Philemon 1:9

Yet for love's sake I rather beseech you, being such a one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
He desired Philemon to imitate not his youth but his old age. (On Joseph)


AD 400
Paul makes an appeal for him. Philemon was about the same age as Paul and also a 'prisoner' of Jesus Christ, which means that he was obliged to do the Lord's buisness or even subject to imprisonment on account of the name of Christ, as the apostles themselves also were.

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
I rather beseech thee, thou being such a one, as Paul. That is, united to him in spirit, by the same faith and charity; I am therefore confident thou wilt not refuse the request of Paul, now an aged man, and a prisoner, for the sake of Jesus Christ. (Witham)

John Cassian

AD 435
You see how he rejoiced in the dignity of his chains, by the example of which he actually stirred up others. But there can be no doubt that where there is single-minded love of the Lord, there is also single-minded delight in chains worn for the Lord’s sake: as it is written: “But the multitude of the believers was of one heart and one soul.”

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Paul appeals to Philemon on a number of grounds: the quality of his person, his age, because he was old, and from what was more just than all, because he was also a “prisoner of Jesus Christ.”

John Chrysostom

AD 407
As if he had said, I know indeed that I can effect it by commanding with much authority, from things which have already taken place. But because I am very solicitous about this matter, I beseech you. He shows both these things at once; that he has confidence in him, for he commands him; and that he is exceedingly concerned about the matter, wherefore he beseeches him. Being such an one, he says, as Paul the aged. Strange! How many things are here to shame him into compliance! Paul, from the quality of his person, from his age, because he was old, and from what was more just than all, because he was also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. For who would not receive with open arms a combatant who had been crowned? Who seeing him bound for Christ's sake, would not have granted him ten thousand favors? By so many considerations having previously soothed his mind, he has not immediately introduced the name, but defers making so great a request. For you know what are the minds of masters towar...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
If dear, he will forgive; if a fellow-worker, he will not retain the slave, but will send him back for the ministry of preaching.

Thomas Aquinas

AD 1274
There are two things on account of which one ought to plead. Because of old age. 1 Timothy 1: ‘Do not reproach an old man, but ask him as a father.’ Again, because of the honourableness of virtue, for where we are not deficient, we are equals. Sirach 32:1, ‘Have they made you ruler? Be not lifted up: be among them as one of them.’ Therefore he says, since you are such as you are, as Paul, an old man, as if to say, if you were a boy, I would demand this of you, but you too are old. You are of the same stage of life as I. Not that they are such and so much simply speaking, but in a way similar, which he says out of his humility. Romans 12:10: ‘anticipating one another with honour’. Origen said that it is rare to find a useful teacher in the Church who is not old, thinking of Peter and Paul.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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