25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need;
26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem;
30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
I considered (v.25) — present tense — I think. I am sending — after weighing the facts
Epaphroditus (v.25) — lit. “charming” — named (by pagan parents) after the goddess Apaprodite
brother (v.25) — in the Lord
fellow worker (v.25) = “a worker with”
fellow soldier (v.25) — shared with Paul in spiritual warfare
your messenger (v.25) — lit. “apostle” — one who is sent on a special service
ministered (v.25) — representative service
longing (v.26) — tense indicates “has been and is longing”
distressed (v.26) — not knowing what to do for relief
sick (v.26) — Paul, evidently no longer exercised the gift of healing. In this case, Paul gives all the credit to God.
almost unto (v.27) = alongside of a neighbor. Ephaphroditus and death were next-door neighbors.
sorrow upon sorrow (v.27) — sorrow in addition to him imprisonment and his own thorn in the flesh. Sorrow = distress, afflictions. “Upon sorrow” — heaping up on one another.
I sent him (v.28) — I am sending him with this letter
eagerly (v.28) — hastily, diligently, sooner than would otherwise be expected
less sorrowful (v.28) — Paul’s sorrow continues, but this would lessen it.
esteem (v.29) — honor, high value
not regarding his life (v.30) — lit. “to throw aside” — expose to danger — a gambling term
lacking in your service (v.30) — not a reproach. Ephaphroditus did what the Philippians would have done if they had been there.