Attention! has pledged to build one church a year in Uganda. Help us double that pledge and support pastors in the heart of Africa.
Click here to join the effort!

Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Philippians 2

Verse 1

Philippians 2:1 . Εἴ τις ) If it be thought preferable that this word be read four times, we may thus explain it: if therefore exhortation [12] in Christ be any (joy), if the comfort of love be any [13] (joy), if the fellowship of the Spirit be any (joy), if bowels and mercies be any (joy), fulfil ye my joy; so that the predicate supplied four times may be joined with the subject expressed. See on a similar ellipse, Mark 15:8 , note. Certainly Paul’s joy was most present and vivid; even with the common reading, [14] ΕἼ ΤΙς ΕἼ ΤΙΝΑ , if any if any , the joy is still by implication denoted, being about to be fulfilled by harmony, etc. οὖν , therefore ) This corresponds to ch. Philippians 1:27 , in one spirit, with one mind . παράκλησις ἐν Χριστῷ , exhortation [ consolation ] in Christ ) This has as its adjunct, comfort of love; and fellowship of the Spirit has as adjuncts, bowels and mercies . The four fruits correspond to these four influencing motives in the same order, that , etc., in the following verse, as even the mention of love , put twice [viz. both in Php 2:1 and Php 2:2 ], in the second place indicates; and the opposites of each pair are put away [as unworthy of Christians] in Philippians 2:3-4 . All things are derived from Christ and the Holy Spirit.

[12] The Greek word παράκλησις signifies either exhortation or consolation . The Engl. Vers. has taken the latter, Bengel the former

[13] ABCG fg Vulg. and Rec. Text read εἴ τι παραμύθιον . Only D( Δ ) corrected reads τις . ED.

[14] Which both the margin of each Ed. and the Germ. Vers. seem to prefer. E. B.

ABCD( Δ )G read εἴ τις σπλάγχνα . And so Lachm. Vulg. has “Siquid (siquis) viscera.” fg Rec. Text and Tisch., with less authority, read εἴ τινα σπλάγχνα . ED.

Verse 2

Philippians 2:2 . Τὸ αὐτὸ φρονῆτε , be like-minded ) The participle that follows depends on this. σύμψυχοι , of one mind ) viz. that ye be . On this the following participle also depends. τὸ ἕν , the one thing ) The previous, that ye be like-minded , implies that the feeling of the mind ought to tend to the same things: the latter expression, being of one mind , implies that the feeling of the mind itself ought to be the same.

Verse 3

Philippians 2:3 . Μηδὲν , nothing ) viz. mind or think, do . ἐριθείαν , strife ) which has no anxiety to please others. κενοδοξίαν , desire of vainglory ) which is too anxious to please others. ὑπερέχοντας , superior ) in point of right and in endowments. That may be done not only externally, but by true humility, ταπεινοφροσύνην , when a man, in the exercise of self-denial, turns away his eyes from his own privileges and rights, and studiously contemplates the endowments of another, in which he is his superior.

Verse 4

Philippians 2:4 . Μὴ τὰ ἑαυτῶν ) not merely your own interest, nor on your own account: comp. Philippians 2:21 . μὴ τὰ τὸ ) Perverted usefulness is manifold; true usefulness is simple and one. [15] This is the difference between ΤᾺ and ΤῸ . [16]

[15] Therefore the plural, τὰ , is used in the former case; the singular, τὸ , in the latter: a distinction lost in the reading of the Engl. Vers. ED.

[16] The margin of the older Ed., which has the suffrage of the Germ. Vers., prefers the reading μὴ τὰ καὶ τὸ , but the margin of the 2d Ed. declares the reading τὸ , I know not whether at the beginning or end of the verse, not quite certain. E. B.

None but inferior uncial MSS. read τὸ in the second position. ABC Vulg. and Rec. Text read καὶ τὰ . D corrected G fg read τὰ τῶν . ED.

Verse 5

Philippians 2:5 . Φρονεῖσθω , let the mind be ) He does not say φρονεῖτε , think ye , but φρονείσθω , cherish this mind . ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ , in Christ Jesus ) Paul also was one who had regard to what belonged to others, not merely what belonged to himself: ch. Philippians 1:24 : and this circumstance furnished him with the occasion of this admonition. He does not, however, propose himself, but Christ, as an example, who did not seek His own, but humbled Himself. [ Even the very order of the words, as the name Christ is put first, indicates the immense weight of this example . V. g.]

Verse 6

Philippians 2:6 . Ὃς ) inasmuch as being one who . ἐν μορφῇ Θεοῦ ὑπάρχων , subsisting in the form of God ) The name God , in this and the following clause, does not denote God the Father, but is put indefinitely. The form of God does not imply the Deity , or Divine nature itself, but something emanating from it; and yet again it does not denote the being on an equality with God , but something prior, viz. the appearance [outward manifestation] of God, i.e. the form shining forth from the very glory of the Invisible Deity, John 1:14 . The Divine nature had infinite beauty in itself, even without any creature contemplating that beauty. That beauty was the μορφὴ Θεοῦ , form of God , as in man beauty shines forth from the sound constitution and elegant symmetry of his body, whether it has or has not any one to look at it. Man himself is seen by his form; so God and His glorious Majesty. This passage furnishes an excellent proof of the Divinity of Christ from this very fact; for as the form of a servant does not signify the human nature itself for the form of a servant was not perpetual, but the human nature is to continue for ever yet nevertheless it takes for granted the existence of the human nature: so the form of God is not the Divine nature, nor is the being on an equality with God the Divine nature; but yet He, who was subsisting in the form of God, and who might have been on an equality with God , is God. Moreover the form of God is used rather than the form of the Lord , as presently after on an equality with God: because God is more an absolute word, Lord involves a relation to inferiors. The Son of God subsisted in that form of God from eternity: and when He came in the flesh He did not cease to be in that form, but rather, so far as the human nature is concerned, He began to subsist in it: and when He was in that form, by His own peculiar pre-eminence itself as Lord, it was entirely in His power, even according to His human nature, so soon as He assumed it, to be on an equality with God , to adopt a mode of life and outward distinctions, which would correspond to His dignity, that He might be received and treated by all creatures as their Lord; but He acted differently. οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο , He did not regard it a thing to be eagerly caught at as a prey ) as a spoil . Those, to whom any opportunity of sudden advantage is presented, are usually eager in other cases to fly upon it and quickly to lay hold of it, without having any respect to others, and determinately to use and enjoy it. Hence ἁρπαλέα , with Eustathius, means, τὰ πάνυ περισπούδαστα , the things which a man may with all eagerness snatch for his own use, and may claim as his own: and the phrases occur, ἅρπαγμα , ἁρπαγμὸν , ἕρμαιον , εὕρημα , νομίζειν , ποεῖσθαι , ἡγεῖσθαι , ἁρπάζειν . E. Schmidius and G. Raphelius have collected examples from Heliodorus and Polybius. But Christ, though He might have been on an equality with God , did not snatch at it, did not regard it as spoil. [17] He did not suddenly use that power; compare Psalms 69:5 ; Genesis 3:5 , etc. This feeling on His part is at the same time indicated by the verb ἡγεῖσθαι , to regard, to treat it as . It would not have been robbery (rapina), if He had used His own right; but He abstained from doing so, just as if it had been robbery . A similar phrase at 2 Corinthians 11:8 , where see the note, may be compared with it. τὸ εἶναι ἶσα Θεῷ ) ἶσα , the accusative used adverbially, as happens often in Job, on an equality with and in a manner suitable to God. To be on an equality with God , implies His fulness and exaltation , as is evident from the double antithesis, Philippians 2:7-8 , He emptied and humbled Himself . The article, without which μορφὴν is put, makes now an emphatic addition [Epitasis]. It is not therefore wonderful, that He never called Himself God , rather rarely the Son of God , generally the Son of man .

[17] Many think rightly, from a passage of Plutarch, quoted by Wetstein, that ἁρπαγμὸς signifies the act by which anything is greedily seized, and the desire which leads to it; but that ἀρπάγμα , having a neuter ending, indicates the object desired, the thing seized, the prey. Drusius, in Crit. S.S., Lond., tries to show that ἁρπαγμὸς , as well as ἁρπάγμα , though both strictly signifying an act, may signify the thing which is the object of the act. Wahl renders ἁρπαγμὸς , “res cupidè arripienda et necessario usurpanda.” So Neander, “Conscious of Divinity, He did not eagerly retain equality with God for the mere exhibition of it, but emptied Himself of the outward attributes and glory of it.” The antithesis favours this view. However, there seems no very valid argument against ἁρπαγμὸς being taken in the strict sense, as Engl. V., ‘ thought ’ the being on an equality with God no act of ‘ robbery ,’ or arrogation of what did not belong to Him. It is true the antithesis, as Olshausen argues, ἀλλʼ ἐκένωσεν , may seem to suit better Wahl’s rendering. But ἁρπαγμὸς , in the only passage where it occurs, Plut. de puer. educ., 120, means raptus or actio rapiendi , not res rapta . It is only by metonymy it can be made even res rapienda . As to the antithesis, ἀλλʼ plainly means, And yet: Though having been in the form of God, etc., yet, etc. ED.

Verse 7

Philippians 2:7 . Ἀλλʼ , but ) To this word the two clauses refer: He emptied Himself , to which the form of a servant belongs; and He humbled Himself , on which His obedience depends. The former is opposed privatively, the latter also in direct contrariety to being equal with God; wherefore these two words are used in the way of gradation, and He humbled is put before Himself . [18] (Comp. James 2:18 , note). For, to take an example, when Philip V. ceased to be King of Spain, whose doings were agitating the public mind while we were engaged in these meditations, he so far emptied himself , yet he did not equally humble himself: he laid down the government of a kingdom, but he did not become a subject. ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσε , He emptied Himself ) החסיר , LXX., ΚΕΝῸΝ ΠΟΙῆΣΑΙ , Isaiah 32:6 , where the matter discussed is indeed quite different, but yet Paul, when he uses ἘΚΈΝΩΣΕΝ , translates by it the verb חסר , Psalms 8:5 , with which comp. Hebrews 2:7 . Wherever there is emptying , there is a thing containing and a thing contained. The thing containing, in the emptying of Christ, is Himself; the thing contained was that fulness , which He received in His exaltation. He remained full , John 1:14 : and yet He bore Himself in the same way as if He were empty; for He avoided the observation, so far as it was expedient, of men and angels, nay, even of His own self: Romans 15:3 : and therefore not only avoided observation, but also denied Himself, and abstained from His rights. ΜΟΡΦῊΝ , form ) These three words, μορφὴ , ὁμοίωμα , σχῆμα , [19] form, likeness, fashion , are not synonymous, nor even can they be interchanged the one for the other; but yet they are closely related: form signifies something absolute; likeness denotes a relation to other things of the same condition; fashion is to be referred to the sight and sense. λαβὼν , having taken ) The act of emptying carries with it [contains in it] His taking the form of a servant . Moreover He was able to take it , because He was in the likeness of men . ὁμοιώματι ἀνθρώπων , in the likeness of men ) He was made like men, a true man.

[18] ἑαυτὸν ἐκένωσεν (the ἑαυτὸν coming first , because HIMSELF, viewed in respect to what He had heretofore been , is the emphatic word and thought); but ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν (the ἑαντὸν coming second , and ἐταπείνωσεν first, because the emphatic word is ἐταπείνωσεν , which forms a climax to the previous ἐκένωσεν , He not only emptied Himself of what He was and had, but submitted to positive humiliation ). ED.

[19] The word σχῆμα , habitus (Th. σχῶ habeo. , ‘condition,’ ‘appearance,’ ‘bearing,’ has a wider application than μορφή , forma . Ὁμοιότης is the similarity itself: Ὁμοίωσις the image or likeness according to which anything is conformed: Ὁμοίωμα the thing itself so conformed or made like. ED.

Verse 8

Philippians 2:8 . Καὶ σχήματι , and in fashion ) a distinct and lower degree of emptying . The antitheses are, the form of God , and the form of a servant . Yet such a division of the parts of the sentence remains as joins the two words, emptied, humbled , by and , without an asyndeton. [20] ἈΛΛᾺ , but , Philippians 2:7 , divides into its two distinct parts the whole antithesis, which, after the ὃς , who , in the former part, has two clauses; more clauses in the second. σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος , being found in fashion as a man ) σχῆμα , fashion , dress, clothing, food, gesture, words and actions. εὑρεθεὶς , being found ) showing Himself such, and bearing Himself so in reality. ὡς ἄνθρωπος ) as a man , a common man, as if He were nothing else besides, and as if He did not excel other men; He assumed to Himself nothing extraordinary. ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτὸν , He humbled Himself [Engl. Vers. made Himself of no reputation ]) The state of emptying gradually becomes deeper. γενόμενος ὑπήκοος ) became obedient , Hebrews 5:8 , viz. to God . This ellipsis expresses εὐλάβειαν , the dutiful condescension of Jesus Christ; obedience becomes a slave. μέχρι , even to [as far as to]) construed with humbled , also with obedient . There is the greatest humiliation in death; ch. Philippians 3:21 ; Acts 8:33 ; Psalms 90:3 , LXX.; and the greatest obedience , John 10:18 . σταυροῦ , of the cross ) which was the usual punishment of slaves [ servants , whose form He took upon Him ].

[20] So Lachm. rightly punctuates with comma after ἀνθρώπων γενόμενος , and καὶ σχήματι ἐταπείνωσεν ἑαυτόν , without asyndeton. But Tisch. joins γενόμενος and εὑρεθεὶς by καὶ , putting the comma after ἄνθρωπος , so that here is an asyndeton between ἐκένωσεν and ἐταπείνωσεν . ED.

Verse 9

Philippians 2:9 . Διὸ καὶ , wherefore also ) The most appropriate reward of emptying is exaltation; Luke 24:26 ; John 10:17 . That result could not but follow it; John 16:15 . Whatever belongs to the Father belongs to the Son. Those things could not so belong to the Father, as that they should not belong to the Son; John 17:5 . Paul elegantly leaves the fact to be supplied, that they also will be exalted who humble themselves according to the example of Christ; nay, he expresses it, ch. Philippians 3:21 . ὁ Θεὸς , God ) Christ emptied Christ; God exalted Christ, comp. 1 Peter 5:6 , and made Him to be equal with God . ὑπερύψωσε , highly exalted ) It was thus the humiliation was compensated. A lofty compound. καὶ ἐχαρίσατο , and hath given ) It was thus the emptying was compensated, to which also the fulness is more expressly opposed, Ephesians 1:23 ; Ephesians 4:10 . By the verb χαρίζεσθαι , to give , is denoted, how acceptable the emptying of Christ was to God, and with how lowly a mind Christ, after He had gone through all that state of servitude , received this gift . ὄνομα ) a name along with the thing, i.e. dignity and praise. ὑπὲρ πᾶν ὄνομα , above every name ) Ephesians 1:21 , not merely above every name among mankind.

Verse 10

Philippians 2:10 . Πᾶν γόνυ πᾶσα γλῶσσα , every knee every tongue ) A Synecdoche; [21] i.e. that in every way they may worship and acknowledge Him as Lord; comp. Revelation 5:13 . κάμψῃ ) may bow , viz. itself , either with [in token of] applause or with trembling. ἐπουρανίων [supracælestium], of the beings dwelling in the upper heaven ) The heavenly inhabitants bow their knees, for Christ the Lord has taken heaven . ἐπιγείων , of things on earth ) For He dwelt upon the earth. καταχθονίων , of beings under the earth ) See Mark 3:11 ; Job 26:5 [Ephesians 4:9 ; Revelation 5:13 . V. g.] Afterwards He also presented Himself to them. This division goes further into the height and depth than that, Exodus 20:4 .

[21] Bowing the knee , the part put for every kind of worship, the whole. ED.

Verse 11

Philippians 2:11 . Ἐξομολογήσηται , should confess ) expressly. Κύριος , Lord ) no longer in the form of a servant . εἰς , in ) That Jesus Christ is Lord, inasmuch as He is in the glory of God the Father [not as Engl. Vers. “to the glory”]. So εἰς , John 1:18 [ εἰς τὸν κόλπον , “ in the bosom,” not into or to the bosom, etc.]. Θεοῦ Πατρὸς , of God the Father ) The Son acknowledges, and those who see the glory of the Son also acknowledge, that the Son has this glory with the Father, and from the Father; comp. 1 Corinthians 15:28 .

Verse 12

Philippians 2:12 . Ὥστε , therefore ) He sets Christ before us as an example, and infers, that we should maintain the salvation which Christ has procured for us. ὑπηκούσατε , ye have obeyed ) me, exhorting you to salvation , and have obeyed God Himself; comp. obedient , Philippians 2:8 . μετὰ φοβοῦ καὶ τρόμου , with fear and trembling ) You ought to be ‘servants,’ according to the example of Christ; Philippians 2:8 : moreover fear and trembling become a servant; Ephesians 6:5 , i.e. humility; comp. Romans 11:20 . Joh. Jac. Wolfius has observed, in his MS. exegesis of the Ep. to the Phil., Paul, though filled with joy, still writes seriously. ἐαυτῶν , your own ) In this department, indeed, look each of you at his own things; comp. Philippians 2:4 , your own , he says; because I cannot be present with you, be you therefore the more careful of yourselves. σωτηρίαν , salvation ) that which is in Jesus . κατεργάζεσθε , work out ) even to the end.

Verse 13

Philippians 2:13 . Ὁ Θεὸς γὰρ , for God ) God alone; He is present with you even in my absence. You want nothing, only be not wanting to yourselves; comp. 2Pe 1:5 ; 2 Peter 1:3 . [ You can do nothing of yourselves; avoid security. Some, trusting too much to their exalted condition, think that they may hold the grace of GOD on the same footing as the Israelites held the food sent down from heaven , Numbers 11:8 , and therefore that it is at their own will either to struggle against it or anew to grant it admission . V. g.] τὸ θέλειν , to will ) that you have willed salvation in my presence, and still will it. τὸ ἐνεργεῖν , to do ) even now in my absence. ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐδοκίας , of His good pleasure ) To this refer, to will; and to do , to, who worketh .

Verse 14

Philippians 2:14 . Ποιεῖτε , do) with His good pleasure . Sons ought to imitate their father, Philippians 2:15 . χωρὶς γογγυσμῶν , without murmurings ) in respect of others. To this refer ἄμεμπτοι , blameless . Not only brawlings and clamours, from which the Philippians had now withdrawn, are opposed to love, but also murmurings. Doubting is joined to these, as well as wrath, 1 Timothy 2:8 . [ A man may either cherish both in himself or rouse them in others . V. g.] Inquire or accuse in my presence; do not murmur behind my back or in secret. καὶ διαλογισμῶν , and doubtings, disputings ) in respect of yourselves. To this refer ἀκέραιοι , ‘indelibati,’ Philippians 2:15 , unimpaired [Engl. Vers. harmless ], viz. in the faith [ Php 2:17 ]. Many words of this sort are both active and passive at the same time; comp. Romans 16:19 , note. Ἀκέραιον is applied to a patrimony , that is uninjured , unimpaired , in Chrys. de Sacerd. § 17.

Verse 15

Philippians 2:15 . Θεοῦ , of God ) who is good. σκολιᾶς ) crooked . φαίνεσθε ) ye shine , namely, by having kept this exhortation. Of life follows, as the mention of light and life is frequently joined. ἐν κόσμῳ , in the world ) among the human race, of whom many are yet to be converted, others are to be reproved.

Verse 16

Philippians 2:16 . Λόγον ζωῆς , the word of life ) which I have preached to you. There is frequent mention of life in this epistle, ch. Philippians 4:3 . ἐπέχοντες ) holding fast, upholding , [22] lest you should give way to the world. εἰς καύχημα , for a source of glorying to me) Construe with holding fast . εἰς ἡμέραν , in [against] the day ) The Philippians thought the day of Christ so near, that the life of Paul might be lengthened out even till that day. Paul did not consider it necessary to confute this. οὐκ εἰς κενὸν , not in vain ) with your fruit.

[22] But Engl. V. Holding forth , referring to the metaphor in φωστῆρες , lighthouses , which hold forth a beacon-light to warn the unwary. ED.

Verse 17

Philippians 2:17 . Ἀλλʼ εἰ καὶ , but if even ) Look back at Philippians 1:22 , note. εἰ καὶ σπένδομαι ἐπὶ τῇ θυσίᾳ καὶ λειτουργίᾳ , Engl. Vers. if I am even offered upon the sacrifice and service; Bengel gives, if I am poured out on the victim and sacrifice ) The Philippians, as well as the other nations converted to the faith, were the oblation; Paul was the minister [not here primarily, the offering , or oblation , as Engl. Vers. implies], Romans 15:16 ; and as at the holocausts, a libation of wine was usually made, and it was poured out at the base of the altar, so Paul rejoices that his blood should be poured out. The future accomplishment of the sacrifice was matter of joy to both. Here is the superior excellence of martyrdom. The phrase is in consonance with the punishment of the sword, which awaited Paul. θυσίᾳ , the victim, the sacrifice ) To this refer, I rejoice with you, rejoice ye . λειτουργίᾳ , service ) To this refer, I rejoice , and rejoice ye with me .

Verse 18

Philippians 2:18 . Συγχαίρετε μοι ) rejoice with me , congratulate me , on being poured out as a libation.

Verse 19

Philippians 2:19 . Δὲ ) but: although I have no grounds at present for writing categorically about my death. ὑμῖν ) to [for] you: This [“ for you,” i.e. for your good, to your satisfaction] is more expressive, than if it had been the accusative with the preposition εἰς [which would be merely “ to you”]. κᾀγὼ ) I also; that not only you [may be of good comfort], upon your knowing [receiving information as to] my affairs, Philippians 2:23 . εὐψυχῶ , may be of good mind [ comfort ]) He is anxious about the Philippians; and yet he has good hope.

Verse 20

Philippians 2:20 . Οὐδένα , no one ) None other, him alone [He is the only like-minded one I have]. Who depends on him , as the antecedent, understood. ἰσόψυχον , like-minded ) Paul’s second self, viz. Timothy: So Psalms 45:14 , ואתה אנוש כערכי , thou, O man like-minded ( ἰσόψυχε ); Deuteronomy 13:7 (6), אשר כנפשך , is like-minded with thee ( ὁ ἴσος τῇ ψυχῇ σου ). [ Timothy , says Paul, there you may consider that I myself present. V. g.] γνησίως , , like a brother, [Engl. Vers. ]) Philippians 2:22 ; 1 Timothy 1:2 . [23] μεριμνήσει ) will care [ will be solicitous in all that concerns you ], whilst among you: and will give an accurate report to me.

[23] γνησίῳ τέκνῳ , a genuine son: Engl. V. “my own son.” So here, in the genuine spirit of a brother . ED.

Verse 21

Philippians 2:21 . Οι πάντες , they all [ the whole mass of men]) If at that time, so distinguished as it was, Paul quite approved of only one out of, as it were, his own band (ch. Philippians 1:14 ; Php 1:17 ), speaking of those who were then present, ch. Philippians 4:21 , and that too writing at such a distance to the church of the Philippians, how many do we suppose in our times approve themselves unto God? [ This fact may be put to the test, when a man ought to have given his assistance to a laudable undertaking, either near or at a distance, which either he has not under his charge, or which he does not perceive will be of advantage to him , Judges 5:23 ; Judges 8:6 . Nay, even it sometimes happens, that he who possesses some extraordinary gift or endowment, if in any way he has found an opportunity of refusing the benefit of it to others, derives much self-gratification from this very fact. O Christians, unworthy of the name! V. g.] It was a very nice αἴσθησις , sense , by which Paul perceived this. τὰ ἑαυτῶν , their own ) Philippians 2:4 . O how many are godly on their own account! although they are not enemies , Philippians 3:18 . ζητοῦσι , seek ) A godly intimation may be given to godly hearers as to the character of these or those ministers. οὐ τὰ [24] ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ ἸΗΣΟῦ , not the things which are Jesus Christ’s ) They experience this, who from their heart seek to promote the common edification. They find few to assist them, Judges 5:17 ; Judges 5:23 ; Judges 8:6 ; Judges 8:8 . They are abandoned, when there is no obligation close in view, no hope of reward or fame. When the advantage of the kingdom of Christ is consulted by most persons, it is generally done in the way of a safe or secure expediency. [25] When some sacrifice must be made, the man does not fight, but flees, and excuses himself with the hope of fighting at another time.

[24] The marg. of both Ed., and also the Germ. Vers., give their decision in favour of the reading Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ in this passage. E. B.

[25] i.e . Where consulting Christ’s advantage is consistent with consulting their own, so as to be free from hurt or loss: “per modum innoxiæ utilitatis.” ED

Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ is the reading of ACD( Δ )G fg Amiat. MS. of Vulg. But Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ , B (judging from silence) Memph. and later Syr. Ed. ED.

Verse 22

Philippians 2:22 . Δὲ , but ) This marks the antithesis between, Philippians 2:21 , all , and of him . Rare praise, Nehemiah 7:2 . γινώσκετε ) ye know; comp. Acts 16:1-12 . τέκνον σὺν , as a son with ) He speaks with great elegance, partly as of a son, partly as of a colleague: so in ch. Philippians 3:17 , he presents himself as the type [ τύπον ; “an ensample,” Engl. V.], and yet he commands them to be συμμιμητὰς , followers with him, not merely followers [just as here he makes Timothy a son following him as a father, and yet also a colleague with him].

Verse 23

Philippians 2:23 . Ὡς ἂν ἀπίδω ) ἀπιδεῖν , [26] to carry off or acquire, to obtain information . ἐξαυτῆς , presently ) The relative force implied in the αὐτῆς of the compound has regard to the phrase, I shall have obtained the information (of your state).

[26] Wahl, Clavis , translates, “Simulac cognovero rerum mearum eventum.” ED.

Verse 25

Philippians 2:25 . Ἐπαφρόδιτον , Epaphroditus ) Philippians 4:18 . συστρατιώτην , a fellow-soldier ) ch. Philippians 1:27 ; Philippians 1:30 . ὑμῶν δὲ ἀπόστολον , and your deputy or messenger ) The Philippians had deputed him as a messenger to Paul [ Php 4:18 ]. λειτουργὸν τῆς χρείας μου , the minister to my necessity ) To this also refer your [viz. your minister, the one sent by you to minister to my necessity]; for he had been serviceable to Paul in the name of the Philippians. Also see how highly even external ministration is estimated: Philippians 2:30 . πέμψαι , to send ) He says, to send , not to send back; for he had come to Paul for the purpose of remaining with him: Philippians 2:30 .

Verse 26

Philippians 2:26 . [27] Ἀδημονῶν ) Hesychius has, ἀδημονῶν , ἀγωνιῶν · ἀδημονῶ , ἀκηδιῶ , ἀγωνιῶ . Ἀκηδιῶν , worn out with grief. Acedia , languor in spiritual things. ἠκούσατε , ye have heard ) and on that account have been anxious.

[27] Ἐπιποθῶν , longing for ) Something of nature may have been mixed up with this; but when grace is the predominant element, all things are estimated by love. V. g.

Verse 27

Philippians 2:27 . Παραπλήσιον , near ) He speaks (at first) rather mildly, lest he should at once terrify the Philippians: then Philippians 2:30 , he says, ἤγγισεν , he drew (was) nigh unto , and by this verb greater danger is indicated. αὐτὸν ἠλέησεν , had mercy on him ) by restoring health and life. καὶ ἐμὲ , and on me ) The saints were allowed to consider all things as given to them. λύπην , sorrow ) for the death of Epaphroditus sorrow , opposed to the ‘joy,’ of which the whole epistle treats. ἐπὶ λύπῃ , on sorrow ) for the sickness of Epaphroditus, for his own bonds, etc.

Verse 28

Philippians 2:28 . Σπουδαιοτέρως , the more earnestly, anxiously [ carefully ]) sooner than Timothy, Philippians 2:19 . χαρῆτε , ye may rejoice ) Godly men may receive joy from all things. ἀλυπότερος ὦ , I may be the less sorrowful ) when I know, that you rejoice.

Verse 30

Philippians 2:30 . Μέχρι θανάτου , even unto death ) This appertains to the comparison of duties [to the question of the prior claim among comparative duties]. To minister to Paul, seems in itself to be a matter of somewhat less importance than the danger to the life of Epaphroditus, who however most rightly purchased by this disadvantage [the danger to his life] that important benefit [the glad reception at Philippi, Philippians 2:29 , and the love and prayers of Paul, Php 2:27-28 ]: 2 Timothy 1:16-17 . ἤγγισε , drew nigh ) Epaphroditus, when setting out from Philippi, does not seem to have been aware that he would become sick; but yet, inasmuch as he undertook the arduous journey, not shrinking back through fear of whatever might happen to him either from the enemies of Paul or from any other cause, the sickness, although unforeseen, is attributed to him as if it were undergone out of kindness to Paul. παραβουλευσάμενος τῇ ψυχῇ ) τῇ ψυχῇ , the dative. Hesychius: παραβουλευσάμενος , εἰς θάνατον ἑαυτὸν ἐκδούς , exposing one’s self to death . παραβουλεύομαι properly signifies, I take counsel , or rather, I form a design contrary to my interests . It is a Paronomasia [the signification of a word changed by a slight alteration of letters] on the word παραβάλλομαι , I rashly dare, I cast myself recklessly into danger , which the apostle seems to have skilfully avoided, comp. Philippians 3:2 , at the end, note. τὸ ὑμῶν ὑστέρημα , your deficiency [Engl. V. lack of service ]) This deficiency existed not so much in the estimate of Paul, as in the feeling of the Philippians themselves, on account of the love which they bore to him, ch. Philippians 4:10-11 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Philippians 2". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.