1Co 7:1
7:1 Now {1} concerning the things {a} whereof ye wrote unto me:
    [It is] {b} good for a man not to touch a woman.

 (1) He teaches concerning marriage that although a single life
     has its advantages, which he will declare afterwards, yet
     that marriage is necessary for the avoiding of fornication.
     But so that neither one man may have many wives, nor any
     wife many husbands.
     (a) Concerning those matters about which you wrote to me.
     (b) Commodious, and (as we say) expedient.  For marriage
         brings many griefs with it, and that by reason of the
         corruption of our first estate.

1Co 7:3
7:3 {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.

1Co 7:4
7:4 {3} The wife hath not power of her own body, but the
    husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his
    own body, but the wife.

 (3) Thirdly, he warns them, that they are in each other's
     power, with regard to the body, so that they may not
     defraud one another.

1Co 7:5
7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, {4} except [it be] with
    consent for a time, that ye may {d} give yourselves to
    fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan
    tempt you not for your incontinency.

 (4) He adds an exception: unless the one abstain from the other
     by mutual consent, that they may the better give themselves
     to prayer, in which nonetheless he warns them to consider
     what is expedient, lest by this long breaking off as it
     were from marriage, they are stirred up to incontinency.
     (d) Do nothing else.

1Co 7:6
7:6 {5} But I speak this by permission, [and] not of

 (5) Fifthly he teaches that marriage is not necessary for all
     men, but for those who do not have the gift of continency,
     and this gift is by a special grace of God.

1Co 7:7
7:7 For I {e} would that all men were even as I myself. But
    every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this
    manner, and another after that.

    (e) I wish.

1Co 7:8
7:8 {6} I say therefore to the {f} unmarried and widows, It is
    good for them if they abide even as I.

 (6) Sixthly, he gives the very same admonition touching the
     second marriage, that is, that a single life is to be
     allowed, but for those who have the gift of continency.
     Otherwise they ought to marry again, so that their
     conscience may be at peace.
     (f) This whole passage is completely against those who
         condemn second marriages.

1Co 7:9
7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better
    to marry than to {g} burn.

    (g) So to burn with lust, that either the will yields to the
        temptation, or else we cannot call upon God with a
        peaceful conscience.

1Co 7:10
7:10 {7} And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the
     Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:

 (7) Seventhly, he forbids contentions and the granting of
     divorces (for he speaks not here of the fault of whoredom,
     which was then death even by the law of the Romans also) by
     which he affirms that the band of marriage is not
     dissolved, and that from Christ's mouth.

1Co 7:12
7:12 {8} But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother
     hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell
     with him, let him not put her away.

 (8) Eighthly, he affirms that those marriages which are already
     contracted between a faithful and an unfaithful or infidel,
     are firm: so that the faithful may not forsake the

1Co 7:14
7:14 {9} For the unbelieving husband is {h} sanctified by the
     {i} wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the {k}
     husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they
     {l} holy.

 (9) He answers an objection: but the faithful is defiled by the
     company of the unfaithful.  The apostle denies that, and
     proves that the faithful man with good conscience may use
     the vessel of his unfaithful wife, by this, that their
     children which are born of them are considered holy or
     legitimate (that is, contained within the promise): for it
     is said to all the faithful, "I will be your God, and the
     God of your seed."
     (h) The godliness of the wife is of more force to cause
         their marriage to be considered holy, than the
         infidelity of the husband is to profane the marriage.
     (i) The infidel is not sanctified or made holy in his own
         person, but in respect of his wife, he is sanctified to
     (k) To the faithful husband.
     (l) The children are holy in the same sense that their
         parents are; that is they are sanctified, or lawfully
         espoused together, so the children born of them were in
         a civil and legal sense holy, that is, legitimate. (Ed.)

1Co 7:15
7:15 {10} But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A
     brother or a sister is not under bondage in {m} such
     [cases]: {11} but God hath called us to peace.

 (10) He answers a question: what if the unfaithful forsake the
      faithful?  Then the faithful is free, he says, because he
      is forsaken by the unfaithful.
      (m) When any such thing happens.
 (11) Lest any man upon pretence of this liberty should give an
      occasion to the unfaithful to depart, he shows that
      marriage contracted with an infidel ought to be kept
      peaceably, that if it is possible the infidel may be won to
      the faith.

1Co 7:17
7:17 {12} But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord
     hath {n} called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I
     in all churches.

 (12) Taking occasion by that which he said of the bondage and
      liberty of matrimony, he digresses to a general doctrine
      concerning the outward state and condition of man's life,
      as circumcision and uncircumcision, servitude and liberty.
      And he warns every man generally to live with a contented
      mind in the Lord, whatever state or condition he is in,
      because those outward things, as to be circumcised or
      uncircumcised, to be bond or free, are not of the
      substance (as they call it) of the kingdom of heaven.
      (n) Has bound him to a certain type of life.

1Co 7:18
7:18 {13} Is any man called being circumcised? let him not {o}
     become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let
     him not be circumcised.

 (13) Nonetheless he shows us that in these examples all are not
      of the same type: because circumcision is not simply of
      itself to be desired, but such as are bound may desire to
      be free.  Therefore herein only they are equal that the
      kingdom of God consists not in them, and therefore these
      are no hindrance to obey God.
      (o) He is said to become uncircumcised, who by the help of
          a surgeon, recovers an upper skin.  And this is done
          by drawing the skin with an instrument, to make it to
          cover the head.  Celsus in book 7, chapter 25.

1Co 7:21
7:21 Art thou called [being] a servant? {p} care not for it: but
     if thou mayest be made free, use [it] rather.

     (p) As though this calling were too unworthy a calling for

1Co 7:22
7:22 For he that is called in the {q} Lord, [being] a servant,
     is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called,
     [being] free, is Christ's servant.

     (q) He that is in the state of a servant, and is called to
         be a Christian.

1Co 7:23
7:23 {14} Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of

 (14) He shows the reason of the unlikeness, because he that
      desired to be circumcised makes himself subject to man's
      tradition and not to God.  And this may be much more
      understood of superstitions, which some do foolishly
      consider to as things indifferent.

1Co 7:24
7:24 {15} Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein
     abide with {r} God.

 (15) A repetition of the general doctrine.
      (r) So purely and from the heart, that your doings may be
          approved before God.

1Co 7:25
7:25 {16} Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the
     Lord: yet I give my {s} judgment, as {t} one that hath
     obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

 (16) He commands virginity to no man, yet he persuades and
      praised it for another reason, that is, both for the
      necessity of the present time, because the faithful could
      scarce abide in any place, and use the commodities of this
      present life because of persecution.  And therefore those
      who were not troubled with families, might be the readier,
      and also for the cares of this life, which marriage
      necessarily draws with it, so that they cannot but have
      their minds distracted: and this has place in women
      (s) The circumstances considered, this I counsel you.
      (t) It is I that speak this which I am minded to speak:
          and the truth is I am a man, but yet of worthy credit,
          for I have obtained from the Lord to be such a one.

1Co 7:26
7:26 I suppose therefore that {u} this is good for the {x}
     present distress, [I say], that [it is] good for a man so
     to be.

     (u) To remain a virgin.
     (x) For the necessity which the saints are daily subject
         to, who are continually tossed up and down, so that
         their estate may seem most unfit for marriage, were it
         not that the weakness of the flesh forced them to it.

1Co 7:28
7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a
     virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall
     have trouble in the {y} flesh: but I {z} spare you.

     (y) By the "flesh" he understands whatever things belong to
         this present life, for marriage brings with it many
         problems.  So that he leans more to a single life, not
         because it is a service more agreeable to God than
         marriage is, but for those problems which (if it were
         possible) he would wish all men to be avoid, so that
         they might give themselves to God alone.
     (z) I would your weakness were provided for.

1Co 7:29
7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time [is] {a} short: it
     remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they
     had none;

     (a) For we are now in the latter end of the world.

1Co 7:30
7:30 And they that {b} weep, as though they wept not; and they
     that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that
     buy, as though they possessed not;

     (b) By "weeping" the Hebrews understand all adversity, and
         by "joy", all prosperity.

1Co 7:31
7:31 And they that use this {c} world, as not abusing [it]: for
     the {d} fashion of this world passeth away.

     (c) Those things which God gives us here.
     (d) The guise, and shape, and fashion: by which he shows us
         that there is nothing in this world that continues.

1Co 7:33
7:33 But he that is married {e} careth for the things that are
     of the world, how he may please [his] wife.

     (e) Those that are married have their minds drawn here and
         there, and therefore if any man has the gift of
         continency, it is more advantageous for him to live
         alone.  But those who are married may care for the
         things of the Lord also.  Clement, Strom. 3.

1Co 7:34
7:34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The
     unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she
     may be holy both in body and in {f} spirit: but she that is
     married careth for the things of the world, how she may
     please [her] husband.

     (f) Mind.

1Co 7:35
7:35 And this I speak for your own {g} profit; not that I may
     cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and
     that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

     (g) He means that he will force no man either to marry or
         not to marry, but to show them plainly what type of
         life is most advantageous.

1Co 7:36
7:36 {17} But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely
     toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of [her] age, and
     need so require, let him do what he will, he {h} sinneth
     not: let them marry.

 (17) Now he turns himself to the parents, in whose power and
      authority their children are, warning them that according
      to the former doctrine they consider what is proper and
      convenient for their children.  That they neither deprive
      them of the necessary remedy against incontinency, nor
      force them to marry, if neither their will does lead them,
      nor any necessity urges them.  And again he praises
      virginity, but of itself, and not in all.
      (h) He does well: for so he expounds it in 1Co 7:38.

1Co 7:37
7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his {i} heart,
     having no {k} necessity, but hath power over his own will,
     and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his
     virgin, doeth well.

     (i) Resolved himself.
     (k) That the weakness of his daughter does not force him,
         or any other matter, that that he may safely still keep
         her a virgin.

1Co 7:38
7:38 So then he that giveth [her] in marriage doeth well; but he
     that giveth [her] not in marriage doeth {l} better.

     (l) Provides better for his children, and that not in just
         any way, but by reason of such conditions as are
         mentioned before.

1Co 7:39
7:39 {18} The wife is bound by the {m} law as long as her
     husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at
     liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the {n}

 (18) That which he spoke of a widower, he speaks now of a
      widow, that is, that she may marry again, but that she
      does it in the fear of God.  And yet he does not hide the
      fact that if she still remains a widow, she will be free
      of many cares.
      (m) By the law of marriage.
      (n) Religiously, and in the fear of God.