Ephesians 2:1-10

2.1 καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν,

καὶ ὑμᾶς ὄντας νεκροὺς – καὶ seems to be conjunctive, linking this section with the previous. ὑμᾶς is an independent accusative, not directly connected to any transitive verb. Many think that Paul began with a thought in mind, but then got a bit sidetracked and did not complete the construction. The second person reference is picked up as subject of the verb in the following relative clause. The pronoun is qualified by a participle (ὅντας), which could function adjectivally (“you who are…”) or adverbially (“because you are or being”). νεκροὺς is a predicate adjective, qualifying ὑμᾶς.

τοῖς παραπτώμασιν καὶ ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν – Two dative nouns compounded together, but with repeated articles, indicating they are viewed somewhat distinctively. The dative probably is a dative of reference or perhaps with a locative sense, the context for this state of being νέκρους. ὑμῶν probably is a subjective genitive, indicating who is responsible for these transgressions and sins.

2.2 ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος, τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας·

ἐν αἷς ποτε περιεπατήσατε – Relative clause with the antecedent ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις being dative, plural and feminine. ἐν probably has a locative sense – in which context, sphere, setting, situation. ποτε modifies the verb as an adverb of indeterminate past time. The verb is an aorist active tense form indicating an aspect of perfected action. The subject is the preceding ὑμᾶς.

κατὰ τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ κόσμου τούτου – κατά + accusative marks a “standard” according to which something occurs. Here τὸν αἰῶνα “the age” defining a specific time period in God’s plan for human history. The genitive defines the nature or character of “the age,” namely that it is “of this universe/world.” So “sins” characterize “this age” and this is the standard which characterizes how “at one time you walked/lived.”

κατὰ τὸν ἄρχοντα τῆς ἐξουσίας τοῦ ἀέρος – A second “standard” is listed and this points to “the ruler” who exercises authority over “the age.” The first genitive could be attributive, i.e., “the authoritative ruler.” Or it may serve as a metonymy for the location or sphere where this authority is exercised. The second genitive is probably epexegetical, describing more specifically where this authority is exercised, namely τοῦ ἀέρος.

τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ νῦν ἐνεργοῦντος ἐν τοῖς υἱοῖς τῆς ἀπειθείας —  τοῦ πνεύματος is a genitive of apposition. But what should it be associated with? If it modifies τὸν ἄρχοντα one would expect an accusative of apposition, but perhaps the preceding genitives are influencing the selection of case. τοῦ πνεύματος is modified by an attributive participle, present tense form. The imperfective aspect is enhanced by the adverb νῦν which plays off against the previous ποτε. The final phrase indicates the location of this spirit’s activity, namely “among the sons of disobedience.” Who is the “father” against whom these “sons” act disobediently? What is the nature of their disobedience? The genitive is probably attributive, i.e., disobedient sons.

2.3 ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημεν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν, καὶ ἤμεθα τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί·

ἐν οἷς καὶ ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημεν – Relative clause. The antecedent of οἷς would be υἱοῖς and the writer places himself and his correspondents in this group, at least in the past. The initial phrase expresses a locative sense (among whom). καὶ is ascensive modifying ἡμεῖς and marking it as significant. This is enhanced by the following πάντες which has an inclusive sense – we all without exception. The verb is aorist passive tense form, but the sense is more middle with the subject being marked as intensively involved in the action. The intensity might be expressed by a reflexive sense, i.e., “we conducted ourselves.”

ποτεIt picks up the use of the same adverb in v. 2a, but also contrasts with νῦν in v. 2b.

ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν – The preposition probably has a locative sense, i.e., among, in. This would be a metaphorical sense given that the plural noun refers to attitudes or desires. ἐπιθυμία could refer to desires, whether good or bad, but here probably considered bad. The plural form indicates the magnitude of these desires. The genitive phrase may describe the origins of these desires, i.e., in the fallen human nature, and thus be subjective. The personal pronoun ἡμῶν probably is possessive here.

ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν – The participle is adverbial and present in tense form indicating an imperfective aspect, i.e. “as we were doing/committing….” τὰ θελήματα (“things willed”) is the direct object of the participle and parallels the previous phrase. Again the fallen human nature is the source of these decisive directions, but here it is aided and abetted by the διανοιῶν – the cognitive faculty. Why is it plural rather than singular? The totality of the fallen nature is defined by this compound. These genitives are probably subjective in function.

καὶ ἤμεθα – Probably continues the relative clause. The author chooses an imperfect first person plural form of εἰμι. It is first person plural and contains the subject.

τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς – Predicate nominative. The verb is equative and identified the subject with the predicate, defining it. The τέκνα picks up the previous υἱοῖς in v. 2b. “Sons of disobedience” parallel “children/progeny of wrath.” Is the father still the same? Is it the ‘wrath’ of the father which is expressed here? ὀργῆς probably is a descriptive genitive – because their sinful activity the relationship of these progeny with the ‘parent’ is governed by ‘wrath’. φύσει is a dative of reference and indicates that this categorization arises from their very “nature.” They do not have to do anything specific to enter such status – it is “natural.”

ὡς καὶ οἱ λοιποί — A comparative clause, assuming the previous verb and predicate nominative. The subject of this comparative clause is different and modified by an ascensive καί. The article probably is used to identify these people as belonging to a specific group.

2.4. ὁ δὲ θεὸς πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει, διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην αὐτοῦ ἣν ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς,

δὲ θεὸς – Nominative of subject. δέ marks a new topic in this discourse. There may be a contrasting element, if the language of “sons of disobedience and children of wrath” indicates humans are God’s children by dint of creation.

πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει – An adverbial participial phrase, modifying θεὸς in relation to his action of “making alive” in v.5. ὢν present active participle is anarthrous, perhaps causal, but the noun it references is arthrous and so the participle is probably adverbial. πλούσιος is a predicate adjective indicating a category in which God  belongs. ἐν ἐλέει defines in what respect God possesses wealth.

διὰ τὴν πολλὴν ἀγάπην αὐτοῦ — The prepositional phrase provides explanation adverbially for the main verb in v.5. God’s mercy and love often link together as explanation for his motives in salvific acts.  αὐτοῦ probably is subjective genitive.

ἣν ἠγάπησεν ἡμᾶς, — Relative clause modifies ἀγάπην. The relative pronoun ἣν (antecedent is ἀγάπην) is an accusative of respect modifying the verb. The aorist tense form indicates a perfective aspect, i.e., God has exercised this love in the past in some action. An example of paronomasia.

2.5 καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ (χάριτι ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι),

καὶ ὄντας ἡμᾶς – The καὶ is probably ascensive, i.e., “even as we were….” ἡμᾶς is the object of συνεζωοποίησεν. The object is placed before the verb in order to give it emphasis. See a similar construction in 2:1. Note the shift to first person plural.

νεκροὺς τοῖς παραπτώμασιν – See the same construction in 2:1.

συνεζωοποίησεν τῷ Χριστῷ — The verb is an aorist tense form. It is linked with several other συν- compound verbs which continue in v. 6. τῷ Χριστῷ is probably the dative complement of the verb, describing with whom God (the nominative subject introduced in v. 4) “has made us alive.” The singular term here perhaps should be emphasized as a title, i.e. “the Messiah.”

χάριτι ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι – Usually regarded as a parenthetical expression, anticipating a similar form in v.8. χάριτι is a dative of means or manner. ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι is a perfect periphrastic construction in the passive voice, indicating a current state caused by divine agency.

2.6 καὶ συνήγειρεν καὶ συνεκάθισεν ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

καὶ συνήγειρεν – The verb is an aorist tense form indicating a completed action. God continues as the subject.

καὶ συνεκάθισεν – The verb is an aorist tense form indicating a completed action, with God as subject and ἡμᾶς as the object. Using three συν- compound verbs in the same tense and ending is a form of paronomasia and indicates some awareness of literary style.

ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις – The prepositional phrase probably is locative, indicating where God “has seated together” believers. It is an adverbial modifier. The term οὐρανός often occurs in the plural in the NT. This compound form may refer to the most exalted levels of the heavens. The article may be specifying, i.e., heavens in contrast with some other place.

ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ – If this is another example of Paul’s frequent phrase ἐν Χριστῷ, then it probably has a locative sense, but also something of an associative sense and explains the basis for God’s extraordinary actions on behalf of this group of people. See the conclusion to v. 7.

2.7 ἵνα ἐνδείξηται ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ ἐν χρηστότητι ἐφἡμᾶς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.

ἵνα ἐνδείξηται — ἵνα clause of purpose with verb in the subjunctive. The verb is an aorist middle subjective. The aspect is perfective.  The middle indicates a more intensive involvement of the subject in completing this action.

ἐν τοῖς αἰῶσιν τοῖς ἐπερχομένοις – The prepositional phrase has a locative sense with a temporal nuance indicated by the attributive participle. The plural “ages” indicates some sense that “this age” is not the final and last age. The present tense form of the participle indicates imperfective aspect. Verbs of motion often are in the middle form because such action involves the subject in the action in some way. The participle is adjectival.

τὸ ὑπερβάλλον πλοῦτος τῆς χάριτος αὐτοῦ — τὸ πλοῦτος is the neuter singular object of the verb ἐνδείξηται. It is modified by the adjective/participle ὑπερβάλλον which means excessive, surpassing. The genitive modifier specifies the nature of the “wealth” which God (αὐτοῦ) possesses and so can use as he desires. It could be epexegetical – “wealth, i.e., his grace.”

ἐν χρηστότητι – Adverbial prepositional phrase modifying the verb. Expresses the manner in which grace is expressed. Abstract nouns often are anarthrous, focusing on quality.

ἐφἡμᾶς – Adverbial prepositional phrase indicating the audience upon whom this “demonstration” takes place. ἐπί + accusative, if it is spatial in function, would mean “on us, onto.”

ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ — See the comments in v. 6. Ἰησοῦ is appositional.

2. 8 τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι διὰ πίστεως· καὶ τοῦτο οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν, θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον·

τῇ γὰρ χάριτί ἐστε σεσῳσμένοι – Postpositive γάρ marks this as an explanation for the preceding. The placement of the dative of means/manner at the head of the clause gives it prominence. It modifies the periphrastic verb structure (for which see v. 5). The article is probably anaphoric and deictic, i.e. “by this grace.”

διὰ πίστεως – Indicates means as well, i.e., through faith, with a sense of intermediate agency. The question might be “whose faith/faithfulness” given the references to God’s grace, kindness and mercy. It is adverbial and modifies the periphrastic structure.

καὶ τοῦτο  οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν –  Nominal clause. The καὶ could be conjunctive “and this” introducing a new clause, or it could be ascensive, i.e., “this indeed does not have its source in you.” Given the following three short clauses with no conjunctive particles, I think it probably is ascensive. These short clauses would suggest emotion and some agitation on the part of the speaker/writer. ἑξ ὑμῶν indicates source. Why does the writer switch back to second person plural at this point? Is this a deliberate reference back to vv. 1-2?

θεοῦ τὸ δῶρον  — This is a second short, nominal clause. δῶρον is predicate nominative and the genitive noun indicates the source of the gift. The article is specifying.  What does the absence of an article with the genitive noun mean? The position of the genitive prior to the head noun gives it prominence.

2.9 οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων, ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται.

οὐκ ἐξ ἔργων – A third short nominal clause. It complements οὐκ ἐξ ὑμῶν in v. 8 indicating why this “wealth” cannot have its source in us. Our “activities” cannot produce it.

ἵνα μή τις καυχήσηται — ἵνα purpose clause with subjunctive verb. The negative μή usually occurs with non-indicative moods. The subject is indefinite. The verb is aorist middle subjunctive. The middle again emphasizes the involvement of the subject in this action of “boasting,” a semantic nuance associated with verbs of speaking with emotion. It is an implied explanation for why “works” cannot generate such grace and salvation.

2.10 αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα, κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς οἷς προητοίμασεν θεὸς, ἵνα ἐν αὐτοῖς περιπατήσωμεν.

αὐτοῦ γάρ ἐσμεν ποίημα – γάρ marks this as an explanatory clause, related to what has preceded. The genitive third person pronoun occurs at the head of the clause and is given prominence. It is subjective in function. The antecedent is God. The equative verb is present indicative and once again first person plural is used. It identifies the subject as belonging to the category of ποίημα. ποίημα (work, thing, product) is predicate nominative.

κτισθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ — Adverbial aorist passive participle, probably circumstantial in sense, but may be causal, explaining how it is that “we are his product.” It relates to the plural subject of the preceding verb. The adverbial prepositional phrase indicates a locative/associative idea.

ἐπὶ ἔργοις ἀγαθοῖς — ἐπί + dative probably has the sense of “for this reason/purpose.” The lack of an article makes the noun very general. The position of the adjective after the noun may give it slight prominence, as well as link it more specifically to the following relative clause.

οἷς προητοίμασεν θεὸς – Relative clause defining ἔργοις. The verb normally takes an accusative object (cf. Romans 9:23), so this is probably dative by attraction to case of the antecedent. The verb is aorist indicative active in tense form indicating a perfective aspect. The verb means “prepared previously.”

ἵνα ἐν αὐτοῖς περιπατήσωμεν — ἵνα indicates here perhaps a sense of purpose, with a subjunctive verb, i.e., “in order that….” ἐν αὐτοῖς is placed in the focal point of the clause. It marks the “location” of this walking, i.e., among the “good works.” The verb is the same one used in v. 2. The aorist tense form indicates a perfective aspect.