Ephesians 5 is the fifth chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to be written by Apostle Paul while he was in prison in Rome (around AD 62). More recently, it is suggested to be written between AD 80 and 100 by another writer using Paul's name and style, however this theory is not widely accepted.[1][2] This chapter is a part of Paul's exhortation (Ephesians 4–6), with the particular section about how Christians should live in the world (4:17–5:20) and in their responsibilities as households (5:21–6:9).[3]

Ephesians 5
A fragment showing Ephesians 4:16–29 on recto side of Papyrus 49 from the third century.
BookEpistle to the Ephesians
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part10


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 33 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament referencesEdit

Walking in the light (5:1–20)Edit

This section provides an antithesis between the old and new life in three contrasts:

  1. "life modelled on the love of God and Christ" vs. "life mismatched with vices" which causes God's anger (verses 1–7);
  2. "life in the light" vs. "life full of hidden shamefulness" (verses 8–14);
  3. an unwise life relying on strong drink vs. a wise life guided by the Spirit (verses 15–20).[4]

Verse 14Edit

Therefore He says
"Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light."[5]

Verse 14 may be a snatch of an early hymn.[6] Charles Wesley describes "one who sleeps" as "a sinner satisfied in his sins; contented to remain in his fallen state".[7]

Verse 16Edit

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.[8]

Verse 17Edit

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.[11]

  • "Therefore do not be unwise": from Greek: διὰ τοῦτο μὴ γίνεσθε ἄφρονες, dia touto ginesthe aphrones,[12] "for this cause become not ye foolish".[10]

Verse 18Edit

Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.[13]

Biblical theologian James Dunn notes a comparison between this exhortation and Pentecost day as it is recounted in Acts 2: "As at Pentecost the effect of the Spirit could give an impression of drunkenness. The difference is that strong drink taken in excess resulted in debauchery and dissipation", whereas fullness of the Spirit came to expression most characteristically in ... praise [of God] from the heart, and life lived in a spirit of thankfulness to God.[6][verify]

Household rules (5:21–33)Edit

Stretching to Ephesians 6:9, this part is built on "the tabulated framework of the rules for good household management rules", acknowledging a household as the basic unit of a society.[4] The health and stability of the society (and also the state) depend on the "basic relationships within the household: "husband and wife", "father and children", "master and slaves".[4] The good ethics in the Christian households, unlike in non-Christian ones, "have to be lived 'in the Lord', patterned after the unselfish, sacrificial love of Christ".[6]

Verse 22Edit

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.[14]

Verse 25Edit

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,[15]

Verse 27Edit

and that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.[16]
  • "He": translated from the Greek pronoun αὐτός, autos, which focuses attention on Christ as the one who makes the church glorious.[17]
  • "Without blemish": that is, "without any fault to be found in her"; apparently alluding to the sacrifices (Leviticus 1:3; cf. Song of Solomon 4:7).[18]

Verse 28Edit

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.[19]

  • "As their own bodies": like a common Jewish saying that a man's wife is, "as his own body";[20] and it is one of the precepts of their wise men, that a man should honour his wife more than his body, and "love her as his body";[21] for as they also say, they are but one body;[22] the apostle seems to speak in the language of his countrymen, as his doctrine and theirs agree in this point.[23]
  • "He that loves his wife loves himself": because she is one body and flesh with him.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bruce, F. F. (1988). The Canon of Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. pp. 142, 158–60. ISBN 978-0-83081258-5.
  2. ^ Attridge, Harold W.; Meeks, Wayne A., eds. (2006). Study Bible (rev. ed.). New York: HarperCollins. pp. 1982–83. ISBN 978-0-06122840-7.
  3. ^ Dunn 2007, p. 1173.
  4. ^ a b c Dunn 2007, p. 1175.
  5. ^ Ephesians 5:14
  6. ^ a b c Dunn 2007, p. 1176.
  7. ^ Wesley, C., Sermon 3 (text from the 1872 edition), AWAKE, THOU THAT SLEEPEST, preached on Sunday April 4, 1742, before the University of Oxford, accessed 31 May 2020
  8. ^ Ephesians 5:16 KJV
  9. ^ Greek Text Analysis: Ephesians 5:16. Biblehub
  10. ^ a b Expositor's Greek Testament. "Ephesians 5". Accessed 24 April 2019.
  11. ^ Ephesians 5:17 MEV
  12. ^ Greek Text Analysis: Ephesians 5:17. Biblehub
  13. ^ Ephesians 5:18 NKJV
  14. ^ Ephesians 5:22 NKJV
  15. ^ Ephesians 5:25 NKJV
  16. ^ Ephesians 5:27 MEV
  17. ^ Note [a] on Ephesians 5:27 in NET Bible
  18. ^ Poole, Matthew, A Commentary on the Holy Bible. "Ephesians 5". Accessed on 22 August 2019.
  19. ^ Ephesians 5:28 NKJV
  20. ^ T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 24. 1. & Becorot, fol. 35. 2. Maimon. Hilchot Becorot, c. 2. sect. 17. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 18. 2
  21. ^ T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 62. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 76. 2. Derech Eretz, fol. 17. 4. Maimon Hilchot Ishot, c. 15. sect. 19.
  22. ^ Tzeror Hammor, fol. 6. 3.
  23. ^ a b John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, - Ephesians 5:28


External linksEdit