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1 Corinthians 7 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Entreating here of marriage, 4 which is a remedy against fornication, 10 and may not be broken,  18, 20 he willeth every man to live contented with his lot.  25 He showeth what the end of virginity should be, 35 and who ought to marry.

Now [a]concerning the things [b]whereof ye wrote unto me, It were [c]good for a man not to touch a woman.

Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

[d]Let the husband give unto the wife [e]due benevolence, and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

[f]The wife hath not the power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not the power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud not one another, [g]except it be with consent for a time, that ye may [h]give yourselves to fasting and prayer, and again come together, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

[i]But I speak this by permission, not by commandment.

For I [j]would that all men were even as I myself am: but every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

[k]Therefore I say unto the [l]unmarried, and unto the widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I do.

But if they cannot abstain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to [m]burn.

10 [n]And unto the married I command, not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband.

11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled unto her husband, and let not the husband put away his wife.

12 [o]But to the remnant I speak, and not the Lord, If any brother have a wife that believeth not, if she be content to dwell with him, let him not forsake her.

13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, if he be content to dwell with her, let her not forsake him.

14 [p]For the unbelieving husband is [q]sanctified to the [r]wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified to the [s]husband, else were your children unclean: but now are they [t]holy.

15 [u]But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart: a brother or a sister is not in subjection in [v]such things: [w]but God hath called us in peace.

16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thine husband? Or what knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

17 [x]But as God hath distributeth to every man, as the Lord [y]hath called every one, so let him walk: and so ordain I in all Churches.

18 [z]Is any man called being circumcised? let him not [aa]gather his uncircumcision: is any called uncircumcised? let him not be circumcised.

19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

20 Let every man abide in the same vocation wherein he was called.

21 Art thou called being a servant? [ab]care not for it: but if yet thou mayest be free, use it rather.

22 For he that is called in the [ac]Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called being free, is Christ’s servant.

23 [ad]Ye are bought with a price: be not the servants of men.

24 [ae]Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with [af]God.

25 [ag]Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord: but I give mine [ah]advise, as [ai]one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

26 I suppose then [aj]this to be good for the [ak]present necessity: I mean that it is good for a man so to be.

27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed: art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

28 But if thou takest a wife, thou sinnest not: and if a virgin marry, she sinneth not: nevertheless, such shall have trouble in the [al]flesh: but I [am]spare you.

29 And this I say, brethren, because the time is [an]short, hereafter that both they which have wives, be as though they had none:

30 And they that [ao]weep, as though they wept not: and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not: and they that buy, as though they possessed not:

31 And they that use this [ap]world, as though they used it not: for the [aq]fashion of this world goeth away.

32 And I would have you without care. The unmarried careth for things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord.

33 But he that is married, [ar]careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife.

34 There is difference also between a virgin and a wife: the unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy, both in body and in [as]spirit: but she that is married, careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

35 And this I speak for your own [at]commodity, not to tangle you in a snare, but that ye follow that which is honest, and that ye may cleave fast unto the Lord without separation.

36 [au]But if any man think that it is uncomely for his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he [av]sinneth not: let them be married.

37 Nevertheless, he that standeth firm in his [aw]heart, that he hath no [ax]need, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart, that he will keep his virgin, he doeth well.

38 So then he that giveth her to marriage, doeth well, but he that giveth her not to marriage, doeth [ay]better.

39 [az]The wife is bound by the [ba]law, as long as her husband liveth: but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to marry with whom she will, only in the [bb]Lord.

40 But she is more blessed, if she so abide in my judgment: and I think that I have also the Spirit of God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 7:1 He teacheth concerning marriage, that although a single life hath his commodities, which he will declare afterwards, yet that marriage is necessary for the avoiding of fornication: but so that neither one man may have many wives, or any wife many husbands.
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:1 Touching those matters whereof you wrote unto me.
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:1 Commodious, and (as we say) expedient. For marriage bringeth many griefs with it, and that by reason of the corruption of our first estate.
  4. 1 Corinthians 7:3 Secondly, he showeth that the parties married, must with singular affection entirely love one the other.
  5. 1 Corinthians 7:3 This word (due) containeth all kind of benevolence, though he speak more of one sort than of the other, in that that followeth.
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:4 Thirdly, he warneth them that they are each in other’s power, as touching the body, so that they may not defraud one another.
  7. 1 Corinthians 7:5 He addeth an exception: unless the one abstain from the other by mutual consent, that they may the better give themselves to prayer, wherein notwithstanding, he warneth them to consider what is expedient, lest by this long breaking off as it were from marriage, they bestirred up to incontinency.
  8. 1 Corinthians 7:5 Do nothing else.
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:6 Fifthly, he teacheth that marriage is not simply necessary for all men, but for them which have not the gift of continency, and this gift is by a peculiar grace of God.
  10. 1 Corinthians 7:7 I wish.
  11. 1 Corinthians 7:8 Sixthly, he giveth the selfsame admonition touching the second marriage, to wit, that a single life is to be allowed, but for such as have the gift of continency: otherwise they ought to marry again, that their conscience may be at peace.
  12. 1 Corinthians 7:8 This whole place is flat against them which condemn second marriages.
  13. 1 Corinthians 7:9 So to burn with lust, that either the will yieldeth to the temptation, or else we cannot call upon God with a quiet conscience.
  14. 1 Corinthians 7:10 Seventhly, he forbiddeth contentions and the publishing of divorces (for he speaketh not here of the fault of whoredom, which was then death even by the law of the Romans also) whereby he affirmeth that the hand of marriage is not dissolved, and that from Christ’s mouth.
  15. 1 Corinthians 7:12 Eighthly, he affirmeth that those marriages which are already contracted between a faithful and an unfaithful or infidel, are firm, so that the faithful may not forsake the unfaithful.
  16. 1 Corinthians 7:14 He answereth an objection: But the faithful is defiled by the society of the unfaithful. The Apostle denieth that, and proveth that the faithful man with good conscience may use the vessel of his unfaithful wife, by this that their children which are born of them, are accounted holy (that is, contained within the promise) for it is said to all the faithful, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed.
  17. 1 Corinthians 7:14 The godliness of the wife is of more force, to cause their coupling together to be accounted holy, than the infidelity of the husband is, to profane the marriage.
  18. 1 Corinthians 7:14 The infidel is not sanctified or made holy in his own person, but in respect of his wife, he is sanctified to her.
  19. 1 Corinthians 7:14 To the faithful husband.
  20. 1 Corinthians 7:14 This place destroyeth the opinion of them that would not have children to be baptized, and their opinion also, that make baptism the very cause of salvation. For the children of the faithful are holy, by virtue of the covenant, even before Baptism, and baptism is added as the seal of that holiness.
  21. 1 Corinthians 7:15 He answereth to a question: what if the unfaithful forsake the faithful? then is the faithful free, saith he, because he is forsaken of the unfaithful.
  22. 1 Corinthians 7:15 When any such thing falleth out.
  23. 1 Corinthians 7:15 Lest any man upon pretence of this liberty should give occasion to the unfaithful to depart, he giveth to understand, that marriage contracted with an infidel, ought peaceably to be kept, that if it be possible the infidel may be won to the faith.
  24. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Taking occasion by that which he said of the bondage and liberty of matrimony, he digresseth to a general doctrine concerning the outward state and condition of man’s life, as Circumcision and uncircumcision, servitude and liberty: warning every man generally to live with a contented mind in the Lord, what state or condition forever he be in, because that those outward things, as to be circumcised or uncircumcised, to be bond or free, are not of the substance (as they term it) of the kingdom of heaven.
  25. 1 Corinthians 7:17 Hath bound him to a certain kind of life.
  26. 1 Corinthians 7:18 Notwithstanding he giveth us to understand, that in these examples all are not like sort: because that circumcision is not simply of itself to be desired, but such as are bound may desire to be free. Therefore herein only they are equal, that the kingdom of God consisteth not in them, and therefore these are no hindrance to obey God.
  27. 1 Corinthians 7:18 He is said to gather his uncircumcision, who by the help of a Chirurgeon recovereth an upper skin: which is done by the drawing the skin with an instrument, to make it to cover the nut. Celsus in book 7, chapter 25.
  28. 1 Corinthians 7:21 As though this calling were too unworthy a calling for Christ.
  29. 1 Corinthians 7:22 He that is in state of a servant, and is called to be a Christian.
  30. 1 Corinthians 7:23 He showeth the reason of the unlikeness, because that he that desireth to be circumcised, maketh himself subject to man’s tradition, and not to God. And this may be much more understood of superstitions, which some do foolishly accompt for things indifferent.
  31. 1 Corinthians 7:24 A repetition of the general doctrine.
  32. 1 Corinthians 7:24 So purely and from the heart, that your doings may be approved before God.
  33. 1 Corinthians 7:25 He enjoineth virginity to no man, yet he persuadeth and praiseth it for another respect, to wit, 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, and therefore such as were not troubled with families, might be the readier: and also for the cares of this life, which marriage draweth with it necessity, so that they cannot but have their minds distracteth: and this hath place in women especially.
  34. 1 Corinthians 7:25 The circumstances considered, this I counsel you.
  35. 1 Corinthians 7:25 It is I that speak this which I am minded to speak: and the truth is, I am a man, but yet worthy credit, for I have obtained of the Lord to be such an one.
  36. 1 Corinthians 7:26 To remain a virgin.
  37. 1 Corinthians 7:26 For the necessity which the Saints are daily subject unto, who are continually tossed up and down, so that their estate may seem most unfit for marriage, were it not that the weakness of the flesh enforced them to it.
  38. 1 Corinthians 7:28 By the (flesh) he understandeth what things forever belong to this present life, for marriage bringeth with it many discommodities: so that he bendeth more to a sole life, not because it is a service more agreeable to God than marriage is, but for those discommodities, which (if it were possible) he would wish all men to be void of, that they might give themselves to God only.
  39. 1 Corinthians 7:28 I would your weakness were provided for.
  40. 1 Corinthians 7:29 For we are now in the latter end of the world.
  41. 1 Corinthians 7:30 By weeping, the Hebrews understand all adversity, and be joy, all prosperity.
  42. 1 Corinthians 7:31 Those things which God giveth us here.
  43. 1 Corinthians 7:31 The guise, the shape, and fashion: whereby he showeth us, that there is nothing in this world that continueth.
  44. 1 Corinthians 7:33 They that are married, have their wits drawn hither and thither, and therefore if any man have the gift of continency, it is more commodious for him to live alone: but they that are married may care for the things of the Lord also, Clement, Strom. 3.
  45. 1 Corinthians 7:34 Mind.
  46. 1 Corinthians 7:35 He meaneth that he will enforce no man either to marry or not to marry, but to show them barely what kind of life is most commodious.
  47. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Now he turneth himself to the Parents, in whose power and authority their children are, warning them that according to the former doctrine they consider what is meet and convenient for their children, that they neither deprive them of the necessary remedy against incontinency, nor constrain them to marriage, whereas neither their will doth lead them, nor any necessity urgeth them. And again he praiseth virginity, but of itself, and not in all.
  48. 1 Corinthians 7:36 He doeth well: for so he expoundeth it verse 38.
  49. 1 Corinthians 7:37 Resolved with himself.
  50. 1 Corinthians 7:37 That the weakness of his daughter enforceth him not, or any other matter, that that he may safely keep her a virgin still.
  51. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Provideth more commodiously for his children, and that not simply, but by reason of such conditions as are before mentioned.
  52. 1 Corinthians 7:39 That which he spake of a widower, he speaketh now of a widow, to wit, that she may marry again, so that she do it in the fear of God: and yet he dissembleth not, but saith, that if she remain still a widow, she shall be void of many cares.
  53. 1 Corinthians 7:39 By the law of marriage.
  54. 1 Corinthians 7:39 Religiously, and in the fear of God.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

1 Corinthians 7 New International Version (NIV)

Concerning Married Life

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Concerning Change of Status

17 Nevertheless, each person should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to them, just as God has called them. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. 18 Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts. 20 Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 24 Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Concerning the Unmarried

25 Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. 26 Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you pledged to a woman? Do not seek to be released. Are you free from such a commitment? Do not look for a wife. 28 But if you do marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

29 What I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; 30 those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; 31 those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.

32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong[b] and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind not to marry the virgin—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who marries the virgin does right, but he who does not marry her does better.[c]

39 A woman is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but he must belong to the Lord. 40 In my judgment, she is happier if she stays as she is—and I think that I too have the Spirit of God.


  1. 1 Corinthians 7:8 Or widowers
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:36 Or if she is getting beyond the usual age for marriage
  3. 1 Corinthians 7:38 Or 36 If anyone thinks he is not treating his daughter properly, and if she is getting along in years (or if her passions are too strong), and he feels she ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. He should let her get married. 37 But the man who has settled the matter in his own mind, who is under no compulsion but has control over his own will, and who has made up his mind to keep the virgin unmarried—this man also does the right thing. 38 So then, he who gives his virgin in marriage does right, but he who does not give her in marriage does better.
New International Version (NIV)

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