Useful Bible Studies > Philippians Commentary > chapter 4

Syzygus and Clement

Philippians 4:3

When Paul was working for God in Philippi, two women were among those who worked with him. Their names were Euodia and Syntyche (verse 2). They did not merely assist; they willingly joined in the work with all its difficulties. In the original language, Greek, Paul says that they all ‘struggled’ together to carry out that work.

However, since then, those two women had argued. Paul was careful not to blame either of them, but he did not want their disagreement to continue. So, Paul asked one of the church leaders to speak to them both, and to help them to overcome their difficulties. Paul refers to that leader by the Greek word SUZUGOS (Syzygus in some translations), in other words, someone who helps other people with their difficulties. If that was his actual name, then it was a good choice – that really was his special work for God.

Paul mentions just one of the men who worked with him to establish Philippi’s church: Clement. Paul’s description of this man is unusual. If Clement were still living in Philippi, we would expect Paul to greet him. Instead, Paul says that Clement’s name is there with all the other names in the book of life. That book is God’s record of the people who are citizens of heaven (Exodus 32:32; Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 21:27).

Possibly, Clement had already died. If so, only his body was dead (John 11:25-26). His name is in the book of life; so, he has life that can never end (John 3:16). Already, his spirit was alive and conscious in heaven, where he is with Christ (1:21-23). In the future age, when Christ returns to rule, even Clement’s body will live again with that new kind of life (3:20-21).

Next part: Christians should be joyful (Philippians 4:4)


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© 2020, Keith Simons.