Ephesians 5:21-33

Ephesians 5:21-33

5:21   ὑποτασσόμενοι ἀλλήλοις ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ,

ὑποτασσόμενοι – There is nothing in the text that indicates that this participle initiates a new section, but rather merely continues the series of adverbial particples – being the fifth in the series and continuing to demonstrate the implications of “being filled with the Spirit.” This is a present middle participle. The sense of the middle voice and the way the subject is affected by the action needs careful parsing – “voluntarily subordinating oneself.”

ἀλλήλοις – Dative indirect object of the participle. This is a form of the reciprocal pronoun.

ἐν φόβῳ Χριστοῦ — The prepositional phrase modifies the participle in an adverbial sense, probably indicating cause. Χριστοῦ is an objective genitive. The absence of the article gives this phrase a general sense. Is Χριστός to be considered a title here, as perhaps in v. 14?

5:22  αἱ γυνκαῖκες τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ,

αἱ γυνκαῖκες – Vocative of an implied imperative verb, which probably is something like ὑποτάσσεσθε given v. 24. The following ἀνδράσιν indicates that it means “wife” here, not “woman.” The article indicates a particular category differentiated from others.

τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν – Dative indirect object of the implied ὑποτάσσεσθε. ἰδίοις is a pronominal adjective which has the sense of “one’s own.”

ὡς τῷ κυρίῳ — ὡς marks a comparative clause, again with the verb ὑποτάσσεσθε understood. The dative marks an indirect object. The article may be anaphoric referring back to τοῦ κύριου in v. 20, but more likely is monadic or particularizing in force.

5:23  ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς ὡς καὶ Χριστὸς κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας, αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος·

ὅτι ἀνήρ ἐστιν — ὅτι marks a causal clause, giving a reason for the previous action. It contains an equative clause. Neither nominative noun in the clause has an article. The structure of the equative clause in the following comparative clause would indicate that ἀνήρ should be regarded as the subject.

κεφαλὴ τῆς γυναικὸς – A predicate nominative modified by a genitive of subordination.

ὡς καὶ Χριστὸς – A comparative clause marked by ὡς, although it does provide a rationale for the idea expressed in the main clause. καί is ascensive. ὁ Χριστός is the subject of a nominal sentence.

κεφαλὴ τῆς ἐκκλησίας – A predicate nominative modified by a genitive of subordination.

αὐτὸς σωτὴρ τοῦ σώματος – A second nominal clause, perhaps a parenthesis providing explanatory information. The closest antecedent for αὐτός, subject of the nominal clause, is ὁ Χριστός.  σωτὴρ is a predicate nominative and the genitive may be an objective genitive.

5:24  ἀλλὡς ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται τῷ Χριστῷ, οὕτως καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐν παντί.

ἀλλὡς ἐκκλησία ὑποτάσσεται — ἀλλά is not contrastive here,  but marks an additional element. ὡς marks another comparative clause, as the coordinating οὕτως indicates.

τῷ Χριστῷ — Dative of indirect object. Again this noun probably is titular here.

οὕτως καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες – καὶ is ascensive here (“also”). The verb ὑποτάσσεται is implied.

τοῖς ἀνδράσιν ἐν παντί — Dative of indirect object. The prepositional phrase is adverbial indicating the scope of the subordination and probably has a referential sense.

5:25  οἱ ἄνδρες, ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας, καθὼς καὶ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς,

οἱ ἄνδρες – Vocative, defining the subject of the imperative. The article functions to categorize “husbands” in contrast with “wives.”

ἀγαπᾶτε τὰς γυναῖκας – Present active imperative acts as the main verb. The noun is the direct object.

καθὼς καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς ἠγάπησεν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν – Comparative clause. The καί is ascensive as in v. 24.

καὶ ἑαυτὸν παρέδωκεν ὑπὲρ αὐτῆς – The formula ἠγάπησεν…παρέδωκεν occurred in 5:2.

5:26  ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ καθαρίσας τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος ἐν ῥήματι,

ἵνα αὐτὴν ἁγιάσῃ — This is the first in a series of three purpose clauses. The direct object precedes the verb and is in the clause’s focal position.  The verb is an aorist active subjunctive.

καθαρίσας – An adverbial aorist participle defining the subject’s activity in the main verb. It expresses means and probably chronologically precedes the action of the main verb.

τῷ λουτρῷ τοῦ ὕδατος – This dative describes means and the genitive defines what the “bath” is filled with.

ἐν ῥήματι – What this ῥῆμα is is debated, as is the question of what it modifies. It probably defines the entire “sanctifying process” and in some sense expresses the idea that this process occurs by means of or because of “the word.”

5:27  ἵνα παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ ἔνδοξον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, μὴ ἔχουσαν σπίλον ῥυτίδα τι τῶν τοιούτων, ἀλλἵνα ἁγία καὶ ἄμωμς.

ἵνα παραστήσῃ αὐτὸς ἑαυτῷ — This is the second purpose clause with an aorist active subjunctive verb. αὐτὸς probably functions as a self-identifier, i.e., “that he himself might present for himself,” and this is emphasized by the additional 3rd p. sg. reflexive pronoun. So the Messiah is quite purposeful and intentional in his self-sacrifice and sanctifying activity. The verb παρίστημι may be associated with the wedding metaphor. The dative marks an indirect object.

ἔνδοξον τὴν ἐκκλησίαν – The adjective is in the predicate position, modifying τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, which is the direct object of the verb. This predicate position places some emphasis upon the adjective.

μὴ ἔχουσαν σπίλον ῥυτίδα τι τῶν τοιούτων – The present active participle is adverbial, but references ἐκκλησίαν. It might be causal, explaining why this entity is ἔνδοξον. The participle has three direct objects connected by the coordinating correlative conjunction ἢ. τι τῶν τοιούτων is a partitive genitive, and the expression excludes anything similar to the categories defined by σπίλον…ῥυτίδα. These descriptors probably speak to physical beauty and agelessness of the “bride.”

ἀλλἵνα ἁγία καὶ ἄμωμος – The conjunction ἀλλά is adversative, contrasting with the negative participial clause. However, the ἵνα clause continues the series of purpose clauses, so the syntax is a little unusual. The two predicate adjectives are also used in 1:4. Both adjectives are feminine forms (ἄμωμος is a two termination adjective) and speak to moral purity.

5:28  οὕτως ὀφείλουσιν [καὶ] οἱ ἄνδρες ἀγαπᾶν τὰς ἑαυτῶν γυναῖκας ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα, ἀγαπῶν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἑαυτὸν ἀγαπᾷ.

οὕτως ὀφείλουσιν [καὶ] οἱ ἄνδρες ἀγαπᾶν – Paul uses the οὕτως…ὡς comparative structure again. The main verb is in a present indicative tense form indicating a general principle is being expressed. There is variation in the textual tradition about the placement of καί and its presence. The main verb is complemented by the present active infinitive ἀγαπᾶν.

τὰς ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκας – direct object of the infinitive. The antecedent of the genitive reflexive pronoun is οἱ ἄνδρες.

ὡς τὰ ἑαυτῶν σώματα – The comparative clause, marked by ὡς implies the verbal structure of the main clause. τὰ σώματα is the direct object of the implied infinitive ἀγαπᾶν.

ἀγαπῶν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα – This clause seems to be an independent, parenthetical explanatory clause, giving rationale for the previous statement. The subject is the substantival participle ὁ ἀγαπῶν, which also takes a direct object modified by a reflexive pronoun. The subject is placed first, giving it some emphasis.

ἑαυτὸν ἀγαπᾷ — The verb is a present indicative active form, which has a direct object occupying the focal point in the clause as it precedes the verb.

5:29  Οὐδεὶς γάρ ποτε τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα ἐμίσησεν ἀλλἐκτρέφει καὶ θάλπει αὐτήν, καθῶς καὶ Χριστὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν

Οὐδεὶς γάρ ποτε – γάρ marks what follows as an explanation for what precedes. The subject is placed first and marks a change in topic, as well has having prominence. The adverb ποτε indicates that the writer regards this statement as a generalization.

τὴν ἑαυτοῦ σάρκα ἐμίσησεν – The direct object precedes the verb and occupies the focal point of the clause. Does the switch to the term σάρκα anticipate the use of this noun in the quotation offered in v. 31?

ἀλλἐκτρέφει καὶ θάλπει αὐτήν – ἀλλ’ is adversative indicating something that replaces the previous negative. The two present indicative active verbs express ideas of nourishing, care, and comfort.

καθῶς καὶ Χριστὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν – Another comparative clause. The καί is ascensive (see v. 25). The previous two verbs are implied.

5:30  ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ.

ὅτι μέλη ἐσμὲν – A causal clause offering more explanation. The subject of this equative clause is contained in the verb (first person pl.). μέλη is predicate nominative, but precedes the verb in the focal position. It is modified by the genitive.

τοῦ σώματος αὐτοῦ — The separation of the genitive from its head noun by the verb is an example of discontinuous syntax (hyperbaton). This is probably a partitive genitive. αὐτοῦ is a possessive genitive.

5:31  ἀντὶ τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος [τὸν] πατέρα καὶ [τὴν] μητέρα καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν.

ἀντὶ τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος – this quotation is from Gen. 2.24:

ἕνεκεν τούτου καταλείψει ἄνθρωπος τὸν πατέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ προσκολληθήσεται πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο εἰς σάρκα μίαν.

The prepositional phrase ἀντὶ τούτου is adverbial linking this sentence with what precedes, marking it as in some sense a rationale. The verb is a future indicative active indicating a general action. ἄνθρωπος generally means “human being” but here in this context the human being will be a male, but has the sense “someone” reflecting the sense of the Hebrew אישׁ.

[τὸν] πατέρα καὶ [τὴν] μητέρα – direct objects of the verb. Paul does not have the possessive pronoun that is in the LXX version, assuming that the relationship between the subject and objects is clear. Whether Paul used articles is very difficult to determine. Either form of the Greek is explainable and acceptable both in textual and grammatical terms.

καὶ προσκολληθήσεται – The verb is a future passive with the sense “shall be devoted to, shall be joined to.” καί marks this clause as coordinated with the first.

πρὸς τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ — Adverbial prepositional phrase indicating association.

καὶ ἔσονται οἱ δύο – A third clause coordinated with the previous two. It is an equative clause, with the subject marked by the article. δύο has the same form in the nominative, genitive and accusative, but a distinct dative form (δύσι).

εἰς σάρκα μίαν – This use of εἰμι εἰς indicates “becoming or turning into something” (BDAG 285, 6). The word order reflects Hebrew noun-adjective order and should not be viewed as giving the adjective an emphatic sense.

5:32  τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν· ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω εἰς Χριστὸν καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν.

τὸ μυστήριον τοῦτο μέγα ἐστίν – There is no connecting particle. Rather this statement seems to be a kind of expostulation as Paul pauses to reflect upon the truth of what he is presenting. Another equative clause. The subject is marked by the article. μέγα is a predicate adjective and occupies the focal position. The predicate position of τοῦτο is normal for demonstrative pronouns.

ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω – δέ marks this clause as a new topic in this discourse, as does the shift to first person singular and the expression of the subject with the pronoun ἐγώ. Paul wants his readers to have no doubt about the meaning of this analogy and the content of τὸ μυστήριον.

εἰς Χριστὸν καὶ εἰς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν – Two adverbial prepositional phrases which are referential, indicating the thing or person about which something is meant or said.

5:33 πλὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ καθἕνα, ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα οὕτως ἀγαπάτω ὡς ἑαυτόν, δὲ γυνὴ ἵνα φοβῆται τὸν ἄνδρα.

πλὴν καὶ ὑμεῖς οἱ καθἕνα — According to BDAG (826, 1.c) πλὴν here marks a break in the discourse and an emphasis upon what is important (only, in any case).  ὑμεῖς οἱ καθ’ ἕνα is a distributive construction with the sense “you each one, each one of you” (BDAG, 293, 5.e). It is vocative, indicating the people addressed in the imperative. The article enables the prepositional phrase to function adjectivally. καί is ascensive. So there is considerable focus upon this subject in the sentence through these repetitions and word order.

ἕκαστος τὴν ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα — ἕκαστος picks the distributive idea and emphasizes, i.e., “each one.” It is the subject of the cohortative verb.

οὕτως ἀγαπάτω ὡς ἑαυτόν – Another comparison marked by οὕτως…ὡς. The verb is a 3rd person pres imperative. The same verb is implied in the comparative clause.

δὲ γυνὴ — δέ marks a new topic, moving on from what the husband is to do. It is interesting that the previous ὑμεῖς seems to include both husbands and wives, as these two alternative clauses indicate. The article with the subject has a particularizing function, i.e., the wife in distinction from the husband.  ἡ γυνή could be construed as a nominative absolute. It is connected with no verb.

ἵνα φοβῆται τὸν ἄνδρα — ἵνα probably marks an indirect imperative here. φοβέομαι picks up the usage in 5:21, which there is applied generally.