FOR NO ONE EVER HATED HIS OWN
FLESH: oudeis gar pote ten heautou sarka emisesen, (3SAAI): (Ep
5:31; Proverbs 11:17; Ecclesiastes 4:5; Romans 1:31)
is a strategic
term of explanation
which we do well to pause and ponder.
In this case "for"
introduces Paul's straightforward explanation of why men should have no
difficulty loving their wives as they love themselves. We don't hate
ourselves and should not hate our wives, with whom we are one flesh
through the covenant of marriage.
No one (3762)
(oudeis from ou = absolute negation + de = marker
of an additive relation + heis = one) means
that absolutely no one hated his own body (flesh). This pronoun
emphasizes not even one person
(miseo) means detested, rejected or abhorred. Miseo means to have
a strong aversion to something. The
is referred to by some as gnomic aorist expressing something which is
can be used in many ways in the NT, so context is mandatory to determine
the meaning (this principle applies to all lexicon definitions - make
sure the definition you select fits with the context!). In the present
context, Paul is referring to the physical body as functioning entity.
BUT NOURISHES AND CHERISHES IT:
alla ektrephei (3SPAI) kai thalpei (3SPAI) auten:
(Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:14,15,27;
Matthew 23:37; John 6:50-58)
always query this
term of contrast.
cherishes - Both words have an emotional content and express
tenderness and concern.
(ektrepho from ek = out or
intensifying meaning + trepho = nourish, rear, feed) means to nourish up to maturity, to nourish in general, to
nurture, to bring up from childhood, to raise a child to maturity by
providing not just for physical and but also for emotional, soul needs (Eph
Ektrepho means to provide food for with the implication of a
considerable period of time and the food being adequate nourishment.
This word could mean that the man is to be the "breadwinner" or
Webster says that
nourish (from Latin nutrire = to feed, nourish) means to nurture,
to rear, to promote the growth of, to provide with the food or
other substances necessary for growth and health
pictures the continual
process of nourishing leading up to an attained goal.
found in a secular Greek writing...
“I have made the agreement and I will
nurse (ektrepho) the infant slave Thermoutharion for the two
used 19 times in the
(Ge. 45:7, 11; 47:17; 2 am. 12:3; 1 Ki. 11:20; 12:8, 10; 2 Ki. 10:6; 2
Chr. 10:10; Job 31:18; 39:3; Ps. 23:2; Prov. 23:24; Isa. 23:4; 49:21;
Ezek. 31:4; Hos. 9:12; Jon. 4:10; Zech. 10:9) and 2 times in the NT,
Here are a few examples of the uses in the Lxx.
"And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth,
and to keep you alive (Lxx = ektrepho) by a great
deliverance...11 "There I will also provide (Lxx = ektrepho) for
you, for there are still five years of famine to come, lest you and your
household and all that you have be impoverished."'
2 Samuel 12:3
"But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought
and nourished (Lxx = ektrepho); And it grew up together with him
and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie
in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him.
He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
(Lxx is rendered "he has nourished [Lxx = ektrepho] me by the water of
"When I scatter them among the peoples, They will remember Me in far
countries, and they with their children will live (Lxx = nourish "they
shall nourish their children") and come back.
originally meant to warm, to brood, or to keep warm (as with with body
heat), to soften by heat. The idea is to cherish with a tender love and
uses thalpo to describe the young woman who provided warmth for
King David (Jos., Ant. 7, 343)
Webster says that
cherish (Old French chier = dear) means to hold dear, to feel or
show affection for, protect and care for lovingly, to keep or cultivate
with care and affection.
used in the
to describe a bird
sitting on her nest...
Deuteronomy 22:6 "If you
happen to come upon a bird's nest along the way, in any tree or on the
ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting (Septuagint
= thalpo = idea of
brooding) on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother
with the young.
Job 39:14 For she abandons her
eggs to the earth, and warms (Septuagint
= thalpo) them in
Husbands are to
provide a secure, warm place for their wives. The
usages of thalpo
suggest that men are to provide their wives with a nest, which pictures
a place of a security, a place of warmth, and a place of nourishment.
The only other NT
use is found in first Thessalonians Paul explaining...
nor did we seek glory from men,
either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we
might have asserted our authority. 7 But we proved to be gentle among
you, as a nursing (trophos related to trepho as in ektrepho in Eph 5:29)
mother tenderly cares (thalpo in the
for her own children. (1Thes 2:6-7-note)
In other literature, these two verbs
(ektrepho, thalpo) together sometimes stipulate the husband’s duties in
a marriage contract (Gnilka, 285; Perkins: 134). But here they depict
the depth of care and concern the husband is to have for his wife. Such
care is measured by the degree of love all have for their own flesh and,
much more important, by Christ’s care for his own body, the church.
(Neufeld, T. R. Y. Ephesians. Believers church Bible Commentary.
Scottdale, PA: Herald Press)
JUST AS CHRIST ALSO DOES THE
CHURCH: kathos kai o Christos ten ekklesian:
Just as -
See discussion of
terms of comparison.
Just as Christ does for the church - The Lord clearly supplies every
need of His body the Church and husbands likewise are to do the same for
their wives. They are not to just provide for most of her needs or just
provide when she is not too picky or too demanding. What the church
needs Christ supplies and husbands are to do the same to their wives
without caveats or qualifiers. There is one caveat - husbands are not to
provide for her every want but her every need. However even in this
situation the husband is to help her discern the difference between
wants and needs, but to do it with gentleness and kindness. The husband
is the provider, the protector and the preserver. Husbands are missing
the mark when they view their wives as objects - cooks, baby sitter,
house cleaner, sex partner, etc. She is God's gift and is be continually
cherished and nourished.
Just as (2531)
(kathos) means that the manner and the extent of the care of
the husband for his wife is to be in a measure identical to that of
Christ for His Bride, the Church.
(Christos from chrio = to anoint, rub with oil, consecrate
to an office) is the Anointed One, the Messiah, Christos being
the Greek equivalent of the transliterated Hebrew word Messiah.
from ekkaléo = call out in turn from ek =
call) literally "called-out ones". The Greeks used
ekklesia for assembly of citizens called out to transact city
business. The church is a living organism, composed of living members
joined together; through which Christ works, carries out His purposes
and He lives.
Everyone who has
been saved belongs to the body of Christ, the universal church. The
universal church is manifested in the world by individual local
churches, each of which is to be a microcosm of the body of Christ. The
church is to function under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, operating
under His sovereign rule. Jesus Christ is the Founder and Lord of His
church and has guaranteed its perpetuity until He returns.