Philippians 2:28-30 Commentary



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Philippians 2:28-30 Commentary

Philippians 2:28 Therefore I have sent (1SAAI) him all the more eagerly so that when you see (AAPMPN) him again you may rejoice (2PAPS) and I may be less concerned  (1SPAS) about you (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: spoudaioteros oun epempsa (1SAAI) auton hina idontes (AAPMPN) auton palin charete (2PAPS) kago alupoteros o. (1SPAS)
:  So I have sent him the more willingly and eagerly, that you may be gladdened at seeing him again, and that I may be the less disquieted. 
(Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT:  So I am all the more anxious to send him back to you, for I know you will be glad to see him, and that will lighten all my cares.  (
NLT - Tyndale House)
: I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
Lightfoot: For this reason I have been the more eager to send him, that your cheerfulness may be restored by seeing him in health, and that my sorrow may be lightened by sympathy with your joy.
Wuest: With increased haste and diligence therefore I am sending him, in order that, having seen him again, you may recover your cheerfulness, and as for myself, my sorrow may be lessened. (
Young's Literal: The more eagerly, therefore, I did send him, that having seen him again ye may rejoice, and I may be the less sorrowful;


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Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly : spoudaioteros oun epempsa (1SAAI) auton: (Phil 2:26; Ge 45:27,28; 46:29,30; 48:11; Jn 16:22; Acts 20:38; 2Ti 1:4)

Eagerly (
) (spoudaioteros is the comparative of spoudaíos = more earnestly and diligently - see study of verb spoudazo) meaning sooner than otherwise.

that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you: hina idontes (AAPMPN) auton palin charete (2PAPS) kago alupoteros o. (1SPAS)
: (Phil 2:27; 2Cor 2:3; 1Jn 1:3,4)

Less concerned (
) (alupoteros is the comparative of álupos derived from a = without, + lúpe = sorrow - see study of verb lupeo) is literally "less sorrowful" (lupe) and so more free from sorrow or grief. Who is concerned? The man in prison for the saints at Philippi...another example of his considering them more important then himself. Only a man whose very life is Christ could sincerely express such feelings.


Philippians 2:29  Receive (2PPMMhim then in the Lord with all joy, and hold (2PPAM men like him in high regard; (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: prosdechesthe (2PPMM) oun auton en kurio meta pases charas, kai tous toioutous entimous echete, (2PPAM
: Welcome him [home] then in the Lord with all joy, and honor and highly appreciate men like him, 
(Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
Lightfoot: Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in honor;
NLT: Welcome him with Christian love and with great joy, and be sure to honor people like him.  (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Wuest: Receive him to yourselves, therefore, in the Lord with every joy, and hold such ones in honor. Value them highly, and deem them precious (
Young's Literal: receive him, therefore, in the Lord, with all joy, and hold such in honour,

Receive him then in the Lord with all joy: prosdechesthe (2PPMM) oun auton en kurio meta pases charas: (Mt 10:40,41; Lk 9:5; Jn 13:20; Ro 16:2; 1Cor 16:10; 2Cor 7:2; Col 4:10; 3Jn 1:10) (Isa 52:7; Lk 2:10,11; Acts 2:46; 8:8; Ro 10:15; Eph 4:9, 10, 11, 12)

Receive (4327) (prosdechomai [word study]  from pros = in compound Greek words implies motion or direction toward + dechomai [word study] = a deliberate and ready reception) means to accept favorably, to receive one into intercourse/companionship, to give access to oneself or receive to oneself. 

Paul commands the Philippian saints to continually (present imperative) be earnestly expecting, looking forward to and favorably accepting Epaphroditus. The middle voice (reflexive) indicates they were to receive him to themselves (reflexive) and the prefixed preposition (pros) in its root meaning signifies “facing” which implies fellowship.

and hold men like him in high regard: kai tous toioutous entimous echete, (2PPAM): (2Cor 10:18; 1Thes 5:12; Heb 13:17) (Acts 28:10; 1Cor 16:18; 1Ti 5:17)

Hold (
2192) (echo) means to have or hold and is in the present imperative commanding them to continually value Epaphroditus highly.

High regard (1784) (entimos from en = in + time = honor, esteem, price) means honored, valued, prized, and even precious.


Philippians 2:30  because he came close (3SAAI) to death for the work of Christ, risking (AMPMSN) his life to complete  (3SAAS) what was deficient in your service to me. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hoti dia to ergon Christou mechri thanatou eggisen, (3SAAI) paraboleusamenos (AMPMSN) te psuche hina anaplerose (3SAAS) to humon husterema tes pros me leitourgias
:  For it was through working for Christ that he came so near death, risking his [very] life to complete the deficiencies in your service to me [which distance prevented you yourselves from rendering].
(Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Lightfoot: for in his devotion to the work, he was brought to death’s door, hazarding his life, that he might make up by his zealand diligence the lack of your personal services to supplement your charitable gift.
KJV: Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
:  For he risked his life for the work of Christ, and he was at the point of death while trying to do for me the things you couldn't do because you were far away. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
: because on account of the work of Christ he drew near to death, having recklessly exposed his life in order that he might supply that which was lacking in your sacred service to me. (
Young's Literal: because on account of the work of the Christ he drew near to death, having hazarded the life that he might fill up your deficiency of service unto me.

because he came close to death for the work of Christ:hoti dia to ergon Christou mechri thanatou eggisen, (3SAAI): (1Cor 15:53; 16:10)

Came close (1448) (eggizo [word study] from eggús = near) means to move nearer to a reference point, to be at hand or nigh.

2288) (thanatos from thnesko = to die) refers to physical death, of separation of the soul from the body.

Work (2041) (ergon from ergo = to work) refers to toil as an effort or occupation.

See related topic - click for discussion of what constitutes a "good deed" in the sight of God.

risking his life to complete what was deficient  in your service to me: paraboleusamenos (AMPMSN) te psuche hina anaplerose (3SAAS) to humon husteremates pros me leitourgias: (Phil 2:17,27; 1:19,20; Mt 25:36, 37, 38, 39, 40; Acts 20:24; Ro 16:4; 2Cor 12:15; Rev 12:11) (Phil 4:10,18; 1Cor 16:17; Philemon 1:13)

“having gambled with his life” (LIghtfoot)

Risking his life (3850) (paraboleuomai from parabolos = venturesome, reckless) literally means to throw aside (para  = aside + ballo = to throw), hence to expose to danger.

In the present context it means Epaphroditus was willing to die. In those days when you visited prisoners held by the Romans, the visitor was often prejudged as a criminal also. Therefore the visitor exposed himself to danger just by being near those who were considered dangerous. This word came to also be used in the sense of playing the gambler or playing dice because high sums were often at stake. In a sense Epaphroditus was gambling with his life for the sake of God's kingdom. The word was used in the papyri of one who in the interest of friendship had exposed himself to dangers as an advocate in legal strife by taking his clients' cause even up to emperors.

Paraboleuomai was later used of merchants who for the sake of gain exposed themselves to death. The word was used of a fighter in the arena who exposed himself to the dangers of the arena. In the post-apostolic church there were societies of men and women who called themselves "the paraboloni" or "the riskers or gamblers". The risked their lives by ministering the sick and imprisoned and they saw to it if possible that martyrs and sometimes even their enemies would receive an honorable burial. In Carthage during the great plague of 252AD, Cyprian, the bishop, showed remarkable courage, taking on himself the care of the sick and  urging of his flock to nurse them and bury those who died from the pestilence. Cyprian's conduct like a light in the darkness contrasted to the practice of the pagans who threw the corpses out of the plague-infested city and actually ran from them in terror! Such is the transforming effect of the gospel.

Barclay adds that paraboleuomai was

a gambler’s word and means to stake everything on a turn of the dice. Paul is saying that for the sake of Jesus Christ Epaphroditus gambled his life.

Life (590) (psuche from psucho = to breathe, blow) refers to whole person particularly inner, immortal person who lives in the mortal body. It describes the breath of life as the vital force which animates the body and shows itself in breathing. Dichotomists view man as consisting of two parts material and immaterial, with spirit and soul denoting the immaterial and bearing only a functional and not a metaphysical difference. Trichotomists also view man as consisting of two parts, but with spirit and soul representing in some contexts a real subdivision of the immaterial. In the latter view psuche contrasts with soma =  body, and pneúma = spirit (see 1Th 5:23).

To complete (378) (anapleroo from aná = up or as an emphatic + pleroo = to fill) means to fill up or supply a deficiency.

Deficient  (5303) (husterema from hustereo = to lack, fall behind) means a deficit as that which is behind or that which is lacking)

Service  (3009) (leitourgia from leitourgeo = to be a public servant, to perform religious or charitable function, to minister) generally used of a servant of a superior and suggests a function to be discharged or a necessary service to be rendered. 

Leitourgia is the word Paul used to describe himself as...

being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith (see note Philippians 2:17)

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Last Updated February 21, 2015