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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Philippians 4

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 4

Philippians 4:3. Instead of ναί Elz. has καί, against decisive witnesses.

Instead of σύζυγε γνήσιε, γνήσιε σύζυγε should be written, with Lachm. and Tisch., upon preponderating evidence.

On decisive testimony, in Philippians 4:12, instead of οἶδα δὲ ταπ. (Elz.), οἶδα καὶ ταπ. is to be received. The δέ has taken its rise from the last syllable of οἶδα; hence we also find the reading δὲ καί.

Philippians 4:13. After με Elz. has χριστῷ, in opposition to A B D* א, vss. (also Vulgate) and Fathers. Defended by Reiche, but it is an addition from 1 Timothy 1:12, from which passage also are found the amplifications in Or, χ. ἰησοῦ and χ. . τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.

Ver 16. εἰς] wanting in A D* E**, min. vss. and Fathers. Bracketed by Lachm. But after δισ, ἐισ might the more readily be omitted, as it seemed superfluous, and might, indeed, on account of the absence of an object for ἐπέμψ., appear offensive.

Philippians 4:19. With Lachm. and Tisch., the form τὸ πλοῦτος is to be adopted upon decisive testimony. See on 2 Corinthians 8:2.

Philippians 4:23. τάντων ὑμῶν] A B D E F G P א**, min. Copt. Sahid. Aeth. Arm. Vulg. It. Damasc. Ambrosiast. Pel. have τοῦ πνεύματος ὑμῶν. So Lachm. and Tisch. Taken from Galatians 6:18, whence also in Elz. ἡμῶν has likewise crept in after κυρίου.


Verse 1

Philippians 4:1. Conclusion drawn from what precedes, from Philippians 4:17 onwards. We are not justified in going further back (de Wette refers it to the whole exhortation, Philippians 3:2 ff., comp. also Wiesinger, Weiss, Hofmann), because the direct address to the readers in the second person is only introduced at Philippians 4:17, and that with ἀδελφοί, as in the passage now before us; secondly, because the predicates ἀγαπητοὶστέφανός μου place the summons in that close personal relation to the apostle, which entirely corresponds with the words συμμιμηταί μου γίνεσθε in Philippians 4:17; thirdly, because ὥστε finds its logical reference in that which immediately precedes, and this in its turn is connected with the exhortation συμμιμηταί κ. τ. λ. in Philippians 4:17; and lastly, because οὕτω in Philippians 4:1 is correlative to the οὕτω in Philippians 3:17.(175)

ὥστε] accordingly; the ethical actual result, which what has been said of the ἡμεῖς in. Philippians 3:20 f. ought to have with the readers. Comp. Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

ἀγαπητοί κ. τ. λ.] “blandis appellationibus in eorum affectus se insinuat, quae tamen non sunt adulationis, sed sinceri amoris,” Calvin.

How might they disappoint and grieve such love as this by non-compliance!

ἐπιπόθητοι] longed for, for whom I yearn (comp. Philippians 1:8); not occurring elsewhere in the N. T.; comp. App. Hisp. 43; Eust. Opusc, p. 357. 39; Aq. Ezekiel 23:11 ( ἐπιπόθησις); Psalms 139:9 ( ἐπιπόθημα); Ael. N. A. vii. 3 ( ποθητός).

στέφανος] comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:19; Sirach 1:9; Sirach 6:31; Sirach 15:6; Ezekiel 16:12; Ezekiel 23:42; Proverbs 16:31; Proverbs 17:6; Job 19:9. The honour, which accrued to the apostle from the excellent Christian condition of the church, is represented by him under the figure of a crown of victory. Comp. στέφανον εὐκλείας μέγαν, Soph. Aj. 465; Eur. Suppl. 313; Iph. A. 193, Herc. F. 1334; Thuc. ii. 46; Jacobs, ad Anthol. IX. p. 30; Lobeck ad Aj. l.c.; also στεφανοῦν (Wesseling, ad Diod. Sic. I. p. 684), στεφάνωμα, Pind. Pyth. i. 96, xii. 9, στεφανηφορεῖν, Wisdom of Solomon 4:2, and Grimm in loc. The reference of χαρά to the present time, and of στέφ. to the future judgment (Calvin and others, comp. Pelagius), introduces arbitrarily a reflective distinction of ideas, which is not in keeping with the fervour of the emotion.

οὕτω] corresponding to the τύπος that has just been set forth and recommended to you (Philippians 3:17 ff.). Chrysostom, Theophylact, Oecumenius, Erasmus, Calvin, Bengel, and others, interpret: so, as ye stand, so that Paul “praesentem statum laudando ad perseverantiam eos hortetur,” Calvin. This is at variance with the context, for he has just adduced others as a model for his readers; and the exhortation would not agree with συμμιμ. μ. γίνεσθε, Philippians 3:17, which, notwithstanding all the praise of the morally advanced community, still does not presuppose the existence already of a normal Christian state.

ἐν κυρίῳ] Comp. 1 Thessalonians 3:8. Christ is to be the element in which the standing fast required of them is to have its specific character, so that in no case can the moral life ever act apart from the fellowship of Christ.

ἀγαπητοί] “ περιπαθὴς haec vocis hujus ἀναφορά,” Grotius. In no other epistle so much as in this has Paul multiplied the expressions of love and praise of his readers; a strong testimony certainly as to the praiseworthy condition of the church, from which, however, Weiss infers too much. Here, as always (Romans 12:19; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 10:14; Hebrews 6:9, et al.), moreover, ἀγαπητοί stands as an address without any more precise self-evident definition, and is not to be connected (as Hofmann holds) with ἐν κυρίῳ.


Verse 2

Philippians 4:2 f. After this general exhortation, Philippians 4:1, the apostle, still deeply concerned for the community that is so dear to him, finds it requisite to give a special admonition to and for two meritorious women,(176) through whose disagreement, the details of which are unknown to us, but which probably turned on differences of their working in the church, a scandal had occurred, and the στήκειν ἐν κυρίῳ might more or less be imperilled. Whether they were deaconesses in Philippi (as many conjecture), must remain undecided. Grotius has erroneously considered both names, Hammond and Calmet only the second, to be masculine,(177) and in that case αὐταῖς in Philippians 4:3 is made to apply to others (viz. αἵτινες κ. τ. λ.). For the two feminine names on inscriptions, see Gruter and Muratori. With Tischendorf and Lipsius (Gramm. Unters. p. 31), συντυχή is to be treated as oxytone. Comp. generally Kühner, I. p. 256. The twice used παρακ.: “quasi coram adhortans seorsum utramvis, idque summa cum aequitate,” Bengel. An earnestly individualizing ἐπι΄ονή (Bremi, ad Aeschin. p. 400).

τὸ αὐτὸ φρον.] see on Philippians 2:2.

ἐν κυρ.] characterizes the specifically Christian concord, the moral nature and effort of which are grounded on Christ as their determining vital principle. Paul does not desire a union of minds apart from Christ.

Whether the disunion, which must be assumed, had its deeper root in moral pride on account of services in the cause of the gospel (Schinz), is not clear.


Verse 3

Philippians 4:3. Indeed, I entreat thee also, etc. This bringing in of a third party is a confirmation of the previous admonition as regards its necessity and urgency; hence the ναί; comp. Phlippians 1:20. See also on Matthew 15:27.

σύζυγε is erroneously understood by Clemens Alexandrinus, Isidorus, Erasmus, Musculus, Cajetanus, Flacius, and others, as referring to the wife of the apostle; an idea which, according to 1 Corinthians 7:8, compared with 1 Corinthians 9:5, is at variance with history (see, already, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact), and at the same time at variance with grammar, as the adjective must in that case have stood in the feminine (Test. XII. Patr. p. 526; Eur. Alc. 314, 342, 385). Others understand the husband of one of the two women (so, although with hesitation, Chrysostom, also Theophylact, according to whom, however, he might have been a brother, and Camerarius; not disapproved by Beza); but what a strangely artificial designation would “genuine conjux” be! Weiss prefers to leave undecided the nature of the bond which connected the individual in question with the two women. But if, in general, a relation to the women were intended, and that apart from the bond of matrimony, by the term σύζυγε Paul would have expressed himself very awkwardly; for the current use of the word σύζυγος, and also of συζυγής (3 Maccabees 4:8) and σύζυξ (Eur. Alc. 924), in the sense of conjux (comp. συζευγνύναι, Xen. Oec. 7. 30; Herodian, iii. 10. 14), must have been well known to the reader. The usual mode of interpreting this passage (so Flatt, Rheinwald, Hoelemann, Matthies, de Wette, following Pelagius and Theodoret) has been to refer it to some distinguished fellow-labourer of the apostle, well known, as a matter of course, to the readers of the epistle, who had his abode in Philippi and deserved well of the church there by special services. Some have arbitrarily fixed on Silas (Bengel), and others quite unsuitably on Timothy (Estius), and even on Epaphroditus (Vatablus, Grotius, Calovius, Michaelis, van Hengel, and Baumgarten-Crusius), whom Hofmann also would have us understand as referred to, inasmuch as he regards him as the amanuensis of the epistle, who had therefore heard it dictated by the apostle, and then heard it again when it came to be read in the church, so that he knew himself to be the person addressed. What accumulated invention, in order to fasten upon Epaphroditus the, after all, unsuitable confession before the church that he was himself the person thus distinguished by the apostle! According to Luther’s gloss, Paul means “the most distinguished bishop in Philippi.” Comp. also Ewald, who compares συμπρεσβύτερος, 1 Peter 5:1. But how strange would such a nameless designation be in itself! How easily might the preferential designation by γνήσιος have seemed even to slight other fellow-labourers in Philippi! Besides, Paul, in describing his official colleagues, never makes use of this term, σύζυγος, which does not occur elsewhere in the N.T., and which would involve the assumption that the unknown individual stood in quite a special relation to the apostle corresponding to this purposely-chosen predicate. Laying aside arbitrariness, and seeing that this address is surrounded by proper names (Philippians 4:2-3), we can only find in σύζυγε a proper name, in which case the attribute γνήσιε corresponds in a delicate and winning way to the appellative sense of the name (comp. Phlippians 1:11); genuine Syzygus, that is, thou who art in reality and substantially that which thy name expresses: “fellow-in-yoke,” i.e. yoke-fellow, fellow-labourer. We may assume that Syzygus had rendered considerable services to Christianity in Philippi in joint labour with the apostle, and that Paul, in his appellative interpretation of the name, followed the figurative conception of animals in the yoke ploughing or thrashing (1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18), a conception which was suggested to him by the very name itself. The opposite of γνήσιος would be: οὐκ ὄντως ὤν (comp. Plat. Polit. p. 293 E), so that the man with his name Syzygus would not be ἐπώνυμος (Eur. Phoen. 1500; Soph. Aj. 430), Jacobs, ad Del. Epigr. p. 272 f. He bore this his name, however, as ὄνομα ἐτήτυμον (Del. Epigr. v. 42). This view of the word being a proper name—to which Wiesinger inclines, which Laurent decidedly defends(178) in his Neut. Stud. p. 134 ff. and Grimm approves of in his Lexicon, and which Hofmann, without reason, rejects (179) simply on account of the usus loquendi of γνήσιος not being proved—was already held by τινές in Chrysostom; comp. Niceph. Call. ii. p. 212 D Oecumenius permits a choice between it and the explanation in the sense of the husband of one of the two women. It is true that the name is not preserved elsewhere; but with how many names is that the case? Hence it was unwarranted to assume (Storr) a translation of the name κολληγᾶς (Joseph. Bell. vii. 3. 4), in connection with which, moreover, it would be hard to see why Paul should have chosen the word σύζυγος elsewhere not used by him, and not συνεργός, or the like.(180) To refer the word to Christ, who helps every one to bear his yoke (Wieseler), was a mistake.

συλλαμβ. αὐταῖς] lay hold along with them, that is, assist them (Luke 5:7; Herod, vi. 125; Xen. Ages. 2. 31; Wunder, ad Soph. Phil. 280; Lex. Plat. III. p. 294), namely, for their reconciliation and for restoring their harmonious action.

αἵτινες] utpote quae, giving the motive, comp. Philippians 1:28; see on Romans 1:25; Romans 2:15; Romans 6:2, et al.

ἐν τῷ εὐαγγ.] the domain, in which they, etc. Comp. Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:2. It was among women that the gospel had first struck root in Philippi (Acts 16:13), and it is to be assumed that the two women named had rendered special service in the spread and confirmation of Christianity among their sex, and therein had shared the conflict of affliction and persecution with Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:2). On συνήθλησαν, comp. Philippians 1:27.

΄ετὰ καὶ κλή΄εντος κ. τ. λ.] and in what fellowship, so honourable to them, have they shared my conflict for Christ’s sake? in association also with Clement and, etc. The reference of the καί is to ΄οι; their joint-striving with Paul had been a fellowship in striving also with Clement, etc.; they had therein stood side by side with these men also. On καὶκαί, the first καὶ meaning also, comp. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 891; on its rarer position, however, between preposition and noun, see Schaefer, Ind. ad Gregor. Cor. p. 1064; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 143; Kühner, II. 1, p. 480 f. The connection of μετὰ κ. κλ. κ. τ. λ. with συλλα΄β. αὐταῖς (Coccejus, Michaelis, Storr, Flatt, J. B. Lightfoot, Hofmann) is opposed by the facts, that Paul has committed the service of mediation to an individual, with which the general impress now given to this commission is not in keeping, and that the subsequent ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ. τ. λ., in the absence of any specification of the churches, would neither be based on any motive nor intelligible to the readers, and would be strangest of all in the event of Paul’s having intended, as Hofmann thinks, to indicate here the presbyters and deacons mentioned in Philippians 1:1. The λοιποὶ συνεργοί, as well as generally the more special circumstances of which Paul here reminds his readers, were—if ΄ετὰ καὶ κ. τ. λ. be joined with συνήθλησάν ΄οι, beside which it stands—historically known to these readers, although unknown to us.

That Clement was a teacher in Philippi (so most modern expositors; according to Grotius, a presbyter in Philippi, but “Romanus aliquis in Macedonia negotians”), must be maintained in accordance with the context, seeing that with him those two Philippian women laboured as sharing the conflict of the apostle; and of a travelling companion of this name, who had laboured with the apostle in Macedonia, there is no trace to be found; and seeing that the λοιποὶ συνεργοί also are to be regarded as Philippians, because thus only does the laudatory expression ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ. τ. λ. appear in its vivid and direct set purpose of bespeaking for the two women the esteem of the church. The more frequent, however, in general the name of Clement was, the more arbitrary is the old view, although not yet known to Irenaeus (3:3. 3), that Clement of Rome is the person meant.(181) So most Catholic expositors (not Döllinger), following Origen, ad Joh. i. 29; Eusebius, H. E. iii. 15; Epiphanius, Haer. xxvii. 6; Jerome, Pelagius, and others; so also Francke, in the Zeitschr. f. Luth. Theol. 1841, iii. p. 73 ff., and van Hengel, who conjectures Euodia and Syntyche to have been Roman women who had assisted the apostle in Rome, and had travelled with Epaphroditus to Philippi. See generally, besides Lünemann and Brückner, Lipsius, de Clem. Rom. ep. p. 167 ff.; J. B. Lightfoot, p. 166 ff.; and Hilgenfeld, Apost. Väter, p. 92 ff.

ὧν τὰ ὀνόμ. κ. τ. λ.] refers merely to τῶν λοιπῶν κ. τ. λ., whom Paul does not adduce by name, but instead of this affirms of their names something so great and honourable. God has recorded their names in His book, in which are written down the future partakers of the everlasting Messianic life; so surely and irrevocably is this life assigned to them. What Paul thus expresses by this solemn figure, he knew from their whole Christian character and action, in which he recognised by experience “quasi electionis(182) absconditae sigilla” (Calvin). See, moreover, on Luke 10:20, and Wetstein on our passage; it is different in Hebrews 12:23 (see Lünemann in loc). ἐστί must be supplied, not the optative, as Bengel thinks; and it must remain an open question, whether the persons referred to (among whom Ewald reckons Clement) are to be regarded as already dead (Bengel, Ewald), which is not to be inferred from ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ. τ. λ.; see Luke 10:20; Hermas, Pastor i. 1. 3. It is at all events certain that this predicate, which Paul nowhere else uses, is an especially honourable one, and does not simply convey what holds true of all Christians (so Hofmann in connection with his erroneous reference of μετὰ καὶ κ. τ. λ.). At Luke 10:20, and Revelation 13:8 also, it is a mark of distinction.


Verse 4

Philippians 4:4 f. Without any particle of transition, we have once more general concluding admonitions, which begin by taking up again the encouraging address broken off in Philippians 3:1, and now strengthened by πάντοτε—the key-note of the epistle. They extend as far as Philippians 4:9; after which Paul again speaks of the assistance which he had received.

πάντοτε] not to be connected with πάλιν ἐρῶ (Hofmann), which would make the πάλιν very superfluous, is an essential element of the Christian χαίρειν; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:16; 2 Corinthians 6:10. Just at the close of his epistle the apostle brings it in significantly. Paul desires joyfulness at all times on the part of the believer, to whom even tribulation is grace (Philippians 1:7; Philippians 1:29) and glory (Romans 5:3), and in whom the pain of sin is overcome by the certainty of atonement (Romans 8:1); to whom everything must serve for good (Romans 8:28; 1 Corinthians 3:21 f.), and nothing can separate him from the love of God (Romans 8:38 f.).

πάλιν ἐρῶ] once more I will say. Observe the future, which exhibits the consideration given to the matter by the writer; consequently not equivalent to πάλιν λέγω, 2 Corinthians 11:16; Galatians 1:9. καλῶς ἐδιπλασίασεν, ἐπειδὴ τῶν πραγμάτων φύσις λύπην ἔτικτε, διὰ τοῦ διπλασιασμοῦ δείκνυσιν, ὅτι πάντως δεῖ χαίρειν, Chrysostom.

τὸ ἐπιεικὲς ὑμῶν] your mildness [Lindigkeit, Luther], that is, your gentle character, as opposed to undue sternness (Polyb. v. 10. 1 : ἐπιείκεια καὶ φιλανθρωπία, Lucian, Phal. Proverbs 2 : ἐπιεικὴς κ. μέτριος, Herodian, ii. 14. 5, ix. 12; 1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 3:2; James 3:17; 1 Peter 2:18; Psalms 85:5; Add. to Esther 6:8; 2 Maccabees 9:27). Comp. on 2 Corinthians 10:1. The opposite: ἀκριβοδίκαιος, Arist. Eth. Nic. v. 10. 8, σκληρός. As to the neuter of the adjective taken as a substantive, see on Philippians 3:8; comp. Soph. O. C. 1127. It might also mean: your becoming behaviour; see e.g. the passages from Plato in Ast, Lex. I. p. 775. But how indefinite would be such a requirement as this! The general duty of the Christian walk (which Matthies finds in the words) is not set forth till Philippians 4:8. And in the N. T. ἐπιεικ. always occurs in the above-named special sense.

γνωσθήτω πᾶσιν ἀνθρ.] let it be known by all men, through the acquaintance of experience with your conduct. Comp. Matthew 5:16. The universality of the expression (which, moreover, is to be taken popularly: “let no man come to know you in a harsh, rigorous aspect”) prohibits our referring it to their relation to the enemies of the cross of Christ, against whom they should not be hatefully disposed (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact), or to the enemies of Christianity (Pelagius, Theodoret, Erasmus, and others), or to the Judaists (Rheinwald), although none of these are excluded, and the motive for the exhortation is in part to be found in the outward circumstances full of tribulation, face to face with an inclination to moral pride.

The succession of exhortations without any outward link may be psychologically explained by the fact, that the disposition of Christian joyfulness must elevate men quite as much above strict insisting upon rights and claims as above solicitude (Philippians 4:6). Neither with the former nor with the latter could the Christian fundamental disposition of the χαίρειν ἐν κυρίῳ subsist, in which the heart enlarges itself to yielding love and casts all care upon God.

κύριος ἐγγύς] points to the nearness of Christ’s Parousia, 1 Corinthians 16:22. Comp. on ἐγγύς, Matthew 24:32 f.; Luke 21:31; Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:10; Romans 13:11. The reference to God, by which Paul would bring home to their hearts, as Calvin expresses it, “divinae providentiae fiduciam” (comp. Psalms 34:18; Psalms 119:151; Psalms 145:18; so also Pelagius, Luther, Calovius, Zanchius, Wolf, Rheinwald, Matthies, Rilliet, Cornelius Müller, and others), is not suggested in Philippians 4:1-2; Philippians 4:4 by the context, which, on the contrary, does not refer to God until Philippians 4:6. Usually and rightly, following Chrysostom and Erasmus, the words have been attached to what precedes.(183) If the Lord is at hand, who is coming as the Vindex of every injustice endured and as the σωτήρ of the faithful, how should they not, in this prospect of approaching victory and blessedness (Philippians 3:20), willingly and cheerfully renounce everything opposed to Christian ἐπιείκεια! The words therefore convey an encouragement to the latter. What follows has its complete reference, and that to God, pointed out by the antithesis ἀλλʼ ἐν παντὶ κ. τ. λ.


Verse 6

Philippians 4:6. The μεριμνᾶτε is not to be limited in an arbitrary way (as by Grotius, Flatt, Weiss, and others, to anxious care); about nothing (neither want, nor persecution, nor a threatening future, etc.) are they at all to give themselves concern, but on the contrary, etc.; μηδέν, which is emphatically prefixed, is the accusative of the object (1 Corinthians 7:32 ff; 1 Corinthians 12:25; Philippians 2:20). Comp. Xen. Cyrop. viii. 7. 12: τὸ πολλὰ μεριμνᾶν καὶ τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι ἡσυχίαν ἔχειν. Caring is here, as in Matthew 6, the contrast to full confidence in God. Comp. 1 Peter 5:7. “Curare et orare plus inter se pugnant quam aqua et ignis,” Bengel.

ἐν παντί] opposed to the μηδέν; hence: in every case or affair (comp. Ephesians 5:24; 2 Corinthians 4:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Plat. Euthyd. p. 301 A), not: at all times (Syriac, Grotius, Bos, Flatt, Rheinwald).

τῇ προσευχῇ κ. τῇ δεήσει] by prayer and supplication. On the distinction between the two (the former being general, the latter supplicating prayer), see on Ephesians 6:18. The article indicates the prayer, which ye make; and the repetition of the article, otherwise not required, puts forward the two elements the more emphatically (Kühner, II. 1, p. 529).

μετὰ εὐχαρ.] belongs to γνωριζ. κ. τ. λ., which, excluding all solicitude in the prayer, should never take place (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Colossians 3:17) without thanksgiving for the proofs of divine love already received and continually being experienced, of which the Christian is conscious under all circumstances (Romans 8:28). In the thanksgiving of the suppliant there is expressed entire surrender to God’s will, the very opposite of solicitude.

τὰ αἰτήματα ὑμ.] what ye desire (Plat. Rep. viii. p. 566 B Dionys. Hal. Antt. vi. 74; Luke 23:24), that is, in accordance with the context: your petitions (1 John 5:15; Daniel 6:7; Daniel 6:13; Psalms 19:6; Psalms 36:4, et al.; Schleusner, Thes. I. p. 100).

γνωριζέσθω πρὸς τ. θεόν] must be made known towards God; πρός, versus; it is the coram of the direction. Comp. Bernhardy, p. 265; Schoem. ad Is. iii. 25. The expression is more graphic than the mere dative would be; and the conception itself ( γνωριζ.) is popularly anthropopathic; Matthew 6:8. Bengel, moreover, aptly remarks on the subject-matter: “qui desideria sua praepostero pudore ac diffidenti modestia … velant, suffocant ac retinent, curis anguntur; qui filiali et liberali fiducia erga Deum expromunt, expediuntur. Confessionibus ejusmodi scatent Psalmi.”


Verse 7

Philippians 4:7. The blessed result, which the compliance with Philippians 4:6 will have for the inner man. How independent is this blessing of the concrete granting or non-granting of what is prayed for!

εἰρήνη τ. θεοῦ] the peace of soul produced by God (through the Holy Spirit; comp. χαρὰ ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, Romans 14:17), the repose and satisfaction of the mind in God’s counsel and love, whereby all inward discord, doubt, and variance are excluded, such as it is expressed e.g. in Romans 8:18; Romans 8:28. So in substance most expositors, including Rheinwald, Flatt, Baumgarten-Crusius, Hoelemann, Rilliet, de Wette, Wiesinger, Ewald, Weiss, Hofmann, and Winer. This view—and not (in opposition to Theodoret and Pelagius) that explanation of peace in the sense of harmony with the brethren (Romans 15:33; Romans 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:16), which corresponds to the ordinary use of the correlative θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης in Philippians 4:9—is here required on the part of the context, both by the contrast of μεριμνᾶτε in Philippians 4:6, and by the predicate ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν. The latter, if applicable to the peace of harmony, would express too much and too general an idea; it is, on the other hand, admirably adapted to the holy peace of the soul which God produces, as contrasted with the μέριμνα, to which the feeble νοῦς by itself is liable; as, indeed, in the classical authors also (Plat. Rep. p. 329 C, p. 372 D), and elsewhere (Wisdom of Solomon 3:3), εἰρήνη denotes the tranquillitas and securitas, the mental γαλήνη (Plat. Legg. vii. p. 791 A) and ἡσυχία—a rest, which here is invested by τοῦ θεοῦ with the consecration of divine life. Comp. εἰρήνη τοῦ χριστοῦ, Colossians 3:15; John 14:27; and, on the other hand, the false εἰρήνη κ. ἀσφάλεια, 1 Thessalonians 5:3. It is therefore not to be understood, according to Romans 5:1, as “pax, qua reconciliati estis Deo” (Erasmus, Paraphr.; so Chrysostom, καταλλαγὴ, ἀγάπη τ. θεοῦ; and Theophylact, Oecumenius, Beza, Estius, Wetstein, and others, including Storr, Matthies, and van Hengel), which would be too general and foreign to the context. The peace of reconciliation is the presupposition of the divinely produced moral feeling which is here meant; the former is εἰρήνη πρὸς τὸν θεόν, the latter εἰρήνη τοῦ θεοῦ.

ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν] which surpasses every reason, namely, in regard to its salutary power and efficacy; that is, which is able more than any reason to elevate above all solicitude, to comfort and to strengthen. Because the reason in its moral thinking, willing, and feeling is of itself too weak to confront the power of the σάρξ (Romans 7:23; Romans 7:25; Galatians 5:17), no reason is in a position to give this clear holy elevation and strength against the world and its afflictions. This can be effected by nothing but the agency of the divine peace, which is given by means of the Spirit in the believing heart, when by its prayer and supplication with thanksgiving it has elevated itself to God and has confided to Him all its concerns, 1 Peter 5:7. Then, in virtue of this blessed peace, the heart experiences what it could not have experienced by means of its own thinking, feeling, and willing. According to de Wette, the doubting and heart-disquieting νοῦς is meant, which is surpassed by the peace of God, because the latter is based upon faith and feeling. In opposition to this, however, stands the πάντα, according to which not merely all doubting reason, but every reason is meant. No one, not even the believer and regenerate, has through his reason and its action what he has through the peace of God. Others have explained it in the sense of the incomprehensibleness of the peace of God, “the greatness of which the understanding cannot even grasp” (Wiesinger). So Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Grotius, also Hoelemann and Weiss. Comp. Ephesians 3:20. But the context, both in the foregoing μηδὲν μεριμνᾶτε and in the φρουρήσει κ. τ. λ. which follows, points only to the blessed influence, in respect of which the peace of God surpasses every kind of reason whatever, and consequently is more efficacious than it. It is a ὑπερέχειν τῇ δυνάμει; Paul had no occasion to bring into prominence the incomprehensibleness of the εἰρήνη θεοῦ.

On ὑπερέχειν with the accusative (usually with the genitive, Philippians 2:3), see Valckenaer, ad Eur. Hippol. 1365; Kühner, II. 1, p. 337.

φρουρήσει κ. τ. λ.] not custodiat (Vulgate, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact: ἀσφαλίσαιτο, Luther, Calovius, Cornelius a Lapide, and others, including Storr, Heinrichs, Flatt), but custodiet (Castalio, Beza, Calvin), whereby protection against all injurious influences (comp. 1 Peter 1:5) is promised. Comp. Plat. Rep. p. 560 B: οἱἄριστοι φρουροί τε καὶ φύλακες ἐν ἀνδρῶν θεοφιλῶν εἰσὶ διανοίαις. Eur. Suppl. 902: ἐφρούρει ( πολλοὺς) μηδὲν ἐξαμαρτάνειν. “Animat eos hac fiducia,” Erasmus, Annot. This protecting vigilance is more precisely defined by ἐν χ. ., which expresses its specific character, so far as this peace of God is in Christ as the element of its nature and life, and therefore its influence, protecting and keeping men’s hearts, is not otherwise realized and carried out than in this its holy sphere of life, which is Christ. The φρουρά which the peace of God exercises implies in Christ, as it were, the φρουραρχία (Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 17). Comp. Colossians 3:15, where the εἰρήνη τοῦ χριστοῦ βραβεύει in men’s hearts. Others consider ἐν χ. . as that which takes place on the part of the readers, wherein the peace of God would keep them, namely “in unity with Christ, in His divinely-blessed, holy life,” de Wette; or ὥστε μένειν καὶ μὴ ἐκπεσεῖν αὐτοῦ, Oecumenius, comp. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Luther, Zanchius, and others, including Heinrichs, Storr, Flatt, Rheinwald, van Hengel, Matthies, Rilliet, Wiesinger, Weiss. But the words do not affirm wherein watchful activity is to keep or preserve the readers (Paul does not write τηρήσει; comp. John 17:11), but wherein it will take place; therefore the inaccurate rendering per Christum (Erasmus, Grotius, Estius, and others) is so far more correct. The artificial suggestion of Hoelemann (“Christo fere cinguli instar τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν κ. τ. λ. circumcludente,” etc.) is all the less warranted, the more familiar the idea ἐν χριστῷ was to the apostle as representing the element in which the life and action, as Christian, move.

The pernicious influences themselves, the withholding and warding off of which are meant by φρουρήσει κ. τ. λ., are not to be arbitrarily limited, e.g. to opponents (Heinrichs), or to Satan (Beza, Grotius, and others), or sin (Theophylact), or pravas cogitationes (Calvin), or “omnes insultus et curas” (Bengel), and the like; but to be left quite general, comprehending all such special aspects. Erasmus well says (Paraphr.): “adversus omnia, quae hic possunt incidere formidanda.”

τὰς καρδ. ὑμ. κ. τὰ νοήμ. ὑμῶν] emphatically kept apart. It is enough to add Bengel’s note: “cor sedes cogitationum.” Comp. Roos, Fundam. psychol. ex sacr. script. III. § 6: “causa cogitationum interna eaque libera.” The heart is the organ of self-consciousness, and therefore the moral seat of the activity of thought and will. As to the νοήματα (2 Corinthians 3:14) as the internal products of the theoretical and practical reason, and therefore including purposes and plans (Plat. Polit. p. 260 D 2 Corinthians 2:11), comp. Beck, bibl. Seelenl. p. 59, and Delitzsch, Psychol, p. 179. The distinction is an arbitrary one, which applies τ. καρδ. to the emotions and will, and τ. νοήμ. to the intelligence (Beza, Calvin).


Verse 8

Philippians 4:8 f. A summary closing summons to a Christian mode of thought and (Philippians 4:9) action, compressing everything closely and succinctly into a few pregnant words, introduced by τὸ λοιπόν, with which Paul had already, at Philippians 3:1, wished to pass on to the conclusion. See on Philippians 3:1. This τὸ λοιπόν is not, however, resumptive (Matthies, Ewald, following the old expositors), or concluding the exhortation begun in Philippians 3:1 (Hofmann), for in that passage it introduced quite a different summons; but, without any reference to Philippians 3:1, it conveys the transition of thought: “what over and above all the foregoing I have to urge upon you in general still is: everything that,” etc. According to de Wette, it is intended to bring out what remained for man to do, in addition to that which God does, Philippians 4:7. But in that case there must have been expressed, at least by ὑμεῖς before ἀδελφοί or in some other way, an antithetic statement of that which had to be done on the part of man.

ὅσα] nothing being excepted, expressed asyndetically six times with the emphasis of an earnest ἐπιμονή. Comp. Philippians 2:1, Philippians 3:2; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 341 [E. T. 398].

ἀληθῆ] The thoroughly ethical contents of the whole summons requires us to understand, not theoretical truth (van Hengel), but that which is morally true; that is, that which is in harmony with the objective standard of morality contained in the gospel. Chrysostom: ἀρετή· ψεῦδος δὲ κακία. Oecumenius: ἀληθὴ δέ φησι τὰ ἐνάρετα. Comp. also Theophylact. See 1 John 1:6; John 3:21; Ephesians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:8. To limit it to truth in speaking (Theodoret, Bengel) is in itself arbitrary, and not in keeping with the general character of the predicates which follow, in accordance with which we must not even understand specially unfeigned sincerity (Erasmus, Grotius, Estius, and others; comp. Ephesians 4:21; Plat. Phil. p. 59 C: τὸ ἀληθὲς καὶ δὴ λέγομεν εἰλικρινές), though this essentially belongs to the morally true.

σεμνά] worthy of honour, for it is in accordance with God. Comp. 1 Timothy 2:2 : εὐσεβείᾳ καὶ σεμνότητι. Plat. Soph. p. 249 A: σεμνὸν καὶ ἅγιον νοῦν. Xen. Oec. vi. 14: τὸ σεμνὸν ὄνομα τὸ καλόν τε κἀγαθόν. Dem. 385. 11; Herodian, i. 2. 6; Ael. V. H. ii. 13, viii. 36; Polyb. ix. 36. 6, xv. 22. 1, xxii. 6. 10.

δίκαια] upright, as it ought to be; not to be limited to the relations “erga alios” (Bengel, Heumann, and others), so that justice in the narrower sense would be meant (so Calvin: “ne quem laedamus, ne quem fraudemus;” Estius, Grotius, Calovius, and others). Comp., on the contrary, Theogn. 147: ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ συλλήβδην πᾶσʼ ἀρετή ἐστι.

ἁγνά] pure, unstained, not: chaste in the narrower sense of the word (2 Corinthians 11:2; Dem. 1371. 22; Plut. Mor. p. 268 E, 438 C, et al.), as Grotius, Calovius, Estius, Heumann, and others would explain it. Calvin well says: “castimoniam denotat in omnibus vitae partibus.” Comp. 2 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Corinthians 7:11; 1 Timothy 5:22; James 3:17; 1 Peter 3:2; 1 John 3:3; often so used in Greek authors. Comp. Menand. in Clem. Strom, vii. p. 844: πᾶς ἁγνός ἐστιν μηδὲν ἑαυτῷ κακὸν συνιδών.

προσφιλῆ] dear, that which is loved. This is just once more Christian morality, which, in its whole nature as the ethical καλόν, is worthy of love;(184) Plat. Rep. p. 444 E Soph. El. 972: φιλεῖ γὰρ πρὸς τὰ χρηστὰ πᾶς ὁρᾶν. “Nihil est amabilius virtute, nihil quod magis alliciat ad diligendum, Cic. Lael. 28. Comp. ad Famil. ix. 14; Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 33. The opposite is the αἰσχρόν, which deserves hate (Romans 7:15). Chrysostom suggests the supplying τοῖς πιστοῖς κ. τῷ θεῷ; Theodoret only τῷ θεῷ. Others, as Calovius, Estius, Heinrichs, and many: “amabilia hominibus” But there is no necessity for any such supplement. The word does not occur elsewhere in the N. T., although frequently in classical authors, and at Sirach 4:8; Sirach 20:13. Others understand kindliness, benevolence, friendliness, and the like. So Grotius; comp. Erasmus, Paraphr.: “quaecumque ad alendam concordiam accommoda.” Linguistically faultless (Ecclus. l.c.; Herod, i. 125; Thuc. vii. 86; Polyb. x. 5. 6), but not in keeping with the context, which does not adduce any special virtues.

εὔφημα] not occurring elsewhere either in the N. T., or in the LXX., or Apocrypha; it does not mean: “quaecumque bonam famam conciliant” (Erasmus; comp. Calvin, Grotius, Cornelius a Lapide, Estius, Heinrichs, and others, also Rheinwald); but: (Luther), which has an auspicious (faustum) sound, i.e. that which, when it is named, sounds significant of happiness, as, for instance, brave, honest, honourable, etc. The opposite would be: δύσφημα. Comp. Soph. Aj. 362; Eur. Iph. T. 687: εὔφημα φώνει. Plat. Leg. vii. p. 801 A: τὸ τῆς ᾠδῆς γένος εὔφημον ἡμῖν. Aesch. Suppl. 694, Agam. 1168; Polyb. xxxi. 14. 4; Lucian, Prom. 3. Storr, who is followed by Flatt, renders it: “sermones, qui bene aliis precantur.” So used in later Greek authors (also Symmachus, Psalms 62:6); but this meaning is here too special.

εἴ τις κ. τ. λ.] comprehending all the points mentioned: if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise; not if there be yet another, etc. (de Wette).

ἀρετή used by Paul here only, and in the rest of the N. T. only in 1 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:5,(185) in the ethical sense: moral aptitude in disposition and action (the opposite to it, κακία: Plat. Rep. 444 D, 445 C, 1, p. 348 C). Comp. from the Apocrypha, Wisdom of Solomon 4:1; Wisdom of Solomon 5:13, and frequent instances of its use in the books of Macc.

ἔπαινος] not: res laudabilis (Calvin, Grotius, Estius, Flatt, Matthies, van Hengel, and many others; comp. Weiss), but praise (Erasmus: “laus virtutis comes”), which the reader could not understand in the apostle’s sense otherwise than of a laudatory judgment actually corresponding to the moral value of the object. Thus, for instance, Paul’s commendation of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is an ἔπαινος; or when Christ pronounces a blessing on the humble, the peacemakers, the merciful, etc., or the like. “Vera laus uni virtuti debetur,” Cic. de orat. ii. 84. 342; virtue is καθʼ αὑτὴν ἐπαινετή, Plat. Def. p. 411 C. Mistaken, therefore, were such additions as ἐπιστήμης (D* E* F G) or disciplinae (Vulg., It., Ambrosiaster, Pelagius).

ταῦτα λογίζεσθε] consider these things, take them to heart, in order, (see Philippians 4:9) to determine your conduct accordingly. “Meditatio praecedit, deinde sequitur opus,” Calvin. On λογίζεσθαι, comp. Psalms 52:2; Jeremiah 26:3; Nahum 1:9; Psalms 35:4; Psalms 36:4; 3 Maccabees 4:4; Soph. O. R. 461; Herod, viii. 53; Dem. 63, 12; Sturz, Lex. Xen. III. p. 42; the opposite: θνητὰ λογίζεσθαι, Anthol. Pal. xi. 56. 3.

Philippians 4:9. The Christian morality, which Paul in Philippians 4:8 has commended to his readers by a series of predicates, he now again urges upon them in special reference to their relation to himself, their teacher and example, as that which they had also learned, etc. The first καί is therefore also, prefixing to the subsequent ταῦτα πράσσετε an element corresponding to this requirement, and imposing an obligation to its fulfilment. “Whatsoever also has been the object and purport of your instruction, etc., that do.” To take the four times repeated καί as a double as well … as also (Hofmann and others), would yield an inappropriate formal scheme of separation. καί in the last three cases is the simple and, but so that the whole is to be looked upon as bipartite: “Duo priora verba ad doctrinam pertinent, reliqua duo ad exemplum” (Estius).

] not ὅσα again; for no further categories of morality are to be given, but what they are bound to do generally is to be described under the point of view of what is known to the readers, as that which they also have learned, etc.

παρελάβετε] have accepted. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:1; John 1:11; Polyb. xxxiii. 16. 9. The interpretation: “have received” (Vulgate, Erasmus, Luther, Beza, and most expositors, including Rheinwald, Rilliet, Hoelemann, de Wette, Weiss, Hofmann), which makes it denote the instruction communicated (1 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 1 Corinthians 11:23; Galatians 1:9; Galatians 1:12; Colossians 2:6; comp. Plat. Theaet. p. 198 B: παραλαμβάνοντα δὲ μανθάνειν), would yield a twofold designation for the one element,(186) and on the other hand would omit the point of the assensus, which is so important as a motive; moreover, from a logical point of view, we should necessarily expect to find the position of the two words reversed (comp. Galatians 1:12).

ἠκούσατε] does not refer to the proper preaching and teaching of the apostle (Erasmus, Calvin, Elsner, Rheinwald, Matthies), which is already fully embraced in the two previous points; nor does it denote: “audistis de me absente” (Estius and others, including Hoelemann, Rilliet, Hofmann), for all the other points refer to the time of the apostle’s presence, and consequently not merely the “de me,” but also the “absente” would be purely imported. No, by the words ἠκούσατε and εἴδετε, to both of which ἐν ἐμοί belongs, he represents to his readers his own example of Christian morality, which he had given them when he was present, in its two portions, in so far as they had perceived it in him ( ἐν ἑμοί, comp. Philippians 1:30) partly by hearing, in his whole oral behaviour and intercourse with them, partly by seeing, in his manner of action among them; or, in other words, his example both in word and deed.

ταῦτα πράσσετε] these things do, is not related to ταῦτα λογίζεσθε, Philippians 4:8, as excluding it, in such a way that for what is said in Philippians 4:8 the λογίζεσθαι merely would be required, and for what is indicated in Philippians 4:9 the πράσσειν; on the contrary, the two operations, which in substance belong jointly to the contents of both verses, are formally separated in accordance with the mode of expression of the parallelism. Comp. on Philippians 2:8 and Romans 10:10.

καὶ θεός κ. τ. λ.] in substance the same promise as was given in Philippians 4:7. God, who works peace (that holy peace of soul, Philippians 4:7), will be with you, whereby is meant the help given through the Holy Spirit; and His special agency, which Paul here has in view, is unmistakeably indicated by the very predicate τῆς εἰρήνης.

REMARK.

It is to be noticed that the predicates in Philippians 4:8, ἀληθῆεὔφημα, do not denote different individual virtues, but that each represents the Christian moral character generally, so that in reality the same thing is described, but according to the various aspects which commended it. Comp. Diog. Laert. ii. 106: ἒν τὸ ἀγαθὸν πολλοῖς ὀνόμασι καλούμενον. Cic. de fin. iii. 4. 14: “una virtus unum, istud, quod honestum appellas, rectum, laudabile, decorum.” That it is Christian morality which Paul has in view, is clearly evident from Philippians 4:9 and from the whole preceding context. Hence the passage cannot avail for placing the morality of the moral law of nature (Romans 2:14 f.) on an equality with the gospel field of duty, which has its specific definition and consecration—as also, for the reconciled whom it embraces, the assurance of the divine keeping (Philippians 4:7; Philippians 4:9)—in the revealed word (Philippians 4:9), and in the enlightening and ethically transforming power of the Spirit (comp. Romans 12:2).


Verse 10

Philippians 4:10. Carrying on his discourse with δέ, Paul now in conclusion adds, down to Philippians 4:20, some courteous expressions, as dignified as they are delicate, concerning the aid which he had received. Hitherto, indeed, he had only mentioned this work of love briefly and casually (Philippians 2:25; Philippians 2:30). In the aid itself Baur discovers a contradiction of 1 Corinthians 9:15, and conjectures that the author of the epistle had 2 Corinthians 11:9 in view, and had inferred too much from that passage. But, in fact, Baur himself has inferred too much, and incorrectly, from 1 Corinthians 9:15; for in this passage Paul speaks of payment for his preaching, not of loving gifts from persons at a distance, which in point of fact put him in the position to preach gratuitously in Achaia, 2 Corinthians 11:8 ff. There is, besides, in our passage no mention of regular sendings of money.

ἐν κυρίῳ] as in Philippians 3:1, Philippians 4:4. It was, indeed, not a joy felt apart from Christ; οὐ κοσμικῶς ἐχάρην, φησὶν, οὐδὲ βιωτικῶς, Chrysostom.

μεγάλως] mightily. Comp. LXX., 1 Chronicles 29:9; Nehemiah 12:42; Polyb. iii. 87. 5; Polyc. 1. The position at the end is emphatic. See on Matthew 2:10; and Stallbaum, ad Plat. Phaedr. p. 256 E, Menex. p. 235 A.

ὅτι ἤδη ποτέ κ. τ. λ.] is to be rendered: “that ye have at length once again come into the flourishing condition of taking thought for my benefit, in behalf of which ye also TOOK thought, but had no favourable opportunity.

ἤδη ποτέ] taken in itself may mean: already once; or, as in Romans 1:10 : tandem aliquando. The latter is the meaning here, as appears from ἐφʼ κ. τ. λ. Chrysostom justly observes (comp. Oecumenius and Theophylact) that it denotes χρόνον μακρόν, when namely that θάλλειν had not been present, which has now again (comp. Philippians 4:15 f.) set in. Comp. Baeumlein, Partik. p. 140. This view of ἤδη ποτέ is the less to be evaded, seeing that the reproach which some have discovered in the passage ( ἐπιτίμησις, Chrysostom) is not by any means conveyed in it, as indeed from the delicate feeling of the apostle we might expect that it would not, and as is apparent from the correct explanation of the sequel.

ἀνεθάλετε] ye have again become green (refloruistis, Vulgate), like a tree or an orchard which had been withered, and has again budded and put forth new shoots ( θαλλούς).(187) It cannot be the revival of their care-taking love which is meant, so that the readers would have previously been ἀπομαρανθέντες ἐν τῇ ἐλεημοσύνῃ (Oecumenius, also Chrysostom, Theophylact, Pelagius, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Beza, Estius, Cornelius a Lapide, Bengel, Flatt, Wiesinger, Ewald, and most expositors, who rightly take ἀνεθάλ. as intransitive, as well as all who take it transitively; see below); for how indelicate would be such an utterance, which one could not, with Weiss, acquit from implying an assumption that a different disposition previously existed; and how at variance with the ἐφʼ ἐφρονεῖτε κ. τ. λ. which immediately follows, and by which the continuous care previously exercised is attested! No, it is the flourishing anew of their prosperity (comp. Rheinwald, Matthies, van Hengel, Baumgarten-Crusius, Schenkel, Hofmann, and others), the opposite of which is afterwards expressed by ἠκαιρεῖσθε, that is denoted, as prosperous circumstances are so often represented under the figure of becoming green and blooming. Comp. Psalms 28:7 : ἀνέθαλεν σάρξ ΄ου, Wisdom of Solomon 4:3 f.; Hes. Op. 231: τέθηλε πόλις, Pind. Isth. iii. 9: ὄλβοςθάλλων, Pyth. vii. 22: θάλλουσαν εὐδαιμονίαν. Plat. Legg. xii. p. 945 D: πᾶσα οὕτω θάλλει τὲ καὶ εὐδαιμονεῖ χώρα κ. πόλις. Of frequent occurrence in the tragedians; comp. also Jacobs, ad Del. Epigr. viii. 97. It is therefore inconsistent, both with delicate feeling and with the context, to take ἀνεθάλ. transitively: “revirescere sivistis solitam vestram rerum mearum procurationem” (Hoelemann; comp. Coccejus, Grotius, Heinrichs, Hammond, and others, including Rilliet, de Wette, Weiss), although the transitive use of ἀναθάλλειν in the LXX. and also in the Apocrypha is unquestionable (Ezekiel 17:24; Sirach 1:16; Sirach 11:20; Sirach 50:10; see generally Schleusner, Thes. I. p. 220 f.); and that of θάλλειν is also current in classical authors (Pind. Ol. iii. 24; Aesch. Pers. 622 (608); Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. p. 103; Kühner, II. 1, p. 265). An unfounded objection is brought against the view which explains it of the revival of prosperity, that it is inappropriate as a subject of joy in the Lord (see Weiss); it is appropriate at all events, when such a use is made of the revived prosperity.

τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ φρονεῖν] is usually, with the correct intransitive rendering of ἀνεθάλ.,(188) so understood that τὸ is taken together with φρονεῖν, and this must be regarded as the accusative of more precise definition, which is only distinguished by its greater emphasis from the mere epexegetical infinitive. See Bernhardy, p. 356; Schmalfeld, Syntax d. Griech. Verb. p. 401 f.; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 222. Comp. van Hengel: “negotium volo mihi consulendi.” But the whole view which takes τό with φρονεῖν is set aside by the following ἐφʼ κ. ἐφρονεῖτε; seeing that ἐφʼ , unless it is to be rendered at variance with linguistic usage by although (Luther, Castalio, Michaelis, Storr), or just as (Vulgate, van Hengel), could only convey in its the previous τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐ΄οῦ φρονεῖν, and would consequently yield the logically absurd conception: ἐφρονεῖτε ἐπὶ τῷ ὑπὲρ ἐ΄οῦ φρονεῖν, whether ἐφʼ be taken as equivalent to οὔ ἕνεκα (Beza) or qua de re (Rheinwald, Matthies, de Wette, Wiesinger, Ewald, and others), or in eo quod (Erasmus), in qua re (Cornelius a Lapide, Hoelemann), or et post id (Grotius), and the like. Recourse has been had, by way of helping the matter, to the suggestion that φρονεῖν ἐπί is a thinking without action, and φρονεῖν ὑπέρ a thinking with action (de Wette, Wiesinger; comp. Ewald); but how purely arbitrary is this view! Less arbitrarily, Calvin and Rilliet (“vous pensiez bien à moi”) have referred to ἐ΄οῦ, by which, no doubt, that logical awkwardness is avoided; but, on the other hand, the objection arises, that ἐφʼ is elsewhere invariably used by Paul as neuter only, and that it is difficult to see why, if he desired to take up ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ in a relative form, he should not have written ὑπὲρ οὔ, since otherwise in ἐπί, if it merely went back to ἐ΄οῦ, the more precise and definite reference which he must have had in view would not be expressed, and since the progress of the thought suggested not a change of preposition, but only the change of the tenses ( καὶ ἐφρονεῖτε). Weiss, interpreting ἐφʼ as: about which to take thought, refers it back to ἀνεθάλετε—a reference, however, which falls to the ground with the active interpretation of that word. Upon the whole, the only right course seems to be to take τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ together (comp. τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν, Philippians 2:20; also τὰ παρʼ ὑ΄ῶν, Philippians 4:18; and see generally, Krüger, § 50. 5. 12; Kühner, II. 1, p. 231 f.), and that as the accusative of the object to φρονεῖν (comp. Bengel, Schenkel, J. B. Lightfoot, Hofmann): “to take into consideration that which serves for my good,” to think of my benefit; on ὑπὲρ, comp. Philippians 1:7. Only thus does the sequel obtain its literal, logical, and delicately-turned reference, namely, when ἐφʼ applies to τὸ ὑπὲρ ἐ΄οῦ. Taking this view, we have to notice: (1) that ἐπί is used in the sense of the aim (Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 475; Kühner, II. 1, p. 435): on behalf of which, for which, comp. Soph. O. R. 569; (2) that Paul has not again written the mere accusative ( καὶ ἐφρ.), because ἐφʼ is intended to refer not alone to κ. ἐφρονεῖτε, but also to the antithesis ἠκαιρεῖσθε δέ, consequently to the entire κ. ἐφρ., ἠκαιρ. δέ;(189) (3) that the emphasis is placed on ἐφρον. as the imperfect, and καί indicates an element to be added to the φρονεῖν which has been just expressed; hence καὶ ἐφρ. intimates: “in behalf of which ye not only are taking thought (that is, since the ἀνεθάλετε), but also were taking thought (namely, πρόσθεν, before the ἀνεθάλετε);” lastly, (4) that after ἐφρ. there is no ΄έν inserted, because the antithesis is meant to emerge unprepared for, and so all the more vividly.

ἠκαιρεῖσθε] ye had no favourable time; a word belonging to the later Greek. Diod. exc. Mai. p. 30; Phot., Suid. The opposite: εὐκαιρεῖν, Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 125. Unsuitably and arbitrarily this is explained: “deerat vobis opportunitas mittendi” (Erasmus, Estius, Grotius, Bengel, Rosenmüller, and others). It refers, in keeping with the ἀνεθάλετε, not without delicacy of description, to the unfavourable state of things as regards means (Chrysostom: οὐκ εἴχετε ἐν χερσὶν, οὐδὲ ἐν ἀφθονίᾳ ἦτε; so also Theophylact; while Oecumenius adduces this interpretation alongside of the previous one) which had occurred among the Philippians, as Paul might have learned from Epaphroditus and otherwise. Comp. εὐκαιρεῖν τοῖς βίοις in Polyb. xv. 21. 2, xxxii. 21. 12; and also the mere εὐκαιρεῖν in the same sense, iv. 60. 10; εὐκαιρία: xv. 31. 7, i. 59. 7; ἀκαιρία: Plat. Legg. iv. p. 709 A Dem. 16. 4; Polyb. iv. 44. 11.


Verse 11

Philippians 4:11. Obviating of a misunderstanding.

οὐχ ὅτι] as in Philippians 3:12 : my meaning is not, that I say this in consequence of want, that is, this my utterance of joy in Philippians 4:10 f. is not meant as if it were the expression of felt want, from which your aid has delivered me. On κατά, sccundum, in the sense of propter, see Kühner, II. 1, p. 413, and ad Xen. Mem. i. 3. 12. According to van Hengel’s interpretation: “ut more receptum est penuriae, s. hominibus penuria oppressis,” κατά could not have been united with an abstract noun (Romans 3:5, et al.).

ἐγὼ γὰρ ἔμαθον κ. τ. λ.] for I, as regards my part (although it may be different with others), have learned in the circumstances, in which I find myself, to be self-contented, that is, to have enough independently without desiring aid from others. It is evident from the reason thus assigned that in οὐχ. ὅτι καθʼ ὑστ. λ. he has meant not the objective, but the subjective state of need.

ἐγώ] with noble self-consciousness, there being no need to supply, with Bengel, “in tot adversis.”

ἔμαθον] signifies the having learned by experience (comp. Plat. Symp. p. 182 C: ἔργῳ δὲ τοῦτο ἔμαθον καὶ οἱ ἐνθάδε τύραννοι), and all that accordingly he can, he owes to the strengthening influence of Christ, Philippians 4:13.

ἐν οἷς εἰμι] in the situation, in which I find myself. See examples in Wetstein and Kypke; comp. also Mätzner, ad Antiph. p. 131. Not merely his position then, but, generally, every position in which he finds himself, is meant, although it is not exactly to be taken as: “in quocunque statu sim” (Raphel, Wetstein, and others), which would be ungrammatically expressed. In opposition to the context (see Philippians 4:12), Luther: among whom ( οἷς, masculine) I am. As to αὐτάρκεια as applied to persons, the subjective self-sufficing, by means of which a man does not make the satisfaction of his needs dependent upon others, but finds it in himself, comp. Sirach 40:18; Xen. Mem. iv. 7. 1; Dem. 450. 14; Stob. v. 43; and see on 2 Corinthians 9:8.


Verse 12

Philippians 4:12. Paul now specifies this his αὐτάρκεια (in Plat. Def. p. 412 B, termed τελειότης κτήσεως ἀγαθῶν).

οἶδα] I understand how (1 Thessalonians 4:4; Colossians 4:6; 1 Timothy 3:5; Matthew 7:11; Soph. Aj. 666 f.; Anth. Pal. vii. 440. 5 ff.);(190) result of the ἔμαθον.

καὶ ταπειν]. also to be abased, namely, by want, distress, and other allotted circumstances which place the person affected by them in the condition of abasement. Paul understands this, inasmuch as he knows how to bear himself in the right attitude to such allotted circumstances, namely, in such a way that, independently thereof, he finds his sufficiency in himself, and does not seek it in that which he lacks. We find a commentary on this in 2 Corinthians 4:8; 2 Corinthians 6:9-10. οἶδα καὶ περισσεύειν is to be understood analogously, of the right attitude to the matter, so that one is not led away by abundance to find his satisfaction in the latter instead of in himself. Pelagius well says: “ut nec abundantia extollar, nec frangar inopia.”

The first καί adds to the general ἐν οἷς εἰ΄ι the special statement on the one side, to which thereupon the second “also” adds the counterpart. The contrast, however, is less adequate here than subsequently in περισσεύειν καὶ ὑστερεῖσθαι, for ταπεινοῦσθαι is a more comprehensive idea than the counterpart of περισσεύειν, and also contains a figurative conception. Some such expression as ὑψοῦσθαι would have been adequate as the contrast of ταπειν. (Matthew 23:12; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Philippians 2:8-9; Polyb. v. 26. 12). There is a lively versatility of conception, from not perceiving which some have given to this περισσεύειν (to have a superfluity) the explanation excellere (Erasmus, Vatablus, Calvin), or to ταπειν. the meaning to be poor, to be in pitiful plight, ὀλίγοις κεχρῆσθαι, Theophylact (Estius and others; comp. also Cornelius a Lapide, Grotius, Rheinwald, Matthies, Baumgarten-Crusius, de Wette, Hofmann), which even the LXX., Leviticus 25:39, does not justify.

In what follows, ἐν παντὶ κ. ἐν πᾶσι is not to be regarded as belonging to ταπεινοῦσθαι and περισσεύειν (Hofmann), but is to be joined with ΄ε΄ύη΄αι. We are dissuaded from the former connection by the very repetition of the οἶδα; and the latter is recommended by the great emphasis, which rests upon ἐν παντὶ κ. ἐν πᾶσι heading the last clause, as also by the correlative πάντα at the head of Philippians 4:13. Further, no comma is to be placed after μεμυήμαι, nor is ἐν παντὶ ΄ε΄υή΄αι to be explained as meaning: “into everything I am initiated,” and then καὶ χορτάζεσθαι κ. τ. λ. as elucidating the notion of “everything”: “cum re qualicunque omnibusque, tam saturitate et fame, quam abundantia et penuria, tantam contraxi familiaritatem, ut rationem teneam iis bene utendi,” van Hengel; comp. de Wette, Rilliet, Wiesinger; so also, on the whole, Chrysostom, Erasmus, Estius, and many others, but with different interpretations of παντί and πᾶσιν. This view is at variance with the fact, that ΄υεῖσθαι has that into which one is initiated expressed not by means of ἐν, but—and that most usually—in the accusative (Herod, ii. 51; Plat. Gorg. p. 497 C, Symp. p. 209 E Aristoph. Plut. 845 ( ἐμμυεῖσθαι); Lucian, Philop. 14), or in the dative (Lucian, Demon. 11), or genitive (Heliod. i. 17; Herodian, i. 13. 16); hence πᾶν κ. πάντα, or παντὶ κ. πᾶσιν, or παντὸς κ. πάντων must have been written (in 3 Maccabees 2:30 it has κατά with the accusative). No; Paul says that in everything and in all, that is, under every relation that may occur and in all circumstances, he is initiated into, that is, made completely familiar with, as well the being satisfied as the being hungry, as well the having superfluity as want; in all situations, without exception, he quite understands how to assume and maintain the right attitude to these different experiences, which in Philippians 4:11 he characterizes by the words αὐτάρκης εἶναι. ἐν παντὶ κ. ἐν πᾶσι is accordingly to be taken after the analogy of ἐν οἷς εἰ΄ι, Philippians 4:11, and therefore as neuter. It was purely arbitrary to render ἐν παντί: ubique (Vulgate, Castalio, Beza, Calvin, and many others), or to refer it to time (Chrysostom, Grotius), or to time and place (Theophylact, Erasmus, and others, also Matthies). Luther and Bengel explain παντί correctly as neuter, but make πᾶσιν (as in 2 Corinthians 11:6) masculine (Bengel: “respectu omnium hominum”). It is not necessary to supply anything to either of the two words; and as to the alternation of the singular and plural, which only indicates the total absence of any exception (comp. analogous expressions in Lobeck, Paral, p. 56 ff.), there is no occasion for artificial explanation.

In German we say: in Allem und Jedem [in all and each], Comp. on ἐν πᾶσι on Colossians 1:18. With strange arbitrariness Hofmann makes ἐν παντὶ κ. ἐν πᾶσι denote everything that is a necessary of life (in detail and in whole). In that case certainly the contrast of χορτάζ. and πεινᾶν is unsuitable!

΄ε΄ύη΄αι] the proper word for the various grades of initiation into the mysteries (Casaubon, Exerc. Baron, p. 390 ff.; Lobeck, Aglaoph. I. p. 38 ff.) is here used in a figurative sense, like initiatum esse, of a special, unusual, not by every one attainable, familiar acquaintance with something. See Munthe, Obss. p. 383; Jacobs, ad Anthol. III. p. 488. The opposite is ἀμύητος.

The climax should here be noticed, ἔ΄αθον οἶδα ΄ε΄ύη΄αι. Philippians 4:13 places beyond doubt to whom the apostle owes this lofty spiritual superiority over all outward circumstances. As to the later form πεινᾶν instead of πεινῆν, see Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 61; Jacobs, ad Ael. II. p. 261.


Verse 13

Philippians 4:13. After the special statement, the consciousness of the αὐτάρκεια now finds fresh utterance generally; and in the grand brevity of the latter how marked is the assurance, and, at the same time, the humility!

ἰσχύω] of moral strength, homogeneous as to category with ἔμαθον in Philippians 4:11, and with οἶδα and μεμύημαι in Philippians 4:12, because these predicates also were dynamically meant, of the understanding of ethical practice. There is therefore the less reason for limiting πάντα in any way (van Hengel: “omnia memorata;” comp. Weiss); there is nothing for which Paul did not feel himself morally strong; for every relation he knew himself to be morally adequate. πάντα is the accusative of the object. Galatians 5:6; James 5:16. The opposite to it: μηδὲν ἰσχύωσιν, Plat. Crit. p. 50 B, Ael. V. H. xii. 22, et al.

ἐν τῷ ἐνδυν. με] Not in his own human ability does Paul feel this power, but it has its basis in Christ, whose δύναμις the apostle experiences in his fellowship of life with Him (2 Corinthians 12:9). Comp. 1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:1; 2 Timothy 4:17. Thus he is able to do all things ἐν τῷ κράτει τῆς ἰσχύος αὐτοῦ, Ephesians 6:10.


Verse 14

Philippians 4:14. πλήν] Nevertheless. (1 Corinthians 11:11; Ephesians 5:33), apart from the fact that with such moral power I am equal to all emergencies, and therefore, as far as want is concerned, do not need aid (comp. Philippians 4:11). “Cavet, ne fortiter loquendo contemsisse ipsorum beneficium videatur,” Calvin. Comp. Chrysostom and Theophylact.

καλῶς] in the moral sense.

συγκοιν. μου τῇ θλίψ.] characterizes the work according to its high ethical value ( ὅρα σοφίαν, πῶς ἐπαίρει τὸ πρᾶγμα, Theophylact): that ye became partakers with me in my affliction. He who renders the aid enters into the relation of a participant in the position of the afflicted one, inasmuch as by his very work of love he, in common with the latter, shares and bears his θλῖψις. Comp. Romans 12:13. It is a practical participation, and not merely that of feeling and emotion. Comp. Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 18:4; Revelation 1:9. By τῇ θλίψ., Paul means his position at the time as a whole, not: want (which also in 2 Corinthians 8:13 it does not mean). The dative is governed by συγκοιν. (Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 18:4; Romans 12:13; Romans 15:27, et al.); and μου is, in accordance with the well-known usage, to be taken as if μοι were in the text (comp on Philippians 2:2; and Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 518 C, Symp. p. 215 C). The aorist participle coincides as to time with ἐποιήσατε (see on Ephesians 1:9); as to the participle with καλῶς ποιεῖν, see Winer, p. 323 f. [E. T. 434].


Verse 15

Philippians 4:15 f. A courteous recalling of the fact, that in the very beginning of the gospel the Philippians had distinguished themselves by such manifestation of love towards Paul.

δέ] carrying the discourse onward: But what ye have done connects itself with a relation into which, as ye also know, no other church, but yours only, placed itself to me at the very first!

οἴδατε δὲ κ. τ. λ.] but it is known also to you, Philippians, that, etc. Hofmann very erroneously derives the object of οἴδατε from what precedes, and takes ὅτι in the sense of because. He makes the apostle say, namely, to the Philippians: That they had done well in helpfully taking part in his affliction they knew also, as other churches knew that it was well done; by experience they knew it, because it was not the first time that they had sent similar gifts to him, etc. This explanation is erroneous, because invariably where οἶδα ( οἴδαμεν, οἴδατε, κ. τ. λ.) is accompanied, not with an accusative of the object, but with ὅτι, the latter conveys the contents (that), and not the reason or the cause (because), of the οἶδα (comp. Philippians 1:19; Philippians 1:25; Romans 3:2; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 12:2; Galatians 4:13, and innumerable other passages); secondly, because the previously attested καλῶς ἐποιήσατε, while perfectly suitable to be expressed by the grateful apostle, was not so suited to be transferred to the consciousness of the donors, to which it was self-evident, and to be appealed to by them; thirdly, because the καί in the alleged reference to other churches would be very unsuitable, since the question here concerns merely a work of love of the Philippians, but other churches could only know generally that it was well done to aid the apostle, into which general idea, therefore, Hofmann insensibly transforms the object of οἴδατε, instead of abiding strictly by the concrete καλῶς ἐποιήσατε as its object; finally, it would be strange and not in keeping with the thoughtful manner of the apostle, to furnish the idea: “ye know that ye did well therein” (which οἶδατε is supposed to convey) with the altogether external specification of a ground for it: “because ye have already formerly and repeatedly supported me.” The contents attributed by Hofmann to οἴδατε needed no assignment of a causal ground, or—if any—one internal, ethical, and in harmony with the subtle delicacy of the apostle.

Observe, moreover, in connection with οἴδατε κ. ὑμεῖς, that in that which the readers also know (consequently in ὅτι κ. τ. λ.) the stress lies upon the negative οὐδεμία κ. τ. λ.

καὶ ὑμεῖς] ye also, as I.(191)

φιλιππήσιοι] addressing them by name, not because he desires to assert something of them which no other church had done (Bengel: for in this case Paul would have written ὅτι ὑμεῖς, φιλιππ.), but in his increasing earnestness. Comp. 2 Corinthians 6:11.

ἐν ἀρχῇ τ. εὐαγγ.] glancing back, certainly, to the second missionary journey (Weiss); but the relative expression is used from the standpoint of the time then present, behind which lay the founding of the Macedonian churches about ten years back; a long past which seemed, in relation to the present and to the wider development of the church now attained, as still belonging to the period of the beginning of the gospel. Comp. Clement. Cor. I. 47. An epexegetical more precise definition of this expression—which does not betray the hand of a later author (Hinsch)—for the date intended is: ὅτε ἐξῆλθον ἀπὸ ΄ακεδ., when I departed from Macedonia, Acts 17:14. Paul, therefore, immediately on leaving that country, received aid from the infant church, when the brethren τὸν παῦλον ἐξαπέστειλαν πορεύεσθαι ὡς ἐπὶ τὴν θάλασσαν and ἤγαγον ἕως ἀθηνῶν, Acts l.c. Doubtless the money which Paul subsequently received in Corinth (see 2 Corinthians 11:9) through Macedonian delegates was sent, if not exclusively, at least jointly by the Philippians, so that they thereby gave continued active proof of the fellowship εἰς λόγον δόσ. κ. λήψ., into which they had entered with the apostle at his very departure. But this receipt of money at Corinth is not the fact meant by ἐκοινώνησεν κ. τ. λ., in which case ἐξῆλθον would have to be taken, with Estius, Flatt, van Hengel, de Wette, Wiesinger, Weiss, Hofmann, and others, in the sense of the pluperfect (Winer, p. 258 [E. T. 343]); for the latter would be the more unwarranted in the context, seeing that Paul himself by ἐν ἀρχῇ τοῦ εὐαγγ. carries them back to the earliest time possible, and indeed afterwards (Philippians 4:16) to a period even antecedent to the ὅτε ἐξῆλθον. The aorist, however, has its justification in this purely historical statement of fact, although the imperfect also, but following a different conception, might—not, however (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection), must—have been used.

ἐκοινώνησεν εἰς λόγον δόσεως κ. λήψ.] entered into fellowship with me in reference to account of giving and receiving,—a euphemistic indication, calculated to meet the sense of delicacy in the readers, of the thought: “has entered into the relation of furnishing aid towards me.” On κοινωνεῖν εἰς, comp. on Philippians 1:5. The analysis of the figurative description is this: The Philippians keep an account of expenditure on Paul and income from him; and the apostle likewise keeps account of his expenditure on the Philippians and income from them. This mutual account-keeping, in which the δόσις on the one part, agrees with the λῆψις on the other, is the κοινωνία εἰς λόγον κ. τ. λ. It is true that in this case no money-amount is entered in the account of the Philippians under the heading of λῆψις, or the account of the apostle under the heading of δόσις; instead of this, however, comes in the blessing, which the readers were to receive from their gifts of love, according to Philippians 4:17, as if it were an income corresponding to this expenditure, and coming in from it. We are therefore not justified in adopting the view, that δόσ. and λῆψ. apply to Paul alone (Schrader), or that δόσεως applies to the Philippians and λήψ. to Paul (“Ego sum in vestris expensi tabulis, vos in meis accepti,” Grotius; comp. Erasmus, Camerarius, Casaubon, Castalio, and others, including Heinrichs, Storr, Flatt, Matthies, van Hengel, Rilliet, Ewald); for the words require the idea of an account under both headings on the side of both parties. Others, maintaining indeed this reciprocity, but arbitrarily introducing ideas from 1 Corinthians 11:11, comp. Romans 15:27, consider that the δόσις on the part of the apostle, and the λῆψις on the part of the Philippians, consisted in the spiritual benefits brought about by the preaching of the gospel (so Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Pelagius, Calvin, Cornelius a Lapide, Zanchius, Zeger, Estius, Hammond, Wiesinger, Weiss, Hofmann, and others); whilst others, again, import into the words the thought: “Quae a Philippensibus accepit in rationes Dei remuneratoris refert Paulus” (Wetstein, Rosenmüller; comp. Wolf, Schoettgen, and already Ambrosiaster). Rheinwald finds the λῆψις of the Philippians and the δόσις of the apostle even in the assumption that he also had assisted them, namely, out of the sums of money collected in the churches,—an error which is at variance with the context, and which ought to have been precluded both by the prominence given to the statement of the date, and also by the exclusion of all other churches, as well as by the inappropriateness of the mention just in this passage of such a λῆψις on the part of the Philippians.

On λόγος, ratio, account, comp. Matthew 12:36; Luke 16:2; Romans 14:12; 1 Maccabees 10:40; Dem. 227. 26; Diod. Sic. i. 49; Polyb. xv. 34. 2. The rendering which takes εἰς λόγον: in respect to (Bengel, Heinrichs, Storr, Matthies, van Hengel, Rilliet, Lünemann), would no doubt be linguistically correct (Dem. 385. 11; 2 Maccabees 1:14; and see Krüger on Thuc. iii. 46. 3), but is to be rejected on account of the context, as expressions of accounting follow (comp. Cic. Lael. 16: “ratio acceptorum et datorum”). For instances from Greek writers of δόσις καὶ λῆψις (Sirach 41:14; Sirach 42:7) as expenditure and income, see Wetstein. Comp. Plat. Rep. p. 332 A B: ἀπόδοσις κ. λῆψις. As to the corresponding משא ומתן, see Schoettgen, Hor. p. 804.


Verse 16

Philippians 4:16. ὅτι] since, indeed, ye also already in Thessalonica, etc. It is argumentative, namely, outbidding the early definition of date ἐν ἀρχῇ΄ακεδονίας, in Philippians 4:15, by one even antecedent, and thus serving more amply to justify that specification of time,(192) for which purpose the ὅτι specifying the reason was quite sufficient, and (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection) no γάρ was necessary. The opinion of Wiesinger, that ὅτι κ. τ. λ. is intended to explain that it was only with the aid sent after Paul at a distance that the readers had entered into such a connection with the apostle as is previously mentioned, is bound up with the untenable interpretation of ἐξῆλθον as pluperfect. The rendering of ὅτι by that (Rheinwald, Matthies, Hoelemann, van Hengel, Rilliet, de Wette, Lünemann, Weiss) is to be set aside, because, while the emphatic οἴδατε καὶ ὑμεῖς, Philippians 4:15, accords doubtless with the exclusion of other churches in Philippians 4:15, it does not accord with Philippians 4:16 (“ye also know that ye have sent … to me!”), to which it would stand in an illogical relation, even apart from the uncalled-for inversion of the order of time, which would result. Hofmann’s explanation, which makes ὅτι in Philippians 4:16 parallel to the ὅτι in Philippians 4:15 and places it in causal relation to οἴδατε, falls with his erroneous view of Philippians 4:15.

The καί before ἐν θεσσαλ., for which Hinsch, following Baur, thinks that he finds a reference in 2 Corinthians 11:9, is the simple also in the sense of also already; a climax as regards time; see Hartung, Partik. I. p. 135; Kühner, II. 2, p. 797.

ἐν θεσσαλ.] is not used, in the sense of the bearers having arrived, for εἰς, for there is no certain instance of ἀποστέλλειν or πέ΄πειν with ἐν in this sense (Thuc. vii. 17 must, with Becker and Krüger, be read: ἐς τὴν σικελίαν); but the preposition is used from the standpoint of the receiver:also at Thessalonica (when I was there) ye sent to me.” Thus this sending took place in Thessalonica. Comp. on Matthew 10:16; Poppo and Krüger on Thuc. iv. 27. 1.

καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δίς] Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:18. The conception is: “when the first aid arrived, the ἐπέμψατε had taken place once; when the second arrived, it had taken place both once and twice.” Paul has not written δίς merely, nor yet ἅπαξ κ. δίς (1 Maccabees 3:30; Xen. Anab. iv. 7. 10), but by καὶ ἅπ. κ. δίς he sets forth the repetition of the matter more emphatically, to the praise of his readers (Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 144). Comp. καὶ δὶς καὶ τρίς, Plat. Phaed. p. 63 D, Phil. p. 59 E Herod, ii. 121, iii. 148. The opposite: οὐχ ἅπαξ οὐδὲ δίς, Plat. Clit. p. 410 B.

εἰς τ. χρείαν] on behalf of the necessity, in order to satisfy it; comp. Philippians 2:15. The article indicates the necessity that had been existing in Paul’s case. On πέμψαι, used absolutely, comp. Acts 11:29. What they sent, they knew.


Verse 17

Philippians 4:17. Just as in Philippians 4:11 Paul anticipated a possible misunderstanding in respect to Philippians 4:10, so here in reference to the praises contained in Philippians 4:14 ff. This, he would say, is not the language of material desire, but, etc.

οὐχ ὅτι κ. τ. λ.] as in Philippians 4:11 : I do not mean by this to convey that my desire is directed towards the gift (the emphasis being laid on τὸ δόμα)—this, namely, taken in and by itself—in which case the article means the donation accruing to him as the case occurred, and the present ἐπιζητῶ denotes the constant and characteristic striving after (Bernhardy, p. 370): it is not my business, etc. The compound verb indicates by ἐπί the direction. Comp. on ἐπιποθῶ, Philippians 1:8, and on Matthew 6:33; Romans 11:7. The view which regards it as strengthening the simple verb (studiose quaero, so Hoelemann and others) is not implied in the context any more than the sense: insuper quaero (Polyb. i. 5. 3); so van Hengel, who indelicately, and notwithstanding the article, explains τὸ δόμα as still more gifts.

ἀλλʼ ἐπιζητῶ] The repetition of the verb after ἀλλά makes the contrast stand out independently with special emphasis; comp. Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Fritzsche, ad Rom. II. p. 137.

τὸν καρπὸν κ. τ. λ.] This is what Paul desires, towards which his wishes and endeavours are directed: the fruit which abounds to your account; not, therefore, a gain which he wishes to have for himself, but gain for the Philippians. So completely is his ἐπιζητεῖν devoid of any selfish aim,—which, however, would not be the case, if the ἐπιζητῶ τὸ δόμα were true. This applies against Hofmann’s objection, that the καρπός must be something which Paul himself desires to have; the notion of ἐπιζητῶ is anquiro, appeto, and this indeed applies to personal possession in the negative half of the sentence; but then the second half expresses the real state of the case, which does away with the notion of selfishness.

The καρπός itself cannot be the fruit of the gospel (Ewald), or of the labour of the apostle (Weiss); but, in accordance with the context, only the fruit of the δόμα, that is, the blessing which accrues from the gift to the givers; comp. on Philippians 4:15. By this is meant(193) the divine recompense at the judgment (2 Corinthians 9:6), which they will then receive, as if it were the product of their account, for their labour of love (Matthew 25:34 ff.). This produce of their δόμα is figuratively conceived as fruit, which is largely placed to the credit of their account, in order to be drawn by them at the day of harvest (comp. also Galatians 6:7 ff.). Comp. Philippians 4:19. In substance it is the treasure in heaven that is meant (Matthew 19:21; Matthew 6:20), which will be received at the Parousia. Comp. on Colossians 1:5. The figurative εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν, which here also is not to be understood, with Bengel, Storr, Flatt, Rilliet, and others, as equivalent to εἰς ὑμᾶς, is the completion of the figure in Philippians 4:15; although there is no need to explain καρπός as interest (Salmasius, Michaelis, who thinks in πλεονάζ. of compound interest, Zachariae, Heinrichs), because it is difficult to see why Paul, if he used this figure, should not have applied to it the proper term ( τόκος), and because the idea of interest is quite alien to that of the δόμα (a present).

τ. πλεονάζ. εἰς λόγον ὑμῶν] to be taken together (see above); εἰς states the destination of the πλεομάζ. Van Hengel and de Wette needlessly break up the passage by coupling εἰς λόγ. ὑμ. with ἐπιζητῶ, because πλεονάζειν with εἰς is not used elsewhere by Paul (not even 2 Thessalonians 1:3). The preposition is in fact not determined by the word in itself, but by its logical reference, and may therefore be any one which the reference requires.


Verse 18

Philippians 4:18. δέ] The train of thought is: “not the gift do I seek, but the fruit (Philippians 4:17); and as regards what has been received from you in the present instance, I have everything already, and need nothing further.” That this refers to the desire of the church to know what he possibly still needed (Hofmann), is a very unnecessary assumption.

ἀπέχω δὲ πάντα] not: habeo autem omnia (Vulgate); not a mere acknowledgment of receipt (Erasmus, Beza, Grotius, Cornelius a Lapide, Heinrichs, and others); nor yet equivalent to περισσεύω (Rheinwald); but, in keeping with the sense of the compound: I have everything away, so that I have nothing left to desire at your hands. Comp. Phlippians 1:15; Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:16; Luke 6:24; Callim. ep. 22; Arrian. Epict. iii. 2. 13, iii. 24. 17; Jacobs, ad Anthol. VII. pp. 276, 298. πάντα, therefore, according to the context ( ἐπιζητῶ τ. δόμα, Philippians 4:17), is: everything which I could desire, although there is no necessity for introducing specially, with Chrysostom and Oecumenius, τὰ ἐλλειφθέντα ἐν τῷ παρελθόντι χρόνῳ. The emphasis, moreover, is laid, not on πάντα, but on ἀπέχω, in contrast to ἐπιζητεῖν.

καὶ περισσεύω] and my wants are thus so fully satisfied, that I have over.

πεπλήρωμαι] forms a climax to περισσ.: I am full, I have abundance. The gift must have been ample; but gratitude sets this forth in all the stronger a light. To πεπλήρ. is attached δεξάμενος κ. τ. λ.

ὀσμὴν εὐωδίας κ. τ. λ.] This apposition to τὰ παρʼ ὑμῶν, expressing a judgment as to the latter (see on Romans 12:1), sets forth, to the honour of the givers, the relation in which the gifts received stand towards God, by whom they are esteemed as a sacrifice well-pleasing to Him. As to ὀσμὴ εὐωδίας, smell of a sweet savour, רֵיחַ נְיח ̇חַ (genitive of quality), which is used of free-will offerings, see on Ephesians 5:2. It describes the thing according to its effect on God, namely, that it is acceptable to Him; θυσίαν κ. τ. λ., however, describes it according to what it is.

δεκτὴν, εὐάρεστ.] acceptable, well-pleasing, a vividly asyndetic climax (on the former, comp. Sirach 32:7); τῷ θεῷ, however, applies to the whole apposition ὀσμὴνεὐαρ. The asyndetic juxtaposition of several epithets is frequent also in classical authors, from Homer onward (Ameis z. Od. iv., Anh.). As to the view, originating in the O. T., which regards works well-pleasing to God as ethical sacrifices, see the expositors on Romans 12:1; 1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 13:16. Comp. Philo, de vit. Mos. II. p. 151: γὰρ ἀληθὴς ἱερουργία τίς ἂν εἴη πλὴν ψυχῆς θεοφιλοῦς εὐσέβεια; passages from the Rabbins in Schoettg. Hor. p. 1006.


Verse 19

Philippians 4:19. The thought starts from τῷ θεῷ. But God, to whom your gift stands in the relation of such a sacrifice, will recompense you.

Paul says δὲ θεός μου (comp. Philippians 1:3), because he himself had been the recipient of that which they had brought as a sacrifice pleasing to God; as his God (to whom he belongs and whom he serves, comp. on Romans 1:8), therefore, will God carry out the recompense.

πληρώσει] used with significant reference to πεπλήρ., Philippians 4:18, according to the idea of recompense. Not, however, a wish (hence also in Codd. and in the Vulgate the reading πληρώσαι), as Chrysostom, Luther, and others take it, but a promise.

πᾶσαν χρείαν ὑμῶν] likewise corresponding to the service which the readers had rendered; for they had sent εἰς τὴν χρείαν (Philippians 4:16) of the apostle. To be understood as: every need which ye have, not merely bodily (so usually, following Chrysostom, who explains it as the fulfilment of the fourth petition, also van Hengel, de Wette, Wiesinger), and not merely spiritual (Pelagius, Rilliet, also mainly Weiss), but as it stands: every need. It is not, however, an earthly recompense which is meant (Hofmann), but (comp. on Philippians 4:17) the recompense in the Messiah’s kingdom, where, in the enjoyment of the σωτηρία, the highest satisfaction of every need (comp. on πληρ. χρείαν, Thuc. i. 70. 4, and Wetstein in loc.) shall have set in amidst the full, blessed sufficiency of the eternal ζωή (comp. Romans 8:17 f.; Revelation 21:4).(194) There are specifications of this satisfaction in the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5; comp. especially the χορτασθήσεσθε and γελάσετε, Luke 6:21, also the οὐ μὴ διψήσῃ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα in John 4:14, and the sarcastic κεκορεσμένοι, in 1 Corinthians 4:8. That it is the Messianic satisfaction in the ἐλευθερία τῆς δόξης τῶν τέκνων τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 8:21), in the possession of the πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης τῆς κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ (Ephesians 1:18), which is to be thought of, Paul himself states by ἐν δόξῃ, which is to be taken as instrumental (Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 5:18) and dependent on πληρ.: with glory, whereby the Messianic is indicated. Hofmann also, though he rejects the instrumental view, comes ultimately to it: “Therewith and thus will God fulfil all their need, in that He gives them glory.”(195) Others, who also correctly join the words with πληρ., take them as a modal definition: in a glorious way, that is, amply, splendide, and the like. See Castalio, Beza, Calvin, and many others, including Hoelemann, van Hengel, Rilliet, de Wette, Wiesinger, Weiss. But what an indefinite yet peculiarly affected, and withal—by its so habitual reference elsewhere to the final judgment—misleading expression would this be for so simple an idea! And how far would it be from the apostle’s mind, considering his expectation of the nearness of the Parousia (comp. 1 Corinthians 7:29; 1 Corinthians 7:31), to promise on this side of it a hearty recompense, which was to take place, moreover, ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ! An appeal is wrongly made to 2 Corinthians 9:8, where an increase of means for further well-doing, to be granted through God’s blessing, and not the recompense, is the point under discussion. Others erroneously join ἐν δόξῃ with τὸ πλοῦτος αὐτοῦ (Grotius, Storr, Flatt, Rheinwald, and others): “pro amplissimis suis divitiis, id est, potestate sua omnia excedente,” Heinrichs. It is true that ἐν δόξῃ might be attached without a connecting article (according to the combination πλουτεῖν ἐν τινι, 1 Timothy 6:8; comp. 1 Corinthians 1:5; 2 Corinthians 9:11); but Paul always connects πλοῦτος with the genitive of the thing, and πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης in particular, said of God, is so constantly used by him, that it seems altogether unwarranted to assume the expression πλοῦτος ἐν δόξῃ in this passage. See Romans 9:23; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:27. He would have written: κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ, comp. Romans 9:23.

κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος αὐτοῦ] that is, in conformity with His being so rich, and consequently having so much to give. Comp. Romans 10:12; Romans 11:33. This assures what is promised.

ἐν χριστῷ ἰησοῦ] definition annexed to πληρώσειδόξῃ; that which is promised has its causal ground in Christ, who by His work has acquired for believers the eternal δόξα. Christ is, in fact, ἐλπὶς τῆς δόξης, Colossians 1:27.


Verse 20

Philippians 4:20. The conception of the superabundant salvation, which Paul has just promised from God, forces from his heart a doxology.

πατρί] through Christ, in virtue of our υἱοθεσία, Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:5. As to τ. θεῷ κ. πατρὶ ἡμ. comp. on Galatians 1:5.

δόξα] sc. εἴη, the befitting glory. See on Ephesians 3:21; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27, et al.

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶν. τῶν αἰών.] Galatians 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Peter 5:11, and frequently in Rev. As to the analysis of the expression, see on Ephesians 3:21.


Verses 21-23

Philippians 4:21-23. πάντα ἅγιον] every one, no one in the church being excepted,—a point which is more definitely expressed by the singular.(196)

ἐν χ. .] is not to be joined to ἅγιον (so usually, as by Rheinwald, Hoelemann, Matthies, van Hengel, de Wette, Ewald, Weiss, Hofmann), but belongs to ἀσπάσ. (comp. Romans 16:22; 1 Corinthians 16:19), denoting the specifically Christian salutation, in conveying which the consciousness lives in Christ. This is the connection adopted by Ambrosiaster, Estius, Heinrichs, Rilliet, Wiesinger, Schenkel, and J. B. Lightfoot, and it is the right one, since with ἅγιον it is self-evident that Christians are meant, and there would be no motive for specially expressing this here, as there was, for instance, in the address Philippians 1:1, where τοῖς ἁγίοις ἐν χ. . bears a certain formal character.

οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ ἀδελφ.] is the narrower circle of those Christians who were round the apostle in Rome, including also the official colleagues who were with him, though there is no ground for understanding these alone (Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, and many others), Grotius even pointing distinctly to Timothy, Linus, and Clement. The difficulty, which has been raised in this case by a comparison of Philippians 2:20, is unfounded, since, in fact, the expression in Philippians 2:20 excludes neither the giving of a salutation nor the mention of brethren; groundless, therefore, are the attempted solutions of the difficulty, as, for example, that of Chrysostom, that either Philippians 2:20 is meant οὐ περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει, or that Paul οὐ παραιτεῖται καὶ τούτους ἀδελφοὺς καλεῖν (comp. Oecumenius, who brings forward the latter as a proof of the σπλάγχνα of the apostle). Misapprehending this second and in itself correct remark of Chrysostom, van Hengel insists on a distinction being drawn between two classes of companions in office, namely, travelling companions, such as Luke, Mark, Titus, Silas, and those who were resident in the places where the apostle sojourned (among whom van Hengel reckons in Rome, Clement, Euodia, Syntyche, and even Epaphroditus), and holds that only the latter class is here meant. The limits of the narrower circle designated by οἱ σὺν ἐμοὶ ἀδ. are not at all to be definitely drawn. Estius well says: “Qui … mihi vincto ministrant, qui me visitant, qui mecum hic in evangelio laborant.”

πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι] generally, all Christians who are here; comp. on 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Corinthians 16:20.

μάλιστα δέ] but most of all, pre-eminently; they have requested the apostle to give special prominence to their salutation. Comp. Plat. Critias, p. 108 D: τούς τε ἄλλους κλητέον καὶ δὴ καὶ τὰ μάλιστα ΄νημοσύνην. Whether these persons stood in any personal relations to the Philippians, remains uncertain. It is enough to assume that Paul had said to them much that was honourable concerning the church to which he was about to write.

οἱ ἐκ τῆς καίσαρος οἰκίας] sc. ἅγιοι as is plain from the connection with the preceding (in opposition to Hofmann): those from the emperor’s house (from the Palatium, see Böttger, Beitr. II. p. 49) who belong to the saints. We have to think of probably inferior servants of the emperor (according to Grotius, Hitzig, and others: freedmen), who dwelt, or at least were employed, in the palace. In this way there is no need for departing from the immediate meaning of the word, and taking it in the sense of household (Hofmann). In no case, however, can we adopt as the direct meaning of οἰκία the sense of domestic servants, a meaning which it does not bear even in Xen. Mem. ii. 7. 6; Joseph. Antt. xvi. 5. 8; and Tac. Hist. ii. 92;(197) domestic servants would be οἰκετεία. Others have taken οἰκία, in accordance with current usage, as family (1 Corinthians 16:15, and frequently), and have understood kinsmen of the emperor, a meaning which in itself seems by no means shown by Philo in Flacc. p. 190 A to be at variance with linguistic usage(198) (in opposition to Hofmann). So recently Baur, who needed this point for his combinations against the genuineness of the epistle, and van Hengel.(199) But apart from the fact that through Nero himself this family was greatly diminished, and that conversions among those related to the emperor were à priori (comp. also 1 Corinthians 1:26 ff.) very improbable, doubtless some historical traces of such a striking success would have been preserved in tradition.(200) Matthies, quite arbitrarily, understands the Praetorians, as if Paid had written: οἱ ἐκ τοῦ πραιτωρίου (Philippians 1:13). This also applies, in opposition to Wieseler, Chronol. d. apostol. Zeitalt. p. 420, who, considering the Praetorium to be a portion of the palace (see remark on Philippians 1:13), thinks the apostle alludes especially to the Praetorians. Those who transfer the epistle to Caesarea (see Introduction, § 2), suppose the Praetorium of Herod in that place to be intended, and consequently also think of Praetorians, Acts 23:35 (Paulus, Böttger); or (so Rilliet) taking οἰκία as familia, of administrators of the imperial private domain, called Caesariani or Procurators—a view against which the plural should have warned them; or even of “the family of the imperial freedman Felix” (Thiersch). What persons, moreover, were meant (various of the older expositors have even included Seneca(201) among them), is a point just as unknown to us, as it was well known to the Philippians or became known to them through Epaphroditus. The general result is, that people from the imperial palace were Christians, and that those could obtain access to the apostle probably with special ease and frequency; hence their especial salutation. The question also, whether one or another of the persons saluted in Romans 16 should be understood as included here (see especially J. B. Lightfoot, p. 173 ff.), must remain entirely undecided. Calvin, moreover, well points to the working of the divine mercy, in that the gospel “in illam scelerum omnium et flagitiorum abyssum penetraverit.”

χάρις τ. κυρ. . χ.] see on Galatians 1:6.

΄ετὰ πάντων ὑ΄.] Comp. Romans 16:24; 1 Corinthians 16:24; 2 Corinthians 13:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; Titus 3:15.

 


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Philippians 4:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/philippians-4.html. 1832.

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