1 Corinthians 7
Principles for Marriage1Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: a“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 bThe husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 cDo not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, dso that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6Now as a concession, enot a command, I say this. ▼
▼Or I say this:7 gI wish that all were has I myself am. But ieach has his own gift from God, jone of one kind and one of another.
8To the unmarried and the widows I say that kit is good for them to remain single las, I am. 9But if they cannot exercise self-control, mthey should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
10To the married nI give this charge (not I, but the Lord): othe wife should not separate from her husband 11(but if she does, pshe should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and qthe husband should not divorce his wife.
12To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. rOtherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you ▼
▼Some manuscripts ustto peace. 16For how do you know, wife, uwhether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
Live as You Are Called17Only let each person lead the life ▼
▼Or each person walk in the waywthat the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. xThis is my rule in yall the churches. 18Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? zLet him not seek circumcision. 19 aaFor neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but abkeeping the commandments of God. 20 acEach one should remain in the condition in which he was called. 21Were you a bondservant ▼
▼Or slave; also twice in verse 22 (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is aea freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is afa bondservant of Christ. 23 agYou were bought with a price; ahdo not become bondservants ▼
▼Or slaves (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)of men. 24So, brothers, ▼
▼Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29akin whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.
The Unmarried and the Widowed25Now concerning ▼
▼The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1the betrothed ▼
▼Greek virginsanI have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as aoone who by the Lord’s mercy is aptrustworthy. 26I think that in view of the present ▼
▼Or impendingdistress arit is good for a person to remain as he is. 27Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman ▼
▼Greek virgin; also verse 34marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that. 29This is what I mean, brothers: atthe appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy auas though they had no goods, 31and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For avthe present form of this world is passing away.
32I want you to be awfree from anxieties. axThe unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. 33But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, 34and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. 35I say this for your own benefit, aynot to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
36If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed ▼
▼Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38if his ▼
▼Or herpassions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well. 38So then he who marries his betrothed bbdoes well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
39 bcA wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only bdin the Lord. 40Yet bein my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think bfthat I too have the Spirit of God.
Copyright information for ESV