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BLB Ephesians 6:10-18: Henceforth be empowered in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the complete armor of God, for you to be able to stand against the schemes of the devil, 12 because to us the wrestling is not against blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Because of this, take up the complete armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all things, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod the feet with the readiness of the gospel of peace; 16 besides all, having taken up the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 through all prayer and supplication, praying in the Spirit in every season and unto this very thing, watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints,

Compare:

Wisdom of Solomon 5:1-2: Then shall the righteous man stand in great boldness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and made no account of his labours. 2 When they see it, they shall be troubled with terrible fear, and shall be amazed at the strangeness of his salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for.

Wisdom of Solomon 5:16-23: Therefore shall they receive a glorious kingdom, and a beautiful crown from the Lord’s hand: for with his right hand shall he cover them, and with his arm shall he protect them. 17 He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. 18 He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. 19 He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. 20 His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise. 21 Then shall the right aiming thunderbolts go abroad; and from the clouds, as from a well drawn bow, shall they fly to the mark. 22 And hailstones full of wrath shall be cast as out of a stone bow, and the water of the sea shall rage against them, and the floods shall cruelly drown them. 23 Yea, a mighty wind shall stand up against them, and like a storm shall blow them away: thus iniquity shall lay waste the whole earth, and ill dealing shall overthrow the thrones of the mighty.

Brenton, L. C. L. (1870). The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: English Translation (Wis 5). London: Samuel Bagster and Sons.

Possibly related:

Isaiah 59: 17He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.

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  • I took a stab at editing it to better highlight the parallels. There's a lot that isn't fully parallel, but both having a breastplate of righteousness is noteworthy.
    – curiousdannii
    Oct 21 '17 at 14:23
  • Please see my answer this question on Quora: quora.com/…
    – Ruminator
    Sep 3 at 14:59
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We have two questions here:

A: Does Eph 6:10-18 allude to Wisdom 5:17-20? I believe it probably does and Wikipedia appears to agree. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armor_of_God However, the image of spiritual warfare is (as the question includes) probably even older that the book of wisdom and goes back at least to Isa 59:16-19. But, I believe the book of Wisdom is primary backdrop here.

B: If the above is true, then does that suggest that Eph 6:10-18 refers to an apocalyptic battle? I believe that is certainly possible because of the phrase in v13, "withstand in the evil day" - that makes it possible but not essential. If it does refer to an apocalyptic (spiritual) battle then it is the only NT reference to the great apocalypse or eschaton/eschatological events having such a title. (Most time it is just "that day" or "day of the Lord" or similar.)

The fact that Paul uses an eschatological source does not force us to apply the same timing to his use in Ephesians. Most of Paul's use revolves around everyday challenges of the Christian life namely: truth, righteousness, proclaiming the gospel, faith to resist the evil one, salvation, and the Word of God. Obviously we will especially need these at the apocalypse but they are needed constantly beforehand as well.

Paul returns to this image in other places where he is not discussing apocalyptic events such as 1 Thess 5:8, Rom 5:10 and possibly Col 2:15.

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  • This is a good, focused answer. +1 and accepted as an answer. My own thoughts about who is alluding to whom is that it all hangs on the textual evidence - which is older. It turns out that that is often hard to do. There does seem to be a relationship but it is hard to say which manuscript is older.
    – Ruminator
    Oct 23 '18 at 16:02
  • I have more recently come to a much more focused answer to this question which I answered on Quora: quora.com/…
    – Ruminator
    Sep 3 at 14:58

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