ICC New Testament Commentary
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;5:1γίνεσθε οὖν μιμηταὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ. “Become therefore imitators of God.” γίνεσθε resumes the γίνεσθε of 4:32. The words of that verse, “forgiving … as God forgave you,” show that the imitation inculcated is in respect of this particular virtue, and the οὗν, therefore, connects this verse with that immediately preceding, not with the whole foregoing subject. Imitators of God! The idea is a grand and ennobling one; and our Lord Himself sets it before us, and in the same aspect, when He says, “Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” namely, in that “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45, Matthew 5:48). So that we also should love our enemies.
The forgiveness inculcated is obviously free forgiveness, as in the passage just cited and in the Lord’s Prayer. That this is here placed on the ground of imitation of God’s forgiveness is a decisive proof that St. Paul did not view the Atonement in the light of payment of a debt or endurance of a penalty demanded by Divine justice. The most unforgiving of men, if not actually vindictive, might say, I am quite ready to forgive on the same terms on which you say that God forgives, viz. that the debt be fully paid, the offence fully atoned for. Chrysostom has a fine comment on this “forgiving one another.” There is a great difference, he says, between God’s forgiveness and ours, “for, if thou forgivest, the other will in turn forgive thee; but to God thou hast forgiven nought. And thou to thy fellow-servant, but God to His servant, and His enemy, and him that hateth Him. And He did not for give simply without peril, but with the peril of His Son. For that He might forgive thee He sacrificed the Son,— τὸν Υἱὸν ἔθυσε, — but thou, although often seeing forgiveness to be without peril or expense, dost not exercise it.”
ὡς τέκνα ἀγαπητά, i.e. as children beloved of God. He adds, says Chrys., another obligation of imitating God, not only because He has conferred benefits on us, but because we are His children, nay, His beloved children. “If God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
2. καὶ περιπατεῖτε ἐν ἀγάπῃ specifying, further, wherein the imitation of God is to be shown. Love is to be the rule of our life.
καθὼς καὶ ὁ χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν ὑμᾶς καὶ παρέδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν. Compare John 13:34, “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” καὶ παρέδωκεν expresses wherein this love was shown. So ver. 25, “loved the Church, and gave Himself for it”; Galatians 2:20, “loved me, and gave Himself for me.” The verb requires no supplement, such εἰς θάνατον or τῷ Θεῷ see Romans 8:32; Galatians 2:20, and ver. 25. ὑπέρ “on behalf of.”
προσφορὰν καὶ θυσίαν τῷ Θεῷ. τῷ Θεῷ is best connected with these words for the reason just mentioned; not with the following, since this would suppose the words placed emphatically before εἰς ὀσμήν, as if to exclude the idea of human pleasure, which is out of the question. προσφορά and θυσία are sometimes said to specify respectively an unbloody and a bloody offering; but such a distinction cannot be maintained either in classical or biblical Greek. The idea of “sacrifice” in θύω is not derived from that of slaying, but of “smoking,” “burning incense.” This was, according to Aristarchus, the meaning of the verb in Homer; cf. Latin “fumus,” “subfio,” which are from the same root. For biblical usage see Genesis 4:3; Numbers 7:49, Numbers 7:73, etc. The alleged sense would be especially out of harmony with the figurative use of θυσία in St. Paul, θυσία ζῶσα, Romans 12:1; cf. Php 2:17, Php 4:18. Ellicott supposes that προσφορά is used as the more general term, relating, not to the death only, but to the life of obedience of our blessed Lord, His θυσία ζῶσα; while θυσία refers more particularly to His atoning death. The words appear, however, to be borrowed from Psalm 40:6 (quoted Hebrews 10:5), where they are used simply as together including all kinds of ceremonial offering.
εἰς ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας. “For a sweet-smelling savour.” The figure was founded originally on the heathen idea that the smell of the burnt sacrifice did literally ascend to the gods, who thereby participated with the worshipper in the sacred feast. So in Homer often; see especially Il. xxiv. 69, 70, οὐ γάρ μοί ποτε βωμὸς ἐδεύετο δαιτὸς εἴσης, Λοιβῆς τε κνίσης τε· τὸ γὰρ λάχομεν γέρας ἡμεῖς. It is appropriate only to a burnt-offering.
That St. Paul here speaks of Christ as a sacrifice cannot, of course, be denied. But does he do so by way of stating the nature or manner of the atonement? Surely not. There is not one word to hint at the relation of this sacrifice to God’s forgiveness. On the contrary, God in Christ forgiving us, and Christ showing His love by His offering of Himself, are put forward as exactly parallel examples; indeed, in view of the parallel in Col.,ὀ Κύριος ἐχαρίσατο, we might say as one and the same. It is this single aspect of Christ’s sacrifice as a supreme exhibition of love on the part both of the Father and of the Son that is here presented. Indeed, in Romans 8:32 the very same word παρέδωκε is used of the Father that is here used of the Son. And if we cannot argue as if the apostle were here stating the essential nature of the atonement, still less are we justified in assuming that he had in his mind the “substitutionary” view of sacrifice. Whatever the original idea of sacrifice may have been (and certainly the substitutionary view is not the only one possible), neither psalmists nor apostles seem to have had this idea present to their minds whenever they spoke of sacrifice. The psalmist speaks of sacrificing thanksgiving and praise (Psalm 50:14); St. Paul, of his offering of the Gentiles (Romans 15:16). In Romans 12:1, already quoted, he calls on his readers to present their bodies as a sacrifice. In Php 2:17 he represents himself as offering their faith as a sacrifice; and in the same Ephesians 4:18, he calls their present to him a sacrifice, an odour of a sweet savour. With the exception of 1 Corinthians 10:18 (“they that eat of the sacrifices”), these are the only passages beside the present in which he uses the words. This gives little support to the notion that we are to interpret his words here as if we were dealing with a treatise on scientific theology.
Chrysostorn certainly does not err in this way. He observes: ὁρᾷς τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐχθρῶν παθεῖν, ὅτι ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας ἐστί, καὶ θυσία εὐπροσδεκτός κἂν ἀποθάνῃς τότε ἔσῃ θυσία· τοῦτο μιμήσασθαί ἐστι τὸν Θεόν.
3-11. Special warnings against sins of impurity
3. πορνεία δὲ καὶ ἀκαθαρσία πᾶσα ἢ πλεονεξία μηδὲ ὀνομαζέσθω ἐν ὑμῖν.
πορνεία is mentioned as being a sin of little account amongst the Gentiles. On πλεονεξία see 4:19. This passage, says Moule, more perhaps than any other, suggests that the word(πλεονεξία)had acquired by usage, in St. Paul’s time, a familiar though not fixed connexion with sensual greed, just such as our word “covetousness” has acquired with the greed of material property. It is urged here that ἤ indicates that the two words between which it stands belong to different classes. But in the following verse we have ἤ between μωρολογία and εὐτραπελία, which do not belong to different classes.
μηδὲ ὀνομαζέσθω. Herodotus says of the Persians: ἅσσα δέ σφι ποιέειν οὐκ ἔξεστι, ταῦτα οὐδὲ λέγειν ἔξεστι (i. 138). But St. Paul’s precept refers to particular classes of sin only. Compare ver. 12. of οἱ γὰρ λόγοι τῶν πραγμάτων εἰσὶν ὁδοί Chrys. Bengel suggests for ὀνομ. “mentioned as committed,” “ut facta”; cf. ἀκούεται ἐν ὑμῖν πορνεία, 1 Corinthians 5:1. But, besides that ὀνομ can hardly mean this,μηδέ, “not even,” is decisive against it.
4. καὶ αἰσχρότης καὶ μωρολογία ἢ εὐτραπελία.
The MSS. and Vss. vary between καί and ἤ in the first and second places.
AD* G,It, Vulg., Sah. have ἤ … ἤ
אa B Dc K, Boh., Eth. have teal καί … καί.
א* P, Syr-Harcl., Arm. have Καί … ἤ.
Lachmann writes ἤ … ἤ, Tischendorf, RV. καί … ἤ, WH. καί … καί.
αἰσχρότης is not merely “foolish talking,” which would be αἰσχρολογία, but “shameful conduct.” Plato has (of Rhadamanthus inspecting the souls of the dead): ἀσυμμετρίας τε καὶ αἰσχρότητος γέμουσαν τὴν ψυχὴν εἶδεν (Gorg. 525 A); but there the word means the hideousness stamped on the soul by the vices of the living man.
μωρολογία, “stultiloquium,” only here in bibl. Grk. It is a rare word also in classical writers, but occurs in Arist. (Hist. An. i. 11) and Plutarch (Mor. 504 B). Plautus uses “morologus,” “Amoris vitio non meo nunc tibi morologus flo” (Pers i. 1. 50).
εὐτραπελία. Aristotle defines εὐτρ. as πεπαιδευμένη ὔβρις. οἱ ἐμμελῷ παίζοντεͅ εὐτράπελοι προσαγορεύονται. But he adds that, since most persons are pleased with excessive jesting, οἱ βωμολόχοι εὐτράπελοι προσαγορεύονται (Eth. Nic. 414), i.e., as in many other cases, the extreme usurps the name of the near. This would justify St. Paul’s usage, were there nothing else. But for the adjective compare also Pindar, Pyth. 1178, μὴ δολωθῇς εὐτραπέλοιͅκέρδεσσʼ and 4:104, where Jason boasts that he has never spoken ἒποͅ εὐτράπελον. According to Dissen, the word was used “cum levitatis et assentationis, simulationis notatione”; but this does not seem to be the meaning here, where the context clearly points to licentious speech; see ver. 5. Trench compares the history of the Latin “urbanitas” and the English “facetious.” He notes that in the Miles Gloriosus of Plautus, the old man who describes himself as “cavillator facetus” says: “Ephesi sum natus; non enim in Apulis, non Animulae.”
ἄ οὐκ ἀνῆ. So א A B P. Rec. has τὰ οὐκ ἀνήκοντα, with D G K L and most.
ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εὐχαριστία. Clement of Alex. understands εὐχ. here of “gracious speech”; and so Jerome (but with a “foisitan”): “juxta quam grati save gratiosi et salsi apud homines appellamur,” —an opinion followed by Calvin, Hammond, and many others, “gracious, pious, religious discourse in general,” Hammond; who points to the ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖͅ ἀκ. in 4:29, and “let your speech be always ἐν χάριτι” in Colossians 4:6. In Proverbs 11:16 we have γυνὴ εὐχαριστόͅ, “a gracious, pious woman.” The adjective is sometimes so used in classical authors: εὐχαριστότατοι λόγοι, Xen. Cyr. ii. 2. 1. This would suit the context very well; but as it only against St. Paul’s use of the word elsewhere, but, moreover, there is no example of the substantive in this sense, it would be too bold to adopt it. We have to understand a suitable verb from ὀνομαζέσθω, both for this and the preceding substantives. The sense is not: “let not foolish speech be mentioned but thanksgiving,” but: “let there not be,” etc. Bengel understands ἀνήκει to εὐχαριστία; and so Braune; which with the reading ἃ οὐκ ἀνῆκεν is not unnatural, but more harsh. In these cases of brachylogy there is really no need to look for a verb, the sense is obvious to the reader.
5. τοῦτο γὰρ ἴστε γινώσκοντες. ἴστε is the reading of א A B D* G P, It Vulg., Goth., Sah., Boh., Arm., Chrys.
ἔστε, that of Dc K L, Theodoret, Theoph. Internal as well as external evidence favours the former. ἔστε γιν. would be a feeble periphrasis for οἴδατε or γινώσκετε, since there is no hint here of an emphasis on the present tense.
The combination of the two verbs is not to be explained by reference to the Hebrew idiom, which combines a finite verb with the infinitive absolute (imitated in Greek by the participle with the finite verb), since the verbs here are different. Xenophon’s ὁρῶν καὶ ἀκούων οἶδα (Cyr. iv. 1. 14) is nearer, but not exactly parallel, since there the participles define the kind of knowledge: “I know by observation and hearsay.” The meaning is clear: “ye know full well, of your own knowledge.” ἴστε is not imperative, as in the Vulgate and Bengel, etc., which does not at all agree with the addition γινώσκοντες. Hofmann puts a stop after ἴστε, so as to make τοῦτο refer to the preceding.
On πᾶς οὐκ cf. 4:29.
ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης.
There are three readings—
ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης, א B 672, Jerome.
ὅς ἐστιν εἰδωλολάτρης, A D K L P, Syr-Harcl., Boh., Arm., Chrys.
ὅ ἐστιν εἰδωλολατρεία, G, It, Vulg., Goth.; Syr-Pesh (printed text) has “or,” which points to ὅ.
The last is supposed by Meyer to have been an explanation of the second, which he thinks genuine, the first being produced from this by restoring εἰδωλολάτρης. But it is quite as easy to account for the third variety as arising from the first, because εἰδωλολάτρης was thought unsuitable to ὅ. If the second reading had been the original, it is not easy to see why it should have been changed; but ὅ would readily be changed to ὅς for grammatical reasons.
With the reading ὅς some commentators (Harless, Braune, etc.) refer the relative to all three antecedents; but this is not so natural as the reference to πλεονέκτης, which also corresponds with Colossians 3:5, πλεονεξίαν, ἥτις ἐστὶν εἰδωλολατρεία, although there also Harless regards ἥτις as by attraction for ἅτινα, as Ephesians 3:13. With the reading ὅ, the latter reference must, of course, be adopted. On the designation of πλ. as idolatry, see above on 4:19. The passages from Rabbinical writers, quoted by Schöttgen and Wetstein, do not throw much light on the matter. They represent all kinds of wickedness and vice as idolatry; pride, anger, refusal to give alms. If πλεονεξία is simply “covetousness,” the question is, why should this, any more than fornication and impurity, be singled out to be called idolatry? Meyer says that πορνεία and ἀκαθαρσία are also subtle idolatry (certainly not “more subtle forms,” Ellicott), but that it was natural for St. Paul, whose own self-sacrificing spirit was so opposed to this self-seeking, to brand this especially as idolatry in order to make it κατʼ ἐξοχήν abominable. There is nothing in his language elsewhere to support this idea. One of Chrysostom’s explanations shows how difficult he found it to answer the question. Wouldst thou learn, says he, how πλ. is idolatry, and worse than idolatry? Idolaters worship God’s creatures, but thou worshippest thy own creature, for God did not create πλεονεξία.
If we give πλεονεξία and πλεονέκτης the wider sense advocated on 4:19, there is no difficulty.
οὐκ ἔχει κληρονομίαν. As κληρονομία does not necessarily imply actual possession, but the title to possession, it is not necessary to say that the present is used to express the certainty of future possession.
ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ. Many expositors (Bengel, Harless, etc.) argue from the absence of the article before Θεοῦ that the words mean “the kingdom of Him who is Christ and God.” But Θεός is one of the words that do not require an article; comp. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 6:10, βασιλείαν Θεοῦ: also ib. 15:50 and Galatians 5:21. See also Galatians 1:1, διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ Θεοῦ πατρός: Romans 15:8, ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας Θεοῦ: 13:4, Θεοῦ διάκονος, etc. There is in the context no dogmatic assertion about Christ, and to introduce such a prediction in this incidental way would be out of place. Nor does the apostle’s language elsewhere lead us to suppose that he would thus absolutely designate Christ, God. Comp. 4:6, “one Lord, one God.” The absence of the article gives more unity to the conception; it is not “the kingdom of Christ, and also the kingdom of God,” but being the kingdom of Christ it is the kingdom of God.
6. μηδεὶς ὑμᾶς ἀπατάτω κενοῖς λόγοις. λόγαι κενοί, “sermones a veritate alieni.” Aeschines speaks of a decree written by Demosthenes as κενώτερον τῶν λόγων οὓς εἴωθε λέγειν καὶ τοῦ βίου ὃν βεβίωκε (Cont. Ctes. p. 288); and Plato says: τίς ἐν ξυνουσίᾳ τοιᾷδε μάτην κενοῖς λόγοις αὐτὸς αὑτὸν κοσμοῖ; (Laches. 169 B).
To what persons do these words refer? Grotius thinks, partly heathen philosophers, partly Jews, who thought that all Jews would have part in the world to come. Meyer sees in them the unbelieving heathen, which view he supports by reference to the following words; and so Eadie. But the Christians, as such, were separate from the unbelieving heathen, and the Epistle gives no reason to suppose that they would need to be warned against immoral teaching proceeding from them. Rather, we must understand persons amongst themselves who made light of sins of impurity, as too many in Christian communities still do. As Bullinger (ap. Harless) says: “Erant apud Ephesios homines corrupti, ut hodie apud nos plurimi sunt, qui haec salutaria Dei praecepta cachinno excipientes obstrepunt; humanum esse quod faciant amatores, utile quod foeneratores, facetum quod jaculatores, et idcirco Deum non usque adeo graviter animadvertere in istiusmodi lapsus.” The context perfectly harmonises with this: “Be not ye Christians misled into such vices, for it is just these, etc., and by falling into them ye would be συμμέτοχοι with those who are in the darkness from which ye have been delivered.”
διὰ ταῦτα γάρ, “for it is on account of these things"; not this teaching, but these sins.
ἔρΧεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ Θεοῦ. ὀργή is not to be limited to the ordinary judgments of this life, “quorum exempla sunt ante oculos ”(Calv.); nor is there reason to limit it to the wrath of God in the day of judgment (Meyer). The wrath of God will be manifested then, but it exists now.
ἐπὶ τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας, see 2:2.
7. μὴ οὖν γίνεσθε συμμέτοχοι αὐτῶν. “Do not therefore become partakers with them.” αὐτῶν refers to the persons, not the sins (as Braune). This sharing is by some understood of sharing in their punishment, but by most expositors of sharing in their sins; Stier combines both, and not unreasonably, since it has just been said that these sins bring punishment, and the sense naturally is : Have nothing in common with them, for ye surely do not desire to share the wrath with them.
8. ἦτε γάρ ποτε σκότος. μέν is quite properly absent. To quote Fritzsche: “Recte ibi non ponitur, ubi aut non sequitur membrum oppsitum, aut scriptores oppositionem addere nondum constituerant, aut loquentes alterius membri oppositionem quacunque de causâ lectoribus non indixerunt” (Romans 10:19, vol. ii. p. 423).
ἦτε. The emphasis is on the time past; cf. “Troja fuit, fuimus Troes.” σκότος. Stronger than “were in darkness.” They were not only in darkness; darkness was also in them. So νῦν δὲ φῶς ἐν Κυρίῳ. The whole nature of light was to belong to them as formerly the whole nature of darkness; they were not only in the light, but penetrated by it, so that they themselves became “the light of the world,” Matthew 5:14.
ἐν Κυρίῳ, “in fellowship with the Lord.”
ὡς τέκνα φωτὸς περιπατεῖτε. With τέκνα φωτός cf. υἱοὶ ἀπειθείας, ver. 6 and 2:3. Alford argues from the absence of the article before φωτός (in contrast with τοῦ φωτός, ver. 9 and Luke 16:8), that “it is light as light that is spoken of.” But the absence of the article is in accordance with the settled rule stated by Apollonius, that (subject to certain qualifications) nouns in regimen must have the article prefixed to both or to neither (see Middleton, On the Greek Article, iii. 1, 7; 3, 6).
9. ὁ γὰρ καρπὸς τοῦ φωτός. The walk to which I exhort you is that which becomes children of the light, for etc.
The Rec. Text. has πνεύματος for φωτός, with Dc K L, Syr-Pesh, Chrys. and most cursives.
φωτός is the reading of א A B D* G P 672, It, Vulg., Goth., Boh., Arm., Origen, Jerome.
It might be thought possible that φωτός had come in from recollection of the same word just preceding, but the figure of “light” governs the whole passage, and ἔργα ἄκαρπα σκότους, ver. 10, corresponds to καρπὸς φωτός here. Καρπὸς πνεύματος undoubtedly came in from the parallel, Galatians 5:22, where the contrast is with ἔργα σαρκός, ver. 19; cf. 17, 18. The variation is an important one for the estimate of the character of the authorities that support the two readings respectively.
ἐν πάσῃ ἀγαθωσύνῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ.“In all (i.e. every kind of) goodness and righteousness and truth,” the opposites of κακία, ἀδικία, ψεῦδος. ἀγαθωσύνη is not found in classical Greek, but is used by St. Paul in three other places, viz. Romans 16:14; Galatians 5:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:11. The use of it in the Sept. gives us little help. In Eccles., where it occurs several times, it is used for “enjoyment.” In Nehemiah 9:25, Nehemiah 9:35, it is used of the goodness of God. In Psalm 3:3 (li. Sept.) it is “good “in general as opposed to “evil”; and so in 38(37):20. In St. Paul it would seem to mean “goodness” in the special sense of benevolence; and thus the threefold enumeration here would correspond to that in the Gospels: “justice, mercy, and truth,” and to Butler’s “justice, truth, and regard to common good” (comp. Romans 5:7).
As a metaphor the expression “fruit of the light” cannot be called “strictly correct,” as if it referred to the necessity of light for the production of fruit, etc. The words “children of light” convey no intimation of such a figure.
10. δοκιμάζοντες τί ἐστιν εὐάρεστον τῷ Κυρίῳ. Compare Romans 12:2, εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ, τὸ ἀγαθὸν καὶ εὐάρεστον καὶ τέλειον.
Putting to the proof, partly by thought and partly by experience. Stier and some others take the words imperatively, supplying ἐστε, as Romans 12:9-13 and vv. 19, 20; but here between two imperatives this is less natural.
11. καὶ μὴ συγκοινωνεῖτε τοις ἔργοις ἀκάρποις τοῦ σκότους. “Have no fellowship with.” The thought joins on to ver. 7. The verb with the dative means (like the simple κοινωνεῖν) to have fellowship or partnership with. In the sense, “to have part in a thing,” it takes the genitive. ἀκάρποις, for vice has no καρπός. Thus Jerome: “Vitia in semet ipsa finiuntur et pereunt, virtutes frugibus pullulant et redundant.”
11, 12. μᾶλλον δὲ καὶ ἐλέγχετε, τὰ γὰρ κρυφῆ γινόμενα ὑπʼ αὐτῶν αἰσχρόν ἐστι καὶ λέγειν. κρυφῆ γινόμενα cannot be merely synonymous with ἔργα σκότους, as Harless and Olshausen hold; σκότος and κρυφῆ are distinct notions, and ἔργα σκότους might be open offences. Besides, this would make κρυφῆ quite superfluous. καὶ λέγειν, “even to mention.”
ἐλέγχετε is usually taken to mean “reprove.” This seems to imply reproof by words; but then the reason assigned seems strange; they are to be reproved, because even to speak of them is shameful. If the conjunction had been “although” and not “for,” it would be intelligible. Hence some expositors have actually supposed that γάρ here means “although,” which is, of course, impossible. Another view that has been taken is “rebuke them openly, for to speak of them otherwise is shameful”; but this puts too much into λέγειν. Bengel’s view is that the words assign, not the reason for ἐλ., but the reason of the apostle’s speaking indefinitely of the vices, whilst he enumerates the virtues. This is forced, and against the emphatic position of κρυφῆ. Stier’s view is that the reproof is to be by the life, not by words: “Ye would yourselves be sinning if ye were to name the secret vices”; hence the necessity for walking in the light, that so these deeds may be reproved. But St. Paul is not deterred by such scruples from speaking plainly of heathen vices when occasion required. Harless’ view, that the words are connected with μὴ συγκ., “Do not commit these sins, for they are too bad even to mention,” assumes that τὰ κρυφῆ γινόμενα Simply = τὰ ἔργα τοῦ σκότους, which we have seen is untenable.
Meyer and Eadie assign as the connexion, “By all means reprove them; and there is the more need of this, for it is a shame even to speak of their secret sins.” This seems to leave the difficulty unsolved. Barry says: “In such reproof it should be remembered that it would be disgraceful ‘even to speak’ in detail of the actual ‘things done in secret.’ ” This again supposes that γάρ assigns a reason for what is not expressed, namely, for some qualification of ἐλέγχετε, not at all for ἐλέγχετε itself.
There is, however, another meaning of ἐλέγχω very common, especially when the object is a thing, not a person, and more particularly in connexion with derivatives of κρύπτω, viz. to expose or bring to light. Artemidorus, in his interpretations of dreams, when speaking of those dreams which forebode the revealing of secrets, always speaks of τὰ κρυπτὰ ἐλέγχεσθαι, e.g. ii. 36, ἥλιος ἀπὸ δύσεως ἐξανατέλλων τὰ κρυπτὰ ἐλέγχει τῶν λεληθέναι δοκούντων. Polybius says: ἐλέγχεσθαί φασιν τὰς φύσεις ὑπὸ τῶν περιστάσεων (p. 1382). He opposes to it διασκοτεῖσθαι (p. 1383). And Phavorinus defines ἐλέγχω. τὸ κεκρυμμένον ἀτόπημά τινος εἰς φῶς ἄγω. Cf. Aristoph. Eccles. 483.
So the substantive ὁ ἔλεγχος = proof. The connexion of this signification with that of “convict” is obvious. The Etym. M. has ἔλεγχός ἐστιν ὁ τὰ πράγματα σαφηνίζων … ὁ γὰρ ἔλ. εἰς φῶς ἄγει τὰ πράγματα.
This appears to be the meaning of the verb in John 3:20, οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ. Compare in the following verse, ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα. Compare also 1 Corinthians 14:22, ἐλέγχεται ὑπὸ πάντων … τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας αὐτοῦ φανερὰ γίνεται. The occurrence of κρυφῆ here in the immediate context suggests that this meaning was present to the apostle’s mind. Adopting it, we obtain as the interpretation : Have no participation with the works of darkness, nay, rather expose them, for the things they do secretly it is a shame even to mention; but all these things when exposed by the light are made manifest in their true character. Then follows the reason, not for 13a, but for the whole exhortation. This ἐλέγχειν is not useless, for it leads to φανεροῦσθαι, and so turns σκότος into φῶς. This is Soden’s interpretation. A remarkable parallel is John 3:20, just quoted. There also ἔργα are the object, ἔργα whose nature is σκότος (ver. 19); and it is the φῶς which effects ἐλέγχειν, ver. 20, and φανεροῦν, ver. 21.
13. τὰ δὲ παντα ἐλεγχόμενα ἡπὸ τοῦ φωτὸς φανεροῦται· πᾶν γὰρ τὸ φανερούμενον φῶς ἐστι. The difficulty in tracing the connexion continues to be felt here. Meyer interprets: But everything ( = those secret sins) when it is reproved is made manifest by the light; that is, by the light of Christian truth which operates in your reproof, it is brought to the light of day in its true moral character; I say, by the light, for—to prove that it can only be by the light—whatever is made manifest is light; it has ceased to have the nature of darkness. Assuming, namely, “quod est in effectu (φῶς ἐστι) id debet esse in causa (ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτός).” This is adopted by Ellicott. But it is open to serious objection: first, ὑπὸ τοῦ φωτός is not emphatic; on the contrary, its position is as unemphatic as possible; secondly, ἐλεγχόμενα is on this view not only superfluous but disturbing; thirdly, the assumption that what is in the effect must be in the cause, is much too recondite a principle to be silently assumed in such a discourse as this; and, lastly, this treats φανερούμενον as if it were πεφανερωμένον. Meyer, in fact, endeavours to obtain, by the help of a hidden metaphysical assumption, the same sense which Eadie and others obtain by taking φανερούμενον as middle (=AV.).
Ellicott adds, “whatever is illumined is light.” But φανερόω does not mean “to illumine,” but to make φανερός. It occurs nearly fifty times in the N.T. and never = φωτίζειν. True, it is allied to φῶς, but not closely, for its nearest connexion is with the stem of φαίνω, viz. φάν, which is already far from φῶς. Again, when it is said by Alford (in reply to Eadie’s objection that the transformation does not always take place) that, “objectively taken, it is universally true: everything shone upon is Light” (whether this tends to condemnation or not depending on whether the transformation takes place or not), this surely is just what is not true. A dark object shone upon does not become lux (the English word is ambiguous). He adds that the key text is John 3:20, but in order to fit this in he interprets “brought into light” as “made light.”
Bengel, followed by Stier, takes φανερούμενον as middle, “quod manifestari non refugit; confer mox, ἔγειραι καὶ ἀνάστα”[the correct reading is ἔγειρε]; and on πᾶν, “Abstractum pro concreto nam hic sermo jam est de homine ipso, coll. v. seq. propterea.”
We seem almost driven (with Eadie, after Beza, Calvin, Grotius, etc.) to take φανερούμενον as middle, in this sense, “whatever makes manifest is light.” The examples, indeed, of φανεροῦς θαι as middle, adduced by Eadie, are not quite to the point, viz. such as ἐφανερώθη in Mark 16:12, where the medial sense is much more marked than in the present passage. Bleek thinks it necessary to suppose an active sense here, but he proposes to read φανεροῦν τό. Oltramare interprets: “All the things done in secret, when reproved, are brought into open day by the light [which is salutary], for whatever is so brought out is light.”
14. Διὸ λέγει. “Wherefore it is said.” It is generally held that this formula introduces a quotation from canonical Scripture. Here the difficulty arises that this is not a quotation from canonical Scripture. Jerome admits this, saying, “omnes editiones veterum scripturarum ipsaque Hebraeorum volumina eventilans nunquam hoc scriptum reperi.” He therefore suggests that it is from an apocryphal writing; not that the apostle accepted such a writing as authoritative, but that he quoted it as he has quoted Aratus, etc. He, at the same time, mentions others who supposed the words to be spoken by the apostle himself under inspiration. Many moderns, however, think that the original text is Isaiah 10:1, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the lord is risen upon thee,” the words being, it is said, quoted, not verbally, but in essence. It would be more correct to say that the resemblance is verbal rather than in essence; for the differences are important. The very word ὁ Χριστός is fatal to the idea of a quotation. Alford, indeed, says that it is a necessary inference from the form of the citation (viz. ὁ Χρ.) that St. Paul is citing the language of prophecy in the light of the fulfilment of prophecy, which obviously assumes the point in question. It is said, moreover, that no surprise can be felt at finding Christ substituted for the Lord (Jehovah) of the O.T., and the true Israel for Jerusalem. True: if the question were of the application of words from the O.T., as in 1 Peter 3:15, or of interpretation added to the quotation, as in Romans 11:6-8. Moreover, the words here are not addressed to the Church (ὁ καθεύδων), they seem rather addressed either to recent converts or to those who do not yet believe. And, further, there is nothing in Isaiah about awaking from sleep or arising from the dead (though Alford asserts the contrary); nor is the idea, “shall give thee light,” at all the same as Isaiah’s, “the glory of the Lord has risen upon thee.”
Hence other commentators find it necessary to suppose a reference to other passages either separately or combined with this, viz. Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 26:19, Isaiah 52:1. Such conjectures, in fact, refute themselves; for when the words of a prophet are so completely changed, we can no longer speak of a quotation, and λέγει would be quite out of place. Nor can we overlook the fact that the point of the connexion seems to lie in the word ἐπιφαύσει.
Others have adopted Jerome’s suggestion as to an apocryphal source, some even going so far as to suggest the actual name of the book, Epiphanius naming the Prophecy of Elijah; George Syncellus, a book of Jeremiah; the margin of Codex G, the Book of Enoch. It is hardly sufficient to allege against this view that λέγει always introduces a quotation from canonical Scripture. But ὁ Χριστός is inconsistent with the idea of an O.T. apocryphon, and apart from that the whole expression has a Christian stamp.
Meyer endeavours to reconcile the assertion that λέγει introduces a citation from canonical Scripture with the fact that this is not such a citation, by the supposition that by a lapse of memory the apostle cites an apocryphon as if it were canonical. But was St. Paul’s knowledge of the Scriptures so imperfect that he did not know, for example, that the promised deliverer is never in the O.T. distinctly called ὁ Χριστός?
Others conjecture that it may be a saying of Christ Himself that is quoted. The use of Χριστός in the third person is not inconsistent with this; nor, again, the fact that St. Paul does not elsewhere quote the sayings of Christ. Why might he not do it once? But it is impossible to supply ὁ Χριστός or Ἰησοῦς as a subject without something to suggest it. It is too forced to meet this by taking φῶς as the subject.
The difficulties disappear when we recognise that λέγει need not be taken to mean ὁ Θεὸς λέγει,—an assertion which has been shown in 4:8 to be untenable. It means “it says,” or “it is said,” and the quotation may probably be from some liturgical formula or hymn,—a supposition with which its rhythmical character agrees very well. That the words were suggested originally by Isaiah 60:1 may be admitted. Theodoret mentions this opinion: τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἑρμηνευτῶν ἔφασαν πνευματικῆς χάριτος ἀξιωθέντας τινὰς ψαλμοὺς συγγράψαι, referring to 1 Corinthians 14:26. He seems to have taken this from Severianus (Cramer, vi. 197), who concludes: δῆλον οὗν ὃτι ἐν ἑνὶ τούτων τῶν πνευματικῶν ψαλμῶν ἤτοι προσευχῶν ἔκειτο τοῦτο ὃ ἐμνημόνευσεν (compare also Origen in the Catena, ib.). Stier adopts a similar view, but endeavours to save the supposed limitation of the use of λέγει by saying that in the Church the Spirit speaks. As there are in the Church prophets and prophetic speakers and poets, so there are liturgical expressions and hymns which are holy words. Comparing vv. 18, 19, Colossians 3:16, it may be said that the apostle is here giving us an example of this self-admonition by new spiritual songs.
The view that the words are from a liturgical source is adopted by Barry, Ewald, Braune, v. Soden, the last-mentioned suggesting (after some older writers) that they may have been used in the reception after baptism. Compare 1 Timothy 3:16, which is not improbably supposed to have a similar source.
ἔγειρε is the reading of a decisive preponderance of authorities, א A B D G K L P, apparently all uncials, ἔγειραι being found only in cursives. In the other places where the word occurs (Matthew 9:5; Mark 2:9, Mark 2:11, Mark 2:3:3, Mark 2:5:41; Luke 5:23; John 5:8), ἔγειρε is likewise supported by preponderant authority, a third variation ἐγείρον occurring in some places. Fritzsche on Mark 2:9 has ably defended the propriety of ἔγειρε, which is not to be understood either as active for middle or as if σεαυτόν were understood, but as a “formula excitandi,” “Up !” like ἄγε, ἔπειγε (Eurip. Orest. 789). So in Eurip. Iph. Aul. 624, ἔγειρʼ ἀδελφῆς ἐφʼ ὑμέναιον εὐτυχῶς; and Aristoph. Ran. 340, ἔγειρε φλογέας λαμπάδας ἐν χερσἰ … τινάσσων. This use is limited to the single form ἔγειρε. ἔγειραι, says Fritzsche, would mean “excita mihi aliquem.”
ἀνάστα for ἀνάστηθι = Acts 12:7. This short form is also found in Theocritus and Menander. Compare κατάβα, Mark 15:30 (in some MSS. including A C), and ἀνάβα, Revelation 4:1.
καὶ ἐπιφαύσει σοι ὁ Χριστός. ἐπιφαύσει from ἐπιφαύσκω, which is found several times in Job (Sept.); D* d e and MSS. mentioned by Chrysostom and by Jerome read ἐπιψαύσεις τοῦ Χριστοῦ. Jerome (quoted by Tisch.) relates that he heard some one disputing in the church, in order to please the people with something new, saying that this was said with reference to Adam, who was buried on Calvary, and that when the Lord on the Cross hung above his grave, the prophecy was fulfilled, “Rise Adam, who sleepest, and rise from the dead and Christ shall touch thee, ἐπιψαύσει,” i.e. that by the touch of Christ’s body and blood he should be brought to life. This story probably indicates how this reading arose.
15—21. General exhortation to regulate their conduct with wisdom, to make their market of the opportunity, and, avoiding riotous indulgence, to express their joy and thankfulness in spiritual songs
15. βλέπετε οὖν ἀκριβῶς πῶς περιπατεῖτε.
This is the reading of א* B 17 and some other MSS., Origen, and probably Chrys. But πῶς ἀκριβῶς, אc A D G K L P, with most MSS., Vulg., Syr. (both), Arm., Theodoret, Jerome, etc. Chrysostom has ἀκριβῶς πῶς in text and comment, but in the latter πῶς ἀκριβῶς occurs presently after, also βλέπετε πῶς περιπατεῖτε. As πῶς ἀκρ. is the common later reading, it is probable that its occurrence in the second place in the comm. is due to a copyist of Chrys. The variation in the original text may have arisen from an accidental omission of πῶς after -βῶς (it is actually om. in Eth.), it being there inserted in the wrong place. In Eadie’s comment. Exo_2, πῶς is similarly om.
οὖν is resumptive, “to return to our exhortation.” Some, however, regard this as an inference from what immediately precedes, viz. “since ye are enlightened by Christ” (Ewald, Braune); but as the substance of the exhortation is clearly the same as in vv. 8-10, it is unnecessary to look on this as an inference from ver. 14. Harless follows Calvin, who says: “Si aliorum discutere tenebras fideles debent fulgore suo, quanto minus caecutire debent in proprio vitae instituto?” But this would seem to require an emphatic αὐτοί.
On ἀκριβῶς compare Acts 26:5, κατὰ τὴν ἀκριβεστάτην αἵρεσιν. As περιπατεῖτε is a fact, the indicative is correctly used, and is exactly parallel to 1 Corinthians 3:2, ἕκαστος βλεπέτω πῶς ἐποικοδομεῖ. Most commentators expound the other reading. Fritzsche’s view of this has been generally adopted (Opuscula, p. 209 n.), viz. that ἀκρ. περ. = “tanquam ad regulam et amussim vitam dirigere,” the whole meaning πῶς τὸ ἀκριβῶς ἐργάζεσθε = “videte quomodo circumspecte vivatis h. e. quomodo illud efficiatis, ut provide vivatis.” He exposes the fallacy of Winer’s contention (subsequently abandoned), that the words were a concise expression for βλέπετε πῶς περιπατεῖτε, δεῖ δὲ ὑμᾶς ἀκριβῶς περιπατεῖν. He thinks the reading ἀκρλβῶς πῶς was a correction on the part of those who, being familiar with ἀκ. βλέπειν, εἰδέναι, etc., were offended with ἀκρ. περιπατεῖν. which is, he says, most suitable to this place.
μὴ ὡς ἄσοφοι, explaining πῶς, and so dependent, like it, on βλέπετε, hence the subjective negation (Winer, § 55. 1). Then ωεριπατοῦντες need not be supplied.
16. ἐξαγοραζόμενοι τὸν καιρόν. “Seizing the opportunity,” “making your market to the full from the opportunity of this life” (Ramsay, St. Paul as Traveller, etc., p. 149). The same expression is used in Colossians 4:5 with special reference to conduct towards those outside the Church, ἐν σοφίᾳ περιπατεῖτε πρὸς τοὺς ἔξω. τὸν κ. ἐξαγ. Lit. “buying up for yourselves,” ἐξ being intensive, and corresponding to our “up.” καιρὸν ὑμεῖς ἀγοράζετε occurs Daniel 2:8, but in a different sense, viz. “wish to gain time.” More parallel as to sense is κερδαντέον τὸ παρόν, Antonin. vi. 26. ἐξαγοράζω, in the sense “buy up,” is found in Polyb. ii. 42. 2, ἐξηγόρασε παρʼ αὐτῶν τά τε μονόξυλα πλοῖα πάντα, κ.τ.λ. In Mart. Polyc. 2 it has the wholly different sense: “buy off,” διὰ μιᾶς ὥρας τὴν αἰώνιον κόλασιν ἐξαγοραζόμενοι. Chrysostom says the expression is obscure, and he illustrates it by the case of robbers entering a rich man’s house to kill him, and when he gives much to purchase his life, we say that he ἐξηγόρασεν ἑαυτόν. So, he proceeds, “thou hast a great house, and true faith; they come on thee to take all; give whatever one asks, only save τὸ κεφάλαιον, that is τὴν πίστιν.” This completely ignores τὸν καιρόν. Oecum. is more to the point: ὁ κ. οὔκ ἐστιν ἡμῖν βέβαιος … ἀγόρασον οὖν αὐτὸν καὶ ποίησον ἴδιον. So Theodore Mops., and so Severianus in Catena, adding that “the present opportunity δουλεύει τοῖς πονηροῖς, buy it up, therefore, so as to use it for piety.” But it is futile to press the idea of “purchasing,” or the force of ἐξ, so as to inquire from whom the opportunity is to be bought, as “from evil men” (Bengel, cf. Severianus, above), “the devil,” Calvin; or what price is to be paid (τὰ πάντα, Chrys.). The price is the pains and effort required.
ὅτι αἱ ἡμέραι πονηραί εἰσιν. So that it is the more necessary τὸν καιρὸν ἐξαγ. The moments for sowing on receptive soil in such evil days being few, seize them when they offer themselves. πονηραί is “morally evil,” not “distressful” (Beza, Hammond, etc.),—an idea foreign to the context, which contrasts the walk of the Christians with that of the heathen.
17. διὰ τοῦτο. Viz. because it is necessary to walk ἀκριβῶς. εἰ γὰρ ἔσεσθε ἄφρονες ἀκριβῶς οὐ περιπατήσετε, Schol. ap. Cat. Not “because the days are evil,” which was only mentioned in support of ἐξαγ. τὸν καιρόν.
μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες. “Do not show yourselves senseless.” ἄφρων differs from ἄσοφος as referring rather to imprudence or folly in action.
ἀλλὰ συνίετε. So א A B P 17, 672, etc. Rec. has συνιέντες, with Dc E K L and most MSS., It, Vulg., Syr-Pesh; while D* G have συνίοντες which Meyer, with little reason, prefers as the less usual form.
Somewhat stronger than γινώσκετε, “understand.” τί τὸ θέλημα, cf. ver. 10.
18. καὶ μὴ μεθύσκεσθε οἴνῳ. καί marks a transition from the general to the particular, as in εἴπατε τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῷ Πέτρῳ, Mark 16:7; πᾶσα ἡ Ἰουδαία χώρα, καὶ οἱ Ἱεροσολυμῖται, Mark 1:5. Fritzsche, in the latter place, remarks that καί in these instances is not = “imprimis,” but “scriptores rem singularem jam comprehensam communiori propterea insuper adjiciunt copulae adjumento, quod illam tanquam gravem impensius inculcatam volunt lectori.”
It is out of the question to suppose any reference here to such abuses as are mentioned in 1 Cor. 11., which would have called for a more explicit censure.
ἐν ᾦ ἐστιν ἀσωτία. ἐν ᾧ not οἴνῳ, but μεθύσκεσθαι οἴνῳ. ἀσωτία, “a word in which heathen ethics said much more than they intended or knew,” Trench. It is the character of the ἄσωτος “perditus,” thus defined by Aristotle: τοὺς ἀκρατεῖς καὶ εἰς ἀκολασίαν δαπανηροὺς ἀσώτους καλοῦμεν (Eth. Nic. iv. 1). In classical authors the adjective varies in sense between “lost” and “prodigal,” the latter, “qui servare nequit,” being the more common. The substantive occurs also Titus 1:6; 1 Peter 4:4; and the adverb Luke 15:13, where see note. The Vulg. renders by “luxuria, luxuriose,” words which in later Latin acquired the sense of profligate living. In mediæval Latin “luxuria” = “lasciviousness.” But the meaning in the N.T. is clearly “dissoluteness.” The remark of Clem. Alex., τὸ ἄσωστον τῆς μέθης διὰ τῆς ἀσωτίας αἰνιξάμενος, was natural to a Christian writer accustomed to the technical use of σῴζειν, but no such idea seems implied in the use of the word in N.T. ἄσωτος is not derived from σώζω, but from σόω (Hom. Il. ix. 393, 424, 681).
ἀλλὰ πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι. The antithesis is not directly between οἶνος and πνεῦμα, as the order of the words shows, but between the two states. Meyer remarks that the imperative passive is explained by the possibility of resistance; but what other form could be employed? The signification is middle, for they must co-operate. The present tense cannot very well be expressed in the English rendering; “be filled” is after all better than “become filled,” which would suggest that the filling had yet to begin. ἐν πνεύματι is usually understood of the Holy Spirit, ἐν being instrumental (Meyer), or both instrumental and expressing the content of the filling (Ellicott, Macpherson, al.). But the use of ἐν with πληρόω to express the content with which a thing is filled would be quite unexampled. Php 4:19 is not parallel (Ellicott admits it to be doubtful); still less Colossians 2:10, Colossians 4:12 (where, moreover, the true reading is πεπληροφορημένοι). Plutarch’s ἐπεπλήρωτο ἐν μακαριότητι (Plac. Phil. i. 7. 9) is not parallel; the words there (which are used of the Deity) mean “is complete in blessedness,” the alternative being “something is wanting to Him.” Meyer, indeed, says that as St. Paul uses genitive, dative, and accusative in (Colossians 1:9) with πληρόω, we cannot be surprised at his using ἐν,—a singular argument. The genitive and dative are both classical; the accusative in Colossians 1:9 is not accusative of material. But such variety in no way justifies the use of ἐν, the meaning of which is wholly unsuitable to the idea “filled with.” The nearest approach to this would be the instrumental sense (adopted by Meyer, al., in i. 23). Where the material is only regarded as the means of making full, it may conceivably be spoken of as an instrument; but this would require the agent to be expressed, and, besides, would be quite inappropriate to the Holy Spirit. For these reasons the rendering mentioned in the margin RV. (Braune’s also) is not to be hastily rejected. “Be filled in spirit,” not in your carnal part, but in your spiritual. Alford attempts to combine both ideas, “let this be the region in, and the ingredient with which you are filled,” πνεῦμα being the Christian’s “own spirit dwelt in and informed by the Holy Spirit of God.” This seems an impossible combination, or rather confusion of two distinct ideas. Macpherson, in order to secure a contrast between the “stimulation of much wine and the stimulation of a large measure of the Spirit,” represents the apostle as saying, “conduct yourselves like those that are possessed, but see to it that the influence constraining you is that of the Holy Spirit.” It is hardly too much to say that this is a reductio ad absurdum of the supposed antithesis. There is nothing about excitement, nor does St. Paul anywhere sanction such conduct.
19. λαλοῦντες ἐαυτοῖς On ἑαυτοῖς = ἀλλήλοις, see 4:32. Not “to yourselves,” AV.; “meditantes vobiscum,” Michaelis. Compare Pliny’s description, “carmen Christo quasi Deo dicere secum invicem” (ἑαυτοῖς) (Epp. x. 97). But the reference cannot be specially to religious services, as the context shows; cf. Colossians 3:16.
ψαλμοῖς καὶ ὕμνοις καὶ ᾠδαῖς πνευματικαῖς = Colossians 3:16, except that the copulas are there wanting. The distinction between these words is not quite agreed upon. ψαλμός from ψάλλειν, primarily the plucking of the strings, is used by classical authors to mean the sound of the harp, and hence any strain of music. The Schol. on Aristoph. Aves, 218, says: ψαλμὸς κυρίως, ὁ τῆς κιθάρας ἦχος. Cyrilli Lex. and Basil on Psa_29. define it: λόλος μουσικός, ὅταν εὐρύθμως κατὰ τοὺς ἁρμονικοὺς λόγους πρὸς τὸ ὄργανον κρούεται. And to the same effect Greg. Nyss. It occurs frequently in the Sept., not always of sacred music, e.g. 1 Samuel 16:18 of young David, εἰδότα τὸν ψαλμόν, i.e. playing on the harp.
ὕμνος is properly a song of praise of some god or hero. Arrian says: ὕμνοι μὲν ἐς τοὺς θεοὺς ποιοῦνται, ἔπαινοι δὲ ἐς ἀνθρώπους (Exped. Alex. iv. 11. 3). Augustine’s definition is well known: “Oportet ut, si sit hymnus, habeat haec tria, et laudem, et Dei, et canticum.” Hence ὑμνεῖν, to praise by a hymn.
ᾠδή, from ἀείδω, ᾄδω, seems to have originally meant any kind of song, but was specially used of lyric poetry. It is frequently used in Sept. (Exodus 15:1; Deuteronomy 31:19-22; Jdg 5:1, Jdg 5:12, etc.).
πνευματικαῖς is omitted by B d e, and bracketed by Lachmann. Not only is it attested by superabundant authority, but it seems essential as a further definition of the preceding word or words. Probably it is to be taken (as by Hofmann and Soden) with all three. ἐν is prefixed to ψαλμοῖς in B P 17 672, Vulg., Jerome, and admitted to the margin by WH. After πνευμ. A adds ἐν χάριτι, clearly from Colossians 3:16.
ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμῶν τῷ κυρίῳ.
Rec. has ἐν before τῇ Κ., with K L most MSS., Syr-Harcl., Arm., while Lachm. reads ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις, with אc A D G P, It, Vulg., Boh., Syr-Pesh, Harcl. mg. But א* B have the singular without ἐν, and so Origen. In Colossians 3:16 all MSS. have ἐν, and most MSS. and Vss. the plural, Dc K L reading the singular.
Chrysostom interprets ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ as meaning “heartily or sincerely”; μετὰ συνέσεως προσέχοντες, i.e. from the heart, not merely with the mouth. But this would be ἐκ τῇς καρδίας without ὑμῶν.
20. εὐχαριστοῦντες πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων. “Even,” says Chrysostom, “if it be disease or poverty. It is nothing great or wonderful if when prosperous you give thanks. What is sought is that when in affliction you do so. Nay, why speak of afflictions here? we must thank God for hell,” explaining that we who attend are much benefited by the fear of hell, which is placed as a bridle upon us: a profoundly selfish view, to which he was no doubt led only by the wish to give the fullest meaning to πάντων. Jerome is more sober: “Christianorum virtus est, etiam in his quae adversa putantur, referre gratias creatori.” But St. Paul is not specially referring to adversity; on the contrary, the context shows that what he had particularly in his mind was occasion of rejoicing. Theodoret, however, takes πάντων as masc., that we must thank God for others who have received Divine blessing. But there is nothing in the context to favour this.
ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. When I speak of doing something in the name of another, this may mean either that I do it as representing him, that is, by his authority, or if the action is entirely my own, that I place its significance only in its reference to him. When an apostle commands in the name of Christ, this is in the former sense; when I pray or give thanks in the same name, it is as His disciple and dependent on Him.
τῷ Θεῷ καὶ Πατρί, see 1:3. There is no need to refer πατρί here to Christ; the article rather leads to the sense, “God, who is also the Father,” namely, of us.
21. ὑποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ.
Χριστοῦ with א A B L P, Vulg., Syr. (both), Boh., etc. Θεοῦ of Rec. is in most cursives, and D has Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ; G, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ. As φόβος Χριστοῦ is not found elsewhere, copyists naturally wrote φόβος Θεοῦ, which was familiar.
“In the fear of Christ,” i.e. with reference for Him as the guiding motive.
“Submitting yourselves.” The connexion of this with the preceding seems rather loose. Ellicott says: “the first three [clauses] name three duties, more or less specially in regard to God, the last a comprehensive moral duty in regard to man, ” suggested by the thought of the humble and loving spirit which is the principle of εὐχαριστία. This does not meet the difficulty of the connexion. Alford refers back to μὴ μεθύσκ., “not blustering, but being subject,” and Eadie is inclined to the same view; but this is forced, and requires us to interpolate something which is not indicated by anything in the text. Much the same may be said of Findlay’s view. He illustrates by reference to the confusion in the Church meetings in the Corinthian Church (1 Corinthians 14:26-34), “when he urges the Asian Christians to seek the full inspiration of the Spirit, and to give free utterance in song to the impulses of their new life, he adds this word of caution.” This supplies too much, and besides, ὑποτασσόμενοι would be an unsuitable word to express such readiness to give way in the matter of prophesying as St. Paul directs in 1 Cor. Bloomfield, taking a similar view, supposes that what is insisted on is subordination to a leading authority. This preserves the sense of ὑποτ., but not of ἀλλήλοις. Blaikie refers back to ver. 15.
In considering the connexion it must be borne in mind that ὑποτάσσεσθε in the next verse is in all probability not genuine, so that the verb has to be supplied from ὑποτασσόμενοι. There is therefore no break between vv. 21 and 22. Further, the whole following section, which is not a mere digression, depends on the thought expressed in this clause of which it is a development. To suppose a direct connexion with πληροῦσθε ἐν πν. does not yield a suitable sense. The connexion with the preceding context is, in fact, only in form, that with what follows is in substance. From 4:32 we have a series of precepts expressed in imperatives and participles depending on γίνεσθε, περιπατεῖτε; δοκιμάζοντες, ἐξαγοραζόμενοι, λαλοῦντες. Ver. 18 interrupts the series by a direct imperative, as in vv. 3 ff., 12 ff. St. Paul elsewhere (Romans 12:9) carries on in participles a series of precepts begun in a different construction, ἀποστυγοῦντες τὸ πονηρόν, κ.τ.λ. It is therefore quite natural that here, where the participles λαλοῦντες, εὐχαρ., though not put for imperatives, yet from their connexion involve a command, he should make the transition to the new section easy by continuing to use the participle. Comp. 1 Peter 2:18, 1 Peter 3:1. Meyer admits that it is no objection to this that in what follows we have only the ὑπόταξις of the wives, while the ὑπακοή of the children and servants in ch. 6. cannot be connected with ὑποτασς.; for in classical writers also, after the prefixing of such absolute nominatives which refer collectively to the whole, often the discourse passes over to one part only. But he thinks that in that case αἱ γυναῖκες would necessarily have a special verb correlative with ὑποτ. It is not easy to see the force of this.
22-33. Special injunctions to husbands and wives. Wives to be subject to their husbands, husbands to love their wives. This relationship is illustrated by that of Christ and the Church. As Christ is the Head of the Church, which is subject to Christ, so the husband is the head of the wife, who is to be subject to the husband; and Christ’s love for the Church is to be the pattern of the man’s love for his wife. The analogy, indeed, is not Perfect, for Christ is not only the Head of the Church which is His body, but is also the Saviour of it; but this does not affect the purpose of the comparison here.
22. αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν ὡς τῷ Κυρίῳ. So without a verb B, Clement (when citing vv. 21-25), Jerome’s Greek MSS. His note is, “Hoc quod in Latinis exemplaribus additum est: subditae sint, in Graecis Codd. non habetur.” ὑποτασσέσθωσαν is added after ἀνδράσιν in א A P 17 al. Vulg., Goth. Arm., Boh., etc., and Clement (when citing ver. 22 only). ὑποτάσσεσθε in K L most MSS., Syr. (both), Chrys., D G also have ὑποτάσσεσθε, but after γυναῖκες. Lachmann adopted ὑποτασσέσθωσαν, but later critical editors read without the verb. The testimony of Jerome, who knew of no Greek MSS. with the verb, is very important. No reason can be imagined for its omission if it had been in the text originally, whereas the reason for its insertion is obvious, and was stated even by Erasmus: “adjectum, ut apparet, quo et sensus sit lucidior, et capitulum hoc separatim legi queat, si res ita postulet.” The latter reason is particularly to be noted. The diversity in the MSS. which have the verb is also of weight. The shorter reading agrees well with the succinct style of St. Paul in his practical admonitions.
ἰδίοις is more than a mere possessive, yet does not imply an antithesis to “other men”; it seems rather to emphasise the relationship, as in the passage quoted from Stobaeus by Harless (Floril. p. 22): Θεανῶ ἡ πυθαγορικὴ φιλόσοφος ἐρωτηθεῖσα τί πρῶτον εἴη γυναικι τὸ τῷ ἰδίῳ, ἔφη, ἀρέσκειν ἀνδρί. Compare also Acta Thomae, p. 24 (ed. Thilo): οὕτως εἶ ὡς πολὺν ξρόνον συμβιώσασα τῷ ἰδίῳ ἀνδρί. That the word was not required to prevent misconception of ἀνδράσι is shown by its absence in the parallel, Colossians 3:18.
ὡς τῷ Κυρίῳ, not “as to their lord,” which would have been expressed in the plural, but “as to the Lord Christ,” “as” not meaning in the same manner as, but expressing the view they are to take of their submission; compare 6, 7. “subjectio quae abuxore praestatur viro simul praestatur ipsi Domino, Christo,” Bengel. So Chrysostom: ὅταν ὑπείκῃς τῷ ἀνδρί, ὡς τῷ Κυρίῳ δουλεύουσα ἡγοῦ πείθεσθαι.
23. ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστι κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικός. Assigns the reason of ὡς τῷ Κυρίῳ. The article before ἀνήρ in Rec. has no uncial authority in its favour. “A husband is head of his wife.”
ὡς καί, “as also.” Compare 1 Corinthians 11:3, παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἡ κεφαλὴ ὁ Χριστός ἐστι, κεφαλὴ δὲ γυναικὸς ὁ ἀνήρ, κεφαλὴ δὲ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὁ Θεός.
ὁ Χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος.
Rec. has καὶ αὐτός ἐστι ς., with אcDbc K L P most MSS., Syr. (both), Arm. But the shorter reading is that of א * A B D* G, Vulg. The added words are an obvious gloss. Boh. has ἐστι without καί, and Aeth. καί without ἐστι.
The apostle having compared the headship of the husband to that of Christ, could not fail to think how imperfect the analogy was; he therefore emphatically calls attention to the point of difference; as if he would say: “A man is the head of his wife, even as Christ also is head of the Church, although there is a vast difference, since He is Himself the Saviour of the body, of which He is the head; but notwithstanding this difference,” etc. Calvin already proposed this view: “Habet quidem id peculiare Christus, quod est servator ecclesiae; nihilominus sciant mulieres, sibi maritos praeesse, Christi exemplo, utcunque pari gratia non polleant.” So Bengel concisely: “Vir autem non est servator uxoris; in eo Christus excellit; hint sed sequitur.” Chrys., Theoph. and Oecum., however, interpret this clause as equally applicable to the husband. καὶ γὰρ ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος σωτηρία ἐστίν, Chrys. and more fully Theoph.: ὥσπερ καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς τῆς ἐκκλησίας ὢν κεφαλή, προνοεῖται αὐτῆς καὶ σώζει· οὕτω τοίνυν καὶ ὁἀνήρ, σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ, τουτέστι τῆς γυναικός. πῶς οὖν οὐκ ὀφείλει ὑποτάσσεσθαι τῇ κεφαλῇ τὸ σῶμα, τῇ προνοουμένῃ καὶ σωζούσῃ. So Hammond and many others. But αὐτός cannot refer to any subject but that which immediately precedes, viz. ὁ Χριστίς. Moreover, to use σῶμα without some qualification for the wife would be unintelligible; nor is σωτήρ ever used in the N.T. except of Christ or God.
24. ἀλλὰ ὡς ἡ ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται τῷ Χριστῷ, οὕτως καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἀνδράσιν. There is much difference of opinion as to the force to be assigned to ἀλλά. Olshausen takes it as introducing the proof drawn from what precedes; and similarly De Wette, “But (aber) if the man is your head,” a sense which ἀλλά (which is no = δέ) never has. Eadie gives the word “an antithetic reference,” such as ἀλλά sometimes has after an implied negative. He interprets: “do not disallow the marital headship, for it is a divine institution,—ἀλλά,—but,” etc. He refers for this use of ἀλλά to Luke 7:7; John 7:49; Romans 3:31, Romans 3:8:37; 1 Corinthians 6:8, 1 Corinthians 9:12. The fact that in most of these cases we might not incorrectly render “Nay,” or “Nay, on the contrary,” shows how unlike the present passage they are. Nor are 2 Corinthians 8:7, 2 Corinthians 8:13:4; 1 Timothy 1:15, 1 Timothy 1:16, or the other passages which he cites, at all parallel; and the negative to which he supposes ἀλλά to refer (“do not disallow,” etc.) is not even hinted at in the text. His objection to the interpretation here adopted is that it sounds like a truism. Harless and others take ἀλλά to be simply resumptive; but the main thought has not been interrupted, and there is no reason for rejecting its adversative force. Hofmann, like Eadie, reads into the text an objection which ἀλλά repels, “but even where the husband is not this (namely, a σωτὴρ τοῦ ς., making happy his wife, as Christ the Church), yet,” etc. The view here preferred is adopted by Meyer, Alford, Ellicott, Braune, Moule, etc.
ἐν παντί. It is presupposed that the authority of the husband is in accordance with their relation as corresponding to that of Christ to the Church. “ὡς εὐσεβεσι νομοθετῶν προστέθεικε τὸ ἐν πάντι,” Theodoret.
ὤσπερ of the Rec. is the reading of Dc K L and most MSS.; but ὡς, א A D* G P 17 672 etc. (B omits.)
ἰδίοις is prefixed to ἀνδράσιν by A Dc K L P, Vss., but om. by א B D* G 17 672. It has clearly been introduced from ver. 22.
25. οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας.
Rec. adds ἑαυτῶν, with D K L, Syr etc.; but א A B 17, Clem. (when giving the whole passage) omit. G adds ν̔μῶν.
καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστός κ.τ.λ. “Si omnia rhetorum argumenta in unum conjicias, non tam persuaseris conjugibus dilectionem mutuam quam hic Paulus” (Bugenhagen). Meyer also well observes: “It is impossible to conceive a more lofty, more ideal regulation of married life, and yet flowing immediately from the living depth of the Christian consciousness, and, therefore, capable of practicable application to all concrete relations.” Chrysostom’s comment is very fine: “Hast thou seen the measure of obedience? hear also the measure of love. Wouldst thou that thy wife should obey thee as the Church doth Christ? have care thyself for her, as Christ for the Church; and if it should be needful that thou shouldest give thy life for her, or be cut to pieces a thousand times, or endure anything whatever, refuse it not; yea, if thou hast suffered this thou hast not done what Christ did, for thou doest this for one to whom thou wert already united, but He for her who rejected Him and hated Him … He brought her to His feet by His great care, not by threats nor fear nor any such thing; so do thou conduct thyself towards thy wife.”
26. ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι. The immediate purpose of ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν, ver. 25. ἁγιάοῃ is clearly not to be limited to “consecration”; it includes the actual sanctification or infusion of holiness. It is the positive side, καθαρίσας expressing the negative, the purification from her former sins. But as the remoter object is ἵνα παραστήσῃ, the ceremonial idea of ἁγιάζειν appears to be the prominent one here. Logically, καθαρίζειν precedes ἁγιάζειν, chronologically they are coincident; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:11, ἀλλὰ ἀπελούσασθε, ἀλλὰ ἡγιάσθητε. The tense of καθαρίσας by no means requires the translation “after He had purified “(cf. 1:9), which would probably have been expressed by a passive participle agreeing with αὐτήν, indeed καθαρίζων would have been quite inappropriate.
τῷ τ.ὕ. “By the bath of water,” distinctly referring to baptism, and probably with an allusion in λουτεῷ to the usual bath of the bride before the marriage; the figure in the immediate context being that of marriage.
ἐν ῥήματι. The first question is as to the connexion. By Augustine the phrase is supposed to qualify τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδ., “accedit verbum ad elementum et fit sacramentum.”
But as the combination is strange, and neither τὸ λουτρόν nor τὸ ὕδωρ can form with ἐν ῥήματι a single notion (like ἡ πίστις ἐν Χρ.), this would require the article to be repeated. The interpretation, “the bath resting on a command” (Storr, Peile, Klöpper), would require ἐν ῥ. Χριστοῦ. Meyer, following Jerome, connects the words with ἁγιάσῃ, “having purified with the bath of water, may sanctify her by the word.” The order of the words is strongly against this, and, besides, we should expect some addition to καθαπ., which should suggest the spiritual signification of “purifying with water.”
It is therefore best connected with καθαρίσας. But as to the meaning? Alford, Eadie, Ellicott, Meyer take ῥῆμα to mean the gospel or preached word taught preliminary to baptism. ῥῆμα is, no doubt, used in this sense (not in Acts 10:37 but) Romans 10:17, ῥῆμα Χριστοῦ; but there it is defined by Χριστοῦ, as in ver. 8 by τῆς πίστεως; indeed, ῥῆμα is there used, not because of any special appropriateness, but for the sake of the quotation. Elsewhere we have ῥῆμα Θεοῦ, Ephesians 6:17. It is far, indeed, from being correct to say that “the gospel” is “the usual meaning of the Greek term,” as Eadie states, referring, in addition to the passages mentioned above, to Hebrews 6:5 (where the words are Θεοῦ ῥῆμα): Acts 10:44, τὰ ῥήματα ταῦτα: 11:14, λαλήσει ῥήματα πρός σε. In these last two places it is obvious that ῥήματα means simply “words” or “sayings,” as in Acts 26:25, where St. Paul says of his speech before Festus, ἀληθείας καὶ σωφροσύνης ῥήματα ἀποφθέγγομαι. See also Acts 2:14, ἐνωτίσασθε τὰ ῥήματά μου. Needless to say that ῥῆμα is used of single sayings very frequently. There may be even πονηρὸν ῥῆμα or ἀργὸν ῥῆμα (not to mention cases where ῥῆμα is used for “a thing mentioned”: see on Luke 1:65). That the word is most frequently used, not to signify a Divine or sacred saying, but where the connexion implies such a saying, is simply a result of the fact that there was little occasion (in the Epp. none) to refer to other ῥήματα. There is no example of ῥῆμα by itself meaning “the gospel” or anything like this. Had it the article here, indeed, there would be good reason for maintaining this interpretation.
The Greek commentators understand ῥῆμα of the formula of baptism. ποίῳ says Chrysostom, ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ γἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου Πνεύματος. It is true, as Estius remarks, that if this were the sense we should expect καὶ ῥήματος; and Harless adds that these definite words could hardly be referred to except with the article, τῷ ῥήνατι. But although “of water and ῥῆμα” might, perhaps, have been expected, ἐν is quite admissible; compare ἐν ἐπαγγελίᾳ, 6:2. The objections from the absence of the article, and from the fact that ῥῆμα has not elsewhere this meaning, fall to the ground when we consider that it is not alleged or supposed that ῥῆμα of itself means the formula of baptism; it retains its indefinite meaning, and it is only the connexion with the reference to baptism in the preceding words that defines what ῥῆμα is intended. So Soden. Moule renders, “attended by, or conditioned by, an utterance,” which would agree well with this interpretation. He explains it as “the revelation of salvation embodied in the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.” Macpherson denies the reference to baptism, and thinks it more natural to speak of the cleansing as effected by the bathing (“washing,” AV.) rather than in the bath, especially as “of water” is added. “The reference is most probably to the bath of the bride before marriage.” Yes, such a reference there is; but what is it which the reader is expected to compare with the bridal bath? As there is no particle of comparison, the words imply that there is a λοῦτρον ὕδατος, which is compared to the bath. And surely baptism could not fail to be suggested by these words to the original readers. As to λουτρόν, besides the meaning “water for bathing,” it has the two senses of the English “bath,” viz. the place for bathing and the action; but it does not mean “washing.”
27. ἵνα παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ, κ.τ.λ. The remoter object of παρέδωκεν depending on ἁγιάσῃ, etc. The verb is used, as in 2 Corinthians 11:2, of the presentation of the bride to the bridegroom, παρθένον ἁγνὴν παραστῆσαι τῷ Χριστῷ. The interpretation, “present as an offering” (Harless), is opposed to the context as well as inconsistent with ἑαυτῷ. αὐτός is the correct reading, and emphasises the fact that it is Christ who, as He gave Himself to sanctify the Church, also presents her to Himself. This presentation is not complete in this life, yet Bengel correctly says: “id valet suo modo jam de hac vita.”
αὐτὸς is the reading of א A B D* G L, Vulg., Syr-Harcl., etc. The Rec. has αὐτήν, with Dc K most MSS., Syr-Pesh, Chrys. The latter is the reading which would most readily occur to the copyist; no copyist would be likely to depart from it if he had it before him, but αὐτός has a peculiar emphasis.
ἔνδοξον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν. The tertiary predicate ἔνδοξον is placed with emphasis before its substantive. Not “a glorious Church,” but “the Church, glorious,” “that He might present the Church to Himself, glorious.”
μὴ ἔχουσαν σπίλον. σπίλος, which also occurs 2 Peter 2:13, is a word of later Greek (Plutarch, etc.) for κηλίς; ἄσπιλος occurs four times in N.T.
ἀλλʼ ἵνα ᾖ. Changed structure, as if ἵνα μὴ ἔχῃ had preceded; compare ver. 33.
28. οὕτως is connected by Estius and Alford with ὡς following: “So … as.” This is not forbidden by grammatical considerations; for in spite of Hermann’s rule, that the force of οὕτως is “ut eo confirmentur praecedentia,” it is used with reference to what follows, introduced by ὡς or ὥσπερ, both in classical writers and in N.T. Compare τοὺς οὕτως ἐπισταμένονς εἰπεῖν ὡς οὐδεὶς ἂν ἄλλος δύναιτο (Isocr. ap. Rost and Palm. ἔστιν γὰρ οὕτως ὥσπερ οὗτος ἐννέπει, Soph. Trach. 475, is not a good instance, for οὕτως may very well be referred to what precedes). And in N.T. 1 Corinthians 3:15, οὕτω δὲ ὡς διὰ πυρός: cf. 4:1. But in such cases οὕτως has some emphasis on it, and apart from that it yields a better sense here to take οὕτως as referring to the preceding statement of Christ’s love for the Church. “Even so ought husbands …” If καί is read before of οἱ ἄνδρες, as Treg., WH. and RV., the latter view is alone possible.
The position of Ὀφειλουσιν varies in the MSS. אb K L 17 and most have it before οἱ ἄνδρες, A D G P after. The latter group add καί before οἱ ἄνδρες, and of the former group B 17. As the position of the verb would hardly be a reason for inserting καί, it may be presumed to be genuine.
ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα. The sense just ascertained for οὕτως determines this to mean “as being their own bodies”; and this agrees perfectly with what follows: “he that loveth his own wife loveth himself.” Moreover, although we speak of a man’s love for himself, we do not speak of him as loving his body or having an “affection” for it (Alford); and to compare a man’s love for his wife to his love (?) for his “body,” would be to suggest a degrading view of the wife, as, indeed, Grotius does, saying: “sicut corpus instrumentum animi, ita uxor instrumentum viri ad res domesticos, ad quaerendos liberos.” Plutarch comes nearer to the apostle’s view: κρατεῖν δεῖ τὸν ἄνδρα τῆς γυναικός, οὐχ ὡς δεσπότην κτήματος, ἀλλʼ ὡς ψυχὴν σώματος, συμπαθοῦντα καὶ συμπεφυκότα τῇ εὐνοίᾳ. ὥσπερ οὖν σώματός ἐστι κήδεσθαι μὴ δουλεύοντα ταῖς ἡδοναῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις· οὕτω γυναικὸς ἄρχειν εὐφραίνοντα καὶ χαριζόμενον (Conj. Praec. p. 422, quoted by Harless). The meaning is, Even as Christ loved the Church as that which is His body, so also should husbands regard their wives as their own bodies, and love them as Christ did the Church.
ὁ ἀγαπῶν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἑαυτὸν ἀγαπᾷ. This is neither identical with the preceding nor an inference from it, but rather an explanation of ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα. If the latter words meant, “as they do their own bodies,” they would fall immeasurably short of this. It is, however, going beyond the bounds of psychological truth to say that a man’s love for his wife is but complying with the universal law of nature by which we all love ourselves,” or that it “is in fact self-love,” whether “a hallowed phasis“ of it or not. If it were so, there would be no need to enforce it by precept. Although the husband’s love for his wife may be compared to what is called his love for himself, inasmuch as it leads him to regard her welfare as his own, and to feel all that concerns her as if it concerned himself, the two mental facts are entirely different in their essence. There is no emotion in self-love; it is the product of reason, not of feeling; and it is a “law” of man’s nature, not in the sense of obligation (although there is a certain obligation belonging to it), but in the sense that it necessarily belongs to a rational nature. The basis of conjugal love is wholly different, and is to be found, not in the rational part of man’s nature, but in the affections. The love is reinforced by reflection, and made firm by the sense of duty; but it can never become a merely rational regard for another’s happiness, as “self-love” is for one’s own.
To refer to the stirring remarks of Chrysostom above cited, when a man gives his life for his wife, is that an exercise of “self-love”? Surely no more than when a mother gives her life for her child. There is none of this false philosophy in the language of St. Paul.
29. τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα. The word is, no doubt, chosen with reference to the σὰρξ μία, quoted ver. 31. It is not perhaps correct, however, to say that it is so chosen instead of σῶμα, for it is hardly probable that the apostle would have used σῶμα in this connexion in any case. Rather, the whole sentence is suggested by the thought of σὰρξ μία.
30. ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος αῦτοῦ. Rec. adds ἐκ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὀστέων αὐτοῦ.
For the insertion are אc D G L P (K has τοῦ σώματος for τῶν ὀστέων) nearly all cursive MSS., It, Vulg., Syr. (both), Arm., Iren., Jerome, etc.
For the omission א* A B 17 672, Boh., Eth., Method., Euthal., Ambrst. and apparently Origen.
It will be seen that the MSS. which omit decidedly outweigh those that insert. Ellicott speaks of the testimony of א as “divided,” which seems a singular way of neutralising the evidence of the earlier scribe by that of a seventh-century corrector.
It is an obvious suggestion that the words might have been omitted by homoeoteleuton. Reiche, who accepted the words (writing before the discovery of א), rightly observes that this can hardly be admitted in the case of so many witnesses. He prefers to suppose that they were omitted in consequence of offence being taken at the apparently material conception presented; and some other critics have adopted the same view. The objection must have been very strong which would lead to such a deliberate omission. But there is no reason to suppose that the words would have given offence, especially considering such words as “a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have,” not to mention “eating My flesh and drinking My blood.” Nor do the ancient commentators indicate that any such difficulty was felt. Irenaeus, after quoting the words, adds: “non de spirituali aliquo et invisibili homine dicens haec; spiritus enim neque ossa neque carnes habet,” etc. Indeed, an ancient reader would be much more likely to regard the words as a natural expansion of μέλη τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ. On the other hand, nothing was more likely than that the words should be added from recollection of the passage in Genesis, quoted in ver. 31. It is objected to this, that the words are not quoted with exactness, “bone” preceding “flesh” in Gen. This is to assume an exactness of memory which is at least questionable. Once added, the ordinary copyist would, of course, prefer the longer text.
As to the internal evidence, on careful consideration it will be found strongly in favour of the shorter text. When Christ is called the Head or Foundation, and the Church the Body or House, the language is that of analogy, i.e. it suggests, not resemblance of the objects, but of relations; Christ in Himself does not resemble a Head or a Foundation-stone, but His relation to the Church resembles the relation of the head to the body and of the foundation-stone to the building. But what relation is suggested by the bones of Christ? Or if σώματος be understood of the figurative or mystical body, what conceivable meaning can be attached to the bones thereof? This fundamental difficulty is not faced by any commentator. While trying to attach some meaning to the clause, they do not attempt to show any appropriateness in the language. The utmost that could be said is that the words express an intimate connexion; but unless this was a proverbial form of expression, of which there is no evidence, this, besides losing the force of ἐκ, would leave the difficulty unsolved. Moreover, the clause is so far from carrying out the μέλη τοῦ ς., that it introduces an entirely different figure. This is disguised in the AV.
Had the words been “of His flesh and of His blood,” we might have understood them as alluding to the Eucharist; and it is worth noting that several expositors have supposed that there is such an allusion; but the mention of “flesh and bones” instead of “flesh and blood” is fatal to this.
The reader may desire to know how the omitted clause has been interpreted. Chrysostom, in the first instance, explains it of the incarnation, by which, however, Christ might rather be said to be “from our flesh.” It is no answer to this to say, with Estius, “in hac natura ipse caput est,” which is to change the figure. Besides, it is true of all men, not only of Christians, that in this sense they are of the same flesh as Christ; but this again is not the meaning of ἐκ. Alford says: “As the woman owed her natural being to the man, her source and head, so we owe our spiritual being to Christ, our Source and Head”; and similarly Ellicott, Meyer, etc. Surely a strange way of saying that our spiritual being is derived from Christ, to say that we are from His bones! Others, as above mentioned, interpret of communion in the Eucharist (so in part Theodoret and Theophylact, also Harless and Olshausen).
Not without reason did Rückert come to the conclusion that it was doubtful whether St. Paul had any definite meaning in the words at all.
31. ἀντὶ τούτου = ἕνεκεν τούτου. Compare the use of ἀντί in ἀνθʼ ὧν. Then the sense will be: because a man is to love his wife as Christ the Church. V. Soden, however, takes ἀντὶ τούτου to mean “instead of this,” viz. instead of hating (ver. 29), observing that the conclusion of this verse returns to the main idea there, i.e. ἡ ἑαυτοῦ σάρξ. See on Luke 12:3.
καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος, κ.τ.λ. A quotation from Genesis 2:24, which might have been introduced by “as it is written”; but with words so familiar this was needless.
Most commentators interpret this verse of Christ, either primarily or secondarily. So Jerome: “primus vates Adam hoc de Christo et ecclesia prophetavit; quod reliquerit Dominus noster atque Salvator patrem suum Deum et matrem suam coelestem Jerusalem.” So many moderns, including Alford, Ellicott, Meyer, the last mentioned, however, referring the words to the Second Coming, the tense being future. Ellicott thinks this is pressing the tense unnecessarily, whereas it may have the ethical force of the future, for which he refers to Winer, § 40. 6, whose examples are wholly irrelevant to Ellicott’s purpose. If the passage is interpreted of Christ it refers to a definite fact, and the future must have its future sense. Understood of Christ, the expressions ἄνθρωπος for Christ, and “leave his father and mother,” for “leave His seat in heaven,” are so strange and so unlike anything else in St. Paul, that without an express intimation by the writer it is highly unreasonable so to interpret them. Can we imagine St. Paul writing, “Christ will leave His father and His mother and will cleave to His wife, the Church”? We might not be surprised at such an expression in a mystical writer of the Middle Ages, but we should certainly not recognise it as Pauline. It is, if possible, less likely that he should say the same thing, using ἄνθρωπος instead of Χριστός, and expect his readers to understand him. If the future is given its proper meaning, the expression “leaving His seat at the right hand of God” is inappropriate.
On the other hand, the whole passage treats of the duty of husbands, the reference to Christ and the Church being introduced only incidentally for the purpose of enforcing the practical lesson. It was, indeed, almost inevitable that where St. Paul was so full on the duty of the husband, he should refer to these words in Genesis in their proper original meaning. This meaning being so exactly adapted to enforce the practical precept, to take them otherwise, and to suppose that they are introduced allegorically, is to break the connexion, not to improve it.
There are some differences of reading. The articles before πατέρα and μητέρα are absent in B D* G, and are omitted by Lachm. and Treg., and bracketed by WH. Tischendorf omitted them in his 7th ed., but restored them in the 8th in consequence of the added evidence of א. αὐτοῦ is added after πατέρα in אc A Dc K L P, Syr-Pesh, Boh., from LXX; not in, א* B D* G 17, Vulg., Arm., αὐτοῦ is added after μητέρα in P 47, Vss.
For πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα which is in אc B D c K L, Orig., τῇ γυναικί is read by א* A D * G. The readings in the Sept. also vary.
32. τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν, ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω εἰς χριστόν καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν.
The second εἰς is om. by B K and some other authorities.
We must first determine the meaning of μυστήριον and of μέγα. On the former word see on 1:9. It does not mean “a mysterious thing or saying,” “a saying of which the meaning is hidden or unfathomable.” As Sanday and Headlam observe (Romans 11:25), with St. Paul it is a mystery revealed. Again, as to μέγα, the English versions—not only the incorrect AV., “this is a great mystery,” but the grammatically correct RV., “this mystery is great“—convey the idea that what is said is, that the mysteriousness is great, or, that the mystery is in a high degree a mystery. This is not only inconsistent with the meaning of μυστήριον, assuming, as it does, that “hiddenness” is the whole of its meaning (for to speak of a thing as in a high degree a revealed secret would be unintelligible), but it assigns to μέγα a meaning which does not belong to it. In English we may speak of great facility, great folly, simplicity, (πολλὴ μωρία, εὐηθεία); great ignorance (πολλὴ ἄγνοια); great perplexity (πολλὴ ἀπορία): but μέγας is not so used, for it properly expresses magnitude, not intensity. These linguistic facts are sufficient to set aside a large number, perhaps the majority, of interpretations of the clause. The sense must be of this kind: “This doctrine of revelation is an important or profound one.”
What, then, is the μυστήριον of which St. Paul thus speaks? Some suppose it to be this statement about marriage, which to the heathen would be new. But this requires us to take λέγω in the sense “I interpret,” or the like, which it does not admit. It is better to understand it as referring to the comparison of marriage with union of Christ with the Church. The latter clause, then, expressly points out that the former does not refer to marriage in itself, and λέγω has the same which it frequently has in St. Paul, “I mean.”
V. Soden takes τοῦτο to refer to what follows: “this secret, i.e. that which I am about to say as the secret sense of this sentence, is great, but I say it in reference to Christ and the Church,” comparing 1 Corinthians 15:51, μυστήριον ὑμῖν λέγω. This would be very elliptical.
Hatch translates: “this symbol (sc. of the joining of husband and wife into one flesh) is a great one. I interpret it as referring to Christ and to the Church” (Essays, p. 61).
The rendering of the Vulgate is: “Sacramentum hoc magnum est; ego autem dico in Christo et in ecclesia.” There are several other places in which μυστήριον is rendered “sacramentum,” viz. Ephesians 1:9, Ephesians 1:3:3, Ephesians 1:9; Colossians 1:27; 1 Timothy 3:16; Revelation 1:20.
It was, however, no doubt, the rendering in this passage which led to marriage being entitled a sacrament. In an encyclical of 1832 (quoted by Eadie) occurs the statement, “Marriage is, according to St. Paul’s expression, a great sacrament in Christ and in the Church.” But the greatest scholars of the Church of Rome have rejected this view of the present passage. Cardinal Caietan says: “Non habes ex hoc loco, prudens lector, a Paulo conjugium esse sacramentum. Non enim dixit esse sacramentum, sed mysterium.” And to the same effect Estius. Erasmus also says: “Neque nego matrimonium esse sacramentum, sed an ex hoc loco doceri possit proprie dici sacramentum quemadmodum baptismus dicitur, excuti volo.” As to the question whether marriage is properly to be reckoned a sacrament or not, this is very much a matter of definition. If sacrament is defined as in the Catechism of the Churches of England and Ireland and by other Reformed Churches, it is not, for it was not instituted by Christ. Even if we take Augustine’s definition, “a visible sign of an invisible grace,” there would be a difficulty. But if every rite or ceremony which either is, or includes in it, a sign of something spiritual, is to be called a sacrament, then marriage is well entitled to the name, especially in view of the apostle’s exposition here. But to draw any inference of this kind from the present passage is doubly fallacious, for this is not the meaning of μυστήριον; and, secondly, St. Paul expressly states that it is not to marriage that he applies the term, but to his teaching about Christ and the Church; or, according to the interpretation first mentioned, to the meaning of the verse from Genesis.
33. πλὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ καθʼ ἕνα ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα οὕτως ἀγαπάτω ὡς ἑαυτόν.
πλήν. “Howbeit—not to dwell on this matter of Christ and the Church, but to return to what I am treating of—”.
καὶ ὑμεῖς, ye also, viz. after the pattern of Christ. AV. drops the καί, which is important. The precept is individualised by the ἕκαστος, so as to bring more home its force for each man. ὡς ἑαυτόν, as being himself, ver. 28.
ἡ δὲ γυνὴ, ἵνα φοβῆται τὸν ἄνδρα. ἡ γυνή is best taken as a nom. abs. and “the wife—let her see,” etc. On φοβῆται, Oecum. rightly remarks: ὡς πρέπει γυναῖκα φοβεῖσθαι, μὴ δουλοπρεπῶς. “Nunquam enim erit voluntaria subjectio nisi praecedat reverentia,” Calvin.
It Old Latin.
Sah The Sahidic or Thebaic (“the.” WH).
Boh Bohairic. Cited by Tisch. as “Coptic,” by Tregelles as “Memphitic,” by WH. as “me.”
Syr-Harcl. The Harclean Syriac.
WH Westcott and Hort.
Syr-Pesh The Peshitto Syriac.
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;
Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.
Be not ye therefore partakers with them.
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
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;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.