22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.
in the flesh (v.22) — here, in the human body
But if for me life in the flesh by my portion, this very thing (namely, life in the flesh) is that in which the fruit of my ministry will be involved, and is the condition of that fruit being brought forth. Then, what I shall prefer for myself, I do not make known. — Philippians in the Greek New Testament, by Kenneth S. Wuest, page 45.
hard-pressed (v.23) =pressure on both sides, making a decision difficult — strait
between the two (v.23) — life or death
desire (v.23) — here, good desire
depart (v.23) = lit. “to unloose and depart” — like a ship sailing off or pulling up tent stakes and departing — to die physically
be with Christ (v.23) — (2 Corinthians 5:1). When a believer dies, he is immediately in the presence of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).
far better (v.23) — It is far better to be with Christ than being in the human body, even when it is centered on Christ.
remain in the flesh (v.24) — should be “abide by the flesh” — hold on, cling to
more needful (v.24) — For Paul, it was better to be with Christ, but for the Philippians, it was better for him to live.
Paul had been to heaven and knew what awaited him (2 Corinthians 12:4-6).