Philippians 4:22 MEANING

Philippians 4:22
(22) of Caesar's household.--The "household of Caesar" 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 Caesar'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 praetorians 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 "praetorium" (Philippians 1:13), in order to show the Philippians that his very imprisonment had given special opportunity for the spread of the gospel.

Verse 22. - All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. All the Christians at Rome, not only St. Paul's personal friends and companions. It is not clear why he lays a special stress on those belonging to Nero's household. The reason given by Chrysostom seems somewhat fanciful: "If those who dwelt in palaces despised all things for the sake of the King of heaven, much more should the Philippians do so." Some of them may have been known to the Philippian Christians. The term familia or domus Caesaris included all ranks, from the highest official to the lowest freedman or slave. It is probable that those alluded to here belonged to the humbler classes. But at any rate St. Paul's words prove that his preaching had penetrated into that abyss of all infamy, the palace of Nero. (For the Christianity of Seneca, and the supposed correspondence between him and St. Paul see Bishop Lightfoot's dissertation on 'St. Paul and Seneca.' See also his detached note on 'Caesar's Household.')

4:20-23 The apostle ends with praises to God. We should look upon God, under all our weakness and fears, not as an enemy, but as a Father, disposed to pity us and help us. We must give glory to God as a Father. God's grace and favour, which reconciled souls enjoy, with the whole of the graces in us, which flow from it, are all purchased for us by Christ's merit, and applied by his pleading for us; and therefore are justly called the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.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 Jerom (g): 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,

(g) Vid. Fabricii Bibliothec. Latin, p. 69.

Courtesy of Open Bible