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EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 13

Verse 13. So that my bonds in Christ. Marg., for. The meaning is, his bonds in the cause of Christ. He was imprisoned because he preached Christ, See Barnes "Eph 6:20, and was really suffering because of his attachment to the Redeemer. It was not for crime, but for being a Christian—for had he not been a Christian, he would have escaped all this. The manner of Paul's imprisonment was, that he was suffered to occupy a house by himself, though chained to a soldier who was his guard, Ac 28:16. He was not in a dungeon indeed, but he was not at liberty, and this was a severe mode of confinement. Who would wish to be chained night and day to a living witness of all that he did; to a spy on all his movements? Who would wish to have such a man always with him, to hear all he said, and to see all that he did? Who could well bear the feeling that he could never be alone—and never be at liberty to do anything without the permission of one too who probably had little disposition to be indulgent?

Are manifest. That is, it has become known that I am imprisoned only for the sake of Christ. Grotius. The true reason why I am thus accused and imprisoned begins to be understood, and this has awakened sympathy for me as an injured man. They see that it is not for crime, but that it is on account of my religious opinions; and the conviction of my innocence has spread abroad, and has produced a favourable impression in regard to Christianity itself. It must have been a matter of much importance for Paul to have this knowledge of the real cause why he was imprisoned go abroad. Such a knowledge would do much to prepare others to listen to what he had to say—for there is no man to whom we listen more readily than to one who is suffering wrongfully.

In all the palace. Marg., "or Caesar's court. Gr., en olw tw praitwriw, in all the praetorium. This word properly denotes the general's tent in a camp; then the house or palace of a governor of a province; then any large hall, house, or palace. It occurs in the New Testament only in the following places: Mt 27:27, where it is rendered common hall; Mr 15:16, rendered pretorium; Joh 18:28,33; 19:9; Ac 23:35, rendered judgment hall; and in Php 1:13. It is employed to denote

(1.) the palace of Herod at Jerusalem, built with great magnificence at the northern part of the upper city, westward of the temple, and overlooking the temple;

(2.) the palace of Herod at Caesarea, which was probably occupied by the Roman procurator; and

(3) in the place before us, to denote either the palace of the emperor at Rome, or the pretorian camp, the head quarters of the pretorian guards or cohorts. These cohorts were a body of select troops instituted by Augustus to guard his person, and have charge of the city. See Rob. Lex. Bloomfield, Rosenmuller, and some others, understand this of the pretorian camp, and suppose that Paul meant to say that the cause of his imprisonment had become known to all the band of the pretorians. Grotius says that the usual word to denote the residence of the emperor at Rome was palatium—-palace, but that those who resided in the provinces were accustomed to the word pretorium, and would use it when speaking of the palace of the emperor. Chrysostom says that the palace of the emperor was called pretorium, by a Latin word derived from the Greek. See Erasmus in loc. Calvin supposes that the palace of Nero is intended. The question about the meaning of the word is important, as it bears on the inquiry to what extent the gospel was made known at Rome in the time of Paul, and perhaps as to the question why he was released from his imprisonment. If the knowledge of his innocence had reached the palace, it was a ground of hope that he might be acquitted; and if that palace is here intended, it is an interesting fact as showing that in some way the gospel had been introduced into the family of the emperor himself. That the palace or residence of the emperor is intended here, may be considered at least probable from the following considerations:

(1.) It is the name which would be likely. to be used by the Jews who came up from Judea and other provinces, to denote the chief place of judgment, or the principal residence of the highest magistrate. So it was used in Jerusalem, in Cesarea, and in the provinces generally, to denote the residence of the general in the camp, or the procurator in the cities—the highest representative of the Roman power.

(2.) If the remark of Chrysostom, above referred to, be well founded, that this was a common name given to the palace in Rome, then this goes far to determine the question.

(3.) In Php 4:22, Paul, in the salutation of the saints at Rome to those of Philippi, mentions particularly those of "Caesar's household." From this it would seem that some of the family of the emperor had been made acquainted with the Christian religion, and had been converted. In what way the knowledge of the true cause of Paul's imprisonment had been circulated in the "palace," is not now known. There was, however, close intimacy between the military officers and the government, and it was probably by means of some of the soldiers or officers who had the special charge of Paul, that this had been communicated. To Paul, in his bonds, it must have been a subject of great rejoicing, that the government became thus apprized of the true character of the opposition which had been excited against him; and it must have done much to reconcile him to the sorrows and privations of imprisonment, that he was thus the means of introducing religion to the very palace of the emperor.

And in all other places. Marg., to all others. The Greek will bear either construction. But if, as has been supposed, the reference in the word pretorium is to the palace, then this should be rendered "all other places." It then means, that the knowledge of his innocence, and the consequences of that knowledge in its happy influence in spreading religion, were not confined to the palace, but were extended to other places. The subject was generally understood, so that it might be said that correct views of the matter pervaded the city, and the fact of his imprisonment was accomplishing extensively the most happy effects on the public mind.

{3} "bonds in Christ" "for" {4} "all the palace" "Caesar's court" Php 4:22 {5} "in all other places" "to all others"

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