Philippians 4:1-9

Philippians 4:1-9
Ordinary A46


Therefore, my brothersA and sisters, whom I loveB and long for,C my joyD and crown,E stand firmF in the LordG in this way, my beloved.

Notes on verse 1

A “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
B “whom I love” = agapetos. From agape (love, goodwill, benevolence; God’s divine love); from agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). 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.
C “long for” = epipothetos. 1x in NT. From epipotheo (to long for, greatly desire, or strain towards; doting or a desire to possess something or someone, whether legitimately or wrongfully); {from epi (on, upon, at, what is fitting) + potheo (to yearn)}. This is to desire, miss, long for, love greatly.
D “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.
E “crown” = stephanos. 18x in NT. From stepho (to twine, encircle). This is something that surrounds i.e. a crown or garland. Properly, this refers to the wreath or garland that the winner of athletic games would win. It symbolized victory and honor from skill as contrasted with a royal crown, which is diadema in Greek. This is the word used for the crown that the saints in haven wear in, for example, Revelation 4:4.
F “stand firm” = steko. 11x in NT. From histemi (to stand, place, establish, appoint, stand ready, be steadfast). This is to stand fast or be stationary. Figuratively, it can mean to persevere.
G “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.

I urgeH EuodiaI and I urge SyntycheJ to be of the same mindK in the Lord. 

Notes on verse 2

H “urge” = parakaleo. 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 to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
I “Euodia” = Euodia. 1x in NT. From the same as euodoo (to prosper or succeed – to go on a successful journey; figuratively, to be on the right path of success or good fortune or to help along the way); {from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + hodos (way, road, path, journey)}. This is Euodia, which may mean success or good travelling.
J “Synthyche” = suntuche. 1x in NT. From suntugchano (to happen upon, meet with, come to, reach); {from sun (with, together with) + tugchano (root means to become ready; to hit, meet, happen, obtain, chance, perhaps; properly, to hit the mark or be spot on; the opposite of the Greek word for sin hamartano, which literally means to miss the mark); {perhaps from tucho (to make ready, bring about)}}. This is Syntyche, which could mean a happy event, a chance encounter, or accident.
K “be…of 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.

Yes, and I askL you also, my loyalM companion,N helpO these women,

Notes on verse 3a

L “ask” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
M “loyal” = gnesios. 4x in NT. From ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth) OR from the same as genesia (birthday celebration); {from genesis (origin, lineage, life, nativity, nature, generation); from the same as genea (family, generation, kind, or nation;  an age as a period of time, infinity); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (see above)}. This is literally one who was born within wedlock or born according to the law. Figuratively, it means real, genuine, sincere, true – true from its origins, authentic, legitimate. This is an affectionate connotation.
N “companion” = suzugos. 1x in NT. From suzeugnumi (to yoke together, join in marriage, otherwise link for common cause); {from sun (with, together with) + zeugos (yoke, couple, pair; tea of oxen, group of tied together birds); {from zugos (yoke, scales; fig uratively, a burden or something linking two people to work in tandem); from zeugnumi (to yoke or join)}}. This is a companion or colleague – someone that one is linked together with. Alternately, it could be someone’s name – Syzygus.
O “help” = sullambano. 16x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take, take part in, conceive, help. It can also be clasp or seize as to arrest or take hold of someone.

for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel,P togetherQ with ClementR and the rest of my co-workers,S

Notes on verse 3b

P “gospel” = euaggelion. From eu (well, good, rightly) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel); {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (to bring, lead, carry, guide)}. This is literally “the good news,” used for the gospel. This is also where “evangelism” comes from.
Q “struggled…together” = sunathleo. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + athleo (to wrestle, compete; to contend as one does in competitive or athletic games). This is to compete with others or to cooperate/strive together. Figuratively, it can mean to labor with eagerly.
R “Clement” = klemes. 1x in NT. From Latin Clemens (calm, tranquil; mild in responding to others missteps). This is Clement or Clemns, meaning calm or merciful. See
S “co-workers” = sunergos. 13x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + the base of ergon (work, task, deed, labor, effort) {from ergo (to work, accomplish, do)}. This is co-worker, associate, helper, co-laborer or one’s companion during labor.

whose namesT are in the bookU of life.V

Notes on verse 3c

T “names” = 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.
U “book” = biblos. 10x in NT – 5x in reference to books of the Bible, 3x of the book of life, 1x of genealogical account of Jesus, 1x of books of magic. Perhaps from bublos (papyrus); from Phoenician Byblos (a Phoenician city that exported papyrus for writing); {from gb (well, origin) + I (God)}; from Proto-Canaanite g-b-l (Gubla – maybe meaning to border). This is the inside bark of papyrus so it could refer to anything that was written on – a scroll, book, record, roll. It could also have an association with the sacred. See
V “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

RejoiceW in the Lord always;X again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentlenessY be knownZ to everyone.AA The Lord is near. 

Notes on verses 4-5

W “rejoice” = chairo. Related to “joy” in v1. See note D above.
X “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.
Y “gentleness” = epieikes. 5x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + eoika (to be like); {related to eiko (be like, resemble); perhaps akin to eiko (to be weak, submit, yield, give way)}. This is yielding, gentle, reasonable, moderate, patient, equitable, forbearing.
Z “be known” = ginosko. Perhaps related to “names” in v3. See note T above.
AA “everyone” = pas + anthropos. Literally “all people.” Anthropos is probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

Do not worryBB about anything, but in everything by prayerCC and supplicationDD with thanksgivingEE

Notes on verse 6a

BB “worry” = merimnao. 19x in NT. From merimna (care, worry, anxiety; being separated from the whole); from merizo (to divide, part, share, distribute, assign; figuratively, to differ); from meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is to be anxious, distracted, or care for. It is being pulled in different directions – usually a negative.
CC “prayer” = proseuche. From proseuchomai (to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate; more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s); {from pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray)}. This is prayer, worship, or a place where one prays.
DD “supplication” = deesis. 18x in NT. From deomai (having an urgent need because one is missing or needing something so it is an earnest appeal or pressing request); from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is a request coming from a deep personal need or want. So, it is supplication or prayer.
EE “thanksgiving” = eucharistia. Related to “joy” in v1 & “rejoice” in v4. 15x in NT. From eucharistos (thankful, well favored); {from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + 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 D above}}. This is thankfulness or thanksgiving. It is active gratitude. It is related to the word “eucharist.”

let your requestsFF be made knownGG to God.HH 

Notes on verse 6b

FF “requests” = aitema. 3x in NT. From aiteo (to ask, demand, beg, desire). This is literally something asked or the act of asking. So, it is a request or demand. It can also be a petition.
GG “made known” = gnorizo. Perhaps related to “names” in v3 & related to “be known” in v5. From ginosko (see note T above). This is to declare, know, discover, make known.
HH “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

And the peaceII of God, which surpassesJJ all understanding,KK

Notes on verse 7a

II “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
JJ “surpasses” = 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.
KK “understanding” = nous. Perhaps related to “names” in v3 & “be known” in v5 & “made known” in v6. From noos (mind) or from the base of ginosko (see note T above). This is mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect. It can refer to God’s mind or human minds – thoughts, feelings, will, or reflective thinking.

will guardLL your heartsMM and your mindsNN in ChristOO Jesus.PP

Notes on verse 7b

LL “guard” = phroureo. 4x in NT. From phrouros (a guard) OR from pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + horao (to see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience; to stare at, which implies clear discernment; by extension, attending to what was seen and learned; to see, often with a metaphorical sense, which can include inward spiritual seeing). This is to guard, keep, or protect. It is to guard or keep watch as by a military sentinel. Figuratively, it is using active defensive or offensive tactics to guard.
MM “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
NN “minds” = noema. Perhaps related to “names” in v3 & “be known” in v5 & “made known” in v6 & “understanding” in v7. 6x in NT. From noeo (to think, understand, conceive, realize, see. It is one who thinks things through sufficiently to reach a conclusion or value judgment. It is also one’s moral reasoning); from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning); from noos (see note KK above) OR perhaps from ginosko (see note T above). This is thought, purpose, scheme, mind, heart, feelings, perception, intellect, soul.
OO “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.
PP “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.

Finally, beloved,QQ whatever is true,RR whatever is honorable,SS whatever is just,TT

Notes on verse 8a

QQ “beloved” = adelphos. Same as “brothers” in v1. See note A above.
RR “true” = alethes. From a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares). This is true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested. Literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic.
SS “honorable” = semnos. 4x in NT. From sebo (to worship, revere, adore, be devout; properly this is personally placing a high value on someone or something, showing respect). This is honorable, dignified, series. It is what is weighty or highly respected – seen as majestic.
TT “just” = dikaios. From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is correct, righteous, just, or a righteous person. It implies innocent or conforming to God’s standard of justice.

whatever is pure,UU whatever is pleasing,VV whatever is commendable,WW

Notes on verse 8b

UU “pure” = hagnos. 8x in NT. Perhaps related to hagios (sacred, holy, set apart, different other; physically pure, morally blameless, or ceremonially set apart). This is holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially. It is someone or something prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core. It is undefiled by sin. Figuratively it can be innocent, modest, perfect.
VV “pleasing” = prosphiles. 1x in NT. From pros (at, towards, for, with) + phileo (friendship love and fondness with personal attachment; kiss as a sign of love deriving from this personal affection -cherishing); {from philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person)}. This is pleasing, lovely, grateful, worthy of affection. It is someone who is prized or acceptable.
WW “commendable” = euphemos. 1x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + pheme (saying, news, rumor, fame) {from phemi (to say, declare, speak comparatively through contrasts, bring to light); from phao (shine)}. This is literally “of good repute” – well spoken of. So, it is laudable.

if there is any excellenceXX and if there is anything worthy of praise,YY think aboutZZ these things. 

Notes on verse 8c

XX “excellence” = arete. 5x in NT. Perhaps from the same as arrhen (male, man); from arsen (male, man) or from airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is moral goodness, excellence, praise. Properly, it means manliness and so is meant to express valor, virtue, or uprightness.
YY “praise” = epainos. 11x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, what is fitting) + ainos (praise, saying, story, proverb). This is fitting praise, fame, approval. It is to recognizing something of someone that is deserving of praise.
ZZ “think about” = logizomai. From logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; here, word as an account or accounting; can also be a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); from lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is this is to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense.

Keep on doingAAA the things that you have learnedBBB and receivedCCC and heardDDD and seenEEE in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Notes on verse 9

AAA “keep on doing” = prasso. This is to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit. It can also mean to accomplish, attend, or commit.
BBB “learned” = manthano. This is to learn, ascertain, understand. It is knowledge that one gets from personal experience and it implies reflecting on that experience. It can also focus on gaining knowledge by learning facts. This root is where the Greek word for disciple comes from (mathetes).
CCC “received” = paralambano. Relate to “help” in v3. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + lambano (see note O above). This is to receive, take, acknowledge, associate with. It can also mean to take on an office or to learn.
DDD “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
EEE “seen” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.

Image credit: “Feast” by Anuradha Patel, 2006-2008 in Erdington, Great Britain.

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