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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 7 - Verse 26

Verse 26. I suppose. I think; I give the following advice.

For the present distress. In the present state of trial. The word distress, anagkhn, necessity, denotes calamity, persecution, trial, etc. See Lu 21:23. The word rendered present, (enestwsan,) denotes that which urges on, or that which at that time presses on, or afflicts. Here it is implied,

(1.) that at that time they were subject to trials so severe as to render the advice which he was about to give proper; and,

(2.) that he by no means meant that this should be a permanent arrangement in the church, and of course it cannot be urged as an argument for the monastic system. What the urgent distress of this time was, is not certainly known. If the epistle was written about A.D. 59, (see the Introduction,) it was in the time of Nero; and probably he had already begun to oppress and persecute Christians. At all events, it is evident that the Christians at Corinth were subject to some trials which rendered the cares of the marriage life undesirable.

It is good for a man so to be. The emphasis here is on the word so, (outwv;) that is, it is best for a man to conduct [himself] in the following manner; the word so referring to the advice which follows. "I advise that he conduct [himself] in the following manner, to wit." Most commentators suppose that it means, as he is; i.e., unmarried; but the interpretation proposed above best suits the connexion. The advice given is in the following verses.

{f} "that it is good" 1 Co 7:1,8

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