Ephesians 5:14
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For this reason it says, "Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you."

King James Bible
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Darby Bible Translation
Wherefore he says, Wake up, thou that sleepest, and arise up from among the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon thee.

World English Bible
Therefore he says, "Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

Young's Literal Translation
wherefore he saith, 'Arouse thyself, thou who art sleeping, and arise out of the dead, and the Christ shall shine upon thee.'

Ephesians 5:14 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Wherefore he saith - Margin, or "it." Διὸ λέγει Dio legei. The meaning may be, either that the Lord says, or the Scripture. Much difficulty has been experienced in endeavoring to ascertain "where" this is said. It is agreed on all hands that it is not found, in so many words, in the Old Testament. Some have supposed that the allusion is to Isaiah 26:19, "Thy dead men shall live - awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs," etc. But the objections to this are obvious and conclusive.

(1) this is not a quotation of that place, nor has it a "resemblance" to it, except in the word "awake."

(2) the passage in Isaiah refers to a different matter, and has a different sense altogether; see the notes on the passage.

To make it refer to those to whom the gospel comes, is most forced and unnatural. Others have supposed that the reference is to Isaiah 60:1-3, "Arise, shine; for thy light is come," etc. But the objection to this is not less decisive.

(1) it is "not" a quotation of that passage, and the resemblance is very remote, if it can be seen at all.

(2) "that" is addressed to the church, calling on her to let her light shine; "this," to awake and arise from the dead, with the assurance that Christ would give them light. The exhortation here is to Christians, to "avoid the vices of the pagan around them;" the exhortation in Isaiah is to the church, to "rejoice and exult" in view of the fact that the day of triumph had come, and that the pagan were to be converted, and to come in multitudes and devote themselves to God. In the "design" of the two passages there is no resemblance. Some have supposed that the words are taken from some book among the Hebrews which is now lost. Epiphanius supposed that it was a quotation from a prophecy of Elijah; Syncellus and Euthalius, from some writing of Jeremiah; Hippolytus, from the writing of some now unknown prophet. Jerome supposed it was taken from some apocryphal writings. Grotius supposes that it refers to the word "light" in Ephesians 5:13, and that the sense is," That light says; that is, that a man who is pervaded by that light, let him so say to another." Heumann, and after him Storr, Michaelis, and Jennings (Jewish Ant. 2:252), suppose that the reference is to a song or hymn that was sung by the early Christians, beginning in this manner, arid that the meaning is, "Wherefore, as it is said in the hymns which we sing,

'Awake, thou that sleepest;

Arise from the dead;

Christ shall give thee light.'

Others have supposed that there is an allusion to a sentiment which prevailed among the Jews, respecting the significancy of blowing the trumpet on the first day of the month, or the feast of the new moon. Maimonides conjectures that that call of the trumpet, especially in the month Tisri, in which the great day of atonement occurred, was designed to signify a special call to repentance; meaning, "You who sleep, arouse from your slumbers; search and try yourselves; think on your Creator, repent, and attend to the salvation of the soul." "Burder," in Ros. Alt. u. neu. Morgenland, in loc. But all this is evidently conjecture. I see no evidence that Paul meant to make a quotation at all. Why may we not suppose that he speaks as an inspired man, and that he means to say, simply, that God now gives this command, or that God now speaks in this way? The sense then would be, "Be separate from sinners. Come out from among the pagan. Do not mingle with their abominations; do not name them. You are the children of light; and God says to you, awake from false security, rouse from the death of sin, and Christ shall enlighten you." Whatever be the origin of the sentiment in this verse, it is worthy of inspiration, and accords with all that is elsewhere said in the Scriptures.

(The grand objection to this view of our author is, that the apostle evidently introduces a citation. In the writings of Paul, the form διὸ λέγει dio legei is never used in any other sense. Whence then is the quotation taken? There is nothing absurd in supposing, with Scott and Guyse, that the apostle gives the general sense of the Old Testament prophecies con cerning the calling of the Gentiles. But Isaiah 60:1-3, bears a sufficiently close resemblance to the passage in Ephesians, to vindicate the very commonly received opinion, that the apostle quotes that prophecy, in which the subject is the increase of the Church by the accession of the pagan nations. The church is called to arise and shine, and the apostle reminds the converted Ephesians of their lofty vocation. It forms no very serious objection, that between the place in Isaiah and that in Ephesians, there are certain verbal discrepancies. No one will make much of this, who remembers, nat in a multitude of cases similar variations occur, the apostles contenting themselves with giving the sense of the places to which they refer. "Accordingly," says Dr. Dodridge, "the sense of tire passage before us is so fairly deducible from the words of Isaiah, that I do not see any necessity of having recourse to this supposition," namely, that the quotation was from an apocryphal book ascribed to Jeremiah.)

Awake thou that sleepest - Arouse from a state of slumber and false security. "Sleep and death" are striking representations of the state in which people are by nature. In "sleep" we are, though living, insensible to any danger that may be near; we are unconscious of what may he going on around us; we hear not the voice of our friends; we see not the beauty of the grove or the landscape; we are forgetful of our real character and condition. So With the sinner. It is as if his faculties were locked in a deep slumber. He hears not when God calls; he has no sense of danger; he is insensible to the beauties and glories of the heavenly world; he is forgetful of his true character and condition. To see all this, he must be first awakened; and hence this solemn command is addressed to man. He must rouse from this condition, or he cannot be saved. But can he awaken himself? Is it not the work of God to awaken a sinner? Can he rouse himself to a sense of his condition and danger? How do we do in other things? The man that is sleeping on the verge of a dangerous precipice we would approach, and say, "Awake, you are in danger." The child that is sleeping quietly in its bed, while the flames are bursting into the room, we would rouse, and say, "Awake, or you will perish." Why not use the same language to the sinner slumbering on the verge of ruin, in a deep sleep, while the flames of wrath are kindling around him? We have no difficulty in calling on sleepers elsewhere to awake when in danger; how can we have any difficulty when speaking to the sinner?

And arise from the dead - The state of the sinner, is often compared to death; see the notes on Ephesians 2:1. People are by nature dead in sins; yet they must rouse from this condition, or they will perish. How singular, it may be said, to call upon the dead to rise! How could they raise themselves up? Yet God speak thus to people, and commands them to rise from the death of sin. Therefore, learn:

(1) That people are not dead in sin in any such sense that they are not moral agents, or responsible.

continued...

Ephesians 5:14 Parallel Commentaries

Library
April 22. "Christ is the Head" (Eph. v. 23).
"Christ is the head" (Eph. v. 23). Often we want people to pray for us and help us, but always defeat our object when we look too much to them and lean upon them. The true secret of union is for both to look upon God, and in the act of looking past themselves to Him they are unconsciously united. The sailor was right when he saw the little boy fall overboard and waited a minute before he plunged to his rescue. When the distracted mother asked him in agony why he had waited so long, he sensibly replied:
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

God's Imitators
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children'--Eph. v. 1. The Revised Version gives a more literal and more energetic rendering of this verse by reading, 'Be ye, therefore, imitators of God, as beloved children.' It is the only place in the Bible where that bold word 'imitate' is applied to the Christian relation to God. But, though the expression is unique, the idea underlies the whole teaching of the New Testament on the subject of Christian character and conduct. To be like God, and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

Against Foolish Talking and Jesting.
"Nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient."-- Ephes. v.4. Moral and political aphorisms are seldom couched in such terms that they should be taken as they sound precisely, or according to the widest extent of signification; but do commonly need exposition, and admit exception: otherwise frequently they would not only clash with reason and experience, but interfere, thwart, and supplant one another. The best masters of such wisdom are wont to interdict things, apt by unseasonable
Isaac Barrow—Sermons on Evil-Speaking, by Isaac Barrow

Sensual and Spiritual Excitement.
Preached August 4, 1850. SENSUAL AND SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT. "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."--Ephesians v. 17, 18. There is evidently a connection between the different branches of this sentence--for ideas cannot be properly contrasted which have not some connection--but what that connection is, is not at first sight clear. It almost appears like a profane and irreverent juxtaposition
Frederick W. Robertson—Sermons Preached at Brighton

Cross References
Isaiah 26:19
Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.

Isaiah 51:17
Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, You who have drunk from the LORD'S hand the cup of His anger; The chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs.

Isaiah 52:1
Awake, awake, Clothe yourself in your strength, O Zion; Clothe yourself in your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you.

Isaiah 60:1
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.

Luke 1:78
Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,

Luke 15:24
for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.

Romans 13:11
Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.

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