To get what Philemon 1:11 means based on its source text, scroll down or follow these links for the original scriptural meaning , biblical context and relative popularity.

“Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:”

Low popularity: 20 searches a month
Popularity relative to other verses in Philemon chapter 1 using average monthly Google searches.

Philemon 1:11 Translation & Meaning

What does this verse really mean? Use this table to get a word-for-word translation of the original Greek Scripture. This shows the English words related to the source biblical texts along with brief definitions. Follow the buttons in the right-hand column for detailed definitions and verses that use the same root words. Use this reference information to gain deeper insight into the Bible and enrich your understanding. Information based on Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[1].

KJV Verse Original Greek Meaning/ Definition
This is a simplified translation of the original Greek word. Follow the buttons on the right to get more detail.
Use the buttons below to get details on the Greek word and view related Bible verses that use the same root word.
Which was τόν The (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom) Which was
in time past ποτέ Indefinite adverb, at some time, ever time past
to thee σοι To thee to thee
unprofitable, ἄχρηστον Inefficient, i.e., (by implication) detrimental unprofitable
but δέ But, and, etc but
now νυνὶ Just now now
profitable εὔχρηστον Easily used, i.e., useful profitable
to thee σοι To thee to thee
and καὶ And, also, even, so then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words and
to me: ἐμοὶ To me to me

Verse Context

See Philemon 1:11 with its adjacent verses in bold below. Follow either of the two large buttons below to see these verses in their broader context of the King James Bible or a Bible concordance.

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  • 9  Yet for love's sake I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

  • 10  I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:

  • 11  Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

  • 12  Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:

  • 13  Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:


The King James Bible (1611) and Strong's Concordance (1890) with Hebrew and Greek dictionaries are sourced from the BibleForgeDB database ( within the BibleForge project ( Popularity rankings are based on search volume data from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

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