Ephesians vi.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. With a promise. This commandment being delivered with a special promise of a long life, which promise is to be understood conditionally, especially in regard to Christians, i.e. unless it be a greater favour to be taken out of the world young. (Witham)

Ver. 5. Your carnal; temporal masters, whether Christians or heathens. (Witham)

Ver. 6. Not serving to the eye; to please men only, but to do the will of God. (Witham)

Ver. 9. Forbearing threatenings; forbearing, and remitting the punishments which you might perhaps threaten them with, and they deserve. (Witham)

Ver. 12. Flesh and blood, which may either signify temptations of the flesh, or raised by mortal men. — Principalities and powers; i.e. devils, or apostate angels, who before their fall were in such ranks of spirits, and who are permitted to rule over the wicked in this world of darkness. (Witham) — By which we are to understand the fallen angels. For as by nature, and from their creation, they were the governors of this corporeal world, and were deprived of this their power on account of their pride, they received it (though limited by certain restrictions) in order to tempt man. (Estius) — Rulers of the world of this darkness. By these are meant the devils who exercise their power and authority in our inferior and dark atmosphere, by raising winds, storms, tempests, &c. By darkness may be understood the wicked, in whom Satan reigns as in a citadel. (Menochius) — Our inferior world is called dark and misty in comparison of the world above, which is always bright, serene, and clear. Our atmosphere is called the cloudy and dark heavenly. Cicero, in his Tuscul Quæst. Prudentius likewise, in Hamartigenia, writes thus:

Non mentem sua membra premunt, nec terrea virtus

Oppugnat sensus liquidos, bellove lacessit;

Sed cum spiritibus tenebrosis nocte dieque

Congredimur quorum dominatibus humidus iste

Et pigris densus nebulis obtemperat aer.

Scilicet hoc medium cœlum inter et infima terræ

Quod patet ac vacuo nubes suspendit hiatu,

Frena potestatum variarum sustinet, ac suo

Principe Belial rectoribus horret iniquis.

His colluctamur prædoribus, at sacra nobis

Oris Apostoli testis sententia prodit. —— (Estius)

— Against the spirits of wickedness: or wicked spirits in the air, says St. Jerome. Literally, in celestials. (Witham) — High places. That is to say, in the air, the lowest of the celestial regions in which God permits these wicked spirits or fallen angels to wander. (Challoner)

Ver. 14. Your loins….with truth, both as to doctrine and a good life, keeping your baptismal promises. — Having on the breastplate of justice, not only of the particular virtue of justice, but of all virtues in general. (Witham)

Ver. 15. Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel; i.e. prepared to walk in the ways of the gospel, as a soldier must be prepared and in readiness to march or to fight. (Witham)

Ver. 16. The shield of faith. A lively faith working by charity, which will enable you to conquer your greatest enemies, and to escape their fiery darts, their greatest temptations, and attacks. (Witham)

Ver. 24. Who love our Lord Jesus Christ. Literally, “in incorruption;” with purity of heart and mind. (Witham)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Duties of children and servants. The Christian’s armour.

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is just.

2 *Honour thy father, and thy mother, which is the first commandment, with a promise;

3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest be long lived upon earth.

4 And you, fathers, provoke not your children to anger: but bring them up in the discipline and correction of the Lord.

5 *Servants, obey your carnal masters, with fear and trembling, in the simplicity of your heart, as Christ:

6 Not serving to the eye, as it were pleasing men, but, as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

7 With a good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:

8 Knowing that whatsoever good every one shall do, the same shall he receive from the Lord, whether he be bond, or free.

9 And you, masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatenings; knowing that the Lord both of them and you is in heaven: *and there is no respect of persons with him.

10 As to the rest, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the snares of the devil.

12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood: but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness: against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.

14 Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice,

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:

16 In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one:

17 *And take unto you the helmet of salvation; and the sword of the spirit, (which is the word of God).

18 By all prayer and supplication praying at all times in the spirit; *and in the same watching with all instance and supplication for all the saints:

19 *And for me, that speech may be given me, that I may open my mouth with confidence, to make known the mystery of the gospel:

20 For which I am an ambassador in a chain, so that therein I may be bold to speak according as I ought.

21 But that you also may know the things that concern me, and what I am doing: Tychicus, my dearest brother, and faithful minister in the Lord, will make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent to you for this same purpose, that you may know the things concerning us, and that he may comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and charity, with faith from God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in incorruption. Amen.



2: Exodus xx. 12.; Deuteronomy v. 6.; Ecclesiasticus iii. 9.; Matthew xv. 4.; Mark vii. 10.; Colossians ii. 20.[iii. 20.?]

5: Colossians iii. 22.; Titus ii. 9.; 1 Peter ii. 18.

9: Deuteronomy x. 17.; 2 Paralipomenon xix. 7.; Job xxxiv. 19.; Wisdom vi. 8.; Ecclesiasticus xxxv. 15.; Acts x. 34.; Romans ii. 11.; Colossians iii. 25.; 1 Peter i. 17.

17: Isaias lix. 17.; 1 Thessalonians v. 8.

18: Colossians iv. 2.

19: Colossians iv. 3.