But you know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he has served with me in the gospel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The proof of him.—The allusion is justified by their intimate personal knowledge. Timothy was at Philippi with St. Paul on his first visit (Acts 16:12-40); we find him sent to Thessalonica shortly after (1Thessalonians 3:2), and he probably then paid a second visit to Philippi; from Ephesus (Acts 19:22) he is sent again to Macedonia; and with St. Paul on the way to Jerusalem he was at Philippi once more (Acts 20:4-6).
As a son with the father.—The original construction is curiously broken here. It runs, As a son to a father—as though St. Paul was going to speak of Timothy’s dutiful ministration and following of his example; but then the sentence changes, in a characteristic humility, and makes Timothy and himself merely fellow-servants—he served with me in the gospel. If we may judge of Timothy’s character from the general character of St. Paul’s directions to him in the Pastoral Epistles, and especially the significant exhortation, “Let no man despise thy youth, (1Timothy 4:12), it would seem to have been gentle and warm-hearted rather than commanding. Hence, perhaps, the necessity for this singularly emphatic commendation of him. (Comp. 1Corinthians 16:10, “If Timotheus come, see that he be with you without fear.”)Php 2:22-24. But ye know the proof of him — You know what experience you and I have had of him, who was with me, as well as Silas, in that memorable visit which I first made you, Acts 16:1-12. You then saw that as a son with the father — He uses an elegant peculiarity of phrase, speaking partly as of a son, partly as of a fellow-labourer; he served with me in the gospel — Neglecting no occasion of doing, in the most affectionate manner, whatever might lighten either my labours or my sufferings. Here, as Doddridge observes, “we learn the kind of intercourse which should subsist between the younger and more aged ministers of the gospel. The young ought to listen to the counsels of the aged, with the respect which is due from a son to a father; and the aged ought to love and patronise the young, and study, by their instruction and example, to qualify them for supplying their places in the church when they are gone.” Him therefore I hope to send — If, as has been supposed on Php 2:20, Aristarchus, Titus, and Luke were absent at this time from Rome, Timothy’s presence with the apostle was the more necessary. But as he daily looked for their return, he hoped to be able to send him to Philippi, as soon as he should know how it would go with him with respect to his imprisonment, or what issue his appeal to Cesar would have. But I trust in the Lord — That in mercy he will deliver me; and I shall shortly come to you myself — This he seems to have added, lest the Philippians might have been too much afflicted by what he had said concerning his death, Php 2:17.
As a son with the father - Manifesting the same spirit toward me which a son does toward a father, and evincing the same interest in my work. He did all he could do to aid me, and lighten my labors and sufferings.
as a son with the father—Translate, "as a child (serveth) a father."
served with me—When we might expect the sentence to run thus. "As a child serveth a father, so he served me"; he changes it to "served with me" in modesty; as Christians are not servants TO one another," but servants of God WITH one another (compare Php 3:17).
in the gospel—Greek, "unto," or "for the Gospel."Acts 16:1 17:15 18:5 Acts 19:22 20:4; which he amplifies and illustrates by a simile, when he saith,
as a son with the father; q.d. Just as a genuine and obedient son is wont to retain the spirit of his father that begat him: and Paul doth metaphorically call Timothy his own son, begotten by the gospel, 1 Timothy 1:2, his dearly beloved Son, 2 Timothy 1:2, and faithful in the Lord, 1 Corinthians 4:17, likeminded with himself, Philippians 2:20; with whom he had not only preached, but served in the gospel, Philippians 1:1, given himself wholly to the thing. He doth not say, served me, or under me, but with me in the gospel, i.e. to advance the glory of Christ in promoting the gospel, by helping with Paul, and labouring, working the work of the Lord, as Paul also did, and being sometime a sufferer under restraint for that service, as Paul himself, Hebrews 13:23, for the gospel, which is not a domination, but ministration, wherein this great apostle owns Timothy as his fellow minister. Acts 16:3. The Vulgate Latin version reads in the imperative, "know ye the proof of him"; but the former reading is to be preferred:
that as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the Gospel; he served not the apostle, but with him; he served God as the apostle did, in the Gospel of his Son; he served Jesus Christ, whose Gospel he preached, the interest and spread of which he greatly laboured in with him, as a fellow servant or work fellow; see Romans 16:21; which expresses the modesty of the apostle, and the great honour put upon Timothy, and which was not abused by him; for as a son honours, obeys, and imitates his father, so did he honour the apostle, and give him all respect and reverence that was due to him on account of his office, age, and usefulness; and obeyed his orders cheerfully, going wherever he sent him, and doing whatever he bid him; and imitated him in his ministry, in his constancy, diligence, and zeal, having a true filial affection for him.But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Php 2:22. Contrast, not of the person (which would have run τὴν δὲ αὐτοῦ δοκ. or αὐτοῦ δὲ τὴν δοκ.), but of the qualification, in order further to recommend him, whom he hopes soon to be able to send; not to make up for the disadvantage, that they can in the first instance only hope, etc. (as Hofmann artificially explains). But the approved character (indoles spectata, comp. Romans 5:4; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 9:13) of him ye know; for Timothy had himself been in Philippi (Acts 16:1; Acts 16:3; Acts 17:14); hence γινώσκ. is not the imperative (Vulgate, Pelagius, Castalio, Cornelius a Lapide, Clericus, Rheinwald, Hoelemann).
ὅτι κ.τ.λ.] that he, namely, etc.
ὡς πατρὶ τέκνον] Comp. 1 Corinthians 4:17. The apostle had here ἐδούλευσεν before his mind, but alters the conception in such a way, that he thinks upon the service as rendered no longer to him, but with him, in a humble glance at Christ (Php 2:21), whom he himself also serves, so that the apostle’s servant is at the same time his σύνδουλος. See Winer, pp. 393, 537 [E. T. pp. 525, 722]. Hofmann labours without success to remove the incongruity, which cannot be got rid of unless, with Vatablus, we were at liberty to supply σύν before πατρί. But, however frequently the Greeks put the preposition only once in comparisons (see Bernhardy, p. 204 f.; Kühner, II. 1, p. 479), its omission does not occur in the clause placed first. The poetical use of such an omission in the case of words which are connected by καί, τέ, or ἤ (Dissen, ad Pind. Nem. x. 38; Lobeck, ad Aj. 397 ff.) does not concern us here.
εἰς] in respect to the gospel (comp. Php 1:5), the serving in question having reference to the preaching, defence, etc., thereof.Php 2:22. δοκιμήν. “Approvedness.” That character which emerges as the result of testing. Cf. Jam 1:12.—ὡς πατ. τέκ. κ.τ.λ. A mixed construction, the result of refined feeling. Paul first thinks of Timothy as his son in the Gospel, serving him with a son’s devotion. But before the sentence is finished, his lowliness reminds him that they are both alike servants of a common Lord, equal in His sight.—εἰς seems here practically equiv. to ἐν, as so frequently in later Greek. The fact is one of real importance for exegesis. (See Hatz., Einl, p. 210; Schmid, Atticismus, i., p. 91; Krumbacher, Kuhn’s Zeitschr., 27, pp. 543–544). One can hardly discover here the idea of purpose.22. the proof of him] The test of him; the practical evidence of what he is. This they “knew,” by eyewitness at Philippi.
as a son with the father] Better, as child with father. The Greek word rendered “child” is a tender one. See above on Php 2:15. For St Paul’s paternal love for Timothy cp. 2 Timothy 1:2, and that whole Epistle.
he hath served with me] More precisely, with me (slightly emphatic, suggesting the speciality of his devotion in Christ to Paul) he did bondservice. The reference is to the labours of Timothy (gathered up by the aorist into one recollection) at Philippi. See above, on Php 1:1, note 2.—Grammatically, we might render, “with me he accepted bond-service”; with a reference to Timothy’s first dedication to missionary work under St Paul, Acts 16:1-3. But he evidently refers to their own observation of Timothy and so to a later period.
in the gospel] Lit., “unto the Gospel”; well paraphrased by R.V., in furtherance of the Gospel. See note on Php 1:5 above.—For “the Gospel” in the sense of “the work of the Gospel” cp. below, Php 4:3.Php 2:22. Δὲ, but) This marks the antithesis between, Php 2:21, all, and of him. Rare praise, Nehemiah 7:2.—γινώσκετε) ye know; comp. Acts 16:1-12.—τέκνον σὺν, as a son with) He speaks with great elegance, partly as of a son, partly as of a colleague: so in ch. Php 3:17, he presents himself as the type [τύπον; “an ensample,” Engl. V.], and yet he commands them to be συμμιμητὰς, followers with him, not merely followers [just as here he makes Timothy a son following him as a father, and yet also a colleague with him].Verse 22. - But ye know the proof of him. Ye recognize from your former experience (Acts 16.) his approved character. That, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel; translate, with R.V., that, as a child serveth a father, so he served with me in furtherance of the gospel. Served ἐδούλευσεν); as a slave. He was both a son and servant to St. Paul, and also a fellow-worker with St. Paul, both being slaves of God.
In furtherance of, as Philippians 1:5. So Rev.
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