25I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus. After having encouraged them by the promise of his own coming and that of Timothy, he fortifies them also for the present, by sending previously Epaphroditus, that in the mean time, while he waited the issue of his own affairs, (for this was the cause of his delay,) they might not be in want of a pastor who should take care that matters were properly managed. Now, he recommends Epaphroditus by many distinctions — that he is his brother, and helper in the affairs of the gospel — that he is his fellow-soldier, by which term he intimates what is the condition of the ministers of the gospel; that they are engaged in an incessant warfare, for Satan will not allow them to promote the gospel without maintaining a conflict. Let those, then, who prepare themselves for edifying the Church, know that war is denounced against them, and prepared. This, indeed, is common to all Christians — to be soldiers in the camp of Christ, (150) for Satan is the enemy of all. It is, however, more particularly applicable to the ministers of the word, who go before the army and bear the standard. Paul, however, more especially might boast of his military service, (151) inasmuch as he was exercised to a very miracle in every kind of contest. He accordingly commends Epaphroditus, because he had been a companion to him in his conflicts.
The term Apostle here, as in many other passages, is taken generally to mean any evangelist, (152) unless any one prefers to understand it as meaning an ambassador sent by the Philippians, so that it may be understood as conjoining these two things — an ambassador to afford service to Paul. (153) The former signification, however, is in my opinion more suitable. He mentions also, among other things, to his praise, that he had ministered to him in prison — a matter which will be treated of more fully ere long.
(150) “De batailler sous l’ de Christ;” — “ fight under Christ’ banner.”
(151) “S. Paul pouuoit se vanter plus que pas on des autres, que sa condition estoit semblable a celle d’ gendarme;” — “ Paul might boast more than any other that his condition resembled that of a soldier.”
(152) “Pour tous prescheurs de l’;” — “ all preachers of the gospel.”
(153) “Ambassade pour administrer a Sainct Paul en sa necessite;” — “ ambassador to minister to St. Paul in his necessity.”