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29I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.


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29. this I say—A summing up of the whole, wherein he draws the practical inference from what precedes (1Co 15:50).

the time—the season (so the Greek) of this present dispensation up to the coming of the Lord (Ro 13:11). He uses the Greek expression which the Lord used in Lu 21:8; Mr 13:33.

short—literally, "contracted."

it remaineth—The oldest manuscripts read, "The time (season) is shortened as to what remains, in order that both they," &c.; that is, the effect which the shortening of the time ought to have is, "that for the remaining time (henceforth), both they," &c. The clause, "as to what remains," though in construction belonging to the previous clause, in sense belongs to the following. However, Cyprian and Vulgate support English Version.

as though they had none—We ought to consider nothing as our own in real or permanent possession.

30. they that weep … wept not—(Compare 2Co 6:10).

they that buy … possessed not—(Compare Isa 24:1, 2). Christ specifies as the condemning sin of the men of Sodom not merely their open profligacy, but that "they bought, they sold," &c., as men whose all was in this world (Lu 17:28). "Possessed" in the Greek implies a holding fast of a possession; this the Christian will not do, for his "enduring substance" is elsewhere (Heb 10:34).

31. not abusing it—not abusing it by an overmuch using of it. The meaning of "abusing" here is, not so much perverting, as using it to the full [Bengel]. We are to use it, "not to take our fill" of its pursuits as our chief aim (compare Lu 10:40-42). As the planets while turning on their own axis, yet revolve round the sun; so while we do our part in our own worldly sphere, God is to be the center of all our desires.

fashion—the present fleeting form. Compare Ps 39:6, "vain show"; Ps 73:20, "a dream"; Jas 4:14, "a vapor."

passeth away—not merely shall pass away, but is now actually passing away. The image is drawn from a shifting scene in a play represented on the stage (1Jo 2:17). Paul inculcates not so much the outward denial of earthly things, as the inward spirit whereby the married and the rich, as well as the unmarried and the poor, would be ready to sacrifice all for Christ's sake.




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