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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Philippians 4:22

All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar's household.


Adam Clarke Commentary

All the saints - All the Christians now at Rome.

They that are of Caesar‘s household - Nero was at this time emperor of Rome: a more worthless, cruel, and diabolic wretch never disgraced the name or form of man; yet in his family there were Christians: but whether this relates to the members of the imperial family, or to guards, or courtiers, or to servants, we cannot tell. If even some of his slaves were converted to Christianity, it would he sufficiently marvellous. Converts to Christianity in this family there certainly were; and this shows how powerfully the Divine word had been preached and spread. That the Empress Poppaea may have been favourably inclined to Christianity is possible; for Josephus relates of her, Antiq., lib. xx. cap. 7: Θεοσεβης γαρ ην· She was a worshipper of the true God; it is not likely, therefore, that she threw any hinderances in the way of her servants who might wish to embrace the Christian faith. St. Jerome, in Phlippians, states that St. Paul had converted many in Caesar‘s family; A Caesare missus in carcerem, notior familiae ejus factus, persecutoris Christi domum fecit ecclesiam.
“Being by the emperor cast into prison, he became the more known to his family, and he turned the house of Christ‘s persecutor into a church.” Some imagine that Seneca, the preceptor of Nero and the poet Lucan, were converted by St. Paul; and there are still extant, and in a MS. now before me, letters which profess to have passed between Paul and Seneca; but they are worthy of neither. They have been printed in some editions of Seneca‘s works. See the remarks below.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/philippians-4.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

All the saints salute you - All in Rome, where this Epistle was written. No individuals are specified, perhaps because none of the Christians at Rome wore personally known to the church at Philippi. They would, however, feel a deep interest in a church which had thus the confidence and affection of Paul. There is reason to believe that the bonds of affection among the churches then were much stronger than they are now. There was a generous warmth in the newness of the Christian affection - the first ardor of love; and the common trials to which they were exposed would serve to bind them closely together.

Chiefly they that are of Caesar‘s household - That is, of Nero, who was at that time the reigning emperor. The name Caesar was given to all the emperors after the time of Julius Caesar, as the name Pharaoh was the common name of the kings of Egypt. The phrase used here - “the household of Caesar” - may refer to the relatives of the emperor; and it is certainly possible that some of them may have been converted to Christianity. But it does not of necessity refer to those related to him, but may be applied to his domestics, or to some of the officers of the court that were more particularly employed around his person; and as it is more probable that some of them would be converted than his own relatives, it is more safe to suppose that they were intended; see the notes at Phlippians 1:13.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/philippians-4.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Philippians 4:22

Chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household

These words

I.
Remind us of the adaptation of the gospel to men everywhere.

1. It is no part of God’s purpose in redemption to limit its blessings to a nation or class. Hence the provisions of the gospel are suited to the circumstances of man as man. It knows nothing of the distinctions of rich and poor, noble and ignoble, learned and ignorant, bond and free. It knows them only as sinners, and offers salvation to all on equal terms. Hence in the early Churches we find slaves like Onesimus, fishermen like Peter, physicians like Luke, lawyers like Zenas, soldiers like Cornelius, and saints in Caesar’s household.

2. The gospel is still of universal adaptation. Christ is still the Saviour of sinners, and has disciples in every country and amidst all circumstances and conditions.

II. Teaches us the possibility of serving God in positions of temptation and difficulty.

1. Caesar’s household was the last place where one would have expected to find saints. Under any circumstances it could not be favourable to conversions and Christian growth; and it was now at about its worst. It illustrates the sovereignty of Divine grace that out of these circumstances there should arise witnesses for the gospel. It must have required great courage; but the grace that called them sustained them.

2. So it is always. There are some positions in which a man cannot serve God because they are wrong. There are others lawful enough, yet encompassed by temptation, e.g., the position of the sailor shut up for months with ungodly shipmates, that of the pious soldier in barracks with ungodly comrades, that of a godly citizen among scoffing fellow workmen. In all such cases God is able to make all grace abound to His servants. Faint not. God by placing you in a post of trial has assigned to you a post of honour. Never try to effect a compromise between right and wrong.

III. Tells how the Spirit of Christ animates all his followers. That spirit is love and sympathy. See how it breathes through these brotherly salutations. The age wants more of this spirit. What Christ requires is not so much uniformity of belief and worship as union of heart.

IV. Illustrates the way in which Christians may comfort and help one another.

1. The Philippians needed comfort. They had adversaries and were in danger of being terrified by this. The letter itself would afford deep consolation, this postscript especially so. The salutation was not much, but it showed that they were not forgotten at the throne of grace.

2. In many ways comfort and help may be afforded if there be only a little thoughtfulness. A truly sympathetic heart can give help with a look and a grasp of the hand. A too common sin is thoughtlessness. “Evil is wrought by want of thought, as well as want of heart.” The youth in the midst of scoffing companions, the young girl in an ungodly house, the poor man battling with poverty, the discouraged Christian worker--what might not be done by a timely and kind word.

V. A suggestion of the way in which our conduct becomes example and influence to others. Little did the Roman saints think that their salutations would be preserved and handed down through the centuries for the use of the Church. Kind words can never die. Neither can kind actions. Our names may perish but we shall live. Who these saints were we cannot tell. Nevertheless their power is felt today. (W. Walters.)

The saints in Caesar’s household

The throne of the Caesars was at this time occupied by Nero, a monster rather than a man. Certainly if ever there was an atmosphere uncongenial to Christianity it may be supposed to have been that of the court and palace of this bloody debauchee. Yet so true is it that gospel weapons are mighty to the casting down of strongholds that there were here Christians of the highest type willing to give their profession all publicity by sending greetings to Christians in distant cities.

I. The agency which brought round so unlikely a result. The mind naturally turns to Paul’s miraculous gifts, and remembers how with noble intrepidity Paul rose up before the sages of Greece, and that as he spoke to Felix, the slave of base lusts, the haughty Roman trembled. It is easy to imagine, therefore, Paul working some great miracle to command the attention of the emperor and the court, and then reasoning of temperance, righteousness, and judgment to come. But this fancy would be incorrect. Paul was now a prisoner, and could not go like Moses, rod in hand, and compel by his miracles the attention of the profligate king, and yet it was at this time of seeming impotence that the great victory was won. Nay, it appears actually to have been in consequence of his imprisonment. Philippians 1:12-14 shows the two ways in which his bonds gave enlargement to Christianity. His patience and meekness witnessed for the truth of the gospel for which he suffered, and nerved the Christians to greater energy.

II. We have here a lesson as to God’s power of overruling evil for good. We are apt to imagine when a man is withdrawn from active duty that his usefulness is gone. But a minister can preach from a sick bed as well as from a pulpit. The report which goes forth of his patience and fortitude will do as much and perhaps more towards overcoming resistance to the gospel than his active ministrations. The martyrs did most for God and truth when actually in the clutches of their persecutors. A true Christian is never laid by. The influence that he exerts when suffering or reduced to poverty is often greater than when he led a benevolent enterprise. Let no one then be discouraged.

III. A man cannot be placed in circumstances which put it out of his power to give heed to the duties of religion. The instance of saints in Caesar’s household takes away the excuse that temptations, hindrances, opposition render piety impossible. Where are any so circumstanced as these people? It is true that more appears to be done for one man than for another, and that some circumstances are conducive and others hindering to religion. But under every possible disadvantage there may be a striving with evil and a following after good. The excuse assumes that God has put it out of some men’s power to provide for their soul’s safety, and to assume this is to contradict the Divine word, and to throw scorn on the Divine attributes. Take a case like the one before us, that of servants in an irreligious family. Their superiors set them a bad example, give them few opportunities for public or private devotion, and would frown on or ridicule any indication of piety. Let this be granted. Yet these difficulties would disappear before earnest resolve. They have but to begin and obstacles would be gradually lowered and strength would grow by exercise. The Spirit of the living God fails no man who is not false to himself.

IV. These saints not only belonged to Caesar’s household at the time of their conversion, but remained after their conversion. They did not feel it their duty to abandon their stations and seek others apparently more favourable to religion. So that it does not follow that a man is to withdraw from circumstances of danger and difficulty, and place himself where there is less temptation and opposition. It is true a converted man is not justified in seeking employment where it would be specially difficult to cultivate religion; but to desert it because it made religion difficult would be to declare that the grace which had converted him in spite of disadvantages would not suffice to establish him, and to mark distrust of God’s Spirit. If the employment were sinful, there would be no room for debate; but if only dangerous, and simply required a greater amount of vigilance and boldness, to forsake it would prove timidity rather than prudence. For, e.g., a Christian nobleman in a corrupt court, or servant in an ungodly family, may find it unlawful to leave, inasmuch as distinct opportunity may be afforded of doing honour to God and promoting Christ’s cause. They are placed by God as leaven in the midst of an unsound mass. Not that a servant has to travel beyond the duties of his station; he has simply to carry his Christianity into all his occupations, and to distinguish himself from others by closer attention to his master’s interests, stricter adherence to truth, etc. Let an irreligious master perceive all this, and he will scarcely fail to receive an impression favourable to religion. There are families to which the preacher can gain no access. God forbid that pious domestics should hastily withdraw from such.

V. Wheresoever God makes it a man’s duty, there he will make it his interest to remain. If He employ one of His servants in turning others from sin, He will cause the employment to conduce to that servant’s holiness. Notice the “chiefly” of our text. Of all the Roman Christians the foremost in love were these saints who probably remained in Caesar’s service for the express purpose of furthering the gospel. Nor need we feel any surprise at this. Absence of trial is not the most favourable thing to religious growth. Nero’s palace may be a far better place for the development of personal piety than the cell of the monk; in the one the Christian has his graces put continually to the proof, and this serves both to discover and strengthen them; in the other there may be comparatively nothing to exercise them. And then the God of all grace, who has promised that His people shall not be tempted above that they are able, will bestow assistance proportioned to their wants. (H. Melvill, B. D.)

Saints in Caesar’s household

I. It is possible to be a Christian anywhere.

1. Christianity is not a thing of locality but of character. There are plants which will bloom in some latitudes and die in others, but Christianity can live where man can live, because it consists in the loyalty of the heart and life to Christ. Obadiah kept his conscience in the house of Ahab, Daniel his in the court of Babylon, Nehemiah his in the Persian palace. As Jonathan Edwards says, “The grace of God can live where neither you nor I can.” In the abodes of poverty humble Christians are living as near to God as Enoch. Even yet, if we care to look for it, we may find the lily among thorns.

2. What is true of places is true of occupations. Unless a man’s business is sinful he may serve God in any profession. The Roman army was a very poor school of morals, yet all the centurions mentioned in the New Testament were good men. The sailor is proverbially rough, yet some of the best Christians have been sailors. What heroic godliness has been manifested by miners?

3. Now, if this be so it follows--

II. It is harder to be a Christian in some places than in others. There are households in which it seems most natural for a child to grow up in the beauty of holiness, and others where loyalty to Christ is met with opposition. The surroundings of some occupations are more trying to piety than others. When the lymphatic Dutchman, who took things easily, said to his excited minister, “Dominic, restrain your temper,” he was met with the pertinent reply, “Restrain my temper, sir! I restrain more temper in the course of a single day than you do in a year.” That was a difference of temperament. What then?

1. The Lord knows that this is so, and He will estimate our work by our opportunity. We may be sure that if we are in a hard place He will give us strength according to our need. Each gets his own grace. “Ilka blade of grass has its ain drap o’ dew,” and grace is suited to the place in which one dwells.

2. We ought to be charitable in our judgment of each other. While we hold ourselves to a rigid reckoning in all circumstances, let us make allowance for the circumstances of others. The flower in the window of a poor man’s cottage may be far from a perfect specimen, but it is a greater marvel than the superb specimen in a rich man’s conservatory. There may be more honour to one man for the Christianity he has maintained in the face of great obstacles, though it may be marked with blemishes, than there is to another who has no such blemishes, but who has had no such conflict.

III. The harder the place in which we are we should be the more earnest to maintain our Christianity. Here, however, it is needful to know what the hardest place is. It is not always that where there is the greatest external resistance to Christianity. An avowed antagonist the Christian meets as such; he prepares himself for the encounter, and is not taken unawares; but when the ungodly meet him as friends, then he is in real peril. The world’s attentions are more deadly than its antagonisms. The Church is in the world as a boat is in the sea; it can float only by being kept above it; and if we let it become waterlogged it will be swamped.

IV. The greater the difficulty we overcome in the maintenance of our Christianity the greater will be our reward. (W. M. Taylor, D. D.)

Sainthood in Nero’s household

1. This incidental allusion informs us that already Jesus was confessed before emperors; men that in irresponsible power and savage cruelty had almost lost the nature of men. Faith has won its greatest conquests on straitened and sorrowful fields.

2. If the strength and joy of believing are proportioned to the weight of the crosses born for it, then in some such post as this we must look for the bravest witnesses to the truth.

3. We eulogize virtues that flourish only in a favourite soil and climate. We palliate and excuse the deficiency, when honesty is missing in the household of Caesar. We forget that the piety of the Church and of society dwindles inevitably unless it is replenished by the energy of those valiant examples which will dare to be true in the palaces of power, and fashion, and mammon.

4. There are yet saints in Caesar’s household, and there is as good cause to venerate them as when beasts licked up their blood from the sand. For the substance of all sainthood which has vitality enough to live in Caesar’s household is this, that its virtue is so built on interior foundations, and its faith so rooted in its Divine Master, that no outward opposition can break it down.

5. There are special traits essential to sainthood in Caesar’s household.

I. Courage Christianity has favour for every noble sentiment; and so she offers to the veteran soldier, and to the enthusiastic youth, a field for bravery grander than any battle, in the resistance of moral invasion. Accordingly, we find that, very soon, Christianity seized on rough warriors, and some of these believers about the person of Nero must probably have been guards of his palace. On one of the early Christian monuments at Rome there is an epitaph of a young military officer, who “lived long enough when he shed his blood for Christ.” But Christ’s religion courts no consideration from armies. Its courage is of another kind--the courage that bears wrong, but will not commit it--that saves life, rather than destroys it; that springs from an unspotted conscience; that goes into and out of all companies, counting houses, caucuses, and churches, with an uprightness not to be bent, whether you bring threats, or sneers, or golden baits to tempt it; that lifts up an unblenched face in the most formidable array of difficulties, satisfied to stand on God’s side, to listen to the encouragement of the beatitudes and to hold to the breastplate of righteousness. Wherever such Christian courage in duty is there will be saints of Caesar’s household.

II. Modesty. They did not call themselves saints; Paul called them so. They did not boast of their religion; there was too much solemn sincerity in it. They did not lurk about the temples to mock the soothsayers, and to disseminate slanders about the priesthood. They knew the joy of their communion with Jesus, and cared more for that than for the admiration of the citizens. That was their Christian modesty. Disjoined from their fortitude, it might haw degenerated into timidity. And that is often our danger. There are persons of a diffident disposition, that err in not mixing enough boldness of resistance with their good nature. They remain inefficient disciples because they shrink from public notice. This is to turn “the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit” into a deformity, and to rob the Master of the testimony that is His due. This is the danger of all threatened minorities, but they will get strength for the fiery trial by going back to see how the inmates of a palace full of gluttony, licentiousness, and all royal vices, held their allegiance fast.

III. But to imitate that successful blending of modesty and courage, they will want a third quality, namely, independence. The question of duty once settled, all gates but that which leads to acting it out must be shut. And beyond that point, all arguments from custom, from the general expectation, from popular applause, from public or private gratification, are impertinent. Remember, these saints were living in the centre of the great world’s energy and splendour, and in the very focus of its intelligence. Independence was a virtue quite indispensable to them; but not a whit more so than to us. For, every day, Providence, through our own instincts, pushes us into some crisis of moral peril, where, if we do not act simply of ourselves, and take our direction at first hand from the Spirit, our integrity itself is gone.

IV. And superadded to independence and modesty and courage is constancy. There must have been many days when it would have been easy and convenient for these saints to slip round into the old comfortable heathenism. Inducements were not wanting. For the ignorant there was personal safety. For the cultivated Seneca was alive. But they held fast. They might be hunted out, and see their teachers slaughtered; but they gathered again the next evening, and other hands, willing to be mangled by the same martyrdom, broke to them the bread of life. The emperor might send them out to build his baths; they raised no civil rebellion, but while they bent to their slavery they knelt and prayed to their Father. Arrows might pierce their bodies, but they believed the Lord Jesus would receive their spirits. God is asking constancy of us. Our Nero is self-love. The senses are the Caesars of all ages. Fashion is a Rome that commissions its legions and spreads its silent empire wider than the Praetorian eagles. The reigning temper of the world is the imperishable persecutor and tyrant of the faithful soul. And so, in every home and street there are chances for the reappearing of saints in Caesar’s household. (Bishop Huntington.)

The religion of charity compatible with all callings

Notice that the “chief” salutations came from the unlikeliest place. It is a rebuke to some who think that Christianity pervades one state of life more than another. At times men have thought that the Christian religion was peculiarly suitable to the poor, and had nothing to do with the officers of Caesar’s household. Christ preached at first to the lowly, yet wise and rich were also called. If saints are found in Caesar’s household where shall they not be found? But men go sighing to find the proper soil for religion, and go to the desert to be religious, and think that when a man is a beggar he must be nearest heaven.

I. Christianity has affinity with all callings.

1. With riches, because the great grace of charity can be exercised thereby. Whose has charity in his heart and wealth in his hand has the finest gift of God.

2. With statesmanship, although it is common to say that that is a very uncongenial atmosphere for a Christian. But a statesman can put an end to the foul obstructions that hinder truth; he can make laws that men shall be no longer housed in conditions that make righteousness impossible.

3. With the soldier, though some think not. Though the day will come when war shall be at an end, nevertheless he who goes forth in a good cause stirred by the spirit of verity to do righteousness in the spirit of order, obedience, and self sacrifice, between him and the Christian faith are strong affinities.

4. With retirement. Christianity has much to say about the blessings of quiet existence, in deepening the wells of life.

5. With business. The merchant may be the most eminent missionary.

6. With art. The artist who gives relief to the tired eye and brain, who preaches the God of eternal beauty, and the spirit which underlies all visible things, is in harmony with our faith.

II. Wherein consists this unity by which the spirit of Christ has an affinity with extremely opposite characteristics?

1. Let us wander seemingly for a time and answer this question by asking another. It is not whether this or that calling or characteristic be holy or not, but what is that holiness which justifies us in calling it holy? A man may be a sweeper of chimneys or the holder of a sceptre; but the sceptre may be swayed in righteousness, and so may the besom. The righteousness of each depends on the degree to which each embodies in his calling that which constitutes righteousness.

2. To do a good action three things are essential.

3. Having knowledge, intention, and persistence in the performance of that which is just and wise, the question becomes this--What is that which, put into voice or action, constitutes it an act in accord with the Christian faith? Christianity pronounces it to be charity. Charity means the large, loving, constant doing of all things great and small. It is the universal spirit to which there is nothing great or small. A king through charity may sway the sceptre, and a room may be swept to the glory of God. So in Caesar’s household and Peter’s fishing hut, it is possible to be filled with that which constitutes the spirit of religion. Therefore it is a matter of indifference what your calling may be. If you are scandal mongers, indeed, it is impossible to be charitable, because you violate the first principles of charity. When one lives not in constant piety one goes back to Caesar’s household and thinks who they were. (G. Dawson, M. A.)

Christianity

I. Is holy--it makes men saints.

II. Might--it enters the palace.

III. Fearless--it stands before Nero.

IV. Kind--it teaches love. (J. Lyth, D. D.)

The composition of Caesar’s household

The household of the emperor consisted mainly of troops and of slaves who ministered to his wants and caprices as the wealthiest and most luxurious of Roman magnates. But senators and knights were also in close attendance upon him, equally in his hours of business and relaxation. These, indeed, were probably masters of households of their own; thus Seneca, the most intimate of his ministers, enjoyed a private residence in his gardens; Burrus, the prefect of the Praetorians, whose duty brought him, no doubt, daily into the imperial presence, occupied his own lodging in the Praetorian camp. The affairs of government were transacted chiefly by the emperor’s freedmen, some of them notorious for their riches and influence, court favourites who had been enfranchised by himself or his predecessors. These also had each his own palace and gardens, in which he vied with the proudest of the ancient aristocracy. Nevertheless these, too, were so closely attached to the emperor’s person that they might claim to form a part of Caesar’s household, and any one of them may have come in contact with Paul. A man of Paul’s power of thought and language, speaking with the academic tone of a scholar of Tarsus, and the natural fervour of a Hebrew prophet, could hardly fail to command the attention of the feverish students of moral truth who abounded in the ranks of the Roman aristocracy. But if such turned away he could not fail to be received among the lower class of the emperor’s household attendants, both male and female, who filled a thousand menial offices about his person, and that of his consort. The ministers to the luxury of Poppaea were certainly not less numerous than those who discharged similar functions for Livia before her. Among them were servants of the chamber and the ante-chamber, servants who waited at the doors, who attended at the bath, who assisted at the toilet, who kept the jewels, who read at the empress’s couch, who sat at her feet, who followed her in her walks, who lulled her to sleep and watched over her slumbers, who had charge of her purse, and distributed the tasks of the whole household. The persons in waiting on the emperor were probably even more multitudinous, and while many of their functions were merely manual, there were not a few entrusted with affairs which required high intellectual training. The emperor was surrounded with numerous members of the learned classes such as could discharge the duties of secretaries, physicians, professors of every art and accomplishment and teachers in philosophy. To have access to Caesar’s household was to be put into communication with the most intelligent people of the day. Over Paul’s intercourse with these people a cloud rests, but it so happens that recent excavations have discovered the names of various persons connected with the court of Claudius which are identical with those which the apostle mentions in his Epistle to the Romans. We find among these names those of Amphas, Urbanus, Stachys, Apella, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Rufus, Hermas, Potrobius (Patrobas), Philologus, and Nerens. Some of these, no doubt, are very common appellatives; but the occurrence of so many coincidences can hardly be accidental. And the easy and familiar way in which the apostle introduces the mention of “the saints in Caesar’s household,” seems to imply that he stood on an easy footing with them. It is the style of one who went in and out among them, of a man who dwelt close at hand; accessible daily as they passed by on their ordinary avocations. (Dean Merivale.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Philippians 4:22". The Biblical Illustrator. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/philippians-4.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

All the saints salute you,.... The members of the church at Rome,

chiefly they that are of Caesar's household; for by means of the apostle's bonds, which were made manifest in the emperor's palace, Christ was made known to some there likewise; though Nero, the then reigning emperor, was a very wicked prince, and his court a very debauched one, yet the grace of God reached some there: who these were cannot be said; as for the conjecture that Seneca the philosopher, Nero's master, was one of them, it is without foundation; the eight letters of his to the Apostle Paul, and the six letters of the apostle to him, are spurious, though of ancient date, being made mention of by Austin and JeromF7Vid. Fabricii Bibliothec. Latin, p. 69. : a like groundless conjecture is that, that Lucan the poet, Seneca's brother's son, was another; for there is nothing in his writings, or in any account of him, any more than in the former, that shows him to be a Christian. Torpes, a man in great favour and dignity in Nero's court, and Evellius his counsellor, who both suffered martyrdom under him, according to the Roman martyrology, are also mentioned,


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/philippians-4.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of p Caesar's household.

(p) Those who belong to the emperor Nero.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/philippians-4.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

they that are of Caesar‘s household — the slaves and dependents of Nero who had been probably converted through Paul‘s teaching while he was a prisoner in the Praetorian barrack attached to the palace. Philippi was a Roman “colony,” hence there might arise a tie between the citizens of the mother city and those of the colony; especially between those of both cities who were Christians, converted as many of them were by the same apostle, and under like circumstances, he having been imprisoned at Philippi, as he now is at Rome.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/philippians-4.html. 1871-8.

Vincent's Word Studies

Of Caesar's household

Probably the slaves and freedmen attached to the palace.

sa40


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/philippians-4.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

22The brethren that are with me salute you In these salutations he names first of all his intimate associates, (260) afterwards all the saints in general, that is, the whole Church at Rome, but chiefly those of the household of Nero — a thing well deserving to be noticed; for it is no common evidence of divine mercy, that the gospel had made its way into that sink of all crimes and iniquities. It is also the more to be admired, in proportion as it is a rare thing for holiness to reign in the courts of sovereigns. The conjecture formed by some, that Seneca is here referred to among others, has no appearance of foundation; for he never gave any evidence, even the smallest, of his being a Christian; nor did he belong to the household of Caesar, but was a senator, and had at one time held the office of praetor. (261)

END OF THE COMMENTARY ON THE EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/philippians-4.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

SAINTS IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF CÆSAR

‘All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Cæsar’s household.’

Philippians 4:22

Who are these of whom the text speaks, ‘saints of Cæsar’s household’? We do not know. The Bible is silent. The history of the world has passed them over, the history of the Church knows them not. By chance, indeed, in the dark recesses of the Catacombs, amid the quaint symbols of the hope of immortality, their names may even now be deciphered, but beyond that we know them not.

I. Christians under adverse circumstances.—It is about them that I would fain say to you just two words. One is that if we can conceive of any place in the world more unlikely than another at that day in which to find a Christian man it was Nero’s palace. The encouragement to us is this, that, if there, then anywhere it is possible to be a follower of our Blessed Lord. The encouragement is, that there must surely be no difficulties of life, no post of duty, no situation of temptation, in which a Christian man, by the grace of God, may not work his life unharmed.

II. Our real danger.—The world in which we live, our domestic, professional, social, political world, it is to us Cæsar’s household. We have to live there, work there, wait there for our Blessed Master, and though of course superficially the world has changed, there is no arena, there is no garment of flaming pitch, there is no fierce cry of ‘Christians to the lions!’ nothing that could tempt to apostasy in our case, or offer excuse to weak human nature to compromise with sin and infidelity, yet our dangers are no less real. The world is, after all, though softer and gentler, no less dangerous to Christian men, because day by day they are brought in contact with those who neither serve nor know our Divine Master, and then zeal in duty brings its own temptation, earthly labour has its own peril.

III. Never despair of finding good men anywhere.—Moreover, I think that from these unknown saints in Cæsar’s household we may all of us, men and women, learn a lesson of charity, never to despair of finding good men anywhere. God sees not as we see, sufficient if He knows His own, and will one day bring them into the light. Depend upon it there will be many in heaven whom we did not expect to meet. For God’s servants are often hidden, sometimes from pure unobtrusiveness, sometimes from a shrinking fear lest they should after profession fall and bring dishonour on the cause, sometimes again from circumstances which have not brought out their character before those with whom they live. But let us comfort ourselves with the assurance that God knows them and will declare them one day.

Rev. Dr. H. G. Woods.

Illustration

‘There are few contrasts so startling as that which is suggested by this Epistle to the Philippians. We read our pagan history and we read our Bible, but it is not often that the two come so close together and that the lines of both histories touch for one moment to separate again. Here we have for the first time that union of sacred and profane history. Here seems to commence that long struggle between the religion of Christ and the Empire of Rome which ended by establishing the Gospel upon the ruins of the Eternal City. Here we read of Philippi, the advanced guard of the ambition of Macedonian kings, but now the seat of a Christian Church. Philippi, on whose battlefield the future of the world was decided just a hundred years before, now sending Epaphroditus to bear comfort and help to the Apostle in his Roman prison. Everything seems to point to the same contrast between the inspired word of Christian advice as written in this Epistle and the Roman Prætorian command, between the purity and piety of the writer and that golden palace of sin and shame outside the walls of which he wrote.’


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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/philippians-4.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.

Ver. 22. All the saints salute you] Christianity is no enemy to courtesy. God’s scholars are taught better manners than to neglect so much as salutations.

They that are of Caesar’s household] When Caesar himself lived and died an unconverted caitiff (wretch) and a castaway. So did Seneca, for aught we can find by his writings, though some would have him to be here designed among the rest. {See Trapp on "Romans 1:18"}


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/philippians-4.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Philippians 4:22

The Spirit of Christianity.

I. The words of the text suggest to us that the Gospel is a spiritually restoring power. It makes men, sinful men, saints; it is a power to raise, ennoble, and make morally strong, a power which the world needs and must experience before prosperity shall abound and peace on earth shall be enjoyed. The want of the world is saints—saints like those who were in Rome, and who during all the ages have been the salt of the earth. Saints are those who* stand right with God, right with all their brethren and mankind, and right with themselves. They become all this by the spiritual power of the Gospel, the spiritual energy which alone can turn sinners into saints, and the old mankind into a new mankind, zealous of good works. And all Churches should be gardens to grow such saintly men, who will go forth as the sacramental host of God's elect to do battle with sin in every form.

II. The words of our text suggest that the Gospel is a spreading power. It has within it a life which must expand and permeate all with whom it comes into contact. Like the light of the sun, it seeks to flood the world with heat, life, and glory; like the fragrance of the flower, it diffuses itself all around and sweetens the atmosphere of human existence. Christianity is a movement and a moving power. Under its inspiring and elevating influence civilisation advances, science makes progress, literature flourishes like a green bay-tree, trade and commerce are developed, and nations lifted to higher altitudes of moral and spiritual being. And as it moves on it blesses and scatters benefactions on all around. The soul is not saved for itself only, but for others also. Every real Church should be, and is, a company of men animated by the missionary spirit, and all its members should be living epistles, known and read of all men.

III. Further, the words of the text teach us that the Gospel imparts the spirit of true courage. Previously to the appearance of Christ in the flesh, the world recognised those who were animated by the spirit of bravery, and whose courage was embodied in action; but the courage we should now admire most is the moral courage which is ready to stand up for the right and the true, no matter the nature and extent of the opposition. And those are the real heroes who dare to be right, even with two or three, and are ever ready to obey God rather than man. Such courage is the fruit of the Gospel, and has been exhibited in its grandest manifestations in the history of the Christian Church.

IV. Finally, our text implies that the Gospel imparts a spirit of sympathy. This is needed in the world. The Gospel might have made those who received it righteous, brave, and heroic, but it would have failed in its mission if it did not at the same time impart a strong and genuine sympathy with all those who are called upon to shed tears, heave sighs, part with loved ones, and struggle hard with the opposing forces of everyday life. Let us cultivate the element of sympathy, for it is an element of the Divine life in the soul. It is a strange, strong power, without which in many cases existence would be a burden, and earth a prison-house of despair. Let it be ours to dry the tear, to quell the fear, and make the burdens of others our own. In this way we shall weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who are glad, and thereby fulfil the law of Christ.

W. Adamson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxvi., p. 163.


References: Philippians 4:22.—W. Walters, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 382; G. Dawson, The Authentic Gospel, p. 101; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vii., p- 245.





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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/philippians-4.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

22.] πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι, all the Christians here.

οἱ ἐκ τῆς καίσαρος οἰκίας] These perhaps were slaves belonging to the familia of Nero, who had been converted by intercourse with St. Paul, probably at this time a prisoner in the prætorian barracks (see ch. Philippians 1:13 note) attached to the palace. This is much more likely, than that any of the actual family of Nero should have embraced Christianity. The hint which Chrys., al., find here, εἰ γὰρ οἱ ἐν τοῖς βασιλείοις πάντων κατεφρόνησαν διὰ τὸν βασιλέα τῶν οὐρανῶν, πολλῷ μᾶλλον αὐτοὺς χρὴ τοῦτο ποιεῖν, is alien from the simplicity of the close of an Epistle. The reason of these being specified is not plain: the connexion perhaps between a colonia, and some of the imperial household, might account for it.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/philippians-4.html. 1863-1878.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The rest of the Christians at Rome do the same; more especially they of Nero the emperor’s own family and court, his domestics, Philippians 1:13. It seems there were some there truly pious and Christian: but however some conceit, there is no real evidence that Seneca was of that number; he being not a courtier, but a senator, who left no real token (we know of) that he was a Christian.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/philippians-4.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

They that are of Cesar’s household; persons attached to the emperor’s household, who had been converted by the labors of Paul or his associates.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/philippians-4.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

22. μάλιστα δὲ. There was something marked and emphatic about this message.

οἱ ἐκ τῆς Καίσαρος οἰκίας. “Probably slaves and freedmen attached to the palace” (Lightfoot). It has been thought, on the other hand, that these persons were members of the imperial family, or at least grandees of the court; and this has been used either to prove a remarkable advance of the Gospel in the highest circles during St Paul’s imprisonment (and incidentally to evidence a late date for the Epistle in that imprisonment), or to indicate the spuriousness of the Epistle. Lightfoot (Phil., pp. 171–178) has fully shewn that “the Household of Cæsar” was a term embracing a vast number of persons, not only in Rome but in the provinces, all of them either actual or former imperial slaves, filling every description of more or less domestic office. He illustrates his statements from the numerous epitaphs of members of the Domus Cæsaris found within the last 175 years near Rome, most of them of the Julian and Claudian times. It is remarkable that the names in these epitaphs afford curiously many coincidences with the names in Romans 16; among them are Amplias, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, Tryphæna, Tryphosa, Rufus, Hermes, Hermas, Patrobas, Philologus, Julius, Nereis (a name which might possibly be that of the sister (Romans 16:15) of a man Nereus). It appears by the way very likely that both Aristobulus’ and Narcissus’ “households” (Romans 16:10-11) were in fact the slave-establishments respectively of the son of Herod the Great and of the favourite freedman of Claudius—transferred to the possession of the Emperor. Lightfoot infers a high probability that the “saints” greeted in Romans 16, as resident at Rome, were on the whole identical with “the saints of the Household” who here send greeting from Rome. Various as no doubt were their functions, and their nationalities, the members of the Household, as such, must have had an esprit de corps which made it likely, humanly speaking, that a powerful influence like that of the Gospel would be felt widely among them, if felt at all; and that it would be intensified by the difficulties of their surroundings; and that so that they would be in the way to make a united and emphatic expression of their faith and love on occasion.

This view of “the saints” here mentioned, as to their associations and duties, not only in the age of Nero but in the precincts of his court, and probably (for many of them) within the chambers of his palace, gives a noble passing illustration of the power of grace to triumph over circumstances, and to transfigure life where it seems most impossible. “Dieu laisse quelquefois ses serviteurs au milieu du monde, pour montrer la souveraineté de sa grace” (Quesnel on this verse).

A certain parallel to the Domus Cæsaris appears in the vast Maison du Roy of the French monarchy. But the Maison was for the nobility alone.


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"Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/philippians-4.html. 1896.

John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians and Philippians

(Philippians 4:22.) ᾿ασπάζονται ὑμᾶς πάντες οἱ ἅγιοι—“All the saints salute you.” Of course the brethren are saints, but all the saints are not brethren in the very same sense. The apostle refers to two circles of Christians about him; those bound by some nearer and more special tie to him, and named “brethren;” and those beyond them having no such familiar relationship with him, “the saints.” Who composed this inner circle we know not. He may refer to the brethren spoken of in Philippians 1:14, or principally to those mentioned by him in the epistles written at this period to the church in Colosse, and to Phlippians. Chrysostom alludes to a difficulty. The apostle has said, in Philippians 2:20-21, that none with him were like-minded with Timothy, and that all sought their own, and his solution is, that “he did not refuse to call even them brethren.” Nor might all these brethren be qualified for such a mission as Timothy's. See p. 149. A special class are subjoined-

μάλιστα δὲ οἱ ἐκ καίσαρος οἰκίας—“but chiefly they of Caesar's household.” A special prominence is attached to their salutation. The very source of it must have excited wonder and gratitude. Calvin remarks-ac eo quidem admirabilius, quo rarius est exemplum, sanctitatem in aulis regnare. They of Caesar's household must have taken a deep interest in the apostle, and might have been converted by him during his imprisonment. They must also, so far as permitted to them, have ministered to his comfort, and they could not but feel a special sympathy for a church which had sent Epaphroditus to do a similar service. Who they were, has been keenly disputed.

The term οἰκία is not the same with πραιτώριον, but refers to the imperial residence. Matthies indeed says-so ist dieses am natürlichsten hier zu verstehen, und an solche aus der Kaiserlichen Leibwache zu denken. But the statement is unsupported. It has been supposed to mean:-

1. The emperor's family or relatives. So van Hengel and many others, including Baur, for a sinister purpose of his own. The words may bear such a signification-1 Corinthians 16:15, οἴδατε τὴν οἰκίαν στεφανᾶ; Luke 1:27; Luke 2:4, ἐξ οἴκου δαυίδ.

2. The word is used in an inferior sense to signify domestics generally. So in Josephus, Antiq. 17.5. 8- τοῦ καίσαρος τὴν οἰκίαν. Also Philo- τὸν ἐπίτροπον τῆς οἰκίας, and in a yet more honourable sense- εἰ δὲ μὴ βασιλεὺς ἀλλὰ τις τῶν ἐκ τῆς καίσαρος οἰκίας—“if he had not been king, but only one of Caesar's household, ought he not to have had some precedence and honour?” In Flaccum, vol. ii. p. 522. Or Tacitus, Hist. 2.92-quidam in domum Caesaris transgressi, atque ipsis dominis potentiores. Nero, as has been often remarked, had but few relations, and the probability is, that domestics, either slaves or freedmen, are here intended. The persons referred to are not named, as Epaphroditus could give the Philippians the requisite information. It is almost needless to allude to any hypothesis on this subject; yet out of this reference arose the fiction of Paul's correspondence with Seneca, Nero's preceptor. Lucan the poet, Seneca's nephew, has also been included. Estius refers to two names, Evellius and Torpetes, as being Neronis familiares, and as occupying a place in the Roman martyrology of this period. But this is all uncertainty. Witsius gives Pomponia Graecina, a name occurring in Tacitus. Meletem. Leid. p. 212. Some have fixed on Poppaea Sabina, Nero's wife. These domestics were, in all probability, brought into contact with the apostle during his confinement in the praetorium. For the opinions of those who think that this epistle was written at Caesarea the reader may turn to the Introduction.


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Eadie, John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". John Eadie's Commentary on Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jec/philippians-4.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘All the saints salute you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household.’

The greeting then widens to encompass the whole church in the city from which he was writing, probably Rome. ‘All the saints (true believers) salute you.’ It is noteworthy that no ‘notable’ is separated out. There was no separate hierarchy. They were all ‘brothers and sisters’ in Christ. And he then adds, ‘especially those of Caesar’s household’. This was a bold declaration that even in the wider household of Caesar there were those who acknowledged Jesus Christ. This description would be a wide one and would include soldiers, servants and slaves who directly served Caesar, and wore his ‘uniform’. There would be such in many large cities throughout the empire. It was a reminder that the Kingly Rule of God had even extended over many in Caesar’s household. God was active at the very heart of the empire, and wooing even Caesar’s servants to Himself.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/philippians-4.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

"All the saints" probably refers to the Christians at Rome. Of these, some were employees of the imperial government. [Note: Cf. Robertson, 4:463.] Paul had already referred to the praetorian guards, some of whom had evidently become believers ( Philippians 1:13). Since Philippi as a colony had close ties with Rome, it is likely that some of the Roman Christians had friends in the Philippian church.


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/philippians-4.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Philippians 4:22. All the saints salute you. The greeting of the one church to the other. Though unknown, they were now brethren in Christ, and so could not be without interest in one another. There may have been some considerable degree of connection between the Roman colony and the metropolis, and the earliest members of the churches may have been from the same classes of society, but we have here the salutation of the whole Christian body sent because they had heard of the sister church and her zeal.

especially they that are of Cæsar’s household. We have nothing to guide us to a decision on what persons are here specially meant. The apostle may have been brought into converse with the highest as well as the lowest of the members of the imperial household. Yet it seems likely that the slaves and freedmen would be brought most within his influence, and those of whom he speaks have embraced Christianity. The reason why they specially send a salutation may be that they, more than any others, had heard of all the love which the Philippians felt toward the apostle, and had beheld, in the zeal and affection of Epaphroditus, a manifestation of the regard in which be was held by them. And these converts, brought into closest communion with St. Paul, would have special desire to show their sense of what had been done to give consolation to an affliction, which themselves would see, but could do little to lighten.


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/philippians-4.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Philippians 4:22. μάλιστα. If by this time, as is probable (see Introduction), Paul had been removed from his lodging to one of the state prisons near the palace, it is plain that Christians of the Imperial household would have special opportunities of close intercourse with him.— οἱ ἐκ τῆς κ. οἰκίας. See esp(73). SH(74)., Romans, pp. 418–423, as supplementary to Lightfoot’s important discussion; and also, Riggenbach, Neue Jahrb. f. deutsche Th., 1892, pp. 498–525, Mommsen, Handbuch d. röm. Alterth., ii., 2 (ed. 3), pp. 833–839. SH(75). point out that a number of the names mentioned for salutation in Romans 16. occur in the Corpus of Latin Inscriptions as members of the Imperial household, which seems to have been one of the chief centres of the Christian community at Rome. In the first century A.D. most of the Emperor’s household servants came from the East. Under Claudius and Nero they were people of real importance. And we find, from history, that Christian slaves had great influence over their masters. See Friedländer, Sittengeschichte Roms, i., pp. 70 ff., 74, 110–112.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/philippians-4.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Philippians 4:22 “All the saints salute you, especially they that are of Caesar"s household”

“All the saints salute you”: All the Christians in Rome spend greetings.

“Especially they that are of Caesar’s household”: Probably not members of the imperial family, but those connected with the imperial establishment. Servants and slaves of the emperor. “Caesar’s household”: “This expression is used in the literature to refer both to the highest officials in the Roman government and to the lowest servants in the emperor"s employ. It is likely that Paul is speaking now of Roman soldiers stationed in the barracks, or slaves or freedmen handling the domestic affairs of the emperor, or both” (Hawthorne p. 215). “Especially”: “The reason these are singled out may be to show that the gospel was beginning to penetrate even these loftier circles” (Hawthorne p. 215). Or, since Philippi was a Roman colony, it could be that many members in Philippi knew friends and relatives who were members of the imperial staff. “These may have been soldiers, slaves or freedmen, who, because they have been involved in the service of the emperor in provincial matters for an extended period of time, had come to know many of the believers in the Roman city of Philippi” (Hawthorne p. 216). Hendriksen remarks, “A considerable percentage of those who belonged to Caesar"s household in Rome had come from regions east of Rome” (pp. 212-213). He also notes, “If among the early Christians there were those who belonged to Nero"s ‘household’, today"s government-employees in far more favorable circumstances will have great difficulty when they try to find an excuse for failing to bear witness for Christ” (p. 214).

Erdman points out, “The emperor was Nero. Yet amid all its darkness and superstition and wickedness the gospel of Christ had taken root. There are no conditions over which the power of Christ cannot triumph. To find saints in Caesar"s household may be surprising, yet it should also be remarked that this was the very place where saints were most needed, where heathenism and godlessness are most firmly entrenched, there the true apostle is most eager to have the gospel proclaimed. Where the world is at is worst, there the church should be at its best”.


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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/philippians-4.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

chiefly = specially.

of. App-104.

household. Literally house. Greek. oikia.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/philippians-4.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.

Chiefly (as being nearest me) they that are of Caesar's household - dependents of Nero, probably converted through Paul while a prisoner in the praetorian barrack attached to the palace. Philippi was a Roman 'colony;' hence, there might arise a tie between the citizens of the mother city and those of the colony, especially between those of both cities converted by the same apostle and under like circumstances, he having been imprisoned at Philippi as he now is at Rome.


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/philippians-4.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

All God's people here. He expands this greeting to include all the Christians at Rome. [Saints: see note on 1 Corinthians 6:11.] The Emperor's Palace. The Expositor's Greek Testament says: "SH. point out that a number of the names mentioned for salutation in Romans 16 occur in the Corpus of Latin Inscriptions as members of the Imperial household, which seems to have been one of the chief centers of the Christian community at Rome. In the first century A.D. most of the Emperor's household servants came from the East. Under Claudius and Nero they were people of real importance. And we find, from history, that Christian slaves had great influence over their masters." Traditional history links Seneca, brother of Gallio (Acts 18:12), with Paul. Josephus identifies Nero's wife Poppaea as a Gentile converted to Judaism (proselyte of the gate), and some think she might have become a Christian. We have no way of knowing for sure about this, but Paul cites the Christians in the Emperor's Palace as evidence of his success in his service to Christ.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/philippians-4.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(22) of Cæsar’s household.—The “household of Cæsar” included a multitude of persons of all ages and ranks and occupations. Dr. Lightfoot, in a very interesting excursus on this verse, remarking that these Christians of Cæsar’s household are alluded to as if well known to the Philippians, has examined the various names mentioned in Romans 16. (three years before this time), and finds many of them identical with names actually found in sepulchral inscriptions, as belonging to members of the “domus Augusta,” or imperial household. These were earlier converts; but, wherever St. Paul’s prison was, he can hardly have failed to gain through the prætorians some communication with the household of the emperor, whose body-guard they were; and the allusion here seems to show that for some reason these Christians of Caesar’s household were in an especial familiarity of intercourse with him. Probably, therefore, he had added from that household new converts to Christ; and he mentions this here, as he had before spoken of his bonds being made manifest in the “prætorium” (Philippians 1:13), in order to show the Philippians that his very imprisonment had given special opportunity for the spread of the gospel.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/philippians-4.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household.
the
Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Hebrews 13:24; 1 Peter 5:13; 3 John 1:14
they
1:13
Caesar's
The cruel, worthless, and diabolical Nero was at this time emperor of Rome; but it is not improbable that the empress Poppaea was favourably inclined to Christianity, as Josephus relates that ([theosebes gar

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Philippians 4:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/philippians-4.html.

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