*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.
Your moderation This may be explained in two ways. We may understand him as bidding them rather give up their right, than that any one should have occasion to complain of their sharpness or severity. "Let all that have to deal with you have experience of your equity and humanity." In this way to know, will mean to experience. Or we may understand him as exhorting them to endure all things with equanimity.  This latter meaning I rather prefer; for is a term that is made use of by the Greeks themselves to denote moderation of spirit -- when we are not easily moved by injuries, when we are not easily annoyed by adversity, but retain equanimity of temper. In accordance with this, Cicero makes use of the following expression, -- "My mind is tranquil, which takes everything in good part."  Such equanimity -- which is as it were the mother of patience -- he requires here on the part of the Philippians, and, indeed, such as will manifest itself to all, according as occasion will require, by producing its proper effects. The term modesty does not seem appropriate here, because Paul is not in this passage cautioning them against haughty insolence, but directs them to conduct themselves peaceably in everything, and exercise control over themselves, even in the endurance of injuries or inconveniences. The Lord is at hand Here we have an anticipation, by which he obviates an objection that might be brought forward. For carnal sense rises in opposition to the foregoing statement. For as the rage of the wicked is the more inflamed in proportion to our mildness,  and the more they see us prepared for enduring, are the more emboldened to inflict injuries, we are with difficulty induced to possess our souls in patience. (Luke 21:19.) Hence those proverbs, -- "We must howl when among wolves." "Those who act like sheep will quickly be devoured by wolves." Hence we conclude, that the ferocity of the wicked must be repressed by corresponding violence, that they may not insult us with impunity.  To such considerations Paul here opposes confidence in Divine providence. He replies, I say, that the Lord is at hand, whose power can overcome their audacity, and whose goodness can conquer their malice. He promises that he will aid us, provided we obey his commandment. Now, who would not rather be protected by the hand of God alone, than have all the resources of the world at his command? Here we have a most beautiful sentiment, from which we learn, in the first place, that ignorance of the providence of God is the cause of all impatience, and that this is the reason why we are so quickly, and on trivial accounts, thrown into confusion,  and often, too, become disheartened because we do not recognize the fact that the Lord cares for us. On the other hand, we learn that this is the only remedy for tranquillizing our minds -- when we repose unreservedly in his providential care, as knowing that we are not exposed either to the rashness of fortune, or to the caprice of the wicked,  but are under the regulation of God's fatherly care. In fine, the man that is in possession of this truth, that God is present with him, has what he may rest upon with security. There are, however, two ways in which the Lord is said to be at hand -- either because his judgment is at hand, or because he is prepared to give help to his own people, in which sense it is made use of here; and also in Psalm 145:18, The Lord is near to all that call upon him. The meaning therefore is, -- "Miserable were the condition of the pious, if the Lord were at a distance from them." But as he has received them under his protection and guardianship, and defends them by his hand, which is everywhere present, let them rest upon this consideration, that they may not be intimidated by the rage of the wicked. It is well known, and matter of common occurrence, that the term solicitudo (carefulness) is employed to denote that anxiety which proceeds from distrust of Divine power or help.
1 - "En douceur et patience;" -- "With sweetness and patience."
2 - "TranquilIus animus meus, qui aequi boni facit omnia." Calvin here gives the sense, but not the precise words, of Cicero, which are as follows: "Tranquillissimus autem animus meus, qui totm istuc aequi boni facit;" -- "My mind, however, is most tranquil, which takes all that in good part." See Cic. Art.7,7. -- Ed.
3 - "D'autant plus que nous-nous monstrons gracieux et debonnaires;" -- "The more that we show ourselves agreeable and gentle."
4 - "Afin qu'ils ne s'esleuent point a l'encontre de nous a leur plaisir et sans resistance;" -- "That they may not rise up against us at their pleasure, and without resistance."
5 - "Que nous sommes tout incontinent et pour vn rien troublez et esmeus;" -- "That we are all at once and for nothing troubled and moved."
6 - "Ni au plaisir desborde des meschans;" -- "Nor to the unbridled inclination of the wicked."
Let your moderation be known unto all men - That is, let it be such that others may see it. This does not mean that they were to make an ostentatious display of it, but that it should be such a characteristic of their lives that it would be constantly visible to others. The word "moderation" - ἐπιεικὲς epieikes - refers to restraint on the passions, general soberness of living, being free from all excesses. The word properly means that which is fit or suitable, and then propriety, gentleness, mildness - They were to indulge in no excess of passion, or dress, or eating, or drinking. They were to govern their appetites, restrain their temper, and to be examples of what was proper for people in view of the expectation that the Lord would soon appear.
The Lord is at hand - Is near; see the Philippians 3:20 note; 1-Corinthians 16:22 note. This has the appearance of being a phrase in common use among the early Christians, and as being designed to keep before their minds a lively impression of an event which ought, by its anticipation, to produce an important effect. Whether, by this phrase, they commonly understood the coming of the Lord to destroy Jerusalem, or to remove them by death, or to judge the world, or to reign personally on the earth, it is impossible now to determine, and is not very material to a proper understanding of its use here. The idea is, that the expectation that the Lord Jesus will "come," ought to be allowed to produce moderation of our passions, in our manner of living, in our expectations of what this world can furnish, and in our desires of earthly good. On him who feels that he is soon to die, and to stand at the bar of God - on him who expects soon to see the Lord Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven, it cannot fail to have this effect. People indulge their passions - are extravagant in their plans of life, and in their expectations of earthly good for themselves and for their families, because they have no realizing sense of the truth that there is before them a vast eternity. He that has a lively expectation that heaven will soon be his, will form very moderate expectations of what this world can furnish.
Let your moderation be known - The word επιεικες is of very extensive signification; it means the same as επιεικεια, mildness, patience, yieldingness, gentleness, clemency, moderation, unwillingness to litigate or contend; but moderation is expressive enough as a general term. "Moderation," says Dr. Macknight, "means meekness under provocation, readiness to forgive injuries, equity in the management of business, candour in judging of the characters and actions of others, sweetness of disposition, and the entire government of the passions."
The Lord is at hand - A phrase something similar to the Maranatha of 1-Corinthians 16:22 : The Lord is Judge, and is at hand to punish. Schoettgen supposes, from this verse, taken in connection with the preceding, that Euodias and Syntyche were of a quarrelsome disposition; and hence the exhortation and threatening in the third and fifth verses.
(4) Let your (e) moderation be known unto all men. (5) The Lord [is] at hand.
(4) The second is, that taking all things in good part, they behave themselves moderately with all men.
(e) Your quiet and settled mind. (5) The taking away of an objection: we must not be anxious because of impatience, seeing that God is at hand to give us help in time for all our miseries.
Let your moderation be known unto all men,.... The Vulgate Latin reads, "your modesty". The Syriac and Arabic versions, "your meekness", or "humility"; graces which accompany moderation, and are very necessary to it, but not that itself. The Ethiopic version renders it, "your authority", which by no means agrees; for moderation lies not in exerting authority and power to the uttermost, at least with rigour, but in showing clemency and lenity; not dealing with men according to the severity of laws and strict justice, but according to equity, and with mildness and gentleness; giving up strict and proper right, receding from what is a man's due, and not rigidly insisting on it; putting up with affronts and injuries, and bearing them with patience; and interpreting things in the best sense, and putting the best constructions on words and actions they will bear; and in using inferiors and equals with all humanity, kindness, and respect: and this is what is here intended, which the apostle would have made "known"; exercised and practised publicly, that it might be seen and known of all, and God might be glorified, by whose name they were called, though their agreeable conversation among men; see Matthew 5:16; and he would not only have this known unto, but exercised towards "all men"; not only to believers, the members of the church, by ruling with gentleness, by bearing the infirmities of the weak, and by forgiving offences; but also to unbelievers, to the men of the world, by not avenging themselves, but giving way to wrath; by patient suffering for well doing, without making any returns of ill, either by words or deeds: this is the moderation here meant, and not moderation in eating and drinking, and in apparel, and in the love and use of, and care for the things of this world; though such moderation highly becomes professors of religion; and much less moderation in religion, or towards the false teachers, thinking and speaking well of them; and interpreting their notions in the best sense, hoping they may mean otherwise than they say, and therefore should treat their persons with great respect, and their principles with tenderness; but this can never be thought to be the apostle's sense, after he had himself given them such names and characters, as in Philippians 3:2; and besides, though we may, and many times ought, as men and Christians, to give way, and yield up what is our right and due, for the sake of peace, yet we cannot, nor ought to give up anything, that of right belongs to God and Christ, in matters of doctrine or worship; nor in the least abate of our zeal for the same, or give way to false teachers in any respect, nor for any time: moreover, moderation in religion is nothing else but lukewarmness and indifference, than which nothing is more detestable, or abhorred by Christ. The argument or reason enforcing moderation in the above sense of it follows,
the Lord is at hand. The Syriac version reads, "our Lord": and the Ethiopic version, "God is at hand". The sense is, either the Lord is near, he is omnipresent, and sees and observes the conduct of his people, their deportment in the world, and to one another; and therefore, as in his presence, and under his eye, they should behave according to equity, and with kindness and tenderness towards their fellow creatures and fellow Christians: or the Lord is nigh unto them, as he is to all that call upon him in truth, Psalm 145:18; he is a present help in time of trouble, Psalm 46:1; he is in the midst of them, and will help, and that right early, Psalm 46:5; and will avenge his elect, and vindicate their cause, and right all their wrongs in his due time; and therefore they should take all things patiently, and not avenge themselves: or in a little while Christ will come to judgment, when he will plead the cause of his people, and convince ungodly sinners of their ungodly deeds, and hard speeches against him and his, Jde 1:15; and therefore they should leave all to that time, and commit themselves to him that judgeth righteously, 1-Peter 2:23.
moderation--from a Greek root, "to yield," whence yieldingness [TRENCH]; or from a root, "it is fitting," whence "reasonableness of dealing" [ALFORD], that considerateness for others, not urging one's own rights to the uttermost, but waiving a part, and thereby rectifying the injustices of justice. The archetype of this grace is God, who presses not the strictness of His law against us as we deserve (Psalm 130:3-4); though having exacted the fullest payment for us from our Divine Surety. There are included in "moderation," candor and kindliness. Joy in the Lord raises us above rigorism towards others (Philippians 4:5), and carefulness (Philippians 4:6) as to one's own affairs. Sadness produces morose harshness towards others, and a troublesome spirit in ourselves.
Let . . . be known--that is, in your conduct to others, let nothing inconsistent with "moderation" be seen. Not a precept to make a display of moderation. Let this grace "be known" to men in acts; let "your requests be made to God" in word (Philippians 4:6).
unto all men--even to the "perverse" (Philippians 2:15), that so ye may win them. Exercise "forbearance" even to your persecutors. None is so ungracious as not to be kindly to someone, from some motive or another, on some occasion; the believer is to be so "unto all men" at all times.
The Lord is at hand--The Lord's coming again speedily is the grand motive to every Christian grace (James 5:8-9). Harshness to others (the opposite of "moderation") would be taking into our own hands prematurely the prerogatives of judging, which belongs to the Lord alone (1-Corinthians 4:5); and so provoking God to judge us by the strict letter of the law (James 2:12-13).
Let your gentleness - Yieldingness, sweetness of temper, the result of joy in the Lord. Be known - By your whole behaviour. To all men - Good and bad, gentle and froward. Those of the roughest tempers are good natured to some, from natural sympathy and various motives; a Christian, to all. The Lord - The judge, the rewarder, the avenger. Is at hand - Standeth at the door.
*More commentary available at chapter level.