Phm 1:9. Ἀγάπην, love) Mine to thee, thine to Onesimus. Philemon’s love to Paul was previously mentioned. Paul asks lovingly one who loves him.-μᾶλλον, rather) He does not say, if you refuse you will incur my indignation and that of Peter, according to the style of the Roman court, a style which is by no means apostolical.-παρακαλῶ, I beseech).
There are three divisions of the epistle:
I. THE INSCRIPTION, Phm 1:1-3.
II. Having mentioned the flourishing condition of Philemon in spiritual things, Phm 1:4, etc., HE BEGS him to receive Onesimus, a runaway slave, Phm 1:12-17. And desires him to provide a lodging for himself, Phm 1:22.
III. CONCLUSION, Phm 1:23-25.
-τοιοῦτος, such) He lays down three arguments why he would rather affectionately exhort and ask him, than issue a command: his own (Paul’s) natural disposition, long ago well known to Philemon, his old age, and his imprisonment. Old age renders men mild: comp. Luk 5:39 : but even before old age, Paul was still Paul; he formerly depended on the kindness of others, and now, in no respect happier abroad, he still depends upon it. The graceful courtesy in this epistle is mixed with gravity.