Philippians 2:29
Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Receive him therefore in the Lord - As the servant of the Lord, or as now restored to you by the Lord, and therefore to be regarded as a fresh gift from God. Our friends restored to us after a long absence, we should receive as the gift of God, and as a proof of his mercy.

And hold such in reputation - Margin, honor such. This is a high commendation of Epaphroditus, and, at the same time, it enjoins an important duty in regard to the proper treatment of those who sustain such a character. It is a Christian duty to honor those who ought to be honored, to respect the virtuous and the pious, and especially to honor those who evince fidelity in the work of the Lord.

29. Receive him—There seems to be something behind respecting him. If extreme affection had been the sole ground of his "heaviness," no such exhortation would have been needed [Alford].

in reputation—"in honor."

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness: hereupon, having given his due character, he chargeth them all, officers and people, to entertain him as a servant of the Lord, (as Christ would have them receive his servants, Matthew 10:40,41, even with all spiritual joy), as sometimes the Galatians had received him, Galatians 4:14.

And hold such in reputation; yea, as it becometh saints, Romans 16:2, to have such in esteem very highly for their work’s sake, 1 Thessalonians 5:13. Receive him therefore,.... Not only into their houses, where such as bring the doctrine of Christ should be admitted, and not others; but into their bosoms, into their hearts and affections, as he had reason to believe they would, and into their fellowship and communion, and to the exercise of his office among them, as their minister: and that

in the Lord; or "for the Lord", as the Arabic version renders it; for his sake, because he was one that was put into the ministry by him, was called unto it, and qualified for it, and sent forth to minister in it by him; or in the name of the Lord, as an ambassador of his, as representing him, and as if he himself was present; for he that receives a minister of Christ, receives Christ himself; see Luke 10:16,

with all gladness; with sincere affection, undissembled joy, perfect pleasure, and with all demonstrations of respect unto him, and delight in him at his return to them,

And hold such in reputation: account such as he precious and valuable; highly esteem of them for their works' sake; reckon them worthy of double honour, and give it to them.

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 2:29 f. Οὖν] Let, then, the reception which he meets with among you be in accordance with my purpose in accelerating his return (ἵνα ἰδόντες κ.τ.λ.); receive him with all joy.

ἐν κυρίῳ] denotes, as in Romans 16:2, the Christian character of the προσδέχεσθαι, the nature and action of which have their distinctive quality in Christ, in whose fellowship Christians live and move.

μετὰ πάσ. χαρ.] excludes every kind of sullen or indifferent temper and expression: “with all joyfulness.”

καὶ τοὺς τοιούτους κ.τ.λ.] and the people of such a sort, etc. Ἵνα μὴ δόξῃ αὐτῷ μόνῳ χαρίζεσθαι, κοινῶς παραινεῖ πάντας τοὺς τὴν αὐτὴν ἀρετὴν ἐπιδεικνυμένους τιμᾶν, Theophylact. But Epaphroditus is in his view, as in the given case, the person belonging to the class thus to be held in honour.[142]

[142] There is no ground for the reference, which Hofmann discovers here, to an assumed inclination, on the part of the Philippians, to hold in honour people of another sort (such as are described in chap. 3.) more than the τοιούτους. For this assumption there would, at the most, be occasion only if Paul had used the comparative instead of ἐντίμους. Besides, the emphasis is not on τοὺς τοιούτους (Hofmann), but on ἐντίμους, correlative to the preceding μετὰ πάσ. χαρᾶς.Php 2:29. Behind these words must lie some unknown circumstances which affected the feelings of the Philippians towards Epaphrod. It is not sufficient to suppose (with Ws[13].) that they would be disappointed because he had not stayed long enough at Rome. The πάσης χαρᾶς and ἐντίμους surely point to some alienation on which we have no light.

[13] . Weiss.29. Receive him therefore] “Therefore”:—as the consequence of my sending him. The whole verse supports the suggestion that the internal friction among the Philippians had somehow made Epaphroditus unacceptable to some. See above on Php 2:26.

in the Lord] See above on Php 1:8.

with all gladness] The cloud in his own sky interferes not in the least with this holy soul’s interest in the joy of others.

in reputation] R.V., in honour. The word occurs Luke 7:2, of the centurion’s “highly-valued slave”; and 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:6, of the “precious stone.”—There was a slight risk, we gather here (and see Php 3:17, and note), lest such unobtrusive and devoted holders of, and workers for, the Gospel should fall out of favour at Philippi. Cp. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13.Verse 29. - Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: In the Lord (see note on Ver. 19; comp. Romans 16:2). With joy on every account. Notice the constant repetition of the word "joy," characteristic of this Epistle.
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