Philemon 1:13

13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.

Philemon 1:13 in Other Translations

KJV
13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:
ESV
13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel,
NLT
13 I wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.
MSG
13 I wanted in the worst way to keep him here as your stand-in to help out while I'm in jail for the Message.
CSB
13 I wanted to keep him with me, so that in my imprisonment for the gospel he might serve me in your place.

Philemon 1:13 Meaning and Commentary

Philemon 1:13

Whom I would have retained with me
At Rome, where the apostle was a prisoner:

that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of
the Gospel;
the apostle was in bonds, not for any crime, for any immorality he had been guilty of, but for the sake of the Gospel, for professing and preaching that; for this he was an ambassador in bonds, as he elsewhere says, ( Ephesians 6:20 ) . Now he would have kept Onesimus with him, either to have waited upon him, in his bonds, and to have provided for him the necessaries of life; or to have assisted him in the ministration of the word, in the room of Philemon, who, had he been there, would have been employed in such service; so that if the apostle had retained him, he would have been acting not for himself, but in the room of his master, and doing what he should have done, had he been on the spot. This the apostle observes to prevent an objection that might have been made; that since Onesimus was become so profitable to him, why did he send him back? why did he not keep him for his own service? this he obviates and removes, by signifying he should have done it, but for the following reason.

Philemon 1:13 In-Context

11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.
12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you.
13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel.
14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.
15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever—

Cross References 1

  • 1. ver 10; S Acts 21:33