Paul writes in Eph 5:6:

for the indignation of God is coming on the Sons of unpersuadableness (loosely translated)

The verb is present tense, middle/passive voice which indicates that these people are already suffering the wrath of God.

Can someone explain what that wrath might be? It most certainly is not hell fire. The use of middle/passive voice intrigues me, what is Paul trying to say here? I was taught that this verse meant future punishment but the tense obviates that flawed religious teaching.


As discussed in a different thread,1 Alexander Buttman wrote,2

Present [tense] frequently stands where things still future are spoken of-consequently that the Present comprises within itself the Future force of the verb...

The idea of the verb is such a nature that of itself it includes the force of the Future. This holds...pre-eminently of two verbal ideas: that of coming, ἔρχεσθαι, together with its synonymes ὑπάγειν, πορεύσθαι, etc., and that of becoming, γίνεσθαι. As in ἥκω (see No. 9) there inheres a Perfect force (I have come, am present), so in ἔρχομαι a Future (I come, shall appear).

Therefore, while ἔρχεται in Eph. 5:6 may in fact be conjugated in the present tense, it may be understood and translated in the future tense. Accordingly, the wrath of God to which the apostle Paul refers would in fact be the same that is delivered on judgment day (i.e., in the future).


Buttman, Alexander. A Grammar of the New Testament Greek. Trans. Thayer, Joseph Henry. Andover: Draper, 1873.


1 https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/20301/862
2 p. 203-204

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