This verse would be shocking to the first century Greco/Roman world.
Seneca (a Roman Stoic philosopher, 4 BC-65 AD) had said, "All slaves are enemies."
Slaves could be threatened, beaten, abused, sold from their families, or sold into harsher conditions.
Masters had the power of life and death over their slaves.
and the lords the same things do you toward them
forebearing the threatening knowing that both of them
and of you the Lord is in heaven
and respect of persons not is with him
ESV: "Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him."
NAS: "And, masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him."
NIV: "And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him."
/masters/ /the same/ /stop threatening/
/1. Master in heaven/
/2. no partiality/
- "auta" can mean:
1 - self (emphatic)
2 - he, she, it (used for the third pers. pron.)
3 - the same
- "poieite" means "to make, to do"
Chrysostom exaggerated this thought and taught masters should serve slaves.
-Slaves were told to:
2. Be sincere
3. Serve wholehearted, zeal
So, likewise, masters should be: Respectful, Sincere, and Serve as masters under Christ wholeheartedly.
- Translated "Abandoning the use of Threats"
- "anienteos" - "loosen up, relax, let up" or " to send up, produce, send back "
- "apeilen" - means "threats, threatening"
- no manipulation, not demeaning, not terrifying
Two Reasons ("knowing" εἰδότες which means "be aware, behold, consider, perceive")
1. Master in Heaven - slaves are to serve as to Christ, masters are to rule as if ruling under Christ.
2. No Favoritism - God will judge and evaluate our work impartially. The fact that a man was a slave or a master will not matter when he is evaluated before God. Right is right and wrong is wrong no matter who does it.
- Overbearing and moody treatment of slaves is not Christ like.
- No favoritism or partiality seen in:
1 Samuel 16;7;
2 Chronicles 19:7;
Exodus 22:22, 25
Leviticus 19:13 - wages held
Deuteronomy 24:14-15 - Do not take advantage
Isaiah 5:7-10 - Oppression