EXEGESIS PAPER ON EPHESIANS 6:1-3
‘Children Obeying & Honouring their parents is a right thing to do and bring blessings’ Background: Paul the author of this letter, realizing that the Ephesians were starting to forsake their first love, wrote this epistle to encourage them to love both God and their fellow saints. The letter begins with love (1:4,6) and ends with love (6:23-24).1 Chapter 1-3 are principally the doctrinal elaboration of the theme, love, unity, and chapter 4-6 teach what should be the practical consequences of it for human life and relationships.2 Thus after discussing the relationship between husband and wives in chapter 5: 22-33, the apostle turns to that between children and their parents (Eph. 6) Textual Criticism: There is a textual variant in Ephesians 6:1, some manuscripts omitted the evn kuriw| reading. However, based on the evaluation of external and internal evidences, en kuriw| possibly might have been the original reading. Most Preferably Paul wrote “en kuriw|” rather than the manuscripts which omitted the en kuriw| reading. Diagramming: Paul’s main point is that Children should obey and honour their parents for such is a right thing to do before the Lord and that can give to enjoy their life. The term ‘upakuow means “to obey, follow, be subject to.”3 This verb stresses that the action of the children or the obedience of the children is and ongoing action. And the prepositional phrase en kuriw| qualifies the verb ‘upakuow, thus emphasizing the children’s ultimate obedience to the Lord.4 It defines the quality of the obedience by defining the sphere which it is to move – a Christian obedience fulfilled in communion with Christ.5 1 Horold, Hoehner, “Ephesians”, in the Bible Knowledge Commentary edited by John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck (Hyderabad: Authentic Books, 1983)P. 614. 2 Francis Foulkes, Ephesians, The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries(Grand Rapids: William B. Erdmans Publishing Company, 1989). P.20. 3 BAGD.,837 4 Harold W. Hoehner, Ephesians, An Exegetical Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MIchigtan: Baker Academic, 2002) p. 786 5 S.D.F. Salmond, “Ephesians”, In the book The Expositor’s Greek Commentary, edited by, W. Robertson Nicoll(Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1970)p. 375.
Gr Grammar: The article and the noun ta tekna, in Plural form indicates that Paul is moving to a new group or class of people. The children are instructed to obey both parents (tois goneusin ‘umwn) in spite of the fact that only the father is addressed in verse 4.6 He makes a direct appeal to the children of the families in Ephesian Church.7 The conjunction gar introduces the reason or motivation for obedience. The neuter pronoun touto refers back to the command just given. The adjective dikaios is used both of the righteous character of God (Romans 3:26) and of Christ(2Tim. 4:8) as well as a person who is righteous, good or just (Rom. 5:7).8 Here in the present context it refers to the idea that it is right or fitting for children to obey their parents.9 In verse 2, the present imperative tima reinforces the idea that children are to honor their parents continually. In v. 3, the conjunction ina introduces the purpose or result of both commands to obey and to honor parents. The second verb esh| a second person singular future indicative of eimi combined with the adjective and prepositional phrase makrovvnios epi ths yhs is translated “and that you may live long on the earth.”10 This states a general principle that obedience foster self-discipline, which in turn brings stability and longevity in one’s life.11 And here Paul does not refer to a future eternal life but to a present temporal life.12 Word Study: The term promise (epanggelia) occurs only four times in Ephesians. This promise in Ephesians 6:2 has to do with the fullness and harmony of life that is associated with keeping the commandments of the Lord....
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