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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 7

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    7:1 {Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote} (peri de hwn egrayate). An ellipsis of peri toutwn, the antecedent of peri hwn, is easily supplied as in papyri. The church had written Paul a letter in which a number of specific problems about marriage were raised. He answers them _seriatim_. The questions must be clearly before one in order intelligently to interpret Paul's replies. The first is whether a single life is wrong. Paul pointedly says that it is not wrong, but good (kalon). One will get a one-sided view of Paul's teaching on marriage unless he keeps a proper perspective. One of the marks of certain heretics will be forbidding to marry (#1Ti 4:3). Paul uses marriage as a metaphor of our relation to Christ (#2Co 11:2; Ro 7:4; Eph 5:28-33). Paul is not here opposing marriage. He is only arguing that celibacy may be good in certain limitations. The genitive case with haptesqai (touch) is the usual construction.

    7:2 {Because of fornications} (dia tas porneias). this is not the only reason for marriage, but it is a true one. The main purpose of marriage is children. Mutual love is another. The family is the basis of all civilization. Paul does not give a low view of marriage, but is merely answering questions put to him about life in Corinth.

    7:3 {Render the due} (ten ofeilen apodidotw). 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 ver. #1 commends celibacy against sensualists" (Findlay).

    7:4 {The wife} (he gune). The wife is mentioned first, but the equality of the sexes in marriage is clearly presented as the way to keep marriage undefiled (#Heb 13:4). "In wedlock separate ownership of the person ceases" (Robertson and Plummer).

    7:5 {Except it be by consent for a season} (ei meti [an] ek sumfwnou pros kairon). If an is genuine, it can either be regarded as like ean though without a verb or as loosely added after ei meti and construed with it. {That ye may give yourselves unto prayer} (hina scolasete tei proseucei). First aorist active subjunctive of scolazw, late verb from scole, leisure (our "school"), and so to have leisure (punctiliar act and not permanent) for prayer. Note private devotions here. {That Satan tempt you not} (hina me peirazei). Present subjunctive, that Satan may not keep on tempting you. {Because of your incontinency} (dia ten akrasian [humwn]). A late word from Aristotle on for akrateia from akrates (without self-control, a privative and kratew, to control, common old word). In N.T. only here and #Mt 23:25 which see.

    7:6 {By way of permission} (kata sungnwmen). Old word for pardon, concession, indulgence. _Secundum indulgentiam_ (Vulgate). Only here in N.T., though in the papyri for pardon. The word means "knowing together," understanding, agreement, and so concession. {Not of commandment} (ou kat' epitagen). Late word (in papyri) from epitassw, old word to enjoin. Paul has not commanded people to marry. He has left it an open question.

    7:7 {Yet I would} (qelw de). "But I wish." Followed by accusative and infinitive (anqrwpous einai). this is Paul's personal preference under present conditions (#7:26). {Even as I myself} (hws kai emauton). this clearly means that Paul was not qen married and it is confirmed by #9:5. Whether he had been married and was now a widower turns on the interpretation of #Ac 26:10 "I cast my vote." If this is taken literally (the obvious way to take it) as a member of the Sanhedrin, Paul was married at that time. There is no way to decide. {His own gift from God} (idion carisma ek qeou). So each must decide for himself. See on ¯1:7 for carisma, a late word from carizomai.

    7:8 {To the unmarried and to the widows} (tois agamois kai tais cerais). It is possible that by "the unmarried" (masculine plural) the apostle means only men since widows are added and since virgins receive special treatment later (verse #25) and in verse #32 ho agamos is the unmarried man. It is hardly likely that Paul means only widowers and widows and means to call himself a widower by hws kagw (even as I). After discussing marital relations in verses #2-7 he returns to the original question in verse #1 and repeats his own personal preference as in verse #7. He does not say that it is _better_ to be unmarried, but only that it is _good_ (kalon as in verse #1) for them to remain unmarried. agamos is an old word and in N.T. occurs only in this passage. In verses #11, 34 it is used of women where the old Greeks would have used anandros, without a husband.

    7:9 {But if they have not continency} (ei de ouk egkrateuontai). Condition of the first class, assumed as true. Direct middle voice egkrateuontai, hold themselves in, control themselves. {Let them marry} (gamesatwsan). First aorist (ingressive) active imperative. Usual _Koin‚_ form in -twsan for third plural. {Better} (kreitton). Marriage is better than continued sexual passion. Paul has not said that celibacy is {better} than marriage though he has justified it and expressed his own personal preference for it. The metaphorical use of purousqai (present middle infinitive) for sexual passion is common enough as also for grief (#2Co 11:29).

    7:10 {To the married} (tois gegamekosin). Perfect active participle of gamew, old verb, to marry, and still married as the tense shows. {I give charge} (paraggellw). Not mere wish as in verses #7,8. {Not I, but the Lord} (ouk egw alla ho kurios). Paul had no commands from Jesus to the unmarried (men or women), but Jesus had spoken to the married (husbands and wives) as in #Mt 5:31f.; 19:3-12; Mr 10:9-12; Lu 16:18. The Master had spoken plain words about divorce. Paul reenforces his own inspired command by the command of Jesus. In #Mr 10:9 we have from Christ: "What therefore God joined together let not man put asunder" (me corizetw). {That the wife depart not from her husband} (gunaika apo andros me corisqenai). First aorist passive infinitive (indirect command after paraggellw) of corizw, old verb from adverbial preposition cwris, separately, apart from, from. Here used of divorce by the wife which, though unusual qen, yet did happen as in the case of Salome (sister of Herod the Great) and of Herodias before she married Herod Antipas. Jesus also spoke of it (#Mr 10:12). Now most of the divorces are obtained by women. this passive infinitive is almost reflexive in force according to a constant tendency in the _Koin‚_ (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 817).

    7:11 {But and if she depart} (ean de kai cwrisqei). Third class condition, undetermined. If, in spite of Christ's clear prohibition, she get separated (ingressive passive subjunctive), {let her remain unmarried} (menetw agamos). Paul here makes no allowance for remarriage of the innocent party as Jesus does by implication. {Or else be reconciled to her husband} (e twi andri katallagetw). Second aorist (ingressive) passive imperative of katallassw, old compound verb to exchange coins as of equal value, to reconcile. One of Paul's great words for reconciliation with God (#2Co 5:18-20; Ro 5:10). diallassw (#Mt 5:24 which see) was more common in the older Greek, but katallassw in the later. The difference in idea is very slight, dia- accents notion of exchange, kat- the perfective idea (complete reconciliation). Dative of personal interest is the case of andri. this sentence is a parenthesis between the two infinitives cwrisqenai and afienai (both indirect commands after paraggellw). {And that the husband leave not his wife} (kai andra me afienai). this is also part of the Lord's command (#Mr 10:11). apoluw occurs in Mark of the husband's act and afienai here, both meaning to send away. Bengel actually stresses the difference between cwrisqenai of the woman as like _separatur_ in Latin and calls the wife "pars ignobilior" and the husband "nobilior." I doubt if Paul would stand for that extreme.

    7:12 {But to the rest say I, not the Lord} (tois de loipois legw egw, ouc ho kurios). Paul has no word about marriage from Jesus beyond the problem of divorce. this is no disclaimer of inspiration. He simply means that here he is not quoting a command of Jesus. {An unbelieving wife} (gunaika apiston). this is a new problem, the result of work among the Gentiles, that did not arise in the time of Jesus. The form apiston is the same as the masculine because a compound adjective. Paul has to deal with mixed marriages as missionaries do today in heathen lands. The rest (hoi loipoi) for Gentiles (#Eph 2:3) we have already had in #1Th 4:13; 5:6 which see. The Christian husband married his wife when he himself was an unbeliever. The word apistos sometimes means unfaithful (#Lu 12:46), but not here (cf. #Joh 20:27). {She is content} (suneudokei). Late compound verb to be pleased together with, agree together. In the papyri. {Let him not leave her} (me afietw auten). Perhaps here and in verses #11,13 afiemi should be translated "put away" like apoluw in #Mr 10:1. Some understand afiemi as separation from bed and board, not divorce.

    7:13 {Which hath an unbelieving husband} (hetis ecei andra apiston). Relative clause here, while a conditional one in verse #12 (ei tis, if any one). Paul is perfectly fair in stating both sides of the problem of mixed marriages.

    7:14 {Is sanctified in the wife} (hegiastai en tei gunaiki). Perfect passive indicative of hagiazw, to set apart, to hallow, to sanctify. Paul does not, of course, mean that the unbelieving husband is saved by the faith of the believing wife, though Hodge actually so interprets him. Clearly he only means that the marriage relation is sanctified so that there is no need of a divorce. If either husband or wife is a believer and the other agrees to remain, the marriage is holy and need not be set aside. this is so simple that one wonders at the ability of men to get confused over Paul's language. {Else were your children unclean} (epei ara ta tekna akaqarta). The common ellipse of the condition with epei: "since, accordingly, if it is otherwise, your children are illegitimate (akaqarta)." If the relations of the parents be holy, the child's birth must be holy also (not illegitimate). "He is not assuming that the child of a Christian parent would be baptized; that would spoil rather than help his argument, for it would imply that the child was not hagios till it was baptized. The verse throws no light on the question of infant baptism" (Robertson and Plummer).

    7:15 {Is not under bondage} (ou dedoulwtai). Perfect passive indicative of doulow, to enslave, has been enslaved, does not remain a slave. The believing husband or wife is not at liberty to separate, unless the disbeliever or pagan insists on it. Wilful desertion of the unbeliever sets the other free, a case not contemplated in Christ's words in #Mt 5:32; 19:9. Luther argued that the Christian partner, thus released, may marry again. But that is by no means clear, unless the unbeliever marries first. {But God hath called us in peace} (en de eirenei kekleken hemas or humas). Perfect active indicative of kalew, permanent call in the sphere or atmosphere of peace. He does not desire enslavement in the marriage relation between the believer and the unbeliever.

    7:16 {For how knowest thou?} (ti gar oidas;). But what does Paul mean? Is he giving an argument _against_ the believer accepting divorce or _in favor_ of doing so? The syntax allows either interpretation with ei (if) after oidas. Is the idea in ei (if) _hope_ of saving the other or _fear_ of not saving and hence peril in continuing the slavery of such a bondage? The latter idea probably suits the context best and is adopted by most commentators. And yet one hesitates to interpret Paul as _advocating_ divorce unless strongly insisted on by the unbeliever. There is no problem at all unless the unbeliever makes it. If it is a hopeless case, acquiescence is the only wise solution. But surely the believer ought to be sure that there is no hope before he agrees to break the bond. Paul raises the problem of the wife first as in verse #10.

    7:17 {Only} (ei me). this use of ei me as an elliptical condition is very common (#7:5; Ga 1:7,19; Ro 14:14), "except that" like plen. Paul gives a general principle as a limitation to what he has just said in verse #15. "It states the general principle which determines these questions about marriage, and this is afterwards illustrated by the cases of circumcision and slavery" (Robertson and Plummer). He has said that there is to be no compulsory slavery between the believer and the disbeliever (the Christian and the pagan). But on the other hand there is to be no reckless abuse of this liberty, no license. {As the Lord hath distributed to each man} (hekastwi hws memeriken ho kurios). Perfect active indicative of merizw, old verb from meros, apart. Each has his lot from the Lord Jesus, has his call from God. He is not to seek a rupture of the marriage relation if the unbeliever does not ask for it. {And so ordain I} (kai houtws diatassomai). Military term, old word, to arrange in all the churches (distributed, dia-). Paul is conscious of authoritative leadership as the apostle of Christ to the Gentiles.

    7:18 {Let him not become uncircumcized} (me epispasqw). Present middle imperative of epispaw, old verb to draw on. In LXX (I Macc. 1:15) and Josephus (_Ant_. XII, V. I) in this sense. Here only in N.T. The point is that a Jew is to remain a Jew, a Gentile to be a Gentile. Both stand on an equality in the Christian churches. this freedom about circumcision illustrates the freedom about Gentile mixed marriages.

    7:19 {But the keeping of the commandments of God} (alla teresis entolwn qeou). Old word in sense of watching (#Ac 4:3). Paul's view of the worthlessness of circumcision or of uncircumcision is stated again in #Ga 5:6; 6:15; Ro 2:25-29 (only the inward or spiritual Jew counts).

    7:20 {Wherein he was called} (hei ekleqe). When he was called by God and saved, whether a Jew or a Gentile, a slave or a freeman.

    7:21 {Wast thou called being a bondservant?} (doulos ekleqes;). First aorist passive indicative. Wast thou, a slave, called? {Care not for it} (me soi meletw). "Let it not be a care to thee." Third person singular (impersonal) of melei, old verb with dative soi. It was usually a fixed condition and a slave could be a good servant of Christ (#Col 3:22; Eph 6:5; Tit 2:9), even with heathen masters. {Use it rather} (mallon cresai). Make use of what? There is no "it" in the Greek. Shall we supply eleuqeriai (instrumental case after cresai or douleiai)? Most naturally eleuqeriai, freedom, from eleuqeros, just before. In that case ei kai is not taken as although, but kai goes with dunasai, "But if thou canst also become free, the rather use your opportunity for freedom." On the whole this is probably Paul's idea and is in full harmony with the general principle above about mixed marriages with the heathen. cresai is second person singular aorist middle imperative of craomai, to use, old and common verb.

    7:22 {The Lord's freedman} (apeleuqeros kuriou). apeleuqeros is an old word for a manumitted slave, eleuqeros from ercomai, to go and so go free, ap- from bondage. Christ is now the owner of the Christian and Paul rejoices to call himself Christ's slave (doulos). But Christ set us free from Sin by paying the ransom (lutron) of his life on the Cross (#Mt 20:28; Ro 8:2; Ga 5:1). Christ is thus the _patronus_ of the _libertus_ who owes everything to his _patronus_. He is no longer the slave of Sin (#Ro 6:6,18), but a slave to God (#Ro 6:22). {Likewise the freeman when called is Christ's slave} (homoiws ho eleuqeros kleqeis doulos estin cristou). Those who were not slaves, but freemen, when converted, are as much slaves of Christ as those who were and still were slaves of men. All were slaves of Sin and have been set free from Sin by Christ who now owns them all.

    7:23 {Ye were bought with a price} (times egorasqete). See on ¯6:20 for this very phrase, here repeated. Both classes (slaves and freemen) were purchased by the blood of Christ. {Become not bondservants of men} (me ginesqe douloi anqrwpwn). Present middle imperative of ginomai with negative me. Literally, stop becoming slaves of men. Paul here clearly defines his opposition to human slavery as an institution which comes out so powerfully in the epistle to Philemon. Those already free from human slavery should not become enslaved.

    7:24 {With God} (para qewi). There is comfort in that. Even a slave can have God at his side by remaining at God's side.

    7:25 {I have no commandment of the Lord} (epitagen kuriou ouk ecw). A late word from epitassw, old Greek verb to enjoin, to give orders to. Paul did have (verse #10) a command from the Lord as we have in Matthew and Mark. It was quite possible for Paul to know this command of Jesus as he did other sayings of Jesus (#Ac 20:35) even if he had as yet no access to a written gospel or had received no direct revelation on the subject from Jesus (#1Co 11:23). Sayings of Jesus were passed on among the believers. But Paul had no specific word from Jesus on the subject of virgins. They call for special treatment, young unmarried women only Paul means (#7:25,28,34,36-38) and not as in #Re 14:4 (metaphor). It is probable that in the letter (#7:1) the Corinthians had asked about this problem. {But I give my judgment} (gnwmen de didwmi). About mixed marriages (#12-16) Paul had the command of Jesus concerning divorce to guide him. Here he has nothing from Jesus at all. So he gives no "command," but only "a judgment," a deliberately formed decision from knowledge (#2Co 8:10), not a mere passing fancy. {As one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful} (hws eleemenos hupo kuriou pistos einai). Perfect passive participle of eleew, old verb to receive mercy (eleos). pistos is predicate nominative with infinitive einai. this language, so far from being a disclaimer of inspiration, is an express claim to help from the Lord in the forming of this duly considered judgment, which is in no sense a command, but an inspired opinion.

    7:26 {I think therefore} (nomizw oun). Paul proceeds to express therefore the previously mentioned judgment (gnwmen) and calls it his opinion, not because he is uncertain, but simply because it is not a command, but advice. {By reason of the present distress} (dia ten enestwsan anagken). The participle enestwsan is second perfect active of enistemi and means "standing on" or "present" (cf. #Ga 1:4; Heb 9:9). It occurs in #2Th 2:2 of the advent of Christ as not "present." Whether Paul has in mind the hoped for second coming of Jesus in this verse we do not certainly know, though probably so. Jesus had spoken of those calamities which would precede his coming (#Mt 24:8ff.) though Paul had denied saying that the advent was right at hand (#2Th 2:2). anagke is a strong word (old and common), either for external circumstances or inward sense of duty. It occurs elsewhere for the woes preceding the second coming (#Lu 21:23) and also for Paul's persecutions (#1Th 3:7; 2Co 6:4; 12:10). Perhaps there is a mingling of both ideas here. {Namely}. this word is not in the Greek. The infinitive of indirect discourse (huparcein) after nomizw is repeated with recitative hoti, "That the being so is good for a man" (hoti kalon anqrwpwi to houtws einai). The use of the article to with einai compels this translation. Probably Paul means for one (anqrwpwi, generic term for man or woman) to remain as he is whether married or unmarried. The copula estin is not expressed. He uses kalon (good) as in #7:1.

    7:27 {Art thou bound to a wife?} (dedesai gunaiki;). Perfect passive indicative of dew, to bind, with dative case gunaiki. Marriage bond as in #Ro 7:2. {Seek not to be loosed} (me zetei lusin). Present active imperative with negative me, "Do not be seeking release" (lusin) from the marriage bond, old word, here only in N.T. {Seek not a wife} (me zetei gunaika). Same construction, Do not be seeking a wife. Bachelors as well as widowers are included in lelusai (loosed, perfect passive indicative of lu"). this advice of Paul he only urges "because of the present necessity" (verse #26). Whether he held on to this opinion later one does not know. Certainly he gives the noblest view of marriage in #Eph 5:22-33. Paul does not present it as his opinion for all men at all times. Men feel it their duty to seek a wife.

    7:28 {But and if thou marry} (ean de kai gameseis). Condition of the third class, undetermined with prospect of being determined, with the ingressive first aorist (late form) active subjunctive with ean: "But if thou also commit matrimony or get married," in spite of Paul's advice to the contrary. {Thou hast not sinned} (ouc hemartes). Second aorist active indicative of hamartanw, to Sin, to miss a mark. Here either Paul uses the timeless (gnomic) aorist indicative or by a swift transition he changes the standpoint (proleptic) in the conclusion from the future (in the condition) to the past. Such mixed conditions are common (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 1020, 1023). Precisely the same construction occurs with the case of the virgin (parqenos) except that the old form of the first aorist subjunctive (gemei) occurs in place of the late gamesei above. The MSS. interchange both examples. There is no special point in the difference in the forms. {Shall have tribulation in the flesh} (qliyin tei sarki hexousin). Emphatic position of qliyin (pressure). See #2Co 12:7 skoloy tei sarki (thorn in the flesh). {And I would spare you} (egw de humwn feidomai). Possibly conative present middle indicative, I am trying to spare you like agei in #Ro 2:4 and dikaiousqe in #Ga 5:4.

    7:29 {But this I say} (touto de femi. Note femi here rather than legw (verses #8,12). A new turn is here given to the argument about the present necessity. {The time is shortened} (ho kairos sunestalmenos estin). Perfect periphrastic passive indicative of sustellw, old verb to place together, to draw together. Only twice in the N.T., here and #Ac 5:6 which see. Found in the papyri for curtailing expenses. Calvin takes it for the shortness of human life, but apparently Paul pictures the foreshortening of time (opportunity) because of the possible nearness of and hope for the second coming. But in Philippians Paul faces death as his fate (#Php 1:21-26), though still looking for the coming of Christ (#3:20). {That henceforth} (to loipon hina). Proleptic position of to loipon before hina and in the accusative of general reference and hina has the notion of result rather than purpose (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 997). {As though they had none} (hws me econtes). this use of hws with the participle for an assumed condition is regular and me in the _Koin‚_ is the normal negative of the participle. So the idiom runs on through verse #31.

    7:30 {As though they possessed not} (hws me katecontes). See this use of katecw, old verb to hold down (#Lu 14:9), to keep fast, to possess, in #2Co 6:10. Paul means that all earthly relations are to hang loosely about us in view of the second coming.

    7:31 {Those that use the world} (hoi crwmenoi ton kosmon). Old verb craomai, usually with the instrumental case, but the accusative occurs in some Cretan inscriptions and in late writers according to a tendency of verbs to resume the use of the original accusative (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 468). {As not abusing it} (hws me katacremenoi). Perfective use of kata in composition, old verb, but here only in N.T., to use up, use to the full. Papyri give examples of this sense. this is more likely the idea than "abusing" it. {For the fashion of this world passeth away} (paragei gar to scema tou kosmou toutou). Cf. #1Jo 2:17. scema is the _habitus_, the outward appearance, old word, in N.T. only here and #Php 2:7f. paragei (old word) means "passes along" like a moving panorama (movie show!). Used of Jesus passing by in Jericho (#Mt 20:30).

    7:32 {Free from cares} (amerimnous). Old compound adjective (a privative and merimna, anxiety). In N.T. only here and #Mt 28:14 which see. {The things of the Lord} (ta tou kuriou). The ideal state (so as to the widow and the virgin in verse #33), but even the unmarried do let the cares of the world choke the word (#Mr 4:19). {How he may please the Lord} (pws aresei twi kuriwi). Deliberative subjunctive with pws retained in an indirect question. Dative case of kuriwi. Same construction in verse #33 with pws aresei tei gunaiki (his wife) and in #34 pws aresei twi andri (her husband).

    7:34 {And there is a difference also between the wife and the virgin} (kai memeristai kai he gune kai he parqenos). But the text here is very uncertain, almost hopelessly so. Westcott and Hort put kai memeristai in verse #33 and begin a new sentence with kai he gune and add he agamos after he gune, meaning "the widow and the virgin each is anxious for the things of the Lord" like the unmarried man (ho agamos, bachelor or widow) in verse #32. Possibly so, but the MSS. vary greatly at every point. At any rate Paul's point is that the married woman is more disposed to care for the things of the world. But, alas, how many unmarried women (virgins and widows) are after the things of the world today and lead a fast and giddy life.

    7:35 {For your own profit} (pros to humwn autwn sumforon). Old adjective, advantageous, with neuter article here as substantive, from verb sumferw. In N.T. here only and #10:33. Note reflexive plural form humwn autwn. {Not that I may cast a snare upon you} (ouc hina brocon humin epibalw). brocon is a noose or slip-knot used for lassoing animals, old word, only here in N.T. Papyri have an example "hanged by a noose." epibalw is second aorist active subjunctive of epiballw, old verb to cast upon. Paul does not wish to capture the Corinthians by lasso and compel them to do what they do not wish about getting married. {For that which is seemly} (pros to euscemon). Old adjective (eu, well, scemwn, shapely, comely, from scema, figure). For the purpose of decorum. {Attend upon the Lord} (euparedron). Adjective construed with pros to, before, late word (Hesychius) from eu, well, and paredros, sitting beside, "for the good position beside the Lord" (associative instrumental case of kuriwi). Cf. Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus (#Lu 10:39). {Without distraction} (aperispastws). Late adverb (Polybius, Plutarch, LXX) from the adjective aperispastos (common in the papyri) from a privative and perispaw, to draw around (#Lu 10:40).

    7:36 {That he behaveth himself unseemly} (ascemonein). Old verb, here only in N.T., from ascemwn (#1Co 12:23), from a privative and scema. Occurs in the papyri. Infinitive in indirect discourse after nomizei (thinks) with ei (condition of first class, assumed as true). {If she be past the flower of her age} (ean ei huperakmos). Old word, only here in N.T., from huper (over) and akme (prime or bloom of life), past the bloom of youth, _superadultus_ (Vulgate). Compound adjective with feminine form like masculine. Apparently the Corinthians had asked Paul about the duty of a father towards his daughter old enough to marry. {If need so requireth} (kai houtws ofeilei ginesqai). "And it ought to happen." Paul has discussed the problem of marriage for virgins on the grounds of expediency. Now he faces the question where the daughter wishes to marry and there is no serious objection to it. The father is advised to consent. Roman and Greek fathers had the control of the marriage of their daughters. "My marriage is my father's care; it is not for me to decide about that" (Hermione in Euripides' _Andromache_, 987). {Let them marry} (gameitwsan). Present active plural imperative (long form).

    7:37 {To keep his own virgin daughter} (terein ten heautou parqenon). this means the case when the virgin daughter does not wish to marry and the father agrees with her, {he shall do well} (kalws poiesei).

    7:38 {Doeth well} (kalws poiei). So Paul commends the father who gives his daughter in marriage (gamizei). this verb gamizw has not been found outside the N.T. See on ¯Mt 22:30. {Shall do better} (kreisson poiesei). In view of the present distress (#7:26) and the shortened time (#7:29). And yet, when all is said, Paul leaves the whole problem of getting married an open question to be settled by each individual case.

    7:39 {For so long time as her husband liveth} (ef' hoson cronon zei ho aner autes). While he lives (twi zwnti andri) Paul says in #Ro 7:2. this is the ideal and is pertinent today when husbands meet their ex-wives and wives meet their ex-husbands. There is a screw loose somewhere. Paul here treats as a sort of addendum the remarriage of widows. He will discuss it again in #1Ti 5:9-13 and qen he will advise younger widows to marry. Paul leaves her free here also to be married again, "only in the Lord" (monon en kuriwi). Every marriage ought to be "in the Lord." {To be married} (gameqenai) is first aorist passive infinitive followed by the dative relative hwi with unexpressed antecedent toutwi.

    7:40 {Happier} (makariwtera). Comparative of makarios used in the Beatitudes (#Mt 5:3ff.). {After my judgment} (kata ten emen gnwmen). The same word used in verse #25, not a command. {I think} (dokw). From dokew, not nomizw of verse #26. But he insists that he has "the spirit of God" (pneuma qeou) in the expression of his inspired judgment on this difficult, complicated, tangled problem of marriage. But he has discharged his duty and leaves each one to decide for himself.

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