Philippians 4:2
I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Euodias.—The name should be Euodia, as is seen by Philippians 4:3. Of Euodia and Syntyche nothing is known. Many strange attempts have been made to find symbolism in these names. Evidently they were women of note, leaders at Philippi, where, we may remember, the gospel was first preached to women (Acts 16:13), and the church first formed in a woman’s house (Acts 16:14; Acts 16:40). We may note the many female names—Phœbe, Priscilla, Mary, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Julia, the mother of Rufus, the sister of Nereus—in the long list of greetings to the Church of Rome (Romans 16).

4:2-9 Let believers be of one mind, and ready to help each other. As the apostle had found the benefit of their assistance, he knew how comfortable it would be to his fellow-labourers to have the help of others. Let us seek to give assurance that our names are written in the book of life. Joy in God is of great consequence in the Christian life; and Christians need to be again and again called to it. It more than outweighs all causes for sorrow. Let their enemies perceive how moderate they were as to outward things, and how composedly they suffered loss and hardships. The day of judgment will soon arrive, with full redemption to believers, and destruction to ungodly men. There is a care of diligence which is our duty, and agrees with a wise forecast and due concern; but there is a care of fear and distrust, which is sin and folly, and only perplexes and distracts the mind. As a remedy against perplexing care, constant prayer is recommended. Not only stated times for prayer, but in every thing by prayer. We must join thanksgivings with prayers and supplications; not only seek supplies of good, but own the mercies we have received. God needs not to be told our wants or desires; he knows them better than we do; but he will have us show that we value the mercy, and feel our dependence on him. The peace of God, the comfortable sense of being reconciled to God, and having a part in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, are a greater good than can be fully expressed. This peace will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus; it will keep us from sinning under troubles, and from sinking under them; keep us calm and with inward satisfaction. Believers are to get and to keep a good name; a name for good things with God and good men. We should walk in all the ways of virtue, and abide therein; then, whether our praise is of men or not, it will be of God. The apostle is for an example. His doctrine and life agreed together. The way to have the God of peace with us, is to keep close to our duty. All our privileges and salvation arise in the free mercy of God; yet the enjoyment of them depends on our sincere and holy conduct. These are works of God, pertaining to God, and to him only are they to be ascribed, and to no other, neither men, words, nor deeds.I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche - These are doubtless the names of females. The name Syntyche is sometimes the name of a man; but, if these persons are referred to in Philippians 4:3, there can be no doubt that they were females. Nothing more is known of them than is here mentioned. It has been commonly supposed that they were deaconesses, who preached the gospel to those of their own sex; but there is no certain evidence of this. All that is known is, that there was some disagreement between them, and the apostle entreats them to be reconciled to each other.

That they be of the same mind - That they be united, or reconciled. Whether the difference related to doctrine, or to something else, we cannot determine from this phrase. The language is such as would properly relate to any difference.

In the Lord - In their Christian walk and plans. They were doubtless professing Christians, and the apostle exhorts them to make the Lord the great object of their affections, and in their regard for him, to bury all their petty differences and animosities.

2. Euodia and Syntyche were two women who seem to have been at variance; probably deaconesses of the church. He repeats, "I beseech," as if he would admonish each separately, and with the utmost impartiality.

in the Lord—the true element of Christian union; for those "in the Lord" by faith to be at variance, is an utter inconsistency.

I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche: after his general persuasive to perseverance, he doth here particularly by name with great affectionateness importune two women, who had been very useful in that church for the furtherance of the gospel, that they would come to a better understanding of each other, and the interest of religion amongst them, who received the gospel upon Paul’s preaching, Acts 16:13.

That they be of the same mind in the Lord; as he had moved all to love, unity, and amity, (as it became disciples of Christ), Philippians 2:2; so he doth here especially move them unto unanimity, according to the mind of the Lord, and his way, for the sake of him whose honour is to be preferred to all private concerns, Romans 15:5. I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche,.... Two women, who were members of this church at Philippi, and who seem to have been at variance; either with each other, on account of some temporal and civil things, as often is the case of the dear children of God, who fall out by the way; and it becomes a very hard and difficult task to reconcile them, though as here entreated in the most tender and importunate manner to agree: or else with the church, having entertained some sentiments in religion different from it; being drawn aside by false teachers from the simplicity of the Gospel, and their steadfastness in the faith; and this may rather be thought to be the meaning, since the apostle would scarcely take notice of a private difference in so public a manner, and since this exhortation follows so closely the former:

that they be of the same mind in the Lord; either that they agree together, and be reconciled to each other, considering the relation they stood in to one another, and to the Lord; or that they become of the same mind, and embrace the same truths, and profess and maintain the same principles the church did; and so the Arabic version renders it, "that ye entertain one and the same opinion concerning the faith of the Lord".

{2} I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.

(2) He also calls on some by name, partly because they needed private exhortation, and partly also to stir up others to be more prompt and ready.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 4:2 f. After this general exhortation, Php 4:1, the apostle, still deeply concerned for the community that is so dear to him, finds it requisite to give a special admonition to and for two meritorious women,[176] through whose disagreement, the details of which are unknown to us, but which probably turned on differences of their working in the church, a scandal had occurred, and the στήκειν ἐν κυρίῳ might more or less be imperilled. Whether they were deaconesses in Philippi (as many conjecture), must remain undecided. Grotius has erroneously considered both names, Hammond and Calmet only the second, to be masculine,[177] and in that case αὐταῖς in Php 4:3 is made to apply to others (viz. ΑἽΤΙΝΕς Κ.Τ.Λ.). For the two feminine names on inscriptions, see Gruter and Muratori. With Tischendorf and Lipsius (Gramm. Unters. p. 31), Συντυχή is to be treated as oxytone. Comp. generally Kühner, I. p. 256. The twice used παρακ.: “quasi coram adhortans seorsum utramvis, idque summa cum aequitate,” Bengel. An earnestly individualizing ἘΠΙΜΟΝΉ (Bremi, ad Aeschin. p. 400).

τὸ αὐτὸ φρον.] see on Php 2:2.

ἘΝ ΚΥΡ.] characterizes the specifically Christian concord, the moral nature and effort of which are grounded on Christ as their determining vital principle. Paul does not desire a union of minds apart from Christ.

Whether the disunion, which must be assumed, had its deeper root in moral pride on account of services in the cause of the gospel (Schinz), is not clear.

[176] According to Baur, indeed, they are alleged to be two parties rather than two women; and Schwegler (nachapostol. Zeitalt. II. p. 135) makes out that Euodia represents the Jewish-Christian, and Syntyche the Gentile-Christian party, and that γνήσιος σύζυγος applies to Peter! On the basis of Constitutt. ap. vii. 46. 1 (according to which Peter appointed an Euodius, and Paul Ignatius, as Bishop of Antioch), this discovery has been amplified with further caprice by Volkmar in the Theol. Jahrb. 1857, p. 147 ff. But exegetical fiction in connection with the two feminine names has been pushed to the utmost by Hitzig, z. Krit. Paulin. Br. p. 5 ff., according to whom they are supposed to have their origin in Genesis 30:9 ff.; he represents our author as having changed Asher and Gad into women in order to represent figuratively two parties, and both of them Gentile-Christian.

[177]
Theodore of Mopsuestia quotes the opinion that the two were husband and wife.Php 4:2. Εὐοδ. κ.τ.λ. This direct reference to a difference of opinion between two women of prominence in the Philippian Church is probably the best comment we have on the slight dissensions which are here and there hinted at throughout the Epistle. For, as Schinz aptly puts it (op. cit., p. 37), “in such a pure Church, even slight bickerings would make a great impression”. We find no trace of the cause. It may have turned on the question discussed in chap. Php 3:15-16. It may have been accidental friction between two energetic Christian women. But from the whole tone of the Epistle it cannot have gone far. Six Christian bishops named Εὐόδιος are mentioned in the Dict. of Christ. Biogr. The feminine name is also found in Inscrr[15].—Συντύχη. The name occurs both in Greek and Latin Inscrr[16]., as well as in the Acta Sanctorum (v., 225). Curiously enough, there is no masculine name precisely corresponding to be found except the form Sintichus (C.I.L., xii., no. 4703, from Narbo in Gaul. The Inscr. quoted by Lft[17]. is spurious). On the correct accentuation see the elaborate note in W-Sch[18]., p. 71. Lft[19]. has collected valuable evidence to show the superior position occupied by women in Macedonia. See his Philippians, p. 56, notes 2, 3, where he quotes Inscrr[20]., in some of which a metronymic takes the place of the patronymic, while others record monuments erected in honour of women by public bodies. We may add, from Heuzey, Voyage Archéol., p. 423, an Inscr. of Larissa, where a woman’s name occurs among the winners in the horse-races (see Introduction). For the prominence of women generally in the Pauline Churches, Cf. Romans 16 passim, 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. The repetition of παρακαλῶ perhaps hints that Paul wishes to treat each of them alike. [Hitzig, Zur Kritik Paulin. Brr., p. 5 ff., exemplifies the pitch of absurdity which N.T. critics reached in a former generation, by supposing that these names represent two heathen-Christian parties, the one Greek, the other Roman.]

[15] scrr. Inscriptions.

[16] scrr. Inscriptions.

[17] Lightfoot.

[18] Sch. Schmiedel’s Ed. of Winer.

[19] Lightfoot.

[20] scrr. Inscriptions.2. I beseech] R.V., I exhort. But the tenderer English word well represents the general tone here, and the Greek fully admits it as a rendering. See e.g. 2 Corinthians 12:8. Observe the repetition of the word.

Euodias … Syntyche] Read certainly Euodia, a feminine name. In the versions of Tyndale and Cranmer the second name appears as “Sintiches,” intended (like Euodias) to be a masculine name. But such a name is nowhere found in Greek inscriptions, nor is Euodias, though this might be contracted from the known name Euodianus. Both Euodia and Syntychê are known feminine names, and the persons here are evidently referred to as women, Php 4:3.—Of these two Christians we know nothing but from this mention. They may have been “deaconesses,” like Phœbe (Romans 16:1); they were certainly (see Php 4:3) active helpers of the Missionary in his days of labour at Philippi. Perhaps their activity, and the reputation it won, had occasioned a temptation to self-esteem and mutual jealousy; a phenomenon unhappily not rare in the modern Church.—Bp Lightfoot (on this verse, and p. 55 of his edition) remarks on the prominence of women in the narrative of the evangelisation of Macedonia; Acts 16:13-15; Acts 16:40; Acts 17:4; Acts 17:12. He gives proof that the social position and influence of Macedonian women was higher than in most ancient communities. See above, Introduction, p. 13. The mention here of two women as important persons in the Philippian Church is certainly an interesting coincidence with the Acts.—As a curiosity of interpretation, Ellicott (see also Lightfoot, p. 170) mentions the conjecture of Schwegler that Euodia and Syntyche are really designations of Church-parties, the names being devised and significant. This theory, of course, regards our Epistle as a fabrication of a later generation, intended as an eirenicon. “What will not men affirm?”

of the same mind in the Lord] They must lay aside pique and prejudice, in the power and peace of their common union with Christ.Php 4:2. Παρακαλῶ, I [beseech], exhort) He uses this word twice, as if exhorting each of them apart face to face, and doing it with the utmost impartiality [implied by repeating the like word to each separately].Verse 2. - I beseech Enodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord; rather, Euodia. It is plain from the next verse that both are female names. The narrative in Acts 16 shows that the female element was more than usually important in the early Philippian Church. These ladies seem to have held a high position in that Church; possibly they may have been deaconesses, like Phoebe at Cenchrea. Their dissensions disturbed the peace of the Church. The repeated "I beseech" is emphatic; it may, perhaps, also imply that both were in fault. St. Paul earnestly begs them to be reconciled, and to be reconciled as Christians, in the Lord, as members of his body, in the consciousness of his presence. Mark how often the words, "in Christ," "in the Lord," occur in this Epistle; how constantly the thought of spiritual union with Christ was present to the apostle's mind. I beseech Euodias and beseech Syntyche (Εὐωδίαν παρακαλῶ καὶ Συντύχην παρακαλῶ)

Euodias is incorrect, the name being feminine, Euodia. According to the Tex. Rec., with the long o, the name means fragrance; but the correct reading is with the short o, the meaning being prosperous journey. Syntyche means happy chance. These were prominent women in the Church, possibly deaconesses. The position of women in Macedonia was exceptional. In Greece, generally, their standing was inferior. The Athenian law prescribed that everything that a man might do by the consent or request of a woman should be null in law. In Macedonia monuments were erected to women by public bodies, and in Macedonian inscriptions records of male proper names are found formed on the mother's name instead of the father's. Macedonian women were permitted to hold property. In the account of Paul's labors in Macedonia there are notices of the addition of women of rank to the church in Thessalonica and Beroea.

For beseech, render exhort, and notice the repetition of that word with each name, making the exhortation individual and specific.

To be of the same mind (τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν)

The same expression as in Philippians 2:2, see note. Compare Romans 12:16. The verb φρονέω to be minded, occurs eleven times in this epistle, and but seventeen times in the rest of the New Testament.

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