Philippians 2:25
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs.

New Living Translation
Meanwhile, I thought I should send Epaphroditus back to you. He is a true brother, co-worker, and fellow soldier. And he was your messenger to help me in my need.

English Standard Version
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,

Berean Study Bible
But I thought it necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my needs.

Berean Literal Bible
Now I esteemed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need,

New American Standard Bible
But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

King James Bible
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But I considered it necessary to send you Epaphroditus--my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier, as well as your messenger and minister to my need--

International Standard Version
Meanwhile, I thought it best to send Epaphroditus—my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and minister to my need—back to you.

NET Bible
But for now I have considered it necessary to send Epaphroditus to you. For he is my brother, coworker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to me in my need.

New Heart English Bible
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and servant of my need;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But now a matter has compelled me to send Epaphroditus to you, a brother who is a helper and worker with me, but your Apostle and a Minister of my needs,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I feel that I must send Epaphroditus-my brother, coworker, and fellow soldier-back to you. You sent him as your personal representative to help me in my need.

New American Standard 1977
But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labour and fellowsoldier, but your messenger and he that ministered to my needs.

King James 2000 Bible
Yet I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

American King James Version
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

American Standard Version
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need;

Douay-Rheims Bible
But I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow labourer, and fellow soldier, but your apostle, and he that hath ministered to my wants.

Darby Bible Translation
but I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-workman and fellow-soldier, but your messenger and minister to my need,

English Revised Version
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need;

Webster's Bible Translation
Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Weymouth New Testament
Yet I deem it important to send Epaphroditus to you now--he is my brother and comrade both in labour and in arms, and is your messenger who has ministered to my needs.

World English Bible
But I counted it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, fellow soldier, and your apostle and servant of my need;

Young's Literal Translation
And I thought it necessary Epaphroditus -- my brother, and fellow-workman, and fellow-soldier, and your apostle and servant to my need -- to send unto you,
Study Bible
Epaphroditus Commended
24And I trust in the Lord that I myself will come soon. 25But I thought it necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my needs. 26For he has been longing for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.…
Cross References
John 13:16
Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Romans 16:3
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus,

Romans 16:9
Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys.

2 Corinthians 8:23
As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you. As for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches to the glory of Christ.

Philippians 2:26
For he has been longing for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill.

Philippians 4:3
Yes, and I ask you, my true yokefellow, to help these women who have labored with me for the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Philippians 4:18
I have all I need and more, now that I have received your gifts from Epaphroditus. They are a sweet smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

Philemon 1:1
Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker,

Philemon 1:2
to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets at your house:

Philemon 1:24
as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
Treasury of Scripture

Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

Epaphroditus.

Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus …

my brother.

2 Corinthians 2:13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: …

2 Corinthians 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved …

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon …

companion.

Philippians 4:3 And I entreat you also, true yoke fellow, help those women which …

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you …

2 Corinthians 8:23 Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper …

Colossians 1:7 As you also learned of Epaphras our dear fellow servant, who is …

Colossians 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. …

1 Thessalonians 3:2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow …

Philemon 1:1 Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon …

fellowsoldier.

2 Timothy 2:3,4 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ…

Philemon 1:2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and …

but.

Proverbs 25:13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger …

John 17:18 As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them …

2 Corinthians 8:23 Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellow helper …

Hebrews 3:1 Why, holy brothers, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the …

and he.

Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus …

2 Corinthians 11:7-9 Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that you might be exalted, …

(25) Epaphroditus.--The name was often shortened into Epaphras. But it was a common name; hence any identification with the Epaphras of Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12; Philemon 1:23, is, to say the least, extremely precarious. It is hardly likely that one who was a native Colossian would be a resident and chosen messenger of Philippi. The three titles here given him are closely joined together in the original, and form a kind of climax--"brother" in a common Christianity, "fellow-worker" in the service of Christ, "fellow-soldier" in the "hardness" of daring and suffering, which the warfare of the Cross implies. (See 2Timothy 2:3-4.)

Your messenger.--The original word is apostle; and by some interpreters, ancient and modern, it has been thought that it is intended here to designate the chief pastor--or, in the modern sense, the bishop--of the Philippian Church (as probably is the case with the "angels" of the churches in the Apocalypse); and the word "your" is then explained in the same sense as the words "of the Gentiles" in Romans 11:13. But this is very unlikely, (1) because there seems to be no example to confirm the statement that the chief pastor of a church was ever called its "apostle;" (2) because the character of the apostolate, being general and evangelistic, was very different from that of the local and pastoral episcopate; (3) because in this passage the word is inseparably connected with the following "and minister to my needs," showing the latter phrase to be explanatory of the previous word; (4) because the style of commendation in Philippians 2:29 is hardly suitable as applied to one whose office alone should have commanded respect. Our version is, therefore, correct in rendering it "messenger," just as in 2Corinthians 8:23 ("the messengers of the churches"), where there is a similar reference to the transmission of alms.

Verse 25. - Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus; translate, but I count it necessary. Ἡγησάμην here and in Ver. 28 are epistolary aorists; they point, that is, to the time of reading the letter, not to that of writing it; and are therefore to be rendered by the English present. Epaphroditus is mentioned only in this Epistle. Epaphras is the contracted form, but the name is a common one, and there is no evidence of his identity with the Epaphras of Colossians and Philemon. He seems to have been the bearer of this Epistle. St. Paul felt that to come himself, or even to send Timothy, might possibly not be in his power; he thought it necessary, a matter of duty, to send Epaphroditus at once. My brother, and companion in labor, and fellow-soldier. Mark how the epithets rise one above another; they imply fellowship in religion, in work, in endurance. But your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. "Your" refers to both clauses; "your messenger, and (your) minister to my need." Epaphroditus had brought to St. Paul the contributions of the Philippians (Philippians 4:18). Some think that the word rendered "messenger" (ἀπόστολος, literally "apostle") means that Epaphroditus was the apostle, that is, the bishop of the Philippian Church. It may be so (comp. Philippians 4:3, and note); but there is no proof of the establishment of any diocesan bishops, except St. James at Jerusalem, at so early a period. The word ἀπόστολος. both here and in 2 Corinthians 8:23 (ἀπόσψολος ἐκκλησιῶν), is probably used in its first meaning in the sense of messenger, or delegate. The Greek word for minister, λειτουργός, seems to imply, like λειτουργία in Ver. 30, that St. Paul regarded the alms of the Philippians as an offering to God, ministered by Epaphroditus. (But see Romans 13:6, also 2 Kings 4:43; 2 Kings 6:15, etc. in the Greek.) Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus,.... In the mean while, before either he or Timothy could come to them. This man was sent by the Philippians to the apostle with a present, and had been detained at Rome for some time, partly through business, and partly through sickness; but now the apostle thought it proper, he being recovered, to send him to them, who was one of their ministers. One of this name lived at Rome about this time, and was one of Nero's freemen (o), but not the same person here intended. This person has a very high character. The apostle calls him,

my brother; not in a natural relation, or as being his countryman, and so according to a way of speaking with the Jews, and himself, his brother and kinsman according to the flesh; for by his name and country he seems to be a Greek; but in a spiritual relation, being born again of the same Father, belonging to the same household and family, and also a brother in the ministry, as it follows:

and companion in labour; in the laborious work of preaching the Gospel. The ministry of the word is a work; it is called the work of the ministry; and it is a laborious one when diligently and faithfully performed: the apostle was a workman that needed not to be ashamed, a labourer in Christ's vineyard, and one that laboured more abundantly than others; and he was not alone, he had companions in his work, and this good man was one of them: he adds,

and fellow soldier; the life of every believer is a warfare; he is always engaged in a war with sin, and Satan, and the world; and is often called to fight the fight of faith, to contend earnestly against false teachers for the faith once delivered to the saints, to stand up for it, and fast in it; and is provided for with the whole armour of God, with weapons of warfare, which are not carnal, but spiritual and mighty, being enlisted as a volunteer under the great Captain of his salvation, Jesus Christ, under whose banner he fights, and is more than a conqueror through him: but though this is the common case and character of all the saints, it more especially belongs to ministers of the Gospel; who are set for the defence of it, and at the front of the battle, and are called to meet the enemy at the gate, and endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; and such an one was the apostle; and he had other fellow soldiers, and this person among the rest, who were engaged in the same common cause with the same enemies, under the same Captain, and would enjoy the same crown:

but your messenger; or "apostle"; meaning either that he was the pastor of them, a preacher to them, a minister among them; for ordinary ministers of the word were sometimes called apostles, as well as extraordinary ones, see Romans 16:7; or rather, that he was their messenger to him, to relieve, comfort, and assist him in his bonds; and such persons were called the messengers of the churches, 2 Corinthians 8:23, which sense is strengthened by what follows:

and he that ministered to my wants: to his personal wants in prison, and to the wants of the poor saints, which the apostle reckoned as his own, and which he used to supply; but now not able; and to his ministerial wants, filling up his place in preaching the Gospel to the saints at Rome,

(o) Artinn. Epictet. l. 1. c. 1, 19, 26. & Aurel. Victor. Epitome Rom. Imp. in Nerone. 25. I supposed—"I thought it necessary."

to send—It was properly a sending Epaphroditus back (Php 4:18). But as he had come intending to stay some time with Paul, the latter uses the word "send" (compare Php 2:30).

fellow soldier—in the "good fight" of faith (Php 1:27, 30; 2Ti 2:3; 4:7).

your messenger—literally, "apostle." The "apostles" or "messengers of the churches" (Ro 16:7; 2Co 8:23), were distinct from the "apostles" specially commissioned by Christ, as the Twelve and Paul.

ministered to my wants—by conveying the contributions from Philippi. The Greek "leitourgon," literally, implies ministering in the ministerial office. Probably Epaphroditus was a presbyter or else a deacon.2:19-30 It is best with us, when our duty becomes natural to us. Naturally, that is, sincerely, and not in pretence only; with a willing heart and upright views. We are apt to prefer our own credit, ease, and safety, before truth, holiness, and duty; but Timothy did not so. Paul desired liberty, not that he might take pleasure, but that he might do good. Epaphroditus was willing to go to the Philippians, that he might be comforted with those who had sorrowed for him when he was sick. It seems, his illness was caused by the work of God. The apostle urges them to love him the more on that account. It is doubly pleasant to have our mercies restored by God, after great danger of their removal; and this should make them more valued. What is given in answer to prayer, should be received with great thankfulness and joy.
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Alphabetical: also and back brother But care Epaphroditus fellow I is it messenger minister my necessary need needs of send sent soldier take think thought to who whom worker you your

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