Philippians: Chiastic Structure, Unity and Relation to Isaiah 35-66 

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    Key:    2x = occurs twice in Philippians
                 bis= occurs twice in the verse in question
                [...]= summarized paraphrase

    Overall Chiasm: 1.1-2.24a x 2.24b-4.23
   Opening Secondary Chiasm: 1.4b-15c x 1.16a-2.2
Closing secondary Chiasm: 2.12-3.13b x 3.13c-4.21
  Philippians 2.3-11
   Philippians, the question of its unity, and Isaiah 35-66.

Overall Chiasm: 1.1-2.24a x 2.24b-4.23   (29.8.80)

1.1a Christ Jesus 4.23 Grace (χάρις) of Lord Jesus Christ
1.1b all the saints (ἅγιος-3x) 4.22 all the saints (ἅγιος)
in Christ Jesus 4.21 every saint (ἅγιος) in Christ Jesus
1.2a Grace (χάρις-3x)... God Father our 4.20 God and Father our
1.2b Jesus Christ 4.19c in Christ Jesus
1 .3 I thank 4.19b according to his richness in glory
1.3-4 my God ..., making supplication of mine on your behalf 4.19a my God shall fulfil every need of yours
1.5a your fellowship with me(κοινωνία-3x) 4.15b no church had fellowship with me (κοινωνέω-1x)
1.5b in furtherance of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον-9x) 4.15a in the beginning of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον)
1.7 in my bonds your were partakers with me (συγκοινωνός-1x) 4.14 you had fellowship with my affliction (συγκοινωνέω-1x)
1.9a I pray ... that your love may abound (περισσεύω-5x) 4.13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me
1.9b in knowledge (ἐπίγνωσις-1x) and all discernment (αἴθησις-hap. leg.) 4.12 I know (οἶδα-4x)... I know (οἶδα) also how to abound (περισσεύω-bis)  I learned (μνέω-hap. leg.) ...
1.10a so that you may approve the things that are excellent 4 .11 I have learned (μανθάνω-2x) to be content
1.10b-11 that you may be sincere, without offence unto Day of Christ, filled with fruits of righteousness ... through Jesus Christ to glory and praise of God. 4.10 I rejoice ... that you have revived your thought for me [= sacrifice acceptable to God - 4.18]
1.12-21 The things that happened to me: (20:) Christ magnified in my body, by life, by death 4.8-9 Things true, honourable, etc. - learned (μανθάνω), heard, saw in me - do!
1.13 the rest (λοιπός-4x) 4.8 Finally (λοιπός)
1.22 make known (γνωρίζω-2x) 4.6 make known (γνωρίζω)
1.23-26 'Agony' over departing and staying with Philippians 4.5b-6a The Lord is at hand.  In nothing be anxious.
1.27ab Only, worthily of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον) conduct yourselves (πολιτεύομαι-1x) ... that I may hear of your state 4.5a Let your gentleness be known to all men
1.27c that you stand firm (στήκω-2x) 4.1 Stand fast (στήκω) in the Lord
1.27d strive with (συναθλέω-2x) ... the faith of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον, bis) 4.3 strive with (συναθλέω) me in the gospel(εὐαγγέλιον-9x)
3.20 our citizenship(πολίτευμα-1x) is in heaven
1.28 adversaries 3.18-19 enemies of the cross of Christ
destruction (ἀπώλεια-2x) 3.19 destruction (ἀπώλεια)
1.29-30 suffer on behalf of Christ // same conflict you saw in me 3.17 be imitators together of me
2.2 Be of same mind (φρονέω, bis-10x) 3.15 be thus minded (φρονέω)
 24 look for (σκοπέω-2x) 3.14 goal (σκοπός hap. leg.)
 25 having this mind in you (φρονέω) 3.12 obtained (λαμβάνω)
 26 form (μορφή-2x) 3.10c I ... becoming conformed (συμμορφιζόμαι, hap. leg.) to his death (θάνατος)
2.7b form (μορφή)
taking (λαμβάνω-2x)
2.7d being found (εὑρίσκω-2x) 3.9 that  I may be found (εὑρίσκω)
2.8 obedient unto death (θάνατος,bis-6x)) in him
2.9 God exalted him 3.10a the power of his resurrection
2.11 Lord Jesus Christ 3.8 Christ Jesus Lord my
2.15a blameless (ἄμεμπτος-2x) 3.6 blameless (ἄμεμπτος)
2.15b a crooked and perverse generation 3.2 the evil workers
2.17-18 I rejoice (χαίρω-9x) and rejoice-with (συγαίρω-2x) you; do you also rejoice(χαίρω) and rejoice-with (συγαίρω) me 2.28b-29 that you may rejoice (χαίρω) ... Receive him with all joy (χάρις-5x)
2.19a I hope (ἐλπίξω-2x) to send (πέμπω-5x) Timothy [cf. 2.23a] 2.28a More eagerly I have sent (πέμπω) him [= Epaphroditus] [cf. 2.25a]
2.19b that I may be of good comfort 2.27d that might not have sorrow
2.20 none who genuinely cares for your state 2.26a,c-  he longed after you all, and he was sick nigh
2.21 hey seek their own, not things of Jesus Christ [spiritual death?] 2 27a-c unto death, but God had mercy on him and me
2.22 as child a father 2.25b [Epaphroditus,] my brother, fellow-worker. fellow-soldier
he served me in the furtherance of the gospel   and your apostle and liturgist to my need.
2.23a I hope (ἐλπίξω) to send (πέμπω him [= Timothy] 2.25a I counted it necessary to send (πέμπω) you Epaphroditus
2.23b As soon as I se how it will go with me 2.24c that I myself also shall come shortly
2.24a BUT I TRUST 2.24b IN [the] LORD


Opening Secondary Chiasm: 1.4b-15c x 1.16a-2.2  (29.8.80)
1.4b making my supplication with joy (χαρά-5x) 2.2 fulfil ye my joy (χαρά)
1.5 your fellowship (κοινωνία-3x) 2.1c If any fellowship (κοινωνία) of the Spirit
1.7ab thus minded on behalf of you all, because I have you in my heart 1.30b and you now hear to be in me
1.7c in defence and confirmation of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον-9x) 1.30a having the same conflict which you saw in me
1.7d you are all partakers with me of grace (χάρις-3x) 128b-29 But of your salvation, and that from God, because to you it has been granted (χαρίζομαι-2x) in the behalf of Christ ... also to suffer in his behalf
    1.27 only worthily of the gospel (εὐαγγέλιον-bis) of Christ conduct yourselves
1.8 for God is my witness how I long after you all 1.26c through my presence with you again
  in the tender mercies of Christ Jesus 1.26b in Christ Jesus
1.9a that your love may abound (περισσεύω-5x) 1.26a that your boasting may abound (περισσεύω)
1.9b in knowledge and all discernment 1.25b your progress and joy of the faith
1.10a so that you may approve the things that are excellent 1.24 yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for your sake
1.10b that you may be sincere and void of offence unto the day of Christ, 1.23b to depart and be with Christ, for it is very far better,
1.11a being filled with the fruits (καρπός3x) of righteousness 1.22 This is the fruit (καρπός) of my work
1.11b through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God 1.20c now also Christ shall be magnified in my body
1.12 The things that have happened to me have fallen out rather to the progress of the gospel 1.19 For I know that this shall turn to me for salvation
1.13a my bonds (δέσμοι μου-4x; δεσμός-4x) became manifest in Christ throughout the whole praetorian guard 1.18c ... Christ is proclaimed
1.13b and to all the world 1.18a In every way
1.14a and that most of the brethren in the Lord, being confident through my bonds (δέσμοι μου) 1.17c thinking to raise up affliction for me in my bonds (δέσμοι μου).
1.14b more abundantly bold, fearlessly to speak the word. 1.17b not sincerely
1.15a Some, indeed, through envy (φθόνος-1x) and strife (ἔρις1x), 1.17a but the others from selfishness (ἐριθεία-2x) proclaim Christ
1.15b but some also, through good will 1.16b knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel,
1.15c preach Christ; 1.16a those from love, 


Closing secondary Chiasm: 2.12-3.13b x 3.13c-4.21  (29.8.80)
2.12 ... in my absence 4.21b the brethren who are with me salute you
2.13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure 4.20b be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
2.15 that you may be ... children of God 4.20a to our God and Father
2.16 that you may have whereof to boast in the day of Christ 4.19 And my God shall fulfil every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus
2.17 The sacrifice (θυσία-2x) and service (λειτουργία-2x) of your faith [cf. 2.25, 30] 4.18b the things from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice (θυσία) acceptable, well-pleasing to God.
2.17b-18 I rejoice and rejoice-with you all.  In the same manner you are also to rejoice and rejoice-with me. 4.17 Not that I seek for the gift, but  I seek for the fruit that increases to your account.
2.19a I hope ... to send (πέμπω-5x) Timothy to you 4.16 you sent (πέμπω) once and again to my need
2.19b that I also (κἀγὼ) may-be-well-in-soul (εὐψυχῶ, hap. leg.) when I know the things concerning you. 4.14-15 [Philippians' fellowship with 'Paul']
4.11-13 I (ἐγὼ, v. 11b) have learned ... to be content ....
2.20a who will care (μεριμνάω-2x) genuinely for the things concerning you. 4.6 In nothing be anxious (μεριμνάω)
2.21 the things of Jesus Christ 4.5b The Lord is at hand.
2.22 You know (γινώσκω-5x) the proof of him 4.5a Let your gentleness be known (γινώσκω to all men.
2.23b as soon as I see how it will go with me 4.4b Farewell/rejoice
2.24 I trust in the Lord (κύριος-15x) that I myself also shall come shortly 4.4a Farewell/rejoice in the Lord (κύριος)
2.25 Epaphroditus, my ... co-worker (συνεργός-2x) and 4.3b Clement and rest of my co-workers (συνεργός)
fellow-soldier (συστρατιώτης-1x) 4.3a I ask thee, true yoke-fellow (σύζυγος, hap. leg.)
2.28 that you may rejoice (χαρίζομαι-2x) 4.1b my joy (χαρά) and crown
2.29 Receive him with joy (χαρά-5x) 4.1a my brethren ... longed for
2.30 the work (ἔργον-3x) of Christ 3.21b [the Lord Jesus Christ] ... according to the working (ἐνέργεια-1x) whereby he is able to subject all things unto himself [contrast 1 Cor 15.24-28, where God does the subjectng]
3.1 Farewell/Rejoice in the Lord (κύριος-15x) 3.20 We wait for a Saviour, the Lord (κύριος) Jesus Christ
3.2 Beware of the dogs ... 3.18-19 For many walk ... enemies of the cross of Christ
3.3 for we are the circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh
3.4 Though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh
3.5-11 [.4-6: 'Paul' as righteous in terms of Law (contrast Paul's position in Rom 7); .7-9: righteousness of God through faith in Christ; .10-11: aim of conformity to Christ's death toward goal of resurrection] 3.17
Be imitators together of me
by that same rule let us walk
3.12a Not that I ... am already made perfect (τελειόω-1x) 3.15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect (τέλειος-1x), be thus minded
3.12b that I may apprehend that for which also I was apprehended by Christ [Jesus] 3.14b unto the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus
3.13a I count not myself yet to have apprehended; but one thing: 3.14a I press on toward the goal
3.132b forgetting the things which are behind 3.13c and stretching forward to the things which are before,

Philippians 2.3-11

The non-inclusion of  2.3-11 within either of the two secondary chiasms would appear to indicate that it does not arise de novo from the pen of the author of Philippians, a conclusion long since reached on other grounds.


Philippians, the question of its unity, and Isaiah 35-66.

    Is Philippians a single letter?  Most scholars say 'yes'.  But because of its abrupt shifts (e.g., 3.2-4.1 stands apart from the rest) and 'finally (τὸ λοιπόν) occurring twice (3.1; 4.8), J. Weiss (1917), W. Schmittals (1957), F. W. Beare (1959, 1st ed.; 1969, 2nd ed., G. Bornkamm 1962 and B. D. Rahtjen (1959-60 have taken it as consisting of three letters to Philippi written in the following order (Weiss took 3.2-4.1to be an interpolation):

  A B C
Beare: 4.10-20 1.1-3.1; 4.2-9, 21-23 3.2-4.1
Schmittals: 4.10-23 1.1-3.1; 4.4-7 3.2-4.3, 8-9
Bornkamm: 1.1-3.1; 4.4-7, 21-23 3.2-4.3 4.10-20
Rahtjen: 4.10-20 1.1-2.30; 4.21-23 3.1-4.9

    The table below sets out the parallels with a superimposed outline drawn in large part from J. L. Houlden, Paul's Letters from Prison (Pelican New Testament Commentaries, 1970).

Philippians Isaiah (with LXX vocabulary)
The opening greeting (1.1-2)
Thanksgiving and prayer (1.3-11)
1.4b making all supplication with joy (μετὰ χαρᾶς) 35.1b the desert shall rejoice (ἀγαλλιάσθω)
35.2b it shall rejoice (ὰγαλλιάσεται) even with joy [not in LXX]
35.10 and everlasting  joy (εὐφροσὺνη αἰώνιος) shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy [(not in LXX]; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
[39.2 and Hezekiah was glad of them (ἐχάρη)]
1.6 being confident (πεποιθὼς) that he [i.e. God] ... will perfect it.... 36.4
36.5 on whom dost thou trust (πέποιθας)?
36.6 Thou trustest (πεποιθὼς) upon Egypt.
36.7 But if you say to me, "We trust (πεποίθαμεν) in the LORD our God" ...
36.9 Those who  trust (οἱ πεποιθότες) on Egypt...

MT: neither let Hezekiah  make you trust in the LORD
LXX: Let not Hezekiah say to you that God will deliver you

1.9 And this I pray (προσεύχομαι) 37.15 And Hezekiah prayed (προσηύξατο) unto the LORD
that your love may abound yet more and more 37.20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us ... that all the kingdoms of the earth
in knowledge and all discernment may know that thou art the LORD, even thou alone.
1.10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and void of offence unto the Day of Christ [Isa. 34, espec. 34.8?] 37.31 and the remnant ... of the house of the house of Judah shall again take root downward
[LXX, 37.30: eat the fruit (τὸν καρπὸν) of them]
1.11 being filled with the fruit (καρπὸν) of righteousness and bear fruit upward (LXX:  ποιήσουσι σπέρμα ἄνω)
unto the glory and praise of God 37.32b ... the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall perform this.
'Paul' faces his situation (1.12-26)
1.12-26 [Paul re his bonds and possibility of dying or living] 38.2-20 [Hezekiah, sick, prays that he may live and not die]
1.12 Now I would have you know, brethren, that the things [pertaining] to me have fallen out rather unto the progress of the gospel. 38.9 "Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight."
1.19 This shall turn to my salvation through your supplication and the supply of the Spirit of Christ Jesus 38.16b wholly therefore is the life of my spirit [ not in LXX, which simply uses , 'soul']
38.16c wherefore recover thou me and make me to live
1.20b Now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death 38.18
death cannot celebrate thee
The living ...he shall praise thee
1.21 For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
1.25 But having this confidence, I know that I shall abide. 38.20a
The LORD is ready to save me.
Thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city.]
1.28 Having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear to be in me. 39.1 Merodach-baladan ... heard that he [i.e., Hezekiah] had been sick
On the whole, I think that the above parallels are convincing, and I agree with Dr McMillan that the comparison and contrast with Hezekiah and his attitude to his prospective death are very striking indeed.
Christ the model of humility (2.1-11)
2.1 If therefore there is any comfort in Christ 40.1 f. Comfort, comfort my people
2.6 f. who being in the form of God counted it not a thing to be grasped 40.18 To whom then will you liken God of to what likeness compare with him?
at to be on an equality with God, but emptied himself taking the form of a slave (). 40.25 To whom then will you liken me, that I should be equal? saith the Holy One. [cf. 46.5]
2.9 Wherefore God also highly exalted him and gave unto him the name which is above every name 44.11 I, even I, am the LORD [= Yahweh], and beside me there is no saviour [cf. 'saviour' = Jesus, Phil. 3.20]
45.4 [To Cyrus:] I have called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee ...
2.10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, ... 45.23 [Jesus = Jeshua = Yahweh saves]
that unto me every knee shall bow
2.11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus is every tongue shall swear.
Lord to the glory of the Father 45.25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel ... glory.
'Paul' enjoins perseverance (2.12-18)
2.13 For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 46.10 My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
2.14 f. Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that you may be blameless and harmless children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, 48-49 [Isaiah speaks of the crooked nation and the generation that murmured in the wilderness]
among whom you are seen as lights in the world, 49.6 I will give you as a light to the nations,
2.16 holding forth the word of life, that I may have where of to glory in the Day of Christ, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.
that I did not run in vain neither labour in vain. 49.4 I have laboured in vain. I have spent my strength for nought.
2.17 Yea, and if I am poured out upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you all 53.12 because he poured out his soul to death
Perrsonal links between Paul and Philippi: Sending of Timothy and Epaphroditus (2.19-30)
2.19 [Timothy as herald of good tidings] 52.7 the feet of him who brings good tidings ...
that I may also be of good comfort when I know your state. 52.9 for the LORD has comforted his people.
'Paul' reacts to opponents (3.1-4.1)
Warning against Judaising syncretism (3.1-3)
3.1 Finally, ... rejoice in the Lord 55.12 For you shall go out in joy ...
3.2 Beware of the dogs 56.10 They are all dumb dogs
beware of the evil workers 56.11 The dogs have a mighty appetite ...
3.3 Have no confidence in the flesh 57.3-12 v. 12: I will tell of your righteousness and your doings, but they will  not help you.
'Paul' looks back on his own life (3.4-16)
3.8 for whom I ... count [all things] but refuse, that I may gain Christ 57.20 But the wickedare like the tossing sea, ... and its waters toss up mire and dirt.
3.10 the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed to his death. 58.10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry ...
3.14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus. 59.7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood.
The need for moral consistency (3.17-4.1)
3.19 Their end is destruction ... 59.7 desolation and destruction in their highways.
3.20 For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we wait for a saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, 59.20 And a redeemer shall come to Zion [the earthly city]
3.21 who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body 61.3 to give unto them ... the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness ....
61.10 for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, ... the robe of righteousness
4.1 my brethren, ... my joy 61.7 everlasting  joy shall be unto them
and crown 62.3 Thou shalt also be a crown of glory ... and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.
Rejoice in the peaceful unity of fellowship, prayer and all good things (4.2-9)
4.4 ['Paul' urging reciprocal joy:] Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice! 62.5 As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
4.5 The Lord is at hand. 62.11 Behold, thy salvation cometh
4.7 ['Paul' urges supplication which would be followed by the peace of God which passes all understanding] 63-64 [A recital of God's punitive aspect (63.1-6) calls for supplication (63.7-64.12)]
4.8 ['Paul' says, in effect, to forget the former things and think of things that 64.12 Wilt thou hold thy peace?
[Isaiah speaks of forgetting the former things and concentrating upon
true, 65.16 truth
honourable, 65.23 restored honour in childbirth
just, 65.25 justice
pure, 66.1 purity [ as contrasted with the impurity of Israel, 66.3]
lovely, 66.5 [loveliness:] that we may see your joy
and of good report 66.8 Who hath heard such a thing?
4.9 [Think on these things] and the God of peace will be with you. 66.12 [God will extend peace to Zion like a river and dandle Zion upon his knees]
The Philippians' generosity to Paul (4.10-20)
4.10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly ... your care of me hath flourished again. 66.14 ... your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass.
4.11 I have learned ... to be content. 66.11 that you may ... be satisfied
... I am filled, having received ... the things from you, an odour of sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-leasing to God. 66.20 And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the LORD.
Final greetings (4.21-23)