1 Corinthians 7

1 Corinthians 7


Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is wellI for a manII not to touchIII a woman.”IV 

Notes on verse 1

I “well” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
II “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
III “touch” = haptomai. From hapto (to touch, handle, kindle, lay hold of). This is a touch that has an impact on what is being touched – it has an influence on the recipient so that the recipient is changed.
IV “woman” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.

But because of cases of sexual immorality,V each man should have his own wife and each woman her ownVI husband.VII 

Notes on verse 2

V “sexual immorality” = porneia. From porneuo (to fornicate – used figuratively for practicing idolatry or doing immoral things); from porne (prostitute, whore); from pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is sexual immorality or unchastity. It could include adultery or incest.
VI “own” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
VII “husband” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.

The husband should giveVIII to his wife her conjugal rights,IX and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority overX her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 

Notes on verses 3-4

VIII “give” = apodidomi. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to give up, return, or restore. It is to give especially in the form of a payment.
IX “conjugal rights” = opheile. 3x in NT. From opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet. This term came from the legal world, but was then adopted in reference to morality. In the New Testament it is used for humanity’s ethical responsibility); perhaps from the base of ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is something that is due – a debt or duty. Figuratively, it can refer to any kind of obligation. In context here, conjugal is implied.
X “have authority over” = exousiazo. From exousia (power to act or weight; moral authority or influence; domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength); from exesti (what is permitted or what is allowed under the law; what is right, what holds moral authority, or, more broadly, something that is shown out in public); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is to have authority or wield power over another. It is also to rule or be empowered to act.

Do not depriveXI one another except perhaps by agreementXII for a set time,XIII

Notes on verse 5a

XI “deprive” = apostereo. 6x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + stereo (to rob or deprive). This is to defraud, keep something from someone, cheat. It can also mean going through a time of deprivation.
XII “agreement” = sumphonos. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + phone (voice, sound, language); {probably from phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is agreeing or consent. It is more literally having one voice or the same opinion – thus, harmonious. This shares a root with the word “symphony.”
XIII “set time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.

to devoteXIV yourselves to prayer,XV and then come together again, so that SatanXVI

Notes on verse 5b

XIV “devote” = scholazo. 3x in NT. From schole (leisure, what one does during leisure time, loitering, school, study); perhaps from echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to be at leisure and so to devote oneself to something. Figuratively, it can mean to be vacant as when a house is empty during vacation. This is where the word “scholastic” comes from.
XV “prayer” = proseuche. From proseuchomai (to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate; more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s); {from pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray)}. This is prayer, worship, or a place where one prays.
XVI “Satan” = satanas. From Hebrew satan (adversary, Satan); from satan (to be an adversary, attack, accuse, resist). This is Satan, the adversary, or an adversary.

may not temptXVII you because of your lack of self-control.XVIII This I say by way of concession,XIX not of command.XX 

Notes on verses 5c-6

XVII “tempt” = peirazo. From peira (trial, experiment, attempt, experience, assaying); from the base of peran (over, beyond, across); akin to pera (on the far side); from a derivative or peiro (to pierce). This is to test, try, tempt, or make proof of. It is to test, scrutinize, or assay something. It could also be examine, entice, prove, or discipline.
XVIII “lack of self-control” = akrasia. 2x in NT. From akrates (powerless, lacking self-control, over-indulgent, not self-disciplined); {from a (not, without) + kratos (strength, power, dominion; vigor in a literal or figurative sense; power that is exercised)}. This is intemperate, someone without self-control or self-discipline, a person prone to excess.
XIX “concession” = suggnome. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is permission, concession, or indulgence. It is fellow knowledge.
XX “command” = epitage. 7x in NT – all in the epistles. From epitasso (to command, charge, give an order); {from epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine)}. This is a command – used in ancient military language. It can also be an instruction or authority. The authoritative nature of the charge is emphasized – the charge builds to reach a necessary goal.

I wishXXI that allXXII were as I myself am. But each has a particular giftXXIII

Notes on verse 7a

XXI “wish” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
XXII {untranslated} = anthropos. Same as “man” in v1. See note I above.
XXIII “gift” = charisma. 17x in NT. From charizomai (to show favor, kindness, or grace, to pardon, forgive); from charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); from chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, undeserved favor, a free gift, or a spiritual gift. It is the working of grace, some spiritual gift or religious qualification. It could be some kind of miraculous endowment.

from God,XXIV oneXXV having one kind and another a different kind.

To the unmarried and the widowsXXVI I say that it is well for them to remainXXVII unmarried as I am. 

Notes on verses 7b-8

XXIV “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XXV {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
XXVI “widows” = chera. Perhaps from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to yawn). This is widow in a literal or figurative sense. It relates to the root in the sense of a widow being one who has a loss/lack.
XXVII “remain” = meno. This is to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide, endure. It can mean to literally stay in a place or to remain in a condition or to continue with hope and expectation.

But if they are not practicing self-control,XXVIII they should marry. For it is betterXXIX to marry than to be aflame with passion.XXX

Notes on verse 9

XXVIII “practicing self-control” = egkrateuomai. Related to “lack of self-control” in v5. From egkrates (self-controlled, mastery, have power over, temperate); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, among) + kratos (see note XVIII)}. This is having self-control or temperance.
XXIX “better” = kreitton. Related to “lack of self-control” in v5 & “practicing self-control” in v9. 15x in NT. From the same as kratistos (strongest, noblest – high in dignity or honor; used to speak to a high ranking Roman; can also differentiate an equestrian from a senator); from kratus (strong); from kratos (see note XVIII above). This is stronger, better, more dominant or nobler. It is better in the sense that it is mastered or developed.
XXX “be aflame with passion” = puro. 6x in NT. Form pur (fire, lightning, heat from the sun; figuratively, strife or trials). This is to burn, set on fire, be purified through fire. It can be to glow or figuratively to be aflame with passion.

10 To the married I give this commandXXXI—not I but the LordXXXII—that the wife should not separateXXXIII from her husband 

Notes on verse 10

XXXI “give…command” = paraggello. From para (from beside, by) + aggello (to announce, report) {from aggelos (angel, messenger – supernatural or human envoy of God); probably from ago (lead, bring, drive, carry, guide, go)}. This is to send a message, order, notify, command. It is a charge – a proper command as a military term that has followed proper channels. It can also mean to entreat solemnly.
XXXII “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
XXXIII “separate” = chorizo. Related to “widows” in v8. 13x in NT. From choris (apart from, separate from); from chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (see note XXVI above). Properly, this is to separate or create space. It can be literal as divide, depart, or withdraw. It can be figurative in reference to divorce.

11 (but if she does separate, let her remain unmarried or else be reconciledXXXIV to her husband), and that the husband should not divorceXXXV his wife.

12 To the rest I say—I and not the Lord—that if any believerXXXVI has a wife who is an unbeliever,XXXVII

Notes on verses 11-12a

XXXIV “be reconciled” = katallasso. 6x in NT. From kata (down, against, among) + allasso (to change, transform) {from allos (other, another; another of a similar kind or type)}. This is the reconcile, change, or exchange. It is a moment when two parties come together in reconciliation and both parties change as a part of it.
XXXV “divorce” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
XXXVI “believer” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
XXXVII “unbeliever” = apistos. From a (not, without) + pistos (faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true; fullness of faith); {from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust)}. This is unbelieving or incredulous. It could refer to someone who is not converted or someone who had faith and now refuses or rejects it. It can also refer to someone or something that isn’t trustworthy.

and she consentsXXXVIII to liveXXXIX with him, he should not divorce her. 13 And if any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holyXL through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy through her husband.XLI

Notes on verses 12b-14a

XXXVIII “consents” = suneudokeo. 6x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + eudokeo (to think well of, to be pleased or resolved; properly, what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of); {from eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion)}. This is to consent, approve, cooperate enthusiastically. It is commitment to a shared solution.
XXXIX “live” = oikeo. 9x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple). Properly, this means making a home or living at home. So, this is dwell or indwell, remain, reside, or cohabit.
XL “made holy” = hagiazo. From hagios (sacred, holy, set apart, different other; physically pure, morally blameless, or ceremonially set apart); from hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). This is to make holy, consecrate, sanctify, set apart as holy, purify, venerate.
XLI “husband” = adelphos. Same as “believer” in v12. See note XXXVI above.

Otherwise, your childrenXLII would be unclean,XLIII but as it is, they are holy.XLIV 

Notes on verse 14b

XLII “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
XLIII “unclean” = akathartos. From a (not, without) + kathairo (to cleanse or purify by purging out unwanted elements); {from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying)}. This is unclean or impure, whether a thing or a person. It is something that is not mixed with something that would taint. This is unclean in a ritual or moral sense. It can also mean demonic or foul.
XLIV “holy” = hagios. Related to “made holy” sin v. See note XL above.

15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so;XLV in such a case the brotherXLVI or sisterXLVII is not bound.XLVIII

Notes on verse 15a

XLV “let it be so” = chorizo. Same as “separate” in v10. See note XXXIII above. Literally “let him separate himself.”
XLVI “brother” = adelphos. Same as “believer” in v12. See note XXXVI above.
XLVII “sister” = adelphe. Related to “believer” in v12. From adelphos (see note XXXVI above). This is sister in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVIII “bound” = douloo. 8x in NT. From doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else, but could be voluntary to pay off debt or involuntary – captured in war and enslaved; a metaphor for serving Christ); perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is to enslave, cause something to be subject or bound. It focuses on the impact or result of being enslaved. It can be literal or figurative.

It is to peaceXLIX that God has calledL you. 16 Wife, for all you know,LI you might saveLII your husband. Husband, for all you know, you might save your wife.

Notes on verses 15b-16

XLIX “peace” = eirene. Perhaps from eiro (to join, tie together to form a whole). This is one, peace, quietness, rest, peace of mind, harmony. Peace was a common farewell among Jews (i.e. shalom) and this well-wishing included a blessing of health and wholeness for the individual. This word also indicates wholeness and well-being – when everything that is essential is joined together properly. This is peace literally or figuratively. By implication, it is prosperity (but not in the sense of excessive wealth. Prosperity would have meant having enough from day to day.)
L “called” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
LI “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
LII “save” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.

17 However that may be, let each of you lead the lifeLIII that the Lord has assigned,LIV to which God called you. This is my ruleLV in all the churches.LVI 

Notes on verse 17

LIII “lead the life” = peripateo. From peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + pateo (to read, trample on; to trample literally or figuratively); {from patos (trodden) OR from paio (to strike, smite, sting; a hit like a single blow)}. This is to walk. Going from Hebrew figurative language, to walk referred to how you conducted your life, how you chose to live. This word is most literally walking around. Figuratively, it is living, behaving, following, how you occupy yourself. This is where “peripatetic” comes from.
LIV “assigned” = merizo. From meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is to divide, part, share, distribute, assign. Figuratively, it can mean to differ.
LV “is my rule” = diatasso. Related to “command” in v6. 16x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + tasso (see note XX above). This is to arrange thoroughly, charge, appoint, give orders to. It is a command that is a proper order, given with the chain of command and so binding. This is from ancient military language.
LVI “churches” = ekklesia. Related to “called” in v15. From ek (out from) + kaleo (see note L above). This is church – literally a calling out i.e. an assembly or congregation.

18 Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised?LVII Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision.LVIII Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised?LIX Let him not seek circumcision. 

Notes on verse 18

LVII “circumcised” = peritemno. 18x in NT. From peri (all-around, encompassing, excess) + tomos (sharp, more keen, sharper); {from temno (to cut decisively as in one stroke)}. This is to cut around i.e. circumcise or be circumcised. Figuratively it is cutting from an old life.
LVIII “remove the marks of circumcision” = epispaomai. 1x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + spao (to draw or pull out like a sword). This is literally to draw over. So, this would be to try to remove the mark of circumcision.
LIX “uncircumcised” = akrobustia. Perhaps from akron (end, tip, extreme, highest); {from the same as akantha (thorn, thorn bush); from akme (a point or edge)} + posthe (penis). This is the foreskin, used to mean uncircumcision and so sometimes a way to say Gentile.

19 CircumcisionLX is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeyingLXI the commandmentsLXII of God is everything. 20 Let each of you remain in the conditionLXIII in which you were called.

Notes on verses 19-20

LX “circumcision” = peritome. From peritemno (see note LVII above). This is circumcision or circumcised. Properly, it means to cut around i.e. circumcise. It can also be used figuratively to refer to Gentiles.
LXI “obeying” = teresis. 3x in NT. From tereo (to guard, observe, keep, maintain, or preserve; figuratively, spiritual watchfulness; guarding something from being lost or harmed – keeping an eye on it; contrast the Greek phulasso, which is to guard something so that it doesn’t escape; contrast koustodia, which generally denotes a fortress or military presence; can mean fulfilling commands, keeping in custody, or maintaining; figuratively, to remain unmarried); from teros (a guard or a watch that guards keep); perhaps related to theoreo (gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning; looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means; the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning); from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is watching, jail, imprisonment, or observance. It refers to keeping something or someone safe – with a focus on the final result. Figuratively, this has to do with observance.
LXII “commandments” = entole. From entellomai (to charge, command, give orders or instructions) {from en (in, on, at, by, with) + tellomai (to accomplish) [from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one)]}. This is an order, command, ordinance, or law. It focuses on the purpose of the command and its end result.
LXIII “condition” = kelsis. Related “called” in v15 & “churches” in v17. 11x in NT. From kaleo (see note L above). This is a calling or invitation. In the Bible, this word always refers to a call from God.

21 Were you a slaveLXIV when called? Do not be concernedLXV about it. Even if you canLXVI gain your freedom,LXVII make use ofLXVIII your present condition now more than ever. 

Notes on verse 21

LXIV “slave” = doulos. Related to “bound” in v15. Perhaps from deo (see note XLVIII). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay your debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).
LXV “be concerned” = melo. 10x in NT. 10x in NT. This is to think about something, take an interest, to pay attention. It is to care or worry about something.
LXVI “can” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
LXVII “freedom” = eleutheros. Probably from erchomai (to come or go). This is a free person, at liberty, not a slave. Properly, it is unshackled – figuratively, it is one who has the freedom to choose their destiny. Also, it is one who does not have obligation or liability.
LXVIII “make use of” = chraomai. 11x in NT. Related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary). This is to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request.

22 For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed personLXIX belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ.LXX 23 You were boughtLXXI with a price;LXXII do not become slaves of human masters. 24 In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.

Notes on verses 22-24

LXIX “freed person” = apeleutheros. Related to “freedom” in v21. 1x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + eleutheros (see note LXVII). This is person who is freed from, which is to say someone who has been released from slavery.
LXX “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
LXXI “bought” = agorazo. From agora (assembly, forum, marketplace, thoroughfare); from ageiro (to bring together). This is purchase, buying something at the market. It focuses on the transfer. Specially, it can mean to redeem.
LXXII “price” = time. From tio (to honor, pay respect to, value) OR from tino (to pay a penalty or fine). This is value, price, honor. It is honor as it is perceived by another or willingly granted by another. It can be mark or respect, price, precious value, esteem, dignity.

25 Now concerning virgins,LXXIII I have no command of the Lord, but I give my opinionLXXIV as one who by the Lord’s mercyLXXV is trustworthy.LXXVI 

Notes on verse 25

LXXIII “virgins” = parthenos. 15x in NT. This is maiden or virgin. It can be a woman who has gone through puberty,  but has not yet wed. It can also refer to virgin men.
LXXIV “opinion” = gnome. Related to “concession” in v6. 9x in NT. From ginosko (see note XIX above). This is a personal opinion, decision, intention, resolve, or counsel.
LXXV “mercy” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.
LXXVI “trustworthy” = pistos. Related to “unbeliever” in v12. From peitho (see note XXXVII). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.

26 I thinkLXXVII that, in view of the impendingLXXVIII crisis,LXXIX it is well for you to remain as you are. 

Notes on verse 26

LXXVII “think” = nomizo. 15x in NT. From nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); from nemo (to parcel out, assign). This is to practice, think, consider, suppose, hold by custom. This is thinking that something applies given precedent and practice – to do by law.
LXXVIII “impending” = enistemi. 7x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by with, among) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally to place in or be at hand. Thus, it is to be present or the things that are present. It can also be something that is impending or instant.
LXXIX “crisis” = anagke. 18x in NT. 18x in NT. From ana (up, again, anew) + agcho (to press tightly, compress) OR related to agkale (the arm, particularly one that is bent to carry a load). This is necessity – something that happens that requires an immediate response. It is generally associated with pain or distress.

27 Are you boundLXXX to a wife? Do not seekLXXXI to be free.LXXXII Are you freeLXXXIII from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 

Notes on verse 27

LXXX “bound” = deo. Related to “bound” in v15 & “slave” in v21. See note XLVIII above.
LXXXI “seek” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
LXXXII “be free” = lusis. 1x in NT. From luo (to loose, release, or untie; riguratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is a release, dissolution, or other kind of loosing. It can mean divorce specially.
LXXXIII “are…free” = luo. Related to “be free” in v27. See note LXXXII above.

28 But if you marry, you do not sin,LXXXIV and if a virgin marries, she does not sin. Yet those who marry will experience distressLXXXV in this life,LXXXVI and I would spareLXXXVII you that. 

Notes on verse 28

LXXXIV “sin” = hamartano. From a (not) + meros (a part or share, portion); {from meiromai (to get one’s allotment or portion)}. This term also used of archers not hitting their targets. Literally, it means not getting your share or to miss the mark. Figuratively, it meant to do wrong or to sin.
LXXXV “distress” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
LXXXVI “life” = sarx. Literally, “flesh.” May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
LXXXVII “spare” = pheidomai. 10x in NT. This is to spare, refrain, abstain, or treat in a lenient way.

29 I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed timeLXXXVIII has grown short;LXXXIX from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30 and those who mournXC as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoiceXCI as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions,XCII 

Notes on verses 29-30

LXXXVIII “appointed time” = kairos. Same as “set time” in v5. See note XIII above.
LXXXIX “grown short” = sustello. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + stello (to set, arrange, prepare, gather up). This is literally to draw together. It can be to cover, swathe, shorten, or wind up. It can also be used for placing the shroud on a body for burial.
XC “mourn” = klaio. This is to weep, lament, or sob. It is weeping aloud.
XCI “rejoice” = chairo. Related to “gift” in v7. See note XXIII above. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
XCII “possessions” = katecho. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to hold fast, bind, possess, restrain, arrest, suppress. It is to hold down in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to hold something in one’s memory.

31 and those who deal withXCIII the worldXCIV as though they had no dealings withXCV it.

Notes on verse 31a

XCIII “deal with” = chraomai. Same as “make use of” in v21. See note LXVIII
XCIV “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
XCV “dealings with” = katachraomai. Related to “makes use of” in v21. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + chraomai (see note LXVIII above). This is to make full use of. It could also be to overuse or abuse.

For the present formXCVI of this world is passing away.XCVII

32 I wantXCVIII you to be free from anxieties.XCIX

Notes on verses 31b-32a

XCVI “present form” = schema. Related to “possessions” in v30. 2x in NT. From echo (see note XCII above). This is a figure, appearance, form – outer shape. Figuratively, it can be external condition.
XCVII “is passing away” = parago. Perhaps related to “give…command” in v10. 11x in NT. From para (by, beside, in the presence of, alongside) + ago (see note XXXI). This is to lead near or by, to pass by, go along, be a passer-by.
XCVIII “want” = thelo. Same as “wish” in v7. See note XXI above.
XCIX “free from anxieties” = amerimnos. Related to “assigned” in v17. 2x in NT. From a (not, without) + merimna  (care, worry, anxiety; being separated from the whole); {from merizo (see note LIV above) }. This is secure, not anxious, free from worries.

The unmarried man is anxious aboutC the affairs of the Lord, how to pleaseCI the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided.CII And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in bodyCIII and spirit;CIV but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. 

Notes on verses 32b-34

C “is anxious about” = merimnao. Related to “free from anxieties” in v32. 19x in NT. From merimna (see note XCIX above). This is to be anxious, distracted, or care for. It is being pulled in different directions – usually a negative.
CI “please” = aresko. 17x in NT. Root means to fit together. This is to please or be agreeable. It implies voluntarily serving others, satisfying others, or making good to win their favor or approval. It is often used for moral agreement. It can mean being agreeable or trying to be agreeable. Used 9x of pleasing people in a negative way, 5x of pleasing people in a positive way, and 3x of pleasing God.
CII “divided” = merizo. Same as “assigned” in v17. See note LIV above.
CIII “body” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
CIV “spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

35 I say this for your own benefit,CV not to put any restraintCVI upon you, but to promote good orderCVII and unhinderedCVIII devotionCIX to the Lord.

Notes on verse 35

CV “benefit” = sumphero. 17x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to collect, bring together, or be profitable to. It is combining things such that there is gain or profit or advantage.
CVI “restraint” = brochos. 1x in NT. This is a noose or snare. Figuratively, it refers to some kind of restraint that is not needed.
CVII “good order” = euschemon. Related to “present form” in v31. 5x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + schema (see note XCVI). This is having a good form. So, it could be attractive, honorable, noble, high status, influential, prominent, being encouraging. It could also be one who uses their social influence well.
CVIII “unhindered” = aperispastos. Related to “remove the marks of circumcision” in v18. 1x in NT. From a (not, without) + perispao (to draw away, distract, trouble); {from peri (about, concerning, around, encompassing) + spao (see note LVIII)}. This is properly without distraction. It can also mean lacking hindrance.
CIX “devotion” = euprosedros. 1x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + prosedreuo (this is to minister to, to serve like a servant, to wait on; more literally, to sit near); {from pareimi (to be present, have come) {from para (from beside, by, in the presence of) + eimi (to be, exist)}}. This is devoted, sitting nearby so as to attend to someone or something. Figuratively, this is diligent service.

36 If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properlyCX toward his fiancée,CXI if his passions are strong,CXII

Notes on verse 36a

CX “is not behaving properly” = aschemoneo. Related to “present form” in v31 & “good order” in v35. 2x in NT. From aschemon (shapeless; unappealing because it doesn’t have proper form; figuratively, unseemly, indecent, unattractive, deformed, inelegant); {from a (not, without) + schema (see note XCVI above)}. This is to act improperly, behave without honor or in an unseemly way.
CXI “fiancée” = parthenos. Same as “virgins” in v25. See note LXXIII above.
CXII “passions are strong” = eimi + huperakmos. Literally “she is beyond youth.” Huperakmos is related to “uncircumcised” in v18. 1x in NT. From huper (by, under, subordinate to another) + akmazo (ripe, to be vigorous); {from akme (see note LIX above)}. This is of full age – a daughter in her prime.

and so it hasCXIII to be, let him marryCXIV as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. 37 But if someone stands firmCXV in his resolve,CXVI

Notes on verses 36b-37a

CXIII “has” = opheilo. Perhaps from the base of ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet. This term came from the legal world, but was then adopted in reference to morality. In the New Testament it is used for humanity’s ethical responsibility.
CXIV “marry” = poieo. Literally “do.”
CXV “firm” = hedraios. 3x in NT. From hedra (a seat) OR from hezomai (to sit). This is sitting steadfast, firm. It can also figuratively be resolute, having a firm purpose – to be immovable.
CXVI “resolve” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.

being under no necessityCXVII but having his own desireCXVIII under control,CXIX and has determinedCXX

Notes on verse 37b

CXVII “necessity” = anagke. Same as “crisis” in v26. See note LXXIX above.
CXVIII “desire” = thelema. Related to “wish” in v6. From thelo (see note XXI above). This is the act of will, choice, purpose, or decree.
CXIX “control” = exousia. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
CXX “determined” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.

in his own mindCXXI to keepCXXII her as his fiancée, he will do well.CXXIII 38 So then, he who marries his fiancée does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.CXXIV

Notes on verses 37c-38

CXXI “mind” = kardia. Same as “resolve” in v. See note CXVI above.
CXXII “keep” = tereo. Related to “obeying” in v19. From teros (see note LXI above). This is to guard, observe, keep, maintain, or preserve. It can also be used figuratively for spiritual watchfulness. It is guarding something from being lost or harmed – keeping an eye on it. Contrast the Greek phulasso, which is to guard something so that it doesn’t escape. Also contrast koustodia, which generally denotes a fortress or military presence. This word can mean fulfilling commands, keeping in custody, or maintaining. It can also figuratively mean to remain unmarried.
CXXIII “well” = kalos. Related to “well” in v1. From kalos (see note I above). This is nobly, rightly, well-perceived, seen as appealing, morally pleasing, honorably.
CXXIV “better” = kreisson. Related to “better” in v9. See kreitton (see note XXIX). This is better or stronger – holding an advantage.

39 A wife is bound as long asCXXV her husband lives. But if the husband dies,CXXVI she is freeCXXVII to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 But in my judgmentCXXVIII she is more blessedCXXIX if she remains as she is. And I thinkCXXX that I too have the Spirit of God.

Notes on verses 39-40

CXXV “as long as” = hosos + chronos. Chronos is time in the chronological sense, quantitative time or a duration of time.
CXXVI “dies” = koimao. 18x in NT. From keimai (to lie, recline, set, be appointed, be destined). This is to sleep or put to sleep. Figuratively, it can mean to die. In the New Testament, it is used 15x for death and 3x for sleep.
CXXVII “free” = eleutheros. Same as “freedom” in v21. See note LXVII above.
CXXVIII “judgment” = gnome. Same as “opinion” in v25. See note LXXIV above.
CXXIX “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.
CXXX “think” = dokeo. Related to “consents” in v12. See XXXVIII above.

Image credit: “Fleeting Moments” by Christian Ortiz, 2011.

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