Ephesians 4:25-32

Ephesians 4:25-32

4.25  διὸ ἀποθέμενοι τὸ ψεῦδος λαλεῖτε ἀλήθειαν ἕκαστος μετὰ τοῦ πλησίον αὐτοῦ, ὅτι ἐσμὲν ἀλλήλων μέλη.

διὸ ἀποθέμενοι τὸ ψεῦδος – The particle διό is summarizing and marking a new topic in the discourse. The participle is an adverbial, aorist middle form and the same verb occurred in v. 22. Its object is τὸ ψεῦδος. Its placement first frames the action expressed in the main verb.

λαλεῖτε ἀλήθειαν ἕκαστος – Paul inserts material from Zech. 8:16 in the Septuagint. What is the context of this material in Zechariah. Is this important for understanding why Paul quotes it? The main verb is a present imperative, indicating an incompleted action. It is followed by an object and then the explicit subject ἕκαστος which applies this command to each person in the group.

μετὰ τοῦ πλησίον αὐτοῦ — The adverbial prepositional phrase indicates the relationship within which this speaking occurs. Note the form of πλησίον which certainly does not look like a genitive. It is the neuter form of the adjective πλησίος and gets used substantively as an indeclinable form to mean “the one who is near.

ὅτι ἐσμὲν ἀλλήλων μέλη – Paul provides explanation in the form of a causal clause introduced by ὅτι. It is an equative clause with the predicate nominative characterizing the subject. ἀλλήλων is the genitive plural form of the reciprocal pronoun and functions to define the nature of the “members.”

4.26  ὀργίζεσθε καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε· ἥλιος μὴ ἐπιδυέτω ἐπὶ [τῷ] παροργισμῷ ὑμῶν.

ὀργίζεσθε – Paul uses another segment of Septuagint materials, this time from Psalm 4:5. Again what is the point of him using this material? The verb is a present passive imperative indicating an incompleted action.

καὶ μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε – καὶ functions as coordinating conjunction here, followed by a prohibition. μή + present active imperative is a common form of prohibition in the NT. It might have the sense of “stop sinning” or “do not start sinning.” NETS renders as “be angry, and do not sin.” What does this mean in the context of Psalm 4?

ἥλιος μὴ ἐπιδυέτω – This is a third person present imperative/prohibition (cohortative), with ἥλιος as the subject.

ἐπὶ [τῷ] παροργισμῷ ὑμῶν – An adverbial prepositional phrase modifying the preceding verb. It indicates a dative of time at or during which. The noun παροργισμός suggests a state of intense provocation. The genitive is probably subjective genitive. Why does Paul use such a strong term?

4.27  μηδὲ δίδοτε τόπον τῷ διαβόλῳ.

μηδὲ δίδοτε – This is the fifth command in this series. Each relates to an issue of communication. This command is more general in scope, but its application is to the preceding actions specifically. The previous mention of speaking falsely and sinning gear testimonty to this. This is another prohibition with the negative adverb μηδὲ coordinating this command with the previous μὴ ἁμαρτάνετε. The present active imperative tense form indicates an incompleted action.

τόπον τῷ διαβόλῳ — These nouns are the direct and indirect objects of the imperative.

4.28  ὁ κλέπτων μηκέτι κλεπτέτω, μᾶλλον δὲ κοπιάτω ἐργαζόμενος ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν τὸ ἀγαθόν, ἵνα ἔχῃ μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι.

κλέπτων – This substantive participle functions as the subject of the main verb. The present active participle suggests an incompleted action. Its placement at the head of the clause gives it prominence.

μηκέτι κλεπτέτω – The negative adverb modifies the verb. The verb is a third person active imperative functioning as a cohortative – let…no longe steal. The meaning is in effect to stop stealing. Another prohibition. The use of cognate terms is a rhetorical flourish.

μᾶλλον δὲ κοπιάτω – The μᾶλλον δὲ construction marks a contrast which introduces an activity that replaces the previous prohibited activity. κοπιάτω is another present active imperative functioning as a cohortative, 3rd person imperative.

ἐργαζόμενος ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν τὸ ἀγαθόν – The present middle participle is adverbial, modifying the previous verb.  It probably signifies the manner of hard work enjoined by κοπιάτω. The object is τὸ ἀγαθόν, a very general descriptor. The dative ταῖς [ἰδίαις] χερσὶν describes the means used for this work. There are textual variants regarding word order and the presence of the pronominal adjective ἰδίαις. Why is this command important for Paul to state in this context?

ἵνα ἔχῃ — The result or purpose for working in this way is marked by the ἵνα  conjunction. The verb is a present active subjunctive tense form, indicating an incompleted action. It defines a motivation.

μεταδιδόναι τῷ χρείαν ἔχοντι – The present active infinitive probably defines the purpose for possessing the financial means produced by work. The clause begins and ends with forms of the verb ἔχω. The object of the verb is in the dative case and is the substantival participle τῷ ἔχοντι which in turn is modified by a direct object. The noun χρείαν describes some need or lack.

4.29  πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν μἢ ἐκπορευέσθω, ἀλλεἴ τις ἀγαθὸς πρὸς οὀκοδομὴν τῆς χρείας, ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖς ἀκούουσιν.

πᾶς λόγος σαπρὸς – This is the subject of the main verb. The position of πᾶς with an anarthrous noun indicates the meaning “every word, unwholesome/harmful word” without exception. Its position at the head of its clause again signals prominence.

ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν – The adverbial prepositional phrase indicates the source of such messages. The singular form of the head noun suggests that Paul’s focus is on individual believers. It picks up the force of ἐκ used in the following compound verb.

μἢ ἐκπορευέσθω – Another negative cohortative. The imperative is a present middle tense form.

ἀλλεἴ τις ἀγαθὸς – The conjunction ἀλλά marks a contrast which in fact functions to replace what was just rejected. The conditional clause functions as a first class conditional, assuming for the apodosis the previous clause, but put positively. The subject of the conditional clause is τις ἀγαθὸς “any good (word – note the masculine singular form).” The implied verb is a form of εἰμι.

πρὸς οὀκοδομὴν τῆς χρείας  — This adverbial prepositional phrase qualifies the adjective ἀγαθὸς and indicates the nature of the good that such a “good word” should produce. It should construct what is lacking or deal with spiritual deficiencies of some sort. πρός can mark a phrase that describes purpose, goal or outcome. The genitive probably is objective.

ἵνα δῷ χάριν τοῖς ἀκούουσιν – This ἵνα clause indicates the larger purpose for choosing “a good message.” Presumably the subject of δῷ continues to be λόγος. It should impart grace. The verb is aorist active subjunctive. The indirect object is a substantive participle, present active in form.

4.30  καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ θεοῦ, ἐν ἐσφραγίσθητε εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως.

καὶ μὴ λυπεῖτε – Another probation employing μή + present active imperative. Note that the verb is at the head of the clause. Again it is unclear whether Paul is telling them stop grieving the Spirit or is giving a general principle, “do not grieve the Spirit.”

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον τοῦ θεοῦ — The direct object of the verb modified by an adjective in the second attributive position.  The genitive modifier indicates the primary character of this Spirit.

ἐν ἐσφραγίσθητε — ἐν ᾧ marks a relative clause. The antedent of the relative pronoun probably is πνεῦμα, but technically it could be θεοῦ also. However, in 1:13 it is the Spirit to whom this action of “sealing” is attributed. The agency of the aorist passive verb may be viewed as God himself (not to create a distinction ontologically between God and the Spirit, but a functional one). The adverbial prepositional phrase describes means probably, but could be construed as a locative.

εἰς ἡμέραν ἀπολυτρώσεως – A second adverbial prepositional phrase which expresses duration of time with a sense of goal, i.e., “until/to day of redemption.” The genitive qualifier indicates the kind of day being discussed.

4.31  πᾶσα πικρία καὶ θυμὸς καὶ ὀργὴ καὶ κραυγὴ καὶ βλασφημία ἀρθήτω ἀφὑμῶν σὺν πάσῃ κακίᾳ.

πᾶσα πικρία – Initial term in a compound subject stretching through to βλασφημία and including 5 items. Paul uses lists perhaps as billboards – causing the listeners to slow down and absorb the various characteristics that must be left behind. The πᾶσα indicates totality with no except, i.e., “complete bitterness.” Here again the compound subject is at the head of its clause.

καὶ θυμὸς καὶ ὀργὴ καὶ κραυγὴ καὶ βλασφημία – Paul adds additional items related to angry and harsh behaviour which is no longer appropriate for Jesus’ followers. The repetition of the coordinating conjunction καὶ adds some emphasis and distinctiveness.

ἀρθήτω ἀφὑμῶν – A 3rd person singular aorist passive imperative. It is singular because the compound subject probably is viewed as a collective neuter plural. Cohortative in function. The adverbial prepositional phrase defines separation.

σὺν πάσῃ κακίᾳ — The adverbial prepositional phrase adds a final generalization that associates “complete evil” with these prior catagories which must be taken away.

4.32  γίνεσθε [δὲ] εἰς ἀλλήλους χρηστοί, εὔσπλαγχνοι, χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς, καθὼς καὶ θεὸς ἐν Χριστῷ ἐχαρίσατο ὑμὶν.

γίνεσθε [δὲ] εἰς ἀλλήλους χρηστοί — With respect to the δέ some texts omit it and others read ουν. Given the absence of a connecting particle with v. 31, it is unclear whether it is needed here. If it is original, it is probably simply functioning in a coordinating manner or perhaps as an adversative. A second positive command occurs with an aorist middle imperative forming an equative clause. χρηστοί is a predicate adjective indicating the trait, kindness, that should define the subject. The adverbial prepositional phrase indicates direction or focus point of the action implied in the predicate adjective. It contains a reciprocal pronoun. Note here that the verb is first and the various predicate adjectives follow, in contrast to the arrangement in the previous clause.

εὔσπλαγχνοι – A second predicate adjective is added to create a list ultimately of three items. It means “compassionate.”

χαριζόμενοι ἑαυτοῖς – This present middle participle functions as a predicate adjective completing the sense of γίνεσθε. χαρίζομαι means to act graciously, but more specifically in Paul’s letters carries the connotation of forgiveness, pardoning. It is a present middle form. The object is expressed in the dative case. Here it is the reflexive pronoun.

καθὼς καὶ θεὸς – καθὼς is a subordinate conjunction marking a clause of comparison (cf. vv. 4 & 17). The καὶ is ascensive. The nominative noun is the subject and it is in the focal point of the clause.

ἐχαρίσατο ὑμὶν – An aorist middle indicative indicating an action that God has completed. The dative pronoun is the object.