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cL. 7 

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I . 
















Edited by the Eev. W. YOUNG, M.A., Glasgow. 




Die Theologie selhst nichts Anderes ist, als eine Grammatik 
angewandt anf die Grammata des Heiligen Geistes. — Luther. 

The wise and well-couched order of Saint Paul's own words. — 

Nee putemus in verbis scripturarum esse evangelium, sed in sensu ; 
non in superficie, sed in medulla ; non in sermonum foliis, sed in 
radice rationis. — Jerome. 

Si parmi lea ecrits de Paul il en est un, qui plus que d'autres, 
porte l'empreinte de la spontan&t^, et repousse toute apparence de 
falsification motived par l'interSt d'une secte, e'est sans contredit 
Pepitre auz Philippiens. — Rilltet. 

Der Inhalt ist brieflicher, als in irgend einem andern an eine 
Gemeinde gerichteten Schreiben. — De Wette. 


The Trustees on Dr. Eadie's Estate have resolved to 
issue a new edition of his Commentaries on the 
Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and 
Colossians, three of which are out of print They 
believe the republication to be called for, as the dis- 
tinctive place which these Commentaries hold has not 
yet been filled by other expository works. They also 
feel it to be due to the memory of the distinguished 
author, who, by his rare ability, extensive learning, and 
remarkable acquirements, all of which, through Divine 
grace, were consecrated to the study and interpretation 
of sacred Scripture, was enabled to bequeath a legacy 
so valuable to the Church of Christ. Few exegetical 
works will be found to equal these Commentaries in 
exact scholarship, while there are none, it may be truly 
said, that excel them in spiritual insight, in clear and 
masterly exhibition of the mind of the Divine Spirit, 
and in thorough sympathy with evangelical truth. The 
use of them will prove especially helpful in the study 
of the Divine word. 

The Rev. William Young, M.A., of Parkhead Church, 
Glasgow, at the request of the Trustees, has kindly 
engaged to edit the volumes. In his qualifications for 

iv trustees' note. 

this work, which requires both scholarship and ability, 
they have the fullest confidence. While he has applied 
a careful scrutiny to all the references, and suggested 
such corrections and additions as he felt to be 
necessary, he has made no alteration on the text, 
which is wholly as it came from the hand of the 

The Trustees are gratified to add, that the repub- 
lication of the Commentaries has been undertaken 
by the Firm of Messrs. T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, 
to whose enterprise in the publication of valuable 
theological works, the Christian Church is so much 

The issue commences with the Commentary on the 

Epistle to the Ephesians, which was the first of the 

author's exegetical works. 


Dennistoux, Glasgow, 
October 1st, 1883. 


I have little to add to the explanations made in the prefaces 
to my previous Commentaries on the Epistles to the Ephesians 
and Colossians. My object is still the same, however far I 
may fall short of realizing my own ideal — the development 
and illustration of the great apostle's thoughts, as they are 
expressed in his " weighty and powerful " letters. I humbly 
trust, that through a prolonged intimacy with his genius and 
style, my " profiting may appear to all" For one forms a 
gradual and happy acquaintance with the peculiarities of his 
mind and language through careful and continuous observation 
and study ; just as, had we lived in those early times, we 
should have grown familiar, from being much in his company, 
with his gait, voice, features, and dress. While he writes 
after the same general pattern as do the other sacred penmen 
of the New Testament, he has an unmistakeable type of his 
own, has his own favourite turns and points, his own recurring 
modes of putting an argument or giving edge to an appeal, of 
rebutting an objection, or going off by some sudden suggestion 
into a digression or parenthesis. While these special features 
may be recognized in all his epistles, they occur naturally in 
a letter like that to the Fhilippians, which is thrown off with- 
out any steady or definite aim, and where neither designed 
exposition nor reproof forms the burden of the com- 


The first question then is — What is the precise meaning of 
these sentences which the apostle wrote to the church in 
Philippi ? or what is the sense which the church in that city 
would most naturally ascribe to them ? It is to be supposed 
that they understood the document, and our effort is simply 
to place ourselves in their intellectual or spiritual position. 
We seek to comprehend the epistle by a careful analysis of 
its clauses, an anxious survey of the context, and a cautious 
comparison of similar idioms and usages; while through a 
profound sympathy with the writer, we seek to pfenetrate into 
his mind, and be carried along with him in those mental 
processes which, as they create the contents of the composi- 
tion, impart to it its character and singularity. Our know- 
ledge of Greek is perfect only in so far as it enables us to 
attach the same ideas to his words, which the apostle intended 
to convey by them. Every means must be employed to 
secure this unity of intelligence — every means which the 
progress of philological science places within our reach. At 
the same time, there is much which no grammatical law can 
fix, for the meaning of a particle is often as much a matter of 
aesthetics as of philology. The citation of a grammatical 
canon, in such cases, often proves only the possibility of 
one meaning out of many, but does not decide on any one 
with certainty ; while reliance on such isolated proof is 
apt to degenerate into mere subtleness and refinement. The 
exegesis, or the ascertainment of the course of thought, must 
determine many minute questions, not against grammar, but 
.in harmony with its spirit and laws. Contextual scrutiny 
and grammatical legislation have a happy reactionary influ- 
ence, and any attempt to dissever them must tend to produce 
one-sided and unsatisfactory interpretation. 

But the meaning of the epistle to those who originally 


received it being ascertained, the second question is — What 
are the value and signification of the same writing for us ? 
What was simply personal between Paul and Philippi was 
so far temporary, though it does suggest lessons of permanent 
interest. But believing that the apostle was inspired, I 
accept his dogmatic and ethical teaching as divine truth — 
truth derived from God, and by God's own impulse and 
revelation communicated to the churches. This unreserved 
acceptance of scriptural truth is not at all hostile to the free 
spirit of scientific investigation. But it is wholly contrary to 
such a belief, and at variance with what I hold to be the 
origin and purpose of the Mew Testament, to regard the 
apostle's theology as made up of a series of Jewish theories, 
not always clearly developed or skilfully combined and ad- 
justed ; or to treat it as the speculations of an earnest and 
inquisitive mind, which occasionally lost itself among " deep 
things," and mistook its modified and relative views for uni- 
versal and absolute truth. What are called "St Paul's 
opinions," are conceived, worded, or presented by a conscious 
mind, according to its own habits and structure; but they 
are in themselves enunciations of divine truth, in and through 
the Spirit of God, for all ages ; while the private matters 
mixed up with them show, that inspiration did not lift a man 
above what is natural, that divine guidance did not repress 
the instincts of a human temperament, check the genial out- 
burst of emotion, or bar the record of mere impressions about 
future and unrevealed events, such as the alternatives of the 
apostle's own release or martyrdom. 

With such convictions, and under this broad light, I have 
endeavoured to examine this epistle ; and " my heart's desire 
and prayer to God is," that He who " gave the Word," and 
" hath given us an understanding that we may know Him 


that is true/ 1 may bless this honest and earnest effort to 
expound a portion of the " lively oracles." The love of the 
truth is homage to Him who shows Himself as the Spirit of 
Truth, while He is coming into His heritage as the Spirit of 
love. On the reception and diffusion of the truth in no 
narrow spirit, and in no cold and crystallized formulas, but 
in all the breadth and living power with which Scripture 
contains and reveals it, depend what so many good men are 
now sighing for — the reunion of the churches and the con* 
version of the world. 


f 13 Lansdowxs Cbescbnt, Glasgow, 
November 1858. 





How the course of the apostle was divinely shaped, so that it 
brought him to Philippi, is stated in Acts xvi. 6-1 2 : — " Now, 
when they had gone throughout Phiygia and the region of 
Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the 
word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to 
go into Bithynia : but the Spirit suffered them not. And 
they, passing by Mysia, came down to Troas. And a vision 
appeared to Paul in the night : There stood a man of Mace- 
donia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, 
and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately 
we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering 
that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto 
them. Therefore, loosing from Troas, we came with a straight 
course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; and 
from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of 
Macedonia, and a colony : and we were in that city abiding 
certain days." The apostle, during his second great mission- 
ary journey, had gone through a large portion of Asia Minor, 
and wished to extend his tour into proconsular Asia. But a 
curb, which he durst not resist, was laid upon him, though its 
precise object he might not be able at the moment to con- 
jecture. The Holy Ghost, in forbidding him to preach in 
Asia, meant to turn his steps towards Europe. But he and 
his colleagues reached Mysia, and when they made an effort 
to pass into Bithynia, they were suddenly stopped on the 
frontier, for the " Spirit of Jesus " suffered them not to enter. 
This double check must have warned them of some ultimate 
purpose. Passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas, but 


not to labour, as they might have anticipated, in a city sur- 
rounded by the scenes of so many classical associations. The 
divine leading had so shut up their path as to bring them to 
the seaport from which they were to set sail for a new region, 
and for a novel enterprise. As Peter had been instructed 
and prepared by a vision to go to the house of a Eoman 
soldier, so by a similar apparition Paul was beckoned across 
the -ffigean sea to Europa The low coasts of the Western 
world might be dimly seen by him under the setting sun ; 
the spiritual wants of that country, still unvisited by any 
evangelist, must have pressed upon his mind; the anxious 
ponderings of the day prepared him for the vision of the 
night, when before him "there stood a man of Macedonia, 
and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia and help 
us." He was now in a condition to respond to the prayer, 
for a narrow sea was the only barrier between him and the 
shores of northern Greece. The object of the vision could 
not be mistaken, and the supernatural limitations set to 
previous inland journeys would now be comprehended. The 
prediction had been verified in the apostle and his colleagues 
— " I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, I 
will lead them in paths that they have not known ; " and the 
promise, too, was now fulfilled — " I will make darkness light 
before thee, and crooked things straight," for the vision so im- 
pressed them that they were "assuredly gathering that the 
Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." No 
time was lost — they loosed from Troas ; the wind was fair — 
no weary tacking, no idle flapping of the sails in a calm ; a 
steady southern breeze urged them through the current that 
rushes from the Dardanelles ; they passed the island of Imbros* 
running "with a straight course to Samothracia," and cast 
anchor the same night, in the smooth water of its northern 
shore. 1 Half the voyage had been made, and next day, after 
skirting the isle of Thasos, they arrived at Neapolis, a harbour 
that seems to have stood in such a relation to Philippi as 
Ostia to Borne, Cenchrea to Corinth, Seleucia to Antioch, and 
Port-Glasgow, according to the original intentions of its 
founders, to Glasgow. When, at a subsequent period, Paul 
recrossed from Philippi to Troas, the voyage occupied five 

1 Conybeare and Howson, vol i. p. 306. 


days ; but now, " the King's business required haste/ 1 and to 
speed it, * by His power He brought in the South Wind." 
The historian briefly adds, " and from thence to Philippi ; " that 
is, along a path ten miles in length, ascending first a low ridge 
of hills, and then leading down to the city and the great plain 
between Haemus and Pangaeus, where their last battle was 
fought and lost by the republican leaders of Borne. After a 
sojourn of "certain days," the apostle and his companions 
went out to an oratory on the side of the river Gangites, 
and met with a few pious Jewish women and proselytes 
" which resorted thither." This humble spot was the scene of 
Paul's first preaching in Europe; but the divine blessing 
was vouchsafed, and the heart of Lydia was opened as she 
listened "unto the things which weTe spoken of Paul." It 
was " a man of Macedonia " that invited the apostle across 
into Europe ; but his first convert was a woman of Thyatira, 
in Asia. The heart of a proselyte, who must have been an 
anxious inquirer before she relinquished Paganism, was in a 
more propitious state for such a change than either Jew or 
heathen, as it was neither fettered by the bigotry of the one, 
nor clouded by the ignorance of the other. The dispossession 
of a female slave, " who had a spirit of divination," happened 
soon after; her rapacious and disappointed masters, a co- 
partnery trading in fraud, misery, and souls, finding that the 
hope of their gain was gone, dragged Paul and Silas into the 
forum — 6*5 TTJV dyopdp — before the magistrates, who, on hear- 
ing the charge, and without any judicial investigation, ordered 
the servants of God to be scourged, and then imprisoned. 
But their courage failed them not On losing a battle in 
that neighbourhood, the vanquished warriors dared not to 
survive their defeat. The intriguing Cassius, " the last of the 
Bomans," hid himself in his tent, and in his panic ordered his 
freedman to strike. Brutus fell upon his sword, and his 
sullen and desperate spirit released itself by this self-inflicted 
wound. But Paul and Silas, unjustly condemned at the 
bidding of a mob, " thrust into the inner prison, and their feet 
made fast in the stocks," fixed in that tormenting position, 
and their backs covered with " wounds and bruises and putre- 
fying sores which had not been closed, neither bound up, 
neither mollified with ointment " — these victims of wanton 


outrage did not bewail their fate, nor curse their oppressors, 
nor arraign a mysterious Providence, nor resolve to quit a 
service which brought them into such troubles, and desert a 
Master who had not thrown around them the shield of His 
protection, nor conclude that the vision at Troas had been a 
cunning and malignant lure to draw them on to Philippi, and 
to these indignities of stripes and a dungeon. No, " at mid- 
night Paul and Silas, rejoicing that they were counted worthy 
to suffer shame for His name," " prayed and sang praises unto 
God, and the prisoners heard them.' 9 The prison was shaken, 
and their " bands were loosed ; " the jailor and all his house 
believed in God, and " he and all his were baptized." The 
praetors — oi oTparqyot — in the morning sent an order to the 
lictors for the release of the prisoners ; but Paul's assertion of 
his privilege as a Boman citizen, when reported to them, 
alarmed them ; and knowing what a penalty they had incurred 
by their infraction of the Valerian and Porcian laws, they came 
in person, and urged the departure of the evangelists from 
the city. " They went out of the prison, and entered into the 
house of Lydia ; and when they had seen the brethren, they 
comforted them and departed," passing through Amphipolis 
and Apollonia, and taking up their abode for a brief season 
in Thessalonica. Such were the apostle's experiences when 
he first trod the soil of Europe, and such the first conflict of 
Christianity with Hellenic heathenism and the savage caprice 
of Boman authority. 

The apostle had not paused at Samothrace — an island 
renowned for its sanctity and its amulets, its gods and orgies, 
its Cybele and Cabiria — a scene where the mysteries of 
Eastern and Western superstition seem to have met and 
blended. Nor did he stop at Neapolis, the harbour of the 
Strymonic gulf, but he pressed on to Philippi; and the 
ground of his preference seems to be given in the statement 
— " which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a 
colony "- — ^tw iarlv irpdrrq rfj^ fieptSo? rtfr MatceSovlas irokts 
KoXcovia. A reason is often assigned by the use of #w — 
" inasmuch as it is." The adjective irpanrj may admit of a 
political or a geographical meaning. Some have regarded it 
as signifying " chief," much in the same way as it is rendered 
in .our version. It cannot indeed mean the chief or capital 


city of the province, for that was Thessalonica ; and if there 
existed at that period a minuter subdivision, the principal 
town was. Amphipolis. 1 Others look on the epithet as merely 
designating the first city that lay on the apostle's route; 
Neapolis being either regarded as only its seaport, or rather 
as a town belonging to Thrace, and not to Macedonia. 
Meyer, preceded by Grotius and followed by Baumgarten,' 
advances another view, which joins iroXt? and icoXcwla — " the 
first colony and city," and Philippi, in the Peutinger Tables, 
stands before Amphipolis. Without entering into any dis- 
cussion of these opinions, we may only remark, that each of 
them furnishes a sufficient reason for the apostle's selection of 
Philippi as the spot of his first systematic labours in Europe. 
If it was the first city of the province that lay on his journey, 
then he naturally commenced to give it the help which the 
man of Macedonia had prayed for. If it was a chief city in 
that part, there was every inducement to fix upon it as the 
centre of farther operations ; and if it enjoyed special advan- 
tages as a city and colony, then, its importance in itself, and 
in relation to other towns and districts, made it a fitting place 
both for present work and subsequent enterprise. You may 
either say that Paul went to Philippi as the first city on his 
path, for he had been summoned into Macedonia, and he 
could never think of passing the first city which he came to ; 
or that he formally selected Philippi because of its rank, and 
because of its privileges as a Eoman colony. If the apostle 
had taken this tour of his own accord, or as the result of plans 
previously matured ; if he had traced out the itinerary of an 
evangelistic campaign before he set out, then the latter hypo- 
thesis would appear the more plausible ; but if, as was the 
case, his purpose was hastily formed, and the general idea of 
traversing the province without any distinct regard to the 
order or arrangements of the visits, was suggested by the 
prayer of the representative man, then the first would appear 
to be the more natural and simple hypothesis. 
Philippi was anciently called KpqviSe? or the " Springs," on 

1 Livy, xlv. 29. Wordsworth, in his Commentary on Acts (London, 1857), 
supposes pyit to mean a frontier or strip of borderland — viz. that by which 
Macedonia is divided from Thrace, and of which confinium Philippi was the 
chief city. 

* Apostolical History t vol. ii p. 114 ; Edinburgh (Clark). 


account of its numerous fountains, in which the Gangites has 
its sources. Philip, about 358 B.C., enlarged the old town, 
and fortified it, in order to protect the frontiers against 
Thracian invaders, and named it after himself — $Cknnroi *— *. 
to commemorate the addition of a new province to his empire. 
After the famous battle fought and won in its neighbourhood 
by the Triumvirs, Augustus conferred special honours upon 
the city, and made it a Boman colony. 2 A military settle- 
ment — cohors prostoria emerita — had been made in it, chiefly 
of the soldiers who had been ranged under the standard of 
Antony, so that it was a protecting garrison on the confines 
of Macedonia ; such settlements being, as Cicero calls them, 
propugnacula imperii. A colonia was a reproduction, in 
miniature, of the mother city Eome. The Eoman law ruled, 
and the Eoman insignia were everywhere seen. The muni- 
cipal affairs were managed by duumvirs or praetors. Philippi 
had also the Jus Italicum, or Quiritarian ownership of the 
soil ; 8 its lands enjoying the same freedom from taxation as 
did the soil of Italy. It thus possessed a rank far above that 
of a municipium or a civUas libera ; but there is no proof that 
Augustus gave it the title of irpwrrj iroXis, or that it ever 
assumed such an appellation like Pergamus, Smyrna, and 
Ephesus, The historian calls it Kokcovla, the proper Eoman 
name, and does not use the Greek term diroi/ela, which had a 
very different meaning — a settlement founded by a body of 
adventurers or emigrants. Its distinctive name seems here to 
be given it on account of the events which so soon transpired 
in connection with the apostle's labours. 

Highly favoured as Philippi had been, it was in need of 
" help." Political franchise and Eoman rights, Grecian tastes 
and studies, wide and varied commerce, could not give it the 
requisite aid. It was sunk in a spiritual gloom, which needed 
a higher light than Italian jurisprudence or Hellenic culture 
could bring it It was helpless within itself, and the " man " 

1 Strabo, «/ wt Qikiinrot iroXag Kptivths ixaXouvro ri vakeuip. vii. 43 ; Vol. ii. 

p. 86. Ed. Kramer, 1847. Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Boman Geography, 
vol. ii. sub voce. 

8 Colonia Augusta Julia Philippensis. Akerman's Numismatic Illustrations, 
p. 45. London, 1846. 

8 Dion Cassias, 11 4. Inprovincia Macedonia Philippenses juris Italici sunt f 
Dig. Leg. xv. 68. 


who represented it had appealed to the sympathies of a Jewish 
stranger, whose story of the cross could lift the darkness 
off its position and destiny. The spear and phalanx of 
Macedonia had been famous, and had carried conquest and 
civilization through a large portion of the Eastern world ; the 
sun of Greece had not wholly set, and Epicureans and Stoics 
yet mingled in speculation, and sought after " wisdom ; " the 
sovereignty of Borne had secured peace in all her provinces, 
and her great roads not only served for the march of the 
soldier, but for the cortege of the trader ; art and law, beauty 
and power, song and wealth, the statue and the drama, 
survived and were adored ; but there was in many a heart a 
sense of want and of powerlessness, an indefinite longing after 
some higher good and portion, a painless and restless agita- 
tion, which only he of Tarsus could soothe and satisfy, with 
his preaching of the God-man — the life, hope, and centre of 
humanity. Probably about the year 53 Paul paid his first 
visit to Philippi. A second time does he seem to have visited 
it on his journey from Ephesus to Macedonia, Acts xx. 1, 2 ; 
and again when, to avoid the plots of his enemies, he returned 
to Asia through Macedonia, Acts xx. 6. Many remains of 
antiquity, such as are supposed to belong to the forum and 
the palace, are on the site of Philippi. The Turks now name 
it Felibedjik. Copies of its old coins may be seen in Eckhel, 
vol. ii. p. 75. The scenes and the ruins are described by 
Leake, Northern Oreece, vol. iii., and Cousin&y, Voyage dans 
Maced. voL ii Mannert, Oeogr. der Qrieeh. und Bom. vol. vii, 
p. 217. Forbiger, Alt. Qeog. vol iii. p. 1070, 


The genuineness of the epistle had not been questioned till 
a very recent period. The early external testimonies in its 
favour are very abundant Thus Polycarp, ad Philip, iii. 1 -' — 
ovre yelp iy<o ovre a\Xo$ Spoio? ipol hvvarai- Kara/cdkovdrjaat 
TJ) ao<f>{a rod paMaptov teal evSofjov HavKov, o? /cal dira>p vfuv 
eypayfrev bnardkas. It is not necessary, as a matter of phi- 
lology, to take the last noun as plural and as denoting more 
epistles than one, as Gotelerius, Hefele, and Jacobson have 

1 Patres ApostoL vol. ii. p. 470 ; ed. Jacobson. 


shown in their notes on this quotation. Eettig, Qucest. Philip. 
p. 37. The same father, in the eleventh chapter of this same 
epistle to them, 1 says— -jKjw autem nihil tale send in vobis vel 
<mdivi, in quibus laboravit beatus Paulus qui estis (laudati) in 
prindpio epistolm ejus. Meyer, who holds that from the style 
of the New Testament and the Apostolical Fathers, the word 
iinaroKd^ in the first, quotation must be plural, supports 
his view by the somewhat strange device of making epistolce 
here the nominative plural, as if the meaning were — " who 
are in the beginning his epistles/' or commendatory letters. 
But in 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3, the place cited in proof by him, the 
noun is in the singular— eTrurroki} fjft&p, itrurroXif Xpurrov ; 
and the use of the plural epistolce, according to Meyer's own 
understanding of the clause, shows that the plural form may 
have a singular reference even in Polycarp's style. Irenaeus, 
Adversus Hares., also writes, Quemadmodum et Pavlus Phi" 
lippensibus ait? referring to the apostle's acknowledgment of 
the subsidy sent to him by Epaphroditus ; and again, in 
quoting this epistle, iv. 17, Non inquiro datum, sed inquiro 
fructum, he prefaces by saying — propter hoc et Paulus. There 
are other allusions of the same kind, as rursus ad Philippenses 
ait, quoting iii 20 ; or apostolus in ea qua est ad Philippenses, 
quoting iii 10 ; or hoc est quod a Paulo dicitur, quoting 
ii 15. 8 Clement of Alexandria, in allusion to the apostle's 
confession- — "Not as though I had attained," eta — says 
airrov 6fjLo\oyovvro<$ rod Ilavkov irepl kavrov. Pcedag. i 6. 4 
The epistle is quoted by Clement in various portions of his 
writings : — thus i. 13, 29, ii. 1, 20, iv. 12, are quoted in the 
fourth book of the Stromata; i. 20 in the third book; i. 9, 
ii. 10 in the first book ; iii. 19 in Pcedag. iL ; ii 15 in Pcedag. 
iii. ; ii 6 in Cohort, ad Gentes. These quotations are made 
by Clement generally without any affirmation that they 
belong to the epistle to the Philippians, though sometimes 
they are ascribed to PauL Tertullian's evidence is as full : — 
thus, De Ilesurrectione Carnis, cap. 23, quoting the declaration 
— " If by any means I may attain to the resurrection of the 
dead " — -he prefaces by saying, ipse (Patdus) cum Philippensibus 

1 Patres Apostol. vol. ii. p. 486 ; ed. Jacobson. 

* iv. 18, 4, vol. i. 616 ; Opera, ed. Stieren, 1853. 

> Ibid. vol. i. pp. 583, 752, 753, 571. * P. 107 ; Opera, Colonics, 1688. 


scribit ; l then, in the twentieth chapter of his fifth book against 
Marcion* he employs this epistle as an argument against the 
heretic ; again, in his De Prescript, cap. xxxvi., speaking of 
the places where the authenticce literce of the apostles are read, 
he says, Si non longe es a Macedonia hales Philippos, habes 
Thessaionicenses. 9 From Ephiphanius too, we learn that Mar- 
cion received this epistle ; for among the ten epistles of Paul 
acknowledged by him he reckons Be/cdrrj wpos $i\i t mrrio'lovs. 
Haer. 42. 4 In the epistle of the churches of Vienne and Lyons, 
preserved in Eusebius' Hist. Eccks. lib. v. 2, ii 6* is quoted. 
Cyprian, also, Test. iii. 39, quoting ii. 6, prefixes item Paidus 
ad PhUippenses. 6 Eusebius placed this epistle among the 
universally acknowledged ones — ofioXoyovfjievois. It is found 
in the Syriac version, and in all the early synopses or cata- 
logues of canonical books. Zeller, in the Theol. Jahrb. i. p. 61, 
objects that Clemens Bomanus does not quote the Epistle to 
the Philippians, when he might have done so in the sixteenth 
chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he incul- 
cates the grace of humility. The argument is precarious. 
It cannot prove that Clement was unacquainted with our 
epistle, but only that he has omitted a citation directly to his 
purpose. Besides, as Bruckner has remarked, we have the 
testimony of Polycarp, which belongs to this period. 

Prof. Baur of Tubingen, in his Die so-genannte Pastoralbriefe 
des Apost. Pavlus, published in 1835, suspected the genuine- 
ness of this epistle, because of the mention of bishops and 
deacons in it, as if these offices belonged to a later age. In 
the following year, in an article in the third part of the 
Tubing. Zeitschrift, p. 196, he intimated his doubts more 
decidedly. In 1841, in the Introduction to his Die Christliche 
Zehre von der Dreieinigkeit und Menschwerdung Oottes, where 
he treats of the doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ as 
taught in the New Testament, no citation is made of any 
passages from this epistle, not even of ii % 6. At length, in 
1845, in his Pavlus der Apostel Jesu CIvristi, 6 he formally 
attacked the epistle, and the next year his assault was 
followed up by his disciple Schwegler, whom Lunemann well 

1 Vol ii p. 497 ; Opera, ed. Oehler, 1854. » Ibid. p. 333. 

8 Ibid. p. 34. 4 Opera, p. 138 ; ed. Basil, 1544. 

5 P. 290 ; Opera, Parisiis, 1836. 6 P. 458 ; Stuttgart, 1845. 



names impiger sententiarum Baurianarum interpres ac pro- 
pugnator. Das nachapostol. Zdtalter, etc., vol. ii. p. 143 ; 
Tubingen, 1846. The objections are trivial, and the wonder 
is, that a mind so acute and accomplished as that of Baur 
should ever have proposed them. They are arranged by 
him under three separate heads; though we shall consider 
them in a somewhat different order from that in which their 
author has set them forth. Two excellent replies were made 
to Baur : — Pavli ad Philip. Epistola. Contra F. C. Baurium 
defendit G. C. Amadeus iMnemann, e collegia Bepetentum ac 
Dr. Ph.; Gottingen, 1847 — Epistola ad Philip. Paulo auctori 
vindicata contra Baurium. Scripsit Brenno Bruno Bruckner, 
Cand. TheoL; Lipsise, 1848. 

I. Baur alleges some palpable anachronisms and contra- 

1. The mention of Clement — iv. 3 — is adduced to show 
that the writer of the epistle must have lived in post- 
apostolic times. Without any proof whatever, he identifies 
this Clement with him whom tradition associates with Peter 
at Borne, and him again with another of the same name, who 
was a relative of the later imperial house. He refets to 
Flavius Clement of Domitian's time, whom that emperor put 
to death as an atheist, and who is referred to by Suetonius, 1 
Dion Cassius, 2 and Eusebius. 8 But it is contrary to all 
evidence, to identify the Clement of Borne or the Clement 
of the Homilies with the kinsman of this emperor. The 
writers who refer to them never confound them — never con- 
found a bishop of one age with a consul of another. The 
author of the Epistle to the Corinthians stands out in his own 
individuality to the men of his own and the following epoch. 
Clemens Bomanus is said to have been well-born — e£ evyevov? 
pifrs — and was connected with the imperial family — tt/)o$ 
7€yow inrdpxav Kalaapo? — Tifieptov. Clementine Homilies, 
iv. 7,xiv. 10. But Flavius Clement was related to Domitian, 
who put him to death — icahrep avetyvbv 8vra — and banished 
his wife. As Suetonius says, he was charged ex tenuissima 

1 Domitianus, xv. 

* Hist. Ixvii 14. His espousal of Jewish opinions — %fa r£v 'Uutmivf — giving 
rise to a charge of atheism — tyxknftx ahirnm — was evidently his becoming a 
Christian convert. a Hist. Eccles. iii. 14. 


suspicions, there being alleged against him in his office— 
contemptissima inertia. Nor, if the Clement of this epistle 
were even Clemens Eomanus, would the fact raise any 
difficulty. There is, however, no proof that he was; at 
least he was at Philippi when this epistle was written. See 
Hefele, Ap. Patr. Prolegomena, p. 19 ; Bitschl, Geschichte der 
Entstehung der alt kathoL Kirche, p. 284. You may admit 
an intermingling of traditions about the two Clements, and 
yet maintain that the men were distinct. There is no proof 
that the Boman Clement was a martyr; at least Irenseus, 
Eusebius, and Jerome know nothing of such a death. The 
questions as to whether he was a Jew or a Gentile ; whether 
he was a disciple of Peter or of Paul ; whether he followed 
Linus or Cletus, or preceded them ; whether his first epistle 
be interpolated, and his second be spurious altogether ; — such 
questions affect not the identity of the man, and the distinction 
in position, office, and end, between him and the Clement the 
husband of Domitilla, under Domitian. See the article " Clement 
von Rom," in Herzog's fieal-Uncyclopddie, vol. ii p. 720. The 
trick of Baur is very manifest It is a series of assumptions. 
He assumes, first, that the Clement of this epistle, of whom 
nothing is given but the name, and about whom nothing can 
be conjectured but his present residence at Philippi, is Clemens 
Bomanus ; next, that this Clemens Bomanus is a myth, or that 
he must be really Flavius Clemens, the martyred kinsman of 
Domitian ; * next, that the writer of our epistle refers to him, 
and to this well-known imperial relationship, when he speaks 
of Ms bonds being known in the prsetorium, and sends a 
salutation from them of Caesar's household ; and the inference 
is, that as the Clemens of our epistle is no other than this 
later Clemens, such a reference must show that the epistle 
could not be written by Paul, but by some forger long after 
liis time. The ingenuity is too transparent. Would a forger 
have placed such a Clement at Philippi ? and would he not 
have given him greater prominence ? for certainly the apostle's 
joy in his bonds, the publicity of these bonds in the praetorium, 
his " strait between two," and his other expressed emotions, 
can all be explained without reference to any such hypothesis. 

1 Baur says at p. 472 — "Diets ist die historische Grundlage der Sagevom 
R&mischen Clemens." 


2. It is alleged by Baur, that the mention of " bishops and 
deacpns" in the first verse, betrays also a post-apostolical 
origin. The proof, however, tends all the other way. The 
organization of the churches presupposes such office-bearers, 
as may be seen in Acts vi. 1-6, xx. 28 ; Bom. xvi. 1. The 
bishop and presbyter were then identical, and the names are 
sufficiently indicative of the character of the office. 

3. Baur alleges that the author of the Epistle to the 
Philippians has totally misunderstood the apostle's pecuniary 
relations to the church at Philippi. 1 But he must have been 
a novice in fabrication, if with the other epistles before him 
he could allow himself to be so easily detected. The apostle 
writes thus in iv. 14, 15, 16 — "Notwithstanding ye have 
well done that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now, 
ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, 
when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated 
with me, as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For 
even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. " 
Baur quotes, as opposed to this, 1 Cor. ix. 15 — "But I have 
used none of these things ; neither have I written these things, 
that it should be so done unto me : for it were better for me 
to die, than that any man should make my glorying void." 
Baur's exegesis is, that this passage plainly teaches that Paul 
stood in no such relation to any church, as our epistle repre- 
sents him as sustaining to the Philippian church, for he would 
not own himself indebted to any of them. But the apostle is 
not affirming that he refused all support from every church ; 
he only says, that he merely waived his right for good reasons 
with regard to the Corinthian church ; for when he was in the 
city of Corinth, he wrought as a tentmaker, and no doubt for 
the best of reasons. Besides, that he took support from other 
churches, while he would not take it from them, is plain from 
his own declaration, that they were an exception to his usual 
course — 2 Cor. xi. 7, 8 — " Have I committed an offence in 

1 Es lasst un8 demnach auch das, was Phil. iv. 10 f., liber eine speciellere 
Veranlassung des Briefs gesagt worden ist, nicht klar in die Verhaltnisse 
liineinsehen, unter welchen er vom Apostel selbst geschrieben worden seyn soli, 
and es konnte somit schon diess die Vermuthung begriinden, dass wir hier keine 
wirklichen Verhaltnisse, sondern nnr eine fingirte Situation vor tins haben, was, 
je naher wir die geschichtliche Motivirung des Briefs betrachten, nor urn so 
wahrecheinlicher werden kann. P. 469. 


abasing myself, that ye might be exalted, because I have 
preached to you the gospel of God freely ? I robbed other 
churches, taking wages of them, to do you service." Nay 
more, in connection with this passage now quoted, the apostle 
affirms — verse 9 — " And when I was present with you, and 
wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was 
lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia 
supplied ; and in all things I have kept myself from being 
burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself" Now this 
is an assertion of the very same kind with that which Baur 
so strongly objects to as un-Pauline, in the epistle before us. 
The use of teal in the phrase Sri teal kv OeaaaXovi/crj — iv. 16 
—cannot support his argument, as if the forger had 2 Cor. 
xi. 9 before his eyes, and took his cue from it, for the teai is 
used precisely in the same way in 1 Cor. i 16 — iflairnaa Sk 
/cat rov Sr€<f>ava oltcov. See comment on iv. 16. It is of 
no use to allege, as Baur does, that the apostle's stay in 
Thessalonica was brief — so brief, that two contributions could 
scarcely be necessary — for we know not all the circumstances ; 
but we do know that in that city, and as a reproof probably 
to the sloth which he so earnestly reprimands in both his 
letters, he set an example of industry, working with his own 
hands, and might therefore be in need of the gift which was 
sent south to him from Philippi. Both Bruckner and Liine- 
mann slyly remark, that it is odd that Baur should, in proof 
of Paul's short stay in Thessalonica, cite the Acts of the 
Apostles — a book which he declares to be un#orthy of all 
historical credit. Paulus der Apostel, pp. 146-150, 243. 
What more natural for the apostle than to refer to the earli- 
ness of their first pecuniary presents ; or to say, that when he 
was leaving Macedonia, they supplied him; nay, to affirm, 
that prior to the period of his departure from the province, 
and when he was yet in Thessalonica, they sent once and a 
second time to his necessities ? Baur seems to suppose that 
he who wrote these verses forgot that Thessalonica was in 
Macedonia. He renders — " when I was no more in Mace- 
donia," no church communicated with me but you, for even 
in Thessalonica ye sent to me, as if Thessalonica had been a 
place reached after his departure from the Macedonian pro- 
vince. But this, again, is a complete misapprehension of the 


apostle's statement, which is of this kind — When I went out 
of Macedonia ye helped me ; nay, at an earlier period still 
and before I left the province, ye helped me. So feeble are 
Baur's objections against the genuineness of the epistle, taken 
from supposed anachronisms or contradictions of fact alleged 
to be found in it. 

II. Baur also raises objections from the styla Few forms 
of subjective reasoning and criticism are so deceptive as this. 
What belongs to aesthetics, and not to logic or history, can 
never form a wise or valid antagonism. For there are others 
as well qualified to judge as Baur can be, some of whom have 
on his and similar principles rejected others of the epistles 
but who yet declare unhesitatingly in favour of this one. De 
Wette, who will not admit Ephesians, has everything to say in 
favour of Philippians. 

1. To object, with Baur, that subjectivity of feeling prevails 
in this epistle, is only to commend it, 1 for the writer had no 
definite polemical end in view, there being no special error 
or inconsistency in the Philippian church requiring rebuke 
or warning. Therefore he composes a letter to thank his 
beloved Philippians for a needed gift sent all the way to 
Home, and remembers their repeated kindnesses to him from 
the very first. No wonder there is that he opens his heart 
and speaks in the fulness of his joy, follows no regular plan, 
but expresses his emotions as they rise within him ; nay, in 
the fervour of his soul, occasionally repeats himself — his 
clauses bein^offhand and artless, and now and then complex 
because unstudied, the whole being the outpouring of a spirit 
that was gladdened alike by memory and hope and present 
relationship — blessing his distant converts for their past 
fidelity, and urging them to higher and yet higher spiritual 
attainment, cautioning them against errors into which they 
might be tempted, and portraying his own experience as an 
outline with which theirs might recognize a growing similarity, 
and find increasing blessedness, as the likeness filled and 
brightened into complete identity. This epistle is a convey- 
ance of thanks — a matter wholly personal, so that individuality 

1 Im Uebrigen unterscheidet tr sick von Ihnen (Ephesians and Colossians) 
hauptstichlich durch die in ihm vorhtrrschende Subjectivitat des QefuhU. P. 


and emotion must predominate. The apostle could not repress 
his feelings, like a man mechanically signing a receipt in a 
counting-room ; but he utters his heart, or as one may say, he 
puts himself into his letter. An epistle of thanks for monies 
so received, could not but be a matter of feeling, and the 
gratitude of the apostle's loving and confiding heart would be 
no common emotion, and therefore his acknowledgment is no 
common composition. 

2. To say, with Baur, that the epistle discovers no sufficient 
motive for the composition of it, 1 is to shut one's eyes ; to 
affirm with him, that it is stale and flat, 8 is not only to be 
steeled against the exuberance of its sentiment, but also to 
turn a deaf ear to the very rhythm of many of its paragraphs ; 
to object that it is marked by poverty of thought, 3 is to forget 
that it is not a treatise like the Epistle to the Komans, or an 
argumentative expostulation like the Epistles to the Corin- 
thians ; and to attack it, because it wants a certain formal 
unity, is tastelessly to overlook its naturalness, as it moves 
from one topic to another, referring now to one class of 
persons near the writer in Borne, and now to his own emotions 
in his imprisonment ; then turning to his converts and bid- 
ding them be of good cheer in the midst of hostility ; exhort- 
ing them to cultivate humility, love, and self-denying 
generosity, as seen in the example of Christ; next, telling 
them how he hopes to see them soon, and meanwhile sends 
Epaphroditus home to them ; farther, improving the oppor- 

1 Hiemit hangt zusammen, was hauptsachlich ein weiteres Kriterium znr 
Beurtheilung des Briefs ist, dass man iiberhaupt eine motivirte Veranlassung 
znr Abfassung eines solchen Schreibens, einen bestimmter ausgesprochenen 
Zweck und Grundgedanken vermisst. Zwar wird gegen jiidische Gegner pole- 
misirt, aber man kann sich des Eindrucks nicht erwehren, es geschehe diets nor 
desswegen, weil es einmal zum stehenden Character der paulinischen Briefe zn 
gehoren schien. Es fehlt dieser Folemik durchaus an Frische und Nattirlich- 
keit, an der Objectivitat der gegebenen Verhaltnisse. Pp. 464-5. 

s Wie matt und interesselos das Ganze. P. 466. 

8 Man riihmt diess als einen eigenthumlichen Vorzug des Briefs, aber so zart 
und ansprechend auch die Empfindungen und Gesinnungen sind, die in ihm 
sich kund geben, so wenig ist dabei zu ubersehen, dass monotone Wiederholung 
des zuvor schon Gesagten, Mangel an einem tiefer eingreifenden Zusammenhang, 
und eine gewisse Gedankenarmuth, deren Bewusstseyn den Verfasser selbst 
gedruckt zu haben scheint, wenn er zu seiner Entschuldigung .sagt iii 1 — r« 
aura y^ut vfuv, Ipoi felt ob* oxvfi£tr, i/iTv Ji ArQetkis — nicht minder hervor- 
stechende Ziige des Briefes sind. P. 464. 


tunity, and bidding them beware of false teachers and of 
inconsistent professors ; summoning them, as he proceeds, to 
rejoice, to be of one mind, and to seek for perfection in the 
exercise of virtue ; and, lastly, sending his acknowledgment 
for the gift which they had so kindly and considerately sent 
him, and wafting to them salutations from the brethren, and 
from the saints of Caesar's household. 

Baur fixes upon iii. 1 — " To write the same things to you, 
to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe," as a 
proof of poverty of thought. See our interpretation of the 
passage. The phrase, so far from arguing scantiness of ideas, 
is only an index of earnestness ; or rather, a proof, that while 
a throng of new subjects might be pressing on the writer's 
mind, he could even forego the pleasure of introducing them, 
and for the safety of his readers, reiterate statements pre- 
viously made to them. Baur also objects to the phrase 
ScKaioavvrjv tvv iv vofup — iii 6 — but the apostle is there 
speaking from a previous standpoint — from a point of view 
which he had occupied in his unconverted state. 

3. The record of the apostle's experience, iii. 4, is declared 
to be a feeble copy of 2 Cor. xi. 18. 1 There is similarity, but 
not great similarity. Both are references to his past life, and 
therefore we anticipate a necessary likeness of allusion. But 
the purposes are different. In the second epistle to the 
Corinthians the vindication is of his public or official life 
and its sufferings and successes; in this epistle the self- 
portraiture has reference to personal experience. In the 
former he speaks as an apostle, but in the latter as a saint. 
The first is terse and vehement — a lofty and disdainful chal- 

1 Wie lasst sich verkennen, dass der Verfasser des Briefs die Stelle im Corin- 
thierbriefe vor Angen hatte, und an sie auf eine Weise sich hielt, wie vom 
Apostel selbst nicht geschehen seyn kann ? Nor aus der starken heftigen 
Sprache, in welcher der Apostel — 2 Cor. xi. — sich gegen seine Gegner aus- 
spricht, lasst es sich anch erklaren, wie der Verfasser in der steigernden Weise 
der Nachahmer sich sogar den Ansdrnck xtns erlanben konnte. Wie un- 
motivirt, wie mit Gewalt herbeigezogen ist aber hier dieses Reden des Apostels 
von sich, wenn wir es mit der Art nnd Weise vergleichen, wie er sich mit seinen 
Gegnern in der Originalstelle anseinandersetzt wo man sogleich sieht, welche 
Sache es gilt. Welches schwache leblose Nachbild haben wir dagegen hier ! 
Wie Allbekanntes sagt der Apostel iiber seine friihern Lebensverhaltnisse, wie 
kleinlich ist die Hervorhebung der achttagigen Beschneidung, wie unpaulinisch 
der Begriff einer luuuMinn U to/**, wie matt und interesselos das Ganze. P. 


lenge to his antagonists, if ever they had done what he had 
done, or endured what he had endured : the last is calm in 
its fervour, and exhibits his soul in its perfect repose upon 
Christ Jesus his Lord, and in its aspirations after complete 
likeness to Him. The idea of plagiarism is wholly out of the 
question when the subjects are so different Detail in speak- 
ing of his Jewish descent is natural to him— Bom. xi 1— for 
the subject admitted of minute and climactic treatment. 

4. Baur objects to peculiar words. Granted that Kararofiq, 
the concision, is a hard expression ; * but fully harder is airo- 
Koyfrovrai, GaL v. 12, as very many explain it Granted that 
the epithet /ewes is not fine ; but neither are yfrevSairoaroXoc, 
epydrat, SoXioi ; oi Suitcovot avrov — Jtarav&s, in 2 Cor. xi. 1 3 
14, 15, and tcvves did not at least sound in the East so awk- 
wardly as with us. Baur mistakes the nature of the contrast 
between irepiro/iq and teararo/i^. The apostle does not by 
any means degrade the Abrahamic rite in itself, or call Jews 
the false, circumcision ; but he simply implies that the cir- 
cumcision which the Judaists insisted on as essential to 
salvation is useless and spurious. Compare too, for similar 
ideas, Bom. ii. 25-29 — an epistte which Baur acknowledges 
to be genuine. Nor is it the case that the contrast is 
distorted, as if the idea of quality in irepiro/iq were opposed 
to that of quantity expressed by Kararofiq. The notion of 
quality belongs to both nouns, and it alone could the apostle 
mean to express. See our comment on the place. 

On the other hand, many terms and phrases in this epistle, 
being such as we find in the other epistles, indicate identity 
of authorship. Lunemann has made a considerable collection 
of them. The following are Pauline phrases: — yivaxr/ceiv 
vfi&s povkofuu, i. 2 — compare 1 Cor. x 1, xi. 3 ; Bom. i. 13, 
xi. 25 : SotciftdZeiv ra Sca<f>ipovra } i. 10 — found in Bom. ii 
18: KavyaaQai iv Xptarfr iii. 3 — found in 1 Cor. i. 31; 
2 Cor. x. 1 7 : fidprv^ yap /iov derlv 6 0eo9, i. 8 — found in 
Bom. i. 9 : iriarewiv efc Xpicrrov, i. 29, exceedingly common 

1 Wie unfein wird sie iii 2, durch die harten Worte /3x»<rin t*1>s xvtat, wie 
gezwungen durch den gesuchten Gegensatz zwischen xarmptn and rtfirtftj, 
Zeischnittene and Beschnittene, eingeleitet ! Die Christen sollen die wahre 
ry/T»/*>», die Juden die falsche oder die x«r«r«/tii seyn, aber wie schief ist der 
qualitative Unterschied zwischen der wahren und falschen Beschneidnng durch 
die quantitative Steigerung der x'tpiroftti zu einer K*r*r»(*n ausgedriickt. P. 465. 


in the Gospel of John, but also found in Paul, as in Bom. x. 
14; Gal. ii 16 ; Acts xix. 4. The names Xpiaro^, 'Irjcovs, 
Kvpios, preceded by h>, to denote the sphere of spiritual 
action, feeling, or enjoyment, as to "hope in the Lord," 
" rejoice in the Lord," etc. — allusions to 17 f\pApa Xpiarov, as 
the period of glory and perfection— characterize this epistle 
and all the others ascribed to the apostle. We have %pyov 
Xpio-Tov in ii. 30, and epyov Kvplov, in the same sense, in 
1 Cor. xvi. 10 ; efc tcevov eSafiov in ii. 16, and in the same 
view e*s tcevov rpi^m fj eSpafiov, Gal. ii. 2. It is true there 
are some airal; Xeyofieva, but we have them in every epistle. 
We have such as ataOtfat^, i. 9 ; avvadXeo), i 2 7, iv. 3 ; 
irrvpeaQai, 128; avptyvxpi, ii. 2 ; aprrcuyfios, ii. 6 ; tnrepvtyovv, 
ii. 9; leaTayOovtos, ii 10; laoy^v^pv, ii 20; aSrj/ioveiv, ii 
26 ; irapairkritnov, ii. 27 ; irapafioXeveiv, ii. 30 ; c/evfiakov, 
iii 8 ; igavdaTacrt,?, iii 11 ; iiretcreiveaOcu, iii 14 ; irpo<rif>iX^, 
iv. 8; apery, iv. 8; avadaXkco, iv. 10; /i€fivfffuit, iv. 12. 
But the occurrence of such terms can never be a proof of 
spuriousness, for cwraf \ey6fieva are found in the Epistles to 
Borne, Corinth, and Galatia, which Baur himself receives as 
genuine. At the same time, we have certain Pauline terms 
— words all but peculiar to the apostle, and the use of which 
betokens his authorship. Thus we have rtydp, i. 18 ; elnws, 
iii. 11 ; ov% on, iii. 12 ; to Xo«roV,iv. 8 — turns of expression 
common with the apostle. Again, such words as airpoaKoiroi, 
i 10; itn^optfyia, L 19; airotcapo&otcla, i 20; avTitceijievoi,, 
i 28 ; etkitcpwefa, i. 10 ; tcevoSogla, ii. 3 ; Biteaio<ruprj t iii 9 ; 
fipafielov, iii. 14; and ttXoSto?, iv. 19 — are favourite and 
characteristic terms. The adjective icevos, and the phrase cfc 
tcevov, are the Pauline phrases, in this and the other epistles, 
for failure real or anticipated, and tcoiriav is the peculiar verb 
employed to denote apostolical labour. Have we not, in a 
word, the image and likeness of the apostle in this style, not 
only in its separate and characteristic idioms and expressions, 
but in its entire structure — in its sustained passages as well 
as in its briefer clauses — in its longer arguments as well as in 
its more abrupt transitions ? Why, in a word, be entangled 
among such minutiae, when the whole letter is so Pauline in 
what is peculiar to itself, and in what is common to it with 
other epistles ? in its order and in its loose connection ; in its 


unwonted expressions and in its mannerisms ; in its doctrines 
insisted on and in its errors warned against ; in its illustration 
of his teaching by the experience of the teacher ; in his 
spirit of disinterested zeal in spite of every drawback ; in his 
manly confession that he felt his privations while he was 
contented under them; and in his constant recognition of 
union to Christ as the sphere of joy, love, strength, hope, 
stedfastness, confidence, peace, and universal spiritual ful- 

III. Baur adduces doctrinal objections. The only dogmatic 
part of the epistle — ii 6-11 — is, according to him, Gnostic 
in its ideas and language. Indeed, the whole epistle, as he 
affirms, " moves in the circle of Gnostic ideas and expressions " 
— not opposing them, but rather acquiescing in them. 1 The 
phrases ov% apirayjibp ffff\caTO to Aval, Icra $6$>, Iv o/jLouofiari 
avOpdnr&v yevo/ievos, ayrfjiart evp€0eh <o? avOptoiros, eirovpavlmv 
— Kara^Oovicop, are laid hold of as belonging to the Gnostic 
vocabulary; and as proving that he who has so employed 
them, must have lived after the apostle's time, and when the 
Gnostic heresy had acquired wide range and influence. Now, 
if a heresy shall arise which clings to Scripture for support, 
what can you expect but it shall, in its speculations and 
defences, employ the words of Scripture, and dexterously affix 
its own meaning to them ? What has heresy usually been 
but such artful or innocent misinterpretation ? In the daring 
and dreamy descriptions of the divine nature and of the 
celestial hierarchy, which characterize Gnosticism, such terms 
as the apostle has used may be found ; but the natural infer- 
ence is, that the epistle gave rise to them, and not they to 
the epistle. Some of the passages referred to by Baur are 
found in Irenaeus. In his book, Contra Hcereses, i. 1, he has 
the words — o/ioiov re ical Icrov t$ TrpofSdKkovrt ; 2 and the 
mother of another iEon is described — irpbfyacw fiev a^dirq^ 

1 "Wie die beiden zuvor erorterten Briefe (Eph. and Colos.) bewegt sich auch 
der Philipperbrief im Kreise gnostischer Ideen und Ausdriicke, and zwar gleich- 
falls so, dass er sie nicht sowohl bestreitet, sondern sich vielmehr an sie ansch- 
liesst und mit der nothigen Modification sich aneignet Die in dogmatischer 
Hinsicht stets for ebenso wichtig als schwierig gehaltene Stelle Phil, ii 6, scheint 
nnr aus der Voraussetzung erklart werden zu konnen, dass der Yerfasser des 
Briefs gewisse gnostische Zeitideen vor Angen hatte. P. 458. 

* L 1, 1, toL i. p. 14 ; Opera, ed. Stieren, 1865. 


Tokjirj? Se. 1 We have such phrases as irapavritca Be KevaOeiaav, 
or iv eltcopi rod dopdrov irarpo?. 3 But what do these ex- 
pressions prove ? They are not similar in meaning with those 
found in this epistle, and they belong to the domain of meta- 
physical mysticism. Our interpretation of the passage gives 
the sense we attach to it. See in loc. 

The expression ov% dfyrrayfjLov fyyv a ' aT0 *& * n no wa y ^ e " 
rogatory to Christ's claim and dignity. The alternatives 
were to elvai laa 6e$, and eavrov icevovv, and Jesus voluntarily 
preferred the latter, and assumed humanity. For Christ's 
pre-existence is a Pauline doctrine, though Baur denies it. 
Eom. ix. 5, xl 36 ; 1 Cor. viii. 6 ; 2 Cor. viii. 9. Does not 
f*>op<f>r) Qeov resemble eltcwv rov Qeov ? 2 Cor. iv. 4. What 
absurdity to find a parallel to this dpnrwyym and the origin 
of the term in the wild, daring, and restless attempt of the 
Valentinian Sophia to penetrate the essence of the All-father, 
and become one with Him — the Absolute '; or, as Baur says 
of this -5£on — er ivill das Absolute erfassen, begreifen, ihm gleich, 
mit ihm Bins werden? To give the phrase iv ofiouofmrv 
dvdpdoircov a Docetic meaning, is ridiculous, and is affixing a 
technical sense to a popular term. Bom. viii 3. The mean- 
ing is, he appeared as other men appeared ; notwithstanding 
his possession of a divine nature, his appearance was the 
ordinary appearance of humanity. He had the form of God, 
and he assumed as really the form of a man. Baur also 
frames a dilemma — " Were he already God, wherefore should 
he first desire to become what he already was ? and were he 
not yet like God, what an eccentric, unnatural, and self-con- 
tradictory thought 4 — 'to be equal with GodM" The true 
meaning is, not that He was originally less than God, and 

1 Iran. i. 2, 2, p. 18. » Ibid. i. 4, 1, p. 46. 

9 Ibid. i. 5, 1, p. 58. 

4 Welche eigenthiimliche Vorstellung ist es doch, von Christus zu sagen, er 
habe es, obgleich er in gottlicher Gestalt war, nicht fur einen Raub gehalten, 
oder, wie die Worte grammatisch genauer zu nehmen sind, es nicht zum Gegen- 
stand eines actus rapiendi machen zu miissen geglaubt, Gott gleich zu seyn. 
War er schon Gott, wozu wollte er erst werden, was er schon war, war er aber 
noch nicht Gott gleich welcher excentrische, unnatiirliche, sich selbst wider- 
sprechende Gedanke ware es gewesen, Gott gleich zu werden ? Soil nicht eben 
dieses Undenkbare eines solchen Gedankens durch den eigenen Ausdruck olx 
&p*etypov hyn**r» bezeichnet werden ? Wie kommt denn aber der Yerfasser dazu, 
etwas so Undenkbares auch nur verneinend von Christus zu sagen ? P. 458. 


strove to be on equality with Him. Nor is being God, and 
being like God, the same idea. It is not, as Baur would 
seem to suppose — being God, He thought it no robbery to 
be equal with God. For it is not of essence, but of form, 
that the apostle speaks. Equality with God, in the possession 
of this form, was no object of ambition to him ; he laid it 
aside, and assumed the form of a servant Very different this 
from the Gnostic and Valentinian image of Wisdom descend- 
ing from the irXrjpmfjba into the /cevcofia. The phrase i/eevwaev 
kavrov is identical in spirit with hrrdxevae, though different 
in form — 2 Cor. viii. 9 — and has no sort of affinity with the 
Gnostic y€V€<T0cu iv tcev&fiaTi, which seems to mean that 
annihilation which happened to the iEon Sophia, or rather 
to its cupidity — iv0vfjuq<ri<;. The Gnostic nomenclature has 
much the same connection with the Pauline writings as the 
book of Mormon has with the English Scriptures ; and were 
the Greek original' lost, some critic might rise up a thousand 
years after this, and affirm with some show of erudition, and 
a parade of parallel terms, that the most of the epistles of the 
English Testament did not originate under James VI., but 
must have been fabricated by men who knew the system of 
the Latter-day saints, and had studied its so-called Bible. It 
is needless to enlarge. Neither ingenuity nor erudition cha- 
racterizes the objector's argument against the epistle ; so far 
from borrowing Gnostic ideas and terms, it again and again, 
as if by anticipation, condemns the heresy. It calls the 
Saviour Lord or Kvpws, which, according to Epiphanius, the 
Gnostics would not It ascribes a body to the exalted Jesus 
— which the Gnostics denied ; and assigns a body also to 
glorified believers, but the Gnostics held that it would be 
burnt up and destroyed. Of the day of Christ, or the coming 
of Christ, Gnosticism knew nothing, for its benighted disciples 
did not hope, after death, " to be with Christ" * But, indeed, 
the entire argument of Baur against the genuineness of this 
epistle, is what Alford calls " the very insanity of hypercriti- 
cism. . . . According to him, all usual expressions prove its 
spuriousness, as being taken from other epistles ; all umtsual 
expressions prove the same, as being from another than St. 
Paul. Poverty of thought, and want of point, are charged 

1 Bruckner, p. 13. 


against it in one page ; in another, excess of point, and undue 
vigour of expression." 

We need say nothing in conclusion of the attack of this 
epistle by the English Evanson, in his Dissonance of the Four 
Gospels, who, indeed, was earlier than Baur in cold and insipid 
negation. Nor need we do more than allude to Schrader, 1 
who has thrown suspicion on the latter part of the epistle, 
and for reasons not a whit stronger than those of Baur. A 
Paley 2 says on this topic — " Considering the Philippians as 
his readers, a person might naturally write upon the subject 
as the author of the epistle has written, but there is no sup- 
position of forgery with which it will suit." 


Heinrichs in his Prolegomena started the idea that the 
epistle as we have it is made up of two distinct letters, the 
first reaching to the end of the first clause in iii. 1 — " Finally, 
brethren, farewell in the Lord," along with iv. 21, 23, intended 
for the church ; and the second, including the remaining por- 
tion of the epistle, and meant for the apostle's more intimate 
friends. Paulus, adopting the hypothesis, but reversing its 
order, imagines that the first letter was for the bishops and 
deacons. The theory is baseless, for the use of to Xoittov may 
be otherwise explained. See Commentary on the phrase. 
Though we should admit that the phrase ret avrct ypd<f>eiv 
may imply that the apostle had written other epistles to the 
Philippians, there is still no proof that we have a sample of 
any of them in our present canonical book. Heinrichs' argu- 
ments are not worth refutation ; but they have been replied 
to, seriatim, by Krause, Hoelemann, and Matthies. 3 The first 
part of the epistle may be more general, and the second more 
special; but to divide any production on such a principle 
would be chimerical in the extreme. May not a man have a 
general and a special purpose in writing a single letter ? Nay 
more, is not the latter half of the second chapter as special as 

1 Der Apostel Paulus, vol. v. pp. 231-233, 240. See, on the other hand, 
Hoelemann's Prolegomena, p. 59 ; Neudecker's Einkit. § 93. 
a Hotcb Paulina, chap. vii. 
3 See also Schott's Isagoge, § 70. 


any paragraph in the third or fourth chapters ; and are not the 
four last verses of the third chapter, and the fifth, sixth, 
seventh, and eighth verses of the fourth chapter, as general 
as any paragraph in the earlier half of the epistle ? There 
is nothing of an exoteric or esoteric tone about its various 
sections, nor is any such distinction warranted by the use of 
reXeioi, iii. 15. The transitions depend upon no logical train 
— as the thoughts occurred they were dictated. And we can 
never know what suggested to the apostle the order of his 
topics. We can conceive him about to finish his epistle at 
iii 1, and with to Xoiirov ; but a conversation with Epaphro- 
ditus, or some train of thought in his own mind, directed and 
moulded by the Spirit of God, may have led him to launch 
out again after he seemed to be nearing the shore. 



This Epistle was not written for any polemical or practical 
purpose. Its object is neither to combat error nor establish 
truth, nor expose personal or ecclesiastical inconsistencies, nor 
vindicate his apostolical prerogative and authority. A gift 
had been sent him to Borne, from a people that had dis- 
tinguished themselves by similar kindnesses in former times. 
The churches in Macedonia were poor, but "their deep 
poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality." They 
contributed the gift to the apostle when he needed it, and it 
was enhanced alike by their poverty and his want. As a 
prisoner he could not support himself by labour as at Thes- 
salonica and Corinth, and he might not feel that he had a 
claim for maintenance upon the church in Borne. He had not 
founded the church there, and as he was not sowing " spiritual 
things" he did not expect to reap "carnal things." The 
gift from this small, poor, and distant people, whom he had 
not seen for some years, was therefore very opportune ; and 
the receipt of it, combined with a knowledge of all their 
circumstances, was to him a source of great exhilaration. 
Epaphroditus, who had brought the contribution, was to 
convey the apostle's thanks to the donors, and he takes occa- 
sion, in returning these thanks, to address some counsels to 


his beloved people, to tell them how he prayed for them and 
hoped well of them, and what was his own condition at Borne, 
as they would be anxious to hear of it from himself ; to inform 
them what a spirit of tender considerateness ought to reign 
among them ; how Timothy was soon coming to them ; how 
they ought to be on their guard against false teachers and 
immoral free-thinkers ; how they should rejoice in the Lord, 
and pursue all that is spiritually elevated and excellent ; and 
all this — before he formally acknowledges the receipt of the 
subsidy. His thoughts turn to himself and them alternately. 
They had not, like other churches, given him reason for regret 
or censure. He was fond of them, and what he had suffered 
among them had endeared them to him. He did not forget 
that "we were shamefully entreated at Philippic but the 
recollection made them all the dearer to him, by what he had 
endured for them. The majority of the church seem to 
have been proselytes or converted heathens, and to the paucity 
of Jews in the membership may be ascribed this continuous 
attachment to their spiritual founder, and the absence of those 
prejudices and misunderstandings that so soon sprang up in 
some of the other churches. 

That the Philippian church was in trial and exposed to 
danger is evident from several allusions. At an earlier period 
they had u a great trial of affliction," and the conclusion of 
the first chapter indicates that the same perils still continued. 
The apostle says, i 28, 29, 30: — ''And in nothing terrified 
by your adversaries : which is to them an evident token of 
perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. For unto 
you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not on^y to believe 
on Him, but also to suffer for His sake; having the same 
conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me." We 
cannot tell who their antagonists were. There is no ground 
for supposing that they were Jews especially, for there were 
apparently so few in the place that they do not seem to have 
possessed a synagogue. 1 The probability is, that the popula- 

1 The place of worship, «•{**■«/;£«, was by the river-side — and as the correct 
reading is ?£« rns *uXns — " without the gate." Thus Josephus, Antiq. xiv. 10, 
23, says of the magistrates of an Eastern city, that they allowed to the Jews— 

rets irprtvxkf veoiiidlou *{os rv 6*\<i<r<rn y xara, ri irarpot ffa. Tertullian also Says 
of the Jews — per omne litus quocunque in aperto aliquando jam preces ad ccelum 
mittunt. De Jejun. xvi. vol. i. p. 877 ; Opera, ed. Oehler. The same author 


tion generally was hostile to them, and that the rancorous 
feeling manifested against Paul and Silas on their first visit, 
continued to show itself in a variety of forms against their 
converts. But persecution did not intimidate them. They 
did not become cowardly and regretful, or sullen and spiteful. 
They had " abundance of joy, M feeling as James counsels his 
readers — " My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into 
divers temptations." That joy the apostle bids them still 
cherish, and the soul of his letter is — " Eejoice in the Lord." 
Because the opposition which they encountered drove all 
worldly gladness from them, it forced them to a more vivid 
realization of their union to Christ, the source of all joy. 
Persecution only raked away the ashes, so that the spiritual 
flame was steady and brilliant. 

But this very condition had a tendency to create spiritual 
pride. Men so upborne are apt to forget themselves. As 
Dr. Davidson remarks 1 — " The highest spirituality stands near 
the verge of pride, superciliousness, and vainglory." The 
earnest injunctions enforced by the example of Christ, in 
the beginning of the second chapter, plainly point to such a 
tendency. There were also two ladies who are entreated by 
the apostle to be of the same mind in the Lord, and others 
are asked to help them to this reconciliation. The Philip- 
pians are exhorted "to stand fast in one spirit and one 
mind." We dare not say that factions actually existed, 
but there were jealousies and alienations of feeling. Yet 
there is no proof that false teaching had created parties 
and produced schism; 3 so that the broad assertions and 
hypotheses of many on this subject cannot be received. The 
Philippians are warned against Judaizers, but there is no 
evidence that Judaizers had, as in Galatia, made havoc among 
them ; and they are told of others who are enemies of the 
cross, not from dogmatic perversity, but from immoral lives. 

speaks of the Jewish orationes littorales. Ad Nationes, xiii. ibid. p. 334. When 
the proseuchse in Alexandria were destroyed, the Jews resorted to the neigh- 
bouring beaches — W) rov$ *Xnriof uiymkovs. Philo, in Flac. p. 982. Thus, too, 
In qua te queer oproseucha ? Juvenal, iii. 295. Biscoe on the Acta, p. 181 ; ed. 
Oxford, 1840. 

1 Introduction, vol. ii. p. 881. 

* Schinz, Die Christliche Oemeinde zu Pkilippi. Em exegetischer Versuch von 
W. H. Schinz; Zurich, 1833. Cruse, De statu Philip., etc.; Hafniue, 1784 ; 
or Walch, Acta Pauli Philijjpensia ; Jenae, 1786. 



Storr, Flatt, Eichhorn, Guericke, and Eheinwald are as much 
without evidence in supposing the existence of a Judaizing 
faction, as is Bertholdt in imagining that the apostle condemns 
certain false doctrines which sprang from Sadducean influence. 
As if they had still been safe and uncontaminated, they are 
commanded so to stand in the Lord as to form a contrast 
to those whose end is destruction, and their fellowship for 
the gospel had been uninterrupted. Against the errors and 
tendencies incidental to their situation, or which might be 
originated by their history, experience, and temperament, their 
sagacious monitor frankly warns them. For the stream, if it 
receive tributaries which have flowed through a muddy soil, 
is in danger of being discoloured. 


The general opinion has been, that the epistle was written 
at Eome. CEder 1 proposed Corinth; Paulus and Bottger* fix 
on Caesarea ; and Billiet thinks this theory plausible. The 
probabilities are all against Caesarea. The phrase oIkul 
Kalo-apo? could not surely be applied to Herod's family. The 
dwelling of Herod at Caesarea is indeed called irpaiTcbpwv, for 
the word had a secondary or general significance ; and it is 
used of the dwelling of the Procurator in Jerusalem. See 
under i. 13. When he was in custody at Caesarea, Paul, as a 
Soman citizen, could at any time appeal to Caesar against any 
sentence passed upon him, and his condition could not there- 
fore have that uncertainty about it which he speaks of in 
i. 23, 24, 25. There he could ward off martyrdom at least 
for a period. All the allusions are best explained by the 
supposition, that the apostle wrote the epistle in Borne — his 
bonds being made known in the barracks of the imperial life- 
guards — his enemies filled with spite, and his life in danger — 
and the gospel achieving such signal triumphs as warranted 
him to send salutations to Philippi from Caesar's household. 

The tone of the epistle in reference to himself, seems to 

1 De tempore scriptce priori* ad Timotheum atque ad Philippenses epi&tolce 
Paulina Progr.; Jenee, 1799. See, on the other hand, Credner, EHrdeUung, 
p. 425 ; Wolfs Prolegomena; and Hemsen, Der Ap. Paulus, etc., p. 680. 

' Beitr&ge, etc., i. 47. 


place it later than those written by him to Ephesus and 
Colosse. Dangers were thickening around him, sorrows were 
pressing upon him, and the future was wrapt in dark uncer- 
tainty. The period must have been later than the two years 
with which the book of the Acts closes — the period wjhen he 
was at liberty to preach and to teach, "with all confidence, no 
man forbidding him." Still more, Epaphroditus had brought 
him money, and tarried so long as allowed the Philippians 
time to hear that their messenger had been sick ; nay, the 
apostle had heard that they had received such intelligence. 
Some considerable time therefore must have elapsed. He 
does not now ask their prayers for " utterance," as when he 
wrote to the Ephesians. Eph. vi 19. Burrus, the ^prefect of 
the praetorian guards — the (rrparoirehdfy)^ — to whose care 
Paul as a prisoner was entrusted, was a man of a benignant 
spirit, and under him the two years of comparative freedom 
may have been enjoyed. But Burrus died or was poisoned 1 
in 62 ; and the government of Nero rapidly degenerated. 
The power of Seneca over the emperor was destroyed by the 
death of Burrus, and he sank into undisguised infamy. 2 He 
married a Jewish proselytess, and she might listen to the 
apostle's Jewish antagonists. These changes wrought a 
correspondent alteration in the apostle's circumstances. His 
liberty was abridged ; he was lodged in the praetorium, and a 
violent death seemed to be at hand. Such was his condition, 
when in the summer or autumn of 63, or in the beginning of 
64, he composed the Epistle to the Philippians. Wieseler 
places it in 62 (Chronologie des Apost. Zeitalters, p. 458); and 
Davidson agrees with him. Lardner had adopted the same 
chronology. Works, vol. vi. p. 74 ; ed. London, 1834. 


Address and Salutation. 

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the 
saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops 

1 1ncertum vaktudine an veneno. Tacitus, Annal. xiv. 51. 

* Tacitus, Annal. xiv. 52. Mors Burri infregit Senecce potentiam, quia nee 
bonis artibus idem virium erat, aliero velut duce amotj, et Nero ad deteriores 


and deacons, Grace to you and peace from God our Father 
and the Lord Jesus Christ 

Proof of his Attachment. 

I thank my God on my whole remembrance of you, always 
in every supplication of mine, making, with joy, supplication 
for you all, on account of your fellowship for (in favour of) 
the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of 
this very thing, that He who has begun in you a good work, 
will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus, even as it is 
right in me to think this on behalf of you all, because I have 
you in my heart, both in my bonds, and in the defence and 
confirmation of the gospel — you, all of you, as being fellow- 
partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how I 
do long for you all in the bowels of Christ Jesus ; and this I 
pray, that your love yet more and more may abound in full 
knowledge, and in all judgment, so that ye may distinguish 
things that differ, in order that ye may be pure and offenceless 
anent the day of Christ — being filled with the fruit of 
righteousness, which is by Jesus Christ, to the glory and 
praise of God. 

History of the Writer's own Condition, and its Results. 

But I wish you to know, brethren, that things with me 
have resulted to the furtherance of the gospel, so that my 
bonds have become known in Christ in the whole praetorium, 
and to all the rest ; and the greater part of the brethren putting 
in the Lord confidence in my bonds are more abundantly bold 
to speak the word without fear. Some indeed, even for envy 
and contention, but some also for goodwill, preach Christ, — 
the one party indeed, of love, knowing that I am set for the 
defence of the gospel ; but the other party proclaim Christ out 
of faction, not purely, thinking to stir up affliction to my bonds. 
What then ? Notwithstanding, in every way, whether in pre- 
tence or in sincerity Christ is proclaimed, even in this I do 
rejoice, yea and I shall rejoice. For I know that this shall 
fall out for salvation to me, through your supplication and the 
supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ ; according to my firm 
expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but 


with all boldness, as always, so also now Christ shall be mag- 
nified in my body, whether by life or by death : for to me to 
live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if to live in the flesh, 
if this to me be fruit of labour, then what I shall choose I wot 
not ; yea, I am put into a strait on account of the two, inasmuch 
as I have the desire for departing to be with Christ, for it is 
much by far better, but to abide in the flesh is more necessary 
on your account. And being persuaded of this I know that 
I shall abide and remain with you all for the advancement 
and joy of your faith, that your boasting may abound in 
Jesus Christ in me, on account of my coming again to you. 

General Admonition in the Circumstances. 

Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of 
Christ, in order that whether having come and seen you, or 
whether being absent I may hear of your affairs, that ye are 
standing in one spirit, with one soul striving together for the 
faith of the gospel, and in nothing terrified by the adversaries — 
the which is to them a token of perdition, but to you of salva- 
tion, and that from God. For to you was it granted, on behalf 
of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also on behalf of 
Him to suffer ; as you have the same conflict which you saw 
in me, and now hear of in me. 

Special Injunctions. 

If, then, there be any exhortation in Christ, if any comfort * 
of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mer- 
cies, fulfil ye my joy, to the end that ye mind the same thing, 
having the same love, with union of soul minding the one 
thing — minding nothing in the spirit of faction nor in the 
spirit of vainglory, but in humility, counting others better 
than themselves — looking each of you not to your own things, 
but each of you also to the things of others. 

This last Injunction illustrated and enforced by the Example 

of Christ 

For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus ; 

1 Ellicott in his version omits to translate *ap*pvhot. [Correct in Second 


who, being in the form of God, reckoned not the being on a 
parity with God a prize to be snatched at, but emptied Him- 
self, having taken the form of a servant, having been made 
in the likeness of men, and having been found in fashion as 
a man, He humbled Himself, having become obedient unto 
death — yea, unto the death of the cross. Wherefore God also 
did highly exalt Him, and gave Him the name which is above 
every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should 
bow — of them in heaven, of them on earth, and of them 
under the earth — and that every tongue should confess that 
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

Inferential Counsels to guide them, and secure the Apostle's 

own Beward. 

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye always obeyed, not as in my 
presence only, but now much more in my absence, carry out 
your own salvation with fear and trembling, for God it is who 
worketh in you both to will and to work, of His own good 
pleasure. All things do without murmurings and doubts, that 
ye may be blameless and pure ; children of God beyond reach 
of blame, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, 
among whom ye appear as luminaries in the world ; holding 
forth the word of life for rejoicing to me against the day of 
Christ, that I did not run in vain nor yet labour in vain. 
But, if I am even being poured out on the sacrifice and 
service of your faith, I rejoice and give joy to you all ; yea, 
for the very same reason do ye also joy and give joy to me. 

Personal Matters. 

But I hope in the Lord Jesus shortly to send Timothy to 
you, that I also may be of good spirit when I have known 
your affairs ; for I have no one like-minded who will really 
care for your affairs, for the whole of them seek their own 
things, not the things of Jesus Christ But his tried character 
ye know, that as a child a father, he served with me for the 
gospel. Him, then, I hope to send immediately, whenever I 
shall have seen how it will go with me ; but I trust in the 
Lord that I myself also shall shortly come. Yet I judged 
it necessary to send Epaphroditus on to you, my brother 


and fellow-labourer, and fellow-soldier, but your deputy and 
minister to my need, forasmuch as he was longing after you 
all, and was in heaviness, because ye heard that he was 
sick ; for he really was sick, nigh unto death, but God had 
mercy on him, and not on him alone, but on me also, that I 
should not have sorrow upon sorrow. The more speedily, 
therefore, have I sent him, in order that having seen him ye 
may rejoice again, and that I too may be the less sorrowful. 
On that account receive him in the Lord with all joy, and hold 
such in honour, because for the work of Christ he came 
near even to death, having hazarded his life that he might 
supply your deficiency in your service towards me. Finally, 
my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. 

Warning against Judaists. 

To write to you the same things to me indeed is not 
grievous, but for you it is safe. Look to the dogs, look to the 
evil- workers, look to the concision. For we are the circum- 
cision, who by the Spirit of God do serve and make our boast 
in Christ Jesus, and have no trust in the flesh — though I am 
in possession too of trust in the flesh. 

The Apostle's Spiritual History and Experience. 

If any other man thinketh that he has confidence in the 
flesh, I more : circumcised on the eighth day, of the race of 
Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, as 
to the law a Pharisee, as to zeal persecuting the church, as to 
the righteousness which is in the law being blameless. But 
whatever things were gain to me, these for Christ's sake I 
have reckoned loss ; yea, indeed, for that reason I also 
(still) reckon them all to be loss, on account of the excellency 
of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake 
I suffered the loss of them all, and do account them to be 
but refuse, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not 
having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Christ — the righteousness which 
is of God upon faith ; so that I may know Him, and the power 
of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, while 
I am being made conformable to His death, if anyhow I may 


arrive at the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have 
already obtained, either have already been perfected ; but I am 
pressing on, if indeed I may seize that for which also I was 
seized by Christ. Brethren, I do not reckon myself to have 
seized; but one thing I do — forgetting indeed the things 
behind, but stretching forth to the things before, towards the 
mark I am pressing on for the prize of the high calling of God 
in Christ Jesus. Let as many of us then as be perfect think 
this, and if in any respect ye think otherwise, 1 yea this shall 
God reveal to you. Howbeit whereto we have reached, 2 by 
the same do ye walk on. 

Other Warnings. 

Be together followers of me, brethren, and observe them 
who are walking in such a way as ye have us for an example : 
for many walk, of whom many times I told you, but now tell 
you even weeping, that they are those who are the enemies of 
the cross of Christ ; whose end is destruction, whose God is 
their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— persons they, 
who are minding earthly things. For our country is in 
heaven, out of which we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who shall transform the body of our humiliation, so 
that it be conformed to the body of His glory, according to 
the working of His power even to subdue all things to Him- 
self. Wherefore, my brethren, beloved and longed for, my 
joy and crown, so stand in the Lord, beloved. 

Minuter Counsels to Members of the Church. 

Euodia I exhort, and Syntyche I exhort, to be of one mind 
in the Lord ; yea, I ask thee too, true yoke-fellow, assist these . 
women, for they laboured hard with me in the gospel, along 
with Clement, too, and my other fellow-labourers, whose names 
are in the book of life. Rejoice in the Lord always ; again 

1 Bishop Horsley, in his twenty-seventh sermon, renders the clause thus — 
"And if in any thing you be variously minded, God shall reveal even this to 
you — that is, the thing concerning which you have various minds." 

* The three verbs — x«t«>t»iV*, 7x«£<»>, i<p4a*aptv t are rendered by the one English 
verb "attain" — "attained," both in the Authorized Version and in that of 
Ellicott. The Greek words present the same idea under different images, but 
the difference might be marked in the translation. 


will I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all 
men. The Lord is at band. Be careful for nothing ; but in 
everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let 
your requests be made known before God ; and so the peace 
of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your 
hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, 
whatsoever things are true; whatsoever things are seemly; 
whatsoever things are right; whatsoever things are pure; 
whatsoever things are lovely ; whatsoever things are of good 
report ; whatever virtue there is, and whatever praise there 
is, these things think upon ; the things which also ye learned 
and received, and heard and saw in me, these things do. And 
the God of peace shall be with you. 


But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye 
flourished again in mindfulness for my interest, for which 
indeed ye were mindful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not 
that I speak on account of want, for I have learned, in the 
circumstances in which I am, to be content. I know also to 
be abased, I know also to abound; in everything and in all 
things, I have been instructed both to be full and to be 
hungry, both to abound and to be in want I can do all 
things in Him strengthening me. Howbeit ye did well in 
that ye had fellowship with my affliction. But you, Philip- 
pians, are yourselves also aware, that in the introduction of 
the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church com- 
municated with me to account of gift and receipt but you 
only ; for even in Thessalonica, both once and a second time, 
ye sent to me for my necessity. Not that I seek for the gift, 
but I seek for the fruit whicH does abound to your account. 
But I have all things and I abound ; I have been filled, having 
received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you — an 
odour of a sweet smell — a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing 
to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to 
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Now to God and our 
Father be the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. There salute you the 


brethren who are with me : there salute you all the saints, 
chiefly they who are of Caesar's household, ffltyt gf&Ct tit 

ttje Hot* 3esus 6e tottfj gout Spirit 


We need scarcely mention the commentaries of the Greek 
Fathers — Chrysostom, Theophylact, Theodoret, Oecumenius, 
with others found in the Catena, or those of the Latin 
Pelagius and Ambrosiaster, or those of Erasmus, Calvin, 
Zuingli, Bucer, Beza, Hunnius, Grotius, Schmidius, Crocius, 
Zanchius, Piscator, Aretius, etc. There are the Eomish 
Estius, a-Lapide, and Justiniani; and there are also the 
Protestant Clericus, Calovius, Calixtus, Vorstius, Schotanus, 
Balduin, Tarnovius, Musculus, Hyperius, Wolf, van Til, 
Jaspis, Kiittner, Heumann, Bengel, Storr, Flatt, Hammond, 
Michaelis, Kosenmuller, Whitby, Pierce, Macknight, Heinrichs, 
and Schrader. Every one knows the New Testaments of 
Bloomfield and Alford, and the quartos of Conybeare and 
Howson. Of more special expositions on the epistle, we have 
Velasquez — In Epistolam Pauli ad PhUippenses, Commentarii ; 
Antverpise, 2 vols, folio, 1637. Breithaupt — Animadversiones 
exeget. et dogmat. pract. in Epistolam ad PhUippenses ; Halae, 
1703. Am Ende — Pauli Ap. ad Philipp., Epistola ex recen- 
sione Griesbach. — nova versione Latina et annotatione perpetua 
Ulustrata; Wittebergae, 1798. J. F. Krause — Observat. crit. 
exeget. in Pavli Epistolam ad PhUippenses, cap. i. ii.; Begiomont. 
1810. F. A. W. Krause — Die Brief e an die PhUipper und 
Thessalonicher ; Frankfurt am Main, 1790. Bheinwald — 
Commentar ilber den Brief Pauli an die PhUipper ; Berlin, 
1827. Matthies — Erkldrung des Brief es Pavli an die 
PhUipper; Greifswald, 1835. Van Hengel — Commentarius 
Perpetuus in Epistolam Pauli ad PhUippenses; Lugduni 
Batavorum et Amstelodami, 1838. Hoelemann — Commen- 
tarius in Epistolam divi Pauli ad PhUippenses ; Lipsiee, 1839. 
Eilliet — Commentaire sur I'l&pitre de VApttre Paul aux 
Philippiens; Geneve, 1841. Mliller — Commentatio de locis 
quibusdam Epistolw Pauli ad PhUippenses; Hamburgi, 1843. 
De Wette — Kurze Erkldrung der Brief e an die Colosser, an 
Philemon, an die Epheser und PhUipper; Leipzig, 1843. 


Meyer — Kritisch exegetisches Handhich ilber den Brief an die 
PhUipper ; Gottingen, 1847. Baumgarten-Crusius — CW- 
mentar ilber die Brief e Pauli an die PhUipper und Thessaloni- 
clier; Jena, 1848. Peile — Annotations on the Apostolical 
Epistles, vol. ii. ; London, 1849. Wiesinger — Die Brief e des 
Apostels Paulus an die PhUipper, an Titus, Timotheus, und 
Philemon; Konigsberg, 1850. Beelen, Commentarius in 
Epistolam S. Pauli ad PhUippenses; ed. secunda, Lovanii, 
1852. Bisping — Erklarung der Brief es an die Epheser, 
PhUipper, Kolosser, und des ersten Brief es an die Thessaloni- 
cher ; Minister, 1855. Ellicott — A Critical and Grammatical 
Commentary on St. PauVs Epistles to the Philippians, Colossians, 
and to Philemon, with a Revised Translation ; London, 1857. 
Ewald — Die Sendschreiben des Apostels Paulus ubersetzt und 
erkldrt ; Gottingen, 1857. We need scarcely allude to more 
popular treatises, such as Daille — Sermons sur Fltpttre aux 
Philippiens; 1644-47. De Launay — Paraph, et Expos, sur Us 
fipitres de St Paul; Charenton, 1650. Passavant — Versuch 
einer praktischen Auslegung des Brief es Pauli an die PhUipper ; 
Basel, 1834. Kahler — Auslegung der Epistel Pauli an die 
PhUipper in 25 Predigten; Kiel, 1855. Florey — Bibdstunden 
ilber den Brief St. Pauli an die PhUipper; Leipzig, 1857. 
There are similar works in English, of very unequal merit, 
such as Airay, 1618; Acaster, 1827; Baynes, 1834; Neat, 
1841 ; Hall, 1843; Toller, 1855. 


In the following pages, when Buttmann, Matthise, Klihner, 
Winer, Stuart, Green, Jelf, Madvig, Scheuerlein, and Kriiger 
are simply quoted, the reference is to their respective Greek 
grammars ; and when Suidas, Suicer, Passow, Eobinson, Pape, 
Wilke, Wahl, Bretschneider, and Liddell and Scott are named, 
the reference is to their respective lexicons. If Hartung be 
found without any addition, we mean his Lehre von den 
Partikeln der grkchischen Sprache, 2 vols., Erlangen, 1832 ; 
and the mention of Bernhardy without any supplement, repre- 
sents his Wissenschaftliche Syntax der griechischen Sprache; 
Berlin, 1829. The majority of the other names are those of 
the commentators or philologists enumerated in the previous 
chapter. The references to Tischendorf s New Testament are 
to the second edition. 



Affer the usual address and salutation, the apostle, turning 
at once to the close and confidential relations subsisting 
between him and the Fhilippian church, tells them that his 
entire reminiscence of them gave him unmixed satisfaction, 
and led him to thank God for them ; that in this cheerful 
state of mind he prayed always in all his prayers for all of 
them; that his special ground of thanksgiving was their 
fellowship for the gospel, which had existed among them 
from the period of their conversion to the present moment, 
and which, he was persuaded, God would perpetuate and 
mature among them. Then he intimates that this favourable 
opinion of them was no notion loosely taken up by him, but 
one well warranted, since he loved them dearly as joint par- 
takers of grace with himself. That Christian affection was 
no idle emotion, for it found expression in constant and 
joyous prayer. And that prayer which he had mentioned in 
the fourth verse as his uniform practice, had this for its 
theme, that their love might grow, and be furnished with a 
fuller knowledge and a truer spiritual discrimination, so that 
a higher state of moral excellence might be attained by them, 
along with a life of ampler fruits — to the glory and praise of 

(Ver. 1.) IlavXos teal Tifwdeos, SovXoc Xpiarov 'Irj<rov — 
"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus." The received 
text reads 'Irjaov Xpiarov, but B, D, E., etc., declare for the 
reverse order of the names. For some remarks on Timothy 
and the association of his name with that of the apostle, see 
under Col. i 1. There, indeed, Paul calls himself an apostle, 
but here both are simply and equally designated Sovkoi — the 


following genitive being that of possession, and the epithet 
itself being one of close relationship as well as labour. 1 Cor. 
vii 22. There is no sure ground for the conjecture of Killiet, 
that Timothy is mentioned because probably he wrote the 
letter from Paul's dictation. As little foundation is there for 
the opinion of Miiller, taken from Huther, that the addition 
by Paul of another name to his own was intended to show 
that the letter was written per muneris officium et publice, for 
the epistle is without any traces of such a purpose ; and there 
is no great likelihood in the notion of Van Hengel, that the 
apostle placed Timothy on a level with himself, because as he 
was so soon to despatch him to Philippi, he wished him to 
appear invested with all his own great authority. Timothy 
is associated with Paul as one who was well known to this 
church, who had been with him on his first visit, who after- 
wards was sent by him to labour in Macedonia, and who 
cherished a fervent regard for the welfare of the Philippian 
saints. Acts xvi. 1, 10, xix. 22 ; PhiL ii. 19, 20. 

Paul does not here style himself an apostle as is his wont, 
either because his apostolical prerogative had not been called 
in question among them, or because their intimacy with him 
was so close, that he felt that his office was ever in their 
thoughts of him and their care for him, associated with his 
person. That it is rash to make decided inferences from the 
style of the apostle's address, is evident from the fact, that 
five different forms are employed by him. 1. He names 
himself alone and formally as an apostle — Eoin. i. 1 ; 1 Cor. 
i. 1 ; GaL i. 1 ; Eph. i. 1 ; and, as might be expected, in the 
pastoral epistles. 2. He associates another name with his 
own, but still marks out his own apostleship, as "Paul 
an apostle, and Timothy our brother " — 2 Cor. i. 1 ; Col. i. 1. 
3. He joins others to himself without giving any distinctive 
epithet either to himself or them ; as, " Paul, Silvanus, and 
Timothy," in both Epistles to the Thessalonians. 4. In the 
letter to Philemon he calls himself a prisoner, and subjoins 
Timothy as a brother. 5. In this epistle he adds Timothy, 
but unites both under the simple and comprehensive term 
$ov\oi» The corresponding epithet in Hebrew had already 
been consecrated, Num. xii. 7 ; Josh. i. 2, ix. 24 ; 1 Chron. 
vi 49; and SoSXo? occurs in the Septuagint, Neh. x. 29. 


In its Oriental form it passed away from its more distinctive 
meaning, and was incorporated into proper names, as in 
Abdallah, Abednego, etc. 

iracw T0J9 ay iocs iv Xpiarfi 'Itjcov, rok ovaiv iv $i\i7r- 
TTot?, avv €7rt<7/co7rot5 teal $ia/c6voi$ — " to all the saints in 
Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and 
deacons." Consult our note on 07109, Eph. i 1. The pre- 
position iv points out the source and sustentation of this 
07107179 — union with Christ Jesus. As Theophylact says, 
those who are in Christ Jesus are 07104 6Wg>9. In the fulness 
of his heart, the apostle writes to all the saints, not, as van 
Hengel supposes, that he wished to show that he made no 
distinction in his regard between those who had, and those 
who had not, sent him a pecuniary gift. There would be 
probability in the notion of De Wette, that the apostle for- 
mally embraced them all, to intimate his elevation above their 
parties and conflicts, if the term did not occur again and again 
in the epistle, as the expression of the writer's earnest and 
universal affection— i 4, 7, 8, 25, ii. 17, 26, iv. 23. The 
city of Philippi, and the entrance of the gospel to it, have 
been spoken of in the Introduction. 

The apostle adds, avv iirurKoiro^ xal Suucovow. The 
preposition avv intimates close connection — Cohaerenz, as 
Kriiger calls it, and so far differs from fierd, which indicates 
mere co-existence, Kriiger, § 68, 13. The reading avveiri- 
a/coiron, followed by Chrysostom, and found in B 2 , D 8 , and 
C, must be at once rejected. Following it, the Greek Father 
understands the epistle to be addressed to the clergy — t£ 
tc\yp<p, the compound noun being taken as if in apposition 
with 07/019. But why should bishops and deacons be so 
unwontedly singled out ? Chrysostom answers, Because they 
had sent the pecuniary gift through Epaphroditus to the 
apostle. Others more generally, as Meyer, that they had 
been instrumental in collecting the sums for which he thanks 
them in the conclusion of the epistle. Heinrichs opines that 
the mention of office-bearers was only mero casu ; Miiller and 
Billiet, that the phrase merely describes or represents a pro- 
perly organized church. The opinion of Wiesinger is at least 
as probable, that the real reason is to be found in the circum- 
stances of the church, and that there was a tendency to undue 


assumption on the part of some individuals, which needed 
such an effective check as was implied in the special acknow- 
ledgment of those who bore office in it. The official term 
iiri<TK<viro<;, of Greek origin, is in the diction of the New 
Testament the same as irpeafivrepos, of Jewish usage — the 
name expressive of gravity and honour ; Siokovos being the 
correlate found in connection with the former, and vearepos 
or veavta/cos standing in a similar relation to the latter — 
Acts xx. 17, 28 ; 1 Pet. v. 1, 5 ; Tit. i. 5, 7. The Syriac 

renders the term here by h^-*-?-0 — elders. The origin 

of the special office of deacon is given in Acts vi. — the 
end of the institution being Scatcovetv rpairi^ai<s, or to 
exercise a supervision, iirl t?/9 XP €ta * TavTrjs. The epithet 
Stdfcovos is not, as Ghrysostom seems to suppose, a second 
name for the bishop ; for he says ical Sid/covo? 6 iirla-Koiro^ 
iXeyero. A bishop might indeed be a " server," as Paul was 
a servant ; but the word, as is plain from other portions of 
the New Testament, describes a distinct class of office-bearers. 
The mention of iiciaicoiroi, in the plural, and the naming of 
both classes of office-bearers after the general body of 
members, indicate a state of things which did not exist in the 
second century. — See Canon Stanley's Sermons and Essays on 
the Apostolic Age, p. 67, and compare Neander, Vitringa, 
Bingham, Bothe, Baur, and other authors on the general 
subject. Hammond, in order to vindicate the form of modern 
Episcopacy, maintains that the bishops were those of a dis- 
trict of which Philippi was a metropolitan centre, but the 
language warrants no such inference. Chrysostom has asked, 
" Were there several bishops in one city ? Certainly not ; 
but he thus called the presbyters," — aXXh tov? irpeafivripovs 
o5to)9 i/caXea-e. The placing of the office-bearers after the 
church seems to have scandalized Thomas Aquinas, but he 
saves his hierarchical convictions by suggesting — apostolum 
servasse ordinem naturce,quo grex solet prcecedere suum pastor em; 
hinc in processionibus, popvlus prcecedit, clems et prcdati 

(Ver. 2.) Xdpi? vfilv teal elptjvq diro 0eov Harpb? rjfi&v, 
KaX Kvplov 'Irjaov Xpiarov — "Grace to you, and peace 
from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." 


See at length on the terms of the salutation under Eph. 

(Ver. 3.) EvxapiarA t$ 0€$ fiou eirl irday t§ fiveia vfi&v 
— " I thank my God on the whole remembrance of you." 
How different this exryapiaroa rp Ge$ ftov from the abrupt 
0avfid£(o Zti of Gal. i. 6 ! — satisfaction expressed in the 
one, and surprise and sorrow in the other. The noun fiveia 
is rendered " mention " in the margin of the English Bible, 
and the rendering is adopted by van HengeL The idea of 
mention is indeed based on that of remembrance; for it is 
that kind of mention which memory so naturally prompts 
and fashions, and may therefore be expressed by iroieurOtu 
fivelav, as in Bom. i 9 ; Eph. 116. But such a verb is not 
employed here, and " remembrance " is the better rendering. 
The preposition iirl marks the ground, or occasion, of the 
apostle's gratitude. Winer, however, gives it a temporal 
signification, § 48. The phrase, eirl icoutq rfj fiveia, is not to 
be translated " on every remembrance," though such an inter- 
pretation be as old as Chrysostom — occlkv} vfi&v avafjwrjadS). 
Beelen and Conybeare follow this rendering of the Authorized 
Version; but the article forbids it Winer, § 18, 4. 1 The 
meaning is not, « as often as I remember you, I thank my 
God," but " on my whole remembrance of you, I thank my 
God." There was no disturbing element, no sharp or sudden 
recollection, which suggested any other exercise than thanks- 
giving. His entrance to the city, the oratory by the river-side, 
Lydia's baptism, and the jailor's conversion — his entire 
connection with them filled his memory with delight. The 
incidents of his second visit are not recorded ; but his whole 
association with the Philippian church prompted him to devout 
acknowledgment. He has changed at once in this verse to 
the first person, for, though Timothy's name occurs in the 
salutation, the epistle is in no sense a joint production. Few 
will agree with Pierce, Homberg, and others, that vfi&v is 
subjective, and that the meaning is, " I thank my God 
for your whole remembrance of me." For the grounds 

1 This inexact rendering is also adopted by Ellicott in his version [upon all my 
remembrance in Second Edition], but the older English versions are correct. 
Thus Wycliffe — " I do thankingis to my God in al mynde of you ; " and Tyndale 
— " I thank my God with all remembrance of you. 1 ' 


» •* * * 



of his thanksgiving, as subsequently stated, determine the 

(Ver. 4.) Hdvrore ev irday Severe* fiov inrkp irdvrav vfi&v 
fiercL xapa? ttjp Sirjaiv iroiovfievos — " Always in every suppli- 
cation of mine making supplication for you all with joy." It 
does not affect the sense whether virep irdvrtov vfi&v, standing 
in the middle of the verse, be joined to the words before it — 
heqaei, fiov, as in the English Version, or to those after it, ttjv 
Sirjacv ttoiovjjmvos. The latter construction cannot be pleaded 
for. from the absence of the article before inrep irdvrtov. 
Winer, § 20, 2. The second her)<rt,<; with its article, refers to 
the previous Serjo-v;, but the first term needs not be limited 
or defined by virep irdvTwv. The participial connection with 
the previous verse is common in the apostle's style. Many, 
such as Theophylact, Bengel, and Billiet, join a portion of this 
verse to the preceding — "I thank my God on the whole 
remembrance of you always in every prayer of mine for you 
all." The verse so understood details the periods, or scenes, 
when the memory of the apostle excited him to thanks ; but 
such a connection is not necessary. Hoelemann connects 
€t%a/HOTG> with inrep irdvrtov vficov. " I thank my God on 
account of you all ; " but such a connection is unnatural, 
destroys the point, and encumbers the order of the thought 
The apostle says, in the third verse, that his whole remem- 
brance of them prompted him to thanksgiving ; and in the 
verse before us, he tells them that he prayed — Serja-iv iroiov- 
fjLevos; that they were included in every prayer of his — iv 
Trday Severe* ; that he prayed not for a fraction of them, but 
for the * whole of them — irdvrav ; that he did this, not 
periodically, but always — irdvrore ; that this supplication had 
the companionship of a gladdened heart — fiera x a pfc I an d 
that this gladness of heart in prayer based itself — eiri irdarg 
Ty fivela ifi&v. The recurrence of the terms ircurg, 7rdvroT€, 
irdcrt), irdvrwv in these two verses, shows the exuberant 
feeling of the writer. " To make request with joy," is not, as 
Baumgarten-Crusius says, a mere circumlocution for thanks- 
giving; but it implies that the suppliant thanks while he 
asks, and blesses as he petitions. The apostle might pray for 
others in anguish or doubt; but he knew so much of the 
Philippian church, of its faith, its consistency, and its attach- 

PHILIPPIAtf S I. 5. 7 

ment to the truth and to himself, that when he prayed for it 
so uniformly, no suspicions clouded his soul. What higher 
rapture could an apostle feel than that occasioned by the 
memory of his successes, and their gracious and permanent 
results ? No heart was more susceptible of this joy them 
the apostle's, and none felt more keenly the pang of dis- 
appointment and sorrow, when either truth was forsaken or 
adulterated, or love was supplanted by envying and strife. 

(Ver. 5.) 'E*ni tiJ tcoivcovia vp&v cfc to evayyektov airo 
irparrqs rjfiepcu; a%pi tov vvv — " On account of your fellow- 
ship in favour of the gospel, from the first day even until 
now." The apostle in these words expresses the grounds of 
his evxapi<TT&. Calvin, Grotius, De Wette, van Hengel, and 
Ewald connect the verse with the preceding one, as if it gave 
the ground of the fierct %apa<;. The statement is true so far, 
for the joy which accompanied the apostle's prayer sprang 
from the very same source as his thanksgiving. The thanks- 
giving was based on memory, and the joy on present know- 
ledge ; but still both alike pointed especially to this tcoivcovia. 
The recollection prompted thanksgiving, for the fellowship 
had commenced at an early period; and when he made 
supplication, he pleaded with gladness, for that fellowship 
had remained unbroken from its origin to the present time, 
so that £7rl rr) tcoivcovia is primarily connected with ei^a/McmS, 
and has, at the same time, a subordinate relation to pera 
X a pfc> It is true that evxapiarA is followed twice by inri ; 
but it does not result, as De Wette maintains, that the prepo- 
sition has two different significations. The connection in both 
cases is nearly the same. I thank my God on account of, 
i-rrl, " my whole remembrance of you," and then a parallel 
and explanatory clause intervening — the special element in 
that remembrance which excited thanksgiving, is brought out 
by the same particle, eVl t§ tcoivcovia v/m&v. We cannot 
agree with Ellicott's remarks on the alleged double sense of 
€7rl, that verse 4 marks the object on which the thanksgiving 
rests, verse 5 when it takes place, and verse 6 why it takes 
place ; * for it is the third verse which, looking to the past, 
points out the ground or occasion of the thanksgiving — his 
whole remembrance ; while verse 4 shows how it expressed 

1 [These numbers seem to be misprints in Ellicott for $, 4, 5.] 


itself in prayer, verse 5 gives more 'fully its solid foundation, 
as Mr. EUicott had already said, and verse 6, glancing into 
the future, shows how the feeling was intensified hy the 
apostle's persuasion about them. 

But what is the meaning of the unusual phrase — icoivcovia 
eh rb evarfyekiov ? 

1. It is plain that whatever icoivwvia means, the phrase eh 
to evtvyyikiov cannot be taken as a genitive, as if the mean- 
ing were " on account of your participation of the gospel." 
This is one view of Calvin, and the opinion of Estius, Flatt, 
and Heinrichs, following the interpretation of Theodoret, 
KouHoviav he rov evasfyeXiov rrjv itIotiv itedXeae. 

2. Some would restrict the fellowship to intercourse or 
community of interest with the apostle, and that in either of 
two aspects. The lower view is that of Bisping and others, 
who take the term as referring principally to giving and re- 
ceiving — the pecuniary symbols of affection. The higher 
view is that of Chrysostom and Theophylact, who understand 
the word as including sympathy with the apostle in his 
labours and sufferings; the latter thus explaining it — Sri 
Koivoovol fiov yivecOe /cal cvfifiepurral r&v iirl t$> evayyeXiq* 
irovow. Both these views may be implied ; but still they are 
only two indications or fruits of fellowship. 

3. Nor can we wholly coincide in the opinion of Meyer, 
Mliller, and Alford, that Koivwvla means "entire accord, 
unanimous action ; " or as Rilliet has it, " bon accord." First, 
it is plain that there was a tendency in the Fhilippian church 
to faction, disunion, and jealousy. The prayer, in verse 9, 
that their love might abound yet more and more, is referred 
to by Meyer as a proof that love existed ; but still such a 
prayer is a token that love was deficient. The pointed ex- 
hortation in i. 27, "to stand fast in one spirit, with one mind 
striving together ; " the injunction in ii 2, to "be like- 
minded, of one accord, of one mind ; " the call to lowliness, 
and the caution against vainglory in ii 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ; the 
command to " do all things without murmuring," in ii. 14; 
the similar lesson in iii. 16, 17 ; and the personal request to 
two women to be " of the same mind," iv. 2 ; — all betoken 
that the apostle more than suspected tendencies to alienation 
and feud; and his joy must have been modified by the 


lamented imperfection of that very grace which Meyer 
supposes him to select and eulogize as its principal source. 

4. The noun /eouwvia, with its cognate verb and adjective, 
which have been variously rendered by our translators, has, 
for its generic idea, that of common participation. That par- 
ticipation may be a palpable copartnery, Luke v. 10 ; 1 Cor. 
x. 18; 2 Cor. viii. 23; 1 Tim. v. 22; Heb. ii. 14, x. 33. 
Or it may be participation in pecuniary generosity, Kom.xiL 13, 
xv. 26 ; 2 Cor. viii 4,ix. 13 ; Gal. vi. 6 ; PhiLiv. 15 ; 1 Tim. 
vi. 18 ; Heb. xiii. 16. In five of these passages, Eom. xii. 13, 
xv. 26, 2 Cor. viii. 4, ix. 13, Heb. xiii. 16, the reference is 
to eleemosynary contribution, and some of them may bear an 
active sense. But there is also a special evangelical fellow- 
ship, which is often named, as in Eom. xv. 27, 1 Cor. i 9, 
1 John i. 3 ; and that fellowship is characterized as being of 
the spirit, 2 Cor. xiii. 14, PhiL ii. 1, or as being with the 
Son of God generally, 1 Cor. i. 9, 1 John i. 3, 6, and with 
His sufferings especially, Phil. iii. 10, 1 Pet. iv. 13. The 
noun is followed by the genitive of the thing participated in, 
or with €t9, denoting its object. Winer, § 49, a. We there- 
fore take KOivcovia in a general sense, and the following clause 
so closely connected with it, through the non-repetition of the 
article, as assigning its end or purpose. Winer, § 20, 2. Thus 
understood, it denotes participation, or community of interest, 
in whatever had the gospel for its object. All that belonged 
to the defence and propagation of the gospel was a matter of 
common concern to them — of sympathy and co-operation. The 
pecuniary contributions sent to the apostle and acknowledged 
in this epistle, are, of necessity, included. Such generally is 
the view of Wiesinger, Schinz, van Hengel, Hoelemann, and 
Ellicott, and in it on the whole we concur. For in the 
seventh verse the apostle seems more fully to explain his 
meaning, when he calls the Philippians (rvyKoivavovs fiov, as 
if in reference to the Koiwvia of the verse before us. Now 
the relation of that fellowship for the gospel is there described 
as being "in its defence and confirmation." Viewed as a 
Christian community, they had exhibited a fellowship in 
reference to the gospel— *o«/fiW<a els to evar/yiXiov — and the 
apostle thanked God for it. Immediately, as he dwells on the 
same idea, that fellowship takes a more personal aspect, 


inasmuch as it included himself in its circle — <rvy/cowa>vov$ 
fioo — and its purpose, as he refers to his own work, assumes 
a more definite form, iv ry airoKoyla teal ftefiawHrei rov evay- 

This fellowship had continued without interruption — 
airo irp<imi<i fjfiepa? ayjpi rov vvv, " from the first day until 
now." It had not been like an intermittent spring, but like a 
fountain of perpetual outflow. The clause is thus connected 
with /coiv&vla, and marks its unbroken duration. Some, like 
Beza and Bengel, connect it with €irxapiar& — a connection 
which would be tautological, for the idea is expressed already; 
and others, as Meyer, Eilliet, and Lachmann join it to the 
following participle, Trerroidw. This is also erroneous. It 
needs not that r§ be repeated before airb TrpaJn/? any more 
than before €t? to evar/y&Xiov. The apostle's purpose is to 
point out the ground of his thanksgiving, and to give it 
prominence. Eemembrance excited his gratitude, but the past 
merged into the present, and memory and consciousness 
coalesced, because the fellowship was not simply a thing of 
days gone by, for it had lasted from its first manifestation to 
that very moment ; nay, its existence was proved and illustrated 
by the delegation of Epaphroditus to Borne. The development 
of the apostle's thought necessitates the connection of this 
clause with Koivavia, as a " subordinate temporal definition ; " 
and it also starts the idea which is followed out in the 
subsequent verse. 

(Ver. 6.) Ue7rot0o>$ avrb tovto, on 6 ivapf-dfievos iv vjuv 
epyov ayaObv, eVtreX&m a'Xpis: fjfiepas f Ir}aov Xpurrov — " Being 
confident of this very thing, that He who has begun in you a 
good work, will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus." 
The apostle usually places ireiroi6w at the beginning of the 
sentence, i. 25, ii. 24, Philem. 21, 2 Cor. ii. 3, and uses 
other parts of the verb in a similar way. Gal. v. 10 ; Rom. 
ii. 19; 2 Thess. iii. 4; Heb. xiii. 18. The participle is 
parallel to irotov^evo^, and like it dependent on €vxapioT&. 
He thanked and he prayed in this confidence, a confidence 
which at once deepened his gratitude, and gave wings of joy 
to his supplications. The participle may have a faint causal 

1 Pierce and the Improved Version render the clause, "as being joint-contri- 
butors to the gift which I have received ! " 


force as Ellicott says, " seeing I am confident ; " but the idea 
is only auxiliary to the main one expressed in the preceding 
verse. The emphatic phrase avro tovto, " this very thing," 
refers to what follows, which is the real accusative, and is 
introduced by Xva in Eph. vi. 22, Col. iv. 8 ; by oira>9 in 
Eom. ix. 17 ; and here by on. Winer, § 23, 5. The use of 
the demonstrative pronouns is not, as Madvig says, § 27, a, 
a to mark the contents and compass (der Inhalt und Umfang) 
of the action," which is done by the clause beginning with on 
— but rather to emphasize it — and show that in the writer's 
mind it has a peculiar unity and prominence. The reference 
in 6 tvap£dfievo<: is to God, and is all the more impressive that 
He is not formally named. The participle, though it often 
takes the genitive, here governs the accusative. Kiihner, 
§ 512, 5. We cannot lay any stress on the preposition iv, in 
composition with it, as may be shown by its use both in 
the classics and in the Septuagint. The words iv vjuv are 
"in you," not among you, for in the following verse the 
apostle records an individual judgment of them. By epyov 
dyaOov is not meant vaguely and generally a work of faith 
and love, as a-Lapide and Matthies suppose ; but that special 
good work, that teoiwovia, which the apostle has just particu- 
larized. The article is not prefixed, but the reference is 
plain. That fellowship is a work divine in its source, and 
bears the stamp of its originator. He who began it will 
carry it on — iirireXio-ec, and that — &xpi$ r/fiepas Xptorov 
Miyo-ov. The position of these proper names is reversed in 
some codices. The expression is not to be frittered down into 
a mere perpetuo, as Am Ende does, nor can we agree with 
Theophylact and (Ecumenius, in supposing the apostle to 
include in the phrase, successive generations of those whom 
he addressed. The period of consummation specified by the 
apostle has been much disputed. The opinion is very common 
that the second* and personal advent of the Saviour is meant, 
the apostle believing that it was to happen soon, and in his 
own day. Without passing a definite and dogmatic opinion 
on the subject, we may only say, that we cannot well compre- 
hend how an inspired man should have been permitted to 
teach a falsehood, not simply to give it as his own private 
judgment or belief, but to place it on record, authoritatively, 


among the true sayings of God. The day of Christ is His 
return ; but may it not be such a return as He promised to 
the Eleven at the Last Supper, " I will come again and receive 
you unto myself " ? The apostle's confidence that their united 
public spirit would continue, rested on his knowledge of God's 
character and methods of operation. The good work originated 
by Him is not suffered to lapse, but is fostered and blessed 
till His end be accomplished. His own connection with the 
work, and its inherent goodness, pledge Him to the continua- 
tion of it. So wayward and feeble is the human heart, even 
when it binds itself by a stipulation, or fortifies itself by a 
vow, that had this fellowship depended on themselves, the 
apostle would have had no confidence in its duration. His 
sad experience had shown him that men might repeat follies 
even while they were weeping over them, and engage anew 
in sins, while they were in the act of abjuring them. On 
the other hand, and to his deep vexation, had he seen graces 
languish amidst professed anxiety for their revival, and good 
works all but disappear under the admitted necessity of their 
continuance and enlargement. 

Those who maintain the doctrine of the perseverance of the 
saints, take proof from this verse, though certainly without un- 
disputed warrant, and it must be in the form of development ; 
for it refers to a particular action, and is not in itself a general 
statement of a principle ; and those who oppose this tenet are 
as anxious to escape from the alleged inference. The Fathers 
of the Council of Trent qualify the statement by the addition, 
nisi ipsi homines Hints gratia defuerint. Beelen, professor of 
the Oriental Languages in the Catholic University of Louvain, 
gives the verse this turn or twist, confido fore ut Deus perficiat, 
hoc est, confido fore ut vos per Dei gratiam perfidatis opus bonum 
quod cospistis. Such a perversion is not much better than 
Wakefield's, who translates, " he among you who has begun a 
good work, will continue to do well till death." Nor, in fine, 
can we say with (Ecumenius, that the apostle ascribes the 
work to God, tva fvq <f>pov&<ri fieya, "lest they should be 
filled with too much pride." He had a higher motive in 
giving utterance to the precious truth, that what is good in 
the church, has its root and life in God, that therefore He 
is to be thanked for it, as is most due, and that prayer is to 


be offered joyously about it, in the assurance that He who 
began it will not capriciously desert it, but will carry it 
forward to maturity. It is €v%apurr$>—§eq<riv rrotovpevos — 
rreiroiOm. The apostle now proceeds to vindicate the assertion 
which he had made. 

(Ver. 7.) KaOth? iari Stxaiov ifiol rovro <f>povelv xnrep rrav- 
twv vfi(ov — " Even as it is right for me to think this on 
behalf of you alL" The form icaffws, from xa0d, tcaOo, belongs 
to the later Greek (Phrynichus, Lobeck, p. 426), and is 
probably of Alexandrian origin. Matt xxi. 6 ; Eph. i. 4 ; 

1 Cor. i. 6. The verb is not " to care for/' as Wolf contends, 
nor, as van Hengel thinks, is it to be confined to the prayer — 
" sine scrupulo interpretamur sicuti me deed hoc veins omnibus 
appetere; Zilicet, Jni aura et predho." Inthe interpretation 
of Storr, followed by Hoelemann, the accusative rovro simply 
expresses manner — " I give thanks to God, and offer prayer 
for all of you with joy, as indeed it becomes me thus to think 
concerning you." But it refers to the good opinion already 
expressed in the previous verse — aino rovro. By the use of 
inrep the apostle indicates that his opinion was favourable to 
them, and by hUaiov he characterizes that opinion as one 
which it behoved him in the circumstances to entertain. Col. 
iv. i ; Eph. vi. 1. The mode of expression in classic Greek 
would be different — Sltcaios ey<b eljii, Herodotus, i. 32 ; and 
Bttcatov eanv e>e, Herodotus, i. 39 ; Jelf, § 669, 677. 

Sict ro e%€ip fie iv rfi icaphla vjias — " because I have you 
in my heart " — the heart being the seat or organ of affection. 

2 Cor. vii. 3. Am Ende, Oeder, Storr, and Bosenmiiller, 
reverse this interpretation — " Because you have me in your 
heart." The position of the pronouns may warrant such a 
translation ; but the apostle is writing of himself and of his 
relation to the church in Philippk The expression denotes 
strong affection — as in Latin, in sinu gestare, Terent. Adelph. 
iv. 5, 75; or, as in Ovid's Trist. v. 2, 24, Te tamen in toto 
pectore semper habet. The apostle vindicates the favourable 
opinion he had formed of them from his love to them, as 
standing in a special relation towards him. Though this 
opinion sprang from his affection, it was still a right one — 
hUcuov— and not one formed merely secundum legem caritatis, 
as van Hengel and Ellicott suppose. 


The connection of the next clause is matter of dispute : — 
€v re rot? Seafiok fiov, teal iv rfj airoXoyia teal fiefiauixret 
rod evarfyekiov, ervytcotveovovs fiov rf)$ yapiros iravra? vfia? 
iivra? — " both in my bonds and in the defence and confirma- 
tion of the gospel, you all as being partakers with me of 
grace." Chrysostom, Meyer, De Wette, and Alford join the 
first clause to the preceding one : — " Because I have you in 
my heart both in my bonds and in the defence and confirma- 
tion of the gospel." The sense is tolerable ; but it does not 
harmonize with the course of thought. To say that he loves 
them in his bonds, and when he pleaded the cause of the 
gospel, is not assigning a reason why he thought so highly of 
them — irerroidm — but to say that they were partakers of his 
grace both in his bonds and in his evangelical labours, and as 
such beloved by him, is a proof that he was justified in 
forming and expressing such a good opinion and anticipation 
of them. He had thanked God for the teoiwovia ek to eva/y- 
yikiov ; and being assured that such a good work was divine 
in its origin, and would be carried on till the day of Christ, 
it became him to give utterance to this thought, on account 
of the affection he bore to them as participants with him of 

The apostle calls them o-vyKoivwvov? fiov 7*79 xdpiros irdp- 
ra$ vfia? ovra? — " all of you as being fellow-partakers with 
me of grace." The reading gaudii in the Vulgate, and some 
Latin fathers, comes from the reading %a/9a?. The repetition 
of v/*a?, though such a form is not used by the most correct 
writers (Bernhardy, 275), is only pleonastic in appearance, 
but really emphatic in nature, and made necessary by the 
length of the intervening sentence and the use of irdvra^ 
Matthiae, § 465, 4. The pronoun fiov is most probably con- 
nected with the adjective ovyicoivwvovs, and not as by Billiet 
with xdpiros; so that the rendering will not be as Alford 
gives it — " partakers of my grace," but rather " partakers with 
me of grace." Matthiae, §325; §405, 1. The construction 
of two genitives of different relations with a noun does not 
often happen. Winer, § 30, 3. The %dp^ is certainly not, 
as Billiet makes it, reconnaissance, " acknowledgments " — and 
as certainly not the apostolic office, as Am Ende and Flatt 
take it — both explanations quite foreign to the order of 


thought Nor can we understand the term simply and 
broadly of the grace of the gospel, as is done by Robinson, 
Hoelemaun, Hemrichs, De Wette, and Alford. The previous 
clause limits the grace, or decides it to be that form of grace 
which is appropriate to imprisonment and evangelical labour. 
But we cannot, with Chrysostom, Calvin, Grotius, Estius, 
Rheinwald, and Meyer, restrict it to suffering, as we hold that 
the %a/w refers equally to airdkoyiq, with $€<Tfiois, for the 
fellowship, which is the leading idea, was not confined to 
suffering, but had existed from the first day to the present, 
and that entire period was not one of unbroken tribulation 
to the apostle. It is true that at that moment the apostle 
was in bonds, and in those bonds did defend and confirm 
the truth. But the idea seems to be that they had been co- 
partakers of his grace in evangelical labour, and that such 
participation with him did not cease, even though he was a 
prisoner in Rome. For he says : — 

ev T€ tow Sea-fiol? fiov — " both in my bonds ; " and he 
adds — 

xal iv rg airoXoyla teal fUefiaitoau rod €vayye\iov, " and in 
the defence and confirmation of the gospel." The use of T€ — 
/cal, indicates that the two clauses contain separate ideas, and 
that the one preceded by tcai has the stress laid on it. Har- 
tung, i 98 ; Klotz, Devarius, ii. 740 ; Winer, § 53, 4. The 
genitive belongs to both substantives, which are not synony- 
mous as Rheinwald supposes, and do not form a hendiadys 
as Am Ende and Heinrrchs regard them — airoKoyla ek 
f3ej3auD(riv. The words are distinct in sense ; the first mean- 
ing a pleading or defence as before a tribunal, Acts xxii. 1, 
xxv. 16; or in a less authoritative mode, 1 Cor. ix. 3, 
1 Pet. iii. 15. It is needless to restrict the meaning to such 
a formal defence as is recorded in 2 Tim. iv. 16. It was the 
apostle's uniform work, on all times and occasions, to answer 
for the gospel against its adversaries, whether they impugned 
its doctrines or suspected its tendencies, libelled its preachers 
or called in question the facts and evidences on which it 
rested. But, as the non-repetition of the article shows, the 
defence and confirmation were closely connected, were but 
different aspects of one course of action. The first was more 
elementary, and the last more positive and advanced — the 


first warded off objections, and the second might consist of 
proofs. The confirmation resulted from the defence. The 
gospel stood out in power and demonstration, when its oppon- 
ents were silenced, and the objections brought against it, no 
matter from what quarter, found to be groundless. That 
grace which had enabled the apostle to bear his chain, and 
to defend and confirm the gospel, was common to the Philip- 
pians with himself; therefore did he cherish them in his 
heart, and thank God for such fellowship. And he appends 
a further vindication of his sentiment. 

(Ver. 8.) Mdprvs yap fiov 6 6e6? — " For God is my witness." 
The Stephanie text adds iarlv, on the authority of A, D, E, J, 
K, and many mss. and versions, and we are inclined to 
receive it, though it be wanting in B, F, G. True, its inser- 
tion by a transcriber appears like a natural completion of the 
common formula, but the balance of evidence is in its favour. 
The apostle appeals to the Searcher of hearts for the truth of his 
statements. It was not the language of courteous exaggera- 
tion, nor that intensity of phrase in which common friendship 
so often clothes itself, never dreaming that its words are 
to be literally interpreted. But the apostle wrote only the 
truth— his words were the coinage of his heart. Eom. i 9 ; 
1 Thess. ii. 5. " God is my witness " — 

a>9 iiriTroOcb TravTOG vfia? ev Girkarfyyois Xpicrov 'Irjaov — 
" how I long for you all in the bowels of Christ Jesus." The 
order of the proper names is inverted in the received text. 
The particle d>? may either introduce the fact of the apostle's 
longing, or may indicate its intensity. It may be either 
" that," or " how much." The strong language of the verse 
may decide for the latter, against Billiet and Miiller. The 
apostle wishes them to know not so much the fact as the 
earnestness of his longings. Chrysostom says beautifully — 
ov roivvv hvvarbv elirelv 7ro>9 iTMrodSr ov yap Svpajiai irapaa- 
rrjo-at tw \aya> rbv irodov. The verb is sometimes followed 
by an infinitive, as in Bom. i. 11, 2 Cor. v. 2 ; occasionally 
by 7rpo9 ; but here by the accusative of person, as in 2 Cor. 
ix. 14, Phil. ii. 26. He does not indicate any special blessing 
he craved for them; he longed after themselves. They 
were the objects of his warmest affection, and though he was 
absent from them, he yearned toward them — a proof surely 


that he had them in his heart The simple form of the verb 
is not found in the New Testament, and this compound form 
represents more than one Hebrew word in the Septuagint 
'Eiri, as in some other compound verbs, does not intensify the 
meaning, but rather indicates direction — irodov ej(€tv iiri riva. 
Fritzsche, ad Bom. voL i. p. 30, 31 j 1 Winer, § 30, 10, (6). 
The verb is diluted in meaning, if it be regarded as signifying 
only to love; though in Ps. cxix. 131 it represents the 
Hebrew m. 

And the mode is described by the following clause : — 
iv irirXarfxyois X. 'I., u in the bowels of Christ Jesus." For 
the Usage of trn\dyxva t see under Col. iii. 12. The strange 
peculiarity of this phrase has led not a few to weaken its 
form We wonder that Storr should have taken up the 
opinion that cirKarpfya may mean objects of love, and iv be 
equivalent to tanquam — " I love you as being the objects of 
the love of Christ Jesus." Such a rendering has not a shadow 
of support At the other extreme is the view of Hoelemann, 
that the words mean, " as the Lord loves His own." Nor is 
X. 'I. the genitive of object—" I love you with a heart glowing 
with love to Christ ; " nor yet that of origin — " I love you 
with an affection originated by Christ" Nor can we assent 
to Rilliet, who gives iv the sense of " after the manner of," — 
I love you after the model of Christ — td itant ; or, as van 
Hengel paraphrases, in animo penitus affecto, ut animus fuit 
Christi Jesu; or, as Beza has it, teneri et materni affecttis. 
We agree with Meyer, that iv retains its local sense, and that 
the apostle identifies himself with Christ, as in Gal. ii. 20, 
" Christ liveth in me." The Christian nature of that longing 
he felt for them is expressed by this striking clause ; for he 
had the heart of Christ within him, and under its impulses 
he fondly yearned over his Philippian converts. As Beelen, 
abridging Bengel, says, in pectore Pauli non tarn ipsius quam 

1 Fritzsche says that in the fourth dialogue of Lucian, the simple and com- 
pound verbs are used indiscriminately--proTOWcu« ponuntur. We are inclined 
to demur to this statement. Ganymede says of his father — «>«S» ykfftn mlri*— 
and Jupiter afterwards tells him, that if he tasted nectar, he would never desire 
milk again — «l* in xdfom ri ymXm. But when Jupiter bids him be of good 
courage and be merry, and long no more for earth, he says — **) pnK* Wi*itu 
rmt *•«•*. That is to say, the use of W to denote direction, gives a slight force 
to the meaning — this pointing of the verb by means of the preposition towards 
its object, indicates additional emotion. 


Christi cor palpitabat. Krause, Grotius, Hoog, and Heinrichs 
approach this sense, bat lose its point when they give as the 
general meaning, amorem vere Christianum. 

(Ver. 9.) The apostle had shown them what kind desires he 
felt towards them, and what joyous anticipations he cherished 
for them. He had also intimated that he uniformly prayed 
for them, and he now proceeds to tell them the substance of 
his prayer. 

Kal rovro TTpoaexrxpiMu tva — " And this I pray that." The 
Kal may look back to verse 4, or it may be regarded simply 
as connecting the two statements — his opinion about them, 
and his prayer for them. There is no ground for Billiet's and 
Miiller's idea that irpoaev^pfiai depends on cos, as does eVt- 
iroO&. Quite a new sentiment is started, and the preceding 
verse winds up and corroborates the ardent expressions which 
go before it The accusative rovro gives emphasis to the 
theme of petition in itself, and that petition, viewed in its 
purpose, is preceded by iva, as often occurs. There is little 
doubt that the contents of the prayer are also so far indicated 
by the conjunction. To pray for this end is not very different 
from to pray for this thing. 

His prayer was on this wise — 

tva f) aydirri vfi&v ere fiaWov Kal fiaXKov Trepiaaevr) iv hn- 
yvooaei real irdarj aladyo-ei — " that your love may abound yet 
more and more in knowledge and in all judgment" Love 
existed ^mong them, but yet it was deficient, if not in itself, 
yet in some endowments. The precise nature of this love has 
been variously understood. Strange is the freak of Bullinger 
and others, that ff aydirrj v/icov is, as in old ecclesiastical 
language, the abstract used for a concrete, and simply a form 
of address — "I pray, beloved, that ye may grow yet more 
and more." Suicer, sub voce. 

1. Some take it for love to the apostle himself, as do the 
Greek fathers, with Grotius and van Hengel. But the epithets 
which follow could not apply to a mere personal attachment. 

2. Nor can we, with Calovius and others, take it as love to 
God and Christ, as that is not specially the grace in question. 

3. Neither can we, with others, regard it as love to God and 
men — Christian love in its high and comprehensive essence 
and form, for we think that the context specifies its province 


and mode of operation. Alford and Meyer are right in refer- 
ring it to tcoivtovla ; but as they restrict the meaning of this 
word to mutual accord, so they regard aydirq as only signify* 
ing love to one another. We give tcoiwvia a more extensive 
meaning, and consider aydrni as its root and sustaining power. 
It is love for Christ's image and Christ's work — for all that 
represents Him on earth — His people and His cause; that 
holy affection which, while it unites all in whom it dwells, 
impels them to sympathize with all suffering, and co-operate 
with all effort, in connection with the defence and confirmation 
of the gospel. Such is generally also the view of EUicott and 
Wiesinger. The apostle prayed that their love might grow — 
iv iTrvyvaxrei teal irday aladijaei. The two substantives are 
not synonymous, as Bheinwald and Matthies hold. There 
is no ground for Bisping's distinction of them, that the first 
signifies more theoretical, and the other more practical know- 
ledge. The first substantive denotes accurate knowledge. See 
under Eph. i. 17. The second, which occurs only here, means 
power of perception. Physically, it denotes perception by the 
senses, especially that of touch ; and in the plural, it signifies 
the organs of such perception — the senses themselves. The 
transition to a spiritual meaning such as that of apprehension 
is obvious. See under Col. i. 9. It might be rendered ethical 
tact, that faculty of moral discernment which is quick and 
unerring in its judgment, and by a peculiar insight arrives 
easily and surely at its conclusions. It is not experimental 
or practical knowledge, as some have thought; but that 
faculty of discernment which works as if from an inner sense. 
A similar allusion is made by the apostle in Heb. v. 14, 
where he describes such as have their senses exercised to 
discern both good and evil — ra alaOrjTTjpia. The apostle 
adds Traay, all discernment. We regard wday as intensive, 
and cannot agree with those who seem to deny that it rarely, 
if ever, has such a meaning. In these two elements, the 
apostle prayed that their love should grow yet more and more 
— en paXKov teal fiaXXov. Pindar, Pyth. 10, 88 ; BapheL in 
loc. The iv does not signify "through," as Heinrichs and 
Schinz take it, nor does it mean " along with," as Bheinwald 
and Hoelemann suppose. Winer, § 50, 5. For iv following 
irepurcevQ) usually points out that in which the increase 


consists. 1 Cor. xv. 58 ; 2 Cor. iii. 9, viil 7 ; Col. ii. 7. 
Their love was to increase in these qualities, knowledge and 
insight De Wette takes iv as denoting manner and way. 
But in only one of the instances adduced by him does this 
verb occur (Eph. i. 8), and there the connection is doubtful. 
The apostle's desire was that the love of the Philippians 
might acquire a profounder knowledge, and not be tempted 
to misplace itself, and that it might attain a sharper and 
clearer discernment, and so be prevented from being squandered 
on unworthy subjects, or directed to courses of conduct which 
had the semblance but not the reality of Christian rectitude 
and utility. If love grew in mere capacity, and without 
the increase of these safeguards, it was in hazard of forming 
unworthy and profitless attachments. Passion, without such 
guides or feelers, is but blind predilection. " Fellowship for 
the gospel * is still the thought in the apostle's mind, and that 
love which had led them to it, needed for its stability a deeper 
knowledge of the truths which characterized the gospel, and 
required for its development a clearer faculty of apprehending 
the character of the men best qualified, and the measures best 
adapted to its " defence and confirmation." One purpose was — 
(Ver. 10.) Ek to hoxifiafyiv v/ua? rh hia^epovra — Xva — " So 
that ye may distinguish things that differ." Two purposes are 
specified in this verse, the nearer expressed by ek to, and the 
ultimate by tva. Commentators differ as to the meaning of 
the clause, and philologically the words will bear either inter- 
pretation* They have been supposed to mean* as in our 
version, to " approve the things that are excellent," as in the 
Vulgate — ut probetis potiora. This view has been espoused 
by Chrysostom, Erasmus, Estius, Piscator, Bengel, Flatt, Storr, 
Am Ende, Eosenmiiller, Eheinwald, Rilliet, Meyer, Bisping, 
Beelen, and Ellicott On the other hand, the translation we 
have first given, is adopted by Theodoret, Beza, Wolf, Pierce, 
Heinrichs, Matthiae, van Hengel, Hoelemann, Hoog, Mliller, 
De Wette, Wiesinger, Alford, Bobinson, Bretschneider, and 
WahL In itself the difference is not material ; for this dis- 
crimination is made among things that differ, just that things 
which are excellent may be approved. But as discrimination 
is the immediate function of ato-Brjo-w, we prefer giving such 
a signification to the clause. The verb So/ujid&iv denotes to 


try or test, as metal by fire — 1 Cor. iii. 13 — and then gene- 
rally to distinguish as the result of such trial, and thence to 
approve. Eom. xiv. 22 ; 1 Cor. xvL 3 ; 1 Thess. iL 4. In 
the phrase ra Bia^ipovra, difference is the prime idea, but as 
such difference is based on comparison or contrast, the secondary 
notion of betterness, value, or excellence, is naturally developed. 
Matt. x. 31, xii 12 ; Luke xii. 7, 24. In these three passages 
the comparison is distinctly brought out, and the difference 
idiomatically marked. Some even render the word by 
avficfyepovra — things which are useful or convenient, utilia. 
We prefer, then, the ordinary meaning of the terms. See 
Bretschneider, sub voce Scacfyepco, and Theophylact on Bom. ii. 
18, where he thus explains the word — tcplveiv rl Set irpa^ai 
teal rl fir) Sei irpa^ai. 

The final purpose is thus announced by Xva — 
%va ?}t€ eiXucpivei? teal airpoa-KOiroi — " that ye may be 
pure and offenceless." The composition of the first term is 
disputed, whether it be eTkr) tcplvco, to prove by the sunlight, 
or €?A,o9 [efcv] /cpivto, to test by rapid shaking, volubili agita- 
tione. The former opinion is usually adopted, though Stallbaum 1 
contends for the latter. Hesychius renders the term by rb 
fcaOapop, ahokov, and sometimes it is defined by to dfiiyis. 
Whatever be its derivation, its meaning is apparent. It 
refers to internal disposition, to the absence of sinister motive 
and divided allegiance, or it describes the purity and sin- 
cerity of that heart which is guided by the spiritual tact and 
discriminative power which the apostle prays for. 

The epithet airpbcKoiroi is taken sometimes in an active 
sense, not causing others to stumble, as in 1 Cor. x. 32. 
Meyer adopts this view, and Alford's objection to it cannot 
be sustained, viz., "that in the text other men are not in 
question." For the leading term ayaTrr) necessarily implies 
other men as its objects, and that tcoivavia in which it em- 
bodies itself, has other men as its allies and auxiliaries. While 
the intransitive meaning gives a good sense, we are inclined 
to Meyer's view, inasmuch as the possession of love, and the 
growth of it in knowledge and discernment, would prevent 
them from rudely jostling others not of. their own opinion, or 
doing anything which, with a good intention, might mislead 

1 Plato, Phaedo y 77, A. 


or throw a stumbling-block in the path of those round about 

It is needless, with Ewald and others, to give a wholly 
doctrinal sense to ret, StaQepovra, though it would be wrong to 
exclude it altogether. Love without that guidance which has 
been referred to, might form unworthy attachments, might 
wound itself in its blindness, and retard the very interests for 
the promotion of which it had eagerly set itself. It must 
understand the gospel in its purity, and learn to detect 
unwarranted additions and supplements. It must have tact 
to distinguish between the real and the seeming, between the 
claims of an evangelist, and the specious pretensions of a 
Judaizer. And, thus, if that love which had shown itself in 
fellowship for the gospel, grew in knowledge and power of 
perception, they would be pure ; their affection ruled by in- 
telligence would have but one desire, to defend and confirm 
the gospel, in participation of the apostle's own grace ; and 
they would give no offence, either by a zeal which in its 
excess forgot the means in the end, or cherished suspicions of 
such as did not come up to its own warmth, or could not 
sympathize with its favourite modes of operation or expression. 

eh fjfMtpav XpurTov—*-" for the day of Christ." More than 
time is implied. Verse 6, a^/M?. The day of Christ is kept 
in view, and this sincerity and offencelessness prepare for it, 
and lead to acceptance in it. 

(Ver. 11.) HeirXrjp&iiAvot, xapirbv StKCUoavvr)? top Sea f Ir)<rov 
Xpiarov, et? &6j;av real hraivov Seov. The singular form 
tcapTTcv tov, is preferred to the plural of the Eeceived Text 
on preponderant authority. " Being filled with the fruit of 
righteousness, which is by Jesus Christ to the glory and 
praise of God." The passive participle has Kapiriv in the 
accusative, Winer, § 32, 5, though the genitive is also found, 
as in Bom. xv. 14. The difference of aspect seems to be that 
the genitive marks that out of which the fulness is made up, 
while the accusative points out that on which the action of the 
verb takes effect in making up the fulness, and not simply 
that, as Ellicott says, toward which the action tends. On 
Kapiros, see Eph. v. 9 ; Col. i. 9. The meaning of Si/eaioo-vvr) 
is not so clear. Some, like Eilliet and Bisping, refer it 
to justification. That idea is involved in it ; but the term, 


without any adjunct, and as applied to character, seems to 
signify moral rectitude, and is noted by its obedience to the 
divine law. Bom. v. 7, vi. 13.. See under Eph. v. 9. The 
fruit which springs from this righteousness is to be possessed 
not sparingly, but richly ; and for such fulness does the apostle 
present his prayer. His pleading for them is, that their life 
might not be marked merely by the absence of insincerity 
and offence, but that they might be adorned with all such 
Christian graces as result from the new nature — the deeds 
which characterize the * new man created in righteousness." 
And this was the last subject or purpose of the petition ; for 
love increasing in knowledge and spiritual discernment, know- 
ing what genuine obedience is, and what is but the semblance 
of it, appreciating the gospel and cherishing communion with 
those who oftentimes in suffering extend and uphold it, 
keeping the day of Christ in view and preparing for it — 
moves and enables the whole nature to " bring forth fruit unto 

And such fruit is not self-produced, but is — 

Sia 'Ir)<rov Xptorov — "by Jesus Christ," in and through 
His gracious operations upon the heart by His Spirit. Right- 
eousness is of His creation, and all the fruits of it are through 
Him, not by His doctrine or by faith in Him, but through 
Himself. The apostle emphasizes this element top — Sia *I. X. 

The phrase ek io^av zeal hraivov Qeov — " to the glory and 
praise of God," does not seem to belong to the previous words 
merely, but to the entire clause. The being filled with such 
fruits of righteousness — fruits grown only through Christ, 
redounds to the glory and praise of God — the ultimate end of 
all Hid works. Glory is the manifestation of His nature and 
character, and praise is that grateful homage which salutes it 
on the part of His people. Eph. i. 6 ; PhU. ii. 11. We can 
scarcely suppose with the Greek fathers, that the apostle, with 
such thoughts and emotions in his soul, tacitly forms in this 
clause a contrast between any merit that might be imagined 
to belong to him as founder and teacher of the Fhilippian 
church, and the glory which is due to God alone. 

After this affectionate greeting, commendation, and prayer, 
the apostle turns to his present condition. As the Philippians 
were aware of his imprisonment, he strives at once to console 


them by the assurance that his bonds had rather favoured 
than retarded the progress of the gospel — for the cause and 
nature of his incarceration had not only become widely known, 
but the greater part of the brethren had derived fresh courage 
from his captivity for the more abundant proclamation of 
the word. There was, indeed, a party hostile to him, who 
preached Christ to give him new annoyance ; but these others 
did it from affection to him, and in co-operation with his great 
work. So far, however, from being chafed or grieved that 
his antagonists preached from so bad a motive, he rejoiced 
that Christ was preached in any way ; and he would still con- 
tinue to rejoice, since it would contribute to his salvation 
through their prayers, and the supply of the Divine Spirit. 
For he had the expectation and hope, that he would have no 
reason to take shame to himself; but that, on the other hand, 
Christ should be magnified in his body, whether he should 
survive or die — magnified, in the one case, because for him to 
live was Christ ; and magnified, in the other case, for death 
was gain : his life, if prolonged, being service for Christ, and 
his death the enjoyment of Christ's presence and reward. So 
that he did not know which to choose — death on the one hand 
being in itself preferable, for it is being with Christ ; but life 
on the other hand being needful for the spiritual benefit of the 
Philippian church. Finally, the apostle intimates his persua- 
sion that he shall remain, in order to aid their Christian 
graces, so that they might have ground of spiritual exultation 
by his return to them. 

(Ver. 12.) Twdxrxuv Bk vpa? fiovXofiai, a&€\<f>ol — "But I 
wish you to know, brethren." By the use of Se, the apostle 
passes on to new and individual matter — to his own present 
condition and its results. No doubt the members of the 
Philippian church sympathized with him, bewailed his thral- 
dom, and earnestly prayed for his liberation. Perhaps they 
had expressed a wish for definite information from himself. 
Therefore, as far as possible, he relieves their anxieties, takes 
an elevated and cheering view of his circumstances, and 
assures them that his incarceration had rather forwarded the 
great cause to which his life had been directed. He is solici- 
tous that they should be acquainted with a few striking facts 
— yivaxr/ceiv — placing the term in the first and emphatic 

■•. ■^.'^^■■^■v^vaGSS^va 


position. The more usual forms of similar expression are 
found in Rom. i. 13 ; 1 Cor. xii. 1 ; 2 Cor. i 8 ; 1 Thess. iv. 
13. What he proceeds to tell must have been both novel 
and gratifying to those saluted by the endearing appellation — 
" brethren." For he announces — 

on ra /ear £p& fiaXKov efc irpoKcnrrjv rov evayyeXlov iXij- 
\v0eu — "that things with me have resulted rather to the 
furtherance of the gospeL" The phrase /ear' e/x€, as in Eph. 
vi. 21, Col. iv. 7, signifies " what belongs to me" — my pre- 
sent condition. It does not signify " things against me/' as 
Erasmus and others suppose. For a somewhat similar use of 
the verb, see Bom. iii. 8. The phrase seems to intimate an 
overruling providence, for it was by no accident that the 
event was so, and his enemies did not intend it In the use 
of fwXKoVy the idea of comparison is not wholly dropt 
Winer, § 35, 4. His imprisonment must have been considered 
in itself as adverse to the propagation of the gospel ; and the 
comparison in fiSXKov is — more than might have been antici- 
pated. Imprisonment had defeated its purpose, and, so far 
from suppressing, had promoted Christianity. It was not 
meant to do this, nor yet was it expected; but he says 
iKrfkuOev, " it has so turned out." Wisd. xv. 5. " Surely the 
wrath of man shall praise Thee." The term irpoKoirtf belongs 
to the later Greek, though the verb irpo/eoirreiv was of classical 
usage. Lobeck, ad Phryn. 85 ; 1 .Tim. iv. 15. Hesychius 
defines it by avfaaw. The word occurs often in Plutarch, 
Polybius, Diodorus, Josephus, and Philo. Compare Eisner, 
Loesner, especially Wetstein, in loc. When the Philippians 
were made aware of this fact, their sorrow at his captivity 
would be somewhat modified, and though they might grieve 
at the confinement of the man, they would be comforted that 
the cause with which he was identified had not been arrested 
in its progress. In the last chapter of the epistle, he tells 
them that, personally, he was content ; and here he assures 
them that the word of the Lord was not bound along with 
its preacher. Nowhere does he commiserate his condition, 
dwell on the weight of his chain, or deal out invectives against 
his foes. He omits the purely personal, and hastens to set 
before his readers the features of alleviation. What happened 
then at Borne has often occurred in the history of the church ; 


hostile influences ultimately contributing to the advancement 
of the church. Man proposes, but God disposes. The cloud, 
while it obscures the sun, sends down the fertilizing shower. 
The first effect of his imprisonment is next given — 

(Ver. 13.) "flare tovs heafLov? yuov ifxivepov? iv XpicTw 
yevicdcu iv o\a> t$ irpan&pttp /cal rok \onrols iraaiv — " So 
that my bonds have become known in Christ in the whole 
praetorium, and to all the rest." The conjunction &are is fol- 
lowed by the infinitive denoting result, and, as often happens, 
no demonstrative precedes. On the difference of &are with 
the infinitive, and with the indicative, see Klotz, Devarius, iL 
p. 772. The apostle gives a first result of his present con- 
dition, which tended to forward the gospel. The cause of 
his imprisonment had come to , be known widely, and such 
knowledge could not be without its fruits. We agree with 
Meyer and Wiesinger that the words favepovs iv X. must be 
connected — "made manifest in Christ." The position of the 
terms seems to demand this connection — and not such an 
arrangement as roi>$ Seo-fiovs fiov iv X., as De Wette construes 
it. " In Christ " is, in connection with Christ, Eph. iv. 1. 
His incarceration had come to be understood in its connection 
with Christ ; not surely the fact of it, but the cause and 
character of it. Waiting under an appeal to the emperor, he 
had been discovered to be no common prisoner. It had 
transpired that his official connection with Christ, and his 
fearless prosecution of the work of Christ, had led to his 
apprehension and previous trial in Palestine, and not sedition, 
turbulence, or suspected loyalty — the usual political crimes 
of his nation. It was widely known that he suffered as a 
Christian and as an apostle, especially as the preacher of a 
free and unconditioned gospel to the Gentiles. And his bonds 
were naturally made manifest in Christ, first in the edifice 
where he dwelt — 

iv okeo t& 7rpcuTcopi<p. Our translators adopted a common 
idea in rendering irpcur&piov by palace. In this they followed 
the Greek commentators — one of whom says, "For up to 
that time they so called the palace." Erasmus, Beza, Estius, 
a-Lapide, Bengel, and fiheinwald hold, with some variation, 
the same opinion. The word does sometimes, in a general 
way, signify the palace of a king, as in Juvenal x. 161 — 


sedet ad prcetoria regis. Also in Act Thorn. § 3, we have the 
phrase irpavr&pia fiaaiXi/cd. Others, from its name, have 
supposed it to be the judgment-hall of the praetor. So Luther 
renders it, " Richthaus," and he is followed by the early 
English translators, as by Wycliffe, who gives " in eche moot 
halle." The word is so used in the Gospels, in connection 
with the scene of our Lord's trial, Matt, xxvii. 27 ; Mark xv. 
16, etc. Cicero refers to Verres as dwelling in domoprcetorio, 
quae regis Hieronis fait. Thus Huber, Calvin, Grotius, Rhein- 
wald, and Mynster, regard it as a part of the royal edifice — 
urbanum juri dicendo auditorium. The noun thus denoted 
sometimes the dwelling of a provincial governor — nay, it 
came to signify a magnificent private building (altcrnas servant 
prcetoria ripas, Statius, S. 1, 3, 25), much in the same way 
that a Glasgow merchant, building a turreted summer residence 
on some rock or eminence on the western coast, dignifies it 
by the name of a " castle." But the palace of the Roman 
emperor was never called prsetorium. The noun signifies 
here, the castra prcrtoriana — the barracks of the imperial life- 
guards. The tent of the commander-in-chief was originally 
called the prcetoHum — head-quarters ; and a council of war, 
from being held there, received the same designation — (prcetorio 
dimisso, Iivy, xxx. 5). The name was ultimately given to 
the imperial body-guards, and was naturally transferred to 
the edifice in Rome which contained them. It was built by 
Sejanus, not far from the Porta Viminalis. The cohorts were 
stationed there, who did duty in turn at the imperial residence. 
The emperor himself was regarded as praetor, the immediate 
commanding-officer being called prcefectus prcetorio, 1 and in 
Greek (rrpaT(yrre8dpj(rf(;. Thus we read, that when Paul was 
brought to Rome, 6 e/earoprap^o^ irapiS&fce tov$ oW/u'01/9 t$ 
oTpaTOTreSapxy, Acts xxviii. 16. Such an office was at this 
time held by Burrus, and the apostle was probably committed 
to his charge. A portion of this military mansion was close 
upon the palace, or domus palatina — iraKariov — of which it 
is said, that in it 6 Kalaap wkcl /cal i/cei to arparr^^ov efye, 

1 This meaning was first vindicated by Perizonius in an academic tract on the 
subject, Franeker, 1687. Huber produced a reply in the following year, and 
Mynster attempts to vindicate a similar view in his Kleine Theol. tichriften, 
p. 178, Copenhagen, 1825. 

28 PH1LIPPIANS I. 13. 

Dio Cassius, liiL 16. Suetonius, Octav. 49. Drusus, we are 
told by the last author, when imprisoned in the praetorium, 
was located in ima parte palatii. A large camp of the prae- 
torian guards was also established outside the walls — (castra 
prcetorianorum, Tacitus, Hist i 31); but those on immediate 
duty had their residence near the royal dwelling. It may be 
added, that Josephus carefully distinguishes between the 
palace and the praetorium, between the Baatheiov and that 
arparoireSov in which Agrippa was imprisoned under a 
military guard. Thus, the soldiers who relieved one another 
in keeping the apostle, came to learn that he was no vulgar 
malefactor, but that he had been the expounder of a new 
faith — a man of pure and irreproachable life — no fanatic or 
leveller, or selfish demagogue. And there is no doubt that 
many of them must have been impressed with his serene 
heroism, and the visible peace of his untroubled conscience, 
as he waited for a trial which might send him to the block. 
And the cause of his imprisonment was not only known in 
the whole praetorium, but beyond it — 

zeal rot? Xonrofc iraciv — " and to all the rest ; " not simply 
to others of the body-guards, more than those which came into 
contact with him, or to those of the cohort beyond the city, as 
Wieseler and Conybeare narrow the allusion, but to persons 
beyond the praetorium. Nor does the language refer to places, 
as some of the Greek fathers suppose, when they supply iv. 
Neither can rot? \onroi? have any conventional signification, 
such as that which van Hengel assigns it — hominibus exteris 
quibuscunque. The texts referred to by him cannot for a 
moment sustain his strange exegesis. The expression is a 
popular and broad one, meaning that his bonds were made 
known in Christ, far beyond the imperial barracks ; that in a 
large circle in the city itself, the reason of his incarceration 
was fully comprehended and appreciated. How, indeed, could 
it be otherwise ? Immediately on his arrival, he assembled 
the chiefs of the Jews, and addressed them in a style which 
led to no little disputation among themselves; and we are 
told, also, that for the space of two years, the apostle 
" received all that came in unto him, preaching the kingdom 
of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord 
Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him," 

PHIL1PPIANS I. 14. 29 

Acts xxviii. 30, 31. The second result of his imprisonment 

(Ver. 14.) Kal tov$ irXelova? r&v a8eX<f>&v iv Kvpitp vreiroi- 
06ra$ rots &€<TfJLo'Z<; fiov, irepuraoTipw roXfiav a<f>6/3co<; rbv Xoyov 
XaXelv — " And the greater part of the brethren putting in the 
Lord confidence in my bonds, are more abundantly bold to 
speak the word without fear." This verse represents another 
result of the apostle's imprisonment, and shows how it rather 
tended to the progress of the gospel. He is happy in the 
majority ; his imprisonment had an inspiriting effect on them. 
The words iv Kvphp may be joined to dBeX^&v, as they are 
by Luther, van Hengel, De Wette, and Alford; but, more 
probably, as Winer — § 20, 2 — suggests, they qualify the 
participle ireiroiffoTa^, Gal. v. 10 ; PhiL ii. 24 ; 2 Thess. iii. 4; 
and so Rilliet, Meyer, and Bisping take them. The words 
denote having, or taking confidence in the Lord. The phrase 
iv Kvpltp does not mean the ground of confidence, but defines 
its nature or sphere. Meyer and others rightly take rots 
Seo-fiols as the ground or occasion of confidence — vertrauend 
-meinen Banden — inasmuch as these bonds were a testimony 
to the entire truth, power, and glory of the gospel. They 
were the proofs of his inflexible integrity, of his honest and 
sincere convictions as to the freedom and simplicity of the 
gospel. The majority gathered confidence from them. They 
were charmed and convinced by his manly integrity, his 
undaunted endurance, his open and candid avowal of his past 
career, and his willingness to seal his testimony with his 
blood. What might have been supposed to damp and dis- 
courage them, had the opposite effect; it cheered and 
stimulated them. The result was natural ; past timidity 
vanished, and they " ventured more abundantly to speak the 
word without fear." The adverb irepiaaoTipni; is not, with 
Grotius, to be taken as qualifying a<f>6fico<;, or as forming with 
it a comparative a<f>of3oT€po><;. Its position connects it with 
roXfiav — " more abundantly ventured ; " the comparison being 
— more than when he had not been imprisoned. The adverb 
a<f>6ftco<; is not pleonastic — those brethren had ventured to 
preach before, but perhaps with some caution; now they 
dared more frequently, and with perfect composure. The 
sight of the apostle inspired them with his own heroism. It 


might have been feared that his bonds would have made his 
friends more wary, lest they should incur a similar fate ; but 
so far from such an ignoble result, there was a positive revival 
of courage and zeal among them ; their labours multiplied in 
number, and increased in boldness, and thus the apostle's 
circumstances had resulted rather to the furtherance of the 
gospel. Some codices have, after Xoyoi/, tov &eov 9 and others 
tov Kvpiov. On the authority of A and B, Lachmann adopts 
the former, as do many of the versions. But the reading 
seems to be a gloss, adopted from the familiar expression — 
" word of God," as in Acts iv. 31. 

(Ver. 15.) But while the apostle in this statement includes 
the majority, there were some exceptions. There was a party 
actuated by a very different spirit — 

Ttve? fiev zeal Bca <f>06vov teal epiv — tov Xpicrrbv fcrjpvcraovcriv. 
" Some indeed, also, for envy and contention, preach Christ." 
By th>€5, the apostle does not refer to a section of the previous 
ttX6/oi/€9. The tcai indicates that another and distinct party is 
noticed ; not, as Eilliet writes, parmi les Chretiens qui out 
repris courage, and as Bheinwald and Hoelemann suppose. 
Had he merely meant to characterize the irXeioves into two 
parties, there was no occasion to say Tivis. There is, as 
Ellicott says, an implied contrast in /eai, while it points out 
an additional party. Hartung, 1, 136, etc. The preposition 
Sid refers to the motive, not the purpose of preaching — envy 
and contention. Winer, § 49, c ; Matt, xxvii. 18 ; Mark xv. 10. 
This class of men were jealous of the apostle's influence, and 
strove to defy him, to undermine his reputation and authority, 
and gall and gainsay him by their modes of speech and actibn. 
What this party was, will be immediately discussed. It was 
an Anti-Pauline faction, but we cannot regard it as simply a 
Judaizing one. The apostle adds — 

tip€$ 8e xal Si 1 eiSo/clav tov XpioTov Kf) pvaa ova 1 — " but some 
also preach Christ for goodwill." The persons indicated by 
Tive<z are probably those contained in irXeioi/es, and so named, 
or spoken of as a party here, from being placed in contrast 
with the first rtvh. The preposition Bid points out, again, 
the motive, and that motive is goodwill to the apostle himself, 
and not, as many suppose, either goodwill to the cause, or to 
men's salvation. The $06vo<; and epi$ on the one hand, and 


this evhoKia on the other hand, are purely personal to the 
apostle, as indeed he proceeds at once to explain. 

The 16th and 17th verses are transposed in the Received 
Text. The idea of preserving conformity to the division of 
parties in the preceding verse, seems to have suggested the 
change, as if, when the apostle had referred to the envious 
and contentious preachers first, he must, in the same order, 
give his explanation of them. Heinrichs, without any 
authority, reckons both explanatory verses as spurious. 
Muller vindicates the arrangement of the Textus Beceptus 
for very frivolous reasons. The best MSS. place them in the 
reverse order of the Received Text, and by putting the verse 
last which describes the factious preachers, the force of rC yap, 
in the 18th verse, is more vividly brought out 

(Ver. 16.) Oi fiev if; dydirr}^, elSore? ore efc diroXoyiav rod 
evayyeXlov Ketfuu — " The one party indeed (preach Christ) of 
love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel." 
The first clause is a nominative, and the supplement is 
" preach Christ." For we agree with Alford, against Meyer, 
van Hengel, De Wette, and Ellicott, that oi ef dydin)<; and oi 
ef ipiOelas, are not simply generic descriptions, as in Bom. 
ii. 8 ; GaL iii. 7. Ellicott objects that in this verse if; dyd*irr)<; 
would only be a repetition of Bid evSoiclap. And so it is, but 
with an explanatory purpose — and so with the other pair of 
opposite terms. And the apostle does not " reiterate " simply 
the nature of the difference of feeling in the two parties, but 
he adds the cause of it, for the participles el&oTrj? and olofievoi 
preserve their true causal signification. Under the hypothesis 
which we are opposing, the words rbv Xpurrbv Karayy&Xkovaiv 
come in awkwardly, and would hardly be expressed in verse 1 7 ; 
but they occur in our construction as the expected complement^ 
Still the meaning is not very different, whether the party is 
characterized by love, or whether love be assigned as the 
motive of their preaching. Yet, as preaching is specially 
regarded in the paragraph as the development or result of 
feeling, we take the clause as describing that feeling ; not as 
simply designating a party, but as specifying a motive in 
active operation. They preached Christ out of love; and 
their affection was intelligently based — 

etSoT€9 ore ei9 diroXoyiav rod evayyeXiov K&ixai — " knowing 


that I am appointed for the defence of the gospel." The noun 
airdkoyia is " vindication " — the defence of the truth, freeness, 
adaptation, and divine origin of the gospel. Luther, Estius, 
Am Ende, Matthies, and van Hengel, take tcelfiai in a literal 
sense — ''I lie in prison, or in misery." The idea is far- 
fetched and unnecessary. The verb means as often, " to be 
set aside for," or " to be appointed to." Luke ii. 34 ; 1 Thess. 
iii. 3. What then is the reference ? 

1. Some, as Estius, a-Lapide, and Pierce, understand by 
a7ro\oyla, the apostle's formal vindication of himself and his 
cause before Nero. But this is too restricted a view, though 
such a defence is not to be excluded. 

2. Chrysostom's idea of airdkoyia is peculiar. He refers us 
to Paul's answer at the judgment-seat of God. "I am 
appointed to preach, they help with me, and they are diminish- 
ing the weight of that account which I must give to God." 
The apostle, however, is not speaking of his account to God, 
but of his special work in defending the gospel, which those 
who loved him knew how to appreciate (verse 7); nor is 
dirdkoyia ever used of the solemn and final reckoning. 

3. Others bring out this thought, — These friends see me 
imprisoned, and they supply my forced abstinence from labour 
by their preaching. Such is the view of Estius, Hoelemann, 
and van Hengel. But this lays the emphasis more on the 
apostle's imprisonment than on his high function ; and the 
latter is more expressly in the writer's view. 

4. Meyer, Wiesinger, and De Wette, place the emphasis 
properly on the words — " for the defence of the gospel." His 
friends recognized the apostle's position and task, and laboured 
in sympathy to assist him in it. It was not because he could 
not defend the gospel that they took the work upon them, 
for they had been engaged in similar effort before ; only his 
incarceration gave them new spirit and intrepidity. They 
had recognized the apostle's special function; it struck a 
tender chord in their hearts, and so far as in them lay they 
carried out his labours. As they well knew that he had been 
set for the defence of the gospel, they felt that they could 
not better probe their love to him than by appreciating his 
vocation, acting in his spirit, and seeking, above all things, to 
realize the noble end to which he had devoted his life. 


(Ver. 1 7.) 01 Be ef ipidela? rov XpcaTov tcaTarfyeWovaiv 
ovx ayvws — " But the others preach Christ of faction, not 
purely." There is no specific difference between K^pvaaovtri 
and tcaTaryyeXKowi,, Acts xvii. 3, 23 ; Col. i. 28. The first 
verb is already applied to both parties. Hesychius defines 
the one term by the other ; but the former verb is of most 
frequent occurrence ; the latter being confined to the book of 
Acts and Paul's epistles. The noun epiOeia is not from 6/w, 
and signifying " contention," as Theodoret has it — to tt}? epiSo? 
Trados ; for the apostle formally distinguishes e/w and ipideia 
in 2 Cor. xii. 20 and in Gal. v. 20, in both which cases the 
two nouns occur in the same verse. It is from epiOos, a day- 
labourer, Horn. II. xviii. 550 ; the resemblance to eptov being 
perhaps accidental — Passow, svb voce ; Benfey, i. 5 6 — Fritzsche, 
in his Excursus appended to the second chapter of Eomans. 
The idea of " mercenary " soon followed that of labour for hire, 
out of which sprang that of emulation and worthless self- 
seeking — malitiosa fraudum machinatio. The term iptOela, 
as Fritzsche remarks, includes both the <f>06po<: and e/w of 
the fifteenth verse. Liddell and Scott fall away from the 
true meaning of the word, and do not distinguish it from epw, 
when in their Lexicon they give " contention " as its meaning 
in the New Testament. The cfuXovet/cla of Suidas and Theo- 
phylact comes nearer the true idea. This party, therefore, 
in proclaiming Christ, did not do it 071/0)9 — preach with pure 
intent. 'Ayp&s teal /eaOap&s, Hesiod, Opera et Dies, 339. 
Thus the adjective is used, 2 Cor. viL 11. The adverb cha- 
racterizes not the contents, but the motive or spirit of their 
preaching. Bengel's idea is baseless, when he says they 
preached — non sine fermmto Judaico; or, as Am Ende says 
in the same spirit, that in their preaching — multa igitur 
addunt, multa silent. And the motive of their preaching is 
truly nefarious — 

oiofievoi 6\lyfrip iyeipecv T0I9 Seafioi? pov — "thinking to 
stir up affliction to my bonds," meaning it, but not effecting 
it. 1 'Eyelpeiv, on the conclusive authority of A, B, D 1 , F, G, 
is preferred to the iirufrepew of the Received Text, which 
was probably in its origin an explanatory term, like the 

1 Nisi quod mihi nocere se crediderunt, is Cicero's translation {Tusc. i. 41) of 
the Greek— «aV Mfatu faaxrw, Plato, Apologia Soc. § 33. 


irpo<r<f)€p6w of Theophylact. The participle olofievot is parallel 
to elSSres, and with the same causal force, though it is at the 
same time explanatory of 01% tyv&s. Their purpose was to 
aggravate the apostle's imprisonment. They did God's work 
in the devil's spirit. No wonder Chrysostom exclaims — "fi 
7% CW/AOT17T05, & rfjs htafioXucfy ivepyela? — " 0, the cruelty ! 
0, the devilish energy ! " In what way they thought to 
accomplish their object, it is difficult now to tell. Chrysos- 
tom simply calls them unbelievers. We cannot agree with 
Grotius, Le Clerc, Balduin, and those who imagine that this 
party were Jews, who went about calumniating the gospel 
and its preachers, with the view of bringing more hardships 
upon the apostle ; the result being that they only excited 
curiosity, and led many to inquire about the real nature of 
the new sect. Nor do we think that they were Judaizers of 
the ordinary class, who represented the apostle as an enemy 
to the law, and excited the Jews against him. That they 
belonged to this class, has been held by many, and, among 
others, by Neander, Meyer, De Wette, and Ellicott. It is 
difficult to suppose that these preachers were Judaizers. 

1. The apostle usually condemns the Judaizers — calls 
them by many bitter epithets, and represents them as sub- 
verting the gospel to such an extent, that upon their theory 
Christ had died in vain, Gal. ii. 21. And the apostle, as 
Wiesinger says, would in this case have appeared " double- 
tongued " to the Philippians ; for in this very epistle, referring 
to such errorists, he inveighs with special antipathy against 
them — " Beware of dogs ; beware of evil workers ; beware of 
the concision." In this passage, however, the apostle says 
nothing of erroneous teaching, but only of a bad spirit. He 
does not reject their doctrines as mutilated or adulterated : 
he only reprobates their motives. 

2. They are represented as preaching Christ It is true 
the article is used, 6 XpioTos, which some suppose to have a 
special reference to the Messiahship and their proclamation 
of it in a Jewish or secular sense. But then the well-affected 
party are said also to preach the Christ — rbv Xpiorov. The 
preaching in its substance was the same with both. Nor can 
any difference be inferred from the employment of two verbs 


— tc7}pv<T<rc0 and teaTayyeWa) ; the one denoting the work of a 
herald, and the other that of a messenger ; for the first verb 
in verse 15 characterizes the preaching of both parties; and 
in the preaching described by the second verb in verse 18, 
the apostle expresses his hearty concurrence. Can it be sup- 
posed for a moment that the apostle could call any form of 
Judaistic teaching the preaching of Christ ; or use the same 
emphatic phrase as descriptive both of sound and of pernicious 
instruction ? His friends " preach Christ," and no one doubts 
that by this language he approved of their doctrine ; those 
disaffected toward him " preach Christ " too, the difference 
being in their respective spirit and motives. 

3. The apostle virtually sanctions such preaching. For, no 
matter in what spirit Christ is preached, whether in pretence 
or in truth — provided He is preached at all, the prisoner is 
contented and happy. Surely he could never have employed 
such language, if false views of Christ had been propounded, 
such views as the Judaizers were in the habit of insisting 
upon — the necessity of circumcision, and the perpetual obli- 
gation of the Mosaic law. Was it possible for Paul to rejoice 
in a style of preaching at Eome, which he so strongly denounced 
in Galatia ? Or could he regard the promulgation of such 
views as in any sense the " furtherance of the gospel " ? The 
conclusion then is, that a form of preaching called, without 
reserve or modification, the preaching of Christ, and one in 
which the apostle rejoices, in spite of the malicious and 
perverse motives of those who engaged in it, cannot be the 
common and carnal Judaistic error which plagued and injured 
so many of the early churches. Neander 1 is obliged to make 
the supposition, that Paul thinks of the Judaizing gospel in 
its effects upon the heathen, when he thus speaks of it. But 
there is no ground for such an assumption, and such a preach- 
ing would profit them nothing. Had the Judaizers given the 
mere facts of Christ's life, it might have been well ; but such 
a simple narrative would not have suited their purpose, for 
they could not detail those facts without connecting with 
them certain dogmas on the obligation and character of the 
Mosaic ritual. Nor can Meyer be listened to, when he says 
that Judaizing preaching was less displeasing to the apostle 

1 On Philippians, p. 26 ; Edin., Clark. 

36 PHILIPPIANS 1. 17. 

in Rome, than in Greece or Asia, as the church there had 
not been founded by him, and was not specially under his 
apostolical jurisdiction. What this preaching was not, one 
may thus safely decide. 

But it is not so easy to determine what this preaching of 
Christ was, or how it could be intended to add affliction to 
the apostle's bonds. Ghrysostom and his followers hold that 
the intention of such preaching was to stir up the hostility of 
Nero, and other enemies of the gospel, so that the apostle's 
situation might be embittered ; the preaching of Jesus as the 
Christ being most offensive to the Romans, and the unbeliev- 
ing Jews making use of it to enrage the heathen rulers. But 
the apostle does not say that the Jews charged, the Christians 
with preaching the Messiahship ; the Christians did it them- 
selves. And if they preached the Messiahship in any such 
form as made it a rival to the imperial sovereignty, would 
not such a course have equally endangered themselves, and 
led to their own apprehension and trial ? Nor can we sup- 
pose the meaning to be, that by their busy publication of 
Judaizing doctrine, his antagonists thought to annoy the 
apostle by preaching what they knew he had so resolutely 
condemned, and to endanger him by holding him up as an 
enemy to the Mosaic institute, and the venerated " customs " 
of his country. For we have endeavoured to show in the 
preceding paragraphs that such preaching could not be called, 
as the apostle calls it — preaching Christ ; nor could he have 
tolerated it, far less have given it his seeming approval and 
countenance. Others, again, as Storr, van Hengel, and Rilliet, 
suppose that by " affliction " the apostle means mental suffer- 
ing, produced by such factious disposition and conduct. It 
is possible that this view may be the most correct. The 
noun Oxtyis will bear such a meaning, and it is the intended 
result of that ipiOela — unprincipled emulation and intrigue. 
The apostle speaks of affliction in addition to his bonds — not 
a closer imprisonment, or a heavier chain, or an attempt to 
infuriate the emperor and prejudge his appeal, but something 
over and above his bonds — perhaps chagrin and sorrow at 
the misrepresentation of his position and character. May 
we not therefore regard the phrase — "I rejoice, and will 
rejoice," as the opposite of those emotions which they strove 


to produce within him? They laboured to surround him 
with circumstances which should cause him " affliction," but 
they failed He could not but blame their motives, while he 
rejoiced in the result They must have set -themselves in 
rivalry with him, must have hoped to ruin his reputation, 
and damage his apostolical commission, in the way in which 
they did his work. By their detraction of his character in 
and through an imitation of his labours, they trusted to chafe 
and vex him. But as they deserved, they were egregiously 
disappointed. They thought that he would be afflicted, but 
he was rejoiced. 

If this hypothesis be correct, as we think it is, then we may 
come to a more satisfactory conclusion as to the nature of the 
faction referred to. That it consisted of Jews is almost certain. 
But these Jews might not be Judaizers. In the Corinthian 
church there was a party that said, "I am of Cephas" — 
followers of the apostle of the circumcision, and hostile to 
those who named themselves from Paul It is very probable 
that this Petrine party held high views about the law ; but 
there is no hint in the epistle to the Corinthian church that 
they either held or taught such mischievous errors as were 
propagated in Galatia. Minor matters of ceremonial seem 
rather to have occupied them. Chap, viii and x. But there 
is no question that the apostle's authority was impugned in 
Corinth, and in all likelihood by the Petrine party, because 
he had not been personally called by Jesus, as Simon had 
been ; and by the same party, his right to pecuniary support 
from the churches seems to have been denied or disputed. 
While, therefore, there was comparative purity in the section 
that took Peter for its head and watchword, there was also 
keen and resolute opposition to the person and prerogative 
of the apostle of the Gentiles. To meet all the requirements 
of the case before us, we have only to suppose that such a 
party was found at Borne, and the fourteenth chapter of the 
epistle to that church seems to indicate their existence. If 
there was a company of believing Jews, who held the essential 
doctrines of the gospel, but was combative on points of 
inferior value, and in connection with the social institutions 
of their people, and who, at the same time, were bitter and 
unscrupulous antagonists of the apostle from such an impression 



of his opinions as is indicated by James in Acts xxi. 20, 21 
— then such a party might preach Christ, and yet cherish 
toward Paul all those feelings of envy and ill-will which he 
ascribes to them. Chrysostom touches the truth when he 
represents them as being jealous of the apostle — fydovovvres 
vfj hb%g. Calvin writes feelingly — ''Paul assuredly says 
nothing here, which I myself have not experienced. For 
there are men living now who have preached the gospel with 
no other design, than to gratify the rage of the wicked by 
persecuting pious pastors." 

( Ver. 1 8.) Tl yap ; irbJqv Trawl rpoirm elre irpo^daei elre 
d\rj0€ta, Xptarb^ tcaTayyeWerai, teal iv Tovrtp ^at/oco, aXka 
/cal xapfooficu — " What then ? but yet, in every way, that 
Christ is preached — whether in pretence, whether in truth — 
even in this I do rejoice, yea, and I shall rejoice." The ellip- 
tical phrase rl yap expresses an interrogative inference, and is 
much the same as the quid enim, or quid ergo, of the Latin 
authors. 1 Bom. iii. 3. There is no use in attempting to fill 
out the idiom with Staifxpei, or aXKo or fioi piKei, as is done 
by the Greek expositors ; nor is the refert of Bengel, or the 
sequitur of Grotius, at all necessary. Klihner, § 8332, i. ; 
Klotz, ad Devar. ii p. 247, etc. ; Hartung, i p. 479 ; Hoogeveen, 
Doctrina Part. p. 539. The adverb ir\qv 2 has also in such 
idiom a peculiar meaning, nur dass, as Passow gives it — " only 
that." As if the paraphrase might be — " What then ? shall I 
fret because some men preach Christ of strife and intrigue, 
and think to embitter my imprisonment ? No, for all that ; 
in spite of all this opposition to myself, only let Christ be 
preached from any motive, false or genuine, yes, in the fact of 
such preaching I rejoice." The first answer to rl yap is only 
implied, and not written — shall I feel affliction added to my 
bonds ? shall I be chafed or grieved ? while the second in 
contrast to it is expressed — the antagonism being noted by 
irXrjv. Though in the phrase iravrl rp&jrtp the apostle says 
— " every form," yet the following words show that he had 
two forms especially in his eye, for he adds : — 

e?T€ irpo<f>d<r€i etre ahjqOeia — "whether in pretence or in 

1 Cicero, de Fin. ii. 22, 72 ; Horace, Sat. i. 1, 7. 

9 After «rx»j», A, F, G insert Sn ; while B has simply ««, without **■»?. 
Probably both are results of an ancient gloss, as Meyer conjectures. 


sincerity." These two nouns are often opposed by Philo and 
the classical writers, as is shown in the collected examples of 
Loesner, Eaphelius, and Wetstein. The dative in both cases 
is that of manner, or is a mod&l case. Winer, § 31, 6. 1 The 
first noun, irpofaabs, is employed to express a prominent ele- 
ment of the old Pharisaical character, its want of genuineness ; 
or that its professed motive was not its real one, that its 
exceeding devotion was but a show, Matt, xxiii. 13; Mark 
xii. 40 ; Luke xx. 47. When the sailors, during Paul's 
voyage to Borne, wished to escape from the ship, and for this 
purpose lowered a boat under the pretext of preparing to let 
go an anchor, their manoeuvre is described by the same term, 
Acts xxvii 30. The word denotes that state of mind in which 
the avowed is not the true motive ; in which there is made 
to appear (as the etymology indicates) what does not exist. 
Hos. x. 4; John xv. 22. The contrasted noun, akrjdeui, 
signifies here genuineness or integrity, John iv. 23, 24; 1 
John iii. 18, The Hebrew HDK has occasionally a similar 
meaning, Ex. xviii. 21 ; Neh. vii 2 ; and especially 1 Sam. 
xii. 24 ; 1 Kings ii. 4, iii. 6, where it is represented by the 
Greek term before us. Xpi<rrb$ tcaTaryyiWercu ; see Col. i. 28. 
A different meaning is assigned to the first noun by the 
Vulgate, which renders per occasionem ; followed by Luther, 
who translates zuf aliens ; and vindicated by Grotius, and by 
Hammond who brings out this idea — " by all means, whether 
by occasion only, that is, accidentally, and not by a designed 
causality ; or whether by truth, that is, by a direct real way 
of efficiency ." But though the term has sometimes such a 
meaning, the antithesis in the clause itself, the common usage 
of the two confronted nouns, and the entire context dis- 
countenance the supposition. In fact, irpofyacns is simply 
the ovx dyvm of the 17th verse; while akqOeut embodies the 
8i ev&otciav of the 15th, and the if 07^175 of the 16th verses. 
The two nouns so placed in opposition represent, not difference 
in the substance, but in the purpose of preaching. They have 
an ethical reference. For if Christ was preached in either 
way, the apostle must allude not to contents, but design. In 
the one case, Christ was really preached, but the motive was 

1 Both nouns in a similar idiom are often found in the accusative, among 
the classical writers. Kruger, § 46, 3, 5 ; Matthiae, § 425. 

40 PHIL1PPIANS I. 18. 

hollow and fallacious. It was neither from homage to Him, 
or love to souls, or an earnest desire to advance the gospel. 
In the other case, preaching was a sincere service — " out of a 
true heart, and with faith unfeigned." The apostle, looking 
at the fact, and for a moment overlooking the motive, 
exclaims : — 

Kal iv rovrtp %aipco aXXa teal %api]<rofiai — " and in this I 
rejoice ; yea, and I will rejoice." For %alp<o iv, see Col. i. 
24. The pronoun roirtp does not refer specially to Christ; 
nor yet, vaguely, to the entire crisis, as Meyer takes it ; but 
directly to the preaching. To render it, with Ellicott, " in 
this state of things," is too broad, and would not be wholly 
true : for the apostle must have grieved over the wicked 
motives of those preachers, though he rejoiced in their 
preaching. We must subtract from "this state of things," 
what must have caused him sorrow ; there being left the fact 
that Christ was proclaimed, and in that he rejoiced. " In this 
preaching, be the motive what it may, I rejoice." The aXKa 
is still slightly adversative, as it stands between the present 
%alpto and the future x a PV (70 / JL€U — n ot Only now, or at present, 
but I will also rejoice. See an explanation of the idiom under 
Eph. v. 24. As happens with many barytone verbs, in Attic 
the future of %«(/><» is x ai pV a <° — but in the other dialects, and 
in the New Testament, the middle form is employed. Matthiae, 
§ 255 ; Winer, § 15. The apostle felt that impurity of 
motive might modify, but not prevent all good result ; and 
that, as long as its true character was concealed, such 
preaching might not be without fruit. He knew the preach* 
ing of Christ to be a noble instrument, and though it was not a 
clean hand which set in motion, still it might effect incalculable 
good. For truth is mighty, no matter in what spirit it is 
published ; its might being in itself, and not in the breath of 
him who proclaims it. Disposition and purpose belong to the 
preacher and his individual responsibility ; but the preaching 
of Christ has an innate power to win and save. The virtue 
lies in the gospel, not in the gospeller; in the exposition, 
and not in the expounder. 

Not that the apostle was or could be indifferent to the 
motive which ought to govern a preacher of the gospel. Not 
as if he for a moment encouraged neutrality or lukewarm- 


ness, or thought that unconverted men might be safely 
entrusted with the precious function. But he simply regards 
the work and its fruits, and he leaves the motive with Him 
who could fully try it — the Judge of all. Vindictive and 
jealous feeling toward himself, he could pity and pardon, 
provided the work be done. He could well bear that good be 
achieved by others, even out of envy to himself. The mere 
eclat of apostleship was nothing to him, and he could not for- 
bid others, because they did not follow himself, Those men 
who so preached Christ, were therefore neither heretics nor 
gross Judaizers, 1 subverting the faith. Their preaching is 
supposed to be the means of saving souls. The Greek ex- 
positors notice the abuse which some heretics — rives avvqroi 
— made of the apostle's statement, and they answer, that 
he does not warrant such a style of preaching — does not 
say fcaTayyeXkeo-Oo), but tcarayyikXercu — merely relating a 
fact, not issuing a sanction. Chrysostom calls attention to the 
apostle's calmness — that he does not inveigh against his 
enemies, but simply narrates what has occurred. 

This verse was the subject of long and acrimonious dispute 
during the Pietist controversy in Germany. The question 
was generally, Whether unconverted men are warranted or 
qualified to preach the gospel ; or specially, Whether the 
religious knowledge acquired by a wicked man can be termed 
theology, or how far the office and ministry of an impious 
man can be pronounced efficacious, or whether a licentious 
and godless man be capable of divine illumination? It is 
obvious that such questions are not determined by the 
apostle, and that there is no solution of them in this passage. 
His language is too vague, and the whole circumstances are 
too obscure, to form a foundation for judgment. The party 
referred to here preached Christ from a very unworthy 
personal motive, and the apostle rejoiced in the preaching, 
though he might compassionate and forgive the preachers. 
We cannot argue a general rule from such an exceptional 
case. But apart from any casuistry, and any fanaticism 
which the Pietists might exhibit, their general principle was 
correct, and it was in opposition to their tenets, and as a re- 
bound from them, that men were admitted into pulpits to preach 

1 Chrysostom admits that they preached sound doctrine — uytSt ph ixfyvrrov. 

42 PHILIPPIAffS I. 19. 

the gospel without any evidence that they believed in it, and 
that it was not required of them to be religious themselves, ere 
they taught religion to others. In the same way scholars were 
installed into chairs, from which they taught the language of 
Abraham, as the readiest means of scoffing at Abraham's faith, 
and descanted on the writings of the apostles, as the most 
effectual method of reviling and undermining that religion 
which they had founded. We hold it to be the right 
principle — that the best preparation for preaching the Crucified 
One, is to have His spirit ; that to be His, is the sure quali- 
fication for obeying His commission, and that an unchristian 
man has no call to take part in the vindication or enforcement 
of the religion of Christ. 

(Ver. 19.) OlSa yap oti tovto fiov airo^riaerat eU aayrqpiav 
— " For I know that this shall fall out unto my salvation." 
Lachmann, by his punctuation, connects this clause immedi- 
ately with the preceding one, and he is right. The apostle's 
avowal of future joy bases itself on an anticipated result. 
He felt a joy which others might not suppose, and it was 
no evanescent emotion, for it was connected with the most 
momentous of all blessings — his salvation. The yap intro- 
duces a confirmatory explanation or reason. That this salva- 
tion — acjTrjpia — is not, as many from the Greek fathers 
downwards suppose, temporal deliverance, is evident from the 
instrumentality referred to — " your intercession, and the supply 
of Christ's spirit." These were not indispensable to his libe- 
ration, but to his soul's health. A change in Nero's heart, a 
mere whim of the moment, might have secured his freedom. 
The prior question, however, is the reference in tovto. 

1. Many, with Theodoret, refer it to the afflictive circum- 
stances in which the apostle was placed, or to the dangers 
which lowered around him, in consequence of the envious and 
vindictive preachers — ol ivrevdev <f>vo/j,€voi, kivSvvoi. But the 
apostle thought too lightly of this danger, if it really existed, 
to give it such prominence. What was merely personal, had 
no interest for him ; what concerned the cause, at once concen- 
trated his attention, and begat emotion within him. 

2. Theophylact, Calvin, Bheinwald, van Hengel, De 
Wette, and Beelen, refer tovto to the 17th verse — the 
preaching of Christ out of envy and strife, and for the 

PHIL1PPIANS I. 19. 43 

purpose of adding to the apostle's troubles. " Such preach- 
ing, instead of adding to my affliction, shall contribute to my 
salvation." But this connection carries back the reference 
too far, and breaks the continuity. 

3. Others suppose the allusion to be to the preaching of the 
gospel ; to its greater spread, as Rilliet, Matthies, and Alford ; 
or to the general character of it, as Hoelemann — si vel interdum, 
de cavM8 subdolis factum. These opinions appear to be some- 
what away from the context : 

4. For we apprehend that it is simply to the sentiment of the 
preceding verse that the apostle refers. In that verse he tells 
them that, in spite of the opposite conclusion some might come 
to, he rejoiced in the fact that Christ was preached, whatever 
might be the motive of the preacher. And now he assigns 
the reason of that joy. He does not mean either that the 
gospel so proclaimed would achieve the salvation of others, 
as Grotius imagined, or with Heinrichs, that it would pro- 
duce his own, for it had already been secured. The preach- 
ing of the gospel to others, and the spread of it in Borne, or 
in Italy, could not in itself exercise any saving power upon 
him; nor could he have any doubt that the gospel which 
himself had believed and preached, should issue in his eternal 
happiness. We therefore understand the tovto to refer to 
the state of mind described in the former verse — his joy in 
the preaching of Christ, from whatever motive. For this 
state of mind indicated his supreme regard for Christ — that 
He preferred Him above everything — that he could bear to 
be an object of malevolence and jealousy, if so his Master was 
exalted — and that, provided Christ was preached, he cared 
not for tarnished fame or heavier affliction. This mental 
condition was an index to him of a healthy spiritual state. 
Salvation must be the issue, when Christ was so magnified in 
the process. On the contrary, if he had felt chagrin and dis- 
appointment — if he had grudged that any should preach but 
himself, or any name should obtain prominence in the churches 
but his own — if actual or apprehended addition to his sufferings 
had either made him repent his own preaching, or infuriated 
him at the preaching of others — then a temperament so unlike 
Him whom he professed to serve, might justly have made him 
doubt his salvation, or the certainty of its future possession. 


But his present Christ-like frame of spirit was salvational, if 
the expression may be coined — it was an index of present 
attainment, and the sure instrument of subsequent glory. It 
was the " ear," which is seen not only to follow the blade, but 
which also betokens the " full corn." There is no good ground 
for Alford's confining the meaning of aanrfpta to salvation, " in 
degree of blessedness, not in reference to the absolute fact." 
The verb airo^o-enu rather forbids it Salvation will turn 
out to be the result — salvation, first as a fact, and also in every 
element which the apostle expected. Luke xxi 13. The 
clause occurs in the Septuagint Job xiii. 16. And in this 
spirit the apostle adds — 

Sib ti}? v/i&v Beqaew; — " through your supplication." He 
knew that they prayed for him — such was their vivid interest 
in him, and such a conviction the use of the article rffc seems 
to imply. And he believed in the efficacy of their prayers — 
that their entreaty would bring down blessing upon him. His 
high function as an apostle did not elevate him above the need 
of their intercession. 2 Thess. iii. 1, 2 ; Philem. 22. He 
virtually claims it, for he professes to enjoy their sympathy. 
And, as the general result of their prayers, he subjoins — 

/ecu i7n%ppT)yia<s rov irveufiaro^ 'Irjcov Xpiarov — " and the 
supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ." 'Ew^opiyyta, see Eph. 
iv. 16. Conybeare says, "17 imxppriyla rov x°PW°v would 
mean the supplying of all needs of the chorus by the choregus ; 
and that therefore the phrase before us signifies the supplying 
of all needs by the spirit." Theophylact and GEcumenius, 
Zanchius, Grotius, Billiet, Alford, and Wiesinger take the 
genitive as that of object, viz. that the Holy Spirit Himself 
forms the supply. Theophylact explains by saying, ern^o- 
priyyOj) irXeiov to Trvevpa. With Theodoret, Calvin, Ehein- 
wald, van Hengel, and Ellicott, we prefer taking the genitive 
as that of subject — Trvevfiaro? jfopryyovmo^ rrjv %dpiv. The 
apostle refers to that necessary supply which the Holy Spirit 
furnishes, that universal and well-timed assistance which He 
imparts. This seems to be on the whole the better and more 
natural interpretation. The use of the participle hn^pprff&v 
with to Trvevfia in Gal. iii 5, affords no ground of decision 
as to the genitive of the noun here ; nor can the use of the 
genitive in Eph. iv. 16 determine the matter. Neither can 

PH1UPPIANS I. 20. 45 

we assent to Alford's argument, taken from the position of 
the words, as such an argument is often doubtful, and no 
author has always followed tamely the same order. The 
connection of the two clauses has been disputed; that is, 
whether vp&v belongs to brixoprjylas as well as Seifceco?. 
Meyer, Alford, and Baumgarten-Crusius hold that the con- 
nection is of this nature — "through your prayer and your 
supply of the Spirit of Christ." But such an exegesis cannot 
be defended on the ground that Bid, or &A jf)?, or the simple 
article, is not repeated ; for such a repetition is unnecessary, 
and according to a well-known law, the article is omitted 
before a second noun, when both nouns have a defining 
genitive. Winer, § 19, 5. Still the apostle's thought seems 
to be, that the supply of the Spirit to him would be the result 
of their prayers for him. For the Spirit is not to be explained 
away as merely meaning divine power, vis diviha, as Am Ende 
renders. It is the Holy Spirit — who is here called the Spirit 
of Jesus Christ The reason of such an appellation, it is not 
difficult to discover; for it does not rest on any dogmatic 
grounds, or any metaphysical views of the distinctions and 
relations of the persons in the Trinity. The genitive is that 
of possession or origin, the spirit which Jesus has or dispenses. 
The exaltation of the Bedeemer secured the gift of the Holy 
Ghost, which it is His exalted prerogative to bestow. The 
Spirit represents Christ, for He comes in Christ's name, as 
another Paraclete, enlightens with Christ's truths, purifies with 
Christ's blood, comforts with Christ's promises, and seals with 
Christ's image. 

(Ver. 20.) Karh rrjv airo/capafio/eiav /cal iXirtBa fiov, om iv 
ovSevl alayyvOrjcrofiai — "According to my firm expectation 
and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed." The preposi- 
tion tcard is in connection with olBa yap of the preceding 
verse. My knowledge that it shall issue in my salvation, is 
based upon, or rather is " in -accordance with," my expectation 
and hope. The two nouns, airoxapaBoKla and IXsirk, have 
much the same signification, only the latter has a meaning in 
advance of the former — hope being surer than expectation — 
and having in it a deeper conviction of certainty, or resting 
itself on a surer foundation. The view of Bretschneider, sub 
voce, is the reverse, but wrong. Hope is expectation combined 


with assurance. The noun airoKapaSoxla is found in Bom. 
viii. 19. Its composition has been variously resolved; most 
probably it is fcdpa, " the head," and So/eevetv, " to observe." 
It is, according to the Mymologicum Magnum, rjj K€(f>a\fj 
Trpof3\erreiv, or as (Ecuinenius describes it here, as iXiriSa rjv 
Tt? Kal avTTfv eirucw&v ttjv tcecfxikrjv Sotcevet koX irepuricoirel. 
The preposition airo is not, as some say, meaningless or 
quiescent ; but it is not properly intensive ; rather, as Ellicott 
says, it is locaL It marks the point from which one looks 
out, or the place whence the thing expected is to come ; and 
the additional idea is to look out, or continue to look out, till 
the thing looked for comes out of its place. The notion is, 
therefore, more that of continuance than earnestness, though 
certainly a persistent look will deepen into an earnest one. 
The word is well discussed in that family production, Fritzschi- 
orum Opuscula, p. 150. The apostle did not speak at random, 
or from any vague and dreamy anticipations. He felt that 
he was warranted so to write. And what he had referred to 
was not something in which he had little interest, something 
which might happen in the course of events, but towards 
which he was indifferent. He was tremblingly alive to the 
result, and his soul was set upon it. 

The next clause tells the personal object of his hope — 
" that in nothing I shall be ashamed." It is wrong on the 
part of Estius and Matthies to render on, " for," or " because," 
as if the clause were confirmative. The on introduces the 
object of hope ; but with the other view the expectation and 
hope would refer vaguely to the preceding verse. The verb 
represents the Heb. ete in the Septuagint. Ps. xxxiv. 4, 
lxix. 3 ; 2 Cor. x. 8 ; 1 John ii. 28. The apostle does not 
mean to say, that in nothing should he be put out, as the 
common phrase is, or made to appear abashed and terrified. 
This is the view of Matthies and van Hengel, the latter of 
whom gives it as, ut in nulla re rib officio deflectam. A 
different view is held by Chrysostom, who has these words, 
"Whatever happens, I shall not be ashamed, i.e. they will 
not obtain the mastery over me." " They, forsooth, expected 
to catch Paul in this snare, and to quench the freedom of the 
gospel." This view is too restricted, for the apostle says, iv 
ovSevl, « in nothing," not simply in living and preaching. The 


idea is not that shame would fall upon him principally if he 
died, or ceased to speak with boldness. The pronoun ovSevl 
is neuter, and does not refer either to the Philippians, as if 
he were saying, " in none of you I shall be ashamed," or to 
those preaching Christ at Borne, as if he meant to affirm, 
" in none of them shall 1 be ashamed." " In nothing," says 
the apostle, " shall I feel ashamed." He should preserve his 
trust and confidence ; no feeling of disgrace or disappointment 
should creep over him. He should maintain his erectness of 
spirit, and not hang his head like one who had come short of 
his end, or had been the victim of vain expectations. The verb 
al<Txyv0q<rofiai is in virtual contrast with airofiqaercu efc 
acoTrjpiav. He felt assured that neither in this hope nor any 
other should he be ashamed. His state of mind was such, 
that no emotion of shame could come near him. Christ's 
work was doing in the meantime, and in that he rejoiced, no 
matter what the motive that led to it ; and though he was a 
fettered prisoner, and his enemies might be traducing him, yet he 
was assured that now, as heretofore,heshould not be brought into 
shame, as if his life had been a failure ; for, should he live, Christ 
should be glorified ; and should he die, the same result would 
equally happen. And he speaks now in a more positive tone — 
aXX iv Trday irapprjaiq dx; iravrore teal vvv fAeyaXwOijaerai 
Xpurrb? iv ra> adfiari fwv — " but with all boldness, as always 
and now, Christ shall be magnified in my body." Shame is 
the contrast of boldness, for he who feels ashamed is a coward. 
'Ev iracy is in antithesis to eV ovSevl. He had been bold in 
days gone by, in crises which had passed away ; and as it had 
been always, so it would be now — teal vvv. What the apostle 
expected and hoped was, that Christ should be magnified in 
his body. The verb fieyaXvvco is to make or declare great, 
and often in the sense of praise ; for praise is the laudatory 
expression of the divine greatness. It tells how great He is, 
or how great He has disclosed Himself to be. The meaning 
here is, that Christ should be evinced in His greatness — dis- 
closed in His majesty. Billiet takes the verb in the sense of 
grandir — se developper; the development of Christ within 
himself, in allusion to Gal. ii. 20, iv. 19. But, as has been 
well remarked by Wiesinger, " the added words, iv r& awfiari 
fiov, are fatal to this supposition." Nor is there any instance 


of the use of the term in such a personal sense. In Luke i. 58, 
it is said that the Lord made great His mercy — exhibited 
extraordinary kindness. 

The next words are peculiar. The apostle does not say 
" in me," but " in my body " — iv t& adfrnri pov. The two 
forms of expression are not to be confounded. The following 
clause explains why terms so precise have been employed. 
Life and death are both predicated of the body ; therefore he 
says, in my body — 

e?T€ But Jew}? €?T€ Sta Bavdrov — " whether by life or by 
death." It is all one — whether he live or die, the magnifying 
of Christ is secured on either alternative. If he lived, he 
should yet labour for Christ ; and if his life were cut short, 
Christ should be glorified in the courage of his martyrdom, and 
the entrance of the martyr to heaven. Come what may — the 
glorification of Christ — the highest aim of his heart is secured. 

The apostle rejoiced that Christ was preached, no matter 
what might be the motive ; and this prevailing emotion, he 
was assured, would result in salvation. He was confident 
that he should not be left in shame : for the glorification of 
Christ, the prime object of his existence, would be brought 
about in his body, whether he lived or whether he died- 
While one party preached Christ of love, in alliance with 
him, and in acknowledgment of his high position ; and the 
other preached Christ of envy and self-seeking — supposing 
to add affliction to his bonds ; in the midst of this turmoil, 
he was happy and contented. His trial was pending, and he 
felt that Christ would be glorified, whether he should be 
liberated from prison to preach again, or whether he should 
leave his cell only to be conducted to the block. If, in either 
case, Christ should be glorified, his salvation was a secure 
result. And he proceeds to prove what he has said of the 
magnification of Christ, whether by life or by death. For 
in either way it may happen — there may be two forms, but 
there is only one result. 

(Ver. 21.) 'Efiol yap to %rp> XpuTTos, ical to airodavelv 
fcepSo? — " For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." l 

1 We need scarcely allude to the reading — ^«*r«r— suggested by the Arabic 
version of Walton's Polyglott, advocated by Michaelis and Verschuir, and placed 
even by Griesbach among readings not to be wholly slighted. 


The particle yap introduces the confirmatory statement. 
Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by 
death — by life, for to me to live is Christ ; by death, for 
death to me is gain. 

A considerable number of expositors take the verse as one 
connected sentence, with icep&os as the one predicate — " for 
to me in life and in death Christ is gain " — mihi enim in 
vivendo Christus est et moriendo lucrum. Such is the view of 
Calvin, Beza, Musculus, E. Schmid, Baphelius, Knatchbull, 
a-Lapide, Vorstius, Gataker, Airay, 1 Suicer, etc. But it cannot 
be supported. It requires such adjustment and assistance 
as to give it a very unnatural appearance. Though tcard 
should be supplied to both infinitives, the sentence has a very 
clumsy and un-Pauline shape. Besides, the infinitives are 
not of the kind that form such an absolute accusative as is 
usually but erroneously resolved by /card. Jelf, § 581 ; 
Rriiger, § 46, 4, 1. Such an accusative has what this last 
grammarian calls Erstreckm, or extended reference ; but such 
a construction, while it might apply to the first infinitive, 
could not to the last. The natural division is to take Xpurros 
with the first clause as predicate, and /cip&o? with the last 
In such an exegesis as that we have referred to, Xpurro? 
would be most anomalously placed. Nor would the verse so 
understood be in close connection with the preceding statement 
as either illustrative or confirmatory of it The sentiment, 
To me living or dying, Christ is gain, is in itself no proof of 
the assertion that Christ would be magnified in his body, 
whether by life or by death. Personal gain to himself in 
either case is not surely identical with the glorification of 
Christ — at least there is nothing in the language to justify 
or explain such a conclusion. Besides, as the alternatives 
are strongly marked — "by life or by death;" and as they 
are in direct antagonism, we expect to find that the mode of 
glorification will also differ, and that such a difference will 
be implied in the clause added for explanation and proof. 
But there is no such distinction if this unwarranted exegesis 
be admitted. 

Luther again reverses the order of subject and predicate, 

1 Gataker, in his edition of M. Antoninus, p. 350, says of Airay — solus inter- 
return reverendus D. Airceus noster apostoli mentem aseecutus videtur. 

50 PHIL1PPIANS I. 21. 

and renders " Christtis ist mein Zeben, und Sterben ist mein 
Gewinn " — Christ is my life, and death is my gain. This 
exposition is adopted by Storr and Flatt, the former of whom 
attaches the first clause to the preceding verse. (Ecumenius 
had also paraphrased avrov e^a) ttjv £0)171/. But the transla- 
tion is forbidden by the use of the infinitive with the article 
as the subject, and by the position of the terms. Billiet looks 
upon ^qv as referring to the higher spiritual life — la vie par 
excellence — la vie settle digne de cc nom, and as in contrast 
with to £r}v iv o-ap/et in verse 22. But this last phrase, so 
far from being in contrast with to fffiv in this verse, is only 
exegetical of it. The life which the apostle refers to is life 
on earth, opposed to death, or the cessation of his present 
being — the ?o»7 of the preceding verse. And the contrast 
implied in airoQavAv would be all but destroyed. He speaks 
of continuance on earth, and of departure from it, and shows 
how, in each case, Christ should be magnified in his body. 

Christ, says the apostle, shall be magnified in my body by 
life, " for to me to live is Christ." The position of ifiol shows 
the special stress which the writer lays upon it. He speaks 
solely of himself and his personal relation. The force of the 
ethical dative is — " in so far as I am personally concerned." x 
It does not mean " in my judgment," as Beelen gives it both in 
his commentary and his recently-published grammar, 2 § 31, B. 
The phrase to £f}v is similarly found in some authors, as 
quoted by Wetstein. If I live, he affirms, my life shall be 
Christ, an expressive avowal indeed. The use of such terms 
shows the completeness of Paul's identification with Christ. 
Christ and life were one and the same thing to him, or, as 
Bengel puts it — quicquid vivo, Christum vivo. Might not the 
sentiment be thus expanded ? For me to live is Christ — the 
preaching of Christ the business of my life ; the presence of 
Christ the cheer of my life ; the image of Christ the crown 
of my life ; the spirit of Christ the life of my life ; the love 
of Christ the power of my life ; the will of Christ the law of 
my life ; and the glory of Christ the end of my life. Christ 
was the absorbing element of his life. If he travelled, it was 
on Christ's errand ; if he suffered, it was in Christ's service. 

1 Michelsen, Casuslehre der Lot. Sprach. p. 212. 

2 Orammatica Grcecitatis Novi Testamenti, etc. ; Lovanii, 1857. 


When he spoke, his theme was Christ ; and when he wrote, 
-Christ filled his letters. There is little doubt that the apostle 
refers in his utmost soul to the glorification of Christ by the 
diffusion of the gospel. It had been so, and the spirit of his 
declaration is, that it would be so still. Nay, it was his 
pride or his effort to preach where the name of Jesus had 
never been proclaimed. He liked to lay the foundation, 
leaving the erection of the structure to others. He chose the 
distant parts of labour and danger — the " regions beyond " — 
and he would not " boast in another man's line of things made 
ready to his hand." 

And when did the apostle utter this sentiment ? It was 
not as he rose from the earth, dazzled into blindness by the 
Redeemer's glory, and the words of the first commission were 
ringing in his ears. It was not in Damascus, while, as the 
scales fell from his sight, he recognized the Lord's goodness 
and power, and his baptism proclaimed his formal admission 
to the church. Nor was it in Arabia, where supernatural 
wisdom so fully unfolded to him the facts and truths which 
he was uniformly to proclaim. It sprang not from any 
momentary elation as at Cyprus, where he confounded the 
sorcerer, and converted the Eoman proconsuL No, the 
resolution was written at Borne in bonds, and after years of 
unparalleled toil and suffering. His past career had been 
signalized by stripes, imprisonment, deaths, shipwreck, and 
unnumbered perils, but he did not regret them. He had 
been " in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in 
hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness," 
but his ardour was unchilled ; and let him only be freed, and 
his life prolonged, and his motto still would be — " For me 
to live is Christ." It did not repent the venerable confessor 
now, when he was old, infirm, and a prisoner, with a terrible 
doom suspended over him, that he had done so much, travelled 
so much, spoken so much, and suffered so much for Christ 
Nor was the statement like a suspicious vow in a scene of 
danger, which is too often wrung from cowardice, and held up 
as a bribe to the Great Preserver, but forgotten when the 
crisis passes, and he who made it laughs at his own timidity. 
No. It was no new course the apostle proposed — it was 
only a continuation of those previous habits which his bondage 


had for a season interrupted Could there be increase to a 
zeal that had never flagged, or could those labours be multi- 
plied which had filled every moment and called out every 
energy ? In fine, the saying was no idle boast, like that of 
Peter at the Last Supper — the flash of a sudden enthusiasm 
so soon to be drowned in tears. For the apostle had the 
warrant of a long career to justify his assertion, and who can 
doubt that he would have verified it, and nobly shown that 
still, as hitherto, for him to live was Christ ? He sighed not 
under the burden, as if age needed repose ; or sank into self- 
complacency, as if he had done enough, for the Lord's com- 
mission was still upon him, and the wants of the world were 
so numerous and pressing, as to claim his last word, and urge 
his last step. It was " such an one as Paul the aged, and 
now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ/' who placed on record 
the memorable clause, inscribed also on his heart — " for me 
to live is Christ" 

koX to airoOavetv tcipSo? — " and to die is gain." The tense 
of the verb is changed in this clause from the present to the 
past In the first clause, the presence or duration of life : — 
to %qv — is Christ ; but in the second clause it is not the act 
of dying, but the result of it, or that which supposes it to be 
past and over — to airoOavelu — which is gain. Wiesinger 
expresses the real difficulty of this clause, when he says — 
"from its close relation to fieyaXwdqa-erai, we expect an 
explanation of how Christ is to be magnified by the apostle's 
death; but /cep8o<; really expresses nothing upon it." To 
surmount this difficulty, some apply the KepSos to Christ. 
Mtiller says — quod autem alteram verms partem attinet, et 
mori est lucrum, i.e., sors etiam exoptatior, scriptor haud dubie 
in animo habebat, quod opposiium fiagitat ; et si mihi mori- 
undum est morior Christo, Hague etiam marte mea Christus 
celebratur ; sed fervidiore animi commotione cibrepto, alia cogir 
tatio obversatur qua eum id quod dicturus erat plene prdoqui 
rum sinit. This explanation necessitates a filling up of the 
sentence,£which its simplicity neither needs nor warrants. The 
emphatic ifioi confines the tcepSos personally to the apostle. 
Nor is there any ground on the same account for the exegesis 
of Grotius — morte mea aliquos Christo lucrabor ; or that of 
Heinrichs — sin subeundum supplicium, vel inde lucrum enas- 


cetur, et Icetitiores faciet res Christiana profectus. Nor does 
Wiesinger himself meet the difficulty which himself describes. 
He looks back especially to the 19th verse, and to the phrase 
— " it shall turn out for salvation to him, according to the 
firmly-cherished hope, that Christ will be magnified in him, 
whether by life or by death, since to him individually it is all 
one whether he should live or die, whether Christ should be 
magnified by his life or by his death." This is true so far, 
for the apostle speaks personally — ipoL But still, if he say 
— Christ shall be magnified in my death — you expect him to 
say how, since he has explained the parallel clause — Christ 
shall be magnified in my life. Wiesinger inserts the thought 
— " it is all the same to me whether He be magnified by the 
one way or the other ; " an assertion which may be true in 
itself, and warranted by what follows, but something more 
than can be borne out by the simple yap. And even with 
this explanation, teipSo? does seem to involve some element of 
glorification to Christ, as Wiesinger admits, but does not 
explain. There is no doubt that ifiol means — as far as 
regards myself individually ; and there is no doubt that the 
clause — for me to live is Christ, explains how Christ should 
be magnified in his life. And we therefore take it for 
granted, that the next clause explains how Christ should be 
glorified in his death. And how? Because that death 
would be gain, and the fact of its being gain to him was a 
magnification of Christ. " For me to live is ChriBt, and I 
shall magnify Him ; and to die is gain, and therefore He is 
magnified in it." There are thus two questions — why death 
was ,gain, and how in that gain Christ was magnified ? 

Death,, it cannot be d,oubted, was gain to the apostle in a 
personal sense. It removed him from suffering and dis- 
quietude, lifted him up out of a prison, and translated him 
into the presence of Christ. It gave him heaven for earth, 
enjoyment for labour, and spiritual perfection for incomplete 
holiness. It brought him into the presence of his exalted 
Lord, to bear His image, live in His splendour, and hold pure 
and uninterrupted fellowship with Him. That gain is not to 
be counted — it. surmounts calculation. It was to leave the 
imperfect society of earth for the nobler fellowship of the 
skies ; to pass from service involving self-denial, tears, and 



suffering, to the crown which cannot fade ; to rise above the 
process of discipline involving constant watchfulness and 
prayer, to a perfe t assimilation to his Divine Master. There 
is also a comparison implied in /cipSos. While life would be 
Christ, death would be Christ too, but in a far higher sense. 
Still there would be the glorification of Christ, but in another 
form, and the superiority of the last to the first is indicated 
by icipSos. To live is "Christ;" but, as he himself says, 
death is "to be with Christ," and therefore, in comparison 
with life, it is gain. For it would be Christ to him more 
fully than life could be — Christ to be praised for ever, 
without the clog of an animal frame to exhaust the wor- 
shipper, or the warring of the law in his members to distract 
or suspend his adoration and joy. And in his possession of 
such a gain, Christ would be magnified, for His love had 
prepared it, His death had brought it within his reach, and 
His grace and spirit had prepared him for it. And if he 
should be called to suffer as a martyr, and such a prospect 
could not but rise before the mind of a prisoner in the prse- 
torium, pending an appeal to the frantic and ungovernable 
Nero, then his courage and constancy in sealing his testimony 
with his blood, and in being made conformable to his Lord's 
death, would of itself glorify Christ in the exhibition of that 
meek and majestic demeanour, which the consciousness of 
Christ's presence alone could inspire and sustain. The 
expression about the gain of death seems to have been of 
proverbial currency. Socrates (Plato, Apolog. 32) declares 
under certain suppositions — tc&pSos eyoyye \€7® ; but Lucian 
pronounces as might be expected— ovSevi rb Bavelv /cepSos. 
Many examples in which death is called loss, %npla, may be 
found in Wetstein. Libanius, Or. xxvi, says, with a feeling 
very different from the apostle's — oh fiapif ro £f)v, tcipSos 6 
ddvaros. So in Sophocles, Antig. 474. Bos, Exerczt. p. 193. 
(Ver. 22.) El Bk ro Iffiv iv aapxl, rovro fioi icapirb<; epyov, 
teal rl aipq&opai, ov yvwp(£a> — " But if to live in the flesh, if 
this to me be fruit of labour, and what I shall choose, I know 
not." The general purport of this verse with its connection 
is pretty apparent, but from its compactness it is not easy to 
furnish a strict analysis. The apostle felt that both in life 
and death, Christ should be magnified, and in the preceding 

PHIL1PPIANS I. 22. 55 

verse he assigns the reason; nay, it would seem that he 
prefers that Christ should he glorified in his death, as death 
to him would be gain. But in a moment he feels that really 
he ought to have no preference. By the use of /eipSos he has 
given a preference to death; but the commands of Christ, the 
claim of the churches, and the wants of the world, rush upon 
him, and he so far retracts his preference as to allow, that if 
prolonged life be necessary to the full harvest of his ministry, 
he will not make a choice. He had virtually made a choice 
in saying " death is gain ; " but still, if there was more work 
for him on earth, he would at least hesitate in coming to a 
decision. And then he depicts his state of mind ; there is 
in it the strong desire to depart and be with Christ, which 
nobody can doubt is far better; but there is also the obliga- 
tion, if the Lord so will it, to abide on earth, and be of service 
in the gospel. 

The particle el is syllogistic, or puts a case, and may be 
almost rendered by " since," as it presents a fact in the form 
of a premiss. Je is continuative, but introduces a contrast 
It is plain that to £r}v iv a-apxt describes his natural life or its 
prolongation, as if there had been present to his mind an 
ideal contrast between the higher and future life unclothed, 
which is involved in /cipSos, and the present and lower form 
of embodied existence on earth. It does not seem necessary, 
with Beza, van Hengel, and others, to attach any collateral 
idea to cdpf*, such as that of frailty — afflicta et misera. Gal. 
ii. 20; 1 Cor. xv. 50; Heb. ii 14. There axe different 
ways of pointing and reading the verse, most of them abound- 
ing more or less in supplement. Hoelemann thus disguises 
and reads it — el Se ro £fjv Kaprrrbs iv cap/el rovro (ie., rd 
airodavelv), pot, tapiro? Ipyov — " but if to live be fruit in the 
flesh, or mere earthly fruit, then this (that is, death) is to me 
fruit in reality." But the contrasts here supposed are not 
tenable — that of to with toJ/to, and of a-apxl with epyov. 
Granting that debility and fragility are often associated with 
<ra/>£, yet we can scarcely take iv captci as an adverbial 
phrase qualifying icapiros understood ; nor can epyov, even with 
such a contrast, signify "in reality." We should have 
expected iv epyq> at the least ; but epyov never has such a 
meaning, even in the phrase which Hoelemann adduces — 


iv Xoyqt rj h epytp (Col. iiL 17), where it signifies in act, and 
not in reality. It may be remarked that tcaprros has been 
apparently suggested by tcepho? — the last is gain ultimate and 
positive; the other is the fruit of apostolic service in the 
present life. The apostle is ready to resign for a season the 
/cipSos, that he may reap a little longer this intermediate 


Another interpretation which takes rcapirb? epyov in an 
unwarranted sense, is that of Beza, followed by Cocceius 
and several other critics, who give the words the Latin 
sense of operce pretium, thus — An vero vivere in carne mihi 
operce pretium sit, et quid eligam, ignoro — " Whether to live in 
the flesh be worth my while, and what I shall choose, I know 
not." In sentiment, this exegesis is opposed to the distinct 
assertions of the following verses. The apostle could not be 
ignorant whether it were of advantage to remain on earth — 
nay, he takes it for granted that it was worth his while to stay, 
as his life was needful to the churches, and would result in the 
furtherance and joy of their faith. Nor can tapiro? epyov be 
well rendered into operce pretium. Besides, if in dependence 
on ov yv(opl£a>, the clause el to tfiv and the clause teal ri 
alpycoficu do not correspond in structure. The exegesis we 
have just considered is virtually that of Conybeare, who 
renders — " but whether this life in the flesh be my labour's 
fruit, and what I shall choose, I know not." The place given 
to tovto in the translation cannot be defended, and it is liable 
generally to the last objection stated. 

A third form of exegesis supplies icrrl fioi, and makes a 
complete sentence of the words down to zeal ri — " And if to 
live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour," as in the 
, Authorized Version. If I am to live, then I shall have the 
more fruit of my labour, as Bengel says — hunc fructum inde 
Juxbeo, ut plus operis facere possim. He takes the words 
tcapirbs epyov as if in apposition — Pauius ipswm, opus pro fructu 
haoet. A similar exposition was held by Pelagius, and is also 
adopted by Storr, Flatt, and Matthies, who renders — wenn 
aber das Leben, im Fleische so ist mir dieses ein — teapirb? 
Ipyov — "if there is life in the flesh, it is to me fruit of 
labour." This exegesis, which makes the second clause form 
the apodosis, seems, besides introducing a supplement, to render 


fcai superfluous in the next clause, and introduces a grating 

A fourth mode of explanation supposes an aposiopesis, and 
therefore endeavours to express the latent thought of the 
apostle. Thus Zegerus — " and if to live in the flesh is the 
fruit of my labour, and if to diets gain, then what to choose I 
wot not." That is to say, the apostle is supposed not to express 
the second member of the sentence — alteram jam mente per~ 
tractans. Rilliet's paraphrase is — "I ought not to desire 
death ; " and it is to this mental thought that the apostle adds 
— " and I know not which I should choose." Muller holds a 
similar supposition. Nobody doubts the existence of such a 
figure of speech, though critics have unduly multiplied 
instances of it. But it is found principally in sentences 
uttered under excitement, where well-known idioms occur, or 
where words are supplied by tone and gesture. There, in 
fact, appears no necessity for reverting to it here, though the 
meaning brought out is generally correct. 

The Greek fathers generally, Luther, Calvin, Heinrichs, 
Schrader, van Hengel, De Wette, Meyer, Wiesinger, Bisping, 
Peile, Ellicott, and Alford, connect the verb yvoopify) with the 
clause before it, and regard the words down to scat as forming 
one sentence. De Wette's version is — " If life in the flesh, 
this be my labour's fruit, what I shall choose, I know not." 
Meyer's paraphrase is — " but if remaining in fleshly life, this, 
and none other, is to me fruitful for my official work, so am I 
in uncertainty as to the choice which I should make between 
both." Among such as hold this view, which we regard as 
the right one, there are minor differences, and also errors. 

The pronoun roxho represents and sums up the entire phrase 
— to £71/ kv vapid. See under Eph. ii. 8. There is no 
Hebraism in the usage, as Glassius supposes, Phil. Sac. i 
177. The use of eiceiva in Mark vii. 1 5, referred to by Winer, 
§ 23, 4, is somewhat similar. Bernhardy, § 283. If to live in 
the flesh, " this' 9 Meyer says — " this, and not death." Perhaps 
he makes the contrast rather strong. It may be " this " on which 
I have laid so little stress, as to call death in comparison with 
it gain. We cannot agree with Meyer in rendering *a/wros — 
emolumentum,rxoT does Rom.i. 1 3 sustain such a sense. It means 
product or result, the context showing of what nature it is. 

58 PHIL1PPIANS I. 22. 

The genitive epyov refers to his special work. Acts xiiL 2 ; 
1 Thess. v. 13. It is not the genitive of object, as if the mean- 
ing were " fruitful for the work," but the genitive of subject, 
and is simply — " fruit from my work," or in connection with it. 
The apostle then affirms virtually that his continuance in life 
would be tantamount to reaping additional fruit in his 
work. If he lived, he should work, and that work by God's 
blessing would not be in vain. The train of thought is this : 
he had said — " for me death is gain ; " but in an instant he 
pauses, not to retract the thought, but to subordinate it to 
present duty, for abode on earth would yet add to the spiritual 
harvest which his labours had produced. As if he meant to 
say — but since to live in the flesh, since this will be fruit to 
me from my labour, then I know not what choice to make. 

And so the Syriac reads : ^.nsn %^A A-.| (}(fi. 

The apostle thus shows, that it was not weariness of life, 
chagrin, or present evil, that prompted the expression — " death 
is gain." Very different was his motive from that expressed 
by the pagan — Oavelv apurrov ion, fj £f}v affKicos — " better die 
than live miserably." Phil, apud Stobceum. His was a calm 
and settled conviction ; and had there been no more work for 
him on earth, he would have longed to enjoy the gain. So 
that he did not know what election to make — on which alter- 
native to place the preference : — 

teal ri alpqcofiai ov yvwptfa — " and what I shall choose, I 
know not" The rl stands for the more precise irorepov — as 
quis for uter in Latin. Matt. ix. 5, xxi. 31, etc. The verb 
yvwplfa usually signifies to make known or declare, and many, 
as Bheinwald and van Hengel, give it such a meaning here — 
non dico. Bengel has — rum explico mihi. Probably the 
meaning is — " I do not apprehend," and thus it is different from 
olBa and ywdxr/ea. Ast, Lex. Plat, sub voce. It seems to inti- 
mate, that with a desire or effort to know, such knowledge 
could not be attained. " And what I shall choose, I cannot 
make out." The future alpfooftai is used for the subjunctive. 
Winer, § 41, 4, b. The two forms have very much the connec- 
tion which the forms " will " and " would " originally had in 
English. The verb is in the middle voice — " what I shall take 
for myself." The principal difficulty, however, is in relation 


to teal, at the beginning of the sentence. Peile takes it as the 
apostle's substitute for the Hebrew vau, and quotes, as strictly 
analogous, a line of the Agamemnon — teal rk r6B> ifjkoir' &v 
dyyiXcop Taj£o*— " and what messenger could come with such 
speed ? " But there is not a full analogy, for the question 
occurs in a dialogue. Clytemnestra had asserted that Troy 
was taken just last night ; the Chorus cannot credit the intel- 
ligence, but knowing the great distance of the city, cry — 
" And what messenger could come with such fleetness ? " In 
Scottish dialogue, it is very common to put "and" at the 
commencement of a question which implies either doubt or 
wonder — " And how did it happen ? " etc. Crocius and 
Heinsius take icai in a somewhat similar way, and give, as an 
illustration, Mark x. 26 — teal t& Bvvarat cmQr\vai\ but the 
passages are by no means analogous. It is also out of the 
question to render teat, idea or sane, or by any other explana- 
tory particle. The teal is to be taken as signifying and or also, 
and as placed at the commencement of the apodosis. Of this 
there are many examples in the New Testament, and among the 
classical writers. Hartung, I. 130. It carries this sense, that 
what follows Kai is described as the result of what precedes, 
or as in close^connection with it This granted, " and " that will 
follow. The meaning then is — if to remain in the flesh, if this 
be to me labour's fruit, I am flung back on the other alternative, 
and what I shall choose, I wot not. If I look simply at result, 
" to die is gain," I have no hesitation ; but there is the other 
idea, that " to live is Christ ; " I therefore find myself in a 
dilemma, and know not which to select In the following 
verse, the apostle states the alternatives more distinctly. 

(Ver. 23.) Xwe^ofiai Bk iic to>v Bvo — " But I am pressed on 
account of the two." There is no doubt that Be is preferable 
to yap, as it has the great majority of MSS., versions, and 
quotations in its favour. The verb awexpiuu denotes — to be 
held together, distressed, or perplexed, as in Luke xil 50; 
Acts xviii. 5 ; 2 Cor. v. 14. In using i/e, the apostle points 
out the sources of his strait ; and, by Bvo with the article, he 
marks the alternatives stated in the preceding, and not in the 
succeeding context, as Bheinwald and Miiller suppose. He 
has just said — " what to choose I wot not," and the choice lay 
between two things, life and death; and now he adds — 


between these two I am held in suspense. Mliller seems to 
imagine that a retrospective reference would have required 
il; i/ceivcw Svo. The following clauses, however, though not 
grammatically referred to in Svo, are yet contained in it, and 
are now more fully explained in the text. 

The apostle describes his dilemma, and it is an extraordinary 
one. Though he had a strong desire for heaven, and, indeed, 
had been in it (2 Cor. xii. 1-4) and knew it, yet was he willing 
to forego the pleasure for the sake of Christ's church on earth. 
For he thus describes himself — 

tt)v eiriBvfilav e^cov els to avaXvcat koX chv XptoTW elvai 
— " having," or " inasmuch as I have the desire for departing 
and to be with Christ" The verb avakvw signifies to unloose, 
to depart, and then emphatically to depart from life. 2 Tim. 
iv. 6. It is needless to inquire on what the image is based ; 
whether, as Jaspis and Eisner maintain, on the departure of 
guests from a feast; or whether, as Perizonius supposes, from 
equestrian custom ; or, as others conjecture, from the weighing 
of the anchor prior to the sailing of the vessel ; or, as Mliller 
preceded by Gataker imagines, from the nomad custom of 
striking the tent before the march. Departure, as the name 
or image of death, is so natural and so universal, that one 
needs not to give it any special or local origin. It is wrongly 
translated in the Vulgate by dissolvi, derived perhaps from the 
classical use of solvo. Drusius absurdly conjectured that the 
active stood for a passive. Compare also Schoettgen, Hbrce 
Heb. L 796. The construction with ek is rather unusual — 
1 Thess. iii. 12, 13 — for iiriOvfiia is usually construed with 
the genitive, and sometimes with the infinitive preceded by 
the article. There is no reason to take it for the genitive, 
rod avakvaai ; and we agree with Meyer that els to avakvacu 
stands in relation to the entire clause — ttjv hnOvfilav fycov ; 
the language having a certain strength and emphasis. That 
desire pointed steadily and uniformly ek, " in the direction of" 
decease. Winer, § 49, a, 8. The result of departure is to be 
"with Christ," and therefore death was gain. The apostle 
was in no ignorance as to his future state. 1 His death was 
not to him simply a departure from earth, or as Socrates 
(Plato, Apolog. 32) vaguely and cheerlessly calls it, a removal 

1 Lechler, Das Apotiolische und das nachapost. Zeitalter; Stuttgart, 1857. 


— ek aWov T07T0V. He knew what awaited him; and his 
fondest view of heaven is expressed by the term — ainr Xpurr$. 
And so in 1 Thess. iv, 17, v. 10, preceded by John xii 26, 
xvii. 24. He rejoices to look on heaven in its positive 
aspect It is to him the presence of Christ, and not merely 
deliverance from the evils of life ; not merely — 

" To leave all disappointment, care, and sorrow ; 
To leave all falsehood, treachery, and unkindness ; 
All ignominy, suffering, and despair, 
And be at rest for ever." 

Of death, as an escape from such miseries, he does not speak, 
though few had felt them so severely, for he had been weak in 
every man's weakness, and burned with every man's offence. 
2 Cor. xi. 29. To him life is Christ, and death is being with 
Christ — the same blessedness in two aspects and stages, with 
no time or region of dreary unconsciousness between. He 
knew where Christ was, and where he should be with Him — 
"at the right hand of God;" and he defers his "gain" to no 
remote period, which supposes the resurrection to be passed, 
but contemplates the being with Christ as the sure and im- 
mediate result of that departure which he desired. Though 
his body should have fallen into the tomb, he speaks of himself 
as being with Christ, himself though unembodied — assured of 
his identity, and preserving his conscious personality, and so 
being with Christ, as to derive from such fellowship enjoy- 
ments so pure and ample, that the thought of it impels him 
to ecstasy : — 

7ro\Xo> yap fidWov tcpeto-aov — " for it is much by far better." 
The language is exuberant, the simple comparative being in- 
creased by another, fiaWov, and both intensified by irdKkfi. 
Mark vii. 36 ; Winer, § 35, 1. The authorities as to yap are 
divided. It has in its favour, A, B, and C, but it is omitted 
in D, E, F, 6, J, K. Some of them have iroatp for ttoXKQ. 
Tischendorf and Lachmann prefer yap, and perhaps rightly. 
The preference of death over life was a personal matter. It 
was better for him ; far better for him to be with Christ, than 
to be away from Christ ; far better to enjoy Christ than to 
preach Christ; far better to praise Him than to suffer for 
Him ; far better to be in His presence in glory, than to be 
bound in a prison for Him at Borne. The contrast in the 


apostle's mind, and as is evident from verae 21, is not between 
heaven and earth generally, or between a world of sin and trial 
and death, and a region of spiritual felicity and beauty, but 
specially between the service of Christ here, and fellowship 
with Him in glory. Even on the lowest view of the matter, 
his avowal indicates the superior knowledge which the gospel 
had furnished to the world. How melancholy the last words 
of Socrates in the famed Apology — oirorepoi Be fjfi&v epyovTai 
iifi apeivov irpar/fia, aSrfKov iravrl ttXtjv fj t$> 0ec5. Plat Op. 
ii. p. 366, ed. Bek. Individually, the servant of Christ 
would not for a moment hesitate in making his choice ; as a 
saint, he could not have the slightest doubt ; but as an apostle, 
he felt that if earth was to be the scene of further successes 
for Christ, he would yet consent to stay upon it, would, with 
all his longing to depart, and with all his predilection for 
being with Christ, still remain away from Him, for the benefit 
of the churches. For he adds — 

(Ver. 24.) To Be hnyJkvew ev t§ crapfcl avaytecuorepov Bi 9 
vfias — " But to abide in the flesh is more necessary on account 
of you." To remain in the flesh, or to continue in my present 
life — t§ aaptcC — is placed in contrast to his departure. And 
he calls this survival " more necessary," not more beneficial, as 
Loesner, Am Ende, and others change it The phrase BC vpa? 
is — * for your sakes, on your account " — placing his readers 
in strong antithesis to himself and his own personal likings. 
The force of the comparative ava^Katorepov has been variously 
resolved. Meyer understands it — as if the remaining were 
more needful than the departure ; van Hengel — that it is too 
necessary to allow of his longing being realized. Nor is there 
any need of saying, with Alford, " that the comparison contains 
in itself a mixed construction between avasytcalov and alper<i>- 
repov, or the like." And it is refinement in Ellicott to suggest 
a personal avay/eatov opposed to the comparative — departure a 
thing felt needful, but remaining a thing more needful. There 
is undue pressure in each of these forms of exegesis. The 
apostle says, departure is better, stay more necessary ; the one 
better for himself, and the other more necessary for the churches. 
The form of thought is changed. The tcpelaaov, already ex- 
pressed in reference to himself, is not repeated in reference to 
his converts — better for me to decease, better for you that 


I stay; but the idea of "better" is deepened into "more 
necessary/' and is thus the more palpably bodied out, so as 
to give foundation to the avowal of the following verses. 

(Ver. 25.) Kal rovro irerroiO&s olBa in yuevS* seal irapapmb 
ttolciv ifuv — "And being persuaded of this, I know that I 
shall remain, and remain with you all." The rovro is governed 
by Treirotddx;, not by otSa, and refers to the sentiment of the 
last clause — " Being assured of this, that abiding in the flesh 
is more needful for you." In expressing the idea of his stay, 
the apostle, in the fulness of his heart, uses two verbs, first 
l*ev& and then irapaftev&. Teschendorf prefers the unusual 
compound ovfiirapafiev& i found in E, J, K, and some of the 
Greek fathers, whereas irapapevA has the primary authority of 
A, B, C, D 1 , F, G. The second verb becomes personal in its 
reference, " I shall remain, and remain with. Not only should 
he survive, but survive in their company — the datives iraaw 
vfilv being governed by irapd in composition. Another com- 
pound of the same verb, brtfieveiv, had been already employed 
in ver. 24. The verb olBa retains its ordinary meaning, though 
the object known may be something with a future existence. 
And the effect of his remaining with them is next stated — 

efc rtjv ifb&p irpoicovifv maX yaphv rfj? rtUrrem — " for the 
advancement and joy of your faith." The genitive nricrsm 
is not, as by van Hengel and Baumgarten-Crusius, to be 
separated from irpo/eomqv, and attached solely to x a P" v > ** ^ 
the meaning were " for your advancement, and for the joy of 
your faith;" nor can this hypothesis be reversed, as by 
Beausobre — pour votre avancement dans la foi et pour votre joie, 
" for your progress in faith and for your joy." Nor yet is 
Macknight correct in rendering, " for the advancement of the 
joy of your faith." Nor is the phrase a hendiadys, as Am 
Ende and Flatt resolve it — that there may be a joyful increase 
of your faith. It refers equally to both nouns. Winer, §19,4; 
Middleton, p. 368. One end was — the advancement of their 
faith. It would be greatly increased by the apostle's presence 
and teaching, might grow into deeper vigour, and widen in the 
circuit of its objects. And bis stay would be also for the joy 
of their faith. The genitive is in both cases that of possession. 
Their faith possessed a susceptibility of progress, and it would 
be excited and urged on ; that faith, too, possessed or had in 


it an element of joy, which would be quickened and developed. 
There is no good reason for Ellicott's view in relation to the 
two nouns, that the genitive has a difference of aspect, in the 
last case being that of origin. Joy does spring out of faith — 
the genitive of origin ; but faith may be equally well regarded 
as possessed of the joy which it originates. Alford makes the 
genitive that of subject, but this in the case of the second 
noun appears awkward ; their faith was to increase, that is, 
to be the subject of increase ; and also to rejoice : but joy has 
more of a personal character. Progress and joy are therefore 
predicated as equally belonging to their faith, or as equally 
possessed by it. 

(Ver. 26.) "Iva to Kavyrjiia vp&v •n-epurcevy iv Xpior$ 
'Iyaov iv ifioL — " That your matter of boasting may abound 
in Jesus Christ in me." The tva introduces a further purpose, 
and Kavxyfia is matter of boasting. Kom. iv. 2 ; 1 Cor. v. 6, 
ix. 15. We cannot, with Ellicott, regard this clause as 
merely a definite and concrete form of the previous abstract 
statement — " for the furtherance and joy of your faith." It 
contains a concrete representation, but it also describes an 
ulterior purpose. It supposes the increase of their joy and 
faith, and expresses what this should effect And the matter 
of boasting is not vaguely their Christian state, or their pos- 
session of the gospel, but the conscious result brought out in 
the last clause of the previous verse. That matter of boasting 
was to abound in Christ Jesus — He being the inner sphere of 
its abundance. The connection adopted by Billiet is wrong, 
for he joins iv X. 'I. to Kav^nfjua, as if the meaning were, that 
their boasting was occasioned — par leur union avec Christ. 
The phrase iv ipoi, on the other hand, marks the outer element 
or sphere of this matter of boasting. We cannot agree with 
Alford in giving iv two senses in these two clauses, as if it 
described the field of increase, on its first occurrence, and were 
to be rendered " by means of," on its second occurrence. We 
think that it bears the same signification in both instances — 
that in both it describes the sphere of abounding joy — first, 
higher and spiritual — in Christ; and secondly, lower and 
mediate — in the apostle. And in him for the following 
reason — 

Sicb rf}$ i/Mfi irapovaia<; irakiv irpos v/xa? — " on account of 


my coming again to yon." While iv has marked one relation 
of this abounding joy to the apostle, Bid points out another 
of a public or instrumental nature. In the occurrence of 
irapovo-la — Trpos, the primary force of the preposition is not 
lost The return of the released prisoner to Philippi would 
be of incalculable benefit. It would furnish occasion for 
deeper and more extended lessons on Christianity, so as that 
their faith might make progress, and its joy might be resusci- 
tated, and this possession of a faith conscious of progress and 
buoyant with gladness, would furnish matter of abundant 
boasting in Christ Jesus, through the apostle's visit 

In the previous paragraph, the apostle makes no allusion 
to the Second Advent Some, indeed, have held that originally 
he imagined that he was to survive till that period, but that 
afterwards he gradually and completely changed his mind ; 
his belief being once, that Christ was coming to take him, but 
ultimately, that he must depart, in order to be with Christ 
Now, it will not do to apply the dictum of Professor Jowett, 
that " Providence does not teach men what they can teach 
themselves," * for in Paul's case he received the gospel " by 
the revelation of Jesus Christ," and surely a doctrine so im- 
portant must have been among the lessons supernaturally 
communicated, for it formed an essential portion of the truth. 
Nor will it suffice to say, with Alford, 2 that as Jesus did not 
know the day himself, higher knowledge cannot be expected 
of His servant Mark xiii 32. Granting that this interpre- 
tation of Christ's words is correct, yet surely the same ignorance 
could not be predicated of the exalted Saviour, whose Spirit 
dwelt in the apostle, for the delegation of all power to Him 
must ensure the possession of all knowledge. Besides, to say 
that the apostle did not know the period, is not a sufficient 
argument, for he does not admit his ignorance ; nay, on the 
contrary, as these scholars hold, he taught that the Second 
Coming was an imminent event He who says, in the First 
Epistle to the Thessalonians — " then," that is, after the dead 
in Christ are raised, " we which are alive and remain shall be 
caught up," if he meant to affirm that he and those to whom 
he wrote would survive till the Lord's descent, must have 
very soon altered his belief, for in a letter written to the same 

1 On 1 Thessalonians, p. 06. * On 1 Thessalonians v. 13. 


church shortly afterwards, he bids them on no account, and 
under no teaching, whatever its pretensions, to entertain the 
notion that the day of Christ was at hand. Then he sketches 
a portentous form of spiritual tyranny and impiety, which 
must be developed and destroyed prior to the Second Coming, 
and yet, in the very same document, he prays God to direct 
the hearts of his readers " into patient waiting for Christ" 
Could the apostle, after what he had written, still believe that 
Christ was coming in his own day, or did he suppose that 
himself was to witness the growth, maturity, and overthrow 
of the Man of Sin ? In the Epistle to the Romans also, he 
describes the inbringing of the Jewish race, but at that time, 
this inbringing could be regarded as no event very soon to 
happen, for they were enemies so malignant, that he prays 
and asks the Eoman Christians to pray with him, that he 
" may be delivered from them." We cannot therefore believe, 
with such indications of his earliest sentiments before us, that 
the apostle, after waiting in vain for his Lord's coming, changed 
or modified his view. Nor in the discourses recorded in the 
Acts do we find any tokens of such fluctuation. In his address 
at Athens, he refers to a day in which God will " judge the 
world by that man whom he hath ordained," and as the 
resurrection precedes the judgment, that Man Himself calls 
this period of His wondrous power " the last day." John vi 
39, 40. Nor can we for a moment admit to Jowett, that 
Jesus Himself shifts His ground in His various answers to 
questions as to the time of His coming, for the different 
replies indicate that the " coming " was by the questioners 
differently understood. Could the same Speaker understand 
His " coming " in the very same sense, when He speaks of 
Jerusalem compassed with armies, as one token of it, and yet 
affirms that the gospel must be preached to all nations before 
the " end " shall come ? Can the words — " I will come again 
and receive you unto myself" — have the same fulfilment as 
these other words — " When the Son of man shall come in His 
glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit 
upon the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered 
all nations " ? 

The declaration — " I have a desire to depart " — is by no 
means at variance with that other avowal — " not for that we 


would be unclothed." 2 Cor. v. 4. In the chapter where 
this last statement occurs, the apostle still says — "Willing 
rather to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord " 
— verse 8. The reluctance to be unclothed is natural, the 
spirit does not will to be unfleshed, but it submits to the 
intermediate process of divestment, only as a step toward 
ultimate and spiritual investiture — toward being finally 
" clothed upon." Or the meaning may be — we would prefer 
to be at once " clothed upon," without dying at all, that our 
mortal part may be " swallowed up," absorbed and assimilated 
by life, as in the translation of Enoch and Elijah, and in the 
sudden transmutation which shall pass over living believers 
when the Saviour comes. But in this paragraph of Second 
Corinthians there is no allusion to such coming, as forming 
any part of the argument ; the course of illustration being 
suggested and conditioned by the initial statement as to the 
dissolution of the earthly tabernacle. 

The apostle has expressed himself very confidently as to his 
survival, liberation, and proposed visit to the Philippian church. 
He could scarcely have made a stronger asseveration — " Having 
this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with 
you all ; that your rejoicing may be more abundant, by my 
coming to you again." Was the apostle's confidence warranted ? 
Or was his anticipation verified ? According to the chronology 
adopted by some, only a brief period elapsed between the 
writing of this letter and the decapitation of the apostle, the 
epistle being written in 62 or 63 A.D., and the martyrdom 
taking place in 64. Others affirm that the apostle was 
released as he expected, and that he made another and a last 
missionary tour into Asia Minor, passing over to Macedonia, 
and being " filled with the company " of the church at Philippi. 
The question of a second imprisonment at Borne has been long 
and keenly agitated, but this is .not the place to enter into 
any analysis of the conflicting evidence derived either from 
traditionary hints, or certain exegetical inferences in the 
pastoral epistles. Suffice it to say, that difficulties are great 
on either hypothesis, and that such men as Baronius, Tille- 
mont, Usher, Pearson, Mosheim, Hug, Gieseler, Keander, 
Olshausen, and Alford are on one side; while Petavius, 
Lardner, Hemsen, De Wette, Winer, Wieseler, Davidson, Schaflf, 


and Meyer are on the other, holding that there was only one 
imprisonment. The apostle's assertion in the preceding 
paragraph is firm and decided ; but we dare not argue upon 
it, because it comes into direct collision with an assertion as 
firm and decided, in Acts xx. 25 — "And now I know that 
ye all among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of 
God, shall see my face no more." If the apostle were im- 
prisoned but once, the declaration written to the Philippians 
is not in accordance with fact ; and if he were released, and 
allowed again to travel, then the previous declaration spoken 
to the Ephesian elders at Miletus was not in accordance with 
fact. So that in the discussion, no stress can be laid on the 
apostle's own language — the otSa of Phil, i. 25, which would 
favour a release and a second imprisonment, being balanced 
by the olSa of Acts xx. 25, which would as certainly dis- 
countenance it The announcement of verse 25 sprang from 
deep longing and affection, and is rather the outburst of 
emotion than the utterance of prophetic insight. For by 
the time the apostle comes to the middle of the second chap- 
ter, the impulse of the moment had passed away, his confidence 
had drooped, the shadow had fallen upon him, and he writes 
under a different forecasting — " Yea, and if I be offered upon 
the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with 
you all. I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come 
shortly." Still different is his sentiment when he thus ad- 
dresses Philemon — " Withal prepare me also a lodging, for I 
trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you." 
Amidst these alternations, perhaps this last saying expresses 
the real or prevailing state of the apostle's mind — his hope 
that the prayers of the church might be heard for him, and 
that God, in gracious answer to them, might prolong his life 
and his usefulness. It seems therefore to be taught us, that 
the apostle had no revelations ordinarily as to his own per- 
sonal future ; and that, though he possessed the Holy Spirit 
when he expounded the gospel, and therefore expounded it 
without error or the possibility of it, he was unable to divine 
what was to befall himself in time to come, save in so far 
as it was formally communicated to him. Such revelations 
were not essential to the discharge of his duty, and were no 
portion of that truth which he was inspired to make known. 

pqiUPPIAKS I. 26. 69 

Nay more, as if to show us that himself recognized such a 
distinction as we have been making, he says — " And now, 
behold, I go bound in the Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing 
the things that shall befall me there;" but he adds, that 
this ignorance was dissipated, though only in a general way — 
" save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying 
that bonds and afflictions abide ma" Acts xx. 22, 23. 
Inspiration for official labour was necessarily bestowed, and 
did not descend to the minor sphere of personal contingencies. 
It did not keep Paul from errors of opinion as to the course 
of his travels — " We were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to 
preach the word in Asia " — " They assayed to go into Bithynia, 
but the Spirit suffered them not." Acts xvi 6, 7. Nor did 
it preserve in him a perfect recollection of the past, for he 
could not tell at the moment how many persons he had bap- 
tized at Corinth. 1 Cor. i 16. We have thus endeavoured 
to meet the difficulty suggested by the text, and such a solution 
is surely better than with many to dilute the plain meaning 
of otSa into prdbahiliter sperare, or to adopt the adventurous 
paraphrase of Peile — " Of this I feel quite sure, that in the 
event of my continuing in the flesh, it will be for your further- 
ance and joy in the faith." 

The apostle now passes from these more personal matters. 
As the hope of revisiting his Philippian converts, and gladden- 
ing them with his presence, rose up before him, he naturally, 
as if in anticipation of this result, and in preparation for it, 
asks them to live and act in the meantime in harmony with 
their profession, especially to cherish a true unity in defence 
of the gospel, and to exhibit a fearless courage in front of 
their antagonists. For their self-possession would be a token 
of perdition to such adversaries, but to themselves one of 
salvation. And this divine augury they were to accept and 
trust in, inasmuch as it was given them to suffer for Christ, 
as well as to believe in Him; faith being the means of 
salvation, and suffering its index. Then, and to inspirit them 
under such tribulation, the apostle likens their conflict to his 
own — such as they had seen it at Philippi, and now heard of 
it as' still raging at Borne. The idea of unity recurs to his 
mind while he speaks of the conflict, for unity was indispens- 
able to success, and he reverts to it in the beginning of next 



chapter. The joy which he anticipated on his visit depended on 
their cultivation of it, and it was essential also to that " fellow- 
ship for the gospel " by which they had been so eminently 
characterized, and for which he gave unceasing thanks to God. 
(Ver. 27.) Movov a%Uas rov evayyeXtov rov Xpurrov iroTu- 
reveaOe — " Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel 
of Christ." The adverb fiovov gives oneness to the advice, 
places it by itself, as if in solitary prominence — " my impres- 
sions being as I have described them, this one or sole thing 
would I enjoin upon you in the meanwhile." In GaL ii 10, 
v. 13, the adverb is used with similar specialty. Here it is 
placed emphatically before the verb, as in Matt. viii. 8, ix. 21, 
xiv. 36. Gersdorf, Beitrdge, etc., p. 488. The verb irdki- 
reveade occurs only here in the Epistles, but is used by the 
apostle of himself. Acts xxiii 1. It denotes to be a citizen 
in a state, or to live as such a citizen, and then generally to 
live, to conduct oneself. Passow, sub voce. In Thucydides 
vi 92, Alcibiades says, in self-vindication, "I kept my 
patriotism only while I enjoyed my civil rights" — eiroXirevOriv; 
but the verb came at length to be used quite vaguely. Here, 
however, it defines life in its public aspect, and is often so 
employed. Thus, in 2 Mace. vi. 1, and xi 25, it occurs with 
vofUH? in the first instance, and S6rj in the second, denoting 
that according to which life is or should be regulated. It is 
found often in Josephus, and is a favourite term with the 
Church Fathers. See Wetstein, Suicer, Krebs, and Loesner 
for examples. The apostle, in similar exhortations, uses 
wepiirarelv, as in Eph. iv. 1 ; CoL i. 10 ; 1 Thess. ii. 12. In 
each of these cases, as here, that verb is construed with a£to>?, 
followed respectively by T179 iXqo-ea?; rov tcvplov, and rov 
Oeov. For a somewhat similar purpose the apostle employs 
avaarpifaaOcu. 1 Tim. iii 15 ; Heb. xiii 18 ; Eph. ii 3. 
A woXlrevfjba is implied, and all who form it, or are its citizens, 
are to demean themselves in harmony with the gospel. For 
the nature of the Christian iroklrevfia, which may have 
suggested this voTureveaOe, see under iii 20. The apostle, in 
his choice of this peculiar verb in preference to his more 
favourite one, looks at them as members of a community, 
bound closely by reciprocal connections, and under obligations 
to various correspondent duties, and therefore " the gospel of 


Christ " should be the norm or standard by which they ought 
to be guided. The genitive rov X. is that of origin — the 
gospel which Jesus has communicated. Winer, however, 
prefers to take it as the genitive of object, § 30, 1. But the 
phrase quoted by him and Ellicott does not sustain their 
view — "the gospel of God concerning His Son." The genitive 
Geov is there that of origin, and the object is introduced by 
irepi Why should evayyikiov X. differ from evayyiTuou 
Geov ? The meaning then is — this sole request do I make, 
live as the gospel prescribes ; and as the genitive rov X. and 
the last clause of the verse would seem to suggest, let your 
church-life be in harmony with its spirit and precepts— that 
rectitude, courage, and love, which Christ illustrated in His 
teaching, and exemplified in His life. And one purpose of 
the injunction was — 

iva eire i\6wv Kal IScov vfias elre airiav a/cowra rk vrepl 
vfjL&v — " in order that, whether having come and seen you, or 
whether being absent, I may hear of your affairs." The con- 
struction is idiomatic ; the verb axowrw belongs properly and 
formally to etre airdav — "or whether being absent, I may 
hear;" but it belongs really also to the first clause — elre 
i\0<i>v, and stands in antithesis to IBwv. The construction is 
therefore not full or perfect, and various supplements have 
been proposed. Meyer suggests that the course of thought is 
—that "whether having come and seen you, I may hear from 
your own mouths how your affairs are, or else being absent, I 
may hear of them from others." But the contrast is too 
specially marked to be thus eked out ; for the idea of being 
present with them and seeing them, carries in it the thought 
that all information would be at once obtained. Others 
supply a verb — " in order that, whether having seen you, or 
whether being absent I hear of your affairs, I may know that 
ye stand fast" De Wette and Alford espouse this view. 
Van Hengel repeats the verb — r"in order that, whether 
having come and seen you, or whether being absent, I hear of 
your affairs, / may hear that ye stand fast" Billiet supposes 
a zeugma — the verb a/covaa) referring specially to tiwrcov, and 
generally, but less correctly, expressing the result of IBwv. 
The verse is informal from its hurried thought — the aicovaa 
being emphatic, and the sense of the first clause remaining 


incomplete. The supposition of his absence is last expressed, 
and that dwelling on his mind moulds or appropriates the 
construction; the verb that would have been used on the 
hypothesis of seeing them is dropped, and that which implies 
his absence is alone expressed. The construction is easily 
understood, and it needs not a formal supplement As a 
question of psychology, it is interesting to note that the 
apostle's mind, though under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, 
moved with perfect ease and freedom, and fell into those 
colloquial idioms and loose disturbed constructions, which so 
naturally happen when a warm-hearted man is rapidly and 
confidentially throwing his thoughts into a letter. By the 
phrase ra irepl vfi&v is meant generally " your affairs or con- 
dition " — not absolutely, as Eheinwald and Matthies suppose, 
for the general phrase ra irepl v/m&v is explained and 
specialized by the clause on ory/cere. Hoelemann's resolution 
of the idiom as an anakolouthon is very clumsy, supposing 
that on may be omitted, and artf/cere (oTqtcrjre) connected 
with foa ; or supposing that the article may be dropt before 
7T€pl vfjL&v, as in the versions of the Vulgate and Syriac 
The precise element of their condition, which the apostle 
wished to hear about, is next told — 

on an^K€T€ h> kvl irpevpan — * that ye are standing in one 
spirit." For the attraction involved in the construction of 
aKowroo with on, see Winer, § 66, 5. The verb ct^kod, 
formed from eo^rrftea, and wholly unknown to classic usage, is 
often used of Christian condition — iv. 1 ; 1 Thess. iii. 8 — 
and often expresses the adjoined idea of permanence or that 
of resolve and promptitude to maintain what is already 
possessed or enjoyed. 1 Cor. xvi. 1 3 ; GaL v. 1 ; 2 Thess. 
ii. 15. The image here is that of spiritual conflict, to which 
unity of action on their part was indispensable. The irvevfia 
is not the Holy Spirit, as is maintained by Erasmus, Beza, 
Matthies, and van Hengel. For the following phrase, fua 
i rv X0> shows that the apostle describes the Christian spirit. 
He hoped to hear that they stood in one spirit — pervaded 
with one genuine spiritual emotion — and not arrayed into 
separate parties with divided sentiments. And he further 
explains what this unity should engage in — 

M 4 ? ^k°XV vwaOXovvre? rjj vlarei rod evayyeXtov — " with 


one soul striving together for the faith of the gospel." It is 
wrong on the part of Ghrysostom and others to join /u£ yfrvj^ 
to <rrrjK€Te. Some of the ancient versions, such as the Syriac 
and Vulgate, follow the same syntax. The participle <rwa£- 
XotWcs, while it points to antagonism, also implies co-opera- 
tion among themselves. The aw refers to themselves, and 
not to any co-operation with the apostle, as Luther, Beza, 
Bengel, van Hengel, and Meyer suppose. The reference in 
ver. 30, to the apostle's own conflict, is to something which 
they had seen in the past, and could imagine in the present — 
something to which their conflict was similar, hut yet separate 
in reality. The object for which or on behalf of which they 
were to contend, is the faith of the gospel, irlarei being the 
dativus commodi, or as Theodoret gives it, tnrkp aXijOeias. 
Jude 3. This is better than, with Calvin, Beza, and Rhein- 
wald, to understand irlaret as the dative of instrument — the 
weapon with which the conflict is to be maintained. The view 
of Erasmus, adopted by Mynster, is still worse, for it personifies 
faith, and paraphrases thus — adjuvantes decertarUem adversus 
impio8 evangelii fidem. By ttlotu evaryyeklov is not meant 
God's calling of the Gentiles without subjecting them to the 
ceremonial law, as Pierce supposes, for Judaizing opponents 
are not in question. Nor can mart* signify objectively the 
system of truth contained in the gospel — a sense which it 
never undisputedly has in the New Testament, though such a 
usage is very frequent among Christian writers of later times. 
In the passages adduced by Bobinson as bearing this sense, 
there will be found the distinctive idea of belief — not truth 
in the aspect of something presented for belief, but of something 
forming the matter of belie£ The apostle uses both nvev/ui 
and ^vxn, and therefore recognized a distinction between 
them. In their separate use they are apparently interchange- 
able ; for though they* really represent different portions or 
aspects of our inner nature, it may be loosely designated by 
either of them. But the adjectives irvev/jtarucoq and tyvxucos 
are contrasted in reference to the body — 1 Cor. xv. 44 ; and 
there is a similar contrast of character in Jude 19. Ilvevfui 
is the higher principle of our spiritual nature, that which 
betokens its divine origin, and which adapts it to receive the 
Holy Spirit, and in which He works and dwells. Viftg, on 

H PHlLttPlANS I. 28. 

the other hand, is the lower principle — the seat of instinct, 
emotions, and other powers connected with the animal life. 
It is allied to icapSta, but irvevfui to vovs. Ilvevfui is the 
term applied generally to Christ in the Gospels ; but in the 
account of the agony ^v^n occurs — tyvxn and awfut make up 
living humanity. Olshausen's Opuscula, p. 145 ; Usteri, 
PavMn. Lehrbeg. p. 404. The Philippians were to stand in 
one spirit, united in their inmost conviction, and they were 
to strive with one soul — those convictions not allowed to be 
latent, but stirring up volition, sympathy, and earnest co- 
operation* Such concord was essential to success, and on 
their possession of it the apostle's joy on his proposed visit to 
Philippi greatly depended. Chap. iL 2. Wiesinger says, 
" even the caricature of true unity of mind and soul, a self- 
formed esprit de corps, what a power it has ! What ought 
our church to be, what might it be, were it but to attest this 
uniting power of the divine Spirit ? " If there be oneness of 
conviction and belief, should there not be " one spirit " ? and 
if there be oneness of feeling, interest, and purpose, should 
there not be " one soul " ? and as concert is indispensable to 
victory, should there not be mutual co-operation — * striving 
together " ? But not only are unity and mutual support 
necessary to this conflict on behalf of the faith — there must 
also be a calm and stedfast courage. 

(Ver. 28.) Kal fir) irrvpofxeuoi iv fiqSevl \nrb r&v avrueeifievcap 
— " And in nothing terrified by the adversaries." Luke xiii. 
17, xxi. 15; 1 Cor. xvi. 9. The participle Trrvpo/ievoi, a 
word originally applied to a sacred animal, 1 is parallel to the 
previous ovva&kovpres. They were to feel a panic in no 
respect, or in nothing were they to manifest trepidation or 
alarm. As those " adversaries " were known to themselves, 
the apostle does not specify them, and whatever their number, 
stratagem, or ferocity, the Philippian athletes were not to 
waver for a moment, far less to retreat. Their enemies were 
either the malignant Jewish or Pagan population which 
surrounded them, and made them " suffer," and before whose 
machinations some might be tempted to a compromise, or 
even to a relapse. The awful explanation is subjoined — 

1 It is applied to sacred horses — Diodorus Sic. ii. 19 ; and it may be followed 
either by the dative or the accusative. 


tJtis iarlv avroU ei/Seifc airaikeias vjjuov Si aayrqpta*;— 
" which is to them a token of perdition, but to you of your 
salvation." The reading is disputed. The words ^t*? iarlv 
avroU have weighty authority. Some MSS., such as A, B, 
C*, have vfuov, but some, not of equal value, have v/uv, and 
others rjfuv. Meyer, Lachmann, and Alford prefer vp&v, as if 
v/uv had been corrected and adapted to airrok. The relative 
#w is feminine by attraction with £i/8tt£t?, and has for its 
antecedent the preceding clausa Winer, § 24, 3 ; Kiihner, § 
786, 3. The peculiar form of this pronoun is also explicative, 
or expresses an opinion. Eph. iii 13. "And in nothing 
intimidated by your adversaries : inasmuch as this non-alarm 
on your part is a token to them of perdition, but to you of 
salvation." The noun evheifc is "evidence" marked and 
manifest Bom. iii 25 ; 2 Cor. viii 24. The Vetus Itala 
renders it by ostensio, and the Vulgate by causa, a rendering 
which Erasmus and a-Lapide attempted to shield, and which, 
though Beelen does not receive it, seems to have suggested to 
him the following strange statement — Obiter nota, perspicue 
hie doceri dogma de merito honorum operum. 'Air&teia, in 
contrast with aarnjpia, is spiritual ruin, and avroU is governed 
by evBeifc. The courage of the sufferer is proof to the 
persecutor of his sin, whether he will take it or not, and is 
also a witness to himself of his final bliss and safety. Very 
strange is the turn which Pierce gives to the clause — " which 
conduct of yours they will esteem a certain evidence of your 
destruction." This is against the plain meaning. Pierce 
wrongly supposes the adversaries to be Judaizers, and with 
such men it is no new thing to make those things conditions 
of salvation which God has not, and " then unmercifully to 
damn those who do not submit to them." The token to the 
adversary of his perdition must be, that in the unshaken 
stedfastness of the Christian sufferer, he may infer the truth 
of the belief which sustains him so to do and dare, and learn 
what must be his own doom, if he continue to oppose 
it, and persecute its adherents. On the other hand, 
were the adversary to terrify the convert, or induce 
him to hesitate or recant, then such cowardice or vacilla- 
tion would naturally lead him to despise a religion which 
could be so easily renounced, or was valued less than 


life, and he would be confirmed in his blindness and 
cruelty: — 

teal tovto diro Geov — " and this from God." The reference 
in tovto is to the sentiment of the whole verse, and not, as 
Matthies and Hoelemann hold, to the perdition and salvation; 
nor simply to the salvation, as Calvin, Piscator, and Matt 
argue ; nor yet, as Wolf and Alford take it, merely to SpSeiljis. 
Neither can tovto refer to the following verse, as Clement of 
Alexandria 1 and Theodoret understand it, followed by Am 
Ende and Rilliet. In Eph. ii. 8, 1 Cor. vi 6, the reference 
in a similar tovto is to a previous sentiment, and in the verse 
before us the construction, on any other hypothesis, would be 
awkward and tautological. It is not the token itself which is 
from God, but the token with what it points to, and what 
gives it significancy. The courageous constancy of the 
sufferer is a sign to the adversary of his perdition, and to its 
own possessor of salvation, and the whole is of God. Not 
simply salvation, but the token of salvation ; not simply per- 
dition, but the token of it — this unique and singular pheno- 
menon is of God. Rom. viii. 17; 2 Tim. ii. 12; 2 Thess* 
i. 5. The apostle, in the next place, proves and illustrates 
the statement. 

(Ver. 29.) "Oti vfilv ixapurOrj to inrep Xpwrov ov fiovov 
to eh amov wiaTeveiv, aXXct teal to inrep avrov irdoyeiv — 
" For to you was it granted, on behalf of Christ not only to 
believe on Him, but also on behalf of Him to suffer." The 
pronoun ifiiv has an emphatic prominence. The aorist is 
used, as the apostle refers indefinitely to an early period of 
their past Christian history ; but that the suffering continued, 
also, to the moment of his writing, is evident from the follow- 
ing ej£oiT€$. As Wiesinger remarks, Meyer wrongly confines 
oti to the confirmation of the clause teal tovto airo Geov. 
We understand the reference to be broader, to cover, in fact, 
the statement of the entire preceding verse. It is not simply 
— the token to you is of God, for on you He has conferred 
the double grace of faith and suffering ; but it is — you have a 
token of salvation which others have not ; for, while others 
have faith, you have more. You are called to suffer, and 
your courage in suffering is an augury of salvation. Had 

1 Strom, iv. p. 510 ; Opera, Colonise, 1688. 


you not been privileged to suffer as well as to believe, this 
peculiar token had not been enjoyed. Or, why have you this 
token of salvation in your own Christian fortitude ? Because 
God has given you to suffer, as well as to believe. Faith in 
Christ is the means of salvation ; but suffering is the evident 
token of salvation. The one secures it, the other foreshows 
it. The martyr is not saved, indeed, because he suffers ; but 
his undaunted suffering betokens a present Saviour and a 
near salvation. 

The construction of the next clause is reduplicated. After 
saying to xnrep X., the apostle seems to have intended to add 
irdayeiv ; but he interjects a new thought — oi povov — for 
the sake of an illustrative emphasis, and then resumes by 
repeating tnrkp avrov. There is no occasion to suppose a 
pleonasm. The construction indicates a natural and full- 
minded writer, who sometimes interrupts the regular flow 
of his thoughts by the sudden insertion of a modifying or 
explanatory clause, and then at once resumes, by a formal or 
a virtual repetition of the connecting words. Rom. iii. 25, 
26 ; Eph. i. 13. The English version is therefore wrong in 
taking to inrkp X. absolutely — "to you it is given in the 
behalf of Christ." It is a weak dilution of the phrase inrkp 
Xpi<rrov, to render it " in Christ's cause," as is done by Mat- 
thies and Eilliet, after Beza and Zanchius. The suffering has 
a reference as personal as the faith — ek avrov — inrep avrov. 
The apostle felt that Christ's cause and Himself were one ; 
nay more, so personal was the love of the early Christians, so 
much did the Eedeemer Himself stand out in close relation 
to themselves, that the mere abstract idea of his cause never 
occurred to them. It was Himself on whom they believed, 
and not the testimony given by the apostles concerning Him. 
It was Himself for whom they suffered, and not for their 
own convictions and belief about Him. It had been given 
them, not only to believe on Christ, but also to suffer for 
Him — a double gift; and though the apostle does not say 
which is the higher, yet certainly that which shows the path 
may be inferior only to that which has opened it. Matt. v. 
11, 12; Rom. v. 3 ; 2 Cor. xii 10. Such suffering in 
believers, who, nevertheless, are in nothing terrified by their 
adversaries, is a divine gift, as well as faith, and indeed pre* 


supposes it; for no one can suffer for Christ till he has 
believed on Him. While then to eh airrbv irurrevew is 
Spyavov aooTrjplas, this to vrrep Xpurrov iraayeiv becomes 
&06t£t9 <T(OTi}pla<;. The older expositors strain the apostle's 
language, when they employ it as a polemical weapon against 
different forms of Pelagianism: for he simply regards their 
condition generally and in both its features as a divine gift, 
or as the result of God's kindness. While their own adher- 
ence to Christianity exposed them to suffering, and the malice 
of unbelief wantonly wreaked itself upon them, yet this 
suffering is viewed as of a higher origin. The apostle is not 
teaching dogmatically that faith is of God's inworking ; but 
he is telling historically that faith and suffering had been 
theirs, and that the coexistence of the two being a privilege 
of divine bestowment, warranted them to regard their un- 
daunted belief as a token of salvation. The reasons adduced 
by Chrysostom and his followers for the apostle's sentiment 
cannot be all sustained. The object of the apostle is to 
encourage the Philippian church, and not, as Chrysostom 
supposes, to warn it against pride, by ascribing its faith and 
its suffering alike to God. The Greek father dwells on the 
value of the gift, and uses this striking comparison — this 
divine gift is higher than raising the dead ; " for, in this case, 
I am only a debtor ; " but, " in the other " (" if I suffer for 
Christ "), " I have Christ as a debtor to me." The language 
is bold, indeed, and rhetorical, and not without an element of 
truth. But deductions like these are rather far-fetched ; nor 
do the apostle's words warrant them. His one object is to 
inspirit the Christians at Philippi, by showing that undaunted- 
ness in the midst of their tribulation would be an evidence of 
salvation granted by God ; for the twofold gift of faith and 
suffering is from Him, the one as securing, and the other as 
foretokening salvation. The apostle now associates himself 
with his suffering brethren— 

(Ver. 30.) Tbv avrbv ay&pa e^oine? olov ethere iv ipol /cal 
vvv cucovere iv ipoi — " As you have the same conflict which 
you saw in me, and now hear of in me." The construction is 
changed to the nominative — vfieh being directly before the 
writer's mind — you the sufferers ; the clause with vpiv being 
so far subsidiary, but not making a formal parenthesis 


Winer, § 63, I, 2 ; Kiihner, § 677. The apostle describes 
their straggle by asserting its similarity to his own, as if to 
show them that such suffering might have been anticipated, 
and that it ought, by them as by him, to be borne in hope 
and patience. 

The form elSere is the true reading, and is now generally 
adopted. The last phrase — iv ifioL — is not, as the Vulgate 
renders it — de me. It supposes the ideal presence of those to 
whom he wrote, and points out the scene of conflict. They 
had seen his conflict with enemies on his first visit to them — 
Acts xvi. 1 6, etc. ; 1 Thess. ii. 2 — and they now heard in 
this epistle of his being engaged at Borne in a similar warfare. 
The apostle seems to allude to what he had been stating as to 
his condition at Borne, and to the personal antagonism which 
he encountered. Meyer refers us back to verse 7, overlooking 
what the apostle had just been writing about himself. It is 
both on the part of the Philippians and himself a conflict with 
personal enemies or non-believers — not precisely with teachers 
of false doctrine. The apostle, while some preached of envy 
and strife against him, was imprisoned, and these rival 
preachers thought to stir up affliction to his bonds, but failed, 
while his enemies and accusers strove, no doubt, to bring him 
to trial and death. There may have been a party from 
Palestine waiting to charge him before the emperor's tribunal ; 
and with them, and all whom they instigated to seek his life, 
he was in conflict. It is evident that he spoke from experi- 
ence when he tells the Philippians of the double grace of faith 
and suffering — verses 7 and 29. 

The entire paragraph, though it do not take the form of 
admonition after the first clause of verse 27, is still to the 
same effect ; and the apostle, by so earnestly describing the 
condition of which he wished to hear as belonging to them, 
virtually exhorts them to seek and maintain it. If he hoped 
to hear certain things about them, such as their straggle in 
concert for the faith of the gospel, and their unscared courage 
before their enemies, it is implied that they should possess 
those features of social state and character. And what is this 
when divested of these immediate peculiarities, but that 
" fellowship for the gospel," on account of which he thanked 
God on his whole remembrance of them, and which had dis- 

80 PH1LIPPIANS l ao. 

tinguished them * from the first day until now " ? In the 
5th verse, he mentions generally " fellowship for the gospel " 
as the prime distinction of the Philippian church; and in 
this last section he only throws it into bold relief, by describ- 
ing the united struggle it necessitated, the opposition it 
encountered, and the calm intrepidity which it ought ever to 


The apostle's mind has been carried away for a moment by 
a reference to the hostility which was frowning upon the 
Philippian church. But he immediately reverts to the 
admonition which he had started in verse 27. His theme 
is unity, the cultivation of the feelings which maintain 
it, &nd the repression of that selfishness and pride which 
always retard and so often destroy it He had joy in their 
spiritual welfare, but he would have fulness of joy in their 
harmony and love. Therefore he solemnly calls upon them 
by four distinct appeals, to fill up the measure of his gladness. 
His earnestness makes it evident that he apprehended the 
existence among them of a spirit of jealousy, selfishness, and 
faction. This suspicion haunted and grieved him, or at least 
it moderated that delight which he would otherwise have felt 
in them, and which he so ardently longed to possess. His 
happiness would be at its height, provided that the one soul 
and the one mind reigned in the church. What a motive to 
conciliation and peace lay in the thought that his joy was so 
far dependent on the absence of feuds and schisms among 
them ! Could they be so unthinking as to grieve their apostle 
by any report of their differences ? And they were to beware 
of strife and vainglory as elements of disunion, and to cherish 
a spirit of humility and kind regard for one another's welfare. 
For Christ is then held up as the great model of self-denying 
condescension — He whom as Master, they had engaged to 
obey ; and whom as Example, they were pledged to imitate. 

(Ver. 1.) El T4? o$v. The illative particle oiv carries us 
back in thought to verse 27, and not to the clauses immediately 
before it The " exhortation " and " comfort " are not spoken 
of, as Barnes supposes, in reference to the afflictions and perse- 
cutions just referred to. They had been exhorted to " stand 
fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together ; " and now 
they are solemnly adjured to study unanimity of opinion and 


action. The simple verb iari is to be supplied to the clauses. 
The structure of the appeal is peculiar. In using el, the apostle 
does not doubt the existence of these graces or feelings either 
absolutely, or as existing among the Philippians ; but he says, 
If these do exist among you, put them into action, or manifest 
them, so as to fill up my joy. The admonition amounts in fact 
to an adjuration. Hoogeveen, Doctr. Part. ed. Schtitz, p. 151. 1 
By the existence of such graces among you — by the exhorta- 
tion which is in Christ, by the comfort of love, by the fellow- 
ship of the Spirit, and by the attachments and sympathies of 
the gospel, I adjure you to fulfil my joy by being like-minded. 
That is to say, the four clauses are really so many arguments 
why the Philippian church should perfect the apostle's happi- 
ness by their constant and cordial oneness of judgment and 
pursuit. And these four clauses, beginning each with the 
same formula el t*9, mark the intensity of the apostle's desire ; 
the arguments so expressed possessing a distinct individual 
power, and having also a united energy arising from their 
rapid accumulation. For the' apostle writes, as Chrysostom 
describes his style — \tirapm, a<j)oBpm 9 fiera avfnraOeCas 

El tw oiv Trapatckriaw iv Xpurr$— "If there be any 
exhortation in Christ" In the modal phrase iv X/hot$>, the 
preposition ev means neither per nor propter, means neither 
"by" Christ, nor "on account of" Christ, as Storr and Hein- 
richs are disposed to render it The words are taken by some 
to denote the sphere of this irapcucXrfa^ ; by others to point 
out its source. In the one case, the meaning is, " if in Christ 
there be any exhortation;" in the other, if "there be any 
consolation felt," or " if ye have any consolation through union 
with Christ " — in communione Christi, as van Hengel dilutes 
it. We prefer the former, viewing Trapdtckrjai? as objective. 
Bemote from the right exegesis is the idea of Erasmus and 
Am Ende, that iv X. is for T0I9 iv X. — " among those who 
are Christians." Our exegesis does not, as van Hengel affirms, 
require jj iv X. Winer, § 20, 2. 

The noun Trapatckyo'i*:, and its verb, have two distinct 
meanings in the New Testament — that of exhortation, but 
different from SiSdatteip ; and that of comfort or encourage- 

1 As in Iliad, i. 40 ; ^Eneid, iii. 443. 


ment. Examples of both are so numerous that they need 
not be quoted. The meanings are allied in this way, that 
the exhortation is often intended to impart comfort, or results 
in it Thus, Kom. xv. 4 — Swfc 7% irapa/ckqaews r&v ypcuf>S)v, 
is not simply through the consolation contained in Scripture, 
but the body of consolatory truth which Scripture exhibits ; 
or, again, Matt. ii. 18 — 'Pa](tj\. — ovk tfdeke TrapatcXrjOijvai — 
" Eachel would not be comf orted," would not feel the effect 
of words of condolence and solace presented to her. See 
1 Cor. i 10, and many other places. We do not thus take 
it here in its specifically Hellenistic sense of comfort, as is 
done by the Vulgate, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Calvin, Grotius, 
and Heinrichs, but rather in that of exhortation or hortatory 
power. 1 Cor. xiv. 3; 2 Cor. viii 4; 1 Thess. ii 3, 11. 
Such is the view of Luther, Bos, De Wette, van Hengel, 
Sheinwald, and Meyer. Those who give the noun the meaning 
of comfort, add the idea of affording comfort to the apostle. 
Thus Theodoret — el nva ipol irapdtcKrjaiv irpoaeveyiceZv 
fiovXeade — "if ye wish to afford me any comfort." Such 
also is the view of Calvin. The supposition of Peter Lom- 
bard is as baseless — viz., that the apostle means personal 
consolation found in the possession of spiritual blessing. But 
it is not warranted by the words, nor the strain of address ; 
nor yet is the notion of Storr and others, who, giving a 
peculiar emphasis to tw, render — " if exhortation tendered in 
Christ's name is of any value among you." We therefore 
take Trapaic\i}<ns as meaning that kind of exhortation which 
moves or induces, and which has its sphere of action in Christ. 

The nature of this hortative address is to be gathered from 
the context. It is not simply exhortation to good, derived 
from the pardon which Christ bestows, the Spirit which He 
sends down, the power which He communicates, or the example 
which He has bequeathed. But it is implied that it is 
exhortation to unity and concord — exhortation which has its 
element, and by consequence finds its power in Christ. The 
apostle exhorts, but, in doing so, he leads them at the same 
time to a Higher. than himself: — 

el tl wapafivOiov ar^airt]^ — " if any comfort of love." As 
in the former case, very many render this term vaguely by 
* comfort j " but Matthies, De Wette, van Hengel, and Hoele- 


maun, assign it rather the sense of encouragement — hlandum 
colloquium. With the latter we are disposed to agree, for we 
think that this sense prevails uniformly in the New Testament. 
John xi. 19 — Many of the Jews came to Martha -and Mary — 
Xva irapafwdqa-onrnu aura? — "that they might speak kind 
words to them." So 1 Thess. ii. 11, and 1 Thess. v. 14 — 
where the phrase occurs — irapaiivO&rOe tov? oX^yo^rt^ov? — 
"encourage the weak-minded." The noun therefore means 
verbal encouragement, kind conversation, or that tender address 
which cheers or excites. The neuter form of the word only 
occurs here, but another and earlier form 1 is found — 1 Cor. 
xiv. 3 — XaXel oltco&ofjLrjv teal irapdxXrja'iv tcai irapajwdiav — 
"uttereth edification, and exhortation, and comfort" The 
following noun aydirrj? is the genitive of source. The apostle 
does not mean his own love to them, as van Hengel and 
Bretschneider suppose ; nor yet does he specially allude, as 
Heinrichs, Schrader, and Storr imagine, to consolation or love 
specially on the part of the Philippians towards himself. The 
expression is general If there exist the " comfort of love," 
and that it does exist the apostle does not doubt, then he 
calls upon them to fulfil his joy. For if such irapapvdiov 
springs from love, should it not exercise itself in disarming 
prejudice, in hushing strife, in smoothing asperities, in remov- 
ing misunderstandings, in preventing aberrations, and generally, 
by " its still small voice," knitting together the members of the 
church, and charming away those evils which so seriously 
endanger its peace? The apostle thus appeals to another 
basis of harmony— ^love, and its winning tongue : — 

et t*9 icoiv&via irvevfiaTos — " if any fellowship of the Spirit," 
the genitive being that of object, as in 1 Cor. i. 9. That this 
striking expression denotes only community of feeling among 
themselves, or between them and the apostle, is the view of 
many expositors, though some of them, as De Wette, Usteri,* 
Eilliet, van Hengel, and Wiesinger, speak of such common 
feeling as produced by the Holy Ghost We feel that such a 
meaning does not come up to the Pauline phrase, and that it 
is to the Holy Spirit that the apostle refers. For instances 

1 As to the comparative age, etc., of nouns in <« and »», see Lobeck, ad Phryn. 
p. 517. 
8 Paulin. Lehrbeg. p. 295. 


of irvevfia, etc., with and without the article, see under Epk 
i. 17. Wiesinger admits, that in the apostolic benediction, 
2 Cor. xiii. 14, the phrase may have such a signification; 
but, indeed, what other could it have there ? Nay, he adds, 
" How remote would the connection be, between the existence 
of such a fellowship with the Spirit of God, and the exhorta- 
tion which follows — ' fulfil ye my joy ' ! " This appears to us 
to be a total and unaccountable misapprehension. For the 
fellowship of the Divine Spirit is the very basis of that like- 
mindedness, the existence and development of which the 
apostle covets among them. That correct apprehension of the 
same truths which leads to like-mindedness, the felt reception 
of common blessings which creates one-heartedness, position 
in the church as an organic unity which guards against schism 
— all is effected by the Spirit of God, of whom they partake. 
If there be the joint participation of the Spirit, as indeed there 
is, then it becomes a mighty inducement and power in securing 
the concord which would fulfil the apostle's joy, and give them 
the elements of character which he immediately depicts. For, 
then, participation of the Spirit would produce similarity of 
tastes, pursuits, and predilections ; nay, this tcoivcovla irvevfiaT&i 
was the real basis of that icowtovia cfc to evar/yikiov to which 
he had already adverted : — 

elm trrrXdyxya teal olfcrcpfioi — " if any bowels and mercies." 
The singular form — -ti$ — has the preponderant authority of 
A, B, C, D, E, F, G, J ; and of the Greek fathers, Chrysostom, 
(Ecumenius, and Theophylact, and has therefore been received 
by Griesbach, Scholz, and Lachmann. But Winer rejects it, 
§59, 5, 1 b, etc. Tischendorf also, in spite of all this evidence, 
has riva in his text, and he is followed by Alford and Ellicott 
Meyer says that riva is necessary; De Wette, that *ro is 
grammatically impossible. These critics look upon w as a 
copyist's blunder; but how could such an ungrammatical 
blunder be so widely circulated ? There was some tempta-, 
tion to change tis into riva, but none to write *w, which 
would have the appearance of a grievous solecism. It is 
needless to imagine, with van Hengel, that the apostle wrote 
el <rir\dyx va > an( ^ that the pronoun, from a pedantic desire of 
uniformity, was inserted by some transcriber. Nor will it 

1 See Moulton's edition of Winer, p. 661, note 8. 


86 fhilippians n. 1. 

do, as some propose, to supply eget for oltcripfiol, for that 
would be a yet greater difficulty. We are disposed to think 
that the anomaly is only formal. The two nouns <nr\dyxya 
and oifCTipfjLol are technically plural, though singular in mean- 
ing, and having only the plural form in the New Testament, 
came, like similar words, to be treated as singulars in sense. 
Both as representing one Hebrew plural contain only one 
idea, so that the last of them is sometimes put in the genitive 
— " bowels of mercy." Standing out to the apostle's mind as 
one generic idea, he prefixed the singular to?, just as we say, 
in common English — " if there is any news." In the same 
way the phrase — " bowels of mercy " — is taken as one Chris- 
tian characteristic. The substantive aifkarfyya represents 
the Hebrew t^pnn, and denotes the thoracic viscera, or as we 
say — " heart" OUrtpfiol represents the same Hebrew term 
without a figure. See under CoL iii. 12 ; Tittmann, Synon. 
i. p. 69; Fritzsche, ad Bom. ii 315. The bearing of this 
on the unity of the church is very apparent — that union 
which is described in the following verse by various connected 
epithets. For where tender feeling, as expressed by <rir\arfxya, 
does not exist, such union is impossible. Universal callous- 
ness would be universal antipathy. And then, as offences 
must come — and do often come — as one member may hurt 
his neighbour by love of pre-eminence, stiff adherence to his 
own opinion, or depreciation of such as differ from him, there 
is need for the exercise of these " mercies " in forgiving a 
brother's trespass up to " seventy times seven." By the 
existence of such kind and compassionating temper, the 
apostle pleads that they should fulfil his joy. 

The relation of these four clauses has been variously under- 
stood. Calovius takes the " love " of the second clause as 
the love of God, and imagines that in the three clauses there 
is a reference to the Trinity, Son, Father, and Spirit This 
dogmatic notion does not harmonize with the tenor of the 
context Meyer again takes the first and third as objective, 
and the second and fourth as subjective. This is true so far, 
and he supposes all the four things described as existing on 
the part of the readers of the epistle, as if it were said, " If 
there be among you exhortation in Christ," etc. But we rather 
regard each as absolute, and this is the strongest way of 


putting the case. The apostle does not say " among you," 
but speaks in general terms. It is implied, indeed, that such 
qualifications or arguments for unity were among them ; but 
the apostle specifies them in themselves, without asserting 
them to be embodied in the Philippian community. Wiesinger 
again takes the two first clauses as representing what pro- 
ceeds from the apostle ; and the third and fourth, what is to 
exist on the part of his readers. He supposes the irapafcXtja-t^ 
and irapafivOiov to be tendered by the apostle, and the 
" fellowship of the Spirit," and " bowels and mercies," to exist 
among the Philippians. But his argument against Meyer 
may be turned against himself — " Why should not the apostle 
have expressed this, if such was his meaning ? " There being 
in short no indication of any change of reference, all the four 
clauses must be similar. There seems to be no warrant for 
adding any formal reference, either to himself or his readers, 
to any of them. It is as if he had said, If there be such an 
impulsive power as exhortation in Christ ; if there be such a 
preventive of strife as the kind speech of love ; if there be 
such a basis of unity as the fellowship of the Spirit ; if there 
be such a guard and balance as loving and compassionating 
temper, — then I adjure you by these to fulfil my joy by your 
visible and growing harmony. 

(Ver. 2.) n\rjp<ocraT€ fiov rijv x a P^ v — " Fulfil ye my joy ; " 
that is, make my joy full or perfect. The pronoun is, as 
often, placed before its governing substantive. Winer, § 22, 
7, 1 ; Gersdorf, Beitr. 456. He rejoiced over them, and in 
their spiritual welfare; but he enjoins them by all these 
considerations to give him perfect gladness in them. If a 
spirit of unity reigned among them, it would be the fulness 
of his joy : — 

ha to avro Qpovrjre — " that you think the same thing." 
The conjunction ha indicates purpose. The object of his 
obtestation was, that they might possess unanimity, and that 
is represented to his own mind by ha. But in such a form 
of expression, and after the imperative, that purpose assumes 
the aspect of result. He besought them, by all the arguments 
of the previous verse, to fulfil his joy, but that is only per- 
sonal and incidental ; for above and beyond it, and yet 
connected with it as its cause, the ultimate end he sought 


was their concord and union. It is clumsy in van Hengel 
to make Xva dependent on a ravrrjp understood before x a P^ p - 
Bengel regards the clauses as four in number, and as corre- 
sponding in order to the four arguments of the previous verse. 
This is more ingenious than sound. Only three clauses are 
employed by the apostle to depict that condition of the church 
in which he should so heartily rejoice. Nor is there very 
material difference among them. The first clause is the more 
general, or it describes the result which the apostle proposed 
to himself in so solemnly counselling them — " that ye think 
the same thought/' The last clause brings back the same 
idea strengthened — " with united soul thinking the one thing ; " 
while the intermediate clause may be taken to specify the 
means by which the double result is obtained — " having the 
same love." Hoelemann refers to avro to the sentiments of 
the previous verse, but this connection is unwarranted in 
itself, and by the ordinary use of to avro, as in Bom. xii. 16, 
xv. 5, 2 Cor. xiii. 11, and in the same epistle, iv. 2 ; nor 
can it mean, idem atque ego. Some, as Meyer and Wiesinger, 
look on the first clause as more fully defined by those which 
succeed it. Beza takes the first as the theme, and the others 
as the expansion of it. Calvin divides the idea, giving one 
clause a reference to doctrine, and one to the exercise of 
mutual charity. Musculus, Crocius, Am Ende, and Matthies 
hold a similar view, As we have indicated, we take the first 
phrase as denoting that result which the apostle coveted, and 
held up to himself as his chief design in this earnest and 
tender injunction. This " thinking of the same thing " is not 
to be confined to any sphere of opinion, but to all that might 
occupy their minds, or to all that pertained to the church. 
Not in trade, politics, or the common concerns of life, indeed, 
but in all things on which, as members of the church, they 
might be expected to form a judgment, they were to think 
the same thing, or to come to a unanimous decision. And 
this would not be a difficult achievement if they followed the 
next counsel : — 

ttjv avTrjv arfdirrfv fyovre? — u having the same love." We 
regard this as the great or only source and accompaniment of 
unanimity, though Chrysostom takes it as synonymous with 
the preceding clause, Equal love would develop equal 

PfllLimANS II. 2. 89 

opinions. The head would be ruled by the heart. The effect 
of mutual affection in creating oneness of sentiment is of daily 
experience. Seeming diversities are cemented, like as lumps 
of various metals, cast into the crucible, come out in refined 
and perfect amalgamation. Offensive individualism disappears 
in brotherly love : — 

o-vjjtyvxpi rb h/ <f>povovvres — " with union of soul minding 
the one thing." The use of this compound adjective, which 
occurs only here in the New Testament, intensifies the clause, 
as the third expression of a somewhat similar sentiment, and 
therefore it is most naturally taken along with the participle. 
It is not only — " that ye mind the same thing/' but — " f ellow- 
souled," or " in deep sympathy minding the one thing." We 
want English terms for those expressive Greek compounds. 
Van Hengel looks on this epithet, o-vptyvxpt,, as pointing out the 
source of the " same love." We regard it rather as a special 
result, as expressing that state of heart which this sameness 
of love produces, which, binding each to each, makes them to 
be like-souled — ofiolw? ical <f>Ckelv teal <f>iXel<T0ac (Chrysos.). 
This last clause brings up the sentiment of the first in a more 
earnest and distinct form. To avoid a supposed tautology, 
Wells long ago proposed to give to ev the sense of * the one 
thing needful ; " while Grotius, followed by Bishop Middleton, 
assigns it a reference to the following verse — minding this 
one thing, viz. doing nothing in a factious spirit. The dis- 
tinction made by Tittmann, and the reference suggested by 
him to the fourth verse, are both artificial (De Synon. p. 68). 
The apostle's ordinary phrase is ro a&ro, and this peculiar 
form occurs only here. It is probable that to* ev differed 
very little from to avro, or only as being the stronger expres- 
sion. This accumulation of clauses as the result of mental 
excitement and anxiety, imparts intensity to the counsel, 
without making any formal climax. His soul glowed as it 
dwelt on its theme ; and recurrent phrases, not frigid repeti- 
tions, are the natural expressions of its warmth. The same 
earnestness accounts for the connection of the verb with its 
own participle, tjypovfjre — <f>povovvr€<; ; Jelf, § 705, 3 ; Lobeck, 
Paralip. p. 532. The two idioms are sometimes used in the 
same sentence, as in Xenophon, Cyropced. p. 58, ed. Hutch.; 
or in Polybius, i 4 — wpo? hva /cal tov avrbv okottov ; or in 

90 raiuppuNs ii. s. 

Latin, idemque et unum, Sueton. Nero, 4, 3 ; unum atque idem, 
Cicero, Cat. 4, 7. "Ev, without the article, would, as Green 
says (Greek Oram. p. 201), "signify numerical unity, as 
opposed to plurality, but the abstract implies uniformity, as 
contrasted with diversity." The reference does not seem to 
be to any apprehended differences on matters of faith, but 
simply to such differences as might arise in ecclesiastical 
relationship. Toward one another they were to feel, speak, 
and act in this spirit, so that inviolable unity should charac- 
terize them. 

It is true that the apostle repeats virtually the same idea. 
Bafiai, says Chrysostom, iroo-d/cis rb avrb \eyei afro Bcadecrea)^ 
TroWifc. Yet, as we have said, we think it is not mere repe- 
tition, the first clause with Xva describing the purpose or the 
coveted result ; the second pointing out in what spirit it is to 
be obtained; the third expressing a closer intimacy which 
ends in thinking the same thing, or being actually and visibly 
one-minded. The apostle then warns them : — 

(Ver. 3.) Mrj&ev Kara ipiOeiav firjBk Kara K€vo&ot;{av — 
"Minding nothing in the spirit of faction and vainglory." 
The reading is doubtful. Instead of fj^rfie, the Eeceived Text 
has fj, which, however, has not the same amount of external 
authority as /<w;8e Kara. 

The apostle here rebukes the passions which are so fatal to 
union, The best supplement is <f>povouvre<; — not iroiovvres, as 
so many suppose ; the former being more in unison with the 
train of thought. The common and modal sense of Kara glides 
sometimes into that of occasion and motive (Winer, § 49, d) ; 
but here it retains its first signification. It tells how, or 
after what way, the action of the supplied participle is done. 
With the first of the nouns, 6* is used — i 17 — and presents a 
different aspect of relation. On the meaning of the first noun, 
see under i. 17. In its connection with /cevoSogia, one peculiar 
aspect of its meaning is brought out, and that is, that it does 
not signify contention for the love of it, troubling the waters 
to enjoy the confusion, but such contention as tends and is 
designed to secure pre-eminence. It is self-seeking — the rest- 
less battle to be first, no matter what opposition be encoun- 
tered, or whose feelings or interests may suffer. KevoBoljla 
occurs only here in the New Testament. Wisdom xiv. 14. 


This self-conceit is silly, indeed, but prejudicial to peace* 
Inordinate self-display absorbs brother-love. What I think is 
soundest, what I propose is best, my reasons are irrefragable, 
and my schemes cannot be impugned ; to differ from me is 
evidence of want of judgment ; and to oppose me must be 
ascribed to consummate folly or unpardonable obstinacy. I 
must lead ; why should not I ? all must follow ; and why 
should not they ? 

aXXd rjj Ta7r€ivo<ppo<Tvvr) aW^Xov? fjyovjjkevoi inrepixovra? 
kavr&v — " but in humility regarding others as better than them- 
selves." The words t§ Tairewofypocmr} are not to be joined to 
the participle, as dativus excellentice, or as forming norma 
judicii, as if the meaning were, Let each regard- the other on 
account of his humility, better than himself. Baumgarten- 
Crusius thus gives it, and then eulogizes it as ein sinnreicher 
Sprueh. But the position of the words plainly joins them to 
the participle ^youficvoi, and they are a modal dative, not, 
however, exchangeable with /card and an accusative, or they 
may be a dynamical and influential dative, meaning " in " or 
" under the influence of " humility. The article is prefixed 
to the noun as an abstract term — the virtue of humility. 
Kuhner, §485; Middleton, on Greek Article, p. 91. This 
humility is one of the distinctive features of Christianity, for 
it rests in absolute dependence upon God for everything. 
Some of the heathen sages might arrive at its meaning, so far 
as creaturely relations could teach it But that meaning is 
immeasurably deepened by the aspect of a sinner's relation to 
a Bedeemer, who died for him in his state of utter unworthi- 
ness, bestows upon him blessings to which he has no claims, 
and notwithstanding all his demerits, maintains the spiritual 
life within him. Ever unworthy, and yet ever receiving, 
yea, having nothing that he has not received, how lowly the 
opinion one should ever form of himself ! l See under Eph. 
iv. 2; CoL iii. 12. This humility, placed here as the con- 
trast to self-seeking and vainglory, was to be the spirit in 
which they should regard one another. It is the true way of 
forming an estimate. Humility dispels the self-importance 
which is continually taking and asserting the measure of its 
own claims, when it comes into contact with others. The 

1 Neander, Oeschichte der Pflanz. p. 759 ; Trench on Synon. p. 71. 


one bids its possessor undervalue all about him ; the other 
bids him prefer them. The motto of the former is — first, 
either first or nothing ; the sentiment of the latter is-r-" less 
than the least of all saints." The older casuists, and many 
commentators, refer to the difficulty of forming such an estimate 
of others. Is it possible to regard all others as superior to 
ourselves? But the answer is not difficult Every man 
that knows his own heart finds, and must find, much in it to 
give him a low estimate of himself, and he cannot tell what 
graces may be cherished in the bosoms of those around him ; 
they may be superior to his own. Nor has he any cause to 
be vain of any gifts conferred on him — " What maketh thee 
to differ ? " The original gift, and the impulse to cultivate it, 
are alike from above. Not that any man is to underrate him- 
self, or in any way to conceal his gifts or graces, for he would 
by such a spurious modesty be contravening the design of 
the great Benefactor. Non tarn stultce humilitatis, said 
Luther, ut dissimulare velim dona Dei in me collata. Humi- 
lity is not undue self- depreciation, but may coexist with 
fervent gratitude for gifts enjoyed, a thorough consciousness 
of their number and value, and the utmost desire to lay out 
"the ten talents" to the utmost possible advantage. But 
where there is self-assertion or rivalry to secure the " chief 
seat" and win applause, then the impulses of such vanity 
necessarily create alienation and disorder. There is no 
warrant to make the distinction of Storr, referring " strife " 
to the Jew ; or of Ehemwald, referring " vainglory " to the 
philosophic Gentile. 

(Ver. 4.) Mi) ra iavr&v eKaaroi kfkoitovvtgs aXka teal rci 
eripoDv etcaoroi — "Looking each of you not to your own 
things, but each of you also to the things of others." The 
plural e/cao-roi is preferred on good authority, such as A, B, 
F, G, etc., though in other cases it occurs only in the singular, 
and the participle <rieoirovvre<; is preferred to roojrare, as the 
reading of A, B, C, D, E, F, G. This counsel is still in unison 
with the preceding advices. Some understand it as explana- 
tory of the third verse — Kegard not every man his own virtues 
and excellencies, but regard also the virtues and excellencies 
of others. Calvin, Musculus, Raphelius, Kiel, 1 Hoelemann, 

1 Opu8Ctda, p. 172 ; Lipsiae, 1821. 

PHILIPHAKS n. 5. 93 

Muller/and Baumgarten-Crusius are of this opinion ; but it 
is not so agreeable to the common idiom as the prevalent 
one, and it does not harmonize with the example of Christ 
which is immediately set forth. The verse brings out one 
special phasis of the duty — let each regard others better than 
himself. The verb cxoireiv, connected with such a phrase as 
ra iavr&v, is to regard one's affairs, or seek his own individual 
benefit, and is not, as Meyer remarks, materially different 
from tfrreiv, similarly used in 1 Cor. x. 24, 33, xiii. 5 ; Phil. 
ii. 21. Examples abound in the classics, as may be seen in 
the collection of them by Wetstein. Zrjrretv is, however, 
the stronger form, for it is the modal or instrumental idea of 
a-fcoTrelv embodied in active search. In the phrase aXXa /cal, 
the contrast is softened. Winer, § 55, 8 ; Fritzsche, ad Mare. 
788. The first clause, if taken in an absolute sense, would 
forbid all regard, and in every form, to one's own interests ; 
but the introduction of Kai so far modifies it, that it is 
supposed to be allowed to a certain extent. The Kai is there- 
fore far from being superfluous, as Beelen loosely affirm^. 
The apostle condemns exclusive selfishness — Vfycflsme, as Billiet 
calls it, and he inculcates Christian sympathy and generosity. 
One's "own things" are not worldly, but spiritual things. 
This verse is, in fact, the theme which is illustrated down to 
the 17th verse. The Philippians were not to consult each 
his own interests, but to cherish mutual sympathy, and en- 
gage in mutual co-operation. They were not to disregard 
their own things on pretence of caring for each other's — for 
unless they had first cared for their own things, they were 
not qualified to care for the things of others. Undue curiosity 
and impertinent meddlings are far from the apostle's thought, 
but he requires a holy solicitude and warm fellow-feeling — not 
absolute self-abnegation, but a vivid substantial interest in the 
spiritual welfare of others. It is not myself alone or in isola- 
tion, as if others did not exist, but myself with them and they 
with me, in earnest brotherhood and love. My object must not 
be simply to outstrip them in religious attainment, but to bring 
them and myself to a higher stage of Christian excellence. 
Though charity seeketh not her own, still she has her own. 

(Ver. 5.) Tovro yap fypovelre iv ifilv, b teal iv Xpicrw 'Irjcov 
— " For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ 

94 .milippians n. b. 

Jesus." Codices A, B, C\ D, E, F, 6, have fypoveire, and 
the Vulgate and Syriac support the reading. The reading 
<f>pov€i<r0a> is found in C 8 , J, K, and many other codices, 
and is adopted by Alford. But (ppoveire has high uncial 
authority, and cannot well be overthrown by any internal 
argument derived from the structure of the sentence. The 
probability is that the syntactic difficulty suggested fypovelcda* 
as an emendation. The particle yap is not found in A, B, 
C 1 , and is omitted by Lachmann and Tischendort Meyer 
suggests that the omission was caused by regarding the l/caarot 
of the last verse as the beginning of this one. If it be genuine, 
its meaning is more than explicative, or as Ellicott renders, 
"verily." It enforces, or gives a reason for the previous 
injunction. We should expect the sentence to run thus — 
Have ye this mind in you which Christ had also in Him ; 
whereas the clause reads — " which also was in Christ Jesus." 
The passive aorist typovrjOrj must be supplied, and not fy, as 
is done by Hoelemann. Kal, after the relative, indicates a 
comparison between the two parts of the clause. Klotz, 
Devarius, vol. ii. p. 636. The phrase iv vpZv is not — " among 
you," nor is it in any sense superfluous. It points out the 
inner region of thought which this feeling is to occupy. " This 
mind " is not a superficial deduction, nor a facile and supine 
conviction, but a feeling which cannot be dislodged, and which 
manifests its vitality and power in its incessant imitation of 
Christ's example. The pronoun toSto, placed emphatically, 
refers, in our opinion, to the duty inculcated in the preceding 
verse. The meaning is not, that every feature in Christ's 
character should have a counterpart in theirs, as if the apostle 
had generally said, Let the same mind be in you as was in 
Christ Jesus — ita animati estole, ut Christus Jesus erat ani- 
matiis. Nor is the reference directly, as Keil and others suppose, 
to the lowliness of mind already inculcated in v. 3 ; it is rather 
to the self-denying generosity and condescension enjoined in 
the previous verse, though these certainly can have no place 
where self-seeking and vainglory occupy a ruling position. 
Thus Victorinus — imitantes Bominum, nos de aliis potius 
cogitemus, q%vam de nobis ipsis. 

Now, the example of Christ is living legislation — law em- 
bodied and pictured in a perfect humanity. Not only does it 

. PHILIPPIANS n. 5. 95 

exhibit every virtue, but it also enjoins it In showing what 
is, it enacts what ought to be. When it tells us how to live, 
it commands us so to live. 

What the apostle means by the mind which was in Christ 
Jesus, he proceeds to explain. His object, in the following 
paragraph, is neither to prove Christ's Divinity, so as to con- 
firm their faith, nor to argue the perfection of His atonement, 
so as to brighten their hopes. It is not his intention to 
dwell on His manhood, with a demonstration of its reality ; or 
to adduce His death with evidence of its expiatory worth ; 
or to dilate on His royal glories, with a summons that 
every one should look up and worship. His purpose is in 
no sense polemical His appeal is not to the merits of His 
abasement, but to the depth and spirit of it ; not to the saving 
results of His service, but to the form and motives of it. 
In short, he developes that " mind " which was in Christ, and 
which was manifested in His self-denying incarnation and 
death. The apostle's text is — " Look not every man at his 
own things, but every man also at the things of others;" 
and his argument is, Not only is this your duty, because there 
is precept for it ; but it is your duty, because there is the 
noblest of all models for it. It was truly exemplified by Him 
— " Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to 
be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and 
took upon Him the form of a servant." 

The " form of God " on the one hand, and obedience to the 
death on the other, are the two termini ; or the extent of our 
Lord's self-denying grace is measured by the distance between 
equality with God, and a public execution on a gibbet. The 
question depends to a great extent on the reference in the 
clause — " Who being in the form of God." Is it after He 
was born that the apostle so describes Him ? Is it of the man 
Jesus, as He was among men, that this is predicated, or does 
the apostle take a backward step, and point to the previous 
impulse which had brought Him down to earth to be one of 
ourselves ? Is the " form of God " descriptive of His incar- 
nate dignity — \6yos anrapttos — or of His simple Divinity prior 
to His assumption of humanity — X0709 aaap/cosl Many 
maintain the former view, that it is solely of Jesus in His 
earthly state that the apostle speaks. But as the incarnation 

96 PHILIPP1AKS n. 5. 

is not referred to till the next verse, and in the words — " He 
emptied Himself, and took on Him the form of a servant ; " 
may it not be fairly inferred, that what is said of Him in 
the preceding clauses, describes Him as He was before this 
period of self-divestment, this assumption of a bondman's 
aspect, and His subsequent humiliation ? De Wette argues 
from the use of the historic name Christ Jesus, the ante- 
cedent to 09. But by what other name could the apostle 
designate Him ? For it is to the Mediator that he refers ; so 
that while he gives Him His official designation and human 
name, may he not under these concrete terms include His 
pre-existent state? Though first applied to Him infleshed, 
these names designated a person who combined in His mys- 
terious constitution divinity and humanity. What violation 
of propriety is there in saying that Christ Jesus was a 
possessor of the glory of the Godhead anterior to His incarna- 
tion ? The application of these epithets does not, therefore, 
necessarily limit the apostle's allusion to one aspect of our 
Lord's nature and career. The names are given to the 
ascended Saviour in verses 10 th and 11th, for He still wears 
humanity, though He is now seen to be " equal with God." 
Nor can it be objected, as on the part of Philippi, 1 that 
because the historical Jesus alone is our model, there can be 
on that account no descriptive allusion to His higher nature. 
For what made Him become the historical Jesus — what 
induced Him to discharge the functions of the Christ, and 
take the name of Jesus ? The very application to Him of 
the names of Jesus Christ, presupposed a " mind " in Him, 
which prompted Him to leave the glories and felicities of 
His Father's bosom — a mind which, in our place and circum- 
stances, we are summoned to imitate, though at an infinite 
distance. For the apostle does not propose a literal imita- 
tion of our Lord's example in all its various steps down to 
crucifixion. That would be an impossibility. It is true 
that no man can imitate Christ's incarnation; but it is 
equally true that no one can, in its nature and purpose, imi- 
tate His death. But it is not the action, so much as the 
spirit of it, that the apostle delineates, and Christians may be 
summoned to possess in their own spheres and limits, as well 

x Die ThtUige Oehorsam Christi, p. 3 ; Berlin, 1841. 

philippians II. 6. 97 

the condescension that brought Him down to the manger, as 
the self-abasing generosity which led Him to the Cross. It 
is another extraordinary statement of Philippi, that as the 
humiliation here spoken of was put an end to by the ascension, 
then, if that humiliation is held to consist of His assumption 
of our nature, it must follow that when He ascended, He left 
our nature behind Him. But we do not hold that it lay 
solely in the incarnation, and every one sees that the glorifi- 
cation of the incarnate nature was as really the termination 
of its inferior state, as would have been its abandonment. 
The historical title, Christ Jesus, suggested the lesson which 
the apostle wished to impress, for it belonged to the Saviour 
in His state of condescension and suffering ; and it still identi- 
fies the " Man of sorrows " with Him who was in the " form 
of God," and with the exalted "Lord," to whom has been 
given the name above every name. 

As this passage has long been a chosen field of challenge in 
polemical warfare, we need not wonder that so many names 
can be quoted on both sides of the view which we have been 
considering. For the opinion which we have defended are 
Chrysostom and the Greek expositors; of the [Reformation 
period and subsequently, Beza, Vatablus, Zanchius, Clarius, 
Calixtus, Cocceius, Crocius, Aretius ; among the Catholics, 
Estius and a-Lapide ; and among others of later date, Semler, 
Storr, Keil, Usteri, Kraussold, Hufnagel, Seiler, Lunemann, 
Miiller, Hoelemann, Rilliet, Pye Smith, Neander, Meyer, 
Ellicott, Alford, Lechler, Beelen, and Bisping. Among those 
who hold the opposite doctrine are to be found Novatian and 
Ambrose among the Latin Fathers ; Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, 
Piscator, Hunnius, Cameron, Musculus, Calovius, Le Clerc, 
Grotius, Bengel, Vdrstius, Zachariae, Kesler, Heinrichs, van 
Hengel, Am Ende, Eheinwald, Matthies, Baumgarten-Crusius, 
De Wette, Philippi, and Conybeare. 

(Ver. 6.) A 0? iv pop<f)ji Oeov \mapytm — "Who being (or 
existing) in the form of God." The meaning assigned to 
fj>op<f>iy is of primary importance. It denotes shape or figure ; 
and we believe with Pott, that it has no connection by meta- 
thesis with the Latin forma. Hesychius defines it by I8ea 9 
elbos ; Suidas adds to these irpoawtyis ; and the Syriac renders 

by 12. oSp , *S "in likeness." If this be its meaning, it is not 

98 philippians n. 6. 

to be confounded with <f>v<ri<; or ov&ia. It may imply the 
possession of nature or essence, but it does not mean either of 
them. The Greek Fathers, and after them Calvin, Beza, 
Mliller, Bobinson, and others, have fallen into this blunder. 
Thus Chrysostom says — ovtcovv teal f) fiop<f>t} rod Oeov Oeov 
<f)v<ri<;. Gregory of Nyssa maintains the same definition— 17 
fj>op<f>T) rod 0€ov ravrov rj) ova La iravreo? icTiv. Orat. contra 
JEunomium, ii. p. 566 ; ed. Paris, 1638. Cyril of Alexandria 
has the same notion of the identity of form and essence. 
Athanasius explains fJ*op<f>ij by irXijpaiia, and Augustine by 
naturalis plenitudo. Suicer, sub voee. Petavius, too, says 
{Be Inearnatione, iiL 6) — -formam hie pro natura sumi per- 
spicuum est Phavorinus, professing exactness of definition, 
gives — 17 pop(f>T) tevpws, fj ovaia. The Greek commentators, 
as may be seen in Chrysostom, were polemically necessitated 
to give the term such a meaning, and the pressure of the same 
feeling has shown itself in almost every century. 

Wherever the word occurs in the New Testament, it refers 
to visible form, as in the next verse, and in Mark xvi. 12. 
And so, too, with fiopcfxocr^, 2 Tim. iii. 5. The verb fiera- 
fiop<f)6<o, as applied to the transfiguration in Matt xvii. 2, 
Mark ix. 2, has the same signification, . referring simply to 
change of external aspect, and neither of essence nor person. 
In the Septuagint, fiop<l>q represents the Chaldee VT, denoting 
external appearance, and is applied to Nebuchadnezzar, in 
reference to his lunacy ; to Belshazzar, when he saw the hand- 
writing, and was appalled, and his " form was changed ; " and 
to Daniel himself (viL 28), " my form returned to me." In 
the reference to Belshazzar and the prophet, the verb aXkoioa* 
is employed, and the change is principally one of countenance. 
It represents JV:M in Isa. xliv. 13 — c&? fioptyv avSpos, an 
idol in shape of a man; and also '"won, Job iv. 16 — teal ovtc 
fjv fiop<f>t) irpo 6<f>0a\fi&v fiov. The instances sometimes 
adduced to show that floppy may mean nature, will not sus- 
tain the assertion. Robinson, after Schleusner, quotes 
Euripides, Baech. 54 — fiop<f>qv j* ifirjv fjuerifiaXov et? av&po? 
<pv<nv. Besides that this is the somewhat loose language of 
poetry, it may be remarked that the quotation rather shows 
that <j>v(n<; may signify form, and not /topQr) signify nature. 
Bacchus means not to say that he had abandoned Divinity, 

philippians n. 6, 99 

but only that he had concealed its form in an assumed 
humanity. He declares, in the previous clause, that he had 
changed his form into a mortal one ; but he does not aver that 
he had ceased to be immortal in essence. Toward the com- 
mencement of the drama, similar language is employed — 
Mo/xfuifv 8' djiefya? i$c deov fipoTTjciav irdpecfii — " And having 
taken a mortal form in exchange for that of a God, I am 
here." Another passage is adduced from Plato, where he says 
of God the Best — fievet, ael airXu? iv rfj avrov j4op<l>y. It is 
hard to say how much Plato's idea of the Divinity was anthropo- 
morphic; but the sense is, not simply that He remaineth 
always simply in the same essence, but that He unchangeably 
manifests the same characteristics. Other and similar passages 
have been adduced, in which popfyn is supposed to signify not 
form, but that which form represents. But even granting 
an occasional metonymy, we find the word used with precise 
discrimination. Thus Josephus {Contra Apion, ii 22) speaks 
of God as being beginning, middle, and end of all things, and 
adds, that by His works and blessings He is manifest, and 
more glorious, too, than any being ; while, as to His form and 
magnitude, He is to us most obscure — fiop^v re teal fieyeffos 
ttfuv a^aiwww. The meaning, as the context shows, is, 
that while so much may be learned from His works and ways, 
there is no visible shape of Him — nothing to warrant any 
idolatrous image. In the 34th chapter of the same treatise, 
the author, in reprobating the lewdness and follies of the 
mythology of the Greeks, says that they had deified madness 
and fraud, and others of the vilest passions; or, as he expresses 
it, eU Oeov <f>v<rw /cat fioptfnjp aveirXaaav. The two nouns are 
here distinguished ; those vile passions are supposed, first, to 
receive the nature of God, and then to get His form. They 
are conceived of as divine, and then their divinity is repre- 
sented by a visible shape or idoL The examples selected by 
Wetstein from the classics are scarcely to our point — since 
every god had his special form, though fJ<op<f)i] and forma are 
always used of shape or likeness, and not of mere essence, 
and have very much the meaning of person. 1 We hold, there- 
fore, that floppy is form, and neither nature nor condition, 

1 Thns fi»tf*s rSt ii*t y Xenophon, Mem, iv. ; forma deorum, Cicero, De 
Natura Deorum, ii. 2 ; formaque deorum, Ovid, Metam. i. 73, etc. 


though it may represent them. Now form is that by which 
we know or distinguish anything — that by means of which 
objects are recognized. One person is known from another 
by his form. True, God has no form, being pure spirit — "Ye 
saw no manner of similitude in the day that the Lord spake 
to you in Horeb." The form of God must therefore signify — 
the mode of divine manifestation — that by which His appear- 
ance is understood and characterized. It was the bright 
cloud for a long period in the history of ancient Israel. The 
insignia of Godhead were oft revealed in the olden time ; and 
we have what we take to be several descriptions of the form 
of God, in Deut. xxxiii. 2 ; Ps. xviii. 6-15 ; Dan. vii. 9, 10 ; 
Hab. iii. 3-11. Such passages, describing the sublime tokens 
of a Theophany, afford a glimpse into the meaning of the 
phrase — form of God. It is not the divine nature, but the 
visible display of it — that which enables men to apprehend 
it, and prompts them to adore it 

Now Jesus was in this form of God — xmdp^ov. The 
participle has a fuller meaning than t$v. It represents some- 
thing on which stress is laid, something which is to be borne 
in mind as essential to the argument. Gal. il 14 ; Acts xvii. 
27-29, xxL 20. Suidas makes it equivalent to irpo&vai. 
Pye Smith 1 speaks of it as, " in many cases, denoting a mode 
already established, conspicuous, and dating from a prior 
point of time." Still it would not be warrantable to render 
it " pre-existing in the form of God." There is no use in 
resolving the participial reference by dum, or by the concessive 
"although," with Ellicott The simple statement is the most 

This meaning, which we give to fiop<f>ij y is in harmony with 
the spirit of the whole passage, and it is not materially different 
from eZSos, John v. 37. See under CoL i 15. It stands 
here in contrast with the phrase fioptyv BovXov \afii<i>v. He 
exchanged the form of God for that of a servant — came from 
the highest point of dignity to the lowest in the social scale. 
And we are the more confirmed in our view, because of the 
following verb i/cevmae, as this self-divestment plainly refers 
to the previous /*op^. It cannot mean divinity itself, for 
surely Jesus never cast it off. But He laid aside the form of 

1 Scripture Testimony, voL ii. p. 405. 


God, the splendour of divinity, and not the nature of it — the 
glory of the Godhead, and not the essence of it. Those who 
liold that the passage refers to Christ in His incarnate state, 
regard " the form of God * in various ways — some, like De 
Wette, referring it to the glory of the Godhead potentially 
(potentid) in Himself ; others, like Grotius, finding it in His 
piracies; or, like Wetstein, in His transfiguration; or as 
many others, generally in His sayings and doings. At the 
same time, while we think that the apostle selects with special 
care the term pop<fyq, as signifying something different from 
nature, we must hold that no one can be in the form of God 
without being of the nature of God, the exhibition of the 
form implying the possession of the essence. Of Him who 
was in the form of God, it is now predicated — 

ov% apirarffiov fffrjaaro to elvcu laa &€$. The phrase to 
elvcu laa 0e&> is peculiar, and as to indicates, it expresses 
a united idea. Instead of the adverb law, the neuter 
singular and plural are frequently used. Passow, sub voce. 
Winer, § 27, 3. Many instances occur in the Septuagint. 
The case is common with other words, as irdvra, iroXkd. 
Matthiae, § 443, e. It is therefore too rigid in Matthies to 
take laa as denoting equal in the manifoldness of essence. It 
needs not Kara to be supplied, as some grammatical pedants 
contended, for adverbs of measure and degree have, with the 
verb of existence, the sense of predicates — Bernhardy, p. 337; 
John v. 18; Homer, Odyssey, x. 303 — laa Oeois. The idea 
expressed by the adverb is not resemblance, but sameness of 
quantity or measure ; and so Pye Smith renders the clause — 
" the being on a parity with God k " Tertullian employs the 
phrase pariari Deo. 1 What this parity is, and what its 
relation is to the fiop<f>ij Qeov, we shall afterwards consider. 
The phrase to elvai laa 6e£ is the object to the verb 
J/yrjtraTo, while apiraypov, as predicate, is emphatic from its 

The meaning of this clause has excited no little inquiry, 
and principally with regard to apirayfios. The term is of 
rare occurrence, and therefore its meaning cannot be deter- 
mined beyond dispute. To theorize upon its formation does 
not fully satisfy; for the meanings, abstract and concrete, 

1 Adver. Marc v. 20, etc.; Opera, vol. ii. p. 834, e& Oehler, Lipsiae, 1854. 


102 -MIUPPIANB II. 6. 

respectively attached to nouns ending in /xo? and fia, pass into 
one another — (Buttmann, § 119, 2, 11) — the first, according 
to Kuhner, § 370, embodying the intransitive notion of the 
verb — the act of seizure ; and the second expressing the result 
of its transitive notion — the thing seized. Such variations 
are seen in Su&yfios, Buoypa ; <f>coTia/j,6<;, <f>coTi<rfjLa ; fiawrurfio^, 
/3d7TTi<r/jLa ; jSSeXvy/uo?, fiSeXvy /xa ; oveiStafios, dvetBiafia, while 
0€<Tfi6<; t \a^xo9, %/M7<tyto9, and other terms, have the meaning 
of a word ending in pa} So that from the mere form of the 
uncommon substantive little definite can be gleaned. Nor 
can we gather much from its use. It occurs nowhere else in 
the New Testament, and, so far as known, only in two other 
places among Greek authors, where it is not professedly a 
quotation from this verse. The first is an ugly quotation 
from a tract ascribed to Plutarch, where the word might be 
rendered "rape." 8 The other is from Cyril of Alexandria, 
in a passage where he says, " The angels declined Lot's invita- 
tion ; and had the patriarch been a churl, he would not have 
pressed them further, but would have thought it fortunate 
that they declined." But the good and generous host urged 
them the more, and " did not out of a listless and imbecile 
soul make their declinature a catch, or thing to be caught at 
^-apwayjiov" 8 The word has not the same meaning in these 
two places. In the first quotation it signifies an action, 
which Strabo explains by apitarp\\ and, like the English 
translation we have already given of it, and which is in fact 
derived from it, it denotes a crime named from the force or 
violence employed in connection with it In the second in- 
stance it points out ideally something which an inhospitable 
and niggardly soul would lay hold of ; viz., that if one declines 
an invitation, you reckon his denial something you gladly 
seize on as a pretext for dropping the subject. Therefore the 
train of thought, connection, and logical dependence, must 
chiefly guide us to the meaning of the term. The sense 

1 Eustathius on Homer says — *fl* 21 git/w, £•*/««, «Sr« W/*o*, 3i*yt«. *F*%fut 

% xeti fny/ut TMvrm Writ, ** x*l fyt%fii»s xetl fyi%fi« t xeu xXixpos xeu **.i%fim, — 

Wakefield, Sylva Grit. Pars iii. p. 112. 

8 K«i revs /*}» &nl&y*i *•< rns *HAj$i iptvxriet ipuras xeu ret \x YLfnrnt xakwptt** 
apxetypot. — De Lib. Educat., Opera Mor. vol. i. p. 41, ed. "Wyttenbach. 

* *0 In xw rvvrir * 3/*«<«f fmtyvtf x«ri/3<«£i<r«, xeu ov% mpraypiv rtiv xmpatrfifti «f 
U.mifwtvf xmi C1*ct*rif*t .bcuur* fyiw.-i-Opcm, ?6L i. pp. 2, 25. 


hinges very much, as Pye Smith technically puts it, on the 
solution of the question, where the protasis is supposed to 
end, and the apodosis to begin. 

I. Many join the two clauses closely, as if the one explained 
or strengthened the other, or were a species of. deduction 
from it. The noun is then taken in an active sense — " and 
did not think it robbery or a seizure to be equal with God." 
But those who hold this general view, hold it with many 
subordinate differences. 

1. Some take the word in the plain and easy sense — of a 
thing not one's own — He did not regard equality with God 
as a possession not His by right, did not look upon it in any 
sense as a usurpation. This has been a common exegesis, as 
may be seen in Chrysostom, Theophylact, CEcumenius, Augus- 
tine, Pelagius, Beza, Calvin, Mynster, Estius, and many others. 
There are shades of distinction, again, among such as hold 
this view, but the general meaning with them all is, that 
Jesus, in personating God, in assuming His name or receiving 
His worship, deemed Himself guilty of no usurpation, or did 
not in any sense take what was not His own, for He was 
really and properly God. 1 Some forms of this exposition are 
tinged more or less with inferential admixtures. Thus — 

2. If one obtain booty, he glories in it, boasts of it, or 
makes a show of it So some present this idea — He did not 
make a show of His equality with God. 

Such generally is the notion of Luther, Grotius, Meric, 
Casaubon, Osiander, Piscator, Wolf, Cameron, Calovius, Krebs, 

1 Thus Augustine — Natura quippe UUfueratDei cequalitas, nonrapina . . » 
quia non cUienum arbitratus est esse quod nalus est, sed tamen quamvis cequali- 
totem Dei non fuerit arbitratus alienam, sed suam, semetipsum exinanivit. 
Contra Max. Lib, i. 4, p. 1050, vol. viii ; Opera, Parisiis, 1887. Or, again, 
in his De Symbolo — Non rapuit, quia naturaliter habuit. P. 935, vol. vi. ; 
Opera, do. So also Beza — Non ignoravit, seineare nullam injuriam euiquam 
faeere, sed suo jure uti, nihilominus tamen quasi suo jure cessit ; similarly Calvin 
— Seiebat sibijus etfas esse non in came humili apparere, nihilominus jure suo 
cessit. Estius, too — Non existimavit cequalitatem Dei sibi esse rapvnam, hoc est, 
rem alienam et ex rapto usurpatam, ut propter hoc tantopere semet humiliaverU 
. . . quasi dicat, Non hcec est causa humilitatis Christi, quippe qui non usur- 
pative, sed vere Deus esset. Calvin, however, gives nynr*r* a subjunctive 
meaning, 4» being understood ; as if the sense were — non fuisset injuria, si 
aqualis Deo apparuisset. This is not much better than the suggestion of 
Michaelis, that v*afx" 9 is or may be the genitive plural of 8**fxt. 


fiosenmuller, Heinrichs, Flatt, and Eheinwald. 1 Their main 
idea is — that Jesus on earth did not revel in His divinity, 
but vailed it, did not make an ostentatious display of His 
Godhead, but concealed it. But in the opinion of many, not 
all who hold it, this exegesis is often bound up with a mean- 
ing given to popfy Seov which we have already considered, 
and assigned reasons for rejecting — to wit that the phrase, 
" form of God," describes the incarnate Jesus, and it is so far 
consistent with itself in giving a/may fio? the sense we have 
alluded to. 

3. Again, if a person have usurped a thing, he grasps it 
very closely, the secret consciousness of his want of right not 
allowing him to abandon it for a moment This signification 
therefore is assigned — He would not retain equality with 
God, as a robber does his prey. Ambrosiaster, Castalio, 
Yatablus, Matthies, Kesler, Hoelemann, and Usteri hold this 
notion. The views of these critics differ, indeed, in colouring, 
though we need not for our present purpose distinguish 
them. 8 

But none of these opinions commend themselves, for though 
they give apirayfios the usual meaning of nouns ending in 
/i09, still the philology is no firm ground of explanation. It 
is vain to refer to the uses of a/wraf©, as in the words ascribed 

1 Thus Cameron, in his Myroihecium, p. 214 — Optime sic ChdUce vertas, Jl ne 
fit point de triomphe, de ce qu'il ita&t igal a Dieu ; hoe est, non joxtavit, non 
visus est gloriari et insolescere. Thus, too, Pelagiua — Quod erat, hutnitttate 
celavit, dans nobis exemplum, ne in his gloriemur, quce/orsitan non habemus. 

* Chry808tom's illustration is — "Whatever a man robs and seizes contrary to 
his right, he dares not lay aside. He who possesses a dignity which is natural 
to him, fears not to descend from that dignity ; " and then he adds — " What do 
we say then f That the Son of God feared not to descend from His right, for He 
did not regard His Deity as a matter of robbery. He was not afraid that any 
one should strip Him of that nature or that right, when He laid it aside, being 
assured that He should resume it. . . . He hid it, judging that He was not 
degraded by so doing, wherefore the apostle says not, ' He seized not,' but He 
did not reckon it a seizure, because He possessed not that estate by robbery, but 
by nature — as something not given Him, but permanent and safe." "Or«» 

kf**9n rig *«? «r«f» r« rprtjxet A,«0j>i rwr* &*W%*4m tit reXpM, 3t3«**f ph faiXurms, 
ftn ixr'wn' *\Xa }j« Wmvrif mire *ars£M. i fiivrei Qu+txif rt 1%*9 m£la*ft*, tu 1xbtx% 
xetrecfrrjteu ««r ixt'ttev T6V a£t* pares. T/ eZt Qmpn in § rev 8iav Tiit tux if»(&nJti 
Kmva&nnu kxl rev Sfym/iMTf 6V yttf itptmypit nyntmr* rh* hirnrmy evil iii)«/*fi fin 
rif mlret iQiXnrmt w Qven n re afyufta* %ti xtu txpv^tv, titttw nyv/int iXmmvrimt 
««•« revrev. o*im rtvr; »bx iTaiy, av% np**rtv, «XA* ou% itfirmyftii nynrmrs. *u% 
kf*jur*t it%tf rnt o\fx*Ht «XX« Qwxn*, el Mtpvmi aXXa (tinftn xai U irfetXtU, 



by Chrysostom to Arius — oi>x ffpiraae, and to the instances 
of aprrayfia in later writers. Heliodorus often uses it in the 
sense of a thing to be caught at, and once connects it with 
the verb ^yelraL Lib. vii. § 20. Besides, these interpreta- 
tions not only make the two clauses virtually the same in 
meaning, but they destroy the parallel between the precept 
given, and this example adduced in commendation of it. 
The primary object of the apostle is not to tell how great 
Christ was by nature, and how low He became, though in his 
illustration he has done so ; but to show how He looked to 
the things of others, or in what state of mind He descended 
to the earth. That purpose is so far missed in the previous 
exegesis. We therefore regard the apodosis as commencing 
with the clause under review. It begins the tale of His 
humiliation by referring to the state of mind which led to it ; 
and we look on the clause as having the prime emphasis laid 
upon it, as virtually asserting that He did not regard His 
own things, and as saying, in connection with the preceding 
phrase, what His own things were, and what was His feeling 
towards them. Though the form of God was His, He did not 
regard it with a selfish and exclusive attachment, but He laid 
it aside and became man. So that we agree with those who 
give the word that signification in which it is used by Cyril 
in the sentence already quoted in reference to Lot. Therefore — 
II. Not a few give apiraryfio*: this meaning — a seizure, or 
thing to be snatched at ; or, as Miiller renders it — " nan rem 
sibi arripiendam et usurpandam indicavit" This view is held 
by Musculus, Eisner, Bengel, Am Ende, Storr, Keil, Stein, 
Schrader, Eilliet, De Wette, Beelen, Bisping, Wiesinger, 
Liinemann, Philippi, Miiller, Bruckner, and others. Though 
these writers agree in so understanding the noun, they differ 
greatly among themselves as to what is to be understood by 
to ehai Icra 0e&, for the views of many of them are modified 
by referring the passage simply to Christ as incarnate and on 
earth. Some regard it as a possession He had, but did not 
use ; others, as something He had not, yet did not aspire to. 
We have already said, the phrase means — " the being on a 
parity with God," a parity possessed in His pre-incarnate 
state. Those who apply the term " form of God " to Jesus 
incarnate, consistently regard this phrase as referring to His 

106 ftmjppiAHS n. e. 

abode on earth. While He was among men, lowly and despised, 
yet He did not aspire to an equality with God, but continued 
still in the form of a servant Bengel understands the 
reference thus — Esse pariter Deo dicit plenitudinem et altv* 
tudinem. Van Hengel thus takes it — Hoc vero, veJiementer 
dubito an aliter explicari possit quam cequali modo vivere, quo 
vivit Dens, and the meaning is thus given further and fully 
by him— Christies hoc in terra, quanquam poterat, gloriosus 
esse noluit. Killiet's notion is somewhat peculiar. He sup- 
poses that the element of equality to God is His invisibility, 
which the apostle signalizes as the distinctive characteristic of 
the Father — cette invisibility Christ y a renoncd au lieu de la 
vie ivBidBeros — immanente, U a accepts V existence Trpofyopuc&s-^- 
manifesUe. His interpretation proceeds upon a wrong idea of 
popfai, and does not harmonize with the context. For "form " 
implies of itself visibility or splendour, and this was parted 
with. Nay more, the Second Person of the Trinity had, as 
the Angel of the Covenant, been often patent to the senses 
prior to the incarnation. Stein and De Wette understand the 
phrase of the divine honour, a meaning which we reject as 
limited and insufficient. We do not regard the two phrases, 
" form of God," and " equal with God," as identical in mean- 
ing, for then there needed no such repetition; though we 
cannot venture to say, with van Hengel, that in such a case a 
simple tovto would have been sufficient. Meyer pleads for 
the sameness of the two statements — at least with this dis- 
tinction, that the first refers to Christ as to His appearance — 
Erscheinimgs-Form, and the second as to His essence — Wesen. 
Wiesingefs view is not very different— /oma Dei, conditio 
divina, quum in forma Dei esset, non arripiendvm sibi duxit 
conditione divina uti. Our view is somewhat different from 
any of these, and still, as we think, more in accordance with 
the spirit of the context. The apostle affirms that Jesus, in 
His pre-incarnate state, was " in the form of God ; " and adds, 
that He thought it not a seizure, or a thing to be snatched at, 
to be on a parity with God, but emptied Himself. Now, it 
seems to us very plain that the parity referred to is not parity 
in the abstract, or in anything not found in the paragraph, 
but parity in possession of this form of God. He was in the 
form of God, and did not think it a thing to be eagerly laid 

*miippiANs n. 4 107 

hold of to be equal with God in having or exhibiting this 
form. The apostle adds, d\X eavrbv itcevtoaeu — " but emptied 
himself/' and the clause is in broad and decided contrast with 
apirayfiov ov% fjyqtraTo to elvac l<ra to> &e<p. That is to say, 
the one clause describes the result of the other. It was because 
He did not think it a seizure to be equal with God, that He 
emptied Himself. And of what did He empty Himself, but 
of this Form ? He was not anxious to be ever on a parity 
with God in possessing it, and therefore He divested Himself 
of it. He did not look simply to His own things — the glories 
of the Godhead ; but He looked to the things of others, and 
therefore descended to humanity and death. His heart was 
not so set upon His glory, that He would not appear at any 
time without it There was something which He coveted 
more — somewhat which He felt to be truly a a/may f*6<:, and 
that was the redemption of a fallen world by His self-abase- 
ment and death. Or, to speak after the manner of men, two 
things were present to His mind — either continuance in the 
form of God, and being always equal with God, but allowing 
humanity to perish in its guilt ; or vailing this form and fore- 
going this equality for a season, and delivering, by His con- 
descension and agony, the fallen progeny of Adam. He chose 
the latter, or gave it the preference, and therefore " humbled 
Himself,and became obedient unto death" From His possession? 
of this " mind," and in indescribable generosity He looked at 
the things of others, and descended with His splendour eclipsed 
— appeared not as a God in glory, but clothed in flesh ; not in 
royal robes, but in the dress of a village youth ; not as Deity 
in fire, but a man in tears ; not in a palace, but in a manger ; 
not with the thunderbolt in His hand, but with the hatchet 
and hammer of a Galilean mechanic. And in this way He 
gave the church an example of that self-abnegation and kind- 
ness which the apostle has been inculcating, and which the 
Lord's career is adduced to illustrate and confirm. 

The view of Meyer, followed so far by Alford, and which 
strives to keep that meaning of aprrarfiifc which its formation 
indicates, cannot be borne out. He explains it as — ein Ver- 
haltniss des BeiUemachens — He did not regard equality with 
God to be such a relation as is implied in the seizure of a 
prey, or of a possession which belonged to others. Meyer 

108 philippians n. *. 

might object to some things in Wiesinger's inferential expan- 
sion of his view, but he says, himself, that this clause, corre- 
sponding to the previous one — " looking not each at his own 
things" — describes what Christ's own things were — His 
equality with God. But whom would Christ have robbed, if, 
instead of emptying Himself, He had retained equality with 
God ? Without unduly pressing Wiesinger's question as to 
the parties whom such a dpirayfios would have emptied or 
fobbed, could it have taken place, it may be replied that the 
idea is out of unison with the course of thought, and that the 
exegesis based upon it omits the turning-point of the illus- 
tration — the mind that was in Christ Jesus — and places the 
idea of " others " in a totally different relationship from that 
expressed in verse 5 th. 

The exposition of Liinemann and Bruckner is also incorrect. 
They understand in this clause a reference to that KvpioTrjs 
which God possesses, and which, though Christ was in God's 
form, He did not wish to possess, save in the way of obedience 
and death, while He might have chosen otherwise. This 
notion is founded upon a supposition as inadmissible as that 
which Turnbull 1 introduces — "did not meditate a usurpation 
to be equal with God ; " " that is, did not avail Himself of His 
original character, and attempt a sole theocracy for His own 
exaltation." Really such a supposition borders on profanity 
— to say of Jesus, that He did not pervert His divinity to 
accomplish selfish ends in a , spirit of rivalry with God. 
Bretschneider, too, sub voce, gives this explanation — Christ did 
not deem equality with God a thing to be seized on vi et 
astutid, but desired rather to merit the honour by His obedience 
unto the death. But the objections to these views is, that 
parity with God is not something to which Christ has been 
raised as the reward of His obedience, but something which 
He originally possessed as one of His own things, which He 
did not so cherish as to exclude all regard to the things of 
others. The error of Arius, so sharply rebuked by Chrysostom, 
led him to explain the clause of Christ as 6eo9 iKarrwy — a 
lesser God, who did not aspire to equality with God t£ 
fxeyakq) — " with God the Great, who was greater than lie." 
The Greek father asks, in triumph, "is there then a great 

1 Translation of Paul's Epistles, in loc. 


and a less God ? And do ye introduce the doctrines of the 
heathens into the church ? ... If He were little, how could 
He be God ? If man is not greater or less, but his nature is 
one, and if that which is not of this one nature is not man, 
how can there be a less or a greater God, who is not of that 
same nature V 91 Socinian views are lower stilL Thus, in the 
notes to the Improved Version, we are told that — " being in 
the form of God, means being invested with extraordinary 
divine powers;" and of the second clause it is said — "the 
meaning is, He did not make an ostentatious diaplay of His 
miraculous powers. Or if it should be translated with the 
public version, He thought it not robbery to be as God, the 
sense would be, He did not regard it as an act of injustice to 
exert upon proper occasions His miraculous powers." One 
knows not how to characterize the weakness and perversity 
of such misinterpretation. Slichting says — Propterea nee 6b 
tantam divinitatem ac dignitatem suam superbiit, nee earn longius 
ac ditriius retinuit qicam auctor et dator illvm vellet, sed ad ejus 
nutum ac voluntatem protinus ed se abdicavit. But every good 
man is expected to resign a gift, when God pleases ; and in 
this clause, it is Christ's own generosity, not His submission 
to any divine mandate, which the apostle is commending, and 
holding up to the imitation of the Philippian church. The 
contrast is now brought out — 

(Ver. 7.) MXXi eavrov itcevoMre. The pronoun is placed em- 
phatically, but the meaning of this clause is of course shaped or 
modified by the view which expositors have taken of the preced- 
ing clauses. The verb tcevoto is literally to make empty, or bring 
about that which /cevo<; represents — exinanivit, as in the Vul- 
gate. It does not vaguely mean, as Grotius and others render, 
He became poor, or made Himself poor, or He led a poor life — 
libenter duxit vitam inopem — for the image is not in harmony 
with the preceding clauses. Those who maintain that Christ 
is described here only in His historical state, are driven to 

1 Ov tyndt iXX' trt Slot &t ikecrrett, ov% nprttn ri waulr* &tf r$ ptyxXy x*) p$'i£ou. 
ptx^cs *«2 piy*t ©«•* fw ; xeu rk 'EXXtitixei rc7f rns ixxXfiftas I'typMtn Wurayirt ; 
f**y*S y«£ **2 p**£»f «r«f' etvrtits &ut ' tt ft *tu «•«{' up*f* av« «73«* **£* pit yk^ reus 
y(*$*7f t wlmpw ivpnrus' &XX* piyett pit x*tr*x»v t ptx^ct ft evhapw* u yk^ xou 
fttKfis, **f Bios ; << ptxps tvx tern &t4ptr»St *«2 p*y*f' iXXk pi* Qurtf* xttt it rt 
*itx fori rnt ipvftMf rmurnt rnt pi*s **>* &*$£**•!* *"*s &t tin ptx^if ®i«f xat piy*f ', 
it Tiirvt i Il*Tti{ ptyetf, xmi Bits' I pn &* Ixutns rn$ Qv*im% •» Btis, 


such an interpretation. Thus, Tittmann and Keil, followed 
by van Hengel, give it generally — sed semet ipse depressU — a 
meaning which the word does not bear, and which anticipates 
the subsequent iraTrelvaxrev. De Wette refers the phrase not 
io the first, but the second preceding clause, and understands 
it as denoting something He might have had, but did not 
actually possesa But we must not forget, that in his opinion 
the reference is to the earthly existence of Christ, and that 
equality with God means divine honour. Miiller holds a 
similar view. When he puts the question, " of what did Jesus 
despoil Himself ? " he replies, " not of the form of God, for 
He neither did nor could lay aside the divine nature ; but He 
laid aside equality with God." Now this confusion proceeds 
from a previous error — a mistaken idea of the meaning of 
fiop<f>t] — for we have shown that this noun does not signify 
nature, but external and distinctive aspect, or that by which 
nature displays itself. The same confusion of thought mars 
the exegesis of Ellicott, and for the same reason, that he 
blends the idea of the form of God too much with that of the 
nature of God, which it implies, but from which it is quite dis- 
tinct. When we put the question, " of what did He empty 
Himself?" our reply at once is, "of the form of God;" and 
if it be asked why He did so? the apostle also answers, because 
He thought it no object of desire, in comparison with man's 
salvation, to be equal with God, or to be in the possession of 
this form. When He came to earth, He divested Himself of 
His glory. There was an occasional gleam, as one may still 
recognize the sun even when obscured by a cloud. If we go 
back to the Old Testament, and contemplate the "form of 
God" as there portrayed, then, keeping still to the sacred 
imagery employed, we might in all reverence add the follow- 
ing sentences : — Christ came not in that Majesty which He 
possessed, and by which the old world had been dazzled. 
No troops of angels girt Him about ; nature did not do Him 
homage as God ; the voice of the seven thunders was silent ; 
the " wings of the wind " were collapsed and motionless ; and 
the " coals of fire " were quenched. Darkness was not His 
pavilion ; Lebanon did not tremble, nor was Jordan driven 
back. The lamps of the sky were not trimmed to honour the 
night in which this "man-child was born into the world." 


It was not Jehovah, "as He bowed the heavens and came 
down/' but Jesus made of a woman, and cradled in a 
manger. It was in short a birth, not a theophany. But 
Jesus was originally in the form of God, and might have 
appeared in the world with the appalling majesty of Sinai ; 
or as when the psalmist described Him robed in cloud, storm, 
and fire-mist, and guarded by a thick spray of burning coals ; 
of as when Habakkuk sublimely sings of Him heralded by 
the pestilence, the everlasting mountains scattered, and the 
perpetual hills bowing before Him ; or as when He appeared 
transfigured, His face as the sun, and His raiment as the 
light Still further, the apostle says of Him — 

fMop<f>rjv SovXov \afi<i>v — "having taken the form of a 
servant." The participle points out the mode in which this 
self-emptying was accomplished, and the mode indicates also 
the means. Kiihner, § 668. The act expressed by the aorist 
participle seems coincident in time with that denoted by the 
verb. Bernhardy, p. 383; Stallbaum, PJuedo, 62, d. When 
the process of assuming a servant's form was completed, that 
of self-divestment was completed too. He exchanged the 
form of God for the form of a servant. The two phrases, 
fjLop<f>r} &€ov and fAOfxfnj SovXov, are therefore in pointed 
contrast. If the " form of God " signify the external aspect or 
distinctive characteristics of God, " the form of a servant " will 
signify the external aspect or distinctive characteristics of a 

The phrase is not to be taken as expressing either the 
humility or sorrow of Christ's life, as Piscator, Heinrichs, and 
Hoelemann emphasize it. The general meaning is — He 
bore about Him the marks of servitude. The service re- 
ferred to is service to God; His uniform declaration being 
— that He came to do His Father's will. But service which 
was primarily offered to God, was also in itself of benefit to 
man, intended for him and done for him. Isa. lii. 13, 15 ; 
Matt. xx. 28 ; Luke xxii. 27 ; Bom. xv. 8. The servant of the 
Father condescended to minister to man ; and Jesus, girt with 
a towel, and laving the water on Peter's feet, is seen truly in 
"the form of a servant" Some, however, lay too much 
stress on His service, as being almost wholly done to men, 
while Meyer, Wiesinger, van Hengel, Mtiller, and Baum-. 


garten-Crusius hold to the idea of exclusive divine service. 
But in obeying God, He laboured for men. He who might 
have been served upon the throne, stood before it serving. 
Such is the striking contrast which the apostle brings out. 
Chiysostom remarks on the use of the two participles — irepl 
■ri;? QeoTqro?, irjrrjpye, irepl 8k ti}s avOpayrroTrjTO?, iXafiev — 

iv ofjuoubfiam avOpdmwv yevo/ievo? — " being made in the like- 
ness of men." Meyer prefers, " having made His appearance " 
— referring for examples to Mark i. 4, and Memordb. iii. 3, 6. 
This clause points out how the form of a servant was assumed, 
though there be no connecting particle. Eiihner, § 676 ; Stuart, 
§188. Christ became a servant in becoming man. It is 
pressing the participle too much to give it, with Eilliet, the 
strict sense of being born — yivecOcu, a le sens de naitre ; nor 
does it serve any purpose, with the same author and Khein- 
wald, to resolve the phrase into — ofiows avOpdyiroi? — though 
abstract nouns with a preposition are frequent in Hellenistic 
Greek. Meyer would take iv in the sense of Angethanseins — 
that is, to be in, as one is in his clothes, to be clothed in ; a 
mere refinement. 'AvOpam&v is plural, ''approaching," as 
Eobinson says, "to the nature of an adjective," and signify- 
ing men generally. Jesus had the likeness of men, or 
appeared as men usually appear, was in no way as a man 
distinguished from men. But the use of such a noun as 
ofjioloofia may imply, as has been often said, that still He was 
different from other men. He was not identical in all respects 
with other men. As Meyer says, He was not purusputus 
homo ; or, as Theophylact said before him, He was not ^a\o? 
avdpcoiro*;. He was Divinity incarnate — the Word made 
flesh. The superhuman was personally allied to the human 
— the higher nature was united to His manhood. Whether 
the adjuncts of humanity are referred to in the ofiol&fia, may 
be a question. It is probable that all the ills that characterize 
humanity generally may be included ; for that Christ markedly 
wanted any of its common characteristics, His likeness to man 
would have been lessened in proportion. His sinlessness, 
indeed, did not seem to impress his contemporaries, for they 
called Him wine-bibber, sabbath-breaker, blasphemer, demo- 
niac, and rebeL But he shared in the common lot of men, 
aid never wrought a miracle to exempt Himself from it. 


When hungry, He would not change the stones into bread ; 
when wearied, He lay down on the well of Jacob ; when faint 
on the cross, He exclaimed, " I thirst." But the mere phrase 
will not of itself express that scorn, contempt, ignominy, and 
sorrow which threw their shadow over the Saviour's historical 
career. There is, however, something more in the words than 
van Hengel deduces — Christum quamquam Dei imaginem re- 
ferret, DeiqueJUius esset, se hominum tamen instar mandatis ejus 

The apostle pauses, as if for a moment, in his rapid 
accumulation. He had described Christ as being in the 
form of God, as not regarding equality with God as a seizure, 
and therefore as emptying Himself, having taken upon Him 
the form of a servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 
This is, however, only the first portion of the representation 
— Christ's assumption of a serving humanity, but the picture 
is not complete. From heaven to earth He descended by 
emptying Himself; but after being on earth, He humbled 
Himself by His obedience to the death. Or He laid aside the 
form of God, and took that of a servant ; but in that servant's 
form He still abased Himself even to the cross. The transition 
from the one depth to the yet lower depth is marked by teal 
€vp€0€l? — the subject is taken up at this point — such a resump- 
tion imparting freshness and emphasis. To make the next 
clause the concluding one of the description, while the finishing 
account would then begin abruptly by the verb irairetvaxrev, 
is bald and disjointed. 

(Ver. 8.) Kal ax^futri evpeOeU w avOpanro? — "And 
having been found in fashion as a man." Winer, § 31, 6. 
The noun oyfjiui, from oyelv — ej^ew/, denotes the way in which 
one holds himself. It sometimes signifies dress — so important 
in one's tout-ensemble— but here it comprehends more, namely, 
that complex variety of things which, taken together, make 
up a man's aspect and bearing. The Syriac translator had 
no equivalent term, and therefore he has introduced the 
Greek word into his version. It carries neither the notion 
of dignity nor of its opposite. Nor is it in any case redundant, 
as some have conjectured. Examples of its use are given by 
Raphelius and Eisner. Passow, sub voce. But it is not 
synonymous with the previous fiop<fyy and opoiajia. Perhaps, 


as to use, the distinction is, that the first is the more compre- 
hensive ; the second is modal ; while the third still farther 
illustrates and confirms. The " form of a servant " does not 
of itself imply humanity, while the " likeness of men " is only 
fully evinced by the outer manifestations of this <r%wta. If 
He have the (rxfijia, you infer the o/xoteofia, and both explain 
the p*op<f>V BovKov. Or p>op<f>t) BovXov is in direct contrast 
with p>op<f>r) 8eov ; ofiolcojia avQpwirwv has in it an oblique 
reference to taa Be<p, while the clause iv ayfiyMTt, o>? avdpwiros 
depicts the Saviour as He was seen to be, when the form of 
a servant and the likeness of men could be predicated of Him 
with equal truth. There is no need whatever to take the 
particle a>5 as representing the Hebrew Caph veritatis, though 
some of the older commentators do so. It is simply the ad- 
verb of manner. The participle evpeOei? is not identical with 
&v, as Eisner, Keil, and Bheinwald regard it, for it preserves 
its own signification. Herodian ii. 12 ; Luke xvii. 18 ; Bom. 
vii. 10 ; GaL ii 17 ; PhiL iii 9 ; 1 Pet ii. 22. This verb, 
and the verb of simple existence, differ as fully as the English 
phrases — to be, and to be found to be. Nor is there any 
warrant for giving to avOpwiros other than its usual and 
natural signification. The phrase is neither D*JKf, "as the 
first man," with Grotius; nor as a man vile and despised, 
according to others. Christ was fully ascertained to be a 
man. All about Him, His form and fashion, proclaimed it. 
He was seen to possess a man's shape and symmetry, to be 
endowed with a man's organs, senses, and instincts, to use a 
man's food and apparel, and to speak, think, act, and walk, 
like the other partakers of flesh and blood around him. He 
showed Himself possessed of a true body and a rational soul 
— that body no phantom or disguise, but an organism like 
that of all men born of woman, and within it a soul which 
grew in wisdom as His body grew in stature, being subject 
to human emotions, and possessed of the usual powers of 
thought and will. He was " found in fashion as a man " by 
those who lived with Him, who saw Him in all aspects, and 
in every variety of attitude and circumstance ; — His mother 
and kinsmen ; His fellow- villagers and friends ; His disciples 
and followers ; His enemies and executioners. 

Another verb is now used by the apostle, which is not to 

PHILIPriANS II. 8. 115 

be confounded in meaning or application with the preceding 
Cfcevaxrev — 

iraireivoxrev eavrov — "He humbled Himself." The posi- 
tion of the verb shows that the emphasis is laid upon the 
action it represents. In the phrase eavrov itcevaxre, the weight, 
as Meyer remarks, is laid on the reflexive reference of the 
act, but here on the reflexive act itself. That is to say, in 
the first case, when the self-emptying is described, the idea 
of " Self" predominates, for that " Self" possessed God's form 
and was on a parity with Him ; whereas in the latter case, 
His glory being vailed in human nature, it is the act of 
humiliation which arrests the attention: His person under- 
went no further change, but He stooped to extreme obedience 
and death. We cannot agree in the opinion of Meyer, that 
the two verbs stand in a climactic relation, nor can we say with 
Keil that they are synonymous, and surely the paraphrase of 
van Hengel comes short of the full import — et cum hdbitu suo 
deprehmderetur, ut homo quilibet, Dei minister esse, submisse 
se gessit. Nor can we say, with Wiesinger, that irairelvmaep 
denotes the humiliation which etcevwaev already presup- 
poses. We rather regard the words as quite distinct in 
reference. By the first verb, iKevwaev, is described the process 
by which He became man, or laid aside God's form and took 
upon Him a servant's — in other words, the process by which 
Divinity became incarnate ; but in the second, eraireivtuxrev, 
is described a further act, after the incarnation and dwelling 
on our world had taken place — something which He did after 
being in man's nature. Kevaxris is predicated of Him as 
being in the form of God, but rairelvoya^ of Him in the 
likeness and fashion of man. "He emptied Himself" in 
becoming man, but as man " He humbled Himself." The 
reference in this verb is therefore to something posterior to 
the action implied in itcivaxrev. Nor is there a climax in 
this interpretation, for the descent from the throne to the 
manger is infinitely greater than the step from the manger 
to the cross. The self-emptying might have existed without 
this humiliation, for there might have been life, humanity, 
and service without it. 

We do not separate yevoftevo? vtttjkoo^ from the verb eraireiv- 
toaev y the participle expressing the mode in which this self- 


humiliation was exemplified ; but we connect them with the 
words MxP 1 Qavdrov, and do not with Bengel and van Hengel 
join these last terms to the verb iTairelvwcev. The meaning 
is not, He humbled Himself unto death, but " He humbled 
Himself having become, or in that He became, obedient unto 
death." The preposition y&XP 1 we reg* 1 ^ as one of degree 
and not of time. 2 Tim. ii. 9 ; Heb. xii. 4. That death is 
further and sharply pointed out as indeed the death of the 
cross — 

ji€)(pi Oavdrov, davdrov he aravpov — " unto death, the 
death, ay, of the cross." The particle Si, from such a posi- 
tion and use, with a repeated word, makes its clause intensive. 
Winer, § 53, 7, b; Hartung, i. 168-169. His obedience 
reached to the point of death, and not only so, but to show 
its depth and submissiveness, it reached to the most painful 
and shameful of deaths — the death of the cross. Verily, in 
doing so, He humbled Himself. 

In the term {nrrjKoos is implied some one to whom obedience 
is rendered, and the obvious meaning is, that such obedience 
is offered to God, for on this account God highly exalted 
Him. Grotius, however, represents it thus — non opposuit vim 
illam divinam his capientibus se, damnantibus, interfieientibus. 
Eosenmiiller and Krause agree with him, but the exegesis is 
wholly unwarranted by the context. Obedience unto death 
is thus predicated of Christ in His incarnate state — obedience 
not merely in action, but in suffering. He obeyed as far ^s 
it is possible for man to obey — obeyed to the surrender of 
His life. Death in its most awful form was calmly encoun- 
tered and willingly endured. And there was no force com- 
pelling Him: it was no dark fate or inscrutable destiny 
which, turn as He might, He could not shun. Nor was it, 
on the other hand, the sudden outbreak of a wild enthusiasm, 
or of an irrepressible gallantry, which would not reflect and 
could not be guided. With all its heroism in meeting the 
degradation and shock of a public execution, it was yet a 
calm and collected obedience to a Higher will, under which 
He had spontaneously placed Himself. 

And this death, the death of the cross, was one of special 
torture and disgrace. Under Boman law, it was inflicted 
only on slaves and the vilest class of malefactors, and when 


carried into any of the provinces, its stigma still followed it 
Juvenal, vi. 184. A death of glory may excite ardour, but 
death on a gibbet is revolting. Some forms of violent death 
are sudden and almost painless, but the cross was the means 
of intense and protracted torture — a thousand deaths in one ; 
and then, to be treated as a felon, to be hanged on a tree by 
heathen hands and under a sentence of public law, — the 
shame was worse than the agony. The sun would not gaze 
upon the scene, and the sky covered itself in sackcloth* 
Aaron ascended to the summit of Mount Hor, and calmly 
expired at God's bidding. Moses climbed the hills of Moab, 
and, descending into some lonely inner valley, put off in the 
Divine presence his earthly tabernacle. But so far did God's 
own Soji carry His obedience, that He shrank not from scorn 
and anguish, for He was reviled as a blasphemer and taunted 
as an impostor and traitor during the trial that led Him to 
death ; ay, and that death was the doom of a felon, and He 
was stripped and nailed in nakedness to the cross, amidst 
hooting and execrations, gibes and merriment, as if He had 
been the veriest wretch and criminal in all Judaea. And this 
victim of sorrow and persecution, of the fury and sport of 
men, seized and killed so wantonly and cruelly by them, nay, 
killed by the cross, as if any other form of death would have 
been insufficient to mark their sense of His baseness — this 
man, so hanged upon a tree, was originally in the form of 
God, and thought it no robbery to be equal with God. 

In this paragraph there are many deep things, and many 
questions are suggested which we cannot answer. The incar- 
nation is, indeed, a mystery — especially the existence of the 
two natures in Christ, and their mutual relations and influ- 
ences. Speculation has always existed on this subject, and 
the names of Nestorius, Eutyches, Sabellius, Alius, and others, 
are mingled up from an early period in the controversies. 
But this passage was especially the theme of keen discussion 
in Germany in the beginning of the seventeenth century, 
between the divines of Giessen and Tubingen. The former 
party, such as Menzer in his Defermo (1621), and Feuerborn 
in his Sciagraphia (1621), and his Keiwayypcufria (1627), 
held that Jesus, during His. abode on earth, renounced the 
possession of the divine attributes; while the latter party, 



such as Nicolai, and Thummius in his TaireivaHriypaipla 
(1627), maintained, more in accordance with sound exegesis, 
that Jesus kept the possession of the divine attributes, but 
without their use — a Krfjais without a xpf)<ri$ — and that 
there was only a Kpvyjns, or concealment of them. The con- 
test involved not a few dialectical subtleties (on the unio 
hypostatica, and the communicatio idiomatum, etc.), as, for 
example, with regard to Christ's omnipresence — His immensitas 
in seipso, and His adessentia, or omniprcesentia operativa. It 
needs no great dexterity on this mysterious subject, to suggest 
and press difficulties which seem to imply contradiction, to 
raise arguments on detached phraseology, and to put questions, 
the attempt to answer which proves our ignorance of such first 
principles as are necessary to a full solution. Divinity, in all 
we are told of it, is so unlike humanity in all we feel of it, 
that we cannot wonder that the union of these two natures in 
Christ should present apparent contradictions in development 
and result Mystery envelopes us as soon as we think of a 
human consciousness in personal oneness with a divine essence, 
for we know not how they coalesce, what reciprocal connection 
they sustain, or what is the boundary between them. It is 
easy, and also correct, to employ the ordinary commonplaces, 
that there is a personal union without mixture or confusion, 1 
that the divine is not transmuted into the human, nor the 
human lifted or expanded into the divine. But the New 
Testament does not indulge in those distinctions, and He who 
had these natures premises no such distinction Himself, when 
in one place He disclaims omniscience, and confesses that He 
does not know the period of the judgment, and in another 
gives a promise which implies the possession of omnipresence 
— "Lo, I am with you alway." So that, on the points 
involved in this discussion, such acute men as Chemnitz, 
Hollaz, Gerhard, and Quenstedt, could with no great trouble 
invest an inimical theory with difficulties beyond solution, 
thrust an opponent into a dilemma, or put the case against 
him, so as to fasten the charge of inconsistency upon his 
argument, and heresy upon his conclusions. Secent reviews 
pf this controversy will be found in Thomasius, Christi Person 

1 Or, as in the language of the Council of Chalcedon, the union of the two 
natures is — £rvy;gvrwf, krf%xr'»t % «}<«4firwf, 4;g«p«Vrwf. 


und Werk, vol. ii., Erlangen, 1857 ; in the second volume of 
the JEnturickelungs-geschickte of Dorner, who does not agree on 
many points with Thomasius; in Hoffmann's Schriftbeweis, 
etc. ; in the Christologie of Gess and Liebner ; in Lechler's 
das Apostol. und nachapostol. Zeitcdter, 1857; in Schmid's 
Dogmatik der Evangelisch^Lutherischen Kirche, 3rd edit., 
1853; in Sartorius; and in Baur's die ChristlicJie Zehre 
von der DreieinigJceit und Menschwerdung Gottes, voL iii. p. 
415, etc. 

So vivid is the apostle's picture of the mind which was in 
Christ. So intently did He look at the things of others, so 
little was He bound up in His own, that He threw a vail of 
flesh over His glory and descended to earth ; and not only so, 
but when on earth He humbled Himself to yet a lower degree, 
and suffered the ignominy and death of a public execution. 
But such self-denial and generosity, involving lower*? of 
infinite extent, a subsequent rairelvtoa^ of unfathomed depth, 
with a parallel SovXeia of more than human compass, are not 
to pass unrewarded. The exaltation is in proportion to the 
depth of the earlier self-devotion. 

(Vex. 9.) Aio teal 6 Bebs avrbv inrepinfrcoaev — " Wherefore, 
too, God highly exalted Him." The Sio refers to the previous 
statement — not the obedience in itself, but to that obedience 
with the previous self-emptying and self-humiliation. On its 
account, and as a recompense, did God exalt Him. The ical 
strengthens the inference — connecting it more closely, and 
by way of contrast, with the premises, while o ©co? occupies 
an emphatic position. This is the natural connection, and 
it is not to be explained away as by Calvin, Crocius, Wolf, 
and others, who render quo facto, or ex quo, as if the formula 
only indicated the order of events, and not their close and 
causal connection. It is the doctrine of Scripture that Christ 
in dying for men, and because He did die for them, has 
won for Himself eternal renown. Luke xxiv. 26 ; John x. 
17; Heb. ii 9, xii. 2, etc. Verbs compounded with xmkp 
are favourites with the apostle, 1 and this compound term 
represents the immeasurable height of His exaltation. We 
cannot say, with Ellicott, that the meaning of inrip is purely 
ethical, for the ethical is figured by a local elevation, which 

1 A list will be found in Fritzsche on Rom. vol. i. p. 351* 


also gives imagery to the following clauses. Ps. xcvii. 9, 
xxxvi. 35, xcvL 10; Dan. iv. 34. The phrase is general, 
though it contains a reference to the previous verbs, etcevwaev 
and iraireivciHTev. He divested Himself of the Divine form, 
and came down ; but lower and lower still did He descend, 
till He wad put to death along with vulgar criminals, and 
therefore the exaltation rises in proportion to the previous 
depth — from the cross up to the crown. It was no common 
obedience, and therefore it is no common reward. Nothing 
could be lower than the degradation of the cross, nothing 
higher than the mediatorial crown. Infinite condescension 
surely merits highest glory. The compound verb inreptfy&aat 
compacts into itself the three several terms used in Isa. 
lii. 13. 

The apostle speaks of the God-man, but of Him especially 
in that nature in which he obeyed to the death. This supreme 
exaltation implies His resurrection, as proof of the acceptance 
of His obedience, and His ascension to heaven. The character 
of His elevation is now stated — 

teal kyapiv or o avrw to ovopa to xnrep irav ovopa — " and 
has given Him the name which is above every name." We 
prefer to before ovopa on the good authority of A, B, C, 1 7. 
Winer, § 20, 4 — note. The article specifies the name as 
something known and honoured. Whether ovopa should 
mean dignity, or have its literal signification, has been dis- 
puted. Many assign it the former sense — that of dignity 
and majesty,— giving emphasis to the word, as when we say 
in English, He has made himself a name. So the Eeformers, 
Luther, Calvin, and Beza, and among the moderns, Storr, 
Heinrichs, Hoelemann, Am Ende, Matthies, and Eheinwald. 
It is, however, more than doubtful whether ovopa by itself 
can bear such a meaning. Such may at times be its sense, 
but not its undoubted signification. The name itself is still 
thought of as. the centre of the celebrity which it bears, 1 
Mark vi 14; John xii. 28; Acts iii 16; Bom. i. 5. (See 
van Hengel in loc.) In fact, the word in classic Greek has 
two opposite senses, evinced by the context It has on the 
one hand the accessory idea of renown or honour, and on the- 

1 See Gesenius, sub voce DB>, Num. xvi. 2 ; 1 Chron. xii. 30; Neh. ix. 10. 

PHIUPHANS II. 10. 121 

other that of pretext and deceit — a name and nothing else. 
See under Eph. i 21. 

That name is above every name, and in this lies its glory. 
There are many high names, but it is higher than all of them. 
No name is equal to it, all are beneath it, and without excep- 
tion. What then is this name of lustre ? Not the title, Son 
of God — t/io? Beov — as Theophylact and Pelagius thought; 
nor as De Wette takes it — Kvpio? ; or as van Hengel gives it 
— nomen domini regni divini ; nor is it ©€09, as Aquinas, 
Estius, Philippi, and Beelen argue; nor yet Xpiaro^ as Miiller 
contends for. But the context shows that the person who 
bears this name is Jesus, who for His high function is termed 
Kvpio?. The name referred to, therefore, is Jesus, and the 
appellation Kvpio?> with which every tongue is to greet Him, 
characterizes that universal presidence with which He is now 
entrusted. Jesus is Lord. Acts ii. 36 ; Heb. i. 4. The 
meaning is, that through His exaltation, He who wears the 
common name of Jesus, has in it the loftiest of all appella- 
tions. Acts ix. 5. It commands unlimited homage, and it 
does so because of the suffering He has endured, and the 
reward conferred upon Him by the Father, in consequence of 
His condescension and death. In the verb iyapicaro is 
implied the notion of a gift — without denying that it is com- 
pensative in nature. Christ won it> and the Father therefore 
bestowed it — 

(Ver. 10.) H Iva iv Tj5 ovofiart 'Irjaov irav yovv tcdfiyfrrj ewot/- 
pavltov koL iirvyeuov zeal Kara^Oovu^v-^-" That in the name of 
Jesus every knee should bow, both of beings heavenly, and 
earthly, and under the earth." It is foreign to the entire 
spirit of the passage to render iv t$ ovojjmti " in the name/' 
if it be supposed, with van Hengel and De Wette, that the 
reference is to mediate homage presented in Christ's name to 
God. Nor yet does the formula stand for eh ro Bvopa, as 
Storr, Heinrichs, and Keil suppose, and thus mean " in honour 
of." The phrase points out the foundation or sphere of the 
homage, as Meyer remarks. 1 Cor. vi. 11 ; Eph. v. 20 ; Col. 
iii 17; Jas. v. 14; 1 Pet. iv. 14. See under Eph. v. 20; 
Col. iii. 17. In such passages, at least in the majority of 
them, the same idea is apparent, modified more or less by the 
context. " In the name of Jesus " is in recognition of it, or 


of the authority and majesty of Him who bears it The 
dative is usually placed after Kafiirreiv, to express the object 
worshipped, but here no object is expressed, as in 2 Chron. 
xxix. 29, and the inference is, that the object is not 8e&, as 
van Hengel supplies. If beings bow in recognition of the 
name of Jesus, it is to Jesus Himself as bearing such a name, 
that they offer homage. Acts vii. 59, ix. 14, xxiL 16 ; Bom. 
x. 13 ; 1 Cor. L 2. According to Pliny's testimony, the 
early Christians sang hymns Christo quasi Deo. 1 It has been 
remarked, too, that the angels " in heaven " do not need to 
bow the knee through a mediator, but they bow to Him as 
Lord. The church adores Him as its Saviour, and the universe 
adores Him for having saved His Church. Rev. v. 8—13. 
The phrase expresses homage to Jesus, universal and direct — 

irav yovu /cdjiifry — "every knee should bow." This 
posture is one of homage. Ps. xcv. 6 ; Isa. xlv. 23 ; Acts 
xxi. 5; Rom. xiv. 11; Eph. iii. 14. And this profound 
adoration is not limited in its sphere ; it is the homage — 

&TrovpavuDV teal iirtyeUov koX Kara^ovuov — "of beings in 
heaven, and on earth, and under the earth." These words are 
evidently to be taken not in the neuter, but in the masculine. 
The first term designates the inhabitants of heaven ; but why 
should Meyer, Ellicott, and Alford confine it to angels, when 
the New Testament declares that saints are in glory too? 
The second epithet describes the inhabitants of earth. But 
who axe meant by the ttaTaydbvioi,, a word which occurs 
only here ? A large number suppose it to mean the dead, 
as Alford and Ellicott, or the inhabitants of Hades, as 
Theodoret, Grotius, Meyer, De Wette, Rilliet, Rheinwald, etc. 
Many, on the other hand, understand the phrase of demons, 
such as Chrysostom, Theophylact, (Ecumenius, with not a 
few of the scholastic interpreters, and also Wiesinger. The 
Kaia^Oovioi may be taken as the population of Hades, or the 
Underworld, in which Hades is pictured as being — and that 
population is twofold, devils and lost souls. That both are 
there, is the doctrine of Scripture. As to the last, see Deut. 
xxxii. 22; Ps. ix. 17; Prov. xxiii. 14; Matt xi. 23; Luke 
xvi 23 : and as to the former, Luke viii. 31 ; Rev. xx. 3 ; 
Matt. xxv. 41. There is no doubt, however, that Hades is 

1 Epistolarum, lib. x* p. 457, ed. 1650* 

•PHILIPPIANS n. 11. 12$ 


sometimes a general term for the spirit -world of the- 
departed, without reference to character. As the result of 
death, it is personified. 1 Cor. xv. 55 ; Eev. xx. 13, 14. 
At the same time, it is the doctrine of the apostle and of the 
New Testament, that the souls of the blessed are with Christ 
in heaven. Perhaps, however, the three terms are not to be 
too strongly pressed. The apostle, by the use of them, seems 
to designate all ranks of beings in the universe — that is, every 
form of rational existence in it. For the apostle dwells on 
the idea of universality — a name above evert/ name — evert/ 
knee shall bow — every tongue confess. Isa. xlv. 23. The 
name above every name demands universal submission. No 
sphere is exempted, no rank of creatures is beyond its juris- 
diction, all shall bend the knee ; angels, and happy human 
spirits ; all who have lived, or shall live upon earth ; the souls 
of even the finally impenitent ; nay, Satan and all his fiends. 
Jas. ii. 19. It is scarcely worth while to refer to some 
other interpretations, such as the fancy of Lakemacher, who 
supposes the heathen gods, heavenly, earthly, and subter- 
ranean, to be represented by the three terms. That idea is 
far from the apostle's thoughts. As grotesque is the folly of 
Stolz, that the term denotes the dead, the living, and the 
unborn, there being supposed an allusion in the last term to 
Fs. cxxxix. 15 ; or that of those who suppose that the apostle 
so designates Christians, Jews, and Gentiles ; or that of Teller, 
who takes the triple classification to be one of rank — homines 
sortis ndbUioris, medice, et infimce. Estius and Bisping suppose 
the allusion to be to purgatory. Pudet has nugas. 

(Ver. 11.) Kal iraaa yX&ao-a i^ofioXoyrjaerav art, tcvpw? 
'Iyo-ov? Xpurrb? efc h6%av Seov irarpos. The future form of 
the verb is read in A, C, D, G, H, J, and K, but the common 
form — igofjLoXoyrjo-TjTcu — is found in B, and is retained by 
Lachmann, a reading probably from Bom. xiv. 11. The noun 
— yXSxraa — is not used in the figurative sense of nation or 
people — irdvra t& Wva — as Theodoret paraphrases it. " Every 
tongue " corresponds to " every knee ; " or, as Wiesinger says, 
" the tongue confesses that at which the knee bows." The 
compound verb adds strength to the idea, for though the 
Hellenistic usage delights in such verbs, still here the apostle 
certainly wished to express a plenary confession. See Fritzsche 

124 . PHIUPPIANS II. 11. 

on Matt. iii. 6. The meaning of the verb is not to praise, as 
Eheinwald and van Hengel understand it, adopting a peculiar 
view of the connection. The confession made is, " that Jesus 
Christ is Lord" — that He who vailed His glory, assumed 
human nature, and in it humbled Himself to death, yea, the 
death of the cross, that He who stooped to the lowest point of 
ignominy and agony, has been raised to the highest glory, and 
now is Universal Governor. For meaning and use of tcvpios, 
see under Eph. i. 2. Compare Eph. iv. 10 ; 1 Cor. xv. 27, 
etc. The worship of Jesus is absolute, not relative, as some 
authors quoted by Ellicott seem to hold. They who believe 
with Bull, 1 Pearson, Cudworth, and others, that the Son in 
some sense has His origin from the Father, and yet hold 
Him to be divine, co-eternal — awat&ios — and yet derived, not 
co-ordinate, but subordinate, may suppose that the worship 
of the Son is reflected upon the Father. See under 
Eph. i. 17. We cannot, however, regard the statement as 
sound or scriptural — ex Deo Patre (FUius) traxit ortgi- 
nem. But the honour paid to Christ as Mediator redounds 
to the Father's glory, for the Father set Him apart for 
the mediatorial work, sustained Him under it, and rewarded 
Him for it. 

What now is the connection of ek Sotjav Beov irarpos, " to 
the glory of God the Father " ? Els cannot signify iv, as it 
is rendered by Pelagius and Bengel, who follow the Vulgate 
rendering, Quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei 
Patris. Their idea is, that the Lord Jesus Christ possesses 
the glory of the Father, which is not the statement of the 
apostle. Calvin regards the clause as connected more with 
on than introduced by it, — that Jesus Christ is Lord, or that 
as the glory of God was manifested by Christ to men, so it is 
reflected in Christ, and the Father is glorified in the Son. 
The most natural connection is with the verb igofioXoytfaerai, 
and the previous clauses also. The acknowledgment of 
Christ's exaltation tends to or issues in the glory of God the 
Father. The economical subordination of the Son to the 

1 Naturam perfectionesque divinas PatH FUioque competere non collateraliter, 
aut co-ordinate, sed subordinate, hoc est, Filium eandam quidem naturam 
divinam cwn Patre communem habere, sed a Patre communicatam. Thesis 
Prima* Works, vol. v. p. 14, Oxford, 1827. Pearson on the Creed, vol. i. 
pp. 170-181, Oxford, 1847. 


Father is implied, both in the obedience and in the reception 
of the reward. 

The teaching of the apostle on the exaltation of the 
Saviour is : — 

1. That it is the reward of His self-denial and death. 
" Wherefore — Sw— God hath highly exalted Him. M He had 
come down on an errand of love ; the execution of it involved 
the indescribable suffering and ignominy of the cross; and 
the Father, when He had served in this awful enterprise, 
promoted Him to the highest honour as < He returned in 
triumph. Heb. ii. 6, 9. This honour, therefore, He has 
earned for Himself, through the divine appreciation of His 
career. But might not the results of the service in themselves 
have been sufficient reward ? It may be replied, that there 
are certain functions which Christ's exaltation enabled Him 
to discharge. The government or headship of the Church is 
committed to Him, and He is to be final Judge. But apart 
from these public reasons, which are not prominently before 
the apostle's mind, Christ's exaltation proved God's hearty 
concurrence in the self-abnegation and death of His Son. It 
exhibits in bright relief those elements of character which God 
delights to honour. It teaches the universe the majesty of 
grace, and excites the earth to imitate its Lord's magnanimous 
example, — " for he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." 

2. That His reward is exaltation to universal government. 
It is the name above every name- — every knee bowing to it, 
and every tongue confessing that He who bears it is Lord 
or Governor. No name is surrounded with such splendour, 
or commands such veneration. He has no superior and no 
rival No sphere, however high or distant, is exempted from 
his control : no creature, however mighty and godlike, has a 
co-ordinate jurisdiction. Verily, it is the name above every 
name ! If honour consist in elevation, what station can be 
higher than the throne of the universe ? If it consist in 
adoration, what homage can be nobler than that of cherub 
and seraph, and every order of holy intelligence throughout 
His vast domains ? 

3. That such honour is bestowed especially on His huma- 
nity. This exaltation of Jesus is no argument, as some would 
allege, against our exegesis, that the phrase " form of God " 


refers to Christ's pre-existent state. It has been objected, 
that this gift on the part of the Father is a gift of something 
Christ did not possess before, and which He must have 
possessed, if the "form of God" describes a pre-incarnate 
condition. The inference does not hold, for it is not of 
Christ simply as Divine the apostle speaks, but of the God- 
man, and Him especially as possessing the form of a servant, 
and assuming the likeness of men. Nor is it a relative 
exaltation in reference to us, but a positive advancement to 
honour and glory. This glory and government He who was 
in the form of God must have possessed, for by the " Word " 
all things were made, " and by Him all things consist," but 
He did not possess them as God-man or the Son of man, in 
this complex person, till the Father bestowed them. Theodoret 
says similarly — ov roivw ZXafiev h pJt) irporepav e2%ei> «&9 Oebs, 
aXX ehafiev d>? avOpcma? airep el](€v a>? Oeos. It has again 
been asked — if Jesus in His pre-incarnate state be thus 
described, how can additional honour be conferred on God ? 
The course of the apostle's thought is, — that this form of God 
was laid aside in the days of His humiliation and obedience, 
and that in His exaltation He has not simply reassumed it, 
but a higher glory has now been conferred on Him. Not that 
the infinite lustre of the Godhead can in itself be increased, 
but a new element is introduced — the human nature of 
Christ The nature in which He vailed His glory and stooped 
to death, ay, such a death, has been elevated ; or, in other 
words, He has added a new glory to His original splendour, 
the glory acquired as Redeemer in our nature to that 
originally possessed "with the Father ere the world was." 
This is " His own glory " — what He fondly calls " my glory." 
John xvii. 24. There is special reference to the element of 
humanity, and probably this is suggested by the striking 
phrase "at the name of Jesus;" Jesus being His human 
name, the name which He bore as a man ; and which, though 
it had a special significance, as indicated by the angel, yet 
passed among men as the familiar appellation of the Son of 
Mary. He that was known as Jesus among men, specifically 
as Jesus of Nazareth, He it is who in this very nature com- 
mands the homage of the -universe. The tablet above Him 
in his agony indicated this as the name of the sufferer. But 


the brow once, crowned with thorns now wears upon it the 
diadem of universal sovereignty ; and that hand once nailed 
to the cross now holds in it the sceptre of unlimited dominion. 
The man Jesus is Lord of all — our nature in His person 
occupies the loftiest position in God's empire. 

4. The result is — the divine glory — " to the glory of God 
the Father." Meyer speaks of a strong monotheism being 
manifest in this passage — " Absolute Godhead can be ascribed 
only to the Father — only the Father is 6 &v hit iramow ©cos." 
Still economic subordination, as of the Son to the Father, and 
the Holy Spirit to both, is very different from essential or 
absolute inferiority. If the Son be not God in the highest 
sense, would not this universal worship be universal idolatry ? 
and might not the same charge be brought against the 
homage and minstrelsy described as being offered to the 
Lamb throughout the Apocalypse ? Christ as God has the 
right to the adoration of the universe, but as God-man He has 
for His special service received a special investiture. He 
could not be worshipped at all, if He were not God, and He is 
now worshipped on this peculiar ground, because He has 
done and suffered as the apostle tells us. But the prime place 
is occupied by God the Father, to whom service was rendered 
by Christ, while the success of such service and its consequent 
reward by Him are a source of glory to Him. In the honour 
paid to His exalted Son, His own character is more fully seen 
and admired. — See under Eph. i. 14. , 

Were we to be guided simply by what appears to be the 
train of thought and counsel, we should say that the apostle 
now proceeds to apply the lesson. He had begun with the 
charge — " Look not every man on his own things, but every 
man also on the things of others ; " and in order to confirm 
the admonition, he has adduced the wondrous example of 
Jesus, showing how He minded not His own things, but laid 
aside His glory, and submitted to death, in pursuance of the 
welfare of others ; and how the Father, for this unparalleled 
generosity, raised Him to the throne of the universe. And 
now we naturally expect him to bring home the great practical 
truth to be gathered from such an inspiring statement. 

(Ver. 12.) "flare, ayairyrol /iov. The particle &are intro- 
duces an inferential lesson. 1 Cor. iii. 21, iv* 5, x. 12; 


1 Thess. iv. 18, etc. Followed thus by the imperative, this 
particle which is so often followed by the infinitive, has the 
sense of itaque — axr-re. Tittmann, ii. 6 ; Winer, § 41, 5, 1 ; 
Klotz, Devarius, ii p. 776. It does not reach back in its sweep 
to all the preceding statements. We cannot, with Wiesinger, 
give this as its ground — " Christ has attained to His glory 
only by the path of self-denial, — Wherefore." We take in the 
whole picture from the 6th to the 11th verse — "wherefore," 
or since such were Christ's spirit and career, such His self- 
denial and reward, since such an example is set before you, 
you are bound by your very profession to " work out." If He 
has set it, shall you hesitate to follow it ? Will it not en- 
dear itself to your imitation as you look upon it — a<f>op&vr€<; 
to Trapd&evyfia ? The heart of the apostle warms towards 
them, his soul is bound up in them, and he calls them " my 
beloved," adding a prefatory note — 

KaO<h$ irdpTore {nrriKovaare, fiif &$ iv rg irapovaia /jlov 
fiovov, dXXa vvv iro\\& fiaXXov iv rrj air ova la jjlou — /earepyd- 
%€<r0€. The apostle appeals to their uniform obedience rendered 
in one sense to himself, but primarily to God, having the same 
object as virrjicoo^ applied to Christ in verse 8. There should 
be a comma after {rTnjtcova-are, for the next words belong to 
the concluding clauses, as the use of pJ\ — vvv seems to indi- 
cate. The construction of the verse is peculiar from its very 
compactness. Two comparisons are inwoven — my presence, 
my absence — or " not in my presence only, but much more in 
my absence ; " and " as ye have always obeyed," " so now carry 
out your salvation." The fervid heart of the apostle was not 
fettered by the minutiae of formal rhetoric ; parallel thoughts 
are intertwined, and ideas that should follow in succession are 
blended in the familiar haste of epistolary composition. 
napovcia, in contrast with dirovaia, is not a future presence, 
as Wiesinger renders it. 2 Cor. x. 10. It is, indeed, applied 
especially to a future advent of Christ, a presence not now, 
but afterwards, to be enjoyed. The apostle uses in this epistle 
the words irapovaia irdXw, i. 26. The adverb a>9 does not 
simply denote comparison, but it indicates a supposed or 
imagined quality which the apostle, indeed, warns against, and 
will not believe to exist. Eom. ix. 32 ; 2 Cor. ii. 17 ; Gal. iii. 
16. The claim of the injunction did not cease with his 


presence. His absence did not make the obligation less 
imperative, but it demanded more earnestness and vigilance 
from them in the discharge of the duty. His voice and 
.person were a guide and stimulant, his addresses and conver- 
sations reproved their languor, and excited them to assiduous 
labour, so that His presence among them wrought like a 
charm. And now that he was not with them, and they were 
left to themselves, they were so much the more to double 
their diligence, and work out salvation. This was to be 
done jAera <j)6/3ov teal rpofiov — " with fear and trembling." — 
See under Eph. vi. 5, where the phrase has been explained. 
1 Cor. ii. 3 ; 2 Cor. vii 15 ; Ps. ii. 11. The phrase means 
something more than Jerome's non cum negligentia. It re- 
stricts the feeling described too much to one aspect of it, to 
suppose it to be awe before an omnipresent God, as do the 
Greek expositors ; or a sense of dependence on God, as does 
De Wette; or the apprehension that the work is not per- 
formed sufficiently, as do Meyer and Wiesinger. In fact, 
the phrase describes that state of mind which ought ever to 
characterize believers — distrust of themselves — earnest solici- 
tude in every duty — humble reliance on divine aid, with the 
abiding consciousness that after all they do come far short of 
meeting obligation. There does not seem to be any reference, 
as some suppose, to the spirit of Christ's BovXeia, but these 
may be a warning against that pride and vainglory already 
reprobated by the apostle. In this spirit they are enjoined — 
rtjv eavr&v cwrqpiav KaT€pyd£eaOe~ € carry out your own 
salvation." The compound verb here expresses the idea of 
carrying out, or making perfect Fritzsche on Eom. ii. 9 ; 
also Raphelius, vol. ii. p. 495. This sounder philology opposes 
the explanation of Chrysostom — ovtc elirev ipyd£ecr0€, oKka 
/carepyd&ade, TOvre<rn fiera iroWrfc rife <nrov8fj<;, perk iroWr}? 
t?}9 cVt/ttWa?. The verb describes not the spirit in which the 
work is done, but the aim and issue — " cany through ; " while 
the idea of the Greek Father is only inferential. In the 
translation-*— " work out one another's salvation" — which is 
that of Pierce, Michaelis, Storr, Flatt, and Matthies, we should 
at once concur, but for a reason to be immediately stated. 
The reciprocal meaning given to eavr&v may be found in 
Eph. iv. 32 ; CoL iii. 1C; 1 Pet. iv. 8, 10. The context, as 


van Hengel admits, is in favour of the latter translation which we 
have given. De Wette contends that the reference in the verse 
is quite general — an idea which the inferential particle &<rre 
does not sanction ; and he carries the reference back to i. 27, 
without any warrant whatever. Rheinwald, Rilliet, and others, 
uphold the idea that the verse is an inference from the pre- 
ceding exhibition of Christ's example. We think that this 
cannot be doubted, so close and inseparable is the connection. 
But what is that example intended to illustrate ? Might we 
not say the injunction — -" Look not every man on his own 
things, but every man also on the things of others." If the 
career of our Lord be introduced to show us what mind was 
in Him, surely the lesson deduced will be in unison. If he 
bid them have the mind of Christ, and then go on to show 
what it is, surely his inference must be that they should, in 
their own sphere, exhibit the same mind. JSTow the great 
truth which the exhibition of Christ's example illustrates is 
self-denying generosity — the very charge He has already given 
them, and the inference is expected to be in harmony with 
the starting lesson. The command — rrjv iavr&v acoTrjpiav 
Karepyd&o-Oe — will therefore be synonymous in spirit with 
the previous one in verses 4, 5. In this way the &ot€ would 
connect homogeneous ideas. If the words be rendered, " work 
out your own salvation," we do not see how it can with the 
same force be derived as a lesson. The connection brought 
out by Alford is — " considering the immense sacrifice which 
Christ has made for you, and the lofty eminence to which God 
has now raised Him, be ye more than ever earnest, that you 
miss not your own share in such salvation." But there is no 
hint of this connection in the preceding verses : for, in referring 
to Christ, the apostle does not speak of Him as a Saviour, nor 
yet of the salvation which He has secured. He does not say 
He died for sin, or died for us. His reference is to the spirit 
of His death, and not to its character and results. It is true 
that His exaltation proved His mission divine, and His media- 
tion effectual. But the apostle does not allude to this, nor 
does he in this paragraph in any way connect the glory of 
Jesus with a completed redemption. If he had said — He has 
died and risen again to save you, the connection could easily 
be — therefore salvation is perfect, and you are summoned 


either to receive it, or more fully to realize it But it is 
simply of the fact that Christ denied Himself to benefit others 
that the apostle writes, and the Philippians are to do service 
to others, and thus evince that the same mind is truly in them 
which was also in Christ Jesus. Kay more, the connection 
usually brought out seems also to have this peculiarity, that it 
seems to make the apostle begin the paragraph with one in- 
junction, and end it by enforcing its opposite. He commences 
formally — " Look not every man on his own things ; " and he 
ends by saying virtually — "Look every man on his own 
things — work out your own salvation." Is he to be under- 
stood as either modifying or withdrawing his first injunction, 
an injunction commended by the example of Christ Jesus. 

The only difficulty in the way of this view is philological. 
The pronoun kavr&v is used in verse 4th, to signify one's own 
things ; and in verse 21st it is used with the same meaning, 
and how should the same word in the intervening verse 12th 
be used with precisely an opposite signification ? We feel 
the difficulty to be insuperable, while the leading of the 
context is so decided. And perhaps this may be the idea — 
carry forward your own salvation with fear and trembling, 
for with such a work in progress, and such emotions within 
you, you will possess the mind of Christ ; for he who thus 
carries out his own salvation will sympathize with the toils 
and labours of others, and look not alone at his own things. 
Their own salvation being secured and carried out, they 
would not be so selfish as to be wholly occupied with it, so 
unlike Him who made Himself of no reputation, as to creep 
up to heaven in selfish solitude. For the law of the kingdom 
is, that he who stoops the lowest shall rise the highest — 
Christ the first, and each after Him in order. This loving 
and lowly spirit God rejoices in — it is the heart of His Son, 
and the genius of His gospeL How this duty is to be dis- 
charged, the apostle does not say, but he adverts to its spirit 
— " in fear and trembling." 

(Ver. 13.) c O 8eo$ yap itrnv 6 ivepy&v iv ifuy teal to 
Oekew koI to ivepyeiv, inrep rrj^ evSoirias — "For God it is who 
worketh in you both to will and to work, in consequence of 
His own good pleasure." The article of the Eeceived Text 
before Seo? is omitted in A, B, C, D l , F, G, and K. Its 


absence fixes attention upon Divinity, as in contrast to that 
humanity in which He wills and works. The yap indicates 
the connection, not by assigning a reason in the strict sense 
of the term, but by introducing an explanatory statement : — 
Engage in this duty; the inducement and the ability to 
engage in it are inducement and ability alike from God. It 
is too much to infer that the Philippians were despondent, 
and that this verse is to be regarded as an encouragement. 
But that they needed excitement to duty is plain, however, 
from the statement — " and how much more in my absence " 
— though certainly Bengel's filling up is far-fetched — Deus 
prcesens vobis, etiam absente me. It is as if he had said — 
" Work out with fear and trembling, for God it is that worketh 
in you. Engage in the duty, for God prompts and enables 
you ; engage in it with fear and trembling — emotions which 
the nature of the work and such a consciousness of the Divine 
presence and co-operation ought always to produce." If the 
impulse sprang from themselves, and drew around it the 
ability to obey, there might be " strife and vainglory ; " but 
surely if the motive and the strength came alike from God, 
then only in reliance on Him, and with special humility and 
self-subduing timidity, could they proceed, in reference to 
their own salvation, or in offering one another spiritual 

The position of ©€09 shows the emphasis placed upon it by 
the apostle. God it is who worketh in you — alluding to the 
inner operation of Divine grace — for iv vpiv is not among 
you. There is special force in the form ianv 6 evepywv. 
Winer, § 45, 5, note; Fritzsche, ad Roman. voL ii. p. 212, 
And the result is twofold — 

teal to dekeiv teal to ivepyelv — " both to will and to work," 
first and naturally volition, and then action. Eom. vii. 1 8. 
The double ml is emphatic. Winer, § 53, 4. The apostle 
uses ivepyeiv both of cause and effect — iv€py&p — ivepyetv — 
whereas the verb denoting the ultimate form of action was 
Karepyd&ade. The difference is veiy apparent. The latter 
term, the one employed by the apostle in the exhortation of 
verse 12th, represents the full and final bringing of an enter* 
prise to a successful issue ; whereas ivepyetv describes action 
rather in reference to vital power or ability, than form op 


result. The will and the work are alike from God, Or frpm 
the operation of His grace and Spirit ; not the work without 
the will — an effect without its cause ; not the will without 
the work — an idle and effortless volition. 

The concluding words — inrkp rfc evSofcia? — have given 
rise to a good deal of discussion. The phrase has no pronoun, 
and what then is its reference? The Syriac renders 

ipAj] fa ♦ * ^Oyio — that which you wish. And so Ambro- 

siaster, followed partly by Erasmus, Grotius, and Michaelis. 
But evSofcia, as is indicated by the article, belongs here to 
the subject of the verb. The preposition virep is not 
"according to," as it is rendered by Luther and Cameron, 
nor pro, as Beza and Bengel write it It signifies "on 
account of." John xi. 4; Acts v. 41 ; Bom. xv. 8 ; Winer, 
§ 47, 1, (3). It is not very different in result from Bi 
evSoKiau — i. 15 — though the mode of representation some- 
what varies— rthe irrrip giving a reason, not in a logical, but 
rather in an ethical aspect See under Eph. i. 5. The noun 
itself is defined by Suidas — to ar/adov dekrjfia rod Beov. 
Suicer, i. 1241. (Ecumenius gives the true meaning in his 
paraphrase — \nrkp rov irXrjpaOrjvat, ek vfias rrjv eiSotctav teal 
rr)v fHovkrjv avrov. It is in consequence of, or to follow out 
His own good pleasure, that He works in believers both to 
will and to work. He is not an absolute or necessary, but 
a voluntary or spontaneous cause. He does it because He 
freely wills it, or because it seems good to Him. His 
efficacious grace is at His own sovereign disposal Conybeare 
joins inrkp t§9 evhoicCa*; to the following verse, but the con^ 
nection is neither natural nor warranted. 

The sentiments of the preceding verses have been adduced 
as objections both to Pelagianisin and Calvinism. Augustine 
made good use of them in his day, in defence of the doctrine 
of divine grace, and in overthrow of that meagre system which 
is based at once on shallow conceptions of man's nature, and 
superficial expositions of Scripture, and which, in denuding the 
gospel of its mysteries, robs it of its reality and profound 
adaptations. In later times, commentators on this passage 
have attacked with it what is usually called Calvinism. 
"The Calvinistic writers," says Bloomfield in his Becensio 

134 raiLimANs n. is. 

Synoptica, " are exceedingly embarrassed with it ; " and after 
reprehending Doddridge for a paraphrase of the verses, not a 
whit worse or weaker than his ordinary dilutions, he adds, 
"When we see so sensible a writer, and so good a man, 
acting so disingenuous a part, we cannot but perceive the weak- 
ness of the system of doctrines he adopts, which drives him 
to such unwarrantable measures." Now, if we" understand 
Calvinism at all, these two verses express very definitely its 
spirit, belief, and practice. Divested of technical points, it is 
this — profound and unquestioning trust in God, united to the 
utmost spiritual activity and necessarily leading to it — acting 
because acted upon, as the apostle here describes. The terms 
employed by him exclude a vast amount of questions often 
raised upon the verses — as the injunction is addressed, not to 
the unbelieving and unregenerate, but "to saints in Christ 
Jesus," to those who not only believed in Christ, but had 
suffered for Him. The allusion is not to man's laying hold of 
salvation, or to his first reception of it, and the necessity of 
gratia prceveniens, and therefore queries as to free-will and 
grace — their existence or antagonism — are away from the 
point. The apostle writes to persons who have received sal- 
vation, and he bids them carry it out. And who doubts that 
man's highest energies are called out in the work — that every 
faculty and feeling is thrown into earnest operation ? What 
self-denial and vigilance — what wrestling with the Angel of 
the Covenant — what study of the Lord's example — what busy 
and humble obedience — what struggles with temptation — 
what putting forth of all that is within us — what fervent 
improvement of all the means of grace — industry as eager 
and resolute as if no grace had been promised, but as if all 
depended on itself ! The believer's own conscious and con- 
tinuous effort in the work of his sanctification, is a very 
prominent doctrine of Scripture, and the apostle often 
describes his own unrelaxing diligence. On the other hand, 
the doctrine of divine influence is caricatured by any such 
hypothesis as is implied in the phrase — homo canvertitur 
nolens — or, when even under its " Dordracene n representa- 
tion, it is styled, as by Ellicott, " all but compelling grace/* 
for in no sense can faith be forced ; and the freest act of the 
human spirit is the surrender of itself under God's grace to 


Himself. The rational nature is not violated, the mental 
mechanism is never shattered or dislocated, and the freedom 
essential to responsibility is not for a moment disturbed or 
suppressed. Though God work and work effectually in us 
" to will," our will is not passively bent and broken, but it 
wills as God wills it ; and though God work and work 
effectually in us " to do," our doing is not a course of action 
to which we are helplessly driven ; but we do, because we 
have resolved so to do, and because both resolve and action 
are prompted and shaped by His power that worketh in us — 
agimur ut agamus. This carrying out of our salvation is a 
willing action ; but the will and the acts, though both of man 
and "by him as agent, are not in their origin from him — the 
vis from which they spring being non nativa sed dativa. 
Lazarus came forth from the tomb by his own act, but his 
life had been already restored by Him in whom is life. The 
Hebrews walked every weary foot of the distance between 
Egypt and Canaan, yet to God is justly ascribed their exodus 
from the one country and their possession of the other. As 
man's activities are prompted and developed by Him who 
works in us both to will and to do, so is it that so many calls 
and commands are issued, urging him to be laborious and 
indefatigable ; for still he is dealt with as a creature that acts 
from motive, is deterred by warning, swayed by argument, 
and bound to obey divine precept And what an inducement 
to work out our salvation — God Himself working in us — > 
volition and action prompted and sustained by Him who 
" knoweth our frame." It is wrong to say with Chrysostom 
— " If thou wilt, in that case, He will work in thee to will." 
For the existence of such a previous will would imply that 
God had wrought already. The exposition of Pelagius was, 
that as there are three things in man, posse, veUe, agere, 
and that as the first is from God, and the other two from 
ourselves, so the apostle here puts the effect for the cause — 
Deus operator vdle, id est, posse, quia dat mihi potentiam ut 
possim velle. Lex et doctrina are with him equivalent to, or 
are the explanation of, grctiia divina. But law and revelation 
only tell what is to be done, and as Augustine says, qua 
gratia agitur, non solum ut facienda noverimus, verum etiam 
ut cognita faciamus. — Opera, vol. x* p. 538, ed. Paris, 1838. 

136 phiuppians n. 14. 

The command, " work out your own salvation/* is certainly 
not in itself opposed to what Ellicott calls the " Dordracene 
doctrine of irrevocable election ; " for the divine purpose does 
not reduce man to a machine, but works itself out by means 
in perfect harmony with the freedom and responsibility of his 
moral nature ; so that every action has a motive and character. 
Were this the place, one might raise other inferential ques- 
tions- — whether this divine operation in the saints can be 
finally resisted, and whether it may be finally withdrawn ? 
or, in another aspect, whether a man whom God has justified 
can be at last condemned ? or whether the divine life 
implanted by the Spirit of God may or can die out ? But 
the discussion of such questions belongs not to our province, 
nor would the mere language of these verses warrant its 

(Ver. 14.) Udma iroieire %a>/H9 yoyyvo-ft&v teal 8ia\oyia- 
fi&v — " do all things without murmurings and doubts." This 
counsel is still in unison with the preceding injunctions; 
and is not to be taken, with Bheinwald, as an isolated or 
independent statement. The duties inculcated might be 
discharged in form, yet not in the right spirit The term 
irdvra is restricted in its reference by the context. The noun 
ryoyyvo-fios, which Paul uses only here, and which is an imita- 
tive Ionic sound like the English murmur, denotes the expres- 
sion of dissatisfaction with what is said, done, or ordered, Acts 
vL 1, Ex. xvi 7, 8 ; or in the use of the verb, 1 Cor. x. 10; 
Sept Num. xi. 1, etc. The other noun SiaXoyio-ftos passed 
from its original meaning to signify reasoning or thought, and 
then descended to denote disputation. Luke ix. 46 ; 1 Tim. 
ii. 8. In Luke xxiv. 38, the reference is to secret doybts; 
but our Lord read the heart, and but for His presence, the heart 
would soon have prompted the lips to speak out The Vul- 
gate translator has rendered the term by hcesitationibus. The 
two nouns are closely connected, and express the same general 
idea of dissatisfaction and doubt — opposed to the cheerful 
and prompt discharge of present duty. That the last term 
refers to such disputes as endanger the peace and unity of the 
church, is the idea of Chrysostom, but it is not supported by 
the immediate context, though it might be a result of the 
conduct condemned ; but the . notion of Grotius, that the 


apostle refers to debates with philosophers, is vain. Nor can 
we agree with Theodoret, that there is reference to persecu- 
tions — Tov? birkp rov €vayy€\tov kivSvvovs ; for such adverse 
dispensations are not glanced at. The apostle is not speak- 
ing of murmuring under trial, but in discharge of duty. 
Meyer contends for Tittmann's distinction between avev and 
X°>pk, that the former depicts the absence of the object from 
the subject; and the latter, the separation of the subject 
from the object Tittmann, Syn. p. 94. See under Eph. ii. 
12. The apostle Paul never uses avev, but always xay>/9, 
while 1 Peter — iv. 9 — has avev yoyyvo-fi&v. The distinction 
is therefore more of an ideal or etymological nature, than 
one carried out in use and practice. It seems to us too 
restricted on the part of Meyer and De Wette, to take God as 
the Being murmured against; or, with Estius and Hoele- 
mann, to make the objects of this murmuring the office- 
bearers in the church ; or, with Calvin and Wiesinger, the 
members of the church. Alford regards both words as having 
a human reference, but without satisfactory proof. The feel- 
ing of dissatisfaction and hesitation is expressed generally, 
and its particular causes and objects are not assigned. No 
matter what may tend to excite it, it must not be indulged ; 
whether the temptation to it be the divine command, the 
nature of the duty, the self-denial which it involves, or the 
opposition occasionally encountered. There was neither 
grudge nor reluctance with Him whose example is described 
in the preceding verses — no murmur at the depth of His 
condescension, or doubt as to the amount or severity of the 
Sufferings which for others He so willingly endured. The 
purpose of the injunction is then stated — 

(Ver. 15.) "Iva yevrjaOe afiefiwrot teal a/cepaiot, — "That ye 
may be blameless and pure." This reading of the verb has 
considerable authority, but so has ffre, which is adopted by 
Lachmann. The ordinary reading may, perhaps, be pre- 
ferred. The two adjectives express the same idea in dif- 
ferent aspects, the first meaning that to which no blame is 
attached, and the latter that of which moral simplicity can be 
asserted. There is, therefore, a climax in the statement — not 
simply blameless, or escaping censure, but possessing that 
spiritual integrity which secures blamelessness. Matt. x. 16 ; 

138 PH1LIPPIANS n. 15. 

Bom. xvi 19. Or, as Meyer suggests, the two adjectives 
correspond to the two previous nouns. If they did all things 
without murmurings, they should " be blameless ; " if without 
doubts, they should be " sincere." None should censure them, 
if they were cheerful in duty ; and none could censure them, 
if this inner integrity characterized them. The conjunction 
Xva brings out this clause as the end or object. If they did 
all these things without murmurings and doubts, what surer 
proof of having reached the possession of the same mind 
which was also in Christ Jesus? Nay, more, they should 

rifcva Geov afuofuyra — "children of God, blameless." For 
afjubfiTjTa, which has good authority, A, B, G read a/imfia, 
the more common form in the New Testament, the previous 
word occurring only twice. They were already the children 
of God, but they were to be blameless children of God. How 
far afjL€fjL7TToc } in the previous clause, differs from afjw/jwjTa in 
the present clause, it is difficult to say. Perhaps the last is 
really a stronger term than the first. If the first mean 
unblamed, or without moral defect, the second may rise to 
the higher meaning of without cause of blame, without ground 
of moral challenge — children breathing the spirit, possessing 
the image, and exhibiting the purity of their Father-God. 
And the blamelessness of their character would be the more 
apparent from the contrast — 

fiiaov yevea? <r/co\ia<; teal SiearpafifjAvrj^ — "in the midst 
of a crooked and perverse generation." The adverbial form 
fieaov has preponderant -authority over the common reading 
iv peacp — the former having in its favour A, B, C, D 1 , F, G. 
The term is used adverbially. Winer, § 54, 6, note; Num. 
xxxv. 5. The clause is virtually quoted from Deut. xxxii. 5 
— T€Kva ficdfjL7)Ta y yeveh <rjco\ia kcl\ ScecrTpafifJLevr). 

The noun yevea is generation — the men living at that 
period. Matt, xi 16, xvii 17 ; Acts ii. 40. The first epithet, 
atcoktd, meaning bent or crooked, has a similar tropical 
signification, Acts ii. 40; 1 Pet. ii 18; and the second 
term, SieoTpapiievrj, signifies physically and ethically what is 
twisted or distorted. Matt xvii. 17; Luke ix. 41 ; Acts xx fc 
30. The two adjectives have the same general meaning, the 
one referring to the inner disposition, and the other to. its 


outer Manifestation; and both pointing out, not do much the 
dulness of disobedience, as its caprices ; not so much its fatal 
stupidity, aa its wayward and eccentric courses. What the 
apostle describes is not spiritual torpor, but spiritual obliquity; 
his mental reference being to those examples of periodical 
insanity for which Israel of old was proverbial, and by which 
Moses had been so surprised and grieved* Sin brought 
chastening, and though penitence followed punishment, it was 
soon succeeded by another wanton outbreak. It was sun- 
shine to-day, but shadow to-morrow — a song on . the bank 
of the Red Sea — and then, after a few weeks' advance, the 
blasphemous howl — " Would to God we had died by the hand 
of the Lord in the land of Egypt." They were always over- 
mastered by the idea of the moment, the passion of the hour 
—sinning and suffering, fretting and praying, mere children 
without firmness of temper or stability of resolve. Their 
character was uniform only in its variableness and perversity 
« — tears for their chains the one month ; tears for the flesh- 
pots the next A character not identical certainly, but 
similar in some respects, the apostle ascribes to the Philippian 
population of that day, not as sunk into sullen unbelief, but 
moved by tortuous impulses to reject what they could not 
disprove, and persecute what they could not but admit was 
innocent in its civil aspect, and pure and benignant in its 
spiritual results. . Nothing would please them ; give them on$ 
argument, and they cry for another. Tell them of the 
simplicity of the gospel, and they pray you to dilate on its 
mysteries ; speak of its power, and they bid you dwell on its 
charity. Both Jew and Pagan at Philippi may have shown 
such a spirit to the church. The impeachment is not only 
open wickedness, as Grotius gives it, but also a want of 
candour and sincerity ; public avowals at variance with secret 
convictions ; objections made on mere pretence, the ostensible 
motive , not the true one ; one purpose secretly crossed or 
overlaid by another ; their conduct a riddle, and their life a 
lie. Our Lord depicted a similar feature of his own age. 
Matt, xi, 16, etc. In the midst of such society, the Philippian 
believers were to do all things with cheerfulness and prompti- 
tude, so as to approve themselves the sons of God by their 
spiritual integrity and purity, for it was true of them — 


iv oU <f>aip€<r0€ (»9 (fxKxrnjpe; iv tcoafup — " among whom ye 
appear as luminaries in the world." The verb is taken as an 
imperative by not a few, such as Cyprian, who renders 
lucete, and by Theophylact, Erasmus, Calvin, Storr, Bhein- 
wald, and Baumgarten-Crusius. The indicative is preferable, 
as the clause describes an existing or actual condition, and so 
it is understood by most modern expositors. The plural oU 
represents the individuals comprised in the yeved, a frequent 
form of construction according to the sense. Matt. xiiL 54; 
Luke x. 7 ; Acts viii. 5 ; 2 Cor. ii. 13 ; Winer, 58, § 4, (J). 
Wiesinger and Meyer remark that the verb <f>aiveade is 
improperly rendered "ye shine/' though the lexicographers 
appear to give it that signification. It has this meaning in 
the active, and is so employed. John i. 5, v. 35 ; 2 Pet i 
19 ; but in the passive it signifies "to appear." Still, when 
coupled with such a word as £flwri//w, it may be rendered 
shine, without any impropriety — for to appear as luminaries, 
is simply to shine. In the term (fworrjpe? the allusion is to 
the heavenly bodies ; not to light-houses certainly, as Barnes 
supposes ; nor yet to torches, as is imagined by Beza and 
Cornelius a-Lapide. The concluding words iv tcoafup do not 
belong to the verb, which has already iv ' oU before it, but to 
fyiHnrjpcs. Koo-fw? wants the article (Winer, § 19), and it 
serves no purpose in figures of this popular nature to assign 
this noun an ethical sense, as Ellicott does. It is strange that 
Bheinwald, preceded by Drusius, should take tcoo-fio* to mean 
the firmament. Hoelemann, Billiet, and van Hengel supply 
a verb Qalvovrat — among whom " as stars shine in the world 
ye shine " — but this is not necessary. The figure is, simply, 
that the sons of God are in the world what the heavenly 
luminaries are to it. The world is the sphere in which they 
revolve and shine. The point of comparison is obvious. It 
is not first nor simply eminence in virtue, nor conspicuous 
position, nor elevation above worldly pursuits and likings, 1 
but the diffusion of light Matt. v. 14, 15, 16. They did 
not only enjoy the light, but they reflected it. They appeared 
as luminaries in the world, and its only spiritual light came 
from them. There was deep gloom around them, but they 
tended to disperse it. What in fact has not the world learned 

1 Nan amant terrena. Anselm. 


from the church ? The apostle now describes the mode of 
illumination — 

(Ver. 16.) Aoyov fawfc brtxpims — "Holding forth the 
word of life." We look on this clause as descriptive or 
illustrative of the one before it Robinson and Baumgarten- 
Crusius connect it with the epithets A^efimrov teal atdpatoi, a 
hypothesis which sadly dislocates the paragraph, and is not in 
harmony with the figure. By \6yov £arij? we understand the 
gospel ; or, as Theodoret explains it — ri tctfpvyfui iiretBi) rijv 
aiwviov irpol-evet tpr\v. It is the " word of life " — life being 
the grand blessing which it reveals — while it proclaims its 
origin, how it has been secured, and by what means it is 
applied, what is its present nature, and what shall be its 
ultimate and glorious destiny. Bom. i 16 ; John vi 63 ; Acts 
v. 20. To understand Christ Himself by the phrase, as did 
some of the older expositors, is unwarranted. Nor can we, 
with others, such as Am Ende, give the genitive a subjective 
sense, and render the " living word ; " or, with Beza and others, 
the vivifying word — vivificvm db effectu. 

The participle eWj^oi/re? has been variously understood. 
1. The Syriac translator interprets, but does not render, when 

he gives the clause — U-L> Aao-O ^oai\ #aa-2L]j, "to be 

to them for a place of salvation/' He is followed by Michaelis, 
Zachariae, Flatt, and Storr, who gives it — et vUce loco esse. 
The view, however, cannot be maintained by any strong 

2. The literal meaning of the verb is " to have on ; " and so 
Meyer takes it in the simple sense of " possessing/' a meaning 
it has in the classical writers. Yet in the passages adduced 
by him from Herodotus and Thucydides, the word signifies to 
occupy or govern a district. Meyer's idea is, however, good 
in itself, for had they not possessed the word of life, the 
essence of which is light, they should be as dark as the world 
round about them. 

3. Others give the participle the sense of " holding fast " — 
the word of life. Hesychius defines it by Kparovvres, and 
Suidas by <f>v\d<r<Toyre<f. This view is held by Luther, Bengel, 
Hoelemann, Heinrichs, De Wette, Robinson, Bretschneider, 
and WahL The verb does not seem to have such a meaning 

1 42 MIL1PPIANS IL 16. 

anywhere in the New Testament, certainly not in Acts xix, 
22. This idea is illustrated by Chrysostom — "What means," 
he asks, " holding fast — cVe^oires — the word of life ? Being 
destined to live, being of the saved." And he asks again 
— " What means the word of life ? Having the seed of life 
- — that is, having pledges of life, holding fast — /car^oi/res — 
life itself." 

4. We agree with those who understand the word as 
meaning " holding up or forth." Of this opinion, generally, 
are van Hengel, Erasmus, Grotius, Eheinwald, and Matthies. 
Meyer allows that such a meaning does belong to the verb, 
but objects that it does not harmonize with the figure which 
represents the subjects themselves as luminaries. Now it may 
be replied, that this clause describes the mode in which 
believers are luminaries. They appear as lights in the world 
— as, or when, or because they are holding forth the word of 
life. Possessing the word of life they shine, says Meyer; 
holding up the word of life they are luminaries, is our idea of 
the image. The possession of the gospel is in itself a source 
of individual enlightenment, but the exhibition of that gospel 
throws its fight on others. 

There is abundant evidence that this is a common meaning 
of the verb, and such a meaning harmonizes with the context. 
Numerous examples are given by Passow and the other lexi- 
cographers — Iliad ix. 485, etc., Od. xvi. 444 — where the verb 
occurs with olvov, as in other places with fia^ov, etc. The 
gospel or word of life was held forth, and its holders were 
light-givers in the world. As they made known its doctrines, 
and impressed men with a sense of its importance, as their 
actions, in their purity and harmony, exhibited its life and 
power, did they hold it forth. From them the world learned 
its true interest and destiny, its connection with God and 
eternity; they were its only instructors in the highest of the 
sciences. As Balduin quaintly but truly remarks, Christ is 
</><w9, and they are (fxoaTrjpe^ 

Thrice out of the five times in which iir&xeiv occurs in 
the New Testament, it signifies to " mark, or give or take 
heed to." Theodoret gives it the same meaning here, though 
the construction would require a dative — r& Xoyp trpoae- 


> et9 Kavyr^ia efiol ek fjfiepav Xptarov — " for rejoicing to me 
agaiust the day of Christ" Kavxn/ut is matter of rejoicing. 
See under c. i. 26. The first preposition denotes result, 
2 Cor. i 14; and the second points to the period for which 
"this result is, as it were, laid up. For the meaning of ripApa X. 
see under i. 6. The apostle indicates the joy which obedi- 
ence to his counsels would finally create — a proof, too, that 
his labours had not been ineffectual — 

oti ov/c eh tcevov ihpa/iov ovSk eh tcevov itcorrlaa-a — " that 

1 did not run in vain, nor labour in vain." The expression 
is somewhat proverbial — to run in vain was to lose the prize. 
Compare 1 Cor. ix. 26; GaL ii. 2, iv. 11; 1 Thess. iii. 5; 

2 Tim. iv. 7 ; Josephus, Antiq. xix. 1, 4. The aorists are 
used to mark the time, as from the standpoint of the day of 
Christ. The double form of expression — the one a pointed 
trope, the other more general — and the repetition of eh tcevov, 
mark the intensity of the sentiment The phrase eh /eevov 
(Diodorus Sic. xix. 9), equivalent in result to fidrrjv and eltcv 
and corresponding to the Hebrew P*!?, resembles similar expres- 
sions, as eh Kdkbv. Kriiger, § 68, 21, 11 ; 2 Cor. vi 1; GaL 
ii 2 ; 1 Thess. iii 5. The second verb is as expressive as the 
first If the image of the race-course suggest previous train- 
ing (1 Cor. ix. 25, 27) and violent exertion, the putting forth 
of the utmost power in direction of the goal and the garland 
— the second verb has in it the broader notion of continuous 
and earnest effort ; for the apostle was iv koitois, 2 Cor. vi 5 
— nay, iv /cotton irepwo-oTepw?, 2 Cor. xi. 23. It is very 
tame, on the part of Wetstein, to explain the figure of running 
by this matter of fact — longum iter Hierosolymis per totam 

The apostle looks forward to the period when all secrets 
shall be unfolded, when the results of pastoral labour shall be 
fully disclosed, and he anticipates that when, in the light of 
eternity, he should behold the result of his apostolic efforts, 
his bosom should be filled with joy. What purer joy can be 
imagined than this — what joy nearer in fulness and loftiness 
to His, who, on the same day, " shall see of the travail of His 
soul and shall be satisfied " ? And what, in a word, does the 
apostle regard as the consummation of his labours, or when, 
in the history of a church, does he reckon that his ministerial 


services have fully succeeded ? The preceding verses afford 
an answer ; for it is only when a church feels and acts as the 
apostle has counselled, that he sees in its experience and 
destiny the crown and reward of his sufferings and toils. Its 
prosperity is neither in its number nor its wealth, but in its 
spiritual progress — in its purity and enlightening power — in 
short, in its possession and exhibition of the " mind which 
was also in Christ Jesus." 

(Ver. 17.) 'AW 9 el teal (nrevSofuu iirl rji dvtria tcaWecTovp- 
yia rip Trurrew vfuov — * But if even I am being poured out 
on the sacrifice and service of your faith." 'AXkd is not quin, 
as Beza translates it, and he is generally followed by Am 
Ende and others, who find no contrast. De Wette connects 
it with i. 25, which is too remote for such a purpose, as is also 
i. 21, the reference of Storr. Hoelemann supposes the con- 
trast to be with eh Kav^nfia — Quid, Paule, recordaris rov 
Kavxtffiaros, quum undique stipent et urgeant, quce tristissima 
prassagiantt But such an association had no place in the 
fearless and elevated heart of the apostle. Eilliet supposes 
the reference to be to an unexpressed thought — " I have not 
laboured in vain" — "non" pense-t-U en lui-mSmtje riai pas 
travaUU en vain, mats au contraire. The antithesis in aXKd 
is to the general thought implied in the previous verse. Not 
that, as Alford, following Schrader and van Hengel, says, he 
tacitly assumes he should live till the day of Christ He would 
have cause of joy laid up for the day of Christ, if he saw the 
Fhilippians acting as he had enjoined them; on the other 
hand, should he be cut off, that joy would not be frustrated. 

The phrase el icai — " if even," supposes a case which has 
some probability of occurrence, not a case put for argument or 
illustration — a form indicated by the reverse position of the 
particles ical el. Klotz, Devarius, ii. p. 519. If even I am 
being poured out, as I feel that I am — el ical — ; and if I am 
poured out, should it really come to this, as it may — ical el. 

The next clause is a vivid sacerdotal image. The reference 
in <nrepSoficu is to the libation poured upon the sacrifice, or at 
least round the altar, and is to be understood of his own death, 
Numbers xv. 5 ; xxviii. 7. Hesychius and Suidas explain it 
by dvofuu — an explanation right as to general sense, but not 
correct as to special meaning or form of representation. The 


preponderant use of Ovcia in the New Testament, is the thing 
sacrificed, but it is not, as EUicott affirms, its uniform meaning. 
It denotes the sacrifice, not simply the process as a rite, but 
the victim offered in the performance of that rite — a devoted 
thing or animal in its ritual presentation to God. The noun 
XeiTovpyla is the priestly ministration, as in Luke i. 23 ; 
Heb. viii. 6, ix. 21 — ministration which the apostle supposes 
himself to conduct, and not their ministration in promoting 
Christianity, as Wahl makes it. (Sub voce Bvata) The genitive 
•jrioreay; is that of object, and is related to both the nouns with 
a common article. Their faith was the matter of the sacrifice, 
that which the priestly ministration handled. The apostle's 
image is that of an altar, on which their faith is laid by him 
as priest, while his own blood is being poured out as the usual 
drink-offering or libation. It is an error, both in philology 
and imagery, on the part of Eilliet, to render — Je mis aspergi, 
ou fai regu I'iispersion, as if the allusion were to a victim on 
which a libation had been poured so as to consecrate it for the 
altar — KaracnrevSa being in that case the appropriate term, 
and it is the term occurring in the majority of the quotations 
in Wetstein, who adopts the same view. It is no less wrong 
to suppose the Fhilippians to be as priests offering their own 
faith to God — connecting vfi&v exclusively with Xevrovpyia; 
than to regard the Fhilippians themselves as constituting the 
Over (a, for the image is different here from Bom. xv. 16. We 
need scarcely mention the opinion that the money gift of the 
Philippians is referred to, or quote the view of Bettig, that 
Christ is the 6vaia y thus separating it from morem, and the 
\eirovpyia this pecuniary present. We take* hrC in its ordi- 
nary acceptation, " upon," not as meaning wahrend — " during," 
with Meyer, nor with Ellicott as signifying " in addition to," 
or " in," denoting merely a concomitant act. 1 Ellicott's objec- 
tion to the rendering " upon," is, that the libation among the 
Jews was poured not on the altar, but around it But it is 
needless to suppose, that in using such a figure the apostle 
was bound to keep by the strict letter of the Hebrew rubric, 
for the very supposition of a drink-offering of human blood 
was of all things most opposed to it ; and he here speaks of 

1 For illustrations of the pagan form of the ceremonial, see Raphelius in loco. 
See also Suicer tub voce. 

146 PH1UPPIANS IL 18. 

his own violent death, or, as Theophylact strips the figure — 
el teal reKevrA. As their faith is laid by himself upon the 
altar, and he engaged in the act of presenting it, his own blood 
is poured out upon it, and serves as a libation to it, — the 
blood of the officiating priest, suddenly slain, would naturally 
be sprinkled over the sacrifice which he was offering to God. 
The apostle's death, as a martyr, was felt by him to be a 
very likely event ; and while that death would be a judicial 
murder, it would yet be an offering poured out on the faith of 
his Fhilippian converts. But the prospect of such a death 
did not fill him with gloomy associations, for he adds in a 
very different spirit — 

%aipM teal <Tv*YX,aip(o iraaw vfiip — " I rejoice and give joy 
to you all." That the compound verb may bear this sense in 
the active voice, is plain from many examples. Fassow sub 
voce. The Vulgate has congratidor. In the New Testament! 
when persons are the objects, it seems to bear the same mean- 
ing. Luke i. 58 — Elizabeth's neighbours and relatives heard 
of the birth of her son — teal aweyaipov avrjj — and they 
rejoiced with her, or gave her their congratulations. Luke 
xv. 6, 9 — on the part of the shepherd who has found his 
wandered sheep, and on the part of the housewife who has 
recovered her lost piece of silver, the cordial call to friends 
and kinsfolk is — Gxrf^apryre. yuoi — rejoice with me, that is, 
be partakers of my joy, or wish me joy. See also Sept., Gen. 
xxi. 6 ; 3 Mace. i. 8. The ground of this joy and congratula- 
tion is not, however, marked by the previous hri Such 
appears to be the view of Chrysostom ; but M is especially 
connected with <nrivhofiav, and in Paul's style usually follows 
yaifm when connected with it. 1 Cor. xifi. 6; xvi. 17. 
The cause of the joy is what is told in the entire verse. His 
martyrdom, viewed in the light in which he presents it, was 
anticipated with joy and congratulations. The reference in 
i. 20 is explanatory to some extent, but cannot be taken, 
with De Wette, as either a full or an apposite illustration. 
The apostle is not content with what he has said, but he 
invites a perfect reciprocity of feeling : — 

(Ver. 18:) To 8' avro teal ifteis xalpere, tca\ ovy^o/perc 
fun — " Yea, for the very same reason, do ye also joy and offer 
joy to me." The pronominal formula or accusative of refer- 


ence — to 8' avro — is governed by j^a/peTc. Matt, xxvii. 44 ; 
Winer, § 32, 4; Kuhner, § 553, Anmerk 1. The alter- 
native of his martyrdom was not to dispirit them ; they were 
to rejoice and to congratulate him — so nearly were they con- 
cerned in it ; their faith being the sacrifice in the offering of 
which the apostle is engaged, when his blood, like a drink- 
offering, is poured out as an accompaniment. 

(Ver. 19.) 'EXirlfa Be iv KvpUp 'Irjo-ov, Tcfwdeov ra^eW 
TrefjLyfrai v/uv— "But I hope in the Lord Jesus, shortly, to 
send Timothy to you." Though the apostle has expressed 
himself with this ardour, still he feels that the prospect of 
martyrdom is not sure beyond doubt It was a possibility, a 
probability even, but his mind at once turns from it to imme- 
diate business— the mission of Timothy, and his own projected 
journey to Philippi. The particle Si indicates transition to 
an opposite train of thought ; and the phrase iv Kvplq* 'Iijo-ov 
gives the sphere of his hope, while M with the dative 
would have marked its foundation. He expected to send 
Timothy, and that expectation was based upon Christ ; that 
He would prepare the way, and so order events that Timothy's 
mission might come to pass. Only if Christ so willed it 
could it happen, and he felt and hoped that his intention to 
send Timothy, after a brief interval, was in accordance with 
the mind of Christ. A fuller form of expression occurs in 
1 Cor. xvi. 7 — " I hope to tarry awhile with you " — ictv 6 
Kvpio? iiriTpeirr), "if the Lord permit" The dative vpXv 
is not the same in reference as 77730? t//*5? in v. 25, as if 
intimating the direction or end of his journey, but it rather 
points out the persons with whom he should find himself, 
or who should receive him as the apostle's representative. 
John xv. 26; 1 Cor. iv. 17; Kuhner, § 571. And the 
purpose of the mission is thus briefly expressed — 

tva tcaya> €infrux&, yvoin rk irepl vp&v — " that I also may 
be of good spirit, when I have known your affairs." The 
Kal means — u I, as well as you " — you will be of good heart 
when you know my affairs, and I, too, shall be of good heart 
when I know yours — t£ irepl vfi&v. Eph. vi 22. The verb 
einfrvxeo) is found only here in the New Testament; but 
€v>fn%ia f efyvxfc, eifyvxps, and einftu^m^ are used by the 
classics in both prose and poetry. 2 Mace. xiv. 18 ; Prov, 

148 JPHILIPPIANS II. 20,21. 

xxx. 31 ; 1 Mace. ix. 14 ; Josephus, Aiitiq. ii. 6. The 
imperative of the verb is found also on monuments, recording 
the farewell of survivors. (Passow sicb voce.) The expression 
implies that the apostle was solicitous about them, as various 
hints and counsels in this epistle already intimate; but he 
hoped to receive such ^accounts through Timothy as should 
dispel all his anxieties and apprehensions. And he assigns, 
for his choice of Timothy as his messenger, a reason which 
could not but commend him to the Philippian church as he 
discharged his embassy among them. 

(Ver. 20.) OvSei/a yctp ej£o> laoyfoxov, Saris yvrj<rt(Ds tA 
irepl vfi&v pepifivqcei — " For I have no one like-minded, who 
will really care for your affairs." The adjective laoyftu^ov, 
which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, though 
found in the Septuagint (Ps. liv. 13), states a resemblance, 
not between Timothy and others, as Beza, Calvin, and 
Eilliet suppose, but between Timothy and the apostle him- 
self as the subject of the sentence. The use of Sari? is 
somewhat different from its meaning in some previous verses, 
and signifies — "as being of a class." Krtiger, § 51, 8. The 
adverb yvrjaim qualifies the verb, or describes the genuineness 
of that solicitude which Timothy would feel for the Philip- 
pian converts. The verb, as usual with Paul, governs the 
accusative, though it has the dative — Matt vi. 25 — and is also 
followed by irepi — "to care about," and virip— "to care for." 
Timothy is of such a nature, has a soul so like my own, that 
when he comes among you, he will manifest — jMepifivijcrei — a 
true regard for your best interests. What higher eulogy could 
the apostle have pronounced upon him ? And he was shut 
up to the selection of Timothy — 

(Ver. 21.) 01 name? yap rk kavr&v forovo'iv, ov ra 'Irjaov 
Xpicrov — "For the whole seek their own things, not the 
things of Jesus Christ." The oi irdvres, specifying the entire 
number, corresponds to the ovSiva of the previous versa (For 
similar use of the article and pronoun, compare Acts xix. 7, 
xxvii. 37; 1 Cor. ix. 22; Bernhardy, p. 320; Middleton on 
Greek Article, p. 104, note by the Editor.) All, with the 
exception of Timothy, seek their own things. This is a 
sweeping censure, and therefore many, such as Hammond, 
Estius, Eheinwald, and Flatt, seek to modify it in number, by 


rendering ol irdvr^, " the majority ; " while others, ds Eras- 
mus, Calvin, and Hoelemann, seek to modify it in severity, 
by inserting a comparison — all seek their own. more than the 
things of Jesus Christ. But while these modifications are 
inadmissible, it must at the same time be borne in mind, that 
the apostle's words should be limited to such persons as were 
with him, and, farther, to those who might be supposed to be 
eligible for such an enterprise ; so that probably the brethren 
mentioned in i. 15 are to be excluded from the estimate. 
It is impossible for us now to ascertain on whom the apostle's 
censures light, though Demas may be a representative of the 
class. 2 Tim. iv. 10. In the last chapter of the Epistle to the 
Colossians, some persons are noticed, but Wiesinger remarks, 
after stating that Luke was probably not at Home, "the 
apostle's words do not apply to any of those of his fellow- 
labourers, in reference to whom they would have excited our 
surprise." Ewald is inclined to regard them as persons from 
Philippi, or well acquainted with its affairs, but hostile to the 
apostle. The persons so referred to had not that like-souled- 
ness with the apostle which he ascribes to Timothy ; did not 
love Christ's cause above everything; were not so absorbed 
in it as to allow nothing, neither ease nor safety, home nor 
kindred, to bar them from advancing it. On the other hand; 
the eulogy pronounced on Timothy is based upon acknowledged 
evidence — 

(Ver. 22.) Tyv 8k hotu[vqv avrov ycpdxTKere — " But ye know 
his tried character." Ae introduces the contrast between him 
and those just referred to. The noun BoKcfnj signifies trial — 
experimentum — and then the thing tried. Bom. v. 4 ; 2 Cor. 
ii. 9, ix. 13. The process of proof they had possessed already 
— Acts xvi — and therefore yuwMncere is indicative, not im- 
perative. They were no strangers to his excellence — it had 
been tested during previous visits. And the apostle briefly 
and tenderly sketches it — 

on, (ix; irarpl reicvov, trvv ifiol iSovKevaev et? to evwyyeXiov 
— " that as a child a father, he served with me for the gospel.'* 
Some supply <rvv before irarpi, and render with our version — 
"as a son with a father." But this supplement mars the 
beauty of the eulogy ; nor is it in strict accordance with 
grammatical usage. A preposition, inserted in the first of a 


series of clauses, may be omitted in the subsequent ones ; but 
the reverse rarely, if ever, happens. Bernhardy, p. 204 ; 
Kiihner, §625- And the apostle designedly varies the aspect 
of the relation. The expected construction would be — «' as a 
child serves a father, so he served me for the gospel ; " but 
it is changed into — " served with me." Winer, § 63, II. 1. 
As a child serves a father is an expressive image, denoting 
loving, devoted, and confidential service. But the apostle felt 
that in missionary labour it was not he who directly received 
the service from Timothy, and he therefore changed the rela- 
tion into (tuv ifxol — still bringing out the idea that Timothy's 
service, though directed to a common object with his own, 
was yet subordinate to his, was filial, ardent, and unwearied. 
Timothy is thus represented not as serving Paul, though Paul 
seems to have prescribed his labours and travels, but as 
serving with him — both being common servants of the same 
Master. But in this service Timothy was directed and go- 
verned by his spiritual father, with whom he was so like- 
minded. The phrase ek rb evayyiXiov is " for the gospel," 
as in i. 5, not " in it." 

(Ver. 23.) Tovtov fiiv oiv ikr/rtfa ire^ai — " Him, then, I 
hope to send immediately " — i$ avrifc. Tovtov is placed em- 
phatically — fjkev corresponding to Si of the following verse, 
and oZv taking up again and repeating, after the break, what 
has been said in verse 1 9. 'Egavrffc, Mark vi. 2 5 ; Acts x. 3 3. 

a>9 &v a<f)lSa) t& irepl ipA — " whenever I shall have seen 
how it will go with me." The form a*f>t8<a> is supposed 
to have arisen from the pronunciation of the word with the 
digamma (Winer, § 5, 1), and is found in A, B 1 , D\ F, G ; 
Jonah iv. 5. The airo seems to be local, as in many other 
verbs compounded with it — -prospicere. The verb, used only 
here, is followed by the simple accusative, but sometimes by 
6t9 and 7T/>09. Herod, iv. 2*2; Joseph. Antiq. ii. 6, 1 ; 4 Mace, 
xvii. 23. See under i 20. The phrase ra irepl ifie — u the 
things about me " — -may have in it the idea of development. 
The idiom <&? av marks the writer's uncertainty as to the 
time when the events which are. the subject of a<f>(Sco shall 
take place. Chrysostom's paraphrase is Srav iSw iv rivi 
ianiKa koI iroiov el-ec t4\o? ra xar 9 ifiL The apostle, as long as 
his fate was undetermined, wished, to Jceep Timothy with him. 


When there might be a decision he could not tell, only he 
hoped it would be soon ; and as soon a& he could ascertain the 
issue, he would at once despatch Timothy to Philippi. But 
lie has, at the same time, a persuasion that he will speedily 
visit them himself. 

(Ver. 24.) HiiroiOa hi ev Kvplcp, on tcai airros ra^m 
iXevaoficu — " But I trust in the Lord, that I myself also shall 
shortly come/' The $6 corresponds to the fiev of the previous 
verse, and iv Kvpicp marks the sphere or nature of his trust, 
ver. 1 9. Not only did he hope to- send Timothy soon, but 
he cherishes the prospect of a speedy visit in person also — 
ical avros. The relative period of his own visit is specified by 
raxiw;, as that of Timothy's mission has been by J^avrrj^. 
Meyer and Ellicott suppose that ra^km refers to a later 
period than O-axnifc — that Paul hoped to send Timothy soon, 
and come himself shortly after; but both expressions date 
from the writing of the epistle, and they are to be taken in a 
popular sense. A and C, with some versions and Fathers, add 
irpb? 6/tta?. The expression ireiroiOa is stronger than the pre- 
vious eXirlfa. See under i. 25. 

(Ver. 25.) 'AvaytcaiovSk r/y7}<rdfjLr)v, 'EiraxfrpoSiTOP — irefiyfrat 
TTpo? vfias — " Yet I judged it necessary to send Epaphroditus 
to you." The Be is so far in contrast with the preceding state* 
ment, that he hoped to send Timothy, and trusted also to come 
himself ; but in the meantime he judged it necessary to send 
Epaphroditus. The necessity, however, did not arise out of the 
mere probability or the possible delay of his own and Timothy's 
visit, but it is stated at length in the subsequent verses.. The 
prospect of a speedy visit from himself and Timothy did not 
supersede the mission of Epaphroditus, for there were other 
reasons for it He might have gone in Paul's company, but 
he is to precede him. The verb rjyrjcrdfirjv is in what is called 
the epistolary aorist, the time being taken from the ideal period 
of the reception of the letter, so that ^yeofuu to the writer passes 
into ffp\aayji\v to the readers. Winer, 40, 5, b 2. Of Epa- 
phroditus nothing farther is known. Everything is against 
the supposition of Grotius and Schrader that he is the sam6 
as the Epaphras mentioned in the Epistle to the Colossians, 
i 7, iv. 12 ; and in Philemon 23. The name was a common 
one. Wetstein has given several examples pf it from Sueto- 

152 PHILIPPIAN& II. 25. 

nius, Josephus, and Arrian. Epaphras might he a contracted 
form of Epaphroditus, and Epaphras was also about this time 
in Borne. But who could suppose that the Asiatic Epaphras, 
a pastor at Colosse and a native of it, could be Epaphroditus, 
a messenger delegated to Paul, with a special gift from the 
distant European church of Philippi, and by him sent back to 
it with this lofty eulogy, and as having a special interest in 
its affairs and members ? Other traditions are still more base* 
less, — that he had been one of the seventy disciples, a bishop, 
or one of those commissioned to ordain bishops or proselytes, 
— the freedman or secretary of Nero, 1 to whom Josephus dedi- 
cated his two books against Apion. Epaphroditus is then 
heartily commended, and the apostle first characterizes him 
through his relation to himself,— 

rov a&e\<f>bv teal ovvepybv teal even par tmrr^v pov — " my 
brother, and fellow-labourer, and fellow-soldier." The epi- 
thets rise in intensity, — first a Christian brother — then a 
colleague in toil — and then a companion in scenes of danger 
and conflict Philemon 2 ; 2 Tim. ii. 3. Not simply a bro- 
ther, but an industrious one — not industrious only in times 
of peace, but one who had met the adversary in defence of the 
gospel. And this was not all, he sustained at the same time 
a peculiar relation to the Philippian church, — 

ifi&v Be airooTokov teal Xeirovpybv Trfc 'Xpela^ fwv — " but 
your deputy and minister to my need." In the collocation — 
pov, vfuov Be — there is a marked antithetical connection — the 
pronoun ifi&v defining both the nouns after it which want the 
article. 'Atto<tto\o<; is used in its original, and not in its 
ecclesiastical sense as a delegate or one who did Paul's work 
among them, 2 Cor. viii 23 — far less in its emphatic sense 
of apostle, or special founder of a church, or bishop of this 
church, as Beelen and Whitby assume. He had been sent 
by the Philippian church with a gift to Paul, so that he 
became the minister of his need — a>9 rd wap' v/jl&v airoarck- 
\evra tcofilcavra xPV/ JMTa > as it is explained by Theodoret. 
The noun XeiTOvpyo? has the general sense of minister, in con- 
nection with the discharge of a religious duty. The apostle's 

1 Of Nero Suetonius says (49), ferrum jugido adegit, juvante Epaphrodito a 
UbdUs; and of this secretary the same author tells again (Domitian, 14), Epa- 
phroditum a Ubcllis capital* pcena condemnavU, 

PHILIPPIANS II.' 26, 27. 153 

"need" was simply his want of such things as their gift 
could supply. The apostle says merely "send," not send 
back; perhaps, as Bengel conjectures, nam ideo ad Paulum 
venerat, ut cum eo maneret. One special reason why the 
apostle wished to send Epaphroditus is next given : — 

(Ver. 26.) 'EireiSrj hrnroO&v ?jv irdvrwi fytfi? — " Forasmuch 
as he was longing after you alL" The conjunction iirevhrj — 
" since now " — assigns the reason why the apostle thought it 
necessary to send back Epaphroditus. Klotz, Devarius, ii. 
p. 548. Not only is the epistolary imperfect J\v employed, 
but it is here used with the present participle, to denote the 
continuance of the longing. Winer, § 45, 5. Epaphroditus 
had not forgotten them, his longing was great towards them 
— hrl. See under i 8, page 1 7. 

tcai d£r)fiov&v, Store fjKovtraTe on rjaOevrjae — " and was in 
heaviness, because ye heard that he was sick." The infini- 
tive ahrffiovelv describes our Lord's agony in Matt. xxvi. 37 ; 
Mark xiv. 33. Its derivation is uncertain. How did the 
intelligence conveyed to them that he was sick cause Epaphro- 
ditus to long for them ? Was it to remove their anxiety and 
sorrow, or did he apprehend some disastrous consequences as 
the result of the rumour ? Or would some parties between 
whom he had mediated in the church take advantage of it, 
and fall again into animosity ? 

(Ver. 27.) Kal yctp rjo-Oevrjo'e irapaifkricnov davarw — "For 
he really was sick, nigh unto death." It was a true report 
about his sickness which they had heard, and the apostle 
earnestly corroborates it — Kal yap is a strong affirmation. 
Hartung, i. 132, 138. And his sickness had been all but 
mortal — irapairXqctov , is, as EUicott says, " the adverbial 
neuter followed by the dative of similarity." Bernhardy, 
]>. 96 ; Kriiger, § 48, 13, 8. Many examples might be cited. 
The idiom is no technical figure of speech, nor do we need to 
supply aft/cero. As little ground is there for Bengal's saying 
that the apostle did not wish to alarm them about Epaphro- 
ditus. His malady had indeed brought him to the gates of 
death, but he had been mercifully spared — 

dkX 6 ©eo? avrov rj\er}<rev' ov/e avrbv & povov, aXXa Kal 
ifte, Xva fit) Xvmjv iwl \\nrqv ayS* — " but God had mercy on 
him, and not on him alone, but on me also, that I should not 


have sdrrow upon sorrow." The apostle' refers his recovery 
to God's great mercy, which does not seem, however, to have 
wrought by miracle, but, as one may naturally imagine, in 
answer to the apostle's fervent intercession. The reading 
iirl \v7T7)v t in preference to the more common and classical 
construction with the dative, 1 is well sustained. " The sub- 
junctive <rx&" as Ellicott says, " is used after the preterite, 
to mark the abiding character his sorrow would have assumed." 
Winer, § 41, 1, a, (J3). The apostle felt one sorrow, but the 
death of Epaphroditus would have been an additional sorrow. 
The sorrow which he already possessed, and of such an 
addition to which he was afraid, was not, as Ohrysostom 
and others assumed, the sickness of Epaphroditus ; for, even 
after his convalescence, he speaks of himself as only lightened 
in sorrow, but not entirely freed from it A sorrow would 
still remain after Epaphroditus had departed, as is intimated 
in the next verse, the sorrow produced by his present 
situation — his captivity and all its embarrassments. This 
statement is in no way inconsistent with what he had 
Written i. 20, etc., for his condition is there looked at from a 
very different point of view. 

(Ver. 28.) Xirovhatorepto*; oiv fareptya ainov — ''The more 
speedily therefore have I sent him," or in English idiom, as 
he carried the letter, " I send." The force of the comparative 
virovbaurrefms is obvious. Winer, § 35, 4. He would have 
detained him longer, if they had not received that intelligence 
of his sickness which greatly grieved Epaphroditus. It is not 
as Bengel put it — citius quam Timatheum — 

Xva ISovres avrov irakiv x a PV T€ fcayto akvrrorepos cV— 
" in order that having seen him ye may again rejoice, and I 
too be less sorrowful." Beza, (Jrotius, De Wette, with Knapp 
and other editors, join irdXiv to ftovre? — a connection which 
at first sight seems very natural. The Philippians would 
rejoice when they saw again their Epaphroditus. But the 
usage of the apostle is against this exposition, for he commonly 
places irakiv before the verb with which it is connected. 
Examples of this usage are numerous. Bom. xL 23, xv. 10, 
12; 1 Cor. vii. 5; 2 Cor. i. 16, ii. 1, v. 12, xi. 16, xii. 

1 See examples in Wetstein and Kypke ; also Polybius, i. 57 ; Jer. iv. 20 ; 
Ezek. vii. 26. 

. PHILIPPIANS II, 29, 3a J55 

19,21; Gal:i.9, 17, iL 1, 18, iv. 1^, v. 1; Phil. iv. 4; 
Heb. i 6, iv. 7, v. 12, vi. 1, 6. There are, however, some 
exceptions, such as 2 Cor. x. y l s where the emphatic position 
of toOto throws ird\uv behind the verb ; Gal. iv. 9, where the 
form of the question produces the same result ; and Gal. v. 3, 
where the first reason may be again assigned. See Gersdorf s 
BeUrdge, p. 490. The meaning will be — that as they had 
been depressed when they heard of the alarming illness of 
Epaphroditus, so when they should see him they should 
rejoice " again," or as heretofore, in his presence and labours ; 
and while they rejoiced, he himself should be less sorrowful 
^ — akvnorepo^ (a word used only here) ; not without sorrow 
absolutely, for he had it through his imprisonment, but a 
weight would be taken off his mind, and in proportion as they 
rejoiced would his grief be lessened through his oneness of 
heart with them. The sorrow which should thus be mitigated 
is not cogUatio anxietatis vestrce, as van Hengel misunderstands 
it, for the apostle ascribes this feeling to Epaphroditus, not to 

(Ver. 29.) Upoaheyeade ovv avrbv iv Kvpi<p fierct, irdatj^ 
X<ip<*>$ — " Receive him, therefore, in the Lord with all joy." 
The otfp refers to the statement of the apostle's purpose in the 
previous verse. Such a reception has its element iv Kvpltp 
— a reception, therefore, Christian in its fervour and object. 
Tt was no cold welcome the apostle enjoined or anticipated, 
but one fiera irdoys %apa^ — " with all joy," and no wonder 
that it should be so — 

koX rote ToiovTow ivrlfjLov? 6%eTe — " and hold such in 
honour," that is, such as Epaphroditus. The more usual 
classic form of expression is, ivrlfioui l^tp. Ast, Lexicon, 
PlatoTU mb voce. The class of men oi toiovtoi, of whom 
Epaphroditus is a noted example, deserve the esteem and 
gratitude of the church for their self-denying and disinterested 
labours. And the apostle assigns a special reason in his 
case — 

(Ver. 30.) "On But to epyov rov Xpiarov p>*XP L 6avdtov 
jjyyure — " Because that for the work of Christ he came near 
even to death." On the solitary authority of C, Tischendorf 
omits rod X., while B, F, G omit the article, and A has 
Kvplov. The peculiar phrase — p*xpi davdrov ^fyytcre — repeats 


more graphically what he had already said in verse 27. 
Mejfpi is not unlike I©? 1 in Ps. cvii. 18 — Tjyyiaav &>9 r&v 
irvk&v rod Oavdrov. Similar idioms are found in the Septua- 
gint, though not so distinctive as the tme before us. The verb 
is sometimes followed by the simple dative, as Ps. lxxxviii. 3 
— fj faff fiov r$ aStj rhyiae — and sometimes by efc with the 
accusative, as Job xxxiii. 22 — ifrfure Si cfc ddvarov f\ ^v^h 
avrov. ^ May there not be a tacit reference in p^XR* Oavdrov 
here to the same expression in verse 8 ? as if to show that 
the mind which was in Christ was in Epaphroditus, and was 
shown in his self-denial and suffering "for the workof Christ" — 

hik to epyov toO Xpiorov. The cause is placed emphati- 
cally. The work of Christ, as is explained in the next clause, 
is not preaching, as Storr, van Hengel, Matthies, and Killiet 
contend for. It is service done to the apostle, and through 
him to Christ. So much was he identified with Christ, that 
service Tendered to him, being directly instrumental in pro- 
moting Christ's cause, might be styled the work of Christ. 
How he came so nigh to death, the apostle describes by the 
striking words — 

irapafJokevadfievo? r§ tyvyjl) — u having hazarded his life." 
The reading is disputed; many preferring irapafJov\ev<rdfiepo<; t 
which signifies, as in our. version — " not regarding his life." 
This last reading is retained by Tischendorf in his second 
edition, being found in C, J, K, and in the Greek Fathers. 
The majority of editors and more modern expositors prefer 
the first form, which has the authority of A, B, D, E, F, G> 
Both words occur nowhere else in classic Greek authors, 
though the second be often used by the Greek commentators. 
The Versions are undecided. The Vetus Itala has parabo- 
latus est de anima sua ; the Vulgate, tradens animam suam ; 

the Syriac version renders by 5xai — spernens; and the 
Gothic has ufarmunnonds saivalai * seinai, " forgetting his 
own life." The verb is formed from irapdfUoko? — " risking, 
venturesome " — and like many verbs in eva>, which combine 
the force of the adjective and auxiliary verb, is equivalent in 
meaning to nrapdftdkov efoai, just as hriaicoireveiv is eViWo- 
ttov ehai. Winer, § 16, 1, note. Examples will be found as in 

2 Found here in Codices D, F, G. * Saivalai =* utU, soul 


Lobeck on Pkrynichus, p. 67, and in the third of his Parerga, 
p. 591. Wilke, Lexicon Append, p. 552. In result, the word 
is not different from the better known irapafiaWecrOai, as iu 
Diodorus Siculus, iii. 36 — expivav TrapafiaXKeadai rak "^v^als) 
or in Polybius, i. 37, or iii. 90 — firjre irapafiaXKjeaOai firpre 
SiatuvSwevetv. The example adduced by Phrynichus is — 
TrapafidXkofuu t§ ifiavrou K€<f>a\fj — " I risk my head." l 
The verb is here used with the dative of reference, as is also 
irapafidXkeo-Ocu, in the example cited from Diodorus Siculus. 
Polybius, ii. 26. The apostle testifies of Epaphroditus, that 
he risked or ventured his life ; the participle thus giving the 
reason why he was nigh unto death — eireppv^ev eavrhv t$ 
davdrtp, as Theophylact renders it And the reason why he 
had so exposed himself was — 

Xva dvairkrjpaurp to vp&v vareptf/ia rrjs 7r/)o? fie \eirovpyla$ 
— " that he might supply your deficiency in your service to me." 
The conjunction indicates purpose, and the compound verb 
— dvairX'qpdxTrj — is to fill up ; the dva having the notion of 
" up to " an ideal measure. 1 Cor. xvi. 1 7. Or, as Erasmus 
explains it — accessions implere, quod plenitudini perfected 
deerat. The noun varipqfia has two genitives ; that of sub- 
ject — ifi&p, as in 2 Cor. viii. 14, ix. 12, xi. 9 ; and that of 
reference — \eirovpyta? ; the first genitive pointing out those 
of whom the want is predicated ; and the second showing in 
what the want consisted. Kiihner, § 542, 3 ; Winer, § 30, 3, 
Anmerk 3. The ifi&v is not to be joined with Xeirovpytas, 
as is done by Beza and van Heogel, who renders — ut suppleret 
defectum ministerii a vobis mihi facti. The noun \eirovpyia 
is used not in the general sense of service, but signifies the 
special religious services in the money-gift which Epaphroditus 
had brought from them. He has called him that brought it 
\eirovpyos, v. 25, and he calls itself "an odour of a sweet 
smell, a sacrifice acceptable," iv. 8. They did this service for 
the apostle — 77730? fie; but there was a lack on their part 

1 The desperate persons who exposed themselves to combat with wild beasts 
— bestiarii — were called a-«f«/3«A«j. The self-denying Christians who undertook 
the hazardous office of nursing the sick, especially during the outbreak of some 
terrible epidemic, were named Parabolani. The Theodosian code makes special 
mention of them at Alexandria, where they were numerous ; and where, being 
"men of a bold and daring spirit," they were occasionally turbulent, and were 
put under strict discipline. Bingham's Antiquities } vol. i p. 391. London, 1843. 


which Epaphroditus supplied. The lack was not in the gift 
itself, but in the ministration of it. They were absent, and 
could not minister to the apostle ; but Epaphroditus, by his 
kind and assiduous attentions, fully made up what was 
necessarily wanting on their part. The meaning, therefore, 
is not that assigned by Hoelemann — defectus cut subvenidis 
return nece&sariarum ; nor is it with Chrysostom, " He alone 
did, what you all were bound to do." Homberg's view is 
as unfounded — ut impleret defectum in ministerio meo. The 
XeiTovpyca did not lack anything in itself, but the.Philippians 
lacked something on their part in connection with it — they 
did not personally tender it. How Epaphroditus had en- 
dangered his life by a sickness nigh unto death, on account of 
the work of Christ, we know not. There is no proof that he 
was exposed to persecution, as Chrysostom, Theodoret, and 
a-Lapide suppose. Nor is there any proof that his evangelical 
labours had exhausted his physical strength. The probability 
is, either that his attendance on the apostle in Borne had 
exposed him in some way or other to a dangerous malady, or 
that, in his extreme haste to convey the Philippiah gift and 
tender personal service to the prisoner, he had brought on an 
alarming sickness during his journey. This concluding state- 
ment is a pathetic and powerful appeal, and enforces the 
injunction — "Keceive him therefore in the Lord with all 
gladness." There is no reproof in the words, as Chrysostom 
wrongly supposes, nor any censure on them, as if they had 
left one to do the work which was obligatory on them all. 
The tendency and purpose are the very opposite. It is — 
Epaphroditus has not only discharged his trust, and is deserv- 
ing of thanks, but he has also ministered unto me, and donfe 
what you could not, though you would; nay, in this personal 
service he risked his very life, and therefore he is entitled 
to a joyous welcome, and a high place in your affectionate 


(Vbb. 1.) To Xonrov—" Finally." The reader is furnished 
in the Introduction with some notice of the disputes about 
the connection of these two following chapters with the 
previous two ; disputes originating in the use of rb Xoiirov, 
when so much literary matter comes after it — indeed, about 
one half of the epistle. Suffice it now to say, that the use of 
the phrase implies that the primary object of the writer has 
been gained ; that what especially prompted him to compose 
the epistle has already found a place in it, and that what 
follows is more or less supplementary in its nature. 2 Cor. 
xiii 11 ; Eph. vi. 10; 1 Thess. iv. 1 ; 2 Thess. iii. 1. The 
phrase marks transition, but toward that which is to form the 
conclusion. It is therefore wrong on the part of .Eisner and 
others to regard it as a formula of mere transition ; nor does 
it, as Schinz would suppose, simply indicate the turning from 
the special to the general Van Hengel, following the inter- 
pretation of to Xonrov given by Eisner, Matthies, and Bertholdt 
— which assigns it the meaning of " in addition to," or simply 
" in continuation" 1 — agrees also with Schinz, 3 that the apostle 
could not here contemplate a conclusion, because he has not 
as yet expressed his thanks to the Fhilippian church. But 
might not. the apostle intend to place this thanksgiving in 
this very conclusion ? And who wiU say that a mere expres- 
sion of thanks was so important as to be set in the principal 
portion of the letter? It is argued, too, that the use of 
to Xoittov shows tha,t the apostle intended to conclude here, 
though he was unconsciously carried farther ; but surely the 
writer knew well what were still to be the contents of his 
letter, though he regarded them in such a light, or in such 
a supplementary connection with the preceding portion, that 
he designedly prefaced them by to \oiirov. 

1 Talis estutad utrumque caput conglutinandum inserviat. Van Hengel. 
> Die ChrittL Gememde tu PhUippi, p. 88, Zurich, 1833. 


As to the connection, Chrysostom, with (Ecumenius, Theo- 
phylact, Michaelis, Estius, and a-Lapide, deduce it from the 
previous paragraph. Sources of sorrow are mentioned there, 
but in God's good providence they have ceased to exist. 
Chrysostom paraphrases — "You no longer have cause for 
despondency — you have Epaphroditus, for whose sake you 
were sorry — you have Timothy, and myself am coming to you 
— the gospel is gaining ground. What henceforth is wanting 
to you? rejoice!" 1 But such a connection is not apparent, 
and, indeed, to Xoittov breaks up the immediate connection, 
and the apostle at once passes away from the subject which 
he had just handled — from the personalities which he had just 
been detailing. Besides, the addition of eV Kvpup shows that 
the joy is not of such a nature as to be simply prompted by 
the circumstances to which the writer had been adverting in 
the conclusion of the second chapter. But while we object to 
such a connection as that proposed by Chrysostom, we do 
not think that there is any break produced by some interrup- 
tion, or indicating any lapse of time, as not a few are inclined 
to suppose. Nor can the notion of Heinrichs be adopted, 
that xalpere signifies leben wohl — farewell 

The apostle addresses the Philippian converts, "as my 
brethren" — a8e\<f>oi jjlov. See our comment on CoL i 1. 
There was no official hauteur with him, no such assumption 
of superiority as would place him in a higher or more select 
brotherhood than that which belonged to all the churches. 

The injunction is, " rejoice in the Lord" — x a ^P €T€ * v Kvpfy- 
The modifying phrase iv KvpUp does not mean, " on account 
of Christ," or as becomes Christians, but it defines the sphere 
and character of the joy. Eom. xiv. 17 ; 1 Thess. i. 6 ; Gal. 
v. 22; CoL i 11. The Christian religion is no morose sys- 
tem, stifling every spring of cheerfulness in the heart, or con- 
verting its waters into those of Marah. It lifts the spirit 
out of the thrall and misery of sin, and elevates it to the 
enjoyment of the divine favour, and the possession of the divine 
image; nay, there is a luxury in that sorrow which weeps 
tears of genuine contrition. Therefore, to mope and mourn, 
to put on sackcloth and cleave to the dust, is not the part of 

1 Ov» i#if i Xhtov iJufilets v*Mirn % 1%trt 'Evatfyfttm h* h nXyurt, i %trt Ttftittav, 


those who are in the Lord, the exalted Saviour, who guaran- 
tees them " pleasures for evermore." Such joy is not more 
remote from a gloomy and morbid melancholy, on the one 
hand, than it is, on the other hand, from the delirious ecstasies 
of fanaticism, or the inner trances and raptures of mystic 
Quietism. Chrysostom remarks that this joy is not Kara 
rov rcoafiop — " according to the world," and his idea, according 
to his view of the connection, is, that these tribulations or 
sorrows referred to, being according to Christ, bring joy. This 
last opinion, however, is not from the context, though certainly 
the first remark is correct, for the joy of the world is often as 
transient as the crackling of thorns under a pot ; and it often 
resembles the cup which, as it sparkles, tempts to the final 
exhaustion of its bitter dregs. The express definition or limi- 
tation in iv KvpCa) may be meant to show, that beyond the 
Lord this joy is weakened, or has no place ; and that, if the 
Lord alone is to be rejoiced in, the Lord alone must be trusted 
in. The sentiment thus warned and fortified them against 
the Judaizers, whose opinions, in proportion as they tended to 
lead away from the Lord, must have retarded all joy in Him ; 
while, if the Philippian believers continued to rejoice in the 
Lord, that emotion, from its source and nature, guarded them 
against such delusions. The next clause has seemed to many 
to be an abrupt transition— 

t& avrct ypdfaiv bfiiv, ifiol fiev ovrc btcvypov, vfuv 8k a<r<f>a\es 
— " to write to you the same, things, to me indeed is not griev- 
ous, but for you it is safe." The theories to which the phrase 
ra avrct ypdfaw have given rise, have been examined in the 
Introduction. It is difficult to arrive at a satisfactory con- 
clusion. To suppose the meaning to be — " to write the same 
things which I have already spoken to you," is a gratuitous 
conjecture, and places an unwarranted emphasis on ypctyeip ; 
but it is the view of Erasmus, Pelagius, Calvin, Beza, Estius, 
* Kheinwald, and Schrader. Nor can we, with Heinrichs and 
Wieseler, 1 frame the contrast thus — " to write the same things 
as I have previously given in charge to Epaphroditus," or say 
with Macknight — " to write the same things to you as to other 
churches." Or is the meaning this — " the same things which 
I have already mentioned in this epistle," or "the same 

1 Chronologic des Aposiol Zeitaltere, etc v p. 459. 


things which I have written in a previous letter " ? ; The 
former view is held by Bengel, Michaelis, Matthiae, van 
Hengel, Rilliet, and Wiesinger ; and the latter by Hunnius, 
Matt, Meyer, and others. See Introduction. The reference 
in the first hypothesis is supposed to be to the expression of 
joy in the first or second chapter, repeated in the commencing 
clause of the verse before us. Some, as van Hengel and 
Wiesinger, refer to ii. 18 ; but it is a serious objection that 
the rejoicing enjoined in ii 18 is not specially rejoicing in the 
Lord, but rejoicing with the apostle in the idea of his martyr- 
dom. Wiesinger contends that the joy in both places is the 
same. But the joy in every previous reference is special and 
limited. The u joy of faith " referred to is somewhat similar ; 
but it is not writing "the same things" to them to bid them 
" rejoice in the Lord." Some refer " the same things " to the 
caution given in the following verse, as if it were repeated 
from i. 27, 28 ; but we cannot perceive the resemblance. As 
De Wette remarks, the occurrence of the word acrfaXis leads 
to the conclusion that what the apostle repeats has reference 
to dangers threatening the Philippian church — such dangers, 
in all likelihood, as are presupposed in the following admoni- 
tions. This statement is fatal to the notion of Alford, 
espoused also by Ellicott, and already glanced at, that the re- 
ference in ret aura is to jfalpere. The use of the plural pronoun 
in reference to a single injunction would indeed be no objection 
against their view. Jelf, § 383. We admit, too, that spiritual 
joy would be a main safeguard against Judaistic error. But 
the abruptness of the sentiment, the precise epithets — " irk- 
some" to him, "safe" to them — and the passing on, without 
further remark or connecting link, to forms of dangerous 
teaching, lead us to suppose that more is meant by the apostle 
than the mere repetition of sentiments previously and vaguely 
expressed. The passages quoted by Ellicott as implied in 
ra aura, such as i 4, 18, iv. 10, are of a different nature alto- 
gether, for they speak of the apostle's own joy, and it would 
be no repetition of a phraseology descriptive of his personal 
feeling to call on them to rejoice. We are therefore brought 
to the conclusion, that the apostle refers to some previous 
letter to the Philippians. They had sent once and again to 
him, and he. may have written once and again to them, and 

philippians in. 2. 163 

given them such counsels and warnings as he here proceeds 
to repeat See Introduction. And this is the view of Meyer, 
Beelen, and Bisping. 

The adjective oicvrifm signifies " tedious." To repeat the 
same truth is to me no task of irksome monotony. Yet Baur 
finds in this incidental expression a proof of the writer's 
poverty of mind and ideas. The apostle only repeats what 
was profitable to them, for the purpose of more deeply im- 
pressing it, and the epithet implies that, in other circumstances, 
such a repetition might have been a weary and ungrateful 

The adjective oc^aXi? signifies safe — safe in consequence 
of being confirmed. Josephus, Antiq. iii. 2, 1 ; Prov. iii. 18. 
Luther renders und macht euch desto geurisser, much as the 

Syriac renders pernio iQ2^> ^&o. Hilary has neees- 

sarium, but it is wrong from this to conjecture the reading to 
have been avay/c£s, or paraphrase, with Erasmus quod, nan 
vitari potest. 

(Ver. 2.) BXeirere rots tevvas — " Look to the dogs," so as 
to be warned against them. The article points them out as a 
well-known class. The verb is here followed by a simple 
accusative, and not by airo with the genitive, and has there- 
fore its original signification only rendered more emphatic. 
Observe them so as to understand them, the inference being 
that when they are understood, they will be shunned. Winer, 
§ 32, 1, 6, (7). So the Vulgate has observate. This hard 
expression, sevvas, must be judged of by Eastern usage and 
associations. In very early times the name was applied as an 
epithet of reproach. In Homer the term is not of so deep a 
stain, especially as given to women ; yet it resembled, in fact, 
the coarse appellative employed among the outcasts of society. 
Iris calls Athena, and Hera calls Artemis, by the term 
K\mv ; nay, Helen names herself one. II. viiL 423, xxi. 
481. In the Odyssey, too, the female servants of Ulysses 
receive the same epithet Ody&$. xviiL 338, xix. 91, 154. 
In countries to the east of Greece, the term was one of extreme 
contempt, and that seemingly from the earliest times. The 
dogs there were wild and masterless animals, prowling in the 
evening, feeding on garbage, and devouring unburied corpses, 


as savage generally as they were greedy. Isaiah lvi. 11. The 
fidelity of the dog is recognised in the Odyssey, xvii. 291, and 
by ^Eschylus, Agam. 607. But rapacity and filth (2 Pet. 
ii. 22) are the scriptural associations. Ps.lix. 6, 14 ; 1 Kings 
xiv. 11, xvi. 4, xxi. 19 — compared with 1 Sam. xvii. 43; 
2 Kings viii. 13. In Hebrew 3^3 was the epithet of the vilest 
and foulest sinners. Deuk xxiii. 19 (18); Rev. xxii. 15. 
The term was therefore a strong expression of contempt, and 
was given by the Jews to the heathen, Matt. xv. 26, as it is 
by Mohammedans to a Christian at the present day, when, 
without often meaning a serious insult, they are in the habit 
of calling him Giaour. We must suppose the apostle to use 
the word in its general acceptation, and as indicative of 
impurity and profanity. To indicate more minute points of 
comparison, such as those of shamelessness, selfishness, savage- 
ness, or malevolence, is merely fanciful. The view of van 
Hengel is peculiarly far-fetched — apostates from Christianity 
to Judaism — the dog returning to his vomit. 2 Pet. ii. 22. 

Who then are the persons on whom the apostle casts this 
opprobrious epithet ? The general and correct opinion is that 
they were Judaizers, or, as Chrysostom styles them, " base 
and contemptible Jews, greedy of filthy lucre and fond of 
power, who, desiring to draw away numbers of believers, 
preached at the same time both Christianity and Judaism, 
corrupting the gospel — iKrfpvrrov teal tov Xpurriavurfibv /cal 
rbv 'IovSaUrfibv, TrapatfyOelpovre? to evayyiktov" One is apt 
to infer that the apostle here gives them the name which they 
themselves flung about so mercilessly against the heathen. As 
in the last clause he nicknames their boasted circumcision, so 
here he calls them by a designation which in their contemp- 
tuous pride they were wont to lavish on others. They were 
dogs in relation to the purity and privileges of the Church, 
" without " which they were. 

fShkirere roit^ tca/cov? ipyaras — " look to the evil- workers." 
The verb is repeated for the sake of emphasis, and not because 
a second class of persons is pointed out to their wary in- 
spection. The substantive, applied literally in many places 
of the New Testament to labourers in the fields and vine- 
yards, is transferred to workers in the church, or with a 
general signification. Luke xiii. 27; 2 Tim. ii. 15; 2 Cor. 


xi. 13, where it has the epithet BaKcoc attached to it. The 
adjective ica/covs describes their character as base and mali- 
cious. If they were "dogs," they must work according to 
their nature. They were not, as Baldwin weakens the force 
of the epithet, simpliciter errantes, but they were set on evil ; 
theirs was no inoperative speculation ; they were not mere 
opinionists, but restless agitators ; they were not dreamy 
theorists, but busy workers — earnest and indefatigable in the 
support and propagation of their errors. 

/3\€7T€T€ rrjv Kararofiriv — "look to the concision." In the 
contemptuous and alliterative term, the abstract is used for 
the concrete, as is the case with irepiropLri in the following 
verse. The term occurs only here, and the apostle, in his 
indignation, characterizes the class of Judaizers by it. Not 
that he could speak so satirically of circumcision as a divine 
institute, but of it only when, as a mere manual mutilation, 
apart from its spiritual significance, it was insisted on as the 
only means of admission to the church — as a rite never to be 
discontinued, but one that was obligatory as well on the Gen- 
tile races as on the descendants of Abraham. The term justly 
designates the men whose creed was, " Except ye be circum- 
cised and keep the whole law of Moses, ye cannot be saved." 
Viewed in this light, and as enforced for this end, it was 
only a cutting, and so the apostle calls those who made so 
much of it "the slashers." Chrysostom well says of them, 
that so far from performing a religious rite, ovBev aWo iroiovaiv 
7) ttjv adpxa Kararifivovacv — " they merely cut their flesh." 
See our comment on Col. ii. 11, where the apostle says that 
Christians have a spiritual circumcision — " the offputting not 
of the foreskin, but of the body of the flesh." Such seems 
to be the natural meaning of the phrase, as understood in 
the light of the succeeding context. This play upon words 
is frequent with the apostle, Winer, § 68, 2 ; though some 
instances of so-called paronomasia cannot be at all sustained. 

Other ideas have, however, been found in the apostle's 
expression. Theodoret originated one of these theories, when 
he says of the Judaists — ttjv yap irepiTofirjv /cTfpvrrovre^, /cal 
rifiveiv ireip&vre? t?/5 i/c/ekrialas ri a&fia, and he is virtually 
followed by Calvin and Beza, Grotius and Hammond, Eisner 
and Zachariae, and in the English versions of Tyndale and 



Cranmer. A similar idea was entertained by Luther, as if 
the sense or implication were the excision of the heart from 
faith or from the church. Such a thought does not seem 
to be in the apostle's mind, that it is not in contrast with 
TrepcTofjLi], which besides has a passive, and not an active 
signification. Beza, again, seems to find an allusion to Lev. 
xix. 28, xxi 5, to the Hebrew term B^, referring to marks 
or cuttings made in honour of idol-gods. 1 Kings xviii. 28» 
Storr and Flatt follow this view, as if the apostle meant to 
say, that such a circumcision as they insisted on and gloried 
in was on a level with an idolatrous incision. The theory has 
scarcely the credit of ingenuity. A more extraordinary view 
still is broached in one of the Ignatian epistles — -partum virginis 
drcumcidentes — hominem a Deo dividentes. Heumann sup- 
poses the reference to be to the speedy abscission or destruction 
of Judea. 

The repetition of the verb proves the anxiety and stern 
ardour of the apostle. Winer, § 65, 5. "For you it is safe" 
and their safety lay to some extent in being formally and 
emphatically warned. Like three peals of a trumpet giving 
a certain blast, do the three clauses sound with the thrice- 
repeated verb— £Ai7T€Te. That the same classes of persons 
are referred to, we have no doubt. Van Hengel supposes that 
three distinct kinds of errorists are pointed out ; — first, apos- 
tates who have relapsed to Judaism ; secondly, actual corrupters 
of the gospel ; and thirdly, men so reliant on circumcision as 
to despise Christ. This interpretation is more than the words 
will bear, and there is no conjunction or particle employed so 
as to indicate different parties. The same men are described 
in each clause — as impure and profane, as working spiritual 
mischief, and as taken up with a puerile faith in flesh-cutting. 
In the first clause you have their character, in the second their 
conduct, and in the third their destructive creed. The absurd 
stress they placed on a mere mutilation warranted the satirical 
epithet of the concision ; but their convictions on this point 
drove them into a course of mischievous agitations, and they 
became the evil- workers ; then from their belief, character, 
and actings, they stood out as impure and shameless — as 
dogs. Men who insisted on circumcision as essential to salva- 
tion made the rite ridiculous — Judaized ere they Christianized. 


To circumcise a Gentile was not only to subject him to a rite 
which God never intended for him, but it was to invest him 
with a false character. Circumcision to him was a forgery, and 
he carried a lie in his person. Not a Jew, and yet marked as 
one — having the token without the lineage — the seal of descent 
and not a drop of Abraham's blood in his veins. To hinge 
salvation, especially in the case of a Gentile, on circumcision, 
was such a spurious proselytism — such a total misappreciation 
of the Jewish covenant — such a miserable subversion of the 
liberty of the gospel — such a perverse and superstitious reliance 
on a manual rite, that its advocates might be well caricatured 
and branded as the concision. The rite, so misplaced, was both 
a fiction and an anachronism ; for the benefits of circumcision 
were to be enjoyed in Palestine, and not in Europe, and 
enjoyed up to the period "of the abolition of the law of 
commandments contained in ordinances." What these persons 
were may be seen in the Introduction. They might not have 
done damage as yet in Philippi, but there was a danger of 
their doing so. Such a warning, repeated, would put the 
Philippians on their guard and contribute to their safety. 

(Ver. 3.) 'HfMis yap iajiev 17 irepiro/ii] — "For we are the 
circumcision." The yap gives a reason. Those Judaists are 
but the concision, for we are the circumcision — the abstract 
again used for the concrete ; and by the term is to be under- 
stood Paul and the members of the Philippian church, whether 
they were Jews or Gentiles. There were Jews in that church, 
and forming the original nucleus of it ; though, perhaps, the 
greater part might be of Gentile extraction. 

The members of the Christian church are now the circumci- 
sion. Theirs is a spiritual seal. Whatever the old circumcision 
typified, they enjoy. They are really Abraham's children — 
blessed with believing Abraham. Gal. iii. 9, 14 ; Eom. ii. 29 ; 
1 Cor. vii. 19 ; GaL v. 2, 6. The Jewish circumcision was a 
mark of Abrahamic descent. " And God said unto Abraham, 
Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed 
after thee, in their generations. This is my covenant, which 
ye shall keep, between me and you, and thy seed after thee ; 
Every man-child among you shall be circumcised. And ye 
shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin ; and it shall be a 
token of the covenant betwixt me and you." Gen. xvii. 9, 10, 


11. As the circumcised descendants of the father of the faith- 
ful, the Jews enjoyed certain privileges. They were God's 
people, His by His choice, and shown to be His by His 
tender protection. They had access to Him in worship, and 
enjoyed His ordinances. They dwelt in a country which He 
had selected for them, and which they held by a divine charter. 
The true circumcision enjoys correspondent benefits, especially 
do they possess the promised Spirit. The spiritual offspring 
of Abraham have nobler gifts by far than his natural seed — 
blessing not wrapped up in civil franchise, or dependent upon 
time, or restricted to territory. So Justin says in the dialogue 
with Trypho, — /ecu r/fiels oi Sea rovrov Trpoo^opTjaavre^ t^J 
0ct3, ov ravTrjv ttjv Kara aap/ca irapeXafioftev irepiTOfirjv a\\a 
irvevfiaTLKrjv. See our comment on Ephesians ii. 11, and 
Colossians ii. 11 — 

oi irvevfuiTi 0€ov \a,TpevovT€$ — " who by the Spirit of God 
are serving." The reading Oeov, adopted by Lachmann and 
Tischendorf, has decided authority over the common reading 
&eq>. The dative form may have sprung from the idea of its 
connection with the participle. The differences of reading 
are of an early date. Augustine, Pelagius, and Ambrose refer 
to them — qui Spiritu Dei serviunt, vel qui Spiritu Deo serviunt. 
Bishop Middleton defends ©€$, misled by his own theory of 
the Article. See under Eph. i. 17. At the same time, the 
language is peculiar. The verb Xarpevco, specially applied in 
the New Testament to religious service, is here used abso- 
lutely, as in Luke ii. 37 ; Acts xxvi 7 ; Heb. ix. 9. The 
phrase irvevfiari Qeov refers to divine influence put forth 
upon the heart by the Spirit of God. The words do not 
point out the norm — spiritualiter, as van Hengel supposes, nor 
yet the object — Spiritum Dei colimus, but the agency or influ- 
ence which prompts and accompanies the service. The Spirit 
of God is He who dwells in the hearts of believers, sent by 
God for this purpose. It follows, indeed, as a natural infer- 
ence, that if the Spirit prompt and guide the worship, it will 
be spiritual in its nature. There is thus a quiet but telling 
allusion to the external formalities of the Jewish service, to 
which the dogmatists were so inordinately attached. The 
Mosaic worship, properly so called, could be celebrated only 
on one spot, and according to a certain ritual. Though of 


divine institution, and adapted to express in a powerful form 
the religious emotions of the people, it often degenerated into 
mere parade. It became a pantomime. Jehovah represents 
Himself as being satiated with sacrifices, and wearied out by 
the heartless routine. Only on one altar could the victim be 
laid, and only one family was privileged to present it. But 
the Christian worship may be presented anywhere and at 
any time, in the hut and in the cathedral. The Being we 
worship is not confined to temples made with hands, nor yet 
is He restricted to any periods for the celebration of His wor- 
ship. Whenever and wherever the Spirit of God moves the 
heart to grateful sensation, there is praise ; or touches it with 
a profound sense of its spiritual wants, there is prayer and 
service. How superior this self-expansive power of Chris- 
tianity to the rigid and cumbrous ceremonial of Israel after 
the flesh, and especially to the stiff and narrow bigotry of the 
concision ! — 

tcai Kav^(o/jL€voi iv Xpurrp % Ir}<rov — " and are making our 
boast in Christ Jesus. M The meaning of xavxayfievoi, emphatic 
from its position, is different from xalpa used in the first 
verse. It is better rendered in Eom. ii. 23 than here — "thou 
that makest thy boast in the law." They gloried not in 
themselves, or in anything about themselves — not in circum- 
cision or Abrahamic descent, but in Christ Jesus, and in Him 
alone — not in Him and Moses — not in Son and servant alike ; 
gloried in Him ; in His great condescension ; His birth and 
its wonders; His life and its blessings; His death and its 
benefits ; His ascension and its pledges ; His return, and its 
stupendous and permanent results. The spiritual circumcision 
boasted themselves in Christ Jesus; the implication being, 
that the concision boasted themselves in Moses and external 
privilege — 

koI ovk iv aap/cl ir€iroi06re^ — " and have no trust in the 
flesh." The adverb ov with a participle as a predicate, is an 
unqualified negative. Winer, § 55, 5 (/), (£). This clause is 
in contrast with the preceding clauses. What the apostle 
understands by <rdpf; , he proceeds at once to define. It is not 
circumcision simply, though the word occurs markedly in Gen. 
xvii. 1 1, 13 ; Lev. xii. 3 ; Eom. ii. 28. The " flesh " is another 
name for external privilege, such as descent, and points to 


such merit as pride thinks due to formal obedience. It is a 
ground of confidence opposed to the righteousness of Christ 
— verse 9. Such then, as contrasted with the concision, is 
the circumcision; the children of believing Abraham, and 
blessed with him ; serving God by His Spirit in a higher and 
more elastic worship; glorying in Him who has won such 
privileges and blessings for them, and having no trust in any 
externals or formalities on which the Judaizer laid so much 
stress as securing salvation, or as bringing ijfc within an 
available reach. 

(Ver. 4.) Kaltrep iya> fyeov ireTroiOrjacv teal iv vapid — 
"Though I am in the possession of confidence too in the 
flesh." The apostle has just classed himself with those who 
had no trust in the flesh, and now he affirms that he too has 
trust in the flesh. It seems, but only seems to be a paradox. 
The conjunction Kalirep, used only here by Paul, qualifies the 
previous assertion. Devarius, Klotz, ii. 723. Instead of 
using the simple participle 7reiroi0<i>$, he says — ey&v ireirol- 
dijaiv. Had he used the simple participle, there might have 
been a direct contradiction. He could not have it, and yet 
not have it at the same time. But he says — e^v 7r€irol0r)<riv 
— he has it in possession, but not in use ; as one may have a 
staff, though he does not lean upon it; may have money, 
though he does not spend it. Such is the plain meaning of the 
words, and thus literally understood, they present no difficulty. 

Various attempts have been made to get rid of the supposed 
difficulty. Our translators have a rendering which the words 
do not justify — " though I might also have confidence in the 
flesh " — a translation similar to that of Storr, Eilliet, Matthies, 
Schinz, and virtually Bheinwald, who resolve it by ex eLV 
Svvctfievos. Neither is there any reason, with Beza, Calvin, 
Am Ende, and Hoelemanu, to take ireirolOriat,? by any 
metonymy for ground or reason of confidence ; nor yet, with 
van Hengel, to refer the language to the past periods of Paul's 
unconverted life. The apostle had declared of himself, that 
he belonged to those who have no confidence in the flesh ; and 
lest his opponents should imagine that his want of confidence 
in the flesh was simply the absence of all foundation for it, 
and that he was making a virtue of necessity, he adds, that he 
had all the warrant any man ever had — nay, more warrant 


than most men ever had — to trust in the flesh. And there- 
fore he subjoins — 

et T19 So/cel a\\o? TreiroiOevcu iv crap/cl, iya> /AaXXoi/— " if 
any other man thinketh that he has confidence in the flesh, 
I more." Our translators again follow such as make the verb 
Jiducice materiam habere — "that he hath whereof he might 
trust in the flesh." The verb So/cel may denote either to think 
or to seem, — if any man thinketh in himself, or if any man 
appear to others, etc. Both meanings are found in the New 
Testament, and Meyer need scarcely have appealed to Ast's 
Lexicon Platonicum in favour of the latter signification. With 
Wiesinger and De Wette we prefer the first meaning given — 
1 Cor. ill. 18, viii 2 — as being apt and natural, for the apostle 
refers to such actual possession as he is about to describe. 

As his manner is, the apostle "goes off" in an allusion to 
his own history and experience. As he proceeds, the emotion 
deepens into vehemence, and while he muses for a moment 
on his own inner life, the thoughts welling " out of the abun- 
dance " of his heart arrange themselves into a lyrical modu- 
lation. He boasts of being a true son of Israel, not sprung 
from one of the tribes which had so early apostatized, but 
from the honoured tribe of Benjamin. He was also of 
untainted descent — an adherent of the " most straitest sect " 
— ardent in his profession, as evinced by his persecution of 
the church — performing with scrupulous exactness every rite 
of fasting, tithing, or sacrifice, so that had salvation been 
awarded to the fervent and punctual devotions of the chamber 
or the sanctuary, he might have died in confidence and peace. 
Therefore he now proceeds to enumerate the advantages which 
he possessed, in which he might have trusted, and in some 
of which he did once trust The Judaizing fanatics could 
not say, that he made light of these privileges because he 
had none of them; for he had more than most of them, 
and yet he felt their utter insignificance. The persons whom 
the apostle had in his eye were. in some respects behind him : 
at least he says — " I more." Some of them might be prose- 
lytes circumcised in manhood; others might be of mixed 
blood ; others may have been originally of Sadducean creed : 
while few of them had manifested that uniform obedience to 
the law which had distinguished him, and that downright 

172 philippiaks m. 5. 

devotedness to Judaism which had led him to seek the extir- 
pation of its young and vigorous rival by violence and blood. 

(Ver. 5.) IlepLTOfifj oKTarjfiepo? — "As to circumcision, an 
eighth-day one," literally, — " circumcised on the eighth day." 
The reading of the first noun in the nominative by Erasmus, 
Bengel, and others, is inadmissible. It is the dative of refer- 
ence. Winer, § 31, 6. The adjective is used, like similar 
nouns of number, as Teraprcuos, John xi. 39 — rpiij/Aepos, 
Greg. Naz. Orat. 25 ; Marc. Anton. 3, — haheicaTalos, Theoc. 
ii. 157. Circumcision on the eighth day was according to 
divine enactment. Gen. xvii. 12; Lev. xii. 3. The apostle 
was a born Jew, and on the appointed day had received the 
seal of the Abrahamic covenant The rite was for no reason 
deferred, and if any merit accrued from strict compliance with 
the law, he had it. The apostle makes good his declaration 
not only of iy<o tx® v > but °f ^7® V^IKKov. The proselytes 
and Idumeans could not say so, for only in riper years could 
they be circumcised. Paul, therefore, left all such boasters 
behind him — 

Ik 761/01/9 'laparjX — "of the race of Israel." See under 
Eph. ii. 12. He had been circumcised on the eighth day; 
and not only was he not a proselyte, but he was not the son 
of proselytes, who might want for their child what they had 
not in childhood received themselves. No : he was a member 
of the chosen race, and not of Ishmael or Esau, or any other 
Abrahamic clan than that of Jacob. The term 'I<rpar)\, too, 
expresses spiritual nobility, and carries a higher honour 
than either the epithet Hebrew or Jew. Eom. ix. 4 ; 
2 Cor. xi. 22— 

<f>v\r}s Bevca/jLtv — " of the tribe of Benjamin." The apostle 
means to derive some honour from his tribal lineage. It could 
scarcely be from this, that the first king of Israel belonged to 
this tribe, or that the apostle bore the royal name. Benjamin 
was a favourite son by a favourite wife, and the tribe is styled 
by Moses the " beloved of the Lord." Deut. xxxiii 12. That 
tribe also had the capital and temple in its canton, was long 
identified with the great tribe of Judah, and had returned with 
it to Palestine, while the more northern tribes had almost 
ceased to exist as distinct branches of the house of Israel. 
He could give his genealogy. Bom. xi. 1 — 

philippians in. 5. 173 

'EPpaios eg'Effpaiav — " a Hebrew of the Hebrews." l The 
phrase is often used in reference to speech, and in contrast, 
with Hellenist Acts vi. 1. It does not seem to be employed 
in such a sense here, though OEcumenius affirms it, and he is 
followed by Witsius, Crellius, and Michaelis. Nor can it 
refer to place of birth, for Paul was born at Tarsus in Cilicia, 
Acts xxii. 3 — a statement in opposition to the tradition men- 
tioned by Jerome that he was born at Gischala in Galilee, and 
that on the capture of the place by the Eomans, his parents and 
he emigrated to Tarsus. Nor has it, as Carpzov and Noesselt 
think, any religious reference, for it was the political name of 
the nation — that by which they were known among foreigners. 
The phrase denotes purity of lineal extraction — not simply 
that he was sprung of an old Hebrew family, as Jaspis 
and Eheinwald suppose — but that none of his ancestors had 
been other than a Jew. Meyer's view is, that both his parents 
were Hebrews, especially his mother. But the force of the 
phrase goes beyond immediate parentage. He was aware 
of no hybrid Gentile admixture, though his ancestors may 
have lived in Gentile countries. He was sprung of pure 
Hebrew blood, there having been no cross marriage to taint the 
descent. Thus does the apostle characterize his lineage : — 
circumcised on the eighth day, and therefore no foreign con- 
vert admitted in mature life, but having parents who coveted 
and transmitted the Abrahamic rite for their family ; — of the 
stock of Israel, and having a hereditary right to the seal of 
the national covenant with all its blessings ; — of the tribe of 
Benjamin, able to ascertain and prove his descent, and not of 
one of any of the tribes geographically lost or individually ab- 
sorbed by the rest ; — a Hebrew of the Hebrews, descended from 
a long line of pure ancestry, without any accidental infusion 
on either side of foreign blood. There is a species of climax. 
A proselyte might circumcise his child on the eighth day ; 
another might be of the stock of Israel and yet his mother 
might not be a Jewess, as was the case with Obed and Timothy ; 
for such a one might be of the tribe of Benjamin and yet not 
a Hebrew of the Hebrews. Extraction of undoubted purity 
distinguished him, while some of his opponents, with all their 

1 Examples of similar phraseology are given by Wetstein and Kypke, such as 
— U /3«*jAi«* /WjXicwii — hvkcvf i» ttvktt, etc. 

174 phiuppians in. 6. 

Judaizing zeal, could make no such assertion — eyw fiaWov. 
2 Cor. xi 22. 

Having enumerated his privileges as a member of Abra- 
ham's race, the apostle proceeds to show how he improved 
them. -What he had enjoyed as a child was not lost upon 
him as a man. He was not contented with being one of the 
Jewish mass, but he sought in riper years to realize the 
advantages of his birth. Not satisfied with a passive posses- 
sion of blood and birth, he laboured to appropriate all its 
blessings. He was a religious man — sincerely and intelligently 
attached to the law and all the venerated traditions of the 
fathers, and not simply a born Jew, proud of his ancestry, but 
indifferent to their faith — venerating the name of Moses, but 
careless of his law, save in so far as national customs had 
habituated him to its observance. Could the same be said 
of all his adversaries who now made such an outcry about 
the Abrahamic rite ? 

kcltcl vofiop $api<raio$ — " touching the law a Pharisee*" It 
is wrong to give vojios the meaning of aipeaw, as do Heinrichs, 
Am Ende, and Eheinwald, nor can it be rendered by secta or 
disciplina. Nor need it be understood, with van Hengel, as 
meaning — " with regard to the interpretation of the law " — 
quod legis attinet interpretationem. In his relation to the law 
he was a Pharisee. Acts xxvi. 5. The Pharisee was noted for 
his strong attachment to the law l — for his observance of all its 
ceremonial minutiae — and his determination, at all hazards, to 
uphold its validity. Winer ; Real- Worterbuch, sub voce. Nay, 
Paul was not only a Pharisee, but " the son of a Pharisee " 
— brought up at the feet of Gamaliel, a famous teacher of 
the sect. His mind had never been tainted by Sadducean 
unbelief, nor had he been fascinated by the ascetic theosophy 
of the Essene. If the apostle would not bind the law on the 
Gentile churches, it was not because he had not studied it or 
had not understood it, nor yet because he had either lived in 
indifference to its claims or been trained in prejudice against 
its venerable authority. 

(Ver. 6.) Kara £f}\o? Suokcop ttjv i/etc\7}<Tiav — " As to zeal 

1 Josephus Says of them — *iji rat warpta tifUf/ut StfXMWV rSv &\\an ax£t$ua $i*Qtpu* t 

Vita, 38 ; also Bell. Jud. iL 8, 14. Nay, the apostle himself says that he lived 
a Pharisee — «*r« rh* axpifiterarnv alpim rii$ n/csrff«f 6pn**ii*t. Acts xxvi. 5. 

philippians ni. «. 175 

persecuting the church." The neuter form £f)\o<: has in its 
favour, A, B, D, F, G. Some MSS., of no high authority, add 
rod Geov after h/e/cXrjaiav, but the noun often stands by itself. 
The present participle tells precisely what the apostle means to 
say, and it would be wrong to follow Grotius, Heinrichs, Am 
Ende, and Jaspis, and give it the meaning of Subgas. Nor is it 
necessary to make it a species of substantive with Alford, or 
of adjective with Ellicott, for it marks his conduct at the same 
point of time as when he had trust in the flesh, and thought 
himself blameless. The apostle gives his unconverted state 
an ideal present time. Compare Acts xxi 20; Rom. x. 2 ; 
Gal. i. 13 ; 1 Tim. i 13. The apostle had been no passive 
supporter of the law. While he upheld it, he upheld it with 
his might And when the supremacy of that law seemed 
to be endangered by the growth of Christianity, with charac- 
teristic ardour and impetuosity he flung himself into the 
contest. He could not be a supine and listless spectator. 
The question was to him one of conscience and submission to 
divine authority, and therefore he deemed it his duty to 
imprison, torture, and kill the abettors of the infant faith, 
whose most malignant feature, as he thought, was its antago- 
nism to Moses. Others might stand aloof, fold their hands in 
indifference, and yield a facile acquiescence in events as they 
occurred. But the disciple of Gamaliel was in terrible 
earnest Believing that in speaking " words against Moses " 
there was open blasphemy, and that the glory of God and the 
spiritual interests of his country were in imminent hazard, 
he felt himself doing God service when he resolved to hunt 
down and extirpate the rising heresy, and "breathed out 
threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord." 
Foremost among the zealots stood Saul of Tarsus. Had his 
adversaries ever shown a similar fervour — had they so openly 
committed themselves ? His zeal for the law outstripped 
theirs — iy<o fiaWov. If he did not now enforce the Mosaic 
ceremonial, it was not because he had never loved it, or had 
been quite careless when it was assaulted. Not one had 
laboured for it so prodigiously, or fought for it so ferociously 
— " the witnesses laid their clothes at a young man's feet, 
whose name was Saul." Higher still — 

kcltcl Succuoavvrjv ttjv h> vdfitp yevofievo? afiefiTTTO? — "as 


regards righteousness which is in the law being blameless." 
The noun Siteaioavpr), when so used, departs from its ordinary 
classic sense, and represents one special meaning of the 
Hebrew pTS. It does not signify either equity or fair dealing 
between man and man, but depicts that aspect of state or 
relation to the Divine law, which secures, or is believed to 
secure, acceptance with God. It is here characterized as 
rrjv ip vofMp — as being found in the law, or having its 
source in obedience to the law. With respect to such right- 
eousness, he was* perfect — yevojievo? afiefiirro^. ii. 15. He 
thought himself, and others thought him, without a flaw. He 
did whatever the law had enjoined ; abstained from whatever 
the law had forbidden; omitted no duty, and committed no 
violation of legal precept. In form at least, and in external 
compliance, his obedience was exemplary, without occasional 
lapse or visible inconsistency. It is altogether too restricted to 
understand the " law " of Pharisaic enactment, or simply of the 
ceremonial law, and worse still to adopt the idea of Grotius 
and Am Ende, that Paul speaks but of the civil law, as if the 
miserable meaning were — nihil se fecisse quod morte aut ver- 
leribus ca&igandum esset. It was indeed and in itself what 
Matthies styles it — eine scheinJieilige Werkgerecktigkeit ; but 
the apostle speaks from the standpoint of his earlier days. 
Matt. xix. 20. Such, then, is the record of the apostle's 
grounds of confidence in the flesh, and who of those opposed 
to him could boast of more of them ? He had no confidence 
in the flesh, or mere externalism ; and yet, if any man was 
ever warranted to have such confidence, it was he who had 
more of it than most, but who now with changed views so 
vehemently decried it, as opposed to the spirituality of the 
gospel and fatal to salvation. For he adds with power — 

(Ver. 7.) 'AW arcva f\v fiot tcipBr), ravra ijyrj/juib Sict top 
Xpiarop Ifafiiap — " But whatever things were gains to me, 
these I have reckoned loss for Christ." The conjunction a\\d 
introduces a striking and earnest contrast. In the use of 
aripa, which is placed emphatically, the apostle refers to these 
previous things enumerated as a class — that class of things 
which were objects of gain ; the plural tcepSr) intimating their 
quantity and variety, and not simply corresponding in number 
with the plural arwa. Krtiger, § 44, 3, Anmerk 5. The 


dative fioi is that of " profit," and not that of opinion, as is 
supposed by Erasmus, Beza, Eheinwald, De Wette, and 
Hoelemann. The apostle still speaks from his old standpoint 
— they were objects of gain, inasmuch as and so long as they 
were believed to secure acceptance with God. The Ifa/ila is 
opposed to /e&pSr), and is used in its literal sense in Acts xxvii. 
10, 21. The ravra is emphatic — these, yes these, I have 
reckoned loss ; and the KepBrj is not, as van Hengel makes it 
— non vera lucra, sed opinata. The perfect tense may bear 
the meaning of the present — Buttmann, § 113, 7 — yet the 
use of the present immediately after confines us to the past 
signification. These things I have set down as loss, and do 
so still. He had come to form a very opposite opinion of 
them. It is needless to take (ft/u'a in the sense of mulcta, or 
arefyqais. It stands simply in unity, opposed to /eip&rj in 
plurality — many gains as one loss — denoting the total revolu- 
tion in the apostle's mind and opinions. Theophylact adds 
aire^aXofjuqv — " and have cast them away," but not correctly, 
or in strict unison with the previous declaration, for the 
apostle still had them, and says that he still had them — iypv 
TreiroiOriGiv. Nor is there more propriety in Calvin's figure, 
virtually adopted and deteriorated by Macknight, taken from 
navigation, when men make loss of the cargo to lighten the 
ship, and save themselves. The apostle now states the grand 
reason for his change of estimate — 

Bca tov Xpurrov — " on account of Christ." Not " in respect 
of Christ," as Heinrichs; nor specially to enjoy fellowship 
with Him, as van Hengel. " On account of Christ " — that is 
to say, what was once gain was now reckoned loss, either 
because it did not commend him to Christ, or what was held 
as something won was regarded now as loss, for it did not 
enable to win Christ, nay, kept him from winning Christ. 
When he won, he was losing ; nay, the more he won, the 
more he must lose. All his advantages in birth, privilege, 
sect, earnestness, and obedience, were not only profitless, but 
productive of positive loss, as they prevented the gaining of 
Christ, and of justification through the faith of Christ. 

(Ver. 8.) '.4WA fiev oiv koX fp/ovficu irdvra fyj/juiav etvat — 
" But indeed, therefore, I also count or continue to count them 
all to be loss." Winer, § 53, 7 (a), says that dXKci fikv o&v 

178 philippians in. a 

may be rendered at sane quidem. Klotz, Devarius, 663, 
etc. The aKka puts the two tenses, past and present, into 
contrast ; while the teal qualifies rjyov/Aai, and gives it special 
significance, and does not, as Eilliet supposes, connect itself 
with irdvTa, as if there were a climax — " what things were 
gain, these I counted loss ; yea, doubtless, I count even all 
things loss." This exegesis would require, as Meyer says, the 
verbal order to be zeal irdvra fjyovfuu. Nor can irdvra mean 
all things absolutely. It has not the article, indeed, but the 
meaning is limited by the context — all things of the class and 
character described — the things of which he says immediately 
that he had suffered the loss. The estimate was not a hasty 
conclusion from fallacious premises, nor the sudden leap of an 
enthusiasm which had for a moment urged him. It was his 
calm and deliberate judgment still. And again he adduces a 
reason — 

Sia to irrrepexpv rifc yimxreci)? Xpiatov 'Irjaov rov Kvpiov 
fwv — " on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ 
Jesus my Lord." The participle inrepeypv is used as a sub- 
stantive. Bernhardy, p. 156 ; Matthiae, § 570. There is no 
occasion to supply any noun. " Thucydides," says Jelf, 
"abounds in neuter participles thus used." § 436, 7. 
Besides this way of expressing abstract notions, there 
are several other points of resemblance between the style of 
the Greek historian and that of the apostle. There is a 
comparison implied in the epithet It transcends all the 
things to which the apostle has referred. Still, there is no 
occasion, with Am Ende and Eheinwald, to resolve the phrase 
into Bia rtjv inrep&xpvaav yv&aiv. The apostle does not refer 
to the knowledge simply, but to one feature of it, its superior 
excellence, in comparison with which all things are accounted 
loss. That knowledge has for its object Christ Jesus, whom 
the apostle names in a burst of veneration and attachment — 
my Lord." Let the elements of loss be calculated. The 
gains " were :— circumcision performed without any deviation 
from legal time or method — membership in the house of Israel, 
and connection with one of its most honoured tribes — descent 
from a long line of pure-blooded ancestry — adherence to a 
sect, whose prominent distinction was the observance of the 
old statutes — earnest and uncompromising hostility to a 

PHILIPPIANS m. 8. 179 

community accused of undermining the authority of the 
Mosaic code, and a merit based on blameless obedience to the 
law. These, once gloried and confided in, were counted as a 
loss, for the sake of a superior gain in the excellency of the 
knowledge of Christ Jesus. Ghrysostom has a long and not 
very satisfactory argument to show, that the heretics who 
abused the law could not plead, for their vilification of it, the 
apostle's language in this place. " He does not say the law 
is loss, but I count it loss." The true reply is, that it is not 
to the law in itself, but to his misconception of its position 
and of his own relation to it, that the apostle refers. Jerome 
on Habakkuk, referring to the same abuse of the apostle's 
words, says he does not refer to the law as such, but has in 
view doctrince Pharisoeorum et precepta hominum, et Sevrepaxreis 
Judceorum. Augustine, also, has more than once written in a 
similar strain. 

The apostle was surely justified in making such a compa- 
rison. He was no loser by the loss he had willingly made, 
for the object of knowledge was the Divine Saviour. To 
understand His person and character, with His work and its 
relations, and so to understand them through a living interest 
in them, is surely knowledge of superior excellence. Is it not 
super-eminent knowledge to know Him as the " Christ," not 
simply because He has been anointed " with the oil of glad- 
ness," but because we too " have an unction from the Holy 
One," — to know Him as "Jesus," not simply because He 
wears our nature, but because we feel His human heart throb- 
bing in unison with ours under trial and sorrow,— to know 
Him as Prophet, not simply because He is Light, but because 
we are light in Him, — to know Him as Priest, not simply 
because He has laid Himself on the altar, but because the 
blood of sprinkling is manifest upon our conscience, — to know 
Him as " Lord," not simply because He wears a crown and 
wields a sceptre, but because we bow to His loving rule and 
gather the spoils of the victory which He has won and secured? 
The apostle made a just calculation ; for neither ritualism, nor 
Israelitism, nor Pharisaism, nor zealotism, nor legalism could 
bring him those blessings with which the knowledge of Christ 
was connected ; nay, until they were held as loss, this gain of 
gains could not be acquired. The apostle repeats — 



Si* bv ra irdvra i^rjfitxodrjv — " for whom I have suffered the 
loss of them all." It serves no purpose, with van Hengel and 
Baumgarten-Crusius, to make this clause a parenthesis, for it 
is closely connected with the succeeding one. " On account 
of whom," that is to say — Christ Jesus, my Lord. The irdvra, 
as qualified by the article, refers to the things already specified 
— all these things. It is wrong in Chrysostom, then, to describe 
them as icai to, irdXac teal ra irapovra, and in a-Lapide to 
write thus — non tantum bona Judaismi, sed omnia quce mundus 
hie amat et miratur. The one accusative is still retained with 
the passive, as in Matt. xvi. 26. Winer, § 32, 5. Van 
Hengel and others needlessly differ from Wiesinger, Meyer, 
and De Wette, in giving the passive form a middle 

koX r/yovfiai aicvfiaXa elvai — " and do count them to be 
refuse." The infinitive elvai is omitted by Lachmann, as not 
being found in B, D 8 , F, G, nor is the correspondent Latin term 
in the Vulgate and in many of the Latin Fathers. But it 
occurs in A, D 1 , E, I, K, in almost all the versions, and Greek 
Fathers. One can more easily account for its omission than 
for its insertion. The contemptuous term <r/evfia\ov is usually 
derived from e? icvvas fiaXelv (Suidas, sub voce), much in the 
same way as Stamboul, the name of the Byzantine capital, is 
compounded of €9 rav irokiv. It signifies refuse, sweepings, 
manure, Koirpos, stercora. Sirach xxvii. 4. The Greek Fathers 
understand it to mean husks, chaff, ayypov, and they contrast 
it with (7?to9. It expresses not only the utter insignificance 
which the apostle now attached to the grounds of his former 
trust, but the aversion with which he regarded them, especially 
when placed in comparison with Christ. For the end was — 

Xva Xpcarbv /eeptyaa) — "that I may gain Christ." The 
verb icephrjGG) is used in correspondence with Kephrj in verse 7, 
and in contrast with fopta and i&puoOriv. The clause with Xva 
expresses the great purpose of the apostle, in order to attain 
which he had made the previous estimate and suffered the 
previous loss. The phrase is somewhat peculiar. One is apt 
to smile at the gambling figure of Heumann — obolum perdidi, 
amicwm, accepi. Nor is the meaning merely, to gain the favour 
of Christ, as Grotius, Am Ende, and Wilke suppose ; nor yet 
is it simply to be a Christian, as Krause weakens it. Eobin- 


son virtually agrees with Grotius, and many others are some- 
what vague in their explanations. To win Him is to have 
Him — the idea of gain being suggested by the previous 
mention of loss. Nor can we say that the verb is explained 
by the following clauses, or by any one of them in particular. 
They are elements indeed of this gain; but the term " Christ" 
seems to denote Him in every aspect, and to win Him is to 
enjoy Him in every aspect. It is to have Him as mine, and 
to feel that in comparison with such a possession all else may 
be regarded as truly loss. To the apostle Christ was so 
identified with the truth, that when he gained Him he gained 
the highest knowledge ; so identified with life, that when he 
gained Him he was endowed with the noblest form of it ; and 
so identified with spiritual influence, that when he gained Him 
his whole nature was filled with power and gladness. The 
name of Christ, so used, covers His entire work and relations, 
and, as Wiesinger says — " Christ comes as gain in the place 
of the loss he has suffered." And the possession of Christ 
is real gain compared with Hebrew lineage, the seal of 
Abrahamic descent, or devotedness to the Mosaic ritual and 

(Ver. 9.) Kal evp€0& iv clvt& — " And be found in Him." 
The verb is not to be taken with an active sense, as it is taken 
by Calvin — et inveniam in ipso — thus explained, Pavlum re- 
nunciasse omnibus quce hcibebat, ut reciiperaret in Christo. Nor 
has evpeOrjvai the same meaning with the simple elvai, as is 
affirmed by Grotius, Am Ende,, and Henrichs. It has the 
additional idea of being discovered to be, or proved to be. 
Rom. vii. 10 ; GaL ii. 17. See under ii 8. It does not simply 
assert a condition, but it looks at ascertained result When 
we see how the apostle connects with this animated expression 
of his feelings " the resurrection of the dead," we would not be 
so decided as are Meyer and De Wette, in denying Beza's 
supposition of a tacit relation to the day of judgment. The 
apostle, however, desires above all things to be found in Him, 
now and ever. We would not say, with Meyer, that the pre- 
vious clause, " that I may win Christ," is subjective, and that 
this clause corresponds objectively to it. The former clause 
we regard as a general and comprehensive declaration, and 
this one as a more special result. To gain Him . comprises 



every blessing, and underlies every aspect of His work — to 
be found in Him is a special and personal relation to Him. 
The first effect of gaining Christ is union to Him, and the 
apostle counts all but loss that this union may not only exist, 
but may maintain and exhibit its reality — so as that, at the 
final inquisition, he may be found in Christ and enjoy the 
resurrection of the dead. The phrase " in Him " signifies no 
form of external fellowship, nor is it to be explained away as 
denoting mere discipleship. It is a Union as close, tender, 
vital, and constant, as between the members and the head — a 
union effected and perpetuated by the Spirit of God, — the 
same Spirit dwelling in Christ and in all who are His. 
Participation in blessing depends upon it, as the living and 
identifying bond which secures communion in all He is and 
has. Yet more — 

M €%*>!/ efiTjv Si/caioavvrjv rrjv etc vofiov — " not having mine 
own righteousness, which is of the law/' We would not 
connect this clause so closely with the preceding one as, 
like Tischendorf and Lachmann, not to place a comma 
between them. The meaning brought out in this way 
by van Hengel is — et deprelundar in communione ejus non 
meam qtuiletncunque habere probitatem — " and be found in 
Him not to have mine own righteousness." This idea is 
not in harmony with the course of thought, which in form is 
simple and consecutive. Besides, in such a case, as Meyer 
remarks, iv airnp would be superfluous. We take it and 
what follows it as descriptive of the results of gaining 
Christ and of being found in Him. The syntax connects it 
most closely with evpe6a>. It gives an objective view of the 
apostle's condition. The subjective particle fiy is used, because 
the absence of his own righteousness is a mental conception, is 
expressed as purpose, and not as an actual fact. Winer, §55,1. 
The participle is simply " having," as Meyer and De Wette 
maintain against those who would give it a more pregnant 
sense of " holding fast/' The meaning of Sucaioavvr) we have 
already referred to. The apostle characterizes it as his own 
— iyj\v — as wrought out and secured by himself. Eom. x. 3. 
And he points out its source by calling it ttjp etc voyuov — 
"which is out of the law,' 1 the law being regarded as its 
origin, and " works " as its means. The apostle had felt how 


vain such a righteousness was, as he has shown in Rom. iii. 
19, 20 ; GaL ii. 16, 21 ; and he regarded his being found in 
Christ as utterly imcompatible with such a personal and legal 
righteousness. The preposition i/e is often similarly employed 
as in the two places last quoted. In contrast he now adds — 

aXka rrfv Sid irLareas Xpurrou — " but that which is through 
the faith of Christ." The apostle changes the preposition, 
for he intends to express a very different relation. His own 
righteousness was out of the law, or originated by the law, 
and it was through his own effort that he obtained it, for the 
pronoun e/twj has in itself the notion of Bid. But this other 
righteousness is of God, as he says in the next clause, and its 
instrument is faith— StA nriarea)^ Xpiorov, Xpurrov is not 
the genitive of source, as Am Ende and Jaspis regard it, but 
that of object Through faith in Christ, as the subjective 
medium, is this righteousness enjoyed or received by all who 
are found in Him. Having referred to the means of this 
righteousness, he must also characterize its source— 

ttjp itc 0€ov Bucaioavvrjv eirl ry irUrrev — to wit, " the right- 
eousness which is of God on faith." His own righteousness 
was ifc vifiov, but this is etc Qeov — having God for its origin, 
and it rests — eV2 t§ irUrrei — upon faith. The phrase does not 
signify in faith or in fide, as the Vulgate renders it ; nor per 
fidem, as Beza supposes it ; nor on account of faith, as De Wette 
explains it ; nor yet exactly on the condition of faith, as is 
the view of Matthies, Billiet, and van Hengel — a view which 
is rather secondary and inferential, than primary and exegeti- 
cal. Meyer regards those words as depending on an under- 
stood ^x (0V > reputed, after aKkd. The view does not appear 
tenable. " In this case," as Wiesinger asks, " would not 
iywv have been repeated ? " Meyer objects that the connec- 
tion of this righteousness with faith has been already described 
by Bid irUrrea)? X., and that it would be mere repetition to 
join iirl rfj marei to Bitcaiocrvwjv. To this objection we 
demur. For, first, the use of various prepositions to express 
the different relations of an object, is precisely one of the 
apostle's peculiarities of style. And, secondly, the difference 
of relation expressed by the different prepositions, prevents 
tautology. In the first case, when he uses Bid, he has a 
special contrast in view, which he sharply brings out. He 


tells the origin of his own righteousness, and then he con- 
trasts it with evangelical righteousness, not in its origin, but 
in its means — Bia Trwrreo)?. Then he reverts to its origin 
emphatically — e/e Oeov — and he connects that origin with its 
basis in one general expression. If you ask what is the 
instrument of this righteousness, it is by faith — Sia trio-Tew 
— as opposed to personal effort or merit — ifuq. If you in- 
quire for its source, it is i/c Oeov, opposed to i/c v4/jlov. And 
if you seek for its nature and adaptation, it rests €7ri rfj 
irlarei — on faith. So that Si/caioavvrjv eirl r{j trtcrei forms 
really one complex idea, and the non-repetition of the article 
before iiri is no valid objection. Winer, § 20, 2. Wiesinger 
understands the first clause-^-Swfc irlaTeox; X. — as describing 
faith objectively, and the second — hrl ry irlarei — as pointing 
out the individual or subjective foundation. Alford renders 
" on my faith," but the phrase seems to be a portion of a general 
definition. At all events, while the apostle does not bring out 
the points of a contrast with the finical order of a rhetorician, 
he holds up two different aspects of faith — faith as the means, 
and faith as the foundation. The reason of the Sid is to be 
found in the iiri It is because this righteousness has faith 
for its ground, that faith becomes its instrument Such is its 
peculiar nature, that its effect is made to depend upon faith ; 
therefore by faith is it realized and appropriated. Physical 
life is dependent on respiration ; therefore by respiration is 
it sustained. 

This righteousness — Bi/cacoavvrf — which the apostle aspired 
to possess, is the only ground of acceptance with God. In 
itself it is not ifiq, but of God — i/c Oeov — as in His grace 
He has provided it, so that it is said of us — Si/ccuovpevoi Stopeav 
t§ avrov x<x/>m. Eom. iii. 24. It is wrought out by Christ, 
and in His blood — iv t$ aXfrnri avrov — Eom. v. 9 ; or it is 
$ia T179 a7ro\vTpa>a€(D$ ti/9 iv XpcorA 'Irjaov. Bom. iiL 24. 
It becomes ours through faith, being in one aspect eirl ry 
wio-Tei, in another B^a 7r«rr€a>9, and in another still, ix ir'ur- 
T6o)?. Eom. v. 1. And this connection of faith is further 
described thus — Xoyl^erac 17 irlans €t9 Sifcaco<rvvr)v; or, subjec- 
tively, xapBla Tricrevetai, el? Sifcaioavvrjv. Eom. x. 10. Of 
the possessor of such righteousness it may be said — Si/eaiovrai 
irapa tj5 Oe&. GaL iii. 11. Christ obeyed the law for us, and 


for us suffered its penalty, and the merit of this obedience 
unto the death becomes ours, as soon as we can say of ourselves, 
seal f/fiei? eh Xpiorbv 'Iyaovv eirioTevaaftev. Gal. ii 16. He 
who was aSitcos becomes SLtcaios, and escapes that Kardxpipa 
which sin merits, Bom. viii 1, the opyi) Oeov — Rom. i 18 ; 
nay, enjoys the benefit of redemption — rrjv acfxatv r&v trapa- 
irT&fidTav. Eph. i. 7. When epya tov vojiov — works of law, 
are disclaimed, and faith is simply reposed on God — eVi tov 
Suecuovvra tov aaefif) — guilt is cancelled, acceptance is enjoyed, 
and such a change of state entails a change of character: those 
in whom the righteousness of the law is fulfilled, " walk not 
after the flesh, but after the spirit." Eom. viii. 4. The sinner 
is not indeed held by any legal fiction to be innocent. The 
entire process implies his guilt, but he is no longer exposed to 
the penalty ; he is held, or dealt with, as a righteous person, 
" the external justice of Christ Jesus being imputed to him." * 
And the result is — oft? 8e iSt/catcnae, tovtovs koX iSojjaaev. 
Rom. viii 30. This righteousness, divine in its origin, awful 
in its medium, and fraught with such results, was the 
essential element of Paul's religion, and the distinctive tenet 
of Paul's theology. His purpose was — 

(Ver. 10.) Tov yv&vai aMv — " So that I may know Him." 
The construction beginning with Xva is here changed into the 
infinitive — no uncommon change in the style of the apostle. 
Rom. vi 6; CoL i 9, 10. Bernhardy (p. 357) shows that 
the proper meaning of the genitive is preserved in such a 
construction. But what is the connection ? 

1. Some take the phrase as parallel with Xva tcephrjGco teal 
€vpe0&, and as if it simply stood for Xva yv&. Such is the 
view of Estius, Storr, Hatt, Rheinwald, Rilliet, van Hengel, 
De Wette, and Hoelemann. But the very change of con- 
struction argues a peculiarity, and seems to connect the sense, 
not as a thought parallel with the previous Xva, but rather as 
the result of an intermediate statement. 

2. The Greek Fathers connect it with €7ri ry iriarei, and 
so do Calvin, Grotius, and Bengel. It is thus supposed to 
describe the source or the nature of faith — faith in order to 

1 Hooker, Work*, voL ii. p. 621, ed. Oxford, 1841. See also Usteri, Entwick. 
des Paulin. Lehrb. p. 86; Lechler, die Apoxtol. und Nachapost. Zeitalter, p. 
112, Stuttgart, 1857. 


know Him. But the syntax does not seem to warrant such a 
narrow connection. 

3. Eosenmiiller, followed to some extent by Matthies and 
Peile, joins it to Si/caioavvrjv, as if the meaning were — -feliei- 
tatem, inquam, cognoscendi eum. This exegesis is wrong, both 
in its syntax and in the meaning assigned to hucavoavvq. 

4. Meyer connects it with the clause ft)) ex&v, and Wiesin- 
ger inclines to join it to evpeOco. We prefer connecting it 
with both, that is, with evpe6& primarily, but as modified and 
explained by the clause fii) e^ow. The apostle reckons all 
but loss to gain Christ, and be found in Him — found in Him 
possessed of a peculiar qualification, divine righteousness, and 
all this "so as to know Him and the power of His resurrection." 
His object was not simply to be found in Christ so as to know 
Him, but to be found in Him, divinely justified by faith in 
Him, so as to know Him. The " excellency of the knowledge! 
of Christ Jesus" is still before his mind, and he does not 
revert formally to what he had stated as to the superior 
excellence of this knowledge, for the idea has never left him ; 
and now he avows the design of being in Christ, and of being 
justified by faith in Him, and that is, to know Him. Not 
that to this knowledge two prerequisites are asserted to be 
equally necessary — union to Christ, and the possession of the 
righteousness of faith. No : union with Christ is the great 
qualification, that union giving righteousness, and both leading 
to the knowledge of Christ The realization of this union to 
Christ, and the possession of this righteousness, bring one to 
the inner knowledge of Him in whom we are, and by faith in 
whom this righteousness is received. 

From this statement, and from the following clauses, it is 
plain that this knowledge is that of a deep and deepening 
experience. It is not historical insight, nor general and 
theoretic information. The apostle aimed to know Him as 
being in Him. Such knowledge is inspired by the conscious- 
ness — not elaborated by the intellect. It rises up from within 
— is not gathered from without It does not accumulate 
evidence to test the truth — it "has the witness" in itself. 
It needs not to repair to the cistern and draw— it has in itself 
" a well of water springing up unto everlasting life." It knows, 
because it feels; it ascertains, not because it studies, but 


because it enjoys union, and possesses the righteousness of 
God through faith. She that touched the tassel of His robe 
had a knowledge of Christ deeper and truer by far than the 
crowds that thronged about Him ; for " virtue " had come out 
of Him, and she felt it in herself. Only this kind of know 
ledge possesses "the excellency," for it is connected with 
justification, as was intimated by Isaiah ; and it is " eternal 
life," as declared by Jesus. Isa. liiL 11 ; John xvii. 3. The 
apostle could not set so high a value on a mere external 
knowledge, or a mere acquaintanceship with the facts and 
dates of Christ's career. For it is quite possible for a man to 
want the element of living experience, and yet to be able to 
argue himself into a belief of the Messiahship of the Son of 
Mary ; quite possible for him, without a saving interest in 
the themes of his study, to stand at the manger and prove 
the babe's true humanity; to gaze on His miracles, and 
deduce from them a divine commission, without bowing to its 
authority; ay, and to linger by the cross, and see in it a 
mysterious and complete expiation, without accepting the 
pardon and peace which the blood of atonement secures. Still 
further — 

koX Ttjp Svpafiiv t»}9 avaaTacrew*; airrov — " and the power 
of His resurrection." It is an odd notion of Bengel that 
avdaraais is not resurrection, but exortus sive adventus Messice. 
The power of His resurrection is not, as Grotius and Matthies 
say, the power which caused His resurrection, or which was 
put forth upon Him, or was experienced by Him when He 
rose again. It is the power which belongs to His resurrec- 
tion ; that is, the power which His resurrection has or puts 
forth on those who are in Him, and who are justified by faith 
in Him. But what is its sphere of operation ? Meyer con- 
fines it to justification, and the evidence which it affords of it, 
as in Eom. iv. 25 ; 1 Cor. xv. 17 ; Acts xiii. 37, 38. Storr, 
De Wette, and Schinz restrict it especially to triumph over 
death — 2, Cor. iv. 10; while Wiesinger takes it to be that 
power which the apostle aims at experiencing in himself, by 
the renunciation of all that belongs to the old man and the 
flesh, so as to attain to the object indicated in verse 11. 
Lastly ; others, as van Hengel, identify it with the spiritual 
power of regeneration. 

188 phiuppians m. 10. 

If the phrase be connected closely with the previous con- 
text, then each of these views is more restricted than that 
context warrants. The knowledge which the apostle coveted 
is allied to his previous purpose to gain Christ, and to be 
found in Him, possessed of a righteousness accepted by faith. 
The power of Christ's resurrection will therefore have respect 
to those prior points of character or state. The apostle 
counted all things but vile refuse, that he might gain Christ 
— Christ in contrast with elements of proud and self-righteous 
Jewish confidence. May it not be inferred, that the apostle 
refers to the power of His resurrection in vindication of His 
Christship? It proved Him to be the promised Messiah. 
He also coveted to be found in Him — in union with Him; 
and His resurrection may be viewed in its vivifying power. 
At least the resurrection of the Lord is viewed in that 
aspect in the two epistles written about the same period — 
that to the Ephesians, i. 19, 20, and that to the Colossians, ii. 
11, 12. To be in Christ is to enjoy newness of life ; and to 
know the power of His resurrection may be to feel more 
vividly the pulsations of this existence, or, as Wiesinger says, 
" this manifestation of the life of Jesus." Then there is no 
doubt that the apostle refers to the power of His resurrection 
as giving a warrant for our justification ; for it not only proved 
his mission to be divine, but it proclaimed the success of His 
mediatorial work. 

But perhaps the phrase is in closer connection with what 
succeeds — fellowship with his sufferings, and conformity to 
His death. The idea of suffering and death naturally precedes 
that of resurrection. Christ suffered and died and rose again, 
and the apostle covets to know the participation of his suffer- 
ings, being conformed to His death. In referring to his own 
experience, he reverses the order of the historical facts — points 
to the result so dear to him, before he alludes to the previous 
stages — 

teal ri)P tcoivcoviav r&v iraO^fuircov avrov — " and the fellow- 
ship of His sufferings," that is, " and to know " the fellowship 
of His sufferings. It is plain that fellowship does not mean 
fruition, as it would if the idea of Calovius were sustained, 
that the fellowship of His sufferings is the appropriation of 
their atoning merits. Nor is it a spiritual participation, as 


Bengel and Zanchius suppose, and take from Gal. iL 20. Nor 
is it, as Mattbies and van Hengel assume, suffering endured 
for Christ's sake — cruciatibus Christi causa subeundis. Nor 
is there any necessity, on the part of Hoelemann and others, 
to throw in any expression corresponding to Svvafiiv in the 
preceding clause — neither vim et pondus, nor dulcedinem ac 
sanctitatem, nor honorem, as is done by Am Ende and Jaspis ; 
nor yet, as Bengel puts it — und einsehen doss Ich wie Christus 
Leiden erdulden muss — the perception that I, like Christ, must 
endure suffering. 

The general idea is much the same as that which occurs in 
Col. i. 24. A share in Christ's actual sufferings was im- 
possible to him. But the sufferings of Christ were not ended 
— they are prolonged in his body, and of those the apostle 
desired to know the fellowship. He longed so to suffer, for 
such fellowship gave him assimilation to his Lord, as he 
drank of His cup, and was baptized with His baptism. It 
brought him into communion with Christ, purer, closer, and 
tenderer than simple service for Him could have achieved. 
It gave Him such solace as Christ Himself enjoyed. To 
suffer together creates a dearer fellow-feeling than to labour 
together. Companionship in sorrow forms the most enduring 
of ties, — afflicted hearts cling to each other, grow into each 
other. The apostle yearned for this likeness to his Lord, 
assured that to suffer with Him was to be glorified with Him, 
and that the depth of His sympathies could be fully known 
only to such as " through much tribulation " must enter the 
kingdom. Christ indeed cannot be known, unless there be 
this fellowship in His sufferings. 

ovfjL/jLop<f)i£6fi€vo<: t^> Oavdrcp avrov. This form of the par- 
ticiple has higher authority (such as A, B, D 1 ) than avpfiop- 
<f>ovfi€vo$, or than the cvv(^oprl^ofievo<; of F and G. The 
participle is connected with yv&vai, and not with evpe6&. 
The present participle, dependent on yp&vai, carries the idea 
— " while I am being made conformable to His death." The 
use of the nominative makes an anacolouthon, and this form 
of syntax is frequent with the apostle. Winer, § 63, L 2, a. 
Wiesinger virtually denies that there is any reference to the 
apostle's martyrdom ; at least he thinks that the phrase can 
be explained without any such allusion. Others, with van 

190 philippians in. 11. 

Hengel and Eilliet, take it in a spiritual sense, the last say- 
ing — en stibissant dans sa propre vie le changement qui doit 
risulter pour le chrttien V appropriation qu'ilsefait a lui-m6me 
de la mort de son Mattre. But perhaps what he has already 
said in the previous chapter may bring us to an opposite 
conclusion. Nor can the phrase be explained simply by the 
language in Matt. x. 38, xvi. 24, where our Lord uses a 
striking figure ; nor by the diction of the apostle in Bom. vi. 
3, 5. The clause has a closer connection with the declaration 
made by the apostle in 2 Cor. iv. 10, 11. This conformity 
to His death accompanies the power of His resurrection and 
the fellowship of His sufferings. The death of Jesus was ever 
before the apostle's mind, and he died daily. The process of 
conformity was advancing ; — like Him in suffering, like Him 
in death — a violent and bloody death as a servant of God. 
It mattered not what its external form was — whether by the 
sword or the cross, at the stake or on the arena ; whether it 
was the fate of Stephen or the end of James, the similarity 
desired was one of spirit and state. In all things Paul 
coveted conformity to His Lord — even in suffering and death. 
Assured that Christ's career was the noblest which humanity 
had ever witnessed, or had ever passed through, he felt a 
strong desire to resemble Him — as well when He suffered as 
when He laboured — as well in His death as in His life. 
Christ's death was a sacrifice, and his own was contemplated 
in the same light — " I am now ready to be offered." Christ's 
decease at Jerusalem was characterized by unfaltering 
submission to the will of God, complete devotion to the 
welfare of humanity, and generous forgiveness of His 
murderers ; so, no doubt, the apostle gained his wish, and the 
martyrdom at Borne was signalized by a similar calmness and 
faith — met with a serenity which the apparatus of death 
could not disturb, and accompanied with such intercession 
for his executioners as Jesus had offered, and the first martyr 
had imitated. 

(Ver. 11.) .Enreo? tcaravTijaa) efc rtfv e^avdcraciv rtjv 4k 
ve/ep&v — " If anyhow I may attain to the resurrection from 
the dead." This form of the Greek reading has the highest 
authority, having in its favour A, B, D, E. The conjunc- 
tion et7ra>5 does not imply doubt, as is supposed by Grotius 


and van Hengel, nor yet does it formally denote final purpose, 
as Theodoret supposes. Winer, § 41, 4, b} It is sometimes 
followed by the optative — Acts xxvii. 12 — but here, not, as 
some suppose, by the future indicative, but by the aorist 
subjunctive. The verb, in its literal sense, " to come down or 
opposite to," is followed by the simple accusative in Acts xx. 
15, but more usually by eh, both in its literal and tropical 
signification. It denotes, to reach to the possession of, here, 
to obtain as an earnestly desired result Eph. iv. 13. The 
object to be obtained is i^avdaraa^ — a compound term 
only used here, and giving greater vividness to the image. 8 
The verb occurs in a different sense, signifying to raise up 
into existence, as in Mark xii. 19 ; Luke xx. 28. Why the 
apostle should use a different word from that of the preceding 
verse, it is difficult to say. Some, without any authority, as 
Grotius and Bosenmliller, give the word the meaning of 
resurrectio plena; others, as Bengel, distinguish it from the 
simple term, thus — Christo avdarao-i?, Christians) e^avdaraa^, 
Theophylact presents the notion ef — eh rov aipa. The later 
Greek was fond of compound terms. It is as if he fancied 
himself laid in a tomb, and resurrection to him suggested the 
image of being brought up and out of that tomb, an image 
made more prominent by the words ttjv ite veiep&v. The 
context with such phraseology as " the power of His resurrec- 
tion," " being made conformable to His death," forbids us to 
adopt the notion of Balduin, Cocceius, van Hengel, Baum- 
garten-Crusius, and others, that the noun refers to spiritual 
or ethical resurrection. The last verse of the chapter brings 
out more fully the idea which the apostle seems to have had 
in his mind. The exegesis of van Hengel is, si forte perveniam 
ad tempus reditus mortuorum in vitam — " if perchance I may 
come to the time of the return of the dead to life," that is, 
the time when Jesus shall return for this purpose. He is 
therefore compelled to take the previous clause in a spiritual 
sense — as if the meaning were, that he wished to die to the 
world — so that, escaping danger, he might live on to the 
second advent. The hypothesis does not hang well together, 

1 Moulton, p. 374, note 1. 

* The noun is used in the sense of complete expulsion, Poly bins, ii. 21, or 
ii. 85— wri rtf i£a»arr«rji>. 


nor can the language at all justify it. In the use of the verb 
time is implied, but time not as the object to be reached. In 
Eph. iv. 13, quoted by van Hengel, the idea is not, till we 
arrive at the time when — but till we arrive at the consum- 
mation itself — that consummation being imaged as future. 
Time is the implied or subordinate idea in the clause. Acts 
xxvi. 7. The reference is to the resurrection of the Just — 
Luke xx. 35 — that resurrection described also in 1 Thess. iv. 
16, etc. The resurrection of the dead was an article of his 
former creed, which the apostle did not need to change on 
his conversion. Acts xxiii. 6. But it was the resurrection 
to eternal life secured by Christ, that the apostle aspired to 
reach. A glorious privilege — to rise out of the ashes of the 
tomb, and meet the descending Lord, to assume a body which 
is a fitting home for the pure and perfect soul, to pass into 
heaven arrayed in an entire humanity, and to feel in the 
resurrection that augmented happiness which is the crown of 
redemption ! This blessed consummation the apostle aspired 
to reach. Nothing if possible should keep him from reaching 
it. And the aspiration is closely connected with the preceding 
verse. 2 Tim. ii. 12. Such participation in Christ's sufferings 
so identifies the sufferer with Him, that the power of His 
resurrection is necessarily experienced. Such conformity to 
His death secures conformity to His resurrection — 

" This I will find, we two are so joined, 
Hell not be in glory, and leave me behind.*' 

Now this burst of individual rapture must not be taken as 
the index of overweening and self-deluded confidence. Every 
one was not precisely in his circumstances, or endowed with 
his temperament ; though certainly his train of emotions has 
presented in outline the grand features of the Christian life. 
But though the change on him had been so decided, and had 
brought with it such a complete revolution of opinion that 
what had been gain was now reckoned loss, nay, held to be as 
refuse ; though the present Paul was so wholly another man 
from the former Saul; and though his aspirations for uni- 
versal likeness to his Lord were so vehement and continuous, 
yet did he not complacently regard himself as having reached 
perfection. He felt that, deep though his convictions were, 
they might be deepened ; that eager though his longings were, 

phiuppians in. 12. 193 

tliey might still be intensified. His aim was to be found in 
Christ, justified by a Divine righteousness ; but he was only 
reaching a full realization of this union, and had not gathered 
all its blessed fruits. His experience was ample, but it 
admitted still of amplification ; his sufferings had been many 
and various, but they had not reached their climax in a death 
like his Lord's ; his happiness was great, but its measure was 
not filled up, nor could it reach its consummation till the 
resurrection of the just — i] avdaraa^ fj 7rpdrrj. So that, 
lest he should be misunderstood, he adds in explanation — 

(Ver. 12.) Ovx on V$V eka^ov, fj fjbq TereWco/MM — "Not 
that I already have attained, either already have been per- 
fected." The phrase . ov% oti warns against misconception. 
John vii. 22; 2 Cor. i. 24; Phil. iv. 17. It is almost 
equivalent to ovk ipco — ov \eya>. Bernhardy, p. 352 ; Winer, 
§ 64, 6 j 1 Hermann, ad Tiger, p. 804. In the verb eKafiov 
there is the idea of laying hold of something before him which 
he had not yet reached — " Nor have I been perfected." He 
had not yet realized the Divine ideal. The verb e\a/3ov has 
no formal accusative, and its object is left in vagueness. To 
what then does the apostle refer ? The reference is supposed 
by De Wette, Eobinson, and van Hengel, to be to the "excel- 
lent knowledge " — a reference not only too remote, but 
severed by many intermediate objects of aspiration. Nor can 
we refer the verb to Xpurrov, with Theodoret; nor with 
Bheinwald to the resurrection; nor with Matthies to the 
attainment of it, for in that case the expression would be a 
truism ; nor yet with Grotius to the jus resurrectionis, for it 
would imply too low an estimate of the apostle's faith and 
privilege. Nor, with Hoelemann, can we take it to be simply 
moral perfection. More readily would we, with Calvin and 
Alford, refer it to the previous general statement, for the 
paragraph itself seems to contain the reference. The figure 
of the race and its prize rose up directly to the apostle's mind, 
and as he is about to give it shape, other ideas intrude them- 
selves and claim a prior expression ; that is to say, wh v at the 
apostle had not yet attained to is what he has been describing 
in the previous verses, but that now especially imaged to his 
mind as the prize given to one who is victor in the race- 

1 See Moulton, p. 746, note 4. 


course. In the first clause of the 13 th verse the apostle 
resumes the figure, and in a few vivid touches completes it. 
We agree, then, with Bengel, Am Ende, Rilliet, and Meyer, 
that fipafielov is really the object, as would seem also to be 
indicated by the use of 8w>/c<o more generally in this verse, 
and more pointedly in the 14th verse. In the repetition of 
ffhrj the apostle emphasizes the notion — that at the present 
moment he did not regard himself as perfected. The first 
verb is an aorist, and keeps its proper past signification, while 
the second, in the perfect tense, takes up the same thought, 
and brings it down to the present time. At no past period 
could I say that "I attained;" nay, "up to the present 
moment, I have not been perfected." Winer, § 40, 5, 
a, /8. 1 It serves no purpose, with Hammond, 2 Billiet, 
and others, to give rereXeicofuii a technical reference to the 
stadium. It is better explained by the various but unwar- 
ranted reading — fj fjStf 8e8i/cala>fiai. But defect begets effort — 
Buoteco 8k, el koX KaraXdfico, i<f>' oS /cal KareXfyOrfv viro 
Xpiorov — " but I press on, if indeed I may seize that, for 
which also I was seized by Christ" Ak here connects two 
thoughts — the latter no negation of the former, but still of an 
opposite nature. Klotz, Devarius, ii. 360. The verb 8cwkq> is 
employed to express the intense action of the runner in the 
stadium, and may be either taken absolutely or with an ideal 
fipafielov. Kypke in he. ; Lucian, Hermot. 77 ; Loesner in 
loc? For the phrase el seal see under ii 17. The double use 
of the verb is Pauline (1 Cor. xiii 12) ; the compound verb 
(jcara) deepens the sense, while the /cai seems to bring out 
this idea — «•" If over and above this pressing on I may also 
seize the prize ; " or, as De Wette says, it may correspond to 
the seal of the following clause. Some difficulty lies in the 
formula i<f> $, and various meanings have been assigned to it. 
The meaning of u because that " — -prqpterea quod — has been 
preferred by Chrysostom, Theodoret, Am Ende, Meyer, and 
Bisping ; others, as (Ecumenius and Rheinwald, give it the 

1 Moulton, p. 345, note 1. 

1 Hammond in loc. ; Stuart an Hebrews xii. 2 ; Loesner, p. 354. Among 
some of the Fathers, nXuovrtou is to suffer martyrdom. Euseb. Hisi. Ecdts. 
viii 15. 

1 Thus Theophylact — irt, fnrfr, \**ymut u/u, in &«*«. Chrysostom too — »«d 
0»» flirt, «/•£*, «XA<£ 3m»**' u%9t*{. i yif htlxtf tm fttf «r«» ritov 1i*xu. 


sense "whereto," or "in order to which" — quo consilio; 
while Calvin is followed by van Hengel in affixing the 
more general sense of quemadmoditm. The two former 
meanings may both be justified by abundant usage.' Exam- 
ples of the first may be found, in Eom. v. 12 ; 2 Cor. v. 4 ; 
Matt. xix. 9 ; Acts iv. 21 ; — and of the second, Gal. v. 13 ; 
PhiL iv. 10, etc. Winer, § 48, c, d; Kriiger, § 68, 41. If 
we adopt the first interpretation, then the verb is supposed 
to be used somewhat absolutely — "If indeed I may seize, 
because indeed I was seized by Christ." In the other case an 
object or antecedent is supposed — " If indeed I may also seize 
that, in order to which I was also seized myself by Christ." 

The Syriac has oiA^ibj ±o£ol±— " that for the sake of 

which." The second signification, adopted by Eilliet, Ellicott, 
and Alford, is preferable — " I press on to seize the prize, to 
attain which Christ seized me." This gives a closer connec- 
tion than the other method. This second /cat, as Ellicott 
suggests, is not connected with a supposed iyd>, nor yet with 
the verb, but with the preceding relative — " for which, too, 
for which very salvation I was apprehended." 1 He means to 
say, not merely that he pursues a certain course of action 
because he has been converted, but because this course of 
action is in unison with the purpose of his conversion. Christ 
seized him, that he might seize the prize. The apostle's 
conversion is no less graphically than truly represented as a 
seizure. The Lord laid hold on him with a sharp and sudden 
grasp, and ever afterwards wielded him at His pleasure. He 
was overtaken in the vicinity of Damascus — the vision of 
Jesus produced instantaneous conviction, and with a force 
which convulsed him as he fell to the earth. It was not a 
slow and calm process of judgment, a prolonged and delicate 
balancing of arguments, or a daily ripening of views and 
opinions as the mists gradually cleared away, but the shock 
of a moment, which so changed his entire nature as to make 
him an utter contrast to his previous self. And Jesus grasped 
him, that he might grasp the prize. His aim was in unison 

1 In connection with the relative, Klotz remarks — per particulam »«/ 
8ign\ficamtu nos de alia quoque re cogitart aut persona prcster earn, de qua hoc 
prcedicatur. Klotz, Devarius, ii 636. 



with his destiny, that aim being to seize the prize as completely 
as the Master had seized him, while to this very destiny had 
he been converted and set apart. Some of the Greek Fathers 
introduce the idea, that Paul was fleeing from Christ when he 
was arrested. Thus Chrysostom — zeal yap airbs i?/<wi9 iBuaxe 
favyovra? avrov ; but there is no ground for such a supple- 
mentary image. Not content with what he has uttered, he 
still proceeds in the same spirit — 

(Ver. 1 3.) 'ASekfol, iya> efiavrbv ov Xoylfrfiai KareCK^evat 
— " Brethren, I do not reckon myself to have attained," or " to 
have laid hold." The apostle writes ahekfyol in his affectionate 
confidence, as if he had felt that in the experiences of the 
Christian life official rank did not raise him above them. He 
clasps them to him, as he unfolds the earnest struggles and 
ambition of his soul, and repeats the previous sentiment. The 
phrase eya> ifiavrov is emphatic in its form and position. 
Winer, § 44, 3 ; John v. 30, vii. 17. It is the apostle's de- 
liberate opinion of himself — the result of a formal judgment 
about himself. One is almost tempted to adopt the idea of 
Zanchius — audio inter vos npnnullos esse qui fastidientes 
doctrinam evangelii jactant sesejam satis novisse Christum — I, 
for my part, make no such boast. The form oxnrto for ov 
appears to be an exegetical alteration. Self-complacency was 
no feature of the apostle's character. He was not injured by 
undue elation, either from his labours or his honours — his 
sufferings or his successes — his history or his prospects — the 
grace he enjoyed or the spiritual gifts he had conveyed. The 
reason is, he looked not to the past, but to the future ; not at 
what had been, but what was still to be. He viewed not so 
much the progress made as the progress still to be made — 
surveyed rather the distance yet before him — between him and 
the goal, than the space that now lay behind him — between 
him and the starting-point Truly a correct and salutary, 
mode of measurement — nil actum reputans, dum quid superesset 
agendum. Satisfaction is fatal to progress. But the apostle, 
in looking forward to the " mark," and conscious, too, that he 
was yet at some distance from it, did not dream away his 
energies, or content himself with wondering either why he 
was not nearer the prize, or when he should reach it. But 
he adds the following sentiment with a noble ardour, kindled 

PHIUPPIANS in. 14. 197 

by the image he employed, and throwing its glow over the 
words he writes. The picture is that of a racer in his agony of 
struggle and hope ! You see him J — every muscle strained, and 
every vein starting — the quick and short heaving of his chest — 
the big drops gathered on his brow — his body bending forward, 
as if with frantic gesture he already clutched the goal — his 
eye, now glancing aside with a momentary sparkle at objects 
so rapidly disappearing behind him, and then fixing itself on 
the garland in eager anticipation. The apostle is not leaving 
w the things behind," but he is " forgetting " them : he is not 
merely looking to " the things which are before," but he is 
" reaching forth " unto them ; not only does he run, but he 
" presses toward the mark ; " nor was he occupied, weakened, 
or delayed, by a variety of pursuits — " this one thing I do." 
Quicquid voluit, valde voluit. 

(Ver. 14.) A Ei/ Si— "But one thing I do." Such, with so 
many expositors, we regard as the proper supplement ; not 
ia-rl, with Beza ; nor Xoyi^ofiai, with Heinrichs ; nor the 
following verb Suo/cco, with Pierce and van HengeL Van 
Hengel insists that Suokcd must have an expressed accusative ; 
and not being used absolutely, it must govern tv. On the 
other hand, see Buttmann's Lexilogm, p. 232. 1 Nor with 
Matthies and Hoelemann can we take it absolutely — Eins 
aber, unum contra — nor find with Bheinwald an instance of 
aposiopesis. Winer, § 66, 1, b. There was unity of action, 
and therefore assurance of success ; his energies were not 
dissipated ; his eye was single, and therefore his progress in 
the race was visible — 

tA fiiv ottIctq) iirikav0ap6fi€vo<; — "forgetting the things 
behind." The use of the compound middle verb is Pauline, 
the preposition giving the image of u over and beyond," and 
so intensifying the idea of the simple verb. It here governs 
the accusative, though the simple form takes the genitive. 
Bernhardy, p. 181. By the phrase rh iiria-a> are not to be 
understood the things which in verses 5, 6, and 7 the apostle 
has already condemned : for these things— that is, trust in 
lineage, blood, sect, zeal, and law — belonged to an antecedent 
period altogether. The apostle had not then entered on the 
course. The " things behind " are in the Christian race, 

1 Fiahkke's Translation, London, 1840. 


and are the earlier and past attainments of his Christian 
life — things left behind since he had listened to the high 
summons, and commenced to run. His conversion was the 
point at which he started, and he describes by "things 
behind/' his attainments and progress from that moment up 
to the present epoch of his life. "Behind" measures the 
distance from the period at which he writes, back to the day 
when he heard the words — " I am Jesus whom thou perse- 
cutest." These past attainments were forgotten ; that is, the 
apostle did not rest and luxuriate in them — Upward and onward 
was his motto. The term " forgetting " is used with special 
reference to the figure here employed, for the apostle cherished 
the memory of former manifestations, and thanked God for the 
least of them. But in his Christian course he did not repose 
on memories. What had been gained was only an excitement 
to farther progress. "While he did not despise " the day of small 
things," he laboured to hasten on to the day of large things, — 

Tofc Sk efiTrpoaOev €7r€KT€tv6fi€vos — " but stretching forth to 
the things before." The participle ine/crewo/ievo?, followed by 
the dative of direction, carries in it a vivid image — the keen 
attitude of the racer stretching his body out — ex — and toward 
— hrl — the goal. The things that are in front are not the 
prize, as some suppose, but the things that lie between him 
and the prize, along the distance which is still to be gone 
over ere he reach the goal. The apostle did not detain him- 
self with things behind, nor did he linger among things round 
about him, but he stretched forward to things which he had 
not yet reached. Progress was made by him, and that pro- 
gress is still the law of the Christian life. Never satisfied, 
still a sense of want ; never saying, Enough, but still crying 
More ; forward and yet forward, and nearer and yet nearer 
the mark. This being his ruling passion — 

Kara aicoirbv Bkokco hrl rb ftpa&eiov tt?? avco /cX^ireco? rod 
Qeov iv XpicTtp 'Irjcov — " Toward the mark I press on, for 
the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Xkottos 
is found only in this place. Kara gkottov is " in the direction 
of the mark," and is not to be rendered "according to my 
aim," with Pierce, following Augustine's secundum inten- 
tionem; or "in a prescribed course," with Peile; or "along 
the mark," that is, within the marked line, with Macknight, 


Bisping distorts the figure when he makes the gkottos Christ 
Himself : it is the calx or reppa. The noun a/cono? is used 
in the Septuagint for the Hebrew rnap, to denote the point 
which an archer aims at. Job, xvi. 12, 13; Lam. iii. 12. 1 
The prize is to be found only at the goal, and to that goal 
the racer ever strives. If he move away from the course 
prescribed, he misses the mark, and loses the garland : for 
racing is not recreation, where one may turn aside as fancy 
leads him ; the path is chalked out, the law of the course 
must be observed, and the aim and effort must always be 
Kara o-kottov. While this phrase marks the aim of the race, 
the words etrl to /3pa/3elov 2 express the final object, the coveted 
crown. "Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown." 
The prize is certainly eternal perfection and blessedness — 
" an incorruptible crown." It is to be enjoyed only at the 
termination of the course. And surely it is sufficient to 
stimulate ardour, and sustain energy, since it is the realiza- 
tion of man's highest destiny — the woe and sin of the fall not 
merely neutralized, but a higher glory conferred than the first 
man of our race originally enjoyed ; not the first Adam, but 
the second Adam being the type as well as the author of the 
new life with its glory. For the prize is that of the high 
calling of God in Christ Jesus — 

Try* avco Kkrjaew; rod 0eov iv Xpio-rp 'Irj<rov — " of the high 
calling of God in Christ Jesus." The prize, as the genitive 
indicates, is connected with the Divine calling. Meyer calls 
it the genitive of subject. According to De Wette, tcXfjai? is 
not the act of calling, but that to which one is called. But 
the place adduced in proof by him and others, 2 Thess. ill, 
is no proof, for the word there, as elsewhere, is the act of call- 
ing. Eph. i. 18, iv. 1. The adverb avto characterizes the 
call, and the phrase is parallel to Heb. iii. 1. Grotius, 
Bheinwald, and van Hengel take avco as avcodev — "from 
above," but without ground. We cannot agree with Meyer in 
regarding the adverb as pointing out the specialty of the 
apostle's own call and conversion ; for though he details his 

1 Thus also Pindar, Olymp. Carmen ii. 160 — ?««;£• w **«rf ri&*. 

1 It is difficult to say whether the reading should be tU or IW— the last being 
found in D, E, F, G, J, K, in Chrysostom and Theodoret, and the first in A, B, 
Clement, and others, and it is preferred by Teschendorf, Lachmann, Meyer, and 


own experience, he summons the church to imitate him, and 
virtually admits in the injunction of the next verse, that they 
too were to run the race, so as to obtain the prize of their 
high calling. The call is "above" — aim — and stands in 
contrast to what is below. Sin is degradation, for what is 
ignorance but lowness of mind ; or sensuality but lowness of 
heart; or misery but lowness of spirit? But this calling 
exists in a sphere of moral elevation, high or heavenly in its 
connection with the most High God, by whom it is issued to 
men. Col. iii. 1, 2. Nor can we acquiesce in the view of 
Chrysostom, followed by Meyer, that iv XptarS 'Iyaov is to 
be connected with Suokco. The Greek Father remarks — iv 
Xpicrfi 'Iyo-ov tovto 7toi&, (fyqcrtv. But the words are far 
separated, and the natural union is with /ckrjcns — iv marking 
its medium or sphere of operation. Such a construction does 
not need the repetition of the article, of which usage Winer 
has given many examples. § 20, 2. Nor is this further 
definition of the calling superfluous, as Meyer argues. The 
call is described in an ideally local aspect as high, then it if 
asserted to be the call of God. But it is not a call of naked 
Godhead, of bare Divine authority; it approaches us in Chrisi 
Jesus. It is from God — a Divine summons that pierces the 
spirit and ensures compliance, but it is in Christ, for it is c 
call which the blood of Christ consecrates, and to which Hid 
grace gives effect. 1 Cor. vii. 2 2 ; 1 Pet. v. 10. It is hard 
to say whether the apostle carries the figure so fully out as 
Grotius, Hoelemann, Am Ende, and others suppose, to wit, 
that he represents God as (Upafievnfc, summoning by heralds 
the runners into the course. Only Meyer's argument against 
it cannot hold, for he objects, that in such a case the calling 
would be common to all Christians, a conclusion which we 
believe. Nor is De Wette's objections of higher moment, 
when he says that such a view would necessitate the taking 
of Kkriats as the act of calling, for this is the translation 
which we hold as the correct one. 

(Ver. 15.) H Ocoi ohv rikeioi, tovto <f>pov£>fi€v — "Let as many 
of us therefore as are perfect think this." Oiv introduces the 
inference based on a retrospect. The use of t€\€*09 is strik- 
ing, especially in contrast with rerekelm/uu in the 12th verse. 
There, he says — " Not as if I had taken the prize, or were 


already perfected ; " and now he says — " Let as many as are 
perfect," not " as many as would, or wish to be perfect," as 
Peile and Macknight translate. The adjective has plainly a 
somewhat different sense from the verb. The adjective refers 
to relative, bat the verb to absolute perfection. The one is 
predicated of him who is in the race and has made some 
progress ; and the other of him who has reached the goal and 
taken the prize. Perfeeti viatores, says Augustine, nondvm 
perfecti possessores. The apostle's use of the term sanctions 
this idea. He elsewhere speaks of two classes in the church 
— " babes and perfect men." 1 Cor. ii. 6 ; Eph. iv. 12, 13; 
Heb. v. 13, 14. The terms wjmos and riKew; are in con- 
trast. See also 1 Cor. xiv. 20. In the first passage referred 
to, the allusion is to respective degrees or attainments in 
knowledge. It is too restricted a view, on the part of Hein- 
richs, Bheinwald, and Conybeare, to adopt such an illusion 
here, as it is not of knowledge solely, but also of Christian 
experience generally, that the apostle has been speaking. 
Chrysostom well says, ov irepl Boyfuiroyv dXKii irepl /3iov 
TeKeiorrjTos. The phrase Scot — rikeioi does not mean we 
who are perfect, but " as many of us as are perfect," leaving 
it to each of themselves to determine whether the epithet be 
applicable to him or not. The perfect ones, among whom by 
the idiom he employs he places himself, are those who have 
burst the fetters of intellectual and spiritual bondage; who 
have made some advancement in the divine life; who are 
acquainted with the higher forms of truth, and are no 
strangers to the impulses and powers of divine grace ; who 
are the circumcision ; who, by the Spirit, worship God ; whb 
are conscious of union with Christ, of possessing righteousness 
through faith in Him, and some measure of conformity to 
Him, and who cherish through Him the hope of a happy 
resurrection. And perhaps, if we take in the previous con- 
text, the imperfect are those whose minds had not been able 
80 fully to rise above all confidence in the flesh ; who still 
thought circumcision might not be wholly without value ; who 
would scruple to count all such things dead and positive loss, 
but hankered after some of them; and who, in formally 
renouncing them, secretly or unawares clung to them, and 
might not distinctly comprehend the freeness, adaptation, and 

202 PHIL1PPIANS m. 15. 

perfection of that righteousness which is through the faith of 
Christ. They could not be perfect runners in that course 
which the apostle has traced, for they had not laid aside 
"every weight." They were entangled at every step, and 
progress was impeded. Wiesinger's view is different He 
supposes that a believer is called T&eto?, not in a comparative 
sense, but solely on account of that moral nature which he has 
received through fellowship with Christ, and that his being 
reXtto? is the strongest call to strive after the reXeiova-Qau 
The general truth is correct, but the statement does not invali- 
date what we have said. The language used by the apostle 
— oa-oi — intimates that all were not rikeioi in the Philippian 
church; the idea of relative progress is therefore involved. 
Nor does it, as Wiesinger objects, in any way give counte- 
nance to self-esteem, for he neither names the reXeioi, nor 
points out precisely in what their perfection consists. On the 
other hand, he classes himself among the riXeioi, and yet he 
has declared of himself that he was yet not perfected. In 
fact, the perfect one was only in the way of being perfected ; 
none knew his imperfection so much, or felt it so deeply, and 
therefore he strove with quenchless ardour to move fleetly 
onward to the end of the race, and obtain the crown. For 
one may be perfect in aim, and yet be far from realizing it. 
The perfection referred to was such a progress as vividly 
showed defect; such a stage in the race as revealed most 
painfully the distance lying still in front ; such light which, 
as it grew, served also to enlarge the circle of darkness round 
about it. Chrysostom's notion is peculiar — "What means 
the word ? (t€\€*09). This — that we should forget those 
things which are behind. Therefore it belongs to him who 
is perfect, not to regard himself as perfect : " — 

tovto (ppov&fiep — " let us be of this mind." The reference in 
the pronoun is disputed, some making it of wider, and others 
of narrower extent. Calvin, Aretius, Zanchius, Hoelemann, 
and others down to De Wette, take it from the previous con- 
text. Thus Vatablus — hoc justitiam esse non ex lege, sed> ex fide 
Christi. De Wette glances especially at verses 8-11, while 
van Hengel restricts tovto to fipafSelov, and gives <f>pov&fi€v the 
unwarranted sense of expetamus. With Meyer we regard the 
special reference to be that which had just been said, beginning 

philippians in. i& 203 

with verse 12. Let this be our thought, not to sit down 
satisfied with past progress, but heedless of it, and feeling as if 
nothing were done till all were done, to speed uniformly onward 
to higher attainment. And yet there is no question that all the 
previous verses of the chapter are closely connected ; and it is 
implied that, in order so to feel, and so to act, so to think of 
the past, and so to throw himself into the future, one must be 
found in Christ, and be filled with ardent desire to know Him 
and the power of His resurrection. If he be a Jew, he must 
abandon trust in external privilege, and cling unreservedly to 
Jesus. When he loses, then shall he gain, and having won 
Christ, he is to go " from strength to strength," until, having 
attained to the resurrection from the dead, his whole nature is 
crowned with perfection. As these various attainments floated 
before the apostle's mind, the pursuit of them gradually assumed 
a pointed form, and took the image of a race — a race which 
demands vigilant perseverance from all who have entered 
upon it ; and this, the untiring energy of acquisition or progress, 
was to be a deep and permanent thought within every one of 

koX €? tl ere/was <f>poveiT€ — " and if in any respect ye think 
otherwise." The conjunction el is followed by the indicative 
implying condition, simply and purely, " if, as may be the 
case." Winer, § 41, 2 ; Klotz, Devarius, ii 455. Tt is the 
accusative of reference, and that reference is certainly not to 
any essential points of doctrine, but to aspects of truth or 
elements of spiritual experience, which the apostle has been 
presenting. They might not see those relations of truth so 
clearly as the apostle, and their convictions might not be so 
profound, or their progress so rapid and uniform. The adverb 
eripw is only used here in the New Testament This mean- 
ing has been assigned to the phrase by Hunnius and others — 
si qui vestrum a falsis doctoribus vobis aliter persuaderi passi 
estis. The person of the verb is changed, but there is no 
reason to suppose, with Bengel, Hoelemann, and Eilliet, that 
the same class of persons is not addressed, and that the vrpnoi 
are now appealed to. The apostle excludes himself, and so 
could not use the first person plural Van Hengel, following 
out the. meaning he assigns to the verb, renders in bald Latin 
~si quid boni per aliam viam expetUis. To disprove this 

204 PH1UPPIANS UI. 15. 

position, there is no occasion with Meyer to introduce one use 
of €T£pa>9 as meaning adversus. He might also have adduced 
its occasional employment as a euphemism for kcucos. Passow, 
sub voce. For the true idea is brought out simply by the 
implied contrast This difference must be wrong, so far as it 
does not correspond with the apostle's mind, and the amount 
of error is just in proportion to the amount of difference ; ahd 
that it is wrong, is also shown from the apostle's expectation, 
that God would set them right The revelation which the 
apostle promises they should enjoy, had for its purpose to 
remove such disagreement, and bring them to his mind. 
Chrysostom's explanation is — Tovrkarw el Se rts vofii&i to 
ifav KarapffcMcivai. But this is by far too limited a notion, 
for it is not so much the spirit in which perfection is to be 
sought that the apostle refers to, as the way in which to 
reach it by a knowledge of its constituent element. The 
apostle thus takes for granted that there might be a difference, 
and it must have been one not wholly of minor moment, or 
one which their own judgment, or sense of duty or propriety, 
might rectify. For he predicts — 

koX tovto 6 0eo9 vfiiu diroxaXv^ei — " yea, this shall God 
reveal to you." Meyer quoted Hartung, i. p. 135, for render- 
ing teal cmch noch; as if the idea were — as God had already 
revealed other things, so will He also reveal this. Such is also 
the view of Alford, and Ellicott in his commentary, though 
not in his translation. We prefer the rendering " even this " 
■ — this matter of difference in which they were wrong, — yea, 
this God would reveal to them. But what is the reference in 
tovto — what is it that God would reveal ? Is it the fact that 
they were otherwise minded, as CEcumenius and Fritzsche l 
suppose, or is it the measure of difference, that God should 
reveal ? The reference is to ti. When they read the vivid 
record of the apostle's experience, they might at once, and of 
themselves, discover what want of harmony was between them 
and him. But the meaning of the apostle is, that God, by 
revealing the difference and showing the fault of it, would 
remove it. The verb airoKaXvtyei is future, and has not the 
optative sense which some would give it. It predicts or pro- 
mises divine illumination. Winer, § 40, 6 ; Eph. i 17. Such 

1 Dissert, ii. in 2 Cor., p. 92. 


spiritual enlightenment was frequent in those times, when the 
written oracles of the New Testament were not in circulation, 
and indeed is needed at all times, to give the mind a just and 
abiding perception of the truth. Ps. xxv. 9 ; 1 John ii 20. 
It is plain, therefore, that the difference of view was not some 
wilful and wicked misconception, or some wretched prejudice, 
adhered to with inveterate or malignant obstinacy. It was 
rather some truth not fully seen in all its bearings — some 
principle not so perceived as to be carried out in all its details 
and consequences — some department of duty which they might 
apprehend rather than appreciate — or some state of mind 
which they might admire in the apostle, but did not really 
covet for themselves. The apostle throws his own teaching 
into the shade, and ascribes the coming enlightenment to God. 
He might have taught them the necessary lesson, or it might 
be found in the previous details of the chapter, or Epaphro- 
ditus on returning might be commissioned to explain and 
enforce it ; yet all might be insufficient, and therefore the work 
is taken out of man's hand, and the needed insight is declared 
to be the gift of the Father of Lights. Chrysostom puts the 
distinction well — o ©eo? v/xa? ireiaei ov^l SiSd^ei airXS)? 
iSlScw/ce fiev yhp 6 Ilavko*;, aXV 6 ©eo? ivfjye. 

(Ver. 16.) n\t)v ew b i(f>6d<rafiev f t$> avr& aroij(elv — " How- 
beit, whereto we have attained, by the same do ye walk." The 
Eeceived Text adds kclvovi, to avro <f>povelv. The words are 
omitted in A and B, in the Coptic and iEthiopic versions, and 
by Hilary and Augustine. There are other forms of various 
reading; — D, E, F, G omit scavovi, and there are several 
transpositions. These incidents serve to prove an interpola- 
tion, taken probaby from GaL vi. 16 and Phil. ii. 2. The 
adverb ir\r\v is rendered t&»?, " meanwhile," by Chrysostom, 
and interim by Estius and Beelen, but without sufficient war- 
rant in usage, though it may bear such a sense inferentially. 
See under i. 1 8. " Nevertheless," — "even though there be those 
who are otherwise minded." The infinitive, as in aroi^eiv, 
may be used for the imperative, but that only in the second 
person. Krtiger, § 55, 1. 1, Anm. 5 ; Ktihner, § 644, a. There 
is an undertone of desire or wish, and on this such a use of 
the infinitive depends. It is needless, on the part of Bengel, 
Am Ende, and Eheinwald, to supply Set The verb <f>ddvco 


has its complement in ek — though sometimes with eirl in 
reference to persons. The reference in tyOdo-a/jiev has been 
variously understood The apostle has been supposed to refer 
to revelations of knowledge, or to attainments in the spiritual 
life. That is to say, the reference may be to the last verse, 
or, generally, to the preceding context. But ere we look at 
this question, there are two opposite modes of connection 
which may be briefly glanced at. 

1. As GToi'xelv is in the infinitive, some would make it 
dependent on the preceding verb airo/caXuyfei. Fritzsche con- 
tends for this, and thus renders — prceterea instituet vos, ut 9 quam 
ego consecutus sum t$ fipafteitp intentam merit em, ejusdem par- 
ticipes fieri ipsi annitamini. Homberg thus shapes it — hoc 
sentiamus, non alio quam eodem canoni incedere et idem sentire. 
Photius, too, makes the croiyAv the theme of the revelation. 
Meyer has remarked that the plural £<f>6d<rap£v is fatal to such 
an exegesis. Besides, the syntax would certainly be involved 
and awkward. 

2. Michaelis and Eilliet connect it with the next verse. 
But this connection also has little to recommend it. It is 
best to take the verse by itself as to its construction. 
But the question recurs as to what is supposed to be 
attained : — 

1. Chrysostom, Theophylact, and, with some minor varia- 
tions, Schinz and van Hengel, suppose the apostle to refer to 
the spiritual life and its progress. The apostle's figure is that 
of a race representing spiritual advancement, and he is now 
supposed to say — " Do not deviate from that line, on which 
up to a certain point you have already made progress ; but 
still persevere in it." This is a great truth, as well as a 
solemn warning against deviation. To such a view, however, 
there are several objections. " They could not," as Wiesinger 
observes, " be all at the same point of attainment ; " each had 
made progress peculiar to himself — one behind and another 
farther on. But this deeper meaning cannot be deduced from 
the simple clause, ek h i<f>0do-afiev. The paraphrase, " on the 
line on which we have advanced to a given point, let us 
persevere/' is the assigning of a meaning rather than the 
evolution of it. The eh o and t$ avra> are not so correlated 
as to warrant such a sense, for eU o is " up to the point/' and 


not along the line, we have attained. The use of <tto^6?i/ 
will not, though Meyer insists on it, bear out this exegesis. 
Granted that it may be correlative with i<f>6daafiev, it does 
not of itself describe spiritual progress, but signifies simply 
to walk by step or rule, and is opposed to irregular or random 
motion. Taking into view the tenor of the apostle's remarks, 
the record of his own aspirations, and his earnest desire that 
in all their fervour they should be cherished by the Philippian 
church ; and remembering his conviction that there was differ- 
ence of opinion between them which prevented the completion 
of this harmony of view, and also his hope and expectation 
that the discrepancy would be cleared away by a divine 
enlightenment ; — we imagine that when he speaks in the next 
breath of attainment, he refers to the point up to which there 
was oneness of mind among them, and exhorts them to walk 
according to it — according to the measure of their present 

2. Thus we agree with many expositors, who connect the 
verse closely with the one before it — as containing a cautionary 
counsel after a promise. Such is the view of De Wette, 
Kheinwald, Matthies, and Hoelemann. Then the two verbs 
are in contrast — the future in airoicdkvtyei, and the aorist in 
i(f>0daafi€v — that is, the apostle speaks of a future and farther 
enlightenment in connection with spiritual progress; but 
meanwhile he speaks of a degree of present light, and the 
duty consequent on the possession of it The two verbs will 
then refer to the same thing. The revelation may contain new 
information, but it is also additional information. It presup- 
poses a present amount of knowledge, and the apostle insists 
upon its use even prior to that accession of insight which God's 
illumination should bring. God shall reveal so as to clear up 
the difference, but that difference in some things implies a 
common agreement in other things, and up to this point to 
which we attained, let us walk. 

The spirit of the warning or injunction is, that knowledge 
already enjoyed and proved in a spiritual race, should not lie 
dormant because it is defective. It needed not so much to be 
rectified, as to be supplemented. Therefore, as far as you 
have its guidance, take it. Walk up to the light you have, 
and you will get more. Walk with me so far as you discern 



the common path, and at the point of divergence God shall 
rightly direct yon as to the subsequent course. He who 
employs what he has, prepares himself for further gifts. 
When the morning bursts suddenly on one wakened out 
of sleep, it dazzles and pains him ; but to him who on his 
journey has blessed the dawn, and walked by its glimmer, 
the solar radiance brings with it a gradual and cheering 
influence. The following remarks of Meander will be read 
with interest : — " Paul accordingly points to this truth, that 
the Spirit of God, who revealed to them the light of the 
Gospel, will perfect this His revelation in them, and conduct 
it to that mark of maturity in Christianity, — that He will yet 
more and more further them in true Christian knowledge, 
and even in that in which they still err and vary in opinion, 
will cause them to find the one right thing. We should not, 
therefore, precipitately enter into controversy, by which our 
distance from each other is so easily widened, and by which, 
through obstinate adherence to our once formed views, we so 
readily become hardened in opposition ; much less should we 
condemn each other, but endeavour to preserve that unity of 
the Christian spirit, which is raised above all subordinate 
differences. To the common Teacher, the Holy Spirit, should 
all yield themselves, and all trust that He, who is the best 
Teacher, will yet more and more further them and each other. 
While all proceeds from the Divine foundation once laid, the 
unfolding and progressive purification of the Divine work 
should be left to the operation of the Holy Spirit, who first 
began it in each. No attempt should be made to do violence 
from without to the unfolding of the Divine life in another, 
which follows its own law, grounded in the specialities of his 
character; or substitute anything imposed from without, in 
place of the free development which proceeds from within. 
This would be tantamount to seeking to penetrate into the 
inmost soul of man by human arts of persuasion, which can 
avail nothing, where they find no sympathetic link in the 
already existing views of a man, and to bring forth what 
alone can be effected by the Holy Spirit, the inner Teacher, 
whom, without constraint and with the entire accord of their 
freedom, all follow. Everything, alike in each individual, 
proceeds only from the leavening process of the same leaven 

philippians in. 17. 209 

of Divine truth, which gradually shall pervade the whole 
spiritual life, expurgating every heterogeneous element. And 
when Paul here speaks of a revelation by the Holy Spirit, 
through which the progressive insight of the believer is 
effected, this has for its basis the truth, presupposed and 
expressed throughout Holy Scripture, that all Divine things can 
be known only in the light of the Holy Spirit ; as he says else- 
where, ' No man can call Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost/ 
The notion of revelation, however, before us, by no means 
excludes the agency of human thought, which developes and 
works out according to the laws of human reason, that which 
it has received from the Divine light. But it is assumed that 
the agency of man's spirit is inspired and guided by the Holy 
Spirit, who is the soul of his whole spiritual life ; hence all is 
referred to the Holy Spirit as cause, in so far as all originates 
in His revelation, guidance, and inspiration ; all immediate or 
mediate progressive insight, proceeding from the Holy Spirit, 
is included in the notion of revelation." On PhUippiam, 
p. 58 ; Edinburgh, 1851. 

(Ver 17.) Svfifiifi^ral fiov ylveade, aSeX^oi— " Be together 
imitators of me, brethren." 1 Cor. iv. 16, xi. 1 ; 1 Thess. i. 
6, 7 ; 2 Thess. iii 9. See also 1 Cor. x. 6, 11 ; 1 Tim. iv. 
12; Tit. ii. 7. Some difficulty lies in the reference con- 
tained in aw. With whom ? Not, surely, as Bengel says — 
" followers with me of Christ," for no such idea is expressed. 
Nor can we take it, with Meyer and Beelen, preceded by 
Estius, a-Lapide, and Theophylact, as signifying — " along 
with others who follow me." There is no allusion, either 
distinct or remote, to members of other churches. We prefer 
the view of Calvin, van Hengel, Hoelemann, De Wette, and 
Alford, that the apostle says — be followers, " one and all," of 
me, or be unitedly imitators of ma If it be asked — in what? 
then the previous context may easily determine the question. 
Nay farther — 

teal a/eoireire rois ovrm irepiirarovvTa? Ka$a><; fyere rtnrov 
T)fia$ — "and observe those who walk in such a way as ye 
have us for an example." Wherever they found the life of the 
apostle imitated or displayed, they were to mark it, and make 
it their pattern. Any excellence which they thus discovered, 
they might by (rod's grace attain to. It was not some dis- 

210 PHILIPPIANS m. 17. 

tant spectacle which they were to gaze at and admire, but an 
embodiment of earnest faith, walking on the same platform 
with them, and speaking, acting, praying, suffering, and 
weeping among them. What had been possible to others, 
was surely not impossible to them. Why should they be 
behind in any gift or attainment, when the same means of 
acquisition were within their reach ? 

Tvtto? means exemplar, as in several other places, and is in 
the singular, to express the unity of the pattern, though 
exhibited by a plurality of persons. Kuhner, § 407, 2 ; 
Bernhardy, p. 60. In tcaOd^ is expressed the manner 
implied in the previous out©?, and not, as Meyer says, an 
argument for the injunction in the first clause. The argu- 
ments of Meyer have been well disposed of by Alford. Meyer 
lays stress on fyere as used instead of lypvtn ; but the apostle 
is writing to the Philippians, and does not merely say — "Mark 
them that walk after our example," but mark them who 
walk in such a way as ye see us walking ; the two?, which 
these persons followed, is set directly before the Philippians 
as a model which they were to inspect, a standard which 
themselves are to apply to the conduct and character of 
others. The meaning then is — niark them which walk so, 
just as ye have us for an example (for "them " and "us" are 
evidently not the same class of persons), and not — be joint 
followers of me, and mark such as walk in unison with me, 
inasmuch as ye possess us as a pattern. By " us " we under- 
stand not the apostle himself, as Jaspis and EUicott incline 
to believe — not " him and all who so walked," for this last 
notion confounds those who set with those who followed the 
example ; but the reference is — the apostle and those whom 
he was in the habit of identifying so closely with himself. 
Their example was in harmony with their teaching. They 
did not simply and timidly say, Walk as we bid you, but 
they boldly challenged inspection, and said, Walk as we do. 

The reason why the apostle proposed his own example, and 
that of his associates, is now given by him. His life and theirs 
was in contrast with that of many others. There were men 
among them, professedly Christian, whose character was shame- 
lessly sensual and secular. Motives of various kinds must 
have influenced not a few of the early converts, and brought 


them within the pale of the church. Novelty might have its 
share in producing a change which could be only superficial. 
Minds disgusted with gross superstitions and idolatries might 
relish the pure theism of the gospel, admire its benevolent 
and comprehensive ethics, and be entranced with its authori- 
tative announcement of immortality. Yet they might not 
penetrate into its spirit, nor feel its transforming power. 
Change of opinion is not conversion, nor is the admiration 
of truth identical with the reception of its influence ; while 
belief in immortality may create a distant cloudland where 
one may wander in fancy, and yet be far from inducing hearty 
and prolonged preparation for heaven. It seems, however, to 
be not speculative error in itself, but practical inconsistency, 
perhaps connected with or springing out of it, to which the 
apostle here refers. Already has he demonstrated the folly 
of trust in the flesh, of confidence in external privilege ; and 
opening his bosom he has shown his own sensations — what 
he did once rely on, and might have still relied on. But what 
a revolution had passed over him ; how he panted above all 
things to be found in Christ, to be justified by His righteous- 
ness ; to know Him, and to be fully conformed to Him in 
life and death ; how he relates that he is conscious of many 
shortcomings, that he is far from being what he hopes yet to 
be, but that, in the meanwhile, he spares no pains to realize 
his ideal, while he hopes that the Philippian church will 
exhibit the same earnest and unwearying effort ! His mind 
naturally reverts to those who do not manifest this spirit; who 
live in the present, and for it; who prefer sensual gratification 
to spiritual enjoyment and prospect; and whose souls, so far 
from soaring in kindred aspiration with his, are absorbed in 
earthly things. The apostle felt that their sluggish and 
worldly life was fatal to them ; nay, as his own attachment 
to the cross was the source of all his energy and eagerness, so 
he affirms that their low and grovelling state was the proof 
and the result of their enmity to the cross. 

(Ver. 18.) IIoWol yhp Trepiirarowiv, oft? iroXkatcis eXeyop 
vfitv, vvv Be ical tckalcw \eya>, tov$ ij(6pov<; rov aravpov rov 
Xpiarov — " For many walk, of whom I often told (or used to 
tell) you, but now tell you even weeping, that they are those 
who are the enemies of the cross of Christ" There is some 


peculiarity of syntax, which has given rise to various methods 
of construction. Killiet, De Wette, Wiesinger, and others, 
following Erasmus, suppose a break in the expression, or 
rather, such a grammatical change as indicates that the apostle 
did not follow out his original intention. They suppose him 
to begin a description of a course of conduct, and then to glide 
away to a description of the persons. That is, in irepirrrarovortv 
there is a reference to conduct, and some epithets characteriz- 
ing that conduct might be expected to follow ; but instead of 
these a relative sentence intervenes, and not the walk itself, 
but the persons who so walk, are then brought into view — 
" the enemies of the cross of Christ. ,, It is certainly simpler to 
regard row i^Opov^ as placed in the accusative by its relation 
to ekeyov — " I told you often before of them, and now weep- 
ing tell you of them, as the enemies of the cross of Christ." 
In similar expressions on frequently intervenes, though the 
conceit of van Hengel to change ou? into ©9 is wholly ground- 
less. The verb irepiirarovatv stands emphatically, and without 
any added characteristic. It is awkward, on the part of 
Calvin, to connect it directly with one of the following clause, 
thus — irepiTraTovciv — oi ra iirlr/eia <f>povovvre<; — placing the 
intermediate words in parenthesis ; and it dilutes the sense to 
subjoin ica/cm or ere/o©?, or any other epithet. The verb is 
certainly to be taken in its usual tropical or ethical meaning, 
and is not, with Storr and Heinrichs, to be rendered circu- 
lantur — " go about." The apostle, in the previous verse, had 
referred to his own life and to those who walked like himself 
— Tou? ovtcd? irepiirarovvra^y and now he speaks of others 
who do not so walk. But he does not formally express the 
difference by an adverb — he does it more effectually by an 
entire clause. As he refers to them, their personality rises up 
vividly before him, and instead of characterizing their conduct, 
he pictures themselves. In this view the verb irepnraTovaip 
is in no way regarded as equivalent to etW, though in using it 
the apostle sketches its subjects ere he describes its character. 
The introductory yap shows the connection, by stating a 
reason in the introduction of a contrast, — " Mark them who 
walk like me, and there is the more need of this, for many are 
walking who must be branded as enemies of the cross of 
Christ, and to whom, in this aspect of their conduct, I have 

PHILIPPIANS m. 18. , 213 

frequently directed your attention." The persons referred to 
were not a few, but irdXXoi — " many ; " and the apostle's mind 
was so oppressed with the idea of their number and criminality 
that he had often spoken of them. There were many of them, 
and he had many times mentioned them — iroWot, TroWdfcis. 
Lobeck, Paralipomena, pp. 56, 57. The apostle did not throw 
a veil over such enormities, nor did he apologize for them. 
The world might laugh at them, but he wept over them. He 
had frequently, and in firm tones, stigmatized them — either in 
former epistles, or more likely when he visited Philippi. The 
class of persons now referred to may not be those mentioned 
in the second verse, for these were probably teachers, dis- 
tinguished by asceticism rather than by sensual indulgences. 
As the apostle thought of their flagrant inconsistencies, his eye 
filled, and tears fell upon the manuscript which his secretary 
was writing. " Wherefore weeping ? " asks Chrysostom, and 
he answers — "Because the evil was urgent, because such 
deserved tears " — ore eirirewe to kclkov, ort Satcpvcov al»ioi oi 
toiovtoi. Therefore the apostle uses no disguise — 

vvv Bk zeal tcKaiwv Xeya — " but now even weeping." More 
in grief than indignation did he refer to them. He wept as he 
thought of their lamentable end, of their folly and delusion, and 
of the miserable misconception they had formed of the nature 
and design of the gospeL He grieved that the gospel should, 
through them, be exposed to misrepresentation, that the world 
should see it associated with an unchanged and licentious life. 
The Lord had shed tears over devoted Jerusalem, and His 
npostle, in His spirit, wept over these incorrigible reprobates, 
who wore the name but were strangers to the spirit and power 
of Christianity. And they are, with one bold and startling 
touch, signalized as — 

Tois ij(0poito row aravpov rov Xpio-rov — " the enemies of the 
cross of Christ." The article gives the noun special prominence, 
or points out the class. The verb Xeyco does not, as Grotius 
and van Till render, signify to call — " whom now weeping I 
call the enemies," etc.— Mens appdlo hostes. Why should the 
apostle so characterize them, or why specify the cross as the 
prime object of their enmity ? The words are more pointed 
and precise than Calvin supposes them to be, when he renders 
them simply evangelii hostes ; or than Wilke imagines, when he 


supposes the " enemies " to be pseudo-apostles, who would not 
place their hopes of salvation in Christ's death, but on the ob- 
servance of rites ex Judceorum mente. Nor can we, with Rilliet 
and Bretschneider, regard them as non-Christians, for the context 
plainly supposes that they were within the pale of the church. 
As far wrong, on the one hand, is it for Heinrichs to consider 
them as Roman magistrates guilty of persecution, as, on the 
other hand, it is for a-Lapide to assert that they were members 
of the church in Corinth. As to the nature and form of this 
enmity : — 

1. Many hold it to be doctrinal — to be a species of polemi- 
cal antipathy to the cross. Theodoret says they are so named 
d)9 StSao-Kovra? ort hiya rfc vofii/CT)? iroXir€ta<; ahvvarov rf)$ 
a<Dn)pia<i Toydv. Theodoret has beentfollowed in this opinion 
by many interpreters, such as Thomas Aquinas, and in later 
times by Estius, Rheinwald, Matthies, and Schinz. But there 
is no hint of this nature in the passage. It was not as in 
Corinth, where to one party requiring a sign the cross was a 
" stumbling-block," and to another faction seeking after wisdom 
it was "foolishness;" the former regarding it as impossible 
that their Messiah should die in such ignominy, or be executed 
under a sentence of law like a malefactor; and the other 
deeming it wholly preposterous, that a story so simple as that 
of Jesus crucified should be a record of divine wisdom, or be 
the vehicle of divine power and intervention. Nor was it as 
in Galatia, where the law of Moses was assumed to be of per- 
petual obligation, and the merit of Christ's death was virtually 
disparaged ; where, under the error of justification by works 
of law, the sufferings of Jesus were regarded as superfluous, 
so that in their bosoms there rankled sore and keenly the 
" offence of the cross." No charge of speculative error is 
brought against those whom the apostle here describes — as 
if they regarded the cross simply as the scene of a tragedy, 
or of a martyrdom ; or as if they thought the atonement 
unnecessary, or undervalued the agony of Christ as devoid of 
expiatory merit. 

2. Many take another view, as if this enmity to the cross 
consisted in their reluctance to bear it themselves. Thus 
Chrysostom exclaims — "Was not thy Master hung upon a 
tree ?— crucify thyself, though none crucify thee " — oravpaxrov 


ceaurov k&v firjBek <re oTavpdxrff. This interpretation, which 
lias various aspects, has many supporters. Such men will 
not take up their cross — will not submit to self-denial — will 
neither crucify the flesh nor endure persecution for the cross of 
Christ Therefore they will not, as in the opinion of Meyer, 
suffer with Christ, or seek any fellowship with His sufferings, 
or any conformity unto His death. This may be true, and 
may be included in the true interpretation ; but it seems to us 
somewhat subtle and recondite. So that we prefer another 

3. We rather regard the apostle as speaking of the cross in 
its ultimate purpose, as pointing not so much to its expiatory 
agony, as to its sanctifying power. Their hostility to the cross 
lay in their not realizing its great design. For Christ died at 
once to provide pardon and secure sanctification, and the recep- 
tion of the first blessing is meant to prepare for the ultimate 
process. They are therefore the enemies of the cross who 
see not in it the evil of sin, so as to forsake it, who remain 
strangers to its attractions, and who will not submit to the 
authority, or conform themselves to the example, of Him who 
died upon it If the following verse describe, as it seems to do, 
the character and destiny of these enemies of the cross, then 
it would seem that their antagonism lay in thwarting its influ- 
ence, and refusing to feel its elevating and spiritualizing virtue. 
If their supreme pleasure was in the indulgence of animal 
appetite, and if their soul was immersed in earthly pursuits 
and gratifications, then, certainly, all that the cross had done 
for them was of no avail ; what it provided, was not received ; 
what it secured, was not realized ; its design was contravened, 
and its lessons were flung aside ; the love of the dying victim 
was not seen in its tenderness and majesty ; nor could His 
anguish be understood in those causes which made it a neces- 
sity, or appreciated as to those results which it was designed to 
produce, and which it alone can produce, in heart and life. Eph. 
v. 25-27 ; Tit ii. 13, 14. Those men who walked in refusal of 
its claims, in violation of its design, and in defiance of its les- 
sons, were surely the enemies of the cross, whether they were 
Jews or Gentiles. How they justified their conduct to them- 
selves, or how they attempted to reconcile their lives with a 
profession of Christianity, we know not We cannot tell what 



theory led to such practice ; whether they wilfully turned 
w the grace of our God into lasciviousness ; " or whether, by some 
strange perversion, they took warrant to " continue in sin, that 
grace might abound ; " or whether, under the intoxication of 
some antinomian theory, they dreamed that there was " no 
law," and that there could therefore be " no transgression." 

(Ver. 19.)*/2i/ to rikos aircokeca — "Of whom the end is 
destruction," whose special and ultimate fate is destruction. 
Bom. vi. 2 1 ; 2 Cor. xi. 15; Heb. vi. 8, etc. The clause and 
context will not warrant the notion of Heinrichs, that airebXeia 
bears an active signification, and that the meaning may be- — 
whose final purpose is the destruction of the church. The 
term a7rd>\€ui is the opposite of ar&Tqpla, and denotes a terrible 
issue. Matt. viL 13, and in many other places ; Phil. i. 28; Eom. 
ix. 22 ; 2 Thess. ii. 3. They do not realize the end of their 
being, and fall short of the glory of God. The cross has not 
sanctified them, and they cannot enter heaven. The purpose 
of Christ in dying has not been wrought out in them, and 
such a failure necessitates exclusion from His presence. The 
Lamb is the theme of high praise before the throne, but their 
enmity to the cross incapacitates them from joining in such 
melodies. Nay, as sin has reigned unchecked within them 
in spite of all that has been done and suffered for them, 
they carry the elements of hell within them ; their nature 
remaining unsanctified, in scorn of Christ's blood and His 
apostle's tears. Gross sensualism characterized them — 

&v o deb? v xoiXla — " whose god is their belly." Eom. xvi. 
18. Theodoret adds — hiafapovrm yhp ol 'IovBcuot, 7ro\\ijv 
ttolovvtcu Tpo<f>rj$ eirifieketav teal Si/caioavvr]? Zpov vofil£ov<ri 
ttjp ip cafSfiaTtp xXiirjv. But there is no real ground for 
supposing the persons referred to to be Jews. The expression 
is a strong one, and the general meaning is, that they found 
their divinest happiness in the gratification of animal appetite. 
This god they loved and served. No idolatry is so unworthy 
of a rational being ; no worship so brutal in form, and bru- 
tifying in result. Intemperance, for example, ruins fortune 
and forfeits character, crazes the body and damns the im- 
mortal spirit. And if, as in the figure of the apostle, a man's 
belly be his god, then his hearth is his altar, and his liturgy 
turns on the questions, u What shall we eat, or what shall we 


drink ? " or repeats the chant — " Let us eat and drink, for to- 
morrow we die." Many passages from the classics have been 
adduced which refer to such sensuality. Such men are named 
KoikioSai/ioves by Athenseus. The Cyclops in Euripides, 335, 
boasts about his beasts — " I sacrifice to no one but myself, 
not to the gods, but to this my belly, the greatest of the 
gods "— 

" for to eat and drink each day, is the god for wise men " — 

The cross has for its object to lift man above such ignoble 
pleasures — to spiritualize and refine him — to excite him to 
cultivate the nobler part of his nature, that he may rise to 
communion with the Father of all. But men indulging in 
these low and unworthy pursuits which darken and endanger 
the soul, persisting in this yaarpi/uipyla, as Theodoret calls 
it, are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Still worse — 

teal fi Sof a iv t§ alayyvy avr&v — " and whose glory is in 
their shame." That is, they find their glory in what is really 
their shame. It is their shame, though they do not reckon it 
so; as Origen says — i<ff oh e$ei alayyveeOcu, eiri tovtoi? 
oXovtcu Sogd&aOcu. The context does not warrant any allu- 
sion to circumcision and the parts affected by it, in pudendis, 
as is held by some of the Latin Fathers, by Bengel, Michaelis, 
and Storr ; nor yet does it specially describe libidinous indul- 
gence, as Kosenmuller and Am Ende suppose. The simple 
aiayyvri cannot of itself bear either signification. These 
enemies of the cross were not hypocrites, but open and avowed 
sensualists, conscious of no inconsistency, but rather justifying 
their vices, and thus perverting the gospel formally for such 
detestable conduct. These victims of gross and grovelling 
appetites disqualifying themselves from fulfilling the end of 
their being — to glorify God and to enjoy Him — frustrated the 
purpose of the cross, and therefore were its enemies. Lastly — 

oi ra erriyeui <f>povovm€$ — "they are those who mind 
earthly things." CoL iii. 2. The nominative is now used, or, 
to give the clause special emphasis, the original construction 
is resumed. Winer, § 63, 1. 2 ; Kiihner, § 677. The phrase 


" earthly things " cannot, as Pierce supposes, mean any portion 
or section of Jewish ordinances. Their heart was set on 
earthly things — such things as are of the earth in origin, and 
do not rise above it in destiny. The contrast is — heavenly 
, things — to the love and pursuit of which the cross is meant 
to raise us who died with Christ, and with Him rose again. 
When men are so absorbed in earthly things, in the lust of 
power, pleasure, wealth, fame, or accomplishment, as to forget 
their high calling to glory, honour, and immortality; when 
they live so much in time and sense as to be oblivious of life 
eternal, and seek not a title to it, nor cherish the hope of it, 
nor yet make preparation for it ; they surely are the enemies 
of the cross, and their end is destruction. On the other hand, 
listen to Augustine — " anima mfa, suspira ardenter et 
desidera vehementer, ut possis pervenire ad Mam supernam 
civitatem de qua tarn gloriosa dicta sunt' 9 VoL vi. p. 1399, 
ed. Paris, 1837. 

It is matter of surprise, first, that persons of such a character 
were found in the early church; and, secondly, that they 
were not shamed out of it by the earnest piety and the 
spiritual lives of so many in the same community. Perhaps 
the novelty of the system attracted numbers toward it, and 
the freshness of its statements induced their adhesion to it, 
though they felt not its inner power. As we have said on a 
recent page, polytheism had lost its hold on many thinking 
heathens, who had been wearied out with scholastic dispu- 
tations, and were glad to embrace what proposed some 
certainties, such as a spiritual worship, an authoritative law, 
and an assured immortality. But their convictions might be 
purely intellectual, the truths adopted being held only as 
opinions, and such change of views might happen without 
change of heart The power of Christianity was neither 
relished nor understood. The cross in its agony might thrill 
them, but the cross in its spiritual penetration was a mystery. 
It might be taken as the scene and the symbol of sorrow and 
triumph, of suffering and bliss, but its efficacy to raise and 
ennoble, while admitted in theory, might be refused in 
practice. Such persons lived in a new circle of ideas and 
associations, but their soul was untouched and unquickened, 
and therefore, under this sad hallucination, they gratified 


without stint their animal propensities, and were immersed in 
earthly occupations and epicurean delights. We could not 
have believed in the possibility of such delusions, had not 
similar forms of misconception and antagonism been frequently 
witnessed in the history of the church. On the other hand, 
the apostle affirms — 

(Ver. 20.) 'Hji&v yhp to iroX&reupa iv ovpavoh inrdpyet 
— "For our country is (or exists) in heaven." The noun 
iroXlrevfia has a variety of meanings, among which we may 
choose : — 

1. Our English version, following the Vulgate, renders it 
—conversation, that is, mode or form of life, vitce ratio; or, as 
van Hengel gives it — vivendi ratio. His general rendering is 
approved by Calvin, Grotius, Matthies, and De Wette. The 
translation is so far favoured by the context — They mind 
earthly things, and are totally opposed to us, for our life is 
in heaven. One course of conduct is placed in contrast with 
another. Still the language so interpreted would be peculiar. 
The apostle says, in Col. iii. S, " Our life is hid with Christ 
in God," but he refers to the principle of life, and not certainly 
to its present manifestations. It is one thing to say that the 
origin of our life is in heaven, but very different to say that 
its actual mode, habit, or manner is in heaven. If you explain 
this by saying that its law is in heaven, then you affix a 
new meaning to the noun, or blend, like Eheinwald, several 
assumed meanings together. Nor does the word ever seem to 
have such a sense in any place where it occurs ; the meaning 
is alleged from the verb iroXirevw, which sometimes signifies 
" to be or live as a citizen." See under i. 27. 

2. The noun denotes often what is termed policy — that 
course of action or those measures by which the adminis- 
tration of a state is conducted, as frequently in Plato and 
Demosthenes. From its connection with nroXvrevm we would 
infer this to be a frequent sense. Such measures imply a 
certain form or constitution, and then we have such a phrase 
as iroXirev/ia SrjjiotepaTias, or, as in Josephus — deotcparlav 
airiSeifje to TroXLreufia. Contra Ap. ii. 6. The words have, in 
this way, been rendered munidpatus noster, as by Tertullian. 
But — 

3. The word passed into another meaning, and that not 


very different from iroXireia — a state or organized common- 
wealth. Such is a common tropical change — the measures of 
a government — the nature of such a government — and then 
the state so constituted and governed. 1 Not exactly, but some- 
what similarly, lepdrevfia, though from leparevo), signifies an 
organized priestly caste, and not sacerdotal routine. Ex. xix. 6. 
noktrevfia may mean, as it does often, " state or country." 
It has this meaning in Polybius, as applied by him to Borne 
and Carthage — avrd re t& TroXneviiara, aKfirjv atcipaia. L 1 3. 
The Hellenistic writers, Philo and Josephus, also use it in 
this way — the former writing thus, t$ fieyloTq> teal reXeio- 
idrtp TToXirevfiaTi erfypafyevrss. De Op. p. 33 ; and the other 
has similar phraseology. Contra Ap. ii. 21. In 2 Maccabees 
xii. 7, we have likewise this phrase — " As if he would come 
back to extirpate" — ri avpmav r&v 'IomnT&v iroktrevpa. 
Theophylact thus explains — &are ret cLvcd 8ei 17/^9 <f>poveiv 
7rpt9 rrjv irarpiSa f]pJSxv crrevSeiv, ev6a koX iroXireveaOai 
ird^dfifiev. Similarly says Philo of the souls of the wise, 
De Confus. Zing. — TrarpiSa fiev rbv ovpdvwv y&pov, iv $ 
TToXiTevovrai, jjevov Se rbv irepvyeiov iv $ irapqucqaav vop,i- 
Zovaai. This citation virtually explains the meaning — 
not " our citizenship * — Biirgerrecht — but " our city is in 
heaven." The confederacy to which we belong, or the 
spiritual state in which we are enrolled as citizens, is in 
heaven, and is no doubt that "Jerusalem which is above 
all." Gal. iv. 26. In that beautiful fragment — the letter to 
Diognetus, it is said of Christians — iirl 799 BiaTpifiovo-iv, 
aXX' iv ovpavco iroXi/revovrcu — " they live on earth, but they 
are citizens in heaven." The idea was not unknown to the 
ancient philosophy. Thus Anaxagoras is reported by Dio- 
genes Laertius to have replied to one who charged him with 
want of love of country — i/iol yhp <r<f>68pa fjuiXei T179 irarplSos, 
heti;a$ rbv ovpavov. Heraclitus, Ad Amphidamanta, says also 
— iroXtrevaofiai, ov/c iv avOpanrois, aXX' iv deofc. 

And this translation is quite in keeping with the context. 
The particle yap connects it with what precedes, as if the train 
thought of were — "they mind earthly things, and therefore are 
enemies of the cross; but, on the other hand, ye have us for an 

1 Aristotle, vol. iii. 7, says — mAjri/a ph *«< <r«x/rit/^« vtifMtUu «■«&«•«» T$xirtvft* 
V Iron to xvgict r£t icikiwf. 


example-r-for our country is in heaven, and therefore, though 
earthly things are around us, we do not mind them." The 
double yap interweaves the thoughts. Walk as ye see us 
walking, for many walk most unworthily ; — walk as ye see us 
walking, for our country is in heaven. The second ydp seems 
to have this force, while it more specially and closely brings 
out the contrast between the apostle's life and that of the 
persons whom he reprobates. He does not use a simple adver- 
sative, but yap at once assigns a reason by introducing a con- 
trasted statement. The verb xnrapj(ei gives peculiar force to 
the assertion. See under ii. 6. The plural form of ovpavou: 
has no specific difference of meaning attached to it. 

The apostle then says, " our city is in heaven." This is 
certainly true of Christians. Their true country is not on 
earth. Here they are strangers in a strange land — living in 
temporary exile. On the earth, they are not of it — among 
earthly things, they are not attracted by them. The census 
of the nation includes them, but their joy is that " God shall 
count " them, when " He writeth up the people." They do 
not abjure citizenship here ; nay, like the apostle, they may 
sometimes insist on its privileges, yet they are denizens of 
another commonwealth. Like him, too, they may have a 
special attachment to their " brethren, their kinsmen accord- 
ing to the flesh ; " but they have ties and relationships of a 
more sacred and permanent character with their "fellow- 
citizens," " the living in Jerusalem." The persons reprobated 
by the apostle minded earthly, things, and the surest preserva- 
tive against such grovelling inconsistency is the consciousness 
of possessing this city in heaven. For as we cherish our 
franchise, we shall long to enjoy it, and be so elevated by the 
prospect as to nauseate sensual pursuits and mere animal 
gratifications. He who has his home in the future will be 
only a pilgrim for the present, and cannot stoop to what is low 
and loathsome, for his heart is set on the inheritance into 
which " nothing can enter that detileth." The apostle turns 
now to the second advent — 

if; (A teal Sarrijpa aireichexpneBa, Kvpcov 'Irjaovv Xpurrov — 
" whence also we await the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ." 
The phrase e'£ ov might agree with iroKirevfia in form, and 
Bengel and others assume this, but this can scarcely be sup* 

222 PH1LIPF1A55 IIL ». 

posed to be the reference. The abode of Jesus is always 
spoken of as the heavens — the heavens received Him, and 
out of the heavens He comes again. HdkkrevyM is a spiri- 
tual idea, but oipavol implies a locality, out of which Jesus is 
expected to descend The i£ 06 refers to ovpavok, and forms 
a species of adverb. Winer, § 21, 3. The ml indicates the 
harmony of this sentiment with the one expressed in the pre- 
vious clause, and precedes Scorijpa, which has the emphasis — 
the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. The apostle uses the full 
title. He is in heaven the exalted Governor or " Lord," and 
cometh in lordly grandeur; but that glory has not deified 
His humanity — it only envelops it; He is still " Jesus/' 
" the same Jesus taken up from us into heaven;" and as His 
commission has not ceased, though His abode on earth has 
terminated, He is " Christ." Nay more, He is expected as 
Saviour — Scorrjpa. He has not resigned this function, and 
He comes to complete it. Salvation has been in process, 
now it is to be in fulness. The work ascribed to the Lord 
Jesus in the next verse, is the last and completing act And 
therefore it is as Saviour that He comes, to fit man in his 
entire nature for glory — to accomplish the deliverance of his 
body from the penalty of death, and assimilate our whole 
humanity to His own as its blessed prototype. Salvation has 
this pregnant meaning in Rom. xiii. 11, and Heb. ix. 28. 
See also under Eph. i. 13, 14. The middle verb denotes 
earnest or wishful expectation — u we await" 1 Cor. L 7 ; 
Rom. viii. 19. See under i. 20. The advent has been 
promised, and as it will secure such blessed results we cannot 
be indifferent to it ; nay, though it be one of transcendent 
awfulness, we are not alarmed at the prospect — " Amen, even 
so come, Lord Jesus." 

Now, we should have expected the verse we have considered 
to run thus — fC Our country is in heaven, in which we hope soon 
to be," or some such expression. But he says — " from which 
also, as Saviour, we expect the Lord Jesus Christ" The result, 
however, is the same, for the Lord Jesus comes to prepare His 
people through the resurrection for entering " by the gate into 
the city." But the mode in which the apostle states these ideas 
serves two purposes. First, he characterizes Jesus as Saviour, 
or as expected in the character of Saviour, and thus suggests an 


awful contrast, in point of destiny, between himself and those 
like-minded with him, and the party reprobated by him in 
the two preceding verses. Their end is destruction, but ours 
is salvation ; — to the one He descnds as Judge, but to us 
as Saviour. If there be such visible difference in present 
character, there is more awful contrast in ultimate destiny — 
am-(i>Xeia — crayrqpla — the two poles of humanity — " everlasting 
punishment" — "life eternal" Thus, in his own way, the 
apostle inserts a quiet antithesis. And then, secondly, he 
describes Jesus as giving our body a likeness to His own — 
a change which in its nature, necessity, and results, conveyed 
a reproof to such as worshipped their animal appetites and 
found supreme gratification in such indulgence, and a lesson 
to them also, not the less striking, if any of them imagined 
that the body was but a temporary possession, whose lowest 
instincts might be indulged to satiety, as if the spirit alone 
were capable of entering, through its essential immortality, 
into the heavenly world. For that body which gives man at 
present so many earthly affinities was destined to a heavenly 
abode, so that from its connection with Jesus it should be 
preserved in purity, while from the process of refinement 
to pass over it, it shall be divested of those very qualities 
or susceptibilities of abuse for which it was deified by the 
enemies of the cross. For the work of Jesus is thus told — 

(Ver. 21.) *Os fieracr^rjfiaricret ro c&fjui tt)9 TaireivvHrea)? 
fjfi&v ovfifiop<f>ov tc3 acofian t§9 8ofty9 avrov — "Who shall 
transform the body of our humiliation, so as to be conformed 
to the body of His glory." The phrase eh to yeveadai avro 
of the Received Text is an evident supplement or filling in of 
the syntax, and has but the inferior authority of D 8 , E, J, K, 
eta The language implies that this change of our bodies is 
the special function which Christ shall discharge at His 
coming. We look for Him to do this — we anticipate it at 
His advent. Both genitives are those of possession, and by 
to a&fia tt)? TaTreivGHreax; r/fjuov — " the body of our humilia- 
tion," we understand not simply to c&fia to raireivov, as 
Robinson vaguely explains it, but the body which belongs to 
and also characterizes our humble state. The nouns rairel- 
lwo-t? and S6£a mark two states in contrast, but connected 
by their common possession of a o-dyxa. " The body of our 

224 philippians in. 21. 

humiliation " is the body possessed by us in this state, and 
which also marks its humiliation. It connects us with the 
soil out of which it was formed, and by the products of 
which it is supported ; on which it walks, and into which it 
falls at death. It keeps us in constant physical connection 
with earth, whatever be the progress of the spirit towards 
its high destiny — ita commonwealth in heaven. Nay more, 
it limits intellectual power and development, impedes spiritual 
growth and enjoyment, and is soon fatigued with the soul's 
activity. Let one will as he pleases, his body presents a 
check on all sides, and at once warns him by the exhaustion 
he feels, and the curbs which so suddenly bring him to a 
pause. In it, too, are the seeds of disease and pain, from 
functional disorder and organic malady. It is an animal 
nature which, in spite of a careful and vigilant government, is 
prone to rebellious outbreaks. Such has been the general 
view. But Meyer objects, and endeavours to give the words a 
more specific reference. He supposes that the enemies of the 
cross are those who shun the sufferings which arise from 
fellowship with Him who died upon it, and that this clause 
pictures that state of privation, persecution, and sufferings 
which affects the body, and springs from connection with the 
cross. Thus Chrysostom — " Our body suffereth many things ; 
it is bound with chains, it is scourged, it suffereth innumerable 
evils, but the body of Christ suffered the same." * These may 
be included, but not alone. It is true that i^tefc stands in 
contrast with tou? £y(0povs, and we apprehend that the 
apostle refers to the body and its future change principally 
because the class condemned by him so notoriously indulged 
themselves in animal gratifications, and made a god of their 

The verb iieraayrifiarlaei expresses change, and the result 
is described by the next clause — cvjifiopfov t$> cgo/uitl rip 
Sofa? aifTov. The curt or proleptic form of construction is 
referred to by Winer, § 66, 3 ; and Kiihner, § 477, 2. Rom. 
viii. 29 ; 1 Thess. iii. 13. The adjective crvftfiopfov expresses 
a conformity which is the result of the change, though it 
agrees with <r&/ta t the object acted on by the Lord Jesus. The 
term Sof^? characterizes Christ's <royta, as containing orpossess- 

1 U»kX.a *&r%u 9Vf *$ v/*irt^t rZfia, itepiirat, ftMSri\%rm t ftvft* x&xu 3un», etc. 

phiuppians in. 21. 225 

ing it. For that body is enshrined in lustre, and occupies the 
highest position in the universe. We know not all the 
elements of its glory. But we know somewhat The scene 
on the hill of transfiguration was an anticipative glimpse, 
when the face " marred more than any man's/ 9 glowed with 
deeper than solar splendour, and the robes, soiled and tattered 
by frequent journeys, shone with a purer lustre than the snow. 
When He appeared at the arrest of Saul in the neighbourhood 
of Damascus, His glory dimmed the mid-day sun, and before 
the symbolical apparition in Patmos, the disciple who had lain 
in His bosom was so overpowered, that He " fell at his feet as 
dead." After He rose, and even before He ascended, His body 
had lost all its previous sense of pain and fatigue, and pos- 
sessed new and mysterious power of self-conveyance. Now 
it lives in heaven. Our body is therefore reserved to a high 
destiny — it shall be like His. The brightness of heaven 
does not oppress Him, neither shall it dazzle us. Our huma- 
nity dies, indeed, and is decomposed ; but when He appears, 
it shall be raised and beautified, and fitted to dwell in a 
region which " flesh and blood cannot inherit." Man has been 
made to dwell on earth, and on no other planet. If he is to 
spend a happy eternity in a distant sphere, his physical 
frame must be prepared for it If he is to see God and yet 
live — to serve Him in a world where there is no night and 
no sleep — to worship Him in company with angels which 
have not the clog of an animal frame, and like them to adore 
with continuous anthem and without exhaustion — then, 
surely, his body must be changed, for otherwise it would soon 
be overpowered by such splendours, and would die of ecstasy 
amidst such enjoyments. The glory of heaven would speedily 
become a delicious agony. Therefore these bodies shall 
cease to be animal without ceasing to be human bodies, 
and they shall become "spiritual" bodies — etherealized 
vehicles for the pure spirit which shall be lodged within 
them. " This corruptible must put' on incorruption, and this 
mortal must put on immortality." Theodoret remarks, that 
the language does not signify change of figure, but deliverance 
from corruption ; and he adds, that this assimilation to the 
body of Christ's glory shall be enjoyed — ov Kara ttjv iroao- 
rrjra t^9 80^179, aXXa Kara rrjv iroiorrjTa. Still, the body of 


Christ's glory is the pattern, and not, as Delitzsch imagines, 
the body of the first man in its original state, and prior to 
the extraction of Eve. 1 

. Why then should the body be now degraded and besotted ? 
Is it not an essential portion of humanity, specially cared for, 
and to be permanently glorified by the Lord Jesus ? If such 
is to be its end, what should be its present honour ? Should 
it not be preserved in purity, for the sake of Him who made 
it, and in fealty to Him who is to assimilate it to His own 
glorious body ? Such a prospect would be a perfect safeguard 
against those vicious and grovelling indulgences which the 
apostle denounces in the previous verses. 

As in the second chapter, the apostle does not formally 
teach the divinity of Christ, though he introduces it as giving 
effect and example to the lesson which he inculcates; so 
here it is also to be noted, that the apostle is not teaching the 
doctrine either of a resurrection of the dead, or a change of 
the living at the second advent. He is conducting no argu- 
ment or exposition of this natura On the other hand, he is 
inculcating a pure and spiritual life, contrasting his own 
demeanour with that of other parties who were sunk in 
sensual pursuits. The reference to the change and glorifica- 
tion of the body is introduced, as well to show why the 
apostle so acted, as to point out the inconsistency of those 
sensualists and worldlings. It may be that they either denied 
or misunderstood the doctrine of the resurrection. At least, 
in the other European churches of the East, as at Corinth and 
Thessalonica, similar errors prevailed. Not that there was 
among them any direct Gnostic dogma of the inherent sinful- 
ness of matter, but the creed had become a common one, that 
the grave should never open, nor the urn yield up its ashes ; 
and that, though the spirit should be immortal, the material 
frame might never be summoned out of its resting-place. So 
that there was a strong temptation to the sins reprobated by 
the apostle. Some of the Philippian converts might deem 
bliss of soul enough, and reckon, as at least a harmless thing, 

1 Sie werden sein wie der Leib des ersten Adam vor der geschlechtlichen. 
Differenzirung, aber herrlicher, als dieser, weil sie die Herrlichkeit erlangt haben 
werden, welche der psychische Leib des ersten Adam erlangen sollte und durch 
den Fall verwirkte. Delitzsch, Bibl. Psychologic, p. 401. 


the undue gratification of animal appetite, for the body with 
all belonging to it was soon to pass into eternal oblivion. 
Contented with the idea of the spirit's immortality, as revealed 
in the gospel, they might feel it no disgrace to eat and drink 
to licentious satiety, since the instrument of such indulgence 
had no share in their hopes, and no connection with their 
future personality, but was speedily to sink into darkness and 
dust, and cease for ever to be a part of them. Therefore the 
apostle refers so pointedly to the future existence of the body; 
and not only so, but describes its high destiny. It is to exist 
for ever, though in a changed and nobler form. It will still 
be the soul's minister and tabernacle. The saved spirit is to 
be hereafter embodied, but in no newly created mansion. 
Therefore the body must now be esteemed as sacred, and 
kept free from contamination. It is not to be enslaved as 
subordinate, or despised as temporary. It is an essential and 
eternal constituent of man's nature — a recipient, according to 
its capabilities and functions, of the redeeming work of Christ 
Must it not then be treated as reason dictates, and the gospel 
warrants? The apostle does not speak of the resurrection, 
but of its results. He passes over the intermediate stages, 
and simply describes the ultimate condition or quality of the 
body. (On the question whether the apostle's language 
warrants the notion that he hoped to survive till the second 
advent, see under i 26.) And Christ's ability to effect this 
change cannot ,b© doubted, for this is His range of prerogative — 
Kcurh rrjv ivepyecav rov Swcurdcu avrov real inrordgcu avr$ 
rh irama — " according to the inworking of his ability, even 
to subdue to Himself all things." The form avr<p in prefer- 
ence to saury* has the authority of A, B l , D 1 , F, G. On the 
relations of ivipyeia and Stwa/u?, see Eph. i. 19. Kara has 
its usual ethical force, and which, as it really points out the 
norm or measure, inferentially advances an argument for the 
previous statement The two infinitives are not simply 
connected by ical, as Eheinwald and Hoelemann construe, 
but the one governs the other — the first being governed 
itself by the substantive, and virtually taking the place 
of a genitive, but expressing more than the noun would 
— the permanence and sweep of His power. Winer, § 44, 4 ; 
1 Cor. ix. 6 ; 1 Pet. iv. 17, etc. We take ra iravra without 

228 philippians in. 21. 

limitation, while icai is emphatic and ascensive. He is able 
to change the body, and not only so, but also to subdue all 
things. If He can subject everything to Himself or His own 
purposes, He can surely so change our body as to give it 
a full and final conformity to His own. Thus Chrysostom 
— e8eif;€ fiei£ova epya rfc SwdjietDs avrov, Xva kqX tovtoi? 
wHTTevoys. That all things are under Christ's control is the 
apostle's doctrine, and his virtual inference in this verse from 
the greater to the less cannot be disputed. Mind and matter 
are alike subservient — " all power is given to Me in heaven 
and in earth." The apostle, in 1 Cor. xv. 35, etc., shows 
some of the manifestations of this all-subduing power — the 
harvest springing from the seed which had died under the 
clod, and according to the species sown ; the various forms of 
existence in the universe, both in animal constitutions oa 
earth and in the orbs or the angels of heaven — proofs that 
matter can assume vast differences of shapes, and be endowed 
with an exhaustless number of qualities — and that therefore 
such a change as is here predicted is neither beyond possi- 
bility nor without parallel. The apostle does not say, as 
Ellicott argues, that Christ will subject all things. He speaks 
only of His ability, though the inference may be that He will 
put it forth. While omniscience is the actual possession or 
exercise of all knowledge, omnipotence is universal ability, 
which may or may not yet have put . forth all its energies, 
for what is possible to it may not have been effected by it. 
But Christ shall put forth His power, as we know from other 
sources, and death itself shall be swallowed up in victory — 
that which has swallowed up all humanity shall be surrounded 
by a wider vortex and be itself engulphed. ' 

How the change of cxfifia in reference to the body shall be 
effected we know not It is a process far beyond our concep- 
tion, and outside the limits of our experience, but not above 
the all-subduing power of the Kedeemer. The statement is, 
that the body, this body of our humiliation, shall feel the 
wondrous transforming energy. The apostle speaks of the 
body, <raS/6a, and not of the flesh, cra/>f. Kesurrection is not 
formally predicated of the flesh in the New Testament, but only 
of the man, or of the dead — " I will raise him up." The kind 
of distinction we refer to is seen in the double question — 


" How are the dead raised, and with what body do they come ? * 
Change implies difference, in this case an inconceivable 
difference, but the identity of the body is not in every sense 
destroyed by the change. That identity cannot certainly 
consist of mere physical material, nor does Scripture ever say 
so. The reader may remember how that subject is discussed 
in Locke's " Second Reply " to the Bishop of Worcester. 1 The 
changes of which matter is susceptible are indeed beyond con- 
ception, and if, as is alleged by some profound investigators, 
the ultimate elements of matter are indivisible points, without 
extension and surrounded by spheres of forces ; then such 
spheres of attraction being changed, new bodies would be 
exhibited without any alteration in their so-called chemical 
constitution. Such hypotheses point to the possibility of 
infinite changes — all within the reach of Him " who is able 
to subdue all things unto Himself." According to the 
apostle's illustration, the glorious body bears such a relation 
to the earthly one, as the grain on the stalk in autumn bears 
to the seed cast into the furrow in spring, and dying and 
being decomposed under the clod. The body is therefore the 
same in relationship, but different in material and structure 
— once organized for a ifrvxtf, or an i ma l life > now prepared to 
suit a irvevfta, or the higher spiritual life. 1 Cor. xv. 36-50. 
The soul out of the body is said to be " naked." It has been 
a common opinion, current among the Rabbins and vaguely 
seen in the Fathers, that this epithet is only relative, and that 
the soul has, as Miiller says, " some organ of self-revelation 
even in death," 2 or possesses what Delitzsch calls " an 
immaterial corporeity " — immaterielle Zeiblichkeit? Lange, 
Kern, Goeschel, Schubert, and Rudloff, 4 might be quoted to the 
same effect These speculations bring us near the " vehicular 
state" which that curious thinker, Abraham Tucker, has 
described, in the twenty-first chapter of his Light of Nature 
Pursued. The arguments for the theory are specious, but of 

1 Works, vol. iv.; London, 1823. 

* Die Christliche Lehre von der Sttnde, rol. ii. p.. 415. 

8 Diese immaterielle Leiblichkeit ist, verglichen mit der materiellen, einerseits 
nur ein Schemen dieser, andererseits aber, so zu sagen, ihre Essenz oder ihr 
Extract. Psychologic, p. 370. 

4 Die Lehre vom Menschen nach Oeist, Seek und Letb, etc., p. 54, etc. 
Leipzig, 1858. 



little weight. It is no proof in favour of it, from physiology, 
that a man feels, or seems to feel, pains located for a long 
period in an organ or limb which has been amputated, as such 
nervous sensations may be otherwise accounted for. Nor is 
there any force in Delitzsch's argument, drawn from the appear* 
ance of Samuel to the witch of Endor, or that of Moses and 
Elias on the hill of transfiguration, or from the pictures of the 
population of Hades or Heaven in Scripture — as in the parable 
of the rich man and Lazarus, and in the Apocalypse. The 
language in such cases is plainly that of popular delineation ; 
for metaphysical exactness would be unintelligible. Spirits are 
not spoken of as essences, but are pictured as persons, feeling, 
speaking, and being clothed, in such a way that their human 
identity may be at once recognized. The present life throws 
such a reflection upon the future life, as enables us to compre- 
hend it and feel its oneness with ourselves. For the spirit- 
world revealed in Scripture is no dreamy or shadowy sphere, 
where personality is either obscured or is blended with the 
great source of existence. The individual life is still single 
and separate as on earth, yet not inert, but endowed with its 
own consciousness, and possessed of its own memories and 
hopes. So that it is naturally represented as having its prior 
face, form, and garb. Not for identical, but for analogous 
reasons, similar language is employed to set out the personality 
of God — the Great Spirit. He covers Himself " with light as 
with a garment " — He speaks w face to face " — He opens " His 
hand," and makes bare " His holy arm " — " His eyes run to 
and fro" — the waters feel "the blast of the breath of His 
nostrils " — " His lips are full of indignation " — " the voice of 
the Lord is powerful " — and " the clouds are the dust of His 

Nor does Scripture furnish any definite proof. 2 Cor. v. 
1, 3, does not speak of a Zivischenleiblichkeit, an interim, 
corporeity; or, as Keiche 1 calls it — mortui organum quasi 
provisorium, and as Schott, Lange, Nitzsch, and Martensen 
suppose. The third verse has been variously understood, but 
its meaning as a confirmative explanation of the previous 
verse, is opposed to the theory to which we are referring. It 
may either be ; — " seeing that when we are also clothed, we 

1 Commentarius Critkus, p. 853. 


shall not be found naked ; " or rather, " seeing in fact that we 
shall really be found clothed, not naked/ 1 The apostle had 
no desire to be unclothed, but divestment was a necessary 
stage in the process of glorification. The unclothing is 
unnatural, but it prepares for the assumption of the final 
raiment, when mortality shall be swallowed up in life. See 
under i. 23-26. 

And this Nerven-geist — what, and whence is it ? Is it an 
inner envelope which the soul already possesses, intermediate 
between its own subtleness and the grossness of its outer 
covering, something that aids its power of sensation, per- 
ception, and thought? No such inner film is necessary, as 
the mind at once receives impressions, and needs no re-pre- 
sentative medium, but is directly conscious of what is beyond 
it, without the intervention of what were once called ideas 
or phantasms. Or if it do not exist now, is it created for the 
spirit when it leaves the body ; or does the spirit evolve it 
out of those finer particles of its corporeity, and clothe itself 
with it ? Would consciousness be extinguished without it ? 
or without it would the faculty of communication with the 
world of spirit or matter around it cease ? The sphere of 
sensation and perception is indeed enveloped in mystery, for 
it is that bourne where self and not-self come into contact, 
and where the spiritual subject seems to blend with the 
material object* But there needs no subjective re-presentation 
of objective realities — the connection involved in sensation is 
immediate, and the conviction produced rests upon a primitive 
and irresistible belief — the " common sense " of mankind. 

Nor can such a psychological theory help us either to a 
letter proof or a clearer conception of corporeal identity. 
Nitzsch indeed says — " Whoever supposes that the departed 
are without a body prior to the resurrection will scarcely find, 
in the mere ashes of the mouldered body, a connecting point 
for the identity of the past and future corporeity. The 
medium of identity must be sought rather in that corporeity 
in which the departed soul remains." 1 And this is changed 
or developed so as to enable it to reach its final state. Such 
a notion seems to deny a resurrection in the ordinary sense 
of the term, and is no way parallel to or typified by the great 

1 System der ChrUtlichen Lehre, § 217. 


historical fact of Christ's resurrection. It is not the so-called 
Nerve-spirit that the Saviour is to develop, and brighten into 
the likeness of His own body ; but it is " the body of our 
humiliation " which He is to change and conform to the 
body of His glory. Each body fits in to the spirit which 
inhabits it, imparts a character to it, and derives a character 
from it — possesses, in short, such an individuality as may 
give us some proof of a resurrection, but it unfolds nothing 
of its mystery. This " body of our humiliation " has 
therefore some surviving element, or some indissoluble link, 
which warrants the notion and shall secure the conscious- 
ness of identity, in whatever that identity may consist ; for 
it is indispensable to that judgment where each shall 
receive according to [deeds done in the body — ra Bia rod 
acbfiaTos — that is, " deeds done by the body " as an organ, as 
the instrument of responsible action. We need again and 
again on this subject to be reminded of the Lord's rebuke to 
the Sadducees — " Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor 
the power of. God." 


Now follows a pointed and brief application, which should 
have been joined to the preceding chapter. Matthies and 
van Hengel connect it unnaturally with the following counsels. 
The particle &are carries us back to the preceding statements, 
and marks a deduction. from them. 

(Ver. 1.) "flare, dBe\(f>oi fwv dya7n/Tol KaX iiriirodrjTOi, 
X a P& Ka ^ 0T€0ai>o9 fiov, oi/T©9, (mj/cere iv Kvpiw, a^amfroL — 
" Wherefore, my brethren, loved and longed for, my joy and 
crown, so stand in the Lord, beloved." The apostle's mind 
turns away from the enemies of the cross to the genuine 
believers ; and his heart opens itself to them, and opens all 
the more unreservedly from the contrast. He weeps over 
the one party, as he thinks of their awful destiny ; but his 
soul is filled with holy rapture when he turns to the other 
party, and as he contemplates their coming glory. The 
epithets are the coinage of a jubilant spirit The accumula- 
tion of them proceeds from his conscious inability to express 
all his ardour. Indeed, the language of endearment is fond 
of such repetitions. 

Meyer says that we need not carry the reference in &ore 
farther than the 1 7th verse, where the address in the second 
person commences, — " Be followers of me." This idea is so 
far correct ; yet, though the counsel in the last section rises 
to a climax, the entire chapter is closely compacted, and in 
the very first verse there is a direct personal appeal One 
might say, too, that the injunction, " stand fast in the Lord," 
naturally results from such warnings as are found as far back 
as the second verse. At all events, the narrow view of Grotius 
cannot be sustained — quum tanta nobis prceposita suntprcemia; 
and the opposite view of De Wette and Wiesinger is at the 
same time too vague. We might conclude that &are is 
generally and in spirit an inference from the entire chapter, 
and in form and more especially from its last paragraph, 


which describes such power as believers hope to be realized 
at the second advent. (On the meaning of ware with the 
imperative, see under ii. 12.) The apostle terms them 
" brethren beloved " — children of one spiritual Parent — form- 
ing one happy family — and rejoicing to meet at length in the 
Father's house of " many mansions." They were spiritually 
dear to him ; his heart clasped them with special fondness — 
iiniroBryroi. See L 8 ; ii. 26. The word occurs only here in 
the New Testament. The apostle's heart yearned toward 
them, and there was reason for this indescribable longing, — 
they were his "joy and crown" — X a P^ KC ^ gtc^cmw /*ou. 
1 Thess. ii 19. There is no reason for Calvin's taking the 
first term as referring to the present, and the second to the 
future, or for Alford referring both to the future. The words 
are both the expression of present emotion. They were a 
source of gladness to him, in their rescue from sin and danger, 
in their spiritual change, and in its visible development. 
Nay, as he had been so instrumental in their conversion, they 
were to him even now a wreath of honour. The term 
aricfxivos is often used in a similar sense. Sophocles, 
Ajax, 465 — 

where, however, the noun is explained by the genitive which 
it governs; or Philoct. 841 — 

rovhi yap i rrtQetvos, 

where, however, the image is different. See also Prov. iv. 9, 
xii. 4, xiv. 24, xvi. 31, xvii. 6 ; Isa. xxviii. 5. The expression 
was a common one. The scene of the first introduction 
of the gospel to Philippi recurred for a moment to his 
memory — the preaching of the truth, the impression made, 
the anxious inquiries put, the decided change produced, the 
organization of the church, and its growth and prosperity, 
as the result of his labours, prayers, and sufferings. His 
success he wore as a garland of imperishable verdure. If he 
who saved in battle the life of a Roman citizen received from 
his grateful countrymen an oaken garland, ob civem servatum, 
how much more might their apostle call them saved and 
blessed by his ministry, " my crown " ! He was not insensible 


to the high honour of being the founder and guardian of such 
a community. That this joy might not fail, and that this 
crown might not wither, he adds in earnest and loving tone — 
outo>9 ory/eere iv Kvpup — " so stand in the Lord." 1 Thess. 
iii 8. The preposition iv points out the sphere or element. 
To stand, or stand fast, in the Lord, is neither to wander out 
of Him, nor even to waver in connection with Him, but to 
remain immoveable in fellowship with Him, — to live in Him 
without pause — to walk in Him without digression — to love 
Him without rival — and serve Him without compromise. It 
is here to be untouched by the ceremonial pride of the con- 
cision, and especially to be proof against the sensualism of the 
enemies of the cross. But what is implied in ovtqx; — " thus " ? 
Is it, " stand so as you are doing," or, " so as I have pre- 
scribed"? The former view, which is that of the Greek 
Fathers, Calvin, Bengel, and Am Ende, is not so utterly 
untenable as Meyer represents it ; for the apostle has already 
praised them for consistency and perseverance (i. 6), and the 
verb might bear such a pregnant meaning. Yet, as Meyer, 
De Wette, and others argue, there may be a reference to 
iii. 17 — "Be ye unitedly followers of me," and ovrm here 
may correspond to ovrm there. Van Hengel is self-consistent 
in bringing out this idea — ut vivendi ratio quam sequamini in 
cadis sit. To give it the turn which Eisner proposes in his 
translation — ita dilecti — is out of the question, nor is Drusius 
waranted so to Hebraize as to bring out this sense — state recte. 
We therefore take the reference as being especially to the two 
preceding verses, and as being in virtual contrast with the 
description of verses 18, 19. In opposition to those who 
were sunk in sensuality and earthliness, and on whom the 
cross of Christ exercised no spiritualizing power, they were to 
live as the citizens of a better country, their mind lifted above 
the world by such an ennobling connection, and thrilled at 
the same time with the prospect of the Saviour's advent, to 
transform and prepare their physical nature for that realm in 
which they should have an ultimate and a permanent resi- 
dence. And he concludes with a second dryamjTot, — so great 
is the reaction from koX tcXaicov, and so great his attachment 
to his Philippian converts ; or, as Theodoret describes it, fipr 
€v<fyr)fiia<; 7ro\\^9 17 irapalveais. 


The remaining statements and counsels are somewhat de- 
tached in their nature — are the ethical miscellany with 
which the apostle often concludes an epistle. They are 
personal, too, in character, and presuppose a confidential 

(Ver. 2.) Evohiav irapcuca\5>, /cal Xwrvyyv irapa/caX&, to 
avro <f>pov€iv iv Kvpito — "Euodia I exhort and Syntyche I 
exhort to be of one mind in the Lord." That these are the 
Greek names of women is plain from the feminine pronouns 
of the following verse, to which they are the antecedents. 
The words iv Kvpctp point out the sphere of this concord, and 
belong not to the verb Trapa/ca\& > as Beza and Storr suppose, 
nor yet can we sustain the rendering of Grotius — propter 
Dominum. Who these women were, what was their position 
in the church, and about what they had disagreed, we know 
not. Not a few suppose them to have been deaconesses — 
irpeo-fivrtSev. At all events, they had laboured in the gospel 
with earnestness and success. The apostle does not say on 
whose side the fault lay, but he repeats the Trapatca\&, not 
simply, as Alford limits it, to " hint at their present separa- 
tion," but to show that he placed the like obligation on each 
of them. He does not exhort the one to be reconciled to the 
other, for they might have doubted who should take the 
initiative, and they might wonder, from the position of their 
names and construction of the sentence, to which of them the 
apostle attached the more blame. But he exhorts them both, 
the one and the other, to think the same thing — not only to 
come to a mutual understanding, but to preserve it. See under 
ii. 2. Van HengeL needlessly supposes that they had laboured 
with the apostle at Borne, and were now about to proceed 
to Philippi with Epaphroditus — this counsel to them being, 
that in all things they did for the gospel they should act in 
concert. But the previous intimations in the epistle prove 
that there had been tendencies to disunion in the church, and 
the second verse of the second chapter these women might 
read with a special and personal concern. The cause of quarrel 
might be some unworthy question about priority or privilege 
even in the prosecution of the good work — vainglory leading 
to* strife, as already hinted by the apostle toward the com- 
mencement of the second chapter. It does not seem to have 


been any difference in creed or practice, and wholly groundless 
is the hypothesis of Baur and Schwegler, that the names 
represent two parties in the church at Philippi — Euodia the 
Jewish, and Syntyche the heathen party. 

(Ver. 3.) Nal ipcoru teal ere, yvqene avv^vye — " Yea, I ask 
thee too, true yoke-fellow." A third party is appealed to, to 
interpose his good offices — a proof that the apostle reckoned 
the harmony of these two women a matter of no small import- 
ance. The vat is preferred to /cat on preponderant authority, 
and is confirmatory in its nature. The verb iparda}, as 
different from alreco, carries in it the idea of authority. 
Trench, Synon. p. 164. What this third person was to do is 
thus stated — 

avKkanfidvov aural? , aXrive; iv r$ evayyeXlip <rwrj0\ri<rav 
fioi — "help these women, as being persons who (or because 
they) have striven along with me in the gospel." The first 
middle verb signifies to assist — " Take them up together." 
Luke v. 7. It was not to help them pecuniarily, as Justinian 
absurdly imagines, but he, whoever he was, was to be a 
mediator, and to use all his influence with them, so that they 
should make advances to each other. And there was the 
more reason for his benign interference, for these women 
had been specially useful. They had (airtves — quippe qiwe) 
striven side by side with Paul in the gospel The verb 
contains an idea more intense than that represented by 
" laboured," as also in L 27. In the place now referred to, the 
object for which agonistic exertion is made is placed in the 
simple dative — here the sphere of the striving is represented 
by the preposition iv. They strove together in the gospel, 
and for its furtherance. They had rendered the apostle 
essential assistance in his evangelical efforts and toils, and if 
they were so labouring still in their own spheres, they must be 
reconciled. From their past efforts, their misunderstanding 
was the more unseemly, and the more necessary it was to heal 
the breach. Spheres of labour for females were specially 
open in such cities as Philippi, and among their own sex, to 
whom they might have access (for the yvvaueaviTi? was kept 
in jealous seclusion), and whose delicacies and difficulties they 
could instinctively comprehend or remove. Eom. xvi. 3-12. 
Women were the first who received the gospel at Philippi 


Acts xvi. 13. These women were not the apostle's only 
fellow-workers, for he adds, that they laboured — 

fiera teal KXypepros teal r&v \oiir&v avvepy&v fiov — " along 
with Clement, too, and my fellow-labourers." The insertion 
of Kai between the preposition and its noun is not common, 
though other particles are placed in this way. Hartung, i. p. 
143. By the use of tcai . . . teal, things or persons are 
simultaneously thought of or represented. Winer, § 53, 4. 
It is out of the question to join this clause with ipwr& 9 as if 
the request were his and Clement's. Clement is mentioned 
nowhere else. There is no solid ground for supposing that 
he was the well-known Clemens Eomanus, as ecclesiastical 
tradition, Jerome, van Hengel, and Baur for his own purpose, 
suppose. 1 All we know of him is, that in fellowship with 
those women he had laboured along with the apostle at 
Philippi, in diffusing the gospel and building up the church. 
Euodia, Syntyche, and Clement must have been hearty and 
prominent in their co-operation ; and Clement is mentioned 
as if the apostle had such a cordial recollection of him, that he 
could not but mention him. Others are also referred to, but 
not named. Some, as Storr, Flatt, and Cocceius, would join 
the clause to ovWafifidvov aural? ; but, as Meyer suggests, 
not fierd, but the simple dative would in that case be 
appropriate — teal t£ KXtj/jlcvti,. Of Clement's colleagues 
the apostle adds — 

&v ra ovo/iara iv fiif3\<p fo>^9 — " whose names are in the 
book of life." The book of life is a figure, sometimes having 
reference to present life, as in Athens, where the catalogue 
of living citizens was scrupulously kept. Ps. lxix. 28 ; Ezek. 
xiii 9. See also Ex. xxxii 32 ; Isa. iv. 3. Then it came 
to be used in reference to life beyond the grave. Dan. xii. 
1-8 ; Eev. iii. 5, xiii. 8, xx. 15, xxi. 27 ; and somewhat 
differently, Luke x. 50; Heb. xii 23. This inscription of 
their names shows the certainty of their future happiness, for 
those names will not be erased. The image of such a register 
presents to us the minuteness and infallibility of the divine 
omniscience, and the assured glory of Christ's followers and 
servants. The relative has r&v Xoitt&v for its antecedent, and 

1 'o KXnuns . . . U*fow ruvtpyi;. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. iii. 4; Winer, Real- 
Wort, sub voce. 


probably the phraseology was suggested by the fact that their 
names are unnoticed in the epistle. The apostle does not 
name them, they are summed up in a brief and anonymous 
r&v \onr&v ; but they are not forgotten, for their names are 
written, by no human hand in the register of that blessed 
assemblage which shall inherit eternal life. A greater honour 
by far than being mentioned even in the list of an apostle's 

But who was the third party so earnestly appealed to by 
the apostle as yvyaie <rvv£vy€ ? The noun, commonly .spelt 
cnJfuyo?, occurs only here in the New Testament 

1. It is often used of a wife in classic Greek, and hence 
some would understand by it the spouse of the apostle. 
Clement of Alexandria 1 alludes to it, so does Isidore, and the 
view is held by Erasmus, Flacius, Musculus, Cajetan, Zuingli, 
Bullinger, and Justinian. Many popish interpreters keenly 
rebut this opinion, and Bellarmine confronts it with five distinct 
arguments. The adjective ought, in such a case, to be femi- 
nine. Then, too, the notion would seem to contradict what 
Paul himself has said of his unmarried state in 1 Cor. vii. 7, 
etc. 3 Theodoret justly remarks, that this view is held by 
some avoijTQ)?. 

2. Dwelling still upon the same usage, some suppose the 
person referred to to be the husband of one of the women. 
Chrysostom says — fj aZe\xj>6v nva axn&v fj ical avhpa /ua? 
air&v ovtco /eaXei. But there are no grounds for such an 
opinion. The yoke is supposed to be borne in company with 
the apostle, and not with any of these women. 

1 Strom, iii. 53 — *at %y\ UavXot ovx ixvu U rttt WiirroXy vhf a»r»u irytrayoptvu* 

* Whether Paul had ever been married cannot be determined. Much depends 
on the precise meaning of the phrase xarrmyx* ^Hfo* — " I gave my vote against 
them." Acts xxvi. 10. If the words are to be taken in their literal acceptation, 
and there appears no good reason why they should not, then they imply that 
Saul was at the period a member of the Sanhedrim ; and one necessary quali- 
fication for a seat in that high court was to be a husband and a father. But his 
wife and children had not long survived, for when the apostle wrote to the 
church in Corinth he was unmarried. One objection to this view is, that chiefly 
men of years were admitted to the Sanhedrim, and Saul must have been com- 
paratively young at the time. But perhaps his zeal and courage may have 
opened the path to him, and as for the qualification referred to, we know that 
it was customary for the Jews to marry at a rather early age. 


3. Passing to the plain meaning of the term, many give it 
the rendering of our version — a colleague in labour, either in 
actual pastoral office, or at least one who had done good service 
to the church in Philippi, and was so well known as not to 
require to be named. This honour is assigned to various 
persons. Grotius, Cocceius, and Michaelis assign it to 
Epaphroditus, though he was at this period with the apostle 
in Eome. Zeltner and Bengel put in a claim for Silas — 
Estius upholds Timothy — Koehler pleads for Barnabas. Still 
the great majority regard the words as meanings fellow- 
labourer — germane compar, as in the Vulgate. Should this 
interpretation be adopted, it would follow, as Bengel remarks, 
that the term denotes a closer union than o-vvepyos ; and it 
looks as if the person referred to were he to whom the epistle 
should be first carried, and by whom it should be first read. 
It might be Epaphroditus, who, though present with the 
apostle, was so addressed, for he was to carry the epistle to 
Philippi, and as the pastor reading it, and being so addressed 
in it, might thus exhibit his commission as a peacemaker. 

4. Another idea, started by Chrysostom and OEcumenius, 
and strenuously contended for by Meyer, is that <rv£vyo<; is a 
proper name 1 — " I ask thee, genuine Syzygus ; " that is, his 
name was a symbol of his character and labours. Chrysostom 
says, as if by the way — rive? Si <f>aac Svo/jlcl iicelvo Kvpiov eivai 
to 2v£vye, but adds irXrjv efre touto, etre i/celvo, ov <r<f)oBpa 
a/cpiftoXoyeiaOai Set This hypothesis has the advantage of 
singling out an individual and addressing him, but the only 
plausible argument for it is, that as proper names occur in 
these verses, this in all likelihood is a proper name too. 
It is a strange conceit of Wieseler (Chronol. p. 458), that the 
" true yoke-fellow " is Christ Himself, and that vai introduces 
a prayer to Him. But the question cannot be fully determined. 

(Ver. 4.) Xatpere iv Kvpla> irdvrore iraKiv ip&, yalpere — 
" Eejoice in the Lord always ; again will I say, rejoice." The 
apostle reverts to what he had started with in the 1st verse 
of the third chapter. There is no need to suppose any con- 
nection between this and the preceding verse. The adverb 

1 Storr and Heinrichs hold it to be a translation of the name KtWnyeif found 
in Josephus, Bell. Jud. vii. 3, 4. Primasius and Peter Lombard are inclined to 
make the epithet a proper name. 


irdpTore, which refers to time and not to place, belongs to the 
first clause. Kvpios, as usual, designates Christ, while iv 
points to Him as the element or sphere of this joy. The joy 
was to be continual — not a fitful rapture, but a uniform 
emotion. And the apostle repeats the injunction, which is 
very different in meaning from the Latin valete, and Cicero's 
formula — vale, vale et salve? The apostle wished them to 
come to a full appreciation of their position and their connec- 
tion with Christ. Could they but judge truly their condition 
and prospects, and contrast them with their past state of gloom 
and unhappiness— could they but realize the nobleness and 
power of the truth they had embraced, arid the riches and 
certainty of the hopes they were cherishing — could they 
estimate the saving change effected in their souls, and picture 
too that glorification which was to pass over their bodies — 
then, as they traced all blessing to Christ and to union with 
Him, they would rejoice in the Lord, not in themselves as 
recipients, but in Him as Source, not only in the gifts con- 
ferred, but in Him especially as the gracious benefactor. To 
rejoice in Him is to exult in Him, not as a dim abstraction, 
but as a living person — so near and so loving, so generous 
and so powerful, that the spirit ever turns to him in admiring 
grateful homage, covets His presence as its sunshine, and 
revels in fellowship with Him. Despondency is weakness, 
but joy is strength. Is it rash to say, in fine, that the 
churches of Christ are strangers by far too much to this 
repeated charge of the apostle — that the current ideas of 
Christ are too historic in their character, and want the fresh- 
ness of a personal reality — that He is thought of more as a 
Being in remoteness and glory, far above and beyond the 
stars, than as a personal and sympathizing Saviour — that 
salvation is regarded more as a process a man thankfully 
submits to, than a continuous and happy union with Jesus — 
and that therefore, though Christians may run and are not 
weary, and may walk and are not faint, they seldom mount 

1 That x*'f*» k often employed in the sense of vctiere, every one knows, as in 
Xenophon riiL 5, 42— #«//w> r«ww rhf ivltufwiat %%\%vm — "I bid this happi- 
ness farewell," or Euripides, Here. Fwr. 676— x*'?"*" 9 *'•*•* — "farewell toils." 
The English idiom is similar— farewell, or fare ye well — in itself a wish for 
happiness, though losing entirely such a sense in its idiomatic use, as in 
" Farewell, sour annoy, "— " Farewell, world and sin." 


up with wings as eagles, and then, if they do, is not their 
flight brief and exhaustive ? On the reduplication of the pre- 
cept, Chrysostom briefly says — icaXm rbv Xdyov ibvifkaaiacrev. 
The earnest English expositor of this epistle thus writes — 
"Now see how it pleaseth the Lord, that as the Apostle 
comes agaiue and againe unto this holy exhortation, and 
leaves it not with once or twice, but even the third time 
also exhorteth them to rejoyce in the Lord ; so I should come 
unto you againe and againe, even three severall times with 
the same exhortation to rejoyce in the Lord. Againe, saith the 
Apostle, i" say rejoyce, even in the Lord alwayes, for that is to 
be added, and resumed to the former place. From which 
doubling and redoubling of this exhortation, I observe both 
how needful and withall how hard a matter it is to perswade 
this constant rejoycing in the Lord, to rejoyce in the Lord 
alwayes. For to this end doth the Holy Ghost often in the 
Scriptures use to double and redouble His speech even to 
shew both the needfulness of His speech, and the difficultie in 
respect of man of enforcing His speech. In the Psalme, how 
often doth the Prophet exhort the faithful unto the praises 
of the Lord, even before all the people, that they and their 
posteritie might know them, saying, that nun would there- 
fore praise the Lord for His goodnesse, and declare the wonders 
that He doth for the children of men! Even foure several 
times in that one Psalme. And wherefore ? but to shew how 
needfull it was they should do so, and how hardly men are 
drawne to do so. How often likewise doth our Saviour 
exhort His disciples unto humilitie and meekness ? sometimes 
saying unto them, Learne of Me that I am meeke and lowly in 
heart ; sometimes telling them, that whosoever among them 
would be great, should be servant unto the rest ; sometimes 
washing their feete, etc., thereby to teach them humilitie. 
And wherefore doth He so often beate upon it, but to shew 
how needfull it was they should be humble and meeke, and 
likewise how hard a thing it is to draw men unto humilitie 
and meeknesse ? How often likewise doth the Holy Ghost 
exhort to the putting off of the old man, and the putting on 
of the new man ! No part of Scripture throughout the whole 
Bible, wherein the Holy Ghost doth not speake much, though 
not haply in these words, yet to this purpose. And where- 


fore else is it, but to imply both how needfull a matter it is to 
be perswaded, and how hard a matter it is to perswade the 
mortification of the old man, and the quickening of the new 
man ? And to let other instances passe, in the point whereof 
we now speake, how oft doth our Saviour exhort to rejoyce 
and be glad in persecution, because of the reward laid up for 
us by God in heaven ; to rejoyce because our names are 
written in heaven by the finger of God's own hand ; to be of 
good comfort, because He hath overcome the world, that is, 
to rejoyce in the Lord I And wherefore, but to show how 
needfull it is to rejoyce in the Lord, and how hard it is to 
perswade this rejoicing ? So that by the usuall course of the 
Scripture it appeareth, that our Apostle doubling and redoub- 
ling this his exhortation, thereby sheweth both how needfull, 
and withall how hard a matter it is to perswade this constant 
rejoycing in the Lord, to rejoyce in the Lord alwayes: so 
needfull, that it must be perswaded again and again, and 
withall so hard to be perswaded, that it cannot be too much 
urged and beaten upon. 

" But it will not be amisse yet a little more particularly to 
looke into the reasons why it is so needfull to rejoyce in the 
Lord alwayes, and why we are so hardly perswaded to rejoyce 
in the Lord alwayes. Who seeth not, that considereth any- 
thing, what mightie enemies we have alwayes to fight withall, 
the flesh within us to snare and deceive us, the world without 
us to fight and wage wane against us, and the devil ever 
seeking like a roaring lion whom he may devour ? Who 
seeth not, what fightings without, what terrors within, what 
anguishes in the soul, what griefes in the bodie, what perils 
abroade, what practices at home, what troubles we have on 
every side ? When then Satan that old dragon casts out many 
flouds or persecutions against us ; when wicked men cruelly, 
disdainfully, and despitefully speake against us ; when lying, 
slandering, and deceitful mouthes are opened upon us ; when 
we are mocked and jested at, and had in derision of all them 
that are about us ; when we are afflicted, tormented, and made 
the world's wonder ; when the sorrowes of death compasse us, 
and the flouds of wickednesse make us afraid, and the paines 
of hell come even unto our soule : what is it that holds up our 
heads that we sinke not ? how is it that we stand either not 


shaken, or if shaken, yet not cast downe ? Is it not by our 
rejoycing which we have in Christ Jesus ? " l The next 
injunction is — 

(Ver. 5.) To i7neitc£<; vft&v yv<oa-0^Ta> iraaiv avOpwrroi? — 
" Let your forbearance be known to all men." The phrase 
to iirmich vp&v has much the force of a substantive with the 
possessive pronoun. Kiihner, § 479, J. See under iii. 8. 
The adjective bears a variety of meanings. Composed of ewl 
and el/co? — eoifca, it signifies originally what is meet or fitting, 
or characterizes any object or quality as being what it should 
be. It also describes what is proper or fair, or what is kind 
and reasonable, especially in the form of considerateness and 
as opposed to the harshness of law. That it should at length 
settle down into the meaning of gentleness, or rather forbear- 
ance, was natural; and this is a meaning found in Plato, 
Polybius, Plutarch, and also in Philo. Hesychius defines the 
adverb— irdvv Xtav wpda>$. Plato's first definition of it is- 
SiKaicDV teal <rv/JL<f>€p6vT<ov iKdrraxri^; and his second is- 

fieTpioTTj^ iv ovfiftokaloK;. Definit. Opera, ed. Bekker, vol. ix. 
p. 265. Aristotle draws the contrast — 6 firj d/epifJoSUcuos 
iirl to xelpov, aXX ekaTTi/cayraro^ icahrep ex&v tov vofjuov 
/3or)06v €7rt€t*?79 iaTiv, /cal eft? avrr} emeUetn. Eth. Nicom. 
v. 10. The prevailing sense in the New Testament seems to 
be that of forbearance. Thus, too, in Ps. lxxxvi. 5 — otl av 
Kvpce xpyorbs teal hrt,eiicr]<; teal iroXvekeo?. It is associated 
in the New Testament with Trpaorris, 2 Cor. x. 1 ; with 
ajiaxos twice, 1 Tim. iii. 3, Tit iii. 2 ; with einretdr^, Jas. 
iii. 17 ; and with dr/a06s t 1 Pet ii. 18. As Trench justly 
says of it — " dementia sets forth one side ; cequitas another ; 
and, perhaps, modestia a third." Theodoret restricts the 
meaning by far too much, when he paraphrases — fitf dfivveade 
teafca) to tcatcov. It is not gentleness as an innate feeling, but 
as the result of self-restraint It bears no resemblance to the 
selfish calculation often expressed by those words which have 
acquired an ethical significance — in medio tutissimus ibis. It 
does not insist on what is its due; it does not stand on 
etiquette or right, but it descends and complies. It is opposed 

1 Lectures on the whole Epistle of Paul to the Philippians, by the Reverend 
and Faithful Servant of Christ, Henry Airay, Doctor in Divinity and late 
Provost of Queen's College ; London, 1618. 

philifpians nr. 5. 245 

to that rigour which never bends nor deviates, and which, as 
it gives the last farthing, uniformly exacts it. It is not facile 
pliability — a reed in the breeze — but that generous and 
indulgent feeling that knows what is its right, but recedes 
from it, is conscious of what is merited, but does not contend 
for strict proportion. It is, in short, that grace which was 
defective in one or other, or both of the women, who are 
charged by the apostle to be of one mind in the Lord. For, 
slow to take offence, it is swift to forgive it. Let a misunder- 
standing arise, and no false delicacy will prevent it from 
taking the first step towards reconciliation or adjustment of 
opinion. And truly such an element of character well becomes 
a man who expects a Saviour in whom this feeling was so 
predominant. This grace was to be notorious among them — 
ypaHrOqTG), " let it be known " to all men — not simply to the 
enemies of the cross, or of the gospel, or to one another, as 
many allege, but to all without exception. It was so to 
characterize them, that if any one should describe their 
behaviour, he could not overlook it, but must dwell upon it. 
Our life is seriously defective without it ; and let a man be 
zealous and enterprising, pure and upright, yet what a rebuke 
to his Christianity, if he is universally declared to be stiff, 
impracticable, unamiable, and austere in general deportment ! 
If this joy in the Lord were felt in its fulness, the spirit so 
cheered and exalted would cease to insist on mere personal 
right, and practise forbearance. It is solemnly added — 

6 Kvpios iyyk, " the Lord is near." We are inclined to take 
Kvpios as referring to Jesus — such being its common reference 
in Pauline usage, though many, including Luther, Calvin, 
Bheinwald, Eilliet, and Miiller, suppose that God is meant. 
The language — ii. 11, iii 20 — and the reference of the term 
in the first three verses of the chapter, oblige us to understand 
Jesus by the epithet. 'Eyyv? may be used either of place or 
time — " The Lord is at hand," either in position or approach. 
If the clause be connected with the preceding counsel, the 
meaning might be — " Let your forbearance be known to all 
men," and one great motive is, " the Lord is at hand." Storr 
and De Wette take the view of the Greek Fathers, that God 
is thought of as judge, and that this idea is an inducement to 
cherish clemency even toward enemies, for God, the Judge 


and Redresser of every injury, is near. Velasquez and Beelen 
take it more generally, referring it — ad auxiliarem opem quam, 
Dens suis afferre consuevit. Such an extension of meaning 
is not warranted, though certainly one might be invited to 
manifest the grace by this consideration, that the Lord 
will be Judge in all such cases as call for its exhibition, and by 
Himself this virtue has been specially and fully exhibited. 

Or the clause may be connected with the following admoni- 
tion. Meyer adopts this view — that is, the. near coming of 
Jesus ought to prevent all His people from cherishing an 
undue anxiety. " Be careful for nothing," Christ is afr hand, 
and abundance will be the result of His advent. Or, " be careful 
for nothing," He is ever near to supply all your wants. We 
prefer to take 67715? in reference to time, and the general 
meaning of the formula may be gathered from Matt. xvi. 28 ; 
Luke xxi. 3 1 ; 1 Cor. xvi. 2 2 ; Jas. v. 9 ; 1 Pet. iv. 7 ; 
1 John ii. 28. It cannot mean " always present or near," as in 
Ps. xxxiv. 18, cxix. 151, cxlv. 18. The notion here is, that 
one who has been away is returning, and will soon arrive. 
But may not the clause be connected with both verses ? It 
has no formal connection with either. And as it stands by 
itself, and seems to represent a familiar Christian idea, may it 
not be at the same time mentally joined to the charges both 
before and after it ? It is introduced after a counsel to exhibit 
forbearance, and may be regarded as a motive to it ; but while 
the apostle writes it, there starts up in his mind another use 
of it, and in consequence of its appropriateness he subjoins — 
" be careful for nothing." It thus becomes a link in a train 
of thought, suggested by what precedes, and suggesting what 
follows it. 

(Ver. 6.) MrjBkv fiepifipare — " Be careful for nothing." The 
accusative fiijBev, emphatic from position, is that of object. 
The verb is followed sometimes by the dative, expressing 
that on account of which anxiety is felt, though irepi and 
virep are also used, as well as eh in Matt. vi. 34. There is no 
occasion with Wahl to supply fierd, nor with Hoelemann to 
suppose the accusative used adverbially. Chrysostom connects 
this with the previous verse, — " If their enemies opposed them, 
and they saw the wicked live in luxury, they were not to be dis- 
tressed." But the apostle has passed away from that previous 


thought, and speaks now of another subject The solicitude 
guarded against is that state of mind in which one frets himself 
to know more than he is able, or reach something too far 
beyond him, or is anxious to make provision for contingencies, 
to guard against suspected evils, and nerve himself against 
apprehended failures and disasters. The spirit is thrown 
into a fever by such troubles, so that joy in the Lord is 
abridged, and this forbearance would be seriously endangered. 
Not that the apostle counsels utter indifference, for indifference 
would preclude prayer ; but his meaning is, that no one of 
them should tease and torment himself about anything, when 
he may get what he wants by prayer.- There is nothing any 
one would be the better of having, which he may not hope- 
fully ask from God. Why then should he be anxious? — 
why, especially, should any one prolong such anxiety, or nurse 
it into a chronic distemper? Matt. vi. 25; 1 Pet. v. 7. 
The apostle does not counsel an unnatural stoicism. He was 
a true friend of humanity, and taught it not how to despise, 
but how to lighten its burdens. If it could not bear them 
itself, he showed it how to cast them on God. For thus he 
counsels — 

qW iv Train), ry irpocevyr} teal rij Severe* fiera ev^apurria^ 
ra alrrifiara vp&v yvtopi^eaOco 717309 rhv &eov — " but in every- 
thing by prayer and supplication, along with thanksgiving, 
let your requests be made known to God." The noun ahrjfia 
means literally a thing asked. Luke xxiii. 24 ; 1 John v. 15. 
By a natural process it also signifies, as here, a thing desired 
and therefore to be asked. Hence the phrase ra alrrj^iara rrj<; 
/eapSlas. Ps. xxxvii. 4. Let the things you seek be made 
known — 717009 rov Qeov. The construction is peculiar. This 
preposition is often used after vefcbs of similar meaning, and 
seems to signify, as Ast gives it — apud, coram. Lex. Plaion., 
sub voce. It points out destination or direction — " Let your 
requests be made known toward God " — disclosed before Him, 
that they may reach him. The simple dative would have merely 
implied direct information to Him ; but 777)09 points to the 
hearer of prayer as One in whose august presence petitions 
are to be made known. Acts viii. 24. See under ii. 19. 

The form which the presentation of such requests was to 
assume was rrj wpoaevxp Kal 177 Seqaei — " by prayer and suppli- 


cation." The datives express the manner or means, for the one 
involves the other, by which the action enjoined in yvapiZeaOa 
was to be performed. Bernhardy, p. 100. The two nouns 
are not synonymous, and mean something more than Stores 
sociis predbus. See under Eph. vi 18 for the peculiar dis- 
tinction. The repetition of the article gives each of the nouns 
a special independence. Winer, § 19, 5, (a). By the use of 
the first noun they are bidden tell their wants to God in 
religious feeling and form; and by the second they are 
counselled to make them known in earnest and direct petition, 
in every case as the circumstance^ might require. But to 
this exercise of prayer and supplication is added thanksgiving 
— fierk ev)(apuTTias — " accompanied with thanksgiving." 
This noun has not the article, and, as Ellicott says, only 
twice has it the article in the writings of the apostle — 
1 Cor. xiv. 16; 2 Cor. iv. 15. Alford's idea is, that the 
article is omitted " because the matters themselves may not be 
recognized as grounds of ev^apiaria, but it should accompany 
every request" Ellicott thinks that " evxapio-rla, thanks- 
giving for past blessings, is in its nature more general and 
comprehensive." Both notions, though true in themselves, 
are rather limited in the grounds assigned for them. For 
not only are there many reasons for thanksgiving to God, 
who has already conferred on us so much, while we are 
asking for more, but thankfulness is also due to Him for the 
very privilege of making known our requests to Him ; for the 
promises He has given us, and of which we put Him in 
remembrance when we pray to Him ; for the confidence He 
has created in us that such solicitations shall not be in vain ; 
and for the hope that He will do for us " exceeding abundantly 
above all that we ask or think." That He is on a throne of 
grace, and is ever accessible — that He is never weary with 
our asking — and that His gifts are never exhausted and never 
lose their adaptation, is surely matter of thankfulness to be 
ever expressed before Him by all suppliants. 1 Thess. v. 18 ; 
1 Tim. ii. 1. See under CoL iv. 2. 

The apostle advises such a practice universally — 

iv wavrl — " in everything." The Syriac version renders the 

phrase *^VA^ — " in all time," and this rendering is adopted 
by Grotius and Eheinwald. The phrase, however, stands in 


direct contrast to fi^Siv — care for nothing, but in everything 
pray. 1 Cor. i. 5 ; 2 Cor. iv. 8, vi 4, vii 5, ix. 11 ; 1 Thess. 
v. 18. Chrysostom thus explains — iv iravrl, rovrean, irparf- 
pari. Matthies proposes to connect both meanings — that of 
time and place, but this would mar the directness of antithesis. 
The apostle makes no exception. Nothing should disturb 
their equanimity, and whatever threatened to do it should be 
made matter of prayer — that God would order it otherwise, 
or give grace to bear it; or deepen reliance on Himself; or 
give them that elevation and quiet which spring from the 
assurance that "the Lord is at hand." Such prayer and 
supplication with thanksgiving relieves the spirit, evinces its 
confidence in God, deepens its earnestness, and prepares it for 
the expected answer. 

(Ver. 7.) Kal f) etpqvrj rov Qeov f) inrepkypvaa irdvra vovv, 
<f>povpij<T€i ra? icaphta<i vjjl&v teal ra vorjfiara vjjb&v iv XpioT<p 
'Itfcov — " And the peace of God which passes all understand- 
ing shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ 
Jesus." The connection indicated by teal is that of result, 
and it might be paraphrased " and then," or " and so." Winer, 
§ 53, 3. We find two extremes of misconception as to the 
meaning of elprpr) rov Qeov — Qeov being the genitive of origin, 
and not of object, as Green supposes. Greek Oram. p. 262. 
The Greek Fathers, followed by Erasmus, Estius, Crocius, 
and Matthies, understand the phrase of reconciliation: — 
"Peace" said Chrysostom, "that is, the reconciliation, the 
love of God " — 17 aydirr) rod Qeov. No doubt this peace is the 
result of reconciliation or peace 717909 rov Qeov. But this peace 
flowing from pardon and acceptance was already possessed by 
them — they had been reconciled ; and what the apostle refers 
to is a state of mind which has this reconciliation for its basis. 
The former peace has a special relation to God, the contro- 
versy between Him and the soul being terminated — the latter 
is more personal and absolute. This peace is but another 
name for happiness, for it is beyond the reach of disturbance. 
Come what will, it cannot injure— -come when it likes, it is 
welcome — and come as it may, it is blessing in disguise. 
It can neither dissolve union to Christ, nor cloud the sense of 
God's forgiving love, nor exclude the prospect of heavenly 
glory. It is not indigenous: it is the "peace of God." 


Man may train himself to apathy, or nerve himself into 
hardihood — the one an effort to sink below nature, and the 
other to rise above it. But this divine gift — the image of 
God's own tranquillity — is produced by close relationship to 
Himself, is the realization of that legacy which the Elder 
Brother has bequeathed. John xiv. 27. To know that it is 
well with me now, and that it shall be so for ever — to feel 
that God is my guide and protector, while His Son pleads for 
me and His Spirit dwells within me as His shrine — to feel 
that I am moving onward along a path divinely prescribed 
and guarded, to join the eternal banquet in the company of 
all I love and all I live for — the emotion produced by such 
strong conviction is peace, ay, the "peace of God." This 
view is adopted generally by expositors: See what is said in 
our comment under CoL iii. 15. Augustine, followed by 
Anselm and Beelen, explains the phrase — " peace of God " — 
as pax, qua ipse Deuspacatus est. De Civ. Dei, lib. xxii. 29. We 
may place two English expositors side by side — Macknight, 
who understands by "peace of God" the hope of eternal 
life, and Pierce, who takes it to mean, u a sense of the great 
advantage of having peace with God." In much the same 
spirit, men of the school of Glassius would take rov Qeov as 
the so-called Hebrew superlative, — an idiom unknown to the 
New Testament, and a miserable dilution of the sense. 

The notion of Meyer, preceded by Hammond and Michaelis, 
that this " peace of God " is unity or ecclesiastical concord, 
cannot be sustained. Elprjvrj, according to him, has always 
a relative meaning — verhaltniss zn andern Menschen oder zu 
Oott ; but the places quoted by him will not suffice as proof. 
In the majority of them peace is described as a personal bless- 
ing. Rom. xv. 33 ; John xiv. 27. It is true that the apostle 
in the second and third verses of this chapter counsels the 
healing of a breach, or the restoration of peace, but he has 
now passed from these matters to other advices. He has 
uttered the keynote — "Rejoice in the Lord," and he now 
speaks in its spirit. There may in the iirieitck be an allusion 
to the exhortation to Euodia and Syntyche — as Theodoret 
supposes in his reference, a>? xmaXkrfKxav 6vt<ov t&v Suayfi&v, 
but the contrast to elprjvt] lies in firjSh fiepcfivare. Now, this 
" being careful " could scarcely be the ground of disunion 


among the Philippians, as Meyer's hypothesis would make it ; 
for it seems to have been vainglory and ostentation. The 
allusion is more general — and if this solicitude be relieved 
by free and cordial prayerfulness, then unbroken tranquillity 
should guard the soul. 

The apostle describes this peace as a gift "passing all 
knowledge" — 1} inrepe^ovo-a irdvra vovv. See what is said 
under Eph. iii. 19. The participle here governs the accusative, 
and not, as is common with verbs of its class, the genitive, 
Klihner, § 539 ; or Jelf, § 504, Obser. 2. The noun vovs is here 
used of mind in its power of grasp or conception, as in Luke 
xxiv. 45, where it is said — rore Sujvoigev avr&v rbv vovv — 
u then opened He their mind that they might understand the 
Scriptures," Eev. xiii. 18. The mind cannot rightly estimate 
this peace, or rise to an adequate comprehension of it. It is so 
rich, so pure, so noble, so fraught with bliss, that you cannot 
imagine its magnitude. It is out of the question to suppose, 
with De Wette, who forgets the sweep of the epithet irdvra, 
that vofa is a doubting or distracted mind, which can find 
neither end nor issue, and that therefore this peace passes all 
understanding, as it rests on faith and feeling. Chrysostom, 
influenced by the signification he has attached to peace, gives 
another turn to the meaning, as in this question — rk yhp &v 
7rpo(re86fC7)(T€ rl$ Sk &v fjXiriae roaavra eceadai ay ad a ; The 
opinion of Estius is somewhat similar, while Calvin, looking 
more to the result, says — quia nihil humano ingenio magis 
adversum, quam in summa desperatione nihUominus sperare. 
The apostle means that even its possessor is not able fully to 
understand its nature and blessedness. He then says what 
this peace, which is above all conception, shall effect — 

<f>povprj(T€i t^s tcapSta? vyJSav fcal T& vorjfjbara ifi&v — " shall 
guard your hearts and your thoughts." The verb is used of 
a military guard, like that set over a prisoner. 2 Cor. xL 32 ; 
Gal iii. 23; Xen. Cyro. L 2, 12; Josephus, Bell. Jud. iii, 
8, 2 ; Thucyd. iii. 17. The verb is in the future and is to be 
so translated and understood, and not, with many, as if it 
were in the subjunctive and expressed a charge, or as if it 
were optative and contained a wish. It predicts a sure result 
of the habit described and enforced in the preceding verse. 
The last of the two nouns, votffiara, signifies the results 


jor offspring of the active vovs, while /eapSta in such a 
connection may denote the seat or source of feeling and 
thought But vovs is so allied to the xapBia, the centre of all 
spiritual life and activity, that these vorniara are supposed to 
spring from the latter. Usteri, Paulin. Ldirb. p. 411. Both, 
the one and the other shall be guarded — the heart kept from 
disquietude, and the same unrest warded away from the 
thoughts and associations. Whatever should enter into the 
one and beget uneasiness, or suggest such a train of ideas, 
forebodings, or questions to the other, as should tend to per- 
plexity and alarm, is charmed away by " the peace of God." 
For while that against which heart and thoughts are guarded 
is taken absolutely, it may, specially, be the origination of 
such a state as is implied in the warning — p^iev fiepifivare, 
and not generally enemies, or Satan, or evil cogitations, or, 
as Theophylact expounds— wore firjBk evvorjcai re irovrjpov. 
The apostle next refers to the sphere in which that safe- 
keeping takes place — 

iv Xpurnp 'Irjcov — " in Christ Jesus." 'Ev is not synony- 
mous with Sid, is neither per nor propter. This guardianship 
of heart and thought takes effect only "in Christ Jesus." 
Nay, the peace itself is based on union with Jesus, and its 
vigilance and success are derived from a closer enjoyment of 
the presence and a more vivid appreciation of the promises of 
Christ. Others take this clause as indicating the result of the 
verb <f>povprj<Tei — "shall keep your hearts and your thoughts 
in Christ Jesus," that is, shall preserve your union with Him. 
De Wette holds this view in imitation of Luther, and it is 
adopted by Storr, Bheinwald, van Hengel, Eilliet, and 
Wiesinger. Chrysostom has already stated as the result — 
&<rre fievetv teal fiif imrecrelv airrov rrj? iriorem. But it is 
rather union with Christ which secures this peace, and not 
this peace which cements the union. The more one realizes 
this union, the more does he possess of such a peace. And 
as every gift of God is in Christ conferred, and eveiy act of 
God is done in Him, so in Him too does the peace of God 
exert its guarding influence. As the result of prayer, of the 
unbosoming of themselves to God about everything, they 
should enjoy profound tranquillity. Committing their way 
unto God, they would feel that " He would make perfect that 


which concerned them/' and should have within them an 
unruffled calm — bliss beyond all conception. 

(Ver. 8.) The apostle brings this section to a conclusion by 
the common formula — to Xovttov — " in fine." In a composi- 
tion like this letter, where compactness is not to be expected, 
it would be finical to refer this to Xovttov to that occurring in 
iii. 1. There it introduces, here it terminates a section. The 
apostle winds up the sundry counsels contained in the preced- 
ing verse. We admit a connection, and therefore deny van 
Hengel's notion — ad rem alius argumenti transgreditur, ut 
ostendit formula to \ovttov. But we cannot wholly acquiesce 
in De Wette's idea, that the connection is of this kind — verse 
seventh showing what God does, and verse eighth what remains 
for man to do. Perhaps the previous verses suggested this 
summing up to the apostle, which is still in the spirit of the 
precept, " Eejoice in the Lord," and they intimate that while 
there is freedom from solicitude through prayer, there should 
be a reaching after perfection ; and that in order to preserve 
this peace unbroken within them, they should sedulously 
cultivate those elements of Christian morality which are next 
enumerated with singular fervour and succinctness. 

The syntax is peculiar. Six ethical terms are employed, 
and each has ica prefixed, and in token of emphasis the whole 
is prefaced by aSe\<f>ol. The rhythm and repetition are im- 
pressive. We do not think, with Wiesinger, that the apostle 
means to designate the entire compass of Christian morality. 
We rather think that the virtues referred to are such as not 
only specially adorn •' the doctrine of God our Saviour," but 
also such as may have been needed in Philippi. In each 
case, the apostle does not use abstract terms, but says — 
" Whatever things," that is, what things come under the cate- 
gory of each designation — "these things meditate," the oca 
giving to each the notion of universality, and of course that 
of conformity to the verb \oyl£ea0€. And first — 

taa iarlv aKqOrj — " whatsoever things are true." It is too 
vague, on the part of (Ecumenius, to explain aXrjdfj by rh 
ivdpera — ''the excellent." The adjective does not signify 
what is credible in opposition to what is fictitious, or what is 
substantial in contrast with what is shadowy. Nor should 
we, with Bobinson, Meyer, and De Wette, confine the epithet 

254 philippians rv. a 

to the gospel and its truth ; nor with Theodoret, Bengel, and 
Bisping, to language ; nor with others, to the absence of dis- 
simulation. We take it to mean generally — " morally truth- 
ful," whether specially referred to and illustrated in the gospel 
or not. For truth exists independently of the gospel, though 
the gospel has shed special light on its nature and obligation. 
They are to think on " the true " in everything of which it 
can be predicated — both in reference to God and man, the 
church and the world, themselves and others — the true in its 
spiritual and secular relations, in thought, speech, and position. 
See under Eph. iv. 25. 

oaa aefipd — " whatsoever things are grave/' or " decorous." 
The adjective characterizes persons in ITim. iii 8, 11, and Tit. 
ii. 2, in which places it stands opposed to a double tongue, to 
intemperance and avarice, to slander and unfaithfulness, and 
may denote becomingness or gravity of conduct. In classic 
Greek it has the sense of revered or venerated, from its 
connection with a-efto/icu. Benfey, Wurzellex. i p. 407. As 
applied to things, it may denote what in itself commands 
respect — what is noble or honourable — magnified, as in Am- 
brosiaster. The pudica of the Vulgate is too limited. Our 
translators have used the epithet " honest " in its Latin or 
old English sense, signifying, but in fuller form, what is now 
termed " honourable." * Thus, in the Bible of 1551 — "and 
upon those members of the body which we thynke lest honest, 
put we moste honestie on." " Goodness," says Sir William 
Temple, in his Essay on Government, " in our language, goes 
rather by the name of honesty." Or in Ben Jonson — " You 
have honested my lodgings with your presence." Kichardson's 
Dictionary, sub voce. To illustrate this restricted sense of the 
term, one may recall the lines of Burns about the Scottish 
. Muse — 

" Her eye, even turned on empty space, 
Beamed keen with honour." 

But aefivd has a wider reach of meaning. We find it asso- 
ciated with such epithets as ayiov, fterpiov, koKov tcwyadov, 
and fieyakoirpeirh, and it may point out the things which in 
dignity and honour, in gravity and nobleness, befit the posi- 
tion, character, and destiny of a believer. It is opposed to 
what is mean, frivolous, indecorous, and unworthy. Quid 

MtLttHANS IV. 8. 255 

vcrum atque decern euro et rogo, et omnis in hoc sum. Horace, 
Ep. lib. i. 1. 

Sea hUcua — " whatsoever things are right " — whatsoever 
things are in accordance with eternal and unchanging recti' 
tude. We would not with many restrict it to equity or justice 
as springing out of mutual relations. Thus Calvin — ne quern 
kedamus, ne quern fraudemvs, which is only one province of the 
right. The last epithet appeals more to sentiment, but this 
to principle. The right does not depend on legislation, but is 
everlasting and immutable. It is but a fallacious word- worship 
on the part of Home Tooke to assert that right is simply 
what is ordered, rectum — (regitum), but quite in accordance 
with the theory of Hobbes. Dugald Stewart's Philosophical 
Essays, Essay v. 2nd ed. ; Edin. 1816. 

6<ra ayvd — " whatsoever things are pure." The Vulgate 
renders sancta, as if the Greek epithet had been &yia. Titt- 
mann's Syn. i. p. 22. This term is used specially of chastity 
or modesty — 2 Cor. xi 2 ; Tit. iL 5 — and several critics, 
as Grotius and Estius, take such to be its meaning here. We 
take it in the broader sense in which it is found in 2 Cor. 
vi. 6, vii. 11 ; 1 Tim. v. 22 ; Jas. iii. 17. "Whatever things 
are pure " — which are neither tainted nor corrupt — free from 
all debasing elements, clear in nature, transparent in purpose, 
leaving no blot on the conscience and no stain on the character. 
In Pindar it is the epithet of Apollo or the Sun — teal arpiov 
'AiroWeova, Pyth. ix. 112. Chrysostom's distinction between 
this and the preceding epithet is, to aefivov 7-179 ££a> icrl 
SwdfLeax;, to Be ar/vov rip yfrvxfjs. 

Sea 7rpoaff>t\rj — " whatsoever things are lovely." This 
term occurs only here in the New Testament. It is, however, 
not uncommon with classical writers, and signifies what is 
dear to any one, or has in it such a quality as engages affection 
— lovely as exciting love. Sirach iv. 7, xx. 13. The meaning 
is too much diluted by the Greek expositors and others who 
follow them in giving the term a relation to£<? irurroh teal 
t$> 8e£. Grotius and Erasmus hold another view, which is not 
warranted by the context. According to them, it may denote 
"benignant," or "kindly disposed." But special virtues, as 
Meyer says, are not here enumerated. " Whatsoever things are 
lovely " — whatever medes of action tend to endear him that 


does them, to give him with others not simply the approval of 
their judgment, but to open for him a place in their hearts — 
whatever things breathe the spirit of that religion which is 
love, and the doing of which should be homage to Him who 
is Love — " these things think on." 

oca einfyrjfjLa — "whatsoever things are of good report." 
This word, like the former, is found only here in the New 
Testament, though the noun occurs in 2 Cor. vi. 8. Its 
composition tells its force — "what is well spoken of." It 
had a peculiar meaning in Pagan usage — that which is of 
good omen, and a similar meaning Meyer would find here 
— was einen glilchlichen Laut hat. But the result is not 
different in the more ordinary acceptation. Hesychius gives 
it the meaning of eiraiverd. Storr, without ground, prefers 
another sense, which makes the verb mean bene precari — to 
express good wishes for others, and he renders the adjective 
by benedictum. Whatever things on being seen lead all who 
behold them to exclaim — " Well-done ! " — or indicate on the 
part of the actor such elements of character as are usually 
admired and well spoken of ; deeds that sound well on being 
named, whether they consist of chivalrous generosity or meek 
condescension — -a great feat or a good one — noble in idea or 
happy in execution. An action as right is vindicated by the 
judgment, as good it is approved by the heart, but as indi- 
cating generosity or nobleness of soul it is applauded. The 
apostle subjoins in his earnestness — 

el r*9 apcTrj, teal et t*9 eirawo^ — " whatever virtue there is, 
and whatever praise there is." Some MSS., as D 1 , E 1 , F, 6, 
add hrKrrfiiwis \ Vulgate, disciplines. In the phrase ei n? 
there is no expression of doubt, on the one hand ; nor, on the 
other hand, is the meaning that assigned by De Wette, van 
Hengel, Eheinwald, and others — if there be any other virtue, 
or any other object of praise, that is, other than those already 
mentioned, but not formally expressed. The clause is an 
emphatic and earnest summation. See under ii. 1. The term 
aperr\ is only here used by PauL In the philosophical 
writings of Greece it signified all virtue, and not any special 
form of it, as it does in Homer and others. The apostle 
nowhere else uses it — it had been too much debased and 
soiled in some of the schools, and ideas were oftentimes 


attached to it very different from that moral excellence which 
with him was virtue. It is therefore here employed in its 
widest and highest sense of moral excellence — virtus, that 
which becomes a man redeemed by the blood of Christ and 
tenanted by the Holy Spirit It is spoken of God in 1 Pet. 
ii. 9, From its connection with the Sanscrit vri — to be 
strong — Latin, vir — vires — virtus ; or with *Api)<i — apurros, it 
seems to signify what best becomes a man — manhood, strength 
or valour, in early times. Benfey, WurzeUex. i. p. 315. But 
the signification has been modified by national character and 
temperament The warlike Eomans placed their virtue in 
military courage ; while their successors, the modern degene- 
rate Italians, often apply it to a knowledge of antiquities 
or fine arts. The remains of other and nobler times are 
articles of virtu, and he who has most acquaintance with them 
is a virtuoso or man of virtue. In our common English, a 
woman's virtue is simply and alone her chastity, as being first 
and indispensable; and with our Scottish ancestors virtue 
was thrift or industry. 1 Amidst such national variations, and 
the unsettled metaphysical disquisitions as to what forms virtue 
or what is its basis, it needed that He who created man for 
Himself should tell him what best became him — what he was 
made for and what he should aspire to. The noun faratvos is 
praise in itself, and not res laudabilis, a thing to be praised, 
though many, including the lexicographers Eobinson, Wahl, 
and Bretschneider, take such a view. It is not therefore any- 
thing to be praised, but any praise to be bestowed — laus comes 
virtutis, as Erasmus writes; or as Cicero — consentiens laus 
honorum incorrupta vox bene judicantium de excellence virtute. 
Meyer gives as an example the thirteenth chapter of 1 Cor. 
— the praise of charity. And the apostle concludes with the 
expressive charge — 

ravra Xoyl&aOe — " these things think upon." They were 
to ponder on these things, not as matters of mere speculation, 
but of highest ethical moment, and of immediate practical 

The apostle does not mean to exhibit every element of a 

1 An old Act commands schools or houses of " vertne," in which might be 
manufactured "cloth and sergis," to be erected in every shire. Jamieson's 
Scottish Dictionary, Supplement 


perfect character, but only some of its phases. Cicero says, 
Be Fin. iii. 4, 14 — Quonam modo, inquam, si una virtus, 
unum istud, quod honestum appellas, rectum, laudahUe, decorum 
— erit enim notius quale sit pluribus notatum vocabulis idem 
declarantibus. These ethical terms are closely united, nay, 
they blend together ; the true, the decorous, the right, and the 
pure, are but different aspects or exemplifications of one great 
principle, leaves on the same stem. The first four terms 
seem to be gathered together into apery] the two last — 
"lovely and of good report" — into hrawos. The true, the 
becoming, the right, and the pure are elements of virtue or 
moral excellence in themselves; but when exhibited in the 
living pursuit and practice of them, they assume the form of 
the lovely and well-reported, and then they merit and com- 
mand praise. In still closer connection, the apostle enjoins — 
(Ver. 9.) A A /cal ifidOere, teal 7rap€\d/3eT€ t teal riKovaare, xal 
etSere iv ifjuoi, ravra irpdaaere — " which things also ye learned 
and received, and heard and saw in me, these things do." 
Bengel says, with his usual point — facit transitionem a gene- 
ralibus ad Paulina. By the pronoun a the apostle refers to 
things just enumerated and enforced, and not to other things 
yet and now to be spoken of. He does not write 8<ra, but a 
— giving precision and definiteness to his counsels. The first 
Kal, as Meyer remarks, is simply " also," the meaning being 
virtually " which things " — those of ver. 8 — " ye have also 
learned of me." The sentences, at the same time, are so far 
distinct as the concluding verbs of each indicate. The four 
verbs are simply connected by ical, and the meaning is not — 
which ye have as well learned as received, as in the recent 
version of Ewald — was ihr urie lerntet so annahmet wie hortet so 
sahet an mir. The four verbs are to be distinguished, for 
they are neither synonymous nor is the clause tautological. 
The first, ifjbddere, refers to instruction. Bom. xvi. 1 7 ; Col. 
i. 7. The next term, irapekdfiere, denotes the result of 
instruction, the appropriation of the knowledge conveyed, or 
the fact that they had assented to it or had embraced it. 
1 Cor. xv. 1; GaL i. 12; 1 Thess. ii. 13. They had been 
instructed, and they had accepted the instruction, and there- 
fore were they bound to abide by it. It is unwarranted in 
Grotius to find in ifiddere the sense of prima instituiio, and in 


irapeXafiere that of exactior doctrina. Hoelemann as ground- 
lessly refers the first verb to the genus, and the others to the 
species, though he admits that the structure of the verse does 
not favour his view. Eilliet, too, makes this distinction — son 
enseignement direct, navdava les instructions qyiil leur a trans- 
mises satis une forme quelconque — irapaXa/MfJava*. But more 
precisely — 

/cat ffKovaare teal elSere iv ifioi — " and heard and saw in 
me." The phrase iv ifioi is connected with both verbs. The 
apostle has referred to his public instructions, and now he 
concludes with his personal example. What they heard in 
connection with him is the report about him circulating in the 
church — the character which was usually given him. Chap, 
iii. 1 7. Calvin and some others suppose the " hearing " to 
refer to Paul's oral instructions in Philippi — les recits, as 
Eilliet writes ; but after the two preceding verbs this would 
be a needless repetition. Nor does it vaguely signify de me 
dbsente, as Hoelemann gives it "And saw in me" — what 
they had witnessed in his conduct and character. His appeal 
is as in 1 Thess. ii. 9-12. The two first verbs seem to refer 
to his official conduct, and the two last to his private demean- 
our. In connecting iv ifioi with rjKovaare as well as elSere, 
it is needless to resort to the supposition of a zeugma. Nor 
is there any use in supposing, with Eilliet and van Hengel, 
that iv ifioi belongs equally and formally to all the four 
verbs. And the charge is — 

raura irpdaaere — " these things practise." It is not simply 
now — 1wyi£eo'0e. Chrysostom says — fiif \eyere fiovov, aWa 
teal irpaTTere, but no contrast of this nature is intended, for 
the one term includes the other. Meyer supposes that there 
is a kind of formal parallelism — that both verbs really belong 
to both verses. Eom. x. 10. Perhaps this is too refined. 
The apostle first enumerates the things possessed of certain 
specified qualities, and bids his readers think on them, for a 
mindless obedience would be accidental, and therefore worth- 
less. But then he connects the previous general statement 
with his personal instructions, and their received tuition ; nay, 
embodies it in his own character, and therefore he boldly 
bids them reproduce his lessons and example in their own 
experience and life. The four verbs are a species of climax : 




— ifiAOere, TrapeXdfiere, r}/eov<raT€, elBere — "ye learned,' 
more general; "ye took up," more pointed; "ye heard, 
more personal; "ye saw in me," decided and definite. It 
is not simply Paul the teacher, but Paul the man, how he 
was reported of, nay, how he demeaned himself. It is not, 
do as I taught you, but also do as ye heard of me doing and 
saw me doing, in reference to all the elements of virtue and 
praise. And then — 

kclI 6 0eo9 rrfc elprjirq? earai fieff vyJav — " and then," or 
" and so the God of peace shall be with you." The meaning 
of teal is as in the beginning of verse 7. The phrase God 
of peace is parallel to the preceding one — peace of God. In 
the former case the peace is described in its connection with 
God, and now God is pointed out as the inworker of this 
peace. It characterizes Him, and in this aspect belongs to 
what Scheuerlein calls die dominirenden Eigenschaften, p. 115. 
The phrase " God of peace " must not be weakened into Deus 
benignissimus. The words fieff ifi&p resemble a common 
expression in the Old Testament — MB& To specify any 
single purpose which the presence of the God of peace with 
them should accomplish is useless and restricted, for He will 
work out every purpose—- cwepybs t&v Show. The presence 
and operations of the God of peace are like the peace of God 
— they pass all understanding. And this sounds like the 
apostle's farewell — a pledge of peace to those who were aiming 
at the high Christian excellence described in the two previous 
verses, in whom the faith of the gospel had wrought a change 
which might ripen at length into the perfection of ethical 
symmetry and beauty. 

(Ver. 10.) *Exdpr)v Bk iv Kvpito fieyaX&s — " But I rejoiced 
in the Lord greatly." The apostle with the metabatic Si passes 
to the business part of the letter — a personal subject which 
seems to have in part suggested the composition of the epistle. 
A gift had been brought to him, and he acknowledges it 
The style of acknowledgment is quite like himself. In the 
fulness of his heart he first pours out a variety of suggestive 
and momentous counsels, and towards the conclusion he adds 
a passing word on the boon which Epapbroditus had brought 
him. He rejoiced over the gift in no selfish spirit ; his joy 
was iv Kvpup, in the Lord, iii. 1, iv. 1. That is to say, his 


was a Christian gladness. The gift was contributed in the 
Lord, and in a like spirit he exulted in the reception of it 
It was a proof to him, not simply that personally he was not 
forgotten, but also that his converts still realized their special 
and tender obligations to him as their spiritual father. And 
his joy was rapturous — fieyd\a><i. 1 Chron. xxix. 9 — ev<f)pdv0r) 
fieyaXcos. Neh. xii. 43 — o Oeo? r)v<f>pavev avrov? /jieydXcos. 
In the past tense of the verb, the apostle refers to his emotion 
when he first touched the gift, and for the form ix<*py v see 
Buttmann, § 114. 

The apostle now uses expressive phraseology; the figure 
being suggested not by the season of the year at which the 
gift was sent, as Bengel's fancy is, but the thought in its 
freshness budded into poetry — 

oti fjhq work avedakere rb xnrkp ifiov <f>pov£iv — " that now at 
length ye have flourished again in mindfulness for me.*' The 
language implies that some time had elapsed since the state 
expressed by the first verb had been previously witnessed. 
The interval may have exceeded five years, and Chrysostom, 
specifying it as ftatcpov, thinks, without foundation, that 
the clause implies a rebuke. The ttotS throws a shade of 
indefiniteness over the rj&rj. Devarius, Klotz, vol. ii. p. 607 ; 
Kypke, ad Bom. i. 10, The apostle does not deny the exist- 
ence of the (ppovelv at any moment ; he simply hints that for 
some time it had not been in a fertile or productive state. The 
churches of Macedonia are highly praised for their liberality. 
2 Cor. viiL 1, 2. We take the infinitive Qpoveiv as simply 
dependent upon aveddXere used in an intransitive sense, and 
to irrrep ifiov as its object. 

There is indeed no grammatical objection to the transitive 
meaning. The word is found only here in the New Testament; 
but in the Hellenistic Greek of the Septuagint and Apocrypha 
it occurs often with the transitive sense. Ezek. xvii. 24; 
Sirach i. 18 ; xi. 22 ; L 10. It is taken in this sense here by 
Cocceius, Hoelemann, Eilliet, and De Wette. It is difficult to 
render the sentence literally into English. In their care of 
the apostle they had put forth new shoots ; they had been as 
a tree which had been bare and blossomless in winter, but 
they had grown green again and had yielded fruit ; for this 
last idea is implied in the context. The transitive form pf 



the verb would preserve the notion of activity or conscious 
effort on their pajrt, as one source of the apostle's joy. On the 
other hand, many, perhaps the majority, prefer the passive 
signification, adopted by the Greek expositors and many others. 
Thus Chrysostom— inl hevhptov /Shxarrfaavrcop, elra ffypav- 
Okvrtov, koX irakiv f$\aoTr)GavT(ov. The word occurs with 
this signification in Ps. xxviii. 7 ; Wisd. iv. 4. Thus we 
may either speak of a tree revived, or a tree putting forth its 
buds and foliage. Wiesinger objects to the transitive sense, 
because avadaXkeiv is represented as not having been depen- 
dent on the will of the Philippians. But this is to press the 
figure too hardly, and to destroy the merit of the gift. The 
apostle's idea is — that the season had been inclement, and 
that during its continuance they could not flourish in their 
care of him, though they greatly desired it. Their bud had 
been nipped, but revirescence had begun. Meyer, objecting 
to the transitive sense, holds that to tnrep ifiov tyovelv is 
not the object of aveOdkere, and that the verb is simply con- 
nected with the infinitive <f>poveiv. But in his opinion, they 
flourished green again, not in their care for the apostle, which 
had never withered, but in their own temporal circumstances. 
In this view he had been preceded by Schleusner, Wahl, 
Matthies, and van Hengel, who says — ut PhMppenses ad 
priscam prosperHafem rediise significaret. The idea, however, 
is not supported by the context — they did care, the apostle 
affirms, but they wanted opportunity, not ability. He there- 
fore seems to say, that their care of him had been for a time 
like sap and life in the veins of a tree, but an inclement 
season had prevented it from forming foliage and blossom. 

i<f> o) /cal typovetre. What is the proper meaning of ifi $ ? 
We cannot, with Calvin, Rilliet, and Bretschneider, make fiov 
the antecedent, or supply to & the name of the apostle — erga 
quern — the formula being invariably used by the apostle in 
the neuter gender. Various other renderings have been given. 
Thus De Wette— -qua de re; a-Lapide, in qua re; while 
others make it in quo, in respect of which. Not a few con- 
tend for an adverbial signification, the Vulgate having sicut, 
and van Hengel quemadmodum, Luther uriewohl, and Winer 
weshalb. To give to i<f> $ the entire clause as antecedent 
would, as Meyer and Wiesinger say, bring out this strange 

philippians rv. 10. 263 

collocation — efypovelre iirl t$ to wrkp ifiov <f>povelu ; yet 
Wiesinger inclines to adopt it, and he is followed by Ellicott. 
Wiesinger gives <f>povdp a somewhat different sense in the 
two clauses, and says — "Could not the apostle, while he 
regarded the first <ppovelv as a proof of their solicitude for 
him, say with perfect propriety, such an actual fare for me 
was the object of your care ? " that is, you were solicitous to 
show or prove your solicitude. But this construction does 
appear clumsy and illogical. The phrase e</>' c5 might indeed 
be taken in an adverbial sense, might be rendered " for," or 
propterea quod. Bom. v. 12; 2 Cor. v. 4. Thus Thomas 
Magister — e$ $, dvrl Bion. See also Phavorinus — i<f? $, 
ami tov Ziotl. See under iii. 12, p. 194. See also Meyer, 
Fritzsche, Philippi, and Olshausen on Bom. v. 12. It might 
then be rendered — "I rejoiced that you have flourished 
again in your care for me, because indeed ye were caring for 
me, but ye lacked opportunity." But perhaps the phrase 
to xnrlp ifiov <f>pov€lv is best resolved, as we have said, by 
taking to trrrkp ifiov as the object of the verb, and regard- 
ing it as meaning " my interest ; " and then to xrrrep ifiov 
becomes the antecedent to i<j> $ — " for which," that is, for 
my interest, or as to what specially befits me, ye were also 
mindful. The cause of his joy was not their care for him in 
itself — that had never been absent, as he says ; but he rejoiced 
that it had found renewed opportunity of manifestation. 
QaXkeiv could once be predicated of their solicitude, as when 
they sent once and again to Thessalonica to his necessities ; 
but the season became unpropitious. What made it so we 
know not — probably the distance of the apostle from them ; 
or perhaps they thought that other churches should take upon 
them the obligation. Their solicitude was during all this 
period still in existence, but OdXkeiv could not be predicated 
of it — they were unproductive. But now they burst into 
verdure, and the apostle says to them aveOaXere — ye came 
into leaf again. They were not to suppose that he censured 
them for forgetting him; and lest his language should be 
so misconstrued, he adds — for my interest ye were also mind- 
ful The contrast, then, lies between the simple imperfect 
i<f>poveiT€ — the care of him being all the while present — and 
the dveddXere <f>pov€iv, a new and flourishing manifestation of 


it. The apostle, in a word, does not joy over the existence of 
their care, for of its existence he had never doubted, but over 
its second spring. Meyer thinks that the omission of yAv 
after typovelre gives emphasis to the contrast For examples 
of the opposite — of \iAv without 84 — see Acts L 1, iv. 16. 

rjfccupeiaOe Be — "but ye lacked opportunity." The verb 
belongs to the later Greek. Phryn. Lobeck, p. 125. It occurs 
only here in the New Testament; a/caipw; is used in 2 Tim. 
iv. 2 ; but the opposite compound ev/eaipelv and its substantive 
and adjective are found several times. The phrase may mean 
more than opportunitas mittendi — ye would, but ye could not 
find an opportune period or occasion. Circumstances were 
unpropitious, but we have no means of discovering the actual 
cause. So that the view of Ghrysostom cannot be sustained 
— ov/c et'xere iv ^epaiv. He says that this meaning which he 
gives the verb was a common one, derived from popular use 
— airo t^9 fcoivrj<; awr}6eia^. Theodore of Mopsuestia has the 
same view. As vain is it, on the part of Storr and Flatt, to 
refer the obstacle to Judaizing teachers. It may be remem- 
bered that one of the earliest fruits of the apostle's labours at 
Philippi was the kindness of hospitality. Lydia said, " Come 
into my house and abide there, and she constrained us." 
And the jailor even, when his heart had been touched, " took 
them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes " — 
"brought them into his house and set meat before them." 
Acts xvi. 15, 33, 34. If the mindfulness of the Philippian 
church resembled these specimens, the apostle could have no 
hesitation in saying — "ye were also careful, but ye lacked 

The apostle now with a peculiar delicacy guards himself 
against misconstruction. He might have referred to the lofty 
disinterestedness of his past life; to the fact that he had 
wrought with his own hands to supply his necessities ; that he 
had not been ashamed to stoop to the craft he had learned in 
youth, and earn by it a scanty subsistence — waiving in some 
cases the right which he had firmly vindicated, and based 
more on equity than generosity, that " they which preach the 
gospel should live of the gospel" 

(Ver. 11.) Ovxoti tcaO' varreprjaiv \eya> — "Not that I speak 
on account of want." The formula o\r% on, introducing an 


explanation, occurs in iii. 12, iv. 17 ; 2 Cor. i. 24; 2 Thess. 
iii. 9. Winer, § 64, 6. See under iii 12, p. 193. The Kara 
has the signification here which it has in various places, and 
denotes "occasion." Matt. xix. 3; Acts iii 17; Winer, 
§ 49, d, b, (b) ; Eobinson, sub voce ; Kaphei in loc. The Syriac 
has given it quite correctly — "I have not spoken because 
there is need to me," and Wycliffe — " I seie not as for nede." 
Van Hengel's care to give icard its ordinary meaning, " after 
the manner of," is superfluous — ut more receptum est penurice. 
Theophylact explains it by Sid. The two senses of the pre- 
position are intimately connected, the one suggesting and 
warranting the other. It was not the pressure of penury that 
prompted the apostle's joy, i^or yet the mere value of that sum 
sent to secure relief. He was in straits — the Eoman law 
allowed no luxury to its prisoners ; but he was excited to this 
utterance not by a sense of want, but by other motives of a 
■ higher and nobler nature. The gold and silver sent to him 
were not valued and made a matter of thanksgiving simply 
as the means of rescue from indigence, or as enabling him 
either to procure this comfort or to discharge that obligation. 
He rose above such a feeling, for to want he was no stranger, 
and he had learned contentment under all circumstances. At 
the saine time, as Wiesinger says, " he does not deny the fact 
of his being in want." But he received the gift as the symbol 
of spiritual good wrought in Philippi by his preaching, and 
the reception of it proving their tender attachment to him still, 
was all the more soothing and refreshing amidst the coldness 
and hostility which he was encountering at Eome. Chap, 
i 12, etc. He proceeds to give the great reason why it was 
that he had so spoken, but not for want's sake — 

iyi) yap epaOov, iv oh elfil, avriptcrj? elvai — u for I (for my 
part) have learned in the circumstances in which I am to be 
content." The epithet avrdptcrj? means self-sufficing, having 
within one what produces contentment The special idea of 
not being dependent on others is sometimes found in it, as 77-0X49 
avrdp/crfi, a city that does not need to import. Thucyd. i. 37. 
Perhaps, however, this idea is not formally connected with 
the word when used ethically, though still it may be implied. 
Wiesinger objects that this state of self-competence, or of not 
requiring the assistance of others, never can be learned. Now, 

266 PH1LIPPIANS IV. 11. 

surely there is no lesson more frequent : for the mind, as it is 
thrown upon its own resources, learns its strength, and becomes 
through such discipline its own support. The apostle was 
content, and that state of contentment was the result of a long 
and varied experience — e/xadov. He does not, by the use of 
this verb, refer, as Pelagius and Bengel imagine, to divinely- 
given instruction — " a Christo" Heb. v. 8. In the use and 
position of the iyd> t he gives prominence to his own individual 
training, and its result — "I for my part" The apostle 
learned contentment, but he does not say that he had created 
it within him. He had learned it in whatever way it could 
be acquired, and he cherished it. It was not self-infused, but 
experience had brought it to him. This was true philosophy, 
for discontent could not have removed the evil, and would only 
have embittered what little good remained. The captive may 
shake the chain, but as he cannot shake it off, his impatient 
effort only galls his limbs with aggravated severity. 

And that contentment was not an incidental state of mind, 
nor restricted to his present state, for he says — iv oh el/xi, " in 
the condition in which I am." The relative is neuter, and not 
masculine, as Luther renders it. Kypke, Observ. ii. p. 3 1 9. The 
right translation is not " in whatever state I may be," but " in 
whatever state I am" — realizing as present, not only each of the 
various states described in the following verse, but any state 
in which Providence might place him. The contentment 
which the apostle universally and uniformly possessed, sprang 
not from indifference, apathy, or desperation. It was riot 
sullen submission to his fate, not the death of hope within him. 
He felt what want was, and keenly felt it, and therefore he 
gladly accepted of relief, and rejoiced in all such manifesta- 
tions of Christian sympathy. Nor was he self-sufficient in 
the ordinary or the common sense of the term. It was no 
egotistic delusion that upheld him, nor did he ever invoke the 
storm to show that he could brave it. But his mind calmly 
bowed to the will of God in every condition in which he was 
placed. For that wondrous equanimity and cheerfulness 
which far excelled the stolid and stubborn endurance ascribed 
to heathen stoicism, gave him the mastery over circumstances. 
He felt the evil, but surmounted it — a purer triumph than 
with a petrified heart to be unconscious of it. Socrates in 


Stobceus, lib. v. § 43, is reported to have said — avrdprceia 
4>v<rem l<rn 7tXouto9. See Barrow's five sermons on this 
text. Jeremy Taylor, Holy Living, iv., with his wonted 
wealth of genius, writes : — " If your estate be lessened, you 
need the less to care who governs the province, whether he 
be rude or gentle. I am crossed in my journey, and yet I 
'scaped robbers ; and I consider, that if I had been set upon 
by villains, I would have redeemed that evil by this, which I 
now suffer, and have counted it a deliverance : or if I did fall 
into the hands of thieves, yet they did not steal my land. Or 
I am fallen into the hands of publicans and sequestrators, and 
they have taken all from me : what now ? let me look about 
me. They have left me the sun and moon, fire and water, a 
loving wife, and many friends to pity me, and some to relieve 
me, and I can still discourse ; and, unless I list, they have 
not taken away my merry countenance, and my cheerful 
spirit, and a good conscience: they still have left me the 
providence of God, and all the promises of the gospel, and 
my religion, and my hopes of heaven, and my charity to them 
too ; and still I sleep and digest, I eat and drink, I read and 
meditate, I can walk in my neighbour's pleasant fields, and 
see the varieties of natural beauties and delight in all that in 
which God delights, that is, in virtue and wisdom, in the 
whole creation, and in God Himself. And he that hath so 
many causes of joy, and so great, is very much in love with 
sorrow and peevishness, who loses all these pleasures, and 
chooses to sit down upon his little handful of thorns. Is that 
beast better, that hath two or three mountains to graze on, 
than the little bee that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon 
what falls every morning from the storehouses of heaven, 
clouds and Providence ? Can a man quench his thirst better 
out of a river than a full urn, or drink better from the fountain, 
which is finely paved with marble, than when it swells 
over the green turf? Pride and artificial gluttonies do but 
adulterate nature, making our diet healthless, our appetites 
impatient and unsatisfiable, and the taste mixed, fantastical, and 
meretricious. But that which we miscall poverty, is indeed 
nature : and its proportions are the just measures of a man, 
and the best instruments of content. But when we create 
needs that God or nature never made, we have erected to 

268 PH1LIPPIANS IV. 12. 

ourselves an infinite stock of trouble, that can have no period. 
Sempronius complained of want of clothes, and was much 
troubled for a new suit, being ashamed to appear in the 
theatre with his gown a little threadbare : but when he got 
it, and gave his old clothes to Codrus, the poor man was 
ravished with joy, and went and gave God thanks for his new 
purchase ; and Codrus was made richly fine and cheerfully 
warm by that which Sempronius was ashamed to wear ; and 
yet their natural needs were both alike." 

(Ver. 12.) OlSa teal rcnreivovaOai, 618a Kal irepiacreveiv — " I 
know also to be abased, I know also to abound." The Kal after 
the first olSa is accepted on preponderant authority, instead 
of the Se of the common text In olSa the apostle speaks not 
of the results, but of the sources of e/iadov. And that knowledge 
was not one-sided, or an acquaintance with only one aspect 
of life — Kal rairewowOai. The first Kal is " also," connecting 
special instances with the previous general statement. Winer, 
§ 53, 3. The verb here refers to condition, not to mental 
state. Lev. xxv. 39 ; Prov. xiii. 7 ; 2 Cor. xi. 7. Its opposite 
infrovadai is not employed, but another verb of a more general 
nature. For the apostle did not mean to mark such a narrow 
contrast as — " I know also to be elevated ; " but he writes 
Kal irepuTaeueiv. This second Kal, not in itself but from the 
sense, contrasts as it connects. The two verbs are not to 
be taken in any confined signification, but with a general 
sense as indicative of two opposite states ; the one marking 
depression and want, and the other sufficiency and more. 
The repetition of 6t8a exhibits the earnest fulness of his 
heart ; and the rhetoric is even a proof of his uniform satis- 
faction and complacency, for he writes as equably of the one 
condition as of the other. He does not curse his poverty, 
nor sting with satirical epithets, but he verifies the remark 
iv oh elfil. Nay, warming with his subject, he adds in higher 
es iravrl Kal iv iraaiv fJLefivrjjiai — " in everything and in all 
things I have been initiated." It seems a refinement on the 
part of many to define the two adjectives separately. Thus 
Luther takes the first as neuter, and the second as masculine ; 
Conybeare renders, " in all things, and among all men ; " while 
Chry80stom refers iravrl to time, and Beza and Calvin to place, 


following the reading of the Vulgate — ubique. To supply 
either yjpbvtp or tvt<P is too precise. 2 Cor. ix. 8, xL 6. The 
phrase, in its repetition, expresses the unlimited sphere of 
initiation. We cannot follow Meyer and Alford in connect- 
ing the phrase so closely with the two following infinitives. 
For if the infinitives stand as direct accusatives to ftejtvrifiai, 
then we should almost expect the definite article to precede 
them. Klihner, § 643. It is true that this verb usually 
governs two accusatives of person and thing, and in the 
passive has the latter, and that the thing into which one is 
initiated is put in the accusative, and not in the dative 
preceded by iv. But we do not regard the phrase as pointing 
out that in which he was instructed, but as an adverbial 
formula showing the universality of the initiation, and not 
its objects. Nay, opposites or extremes are chosen to show 
the warrant he had for the sweeping assertion — iv Trawl ical 
iv iraaiv. Nor do we, with Meyer, regard it as analogous to 
iv oh eifil, but simply as qualifying fiefiwjfiat, ; while the 
infinitives are generally illustrative of the entire clause, as 
well of the objects of initiation as of the universality. The 
verb is borrowed from the nomenclature of the Grecian 
mysteries, and signifies the learning of something with pre- 
paratory toil and discipline. Hesychius defines fjttvrjm by 
liAQri<n%. There is no idea of secret training — disciplina 
arcana, as Bengel puts it The Greek Fathers explain it by 
iretpav e\a/3ov irdvrmv ; but it is more than this, for it is not 
simply to have experience, but to have profited, or to have 
been instructed by that experience. 3 Maccabees ii. 30; 
Miinthe, Observat. p. 383. I am instructed — 

Kal 'XpprdZeaOat, zeal ireivav, teal veptaaeveiv zeal varepelaOat 
— u both to be filled and to be famished, both to abound and 
to be in want" Xoprd^co, literally to feed with hay or grass, 
represents the Hebrew V& in the Septuagint, and is a word 
of the later Greek in its application to persons. Sturz, De 
Dialecto Maced. pp. 200*202. It is used frequently in the 
Gospels. The peculiar form ireivav for ireivfjv also belongs 
to the later writers. Phryn. Lobeck, p. 6 1 ; A. Buttmann, 
p. 38 j 1 Winer, § 13, 3. tlepia-aevecv has its proper antithesis 

1 Grammatik der Netdest. Sprach. lm Anschlusse an Philip BvttmanriB Oriech. 
Qrammatik, yon Alex. Buttmann. Erste Abth. Berlin, 1857. 


in voTepeiaOai. The apostle's experience had led him to 
touch both extremes. It was not uniform penury under 
which he was content. The scene was checkered — shadow 
and sunshine — no unmanly depression in the one, no undue 
elation in the other. Equable, contented, patient, and hope- 
ful was he in every condition. The verbs employed by the 
apostle are e/xadov — olSa — fjuefivrjfjLai, but they do not form a 
climax, as some suppose. The first is general, and looks 
to experiential result, or the lesson of contentment How he 
came to that lesson he tells us in olSa, and how he acquired 
this knowledge he says in fiefivrjfiai. See Suicer, svb voce. 
There was first the initiation into the various states, then the 
consequent knowledge of their nature, and lastly, the great 
practical lesson of contentment which was learned under them. 
The apostle waxes yet bolder, and exclaims — 

(Ver. 13.) Hdvra layyto iv ra> ivBwafiovvri fie — " I can do 
all things in Him strengthening me." The XptarA in the 
Eeceived Text has in its favour D 8 , E, F, G, J, K, and the 
Syriac also, while some of the Fathers read XpiarQ 'Iyaov, 
and other forms occur, as in Origen and others. But the 
omission of the name has the higher authority of A, B, D 1 , 
with the Vulgate and others. The reference is unmistakeable, 
and the omission of the name gives a peculiar point to the 
starting declaration. It is wrong to insert an infinitive between 
lo-](y<D and irdvra, for irdvra is the accusative of object, as 
in Gal. v. 6, Jas. v. 16, in which places rt, and iro\v are 
similarly employed with irdvra. Wisd. xvi. 20. 1 Such an 
accusative expresses measure or extent — das Mass und die Aus- 
dehnung. Madvig, § 27. It is tOLspiritual might that the verb 
refers, and that might has no limitations. For irdvra (not ra 
irdvra) is not bounded by the preceding references, as van 
Hengel gives it in omnia rnemorata. Knowledge is power ; 
and the apostle rises from knowledge to power — tells what he 
knows, and then what he can achieve. It was no idle 
boast, for he refers at once to the source of this all-daring 
energy — 

, iv tg> ivSvvafiovvrl /*€. 2 Cor. xii. 9. The preposition iv 
marks the union through which this moral energy is enjoyed 

1 Wahl proposes to insert such an infinitive as the Latin ferre, and thereby 
also narrows unduly the meaniug of the verse. 


— " in Him strengthening me," that is, in His strength com- 
municated to me. Acts ix. 22 ; Eph. vi. 10 ; 1 Tim. i. 12 ; 
2 Tim. iv. 17 ; Heb. xi. 34. We have the simple form of the 
verb in Col. ill. Had we retained the term " inforce," with 
the same meaning as its common compound " re-inforce," we 
should have had a good and equivalent translation of the 
participle. Eichardson gives an instance from old English 
— "clasping their legges together, they inforce themselves 
with strength." The rendering of the Vulgate employs a verb 
from the same root — qui me confortat. The apostle boasts 
not only of a high courage in reference to such triumphs 
as he had achieved, and others of a similar class or nature, 
but he claims a moral omnipotence, and allows no limit to its 
sweep and energy. His allusion is probably, however, to a 
certain sphere of operation, such as that presented in outline in 
the previous verses. Where unassisted humanity should sink 
and be vanquished, he should prove his wondrous superiority. 
Privation, suffering, and martyrdom could not subdue him, 
and what might seem impracticable should be surmounted by 
him in his borrowed might. He could attempt all which duty 
required, and he could succeed in all ; for to him the epithet 
impossible, in an ethical aspect, had no existence. The verse 
is virtually climactic. After saying that he had learned con- 
tentment under every condition, and telling that he had known 
so many varieties and extremes of condition — it being implied 
that he was uninfluenced by any of them — he adds, in earnest 
and final summation — Not these alone, but all things I can do 
in Him strengthening me. It is also to be borne in mind 
that this ability came not from his commission as an apostle, 
but from his faith as a saint. The endowment was not of 
miracle, but of grace. 

(Ver. 14.) II\)fv feaXw hroi^a-are, <ruy/cot,vcow]<ravT€$ fiov 
ry dXisjret — " Howbeit ye did well in that ye had fellowship 
with my affliction." By checking himself and writing irXrjv, 
the apostle guards against a misinterpretation of what he had 
just uttered. See under i 18, iii 16. Though he had learned 
contentment in every situation, and his mind could accommo- 
date itself to every change of circumstances ; though he had 
fresh and inexhaustible sources of consolation within himself, 
and had been so disciplined as to acquire the mastery over his 

272 PHIL1PPIANS IV. 15. 

external condition and to achieve anything in Christ, yet he 
felt thankful for the sympathy of the Philippian church, and 
praised them for it His humanity was not absorbed in his 
apostleship, and his heart, though self-sufficed, was deeply 
moved by such tokens of affection. Notwithstanding what 
I feel and have said* and though I am not dependent for 
happiness on such gifts — " ye did well" For this common 
use of ica\a>9 see Mark vii. 9 ; Acts x. 33. The phrase 
/caXo)? iiroiTjaare is connected with the participle, and the 
action in the participle, while it is of the same time as the 
verb liroiyarare, points out that in which their well-doing 
was exhibited. They did well, when or in that they did 
this. Winer, § 45, 6, b. The same form of construction is 
found in Acts x. 33. Eisner, in loc.; Eaphelius, in loc. The 
participle presents the ethical view in which the apostle 
regarded their pecuniary gift, and avyfcoivcoveiv means " to be 
a partaker with." Eph. v. 11. They had become, through 
their substantial sympathy, partakers of his affliction, and 
in so far they had lightened his burden, for 0Xtyi9 depicts 
not simply his penury, but his entire state. See under i. 7, 17. 
Though he was contented, he yet felt that there was "affliction " 
— loss of liberty — jealous surveillance — inability to fulfil the 
great end of his apostolic vocation. This sympathy on the part 
of the Philippians with the suffering representative of Christ 
and His cause, is the very trait of character which the Judge 
selects for eulogy at last. Matt. xxv. 35, etc. The apostle 
proceeds to remind them that such intercourse was no novelty 
on their part. They had distinguished themselves above 
other churches for it and similar manifestations, and he has 
already given thanks to God eirl rfj kolvcovlcl v/jl&v. See L 5. 
How the church at a later period did communicate in tem- 
poral and spiritual things with the affliction of sufferers, may 
be seen in Tertullian's address ad Martyras} 

(Ver. 15.) OtSare Bk teal vfiefc, faXiirmfiaioi, on iv apyji tov 
evayyeXiov, ore i%rjk6ov airo MateeSovlas, ovSejtla pot i/acXTjcria 
iicoivdovrjaev eU \6yov Soaeco? kol Xipjrea)?, el fit) vfiel? fiovot — 

lr Thus he writes — Inter carnis alimenta, benedicti martyres designati, qua 
vobis et domina mater ecclesia de vberibus mis, et singuli fratres de opibus mis 
jpropriis in career em eubministrant, capite cUiquid et a nobis, quod/adat ad 
spirxtum quoque educandum. Vol. i. p. 8. Opera, ed. Oehler, 1853. 

• PHILIPPIANS IV. 15. 273 

" But you, Philippians, are also yourselves aware, that at the 
introduction of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no 
church communicated with me to account of gift and receipt, 
but you alone." Othare zeal ifieh is — " you know as well as 
I," and by Si the apostle goes back in contrast to previous 
gifts and services. The phrase cannot have the meaning 
which Peile inclines to give it — " of yourselves ye must 
remember." And in the fulness of his heart he names them. 
2 Cor. vi 11 ; GaL iii. 1. The insertion of the name is a 
peculiar emphasis, but it is not " my Philippians," as a term 
of endearment The phrase iv apx$ tov evcuyyeklov is 
— " in the beginning or introduction of the gospel " — the 
period when they received it, as the following clause 

The phrase efc \6yov Soo-eas teal Xi^rea? has been variously 
understood. The peculiar use of \0705 in verse 17 points to a 
similar sense here. There it denotes " to your account," or, to 
be included in such reckoning as belongs to you. Matt, xviii. 
23 ; Luke xvi 2. It therefore signifies here more than "in 
reference to," though Bengel, van Hengel, Lunemann, and 
Bruckner so regard it. As to the words S6<n,$ kclL Xijyfns, the 
earliest opinion was, that in the first term the apostle alludes 
to the temporal remuneration which the Philippians gave him, 
and by the second to the spiritual instruction which they in 
return received. So Chrysostom, CEcumenius, and Theophylact, 
the first of whom calls this intercommunication ek Xoyov 
Socrco)?, t&v aapickic&v, koX \ijy]rea><;, r&v iwevyjiTiK&v. The 
same exegesis is adopted by Pelagius and Calvin, Estius and 
a-Lapide, by Zanchius and Hammond, Wiesinger, Bisping, 
and Ellicott. It is true that the apostle in other places vindi- 
cates this reciprocal communication, affirms that the sowing 
of spiritual things warrants in equity the reaping of carnal 
things, and indicates the inferiority of a church that did not 
discharge this duty to its teachers — spiritualia dantes, tem- 
poralia accipientes. 1 Cor. ix. 1—15; 2 Cor. xi. 9, xii 13. 
But there does not seem to be any such allusion in the verse 
before us. The apostle is not conducting an argument as to 
the duty of the church, nor could the simple terms employed 
bear such a complex meaning. He alludes simply to the fact 
of communication, and not to its principles or obligation. 


Nor does he seem to hint at the spiritual good which he had 
effected among them. 

The same objections apply to a second form of explanation, 
adopted by Meyer and Alford: — the Philippians kept an 
account of outlay to Paul and receipt by him ; and so, on 
the other hand, the apostle kept an account of what was given 
to the Philippians and its receipt by them. But the idea of 
such reciprocity is not contained in the words ; for the entire 
context seems to refer simply to what the apostle received 
from the church. Meyer is obliged to confess, that according 
to his theory the accounts were curiously kept — that in the 
Philippian account-book the column of receivings would be 
empty, and so in that of Paul would be the column of givings 
— an idea which virtually destroys that of reciprocity. 
Meyer's explanation is well styled by Bruckner, nimis arti- 
ficiose. Nor, thirdly, should we look at the words so literally 
as to suppose hoais to refer to the Philippians who gave, and 
Xrjyfri^ to Paul who allowed himself to receive. Eheinwald 
reverses this order, and thinks while the Philippians gave the 
money, they also received from him similar gifts in return — 
gifts collected by the other churches. The Macedonian 
churches made liberal collections, but we do not tead that 
any were ever made for them. Others, again, have this notion 
— No church gave me a sum so large as to be worth entering 
in an account-book, but you. Thus Hoog 1 — tot tantaque erarU, 
ut digna essent, quart in libro notarentur. Probably we may 
regard the phrase as idiomatic, and as expressing generally 
pecuniary transactions. Thus Sirach xlii 7 — Soart,? teal \rpjn? 
iravra hr ypa<f>!) ; or Cicero — » ratio acceptorum et datorum. 
Zael. 16. See also Schoettgen, vol. L p. 804. No church 
entered into pecuniary reckonings with me, but yourselves. 
The apostle means of course gifts for himself, and not as when 
some churches had entrusted him with funds on behalf of the 
poorer saints. He is anxious still to show that the gift sent 
to Eome was no novelty, but that such intercourse between 
him and the Philippian church is of an old date, though it 
had been suspended for a season. He refers back to the 
introduction of the gospel among them, and more specifically — 
ore i^fjXdov curb MatceSovlas — " when I departed from 

1 Be Coetu8 Philip, conditione, etc., p. 95 ; Lugduni Batavorum, 1825. 


Macedonia." Many, like van Hengel, De Wette, and Wie- 
singer, are disposed to take the aorist as a pluperfect, — " after 
I had taken my departure from Macedonia." The reference 
is then supposed to be to the monies received by him at 
Corinth, alluded to in 2 Cor. xL 9. The aorist may have in 
some cases a pluperfect meaning. Winer, § 40, 5 ; Jelf, § 404. 1 
But we agree with Meyer that this supposition is needless. 
Wiesinger presents the difficulty — " Wherefore does the apostle 
mention in the next verse what is earlier in point of time ? " 
We believe the apostle to refer to two points of time, close 
indeed on one another — the introduction of the gospel, and his 
departure from Macedonia. As he was leaving their province 
and going away from them, they helped him. It may have been 
the remissness of the Thessalonian church which impressed 
the benefaction more deeply on his mind, or it may have been 
the circumstance that he bad got the gift as he was leaving 
the province ; or it may be that the period of his departure is 
fixed upon, since it was the commencement of a correspondence 
with him as a labourer in foreign stations — the first of a 
series of contributions sent him on his distant missionary 
tours, and when he had no longer a personal claim for 
immediate service rendered. So long as he was in their 
province he might feel himself to be at home with them. 
But to justify the expression the apostle recurs to an earlier 
period, even before he had left Macedonia, and says — 

(Ver. 16.) "On teal iv Qeao-aXovUg teal aira^ ical SI? eh rrjv 
Xpdav fioi iirifiTfraTe — " For even in Thessalonica both once 
and a second time ye sent to me for my necessity." Hoelemann, 
van Hengel, Eilliet, and others give on the sense of " that," 
and so connect it with oi&aTe; but the verse in that case 
would want a definite purpose, and the connection would be 
awkward and entangled. On the other hand, we take this 
verse, with Luther, Meyer, and others, as expressing an 
argument. The apostle reverts to a period earlier than his 
departure from the province, and says, that even in Thessalo- 
nica, and before he had gone from the province of Macedonia 
in which Thessalonica was situated, they more than once 
communicated with him. When labouring at Thessalonica, 

1 It is a strange feat of legerdemain that Pierce performs with this word — 
7<ri igfcfo is pnt for Ut At \£n)Jn 9 and that for «» Igixfapj. 


the apostle speaks thus of himself — "labouring night and 
day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you." 
1 Thess. il 9. And he says in his second epistle-t-iii. 8, 9 — 
" Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought, but wrought 
with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be 
chargeable to any of you ; not because we have not power, 
but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us." 
The sums sent from Philippi did not fully supply the need 
of the apostle, for he was still obliged to work; but it 
argued goodwill on the part of the Philippian church, and 
the apostle refers with gratitude to their liberality. Even in 
Thessalonica, a neighbouring city, which ought to have 
supported him, but where for several reasons he did not have 
support or rather refused to have it, the Philippian brethren 
had shown a noble spirit and sent to him. Not only when he 
left the province, but at a prior period they had shown their 
generous appreciation of his services, and sent what the 
apostle without any false delicacy names — efc rrjv ypelav fioi 
— " to my need " — a need they well understood, and sought 
to relieve. Els marks destination. Winer, § 49, a. This 
they did aira% teal 8k. The phrase represents in the Sep- 
tuagint different Hebrew formulas, such as DWp Dya, Neh. 
xiii. 20, or DpMTJgM, 1 Sam. iii. 10. The repetition of the 
conjunction teat — kcU gives a conscious force. Mark ix. 22 ; 
Bom. xiv. 9 ; 1 Thess. ii. 18 ; 1 Mace, iii 30 ; Hartung, 
p. 143. The use of both numerical terms is a rhetorical 
formula, in which the repetition is warmly dwelt on, and so 
acquires prominence. The similar phrase Si? /cal rpk occurs 
also in the classics, as in Herodotus ii. 121. But the language 
does not warrant us to suppose with Michaelis that the Philip- 
pians sent to the apostle an " annual bounty." The ical be- 
fore iv OeaaaXoviicr) signifies even, etiam. Hartung, i. 135. 
Chrysostom's explanation of the ical is, that it insinuates the 
importance of Thessalonica : even in such a great city — iv ry 
fiT)Tpo7roX€c — he was supported by the Christians of a smaller 
one. The verb iTre^are has no formal accusative — it being 
supplied by the sense of the clause. Acts xi. 29. The words 
iv SeaaaKovltcQ occur by a common idiom. It is somewhat 
tame to connect them with jioi — " to me being in Thessalonica 
ye sent." This is indeed the sense, but the apostle more 


pregnantly expresses it His shade of meaning is not merely 
that they had sent the gift into Thessalonica, but that 
the deputies had travelled into Thessalonica, and in it had 
fonnd the apostle, and had put into his hands the liberality of 
the Philippian church. \Ei> is not used for e&. Winer, § 50, 
4, a; Thucydides, iv. 14. The various readings of the verse 
are eh omitted in A, D 1 , E 2 , as well as in the Syriac — an 
omission probably caused through the similar final letters (t?) 
of the preceding word ; and fioi is the true reading in opposi- 
tion to fiov, which has only a few inferior authorities. Chry- 
sostom's remark is finical, — the apostle does not say ras ifid? 
— my wants, but speaks absolutely, a7r\<J>?. The apostle is 
jealous lest this free-speaking should be misunderstood, lest 
he should be supposed to rate the contribution only at its 
money value, and perhaps, too, lest his thankfulness for past 
benefactions should be construed into a quiet hint that future 
and larger favours are expected by him. Such a misinterpre- 
tation he at once disclaims — 

(Ver. 17.) Ovx #™ i7rt%qr& to Sofia — " Not that I seek for 
the gift " — that is, not precisely the gift he had got, but such 
a gift as that on which he had been commenting, and for 
which he had so earnestly thanked them. The compound 
verb denotes desire towards — iirt marking direction. See 
p. 17. It is useless, on the part of Bosenmuller and Am 
Ende, to say that Sofia stands for Soct?. The gift in itself 
excited no desire. The apostle uses the present tense, as 
Meyer says, to denote the usual and characteristic tendency 
of his mind, but perhaps also to show that, even at the present 
moment, and when a prisoner in need, and debarred also from 
the slight remuneration of a manual employment, he does not 
set his heart upon the gift for itself. In receiving the gift, 
and eulogizing them for it, there is something he intimates 
as higher than it — something he desires of nobler interest 
Ovx or* is the same as in verse 11. See also iii. 12. The 
unselfish soul of the apostle looked not to its " own things ; " 
it could willingly " endure all things for the elect's sake ; " 
" not yours, but you," was its motto — 

dXX' iirt£7jT& rbv Kapirbv rbv irKeovd^ovra eh \oyov v/mov — 
" but I seek for the fruit that does abound to your account." 
The repetition of the verb adds a certain emphasis — my heart 


278 PHIL1PPIANS IV. 17, 

is not set upon that, but my heart is set upon this. Similar 
repetition may be found, Eph. ii. 17, 19 ; Kom. viii. 15 ; 
Heb. xii 18, 22. The substantive Kapjros is not fruit gene- 
rally, as many understand, or as Eilliet phrases it — "fruits 
de vie religieuse" It is plainly, fruit as future recompense 
connected with the Sofia. It is not the gift he covets, but 
that rich spiritual blessing which the gift secures to its donor. 
The words eh Xcryov ifi&v may be connected either with 
iirifrTO), or the participle ifKeova^ovra. In behalf of the 
former, it is urged by van Hengel that irXeovd^eo is never in 
Paul's writing followed by efc. The statement is scarcely 
correct We cannot indeed say, with Meyer, that 2 Thess. i. 3 
is an exception to van Hengel's remark, for there we think 
€4? aXkqkov? is evidently connected with epo? etcdarov irdvrav 
— the intensive phrase, " each one of you all," demands the 
filling up ek aWqXovs. Similar is 1 Thess. iii 12. In other 
instances it is used intransitively, and without any comple- 
ment, so that the non-occurrence ot irXeovdfa with efc will not 
invalidate the proposed connection here — a connection which 
is at once natural and logical The very phrase — top icapirbv 
top irkeovd^ovra — seems to necessitate such a complement as 
ek Xoyov vfi&p — an idiom which evidently bases itself on the 
previous et? Xoyov So<rea>?. This suggests that the first phrase 
has special reference to the apostle's giving and receiving, 
reckoned or put down by him to his own account ; but he 
wishes the fruit that abounds to their account. The xapiros 
is their fruit springing from the Sofia and put down to the 
donor's credit The apostle wished them to reap the growing 
spiritual interest of their generous expenditure. Not for his 
own sake but theirs, does he desire the gift He knew that 
the state of mind which devised and contributed such a gift, 
was blessed in itself ; that it must attract divine blessing, for 
it indicated the depth and amount of spiritual good which the 
apostle had done to them, and for which they thus expressed 
their gratitude ; and it showed their sympathy with the cause of 
Christ, when they had sought to enable their spiritual Founder 
in former days to give his whole time, without distraction or 
physical exhaustion, to the work of his apostleship. This was 
a spiritual condition which could not but meet with the divine 
approbation, and secure the divine reward. Having, in the 


words following oir% otc, not only guarded himself against 
misconstruction, but also given a positive revelation of his feel- 
ings, he proceeds again to the course of thought found in verses 
14, 15, 16. He thanks them for their gift, assures them that 
he has not forgotten their previous kindness, in doing which 
they stood alone among the churches at the time, and which 
they commenced at an early period. And now, as the result 
of their last benefaction, he says — 

(Ver. 18.) *Airky<o Se irdma teal Trepuraevco — -"But I have all 
things, and I abpund." The particle Be is closely allied to the 
17th verse — " not that I desire a gift — but I am so well gifted, 
that I can say I have alL" It may also resume the sentiment 
of verse 14, and be illustrative of the words tuiKm hroiyaaTe 
— " ye did well," for the result is, " I have alL" If Meyer's 
view be adopted, that this verse has a connection only with the 
preceding one, it would suppose the apostle to give a second 
and subsidiary reason why he did not desire the gift Now he 
has given the real reason in the second clause of the previous 
verse ; and this clause cannot be an additional reason, unless 
the meaning of the phrase — "not that I desire the gift" — be, 
not that I desire any further gift. But such is not its precise 
meaning, and therefore we understand him to say — ye did 
well in communicating: well; but now I have all things, 
and abound — Si suggested by the statement in the imme- 
diately previous verse. A strange view is entertained of the 
phrase airexjco 8k iravra by Erasmus, Grotius, Beza, a-Lapide, 
and others, as if it were a form of receipt, acknowledging on 
his part the possession of the whole gift The marginal read-- 
ing of our version is — " I have received all." It is a dull 
remark of Bloomfield — " anrk\a> is for e^o>," corrected in his 
"Supplemental Volume" thus — "It is rightly rendered by 
accept, or acceptum teneo." The groundlessness of this view 
is shown by the close connection of airex<o with irspuraewo, 
for the apostle speaks not of the possession as a matter of 
acknowledgment, but as a matter of conscious enjoyment. 
The result of their gift was, that he had enough and to spare. 
The compound verb inr&xto is to have in full, or to have all 
one needs or expects. Winer, § 40, 4 ; Palairet, ad Matt vL 
5 ; Observat. p. 25. Thus, in the impersonal form atckx* 1 — 
" it suffices," and Hesychius defines it by igap/ceZ But the 




280 PHILIPPIANS iv. is. 

apostle had not only enough, he had more than enough — 
teal Trepurcrevoj, " and I abound." The verb is used absolutely, 
without any complement, as in verse 12. The gift more than 
sufficed for all the apostle's wants. As he was rich in his own 
contentment, he was easily satisfied with pecuniary bene- 
factions, and he does not for a moment balance the amount 
of the gift either against his own claims, or against their 
ability or resources. He took it cheerfully, and blessed them 
for it ; for it was to him a relief, nay, a portion of it was a 
present superfluity. He says — aireya^, irepuraewo. He adds 
in climax — 

ireirXriptofMu — "I have been filled." The verb is used 
absolutely, and not the less intensely on that account How 
he had been filled, the apostle next declares — 

Begdfievos irapa 'Eira^ppoSirov rh irap vyJav — " having 
received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you." The 
words iraph 'EwcufrpoSlrov are omitted in A ; D 1 , E 1 read to, 
and insert ire^div ; while F and G have irefi<f>0ivra ; the 

Vulgate quce misistis; so the Syriac v o2ili>> an( ^ Wycliffe 

"which ye senten." By the preposition wapd the apostle 
characterizes the gift in a double but similar relationship, 
" from Epaphroditus " — " from you." The participle, while 
it exhibits the ground of the fulness, defines also its time. 
But he at once rises above the human aspect of the transaction. 
It was a donation made by the Philippians to him, but it had 
another and loftier phase. It was, while presented to him, 
an offering also to God ; while it was hailed by him, it was 
acceptable to God. He thanked them for the gift, but God 
delighted in the oblation — 

oapijy ev&Stas — " an odour of a sweet smell." The genitive 
is not used for the adjective cikoSt)?. Winer, § 34, ft, 1 note. 
The phrase represents the rrtn'o C 1 *?. of the Levitical statute. 
The accusative Q<rp,r\v is in apposition with the previous 
ra trap' vfi&v — the same contribution in its two aspects. By 
this clause in apposition the apostle expresses an opinion of 
the gift. Ellicott objects, that the " apposition is not to the 
verbal action contained in the sentence." It may not, nor is 
it necessary, for it is the gift as brought from them, to 

3 Moulton's Winer, p. 297, note 4. 


himself in his need, which the apostle characterizes by 
oarjirjv etmhia?. The apostle does not, and could not say, he 
received it as a sacrifice, yet the things received were in his 
judgment a sacrifice. It was a gift in which God delighted, 
fragrant as the sweet-smelling incense which burned in the 
censer. Eph. v. 2. More plainly — 

Ova lav h&cTrjv, evdpearov t$ Oe<p — " a sacrifice acceptable, 
well-pleasing to God." The dative t$ Ge& belongs to the 
two adjectives. In using Ovtrca the apostle employs a strong 
term in a figurative sense. The word originally designated 
a victim, an animal slain and offered to God. As to its 
secondary sense, see Rom. xii 1; Heb. xiiL 15, 16; 1 Pet. 
il 5, and in this epistle, ii. 17. The two adjectives express 
generally the same idea. Isa. lvi 7. Their benefaction is 
thus set out by the apostle in the aspect of a sacrifice. The 
idea of a spiritual or figurative sacrifice is found in the Old 
Testament, and was the result of a natural development of 
ideas and associations. The Levitical statute prescribed 
certain offerings on the altar, but the primary notion was 
always presentation to God. The first-fruits and the victim 
were given to God, in token that originally they are His. 
The worshipper took them from his fields, and they were his 
in a lower sense, but the presentation was an acknowledgment 
that they were also his in a higher sense. Consecration to 
God of what was theirs through His bounty was apart from 
the idea of expiation, the central conception. And that con* 
ception naturally extended beyond the legal ceremonial, and 
sprang up with peculiar freshness under the New Testament 
It was felt that God is supreme benefactor, and that all pos- 
sessions are His gracious gift ; that these have an end beyond 
the mere personal enjoyment of them; that they may and 
ought to be employed in God's service ; and that the spirit of 
such employment is the entire dedication of them to Him. 
Thus the apostle has spoken of the sacrifice of their faith, 
ii. 17, and elsewhere of the "sacrifice of praise." Heb. xiiL 
15. Beneficence is also a sacrifice. Heb. xiii. 16. The 
Gentile believers are an "offering." Rom. xv. 16. Their 
"bodies" are a "living sacrifice." Eom. xii. 1. The "holy 
priesthood " present " spiritual sacrifices." 1 Pet. ii. 5. There 
were, as Hammond remarks, two altars in the Jewish temple. 


the altar of incense and the altar of burnt-offering, and " on 
these two were offered all things that were offered to God." 
A figure uniting both is found here. In the case before us, 
the apostle, by the use of this sacrificial language, teaches 
that the Philippians had been discharging a religious duty. 
The money, while contributed to him, was offered to God. 
It was not simply a token of friendship, an act of common 
generosity, or opportune aid to a friendless prisoner ; but the 
remittance was an offering to Him " whose is the silver and 
whose is the gold," in token of their thankfulness to Him 
by whom the apostle's steps had been directed to Philippi, 
and by whose blessing his labours and sufferings had been 
productive of so many and so permanent benefits. They 
discharged a spiritual function in doing a secular act — " the 
altar sanctifieth the gift" And the acceptance of the sacrifice 
would bring down rich compensative blessing, for the apostle 
thus promises — 

(Ver. 19.) 'O Si ©eo? fiov irXrjpcoaei ircUrav %pelav ifi&v — 
"But my God shall supply all your need." The reading 
TrXrjpaxrcu in the aorist optative is not sufficiently supported, 
and is evidently an exegetical emendation. By the particle 
Si the apostle passes not to a different theme, but to a differ- 
ent feature or aspect of it The idea of Hoelemann presses 
too far — quemadmodwm, vos. In the phrase " my God," 
emphatic from its position, the apostle does not merely express 
his own relationship to God, as in i. 3, but he means his 
readers to infer this idea — this God who accepts your sacrifice 
is " my God ; " and * my God," so honoured and so pleased 
with your gift to me, will supply all your need. I who receive 
your contribution can only thank you, but my God who 
accepts the sacrifice will nobly reward you. You have supplied 
one element of my need — eh rijv j(pelav pot, but my God will 
supply every need of yours — iraarav yjpdav vp&v. I have been 
filled, he says in verse 18 — ireTrkqp&ficu, and God, my God, 
will in turn fiH all your need — ir\qpdatrev. Chrysostom notices, 
in his comment, a different reading, yapiv or x a P* v > but does 
not adopt it. The apostle uses the simple future, as if he 
pledged himself for God ; for he felt most assured, that God 
as his God would act as he promised in His name. 

It is surely a limited view, on the part of Chrysostom and 


many modern commentators, to confine the meaning of the 
noun to bodily necessities — u He blesses them that they may 
abound to have wherewith to sow. . . . For it is not unseemly 
to pray for sufficiency and plenty for those who thus use them." 
It would be rash and wrong to exclude this idea, for God has 
many ways of temporally rewarding liberality displayed in His 
cause, though certainly no one can expect the blessing who 
gives with such a selfish calculation and motive, and tries to 
traffic with God in the hope of' receiving a high interest or 
return. It is as restricted, on the other hand, to refer the 
promise solely to spiritual need. Thus Eilliet bases his argu- 
ment on the occurrence of the term 7rXoi>ro9,as if it uniformly 
referred to spiritual blessings. But in the citations made by 
him tt\o5to9 has its meaning modified by a following geni- 
tive, or as in Rom. x. 12, where the participle is used, the 
context limits and explains the signification. The usage 
therefore forms no argument why XP 6 " 1 ^ ere should apply 
exclusively to spiritual necessity, especially when it is uni- 
versalized by iraarav. It is true that %pe/a is used of bodily 
need in the context, and this is generally its sense in the 
classics ; and no wonder, for the heathen could scarcely know 
of any other. But the apostle, as if to show that he meant 
more than physical necessity, adds, « according to His riches 
in glory " — language, one would think, too noble to be dwarfed 
into a description of the source of mere pecuniary compensa- 
tion. While we agree with Meyer in giving this broad sense 
to wao-av xpetav, we cannot accede to his view that such 
supply is to be received only in the future kingdom of 
Messiah ; for we hold that even now the promise is realized. 
The loving-kindness of God surrounds and blesses His people 
who are so interested in His cause, implanting every absent 
grace, giving health and power to every grace already im- 
planted. The very appreciation, on the part of the Philippian 
church, of the apostle's position, labours, and relations, implied 
the existence of a genuine piety among them, which God 
would foster by his Spirit, while He blessed them at the same 
time "in their basket and store." Wiesinger well asks — 
" If the apostle says of himself ireirXqp&pun,, why should he 
in TrXrjpdxrei refer his readers to the day of the second coming 
for the supply of their every want ? He does not do this in 


2 Cor. ix. 8 ; and the Lord Himself does not refer His people 
to a period beyond the present life for the supply of their 
every want" Matt vi. 33. Mark x. 29, 30. 

Karh to irkovro? avrov iv Solfa iv Xptarip 'JiycoS — ''ac- 
cording to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." The neuter 
form to ttXoSto? is preferred to the masculine on the authority 
of A, B, D 1 , F, 6, etc. The mode or measure of supply is 
indicated by Kara to ttXovto?. According to their " deep " 
poverty they might supply his need, but God according to His 
riches would supply all their need. The connection of the 
next words iv Sofyis attended with some difficulty. Grotius, 
Eheinwald, Heinrichs, Matt, Storr, and Baumgarten-Crusius 
join them to the preceding ttXoOtos, as if they indicated in 
what this glory consisted, or as if it were " according to His 
riches of glory," or tcarh to ttXoSto? rrjs Sofgs. It is objected 
to this that such a construction with iv is never employed by 
thd apostle, but always the genitive of the object. Rom. ii 4, 
ix. 23; Eph. i. 7, 18, ii. 7, iii. 16; Col. i. 27, ii 2. If 
separated then from to ttXoi/to?, the phrase may denote either 
that by which the action of the verb is realized, or the manner 
in which that action is performed. Meyer takes the former 
view, which is quite consistent with his theory, which refers 
the supply to the glory to be awarded at the second coming. 
The verb in Eph. v. 18 is followed by iv, with special refer- 
ence to the Spirit, and sometimes the simple dative is em- 
ployed. But believing that %peia comprehends temporal need, 
we cannot see how glory could be used as an adequate term 
for its supply. Nor indeed could the term be used in any 
sense for supply of want — grace being the word more usually 
employed. Glory is not on earth the means of supply — it 
results from this supply, but is not its material. Therefore 
we take iv &6%y not as the complement — " with glory," as 
Ellicott takes it, but as a modal qualification — " in a glorious 
way." Such is the view of van Hengel, Hoelemann, and 
Killiet. He will supply every want in glory — like Himself 
— not grudgingly or with a pittance, but with divine gene- 
rosity. And He would do this as He does all things — 

iv Xpiar£ 'Iycrou — "in Christ Jesus." This designates 
the sphere of God's action. In Christ Jesus will He supply 
their wants, or from the fulness in Him, His merit and 


mediation being the ground of it. What a glorious promise 
for the apostle to make on God's behalf to them . — a perfect 
supply for every want of body or soul, for time or eternity, 
for earth or heaven. If man is but a mass of wants, wants 
for this world and wants for the world to come, and if God 
alone can supply them, what confidence should not such a 
pledge produce ? Is it physical fare ? — He heareth " the 
young ravens " when they cry. Is it the forgiveness of sin ? 
— He " delighteth in mercy." Is it purification of soul ? — 
His Spirit produces His own image. Is it courage ? — He is 
* Jehovah-Nissi." Is it enlightenment? — His words are, 
" I will instruct thee." Is it the hope of glory ? — Then it is, 
" Christ in you." Is it preparation for heaven ? — He makes 
" us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in 
light" Is it contentment in any circumstance ? — All things 
may be done in the strength of Christ. Nor was it rash in 
Paul to make such a promise, nor did he exceed his commission. 
He did not speak without a warrant. He knew the character 
of his God, and did not take his name in vain, for his varied 
and prolonged experience had fully informed him, and he was 
assured that the state of heart in the Philippian church must 
attract towards it the blessing. Would God resile from His 
servant's pledge, or act as if in thus vouching for Him he 
had taken too much upon him ? The idea of his close and 
tender relationship to God as his God, and his assurance that 
the promise made in His name would be realized ; the thought 
of such a promise, so ample in its sweep, and so glorious in 
its fulfilment, with the idea that all whether pledged or 
enjoyed is of God the Giver, suggest the brief doxology of 
the following verse — 

(Ver. 20.) T<p Bk &e$ teal liar pi f\yAav fj h6%a m rote 
al&va* r&v alwvwv. 'Aftqv — " Now to God and our Father be 
glory for ever and ever. Amen." The apostle does not mean 
by this glorification to conclude ; it bursts from the fulness of 
his heart, as in Bom. xL 36 ; GaL L 5 ; Eph. iii. 21 ; 1 Tim. 
L 17; 2 Tim. iv. 18. 'O Geo? xal 6 Uamip forms one 
distinctive and complete title, followed sometimes by a 
genitive, as here and in GaL L 4 For the meaning of the 
last intensive phrase, and generally of the whole verse, see 
under Eph. iii. 21. The optative elij may be supplied to 


ho%a, which has the article specifying it as the glory which 
especially and characteristically is God's. Bom. xL 36, 
xvi. 27; Gal. i. 5 ; Eph. iii. 21; 2 Tim. iv. 18; Heb. xiii. 
21 ; 2 Pet. iii. 18. The last phrase — "to the ages of the 
ages " — is an imitation of the Hebrew superlative D^/iP oA^p 
(GaL i. 5 ; 1 Tim. i 17 ; 2 Tim. iv. 18), and means a very 
long and indefinite period— the image taken from the cycles or 
calendars of time, to represent an immeasurable eternity. God 
is glorified in the aspect or character of Father, and "our 
Father/' implying that those whose wants are supplied by 
Him, are His children. Bom. viii. 15. To God, even our 
Father, the kind and liberal supplier of every want to every 
child, be eternal glory ascribed. The ascription of praise is 
the language of spiritual instinct, which cannot be repressed. 
Let the child realize its relation to the Father who feeds it, 
clothes it, and keeps it in life, who enlightens and guides 
it, pardons and purifies it, strengthens and upholds it, and 
all this in Christ Jesus, and it cannot but in its glowing 
consciousness cry out — " Now to God and our Father be the 
glory for ever." * The Amen is a fitting conclusion. As the 
lips shut themselves, the heart surveys again the facts and 
the grounds of praise, and adds — So be it 

The apostle had praised them for their /coivavia efc to 
evayyeXiov already, and he bids them give another practical 
manifestation of it — 

(Ver. 21.) 'A<rirdarao-0e irdvra aryiov iv Xpi<rr<p 'Irjaov — 
" Salute every saint in Christ Jesus." The singular indi- 
vidualizes — singulcUim, as Bengel gives it. The words iv 
XptaTtp 9 Irf<rov may be connected either with aryiov, as in i 1, 
or with the verb. We prefer the opinion of those who take 
the latter view, inasmuch as 07*09 can stand by itself, 
whereas amraaaaOe would seem to require some qualifying 
term, in order to define its character. The addition of iv 
XpiaTcp 'Itforov in the address of the epistles, has a specific 
purpose not needed on the ordinary recurrence of the epithet. 
Thus iv Kvpicp in Bom. xvi 22, and 1 Cor. xvi. 19. Salu- 
tation in the Lord is in His name to one of His members. 

*We are tempted to place in contrast the doxology with which Velasquez 
concludes his Commentary on this Epistle — Omnipotenti Deo, purissimce Dti- 
parce, sanctiseimis Paulo et Ignatio, honor et gloria. Vol. ii. 552. 

PHILIPPIAtfS IV. 22. 287 

And every saint was to be so greeted; the spirit of universal 
affection was to prevail. The apostle sends one cluster of 
salutations — 

aemra^ovrav ifta? oi avv ipol ahekfyol — " the brethren with 
me greet you." And then he adds another — 

(Ver. 22.) *Aaird^ovrav vpa? wdpres oi Srycoi — "All the 
saints salute you." Of course the brethren are saints, but all 
the saints are not brethren in the very same sense. The 
apostle refers to two circles of Christians about him ; those 
bound by some nearer and more special tie to him, and named 
" brethren ; " and those beyond them having no such familiar 
relationship with him, " the saints." Who composed this inner 
circle we know not. He may refer to the brethren spoken of 
in i 14, or principally to those mentioned by him in the 
epistles written at this period to the church in Colosse, and 
to Philemon. Chrysostom alludes to a difficulty. The apostle 
has said, in ii 20, 21, that none with him were like-minded 
with Timothy, and that all sought their own, and his solution 
is, that " he did not refuse to call even them brethren." Nor 
might all these brethren be qualified for such a mission as 
Timothy's. See p. 149. A special class are subjoined — 

liakurra Be oi i* Kataapos ol/eia? — "but chiefly they of 
Caesar's household." A special prominence is attached to 
their salutation. The very source of it must have excited 
wonder and gratitude. Calvin remarks — ac eo quidem admi- 
rabilius, quo rarius est exemplum, mnctitatem in avlis regnare. 
They of Caesar's household must have taken a deep interest 
in the apostle, and might have been converted by him during 
his imprisonment. They must also, so far as permitted to 
them, have ministered to his comfort, and they could not but 
feel a special sympathy for a church which had sent Epaphro- 
ditus to do a similar service. Who they were, has been 
keenly disputed. 

The term olicla is not the same with irpaircopiov, but refers 
to the imperial residence. Matthies indeed says — so ist dieses 
am naturlichsten hier zu verstehen, und an solche aus der 
Kaiserlichen Zetinoache zu denken. But the statement is 
unsupported. It has been supposed to mean : — 

1. The emperor's family or relatives. So van Hengel and 
many others, including Baur, for a sinister purpose of his 

288 PHHJPPUNS IV. 23. 

own. The words may bear such a signification — 1 Cor. xvL 
15, olSare rijv oiidav Sreifxiva; Luke i 27, ii 4, if oXkov 

2. The word is used in an inferior sense to signify domes* 
tics generally. So in Josephus, Antiq. xvii. 5. 8 — rod Kai- 
aapo? ttjv oUlav. Also Philo— tov iirtrpoTrov ti;? oikioq, and 
in a yet more honourable sense — el 8k fifj fiaaiXevs aXka tig 
t&v i*c rip Kahrapo? oIkuis — " if he had not been king, but 
only one of Caesar's household, ought he not to have had some 
precedence and honour?" In Flaccum, vol. ii p. 522. Or 
Tacitus, Hist. ii. 92 — quidam, in domum Ccesaris transgrem, 
atque ipsis dominis potentiores. Nero, as has been often 
remarked, had but few relations, 1 and the probability is, that 
domestics, either slaves or freedmen, are here intended. The 
persons referred to are not named, as Epaphroditus could give 
the Fhilippians the requisite information. It is almost needless 
to allude to any hypothesis on this subject ; yet out of this 
reference arose the fiction of Paul's correspondence with 
Seneca, Nero's preceptor. Lucan the poet, Seneca's nephew, 
has also been included. 2 Estius refers to two names, Evellius 
and Torpetes, as being Neronis familiares, and as occupying 
a place in the Boman martyrology of this period. But this is 
all uncertainty. Witsius gives Pomponia Grecina, a name 
occurring in Tacitus. Meletem. Leid. p. 212. Some have 
fixed on Poppaea Sabina, Nero's wife. These domestics were, 
in all probability, brought into contact with the apostle 
during his confinement in the prsetorium* For the opinions 
of those who think that this epistle was written at Caesarea 
the reader may turn to the Introduction. 

(Ver. 23.) f H %a/w tov Kvplov *Ir)<rov Xpurrov /teri tov 
TTvevyxmro^ t/fi&if — "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be 
with your spirit." The reading rjp&v after Kvplov has very 
little support The received reading is perk irdvrmv vja&p, 
which Meyer retains. The new reading is supported by A, 
D, E, F, G, 17, 67*, 73-80, by the Vulgate, etc., and is adopted 
by Lachmann and Tischendorf, eta The common reading 

1 Suetonius — Galba, L— Progenies Ccuarvm in Kerone dqfecit; or Eutropius 
— vii. 9— in Neront omnisfamilia Augusti consumpta est. 

1 Jerome— de Viris IUustr. Winer— Bibl. Reahotot.— -Art. "Paul and 


is found in B, J, K, the Syriac, and in Chrysostom and 
Theodoret, It is difficult to say which reading is preferable, 
as the new one may have been formed from Gal. vi. 18; 
Philem. 25; or 2 Tim. iv. 22. The sense in either case is 
not materially different. He wished them to enjoy that grace 
which Christ bestows. If the critical reading be adopted, 
then the apostle wished the favour of Christ to descend upon 
their higher nature, or that portion of their nature for which 
it was specially fitted, and which indeed could alone enjoy it. 
Tischendorf rejects the 'Afiqv, and Lachmann puts it within 
brackets. The apostle concludes with a benediction or salu- 
tation — probably an autograph. CoL iv. 18 ; 2 Thess. iii. 17. 
In parting from his readers, he wishes them to possess the 
grace of the Lord Jesus ; that grace which blesses and cheers, 
which strengthens and consoles, and at last ripens into glory. 
The unauthorized postscript is variously read, both in the 
mss., Versions, and Fathers ; the received Text being — 717)09 
$t\nrirri<riovs eypdfa airb f Pa>/«;9 &? J Eira<f>po8iTov. 


Accusative, the real, how introduced, 

Advent, Christ's second, 66 
Affliction which the false preachers 

would have occasioned Paul, 37 

Benediction, the, 288 

Boast of the Philippians, the, 169 

Bodies of Christians glorified, how and 

when, 223 
Book of Life, the, 238 
Business part of the Epistle, 260 

Calvinism defended, 133 
Carefulness, in what sense forbidden, 

Character to be aimed at, 137 ; of the 

Philippians, 140 
Christ as a man, 112; as a servant, 111; 

how magnified in Paul, 47 
Christians^ condition in Christ, 181 
Circumcision, the, 167 
Clement, 238 
Clergy, the epistle not specially to 

them, 3 
Commentators on the epistle, xlii 
Concision, the, 165 
Conduct of Philippians, how to be 

characterized, and why, 70, 140 
Confidence in the flesh disclaimed, 170; 

of prolonged life, Paul's, 63 
Conformity to Christ's death, 190 
Contentment of Paul, its nature and 

source, 265 
Courage of Philippians, its import to 

themselves and their adversaries, 75; 

the reason of its significance, 76 ; 

compared with Paul's, 79 

Day of Christ, the, 11 

Death of Christ, the, 116 ; to Paul, 

what it was, 53, 59, 61 
Dilemma, the apostle's, 59 
Doxology, the, 285 

Epaphboditts, his character, 151; his 
sickness and recovery, 153 ; his de- 

votedness, 157 ; his return to the 
Philippians, 155 

Epistle, this, where and when written, 
xxxiv; its contents, xxxvi 

Equality of Christ with the Father, 101 

Exaltation of Christ, its nature, 121 ; 
summary of Paul's teaching concern- 
ing it, 125 

Example of Christ, its end, 128 ; 
of Paul recommended, 258 

Exhortation to Euodia and Syntyche, 

External privileges no ground of confi- 
dence — See Paul's own case, 170 

Externalism, Paul's changed opinion of 
it, and why, 177 

Faith, that of Philippians, how in- 
fluenced by Paul's continuance with 
them, 63 ; the effect of its increase, 
64 ; that of the early Christians, 77 

Fellowship of the Philippians with 
Paul, 8, 14, 84 ; with Christ's suffer- 
ings, 188 

Forbearance, Christian, its nature, 244 ; 
motives to its manifestation, 245 

Form, the, of God, 98 

Gain, Christ so reckoned, 49 
Genuineness of the epistle, xv 

Heaven to the Christian, 219 
History of Paul, 172 
Honest, its old English meaning, 254 
Hope, the object of Paul's, 47 
Household, Cesar's, 287 
Humanity of Christ, the, 112, 118 
Humiliation of Christ, 95, 110 
Humility, 91 

Illumination, spiritual, promised, 

Imprisonment of Paul a second time at 

Borne, discussed, 67 
Incarnation of Christ, 118 
Inconsistency of believers, how to be 

characterized, 211 



Influence of the Spirit, 132, 168 
Inspiration of Paul, its extent, 69 ; its 
effect on the train of thought, 72 

Joy, Paul's, in prospect of his martyr- 
dom, 146 ; at the preaching of the 
gospel, 40, 143 

Joy in Gtod enjoined, 240 

Joyfulness, characteristic of the gospel, 

Knowledge of Christ, Paul's aim, 105 ; 
spiritual, its proper use, 207 

Life of Paul our example, 209 
Life, what it was to Paul, 49, 55, 62 
Light, the Christian's character, 140 
Longing, Paul's, after the Philippians, 

Love, increase of, to what end, 20 , 

Magnification of Christ, 48 

Mind of Christ, the, 95 

Mindfulness of Philippians for Paul, its 
earlier manifestations, 273 ; why 
intermitted, 264 ; renewed, 261 ; the 
good it reflects on themselves, 278, 
282; its character in the eyes of 
God, 281 ; its propriety, and His re- 
' cognition of it, 272 

Nervengeist, 281 

Paetie8 who preached to afflict Paul, 

who they are, 30, 84 
Paul and Timothy, reason of their con- 
junction in the salutation, 2 
Paul, was he married ? 239 
Peace of God, the result of prayer, 249 ; 

its nature, 249, 260 ; its extent, 251 ; 
' its operation, 252 
Pelagius.on the Spirit's influence, 135 
Perfection to be aimed at — See Paul, 

193 ; attainable, and its effects, 201 
Persecution, furthering the .gospel — 

See Paul, 25, 29. 
Perseverance of the saints, the, 12 
Philippic and the introduction of the 

gospel, ix . 
Philippian church* its circumstances, 

. and occasion of the epistle, xni 
Pietist controversy, 42 

Prayers of Philippians for Paul, their 

effect, 42 
Preaching- of Christ, motives to it, 30 
Prize of the Christian's race, the, 199 
Professor's end, the mere, 216 

Race, the Christian, 197 
Repetition of phrases, to what end, 242 
Requests, how to be made to God, 258 
Resurrection of the body, 228 ; of 

Christ, its power, 188 ; of the dead, 

Reward of Paul's labour, the, 143 
Righteousness, the discussion of word 

so rendered, 23 ; whence to us, 23, 

183 ; its fruits, their end, 23 

Salutations, in the Introduction, 4 ; 

in the Farewell, 286 
Salvation, the working it out, 129 • 
Self-seeking condemned, 92 
Sensualism of some professors,. 216 
Servant, Christ as such, 111 
Soul, its condition after death, 229 
Spirit, the, the doctrine of its influence, 

132; of Jesus Christ, so called, 45 
Strength, Paul's, where to be found, 271 
Sufferings of Paul,, their effect on the 

spread of the gospel, 25 
Syzygus, 240 

Thanksgiving, the extent and reason 

of it, 5 
Timothy's character, 149 
Timothy's mission to the Philippians, 

147, 149 
Trust of the Philippians, the, 169 

Unity and integrity of the epistle, xxx ; 
of Philippians wherein: to consist, 72, 
87 ; reasons for cultivating it, 81 ; 
dangers to and preservatives of it, 90 

Virtue, 257 

Visit to the Philippians, Paul's hope 
of one, 151 

Warned, those of whom Philippians 

are, 163 
Work, the fruit of Paul's, 58 

Yoke-fellow, true, who so called, 239 




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