Page images

13. “ The palace.”—This is, in the original, rearraqev, in Latin prætorium; and as it has different applications, ita sense here has been rather disputed. At Rome, it signified the public hall where canses 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 pas vinces, 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 cir. cumstances 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 im. portant corroboration which it receives from ch. iv. 22, where the apostle mentions " the saints of Cæsar's housebold.'

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 duelt, 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 brokea 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 emperurs abode,

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]


If there be therefore any consolation in

Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellow1 He exhorteth them to unity, and to all humbleness ship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies

of mind, by the example of Christ's humility and exaltation : 12 to a careful proceeding in the way

2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded of salvation, that they be as lights to the wicked having the same love, being of one accord. world, 16 and comforts to him their apostle, who of one mind. is now ready to be offered up to God. 19 He hopeth to send Timothy to them, whom he greatly com

3 Let nothing be done through strife or mendeth, 25 as Epaphroditus also, whom he pre- vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each sently sendeth to them.

esteem other better than themselves.

with me.

4 Look not every man on his own things, sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and but every man also on the things of others. rejoice with you all.

5 Let this mind be in you, which was 18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and also in Christ Jesus :

rejoice with me. 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought 19 'But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send it not robbery to be equal with God: Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also

7 But made himself of no reputation, and may be of good comfort, when I know your took upon him the form of a servant, and state. was made in the 'likeness of men :

20 For I have no man "likeminded, who 8 And being found in fashion as a man, will naturally care for your state. he humbled himself, and became obedient 21 For all seek their own, not the things unto death, even the death of the cross. which are Jesus Christ's.

9 Wherefore God also hath highly ex- 22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as alted him, and given him a name which is a son with the father, he hath served with above every name:

me in the Gospel. 10 That at the name of Jesus every

knee 23 Him therefore I hope to send preshould bow, of things in heaven, and things sently, so soon as I shall see how it will go in earth, and things under the earth;

11 And that every tongue should confess 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also that Jesus Christ iš Lord, to the glory of myself shall come shortly. God the Father.

25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have you Epaphroditus, my brother, and compaalways obeyed, not as in my presence only, nion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your but now much more in my absence, work messenger, and he that ministered to my out your own salvation with fear and trem- vants. bling.

26 For he longed after you all, and was 13 For it is God which worketh in you full of heaviness, because that ye

had heard both to will and to do of his good plea- that he had been sick. sure.

27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto 14 Do all things without murmurings and death: but God had mercy on him; and not disputings:

on him only, but on me also, lest I should 15 That ye may be blameless and harm- have sorrow upon sorrow. less, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the 28 I sent him therefore the more caremidst of a crooked and perverse nation, fully, that, when ye see him again, ye may among whom 'ye shine as lights in the rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. world;

29 Receive him therefore in the Lord 16 Holding forth the word of life; that with all gladness; and "hold such in repuI may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I tation : have not run in vain, neither laboured in 30 Because for the work of Christ he was vain.

nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to 17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the supply your lack of service toward me. 1 Or, habit. Or, sincere. 3 Or, shine ye. • Gr. poured forth.

• Or, so dear unto me.

7 1 Cor. 10.94.

3 Or, moreover. 8 Or, honour such.

Verse 15. “ Ye shine as lights in the world.—Doddridge paraphrases, “Shine as elevated lights ;” observing, in his note, after Saurin, that ©woonees 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 amoug 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,

[ocr errors]


of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his I He warneth them to beware of the false teachers sufferings, being made conformable unto

of the circumcision, 4 sheuing that himself hath his deatlı; greater cuuse than they to trust in the righteous

11 If by any means I might attain unto ness of the law: 7 uchich notuithstanding he

the resurrection of the dead. counteth as dung and loss, to gain Christ and his righteousness, 12 therein acknowledging his 12 Not as though I had already attained, oun imperfection. 15 He exhorteth them to be either were already perfect: but I follow thus minded, 17 and to imitate him, 18 and to de- after, if that I may apprehend that for which cline the ways of carnal Christians.

also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have To write the same things to you, to me apprehended: but this one thing I do, forindeed is not grievous, but for you it is getting those things which are behind, and safe.

reaching forth unto those things which are 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, before, beware of the concision.

14 I press toward the mark for the prize 3 For we are the circumcision, which wor- of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perJesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. fect, be thus minded : and if in any thing

4 Though I might also have confidence ye be otherwise minded, God shall rereal in the flesh. If any other man thinketh even this unto you. that he hath whereof he might trust in the 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already flesh, I more:

attained, let us walk by the same rule, let 5 Circumcised the cighth day, 'of the us mind the same thing. stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the and mark them which walk so as ye have us law, 'a Pharisce ;

for an ensample. 6 Concerning zcal, persecuting the IS (For many walk, of whom I hare told Church; touching the righteousness which you often, and now tell you even weeping, is in the law, blameless.

that they are the enemies of the cross of 7 But what things were gain to me, those Christ : I counted loss for Christ.

19 Whose end is destruction, whose God 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things is their belly, and whose glory is in their but loss for the excellency of the knowledge shame, who mind earthly things.) of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have 20 For our conversation is in heaven; suffered the loss of all things, and do count

from whence also we look for the Saviour, them but dung, that I may win Christ, the Lord Jesus Christ :

9 And be found in him, not having mine 21 Who shall change our vile body, that own righteousness, which is of the law, but it may be fashioned like unto his glorious that which is through the faith of Christ, body, according to the working whereby he the righteousness which is of God by faith : is able even to subdue all things unto him10 That I may know him, and the power self. 12 Cor. 11.22.

$ 1 Cor. 1.7. Tit. 2. 13. Verse 5. “Circumcised the eighth day."— Of circumcision, and the time for it, we have already spoken. But re 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 hy both parents, and that by a long series of ancestors, without any mixture of Gentile or proselyte blood. In the SR sense, and with equal pride, a Bedouin boasts himself an “ Arab of the Arabs.”

12. “Not as though I had ulready 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 witho: having as yet received it. It will be seen that the allusions are to the foot-races, concerning which see the notes oa 1 Cor. ix.

Perfect.”—Some give to this word (FiTidewal), 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,

Acts 23. 6.

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.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

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 dies,

The charioteer the bending lash applies,
To overtake the foremost on the plain,

But looks on all behind him with disdain."-Serm. I. 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 iFsxT50, " 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 herè 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.


flourished again ; wherein ye were also care1 From particular admonitions 4 he proceedeth to

ful, but ye lacked opportunity. general erhortations, 10 sherring how he rejoiced

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: at their liberality towards him lying in prison, for I have learned, in whatsoever state I not so much for the supply of his own wants, as am, therewith to be content. for the grace of God in them. 19 And so he con- 12 I know both how to be abased, and I cludeth with prayer and sulutations.

know how to abound: every where and in THEREFORE, my brethren dearly beloved all things I am instructed both to be full and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand and to be hungry, both to abound and to fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. suffer need.

2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syn- 13 I can do all things through Christ tyche, that they be of the same mind in the which strengtheneth me. Lord.

14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, 3 And I intreat thee also, true yoke that ye did communicate with my affliction. fellow, help those women which laboured 15 Now, ye Philippians, know also, that with me in the Gospel, with Clement also, in the beginning of the Gospel, when I deand with other my fellowlabourers, whose parted from Macedonia, no church communames are in 'the book of life.

nicated with me as concerning giving and 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again receiving, but ye only. I say, Rejoice.

16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once 5 Let your moderation be known unto all and again unto my necessity. men. The Lord is at hand.

17 Not because I desire a gift : but I de6 Be careful for nothing; but in every sire fruit that may abound to your account. thing by prayer and supplication with thanks. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am giving, let your requests be made known full, having received of Epaphroditus the unto God.

things which were sent from you, an odour 7 And the peace of God, which passeth of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellall understanding, shall keep your hearts pleasing to God. and minds through Christ Jesus.

19 But my God shall supply all your 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever thing3 nced according to his riches in glory by are true, whatsocver things are 'honest, Christ Jesus. whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things 20 Now unto God and our Father be are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whate glony Saleter every saint in Christ Jesus. soever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think The brethren which are with me greet you. on these things.

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they 9 Those things, which ye have both that are of Cæsar's houshold. learned, and received, and heard, and scen 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in me, do: and the God of peace shall be be with you all. Amen.

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, It was written to the Philippians from that now at the last your care of me, 'hath Rome by Epaphroditus.

? Or, venerable. 3 Or, is revired. * Or, I have received all. Verse 2. Euodias... Syntyche.”—These are names of women, between whom there appears to have been some serioas 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 Cleinent 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 s 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 acquainted 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."

with you.

" Revel. 3, 5, and 20.12, and 21. 97.

« PreviousContinue »