John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 7:25 - 7:25

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 7:25 - 7:25

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

1Co 7:25. Παρθένων, virgins) of both sexes: See the following verses. So the word, virgin, Rev 14:4.-οὐκ ἔχω, I have not) He does not say, we have not. The Corinthians expected a special commandment by revelation, which Paul was to receive.-γνώμην δὲ) A word used with deliberate choice here and at 1Co 7:40, as presently νομίζω. Aristotle, carefully pointing out the propriety of Greek words, especially in his Ethics, makes the following observations: ἡ καλουμένη γνώμη ἡ τοῦ ἐπιεικοῦς ἐστὶ κρίσις ὀρθή, “that which is termed γνωμη, opinion, is the right judgment of the equitable man:” and again, ἡ δὲ συγγνώμη, γνώμη ἐστὶ κριτικὴ τοῦ ἐπιεικοῦς ὀρθὴ. ὀρθὴ δὲ ἡ τοῦ ἀληθοῦς, “and indulgence [concession] is the upright judicious opinion of what is equitable; and the indulgence of the truthful man is right,” Lib. 6, Eth. Nic. c. 11.[59] There the discussion is more extended, and when we read it all, we shall more clearly understand, what ΓΝΏΜΗ and ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗ are. ἘΠΙΤΑΓΉ implies command: ΓΝΏΜΗ relates to opinion, and has ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗ [a common sentiment, fellow-feeling, and so indulgence] closely connected with it, which is a γνώμη, accommodated to the state or mind of another, as in regard to a thing done, so also in case of a thing to be done. See 1Co 7:6, and 2Co 8:10; 2Co 8:8, where both of these words, are opposed to Τῇ ἘΠΙΤΑΓῇ. Each has regard to ΤῸ ΣΥΜΦΈΡΟΝ, the profit of him, whose advantage is consulted; in the same verse 10, and here 1Co 7:35. Such is the nature of those things which are treated of in this chapter, that they partly fall under ἐπιταγὴν, and partly under ΓΝΏΜΗΝ and ΣΥΓΓΝΏΜΗΝ. But it was becoming, that ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊ should be throughout written in the name of the Lord, ΓΝΏΜΗ and ΣΝΓΓΝΏΜΗ, in the name of the apostle. Therefore on that point, which falls under ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊΝ, the Lord had expressly suggested to the apostle what he should write, but on this point, which falls under ΓΝΏΜΗΝ, it was not necessary to make any suggestion; for, the apostles wrote nothing, which was not inspired, ΘΕΌΠΝΕΥΣΤΟΝ; but they sometimes had a special revelation and command, 1Co 14:37; 1Th 4:15 : they derived the rest from the habitual faith, which had taken its rise within them from their experience of the Lord’s mercy; as in this verse; and also from the treasury of the Spirit of God [which they possessed], 1Co 7:40 : and consequently in cases like this, they might very freely apply various methods according to the variety of circumstances and persons, as their holy feelings [affections of mind] allowed, and they might give up their own right, humble or reprove themselves, prefer others to themselves, beg, entreat, exhort (2Co 6:1; 2Co 7:8; 2Co 11:17, note), at one time treat with greater severity, at another with greater mildness; and hence Paul, for example, uses the softer word ΝΟΜΊΖΩ, and not ΛΈΓΩ, 1Co 7:26; 1Co 7:12. He therefore here also, though without ἘΠΙΤΑΓῊΝ, wrote those things, which nevertheless exactly agreed with the mind of the Lord, who willed it, that this ΓΝΏΜΗ, opinion, alone should be given. But at the same time, the apostle faithfully informs us, according to what principle every thing was written (a modesty from which how far I would ask, has the style of the Pope departed?) and furnishes a proof, that those, who have already sufficient assistance [safeguard] from the word and Spirit of God, should not demand anything extraordinary.-ὡς ἠλεημένος, as having obtained mercy) The mercy of the Lord makes men faithful; faith makes a man a true casuist.-ὑπὸ Κυρίου, from the Lord) Christ.-πιστὸς, faithful) having faith in the Lord; evincing that faith both to Him and to men.

[59] Taylor’s translation of this passage is as follows: “What is called upright decision is the right judgment of the equitable man; but pardon is an upright judiciary decision of the equitable man, and the decision is right which is made by a man observant of truth.”