Philippians 2:1-13

Philippians 2:1-13
Ordinary A44


1 If then there is any encouragementA in Christ,B any consolationC from love,D

Notes on verse 1a

A “encouragement” = paraklesis. From parakaleo (to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg; to exhort or admonish; to encourage, comfort, or console; has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom); {from para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}}. This is calling someone for help, a personal exhortation, comfort, encouragement, joy, entreaty, urging. This word comes from a legal setting – as bringing evidence to advocate for another in court. This word is related to the word “Advocate” or paraclete used for the Holy Spirit.
B “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
C “consolation” = paramuthion. 1x in NT. From paramutheomai (comforting in a sympathetic or encouraging way; to console or exhort); {from para (from beside, by, alongside of) + mutheomai (to speak); {from muthos (speech, story, myth, tale); perhaps from the same as mueo (to initiate someone into the secrets or mysteries of an order; to instruct learn, be disciples; properly, shutting your mouth and eyes to experience mystery); from muo (shutting eyes or mouth)}}.
D “love” = agape. From agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

any sharingE in the Spirit,F any compassionG and sympathy,H 

Notes on verse 1b

E “sharing” = koinonia. 19x in NT. From koinonos (partner, companion, partaker, sharer); From koinos (common, shared, unclean, ritually profane); probably from sun (with, together with). This is sharing in common so it is fellowship, participation, communion, and aid that comes from the community.
F “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
G “compassion” = splagchnon. 11x in NT. Perhaps from splen (spleen). This is inner organs, entrails, heart, liver. The guts were seen as the root of emotions. So, this could be visceral empathy or sympathy.
H “sympathy” = oiktirmos. 5x in NT. From oiktiro (to have compassion or pity for – responding with sympathy); from oiktos (pity). This is compassion, favor, grace, mercy in response to someone else’s misfortune.

2 make my joyI completeJ: be of the same mind,K having the same love, being in full accordL and of one mind. 

Notes on verse 2

I “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
J “make…complete” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
K “be…mind” = phroneo. From phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action. It refers to one’s insight or inner perspective expressing itself through behavior.
L “being in full accord” = sumpsuchos. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + psuche (breath, the breath of life, the self, individual, soul; that which makes a person unique – their identity, will, personality, affections; not the soul as the immortal part of us, but as our individuality; not life as a general concept, but specific to people); from psucho (to breathe, blow). This is having one mind, united in spirit. It can be in agreement (like-minded) or sharing an identity.

Do nothing from selfish ambitionM or conceit,N but in humilityO regardP othersQ as betterR than yourselves. 

Notes on verse 3

M “selfish amibition” = eritheia. 7x in NT. From erithos (day-laborer); from eritheuo (work for hire) OR perhaps from the same as erethizo (to provoke, irritate, exasperate; to stir to anger); from eretho (to provoke to anger) or from eris (strife, quarreling, wrangling; figuratively, debate or one who likes to dispute). This is ambition, dispute, selfishness, self-seeking, strife. It is work done for selfish or self-serving motivations. It can imply intrigue or a faction.
N “conceit” = kenodoxia. 1x in NT. From kenodoxos (boastful, empty glory, delusion of grandeur, vanity); {from kenos (properly, something empty or void; hence, worthless, foolish, ineffective, morally void, pretentious, unreal, or false) + doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); {from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion)}}. This is empty pride – a conception of self with great pride that is not justified.
O “humility” = tapeinophrosune. Related to “be…mind” in v2. 8x in NT. From tapeinos (low in position, depressed, low in circumstance; fig humiliated, low in spirit) + the base of phren (see note K above). This is low or lowliness – humility, modesty. It is have a modest self-conception or a humble mind.
P “regard” = hegeomai. From ago (lead, bring, carry, drive, guide, go). This is to think, suppose, have an opinion. It is to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority. It can refer to one who commands in an official capacity
Q “others” = allelon. From allos (other, different, another; this is one more of the same kind or a similar type). So, this is each, another, together, or mutual. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
R “better” = huperecho. 5x in NT. From huper (by, under, over, above, under the authority of another) + echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to hold above, surpass, governing, high quality or value. It is to have beyond, excel.

Let each of you lookS not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.T 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,U

Notes on verses 4-5

S “look” = skopeo. 6x in NT. From skopos (a mark or goal like the marker at the end of a race; figuratively, other goals or destinations; also, a watch or sentry); from skeptomai (to peer out, consider, gaze carefully); perhaps related to skapto (to dig or excavate). This is to look at, take heed, consider, observe, aim at, or spy. This word shares a root with “scope” in English.
T “others” = heteros. Different from “others” in v3. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
U “Jesus” = iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

6 who, though he wasV in the formW of God,X
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,Y, Z

Notes on verse 6

V “was” = huparcho. From hupo (by, under, about, under one’s authority) + archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is already having, something that exists or preexists, something that is present or at hand, to behave, to live.
W “form” = morphe. 3x in NT. Perhaps from the base of meros (a part or share, portion); from meiromai (to get one’s allotment or portion}. This is outward appearance or shape. It is a form that shows inner essence – outer and inner essence in harmony.
X “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
Y “something to be exploited” = harpagmos. 1x in NT. From harpazo (to seize by force, to rob with violence and not stealth); from haireomai (to take, choose, prefer). This is the act of seizing or what was seized – spoil, plunder, robbery with force.
Z More literally “who in form of God pre-existing, not as something to be grasped considered the being equal with God.”

but emptiedAA himself,
    taking the form of a slave,BB
    being born in humanCC likeness.
And being foundDD in human form,EE

Notes on verse 7

AA “emptied” = kenoo. Related to “conceit” in v3. 5x in NT. From kenos (see note N above). This is properly to make something empty or void. It is something without recognition that is seen as having no value. Figuratively, this could be to neutralize, falsify, or cause something to be in vain.
BB “slave” = doulos. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).
CC “human” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
DD “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
EE “form” = schema. Related to “better” in v4. 2x in NT. From echo (see note R above). This refers to the external shape, appearance, figure, or form. Figuratively, it can refer to manner, habit, or external condition.

    he humbledFF himself
    and became obedientGG to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.HH

Notes on verse 8

FF “humbled” = tapeinoo. 14x in NT. From tapeinos (see note O above). This is bringing someone or something low. Figuratively to humble or humiliate – to depress or abase.
GG “obedient” = hupekoos. 3x in NT. From hupakouo This is bringing someone or something low. Figuratively to humble or humiliate – to depress or abase.
HH “cross” = stauros. From the same as histemi (to stand, cause to stand). This is an upright stake, cross. Literally refers to the horizontal beam of a Roman cross, generally carried by the one convicted to die.

9 Therefore God also highly exaltedII him
    and gaveJJ him the nameKK
    that is above every name,

Notes on verse 9

II “highly exalted” = huperupsoo. 1x in NT. From huper (over, above, beyond, concerning) + hupsoo (to lift up, make great, exalt); {from hupsos (height, high, altitude, sky, heaven, dignity); from hupsi (on high, aloft)}. This is highly exalting, elevating beyond, extol to the highest measure.
JJ “gave” = charizomai. Related to “joy” in v2. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (see note I above). This is to extend grace or favor, to grant forgiveness, to pardon or rescue.
KK “name” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.

10 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heavenLL and on earthMM and under the earth,NN

Notes on verse 10

LL “in heaven” = epouranios. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ouranos (air, sky, the atmosphere, heaven; the sky that is visible; the spiritual heaven where God dwells; implies happiness, power, and eternity); {perhaps from oros (mountain, hill)}. This is heavenly, celestial, high, heavenly one, heavenly thins. It is the heavenly sphere in contrast to the earthly one, the place of spiritual activity. Figuratively, it can mean divine or spiritual. Properly, this describes that which is fitting from heaven’s perspective.
MM “on earth” = epigeios. 7x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + ge (earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area). This is earthly or worldly. It can mark the earth in contrast to the sky or the earth in contrast to heaven. It can include all of physical life or describe the moral character of the world.
NN “under the earth” = katachtonios. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout, among, daily) + chthon (earth, ground). This is under the earth or infernal. It can refer to the realm where the departed are.

11 and every tongueOO should confessPP
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,QQ
    to the gloryRR of God the Father.

Notes on verse 11

OO “tongue” = glossa. Root refers to a point that sticks out. This is tongue in a literal sense, but can also refer to language or a nation that speaks a different language. Figuratively, it can also refer to speaking in tongues or speech inspired by the Spirit.
PP “confess” = exomologeo. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + homologeo (to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate; to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse); {from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (to say, speak, tell)}}. This is agree, consent, or acknowledge. It can also be confess, give thanks, or praise. It includes an open, public, unabashed declaration.
QQ “Lord” = kurios. Root refers to a point that sticks out. This is tongue ina literal sense, but can also refer to language or a nation that speaks a different language. Figuratively, it can also refer to speaking in tongues or speech inspired by the Spirit.
RR “glory” = doxa. Related to “conceit” in v3. From dokeo (see note N above). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.

12 Therefore, my beloved,SS just as you have alwaysTT obeyedUU me, not only in my presence,VV

Notes on verse 12a

SS “beloved” = agapetos. Related to “love” in v1. From agape (see note D above). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
TT “always” = pantote. From pas (all, every, each) + tote (then, whether past or future); {from hote (when); from ho (the)}. This is literally every when. It is always, at all times.
UU “obeyed” = hupakouo. Related to “obedient” in v8. See note GG above.
VV “presence” = parousia. From pareimi (to be present, have come) {from para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is presence, coming, arrival, advent. Properly, it was the term for an official visit of a king or someone else with formal authority. It is used specifically in the New Testament to refer to Jesus’s second coming.

but much more now in my absence,WW work outXX your own salvationYY with fearZZ and trembling;AAA 

Notes on verse 12b

WW “absence” = apousia. Related to “presence” in v12. From apeimi (to be away or absent); {from apo (from, away from) + eimi (see note VV above)}. This is absence or waste.
XX “work out” = katergazomai. From kata (down, against, throughout, among, daily) + ergazomai (to work, labor); {from ergon (work, task, action, employment)}. This is working something until it is completed, working fully, accomplishing, producing, achieving, performing.
YY “salvation” = soteria. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue; taking someone from danger to safety; delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.
ZZ “fear” = phobos. From phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect.
AAA “trembling” = tromos. 5x in NT. From tremo (shaking, particularly from fear or dread); from treo (to dread or terrify). This is trembling, shaking, or quaking from fear. This is the root of the term “tremolo.”

13 for it is God who is at workBBB in you, enabling you both to willCCC and to work for his good pleasure.DDD

Notes on verse 13

BBB “work” = energeo. Related to “work out” in v12. From energes (active, effective, operative, energized, powerful); {from en (in, at, by, with, among) + ergon (see note XX above)}. This is to work, be operative, accomplish, be mighty or fervent.
CCC “will” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
DDD “good pleasure” = eudokia. Related to “conceit” in v3 & “glory” in v11. 9x in NT. From eudokeo (to think well of, to be pleased or resolved; properly, what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of); {from eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (see note N above)}. This is goodwill, favor, happiness, delight, satisfaction, or desire. It is something that a person finds good or of benefit.

Image credit: Stained glass window from Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Tarnobrzeg-Serbinów, Poland.

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