Philemon 1:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.

New Living Translation
I appeal to you to show kindness to my child, Onesimus. I became his father in the faith while here in prison.

English Standard Version
I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I became in my imprisonment.

Berean Study Bible
I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whose father I became while I was in chains.

Berean Literal Bible
I exhort you for my child whom I have begotten in chains, Onesimus,

New American Standard Bible
I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment,

King James Bible
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
appeal to you for my son, Onesimus. I fathered him while I was in chains.

International Standard Version
appeal to you on behalf of my child Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment.

NET Bible
I am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, Onesimus,

New Heart English Bible
I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I beg of you concerning my son Onesimus, whom I begot in my bondage,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
appeal to you for my child Onesimus [Useful]. I became his spiritual father here in prison.

New American Standard 1977
I appeal to you for my child, whom I have begotten in my imprisonment, Onesimus,

Jubilee Bible 2000
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds,

King James 2000 Bible
I beseech you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

American King James Version
I beseech you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

American Standard Version
I beseech thee for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus,

Douay-Rheims Bible
I beseech thee for my son, whom I have begotten in my bands, Onesimus,

Darby Bible Translation
I exhort thee for my child, whom I have begotten in [my] bonds, Onesimus,

English Revised Version
I beseech thee for my child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus,

Webster's Bible Translation
I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

Weymouth New Testament
I entreat you on behalf of my own child whose father I have become while in my chains--I mean Onesimus.

World English Bible
I beg you for my child, whom I have become the father of in my chains, Onesimus,

Young's Literal Translation
I entreat thee concerning my child -- whom I did beget in my bonds -- Onesimus,
Study Bible
Paul's Appeal for Onesimus
9I prefer to appeal on the basis of love. For I, Paul, am now aged, and a prisoner of Christ Jesus as well. 10I appeal to you for my child Onesimus, whose father I became while I was in chains. 11Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.…
Cross References
Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

1 Corinthians 4:14
I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.

1 Corinthians 4:15
Even if you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.

Colossians 4:9
With him I am sending Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you about everything here.

Philemon 1:11
Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

Philemon 1:13
I would have liked to keep him with me, so that on your behalf he could minister to me in my chains for the gospel.

3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

I beseech you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

my son.

2 Samuel 9:1-7 And David said, Is there yet any that is left of the house of Saul, …

2 Samuel 18:5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently …

2 Samuel 19:37,38 Let your servant, I pray you, turn back again, that I may die in …

Mark 9:17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought …

1 Timothy 1:2 To Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from …

Titus 1:4 To Titus, my own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, …

Onesimus.

Colossians 4:9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. …

whom.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have …

Galatians 4:19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ …

(10) My son.--Properly, my own child, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus. The name is withheld, till Philemon's interest is doubly engaged, for one who is the Apostle's "own child" (a name of endearment given elsewhere only to Timothy and Titus), and for one who was begotten under the hardships and hindrances of imprisonment. At last the name is given, and even then comes, in the same breath, the declaration of the change in him from past uselessness to present usefulness, both to the Apostle and to his former master.

Onesimus.--Of Onesimus we know absolutely nothing, except what we read here and in Colossians 4:9. Tradition, of course, is busy with his name, and makes him Bishop of Bera, in Macedonia, or identifies him with the Onesimus, Bishop of Ephesus, mentioned in the Ignatian Epistle to the Ephesians (Ephesians 1:2-6). The name was a common one, especially among slaves.

Verse 10. - I beseech thee for my son ... Onesimus; my child (Revised Version). The name of Onesimus could not have been a pleasing one in the ears of Philemon. Note with what caution and almost timidity it is at length introduced. He does not interpose for the ingrate with apostolic dignity, but pleads for him with fatherly love. He puts himself side by side with him, and calls him his son. Some of the old commentators conclude, from Colossians 4:9, that Onesimus was a native of Colossae, and thence discuss whether he could have been a slave born in Philemon's house of a slave-mother, or whether he was sold in his youth by his father - a custom so common to the Phrygians (as to the Circassians in later times) as to have been noticed by Cicero. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus,.... Now he comes to the request itself, and mentions by name the person on whose account he makes it, and whom he calls his son; not merely because of his affection to him, but because he really was his spiritual father; he had been the happy instrument of his conversion, and he was his son according to the common faith, or in a spiritual sense: hence it follows,

whom I have begotten in my bonds: which is to be understood of a begetting again, or of regeneration; not as if the apostle was the efficient cause of it, as the nature of it shows, it being expressed by men's being born from above; by their being quickened, when dead in trespasses and sins; by being made new creatures, and transformed in the renewing of their minds; by Christ being formed in them, and by a partaking of the divine nature; and who is sufficient for these things? besides it is expressly denied to be of man, but is always ascribed to God, Father, Son, and Spirit; but as being the instrument and means of it, through the preaching of the Gospel, the word of truth, by which God of his own will, and by the power of his grace, regenerated this person; and this is said to be done "in his bonds": by which it appears, that the word of God was not bound, but had a free course, and was glorified, and the bonds of the apostle were the means of the spread of it; and that it was attended with great power, to the conversion of souls: and this circumstance is mentioned to engage Philemon to regard the entreaty of the apostle; he had been the instrument of begetting many souls to Christ; but this man was begotten by him in his bonds, when he was a prisoner, and so was peculiarly dear to him. 10. I beseech thee—emphatically repeated from Phm 9. In the Greek, the name "Onesimus" is skilfully put last, he puts first a favorable description of him before he mentions the name that had fallen into so bad repute with Philemon. "I beseech thee for my son, whom I have begotten in my bonds, Onesimus." Scripture does not sanction slavery, but at the same time does not begin a political crusade against it. It sets forth principles of love to our fellow men which were sure (as they have done) in due time to undermine and overthrow it, without violently convulsing the then existing political fabric, by stirring up slaves against their masters.1:8-14 It does not lower any one to condescend, and sometimes even to beseech, where, in strictness of right, we might command: the apostle argues from love, rather than authority, in behalf of one converted through his means; and this was Onesimus. In allusion to that name, which signifies profitable, the apostle allows that in time past he had been unprofitable to Philemon, but hastens to mention the change by which he had become profitable. Unholy persons are unprofitable; they answer not the great end of their being. But what happy changes conversion makes! of evil, good; of unprofitable, useful. Religious servants are treasures in a family. Such will make conscience of their time and trusts, and manage all they can for the best. No prospect of usefulness should lead any to neglect their obligations, or to fail in obedience to superiors. One great evidence of true repentance consists in returning to practise the duties which have been neglected. In his unconverted state, Onesimus had withdrawn, to his master's injury; but now he had seen his sin and repented, he was willing and desirous to return to his duty. Little do men know for what purposes the Lord leaves some to change their situations, or engage in undertakings, perhaps from evil motives. Had not the Lord overruled some of our ungodly projects, we may reflect upon cases, in which our destruction must have been sure.
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