He was probably under house arrest in Rome. Tychicus delivered this letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:21-22).
Ephesians is classified as one of the prison epistles along with Philemon, Philippians, and Colossians.
Ephesus was situated about three miles from the Aegean Sea and had a population of approximately 340,000.
It was famous for its rich culture, Oriental religion, Greek philosophy, Roman government, and worldwide commerce.
Ephesus was noted for the Great Temple of Diana and was the capital of heathen worship.
The temple of Diana was 425 feet long and 220 feet wide and was known as one of the seven wonders of the world. It contained a beautiful stadium seating twenty-five thousand.
Paul made a brief visit to Ephesus at the end of his second missionary journey, but on his third missionary journey he remained there for about three years while they experienced a great revival.
During this time, many people turned to Christ from worshiping the great Ephesian goddess. This really upset Demetries the silversmith, who had a thriving business making shrines of Artemis. He called a meeting of the other craftsmen. Because of fear of losing their business, they banded together and drove Paul out of town.
This letter was written to a group of believers who were rich in Christ but were living like beggars because they were ignorant of their wealth. The Christian’s heavenly bank account is made up of adoption, acceptance, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, and inheritance.
A simple outline for the book is:
Belief: Privileges of the Christian (chapters 1-3).
Behavior: Responsibilities of the Christian (chapters 4-6).