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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Philippians: Chapter 4)

4:1 {Longed for} (\epipothētoi\). Late and rare verbal adjective
(here alone in N.T.) from \epipotheō\. {So stand fast} (\houto
. Present active imperative of \stēkō\ (late present
from perfect \hestēka\ from \histēmi\)
. See 1:27. They were
tempted to defection. Standing firm is difficult when a panic

4:2 {Euodia} (\Euodian\). This name means literally "prosperous
journey" (\eu, hodos\). It occurs in the inscriptions. {Syntyche}
(\Suntuchēn\). From \suntugchanō\, to meet with and so "pleasant
acquaintance" or "good-luck." Occurs in the inscriptions and
identified with Lydia by some. Klopper suggests that each of
these rival women had church assemblies in their homes, one a
Jewish-Christian church, the other a Gentile-Christian church.
Vincent doubts the great influence of women in Macedonia held by
Lightfoot who also suggests that these two were ladies of rank or
perhaps deaconesses of the church in Philippi. Schinz suggests
that in such a pure church even slight bickerings would make a
real disturbance. "It may have been accidental friction between
two energetic Christian women" (Kennedy).

4:3 {True yokefellow} (\gnēsie sunzuge\). All sorts of
suggestions have been made here, one that it was Lydia who is
termed Paul's wife by the word \sunzuge\. Unfortunately for that
view \gnēsie\ is masculine vocative singular. Some have suggested
it as a proper name though it is not found in the inscriptions,
but the word does occur as an appellative in one. Lightfoot even
proposes Epaphroditus, the bearer of the Epistle, certainly a
curious turn to take to address him. After all it matters little
that we do not know who the peacemaker was. {Help these women}
(\sunlambanou autais\). Present middle imperative of
\sunlambanō\, to seize (Mt 26:55), to conceive (Lu 1:24),
then to take hold together with one (associative instrumental
, to help as here (Lu 5:7). "Take hold with them." {They
laboured with me}
(\sunēthlēsan moi\). First aorist active
indicative of \sunathleō\ (for which see 1:27) with associative
instrumental case (\moi\). {With Clement also} (\meta kai
. There is no evidence that he was Clement of Rome as
the name is common. {In the book of life} (\en biblōi zōēs\). The
only instance of this expression in the N.T. outside of the
Apocalypse (3:5; 13:8; 17:8, etc.). Hence real Christians in
spite of their bickerings.

4:4 {Again I will say} (\palin erō\). Future active indicative of
defective verb \eipon\. {Rejoice} (\chairete\). Present active
imperative as in 3:1, repeated for emphasis in spite of
discouragements. Not in the sense of "Farewell" here.

4:5 {Your forbearance} (\to epieikes humōn\). "Your gentleness,"
"your sweet reasonableness" (Matthew Arnold), "your moderation."
Old adjective (\epi, eikos\) as in Jas 3:17; 1Ti 3:3. Article
and neuter singular here= \hē epieikeia\ (Ac 24:4; 2Co 10:1)
like to \chrēston\ in Ro 2:4. {The Lord is at hand} (\ho kurios
. "The Apostle's watchword" (Lightfoot), as in 1Co 16:22
(\Maran atha\, Aramaic equivalent, Our Lord cometh). Unless,
indeed, \eggus\ here means near in space instead of {nigh} in

4:6 {In nothing be anxious} (\mēden merimnāte\). Present
imperative in prohibition, "stop being anxious." See \mē
merimnāte\ in Mt 6:31. {With thanksgiving} (\meta
. In all the forms of prayer here named
thanksgiving should appear.

4:7 {The peace of God} (\hē eirēnē tou theou\). See in 2Th 3:16
"the Lord of peace" (\ho Kurios tēs eirēnēs\) and verse 9 for
"the God of peace" (\ho theos tēs eirēnēs\). {Shall guard}
(\phrourēsei\). "Shall garrison," future active indicative of
\phroureō\, old verb from \phrouros\ (\pro-horos, prooraō\, to
see before, to look out)
. See Ac 9:24; 2Co 11:32. God's peace
as a sentinel mounts guard over our lives as Tennyson so
beautifully pictures Love as doing.

4:8 {Finally} (\to loipon\). See on ¯3:1. {Whatsoever} (\hosa\).
Thus he introduces six adjectives picturing Christian ideals,
old-fashioned and familiar words not necessarily from any
philosophic list of moral excellencies Stoic or otherwise.
Without these no ideals can exist. They are pertinent now when so
much filth is flaunted before the world in books, magazines and
moving-pictures under the name of realism (the slime of the
gutter and the cess-pool)
. {Honourable} (\semna\). Old word from
\sebō\, to worship, revere. So revered, venerated (1Ti 3:8).
{Pure} (\hagna\). Old word for all sorts of purity. There are
clean things, thoughts, words, deeds. {Lovely} (\prosphilē\). Old
word, here only in N.T., from \pros\ and \phileō\, pleasing,
winsome. {Of good report} (\euphēma\. Old word, only here in
N.T., from \eu\ and \phēmē\, fair-speaking, attractive.(
{If there
be any}
(\ei tis\). Paul changes the construction from \hosa\
(whatsoever) to a condition of the first class, as in 2:1, with
two substantives. {Virtue} (\aretē\). Old word, possibly from
\areskō\, to please, used very often in a variety of senses by
the ancients for any mental excellence or moral quality or
physical power. Its very vagueness perhaps explains its rarity in
the N.T., only four times (Php 4:8; 1Pe 2:9; 2Pe 1:3,5). It is
common in the papyri, but probably Paul is using it in the sense
found in the LXX (Isa 42:12; 43:21) of God's splendour and
might (Deissmann, _Bible Studies_, p. 95) in connection with
"praise" (\epainos\) as here or even meaning praise. {Think on
these things}
(\tauta logizesthe\). Present middle imperative for
habit of thought. We are responsible for our thoughts and can
hold them to high and holy ideals.

4:9 {In me} (\en emoi\). Paul dares to point to his life in
Philippi as an illustration of this high thinking. The preacher
is the interpreter of the spiritual life and should be an example
of it. {These things do} (\tauta prassete\). Practise as a habit
(\prassō\, not \poieō\).

4:10 {I rejoice} (\echarēn\). Second aorist passive indicative of
\chairō\, a timeless aorist. I did rejoice, I do rejoice.
{Greatly} (\megalōs\). Old adverb, only here in N.T., from
\megas\ (great). {Now at length} (\ēdē pote\). In N.T. only here
and Ro 1:10. \Pote\ is indefinite past (interval), \ēdē\
immediate present. {Ye have revived} (\anethalete\). Second
aorist active indicative of old poetic word (Homer), \anathallō\,
to sprout again, to shoot up, to blossom again. So in the LXX
five times, though rare and literary word. {Your thought for me}
(\to huper emou phronein\). Accusative case of the articular
present active infinitive the object of \anethalete\ used
transitively. "You caused your thinking of me to bloom afresh."
{Wherein} (\eph' hōi\). "In which," "upon which" (locative case).
A loose reference to Paul's interests as involved in their
thinking of him. {Ye did indeed take thought} (\kai ephroneite\).
Imperfect active, "ye were also (or had been also) thinking." {Ye
lacked opportunity}
(\ēkaireisthe\). Imperfect middle of
\akaireomai\, late and rare word, here only in N.T., from
\akairos\ (\a\ privative, \kairos\), not to have a chance, the
opposite of \eukaireō\ (Mr 6:31).

4:11 {In respect of want} (\kath' husterēsin\). Late and rare
word from \hustereō\, to be behind or too late, only here and Mr
12:44 in N.T. {I have learned} (\emathon\). Simply, "I did
learn" (constative second aorist active indicative of \manthanō\,
to learn, looking at his long experience as a unit)
. {In
whatsoever state I am}
(\en hois eimi\). "In what things
(circumstances) I am." {To be content} (\autarkēs einai\).
Predicate nominative with the infinitive of the old adjective
\autarkēs\ (from \autos\ and \arkeō\, to be self-sufficient),
self-sufficing. Favourite word with the Stoics, only here in
N.T., though \autarkeia\ occurs in 2Co 9:8; 1Ti 6:6. Paul is
contented with his lot and he learned that lesson long ago.
Socrates said as to who is wealthiest: "He that is content with
least, for \autarkeia\ is nature's wealth."

4:12 {I know how} (\oida\). Followed by the infinitive \oida\ has
this sense. So here twice, with \tapeinousthai\, to be humbled,
from \tapeinos\, and with \perisseuein\, to overflow. {Have I
learned the secret}
(\memuēmai\). Perfect passive indicative of
\mueō\, old and common word from \muō\, to close (Latin _mutus_),
and so to initiate with secret rites, here only in N.T. The
common word \mustērion\ (mystery) is from \mustēs\ (one
and this from \mueō\, to initiate, to instruct in
secrets. Paul draws this metaphor from the initiatory rites of
the pagan mystery-religions. {To be filled} (\chortazesthai\).
Old verb from \chortos\ (grass, hay) and so to fatten like an
animal. {To be hungry} (\peināin\). Old verb from \peina\
(hunger) and kin to \penēs\, poor man who has to work for his
living (\penomai\).

4:13 {I can do all things} (\panta ischuō\). Old verb to have
strength (\ischus\). {In him that strengtheneth me} (\en tōi
endunamounti me\)
. Late and rare verb (in LXX) from adjective
\endunamos\ (\en, dunamis\). Causative verb to empower, to pour
power into one. See same phrase in 1Ti 1:12 \tōi endunamōsanti
me\ (aorist tense here). Paul has such strength so long as Jesus
keeps on putting power (\dunamis\) into him.

4:14 {That ye had fellowship} (\sunkoinōnēsantes\). First aorist
active participle (simultaneous action with the principal verb
\kalōs epoiēsate\)
. "Ye did well contributing for my affliction."

4:15 {In the beginning of the gospel} (\en archēi tou
. After he had wrought in Philippi (2Th 2:13). {Had
(\ekoinōnēsen\). "Had partnership" (first aorist
active indicative)
. {In the matter} (\eis logon\). "As to an
account." No other church opened an account with Paul. {Of giving
and receiving}
(\doseōs kai lēmpseōs\). Credit and debit. A
mercantile metaphor repeated in verse 17 by \eis logon humōn\
(to your account). Paul had to keep books then with no other
church, though later Thessalonica and Beroea joined Philippi in
support of Paul's work in Corinth (2Co 11:8f.). {But ye only}
(\ei mē humeis monoi\). Not even Antioch contributed anything but
good wishes and prayers for Paul's work (Ac 13:1-3).

4:16 {Once and again} (\kai hapax kai dis\). "Both once and
twice" they did it "even in Thessalonica" and so before Paul went
to Corinth." See the same Greek idiom in 1Th 2:18.

4:17 {I seek for} (\epizētō\). Old verb, in N.T. only here and
Ro 11:7 (linear present, I am seeking for). Lightfoot calls it
"the Apostle's nervous anxiety to clear himself" of wanting more
gifts. Why not say his delicate courtesy?

4:18 {I have all things} (\apechō panta\). As a receipt in full
in appreciation of their kindness. \Apechō\ is common in the
papyri and the ostraca for "receipt in full" (Deissmann, _Bible
Studies_, p. 110)
. See Mt 6:2,5,16. {I am filled}
(\peplērōmai\). Perfect passive indicative of \plēroō\.
"Classical Greek would hardly use the word in this personal
sense" (Kennedy). {An odour of a sweet smell} (\osmēn euōdias\).
\Osmē\, old word from \ozō\, to smell. \Euōdia\, old word from
\eu\ and \ozō\. In Eph 5:2 both words come together as here and
in 2Co 2:15 we have \euōdia\ (only other N.T. example) and in
verse 2Co 2:16 \osmē\ twice. \Euōdias\ here is genitive of
quality. {Sacrifice} (\thusian\). Not the act, but the offering
as in Ro 12:1. {Well-pleasing} (\euareston\). As in Ro 12:1.

4:19 {According to his riches in glory} (\kata to ploutos autou
en doxēi\)
. God has an abundant treasure in glory and will repay
the Philippians for what they have done for Paul. The spiritual
reward is what spurs men into the ministry and holds them to it.

4:20 {The glory} (\hē doxa\). "The doxology flows out of the joy
of the whole epistle" (Bengel).

4:21 {They that are of Caesar's household} (\hoi ek tēs Kaisaros
. Not members of the imperial family, but some connected
with the imperial establishment. The term can apply to slaves and
freedmen and even to the highest functionaries. Christianity has
begun to undermine the throne of the Caesars. Some day a
Christian will sit on this throne. The gospel works upward from
the lower classes. lt was so at Corinth and in Rome. It is true
today. It is doubtful if Nero had yet heard of Paul for his case
may have been dismissed by lapse of time. But this obscure
prisoner who has planted the gospel in Caesar's household has won
more eternal fame and power than all the Caesars combined. Nero
will commit suicide shortly after Paul has been executed. Nero's
star went down and Paul's rose and rises still.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Philippians: Chapter 4)