Philippians 2:19
But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
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(19-24) St. Paul takes occasion of a promise to send Timothy shortly, to give an emphatic commendation of him, and adds a hope that he may soon come to Philippi himself.

(19) We note that here Timothy is spoken of in the third person; hence, though he is joined with St. Paul in the salutation (see Philippians 1:1), the Epistle is the Apostle’s, and his alone. The same is the case in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians (comp. Philippians 1:1 with Philippians 3:2; Philippians 3:6).

That I also may be of good comfort.—The words express some anxiety, but greater confidence, as to the news which Timothy on returning was likely to bring. We have instances of a similar but far stronger anxiety of affection in 2Corinthians 2:13; 2Corinthians 7:6-7, and 1Thessalonians 3:1-9. In regard to the Philippians it might exist in detail, but was swallowed up in confidence on all main points.



Php 2:19-24 {R.V.}.

Like all great men Paul had a wonderful power of attaching followers to himself. The mass of the planet draws in small aerolites which catch fire as they pass through its atmosphere. There is no more beautiful page in the history of the early Church than the story of Paul and his companions. They gathered round him with such devotion, and followed him with such love. They were not small men. Luke and Aquila were among them, and they would have been prominent in most companies, but gladly took a place second to Paul. He impressed his own personality and his type of teaching on his followers as Luther did on his, and as many another great teacher has done.

Among all these Timothy seems to have held a special place. Paul first found him on his second journey either at Derbe or Lystra. His mother, Eunice, was already a believer, his father a Greek. Timothy seems to have been converted on Paul’s first visit, for on his second he was already a disciple well reported of, and Paul more than once calls him his ‘son in the faith.’ He seems to have come in to take John Mark’s place as the Apostle’s ‘minister,’ and from that time to have been usually Paul’s trusted attendant. We hear of him as with the Apostle on his first visit to Philippi, and to have gone with him to Thessalonica and Beroea, but then to have been parted until Corinth. Thence Paul went quickly up to Jerusalem and back to Antioch, from which he set out again to visit the churches, and made a special stay in Ephesus. While there he planned a visit to Macedonia and Achaia, in preparation for one to Jerusalem, and finally to Rome. So he sent Timothy and Erastus on ahead to Macedonia, which would of course include Philippi. After that visit to Macedonia and Greece Paul returned to Philippi, from which he sailed with Timothy in his company. He was probably with him all the way to Rome, and we find him mentioned as sharer in the imprisonment both here and in Colossians.

The references made to him point to a very sweet, good, pure and gracious character without much strength, needing to be stayed and stiffened by the stronger character, but full of sympathy, unselfish disregard of self, and consecrated love to Christ. He had been surrounded with a hallowed atmosphere from his youth, and ‘from a child had known the holy Scriptures,’ and ‘prophecies’ like fluttering doves had gone before on him. He had ‘often infirmities’ and ‘tears.’ He needed to be roused to ‘stir up the gift that was in him,’ and braced up ‘not to be ashamed,’ but to fight against the disabling ‘spirit of fear,’ and to be ‘strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.’

The bond between these two was evidently very close, and the Apostle felt something of a paternal interest in the very weakness of character which was in such contrast to his own strength, and which obviously dreaded the discouragement which was likely to be produced by his own martyrdom. This favourite companion he will now send to his favourite church. The verses of our text express that intention, and give us a glimpse into the Apostle’s thoughts and feelings in his imprisonment.

I. The prisoner’s longing and hope.

The first point which strikes us in this self-revelation of Paul’s is his conscious uncertainty as to his future. In the previous chapter {ver. 25} he is confident that he will live. In the verses immediately preceding our text he faces the possibility of death. Here he recognises the uncertainty but still ‘trusts’ that he will be liberated, but yet he does not know ‘how it may go with’ him. We think of him in his lodging sometimes hoping and sometimes doubting. He had a tyrant’s caprice to depend on, and knew how a moment’s whim might end all. Surely his way of bearing that suspense was very noteworthy and noble. It is difficult to keep a calm heart, and still more difficult to keep on steadily at work, when any moment might bring the victor’s axe. Suspense almost enforces idleness, but Paul crowded these moments of his prison time with letters, and Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon are the fruits for which we are indebted to a period which would have been to many men a reason for throwing aside all work.

How calmly too he speaks of the uncertain issue! Surely never was the possibility of death more quietly spoken of than in ‘so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.’ That means--’as soon as my fate is decided, be it what it may, I will send Timothy to tell you.’ What a calm pulse he must have had! There is no attitudinising here, all is perfectly simple and natural. Can we look, do we habitually look, into the uncertain future with such a temper--accepting all that may be in its grey mists, and feeling that our task is to fill the present with strenuous loving service, leaving tomorrow with all its alternatives, even that tremendous one of life and death, to Him who will shape it to a perfect end?

We note, further, the purpose of Paul’s love. It is beautiful to see how he yearns over these Philippians and feels that his joy will be increased when he hears from them. He is sure, as he believes, to hear good, and news which will be a comfort. Among the souls whom he bore on his heart were many in the Macedonian city, and a word from them would be like ‘cold water to a thirsty soul.’

What a noble suppression of self; how deep and strong the tie that bound him to them must have been! Is there not a lesson here for all Christian workers, for all teachers, preachers, parents, that no good is to be done without loving sympathy? Unless our hearts go out to people we shall never reach their hearts. We may talk to them for ever, but unless we have this loving sympathy we might as well be silent. It is possible to pelt people with the Gospel, and to produce the effect of flinging stones at them. Much Christian work comes to nothing mainly for that reason.

And how deep a love does he show in his depriving himself of Timothy for their sakes, and in his reason for sending him! Those reasons would have been for most of us the strongest reason for keeping him. It is not everybody who will denude himself of the help of one who serves him ‘as a child serveth a father,’ and will part with the only like-minded friend he has, because his loving eye will clearly see the state of others.

Paul’s expression of his purpose to send Timothy is very much more than a piece of emotional piety. He ‘hopes in the Lord’ to accomplish his design, and that hope so rooted and conditioned is but one instance of the all-comprehending law of his life, that, to him, to ‘live is Christ.’ His whole being was so interpenetrated with Christ’s that all his thoughts and feelings were ‘in the Lord Jesus.’ So should our purposes be. Our hopes should be derived from union with Him. They should not be the play of our own fancy or imagination. They should be held in submission to him, and ever with the limitation, ‘Not as I will, but as Thou wilt.’ We should be trusting to Him to fulfil them. If thus we hope, our hopes may lead us nearer to Jesus instead of tempting us away from Him by delusive brightnesses. There is a religious use of hope not only when it is directed to heavenly certainties, and ‘enters within the veil,’ but even when occupied about earthly things. Spenser twice paints for us the figure of Hope, one has always something of dread in her blue eyes, the other, and the other only, leans on the anchor, and ‘maketh not ashamed’; and her name is ‘Hope in the Lord.’

II. The prisoner solitary among self-seeking men.

With wonderful self-surrender the Apostle thinks of his lack of like-minded companions as being a reason for depriving himself of the only like-minded one who was left with him. He felt that Timothy’s sympathetic soul would truly care for the Philippians’ condition, and would minister to it lovingly. He could rely that Timothy would have no selfish by-ends to serve, but would seek the things of Jesus Christ. We know too little of the circumstances of Paul’s imprisonment to know how he came to be thus lonely. In the other Epistles of the Captivity we have mention of a considerable group of friends, many of whom would certainly have been included in a list of the ‘like-minded.’ We hear, for example, of Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, John Mark, Epaphras, and Luke. What had become of them all we do not know. They were evidently away on Christian service, somewhere or other, or some of them perhaps had not yet arrived. At all events for some reason Paul was for the time left alone but for Timothy. Not that there were no Christian men in Rome, but of those who could have been sent on such an errand there were none in whom love to Christ and care for His cause and flock were strong enough to mark them as fit for it.

So then we have to take account of Paul’s loneliness in addition to his other sorrows, and we may well mark how calmly and uncomplainingly he bears it. We are perpetually hearing complaints of isolation and the difficulty of finding sympathy, or ‘people who understand me.’ That is often the complaint of a morbid nature, or of one which has never given itself the trouble of trying to ‘understand’ others, or of showing the sympathy for which it says that it thirsts. And many of these complaining spirits might take a lesson from the lonely Apostle. There never was a man, except Paul’s Master and ours, who cared more for human sympathy, had his own heart fuller of it, and received less of it from others than Paul. But he had discovered what it would be blessedness for us all to lay to heart, that a man who has Christ for his companion can do without others, and that a heart in which there whispers, ‘Lo, I am with you always,’ can never be utterly solitary.

May we not take the further lesson that the sympathy which we should chiefly desire is sympathy and fellow-service in Christian work? Paul did not want like-minded people in order that he might have the luxury of enjoying their sympathy, but what he wanted was allies in his work for Christ. It was sympathy in his care for the Philippians that he sought for in his messenger. And that is the noblest form of like-mindedness that we can desire--some one to hold the ropes for us.

Note, too, that Paul does not weakly complain because he had no helpers. Good and earnest men are very apt to say much about the half-hearted way in which their brethren take up some cause in which they are eagerly interested, and sometimes to abandon it altogether for that reason. May not such faint hearts learn a lesson from him who had ‘no man like-minded,’ and yet never dreamt of whimpering because of it, or of flinging down his tools because of the indolence of his fellow-workers?

There is another point to be observed in the Apostle’s words here. He felt that their attitude to Christ determined his affinities with men. He could have no deep and true fellowship with others, whatever their name to live, who were daily ‘seeking their own,’ and at the same time leaving unsought ‘the things of Jesus Christ.’ They who are not alike in their deepest aims can have no real kindred. Must we not say that hosts of so-called Christian people do not seem to feel, if one can judge by the company they affect, that the deepest bond uniting men is that which binds them to Jesus Christ? I would press the question, Do we feel that nothing draws us so close to men as common love to Jesus, and that if we are not alike on that cardinal point there is a deep gulf of separation beneath a deceptive surface of union, an unfathomable gorge marked by a quaking film of earth?

It is a solemn estimate of some professing Christians which the Apostle gives here, if he is including the members of the Roman Church in his judgment that they are not ‘like-minded’ with him, and are ‘seeking their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.’ We may rather hope that he is speaking of others around him, and that for some reason unknown to us he was at the time secluded from the Roman Christians. He brings out with unflinching precision the choice which determines a life. There is always that terrible ‘either--or.’ To live for Christ is the antagonist, and only antagonist of life for self. To live for self is death. To live for Jesus is the only life. There are two centres, heliocentric and geocentric as the scientists say. We can choose round which we shall draw our orbit, and everything depends on the choice which we make. To seek ‘the things of Jesus Christ’ is sure to lead to, and is the only basis of, care for men. Religion is the parent of compassion, and if we are looking for a man who will care truly for the state of others, we must do as Paul did, look for him among those who ‘seek the things of Jesus Christ.’

III. The prisoner’s joy in loving co-operation.

The Apostle’s eulogium on Timothy points to his long and intimate association with Paul and to the Philippians’ knowledge of him as well as to the Apostle’s clinging to him. There is a piece of delicate beauty in the words which we may pause for a moment to point out. Paul writes as ‘a child serveth a father,’ and the natural sequence would have been ‘so he served me,’ but he remembers that the service was not to him, Paul, but to another, and so he changes the words and says he ‘served with me in furtherance of the Gospel.’ We are both servants alike--Christ’s servants for the Gospel.

Paul’s joy in Timothy’s loving co-operation was so deep because Paul’s whole heart was set on ‘the furtherance of the Gospel.’ Help towards that end was help indeed. We may measure the ardour and intensity of Paul’s devotion to his apostolic work by the warmth of gratitude which he shows to his helper. They who contribute to our reaching our chief desire win our warmest love, and the catalogue of our helpers follows the order of the list of our aims. Timothy brought to Paul no assistance to procure any of the common objects of human desires. Wealth, reputation, success in any of the pursuits which attract most men might have been held out to the Apostle and not been thought worth stooping to take, nor would the offerer have been thanked, but any proffered service that had the smallest bearing on that great work to which Paul’s life was given, and which his conscience told him there would be a curse on himself if he did not fulfil, was welcomed as a priceless gift. Do we arrange the lists of our helpers on the same fashion, and count that they serve us best who help us to serve Christ? It should be as much the purpose of every Christian life as it was that of Paul to spread the salvation and glory of the ‘name that is above every name.’ If we lived as continually under the influence of that truth as he did, we should construe the circumstances of our lives, whether helpful or hindering, very differently, and we could shake the world.

Christian unity is very good and infinitely to be desired, but the true field on which it should display itself is that of united work for the common Lord. The men who have marched side by side through a campaign are knit together as nothing else would bind them. Even two horses drawing one carriage will have ways and feelings and a common understanding, which they would never have attained in any other way. There is nothing like common work for clearing away mists. Much so-called Christian sympathy and like-mindedness are something like the penal cranks that used to be in jails, which generated immense power on this side of the wall but ground out nothing on the other.

Let us not forget that in the field of Christian service there is room for all manner of workers, and that they are associated, however different their work. Paul often calls Timothy his ‘fellow-labourer,’ and once gives him the eulogium, ‘he worketh the work of the Lord as I also do.’ Think of the difference between the two men in age, endowment, and sphere! Apparently Timothy at first had very subordinate work taking John Mark’s place, and is described as being one of those who ‘ministered’ to Paul. It is the cup of cold water over again. All work done for the same Lord, and with the same motive is the same; ‘he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward.’ When Paul associates Timothy with himself he is copying from afar off his Lord, who lets us think of even our poor deeds as done by those whom He does not disdain to call His fellow-workers. It would be worth living for if, at the last, He should acknowledge us, and say even of us, ‘he hath served with Me in the Gospel.’

Php 2:19-21. But I trust in the Lord, &c. — Though I should not be surprised if my work and testimony as an apostle should end in martyrdom, yet I do not immediately expect such an event, but trust that the Lord will effect such a deliverance for me, as that, not needing Timotheus so much here, I may be able to send him shortly to you, that, whatever my condition may be here, I also, or I yet, may be of good comfort, may be refreshed, when I know from him your state — That is, your steadfastness in the faith, and your love to one another. For I have no man — Namely, none now with me; like-minded Ισοψυχον, alike disposed, or equally affectionate, with him in all respects; particularly in love to you; who will naturally care for your state — With such genuine tenderness and concern, even as nature teacheth men to care for their children as themselves. It appears from Acts 27:1, as Macknight observes, that Aristarchus and Luke accompanied the apostle to Rome. And, during his confinement there, other faithful assistants came to him, who, we have reason to think, were equally well disposed with Timothy to take care of the Philippians’ affairs. We must, therefore, suppose that at the time the apostle wrote this, these faithful teachers were not in Rome, having probably left that city for a time on some business. For all but Timotheus seek their own things; namely, their case, safety, pleasure, or profit. Amazing! in that golden age of the church, could St. Paul thoroughly approve of one only among all the labourers that were with him, of which it appears, from Php 1:14; Php 1:17, there were many? And how many do we think can now approve themselves to God? And not the things which are Jesus Christ’s — Not having his interest so affectionately at heart as not to neglect it in some degree at least, out of regard to their own secular welfare. They who seek the things of Jesus Christ, will sadly experience what the apostle here says: they will find few helpers like- minded with themselves, willing, naked, to follow a naked master.

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.But I trust in the Lord Jesus - His hope was that the Lord Jesus would so order affairs as to permit this - an expression that no man could use who did not regard the Lord Jesus as on the throne, and as more that human.

To send Timotheus shortly unto you - There was a special reason why Paul desired to send Timothy to them rather than any other person, which he himself states, Philippians 2:22. "Ye know the proof of him, that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel." From this passage, as well as from Philippians 1:1, where Timothy is joined with Paul in the salutation, it is evident that he had been with the apostle at Philippi. But this fact is nowhere mentioned in the sixteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which contains an account of the visit of Paul to that place. The narrative in the Acts , however, as Dr. Paley has remarked (Horae Paulinae, in loc.) is such as to render this altogether probable, and the manner in which the fact is adverted to here is such as would have occurred to no one forging an epistle like this, and shows that the Acts of the Apostles and the epistle are independent books, and are not the work of imposture.

In the Acts of the Apostles it is said that when Paul came to Derbe and Lystra he found a certain disciple named Timothy, whom he would have go forth with him; Phil Act 16:1-3. The narrative then proceeds with an account of the progress of Paul through variotis provinces of Asia Minor, until it brings him to Troas. There he was warned in a vision to go over into Macedonia. In pursuance of this call, he passed over the Aegean Sea, came to Samothracia, and thence to Neapolis, and thence to Philippi. No mention is made, indeed, of Timothy as being with Paul at Philippi, but after he had left that city, and had gone to Berea, where the "brethren sent away Paul," it is added, "but Silas and Timotheus abode there still." From this it is evident that he had accompanied them in their journey, and had no doubt been with them at Philippi. For the argument which Dr. Paley has derived from the manner in which this subject is mentioned in the Acts , and in this Epistle in favor of the genuineness of the Scripture account; see Horae Paul, on the Epistle to the Philippians, no. iv.

When I know your state - It was a considerable time since Epaphroditus had left the Philippians, and since, therefore, Paul had been informed of their condition.

19. Php 2:22, "ye know the proof of him … that … he hath served with me," implies that Timothy had been long with Paul at Philippi; Accordingly, in the history (Ac 16:1-4; 17:10, 14), we find them setting out together from Derbe in Lycaonia, and together again at Berea in Macedonia, near the conclusion of Paul's missionary journey: an undesigned coincidence between the Epistle and history, a mark of genuineness [Paley]. From Php 2:19-30, it appears Epaphroditus was to set out at once to allay the anxiety of the Philippians on his account, and at the same time bearing the Epistle; Timothy was to follow after the apostle's liberation was decided, when they could arrange their plans more definitely as to where Timothy should, on his return with tidings from Philippi, meet Paul, who was designing by a wider circuit, and slower progress, to reach that city. Paul's reason for sending Timothy so soon after having heard of the Philippians from Epaphroditus was that they were now suffering persecutions (Php 1:28-30); and besides, Epaphroditus' delay through sickness on his journey to Rome from Philippi, made the tidings he brought to be of less recent date than Paul desired. Paul himself also hoped to visit them shortly.

But I trust—Yet my death is by no means certain; yea, "I hope (Greek) in the Lord (that is, by the Lord's help)"

unto you—literally, "for you," that is, to your satisfaction, not merely motion, to you.

I also—that not only you "may be of good courage" (so Greek) on hearing of me (Php 2:23), but "I also, when I know your state."

But I trust in the Lord Jesus; diverting from his former exhortation, the more to comfort them, he expresseth his good hope (which in respect of the object we translate trust) in the Lord Jesus, exalted above every name, that he would be pleased, some way or other, to afford him such liberty, notwithstanding his restraint.

To send Timotheus shortly unto you; that he should, within a little while after the arrival of Epaphroditus, now upon his return, despatch Timothy to them.

That I also may be of good comfort; not for their further benevolence, but for the composing of their spirits, and settling of their affairs, which to him, solicitous of their souls’ welfare, (as in a like case for others, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, with 1 Thessalonians 3:5), would be great satisfaction.

When I know your state; when he should be certainly acquainted how things went with them; who might justly expect his sympathy, Romans 12:15 1 Corinthians 12:26 2 Corinthians 11:28,29.

But I trust in the Lord Jesus,.... Or "hope"; not in himself, his wisdom, will, resolutions, and purposes; nor in an arm of flesh, in any human aid and power; nor in princes, nor in Nero, the Roman emperor, as expecting a release from bonds by him, when he could the more easily part with Timothy; but in the Lord Jesus, in the Lord whom every tongue shall confess to be so; and in that Jesus, in whose name every knee shall bow; who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, and the only Saviour and Deliverer of his people; who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and all power in heaven and in earth: he hoped and trusted, that through the goodness and power of Christ, opening a way for him, he should be able

to send Timotheus shortly unto you; one that had known the Scriptures from his youth, and was very early converted to the Christian faith, was an eminent preacher of the Gospel, and well known to the Philippians. The apostle hoped to send him to them "shortly", in a very little time; this he said in order to encourage them, and thereby suggesting, that he thought his own deliverance was at hand: this hope did not arise from a sure and certain persuasion of the thing, but from love to these saints; he had a very great affection for them; he knew that a Gospel minister, and particularly Timothy, would be of great comfort and service to them; wherefore, from that love which hopes all things, he hoped he should, in a short time, be able to serve them in love that way: the end he proposed in it is next expressed,

that I also may be of good comfort when I know your state; not their worldly estate, their secular affairs, and whether they prospered in their trades and business, and increased in riches; nor their corporeal estate, or state of health, and whether they prospered in their bodies, not but that the knowledge of each of these would be welcome to the apostle; nor everyone's personal spiritual estate, what was the particular case and state of each member; for though it is the business of a pastor of a church to look diligently to the state of his flock, and learn the case of every particular member, the apostle could not be thought to come at such an exact knowledge of things, who had the care of all the churches upon him; but their ecclesiastical state, their church state in general; how the Gospel stood with them, and they in that; whether they held it fast, and strove for it, and what ground the false teachers got among them; how the ordinances of the Gospel were regarded and attended on by them; with what life and light, and liberty and zeal, their ministers preached the word; and what success they had to the conversion of sinners, and comfort of saints; and how they behaved towards them, in honouring, obeying, and submitting to them, and esteeming them highly for their works' sake; what an increase of gifts, grace, and numbers there was among them; and what harmony, love, peace, and concord subsisted between them; and what afflictions and persecutions they endured for the sake of Christ; and with what patience, faith, and cheerfulness they bore them. By the return of Timothy he hoped to have knowledge of these things, that so he might "also be of good comfort"; as they would be by the coming of Timothy to them, by his preaching among them, and relating to them the case and circumstances of the apostle, how cheerful he was under his afflictions, and of what use they were to the cause of Christ. The comfort and pleasure of Gospel ministers lie in the good of the churches of Christ; it puts them in good heart and soul, as the word here used signifies, when they hear of their steadfastness in the faith of Christ, of their love to one another, and all the saints, and of their patience under sufferings.

{9} But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of {q} good comfort, when I know your state.

(9) Moreover, he strengthens and encourages their minds both by sending back Epaphroditus to them, whose fidelity towards them, and great pains in helping him, he commends: and also promising to send Timothy shortly to them, by whose presence they will receive great benefit. And he hopes also himself to come shortly to them, if God wills.

(q) May be confirmed in the joy of my mind.

Php 2:19. The apostle now, down to Php 2:24, speaks of sending Timothy[136] to them, and states that lie himself trusted to visit them shortly.

ἘΛΠΊΖΩ ΔῈ Κ.Τ.Λ.] The progress of thought attaching itself to Php 2:17 (not to Php 2:12) is: However threatening, according to Php 2:17 f., and dangerous to life my situation is, nevertheless I hope soon to send Timothy to you, etc. He hopes, therefore, for such a change in his situation, as would enable him soon to spare that most faithful friend for such a mission. Here also, as in Php 1:21-26, there is an immediate change from a presentiment of death to a confidence of his being preserved in life and even liberated (Php 2:24). The right view of Php 2:17-18 debars us from construing the progress of the thought thus: for the enhancement of my joy, however, etc. (Weiss). Others take different views, as e.g. Bengel: although I can write nothing definite regarding the issue of my case,—an imported parenthetic thought, which is as little suggested in Php 2:17 f. as is the antithetical relation to χαίρετε κ. συγχαίρ. μοι discovered by Hofmann, viz. that the apostle is anxious as to whether all is well in the church.

ἐν κυρίῳ] making the hope causally rest in Christ. Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:19.

ὑμῖν] not equivalent to the local ΠΡῸς ὙΜᾶς (van Hengel), nor yet the dative commodi (“vestros in usus, vestra in gaudia,” Hoelemann, comp. de “Wette and Hofmann), whereby too special a sense is introduced; but the dative of reference, (1 Corinthians 4:17; Acts 11:29), indicating the persons concerned as those for whom the mission generally is intended.

κἀγώ] I also, as ye through the accounts[137] to be received of me, namely, those which ye shall receive through this epistle, through Epaphroditus, and through Timothy.

εὐψυχεῖν] to be of good couraye, occurs here only in the N. T. See Poll. iii. 135; Joseph. Antt. xi. 6. 9. Comp the εὐψύχει in epitaphs (like ΧΑῖΡΕ) in Jacobs, ad Anthol. xii. p. 304.

τὰ περὶ ὑμ.] the things concerning you, quite generally, your circumstances. Ephesians 6:22; Colossians 4:8. See Heindorf, ad Plat. Phaed. p. 58 A.

[136] Hofmann’s hypothesis, that the church had expressed a desire that the apostle would send them one who should aid them, with word and deed, in their affairs, has no hint of it given at all in the text; least of all in ἵνα χἀγὼ εὐψυχῶ κ.τ.λ. Why should Paul not have mentioned, in some way or another, the wish of the church?—Baur and Hinsch find no motive mentioned for the mission of Timothy. As if the motive of love conveyed by ἵνα χἀγώ κ.τ.λ. were not enough!

[137] There is a delicate compliment implied in this κἀγώ; for Timothy was to come back again to the apostle (but not Epaphroditus, ver. 25), and thus he hopes to receive the desired news about them which shall make him be of good courage. Hofmann introduces the comparative sense: fresher courage, under the assumption which he reads between the lines, that the apostle is concerned about various things in the church, which Timothy would succeed in settling and arranging. Paul’s cordial, loving interest in the welfare of the Philippians is quite sufficient to explain the εὐψυχῶ.


19–30. He proposes soon to send Timotheus: He sends without delay Epaphroditus

19. But I trust &c.] Lit., But I hope &c. He refers back to the allusion to his absence from them, Php 2:12. That trial, while it brings them its special calls and opportunities, is yet to be relieved.

in the Lord Jesus] See last note on Php 1:8.

Timotheus] See on Php 1:1.

I also] as well as you. He affectionately assumes that they, in accordance with his entreaties above (Php 2:12 &c.) will be “strong and of a good courage” in the Lord. He would share this, through the joy of hearing of it.

be of good comfort] More lit., “be of good (happy) soul.” A single word (verb) in the Greek.

Php 2:19. Δὲ) but: although I have no grounds at present for writing categorically about my death.—ὑμῖν) to [for] you: This [“for you,” i.e. for your good, to your satisfaction] is more expressive, than if it had been the accusative with the preposition εἰς [which would be merely “to you”].—κᾀγὼ) I also; that not only you [may be of good comfort], upon your knowing [receiving information as to] my affairs, Php 2:23.—εὐψυχῶ, may be of good mind [comfort]) He is anxious about the Philippians; and yet he has good hope.

Verse 19. - But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you; read and translate, with R.V., I hope in the Lord Jesus. He had urged them, in Ver. 12, not to depend too much on human teachers; but "much more in nay absence work out your own salvation;" still he will give them what help he can - he will send Timotheus. In the Lord Jesus (comp. Philippians 1:8, 14; 3:24). Bishop Lightfoot has a beautiful note here: "The Christian is a part of Christ, a member of his body. His every thought and word and deed proceed from Christ, as the center of volition. Thus he loves in the Lord, he hopes in the Lord, he boasts in the Lord, he labors in the Lord. He has one guiding principle in acting and forbearing to act, 'only in the Lord' (1 Corinthians 7:39)."That I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. Timothy is both to assist the Philippians by his presence and counsel, and to comfort St. Paul by bringing back tidings of their Christian life. Philippians 2:19
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