Philemon 1:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Philemon 1:7, NIV: Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord's people.

Philemon 1:7, ESV: For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

Philemon 1:7, KJV: For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Philemon 1:7, NASB: For I have had great joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

Philemon 1:7, NLT: Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God's people.

Philemon 1:7, CSB: For I have great joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

What does Philemon 1:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In verse 7, Paul refers to the same love he mentioned in verse 5. This is from the Greek agape, a love focused on others, which Philemon had previously shared with Paul by supporting him and other believers. This genuine concern gave Paul joy, comfort, and encouragement.

Paul's mention of refreshing the hearts of the saints probably included both spiritual encouragement and financial generosity. Philemon hosted the Colossian church in his home (Philemon 1:2) and had helped Paul in the past. Philemon had also influenced his own family, as his wife and son were considered faithful followers of Christ (Philemon 1:2). Though Philemon was unlikely an elder or deacon in the church, his faithful service to God and to others was highly commendable.

Verse 7 is the end of Paul's early praise of Philemon. In the next verses, he will make his plea for Onesimus to be forgiven and freed from slavery. Just as Philemon had blessed Paul and the church, Paul anticipated that Philemon would bless Onesimus in a similar way.