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AFFER the usual address and salutation, the apostle, turning at once to the close and confidential relations subsisting between him and the Philippian church, tells them that his entire reminiscence of them gave him unmixed satisfaction, and led him to thank God for them; that in this cheerful state of mind he prayed always in all his prayers for all of them; that his special ground of thanksgiving was their FELLOWSHIP FOR THE GOSPEL, which had existed among them from the period of their conversion to the present moment, and which, he was persuaded, God would perpetuate and mature among them. Then he intimates that this favourable opinion of them was no notion loosely taken up by him, but one well warranted, since he loved them dearly as joint partakers of grace with himself. That Christian affection was no idle emotion, for it found expression in constant and joyous prayer. And that prayer which he had mentioned in the fourth verse as his uniform practice, had this for its theme, that their love might grow, and be furnished with a fuller knowledge and a truer spiritual discrimination, so that a higher state of moral excellence might be attained by them, along with a life of ampler fruits-to the glory and praise of God.
(Philippians 1:1.) Παῦλος καὶ Τιμόθεος , δοῦλοι Χριστοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ - “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus.” The received text reads ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ , but B, D, E., etc., declare for the reverse order of the names. For some remarks on Timothy and the association of his name with that of the apostle, see under Colossians 1:1. There, indeed, Paul calls himself an apostle, but here both are simply and equally designated δοῦλοι -the following genitive being that of possession, and the epithet itself being one of close relationship as well as labour. 1 Corinthians 7:22. There is no sure ground for the conjecture of Rilliet, that Timothy is mentioned because probably he wrote the letter from Paul's dictation. As little foundation is there for the opinion of Müller, taken from Huther, that the addition by Paul of another name to his own was intended to show that the letter was written per muneris officium et publice, for the epistle is without any traces of such a purpose; and there is no great likelihood in the notion of Van Hengel, that the apostle placed Timothy on a level with himself, because as he was so soon to despatch him to Philippi, he wished him to appear invested with all his own great authority. Timothy is associated with Paul as one who was well known to this church, who had been with him on his first visit, who afterwards was sent by him to labour in Macedonia, and who cherished a fervent regard for the welfare of the Philippian saints. Acts 16:1; Acts 16:10; Acts 19:22; Philippians 2:19-20.
Paul does not here style himself an apostle as is his wont, either because his apostolical prerogative had not been called in question among them, or because their intimacy with him was so close, that he felt that his office was ever in their thoughts of him and their care for him, associated with his person. That it is rash to make decided inferences from the style of the apostle's address, is evident from the fact, that five different forms are employed by him. 1. He names himself alone and formally as an apostle- Rom 1:1 ; 1 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1; and, as might be expected, in the pastoral epistles. 2. He associates another name with his own, but still marks out his own apostleship, as “Paul an apostle, and Timothy our brother” 2 Corinthians 1:1. 2 Corinthians 1:3. He joins others to himself without giving any distinctive epithet either to himself or them; as, “Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,” in both Epistles to the Thessalonians. 4. In the letter to Philemon he calls himself a prisoner, and subjoins Timothy as a brother. 5. In this epistle he adds Timothy, but unites both under the simple and comprehensive term δοῦλοι . The corresponding epithet in Hebrew had already been consecrated, Numbers 12:7; Joshua 1:2; Joshua 9:24; 1 Chronicles 6:49; and δοῦλος occurs in the Septuagint, Nehemiah 10:29. In its Oriental form it passed away from its more distinctive meaning, and was incorporated into proper names, as in Abdallah, Abednego, etc.
πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ , τοῖς οὖσιν ἐν Φιλίπποις , σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις “to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” Consult our note on ἅγιος , Ephesians 1:1. The preposition ἐν points out the source and sustentation of this ἁγιότης -union with Christ Jesus. As Theophylact says, those who are in Christ Jesus are ἅγιοι ὄντως . In the fulness of his heart, the apostle writes to ALL the saints, not, as van Hengel supposes, that he wished to show that he made no distinction in his regard between those who had, and those who had not, sent him a pecuniary gift. There would be probability in the notion of De Wette, that the apostle formally embraced them all, to intimate his elevation above their parties and conflicts, if the term did not occur again and again in the epistle, as the expression of the writer's earnest and universal affection-1:4, 7, 8, 25, Philippians 2:17; Philippians 2:26, Philippians 4:23. The city of Philippi, and the entrance of the gospel to it, have been spoken of in the Introduction.
The apostle adds, σὺν ἐπισκόποις καὶ διακόνοις . The preposition σύν intimates close connection- Cohaerenz, as Krüger calls it, and so far differs from μετά , which indicates mere co-existence, Krüger, § 68, 13. The reading συνεπισκόποις , followed by Chrysostom, and found in B 2 , D 3 , and C, must be at once rejected. Following it, the Greek Father understands the epistle to be addressed to the clergy- τῷ κλήρῳ , the compound noun being taken as if in apposition with ἁγίοις . But why should bishops and deacons be so unwontedly singled out? Chrysostom answers, Because they had sent the pecuniary gift through Epaphroditus to the apostle. Others more generally, as Meyer, that they had been instrumental in collecting the sums for which he thanks them in the conclusion of the epistle. Heinrichs opines that the mention of office-bearers was only mero casu; Müller and Rilliet, that the phrase merely describes or represents a properly organized church. The opinion of Wiesinger is at least as probable, that the real reason is to be found in the circumstances of the church, and that there was a tendeney to undue assumption on the part of some individuals, which needed such an effective check as was implied in the special acknow-ledgment of those who bore office in it. The official term ἐπίσκοπος , of Greek origin, is in the diction of the New Testament the same as πρεσβύτερος , of Jewish usage-the name expressive of gravity and honour; διάκονος being the correlate found in connection with the former, and νεώτερος or νεανίσκος standing in a similar relation to the latter- Acts 20:17; Act 20:28 ; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 5:5; Titus 1:5; Titus 1:7. The Syriac renders the term here by קָדִיֵשֶׁא -elders. The origin of the special office of deacon is given in Acts 6:0 -the end of the institution being διακονεῖν τραπέζαις , or to exercise a supervision, ἐπὶ τῆς χρείας ταύτης . The epithet διάκονος is not, as Chrysostom seems to suppose, a second name for the bishop; for he says καὶ διάκονος ὁ ἐπίσκοπος ἐλέγετο . A bishop might indeed be a “server,” as Paul was a servant; but the word, as is plain from other portions of the New Testament, describes a distinct class of office-bearers. The mention of ἐπίσκοποι in the plural, and the naming of both classes of office-bearers after the general body of members, indicate a state of things which did not exist in the second century.-See Canon Stanley's Sermons and Essays on the Apostolic Age, p. 67, and compare Neander, Vitringa, Bingham, Rothe, Baur, and other authors on the general subject. Hammond, in order to vindicate the form of modern Episcopacy, maintains that the bishops were those of a district of which Philippi was a metropolitan centre, but the language warrants no such inference. Chrysostom has asked, “Were there several bishops in one city? Certainly not; but he thus called the presbyters,”- ἀλλὰ τοὺς πρεσβυτέρους οὕτως ἐκάλεσε . The placing of the office-bearers after the church seems to have scandalized Thomas Aquinas, but he saves his hierarchical convictions by suggesting- apostolum servasse ordinem naturae, quo grex solet praecedere suum pastorem; hinc in processionibus, populus praecedit, clerus et praelati sequuntur.
(Philippians 1:2.) Χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς ἡμῶν , καὶ Κυρίου ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.” See at length on the terms of the salutation under Ephesians 1:2.
(Philippians 1:3.) Εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ μου ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν “I thank my God on the whole remembrance of you.” How different this εὐχαριστῶ τῷ Θεῷ μου from the abrupt θαυμάζω ὅτι of Galatians 1:6!-satisfaction expressed in the one, and surprise and sorrow in the other. The noun μνεία is rendered “mention” in the margin of the English Bible, and the rendering is adopted by van Hengel. The idea of mention is indeed based on that of remembrance; for it is that kind of mention which memory so naturally prompts and fashions, and may therefore be expressed by ποιεῖσθαι μνείαν , as in Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16. But such a verb is not employed here, and “remembrance” is the better rendering. The preposition ἐπί marks the ground, or occasion, of the apostle's gratitude. Winer, however, gives it a temporal signification, § 48. The phrase, ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ , is not to be translated “on every remembrance,” though such an interpretation be as old as Chrysostom- ὁσάκις ὑμῶν ἀναμνησθῶ . Beelen and Conybeare follow this rendering of the Authorized Version; but the article forbids it. Winer, § 18, 4. The meaning is not, “as often as I remember you, I thank my God,” but “on my whole remembrance of you, I thank my God.” There was no disturbing element, no sharp or sudden recollection, which suggested any other exercise than thanksgiving. His entrance to the city, the oratory by the river-side, Lydia's baptism, and the jailor's conversion - his entire connection with them filled his memory with delight. The incidents of his second visit are not recorded; but his whole association with the Philippian church prompted him to devout acknowledgment. He has changed at once in this verse to the first person, for, though Timothy's name occurs in the salutation, the epistle is in no sense a joint production. Few will agree with Pierce, Homberg, and others, that ὑμῶν is subjective, and that the meaning is, “I thank my God for your whole remembrance of me.” For the grounds of his thanksgiving, as subsequently stated, determine the reference.
(Philippians 1:4.) Πάντοτε ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει μου ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν μετὰ χαρᾶς τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος “Always in every supplication of mine making supplication for you all with joy.” It does not affect the sense whether ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν , standing in the middle of the verse, be joined to the words before it- δεήσει μου , as in the English Version, or to those after it, τὴν δέησιν ποιούμενος . The latter construction cannot be pleaded for from the absence of the article before ὑπὲρ πάντων . Winer, § 20, 2. The second δέησις with its article, refers to the previous δέησις , but the first term needs not be limited or defined by ὑπὲρ πάντων . The participial connection with the previous verse is common in the apostle's style. Many, such as Theophylact, Bengel, and Rilliet, join a portion of this verse to the preceding “I thank my God on the whole remembrance of you always in every prayer of mine for you all.” The verse so understood details the periods, or scenes, when the memory of the apostle excited him to thanks; but such a connection is not necessary. Hoelemann connects εὐχαριστῶ with ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν . “I thank my God on account of you all;” but such a connection is unnatural, destroys the point, and encumbers the order of the thought. The apostle says, in the third verse, that his whole remembrance of them prompted him to thanksgiving; and in the verse before us, he tells them that he prayed- δέησιν ποιούμενος ; that they were included in every prayer of his- ἐν πάσῃ δεήσει ; that he prayed not for a fraction of them, but for the whole of them- πάντων ; that he did this, not periodically, but always- πάντοτε ; that this supplication had the companionship of a gladdened heart- μετὰ χαρᾶς ; and that this gladness of heart in prayer based itself- ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ μνείᾳ ὑμῶν . The recurrence of the terms πάσῃ , πάντοτε , πάσῃ , πάντων in these two verses, shows the exuberant feeling of the writer. “To make request with joy,” is not, as Baumgarten-Crusius says, a mere circumlocution for thanksgiving; but it implies that the suppliant thanks while he asks, and blesses as he petitions. The apostle might pray for others in anguish or doubt; but he knew so much of the Philippian church, of its faith, its consistency, and its attachment to the truth and to himself, that when he prayed for it so uniformly, no suspicions clouded his soul. What higher rapture could an apostle feel than that occasioned by the memory of his successes, and their gracious and permanent results? No heart was more susceptible of this joy than the apostle's, and none felt more keenly the pang of disappointment and sorrow, when either truth was forsaken or adulterated, or love was supplanted by envying and strife.
(Philippians 1:5.) ᾿Επὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ἀπὸ πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν “On account of your fellowship in favour of the gospel, from the first day even until now.” The apostle in these words expresses the grounds of his εὐχαριστῶ . Calvin, Grotius, De Wette, van Hengel, and Ewald connect the verse with the preceding one, as if it gave the ground of the μετὰ χαρᾶς . The statement is true so far, for the joy which accompanied the apostle's prayer sprang from the very same source as his thanksgiving. The thanksgiving was based on memory, and the joy on present knowledge; but still both alike pointed especially to this κοινωνία . The recollection prompted thanksgiving, for the fellowship had commenced at an early period; and when he made supplication, he pleaded with gladness, for that fellowship had remained unbroken from its origin to the present time, so that ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ is primarily connected with εὐχαριστῶ , and has, at the same time, a subordinate relation to μετὰ χαρᾶς . It is true that εὐχαριστῶ is followed twice by ἐπί ; but it does not result, as De Wette maintains, that the preposition has two different significations. The connection in both cases is nearly the same. I thank my God on account of, ἐπί , “my whole remembrance of you,” and then a parallel and explanatory clause intervening-the special element in that remembrance which excited thanksgiving, is brought out by the same particle, ἐπὶ τῇ κοινωνίᾳ ὑμῶν . We cannot agree with Ellicott's remarks on the alleged double sense of ἐπί , that Philippians 1:4 marks the object on which the thanksgiving rests, Philippians 1:5 when it takes place, and Philippians 1:6 why it takes place; for it is the third verse which, looking to the past, points out the ground or occasion of the thanksgiving-his whole remembrance; while Philippians 1:4 shows how it expressed itself in prayer, Philippians 1:5 gives more fully its solid foundation, as Mr. Ellicott had already said, and Philippians 1:6, glancing into the future, shows how the feeling was intensified by the apostle's persuasion about them.
But what is the meaning of the unusual phrase- κοινωνία εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ?
1. It is plain that whatever κοινωνία means, the phrase εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον cannot be taken as a genitive, as if the meaning were “on account of your participation of the gospel.” This is one view of Calvin, and the opinion of Estius, Flatt, and Heinrichs, following the interpretation of Theodoret, κοινωνίαν δὲ τοῦ εὐαγγέλιον τὴν πίστιν ἐκάλεσε .
2. Some would restrict the fellowship to intercourse or community of interest with the apostle, and that in either of two aspects. The lower view is that of Bisping and others, who take the term as referring principally to giving and receiving-the pecuniary symbols of affection. The higher view is that of Chrysostom and Theophylact, who understand the word as including sympathy with the apostle in his labours and sufferings; the latter thus explaining it- ὅτι κοινωνοί μου γίνεσθε καὶ συμμερισταὶ τῶν ἐπὶ τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ πόνων . Both these views may be implied; but still they are only two indications or fruits of fellowship.
3. Nor can we wholly coincide in the opinion of Meyer, Müller, and Alford, that κοινωνία means “entire accord, unanimous action;” or as Rilliet has it, “bon accord.” First, it is plain that there was a tendency in the Philippian church to faction, disunion, and jealousy. The prayer, in Philippians 1:9, that their love might abound yet more and more, is referred to by Meyer as a proof that love existed; but still such a prayer is a token that love was deficient. The pointed exhortation in Philippians 1:27, “to stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together;” the injunction in Philippians 2:2, to “be like-minded, of one accord, of one mind;” the call to lowliness, and the caution against vainglory in Philippians 2:3-7; the command to “do all things without murmuring,” in Philippians 2:14; the similar lesson in Philippians 3:16-17; and the personal request to two women to be “of the same mind,” Philippians 4:2;-all betoken that the apostle more than suspected tendencies to alienation and feud; and his joy must have been modified by the lamented imperfection of that very grace which Meyer supposes him to select and eulogize as its principal source.
4. The noun κοινωνία , with its cognate verb and adjective, which have been variously rendered by our translators, has, for its generic idea, that of common participation. That participation may be a palpable copartnery, Luke 5:10; 1Co 10:18 ; 2 Corinthians 8:23; 1 Timothy 5:22; Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 10:33. Or it may be participation in pecuniary generosity, Romans 12:13; Romans 15:26; 2Co 8:4 ; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:15; 1 Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 13:16. In five of these passages, Romans 12:13; Romans 15:26, 2Co 8:4 ; 2 Corinthians 9:13, Hebrews 13:16, the reference is to eleemosynary contribution, and some of them may bear an active sense. But there is also a special evangelical fellowship, which is often named, as in Rom 15:27 , 1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 John 1:3; and that fellowship is characterized as being of the spirit, 2 Corinthians 13:14, Philippians 2:1, or as being with the Son of God generally, 1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 John 1:3; 1 John 1:6, and with His sufferings especially, Philippians 3:10, 1 Peter 4:13. The noun is followed by the genitive of the thing participated in, or with εἰς , denoting its object. Winer, § 49, a. We therefore take κοινωνία in a general sense, and the following clause so closely connected with it, through the non-repetition of the article, as assigning its end or purpose. Winer, § 20, 2. Thus understood, it denotes participation, or community of interest, in whatever had the gospel for its object. All that belonged to the defence and propagation of the gospel was a matter of common concern to them-of sympathy and co-operation. The pecuniary contributions sent to the apostle and acknowledged in this epistle, are, of necessity, included. Such generally is the view of Wiesinger, Schinz, van Hengel, Hoelemann, and Ellicott, and in it on the whole we concur. For in the seventh verse the apostle seems more fully to explain his meaning, when he calls the Philippians συγκοινωνούς μου , as if in reference to the κοινωνία of the verse before us. Now the relation of that fellowship for the gospel is there described as being “in its defence and confirmation.” Viewed as a Christian community, they had exhibited a fellowship in reference to the gospel- κοινωνία εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον -and the apostle thanked God for it. Immediately, as he dwells on the same idea, that fellowship takes a more personal aspect, inasmuch as it included himself in its circle- συγκοινωνούς μου -and its purpose, as he refers to his own work, assumes a more definite form, ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου .
This fellowship had continued without interruption-
ἀπὸ πρώτης ἡμέρας ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν , “from the first day until now.” It had not been like an intermittent spring, but like a fountain of perpetual outflow. The clause is thus connected with κοινωνία , and marks its unbroken duration. Some, like Beza and Bengel, connect it with εὐχαριστῶ -a connection which would be tautological, for the idea is expressed already; and others, as Meyer, Rilliet, and Lachmann join it to the following participle, πεποιθώς . This is also erroneous. It needs not that τῇ be repeated before ἀπὸ πρώτης any more than before εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον . The apostle's purpose is to point out the ground of his thanksgiving, and to give it prominence. Remembrance excited his gratitude, but the past merged into the present, and memory and consciousness coalesced, because the fellowship was not simply a thing of days gone by, for it had lasted from its first manifestation to that very moment; nay, its existence was proved and illustrated by the delegation of Epaphroditus to Rome. The development of the apostle's thought necessitates the connection of this clause with κοινωνία , as a “subordinate temporal definition;” and it also starts the idea which is followed out in the subsequent verse.
(Philippians 1:6.) Πεποιθὼς αὐτὸ τοῦτο , ὅτι ὁ ἐναρξάμενος ἐν ὑμῖν ἔργον ἀγαθὸν , ἐπιτελέσει ἄχρις ἡμέρας ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you a good work, will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The apostle usually places πεποιθώς at the beginning of the sentence, Philippians 1:25, Philippians 2:24, Phm 1:21 , 2 Corinthians 2:3, and uses other parts of the verb in a similar way. Galatians 5:10; Romans 2:19; 2 Thessalonians 3:4; Hebrews 13:18. The participle is parallel to ποιούμενος , and like it dependent on εὐχαριστῶ . He thanked and he prayed in this confidence, a confidence which at once deepened his gratitude, and gave wings of joy to his supplications. The participle may have a faint causal force as Ellicott says, “seeing I am confident;” but the idea is only auxiliary to the main one expressed in the preceding verse. The emphatic phrase αὐτὸ τοῦτο , “this very thing,” refers to what follows, which is the real accusative, and is introduced by ἵνα in Ephesians 6:22, Colossians 4:8; by ὅπως in Romans 9:17; and here by ὅτι . Winer, § 23, 5. The use of the demonstrative pronouns is not, as Madvig says, § 27, a, “to mark the contents and compass ( der Inhalt und Umfang) of the action,” which is done by the clause beginning with ὅτι -but rather to emphasize it-and show that in the writer's mind it has a peculiar unity and prominence. The reference in ὁ ἐναρξάμενος is to God, and is all the more impressive that He is not formally named. The participle, though it often takes the genitive, here governs the accusative. Kühner, § 512, 5. We cannot lay any stress on the preposition ἐν , in composition with it, as may be shown by its use both in the classics and in the Septuagint. The words ἐν ὑμῖν are “in you,” not among you, for in the following verse the apostle records an individual judgment of them. By ἔργον ἀγαθόν is not meant vaguely and generally a work of faith and love, as a-Lapide and Matthies suppose; but that special good work, that κοινωνία , which the apostle has just particularized. The article is not prefixed, but the reference is plain. That fellowship is a work divine in its source, and bears the stamp of its originator. He who began it will carry it on- ἐπιτελέσει , and that- ἄχρις ἡμέρας Χριστοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ . The position of these proper names is reversed in some codices. The expression is not to be frittered down into a mere perpetuo, as Am Ende does, nor can we agree with Theophylact and OEcumenius, in supposing the apostle to include in the phrase, successive generations of those whom he addressed. The period of consummation specified by the apostle has been much disputed. The opinion is very common that the second and personal advent of the Saviour is meant, the apostle believing that it was to happen soon, and in his own day. Without passing a definite and dogmatic opinion on the subject, we may only say, that we cannot well comprehend how an inspired man should have been permitted to teach a falsehood, not simply to give it as his own private judgment or belief, but to place it on record, authoritatively, among the true sayings of God. The day of Christ is His return; but may it not be such a return as He promised to the Eleven at the Last Supper, “I will come again and receive you unto myself”? The apostle's confidence that their united public spirit would continue, rested on his knowledge of God's character and methods of operation. The good work originated by Him is not suffered to lapse, but is fostered and blessed till His end be accomplished. His own connection with the work, and its inherent goodness, pledge Him to the continuation of it. So wayward and feeble is the human heart, even when it binds itself by a stipulation, or fortifies itself by a vow, that had this fellowship depended on themselves, the apostle would have had no confidence in its duration. His sad experience had shown him that men might repeat follies even while they were weeping over them, and engage anew in sins, while they were in the act of abjuring them. On the other hand, and to his deep vexation, had he seen graces languish amidst professed anxiety for their revival, and good works all but disappear under the admitted necessity of their continuance and enlargement.
Those who maintain the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, take proof from this verse, though certainly without undisputed warrant, and it must be in the form of development; for it refers to a particular action, and is not in itself a general statement of a principle; and those who oppose this tenet are as anxious to escape from the alleged inference. The Fathers of the Council of Trent qualify the statement by the addition, nisi ipsi homines illius gratiae defuerint. Beelen, professor of the Oriental Languages in the Catholic University of Louvain, gives the verse this turn or twist, confido fore ut Deus perficiat, hoc est, confido fore ut vos per Dei gratiam perficiatis opus bonum quod coepistis. Such a perversion is not much better than Wakefield's, who translates, “he among you who has begun a good work, will continue to do well till death.” Nor, in fine, can we say with OEcumenius, that the apostle ascribes the work to God, ἵνα μὴ φρονῶσι μέγα , “lest they should be filled with too much pride.” He had a higher motive in giving utterance to the precious truth, that what is good in the church, has its root and life in God, that therefore He is to be thanked for it, as is most due, and that prayer is to be offered joyously about it, in the assurance that He who began it will not capriciously desert it, but will carry it forward to maturity. It is εὐχαριστῶ - δέησιν ποιούμενος - πεποιθώς . The apostle now proceeds to vindicate the assertion which he had made.
(Philippians 1:7.) Καθώς ἐστι δίκαιον ἐμοὶ τοῦτο φρονεῖν ὑπὲρ πάντων ὑμῶν “Even as it is right for me to think this on behalf of you all.” The form καθώς , from καθά , καθό , belongs to the later Greek (Phrynichus, Lobeck, p. 426), and is probably of Alexandrian origin. Matthew 21:6; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Corinthians 1:6. The verb is not “to care for,” as Wolf contends, nor, as van Hengel thinks, is it to be confined to the prayer- “ sine scrupulo interpretamur sicuti me decet hoc vobis omnibus appetere; scilicet, omni cura et precibus. ” In the interpretation of Storr, followed by Hoelemann, the accusative τοῦτο simply expresses manner “I give thanks to God, and offer prayer for all of you with joy, as indeed it becomes me thus to think concerning you.” But it refers to the good opinion already expressed in the previous verse- αὐτὸ τοῦτο . By the use of ὑπέρ the apostle indicates that his opinion was favourable to them, and by δίκαιον he characterizes that opinion as one which it behoved him in the circumstances to entertain. Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:1. The mode of expression in classic Greek would be different- δίκαιός ἐγώ εἰμι , Herodotus, 1:32; and δίκαιόν ἐστιν ἐμέ , Herodotus, 1:39; Jelf, § 669, 677.
διὰ τὸ ἔχειν με ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ ὑμᾶς “because I have you in my heart”-the heart being the seat or organ of affection. 2 Corinthians 7:3. Am Ende, Oeder, Storr, and Rosenmüller, reverse this interpretation “Because you have me in your heart.” The position of the pronouns may warrant such a translation; but the apostle is writing of himself and of his relation to the church in Philippi. The expression denotes strong affection-as in Latin, in sinu gestare, Terent. Adelph. 4.5, 75; or, as in Ovid's Trist. 5.2, 24, Te tamen in toto pectore semper habet. The apostle vindicates the favourable opinion he had formed of them from his love to them, as standing in a special relation towards him. Though this opinion sprang from his affection, it was still a right one- δίκαιον -and not one formed merely secundum legem caritatis, as van Hengel and Ellicott suppose.
The connection of the next clause is matter of dispute:-
ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου , καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου , συγκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας “both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all as being partakers with me of grace.” Chrysostom, Meyer, De Wette, and Alford join the first clause to the preceding one: “Because I have you in my heart both in my bonds and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.” The sense is tolerable; but it does not harmonize with the course of thought. To say that he loves them in his bonds, and when he pleaded the cause of the gospel, is not assigning a reason why he thought so highly of them- πεποιθώς -but to say that they were partakers of his grace both in his bonds and in his evangelical labours, and as such beloved by him, is a proof that he was justified in forming and expressing such a good opinion and anticipation of them. He had thanked God for the κοινωνία εἰς τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ; and being assured that such a good work was divine in its origin, and would be carried on till the day of Christ, it became him to give utterance to this thought, on account of the affection he bore to them as participants with him of grace.
The apostle calls them συγκοινωνούς μου τῆς χάριτος πάντας ὑμᾶς ὄντας “all of you as being fellow-partakers with me of grace.” The reading gaudii in the Vulgate, and some Latin fathers, comes from the reading χαρᾶς . The repetition of ὑμᾶς , though such a form is not used by the most correct writers (Bernhardy, 275), is only pleonastic in appearance, but really emphatic in nature, and made necessary by the length of the intervening sentence and the use of πάντας . Matthiae, § 465, 4. The pronoun μου is most probably connected with the adjective συγκοινωνούς , and not as by Rilliet with χάριτος ; so that the rendering will not be as Alford gives it “partakers of my grace,” but rather “partakers with me of grace.” Matthiae, § 325; § 405, 1. The construction of two genitives of different relations with a noun does not often happen. Winer, § 30, 3. The χάρις is certainly not, as Rilliet makes it, reconnaissance, “acknowledgments”-and as certainly not the apostolic office, as Am Ende and Flatt take it-both explanations quite foreign to the order of thought. Nor can we understand the term simply and broadly of the grace of the gospel, as is done by Robinson, Hoelemann, Hemrichs, De Wette, and Alford. The previous clause limits the grace, or decides it to be that form of grace which is appropriate to imprisonment and evangelical labour. But we cannot, with Chrysostom, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Rheinwald, and Meyer, restrict it to suffering, as we hold that the χάρις refers equally to ἀπολογίᾳ with δεσμοῖς , for the fellowship, which is the leading idea, was not confined to suffering, but had existed from the first day to the present, and that entire period was not one of unbroken tribulation to the apostle. It is true that at that moment the apostle was in bonds, and in those bonds did defend and confirm the truth. But the idea seems to be that they had been copartakers of his grace in evangelical labour, and that such participation with him did not cease, even though he was a prisoner in Rome. For he says:-
ἔν τε τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου “both in my bonds;” and he adds-
καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀπολογίᾳ καὶ βεβαιώσει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου , “and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.” The use of τε - καί , indicates that the two clauses contain separate ideas, and that the one preceded by καί has the stress laid on it. Hartung, 1:98; Klotz, Devarius, 2.740; Winer, § 53, 4. The genitive belongs to both substantives, which are not synonymous as Rheinwald supposes, and do not form a hendiadys as Am Ende and Heinrichs regard them- ἀπολογίᾳ εἰς βεβαίωσιν . The words are distinct in sense; the first meaning a pleading or defence as before a tribunal, Acts 22:1; Acts 25:16; or in a less authoritative mode, 1Co 9:3 , 1 Peter 3:15. It is needless to restrict the meaning to such a formal defence as is recorded in 2 Timothy 4:16. It was the apostle's uniform work, on all times and occasions, to answer for the gospel against its adversaries, whether they impugned its doctrines or suspected its tendencies, libelled its preachers or called in question the facts and evidences on which it rested. But, as the non-repetition of the article shows, the defence and confirmation were closely connected, were but different aspects of one course of action. The first was more elementary, and the last more positive and advanced-the first warded off objections, and the second might consist of proofs. The confirmation resulted from the defence. The gospel stood out in power and demonstration, when its opponents were silenced, and the objections brought against it, no matter from what quarter, found to be groundless. That grace which had enabled the apostle to bear his chain, and to defend and confirm the gospel, was common to the Philippians with himself; therefore did he cherish them in his heart, and thank God for such fellowship. And he appends a further vindication of his sentiment.
(Philippians 1:8.) Μάρτυς γάρ μου ὁ Θεός “For God is my witness.” The Stephanic text adds ἐστίν , on the authority of A, D, E, J, K, and many mss. and versions, and we are inclined to receive it, though it be wanting in B, F, G. True, its insertion by a transcriber appears like a natural completion of the common formula, but the balance of evidence is in its favour. The apostle appeals to the Searcher of hearts for the truth of his statements. It was not the language of courteous exaggeration, nor that intensity of phrase in which common friendship so often clothes itself, never dreaming that its words are to be literally interpreted. But the apostle wrote only the truth-his words were the coinage of his heart. Rom 1:9 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:5. “God is my witness”-
ὡς ἐπιποθῶ πάντας ὑμᾶς ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χριστοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ - “how I long for you all in the bowels of Christ Jesus.” The order of the proper names is inverted in the received text. The particle ὡς may either introduce the fact of the apostle's longing, or may indicate its intensity. It may be either “that,” or “how much.” The strong language of the verse may decide for the latter, against Rilliet and Müller. The apostle wishes them to know not so much the fact as the earnestness of his longings. Chrysostom says beautifully- οὐ τοίνυν δυνατὸν εἰπεῖν πῶς ἐπιποθῶ· οὐ γὰρ δύναμαι παραστῆσαι τῷ λόγῳ τὸν πόθον . The verb is sometimes followed by an infinitive, as in Romans 1:11, 2 Corinthians 5:2; occasionally by πρός ; but here by the accusative of person, as in 2 Corinthians 9:14, Philippians 2:26. He does not indicate any special blessing he craved for them; he longed after themselves. They were the objects of his warmest affection, and though he was absent from them, he yearned toward them-a proof surely that he had them in his heart. The simple form of the verb is not found in the New Testament, and this compound form represents more than one Hebrew word in the Septuagint. ᾿Επί , as in some other compound verbs, does not intensify the meaning, but rather indicates direction- πόθον ἔχειν ἐπί τινα . Fritzsche, ad Rom. vol. i. p. 30, 31; Winer, § 30, 10, ( b). The verb is diluted in meaning, if it be regarded as signifying only to love; though in Psalms 119:131 it represents the Hebrew יָאַב , H3277.
And the mode is described by the following clause:-
ἐν σπλάγχνοις Χ . ᾿Ι ., “in the bowels of Christ Jesus.” For the usage of σπλάγχνα , see under Colossians 3:12. The strange peculiarity of this phrase has led not a few to weaken its force. We wonder that Storr should have taken up the opinion that σπλάγχνα may mean objects of love, and ἐν be equivalent to tanquam “I love you as being the objects of the love of Christ Jesus.” Such a rendering has not a shadow of support. At the other extreme is the view of Hoelemann, that the words mean, “as the Lord loves His own.” Nor is Χ . ᾿Ι . the genitive of object “I love you with a heart glowing with love to Christ;” nor yet that of origin “I love you with an affection originated by Christ.” Nor can we assent to Rilliet, who gives ἐν the sense of “after the manner of,”- I love you after the model of Christ- tel étant; or, as van Hengel paraphrases, in animo penitus affecto, ut animus fuit Christi Jesu; or, as Beza has it, teneri et materni affectûs. We agree with Meyer, that ἐν retains its local sense, and that the apostle identifies himself with Christ, as in Galatians 2:20, “Christ liveth in me.” The Christian nature of that longing he felt for them is expressed by this striking clause; for he had the heart of Christ within him, and under its impulses he fondly yearned over his Philippian converts. As Beelen, abridging Bengel, says, in pectore Pauli non tam ipsius quam Christi cor palpitabat. Krause, Grotius, Hoog, and Heinrichs approach this sense, but lose its point when they give as the general meaning, amorem vere Christianum.
(Philippians 1:9.) The apostle had shown them what kind desires he felt towards them, and what joyous anticipations he cherished for them. He had also intimated that he uniformly prayed for them, and he now proceeds to tell them the substance of his prayer.
Καὶ τοῦτο προσεύχομαι ἵνα “And this I pray that.” The καί may look back to Philippians 1:4, or it may be regarded simply as connecting the two statements-his opinion about them, and his prayer for them. There is no ground for Rilliet's and Müller's idea that προσεύχομαι depends on ὡς , as does ἐπιποθῶ . Quite a new sentiment is started, and the preceding verse winds up and corroborates the ardent expressions which go before it. The accusative τοῦτο gives emphasis to the theme of petition in itself, and that petition, viewed in its purpose, is preceded by ἵνα , as often occurs. There is little doubt that the contents of the prayer are also so far indicated by the conjunction. To pray for this end is not very different from to pray for this thing.
His prayer was on this wise-
ἵνα ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον περισσεύῃ ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει “that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.” Love existed among them, but yet it was deficient, if not in itself, yet in some endowments. The precise nature of this love has been variously understood. Strange is the freak of Bullinger and others, that ἡ ἀγάπη ὑμῶν is, as in old ecclesiastical language, the abstract used for a concrete, and simply a form of address “I pray, beloved, that ye may grow yet more and more.” Suicer, sub voce.
1. Some take it for love to the apostle himself, as do the Greek fathers, with Grotius and van Hengel. But the epithets which follow could not apply to a mere personal attachment.
2. Nor can we, with Calovius and others, take it as love to God and Christ, as that is not specially the grace in question.
3. Neither can we, with others, regard it as love to God and men-Christian love in its high and comprehensive essence and form, for we think that the context specifies its province and mode of operation. Alford and Meyer are right in referring it to κοινωνία ; but as they restrict the meaning of this word to mutual accord, so they regard ἀγάπη as only signifying love to one another. We give κοινωνία a more extensive meaning, and consider ἀγάπη as its root and sustaining power. It is love for Christ's image and Christ's work-for all that represents Him on earth-His people and His cause; that holy affection which, while it unites all in whom it dwells, impels them to sympathize with all suffering, and co-operate with all effort, in connection with the defence and confirmation of the gospel. Such is generally also the view of Ellicott and Wiesinger. The apostle prayed that their love might grow-
ἐν ἐπιγνώσει καὶ πάσῃ αἰσθήσει . The two substantives are not synonymous, as Rheinwald and Matthies hold. There is no ground for Bisping's distinction of them, that the first signifies more theoretical, and the other more practical knowledge. The first substantive denotes accurate knowledge. See under Ephesians 1:17. The second, which occurs only here, means power of perception. Physically, it denotes perception by the senses, especially that of touch; and in the plural, it signifies the organs of such perception-the senses themselves. The transition to a spiritual meaning such as that of apprehension is obvious. See under Colossians 1:9. It might be rendered ethical tact, that faculty of moral discernment which is quick and unerring in its judgment, and by a peculiar insight arrives easily and surely at its conclusions. It is not experimental or practical knowledge, as some have thought; but that faculty of discernment which works as if from an inner sense. A similar allusion is made by the apostle in Hebrews 5:14, where he describes such as have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil- τὰ αἰσθητήρια . The apostle adds πάσῃ , all discernment. We regard πάσῃ as intensive, and cannot agree with those who seem to deny that it rarely, if ever, has such a meaning. In these two elements, the apostle prayed that their love should grow yet more and more - ἔτι μᾶλλον καὶ μᾶλλον . Pindar, Pyth. 10, 88; Raphel. in loc. The ἐν does not signify “through,” as Heinrichs and Schinz take it, nor does it mean “along with,” as Rheinwald and Hoelemann suppose. Winer. § 50, 5. For ἐν following περισσεύω usually points out that in which the increase consists. 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2Co 3:9 ; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Colossians 2:7. Their love was to increase in these qualities, knowledge and insight. De Wette takes ἐν as denoting manner and way. But in only one of the instances adduced by him does this verb occur (Ephesians 1:8), and there the connection is doubtful. The apostle's desire was that the love of the Philippians might acquire a profounder knowledge, and not be tempted to misplace itself, and that it might attain a sharper and clearer discernment, and so be prevented from being squandered on unworthy subjects, or directed to courses of conduct which had the semblance but not the reality of Christian rectitude and utility. If love grew in mere capacity, and without the increase of these safeguards, it was in hazard of forming unworthy and profitless attachments. Passion, without such guides or feelers, is but blind predilection. “Fellowship for the gospel” is still the thought in the apostle's mind, and that love which had led them to it, needed for its stability a deeper knowledge of the truths which characterized the gospel, and required for its development a clearer faculty of apprehending the character of the men best qualified, and the measures best adapted to its “defence and confirmation.” One purpose was-
(Philippians 1:10.) Εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τὰ διαφέροντα - ἵνα “So that ye may distinguish things that differ.” Two purposes are specified in this verse, the nearer expressed by εἰς τό , and the ultimate by ἵνα . Commentators differ as to the meaning of the clause, and philologically the words will bear either interpretation. They have been supposed to mean, as in our version, to “approve the things that are excellent,” as in the Vulgate- ut probetis potiora. This view has been espoused by Chrysostom, Erasmus, Estius, Piscator, Bengel, Flatt, Storr, Am Ende, Rosenmüller, Rheinwald, Rilliet, Meyer, Bisping, Beelen, and Ellicott. On the other hand, the translation we have first given, is adopted by Theodoret, Beza, Wolf, Pierce, Heinrichs, Matthiae, van Hengel, Hoelemann, Hoog, Müller, De Wette, Wiesinger, Alford, Robinson, Bretschneider, and Wahl. In itself the difference is not material; for this discrimination is made among things that differ, just that things which are excellent may be approved. But as discrimination is the immediate function of αἴσθησις , we prefer giving such a signification to the clause. The verb δοκιμάζειν denotes to try or test, as metal by fire-1 Corinthians 3:13 -and then generally to distinguish as the result of such trial, and thence to approve. Romans 14:22; 1Co 16:3 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:4. In the phrase τὰ διαφέροντα , difference is the prime idea, but as such difference is based on comparison or contrast, the secondary notion of betterness, value, or excellence, is naturally developed. Matthew 10:31; Matthew 12:12; Luke 12:7; Luke 12:24. In these three passages the comparison is distinctly brought out, and the difference idiomatically marked. Some even render the word by συμφέροντα -things which are useful or convenient, utilia. We prefer, then, the ordinary meaning of the terms. See Bretschneider, sub voce διαφέρω , and Theophylact on Romans 2:18, where he thus explains the word- κρίνειν τὶ δεῖ πρᾶξαι καὶ τὶ μὴ δεῖ πρᾶξαι .
The final purpose is thus announced by ἵνα -
ἵνα ἦτε εἰλικρινεῖς καὶ ἀπρόσκοποι “that ye may be pure and offenceless.” The composition of the first term is disputed, whether it be εἵλη κρίνω , to prove by the sunlight, or εἴλος [ εἴλη b κρίνω , to test by rapid shaking, volubili agitatione. The former opinion is usually adopted, though Stallbaum contends for the latter. Hesychius renders the term by τὸ καθαρόν , ἄδολον , and sometimes it is defined by τὸ ἀμιγές . Whatever be its derivation, its meaning is apparent. It refers to internal disposition, to the absence of sinister motive and divided allegiance, or it describes the purity and sincerity of that heart which is guided by the spiritual tact and discriminative power which the apostle prays for.
The epithet ἀπρόσκοποι is taken sometimes in an active sense, not causing others to stumble, as in 1 Corinthians 10:32. Meyer adopts this view, and Alford's objection to it cannot be sustained, viz., “that in the text other men are not in question.” For the leading term ἀγάπη necessarily implies other men as its objects, and that κοινωνία in which it embodies itself, has other men as its allies and auxiliaries. While the intransitive meaning gives a good sense, we are inclined to Meyer's view, inasmuch as the possession of love, and the growth of it in knowledge and discernment, would prevent them from rudely jostling others not of their own opinion, or doing anything which, with a good intention, might mislead or throw a stumbling-block in the path of those round about them.
It is needless, with Ewald and others, to give a wholly doctrinal sense to τὰ διαφέροντα , though it would be wrong to exclude it altogether. Love without that guidance which has been referred to, might form unworthy attachments, might wound itself in its blindness, and retard the very interests for the promotion of which it had eagerly set itself. It must understand the gospel in its purity, and learn to detect unwarranted additions and supplements. It must have tact to distinguish between the real and the seeming, between the claims of an evangelist, and the specious pretensions of a Judaizer. And, thus, if that love which had shown itself in fellowship for the gospel, grew in knowledge and power of perception, they would be pure; their affection ruled by intelligence would have but one desire, to defend and confirm the gospel, in participation of the apostle's own grace; and they would give no offence, either by a zeal which in its excess forgot the means in the end, or cherished suspicions of such as did not come up to its own warmth, or could not sympathize with its favourite modes of operation or expression.
εἰς ἡμέραν Χριστοῦ “for the day of Christ.” More than time is implied. Philippians 1:6, ἄχρις . The day of Christ is kept in view, and this sincerity and offencelessness prepare for it, and lead to acceptance in it.
(Philippians 1:11.) Πεπληρωμένοι καρπὸν δικαιοσύνης τὸν διὰ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ , εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον Θεοῦ . The singular form καρπὸν τόν , is preferred to the plural of the Received Text on preponderant authority. “Being filled with the fruit of righteousness, which is by Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” The passive participle has καρπόν in the accusative, Winer, § 32, 5, though the genitive is also found, as in Romans 15:14. The difference of aspect seems to be that the genitive marks that out of which the fulness is made up, while the accusative points out that on which the action of the verb takes effect in making up the fulness, and not simply that, as Ellicott says, toward which the action tends. On κάρπος , see Ephesians 5:9; Colossians 1:9. The meaning of δικαιοσύνη is not so clear. Some, like Rilliet and Bisping, refer it to justification. That idea is involved in it; but the term, without any adjunct, and as applied to character, seems to signify moral rectitude, and is noted by its obedience to the divine law. Romans 5:7; Romans 6:13. See under Ephesians 5:9. The fruit which springs from this righteousness is to be possessed not sparingly, but richly; and for such fulness does the apostle present his prayer. His pleading for them is, that their life might not be marked merely by the absence of insincerity and offence, but that they might be adorned with all such Christian graces as result from the new nature-the deeds which characterize the “new man created in righteousness.” And this was the last subject or purpose of the petition; for love increasing in knowledge and spiritual discernment, knowing what genuine obedience is, and what is but the semblance of it, appreciating the gospel and cherishing communion with those who oftentimes in suffering extend and uphold it, keeping the day of Christ in view and preparing for it- moves and enables the whole nature to “bring forth fruit unto holiness.”
And such fruit is not self-produced, but is-
διὰ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “by Jesus Christ,” in and through His gracious operations upon the heart by His Spirit. Right-eousness is of His creation, and all the fruits of it are through Him, not by His doctrine or by faith in Him, but through Himself. The apostle emphasizes this element τὸν - διὰ ᾿Ι . Χ .
The phrase εἰς δόξαν καὶ ἔπαινον Θεοῦ “to the glory and praise of God,” does not seem to belong to the previous words merely, but to the entire clause. The being filled with such fruits of righteousness-fruits grown only through Christ, redounds to the glory and praise of God-the ultimate end of all His works. Glory is the manifestation of His nature and character, and praise is that grateful homage which salutes it on the part of His people. Ephesians 1:6; Philippians 2:11. We can scarcely suppose with the Greek fathers, that the apostle, with such thoughts and emotions in his soul, tacitly forms in this clause a contrast between any merit that might be imagined to belong to him as founder and teacher of the Philippian church, and the glory which is due to God alone.
After this affectionate greeting, commendation, and prayer, the apostle turns to his present condition. As the Philippians were aware of his imprisonment, he strives at once to console them by the assurance that his bonds had rather favoured than retarded the progress of the gospel-for the cause and nature of his incarceration had not only become widely known, but the greater part of the brethren had derived fresh courage from his captivity for the more abundant proclamation of the word. There was, indeed, a party hostile to him, who preached Christ to give him new annoyance; but these others did it from affection to him, and in co-operation with his great work. So far, however, from being chafed or grieved that his antagonists preached from so bad a motive, he rejoiced that Christ was preached in any way; and he would still continue to rejoice, since it would contribute to his salvation through their prayers, and the supply of the Divine Spirit. For he had the expectation and hope, that he would have no reason to take shame to himself; but that, on the other hand, Christ should be magnified in his body, whether he should survive or die-magnified, in the one case, because for him to live was Christ; and magnified, in the other case, for death was gain: his life, if prolonged, being service for Christ, and his death the enjoyment of Christ's presence and reward. So that he did not know which to choose-death on the one hand being in itself preferable, for it is being with Christ; but life on the other hand being needful for the spiritual benefit of the Philippian church. Finally, the apostle intimates his persuasion that he shall remain, in order to aid their Christian graces, so that they might have ground of spiritual exultation by his return to them.
(Philippians 1:12.) Γινώσκειν δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι , ἀδελφοί “But I wish you to know, brethren.” By the use of δέ , the apostle passes on to new and individual matter-to his own present condition and its results. No doubt the members of the Philippian church sympathized with him, bewailed his thraldom, and earnestly prayed for his liberation. Perhaps they had expressed a wish for definite information from himself. Therefore, as far as possible, he relieves their anxieties, takes an elevated and cheering view of his circumstances, and assures them that his incarceration had rather forwarded the great cause to which his life had been directed. He is solicitous that they should be acquainted with a few striking facts - γινώσκειν -placing the term in the first and emphatic position. The more usual forms of similar expression are found in Romans 1:13; 1Co 12:1 ; 2 Corinthians 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13. What he proceeds to tell must have been both novel and gratifying to those saluted by the endearing appellation- “brethren.” For he announces-
ὅτι τὰ κατ᾿ ἐμὲ μᾶλλον εἰς προκοπὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου ἐλήλυθεν “that things with me have resulted rather to the furtherance of the gospel.” The phrase κατ᾿ ἐμέ , as in Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7, signifies “what belongs to me”-my present condition. It does not signify “things against me,” as Erasmus and others suppose. For a somewhat similar use of the verb, see Romans 3:8. The phrase seems to intimate an overruling providence, for it was by no accident that the event was so, and his enemies did not intend it. In the use of μᾶλλον , the idea of comparison is not wholly dropt. Winer, § 35, 4. His imprisonment must have been considered in itself as adverse to the propagation of the gospel; and the comparison in μᾶλλον is-more than might have been anticipated. Imprisonment had defeated its purpose, and, so far from suppressing, had promoted Christianity. It was not meant to do this, nor yet was it expected; but he says ἐλήλυθεν , “it has so turned out.” Wis 15:5 . “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee.” The term προκοπή belongs to the later Greek, though the verb προκόπτειν was of classical usage. Lobeck, ad Phryn. 85; 1 Timothy 4:15. Hesychius defines it by αὔξησις . The word occurs often in Plutarch, Polybius, Diodorus, Josephus, and Philo. Compare Elsner, Loesner, especially Wetstein, in loc. When the Philippians were made aware of this fact, their sorrow at his captivity would be somewhat modified, and though they might grieve at the confinement of the man, they would be comforted that the cause with which he was identified had not been arrested in its progress. In the last chapter of the epistle, he tells them that, personally, he was content; and here he assures them that the word of the Lord was not bound along with its preacher. Nowhere does he commiserate his condition, dwell on the weight of his chain, or deal out invectives against his foes. He omits the purely personal, and hastens to set before his readers the features of alleviation. What happened then at Rome has often occurred in the history of the church; hostile influences ultimately contributing to the advancement of the church. Man proposes, but God disposes. The cloud, while it obscures the sun, sends down the fertilizing shower. The first effect of his imprisonment is next given-
(Philippians 1:13.) ῞Ωστε τοὺς δεσμούς μου φανεροὺς ἐν Χριστῷ γενέσθαι ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πραιτωρίῳ καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς πᾶσιν “So that my bonds have become known in Christ in the whole praetorium, and to all the rest.” The conjunction ὥστε is followed by the infinitive denoting result, and, as often happens, no demonstrative precedes. On the difference of ὥστε with the infinitive, and with the indicative, see Klotz, Devarius, ii. p. 772. The apostle gives a first result of his present condition, which tended to forward the gospel. The cause of his imprisonment had come to be known widely, and such knowledge could not be without its fruits. We agree with Meyer and Wiesinger that the words φανεροὺς ἐν Χ . must be connected “made manifest in Christ.” The position of the terms seems to demand this connection-and not such an arrangement as τοὺς δεσμούς μου ἐν Χ ., as De Wette construes it. “In Christ” is, in connection with Christ, Ephesians 4:1. His incarceration had come to be understood in its connection with Christ; not surely the fact of it, but the cause and character of it. Waiting under an appeal to the emperor, he had been discovered to be no common prisoner. It had transpired that his official connection with Christ, and his fearless prosecution of the work of Christ, had led to his apprehension and previous trial in Palestine, and not sedition, turbulence, or suspected loyalty-the usual political crimes of his nation. It was widely known that he suffered as a Christian and as an apostle, especially as the preacher of a free and unconditioned gospel to the Gentiles. And his bonds were naturally made manifest in Christ, first in the edifice where he dwelt-
ἐν ὅλῳ τῷ πραιτωρίῳ . Our translators adopted a common idea in rendering πραιτώριον by palace. In this they followed the Greek commentators-one of whom says, “For up to that time they so called the palace.” Erasmus, Beza, Estius, a-Lapide, Bengel, and Rheinwald hold, with some variation, the same opinion. The word does sometimes, in a general way, signify the palace of a king, as in Juvenal 10.161- sedet ad praetoria regis. Also in Act. Thom. § 3, we have the phrase πραιτώρια βασιλικά . Others, from its name, have supposed it to be the judgment-hall of the praetor. So Luther renders it, “Richthaus,” and he is followed by the early English translators, as by Wycliffe, who gives “in eche moot halle.” The word is so used in the Gospels, in connection with the scene of our Lord's trial, Matthew 27:27; Mark 15:16, etc. Cicero refers to Verres as dwelling in domo praetorio, quae regis Hieronis fuit. Thus Huber, Calvin, Grotius, Rheinwald, and Mynster, regard it as a part of the royal edifice- urbanum juri dicendo auditorium. The noun thus denoted sometimes the dwelling of a provincial governor-nay, it came to signify a magnificent private building ( alternas servant praetoria ripas, Statius, S. 1, 3, 25), much in the same way that a Glasgow merchant, building a turreted summer residence on some rock or eminence on the western coast, dignifies it by the name of a “castle.” But the palace of the Roman emperor was never called praetorium. The noun signifies here, the castra praetoriana -the barracks of the imperial lifeguards. The tent of the commander-in-chief was originally called the praetorium -head-quarters; and a council of war, from being held there, received the same designation-( praetorio dimisso, Livy, 30:5). The name was ultimately given to the imperial body-guards, and was naturally transferred to the edifice in Rome which contained them. It was built by Sejanus, not far from the Porta Viminalis. The cohorts were stationed there, who did duty in turn at the imperial residence. The emperor himself was regarded as praetor, the immediate commanding-officer being called praefectus praetorio, and in Greek στρατοπεδάρχης . Thus we read, that when Paul was brought to Rome, ὁ ἑκατόνταρχος παρέδωκε τοὺς δεσμίους τῷ στρατοπεδάρχῃ , Acts 28:16. Such an office was at this time held by Burrus, and the apostle was probably committed to his charge. A portion of this military mansion was close upon the palace, or domus palatina - παλάτιον -of which it is said, that in it ὁ Καῖσαρ ᾤκει καὶ ἐκεῖ τὸ στρατήγιον εἶχε , Dio Cassius, 53:16. Suetonius, Octav. 49. Drusus, we are told by the last author, when imprisoned in the praetorium, was located in ima parte palatii. A large camp of the praetorian guards was also established outside the walls-( castra praetorianorum, Tacitus, Hist. 1.31); but those on immediate duty had their residence near the royal dwelling. It may be added, that Josephus carefully distinguishes between the palace and the praetorium, between the Βασίλειον and that στρατόπεδον in which Agrippa was imprisoned under a military guard. Thus, the soldiers who relieved one another in keeping the apostle, came to learn that he was no vulgar malefactor, but that he had been the expounder of a new faith-a man of pure and irreproachable life-no fanatic or leveller, or selfish demagogue. And there is no doubt that many of them must have been impressed with his serene heroism, and the visible peace of his untroubled conscience, as he waited for a trial which might send him to the block. And the cause of his imprisonment was not only known in the whole praetorium, but beyond it-
καὶ τοῖς λοιποῖς πᾶσιν “and to all the rest;” not simply to others of the body-guards, more than those which came into contact with him, or to those of the cohort beyond the city, as Wieseler and Conybeare narrow the allusion, but to persons beyond the praetorium. Nor does the language refer to places, as some of the Greek fathers suppose, when they supply ἐν . Neither can τοῖς λοιποῖς have any conventional signification, such as that which van Hengel assigns it- hominibus exteris quibuscunque. The texts referred to by him cannot for a moment sustain his strange exegesis. The expression is a popular and broad one, meaning that his bonds were made known in Christ, far beyond the imperial barracks; that in a large circle in the city itself, the reason of his incarceration was fully comprehended and appreciated. How, indeed, could it be otherwise? Immediately on his arrival, he assembled the chiefs of the Jews, and addressed them in a style which led to no little disputation among themselves; and we are told, also, that for the space of two years, the apostle “received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him,” Acts 28:30-31. The second result of his imprisonment follows.
(Philippians 1:14.) Καὶ τοὺς πλείονας τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἐν Κυρίῳ πεποιθότας τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου , περισσοτέρως τολμᾷν ἀφόβως τὸν λόγον λαλεῖν “And the greater part of the brethren putting in the Lord confidence in my bonds, are more abundantly bold to speak the word without fear.” This verse represents another result of the apostle's imprisonment, and shows how it rather tended to the progress of the gospel. He is happy in the majority; his imprisonment had an inspiriting effect on them. The words ἐν Κυρίῳ may be joined to ἀδελφῶν , as they are by Luther, van Hengel, De Wette, and Alford; but, more probably, as Winer-§ 20, 2-suggests, they qualify the participle πεποιθότας , Galatians 5:10; Php 2:24 ; 2 Thessalonians 3:4; and so Rilliet, Meyer, and Bisping take them. The words denote having, or taking confidence in the Lord. The phrase ἐν Κυρίῳ does not mean the ground of confidence, but defines its nature or sphere. Meyer and others rightly take τοῖς δεσμοῖς as the ground or occasion of confidence- vertrauend meinen Banden -inasmuch as these bonds were a testimony to the entire truth, power, and glory of the gospel. They were the proofs of his inflexible integrity, of his honest and sincere convictions as to the freedom and simplicity of the gospel. The majority gathered confidence from them. They were charmed and convinced by his manly integrity, his undaunted endurance, his open and candid avowal of his past career, and his willingness to seal his testimony with his blood. What might have been supposed to damp and discourage them, had the opposite effect; it cheered and stimulated them. The result was natural; past timidity vanished, and they “ventured more abundantly to speak the word without fear.” The adverb περισσοτέρως is not, with Grotius, to be taken as qualifying ἀφόβως , or as forming with it a comparative ἀφοβοτέρως . Its position connects it with τολμᾷν “more abundantly ventured;” the comparison being -more than when he had not been imprisoned. The adverb ἀφόβως is not pleonastic-those brethren had ventured to preach before, but perhaps with some caution; now they dared more frequently, and with perfect composure. The sight of the apostle inspired them with his own heroism. It might have been feared that his bonds would have made his friends more wary, lest they should incur a similar fate; but so far from such an ignoble result, there was a positive revival of courage and zeal among them; their labours multiplied in number, and increased in boldness, and thus the apostle's circumstances had resulted rather to the furtherance of the gospel. Some codices have, after λόγον , τοῦ Θεοῦ , and others τοῦ Κυρίου . On the authority of A and B, Lachmann adopts the former, as do many of the versions. But the reading seems to be a gloss, adopted from the familiar expression- “word of God,” as in Acts 4:31.
(Philippians 1:15.) But while the apostle in this statement includes the majority, there were some exceptions. There was a party actuated by a very different spirit-
Τινὲς μὲν καὶ διὰ φθόνον καὶ ἔριν - τὸν Χριστὸν κηρύσσουσιν . “Some indeed, also, for envy and contention, preach Christ.” By τινές , the apostle does not refer to a section of the previous πλείονες . The καί indicates that another and distinct party is noticed; not, as Rilliet writes, parmi les Chrétiens qui ont repris courage, and as Rheinwald and Hoelemann suppose. Had he merely meant to characterize the πλείονες into two parties, there was no occasion to say τινές . There is, as Ellicott says, an implied contrast in καί , while it points out an additional party. Hartung, 1, 136, etc. The preposition διά refers to the motive, not the purpose of preaching-envy and contention. Winer, § 49, c; Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10. This class of men were jealous of the apostle's influence, and strove to defy him, to undermine his reputation and authority, and gall and gainsay him by their modes of speech and action. What this party was, will be immediately discussed. It was an Anti-Pauline faction, but we cannot regard it as simply a Judaizing one. The apostle adds-
τινὲς δὲ καὶ δἰ εὐδοκίαν τὸν Χριστὸν κηρύσσουσι “but some also preach Christ for goodwill.” The persons indicated by τινές are probably those contained in πλείονες , and so named, or spoken of as a party here, from being placed in contrast with the first τινές . The preposition διά points out, again, the motive, and that motive is goodwill to the apostle himself, and not, as many suppose, either goodwill to the cause, or to men's salvation. The φθόνος and ἔρις on the one hand, and this εὐδοκία on the other hand, are purely personal to the apostle, as indeed he proceeds at once to explain.
The 16th and 17th verses are transposed in the Received Text. The idea of preserving conformity to the division of parties in the preceding verse, seems to have suggested the change, as if, when the apostle had referred to the envious and contentious preachers first, he must, in the same order, give his explanation of them. Heinrichs, without any authority, reckons both explanatory verses as spurious. Müller vindicates the arrangement of the Textus Receptus for very frivolous reasons. The best MSS. place them in the reverse order of the Received Text, and by putting the verse last which describes the factious preachers, the force of τί γάρ , in the 18th verse, is more vividly brought out.
(Philippians 1:16.) Οἱ μὲν ἐξ ἀγάπης , εἰδότες ὅτι εἰς ἀπολογίαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου κεῖμαι “The one party indeed (preach Christ) of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.” The first clause is a nominative, and the supplement is “preach Christ.” For we agree with Alford, against Meyer, van Hengel, De Wette, and Ellicott, that οἱ ἐξ ἀγάπης and οἱ ἐξ ἐριθείας , are not simply generic descriptions, as in Romans 2:8; Galatians 3:7. Ellicott objects that in this verse ἐξ ἀγάπης would only be a repetition of διὰ εὐδοκίαν . And so it is, but with an explanatory purpose-and so with the other pair of opposite terms. And the apostle does not “reiterate” simply the nature of the difference of feeling in the two parties, but he adds the cause of it, for the participles εἰδότης and οἰόμενοι preserve their true causal signification. Under the hypothesis which we are opposing, the words τὸν Χριστὸν καταγγέλλουσιν come in awkwardly, and would hardly be expressed in Philippians 1:17; but they occur in our construction as the expected complement. Still the meaning is not very different, whether the party is characterized by love, or whether love be assigned as the motive of their preaching. Yet, as preaching is specially regarded in the paragraph as the development or result of feeling, we take the clause as describing that feeling; not as simply designating a party, but as specifying a motive in active operation. They preached Christ out of love; and their affection was intelligently based-
εἰδότες ὅτι εἰς ἀπολογίαν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου κεῖμαι “knowing that I am appointed for the defence of the gospel.” The noun ἀπολογία is “vindication”-the defence of the truth, freeness, adaptation, and divine origin of the gospel. Luther, Estius, Am Ende, Matthies, and van Hengel, take κεῖμαι in a literal sense “I lie in prison, or in misery.” The idea is far-fetched and unnecessary. The verb means as often, “to be set aside for,” or “to be appointed to.” Luke 2:34; 1 Thessalonians 3:3. What then is the reference?
1. Some, as Estius, a-Lapide, and Pierce, understand by ἀπολογία , the apostle's formal vindication of himself and his cause before Nero. But this is too restricted a view, though such a defence is not to be excluded.
2. Chrysostom's idea of ἀπολογία is peculiar. He refers us to Paul's answer at the judgment-seat of God. “I am appointed to preach, they help with me, and they are diminishing the weight of that account which I must give to God.” The apostle, however, is not speaking of his account to God, but of his special work in defending the gospel, which those who loved him knew how to appreciate (Philippians 1:7); nor is ἀπολογία ever used of the solemn and final reckoning.
3. Others bring out this thought,-These friends see me imprisoned, and they supply my forced abstinence from labour by their preaching. Such is the view of Estius, Hoelemann, and van Hengel. But this lays the emphasis more on the apostle's imprisonment than on his high function; and the latter is more expressly in the writer's view.
4. Meyer, Wiesinger, and De Wette, place the emphasis properly on the words “for the defence of the gospel.” His friends recognized the apostle's position and task, and laboured in sympathy to assist him in it. It was not because he could not defend the gospel that they took the work upon them, for they had been engaged in similar effort before; only his incarceration gave them new spirit and intrepidity. They had recognized the apostle's special function; it struck a tender chord in their hearts, and so far as in them lay they carried out his labours. As they well knew that he had been set for the defence of the gospel, they felt that they could not better probe their love to him than by appreciating his vocation, acting in his spirit, and seeking, above all things, to realize the noble end to which he had devoted his life.
(Philippians 1:17.) Οἱ δὲ ἐξ ἐριθείας τὸν Χριστὸν καταγγέλλουσιν οὐχ ἁγνῶς “But the others preach Christ of faction, not purely.” There is no specific difference between κηρύσσουσι and καταγγέλλουσι , Acts 17:3; Acts 17:23; Colossians 1:28. The first verb is already applied to both parties. Hesychius defines the one term by the other; but the former verb is of most frequent occurrence; the latter being confined to the book of Acts and Paul's epistles. The noun ἐριθεία is not from ἔρις , and signifying “contention,” as Theodoret has it- τὸ τῆς ἔριδος πάθος ; for the apostle formally distinguishes ἔρις and ἐριθεία in 2 Corinthians 12:20 and in Galatians 5:20, in both which cases the two nouns occur in the same verse. It is from ἔριθος , a day-labourer, Hom. Il. 18.550; the resemblance to ἔριον being perhaps accidental-Passow, sub voce; Benfey, 1:56-Fritzsche, in his Excursus appended to the second chapter of Romans. The idea of “mercenary” soon followed that of labour for hire, out of which sprang that of emulation and worthless self-seeking- malitiosa fraudum machinatio. The term ἐριθεία , as Fritzsche remarks, includes both the φθόνος and ἔρις of the fifteenth verse. Liddell and Scott fall away from the true meaning of the word, and do not distinguish it from ἔρις , when in their Lexicon they give “contention” as its meaning in the New Testament. The φιλονεικία of Suidas and Theophylact comes nearer the true idea. This party, therefore, in proclaiming Christ, did not do it ἁγνῶς -preach with pure intent. ῾Αγνῶς καὶ καθαρῶς , Hesiod, Opera et Dies, 339. Thus the adjective is used, 2 Corinthians 7:11. The adverb characterizes not the contents, but the motive or spirit of their preaching. Bengel's idea is baseless, when he says they preached- non sine fermento Judaico; or, as Am Ende says in the same spirit, that in their preaching- multa igitur addunt, multa silent. And the motive of their preaching is truly nefarious-
οἰόμενοι θλίψιν ἐγείρειν τοῖς δεσμοῖς μου “thinking to stir up affliction to my bonds,” meaning it, but not effecting it. ᾿Εγείρειν , on the conclusive authority of A, B, D 1 , F, G, is preferred to the ἐπιφέρειν of the Received Text, which was probably in its origin an explanatory term, like the προσφέρειν of Theophylact. The participle οἰόμενοι is parallel to εἰδότες , and with the same causal force, though it is at the same time explanatory of οὐχ ἁγνῶς . Their purpose was to aggravate the apostle's imprisonment. They did God's work in the devil's spirit. No wonder Chrysostom exclaims- ῎Ω τῆς ὠμότητος , ὤ τῆς διαβολικῆς ἐνεργείας “O, the cruelty! O, the devilish energy!” In what way they thought to accomplish their object, it is difficult now to tell. Chrysostom simply calls them unbelievers. We cannot agree with Grotius, Le Clerc, Balduin, and those who imagine that this party were Jews, who went about calumniating the gospel and its preachers, with the view of bringing more hardships upon the apostle; the result being that they only excited curiosity, and led many to inquire about the real nature of the new sect. Nor do we think that they were Judaizers of the ordinary class, who represented the apostle as an enemy to the law, and excited the Jews against him. That they belonged to this class, has been held by many, and, among others, by Neander, Meyer, De Wette, and Ellicott. It is difficult to suppose that these preachers were Judaizers. For-
1. The apostle usually condemns the Judaizers-calls them by many bitter epithets, and represents them as subverting the gospel to such an extent, that upon their theory Christ had died in vain, Galatians 2:21. And the apostle, as Wiesinger says, would in this case have appeared “double-tongued” to the Philippians; for in this very epistle, referring to such errorists, he inveighs with special antipathy against them “Beware of dogs; beware of evil workers; beware of the concision.” In this passage, however, the apostle says nothing of erroneous teaching, but only of a bad spirit. He does not reject their doctrines as mutilated or adulterated: he only reprobates their motives.
2. They are represented as preaching Christ. It is true the article is used, ὁ Χριστός , which some suppose to have a special reference to the Messiahship and their proclamation of it in a Jewish or secular sense. But then the well-affected party are said also to preach the Christ- τὸν Χριστόν . The preaching in its substance was the same with both. Nor can any difference be inferred from the employment of two verbs - κηρύσσω and καταγγέλλω ; the one denoting the work of a herald, and the other that of a messenger; for the first verb in Philippians 1:15 characterizes the preaching of both parties; and in the preaching described by the second verb in Philippians 1:18, the apostle expresses his hearty concurrence. Can it be supposed for a moment that the apostle could call any form of Judaistic teaching the preaching of Christ; or use the same emphatic phrase as descriptive both of sound and of pernicious instruction? His friends “preach Christ,” and no one doubts that by this language he approved of their doctrine; those disaffected toward him “preach Christ” too, the difference being in their respective spirit and motives.
3. The apostle virtually sanctions such preaching. For, no matter in what spirit Christ is preached, whether in pretence or in truth-provided He is preached at all, the prisoner is contented and happy. Surely he could never have employed such language, if false views of Christ had been propounded, such views as the Judaizers were in the habit of insisting upon-the necessity of circumcision, and the perpetual obligation of the Mosaic law. Was it possible for Paul to rejoice in a style of preaching at Rome, which he so strongly denounced in Galatia? Or could he regard the promulgation of such views as in any sense the “furtherance of the gospel”? The conclusion then is, that a form of preaching called, without reserve or modification, the preaching of Christ, and one in which the apostle rejoices, in spite of the malicious and perverse motives of those who engaged in it, cannot be the common and carnal Judaistic error which plagued and injured so many of the early churches. Neander is obliged to make the supposition, that Paul thinks of the Judaizing gospel in its effects upon the heathen, when he thus speaks of it. But there is no ground for such an assumption, and such a preaching would profit them nothing. Had the Judaizers given the mere facts of Christ's life, it might have been well; but such a simple narrative would not have suited their purpose, for they could not detail those facts without connecting with them certain dogmas on the obligation and character of the Mosaic ritual. Nor can Meyer be listened to, when he says that Judaizing preaching was less displeasing to the apostle in Rome, than in Greece or Asia, as the church there had not been founded by him, and was not specially under his apostolical jurisdiction. What this preaching was not, one may thus safely decide.
But it is not so easy to determine what this preaching of Christ was, or how it could be intended to add affliction to the apostle's bonds. Chrysostom and his followers hold that the intention of such preaching was to stir up the hostility of Nero, and other enemies of the gospel, so that the apostle's situation might be embittered; the preaching of Jesus as the Christ being most offensive to the Romans, and the unbelieving Jews making use of it to enrage the heathen rulers. But the apostle does not say that the Jews charged the Christians with preaching the Messiahship; the Christians did it themselves. And if they preached the Messiahship in any such form as made it a rival to the imperial sovereignty, would not such a course have equally endangered themselves, and led to their own apprehension and trial? Nor can we suppose the meaning to be, that by their busy publication of Judaizing doctrine, his antagonists thought to annoy the apostle by preaching what they knew he had so resolutely condemned, and to endanger him by holding him up as an enemy to the Mosaic institute, and the venerated “customs” of his country. For we have endeavoured to show in the preceding paragraphs that such preaching could not be called, as the apostle calls it-preaching Christ; nor could he have tolerated it, far less have given it his seeming approval and countenance. Others, again, as Storr, van Hengel, and Rilliet, suppose that by “affliction” the apostle means mental suffering, produced by such factious disposition and conduct. It is possible that this view may be the most correct. The noun θλίψις will bear such a meaning, and it is the intended result of that ἐριθεία -unprincipled emulation and intrigue. The apostle speaks of affliction in addition to his bonds-not a closer imprisonment, or a heavier chain, or an attempt to infuriate the emperor and prejudge his appeal, but something over and above his bonds-perhaps chagrin and sorrow at the misrepresentation of his position and character. May we not therefore regard the phrase “I rejoice, and will rejoice,” as the opposite of those emotions which they strove to produce within him? They laboured to surround him with circumstances which should cause him “affliction,” but they failed. He could not but blame their motives, while he rejoiced in the result. They must have set themselves in rivalry with him, must have hoped to ruin his reputation, and damage his apostolical commission, in the way in which they did his work. By their detraction of his character in and through an imitation of his labours, they trusted to chafe and vex him. But as they deserved, they were egregiously disappointed. They thought that he would be afflicted, but he was rejoiced.
If this hypothesis be correct, as we think it is, then we may come to a more satisfactory conclusion as to the nature of the faction referred to. That it consisted of Jews is almost certain. But these Jews might not be Judaizers. In the Corinthian church there was a party that said, “I am of Cephas”- followers of the apostle of the circumcision, and hostile to those who named themselves from Paul. It is very probable that this Petrine party held high views about the law; but there is no hint in the epistle to the Corinthian church that they either held or taught such mischievous errors as were propagated in Galatia. Minor matters of ceremonial seem rather to have occupied them. Chap. 8 and 10. But there is no question that the apostle's authority was impugned in Corinth, and in all likelihood by the Petrine party, because he had not been personally called by Jesus, as Simon had been; and by the same party, his right to pecuniary support from the churches seems to have been denied or disputed. While, therefore, there was comparative purity in the section that took Peter for its head and watchword, there was also keen and resolute opposition to the person and prerogative of the apostle of the Gentiles. To meet all the requirements of the case before us, we have only to suppose that such a party was found at Rome, and the fourteenth chapter of the epistle to that church seems to indicate their existence. If there was a company of believing Jews, who held the essential doctrines of the gospel, but was combative on points of inferior value, and in connection with the social institutions of their people, and who, at the same time, were bitter and unscrupulous antagonists of the apostle from such an impression of his opinions as is indicated by James in Acts 21:20-21 -then such a party might preach Christ, and yet cherish toward Paul all those feelings of envy and ill-will which he ascribes to them. Chrysostom touches the truth when he represents them as being jealous of the apostle- φθονοῦντες τῇ δόξῃ . Calvin writes feelingly “Paul assuredly says nothing here, which I myself have not experienced. For there are men living now who have preached the gospel with no other design, than to gratify the rage of the wicked by persecuting pious pastors.”
(Philippians 1:18.) Τί γάρ ; πλὴν παντὶ τρόπῳ εἴτε προφάσει εἴτε ἀληθείᾳ , Χριστὸς καταγγέλλεται , καὶ ἐν τούτῳ χαίρω , ἀλλὰ καὶ χαρήσομαι “What then? but yet, in every way, that Christ is preached-whether in pretence, whether in truth- even in this I do rejoice, yea, and I shall rejoice.” The elliptical phrase τί γάρ expresses an interrogative inference, and is much the same as the quid enim, or quid ergo, of the Latin authors. Romans 3:3. There is no use in attempting to fill out the idiom with διαφέρει , or ἄλλο or μοι μέλει , as is done by the Greek expositors; nor is the refert of Bengel, or the sequitur of Grotius, at all necessary. Kühner, § 8332, i.; Klotz, ad Devar. ii. p. 247, etc.; Hartung, i. p. 479; Hoogeveen, Doctrina Part. p. 539. The adverb πλήν has also in such idiom a peculiar meaning, nur dass, as Passow gives it “only that.” As if the paraphrase might be “What then? shall I fret because some men preach Christ of strife and intrigue, and think to embitter my imprisonment? No, for all that; in spite of all this opposition to myself, only let Christ be preached from any motive, false or genuine, yes, in the fact of such preaching I rejoice.” The first answer to τί γάρ is only implied, and not written-shall I feel affliction added to my bonds? shall I be chafed or grieved? while the second in contrast to it is expressed-the antagonism being noted by πλήν . Though in the phrase παντὶ τρόπῳ the apostle says “every form,” yet the following words show that he had two forms especially in his eye, for he adds:-
εἴτε προφάσει εἴτε ἀληθείᾳ “whether in pretence or in sincerity.” These two nouns are often opposed by Philo and the classical writers, as is shown in the collected examples of Loesner, Raphelius, and Wetstein. The dative in both cases is that of manner, or is a modal case. Winer, § 31, 6. The first noun, πρόφασις , is employed to express a prominent element of the old Pharisaical character, its want of genuineness; or that its professed motive was not its real one, that its exceeding devotion was but a show, Matthew 23:13; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47. When the sailors, during Paul's voyage to Rome, wished to escape from the ship, and for this purpose lowered a boat under the pretext of preparing to let go an anchor, their manoeuvre is described by the same term, Acts 27:30. The word denotes that state of mind in which the avowed is not the true motive; in which there is made to appear (as the etymology indicates) what does not exist. Hosea 10:4; John 15:22. The contrasted noun, ἀλήθεια , signifies here genuineness or integrity, John 4:23-24; 1 John 3:18. The Hebrew אַמֶת , H622 has occasionally a similar meaning, Exodus 18:21; Nehemiah 7:2; and especially 1 Samuel 12:24; 1Ki 2:4 ; 1 Kings 3:6, where it is represented by the Greek term before us. Χριστὸς καταγγέλλεται ; see Colossians 1:28. A different meaning is assigned to the first noun by the Vulgate, which renders per occasionem; followed by Luther, who translates zufallens; and vindicated by Grotius, and by Hammond who brings out this idea “by all means, whether by occasion only, that is, accidentally, and not by a designed causality; or whether by truth, that is, by a direct real way of efficiency.” But though the term has sometimes such a meaning, the antithesis in the clause itself, the common usage of the two confronted nouns, and the entire context discountenance the supposition. In fact, πρόφασις is simply the οὐχ ἁγνῶς of the 17th verse; while ἀλήθεια embodies the δἰ εὐδοκίαν of the 15th, and the ἐξ ἀγάπης of the 16th verses. The two nouns so placed in opposition represent, not difference in the substance, but in the purpose of preaching. They have an ethical reference. For if Christ was preached in either way, the apostle must allude not to contents, but design. In the one case, Christ was really preached, but the motive was hollow and fallacious. It was neither from homage to Him, or love to souls, or an earnest desire to advance the gospel. In the other case, preaching was a sincere service “out of a true heart, and with faith unfeigned.” The apostle, looking at the fact, and for a moment overlooking the motive, exclaims:-
καὶ ἐν τούτῳ χαίρω ἀλλὰ καὶ χαρήσομαι “and in this I rejoice; yea, and I will rejoice.” For χαίρω ἐν , see Colossians 1:24. The pronoun τούτῳ does not refer specially to Christ; nor yet, vaguely, to the entire crisis, as Meyer takes it; but directly to the preaching. To render it, with Ellicott, “in this state of things,” is too broad, and would not be wholly true: for the apostle must have grieved over the wicked motives of those preachers, though he rejoiced in their preaching. We must subtract from “this state of things,” what must have caused him sorrow; there being left the fact that Christ was proclaimed, and in that he rejoiced. “In this preaching, be the motive what it may, I rejoice.” The ἀλλά is still slightly adversative, as it stands between the present χαίρω and the future χαρήσομαι -not only now, or at present, but I will also rejoice. See an explanation of the idiom under Ephesians 5:24. As happens with many barytone verbs, in Attic the future of χαίρω is χαιρήσω -but in the other dialects, and in the New Testament, the middle form is employed. Matthiae, § 255; Winer, § 15. The apostle felt that impurity of motive might modify, but not prevent all good result; and that, as long as its true character was concealed, such preaching might not be without fruit. He knew the preaching of Christ to be a noble instrument, and though it was not a clean hand which set in motion, still it might effect incalculable good. For truth is mighty, no matter in what spirit it is published; its might being in itself, and not in the breath of him who proclaims it. Disposition and purpose belong to the preacher and his individual responsibility; but the preaching of Christ has an innate power to win and save. The virtue lies in the gospel, not in the gospeller; in the exposition, and not in the expounder.
Not that the apostle was or could be indifferent to the motive which ought to govern a preacher of the gospel. Not as if he for a moment encouraged neutrality or lukewarmness, or thought that unconverted men might be safely entrusted with the precious function. But he simply regards the work and its fruits, and he leaves the motive with Him who could fully try it-the Judge of all. Vindictive and jealous feeling toward himself, he could pity and pardon, provided the work be done. He could well bear that good be achieved by others, even out of envy to himself. The mere eclat of apostleship was nothing to him, and he could not forbid others, because they did not follow himself. Those men who so preached Christ, were therefore neither heretics nor gross Judaizers, subverting the faith. Their preaching is supposed to be the means of saving souls. The Greek expositors notice the abuse which some heretics- τινὲς ἀνόητοι -made of the apostle's statement, and they answer, that he does not warrant such a style of preaching-does not say καταγγελλέσθω , but καταγγέλλεται -merely relating a fact, not issuing a sanction. Chrysostom calls attention to the apostle's calmness-that he does not inveigh against his enemies, but simply narrates what has occurred.
This verse was the subject of long and acrimonious dispute during the Pietist controversy in Germany. The question was generally, Whether unconverted men are warranted or qualified to preach the gospel; or specially, Whether the religious knowledge acquired by a wicked man can be termed theology, or how far the office and ministry of an impious man can be pronounced efficacious, or whether a licentious and godless man be capable of divine illumination? It is obvious that such questions are not determined by the apostle, and that there is no solution of them in this passage. His language is too vague, and the whole circumstances are too obscure, to form a foundation for judgment. The party referred to here preached Christ from a very unworthy personal motive, and the apostle rejoiced in the preaching, though he might compassionate and forgive the preachers. We cannot argue a general rule from such an exceptional case. But apart from any casuistry, and any fanaticism which the Pietists might exhibit, their general principle was correct, and it was in opposition to their tenets, and as a rebound from them, that men were admitted into pulpits to preach the gospel without any evidence that they believed in it, and that it was not required of them to be religious themselves, ere they taught religion to others. In the same way scholars were installed into chairs, from which they taught the language of Abraham, as the readiest means of scoffing at Abraham's faith, and descanted on the writings of the apostles, as the most effectual method of reviling and undermining that religion which they had founded. We hold it to be the right principle-that the best preparation for preaching the Crucified One, is to have His spirit; that to be His, is the sure qualification for obeying His commission, and that an unchristian man has no call to take part in the vindication or enforcement of the religion of Christ.
(Philippians 1:19.) Οἶδα γὰρ ὅτι τοῦτό μοι ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν “For I know that this shall fall out unto my salvation.” Lachmann, by his punctuation, connects this clause immediately with the preceding one, and he is right. The apostle's avowal of future joy bases itself on an anticipated result. He felt a joy which others might not suppose, and it was no evanescent emotion, for it was connected with the most momentous of all blessings-his salvation. The γάρ introduces a confirmatory explanation or reason. That this salvation- σωτηρία -is not, as many from the Greek fathers downwards suppose, temporal deliverance, is evident from the instrumentality referred to “your intercession, and the supply of Christ's spirit.” These were not indispensable to his liberation, but to his soul's health. A change in Nero's heart, a mere whim of the moment, might have secured his freedom The prior question, however, is the reference in τοῦτο .
1. Many, with Theodoret, refer it to the afflictive circumstances in which the apostle was placed, or to the dangers which lowered around him, in consequence of the envious and vindictive preachers- οἱ ἐντεῦθεν φυόμενοι κίνδυνοι . But the apostle thought too lightly of this danger, if it really existed, to give it such prominence. What was merely personal, had no interest for him; what concerned the cause, at once concentrated his attention, and begat emotion within him.
2. Theophylact, Calvin, Rheinwald, van Hengel, De Wette, and Beelen, refer τοῦτο to the 17th verse-the preaching of Christ out of envy and strife, and for the purpose of adding to the apostle's troubles. “Such preaching, instead of adding to my affliction, shall contribute to my salvation.” But this connection carries back the reference too far, and breaks the continuity.
3. Others suppose the allusion to be to the preaching of the gospel; to its greater spread, as Rilliet, Matthies, and Alford; or to the general character of it, as Hoelemann- si vel interdum de causis subdolis factum. These opinions appear to be somewhat away from the context:
4. For we apprehend that it is simply to the sentiment of the preceding verse that the apostle refers. In that verse he tells them that, in spite of the opposite conclusion some might come to, he rejoiced in the fact that Christ was preached, whatever might be the motive of the preacher. And now he assigns the reason of that joy. He does not mean either that the gospel so proclaimed would achieve the salvation of others, as Grotius imagined, or with Heinrichs, that it would produce his own, for it had already been secured. The preaching of the gospel to others, and the spread of it in Rome, or in Italy, could not in itself exercise any saving power upon him; nor could he have any doubt that the gospel which himself had believed and preached, should issue in his eternal happiness. We therefore understand the τοῦτο to refer to the state of mind described in the former verse-his joy in the preaching of Christ, from whatever motive. For this state of mind indicated his supreme regard for Christ-that he preferred Him above everything-that he could bear to be an object of malevolence and jealousy, if so his Master was exalted-and that, provided Christ was preached, he cared not for tarnished fame or heavier affliction. This mental condition was an index to him of a healthy spiritual state. Salvation must be the issue, when Christ was so magnified in the process. On the contrary, if he had felt chagrin and disappointment-if he had grudged that any should preach but himself, or any name should obtain prominence in the churches but his own-if actual or apprehended addition to his sufferings had either made him repent his own preaching, or infuriated him at the preaching of others-then a temperament so unlike Him whom he professed to serve, might justly have made him doubt his salvation, or the certainty of its future possession. But his present Christ-like frame of spirit was salvational, if the expression may be coined-it was an index of present attainment, and the sure instrument of subsequent glory. It was the “ear,” which is seen not only to follow the blade, but which also betokens the “full corn.” There is no good ground for Alford's confining the meaning of σωτηρία to salvation, “in degree of blessedness, not in reference to the absolute fact.” The verb ἀποβήσεται rather forbids it. Salvation will turn out to be the result-salvation, first as a fact, and also in every element which the apostle expected. Luke 21:13. The clause occurs in the Septuagint. Job 13:16. And in this spirit the apostle adds-
διὰ τῆς ὑμῶν δεήσεως “through your supplication.” He knew that they prayed for him-such was their vivid interest in him, and such a conviction the use of the article τῆς seems to imply. And he believed in the efficacy of their prayers- that their entreaty would bring down blessing upon him. His high function as an apostle did not elevate him above the need of their intercession. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2; Philemon 1:22. He virtually claims it, for he professes to enjoy their sympathy. And, as the general result of their prayers, he subjoins-
καὶ ἐπιχορηγίας τοῦ πνεύματος ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ “and the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ.” ᾿Επιχορηγία , see Ephesians 4:16. Conybeare says, “ ἡ ἐπιχορηγία τοῦ χορηγοῦ would mean the supplying of all needs of the chorus by the choregus; and that therefore the phrase before us signifies the supplying of all needs by the spirit.” Theophylact and OEcumenius, Zanchius, Grotius, Rilliet, Alford, and Wiesinger take the genitive as that of object, viz. that the Holy Spirit Himself forms the supply. Theophylact explains by saying, ἐπιχορηγηθῇ πλεῖον τὸ πνεῦμα . With Theodoret, Calvin, Rheinwald, van Hengel, and Ellicott, we prefer taking the genitive as that of subject- πνεύματος χορηγοῦντος τὴν χάριν . The apostle refers to that necessary supply which the Holy Spirit furnishes, that universal and well-timed assistance which He imparts. This seems to be on the whole the better and more natural interpretation. The use of the participle ἐπιχορηγῶν with τὸ πνεῦμα in Galatians 3:5, affords no ground of decision as to the genitive of the noun here; nor can the use of the genitive in Ephesians 4:16 determine the matter. Neither can we assent to Alford's argument, taken from the position of the words, as such an argument is often doubtful, and no author has always followed tamely the same order. The connection of the two clauses has been disputed; that is, whether ὑμῶν belongs to ἐπιχορηγίας as well as δεήσεως . Meyer, Alford, and Baumgarten-Crusius hold that the connection is of this nature “through your prayer and your supply of the Spirit of Christ.” But such an exegesis cannot be defended on the ground that διά , or διὰ τῆς , or the simple article, is not repeated; for such a repetition is unnecessary, and according to a well-known law, the article is omitted before a second noun, when both nouns have a defining genitive. Winer, § 19, 5. Still the apostle's thought seems to be, that the supply of the Spirit to him would be the result of their prayers for him. For the Spirit is not to be explained away as merely meaning divine power, vis divina, as Am Ende renders. It is the Holy Spirit-who is here called the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The reason of such an appellation, it is not difficult to discover; for it does not rest on any dogmatic grounds, or any metaphysical views of the distinctions and relations of the persons in the Trinity. The genitive is that of possession or origin, the spirit which Jesus has or dispenses. The exaltation of the Redeemer secured the gift of the Holy Ghost, which it is His exalted prerogative to bestow. The Spirit represents Christ, for He comes in Christ's name, as another Paraclete, enlightens with Christ's truths, purifies with Christ's blood, comforts with Christ's promises, and seals with Christ's image.
(Philippians 1:20.) Κατὰ τὴν ἀποκαραδοκίαν καὶ ἐλπίδα μου , ὅτι ἐν οὐδενὶ αἰσχυνθήσομαι “According to my firm expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed.” The preposition κατά is in connection with οἶδα γάρ of the preceding verse. My knowledge that it shall issue in my salvation, is based upon, or rather is “in accordance with,” my expectation and hope. The two nouns, ἀποκαραδοκία and ἐλπίς , have much the same signification, only the latter has a meaning in advance of the former-hope being surer than expectation- and having in it a deeper conviction of certainty, or resting itself on a surer foundation. The view of Bretschneider, sub voce, is the reverse, but wrong. Hope is expectation combined with assurance. The noun ἀποκαραδοκία is found in Romans 8:19. Its composition has been variously resolved; most probably it is κάρα , “the head,” and δοκεύειν , “to observe.” It is, according to the Etymologicum Magnum, τῇ κεφαλῇ προβλέπειν , or as OEcumenius describes it here, as ἐλπίδα ἥν τις καὶ αὐτὴν ἐπικινῶν τὴν κεφαλὴν δοκεύει καὶ περισκοπεῖ . The preposition ἀπό is not, as some say, meaningless or quiescent; but it is not properly intensive; rather, as Ellicott says, it is local. It marks the point from which one looks out, or the place whence the thing expected is to come; and the additional idea is to look out, or continue to look out, till the thing looked for comes out of its place. The notion is, therefore, more that of continuance than earnestness, though certainly a persistent look will deepen into an earnest one. The word is well discussed in that family production, Fritzschiorum Opuscula, p. 150. The apostle did not speak at random, or from any vague and dreamy anticipations. He felt that he was warranted so to write. And what he had referred to was not something in which he had little interest, something which might happen in the course of events, but towards which he was indifferent. He was tremblingly alive to the result, and his soul was set upon it.
The next clause tells the personal object of his hope- “that in nothing I shall be ashamed.” It is wrong on the part of Estius and Matthies to render ὅτι , “for,” or “because,” as if the clause were confirmative. The ὅτι introduces the object of hope; but with the other view the expectation and hope would refer vaguely to the preceding verse. The verb represents the Heb. בּוֹשׁ , H1017 in the Septuagint. Psalms 34:4; Psa 69:3 ; 2 Corinthians 10:8; 1 John 2:28. The apostle does not mean to say, that in nothing should he be put out, as the common phrase is, or made to appear abashed and terrified. This is the view of Matthies and van Hengel, the latter of whom gives it as, ut in nulla re ab officio deflectam. A different view is held by Chrysostom, who has these words, “Whatever happens, I shall not be ashamed, i.e. they will not obtain the mastery over me.” “They, forsooth, expected to catch Paul in this snare, and to quench the freedom of the gospel.” This view is too restricted, for the apostle says, ἐν οὐδενί , “in nothing,” not simply in living and preaching. The idea is not that shame would fall upon him principally if he died, or ceased to speak with boldness. The pronoun οὐδενί is neuter, and does not refer either to the Philippians, as if he were saying, “in none of you I shall be ashamed,” or to those preaching Christ at Rome, as if he meant to affirm, “in none of them shall I be ashamed.” “In nothing,” says the apostle, “shall I feel ashamed.” He should preserve his trust and confidence; no feeling of disgrace or disappointment should creep over him. He should maintain his erectness of spirit, and not hang his head like one who had come short of his end, or had been the victim of vain expectations. The verb αἰσχυνθήσομαι is in virtual contrast with ἀποβήσεται εἰς σωτηρίαν . He felt assured that neither in this hope nor any other should he be ashamed. His state of mind was such, that no emotion of shame could come near him. Christ's work was doing in the meantime, and in that he rejoiced, no matter what the motive that led to it; and though he was a fettered prisoner, and his enemies might be traducing him, yet he was assured that now, as heretofore, heshould not be brought into shame, as if his life had been a failure; for, should he live, Christ should be glorified; and should he die, the same result would equally happen. And he speaks now in a more positive tone-
ἀλλ᾿ ἐν πάσῃ παῤῥησίᾳ ὡς πάντοτε καὶ νῦν μεγαλυνθήσεται Χριστὸς ἐν τῷ σώματί μου “but with all boldness, as always and now, Christ shall be magnified in my body.” Shame is the contrast of boldness, for he who feels ashamed is a coward. ᾿Εν πάσῃ is in antithesis to ἐν οὐδενί . He had been bold in days gone by, in crises which had passed away; and as it had been always, so it would be now- καὶ νῦν . What the apostle expected and hoped was, that Christ should be magnified in his body. The verb μεγαλύνω is to make or declare great, and often in the sense of praise; for praise is the laudatory expression of the divine greatness. It tells how great He is, or how great He has disclosed Himself to be. The meaning here is, that Christ should be evinced in His greatness-disclosed in His majesty. Rilliet takes the verb in the sense of grandir-se developper; the development of Christ within himself, in allusion to Galatians 2:20; Galatians 4:19. But, as has been well remarked by Wiesinger, “the added words, ἐν τῷ σώματί μου , are fatal to this supposition.” Nor is there any instance of the use of the term in such a personal sense. In Luke 1:58, it is said that the Lord made great His mercy-exhibited extraordinary kindness.
The next words are peculiar. The apostle does not say “in me,” but “in my body”- ἐν τῷ σώματί μου . The two forms of expression are not to be confounded. The following clause explains why terms so precise have been employed. Life and death are both predicated of the body; therefore he says, in my body-
εἴτε διὰ ζωῆς εἴτε διὰ θανάτου “whether by life or by death.” It is all one-whether he live or die, the magnifying of Christ is secured on either alternative. If he lived, he should yet labour for Christ; and if his life were cut short, Christ should be glorified in the courage of his martyrdom, and the entrance of the martyr to heaven. Come what may-the glorification of Christ-the highest aim of his heart is secured.
The apostle rejoiced that Christ was preached, no matter what might be the motive; and this prevailing emotion, he was assured, would result in salvation. He was confident that he should not be left in shame: for the glorification of Christ, the prime object of his existence, would be brought about in his body, whether he lived or whether he died. While one party preached Christ of love, in alliance with him, and in acknowledgment of his high position; and the other preached Christ of envy and self-seeking-supposing to add affliction to his bonds; in the midst of this turmoil, he was happy and contented. His trial was pending, and he felt that Christ would be glorified, whether he should be liberated from prison to preach again, or whether he should leave his cell only to be conducted to the block. If, in either case, Christ should be glorified, his salvation was a secure result. And he proceeds to prove what he has said of the magnification of Christ, whether by life or by death. For in either way it may happen-there may be two forms, but there is only one result.
(Philippians 1:21.) ᾿Εμοὶ γὰρ τὸ ζῆν Χριστὸς , καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The particle γάρ introduces the confirmatory statement. Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death-by life, for to me to live is Christ; by death, for death to me is gain.
A considerable number of expositors take the verse as one connected sentence, with κέρδος as the one predicate “for to me in life and in death Christ is gain”- mihi enim in vivendo Christus est et moriendo lucrum. Such is the view of Calvin, Beza, Musculus, E. Schmid, Raphelius, Knatchbull, a-Lapide, Vorstius, Gataker, Airay, Suicer, etc. But it cannot be supported. It requires such adjustment and assistance as to give it a very unnatural appearance. Though κατά should be supplied to both infinitives, the sentence has a very clumsy and un-Pauline shape. Besides, the infinitives are not of the kind that form such an absolute accusative as is usually but erroneously resolved by κατά . Jelf, § 581; Krüger, § 46, 4, 1. Such an accusative has what this last grammarian calls Erstrecken, or extended reference; but such a construction, while it might apply to the first infinitive, could not to the last. The natural division is to take Χριστός with the first clause as predicate, and κέρδος with the last. In such an exegesis as that we have referred to, Χριστός would be most anomalously placed. Nor would the verse so understood be in close connection with the preceding statement as either illustrative or confirmatory of it. The sentiment, To me living or dying, Christ is gain, is in itself no proof of the assertion that Christ would be magnified in his body, whether by life or by death. Personal gain to himself in either case is not surely identical with the glorification of Christ-at least there is nothing in the language to justify or explain such a conclusion. Besides, as the alternatives are strongly marked “by life or by death;” and as they are in direct antagonism, we expect to find that the mode of glorification will also differ, and that such a difference will be implied in the clause added for explanation and proof. But there is no such distinction if this unwarranted exegesis be admitted.
Luther again reverses the order of subject and predicate, and renders “ Christus ist mein Leben, und Sterben ist mein Gewinn ”-Christ is my life, and death is my gain. This exposition is adopted by Storr and Flatt, the former of whom attaches the first clause to the preceding verse. OEcumenius had also paraphrased αὐτὸν ἔχω τὴν ζωήν . But the translation is forbidden by the use of the infinitive with the article as the subject, and by the position of the terms. Rilliet looks upon ζῆν as referring to the higher spiritual life- la vie par excellence-la vie seule digne de ce nom, and as in contrast with τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί in Philippians 1:22. But this last phrase, so far from being in contrast with τὸ ζῆν in this verse, is only exegetical of it. The life which the apostle refers to is life on earth, opposed to death, or the cessation of his present being-the ζωή of the preceding verse. And the contrast implied in ἀποθανεῖν would be all but destroyed. He speaks of continuance on earth, and of departure from it, and shows how, in each case, Christ should be magnified in his body.
Christ, says the apostle, shall be magnified in my body by life, “for to me to live is Christ.” The position of ἐμοί shows the special stress which the writer lays upon it. He speaks solely of himself and his personal relation. The force of the ethical dative is “in so far as I am personally concerned.” It does not mean “in my judgment,” as Beelen gives it both in his commentary and his recently-published grammar, § 31, B. The phrase τὸ ζῆν is similarly found in some authors, as quoted by Wetstein. If I live, he affirms, my life shall be Christ, an expressive avowal indeed. The use of such terms shows the completeness of Paul's identification with Christ. Christ and life were one and the same thing to him, or, as Bengel puts it- quicquid vivo, Christum vivo. Might not the sentiment be thus expanded? For me to live is Christ-the preaching of Christ the business of my life; the presence of Christ the cheer of my life; the image of Christ the crown of my life; the spirit of Christ the life of my life; the love of Christ the power of my life; the will of Christ the law of my life; and the glory of Christ the end of my life. Christ was the absorbing element of his life. If he travelled, it was on Christ's errand; if he suffered, it was in Christ's service. When he spoke, his theme was Christ; and when he wrote, Christ filled his letters. There is little doubt that the apostle refers in his utmost soul to the glorification of Christ by the diffusion of the gospel. It had been so, and the spirit of his declaration is, that it would be so still. Nay, it was his pride or his effort to preach where the name of Jesus had never been proclaimed. He liked to lay the foundation, leaving the erection of the structure to others. He chose the distant parts of labour and danger-the “regions beyond”- and he would not “boast in another man's line of things made ready to his hand.”
And when did the apostle utter this sentiment? It was not as he rose from the earth, dazzled into blindness by the Redeemer's glory, and the words of the first commission were ringing in his ears. It was not in Damascus, while, as the scales fell from his sight, he recognized the Lord's goodness and power, and his baptism proclaimed his formal admission to the church. Nor was it in Arabia, where supernatural wisdom so fully unfolded to him the facts and truths which he was uniformly to proclaim. It sprang not from any momentary elation as at Cyprus, where he confounded the sorcerer, and converted the Roman proconsul. No, the resolution was written at Rome in bonds, and after years of unparalleled toil and suffering. His past career had been signalized by stripes, imprisonment, deaths, shipwreck, and unnumbered perils, but he did not regret them. He had been “in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness,” but his ardour was unchilled; and let him only be freed, and his life prolonged, and his motto still would be “For me to live is Christ.” It did not repent the venerable confessor now, when he was old, infirm, and a prisoner, with a terrible doom suspended over him, that he had done so much, travelled so much, spoken so much, and suffered so much for Christ. Nor was the statement like a suspicious vow in a scene of danger, which is too often wrung from cowardice, and held up as a bribe to the Great Preserver, but forgotten when the crisis passes, and he who made it laughs at his own timidity. No. It was no new course the apostle proposed-it was only a continuation of those previous habits which his bondage had for a season interrupted. Could there be increase to a zeal that had never flagged, or could those labours be multiplied which had filled every moment and called out every energy? In fine, the saying was no idle boast, like that of Peter at the Last Supper-the flash of a sudden enthusiasm so soon to be drowned in tears. For the apostle had the warrant of a long career to justify his assertion, and who can doubt that he would have verified it, and nobly shown that still, as hitherto, for him to live was Christ? He sighed not under the burden, as if age needed repose; or sank into self-complacency, as if he had done enough, for the Lord's commission was still upon him, and the wants of the world were so numerous and pressing, as to claim his last word, and urge his last step. It was “such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ,” who placed on record the memorable clause, inscribed also on his heart “for me to live is Christ.”
καὶ τὸ ἀποθανεῖν κέρδος “and to die is gain.” The tense of the verb is changed in this clause from the present to the past. In the first clause, the presence or duration of life- τὸ ζῆν -is Christ; but in the second clause it is not the act of dying, but the result of it, or that which supposes it to be past and over- τὸ ἀποθανεῖν -which is gain. Wiesinger expresses the real difficulty of this clause, when he says- “from its close relation to μεγαλυνθήσεται , we expect an explanation of how Christ is to be magnified by the apostle's death; but κέρδος really expresses nothing upon it.” To surmount this difficulty, some apply the κέρδος to Christ. Müller says- quod autem alteram versus partem attinet, et mori est lucrum, i.e., sors etiam exoptatior, scriptor haud dubie in animo habebat, quod oppositum flagitat; et si mihi moriundum est morior Christo, itaque etiam morte mea Christus celebratur; sed fervidiore animi commotione abrepto, alia cogitatio obversatur quae eum id quod dicturus erat plene proloqui non sinit. This explanation necessitates a filling up of the sentence, which its simplicity neither needs nor warrants. The emphatic ἐμοί confines the κέρδος personally to the apostle. Nor is there any ground on the same account for the exegesis of Grotius- morte mea aliquos Christo lucrabor; or that of Heinrichs- sin subeundum supplicium, vel inde lucrum enascetur, et laetitiores faciet res Christiana profectus. Nor does Wiesinger himself meet the difficulty which himself describes. He looks back especially to the 19th verse, and to the phrase “it shall turn out for salvation to him, according to the firmly-cherished hope, that Christ will be magnified in him, whether by life or by death, since to him individually it is all one whether he should live or die, whether Christ should be magnified by his life or by his death.” This is true so far, for the apostle speaks personally- ἐμοί . But still, if he say -Christ shall be magnified in my death-you expect him to say how, since he has explained the parallel clause-Christ shall be magnified in my life. Wiesinger inserts the thought “it is all the same to me whether He be magnified by the one way or the other;” an assertion which may be true in itself, and warranted by what follows, but something more than can be borne out by the simple γάρ . And even with this explanation, κέρδος does seem to involve some element of glorification to Christ, as Wiesinger admits, but does not explain. There is no doubt that ἐμοί means-as far as regards myself individually; and there is no doubt that the clause-for me to live is Christ, explains how Christ should be magnified in his life. And we therefore take it for granted, that the next clause explains how Christ should be glorified in his death. And how? Because that death would be gain, and the fact of its being gain to him was a magnification of Christ. “For me to live is Christ, and I shall magnify Him; and to die is gain, and therefore He is magnified in it.” There are thus two questions-why death was gain, and how in that gain Christ was magnified?
Death, it cannot be doubted, was gain to the apostle in a personal sense. It removed him from suffering and disquietude, lifted him up out of a prison, and translated him into the presence of Christ. It gave him heaven for earth, enjoyment for labour, and spiritual perfection for incomplete holiness. It brought him into the presence of his exalted Lord, to bear His image, live in His splendour, and hold pure and uninterrupted fellowship with Him. That gain is not to be counted-it surmounts calculation. It was to leave the imperfect society of earth for the nobler fellowship of the skies; to pass from service involving self-denial, tears, and suffering, to the crown which cannot fade; to rise above the process of discipline involving constant watchfulness and prayer, to a perfe t assimilation to his Divine Master. There is also a comparison implied in κέρδος . While life would be Christ, death would be Christ too, but in a far higher sense. Still there would be the glorification of Christ, but in another form, and the superiority of the last to the first is indicated by κέρδος . To live is “Christ;” but, as he himself says, death is “to be with Christ,” and therefore, in comparison with life, it is gain. For it would be Christ to him more fully than life could be-Christ to be praised for ever, without the clog of an animal frame to exhaust the worshipper, or the warring of the law in his members to distract or suspend his adoration and joy. And in his possession of such a gain, Christ would be magnified, for His love had prepared it, His death had brought it within his reach, and His grace and spirit had prepared him for it. And if he should be called to suffer as a martyr, and such a prospect could not but rise before the mind of a prisoner in the praetorium, pending an appeal to the frantic and ungovernable Nero, then his courage and constancy in sealing his testimony with his blood, and in being made conformable to his Lord's death, would of itself glorify Christ in the exhibition of that meek and majestic demeanour, which the consciousness of Christ's presence alone could inspire and sustain. The expression about the gain of death seems to have been of proverbial currency. Socrates (Plato, Apolog. 32) declares under certain suppositions- κέρδος ἔγωγε λέγω ; but Lucian pronounces as might be expected- οὐδενὶ τὸ θανεῖν κέρδος . Many examples in which death is called loss, ζημία , may be found in Wetstein. Libanius, Or. xxvi., says, with a feeling very different from the apostle's- οἷς βαρὺ τὸ ζῆν , κέρδος ὁ θάνατος . So in Sophocles, Antig. 474. Bos, Exercit. p. 193.
(Philippians 1:22.) Εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκὶ , τοῦτό μοι καρπὸς ἔργου , καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι , οὐ γνωρίζω “But if to live in the flesh, if this to me be fruit of labour, and what I shall choose, I know not.” The general purport of this verse with its connection is pretty apparent, but from its compactness it is not easy to furnish a strict analysis. The apostle felt that both in life and death, Christ should be magnified, and in the preceding verse he assigns the reason; nay, it would seem that he prefers that Christ should be glorified in his death, as death to him would be gain. But in a moment he feels that really he ought to have no preference. By the use of κέρδος he has given a preference to death; but the commands of Christ, the claim of the churches, and the wants of the world, rush upon him, and he so far retracts his preference as to allow, that if prolonged life be necessary to the full harvest of his ministry, he will not make a choice. He had virtually made a choice in saying “death is GAIN;” but still, if there was more work for him on earth, he would at least hesitate in coming to a decision. And then he depicts his state of mind; there is in it the strong desire to depart and be with Christ, which nobody can doubt is far better; but there is also the obligation, if the Lord so will it, to abide on earth, and be of service in the gospel.
The particle εἰ is syllogistic, or puts a case, and may be almost rendered by “since,” as it presents a fact in the form of a premiss. Δέ is continuative, but introduces a contrast. It is plain that τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί describes his natural life or its prolongation, as if there had been present to his mind an ideal contrast between the higher and future life unclothed, which is involved in κέρδος , and the present and lower form of embodied existence on earth. It does not seem necessary, with Beza, van Hengel, and others, to attach any collateral idea to σάρξ , such as that of frailty- afflicta et misera. Galatians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Hebrews 2:14. There are different ways of pointing and reading the verse, most of them abounding more or less in supplement. Hoelemann thus disguises and reads it- εἰ δὲ τὸ ζῆν καρπὸς ἐν σαρκὶ τοῦτό ( i.e., τὸ ἀποθανεῖν ), μοι καρπὸς ἔργου “but if to live be fruit in the flesh, or mere earthly fruit, then this (that is, death) is to me fruit in reality.” But the contrasts here supposed are not tenable-that of τό with τοῦτο , and of σαρκί with ἔργου . Granting that debility and fragility are often associated with σάρξ , yet we can scarcely take ἐν σαρκί as an adverbial phrase qualifying κάρπος understood; nor can ἔργου , even with such a contrast, signify “in reality.” We should have expected ἐν ἔργῳ at the least; but ἔργον never has such a meaning, even in the phrase which Hoelemann adduces- ἐν λόγῳ ἢ ἐν ἔργῳ (Colossians 3:17), where it signifies in act, and not in reality. It may be remarked that καρπός has been apparently suggested by κέρδος -the last is gain ultimate and positive; the other is the fruit of apostolic service in the present life. The apostle is ready to resign for a season the κέρδος , that he may reap a little longer this intermediate καρπός .
Another interpretation which takes καρπὸς ἔργου in an unwarranted sense, is that of Beza, followed by Cocceius and several other critics, who give the words the Latin sense of operae pretium, thus- An vero vivere in carne mihi operae pretium sit, et quid eligam, ignoro “Whether to live in the flesh be worth my while, and what I shall choose, I know not.” In sentiment, this exegesis is opposed to the distinct assertions of the following verses. The apostle could not be ignorant whether it were of advantage to remain on earth- nay, he takes it for granted that it was worth his while to stay, as his life was needful to the churches, and would result in the furtherance and joy of their faith. Nor can καρπὸς ἔργου be well rendered into operae pretium. Besides, if in dependence on οὐ γνωρίζω , the clause εἰ τὸ ζῆν and the clause καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι do not correspond in structure. The exegesis we have just considered is virtually that of Conybeare, who renders “but whether this life in the flesh be my labour's fruit, and what I shall choose, I know not.” The place given to τοῦτο in the translation cannot be defended, and it is liable generally to the last objection stated.
A third form of exegesis supplies ἐστί μοι , and makes a complete sentence of the words down to καὶ τί “And if to live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour,” as in the Authorized Version. If I am to live, then I shall have the more fruit of my labour, as Bengel says- hunc fructum inde habeo, ut plus operis facere possim. He takes the words καρπος ἔργου as if in apposition- Paulus ipsum opus pro fructu habet. A similar exposition was held by Pelagius, and is also adopted by Storr, Flatt, and Matthies, who renders- wenn aber das Leben im Fleische so ist mir dieses ein - καρπὸς ἔργου “if there is life in the flesh, it is to me fruit of labour.” This exegesis, which makes the second clause form the apodosis, seems, besides introducing a supplement, to render καί superfluous in the next clause, and introduces a grating ellipse.
A fourth mode of explanation supposes an aposiopesis, and therefore endeavours to express the latent thought of the apostle. Thus Zegerus “and if to live in the flesh is the fruit of my labour, and if to die is gain, then what to choose I wot not.” That is to say, the apostle is supposed not to express the second member of the sentence- alterum jam mente pertractans. Rilliet's paraphrase is “I ought not to desire death;” and it is to this mental thought that the apostle adds “and I know not which I should choose.” Müller holds a similar supposition. Nobody doubts the existence of such a figure of speech, though critics have unduly multiplied instances of it. But it is found principally in sentences uttered under excitement, where well-known idioms occur, or where words are supplied by tone and gesture. There, in fact, appears no necessity for reverting to it here, though the meaning brought out is generally correct.
The Greek fathers generally, Luther, Calvin, Heinrichs, Schrader, van Hengel, De Wette, Meyer, Wiesinger, Bisping, Peile, Ellicott, and Alford, connect the verb γνωρίζω with the clause before it, and regard the words down to καί as forming one sentence. De Wette's version is “If life in the flesh, this be my labour's fruit, what I shall choose, I know not.” Meyer's paraphrase is “but if remaining in fleshly life, this, and none other, is to me fruitful for my official work, so am I in uncertainty as to the choice which I should make between both.” Among such as hold this view, which we regard as the right one, there are minor differences, and also errors.
The pronoun τοῦτο represents and sums up the entire phrase - τὸ ζῆν ἐν σαρκί . See under Ephesians 2:8. There is no Hebraism in the usage, as Glassius supposes, Phil. Sac. 1.177. The use of ἐκεῖνα in Mark 7:15, referred to by Winer, § 23, 4, is somewhat similar. Bernhardy, § 283. If to live in the flesh, “ this,” Meyer says “this, and not death.” Perhaps he makes the contrast rather strong. It may be “ this ” on which I have laid so little stress, as to call death in comparison with it gain. We cannot agree with Meyer in rendering καρπός - emolumentum, nor does Romans 1:13 sustain such a sense. It means product or result, the context showing of what nature it is. The genitive ἔργου refers to his special work. Acts 13:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:13. It is not the genitive of object, as if the meaning were “fruitful for the work,” but the genitive of subject, and is simply “fruit from my work,” or in connection with it. The apostle then affirms virtually that his continuance in life would be tantamount to reaping additional fruit in his work. If he lived, he should work, and that work by God's blessing would not be in vain. The train of thought is this: he had said “for me death is gain;” but in an instant he pauses, not to retract the thought, but to subordinate it to present duty, for abode on earth would yet add to the spiritual harvest which his labours had produced. As if he meant to say-but since to live in the flesh, since this will be fruit to me from my labour, then I know not what choice to make. And so the Syriac reads: פִרֶא אִית לִיבַעִבודַי .
The apostle thus shows, that it was not weariness of life, chagrin, or present evil, that prompted the expression “death is gain.” Very different was his motive from that expressed by the pagan- θανεῖν ἄριστόν ἐστι ἢ ζῆν ἀθλίως “better die than live miserably.” Phil. apud Stobaeum. His was a calm and settled conviction; and had there been no more work for him on earth, he would have longed to enjoy the gain. So that he did not know what election to make-on which alternative to place the preference:-
καὶ τί αἱρήσομαι οὐ γνωρίζω “and what I shall choose, I know not.” The τί stands for the more precise πότερον -as quis for uter in Latin. Matthew 9:5; Matthew 21:31, etc. The verb γνωρίζω usually signifies to make known or declare, and many, as Rheinwald and van Hengel, give it such a meaning here- non dico. Bengel has- non explico mihi. Probably the meaning is “I do not apprehend,” and thus it is different from οἶδα and γινώσκω . Ast, Lex. Plat. sub voce. It seems to intimate, that with a desire or effort to know, such knowledge could not be attained. “And what I shall choose, I cannot make out.” The future αἱρήσομαι is used for the subjunctive. Winer, § 41, 4, b. The two forms have very much the connection which the forms “will” and “would” originally had in English. The verb is in the middle voice “what I shall take for myself.” The principal difficulty, however, is in relation to καί , at the beginning of the sentence. Peile takes it as the apostle's substitute for the Hebrew vau, and quotes, as strictly analogous, a line of the Agamemnon - καὶ τίς τόδ᾿ ἐξίκοιτ᾿ ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος “and what messenger could come with such speed?” But there is not a full analogy, for the question occurs in a dialogue. Clytemnestra had asserted that Troy was taken just last night; the Chorus cannot credit the intelligence, but knowing the great distance of the city, cry- “And what messenger could come with such fleetness?” In Scottish dialogue, it is very common to put “and” at the commencement of a question which implies either doubt or wonder “And how did it happen?” etc. Crocius and Heinsius take καί in a somewhat similar way, and give, as an illustration, Mark 10:26 - καὶ τίς δύναται σωθῆναι ; but the passages are by no means analogous. It is also out of the question to render καί , ideo or sane, or by any other explanatory particle. The καί is to be taken as signifying and or also, and as placed at the commencement of the apodosis. Of this there are many examples in the New Testament, and among the classical writers. Hartung, I.130. It carries this sense, that what follows καί is described as the result of what precedes, or as in close connection with it. This granted, “and” that will follow. The meaning then is-if to remain in the flesh, if this be to me labour's fruit, I am flung back on the other alternative, and what I shall choose, I wot not. If I look simply at result, “to die is gain,” I have no hesitation; but there is the other idea, that “to live is Christ;” I therefore find myself in a dilemma, and know not which to select. In the following verse, the apostle states the alternatives more distinctly.
(Philippians 1:23.) Συνέχομαι δὲ ἐκ τῶν δύο “But I am pressed on account of the two.” There is no doubt that δέ is preferable to γάρ , as it has the great majority of MSS., versions, and quotations in its favour. The verb συνέχομαι denotes-to be held together, distressed, or perplexed, as in Luke 12:50; Acts 18:5; 2 Corinthians 5:14. In using ἐκ , the apostle points out the sources of his strait; and, by δύο with the article, he marks the alternatives stated in the preceding, and not in the succeeding context, as Rheinwald and Müller suppose. He has just said “what to choose I wot not,” and the choice lay between two things, life and death; and now he adds- between these two I am held in suspense. Müller seems to imagine that a retrospective reference would have required ἐξ ἐκείνων δύο . The following clauses, however, though not grammatically referred to in δύο , are yet contained in it, and are now more fully explained in the text.
The apostle describes his dilemma, and it is an extraordinary one. Though he had a strong desire for heaven, and, indeed, had been in it (2 Corinthians 12:1-4) and knew it, yet was he willing to forego the pleasure for the sake of Christ's church on earth. For he thus describes himself-
τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι καὶ σὺν Χριστῷ εἶναι “having,” or “inasmuch as I have the desire for departing and to be with Christ.” The verb ἀναλύω signifies to unloose, to depart, and then emphatically to depart from life. 2 Timothy 4:6. It is needless to inquire on what the image is based; whether, as Jaspis and Elsner maintain, on the departure of guests from a feast; or whether, as Perizonius supposes, from equestrian custom; or, as others conjecture, from the weighing of the anchor prior to the sailing of the vessel; or, as Müller preceded by Gataker imagines, from the nomad custom of striking the tent before the march. Departure, as the name or image of death, is so natural and so universal, that one needs not to give it any special or local origin. It is wrongly translated in the Vulgate by dissolvi, derived perhaps from the classical use of solvo. Drusius absurdly conjectured that the active stood for a passive. Compare also Schoettgen, Horae Heb. 1.796. The construction with εἰς is rather unusual- 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 -for ἐπιθυμία is usually construed with the genitive, and sometimes with the infinitive preceded by the article. There is no reason to take it for the genitive, τοῦ ἀναλῦσαι ; and we agree with Meyer that εἰς τὸ ἀναλῦσαι stands in relation to the entire clause- τὴν ἐπιθυμίαν ἔχων ; the language having a certain strength and emphasis. That desire pointed steadily and uniformly εἰς , “in the direction of” decease. Winer, § 49, a, δ . The result of departure is to be “with Christ,” and therefore death was gain. The apostle was in no ignorance as to his future state. His death was not to him simply a departure from earth, or as Socrates (Plato, Apolog. 32) vaguely and cheerlessly calls it, a removal - εἰς ἄλλον τόπον . He knew what awaited him; and his fondest view of heaven is expressed by the term- σὺν Χριστῷ . And so in 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:10, preceded by John 12:26; John 17:24. He rejoices to look on heaven in its positive aspect. It is to him the presence of Christ, and not merely deliverance from the evils of life; not merely-
“To leave all disappointment, care, and sorrow;
To leave all falsehood, treachery, and unkindness;
All ignominy, suffering, and despair,
And be at rest for ever.”
Of death, as an escape from such miseries, he does not speak, though few had felt them so severely, for he had been weak in every man's weakness, and burned with every man's offence. 2 Corinthians 11:29. To him life is Christ, and death is being with Christ-the same blessedness in two aspects and stages, with no time or region of dreary unconsciousness between. He knew where Christ was, and where he should be with Him- “at the right hand of God;” and he defers his “gain” to no remote period, which supposes the resurrection to be passed, but contemplates the being with Christ as the sure and immediate result of that departure which he desired. Though his body should have fallen into the tomb, he speaks of himself as being with Christ, himself though unembodied-assured of his identity, and preserving his conscious personality, and so being with Christ, as to derive from such fellowship enjoyments so pure and ample, that the thought of it impels him to ecstasy:-
πολλῷ γὰρ μᾶλλον κρεῖσσον “for it is much by far better.” The language is exuberant, the simple comparative being increased by another, μᾶλλον , and both intensified by πολλῷ . Mark 7:36; Winer, § 35, 1. The authorities as to γάρ are divided. It has in its favour, A, B, and C, but it is omitted in D, E, F, G, J, K. Some of them have πόσῳ for πολλῷ . Tischendorf and Lachmann prefer γάρ , and perhaps rightly. The preference of death over life was a personal matter. It was better for him; far better for him to be with Christ, than to be away from Christ; far better to enjoy Christ than to preach Christ; far better to praise Him than to suffer for Him; far better to be in His presence in glory, than to be bound in a prison for Him at Rome. The contrast in the apostle's mind, and as is evident from Philippians 1:21, is not between heaven and earth generally, or between a world of sin and trial and death, and a region of spiritual felicity and beauty, but specially between the service of Christ here, and fellowship with Him in glory. Even on the lowest view of the matter, his avowal indicates the superior knowledge which the gospel had furnished to the world. How melancholy the last words of Socrates in the famed Apology - ὁπότεροι δὲ ἡμῶν ἔρχονται ἐπὶ ἄμεινον πρᾶγμα , ἄδηλον παντὶ πλὴν ἢ τῷ θεῷ . Plat. Op. ii. p. 366, ed. Bek. Individually, the servant of Christ would not for a moment hesitate in making his choice; as a saint, he could not have the slightest doubt; but as an apostle, he felt that if earth was to be the scene of further successes for Christ, he would yet consent to stay upon it, would, with all his longing to depart, and with all his predilection for being with Christ, still remain away from Him, for the benefit of the churches. For he adds-
(Philippians 1:24.) Τὸ δὲ ἐπιμένειν ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ ἀναγκαιότερον δἰ ὑμᾶς “But to abide in the flesh is more necessary on account of you.” To remain in the flesh, or to continue in my present life- τῇ σαρκί -is placed in contrast to his departure. And he calls this survival “more necessary,” not more beneficial, as Loesner, Am Ende, and others change it. The phrase δἰ ὑμᾶς is “for your sakes, on your account”-placing his readers in strong antithesis to himself and his own personal likings. The force of the comparative ἀναγκαιότερον has been variously resolved. Meyer understands it-as if the remaining were more needful than the departure; van Hengel-that it is too necessary to allow of his longing being realized. Nor is there any need of saying, with Alford, “that the comparison contains in itself a mixed construction between ἀναγκαῖον and αἱρετώτερον , or the like.” And it is refinement in Ellicott to suggest a personal ἀναγκαῖον opposed to the comparative-departure a thing felt needful, but remaining a thing more needful. There is undue pressure in each of these forms of exegesis. The apostle says, departure is better, stay more necessary; the one better for himself, and the other more necessary for the churches. The form of thought is changed. The κρεῖσσον , already expressed in reference to himself, is not repeated in reference to his converts-better for me to decease, better for you that I stay; but the idea of “better” is deepened into “more necessary,” and is thus the more palpably bodied out, so as to give foundation to the avowal of the following verses.
(Philippians 1:25.) Καὶ τοῦτο πεποιθὼς οἶδα ὅτι μενῶ καὶ παραμενῶ πᾶσιν ὑμῖν “And being persuaded of this, I know that I shall remain, and remain with you all.” The τοῦτο is governed by πεποιθώς , not by οἶδα , and refers to the sentiment of the last clause “Being assured of this, that abiding in the flesh is more needful for you.” In expressing the idea of his stay, the apostle, in the fulness of his heart, uses two verbs, first μενῶ and then παραμενῶ . Tischendorf prefers the unusual compound συμπαραμενῶ , found in E, J, K, and some of the Greek fathers, whereas παραμενῶ has the primary authority of A, B, C, D 1 , F, G. The second verb becomes personal in its reference, “I shall remain, and remain with.” Not only should he survive, but survive in their company-the datives πᾶσιν ὑμῖν being governed by παρά in composition. Another compound of the same verb, ἐπιμένειν , had been already employed in Philippians 1:24. The verb οἶδα retains its ordinary meaning, though the object known may be something with a future existence. And the effect of his remaining with them is next stated-
εἰς τὴν ὑμῶν προκοπὴν καὶ χαρὰν τῆς πίστεως “for the advancement and joy of your faith.” The genitive πίστεως is not, as by van Hengel and Baumgarten-Crusius, to be separated from προκοπήν , and attached solely to χαράν , as if the meaning were “for your advancement, and for the joy of your faith;” nor can this hypothesis be reversed, as by Beausobre- pour votre avancement dans la foi et pour votre joie, “for your progress in faith and for your joy.” Nor yet is Macknight correct in rendering, “for the advancement of the joy of your faith.” Nor is the phrase a hendiadys, as Am Ende and Flatt resolve it-that there may be a joyful increase of your faith. It refers equally to both nouns. Winer, § 19, 4; Middleton, p. 368. One end was-the advancement of their faith. It would be greatly increased by the apostle's presence and teaching, might grow into deeper vigour, and widen in the circuit of its objects. And his stay would be also for the joy of their faith. The genitive is in both cases that of possession. Their faith possessed a susceptibility of progress, and it would be excited and urged on; that faith, too, possessed or had in it an element of joy, which would be quickened and developed. There is no good reason for Ellicott's view in relation to the two nouns, that the genitive has a difference of aspect, in the last case being that of origin. Joy does spring out of faith- the genitive of origin; but faith may be equally well regarded as possessed of the joy which it originates. Alford makes the genitive that of subject, but this in the case of the second noun appears awkward; their faith was to increase, that is, to be the subject of increase; and also to rejoice: but joy has more of a personal character. Progress and joy are therefore predicated as equally belonging to their faith, or as equally possessed by it.
(Philippians 1:26.) ῞Ινα τὸ καύχημα ὑμῶν περισσεύῃ ἐν Χριστῷ ᾿Ιησοῦ ἐν ἐμοί “That your matter of boasting may abound in Jesus Christ in me.” The ἵνα introduces a further purpose, and καύχημα is matter of boasting. Romans 4:2; 1 Corinthians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 9:15. We cannot, with Ellicott, regard this clause as merely a definite and concrete form of the previous abstract statement “for the furtherance and joy of your faith.” It contains a concrete representation, but it also describes an ulterior purpose. It supposes the increase of their joy and faith, and expresses what this should effect. And the matter of boasting is not vaguely their Christian state, or their possession of the gospel, but the conscious result brought out in the last clause of the previous verse. That matter of boasting was to abound in Christ Jesus-He being the inner sphere of its abundance. The connection adopted by Rilliet is wrong, for he joins ἐν Χ . ᾿Ι . to καύχημα , as if the meaning were, that their boasting was occasioned- par leur union avec Christ. The phrase ἐν ἐμοί , on the other hand, marks the outer element or sphere of this matter of boasting. We cannot agree with Alford in giving ἐν two senses in these two clauses, as if it described the field of increase, on its first occurrence, and were to be rendered “by means of,” on its second occurrence. We think that it bears the same signification in both instances- that in both it describes the sphere of abounding joy-first, higher and spiritual-in Christ; and secondly, lower and mediate-in the apostle. And in him for the following reason-
διὰ τῆς ἐμῆς παρουσίας πάλιν πρὸς ὑμᾶς “on account of my coming again to you.” While ἐν has marked one relation of this abounding joy to the apostle, διά points out another of a public or instrumental nature. In the occurrence of παρουσία - πρός , the primary force of the preposition is not lost. The return of the released prisoner to Philippi would be of incalculable benefit. It would furnish occasion for deeper and more extended lessons on Christianity, so as that their faith might make progress, and its joy might be resuscitated, and this possession of a faith conscious of progress and buoyant with gladness, would furnish matter of abundant boasting in Christ Jesus, through the apostle's visit.
In the previous paragraph, the apostle makes no allusion to the Second Advent. Some, indeed, have held that originally he imagined that he was to survive till that period, but that afterwards he gradually and completely changed his mind; his belief being once, that Christ was coming to take him, but ultimately, that he must depart, in order to be with Christ. Now, it will not do to apply the dictum of Professor Jowett, that “Providence does not teach men what they can teach themselves,” for in Paul's case he received the gospel “by the revelation of Jesus Christ,” and surely a doctrine so important must have been among the lessons supernaturally communicated, for it formed an essential portion of the truth. Nor will it suffice to say, with Alford, that as Jesus did not know the day himself, higher knowledge cannot be expected of His servant. Mark 13:32. Granting that this interpretation of Christ's words is correct, yet surely the same ignorance could not be predicated of the exalted Saviour, whose Spirit dwelt in the apostle, for the delegation of all power to Him must ensure the possession of all knowledge. Besides, to say that the apostle did not know the period, is not a sufficient argument, for he does not admit his ignorance; nay, on the contrary, as these scholars hold, he taught that the Second Coming was an imminent event. He who says, in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians “then,” that is, after the dead in Christ are raised, “we which are alive and remain shall be caught up,” if he meant to affirm that he and those to whom he wrote would survive till the Lord's descent, must have very soon altered his belief, for in a letter written to the same church shortly afterwards, he bids them on no account, and under no teaching, whatever its pretensions, to entertain the notion that the day of Christ was at hand. Then he sketches a portentous form of spiritual tyranny and impiety, which must be developed and destroyed prior to the Second Coming, and yet, in the very same document, he prays God to direct the hearts of his readers “into patient waiting for Christ.” Could the apostle, after what he had written, still believe that Christ was coming in his own day, or did he suppose that himself was to witness the growth, maturity, and overthrow of the Man of Sin? In the Epistle to the Romans also, he describes the inbringing of the Jewish race, but at that time, this inbringing could be regarded as no event very soon to happen, for they were enemies so malignant, that he prays and asks the Roman Christians to pray with him, that he “may be delivered from them.” We cannot therefore believe, with such indications of his earliest sentiments before us, that the apostle, after waiting in vain for his Lord's coming, changed or modified his view. Nor in the discourses recorded in the Acts do we find any tokens of such fluctuation. In his address at Athens, he refers to a day in which God will “judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained,” and as the resurrection precedes the judgment, that Man Himself calls this period of His wondrous power “the last day.” John 6:39-40. Nor can we for a moment admit to Jowett, that Jesus Himself shifts His ground in His various answers to questions as to the time of His coming, for the different replies indicate that the “coming” was by the questioners differently understood. Could the same Speaker understand His “coming” in the very same sense, when He speaks of Jerusalem compassed with armies, as one token of it, and yet affirms that the gospel must be preached to all nations before the “end” shall come? Can the words “I will come again and receive you unto myself”-have the same fulfilment as these other words “When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all nations”?
The declaration “I have a desire to depart”-is by no means at variance with that other avowal “not for that we would be unclothed.” 2 Corinthians 5:4. In the chapter where this last statement occurs, the apostle still says “Willing rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord” -verse 8. The reluctance to be unclothed is natural, the spirit does not will to be unfleshed, but it submits to the intermediate process of divestment, only as a step toward ultimate and spiritual investiture - toward being finally “clothed upon.” Or the meaning may be-we would prefer to be at once “clothed upon,” without dying at all, that our mortal part may be “swallowed up,” absorbed and assimilated by life, as in the translation of Enoch and Elijah, and in the sudden transmutation which shall pass over living believers when the Saviour comes. But in this paragraph of Second Corinthians there is no allusion to such coming, as forming any part of the argument; the course of illustration being suggested and conditioned by the initial statement as to the dissolution of the earthly tabernacle.
The apostle has expressed himself very confidently as to his survival, liberation, and proposed visit to the Philippian church. He could scarcely have made a stronger asseveration “Having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all; that your rejoicing may be more abundant, by my coming to you again.” Was the apostle's confidence warranted? Or was his anticipation verified? According to the chronology adopted by some, only a brief period elapsed between the writing of this letter and the decapitation of the apostle, the epistle being written in 62 or 63 A.D., and the martyrdom taking place in 64. Others affirm that the apostle was released as he expected, and that he made another and a last missionary tour into Asia Minor, passing over to Macedonia, and being “filled with the company” of the church at Philippi. The question of a second imprisonment at Rome has been long and keenly agitated, but this is not the place to enter into any analysis of the conflicting evidence derived either from traditionary hints, or certain exegetical inferences in the pastoral epistles. Suffice it to say, that difficulties are great on either hypothesis, and that such men as Baronius, Tillemont, Usher, Pearson, Mosheim, Hug, Gieseler, Neander, Olshausen, and Alford are on one side; while Petavius, Lardner, Hemsen, De Wette, Winer, Wieseler, Davidson, Schaff, and Meyer are on the other, holding that there was only one imprisonment. The apostle's assertion in the preceding paragraph is firm and decided; but we dare not argue upon it, because it comes into direct collision with an assertion as firm and decided, in Acts 20:25 “And now I know that ye all among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.” If the apostle were imprisoned but once, the declaration written to the Philippians is not in accordance with fact; and if he were released, and allowed again to travel, then the previous declaration spoken to the Ephesian elders at Miletus was not in accordance with fact. So that in the discussion, no stress can be laid on the apostle's own language-the οἶδα of Philippians 1:25, which would favour a release and a second imprisonment, being balanced by the οἶδα of Acts 20:25, which would as certainly discountenance it. The announcement of Philippians 1:25 sprang from deep longing and affection, and is rather the outburst of emotion than the utterance of prophetic insight. For by the time the apostle comes to the middle of the second chapter, the impulse of the moment had passed away, his confidence had drooped, the shadow had fallen upon him, and he writes under a different forecasting “Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all. I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.” Still different is his sentiment when he thus addresses Philemon “Withal prepare me also a lodging, for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.” Amidst these alternations, perhaps this last saying expresses the real or prevailing state of the apostle's mind-his hope that the prayers of the church might be heard for him, and that God, in gracious answer to them, might prolong his life and his usefulness. It seems therefore to be taught us, that the apostle had no revelations ordinarily as to his own personal future; and that, though he possessed the Holy Spirit when he expounded the gospel, and therefore expounded it without error or the possibility of it, he was unable to divine what was to befall himself in time to come, save in so far as it was formally communicated to him. Such revelations were not essential to the discharge of his duty, and were no portion of that truth which he was inspired to make known. Nay more, as if to show us that himself recognized such a distinction as we have been making, he says “And now, behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there;” but he adds, that this ignorance was dissipated, though only in a general way- “save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.” Acts 20:22-23. Inspiration for official labour was necessarily bestowed, and did not descend to the minor sphere of personal contingencies. It did not keep Paul from errors of opinion as to the course of his travels “We were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia” “They assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not.” Acts 16:6-7. Nor did it preserve in him a perfect recollection of the past, for he could not tell at the moment how many persons he had baptized at Corinth. 1 Corinthians 1:16. We have thus endeavoured to meet the difficulty suggested by the text, and such a solution is surely better than with many to dilute the plain meaning of οἶδα into probabiliter sperare, or to adopt the adventurous paraphrase of Peile “Of this I feel quite sure, that in the event of my continuing in the flesh, it will be for your furtherance and joy in the faith.”
The apostle now passes from these more personal matters. As the hope of revisiting his Philippian converts, and gladdening them with his presence, rose up before him, he naturally, as if in anticipation of this result, and in preparation for it, asks them to live and act in the meantime in harmony with their profession, especially to cherish a true unity in defence of the gospel, and to exhibit a fearless courage in front of their antagonists. For their self-possession would be a token of perdition to such adversaries, but to themselves one of salvation. And this divine augury they were to accept and trust in, inasmuch as it was given them to suffer for Christ, as well as to believe in Him; faith being the means of salvation, and suffering its index. Then, and to inspirit them under such tribulation, the apostle likens their conflict to his own-such as they had seen it at Philippi, and now heard of it as still raging at Rome. The idea of unity recurs to his mind while he speaks of the conflict, for unity was indispensable to success, and he reverts to it in the beginning of next chapter. The joy which he anticipated on his visit depended on their cultivation of it, and it was essential also to that “fellowship for the gospel” by which they had been so eminently characterized, and for which he gave unceasing thanks to God.
(Philippians 1:27.) Μόνον ἀξίως τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ πολιτεύεσθε “Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” The adverb μόνον gives oneness to the advice, places it by itself, as if in solitary prominence “my impressions being as I have described them, this one or sole thing would I enjoin upon you in the meanwhile.” In Galatians 2:10; Galatians 5:13, the adverb is used with similar specialty. Here it is placed emphatically before the verb, as in Matthew 8:8; Matthew 9:21; Matthew 14:36. Gersdorf, Beiträge, etc., p. 488. The verb πολιτεύεσθε occurs only here in the Epistles, but is used by the apostle of himself. Acts 23:1. It denotes to be a citizen in a state, or to live as such a citizen, and then generally to live, to conduct oneself. Passow, sub voce. In Thucydides 6.92, Alcibiades says, in self-vindication, “I kept my patriotism only while I enjoyed my civil rights”- ἐπολιτεύθην ; but the verb came at length to be used quite vaguely. Here, however, it defines life in its public aspect, and is often so employed. Thus, in 2Ma 6:1 ; 2Ma 11:25 , it occurs with νόμοις in the first instance, and ἔθη in the second, denoting that according to which life is or should be regulated. It is found often in Josephus, and is a favourite term with the Church Fathers. See Wetstein, Suicer, Krebs, and Loesner for examples. The apostle, in similar exhortations, uses περιπατεῖν , as in Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12. In each of these cases, as here, that verb is construed with ἀξίως , followed respectively by τῆς κλήσεως ; τοῦ κυρίου , and τοῦ θεοῦ . For a somewhat similar purpose the apostle employs ἀναστρέφεσθαι . 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 13:18; Ephesians 2:3. A πολίτευμα is implied, and all who form it, or are its citizens, are to demean themselves in harmony with the gospel. For the nature of the Christian πολίτευμα , which may have suggested this πολιτεύεσθε , see under Philippians 3:20. The apostle, in his choice of this peculiar verb in preference to his more favourite one, looks at them as members of a community, bound closely by reciprocal connections, and under obligations to various correspondent duties, and therefore “the gospel of Christ” should be the norm or standard by which they ought to be guided. The genitive τοῦ Χ . is that of origin-the gospel which Jesus has communicated. Winer, however, prefers to take it as the genitive of object, § 30, 1. But the phrase quoted by him and Ellicott does not sustain their view “the gospel of God concerning His Son.” The genitive Θεοῦ is there that of origin, and the object is introduced by περί . Why should εὐαγγέλιον Χ . differ from εὐαγγέλιον Θεοῦ ? The meaning then is-this sole request do I make, live as the gospel prescribes; and as the genitive τοῦ Χ . and the last clause of the verse would seem to suggest, let your church-life be in harmony with its spirit and precepts-that rectitude, courage, and love, which Christ illustrated in His teaching, and exemplified in His life. And one purpose of the injunction was-
ἵνα εἴτε ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ὑμᾶς εἴτε ἀπὼν ἀκούσω τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν “in order that, whether having come and seen you, or whether being absent, I may hear of your affairs.” The construction is idiomatic; the verb ἀκούσω belongs properly and formally to εἴτε ἀπών “or whether being absent, I may hear;” but it belongs really also to the first clause- εἴτε ἐλθών , and stands in antithesis to ἰδών . The construction is therefore not full or perfect, and various supplements have been proposed. Meyer suggests that the course of thought is -that “whether having come and seen you, I may hear from your own mouths how your affairs are, or else being absent, I may hear of them from others.” But the contrast is too specially marked to be thus eked out; for the idea of being present with them and seeing them, carries in it the thought that all information would be at once obtained. Others supply a verb “in order that, whether having seen you, or whether being absent I hear of your affairs, I may know that ye stand fast.” De Wette and Alford espouse this view. Van Hengel repeats the verb “in order that, whether having come and seen you, or whether being absent, I hear of your affairs, I may hear that ye stand fast.” Rilliet supposes a zeugma-the verb ἀκούσω referring specially to ἀπών , and generally, but less correctly, expressing the result of ἰδών . The verse is informal from its hurried thought-the ἀκούσω being emphatic, and the sense of the first clause remaining incomplete. The supposition of his absence is last expressed, and that dwelling on his mind moulds or appropriates the construction; the verb that would have been used on the hypothesis of seeing them is dropped, and that which implies his absence is alone expressed. The construction is easily understood, and it needs not a formal supplement. As a question of psychology, it is interesting to note that the apostle's mind, though under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, moved with perfect ease and freedom, and fell into those colloquial idioms and loose disturbed constructions, which so naturally happen when a warm-hearted man is rapidly and confidentially throwing his thoughts into a letter. By the phrase τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν is meant generally “your affairs or condition” -not absolutely, as Rheinwald and Matthies suppose, for the general phrase τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν is explained and specialized by the clause ὅτι στήκετε . Hoelemann's resolution of the idiom as an anakolouthon is very clumsy, supposing that ὅτι may be omitted, and στήκετε ( στήκητε ) connected with ἵνα ; or supposing that the article may be dropt before περὶ ὑμῶν , as in the versions of the Vulgate and Syriac. The precise element of their condition, which the apostle wished to hear about, is next told-
ὅτι στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι “that ye are standing in one spirit.” For the attraction involved in the construction of ἀκούσω with ὅτι , see Winer, § 66, 5. The verb στήκω , formed from ἕστηκα , and wholly unknown to classic usage, is often used of Christian condition-4:1; 1 Thessalonians 3:8 - and often expresses the adjoined idea of permanence or that of resolve and promptitude to maintain what is already possessed or enjoyed. 1 Corinthians 16:13; Gal 5:1 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:15. The image here is that of spiritual conflict, to which unity of action on their part was indispensable. The πνεῦμα is not the Holy Spirit, as is maintained by Erasmus, Beza, Matthies, and van Hengel. For the following phrase, μιᾷ ψυχῇ , shows that the apostle describes the Christian spirit. He hoped to hear that they stood in one spirit-pervaded with one genuine spiritual emotion-and not arrayed into separate parties with divided sentiments. And he further explains what this unity should engage in-
μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου “with one soul striving together for the faith of the gospel.” It is wrong on the part of Chrysostom and others to join μιᾷ ψυχῇ to στήκετε . Some of the ancient versions, such as the Syriac and Vulgate, follow the same syntax. The participle συναθλοῦντες , while it points to antagonism, also implies co-operation among themselves. The συν refers to themselves, and not to any co-operation with the apostle, as Luther, Beza, Bengel, van Hengel, and Meyer suppose. The reference in Philippians 1:30, to the apostle's own conflict, is to something which they had seen in the past, and could imagine in the present- something to which their conflict was similar, but yet separate in reality. The object for which or on behalf of which they were to contend, is the faith of the gospel, πίστει being the dativus commodi, or as Theodoret gives it, ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας . Jude 1:3. This is better than, with Calvin, Beza, and Rheinwald, to understand πίστει as the dative of instrument-the weapon with which the conflict is to be maintained. The view of Erasmus, adopted by Mynster, is still worse, for it personifies faith, and paraphrases thus- adjuvantes decertantem adversus impios evangelii fidem. By πίστει εὐαγγελίου is not meant God's calling of the Gentiles without subjecting them to the ceremonial law, as Pierce supposes, for Judaizing opponents are not in question. Nor can πίστις signify objectively the system of truth contained in the gospel-a sense which it never undisputedly has in the New Testament, though such a usage is very frequent among Christian writers of later times. In the passages adduced by Robinson as bearing this sense, there will be found the distinctive idea of belief-not truth in the aspect of something presented for belief, but of something forming the matter of belief. The apostle uses both πνεῦμα and ψυχή , and therefore recognized a distinction between them. In their separate use they are apparently interchangeable; for though they really represent different portions or aspects of our inner nature, it may be loosely designated by either of them. But the adjectives πνευματικός and ψυχικός are contrasted in reference to the body-1 Corinthians 15:44; and there is a similar contrast of character in Jude 1:19. Πνεῦμα is the higher principle of our spiritual nature, that which betokens its divine origin, and which adapts it to receive the Holy Spirit, and in which He works and dwells. Ψυχή , on the other hand, is the lower principle-the seat of instinct, emotions, and other powers connected with the animal life. It is allied to καρδία , but πνεῦμα to νοῦς . Πνεῦμα is the term applied generally to Christ in the Gospels; but in the account of the agony ψυχή occurs- ψυχή and σῶμα make up living humanity. Olshausen's Opuscula, p. 145; Usteri, Paulin. Lehrbeg. p. 404. The Philippians were to stand in one spirit, united in their inmost conviction, and they were to strive with one soul-those convictions not allowed to be latent, but stirring up volition, sympathy, and earnest co-operation. Such concord was essential to success, and on their possession of it the apostle's joy on his proposed visit to Philippi greatly depended. Chap. Philippians 2:2. Wiesinger says, “even the caricature of true unity of mind and soul, a self-formed esprit de corps, what a power it has! What ought our church to be, what might it be, were it but to attest this uniting power of the divine Spirit?” If there be oneness of conviction and belief, should there not be “one spirit”? and if there be oneness of feeling, interest, and purpose, should there not be “one soul”? and as concert is indispensable to victory, should there not be mutual co-operation “striving together ”? But not only are unity and mutual support necessary to this conflict on behalf of the faith-there must also be a calm and stedfast courage.
(Philippians 1:28.) Καὶ μὴ πτυρόμενοι ἐν μηδενὶ ὑπὸ τῶν ἀντικειμένων “And in nothing terrified by the adversaries.” Luke 13:17; Luk 21:15 ; 1 Corinthians 16:9. The participle πτυρόμενοι , a word originally applied to a sacred animal, is parallel to the previous συναθλοῦντες . They were to feel a panic in no respect, or in nothing were they to manifest trepidation or alarm. As those “adversaries” were known to themselves, the apostle does not specify them, and whatever their number, stratagem, or ferocity, the Philippian athletes were not to waver for a moment, far less to retreat. Their enemies were either the malignant Jewish or Pagan population which surrounded them, and made them “suffer,” and before whose machinations some might be tempted to a compromise, or even to a relapse. The awful explanation is subjoined-
ἥτις ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς ἔνδειξις ἀπωλείας ὑμῶν δὲ σωτηρίας - “which is to them a token of perdition, but to you of your salvation.” The reading is disputed. The words ἥτις ἐστὶν αὐτοῖς have weighty authority. Some MSS., such as A, B, C 2 , have ὑμῶν , but some, not of equal value, have ὑμῖν , and others ἡμῖν . Meyer, Lachmann, and Alford prefer ὑμῶν , as if ὑμῖν had been corrected and adapted to αὐτοῖς . The relative ἥτις is feminine by attraction with ἔνδειξις , and has for its antecedent the preceding clause. Winer, § 24, 3; Kühner, § 786, 3. The peculiar form of this pronoun is also explicative, or expresses an opinion. Ephesians 3:13. “And in nothing intimidated by your adversaries: inasmuch as this non-alarm on your part is a token to them of perdition, but to you of salvation.” The noun ἔνδειξις is “evidence” marked and manifest. Romans 3:25; 2 Corinthians 8:24. The Vetus Itala renders it by ostensio, and the Vulgate by causa, a rendering which Erasmus and a-Lapide attempted to shield, and which, though Beelen does not receive it, seems to have suggested to him the following strange statement- Obiter nota, perspicue hic doceri dogma de merito bonorum operum. ᾿Απώλεια , in contrast with σωτηρία , is spiritual ruin, and αὐτοῖς is governed by ἔνδειξις . The courage of the sufferer is proof to the persecutor of his sin, whether he will take it or not, and is also a witness to himself of his final bliss and safety. Very strange is the turn which Pierce gives to the clause “which conduct of yours they will esteem a certain evidence of your destruction.” This is against the plain meaning. Pierce wrongly supposes the adversaries to be Judaizers, and with such men it is no new thing to make those things conditions of salvation which God has not, and “then unmercifully to damn those who do not submit to them.” The token to the adversary of his perdition must be, that in the unshaken stedfastness of the Christian sufferer, he may infer the truth of the belief which sustains him so to do and dare, and learn what must be his own doom, if he continue to oppose it, and persecute its adherents. On the other hand, were the adversary to terrify the convert, or induce him to hesitate or recant, then such cowardice or vacillation would naturally lead him to despise a religion which could be so easily renounced, or was valued less than life, and he would be confirmed in his blindness and cruelty:-
καὶ τοῦτο ἀπὸ Θεοῦ “and this from God.” The reference in τοῦτο is to the sentiment of the whole verse, and not, as Matthies and Hoelemann hold, to the perdition and salvation; nor simply to the salvation, as Calvin, Piscator, and Flatt argue; nor yet, as Wolf and Alford take it, merely to ἔνδειξις . Neither can τοῦτο refer to the following verse, as Clement of Alexandria and Theodoret understand it, followed by Am Ende and Rilliet. In Ephesians 2:8, 1 Corinthians 6:6, the reference in a similar τοῦτο is to a previous sentiment, and in the verse before us the construction, on any other hypothesis, would be awkward and tautological. It is not the token itself which is from God, but the token with what it points to, and what gives it significancy. The courageous constancy of the sufferer is a sign to the adversary of his perdition, and to its own possessor of salvation, and the whole is of God. Not simply salvation, but the token of salvation; not simply perdition, but the token of it-this unique and singular phenomenon is of God. Rom 8:17 ; 2 Timothy 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:5. The apostle, in the next place, proves and illustrates the statement.
(Philippians 1:29.) ῞Οτι ὑμῖν ἐχαρίσθη τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ οὐ μόνον τὸ εἰς αὐτὸν τιστεύειν , ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ πάσχειν - “For to you was it granted, on behalf of Christ not only to believe on Him, but also on behalf of Him to suffer.” The pronoun ὑμῖν has an emphatic prominence. The aorist is used, as the apostle refers indefinitely to an early period of their past Christian history; but that the suffering continued, also, to the moment of his writing, is evident from the following ἔχοντες . As Wiesinger remarks, Meyer wrongly confines ὅτι to the confirmation of the clause καὶ τοῦτο ἀπὸ Θεοῦ . We understand the reference to be broader, to cover, in fact, the statement of the entire preceding verse. It is not simply -the token to you is of God, for on you He has conferred the double grace of faith and suffering; but it is-you have a token of salvation which others have not; for, while others have faith, you have more. You are called to suffer, and your courage in suffering is an augury of salvation. Had you not been privileged to suffer as well as to believe, this peculiar token had not been enjoyed. Or, why have you this token of salvation in your own Christian fortitude? Because God has given you to suffer, as well as to believe. Faith in Christ is the means of salvation; but suffering is the evident token of salvation. The one secures it, the other foreshows it. The martyr is not saved, indeed, because he suffers; but his undaunted suffering betokens a present Saviour and a near salvation.
The construction of the next clause is reduplicated. After saying τὸ ὑπὲρ Χ ., the apostle seems to have intended to add πάσχειν ; but he interjects a new thought- οὐ μόνον -for the sake of an illustrative emphasis, and then resumes by repeating ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ . There is no occasion to suppose a pleonasm. The construction indicates a natural and full-minded writer, who sometimes interrupts the regular flow of his thoughts by the sudden insertion of a modifying or explanatory clause, and then at once resumes, by a formal or a virtual repetition of the connecting words. Romans 3:25-26; Ephesians 1:13. The English version is therefore wrong in taking τὸ ὑπὲρ Χ . absolutely “to you it is given in the behalf of Christ.” It is a weak dilution of the phrase ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ , to render it “in Christ's cause,” as is done by Matthies and Rilliet, after Beza and Zanchius. The suffering has a reference as personal as the faith- εἰς αὐτόν - ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ . The apostle felt that Christ's cause and Himself were one; nay more, so personal was the love of the early Christians, so much did the Redeemer Himself stand out in close relation to themselves, that the mere abstract idea of his cause never occurred to them. It was Himself on whom they believed, and not the testimony given by the apostles concerning Him. It was Himself for whom they suffered, and not for their own convictions and belief about Him. It had been given them, not only to believe on Christ, but also to suffer for Him-a double gift; and though the apostle does not say which is the higher, yet certainly that which shows the path may be inferior only to that which has opened it. Matthew 5:11-12; Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 12:10. Such suffering in believers, who, nevertheless, are in nothing terrified by their adversaries, is a divine gift, as well as faith, and indeed presupposes it; for no one can suffer for Christ till he has believed on Him. While then τὸ εἰς αὐτὸν πιστεύειν is ὄργανον σωτηρίας , this τὸ ὑπὲρ Χριστοῦ πάσχειν becomes ἔνδειξις σωτηρίας . The older expositors strain the apostle's language, when they employ it as a polemical weapon against different forms of Pelagianism: for he simply regards their condition generally and in both its features as a divine gift, or as the result of God's kindness. While their own adherence to Christianity exposed them to suffering, and the malice of unbelief wantonly wreaked itself upon them, yet this suffering is viewed as of a higher origin. The apostle is not teaching dogmatically that faith is of God's inworking; but he is telling historically that faith and suffering had been theirs, and that the coexistence of the two being a privilege of divine bestowment, warranted them to regard their undaunted belief as a token of salvation. The reasons adduced by Chrysostom and his followers for the apostle's sentiment cannot be all sustained. The object of the apostle is to encourage the Philippian church, and not, as Chrysostom supposes, to warn it against pride, by ascribing its faith and its suffering alike to God. The Greek father dwells on the value of the gift, and uses this striking comparison-this divine gift is higher than raising the dead; “for, in this case, I am only a debtor;” but, “in the other” (“if I suffer for Christ”), “I have Christ as a debtor to me.” The language is bold, indeed, and rhetorical, and not without an element of truth. But deductions like these are rather far-fetched; nor do the apostle's words warrant them. His one object is to inspirit the Christians at Philippi, by showing that undauntedness in the midst of their tribulation would be an evidence of salvation granted by God; for the twofold gift of faith and suffering is from Him, the one as securing, and the other as foretokening salvation. The apostle now associates himself with his suffering brethren-
(Philippians 1:30.) Τὸν αὐτὸν ἀγῶνα ἔχοντες οἷον εἴδετε ἐν ἐμοὶ καὶ νῦν ἀκούετε ἐν ἐμοί “As you have the same conflict which you saw in me, and now hear of in me.” The construction is changed to the nominative- ὑμεῖς being directly before the writer's mind-you the sufferers; the clause with ὑμῖν being so far subsidiary, but not making a formal parenthesis Winer, § 63, I, 2; Kühner, § 677. The apostle describes their struggle by asserting its similarity to his own, as if to show them that such suffering might have been anticipated, and that it ought, by them as by him, to be borne in hope and patience.
The form εἴδετε is the true reading, and is now generally adopted. The last phrase- ἐν ἐμοί -is not, as the Vulgate renders it- de me. It supposes the ideal presence of those to whom he wrote, and points out the scene of conflict. They had seen his conflict with enemies on his first visit to them- Acts 16:16, etc.; 1 Thessalonians 2:2 -and they now heard in this epistle of his being engaged at Rome in a similar warfare. The apostle seems to allude to what he had been stating as to his condition at Rome, and to the personal antagonism which he encountered. Meyer refers us back to Philippians 1:7, overlooking what the apostle had just been writing about himself. It is both on the part of the Philippians and himself a conflict with personal enemies or non-believers-not precisely with teachers of false doctrine. The apostle, while some preached of envy and strife against him, was imprisoned, and these rival preachers thought to stir up affliction to his bonds, but failed, while his enemies and accusers strove, no doubt, to bring him to trial and death. There may have been a party from Palestine waiting to charge him before the emperor's tribunal; and with them, and all whom they instigated to seek his life, he was in conflict. It is evident that he spoke from experience when he tells the Philippians of the double grace of faith and suffering-verses 7 and 29.
The entire paragraph, though it do not take the form of admonition after the first clause of Philippians 1:27, is still to the same effect; and the apostle, by so earnestly describing the condition of which he wished to hear as belonging to them, virtually exhorts them to seek and maintain it. If he hoped to hear certain things about them, such as their struggle in concert for the faith of the gospel, and their unscared courage before their enemies, it is implied that they should possess those features of social state and character. And what is this when divested of these immediate peculiarities, but that “fellowship for the gospel,” on account of which he thanked God on his whole remembrance of them, and which had distinguished them “from the first day until now”? In the 5th verse, he mentions generally “fellowship for the gospel” as the prime distinction of the Philippian church; and in this last section he only throws it into bold relief, by describing the united struggle it necessitated, the opposition it encountered, and the calm intrepidity which it ought ever to maintain.
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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Philippians 1". Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https://www.studylight.org/
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