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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

Philippians 2

 

 

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Verse 27

27–2:18.] EXHORTATIONS TO UNITED FIRMNESS, TO MUTUAL CONCORD, TO HUMILITY AND IN GENERAL TO EARNESTNESS IN RELIGION.


Verse 1

1.] He introduces in the fervour of his affection ( ὅρα πῶς λιπαρῶς, πῶς σφοδρῶς, πῶς μετὰ συμπαθείας πολλῆς, Chr.) four great points of the Christian life and ministry, and by them enforces his exhortation. Mey. observes, that the four fall into two pairs, in each of which we have first the objective principle of Christian life ( ἐν χριστῷ and πνεύματος), and next the subjective principle ( ἀγάπης and σπλάγχ. κ. οἰκτιρμοί). And thus the awakening of motives by these four points is at the same time (so Chrys. above) powerful and touching.

παράκλησις] here, exhortation, not ‘comfort,’ which follows in παραμύθιον. ἐν χριστῷ specifies the element of the exhortation.

παραμύθ.] better comfort, than ‘persuasion:’ it corresponds (see above) to σπλ. κ. οἰκτιρ. in the other pair: see also reff. παραμυθία, the earlier form, occurs in the same sense 1 Corinthians 14:3; Wisdom of Solomon 19:12.

ἀγάπης is the subjective genitive,—‘consolation furnished by love.’

κοιν. πν.] communion,—fellowship, of the Holy Spirit, cf. ref. 2 Cor.: not, ‘spiritual communion’ (De W., al.). The manuscript evidence in favour of the reading εἴ τις is overwhelming; and in Tischendorf’s language, “nobis servandum erit τις, nisi malumus grammatici quam editoris partes agere.” It is in its favour, that almost all the great MSS. have εἴ τι before παραμύθιον. For if εἴ τις had been a mere mechanical repetition of the preceding, why not in one place as well as in the other? And if this were once so, and the former τις got altered back to its proper form, why not this also? The construction may be justified perhaps as analogous to ὄχλουἐχόντων, Mark 8:1; see also Luke 2:17; Luke 7:49; though, it must be confessed, it is the harshest example of its kind.

σπλάγχνα, of affectionate emotion in general: οἰκτιρμοί, of the compassionate emotions in particular. So Tittm. p. 68 a:—tenderness and compassion, Conyb.—‘herzliche Liebe und Barmherzigkeit,’ Luth.

I may remark, that the exhortation being addressed to the Philippians, the εἴ τις and εἴ τι are to be taken subjectively—If there be with you any &c.


Verses 1-11

1–11.] Exhortation to unity and humility (1–4), after the example of Christ (5–11).


Verse 2

2.] πληρώσατε has the emphasis—‘he already had joy in them, but it was not complete, because they did not walk in perfect unity:’ cf. ch. Philippians 1:9.

ἵνα, of the purpose, as always—but here as frequently, of a correlative result, contemplated as the purpose: never, however, without reason: e.g., here the unanimity of the Philippians is the far greater and more important result, to which the πληροῦν μου τὴν χ. is but accessory.

τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε] This expression (be of the same mind) is more general than τὸ ἓ φρονοῦντες (‘being of one mind’) below. And this is all that can be reasonably said of the difference between them. In the more fervid portions of such an Epistle as this, we must be prepared for something very nearly approaching to tautology. βαβαί, says Chrys., ποσάκις τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει ἀπὸ διαθέσεως πολλῆς.

τ. αὐτὴν ἀγάπ. ἔχοντες] τουτέστιν, ὁμοίως καὶ φιλεῖν κ. φιλεῖσθαι, Chrys.

σύμψ. τὸ ἓν φρ.] to be taken together as one designation only: σύμψ. having the emphasis, and defining the τὸ ἓ φρ., with union of soul, unanimous (minding one thing). So that the Apostle does not, as Œc., διπλασιάζει τὸ ὁμοφρονεῖν.


Verse 3

3.] μηδὲν φρονοῦντες, scil. from the last verse:—entertaining no thought in a spirit of (according to, after the manner of) self-seeking (see note, Romans 2:8, on the common mistaken rendering of this word), nor in a spirit of vainglory ( κενοδοξία, ματαία τις περὶ ἑαυτοῦ οἴησις, Suidas), but by means of humility of mind (article either generic or possessive: in the latter case assuming ταπεινοφροσύνη as a Christian grace which you possess. The dative is either modal (ch. Philippians 1:18. Romans 4:20), or instrumental, or more properly perhaps, causal: see Ellicott’s note) esteeming one another superior to yourselves (i.e. each man his neighbour better than himself); each (the plural is only found here in the N. T., and unusual elsewhere: it occurs in Thuc. i. 2, ῥᾳδίως ἕκαστοι τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀπολείποντες,—Hom. Od. i. 164, πολλὸν γὰρ ἐν ἀμφιφορεῦσιν ἕκαστοι ἠφύσαμεν) regarding (cf. both for expressions and sense, Herod. i. 8, πάλαι τὰ καλὰ ἀνθρώποισι ἐξεύρηταιἐν τοῖσιν ἓν τόδε ἐστί, σκοπέειν τινὰ τὰ ἑωϋτοῦ: Thuc. vi. 12, τὸ ἑαυτοῦ μόνον σκοπῶν) not their own matters, but each also the matters of others (“this second clause (Mey.) is a feebler contrast than might have been expected after the absolute negation in the first.” The καί shews that that first is to be taken with some allowance, for by our very nature, each man must σκοπεῖν τὰ ἑαυτοῦ in some measure). On the nature of the strife in the Philippian church, as shewn by the exhortations here, see Prolegg. § ii. 7.


Verses 5-11

5–11.] The exhortation enforced, by the example of the self-denial of Christ Jesus. The monographs on this important passage, which are very numerous, may be seen enumerated in Meyer.

Think this in (not ‘among,’ on account of the ἐν χρ. . following. On the reading, see various readings, and Fritzschiorum Opuscula, p. 49 note) yourselves, which was ( ἐφρονεῖτο) also in Christ Jesus (as regards the dispute, whether the λόγος ἄσαρκος or the λόγος ἔνσαρκος be here spoken of, see below. I assume now, and will presently endeavour to prove, that the Apostle’s reference is first to the taking on Him of our humanity, and then to his further humiliation in that humanity): who subsisting (originally: see on ὑπάρχω and εἰμί, Acts 16:20. Less cannot be implied in this word than eternal præ-existence. The participle is hardly equivalent to “although he subsisted,” as Ellic., still less “inasmuch as he subsisted;” but simply states its fact as a link in the logical chain, “subsisting as He did;” without fixing the character of that link as causal or concessive) in the form of God (not merely the nature of God, which however is implied: but, as in Hebrews 1:3, the ἀπαύγασμα τ. δόξης κ. χαρακτὴρ τ. ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ—cf. John 5:37, οὔτε εἶδος αὐτοῦ ἑωράκατε, with John 17:5, τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί. “Ipsa nature divina decorum habebat infinitum in se, etiam sine ulla creatura illam gloriam intuente.” Beng. See also Colossians 1:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4. That the divine nature of Christ is not here meant, is clear: for He did not with reference to this ἐκένωσεν ἑαυτόν, Philippians 2:7) deemed not his equality (notice ἴσα, not ἴσον, bringing out equality in nature and essence, rather than in Person) with God a matter for grasping. The expression is one very difficult to render. We may observe, (1) that ἁρπαγμόν holds the emphatic place in the sentence: (2) that this fact casts τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ into the shade, as secondary in the sentence, and as referring to the state indicated by ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων above: (3) that ἁρπαγμός strictly means, as here given, the act of seizing or snatching (so in the only place in profane writers where it occurs, viz. Plut. de Puerorum educ. p. 120 A, καὶ τοὺς μὲν θήβῃσι κ. τοὺς ἤλιδι φευκτέον ἔρωτας, κ. τὸν ἐκ κρήτης καλούμενον ἁρπαγμόν. One thing must also be remembered,—that in the word, the leading idea is not ‘snatching from another,’ but ‘snatching, grasping, for one’s self:’—it answers to τὰ ἑαυτῶν σκοποῦντες above), not ( ἅρπαγμα) the thing so seized or snatched: but that here, τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, i.e. a state, being in apposition with it, the difference between the act (subjective) and the thing (objective) would logically be very small: (4) that τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ is no new thing, which He thought it not robbery to be, i.e. to take upon Him,—but His state already existing, respecting which He οὐχ ἡγήσατο &c.: (5) that this clause, being opposed by ἀλλά to His great act of self-denial, cannot be a mere secondary one, conveying an additional detail of His Majesty in His præ-existent state, but must carry the whole weight of the negation of selfishness on His part: (6) that this last view is confirmed by the ἡγήσατο, taking up and corresponding to ἡγούμενοι above, Philippians 2:3. (7) Other renderings have been:—( α) of those who hold τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ, as above to be virtually identical with ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχειν before,—Chrys. says, ὁ τοῦ θεοῦ υἱὸς οὐκ ἐφοβήθη καταβῆναι ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀξιώματος. οὐ γὰρ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὴν θεότητα, οὐκ ἐδεδοίκει μή τις αὐτὸν ἀφέληται τὴν φύσιν ἢ τὸ ἀξίωμα. διὸ καὶ ἀπέθετο αὐτό, θαῤῥῶν ὅτι αὐτὸ ἀναλήψεται· καὶ ἔκρυψεν, ἡγούμενος οὐδὲν ἐλαττοῦσθαι ἀπὸ τούτου. διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ εἶπεν οὐχ ἥρπασεν, ἀλλὰ οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο, ὅτι οὐχ ἁρπάσας εἶχε τὴν ἀρχήν, ἀλλὰ φυσικήν, οὐ δεδομένην, ἀλλὰ μόνιμον κ. ἀσφαλῆ. And so in the main, Œc., Thl., Aug.:—Beza, “non ignoravit, se in ea re (quod Deo patri coequalis essel) nullam injuriam cuiquam facere, sed suo jure uti: nihilominus tamen quasi jure suo cessit”—and so Calvin, but wrongly maintaining for ἡγήσατο a subjunctive sense: ‘non fuisset arbitratus:’ Thdrt., θεὸς γὰρ ὤν, κ. φύσει θεός, κ. τὴν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἰσότητα ἔχων, οὐ μέγα τοῦτο ὑπέλαβε. τοῦτο γὰρ ἴδιον τῶν παρʼ ἀξίαν τιμῆς τινος τετυχηκότων. ἀλλὰ τὴν ἀξίαν κατακρύψας, τὴν ἄκραν ταπεινοφροσύνην εἵλετο, κ. τὴν ἀνθρωπείαν ὑπέδυ μορφήν: and so, nearly, Ambr., Castal., all.;—Luther, Erasm., Grot., Calov., all.,—‘He did not as a victor his spoils, make an exhibition of &c., but’.… ( β) of those who distinguish τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ from ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχειν: Bengel,—‘Christus, quum posset esse pariter Deo, non arripuit, non duxit rapinam, non subito usus est ilia facultate:’ De Wette, ‘Christ had, when He began His Messianic course, the glory of the godhead potentially in Himself, and might have devoted Himself to manifesting it forth in His life: but seeing that it lay not in the purpose of the work of Redemption that He should at the commencement of it have taken to Himself divine honour, had He done so, the assumption of it would have been an act of robbery:’—Lünemann (in Meyer): ‘Christus, etsi ab æterno inde dignitate creatoris et domini rerum omnium frueretur, ideoque divina indutus magnificentia coram patre consideret, nihilo tamen minus haud arripiendum sibi esse autumabat existendi modum cum Deo æqualem, sed ultro se exinanivit.’ And in fact Arius (and his party) had led the way in this explanation: ὅτι θεὸς ὢν ἐλάττων οὐχ ἥρπασε τὸ εἶναι ἴσα τῷ θεῷ τῷ μεγάλῳ καὶ μείζονι. See this triumphantly answered in Chrys. Hom. vi. in loc. Indeed the whole of this method of interpretation is rightly charged with absurdity by Chrys., seeing that in ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων we have already equality with God expressed: εἰ ἦν θεός, πῶς εἶχεν ἁρπάσαι; κ. πῶς οὐκ ἀπερινόητον τοῦτο; τίς γὰρ ἂν εἴποι, ὅτι ὁ δεῖνα, ἄνθρωπος ὤν, οὐχ ἥρπασε τὸ εἶναι ἄνθρωπος; πῶς γὰρ ἄν τις ὅπερ ἐστίν, ἁρπάσειεν; (8) We have now to enquire, whether the opening of the passage will bear to be understood of our Lord already incarnate. De Wette, al., have maintained that the name χριστὸς ἰησοῦς cannot apply to the λόγος ἄσαρκος. But the answer to this is easy, viz. that that name applies to the entire historical Person of our Lord, of whom the whole passage is said, and not merely to Him in his præ-existent state. That one and the same Person of the Son of God, ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων, afterwards ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων ἐγένετο, gathering to itself the humanity, in virtue of which He is now designated in the concrete, Christ Jesus. So that the dispute virtually resolves itself into the question between the two lines of interpretation given above,—on which I have already pronounced. But it seems to me to be satisfactorily settled by the contrast between ἐν μορφῇ θεοῦ ὑπάρχων and μορφὴν δούλου λαβών. These two cannot belong to Christ in the same incarnate state. Therefore the former of them must refer to his præ-incarnate state.


Verse 7

7.] but emptied Himself ( ἑαυτόν emphatic,—not ἐκένωο εν ἑαυτόν.

ἐκένωσεν, contrast to ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσ.—he not only did not enrich himself, but he emptied himself:—He used His equality with God as an opportunity, not for self-exaltation, but for self-abasement. And the word simply and literally means, ‘exinanivit’ (vulg.) as above. He emptied Himself of the μορφὴ θεοῦ (not His essential glory, but its manifested possession: see on the words above: the glory which He had with the Father before the world began, John 17:5, and which He resumed at His glorification)—He ceased, while in this state of exinanition, to reflect the glory which He had with the Father. Those who understand ὅς above of the incarnate Saviour, are obliged to explain away this powerful word: thus Calv., ‘inanitio hæc eadem est cum humiliatione de qua postea videbimus:’ Calov., ‘veluti deposuit:’ Le Clerc, ‘non magis ea usus est, quam si ea destitutus fuisset:’ De W., ‘the manner and form of the κένωσις is given by the three following participles’ ( λαβών, γενόμενος, εὑρεθείς): alii aliter) by taking the form of a servant (specification of the method in which He emptied Himself: not co-ordinate with (as De W., al.) but subordinate to ἐκένωσεν ἑαυτόν.

The participle λαβών does not point to that which has preceded ἑαυτ. ἐκέν., but to a simultaneous act, = as in εὖ γʼ ἐποίησας ἀναμνήσας με (Plato, Phæd. p. 60 D), see Bernhardy, Synt. p. 383, and Harless on Ephesians 1:13. And so of γενόμενος below. The δοῦλος is contrasted with ‘equality with God’—and imports ‘a servant of God,’—not a servant generally, nor a servant of man and God. And this state, of a servant of God, is further defined by what follows) being made (by birth into the world,—‘becoming:’ but we must not render the general, γενόμενος, by the particular, ‘being born’) in the likeness of men (cf. ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκὸς ἁμαρτίας, Romans 8:3. He was not a man, purus putus homo (Mey.), but the Son of God manifest in the flesh and nature of men. On the interpretation impugned above, which makes all these clauses refer to acts of Christ, in our nature, this word ὁμοιώματι loses all meaning. But on the right interpretation, it becomes forcible in giving another subordinate specification to μορφὴν δούλου λαβών—viz. that He was made in like form to men, who are θεοῦ δοῦλοι).


Verse 8

8.] My interpretation has hitherto come very near to that of Meyer. But here I am compelled to differ from him. He would join καὶ σχ. εὑρ. ὡς ἄνθρ. to the foregoing, put a period at ἄνθρ., and begin the next sentence by ἐταπείνωσεν without a copula. The main objection to this with me, is, the word εὑρεθείς. It seems to denote the taking up afresh of the subject, and introducing a new portion of the history. Hitherto of the act of laying aside the form of God, specified to have consisted in μορφὴν δούλου λαβεῖν, and ἐν ὁμ. ἀνθρώπων γενέσθαι. But now we take Him up again, this having past; we find Him in his human appearance—and what then? we have further acts of self-humiliation to relate. So Van Hengel: “duo enim, ut puto, diversa hic tradit Paulus, et quamnam vivendi rationem Christus inierit, … et quomodo hanc vivendi rationem ad mortem usque persecutus sit.” And when He was (having been) found in having (guise, outward semblance; e.g. of look, and dress, and speech. σχήματι is a more specific repetition of ὁμοιώμ. above: and is here emphatic: ‘being found in habit, &c. He did not stop with this outward semblance, but …’) as a man (for He was not a man, but God (in Person), with the humanity taken on Him: ὡς ἄνθρωποςἡ γὰρ ἀναληφθεῖσα φύσις τοῦτο ἦν· αὐτὸς δὲ τοῦτο οὐκ ἦν, τοῦτο δὲ περιέκειτο, Thdrt.) He humbled himself (in His humanity: a further act of self-denial. This time, ἑαυτόν does not precede, because, as Meyer well says,—in Philippians 2:7 the pragmatic weight rested on the reflexive reference of the act, but here on the reflexive act itself) by becoming (see on the aorist participle above. It specifies, wherein the ταπείνωσις consisted) obedient (to God; as before in the δούλου: not ‘capientibus se, damnantibus et interficientibus,’ as Grot. See Romans 5:19, Hebrews 5:8 f., and Philippians 2:9,— διὸ καὶ ὁ θεός,—referring to the τῷ θεῷ here understood) even unto (as far as) death (the climax of His obedience, μέχρι θανάτου must not be taken with ἐταπείνωσεν, as Beng., al., which breaks the sentence awkwardly), and that the death of the cross (on this sense of δέ, see ref., and note there:— τουτέστι, τοῦ ἐπικαταράτου, τοῦ τοῖς ἀνόμοις ἀφωρισμένου, Thl.).


Verses 9-11

9–11.] Exaltation of Jesus, consequent on this His humiliation:—brought forward as an encouragement to follow His example. “Quod autem beati sint quicunque sponte humiliantur cum Christo, probat ejus exemplo: nam a despectissima sorte evectus fuit in summam altitudinem. Quicunque ergo se humiliat, similiter exaltabitur. Quis nunc submissionem recuset, qua in gloriam regni cœlestis conscenditur?” Calvin. Wherefore (i.e. on account of this His self-humiliation and obedience: see Hebrews 2:9, note: not as Calv., ‘quo facto,’ trying to evade the meritorious obedience of Christ thus, ‘quod dictio illativa hic magis consequentiam sonet quam causam, hinc patet, quod alioqui sequetur, hominem divinos honores posse mereri et ipsum Dei thronum acquirere, quod non modo absurdum sed dictu etiam horrendum est:’ strangely forgetting that herein Christ was not a man, nor an example what we can do, but the eternal Son of God, lowering Himself to take the nature of men, and in it rendering voluntary and perfect obedience) also (introduces the result, reff. and Luke 1:35; Acts 10:29) God (on His part: reference to the τῷ θεῷ understood after ὑπήκοος above) highly exalted Him (not only ὕψωσεν, but ὑπερύψωσεν; His exaltation being a super-eminent one, cf. ὑπερνικᾷν, Romans 8:37, also 2 Corinthians 12:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:3. Not, ‘hath highly exalted:’ the reference is to a historical fact, viz. that of His Ascension), and gave to Him (the Father being greater than the incarnate Son, John 14:28, and having by His exaltation of Jesus to His throne, freely bestowed on him the kingly office, which is the completion of His Mediatorship, Romans 14:9) the name which is above every name ( ὄνομα must be kept, against most Commentators, to its plain sense of NAME,—and not rendered ‘glory,’ or understood of His office. The name is, the very name which He bore in His humiliation, but which now is the highest and most glorious of all names, τὸ ὄνομα ἰησου. Compare His own answer in glory, Acts 9:5, ἐγώ εἰμι ἰησοῦς, ὃν σὺ διώκεις. As to the construction in the rec., without the τό before ὄνομα, the indefinite ὄνομα is afterwards defined to be that name, which we all know and reverence, by τὸ ὑπὲρ κ. τ. λ. The τό before ὄνομα may have been inserted to assimilate the expression to the more usual one),


Verse 10

10.] that (intent of this exaltation) in the name of Jesus (emphatic, as the ground and element of the act which follows) every knee should bend (i.e. all prayer should be made (not, as E. V., ‘at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,’—which surely the words will not bear). But what prayer? to JESUS, or to GOD THROUGH HIM? The only way to answer this question is to regard the general aim of the passage. This undoubtedly is, the exaltation of Jesus. The εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ πατρός below is no deduction from this, but rather an additional reason why we should carry on the exaltation of Jesus until this new particular is introduced. This would lead us to infer that the universal prayer is to be to JESUS. And this view is confirmed by the next clause, where every tongue is to confess that Jesus Christ is κύριος, when we remember the common expression, ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου, for prayer: Romans 10:12 f.; 1 Corinthians 1:2 (2 Timothy 2:22); Acts (Acts 7:59) Acts 9:14; Acts 9:21; Acts 22:16), of those in heaven (angels. Ephesians 1:20-21. Hebrews 1:6) and those on earth (men) and those under the earth (the dead: so Hom. Il. ι. 457, ζεὺς καταχθόνιος, Pluto; so Thdrt.: ἐπουρανίους καλεῖ τοὺς ἀοράτους δυνάμεις, ἐπιγείους δὲ τοὺς ἔτι ζῶντας ἀνθρώπους, καὶ καταχθονίους τοὺς τεθνεῶτας. Various erroneous interpretations have been given—e.g. Chr., Thl., Œc., Erasm. understand by καταχθ., the devils—and Chr., Thl. give metaphorical meanings, οἱ δίκαιοι κ. οἱ ἁμαρτωλοί),


Verse 11

11.] and every tongue (of all the classes just named) shall confess (result of the πᾶν γόνυ κάμψαι) that Jesus Christ is Lord (see the predicate κύριος similarly prefixed in 1 Corinthians 12:3) to the glory (so as for such confession to issue in the glory) of God the Father (which is the great end of all Christ’s mediation and mediatorial kingdom, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:24-28. ‘Ut Dei majestas in Christo reluceat, et Pater glorificetur in Filio. Vide Johan. 5. et 17., et habebis hujus loci expositionem.’ Calv.).


Verse 12

12. ὥστε] wherefore—i.e. as a consequence on this pattern set you by Christ. The ὑπηκούσατε answers to γενόμενος ὑπήκοος, Philippians 2:8, and σωτηρία to the exaltation of Christ. It is therefore better, with Meyer, to refer ὥστε to that which has just preceded, than with De Wette, Wiesinger, al., to all the foregoing exhortations, ch. Philippians 1:27 ff.

ὑπηκούσατε] i.e. to God, as Christ above: not as ordinarily, ‘to me’ or ‘my Gospel.’ This last De W. grounds on the presence and absence of the Apostle mentioned below: those clauses however do not belong to ὑπηκούσατε, but to κατεργάζεσθε. This is evident by μὴ ὡς and νῦν. In fact it would be hardly possible logically to connect them with ὑπηκούσατε. As it is, they connect admirably with κατεργάζεσθε, see below.

ὡς is by no means superfluous, but gives the sense not as if (it were a matter to be done) in my presence only,—but now (as things are at present) much more (with more earnestness) in my absence (because spiritual help from me is withdrawn from you) carry out (bring to an accomplishment) your own (emphasis on ἑαυτῶν, perhaps as directing attention to the example of Christ which has preceded,—as HE obeyed and won HIS exaltation, so do you obey and carry out your own salvation) salvation (which is begun with justification by faith, but must be carried out, brought to an issue, by sanctification of the Spirit—a life of holy obedience and advance to Christian perfection. For this reason, the E. V., ‘work out your own salvation,’ is bad, because ambiguous, giving the idea that the salvation is a thing to be gotten, brought in and brought about, by ourselves) with fear and trembling (lest you should fail of its accomplishment at the last. The expression indicates a state of anxiety and self-distrust: see reff.— δεῖ γὰρ φοβεῖσθαι κ. τρέμειν ἐν τῷ ἐργάζεσθαι τὴν ἰδίαν σωτηρίαν ἕκαστον, μήποτε ὑποσκελισθεὶς ἐκπέσῃ ταύτης. Œc. in Meyer. And the stress of the exhortation is on these words:—considering the immense sacrifice which Christ made for you, and the lofty eminence to which God hath now raised Him, be ye more than ever earnest that you miss not your own share in such salvation. The thought before the Apostle’s mind is much the same as that in Hebrews 2:3, πῶς ἡμεῖς ἐκφευξόμεθα τηλικαύτης ἀμελήσαντες σωτηρίας;):


Verses 12-16

12–16.] After this glorious example, he exhorts them to earnestness after Christian perfection.


Verse 13

13.] encouragement to fulfil the last exhortation—for you are not left to yourselves, but have the almighty Spirit dwelling in you to aid you. “Intelligo,” says Calvin, “gratiam supernaturalem, quæ provenit ex Spiritu regenerationis. Nam quatenus sumus homines, jam in Deo sumus, et vivimus, et movemur; verum hic de alio motu disputat, quam illo universali.”

This working must not be explained away with Pelagius (in Mey.), ‘velle operatur suadendo et præmia promittendo:’ it is an efficacious working which is here spoken of: God not only brings about the will, but creates the will—we owe both the will to do good, and the power, to His indwelling Spirit.

ἐν ὑμ. not among you, but in you, as in ref. 1 Cor., and 2 Corinthians 4:12; Ephesians 2:2; Colossians 1:29. The θέλειν and ἐνεργεῖν are well explained by Calvin: “Fatemur, nos a natura habere voluntatem: sed quoniam peccati corruptione mala est, tunc bona esse incipit, quum reformata est a Deo. Nec dicimus hominem quicquam boni facere, nisi volentem: sed tunc, quum voluntas regitur a Spiritu Dei. Ergo quod ad hanc partem spectat, videmus Deo integram laudem asseri, ac frivolum esse quod sophistæ docent, offerri nobis gratiam et quasi in medio poni, ut eam amplectemur si libeat. Nisi enim efficaciter ageret Deus in nobis, non diceretur efficere bonam voluntatem. De secunda parte idem sentiendum. Deus, inquit, est ( ) ἐνεργῶν ἐνεργεῖν. Perducit igitur ad finem usque pios affectus, quos nobis inspiravit, ne sint irriti: sicut per Ezechielem (11:20) promittit: Faciam ut in præceptis meis ambulent. Unde colligimus, perseverantiam quoque merum esse ejus donum.”

ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας] for the sake of His good pleasure,—i.e. in order to carry out that good counsel of His will which He hath purposed towards you: εὐδοκίαν δὲ τὸ ἀγαθὸν τοῦ θεοῦ προσηγόρευσε θέλημα· θέλει δὲ πάντας ἀνθρώπους σωθῆναι, κ. εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν, Thdrt. Conyb. would join ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδ. with the following verse,—‘do all things for the sake of good will’—and remarks, ‘It is strange that so clear and simple a construction, involving no alteration in the text, should not have been before suggested.’ But surely St. Paul could not have written thus. The sense of εὐδοκία indeed, would be the same as in ch. Philippians 1:15 :—but that very passage should have prevented this conjecture. It must have been in that case here as there, διʼ εὐδοκίαν, or at all events, ὑπὲρ εὐδοκίας: the insertion of the article where it is generally omitted from abstract nouns after a preposition, as here, necessarily brings in a reflexive sense,—to be referred to the subject of the sentence: and thus we should get a meaning very different from that given by Conyb., viz.: ‘Do all things for the sake of (to carry out) your own good pleasure.’ It has been proposed (I know not by whom, but it was communicated to me by letter: I see it also noticed in Ellic.’s note, and Van Hengel’s refutation of it referred to) to take ἑαυτῶν (Philippians 2:12) as = ἀλλήλων, and render “with fear and trembling labour heartily for one another’s salvation;” thus connecting the ὥστε with Philippians 2:4. The suggestion is ingenious, and as far as the mere question of the sense of ἑαυτῶν goes, perhaps allowable; but see Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13; Colossians 3:16; 1 Peter 4:8; 1 Peter 4:10; there are, however, weighty and I conceive fatal objections to it. 1) the emphatic position of ἑαυτῶν, which restricts it to its proper meaning: 2) the occurrence of ἑαυτῶν, in the very verse (4) with which it is sought to connect our passage, in its proper meaningμὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστοι σκοπεῖτε, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ ἑτέρων ἕκαστοι: 3) the context, and inference drawn by ὥστε, which this rendering altogether mistakes: see it explained above.


Verse 14

14 ff.] More detailed exhortations, as to the manner of their Christian energizing.

γογγυσμός, in every other place in the N. T. (reff.), as also in ref. Exod., signifies murmuring against men, not against God (as Mey.). And the context here makes it best to keep the same sense: such murmurings arising from selfishness, which is especially discommended to us by the example of Christ. This I still maintain as against Ellic.: his rejection of John 7:12 and 1 Peter 4:9, as not applicable, not seeming to me to be justified.

διαλογισμῶν] by the same rule, we should rather understand disputings with men, than doubts respecting God or duty (Mey.). It is objected that the N. T. meaning of διαλογισμός is generally the latter. But this may be doubted (see on 1 Timothy 2:8); and at all events the verb διαλογίζω, and its cognate διαλέγομαι, must be taken for ‘to dispute’ in Mark 9:33-34. I cannot understand how either word can apply to matters merely internal, seeing that the primary object is stated below to be blamelessness, and good example to others: cf. μέσον γενεᾶς, κ. τ. λ.


Verse 15

15.] ἄμεμπτοι, without blame, ἀκέραιοι, “pure, simplices, vulg æth: sinceres (i), Clarom.: ὁ μὴ κεκραμένος κακοῖς, ἀλλʼ ἁπλοῦς καὶ ἀποίκιλος, Etym. Mag.… For the distinction between ἀκέραιος, ἁπλοῦς, and ἄκακος, see Tittm. Synon. i. p. 27.” Ellicott. On τέκνα θεοῦ, see especially Romans 8:14-15.

ἄμωμα, blameless: unblamed, and unblamable: Herod. uses it, ii. 177, of a law: τῷ ἐκεῖνοι ἐς αἰεὶ χρέωνται, εόντι ἀμώμῳ νόμῳ. The whole clause is a reminiscence of ref. Deut., where we have τέκνα μωμητά, γενεὰ σκολιὰ κ. διεστραμμένη.

For the figurative meaning of σκολιός, cf. reff. Acts and 1 Pet., and Plato, Legg. xii. p. 945 B, ἄν τίς τι εἴπῃ σκολιὸν αὐτῶν ἢ πραξῃ,—Gorg. p. 525 A, πάντα σκολιὰ ὑπὸ ψεύδους κ. ἀλαζονείας, κ. οὐδὸν εὐθὺ διὰ τὸ ἅνευ ἀληθείας τεθράφθαι:—and on διεστραμμένη,— διεστρέφετο ὑπὸ κόλακος, Polyb. viii. 24. 3.

ἐν οἷς, the masculine referring to those included in γενεά: so Thuc. i. 136, φεύγειἐς κέρκυραν, ὢν αὐτῶν εὐεργέτης. See more examples in Kühner, ii. p. 43.

φαίνεσθε, not imperative, as most of the Fathers, Erasm., Calvin, Grot., al.,—but indicative, for this is the position of Christians in the world: see Matthew 5:14; Ephesians 5:8. So De W., Meyer, Wiesinger, &c. &c. It has been said (Mey., Wies., al.) that we must not render φαίνεσθεshine,’ which would be φαίν ετε: but surely there is but very little difference between ‘appear’ and ‘shine’ here, and only St. John and St. Peter use φαίνω for ‘to shine,’ John 1:5; John 5:35; 1 John 2:8; Revelation 1:16; 2 Peter 1:19,—not St. Paul, for whom in such a matter their usage is no rule. Ellic. 1) objects that this must not be alleged against the simple meaning of the word, and 2) wishes to give the middle a special use in connexion with the appearance or rising of the heavenly bodies. But we may answer 1) by such examples as δεινοὶ δέ οἱ ὄσσε φάανθεν, where Rost and Palm translate the passive ‘leuchteten:’ and 2) by urging that such a reference seems here to lay too much pregnancy of meaning on the word.

φωστῆρες, not ‘lights’ merely, but luminaries, ‘heavenly bodies:’ see ref. Gen.: and Sirach 43:7, Wisdom of Solomon 13:2.

ἐπέχοντες] probably as E. V. holding forth (hardly, as Ellic., “seeing ye hold forth,” but “in that ye hold forth:” the participle being rather explicative than causal) to them, applying to them, which is the one of the commonest meanings of ἐπέχειν,—see reff. Various senses have been given,—e.g. ‘holding fast,’ Luther, Estius, Bengel, De Wette, al.: ‘in vertice tenentes,’ Erasm.: ‘sustinentes,’ Calv.: ‘possessing,’ Meyer, who quotes for this meaning Herod. i. 104, οἱ δὲ σκύθαι τὴν ἀσίαν πᾶσαν ἐπέσχον, and Thuc. ii. 101, ὁ δὲ τήν τε χαλκιδικὴν κ. βοττικὴν κ. ΄ακεδονίαν ἅμα ἐπέχων ἔφθειρε,—neither of which justify it: for in both these places it is ‘to occupy,’ not ‘to possess:’ as also in Polyb. iii. 112. 8, εὐχαὶ κ. θυσίαι κ. τ. λ.… ἐπεῖχον τὴν πόλιν. And this sense would manifestly be inapplicable. His objection to the ordinary rendering, that the subjects of the sentence themselves shine by means of the λόγος τῆς ζωῆς, surely is irrelevant: for may not the stars be said ‘præbere,’ ‘prætendere,’ their light, notwithstanding that that light is in them? Chrys., Œc., Thl., interpret it, μέλλοντες ζήσεσθαι, τῶν σωζομένων ὄντες· and Chrys. continues οἱ φωστῆρές, φησι, λόγον φωτὸς ἐπέχουσιν· ὑμεῖς λόγον ζωῆς. τί ἐστι, λόγον ζωῆς· σπέρμα ζωῆς ἔχοντες, τουτέστιν, ἐνέχυρα ζωῆς ἔχοντες, αὐτὴν κατέχοντες τὴν ζωήν, τουτέστι σπέρμα ζωῆς ἐν ὑμῖν ἔχοντες:—Thdrt., ἀντὶ τοῦ τῷ λόγῳ προσέχοντες τῆς ζωῆς, ungrammatically, for this would be λόγῳ ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες,—as ὁ δὲ ἐπεῖχεν αὐτοῖς, Acts 3:5; cf. also ref. 1 Tim.

εἰς καύχ. ἐμοί] for (result of your thus walking, as concerns myself) a matter of boasting for me against (temporal: reserved for) the day of Christ, that ( ὅτι οὐ μάτην τὴν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἀνεδεξάμην σπουδήν, Thdrt.) I did not run (the past tense is from the point of view of that day. On ἔδραμον, see reff.) for nothing, nor labour for nothing (cf. ref. Job).


Verse 17-18

17, 18.] These verses are closely connected with the preceding; not, as De W., al., with ch. Philippians 1:26, which is most unnatural, and never would occur to any reader. The connexion is this: in Philippians 2:16 he had tacitly assumed ( εἰς ἡμ. χ.) that he should live to witness their blameless conduct even till the day of Christ. Now, he puts the other alternative—that the dangers which surrounded him would result in his death:—and in that case equally he rejoiced, &c.

εἰ καί implies more probability than καὶ εἰ: in the former the case is presupposed, in the latter merely hypothesized. Klotz in Devar. p. 519 f., gives two examples from Xen.’s Anabasis: (1) ὁδοποιήσειέ γʼ ἂν αὐτοῖς, καὶ εἰ σὺν τεθρίπποις βούλοιντο ἀπιέναι (iii. 2. 24), a supposition evidently thought improbable: (2) ἐγώ, ὦ κλέανδρε, εἰ καὶ οἴει με ἀδικοῦντά τι ἄγεσθαι (vi. 4. 27), where as evidently the speaker believes that Cleander does entertain the thought. The difference is explained by the common rules of emphasis. In εἰ καί, the stress is on εἰ, which is simply ‘posito,’ and the ‘even’ belongs to that which is assumed: in καὶ εἰ, the stress is on καί, even, and the strangeness belongs not to the thing simply assumed, but to the making of the assumption. In the present case then, the Apostle seems rather to believe the supposition which he makes.

σπένδομαι] not future, but present; If I am even being poured out, because the danger was besetting him now, and waxing onward to its accomplishment. He uses the word literally, with reference to the shedding of his blood. “He represents his whole apostolic work for the faith of the Philippians, as a sacrifice: if he is put to death in the course of it, he will be, by the shedding of his blood, poured out as a libation upon this sacrifice, as among the Jews (Numbers 28:7; Numbers 15:4 ff. Jos. Antt. iii. 9. 4. Winer, Realw., s. v. Trankopfer) and heathens, in their sacrifices, libations of wine were usual, which were poured over the offerings (Hom. Il. λ. 775, σπένδων αἴθοπα οἶνον ἐπʼ αἰθομένοις ἱεροῖσιν: cf. also Herod., ii. 39).” Meyer.

Wetst., al., would render it ‘affundor’ ( κατασπένδομαι), and understand it of the pouring of wine over a live victim destined for sacrifice—but wrongly.

The θυσία is the sacrifice: i.e. the deed of sacrifice, not the victim, the thing sacrificed. λειτουργία, priest’s ministration, without another article, signifying therefore the same course of action as that indicated by θυσία, viz. his apostolic labours: see below.

τῆς πίστεως ὑμ., gen. objective; your faith is the sacrifice, which I, as a priest, offer to God. The image is precisely as in Romans 15:16, where he is the priest, offering up the Gentiles to God. And the case which he puts is, that he, the priest, should have his own blood poured out at, upon (i.e. in accession to: not locally “upon:” for it was not so among the Jews, see Ellic. here), his sacrificing and presentation to God of their faith.

χαίρω] not to be joined with ἐπί, as Chrys., but absolute, I rejoice for myself ( οὐχ ὡς ἀποθανούμενος λυποῦμαι ἀλλὰ χαίρω, ὅτι σπονδὴ γίνομαι, Thl.) and congratulate you (so the Vulg. rightly, and all.: not, ‘rejoice with you,’ as most Commentators (even Ellic.). Meyer well observes that the following verse is decisive against this: for if they rejoiced already, what need of καὶ ὑμεῖς χαίρετε?—congratulate you, viz. on the fact that I have been thus poured out for your faith, which would be an honour and a boast for you. De W.’s objection, after Van Hengel, that to congratulate would be συγχαίρομαι is futile: cf. Æschin. p. 34, τὴν ἑστίαν ἐπώμοσε τὴν βουλαίαν συγχαίρειν τῇ πόλει ὅτι τοιούτους ἄνδρας ἐπὶ τὴν πρεσβείαν ἐξέπεμψεν:—Demosth. p. 194,— ῥοδίοιςσυγχαίρω τῶν γεγενημένων):


Verse 18

18.] and (‘but’ would be too strong: the contrast is only in the reciprocity) on the same account (accusative of reference, governed by χαίρ.) do ye (imperative, not indicative, as Erasm., al.) rejoice (answer to συγχαίρω above,—for this your honour) and congratulate me (answer to χαίρω above,—on this my joy).


Verse 19

19. ἐν κυρίῳ] ‘my hope is not an idle one, as a worldly man’s might be; but one founded on faith in Christ.’ 1 Corinthians 15:19, to which Meyer refers, is wholly different: see there.

ταχέως, see Philippians 2:23.

ὑμῖν] The dative after verbs of sending, &c. need not be regarded (as De W., al., here) as the dativus commodi, but is similar to that case after verbs of giving—indicating the position of the recipient. I stated in some former editions, that it is in no case equivalent to the mere local πρὸς ὑμᾶς. But Ellic. has reminded me, that this is too widely stated, later writers undeniably using it in this sense. See note on Acts 21:16, and cf. such examples as πότερον ἠγόμην ἀβροκόμῃ, Xen. Ephesians 3:6, and ἤγαγεν αὐτὸν ἀθανασίῳ τῷ πάππᾳ, Epiph. vit. p. 340 d. See the discussion in Winer, § 31. 5.

κἀγώ] ‘as well as you, by your reception of news concerning me.’

εὐψ.] may be of good courage. The verb is unknown to the classics: the imperative εὐψύχει is found in inscriptions on tombs, in the sense of the Latin ‘have pia anima.’


Verses 19-30

19–30.] ADDITIONAL NOTICES RESPECTING THE APOSTLE’S STATE IN HIS IMPRISONMENT: HIS INTENDED MISSION OF TIMOTHEUS AND ACTUAL MISSION OF EPAPHRODITUS. The connexion with the foregoing seems to be,—‘and yet this σπένδεσθαι is by no means certain, for I hope to hear news of you soon, nay, to see you myself.’


Verse 20

20.] Reason why he would send Timotheus above all others: for I have none else like-minded (with myself, not with Timotheus, as Beza, Calv., al.) who (of that kind, who) will really (emphatic:—with no secondary regards for himself, as in Philippians 2:21) care for your affairs (have real anxiety about your matters, to order them for the best):


Verse 21

21.] for all (my present companions) (who these were, we know not: they are characterized, ch. Philippians 4:21, merely as οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ ἀδελφοί—certainly not Luke—whether Demas, in transition between Phlippians 1:24 and 2 Timothy 4:10, we cannot say) seek their own matters, not those of Jesus Christ (no weakening of the assertion must be thought of, as that of rendering οἱ πάντες, many, or most,—or understanding the assertion, care more about &c. than &c.,—as many Commentators: nor must it be restricted to the love of ease, &c., unwillingness to undertake so long a journey, as Chr., Œc, Thl.: both οἱ πάντες and the assertion are absolute).


Verse 23

23.] But the approved worth (reff.) of him ye know (viz. by trial, when we were at Philippi together, Acts 16:1; Acts 16:3,—Acts 17:14),—viz.: that as a son (serves) a father, he served with me for (reff.) the Gospel. The construction is this: the Apostle would have written, ‘as a son a father, so he served me,’—but changes it to ‘so he served with me,’ from modesty and reverence, seeing that we are not servants one of another, but all of God, in the matter of the Gospel. We must not supply σύν before πατρί:—when, in case of several nouns governed by the same preposition, that preposition is omitted before any, it is not before the first, cf. Plato, Rep. iii. p. 414, δεῖ ὡς περὶ μητρὸς κ. τροφοῦ τῆς χώρας ἐν ᾗ εἰσι βουλεύεσθαι: and see Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 205. The examples cited by Ellicott to disprove this, do not seem to me to apply: viz. Æsch. Suppl. 313 (311), Eur. Hel. 872 (863): both are instances of local terms coupled by καί, and both occur in poetry, where the exigencies of metre come into play. Winer takes the construction as above, edn. 6, § 63, ii. 1 [see Moulton’s Translation, p. 722].

μέν answers to δέ, Philippians 2:24; οὖν reassumes Philippians 2:19.

ὡς ἂν ἀφίδω] as soon as I shall have ascertained. On the force of the preposition, see Hebrews 12:2, note.

ὡς ἄν, of time, implying uncertainty as to the event indicated: see reff. and Cebes, tab. p. 168, προστάττει δὲ τοῖς εἰσπορευομένοις, τί δεῖ αὐτοὺς ποιεῖν, ὡς ἂν εἰσέλθωσιν εἰς τὸν βίον. See also Klotz, Devar. pp. 759. 63. The form ἀφ ίδω is supposed by Meyer to be owing to the pronunciation of ἴδω with the digamma. The word signifies here, see clearly, as in Herod. viii. 37, ἐπεὶ δὲ ἀγχοῦ τε ἔσαν οἱ βάρβαροι ἐπιόντες καὶ ἀπώρεον τὸ ἱρὸν …: following the analogy of ἀπέχω and similar words: the preposition being not intensive (as Ellic. wrongly reports my view), but exhaustive.

τὰ περὶ ἐμέ, my matters.


Verse 24

24. ἐν κυρίῳ] See above, Philippians 2:19.

καί, as well as Timothy.


Verse 25

25.] συνστρατ. applies to the combat with the powers of darkness, in which the ministers of Christ are the leaders: see besides ref., 2 Timothy 2:3.

ὑμ. δέ] the contrast is to μου above.

ἀπόστολον, not in the ordinary sense of Apostle, so that ὑμῶν should be as ἐθνῶν ( ἀπόστολος) in Romans 11:13,—but as in ref. 2 Cor. (where see note), almost = ὁ ἀποσταλεὶς ὑφʼ ὑμῶν.

λειτουρ.] minister (in supply) of my want. Cf. λειτουργία below, Philippians 2:30; and on χρείας, reff., especially Acts 20:34. λειτουργὸν δὲ αὐτὸν εἴρηκε τῆς χρείας, ὡς τὰ παρʼ αὐτῶν ἀποσταλέντα κομίσαντα χρήματα, Thdrt.

πέμψαι] it was actually a sending back, though not so expressed here: see ch. Philippians 4:18.


Verses 25-30

25–30.] Of Epaphroditus: his mission: and recommendation of him. Epaphroditus is not elsewhere mentioned. The name was a common one: see Wetst. h. l., and Tacit. Ann. xv. 55; Suet. Domit. 14. There is perhaps no reason for supposing him identical with Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12. Phlippians 1:23), who was a minister of the Colossian church.

We must not attempt to give a strict official meaning to each of the words predicated of Epaphroditus. The accumulation of them serves to give him greater recommendation in the eyes of the Philippians.


Verse 26

26.] reason for the necessity. The imperfect is, as usual, from the position of the receivers of the letter.

ἀδημ.] See note on ref. Matt. Whether there was any special reason, more than affection, which made Epaphroditus anxious to return on account of this, we cannot say.


Verse 27

27.] καὶ γάρ recognizes and reasserts that which has before been put as from another, as “ ἔλεγες τοίνυν δή, ὅτι κ. τ. λ.” “ καὶ γὰρ ἔλεγον, ἔν γε ὄχλῳ.” Plato, Gorg. 459: see Hartung, Partikell. i. 137,—for he really was sick.

παραπλήσιον does not involve any ellipsis (De W.) as of ἀφίκετο or the like, but (as Mey.) it stands adverbially as παραπλησίως; so in Polyb. iii. 33. 10, εἰ πεποιήκαμεν παραπλήσιον τοῖς ἀξιοπίστως ψευδομένοις τῶν συγγραφέων: and θανάτῳ is the dative of congruence after it,—sometimes a genitive, as Plato, Soph. p. 217, λόγων ἐπελάβου παραπλησίων ὧνδιερωτῶντες ἐτυγχάνομεν.

λύπην ἐπὶ λύπην] for construction, see reff. The dative after ἐπί is more usual: so φόνος ἐπὶ φόνῳ, Eur. Iph. Taur. 197 (189): the accus. giving the sense of accession,—“sorrow coming upon sorrow,”—not, sorrow superimposed upon sorrow. The second λύπην refers to his own distress in his imprisonment, so often implied in this Epistle: see Prolegg. § iii. 4, 5: ‘si ad vincula accessisset jactura amici,’ Grot. This is better, than with Chrys., al., to refer it to Epaphroditus’s sickness,— τὴν ἀπὸ τῆς τελευτῆς ἐπὶ τῇ διὰ τὴν ἀῤῥωστίαν,—which does not agree with ἀλυπότερος, Philippians 2:28, implying that λύπη would remain even after the departure of Epaphroditus.


Verse 28

28.] πάλιν most naturally, considering St. Paul’s habit of prefixing it to verbs, belongs to χαρῆτε: and there is here no reason to depart from his usage and attach it to ἰδόντες, as Beza, Grot., De W., all., have done. The κἀγὼ ἀλυπότερος ὦ is one of the Apostle’s delicate touches of affection. If they rejoiced in seeing Epaphroditus, his own trouble would be thereby lessened.


Verse 29

29.] οὖν, as accomplishing the purpose just expressed. The stress is on προσδέχεσθε, see ref. There certainly seems to be something behind respecting him, of which we are not informed. If extreme affection had been the sole ground of his ἀδημονεῖν, no such exhortation as this would have been needed.

τοὺς τοιούτους] ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ αὐτῷ μόνῳ χαρίζεσθαι, … Thl. Then there is an inaccuracy in expression, in reverting back to the [concrete] conduct of Epaphroditus as a reason why οἱ τοιοῦτοι [abstract] should be held in honour.


Verse 30

30.] διὰ τὸ ἔργον, viz. of the Gospel, or of Christ (see the glosses in var. readd.);—part of which it was to sustain the minister of the Gospel.

μέχρι θ. ἤγγ.] he incurred so serious and nearly fatal a sickness:—not to be understood of danger incurred by the hostility of the authorities, as Chrys., al., also Thdrt.: καθειργόμενον γὰρ πάντως μαθών, καὶ ὑπὸ πλείστων φυλαττόμενον, εἰσελθὼν ἐθεάσατο, τοῦ κινδύνου καταφρονήσας.

παραβολευσάμενος] There is, and must ever remain, some doubt whether to read παρα βουλ- or παρα βολ ευσάμενος. Both words are unknown to Greek writers. The first verb would signify ‘male consulere vitæ,’ and is found not unfrequently in the fathers, especially Chrys., which makes it all the more likely to have been introduced here for the other. This latter would be formed from παράβολος, ‘venturesome,’ as περπερεύομαι from πέρπερος (1 Corinthians 13:4), ἀλογεύομαι from ἄλογος (Cic. ad Att. vi. 4): similarly ἀσωτεύομαι, φιλανθρωπεύομαι, πονηρεύομαι, &c. See Lobeck on Phryn. pp. 67, 591. Thus παραβολεύεσθαι would be used exactly as παραβάλλεσθαι in Polyb. ii. 26. 6, ἔφη δεῖν μὴ κινδυνεύειν ἔτι, μηδὲ παραβάλλεσθαι τοῖς ὅλοις, and iii. 94. 4, and παραβάλλεσθαι ταῖς ψυχαῖς in Diod. Sic. iii. 16. Phryn. (p. 238, ed. Lob.) says, παραβόλιον· ἀδόκιμον τοῦτο. τῷ μὲν οὖν ὀνόματι οὐ χρῶνται οἱ παλαιοί, τῷ δὲ ῥήματι. φασὶ γὰρ οὕτω, παραβάλλομαι τῇ ἐμαυτοῦ κεφαλῇἐχρῆν οὖν κἀπὶ τούτων λέγειν, παραβάλλομαι ἀργυρίῳ. Hence also nurses of the sick were called parabolani. See various patristic interpretations, and illustrations, in Tischendorf and Wetstein.

ἵνα κ. τ. λ.] that he might fill up (1 Corinthians 16:17) your deficiency (viz. on account of your absence) in the ministration to me (the λειτουργία was the contribution of money, which had been sent by Epaphroditus. The only ὑστέρημα in this kind service was, their inability through absence, to minister it to the Apostle themselves: and this Epaphroditus filled up, and in so doing risked his life in the way above hinted at, i.e. probably by too constant and watchful attendance on the Apostle. So that there is no blame conveyed by τὸ ὑμ. ὑστέρημα, as Chr., ὅπερ ἐχρῆν πάντας ποιῆσαι, τοῦτο ἔπραξεν αὐτός,—but the whole is a delicate way of enhancing Epaphroditus’s services—‘that which you would have done if you could, he did for you—therefore receive him with all joy’).

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Philippians 2:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/philippians-2.html. 1863-1878.

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