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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 1 Thessalonians 4:4


    CHAPTERS: 1 Thessalonians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

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    King James Bible - 1 Thessalonians 4:4

    That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

    World English Bible

    that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

    Douay-Rheims - 1 Thessalonians 4:4

    That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour:

    Webster's Bible Translation

    That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor;

    Greek Textus Receptus


    ειδεναι
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    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (4) -
    Ro 6:19; 12:1 1Co 6:15,18-20

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 4:4

    que cada uno de vosotros sepa tener su vaso en santificacin y honestidad;

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Thessalonians 4:4

    Verse 4. How to possess his
    vessel] Let every man use his wife for the purpose alone for which God created her, and instituted marriage. The word akeuov answers to the Hebrew ylk keli, which, though it signifies vessel in general, has several other meanings. That the rabbins frequently express wife by it, Schoettgen largely proves; and to me it appears very probable that the apostle uses it in that sense here. St. Peter calls the wife the weaker VESSEL, 1 Pet. iii. 7. Others think that the body is meant, which is the vessel in which the soul dwells. In this sense St. Paul uses it, 2 Cor. iv. 7: We have this treasure in earthen VESSELS; and in this sense it is used by both Greek and Roman authors. There is a third sense which interpreters have put on the word, which I forbear to name. The general sense is plain; purity and continency are most obviously intended, whether the word be understood as referring to the wife or the husband, as the following verse sufficiently proves.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 4. That everyone of you should know how to possess his
    vessel , etc.] By which may be meant, either a man's wife, or his body, and it is not very easy to determine which, for the Jews call both by this name. Sometimes they call a woman lwg , which the gloss says is a vessel unfinished. It is reported f16 , that when R. Eleazar died, Rabbenu Hakkadosh would have married his widow, and she would not, because she was hwdq l ylk , a vessel of holiness, greater than he. Moreover, it is said f17 , that he that forces (a young woman) must drink wxyx[b , in his own vessel how drink in his own vessel? though she be lame, though she be blind, and though she is stricken with ulcers.

    The commentators on the passage add, in the vessel which he has chosen; that is to say, whether he will or not, he must marry her; (see Proverbs 5:15). And again, they sometimes call a man's wife his tent: hence that saving f19 , wta ala wlha ya there is no tent but his wife, as it is said, ( Deuteronomy 5:30), go, say to them, get you into your tents again.

    And certain it is, that the woman is called the weaker vessel in ( Peter 3:7), between which passage and this there seems to be some agreement. The same metaphor of a vessel is made use of in both; and as there, honour to be given to the weaker vessel, so here, a man's vessel is to be possessed in honour; and as there, husbands are to dwell with their wives according to knowledge so here, knowledge is required to a man's possessing his vessel aright. Now for a man to possess his vessel in this sense, is to enjoy his wife, and to use that power he has over her in a becoming manner; (see 1 Corinthians 7:4), and which is here directed to in sanctification and honour; that is, in a chaste and honourable way; for marriage is honourable when the bed is kept undefiled; and which may be defiled, not only by taking another into it, and which is not possessing the wife in sanctification and honour, it is the reverse, for it is a breaking through the rules of chastity and honour; but it may even be defiled with a man's own wife, by using her in an unnatural way, or by any unlawful copulation with her; for so to do is to use her in an unholy, unchaste, wicked, and dishonourable manner; whereas possessing of her according to the order and course of nature, is by the Jews, in agreement with the apostle, called f20 , wmx[ dqm , a man's sanctifying himself, and is chaste, and honourable. And it may be observed, that the Jews use the same phrase concerning conjugal embraces as the apostle does here. One of their canons runs thus f21 : though a man's wife is free for him at all times, it is fit and proper for a disciple of a wise man to use himself hwdqb , in, or to sanctification.

    When these thing's are observed, this sense of the words will not appear so despicable as it is thought by some. The body is indeed called a vessel; (see 2 Corinthians 4:7), because in it the soul is contained, and the soul makes use of it, and its members, as instruments, for the performance of various actions; and, with Jewish writers, we read of wpwg ylk , the vessel of his body f22 ; so then, for a man to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, is to keep under his body and bring it into subjection, and preserve it in purity and chastity; as the eyes from unchaste looks, the tongue from unchaste words, and the other members from unchaste actions; and to use it in an honourable way, not in fornication, adultery, and sodomy; for, by fornication, a man sins against his own body; and by adultery he gets a wound, and a dishonour, and a reproach that will not be wiped away; and by sodomy, and such like unnatural lusts, men dishonour their own bodies between themselves: particularly by his vessel, as Gataker thinks, may be meant the membrum virile, or the genital parts, which, by an euphemism, may he so called; (see 1 Samuel 21:5) Ver. 5. Not in the lust of concupiscence , etc.] Or passion of lust; for the mere gratifying and indulging of that; for a man so to possess his vessel, is to cherish the sin of concupiscence, the first motions of sin in the heart, by which a man is drawn away, and enticed; to blow up the flame of lust, and to make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof: even as the Gentiles which know not God ; for, though they knew him, or might know him with a natural knowledge, by the light and works of nature, yet they knew him not savingly and spiritually, as he is revealed in the word, of which they were destitute; or as the God of all grace, and the God and Father of Christ, or as he is in Christ: and though by the light of nature they might know there was a God, yet they knew not who that God was; nor did they act up to that light and knowledge they had; they did not glorify him as God, by ascribing to him what was his due; nor were they thankful for the mercies they received from him; nor did they fear, love, worship, and serve him; nor did they like to retain him in their knowledge, and therefore were given up to judicial blindness and hardness, to a reprobate mind, and to vile affections, and so did things very inconvenient, unnatural, and dishonourable. Wherefore, for a man to use either his wife or his body in any unchaste and dishonourable manner, for the gratifying of his lusts, is to act an Heathenish part; a like argument, dissuading from things unlawful, is used in ( Matthew 6:32 20:25,26 Galatians 4:8,9).


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 1-8 - To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough, we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk an act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the sou unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites an senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his famil to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to wal before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness because they hear them from men; but they are God's commands, and to break them is to despise God.


    Greek Textus Receptus


    ειδεναι
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    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    4. That every one of you should know how to possess his
    vessel, etc. (eidenai ekaston umwn to eautou skeuov ktasqai). The interpretation of vv. 3-6 usually varies between two explanations:

    1. making the whole passage refer to fornication and adultery:

    2. limiting this reference to vv. 3-5, and making ver. 6 refer to honesty in business.

    Both are wrong. The entire passage exhibits two groups of parallel clauses; the one concerning sexual, and the other business relations. Thus:

    1. Abstain from fornication: deal honorably with your wives.

    2. Pursue your business as holy men, not with covetous greed as the heathen: do not overreach or defraud.

    A comma should be placed after skeuov vessel, and ktasqai procure or acquire, instead of being made dependent on eijdenai know, should begin a new clause. Render, that every one of you treat his own wife honorably. Eijdenai is used Hebraistically in the sense of have a care for, regard, as ch. v. 12, "Know them that labor, " etc.: recognize their claim to respect, and hold them in due regard. Comp. Gen. xxxix. 6: Potiphar oujk hdei twn kaq' auJton oujden "gave himself no concern about anything that he had." 1 Sam. ii. 12: the sons of Eli oujk eijdotev ton kurion "paying no respect to the Lord." Exod. i. 8: Another King arose ov oujk hdei ton Iwshf "who did not recognize or regard Joseph": did not remember his services and the respect in which he had been held. Skeuov is sometimes explained as body, for which there is no evidence in N.T. In 2 Corinthians iv. 7 the sense is metaphorical. Neither in LXX nor Class. does it mean body. In LXX very often of the sacred vessels of worship: sometimes, as in Class., of the accoutrements of war. In N.T. occasionally, both in singular and plural, in the general sense of appliances, furniture, tackling. See Matt. xii. 29; Luke xvii. 31; Acts xxvii. 17; Heb. ix. 21. For the meaning vessel, see Luke viii. 16; John xix. 20; 2 Cor. iv. 7; Revelation ii. 27. Here, metaphorically, for wife; comp. 1 Pet. iii. 7. It was used for wife in the coarse and literal sense by Rabbinical writers. The admonition aptly follows the charge to abstain from fornication. On the contrary, let each one treat honorably his own wife. The common interpretation is, "as a safeguard against fornication let every one know how to procure his own wife." It is quite safe to say that such a sentence could never have proceeded from Paul. He never would have offset a charge to abstain from fornication with a counsel to be well informed in the way of obtaining a wife. When he does touch this subject, as he does in 1 Cor. vii. 2, he says, very simply, "to avoid fornication let every man have (ecetw) his own wife"; not, know how to get one. Eijdenai know, as usually interpreted, is both superfluous and absurd. Besides, the question was not of procuring a wife, but of living honorably and decently with her, paying her the respect which was her right, and therefore avoiding illicit connections.

    That he pursue his gain-getting in sanctification and honor (ktasqai en agiasmw kai timh). As a holy and honorable man. The exhortation now turns to business relations. Ktasqai cannot mean possess, as A.V. That would require the perfect tense. It means procure, acquire. Often buy, as Acts xvii. 28; LXX, Gen. xxxiii. 19; xxxix. 1; xlvii. 19; xlix. 30; Josh. xxiv. 33; absolutely, Ezek. vii. 12, 13.


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    4:4 {That each one of you know how} (eidenai hekaston humwn). Further epexegetic infinitive (second perfect active), learn how and so know how (learn the habit of purity). {To possess himself of his own vessel} (to heautou skeuos ktasqai). Present middle infinitive of ktaomai, to acquire, not kektesqai, to possess. But what does Paul mean by "his own vessel"? It can only mean his own body or his own wife. Objections are raised against either view, but perhaps he means that the man shall acquire his own wife "in sanctification and honor," words that elevate the wife and make it plain that Paul demands sexual purity on the part of men (married as well as unmarried). There is no double standard here. When the husband comes to the marriage bed, he should come as a chaste man to a chaste wife.


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18

    PARALLEL VERSE BIBLE

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