Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Ephesians 5:31

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Shall be joined unto his wife - Προσκολληθησεται· He shall be glued or cemented to her; and, as a well-glued board will sooner break in the whole wood than in the glued joint, so death alone can part the husband and wife; and nothing but death should dissolve their affection. See the notes on Genesis 2:21-24; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For this cause - Ἀντὶ τόυτου Anti toutouThis verse is a quotation from Genesis 2:24, and contains the account of the institution of marriage. The meaning of the phrase rendered “for this cause” is, “answerably to this;” or corresponding to this - that is, to what Paul had just said of the union of believers and the Redeemer. On the meaning of this verse, see the notes on Matthew 19:4. There is no evidence that the marriage connection was originally designed to symbolize or typify this union, but it may be used to illustrate that connection, and to show the strength of the attachment between the Redeemer and his people. The comparison should be confined, however, strictly to the use made of it in the New Testament.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 25.3

Separate Identity of Husband and Wife—I was shown that although a couple were married, gave themselves to each other by a most solemn vow in the sight of heaven and holy angels, and the two were one, yet each had a separate identity which the marriage covenant could not destroy. Although bound to one another, yet each has an influence to exert in the world, and they should not be so selfishly engrossed with each other as to shut themselves away from society and bury their usefulness and influence.—Letter 9, 1864. TSB 25.3

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