Philippians 4:1-9

1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

[Therefore, my ... beloved] Because you have this armor, and those enemies, and God for your support, see that you stand fast in him.

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

[I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche] These were two pious women, it is generally supposed, who were deaconesses in the churh at Philippi, and who in some points of doctrine and discipline had disagreed. He exhorts them to be of the same mind, that is, to resolve their differences; and, if they could not perfectly agree, to think and let think, and to avoid all public opposition, as their dissention would strengthen the hands of the common enemy and cause those who were weak to stumble. But it is more likely that Euodias was a woman and Syntyche a man, and probably the husband of Euodias; and that it is Syntyche whom the apostle calls true yokefellow in the next verse.

3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

[Help those women which labored with me] Both in the Grecian and Asiatic countries women were kept much secluded, and it was not likely that even the apostles had much opportunity of conversing with them; it is therefore necessary that they should have experienced Christian women with them who could have access to families, and preach Jesus to the females among them. The apostle tells us that certain women labored with him in the Gospel, and were assistants to others also who had assisted him.
Some think the women here were Euodias and Syntyche; but I rather incline to the opinion that Syntyche was a male, and Euodias, his wife. Euodias signifies a pleasant scent; Syntyche, fortunate.

[With Clement also] Supposed to be the same who was afterwards bishop of Rome, and who wrote a letter to the Corinthians which still exists.

[Whose names are in the book of life.] Who are genuine Christians; who are enlisted or enrolled in the armies of the Lord, and have received a title to eternal glory.

4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

[Rejoice in the Lord alway] Be continually happy; but this happiness you can find only in the Lord. Genuine happiness is spiritual, as it can only come from God, so it infallibly points toward him. The apostle repeats the exhortation to show, not only his earnestness, but also that it is God's will that it should be so, and that it was their duty as well as interest.

5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

[Let your moderation be known] The word means the same as mildness, patience, yieldingness, gentleness, clemency, moderation, unwillingness to litigate or contend. "Moderation", says Dr. Macknight, "means meekness under provocation, readiness to forgive injuries, equity in the management of business, candor in the judging of the characters and actions of others, sweetness of disposition and the entire government of the passions".

[The Lord is at hand] A phrase something similar to the Maranatha of 1 Corinthians 16:22; The Lord is judge, and is at hand to punish. Schoettgen supposes from this verse, taken in connection with the preceeding, that Euodias and Syntyche were of a quarralsome disposition, hence the exhortation and threatening in the third and fifth verses.

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

[Be careful for nothing] Be not anxious; do not give place to incapacitating fear, let what will happen, happen, for anxiety cannot change the state or condition of anything from bad to good but will infallibly injure your own souls.

[By prayer and supplication] God alone can help you; he is disposed to do it but you must ask by prayer and supplication; without this he has not promised to help you.

By prayer - solemn application to God from a sense of need. Supplication - continuance in earnest prayer. With thanksgiving - for innumerable favors already received, and for dangers, evils and deaths turned aside. And let your souls be found in this exercise, or in the disposition in which this exercise can be performed, at all times, on all occasions and in all places.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

[And the peace of God] That harmonizing of all passions and appetites which is produced by the Holy Spirit, and arises from a sense of pardon and the favor of God.

[Shall keep your hearts] Shall keep them as in a strong place or castle. Your hearts - the seat of all your affections and passions, and minds - your understanding, judgement and conscience through Christ Jesus; by whom you were brought into this state of favor, through whom you are preserved in it, and in whom you posess it; for Christ keeps the heart in peace in whom he dwells and rules. This peace passes all understanding; it is of a very different nature from all that can arise from human activity; it is a peace which Christ has purchased and which God dispenses; it is felt by the truly godly but can be explained by none; it is communion with the Father and his Son Jesus Christ by the power and influence of the Holy Ghost.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

[Finally brethren] The object of the Apostle is to recommend holiness and righteousness to them in every point of view; and to show that the Gospel of Christ requires all its professors to have the mind that was in Christ and to walk as he himself also walked. That they were not to attend to one branch of righteousness or virtue only, but to every thing by which they might bring honor to God, good to their fellow creatures and credit to themselves.

[Whatsoever things are true] All that is agreeable to unchangeable and eternal truth. Whether that which is to be learned from the nature and state of created things or that which comes immediately from God by revelation.

[Whatsoever things are honest] Whatever is grave, decent and venerable. Whatever becomes you as men, as citizens and Christians.

[Whatsoever things are just] Whatever is agreeable to justice and righteousness. All that youowe to God, to your neighbor and to yourselves.

[Whatsover things are pure] Whatever is chaste. In reference to the state of the mind and to the acts of the body.

[Whatsoever things are lovely] Whatsoever is amiable on it's own account and on account of its usefulness to others, whether in your conduct or conversation.

[Whatsoever things are of good report] Whatsoever things the public agree to acknowledge as useful and profitable to men, such as charitable institutions of every kind, in which genuine Christians should ever take the lead.

[If there be any virtue] If they be calculated to promote the general good of mankind and are thus praiseworthy;

[Think on these things] Esteem them highly, recommend them heartily and practice them fervently.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

[Those things which ye have...]
learned - from my preaching and writing;
and received - by faith, as a revelation from God;
and heard - from my preaching and that of those who labored with me, and heard from me in my private communications with you, and heard of me from other churches;
and seen in me - while I lived and labored among you;
do - take them for the rule of your faith and practice.

[And the God of peace] He who is the author of peace, the lover of peace and the maintainer of peace; he who has made peace between heaven and earth by the mission and sacrifice of his Son, shall be ever with you while you believe and act as here recommended.

Historical information drawn from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 10/15/2006

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