ONESIMUS, a bondman or servant of Philemon
(who seems to have been a teacher in the congregation of Colosse, verses 1, 17, 23 and Col. 1:7
,17) had run away from his master, and had also purloined something from him, who being converted by Paul
at Rome in his bonds to the christian religion, according to the same doctrine, wanted return again to his master, and for that end requested of Paul
a letter of intercession unto him, that he might the better be reconciled and received into favor with him. For this end therefore the apostle wrote this epistle, in which, after the superscription and salutation in the three first verses, with a suitable introduction to procure the favor of Philemon
, relating his love to him, verse 4, and Philemon’s
virtues, verse 5, principally his love to the faithful, and his faith in CHRIST, 8 he declares that he would not demand this from him, as he might do, but friendly entreats of him. 10 This he afterwards proposes in his request, showing that it was honest. 11 And profitable for him. 12 And also in some way necessary. 15 Excuses Onesimus’
fault of running away, seeing it was an occasion of his conversion, by which he was now become a brother also. 18 And gives himself as a surety that he should be satisfied for the damage done him. 20 And finally concludes his request with very affectionate words. 22 Adding that would he prepare for him a place to stay? 23 Salutes him in the name of some fellow laborers. 25 And adds also his usual salutation.