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The Letter of Paul to the Philippians: Chapter 4

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1Therefore, my brothers and sisters, j Gk my brothers whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.

2I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, k Or loyal Syzygus help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co‐workers, whose names are in the book of life.

4Rejoice l Or Farewell in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. l Or Farewell 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8Finally, beloved, m Gk brothers whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about a Gk take account of these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

10I rejoice b Gk I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. c Gk lacks to show it 11Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well‐fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

15You Philippians indeed know that in the early days of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you alone. 16For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me help for my needs more than once. 17Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the profit that accumulates to your account. 18I have been paid in full and have more than enough; I am fully satisfied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God. 19And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.

21Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The friends d Gk brothers who are with me greet you.22All the saints greet you, especially those of the emperor's household.

23The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. e Other ancient authorities add Amen


j Gk my brothers

k Or loyal Syzygus

l Or Farewell

m Gk brothers

a Gk take account of

b Gk I rejoiced

c Gk lacks to show it

d Gk brothers

e Other ancient authorities add Amen

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

1.27–4.4 : Appeal to unity, to be followed by examples.

2.1–18 :

First example: self –emptying of Christ.

6 :

In the form of God, equality with God, may refer to divine status, or simply preexistence as a heavenlybeing (Dan 7.14 ), or Adam's original immortality (Wis 2.23–24 ), which Christ renounced by becoming subject to death.

7 :

But emptied himself, the extreme limit of self‐denial.

8 :

Mt 26.39 ; Jn 10.18 ; Rom 5.19 ; Heb 5.8 ; 12.2 .

9 :

Exalted, in raising him from the dead. The name … above every name is Lord.

10–11 :

Cf. Isa 45.23 .

12 :

With fear and trembling, a frequent biblical expression (Ex 15.16; Deut 2.25;Ps 2.11; Isa 19.6; 4 Macc 4.10 ) that had become a commonplace (1 Cor 2.3; 2 Cor 7.15; Eph 6.5 ).

15 :

Shine like stars, Dan 12.3 .

16 :

Day of Christ, see 1.6n .

17 :

Paul's possible death is compared to a temple sacrifice.

3.4–4.1 : Third example: Paul himself.

5 :

Hebrew, a more preferred self‐designation than Jew, whichwas used more often by and for outsiders. Pharisee, member of the group most concerned with interpretation of the Jewish law.

6 :

A persecutor, Acts 9.1–2; 1 Cor 15.9; Gal 1.13 . As to righteousness under the law, blameless, Paul did not see himself as guilty or incomplete before his encounter with Christ.

8 :

Rubbish, or excrement.

9 :

The righteousness from God based on faith, a free gift bestowed by God through the grace of Christ (Rom 1.16–4.25 ).

10–11 :

Actually to know Christ as risen and living is to have power to suffer like him, and to possess the hope of rising and living with him.

12–14 :

The goal andthe prize, allusion to popular sports, the Greek foot races, their finishing post, and the award to the winner( see 2.16; 1 Cor 9.24–27 ).

18–19 :

Many live as enemies of the cross of Christ, presumably professing Christians who cannot accept Paul's cross theology.

20 :

Our citizenship, our ultimate political loyalty andreal homeland, contrasting with the status of most of the Philippians as Roman citizens.

21 :

Rom 8.23;1 Cor 15.47–57; 2 Cor 5.1–5; Col 3.1–4 .

1 :

1 Thess 2.19–20 . A crown was often awarded to the winnerof a race (see 3.12–14n.).

4.2–9 : Heart of the problem.

2 :

Euodia … Syntyche, two women leaders in the Philippian church,most likely heads of house‐churches and therefore among the overseers and helpers ( 1.1 ) whose disagreement has had a disastrous effect on the church; the factions into which they have broken are the major concern of the letter.

3 :

My loyal companion, an unknown but influential figure who could serve asmediator between the two. Less likely, the Greek word for companion may be understood as a propername, Syzygus. Book of life, a book kept by God containing names of those to be saved (Ps 69.28; Dan 12.1; Lk 10.20; Rev 3.5 ; etc.).

4.10–20 : Acknowledgment of their gifts.

11 :

Content, Paul here expresses the Stoic ideal of indifference, but with new motivation because of Christ.

15–16 :

Macedonia, Thessalonica, according to Acts 17.1 , Paul had gone to Thessalonica immediately after his stay in Philippi.

15,17,18 :

Giving and receiving, profit … account, paid in full, a series of business terms used metaphorically here and in othercontexts of friendship.

18 :

Fragrant offering, Gen 8.21; Ex 29.18; Ezek 20.41 .

4.21–23 : Conclusion.

22 :

The emperor's household, members of the imperial civil service who arebelievers where Paul is confined.

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