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EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS - Chapter 1 - Verse 14

Verse 14. And many of the brethren. Many Christians. It is evident from this, that there were already "many" in Rome who professed Christianity.

In the Lord. In the Lord Jesus; that is, united to him and to each other by a professed attachment to him. This is a common phrase to designate Christians.

Waxing confident by my bonds. Becoming increasingly bold and zealous in consequence of my being confined. This might have been either

(1.) that from the very fact that so distinguished a champion of the truth had been imprisoned, they were excited to do all they could in the cause of the gospel. Or

(2.) they were aroused by the fact that the cause of his imprisonment had become generally understood, and that there was a strong current of popular favour setting towards Christianity in consequence of it. Or

(3.) they had had intercourse with Paul in his own "hired house," and had been incited and encouraged by him to put forth great efforts in the cause. Or

(4.) it would seem that some had been emboldened to promulgate their views, and set themselves up as preachers, who would have been restrained if Paul had been at liberty. They were disposed to form parties, and to secure followers, and rejoiced in an opportunity to increase their own popularity, and were not unwilling thus to diminish the popularity and lessen the influence of so great a man as Paul. Had he been at liberty, they would have had no prospect of success. See Php 1:16. To this may be added a suggestion by Theodoret. "Many of the brethren have increased boldness—yarsov —on account of my bonds. For seeing me bear such hard things with pleasure, they announce that the gospel (which sustains me) is divine." The same sentiment occurs in Oecumen and Theophyl. See Bloomfield. In Paul himself they had an illustration of the power of religion, and being convinced of its truth, they went and proclaimed it abroad.

To speak the word without fear. That is, they see that I remain safely, (comp. Ac 28:30,) and that there is no danger of persecution, and, stimulated by my sufferings and patience, they go and make the gospel known.

{*} "confident" "growing confident"

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