38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed.
39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city.
40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left."
Paul teaches a lesson
to the rulers of Philippi
Paul refused to take his freedom and run! He wanted to teach the rulers in Philippi a lesson and to protect the other believers from the treatment he and Silas had received. The word would spread that Paul and Silas had been found innocent and freed by the leaders, expressing the truth that believers should not be persecuted - especially if they were Roman citizens.
You see Roman citizenship carried with it certain privileges. These Philippian authorities were alarmed because it was illegal to whip a Roman citizen. In addiiton, every citizen had the right to a fair trial - which Paul and Silas had not been given!