Ephesians 4:17-19  -

"I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more."

                                (L&EK GNT = Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

live - peripatein (to walk)- L&EK GN -  to walk about, to conduct one's life, points to a habitual action.


Gentiles - eqnh (nations)- L&EK GNT- people, Gentiles, heathen, those who were not Jews.

The Jews considered Gentiles as basically immoral. Gentiles accepted premarital sex, homosexuality, idolatry. But these things were considered wrong and should be abstained from as a Jew.


futility mataiothti (vanity)- L&EK GNT -vanity, emptiness. Contains the idea of aimlessness, leading  to no object or end


thinking nooV (mind)- L&EK GNT - mind, thinking facility, reasoning capacity.

Colossians 1:21; Ephesians 2:3


They are darkened eskotwmenoi (having been darkened)- L&EK GNT - to darken. The perfect participle is used in a periphrastic construction indicating the continuing darkened condition.


understanding dianoia (intellect)- L&EK GNT - thinking through, understanding, intelligence, the mind as the organ of thinking


separated aphllotriwmenoi ( having been alienated)- L&EK GNT - to estrange, to alienate. The perfect tense emphasizes the continuing state of existence; being alienated from the life of God. It does not imply that they had at one time enjoyed that life; it means simply being aliens from it.


ignorance agnoian (ignorance)- L&EK GNT - ignorance, lack of knowledge. It refers to the inability to comprehend and see the light.


in them ousan en autoiV (being in them)-


hardening pwrwsin (hardness)- When free will and a persons thinking become insensitive to God. "Hardening" of the heart is a progressive state which hardens the conscience to respond to God. This person actually opposes God. Pharaoh's hardened his heart (Ex. 7:13, 22; 8:19; 9:35) then God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Ex.4:21; 7:3; 14:4). See Psalm 95:8 as in Exodus 15:22 and Hebrews 3:7


hearts kardiaV (heart)-


Having lost all sensitivity aphlghkoteV (having ceased to care)- L&EK GNT- to cease to feel pain or grief, to become callous, insensible to pain. The translation 'past feeling' expresses the sense accurately. The lack of moral feeling and discernment means the inability to exercise any restraint.

"This is a classical term which means primarily that one's skin has become callous and no longer feels pain" (F.F. Bruce) In classical usage it means "put away sorrow" and to "be despondent". Used around 200 BC to mean "ceasing to feel pain."


they have given themselves over eautous paredwkan (themselves gave up)- L&EK GNT - to deliver over to, to hand over to.

These people are clearly blamed for their own condition.

Their impurity and debauchery first hardens them and then in Romans 1:24-28 it destroys them.


sensuality aselgeia (to lewdness)- L&EK GNT - unrestrained living.

This means "debauchery" and is one of the "works of the flesh" in Gal. 5:19. The idea here is to throw off all restraint and flaunt itself fearless of judgment or shame, disregarding the rights or feelings of others or public decency.  Colossians 3:5 says to put this off.


indulge ergasian (work)- L&EK GNT - working, producing, performance, practice


impurity akaqarsiaV (uncleanness)- L&EK GNT - uncleanness, filthiness, impurity


continual lust for more pleonexia (greediness)- L&EK GNT - insatiable craving greed, consuming ambition, giving rein to appetites and desires which are against the laws of God and man.

This word is "covetousness". It is the climax of Ephesians 5:5 as well as the climax here.

This may be considered a third of three vices mentioned: Debauchery, Impurity and Covetousness, or in the NIV Sensuality, Impurity and Lust.


Lev. 18:3, 24-30; 20:23-24