5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which 1 is debauchery, 2 but be filled by the Spirit, 3 5:19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music 4 in 5 your hearts to the Lord, 5:20 always giving thanks to God the Father for each other 6 in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:21 and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 7
1 tn Grk “in which.”
2 tn Or “dissipation.” See BDAG 148 s.v. ἀσωτία.
3 tn Many have taken ἐν πνεύματι (en pneumati) as indicating content, i.e., one is to be filled with the Spirit. ExSyn 375 states, “There are no other examples in biblical Greek in which ἐν + the dative after πληρόω indicates content. Further, the parallel with οἴνῳ as well as the common grammatical category of means suggest that the idea intended is that believers are to be filled by means of the [Holy] Spirit. If so there seems to be an unnamed agent. The meaning of this text can only be fully appreciated in light of the πληρόω language in Ephesians. Always the term is used in connection with a member of the Trinity. Three considerations seem to be key: (1) In Eph 3:19 the ‘hinge’ prayer introducing the last half of the letter makes a request that the believers ‘be filled with all the fullness of God’ (πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ). The explicit content of πληρόω is thus God’s fullness (probably a reference to his moral attributes). (2) In 4:10 Christ is said to be the agent of filling (with v. 11 adding the specifics of his giving spiritual gifts). (3) The author then brings his argument to a crescendo in 5:18: Believers are to be filled by Christ by means of the Spirit with the content of the fullness of God.”
4 tn See BDAG 1096 s.v. ψάλλω.
5 tn Or “with.”
6 tn Grk “for all.” The form “all” can be either neuter or masculine.
7 sn Eph 5:19-21. In Eph 5:18 the author gives the command to be filled by means of the Holy Spirit. In 5:19-21 there follows five participles: (1) speaking; (2) singing; (3) making music; (4) giving thanks; (5) submitting. These participles have been variously interpreted, but perhaps the two most likely interpretations are (1) the participles indicate the means by which one is filled by the Spirit; (2) the participles indicate the result of being filled by the Spirit. The fact that the participles are present tense and follow the command (i.e., “be filled”) would tend to support both of these options. But it seems out of Paul’s character to reduce the filling of the Spirit to a formula of some kind. To the extent that this is true, it is unlikely then that the author is here stating the means for being filled by the Spirit. Because it is in keeping with Pauline theology and has good grammatical support, it is better to take the participles as indicating certain results of being filled by the Spirit. See ExSyn 639.