1 Corinthians 7:10
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

New Living Translation
But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband.

English Standard Version
To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband

Berean Study Bible
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

Berean Literal Bible
Now to those having married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): A wife is not to be separated from a husband.

New American Standard Bible
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband

King James Bible
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I command the married--not I, but the Lord--a wife is not to leave her husband.

International Standard Version
To married people I give this command (not really I, but the Lord): A wife must not leave her husband.

NET Bible
To the married I give this command--not I, but the Lord--a wife should not divorce a husband

New Heart English Bible
But to the married I command--not I, but the Lord--that the wife not leave her husband

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But those who have wives, I command, not I but my Lord: A wife should not depart from her husband.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I pass this command along (not really I, but the Lord): A wife shouldn't leave her husband.

New American Standard 1977
But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband

Jubilee Bible 2000
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife separate from her husband;

King James 2000 Bible
And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

American King James Version
And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

American Standard Version
But unto the married I give charge, yea not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband

Douay-Rheims Bible
But to them that are married, not I but the Lord commandeth, that the wife depart not from her husband.

Darby Bible Translation
But to the married I enjoin, not I, but the Lord, Let not wife be separated from husband;

English Revised Version
But unto the married I give charge, yea not I, but the Lord, That the wife depart not from her husband

Webster's Bible Translation
And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

Weymouth New Testament
But to those already married my instructions are--yet not mine, but the Lord's--that a wife is not to leave her husband;

World English Bible
But to the married I command--not I, but the Lord--that the wife not leave her husband

Young's Literal Translation
and to the married I announce -- not I, but the Lord -- let not a wife separate from a husband:
Study Bible
Principles of Marriage
9But if they cannot control themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.…
Cross References
Malachi 2:16
"For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously."

Matthew 5:32
But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, brings adultery upon her. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:3
Then some Pharisees came and tested Him by asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?"

Mark 10:2
Some Pharisees came to test Him. "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" they inquired.

Luke 16:18
Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

1 Corinthians 7:6
I say this as a concession, not as a command.

1 Corinthians 7:11
But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Treasury of Scripture

And to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:

yet.

1 Corinthians 7:12,25,40 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother has a wife …

Let.

1 Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister …

Jeremiah 3:20 Surely as a wife treacherously departs from her husband, so have …

Malachi 2:14-16 Yet you say, Why? Because the LORD has been witness between you and …

Matthew 5:32 But I say to you, That whoever shall put away his wife, saving for …

Matthew 19:6-9 Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined …

Mark 10:11,12 And he said to them, Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, …

Luke 16:18 Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery…

(10) And unto the married . . .--The Apostle has concluded his instruction to the unmarried and widows, and in 1Corinthians 7:10-11 gives his advice to those married persons who had been troubled with doubts as to whether they ought (if marriage were undesirable) to continue in that state.

I command, yet not I, but the Lord.--The contrast which is commenced here, and again brought out in 1Corinthians 7:12, is not between commands given by St. Paul as an inspired Apostle, and St. Paul as a private individual. In 1Corinthians 14:37 the Apostle expressly claims that all his commands as an Apostle should be regarded as "the commandments of the Lord," and in 1Thessalonians 4:15 the Apostle speaks of that knowledge into which he was guided by the Holy Spirit as given "by the word of the Lord." St. Paul must not therefore be regarded as here claiming for some of his instructions apostolic authority, and not claiming it for others. The real point of the contrast is between a subject on which our Lord Himself while on earth gave direct verbal instruction, and another subject on which He now gives His commands through His Apostle St. Paul. Christ had given directions regarding divorce (Matthew 5:31; Matthew 19:3-9; Mark 10:2-12), and the Apostle here has only to reiterate what the Lord had already commanded.

Let not the wife depart from her husband.--Better, Let her not be separated. The account of our Lord's words given here differs in two respects from the record given of them by St. Matthew (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9), where the reference is, first and more prominently, to the man putting away his wife--not, as here, to the wife separating herself from her husband--and the exception made, "except it be because of fornication," is here omitted. The fact that St. Paul only knew from others what our Lord had said, and that the Evangelists wrote what they had heard themselves, would not sufficiently account for this difference; for surely these very Evangelists, or others who like them had heard the Lord's words, would have been St. Paul's informants. The reason of the variety in the two accounts is to be found, not in inaccurate knowledge on St. Paul's part, which we have no reason to suppose, but in the particular circumstances to which the Apostle was applying the teaching of Christ; and this verbal difference is an instructive indication to us of how the Apostles understood that even in the case of the Lord Himself it was the living spirit of His teaching, and not its merely verbal form, which was of abiding and universal obligation. There was no necessity here to introduce the one exceptional cause of divorce which Christ had allowed, for the subject under consideration is a separation voluntarily made, and not as the result of sin on the part of either husband or wife; so the mention here of that ground of exception would have been inapplicable, and have tended only to confuse.

The other point of difference--viz., the mention here of the woman more prominently as separating from the husband--does not in any way affect the principle of the teaching, and indeed our Lord probably did put the case in both ways. (See Mark 10:12.) It may be also that in the letter to which St. Paul was replying the doubt had been suggested by women, who were--as their sex is often still--more anxiously scrupulous about details of what they conceived to be religious duty; and the question having been asked concerning a woman's duty, the Apostle answers it accordingly, and adds the same instruction for the husband (1Corinthians 7:11).

Verse 10. - And; rather, but. Unto the married; to Christians who have already married. I command. This is an injunction, not a mere permission as in ver. 6. Not I, but the Lord. Because the rule had been laid down by Christ himself (Mark 10:11, 12; Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:6; Luke 16:18). Let not the wife depart. By divorce or otherwise. The wife is mentioned, perhaps, because the Christian wife, in the new sense of dignity and sacredness which Christianity had bestowed upon her, might be led to claim this spurious freedom; or perhaps the Christian women of Corinth had been more impressed than their husbands by the Essene notions of purity. The exception of divorce being permissible in case of fornication is assumed (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9). And unto the married I command,.... To the unmarried and widows he spoke by permission, or only gave advice and counsel to remain unmarried, provided they could contain; but if not, it was advisable to marry; but to persons already in a married state, what he has to say to them is by commandment, enjoining what they are under obligation to observe, not being at liberty to do as they will:

yet not I, but the Lord; not as if he took upon him the dominion over them, to make laws for them, and, in an imperious authoritative way, oblige them to obedience to them; no; what he was about to deliver, was not a law of his own enacting and obtruding, but what their Lord, their Creator, head, husband, and Redeemer, had ordered and enjoined; and this grave solemn way of speaking he makes use of, to excite their attention, command awe and reverence, make the greater impression upon their minds, and show the obligation they were under to regard what was said:

let not the wife depart from her husband; for the same law that obliges a man to cleave to his wife, obliges the wife to cleave to her husband, Genesis 2:24 and those words of Christ, "what God hath joined together, let no man put asunder", Matthew 19:6 regard the one as well as the other; and the rules he has given, forbidding divorces only in case of adultery, Matthew 5:32 are as binding upon the wife as upon the husband. The wife therefore should not depart from her husband upon every slight occasion; not on account of any quarrel, or disagreement that may arise between them; or for every instance of moroseness and inhumanity; or because of diseases and infirmities; nor even on the score of difference in religion which, by what follows, seems to be greatly the case in view. The apostle observes this, in opposition to some rules and customs which obtained among Jews and Gentiles, divorcing and separating from one another upon various accounts; not only husbands put away their wives, but wives also left their husbands: for women to put away, or leave their husbands, were not in former times allowed of among the Jews, but from other nations crept in among them; indeed if a man married one under age, and she did not like him for her husband, she might refuse him, and go away without a bill of divorce; the manner of refusal was, by saying before two witnesses, I do not like such an one for my husband, or I do not like the espousals, with which my mother or my brother espoused me, or in such like words; and sometimes a written form of refusal was given (m); but otherwise where marriage was consummated, such a departure of the wife was not allowed. Salome, the sister of Herod, is thought to be the first that introduced it, who sent a bill of divorce to Costobarus (n) her husband; and in this she was followed by Herodias, the daughter of Aristobulus, who left her husband, and married Herod Antipas (o); and it seems certain, that this practice prevailed in Christ's time, since not only such a case is supposed, Mark 10:12 but a very flagrant instance is given in the woman of Samaria, John 4:18 who had had five husbands, not in a lawful regular manner, one after another upon their respective deaths, but she had married them, and put them away one after another: and as for the Gentiles, the account the Jews (p) give of them is, that though they had

"no divorces in form, they put away one another; R. Jochanan says, , "a man's wife might put him away", and give him the dowry:''

though, according to other accounts, they had divorces in form, which, when a man put away a woman, were called , "letters of dismission"; and when a woman left her husband, , "letters of dereliction", such as Hipparchia the wife of Alcibiades gave to him (q); and Justin Martyr (r) gives us an instance of a Christian woman, who gave her husband what the Roman senate called a divorce.

(m) Maimon. Hilch. Gerushim, c. 11. 1. 8. 11. & Ishot, c. 4. sect. 3.((n) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 15. c. 7. sect. 10. (o) lb. l. 18. c. 6. sect. 1.((p) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 18. fol. 15. 3.((q) Plutarch. in Alcibiade. (r) Apolog. 1. p. 41, 42. 10. not I, but the Lord—(Compare 1Co 7:12, 25, 40). In ordinary cases he writes on inspired apostolic authority (1Co 14:37); but here on the direct authority of the Lord Himself (Mr 10:11, 12). In both cases alike the things written are inspired by the Spirit of God "but not all for all time, nor all on the primary truths of the faith" [Alford].

Let not the wife depart—literally, "be separated from." Probably the separation on either side, whether owing to the husband or to the wife, is forbidden.7:10-16 Man and wife must not separate for any other cause than what Christ allows. Divorce, at that time, was very common among both Jews and Gentiles, on very slight pretexts. Marriage is a Divine institution; and is an engagement for life, by God's appointment. We are bound, as much as in us lies, to live peaceably with all men, Ro 12:18, therefore to promote the peace and comfort of our nearest relatives, though unbelievers. It should be the labour and study of those who are married, to make each other as easy and happy as possible. Should a Christian desert a husband or wife, when there is opportunity to give the greatest proof of love? Stay, and labour heartily for the conversion of thy relative. In every state and relation the Lord has called us to peace; and every thing should be done to promote harmony, as far as truth and holiness will permit.
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