Ephesians 5:15-20

Ephesians 5:15-20
Ordinary B38


15 BeA carefulB then how you live,C not as unwiseD people but as wise,E

Notes on verse 15

A “be” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
B “careful” = akribos. 9x in NT. From akriboo (examine carefully, learn diligently); from akribes (high point, extreme) OR from akros (the point, end); from akrib– (learning precise information with as much accuracy as possible; probing inquiry to gain a comprehensive, exact sense of the facts). This is carefully, strictly, diligently, with great accuracy. This is investigated to the finest point and so precise.
C “live” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
D “unwise” = asophos. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + sophos (wise, clever, skilled, learned, cultivated); related to saphes (clear). This is unwise or unskilled.
E “wise” = sophos. Related to “unwise” in v15. See note D above.

16 making the mostF of the time,G because the days are evil.H 

Notes on verse 16

F “making the most” = exagorazo. 4x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + agorazo (to go and buy something at market with a focus on goods being transferred; to purchase or redeem.); {from agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, town square, thoroughfare); from ageiro (to gather)}. This is to buy up, purchase, redeem, ransom. Figuratively, it is to save something from loss, take an opportunity fully, making the most of something.
G “time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
H “evil” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.

17 So do not beI foolish,J but understandK what the willL of the LordM is. 

Notes on verse 17

I “be” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
J “foolish” = aphron. 11x in NT. From a (not, without) + phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); {perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb)}. This is not having reason – foolish, unperceptive, unwise. It denotes short-sightedness and lack of perspective, which leads one to act without prudence. It is not grasping cause and effect, even willful ignorance. It implies being rash or egotistical.
K “understand” = suniemi. From sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to send, put). This is to put together – used figuratively to mean understand, consider, gain insight. It is bringing together facts or notions and synthesizing them into a whole. It is making a summary to arrive at a final conclusion that includes how to apply the insight to life. It can also imply acting piously or being wise.
L “will” = thelema. From thelo (to desire, wise, will, intend). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
M “Lord” = Kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

18 Do not get drunkN with wine,O for that is debauchery;P but be filledQ with the Spirit,R 

Notes on verse 18

N “get drunk” = methusko. 4x in NT. From methuo (to drink freely, be drunk; it can specifically refer to wine); from methu (wine) OR from methe (drunkenness, an intoxicant). This is to become or cause to be drunk.
O “wine” = oinos. Perhaps from Hebrew yayin (wine; root means to effervesce). This is wine. It is where the word “oenophile” comes from.
P “debauchery” = asotia. 3x in NT. From a (not, without) + sozo (to save, heal, rescue); {from sos (safe, well, rescued)}. This is something that can’t be saved, excess, wastefulness, excess of sin or vice. It is acting to excess and includes the aftermath of such actions.
Q “be filled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
R “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

19 as you singS psalmsT and hymnsU and spiritualV songsW among yourselves,

Notes on verse 19a

S “sing” = laleo. From lalos (talkative). This is to talk, say, or preach.
T “psalms” = psalmos. 7x in NT. From psallo (to twang, play, sing psalms, pluck a stringed instrument such as a harp); {from psao (to rub)}. This is a psalm, a song sung of praise – generally accompanied by a harp or other stringed instrument. It can also refer to the book of Psalms.
U “hymns” = humnos. 2x in NT. Perhaps from hudeo (to celebrate); probably akin to aido (to sing); from aeido (to sing). This is a hymn – a song to worship God, a psalm. It can be for praise or gratitude. The same word was used to worship gods and goddesses in Roman religion as well as songs in honor or heroes. It is where “hymn” comes from.
V “spiritual” = pneumatikos. Related to “Spirit” in v18. From pneuma (see note R above). This is spiritual, spiritual people, or spiritual things – that which is ethereal or divine or religious.
W “songs” = ode. Related to “hymns” in v19. 7x in NT. From aoide (a song); from the same as ado (to sing); from aeido (see note U above). This is a song of praise – often one that is impromptu. It can be for worship or to exhort those around. It can also be used for non-religious songs.

singingX and making melodyY to the Lord in your hearts,Z

Notes on verse 19b

X “singing” = ado. Related to “hymns” and “songs” in v19. 5x in NT. See note W above.
Y “making melody” = psallo. Related to “psalms” in v19. 5x in NT. See note T above.
Z “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.

20 giving thanksAA to GodBB the FatherCC at all timesDD

Notes on verse 20a

AA “giving thanks” = eucharisteo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); {from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards)}. This is giving thanks, being thankful. It is a recognition that God’s grace is good and actively showing gratitude. It can also be used for saying grace before eating. This is where “eucharist” comes from.
BB “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
CC “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
DD “at all times” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.

and for everything in the nameEE of our Lord JesusFF Christ.GG

Notes on verse 20b

EE “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
FF “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
GG “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

Image credit: “Paul and Barnabas in Turkey” by John Paul Stanley of YoMinistry.

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