1 Corinthians 7:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

New Living Translation
But if they can't control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It's better to marry than to burn with lust.

English Standard Version
But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

New American Standard Bible
But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

King James Bible
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.

International Standard Version
However, if they cannot control themselves, they should get married, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

NET Bible
But if they do not have self-control, let them get married. For it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But if they do not endure, let them marry. It is beneficial for them to take a wife rather than to burn with lust.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
However, if you cannot control your desires, you should get married. It is better for you to marry than to burn [with sexual desire].

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if they do not have the gift of continence, let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn.

King James 2000 Bible
But if they cannot have self-control, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

American King James Version
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

American Standard Version
But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if they do not contain themselves, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to be burnt.

Darby Bible Translation
But if they have not control over themselves, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn.

English Revised Version
But if they have not continency, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Weymouth New Testament
If, however, they cannot maintain self-control, by all means let them marry; for marriage is better than the fever of passion.

World English Bible
But if they don't have self-control, let them marry. For it's better to marry than to burn.

Young's Literal Translation
and if they have not continence -- let them marry, for it is better to marry than to burn;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:1-9 The apostle tells the Corinthians that it was good, in that juncture of time, for Christians to keep themselves single. Yet he says that marriage, and the comforts of that state, are settled by Divine wisdom. Though none may break the law of God, yet that perfect rule leaves men at liberty to serve him in the way most suited to their powers and circumstances, of which others often are very unfit judges. All must determine for themselves, seeking counsel from God how they ought to act.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - If they cannot contain; rather, if they have not continency. Let them marry. In 1 Timothy 5:14 he lays down and justifies the same rule with reference to young widows. It is better to marry than to burn. The original tenses give greater force and beauty to this obvious rule of Christian common sense and morality. The "marry" is in the aorist - "to marry once for all," and live in holy married union; the "burn" is in the present - "to be on fire with concupiscence." Marriage once for all is better than continuous lust; the former is permitted, the latter sinful.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if they cannot contain, &c. Or "if they do not contain", as the words may be rendered, and as almost all versions do render them; if they have not the gift of continency; if they are not willing, and do not think fit to contain, for none are to be compelled; if either therefore they want a will or power to contain, let them marry; it is not only lawful for them to marry, but it is right and best for them; hence it appears that second marriages are lawful, which were condemned by some of the ancients: for it is better to marry than to burn; or be burnt; not with material fire, as Judah ordered Tamar to be brought forth and burnt with, for whoredom; nor with hell fire, the just demerit of uncleanness; but with the fire of lust itself; and so the Syriac version reads it, "it is better to marry than to be burnt" "with lust"; when persons not only find in them some lustful motions and desires, and a glowing heat of concupiscence; but are as it were all on fire with the lusts of the flesh, and in great danger of being drawn into the commission of fornication, adultery, or other pollutions, and even unnatural lusts; it is much better to enter into a marriage state, though it may have its cares, inconveniences, and difficulties, than to be under temptations and inclinations to such defilements: so the Jews often express the lust of concupiscence by fire; they tell (g) us a

"story of R. Amram, that he redeemed all the captives, men and women; and the women and the virgins dwelt in a chamber in his house alone; one time, Satan kindled in him, , "the fire of lust", and he set a ladder to go up to them, and when he came upon the steps of the ladder, he began to cry with a loud voice, , "fire in the house of Amram, fire in the house of Amram": and the men came to quench the fire, and found nothing burning; for it was only his intention to cause to cease from him the fire of lust; and his thought ceased and his mind grew cool; and they asked him, why he mocked them? he replied, for this is a greater "fire" than all the fires in the world, for it is the fire of hell:''

This story is also told in the Talmud (h), with some little variation: so we read of one that is , "inflamed" (i), or all on fire "with the corruption of nature", who does not direct his heart to God: and such a man that finds his corruptions prevail over him, he ought to marry, they say (k), as a proper remedy against it:

"he whose mind is intent upon the law continually, and learns it as Ben Azzai, and cleaves to it all his days, and does not marry a wife, there is no iniquity in his hands, and that because his corruption does not prevail over him; but if his corruption prevails over him, , "he ought to marry a wife":''

and that for the very reason the apostle here gives. The Ethiopic version reads, "it is better to marry than to commit fornication"; that and adultery both are expressed by fire and burning, with the Jews, as they prove from Hosea 7:4 (l).

(g) Caphtor, fol. 62. 1.((h) T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 81. 1.((i) Zohar in Lev. fol. 21. 1.((k) Maimon. Hilch. Ishot, c. 15. sect. 3.((l) Vet. Nizzachon, p. 43, 44.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. if they cannot contain—that is, "have not continency."

burn—with the secret flame of lust, which lays waste the whole inner man. (Compare Augustine [Holy Virginity]). The dew of God's grace is needed to stifle the flame, which otherwise would thrust men at last into hell-fire.

1 Corinthians 7:9 Additional Commentaries
Context
Teachings on Marriage
8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 10But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband…
Cross References
Acts 19:36
Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to calm down and not do anything rash.

1 Thessalonians 4:4
that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable,

1 Timothy 5:14
So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.
Treasury of Scripture

But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

let.

1 Corinthians 7:2,28,36,39 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, …

1 Timothy 5:11,14 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton …

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