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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - PHILIPPIANS 2

    Philippians 1 - Philippians 3 - VINCENT'S STUDY - HELP - FACEBOOK - GR FORUMS - GODRULES ON YOUTUBE    




    2:1 {If} (ei). Paul uses four conditions in this verse, all of the first class, assuming the condition to be true. {Comfort} (paraklesis). Rather, "ground of appeal to you in Christ." See #1Co 1:10; Eph 4:1. {Comfort} (paramuqion). Old word from paramuqeomai, persuasive address, incentive. {Of love} (agapes). Objective genitive, "in love" (undefined as in #1Co 13). {Fellowship} (koinwnia). Partnership in the Holy Spirit "whose first fruit is love" (#Ga 5:22). {Any tender mercies} (tis splagcna). Common use of this word for the nobler viscera and so for the higher emotions. But tis is masculine singular and splagcna is neuter plural. Lightfoot suggests an error of an early transcriber or even of the amanuensis in writing ei tis instead of ei tina.

    2:2 {Fulfil} (plerwsate). Better here, "fill full." Paul's cup of joy will be full if the Philippians will only keep on having unity of thought and feeling (to auto phronˆte, present active subjunctive, keep on thinking the same thing). {Being of one accord} (sunpsuchoi). Late word here for the first time, from sun and yuce, harmonious in soul, souls that beat together, in tune with Christ and with each other. {Of one mind} (to hen phronountes). "Thinking the one thing." Like clocks that strike at the same moment. Perfect intellectual telepathy. Identity of ideas and harmony of feelings.

    2:3 {Through vainglory} (kata kenodoxian). Late word, only here in N.T., from kenodoxos (kenos, doxa, #Ga 5:26, only here in N.T.), empty pride. {In lowliness of mind} (tˆi tapeinophrosunˆi). Late and rare word. Not in O.T. or early Greek writers. In Josephus and Epictetus in bad sense (pusillanimity). For ostentatious humility in #Co 2:18,23. One of the words, like tapeinos (#Mt 11:29) and tapeinophr"n (#1Pe 3:8, here alone in N.T.) that Christianity has ennobled and dignified (#Ac 20:19). {Better than himself} (huperechontas heaut"n). Present active participle of huperecw in intransitive sense to excel or surpass with the ablative, "excelling themselves." See #Ro 12:10.

    2:4 {Looking} (skopountes). Present active participle of skopew from skopos (aim, goal). Not keeping an eye on the main chance for number one, but for the good of others.

    2:5 {Have this mind in you} (touto phroneite en humin). "Keep on thinking this in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (ho kai en Christ"i iesou). What is that? Humility. Paul presents Jesus as the supreme example of humility. He urges humility on the Philippians as the only way to secure unity.

    2:6 {Being} (huparcwn). Rather, "existing," present active participle of huparcw. In the form of God (en morphˆi qeou). morfe means the essential attributes as shown in the form. In his preincarnate state Christ possessed the attributes of God and so appeared to those in heaven who saw him. Here is a clear statement by Paul of the deity of Christ. {A prize} (harpagmon). Predicate accusative with hˆgˆsato. Originally words in -mos signified the act, not the result (-ma). The few examples of harpagmos (Plutarch, etc.) allow it to be understood as equivalent to harpagma, like baptismos and baptisma. That is to say Paul means a prize to be held on to rather than something to be won ("robbery"). {To be on an equality with God} (to einai isa qeoi). Accusative articular infinitive object of hˆgˆsato, "the being equal with God" (associative instrumental case qewi after isa). Isa is adverbial use of neuter plural with einai as in #Re 21:16. {Emptied himself} (heauton eken"se). First aorist active indicative of kenow, old verb from kenos, empty. Of what did Christ empty himself? Not of his divine nature. That was impossible. He continued to be the Son of God. There has arisen a great controversy on this word, a Kenosis doctrine. Undoubtedly Christ gave up his environment of glory. He took upon himself limitations of place (space) and of knowledge and of power, though still on earth retaining more of these than any mere man. It is here that men should show restraint and modesty, though it is hard to believe that Jesus limited himself by error of knowledge and certainly not by error of conduct. He was without sin, though tempted as we are. "He stripped himself of the insignia of majesty" (Lightfoot).

    2:7 {The form of a servant} (morphˆn doulou). He took the characteristic attributes (morphˆn as in verse #6) of a slave. His humanity was as real as his deity. {In the likeness of men} (en homoi"mati anqrwpwn). It was a likeness, but a real likeness (Kennedy), no mere phantom humanity as the Docetic Gnostics held. Note the difference in tense between huparcwn (eternal existence in the morfe of God) and genomenos (second aorist middle participle of ginomai, becoming, definite entrance in time upon his humanity).

    2:8 {In fashion} (schˆmati). Locative case of scema, from ecw, to have, to hold. Bengel explains morfe by _forma_, homoiwma by _similitudo_, scema by _habitus_. Here with scema the contrast "is between what He is in Himself, and what He _appeared_ in the eyes of menw (Lightfoot). {He humbled himself} (etapein"sen heauton). First aorist active of tapeinow, old verb from tapeinos. It is a voluntary humiliation on the part of Christ and for this reason Paul is pressing the example of Christ upon the Philippians, this supreme example of renunciation. See Bruce's masterpiece, _The Humiliation of Christ_. {Obedient} (hupˆkoos). Old adjective, giving ear to. See #Ac 7:39; 2Co 2:9. {Unto death} (mecri qanatou). "Until death." See "until blood" (mechris haimatos, #Heb 12:4). {Yea, the death of the cross} (qanatou de staurou). The bottom rung in the ladder from the Throne of God. Jesus came all the way down to the most despised death of all, a condemned criminal on the accursed cross.

    2:9 {Wherefore} (dio). Because of which act of voluntary and supreme humility. {Highly exalted} (huperups"se). First aorist indicative of huperupso" (huper and huyos) late and rare word (LXX and Byzantine). Here only in N.T. Because of Christ's voluntary humiliation God lifted him above or beyond (huper) the state of glory which he enjoyed before the Incarnation. What glory did Christ have after the Ascension that he did not have before in heaven? What did he take back to heaven that he did not bring? Clearly his humanity. He returned to heaven the Son of Man as well as the Son of God. {The name which is above every name} (to onoma to huper pan onoma). What name is that? Apparently and naturally the name {Jesus}, which is given in verse #10. Some think it is "Jesus Christ," some "Lord," some the ineffable name Jehovah, some merely dignity and honor.

    2:10 {That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow} (hina en twi onomati iesou pan gonu kampsˆi). First aorist active subjunctive of kampt", old verb, to bend, to bow, in purpose clause with hina. Not perfunctory genuflections whenever the name of Jesus is mentioned, but universal acknowledgment of the majesty and power of Jesus who carries his human name and nature to heaven. this universal homage to Jesus is seen in #Ro 8:22; Eph 1:20-22 and in particular #Re 5:13. {Under the earth} (katachthoni"n). Homeric adjective for departed souls, subterranean, simply the dead. Here only in the N.T.

    2:11 {Should confess} (exomologˆsˆtai). First aorist middle subjunctive of exomologeomai with hina for purpose. {Lord} (kurios). Peter (#Ac 2:36) claimed that God made Christ "Lord." See also #1Co 8:6; 12:3; Ro 10:9. Kennedy mourns that the term Lord has become one of the most lifeless in the Christian vocabulary, whereas it really declares the true character and dignity of Jesus Christ and "is the basis and the object of worship."

    2:12 {Not as in my presence only} (mˆ h"s en tˆi parousiai monon). B and a few other MSS. omit hws. The negative me goes with the imperative katergazesthe (work out), not with hupˆkousate (obeyed) which would call for ouc. {Much more} (pollwi mallon). They are not to render eye-service only when Paul is there, but much more when he is away. {Work out} (katergazesthe). Perfective use of kata (down) in composition, work on to the finish. this exhortation assumes human free agency in the carrying on the work of one's salvation. {With fear and trembling} (meta fobou kai tromou). "Not slavish terror, but wholesome, serious caution" (Vincent). "A nervous and trembling anxiety to do right" (Lightfoot). Paul has no sympathy with a cold and dead orthodoxy or formalism that knows nothing of struggle and growth. He exhorts as if he were an Arminian in addressing men. He prays as if he were a Calvinist in addressing God and feels no inconsistency in the two attitudes. Paul makes no attempt to reconcile divine sovereignty and human free agency, but boldly proclaims both.

    2:13 {Which worketh in you} (ho energ"n en humin). Articular present active participle of energew from energos (en, ergon) one at work, common verb from Aristotle on, to be at work, to energize. God is the Energy and the Energizer of the universe. Modern scientists, like Eddington, Jeans, and Whitney, are not afraid to agree with Paul and to put God back of all activity in nature. {Both to will and to work} (kai to thelein kai to energein). "Both the willing and the working (the energizing)." God does it all, qen. Yes, but he puts us to work also and our part is essential, as he has shown in verse #12, though secondary to that of God. {For his good-pleasure} (huper tˆs eudokias). So Whitney puts "the will of God" behind gravitation and all the laws of nature.

    2:14 {Without murmurings} (cwris goggusmwn). See on #Ac 6:1 for this late onomatopoetic word from gogguzw, to mutter, to grumble. {Disputings} (dialogism"n). Or questionings as in #Lu 24:38. The grumblings led to disputes.

    2:15 {That ye may be} (hina genesqe). Rather, "that ye may become" (second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai, to become). {Blameless} (amemptoi). Free from censure (memfomai, to blame). {Harmless} (akeraioi). Unmixed, unadulterated as in #Ro 16:19. {Without blemish} (am"ma). Without spot, "unblemished in reputation and in reality" (Vincent). {In the midst of} (meson). Preposition with genitive. {Crooked} (skolias). Old word, curved as opposed to orqos, straight. See on ¯Ac 2:40. {Perverse} (diestrammenˆs). Perfect passive participle of diastrefw, to distort, to twist, to turn to one side (dia, in two). Old word. See #Mt 17:17; Ac 13:10.

    2:16 {As lights in the world} (h"s ph"stˆres en kosmwi). As luminaries like the heavenly bodies. Christians are the light of the world (#Mt 5:14) as they reflect the light from Christ (#Joh 1:4; 8:12), but here the word is not fws (light), but ph"stˆres (luminaries, stars). The place for light is the darkness where it is needed. {Holding forth} (epechontes). Present active participle of epecw. Probably not connected with the preceding metaphor in ph"stˆres. The old meaning of the verb epecw is to hold forth or to hold out (the word of life as here). The context seems to call for "holding fast." It occurs also with the sense of attending to (#Ac 3:5). {That I may have} (emoi). Ethical dative, "to me as a ground of boasting."

    2:17 {And if I am offered} (ei kai spendomai). Though I am poured out as a libation. Old word. In N.T. only here and #2Ti 4:6. Paul pictures his life-blood as being poured upon (uncertain whether heathen or Jewish offerings meant and not important) the sacrifice and service of the faith of the Philippians in mutual service and joy (both cairw and suncairw twice in the sentence). Joy is mutual when the service is mutual. Young missionaries offer their lives as a challenge to other Christians to match their money with their blood.

    2:19 {That I also may be of good comfort} (hina kag" eupsuch"). Present subjunctive with hina in purpose clause of the late and rare verb eupsuche", from eupsuchos (cheerful, of good spirit). In papyri and eupsuchei (be of good cheer) common in sepulchral inscriptions. {When I know} (gnous). Second aorist active participle of ginwskw.

    2:20 {Likeminded} (isopsuchon). Old, but very rare adjective (isos, yuce), like isotimos in #2Pe 1:1. Only here in N.T. Likeminded with Timothy, not with Paul. {Truly} (gnesiws). "Genuinely." Old adverb, only here in N.T., from gnˆsios (#Php 4:3), legitimate birth, not spurious.

    2:21 {They all} (hoi pantes). "The whole of them." Surely Luke was away from Rome at this juncture.

    2:22 {The proof} (tˆn dokimˆn). "The test" as of metals (#2Co 2:9; 9:13). Three times they had seen Timothy (#Ac 16:13; 19:22; 20:3f.). {With me} (sun emoi). Paul's delicacy of feeling made him use sun rather than emoi alone. Timothy did not serve Paul. {In furtherance of} (eis). See #Php 1:5 for this use of eis.

    2:23 {So soon as I shall see} (hws an aphid"). Indefinite temporal clause with hws an and the second aorist active subjunctive of aforaw. The oldest MSS. (Aleph A B D) have aphid" (old aspirated form) rather than apid". {How it will go with me} (ta peri eme). On the force of apo with horaw (look away) see #Heb 12:2. "The things concerning me," the outcome of the trial. Cf. #1Co 4:17,19.

    2:24 {In the Lord} (en kuriwi). Not a perfunctory use of this phrase. Paul's whole life is centered in Christ (#Ga 2:20).

    2:25 {I counted it} (hˆgˆsamˆn). Epistolary aorist from the point of view of the readers. {Epaphroditus} (Epaphroditon). Common name, though only in Philippians in N.T., contracted into Epaphras, though not the same man as Epaphras in #Col 1:7. Note one article ton (the) with the three epithets given in an ascending scale (Lightfoot), brother (adelfon, common sympathy), fellow-worker (sunergon, common work), fellow-soldier (sunstrati"tˆn, common danger as in #Phm 1:2). Mou (my) and humwn (your) come together in sharp contrast. {Messenger} (apostolon). See #2Co 8:23 for this use of apostolos as messenger (missionary). {Minister} (leitourgon). See on ¯Ro 13:6; 15:16 for this ritualistic term.

    2:26 {He longed after} (epipoth"n ˆn). Periphrastic imperfect of epipoqew (#Php 1:8), "he was yearning after." {You all} (pantas humas). So again (#1:5,7,8). {Was sore troubled} (adˆmon"n). Periphrastic imperfect again (repeat ˆn) of the old word adˆmone" either from an unused adˆm"n (a privative and demos, away from home, homesick) or from adˆm"n, adˆsai (discontent, bewilderment). The _Vocabulary_ of Moulton and Milligan gives one papyrus example in line with the latter etymology. See already #Mt 26:37; Mr 14:33. In any case the distress of Epaphroditus was greatly increased when he knew that the Philippians (the home-folks) had learned of his illness, "because ye had heard that he was sick" (dioti ekousate hoti ˆsthenˆse), "because ye heard that he fell sick" (ingressive aorist). {He was sick} (ˆsthenˆse). Ingressive aorist, "he did become sick." {Nigh unto death} (paraplˆsion qanatwi). Only example in N.T. of this compound adverbial preposition (from the adjective paraplˆsios) with the dative case.

    2:28 {Ye may rejoice} (charˆte). Second aorist passive subjunctive with hina in final clause of cairw, to rejoice. {That I may be the less sorrowful} (kag" alupoteros "). Present subjunctive with hina and comparative of old compound adjective alupos (a privative and lupe, more free from grief). Beautiful expression of Paul's feelings for the Philippians and for Epaphroditus.

    2:29 {In honor} (entimous). Old compound adjective (en, time), prized, precious (#Lu 7:2; 14:8; 1Pe 2:4,6). Predicate accusative. Noble plea in behalf of Christ's minister.

    2:30 {Hazarding his life} (paraboleusamenos tˆi psuchˆi). First aorist middle participle of paraboleu" (from the adjective parabolos), to place beside. The old Greek writers used paraballomai, to expose oneself to danger. But Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, p. 88) cites an example of paraboleusamenos from an inscription at Olbia or the Black Sea of the second century A.D. where it plainly means "exposing himself to danger" as here. Lightfoot renders it here "having gambled with his life." The word parabolani (riskers) was applied to the Christians who risked their lives for the dying and the dead.

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