Ephesians 6:10-20

Ephesians 6:10-20

6:10  τοῦ λοιποῦ, ἐνδυναμοῦσθε ἐν κυρίῳ καὶ ἐν τῷ κράτει τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ.

τοῦ λοιποῦ — Adverbial use of the genitive (see Gal. 6:17) with the sense “from now on, finally.” Perhaps signals the writer is coming to the end of the letter. Many textual witnesses read τὸν λοιπόν.

ἐνδυναμοῦσθε – Present middle or passive imperative. If passive, the compound verb has the idea of “become strengthened so as to be able to function well.” If middle the sense would be “strengthen oneself.” The present imperative may have the Aktionsart implication of a general imperative.

ἐν κυρίῳ καὶ ἐν τῷ κράτει τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ — The adverbial prepositional phrases indicate in reference to which person or resource this strengthening should occur. The genitive τῆς ἰσχύος could be a genitive of source or an attributie genitive (his strong might. The possessive pronoun identifies whose strength is being discussed and may be subjective genitive.

6:11  ἐνδύσασθε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ πρὸς τὸ δύνασθαι ὑμᾶς στῆναι πρὸς τὰς μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου·

ἐνδύσασθε – Aorist middle imperative from ἐνδύω “put on, wear” usually with reference to clothes. There may be a word play between ἐνδυναμόω and ἐνδύω. The aorist imperative may have the Aktionsart implication of a specific command.

τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ — Accusative direct object. The genitive is probably one of source. πανοπλία refers to “the complete equipment of a heavy-armed soldier” (BDAG, 754).

πρὸς τὸ δύνασθαι ὑμᾶς στῆναι – An articulated present infinitive δύνασθαι following a preposition that indicates purpose. ὑμᾶς as accusative is the subject of the infinitive. The second infinitive στῆναι complements the first one and has the sense “stand in a resisting posture.”

πρὸς τὰς μεθοδείας τοῦ διαβόλου – This adverbial prepositional phrase communicates the sense of conflict, opposition and means “against.” μεθοδεία refers to crafty schemes (see. Eph. 4:14). τοῦ διαβόλου is a subjective genitive.

6:12  ὅτι οὑκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν πάλη πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα ἀλλὰ πρὸς τὰς ἀρχάς, πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας, πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας τοῦ σκότους τούτου, πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις.

ὅτι οὑκ ἔστιν ἡμῖν πάλη — ὅτι marks a causal clause, which gives rationale for the use of this heavy armour. This is a negative equative clause with the subject indicated by the article. The dative ἡμῖν may be possessive, i.e., “our struggle.” Several important manuscripts read ὑμῖν. πάλη originally referred to wrestling, but came to have a more general application to any fight or battle.

πρὸς αἷμα καὶ σάρκα – The writer begins a series of five adverbial prepositional phrases that all indicate the idea of opposition. This first is negated in order to state who is not the opposition, i.e., some human opponent. The other four identify the real opponents.

πρὸς τὰς ἀρχάς – This series of terms seems to identify various kinds of spiritual opponents, but whether these are human agents empowered by spiritual entities or purely spiritual entities is debated (see 1:21). ἀρχή means a ruler, an authority, someone who has the power to initiate action.

πρὸς τὰς ἐξουσίας — ἐξουσία by metonymy refers to ruling authorities, officials and then to ruling functionaries in the spirit-world.

πρὸς τοὺς κοσμοκράτορας τοῦ σκότους τούτου – The term κοσμοκράτωρ means “world-ruler” and here is modified by a genitive of subordination – they are under the power of “this darkness,” which probably is a reference to general evil (see 5:8, 11).

πρὸς τὰ πνευματικὰ τῆς πονηρίας ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις – τὰ πνευματικά in this context would refer to evil spiritual beings/forces. Again the genitive probably is a genitive of subordination, but may be attributive. The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις is spatial. It probably refers specifically to this category of spirit being, but may apply to all four types.

6:13  διὰ τοῦτο ἀναλάβετε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα δυνηθῆτε ἀντιστῆναι ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πονηρᾷ καὶ ἅπαντα κατεργασάμενοι στῆναι.

διὰ τοῦτο – This adverbial prepositional phrase marks a transition to an explanatory consequence based upon the previous information. It probably applies to all of the material in vv. 13-20.

ἀναλάβετε τὴν πανοπλίαν τοῦ θεοῦ — An aorist active imperative urging the audience to “take up,” i.e., lift up and carry away. The accusative noun is the direct object. For the phrase see v. 11.

ἵνα δυνηθῆτε ἀντιστῆναι — ἵνα marks a purpose clause. δυνηθῆτε always takes a complementary infinitive. The compound aorist active infinitive means “resist, oppose.”

ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ πονηρᾷ — An adverbial prepositional phrase of time “at which.” The adjective is in the second attributive position, which often places some emphasis on the adjective.

καὶ ἅπαντα κατεργασάμενοι στῆναι – καί coordinates a second, complementary infinitive, which uses the simple verb form of the previous cognate infinitive. The action of the imperative is modified by an adverbial aorist middle participle. According to BDAG (531, 4) κατεργάζομαι here means “be successful in the face of obstacles, overpower, subdue, conquer.” Its object is ἅπαντα which is placed in the focal position of the clause, preceding the participle.

6:14  στῆτε οὖν περιζωσάμενοι τὴν ὀσφὺν ὑμῶν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης  

στῆτε οὖν – Another aorist active imperative “stand with a resisting posture.” The particle οὖν indicates that this is the implication of the previous activity, i.e., “so then.”

περιζωσάμενοι τὴν ὀσφὺν ὑμῶν ἐν ἀληθείᾳ — An adverbial aorist middle participle with the sense “gird, belted with.” The accusative indicates what is girded and the adverbial prepositional phrase describes the means used. The participle probably has the idea of means, but it could be temporal.

καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν θώρακα τῆς δικαιοσύνης – καί coordinates a second adverbial aorist middle participle, with the sense of “putting on, clothing.” The genitive τῆς δικαιοσύνης is probably an epexegetical genitive.   

6:15  καὶ ὑποδησάμενοι τοῦς πόδας ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης,

καὶ ὑποδησάμενοι τοῦς πόδας – καί coordinates a third adverbial aorist middle participle. These three participles indicate the range of verbs that Greek has to describe putting on various articles of clothing and footware. The accusative object describes “feet.” It also probably describes means or could be temporal.

ἐν ἑτοιμασίᾳ τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τῆς εἰρήνης – This adverbial prepositional phrase describes the “shoes,” i.e., the means. The second genitive τῆς εἰρήνης may be an objective genitive modifying εὐαγγελίου. ἑτοιμασίᾳ could mean “equipment” and so the following genitive again could be epexegetical.

6:16  ἐν πᾶσιν ἀναλαβόντες τὸν θυρεὸν τῆς πίστεως, ἐν δυνήσεσθε πάντα τὰ βέλη τοῦ πονηροῦ [τὰ] πεπυρωμένα σβέσαι·

ἐν πᾶσιν ἀναλαβόντες τὸν θυρεὸν τῆς πίστεως – The adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν πᾶσιν may be referential, meaning “in all circumstances.” This might suggest that this piece of armour is indispensable. Paul does not use another coordinating καί, but the aorist active participle is the fourth in the series (see v. 13). The accusative object is modified by an epexegetical genitive τῆς πίστεως, i.e., “the shield, i.e., the faith.” The article may suggest that πίστις here refers to the entire content and scope of the message brought by and initiated by Jesus, rather than the personal act of placing faith in Christ. It is a provision from God.

ἐν δυνήσεσθε σβέσαι – This relative clause expresses the function of the shield. The adverbial prepositional phrase functions within the clause to express means or instrument. Again Paul uses the verb δύναμαι with a complementary infinitive. σβέσαι is an aorist active infinitive from σβέννυμι meaning “extinguish, put out.”

πάντα τὰ βέλη τοῦ πονηροῦ [τὰ] πεπυρωμένα – This expression defines the object of the infinitive. The structure πάντα τὰ βέλη indicates an inclusive idea, i.e., “all the darts without exception.” The noun βέλη is modified by the adjectival perfect passive participle πεπυρωμένα “burning, on fire, blazing.” The genitive noun expresses the source of these darts or it could simply be possessive.

6:17  καὶ τὴν περικεφαλαίαν τοῦ σωτηρίου δέξασθε καὶ τὴν μάχαιραν τοῦ πνεύματος, ἐστιν ῥῆμα θεοῦ.

καὶ τὴν περικεφαλαίαν τοῦ σωτηρίου δέξασθε – Paul switches verbs here to the aorist middle imperative of δέχομαι which means “receive, grasp.” The direct object precedes the verb and so is in the focal point. By employing the imperative Paul places this action in parallel with the previous ἀναλάβετε in v. 13, rather than continuing with the list of adverbial participles. Perhaps he felt the sentence was getting too complex or clumsy. The genitive is probably epexegetical.

καὶ τὴν μάχαιραν τοῦ πνεύματος – A second object here is modified by τοῦ πνεύματος which probably defines source, with the following relative clause defining what the sword represents in this analogy.

ἐστιν ῥῆμα θεοῦ — The antecedent of ὅ would seem to be πνεῦμα, but what would this mean? The gender probably is to be explained as attraction to the predicate nominative ῥῆμα. τοῦ θεοῦ is probably a subjective genitive.

6:18  Διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι, καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπνοῦντες ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων

Διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως – This adverbial prepositional phrase expresses means and modifies the following participle. The pronominal adjective here without an article emphasizes inclusivity, i.e., “every kind of prayer and petition, complete prayer and petition,” qualifying both nouns.

προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι – An adverbial present middle participle. It probably modifies the prior δέξασθε and describes means. It is modified by two adverbial prepositional phrases. The first indicates a temporal element (time at which, “at every occasion”) and the second perhaps is spatial or describing means.

καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπνοῦντες – Paul coordinates a second participle, but this is present active. The verb means “alert, aware of dangers.” The present tense form indicates action contemporaneous with that of the main verb and may have a temporal idea, i.e., “as you keep alert…” or it gives the sense of means. The adverbial prepositional phrase is probably referential.

ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει – These adverbial prepositional phrases describe manner, i.e., how this alertness is enabled “by complete persistence and petition.”

περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων — An adverbial prepositional phrase indicating with reference to whom this alertness in persistence and prayer is being sustained. The πάντων with the article indicates an inclusive sense.

6:19  καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ, ἵνα μοι δοθῇ λόγος ἐν ἀνοίξει τοῦ στόματός μου, ἐν παρρησίᾳ γνωρίσαι τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ εὐαγγελίου,

καὶ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ — Another adverbial prepositional phrase modifying the previous participle, but referencing Paul, indicating some benefit or advantage that he might receive through their alertness in persistence and prayer.

ἵνα μοι δοθῇ λόγος – This ἵνα probably explains the result expected from this activity of prayer (“so that”). Within the clause the indirect object (μοι) has focal prominence, preceding the verb. The subject, lacking the article, means “some kind of message.” Paul desires divine direction in his message.

ἐν ἀνοίξει τοῦ στόματός μου – Perhaps this adverbial prepositional phrase is temporal, but it could also be means or instrument. The genitive is probably objective genitive, defining what is opened.

ἐν παρρησίᾳ γνωρίσαι – The aorist active infinitive describes the purpose for this message being given. The adverbial prepositional phrase defines the manner in which the message is “made known.” For this terminology see Eph. 3:5, 10.

τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ εὐαγγελίου – This accusative structure is the object of the infinitive. The genitive may be epexegetical.

6:20  ὑπὲρ οὗ πρεσβεύω ἐν ἁλύσει, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ παρρησιάσωμαι ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι.

ὑπὲρ οὗ πρεσβεύω ἐν ἁλύσει – The prepositional phrase includes a relative pronoun which introduces this relative clause. The antecedent could either be μυστήριον or εὐαγγέλιον. The preposition indicates benefit or advantage. The present active indicative verb means “to serve as an ambassador.” It is modified by an adverbial prepositional phrase describing manner or a locative sense.

ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ παρρησιάσωμαι – This ἵνα describes the purpose of Paul’s appointment. The aorist middle subjunctive means “speak freely, fearlessly.” The adverbial prepositional phrase is probably referential, with τὸ μυστήριον τοῦ εὐαγγελίου being the antecedent.

ὡς δεῖ με λαλῆσαι – This is a comparative clause, with the sense “just as….” The main verb describes a necessity or obligation and takes a complementary infinitive (λαλῆσαι) whose accusative subject is με.