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8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Acknowledgment of the Philippians’ Gift

10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it. 11Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have. 12I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 14In any case, it was kind of you to share my distress.

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8. Summary of all his exhortations as to relative duties, whether as children or parents, husbands or wives, friends, neighbors, men in the intercourse of the world, &c.

true—sincere, in words.

honestOld English for "seemly," namely, in action; literally, grave, dignified.

just—towards others.

pure—"chaste," in relation to ourselves.

lovely—lovable (compare Mr 10:21; Lu 7:4, 5).

of good report—referring to the absent (Php 1:27); as "lovely" refers to what is lovable face to face.

if there be any virtue—"whatever virtue there is" [Alford]. "Virtue," the standing word in heathen ethics, is found once only in Paul's Epistles, and once in Peter's (2Pe 1:5); and this in uses different from those in heathen authors. It is a term rather earthly and human, as compared with the names of the spiritual graces which Christianity imparts; hence the rarity of its occurrence in the New Testament. Piety and true morality are inseparable. Piety is love with its face towards God; morality is love with its face towards man. Despise not anything that is good in itself; only let it keep its due place.

praise—whatever is praiseworthy; not that Christians should make man's praise their aim (compare Joh 12:43); but they should live so as to deserve men's praise.

think on—have a continual regard to, so as to "do" these things (Php 4:9) whenever the occasion arises.

9. both—rather, "The things also which ye have learned … these practice"; the things which besides recommending them in words, have been also recommended by my example, carry into practice.

heard—though ye have not yet sufficiently "received" them.

seen—though ye have not as yet sufficiently "learned" them [Bengel].

and—"and then," as the necessary result (Php 4:7). Not only "the peace of God," but "the God of peace" Himself "shall be with you."

10. But—transitional conjunction. But "now" to pass to another subject.

in the Lord—He views everything with reference to Christ.

at the last—"at last"; implying he was expecting their gift, not from a selfish view, but as a "fruit" of their faith, and to "abound" to their account (Php 4:11, 17). Though long in coming, owing to Epaphroditus' sickness and other delays, he does not imply their gift was too late.

your care … hath flourished againGreek, "Ye have flourished again (revived, as trees sprouting forth again in spring) in your care for me."

wherein ye were also careful—in respect to which (revival, namely, the sending of a supply to me) "ye were also (all along) careful, but ye lacked opportunity"; whether from want of means or want of a messenger. Your "lack of service" (Php 2:30), was owing to your having "lacked opportunity."

11. I have learned—The I in Greek is emphatical. I leave it to others if they will, to be discontented. I, for my part, have learned, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and the dealings of Providence (Heb 5:8), to be content in every state.

content—The Greek, literally expresses "independent of others, and having sufficiency in one's self." But Christianity has raised the term above the haughty self-sufficiency of the heathen Stoic to the contentment of the Christian, whose sufficiency is not in self, but in God (2Co 3:5; 1Ti 6:6, 8; Heb 13:5; compare Jer 2:36; 45:5).

12. abased—in low circumstances (2Co 4:8; 6:9, 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 thingsGreek, "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 (Ga 2:20). Compare 1Ti 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.