Philemon 1:22
But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
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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.But withal - Or, at the same time - Ἅμα Hama. While you are granting this favor, do me also another by preparing a lodging for me.

Prepare me also a lodging - Philemon had been accustomed to show kindness to the saints Plm 1:5, and not improbably Paul had before shared his hospitality. The word rendered "lodging" (ξενία xenia), means, properly, guest-right, hospitality, entertainment; and then, a place for a guest; compare Acts 28:23.

For I trust - Paul had some hope of being released - an event which probably occurred; see the notes at Philippians 1:25; Philippians 2:23-24; compare the introduction to 2Timothy.

Through your prayers - Notes, 2 Corinthians 1:11. He expected release in answer to the petitions of those who loved him, and the cause in which he was engaged; compare the notes at Acts 12:5.

I shall be given unto you - I shall be permitted to return to you, as a favor - χαρισθήσομαι charisthēsomai. Paul had no doubt thus Philemon would so regard it, and he had no apprehension that his abiding with him would be considered as a burden.

22. This prospect of Paul's visiting Colosse would tend to secure a kindly reception for Onesimus, as Paul would know in person how he had been treated.

your … you—referring to Philemon, Apphia, Archippus, and the Church in Philemon's house. The same expectation is expressed by him, Php 2:23, 24, written in the same imprisonment.

This would incline one to think that this Epistle was written before the Second Epistle to Timothy, for there, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, he seems to have other apprehensions; yet it is plain Timothy was with Paul when he wrote this, which he was not when that Second Epistle was written, as appears from 2 Timothy 4:9,21. Here, upon a confidence that through the help of the church’s prayers he should again come to them, he writeth to Philemon to prepare him a lodging.

But withal prepare me also a lodging,.... Not that the apostle expected or desired any grand apartment to be fitted up for him; a room with such furniture as the Shunamite provided for the man of God was sufficient for him, and what he would have been entirely contented with; but his view in this was, to let Philemon know that he hoped to be released from his bonds, and that he might expect to see him; and this he hinted to him, in order to stir him up to receive his servant sooner, and the more readily; who otherwise might have been indifferent to it, and negligent of it, thinking he should never see the apostle's face any more,

For I trust, that through your prayers I shall be given you; to minister in the Gospel again among them: the apostle was a man of prayer himself, and he had a very great regard to the prayers of others, and often desired an interest in them; that he might perform his ministerial work as it should be; that he might have success in it; and that he might be delivered from the unbelieving Jews, and from wicked and unreasonable men; and he had some secret hope and trust in his own mind, that through the prayers of the saints he should be delivered from his bonds, and go up and down preaching the Gospel as heretofore: he doubtless was acquainted with the case of Peter, for whom prayer was made incessantly by the church, when in prison, and he had deliverance; however, he knew that the prayers of the saints availed much with God; but whether this hope and expectation of his were answered, is a matter of doubt and question: some think he was released, and went into several parts, and preached the Gospel, and then was taken up again, and committed to prison, and suffered under Nero, some years after; and others think not.

But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.
Philemon 1:22. This further commission too—what a welcome, and wisely closing, indirect support to the intercession for Onesimus! πολλὴ γὰρ ἡ χάρις καὶ ἡ τιμὴ Παύλου ἐνδημοῦντος, Chrysostom; and so the apostle, in fact, wished soon himself to see what effect his intercession had had.

ἅμα δὲ καί] that is, simultaneously with that, which thou wilt do in the case of Onesimus. This is the sense of the adverbial ἅμα in all passages,[81] even Colossians 4:3; Acts 24:26; and 1 Timothy 5:13 (in opposition to Hofmann), and among the Greek writers, so that it by no means expresses merely the conception of being joined, that the one is to associate itself with the other (Hofmann), but the contemporary connection of the one action with the other; Suidas: ἐπὶ τοῦ κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν καιρόν. Bleek erroneously renders: at the same time also I entreat thee; so, too, de Wette, as if ἅμα δὲ καὶ παρακαλῶ or the like were in the text.

ἑτοίμαζέ μοι ξενίαν] Paul hoped at that time for a speedy liberation; his ulterior goal was Rome; the journey thither, however, he thought of making through Asia Minor, where he also desired to come to Colossae and to take up his quarters (Acts 28:23) as a guest with Philemon. Comp. Introd. to Colossians, § 2. Observe, moreover, that ἅμα δὲ καί presupposes so near a use of the ξενία, as doubtless tallies with the shorter distance between Caesarea and Phrygia, but not with the distance from Rome to Phrygia, specially since, according to Php 1:25 f., Php 2:24, Paul thought of journeying from Rome to Macedonia; hence it would have been inappropriate and strange on his part, if, starting from Rome, he had already bespoken a lodging in Colossae, and that, too, one to be made ready so without delay.

ὑμῶν and ὑμῖν apply to the persons already named, Philemon 1:1-2. To extend the reference further, namely, to “the body of Christians amidst which Philemon lives” (Hofmann), is unwarranted. The expression is individualizing. On χάρισθ., may be granted, i.e. liberated in favour of you, comp. on Acts 3:14; Acts 27:24; on διὰ τ. προσευχ. ὑμ., Php 1:19. This hope was not fulfilled. Calvin leaves this doubtful, but aptly adds: “Nihil tamen est absurdi, si spes, qualem de temporali Dei beneficio conceperit, eum frustrata fuerit.”

[81] Where, namely, there is mention of the combination of two expressions of activity, which takes place or ought to take place (as here). What ὁμοῦ is as τοπικόν, ἅμα is as χρονικόν (Ammonius, p. 13).

Philemon 1:22. ἅμαi.e., at the same time that he does what he is going to do for Onesimus. ἑτοίμαζέ μοι: Lightfoot’s remark that “there is a gentle compulsion in this mention of a personal visit to Colossae,” does not seem justified in view of the stress that St. Paul lays on Philemon’s action being wholly voluntary, see Philemon 1:10; Philemon 1:14; it is more probable that this is merely an incidental mention of what had been planned some time before, namely another missionary journey to Asia Minor and Greece (see Php 2:24), without any thought of influencing Philemon’s action thereby.—ξενίαν: only here and in Acts 28:23, in the N.T.

22. He hopes to visit Colossæ

22. But withal] Here is a different matter, yet not quite apart from the main theme. “There is a gentle compulsion in this mention of a personal visit to Colossæ. The Apostle would be able to see for himself that Philemon had not disappointed his expectations” (Lightfoot). And more; would not the joy of the prospect make “obedience” on Philemon’s part doubly willing?

prepare] The verb is in the singular.

a lodging] The Greek may mean either “lodging” or hospitality. General Greek usage is in favour of the latter. The “hospitality” would no doubt be gladly provided in Philemon’s own house; but St Paul, with his unfailing courtesy, does not ask this.

I trust] I hope. He makes no prophecy, where none is authorized. Even when (as Romans 15:24; Romans 15:28) he speaks positively of his plans, it is with an evident reservation of “if the Lord will.” The prospect of Romans 15 had by this time been much modified.

through your prayers] which “move the hand of God,” being all the while part of His chain of means. For St Paul’s estimate of the power of intercessory prayer see e.g. Romans 15:30-32 (a close parallel); a Cor. Philemon 1:11; Php 1:19.—Neither for him nor for the Colossians did the deep peace of self-resignation mean Stoic apathy, nor, surely, even the “indifference” of the Mystics.

I shall be given unto you] With a noble naïveté he recognizes his own dearness in the eyes of his converts; he does not affect to think that his return would not be “a gift” to them.

Lightfoot cites Acts 3:14; Acts 25:11, for the use of the Greek verb in connexion with a person.

Philemon 1:22. Ξενίαν, a lodging) where others may come to visit me. See the power of hope. Paul, a prisoner, makes this arrangement (appointment) at so great a distance.

Verse 22. - Lodging. There was this one additional inducement that could be brought to bear upon the mind of Philemon, viz. the expectation of speedily seeing him in person, and this, in conclusion, he uses. "I do not think that the apostle was so rich or encumbered with such great packages that he needed a lodging prepared beforehand, and was not content with a narrow dwelling-place, but thought the most spacious houses scanty for the accommodation of his small body; but that, while Philemon was expecting [the apostle] to come to him, he would the more do what he had requested" (Jerome). Meyer makes much of the improbability that St. Paul, starting from Rome, should bespeak a lodging in Colossae. Yet he suggests that it was perfectly natural that, starting from Caesarea, the apostle should take Colossae on the road to Rome. But the one seems almost as probable as the other. The apostle, on his release, had, so far as we know, no definite plans; the cities of Asia Minor were familiar to him, and he would naturally prepare to go wherever the first pressing occasion, that of Onesimus, called him. N reads ἀσπάξεται, "salutes." Philemon 1:22Withal (ἅμα)

Simultaneously with the fulfillment of my request.

A lodging

Paul is expecting a speedy liberation. His original plan of going from Rome to Spain has apparently been altered. Lightfoot observes that "there is a gentle compulsion in this mention of a personal visit to Colossae. The apostle would thus be able to see for himself that Philemon had not disappointed his expectations."

I shall be given (χαρισθήσομαι)

A beautiful assumption of his correspondent's affection for him, in that his visit to them will be a gracious gift (χάρις) The word is also used of granting for destruction, Acts 25:11; or for preservation, Acts 3:14.

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