|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:22-33 The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.
Verse 23. - For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the Head of the Church. The woman was made for the man (Genesis 2:18; 1 Timothy 2:13), showing the Divine purpose that the man should be the head and center of the household, and that the position of the wife, as wife, should be one of subordination. Parallel to this arrangement is the relation of Christ to the Church. In words, at least, all admit the headship of Christ, and the subordination of the Church to him. The Christian household, on a much lower level, should exemplify the same relation. Being himself savior of the body. This is not said by way of contrast, but still by way of parallel. The very saviorship of Christ should find an analogy in the Christian husband. The husband should be the ever-vigilant and self-denying protector, guardian, deliverer, of his family, though his saving power can never come near the high level of Christ's A husband reckless of these obligations virtually ceases to have any claim on the subjection of the wife and the family. The very comparison of the husband to the Savior implies that, while there is a certain analogy, there is a still greater contrast. This is implied in the first word of the following verse. Between the lines we read this thought: "Not that the parallel between Christ's saving function and the husband's extends to the highest things."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the husband is the head of the wife,.... See Gill on 1 Corinthians 11:3.
Even as Christ is the head of the church; all the elect; See Gill on Ephesians 1:22. And he is the Saviour of the body; not "of our body", as the Ethiopic version reads, of that part of man, which is called the body; though that indeed is redeemed and saved by Christ, as well as the soul; but "of his body", as the Vulgate Latin version reads; that is, of the church, which is his body; see Ephesians 1:23; of which he is the Saviour; he provides everything for it, preserves and protects it, and has wrought out salvation for it, which every member of it partakes of.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. (1Co 11:3.)
even as—Greek, "as also."
and he is—The oldest manuscripts read, "Himself (being) Saviour," omitting "and," and "is." In Christ's case, the Headship is united with, nay gained by, His having SAVED the body in the process of redemption; so that (Paul implies) I am not alleging Christ's Headship as one entirely identical with that other, for He has a claim to it, and office in it, peculiar to Himself [Alford]. The husband is not saviour of the wife, in which particular Christ excels; hence, "But" (Eph 5:24) follows [Bengel].
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