Philippians 4:3
And I entreat you also, true yoke fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellow laborers, whose names are in the book of life.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) I intreat.—This rendering is too strong. It is, I ask, or request. The word means properly, to ask a question; secondarily, to make a request on equal terms, as of right. Hence never used (except, perhaps, in 1John 5:16) of prayer from us to God.

True yokefellow,—This obscure phrase has greatly exercised conjecture. (1) It is curious historically to note the opinion, as old as Clement of Alexandria, that St. Paul referred to his own wife; but the opinion is clearly untenable in the face of 1Corinthians 7:8; 1Corinthians 9:5. (2) The word is never elsewhere applied by St. Paul to a fellow-Christian, and must denote some peculiar fellowship. Many guesses as to its meaning have been made. Some refer it to St. Luke, who seems to be in the history closely connected with Philippi; others to Lydia, the first-fruits of the gospel in that city. Perhaps the most likely supposition is that it may refer to Epaphroditus, the bearer, perhaps the amanuensis, of the Epistle, who had certainly come to help St. Paul to bear his yoke of suffering, and in whose case the sudden address in the second person would cause no ambiguity. (3) But a not improbable conjecture is that the word is a proper name—“Syzygus”—a’name, it is true, not actually known—and that the word “true” (properly, genuine) means “Syzygus, rightly so-called.” It is obvious to compare the play on the name “Onesimus,” in Philemon 1:11.

Those women . . .—It should be, help them (Euodia and Syntyche), inasmuch as they laboured with me. The word “laboured” signifies “joined with me in my struggle,” and probably refers to something more than ordinary labour, in the critical times of suffering at Philippi.

Clement.—From the time of Origen downwards this Clement has been identified with the famous Clement, bishop of Rome, and author of the well-known Epistle to the Church at Corinth, of whom Irenæus expressly says that he had seen and been in company with “the blessed Apostles,” and who in his Epistle refers emphatically to the examples both of St. Peter and St. Paul, as belonging to the times “very near at hand;” but dwells especially on St. Paul, “as seven times a prisoner in chains, exiled, stoned,” “a herald of the gospel in the East and the West,” “a teacher of righteousness to the whole world,” and one who “penetrated to the farthest border of the West.” (See his Epistle, Php. 5)

The fact that he was at this time working at Philippi—considering that Philippi, as a Roman colony, was virtually a part of Rome—is no objection to this identification; nor is the chronology decisive against it, though it would make Clement an old man when he wrote his Epistle. The identification may stand as not improbable, while the commonness of the name Clemens makes it far from certain.

Whose names are in the book of life.—For “the Book of Life,” see Daniel 12:1; Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 21:27. From that Book the name may be blotted out now (Revelation 3:5; comp. Exodus 32:33) till the end fixes it for ever. There is (as has been always noticed) a peculiar beauty in the allusion here. The Apostle does not mention his fellow-labourers by name, but it matters not; the names are written before God in the Book of Life. If they continue in His service, those names shall shine out hereafter, when the great names of the earth fade into nothingness.

Philippians

NAMES IN THE BOOK OF LIFE

Php 4:3.

Paul was as gentle as he was strong. Winsome courtesy and delicate considerateness lay in his character, in beautiful union with fiery impetuosity and undaunted tenacity of conviction. We have here a remarkable instance of his quick apprehension of the possible effects of his words, and of his nervous anxiety not to wound even unreasonable susceptibilities.

He had had occasion to mention three of his fellow-workers, and he wishes to associate with them others whom he does not purpose to name. Lest any of these should be offended by the omission, he soothes them with this graceful, half-apologetic reminder that their names are inscribed on a better page than his. It is as if he had said, ‘Do not mind though I do not mention you individually. You can well afford to be anonymous in my letter since your names are inscribed in the Book of Life.’

There is a consolation for obscure good people, who need not expect to live except in two or three loving hearts; and whose names will only be preserved on mouldering tombstones that will convey no idea to the reader. We may well dispense with other commemoration if we have this.

Now, this figure of the Book of Life appears in Scripture at intervals, almost from the beginning to the very end. The first instance of its occurrence is in that self-sacrificing, intercessory prayer of Moses, when he expressed his willingness to be ‘blotted out of Thy book’ as an atonement for the sin of Israel. Its last appearance is when the Apocalyptic Seer is told that none enter into the City of God come down from Heaven ‘save those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.’ Of course in plain English the expression is just equivalent to being a real disciple of Jesus Christ. But then it presents that general notion under a metaphor which, in its various aspects, has a very distinct and stringent bearing upon our duties as well as upon our blessings and our hopes. I, therefore, wish to work out, as well as I can, the various thoughts suggested by this emblem.

I. The first of them is Citizenship.

The figure is, of course, originally drawn from the registers of the tribes of Israel. In that use, though not without a glance at some higher meaning, it appears in the Old Testament, where we read of ‘those who are written among them living in Jerusalem’; or ‘are written in the writing of the house of Israel.’ The suggestion of being inscribed on the burgess-rolls of a city is the first idea connected with the word. In the New Testament, for instance, we find in the great passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews the two notions of the city and the census brought into immediate connection, where the writer says, ‘Ye are come unto the city of the living God . . . and to the church of the first-born whose names are written in heaven.’ In this very letter we have, only a verse or two before my text, the same idea of citizenship cropping up. ‘Our citizenship is in Heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour.’ That, no doubt, helped to suggest to the Apostle the words of my text. And there is another verse in the same letter where the same idea comes out. ‘Only act the citizen as becometh the Gospel of Christ.’ Now, you will remember, possibly, that Philippi was, as the Acts of the Apostles tells us, a Roman colony. And the reference is exquisitely close-fitting to the circumstances of the people of that city. For a Roman colony was a bit of Rome in another land, and the citizens of Philippi had their names inscribed on the registers of the tribes of Rome. The writer himself was another illustration of the same thing, of living in a community to which he did not belong and of belonging to a community in which he did not live. For Paul was a native of Tarsus; and Paul, the native of the Asiatic Tarsus, was a Roman.

So, then, the first thought that comes out of this great metaphor is that all of us, if we are Christian people, belong to another polity, another order of things than that in which our outward lives are spent. And the plain, practical conclusion that comes from it is, cultivate the sense of belonging to another order. Just as it swelled the heart of a Macedonian Philippian with pride, when he thought that he did not belong to the semi-barbarous people round about him, but that his name was written in the books that lay in the Capitol of Rome, so should we cultivate that sense of belonging to another order. It will make our work here none the worse, but it will fill our lives with the sense of nobler affinities, and point our efforts to grander work than any that belongs to ‘the things that are seen and temporal.’ Just as the little groups of Englishmen in treaty-ports own no allegiance to the laws of the country in which they live, but are governed by English statutes, so we have to take our orders from headquarters to which we have to report. Men in our colonies get their instructions from Downing Street. The officials there, appointed by the Home Government, think more of what they will say about them at Westminster than of what they say about them at Melbourne. So we are citizens of another country, and have to obey the laws of our own kingdom, and not those of the soil on which we dwell. Never mind about the opinions of men, the babblements of the people in the land you live in. To us, the main thing is that we be acceptable, well-pleasing unto Him. Are you solitary? Cultivate the sense of, in your solitude, being a member of a great community that stretches through all the ages, and binds into one the inhabitants of eternity and of time.

Remember that this citizenship in the heavens is the highest honour that can be conferred upon a man. The patricians of Venice used to have their names inscribed upon what was called the ‘golden book’ that was kept in the Doge’s Palace. If our names are written in the book of gold in the heavens, then we have higher dignities than any that belong to the fleeting chronicles of this passing, vain world. So we can accept with equanimity evil report or good report, and can acquiesce in a wholesome obscurity, and be careless though our names appear on no human records, and fill no trumpet of fame blown by earthly cheeks. Intellectual power, wealth, gratified ambition, and all the other things that men set before them, are small indeed compared with the honour, with the blessedness, with the repose and satisfaction that attend the conscious possession of citizenship in the heavens. Let us lay to heart the great words of the Master which put a cooling hand on all the feverish ambitions of earth. ‘In this rejoice, not that the spirits are subject unto you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’

II. Then the second idea suggested by these words is the possession of the life which is life indeed.

The ‘Book of Life,’ it is called in the New Testament. Its designation in the Old might as well be translated ‘the book of living’ as ‘the book of life.’ It is a register of the men who are truly alive.

Now, that is but an imaginative way of putting the commonplace of the New Testament, that anything which is worth calling life comes to us, not by creation or physical generation, but by being born again through faith in Jesus Christ, and by receiving into our else dead spirits the life which He bestows upon all them that trust Him.

In the New Testament ‘life’ is far more than ‘being’; far more than physical existence; removed by a whole world from these lower conceptions, and finding its complete explanation only in the fact that the soul which is knit to God by conscious surrender, love, aspiration, and obedience, is the only soul that really lives. All else is death--death! He ‘that liveth in pleasure is dead while he liveth.’ The ghastly imagination of one of our poets, of the dead man standing on the deck pulling at the ropes by the side of the living, is true in a very deep sense. In spite of all the feverish activities, the manifold vitalities of practical and intellectual life in the world, the deepest, truest, life of every man who is parted from God by alienation of will, by indifference, and neglect of love, lies sheeted and sepulchred in the depths of his own heart. Brethren, there is no life worth calling life, none to which that august name can without degradation be applied, except the complete life of body, soul, and spirit, in lowly obedience to God in Christ. The deepest meaning of the work of the Saviour is that He comes into a dead world, and breathes into the bones--very many and very dry--the breath of His own life. Christ has died for us; Christ will live in us if we will; and, unless He does, we are twice dead.

Do not put away that thought as if it were a mere pulpit metaphor. It is a metaphor, but yet in the metaphor there lies this deepest truth, which concerns us all, that only he is truly himself, and lives the highest, best, and noblest life that is possible for him, who is united to Jesus Christ, and drawing from Christ his own life. ‘He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son hath not life.’ Either my name and yours are written in the Book of Life, or they are written in the register of a cemetery. We have to make our choice which.

III. Another idea suggested by this emblem is experience of divine individualising knowledge and care.

In the Old Testament the book is called ‘Thy book,’ in the New it is called ‘the Lamb’s book.’ That is of a piece with the whole relation of the New to the Old, and of Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word and Manifestor of God, to the Jehovah revealed in former ages. For, unconditionally, and without thought of irreverence or idolatry, the New Testament lifts over and confers upon Jesus Christ the attributes which the Old jealously preserved as belonging only to Jehovah. And thus Christ the Manifestor of God, and the Mediator to us of all divine powers and blessings, takes the Book and makes the entries in it. Each man of us, as in your ledgers, has a page to himself. His account is opened, and is not confused with other entries. There is individualising love and care, and as the basis of both, individualising knowledge. My name, the expression of my individual being, stands there. Christ does not deal with me as one of a crowd, nor fling out blessings broadcast, that I may grasp them in the midst of a multitude, if I choose to put out a hand, but He deals with each of us singly, as if there were not any beings in the world but He and I, our two selves, all alone.

It is hard to realise the essentially individualising and isolating character of our relation to Jesus Christ. But we shall never come to the heart of the blessedness and the power of His Gospel unless we translate all ‘us’-es and ‘every ones’ and ‘worlds’ in Scripture into ‘I’ and ‘me,’ and can say not only He gives Himself to be ‘the propitiation for the sins of the whole world,’ but ‘He loved me and gave Himself for me .’ The same individualising love which is manifested in that mighty universal Atonement, if we rightly understand it, is manifested in all His dealings with us. One by one we come under His notice; the Shepherd tells His sheep singly as they pass out through the gate or into the fold. He knows them all by name. ‘I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine.’

Lift up your eyes and behold who made all these; the countless host of the nightly stars. What are nebulæ to our eyes are blazing suns to His. ‘He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by name by the greatness of His power, for that He is strong in might not one faileth.’ So we may nestle in the protection of His hand, sure of a separate place in His knowledge and His heart.

Deliverance and security are the results of that individualising care. In one of the Old Testament instances of the use of this metaphor, we read that in the great day of calamity and sorrow ‘Thy people shall be delivered, even every one that is written in Thy Book.’ So we need not dread anything if our names are there. The sleepless King will read the Book, and will never forget, nor forget to help and succour His poor servants.

But there are two other variations of this thought in the Old Testament even more tenderly suggestive of that individualising care and strong sufficient love than the emblem of my text. We read that when, in the exercise of his official functions, the high priest passed into the Tabernacle he wore, upon his breast , near the seat of personality, and the home of love--the names of the tribes graven, and that the same names were written on his shoulders, as if guiding the exercise of his power. So we may think of ourselves as lying near the beatings of His heart, and as individually the objects of the work of His almighty arm. Nor is this all. For there is yet another, and still tenderer, application of the figure, when we read of the Divine voice as saying to Israel, ‘I have graven thee on the palms of My hands.’ The name of each who loves and trusts and serves is written there; printed deep in the flesh of the Sovereign Christ. We bear in our bodies the marks, the stigmata that tell whose slaves we are--’the marks of the Lord Jesus.’ And He bears in His body the marks that tell who His servants are.

IV. Lastly, there is suggested by this text the idea of future entrance into the land of the living.

The metaphor occurs three times in the final book of Scripture, the book which deals with the future and with the last things. And it occurs in all these instances in very remarkable connection. First we read, in the highly imaginative picture of the final judgment, that when the thrones are set two books are opened, one the Book of Life, the other the book in which are written the deeds of men, and that by these two books men are judged. There is a judgment by conduct. There is also a judgment by the Book of Life. That is to say, the question at last comes to be, ‘Is this man’s name written in that book?’ Is he a citizen of the kingdom, and therefore capable of entering into it? Has he the life from Christ in his heart? Or, in other words, the question is, first, has the man who stands at the bar faith in Jesus Christ; and, second, has he proved that his faith is genuine and real by the course of his earthly conduct? These are the books from which the judgment is made.

Further, we read, in that blessed vision which stands at the far-off end of all the knowledge of the future which is given to humanity, the vision of the City of God ‘that came down from heaven as a bride adorned for her husband,’ that only they enter in there who are ‘written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.’ Only citizens are capable of entrance into the city. Aliens are necessarily shut out. The Lord, when He writeth up His people, shall count that this man was born there, though he never trod its streets while on earth, and, therefore, can enter into his native home.

Further, in one of the letters to the seven churches our Lord gives as a promise to him that overcometh, ‘I will not blot his name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name.’

What need we care what other people may think about us, or whether the ‘hollow wraith of dying fame’ that comes like a nimbus round some men may fade wholly or no, so long as we may be sure of acknowledgment and praise from Him from whom acknowledgment and praise are precious indeed.

I have but one or two more words to add. Remember that Paul had no hesitation in taking upon himself to declare that the names of these anonymous saints in Philippi were written in the Book of Life. What business had he to do that? Had he looked over the pages, and marked the entries? He had simply the right of estimating their state by their conduct. He saw their works; he knew that these works were the fruit of their faith; and he knew that, therefore, their faith had united them to Jesus Christ. So, Christian men and women, two things: show your faith by your works, and make it impossible for anybody that looks at you to doubt what King you serve, and to what city you belong. Again, do not ask, ‘Is my name there?’ Ask, ‘Have I faith, and does my faith work the works that belong to the Kingdom of Heaven?’

Remember that names can be blotted out of the book. The metaphor has often been pressed into the service of a doctrine of unconditional and irreversible predestination. But rightly looked at, it points in the opposite direction. Remember Moses’s agonised cry, ‘Blot me out of Thy book’; and the Divine answer, ‘Him that sinneth against Me, his name will I blot out of My book.’ And remember that it is only to ‘him that overcometh’ that the promise is made, ‘I will not blot him out.’ We are made partakers of Christ if we ‘hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm unto the end.’

Remember that it depends upon ourselves whether our names are there or not. John Bunyan describes the armed man who came up to the table, where the man with the book and the inkhorn was seated, and said: ‘Set down my name.’ And you and I may do that. If we cast ourselves on Jesus Christ and yield our wills to be guided by Him, and give our lives for His service, then He will write our names in His book. If we trust Him we shall be citizens of the City of God; shall be filled with the life of Christ; shall be objects of an individualising love and care; shall be accepted in that Day; and shall enter in through the gates into the city. ‘They that forsake me shall be written on the earth’; and there wiped out as are the children’s scribbles on the sand when the ocean come up. They that trust in Jesus Christ shall have their names written in the Book of Life; graven on the High Priest’s breastplate, and inscribed on His mighty hand and His faithful heart.Php 4:3. I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow — St. Paul had many fellow- labourers, not many yoke-fellows. In this number was Barnabas first, and then Silas, whom he probably addresses here; for Silas had been his yoke- fellow at the very place, Acts 16:19. Help those women who laboured together with me — Greek, συνηθλησαν μοι, literally, who wrestled, or contended together, with me — The word does not imply preaching, or any thing of that kind, but opposition, danger, and toil, endured for the sake of the gospel. With Clement also — Who endured the same things along with them; and with other my fellow-labourers — Here the word is συνεργων, fellow-workers, which may imply fellow-preachers; whose names are in the book of life — (Although not set down here,) as are those of all true believers. See the margin. The apostle alludes to the case of the wrestlers in the Olympic games, whose names were all enrolled in a book. Reader, is thy name in the book of life? Hast thou passed from death to life in consequence of being pardoned and accepted through faith in Christ? Then walk circumspectly, lest thou go back from life to death, and the Lord blot thee out of his book. It may not be improper to observe here, that according to some ancient Christian writers, the Clement mentioned in this verse is the person of the same name who afterward became bishop of the church at Rome, and who, to compose some dissensions which had arisen in the church at Corinth, about their spiritual guides, wrote an epistle to the Corinthians, which is still extant.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.And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow - It is not known to whom the apostle refers here. No name is mentioned, and conjecture is useless. All that is known is, that it was someone whom Paul regarded as associated with himself in labor, and one who was so prominent at Philippi that it would be understood who was referred to, without more particularly mentioning him. The presumption, therefore. is, that it was one of the ministers, or "bishops" (see the notes at Philippians 1:1) of Philippi, who had been particularly associated with Paul when he was there. The Epistle was addressed to the "church with the bishops and deacons" Philippians 1:1; and the fact that this one had been particularly associated with Paul, would serve to designate him with sufficient particularity. Whether he was related to the women referred to, is wholly unknown. Doddridge supposes that he might be the husband of one of these women; but of that there is no evidence. The term "yoke-fellow" - συζυγος suzugos - some have understood as a proper name (Syzygus); but the proper import of the word is yoke-fellow, and there is no reason to believe that it is used here to denote a proper name. If it had been, it is probable that some other word than that used here and rendered "true" - γνήσιος gnēsios - would have been employed. The word "true" - γνήσιος gnēsios - means that he was sincere, faithful, worthy of confidence. Paul had had evidence of his sincerity and fidelity; and he was a proper person, therefore, to whom to entrust a delicate and important business.

Help those women - The common opinion is, tidal the women here referred to were Euodias and Syntyche, and that the office which the friend of Paul was asked to perform was, to secure a reconciliation between them. There is, however, no certain evidence of this The reference seems rather to be to influential females who had rendered important assistance to Paul when he was there. The kind of "help" which was to be imparted was probably by counsel, and friendly cooperation in the duties which they were called to perform, There is no evidence that it refers to pecuniary aid; and, had it referred to a reconciliation of those who were at variance, it is probable that some other word would have been used than that rendered here as "help" - συλλαμβάνου sullambanou.

Which laboured with me in the gospel - As Paul did not permit women to preach (see 1 Timothy 2:12; compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 10:5), he must have referred here to some other services which they had rendered. There were deaconesses in the primitive churches (see the Romans 16:1 note; 1 Timothy 5:9., note), to whom was probably entrusted particularly the care of the female members of a church. In the custom which prevailed in the oriental world, of excluding females from the public gaze, and of confining them to their houses, it would not be practicable for the apostles to have access to them. The duties of instructing and exhorting them were then probably entrusted chiefly to pious females; and in this way important aid would be rendered in the gospel. Paul could regard such as "laboring with him," though they were not engaged in preaching.

With Clement also - That is, they were associated with Clement, and with the other fellow-laborers of Paul, in aiding him in the gospel. Clement as doubtless someone who was well known among them; and the apostle felt that, by associating them with him, as having been real helpers in the gospel, their claim to respectful attention would be better appreciated. Who Clement was, is unknown. Most of the ancients say it was Clement of Rome, one of the primitive fathers. But there is no evidence of this. The name Clement was common, and there is no improbability in supposing that there might have been a preacher of this name in the church at Philippi.

Whose names are in the book of life - see the notes at Isaiah 4:3. The phrase, "the book of life," which occurs here, and in Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 20:12, Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:19, is a Jewish phrase, and refers originally to a record or catalogue of names, as the roll of an army. It then means to be among the living, as the name of an individual would be erased from a catalog when he was deceased. The word "life" here refers to eternal life; and the whole phrase refers to those who were enrolled among the true friends of God, or who would certainly be saved. The use of this phrase here implies the belief of Paul that these persons were true Christians. Names that are written in the book of life will not be blotted out. If the hand of God records them there who can obliterate them?

3. And—Greek, "Yea."

true yoke-fellow—yoked with me in the same Gospel yoke (Mt 11:29, 30; compare 1Ti 5:17, 18). Either Timothy, Silas (Ac 15:40; 16:19, at Philippi), or the chief bishop of Philippi. Or else the Greek, "Sunzugus," or "Synzygus," is a proper name: "Who art truly, as thy name means, a yoke-fellow." Certainly not Paul's wife, as 1Co 9:5 implies he had none.

help those women—rather, as Greek, "help them," namely, Euodia and Syntyche. "Co-operate with them" [Birks]; or as Alford, "Help in the work of their reconciliation."

which laboured with me—"inasmuch as they labored with me." At Philippi, women were the first hearers of the Gospel, and Lydia the first convert. It is a coincidence which marks genuineness, that in this Epistle alone, special instructions are given to women who labored with Paul in the Gospel. In selecting the first teachers, those first converted would naturally be fixed on. Euodia and Syntyche were doubtless two of "the women who resorted to the riverside, where prayer was wont to be made" (Ac 16:13), and being early converted, would naturally take an active part in teaching other women called at a later period; of course not in public preaching, but in a less prominent sphere (1Ti 2:11, 12).

Clement—bishop of Rome shortly after the death of Peter and Paul. His Epistle from the Church of Rome to the Church of Corinth is extant. It makes no mention of the supremacy of the See of Peter. He was the most eminent of the apostolical fathers. Alford thinks that the Clement here was a Philippian, and not necessarily Clement, bishop of Rome. But Origen [Commentary, John 1:29] identifies the Clement here with the bishop of Rome.

in the book of life—the register-book of those whose "citizenship is in heaven" (Lu 10:20; Php 3:20). Anciently, free cities had a roll book containing the names of all those having the right of citizenship (compare Ex 32:32; Ps 69:28; Eze 13:9; Da 12:1; Re 20:12; 21:27).

And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow; he subjoins his most importunate request to some eminent person who did faithfully and sincerely draw in the same yoke of Christ with him, even such another in that church at Philippi, (whom they well knew from the freedom he used when he planted the gospel amongst them, or might more distinctly know from Epaphroditus), as he had represented Timothy to be, Philippians 2:20. Some, both ancient and modern, would have this to be Paul’s own wife, whom he left behind; but seeing it doth not appear that when he wrote this Epistle he had ever staid above two months at Philippi, he elsewhere reckons himself amongst the unmarried, 1 Corinthians 7:8, and wished those who had the gift of continency to continue so, under the sharp persecution of the church, for which he was frequent in journeying, labours, and prisons, 2 Corinthians 11:23, there is no cogent argument to evince that he was then married, however he had liberty to have had a wife, as well as Peter and others: see Matthew 19:29 22:28, with 1 Corinthians 9:5. Some conceive by

yoke-fellow here is meant the lawful husband of one of the forenamed honourable matrons: others, one called by that proper name in Greek; but the epithet annexed doth not so well suit. It may suffice to say it was an intimate colleague and sincere companion of Paul’s, who was alike affected with him, drawing in the same yoke, for the furtherance of the gospel, his genuine helper; whose special aid, by advice, prayer, and otherwise, he solicited on the behalf of those pious women, who aforetime (though not by public preaching in the church, which he elsewhere disallowed, 1 Corinthians 14:34,35 1 Timothy 2:12, but privately) had not only wrought, but earnestly striven together with him, by teaching youth, and other women, good things, Titus 2:3,4 putting themselves in hazard with him, in that difficult work he had amongst them, and enduring troubles with him for the propagation of the gospel, Philippians 1:27 Acts 16:13; as Phebe, and Priscilla, and Mary, elsewhere, Acts 18:2,3,26 Ro 16:1-3 1 Timothy 5:10 2 Timothy 4:19; in offices proper to their sex.

Clement, probably, was some church officer of Roman extract in that colony at Philippi; whether he, about whose order in the catalogue of Roman bishops historians dispute, there is no certainty.

And with other my fellow labourers; the rest, whom he doth not name, but only describe by the assistance they gave him in the holy work of the gospel, probably were other church officers.

Whose names are in the book of life; whose names he did in charity apprehend to be enrolled in heaven, as our Saviour speaks to the rejoicing of his seventy disciples, Luke 10:20. We are not to think there is any material book wherein their names were written, but that he useth it as a borrowed speech, intimating his persuasion of them, (as of the election of others, 1 Thessalonians 1:4, with 1 Peter 1:2), that their life was as certainly sealed up with God, as if their names had been written in a book for that purpose; looking upon them by their fruit as truly gracious persons, whom God had effectually called according to his purpose, Romans 8:28,29,33; which is a book written, Exodus 32:32 Isaiah 4:3 Ezekiel 13:9 Daniel 12:1 Revelation 3:5 13:8 20:12 21:27; wherein the Lord knows who are his, 2 Timothy 2:19. And I entreat thee also, true yoke fellow,.... Not his wife, as some think (d), for he had none, as appears from 1 Corinthians 7:7, at the writing of which epistle he was at Ephesus, where he stayed some little time, and then went to Jerusalem; where he was quickly apprehended, and sent a prisoner to Rome, and where he now was as such; and therefore it is not likely that he should marry a wife within this compass of time, and much less that he should have one at Philippi; besides, the word used is of the masculine gender, and designs a man and not a woman: some think it is the proper name of a man, who was called "Syzygus", and so the Arabic interpreter seems to understand it; and by the apostle, true "Syzygus", signifying that as was his name, so was he, really and in truth, a companion and fellow labourer, that drew in the same yoke with him; the Syriac version renders it, "the son of my yoke", and the Ethiopic version, "my brother and my companion": some think this person was the husband or brother of one of the above women; and therefore is entreated to use his interest, and compose the difference between them, or endeavour to reconcile them to the church; and others that it was the jailer, that was converted by the apostle: but it seems most likely to have been one that was under the same yoke of the Gospel, and who had been employed with him in preaching of it, a fellow labourer; such an one as Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy, and might be one of those; or rather Epaphroditus, who was minister in this church, and by whom the apostle sent this letter, and whom he might address and importune in this manner; the word may very well be thought to answer to the Hebrew word often used in Jewish writings, for an associate, a colleague, and a disciple of the wise men, to which the apostle may allude; see Philippians 2:25,

help those women; Euodias and Syntyche. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read "them", referring to the above women; and the Arabic version reads, "help both"; that is, both those women; not by relieving their temporal wants, which it does not appear they were in; but either by composing their differences, or by assisting them with good counsel and advice; and giving them proper instructions in the doctrines of the Gospel, that they might be brought to think the same things the church did: and the rather such pains should be taken with them, since they were such, says the apostle,

which laboured with me in the Gospel; not in preaching it, for he suffered not a woman to teach in the church, 1 Timothy 2:12; but by professing it, and bearing reproach and persecution for it; and by supporting and encouraging, and spreading it with their worldly substance:

with Clement also; which some think is the same with Clemens Romanus, who was afterwards bishop of Rome, and whose epistle to the Corinthians is still extant; other writings are ascribed to him, but are spurious; however, by his name he seems to be a Roman; and from his being joined with the apostle, as one with whom these women also laboured in the Gospel, he appears to be a preacher of it at Philippi:

and with other my fellow labourers; in the work of the ministry, as Timothy, who was with him at Philippi, when he first preached the Gospel there, Acts 16:1, and some others:

whose names are in the book of life; the book of God's eternal purposes and decrees, divine predestination to eternal life; and this being called a "book", and the names of persons being said to be in it, denote the love of God to his elect, his care of them, his value for them, his remembrance of them, and the exact knowledge which he has of them; as well as imply, that his eternal election of them is personal and particular, is well known to him, and is sure and unchangeable; being more so than the writing of Pilate on the cross, who said, what I have written, I have written, John 19:22; and is called the "book of life", because those whose names are written in it, have a spiritual life here, and an eternal one hereafter; to both which they are afore written in this book, or pre-ordained in God's counsels, and certainly and infallibly enjoy it: now the apostle's knowledge of these persons being written in this book, did not arise from any special revelation, as being shown the book of life, and the names of the elect in it, when he was caught up into the third heaven, 2 Corinthians 12:2; nor was his knowledge of this matter peculiar and limited to these persons only, but common to all that he had reason to hope and believe had received the grace of God in truth, and walked worthy of the calling wherewith they were called, Ephesians 4:1; such persons in a judgment of charity, which hopes and believes all things, he concluded were in this book of life; and the same judgment, faith, and hope, ought all believers to form and entertain one of another, nothing appearing contrary to it, in their faith and conversation,

(d) Vid. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 30.

And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the {c} book of life.

(c) God is said, after the manner of men, to have a book, in which the names of his elect are written, to whom he will give everlasting life. Ezekiel calls it the writing of the house of Israel, and the secret of the Lord; Eze 13:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Php 4:3. Indeed, I entreat thee also, etc. This bringing in of a third party is a confirmation of the previous admonition as regards its necessity and urgency; hence the ναί; comp. Philemon 1:20. See also on Matthew 15:27.

σύζυγε is erroneously understood by Clemens Alexandrinus, Isidorus, Erasmus, Musculus, Cajetanus, Flacius, and others, as referring to the wife of the apostle; an idea which, according to 1 Corinthians 7:8, compared with 1 Corinthians 9:5, is at variance with history (see, already, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact), and at the same time at variance with grammar, as the adjective must in that case have stood in the feminine (Test. XII. Patr. p. 526; Eur. Alc. 314, 342, 385). Others understand the husband of one of the two women (so, although with hesitation, Chrysostom, also Theophylact, according to whom, however, he might have been a brother, and Camerarius; not disapproved by Beza); but what a strangely artificial designation would “genuine conjux” be! Weiss prefers to leave undecided the nature of the bond which connected the individual in question with the two women. But if, in general, a relation to the women were intended, and that apart from the bond of matrimony, by the term σύζυγε Paul would have expressed himself very awkwardly; for the current use of the word σύζυγος, and also of συζυγής (3Ma 4:8) and σύζυξ (Eur. Alc. 924), in the sense of conjux (comp. συζευγνύναι, Xen. Oec. 7. 30; Herodian, iii. 10. 14), must have been well known to the reader. The usual mode of interpreting this passage (so Flatt, Rheinwald, Hoelemann, Matthies, de Wette, following Pelagius and Theodoret) has been to refer it to some distinguished fellow-labourer of the apostle, well known, as a matter of course, to the readers of the epistle, who had his abode in Philippi and deserved well of the church there by special services. Some have arbitrarily fixed on Silas (Bengel), and others quite unsuitably on Timothy (Estius), and even on Epaphroditus (Vatablus, Grotius, Calovius, Michaelis, van Hengel, and Baumgarten-Crusius), whom Hofmann also would have us understand as referred to, inasmuch as he regards him as the amanuensis of the epistle, who had therefore heard it dictated by the apostle, and then heard it again when it came to be read in the church, so that he knew himself to be the person addressed. What accumulated invention, in order to fasten upon Epaphroditus the, after all, unsuitable confession before the church that he was himself the person thus distinguished by the apostle! According to Luther’s gloss, Paul means “the most distinguished bishop in Philippi.” Comp. also Ewald, who compares συμπρεσβύτερος, 1 Peter 5:1. But how strange would such a nameless designation be in itself! How easily might the preferential designation by γνήσιος have seemed even to slight other fellow-labourers in Philippi! Besides, Paul, in describing his official colleagues, never makes use of this term, σύζυγος, which does not occur elsewhere in the N.T., and which would involve the assumption that the unknown individual stood in quite a special relation to the apostle corresponding to this purposely-chosen predicate. Laying aside arbitrariness, and seeing that this address is surrounded by proper names (Php 4:2-3), we can only find in σύζυγε a proper name, in which case the attribute γνήσιε corresponds in a delicate and winning way to the appellative sense of the name (comp. Philemon 1:11); genuine Syzygus, that is, thou who art in reality and substantially that which thy name expresses: “fellow-in-yoke,” i.e. yoke-fellow, fellow-labourer. We may assume that Syzygus had rendered considerable services to Christianity in Philippi in joint labour with the apostle, and that Paul, in his appellative interpretation of the name, followed the figurative conception of animals in the yoke ploughing or thrashing (1 Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:18), a conception which was suggested to him by the very name itself. The opposite of γνήσιος would be: οὐκ ὄντως ὤν (comp. Plat. Polit. p. 293 E), so that the man with his name Syzygus would not be ἐπώνυμος (Eur. Phoen. 1500; Soph. Aj. 430), Jacobs, ad Del. Epigr. p. 272 f. He bore this his name, however, as ὄνομα ἐτήτυμον (Del. Epigr. v. 42). This view of the word being a proper name—to which Wiesinger inclines, which Laurent decidedly defends[178] in his Neut. Stud. p. 134 ff. and Grimm approves of in his Lexicon, and which Hofmann, without reason, rejects [179] simply on account of the usus loquendi of γνήσιος not being proved—was already held by ΤΙΝΈς in Chrysostom; comp. Niceph. Call. ii. p. 212 D; Oecumenius permits a choice between it and the explanation in the sense of the husband of one of the two women. It is true that the name is not preserved elsewhere; but with how many names is that the case? Hence it was unwarranted to assume (Storr) a translation of the name Κολληγᾶς (Joseph. Bell. vii. 3. 4), in connection with which, moreover, it would be hard to see why Paul should have chosen the word σύζυγος elsewhere not used by him, and not ΣΥΝΕΡΓΌς, or the like.[180] To refer the word to Christ, who helps every one to bear his yoke (Wieseler), was a mistake.

συλλαμβ. αὐταῖς] lay hold along with them, that is, assist them (Luke 5:7; Herod, vi. 125; Xen. Ages. 2. 31; Wunder, ad Soph. Phil. 280; Lex. Plat. III. p. 294), namely, for their reconciliation and for restoring their harmonious action.

αἵτινες] utpote quae, giving the motive, comp. Php 1:28; see on Romans 1:25; Romans 2:15; Romans 6:2, et al.

ἐν τῷ εὐαγγ.] the domain, in which they, etc. Comp. Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:2. It was among women that the gospel had first struck root in Philippi (Acts 16:13), and it is to be assumed that the two women named had rendered special service in the spread and confirmation of Christianity among their sex, and therein had shared the conflict of affliction and persecution with Paul (1 Thessalonians 2:2). On συνήθλησαν, comp. Php 1:27.

ΜΕΤᾺ ΚΑῚ ΚΛΉΜΕΝΤΟς Κ.Τ.Λ.] and in what fellowship, so honourable to them, have they shared my conflict for Christ’s sake? in association also with Clement and, etc. The reference of the καί is to ΜΟΙ; their joint-striving with Paul had been a fellowship in striving also with Clement, etc.; they had therein stood side by side with these men also. On καὶκαί, the first ΚΑῚ meaning also, comp. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 891; on its rarer position, however, between preposition and noun, see Schaefer, Ind. ad Gregor. Cor. p. 1064; Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 143; Kühner, II. 1, p. 480 f. The connection of μετὰ κ. Κλ. κ.τ.λ. with ΣΥΛΛΑΜΒ. ΑὐΤΑῖς (Coccejus, Michaelis, Storr, Flatt, J. B. Lightfoot, Hofmann) is opposed by the facts, that Paul has committed the service of mediation to an individual, with which the general impress now given to this commission is not in keeping, and that the subsequent ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ.τ.λ., in the absence of any specification of the churches, would neither be based on any motive nor intelligible to the readers, and would be strangest of all in the event of Paul’s having intended, as Hofmann thinks, to indicate here the presbyters and deacons mentioned in Php 1:1. The λοιποὶ συνεργοί, as well as generally the more special circumstances of which Paul here reminds his readers, were—if ΜΕΤᾺ ΚΑῚ Κ.Τ.Λ. be joined with ΣΥΝΉΘΛΗΣΆΝ ΜΟΙ, beside which it stands—historically known to these readers, although unknown to us.

That Clement was a teacher in Philippi (so most modern expositors; according to Grotius, a presbyter in Philippi, but “Romanus aliquis in Macedonia negotians”), must be maintained in accordance with the context, seeing that with him those two Philippian women laboured as sharing the conflict of the apostle; and of a travelling companion of this name, who had laboured with the apostle in Macedonia, there is no trace to be found; and seeing that the λοιποὶ συνεργοί also are to be regarded as Philippians, because thus only does the laudatory expression ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ.τ.λ. appear in its vivid and direct set purpose of bespeaking for the two women the esteem of the church. The more frequent, however, in general the name of Clement was, the more arbitrary is the old view, although not yet known to Irenaeus (3:3. 3), that Clement of Rome is the person meant.[181] So most Catholic expositors (not Döllinger), following Origen, ad Joh. i. 29; Eusebius, H. E. iii. 15; Epiphanius, Haer. xxvii. 6; Jerome, Pelagius, and others; so also Francke, in the Zeitschr. f. Luth. Theol. 1841, iii. p. 73 ff., and van Hengel, who conjectures Euodia and Syntyche to have been Roman women who had assisted the apostle in Rome, and had travelled with Epaphroditus to Philippi. See generally, besides Lünemann and Brückner, Lipsius, de Clem. Rom. ep. p. 167 ff.; J. B. Lightfoot, p. 166 ff.; and Hilgenfeld, Apost. Väter, p. 92 ff.

ὧν τὰ ὀνόμ. κ.τ.λ.] refers merely to τῶν λοιπῶν κ.τ.λ., whom Paul does not adduce by name, but instead of this affirms of their names something so great and honourable. God has recorded their names in His book, in which are written down the future partakers of the everlasting Messianic life; so surely and irrevocably is this life assigned to them. What Paul thus expresses by this solemn figure, he knew from their whole Christian character and action, in which he recognised by experience “quasi electionis[182] absconditae sigilla” (Calvin). See, moreover, on Luke 10:20, and Wetstein on our passage; it is different in Hebrews 12:23 (see Lünemann in loc). ἐστί must be supplied, not the optative, as Bengel thinks; and it must remain an open question, whether the persons referred to (among whom Ewald reckons Clement) are to be regarded as already dead (Bengel, Ewald), which is not to be inferred from ὧν τὰ ὀνόματα κ.τ.λ.; see Luke 10:20; Hermas, Pastor i. 1. 3. It is at all events certain that this predicate, which Paul nowhere else uses, is an especially honourable one, and does not simply convey what holds true of all Christians (so Hofmann in connection with his erroneous reference of μετὰ καὶ κ.τ.λ.). At Luke 10:20, and Revelation 13:8 also, it is a mark of distinction.

[178] In doing so, Laurent takes the reference of σύν contained in the name as general: “helper of all labour in the vineyard of the Lord.” More thoughtful, however, is the reference to the apostle himself, whose true yoke-fellow is to supply his place with his former female fellow-strivers (συνήθλ. μοι); comp. also subsequently συνεργῶν μου.

[179] According to our view, γνήσιος is, in fact, taken in no other sense than that which is current in all Greek authors, viz. ἀληθινός, verus, as Hofmann himself takes it. Whether we refer it thus to σίζυγε as an appellative word, or as the appellative contents of a name—is a matter which leaves the linguistic use of γνήσιος altogether untouched. As is well known, νόθος has the same general linguistic usage in the opposite sense (see e.g. Plat. Rep. p. 536 A; Jacobs, ad Del. Epigr. i. 103. 3).

[180] This holds at the same time against the view of Pelagius: “Germanus dictus est nomine, qui erat compar officii.” He is followed by Lyra.

[181] Nevertheless, upon this hypothesis Baur builds up a whole fabric of combinations, which are intended to transfer the date of our epistle to the post-apostolic age, when the Flavius Clemens known in Roman history, who was a patruelis of Domitian (Suet. Dom. 15), and a Christian (Lami, de erud. apost. p. 104; Baur, II. p. 68), had already become the well-known Clement of Roman tradition. Comp. Volkmar in the Theolog. Jahrb. 1856, p. 309, according to whom the Roman Clement is to be here already assumed as a martyr. Indeed, according to Schwegler and Hitzig, z. Krit. paulin. Br. p. 13, a first attempt is made here to connect this Clement also with Peter (for no other in their view is the σύζυγος). Thus, no doubt, the way is readily prepared for bringing down our epistle to the days of Trajan. Round the welcome name of Clement all possible fictions crystallize.

[182] The detailed discussion of the question as to the ground of the divine electio here portrayed (the Reformed theologians, “the decretum absolutum;” the Lutherans, “the praevisa fides;” the Catholics, “the praevisa opera”) is out of place here. Flacius, Clav. s. v. “liber,” justly observes that it is not fatalis quaedam electio which is pointed to, but ob veram justitiam, qualis Christi est, credentes eo referri et inscribi.Php 4:3. ναί must certainly be read with all trustworthy authorities. Exactly parallel is Philm. 20. Cf. Soph., Elect., 1445, σὲ κρίνω, ναὶ σέ.—ἐρωτῶ is common in N.T. = “beseech,” e.g., Luke 14:18. It is not so found in LXX, and this sense is very rare in late writers.—γνήσιε ς. is to be read with the great mass of authorities. We believe that W.H. are right in their marginal reading of Σύνζυγε as a proper name. This would harmonise with the other names mentioned. And the epithet γν. increases the probability. He requests Syzygus (lit. = joiner together) to help Euodia and Syntyche to make up their differences. “I beseech thee, who art a genuine Syzygus (in deed as well as in name) to help,” etc. (so also Myr[21]., Kl[22]., Weizs.). See esp[23]. an excellent discussion by Laurent, N.T. Studien, pp. 134–137. The fact that this name has not been found in books, Inscrr[24]., etc., is no argument against its existence. Zygos is found as a Jewish name (quoted by Zunz). Similar compounds such as Συμφέρων, Συμφέρουσα occur. Perhaps all the above names were given to them after Baptism. Lft[25]. and others refer σύνζ. to Epaphroditus. Chr[26]. thinks of the husband of one of the women addressed. Wieseler (Chronol., p. 458) actually refers it to Christ.—συλλ. Paul’s friend is plainly a man of tact who can do much to bring the Christian women now at variance together again. Holst, thinks, and perhaps with some reason, that the use of συλλαμβ. implies that Euodia and Syntyche were already trying to lay aside their differences.—αἵτινες. “Inasmuch as they laboured with me.” Their former services to the Gospel are a reason why they should receive every encouragement to a better state of mind. Cf. Acts 16:13.—μετὰ καὶ Κλ. An unusual position for καὶ although found in Pindar, Dionys. Halicarn., Aelian, and, above all, in Josephus, who delights in this construction (see Schmidt, De Elocut. Jos., p. 16; Schmid, Atticismus, iii., p. 337). These words must be taken with συνήθλ. He wishes to remind his Christian friend at Philippi of the noble company to which the women had belonged, a company held in the highest esteem in the Philippian Church. Κλήμης must have been some disciple at Philippi, unknown to Church history like the others mentioned here. It is nothing short of absurd (with Gw[27].) to make this Clement the celebrated bishop of Rome. See esp[28]. Salmon, Dict. of Chr[29]. Biog., i., p. 555. The same form in -ης, -εντος is seen in Κρήσκης, Πούδης (2 Timothy 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:21).—ὧν τὰ ὀν. ἐν βίβ. ζ. Perhaps the phrase implies that they had passed away. The Apostle almost seems to foresee the obscurity which will hang over many a devoted fellow-labourer of his. But their names have a glory greater than that of historical renown. They are in the βίβλος ζωῆς. The idea is common in O.T. Cf. Exodus 32:32, Psalm 69:29, Daniel 12:1. See also Apocal. of Bar., xxiv., 1; Henoch, xlvii., 3; 4 Ezra 14:35 and, in N.T., Revelation 3:5. Good discussions of the subject will be found in Weber, Lehren d. Talmud, pp. 233, 276; Schürer, ii., 2, p. 182.

[21] Meyer.

[22] . Klöpper.

[23] especially.

[24] scrr. Inscriptions.

[25] Lightfoot.

[26] Chrysostom.

[27] . Gwynn.

[28] especially.

[29] Chrysostom.3. And I entreat] Better, Yea, I request, or beg (as in our polite use of that word).

also] Paul was doing what he could to “help” his two converts; his friend at Philippi must “help” too.

true yokefellow] This person can only be conjecturally identified. He may have been a leading episcopus (Php 1:1) at Philippi. He may have been Epaphroditus, as Bp Lightfoot well suggests; charged with this commission by St Paul not only orally, but thus in writing, as a sort of credential. One curious conjecture, as old as St Clement of Alexandria (cent. 2) is that it was St Paul’s wife[26]; and it is curious that the older Latin version has dilectissime conjux, “dearest partner.” But the word conjux, like “partner,” is elastic and ambiguous, and the adjective is masculine. Both the form of the Greek adjective here, and the plain statement in 1 Corinthians 7. of St Paul’s celibacy a few years before, not to speak of the unlikelihood, had he been married, of his wife’s residence at Philippi, are fatal to this explanation. Another guess is that the word rendered “yokefellow,” syzy̆gus, or synzygus is a proper name, and that we should render “Syzygus, truly so called.” But this, though possible, is unlikely; no such name is found in inscriptions or elsewhere.

[26] Renan translates the words here (Saint Paul, p. 148), ma chère êpouse. See Salmon, Introduction to N. T., p. 465, note.

Wyclif’s rendering, “the german felowe,” looks strange to modern eyes; it means “thee, germane (genuine) comrade.”

help those women] Lit., help them (feminine). “Them.” means Euodia and Syntyche. The help would come in the way of personal conference and exhortation, with prayer.

which] The Greek is well represented in R.V., for they.

laboured with me] Lit., “strove along with me.” The verb is the same as that Php 1:27, where see note. Euodia and Syntyche had aided devotedly in the missionary work in their town, perhaps as sharers of special “gifts” (see Acts 21:9), or simply as exhorters and instructors of their female neighbours, probably also in loving labours of mercy for the temporal needs of poor converts. Like Phœbe of Cenchreæ (Romans 16:1) they were perhaps deaconesses. See Appendix C.

in the gospel] Cp. Php 1:5, Php 2:22; and below, on Php 4:15.

with Clement] Does this mean, “Help them, and let Clement and others help also,” or, “They strove along with me in the gospel, and Clement and others strove also”? The grammar is neutral in the question. On the whole, the first explanation seems best to suit the context, for it keeps the subject of the difference between Euodia and Syntyche still in view, which the second explanation scarcely does; and that difference was evidently an important and anxious fact, not to be lightly dismissed.

Clement,” Greek, Clêmês:—we have no certain knowledge of his identity. The name was common. It is asserted by Origen (cent. 3) that he is the Clement who was at a later time bishop of Rome, and author of an Epistle to the Corinthians, probably the earliest of extant patristic writings. Eusebius (cent. 4) implies the same belief. There is nothing impossible in this, for a Philippian Christian, migrating to the all-receiving Capital, might very possibly become Chief Pastor there in course of time. But the chronology of the life and work of Clement of Rome is obscure in detail, and some evidence makes him survive till quite a.d. 120, more than half a century later than this: a length of labour likely to be noticed by church historians, if it were the fact. In his Epistle (c. 47) he makes special and reverent mention of St Paul; and this is perhaps the strongest point in favour of the identity; but certainly not decisive. See Lightfoot, Philippians, p. 168.

the book of life] Cp. Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; Revelation 20:12; Revelation 20:15; Revelation 21:27; and Luke 10:20. And see Exodus 32:32-33; Psalm 69:28; Psalm 87:6; Isaiah 4:3; Ezekiel 13:9; Daniel 12:1. The result of comparison of these passages with this seems to be that St Paul here refers to the Lord’s “knowledge of them that are His” (2 Timothy 2:19; cp. John 10:27-28), for time and eternity. All the passages in the Revelation, save Revelation 3:5, are clearly in favour of a reference of the phrase to the certainty of the ultimate salvation of true saints; particularly Revelation 13:8, Revelation 17:8; and so too Daniel 12:1, and Luke 10:20. Revelation 3:5 appears to point in another direction (see Trench on that passage). But in view of the other mentions of the “Book” in the Revelation, the language of Php 3:5 may well be only a vivid assertion that the name in question shall be found in an indelible register. Exodus 32. and Psalms 69 are of course definite witnesses for a possible blotting out from “a book written” by God. But it is at least uncertain whether the book there in view is not the register of life temporal, not eternal.—Practically, the Apostle here speaks of Clement and the rest as having given illustrious proof of their part and lot in that “life eternal” which is “to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He hath sent” (John 17:3).—The word “names.” powerfully suggests the individuality and speciality of Divine love.Php 4:3. Ναὶ, yea) an agreeable [conciliatory, affectionate] particle, Philem., Php 4:20; Heb. נא. It is put, as it were, into the mouth of the man who is being besought, so that, upon merely pronouncing it, he may give his assent.—σύζυγε γνήσιε, [genuine] okefellow, or without disguise) ὁ καὶ ἡ σύζυγος, persons together, properly in marriage, and then in other things; so, however, as that the word is applied to two, and denotes some degree of parity; γνήσιος also is of the common gender. Some say, that Paul had at one time wife, but we are convinced, on good grounds, that he is here addressing a man. He had many συνεργοὺς, workers; not many συζύγους, , first Barnabas, afterwards Silas; and he seems to address the latter in this passage; for Silas had been his among the Philippians themselves, Acts [Acts 15:40] Acts 16:19. [, as I am more inclined to think, Epaphroditus.—V. g.] He was also [like Paul] at all events a minister, whom Paul here entreats.—συλλαμβάνου αὐταῖς, those) that thou mayest maintain harmony among them, by removing impediments.—αἵτινες, ) It is proper to afford help to a person who once stood well, even when he is wavering.—συνήθλησάν μοι, with me) They seem to have been involved in that danger, which is described at Acts 16:19.—μετὰ, ) This word depends on συνήθλησαν, have laboured together.—Κλήμεντος, ) They had imitated the great men, among whom was of distinguished excellence. The women were thus highly favoured and honoured.—τὰ ὀνόματα, names) though not here mentioned. The allusion is to the victorious competitors in the public games, whose were openly read and became famous.—ἐν βίβλῳ ζωῆς, the book of life) viz. , or, pray may be. The optative must be often supplied, Php 4:23. They seem to have been already by that time , for we generally follow such with earnest wishes[50] of that sort. Who would not help the surviving companions of these departed ones, ול?[51] Being associated with those who have died with honour, is to younger survivors a great recommendation to him who thus, as it were, stands in the middle place between those who are dead and those who are alive; for example, it formed a recommendation of Timothy to the Philippians, because he had been the intimate friend of Paul. [Those have also excellent materials for concord, of whom some have good reason to think others (who have good reason to think of one another that they are) partakers of eternal life, 1 Peter 3:7.—V. g.]

[50] Wishes that they may be found among the saved, not prayers, which are contrary to Scripture.—ED.

[51] Buxtorf, de Abbrev. Hebr. p. 84, writes, “זִכְרו̇כל לִבְרָכָה = ו״ל memoria ejus sit in benedictione (may his memory be blessed). De pluribus זִכְרו̇נָם memoria ipsorum (their memory): nomini piorum virorum defunctorum subjici solet: aut in genere sapientum vel Rabbinorum commemorationi.” The ל and ז are the initials used as the abbreviation for the whole words.—ED.Verse 3. - And I entreat thee also, true yokefellow; rather, yea, with R.V. and the best manuscripts; καὶ is a particle of earnest appeal (comp. Philemon 1:20 and Revelation 22:20); I ask or request. The Greek word ἐρωτῶ is used in New Testament Greek (in classical Greek it means "to inquire") of requests addressed to an equal; αἰτῶ is used in addressing a superior (comp. Trench, 'Synonyms of the New Testament,' sect. 40.). Who was the "true yokefellow"? Some, following Clement of Alexandria, interpret the words of a supposed wife of St. Paul. But the Greek adjective has the masculine termination; and it is plain, from 1 Corinthians 7:8, that St. Paul was unmarried. Others take one of the Greek words as the proper name of the person addressed, Syzygus or Gnesius. On the first supposition, the play on the meaning of Syzygus, yokefellow, would resemble St. Paul's reference to Onesimus in Philemon 1:11. But neither of these words seems to occur as a proper name. Some again, as Chrysostom, interpret the word of the husband of Euodia or Syntyche: this does not seem likely. Others think that Lydia may be addressed here. The omission of her name is remarkable; but she may bare been dead or no longer resident at Philippi. Others understand the chief pastor of the Church at Philippi, who may very possibly have been Epaphroditus himself, the bearer of the letter. This, on the whole, seems the most probable conjecture. The omission of the name implies that the person addressed was in a conspicuous position, so that there was no danger of mistakes. An important duty is assigned to him. And it may be that the word "yokefellow," as distinguished from "fellow-laborer," denotes something more of equality with the apostle. Help those women which labored with me in the gospel; rather, as R.V., help those women, for they labored with me. Help Euodia and Syntyche towards a mutual reconciliation, and that, inasmuch as they labored in the gospel. With Clement also. Are these words to be connected with "help" or with labored"? Is Clement associated with the "true yokefellow" in the work of reconciliation, or with the women who labored with St. Paul? The balance of probability seems to be in favor of the first alternative; there appears to be no reason for mentioning Clement's labors in this place; while, on the other hand, St. Paul's anxiety for the reconciliation of Euodia and Syntyehe might naturally urge him to ask for the combined efforts of all his fellow-laborers. Whether this Clement is to be identified with St. Clement the Bishop of Rome is an open question; there are no sufficient data for deciding it (see Bishop Lightfoot's detached note). And with other my fellow-laborers; rather, as R.V., and the rest of my fellow-workers. St. Paul appeals to them all. Whose names are in the book of life. St. Paul does not mention their names; there is no need that he should do so - they are written in heaven (comp. Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1; and Revelation, passim). The book of life is the roll of the citizens of the heavenly kingdom. The passages quoted do not necessarily involve the doctrine of an unconditional, irreversible predestination, or the phrase, "to blot out of my hook," could not be used. True yoke-fellow (γνήσιε σύνζυγε)

For true, see on naturally, Philippians 2:20. It is supposed by some that the word rendered yoke-fellow is a proper name, Synzygus, and that true is to be explained as rightly so called. This explanation would be favored by the play upon the name Onesimus in the Epistle to Philemon, and is not improbably correct. The name has not been found in inscriptions, as is the case with many of the names in these epistles, as, for instance, Euodia and Syntyche. Some suppose that the chief of the bishops or superintendents at Philippi is thus addressed; but, in that case, the word would probably appear elsewhere in the New Testament. Clement of Alexandria, assuming that Paul was married, thinks that he addresses his wife. Others suppose that Lydia is addressed.

Help (συλλαμβάνου)

Lit., take hold with. Compare Luke 5:7. The verb is used of conception, Luke 1:24; arrest, Matthew 26:55; Acts 12:3; catching, as fish, Luke 5:9. Compare the compound συναντιλάμβανομαι help, Luke 10:40 (note); Romans 8:26.

Which labored with me (αἵτινες συνήθλησάν μοι)

The double relative explains and classifies: for they belonged to the number of those who labored. Rev., for they labored. Labored, lit., strove as athletes, as Philippians 1:27. Compare Sophocles: "These girls preserve me, these my nurses, these who are men, not women, in laboring with me" ("Oedipus at Colonus," 1367-8).

Clement

Supposed by some to be Clement the Bishop of Rome. Origen identifies them, saying: "Clement to whom Paul bears Testimony in Philippians 4:3." So also Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome. Chrysostom speaks of Clement as the constant companion of Paul in all his travels. Irenaeus, on the contrary, who mentions him as the pupil of an apostle, says nothing of his connection with Paul, by name, and would not have been likely to pass over this identity in silence had he been aware of it. Clement was a member of the Roman church, and the name was a very common one. A Roman consul, Flavius Clemens, was sentenced to death by Domitian on account of atheism, which was the common pagan designation of Christianity. The Roman catacombs furnish evidence that Christianity had penetrated into the Flavian family, so that there may have been two prominent Christians in Rome of the same name. The identity of Clement of Rome with the Clement of this epistle has been very generally abandoned. The latter was probably a Philippian.

Other (τῶν λοιπῶν)

Rev., correctly, the rest.

Book of life

The phrase occurs seven times in Revelation. Compare Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23, and see on Revelation 3:5. The figure is founded on the register of the covenant people. Isaiah 4:3; Ezekiel 13:9; Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Daniel 12:1. The phrase was also used by the Rabbins. Thus in the Targum on Ezekiel 13:9 : "In the book of eternal life which has been written for the just of the house of Israel, they shall not be written." God is described as "the king, sitting upon the judgment-seat, with the books of the living and the books of the dead open before Him."

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