Ephesians 6:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.

New Living Translation
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.

English Standard Version
Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ,

Berean Study Bible
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart, just as you would show to Christ.

Berean Literal Bible
Slaves, obey the earthly masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of your heart as to Christ,

New American Standard Bible
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

King James Bible
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.

International Standard Version
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear, trembling, and sincerity, as when you obey the Messiah.

NET Bible
Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ,

New Heart English Bible
Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Servants, obey your Masters who are in the flesh with reverence and trembling and with simplicity of heart, as unto The Messiah,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with proper respect. Be as sincere as you are when you obey Christ.

New American Standard 1977
Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Slaves, be obedient to those that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in simplicity of your heart as unto the Christ,

King James 2000 Bible
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

American King James Version
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ;

American Standard Version
Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Servants, be obedient to them that are your lords according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to Christ:

Darby Bible Translation
Bondmen, obey masters according to flesh, with fear and trembling, in simplicity of your heart as to the Christ;

English Revised Version
Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;

Webster's Bible Translation
Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ;

Weymouth New Testament
Slaves, be obedient to your earthly masters, with respect and eager anxiety to please and with simplicity of motive as if you were obeying Christ.

World English Bible
Servants, be obedient to those who according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ;

Young's Literal Translation
The servants! obey the masters according to the flesh with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as to the Christ;
Study Bible
Slaves and Masters
4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; instead, bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear and sincerity of heart, just as you would show to Christ. 6And do this not only to please them while they are watching, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.…
Cross References
Romans 9:3
For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my own flesh and blood,

1 Corinthians 2:3
I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.

Ephesians 5:22
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.

Colossians 3:22
Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only to please them while they are watching, but with sincerity of heart and fear of the Lord.

1 Timothy 6:1
All who are under the yoke of slavery should regard their masters as fully worthy of honor, so that God's name and our teaching will not be discredited.

Titus 2:9
Slaves are to submit to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative,

Philemon 1:16
no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a beloved brother. He is especially beloved to me, but even more so to you, both in person and in the Lord.

1 Peter 2:18
Servants, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but even to those who are unreasonable.
Treasury of Scripture

Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as to Christ;

be.

Genesis 16:9 And the angel of the LORD said to her, Return to your mistress, and …

Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, …

Malachi 1:6 A son honors his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a …

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and …

Matthew 8:9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say …

Acts 10:7,8 And when the angel which spoke to Cornelius was departed, he called …

Colossians 3:22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; …

1 Timothy 6:1-3 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters …

Titus 2:9,10 Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please …

1 Peter 2:18-21 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the …

according.

Philemon 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially …

with.

1 Corinthians 2:3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

2 Corinthians 7:15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembers …

Philippians 2:12 Why, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence …

1 Peter 3:2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

in.

Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth…

1 Chronicles 29:17 I know also, my God, that you try the heart, and have pleasure in …

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O LORD; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart …

Matthew 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, …

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking …

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that …

2 Corinthians 11:2,3 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused …

as.

Ephesians 1:1-23 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints …

1 Corinthians 7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's …

Colossians 3:17-24 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord …

(4 c.) In Ephesians 6:5-9 the hardest form of subjection, that of slaves to masters, is dealt with, still under the same idea that both are "in Christ." The slave is the servant of Christ in obeying his master, the master is a fellow-servant with his slave to the same Divine Lord. We notice on this particular subject a remarkable emphasis, and a singular closeness of parallelism between this Epistle and the Epistle to the Colossians; probably to be accounted for by the presence of Onesimus with St. Paul at the time, which would naturally press on him some special consideration of the relation of Christianity to slavery. Accordingly St. Paul's general attitude towards slavery will be best considered in the Epistle to Philemon (which see). Here it will be sufficient to note that while the institution, unnatural as it is, is left untouched, the declaration of a common fellowship in Christ enunciates a principle absolutely incompatible with slavery, and destined to destroy it.

(5) Your masters according to the flesh.--This phrase (used also in Colossians 3:12) at once implies the necessary limitation of all human slavery. It can subjugate and even kill the body, but it cannot touch the spirit; and it belongs only to the visible life of this world, not to the world to come. The slave is a man in spiritual and immortal being, not a "living tool" or "chattel," as even philosophy called him.

With fear and trembling.--The phrase is a favourite one with St. Paul. (See 1Corinthians 2:3; 2Corinthians 7:15; Philippians 2:12, in all which cases it is applied to the condition of man as man under the weight of solemn responsibility before God.) It recognises the "spirit of bondage unto fear" (Romans 8:15) necessarily belonging to all who are "under law," i.e., under obedience to the will of another, as enforced upon them by compulsion; and this fear, moreover, is viewed as showing itself in "trembling" anxiety to obey. So St. Peter commands (1Peter 2:18), "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward;" and it is to be noted that he describes the suffering herein implied as a fellowship with the sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:21-24).

Singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.--The phrase "singleness of heart," is here used in its proper sense, from which all others (see Romans 12:8; 2Corinthians 8:2; 2Corinthians 9:11; 2Corinthians 9:13) may be derived. It means having but one aim, and that the one which we profess to have, with no duplicity of reservation or hypocrisy. Such singleness of heart cannot be given perfectly to any merely human service, because no such service has a right to our whole heart; hence St. Paul adds, "as unto Christ," bidding them look on their service as a part of the service to Him who can claim absolute devotion.

Verse 5. - Bond-servants, obey your masters according to the flesh. There were many slaves in the early Church, but, however unjust their position, the apostle could not but counsel them to obedience, this course being the best for ultimately working out their emancipation. The words of Christ were peculiarly welcome to them "that labor and are heavy laden;" and, as we find from Celsus and others, the early Church was much ridiculed for the large number of uneducated persons in its pale. With fear and trembling. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:3; Philippians 2:12, from which it will be seen that this expression does not denote slavish dread, but great moral anxiety lest one should fail in duty. It was probably a proverbial expression. In the singleness of your heart, as to Christ. Not with a got-up semblance of obedience, but with inward sincerity, knowing that it is your duty; and even if it be irksome, doing it pleasantly, as though Christ required it, and you were doing it to him. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters,.... The apostle enlarges on the duty of servants, as well as frequently inculcates it in his epistles; because, generally speaking, they were more rude and ignorant, and less pains were taken with them to instruct them; they were apt to be impatient and weary of the yoke; and scandal was like to arise from servants in the first ages of Christianity through some libertines, and the licentiousness of the false teachers, who insinuated, that servitude was inconsistent with Christian freedom: the persons exhorted are "servants", bond servants, and hired servants; who are to be subject to, and obey their "masters", of each sex, whether male or female, of every condition, whether poor or rich, believers or unbelievers, good or bad humoured, gentle or froward: such as are their masters

according to the flesh; or "carnal masters", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; even though they are unregenerate men, and are in a state of nature, and only mind the things of the flesh, yet they are to be obeyed in their lawful commands; or "in things pertaining to the flesh", as the Arabic version renders it; in things temporal, which concern the body, and this temporal life; not in things spiritual and religious, or that belong to conscience, and which are contrary to them: or "according to your flesh", as the Ethiopic version renders it; signifying that they are only masters over their bodies, not their consciences; and that their power only extends to corporeal things, and can last no longer than while they are in the flesh; see Job 3:19; and obedience is to be yielded to them

with fear and trembling; with great humility and respect, with reverence of them, and giving honour to them, with carefulness not to offend them, with submission to their reproofs and corrections, and with fear of punishment; but more especially with the fear of God, being by that influenced and constrained to obedience;

in singleness of heart; with readiness and cheerfulness, without hypocrisy and dissimulation, and with all integrity and faithfulness:

as unto Christ; it being agreeable to his will, and what makes for his glory, and serves to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 5. Servants—literally, "slaves."

masters according to the flesh—in contrast to your true and heavenly Master (Eph 6:4). A consolatory him that the mastership to which they were subject, was but for a time [Chrysostom]; and that their real liberty was still their own (1Co 7:22).

fear and trembling—not slavish terror, but (See on [2374]1Co 2:3; 2Co 7:15) an anxious eagerness to do your duty, and a fear of displeasing, as great as is produced in the ordinary slave by "threatenings" (Eph 6:9).

singleness—without double-mindedness, or "eye service" (Eph 6:6), which seeks to please outwardly, without the sincere desire to make the master's interest at all times the first consideration (1Ch 29:17; Mt 6:22, 23; Lu 11:34). "Simplicity."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.
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