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Sunday, April 21st, 2024
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Bible Commentaries
1 Corinthians 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

GOD ORDAINED MARRIAGE

1) “Now concerning the things.” (peri de on) “Moreover concerning the numerous things,” things relative to sex in marriage and outside of marriage relations.

2) "Whereof ye wrote unto me.” (on egrapsate) “of which things ye wrote (inquiring of) me.”

3) “It is good for a man.” (Greek kalon anthropo) “it is good or ideal for a man.” Instructions regarding this sensitive matter of biological cause and effect of sex stimuli and response. Verses 1-6 Paul gave under permissive will of the Holy Spirit.

4) “Not to touch a woman.” (hunaikos me aptesthai) “not to touch a woman.” Excitement caused -by touch of stimuli and response between the unmarried in physical contact is to be avoided or discouraged to guard the Christian against fornication and incest.

Verse 2

1) “Nevertheless to avoid fornication.” (dia de tas porneias) “but because of (acts of or ‘desires of) fornication.” Fornication is a sin of physical sex impurity, Christians are to flee, Matthew 5:32; Ephesians 5:3.

2) “Let every man have his own wife.” (he kastos ten heautou grenaika echeto) “Let each man have or hold his own wife.” Genesis 2:24. This relates to satisfaction of each husband’s physical sexual needs, by his own wife. See Proverbs 5:18-20; Malachi 2:14-15.

3) “And let every woman have her own husband.” (kai hekaste tondiion andra echeto) “and let each wife have or hold her own husband” - For her sex satisfaction, in wedlock, Genesis 3:16; Ephesians 5:22-24.

Verse 3

1) “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence.” The husband (of every wife) is charged to give forth to his wife those affections and physical expressions of devotion desirable to satisfy her sexual needs.

2) “And likewise also the wife unto the husband.” (Greek homois de kai) “in a like or similar manner also.” (he gune to andre) “the wife to her husband,” is to give forth of herself to completely satisfy his physical sexual needs. Such physical and emotional devout giving of each other, as one in marriage, helps each (as one) to avoid fornication and maintain fidelity in marital vows.

Verse 4

1) “The wife hath not power of her own body.” (he gune tou idiou somatos ouk eksousiazetei) “The wife does not have or hold jurisdiction or authority of her own body,” in marital oneness.

2) “But the husband,” (alla ho aner) “but the husband” (of her) has jurisdiction, authority, or a restrictive right to her body in conjugal marital sexual matters.

3) “And likewise also the husband.” (alla homoios de kai ho aner)- “in the same manner, or likewise also the husband,” of the wife.

4) “Hath not power of his own body.” (tou idiou somatos ouk eksousiazei) “has or holds not jurisdiction, authority or a restrictive right of his body in marital sex matters.” Ephesians 5:28-33.

5) “But the wife.” (alla he gune) “but the wife” has due right to satisfaction of physical sex needs from her own husband.

Verse 5

1) “Defraud ye not one the other,” (me apostereite allelous) “turn ye not away from each other” or “do not deprive one another.” Though no previous writer or prophet had been inspired to write on these special physical needs of partners in marriage, Paul did so in the will of Christ, 1 Corinthians 14:37.

2) “Except it be with consent for a time.” (ei meti an ek sumphonou pros kairon) “Except it should be by agreement, in symphony, or in harmony for an agreed period of time.”

3) “That ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer.” (hina scholasete te proseuche) “in order that you both may have leisure and prayer.”

4) “And come together again.” (kai palin epi to auto ete) “and ye may be or come together as one again,” to satisfy sex desires of each that would shield each against temptations to fornication.

5) “That Satan tempt you not.” (hina me peiraze huma o satanas) “in order that Satan might not tempt or test you.” (1 Peter 3:1-2; 1 Peter 3:7)

6) “For your incontinency.” (dia ten akrasian) “Because of the want or lack of self-control,” (of desires and impulses that lead to fornication).

Verse 6

1) “But I speak this by permission.” (touto de lego kata suggnomen) “this, however, I say by allowance, concession, or permission” (of the Holy Spirit), “without restraint.”

2) “And not of commandment.” (ou kat epitagen) “not according to, or having as a precedent, a commandment.” Paul simply conceded that he had responded to things relating to sexual matters about which the Corinth brethren had made inquiry, although no previous Divine commandment had ever been given on such matters.

Verse 7

1) “For I would that all men were even as I myself.” (thelo de pantas anthropous einai hos kai hemauton) ,’moreover I spiritually desire all men to be even as I myself am.” Paul was unmarried and in this state kept his body under restraint; 1 Corinthians 7:8; 1 Corinthians 9:27.

2) “But every man hath his proper gift of God.” (alla hekastos idion echei charisma ek theou) “But each person has his own particular gift or anointing of God.”

3) “One after this manner.” (ho men houtos) “The one his own after this manner.”

4) “And one after that.” (ho de houtos) (and) "the other after his manner.” This seems to refer to differing degrees of personal power to restrain one’s self in desires of sexual satisfaction or continency.

Verse 8

1) “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows,” (Lego de tois agamois kai tais cherais) “I say therefore to the unmarried men and to the widows” - to those who had made inquiry among the membership of the Corinth church.

2) “It is good for them.” (kalon autois) “it is good or ideal for them” (as unmarried men and as widows).

3) “If they abide even as I.” (ean meinosen hos kago) “if they remain, abide, or continue, as I even remain” unmarried. Such, Paul asserts, is the ideal, yet he concedes the following.

Verse 9

1) “But if they can not contain,” (ei de) “if however, or on the other hand” (ouk egkrateuontai) “they do not exercise or practice self-control” (in matters of sex desires).

2) “Let them marry.” (gamesatosan) “Let them marry” - the unmarried men and widows who can not exercise a Christian standard of restraint from fornication. 1 Corinthians 9:27; 1 Timothy 5:14-15.

3) “For it is better to marry than to burn.” (Kreitton gar estin gamein he purousthai) “Because it is better to marry than to be burning or in a state of enflamed impulses of desires for fornication.” John 2:1-2; Hebrews 13:4. Our Lord validated sacred matrimony by performing his first miracle at a wedding feast and the writer of Hebrews certified that it was an honorable state for all in which state there was nothing defiling in bed relations.

Verse 10

ORDER OF MARRIAGE AMONG GENTILE SAINTS

1) “And unto the married I command,” (tois de gegameekosin parangello) “To the ones having married, I admonish, enjoin, or advise.” – not (entole) having had a direct command from the Lord, but being led of the Lord.

2) “yet not I, but the Lord,” (ouk ego alla ho Kurios), by inspiration, though not aforestated by direct command in the Law and the Prophets or by Jesus.

3) “Let not the wife depart from her husband:” (gunaika apo andros mee chooristheenai) or a wife-woman let not abandon her husband, a permanent departure or separation. Let her linger unmarried. Paul was inspired in recording these things, as in all his Pauline letters a thing he charged all to accept as “the commandments of the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 14:37; Galatians 1:20.

Verse 11

1) “But and if she depart,” (ean de kai choristhe) “if indeed even she is separated” from her husband.

2) “Let her remain unmarried,” (Meneto agamos) “Let her remain, linger, or continue unmarried.”

3) “Or be reconciled to her husband.” (he to andri Katalageto) “or to her own husband become reconciled.”

4) “And let not the husband put away his wife.” (kai andra gunaika me aphienai) “And let not a husband leave, desert, abandon, or put away his wife.” Such has been the primary will of God, from the beginning, Matthew 19:3-9.

Verse 12

1) “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.” (tois de loipois lego ego, ouch ho kurios) “yet to the remaining ones (about which you wrote me – 1 Corinthians 7:1) Speak I, not the Lord.” Paul differentiated between Divine commands previously given and those he was then giving for the first specific Divine revelation on these matters.

2) “If any brother hath a wife that believeth not.” (ei tis adelphos gunaika echei apiston) “if any brother has an unbelieving or unsaved wife.”

3) “And she be pleased to dwell with him.” (kai aute suneudokei oikein met autou) “and she willingly consents or is pleased to continue dwell with him.”

4) “Let him not put her away.” (Me aphieto auten) “Let him not leave, desert, or put her away.”

Verse 13

1) “And the woman that hath a husband that believeth not.” (kai gune hetis echei andra apiston)

“also a wife (believing) who has an husband who is unbelieving or unsaved.”

2) “And if he be pleased to dwell with her.” (kai (if) houtos suneudokei oikein met autes) “and if this husband be willing, consents, or is pleased to dwell with her.”

3) “Let her not leave him.” (me aphieto ton andra) “Let her not leave, desert, or put him away.” Christianity, in reaching homes of unsaved parents, does not design to divide social and domestic ties of husbands and wives, but to strengthen these ties, Ephesians 6:1-4.

Verse 14

1) “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife.” The term sanctified (Greek hagiastai) means ”has been set apart.” The unbelieving or unsaved husband, by the believing wife. The twain, being one, are accounted as holy in matrimony, or Scripturally married.

2) “And the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.” The unbelieving wife on the other hand has been “set apart” by the believing husband, who is a brother (Greek adephos) in the Lord. However, union or marriage of a saved person to an unsaved person is later forbidden, 2 Corinthians 6:14.

3) “Else were your children unclean.” (Greek epei ara ta tekna humon akatharta estin) “Since then even the children of you are unclean.”

4) “But now are they clean.” (nun de hagia estin) “But now and here after they are holy, or set apart.” This means they are begotten in Scriptural wedlock, not as unclean or bastards.

Verse 15

1) “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart.” (ei de ho apistos chorizetai) “But if the unbelieving or unsaved separates himself or herself of his or her own accord.”

2) “A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases.” (ou dedoulotai ho adelphos he adelpa en tois toioutois) “A brother or sister has not been shackled or enslaved in such matters.”

3) “But God hath called us to peace.” (en de eirene kekleken humas ho theos) “But God has called us to, toward, or to abide in peace.” Marital peace and tranquillity should pervade the Christian household, 2 Corinthians 13:11; 2 Peter 3:14; Romans 14:19.

Verse 16

1) “For what knowest thou, 0 wife.” (ti gar oidas, gunai) “For what do you know, 0 believing wife.” You know not what fruit your sowing of good seed faithfully may bear. Ecclesiastes 11:6.

2) ‘Whether thou shalt save thy husband.” (ei ton andra soseis); “if thy unbelieving husband thou mayest save?” Obedience of a Christian wife to an unsaved husband may be used of God to turn him to Christ, 1 Peter 3:1-6.

3) “Or how knowest thou, 0 man.” (he ti aidas, aner) “or what knowest thou 0 believing husband, (brother).”

4) “Whether thou shalt save thy wife?” (ei ten gunaika soseis) “If thy own unbelieving wife thou mayest save?” 1 Peter 3:7-8; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 5:28.

Verse 17

1) “But as God hath distributed to every man.” (ei me hekosto hos memeuiken ho kurios) “Only as the Lord, has divided, measured out or distributed to each.”

2) “As the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk.” (and) let each walk or continue his course or marital state as when he was called of God, Paul instructed. Paul was not a home-breaker, but a home-helper or builder, Ephesians 6:1-4.

3) “And so ordain I in all churches.” (kai houtos en tais ecclesia pasais diatasomai) “and thus I instruct or set in order of my own accord in all congregations or churches,” Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 18

1) “Is any man called being circumcised.” (peritetmemenos tis eklethe;) “was anyone called having been circumcised?” having received the outward physical mark of an Israelite.

2) “Let him not become uncircumcised.” (me epispasto) “Let him not be uncircumcised.” Let him not physically alter or change his identity, as if he were an Israelite, Genesis 17:10; Deuteronomy 10:16.

3) “Is any called in uncircumcision.” (en akrobustia kekletai tis) “has anyone been called in uncircumcision?” Never having received the male sex identity of an Israelite.

4) “Let him not be circumcised.” (me peritemnestho) “Let him not become circumcised.” or take to himself the physical mark, identity of a male Israelite. Acts 15:1; Acts 15:24. Mere cutting off the foreskin of the male penis did not and could not make one a true follower of Jesus.

Verse 19

1) “Circumcision is nothing.” (he peritome ouden estin) “The circumcision nothing is” - as it relates to salvation of the unsaved, Jew or Gentile. Galatians 5:2.

2) “And uncircumcision is nothing." (Kai he akrobustia ouden esten) “and uncircumcision is not one thing” - not one thing to cause contention, quarrel about, cause discussion in the family and church, or to help obtain or retain salvation. Galatians 5:6; Galatians 6:15.

3) “But the keeping of the commandments of God.” (alla teresis entolon theou) “but keeping or guarding the commandments of God” - is something. Outward conformity to ceremonies of the Law of Moses or Christ never brought salvation to anyone or helped anyone stay saved, but confession of sins and trust in the Redeemer has and does. Romans 4:1-5.

Verse 20

1) “Let every man abide in the same calling.” Paul instructed each male person to remain or continue in the calling - the same person of physical identity - (without change of person). The idea is that attempts to change or alter sex or race characteristics are neither necessary to be saved nor to serve Jesus Christ or keep His commandments. John 14:15.

2) ‘Wherein he was called.” (he eklethe) “In which state or condition he was called,” Let him remain in the very same physical state or condition, circumcised or uncircumcised. Family ties were not to be disturbed by laws that did not apply to followers of Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:11; Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 21

1) “Art thou called being a servant.” (doulous eklethes;) “was thou called or saved while being a slave?” It appears that some had.

2) “Care not for it.” - (me soi meleto) “Let it (slavery) not be a matter to thee” - do not be disturbed - If one can be saved while in the state of slavery, he can keep the commands of God in the same state.

3) “But if thou mayest be free, use it rather.” (alla ei kai dunasai elutheros) “but if indeed thou art able free” (genesthai) “to become in thine own behalf” - (mallon chresai) “use the freedom rather than or more than the state of slavery.” Luke 3:10; Luke 3:14; 1 Timothy 6:8.

Verse 22

1) “For he that is called being a servant.” The person who is saved, while yet a servant, property of his earthly master, remains the servant of his earthly master, to be used or set free at the choice of his earthly master.

2) “Is the Lord’s freeman.” Yet he is the Lord’s free man, liberated man, from eternal condemnation (apelutheros), forever free, Romans 8:1; John 8:36.

3) “Likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.” In like manner, the one saved, having been called redeemed, (being forever free) (Greek eleutheros kletheis) is a slave, purchased and obligated to serve his Spiritual Master, Jesus Christ – Romans 6:18; Romans 6:22; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Verse 23

1) “Ye are bought with a price.” (times egorasthete) “of or with a market-place like price ye were purchased,” or bought out of the slave-market. 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

2) “Be not ye the servants of men.” (me ginesthe douloi anthropon) “do not become slaves of common humanity,” the unregenerate desires of men, or Ephesians 6:6.

Verse 24

1) “Brethren let every man, wherein he is called.” Paul exhorts the Corinthian brethren in whatever their physical or sexual condition as called, - slaves - freemen - circumcised or uncircumcised to give themselves to the service of God.

2) “Therein abide with God.” (en touto meneto para theo) “Let him in this state or condition remain, abide or continue in close association with God.” Ephesians 6:5; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:22; Colossians 3:24.

Verse 25

1) “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord:”- have no commandment of the Lord.” Concerning virgins, morally clean unmarried young women, Paul conceded that he had not a single precedent of command of the Lord. He thus had no previous command to validate anything he was to say.

2) “Yet I give my judgement.” (gnomen de didomi) “Yet, of my own accord, or by unrestrained permission, I give my judgement” - this too regarded a question of their inquiry. 1 Corinthians 7:1.

3) “As one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.” (hos eleemenos hupo kuriou pistos einai) “as one having received mercy by the Lord to be faithful.” Paul sought, without reservation or restraint to be faithful in all his advice or exhortations.

Verse 26

1) ”I suppose that this is good for the present distress.” (nomizo oun touto kalon huparchein) I suppose therefore this to be (the) ideal.” (dia ten enestosan anagken) “because of the present necessity.”

2) ”I say, that it i s good for a man so to be.” (hoti kalon anthropon to houtos einai) “that (it is) ideal for a man so to be 0 say).” The ideal for a virgin, morally pure, Christian man or woman, is do his or her best, giving Christ first place in their lives. Philippians 4:11.

Verse 27

1) “Art thou bound to a wife? seek not to be loosed.” (dedesai gunaiki;) “Hast thou been bound to a wife?” This indicates that marital vows, of voluntary agreement, are binding. (me zetei lusin) “Seek not release or to be legally divorced or put away.” 1 Corinthians 7:12.

2) “Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” (lelusai apo gunaikos) “hast thou been from a wife released” (divorced), before salvation - (me zetei gunaika) “Do not seek a wife.” 2 Corinthians 7:7-8.

Verse 28

1) “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned.” lean de kai gameses ouch hemartes) “if however thou should marry thou dost not sin” (as a formerly unmarried man).

2) “And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned.” (kai ean geme he parthenos) “And should a virgin (morally pure unmarried young woman) marry.” (ouch hemarten) “She sinned not,” when she did.

3) “Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh; but I spare you.” (thlipsin de te sarki ikousin oi toioutoi ego de humon pheidomai) “however, affliction in the flesh such as one shall have” –Genesis 3:16. “But I am sparing you” - leaving the choice to you.

Verse 29

1) “But this I say, brethren, the time is short.” (touto de phemi adelphoi, ho kairos sunestalmenos estin) “This moreover I assert gravely, brethren, the season is shortened.” This refers to the brevity of life and the uncertainty of the shortened time to the coming of Christ. 1 Peter 4:7.

2) “It remaineth, that both they that have wives.” (to loipon hina kai hai echontes gunaikas) “It” (the shortened time) lingers or continues in order that even those having wives already.”

3) “Be as though they had none.” - (hos me echontes osin) “Be as those not having or holding wives.” Paul simply asserts that first devotion of even the married should be to Jesus, Matthew 6:33.

Verse 30

1) “And they that weep, as though they wept not.” (kai hoi kaiontes hos me klaontes) “and those weeping as if they wept not.” Weeping, moaning, must not deter God’s children from service.

2) “And they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not.” (kai hoi chairontes hos me chairontes) “and the ones rejoicing as if they rejoiced not.” And rejoicing must not obstruct or delay obedient service of one to follow the Lord.

3) “And they that buy, as though they possessed not.” (kai hoi agorazontes hos me katechontes) "and the ones buying in the market place as though they were holding not, The idea is that true saints of God, believing in the shortening of the Gentile age, the brevity of life, and the coming of their Lord for an accounting, should not buy or horde to themselves. 2 Peter 3:8.

Verse 31

1) “And they that use this world” (kai hoi chromenoi ton kosmon) “and the ones using the present world order.” They seem unaware that it is corrupt, temporary, transient, changing, decaying and will soon pass. 1 John 2:15-16.

2) “As not abusing it.” (hos me katochromenoi) “as not abusing it.” Romans 12:2. To be glued to the things of this sinful world order is to abuse it rather than use it for God.

3) “For the fashion of this world passeth away.” (paragei gar to schema tou kosmou toutou) “For the scheme or pattern of this world order is passing, drifting, decaying.” 1 John 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Verse 32

1) “But I would have you without carefulness.” (thelo humas amerimnous einai) “But I strongly desire (that) you all be free from anxious care.” As a parent yearns for the best for his children, so Paul desired the best for the Corinthians.

2) “He that is unmarried.” (ho agamos) “The unmarried man”, this is the man without a marital pledge of care for a wife.

3) “Careth for the things that belong to the Lord.” (merima ta tau kuriou) “Anxiously cares for the things of the Lord” - gives to them preeminence of his attention, time, means and devotion. Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23.

4) “How he may please the Lord.” (pos arese to kurio) “how or by what means he may please the Master.” His first commitment of obedience to Christ is less impeded as an unmarried man.

Verse 33

1) “But he that is married.” (ho de gamesas) “But the one having already married,” (as a believer in Christ.)

2) “Careth for the things of the world.” (merimna ta tou kosmou) Anxiously attends to the things of the world order of daily living, lives for the present moment.

3) “How he may please his wife,” (pos arese te gunaiki) “How he may continually please his wife,” Though Paul did not advocate the concept of the cloistered priesthood, celibacy, or the nunnery; (Hebrews 13:4) he did set forth the premise that greatest service to Christ may be rendered by the unmarried.

Verse 34

1) “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. ‘ (kai memeristai kai he gune he agamos kai he porthenos) There has been divided (a difference established) between the wife and the virgin - a difference of interest and devotion.

2) “The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord.” The unmarried woman (as a virgin) without marital vows of restraint, anxiously cares for the things of the Master.

3) “That she may be holy both in body and in spirit.” (huna e hagia kai to somati kai to pneumati) “in order that she may be or abide in a holy state both in body and in spirit of disposition.”

4) “But she that is married careth for the things of the world.” The woman having married, has anxious cares continually of the things of the present world order.

5) “How she may please her husband “”How she may continually please her husband.” The idea is that the wife’s first earthly devotion of time and. interest is how to please her husband.

Verse 35

1) “And this I speak for your own profit.” (touto de pros to humon auton sumphoron lego) “and this position I state for your own advantage or prosperity” (in the Lord). Luke 10:38-42.

2) “Not that I may cast a snare upon you.” (ouch hina broschon humin epibalo) “Not in order that I may cast a restraint halter or snare upon you.”

3) “But for that which is comely,” (alla pros to euschemon) “But for the thing that is comely,” or simply best for you. Paul simply instructs for the best possible spiritual welfare of the readers, not to limit their liberty.

4) “And that they may attend upon the Lord without distraction.” (kai eupardron to kurio aperispastos) “And waiting on the Lord undistractedly” or without distraction.

Verse 36

1) “But if any man thinketh that he behaveth himself.” (ei de tis aschemonein epi ten parthenon autou nomizei) “if, however, anyone has thoughts toward or to his virgin to behave dishonorably” - immorally.

2) “Uncomely toward his virgin.” - the term “uncomely” (Greek aschemonein) toward his morally clean sweetheart means to press for sex favors outside of wedlock - a dishonorable course.

3) “If she pass the flower of her age, and need so require (ean he huperakmos kai houtos ophelei ginesthai) “If he or she is past the bloom of youth and so owes it affectionately to be, or respond.”

4) “Let him do what he will, he sinneth not.” (ho thelei poieito) “What he wills from his whole heart, let him do, or do not hinder him.” (ouch amartanei) “He sins not.”

5) “Let them marry.” (Greek gameitosan) “Let or permit them to marry.” Genesis 2:24; Hebrews 13:4.

Verse 37

1) “Nevertheless he that standeth steadfast in his heart.” (hos de esteken ente kardia auton edairos) “However, he who stands firm in his heart” -separated, first to the Lord having his bodily desires and passion under subjection, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

2) “Having no necessity, but hath power over his own will.” (me echon anagken) “Not having a necessity,” (eksousian de echei peri tou idiou thelematos) “but has or holds control or jurisdiction over the strongest will of his life” - “for material possessions.”

3) “And hath so decreed in his heart.” (kai touto kekriken en te idia kardia) “and has decided or firmly decreed in his heart.” This appears to confront the temptation of a father to barter or offer his virgin daughter for marital gifts.

4) “That he will keep his virgin, doeth well.” (terein ten heautou parthenon kalos poisei) “to keep or guard his own virgin will do well.” In spite of social practices, the father has a dutiful influence toward his virgin daughter and marriage - he is not to pressure her to marry against her will even beyond the bloom of youth, (20 years of age).

Verse 38

1) “So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well.” (hoste kai ho gamizon ten heautou parthenon kalos poiei) “So then the (father) giving the marrying virgin does (outwardly) well, a good thing - For “he that findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” Psalms 18:22; Psalms 19:14.

2) “But he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.” (kai ho me gamizon kreisson poiesei) “and the one (father) not marrying (her off) will do better.” Paul’s advice, in the spirit of the Lord, regarding the holy state of matrimony and the liberty of the Christian to serve God wholly, or ‘with restrictions of the flesh, were given to avoid coercion of the Christian conscience of any, but to call each to the highest possible use of his life to honor God, both within and without the holy bonds of wedlock.

Verse 39

1) “The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth.” (gune dedetai eph hoson chronon ze ho aner autes) “The wife has been voluntarily bound (by the law of marriage) for so long a chronological time as her husband may live.” Matthew 19:3-10: Genesis 2:23-24.

2) “But if her husband be dead.” (eande koimethe ho aner) “If however her husband is asleep in death” - or should he die.

3) “She is at liberty to be married to whom she will.” (eluthera estin o thelei gamethenai) “Free she is to be married to whom she strongly wishes;" out of spiritual love.

4) “Only in the Lord.” (monon en kurio) “Only in the Lord.” Christian marriage can be entered into only when two unmarried persons, in the Lord marry - marry one another as husband and wife. 2 Corinthians 6:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:3.

Verse 40

1) “But she is happier if she so abide.” (tera de estin ean houtos meine) “However, happier she exists if thus she remains, abides or continues,” as a widow.

2) “After my judgement.” (kata ten emen gnomen) “According to my opinion or judgement” - “Whatever others may deem judgement - good or bad.

3) “And I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” (doko de kago pneuma theou echein) “What is more I also seem, think, or deem (that) I have, hold, or contain the Spirit of God in this matter.” This is the spirit of modesty which Paul manifests regarding these sensitive and personal matters of Christian sex perspectives within and without marriage, and about which the brethren had made inquiry of him, 1 Corinthians 7:1.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-corinthians-7.html. 1985.
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