View Phillippians 4 in the note window.
1: So stand - As ye have done hitherto.
2: I beseech - He repeats this twice, as if speaking to
each face to face, and that with the utmost tenderness.
3: And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow - St. Paul had many
fellowlabourers, but not many yokefellows. In this number was
Barnabas first, and then Silas, whom he probably addresses here;
for Silas had been his yokefellow at the very place, (Ac 16:19).
Help those women who laboured together with me - Literally, who
wrestled. The Greek word doth not imply preaching, or anything
of that kind; but danger and toil endured for the sake of the gospel,
which was also endured at the same time, probably at Philippi, by
Clement and my other fellowlabourers - This is a different word from
the former, and does properly imply fellowpreachers. Whose names,
although not set down here, are in the book of life - As are those of
all believers. An allusion to the wrestlers in the Olympic games,
whose names were all enrolled in a book. Reader, is thy name
there? Then walk circumspectly, lest the Lord blot thee out of
5: Let your gentleness - Yieldingness, sweetness of
temper, the result of joy in the Lord. Be known - By your whole
behaviour. To all men - Good and bad, gentle and froward. Those
of the roughest tempers are good natured to some, from natural
sympathy and various motives; a Christian, to all. The Lord
- The judge, the rewarder, the avenger. Is at hand - Standeth at
6: Be anxiously careful for nothing - If men are not gentle
towards you, yet neither on this, nor any other account, be
careful, but pray. Carefulness and prayer cannot stand together.
In every thing - Great and small. Let your requests be made known
- They who by a preposterous shame or distrustful modesty, cover,
stifle, or keep in their desires, as if they were either too
small or too great, must be racked with care; from which they
are entirely delivered, who pour them out with a free and filial
confidence. To God - It is not always proper to disclose them to
men. By supplication - Which is the enlarging upon and pressing
our petition. With thanksgiving - The surest mark of a soul free
from care, and of prayer joined with true resignation. This is
always followed by peace. Peace and thanksgiving are both
coupled together, (Col 3:15).
7: And the peace of God - That calm, heavenly repose,
that tranquility of spirit, which God only can give. Which
surpasseth all understanding - Which none can comprehend, save
he that receiveth it. Shall keep - Shall guard, as a garrison
does a city. Your hearts - Your affections. Your minds - Your
understandings, and all the various workings of them; through
the Spirit and power of Christ Jesus, in the knowledge and love
of God. Without a guard set on these likewise, the purity and
vigour of our affections cannot long be preserved.
8: Finally - To sum up all. Whatsoever things are true
- Here are eight particulars placed in two fourfold rows; the
former containing their duty; the latter, the commendation of
it. The first word in the former row answers the first in the
latter; the second word, the second and so on. True - In speech.
Honest - In action. Just - With regard to others. Pure - With
regard to yourselves. Lovely - And what more lovely than truth?
Of good report - As is honesty, even where it is not practised.
If there be any virtue - And all virtues are contained in justice.
If there be any praise - In those things which relate rather to
ourselves than to our neighbour. Think on these things - That
ye may both practise them yourselves, and recommend them to others.
9: The things which ye have learned - As catechumens.
And received - By continual instructions. And heard and seen
- In my life and conversation. These do, and the God of peace
shall be with you - Not only the peace of God, but God himself,
the fountain of peace.
10: I rejoiced greatly - St. Paul was no Stoic: he had
strong passions, but all devoted to God. That your care of
me hath flourished again - As a tree blossoms after the winter.
Ye wanted opportunity - Either ye had not plenty yourselves,
or you wanted a proper messenger.
11: I have learned - From God. He only can teach this.
In everything, therewith to be content - Joyfully and thankfully
patient. Nothing less is Christian content. We may observe a
beautiful gradation in the expressions, I have learned; I know;
I am instructed; I can.
12: I know how to be abased - Having scarce what is needful
for my body. And to abound - Having wherewith to relieve others
also. Presently after, the order of the words is inverted, to
intimate his frequent transition from scarcity to plenty, and
from plenty to scarcity. I am instructed - Literally, I am
initiated in that mystery, unknown to all but Christians.
Both to be full and to be hungry - For one day. Both to abound
and to want - For a longer season.
13: I can do all things - Even fulfil all the will of God.
15: In the beginning of the gospel - When it was first
preached at Philippi. In respect of giving - On your part.
And receiving - On mine.
17: Not that I desire - For my own sake, the very gift
which I receive of you.
18: An odour of a sweet smell - More pleasing to God than
the sweetest perfumes to men.
19: All your need - As ye have mine. According to his
riches in glory - In his abundant, eternal glory.