spirit of God, consist of spiritual matter, and are designed for spiritual edification; and are opposed to all profane, loose, and wanton songs: these three words answer to the several titles of David's Psalms; from whence it seems to be the intention of the apostle, that these should be sting in Gospel churches; for so he explains speaking to themselves in them, in the next clause:

singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; singing, as it is a distinct thing from prayer, so from giving of thanks, which is mentioned in Ephesians 5:20 as another duty; it is not a mental praising of God, for it is called speaking, and teaching, and admonishing, but it is a praising of God with the modulation of the voice; and is rightly performed, when the heart and voice agree; when there is a melody in the heart, as well as in the tongue; for singing and making melody in the heart, is singing with, or from the heart, or heartily; of as elsewhere, "with grace", and which the Alexandrian copy reads here; that is, either with gratitude and thankfulness, or with grace in exercise; and the end in view should be the glory of God.

(n) De Mutat. Nomin. p. 1062. & alibi. (o) Antiqu. l. 7. c. 12. sect. 3.((p) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

19. (Col 3:16).

to yourselves—"to one another." Hence soon arose the antiphonal or responsive chanting of which Pliny writes to Trajan: "They are wont on a fixed day to meet before daylight [to avoid persecution] and to recite a hymn among themselves by turns, to Christ, as if being God." The Spirit gives true eloquence; wine, a spurious eloquence.

psalms—generally accompanied by an instrument.

hymns—in direct praise to God (compare Ac 16:25; 1Co 14:26; Jas 5:13).

songs—the general term for lyric pieces; "spiritual" is added to mark their being here restricted to sacred subjects, though not merely to direct praises of God, but also containing exhortations, prophecies, &c. Contrast the drunken "songs," Am 8:10.

making melody—Greek, "playing and singing with an instrument."

in your heart—not merely with the tongue; but the serious feeling of the heart accompanying the singing of the lips (compare 1Co 14:15; Ps 47:7). The contrast is between the heathen and the Christian practice, "Let your songs be not the drinking songs of heathen feasts, but psalms and hymns; and their accompaniment, not the music of the lyre, but the melody of the heart" [Conybeare and Howson].

to the Lord—See Pliny's letter quoted above: "To Christ as God."

Ephesians 5:19 Additional Commentaries
Context
Children of Light
18And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;…
Cross References
Psalm 95:2
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

Acts 16:25
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

1 Corinthians 14:15
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.

1 Corinthians 14:26
What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

Colossians 3:16
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Revelation 5:9
And they sang a new song, saying: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Treasury of Scripture

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

to yourselves.

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God: and …

1 Corinthians 14:26 How is it then, brothers? when you come together, every one of you …

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching …

James 5:13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

psalms. Psalms, [psalmos,] from [psallo,] to touch or play on a musical instrument, properly denotes such sacred songs or poems as are sung to stringed instruments, and may here refer to those of David; hymns, [humnos,] from [hudo,] to sing, celebrate, praise, signifies songs in honour of God; and songs [ode,] from [aeido,] to sing, denotes any regular poetic composition adapted to singing, and is here restricted to those which are spiritual.

Psalm 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful …

Psalm 105:2 Sing to him, sing psalms to him: talk you of all his wondrous works.

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

making.

Psalm 47:7,8 For God is the King of all the earth: sing you praises with understanding…

Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before …

Psalm 86:12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify …

Psalm 105:3 Glory you in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise on the harp to our God:

Isaiah 65:14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry …

Matthew 15:8 This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with …

John 4:23,24 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship …

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