WHAT DOES “ALBEIT” MEAN?
by Shawn Brasseaux
“Albeit” is employed only twice in the Authorized Version:
- Ezekiel 13:7: “Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?”
- Philemon 19: “I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.”
You may be surprised to learn “albeit” is actually a shortened form of a familiar phrase—“although it may be that.” The false prophets in Ezekiel’s day are bold in preaching their lies, going so far as to claim the LORD is speaking through them. God asks them a rhetorical question (paraphrased, with the plugged-in definition): “You say ‘The LORD saith it,’ although it may be that I have not spoken?” In Philemon, the Apostle Paul is urging Philemon to accept Philemon’s runaway, now-turned-Christian, slave by the name of Onesimus. If Philemon were to argue Onesimus took from him, Paul reminded Philemon that Philemon owed him (Paul), so Philemon should receive Onesimus who took less (paraphrased, with the plugged-in definition): “although it may be that I do not say to you how you owe to me even your own self besides.”