|1 ¶ Paul, a prisoner of Jesus
Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and
2 And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house:
3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Philemon This book is the only record we have about this
man. He was apparently from Colossae because it was the home town of Onesimus.
We can only imagine all the Godly communication through the ages of which
we know nothing at all.
2 - Beloved Or "Our sister." (NASB, RSV). Literally, "the sister."
2 - Church in thy house Insight into church facilities. The Greek ekklesia means assembly or church.
2 - Thy house A group of Christians apparently met in his house.
|4 I thank my God, making mention
of thee always in my prayers,
5 Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;
6 That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.
7 For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.
- Kind and tactful words to Philemon.
5 - Hearing Likely from Epaphras or Onesimus (co0107,8; 0412,13).
7 - For I have found great joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of God's people have been, and are, refreshed through you, my brother. (WNT)
7 - Bowels The term literally means the abdomen but was used to mean "feelings" or "emotions" which were considered the seat of "feelings" or "emotions."
|8 ¶ Wherefore, though I might
be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,
9 Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:
11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:
12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:
- Wherefore Paul appeals on the basis of Philemon's true
"love and faith" described in verses 4-7.
10 - Onesimus The name means "useful" although a different word from the one used in the next verse. Onesimus was a runaway slave.
11 - Profitable Or "useful."
12 - And I have sent him back to you in person, that is, sending my very heart.
|13 Whom I would have retained
with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds
of the gospel:
14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.
15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
- I would From boulomai, meaning "to desire." Paul
undoubtedly needed Onesimus but recognized that Philemon had a right to
him according to the culture of the time.
16 - Not ... servant [slave] Great advice for slave owners. We see that Paul is really not supporting the practice.
|17 If thou count me therefore
a partner, receive him as myself.
18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
20 Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
21 Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.
22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
- Put that on mine account The text is clear, showing strong
20 - Bowels As in verse 7.
22 - Lodging ... I shall be given It is thought that Paul later visited Philemon.
|23 There salute thee Epaphras,
my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;
.24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.
25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. <<Written from Rome to Philemon, by Onesimus a servant.>>
|24 - Demas Here we see him as a co-worker. In co0414 he is mentioned among those sending greetings. Finally, in 2ti0410 he has turned back to the world – a pattern we must pray for determination and grace to resist.|
images © 1997