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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - EPHESIANS 4

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    4:1 {Wherewith ye were called} (hes ekleqete). Attraction of the relative hs to the genitive of the antecedent klesews (calling) from the cognate accusative hen with ekleqete (first aorist passive indicative of kalew, to call. For the list of virtues here see #Col 3:12. To anecomenoi allelwn (#Col 3:13) Paul here adds "in love" (en agapei), singled out in #Col 3:14.

    4:3 {The unity} (ten henoteta). Late and rare word (from heis, one), in Aristotle and Plutarch, though in N.T. only here and verse #13. {In the bond of peace} (en twi sundesmwi tes eirenes). In #Col 3:14 agape (love) is the sundesmos (bond). But there is no peace without love (verse #2).

    4:4 {One body} (hen swma). One mystical body of Christ (the spiritual church or kingdom, cf. #1:23; 2:16). {One Spirit} (hen pneuma). One Holy Spirit, grammatical neuter gender (not to be referred to by "it," but by "he"). {In one hope} (en miai elpidi). The same hope as a result of their calling for both Jew and Greek as shown in chapter #2.

    4:5 {One Lord} (heis kurios). The Lord Jesus Christ and he alone (no series of aeons). {One faith} (mia pistis). One act of trust in Christ, the same for all (Jew or Gentile), one way of being saved. {One baptism} (hen baptisma). The result of baptizing (baptisma), while baptismos is the act. Only in the N.T. (baptismos in Josephus) and ecclesiastical writers naturally. See #Mr 10:38. There is only one act of baptism for all (Jews and Gentiles) who confess Christ by means of this symbol, not that they are made disciples by this one act, but merely so profess him, put Christ on publicly by this ordinance.

    4:6 {One God and Father of all} (heis qeos kai pater pantwn). Not a separate God for each nation or religion. One God for all men. See here the Trinity again (Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit). {Who is over all} (ho epi pantwn), {and through all} (kai dia pantwn), {and in all} (kai en pasin). Thus by three prepositions (epi, dia, en) Paul has endeavored to express the universal sweep and power of God in men's lives. The pronouns (pantwn, pantwn, pasin) can be all masculine, all neuter, or part one or the other. The last "in all" is certainly masculine and probably all are.

    4:7 {According to the measure of the gifts of Christ} (kata to metron tes dwreas tou cristou). Each gets the gift that Christ has to bestow for his special case. See #1Co 12:4ff.; Ro 12:4-6.

    4:8 {Wherefore he saith} (dio legei). As a confirmation of what Paul has said. No subject is expressed in the Greek and commentators argue whether it should be ho qeos (God) or he grafe (Scripture). But it comes to God after all. See #Ac 2:17. The quotation is from #Ps 68:18, a Messianic Psalm of victory which Paul adapts and interprets for Christ's triumph over death. {He led captivity captive} (eicmalwteusen aicmalwsian). Cognate accusative of aicmalwsian, late word, in N.T. only here and #Re 13:10. The verb also (aicmalwteuw) is from the old word aicmalwtos, captive in war (in N.T. only in #Lu 4:18), in LXX and only here in N.T.

    4:9 {Now this } (to de). Paul picks out the verb anabas (second aorist active participle of anabainw, to go up), changes its form to anebe (second aorist indicative), and points the article (to) at it. qen he concludes that it implied a previous katabas (coming down). {Into the lower parts of the earth} (eis ta katwtera tes ges). If the anabas is the Ascension of Christ, qen the katabas would be the Descent (Incarnation) to earth and tes ges would be the genitive of apposition. What follows in verse #10 argues for this view. Otherwise one must think of the death of Christ (the descent into Hades of #Ac 2:31).

    4:10 {Is the same also} (autos estin). Rather, "the one who came down (ho katabas, the Incarnation) is himself also the one who ascended (ho anabas, the Ascension)." {Far above} (huperanw). See #1:21. {All the heavens} (pantwn twn ouranwn). Ablative case after huperanw. For the plural used of Christ's ascent see #Heb 4:14; 7:27. Whether Paul has in mind the Jewish notion of a graded heaven like the third heaven in #2Co 12:2 or the seven heavens idea one does not know. {That he might fill all things} (hina plerwsei ta panta). this purpose we can understand, the supremacy of Christ (#Col 2:9f.).

    4:11 {And he gave} (kai autos edwken). First aorist active indicative of didwmi. In #1Co 12:28 Paul uses eqeto (more common verb, appointed), but here repeats edwken from the quotation in verse #8. There are four groups (tous men, tous de three times, as the direct object of edwken). The titles are in the predicate accusative (apostolous, profetas, poimenas kai didaskalous). Each of these words occurs in #1Co 12:28 (which see for discussion) except poimenas (shepherds). this word poimen is from a root meaning to protect. Jesus said the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep (#Joh 10:11) and called himself the Good Shepherd. In #Heb 13:20 Christ is the Great Shepherd (cf. #1Pe 2:25). Only here are preachers termed shepherds (Latin _pastores_) in the N.T. But the verb poimainw, to shepherd, is employed by Jesus to Peter (#Joh 21:16), by Peter to other ministers (#1Pe 5:2), by Paul to the elders (bishops) of Ephesus (#Ac 20:28). Here Paul groups "shepherds and teachers" together. All these gifts can be found in one man, though not always. Some have only one.

    4:12 {For the perfecting} (pros ton katartismon). Late and rare word (in Galen in medical sense, in papyri for house-furnishing), only here in N.T., though katartisis in #2Co 13:9, both from katartizw, to mend (#Mt 4:21; Ga 6:1). "For the mending (repair) of the saints." {Unto the building up} (eis oikodomen). See #2:21. this is the ultimate goal in all these varied gifts, "building up."

    4:13 {Till we all attain} (mecri katanteswmen hoi pantes). Temporal clause with purpose idea with mecri and the first aorist active subjunctive of katantaw, late verb, to come down to the goal (#Php 3:11). "The whole" including every individual. Hence the need of so many gifts. {Unto the unity of the faith} (eis ten henoteta tes pistews). "Unto oneness of faith" (of trust) in Christ (verse #3) which the Gnostics were disturbing. {And of the knowledge of the Son of God} (kai tes epignwsews tou huiou tou qeou). Three genitives in a chain dependent also on ten henoteta, "the oneness of full (epi-) knowledge of the Son of God," in opposition to the Gnostic vagaries. {Unto a full-grown man} (eis andra teleion). Same figure as in #2:15 and teleios in sense of adult as opposed to nepioi (infants) in #14. {Unto the measure of the stature} (eis metron helikias). So apparently helikia here as in #Lu 2:52, not age (#Joh 9:21). Boys rejoice in gaining the height of a man. But Paul adds to this idea "the fulness of Christ" (tou plerwmatos tou cristou), like "the fulness of God" in #3:19. And yet some actually profess to be "perfect" with a standard like this to measure by! No pastor has finished his work when the sheep fall so far short of the goal.

    4:14 {That we may be no longer children} (hina meketi wmen nepioi). Negative final clause with present subjunctive. Some Christians are quite content to remain "babes" in Christ and never cut their eye-teeth (#Heb 5:11-14), the victims of every charlatan who comes along. {Tossed to and fro} (kludwnizomenoi). Present passive participle of kludwnizomai, late verb from kludwn (wave, #Jas 1:6), to be agitated by the waves, in LXX, only here in N.T. One example in Vettius Valens. {Carried about} (periferomenoi). Present passive participle of periferw, old verb, to carry round, whirled round "by every wind (anemwi, instrumental case) of teaching." In some it is all wind, even like a hurricane or a tornado. If not anchored by full knowledge of Christ, folks are at the mercy of these squalls. {By the sleight} (en tei kubiai). "In the deceit,"in the throw of the dice" (kubia, from kubos, cube), sometimes cheating. {In craftiness} (en panourgiai). Old word from panourgos (pan, ergon, any deed, every deed), cleverness, trickiness. {After the wiles of error} (pros ten meqodian tes planes). meqodia is from meqodeuw (meta, hodos) to follow after or up, to practise deceit, and occurs nowhere else (#Eph 4:13; 6:11) save in late papyri in the sense of method. The word planes (wandering like our "planet") adds to the evil idea in the word. Paul has covered the whole ground in this picture of Gnostic error.

    4:15 {In love} (en agapei). If truth were always spoken only in love! {May grow into him} (auxeswmen eis auton). Supply hina and qen note the final use of the first aorist active subjunctive. It is the metaphor of verse #13 (the full-grown man). We are the body and Christ is the Head. We are to grow up to his stature.

    4:16 {From which} (ex hou). Out of which as the source of energy and direction. {Fitly framed} (sunarmologoumenon). See #2:21 for this verb. {Through that which every joint supplieth} (dia pases hafes tes epicoregias). Literally, "through every joint of the supply." See #Col 2:19 for hafe and #Php 1:19 for the late word epicoregia (only two examples in N.T.) from epicoregew, to supply (#Col 2:19). {In due measure} (en metrwi). Just "in measure" in the Greek, but the assumption is that each part of the body functions properly in its own sphere. {Unto the building up of itself} (eis oikodomen heautou). Modern knowledge of cell life in the human body greatly strengthens the force of Paul's metaphor. this is the way the body grows by cooperation under the control of the head and all "in love" (en agapei).

    4:17 {That ye no longer walk} (meketi humas peripatein). Infinitive (present active) in indirect command (not indirect assertion) with accusative humas of general reference. {In vanity of their mind} (en mataioteti tou noos autwn). "In emptiness (from mataios, late and rare word. See #Ro 8:20) of their intellect (noos, late form for earlier genitive nou, from nous).

    4:18 {Being darkened} (eskotwmenoi ontes). Periphrastic perfect passive participle of skotow, old verb from skotos (darkness), in N.T. only here and #Re 9:2; 16:10. {In their understanding} (tei dianoiai). Locative case. Probably dianoia (dia, nous) includes the emotions as well as the intellect (nous). It is possible to take ontes with apellotriwmenoi (see #2:12) which would qen be periphrastic (instead of eskot"menoi) perfect passive participle. {From the life of God} (tes zwes tou qeou). Ablative case zwes after apellotriwmenoi (#2:12). {Because of the ignorance} (dia ten agnoian). Old word from agnoew, not to know. Rare in N.T. See #Ac 3:17. {Hardening} (p"r"sin). Late medical term (Hippocrates) for callous hardening. Only other N.T. examples are #Mr 3:5; Ro 11:25.

    4:19 {Being past feeling} (apelgekotes). Perfect active participle of apalgew, old word to cease to feel pain, only here in N.T. {To lasciviousness} (tei aselgeiai). Unbridled lust as in #2Co 12:21; Ga 5:19. {To work all uncleanness} (eis ergasian akaqarsias pases). Perhaps prostitution, "for a trading (or work) in all uncleanness." Certainly Corinth and Ephesus could qualify for this charge. {With greediness} (en pleonexiai). From pleonektes, one who always wants more whether money or sexual indulgence as here. The two vices are often connected in the N.T.

    4:20 {But ye did not so learn Christ} (humeis de ouc houtws emaqete ton criston). In sharp contrast to pagan life (houtws). Second aorist active indicative of manqanw.

    4:21 {If so be that} (ei ge). "If indeed." Condition of first class with aorist indicatives here, assumed to be true (ekousate kai edidacqete). {Even as truth is in Jesus} (kaqws estin aleqeia en twi iesou). It is not clear what Paul's precise idea is here. The Cerinthian Gnostics did distinguish between the man Jesus and the aeon Christ. Paul here identifies Christ (verse #20) and Jesus (verse #21). At any rate he flatly affirms that there is "truth in Jesus" which is in direct opposition to the heathen manner of life and which is further explained by the epexegetical infinitives that follow (apoqesqai, ananeousqai de, kai endusasqai).

    4:22 {That ye put away} (apoqesqai). Second aorist middle infinitive of apotiqemi with the metaphor of putting off clothing or habits as apoqesqe in #Col 3:8 (which see) with the same addition of "the old man" (ton palaion anqrwpon) as in #Col 3:9. For anastrofen (manner of life) see #Ga 1:13. {Which waxeth corrupt} (ton fqeiromenon). Either present middle or passive participle of fqeirw, but it is a process of corruption (worse and worse).

    4:23 {That ye be renewed} (ananeousqai). Present passive infinitive (epexegetical, like apoqesqai, of aleqeia en twi iesou) and to be compared with anakainoumenon in #Col 3:10. It is an old verb, ananeow, to make new (young) again; though only here in N.T. {The spirit} (twi pneumati). Not the Holy Spirit, but the human spirit.

    4:24 {Put on} (endusasqai). First aorist middle infinitive of enduw (-nw), for which see #Col 3:10. {The new man} (ton kainon anqrwpon). "The brand-new (see #2:15) man," though ton neon in #Col 3:10. {After God} (kata qeon). After the pattern God, the new birth, the new life in Christ, destined to be like God in the end (#Ro 8:29).

    4:25 {Wherefore} (dio). Because of putting off the old man, and putting on the new man. {Putting away} (apoqemenoi). Second aorist middle participle of apotiqemi (verse #22). {Lying} (yeudos), {truth} (aleqeian) in direct contrast. {Each one} (hekastos). Partitive apposition with laleite. See #Col 3:8 me yeudesqe.

    4:26 {Be ye angry and sin not} (orgizesqe kai me hamartanete). Permissive imperative, not a command to be angry. Prohibition against sinning as the peril in anger. Quotation from #Ps 4:4. {Let not the sun go down upon your wrath} (ho helios me epiduetw epi parorgismwi). Danger in settled mood of anger. parorgismos (provocation), from parorgizw, to exasperate to anger, occurs only in LXX and here in N.T.

    4:27 {Neither give place to the devil} (mede didote topon twi diabolwi). Present active imperative in prohibition, either stop doing it or do not have the habit. See #Ro 12:19 for this idiom.

    4:28 {Steal no more} (meketi kleptetw). Clearly here, cease stealing (present active imperative with meketi). {The thing that is good} (to agaqon). "The good thing" opposed to his stealing and "with his hands" (tais cersin, instrumental case) that did the stealing. See #2Th 3:10. Even unemployment is no excuse for stealing. {To give} (metadidonai). Present active infinitive of metadidwmi, to share with one.

    4:29 {Corrupt} (sapros). Rotten, putrid, like fruit (#Mt 7:17f.), fish (#Mt 13:48), here the opposite of agaqos (good). {For edifying as the need may be} (pros oikodomen tes creias). "For the build-up of the need,"for supplying help when there is need." Let no other words come out. {That it may give} (hina dwi). For this elliptical use of hina see on 5:33.

    4:30 {Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God} (me lupeite to pneuma to hagion tou qeou). "Cease grieving" or "do not have the habit of grieving." Who of us has not sometimes grieved the Holy Spirit? {In whom} (en hwi). Not "in which." {Ye were sealed} (esfragisqete). See #1:13 for this verb, and #1:14 for apolutrwsews, the day when final redemption is realized.

    4:31 {Bitterness} (pikria). Old word from pikros (bitter), in N.T. only here and #Ac 8:23; Ro 3:14; Heb 12:15. {Clamor} (krauge). Old word for outcry (#Mt 25:6; Lu 1:42). See #Col 3:8 for the other words. {Be put away} (arqetw). First aorist passive imperative of air", old verb, to pick up and carry away, to make a clean sweep.

    4:32 {Be ye kind to one another} (ginesqe eis allelous crestoi). Present middle imperative of ginomai, "keep on becoming kind (crestos, used of God in #Ro 2:4) toward one another." See #Col 3:12f. {Tenderhearted} (eusplagcnoi). Late word (eu, splagcna) once in Hippocrates, in LXX, here and #1Pe 3:8 in N.T.

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