For which I am an ambassador in bonds - In chains (see the margin); or in confinement. There is something especially touching in this. He was "an ambassador" - sent to proclaim peace to a lost world. But he was now in chains. An ambassador is a sacred character. No greater affront can be given to a nation than to put its ambassadors to death, or even to throw them into prison. But Paul says here that the unusual spectacle was witnessed of an ambassador seized, bound, confined, imprisoned; an ambassador who ought to have the privileges conceded to all such people, and to be permitted to go everywhere publishing the terms of mercy and salvation. See the word "ambassador" explained in the notes on II Corinthians 5:20.
That therein - Margin, or "thereof." Greek, ̓ ̓͂ͅ en autō - "in it;" that is, says Rosenmuller, in the gospel. It means that in speaking the gospel he might be bold.
I may speak boldly - Openly, plainly, without fear; see the notes on Acts 4:13; Acts 9:27, note; Acts 13:46, note; Acts 14:3, note; Acts 18:26, note; Acts 19:8, note; Acts 26:26, note.
As I ought to speak - Whether in bonds or at large. Paul felt that the gospel ought always to be Spoken with plainness, and without the fear of man. It is remarkable that he did not ask them to pray that he might be released. "Why" he did not we do not know; but perhaps the desire of release did not lie so near his heart as the duty of speaking the gospel with boldness It may be of much more importance that we perform our duty aright when we are afflicted, or are in trouble, than that we should be released.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing Ephesians 6:20:
2 Timothy 1:8
2 Timothy 2:9
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