Ephesians, Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern

chapter 5
1. So imitate God, as his dear children;
2. and live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved us, indeed, on our behalf gave himself up as an offering, as a slaughtered sacrifice to God with a pleasing fragrance.
3. Among you there should not even be mentioned sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or greed; these are utterly inappropriate for God’s holy people.
4. Also out of place are obscenity and stupid talk or coarse language; instead, you should be giving thanks.
5. For of this you can be sure: every sexually immoral, impure or greedy person — that is, every idol-worshipper — has no share in the Kingdom of the Messiah and of God.
Compare Ga 5:19-21. 

6. Let no one deceive you with empty talk; for it is because of these things that God’s judgment is coming on those who disobey him.
7. So don’t become partners with them!
8. For you used to be darkness; but now, united with the Lord, you are light. Live like children of light,
Children of light. The Essenes and other Jewish pietists used this term to denote God's elect Compare also Yn 1:4-5,8-9; 3:19-21; 12:36; 1 Yn 1:5-8. 

9. for the fruit of the light is in every kind of goodness, rightness and truth —
10. try to determine what will please the Lord.
11. Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them,
12. for it is shameful even to speak of the things these people do in secret.
13. But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is,
14. since anything revealed is a light. This is why it says, “Get up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you!”
The quotation is not from the Tanakh. "Like the Essenes, the early Christians used to sing hymns at dawn in praise of the "Sun of Righteousness' (cf. Malachi 4:2). These lines may be from one such hymn. See also Yn 1:1-17." (Hugh Schonfield, The Original New Testament, p. 389). 

15. Therefore, pay careful attention to how you conduct your life — live wisely, not unwisely.
16. Use your time well, for these are evil days.
17. So don’t be foolish, but try to understand what the will of the Lord is.
18. Don’t get drunk with wine, because it makes you lose control. Instead, keep on being filled with the Spirit —
19. sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to each other; sing to the Lord and make music in your heart to him;
20. always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
21. Submit to one another in fear of the Messiah.
22. Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord;
23. because the husband is head of the wife, just as the Messiah, as head of the Messianic Community, is himself the one who keeps the body safe.
24. Just as the Messianic Community submits to the Messiah, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25. As for husbands, love your wives, just as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community, indeed, gave himself up on its behalf,
Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord (compare 1С 11:3). As for husbands, love your wives. The asymmetry in the commands epitomizes the asymmetry in the marriage relationship. Sha'ul could have written, "Wives, love your husbands," and "Husbands, rule your wives." But men often find it all too easy to throw their weight around but hard to communicate love sensitively, in a self-giving fashion — for the standard Sha'ul sets is very high, just as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community, etc.

Likewise, women often find it easy and natural to express love but difficult to uccept their husband's authority. Feminist objection to wifely submission is premised On the assumption that the husband does not obey the injunction to love his wife as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community (advice fora believing wife with an unbelieving husband is found at 1 Ke 3:1-6). In self-oriented marriages, arguments are between women who won't submit to their husbands and men who won't love their wives. In God-oriented marriages, arguments happen, but they have an altogether different character, because they are between men willing to go the second mile in loving and women willing to go the second mile in submitting. In such marriages Yeshua is the ilnul partner; like a magnet over iron filings he orients things in the right direction.

Elsewhere Sha'ul says that "the head of a wife is her husband" (1С 11:3). Being the head, he is responsible to go first, to create the order of married life. But to do this he must be loving first, unconditionally, without waiting for or insisting on his wife's submitting first. 

26. in order to set it apart for God, making it clean through immersion in the mikveh, so to speak,
27. in order to present the Messianic Community to himself as a bride to be proud of, without a spot, wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without defect.
A Jewish bride enters the mikveh (ritual bath) in order to be purified prior to the marriage ceremony, which is called kiddushin (literally, "being set apart for God").

Immersion. See Mt 3:1N, although the Greek word here and at Ti 3:5 is not "baptismos" but "loutron" ("washing").

Without spot, wrinkle or any such thing, as at Song of Songs 4:7, "You are altogether fair, my love, there is no blemish in you." Moreover, this is a condition required of sacrifices (v. 25b). 

28. This is how husbands ought to love their wives — like their own bodies; for the man who loves his wife is loving himself.
29. Why, no one ever hated his own flesh! On the contrary, he feeds it well and takes care of it, just as the Messiah does the Messianic Community,
30. because we are parts of his Body.
31. "Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and remain with his wife, and the two will become one" (Genesis 2:24).
32. There is profound truth hidden here, which I say concerns the Messiah and the Messianic Community.
33. However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.
v. 5:18-6:9 Given a kernel of equality in that all are to keep on being filled with the Spirit (vv. 18-20) and to submit to one another in fear of the Messiah (v. 21), Sha'ul discusses three asymmetrical relationships: husband-wife (vv. 22-33), parents-children (6:1-4), and master-slave (6:5-9). Compare Co 3:16-4:1,1 Ke 2:13-3:7. 

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