Philippians iv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. I beg of. St. Chrysostom, Theodoret, 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. St. Chrysostom expounds it of his fellow labourer or fellow soldier, and says that some pretended that by it was meant St. Paul’s wife; but this he absolutely rejects, as do all the ancient interpreters, who teach us that St. Paul was never married, if we except the particular opinion of Clement of Alexandria, (lib. 3. strom. p. 448. Edit. Heinsii) who at the same time tells us, that St. 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 Corinthians vii. 7, 8. But even Calvin, Beza, and Dr. Hammond, expound this of some man that laboured with St. Paul. (Witham) — It seems probable that St. Paul is here speaking to one of the persons mentioned in the preceding verse. Others think that he is speaking to the gaoler[jailer] whom he had converted at Philippi. It seems most probable, however, that St. 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) — St. Paul says of himself that he had no wife, (1 Corinthians vii. 8.) and all the Greek Fathers are very positive on this point. — With Clement. St. Jerome, Estius, and some others, believe that this Clement was the fourth pope that governed the Church, after Sts. 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. (Witham)

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. (Witham)

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. (Challoner)

Ver. 10. Hath flourished again. Literally, that you have flourished again, to think or care for me, which appears by your sending me a supply of money. (Witham) — 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. Literally, to be sufficient. I know how to be in a low condition. (Witham)

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

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. (ver. 18.) (Witham)

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


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

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

[3] Ver. 14. Communicantes, sugkoinonesantes. See Chap. i. 5. &c.

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

Bible Text & Cross-references:

He exhorts them to perseverance in all good; and acknowledges their charitable contributions to him.

1 Therefore, my brethren, dearly beloved, and most desired, my joy and my crown: so stand fast in the Lord, most beloved:

2 I beg of Evodia, and I beseech Syntyche, to be of one mind in the Lord.

3 And I entreat thee also, my sincere companion, help those women, who have laboured with me in the gospel with Clement, and the rest of my fellow-labourers, whose names are in the book of life.

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

5 Let your modesty be known to all men: the Lord is nigh.

6 Be solicitous about nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

8 For the rest, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are modest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are holy, whatsoever things are amiable, whatsoever things are of good repute, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise of discipline, think on these things.

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

10 And I rejoice in the Lord exceedingly, that now at length your thought for me hath flourished again, as you did also think: but you were occupied.

11 I speak not as it were for want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith.

12 I know both how to be brought low, 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 these things in him who strengtheneth me.

14 Nevertheless you have done well, in communicating to my tribulation.

15 And you also know, O Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me, as concerning giving and receiving, but you only:

16 For unto Thessalonica also, you sent once and again for my use.

17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that may abound to your account.

18 But I have all, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things you sent, an odour of sweetness, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.

19 *And may my God supply all your want, according to his riches, in glory in Christ Jesus.

20 Now to God and our Father be glory, world without end. Amen.

21 Salute ye every saint in Christ Jesus.

22 The brethren, who are with me, salute you. All the saints salute you: especially they that are of C├Žsar’s house.

23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.



19: Romans xii. 1.