1 Thessalonians 4:4
That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
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(4) Should know.—The clause is simply parallel to the last, and, with it, explains the word “sanctification.” The Bulgarian Father, Theophylact, says pointedly in reference to the word “to know” or “understand,” “He indicates that chastity is a matter that requires self-discipline and study.” (Comp. Ephesians 5:17.)

To possess his vessel.—The word rendered “to possess” should rather be translated, to procure, win, gain possession of. The word “vessel” here has been interpreted in two ways: (1) “his wife;” (2) “his body.” In favour of (1) it is argued that (while “gaining possession of one’s own body” is unintelligible), “acquiring a wife of one’s own” is an ordinary Greek expression; that in this context, “a vessel,” or “instrument,” is an expressive and natural metaphor; that the word was familiar to Hebrew speakers in that sense (e.g., Ahasuerus says of Vashti, in one of the Targums, “My vessel which I use is neither Median nor Persian, but Chaldee”); that St. Peter (1Peter 3:7) uses the word of the wife. But it may be answered that this interpretation does not suit our context; first, because it would be laying an emphatic and binding veto upon celibacy, if “each one” is “to acquire a wife of his own;” secondly, because of the verb “to know,” it certainly being no part of a religious man’s duty “to know how to procure a wife;” thirdly, because the Greek cannot be translated “a vessel (or wife) of his own,” but “his own vessel” (or wife)—literally, the vessel of himself—and to speak of “procuring” the wife who is already one’s own seems unmeaning. Furthermore, although the quotations from the Targums are certainly to the point, that from St. Peter distinctly points the other way, inasmuch as the wife is called “the weaker vessel of the two,” evidently meaning that the husband is also “a vessel.” Thus we are driven to suppose that (2) the “vessel” is the man’s own self. This usage also is well supported. In 1Samuel 21:5, it is used in precisely this sense, and in the same context, as well as in 1Peter 3:7. The passages, however, usually quoted in support of this interpretation from 2Corinthians 4:7, Philo, Barnabas, Lucretius, &c, do not seem quite parallel; for there the word signifies a “vessel,” in the sense of a receptacle for containing something; here it is rather “an instrument” or “implement “for doing something. Hence it approaches more nearly to the use in such phrases as Acts 9:15, “a vessel of choice,” or even (though the Greek word is different) to Romans 6:13. “The vessel of himself” (the “himself” being in the Greek strongly emphasised) means, not “the vessel which is his own,” but “the vessel or instrument which consists of himself.” Thus the body, which of course is chiefly meant here, is not dissociated from the man’s personality, as in the fanciful Platonism of Philo, but almost identified with it: the Incarnation has taught us the true dignity of the body. Thus it becomes easy to understand what is meant by “knowing how to gain possession of” such an instrument as the body with its many faculties, rescuing it from its vile prostitution, and wielding it wisely for its proper uses. So the same Greek verb is used, and mistranslated in our version, in Luke 21:19, “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

In sanctification and honour.—The circumstances in which—almost the means by which—the man may acquire and keep this skilful power over his instrument:—“in a course of self-purification and of self-reverence.” The reverence due to the instrument is brought out in a passage of St. Peter evidently modelled upon this (1Peter 3:7). (Comp. also 2Timothy 2:21, “an instrument for honourable purposes, and to be honourably treated, consecrated, and handy for its owner’s use.”)

4:1-8 To abide in the faith of the gospel is not enough, we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. In aspiring after this renewal of the soul unto holiness, strict restraint must be put upon the appetites and senses of the body, and on the thoughts and inclinations of the will, which lead to wrong uses of them. The Lord calls none into his family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before him in holiness. Some make light of the precepts of holiness, because they hear them from men; but they are God's commands, and to break them is to despise God.That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel - The word "vessel" here (σκεῦος skeuos), probably refers to the body. When it is so used, it is either because the body is frail and feeble, like an earthen vessel, easily broken 2 Corinthians 4:7, or because it is that which contains the soul, or in which the soul is lodged. Lucret. Lib. iii. 441. The word vessel also (Greek σκεῦος skeuos) was used by the latter Hebrews to denote a wife, as the vessel of her husband. Schoettg. Hor. Heb. p. 827. Compare Wetstein in loc. Many, as Augustine, Wetstein, Schoettgen, Koppe, Robinson (Lex.), and others, have supposed that this is the reference here; compare 1 Peter 3:7. The word body, however, accords more naturally with the usual signification of the word, and as the apostle was giving directions to the whole church, embracing both sexes, it is hardly probable that he confined his direction to those who had wives. It was the duty of females, and of the unmarried among the males, as well as of married men, to observe this command. The injunction then is, that we should preserve the body pure; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 6:18-20.

In sanctification and honour - Should not debase or pollute it; that is, that we should honor it as a noble work of God, to be employed for pure purposes; notes, 1 Corinthians 6:19.

4. know—by moral self-control.

how to possess his vessel—rather as Greek, "how to acquire (get for himself) his own vessel," that is, that each should have his own wife so as to avoid fornication (1Th 4:3; 1Co 7:2). The emphatical position of "his own" in the Greek, and the use of "vessel" for wife, in 1Pe 3:7, and in common Jewish phraseology, and the correct translation "acquire," all justify this rendering.

in sanctification—(Ro 6:19; 1Co 6:15, 18). Thus, "his own" stands in opposition to dishonoring his brother by lusting after his wife (1Th 4:6).

honour—(Heb 13:4) contrasted with "dishonor their own bodies" (Ro 1:24).

This is added as a means to prevent that sin. By vessel some understand the married wife, who is called the weaker vessel, 1 Peter 3:7; and her husband is to possess her in sanctification, in chastity, as the Greek word may signify here.

And honour; for as marriage is honourable to all men, Hebrews 3:4, so to live chastely in a married estate is honourable also. For by whoredom man gets dishonour, and his reproach shall not be wiped away, Proverbs 6:33. Others by vessel understand the body, which is the vessel of the soul; the soul carries it up and down, useth it in the several functions of the vegetative, sensitive, and intellectual life. And so some understand the words of David to the priest, 1 Samuel 21:5: The vessels of the young men are holy, being kept from women; that is, their bodies. Fornication is said above all other sins to be a sin against the body, 1 Corinthians 6:18, and he that keeps his body chaste possesseth his vessel, keeps it under government; whereas by fornication we give it to a harlot, and that which is a member of Christ we make it the member of a harlot, 1 Corinthians 6:15; and though the words are directed properly to the masculine sex, the word ekaston being masculine, yet under that the female is comprehended. And because the practice of this duty requires care, skill, and much watchfulness against temptations, therefore saith the apostle that every man may know

how to possess his vessel in sanctification. To which is added,

and in honour; for acts of uncleanness dishonour the body; Romans 1:24: God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies, & c. God hath bestowed much curious workmanship upon the body, it is part of Christ’s purchase, and, with the soul, is a member of Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost, in all true saints, alld therefore should be possessed with honour. Or it is to be kept to the honour and glory of God, as 1 Corinthians 6:20, and to be offered up a holy sacrifice to him, Romans 12:1.

That everyone of you should know how to possess his vessel,.... By which may be meant, either a man's wife, or his body, and it is not very easy to determine which, for the Jews call both by this name. Sometimes they call (p) a woman which the gloss says is a "vessel" unfinished. It is reported (q), that when R. Eleazar died, Rabbenu Hakkadosh would have married his widow, and she would not, because she was , "a vessel of holiness", greater than he. Moreover, it is said (r), that

"he that forces (a young woman) must drink "in his own vessel" how drink in his own vessel? though she be lame, though she be blind, and though she is stricken with ulcers.''

The commentators (s) on the passage add,

"in the vessel which he has chosen; that is to say, whether he will or not, he must marry her;''

see Proverbs 5:15. And again, they sometimes call a man's wife his tent: hence that saving (t),

"wtva ala wlha Nya "there is no tent but his wife", as it is said, Deuteronomy 5:30, go, say to them, get you into your tents again.''

And certain it is, that the woman is called the "weaker vessel" in 1 Peter 3:7, between which passage and this there seems to be some agreement. The same metaphor of a "vessel" is made use of in both; and as there, honour to be given to the weaker vessel, so here, a man's vessel is to be possessed in honour; and as there, husbands are to dwell with their wives according to knowledge so here, knowledge is required to a man's possessing his vessel aright. Now for a man to possess his vessel in this sense, is to enjoy his wife, and to use that power he has over her in a becoming manner; see 1 Corinthians 7:4, and which is here directed to "in sanctification and honour"; that is, in a chaste and honourable way; for marriage is honourable when the bed is kept undefiled; and which may be defiled, not only by taking another into it, and which is not possessing the wife in sanctification and honour, it is the reverse, for it is a breaking through the rules of chastity and honour; but it may even be defiled with a man's own wife, by using her in an unnatural way, or by any unlawful copulation with her; for so to do is to use her in an unholy, unchaste, wicked, and dishonourable manner; whereas possessing of her according to the order and course of nature, is by the Jews, in agreement with the apostle, called (u), , "a man's sanctifying himself", and is chaste, and honourable. And it may be observed, that the Jews use the same phrase concerning conjugal embraces as the apostle does here. One of their canons runs thus (w):

"though a man's wife is free for him at all times, it is fit and proper for a disciple of a wise man to use himself "in", or "to sanctification".''

When these thing's are observed, this sense of the words will not appear so despicable as it is thought by some. The body is indeed called a "vessel"; see 2 Corinthians 4:7, because in it the soul is contained, and the soul makes use of it, and its members, as instruments, for the performance of various actions; and, with Jewish writers, we read of , "the vessel of his body" (x); so then, for a man to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, is to keep under his body and bring it into subjection, and preserve it in purity and chastity; as the eyes from unchaste looks, the tongue from unchaste words, and the other members from unchaste actions; and to use it in an honourable way, not in fornication, adultery, and sodomy; for, by fornication, a man sins against his own body; and by adultery he gets a wound, and a dishonour, and a reproach that will not be wiped away; and by sodomy, and such like unnatural lusts, men dishonour their own bodies between themselves: particularly by "his vessel", as Gataker thinks, may be meant the "membrum virile", or the genital parts, which, by an euphemism, may he so called; see 1 Samuel 21:5

(p) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol 22. 2.((q) Juchasin, fol. 48. 2. Shalsheleth Hakkabala, fol. 23. 1.((r) Misna Cetubot, c. 3. sect. 4, 5. (s) Jarchi & Bartenora in ib. (t) T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 7. 2. & 15. 2.((u) Maimon. in Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 7. sect. 4. (w) Maimon. Hilch Deyot, c. 5. sect. 4. (x) Caphtor, fol. 57. 2.

{3} That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

(3) Another reason, because it defiles the body.

1 Thessalonians 4:4. That every one of you may know (understand, be capable; comp. Colossians 4:6; Php 4:12) to acquire his own vessel in sanctification and honour. By σκεῦος, Chrysostom, Theodoret, John Damascenus, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Tertullian, Pelagius, Haimo, Calvin, Zeger, Musculus, Hemming, Bullinger, Zanchius, Hunnius, Drusius, Piscator, Gomarus, Aretius, Vorstius, Cornelius a Lapide, Beza, Grotius, Calixt, Calovius, Hammond, Turretin, Benson, Bengel, Macknight, Zacharius, Flatt, Pelt, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, Bloomfield, Meyer (Romans 4 th ed. p. 74), and others, understand the body (τὸ σῶμα).[50] But—(1) κτᾶσθαι cannot in any way be reconciled with this interpretation. For that can only denote to gain, to acquire, but not to own, to possess (for which one in vain appeals to Luke 21:19; Sir 6:7; Sir 22:23; Sir 51:20). If one would, with Olshausen (comp. also Chrysostom), retain the idea of acquiring, and then find the sense: “to guide and master his body as the true instrument of the soul,” yet, as de Wette remarks, the contrast μὴ ἐν πάθει ἐπιθυμίας, 1 Thessalonians 4:5, which likewise belongs to κτᾶσθαι, would be irreconcilable with it. (2) The body may be compared with a σκεῦος, or, when the context points to it, may be figuratively so called, but σκεῦος by itself can hardly be put in the sense of σῶμα. All the passages which are usually brought forward do not prove the contrary; e.g. Barnabas, Ep. vii. and xi.: τὸ σκεῦος τοῦ πνεύματος (αὐτοῦ), where σκεῦος has its usual meaning, and only the full expression serves as a circumlocution for the body of Christ. Philo, quod deter. pot. ins. p. 186: τὸ τῆς ψυχῆς ἀγγεῖον τὸ σῶμα, and de migr. Abrah. p. 418: τοῖς ἀγγείοις τῆς ψυχῆς σώματι καὶ αἰσθήσει. Cicero, disput. Tusc. i. 22: corpus quidem quasi vas est aut aliquod animi receptaculum. Lucretius, iii. 441: corpus, quod vas quasi constitit ejus (sc. animae). How different also from our passage is 2 Corinthians 4:7, by the addition ὀστρακίνοις, according to which the σῶμα is only compared with a σκεῦος ὀστράκινον! (3) The position of the words τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος is against it. For ἑαυτοῦ can only be placed first, because the emphasis rests on it; but a reference to the body of an individual cannot be emphatic; it would require to be written τὸ σκεῦος ἑαυτοῦ. Olshausen certainly finds in ἑαυτοῦ a support for the opposite view; but how arbitrary is his assertion, that by the genitive “the subjectivity, the ψυχή, is distinguished from the σκεῦος,” as only the belonging, the private possession, can be designated by ἑαυτοῦ! (4) The context also does not lead us to understand σκεῦος of the body. Paul, namely, has brought forward the ἁγιασμός of his readers as the will of God, and has further explained this ἁγιασμός, first, negatively as an abstinence from fornication. If, now, this negative specification is still further explained by a positive one, this further positive addition can only contain the reverse, that is, the requirement to satisfy the sexual impulse in chastity and honour. The words import this, if σκεῦος is understood in its original meaning, “retain a vessel,” and the expression as a figurative designation of wife. So, in essentials, Theodore Mopsuestius (ed. Fritzsche, p. 145: Σκεῦος τὴν ἰδίαν ἑκάστου γαμετὴν ὀνομάζει); τίνες in Theodoret (τὴν ὁμόζυγα); Augustin, contra Julian, iv. 10, v. 9; de nupt. et concup. i. 8; Thomas Aquinas, Zwingli, Estius, Balduin, Heinsius, Seb. Schmid, Wetstein, Schoettgen, Michaelis, Koppe, Schott, de Wette, Koch, Bisping, Ewald, Alford, Hofmann, Riggenbach, and others. How suitably does the emphatic ἑαυτοῦ become through this interpretation, the apostle, in contrast to the πορνεία, the Venus vulgivaga, urging that every one should acquire his own vessel or means to appease the sexual impulse—that is, should enter into marriage, ordained by God for the regulation of fleshly lusts; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:2, where the same principle is expressed. To regard the expression σκεῦος as a figurative designation of wife is the less objectionable, as this figurative designation is besides supported by Jewish usage. Thus it is said in Megilla Esther, i. 11: In convivio illius impii aliqui dixerunt: mulieres Medicae sunt pulchriores, alii vero: Persicae sunt pulchriores. Dixit ad eos Ahasverus: vas meum, quo ego utor (כלי שאני משתמש בו), neque Medicum neque Persicum est, sed Chaldaicum. Comp. Sohar Levit. fol. 38, col. 152: Quicunque enim semen suum immittit in vas non bonum, ille semen suum deturpat. See Schoettgen, Hor. hebr. p. 827. Lastly, add to this that the expression κτᾶσθαι γυναῖκα, in the sense of ducere uxorem, is usual; comp. Xenoph. Conviv. ii. 10: ΤΑΎΤΗΝ (ΞΑΝΘΊΠΠΗΝ) ΚΈΚΤΗΜΑΙ; LXX. Ruth 4:10; Sir 36:24.

ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ ὙΜῶΝ] every one of you, sc. who does not possess the gift of continence; comp. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2.

ἐν ἁγιασμῷ καὶ τιμῇ] in chastity and honour, belongs not to ἝΚΑΣΤΟΝ, so that ὌΝΤΑ would require to be supplied (Koppe, Schott), but to ΚΤᾶΣΘΑΙ, and is an epexegesis to ἙΑΥΤΟῦ, so that after ΚΤᾶΣΘΑΙ a comma is to be put. In ΤῸ ἙΑΥΤΟῦ ΣΚΕῦΟς ΚΤᾶΣΘΑΙ there is contained ΚΤᾶΣΘΑΙ ἘΝ ἉΓΙΑΣΜῷ Κ.Τ.Λ. already implicitly included. Accordingly, by this addition there is by no means expressed in what way one should marry, which, as a too special prescription, would certainly be unsuitable; but 1 Thessalonians 4:4 contains only the general prescription, instead of giving oneself up to fornication, to marry, and this is opposed as honourable and sanctified to what is dishonourable and unsanctified.

[50] In a special manner Ernest Schmid explains it: Suum vas i. e. suum corpus et in specie sua membra, quibus ad ἀκαθαρσίαν homo abuti potest. So also Majus, Observat. sacr. III. p. 75. Schomer, Woken, and Triller (comp. Wolf in loc,). Bolten, entirely contrary to the context: τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος is “his means, his vessels, or singularis pro plurali, his goods, his utensils.”

1 Thessalonians 4:4. Paul demands chastity from men; it is not simply a feminine virtue. Contemporary ethics, in the Roman and Greek world, was often disposed to condone marital unfaithfulness on the part of husbands, and to view prenuptial unchastity as ἀδιάφορον or at least as a comparatively venial offence, particularly in men (cf. Lecky’s History of European Morals, i. 104 f., ii. 314 f.). The strict purity of Christ’s gospel had to be learnt (εἰδέναι).—σκεῦος (lit. “vessel”) = “wife;” the rendering “body” (cf. Barn. vii. 3) conflicts with the normal meaning of κτᾶσθαι (“get,” “acquire;” of marriage, LXX. Ruth 4:10; Sir. 36:29, Xen., Symp., ii. 10). Paul views marriage on much the same level as he does in 1 Corinthians 7:2; 1 Corinthians 7:9; in its chaste and religious form, it is a remedy against sensual passion, not a gratification of that passion. Each of you (he is addressing men) must learn (εἰδέναι = know [how] to, cf. Php 4:12) to get a wife of his own (when marriage is in question), but you must marry ἐν ἁγιασμῷ (as a Christian duty and vocation) καὶ τιμῇ (with a corresponding sense of the moral dignity of the relationship). The two latter words tend to raise the current estimate, presupposed here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:6, of a wife as the σκεῦος of her husband; this in its turn views adultery primarily as an infringement of the husband’s rights or an attack on his personal property. Paul, however, closes by an emphatic word on the religious aspect (1 Thessalonians 4:6-8) of the question; besides, as Dr. Drummond remarks, “is it not part of his greatness that, in spite of his own somewhat ascetic temperament, he was not blind to social and physiological facts?” It is noticeable that his eschatology has less effect on his view of marriage here than in 1 Corinthians 7. Even were κτᾶσθαι taken as = “possess,” a usage not quite impossible for later Greek (cf. Field, 72), it would only extend the idea to the duties of a Christian husband. The alternative rendering (“acquire mastery of,” Luke 21:19) does not justify the “body” sense of σκεῦος.

4. that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel] Rather, that each one of you know how to possess himself of his own vessel (R. V.); or, freely rendered, that each be wise in the mastery of his bodily frame.

This is the positive side of what has just been expressed negatively. The “vessel” we take to be the body, regarded as the vehicle and instrument of the inner self—“the vessel of himself.” What the tool is to the hand, or vase to the essence it holds, that the body is to the man’s self. Comp. 2 Corinthians 4:7, “this treasure in earthen vessels”; similarly in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 the body is “the earthly house of our tabernacle,” the clothing without which we should be “found naked.” The victim of sensual passion ceases to be master of his own person—he is possessed; and those who formerly lived in heathen uncleanness, had now as Christians to possess themselves of their bodies, to “win” the “vessel” of their spiritual life and make it truly their own, and a fit receptacle for the redeemed and sanctified self (comp. Luke 21:19, “In your patience ye shall win your souls,” R. V.,—the same Greek verb). This they must “know how” (i.e. have skill) to do—a skill for which there was continual need. The Greek expression for Temperance—enkrateia, i.e. continence, self-control—expresses a similar thought; so the simile of 1 Corinthians 9:27, “I buffet my body, and make it my slave.”

in sanctification] For it was under this idea, and within the sphere of the new, consecrated life that such mastery of the body was to be gained (see notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:7). And in honour; for as lust dishonours and degrades the body (Romans 1:24; Romans 1:26; 1 Corinthians 6:15), so its devotion to God in a life of purity raises it to “honour.” Self-respect and regard for the honour of one’s own person, as well as reverence for God, forbid unchastity.

1 Thessalonians 4:4. Εἰδέναι, should know) οἴδα, I know, not only denotes knowledge, but power of mind [mental self-control so as to], Php 4:12 : comp. [husbands, dwell with your wives] according to knowledge, 1 Peter 3:7. Both are certainly required for matrimonial chastity.—σκεῦος, vessel) his body, 1 Samuel 21:5; 1 Corinthians 6:18.—κτᾶσθαι, to possess, is illustrated from Luke 21:19.—καὶ τιμῇ, and in honour) The contrary is ἀτιμία, disgrace, Romans 1:26; Romans 1:24 [πᾶθη ἀτιμίας, affections of dishonour, i.e. vile; ἀτιμάζεσθαι σώματα, to dishonour their bodies].

Verse 4. - That every one of you should know how to possess. The word here rendered "possess" rather signifies "acquire." The R.V. renders the clause, "that each one of you know how to possess himself of;" hence it admits of the translation, "to obtain the mastery over." His vessel. This word has given rise to a diversity of interpretation. Especially two meanings have been given to it. By some it is supposed to be a figurative expression for "wife," in which sense the word is used, though rarely, by Hebrew writers. Peter speaks of the wife "as the weaker vessel" (1 Peter 3:7). This is the meaning adopted by Augustine, Schott, Do Wette, Koch, Hofmann, Lünemann, Riggenbach; and, among English expositors, by Alford, Jowett, Ellicott, and Eadie. This meaning is, however, to be rejected as unusual and strange, and unsuitable to what follows in the next verse. The other meaning - "one's own body" - is more appropriate. Thus Paul says, "We have this treasure," namely, the gospel, "in earthen vessels" (2 Corinthians 4:7; comp. also 1 Samuel 21:5). The body may well be compared to a vessel, as it contains the soul. This meaning is adopted by Chrysostom, Calvin, Grotius, Bengel, Olshausen, Meyer; and, among English expositors, by Macknight, Conybeare, Bishop Alexander, Wordsworth, and Yaughan. In sanctification and honor. What the apostle here requires is that every one should obtain the mastery over his own body, and that whereas, as Gentiles, they had yielded their members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity, they should now, as Christians, yield their members servants to righteousness unto holiness (Romans 6:19). 1 Thessalonians 4:4That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel, etc. (εἰδέναι ἕκαστον ὑμῶν τὸ ἑαυτοῦ σκεῦος κτᾶσθαι)

The interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 usually varies between two explanations: 1. making the whole passage refer to fornication and adultery: 2. limiting this reference to 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5, and making 1 Thessalonians 4:6 refer to honesty in business. Both are wrong. The entire passage exhibits two groups of parallel clauses; the one concerning sexual, and the other business relations. Thus: 1. Abstain from fornication: deal honorably with your wives. 2. Pursue your business as holy men, not with covetous greed as the heathen: do not overreach or defraud. A comma should be placed after σκεῦος vessel, and κτᾶσθαι procure or acquire, instead of being made dependent on εἰδέναι know, should begin a new clause. Render, that every one of you treat his own wife honorably. Εἰδέναι is used Hebraistically in the sense of have a care for, regard, as 1 Thessalonians 5:12, "Know them that labor," etc.: recognize their claim to respect, and hold them in due regard. Comp. Genesis 39:6 : Potiphar οὐκ ᾔδει τῶν καθ' αὑτὸν οὐδὲν "gave himself no concern about anything that he had." 1 Samuel 2:12 : the sons of Eli οὐκ εἰδότες τὸν κύριον "paying no respect to the Lord." Exodus 1:8 : Another King arose ὃς οὐκ ᾔδει τὸν Ἱωσήφ "who did not recognize or regard Joseph": did not remember his services and the respect in which he had been held. Σκεῦος is sometimes explained as body, for which there is no evidence in N.T. In 2 Corinthians 4:7 the sense is metaphorical. Neither in lxx nor Class. does it mean body. In lxx very often of the sacred vessels of worship: sometimes, as in Class., of the accoutrements of war. In N.T. occasionally, both in singular and plural, in the general sense of appliances, furniture, tackling. See Matthew 12:29; Luke 17:31; Acts 27:17; Hebrews 9:21. For the meaning vessel, see Luke 8:16; John 19:20; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Revelation 2:27. Here, metaphorically, for wife; comp. 1 Peter 3:7. It was used for wife in the coarse and literal sense by Rabbinical writers. The admonition aptly follows the charge to abstain from fornication. On the contrary, let each one treat honorably his own wife. The common interpretation is, "as a safeguard against fornication let every one know how to procure his own wife." It is quite safe to say that such a sentence could never have proceeded from Paul. He never would have offset a charge to abstain from fornication with a counsel to be well informed in the way of obtaining a wife. When he does touch this subject, as he does in 1 Corinthians 7:2, he says, very simply, "to avoid fornication let every man have (ἐχέτω) his own wife"; not, know how to get one. Εἰδέναι know, as usually interpreted, is both superfluous and absurd. Besides, the question was not of procuring a wife, but of living honorably and decently with her, paying her the respect which was her right, and therefore avoiding illicit connections.

That he pursue his gain-getting in sanctification and honor (κτᾶσθαι ἐν ἁγιασμῷ καὶ τιμῇ)

As a holy and honorable man. The exhortation now turns to business relations. Κτᾶσθαι cannot mean possess, as A.V. That would require the perfect tense. It means procure, acquire. Often buy, as Acts 17:28; lxx, Genesis 33:19; Genesis 39:1; Genesis 47:19; Genesis 49:30; Joshua 24:33; absolutely, Ezekiel 7:12, Ezekiel 7:13.

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