Romans 7:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.

New Living Translation
For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her.

English Standard Version
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

New American Standard Bible
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband.

King James Bible
For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband.

International Standard Version
For a married woman is bound by the Law to her husband while he is living, but if her husband dies, she is released from the Law concerning her husband.

NET Bible
For a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of the marriage.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
As a woman is bound by the law to her lord as long as he lives? But if her husband is dead, she has been freed from The Written Law of her husband.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
For example, a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he is alive. But if her husband dies, that marriage law is no longer in effect for her.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the woman who is subject to a husband is obligated to the law so long as the husband lives; but if the husband dies, she is free from the law of the husband.

King James 2000 Bible
For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband dies, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

American King James Version
For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

American Standard Version
For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the woman that hath an husband, whilst her husband liveth is bound to the law. But if her husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Darby Bible Translation
For the married woman is bound by law to her husband so long as he is alive; but if the husband should die, she is clear from the law of the husband:

English Revised Version
For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Webster's Bible Translation
For the woman who hath a husband, is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband is dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Weymouth New Testament
A wife, for instance, whose husband is living is bound to him by the Law; but if her husband dies the law that bound her to him has now no hold over her.

World English Bible
For the woman that has a husband is bound by law to the husband while he lives, but if the husband dies, she is discharged from the law of the husband.

Young's Literal Translation
for the married woman to the living husband hath been bound by law, and if the husband may die, she hath been free from the law of the husband;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

7:1-6 So long as a man continues under the law as a covenant, and seeks justification by his own obedience, he continues the slave of sin in some form. Nothing but the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, can make any sinner free from the law of sin and death. Believers are delivered from that power of the law, which condemns for the sins committed by them. And they are delivered from that power of the law which stirs up and provokes the sin that dwells in them. Understand this not of the law as a rule, but as a covenant of works. In profession and privilege, we are under a covenant of grace, and not under a covenant of works; under the gospel of Christ, not under the law of Moses. The difference is spoken of under the similitude or figure of being married to a new husband. The second marriage is to Christ. By death we are freed from obligation to the law as a covenant, as the wife is from her vows to her husband. In our believing powerfully and effectually, we are dead to the law, and have no more to do with it than the dead servant, who is freed from his master, has to do with his master's yoke. The day of our believing, is the day of being united to the Lord Jesus. We enter upon a life of dependence on him, and duty to him. Good works are from union with Christ; as the fruitfulness of the vine is the product of its being united to its roots; there is no fruit to God, till we are united to Christ. The law, and the greatest efforts of one under the law, still in the flesh, under the power of corrupt principles, cannot set the heart right with regard to the love of God, overcome worldly lusts, or give truth and sincerity in the inward parts, or any thing that comes by the special sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit. Nothing more than a formal obedience to the outward letter of any precept, can be performed by us, without the renewing, new-creating grace of the new covenant.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 2-4. - For (this is an instance of the application of the general principle, adduced as suiting the subject in band) the woman that hath an husband (ὕπανδρος, implying subjection, meaning properly, that is under an husband) is bound to her living husband; but if the husband die, she is loosed (κατήργηται; cf. ver. 6 and Galatians 5:4. The word expresses the entire abolition of the claim of the husband's law over her) from the law of the husband. So then if, while the husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the Law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the Law through the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we may bring forth fruit unto God. The general drift of the above verses is plain enough; namely, that, as in all cases death frees a man from the claims of human law, and, in particular, as death frees the wife from the claims of marital law, so that she may marry again, so the death of Christ, into which we were baptized, frees us from the claims of the law which formerly bound us, so that we may be married spiritually to the risen Saviour, apart from the old dominion of law, and consequently of sin. But it is not so easy to explain the intended analogy in precise terms, there being an apparent discrepance between the illustration and the application with regard to the parties supposed to die. Even before the application there is a seeming discrepance of this kind between the general statement of ver. 1 and the instance given in ver. 2. For in ver. 1 it is (according to the view we have taken of it) the death of the person who had been under law that frees him from it, whereas in ver. 2 it is the death of the husband (representing law) that frees the wife from the law she had been under. Hence the interpretation of ver. 1 above referred to, according to which law, and not a man, is the understood nominative to liveth. But, even if this interpretation were considered tenable, we should not thus get rid of the subsequent apparent discrepance between the illustration and the application. For in the former it is the death of the husband that frees the wife; whereas in the latter it seems to be the death of ourselves, who answer to the wife, in the death of Christ, that frees us. For that it is ourselves that are regarded as having died to the Law with Christ appears not only from other passages (e.g. vers. 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 11, in ch. 6.), but also, in the passage before us, from άθανατώθητε in ver. 4, and ἀποθανόντες in ver. 6. (The reading ἀποθανόντος of the Textus Receptus rests on no authority, being apparently only a conjecture of Beza's.) There are various ways of explaining.

(1) That (notwithstanding the reasons against the supposition that have just been given) it is the Law, and not the man, that is conceived as having died in the death of Christ. Ephesians 2:15 and Colossians 2:14 may be referred to as supporting this conception. Thus the illustration and the application are made to hang together, the law of the husband being regarded as having died in the husband's death, as the Law generally to us in Christ's death; and we have already seen how ver. 1 may be forced into correspondence. This view of the Law itself being regarded as having died has the weighty support of Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ambrose, and other Greek Fathers. Chrysostom accounts for the apostle introducing a different conception in ver. 4: by suggesting that he avoided saying explicitly that the Law had died, for fear of wounding the Jews: Τὸ ἀκόλουθον ῆν αἰπεῖν, Ὤστε ἀδελφοί οὐ κυριεύει ὑμῶν ὁ νόμος ἀπέθανε γάρ Ἀλλ οὐκ εῖπεν οὕτως ἴνα μὴ πλήξη τοὺς Ιουδαίους. This explanation hardly commends itself as satisfactory; and besides, in addition to what has been already said, it may be observed that throughout the whole passage there is no phrase to suggest in itself the idea of the Law's death, but only of some death which emancipates from law (ver. I being taken in its natural sense, and ἀποθάνοντες, in ver. 4, being accepted as the undoubtedly true reading).

(2) That in the illustration the wife is really supposed to die when the husband dies. The death of either party to the marriage-bond cancels it; and when one dies, the other virtually dies to the law that both were under. Thus the statement of principle in ver. 1, the particular illustration in vers. 2, 3, and the application are made to hang together. Meyer takes this view decidedly, and cites Ephesians 5:28, seq., to show that the husband's death may be considered as implying the wife's death also.

(3) That there is a discrepance between the illustration and the application, the husband being regarded as dying in the former, and ourselves, who represent the wife, in the latter; but that this is of no consequence; the idea, common to both, of death abrogating the claims of law being sufficient for the apostle's argument. Death, it may be said, however regarded in the application, is an ideal conception, and not an actual fact with respect to ourselves; and it is immaterial how it is regarded, as long as the idea comes out that through death, i.e. ours in the death of Christ, we are freed from the dominion of law. (So, in effect, De Wette, and also Alford.)

(4) That the former husband is not the law, but the lust of sin (τὰ παθήματα τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν, ver. 5); the wife, the soul; the new husband, Christ. Augustine, who is the author of this view, puts it thus: "Cum ergo tria sint, anima, tanquam mulier; passiones peccatorum tanquam vir; et lex tanquam lex viri; non ibi peccatis mortuis, tanquam viro mortuo liberari animam dicit, sed ipsam animam mort peccato, et liberari a lege, ut sit alterius viri, i.e. Christi, cum mortua fuerit peccato, quod fit, cum adhuc manentibus in nobis desideriis et incitamentis quibusdam ad peccandum, non obedi-mus tamen, nec consentimus, mente servientes legi Dei" (Aug., 'Prop.,' 33). Beza, taking up the view of Augustine, puts it somewhat differently, and more clearly, thus: "There are two marriages. In the first, the old man is the wife; predominating sinful desires, the husband; transgressions of every kind, the offspring. In the second, the new man is the wife; Christ, the Husband; and the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) are the children." This explanation being still apparently open to the objection that, in the illustration, the wife continues the same, but not so that which corresponds to her in the application, Olshausen explains thus: "In man the old man is distinguished from the new without prejudice to the unity of his personality, which Paul subsequently (ver. 20) signifies by ἐγώ. This true personality, the proper self of man, is the wife, who in the natural state appears in marriage with the old man, and, in intercourse with him, generates sins, the end of which is death (Romans 6:21, 22). But in the death of the mortal Christ this old man is dead with him; and, as the individual man is grafted by faith into Christ. his old man dies, by whose life he was holden under the Law." The commentator on the Epistle in the 'Speaker's Commentary' adopts this explanation, with the remark that "St. Paul's application of the figure is quite clear, if we follow his own guidance." The view rests mainly on, and certainly derives some support from, vers. 5 and 6, if regarded as carrying out the application of the figure. Others, however, in view of the difficulties of the whole passage, may prefer to content themselves with explanation (3), as conveying as precise an idea as may possibly have been even in the apostle's mind when he wrote. Commentators may sometimes go beyond their office in attributing to their author more exactness of thought than his words in themselves imply. It is to be observed that the con-eluding expression in ver. 4, "that we should bring forth fruit unto God," brings us back to the main purport of this whole section, which begins at Romans 6:1, viz. the obligation of a holy life on Christians. In vers. 5, 6, which follow, the hindrance to our living such a life "when we were in the flesh," and our power of doing so now, are briefly intimated in preparation for what follows. It does not seem necessary to conclude - as is done by those who adopt interpretation (4) of what precedes - that the illustration of the marriage bond is meant to be kept up in these two verses.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For the woman which hath an husband,.... The former general rule is here illustrated by a particular instance and example in the law of marriage; a woman that is married to a man,

is bound by the law to her husband; to live with him, in subjection and obedience to him,

so long as he liveth; except in the cases of adultery, Matthew 19:9, and desertion, 1 Corinthians 7:15, by which the bond of marriage is loosed, and for which a divorce or separation may be made, which are equal to death:

but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband; the bond of marriage is dissolved, the law of it is abolished, and she is at entire liberty to marry whom she will, 1 Corinthians 7:39.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2, 3. if her husband be dead—"die." So Ro 7:3.

Romans 7:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Released from the Law
1Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? 2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. 3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man.…
Cross References
Romans 7:3
So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.

Romans 7:6
But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.

1 Corinthians 7:39
A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord.
Treasury of Scripture

For the woman which has an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

the woman. Rather, a woman. The apostle here illustrates the position laid down in the preceding verse by a familiar instance.

Genesis 2:23,24 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: …

Numbers 30:7,8 And her husband heard it, and held his peace at her in the day that …

1 Corinthians 7:4,39 The wife has not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise …

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