Philippians 4:16
For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again to my necessity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Even in Thessalonica.—Not only after he left Macedonia, but even before that time, when he had just passed from Philippi to Thessalonica. At Thessalonica, as at Corinth—both very rich and luxurious communities—he refused maintenance, and lived mainly by the labour of his own hands (1Thessalonians 2:9; 2Thessalonians 3:8). But it appears from this passage that even then he received “once and again” (that is, occasionally, “once or twice”) some aid from Philippi “to supply his need”—that is (as in all right exercise of liberality), to supplement, and not to supersede, his own resources.

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.For even in Thessalonica; - see the notes, Acts 17:1. Paul remained there long enough to establish a flourishing church. He met, indeed, with much opposition and persecution there; and, hence, it was necessary that his wants should be supplied by others. 16. even in Thessalonica—"even" as early as when I had got no further than Thessalonica, ye sent me supplies for my necessities more than once. They, for their parts, were most commendable in this matter, that when he was in Thessalonica, the mother city, (not above twenty-five miles distant), their care for his comfortable livelihood was more than once manifested, he passing again and again through Macedonia, 1 Corinthians 16:5 2 Corinthians 1:16; which argues his thankful resentment of the constant purpose of their mind to succour him upon all occasions. For even in Thessalonica,.... When the apostle was there; for from Philippi he went to Thessalonica; see Acts 17:1,

ye sent once and again unto my necessity; for his use and service, to support him while he was at that place, and relieve and assist him in his necessities; for the people at Thessalonica were either not able to communicate, or were not of a beneficent disposition, or the apostle did not care to be chargeable to them; and they seem many of them to have been idle and lazy, and therefore he wrought among them with his own hands to set them an example; and the Philippians hearing and knowing that this was the case, sent frequently, while he was here, some of the brethren with gifts unto him.

For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 4:16. Ὅτι] since, indeed, ye also already in Thessalonica, etc. It is argumentative, namely, outbidding the early definition of date ἐν ἀρχῇΜακεδονίας, in Php 4:15, by one even antecedent, and thus serving more amply to justify that specification of time,[192] for which purpose the ὍΤΙ specifying the reason was quite sufficient, and (in opposition to Hofmann’s objection) no ΓΆΡ was necessary. The opinion of Wiesinger, that ὍΤΙ Κ.Τ.Λ. is intended to explain that it was only with the aid sent after Paul at a distance that the readers had entered into such a connection with the apostle as is previously mentioned, is bound up with the untenable interpretation of ἘΞῆΛΘΟΝ as pluperfect. The rendering of ὍΤΙ by that (Rheinwald, Matthies, Hoelemann, van Hengel, Rilliet, de Wette, Lünemann, Weiss) is to be set aside, because, while the emphatic οἴδατε καὶ ὑμεῖς, Php 4:15, accords doubtless with the exclusion of other churches in Php 4:15, it does not accord with Php 4:16 (“ye also know that ye have sent … to me!”), to which it would stand in an illogical relation, even apart from the uncalled-for inversion of the order of time, which would result. Hofmann’s explanation, which makes ὅτι in Php 4:16 parallel to the ὍΤΙ in Php 4:15 and places it in causal relation to ΟἼΔΑΤΕ, falls with his erroneous view of Php 4:15.

The ΚΑΊ before ἘΝ ΘΕΣΣΑΛ., for which Hinsch, following Baur, thinks that he finds a reference in 2 Corinthians 11:9, is the simple also in the sense of also already; a climax as regards time; see Hartung, Partik. I. p. 135; Kühner, II. 2, p. 797.

ἐν Θεσσαλ.] is not used, in the sense of the bearers having arrived, for ΕἸς, for there is no certain instance of ἈΠΟΣΤΈΛΛΕΙΝ or ΠΈΜΠΕΙΝ with ἘΝ in this sense (Thuc. vii. 17 must, with Becker and Krüger, be read: Ἐς ΤῊΝ ΣΙΚΕΛΊΑΝ); but the preposition is used from the standpoint of the receiver:also at Thessalonica (when I was there) ye sent to me.” Thus this sending took place in Thessalonica. Comp. on Matthew 10:16; Poppo and Krüger on Thuc. iv. 27. 1.

καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δίς] Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:18. The conception is: “when the first aid arrived, the ἐπέμψατε had taken place once; when the second arrived, it had taken place both once and twice.” Paul has not written δίς merely, nor yet ἍΠΑΞ Κ. ΔΊς (1Ma 3:30; Xen. Anab. iv. 7. 10), but by καὶ ἅπ. κ. ΔΊς he sets forth the repetition of the matter more emphatically, to the praise of his readers (Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 144). Comp. καὶ δὶς καὶ τρίς, Plat. Phaed. p. 63 D, Phil. p. 59 E; Herod, ii. 121, iii. 148. The opposite: οὐχ ἅπαξ οὐδὲ δίς, Plat. Clit. p. 410 B.

εἰς τ. χρείαν] on behalf of the necessity, in order to satisfy it; comp. Php 2:15. The article indicates the necessity that had been existing in Paul’s case. On πέμψαι, used absolutely, comp. Acts 11:29. What they sent, they knew.

[192] If Baur had noticed this correct logical connection, he would not have made an improper use of our passage to fortify his opinion of the affair of the aid being an invented incident.—The same assistance which is meant in ver. 15 cannot be meant in ver. 16, as some not attending to the καί (comp. Luther, Castalio, and others) have thought. This view is also at variance with the specification of time ὅτε ἐξῆλθον, ver. 15; for Paul abode several weeks in Thessalonica (Acts 17:2), and then there still followed his sojourn in Beroea (Acts 17:10 ff.), ere he quitted Macedonia and travelled to Athens.Php 4:16. ὅτι κ.τ.λ. We are greatly inclined to take ὅτι here, as in Php 4:15, as dependent on οἴδατε. “Ye know … that at the beginning … that even in Thessalonica,” etc. Thessalonica was a city of far greater wealth and importance than Philippi. καί might, however, emphasise the fact that they began at once to support him.—ἁπαξ κ. δίς is probably to be taken literally. Cf. Deuteronomy 9:13, λελάληκα πρὸς σὲ ἄπαξ καὶ δίς; 1Ma 3:30, εὐλαβήθη μὴ οὐκ ἔχει ὡς ἄπαξ καὶ δίς. It is interpreted in a more general sense by Lft[59]. and Wohl[60].—εἰς τ. χρείαν. εἰς should be read with most of the best authorities. It is probably used here in a semi-technical meaning often found in Papyri (see Dsm[61]., BS[62]., pp. 113. 115; NBS[63]., p. 23) and also in Paul, e.g., 1 Corinthians 16:1, τῆς λογίας τῆς εἰς τοὺς ἁγίους; Romans 15:26, κοινωνίαν τινὰ ποιήσασθαι εἰς τοὺς πτωχούς. It describes the object of gifts, collections, etc., or the various items in an account which have to be met. This interpretation accords with the financial colouring of the passage.

[59] Lightfoot.

[60] Wohlenberg.

[61] Deissmann (BS. = Bibelstudien, NBS. = Neue Bibelstudien).

[62] Bibelstudien

[63] Neue Bibelstudien16. even in Thessalonica] “Even when I was there.”—Thessalonica was just 100 Roman miles (about 92 English) from Philippi, on the Via Egnatia. Amphipolis and Apollonia were the two intermediate road-stations, about 30 miles from each other, and apparently Paul and Silas passed only a night at each, hastening to Thessalonica, where probably they spent some weeks, or even months (Acts 17:1-9; and cp. Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles &c., ch. 9; Lewin, L. and E. &c., vol. 1. chap. 11). Thus Thessalonica was practically the Apostle’s first pause after leaving Philippi; and it was in Macedonia.

once and again] Within a short stay at the longest. In Acts 17 only “three sabbaths” are mentioned; but the Epistles to Thessalonica seem to imply that he stayed somewhat longer, by their allusions to the impression made at Thessalonica by his and his companions’ life and example. See 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-8.

my necessity] The profits of his hard manual labour at Thessalonica (see 1 and 2 Thess. just quoted) evidently left him still very poor. He would take nothing of the Thessalonians, while still actually introducing the Gospel to them.Php 4:16. Καὶ ἅπαξ καὶ δὶς) Δὶς, an ordinal member in this passage; i.e. not once and twice, which would be equivalent to thrice, but once and again, so that under δὶς, twice, ἅπαξ, once, is comprehended. So 1 Thessalonians 2:18.Verse 16. - For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. This shows the promptness of their generosity; they not only helped him when he departed from Macedonia; but, before that time, while he was still at Thessalonica, the city which he visited next after leaving Philippi, they sent more than once to supply his needs; Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 and 2 Thessalonians 2:8, where St. Paul says that he avoided being chargeable to the Thessalonians; for which purpose he labored with his own hands; but, it seems, he needed additional help, and this was supplied from Philippi. Even in Thessalonica (καὶ)

Better also: in addition to the contribution received at Corinth.

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