For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Socrates in prison in Athens, as Paul was in Rome, unjustly accused, too, as he was, a good teacher further, according to his light, though a despised and rejected one, was sustained by the consciousness that no crime had been his, by the thought, also, that his suffering and death were of God's will. But among his last words, before the hemlock bowl had done its work, was this saddest saying to his friends: "It is now time to depart: — for me to die — for you to live — but which of us is going to a better thing, is uncertain to every one except only to the Deity." These words are not unlike those of Paul, but nothing of Paul's hope and assurance glows within them. All is gloomy uncertainty, if not even despair. There is nothing said of gain, and where it is to be found.
(J. Hutchinson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.