corner graphic   Hi,    
Facebook image
ver. 2.0.18.02.18
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 7:3

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence - Την οφειλομενην ευνοιαν· Though our version is no translation of the original, yet few persons are at a loss for the meaning, and the context is sufficiently plain. Some have rendered the words, not unaptly, the matrimonial debt, or conjugal duty - that which a wife owes to her husband, and the husband to his wife; and which they must take care mutually to render, else alienation of affection will be the infallible consequence, and this in numberless instances has led to adulterous connections. In such cases the wife has to blame herself for the infidelity of her husband, and the husband for that of his wife. What miserable work has been made in the peace of families by a wife or a husband pretending to be wiser than the apostle, and too holy and spiritual to keep the commandments of God!


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Let the husband … - “Let them not imagine that there is any virtue in bring separate from each other, as if they were in a state of celibacy” - “Doddridge.” They are bound to each other; in every way they are to evince kindness, and to seek to promote the happiness and purity of each other. There is a great deal of delicacy used here by Paul, and his expression is removed as far as possible from the grossness of pagan writers. His meaning is plain; but instead of using a word to express it which would be indelicate and offensive, he uses one which is not indelicate in the slightest degree. The word which he uses εὔνοιαν eunoianbenevolence”) denotes kindness, good-will, affection of mind. And by the use of the word “due” ὀφειλομένην opheilomenēnhe reminds them of the sacredness of their vow, and of the fact that in person, property, and in every respect, they belong to each other. It was necessary to give this direction, for the contrary might have been regarded as proper by many who would have supposed there was special virtue and merit in living separate from each other; as facts have shown that many have imbibed such an idea - and it was not possible to give the rule with more delicacy than Paul has done. Many mss., however, instead of “due benevolence,” read ὀφειλὴν opheilēn“a debt, or that which is owed;” and this reading has been adopted by Griesbach in the text. Homer, with a delicacy not unlike the apostle Paul, uses the word φιλότητα filotēta “friendship,” to express the same idea.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-7.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto her husband.

In marriage, the sensuous impulse, by being controlled and placed under religious sanctions is refined and purified ... Instead of being any longer the source of untold curses to mankind, it becomes a condition of their continuance and an element in their peace, because it is then placed under the blessing of God and of his church.[14]

Unto the wife her due ... also unto the husband ... The sexual relationship in married couples, far from being wrong, is a lawful and necessary function of Christian marriage. This verse establishes the idea that "Among some of the Corinthians there existed an exaggerated spiritualistic tendency which threatened to injure conjugal relations."[15] There existed a view among ascetics that sex relations were in and of themselves wicked, or evil; and the blight of this monastic error has fallen upon all succeeding generation.

[14] F. W. Farrar, op. cit., p. 224.

[15] Donald S. Metz, op. cit., p. 373.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-7.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence,.... The Syriac version renders it, חובא דמתתחיב, "due love"; and so the Arabic; and may include all the offices of love, tenderness, humanity, care, provision, and protection, which are to be performed by the husband to his wife; though it seems chiefly, if not solely, here to respect what is called, ענתה, Exodus 21:10 "her marriage duty", as distinct from food and raiment to be allowed her; and what is meant by it the Jewish doctors will tell us: one saysF20Mosis Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora, praecept. neg. 81. Sol. Jarchi in Exod. xxi. 10. , it is תשמיש המטה, "the use of the marriage bed"; and, says anotherF21Maimon. Hilch. Isbot, c. 12. sect. 2. Vid. Aben Ezra in Exod. xxi. 10. , לבא עליה, "it is to lie with her", according to the way of all the earth. And so the phrase here, "due benevolence", is an euphemism, and designs the act of coition; which as it is an act of love and affection, a sign of mutual benevolence, so of justice; it is a due debt from divine ordination, and the matrimonial contract. The Jewish doctors have fixed and settled various canonsF23Vid. Misn. Cetubot, c. 5. sect. 6. & Mikvaot, c. 8. sect. 3. concerning the performance, of this conjugal debt: and the apostle may not be altogether without some view to the rules and customs which obtained in his own nation.

And, likewise also the wife unto the husband; she is not to refuse the use of the bed when required, unless there is some just impediment, otherwise she comes under the name of מורדת, a "rebellious wife"; concerning whom, and her punishment, the JewsF24Mosis Kotsensis Mitzvot Tora, pr. neg. 81. give the following rules:

"a woman that restrains her husband from the use of the bed, is called rebellious; and when they ask her why she rebels, if she says, because it is loathsome to me, and I cannot lie with him; then they oblige him to put her away directly, without her dowry; and she may not take any thing of her husband's, not even her shoe strings, nor her hair lace; but what her husband did not give her she may take, and go away: and if she rebels against her husband, on purpose to afflict him, and she does to him so or so, and despises him, they send to her from the sanhedrim, and say to her, know thou, that if thou continuest in thy rebellion, thou shalt not prosper? and after that they publish her in the synagogues and schools four weeks, one after another, and say, such an one has rebelled against her husband; and after the publication, they send and say to her, if thou continuest in thy rebellion, thou wilt lose thy dowry; and they appoint her twelve months, and she has no sustenance from her husband all that time; and she goes out at the end of twelve months without her dowry, and returns everything that is her husband's.'

This account, with a little variation, is also given by MaimonidesF25Hilch. Ishot, c. 14. sect. 8, 9, 10. Vid. Misn. Cetubot, c. 5. sect. 7. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. .


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-7.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 Let the husband render unto the wife c due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

(2) Secondly, he shows that the parties married must with singular affection entirely love one another.

(c) The word "due" contains all types of benevolence, though he speaks more of one sort than of the other, in that which follows.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-7.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Render the due (την οπειλην αποδιδοτωtēn opheilēn apodidotō). Marriage is not simply not wrong, but for many a duty. Both husband and wife have a mutual obligation to the other. “This dictum defends marital intercourse against rigorists, as that of 1 Corinthians 7:1 commends celibacy against sensualists” (Findlay).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-7.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Let not married persons fancy that there is any perfection in living with each other, as if they were unmarried. The debt - This ancient reading seems far more natural than the common one.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-7.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

The meaning of the passage is, that they are not to nullify the marriage tie by living in separation.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-corinthians-7.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3.The husband to the wife. He now prescribes the rules to be observed in the marriage connection, or he teaches what is the duty of husband and wife. And in the first place he lays down a general doctrine as to mutual benevolence — that the husband love his wife, and the wife her husband; for as to the interpretation which others give to the expression due benevolence — duty of marriage — I do not know how far it is suitable. The reason that inclines them to this view is, that it is immediately added, The husband has not power of his own body, etc.; but it will suit better to regard that as an inference drawn from the preceding statement. Husband and wife, therefore, are bound to mutual benevolence: hence it follows, that they have, neither the one nor the other,the power of their own body. But it may be asked, why the Apostle here puts them upon a level, instead of requiring from the wife obedience and subjection. I answer, that it was not his intention to treat of all their duties, but simply of the mutual obligation as to the marriage bed. In other things, therefore, husband and wife differ, both as to duty and as to authority in this respect the condition of both is alike — as to the maintaining of conjugal fidelity. For this reason, also, polygamy ( τολυγαμία) is again condemned; for if this is an invariable condition of marriage, that the husband surrenders the power of his own body, and gives it up to his wife, how could he afterwards connect himself with another, as if he were free?


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-7.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Ver. 3. Let the husband, &c.] Let them be chaste between themselves, and beware both of excess and defect. Chastity is a man’s honour, 1 Thessalonians 4:5. And modesty is the best preserver of nuptial chastity. Marriage as well as meats must be sanctified by the word and prayer. God must be sent for to bless this physic to the soul. Raging lust is a great enemy to conjugal love.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Corinthians 7:3. Due benevolence What is due. Wells. Benevolence here signifies that complacency and compliance which every married couple ought to have for each other, with respect to their mutual satisfaction. Locke.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. That matrimonial conversation, or the husband's and wife's performing towards each other all the duties of marriage which they promised, is an act of justice, which they owe to one another: this is intimated in the word render, and consequently to deny the same is injustice and fraud: Defraud not one another. Marriage takes away from persons that power which they had over themselves and their own bodies, and transfers it in some sort to the person they are married to.

Yet observe, 2. That persons in a married state may, and in some cases ought, (namely, for religious ends and purposes,) by mutual consent to abstain from a conjugal duty for some time: Defraud not one another, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer.

Observe, 3. The apostle lays no obligation upon any single persons to take upon them a vow for a single life, nor doth he direct married persons to those perpetual divorces from the marriage-bed, which the papists practise, under pretence of religion: for the apostle admits of no perpetual separation between husband and wife, upon any pretence whatever: no, not that they may give themselves to prayer and fasting; but only permits it for a time, upon condition that they come together again. So far was this holy man from laying a snare upon the consciences of any persons, either in a single or married state.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3. τὴν ὀφειλήν] ‘debitum tori’. The rec. was perhaps an euphemism (we have also the varieties, ὀφειλομένην τιμὴν, Chrysostom once: ὀφ. τιμὴν καὶ εὔνοιαν in the ms. 40) for the same thing. Meyer will not concede this, but thinks it arose from a mistaken interpretation of ὀφειλή as meaning merelybenevolentia:’ thinking that not εὔνοια, but φιλότης would be the word in the other case. But some of the later examples in Wetst. seem to bear out this meaning of εὔνοια.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-7.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Corinthians 7:3. ὀφειλὴν, what is due [due benevolence, Engl. Vers.]) This is explained in the next verse. Gataker shows, that the same duty was called by the Greeks χάριν, by the poets φιλότητα. The reading of this passage, due benevolence, ὀφειλομένην εὒνοιαν, is a spurious paraphrase.(56) [ ὀφειλὴν is the native (genuine) and simple reading.—Not. crit.]


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-7.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The word translated due benevolence, signifieth due goodwill or kindness, but from 1 Corinthians 7:5, it appeareth what the apostle meaneth: Moses, Exodus 21:10, calleth it, the duty of marriage; both of them using a modest term in expressing the conjugal act, as we shall observe the Scripture always doing, when there is occasion to mention what men of profane hearts are ready to make a scoff at. The apostle maketh this the mutual duty both of husband and wife, under due circumstances, therefore useth the word render, which implieth the thing required to be an act of justice.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Due benevolence; these words express the mutual duty of husband and wife towards each other, as explained in verses 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. Whatever increases temptations to evils which marriage was designed to prevent, or renders it ineffectual for the purposes for which it was instituted, should be carefully avoided.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-7.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. τὴν ὀφειλήν. What is due, the debt.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-7.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Due benevolence—The best reading omits benevolence. Let each party, instead of an ascetic abstinence, render to the other the conjugal due.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-7.html. 1874-1909.

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

3. Let the husband give to the wife that which is due, and also likewise the wife to her husband.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-7.html.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In view of the temptation to commit fornication, each partner in marriage needs to fulfill his or her sexual duty to the spouse. Part of the responsibility of marriage is to meet the various needs of the partner ( Genesis 2:18), including sexual needs.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-7.html. 2012.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

One might ask, what do verses 3-6 have to do with the previous points? "In verse 1 he has said that celibacy is honorable and advantageous, but, come what may, fornication must be avoided. The lawful channel for sexual satisfaction is the marriage. But what"s the point of choosing marriage (in part) to avoid fornication if the partner"s sexual needs are not being met?" (McGuiggan p. 93)

From looking at verses 5-6, it seems to be a fair deduction that some in Corinth were advocating and practicing "celibacy" in the marriage relationship.

"render unto the wife her due"-"to give what one owes or is under obligation to render." (Lenski p. 275) "The language of obligation, literally, "the payment of what is due.", implies that married couples are indebted to one another sexually." (Fee p. 279)

"likewise also the wife unto the husband"-in the area of sexual relations, we find equally among the sexes in marriage. No double standard here.

Points to Note:

1. In a time when everyone likes to say or think, "I don"t owe you anything and you don"t owe me anything". Paul says that "indebtedness" exists in marriage. Both partners owe a debt to the other partner that they can never repay.

2. To marry someone, and then withhold sexual intimacy from them, is to deliberately deceive them, it"s false advertizing, it"s fraud and it"s sin. Paul didn"t believe in "sexless marriages". If you have no desire for sexual relations, then don"t get married! Some may argue, "but I just want some companionship". Paul would tell us, "you can find companionship with good friends (he had many), but marriage is much more than companionship".

4. "Failure to fulfill one"s obligation in marriage might cause the partner to seek sexual gratification outside the martial relationship..in the event that this happens, the one who withheld sexual intercourse is not an innocent party!" [Note: _ Willis p. 211]

5. Fee even speculates that this may have been the reason why some of the men at Corinth were or were being tempted to seek out the services of the temple prostitutes ().


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-7.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

benevolence. Greek. eunoia. Only here and Ephesians 6:7; but instead of "due benevolence", all the texts read "the debt", Greek. opheile, which Occurs elsewhere only in Matthew 18:32. Romans 13:7.

also the wife = the wife also.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-7.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence.—Rather, Let the husband render unto the wife her due—such being the reading of the better MSS. In this verse the Apostle answers the scruples of those who already were married and who doubted whether they should continue so.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-7.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
Exodus 21:10; 1 Peter 3:7

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-7.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

And each should satisfy the other's needs. God's original marriage-law (see note on 1 Corinthians 7:2) shows that by His decree, husband and wife are to satisfy each other's physical and emotional needs. No Jewish High Priest would ever have imagined the sexual union in marriage to be an unholy thing! This shows how much Greek thought has influenced Christianity down through the centuries.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 7:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-7.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.


Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, February 18th, 2018
the First Sunday of Lent
There are 42 days til Easter!
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology