The Epistle of Paul to Philemon

Paul handling a base and small matter, yet according to his manner mounteth aloft unto God. 8 Sending again to Philemon his vagabond and thievish servant, he entreateth pardon for him, and very gravely preacheth of Christian equity.

Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and our brother Timothy, unto Philemon our dear friend, and fellow helper,

And to our dear sister Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the Church that is in thine house:

Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

I (A)give thanks to my God, making mention always of thee in my prayers,

(When I hear of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all Saints.)

That the [a]fellowship of thy faith may be made effectual, and that whatsoever good thing is in you through Christ Jesus, may be [b]known.

For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because by thee, brother, the Saints [c]bowels are comforted.

Wherefore, though I be very bold in Christ to command thee that which is convenient,

[d]Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech thee, though I be as I am, even Paul aged, and even now a prisoner for Jesus Christ.

10 I beseech thee for my son (B)Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds,

11 Which in times past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable both to thee and to me.

12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is mine own [e]bowels,

13 Whom I would have received 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 [f]necessity, but willingly.

15 It may be that he therefore [g]departed for [h]a season, that thou shouldest receive him forever,

16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, even as a brother beloved, specially to me: how much more then unto thee, both in the [i]flesh and in the Lord?

17 If therefore thou count our things common, receive him as myself.

18 If he hath hurt thee, or oweth thee ought, that put on my accounts.

19 I Paul have written this with mine own hand: I will recompense it, albeit I do not say to thee, that thou owest moreover unto me even thine own self.

20 [j]Yea, brother, let me obtain this pleasure of thee in the Lord: comfort my bowels in the Lord.

21 Trusting in thine obedience, I wrote unto thee knowing that thou wilt do even more than I say,

22 Moreover also prepare me lodging: for I trust through your prayers I shall be freely given unto you.

23 There salute thee Epaphras my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus,

24 Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow helpers.

25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, Amen.

¶ Written from Rome to Philemon, and sent by Onesimus a servant.


  1. Philemon 1:6 By fellowship of faith, he meaneth those duties of charity which are bestowed upon the Saints, and flow forth of an effectual faith.
  2. Philemon 1:6 That by this means all men may perceive how rich you are in Christ, to wit, in faith, charity, and all bountifulness.
  3. Philemon 1:7 Because thou didst so dutifully and cheerfully refresh the Saints, that they conceived inwardly a marvelous joy: for by this word (Bowels) is meant not only the inward feeling of wants and miseries that men have one of another’s state, but also that joy and comfort which entereth into the very bowels, as though the heart were refreshed and comforted.
  4. Philemon 1:9 An example of a Christian exercise and commendation for another man.
  5. Philemon 1:12 As mine own son, and as if I had begotten him of mine own body.
  6. Philemon 1:14 That thou mightest not seem to have lent me thy servant upon constraint, but willingly.
  7. Philemon 1:15 Thus he assuageth the harder kind of speech, which is to say, he ran away.
  8. Philemon 1:15 For a little time.
  9. Philemon 1:16 Because he is thy servant, as other servants are, and because he is the Lord’s servant, so that thou must needs love him both for the Lord’s sake, and for thine own sake.
  10. Philemon 1:20 Good brother let me obtain this benefit at thine hand.