1 Paul handling a base and small matter, yet according to his maner mounteth aloft vnto God. 8 Sending againe to Philemon his vagabonde and thieuish seruaunt, hee intreateth pardon for him, and very grauely preacheth of Christian equitie.
1 Paul a prisoner of Iesus Christ, and our brother Timotheus, vnto Philemon our deare friende, and fellowe helper,
2 And to our deare sister Apphia, and to Archippus our fellowe souldier, and to the Church that is in thine house:
3 Grace be with you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Iesus Christ.
4 I [Note: 1.Thes.1.2. 2.thes.1.3. ] giue thanks to my God, making mention alwaies of thee in my praiers,
5 (When I heare of thy loue & faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Iesus, and towarde all Saintes)
6 That the [Note: [a] By felowship of faith, he meaneth those dueties of charitie which are bestowed vpon the Saintes, and flowe foorth of an effectuall faith. ] fellowship of thy faith may bee made effectuall, and that whatsoeuer good thing is in you through Christ Iesus, may be [Note: [b] That by this meanes all men may perceiue howe rich you are in Christ, to wit in faith, charitie, and all bountifulnesse. ] knowen.
7 For we haue great ioy and consolation in thy loue, because by thee, brother, the Saintes [Note: [c] Because thou diddest so duetifully and cherefully refresh the Saints, that they conceiued inwardly a marueilous ioy: for by this worde (Bowels) is meant not only the inwarde feeling of wants and miseries that men haue one of anothers state, but also that ioy & comfort which entreth into the very bowels, as though the heart were refreshed and comforted. ] bowels are comforted.
8 Wherefore, though I bee very bolde in Christ to commaunde thee that which is conuenient,
9 [Note:  An example of a Christian exercise and commendation for an other man. ] Yet for loues sake I rather beseeche thee, though I be as I am, euen Paul aged, and euen nowe a prisoner for Iesus Christ.
10 I beseeche thee for my sonne [Note: Col.4.9. ] Onesimus, whome I haue begotten in my bondes,
11 Which in times past was to thee vnprofitable, but nowe profitable both to thee and to me,
12 Whome I haue sent againe: thou therefore receiue him, that is mine owne [Note: [d] As mine owne sonne, and as if I had begotten him of mine owne bodie. ] bowels,
[Pauls great loue.]
13 Whom I woulde haue reteined with mee, that in thy steade he might haue ministred vnto me in the bondes of the Gospel.
14 But without thy minde woulde I doe nothing, that thy benefite should not be as it were of [Note: [e] That thou mightest not seeme to haue lent me thy seruant vpon constraint, but willingly. ] necessitie, but willingly.
15 It may be that he therefore [Note: [f] Thus he aßwageth the harder kinde of speache, which is to say, he ranne away. ] departed for [Note: [g] For a litle time. ] a season, that thou shouldest receiue him for euer,
16 Not now as a seruant, but aboue a seruant, euen as a brother beloued, specially to me: howe much more then vnto thee, both in the [Note: [h] Because he is thy seruant, as other seruants are, and because he is the Lords seruant, so that thou must needs loue him both for the Lords sake, and for thine owne sake. ] flesh and in the Lord?
17 If therefore thou count our thinges common, receiue him as my selfe.
18 If he hath hurt thee, or oweth thee ought, that put on mine accounts.
19 I Paul haue written this with mine owne hande: I will recompense it, albeit I doe not say
[Christ aboue the Angels.]
to thee, that thou owest moreouer vnto me euen thine owne selfe.
20 [Note: [i] Good brother let me obteine this benefit at thine hand. ] Yea, brother, let mee obteine this pleasure of thee in the Lorde: comfort my bowels in the Lorde.
21 Trusting in thine obedience, I wrote vnto thee, knowing yt thou wilt do eue more then I say.
22 Moreouer also prepare mee lodging: for I trust through your prayers I shall be freely giuen vnto you.
23 There salute thee Epaphras my felowe prisoner in Christ Iesus,
24 Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my felowe helpers.
25 The grace of our Lord Iesus Christ be with your spirit, Amen.