A city of proconsular Macedonia, so called from Philip king of Macedon, who repaired and beautified it; whence it lost its former name of Dathos. It was constituted a Roman "colony" by Augustus, and as such possessed certain peculiar privileges, which made it a "chief city of that part of Macedonia." This expression however, is supposed to mean, in Acts 16:12, that it was the first city the traveler met after landing at its port Neapolis, from which it lay ten miles northwest on an extensive plain. Here was fought the celebrated battle in which Brutus and Cassius were overthrown by Octavius and Antony, B. C. 42.
Here, too, Paul first preached the gospel on the continent of Europe; A. D. 52, having been led hither from Troas by a heavenly vision. The first convert was Lydia; and the church which at one sprang up here was characterized by the distinguished traits of this generous and true-hearted Christian woman. Having cast out a spirit of divination from a young damsel here, Paul and Silas were seized and cruelly scourged and imprisoned. But their bounds were miraculously loosed, their jailer converted, and they permitted to pass on to Amphipolis. Luke appears to have remained here, and to have rejoined Paul when he again visited Philippi on his fifth journey to Jerusalem, A. D. 58, Acts 16:8-40 20:3-6. The site is now strown with ruins.
Paul’s EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS, written during his first imprisonment at Rome, A. D. 62, gratefully and warmly acknowledges the receipt of their gift by the hand of Epaphroditus, and their continued affection towards him; also their irreproachable Christian walk, and their firmness under persecution, Philippians 1:7 4:23 2:12 4:10-15. See also 2 Corinthians 8:1-2.