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1 Corinthians 7:25 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be trustworthy.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment as one that hath obtained mercy from the Lord to be faithful.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— But concerning virgins, I have no commandment of [the] Lord; but I give my opinion, as having received mercy of [the] Lord to be faithful.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But, concerning them who are virgin, injunction of the Lord, have I none; yet, a judgment, do I give, as one who hath obtained mercy from the Lord to be, faithful:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And concerning the virgins, a command of the Lord I have not; and I give judgment as having obtained kindness from the Lord to be faithful:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now, concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Nowe concerning virgins, I haue no commaundement of the Lord: yet I giue my iudgement as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithfull.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— BUT respecting virginity, a commandment from Aloha I have not received; but I give counsel as a man who hath had grace from Aloha to be faithful.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And concerning virginity, I have no precept from God; but I give counsels as a man who hath obtained mercy from God to be a believer.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
concerning 4012
{4012} Prime
From the base of G4008; properly through (all over), that is, around; figuratively with respect to; used in various applications, of place, cause or time (with the genitive case denoting the subject or occasion or superlative point; with the accusative case the locality, circuit, matter, circumstance or general period).
virgins 3933
{3933} Prime
Of unknown origin; a maiden; by implication an unmarried daughter.
I have 2192
{2192} Prime
A primary verb (including an alternate form σχέω [[scheo]], {skheh'-o}; used in certain tenses only); to hold (used in very various applications, literally or figuratively, direct or remote; such as possession, ability, contiguity, relation or condition).
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
no 3756
{3756} Prime
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
commandment 2003
{2003} Prime
From G2004; an injunction or decree; by implication authoritativeness.
of the Lord: 2962
{2962} Prime
From κῦρος [[kuros]] (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).
yet 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
I give 1325
{1325} Prime
A prolonged form of a primary verb (which is used as an alternate in most of the tenses); to give (used in a very wide application, properly or by implication, literally or figuratively; greatly modified by the connection).
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
my judgment, 1106
{1106} Prime
From G1097; cognition, that is, (subjectively) opinion, or (objectively) resolve (counsel, consent, etc.).
as 5613
{5613} Prime
Probably adverb of comparative from G3739; which how, that is, in that manner (very variously used as shown).
one that hath obtained mercy 1653
{1653} Prime
From G1656; to compassionate (by word or deed, specifically by divine grace).
<5772> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 463
of 5259
{5259} Prime
A primary preposition; under, that is, (with the genitive) of place (beneath), or with verbs (the agency or means, through); (with the accusative) of place (whither [underneath] or where [below]) or time (when [at]).
the Lord 2962
{2962} Prime
From κῦρος [[kuros]] (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).
to be 1511
{1511} Prime
Present infinitive from G1510; to exist.
<5750> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 135
faithful. 4103
{4103} Prime
From G3982; objectively trustworthy; subjectively trustful.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 7:25

_ _ no commandment of the Lord: yet ... my judgment — I have no express revelation from the Lord commanding it, but I give my judgment (opinion); namely, under the ordinary inspiration which accompanied the apostles in all their canonical writings (compare 1 Corinthians 7:40; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Thessalonians 4:15). The Lord inspires me in this case to give you only a recommendation, which you are free to adopt or reject — not a positive command. In the second case (1 Corinthians 7:10, 1 Corinthians 7:11) it was a positive command; for the Lord had already made known His will (Malachi 2:14, Malachi 2:15; Matthew 5:31, Matthew 5:32). In the third case (1 Corinthians 7:12), the Old Testament commandment of God to put away strange wives (Ezra 10:3), Paul by the Spirit revokes.

_ _ mercy of the Lord — (1 Timothy 1:13). He attributes his apostleship and the gifts accompanying it (including inspiration) to God’s grace alone.

_ _ faithful — in dispensing to you the inspired directions received by me from the Lord.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Corinthians 7:25-35

_ _ The apostle here resumes his discourse, and gives directions to virgins how to act, concerning which we may take notice,

_ _ I. Of the manner wherein he introduces them: “Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord, 1 Corinthians 7:25. I have no express and universal law delivered by the Lord himself concerning celibacy; but I give my judgment, as one who hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful,” namely, in the apostleship. He acted faithfully, and therefore his direction was to be regarded as a rule of Christ: for he gave judgment as one who was a faithful apostle of Christ. Though Christ had before delivered no universal law about that matter, he now gives direction by an inspired apostle, one who had obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. Note, Faithfulness in the ministry is owing to the grace and mercy of Christ. It is what Paul was ready to acknowledge upon all occasions: I laboured more abundantly than they all; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, 1 Corinthians 15:10. And it is a great mercy which those obtain from God who prove faithful in the ministry of his word, either ordinary or extraordinary.

_ _ II. The determination he gives, which, considering the present distress, was that a state of celibacy was preferable: It is good for a man so to be, that is, to be single. I suppose, says the apostle, or it is my opinion. It is worded with modesty, but delivered, notwithstanding, with apostolic authority. It is not the mere opinion of a private man, but the very determination of the Spirit of God in an apostle, though it be thus spoken. And it was thus delivered to give it the more weight. Those that were prejudiced against the apostle might have rejected this advice had it been given with a mere authoritative air. Note, Ministers do not lose their authority by prudent condescensions. They must become all things to all men, that they may do them the more good. This is good, says he, for the present distress. Christians, at the first planting of their religion, were grievously persecuted. Their enemies were very bitter against them, and treated them very cruelly. They were continually liable to be tossed and hurried by persecution. This being the then state of things, he did not think it so advisable for Christians that were single to change conditions. The married state would bring more care and cumber along with it (1 Corinthians 15:33, 1 Corinthians 15:34), and would therefore make persecution more terrible, and render them less able to bear it. Note, Christians, in regulating their conduct, should not barely consider what is lawful in itself, but what may be expedient for them.

_ _ III. Notwithstanding he thus determines, he is very careful to satisfy them that he does not condemn marriage in the gross, nor declare it unlawful. And therefore, though he says, “If thou art loosed from a wife (in a single state, whether bachelor or widower, virgin or widow) do not seek a wife, do not hastily change conditions;” yet he adds, “If thou art bound to a wife, do not seek to be loosed. It is thy duty to continue in the married relation, and do the duties of it.” And though such, if they were called to suffer persecution, would find peculiar difficulties in it; yet, to avoid these difficulties, they must not cast off nor break through the bonds of duty. Duty must be done, and God trusted with events. But to neglect duty is the way to put ourselves out of the divine protection. He adds therefore, I thou marry thou hast not sinned; or if a virgin marry she hath not sinned: but such shall have trouble in the flesh. Marrying is not in itself a sin, but marrying at that time was likely to bring inconvenience upon them, and add to the calamities of the times; and therefore he thought it advisable and expedient that such as could contain should refrain from it; but adds that he would not lay celibacy on them as a yoke, nor, by seeming to urge it too far, draw them into any snare; and therefore says, But I spare you. Note, How opposite in this are the papist casuists to the apostle Paul! They forbid many to marry, and entangle them with vows of celibacy, whether they can bear the yoke or no.

_ _ IV. He takes this occasion to give general rules to all Christians to carry themselves with a holy indifferency towards the world, and every thing in it. 1. As to relations: Those that had wives must be as though they had none; that is, they must not set their hearts too much on the comforts of the relation; they must be as though they had none. They know not how soon they shall have none. This advice must be carried into every other relation. Those that have children should be as though they had none. Those that are their comfort now may prove their greatest cross. And soon may the flower of all comforts be cut down. 2. As to afflictions: Those that weep must be as though they wept not; that is, we must not be dejected too much with any of our afflictions, nor indulge ourselves in the sorrow of the world, but keep up a holy joy in God in the midst of all our troubles, so that even in sorrow the heart may be joyful, and the end of our grief may be gladness. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy will come in the morning. If we can but get to heaven at last, all tears shall be wiped from our eyes; and the prospect of it now should make us moderate our sorrows and refrain our tears. 3. As to worldly enjoyments: Those that rejoice should be as though they rejoiced not; that is, they should not take too great a complacency in any of their comforts. They must be moderate in their mirth, and sit loose to the enjoyments they most value. Here is not their rest, nor are these things their portion; and therefore their hearts should not be set on them, nor should they place their solace or satisfaction in them. 4. As to worldly traffic and employment: Those that buy must be as though they possessed not. Those that prosper in trade, increase in wealth, and purchase estates, should hold these possessions as though they held them not. It is but setting their hearts on that which is not (Proverbs 23:5) to do otherwise. Buying and possessing should not too much engage our minds. They hinder many people altogether from minding the better part. Purchasing land and trying oxen kept the guests invited from the wedding-supper, Luke 14:18, Luke 14:19. And, when they do not altogether hinder men from minding their chief business, they do very much divert them from a close pursuit. Those are most likely to run so as to obtain the prize who ease their minds of all foreign cares and cumbrances. 5. As to all worldly concerns: Those that use this world as not abusing it, 1 Corinthians 7:31. The world may be used, but must not be abused. It is abused when it is not used to those purposes for which it is given, to honour God and do good to men — when, instead of being oil to the wheels of our obedience, it is made fuel to lust — when, instead of being a servant, it is made our master, our idol, and has that room in our affections which should be reserved for God. And there is great danger of abusing it in all these respects, if our hearts are too much set upon it. We must keep the world as much as may be out of our hearts, that we may not abuse it when we have it in our hands.

_ _ V. He enforces these advices with two reasons: — 1. The time is short, 1 Corinthians 7:29. We have but little time to continue in this world; but a short season for possessing and enjoying worldly things; kairos sunestalmenos. It is contracted, reduced to a narrow compass. It will soon be gone. It is just ready to be wrapped up in eternity. Therefore do not set your hearts on worldly enjoyments. Do not be overwhelmed with worldly cares and troubles. Possess what you must shortly leave without suffering yourselves to be possessed by it. Why should your hearts be much set on what you must quickly resign? 2. The fashion of this world passeth away (1 Corinthians 7:31), schmathe habit, figure, appearance, of the world, passeth away. It is daily changing countenance. It is in a continual flux. It is not so much a world as the appearance of one. All is show, nothing solid in it; and it is transient show too, and will quickly be gone. How proper and powerful an argument is this to enforce the former advice! How irrational is it to be affected with the images, the fading and transient images, of a dream! Surely man walketh in a vain show (Psalms 39:6), in an image, amidst the faint and vanishing appearances of things. And should he be deeply affected, or grievously afflicted, with such a scene?

_ _ VI. He presses his general advice by warning them against the embarrassment of worldly cares: But I would have you without carefulness, 1 Corinthians 7:32. Indeed to be careless is a fault; a wise concern about worldly interests is a duty; but to be careful, full of care, to have an anxious and perplexing care about them, is a sin. All that care which disquiets the mind, and distracts it in the worship of God, is evil; for God must be attended upon without distraction, 1 Corinthians 7:35. The whole mind should be engaged when God is worshipped. The work ceases while it diverts to any thing else, or is hurried and drawn hither and thither by foreign affairs and concerns. Those who are engaged in divine worship should attend to this very thing, should make it their whole business. But how is this possible when the mind is swallowed up of the cares of this life? Note, It is the wisdom of a Christian so to order his outward affairs, and choose such a condition in life, as to be without distracting cares, that he may attend upon the Lord with a mind at leisure and disengaged. This is the general maxim by which the apostle would have Christians govern themselves. In the application of it Christian prudence must direct. That condition of life is best for every man which is best for his soul, and keeps him most clear of the cares and snares of the world. By this maxim the apostle solves the case put to him by the Corinthians, whether it were advisable to marry? To this he says, That, by reason of the present distress, and it may be in general, at that time, when Christians were married to infidels, and perhaps under a necessity of being so, if married at all: I say, in these circumstances, to continue unmarried would be the way to free themselves from any cares and incumbrances, and allow them more vacation for the service of God. Ordinarily, the less care we have about the world the more freedom we have for the service of God. Now the married state at that time (if not at all times) did bring most worldly care along with it. He that is married careth for the things of the world, that he may please his wife, 1 Corinthians 7:33. And she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. But the unmarried man and woman mind the things of the Lord, that they may please the Lord, and be holy both in body and spirit, 1 Corinthians 7:32, 1 Corinthians 7:34. Not but the married person may be holy both in body and spirit too. Celibacy is not in itself a state of greater purity and sanctity than marriage; but the unmarried would be able to make religion more their business at that juncture, because they would have less distraction from worldly cares. Marriage is that condition of life that brings care along with it, though sometimes it brings more than at others. It is the constant care of those in that relation to please each other; though this is more difficult to do at some reasons, and in some cases, than in others. At that season, therefore, the apostle advises that those who were single should abstain from marriage, if they were under no necessity to change conditions. And, where the same reason is plain at other times, the rule is as fit to be observed. And the very same rule must determine persons for marriage where there is the same reason, that is, if in the unmarried state persons are likely to be more distracted in the service of God than if they were married, which is a case supposable in many respects. This is the general rule, which every one's discretion must apply to his own particular case; and by it should he endeavour to determine, whether it be for marriage or against. That condition of life should be chosen by the Christian in which it is most likely he will have the best helps, and the fewest hindrances, in the service of God and the affairs of his own salvation.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 7:25

Now concerning virgins — Of either sex. I have no commandment from the Lord — By a particular revelation. Nor was it necessary he should; for the apostles wrote nothing which was not divinely inspired: but with this difference, — sometimes they had a particular revelation, and a special commandment; at other times they wrote from the divine light which abode with them, the standing treasure of the Spirit of God. And this, also, was not their private opinion, but a divine rule of faith and practice. As one whom God hath made faithful in my apostolic office; who therefore faithfully deliver what I receive from him.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 7:25

(16) Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my (s) judgment, as (t) one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

(16) He commands virginity to no man, yet he persuades and praised it for another reason, that is, both for the necessity of the present time, because the faithful could scarce abide in any place, and use the commodities of this present life because of persecution. And therefore those who were not troubled with families, might be the readier, and also for the cares of this life, which marriage necessarily draws with it, so that they cannot but have their minds distracted: and this has place in women especially.

(s) The circumstances considered, this I counsel you.

(t) It is I that speak this which I am minded to speak: and the truth is I am a man, but yet of worthy credit, for I have obtained from the Lord to be such a one.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

1 Corinthians 7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
1 Corinthians 7:34 There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband.
1 Corinthians 7:36-38 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of [her] age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. ... So then he that giveth [her] in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth [her] not in marriage doeth better.
Psalms 78:63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.

The word παρθενος [Strong's G3933], as well as the Latin virgo "a virgin," though it generally signifies a maid, frequently denotes unmarried persons of both sexes; in which sense it is evidently used here by the apostle.


1 Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment.
1 Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband:
1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
1 Corinthians 7:40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
2 Corinthians 8:8-10 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. ... And herein I give [my] advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago.
2 Corinthians 11:17 That which I speak, I speak [it] not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.


1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:1-2 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; ... But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.
1 Timothy 1:12-16 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; ... Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
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Ps 78:63. 1Co 4:2; 7:6, 10, 12, 28, 34, 36, 40; 15:10. 2Co 2:17; 4:1; 8:8; 11:17. 1Ti 1:12.

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