|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:12-18 We must be diligent in the use of all the means which lead to our salvation, persevering therein to the end. With great care, lest, with all our advantages, we should come short. Work out your salvation, for it is God who worketh in you. This encourages us to do our utmost, because our labour shall not be in vain: we must still depend on the grace of God. The working of God's grace in us, is to quicken and engage our endeavours. God's good-will to us, is the cause of his good work in us. Do your duty without murmurings. Do it, and do not find fault with it. Mind your work, and do not quarrel with it. By peaceableness; give no just occasion of offence. The children of God should differ from the sons of men. The more perverse others are, the more careful we should be to keep ourselves blameless and harmless. The doctrine and example of consistent believers will enlighten others, and direct their way to Christ and holiness, even as the light-house warns mariners to avoid rocks, and directs their course into the harbour. Let us try thus to shine. The gospel is the word of life, it makes known to us eternal life through Jesus Christ. Running, denotes earnestness and vigour, continual pressing forward; labouring, denotes constancy, and close application. It is the will of God that believers should be much in rejoicing; and those who are so happy as to have good ministers, have great reason to rejoice with them.
Verse 17. - Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith. He again compares the advantages of life and death, as in Philippians 1:20-25. In the last verse he was speaking of the possibility of looking back from the day of Christ upon a life of prolonged labor. Here he supposes the other alternative. The form of the sentence, the particles used (λειτουργία), and the indicative verb, all imply that the apostle looked forward to a martyr's death as the probable end of his life of warfare: Yea. he if I am even offered, as seems likely, and as I expect. Offered; the word means "poured out" as a libation or drink offering. St. Paul regards his blood shed in martyrdom as a libation poured forth in willing sacrifice. See 2 Timothy 4:6, Ἐγὼ γὰρ ἤδη σπένδομαι, "I am already being poured forth: the libation is commencing, the time of my departure is at hand." Compare also the similar words of Ignatius, 'Rom.' 2, and the words of the dying Seneca (Tacitus, 'Annals,' 15:64). Some think that the apostle, writing, as he does, to converted heathen, draws his metaphor from heathen sacrifices: in those sacrifices the libation was a much more important element than the drink offering in the Mosaic rites; and it was poured upon the sacrifice, whereas the drink offering seems to have been poured around the altar, not upon it. On the other hand, the preposition ἐπὶ is constantly used of the Jewish drink offering, and does not necessarily mean upon, but only "in addition to," or "at;" the drink offering being an accompaniment to the sacrifice. Service (λειτουργία). This important word denotes in classical Greek
(1) certain costly public offices at Athens, discharged by the richer citizens in rotation;
(2) any service or function In the Greek Scriptures it is used of priestly ministrations (Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21; comp. also Romans 15:16). In ecclesiastical Greek it stands for the order of the Holy Communion, the ancient liturgies; it is sometimes used loosely for any set form of public prayer. The analogy of Romans 12:1, Where St. Paul exhorts Christians to present their bodies a living sacrifice, suggests that here the Philippians are regarded as priests (comp. 1 Peter 3:5), offering the sacrifice of their faith, their hearts, themselves, in the ministrations of the spiritual priesthood; St. Paul's blood being represented as the accompanying drink offering. Others, comparing Romans 15:16, where also sacrificial words are used, regard St. Paul himself as the ministering priest, and understand the metaphor of a priest slain at the altar, his blood being shed while he is offering the sacrifice of their faith. I joy, and rejoice with you all. Meyer, Bengel, and others prefer "congratulate" as the rendering of συγχαίρω "I rejoice with you."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Yea, and if I be offered,.... Or "poured out", as the drink offerings of wine or oil were; meaning the effusion of his blood, which he compares to a libation, or drink offering, which was poured upon the sacrifice; and the laying down of his life for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel: which he knew not how soon might be, though he was in some hopes of a deliverance for the present, and therefore speaks of it in an hypothetical way: yet he expected it sooner or later; and that whenever it was, it would be as the libation upon the offering,
Upon the sacrifice and service of your faith; he had been the means of bringing them to the faith of Christ, in which they were an offering acceptable to God, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost; see Romans 15:16; and should he suffer and shed his blood in the cause of Christ, it would be as a libation on them, as a sacrifice; it would be for the sake of preaching the doctrine of faith, by which they were brought to believe on Christ; and it would be for the further confirmation of their faith, and as a drink offering acceptable unto God; upon all which accounts it would be matter of joy to him,
I joy and rejoice with you all; meaning at his sufferings and death, and the advantages thereof to Christ, to his churches, and to himself.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Yea, and if—rather as Greek, "Yea, if even"; implying that he regarded the contingency as not unlikely: He had assumed the possibility of his being found alive at Christ's coming (for in every age Christ designed Christians to stand in preparedness for His coming as at hand): he here puts a supposition which he regards as more likely, namely, his own death before Christ's coming.
I be offered—rather as Greek, "I am poured out." "I am made a libation." Present, not future, as the danger is threatening him now. As in sacrifices libations of wine were "poured upon" the offerings, so he represents his Philippian converts, offered through faith (or else their faith itself), as the sacrifice, and his blood as the libation "poured upon" it (compare Ro 15:16; 2Ti 4:6).
service—Greek, "priest's ministration"; carrying out the image of a sacrifice.
I joy—for myself (Php 1:21, 23). His expectation of release from prison is much fainter, than in the Epistles to Ephesians, Colossians, and Philemon, written somewhat earlier from Rome. The appointment of Tigellinus to be Prætorian Prefect was probably the cause of this change. See Introduction.
rejoice with you all—Alford translates, "I congratulate you all," namely on the honor occurring to you by my blood being poured out on the sacrifice of your faith. If they rejoiced already (as English Version represents), what need of his urging them, "Do ye also joy."
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