Romans 16:2
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.
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(2) In the Lord.—With the consciousness that you are performing a Christian act, subject to all those serious obligations implied in the name.

As becometh saints.—As Christians ought to receive a fellow-Christian.

Succourer.—Patroness or protectress, in the exercise of her office as deaconess.

Of myself also.—Perhaps in illness.

16:1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.That ye receive her ... - That you acknowledge her as being in the Lord, or as being a servant of the Lord; that is, as a Christian; compare Romans 14:3; Philippians 2:29.

As becometh saints - As it is proper that Christians should treat their brethren.

She hath been a succourer of many - The word used here προστάτις prostatis, means properly "a patron, a help," and was applied by the Greeks to one who "presided" over an assembly; to one who became "a patron" of others; who aided or defended them in their cause; and especially to one who undertook to manage the cause of "strangers" and foreigners before the courts. It was, therefore, an honorable appellation. Applied to Phebe, it means probably that she had shown great kindness in various ways to the apostle, and to other Christians; probably by receiving them into her house; by administering to the sick, etc. Such persons have a claim on the respect and Christian attentions of others.

2. Receive her in the Lord—that is, as a genuine disciple of the Lord Jesus.

as—"so as"

becometh saints—so as saints should receive saints.

assist her in whatsoever business she hath—"may have"

need of you—some private business of her own.

for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also—(See Ps 41:1-3; 2Ti 1:16-18).

Receive her in the Lord; i.e. in the Lord’s name, or for the Lord’s sake: see Matthew 18:5. Or else it is as if he had said: Receive her Christianly.

As becometh saints; as it is fit that saints should be rcceived, or as it is fit for them, who profess themselves to be saints, to receive one another.

That ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you; that you stand by her, and afford her your counsel, or any other assistance. She might have some business in the emperor’s court, by reason of fraud, oppression, or some unjust vexations; and there might be those amongst them that could stand her in some stead. There were Christians of Caesar’s household, Philippians 4:22.

For she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also: the word signifieth a patroness. She had been hospitable to many, and in particular, to the apostle himself. This showeth she was a woman of some account: it was but equal that the saints at Rome should assist her, who had been assistant unto so many others.

That ye receive her in the Lord,.... This is one thing he recommends her to them for, that they would receive her in a kind and friendly manner into their houses, and into their hearts' love and affections; admit her to their private meetings, and into church fellowship with them, and that as one that was in the Lord, and belonged to him; and also in his name, and for his sake:

as becometh saints; that is, both that they would treat her with that humanity, courteousness, Christian affection, and respect, as became them who were saints by calling and profession; and that they would use her as being one of the saints, a godly, holy person, and as such an one ought to be used, by virtue of the communion of saints:

and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: what her business was at Rome is not known; whether it was only to visit the saints; or whether it was to have a cause tried in any court of judicature there; or whether she came upon worldly business, as Lydia of Thyatira was at Philippi to sell her purple, when the Apostle Paul was there, it matters not: whatever assistance they could give her, either by directing her where the saints lived; or by giving her proper counsel and advice; or helping her forward in her worldly affairs; or whatever she was concerned in, this is desired; and is another thing for which the apostle recommends her to them, adding this reason,

for she hath been a succourer of many; or "a patroness of many" of the saints in necessity and distress. The word that is here used, is, as Harpocratian says (k) the name by which such were called by the Athenians, , "that were over the sojourners", who had the care and direction of them. And such was this woman to the poor saints in Cenchrea, and the strangers that came thither; not as being in such an office by the order and appointment of the church, but what she cheerfully and voluntarily took up herself and performed at her own expense, otherwise there would not be so much in the character as to deserve such peculiar notice, nor she be so worthy of praise and commendation: moreover, the apostle observes, that he also partook of her succour and assistance,

and of myself also; which would hardly have been the case had she been one that had only the care of the poor sisters of the church, which was the office of the deaconess: but she being a rich generous woman, and the apostle having shared in her bounty, gratefully acknowledges it; and he the rather mentions it, as knowing it would the more endear her to the saints at Rome, who would take more notice of her for the respect she had shown to him.

(k) Lexic. decem Orator. p. 255.

That ye receive her in the {a} Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

(a) For Christ's sake, which appropriately belongs to the Christians, for the heathen philosophers have a resemblance of the same virtues.

2. in the Lord, as becometh saints] With all the attention and delicacy due from Christians to a Christian woman.

assist her] Lit. (in the lit sense of “assist,”) stand by her. What Phœbe’s business at Rome was, is quite unknown to us. It may have concerned property, and involved enquiries and directions about law. Or it may have been (though less probably) religious business.

a succourer] Lit. a champion; one who stands before another. The word conveys a graceful allusion to the request that they would “stand by” Phœbe: she had “stood before” many a needing and suffering Christian.

of myself also] Very probably at some time of illness, such as that other time which apparently delayed him in Galatia, on his first visit there, and called out the sympathetic love of the Galatians. (Galatians 4:13-15; where read, “on account of weakness of the flesh;” i.e. “because of illness”).

Romans 16:2. Ἐν Κυρίῳ, in the Lord) There is very frequent mention of the Lord, Christ, in this chapter: In the Lord: at the present day we say, in a Christian manner [as Christians]. The phrase is peculiar to Paul, but often used.—καὶ γὰρ, for even) a strong argument, 1 Corinthians 16:15-16; Php 2:29. There is an all-embracing [comprehensive] relationship among believers: Phœbe is recommended to the Romans for acts of kindness, which she had done far from Rome.—προστάτις, a succourer) We may believe, that Phœbe was wealthy, but she did not shrink by subterfuges from the duty of ministering, in the case of strangers, the needy, etc.; nor did she regard in the case of [on the part of] her fellow-citizens, who were wholly intent on self-interest, the opinion entertained of her bad economy.—πολλῶν, of many) Believers ought to return a favour not only to him, who has been of service to themselves, but also to him, who has been of service to others.

Romans 16:2Assist (παραστῆτι)

See on Acts 1:3. It is used as a legal term, of presenting culprits or witnesses in a court of justice. Compare prove, Acts 24:13. From this, and from the term προστάτις succorer, it has been inferred that Phoebe was going to Rome on private legal business (see Conybeare and Howson). This is a mere fancy.

Succorer (προστάτις)

Only here in the New Testament. The word means patroness. It may refer to her official duties. The word is an honorable one, and accords with her official position.

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