4:1 Therefore, 1 my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and a crown, so stand fast in the b Lord, [my] dearly beloved.
(1) A rehearsal of the conclusion: that they bravely continue until they have gotten the victory, trusting in the Lords strength. 4:2 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
(a) My honour.
(b) In that unification of which the Lord is the bond.
(2) He also calls on some by name, partly because they needed private exhortation, and partly also to stir up others to be more prompt and ready. 4:3 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 c book of life.
4:4 3 Rejoice in the d Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.
(c) God is said, after the manner of men, to have a book, in which the names of his elect are written, to whom he will give everlasting life. Ezekiel calls it the writing of the house of Israel, and the secret of the Lord; ( Ezekiel 13:9 ).
(3) He adds particular exhortations: and the first is, that the joy of the Philippians should not be hindered by any afflictions that the wicked imagine and work against them. 4:5 4 Let your e moderation be known unto all men. 5 The Lord [is] at hand.
(d) So is the joy of the world distinguished from our joy.
(4) The second is, that taking all things in good part, they behave themselves moderately with all men. 4:6 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with f thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
(e) Your quiet and settled mind. (5) The taking away of an objection: we must not be anxious because of impatience, seeing that God is at hand to give us help in time for all our miseries.
(6) The third is, that we are not too anxious for anything, but with sure confidence give God thanks, and desire from him whatever we have need of, that with a quiet conscience we may wholly and with all our hearts submit ourselves to him. 4:7 And the g peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your h hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(f) So David began very often with tears, but ended with thanksgiving.
(g) That great quietness of mind, which God alone gives in Christ. 4:8 7 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things i [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.
(h) He divides the mind into the heart, that is, into that part which is the seat of the will and affections, and into the higher part, by which we understand and reason about matters.
(7) A general conclusion, that as they have been taught both in word and example, so they build their lives to the rule of all holiness and righteousness. 4:10 8 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.
(i) Whatever things are such that they beautify and set you apart with a holy gravity.
(8) He witnesses that their liberality was acceptable to him, with which they helped him in his extreme poverty: but yet so moderating his words, that he might declare himself void of all suspicion of dishonesty, and that he has a mind content both with prosperity and adversity, and to be short, that he rests himself only in the will of God. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of k want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.
(k) As though I am speaking concerning my want. 4:12 I know both how to be l abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am m instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
(l) He uses a general word, and yet he speaks but of one type of cross, which is poverty, for poverty commonly brings all types of discomforts with it. 4:15 9 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the n beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
(m) This is a metaphor taken from holy things or sacrifices, for our life is like a sacrifice.
(9) He witnesses that he remembers also their former benefits, and again puts away sinister suspicion of greedy desire, in that that he received nothing from anyone else. 4:17 10 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
(n) At the beginning, when I preached the Gospel among you.
4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things [which were sent] from you, an o odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
(10) He witnesses again that he admits well of their benefit, not so much for his own sake as for theirs, because they gave it not so much to him, as they offered it to God as a sacrifice, of which the Lord himself will not be forgetful.
(o) He alludes to the sweet smelling savours that were offered under the old Law. 4:22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of p Caesars household.
(p) Those who belong to the emperor Nero.