Paul earnestly recommendeth to the Philippians mutual love and union, lowliness of mind, and that charitable condescension for the good of others, exemplified in the life and death of Christ, for which God had exalted him to be Lord of all. He exhorteth them to carefulness in working out their own salvation, to obey the will of God cheerfully and universally, that so they might distinguish themselves from the rest of the world by a bright example of virtue; and by their steadiness give him cause to rejoice in the success of his labours, who would gladly lay down his life to serve them. He hopeth to send Timothy to them shortly, whom he greatly commendeth; as he doth the affection and zeal of Epaphroditus, whom he sendeth with this epistle.
1IF there 1be therefore any 2consolation 3in Christ, if any 4comfort 5of love, if any 6fellowship of the Spirit, if any 7bowels and 8mercies,
1 Or, hath place with you: or, may avail with you.
2 Or, exhortation. For, the Greek word signifies both.
3 That is, in Christ’s Name, or, for Christ’s sake.
4 That is, comfortable address.
5 That is, done out of sincere love.
6 That is, if you also show the grace of regeneration in the practice of this exhortation. Or, if ye are bound one to another through one spirit.
7 Or, inward affections. See Philip. 1:8.
8 That is, compassion, namely, towards my bonds and afflictions. See Col. 3:12; Heb. 10:28.
29Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be 10likeminded,a having the same love, being 11of one accord, of one mind.
9 That is, increase it still more and more, by your christian conduct.
10 By this unity of mind is understood not only of the same kind of opinion in the understanding, concerning the chief articles of christian doctrine, but also unity in will, affections and love, as the same is also expressed here. See Acts 4:32.
a Rom. 12:16; 15:5; 1 Cor. 1:10; Philip. 3:16; 1 Peter 3:8.
11 Gr. of one soul; or, having the souls joined together.
3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory;b butc in lowliness of mind let each esteem other 12better than themselves.
b extreme self-pride and boastfulness
c Rom. 12:10; 1 Peter 5:5.
12 Namely, in gifts, or in ministries.
413Lookd not every man on his 14own things, but every man also on the 15things of others.
13 Namely, principally, or, only. For otherwise a Christian must also take care for those of his own house, 1 Tim. 5:8. The apostle uses here a word which properly signifies to look as aiming at a mark.
d 1 Cor. 10:24; 13:5.
14 That is, his own profit, honor, or ease.
15 That is, which tends to his neighbor’s profit, honor, service and edification.
5Lete16this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
e Mat. 11:29; John 13:15; 1 Peter 2:21; 1 John 2:6.
16 Gr. let the same be felt, that is, let then the same disposition and inclination be in you unto humility.
6Who,f being in the 17form of God, thought it 18not robbery to be equal 19with God:
f 2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3.
17 Gr. morphe; that is, fashion, or, form, by which word it is here translated because thereby is signified here, not only a Divine majesty and glory, but also the Divine Essence Itself, forasmuch as without the Same there can be no true Divine majesty and glory, and this also can be with none but with the true God, Isa. 42:8. And it appears by what follows, that by this word the Essence of God is signified here also, as is said in verse 6 that He was equally to God, and verse 7 that He took upon Him the form of a servant, that is, not only the quality of a bondman or servant, but also a true human nature itself, endued with such qualities. So that the words, in the form of God, are to be understood of His Essence and state, in which He was from all eternity, before He took the human nature upon Him. See John 1:1, 14; 17:5.
18 That is, nothing that was unlawful or unjust, which did not of right belong unto Him, as if He had got it by robbery.
19 That is, to be and to remain perfectly like to God, His Father, according to His Divine Essence, and consequently also in majesty and glory, as being one with the Father. See John 5:18, 26; 10:30; 16:15; Heb. 1:3.
7Butg20made 21himself of no reputation, and took upon him 22theh form of a servant, 23and was made in the likeness of men:
g Psalm 8:5.
20 Gr. made void, or, made empty, that is, laid aside, as it were, the use of His Divine glory for a time, to accomplish the work of our redemption in the state of humiliation, and, as it were, emptied Himself thereof, and kept it hidden in His human nature, letting otherwise perhaps shine forth only some small rays of the same by His miracles, John 1:14; 2:11. In the eighth verse following, it is expounded by the word humbled.
21 Namely, altogether willingly.
22 This is expounded by the following words, namely, that He took on Him a true human nature, and with the same a very low and contemptible estate as of a slave or servant, to satisfy thus for our sins, and serve His Father for our redemption. See Isa. 53:11.
h Mat. 20:28; John 13:14.
23 Gr. being made in men’s likeness; that is, being made like unto men, namely, not only according to the human nature assumed by Him, but also according to all the infirmities of the same, without sin. See Heb. 2:17; 4:15. Or, as a wicked and despised man. See Judges 16:7, 11; Psalm 82:7.
8Andi being 24found 25in fashion 26as a man, he humbledj27himself, and became 28obedient 29unto death, even 30the death of the cross.
i Heb. 2:14, 17; 4:15.
24 That is, found to be.
25 Thereby is understood the same that before was named form and likeness, joined with an outward walk amongst men.
26 That is, as a true and also as a wicked and despised man. See verse 7.
j Heb. 2:9; 12:2.
27 See the foregoing 7th verse.
28 Namely, subjecting Himself willingly in all things to the will of His Father.
29 That is, not only in all manner of commands, but also in the most grievous, to die the death; to which otherwise He was not subjected, neither according to His Divine nature, which is immortal. 1 Tim. 1:17, nor according to His human nature, forasmuch as there was no sin in the same, 1 John 3:5, and therefore had not deserved the wages thereof, Rom. 6:23.
30 That is, the most bitter and most shameful death, which was also accursed of God, Deut. 21:23. Under this lowest degree of humiliation the apostle comprehends all others who went before the same in both body and soul, and expresses this, the better to set before our eyes the utmost humiliation of Christ, and thereby to exhort believers to humility.
931Whereforek32God also hath 33highly exalted him, and 34given him 35a namel which is 36above every name:
31 By this word wherefore is not indicated that by this humiliation Christ merited the following glory for Himself; for all that Christ merited, that He merited for us. John 17:19, but only points to what followed thereupon, or, was suited to follow. See the like Acts 20:26; Heb. 3:7; 2 Peter 1:10.
k Acts 2:33.
32 Namely, the Father.
33 Namely, after that He, being risen from the dead and ascended into heaven, sat on the right hand of God in the highest glory. Eph. 1:20; Heb. 1:3, which according to His divine nature He had indeed from eternity, John 17:5, but seeing He had, as it were, laid aside the use thereof in the state of His humiliation, He took the same upon Him again after His ascension, and showed it gloriously; and His human nature, both in soul and body, was adorned with such an high glory and blessedness, as a creature is able to receive, far surpassing all glory of angels and other human beings.
34 Or, granted. See Philip. 1:29, whereby is meant that His exaltation came to pass according to the Father’s will and pleasure.
35 Thereby is understood not the bare Name whereby He was distinguished from other men; for, such He had also in the state of humiliation; nor yet only the renown of His Person, but the majesty and glory of the Same. See Eph. 1:21.
l Heb. 1:4.
36 That is, the greatest and highest glory.
1037Thatm38at the name of Jesus every knee should 39bow, of things 40in heaven, and things 41in earth, and things 42under the earth;
37 Or, in order that.
m Isa. 45:23; Rom. 14:11.
38 That is, this Jesus Christ being thus glorified, and by reason of this His glory.
39 That is, all reasonable creatures subject themselves, even His very enemies against their will. The apostle here alludes to that which God says, Isa. 45:23, and applies the same here to Jesus Christ, as also Rom. 14:11. These words than must not be properly understood , to wit, that, when the Name Jesus is mentioned, men must bow their knees, as some, through misunderstanding of this place, not without superstition, do; for, the angels and wicked spirits, of whom here also is spoken, have properly no knees, but by a similitude from the outward reverence, which men thereby show to kings or princes to whom they are subject, is here understood the subjection of all creatures under Christ, as the Lord of lords, and King of kings, Rev. 19:16, the Prince of the kings of the earth, Rev. 1:5, and Lord of all, Acts 10:36.
40 Namely, the holy angels and blessed souls, Rev. 5:13.
41 That is, all men, living upon earth.
42 That is, all men who have died and are in the graves, or else, all wicked spirits and damned persons who are in hell, that is, all reasonable creatures, in whatsoever place of the created world they be. For, although the devils and the ungodly and damned men do not give Christ the proper submission and honor they ought, yet notwithstanding they must, even against their wills, be subject unto Him as the Lord and Judge over all. See Psalm 22:29; 72:9.
11Andnthat 43every tongue should confess 44that Jesus Christ is Lord, 45to the glory of God the Father.
n John 13:13; 1 Cor. 8:6; 12:3.
43 Namely, of all nations and people, and also of all reasonable creatures, not only of the good but also of the bad, which, how much so ever they set themselves against Christ, nevertheless have many times been constrained to confess Him against their will, Mark 5:7; Acts 16:17, and shall in the last judgment be compelled to acknowledge Him for the Judge of the quick and of the dead, and for the Lord. Mat. 7:22.
44 Or, that the Lord Jesus is Christ, that is, the Anointed.
45 That is, which confession tends to the spreading abroad of the glory of the Father, Who, of mere mercy and grace towards us, has appointed and given this His Son Jesus for a Lord and Savior.
12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always 46obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, 47work out your own salvation 48with fear and trembling.
46 Namely, the Gospel, embracing the same by a true faith, and living according to the same by a godly conduct.
47 That is, give diligence, take pains, using the means which God has ordained for the furthering of the same.
48 That is, with a low opinion of yourselves, and with great and child-like carefulness, fearing lest you may do or omit something whereby you may provoke God to anger, or that may be an hindrance to your salvation. See of this phrase, Psalm 2:11; 1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 7:15; Eph. 6:5; Heb. 12:28; 1 Peter 1:17.
13Foro it is God 49which worketh in you both 50to will and 51to do 52of his good pleasure.
o 2 Cor. 3:5.
49 This is added here, that from this foregoing exhortation men should not think or conclude, that a man of himself and by his own abilities could work out salvation. See Philip. 1:6; 2 Cor. 3:5; James 1:17.
50 That is, not only to be able to will, but also to will itself; powerfully inclining and bending the will to choose the good, and so of unwilling making it willing by the power of the Holy Spirit. John 3:5; 6:44; Rom. 9:16; 1 Peter 1:3.
51 Or, the working out, that is, the doing and finishing of the good that they will.
52 That is, not according to any foregoing good disposition or preparation, which He would find in man, but according to His pleasure, of pure grace. See Eph. 1:5, 9, 11; 2:8; 2 Tim. 1:9.
14Dop53all things 54withoutq murmurings and 55disputings:
p Rom. 12:17; 1 Peter 2:12.
53 Namely, which the Lord commands you, how difficult so ever it may be to the flesh.
54 That is, willingly, and patiently.
q 1 Peter 4:9.
55 Or, contentions, ponderings, namely, whether you shall do or not what God commands. For, the Greek word signifies, either in one’s mind, or disputing or arguing back and forth with words.
15That ye may be 56blameless and 57harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of 58a crooked and perverse nation, amongr59whom 60ye shine 61as lights in the world;
56 That is, in order that men may not justly blame your conduct. See Luke 1:6; Eph. 5:26, 27.
57 Or, simple, without guile. See Mat. 10:16.
58 That is, unbelieving and unregenerate people. See Acts 2:40.
r Prov. 4:18; Mat. 5:14.
59 Namely, people.
60 That is, henceforward also ought to shine and to enlighten.
61 Or, illuminators, stars. See Prov. 4:18; Mat. 5:14.
1662Holding forth the word 63of life; that I may rejoice 64in the day of Christ, that Is have not 65run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
62 That is, steadfastly preserving, professing and practicing the wholesome doctrine of the Gospel; or, propounding.
63 That is, in which eternal life and the way to attain it, is set forth unto us, and which leads us thereunto. See John 6:68.
64 Namely, when He shall come to judge all men, or to deliver me out of this life.
s 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thes. 2:19.
65 Namely, in the race of my ministry, administered unto you by the preaching of this word.
17Yea, and if 66I be 67offered 68upon the sacrifice and 69service of your faith, It joy, and rejoice with you all.
66 Namely, shedding my blood for the Gospel’s sake.
67 The Greek word signifies to be offered in such a manner, that in the Old Testament in addition to the meat offering of fine flour, wine was also offered for a drink offering. The apostle here has respect to the shedding of his blood. For, the blood of the martyrs is an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. Psalm 116:15.
68 That is, because I have by the preaching of the Gospel, as it were, offered up and consecrated you, and thereby have served you to bring you to the faith, wherein you shall be confirmed by my death.
69 Gr. leitourgia. Of this word, see Rom. 15:16; 2 Cor. 9:12; Heb. 8:2, 6.
t 2 Cor. 7:4.
18For the same cause also 70do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
70 This may be understood either by way of exhortation, that they then shall rejoice; or, by way of rehearsal, that they did such.
19But I trust 71in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheusu shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
71 That is, with the help and by the grace of the Lord, if it shall please Him. See Acts 18:21; 1 Cor. 4:19; James 4:15.
u Acts 16:1; Rom. 16:21; 1 Thes. 3:2.
20For I have no man 72likeminded, who will 73naturally care for 74your state.
72 Gr. of a like soul, that is, who bears you so good an heart as I and as he.
73 The Greek word properly signifies: so sincerely as it comes from nature itself, as parents take care for their children which are born of them.
74 Namely, which concern the edification of your congregation and your salvation.
21Forv75all seek 76their own, 77not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
v 1 Cor. 10:24; 13:5.
75 That is, well near all, or almost all, as Mat. 10:22; Mark 1:5: John 10:8.
76 That is, their own convenience, profit or honor.
77 That is, what belongs to the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom, honor, and doctrine.
22But ye know 78the proof of him, that, as 79a son with the father, he hath served 80with me in the gospel.
78 That is, the proofs of his uprightness and faithfulness, which he has often shown before this. Or, how he has always been found upright and faithful.
79 That is, not as a servant by constraint, but with a submissive and ready minded inclination. See 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:1.
80 That is, has helped me in proclaiming, propagating and defending the doctrine of the Gospel.
2381Him therefore I hope to send 82presently, so soon as I shall see how 83it will go with me.
81 Namely, Timothy, such an excellent young man and a faithful teacher, who has been so serviceable and helpful to me.
82 This may be joined either to the word send, or to the word see.
83 Namely, which concern the administration of mine office.
24But I 84trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
84 That is, I firmly hope and doubt little thereof; for, this word here does not signify a firm assurance of heart, but a great and strong hope. See Philip. 1:25.
25Yet I supposed it necessary to send 85to you 86Epaphroditus, 87my brother, and 88companion in labour, and 89fellowsoldier, but your 90messenger, and he that 91ministered to my wants.
85 Namely, now presently with this epistle.
86 See also of him, Philip. 4:18. Some think that he is the same person who is called Epaphras, Col. 1:7; 4:12; Philemon verse 23, but this is uncertain.
87 That is, my associate and a teacher of the Holy Gospel.
88 Namely, in the work of proclaiming the Gospel.
89 Namely, in the spiritual conflict against the enemies of the Gospel, with great labor and danger of his life.
90 Gr. apostolon, which word in particular signifies one who was called and sent forth by Christ Himself to preach the Gospel throughout the entire world, Gal. 1:1; Eph. 4:11; but here it is taken more largely in general for one who is sent forth by someone to act anything in his name or for him: he was sent by the Philippians from Rome unto Paul, to carry to him that which they had contributed for his maintenance. Or also, your teacher; for, so this word is also sometimes taken for any kind of teacher. See Rom. 16:7; 2 Cor. 8:23.
91 Or, and minister of my necessities. As to why the apostle calls him minister, or that ministers, Philip. 4:18.
26For he longed 92after you all, and was full of 93heaviness, because that 94ye had heard that he had been sick.
92 That is, to see you all again, and to be with you.
93 The Greek word signifies a very troublesome expectation of any evil or sorrow, with great distress of heart. See Mat. 26:37; Mark 14:33.
94 Namely, and knew that you, who so loved and esteemed him, would be extremely grieved for it.
27For indeed he was sick 95nigh unto death: but God had mercy on 96him; and not on him only, but on 97me also, lest I should have 98sorrow upon 99sorrow.
95 That is, that he was in such great danger, he would have died by this sickness.
96 That is, preserved him alive by grace, and restored him to health again.
97 Namely, because I account the grace which was shown to him as if it were shown to myself, because of the help which I have from him.
98 Namely, for the death of such an excellent teacher and an useful instrument in the church of God.
99 Namely, which is daily inflicted upon me in these bonds by the enemies of the Gospel.
28I sent him therefore 100the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be 101the less sorrowful.
100 Namely, as soon as he was well again. Or, the more speedily, the more diligently.
101 Namely, as I have been, while you were constrained to be so long without your faithful teacher.
29Receive him therefore 102in the Lord with all gladness; andw hold 103such 104in reputation:
102 That is, for the Lord’s sake, Whose minister he is; or, entertain not with any worldly joy, but as is acceptable to the Lord.
w 1 Cor. 9:14; Gal. 6:6; 1 Thes. 5:12; 1 Tim. 5:17; Heb. 13:17.
103 That is, who are ministers of the Gospel, and especially who are so faithful as he and Timothy.
104 Or, in honor, or, precious.
30Because 105for the work of Christ he was 106nigh unto death, 107not regarding 108his life, to supply 109your lack of service toward me.
105 That is, for the work whereunto Christ had called him; or, which he had undertaken for the propagation of the Kingdom of Christ and of His glory. Whereby is understood, either in general the ministry of the Word with all that appertains thereunto, or, in particular the service which he had done the apostle, in the bringing over of what the Philippians had sent unto him, and which he still did in serving him in his bonds; all which tended also to the propagation and service of the Kingdom of Christ.
106 That is, was in great danger of his life. Namely, either in that dangerous journey, or here at Rome, because he helps and serves me in spreading abroad the Gospel.
107 The Greek word signifies to take counsel without regarding or taking notice of his own soul or life, that is, that, having considered what he must do of necessity, either put his life in danger, or neglect his ministry, he determined rather to hazard his life.
108 Gr. his soul.
109 That is, in order that, seeing you cannot be here present yourselves to serve me in my bonds, he might do the same in the stead of you all. Gr. your want of ministration to me.