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4:17 But the Lord stood by me. Paul had learned long ago that he could always depend upon the One who had commissioned him (2 Cor. 12:9, 10; Phil. 4:11–13).
the message might be fully proclaimed. This probably refers to Paul’s proclamation of the gospel at his preliminary hearing.
all the Gentiles might hear. Paul had preached the gospel in a public forum at the center of the Roman Empire.
rescued from the lion’s mouth. A metaphor for a narrow escape from death. Paul’s preliminary hearing has resulted in a temporary reprieve.