on Acts 28 :30
Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house - As a state prisoner, he might have had an apartment in the common prison; but peculiar favor was showed him, and he was permitted to dwell alone, with the soldier that guarded him, Acts 28:16. Finding now an opportunity of preaching the Gospel, he hired a house for the purpose, and paid for it, St. Chrysostom observes, by the fruits of his own labor. Here he received all that came unto him, and preached the Gospel with glorious success; so that his bonds became the means of spreading the truth, and he became celebrated even in the palace of Nero, Philippians 1:12, Philippians 1:13; and we find that there were several saints, even in Caesar's household, Philippians 4:22, which were, no doubt, the fruits of the apostle's ministry. It is said that during his two years' residence here he became acquainted with Seneca, the philosopher, between whom and the apostle an epistolary correspondence took place. In an ancient MS. of Seneca's epistles in my own possession, these letters are extant, and are in number fourteen and have a prologue to them written by St. Jerome. That they are very ancient cannot be doubted; but learned men have long ago agreed that they are neither worthy of Paul nor of Seneca.
While he was in captivity, the Church at Philippi, to which he was exceedingly dear, sent him some pecuniary assistance by the hands of their minister, Epaphroditus, who, it appears, risked his life in the service of the apostle, and was taken with a dangerous malady. When he got well, he returned to Philippi, and, it is supposed, carried with him that epistle which is still extant; and from it we learn that Timothy was then at Rome with Paul, and that he had the prospect of being shortly delivered from his captivity. See Philippians 1:12, Philippians 1:13; Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:15, Philippians 4:16, Philippians 4:18, etc.
on Acts 28 :30
Paul dwelt two whole years - Doubtless in the custody of the soldiers. Why he was not prosecuted before the emperor during this time is not known. It is evident, however Acts 28:21, that the Jews were not disposed to carry the case before Nero, and the matter, during this time, was suffered quietly to sleep. There is great probability that the Jews did not dare to prosecute him before the emperor. It is clear that they had never been in favor of the appeal to Rome, and that they had no hope of gaining their cause. Probably they might remember the former treatment of their people by the emperor (see the notes on Acts 18:2); they might remember that they were despised at the Roman capital, and not choose to encounter the scorn and indignation of the Roman court; and as there was no prosecution, Paul was suffered to live in quietness and safety. Lardner, however, supposed (vol. v. p. 528, 529, ed. 8vo, London, 1829) that the case of Paul was soon brought before Nero and decided, and that the method of confinement was ordered by the emperor himself. Lightfoot also supposes that Paul's "accusers, who had come from Judea to lay their charge against him, would be urgent to get their business despatched, that they might be returning to their own home again, and so would bring him to trial as soon as they could." But nothing certainly is known on the subject. It is evident, indeed, from 2 Timothy 4:16, that he was at some time arraigned before the emperor; but when it was, or what was the decision or why he was at last set at liberty, are all involved in impenetrable obscurity.
In his own hired house - In a house which he was permitted to hire and occupy as his own. Probably in this he was assisted by the kindness of his Roman friends.
And received all ... - Received all hospitably and kindly who came to him to listen to his instructions. It is evident from this that he was still a prisoner, and was not permitted to go at large.
on Acts 28 :30