|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 29. - But this I say. I will not dwell on those coming trials, but will only remind you that they are imminent, and that when they come all earthly distinctions will vanish into insignifiance. The time is short; literally, the season has been contracted; in other words, "The end of all things is at hand" (1 Peter 4:7). The word sunestalmenos cannot mean "disastrous." The verb is used for "folding up" in Acts 5:6; "Tempus in collecto est" (Tertullian). It remaineth, that. The reading and punctuation are here uncertain. The best reading seems to be "The time has been shortened henceforth, in order that," etc. The very object of the hastened end is that Christians should sit loose to earthly interests. As though they had none. They would thus be nearer to the condition of the "angels in heaven."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But this I say, brethren, the time is short,.... This is another reason, with which the apostle supports his advice to virgins, and unmarried persons, to remain so; since the time of life is so very short, and it is even but a little while to the end of the world, and second coming of Christ; and therefore seeing the marriage state is so full of care and trouble, and it affords still less time for the service of Christ and religion, he thought it most advisable for them to, continue in a single life, that they might be more at leisure to make use of that little time they had for their spiritual good and welfare, the edification of others, and the glory of Christ: unless it should be rather thought that the apostle is still enlarging upon the former argument, taken from the present time, being a time of distress and persecution; and so the phrase, "the time is short", or "contracted", and full of anguish and affliction, is the same with the present necessity, and trouble in the flesh; and since this was the case, he suggests again, that an unmarried state was most preferable:
it remaineth that both they that have wives, be as though they had none: and as for the rest, they that were married, his advice to them was, that they should so behave as if they were not married; not that he would have them put away their wives, or fancy with themselves that they had none, or make no use of the marriage bed; but suggests a moderate use of it; he would not have them give up themselves to lasciviousness and carnal lusts and pleasures, even with their own wives, and spend their time altogether in their company and embraces: but since the time of life was short, and that full of troubles, they should spend it in the service and worship of God, private and public, as much as possible; and not in the indulging and satisfying of the flesh.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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.
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