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So that it has become known throughout the whole praetorian guard, and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. (Philippians 1:13)
Paul starts to give some examples of how his imprisonment had not impeded the spread of the gospel. Paul had been imprisoned for up to two years at the time of this writing.
At this time, Paul was chained to a Roman Guard at the Praetorian. The Praetorian Guard was Caesar’s own protective and personal military detachment. They were in and out of Caesar’s household, thus having access to much high-level personnel in the Roman government.
Imagine the changing of the Guard (every four hours), and Paul would be chained to a new “captive audience” to the message of the gospel. We can almost imagine that many probably looked forward to getting away from this messenger in bonds. Many came to know Jesus as their Savior and took the message even inside Caesar’s own home.
Paul had been commissioned by God “to take my name to Gentiles, kings, and the Israelites.” He largely had taken the gospel to the common people up to his imprisonment. Now, God had placed him where he could get the message to the highest authorities in Rome.
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So that my imprisonment is for Christ. The apostle Paul was imprisoned for his preaching about Christ. (See Eph. 6:20) His suffering was the result of his love and godly devotion to Jesus. Paul had committed no crimes, merely imprisoned for the sake of being a Christian. If he had not been a Christian or had denounced Christ, he would have been released immediately. “When we came into Rome, Paul was allowed to stay by himself, with the soldier who guarded him.” (Acts 28:16) They did not place him in some dungeon. The only thing he was lacking was his freedom to come and go as he pleased. His being chained to a guard night and day was surely no way to spend one’s life, though. He would have had different guards with him at all times, hearing his every word, seeing his every movement. The feeling of never being alone for two years, having to seek permission to do anything from a man that likely at first was reluctant to grant permission.
That it has become known. The real reason behind Paul’s imprisonment has become known, which has brought him understanding and mercy. Many now know it is not for some crime but simply for his religious views, in a Roman society that allows for different views. People are now beginning to discover that he is innocent, and the charges are a concoction of lies. Moreover, Paul being Paul, he has been able to give these people a good feeling regarding Christianity. Paul must have felt much relief and brought much relief to Christians throughout the Roman Empire, as so many discovered that he was falsely accused. This would have also laid the groundwork for others to be more receptive to the gospel, more apt to listen to him. Almost all can empathize with being wrongly accused.
Throughout the whole praetorian guard. This word (πραιτώριον praitōrion) properly denotes the group of people dwelling in the Praetorium, both soldier and staff. Clinton E. Arnold writes, “The phrase ‘palace guard’ translates the Latin loanword praetorium, which literally means ‘military headquarters.’ Paul gives the word a figurative meaning: ‘the people who work in the praetorium.’ If he wrote from Rome [Paul did write from Rome], he probably meant ‘the praetorian [or palace] guard.’ If he wrote from Ephesus, he meant the staff who worked in the governor’s headquarters, where he was imprisoned. News of the advancement of the gospel among the praetorians in Rome would have been especially welcome to the Philippians. Since during Paul’s time the praetorians were required to come either from Italy itself or from Rome’s most sympathetic colonies, some of them may have come from Philippi. The Philippian Christians knew about them and, in the midst of their own experience of persecution, must have been cheered by the news that the gospel had even advanced to this elite enclave of the Roman world.”
Craig S. Keener rightly observes, “Some commentators have suggested that ‘palace’ or ‘praetorium’ here may refer to a provincial governor’s residence, such as the place of Paul’s detention in Caesarea (Acts 23:35); Paul was often detained (2 Cor 11:23), and a detention in Asia or in Syria-Palestine would clarify the presence of so many helpers in Colossians 4:10-15. Others, taking ‘Caesar’s household’ (4:22) literally, think that ‘praetorium’ here refers to detention in Rome by the ‘praetorian guard’ (NASB), as in Acts 28:16; the centrality of Rome in the empire attracted many people, which could account for the presence of the ministers in Colossians 4:10-15. No army was allowed in Italy, but the Praetorian Guard consisted of several thousand free Italian soldiers in twelve cohorts of as many as a thousand each. They were the emperor’s elite bodyguard under the praetorian prefect. Viewed as clients of the emperor (thus part of his extended household), they were kept loyal with the highest pay in the Roman military; they were also kept loyal by the leadership of a prefect who could never legally become emperor (being a knight rather than a senator).” (Keener, 1993, pp. 558-559)
And to all the rest. This means all other places. So, it would then mean that his being innocent was not limited to the Praetorium alone. It is extended far and wide meant the gospel and Christianity were getting rebranded in the minds of some that may have had a mistaken impression. This would have brought much comfort to Paul and the Philippian Christians. In 1:14, Paul then describes another accomplishment resulting from his imprisonment.
 Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown, A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments – Volume 3, Vol. 3 (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 2008). Note on page 426.
 See Philippians 4:22
 Clinton E. Arnold, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Romans to Philemon., vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 351.
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