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13. "The palace."-This is, in the original, earpov, in Latin prætorium; and as it has different applications, its sense here has been rather disputed. At Rome, it signified the public hall where causes were tried by the prætor; but more usually it denoted the camp or quarters of the prætorian cohorts without the city. That this last is intended, is the opinion of many recent commentators. But it is also to be observed that the name of prætorium was, in the provinces, given to the palace of the governors, both because they administered justice and had their guards stationed in their residence. Hence it is inferred that, though the apostle was at Rome when he wrote this, and although the circumstances to which he refers occurred in that city, yet, writing to persons residing in the provinces, he uses the word prætorium in the provincial sense, and means by it the emperor's palace. This is the interpretation which our translators adopted, and in which we are ourselves most disposed to acquiesce, and that principally on account of the important corroboration which it receives from ch. iv. 22, where the apostle mentions "the saints of Caesar's household."
A Roman palace of this time, being a building which was always before the eyes of Paul and the disciples at Rome, and in which some of those disciples dwelt, would be a very suitable illustration for this place. But the remains of no such palace are in existence. A few years after this, indeed, and subsequently to the burning of Rome, Nero built himself a glorious palace on Mount Palatine, which was named the "the golden palace." When the emperor saw it finished he said, "Now I am going to be lodged like a man!" This splendid fabric was burned and rebuilt in the reign of Commodus; and of the palace so rebuilt, in its present ruined condition, fringing the mount with its broken arches, a representation is given in our present engraving. It still bears the name of Nero's Palace;" and although of somewhat later origin than the time of St. Paul, it will be considered interesting from its approximation to his time, and from its furnishing the only idea obtainable from actual remains of the palaces in which the Roman emperors abode.
1 He exhorteth them to unity, and to all humbleness of mind, by the example of Christ's humility and exaltation: 12 to a careful proceeding in the way of salvation, that they be as lights to the wicked world, 16 and comforts to him their postle, who is now ready to be offered up to God. 19 He hopeth to send Timothy to them, whom he greatly commendeth, 25 as Epaphroditus also, whom he pre
sently sendeth to them.
IF there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each
esteem other better than themselves.
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good plea
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom 'ye shine as lights in the world;
sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man 'likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all 'seek their own, not the things
which are Jesus Christ's.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when_ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to 17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the supply your lack of service toward me. * Or, shine ye. Gr. poured forth. 8 Or, honour such.
■ Or, habit. & Or, sincere.
5 Or, moreover.
Or, so dear unto me. 71 Cor. 10. 24.
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
Verse 15. "Ye shine as lights in the world."-Doddridge paraphrases, "Shine as elevated lights;" observing, in his note, after Saurin, that warness has this energy, and alludes to the buildings which we call light-houses, the most famous of which was that raised on the isle of Pharos, where Ptolemy Philadelphus built a celebrated tower, on which a bright flame was always kept burning at night, to direct mariners on their way, and to warn them of the rocks which they were to pass at the entrance of the haven of Alexandria. But Dr. Bloomfield thinks that Doddridge evinces less than his usual judgment, in adopting this notion from the brilliant but fanciful Saurin (who got it from Beza); and alleges that the allusion is to the heavenly luminaries which give light to the world.
17. "If I be offered," &c.-Better, "If I be poured out upon," &c.—The term employed is a common sacrificial one, denoting the libations which, both among the Heathens and the Jews, were poured out upon the sacrifice. What therefore Paul means to do, is to consider the faith of the Philippians as a sacrifice acceptable to God; for the promotion of which he could rejoice to see his life poured out, by martyrdom, as a libation.
25. “Fellowsoldier."—It is possible that St. Paul may employ this expression in the sense, and with the force, suggested by an ancient custom in the Roman army, under which every soldier had a favourite comrade, to whom he was bound to render, and from whom he had a right to expect, assistance in all difficulty, and fellowship in all danger.
1 He warneth them to beware of the false teachers of the circumcision, 4 shewing that himself hath greater cause than they to trust in the righteousness of the law: 7 which notwithstanding he counteth as dung and loss, to gain Christ and his righteousness, 12 therein acknowledging his own imperfection. 15 He exhorteth them to be thus minded, 17 and to imitate him, 18 and to decline the ways of carnal Christians.
FINALLY, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.
3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ. Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:
5 Circumcised the eighth day, 'of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;
6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the Church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power
1 2 Cor. 11. 22.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
17 Brethren, be followers together of me. and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
IS (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping. that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
Acts 23. 6. 31 Cor. 1. 7. Tit. 2. 13.
Verse 5. "Circumcised the eighth day."— Of circumcision, and the time for it, we have already spoken. But we may here observe, that the Jews laid very great stress not only on the rite itself, but on its being performed on the eighth day. The Septuagint has an addition to Gen. xvii. 14, which we also find in the Samaritan Pentateuch:— "The male child which is not circumcised on the eighth day shall be cut off from among his people."
"An Hebrew of the Hebrews."-This was a proud distinction among the Jews, as it denoted one who was a Hebrew by both parents, and that by a long series of ancestors, without any mixture of Gentile or proselyte blood. In the same sense, and with equal pride, a Bedouin boasts himself an "Arab of the Arabs."
12. "Not as though I had already attained."-This and the two following verses are replete with agonistical metaphors. Here the word rendered “attained" signifies, to have arrived at the goal and won the prize, but without having as yet received it. It will be seen that the allusions are to the foot-races, concerning which see the notes on 1 Cor. ix.
Perfect.”—Some give to this word (Triλμi), as here employed, the sense which we have assigned to "attained;” but it seems rather to denote the victor's being crowned and receiving his reward. It is also observable, that in those games where the prizes were different, the most esteemed prizes, the leafy crowns, were distinguished as perfect prizes; the others, such as tripods, caps, and helmets, not being accounted equally honourable.
"That I may apprehend," &c.- This with the context offers considerable difficulty, nor have we met with any explanation with which we are able to rest satisfied. The idea of the word rendered "apprehend," is that of taking hold of or seizing suddenly and with eagerness; and since there is no doubt of its being used in an agonistical sense,
we will venture to suggest, whether it may not allude to the laying hold of the pole or post, which marked the goal, by the racer who has outstripped the other competitors, and who by that act claims the victory and its reward. This explanation seems to us at least as easy as any which has yet been offered, and considerably more natural.
13. "Forgetting those things which are behind."-Not looking back to see how much ground has been passed, or how far the other racers are behind; but pressing forward with no other thought or object than to be the first to reach the goal. There is something like this in a simile which Horace derives from a chariot-race:
"Thus, from the goal when swift the chariot flies,
The charioteer the bending lash applies,
To overtake the foremost on the plain,
But looks on all behind him with disdain."-Serm. 1. i. Sat. i. FRANCIS.
14. "I press toward the mark."-This means the mark of the goal, which was generally a pole set up in the ground, and sometimes surmounted by the leafy crown which was to be the prize of the victor. The word T, "to reach forth towards," expresses with beautiful propriety the manner in which the racer stretches his head and hands forward in anxiety to reach the goal.
"The prize."-See the notes on 1 Cor. ix. 25; and supra, v. 12.
16. "Already attained."-The word here rendered "attained," is different from that which is similarly translated in v. 12. It is still however an agonistical word, and describes not to have arrived at the goal, thereby completing the race, but to be foremost in the race which is still in progress.
"The same rule."-See the note on 1 Cor. ix. 26.
1 From particular admonitions 4 he proceedeth to general exhortations, 10 shewing how he rejoiced at their liberality towards him lying in prison, not so much for the supply of his own wants, as for the grace of God in them. 19 And so he concludeth with prayer and salutations.
THEREFORE, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.
2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
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.
flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now, ye Philippians, know also, that in the beginning of the Gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what glor Salute every saint in Christ Jesus.
20 Now unto God and our Father be for ever and ever. Amen.
soever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The brethren which are with me greet you. 22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Cæsar's houshold.
4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again say, Rejoice.
5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and scen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me, 'hath
1 Revel. 3. 5, and 20. 12, and 21. 27. * Or, venerable.
23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with be with you all. Amen.
It was written to the Philippians from
3 Or, is revived. ♦ Or, I have received a'l.
Verse 2. "Euodias... Syntyche.”—These are names of women, between whom there appears to have been some serious dissension; but who, as appears from the next verse, had "laboured with Paul in the Gospel."
3. "Clement."-Some think that this was the same person as the Clement who was afterwards bishop of Rome, and whose important epistle to the Corinthians is still extant, as well as other writings which are ascribed to him, but are spurious. Most of the ancients were of opinion that he is here intended: and although we should not like to express & very decided opinion on the subject, we think this conclusion has been rather hastily, and scarcely on sufficient grounds, rejected by most modern commentators.
22. "The saints... of Cæsar's houshold."-Some think that this must mean some of Cæsar's relations; but it is more clearly understood of his domestics and officers, particularly freed-men. Some of them may have been of high rank: but all that can be said as to their situation in Cæsar's household, as well as the manner in which they became sequainted with the doctrines of Christ, must be matter of mere conjecture. There is however no difficulty in seeing that some members of so large an establishment may have had opportunities of being acquainted with persons who had embraced the Christian faith, and were acquainted with the history and character of the apostle; and this may have led to the desire of such further information as ultimately procured for them the honourable distinction of being the "saints of Cæsar's houshold."