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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Philemon: Chapter 1)

1:1 {A prisoner of Christ Jesus} (\desmios Christou Iēsou\). As
verse 9 and in Eph 3:1; 4:1. Old adjective from \desmos\
(bond, \deō\, to bind). Apparently used here on purpose rather
than \apostolos\ as more effective with Philemon and a more
touching occasion of pride as Paul writes with his manacled right
hand. {Timothy} (\Timotheos\). With Paul in Ephesus (Ac 19:22)
and probably known to Philemon. Associated with Paul also in I
and II Thess., II Cor., Philipp., Col. {To Philemon}
(\Philēmoni\). A resident of Colossae and a convert of Paul's
(verse 19), perhaps coming to Ephesus while Paul was there when
his ministry had so much influence over the province of Asia (Ac
19:9f., 26; 1Co 16:19)
. The name Philemon occurs in the legend
of Baucis and Philemon (Ovid's _Metamorphoses_), but with no
connection with the brother here. He was active in the church in
Colossae ("our co-worker," \sunergōi hēmōn\) and was beloved
(\agapētōi\) by Paul.

1:2 {To Apphia our sister} (\Apphiāi tēi adelphēi\). Dative case
in address. A common name in Phrygian inscriptions and apparently
the wife of Philemon. "Sister" is in the Christian sense. {To
(\Archippōi\). Dative case in address. It is uncertain
whether he is the son of Philemon or not. Apparently he is
prominent in the church in Colossae, possibly even pastor,
probably not in Laodicea as some understand Col 4:17 to imply.
{Fellow-soldier} (\sunstratiōtēi\). Old word, only here and Php
2:25 in N.T. In metaphorical sense. Perhaps while Paul was in
Ephesus. {To the church in thy house} (\tēi kat' oikon sou
. The church that met in the house of Philemon. In
large cities there would be several meeting-places. Before the
third century there is no certain evidence of special church
buildings for worship (White, _Exp. Grk. T._). See Ac 12:12 for
Mary's house in Jerusalem, 1Co 16:19 for the house of Aquila
and Prisca in Ephesus, Ro 16:5 for the house of Prisca and
Aquila in Rome, Col 4:15 for the house of Nympha in Laodicea.

1:4 {Always} (\pantote\). Goes with \eucharistō\ though so far
away in the Greek sentence. {Making mention of thee} (\mneian sou
. See 1Th 1:2 for this phrase. {In} (\epi\). Upon
the occasion of.

1:5 {Hearing} (\akouōn\). Through Epaphras (Col 1:7,8; 4:12),
possibly from Onesimus also. {And towards all the saints} (\kai
eis pantas tous hagious\)
. He spoke of "thy love and faith" (\sou
tēn agapēn kai tēn pistin\)
"towards the Lord Jesus" (\pros ton
Kurion Iēsoun\)
and by a sort of momentum (Vincent) he carries
both words over to the saints, though it can be explained as
chiasm (Ga 4:4) also.

1:6 {That} (\hopōs\). Rather than the more common final particle
\hina\. Connected with \mneian poioumenos\. {The fellowship of
thy faith}
(\hē koinōnia tēs pisteōs sou\). Partnership like Php
1:5 in (objective genitive, \pisteōs\). {Effectual} (\energēs\).
Common adjective, like \energos\ (at work), in N.T. only here,
1Co 16:9; Heb 4:12. Papyri use \energos\ of a mill in working
order, of ploughed land, etc. {In you} (\en humin\). Some MSS.
have \en hēmin\ (in us), itacism and common.

1:7 {I had} (\eschon\). Ingressive second aorist active
indicative of \echō\, not \eichomēn\ as the Textus Receptus has
it. Paul refers to his joy when he first heard the good news
about Philemon's activity (verse 5). {The hearts} (\ta
. See Php 1:8 for this use of this word for the
nobler viscera (heart, lungs, liver) and here for the emotional
nature. {Have been refreshed} (\anapepautai\). Perfect passive
indicative of old compound verb \anapauō\ as in Mt 11:28, a
relief and refreshment whether temporary (Mr 6:31) or eternal
(Re 14:13).

1:8 {Though I have} (\echōn\). Concessive participle (present
. {That which is befitting} (\to anēkon\). Neuter singular
accusative of the articular participle (present active) of
\anēkō\, to come up to requirements and so to be befitting. For
idea in \anēkō\, see Col 3:18; Eph 5:4. This idiom is in later
writers. {I rather beseech} (\māllon parakalō\). Rather than
command (\epitassō\) which he has a perfect right to do.

1:9 {Paul the aged} (\Paulos presbutēs\). Paul is called
\neanias\ (a young man) at the stoning of Stephen (Ac 7:58). He
was perhaps a bit under sixty now. Hippocrates calls a man
\presbutēs\ from 49 to 56 and \gerōn\ after that. The papyri use
\presbutēs\ for old man as in Lu 1:18 of Zacharias and in Tit
2:2. But in Eph 6:20 Paul says \presbeuō en halusei\ (I am an
ambassador in a chain)
. Hence Lightfoot holds that here
\presbutēs\ = \presbeutēs\ because of common confusion by the
scribes between \u\ and \eu\. In the LXX four times the two words
are used interchangeably. There is some confusion also in the
papyri and the inscriptions. Undoubtedly ambassador
(\presbeutēs\) is possible here as in Eph 6:20 (\presbeuō\)
though there is no real reason why Paul should not term himself
properly "Paul the aged."

1:10 {For my child} (\peri tou emou teknou\). Tender and
affectionate reference to Onesimus as his spiritual child. {Whom
I have begotten in my bonds}
(\hon egennēsa en tois desmois\).
First aorist active indicative of \gennaō\, to beget. See 1Co
4:15 for this figurative sense. Paul is evidently proud of
winning Onesimus to Christ though a prisoner himself.

1:11 {Onesimus} (\Onēsimon\). A common name among slaves and made
like Chresimus, Chrestus. The word is from \onēsis\ (profit) and
that from \oninēmi\, to profit, to help. {Who was aforetime
unprofitable to thee}
(\ton pote soi achrēston\). "The once to
thee useless one." Play (pun) on the meaning of the name Onesimus
(\onēsimos\, useful) as once "useless" (\achrēstos\, verbal
adjective, \a\ privative and \chraomai\, to use)
. {But now is
profitable to thee and to me}
(\nuni de soi kai emoi
. "But now to thee and to me useful." Still further
play on the name Onesimus by \euchrēston\ (verbal adjective from
\eu\ and \chraomai\, to use)
. Ethical dative here (\soi, emoi\).

1:12 {I have sent back} (\anepempsa\). Epistolary aorist. As it
will look when Onesimus arrives. {In his own person} (\auton\).
"Himself," intensive pronoun with \hon\ (whom). {My very heart}
(\ta ema splagchna\). As in verse 7. He almost loves Onesimus
as his own son.

1:13 {I would fain have kept} (\eboulomēn katechein\). Imperfect
middle and present infinitive, "I was wishing to hold back."
Again from the standpoint of the arrival of Onesimus. {In thy
(\huper sou\). So "in thy stead," "in place of thee." {He
might minister}
(\diakonēi\). Present active subjunctive
(retained after \eboulomēn\) with \hina\, purpose continued,
"that he might keep on ministering."

1:14 {Without thy mind} (\chōris tēs sēs gnōmēs\). Judgment,
purpose (1Co 1:10; 7:25). Ablative case with \chōris\ (apart
. {I would do nothing} (\ouden ēthelēsa poiēsai\). First
aorist active indicative of \thelō\, I decided, I wished,
decision reached (cf. \eboulomēn\ in verse 13). {Thy goodness}
(\to agathon sou\). Neuter articular adjective (thy good deed).
{As of necessity} (\hōs kata anagkēn\). "As if according to
compulsion." See 2Co 9:7. {But of free will} (\alla kata
. According to what is voluntary (Nu 15:3). Perhaps
\tropon\ (way, manner) is to be understood with the adjective
\hekousios\ (old word, here alone in N.T.), from \hekōn\ (1Co
9:17; Ro 8:20)

1:15 {Perhaps} (\tacha\). Old adverb, in N.T. only here and Ro
5:7. {That thou shouldst have him} (\hina auton apechēis\).
Final clause with \hina\ and present active subjunctive of
\apechō\, to have back, "that thou might keep on having him
back." {For ever} (\aiōnion\). "Eternal," here and hereafter.
Surely a noble thing for Paul to say and a word that would touch
the best in Philemon.

1:16 {No longer as a servant} (\ouketi hōs doulon\). "No longer
as a slave." So it has to be here. So it should be always. Paul
sends Onesimus, the converted runaway slave, back to his legal
master, but shows that he expects Philemon the Christian to treat
Onesimus as a brother in Christ, not as a slave. {But more than a
(\all' huper doulon\). "But beyond a slave." {A brother
(\adelphon agapēton\). A brother in Christ. {How much
rather to thee}
(\posōi de māllon soi\). "By how much more to
thee," because of Philemon's legal ownership of this now
Christian slave. "In the flesh Philemon had the brother for a
slave; in the Lord he had the slave for a brother" (Meyer).

1:17 {If then thou countest me a partner} (\ei oun me echeis
. As I assume that you do, condition of the first
class. {Receive him as myself} (\proslabou auton hōs eme\). "Take
him to thyself (indirect second aorist middle of \proslambanō\ as
in Ac 18:26)
as myself." Surpassing delicacy and consummate
tact. These words sound the death-knell of human slavery wherever
the spirit of Christ is allowed to have its way. It has been a
long and hard fight to break the shackles of human bondage even
in Christian countries and there are still millions of slaves in
pagan and Mohammedan lands. Paul wrote these words with wisdom
and courage and sincerity.

1:18 {But if he hath wronged thee at all} (\ei de ti ēdikēse
. Condition of the first class, assumed to be true. Onesimus
did wrong (\ēdikēse\, first aorist active indicative of \adikēo\,
to wrong, without justice)
. He had probably robbed Philemon
before he ran away. {Or oweth} (\ē opheilei\). Delicate way of
putting the stealing. {Put that to mine account} (\touto emoi
. Present active imperative of \ellogaō\. In the _Koinē_
verbs in \-eō\ often appear in \-aō\ like \eleeō, eleaō\. So with
\ellogeō\ as \ellogaō\, late verb in inscriptions and papyri
(Deissmann, _Light, etc._, p. 84), though in N.T. only here and
Ro 5:13. It means to set to one's account.

1:19 {Write} (\egrapsa\). Epistolary aorist. {With mine hand}
(\tēi emēi cheiri\). Instrumental case and a note of hand that
can be collected. See 2Th 3:17; 1Co 16:21; Col 4:18. {I will
repay it}
(\egō apotisō\). Future active indicative of \apotinō\
(\apotiō\) to pay back, to pay off. The more usual word was
\apodōsō\. This is Paul's promissory note. Deissmann (_Light,
etc._, p. 331)
notes how many of the papyri are concerning debts.
{That I say not} (\hina mē legō\). Neat idiom as in 2Co 9:4,
delicately reminding Philemon that Paul had led him also to
Christ. {Thou owest to me even thine own self besides} (\kai
seauton moi prosopheileis\)
. Old verb, only here in N.T., Paul
using the verb \opheilō\ of verse 18 with \pros\ added. He used
every available argument to bring Philemon to see the higher
ground of brotherhood in Christ about Onesimus.

1:20 {Let me have joy of thee} (\egō sou onaimēn\). Second aorist
middle optative of \oninēmi\, old verb, only here in N.T.
Optative the regular construction for a wish about the future.
"May I get profit from thee in the Lord." {Refresh my heart in
(\anapauson mou ta splagchna en Christōi\). See verse 7
for \anapauson\ (first aorist active imperative of \anapauō\) and
\splagchna\ (3 times in this letter, 7,12,20).

1:21 {Obedience} (\hupakoēi\). "Compliance" seems less harsh to
us in the light of 9. {I write} (\egrapsa\). Epistolary aorist
again. {Even beyond what I say} (\kai huper ha legō\). That can
only mean that Paul "knows" (\eidōs\, second perfect active
participle of \oida\)
that Philemon will set Onesimus free. He
prefers that it come as Philemon's idea and wish rather than as a
command from Paul. Paul has been criticized for not denouncing
slavery in plain terms. But, when one considers the actual
conditions in the Roman empire, he is a wise man who can suggest
a better plan than the one pursued here for the ultimate
overthrow of slavery.

1:22 {But withal} (\hama de\). Along with your kindly reception
of Onesimus. On \hama\, see Ac 24:26; 27:40. {A lodging}
(\xenian\). Old word from \xenos\, stranger. In N.T. only here
and Ac 28:23. {I shall be granted unto you} (\charisthēsomai
. First future passive of \charizomai\. Used either as a
favour as here and Ac 3:14 or for destruction (Ac 25:11).

1:23 {Epaphras} (\Epaphrās\). The Colossian preacher who
apparently started the work in Colossae, Hierapolis, and
Laodicea, and who had come to Rome to enlist Paul's help in the
fight against incipient Gnosticism in the Lycus Valley. {My
(\ho sunaichmalōtos mou\). See on ¯Ro 16:7 for
this word, also in Col 4:10. Used metaphorically like the verb
\aichmalōtizō\ in 2Co 10:5, though some hold that Epaphras
became a prisoner with Paul in Rome.

1:24 The other "co-workers" (\sunergoi\) here (Mark, Aristarchus,
Demas, Luke)
are all named in detail in Col 4:10-14 with kindly

1:25 {Grace} (\hē charis\). This great word occurred in the
greeting (verse 3) as it does in the farewell.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Philemon: Chapter 1)