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Fausset's Bible Dictionary
2 Timothy 1:16-18; 2 Timothy 4:19; "the Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus (as Onesiphorus showed mercy), for he oft refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chain (compare Matthew 25:36; Matthew 25:45), but when he was in Rome he sought me out very diligently and found me. The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy (as he found me) of the Lord in that day; and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus thou knowest very well." "Salute the household of Onesiphorus" (2 Timothy 4:19).
Absence from Ephesus probably is the cause of the expression; he had not yet returned from his visit to Rome. If the master were dead the household would not be called after his name. A good man's household shares in his blessing from God as in his deeds for God. Nowhere does Paul use prayers for the dead; Onesiphorus therefore was not dead. "The household of Stephanas" does not exclude "Stephanas" (1 Corinthians 1:16; 1 Corinthians 16:17) so "the household of Onesiphorus" does not necessarily exclude Onesiphorus.
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Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Onesiphorus'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/o/onesiphorus.html. 1949.