New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:2 Syntyche. It is worth noting that this minor disagreement between two women was the only problem which Paul needed to mention in the church. Otherwise, despite poverty and persecution, this church was a beautiful example of what a local church should be.
4:3 yokefellow. Since this “yokefellow” is not named, it may well be that this was actually the proper name (Greek Suzugos) of a man in the church who lived up to his name.
4:3 book of life. On the “book of life,” in which God has inscribed the names of all His redeemed ones, see especially the note on Revelation 3:5.
4:5 at hand. The Lord’s return has always been imminent and He frequently told His followers to “watch” for Him. Note also James 5:7, 9; Revelation 22:7,20. In a secondary sense, He is also always “at hand” through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
4:6 in every thing. We are to worry about nothing, because we can pray about everything!
4:7 peace of God. On “the peace of God,” note also Colossians 3:15; John 14:27; Isaiah 26:3; 30:7,15,18; 40:28-31. We have “peace with God” (Romans 5:1) and the “peace of God,” when we know “the God of peace” (Philippians 4:9).
4:8 virtue. The English word is related to “virility,” which is closer to the meaning of the Greek word here (arete). The latter is different from that in Mark 5:30 (dunamis), which is best understood as “power.”
4:8 these things. Think of these things—therefore, not on other things! This is an important guideline for educators. If God does not want us to think on evil or ugly things, then surely our school curricula should keep away from them, except to provide antidotes for them. This principle should also guide our individual study and activities.
4:9 do. See note on Philippians 3:17.
4:9 God of peace. On “the God of peace,” see also Romans 15:33; 16:20; II Corinthians 13:11; I Thessalonians 5:23; II Thessalonians 3:16; and Hebrews 13:20. Note also, “the peace of God” (Philippians 4:6).
4:14 communicate. By “communicate with my affliction,” Paul means “share [financially] with my pressures.” Only the Philippian church had sent this type of help to Paul, despite their own poverty (Philippians 4:15).
4:17 fruit. Thus spiritual “fruit” includes financial gifts to those of God’s servants spreading His Word and also to fellow believers in difficult circumstances.
4:17 account. “Account” is the Greek logos. “Testimony” is a better meaning here.
4:19 your need. That is, “your business,” or necessities for the business of the kingdom. Those who freely give will also receive (like the Philippians)—not their wants, but all they need for their service for Christ.