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Bible Commentaries

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Philippians 4

Verse 2

I beg of. St. John Chrysostom, Theodoret, and many others, think that these were two ladies particularly famous in the Church at Philippi, for their virtue and good works. Some critics are of opinion that Syntyche was a man. It is certain, at least, that this name agrees amongst the Greek better with a man than a woman; and perhaps the latter of these two may be the husband of Evodia.

Verse 3

I entreat thee, my sincere [1] companion. St. John Chrysostom expounds it of his fellow labourer or fellow soldier, and says that some pretended that by it was meant St. Paul's wife; but this he absolutely rejects, as do all the ancient interpreters, who teach us that St. Paul was never married, if we except the particular opinion of Clement of Alexandria, (lib. 3. strom. p. 448. Edit. Heinsii) who at the same time tells us, that St. Paul and those ministers of the gospel who had wives, lived with them as if they had been their sisters. The pretended reformers, who bring this place to shew that bishops and priests may marry, will they be for living after this manner? See 1 Corinthians vii. 7, 8. But even Calvin, Beza, and Dr. Hammond, expound this of some man that laboured with St. Paul. (Witham) --- It seems probable that St. Paul is here speaking to one of the persons mentioned in the previous verse. Others think that he is speaking to the gaoler [jailer] whom he converted at Philippi. It seems most probable, however, that St. Paul is here speaking to the bishop of the Church, at Philippi. As to the opinion that he is speaking to his wife, we have elsewhere refuted that sentiment. (Calmet) --- St. Paul says of himself that he had no wife, (1 Corinthians vii. 8.) and all the Greek Fathers are very positive on this point. --- With Clement. St. Jerome, Estius, and some others, believe that this Clement was the fourth pope that governed the Church, after Sts. Linus and Cletus: this at least is the common opinion. --- Those women who have laboured with me in the gospel, not by preaching, but by assisting other ways to promote the gospel. (Witham)



Germane compar. Greek suzuge gnesie. St. John Chrysostom ( Greek: log. ig. p. 76.) expounds it by Greek: sunergos and Greek: sustratiotes. He tells us some fancied it was St. Paul's wife; but, says he, Greek: alla ouk estin, &c.

Verse 6

But in every [2] thing by prayer, &c. By the Greek, the sense and construction cannot be in every prayer; but in every thing, in all circumstances, have recourse to prayer. (Witham)



Sed in omni oratione, &c. Greek: all en panti, te proseuche; no copies, Greek: pase.

Verse 8

For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, &c. Here the apostle enumerates general precepts of morality, which they ought to practise. --- Whatsoever things are true. In words, in promises, in lawful oaths, &c. he commands rectitude of mind and sincerity of heart. --- Whatsoever things are modest. By these words he prescribes gravity in manners, modesty in dress, and decency in conversation. --- Whatsoever things are just. That is, in dealing with others, in buying or selling, in trade or business, to be fair and honest. Whatsoever things are holy. By these words may be understood, that those who are in a religious state professed, or in holy orders, should lead a life of sanctity and chastity, according to the vows they make; but these words being applied to those in the world, indicate the virtuous life they are bound by the divine commandments to follow. --- Whatsoever things are amiable. That is to practise those good offices in society that procure us the esteem and good will of our neighbours. --- Whatsoever things are of good repute. That is, that by our conduct and behaviour we should edify our neighbours, and give them good example by our actions. --- If there be any virtue, if there be any praise of discipline: that those in error, by seeing the morality and good discipline of the true religion, may be converted. And finally, the apostle commands not only the Philippians, but all Christians, to think on these things: that is, to make it their study and concern, that the peace of God might be with them. (Challoner)

Verse 10

Hath flourished again. Literally, that you have flourished again, to think or care for me, which appears by your sending me a supply of money. (Witham) --- From hence it would appear, that the Philippians had in some respect been wanting in attention to this apostle: that their former liberality, which for a time had been slack and dead, had again revived.

Verse 11

I have be content therewith. Literally, to be sufficient. I know how to be in a low condition. (Witham)

Verse 14

In communicating; [3] i.e. contributing to relieve my wants. (Witham)



Communicantes, Greek: sugkoinonesantes. See Chap. i. 5. &c.

Verse 15

Giving and receiving; by my giving your spiritual instructions, and you returning me temporal assistance; and know that these, your charities, are an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice to God. (ver. 18.) (Witham)

Verse 19

May God supply all your wants. [4] See the Greek, which determines the signification of the Latin. (Witham)



Omne desiderium vestrum; the common Greek copies, Greek: chreian; though some Greek: epithumian; some Greek: charan, gaudium; and some Greek: pharin, gratiam.


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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Philippians 4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.