The Meaning of Philippians 4:7 Explained

Philippians 4:7

KJV: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

YLT: and the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Darby: and the peace of God, which surpasses every understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts by Christ Jesus.

ASV: And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

What does Philippians 4:7 Mean?

Study Notes

Cf. John 14:27 . Peace is spoken of in Scripture in three ways:
(1) "Peace with God" Romans 5:1 this is the work of Christ into which the individual enters by faith; Ephesians 2:14-17 ; Romans 5:1 .
(2) "The peace of God" Philippians 4:7 inward peace, the state of soul of that believer who, having entered into peace with God through faith in Christ, has also committed to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving all his anxieties; Luke 7:50 ; Philippians 4:6 .
(3) Peace "on earth" Luke 2:14 ; Psalms 72:7 ; Psalms 85:10 ; Isaiah 9:6 ; Isaiah 9:7 ; Isaiah 11:1-12 the universal prevalency of peace in the earth under the kingdom. Matthew 10:34 was Christ's warning that the truth which He was proclaiming would not bring in the kingdom age of peace, but conflict rather. John 14:27 .

Verse Meaning

Peace in the heart will follow praying about what concerns us. The phrase "the peace of God" occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. This is peace that comes from God rather than peace with God. It is a peace that comes to us when we pray because we enter into the tranquility of God"s own presence. Those doing the praying are believers. This peace, or release from tension, is something that we cannot fully comprehend. Nevertheless this peace acts as a sentry to guard the believer"s heart (affections) and mind (thoughts) under the sovereign influence of Christ Jesus.
"Together these words refer to the entire inner being of the Christian, his emotions, affections, thoughts and moral choices. This inner part of a person, then, so vulnerable to attack by the enemy, is that which God"s peace is set, like battle-ready soldiers, to protect." [1]
Most of us have experienced lack of complete peace from time to time when we pray. Paul was not saying that we will feel absolutely at ease and relieved after we pray as he directed here. Still a measure of peace will be ours. At least we will have the confidence that we have laid the matter before the Lord and sought His aid.
This verse does not promise peace as the indicator of God"s will when we are praying about what we should do. Paul did not say that if we need to make a decision God will make His will known to us by giving us peace about the right choice. The promise of this verse is that if we pray rather than worry ( Philippians 4:6) God will give us peace. Anxiety brings no peace, but praying does.

Context Summary

Philippians 4:1-9 - Inspiring Exhortations
What a strong and faithful heart was Paul's! Poor and despised though he was, he had both joys and crowns of which no hostile force could deprive him. He lived in the encompassing atmosphere of eternity, as we may. Surely these two Christian women could not have withstood this tender exhortation; and all his fellow-workers must have been heartened by the thought that their names were dear to Christ, and entered in the birthday book of the twice-born.
Joy and peace are the subjects of the next paragraph. How wonderful that these struggling little churches were drinking of springs of which the princes and citizens of Greece and Rome knew nothing. Note the conditions. We must be moderate in our ambitions and gentle in our behavior. We must ever practice the presence of our Lord-He is always at hand. We must turn over all causes of anxiety to the Father's infinite care and leave them with Him. We must thank Him for the past, and count on Him for the future. While we pray, the Angel of Peace will descend to stand as sentry at our heart's door. But we must possess the God of peace as well as the peace of God-the one condition being that we must earnestly pursue all things that are true, just, pure, and lovely. [source]

Chapter Summary: Philippians 4

1  From particular admonitions,
4  he proceeds to general exhortations,
10  showing how he rejoiced at their generosity toward him while in prison
19  And so he concludes with prayer and salutations

Greek Commentary for Philippians 4:7

The peace of God [η ειρηνη του τεου]
See in 2 Thessalonians 3:16 “the Lord of peace” (ο Κυριος της ειρηνης — ho Kurios tēs eirēnēs) and Phlippians 4:9 for “the God of peace” (ο τεος της ειρηνης — ho theos tēs eirēnēs). [source]
Shall guard [προυρησει]
“Shall garrison,” future active indicative of προυρεω — phroureō old verb from προυρος — phrouros See note on Acts 9:24; 2 Corinthians 11:32. God‘s peace as a sentinel mounts guard over our lives as Tennyson so beautifully pictures Love as doing. [source]
Peace of God []
As the antidote to anxiety, Phlippians 4:6. [source]
Which passeth all understanding [ἡ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν]
Either, which passes all power of comprehension, compare Ephesians 3:20; or, better, which surpasses every (human ) reason, in its power to relieve anxiety. Compare Matthew 6:31, Matthew 6:32. For understanding, see on Romans 7:23. [source]
Shall keep [φρουρήσει]
Lit., guard, as Rev., or mount guard over. God's peace, like a sentinel, patrols before the heart. Compare Tennyson:“Love is and was my King and Lord,And will be, though as yet I keep Within his court on earth, and sleepEncompassed by his faithful guard, And hear at times a sentinelWho moves about from place to place, And whispers to the worlds of space,In the deep night, that all is well.”“In Memoriam.”Gurnall, a little differently: “The peace of God is said to garrison the believer's heart and mind. He is surrounded with such blessed privileges that he is as safe as one in an impregnable castle” (“Christian in Complete Armor,” p. 419). [source]
Hearts - minds [καρδίας - νοήματα]
For hearts, see on Romans 1:21. For minds, Rev., thoughts, see on 2 Corinthians 3:14. The guardianship is over the source and the issues of thought and will. “Your hearts and their fruits” (Alford). [source]

What do the individual words in Philippians 4:7 mean?

And the peace - of God - surpassing all understanding will guard the hearts of you the minds in Christ Jesus
καὶ εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ ὑπερέχουσα πάντα νοῦν φρουρήσει τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν τὰ νοήματα ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ

εἰρήνη  peace 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: εἰρήνη  
Sense: a state of national tranquillity.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Θεοῦ  of  God 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θεός  
Sense: a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities.
Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὑπερέχουσα  surpassing 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ὑπερέχω  
Sense: to have or hold over one.
νοῦν  understanding 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: νοῦς  
Sense: the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining.
φρουρήσει  will  guard 
Parse: Verb, Future Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: φρουρέω  
Sense: to guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight.
καρδίας  hearts 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: καρδία  
Sense: the heart.
ὑμῶν  of  you 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
νοήματα  minds 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: νόημα  
Sense: a mental perception, thought.
Χριστῷ  Christ 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: Χριστός  
Sense: Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God.
Ἰησοῦ  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.