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Paul's Letters - When And Where Written

There can be little doubt that this letter was written from the prison house in Rome. He refers to the Praetorian guard (1:13) and to Caesar's household (4:22). It was written in the hope of an early decision by the Emperor as to his appeal, and his earnest hope and expectation was, that whatever the decision might be, for life or death, Christ should be magnified (1:20).

The saints in Philippi had shared with the apostle in the spread of the gospel, and their generosity towards him was manifest from the outset (4.15,16). They had sent a gift to Paul in the prison in Rome by the hand of Epaphroditus whom the apostle refers to as "my brother, and fellow-worker and fellow-soldier". Unfortunately, Epaphroditus became seriously ill in Rome, and his life was despaired of. However, "God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also, that I might not have sorrow upon sorrow (2:27).

In these circumstances, Paul wrote this delightful letter, and apparently sent it to the saints, overseers and deacons at Philippi by the hand of Epaphroditus. In his final salutation he does not single out individuals, but says, "Salute every saint in Christ Jesus". One's mind runs to such generous people as Lydia, the seller of purple, the unnamed jailor, Euodia, Syntyche and Clement.