16:1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.
7. Andronicus and Junia—or, as it might be, "Junias," a contracted form of "Junianus"; in this case, it is a man's name. But if, as is more probable, the word be, as in our version, "Junia," the person meant was no doubt either the wife or the sister of Andronicus.
my kinsmen—or, "relatives."
and my fellow prisoners—on what occasion, it is impossible to say, as the apostle elsewhere tells us that he was "in prisons more frequent" (2Co 11:23).
which are of note among the apostles—Those who think the word "apostle" is used in a lax sense, in the Acts and Epistles, take this to mean "noted apostles" [Chrysostom, Luther, Calvin, Bengel, Olshausen, Tholuck, Alford, Jowett]; others, who are not clear that the word "apostle" is applied to any without the circle of the Twelve, save where the connection or some qualifying words show that the literal meaning of "one sent" is the thing intended, understand by the expression used here, "persons esteemed by the apostles" [Beza, Grotius, De Wette, Meyer, Fritzsche, Stuart, Philippi, Hodge]. And of course, if "Junia" is to be taken for a woman, this latter must be the meaning.
who also were in Christ before me—The apostle writes as if he envied them this priority in the faith. And, indeed, if to be "in Christ" be the most enviable human condition, the earlier the date of this blessed translation, the greater the grace of it. This latter statement about Andronicus and Junia seems to throw some light on the preceding one. Very possibly they may have been among the first-fruits of Peter's labors, gained to Christ either on the day of Pentecost or on some of the succeeding days. In that case they may have attracted the special esteem of those apostles who for some time resided chiefly at Jerusalem and its neighborhood; and our apostle, though he came late in contact with the other apostles, if he was aware of this fact, would have pleasure in alluding to it.