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Philippians 4

The apostle exhorts the Philippians to stand fast in the Lord. (1) Gives directions to some, and to all in general. (2-9) Expresses contentment in every condition of life. (10-19) He concludes with prayer to God the Father, and his usual blessing. (20-23)

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The apostle exhorts the Philippians to stand fast in the Lord

1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

Gives directions to some, and to all in general

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Expresses contentment in every condition of life

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

15 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.

16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

He concludes with prayer to God the Father, and his usual blessing

20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. I beg of. S. Chrys. Theod. and many others, think that these were two ladies particularly famous in the Church at Philippi, for their virtue and good works. Some critics are of opinion that Syntyche was a man. It is certain, at least, that this name agrees amongst the Greeks better with a man than a woman; and perhaps the latter of these two may be the husband of Evodia.

Ver. 3. I entreat thee, my sincere[1] companion. S. Chrys. expounds it of his fellow labourer or fellow soldier, and says that some pretended that by it was meant S. Paul’s wife; but this he absolutely rejects, as do all the ancient interpreters, who teach us that S. Paul was never married, if we except the particular opinion of Clement of Alexandria, (l. 3. strom. p. 448. Edit. Heinsii) who at the same time tells us, that S. Paul and those ministers of the gospel who had wives, lived with them as if they had been their sisters. The pretended reformers, who bring this place to shew that bishops and priests may marry, will they be for living after this manner? See 1 Cor. vii. 7, 8. But even Calvin, Beza, and Dr. Hammond, expound this of some man that laboured with S. Paul. Wi. — It seems probable that S. Paul is here speaking to one of the persons mentioned in the preceding verse. Others think that he is speaking to the gaoler whom he had converted at Philippi. It seems most probable, however, that S. Paul is here speaking to the bishop of the Church, at Philippi. As to the opinion that he is speaking to his wife, we have elsewhere refuted that sentiment. Calmet. — S. Paul says of himself that he had no wife, (1 Cor. vii. 8.) and all the Greek Fathers are very positive on this point. — With Clement. S. Jerom, Estius, and some others, believe that this Clement was the fourth pope that governed the Church, after SS. Linus and Cletus: this at least is the common opinion. — Those women who have laboured with me in the gospel, not by preaching, but by assisting other ways to promote the gospel. Wi.

Ver. 6. But in every[2] thing by prayer, &c. By the Greek, the sense and construction cannot be in every prayer; but in every thing, in all circumstances, have recourse to prayer. Wi.

Ver. 8. For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, &c. Here the apostle enumerates general precepts of morality, which they ought to practise. — Whatsoever things are true. In words, in promises, in lawful oaths, &c. he commands rectitude of mind and sincerity of heart. — Whatsoever things are modest. By these words he prescribes gravity in manners, modesty in dress, and decency in conversation. — Whatsoever things are just. That is, in dealing with others, in buying or selling, in trade or business, to be fair and honest. — Whatsoever things are holy. By these words may be understood, that those who are in a religious state professed, or in holy orders, should lead a life of sanctity and chastity, according to the vows they make; but these words being also applied to those in the world, indicate the virtuous life they are bound by the divine commandments to follow. — Whatsoever things are amiable. That is to practise those good offices in society that procure us the esteem and good will of our neighbours. — Whatsoever things are of good repute. That is, that by our conduct and behaviour we should edify our neighbours, and give them good example by our actions. — If there be any virtue, if there be any praise of discipline: that those in error, by seeing the morality and good discipline of the true religion, may be converted. And finally, the apostle commands not only the Philippians, but all Christians, to think on these things: that is, to make it their study and concern, that the peace of God might be with them. Ch.

Ver. 10. Hath flourished again. Lit. that you have flourished again, to think or care for me, which appears by your sending me a supply of money. Wi. — From hence it would appear, that the Philippians had in some respect been wanting in attention to this apostle: that their former liberality, which for a time had been slack and dead, had again revived.

Ver. 11. I have learned . . . to be content therewith. Lit. to be sufficient. I know how to be in a low condition. Wi.

Ver. 14. In communicating;[3] i.e. contributing to relieve my wants. Wi.

Ver. 15. Giving and receiving; by my giving you spiritual instructions, and you returning me temporal assistance; and know that these, your charities, are an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice to God. v. 18. Wi.

Ver. 19. May God supply all your want.[4] See the Greek, which determines the signification of the Latin. Wi.

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[1] V. 3. Germane compar. suzuge gnesie. S. Chrys. (log. ig. p. 76.) expounds it by sunergos and sustratiotes. He tells us some fancied it was S. Paul’s wife; but, says he, alla ouk estin, &c.

[2] V. 6. Sed in omni oratione, &c. all en panti, te proseuche; no copies, pase.

[3] V. 14. Communicantes, sugkoinonesantes. See C. i. 5. &c.

[4] V. 19. Omne desiderium vestrum; the common Greek copies, chreian; though some epithumian; some charan, gaudium; and some pharin, gratiam.