|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:25-35 Considering the distress of those times, the unmarried state was best. Notwithstanding, the apostle does not condemn marriage. How opposite are those to the apostle Paul who forbid many to marry, and entangle them with vows to remain single, whether they ought to do so or not! He exhorts all Christians to holy indifference toward the world. As to relations; they must not set their hearts on the comforts of the state. As to afflictions; they must not indulge the sorrow of the world: even in sorrow the heart may be joyful. As to worldly enjoyments; here is not their rest. As to worldly employment; those that prosper in trade, and increase in wealth, should hold their possessions as though they held them not. As to all worldly concerns; they must keep the world out of their hearts, that they may not abuse it when they have it in their hands. All worldly things are show; nothing solid. All will be quickly gone. Wise concern about worldly interests is a duty; but to be full of care, to have anxious and perplexing care, is a sin. By this maxim the apostle solves the case whether it were advisable to marry. That condition of life is best for every man, which is best for his soul, and keeps him most clear of the cares and snares of the world. Let us reflect on the advantages and snares of our own condition in life; that we may improve the one, and escape as far as possible all injury from the other. And whatever cares press upon the mind, let time still be kept for the things of the Lord.
Verse 28. - But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned. This advice merely touches on the question of expediency, not on questions of absolute right and wrong. Such. Those who marry. Trouble in the flesh. Their marriage will in these days necessarily involve much trouble and discomfort. Common experience shows that in days of "trouble and rebuke and blasphemy" the cares and anxieties of those who have to bear the burden of many besides themselves, and those dearer to them than their own selves, are far the most trying. Perhaps St. Paul was thinking of the "Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days," of our Lord (Luke 21:23). But I spare you. I desire to spare you from adding to the inevitable distress which will fall upon you in "the great tribulation" - "the travail throes of the Messiah," which we all expect.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But and if thou marry, thou sinnest not,.... If a man that has never been married, or one that has, if legally loosed from his wife, thinks fit to marry, he commits no sin, he breaks no law of God, far from it; marriage is honourable in all. The apostle would be understood, that in the advice he before gives, he is not dissuading from marriage, as a thing sinful and criminal; only that it was more advisable to such as could to abstain from it, under the present circumstances of things; and what he says of a man holds equally true of a virgin:
and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned; the one may as lawfully marry as another; there is no law forbidding virgins to marry, any more than young men; and if they think fit to enter into such a state, they break no law of God, and consequently sin not:
nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh; that is, such young men and virgins, who choose to marry, and who generally promise themselves a great deal of pleasure, shall meet with a great deal of trouble; and that even where they expected the most satisfaction and delight, "in the flesh"; the body, the outward man, and external circumstances of life. This "trouble" is the same with the present necessity before mentioned, the persecutions and tribulations the saints should suffer in the flesh, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; not that married persons should be the only ones that should have trouble in this way, but that such persons would be less able to bear it, or to escape from it. Moreover, this may be extended to all the sorrows, troubles, and distresses which attend a married state:
but I spare you; the sense of which is, either that the apostle, out of his great tenderness to such who were inclined to marry, and could not contain, just gave this hint, that such should have trouble in the flesh; but did not dwell upon it or enter into particulars, lest they should be discouraged from it, and fall into temptation, sin, and a snare; or because of the great respect he had to the Corinthians, he gave the above advice to keep themselves single, that they might the better bear afflictions and persecutions, for the sake of their profession, and escape many troubles which others endure.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. trouble in the flesh—Those who marry, he says, shall incur "trouble in the flesh" (that is, in their outward state, by reason of the present distress), not sin, which is the trouble of the spirit.
but I spare you—The emphasis in the Greek is on "I." My motive in advising you so is, to "spare you" such trouble in the flesh. So Alford after Calvin, Bengel, and others. Estius from Augustine explains it, "I spare you further details of the inconveniences of matrimony, lest even the incontinent may at the peril of lust be deterred from matrimony: thus I have regard for your infirmity." The antithesis in the Greek of "I … you" and "such" favors the former.
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