Ephesians 5:3-21

A  (3-5)  (i)  But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:

(ii)  but rather giving of thanks.

(i’)  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

B  (6)  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

C1  (7)  Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

C2  (8a)  For ye were sometimes darkness,

C3  (8b)  but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

X  (9-10)  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

C1’  (11a)  And have no fellowship

C2’  (11b-12)  with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

C3’  (13-14)  But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

B’  (15-17)  See then that ye walk circumspectly,
not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore be ye not unwise,
but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

A’  (18-21)  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

(Note: Compare the centre of this structure to the centre of the Romans 14:12-21 chiasm. The coloured words in B and B’ highlight a contrast – walking perfectly is the opposite of disobeying)

2 thoughts on “Ephesians 5:3-21”

  1. I also found this same chiasm independently, almost word for word. However, I thought the book ends were in verses 1 and 25 where we get:

    “walk in love as Christ also have loved us and hath given himself for us”
    “husbands love your wives as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”

  2. I think the English translator had done a valuable job re-organising the paragraph based on each theme.
    Ephesians 5:
    1-20: conceptualisation: one better-than (or) the other
    21-33: conceptualisation: the fusion of two different entities into one

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