|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:22-33 The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.
Verse 24. - But [it exists so far as to enforce this exhortation] as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything. Let there be a subjection in the one case parallel to that in the other, for such is the Divine will and purpose. Any subjection due to the husband must be modified by what is due to God, for as the husband may not require for himself, so the wife may not give to him, what is God's: God's will is paramount over all. Of the three wills that may be in collision, viz. God's, the husband's, and the wife's - the duty of the wife is to take them in this order, having regard first to God's, next to her husband's, and last to her own.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ,.... Her head, being wholly dependent upon him, and entirely resigned to him, and receiving all from him; from whom alone is all her expectation of provision, protection, comfort, and happiness; wherefore she has respect to all his commands, and esteems all his precepts concerning all things to be right; and yields a cheerful, voluntary, sincere, and hearty obedience to them; arising from a principle of love to him, and joined with honour, fear, and reverence of him:
so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything: political, domestic, and ecclesiastic; that is consistent with the laws of God, and the Gospel of Christ.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. Therefore—Translate, as Greek, "But," or "Nevertheless," that is, though there be the difference of headships mentioned in Eph 5:23, nevertheless, thus far they are one, namely, in the subjection or submission (the same Greek stands for "is subject," as for "submit," Eph 5:21, 22) of the Church to Christ, being the prototype of that of the wife to the husband.
their own—not in most of the oldest manuscripts, and not needed by the argument.
in every thing—appertaining to a husband's legitimate authority; "in the Lord" (Col 3:18); everything not contrary to God.
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