Philemon 1:20
Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(20) Let me have joy of thee.—Properly, may I have pleasure, or profit, from thee: a phrase used especially of the mingled pleasure and help derived from children. (See Dr. Lightfoot’s Note on this passage.) The word “I” is emphatic. St. Paul puts himself forward to plead for Onesimus, what he himself could not plead. Nor can it be accidental that the word “profit” is the root of the name Onesimus. St. Paul says, in effect, “May I find thee (as I have found him) a true Onesimus.”



Philemon 1:20-25 {R.V.}

WE have already had occasion to point out that Paul’s pleading with Philemon, and the motives which he adduces, are expressions, on a lower level, of the greatest principles of Christian ethics. If the closing salutations be left out of sight for the moment, there are here three verses, each containing a thought which needs only to be cast into its most general form to show itself as a large Christian truth.

I. Verse 20 gives the final moving form of the Apostle’s request.

Onesimus disappears, and the final plea is based altogether on the fact that compliance will pleasure and help Paul. There is but the faintest gleam of a possible allusion to the former in the use of the verb from which the name Onesimus is derived - "Let me have have help of thee"; as if he had said, "Be you an Onesimus, a helpful one to me, as I trust he is going to be to you."

"Refresh my heart" points back to v. 7, "The hearts of the saints have been refreshed by thee" and lightly suggests that Philemon should do for Paul what he had done for many others. But the Apostle does not merely ask help and refreshing; he desires that they should be of a right Christian sort "In Christ" is very significant. If Philemon receives his slave for Christ’s sake and in the strength of that communion with Christ which fits for all virtue, and so for this good deed - a deed which is of too high and rare a strain of goodness for his unaided nature, - then "in Christ" he will be helpful to the Apostle. In that case the phrase expresses the element or sphere in which the act is done. But it may apply rather, or even also, to Paul, and then it expresses the element or sphere in which he is helped and refreshed. In communion with Jesus, taught and inspired by Him, the Apostle is brought to such true and tender sympathy with the runaway that his heart is refreshed, as by a cup of cold water, by kindness shown to him. Such keen sympathy is as much beyond the reach of nature as Philemon’s kindness would be. Both are "in Christ." Union with Him refines selfishness, and makes men quick to feel another’s sorrows and joys as theirs, after the pattern of Him who makes the case of God’s fugitives His own. It makes them easy to be entreated and ready to forgive. So to be in Him is to be sympathetic like Paul, and placable « as He would have Onesimus. "In Christ" carries in it the secret of all sweet humanities and beneficence, is the spell which calls out fairest charity, and is the only victorious antagonist of harshness and selfishness.

The request for the sake of which the whole letter is written is here put as a kindness to Paul himself, and thus an entirely different motive is appealed to. "Surely you would be glad to give me pleasure. Then do this thing which I ask you." It is permissible to seek to draw to virtuous acts by such a motive, and to reinforce higher reasons by the desire to please dear ones, or to win the approbation of the wise and good. It must be rigidly kept as a subsidiary motive, and distinguished from the mere love of applause. Most men have some one whose opinion of their acts is a kind of embodied conscience, and whose satisfaction is reward. But pleasing the dearest and purest among men can never be more than at most a crutch to help lameness or a spur to stimulate.

If however this motive be lifted to the higher level, and these words thought of as Paul’s echo of Christ’s appeal to those who love Him, they beautifully express the peculiar blessedness of Christian ethics. The strongest motive, the very mainspring and pulsing heart of Christian duty, is to please Christ. His language to His followers is not, "Do this because it is right," but, "Do this because it pleaseth Me," They have a living Person to gratify, not a mere law of duty to obey. The help which is given to weakness by the hope of winning golden opinions from, or giving pleasure to, those whom men love is transferred in the Christian relation to Jesus. So the cold thought of duty is warmed, and the weight of obedience to a stony, impersonal law is lightened, and a new power is enlisted on the side of goodness, which sways more mightily than all the abstractions of duty. The Christ Himself makes His appeal to men in the same tender fashion as Paul to Philemon. He will move to holy obedience by the thought - wonderful as it is - that it gladdens Him. Many a weak heart has been braced and made capable of heroisms of endurance and effort, and of angel deeds of mercy, all beyond its own strength, by that great thought, "We labour that, whether present or absent, we may be well-pleasing to Him."

II. Verse 21 exhibits love commanding, in the confidence of love obeying.

"Having confidence in thine obedience I write unto thee, knowing that thou wilt do even beyond what I say." In v. 8 the Apostle had waived his right to enjoin, because he had rather speak the speech of love, and request. But here, with the slightest possible touch, he just lets the note of authority sound for a single moment, and then passes into the old music of affection and trust. He but names the word "obedience," and that in such a way as to present it as the child of love, and the privilege of his friend. He trusts Philemon’s obedience, because he knows his love, and is sure that it is love of such a sort as will not stand on the exact measure, but will delight in giving it "pressed down and running over."

What could he mean by "do more than I say"? Was he hinting at emancipation, which he would rather have to come from Philemon’s own sense of what was due to the slave who was now a brother, than be granted, perhaps hesitatingly, in deference to his request? Possibly, but more probably he had no definite thing in his mind, but only desired to express his loving confidence in his friend’s willingness to please him. Commands given in such a tone, where authority audibly trusts the subordinate, are far more likely to be obeyed than if they were shouted with the hoarse voice of a drill-sergeant. Men will do much to fulfill generous expectations. Even debased natures will respond to such appeal; and if they see that good is expected from them, that will go far to evoke it Some masters have always good servants, and part of the "secret is that they trust them to obey." England expects "fulfilled itself. When love enjoins there should be trust in its tones. It will act like a magnet to draw reluctant feet into the path of duty. A will which mere authority could not bend like iron when cold; - may be made flexible when warmed by this gentle heat. If parents oftener let their children feel that they had confidence in their obedience, they would seldomer have to complain of their disobedience.

Christ’s commands follow, or rather set, this pattern. He trusts His servants, and speaks to them in a voice softened and confiding. He tells them His wish, and commits Himself and His cause to His disciples’ love.

Obedience beyond the strict limits of command will always be given by love. It is a poor, grudging service which weighs obedience as a chemist does some precious medicine, and is careful that not the hundredth part of a grain more than the prescribed amount shall be doled out A hired workman will fling down his lifted trowel full of mortar at the firs’ stroke of the clock, though it would be easier to lay it on the bricks; but where affection moves the hand, it is delight to add something over and above to bare duty. The artist who loves his work; put many a touch on it beyond the minimum which will fulfil his contract. Those who adequately feel the power of Christian motives will not be anxious to find the least that they durst, but the most that they can do. If obvious duty requires them to go a mile, they will rather go two, than be scrupulous to stop as soon as they see the milestone. A child who is always trying to find out how little would satisfy his father cannot have much love. Obedience to Christ is joy, peace, love. The grudging servants are limiting their possession of these, by limiting their active surrender of themselves. They seem to be afraid of having too much of these blessings. A heart truly touched by the love of Jesus Christ will not seek to know the lowest limit of duty, but the highest possibility of service.

"Give all thou canst; high heaven rejects the lore

Of nicely calculated less or more."

III. Verse 22 may be summed up as the language of love, hoping for reunion.

"Withal prepare me a lodging: for I hope that through your prayers I shall be granted unto you." We do not know whether the Apostle’s expectation was fulfilled. Believing that he was set free from his first imprisonment, and that his second was separated from it by a considerable interval, during which he visited Macedonia and Asia Minor, we have yet nothing to show whether or not he reached Colossae; but whether fulfilled or not, the expectation of meeting would tend to secure compliance with his request, and would be all the more likely to do so, for the very delicacy with which it is stated, so as not to seem to be mentioned for the sake of adding force to his intercession.

The limits of Paul’s expectation as to the power of his brethren’s prayers for temporal blessings are worth noting. He does believe that these good people in Colosse could help him by prayer for his liberation, but he does not believe that their prayer will certainly be heard. In some circles much is said now about "the prayer of faith" - a phrase which, singularly enough, is in such cases almost confined to prayers for external blessings, - and about its power to bring money for work which the person praying believes to be desirable, or to send away diseases. But surely there can be no "faith" without a definite Divine word to lay hold of. Faith and God’s promise are correlative; and unless a man has God’s plain promise that A. B. will be cured by his prayer, the belief that he will is not faith, but something deserving a much less noble name. The prayer of faith is not forcing our wills on God, but bending our wills to God’s, The prayer which Christ has taught in regard to all outward things is, "Not my will but Thine be done," and, "May Thy will become mine." That is the prayer of faith, which is always answered. The Church prayed for Peter, and he was delivered; the Church, no doubt, prayed for Stephen, and he was stoned. Was then the prayer for him refused? Not so, but if it were prayer at all, the inmost meaning of it was "be it as Thou wilt"; and that was accepted and answered. Petitions for outward blessings, whether for the petitioner or for others, are to be presented with submission; and the highest confidence which can be entertained concerning them is that which Paul here expresses: "I hope that through your prayers I shall be set free."

The prospect of meeting enhances the force of the Apostle’s wish; nor are Christians without an analogous motive to give weight to their obligations to their Lord. Just as Paul quickened Philemon’s loving wish to serve him by the thought that he might have the gladness of seeing him before long, so Christ quickens His servant’s diligence by the thought that before very many days He will come, or they will go - at any rate, they will be with Him - and He will see what they have been doing in His absence. Such a prospect should increase diligence, and should not inspire terror. It is a mark of true Christians that they "love His appearing." Their hearts should glow at the hope of meeting. That hope should make work happier and lighter. When a husband has been away at sea, the prospect of his return makes the wife sing at her work, and take more pains or rather pleasure with it, because his eye is to see it. So should it be with the bride in the prospect of her bridegroom’s return. The Church should not be driven to unwelcome duties by the fear of a strict judgment, but drawn to large, cheerful service, by the hope of spreading her work before her returning Lord.

Thus, on the whole, in this letter, the central springs of Christian service are touched, and the motives used to sway Philemon are the echo of the motives which Christ uses to sway men. The keynote of all is love. Love beseeches when it might command. To love we owe our own selves beside. Love will do nothing without the glad consent of him to whom it speaks, and cares for no service which IS of necessity. Its finest wine is not made from juice which is pressed out of the grapes, but from that which flows from them for very ripeness. Love identifies itself with those who need its help, and treats kindnesses to them as done to itself. Love finds joy and heart solace in willing, though it be imperfect, service. Love expects more than it asks. Love hopes for reunion, and by the hope makes its wish more weighty. These arc the points of Paul’s pleading with Philemon, Are they not the elements of Christ’s pleading with His friends.’

He too prefers the tone of friendship to that of authority. To Him His servants owe themselves, and remain for ever in His debt, after all payment of reverence and thankful self-surrender. He does not count constrained service as service at all, and has only volunteers in His army. He makes Himself one with the needy, and counts kindness to the least as done to Him. He binds Himself to repay and overpay all sacrifice in His service. He finds delight in His people’s work. He asks them to prepare an abode for Him in their own hearts, and in souls opened by their agency for His entrance. He has gone to prepare a mansion for them, and He comes to receive account of their obedience and to crown their poor deeds. It is impossible to suppose that Paul’s pleading for Philemon failed. How much less powerful is Christ’s, even with those who love Him best."

IV. The parting greetings may be very briefly considered, for much that would have naturally been said about them has already presented itself in dealing with the similar salutations in the epistle to Colossae.

The same people send messages here as there; only Jesus called Justus being omitted, probably for no other reason than because he was not at hand at the moment Epaphras is naturally mentioned singly, as being a Colossian, and therefore more closely connected with Philemon than were the others. After him come the two Jews and the two Gentiles, as in Colossians.

The parting benediction ends the letter. At the beginning of the epistle Paul invoked grace upon the household "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Now he conceives of it as Christ’s gift. In him all the stooping, bestowing love of God is gathered, that from Him it may be poured on the world. That grace is not diffused like stellar light, through some nebulous heaven, but concentrated in the Sun of Righteousness, who is the light of men. That fire is piled on a hearth that, from it, warmth may ray out to all that are in the house.

That grace has man’s spirit for the field of its highest operation. Thither it can enter, and there it can abide, in union more close and communion more real and blessed than aught else can attain. The spirit which has the grace of Christ with it can never be utterly solitary or desolate.

The grace of Christ is the best bond of family life. Here it is prayed for on behalf of all the group, the husband, wife, child, and the friends in their home Church. Like grains of sweet incense cast on an altar flame, and making fragrant what was already holy, that grace sprinkled on the household fire will give it an odour of a sweet smell, grateful to men and acceptable to God.

That wish is the purest expression of Christian friendship, of which the whole letter is so exquisite an example. Written as it is about a common, every-day matter, which could have been settled without a single religious reference, it is saturated with Christian thought and feeling. So it becomes an example of how to blend Christian sentiment with ordinary affairs, and to carry a Christian atmosphere everywhere. Friendship and social intercourse will be all the nobler and happier, if pervaded by such a tone. Such words as these closing ones would be a sad contrast to much of the intercourse of professedly Christian men. But every Christian ought by his life to be, as it were, floating the grace of God to others sinking for want of it to lay hold of, and all his speech should be of a piece with this benediction.

A Christian’s life should be "an epistle of Christ" written with His own hand, wherein dim eyes might read the transcript of His own gracious love, and through all his words and deeds should shine the image of his Master, even as it does through the delicate tendernesses and gracious pleadings of this pure pearl of a letter, which the slave, become a brother, bore to the responsive hearts in quiet Colossae.

1:15-22 When we speak of the nature of any sin or offence against God, the evil of it is not to be lessened; but in a penitent sinner, as God covers it, so must we. Such changed characters often become a blessing to all among whom they reside. Christianity does not do away our duties to others, but directs to the right doing of them. True penitents will be open in owning their faults, as doubtless Onesimus had been to Paul, upon his being awakened and brought to repentance; especially in cases of injury done to others. The communion of saints does not destroy distinction of property. This passage is an instance of that being imputed to one, which is contracted by another; and of one becoming answerable for another, by a voluntary engagement, that he might be freed from the punishment due to his crimes, according to the doctrine that Christ of his own will bore the punishment of our sins, that we might receive the reward of his righteousness. Philemon was Paul's son in the faith, yet he entreated him as a brother. Onesimus was a poor slave, yet Paul besought for him as if seeking some great thing for himself. Christians should do what may give joy to the hearts of one another. From the world they expect trouble; they should find comfort and joy in one another. When any of our mercies are taken away, our trust and hope must be in God. We must diligently use the means, and if no other should be at hand, abound in prayer. Yet, though prayer prevails, it does not merit the things obtained. And if Christians do not meet on earth, still the grace of the Lord Jesus will be with their spirits, and they will soon meet before the throne to join for ever in admiring the riches of redeeming love. The example of Onesimus may encourage the vilest sinners to return to God, but it is shamefully prevented, if any are made bold thereby to persist in evil courses. Are not many taken away in their sins, while others become more hardened? Resist not present convictions, lest they return no more.Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord - "By showing me this favor in receiving my friend and brother as I request." The phrase "in the Lord," here seems to mean that, if this request was granted, he would recognize the hand of the Lord in it, and would receive it as a favor from him.

Refresh my bowels in the Lord - The "bowels," in the Scriptures, are uniformly spoken of as the seat of the affections - meaning commonly the upper viscera, embracing the heart and the lungs; compare the notes at Isaiah 16:11. The reason is, that in any deep emotion this part of our frame is peculiarly affected, or we feel it there. Compare Robinson's Lex. on the word σπλάγχνον splangchnon See this illustrated at length in Sir Charles Bell's" Anatomy of Expression," p. 85, following Ed. London, 1844. The idea here is, that Paul had such a tender affection for Onesimus as to give him great concern and uneasiness. The word rendered "refresh" - ἀνάπαυσόν anapauson - means "to give rest to, to give repose, to free from sorrow or care;" and the sense is, that by receiving Onesimus, Philemon would cause the deep and anxious feelings of Paul to cease, and he would be calm and happy; compare the notes at Plm 1:7.

20. let me—"me" is emphatic: "Let me have profit (so Greek 'for joy,' onainen, referring to the name Onesimus, 'profitable') from thee, as thou shouldst have had from Onesimus"; for "thou owest thine ownself to me."

in the Lord—not in worldly gain, but in thine increase in the graces of the Lord's Spirit [Alford].

my bowels—my heart. Gratify my feelings by granting this request.

in the Lord—The oldest manuscripts read, "in Christ," the element or sphere in which this act of Christian love naturally ought to have place.

Yea, brother: the particle nai is used in swearing, affirming, persuading, entreating, the latter seemeth here most proper; as much as, of all love, brother.

Let me have joy of thee in the Lord; it will rejoice my heart to see thee charitable and obedient to my monitions, let me have a spiritual joy from thy satisfying of me in what I desire.

Refresh my bowels in the Lord; either Onesimus, whom he had called his bowels, Philemon 1:12; or, my inward man.

Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord,.... Through the apostle was his spiritual father, having been the instrument of his conversion, yet he calls him his brother, as being a partaker of the same grace, and a minister of the same Gospel; and intimates to him, that should he grant his request, and receive his servant again, it would give him great joy and pleasure, and that not of a carnal, but of a spiritual kind, even joy in the Lord; he should rejoice in the presence of the Lord, and before him, concerning him; he should rejoice in his faith in the Lord, and love for him, and obedience to him; all which would be discovered in such a conduct: the Syriac version renders it, as an assurance to himself,

I shall be refreshed by thee in our Lord; not doubting but that he would gratify him in the thing he asked of him, which would be a refreshment to him; the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "may I enjoy thee in the Lord": meaning not his company and presence, either in this world, or in the world to come; but that he might enjoy or receive the favour from him he had petitioned him for, for the Lord's sake; the Arabic version renders it, as a reason why he should do it, "I have been profitable to thee in the Lord"; confirming what he had said before, that he owed himself to him; he having been useful to him in bringing him to the knowledge of Christ, and faith in him; and the Ethiopic version refers it to a promise, "I will repay in our Lord"; in spiritual things in our Lord, if not in things temporal:

refresh my bowels in the Lord; or "in Christ"; as the Alexandrian copy, the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, read; and by his "bowels", he either means Onesimus, as in Plm 1:12 who, in a spiritual sense, came forth out of his bowels; or else himself, his soul, his spirit, his inward parts; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "refresh my soul"; and the sense is, that he desired in the Lord, and for his sake, that he would receive Onesimus again, which would give him an inward pleasure, and refresh his spirit; and indeed he intimates, that nothing could be more cheering and reviving to him.

{i} Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

(i) Good brother let me obtain this benefit at your hand.

Philemon 1:20. Yea, brother, I would fain have profit of thee in the Lord.

ναί] not beseeching (Grotius and many), but confirmatory (comp. on Matthew 15:27), as always: verily, certainly. It confirms, however, not the preceding κ. σεαυτ. μοι προσοφείλεις (de Wette and Hofmann, following Elsner),—against which may be urged the emphatically prefixed ἐγώ (it must in that case logically have run: σοῦ ἐγὼ ὀναίμ.),—but the whole intercession for Onesimus, in which Paul has made the cause of the latter his own.[79] He, he himself, would fain have joy at the hands of his friend Philemon in the granting of this request; himself (not, it might be, merely Onesimus) is Philemon to make happy by this compliance.

ὀναίμην] Expression of the wish, that this might take place (Kühner, II. 1, p. 193); hence the counter-remark of Hofmann that it is not “I would fain,” but “may I,” is unmeaning. Comp. Eur. Hec. 997: ἥκιστʼ ὀναίμην τοῦ παρόντος, Ignat. Ephesians 2 : ὀναίμην ὑμῶν διὰ παντός, Romans 5 : ὀναίμην τῶν θηρίωνεὔχομαι κ.τ.λ. On the expression very current from Homer’s time (Odyss. xix. 68, ii. 33), ὀνίναμαί τινος, to have advantage from a thing or person, to profit thereby, comp. Wetstein; on the different verbal forms of the word, Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 12 f.; Kühner, I. p. 879 f. In the N.T. it is ἅπαξ λεγόμ.; but the very choice of the peculiar word supports the usual hypothesis (although not recognised by de Wette, Bleek, and Hofmann) that Paul intended an allusion to the name Onesimus.[80] There is the additional circumstance that the emphatic ἘΓΏ ingeniously gives point to the antithetic glance back at him, for whom he has made request; comp. also Wiesinger, Ellicott, Winer.

ἐν κυρίῳ] gives to the notion of the ὈΝΑΊΜΗΝ its definite Christian character. Just so the following ἐν Χριστῷ. Neither means: for the sake of (Beza, Grotius, Flatt, and others). No profit of any other kind whatever does Paul wish for himself from Philemon, but that, the enjoyment of which has its ground in Christ as the ethical element. Comp. χαίρειν ἐν κυρίῳ, and the like.

ἈΝΆΠΑΥΣΟΝ Κ.Τ.Λ.] let me not wish in vain this ἘΓΏ ΣΟΥ ὈΝΑΊΜ. ἘΝ ΚΥΡ.! Refresh (by a forgiving and loving reception of Onesimus) my heart; τὰ σπλάγχνα, seat of loving emotion, of the love concerned for Onesimus, comp. Philemon 1:7; not an expression of love to Philemon (Oecumenius, Theophylact), nor yet a designation of Onesimus (Philemon 1:12), as is maintained by Jerome, Estius, Storr, Heinrichs, Flatt, and others.

[79] With this ναί, ἀδελφέ the humorous tone has died away, and, when Paul now inserts the need of his own heart and his hearty confidence as to the compliance of his friend, the intercession receives the seal of its trustful assurance of success, and therewith its close. Chrysostom already aptly observes that the ναί, ἀδελφέ applies generally to the προσλαβοῦ requested, so that the apostle “ἀφεὶς τὸν χαριεντισμὸν πάλιν ἔχεται τῶν πρότερων τῶν σπουδαίων.”

[80] The allusion would have been more easily seized, if Paul had written in some sach way as: ναί, ἀδελφέ, ἐμοὶ σὺ ὀνήσιμος εἴης. But, as he has expressed it, it is more delicate and yet palpable enough, especially for the friend of whom he makes the request.

Philemon 1:20. ναί: cf. Php 4:3, ναὶ ἐρωτῶ καὶ σέ.—ἀδελφέ: an affectionate appeal, cf. Galatians 3:15; Galatians 6:1-18.—ἐγώ: “The emphatic ἐγώ identifies the cause of Onesimus with his own” (Lightfoot).—σου ὀναίμην: ἅπ. λεγ. in N.T., it occurs once in the Septuagint (Sir 30:2), and several times in the Ignatian Epp. (Ephesians 2:2, Magn. ii. 12, Rom. Philemon 1:2, Pol. i. 1, vi. 2). Ὀν. is a play on the name Onesimus, lit., “May I have profit of thee”; Lightfoot says that the common use of the word ὀναίμην would suggest the thought of filial offices, and gives a number of instances of its use. It is the only proper optative in the N.T. which is not in the third person (Moulton, Grammar of N.T. Greek, p. 195).—ἀνάπαυσον: see note on Philemon 1:7.—ἐν Χριστῷ: St. Paul refers to the real source from which the ἀναπαύειν gets its strength.

20. Yea] So (in the Greek) Matthew 15:27; Php 4:3.

brother] Again the word of love and honour, as in Philemon 1:7.

let me have joy of thee] We may render, less warmly, “Let me reap benefit of thee.” So the Geneva Version; “Let me obteyne this fruit of thee.” But the Greek usage of the verb before us here, in the optative, in which it often conveys a “God bless you,” favours the text. He does not merely ask to be served, but to be made very happy.—Tyndale renders, “Let me enioie thee.”

Latin Versions, Ita, frater, ego te fruar; which Wyclif, mistaking, renders, “so brother I schal use thee.”

in the Lord] All is “in Him” for His living members.

refresh my bowels] Refresh, or rest, my heart. See on Philemon 1:7 above.

in the Lord] Read undoubtedly, in Christ.

Philemon 1:20. Ἐγὼ, I) Thou shouldst have had profit from Onesimus, I should now have it from thee.—ὀναίμην, let me profit) An allusion to the name of Onesimus.—ἀνάπαυσον, refresh) by receiving Onesimus.

Verse 20. - Yea, indeed, brother, let me have joy of thee. This word ὀναίμην is from the same root as the word "Onesimus," and the apostle, more suo, relaxing into his friendly familiar manner after the grave and touching language of the last few verses, plays upon the word. Let me have profit of thee - let me have Onesimus of thee. In the Lord (comp. 1 Corinthians 10:31). The phrase is twice repeated in this verse, and is very characteristic of St. Paul. But A, C, D*, F, G, I, read en Christo in the second clause. א has been altered, χω for κω, second.; "refresh my heart in Christ" (Revised Version). Philemon 1:20Yea (ναί)

A confirmatory particle, gathering up the whole previous intercession for Onesimus. So Matthew 11:26, even so; Rev., yea. Luke 11:51, verily; Rev., yea. Luke 12:5, yea.

Let me have joy (ὀναίμην)

Or help. Lit., may I profit. Again a play upon the name Onesimus. The verb is frequently used with reference to filial duties. Ignatius employs it, in one instance, directly after an allusion to another Onesimus (Ephesians, 2).

Philemon 1:20 Interlinear
Philemon 1:20 Parallel Texts

Philemon 1:20 NIV
Philemon 1:20 NLT
Philemon 1:20 ESV
Philemon 1:20 NASB
Philemon 1:20 KJV

Philemon 1:20 Bible Apps
Philemon 1:20 Parallel
Philemon 1:20 Biblia Paralela
Philemon 1:20 Chinese Bible
Philemon 1:20 French Bible
Philemon 1:20 German Bible

Bible Hub

Philemon 1:19
Top of Page
Top of Page