Philippians 4:14
Notwithstanding you have well done, that you did communicate with my affliction.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Ye have well done.—Properly, Ye did well, in sending the offerings. In this, says St. Paul, they “did communicate with his affliction,” that is (see Philippians 1:7), they made it their own, helping him to bear it, by sympathy and sacrifice for his sake. The whole is an illustration of his own words (Acts 20:35), “It is blessed to receive” what is lovingly given; but it is “rather blessed to give.” He had the lower blessedness, they the higher; and he rejoiced that it was so.

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.Notwithstanding, ye have well done - Though he had learned the grace of contentment, and though he knew that Christ could enable him to do all things, it was well for them to show sympathy for his sufferings; for it evinced a proper regard for a benefactor and an apostle.

Ye did communicate - You took part with my affliction. That is, you sympathized with me, and assisted me in bearing it. The relief which they had sent, not only supplied his wants, but it sustained him by the certainty that he was not forgotten.

14. He here guards against their thinking from what he has just said, that he makes light of their bounty.

ye did communicate with my affliction—that is, ye made yourselves sharers with me in my present affliction, namely, by sympathy; of which sympathy your contribution is the proof.

Lest any should suspect, from what he had suggested of his contentment, that he was not much affected with their liberality, but might have done as well without as with it, and they might have spared their bounty and labour, he doth prudently commend their Christian commiseration, (as the phrase is, Acts 10:33), and give them to understand how acceptable their seasonable supply was to him, who did so joyfully resent their kindness to him, in that it was well-pleasing to God, Romans 12:15; they did so effectually sympathize and take a share in the oppression he sustained for the cause of Christ, 2 Corinthians 1:7, and remember him in his bonds as if it were their own case, Hebrews 13:3 Revelation 1:9. Notwithstanding ye have well done,.... This he says lest they should think he slighted their kindness, and lest they should be discouraged from doing any such thing of this kind another time, either to himself or others; for though he was so well contented with his state, and knew how to be abased and to suffer need, and could do all things through the strength of Christ, yet he observes they did well in communicating to him; for communicating to poor saints or ministers is a considerable branch of well doing; it is a good work when it is done in faith, and from love, and with a view to the glory, honour, and interest of Christ; it is what is agreeable to the will of God, and is an odour of a sweet smell, and acceptable to him:

that ye did communicate with my affliction; by which is meant, not any affliction of mind, for he was in as comfortable a frame, had as clear views of his interest in God, as his covenant God, and was as contented and satisfied as ever he was in his life; nor any disorder or distemper of body; but he was in prison and penury: these Philippians communicated with him in it, both by sympathizing with him in his tribulation, and by sending their minister to visit him, and with him a present for his relief and support; in doing which they did well.

Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 4:14. Πλήν] Nevertheless. (1 Corinthians 11:11; Ephesians 5:33), apart from the fact that with such moral power I am equal to all emergencies, and therefore, as far as want is concerned, do not need aid (comp. Php 4:11). “Cavet, ne fortiter loquendo contemsisse ipsorum beneficium videatur,” Calvin. Comp. Chrysostom and Theophylact.

καλῶς] in the moral sense.

συγκοιν. μου τῇ θλίψ.] characterizes the work according to its high ethical value (ὅρα σοφίαν, πῶς ἐπαίρει τὸ πρᾶγμα, Theophylact): that ye became partakers with me in my affliction. He who renders the aid enters into the relation of a participant in the position of the afflicted one, inasmuch as by his very work of love he, in common with the latter, shares and bears his θλῖψις. Comp. Romans 12:13. It is a practical participation, and not merely that of feeling and emotion. Comp. Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 18:4; Revelation 1:9. By τῇ θλίψ., Paul means his position at the time as a whole, not: want (which also in 2 Corinthians 8:13 it does not mean). The dative is governed by συγκοιν. (Ephesians 5:11; Revelation 18:4; Romans 12:13; Romans 15:27, et al.); and μου is, in accordance with the well-known usage, to be taken as if μοι were in the text (comp on Php 2:2; and Stallbaum, ad Plat. Rep. p. 518 C, Symp. p. 215 C). The aorist participle coincides as to time with ἐποιήσατε (see on Ephesians 1:9); as to the participle with καλῶς ποιεῖν, see Winer, p. 323 f. [E. T. 434].Php 4:14. πλήν. See on chap. Php 3:16. “All the same, I rejoice in your kindness.”—καλῶς. Hort (on 1 Peter 2:12) points out that καλός “denotes that kind of goodness which is at once seen to be good”.—συνκ. (the preferable spelling). In classical usage (almost confined to Demosth.) this verb has the genitive of the thing in which a share is given. They had made common cause with his affliction (probably referring to his imprisonment). The bringing forward of μου emphasises their personal relation to the Apostle, which was apt to be obscured by the form of expression used.14. Notwithstanding] “Again the Apostle’s nervous anxiety to clear himself interposes” (Lightfoot). We would rather call it loving care than nervous anxiety. He is tender over their feelings, as he thinks how “their deep poverty has abounded to the riches of their liberality” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2), in love to him and to the Lord; and not even his testimony to the power of Christ shall make him seem to slight their collection.

ye have well done] Better, perhaps, ye did well; when you gave and sent your alms.

communicate with] Better, as more intelligible to modern readers, take a share in. For the thought, cp. on Php 1:7. Their sympathy, coming out in self-denial, blent their experience with that of the imprisoned and impoverished Apostle.Php 4:14. Συγκοινωνήσαντες) since you have communicated (imparted) to me in my affliction of your resources. It is indicated by the compound verb, that different persons also had communicated (κοινωνήσαντας) in a different way.[57]

[57] σὺν implying they joined together in doing so.—ED.Verse 14. - Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction; rather, as R.V., ye had fellowship with my affilction. St. Paul values the sympathy, the fellow-feeling, more than the gifts; he could have done without the gifts, but they were precious as a proof of love. Notwithstanding

Lest, in declaring his independence of human aid, he should seem to disparage the Philippians' gift.

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