It seems to be a tradition dating back to the Vulgate to translate the Greek infinitive ἐγκακεῖν with a second-person pronoun or a second-person verb. Examples include: "[you] not to faint" (YLT), "ye faint not" (KJV) and the 2nd pl. subjunctive "ne deficiatis". (VUL) But the original Greek merely has an infinitive, no mention of a second person pronoun. Is it really necessary to interpret this infinitive in the second person, or could Paul himself possibly be the subject of the infinitive?

For example, would "wherefore, I pray not to grow weary in my tribulations for you, which is your glory" also be a plausible translation? The meaning would change, as it would be a prayer for himself, not for the Ephesians. But going by the Greek alone, it seems possible, at least to me.

What are your thoughts?

3:13 διὸ αἰτοῦμαι μὴ ἐγκακεῖν ἐν ταῖς θλίψεσίν μου ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, ἥτις ἐστὶν δόξα ὑμῶν.

wherefore, I ask [you] not to faint in my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (YLT)

So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. (ESV)

Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (KJV)

Wherefore I pray you not to faint at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. (Douay-Rheims)

propter quod peto ne deficiatis in tribulationibus meis pro vobis quae est gloria vestra (VUL)

1 Answer 1


I don't think this interpretation fits the verses that follow:

Τούτου χάριν κάμπτω τὰ γόνατά μου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ... ἵνα δῴη ὑμῖν ... δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος αὐτοῦ

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ... that he would grant you ... to be strengthened with might by his Spirit

Theophylact comments:

It is necessary that I be shackled and suffer cruelly at the hands of those who do not understand the mystery, but rather dispute and oppose it. Therefore, I beg you, my brothers, that ye faint not, which means, that you not be shaken and fearful, as if something irrational had occurred. Rather, these bonds and afflictions which I endure for your sake redound to your glory.

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