1 He declareth what it is, to be no more under the Law, 2 by an example taken of the Law of marriage, 7, 12 And lest the Law should seem faulty, 14 he proveth, that our sin is the cause, 2, 5 that the same is an occasion of death, 17 which was given us unto life. 21 He setteth out the battle between the flesh and the spirit. Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the Law) that the Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
You know very well, my brothers (for I am speaking to those well acquainted with the subject), that the Law can only exercise authority over a man so long as he is alive. A married woman, for example, is bound by law to her husband so long as he is alive. But if he dies, then his legal claim over her disappears. This means that, if she should give herself to another man while her husband is alive, she incurs the stigma of adultery. But if, after her husband’s death, she does exactly the same thing, no one could call her an adulteress, for the legal hold over her has been dissolved by her husband’s death.
You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.
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