Philippi was a Roman colony, and the chief city of one part of
Macedonia, \\#Ac 16:12\\, it is by Appianus called Datos which was its
original name; and by Diodorus Siculus it is called Crenidae {a},
from, the fountains about it; and it took its name Philippi, from
Philip king of Macedon, father of Alexander the great, who rebuilt
and fortified it; near this place a famous battle was fought, and a
victory obtained by Augustus Caesar and Mark Antony, over Brutus and
Cassius; it is now called Chrixopolis, properly Chrysopolis, from
the plenty of golden mines near it: here the apostle was directed by
a vision, to go and preach the Gospel; and which was succeeded, to
the conversion of Lydia, and the jailer, and their families; which
laid the foundation of a Gospel church in this place, to whom this
epistle is written; and which was written by the apostle when he was
a prisoner at Rome, as many things in it show; for he more than once
makes mention of his bonds, and of these being made manifest in
Caesar's palace, and of some of Caesar's household sending their
Christian salutations to this church: Dr. Hammond makes the date of
this epistle to be the year 59, and Dr. Lightfoot places it in the
year 60, and the sixth of Nero; the occasion of it was this, the
Philippians, to whom the apostle was very dear, he being the first
preacher of the Gospel to them, and the instrument of their
conversion, hearing that he was a prisoner at Rome, send their
minister and pastor Epaphroditus to him, to visit him, and by him a
present to support him under his afflicted circumstances, and who
related to him the case of this church; and at his departure he sent
by him this letter; the design of which is, to express his love and
affection to them; to give them an account of his bonds, and the
usefulness of them, and how he was supported under them; to
encourage them under all the afflictions and persecutions, they
endured for the sake of Christ; to excite them to love, unity, and
peace, among themselves; to caution them against false teachers,
judaizing Christians, that were for joining Moses and Christ, law
and Gospel, works and grace together, in the business of salvation;
to exhort them to a holy life and conversation, and to return them
thanks for their kind present.

{a} Vid. Ptolom. Geograph. l. 3. c. 13.


This chapter contains the inscription of the epistle; the apostle's
salutation of the Philippians; an account of his thanksgivings,
prayers, and affection for them, and confidence of them; a narrative
of his sufferings, and the use of them; and an exhortation to a
conversation becoming the Gospel, to abide by it, and suffer
cheerfully for it. The inscription is in \\#Php 1:1\\, in which are
mentioned by name the persons that subscribed the epistle, Paul and
Timothy; and who are described by their character, servants of Jesus
Christ; and also the persons to whom the epistle was sent, by the
place of their abode, Philippi; the members of the church by their
general character, saints in Christ Jesus; and the officers of it,
by those that are peculiar to them as such, bishops and deacons: the
salutation is in \\#Php 1:2\\, and then follows a thanksgiving for them
to God, which was made in prayer, and upon every remembrance of them
at the throne of grace, and that for their constant fellowship in
the Gospel, \\#Php 1:3-5\\, and the apostle expresses his strong
confidence of the good work of grace being begun in them, and of the
performance of it, until the day of Christ; grounded upon a judgment
of charity, and a belief of their being partakers of the same grace
with himself, \\#Php 1:6,7\\, and declares the most tender and
affectionate love to them, for the truth of which he calls God to
witness, \\#Php 1:8\\, and as a proof of it, puts up several petitions
for them; that they might have an increase of love, and spiritual
knowledge, judgment, and sense, that so they might be capable of
trying and approving things that differ, and which are the most
excellent of them; that they might be sincere and harmless in their
lives, and always doing good works in the strength of Christ, and to
the glory of God, \\#Php 1:9-11\\, next follows an account of his bonds
and imprisonment, and the usefulness of them, as that they were for
the further spread of the Gospel in many places, and even in
Caesar's palace, \\#Php 1:12,13\\, yea, by means of them several of the
ministering brethren were the more emboldened to preach the Gospel
without fear of men; though there was a difference among them, some
preached Christ of envy, strife, and contention, thinking to add to
the apostle's troubles, and others, of good will, and of love to the
apostle, who they knew was set for the defence of the Gospel,
\\#Php 1:14-17\\, upon all which the apostle gives his sentiments, and
makes his reflections, that whatever were the views of some men in
preaching, it was, and ever would be, constant matter of joy to him
that Christ was preached, \\#Php 1:18\\, yea, he was satisfied, that the
ill designed by some to him would be overruled for his good, by
means of the prayers of the saints, and the supply of the Spirit;
for he had a pure and well grounded hope and expectation, that he
should never be brought to shame and confusion, but that Christ
would be magnified in him living and dying; for he knew that both
his life, and his death, would be gain to Christ, or that it would
be for the glory of Christ for him to live, and his own gain should
he die, \\#Php 1:19-21\\, which put him in a strait what was most
eligible in this case, whether, to live in the flesh, or depart out
of the world; seeing to live in the flesh, and labour in the
ministry, were fruitful and profitable, and more necessary and
useful for the churches of Christ, and to die, and be with Christ,
were better for himself, \\#Php 1:22-24\\, but upon maturely weighing
things on both sides, like one of a truly noble public spirit, he
inclines to the former; nay, is persuaded, that he should continue
longer to be an instrument of increasing the faith and joy of the
Lord's people, which he knew would abound in Christ on his account,
should he be restored again, \\#Php 1:25,26\\, and then he concludes
the chapter with an exhortation to the Philippians, to order their
conversation agreeably to the Gospel of Christ, and to continue firm
and unanimous in it, and use their utmost endeavours to keep it
themselves, and spread it among others, \\#Php 1:27\\, being not daunted
and intimidated by the persecutions of men, which to the persecutors
was a sign of perdition, looked darkly, and with an ill aspect upon
them, but to the persecuted was a token that they had an interest in
that salvation which is of God, \\#Php 1:28\\, for as it is a gift of
grace to believe in Christ, so likewise to suffer for him, \\#Php 1:29\\,
to which the apostle animates them by his own example, that which they
were called unto being no other than what they had seen endured by him,
and had heard concerning high, \\#Php 1:30\\.