Philippians Chapter 2

An Exegetical Commentary by the Sangre de Cristo Seminary Class of 1999, edited by Nate Wilson

Jump to commentary on: 1:27-30 2:1-4,2:5-8, 2:9-11, 2:12-15,2:16-18, 2:19-24, 2:25-30, 3:1-6

 

 

Philippians 2:1-4

Joshua B. Coffin

 

1 ei tis oun paraklAsis en ChristOi, ei ti paramuthion agapAs,
ei tis koinOnia pneumatos, ei tis splagchna kai oiktirmoi,
2 plArOsate1 mou tAn charan hina to auto fronAte2, tAn autAn agapAn echontes3,
sumpsuchoi, to hen fronountes4,
3 mAden kat' eritheian mAde kata kenodoxian alla tAi tapeinofrosunAi
allAlous hAgoumenoi5 huperechontas6 heautOn,
4 mA ta heautOn hekastos skopountes7 alla kai ta heterOn hekastoi.

 

Verbals

#

Root

Parsing

Meaning

Syntax

1

plhrow

2p A.A.Imptv.

fill

M.V.

2

fronew

20 P.A.Subj.

think

Purpose/Manner

3

ecw

N.P.M. P.A.Ptc.

have

Means of #2

4

fronew

"

think

"

5

hgeomai

N.P.M. P.Dep.Pt

consider

"

6

uperecw

Acc.P.M. P.A.Ptc.

have over

Manner

7

skopew

N.P.M. P.A.Ptc.

look

Means/Manner

 

 

Translations

JBC 1 If (there is) any consolation in Christ, if any encouragement of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, mercy and compassion 2.fill1 my joy by being like-minded2, having3the same love, united in spirit, of one mind4 3. nothing through strife, nothing through vain glory, but with humbleness of mind let each consider5 one another superior6 to themselves 4. looking7not to themselves but each one on the things of others.

KJV (1611) If there bee therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of loue, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies; 2 Fulfill ye my ioy, that yee be like minded, hauing the same loue, being of one accord, of one minde. 3Let nothing bee done through strife, or vaine glory, but in lowliness of minde let each esteeme other better then themselues. 4 Looke not euery man on his owne things, but euery man also on the things of others.

ASV 1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.

 

Commentary

2:1 We begin with a bunch of obviously true "if" clauses building up to Paul’s plea to fulfill his joy (DFZ)

 

paraklAsis - "comfort, consolation, exhortation, encouragement"(R&R) "A calling hear, summons, supplication, persuasive discourse(Thayer). Transliterated "Paraclete"

paramuthion - "encouragement" especially as consolation or alleviation (R&R). "Persuasive address, consolation" (Thayer)

The idea of address is in both of these words. Take heart connected with Christ, then love. Possibly parallel with fellowship connected with the Spirit.

 

splagchna - "tender affection, mercy" (R&R), "bowels" (KJV),From a verb meaning to be moved as to one's bowels, hence to be moved with compassion (Thayer), "heart" (JBC)

 

oiktirmoi - "compassion" (R&R), "mercies" (KJV), "signifies the manifestation of tender feelings in compassionate yearnings and actions"(Light.), "compassion, pity, mercy, bowels in which compassion resides, the viscera which are thought to be the seat of compassion in the East (Thayer, NAW).

 

agapAs "of love" Alford says that this is a subjective genitive("if love offers any encouragement"); A.T. Robertson says it is an objective genitive ("if there is any loving encouragement") Either way, "there is great tenderness in this exhortation" (Calvin).

 

2:2 hina - Translated "by" here, it may be used to introduce the object of the request and blend in the purpose (R&R, Alford). On the other hand, the Hellenistic ina often blatantly introduces a result clause (Clark) - although in this case it is not actual result, but the infinitive of result (Blast &Debruner). It could also be Causal (ATR) or Manner ("by") (Hannah). Whatever the case, this is what Paul desires of his readers.

 

to auto fronAte "of one mind" Unity of heart and mind is important in believers and results in joy. "It is the joy of ministers to see people likeminded and living in love" (Matthew Henry).

 

2:3 Is this a parallel to Mathew 7:1-5?

tapeinofrosunAi - "humility, lowly thinking" This word indicates the recognition of the personal insufficiency of ones self, but the powerful sufficiency of God (R&R). It is in contrast to the description of the fellows who are preaching out of strife (DFZ). We are not called to "keep up with the Joneses" (JBC), "one can sin by doing some very good and commendable church work... the internal motive and the external act are the double criterion of the Christian ethic" (Clark).

 

2:4 skopountes - used with the article and the reflexive pronoun, it means "to consult ones own interest" (Light.) We're not here to "look out for number one." God should be number one, and then there are about six billion other people to look out for before our own interests! (JBC)

 

We need unity! How is it done? By unselfishness. First, I must be humble, then I can regard anyone more important than myself - not just looking out for my own personal interests, but most importantly looking out for the interests of others. Only then can we encourage in Christ, console in love, and have satisfying fellowship. Lord, let me be a unity factor in my community - not a disunity factor! Every time I walk into someone else's presence, make me conscious of having a humble, servant's attitude... Lord, break my selfish will and make me a helper, encourager, obeyer, and lover, so that You can use me effectively (NW 1987).

 

 

Syn-Logical Flow

v.1 If (there is) any

v.2.(THEN) Fill1 my joy by

v.3. (EXPLANATION - NEGATIVE)

(DO) nothing

·        through strife,

·        through vain glory,

(EXPLANATION - POSITIVE)

·        but with humbleness of mind

let each consider5 one another superior6 to themselves

v.4. l looking7

- not to themselves but

+ each one on the things of others.

 

Main Point

Timeless exhortation to unity and humility.

 

Application

1.     Because we have all the "if's" (true conditions of v.1), we should act asv.2 prescribes.

2.     Take joy in the unity of others

3.     Be like-minded, have the same love, be of one accord, be of one mind!

4.     Don't act through strife or vain glory. Be humble

5.     No humility, no unity.

6.     Look out for others, not #1

 

 

Philippians 2:5-8

Nathan A. Wilson

 

 

5 touto froneite1 en humin ho kai en ChristOi IAsou,
6 hos en morfAi theou huparchOn2 ouch harpagmon hAgAsato3 to einai4 isa theOi,
7 alla heauton ekenOsen5 morfAn doulou labOn6, en homoiOmati anthrOpOn
genomenos7: *kai schAmati ehuretheis8 hOs anthrOpos
8* etapeinOsen9 heauton genomenos10 hupAkoos mechri thanatou, thanatou de staurou.

 

VERBALS

#

Lexical Form

Morphology

Meaning

Syntax

1

fronew

2p Pres. Act. Imptv.

"think, mind, consider"

M.V.

2

uparcw

NMS Pres. Act. Ptc.

"existing"

Temp./Concession

3

hgeomai

3s Aor. Mid./Dep. Ind.

"think, consider, esteem"

Apposition/m.v.

4

eimi

Pres. Inf.

"being"

D.O. (of #3)

5

kenow

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

"empty, divest, lay aside"

Apposition/m.v.

6

lambanw

NSM Aor. Act. Ptc.

"take, receive, put on"

Means/Id.Act.

7

ginomai

NSM Aor. Mid/Dep Ind.

"becoming, being born"

"

8

euriskw

NSM Aor. Psv. Ptc.

"found"

Temporal/Means

9

tapeinow

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

"level, humble, descend"

Apposition/m.v.

10

ginomai

NSM Aor. Mid/Dep Ind.

"becoming, being born"

Means

 

 

Textual Notes

5 {C} toutoÀ* (Siaiticus original hand IV), A (Alexandrinus V), B (Vaticanus IV), C (Ephræmi Rescriptus V), Y (Athos VIII), 33 (IX), 81 (XI), 1241 (XII),1985 (XVI), 2495 (XIV), Lect beginning of lection itt (Liver Comucis Toletanus XI), copsa(Sahidic Coptic III), copbo (Boharic Coptic III), arm (Armenian V),eth (Ethiopic VI), Origen (III), Augustine (V), Euthalius (V) // touto garp46 (Chester Beatty papyrus II), Àc(Correction in the Sinaiticus), D (Bezæ Cantabrigiensis V), G (IX), K (IX), P(Wolfenbüttel VI), 88 (XII), 104 (XI), 181 (XI), 326 (XII), 436 (XI), 614(XIII), 629 (XIV), 630 (XIV), 1739 (X), 1877 (XIV), 1881 (XIV), 1962 (XI), 1984(XIV), 2127 (XII), Byz (majority of Byzantine ms.), itar (Ardmachanus Itala IX), itc(Colbertinus Itala XI), itdem (Demidouranus Itala XIII), itdiv(Divionensis Itala XIII), ite (Sangermanensis Itala IX), itf(Augiensis Itala IX), itg (Boernerianus Itala IX), itm(Speculum Itala VII), itx (Bodleianus Itala IX), itz(Harleianus Londiniensis Itala VIII), vg (Vulgate IV), syrh, pal(Harclean and Palestinian Syriac VI), goth (Gothic IV), Ambrosiaster(IV), Victorinus-Rome (IV), Hilary (IV), Chrisostom, Theodoret (V),John-Damascus (VIII) // touto oun 330 (XII), 451 (XI),2492 (XIII) // kai touto syrp (Pechitta Syriac VI)

 

Of the four readings, "this," "for this," "this therefore," and "and this," the latter two are not well supported and can be dismissed as scribal errors. Of the former two readings, the UBS committee is not entirely certain which is the best because, although the three best ancient uncials favor the former reading(Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrian), there is good support of the latter reading from a more ancient Papyrus, the Beza contemporary Uncial of the Alexandrian, and the majority of Byzantine and Italian manuscripts. It appears that the UBS decided in favor of the first reading because of its simplicity, its support from À, A, and B, as well as significant support from ancient versions and the best-know church fathers. Retaining the "for” would build a stronger connection between the example of Jesus and the command against egotism, but the connection is so obvious that it doesn't make much difference whether the "for" is there or not.

 

__________________________

b b 7-8 b no number, b number 8: TRed (edition of the Textus Receptus XIX),WH (Westcott & Hort XIX), Bov (Bover XX), BF2 (British & Foreign Bible Society - Nestle XX), Zür (Hie Hielige Schriff XX), Luth (The German New Testament XX), Jer (The French N.T. of the Bible School of Jerusalem) // b number 8, b no number: TRed (edition of the Textus Receptus XIX),AV (Authorized - King James - Version XVII), RV (Revised English Version XIX),ASV (American Standard Version XIX), RSV (Revised Standard Version XX), NEB(New English Bible XX), Seg (French N.T. by Louis Second XX)

 

Thesis a debate as to where the verse number should fall. It appears that some Greek scholars go for the later placement of the verse, and the English translations go for the earlier placement. Logically, the later placement makes more sense in English (see Syn-Log Flow), and since the purpose of verses is for reference, I don't see much point in trying to change a reference that has already been fixed.

 

Translations

NAW: 5 Have this attitude1in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, while existing2in God’s form, did not consider3 being4 equal to God a prize to be clutched, 7 but rather, emptied5 Himself, taking6the form of a servant, being born7 in the likeness of men. 8 And while He was found8 in appearance as a man, He humbled9Himself, becoming10 obedient unto death - even death by crucifixion.

GREEN: 5For let this mind be in you which also was in Christ Jesus, 6who subsisting in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave, having become in the likeness of men, 8and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient until death, even thedeath of a cross.

KJV: 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

ASV: 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.

NASV: 5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

NIV: 5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!

 

 

SYN-LOG FLOW:

Have this attitude1in you (MAIN STATEMENT)

which was also in Christ Jesus, (DEFINITION OF ATTITUDE BU COMPARISON)

who, while existing2in God’s form, (HEAVENLY CONTEXT)

1.     did NOT CONSIDER3 being4 equal to God a prize to be grasped,

2.     but rather,EMPTIED5 Himself,

¨     taking6the form of a servant,

¨     being born7in the likeness of men.

And while He was found8 in appearance as a man, (EARTHLY CONTEXT)

3.     He HUMBLED9Himself,

¨     becoming10obedient unto death

-- even death by crucifixion.

 

COMMENTARY:

2:5 starts with the word touto= "this." It is in an emphatic position, but what does it point to? I think that this is a link between Paul's exhortation to the Corinthian church to be humble (2:1-4) and his exhortation to be like Christ in humility (2:5-8). The “this" points back to the unity, humility, and servanthood commanded in the previous section and ties it to the example of Christ in the latter section.

 

The command here, froneite, is variously translated "let this mind be," (KJV) "have this mind," (ASV) "Have this attitude," (NAS) "Reflect in your own minds" (Earle) "be in this certain frame of mind" (Pershbacher), "Have the same thoughts" (A&G), "Be intent" (Thayer). It definitely has to do with thinking. I wanted to translate it "Think this," (cf. Lightfoot) but couldn’t get it to connect smoothly in English with the following relative clause "which was also in Christ..." The word has three meanings:

1.     thinking or understanding,

2.     having an opinion and considering the value of a thing,

3.     intent or inclination to think in a certain way or have a certain attitude.

Lexicographers agree that this passages uses the third meaning. It is not natural for our minds to gravitate toward this attitude or way of thinking. It takes a disciplined act to train our minds in the direction of humility and service. Because it is not natural, we need to be commanded to do it! Pershbacher notes that Philippians is full of uses of this Greek word: 1:7 "It is only right for me to think this way," 4:10 "now at last you have taken thought of me,"2:2 "make my joy complete by being of the same mind," 3:16 "let us mindthe same thing," 4:2 "be of the same mind,"3:15 "let us therefore...have this mind,"3:19 who set their minds on earthly things" (emphasis mine). The Christian life requires a disciplined MIND!

 

"in you" - Clark points out that this does not mean "among yourselves", but rather indicates "the inner region of thought which this feeling is to occupy...Thought controls conduct." Nevertheless, the plural form of this word is brought out better by "yourselves."

 

The rest of the passage is a long relative clause about the example of Christ. It acts as a supporting example of the main command, "Have this mind." We see Christ’s example in two states, first, His thought process while in His divine, glorified state, and second, His attitude in His humble, human state (Later we will see the return to His glorified state). Not only do we have an example of Christ’s thoughts and attitude, but also an insight into these two natures of Christ, the God-Man.

 

2:6 Christ was en morfAi theou huparchOn = "in form of God existing." Since there is no article, can we translate it "in a form of God"? Lightfoot, following Augustine, states that the presence of the article can indicate more specifically God the Father, whereas qeos without the article can indicate the godhead absolutely. On the other hand, Shedd criticizes Augustine's position, saying that it would bring confusion to the distinction between the trinity, and Clark agrees to some extent, translating it with a definite article ("in theform of God"). The meaning of the absence of the article is probably not solid enough ground to preach on.

 

The choice of the word "form" and of the verb "existing" indicate that this divine nature was Christ's intrinsic, essential nature (Thayer). Early church fathers Chrysostom and Gregory of Nyssa (whose mother tongue was Greek) also understood it this way (Clark). This is reinforced by the ensuing phrase "equal to God." Barclay states, "huparchein ... is not the common Greek word for being. It describes that which a man is in his very essence, that which cannot be changed... which , in spite of all the chances and the changes, and in any circumstances, remains the same ... morphe is the essential form of something, which never alters ... for instance, the essential morphe of any human being is manhood ...but a person's schema, his outward form, will be continually changing: A baby, a child a boy, a youth, a man of middle age, an old man..." Christ is not a man with divine likeness; He IS God. Later we will see that the words "likeness/ fashion/ appearance" and "being made/born" are used of His transition to manhood. These latter words describing Christ’s human nature are not words describing intrinsic nature, although they do describe a real state (vis à visthe Docetists who say that Christ only appearedto be a man but wasn't really). Barclay emphasizes that these latter words have to do with a state which was "completely real" but is a "phase" ... whereas Christ’s "godhead ... abides for ever."

 

While existing in God's form, Christ was thinking -- just as we are required to think. He "considered" (NIV) "thought" (KJV) "counted" (ASV) "regarded"(NASV) His equality with God in the light of mankind's need for a Savior. The word has to do with "deliberate and careful judgement of external facts"(Thayer). In this sober thinking, Jesus' judgement was that His equality with God was not something to which He should selfishly cling. This word, 'arpagmonwas once considered only in the active sense as "robbery" (KJV), but Lexicographers agree now that the word can also have a passive sense as "a thing to be grasped" (Earle, ASV, NIV) "a prize to be held fast" (Thayer, A&G) or "a thing retained with an eager grasp or eagerly claimed and conspicuously exercised" (Pershbacher). (See Lightfoot for a thorough discussion.) In this passive sense, the meaning of the word can be divided between something the subject does not have but is ambitiously seeking for himself or something that the subject has already attained and is clutching to himself. Christ was already God, so He didn't need to grab for it; He also would not clutch the glory of His divine nature to Himself. What is meant is that the heavenly Christ did not selfishly exploit His divine glory, but, by His own decision, emptied Himself of it... becoming a man (Oepke/NAW).

 

2:7 begins with a strong adversive: BUT

 

"He emptied Himself." The word for "emptied" is ekenwsen "emptied/deprived/ evacuated/ divested Himself of His prerogatives and privileges"(Pershbacher). He "laid aside" his "appearance of divinity" and took the form of a slave (A&G). The KJV takes a rare periphrastic excursion from its customary literalness to say he "made Himself of no reputation." "The emphatic position of eauton points to the humiliation of our Lord asvoluntary, self-imposed" (Lightfoot). Earle reminds us that this emptying was not of divinity, but of heavenly glory (John 17:5).

 

Two participles (perhaps three) go with this verb, agreeing with it in the Aorist tense, and listing simultaneous actions describing HOW Christ "emptied" Himself(cf Hanna, Clark). They contrast with the previous participle 'uparcwnas actions in time vs. eternal state - they are "expressive of change" (Lightfoot).

1)     morfAn doulou labOn He "took on the form of a servant." The first word is the same Greek word used to describe Christ's being in the "form” of God. There was an essential change in Christ's intrinsic being; it was not an exchange of one "form" for another, but rather the addition of a second human form to the original divine form (Clark, NAW). If there was an exchange involved, it was an exchange of glory for servanthood, not of one nature for another (DFZ). It is important to make this distinction, says Clark, because if we deny that Christ had absolute divinity and divine attributes even for a temporary period of time, we run into serious problems with the Trinity and with Christ's person and work. He references the Westminister Confession(VIII.ii) at this point:

"The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fullness of time was come, take upon him man's nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures, the Godhead and the manhood, were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man."

Thayer notes that Paul doesn't stop at Christ being in the "form of a servant," because angels are also considered in Scripture as (douloiservants of God; Paul continues with the second phrase:

2)     homoiOmati anthrOpOn genomenos He “came into the likeness of men." There was an essential change

in Christ's nature, but the word omoiwmatitakes a clear step back from saying that the change from God to Man was absolute. He was still God while existing in the essential nature of a servant and a man. The participle genomenos is rendered in the passive voice ("being made") in almost every English Bible, but it is a Deponent verb, which means the verb doesn't tell us for sure whether it is active, middle or passive. It is the same verb used over and over in I John for "born/begotten." This participle is talking about how Christ emptied Himself, and He obviously entered His human form by being born of a woman, so it seems most appropriate to translate this verb as "being born." The objection can be raised, however, that the imagery of a birth does not fit the more mature context of servanthood and being found as a man. "The plural anqrwpwn is used; for Christ, as the second Adam, represents not the individual man, but the human race" (Lightfoot).

3)     As noted in the critical references regarding punctuation, some Greek scholars place the verse division later on, so that the third participial phrase, schAmati ehuretheis hOs anthrOpos , could fit parallel to the previous two. However, because the participle can also denote time, and because this particular participle signals a change in scene from Christ in His heavenly glory to Christ in His earthly humiliation, I prefer to interpret it as a separate thought conveying a temporal shift rather than extending a list of means (cf Clarke).

 

2:8 schAmati ehuretheis We now have Christ considered by others from an earthly point of view. He "was found/discovered/shown" by other humans to be a man because he looked like a man in his "outward presentation"(Thayer), His "external show" (Pershbacher), "fashion" (KJV & ASV), "appearance" (NAS & NIV).

 

While men saw Him in this human state, Christ divested Himself even further of His glory as King of the Universe by becoming submissive for the first time in His life! 'uphkoos = "under an ear / obedient/ submissive"(Pershbacher). (Lightfoot cross-references Rom. 5:19 and Hebr. 5:8 on this word.) Like the two participles listed above, I think that this one also denotes means (cf Clark). He humbled Himself by becoming obedient even to death. "I said death, but it was no common death. It was a death which involved not intense suffering only, but intense shame also: a death reserved for malefactors and slaves: a death on which the Mosaic law has uttered a curse (Deut. 21:23),and which even Gentiles consider the most foul and cruel of all punishments..."(Lightfoot). Christ's was the ultimate humiliation: He lowered Himself from the vast height of the divine nature in heaven to become a man. That would be humiliating enough, but He didn't stop there; He actually became obedient and died. In fact, He went as low as He could get -- He was condemned with violent criminals and nailed, naked, to a tree and jeered at while He was tortured until He died.

 

This is our example! To tie it all together with the previous four verses, we can summarize Paul as saying, "You will fill my joy by being one through humility -just consider Christ's example of humility in His incarnation and obedience"(DFZ).

 

Jesus’ sacrifice is mind-boggling! How could Almighty God humble Himself to serve and be crucified by the reprobates of His own creation? But this attitude of emptying or laying aside our privileges is what Paul encourages us to do! Humility is a virtue which I don't have enough of, but it must have been overwhelmingly evident in Jesus' personality. Lord, make me more like You. Keep teaching me how to give up my rights and in humility serve my brothers and sisters. Father, this is so hard for me to do, but in my heart it is my desire to be conformed to the image of Christ. (NW 1987)

 

 

APPLICATION:

*     Our faith should be a THINKING faith - we should think like Jesus did.

*     We should discipline our minds toward humility.

*     We should maintain that Jesus is fully God and fully man.

*     We should not hang onto our rights and privileges, but divest ourselves of them for the sake of others, just as Christ did.

*     We should praise our Lord Jesus for His mind-boggling work of becoming a man and dying for us!

*      If Jesus became a servant and became obedient, so much more should we!

 

Philippians 2:9-11

Steven R. Hicks

 

9 dio kai ho theos auton huperupsOsen1 kai echarisato2 autOi to onoma to huper pan onoma,
10 hina en tOi onomati IAsou pan gonu kampsAi3 epouraniOn kai epigeiOn kai katachthoniOn
11 kai pasa glOssa exomologAsAtai4 hoti kurios IAsous Christos eis doxan theou patros.

 

Verbals

#

Root

Parsing

Meaning

Syntax

1

uperuyw

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

exalt beyond measure

M.V./Result

2

carizomai

3s Aor. Mid. Ind.

give freely

M.V.

3

kamprw

3s Aor. Act. Subj.

bend

Purpose

4

exomologew

3s Aor. Mid. Subj.

confess

Purpose

 

Translations

SRH 9 Wherefore God Himself also exalted Him beyond measure1 and gave freely2to Him the name above/beyond every name. 10 So that at the name of Jesus every knew should bend3, (those who are in) heaven and of the earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue (language) should confess4 that Jesus Christ is Lord to (the) glory of God the Father.

ASV 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth,11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

NAS 9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Commentary

2:9 dio = "wherefore" Refers back to v.8 "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross." (ATR, R&R, Clark). This word has a lot of punch and is saying that because Christ humbled Himself, God will do something.

 

huperupsOsen = "to exalt beyond measure" Because Jesus humbled Himself completely, God exalted Him beyond measure. What did Christ have after ascension that He did not have before in heaven? What did He take back to heaven that He did not bring? His humanity. He returned to heaven as the Son of Man as well as the Son of God (ATR).

 

echarisato autOi to onoma "freely gave to Him the name" This name is Jesus. The name, Jesus, by itself is nothing but a name. However, speaking of Jesus, the Son of God, that name is above all names because of His humility and accomplishment of dying for our sins (ATR, Alford, SRH).

 

2:10 Because Jesus did what He did, EVERYONE must confess that He is Lord- that He is victorious. Everyone includes:

·       angels in heaven

·       Satan and the demons

·       those living on the earth, and

·       those who are buried and dead.

This does not say we should, but that we HAVE to admit He is Lord. Some may not until the judgment day, but we all will (SRH, R&R, ATR, Clark, Alford, Calvin).

 

pan gonu kampsAi "Every knee should bend" = EVERYONE will outwardly show homage to Jesus by humbling themselves and getting down on one knee (SRH).

 

2:11 glOssa = "tongue" or "language" All those bending a knee inv.10 will be professing Jesus is Lord (SRH, R&R).

 

"...that as the majesty of God has been manifested to men through Christ, so it shines forth in Christ, and the Father is glorified in the Son. See John 5 and 17 and you will have an exposition of this passage."(Calvin)

 

 

That's quite a picture! I can just imagine Christ high in heaven, shining with blinding brightness and authority, and every human and every animal kneeling - even groveling-before His majesty. A cacophony of praise issues from the mouth of man and beast alike to our "glorious Lord Jesus Christ." And this is the God I serve; this is the one whose image to which I am being conformed! What an awesome privilege to be "called the sons of God!" (NW 1987)

 

Syntax-Logical Flow

v.6-8 result in:

v9. Wherefore God exalted Him

1)     beyond measure

2)     gave freely the name above all names

v10. So that, at the name of Jesus

1)     every knee should bow

a.      of heaven

b.     of earth

c.      under the earth

v11 2) every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord

 

TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER

 

Main Point

We are to act as Christ did, humbling ourselves to the point of being empty vessels and letting Him do as he pleases as well as fully expressing ourselves that Christ is Lord.

 

Application

1. We are to outwardly show our homage to Christ as well as inwardly.

2. Do not be afraid to be a Christian! Shout it out, for one day, everyone will know.

3. God and the Son are one, and in praising the Son we also praise the Father.

 

 

Philippians 2:12-15

Dwight F. Zeller

 

12 HOste, agapAtoi mou, kathOs pantote hupAkousate1,
mA hOs en tAi parousiai mou monon alla nun pollOi mallon en tAi apousiai mou,
meta fobou kai tromou tAn heautOn sOtArian katergazesthe2:
13 theos gar estin3 ho energOn4 en humin kai to thelein5 kai to energein6 huper tAs eudokias.
14 panta poieite7 chOris goggusmOn kai dialogismOn,
15 hina genAsthe8 amemptoi kai akeraioi, tekna theou amOma meson geneas
skolias kai diestrammenAs9, en ohis fainesthe10 hOs fOstAres en kosmOi,

 

Textual Notes

Os "as" in v.12 is used as a comparative. It is absent in the Vaticanus and in a few miniscules and church fathers, but the preponderance of early evidence favors its use, so it should be retained.

 

Verbals

#

Root

Parsing

Meaning

Syntax

1

upakouw

2pl. A. Act. Ind.

listen to

Comp.

2

katergazomai

2pl. Mid. Imptv.

to do

M.V.

3

eimi

3s P.I.

be

Caus./Explan.

4

energew

N.M.S. P.A.Ptc.

work at

Subj.

5

qelw

A.A.Inf.

to will

Purp.

6

energew

A.A.Inf.

work at

Purp.

7

poiew

2pl. P.A.Imptv.

do

M.V.

8

ginomai

2p. Aor.Mid.Sub.

become

Purpose

9

diastrefw

Gen.S.F. Perf.P.P

turned away

Adj.

10

fainw

2pl. P.Psv.Ind.

be seen

Prep. Obj.

 

Translations

DFZ 12 So, my beloved, even as you always obeyed1, and not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, with fear and trembling, work to completion2your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For the one working4in you both to will5 and to do6 for the good will is3God. 14 You do7 all things without grumbling or argument, 15 that you may become8 blameless and unadulterated children of God, unblemished (in the) midst of a crooked and twisted9 generation, in which you appear10 as stars in the world,

ASV 12 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and questionings: 15 that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world,

NAS 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

 

Commentary

2:12 HOste - "so then/wherefore" i.e. as a consequence of this pattern set you by Christ (Alford, Light.). There is also an implication of Paul saying "do not look to me to stimulate you, but look to Jesus" (Light., DFZ).

 

mA hOs - "not as" "Do not, as though my presence prompted you, work out in my presence only" There is a fusion of two ideas:

1)     Do not be energetic BECAUSE I am present, and

2)     Do not be energetic ONLY when I am present.

Both are possible and true. Maybe it is deliberately ambiguous (Light., DFZ).

 

foboukaitromou - "fear and trembling" Lest they should fail(Alford).

 

heautOn - "your(salvation)" Emphatic -- probably to direct attention to the example of Christ, which was in vss.5-8. As He obeyed and won exaltation, so you obey and find salvation for yourselves (Alford, DFZ).

 

katergazesthe - "work out" The compound with kata means to work to the finish/completion (Earle, ATR).

 

It is important to work out your own salvation - a spoon-fed Christian is lackluster. And our salvation is before an awesome God - we do not fear Him enough. Salvation can be too flippant; growth can be so unimportant when we don't realize the awful Last Day when Christ will return and judge - we should be shaking in our boots to think that every action will be taken into account! What a responsibility for my every waking minute - Lord keep me diligent! (NW 1987)

 

2:13 theos - "God" in the Textus Receptus has an article, which would indicate that in this position it is the subject ("God is the one who works..."). Many (including ATR) argue that even without the article, it is the subject, but it makes more sense and conforms to the use and absence of the article to make the participle the subject and qeos the predicate nominative ("The one who works... is God")(DFZ).

 

gar - "for/because” This verse supplies the "stimulus to and the corrective of the precept in the preceding" (Light.). This verse encourages to the fulfillment of the exhortation to work out our salvation because God not only brings about the will, but He creates the will for salvation (Alford, DFZ).

 

eudokias - "good pleasure" Not a classical word. Used almost exclusively in Christian and Jewish literature. This is not one's own goodwill/pleasure, but it is God's good will/pleasure (DFZ).

 

2:14 He now exhorts in more detail the manner of their Christian energizing(Alford, DFZ), first negatively (vs.14), then positively in vs.15)

 

goggusmOn - "grumbling" Earle thinks this is an onomatopoetic term-the sound suggests its sense, that is when translated "murmuring." It is used in the Septuagint for the attitude of Israel in the wilderness (Light.).

 

dialogismOn - "disputing" In the N.T. it means "in ward questioning, so goggusmos is moral rebellion, and this is intellectual rebellion against God (Light.)

 

2:15 amemptoi - "blameless" To be free from fault (Abbott-Smith).

akeraioi - "innocent, pure, sincere" Literally "unmixed, unadulterated" The word is used of pure wine and metals ( Light.).

amOma - "above reproach" In the Septuagint, it is used of sacrificial animals and indicates that they were "without blemish" (Earle).

(Note the alliteration of these three descriptors.)

 

teknatheou - "children of God" As goggusmos may refer to Israel in the wilderness, this may refer to the Philippians as being what Israel is often referred to as not being - children of God (Dt. 32:5).

 

fainesthe - "appear" Not "shine" (Light.) Alford says that this is NOT an Imperative, but an Indicative - a statement of fact.

 

fOstAres - "lights" literally "Luminaries" The word is used almost exclusively of heavenly bodies - stars, sun, moon -- except where used metaphorically, as here (Light.).

 

Main Point

Always obey by working our your salvation by God's grace, and do so in a godly manner

 

Syntactical-Logical Flow

v.12 So, my beloved,

(Comparison) even as you always obeyed,

(when) not only in my presence, but

now much more in my absence,

(Thesis) WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING,

WORK TO THE FINISH THE SALVATION OF YOURSELVES,

v.13 (Causal/Explanation) For the one working in you is GOD

·       to will (God's good planning) and

·       to do (God's) good planning

v.14 (Manner) Do all things without

1)     grumbling or

2)     (initiating) argument,

v.15 (Purpose) That you may become

(Location) children of God, unblemished (in the) midst of a crooked and twisted generation,

(Exception) in which you appear as stars in the world,

 

Application

1. Humility leads to exaltation

2. Salvation is a process which we need to work at, both in this sinful world and for that which is to come.

3. Rejoicing by one's self and together with other Christians is always appropriate.

 

 

Philippians 2:16-18

Ron Kruis

 

16 logon zOAs epechontes1, eis kauchAma emoi eis hAmeran Christou,
hoti ouk eis kenon edramon2 oude eis kenon ekopiasa3.
17 alla ei kai spendomai4 epi tAi thusiai kai leitourgiai tAs pisteOs humOn,
chairO5 kai sugchairO6 pasin humin:
18 to de auto kai humeis chairete7 kai sugchairete8 moi.

 

Verbals

#

Root

Parsing

Meaning

Syntax

1

epecw

N.P.M. P.A.Ptc.

keep watch

Means

2

trecw

1s. A.A.Ind.

run

Causal

3

kopiaw

"

work

"

4

spendomai

1s P.Psv.Ind.

poured out

True Cond.

5

cairw

1s P.A.I.

rejoice

M.V.

6

sugcairw

"

rejoice with

"

7

cairw

2p. P.A.Imptv.

rejoice

M.V.

8

sugcairw

"

rejoice with

"

 

Translations

R.K. 16 holding fast1 the word of life, so in the day of Christ I may boast that I did not run2 without result nor labor3 without result. 17. But even if I am being poured out4on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice5 and share my joy6 with y'all, 18. and you also rejoice7 and share your joy8 with me.

ASV 16 holding forth the word of life; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labor in vain. 17 Yea, and if I am offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all: 18 and in the same manner do ye also joy, and rejoice with me.

NAS 16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may have cause to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. 18 And you too, I urge you,rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.

 

Commentary

2:16 epechontes - has the idea of "hold fast," but could also be to “hold out" like offering food or wine or a torch (Light., R&R, Muller).A.T. Robertson seems to disagree, but this picture fits well with the context(R.K.).

 

logonzOAs - "word of life" or "the word which brings life and which is life" (R&R). Both genitives could be translated subjectively and objectively.

 

kauchAma - "boast" It is not a boasting in meritorious effort, but the sign of completion of a divinely-assigned commission (R&R). "That I may have a ground for boasting (ATR, DFZ).

 

that I did not run without result or labor without result
This phrase indicates the strenuous effort and exertion involved in spreading the gospel. Paul worked hard, and he did not want his work to be without result(R&R, RK).

 

Hold fast to the Bible - it is God's Word. Study it; live it! (NW 1987)

 

2:17 spendomai - to be poured out as a drink offering. A drink offering, usually a cup of wine, was poured out on the ground to honor deity. The present tense is used for vividness. Unlike other offerings, you couldn’t drink such an offering after it had been poured out (DFZ). Paul again is referring to the prospect of martyrdom which he faces, and thinks of himself -his life's blood - as a libation poured forth to God (R&R). This would bean additional sacrifice to the Philippians (Muller).

 

leitourgiai - "service to God or His cause" A manner of divine worship. The word is to denote any priestly action or sacred performance(Muller). We get "liturgy" from this word (DFZ). See also notes on Phil.2:25-30 on this word.

 

so... if I am being poured out on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy - This is a true conditional clause. Paul's life-blood is pictured as being poured out upon the sacrifice and service of the faith of the Philippians in mutual service and joy.

 

2:18 Joy is mutual when the service is mutual (R&R). Lightfoot and Alford say you should translate it "congratulate," but DFZ says this is a rare case when they're wrong. The mutuality needs to come through better (NAW).

 

chairete kai sugchairete - both Imperative commands to rejoice.

 

Be full of joy. Rejoice, God has saved you! Rejoice, God loves you! Rejoice, He is perfectly guiding you! Rejoice, you will live with Almighty God in heaven! No matter what the circumstance, Rejoice. Paul is writing under house arrest, but he Is still joyful; follow his example! (NW 1987)

 

 

Syntax-Logical Flow

(v.15 You appear as stars in the world by:)

v.16 holding fast the word of life,

so in the day of Christ I may boast that I did not

·       run without result nor

·       labor without result.

v.17. But even if I am being poured out

on the sacrifice and service of your faith,

I (still) rejoice and share my joy with y'all,

v.18. and you also

Rejoice and share your joy with me.

 

Main Point

Paul exhorts the Philippians to hold fast to the word. He did not want his work to be in vain, and no matter what, Christian work will and should bring mutual joy.

 

 

Philippians 2:19-24

Joshua B. Coffin

 

19 elpizO1 de en kuriOi IAsou Timotheon tacheOs pempsai2 humin,
hina kagO eupsuchO3 gnous4 ta peri humOn.
20 oudena gar echO5 isopsuchon, hostis gnAsiOs ta peri humOn merimnAsei6:
21 ohi pantes gar ta heautOn zAtousin7, ou ta IAsou Christou.
22 tAn de dokimAn autou ginOskete8,
hoti hOs patri teknon sun emoi edouleusen9 eis to euaggelion.
23 touton men oun elpizO10 pempsai11 hOs an afidO12 ta peri eme exautAs:
24 pepoitha13 de en kuriOi hoti kai autos tacheOs eleusomai14.

 

Verbals

#

Root

Parsing

Meaning

Syntax

1

elpizw

1s P.A.I.

hope, trust

M.V.

2

pempw

A.A.Inf.

send, dispatch

Compliment

3

euyucew

1s P.A.Subj.

"good-soul"

Purpose

4

ginwskw

N.S.M. A.A.Ptc.

know

Temp.

5

ecw

1s P.A.I.

have/hold

Caus/Expl.

6

merimnaw

3s Fut.Act.Ind.

remember, care

Rel. Clause

7

zhtew

3pl. P.A.I.

seek, pursue

M.V.

8

ginwskw

2pl. P.A.I.

know

" (Contrast)

9

doulew

3s A.A.I.

serve, slave

Explan/D.O.

10

elpizw

1s P.A.I.

hope, expect

MV (Recap.)

11

pempw

A.A.Inf.

send, dispatch

Compl.(cf.#2)

12

aforaw

1s A.A.Sub.

see, look away

Temp.

13

peiqw

1s Perf.A.Ind.

persuaded

M.V.

14

ercomai

1s Fut.Dep.Ind.

come/go

D.O.

 

Translations

JBC 19 But I trust1in Lord Jesus, Timothy shortly to send2 to you, in order that I also may be good-spirited3 when I know4 that [which is] around you. 20. For NO ONE I have5 like-minded, who will naturally (care6for) that [which is] around you. 21. For all that of themselves seek7,not that of Jesus Christ. 22. But the proof of him you know8 that as father-child, with me he slaved9 in the gospel. 23. Him therefore I hope10 to send11 as soon as I see12 that[which is] around me. 24. But I stand convinced13 in [the] Lord that also I myself will shortly come14.

KJV 19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. 22 But ye know the proof of him that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

ASV 19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will care truly for your state. 21 For they all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ. 22But ye know the proof of him, that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send forthwith, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me: 24 but I trust in the Lord that I myself also shall come shortly.

 

Commentary

2:19 eupsuchO - eu/good + yuch/spirit + verbal ending. Found in papyri in the salutation of a letter of condolence, and also common on sepulchral inscriptions (R&R).

 

trust in the Lord Jesus

"He is the Governor and Disposer of all events, being above all principality and power, and I humbly confide in His power and goodness that I shall be a little longer spared to visit you again (v.24) and to be able to send Timothy to you." (Adam Clarke)

 

2:20 gnAsiOs - "naturally, genuinely, sincerely, legitimate birth, not spurious" (ATR). Related to monogenhs (only-begotten)? Jameison, Fawcett, & Brown say that this is "a case wherein the spirit of God so changed man's nature, that to be natural was with him to be spiritual: the great point to be aimed at." Matthew Henry adds "It is the duty of ministers to care for the state of their people and to be concerned for their welfare. It is a rare thing to find one who does it naturally."

 

isopsuchon - "same + soul" "likeminded" (KJV), "kindred spirit"(NAS). "precious as life" (R&R). Timothy was likeminded with Christ, with Paul, and with the Philippians (JBC).

 

2:21 Does this verse, alone smash any chance of salvation by choice or work?(cf. Isa.52), or is it "all" who are with Paul at Rome? Jameison, Fawcett,& Brown and A.T. Robertson think "all" refers to people in Rome. (There's a big "oops" if Peter was in Rome, as the Roman Catholics say!) I think it might mean "everyone" - Paul seems to be making a general disclaimer about people to set in perspective his complements about Timothy (linked with de in vs.22) (JBC).

 

ohipantes - "all who are around here" or in contrast with Timothy(as in "all men are liars"). Christ has better things than me; why don't I seek His more? (JBC)

 

Through imprisonment, Paul learned not to stretch himself too far by working with too many people. He was discipling Timothy to reach others. He also discipled Epaphroditus, Onesimus, and, to some extent Titus, Priscill a& Aquilla, etc. His first missionary journey was with his own spiritual elder, Barnabas, then Paul went with a spiritual peer (Silas), and after that he was always discipling. Our lives are short; we must train others to carry on or else God's work though us will not be as effective. How do I do this? Find someone of "kindred spirit," concerned about what my goals are, and spend much time together talking and ministering(NW 1987).

 

2:22 patri teknon sun emoi "father with son, served me" or "father to son served with me" or both. Alford vouches for the latter, and that makes sense, as we are not servants one of another, but primarily of God in matters of the Gospel (JBC).

 

ginOskete you know - Timothy had visited Philippi with Paul in Acts (DFZ).

 

edouleusen - verbal form of "slave" similar to Paul's "servant of Christ."

 

2:23-24 hOs an - "as soon as, whenever" It is an indefinite temporal hinged upon the news about Paul coming about. Not only does Paul want to know about them, he also wants them to know about him.

 

pepoitha - "persuaded" is in the Perfect tense (past action with continuing results)

 

trust in the Lord Paul shows his “humble submission to divine will" (Matt. Henry), and this should be the condition to all our activities.

 

Paul also sets a good example of the proper attitude of a leader with successful disciples by teaching them how to witness and motivating them toward it, encouraging them, doing it with them, and modeling it himself. Father, please give me disciples like Paul had, and help me be a good example to them like Paul was (NW 1987).

 

 

Syntax-Logical Flow

(Concerning Paul's possible visit v.18:)

v.19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus

to send Timothy shortly unto you,

(Result) that I also may be good-spirited,

when I know your circumstances.

v.20 (Explanation)For I have no one

1.     like-minded,

2.     who will naturally care for your circumstances.

v.21 For all seek their own, not that of Jesus Christ.

v.22 (Contrast) But ye know the proof of (Timothy) that,

as father with child, he served with me

v.23 (Recap v.19)

Therefore I hope to send him,

as soon as I know my circumstances.

v.24 (Recap. v.18)

But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

 

Main Point

THEN: Paul informs the Philippians of his desire to come and to send Timothy.

NOW: We should take concern for others in the example of Paul (and especially Christ).

 

Application

1)     Trust in the Lord Jesus for all your plans.

2)     Pastors should eagerly seek to know about others and selflessly care for them.

3)     Seek Christ, not your own.

4)     Slave in the Gospel.

5)     You don't have to do it all yourself.

 

 

Philippians 2:25-30

Nathan A. Wilson

 

25 anagkaion de hAgAsamAn1 epafroditon ton adelfon kai sunergon kai sustratiOtAn mou,
humOn de apostolon kai leitourgon tAs chreias mou, pempsai2 pros humas,
26 epeidA epipothOn3 An4 pantas humas kai adAmonOn5, dioti Akousate6 hoti AsthenAsen7a.
27 kai gar AsthenAsen7b paraplAsion thanatOi: alla ho theos AleAsen8 auton,
ouk auton de monon alla kai eme, hina mA lupAn epi lupAn schO9.
28 spoudaioterOs oun epempsa10 auton,
hina idontes11 auton palin charAte12 kagO alupoteros O13.
29 prosdexesthe14 oun auton en kuriOi meta pasAs charas
kai tous toioutous entimous echete15,
30 hoti dia to ergon Christou mechri thanatou Aggisen16 paraboleusamenos17
tAi psuchAi, hina anaplArOsAi18 to humOn husterAma tAs pros me leitourgias.

 

VERBALS:

#

Lexical Form

Morphology

Meaning

Syntax

1

hgeomai

1s Aor. Mid/Dep Ind.

lead, be chief, rule

Main Verb

2

pempw

Aor. Act. Infin.

send

Compliment

3

epipoqew

NSM PAP

long for, eagerly desire

Cause/Impf Para.

4

eimi

3s Impf. Ind.

be

Cause/Impf Para.

5

adhmonew

NSM Pres. Act. Part.

depressed, rejected, sad

Cause/Impf Para.

6

akouw

2p Aor. Act. Ind.

hear

Cause of Cause!

7

asqenew

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

be weak, sick, needy

aD.O. / bCause3

8

eleew

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

pity, commiserate, pardon

M.V./Epexiget.

9

ecw

1s Aor. Act. Subj.

have

Purpose

10

pempw

1s Aor. Act. Ind.

send

M.V. / Result

11

eidon

Nom. Pl. Masc. AAP

see

Temp.

12

cairw

2p Aor. P/Dep Subj.

rejoice, be glad

Purpose

13

eimi

1s Pres. Subj.

be

"

14

prosdecomai

2p P. M/P Dep. Imtv.

receive, accept, welcome

M.V.

15

ecw

2p. Aor. Act. Ind.

have

"

16

eggizw

3s Aor. Act. Ind.

draw near

Causal

17

paraboleuomai

NSM Aor. M/D Ptc

to stake or risk oneself

Explan./Means

18

anaplhrow

3s Aor. Act. Subj.

fill up, complete, supply

Purpose

 

 

Textual Notes

26 {C} 'umas Àc(Correction in Sinaiticus), (B - Vaticanus IV - transposes: 'umas pantas),G (IX), K (IX), P (Wolfenbüttel VI), Y 181 (XI), 614(XIII), 629 (XIV), 630 (XIV), 1739 (X), 1881 (XIV), Byz (majority of Byzantine mss.), Lect (majority of Lectionaries), itar (Ardmachanus Itala IX), itc(Colbertinus Itala XI), itdem (Demidouranus Itala XIII), itdiv(Divionensis Itala XIII), itf (Augiensis Itala IX), itg(Boernerianus Itala IX), itx (Bodleianus Itala IX), itz(Harleianus Londiniensis Itala VIII), vg (Vulgate IV), copsa(Sahidic Coptic III), goth (Gothic - Ambrosiaster IV), Victorinus-Rome (IV),Chrisostom Theodoret (V), Cassiodorus1/2 (VI - cited this way one out of two times) // 'umas ideinÀ* (Sinaiticus original hand IV), A (Alexandrinus V), C (Ephræmi Rescriptus V), D (Bezae Cantabrigiensis V), Ivid (Washington- poor visibility section V), 33 (IX), 81 (XI), 88 (XII), 104 (XI), 326 (XII),330 (XII), 436 (XI), 451 (XI), 1241 (XII), 1877 (XIV), 1962 (XI), 1984 (XIV),1985 (XVI), 2127 (XII), 2492 (XIII), 2495 (XIV), ite (Sangermanensis Itala IX), syrp (Peshitta Syriac VI), syrh (Harclean Syriac VI), syrpal (Palestinian Syriac VI), copbo(Boharic Coptic III), arm (Armenian V), eth (Ethiopic VI), Euthalius (V),Cassiodorus1/2 (VI - cited this way one out of two times),John-Damascus (VIII), Theophylact (XI) // pros'umas (after gap), p46(Chester Beatty Papyrus II)

 

Dismissing the pros 'umas for lack of support (despite the ancient reference), we are left with two versions: "longing for you" and “longing to see you." Cassiodorus doesn't help, because he quotes it both ways in his commentary! This is another one of those "six one, half-dozen the other” sorts of things. There's support across time for both, and it doesn't make a difference in meaning. It appears that the UBS went for the simpler reading with the support of the Vaticanus, the Byzantine manuscripts, Italian versions, and Lectionaries - which is surprising, since Sinaiticus and Alexandrian support the other reading, hence the "C" rating.

 

30 {C} Cristoup46 (Chester Beatty Papyrus II), B (Vaticanus IV), G (IX), 88 (XII), 436 (XI), 1739 (X),1881 (XIV), Origen (III) // tou Cristou D (Bezae Cantabrigiensis V), K (IX), 181 (XI), 326 (XII), 614 (XIII), 629 (XIV), 630(XIV), 1877 (XIV), 1984 (XIV), 2495 (XIV), Byz(majority of Byzantine mss.), Lect(majority of Lectionaries), Chrysostomtxt(V - appears this way in translation, but not in commentary), Theodoret (V), John-Damascus(VIII) // Cristou ortou Cristou itar (Ardmachanus Itala IX),itc (Colbertinus Itala XI), itdem (Demidouranus Itala XIII),itdiv (Divionensis Itala XIII), ite (Sangermanensis Itala IX), itf (Augiensis Itala IX), itg (Boernerianus Itala IX), itx (Bodleianus Itala IX), itz (Harleianus Londiniensis Itala VIII), vg (Vulgate IV), syrp (Peshitta Syriac VI), copsa (Sahidic Coptic III), goth (Gothic IV), Ambrosiaster(IV), Victorinus-Rome (IV) // kuriou À(Sinaiticus IV), A (Alexandrinus V), P (Wolfenbüttel VI), Y33 (IX), 81 (XI), 104 (XI), 330 (XII), 451 (XI), 1241 (XII),1962 (XI), 2127 (XII), 2492 (XIII), syrh (Harclean Syriac VI), copbo(Boharic Coptic III), arm (Armenian V), eth (Ethiopic VI), Euthalius (V) // tou qeou 1985(XVI), Chrysostom (V) // omit C(Ephræmi Rescriptus V)

 

Was it through the work of "Christ," "the Christ," "lord," or "the God" that Epaphroditus drew near to death? - or was it simply "the work"? The last two can be overlooked for lack of support, although Lightfoot vouches for the omission, citing the even division of "the authorities" and the fact that all the others are insertions to explain "the work." The reading "Christ" weighs in with the most ancient witnesses with the Chester Beatty Papyrus, the Vaticanus, and Origen's commentary, which is probably why the UBS favors that reading. They give it a "C" rating, however, because the Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus vouch for "lord" instead and because there is some question as to whether or not the definite article was in the original letter. Early scholars have apparently also followed the reading of"(the) Christ," as it is in the majority of Lectionaries, Byzantine, and Italian manuscripts.

 

TRANSLATIONS

 

NAW: 25 But I considered1it necessary to send2 to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow-soldier, but your apostle and the minister to my need, 26 for he was4 longing3 for all of you and worried5 because you heard6 that he was sick.7a27 For he was indeed sick,7b almost to death, but God had mercy8on him - and not only him, but also me, so that I would not have9sorrow upon sorrow! 28 Therefore I send10 him more eagerly so that when you see11 him again you may be glad12 and I myself may be13 more free from sorrow. 29 Therefore, welcome14him in the Lord with all joy, and hold15 those like him in honor, 30because, through the work of Christ, he came close16 unto death, risking17 his life in order that he might fill in18 for your absence of ministry to me.

 

KJV: 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

 

ASV: 25But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need;26 since he longed after you all, and was sore troubled, because ye had heard that he was sick: 27 for indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I have sent him therefore the more diligently, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all joy; and hold such in honor: 30 because for the work of Christ he came nigh unto death, hazarding his life to supply that which was lacking in your service toward me.

 

NASV: 25 But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need; 26 because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.27 For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly in order that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you. 29 Therefore receive him in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard; 30because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.

 

NIV: 25But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, 30because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me.

 

Syn-Log Flow:

19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send TIMOTHY to you shortly

24 And I trust in the Lord that I MYSELF also shall be coming shortly,

25 But I considered1it necessary to send2 to you EPAPHRODITUS,

my brother, fellow worker, and fellow-soldier,

but yourapostle and the minister to my need,

26 for he was4

¨     longing3for all of you (Why necessary to send Epaphroditus)

¨     and worried5because you heard6 that he was sick.7a

27 For he was indeed sick,7balmost to death, (Why they heard Epaphroditus was sick)

but God had mercy8 on him -and not only him, but also me,

so that I would not have9sorrow upon sorrow! (Why God spared Epaphroditus)

28Therefore I send10 him more eagerly (Recap of 25 in terms of Purpose)

so that when you see11him again

¨     you may be glad12

¨     and I myself may be13 more free from sorrow.

29Therefore, welcome14 him in the Lord with all joy, and hold15those like him in honor,

30 because, through the work of Christ, he came close16 unto death, (Why welcome Epaphroditus)

risking17 his life (How Epaphroditus came close to death)

in order that he might fill in18 (Epaphroditus's purpose for risking his life)

for your absence of ministry to me.

 

COMMENTARY:

2:25 anagkaion de hAgAsamAn 1

NECESSARY: What ought according to the law of duty be done; what is required by the condition of things (Thayer). This is an emphatic placement. Paul mentioned in1:24 that it was "necessary" for him to remain on in the flesh for the sake of the Philippians, and now he's saying that it's necessary to go ahead and send Epaphroditus.

 

CONSIDERED: This is the same verb used in 2:6, describing Christ not "considering" equality with God a thing to be clutched. It is a careful weighing and comparison of external facts (Earle). Lightfoot asserts that this is an Epistolary Aorist, meaning that Paul wrote the letter and sent it by Epaphroditus, speaking in the past tense of his present thought process (Barclay takes it the same way). Clark contends that Timothy was instead the bearer of the letter, sent immediately after Epaphroditus, making this verb not an Epistolary Aorist, but a real past tense, but I'm not convinced.

 

epafroditon ton adelfon kai sunergon kai sustratiOtAn

Epaphroditus was a "fellow worker and fellow soldier" with Paul. (All the English versions but the KJV render it thus. Earle criticizes the KJV's "companion in labour, "but I can't see any difference in meaning.) Lightfoot notes that this is the only epistle in which Epaphroditus is mentioned. This is not to say that Epaphroditus necessarily made tents or that Paul was in the army -- it’s speaking of their work in Christian ministry in terms of the labour involved and in terms of the militaristic advance of the Gospel.

 

humOn de apostolon kai leitourgon tAs chreias mou ,

There is a contrast between Paul's point of view (Epaphroditus as fellow-worker) and the Philippians' point of view (Epaphroditus as an emissary to help Paul).Earle notes that this word apovstolonis used 81 times in the N.T., and this is one of only two places where English versions don't translate it "apostle." I understand that this is an effort to not confuse Paul's office of apostle with the ministry of Epaphroditus, but the word has a broad meaning of "one sent on a mission," and that certainly applies to Epaphroditus, who apparently had been sent from the church at Philippi with a sum of money to minister to Paul's needs. The word for "minister" here comes from leitos= "public" + ergw ="work" (Thayer) and was frequently applied to a person of property who performed a public duty or service to the state at his own expense(Pershbacher) (cf Rom.13). The word is also used of the service which priests would perform, and Paul has just used the word in that sense in 2:17 "poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith" (A&G). Earle notes that the money Epaphroditus brought is probably what enabled Paul to rent his own house rather than being in a dungeon. Barclay suggests that Paul chose these grand words “apostle" and "minister" to embellish Epaphroditus' résumé, as it were, and convey that he held Epaphroditus in the highest regard.

 

Maybe Paul is sending his disciples ahead because this is a point where they need to become independent from his discipleship. What do you suppose Timothy and Epaphroditus did when they arrived in Philippi? They were probably warmly greeted. Then they had the option of wallowing in it and enjoying life with friends or actively teaching and discipling also... The latter is not the easiest route, but it is one I must choose, too. God it really shouldn't matter to me if I become unacceptable to some people because of my faith. Father, give me a real servant's heart to seek out needs and be creative in filling them. Lord, give me a faith that WORKS! (NW 1987)

 

de ... pempsai 2pros humas ,

BUT...TO SEND: Paul hopes to send Timothy over soon (v.19) and also to visit them himself (v.24), but for now, he's going ahead and sending Epaphroditus.

 

2:26 epeidA epipothOn 3An 4pantas humas kai adAmonOn 5

epeidhlit. "upon sight" of the fact that Epaphroditus was "longing" and "troubled." It's an Imperfect Paraphrastic construction with the Imperfect verb of being (continuous action in past time) connected with two participles in present time: "longing" and “troubled." (Thayer notes that the epi in epipoqwn is directive, lit. "longing upon" or "in the direction of" you.) The second participle, adhmonwn is variously translated "distressed" (NIV & NAS), "troubled" (ASV, Greene, Earle), "full of heaviness/sorrow" (KJV/Persh.), "worried/anxious" (NAW/ A&G). It is the "confused, restless, half-distracted state, which is produced by physical derangement, or by mental distress, as grief, shame, disappointment, etc" (Lightfoot). Poor Epaphroditus was homesick for Philippi and he also knew how anxious the folks back home must be for him, and that really troubled him. He was doing his best to serve God ina place far from home, for Paul calls him "brother, fellow-worker, and fellow-soldier," but Paul is sensitive enough to realize how much Epaphroditus longed to be back with his people.

 

dioti Akousate 6hoti AsthenAsen 7a.

2:27 kai gar AsthenAsen 7bparaplAsion thanatOi :

Apparently while Epaphroditus was in Rome, ministering to Paul, he got very sick and literally "came alongside as a neighbor" (paraplhsion) to death (Thayer), "was so ill that he nearly died" (A&G), he "came near to" (Persh./ KJV), "to the point of" (NAS), "almost to" (NAW) death. Barclay suggests that it was “the notorious Roman fever which sometimes swept the city." This illness must have caused no little concern to the folks back in Philippi who had sent Epaphroditus, and he wanted to reassure them that he was o.k. The repetition “he was sick, for indeed he was sick almost to death" carries the implication that the previous understates the case (Lightfoot). The Philippians heard that he was sick, so Paul recognizes and reasserts what they had heard, reinforcing it with a little more information (Alfred, DFZ).

 

alla ho theos AleAsen 8auton ,

The verb here is translated by all English versions "had mercy on." It has to do with God's gracious favor granted to one unworthy of it (Thayer), pity, help, acts of mercy (A&G),compassion, sympathy (Pershbacher).

 

ouk auton de monon alla kai eme ,hina mA lupAn epi lupAn

God’s merciful act of healing came not only as a blessing to Epaphroditus, but also to Paul (the "me" is emphatic). Whether or not this was a miraculous healing, Paul attributes it to God and also suggests the purpose for God's healing of Epaphroditus: that Paul might not have "sorrow upon sorrow." The word luphnhas to do with pain, distress, grief, sorrow, affliction (Persh.), and is used of mourning for the dead in John 16:6 (Thayer). Paul already was experiencing the sorrows of prison and of critics, and to have a brother die while visiting would be a sorrow too great. Notice that the "might have" is not absolute; it is a weak negative coupled with a Subjunctive verb. If Paul were not disciplining his mind to rejoice in the Lord, he might still be sorrowful considering his circumstances, the healing of Epaphroditus notwithstanding. But God is gracious and Paul chooses to rejoice in that.

 

2:28 spoudaioterOs oun epempsa 10auton ,

The verb here is an Epistolary Aorist considered not from the time of the writing of the letter before Epaphroditus had been sent, but considered from the point of view of the reader of the letter after Epaphroditus had arrived: lit. "I sent him" (Hanna, Earle). spoudaioterws is an interesting word in the comparative degree, variously rendered "with special urgency" (A&G), "hastily" (Thayer), "more eagerly" (NAS,Lightfoot), "more earnestly"(Pershbacher), "more carefully" (KJV), "more diligently" (ASV), "very zealously" (Hanna). Paul, recognizing the longing and worry that Epaphroditus has and also recognizing the joy that the Philippians would experience to have Epaphroditus back, is sending him home post-haste. In doing so, Paul models the command he gave the Philippians earlier in this chapter to consider other's interests above your own!

 

hina idontes 11auton palin charAte 12kagO alupoteros O 13

Paul recognized that he needed to send Epaphroditus home, and that he needed to send Epaphroditus all the more quickly so that the Philippians will be gladdened to see him again. Lightfoot notes that they will be especially glad to find out that Epaphroditus is no longer sick. The kagw; is a contraction of kai+ egw "and I myself," and the alupoterosis a comparative a-formative of the word luphn used in the previous verse for "sorrow"(Persh.); lit. "not more sorrow." Looking at the two verses in parallel, we could say that God lightened Paul's spirits by healing Epaphroditus, and Paul’s spirits will be lightened even further by knowing that Epaphroditus is back home with his loved ones in Philippi (although it doesn't negate the other sorrows of Paul's condition in prison, hence "more free of sorrow" rather than “free of all sorrow" - Lightfoot).

 

2:29 prosdexesthe 14oun auton en kuriOi meta pasAs charas

Therefore(i.e. since it is Paul's intention that the Philippians rejoice when they see Epaphroditus), "receive/welcome him in the Lord with all joy." Welcoming parties are a wonderful thing! Note that it was not with mere "joy" but with “all joy" this was to be a PARTY!

 

kai tous toi outous entimous echete 15,

Paul widens the focus of special honor beyond Epaphroditus to anyone else who is like Epaphroditus "such as this sort" (Persh.), "of such a character" (Thayer),"such a person" (A&G),"men like him" (NAS, NIV).The command entimous ecete is rendered "hold in high regard" (Earle, ASV), "hold in esteem/ respect" (A&G), "hold in reputation" (KJV), "honor" (ASV, NIV), "value highly" (Thayer), "regard as honored" (Hanna). Men who have been faithful in Christian ministry - especially to the point of risking their lives - should be honored. It's a terrible shame when a missionary comes home from the field where he or she has risked life in order to minister the Gospel, and there is no welcoming party upon arrival and little honor or value placed upon them by the church. It's a shame when a faithful minister is not held in esteem by his church simply because he is in “Para-church" ministry. It's a shame when a faithful church pastor is run out of his church by malicious gossip and slander. We should HONOR these people! And this does not mean a one-time celebration in honor of someone, but a continuous holding up of that person in honor over time (DFZ).

 

2:30 hoti dia to ergon Christou mechri thanatou Aggisen 16paraboleusamenos 17tAi psuchAi

"Because, through the work of Christ, he came close unto death, risking his life..." Does this phrase describe the brush with death that Epaphroditus had due to sickness in v.27? Lightfoot suggests that Epaphroditus risked his life through over-exertion in ministering to Paul and that's how he got sick, but my thought is that it may not be immediately related. Paul uses different verbs in the two phrases. Perhaps that's also why the phrase "risking his life" is added as a simultaneous Aorist here, to distinguish between the earlier time when Epaphroditus was sick, and the time referred to here, where Epaphroditus risked his life in a ministry venture. There is a stronger connection in my mind to the phrase mecri qanatou also found in 2:8, describing Christ becoming obedient "unto death." Perhaps Paul is drawing a comparison between Epaphroditus' selfless service and that of Christ. They had no concern/regard for their own life (A&G, KJV) - in fact, one could accuse them of recklessly hazarding their lives (Thayer, ASV) or gambling (Lightfoot, Barclay), but in both cases it was done out of a consideration for others (2:3). The journey from Philippi to Rome would have been risky, and Rome was a dangerous place for any Christian to live (Clark), and, on top of that, to offer himself as the personal attendant of a man awaiting trial on a capital charge was laying himself open to the very considerable risk of becoming involved in the same charge (Barclay). Whatever the case, Paul is writing a glowing reference for Epaphroditus to carry home with him so that he will be received in honor and not be ashamed.

(Note Pronominal use of the article in th yuch:lit. "the life," but translated "his life.")

 

hina anaplArOsAi 18to humOn husterAma tAs pros me leitourgias .

Epaphroditus risked his life literally for the purpose of "fill[ing] up your lack of ministry to me." I disagree with the ASV and NAS in assigning a dative meaning("in the ministry") to the second genitive phrase and also with the NIV for adding a verb "give" which isn't there, but it is admittedly a difficult line to translate, because the double genitive is an unusual construction(Hanna) - my wife suggests that maybe this is due to Paul writing late at night! It is generally agreed that the lack or absence that Epaphroditus filled up/ supplied/ completed was the physical presence of believers. The Philippians were in Philippi, hundreds of miles away from Rome, so Epaphroditus visited Paul to "fill in for" them. "What they could not do in person, Epaphroditus did for them" (Clark). The word for ministry/service leitourgias,is the same used in v.25 to describe Epaphroditus' mission to Paul.

 

God is a merciful God. He is concerned with caring for His children. One of the reasons God healed Epaphroditus was because Paul had "sorrows" in prison, yet God did not want to add the sorrow of the death of Epaphroditus to him. God is a God of joy to His children! Paul's sending and the Philippians' receiving of Epaphroditus is an occasion of joy. God, thank you for Your mercy - that incredible mercy that sent Jesus to die for me when I didn't deserve it. You’re such an awesome God. I could never thank you enough for the love You show to me! Thank you also for the deep joy that I can always experience in the centre of Your will. Sometimes I don't feel so much joy, but I think that maybe because I've never known the desolation of a life apart from You. Make my life sweet - just like You have been doing. Fill me with a surpassing joy in serving You, and make me overwhelmed with an attitude of gratitude manifested in eager and consistent servanthood (NW 1987).

 

Main Point

Paul models consideration of others by sending Epaphroditus home early to Philippi with high commendations.

 

Application

1.     We should consider the interests of others above our own. This includes being sensitive to how they feel.

2.     God cares for us and will not callously add sorrow upon sorrow, yet at the same time, we must chose to rejoice in our circumstances.

3.     We should send representatives from our church to encourage Christian workers in other places.

4.     We should warmly welcome and highly honor faithful missionaries, Christian ministers, and church pastors.

5.     We should be willing to hazard our lives for the sake of the Gospel! (Barclay)

6.     We do not need to personally do all the work the Lord has for us, but we can use others who can benefit us and others (DFZ).

 

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