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Bible Commentaries
Philippians 2

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Philippians 2:1 . Instead of εἴ τι παραμ ., D* L, min. have: εἴ τις παραμ . Approved by Griesb., adopted by Matth. It is nothing but a mechanical repetition of the preceding εἴ τις . The same judgment must be passed on the reading: εἴ τις σπλάγχνα , although this τις (instead of which the Recepta τινα is to be restored) has the greatly preponderant attestation of A B C D E F G K L P א , min. Bas. Chrys. (?) Damasc. Oec. Theoph., and is adopted by Griesb. Matth. Scholz, Lachm. and Tisch. Τινα (as early as Clem. Al. Strom. iv. p. 604, Pott.; also Theodoret) is, notwithstanding its small amount of cursive attestation, we do not say absolutely necessary, [84] but requisite for such an understanding of the entire verse as naturally offers itself to the reader; see the exegetical remarks.

Philippians 2:3 . ἤ ] Lachm. and Tisch. read, and Griesb. also recommended: ΜΗΔῈ ΚΑΤΆ , following A B C א , min. vss. and Fathers. An attempt at interpretation, as are also the readings ΚΑΤΆ , ΚΑῚ ΚΑΤΆ , ΜΗΔῈΝ ΚΑΤΆ .

Philippians 2:4 . Elz. Scholz, have ἝΚΑΣΤΟς in both places, which is defended also by Reiche. But ἝΚΑΣΤΟΙ , which is confirmed by preponderating testimony even before ΣΚΟΠΟῦΝΤΕς (in opposition to Hofmann), was supplanted by the singular, as only the latter occurs elsewhere in the N. T.

Elz. has ΣΚΟΠΕῖΤΕ instead of ΣΚΟΠΟῦΝΤΕς , against decisive testimony.

Philippians 2:5 . ΤΟῦΤΟ ΓΆΡ ] A B C* א *, min. vss. Fathers, Lachm. and Tisch. 8 have ΤΟῦΤΟ only. But what led to the omission of ΓΆΡ was, that, ΦΡΟΝΕῖΤΕ being subsequently read, the preceding ἝΚΑΣΤΟΙ was looked upon as the beginning of the new sentence (A C א ). Moreover, the commencement of a lesson at ΤΟῦΤΟ favoured the omission.

ΦΡΟΝΕΊΣΘΩ ] The reading ΦΡΟΝΕῖΤΕ appears to have decisive attestation from the uncials, of which only C*** K L P favour the Recepta φρονείσθω . But it is incredible, if the well-known and very common imperative form φρονεῖτε was the original reading, that it should have been exchanged for the otherwise unusual passive form φρονείσθω , merely for the reason that it was sought to gain a passive form to be supplied with the following words ὁ καὶ ἐν Χ . Ἰ . (where the supplying of ἦν would have been sufficient). And as the very ancient testimony of most Greek authorities since Origen, also of the Goth. Copt. Arm. and nearly all min, is in favour of φρονείσθω , we must retain it as the original, which has been made to give way to the more current φρονεῖτε . The latter, however, is adopted by Tisch. 8, following Lachmann.

Philippians 2:9 . Elz. Scholz, Tisch. 7 have ὄνομα alone instead of τὸ ὄνομα , in opposition to A B C א , 17, and several Fathers. The article has been suppressed by the preceding syllable.

Instead of ἐξομολογήσηται the future ἐξομολογήσεται is decisively attested.

Philippians 2:13 . The article before Θεός (Elz. Scholz) is condemned by preponderating testimony.

Philippians 2:15 . γένησθε ] A D* E* F G, Vulg. It. Cypr. have ἤτε . So also Lachm. But the testimony is not decisive, and there is the more reason for defending the Recepta , because ΓΈΝΗΣΘΕ might be more readily glossed by ἬΤΕ than the converse, both in itself, and also here on account of the following ἘΝ ΟἾς ΦΑΊΝΕΣΘΕ Κ . Τ . Λ .

ἈΜΏΜΗΤΑ ] Lachm. Tisch. 8 have ἌΜΩΜΑ , following A B C א , min. Clem. Cyr. But the latter is the prevailing form in the N. T., and readily crept in (comp. var . 2 Peter 3:14 ).

ἘΝ ΜΈΣῼ ] A B C D* F G א , min. Clem. have ΜΈΣΟΝ . Approved by Griesb., and adopted by Lachm. and Tisch. Rightly; the Recepta is explanatory.

Philippians 2:19 . κυρίῳ ] Lachmann reads Χριστῷ , upon too weak authority.

Philippians 2:21 . Elz.: τὰ τοῦ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ . But τὰ Ἰησοῦ Χ . (Tisch.: τὰ Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ ) has the preponderance of evidence in its favour.

Philippians 2:26 . After ὑμᾶς , A C D E א *, min. vss. and some later Fathers have ἰδεῖν , which Lachm. places in brackets. To be adopted; because, after Philippians 1:8 , its omission would be very probable, and there is no reason why it should have got in as a gloss here and not at Philippians 1:8 .

Philippians 2:27 . Elz.: ἐπὶ λύπῃ , against decisive testimony in favour of ἐπὶ λύπην .

Philippians 2:30 . τὸ ἔργον του Χριστοῖ ] Tisch. 7 reads τὸ ἔργον merely; following, indeed, only C, but correctly, for the bare τὸ ἔργον appeared to need some defining addition, which was given to it by τοῦ Χριστοῦ or Χριστοῦ (Tisch. 8), or even by κυρίου (A א ).

παραβουλ .] The form παραβολ . has preponderant attestation, and is to be preferred. See the exegetical remarks.

[84] Reiche, Comment, crit . p. 213, would read τι instead of τινα ; but the former is found only in min., and is scarcely susceptible of a forced explanation (“ si qua est vobis,” or “ si quid valet”). The old Latin versions, with their si qua or si quid , leave us uncertain as to their reading. But the Vulg. Lachm. has; si quis .

Verse 1

Philippians 2:1 . Οὖν ] infers from Philippians 1:30 what is, under these circumstances, the most urgent duty of the readers. If they are engaged in the same conflict as Paul, it is all the more imperatively required of them by the relation of cordial affection, which must bind them to the apostle in this fellowship that they should fulfil his joy, etc. Consequently, although, connecting what he is about to say with what goes immediately before (in opposition to Hofmann), he certainly, after the digression contained from ἥτις in Philippians 2:28 onwards, leads them back to the exhortation to unanimity already given in Philippians 2:27 , to which is then subjoined in Philippians 2:3 f. the summons to mutual humility.

εἴ τις κ . τ . λ .] four stimulative elements, the existence of which, assumed by εἰ (comp on Colossians 3:1 ), could not but forcibly bring home to the readers the fulfilment of the apostle’s joy, Philippians 2:2 . [85] With each ἐστί simply is to be supplied (comp. Philippians 4:8 ): If there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love , etc. It must be noticed that these elements fall into two parallel sections , in each of which the first element refers to the objective principle of the Christian life ( ἐν Χριστῷ and πνεύματος ), and the second to the subjective principle, to the specific disposition of the Christian ( ἀγάπης and σπλάγχνα καὶ οἰκτιρμοί ). Thus the inducements to action, involved in these four elements, are, in equal measure, at once objectively binding and inwardly affecting ( πῶς σφοδρῶς , πῶς μετὰ συμπαθείας πολλῆς ! Chrysostom).

παρακλ . ἐν Χ .] ἐν Χ . defines the παρακλ . as specifically Christian , having its essence and activity in Christ; so that it issues from living fellowship with Him, being rooted in it, and sustained and determined by it. Thus it is in Christ , that brother exhorteth brother. παράκλησις means exhortation (1 Corinthians 14:3 ; Romans 12:8 ; Acts 4:36 ; Acts 9:31 ; Acts 13:15 ; Acts 15:31 ), i.e . persuasive and edifying address; the more special interpretation consolatio , admissible in itself, anticipates the correct rendering of the παραμύθιον which follows (in opposition to Vulgate, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Estius, Grotius, Heinrichs, and many others; and recently Hoelemann and Ewald).

εἴ τι παραμ . ἀγάπ .] παραμύθιον (see generally Schaefer ad Bos . p. 492; Lobeck ad Phryn . p. 517; Jacobs ad Ach. Tat . p. 708) corresponds to the fourth clause ( σπλάγχνα κ . οἰκτ .), and for this reason, as well as because it must be different from the preceding element, [86] cannot be taken generally with Calovius, Flatt, Matthies, de Wette, Hoelemann, van Hengel, Ewald, Weiss, J. B. Lightfoot, and Hofmann as address, exhortation (Plat. Legg . vi. p. 773 E, xi. p. 880 A), but definitely as comfort (Thuc. v. 103; Theocr. xxiii. 7; Anth. Pal. vii. 195, 1; Wis 3:18 ; Esther 8:15 ; comp. παραμυθία , Plat. Axioch . p. 375 A; Luc. Nigr . 7; Psalms 65:12 ; Wis 19:12 ; 1 Corinthians 14:3 ). Ἀγάπης is the genitive of the subject: a consolation, which love gives , which flows from the brotherly love of Christians. In order to make out an allusion to the Trinity in the three first points, dogmatic expositors like Calovius, and also Wolf, have understood ἀγάπης of the love of God (to us).

εἴ τις κοινων . πν .] if any fellowship of the Spirit ( i.e . participation in the Spirit) exists; comp. on 2 Corinthians 13:13 . This is to be explained of the Holy Spirit, not of the animorum conjunctio (Michaelis, Rosenmüller, am Ende, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hoelemann, Wiesinger, Hofmann, and others; Usteri and Rilliet mix up the two), which is inconsistent with the relation of this third clause to the first ( ἐν Χριστῷ ), and also with the sequel, in which (Philippians 2:2 ) Paul encourages them to fellowship of mind , and cannot therefore place it in Philippians 2:1 as a motive .

εἴ τινα σπλ . κ . οἰκτ .] if there be any heart and compassion . The former used, as in Philippians 1:8 , as the seat of cordial loving affections generally; the latter, specially as misericordia (see on Romans 9:15 ), which has its seat and life in the heart. See also on Colossians 3:12 ; comp. Luke 1:28 ; Tittmann, Synon . p. 68 f.

It must further be remarked, with regard to all four points , that the context, by virtue of the exhortation based upon them πληρώσατέ μον τὴν χαράν in Philippians 2:2 , certainly presupposes their existence in the Philippians, but that the general expression ( if there is ) forms a more moving appeal, and is not to be limited by the addition of in you (Luther, Calvin, and others). Hence the idea is: “ If there is exhortation in Christ , wherewith one brother animates and incites another to a right tone and attitude; if there is comfort of love , whereby one refresheth the other; if there is fellowship in the Spirit , which inspires right feelings, and confers the consecration of power; if there is a heart and compassion , issuing in sympathy with, and compassion for, the afflicted, manifest all these towards me, in that ye make full my joy ( μου τὴν χαράν ).” Then, namely, I experience practically from you that Christian-brotherly exhortation , [87] and share in your comfort of love , and so ye put to proof, in my case, the fellowship in the Spirit and the cordial sympathy , which makes me not distressed, but glad in my painful position.

There is much that is mistaken in the views of those who defend the reading τις before σπλ . (see van Hengel and Reiche), which cannot be got rid of by the assumption of a constructio ad synesin (in opposition to Buttmann, Neut. Gr . p. 71. [E. T. 81]). Hofmann is driven by this reading, which he maintains, to the strange misinterpretation of the whole verse as if it contained only protases and apodoses , to be thus divided: εἴ τις οὖν παράκλησις , ἐν Χριστῷ · εἴ τι παραμύθιον , ἀγάπης · εἴ τις κοινωνία πνεύματος , εἴ τις , σπλάγχνα κ . οἰκτιρμοί ; this last εἴ τις being a repetition of the previous one with an emphasizing of the εἰ . Accordingly the verse is supposed to mean: “If exhortation, let it be exhortation in Christ; if consolation, let it be a consolation of love; if fellowship of the Spirit, if any, let it be cordiality and compassion.” A new sentence would then begin with πληρώσατε . [88] Artifices such as this can only serve to recommend the reading ΕἼ ΤΙΝΑ .

[85] Hitzig, z. Krit. Paul. Briefe , p. 18, very erroneously opines that there is here a made excitement, an emphasis in which not so much is felt as is put into the words; and the four times repeated if is to cover the defect, in connection with which an utterly alien parallel is adduced from Tacit. Agric . 46.

[86] Hofmann erroneously makes the quite arbitrary distinction that παρακλ . refers to the will , and παραμ . to the feelings . The will, feelings, and intellect are called into exercise by both. Comp., especially on παραμύθ ., Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep . p. 476 E; Phaed . p. 70 B; Euthyd . p. 272 B; Thuc. viii. 86, 1.

[87] In the application of the general εἴ τις παράκλησις ἐν Χ ., the subjects of this παράκλησις must, following the rule of the other elements, be the Philippians; Paul (Wiesinger, comp. Ewald) cannot he conceived as the παρακαλῶν .

[88] From this interpretation of the whole passage he should have been deterred by the forlorn position which is assigned to the εἴ τις before σπλάγχνα as the stone of stumbling, as well as by the purposelessness and even inappropriateness of an oddly emphasized problematical sense of this εἴ τις . If it be thought that the reading εἴ τις σπλ . must be admitted. I would simply suggest the following by way of necessary explanation of the passage: 1st, Let the verse be regarded as consisting of a series of four protases , on which the apodosis then follows in ver. 2; 2d, Let ἐν Χριστῷ , ἀγάπης , πνεύματος and σπλάγχνα κ . οἰκτιρμοί be taken uniformly as predicative specifications; 3d, Let κοινωνία be again understood with the last εἴ τις . Paul would accordingly say: “If any exhortation is exhortation in Christ, if any comfort is comfort of love, if any fellowship is fellowship of the Spirit, if any (fellowship) is cordiality and compassion (that is, full of cordiality and compassion) fulfil ye ,” etc. The apostle would thus give to the element of the κοινωνία , besides the objective definition of its nature ( πνεύματος , referring to the Holy Spirit), also a subjective one ( σπλ . κ . σἰκτιρμ .), and mark the latter specially by the repetition of εἴ τις , sc κοινωνία ., as well as designate it the more forcibly by the nominative expression ( σπλάγχνα κ . οἰκτ ., not another genitive), inasmuch as the latter would set forth the ethical nature of such a κοινωνία (comp. such passages as Romans 7:7 ; Romans 8:10 ; Romans 14:17 ) in the form of a direct predicate. The εἰ , moreover, would remain uniformly the syllogistic εἰ in all the four clauses, and not, as in Hofmann’s view, suddenly change into the problematic sense in the fourth clause.

Verse 2

Philippians 2:2 . The joy which Paul already feels in respect to the Philippians (Philippians 1:4 ), they are to make full to him, like a measure (comp. John 3:29 ; John 15:11 ; Joh 17:13 ; 1 John 1:4 ; 2 John 1:12 ; 2 Corinthians 10:6 ). For the circumstances of the case, comp. Philippians 1:9 . The μου represents, as it very often does in the N. T. ( e.g . Philippians 4:14 ; Colossians 4:18 ; Philemon 1:20 ), and in Greek authors, the dative of interest.

ἵνα ] The mode in which they are to make his joy full is conceived in telic form, as that which is to be striven for in the action of making full; and in this aim of the πληροῦν the regulative standard for this activity was to consist. Paul might quite as fitly have put the τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν in the imperative, and the πληροῦν τὴν χαράν in the telic form; but the immediate relation to himself , in which he had conceived the whole exhortation, induced him to place the πληροῦν τ . χ . in the foreground.

τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε ] denotes generally harmony , and that, indeed, more closely defined by the sequel here as identity of sentiment . See Tittmann, Synon . p. 67; Fritzsche, ad Rom . III. p. 87 f.; comp. Herod. i. 60, ix. 54, and the passages in Wetstein. The opposite: ἀμφὶς φρ ., Hom. Il . xiii. 345; ἄλλῃ φρ ., hymn. Ap . 469; διχοφρονεῖν , Plut. Mor . p. 763 E; διχόμητις , Nonn. ev. John 20:29 ; and similar forms. Hoelemann interprets τὸ αὐτό as illud ipsum , that, namely, which was said in Philippians 2:1 , the παράκλησις ἐν Χ . down to οἰκτιρμοί . This is at variance with the context (see the following τ . αὐτ . ἀγάπ . and ἕν φρον .), and contrary to the wonted use of the expression elsewhere (Romans 12:16 ; Rom 15:5 ; 2 Corinthians 13:11 ; Philippians 4:2 ).

τὴν αὐτὴν ἀγ . ἔχ ., σύμψ . τὸ ἓν φρον .] Two more precise definitions of that like-mindedness, so far as it is identity of (mutual) love , and agreement of feeling and active impulse , sympathy ( σύμψυχοι , only found here in the N. T.; but see Polemo, ii. 54, and comp. on Philippians 1:27 , also on ἰσόψυχον , Philippians 2:20 ). This accumulation of definitions indicates earnestness; Paul cannot sever himself from the thought, of which his heart is so full. Comp. Chrysostom: βαβαὶ , ποσάκις τὸ αὐτὸ λέγει ἀπὸ διαθέσεως πολλῆς ! He also well remarks on τ . αὐτ . ἀγάπ . ἔχ .: τουτέστι ὁμοίως φιλεῖν καὶ φιλεῖσθαι . The following τὸ ἓν φρονοῦντες is to be closely connected with σύμψ ., so that σύμψυχοι has the emphasis and adds the more precise definition of the previously mentioned unity of mind: with harmony of soul cherishing the one sentiment . There are therefore only two , and not three , special explanations of the τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε ; and ἕν with the article points back to the previous τὸ αὐτό , which is now represented by τὸ ἕν without any essential difference in sense. Expositors, not attending to this close connection of σύμψ . with τὸ ἓν φρον . (which Wiesinger, Weiss, Ellicott, and Schenkel have acknowledged), have either made the apostle say the very same thing twice over (Oecumenius: διπλασιάζει τὸ ὁμοφρονεῖν ), or have drawn entirely arbitrary distinctions between τὸ αὐτό and τὸ ἓν φρον . e.g . Bengel, who makes the former refer to the same objects of the sentiment, and the latter to the same sentiment itself; Tittmann, l.c ., that the former is idem sentire, velle et quaerere , and the latter in uno expetendo consentire; Beza and others, that the former means the agreement of will, the latter the agreement in doctrine; while others put it inversely; Hofmann thinks that ἕν with the article means the one thing, on which a Christian must inwardly be bent (comp. Luke 10:42 ). It means, on the contrary, the one thing which has just been designated by τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε (as in Philippians 4:2 ; Romans 12:16 ; and other passages); the context affords no other reference for the article.

It is usual, even in classical authors, for the participle of a verb to stand by the side of the verb itself, in such a way that one of the two conveys a more precise specification. See Stallb. ad Plat. Hipp. m . p. 292 A; Bornemann, ad Cyrop . viii. 4. 9; Lobeck, Paral . p. 532 f.

Verse 3

Philippians 2:3 f. Μηδὲν κατὰ ἐριθ . ἤ κενοδοξ .] sc. φρονοῦντες (not ποιοῦντες , Erasmus, Luther, Beza, Camerarius, Storr, am Ende, Rheinwald, Flatt, van Hengel, and others); so that, accordingly, what was excluded by the previous requirement τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε … φρονοῦντες , is here described. To take, as in Galatians 5:13 , μηδεὶν … κενοδοξίαν as a prohibition by itself , without dependence on φρονοῦντες (see on Gal. l.c. ), as J. B. Lightfoot does, is inappropriate, because the following participial antithesis discloses the dependence of the μηδὲν κ . τ . λ . on the previous participle; hence also Hofmann’s view, that there is an intentional leaving the verb open , cannot be admitted. Hoelemann combines it with ἡγούμ ., and takes μηδὲν as neutiquam; but incorrectly, for ἡγούμ . κ . τ . λ . affirms the esteeming others better than oneself , which, therefore, cannot take place in a factious ( κατὰ ἐρίθειαν , see on Philippians 1:17 ) or in a vainglorious ( ἢ κενοδοξίαν ) way. The κατὰ denotes that which is regulative of the state of mind, and consequently its character , and is exchanged in the antithetic parallel for the dative of the instrument: by means of humility , the latter being by the article set down as a generic idea (by means of the virtue of humility). The mutual brotherly humility (Ephesians 4:2 ; Colossians 3:12 ; Acts 20:19 ) is the determining principle , by which, for example, Caius is moved to regard Lucius as standing higher, in a moral point of view, than himself, and, on the other hand, Lucius to pronounce Caius to be of a higher moral rank than himself ( i.e. ἀλλήλους … ἑαυτῶν ). Hoelemann erroneously refers τῇ ταπεινοφρ . to ὑπερέχ ., so that it “ excellentiae designet praesidium ,” a view which the very position of the words should have warned him not to adopt.

κενοδοξία ] ostentation , only here in the N. T. Comp. Wis 14:14 ; Polyb. iii. 81. 9; Lucian, D. Mort . x. 8, xx. 4; and see on Galatians 5:26 .

Philippians 2:4 . μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ἕκαστοι σκοπ .] The humble mind just indicated cannot exist together with selfishness , which has its own interests in view. See instances of σκοπεῖν τὰ τινος , to be mindful of any one’s interests, in Herod. i. 8; Plat. Phaedr . p. 232 D; Thuc. vi. 12. 2; Eur. Supp . 302. Comp. Lucian, Prom . 14: τἀμαυτοῦ μόνα σκοπῶ . The opposite of τὰ ἑαυτῶν σκ . may be seen in Malachi 4:5; Malachi 4:5 : τὸ δὲ συμφέρον κοινῇ … σκοπῶν . Comp. ζητεῖν τὰ ἑαυτοῦ , 1 Corinthians 10:24 ; 1 Corinthians 10:33 ; 1 Corinthians 13:5 ; Philippians 2:21 , where ζητεῖν presents no essential difference in sense. Others consider that the having regard to gifts and merits is intended (Calvin, Hammond, Raphel, Keil, Commentat . 1803, in his Opusc . p. 172 ff., Hoelemann, Corn. Müller), which, after the comprehensive τῇ ταπεινοφρ . κ . τ . λ ., would yield a very insipid limitation, and one not justified by the context.

ἕκαστοι ] It is usually, and in other passages of the N. T. invariably, the singular that is used in this distributive apposition; the plural, however, is not unfrequently found in classical authors. Hom. Od . ix. 164; Thuc. i. 7. 1; Xen. Hell . ii. 4, 38; Herodian, iii. 13, 14.

ἀλλὰ καὶ κ . τ . λ .] a weaker contrast than we should have expected from the absolute negation in the first clause; [89] a softening modification of the idea. In strict consistency the καί must have been omitted (1 Corinthians 10:24 ). Comp. Soph. Aj . 1292 (1313): ὅρα μὴ τοὐμὸν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ σόν ; and see Fritzsche, ad Marc . p. 788; Winer, p. 463 f. [E. T. 624]. The second ἕκαστοι might have been dispensed with; it is, however, an earnest repetition.

The influences disturbing unity in Philippi, disclosed in Philippians 2:2-4 , are not, according to these exhortations, of a doctrinal kind, nor do they refer to the strength and weakness of the knowledge and conviction of individuals, as was the case in Rome (Romans 14:0 ) and Corinth (1 Corinthians 8:10 ) in opposition to Rheinwald and Schinz; but they were based upon the jealousy of moral self-estimation , in which Christian perfection was respectively ascribed and denied to one another (comp. Philippians 2:12 ; Philippians 3:12 ff.). Although this necessarily implies a certain difference of opinion as to the ethical theory , the epistle shows no trace either of any actual division into factions , or of ascetic jealousy (which de Wette assumes as co-operating). But the exhortations to unity are too frequent (Philippians 1:27 , Philippians 2:2 f., Philippians 3:15 , Philippians 4:2 f.) and too urgent to justify us in questioning generally the existence (Weiss) of those disturbances of harmony, or in regarding them as mere ill humour and isolation disturbing the cordial fellowship of life (Hofmann). Comp. Huther, in the Mecklenb. Zeitschr . 1862, p. 640 ff.

[89] In which, in fact, it is not merely the limitation (Hofmann) to one’s own that is forbidden, as if μόνον stood along with it. What Hofmann at the same time deduces from the reading ἕκαστος (before σκοποῦντες ), which he follows, as distinguished from the subsequent ἕκαστοι (with a here wholly irrelevant comparison of Plat. Apol . p. 39 A), is sophistical, and falls, moreover, with the reading itself.

Verse 5

Philippians 2:5 . Enforcement of the precept contained in Philippians 2:3 f. by the example of Jesus (comp. Rom 15:3 ; 1 Peter 2:21 ; Clem. Cor . I. 16), who, full of humility, kept not His own interest in view , but in self-renunciation and self-humiliation sacrificed it, even to the endurance of the death of the cross, and was therefore exalted by God to the highest glory; [90] this extends to Philippians 2:12 . See on this passage Kesler in Thes. nov. ex mus. Has. et Iken . II. p. 947 f.; Schultens, Dissertatt. philol . I. p. 443 ff.; Keil, two Commentat . 1803 ( Opusc . p. 172 ff.); Martini, in Gabler’s Journ. f. auserl. theol. Lit . IV. p. 34 ff.; von Ammon, Magaz. f. Pred . II. 1, p. 7 ff.; Kraussold in the Annal. d. gesammt. Theol . 1835, II. p. 273 ff.; Stein in the Stud. u. Krit . 1837, p. 165 ff.; Philippi, d. thätige Gehors. Chr . Berl. 1841, p. 1 ff.; Tholuck, Disp. Christol. de l. Philippians 2:6-9 , Halle 1848; Ernesti in the Stud. u. Krit . 1848, p. 858 ff., and 1851, p. 595 ff.; Baur in the theol. Jahrb . 1849, p. 502 ff., and 1852, p. 133 ff., and in his Paulus , II. p. 51 ff. Exodus 2:0 ; Liebner, Christol . p. 325 ff.; Raebiger, Christol. Paulin . p. 76 ff.; Lechler, Apost. u. nachapost. Zeitalt . p. 58 ff.; Schneckenburger in the Deutsch. Zeitschr . 1855, p. 333 ff; Wetzel in the Monatschr. f. d. Luth. Kirche Preuss . 1857; Kähler in the Stud. u. Krit . 1857, p. 99 ff.; Beyschlag in the Stud. u. Krit . 1860, p. 431 ff., and his Christol. d. N. T . 1866, p. 233 ff.; Rich. Schmidt, Paul. Christol . 1870, p. 163 ff.; J. B. Lightfoot’s Excursus, p. 125 ff.; Pfleiderer in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr . 1871, p. 519 ff.; Grimm in the same Zeitschr . 1873, p. 33 ff. Among the more recent dogmatic writers, Thomasius, II. p. 148 ff.; Philippi, IV. 1, p. 469 ff.; Kahnis, I. p. 458 ff.

φρονείσθω ἐν ὑμ .] sentiatur in animis vestris . The parallelism with the ἐν which follows prohibits our interpreting it intra vestrum caetum (Hoelemann, comp. Matthies). The passive mode of expression is unusual elsewhere, though logically unassailable. Hofmann, rejecting the passive reading, as also the passive supplement afterwards, has sadly misunderstood the entire passage. [91]

ὃ καὶ ἐν Χ . Ἰ .] sc . ἐφρονήθη . On ἘΝ , comp. the Homeric ἘΝῚ ΦΡΕΣΊ , ἘΝῚ ΘΥΜῶ , which often occurs with ΦΡΟΝΕῖΝ , Od . xiv. 82, vi. 313; Il . xxiv. 173. καί is not cum maxime , but the simple also of the comparison (in opposition to van Hengel), namely, of the pattern of Christ.

[90] Christ’s example, therefore, in this passage is one of self-denial , and not of obedience to God (Ernesti), in which, in truth, the self-denial only manifested itself along with other things. It is, however, shown by the very addition of καί , that Paul really intended to adduce the example of Christ (in opposition to Hofmann’s view); comp. Romans 15:3 . Christ’s example is the moral, ideal, historically realized. Comp. Wuttke, Sittenl . II. § 224; Schmid, Sittenl . p. 355 ff.; and as early as Chrysostom.

[91] Reading φρονεῖτε , and subsequently explaining the ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ as a frequent expression with Paul for the ethical Christian quality (like ἐν κυρίῳ in Philippians 4:2 ), Hofmann makes the apostle say that the readers are to have their mind so directed within them, that it shall not be lacking in this definite quality which makes it Christian . Thus there would be evolved, when expressed in simple words, merely the thought: “Have in you the mind which is also the Christian one.” As if the grand outburst, which immediately follows, would be in harmony with such a general idea! This outburst has its very ground in the lofty example of the Lord. And what, according to Hofmann’s view, is the purpose of the significant καί ? It would be entirely without correlation in the text; for in ἐν ὑμίν the ἐν would have to be taken as local , and in the ἐν Χριστῷ , according to that misinterpretation, it would have to be taken in the sense of ethical fellowship , and thus relations not at all analogous would be marked.

Verse 6

Philippians 2:6 . The classical passage which now follows is like an Epos in calm majestic objectivity; nor does it lack an epic minuteness of detail.

ὅς ] epexegetical; subject of what follows; consequently Christ Jesus, but in the pre-human state , in which He, the Son of God, and therefore according to the Johannine expression as the λόγος ἄσαρκος , was with God. [92] The human state is first introduced by the words ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε in Philippians 2:7 . So Chrysostom and his successors, Beza, Zanchius, Vatablus, Castalio, Estius, Clarius, Calixtus, Semler, Storr, Keil, Usteri, Kraussold, Hoelemann, Rilliet, Corn. Müller, and most expositors, including Lünemann, Tholuck, Liebner, Wiesinger, Ernesti, Thomasius, Raebiger, Ewald, Weiss, Kahnis, Beyschlag (1860), Schmid, Bibl. Theol . II. p. 306, Messner, Lehre d. Ap . 233 f., Lechler, Gess, Person Chr . p. 80 f., Rich. Schmidt, l.c ., J. B. Lightfoot, Grimm; comp. also Hofmann and Düsterdieck, Apolog. Beitr . III. p. 65 ff. It has been objected (see especially de Wette and Philippi, also Beyschlag, 1866, and Dorner in Jahrb. f. D. Th . 1856, p. 394 f.), that the name Christ Jesus is opposed to this view; also, that in Philippians 2:8-11 it is the exaltation of the earthly Christ that is spoken of (and not the return of the Logos to the divine δόξα ); and that the earthly Christ only could be held up as a pattern . But Χριστὸς Ἰησοῦς , as subject, is all the more justly used (comp. 2Co 8:9 ; 1 Corinthians 8:6 ; Colossians 1:14 ff.; 1 Corinthians 10:4 ), since the subject not of the pre-human glory alone , but at the same time also of the human abasement [93] and of the subsequent exaltation, was to be named. Paul joins on to ὅς the whole summary of the history of our Lord, including His pre-human state (comp. 2 Corinthians 8:9 : ἐπτώχευσε πλούσιος ὤν ); therefore Philippians 2:8-11 cannot by themselves regulate our view as regards the definition of the subject; and the force of the example , which certainly comes first to light in the historical Christ, has at once historically and ethically its deepest root in, and derives its highest, because divine (comp. Matthew 5:48 ; Ephesians 5:1 ), obligation from, just what is said in Philippians 2:6 of His state before His human appearance. Moreover, as the context introduces the incarnation only at Philippians 2:7 , and introduces it as that by which the subject divested Himself of His divine appearance, and as the earthly Jesus never was in the form of God (comp. Gess, p. 295), it is incorrect, because at variance with the text and illogical, though in harmony with Lutheran orthodoxy and its antagonism to the Kenosis of the Logos, [94] to regard the incarnate historical Christ, the λόγος ἔνσαρκος , as the subject meant by ὅς (Novatian, de Trin . 17, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Cameron, Piscator, Hunnius, Grotius, Calovius, Clericus, Bengel, Zachariae, Kesler, and others, including Heinrichs, Baumgarten-Crusius, van Hengel, de Wette, Schneckenburger, Philippi, Beyschlag (1866), Dorner, and others; see the historical details in Tholuck, p. 2 ff., and J. B. Lightfoot). Liebner aptly observes that our passage is “ the Pauline ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο ;” comp. on Colossians 1:15 .

ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων ] not to be resolved, as usually, into “ although , etc.,” which could only be done in accordance with the context, if the ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγεῖσθαι κ . τ . λ . could be presupposed as something proper or natural to the being in the form of God; nor does it indicate the possibility of His divesting Himself of His divine appearance (Hofmann), which was self-evident; but it simply narrates the former divinely glorious position which He afterwards gave up: when He found Himself in the form of God , by which is characterized Christ’s pre-human form of existence. Then He was forsooth, and that objectively, not merely in God’s self-consciousness as the not yet incarnate Son (Romans 1:3-4 ; Romans 8:3 ; Galatians 4:4 ), according to John as λόγος with God, in the fellowship of the glory of God (comp. John 17:5 ). It is this divine glory, in which He found Himself as ἴσα Θεῷ ὤν and also εἰκὼν Θεοῦ as such also the instrument and aim of the creation of the world, Colossians 1:15 f. and into which, by means of His exaltation, He again returned; so that this divine δόξα , as the possessor of which before the incarnation He had, without a body and invisible to the eye of man (comp. Philo, de Somn . I. p. 655), the form of God, is now by means of His glorified body and His divine-human perfection visibly possessed by Him, that He may appear at the παρουσία , not again without it, but in and with it (Philippians 3:20 f.). Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:4 ; Colossians 1:15 ; Colossians 3:4 . Μορφή , therefore, which is an appropriate concrete expression for the divine δόξα (comp. Justin, Apol . I. 9), as the glory visible at the throne of God, and not a “fanciful expression” (Ernesti), is neither equivalent to φύσις or οὐσία (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Augustine, Chemnitz, and many others; comp. also Rheinwald and Corn. Müller); nor to status (Calovius, Storr, and others); nor is it the godlike capacity for possible equality with God (Beyschlag), an interpretation which ought to have been precluded both by the literal notion of the word μορφή , and by the contrast of μορφὴ δούλου in Philippians 2:7 . But the μορφὴ Θεοῦ presupposes [95] the divine φύσις as ὁμόστολος μορφῆς (Aesch. Suppl . 496), and more precisely defines the divine status, namely, as form of being , corresponding to the essence, consequently to the homoousia, and exhibiting the condition, so that μορφὴ Θεοῦ finds its exhaustive explanation in Hebrews 1:3 : ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης κ . χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ , this, however, being here conceived as predicated of the pre-existent Christ. In Plat. Rep . ii. p. 381 C, μορφή is also to be taken strictly in its literal signification, and not less so in Eur. Bacch . 54; Ael. H. A . iii. 24; Jos. c. Ap . ii. 16, 22. Comp. also Eur. Bacch . 4 : μορφὴν ἀμείψας ἐκ θεοῦ βροτησίαν , Xen. Cyr . i. 2. 2 : φύσιν μὲν δὴ τῆς ψυχῆς κ . τῆς μορφῆς . What is here called μορφὴ Θεοῦ is εἶδος Θεοῦ in John 5:37 (comp. Plat. Rep . p. 380 D; Plut. Mor . p. 1013 C), which the Son also essentially possessed in His pre-human δόξα (John 17:5 ). The explanation of φύσις was promoted among the Fathers by the opposition to Arius and a number of other heretics, as Chrysostom adduces them in triumph; hence, also, there is much polemical matter in them. For the later controversy with the Socinians, see Calovius.

ὑπάρχων ] designating more expressly than ὤν the relation of the subsisting state (Philippians 3:20 ; Luke 7:25 ; Luke 16:23 ; 2 Peter 3:11 ); and hence not at all merely in the decree of God , or in the divine self-consciousness (Schenkel). The time is that of the pre-human existence. See above on ὅς . Those who understand it as referring to His human existence (comp. John 1:14 ) think of the divine majesty, which Jesus manifested both by word and deed (Ambrosiaster, Luther, Erasmus, Heinrichs, Krause, Opusc . p. 33, and others), especially by His miracles (Grotius, Clericus); while Wetstein and Michaelis even suggest that the transfiguration on the mount is intended. It would be more in harmony with the context to understand the possession of the complete divine image (without arbitrarily limiting this, by preference possibly, to the moral attributes alone, as de Wette and Schneckenburger do) a possession which Jesus (“as the God-pervaded man,” Philippi) had ( potentialiter ) from the very beginning of His earthly life, but in a latent manner, without manifesting it. This view, however, would land them in difficulty with regard to the following ἑαυτ . ἐκένωσε κ . τ . λ ., and expose them to the risk of inserting limiting clauses at variance with the literal import of the passage; see below.

οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ ] In order to the right explanation, it is to be observed: (1) that the emphasis is placed on ἁρπαγμόν , and therefore (2) that τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ cannot be something essentially different from ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχειν , but must in substance denote the same thing, namely, the divine habitus of Christ, which is expressed, as to its form of appearance , by ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχ ., and, as to its internal nature , by τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ ; [96] (3) lastly, that ἁρπαγμός does not mean praeda , or that which is seized on (which would be ἁρπάγιμον , Callim. Cer . 9; Pallad, ep . 87; Philop. 79; or ἅρπαγμα or ἅρπασμα , and might also be ἁρπαγή ), or that which one forcibly snatches to himself (Hofmann and older expositors); but actively: robbing, making booty . In this sense, which is ὰ priori probable from the termination of the word which usually serves to indicate an action , it is used, beyond doubt, in the only profane passage in which it is extant, Plut. de pueror. educ . 15 ( Mor . p. 12 A): καὶ τοὺς μὲν Θήβῃσι καὶ τοὺς Ἠλίδι φευκτέον ἔρωτας καὶ τὸν ἐκ Κρήτης καλούμενον ἁρπαγμόν , where it denotes the Cretan kidnapping of children. It is accordingly to be explained: Not as a robbing did He consider [97] the being equal with God, i.e . He did not place it under the point of view of making booty, as if it was, with respect to its exertion of activity, to consist in His seizing what did not belong to Him . In opposition to Hofmann’s earlier logical objection ( Schriftbew . I. p. 149) that one cannot consider the being as a doing , comp. 1 Timothy 6:5 ; and see Hofmann himself, who has now recognised the linguistically correct explanation of ἁρπαγμός , but leaves the object of the ἉΡΠΆΖΕΙΝ indefinite, though the latter must necessarily be something that belongs to others , consequently a foreign possession. Not otherwise than in the active sense, namely raptus , can we explain Cyril, de adorat . I. p. 25 (in Wetstein): οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν [98] τὴν παραίτησιν ὡς ἔξ ἀδρανοῦς καὶ ὑδαρεστέρας ἐποιεῖτο φρενός ; further, Eus. in Luc . vi. in Mai’s Nov. Bibl. patr . iv. p. 165, and the passage in Possini Cat. in Marc . x. 42, p. 233, from the Anonym. Tolos.: ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἁρπαγμὸς ἡ τιμή ; [99] as also the entirely synonymous form ἁρπασμός in Plut. Mor . p. 644 A, and ληϊσμος in Byzantine writers; also ΣΚΥΛΕΥΜΌς in Eustathius; comp. Phryn. App . 36, where ἁρπαγμός is quoted as equivalent to ἍΡΠΑΣΙς . The passages which are adduced for ἍΡΠΑΓΜΑ ἩΓΕῖΣΘΑΙ or ΠΟΙΕῖΣΘΑΊ ΤΙ (Heliod. vii. 11. 20, viii. 7; Eus. H. E . viii. 12; Vit. C . 2:31) comp. the Latin praedam ducere (Cic. Verr . v. 15; Justin, ii. 5. 9, xiii. 1. 8) do not fall under the same mode of conception, as they represent the relation in question as something made a booty of , and not as the act of making booty . We have still to notice (1) that this οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο corresponds exactly to ΜῊ ΤᾺ ἙΑΥΤῶΝ ΣΚΟΠΟῦΝΤΕς (Philippians 2:4 ), as well as to its contrast ἙΑΥΤῸΝ ἘΚΈΝΩΣΕ in Philippians 2:7 (see on Philippians 2:7 ); and (2) that the aorist ἡγήσατο , indicating a definite point of time, undoubtedly, according to the connection (see the contrast, ἈΛΛʼ ἙΑΥΤῸΝ ἘΚΈΝΩΣΕ Κ . Τ . Λ . ), transports the reader to that moment, when the pre-existing Christ was on the point of coming into the world with the being equal to God . Had He then thought: “When I shall have come into the world, I will seize to myself, by means of my equality with God, power and dominion, riches, pleasure, worldly glory,” then He would have acted the part of ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγεῖσθαι τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ ; to which, however, He did not consent, but consented, on the contrary, to self-renunciation, etc. It is accordingly self-evident that the supposed case of the ἉΡΠΑΓΜΌς is not conceived as an action of the pre-existing Christ (as Richard Schmidt objects), but is put as connecting itself with His appearance on earth. The reflection , of which the pre-existent Christ is, according to our passage, represented as capable, even in presence of the will of God (see below, γενόμ . ὑπήκοος ), although the apostle has only conceived it as an abstract possibility and expressed it in an anthropopathic mode of presentation, is decisive in favour of the personal pre-existence; but in this pre-existence the Son appears as subordinate to the Father, as He does throughout the entire New Testament, although this is not (as Beyschlag objects) at variance with the Trinitarian equality of essence in the Biblical sense. By the ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγεῖσθαι κ . τ . λ ., if it had taken place, He would have wished to relieve Himself from this subordination.

The linguistic correctness and exact apposite correlation of the whole of this explanation, which harmonizes with 2 Corinthians 8:9 , [100] completely exclude the interpretation, which is traditional but in a linguistic point of view is quite incapable of proof, that ἉΡΠΑΓΜΌς , either in itself or by metonymy (in which van Hengel again appeals quite inappropriately to the analogy of James 1:2 , 2 Peter 3:15 ), means praeda or res rapienda . With this interpretation of ἁρπαγμός , the idea of ΕἾΝΑΙ ἼΣΑ ΘΕῷ has either been rightly taken as practically identical with ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχειν , or not . (A) In the former case, the point of comparison of the figurative praeda has been very differently defined: either , that Christ regarded the existence equal with God, not as a something usurped and illegitimate, but as something natural to Him, and that, therefore, He did not fear to lose it through His humiliation (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Augustine, and other Fathers; see Wetstein and J. B. Lightfoot); comp. Beza, Calvin, Estius, and others, who, however, give to the conception a different turn; [101] or , that He did not desire pertinaciously to retain for Himself this equality with God, as a robber his booty, or as an unexpected gain (Ambrosiaster, Castalio, Vatablus, Kesler, and others; and recently, Hoelemann, Tholuck, Reuss, Liebner, Schmid, Wiesinger, Gess, Messner, Grimm; comp. also Usteri, p. 314); [102] or , that He did not conceal it , as a prey (Matthies); or , that He did not desire to display it triumphantly , as a conqueror his spoils (Luther, Erasmus, Cameron, Vatablus, Piscator, Grotius, Calovius, Quenstedt, Wolf, and many others, including Michaelis, Zachariae, Rosenmüller, Heinrichs, Flatt, Rheinwald); [103] whilst others (Wetstein the most strangely, but also Usteri and several) mix up very various points of comparison. The very circumstance, however, that there exists so much divergence in these attempts at explanation, shows how arbitrarily men have endeavoured to supply a modal definition for ἁρπ . ἡγήσ ., which is not at all suggested by the text. (B) In the second case, in which a distinction is made between τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ and ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχειν , it is explained: non rapinam duxit , i.e. non rapiendum sibi duxit , or directly, non rapuit (Musculus, Er. Schmidt, Elsner, Clericus, Bengel, and many others, including am Ende, Martini, Krause, Opusc . p. 31, Schrader, Stein, Rilliet, van Hengel, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Ernesti, Raebiger, Schneckenburger, Ewald, Weiss, Schenkel, Philippi, Thomasius, Beyschlag, Kahnis, Rich. Schmidt, and others); that Christ, namely, though being ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ , did not desire to seize to Himself the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ , to grasp eagerly the possession of it. [104] In this view expositors have understood the ἴσα εἶναι Θεῷ as the divine plenitudinem et altitudinem (Bengel); the sessionem ad dextram (L. Bos); the divine honour (Cocceius, Stein, de Wette, Grau); the vitam vitae Dei aequalem (van Hengel); the existendi modum cum Deo aequalem (Lünemann); the coli et beate vivere ut Deus (Krause); the dominion on earth as a visible God (Ewald); the divine autonomy (Ernesti); the heavenly dignity and glory entered on after the ascension (Raebiger, comp. Thomasius, Philippi, Beyschlag, Weiss), corresponding to the ὄνομα τὸ ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα in Philippians 2:9 (Rich. Schmidt); the nova jura divina , consisting in the κυριότης πάντων (Brückner); the divine δόξα of universal adoration (Schneckenburger, Lechler, comp. Messner); the original blessedness of the Father (Kahnis); indeed, even the identity with the Father consisting in invisibility (Rilliet), and the like, which is to sustain to the μορφὴ Θεοῦ the relation of a plus , or something separable , or only to be obtained at some future time by humiliation and suffering [105] (Philippians 2:9 ). So, also, Sabatier, l’ apôtre Paul , 1870, p. 223 ff. [106] In order to meet the ΟὐΧ ἉΡΠ . ἩΓ . (comparing Matthew 4:8 ff.), de Wette (comp. Hofmann, Schriftbew . p. 151) makes the thought be supplied, that it was not in the aim of the work of redemption befitting that Christ should at the very outset receive divine honour, and that, if He had taken it to Himself, it would have been a seizure , an usurpation. But as ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπ . already involves the divine essence, [107] and as ἴσα εἶναι Θεῷ has no distinctive more special definition in any manner climactic (comp. Pfleiderer), Chrysostom has estimated this whole mode of explanation very justly: εἰ ἦν Θεός , πῶς εἶχεν ἁρπάσαι ; καὶ πῶς οὐκ ἀπερινόητον τοῦτο ; τίς γὰρ ἂν εἴποι , ὅτι ὁ δεῖνα ἄνθρωπος ὤν οὐχ ἥρπασε τὸ εἶναι ἄνθρωπος ; πῶς γὰρ ἄν τις ὅπερ ἐστὶν , ἁρπάσειεν . Moreover, in harmony with the thought and the state of the case, Paul must have expressed himself conversely: ὃς ἴσα Θεῷ ὑπάρχων οὐχ ἁρπ . ἠγ . τὸ εἶναι ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ , so as to add to the idea of the equality of nature ( ἴσα ), by way of climax, that of the same form of appearance ( μορφή ), of the divine δόξα also.

With respect to τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ , it is to be observed, (1) that ἴσα is adverbial: in like manner , as we find it, although less frequently, in Attic writers (Thuc. iii. 14; Eur. Or . 880 al.; comp. ὁμοῖα , Lennep. ad Phalar . 108), and often in the later Greek, and in the LXX. (Job 5:14 ; Job 10:10 ; Job 11:12 ; Job 13:12 ; Wis 7:3 , according to the usual reading). This adverbial use has arisen from the frequent employment, even so early as Homer ( Il . v. 71, xv. 439; Od . xi. 304, xv. 519 al.) , of ἴσα as the case of the object or predicate (see Ellendt, Lex. Soph . I. p. 847; Krüger, II. § xlvi. 6. 8). But as εἶναι , as the abstract substantive verb, does not suit the adverbial ἴσα , pari ratione , therefore (2) τὸ εἶναι must be taken in the sense of existere; so that τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ does not mean the being equal to God (which would be τὸ εἶναι ἴσον Θεῷ ), but the God-equal existence , existence in the way of parity with God. [108] Paul might have written ἴσον (as mascul.) Θεῷ (John 5:18 ), or ἰσόθεον ; but, as it stands, he has more distinctly expressed the metaphysical relation, the divine mode of existence , [109] of the pre-human Christ. (3) The article points back to ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων , denoting the God-equal existence manifesting itself in that μορφή ; for the μορφὴ Θεοῦ is the appearance , the adequate subsisting form , of the God-equal existence . (4) Ernesti (in controversy with Baur), who is followed by Kähler, Kahnis, Beyschlag, and Hilgenfeld, entertains the groundless opinion that our passage alludes to Genesis 2 f., the ἴσα εἶναι Θεῷ pointing in particular to Genesis 3:5 . In the text there is no trace [110] of any comparison of Christ with the first human beings, not even an echo of like expression; how different from the equality with God in our passage is the ἔσεσθε ὡς θεοί in Genesis 3:5 ! Certainly, any such comparison lay very remote from the sublime idea of the divine glory of the pre-existent Christ, which was something quite different from the image of God in the first human beings. Comp. also Rich. Schmidt, p. 172; Grimm, p. 42 f.

[92] That Christ in His Trinitarian pre-existence was already the eternal Principle and Prototype of humanity (as is urged by Beyschlag), is self-evident; for otherwise He would have been one essentially different from Him who in the fulness of time appeared in the flesh. But this does not entitle us to refer the pre-existence to His whole divine-human person , and to speak of an eternal humanity , paradoxes which cannot exegetically be justified by our passage and other expressions such as 1 Corinthians 15:47 ; Romans 5:12 ff; Romans 8:29 ; Colossians 1:15 . The Logos pre-existed as the divine principle and divine prototype of humanity; Θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος , and this, apart from the form of expression, is also the teaching of Paul. Only in time could He enter upon the human existence; the notion of eternal humanity would refute itself.

[93] Hence Philippi’s objection, that φρονεῖν is elsewhere applied to man only, and not to God , is devoid of significance. Unfounded is also Beyschlag’s objection (1866) drawn from the word σχήματι ; see below.

[94] According to which Christ had the full divine majesty “statim in sua conceptione, etiam in utero matris” ( Form. Conc . p. 767). But He had it in His state of humiliation secreto , and only manifested it occasionally, quoties ipsi visum fuerit . In opposition to this, Liebner rightly observes, p. 334: “This is altogether inadequate to express the powerful N. T. feeling of the depth and greatness of our Lord’s humiliation. This feeling unmistakeably extends to the unique personal essence of the God-man, and in conformity with this, to the very heart of the act of incarnation itself.”

[95] Bengel well says: “Ipsa natura divina decorem habebat infinitum, in se, etiam sine ulla creatura illum decorem intuente.” What Paul here designates simply by ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων is pompously expressed by Clement, Cor . I. 16: τὸ σκῆπτρον τῆς μεγαλωσύνης τοῦ Θεοῦ . The forma mentis aeterna , however, in Tacitus, Agric . 46, is a conception utterly foreign to our passage (although adduced here by Hitzig), and of similar import with Propertius, iii. 1, 64: “ingenio stat sine morte decus.”

[96] An entirely groundless objection has been made (even by Lünemann) against the view which takes τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ as not essentially different from ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ εἶναι , viz. that Paul would, instead of τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ , have written merely τοῦτο , or even nothing at all. He might have done so, but there was no necessity for his taking that course, least of all for Paul! He, on the contrary, distinguishes very precisely and suitably between the two ideas representing the same state, by saying that Christ, in His divine pre-human form of life , did not venture to use this His God-equal being for making booty. Both, therefore, express the very same divine habitus; but the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ is the general element, which presents itself in the divine μορφή as its substratum and lies at its basis, so that the two designations exhaust the idea of divinity. Comp. also Liebner, p. 328.

[97] On ἡγεῖσθαι , in this sense of the mode of regarding , which places the object under the point of view of a qualitative category, comp. Krüger on Thuc . ii. 44. 3.

[98] Lot did not let the refusal of the angels be a making of profit to himself.

[99] Where, according to the connection, the sense is: Not a seizing to oneself is the position of honour, as among the heathen , but a renouncing and serving after the example of Christ .

[100] Räbiger and Wetzel, and also Pfleiderer, l.c ., have lately adopted this view; likewise Kolbe in the Luther. Zeitschr . 1873, p. 311 f. Hofmann also now explains the passage in a way not substantially different. But Grimm, l.c . p. 38, very unjustly describes the retention of ἁρπαγμός in the sense which it has in Plutarch, as petty grammatical pedantry. The ideas, spoil, booty , occur in countless instances in all Greek authors, and in the LXX., and are very variously expressed ( ἁρπαγή , ἅρπαγμα , ἀρπασμα , ληΐς , σκύλευμα , σῦλον , λεία ), but never by ἁρπαγμός , or any other form of word ending with μος . It is true that various substantives ending in μος may denote the result of the action; not, however, as we may be pleased to assume, but solely in accordance with evidence of empirical usage , and this is just what is wanting for this sense in the case of ἁρπαγμός . Its rejection, therefore, in our passage, is not pedantic , but is simply linguistically demanded . Weiss, bibl. Theol . p. 426, Exodus 2:0 , erroneously objects to our view of ἁρπαγμός , that, in that case, it would be impossible to conceive of any object , and that thus an utterly empty antithesis to the giving up of Christ’s own possession is the result. As if there were not given in the very notion of ἁρπαγμός its object, viz. that which does not belong to the subject of the action, and this, indeed, in its unrestricted and full compass, just because nothing special is added as an object.

[101] Beza: “Non ignoravit, se in ea re ( i.e . quod Deo Patri coaequalis esset) nullam injuriam cuiquam facere, sed suo jure uti; nihilominus tamen quasi jure suo cessit. ” So also Calvin, substantially, only that he erroneously interprets ἡγήσατο as arbitratus esset , “Non fuisset injuria, si aequalis Deo apparuisset.” Estius: “that He had not recognised the equality with God as an usurped possession, and therefore possibly desired to lay it aside, but had renounced Himseif ,” etc.

[102] In this class we must reckon the interpretation of Theodoret (comp. Origen, ad Rom . v. 2, x. 7, Eusebius, and others): that Christ, being God by nature, did not hold His equality with God as something specially great, as those do who attain to honours παρʼ ἀξίαν ; but that He, τὴν ἀξίαν κατακρύψας , chose humiliation. To this comes also the view of Theodore of Mopsuestia: μορφὴν γὰρ δούλου λαβὼν τὴν ἀξίαν ἐκείνην ἀπέκρυψεν , τοῦτο τοῖς ὁρῶσιν εἶναι νομιζόμενος , ὅπερ ἐφαίνετο . Tholuck compares the German expression: als ein gefundenes Essen (einen guten Fund) ansehen . According to him, the idea of the whole passage is, “Tantum aberat, ut Christus, quatenus λόγος est, in gloria atque beatitate sua acquiescere sibique soli placere vellet, ut amore erga mortales ductus servi formam induere ac vel infimam sortem subire sine ulla haesitatione sustineret.”

[103] To this belongs also Pelagius, “Quod erat, humilitate celavit , dans nobis exemplum, ne in his gloriemur , quae forsitan non habemus.”

[104] So also Lünemann, who, in the sense of the divine pre-existence of Christ, paraphrases thus: “Christus, etsi ab aeterno 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 aequalem, sed ultro se exinanivit.” In a sense opposed to the divine pre-existence, however, Beyschlag says, Christol . p. 236 f.: “Christ possessed the μορφὴ Θεοῦ (that is, ‘the inner form of God’); He might have but stretched out His hand towards the ἴσα Θεῷ εἶναι ; He disdained, however, to seize it for Himself, and chose quite the opposite; therefore it was given Him as the reward of His obedience, etc.” Hilgenfeld, in his Zeitschrift , 1871, p. 197 f., says: the Pauline Christ is indeed the heavenly man , but no divine being; the equality with God was attained by Him only through the renunciation, etc.

[105] The lead in this mode of considering the passage was taken by Arius, whose party, on the ground of the proposition ἐκεῖνο ἁρπάζει τις , ὃ οὐκ ἔχει , declared: ὅτι Θεὸς ὢν ἐλάττων οὐχ ἥρπασε τὸ εἶναι ἴσα τῷ Θεῷ τῷ μεγάλῳ κ . μείζονι . See Chrysostom.

[106] He thinks that the divine μορφή of Christ stands to the ἴσα εἶναι Θεῷ in the relation of potentia to actus. “Christ était des l’origine en puissance ce qu’ à la fin il devint en réalité; ” the μορφὴ Θεοῦ denotes the general form of being of Christ, but “une forme vide, qui doit êtré remplie, c’est-à-dire spirituellement réalisée.” This higher position He had not wished to usurp, but had attained to it “réellement par le libre développement de sa vie morale.”

[107] Not merely the similarity , from which is there distinguished the equality by εἶναι ἴσα (in opposition to Martini and others).

[108] [The German is: nicht das Gotte gleich sein , sondern das gottgleiche Sein , das Sein auf gottgleiche Weise, die gottgleiche Existenz. ]

[109] Which, therefore, was not essentially different from that of the Father. The ἴσα εἶναι Θεῷ is the Pauline Θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος . Hofmann erroneously, although approved by Thomasius, makes the objection ( Schriftbew . p. 150) that an existence equal to divine existence can only be predicated of Him, who is not God. It may be predicated also of Him who is not the very same person, but of equal divine nature. Thus it might also be asserted of the Holy Spirit. The appeal by Hofmann to Thuc. iii. 14 is here without any bearing whatever.

[110] Ritschl indeed also, Altkath. Kirche , p. 80, requires, for the understanding of our passage, a recognition that Christ, as ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων , is put in comparison with the earthly Adam. But why should Paul, if this comparison was before his mind, not have written, in accordance with Genesis 1:26 , κατʼ εἰκόνα Θ ., or καθʼ ὁμοίωσιν Θ ἐν μορφῇ Θ .,? instead of ἐν μορφῇ Θ . This would have been most natural for himself, and would also have been a hint to guide the readers. The passages quoted by Hilgenfeld from the Clementine Homilies affirm the μορφὴ Θεοῦ of the body of man, and are therefore irrelevant.

Verse 7

Philippians 2:7 . Ἀλλʼ ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε ] The emphatically prefixed ἑαυτόν is correlative to the likewise emphatic ἁρπαγμόν in Philippians 2:6 . Instead of the ἁρπάζειν , by which he would have entered upon a foreign domain, He has, on the contrary, emptied Himself , and that, as the context places beyond doubt, of the divine μορφή , which He possessed but now exchanged for a μορφὴ δούλου ; He renounced the divine glorious form which, prior to His incarnation, was the form of appearance of His God-equal existence, took instead of it the form of a servant, and became as a man. Those who have already taken Philippians 2:6 as referring to the incarnate Christ (see on ὅς , Philippians 2:6 ) are at once placed in a difficulty by ἐκένωσε , and explain away its simple and distinct literal meaning; as, for instance, Calvin: “ supprimendo … deposuit;” Calovius (comp. Form. Conc . pp. 608, 767): “ veluti (?) deposuit, quatenus eam (gloriam div.) non perpetuo manifestavit atque exseruit; ” Clericus: “non magis ea usus est, quam si ea destitutus fuisset;” comp. Quenstedt, Bos, Wolf, Bengel, Rheinwald, and many others. Beyschlag also finds expressed here merely the idea of the self-denial exercised on principle by Christ in His earthly life, consequently substituting the N. T. idea of ἀπαρνεῖσθαι ἑαυτόν . De Wette, in accordance with his distinction between μορφὴ Θεοῦ and εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ (comp. Schneckenburger, p. 336), referring it only to the latter (so also Corn. Müller, Philippi, Beyschlag, and others), would have this εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ meant merely in so far as it would have stood in Jesus’ power , not in so far as He actually possessed it, so that the ἑαυτ . ἐκέν . amounts only to a renunciation of the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ , which He might have appropriated to Himself; while others , like Grotius, alter the signification of κενοῦν itself, some making it mean: He led a life of poverty (Grotius, Baumgarten-Crusius), and others: depressit (van Hengel, Corn. Müller, following Tittmann, Opusc . p. 642 f., Keil, comp. Chrysostom, Theodoret, and others). Augustine: “Non amittens quod erat, sed accipiens quod non erat; forma servi accessit , non forma Dei discessit .” But ἐκένωσε means nothing but exinanivit (Vulgate) (see Romans 4:14 ; 1 Corinthians 1:17 ; 1Co 9:15 ; 2 Corinthians 9:3 ; and the passages in the LXX. cited by Schleusner; Plat. Conv . p. 197 C, Rep . p. 560 D, Phil . p. 35 E; Soph. O. R . 29; Eur. Rhes . 914; Thuc. viii. 57. 1; Xen. Oec . 8. 7), [111] and is here purposely selected , because it corresponds with the idea of the ἁρπαγμός (Philippians 2:6 ) all the more, that the latter also falls under the conception of ΚΕΝΟῦΝ (as emptying of that which is affected by the ἁρπαγμός ; comp. LXX. Jeremiah 15:9 ; Plat. Rep . p. 560 D; Sir 13:5 ; Sir 13:7 ). The specific reference of the meaning to making poor (Grotius) must have been suggested by the context (comp. 2 Corinthians 8:9 ; Ecclus. l.c. ), as if some such expression as ἐν πλούτῳ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχ . had been previously used. Figuratively , the renunciation of the divine μορφή might have been described as a putting it off ( ἐκδύεσθαι ).

The more precise , positive definition of the mode in which He emptied Himself, is supplied by μορφὴν δούλου λαβών , and the latter then receives through ἘΝ ὉΜ . ἈΝΘΡ . ΓΕΝΌΜΕΝΟς ΚΑῚ ΣΧΉΜ . ΕὙΡ . Ὡς ἌΝΘΡ . its specification of mode, correlative to ΕἾΝΑΙ ἼΣΑ ΘΕῷ . This specification is not co-ordinate (de Wette, Baumgarten-Crusius, Weiss, Schenkel), but subordinate to ΜΟΡΦῊΝ ΔΟΎΛ . ΛΑΒΏΝ , hence no connecting particle is placed before ἘΝ ὉΜ . , and no punctuation is to be placed before ΚΑῚ ΣΧΉΜΑΤΙ , but a new topic is to be entered upon with ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ in Philippians 2:8 (comp. Luther). The division, by which a stop is placed before ΚΑῚ ΣΧΉΜΑΤΙ ἌΝΘΡΩΠΟς , and these words are joined to ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ Κ . Τ . Λ . (Castalio, Beza, Bengel, and others; including Hoelemann, Rilliet, van Hengel, Lachmann, Wiesinger, Ewald, Rich. Schmidt, J. B. Lightfoot, Grimm), is at variance with the purposely-chosen expressions ΣΧΉΜΑΤΙ and ΕὙΡΕΘΕΊς , both of which correspond to the idea of ΜΟΡΦΉ , and thereby show that Κ . ΣΧ . ΕὙΡ . Ὡς ἌΝΘΡ . is still a portion of the modal definition of ΜΟΡΦῊΝ ΔΟΎΛΟΥ ΛΑΒΏΝ . Nor is the ΣΧΉΜ . ΕὙΡ . Ὡς ἌΝΘΡ . something following the ΚΈΝΩΣΙς (Grimm), but the empirical appearance, which was an integral part of the manner in which the act of self-emptying was completed. Besides, ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ ἙΑΥΤΌΝ has its own more precise definition following; hence by the proposed connection the symmetry of structure in the two statements, governed respectively by ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε and ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ ἙΑΥΤΌΝ , would be unnecessarily disturbed. This applies also in opposition to Hofmann, who (comp. Grotius) even connects ἘΝ ὉΜΟΙΏΜΑΤΙ ἌΝΘΡ . ΓΕΝΌΜ . with ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ ἙΑΥΤΌΝ , whereby no less than three participial definitions are heaped upon the latter. And when Hofmann discovers in ἘΝ ὉΜΟΙΏΜΑΤΙ Κ . Τ . Λ . a second half of the relative sentence attached to ΧΡΙΣΤῷ ἸΗΣΟῦ , it is at variance with the fact, that Paul does not by the intervention of a particle (or by Ὃς ΚΑΊ , or even by the bare Ὅς ) supply any warrant for such a division, which is made, therefore, abruptly and arbitrarily, simply to support the scheme of thought which Hofmann groundlessly assumes: (1) that Jesus, when He was in the divine μορφή , emptied Himself; and (2) when He had become man, humbled Himself. Comp. in opposition to this, Grimm, p. 46, and Kolbe in the Luther. Zeitschr . 1873, p. 314.

μορφὴν δούλου λαβών ] so that He took slave-form , now making this lowly form of existence and condition His own, instead of the divine form, which He had hitherto possessed. How this was done, is stated in the sequel. The aorist participle denotes, not what was previous to the ἑαυτ . ἐκέν ., but what was contemporaneous with it. See on Ephesians 1:9 . So also do the two following participles, which are, however, subordinated to the μορφὴν δούλου λαβών , as definitions of manner. That Paul, in the word ΔΟΎΛΟΥ , thought not of the relation of one serving in general (with reference to God and men, Matthies, Rheinwald, Rilliet, de Wette, comp. Calvin and others), or that of a servant of others , as in Matthew 20:28 (Schneckenburger, Beyschlag, Christol . p. 236, following Luther and others), or, indefinitely, that of one subject to the will of another (Hofmann), but of a slave of God (comp. Acts 3:13 ; Isaiah 52:0 ), as is self-evident from the relation to God described in Philippians 2:6 , is plain, partly from the fact that subsequently the assumption of the slave-form is more precisely defined by ἐν ὁμοιώμ . ἀνθρ . γενόμ . (which, regarded in itself, puts Jesus only on the same line with men , but in the relation of service towards God ), and partly from ὑπήκοος in Philippians 2:8 . To generalize the definite expression, and one which corresponds so well to the connection, into “ miseram sortem, qualis esse servorum solet ” (Heinrichs, comp. Hoelemann; and already, Beza, Piscator, Calovius, Wolf, Wetstein, and others), is pure caprice, which Erasmus, following Ambrosiaster (comp. Beyschlag, 1860, p. 471), carries further by the arbitrary paraphrase: “servi nocentis , cum ipsa esset innocentia,” comp. Romans 8:3 .

ἐν ὁμοιώμ . ἀνθρ . γενόμ . κ . τ . λ .] the manner of this ΜΟΡΦ . ΔΟΎΛΟΥ ΛΑΒΕῖΝ : so that He came in the likeness of man , that is, so that He entered into a form of existence, which was not different from that which men have . In opposition to Hofmann, who connects ἐν ὁμοιώματι κ . τ . λ . with ἘΤΑΠΕΊΝΩΣΕΝ Κ . Τ . Λ . , see above. On ΓΊΝΕΣΘΑΙ ἘΝ , in the sense, to come into a position, into a state , comp. 2 Corinthians 3:7 ; 1 Timothy 2:14 ; Luke 22:44 ; Acts 22:17 ; 1Ma 1:27 ; 2Ma 7:9 ; Sir 44:20 ; and frequently in Greek authors after Homer (Xen. Anab . i. 9. 1; Herodian, iii. 7. 19, ii. 13. 21); see Nägelsbach, zur Ilias , p. 295 f. Exodus 3:0 . This entrance into an existence like that of men was certainly brought about by human birth; still it would not be appropriate to explain γενόμ . by natus (Galatians 4:4 ; Rilliet; comp. Gess, p. 295; Lechler, p. 66), or as an expression for the “ beginning of existence ” (Hofmann), since this fact, in connection with which the miraculous conception is, notwithstanding Romans 1:3 , also thought to be included , was really human, as it is also described in Galatians 4:4 . Paul justly says: ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρ ., because, in fact, Christ, although certainly perfect man ( Rom 5:15 ; 1 Corinthians 15:21 ; 1 Timothy 2:5 ), was, by reason of the divine nature (the ἼΣΑ ΕἾΝΑΙ ΘΕῷ ) present in Him, not simply and merely man, not a purus putus homo , but the incarnate Son of God (comp. Romans 1:3 ; Galatians 4:4 ; and the Johannine ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο ), ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί (1 Timothy 3:16 ), so that the power of the higher divine nature was united in Him with the human appearance, which was not the case in other men. The nature of Him who had become man was, so far, not fully identical with, but substantially conform ( ἐν ὁμοιώμ .) to, that which belongs to man. [112] Comp. on Romans 8:3 ; Romans 1:3 f., and respecting the idea of ὁμοίωμα , which does not convey merely the conception of analogy , see on Romans 1:23 ; Romans 5:14 ; Romans 6:5 ; Romans 8:3 . The expression is based, not upon the conception of a quasi-man , but upon the fact that in the man Jesus Christ (Romans 5:15 ) there was the superhuman life-basis of divine ἰσότης , the ΕἾΝΑΙ ἼΣΑ ΘΕῷ not indwelling in other men. Justice, however, is not done to the intentionally used ὉΜΟΙΏΜΑΤΙ (comp. afterwards ΣΧΉΜΑΤΙ ), if, with de Wette, we find merely the sense that He (not appearing as divine Ruler) was found in a human condition , a consequence of the fact that even Philippians 2:6 was referred to the time after the incarnation. This drove also the ancient dogmatic expositors to adopt the gloss, which is here out of place, that Christ assumed the accidentales infirmitates corporis (yet without sin), not ex naturae necessitate , but ex οἰκονομίας libertate (Calovius). [113] By others, the characteristic of debile et abjectum (Hoelemann, following older expositors) is obtruded upon the word ἀνθρώπων , which is here to be taken in a purely generic sense; while Grotius understood ἀνθρ . as referring to the first human beings, and believed that the sinlessness of Jesus was meant. It is not at all specially this (in opposition also to Castalio, Lünemann, Schenkel, and others), but the whole divine nature of Jesus, the μορφή of which He laid aside at His incarnation, which constitutes the point of difference that lies at the bottom of the expression ἐν ὁμοιώματι ( ΔΙᾺ ΤῸ ΜῊ ΨΙΛῸΝ ἌΝΘΡΩΠΟΝ ΕἾΝΑΙ , Theophylact, comp. Chrysostom), and gives to it the definite reference of its meaning. The explanation of the expression by the unique position of Christ as the second Adam (Weiss) is alien from the context, which presents to us the relation, not of the second man to the first man, but of the God-man to ordinary humanity.

καὶ σχήμ . εὑρ . ὡς ἄνθρωπ .] to be closely connected with the preceding participial affirmation, the thought of which is emphatically exhausted: “and in fashion was found as a man, ” so that the divine nature (the Logos-nature) was not perceived in Him. σχῆμα , habitus , which receives its more precise reference from the context (Pflugk, ad Eur. Hec . 619), denotes here the entire outwardly perceptible mode and form, the whole shape of the phenomenon apparent to the senses, 1 Corinthians 7:31 ; comp. τὸ τῆς θεοῦ σχῆμα κ . ἄγαλμα , Plat. Crit . p. 110 B; τύραννον σχῆμα , Soph. Ant . 1154; Eur. Med . 1039; Plat. Polit . p. 267 C: σχῆμα βασιλικόν , p. 290 D: ΤῶΝ ἹΕΡΈΩΝ ΣΧῆΜΑ ; Dem . 690. 21: ὑπηρέτου σχῆμα ; Lucian, Cyn . 17: τὸ ἐμὸν σχῆμα τὸ δʼ ὑμέτερον ; also, in the plural, Xen. Mem . iii. 10. 7; Lucian, D. M . xx. 5. Men saw in Christ a human form, bearing, language, action, mode of life, wants and their satisfaction, etc., in general the state and relations of a human being, so that in the entire mode of His appearance He made Himself known and was recognised ( εὑρεθ .) as a man . In His external character, after He had laid aside the divine form which He had previously had, [114] there was observed no difference between His appearance and that of a man , although the subject of His appearance was at the same time essentially divine . The ὡς with ἌΝΘΡ . does not simply indicate what He was recognised to be (Weiss); this would have been expressed by ἄνθρ . alone; but He was found as a man, not invested with other qualities . The Vulgate well renders it, “inventus ut homo.” This included, in particular, that He presented and manifested in Himself the human σάρξ , human weakness and susceptibility of death (2 Corinthians 13:4 ; Romans 6:9 ; Acts 26:23 ).

[111] Comp. Hasse in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol . 1858, p. 394 f. (in opposition to Dorner’s reference of the idea to that of ἐξουθενεῖν ). Dorner, in the same Jahrb . 1856, p. 395, is likewise driven to reduce the idea of the κένωσις merely to that of the renunciation of the appearance of majesty, which would have been befitting the divine form and parity, this inner greatness and dignity of Jesus Christ.

[112] Our passage contains no trace of Docetism , even if Paul had, instead of ἀνθρώπων , used the singular, which he might just as well have written here as ὡς ἄνθρωπος in the sequel, in place of which he might also have used ὡς ἄνθρωποι . This applies in opposition to Lange, apost. Zeitalt . I. p. 131, and Lechler, p. 66. Even Philippi, Glaubensl . IV. 1, p. 472, is of opinion that the above-named interpretation amounts to Docetism. But Christ was in fact, although perfect man, nevertheless something so much more exalted, that the phrase ἐν ὁμοιώμ . ἀνθρ . must have vindicated itself to the believing consciousness of the readers without any misconception, and especially without that of Docetism, which Baur introduces into it ( neutest. Theol . p. 269), particularly when we consider the thoroughly ethical occasion and basis of the passage as an exhibition of the loftiest example of humility (comp. Rich. Schmidt, p. 178). Nevertheless, Beyschlag has repeated that objection.

[113] To this also amounts the not so precisely and methodically expressed explanation of Philippi: Since Christ remained in the divine form, His assumption of the slave-form consisted “ in the withdrawal of the rays of the divine glory which continued to dwell in His flesh, and which He only veiled and subdued with the curtain of the flesh. ” Thus also does Calvin depict it: the carnis humilitas was instar veli, quo divina majestas tegebatur .

[114] Comp. Test. XII. Patr . p. 644 f.: ὄψεσθε Θεὸν ἐν σχήματι ἀνθρώπου . Comp. p. 744: τὸν βασιλέα τῶν οὐρανῶν , τὸν ἐπὶ γῆς φανέντα ἐν μορφῇ ἀνθρώπου ταπεινώσεως . How these passages agree with the Nazaraic character of the book, is not a point for discussion here.

Verse 8

Philippians 2:8 . Ἐταπείνωσεν ] is placed with great emphasis at the head of a new sentence (see on Philippians 2:7 ), and without any connecting particle: He has humbled Himself. Ἑαυτόν is not prefixed as in Philippians 2:7 ; for in Philippians 2:7 the stress, according to the object in view, was laid on the reflexive reference of the action, but here on the reflexive action itself . The relation to ἐκένωσε is climactic, not, however, as if Paul did not regard the self- renunciation (Philippians 2:7 ) as being also self- humiliation , but in so far as the former manifested in the most extreme way the character of ταπείνωσις in the shameful death of Jesus. It is a climactic parallelism (comp. on Philippians 4:9 ) in which the two predicates, although the former in the nature of the case already includes the latter (in opposition to Hofmann), are kept apart as respects the essential points of their appearance in historical development. Bengel well remarks: “Status exinanitionis gradatim profundior.” Hoelemann, mistaking this, says: “He humbled Himself even below His dignity as man.

γενόμ . ὑπήκοος ] The aorist participle is quite, like the participles in Philippians 2:7 , simultaneous with the governing verb: so that He became obedient . This ὑπήκοος is, however, not to be defined by “ capientibus se, damnantibus et interficientibus ” (Grotius); nor is it to be referred to the law , Galatians 4:4 (Olshausen), but to God (Romans 5:19 ; Hebrews 5:8 f.), whose will and counsel (comp. e.g . Matthew 26:42 ) formed the ground determining the obedience. Comp. Philippians 2:9 : διὸ καὶ ὁ Θεός κ . τ . λ . The expression itself glances back to μορφ . δούλου ; “obedientia servum decet,” Bengel.

μέχρι θανάτου ] belongs to ὑπήκ . γενόμ ., not to ἐταπ . ἑαυτ . (Bengel, Hoelemann) which latter connection is arbitrarily assumed, dismembers the discourse, and would leave a too vague and feeble definition for ἐταπ . ἑαυτ . in the mere ὑπήκ . γενόμ . By μέχρι death is pointed out as the culminating point , as the highest degree, up to which He obeyed, not merely as the temporal goal (van Hengel). Comp. 2 Timothy 2:9 ; Hebrews 12:4 ; Acts 22:4 ; Matthew 26:38 . This extreme height reached by His obedience was, however, just the extreme depth of the humiliation, and thereby at the same time its end; comp. Acts 8:33 ; Isaiah 53:8 . Hofmann groundlessly takes ὑπήκ . γίνεσθαι in the sense of showing obedience (comp. on Galatians 4:12 ). The obedience of Christ was an ethical becoming (Hebrews 5:8 ).

θανάτου δὲ σταυρ .] τουτέστι τοῦ ἐπικαταράτου (comp. Galatians 3:13 ; Hebrews 12:2 ), τοῦ τοῖς ἁνόμοις ἀφωρισμένου , Theophylact. The δέ , with the repetition of the same word (comp. Romans 3:22 ; Romans 9:30 ), presents, just like the German aber , the more precisely defined idea in contradistinction to the idea which is previously left without this special definition: unto death, but what kind of death? unto the most shameful and most painful, unto the death of the cross; see Klotz, ad Devar . p. 361, and Baeumlein, Partik . p. 97; and the examples in Hartung, Partikell . I. p. 168 f.; Ellendt, Lex. Soph . I. p. 388.


According to our explanation, Philippians 2:6-8 may be thus paraphrased: Jesus Christ, when He found Himself in the heavenly mode of existence of divine glory, did not permit Himself the thought of using His equality with God for the purpose of seizing possessions and honour for Himself on earth: No, He emptied Himself of the divine glory, inasmuch as, notwithstanding His God-equal nature, He took upon Him the mode of existence of a slave of God, so that He entered into the likeness of men, and in His outward bearing and appearance manifested Himself not otherwise than as a man. He humbled Himself, so that He became obedient unto God , etc. According to the explanation of our dogmatic writers, who refer Philippians 2:6-8 to the earthly life of Christ, the sense comes to this: “ Christum jam inde a primo conceptionis momento divinam gloriam et majestatem sibi secundum humanam naturam communicatam plena usurpatione exserere et tanquam Deum se gerere potuisse, sed abdicasse se plenario ejus usu et humilem se exhibuisse, patrique suo coelesti obedientem factum esse usque ad mortem crucis ” (Quenstedt). The most thorough exposition of the passage and demonstration in this sense, though mixed with much polemical matter against the Reformed and the Socinians, are given by Calovius. The point of the orthodox view, in the interest of the full Deity of the God-man, lies in the fact that Paul is discoursing, not de humiliatione INCARNATIONIS, but de humiliatione INCARNATI. Among the Reformed theologians, Calvin and Piscator substantially agreed with our [Lutheran] orthodox expositors.


On a difference in the dogmatic understanding of Philippians 2:6-8 , when men sought to explain more precisely the doctrine of the Church ( Form. Conc . 8), was based the well-known controversy carried on since 1616 between the theologians of Tübingen and those of Giessen . The latter (Feuerborn and Menzer) assigned to Jesus Christ in His state of humiliation the κτῆσις of the divine attributes, but denied to Him their χρῆσις , thus making the κένωσις a renunciation of the χρῆσις . The Tübingen school, on the other hand (Thummius, Luc. Osiander, and Nicolai), not separating the κτῆσις and χρῆσις , arrived at the conclusion of a hidden and imperceptible use of the divine attributes, and consequently made the κένωσις a κρύψις τῆς χρήσεως . See the account of all the points of controversy in Dorner, II. 2, p. 661 ff., and especially Thomasius, Christi Pers. u. Werk , II. p. 429 ff. The Saxon Decisio , 1624, taking part with the Giessen divines, rejected the κρύψις , without thoroughly refuting it, and even without avoiding unnecessary concessions to it according to the Formula Concordiae (pp. 608, 767), so that the disputed questions remained open and the controversy itself only came to a close through final weariness. Among the dogmatic writers of the present day, Philippi is decidedly on the side of the Giessen school. See his Glaubensl . IV. 1, p. 279 ff. Exodus 2:0 . It is certain that, according to our passage, the idea of the κένωσις is clearly and decidedly to be maintained, and the reducing of it to a κρύψις rejected. But, since Paul expressly refers the ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε to the μορφὴ Θεοῦ , and consequently to the divine mode of appearance, while he makes the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ to subsist with the assumption of the μορφὴ δουλοῦ , just as subsequently the Incarnate One appears only as ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρ . and as σχήματι ὡς ἀνθρ .; and since, further, in the case of the κτήσις of the divine attributes thus laid down, the non-use of them because as divine they necessarily cannot remain dormant (John 5:17 ; John 9:4 ) is in itself inconceivable and incompatible with the Gospel history; the κτῆσις and the χρῆσις must therefore be inseparably kept together. But, setting aside the conception of the κρύψις as foreign to the N. T., this possession and use of the divine attributes are to be conceived as having, by the renunciation of the μορφὴ Θεοῦ in virtue of the incarnation, entered upon a human development, consequently as conditioned, not as absolute, but as theanthropic. At the same time, the self-consciousness of Jesus Christ necessarily remained the self-consciousness of the Son of God developing Himself humanly, or (according to the Johannine phrase) of the Logos that had become flesh, who was the μονογενὴς παρὰ πατρός ; see the numerous testimonies in John’s Gospel, as John 3:13 , John 8:58 , John 17:5 , John 5:26 . “Considered from a purely exegetical point of view, there is no clearer and more certain result of the interpretation of Scripture than the proposition, that the Ego of Jesus on earth was identical with the Ego which was previously in glory with the Father; any division of the Son speaking on earth into two Egos , one of whom was the eternally glorious Logos, the other the humanly humble Jesus, is rejected by clear testimonies of Scripture, however intimate we may seek to conceive the marriage of the two during the earthly life of Jesus;” Liebner in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol . 1858, p. 362. That which the divine Logos laid aside in the incarnation was, according to our passage, the μορφὴ Θεοῦ , that is, the divine δόξα as a form of existence, and not the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ essentially and necessarily constituting His nature, which He retained, [115] and to which belonged, just as essentially and necessarily, the divine and consequently in Him who had become man the divine-human self-consciousness. [116] But as this cannot find its adequate explanation either in the absolute consciousness of God , or in the archetypal character which Schleiermacher assigned to Christ, or in the idea of the religious genius (Al. Schweizer), or in that of the second Adam created free from original sin, whose personal development proceeds as a gradual incarnation of God and deification of man (Rothe), so we must by no means say, with Gess, v. d. Pers. Chr . p. 304 f., that in becoming incarnate the Logos had laid aside His self-consciousness, in order to get it back again only in the gradual course of development of a human soul, and that merely in the form of a human self-consciousness. See, in opposition to this, Thomasius, Christi Pers. u. Werk , II. p. 198 f.; Schoeberlein in the Jahrb. f. D. Th . 1871, p. 471 ff., comp. the latter’s Geheimnisse des Glaubens , 1872, 3. The various views which have been adopted on the part of the more recent Lutheran Christologists, [117] diverging from the doctrine of the Formula Concordiae in setting forth Christ’s humiliation (Dorner: a gradual ethical blending into one another of the divine and human life in immanent development; Thomasius: self-limitation, i.e . partial self-renunciation of the divine Logos; Liebner: the entrance of the Logos into a process of becoming , that is, into a divine-human development), do not fall to be examined here in detail; they belong to the province of Dogmatics. See the discussions on the subject by Dorner, in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol . 1856, 2, 1857, 2, 1858, 3; Broemel, in the Kirchl. Zeitschr . of Kliefoth and Mejer, 1857, p. 144 ff.; Liebner, in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol . 1858, p. 349 ff.; Hasse, ibid . p. 336 ff.; Schoeberlein, l.c . p. 459 ff.; Thomasius, Chr. Pers. u. Werk , II. pp. 192 ff., 542 ff.; Philippi, Dogmat . IV. 1, p. 364 ff.

According to Schoeberlein, the Son of God, when He became man, did not give up His operation in governing the world in conjunction with the Father and the Holy Spirit, but continued to exercise it with divine consciousness in heaven . Thus the dilemma cannot be avoided, either of supposing a dual personality of Christ , or of assuming, with Schoeberlein, that heaven is not local . Not only the former, however, but the latter view also, would be opposed to the entire N. T.

[115] Comp. Düsterdieck, Apolog. Abh . III. p. 67 ff.

[116] Paul agrees in substance with the Logos doctrine of John, but has not adopted the form of Alexandrine speculation. That the latter was known to him in its application to the Christology, may at least be regarded as probable from his frequent and long intercourse with Asia, and also from his relation to Apollos. His conception, however, is just as little Apollinarian as that of John; comp. on Romans 1:3 f.; Colossians 1:15 .

[117] Schenkel’s ideal transference of Christ’s pre-existence simply into the self-consciousness of God, which in the person of Christ found a perfect self-manifestation like to humanity, boldly renounces all the results of historical exegesis during a whole generation, and goes back to the standpoint of Löffler and others, and also further, to that of the Socinians. Comp. on John 17:5 . Yet even Beyschlag’s Christology leads no further than to an ideal pre-existence of Christ as archetype of humanity, and that not as a person, but merely as the principle of a person; while Keerl ( d. Gottmensch. das Ebenbild Gottes , 1866), in unperceived direct opposition to our passage and to the entire N. T., puts the Son of God already as Son of man in absolute (not earthly) corporeality as pre-existent into the glory of heaven. From 1 Corinthians 15:47 the conception of the pre-existence of Christ as a heavenly, pneumatic man and archetype of humanity (Holsten, Biedermann, and others) can only be obtained through misapprehension of the meaning. See on 1 Cor. l.c ., and Grimm, p. 51 ff.

Verse 9

Philippians 2:9 . The exaltation of Christ, by the description of which, grand in its simplicity, His example becomes all the more encouraging and animating.

διό ] for a recompense , on account of this self-denying renunciation and humiliation in obedience to God ( καί , also , denotes the accession of the corresponding consequence , Luke 1:35 ; Acts 10:29 ; Romans 1:24 ; Romans 4:22 ; Hebrews 13:12 ). Comp. Matthew 23:12 ; Luke 24:26 . Nothing but a dogmatic, anti-heretical assumption could have recourse to the interpretation which is at variance with linguistic usage: quo facto (Calvin, Calovius, Glass, Wolf, and others). The conception of recompense (comp. Hebrews 2:9 ; Hebrews 12:2 ) is justified by the voluntariness of what Christ did, Philippians 2:6-8 , as well as by the ethical nature of the obedience with which He did it, and only excites offence if we misunderstand the Subordinatianism in the Christology of the apostle. Augustine well says: “Humilitas claritatis est meritum , claritas humilitatis praemium. ” Thus Christ’s saying in Matthew 23:12 was gloriously fulfilled in His own case.

ὑπερύψωσε ] comp. Song of Three Child. 28 ff.; LXX. Ps. 36:37, 96:10; Daniel 4:34 ; Synes. Ep . p. 225 A; it is not found elsewhere among Greek authors, by whom, however, ὑπερύψηλος , exceedingly high , is used. He made Him very high, exceedingly exalted , said by way of superlative contrast to the previous ἐταπείνωσεν , of the exaltation to the fellowship of the highest glory and dominion , Romans 8:17 ; 2 Timothy 2:12 ; Ephesians 1:21 , al.; John 12:32 ; John 17:5 . [118] This exaltation has taken place by means of the ascension (Ephesians 4:10 ), by which Jesus Christ attained to the right hand of God (Mark 16:19 ; Acts 7:55 f.; Romans 8:34 ; Ephesians 1:20 f.; Colossians 3:1 ; Hebrews 1:3 ; Hebrews 8:1 ; Hebrews 10:12 ; Heb 12:2 ; 1 Timothy 3:16 ; 1 Peter 3:22 ), although it is not this local mode , but the exaltation viewed as a state which is, according to the context, expressed by ὑπερύψ . It is quite unbiblical (John 17:5 ), and without lexical authority, to take ὙΠΈΡ as intimating: more than previously (Grotius, Beyschlag).

ἐχαρίσατο ] He granted (Philippians 1:29 ), said from the point of view of the subordination, on which also what follows ( κύριος … εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ πατρός ) is based. Even Christ receives the recompense as God’s gift of grace , and hence also He prays Him for it, John 17:5 . The glory of the exaltation did not stand to that possessed before the incarnation in the relation of a plus , but it affected the entire divine-human person, that entered on the regnum gloriae.

τὸ ὄνομα ] is here, as in Ephesians 1:21 , Hebrews 1:4 , to be taken in the strictly literal sense, not as dignitas or gloria (Heinrichs, Hoelemann, and many others), a sense which it might have ex adjuncto (see the passages in Wetstein and Hoelemann), but against which here the following ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι Ἰησοῦ is decisive. The honour and dignity of the name of Jesus are expressed by ΤῸ ὙΠῈΡ ΠᾶΝ ὌΝΟΜΑ , but are not implied in ΤῸ ὌΝΟΜΑ of itself. Nor is it to be understood of an appellative name , as some have referred it to κύριος in Philippians 2:11 (Michaelis, Keil, Baumgarten-Crusius, van Hengel, Schneckenburger, Weiss, Hofmann, Grimm); others to ΥἹῸς ΘΕΟῦ (Theophylact, Pelagius, Estius); and some even to ΘΕΌς (Ambrosiaster, Oecumenius, and again Schultz; but see on Romans 9:5 ). In accordance with the context

Philippians 2:11 , comp. with Philippians 2:6 the thought is: “ God has , by His exaltation, granted to Him that the name ‘Jesus Christ’ surpasses all names in glory. ” The expression of this thought in the form: God has granted to Him the name , etc., cannot seem strange, when we take into account the highly poetic strain of the passage.

[118] In the conception of the “exaltation ” Paul agrees with John, but does not convey expressly the notion of the return to the Father. This is not an inconsistency in relation to the doctrine of pre-existence (in opposition to Pfleiderer, l.c . p. 517), but a consequence of the more dialectically acute distinction of ideas in Paul, since that change of condition affected the entire Christ, the God-man , whereas the subject of the pre-existence was the Logos .

Verse 10

Philippians 2:10 f. Ἵνα ] This exaltation, Philippians 2:9 , was to have, in accordance with the divine purpose, general adoration and confession as its result, a continuation of the contrast with the previous state of self-renunciation and humiliation. In the mode of expression there may be detected a reminiscence of Isaiah 45:23 (Romans 14:11 ).

The ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ . Ἰ ., emphatically prefixed, affirms that, in the name of Jesus, i.e . in what is involved in that most glorious name “Jesus Christ,” and is present to the conception of the subjects as they bend their knees, is to be found the moving ground of this latter action (comp. Psa 63:5 ; 1 Kings 18:24 ; 1 Chronicles 16:10 , al.; 1 Corinthians 6:11 ; Ephesians 5:20 ; Colossians 3:17 ; 1 Peter 4:14 ; 1 Peter 4:16 ; James 5:14 ). The bowing of the knee represents adoration , of which it is the symbol (Isaiah 45:23 ; Romans 14:11 ; Romans 11:4 ; Ephesians 3:14 ; Ephesians 3:0 Esdr. 8:73; Malachi 2:1; Malachi 2:1 ; and in Greek writers from Homer onward), and the subject to be adored is, according to the context ( ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ . Ἰ ., and comp. Philippians 2:11 ), none other than Jesus , the adoring worship of whom has its warrant in the fellowship of the divine government and of the divine δόξα to which He is exalted (comp. the habitual ἐπικαλεῖσθαι τὸ ὄνομα κυρίου ,, Romans 10:12 f.; 1Co 1:2 ; 2 Timothy 2:22 ; Acts 7:59 ; Acts 9:14 ; Acts 9:21 ; Acts 22:16 ), but has also at the same time its peculiar character, not absolute, but relative, i.e . conditioned by the relation of the exalted Son to the Father (see Lücke, de invocat. Jes. Ch . Gott. 1843, p. 7 f.; comp. Ernesti, Urspr. d. Sünde , I. p. 218), a peculiarity which did not escape the observation of Pliny ( Ep . x. 97: “Christo quasi Deo”), and was, although only very casually and imperfectly, expressed by him. This adoration (comp. Philippians 2:11 , εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ πατρός ) does not infringe that strict monotheism, which could ascribe absolute deity to the Father only (John 17:3 ; Ephesians 4:5 ; 1 Corinthians 12:6 ; 1Co 8:6 ; 1 Timothy 6:15 f.); the Father only is ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεός , Romans 9:5 (comp. Ignat. Tars . interpol. 5), ὁ Θεός absolutely, God also of Christ (see on Ephesians 1:17 ), the Θεὸς ὁ παντοκράτωρ (2 Corinthians 6:18 ; Revelation 1:8 ; Revelation 4:8 , al. ); and the Son, although of like nature, as σύνθρονος and partaker of His δόξα , is subordinate to Him ( 1Co 11:3 ; 1 Corinthians 15:27 f.), as in turn the Spirit is to the Son (2 Corinthians 3:18 ); the honour which is to be paid to the Son (Revelation 5:8 ff.) has its principle (John 5:22 f.) and aim (Philippians 2:11 ) in the Father, and therefore the former is to be honoured as the Father, and God in Christ fills and moves the consciousness of him who prays to Christ. According to van Hengel, it is not the adoration of Jesus which is here intended, but that of God under application of the name of Jesus; and de Wette also thinks it probable that Paul only intended to state that every prayer should be made in the name of Jesus as the Mediator ( κύριος ). Comp. also Hofmann: “the praying to God, determined in the person praying by the consciousness of his relation to Jesus as regulating his action. ” Instead of this we should rather say: the praying to Jesus , determined by the consciousness of the relation of Jesus to God (of the Son to the Father), as regulating the action of the person praying. All modes of explaining away the adoration as offered to Jesus Himself are at variance not only with the context generally, which has to do with the honour of Jesus , making Him the object of the adoration, but also with the word ἐπουρανίων which follows, because the mediatorship of Jesus, which is implied in the atonement , does not affect the angels as its objects (comp., on the contrary, Hebrews 1:4 ; Hebrews 1:6 ). The two sentences may not be separated from one another (in opposition to Hofmann); but, on the contrary, it must be maintained that the personal object, to whom the bowing of the knee as well as the confession with the tongue applies, is Jesus . Linguistically erroneous is the view which makes ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ . equivalent to εἰς τὸ ὄνομα , for the glorification of His dignity (Heinrichs, Flatt, and others), or as a paraphrase for ἐν Ἰησοῦ (Estius; Rheinwald leaves either of the two to be chosen); while others, by the interpretation. “ quoties auditur nomen , [119] brought out a sense which is altogether without analogy in the N. T. See, in opposition to this, Calvin: “quasi vox (the word Jesus ) esset magica , quae totam in sono vim haberet inclusam.”

ἐπουρανίων κ . τ . λ .] every knee of heavenly beings (those to be found in heaven), and those on earth, and those under the earth , is to bow, none is to remain unbent; that is, every one from these three classes shall bow his knees (plural). ἐπουρ . includes the angels (Ephesians 1:20 f., Philippians 3:10 ; Hebrews 1:4 ; Hebrews 1:6 ; 1 Peter 1:12 ; 1 Peter 3:22 ); ἐπιγ . the human beings on earth (comp. Plat. Ax . p. 368 B: ἐπίγειος ἄνθρωπος ); and καταχθ . the dead in Hades (comp. Hom. Il . ix. 457: Ζεὺς καταχθόνιος , Pluto: καταχθόνιοι δαίμονες , the Manes, Anthol . vii. 333). Comp. Revelation 5:13 ; Ignat. Trall . 9, and the similar classical use of ὑποχθόνιος , ὑπὸ γαῖαν (Eur. Hec . 149, and Pflugk in loc. ). The adoration on the part of the latter, which Grotius and Hofmann misinterpret, presupposes the descensus Ch. ad inferos , [120] Ephesians 4:9 , in which He presented Himself to the spirits in Hades as the κύριος . Our passage, however, does not yield any further particulars regarding the so-called descent into hell, which Schweizer has far too rashly condemned as “ a myth without any foundation in Scripture .” Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Erasmus, and many others, including Baumgarten-Crusius and Wiesinger, have incorrectly understood by καταχθ . the Daemones , which is an erroneous view, because Paul does not regard the Daemones as being in Hades (see, on the contrary, at Ephesians 2:2 ; Ephesians 6:12 ). There is an arbitrary rationalizing in Heinrichs, who takes the words as neuters: “omnes rerum creatarum complexus ” (comp. Nösselt and J. B. Lightfoot), and already in Beza: “ quaecunque et supra mundum sunt et in mundo.” We meet with the right view as early as Theodoret. The Catholics referred καταχθ . to those who are in purgatory; so Bisping still, and Döllinger, Christenth. u. Kirche , p. 262, Exodus 2:0 .

As regards the realization of the divine purpose expressed in ἵνα κ . τ . λ ., respecting the ἘΠΙΓΕΊΩΝ , it was still in progress of development , but its completion (Romans 11:25 ) could not but appear to the apostle near at hand, in keeping with his expectation of the near end of the αἰὼν οὗτος . Observe, moreover, how he emphasizes the universality of the divine purpose ( ἵνα ) with regard to the bowing the knees and confession with the tongue so strongly by ΠᾶΝ ΓΌΝΥ and ΠᾶΣΑ ΓΛῶΣΣΑ , that the arbitrary limitation which makes him mean only those who desire to give God the glory (Hofmann) is out of the question.

[119] Erasmus, Castalio, Beza, Bretschneider, and others, arrived at this interpretation simply by understanding ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ . as ad nomen (comp. Grotius: “ nuncupato nomine”); but Hoelemann, with forced subtilty, by the analysis: “quasi circumsonitum appellatione nominis.”

[120] To transfer, with Grotius, Hofmann, and Grimm, the genuflexion of the dead to the period after the resurrection , so that, according to Hofmann, the καταχθόνιοι “ sleep below and await their resurrection and shall then adore and confess,” would be entirely erroneous, mixing up with the direct, poetically plastic description of the apostle a remotely suggested reflection. He views the bowing of the knee, as it has been done and is continuously being done, and not as it will be done by an entire class only in the future , after the Parousia. Wiesinger, however, has also placed the realization of the ἵνα πᾶν γόνυ κάμψῃ κ . τ . λ . at the end of the world, when the knees, which hitherto had not willingly bent, would be forced to do so (1 Corinthians 15:25 f.). On this point he appeals to Romans 14:11 , where, however, the whole text is dealing with the last judgment, which is not the case here. Besides, ἐν τᾦ ὀνόματι is far from leading us to the idea of an adoration partially forced; it rather presupposes the faith, of which the bowing of the knee and the confession which follows are the free living action; comp. Romans 10:9 .

Verse 11

Philippians 2:11 appends the express confession combined with the adoration in Philippians 2:10 , in doing which the concrete form of representation is continued, comp. Romans 14:11 ; Isaiah 45:23 ; hence γλῶσσα is tongue , correlative to the previous γόνυ , not language (Theodoret, Beza, and others).

ἐξομολ .] a strengthening compound. Comp. on Matthew 3:6 . Respecting the future (see the critical remarks) depending on ἵνα , see on Galatians 2:4 ; Ephesians 6:3 ; 1 Corinthians 9:18 .

κύριος ] predicate, placed first with strong emphasis: that Lord is Jesus Christ. This is the specific confession of the apostolic church (Romans 10:9 ; 2 Corinthians 4:5 ; Acts 2:36 ), whose antithesis is: ἀνάθεμα Ἰησοῦς 1 Corinthians 12:3 . The κύριον εἶναι refers to the fellowship of the divine dominion (comp. on Ephesians 1:22 f., Php 4:10 ; 1 Corinthians 15:27 f.); hence it is not to be limited to the rational creatures (Hoelemann, following Flatt and others), or to the church (Rheinwald, Schenkel).

εἰς δόξ . Θεοῦ πατρ .] may be attached to the entire bipartite clause of purpose (Hofmann). Since, however, in the second part a modification of the expression is introduced by the future , it is more probably to be joined to this portion, of which the telic destination, i.e . the final cause , is specified. It is not to be connected merely with κύριος Ἰ . Χ ., as Bengel wished: “J. Ch. esse dominum, quippe qui sit in gloria Dei patris, ” making εἰς stand for ἐν , for which the Vulgate, Pelagius, Estius, and others also took it. Schneckenburger also, p. 341 (comp. Calvin, Rheinwald, Matthies, Hoelemann), joins it with κύριος , but takes εἰς δόξαν rightly: to the honour . But, in accordance with Philippians 2:9 , it was self-evident that the κυριότης of the Son tends to the honour of the Father; and the point of importance for the full conclusion was not this, but to bring into prominence that the universal confessing recognition of the κυριότης of Jesus Christ glorifies the Father (whose will and work Christ’s entire work of salvation is; see especially Ephesians 1:0 ; Romans 15:7-9 ; 2 Corinthians 1:20 ), whereby alone the exaltation, which Christ has received as a recompense from the Father, appears in its fullest splendour. Comp. John 12:28 ; John 17:1 . The whole contents of Philippians 2:9 f. is parallel to the ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ , namely, as the recompensing re-elevation to this original estate, now accorded to the divine-human person after the completion of the work of humiliation. Complicated and at variance with the words is the view of van Hengel, that ἐξομολ . εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ is equivalent to ἐξομολ . Θεῷ , to praise God (Genesis 29:34 , al.; Romans 15:9 ; Matthew 11:25 ; Luke 10:21 ), and that ὅτι is quod; hence: “laudibus celebrarent, quod hunc filium suum principem fecerit regni divini.”


From Philippians 2:6-11 , Baur, whom Schwegler follows, derives his arguments for the assertion that our epistle moves in the circle of Gnostic ideas and expressions, [121] and must therefore belong to the post-apostolic period of Gnostic speculation. But with the true explanation of the various points these arguments [122] fall to pieces of themselves. For (1) if τὸ εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ be related to ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ εἶναι as the essence to its adequate manifestation, and if our explanation of ἁρπαγμός be the linguistically correct one, then must the Gnostic conception of the Aeon Sophia which vehemently desired to penetrate into the essence of the original Father (Iren. Haer . i. 2. 2), and thus before the close of the world’s course ( Theol. Jahrb . 1849, p. 507 ff.) wished to usurp forcibly something not de jure belonging to it ( Paulus , II. p. 51 ff.) be one entirely alien , and dissimilar to the idea of our passage. But this conception is just as inconsistent with the orthodox explanation of our passage, as with the one which takes the εἶναι ἴσα Θεῷ as something future and greater than the μορφὴ Θεοῦ ; since in the case of the μορφή , as well as in that of the ἴσα , the full fellowship in the divine nature is already the relation assumed as existing . Consequently (2) the ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε cannot be explained by the idea, according to which the Gnostics made that Aeon, which desired to place itself in unwarranted union with the Absolute, fall from the Pleroma to the κένωμα as to which Baur, in this alleged basis for the representation of our passage, lays down merely the distinction, that Paul gives a moral turn to what, with the Gnostics, had a purely speculative signification (“Whilst, therefore, in the Gnostic view, that ἁρπαγμός indeed actually takes place, but as an unnatural enterprise neutralizes itself, and has, as its result, merely something negative, in this case, in virtue of a moral self-determination, matters cannot come to any such ἁρπαγμός ; and the negative, which even in this case occurs, not in consequence of an act that has failed, but of one which has not taken place at all, is the voluntary self-renunciation and self-denial by an act of the will, an ἑαυτὸν χενοῦν instead of the γενέσθαι ἐν χενώματι ”). (3) That even the notion of the μορφὴ Θεοῦ arose from the language used by the Gnostics, among whom the expressions μορφή , μορφοῦν , μόρφωσις , were very customary, is all the more arbitrarily assumed by Baur, since these expressions were very prevalent generally , and are not specifically Gnostic designations; indeed, μορφὴ Θεοῦ is not once used by the Gnostics, although it is current among other authors, including philosophers ( e.g . Plat. Rep . p. 381 C: μένει ἀεὶ ἁπλῶς ἐν τῇ αὑτοῦ μορφῇ , comp. p. 381 B: ἥχιστʼ ἂν πολλὰς μορφὰς ἴσχοι ὁ Θεός ). Further, (4) the erroneousness of the view, which in the phrases ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων and σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρ . discovers a Gnostic Docetism , is self-evident from the explanation of these expressions in accordance with the context (see on the passage); and Chrysostom and his successors have rightly brought out the essential difference between what the apostle says in Philippians 2:7 and the Docetic conceptions (Theophylact: οὐχ ἦν δὲ τὸ φαινόμενον μόνον , namely, man, ἀλλὰ καὶ Θεός , οὐχ ἦν ψιλὸς ἄνθρωπος . Διὰ τοῦτο φήσιν ·· ἐν ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων · ἡμεῖς μὲν γὰρ ψυχὴ καὶ σῶμα , ἐκεῖνος δὲ ψυχὴ καὶ σῶμα καὶ Θεός κ . τ . λ . Theodoret: περὶ τοῦ λόγου ταῦτα φήσιν , ὅτι Θεὸς ὢν οὐχ ἑωρᾶτο Θεὸς τὴν ἀνθρωπείαν περικείμενος φύσιν κ . τ . λ .). Comp. on Romans 8:3 . Lastly, (5) even the three categories ἐπουρανίων καὶ ἐπιγ . καὶ καταχθ ., and also the notion of the descensus ad inferos which the latter recalls, are alleged by Baur to be genuinely Gnostic. But the idea of the descent to Hades is not distinctively Gnostic; it belongs to the N. T., and is a necessary presupposition lying at the root of many passages (see on Luke 23:43 ; Matthew 12:40 ; Acts 2:27 ff.; Romans 10:6 ff.; Ephesians 4:8 ff.); it is, in fact, the premiss of the entire belief in Christ’s resurrection ἐκ νεκρῶν . That threefold division of all angels and men (see also Revelation 5:13 ) was, moreover, so appropriate and natural in the connection of the passage (comp. the twofold division, καὶ νεκρῶν καὶ ζώντων , Romans 14:9 , Act 10:42 , 1 Peter 4:5 f., where only men are in question), that its derivation from Gnosticism could only be justified in the event of the Gnostic character of our passage being demonstrated on other grounds. The whole hypothesis is engrafted on isolated expressions, which only become violently perverted into conceptions of this kind by the presupposition of a Gnostic atmosphere. According to the Gnostic view, it would perhaps have been said of the Aeon Sophia: ὃς ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων οὐ προάλλεσθαι ἡγήσατο εἰς τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ Θεοῦ κ . τ . λ . The apostle’s expressions agree entirely with the Christology of his other epistles; it is from these and from his own genuine Gnosis laid down in them, that his words are to be understood fully and rightly, and not from the theosophic phantasmagoria of any subsequent Gnosis whatever.

[121] Its idea is, that Christ “divests Himself of that which He already is, in order to receive back that of which He has divested Himself, with the full reality of the idea filled with its absolute contents,” Baur, Neutest. Theol. p. 265.

[122] Hinsch, l.c. p. 76, does not adopt them, but yet thinks it un-Pauline that the incarnation of Christ is represented detached from its reference to humanity. This, however, is not the case, as may be gathered from the connection of the passage in its practical bearing with ver. 4 ( τὰ ἑτέρων ).

Verse 12

Philippians 2:12 . [123] To this great example of Jesus Paul now annexes another general admonition, which essentially corresponds with that given in Philippians 1:27 , with which he began all this hortatory portion of the epistle (Philippians 1:27 to Philippians 2:18 ).

ὥστε ] itaque , draws an inference from the example of Christ (Philippians 2:6-11 ), who by the path of self-renunciation attained to so glorious a recompense. Following this example, the readers are, just as they had always been obedient, etc., to work out their own salvation with the utmost solicitude. ὑπηκούσατε is not, indeed, correlative with γενόμ . ὑπήκοος in Philippians 2:8 (Theophylact, Calovius, Bengel, and others), as the latter was in what preceded only an accessory definition; but the σωτηρία is correlative with the exaltation of Christ described in Philippians 2:9 , of which the future salvation of Christians is the analogue, and, in fact, the joint participation (Romans 8:17 ; Ephesians 2:6 ; Colossians 2:12 f., Philippians 3:3 f.). Since, therefore, ὥστε has its logical basis in what immediately precedes, it must not be looked upon as an inference from all the previous admonitions , Philippians 1:26 ff., from which it draws the general result (de Wette). It certainly introduces the recapitulation of all the previous exhortations, and winds them up (on account of the new exhortation which follows, see on Philippians 2:14 ) as in Philippians 4:1 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:18 ; Rom 7:12 ; 1 Corinthians 3:21 ; 1 Corinthians 4:5 ; 1 Corinthians 5:8 ; 1 Corinthians 11:33 ; 1 Corinthians 14:39 ; 1 Corinthians 15:58 , but in such a way that it joins on to what was last discussed . It is least of all admissible to make, with Hofmann, ὥστε point backwards to πληρώσατέ μου τ . χαράν in Philippians 2:2 , so that this prayer “ is repeated in a definitive manner ” by the exhortation introduced with ὥστε . In that case the apostle, in order to be understood, must at least have inserted a resumptive οὖν after ὥστε , and in the following exhortation must have again indicated, in some way or other, the element of the making joy .

καθὼς πάντοτε ὑπηκούσατε ] whom? is neither a question to be left unanswered (Matthies), nor one which does not require an answer (Hofmann). The context yields the supplement here, as well as in Romans 6:16 , Phm 1:21 , 1 Peter 1:14 ; and the right supplement is the usual one, viz. mihi , or, more definitely, meo evangelio , as is plain, both from the words which follow μὴ ὡς … ἀπουσίᾳ μου , and also from the whole close personal relation, in which Paul brings home to the hearts of his readers his admonitions (from Philippians 1:27 down till Philippians 2:18 ) as their teacher and friend. On πάντοτε , comp. ἀπὸ πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν (Philippians 1:5 ). We cannot infer from it a reference to earlier epistles which have been lost (Ewald).

μὴ ὡς … ἀπουσίᾳ μου ] belongs not to ὑπηκούσατε (Luther, Wolf, Heumann, Heinrichs, and others), as is evident from μὴ ὡς and νῦν , but to κατεργάζεσθε , so that the comma before μετὰ φόβου is, with Lachmann, to be deleted. Comp. Grotius.

ὡς had to be inserted, because Paul would not and could not give an admonition for a time when he would be present. Not perceiving this, B, min., vss., and Fathers have omitted it. If ὡς were not inserted, Paul would say: that they should not merely in his presence work out their salvation. But with ὡς he says: that they are not to work out their own salvation in such a way as if they were doing it in His presence [124] merely (neglecting it, therefore, in His absence); nay, much more now, during His absence from them, they are to work it out with fear and trembling . There is nothing to be supplied along with ὡς , which is the simple modal as , since μὴ ὡς is connected with the governing verb that follows in the antithesis ( Τ . ἙΑΥΤ . ΣΩΤ . ΚΑΤΕΡΓΆΖΕΣΘΕ ) as its prefixed negative modal definition: not as in my presence only (not as limiting it to this only) work out your salvation . And the ἀλλά is the antithetic much more, on the contrary, nay . Erasmus, Estius, Hoelemann, Weiss, Hofmann, and others, incorrectly join μόνον with ΜΉ , and take Ὡς in the sense of the degree: not merely so, as ye have done it, or would do it, in my absence; comp. de Wette, who assumes a blending of two comparisons, as does also J. B. Lightfoot. It is arbitrary not to make μόνον belong to ἘΝ Τ . ΠΑΡ . ΜΟΥ , beside which it stands; comp. also Romans 4:16 (where Τῷ ἘΚ ΤΟῦ ΝΌΜΟΥ forms one idea), Php 4:23 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:5 . Still more arbitrary is it to hamper the flow of the whole, and to break it up in such a way as to insert the imperative ὑπακούετε after ὙΠΗΚΟΎΣΑΤΕ , and then to make ΜΕΤᾺ ΦΌΒΟΥ Κ . Τ . Λ . a sentence by itself (Hofmann). Moreover, in such a case the arrangement of the words in the alleged apodosis would be illogical; ΝῦΝ (or, more clearly, ΚΑῚ ΝῦΝ ) must have begun it, and ΜΌΝΟΝ must have stood immediately after ΜΉ .

ΠΟΛΛῷ ΜᾶΛΛΟΝ ] than if I were present; for now ( ΝῦΝ ), when they were deprived of the personal teaching, stimulus, guidance, and guardianship of the apostle, moral diligence and zealous solicitude were necessary for them in a far higher measure , in order to fulfil the great personal duty of working out their own salvation. That ἑαυτῶν , therefore, cannot be equivalent to ἉΛΛΉΛΩΝ (Flatt, Matthies, and older expositors), is self-evident.

ΜΕΤᾺ ΦΌΒΟΥ Κ . ΤΡΌΜΟΥ ] that is, with such earnest solicitude, that ye shall have a lively fear of not doing enough in the matter. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 2:3 ; 2 Corinthians 7:15 ; Ephesians 6:5 . ΔΕῖ ΓᾺΡ ΦΟΒΕῖΣΘΑΙ Κ . ΤΡΈΜΕΙΝ ἘΝ Τῷ ἘΡΓΆΖΕΣΘΑΙ ΤῊΝ ἸΔΊΑΝ ΣΩΤΗΡΊΑΝ ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ , ΜΉ ΠΟΤΕ ὙΠΟΣΚΕΛΙΣΘΕῚς ἘΚΠΈΣῌ ΤΑΎΤΗς , Oecumenius. Awe before the presence of God (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius), before the future Judge (Weiss), the feeling of dependence on God (de Wette), a reverential devotion to God (Matthies, comp. van Hengel), and similar ideas, must be implied in the case, but do not constitute the sense of the expression, in which also, according to the context, we are not to seek a contrast to spiritual pride (Schinz, Rilliet, Hoelemann, Wiesinger), as Augustine, Calvin, Bengel, and others have done.

κατεργάζεσθε ] bring about, peragite (Grotius), “ usque ad metam ” (Bengel), expressing, therefore, more than the simple verb (comp. Ephesians 6:13 ; Dem. 1121. 19; Plat. Legg . vii. p. 791 A; Eur. Heracl . 1046: πόλει σωτηρίαν κατεργάσασθαι ; and see on Romans 1:26 ). The summons itself is not at variance with the principle that salvation is God’s gift of grace, and is prepared for, predestined, and certain to believers; but it justly claims the exercise of the new moral power bestowed on the regenerate man, without the exertion of which he would fall away again from the state of grace to which he had attained in faith, and would not actually become partaker of the salvation appropriated to him by faith, so that the final reception of salvation is so far the result of his moral activity of faith in the καινότης ζωῆς . See especially Romans 6:8 ; Romans 6:12 ff., and 2 Corinthians 6:1 . Our passage stands in contrast, not to the certitudo salutis , but to the moral securitas , into which the converted person might relapse, if he do not stand fast (Philippians 4:1 ; 1 Corinthians 10:12 ), and labour at his sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3 ; 1 Thessalonians 4:7 ; 2 Corinthians 7:1 ; 1 Timothy 2:15 ), etc. Comp. Wuttke, Sittenl . II. § 266. The demand is expressed all the more earnestly , the more that the readers have conflict and suffering to endure (Philippians 1:27-30 ).

[123] Linden, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1860, p. 750, attempted a new explanation of vv. 12 14. According to this, μὴ ὡς is to stand for ὡς μή , κατεργάζ . to be indicative, μὴ ὡς … κατεργ . to belong to the protasis, ver. 13 to be treated as a parenthesis, and, finally, the apodosis to follow in πάντα κ . τ . λ . Against this view may be simply urged the fact, that μὴ ὡς (2 Thessalonians 3:15 ; Philemon 1:14 ; 2 Corinthians 9:5 ) cannot be equivalent to ὡς μή , and that there must have been used not even ὡς μή , but, on account of the negation of a purely actual relation, ὡς οὐκ ; to say nothing of the involved construction, and of the so special tenor of the alleged apodosis after a preparation of so grand and general a nature by the alleged protasis.

[124] The word παρουσία does not contain, any more than in Philippians 1:26 , a reference to the Parousia of Christ, which Kähler (“ye know what this word would properly tell us”) reads between the lines.

Verse 13

Philippians 2:13 . Ground of encouragement to the fulfilment of this precept, in which it is not their own, but God’s power , which works in them, etc. Here Θεός is placed first as the subject, not as the predicate (Hofmann): God is the agent. It is, however, unnecessary and arbitrary to assume before γάρ (with Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, and others) an unexpressed thought (“be not terrified at my having said: with fear and trembling ”). Bengel gratuitously supplies with Θεός the thought: “ praesens vobis etiam absente me ” (comp. also van Hengel), while others, as Calvin, Beza, Hoelemann, Rilliet, Wiesinger, who found in μετὰ φόβ . κ . τρ . the antithesis of pride (see on Philippians 2:12 ), see in Philippians 2:13 the motive to humility; and de Wette is of opinion that what was expressed in Philippians 2:12 under the aspect of fear is here expressed under the aspect of confidence . In accordance with the unity of the sense we ought rather to say: that the great moral demand μετὰ φόβ . κ . τρ . τὴν ἑαυτῶν σωτ . κατεργάζεσθαι , containing as it did the utmost incentive to personal activity, needed for the readers the support of a confidence which should be founded not on their own , but on the divine working. According to Ewald, the μετὰ φόβου κ . τρόμου is to be made good by pointing to the fact that they work before God , who is even already producing in them the right tendency of will. But the idea of the ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ was so familiar to the apostle, that he would doubtless have here also directly expressed it. Kähler (comp. Weiss) imports a hint of the divine punishment , of which, however, nothing is contained in the text. So also Hofmann: with fear in presence of Him who is a devouring fire (Hebrews 12:28 f.), who will not leave unpunished him who does not subordinate his own will and working to the divine. As if Paul had hinted at such thoughts, and had not, on the contrary, himself excluded them by the ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας which is added! The thought is rather “ dulcissima sententia omnibus piis mentibus,” Form. Conc . p. 659.

Calvin (comp. Calovius) rightly observes on the subject-matter: “intelligo gratiam supernaturalem , quae provenit ex spiritu regenerationis; nam quatenus sumus homines, jam in Deo sumus et vivimus et movemur, verum hic de alio motu disputat Paulus, quam illo universali.” Augustine has justly (in opposition to the Pelagian rationalizing interpretation of a mediate working: “velle operatur suadendo et praemia promittendo ”), in conformity with the words, urged the efficaciter operari , which Origen, de Princ . iii. 1, had obliterated, and the Greeks who followed qualified with synergistic reservations.

ἐν ὑμῖν ] not intra coetum vestrum (Hoelemann), but in animis vestris (1 Corinthians 12:6 ; 2 Corinthians 4:12 ; Ephesians 2:2 ; Colossians 1:29 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:13 ), in which He produces the self-determination directed to the κατεργάζεσθαι of their own σωτηρία , and the activity in carrying out this Christian-moral volition. [125] This activity, the ἐνεργεῖν , is the inner moral one, which has the κατεργάζεσθαι as its consequence , and therefore is not to be taken as equivalent to the latter (Vulgate, Luther, and others, including Matthies and Hoelemann). Note, on the contrary, the climactic selection of the two cognate verbs. The regenerate man brings about his own salvation ( κατεργάζεται ) when he does not resist the divine working ( ἘΝΕΡΓῶΝ ) of the willing and the working ( ἘΝΕΡΓΕῖΝ ) in his soul, but yields steady obedience to it in continual conflict with the opposing powers (Ephesians 6:10 ff.; Galatians 5:16 ; 1 Thessalonians 5:8 , al. ); so that he περιπατεῖ , not ΚΑΤᾺ ΣΆΡΚΑ , but ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ (Romans 8:4 ), is consequently the child of God, and as child becomes heir (Romans 8:14 ; Romans 8:17 ; Romans 8:23 ). According, therefore, as the matter is viewed from the standpoint of the human activity, which yields obedience to the divine working of the θέλειν and ἘΝΕΡΓΕῖΝ , or from that of the divine activity, which works the θέλειν and ἘΝΕΡΓΕῖΝ , we may say with equal justice, either that God accomplishes the good which He has begun in man, up to the day of Christ; or, that man brings about his own salvation. “ Nos ergo volumus, sed Deus in nobis operatur et velle; nos ergo operamur, sed Deus in nobis operatur et operari,” Augustine. How wholly is it otherwise with the unregenerate in Romans 7:0 !

The repetition by Paul of the same word, ἐνεργῶν … τὸ ἐνεργεῖν , has its ground in the encouraging design which he has of making God’s agency felt distinctly and emphatically; hence, also, he specifies the two elements of all morality, not merely the ἐνεργεῖν , but also its premiss, the ΘΈΛΕΙΝ , and keeps them apart by using ΚΑΊ twice: God is the worker in you, as of the willing , so of the working . From His working comes man’s working, just as already his willing. [126]

ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας ] for the sake of goodwill , in order to satisfy His own benignant disposition. On the causal ὑπέρ , which is not secundum , comp. Romans 15:8 ; Kühner, II. 1, p. 421; Winer, p. 359 [E. T. p. 480]; and on εὐδοκία , which is not, with Ewald, to be taken in a deterministic sense, comp. Philippians 1:15 ; Romans 10:1 . Theodoret aptly says: ΕὐΔΟΚΊΑΝ ΔῈ ΤῸ ἈΓΑΘῸΝ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ ΠΡΟΣΗΓΌΡΕΥΣΕ ΘΈΛΗΜΑ · ΘΈΛΕΙ ΔῈ ΠΆΝΤΑς ἈΝΘΡΏΠΟΥς ΣΩΘῆΝΑΙ Κ . Τ . Λ . The explanation: “for the sake of the good pleasure , which He has in such willing and working” (Weiss), would amount to something self-evident. Hofmann erroneously makes ὑπὲρ τ . εὐδοκ . belong to ΠΆΝΤΑ ΠΟΙΕῖΤΕ , and convey the sense, that they are to do everything for the sake of the divine good pleasure , about which they must necessarily be concerned, etc. In opposition to this view, which is connected with the misunderstanding of the previous words, the fact is decisive, that τῆς εὐδοκίας only obtains its reference to God through its belonging to ὁ ἐνεργῶν κ . τ . λ .; but if it be joined with what follows, this reference must have been marked , [127] and that, on account of the emphasized position which ὑπ . τ . εὐδοκ . would have, with emphasis (as possibly by ὙΠῈΡ Τῆς ΑὐΤΟῦ ΕὐΔΟΚΊΑς ).

[125] “Velle quidem, quatenus est actus voluntatis, nostrum est ex creatione: bene velle etiam nostrum est, sed quatenus volentes facti per conversionem bene volumus,” Calovius.

[126] This is God’s creative moral action in salvation, Ephesians 2:10 . Comp. Thomasius, Chr. Pers. u. Werk, I. p. 287. Incorrectly, however, the Reformed theologians add: “quae prohiberi non potest.

[127] Hofmann groundlessly compares Luke 2:14 (but see on that passage) and even Sir 15:15 , where Fritzsche, Handb. p. 74 f., gives the right view.

Verse 14

Philippians 2:14 . With Philippians 2:13 Paul has closed his exhortations, so far as the matter is concerned. He now adds a requisition in respect to the mode of carrying out these admonitions, namely, that they shall do everything (which, according to the admonitions previously given, and summarily comprised in Philippians 2:12 , they have to do, 1 Corinthians 10:31 ) willingly and without hesitation , an injunction for which, amidst the temptations of the present (Philippians 1:27-30 ), there was sufficient cause.

χωρὶς γογγυσμ .] without (far removed from) murmuring . The γογγυσμός (Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 358), that fault already prevalent in ancient Israel (Exodus 16:7 ff.; Numbers 14:2 ), is to be conceived as directed against God , namely, on account of what He imposed upon them both to do and to suffer, as follows from the context in Philippians 2:13 ; Philippians 2:15 ; hence it is not to be referred to their fellow-Christians (Calvin, Wiesinger, Schnecken burger), or to their superiors (Estius), as Hoelemann also thinks. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 10:10 .

διαλογισμῶν ] not: without disputes (Erasmus, Beza, and many others, including Schneckenburger), de imperatis cum imperatoribus (Hoelemann, comp. Estius), or among themselves (Calvin, Wiesinger), and that upon irrelevant questions (Grotius), and similar interpretations, which, although not repugnant to Greek usage generally (Plut. Mor . p. 180 C; Sir 9:15 ; Sir 13:3-5 ), are at variance with that of the N. T. (even 1 Timothy 2:8 ), and unsuitable to the reference of γογγυσμ . to God. It means: without hesitation , without your first entering upon scrupulous considerings as to whether you are under any obligation thereto, whether it is not too difficult, whether it is prudent, and the like. Comp. Luke 24:38 , and on Romans 14:1 ; Plat. Ax . p. 367 A: φροντίδες … καὶ διαλογισμοί , Tim . p. 59 C: οὐδὲν ποικίλον ἔτι διαλογίσασθαι . Sir 40:2 . The Vulgate renders it rightly, according to the essential sense: “ haesitationibus. ” The γογγυσμοί would presuppose aversion towards God; the διαλογισμοί , uncertainty in the consciousness of duty .

Verse 15

Philippians 2:15 . If to their obedience of the admonitions given down to Philippians 2:13 there is added the manner of obedience prescribed in Philippians 2:14 , they shall be blameless , etc. This, therefore, must be the high aim , which they are to have in view in connection with what is required in Philippians 2:14 .

ἄμεμπτοι κ . ἀκέραιοι ] blameless and sincere; the former represents moral integrity as manifesting itself to the judgment of others; the latter represents the same as respects its inner nature (comp. on Matthew 10:16 and Romans 16:19 ).

τέκνα Θεοῦ ἀμώμ .] comprehending epexegetically the two former predicates. Children of God (in virtue of the υἱοθεσία that took place in Christ, Romans 8:15 ; Romans 8:23 ; Galatians 4:5 ; Ephesians 1:5 ) they are (Romans 8:16 ; Romans 9:8 ). They are to become such children of God, as have nothing with which fault can be found; which in children of God presupposes the inward moral ἀκεραιότης , since they are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14 ). This ethical view of the υἱοθεσία , prominent throughout the N. T., and already implied in the mode of contemplating Israel as the people of adoption (Romans 9:4 ) in the O. T. and Apocrypha, necessarily involves, in virtue of the ideal character of the relation, the moral development towards the lofty aim implies, therefore, in the being the constant task of the becoming; and hence the sense of showing themselves is as little to be given, with Hofmann, to the γένησθε here as in Matthew 10:16 , John 15:8 , et al.; comp. also on Galatians 4:12 . Ἀμώμητος , qui vituperari non potest , occurring elsewhere in the N. T. only at 2 Peter 3:14 (not equivalent to ἄμωμος or ἄμεμπτος ), but see Hom. Il . xii. 109; Herod. iii. 82; frequently in the Anthol. Its opposite is: τέκνα μώμητα , Deuteronomy 32:5 ; the recollection of this latter passage has suggested the subsequent words, which serve as a recommendation of the condition to be striven for by contrasting it with the state of things around .

μέσον (see the critical remarks) is adverbial, in the midst of (Hom. Il . xii. 167; Od . xiv. 300; Eur. Rhes . 531 ( μέσα ); LXX. Numbers 35:5 ).

σκολιᾶς κ . διεστραμμ .] crooked and perverted , a graphic figurative representation of the great moral abnormity of the generation. Comp. on σκολιός , Acts 2:40 ; 1 Peter 2:18 ; Proverbs 4:24 ; Wis 1:3 ; Plat Legg . xii. p. 945 B, Gorg . p. 525 A; and on διεστρ ., Matthew 17:17 ; Deuteronomy 32:20 ; Polyb. viii. 24. 3, v. 41. 1, ii. 21. 8; also διάστροφος , Soph. Aj . 442.

ἐν οἷς i.e . among the people of this γενεά ; see Buttmann, Neut. Gr . p. 242 [E. T. p. 282]; Bremi, ad Isocr . I. p. 213 f.; Kühner, II. 1, p. 49 f.

φαίνεσθε ] not imperative (Cyprian, Pelagius, Ambrosiaster, Theophylact, Erasmus, Vatablus, Calvin, Grotius, and others, including Storr, Flatt, Rheinwald, Baumgarten-Crusius), but the existing relation, which constitutes the essential distinctive character of the Christian state as contrasted with the non-Christian, Ephesians 5:8 , al . The aim of the ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε κ . τ . λ . is, by means of an appeal to the true Christian sense of honour (the consciousness of their high Christian position towards them that are without), to assist the attainment of the end in view; this is misunderstood by Bengel, when he suggests the addition of “ servata hac admonitione ,” a view in which he is followed by Hofmann. The meaning is not lucetis (so usually), but (comp. also Weiss, Schenkel, and J. B. Lightfoot): ye appear , [128] come into view, apparetis (Matthew 2:7 ; Matthew 24:27 ; James 4:14 ; Revelation 18:23 ; Hom. Il . 1:477, 24:785, 788, Od . ii. 1, Il . ix. 707; Hes. Oper . 600; Plat. Rep . p. 517 B; Xen. Hell . iv. 3. 10; Polyb. ix. 15. 7; Lucian, D. D . iv. 3; also Xen. Symp . i. 9, Anab . vii. 4. 16; hence τὰ φαινόμενα , the heavenly appearances ). Lucetis (Vulgate) would be φαίνετε , John 1:5 ; Joh 5:35 ; 1 John 2:8 ; 2 Peter 1:19 ; Revelation 1:16 ; Revelation 21:23 ; 1Ma 4:40 ; Plat. Tim . p. 39 B; Arist. Nub . 586; Hes. Oper . 528; Theoc. ii. 11.

φωστῆρες ] light-givers (Revelation 21:11 ), here a designation, not of torches (Beza, Cornelius a Lapide) or lamps (Hofmann), which would be too weak for ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ , and without support of linguistic usage; but, in accordance with the usage familiar to the apostle in the LXX, Genesis 1:14 ; Genesis 1:16 , of the shining heavenly bodies; Wis 13:2 ; Sir 43:7 ; Heliod. 87; Anthol . xv. 17; Constant. Rhod. ep. in Paralip . 205.

ἐν κόσμῳ ] is to be taken in reference to the physical world, and closely connected with ΦΩΣΤ . As light-bearers in the world (which shine in the world, by day the sun, by night the moon and stars), the Christians appear in the midst of a perverted generation . Comp. Matthew 5:14 ; also classical expressions like πάτρας φέγγεα ( Anthol . vi. 614, 2), etc. If φαίνεσθε be rightly interpreted, ἘΝ ΚΌΣΜῼ cannot be joined with it (de Wette, Weiss, who takes ΚΌΣΜῼ in the ethical sense), or be supplemented by ΦΑΊΝΟΝΤΑΙ (Hoelemann, Rilliet, van Hengel). It is erroneous, further, to make ἘΝ ΚΌΣΜῼ mean in heaven (Clericus, Rheinwald [129] ), and also erroneous to attach a pregnant force to ἐν , making it mean “ within the world,” in contrast to the lights of heaven shining from above; thus Hofmann, connecting it with λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχ . and bringing out with emphasis something quite self-evident. On κόσμος without the article , see Winer, p. 117 [E. T. p. 153]. On the whole passage, comp. Test. XII. Patr . p. 577: ὑμεῖς οἱ φωστῆρες τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ὡς ὁ ἥλιος καὶ ἡ σελήνη · τι ποιήσουσι πάντα τὰ ἔθνη , ἐὰν ὑμεῖς σκοτισθήσεσθε ἐν ἀσεβείᾳ κ . τ . λ . Paul, however, has put φωστῆρες without the article , because he has conceived it qualitatively .

[128] So also Homer, Il . i. 200, which Hofmann compares and brings out for our passage the sense: “stand in the light proper to them.” Comp., however, Il. xix. 16, xxii. 28, and l.c.; Duncan, Lex. ed. Rost. p. 1148 f. In the former passage, i. 200, the sense is: her eyes (Athene’s) appeared terrible. Comp. Nägelsbach, p. 87, Exodus 3:0 . The same sense, according to another explanation, is found in Faesi.

[129] The designation of the heavens by κόσμος , first used by Pythagoras (see Bremi, ad lsoc. Paneg. p. 90), did not enter into the Biblical usus loquendi.

Verse 16

Philippians 2:16 . Λόγον ζωῆς ἐπέχοντες ] a definition giving the reason for φαίνεσθε ὡς φωστ . ἑν κ .: since ye possess the word of life . This is the Gospel, ἐπειδὴ τὴν αἰώνιον προξενεῖ ζωήν , Theodoret. See Romans 1:16 ; comp. John 6:68 ; Acts 5:20 ; it is the divinely efficacious vehicle of the πνεῦμα τῆς ζωῆς which frees from sin and death (see on Romans 8:2 ), and therefore not merely “the word concerning life” (Weiss). Christ Himself is the essential λόγος τῆς ζωῆς (1 John 1:1 ), His servants are ὀσμὴ ζωῆς εἰς ζωήν (2 Corinthians 2:16 ), therefore the word preached by them must be λόγος ζωῆς in the sense indicated. Paul does not elsewhere use the expression. As to ζωή without the article, of eternal life in the Messiah’s kingdom (Philippians 4:3 ), see Kaeuffer, de ζωῆς αἰ . not . p. 73 f. As possessors of this word, the Christians appear like φωστῆρες in a world otherwise dark; without this possession they would not so present themselves, but would be homogeneous with the perverted generation, since the essence of the gospel is light (Ephesians 5:8 ; Colossians 1:12 ; 1Th 5:5 ; 1 Peter 2:9 ; Luke 16:8 ; Acts 26:18 , al. ), just as Christ Himself is the principal light (John 1:4-5 ; John 3:19 ; John 8:12 ; John 12:35 , al ); but the element of the unbelieving γενεά , whose image is the κόσμος in itself devoid of light, is darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6 ; 2 Corinthians 6:14 ; Ephesians 5:8 ; Ephesians 6:12 ; Colossians 1:13 ; John 1:5 ; John 3:19 ). Ἐπέχειν , to possess , [130] to have in possession, at disposal, and the like; see Herod. i. 104, viii. 35; Xen. Symp . viii. 1; Thuc. i. 48. 2, 2:101. 3; Anth. Pal . vii. 297. 4; Polyb. iii. 37. 6, 112. 8, v. 5, 6; Lucian, Necyom . 14. Not: holding fast (Luther, Estius, Bengel, and others, including Heinrichs, Hoelemann, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Ewald, Schneckenburger); nor yet: sustinentes (Calvin), so that the conception is of a light fixed on a candlestick. Others understand it similarly: holding forth (Beza, Grotius, and others, including Rheinwald, Matthies, Wiesinger, Lightfoot), namely, “that those, who have a longing for life, may let it be the light which shall guide them to life,” as Hofmann explains more particularly; comp. van Hengel. This would be linguistically correct (Hom. Il . ix. 489, xxii. 43; Plut. Mor . p. 265 A; Pind. Ol . ii. 98; Poll . iii. 10), but not in harmony with the image, according to which the subjects themselves appear as shining, as self-shining . Linguistically incorrect is Theodoret’s view: τῷ λόγῳ προσέχοντες ( attendentes ), which would require the dative of the object (Acts 3:5 ; 1 Timothy 4:16 ; Sir 31:2 ; 2Ma 9:25 ; Job 30:26 ; Polyb. iii. 43. 2, xviii. 28. 11). Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact take ἐπέχ . correctly, but understand λόγον ζωῆς as equivalent to σπέρμα ζ . or ἐνέχυρα ζ ., and indicate, as the purpose of the words: ὅρα , πῶς εὐθέως τίθησι τὰ ἔπαθλα (Chrysostom). This view is without sanction from the usus loquendi . Linguistically it would in itself be admissible (see the examples in Wetstein), but at variance with the N. T. mode of expression and conception, to explain with Michaelis, Storr, Zachariae, and Flatt: supplying the place of life (in the world otherwise dead), so that λόγον ἐπέχειν would mean: to hold the relation . Comp. Syr.

εἰς καύχημα κ . τ . λ .] the result which the γίνεσθαι ἀμέμπτους κ . τ . λ . on the part of the readers was to have for the apostle; it was to become for him (and what an incitement this must have been to the Philippians!) a matter of glorying (Philippians 1:26 ) for the day of Christ (see on Philippians 1:10 ), when he should have reason to glory, that he, namely ( ὅτι ), had not laboured in vain, of which the excellent quality of his Philippian converts would afford practical evidence, ὅτι τοιοῦτους ὑμᾶς ἐταίδευσα , Theophylact. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 f.; 2 Corinthians 1:14 . Thus they were to be to him on that day a στέφανος καυχήσεως (1 Thess. l.c. ). Paul cannot mean a present καυχᾶσθαι in prospect of the day of Christ (Hofmann), for εἰς καύχημα κ . τ . λ . cannot be the result accruing for him from the ἐν οἷς φαίνεσθε κ . τ . λ . (since by it the position of the Christians generally is expressed), but only the result from the ethical development indicated by ἵνα γένησθε ἄμεμπτοι κ . τ . λ . Hence also ὅτι cannot be a statement of the reason (Hofmann); it is explicative: that .

The twofold [131] yet climactic, figurative description of his apostolical exertions (on ἜΔΡΑΜ . , comp. Galatians 2:2 ; Acts 20:24 ; on ἘΚΟΠΊΑΣΑ , comp. 1 Corinthians 15:10 ; Galatians 4:11 ), as well as the repetition of εἰς κενόν (see on Galatians 2:2 ; 2 Corinthians 6:1 ; Polyc. Phil . 9), is in keeping with the emotion of joy, of triumph.

[130] Hofmann erroneously pronounces against this, representing that ἐπέχειν could only be thus used in the sense of having under one’s control. Compare, in opposition to this, especially such passages as Thuc. iii. 107. 4, where the word is quite synonymous with the parallel simple ἔχειν ; also Anth. Pal. vii. 276. 6.

[131] Comp. Anthol. Pal. xi. 56. 2 : μὴ τρέχε , μὴ κοπία .

Verse 17

Philippians 2:17 . The connection of ideas is this: What Paul had said in Philippians 2:16 : εἰς καύχημα κ . τ . λ ., presupposed, in the first place, that he himself would live to see the further development described in Philippians 2:15 : ἵνα γένησθε ἄμεμπτοι . Now, however, he puts the opposite case, so as to elevate his readers to the right point of view for this also, and says: “ But even if I should be put to death in my vocation dedicated to your faith,” etc. Van Hengel finds in these words the contrast to the hope of living to see the Parousia . But this hope is not expressed in what precedes, since the result εἰς καύχημα κ . τ . λ . was conditioned, not by the apostle’s living to see the Parousia , but only by his living to see the described perfection of his readers; inasmuch as, even when arisen at the Parousia, he might glory in what he had lived to see in the Philippians. Many others are satisfied with making these words express merely a climax (in relation to ἐκοπίασα ) (see especially Heinrichs and Matthies); but this is erroneous, because ἐκοπίασα in the preceding verse is neither the main idea, nor specially indicative of tribulation. Arbitrary and entirely unnecessary is, further, the assumption of an opponent’s objection (“at vero imminent tristissima! ”) to which Paul replies; or the explanation of ἀλλά by the intervening thought: “ non, ie n’ai pas travaillé en vain, mais au contraire, ” etc., Rilliet; comp. also Erasmus, Paraphr . In a similar but direct way Hofmann gains for ἀλλά the explanation, but on the contrary , by connecting it antithetically with the preceding negative clauses ὅτι οὐκ εἰς κενόν κ . τ . λ ., which, with the right explanation of the following words, is impossible. According to de Wette (comp. also Storr and Flatt), Philippians 2:17 connects itself with Philippians 1:26 , so that ἀλλά forms a contrast to Philippians 2:25 , and all that intervenes is a digression. But how could any reader guess at this? The suggestion is the more groundless, on account of the χαίρω in Philippians 2:17 corresponding so naturally and appositely with the καύχημα in Philippians 2:16 .

εἰ καὶ κ . τ . λ .] if I even (which I will by no means call in question) should be poured out, etc. On the concessive sense of εἰ καί ( 1Co 4:7 ; 2 Corinthians 4:3 ; 2 Corinthians 4:16 ; 2Co 5:16 ; 2 Corinthians 7:8 , al. ), see Herm. ad Viger . p. 832; Klotz, ad Devar . p. 519. The case supposed is thus rendered more probable than by the reading of E G, καὶ εἰ ( even assuming that I ). Stallbaum, ad Plat. Ap. S . p. 32 A; Gorg . p. 509 A; Schmalf. Syntax d. Verb . sec. 99 f. The protasis beginning with ἀλλʼ εἰ καί extends to τ . πίστ . ὑμῶν . As in Philippians 2:12 , so also here Hofmann makes the violent assumption that the apodosis already begins at ἐπὶ τ . θυσίᾳ κ . τ . λ . with σπένδομαι again to be supplied, whilst at the same time there is imputed to this ἐπὶ τ . θυσίᾳ κ . τ . λ ., in order to give an appropriate turn to the assumed antithesis for ἀλλά , a tenor of thought which the words do not bear; see below.

σπένδομαι ] I become offered as a, libation, poured out as a drink-offering (2 Timothy 4:6 , frequently in all classical writers; see also Schleusner, Thes . V. p. 79; Suicer, Thes . II. p. 993). The sense stripped of figure is: if even my blood is shed , if even I should be put to death . [132] Paul represents his apostolic exertions for the faith of the Philippians as an offering (comp. Romans 15:16 ); if he is therein put to death , he is, by means of the shedding of his blood in this sacrifice, made a libation , just as among the Jews (Numbers 28:7 ; Numbers 15:4 ff.; Joseph. Antt . iii. 9. 4; see generally, Ewald, Alterth . p. 46 f.; Saalschütz, M. R . p. 314 f.) in the sacrifices, together with meat-offerings, libations of wine were made, which were poured upon the ground from sacred vessels ( σπονδεῖα ) at the altar. As to the Hellenic sacrificial libations, see Hermann, Gottesd. Alterth . § 25, 15 f. On the figurative representation of the shedding of blood as a σπονδή , comp. Anthol . ix. 184. 6: ξίφος αἷμα τυράννων ἔσπεισεν , Ignatius, Romans 2:0 ; σπονδισθῆναι Θεῷ ὡς ἔτι θυσιαστήριον ἑτοιμὸν ἐστί .

The present tense is used, because Paul has strongly in view his present danger (Philippians 1:20 ff.); Kühner, II, 1, p. 119 f. Rilliet (comp. Wetstein) takes the passive erroneously: I am besprinkled (which also does not correspond with the present tense), making Paul say, “que la libation préparatoire du sacrifice a coulé sur sa tête.” Confusion with κατασπένδεσθαι , Plut. Alex . 50, de def. orac . 46; Strabo, iv. p. 197; Eur. Or . 1239; Antip. Sid. 73 ( Anthol . 7:27).

ἐπὶ τ . θυσ . κ . λειτ . τ . π . ὑμ .] at the sacrifice and priestly service of your faith , that is, whilst I present your faith as a sacrifice and perform priestly service in respect to it; the sense of this, stripped of the figure , is: whilst I, by furtherance of your faith in Christ, serve God , as by the offering and priestly ministration of a sacrifice. τῆς πίστ . is the object which is conceived as sacrificed and undergoing priestly ministration; ΘΥΣΊᾼ and ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΊᾼ have one article in common, and are thereby joined so as to form one conception. But ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΊᾼ ( priestly function , comp. Luke 1:23 ; Hebrews 8:6 ; Hebrews 9:21 , and frequently in the LXX.; see Schleusner, Thes.; comp. also Diod. Sic. i. 21, and, for the figurative use of the word, Romans 15:16 ; Romans 15:27 ) is added by the apostle as a more precise definition , because the mere θυσίᾳ would leave it uncertain whether he was to be considered as a priest , whereas Paul desires expressly to describe himself as such. θυσίᾳ , as always in the N. T., is sacrifice , so that the idea is: at the sacrifice and priestly service of your faith; hence there is no necessity for taking it as sacrificing , or the act of sacrifice (Herod. iv. 60, viii. 99; Herodian, viii. 3. 5, i. 36. 12, al .). The ἐπί , however, is simply to be taken as at , as in Philippians 1:3 and frequently; not as to, in addition to (Beza, Raphel, Matthies, de Wette, Weiss, and many others; comp. also Hofmann), or with the Vulgate as supra (Heinrichs, Hoelemann, van Hengel), in the sense of the (heathen) mode [133] of the libation, an interpretation which should have been precluded by the addition of the abstract κ . λειτουργ . Finally, although Paul’s official activity concerned the faith of all his churches, he says ὑμῶν with the same right of individualizing reference as in δἰ ὑμᾶς at Philippians 1:24 and many other passages. The passage is peculiarly misunderstood by Hofmann, who holds that ἐπί has the sense in association with; that τῆς πίστεως ὑμ . is the genitive of apposition to θυσίᾳ and λειτουργ .; that the sacrificing and ministering subject is not the apostle, but the Philippian church , which, when it became believing , had presented its own sacrifice to God, and has been constantly honouring Him with its own work of service . Accordingly Paul says that, even though his labours should end in a violent death, yet the shedding of his blood would not be an isolated drink-offering, but would associate itself with their sacrifice . But this would only make him say, with artificial mysteriousness, something which is perfectly self-evident (namely: after that ye became believers, and whilst ye are believers). Moreover, ἐπί would thus be made to express two very different relations, namely, with τῇ θυσίᾳ after, after that , and with the λειτουργίᾳ at, during . And how could a reader discover from the mere ἐπί κ . τ . λ . the alleged antithetical reference of an isolated drink-offering, especially as no antithesis of the persons is even indicated by ὑμῶν being placed first (immediately after ἐπί )? The entire explanation is a forced artificial expedient in consequence of the mistaken assumption that an apodosis begins after σπένδομαι , and a new section sets in with χαίρω . [134]

ΧΑΊΡΩ ] Apodosis down to ὙΜῖΝ : I rejoice , not at the θυσία κ . λειτουργία τῆς πίστ . ὑμ (Chrysostom, who connects ἘΠῚ Τ . ΘΥΣ . Κ . Τ . Λ . with ΧΑΊΡΩ ; comp. Oecumenius; so also Rilliet), for it is mere arbitrariness to separate the sacrificial expressions ΣΠΈΝΔΟΜΑΙ and ἘΠῚ Τ . ΘΥΣΊᾼ Κ . Τ . Λ . and attach them to different parts of the sentence, and because ΧΑΊΡΩ , as the point of the apodosis, would have been placed before ἐπὶ τ . θυσ . κ . τ . λ .; but at the σπένδεσθαι : I rejoice to be employed for so sacred a destination . Theophylact appropriately remarks: οὐχ ὡς ὁ ἀποθανούμενος λυποῦμαι , ἀλλὰ καὶ χαίρω … ὅτι σπονδὴ γίνομαι , and Theodoret: ΤΑῦΤΑ ΔῈ ΛΈΓΕΙ ΨΥΧΑΓΩΓῶΝ ΑὐΤΟῪς Κ . ΔΙΔΆΣΚΩΝ ΤΟῦ ΜΑΡΤΥΡΊΟΥ ΤῸ ΜΈΓΕΘΟς . Comp. Grotius, Heinrichs. The ground of the apostle’s joy, assumed by many (including Flatt, Hoelemann, Matthies, de Wette): because my death will tend to the advantage of the gospel (Philippians 1:20 ), and also the interpretation of Weiss: that joy at the progress of the Philippians towards perfection is intended, are both quite gratuitously imported into the passage. The explanation of it as referring generally to inward joyfulness of faith (Wiesinger) or divine serenity (Ewald), does not correspond with the protasis, according to which it must be joyfulness in the prospect of death . “Even if I am compelled to die in this sacrificial service, I rejoice therein,” and that, indeed, now for the case supposed; hence not future .

καὶ συγχ . πᾶσιν ὑμῖν ] is wrongly explained by most commentators: “ and I rejoice with you all ” (so Chrysostom, Theophylact, Luther, Calvin, Heinrichs, Matthies, van Hengel, Rilliet, de Wette, Wiesinger, Ewald, Schneckenburger, Weiss, Hofmann, and many others); along with which explanation Chrysostom, Theophylact, and various of the older expositors, bring forward another ground for this joint joy than for the χαίρω (Chrysostom: ΧΑΊΡΩ ΜῈΝ , ὍΤΙ ΣΠΟΝΔΉ ΓΊΝΟΜΑΙ · ΣΥΓΧΑΊΡΩ ΔῈ , ὍΤΙ ΘΥΣΊΑΝ ΠΡΟΣΕΝΕΓΚΏΝ ; comp. Schneckenburger). Decisive against this interpretation is the ΧΑΊΡΕΤΕ which follows in Philippians 2:18 , a summons which would be absurd, if ΣΝΓΧ . ὙΜ . meant: “I rejoice with you. ” The Vulgate already rightly renders: congratulor (comp. Jerome, Beza, Castalio, Grotius, Storr, Flatt, Rheinwald, Hoelemann, Bisping, Ellicott, Lightfoot), I congratulate you, all , namely, on the fact that I am poured out in the service of your faith. Such a martyrdom, namely, for the sake of their faith , how it must have elevated and honoured the readers, their whole church; for such a martyr death concerned them all! Comp. on Ephesians 3:13 ; it redounds to their glory , if the apostle sheds his blood on account of their Christian standing established by him. It is in this light that Paul wishes his σπένδεσθαι , should it occur, to be regarded by his readers, and therefore gracefully and ingeniously represents it (though Hofmann holds this to be impossible) as something on which he must congratulate them all. Pauline linguistic usage is not to be urged in objection to this view (Weiss), as Paul employs συγχαίρω elsewhere only in the passages 1 Corinthians 12:26 ; 1 Corinthians 13:6 , and these are balanced by Philippians 2:17-18 here. Van Hengel and de Wette have erroneously objected that it would have been ΣΥΓΧΑΊΡΟΜΑΙ ( 3MMalachi 1:8 ). The active as well as the middle may convey either meaning, to rejoice along with , or gratulari (Polyb. xxix. 29:7. 4, xxx. 10. 1; Plut. Mor . p. 231 B; 3MMalachi 1:8 ). See Valckenaer, Schol . I. p. 54.

[132] This (since the time of Chrysostom) unanimous interpretation of the figurative expression has been abandoned by Otto, Pastoralbr. p. 214 f., who explains it as referring, not to the shedding of blood, but to the severance of the apostle’s life in his vocation from intercourse with the world by his imprisonment. An abortive suggestion, the forced result of incorrect assumptions.

[133] On this mode of libation rests the expression ἐπισπένδειν , to pour a libation over something (Herod. ii. 39, iv. 60. 62, vii. 167; Aesch. Ag. 1395; Plut. Romans 4:0 ).

[134] In which χαίρω κ . σνγχαίρω πᾶσιν ὑμῖν are supposed to serve merely as an introduction for the exhortation which follows; thus Paul would be made to say, that even for that supposed case of the σπένδεσθαι he is in a joyful mood, and he rejoices with any person in the church whose heart is joyful (all this is supposed to be implied in πᾶσιν ὑμῖν !).

Verse 18

Philippians 2:18 . And upon the same (upon my possibly occurring σπένδεσθαι ἐπὶ τ . θυσ . κ . τ . λ ., Philippians 2:17 ) rejoice ye also (because it takes place for the sake of your faith), and congratulate me thereon (on such a sacred destination). The verbs are imperatives . “Postulat enim Paulus parem συμπάθειαν a Philipp.,” Beza. The ground of the χαίρετε may not be arbitrarily introduced (Hofmann: whatever untowardness may occur), but must by logical necessity be the same which, in Philippians 2:17 , suggested the συγχαίρω ὑμῖν ; and that of the συγχαίρετέ μοι must be the same as caused Paul to say χαίρω in Philippians 2:17 . [135] The expositors, who do not take ΣΥΓΧΑΊΡΕΙΝ as gratulari , are here placed in the awkward position of making the apostle summon his readers to a joy which, according to Philippians 2:17 , they would already possess . By this impossibility Weiss, in spite of the τὸ αὐτό , allows himself to be driven into taking the joy in Philippians 2:18 , not as in Philippians 2:17 , but (comp. also Hofmann) quite generally , of a joyful frame of mind .

τὸ αὐτό ] in the same (on the accusative , comp. Matthew 2:10 ) rejoice ye also; see also on Philippians 1:25 . Hence it is not to be taken as equivalent to ὡσαύτως (Beza, Storr, Flatt, Heinrichs, Rheinwald, Rilliet, de Wette, Wiesinger, Weiss, Hofmann) (comp. on Philippians 1:6 ), in order thereby to avoid identifying it with the joy mentioned in Philippians 2:17 . As to ΧΑΊΡΕΙΝ with the accusative in classical authors, see generally Lobeck, ad Aj . 131; Kühner, II. 1, p. 255 f.

[135] The difficulty which van Hengel (comp. Hofmann) urges, that the readers “vix aut ne vix quidem induci potuerunt de hujus viri morte violenta gaudentes vel gavisuri,” entirely mistakes the lofty standpoint of the apostle, who looks death in the face with a holy joy (comp. the frequent corresponding sentiments in the epistles of Ignatius), and also attributes to his readers a corresponding mode of looking at the possibility of his death.

Verse 19

Philippians 2:19 . The apostle now, down to Philippians 2:24 , speaks of sending Timothy [136] to them, and states that lie himself trusted to visit them shortly.

ἘΛΠΊΖΩ ΔῈ Κ . Τ . Λ . ] The progress of thought attaching itself to Philippians 2:17 (not to Philippians 2:12 ) is: However threatening, according to Philippians 2:17 f., and dangerous to life my situation is, nevertheless I hope soon to send Timothy to you, etc. He hopes, therefore, for such a change in his situation, as would enable him soon to spare that most faithful friend for such a mission. Here also, as in Philippians 1:21-26 , there is an immediate change from a presentiment of death to a confidence of his being preserved in life and even liberated (Philippians 2:24 ). The right view of Philippians 2:17-18 debars us from construing the progress of the thought thus: for the enhancement of my joy, however , etc. (Weiss). Others take different views, as e.g . Bengel: although I can write nothing definite regarding the issue of my case, an imported parenthetic thought, which is as little suggested in Philippians 2:17 f. as is the antithetical relation to χαίρετε κ . συγχαίρ . μοι discovered by Hofmann, viz. that the apostle is anxious as to whether all is well in the church .

ἐν κυρίῳ ] making the hope causally rest in Christ . Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:19 .

ὑμῖν ] not equivalent to the local ΠΡῸς ὙΜᾶς (van Hengel), nor yet the dative commodi (“vestros in usus, vestra in gaudia,” Hoelemann, comp. de “Wette and Hofmann), whereby too special a sense is introduced; but the dative of reference , (1 Corinthians 4:17 ; Acts 11:29 ), indicating the persons concerned as those for whom the mission generally is intended .

κἀγώ ] I also , as ye through the accounts [137] to be received of me , namely, those which ye shall receive through this epistle, through Epaphroditus, and through Timothy.

εὐψυχεῖν ] to be of good couraye , occurs here only in the N. T. See Poll. iii. 135; Joseph. Antt . xi. 6. 9. Comp the εὐψύχει in epitaphs (like ΧΑῖΡΕ ) in Jacobs, ad Anthol . xii. p. 304.

τὰ περὶ ὑμ .] the things concerning you , quite generally, your circumstances. Ephesians 6:22 ; Colossians 4:8 . See Heindorf, ad Plat. Phaed . p. 58 A.

[136] Hofmann’s hypothesis, that the church had expressed a desire that the apostle would send them one who should aid them, with word and deed, in their affairs, has no hint of it given at all in the text; least of all in ἵνα χἀγὼ εὐψυχῶ κ . τ . λ . Why should Paul not have mentioned, in some way or another, the wish of the church? Baur and Hinsch find no motive mentioned for the mission of Timothy. As if the motive of love conveyed by ἵνα χἀγώ κ . τ . λ . were not enough!

[137] There is a delicate compliment implied in this κἀγώ ; for Timothy was to come back again to the apostle (but not Epaphroditus, ver. 25), and thus he hopes to receive the desired news about them which shall make him be of good courage. Hofmann introduces the comparative sense: fresher courage, under the assumption which he reads between the lines, that the apostle is concerned about various things in the church, which Timothy would succeed in settling and arranging. Paul’s cordial, loving interest in the welfare of the Philippians is quite sufficient to explain the εὐψυχῶ .

Verse 20

Philippians 2:20 . Reason why Timothy is the person sent. Hofmann erroneously takes it as: the reason why he sends no one at the time . As if νῦν γὰρ or ἄρτι γὰρ οὐδένα κ . τ . λ . were written.

ἰσόψυχον ] like-minded , namely, with me; in what respect, is stated in the sequel. Castalio, Beza, Calvin, Rilliet, Weiss, J. B. Lightfoot, wrongly interpret it: no one who would be so minded as he (Rheinwald combines the two references). As αὐτῷ is not added, the text gives no other reference for ἴσος (in ἰσόψυχ .) than to the subject of ἔχω (see also Philippians 2:22 ); as, indeed, Paul could not give a better reason for the choice of Timothy, and could not more effectively recommend him to his readers, than by setting forth his like-mindedness with himself; comp. Deuteronomy 13:6 : φίλος ἴσος τῇ ψυχῇ μου . The word occurs only here in the N. T.; see LXX. Psalms 55:14 ; Aesch. Agam . 1470. Comp. on the subject-matter, 1 Corinthians 16:10 .

ὅστις κ . τ . λ .] the emphasis is laid on γνησίως , and ὅστις , quippe qui, ita comparatum ut , introduces the character of an ἰσόψυχος , such as is not at his disposal.

γνησίως ] in genuine, sincere fashion , with one care without guile (Dem. 1482, 14; Polyb. iv. 30. 2; 2Ma 14:8 ), the selfish contrast to which is described in Philippians 2:21 . Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:8 .

μεριμνήσει ] namely, when I shall have sent him . The caring is not to be more precisely defined; it necessarily manifested itself according to the circumstances in watching, correction, encouragement, counsel, and action. Comp. 1 Corinthians 12:25 ; 2 Corinthians 11:28 .

Verse 21

Philippians 2:21 . Οἱ πάντες ] all (except Timothy), of those whom I now have with me and at my disposal for sending; see Philippians 2:20 . We have the less warrant to modify this judgment in any way, expressed, as it is, so very clearly and decidedly by the absolute antithesis τὰ ἑαυτῶν ζητοῦσιν , οὐ τὰ Ἰ . Χ ., seeing that we are unacquainted with the circle surrounding the apostle at that particular time , and do not know to what extent the anti-Pauline tendency, Philippians 1:15 ; Philippians 1:17 , had then spread in the immediate neighbourhood of the apostle. The only limitation of the general expression, which is in accordance with the text, lies in the fact that Paul does not mean the Christians generally in Rome, but such assistant teachers as would otherwise, if they had been pure and honest, have been qualified for such a mission. The trustworthy ones among these otherwise qualified fellow-labourers must have been absent at the time, especially Luke , who could by no means have been included among οἱ πάντες (in opposition to Wieseler, Chronol. d. apost. Zeitalt . p. 427); hence the Philippians are not saluted specially either by Luke or by any other, and the omission of such salutations by name at the end of this epistle receives in part its explanation from this passage. Consequently, οἱ πάντ . cannot be understood as many or the most (Beza, Wolf, Hammond, Drusius, Estius, Grotius, Cornelius a Lapide, and others, including Heinrichs, Rheinwald, Flatt); nor is it: “all, whom I can spare ” (Erasmus), or: “ who are known to you ” (van Hengel). Neither is the negation to be taken relatively: they seek more their own interest, etc. (Erasmus, Calvin, and many others, also Flatt, Hoelemann, comp. the reservations of Weiss), to which Hofmann’s view [138] also ultimately comes; nor is it to be explained by assuming an intention of distinguishing Timothy (Matthies); nor yet is the judgment to be restricted, with Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Theophylact, to the hardships of the long journey , to which they preferred their own repose . Bengel rightly defends the full seriousness of the utterance, and adds: “subtilissima erat αἴσθησις , qua hoc percepit Paulus.” But Baur erroneously discovers here merely an exaggeration , which arose from the subjectivity of a later author. What an uncalled-for fiction that would have been!

[138] The latter says: they allow themselves to be influenced in the direction of their activity, even though it be consecrated to the kingdom of God (?), by special personal aims, instead of devoting themselves ALWAYS ONLY (? οὐ τὰ Ἰ . Χ .). to that which is MOST ADVANTAGEOUS for the cause of Christ ( οὐ τὰ Ἰ . Χ .!). Thus there is imported into the passage what is not at all to be found in it.

Verse 22

Philippians 2:22 . Contrast, not of the person (which would have run τὴν δὲ αὐτοῦ δοκ . or αὐτοῦ δὲ τὴν δοκ .), but of the qualification , in order further to recommend him, whom he hopes soon to be able to send; not to make up for the disadvantage , that they can in the first instance only hope , etc. (as Hofmann artificially explains). But the approved character ( indoles spectata , comp. Romans 5:4 ; 2 Corinthians 2:9 ; 2 Corinthians 9:13 ) of him ye know; for Timothy had himself been in Philippi (Acts 16:1 ; Acts 16:3 ; Acts 17:14 ); hence γινώσκ . is not the imperative (Vulgate, Pelagius, Castalio, Cornelius a Lapide, Clericus, Rheinwald, Hoelemann).

ὅτι κ . τ . λ .] that he, namely , etc.

ὡς πατρὶ τέκνον ] Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:17 . The apostle had here ἐδούλευσεν before his mind, but alters the conception in such a way, that he thinks upon the service as rendered no longer to him , but with him , in a humble glance at Christ (Philippians 2:21 ), whom he himself also serves, so that the apostle’s servant is at the same time his σύνδουλος . See Winer, pp. 393, 537 [E. T. pp. 525, 722]. Hofmann labours without success to remove the incongruity, which cannot be got rid of unless, with Vatablus, we were at liberty to supply σύν before πατρί . But, however frequently the Greeks put the preposition only once in comparisons (see Bernhardy, p. 204 f.; Kühner, II. 1, p. 479), its omission does not occur in the clause placed first . The poetical use of such an omission in the case of words which are connected by καί , τέ , or ἤ (Dissen, ad Pind. Nem . x. 38; Lobeck, ad Aj . 397 ff.) does not concern us here.

εἰς ] in respect to the gospel (comp. Philippians 1:5 ), the serving in question having reference to the preaching, defence, etc., thereof.

Verse 23

Philippians 2:23 . Μὲν οὖν ] οὖν resumes Philippians 2:19 , and to the μέν corresponds the δὲ in Philippians 2:24 .

ὡς ἂν ἀπίδω κ . τ . λ .] when (of the time , see Klotz, ad Devar . p. 759, that is, as soon as , comp. on 1 Corinthians 11:34 ; Romans 15:24 ) I anyhow (by ἄν the matter is left to experience ) shall have seen to the end (Jonah 4:5 ). The latter, which expresses the perceiving from a distance (Herod. viii. 37; Dem. 1472. 15; Lucian, D. D . vi. 2), denotes the knowledge of the final course of matters to be expected , only after which could it be decided whether or not he could spare the faithful Timothy for a time. The form ἀφίδω (Lachmann and Tischendorf) in A B* D* F G א is, on account of this weighty evidence, to be considered not as a copyist’s error, but as the original, and to be derived from the pronunciation of ἰδεῖν (with the digamma). Comp. on Acts 4:29 , and see Winer, p. 44 [E. T. p. 48]; J. B. Lightfoot ad loc.; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 7 [E. T. p. 7].

τὰ περὶ ἐμέ ] the things about me, that is, the state of my affairs. Substantially not different from τὰ περὶ ἐμοῦ (Philippians 2:19 f.). See Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 1. 20; Winer, p. 379 [E. T. p. 506].

Verse 24

Philippians 2:24 . Καὶ αὐτός ] also myself personally. What Paul shall see, therefore, is, as he confidently trusts (not merely hopes ), his liberation (comp. Philippians 1:25 f.); that it will make it possible for him to come soon . [139] The terminus a quo of the ταχέως is, as in Philippians 2:19 , the then present time, although the sending of Timothy and his return (Philippians 2:19 ) are to precede his own coming. The ταχέως as a relative definition of the time is not opposed to this view. But that καὶ αὐτός includes also the case of his coming at the same time with Timothy (Hofmann), is, according to Philippians 2:19 ff., not to be assumed.

[139] How could this confidence, which the result did not justify, have been put by any later author into the apostle’s mouth? Only Paul himself could have written in such a way as here and in Philippians 1:25 f. See, in opposition to Hinsch, Hilgenfeld, 1873, p. 185 f.

Verse 25

Philippians 2:25 f. About Epaphroditus; the sending him home, and recommendation of him, down to Philippians 2:30 .

ἀναγκ . δὲ ἡγ .] I have, however, judged it necessary , although. Epaphroditus, namely, according to Philippians 2:19-24 , might have remained here still, in order to have made his return-journey to you later, either in company with Timothy, or eventually with myself. For the special reason , which Paul had for not keeping him longer with himself in Rome, see Philippians 2:26 ; Philippians 2:28 .

Ἐπαφρόδιτον ] otherwise not further known. The name (signifying Venustus ) was a common one (Tac. Ann . xv. 55; Suet. Domit . 14; Joseph. Vit . 76; Wetstein in loc. ), also written Ἐπαφρόδειτος (Boeckh, Corp. inscr . 1811, 2562); but to regard the man as identical with Ἐπαφρᾶς (Colossians 1:7 ; Colossians 4:12 ; Philemon 1:23 ) (Grotius, Paulus, and others) is all the more arbitrary, since Epaphras was a Colossian teacher.

The grouping together of five predicates which follows, has arisen out of loving and grateful regard for Epaphroditus, as an honourable testimony to him in his relation to the apostle as well as to the church.

ἀδελφ ., συνεργ ., συστρατ .] a climactic threefold description of companionship , advancing from the most general category, that of Christian brotherhood ( ἀδελφός ), to a twofold more special relation. On συστρατ ., which sets forth the joint working ( συνεργ .) in relation to the hostile powers, comp. Phm 1:2 ; 2 Timothy 2:3 .

ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστ . κ . λειτουργ . τ . χρ . μου .] still belonging to τόν ; hence ὑμῶν , placed in contrast to the μου , belongs to λειτουργ . τ . χ . μ . as well (in opposition to de Wette and others). Ἀπόστολος here means delegate (2 Corinthians 8:23 ), and not apostle (Vulgate, Hilarius, Theodoret, Luther, Erasmus, Calovius, Wetstein: “mei muneris vicarium apud vos,” am Ende, and others), which would necessitate the genitive ὑμῶν being taken as in Romans 11:13 , against which the context, by the union with λειτουργ . τ . χ . μ ., is decisive; as, indeed, Paul uses ἀπόστ . as an official designation only in the sense of the actual apostolic rank, based upon a direct call by Christ, in its narrower and wider reference (comp. on Galatians 1:19 ; Romans 16:7 ; 1 Corinthians 15:7 ), and hence there is no necessity to seek even an allusion to his “quasi”-apostolic position towards the Philippians (Matthies).

κ . λειτουργ . τ . χ . μ .] the sacrificial minister of my need , ὡς τὰ παρʼ αὐτῶν ἀποσταλέντα κομίσαντα χρήματα , Theodoret. By sending aid they had cared for the apostle’s need (Philippians 4:16 ); and that gift of love being regarded as a sacrifice offered to God, Epaphroditus, who had been entrusted by them with the conveying of it, was the λειτουργός in the matter, that is, he who performed the priestly service in the bringing of this offering (comp. Philippians 2:17 ). Such is also the conception in 2 Corinthians 9:12 . On τῆς χρείας μ . comp. Philippians 4:16 ; Romans 12:13 .

πέμψαι ] as also in Greek authors frequently, in the sense of dimittere domum, to send home , [140] consequently equivalent to ἀποπέμπειν or ἀναπέμπειν (Philemon 1:12 ); Xen. Hell . ii. 7. 9; Sop. O. R . 1518; Polyb. v. 100. 10; and frequently in Homer. See especially Od . xv. 74: χρῆ ξεῖνον παρεόντα φιλεῖν , ἐθέλοντα δὲ πέμπειν .

[140] That Paul, however, here writes πέμψαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς , and, on the other hand, π . ὑμῖν in ver. 19, is an accidental and undesigned variation. Hofmann thinks that by π . ὑμῖν is meant the sending of a representative of the apostle to the Church , and by π . πρὸς ὑμᾶς the sending of a representative of the Church to the apostle. This distinction is involved in the state of the case, but has nothing to do with the difference between the ὑμῖν and πρὸς ὑμᾶς . Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:17 ; Ephesians 6:22 ; Colossians 4:8 ; Titus 3:12 ; 2 Corinthians 12:17 .

Verse 26

Philippians 2:26 . State of mind ( ἦν with participle) of Epaphroditus, which supplied the motive for the ἀναγκ . ἡγησ . κ . τ . λ . [141]

The imperfect is used ( ἦν ), because Paul transports himself to the time when the readers shall receive this epistle. Then is Epaphroditus again among them; but he was previously longing, etc.

ἀδημονῶν ] in anxiety . Comp. on Matthew 26:37 .

ὅτι ἠσθ .] that he was sick. How the Philippians received this information, remains an open question, as also how Epaphroditus learned that they had heard it.

[141] The supposition that Paul, in specifying this ground, wished to prevent the so speedy return of the man from being interpreted to his disadvantage (Hofmann), assumes the existence of a certain distrust, for which there is no basis in the text. Besides, Epaphroditus had in fact accomplished the purpose of his mission.

Verse 27

Philippians 2:27 . Confirmation of that ἠκούσατε , ὅτι ἠσθ .

καὶ γὰρ κ . τ . λ .] for he has also (really , see Hartung, Partikell . I. p. 132; Baeumlein, p. 150) been sick .

παραπλ . θανάτῳ ] adds the specification of the mode: in a way almost equivalent to death . There is neither an ellipsis (de Wette: ἀφίκετο or some such word is to be understood before παραπλ .; comp. van Hengel) nor a solecism (van Hengel); παραπλ . is adverbial (equivalent to παραπλησίως , see Polyb. iv. 40. 10, iii. 33. 17; Lucian, Cyn . 17; comp. παραπλησιαίτερον , Plat. Polit . p. 275 C), and the dativus congruentiae (instead of which the genitive might also have been used, Bernhardy, p. 148) is governed by it.

λύπην ἐπὶ λύπην ] grief upon grief (superadded). LXX. Ezra 7:26 ; Psalms 68:28 ; Isaiah 28:10 . Comp. expressions with the dative (as Sir 26:15 ) in classic Greek, e.g. ὄγχνη ἐπὶ ὄγχνῃ (Hom. Od . vii. 120), ἐσλὰ ἐπʼ ἐσλοῖς (Pind. Ol . viii. 84), φόνος ἐπὶ φόνῳ (Eur. Iph . T. 197); Polyb. i. 57. 1. See also Eur. Hec . 586: λύπη τις ἄλλη διάδοχος κακῶν κακοῖς , Soph. El . 235: ἄταν ἄταις , Eur. Troad . 175: ἐπʼ ἄλγεσι δʼ ἀλγυνθῶ . The first λύπην refers to the dreaded death of his friend; the second , to the apostle’s affliction over the painful position in which he found himself, as a prisoner, and also through the doings of the adversaries (Philippians 2:20 f., Philippians 1:15 ; Philippians 1:17 ; Philippians 1:30 ), not over the sickness of Epaphroditus (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Estius, and others, also Weiss), to which would be added that for his death . Ἀλυπότερος in Philippians 2:28 is fatal to the latter view, for it appears that, even after Epaphr. had been sent away, a λύπη still remained, which, therefore, could not be referred to the latter’s sickness. Van Hengel errs in understanding the affliction as pain concerning this sickness, and the first λύπην as “cogitatio anxietatis vestrae.” See, in opposition, on Philippians 2:28 . Calvin’s remark suffices to justify the double λύπη : “Non jactat Stoicorum ἀπάθειαν , quasi ferreus esset et immunis ab humanis affectibus.” Comp. John 11:35 f.

σχῶ ] not optative. See Winer, p. 270 [E. T. p. 359].

Verse 28

Philippians 2:28 . The more urgently, therefore (in consequence of this sickness which he had had and recovered from, of which ye received tidings, Philippians 2:26-27 ), I have brought about his return, which otherwise I would still have delayed.

πάλιν ] belongs to χαρῆτε , as Paul usually places it before the verb, or, at least, makes it follow immediately after. See Gersdorf, Beitr . p. 491 f., and van Hengel. And the context affords no ground for departing from the usual mode, and for joining it with ἰδόντες αὐτόν (Beza, Grotius, and others, also Baumgarten-Crusius and de Wette).

κἀγὼ ἀλυπότ . ὦ ] Ἐὰν γὰρ ὑμεῖς χαρῆτε , καὶ ἐγὼ χαίρω , Oecumenius. He is not ἄλυπος , for he is in captivity and surrounded by adversaries; but the joy which he is aware is already prepared for his beloved Philippians by the return of Epaphroditus, lessens his λύπη . This tender interweaving of his own alleviation with the rejoicing of his readers is lost, if we refer ἀλύποτ . to the removal of the vexation of seeing the recovered one so full of longing and so uneasy (Hofmann), which, regarded as λύπη , would be sentimental. According to Weiss, Paul intends to say: still more ἄλυπος , than I have already become in consequence of Epaphroditus’ recovery. An unsuitable idea, because the comparative necessarily presupposes a certain degree of the λύπη still remaining. In the consciousness of this Paul has written ἀλυπότ .; if it had been otherwise, he would perhaps have used, as in Philippians 2:19 , κἀγὼ εὐψυχῶ or κἀγὼ χαίρω .

Verse 29

Philippians 2:29 f. Οὖν ] Let, then, the reception which he meets with among you be in accordance with my purpose in accelerating his return ( ἵνα ἰδόντες κ . τ . λ .); receive him with all joy.

ἐν κυρίῳ ] denotes, as in Romans 16:2 , the Christian character of the προσδέχεσθαι , the nature and action of which have their distinctive quality in Christ, in whose fellowship Christians live and move.

μετὰ πάσ . χαρ .] excludes every kind of sullen or indifferent temper and expression: “ with all joyfulness.”

καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους κ . τ . λ .] and the people of such a sort , etc. Ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ αὐτῷ μόνῳ χαρίζεσθαι , κοινῶς παραινεῖ πάντας τοὺς τὴν αὐτὴν ἀρετὴν ἐπιδεικνυμένους τιμᾶν , Theophylact. But Epaphroditus is in his view , as in the given case, the person belonging to the class thus to be held in honour. [142]

[142] There is no ground for the reference, which Hofmann discovers here, to an assumed inclination, on the part of the Philippians, to hold in honour people of another sort (such as are described in chap. 3.) more than the τοιούτους . For this assumption there would, at the most, be occasion only if Paul had used the comparative instead of ἐντίμους . Besides, the emphasis is not on τοὺς τοιούτους (Hofmann), but on ἐντίμους , correlative to the preceding μετὰ πάσ . χαρᾶς .

Verse 30

Philippians 2:30 . διὰ τὸ ἔργ .] emphatically prefixed: on account of nothing else than for this great sacred aim. The work (see the critical remarks) is, according to the context (comp. Acts 15:38 ), obvious, namely, that of labour for the gospel; the addition in the Rec. τοῦ Χριστοῦ is a correct gloss, and it is this ἔργον κατʼ ἐξοχήν (comp. ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος , Acts 5:41 ) in the service of which Epaphroditus incurred so dangerous an illness, namely, when he, according to the testimony of the predicates in Philippians 2:25 , as the συνεργός and συστρατιώτης of the apostle, with devotedness and self-sacrifice, united his exertions for the gospel and his striving against the movements of its adversaries (Philippians 1:15 ; Philippians 1:17 ; Philippians 1:30 , Philippians 2:20 ) with a similar activity on the part of the apostle. The interpretation which refers ἔργον to the business of conveying the bounty (de Wette, following older expositors, comp. Weiss), does not suffice for the more special characteristic description; and the reference to the enmity of Nero against Paul, the dangers of which Epaphroditus had shared, in order to reach the apostle and to serve him, finds no warrant either in the context or in Acts 28:0 (in opposition to Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, comp. Theodoret).

μέχρι θαν . ἤγγ .] as in Psalms 107:18 : ἤγγισαν ἕως τῶν πυλῶν τοῦ θανάτου , Sir 51:6 : ἕως θανάτου , Revelation 12:11 . The expression with μέχρι is more definite than the dative would be (as in Psalms 88:3 : ἡ ζωή μου τῷ ᾅδη ἤγγισε ), or εἰς θάνατ . (Job 33:22 ); he came near even unto death .

παραβουλ . τῇ ψυχ .] Such is the Text. Rec ., which Bengel, Matthaei (vehement in opposition to Wetstein and Griesbach), Rinck, van Hengel, Reiche, and others defend, and Tischendorf still follows in the 7th ed. Justly, however, Scaliger, Casaubon, Salmasius, Grotius, Mill, Wetstein, and others, including Griesbach, Lachmann, Scholz, Tischendorf, Exodus 8:0 , Rheinwald, Matthies, Rilliet, Winer, Ewald, Weiss, J. B. Lightfoot, Hofmann, and others, have preferred παραβολ . τ . ψ . The latter has the authority of A B D E F G א , 177, 178, 179 in its favour, as well as the support of the Itala by “parabolatus est de anima sua,” and of Vulgate, Aeth., Pelagius, by “tradens (Ambrosiaster: in interitum tradens)animam suam.” Since βολεύεσθαι was unknown to the copyists, whilst βουλεύεσθαι was very current, instead of the one ἅπαξ λεγόμ . another crept in, the form of which, on account of the prevalence of the simple word, had nothing offensive. παραβολεύεσθαι , which is nowhere certainly preserved (in opposition to Wetstein’s quotations from the Fathers, see Matthiae, ed. min. p. 341 f., and Reiche, Comment, crit. p. 220 f.), is formed from the very current classical word παράβολος , putting at stake, venturesome, and is therefore equivalent to παράβολον εἶναι , to be venturous, to be an adventurer, as περπερεύεσθαι equivalent to πέρπερον εἶναι (1 Corinthians 13:4 ), ἀλογεύεσθαι equivalent to ἄλογον εἶναι (Cic. Att. vi. 4), ἀποσκοπεύειν and ἐπισκοπεύειν (see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 591), κωμικεύεσθαι (Luc. Philop. 22). See more such verbs in Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 67, and comp. generally Kühner, I. p. 695, II. 1, p. 98. Hence the παραβολευσάμενος κ . τ . λ ., which is to be regarded as a modal definition to μ . θαν . ἤγγισε , means: so that he was venturesome with his soul (dative of the more definite reference), i.e. he hazarded his life, [143] in order to supply, etc. In this sense παραβάλλεσθαι is current among Greek authors, and that not merely with accusative of the object (Hom. Il . ix. 322; so usually, as in 2Ma 14:38 ), but also with dative of reference (Polyb. ii. 26. 6, iii. 94. 4; Diod. Sic. iii. 35: ἔκριναν παραβαλλέσθαι ταῖς ψυχαῖς ), in the sense of ῬΙΨΟΚΙΝΔΥΝΕῖΝ (Schol. Thuc. iv. 57) and ΠΑΡΑῤῬΊΠΤΕΙΝ (Soph. fr . 499. Diud.). Comp. παραβάλλομαι τῇ ἐμαυτοῦ κεφαλῇ in Phryn. ed. Lob . p. 238. Hence, also, the name parabolani for those who waited on the sick (Gieseler, Kirchengesch . I. 2, p. 173, Exodus 4:0 ). Taking the reading of the Text. Rec ., παραβουλεύεσθαι would have to be explained: male consulere vitae (Luther aptly renders: since he thought light of his life). See especially Reiche. This verb, also, does not occur in profane Greek authors; but for instances from the Fathers, especially Chrysostom, and that in the sense specified, see Matthiae, l.c.; Hase in Steph. Thes . VI. p. 220.

ἵνα ἀναπλ . κ . τ . λ .] The object , to attain which he hazarded his life. We have to notice (1) that ὑμῶν belongs to ὙΣΤΈΡΗΜΑ ; and (2) that Τῆς ΠΡΌς ΜΕ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓ . can denote nothing else but the function, well known and defined by the context (Philippians 2:25 ), and conceived of as a sacrificial service, with which Epaphroditus had been commissioned by the Philippians in respect to Paul ( ΠΡΌς ΜΕ ). All explanations are therefore to be rejected, which either expressly or insensibly connect ὙΜῶΝ with ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓ . , and take the latter in the general sense of rendering service ( ΔΙΑΚΟΝΕῖΝ ). We must reject, consequently, Chrysostom’s explanation (comp. Theophylact, Theodoret, Pelagius, Castalio, Vatablus, and others): ΤῸ ΟὖΝ ὙΣΤΈΡΗΜΑ Τῆς ὙΜΕΤΈΡΑς ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΊΑς ἈΝΕΠΛΉΡΩΣΕΝ · … ὍΠΕΡ ἘΧΡῆΝ ΠΆΝΤΑς ΠΟΙῆΣΑΙ , ΤΟῦΤΟ ἜΠΡΑΞΕΝ ΑὐΤΌς ; [144] also the similar view taken by Erasmus and many others (comp. Grotius, Estius, Heinrichs, Rheinwald, van Hengel, Rilliet): “quo videlicet pensaret id, quod ob absentiam vestro erga me officio videbatur deesse; ” the arbitrary explanation of Matthies: “in order that he might perfect the readiness of service which you have shown on various occasions; ” and several other interpretations. Hoelemann, also, in opposition to the simple literal sense, takes τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρ . as defectus cui subvenistis , and τῆς πρός με λειτουργ . as: rerum necessariarum ad me subministrando deferendarum . No; of the two genitives, referring to different things (comp. Philippians 2:25 , and see Winer, p. 180 [E. T. p. 239]), by which τὸ ὑστέρημα is accompanied, the first conveys who were wanting ( ὑμῶν , ye were wanting, ye yourselves were not there, comp. 1 Corinthians 16:17 ), and the second to what this want applied. Consequently the passage is to be explained: in order to compensate for the circumstance, that ye have been wanting at the sacrificial service touching me; that is, for the circumstance, that this sacrificial service, which has been made through your love-gifts in my support, was completed, not jointly by you, but without you , so that only your messenger Epaphroditus was here, and not ye yourselves in person. How delicate and winning, and at the same time how enlisting their grateful sympathy in the fate of Epaphroditus, was it to represent the absence of the Philippians as something that had been lacking in that λειτουργία , and therefore, as something which Paul had missed , to supply which, as representative of the church, the man had (as his deadly sickness had actually shown) hazarded his life! He did not therefore contract the illness on his journey to Rome (de Wette, Weiss, and older expositors), as Hofmann thinks, who represents him as arriving there in the hot season of the year; but through his exertions διὰ τὸ ἔργον in Rome itself during his sojourn there, when his sickness showed that he had risked his life in order to bring the offering of the Philippians, and thus compensate the apostle for the absence of the church. On ἀναπλ . τὸ ὑμ . ὑστέρ ., comp. 1 Corinthians 16:17 . The compound verb is appropriately explained by Erasmus: “accessione implere, quod plenitudini perfectae deerat.” See on Galatians 6:2 .

It was a foolish blunder of Baur to hold the entire passage respecting Timothy and Epaphroditus as merely an imitation of 2 Corinthians 8:23 f. Hinsch very erroneously, because misconceiving the delicate courtesy of the grateful expression, thinks that in Philippians 2:30 the aid is described as a duty incumbent on the readers, which would be un-Pauline; Philippians 4:10 is far from favouring this idea.

[143] The matter is conceived as staking a price or forfeit. Comp. παραβόλιον in Poll. viii. 63, Phrynich. p. 238. On the subject-matter comp. also προΐεσθαι τὰς ψυχάς (Pausanias, iv. 10. 3); the animae magnae prodigus of Horace ( Od. i. 12. 37); and the vitam profundere pro patria of Cicero ( de Off. i. 24).

[144] Hofmann substantially reverts to this. He takes ὑμῶν as the subject, which had allowed something to remain lacking in the service, namely, in so far as the church had only collected the aid, but not conveyed it. How indelicate would such a thought have been! Besides, it was, in fact, an impossibility for the church to have come personally. Hence the church was wanting, indeed, at the transmission of the bounty, but it did not thereby allow anything to be wanting in the latter.

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Philippians 2". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/philippians-2.html. 1832.
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