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Philippians 4:12 initiated among all

26-04-2023 - Posted by Hans

I am aware what it is to be humbled as well as aware what it is to be superabounding. In everything and among all am I initiated to be satisfied as well as to be hungering, to be superabounding as well as to be in want.

Paulus was experienced when it comes to being content (autarky) in all circumstances. To make this clear to his readers, he uses an ascending sequence of verbs. He learned to be content in all circumstances (:11). And now he says he knows about humiliation and abundance, i.e. he had gained these experiences experimentally. In fact, he was “initiated in all things”, a term which means that he was introduced to the inner circle. Those who are initiated are among the experts.

Paul mentions the most extreme opposite circumstances. He knew plenty from experience, perhaps referring to his well-to-do background from home. Or the times when he enjoyed a lavish accommodation, such as once with the businesswoman Lydia (Acts 16:15). With “to be humiliated” he thinks (according to the end of the sentence) of “to be short”. In 2 Corinthians 11:27 he lists some examples of such deficiencies: “in toil and labor, in vigils often, in famine and thirsts, in fasts often, in cold and nakedness” And in all that: satisfied!