Children and Parents. 1Children, obey your parents [in the Lord], for this is right.a 2“Honor your father and mother.”b This is the first commandment with a promise, 3“that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth.” 4Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.c
Slaves and Masters. 5Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ,d 6not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,e 7willingly serving the Lord and not human beings, 8knowing that each will be requited from the Lord for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free. 9Masters, act in the same way toward them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.f
Battle against Evil. 10* Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. 11Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.g 12For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.h 13Therefore, put on the armor of God, that you may be able to resist on the evil day and, having done everything, to hold your ground.i 14So stand fast with your loins girded in truth, clothed with righteousness as a breastplate,j 15and your feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace.k 16In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield, to quench all [the] flaming arrows of the evil one.l 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.m
Constant Prayer. 18With all prayer and supplication, pray at every opportunity in the Spirit. To that end, be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the holy onesn 19and also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospelo 20for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.p
A Final Message.* 21So that you also may have news of me and of what I am doing, Tychicus, my beloved brother and trustworthy minister in the Lord, will tell you everything.q 22I am sending him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us and that he may encourage your hearts.r
23Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in immortality.s
* [6:10–20] A general exhortation to courage and prayer. Drawing upon the imagery and ideas of Is 11:5; 59:16–17; and Wis 5:17–23, Paul describes the Christian in terms of the dress and equipment of Roman soldiers. He observes, however, that the Christian’s readiness for combat is not directed against human beings but against the spiritual powers of evil (Eph 6:10–17; cf. Eph 1:21; 2:2; 3:10). Unique importance is placed upon prayer (Eph 6:18–20).
* [6:21–24] Tychicus: the bearer of the letter; see note on Col 4:7. Eph 6:21–22 parallel Col 4:7–8, often word for word. If Ephesians is addressed to several Christian communities (see Introduction), it is understandable that no greetings to individual members of these communities should have been included in it.