The Escaped Slave and Philemon
Thought for the Week:
Paul, a prisoner of Messiah Yeshua, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker, and to Apphia our sister, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the [congregation] in your house: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Yeshua Messiah... (Philemon 1-3)
Have you ever wondered who first collected the letters of Paul and preserved them for future generations? There may be a clue in this week's Torah portion.
In Deuteronomy 23:15-16, the Torah forbids returning escaped slaves to their owners. An escaped slave that takes refuge in Israel is to be given citizenship and the right to live in the place he chooses. This law has significant bearing on the background of the epistle of Philemon. Even though the Torah speaks specifically only of an escaped slave that takes refuge in the land, the broader principle is of the Torah teaches that w…
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