New American Standard Bible
For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,
King James Bible
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
Darby Bible Translation
for perhaps for this reason he has been separated from thee for a time, that thou mightest possess him fully for ever;
World English Bible
For perhaps he was therefore separated from you for a while, that you would have him forever,
Young's Literal Translation
for perhaps because of this he did depart for an hour, that age-duringly thou mayest have him,
Philemon 1:15 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season - Perhaps on this account, or for this reason - διὰ τοῦτο dia touto - he left you for a little time. Greek, "for an hour" - πρὸς ὥραν pros hōran. The meaning is, that it was possible that this was permitted in the Providence of God in order that Onesimus might be brought under the influence of the gospel, and be far more serviceable to Philemon as a Christian, than he could have been in his former relation to him. What appeared to Philemon, therefore, to be a calamity, and what seemed to him to be wrong on the part of Onesimus, might have been permitted to occur in order that he might receive a higher benefit. Such things are not uncommon in human affairs.
That thou shouldest receive him for ever - That is, in the higher relation of a Christian friend and brother; that he might be united to thee in eternal affection; that he might not only be with thee in a far more endearing relation during the present life than he was before, but in the bonds of love in a world that shall never end.
"Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.
"Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
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