Philippians 1:23 – The Spirit of Yeshua



reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume II

“for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayers and the provision of the Spirit of Yeshua the Messiah.”

Paul’s letter to the Philippians, is widely a letter of thanksgiving to a group of people who have stood by him and with him, as he reflects upon his present circumstances surrounding him in Rome.[1] Key statements made in Philippians need to be recognized, as they have a bearing on our understanding of the nature of Yeshua the Messiah.

Paul informs his Philippian friends, “I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance” (Philippians 1:19, RSV). Of important note is his usage of the term sōtēria, also meaning “salvation.” What Paul is considering sōtēria to be in Philippians 1:19 is not agreed upon by all expositors. Some believe that he is looking forward to the future day when he is able to enter the presence of Yeshua. Others, however, believe that he is referring to a release from his incarceration. This is certainly something we should consider, as it implies that God’s “salvation” is more than just personal redemption—but it is evidenced in major acts that require great faith.

Philippians 1:19 includes a quote from the Septuagint version of Job 13:16[2], “This also will be my salvation, for a godless man may not come before His presence” (NASU). as Paul would have committed whatever would happen to him entirely to God. Concurrent with this are some parallels seen concerning the “poor man” in the Psalms:

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. I sought the LORD, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles” (Psalm 34:3-6).

“Judge me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me. Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ Let those be ashamed and humiliated altogether who rejoice at my distress; let those be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves over me. Let them shout for joy and rejoice, who favor my vindication; and let them say continually, ‘The LORD be magnified, who delights in the prosperity of His servant.’ And my tongue shall declare Your righteousness and Your praise all day long” (Psalm 35:24-28).

Certainly when we consider Paul’s condition being incarcerated, these may have been psalms he was meditating upon—or even reciting or singing—as he pondered the difficulty of his situation. He had to place his complete trust and confidence in the Lord. But notice that it is not just the Lord who will provide a resolution to his condition; provision will come from tou pneumatos Iēsou Christou, “the Spirit of Yeshua the Messiah” (CJB/CJSB). Paul recognizes the strong interconnectivity between the Son and Spirit as members of the Godhead, and Yeshua is surely resident inside of him via the Holy Spirit. We should see a connection between this and how “the Spirit of Yeshua” (Acts 16:7, CJB/CJSB) had to lead Paul and his associates into Philippi. The plurality of Elohim or God, is not something that we should rigidly or tightly package, given out there is actually overlap in role and function with Yeshua the Messiah and the Holy Spirit.


[1] This entry has been adapted from the author’s commentary Philippians for the Practical Messianic.

[2] Kurt Aland, et. al., The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (Stuttgart: Deutche Bibelgesellschaft/United Bible Societies, 1998), 673.