|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:36-40 The apostle is thought to give advice here about the disposal of children in marriage. In this view, the general meaning is plain. Children should seek and follow the directions of their parents as to marriage. And parents should consult their children's wishes; and not reckon they have power to do with them, and dictate just as they please, without reason. The whole is closed with advice to widows. Second marriages are not unlawful, so that it is kept in mind, to marry in the Lord. In our choice of relations, and change of conditions, we should always be guided by the fear of God, and the laws of God, and act in dependence on the providence of God. Change of condition ought only to be made after careful consideration, and on probable grounds, that it will be to advantage in our spiritual concerns.
Verse 40. - Happier. Freer from cares, distractions, and entanglements. If she so abide. If she remain a widow. I think also that I have the Spirit of God; rather, I think that I also, as well as the other teachers who have claimed spiritual authority for the rules they have given you about these subjects. The claim to authoritative decision is obviously less emphatic than it is in 1 Corinthians 14:37; still, it is an expression of personal conviction that he has the Spirit, not an implied doubt of the fact.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But she is happier if she so abide,.... That is, a widow, in an unmarried state; which is to be understood not of the happiness of another world, but of this: the apostle's meaning is, that she would be more free from cares, and less liable to trouble, would live with more peace and quietness, and be more at leisure to serve the Lord, second marriages oftentimes proving more disagreeable than the first; but in this the apostle only gives his opinion, enjoins nothing by way of command, or in an authoritative manner: and therefore adds,
after my judgment: according to his sense of things, and agreeably to the advice he had before given to unmarried persons, whether virgins or widows, such a person was likely to have most peace, and least trouble, remaining a widow, than if married, and so consequently more happy: and in order to engage such to regard his counsel, he further says,
and I think also that I have the Spirit of God; that though he had no express command, nor did he pretend to any, nor did he lay any injunction on any, but left them to their liberty; yet he could not but think, nay, he was assured, though he thus modestly expresses himself, that he was directed to give this advice by the Spirit of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
40. happier—(1Co 7:1, 28, 34, 35).
I think also—"I also think"; just as you Corinthians and your teachers think much of your opinions, so I also give my opinion by inspiration; so in 1Co 7:25, "my judgment" or opinion. Think does not imply doubt, but often a matter of well-grounded assurance (Joh 5:39).
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