Philemon 1:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philemon 1:20, NIV: I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

Philemon 1:20, ESV: Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

Philemon 1:20, KJV: Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

Philemon 1:20, NASB: Yes, brother, let me benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

Philemon 1:20, NLT: Yes, my brother, please do me this favor for the Lord's sake. Give me this encouragement in Christ.

Philemon 1:20, CSB: Yes, brother, may I benefit from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in Christ.

What does Philemon 1:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul calls Philemon his "brother." This same word is also used in this letter in reference to Timothy (Philemon 1:1), Onesimus (Philemon 1:16), and now twice of Philemon (Philemon 1:7, 20). All of these men were to be seen as equals, as brothers in Christ.

Paul is directly asking for a benefit from Philemon. Paul was not asking for money, but rather a "yes" to his request regarding Onesimus. Philemon was to both forgive Onesimus and free him from his role as bondservant. The "heart" was already mentioned in verse 7, which described how Philemon's actions refreshed the hearts of the Christians of Colossae. Paul also called Onesimus his "very heart" (Philemon 1:12). Philemon now had the opportunity to personally refresh Paul's heart, by granting his request.