Philippians 4:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

New Living Translation
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.

English Standard Version
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

New American Standard Bible
I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content--whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.

International Standard Version
I know how to be humble, and I know how to prosper. In each and every situation I have learned the secret of being full and of going hungry, of having too much and of having too little.

NET Bible
I have experienced times of need and times of abundance. In any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of contentment, whether I go satisfied or hungry, have plenty or nothing.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I know how to be humbled, I know also what it is to abound; I am trained in everything and in all things, in fullness and in hunger, in excess and in poverty,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I've learned the secret of how to live when I'm full or when I'm hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I know both how to be humbled, and I know how to have an abundance; in everything and by all things I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

King James 2000 Bible
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I know both how to be brought low, and I know how to abound: (everywhere, and in all things I am instructed) both to be full, and to be hungry; both to abound, and to suffer need.

Darby Bible Translation
I know both how to be abased and I know how to abound. In everything and in all things I am initiated both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer privation.

English Revised Version
I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
I know both how to live in humble circumstances and how to live amid abundance. I am fully initiated into all the mysteries both of fulness and of hunger, of abundance and of want.

World English Bible
I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound. In everything and in all things I have learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in need.

Young's Literal Translation
I have known both to be abased, and I have known to abound; in everything and in all things I have been initiated, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:10-19 It is a good work to succour and help a good minister in trouble. The nature of true Christian sympathy, is not only to feel concern for our friends in their troubles, but to do what we can to help them. The apostle was often in bonds, imprisonments, and necessities; but in all, he learned to be content, to bring his mind to his condition, and make the best of it. Pride, unbelief, vain hankering after something we have not got, and fickle disrelish of present things, make men discontented even under favourable circumstances. Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are abased; for humility and a heavenly mind when exalted. It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always. And in a low state not to lose our comfort in God, nor distrust his providence, nor take any wrong course for our own supply. In a prosperous condition not to be proud, or secure, or worldly. This is a harder lesson than the other; for the temptations of fulness and prosperity are more than those of affliction and want. The apostle had no design to urge them to give more, but to encourage such kindness as will meet a glorious reward hereafter. Through Christ we have grace to do what is good, and through him we must expect the reward; and as we have all things by him, let us do all things for him, and to his glory.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. St. Paul had experience both of sorrow and of joy, both of distress and of comfort; he knew how to bear himself in both, because his chiefest joy was "in the Lord." This abiding joy raised him above the vicissitudes of this mortal state, and gave him an αὐτάρεκια, a Christian independence, which enabled him to act becomingly both in adversity and in prosperity. Everywhere and in all things I am instructed; literally, as R.V., in everything and in all things; as we say, "in each and all," in every condition separately and in all collectively. The R.V. translates more accurately, "have I learned the secret." The Greek μεμύημαι means properly, "I have been' initiated." It is a word adapted from the old Greek mysteries; comp. B.C.ngel, "Disciplina arcana imbutus sum, ignota mundo." St. Paul represents the advanced Christian life as a mystery, the secrets of which are taught by God. the Holy Ghost to the soul that longs to prove in its own personal experience "what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." St. Paul frequently uses the word μυστήριον, mystery, for the truths once hidden but now brought to light by the gospel. Both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. The word rendered "to be full" (χορτάζεσθαι) is strictly used of animals, and means "to be foddered;" in the New Testament and later Greek it is used also of men, without any depreciatory significance, as in Matthew 5:6, "They shall be filled (χορτασθήσονται)."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

I know both how to be abased,.... Or "humbled"; to be treated with indignity and contempt, to be trampled upon by man, to suffer hardships and distress, to be in a very mean and low condition, to work with his own hands, and minister to his own and the necessities of others in that way; yea, to be in hunger and thirst, in cold and nakedness, and have no certain dwelling place; and he knew how to behave under all this; not to be depressed and cast down, or to fret, repine, and murmur:

and I know how to abound; or "to excel"; to be in the esteem of men, and to have an affluence of the things of this world, and how to behave in the midst of plenty; so as not to be lifted up, to be proud and haughty, and injurious to fellow creatures; so as not to abuse the good things of life; and so as to use them to the honour of God, the interest of religion, and the good of fellow creatures, and fellow Christians:

every where; whether among Jews or Gentiles, at Jerusalem or at Rome, or at whatsoever place; or as the Arabic version renders it, "every time": always, in every season, whether of adversity or prosperity:

and in all things; in all circumstances of life:

I am instructed; or "initiated", as he was by the Gospel; and, ever since he embraced it, was taught this lesson of contentment, and inured to the exercise of it, and was trained up and instructed how to behave himself in the different changes and vicissitudes he came into:

both to be full, and to be hungry; to know what it was to have plenty and want, to have a full meal and to want one, and be almost starved and famished, and how to conduct under such different circumstances:

both to abound and to suffer need; which the apostle repeats for confirmation sake; and the whole of what he here says is an explanation of the lesson of contentment he had learned; and the knowledge he speaks of was not speculative but experimental, and lay not merely in theory, but in practice; and now lest he should be thought guilty of arrogance, and to ascribe too much to himself, he in Philippians 4:13 attributes all to the power and grace of Christ.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

12. abased—in low circumstances (2Co 4:8; 6:9, 10).

everywhere—rather, "in each, and in all things" [Alford].

instructed—in the secret. Literally, "initiated" in a secret teaching, which is a mystery unknown to the world.

Philippians 4:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
Philippian Generosity
11Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. 12I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. 13I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.…
Cross References
1 Corinthians 4:11
To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless.

2 Corinthians 11:9
And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.

2 Corinthians 11:27
I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.
Treasury of Scripture

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.

how to be.

1 Corinthians 4:9-13 For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were …

2 Corinthians 6:4-10 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in …

2 Corinthians 10:1,10 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, …

2 Corinthians 11:7,27 Have I committed an offense in abasing myself that you might be exalted, …

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance …

I am.

Deuteronomy 32:10 He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; …

Nehemiah 9:20 You gave also your good spirit to instruct them, and withheld not …

Isaiah 8:11 For the LORD spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed …

Jeremiah 31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was …

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in …

Matthew 13:52 Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed …

Ephesians 4:20,21 But you have not so learned Christ…

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NT Letters: Philippians 4:12 I know how to be humbled (Philipp. Phil. Php.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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