In the conclusion of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul commends Tychicus to his readers, as a trusted associate, and one who will be able to bring the readers up to speed on Paul's present circumstances. All evidence points to the fact that Ephesians is a general letter for circulation among Paul's mission churches in Asia Minor, and so Tychicus is presumably the bearer of the letter, as he is of the more specific version penned for the church in Colossae, Col.4:7-9. In the final two verses, Paul concludes with a benediction, calling on God to bestow "peace", " love" and "grace" upon his readers.
i] Context: See 1:1-2.
ii] Background: 1:1-2.
iii] Structure: The epilogue:
Information regarding Tychicus, v21-22;
Ephesians and Colossians are very similar letters, although not exact copies. It is usually held that Ephesians is a general letter based on Colossians. Quite a few commentators argue that it is not from the hand of Paul, but is composed by an associate who uses Colossians as the basis for a general letter to the early church. This is probably unlikely, but remains a matter of contention.
What is interesting about v21-22 is that they are virtually an exact copy of Colossians 4:7-8. The only difference is the phrase in Ephesians "what I am doing", and the additional phrase in Colossians, "a fellow servant", referring to Tychicus. In Colossians, Onesimus is included with Tychicus as the bearer of the letter. It is often argued that the author is directly copying from Colossians, but the information Paul provides is so specific that it could easily be repeated in a second letter penned even weeks later.
The benediction, v23-24, is in the third person, further indicating that the letter is intended as a general letter. The benediction is in the form of a wish-prayer, a prayer for God's peace and love for Paul's readers. This is summed up in a prayer for grace, for God's undeserved favor to be poured out on his readers. The only difficulty we face with the benediction is the prepositional phrase "in immortality." We are probably best to go with Beare who suggests that it just means "for ever"; "Grace be with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ for ever." Of course, other possibilities present themselves; see notes below.
Text - 6:21
The Postscript, v21-24. i] Information regarding Tychicus, v21-22.
de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument / paragraph marker - best left untranslated.
en + dat. "in [the Lord]" - [tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful servant] in [the lord]. Local, space / metaphorical; incorporative union, "in union / relationship with the lord." A common phrase which inevitably identifies the person as a believer; "in the Lord" = "in Jesus" = "united to Jesus" = "a Christian."
uJmin dat. pro. "you [everything]" - [all things he will make known] to you. Dative of indirect object.
iJna + subj. "so that" - that [and = also you may know]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose.
ta "-" - the things. The article serves as a nominalizer turning the prepositional phrase, "concerning me", into a substantive; "the things concerning me"; "He will tell you how I am doing", CEV.
kat (kata) + acc. "how [I am]" - concerning, about [me]. Expressing reference / respect.
tiv "what" - what [i do]. Interrogative pronoun. This clause stands in apposition to "the things concerning me"; "The condition in which I find myself, and how I am faring", Cassirer.
proV + acc. "to [you]" - [whom i sent = am sending (transitive)] toward [you]. Spacial, expressing movement toward.
eiV + acc. "for" - into [this it = thing]. Here expressing purpose, "for the purpose of this thing", which thing is specified by the hina clause that follows, namely, "that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts", ESV.
iJna + subj. "that" - that [you may know]. Introducing an epexegetic clause specifying "this thing."
ta "-" - the things. The article serves as a nominalizer, turning the prepositional phrase "about us" into a substantive, direct object of the verb "to know."
peri + gen. "how [we are]" - about, concerning [us and that he may encourage the hearts of you]. Expressing reference; "with reference to." "I have sent him (am sending him) not only to tell you about us, but to cheer you on in your faith", Peterson.
eirhnh (h) "Peace" - [may there be] peace. Nominative subject of an assumed optative verb; emphatic by position. Paul is not able to bestow peace on the brotherhood, so, as is typical of a benediction, he is praying that God will bestow peace on them. An optative verb, expressing a wish-prayer, is therefore assumed. Paul often uses the word "peace" in a farewell, as well as a greeting; a very Jewish "peace be upon you" - the blessing of God's peace. "Peace" is a central theme in Ephesians, but that is probably not driving its use here. "Peace is closely related to reconciliation in 2:14-18, and virtually equivalent to salvation, cf., 2:5-8", O'Brien
toiV adelfoiV (oV) dat. "to the brothers and sisters" - to the brothers. Dative of interest, advantage, "for the brothers."
meta + gen. "with [faith]" - [and love] with [faith]. Expressing association. Paul associates "faith" with "love", and probably "peace" as well, so Best; "May peace and love, with faith, be yours from God." Paul is praying for the bestowal of God's peace and love upon his readers, and this in association with faith. It is not clear whether Paul implies that faith, as well as peace and love, is from God. The preposition establishes a close connection between faith and peace and love, with the weight on peace and love, indicating that faith is of a different order. So, Paul is probably praying that his readers will respond in faith to the divine gifts of peace and love from the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
apo + gen. "from" - from [god the father and the lord]. Expressing source / origin. God is the source of peace and love.
Ihsou Cristou (oV) gen. "Jesus Christ" - Standing in apposition to "Lord".
h cariV (iV ewV) "Grace" - [may there be] grace. Nominative subject of an assumed optative verb. "Grace" is the undeserved favor of God realized in Christ. The word is commonly used by Paul to begin and end his letters and serves to sum up the totality of God's mercy toward humanity.
meta + gen. "with" - Expressing association through engagement with - may those who love the Lord engage with = experience the grace of God; "May you who love the Lord experience to the full the grace of God for ever and ever."
twn agapwntwn (agapaw) pres. part. "all who love" - the ones loving [the lord of us, jesus christ]. The participle serves as a substantive.
en afqarsia/ (a) dat. "with an undying love" - in immortality, incorruption, eternity (of an unceasing state). It seems likely that en here is adverbial, temporal, giving the sense "in an unceasing state" = "for ever and ever." Most commentators oppose this sense because Paul usually expresses the idea of eternity with a prepositional phrase like "into the ages of the ages." The NIV, as with many other translations, takes the prepositional phrase as adverbial, modal, expressing manner, modifying the participle "loving", "all the ones always loving"; "Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love which will never die", Barclay, "undying love", REB, so Best, Hoehner, ... Although separated syntactically, some commentators link this prepositional phrase with "grace", either modifying "grace", "immortal grace", or more likely associated with grace, "God's grace be with you ....... grace with immortality", NEB, so O'Brien, Bruce, ....