The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The salutation by the hand of me Paul.—Comp. 2Thessalonians 3:17, “The salutation by the hand of me Paul, which is the token in every Epistle.” This invariable autograph salutation was “Grace be with you” in various forms, from the brevity of the text here to the fulness of 2Corinthians 1:2, which has become the universal Christian blessing. In different epistles it is associated with different phrases of blessing; or charge. Thus we read in 1Corinthians 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema.” In the Epistle to the Galatians the autograph conclusion is expanded into a long postscript (Galatians 6:11-18). This may have been the case in the cognate conclusion (2 Corinthians 10-13) of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, possibly from the words, “Now I Paul myself,” &c. Here there is the simple and touching addition—
Remember my bonds.—In what spirit they were to be remembered we may gather from Ephesians 3:13; Ephesians 6:20; Philippians 1:13; Philippians 2:17. St. Paul evidently does not disdain to use his captivity as an appeal for sympathy (see Philemon 1:9); but mainly he dwells on it as a “glory” both to himself and to his converts. In both these different aspects it may be that he regarded it himself, according as he looked upon it “after the flesh” in the natural feeling of humanity, or “after the spirit,” in the higher power of the grace of God.1 Corinthians 16:21 note; 2 Thessalonians 3:17 note.
Remember my bonds - Also evidently written by his own hand, to make the injunction more impressive; compare the notes at Hebrews 13:3. The meaning is, that they should not forget him in his confinement. They should remember that he was suffering on their account (Notes, Colossians 1:24), and that he was entitled to every expression of sympathy and love.
Grace be with you - Notes, Romans 16:20.
Remember my bonds—Already in this chapter he had mentioned his "bonds" (Col 4:3), and again Col 4:10, an incentive why they should love and pray (Col 4:3) for him; and still more, that they should, in reverential obedience to his monitions in this Epistle, shrink from the false teaching herein stigmatized, remembering what a conflict (Col 2:1) he had in their behalf amidst his bonds. "When we read of his chains, we should not forget that they moved over the paper as he wrote; his [right] hand was chained to the [left hand of the] soldier who kept him" [Alford].
Grace be with you—Greek, "THE grace" which every Christian enjoys in some degree, and which flows from God in Christ by the Holy Ghost (Tit 3:15; Heb 13:25)The salutation by the hand of me Paul: the apostle having them on his heart, and here (as elsewhere) likely having used an amanuensis to pen the body of his Epistle, to prevent fraud and forgery he doth subscribe his salutation and apostolical benediction with his own hand, which was well known, Romans 16:22 1 Corinthians 16:21 Galatians 6:11 2 Thessalonians 2:2 3:17 Philemon 1:19.
Remember my bonds; importuning them to be very mindful of his imprisonment in their prayers, Colossians 4:3 Hebrews 13:3, imitating his constancy and patience if called to suffer; see Philippians 1:14; his sufferings being an excellent seal to the truth of his gospel, and his ardent affection to them and other Gentiles, for whose sake he was in bonds.
Grace be with you; then earnestly praying that the special grace and favour of God the Father in the Lord Jesus Christ might be ever present with them: see Romans 16:24 1 Corinthians 16:23,24 Php 4:23. In testimony of the reality of his desire, and assurance to be heard, he concludes (as elsewhere) with
(Written from Rome to the Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus.)
remember my bonds; this he says, partly that they might be animated to abide by the Gospel, for which, as he had told them before, Colossians 4:3 that he was in bonds; and partly to encourage them, by his example, patiently to endure what afflictions and persecutions soever they should meet with, for the sake of it; as also that they might be moved hereby, to remember him in their prayers, that, if it was the will of God, he might be released, and be yet further useful in preaching the Gospel; or however, that he might be supported in his bonds, and cheerfully bear them, and remain steadfast in his faith in Christ unto the end: and then follows the salutation,
grace be with you, Amen; which is common to all his epistles, and well suits them; in which he so much displays the grace of God, as it is expressed in the Gospel; and which his heart was full of, and earnestly desired might be more largely manifested to, and bestowed upon the saints. This epistle is said to be
written from Rome to the Colossians, by Tychicus and Onesimus; and though the subscriptions of the epistles are not always to be depended on, yet this seems to be right; that it was inscribed to the Colossians, there is no doubt; and that it was written from Rome is clear enough, since by several expressions it is plain that he was now a prisoner, and in bonds; and that it was sent by Tychicus and Onesimus is more than probable, from Colossians 4:7.The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Colossians 4:18. Conclusion written with his own hand; comp. 2 Thessalonians 3:17. See on 1 Corinthians 16:21.
Be mindful for me of my bonds, a closing exhortation, deeply touching in its simplicity, in which there is not a mere request for intercession (Colossians 4:3), or a hint even at the giving of aid, but the whole pious affection of grateful love is claimed, the whole strength of his example for imparting consolation and stedfastness is asserted, and the whole authority of the martyr is thrown into the words. Every limitation is unwarranted. Τοῦτο γὰρ ἱκανὸν εἰς πάντα αὐτοὺς προτρέψασθαι, καὶ γενναιοτέρους ποιῆσαι πρὸς τοὺς ἀγῶνας· ἄρα καὶ οἰκειοτέρους αὐτοὺς ἐποίησε καὶ τὸν φόβον ἔλυσεν, Oecumenius, comp. Chrysostom.
ἡ χάρις] κατʼ ἐξοχήν: the grace of God bestowed in Christ. Comp. 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:5. Comp. on Ephesians 6:24.Colossians 4:18. τῇ ἐμῇ χειρὶ: the rest of the letter would be written by an amanuensis. As he writes, his chain, fastened on his left hand, would impress itself on his notice. Hence the touching request “Remember my bonds,” which may bear the special sense “remember in your prayers”.—ἡ χάρις μεθʼ ὑμῶν: so without any defining addition in Ephesians , 1 and 2 Tim. It is not so in the earlier letters, but neither is it so in Phil. (or Titus).18. Farewell
18. The salutation by the hand of me Paul] Here he takes the pen from the amanuensis (see Romans 16:22), and writes the final words in autograph.—In 2 Thessalonians 3:17 (“so I write”) this is evidently done to warrant the authenticity of the letter. And see another reason, Philemon 1:19. But obviously it might be done habitually at the close of Epistles, for reasons only of care and affection; they would always value “his own hand.”—The “script” of St Paul seems to have been large and laboured; see Galatians 6:11; where render “in what large letters I have written.” (He seems to have written that Epistle all in autograph.)
Remember my bonds] The chain would drag and rattle as he took the pen. See note on Colossians 4:3 above.
Their “remembrance” would be shewn in love, in intercession, and above all in fidelity to the Gospel for which their Apostle rejoiced to suffer.
Grace be with you] This short benediction occurs elsewhere only at the close of 1 Tim., 2 Tim. As Lightfoot suggests, the more definite and developed phraseology, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christy, &c.,” might in these later days of St Paul’s ministry “pass without saying.”
On the meaning of “grace,” see note on Colossians 1:2 above.
Amen] The evidence for omission here is considerable. See our note on Ephesians 6:24.
Written &c.] Lit., To the Colossians it was written from Rome, by means of Tychicus and Onesimus. So in the Textus Receptus. Of other forms some omit “To the Colossians”; some add, at the end, “and Timotheus.” In our oldest mss. the form is the same as that of the Title (see note there): To (the) Colossians, or Colassians.
The Subscriptions (to St Paul’s Epistles), in their longer form (as in the A.V.) are ascribed to Euthalius, a bishop of the fifth century, and thus to a date later than the earliest extant mss. (See Scrivener, Introd. to the Criticism of the N.T., ed. 1883, p. 62.)
The Subscription here is obviously true to fact, as are those appended to Rom., Eph., Phil., Philem., 2 Tim. Other Subscriptions are either (1 Cor., Gal., 1 Tim.) contradictory to the contents of the respective Epistles, or (Thess., Tit.) difficult to reconcile with them.
In philanthropy as in science there are three stages—the prelude, the epoch, and the sequel. The prelude is a period of aspiration, and half-blind guesses. The epoch brings the expression of the truth to its highest point. In the sequel, the principle, once fixed in words, is extended and developed in practice. It would be no difficult task to apply the analogy to the influence of Christianity on slavery. As far as the Epistle to Philemon is concerned, the epoch has come.
Bp Alexander, in The Speaker’s Commentary.
We are all the Lord’s Onesimi.
Luther.Colossians 4:18. Ὁ ἀσπασμὸς, the salutation) Paul adds this verse with his own hand, acknowledging that all which goes before, proceeded from himself.—μνημονεύετε, be mindful) especially in prayer, Colossians 4:3.Verse 18. - The salutation with mine own hand - of Paul (2 Thessalonians 3:17, 18; 1 Corinthians 16:21-24; Galatians 6:11-18). So the apostle appends his authenticating signature to the letter, written, as usual, by his amanuensis, himself inscribing these last words (see parallel passages). The Epistle to Philemon he appears to have penned himself throughout (Philemon 1:19). Remember my bonds (Colossians 1:24; Philemon 1:9, 13; Ephesians 3:1, 13; Ephesians 4:1; Ephesians 6:20; 2 Timothy 2:9). This pathetic postscript is thoroughly characteristic (comp. Galatians 6:17). Grace be with you; literally, the grace (comp. Colossians 3:16). The apostle's final benediction in all his Epistles; here in its briefest form, as in 1 and 2 Timothy. In the Ephesian benediction "grace" is also used absolutely. 2 Corinthians 13:14 gives the formula in its full liturgical amplitude.
The letter was written by an amanuensis, Paul adding his autograph.
Grace be with you
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