Philemon 1:12

“Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Whom I haue sent againe: thou therfore receiue him, that is mine owne bowels.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

I have sent him back to you in person, that is, {sending} my very heart,
- New American Standard Version (1995)

whom I have sent back to thee in his own person, that is, my very heart:
- American Standard Version (1901)

Whom I have sent back to you, him who is my very heart:
- Basic English Bible

whom I have sent back to thee: [but do *thou* receive] him, that is, *my* bowels:
- Darby Bible

Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, my own bowels:
- Webster's Bible

I am sending him back to you, though in so doing I send part of myself.
- Weymouth Bible

I am sending him back. Therefore receive him, that is, my own heart,
- World English Bible

And resseyue thou hym as myn entrailis;
- Wycliffe Bible

whom I did send again, and thou him (that is, my own bowels) receive,
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Philemon 1:12

1:12 Receive him, that is, my own bowels - Whom I love as my own soul. Such is the natural affection of a father in Christ toward his spiritual children.

People's Bible Notes for Philemon 1:12

Phm 1:12 Whom I have sent again. Not only that he may make amends to thee for his wrong, but that thou mayst be able to treat him as a brother in Christ. Thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels. Rather, "My very heart" (Revised Version). I am so much attached to him. To be unkind to him would wound Paul's very heart.

Discussion for Philemon 1

  • BSP
    Paul was encouraging Philemon to show forgiveness and was even willing to take the blame for Onesimus so that peace could be restored.
  • Steve Harmon
    Ann Braun Paul is saying he is his Spiritual father, he led him to the Lord. In bonds means he led him to the Lord while he was in prison. He also calls Timothy his son which we know he was a teen when Paul met him. Paul helped teach him in the things of God.

  • Terri
    Anne, bond does not mean from one's bowels.
  • Breeze
    I think shows a great lesson. From how I read the chapter, I think Philemon had no problem receiving his servant back. It makes me wonder if he had been praying for Onesimus to meet someone to lead him to the Lord. How wonderful that the Lord reconnected them through a mutual friend. I hope to have my own Onesimus testimony one day with a long-lost friend.
  • Joe
    Anne - What I understand is that Onesimus was a slave who belonged to Philemon and that Philemon was a believer who loved both God and the saints. At some point Onesimus ran away to Rome, heard the word of God, and became a believer. Paul calls Onesimus his son because of their common bond, Jesus Christ.
  • Anne Braun
    You all have confused me in interpreting words that Paul did not say. Paul refers to Onesimus as his son. There is no mistaking this: 10 "I beseech thee for my son Onesimus whom I have begotten in my bonds." 12 "....that is, mine own bowels." Nowhere am I reading in this chapter that Onesimus was Paul's slave, but was his SON. Acting as ones servant is entirely different. It sounds to me as if Paul begot a son while he was in bondage, this son at some point ran away, or left the fold so to speak, now he has returned a changed person and Paul is asking now that he is aged, elderly , that Onesimus be received as if he were Paul himself. How are you all interpreting the situation to be different other than what Paul said? Explain?

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