|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 26. - For he longed after you all. The verb is strengthened by the preposition: "was eagerly longing." Perhaps it should be rendered. he "is longing;" like "I count it necessary," in Ver. 25. And was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. "Full of heaviness" (ἀδημονῶν) is the word used of our blessed Lord in his agony (Matthew 26:37). Some derive it from ἄδημος, he away from home; others, more probably, from ἄδην, in the sense of loathing, weariness, satiety. The word implies heart-sickness, restless; unsatisfied weariness, produced by some overwhelming distress.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For he longed after you,.... This verse and Philippians 2:28 contain the reasons of the apostle's sending him; and the first is, because he had a very vehement and longing desire after all of them; to see them, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions add, and as it is read in the Alexandrian and Claromontane copies, and in others: it was not the city of Philippi he longed to see, which might be his native place, nor his natural relations and family, but the church there; and not the officers of it only, the bishops and deacons, but all the members of it, rich and poor, high and low, strong and weak believers:
and was full of heaviness: almost pressed down, quite disheartened and dispirited, ready to sink and die away, not so much with his own disorder and illness, as with sorrow on account of the church at Philippi:
because that ye had heard that he had been sick: he understood that the news of his sickness had reached them, and he knew how distressing it would be to them, that it would cut them to the heart, and press them heavily, fearing they should never see his face, nor hear his voice more. We have here an instance of that mutual love, tender affection and sympathy; which were in the first churches, and what subsisted between ministers and people; see how they loved one another! but, alas! this first love is left.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. For—reason for thinking it "necessary to send" "Epaphroditus. Translate as Greek, "Inasmuch as he was longing after you all."
full of heaviness—The Greek expresses the being worn out and overpowered with heavy grief.
because that ye had heard that he had been sick—rather, "that he was sick." He felt how exceedingly saddened you would be in hearing it; and he now is hastening to relieve your minds of the anxiety.
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