Philippians 4:1-23 . EXHORTATIONS: THANKS FOR THE SUPPLY FROM PHILIPPI: GREETING; AND CLOSING BENEDICTION.
12. abased--in low circumstances ( 2 Corinthians 4:8 , 2 Corinthians 6:9 2 Corinthians 6:10 ).
everywhere--rather, "in each, and in all things" [ALFORD].
instructed--in the secret. Literally, "initiated" in a secret teaching, which is a mystery unknown to the world.
13. I can do all things--Greek, "I have strength for all things"; not merely "how to be abased and how to abound." After special instances he declares his universal power--how triumphantly, yet how humbly! [MEYER].
through Christ which strengtheneth me--The oldest manuscripts omit "Christ"; then translate, "In Him who giveth me power," that is, by virtue of my living union and identification with Him, who is my strength ( Galatians 2:20 ). Compare 1 Timothy 1:12 , whence probably, "Christ" was inserted here by transcribers.
14. He here guards against their thinking from what he has just said, that he makes light of their bounty.
ye did communicate with my affliction--that is, ye made yourselves sharers with me in my present affliction, namely, by sympathy; of which sympathy your contribution is the proof.
15. Now--"Moreover." Arrange as Greek, "Ye also know (as well as I do myself)."
in the beginning of the gospel--dating from the Philippian Christian era; at the first preaching of the Gospel at Philippi.
when I departed from Macedonia--( Acts 17:14 ). The Philippians had followed Paul with their bounty when he left Macedonia and came to Corinth. 2 Corinthians 11:8 2 Corinthians 11:9 thus accords with the passage here, the dates assigned to the donation in both Epistles agreeing; namely, "in the beginning of the Gospel" here, and there, at the time of his first visit to Corinth [PALEY, Horæ Paulinæ]. However, the supply meant here is not that which he received at Corinth, but the supply sent to him when "in Thessalonica, once and again" ( Philippians 4:16 ), [ALFORD].
as concerning giving and receiving--In the account between us, "the giving" was all on your part; "the receiving" all on mine.
ye only--We are not to wait for others in a good work, saying, "I will do so, when others do it." We must go forward, though alone.
16. even in Thessalonica--"even" as early as when I had got no further than Thessalonica, ye sent me supplies for my necessities more than once.
17. a gift--Greek, "the gift." Translate, "It is not that I seek after the gift, but I do seek after the fruit that aboundeth to your account"; what I do seek is your spiritual good, in the abounding of fruits of your faith which shall be put down to your account, against the day of reward ( Hebrews 6:10 ).
18. But--Though "the gift" is not what I chiefly "seek after" ( Philippians 4:17 ), yet I am grateful for the gift, and hereby acknowledge it as ample for all my needs. Translate, "I have all" that I want, "and more than enough." Literally, as English Version, "I abound" over and above my needs.
I am full--Greek, "I am filled full."
the odour of a sweet is drawn from the sweet-smelling incense which was burnt along with the sacrifices; their gift being in faith was not so much to Paul, as to God ( Matthew 25:40 ), before whom it "came up for a memorial" ( Acts 10:4 ), sweet-smelling in God's presence ( Genesis 8:21 , Revelation 8:3 Revelation 8:4 ).
sacrifice acceptable--( Hebrews 13:16 ).
19. my--Paul calls God here "my God," to imply that God would reward their bounty to HIS servant, by "fully supplying" (translate so, literally, fill to the full) their every "need" ( 2 Corinthians 9:8 ), even as they had "fully" supplied his "need" ( Philippians 4:16 Philippians 4:18 ). My Master will fully repay you; I cannot. The Philippians invested their bounty well since it got them such a glorious return.
according to his riches--The measure of His supply to you will be the immeasurable "riches of His grace" ( Ephesians 1:7 ).
in glory--These words belong to the whole sentence. "Glory" is the element in which His rich grace operates; and it will be the element IN which He will "supply fully all your need."
by Christ Jesus--by virtue of your being "IN" (so Greek, not "by") Christ Jesus, the Giver and Mediator of all spiritual blessings.
20. God and our Father--Translate, "Unto our God and Father."
be glory--rather as the Greek, "be the glory." Not to us, but to Him be "the glory" alike of your gift, and of His gracious recompense to you.
21. Salute every saint--individually.
The brethren which are with me--Perhaps Jewish believers are meant ( Acts 28:21 ). I think Philippians 2:20 precludes our thinking of "closer friends," "colleagues in the ministry" [ALFORD]; he had only one close friend with him, namely, Timothy.
22. they that are of Cæsar's household--the slaves and dependents of Nero who had been probably converted through Paul's teaching while he was a prisoner in the Prætorian barrack attached to the palace. Philippi was a Roman "colony," hence there might arise a tie between the citizens of the mother city and those of the colony; especially between those of both cities who were Christians, converted as many of them were by the same apostle, and under like circumstances, he having been imprisoned at Philippi, as he now is at Rome.
23. ( Galatians 6:18 ).
be with you all. Amen--The oldest manuscripts read, "Be with your spirit," and omit "Amen."