Philippians, Jewish New Testament and comments of David H. Stern
1. So, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown, my dear friends, keep standing firm in union with the Lord.
2. I beg Evodia and I beg Syntyche to agree with each other in union with the Lord.
3. I also request you, loyal Syzygus, to help these women; for they have worked hard proclaiming the Good News with me, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow-workers whose names are in the Book of Life.
Syzygos. The word means "yokefellow" and thus may not be a proper name. Clement. Attempts have been made to show that this was Clement of Rome who wrote one of the first Christian documents outside the New Testament, the Letter to the Corinthians, confidently dated at 96 C.E. But the identification has no support, and Clement was a common name.
The Book of Life. A Jewish concept familiar from the High Holy Days liturgy; see Rv 20:12N.
4. Rejoice in union with the Lord always! I will say it again: rejoice!
The injunction to rejoice (1:18; 2:17-18, 28; 3:1; 4:10) is not to indulge in casual pleasure or to bathe in a superficial gladness dependent on transient feelings, but to experience the abiding joy (1:4,25; 2:2, 29; 4:1) that comes from trust in and commitment to Yeshua the Messiah.
5. Let everyone see how reasonable and gentle you are. The Lord is near!
6. Don’t worry about anything; on the contrary, make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving.
7. Then God’s shalom, passing all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with the Messiah Yeshua.
8. In conclusion, brothers, focus your thoughts on what is true, noble, righteous, pure, lovable or admirable, on some virtue or on something praiseworthy. Wise instruction for prayer, which is the remedy (v. 7) for worry. God cares about even the little things in life. Sometimes people are taught not to "bother" God with small or self-oriented requests. This is false humility.
The object is not retreat from an evil world, but sanity in it.
9. Keep doing what you have learned and received from me, what you have heard and seen me doing; then the God who gives shalom will be with you.
Sha'ul again makes himself an example (compare 3:17).
10. In union with the Lord I greatly rejoice that now, after this long time, you have let your concern for me express itself again. Of course, you were concerned for me all along, but you had no opportunity to express it.
11. Not that I am saying this to call attention to any need of mine; since, as far as I am concerned, I have learned to be content regardless of circumstances.
12. I know what it is to be in want, and I know what it is to have more than enough — in everything and in every way I have learned the secret of being full and being hungry, of having abundance and being in need.
13. I can do all things through him who gives me power.
Christianity is accused of fostering both asceticism and greed. The teaching of these verses, based on personal experience (detailed at 2C 11:21-33), is that the Messiah offers power to cope with both penury and luxury, indeed power to do all things.
14. Nevertheless, it was good of you to share in my trouble.
15. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the early days of my work spreading the Good News, when I left Macedonia, not a single congregation shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving — only you.
16. Indeed, in Thessalonica when I needed it, you sent me aid twice.
17. I am not seeking the gift; rather, I am looking for what will increase the credit balance of your account.
18. I have been more than paid in full: I have been filled, since I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent — they are a fragrant aroma (Genesis 8:21; Exodus 29:18), an acceptable sacrifice, one that pleases God well.
19. Moreover, my God will fill every need of yours according to his glorious wealth, in union with the Messiah Yeshua.
20. And to God our Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
This is the ultimate assurance of God's providence and sufficiency. Am«i.SeeRo9:5N.
21. Greet each of God’s people in the Messiah Yeshua. The brothers with me send their greetings to you.
22. All God’s people send greetings, but especially those in the Emperor’s household.
The Emperor's household. This indicates that Sha'ul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this letter.
23. The grace of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah be with your spirit.
- chapter 1
- chapter 2
- chapter 3
- chapter 4