10. But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
10. Gavisu sum autem in domino valde, quod aliquando reviguistis in studio mei, de quo etiam cogitabatis, sed deerat opportunitas.
11. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
11. Non quod secundum penuriam loquar; ego enim didici, in quibus sum, iis contentus esse.
12. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
12. Novi et humilis esse, novi et excellere: ubique et in omnibus institutus sum, et saturari, et esurire, et abundare, et penuriam pati.
13. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
13. Omnia possum in Christo, qui me corroborat.
14. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
14. Caeterum benefecistis simul communicando afflictioni meae.
10 But I rejoiced He now declares the gratitude of his mind towards the Philippians, that they may not regret their beneficence, as is usually the case when we think that our services are despised, or are reckoned of no account. They had sent him by Epaphroditus supplies for the relief of his necessity; he declares that their present had been acceptable to him, and he says, that he rejoiced that they had plucked up new vigor so as to exercise care respecting him. The metaphor is borrowed from trees, the strength of which is drawn inward, and lies concealed during winter, and begins to flourish in spring. But immediately afterwards subjoining a correction, he qualifies what he had said, that he may not seem to reprove their negligence in the past. He says, therefore, that they had formerly, too, been concerned respecting him, but that the circumstances of the times had not admitted of his being sooner relieved by their benignity. Thus he throws the blame upon the want of opportunity. I take the phrase eph' ho' as referring to the person of Paul, and that is its proper signification, as well as more in accordance with the connection of Paul's words.
11 Not that I speak with respect to want Here we have a second correction, by which he guards against its being suspected that his spirit was pusillanimous and broken down by adversities. For it was of importance that his constancy and moderation should be known by the Philippians, to whom he was a pattern of life. Accordingly he declares, that he had been gratified by their liberality in such a way that he could at the same time endure want with patience. Want refers here to disposition, for that man can never be poor in mind, who is satisfied with the lot which has been assigned to him by God.
In what state I am, says he, that is, |Whatever my condition may be, I am satisfied with it.| Why? because saints know that they thus please God. Hence they do not measure sufficiency by abundance, but by the will of God, which they judge of by what takes place, for they are persuaded that their affairs are regulated by his providence and good pleasure.
12 I know both how to be abased There follows here a distinction, with the view of intimating that he has a mind adapted to bear any kind of condition. Prosperity is wont to puff up the mind beyond measure, and adversity, on the other hand, to depress. From both faults he declares himself to be free. I know, says he, to be abased -- that is, to endure abasement with patience. Perisseuein is made use of twice, but in the former instance it is employed as meaning, to excel; in the second instance as meaning, to abound, so as to correspond with the things to which they are exposed. If a man knows to make use of present abundance in a sober and temperate manner, with thanksgiving, prepared to part with everything whenever it may be the good pleasure of the Lord, giving also a share to his brother, according to the measure of his ability, and is also not puffed up, that man has learned to excel, and to abound. This is a peculiarly excellent and rare virtue, and much superior to the endurance of poverty. Let all who wish to be Christ's disciples exercise themselves in acquiring this knowledge which was possessed by Paul, but in the mean time let them accustom themselves to the endurance of poverty in such a manner that it will not be grievous and burdensome to them when they come to be deprived of their riches.
13 I can do all things through Christ As he had boasted of things that were very great, in order that this might not be attributed to pride or furnish others with occasion of foolish boasting, he adds, that it is by Christ that he is endowed with this fortitude. |I can do all things,| says he, |but it is in Christ, not by my own power, for it is Christ that supplies me with strength.| Hence we infer, that Christ will not be less strong and invincible in us also, if, conscious of our own weakness, we place reliance upon his power alone. When he says all things, he means merely those things which belong to his calling.
14 Nevertheless ye did well How prudently and cautiously he acts, looking round carefully in both directions, that he may not lean too much to the one side or to the other. By proclaiming in magnificent terms his steadfastness, he meant to provide against the Philippians supposing that he had given way under the pressure of want. He now takes care that it may not, from his speaking in high terms, appear as though he despised their kindness -- a thing that would not merely shew cruelty and obstinacy, but also haughtiness. He at the same time provides for this, that if any other of the servants of Christ should stand in need of their assistance they may not be slow to give him help.