Phl 4:5 KJV - 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Variants of the phrase appears also in multiple prophets:

Isa 13:6 KJV - 6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Joe 1:15 KJV - 15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Zep 1:7 KJV - 7 Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.

  • Important question a relationship with Jesus. – user25930 Jan 19 '19 at 22:42
  • Hi Mac. I'm not sure I follow that comment. – Ruminator Jan 19 '19 at 22:46
  • It should be "Important Question in a relationship with Jesus". My apologies. My point is that in imitating Jesus (Eph 4:32, 5:1, 2) it is important to constantly be aware of His presence. – user25930 Jan 19 '19 at 23:47
  • Okay thanks. So are you saying that you are aware of the Lord Jesus being physically near you? – Ruminator Jan 19 '19 at 23:50
  • 1
    In some sense - He is "omnipresent" and omniscient so it is essentially the same thing. – user25930 Jan 20 '19 at 0:01

First the Greek text of the last part of Phil 4:5 is, "ho kyrios engus", = "The Lord [is] near". There is no variation between UNS5, NA28, Majority text, TR, Byzantine text etc.

Most commentaries (eg Ellicott, Pulpit, Barnes, Expositors, etc) offer one or both of two suggestions:

  • The Lord is "physically" near meaning that an awareness of the presence of the Lord ennobles our behaviour as specifically listed in the first part of the verse. That is, "near" means "close" as per John 19:42, Mark 1:38, 6:36, etc. It has some precedents in: Ps 34:18, 119:169, 145:18, 1 Kings 8:59, Acts 23:11.
  • The Lord is "temporally" near meaning that the Lord is returning soon which should modify and ennoble our behaviour accordingly. That is "near" means "soon". In this understanding, the phrase could be a translation of the Aramaic "Maranatha" as per 1 Cor 16:22. This meaning is the one listed in BDAG for Phil 4:5; eg, Matt 26:18, Rev 1:3, 22:10, etc. This understanding has precedents in: Zeph 1:14, Eze 30:3, Obad 1:15, Joel 1:15, 3:14, Zeph 1:7, Isa 13:6, James 5:8.
  • BDAG offers a third possibility based purely on the meaning of the word "engus" which is "being close as experience or event", eg, Rom 10:8, Heb 6:8. I cannot find any OT precedents for this meaning.

Now to my personal preference/bias. I prefer the first meaning but would not exclude the second meaning at all. I think both should be kept in mind. [As a personal spiritual discipline I believe in "practicing the presence of God".]

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  • Hmm... I don't see where you suggest a reason for your view other than you prefer it. Can you "build a case" for your view? Thanks. -1 – Ruminator Jan 19 '19 at 22:30
  • Just added references from OT and elsewhere for information. – user25930 Jan 19 '19 at 22:38

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