1 Corinthians 7:10-11
As we begin our next paragraph, let us concentrate on the first two verses. It appears that these two verses are addressed to someone different from the rest of the paragraph. After we read these verses, we will make a few comments. 1 Corinthians 7:10-11
(KJV) 10 And unto the married I command, yet 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 to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
(NLT) 10 Now, for those who are married I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord. A wife must not leave her husband. 11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else go back to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.
(NKJV) 10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
(CEV) 10 I instruct married couples to stay together, and this is exactly what the Lord himself taught. A wife who leaves her husband 11 should either stay single or go back to her husband. And a husband should not leave his wife.
(EVD) 10 Now I give this command to the married people. (The command is not from me; it is from the Lord.) A wife must not leave her husband. 11 But if a wife leaves her husband she must not marry again. Or she should go back together with her husband. Also the husband must not divorce his wife.
(NASB) 10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband11 (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away.
As Paul begins to give out instructions concerning the relationship between husband and wife, we find that he suggest, even tells the Corinthians that these instructions come not from himself, which would carry just as much authority, but from Jesus Christ . We must recognize that what Jesus taught about the permanence of marriage was recorded for us. This is not some unrecorded statement that Paul received by special revelation. The statements by Jesus in Mt 5:32, Mt 19:1-12, Mk 10:11-12, and Lk 16:18 are recorded for our instruction. Paul is just trying to echo what Jesus said about marriage. The fact is that Jesus taught that marriage was for life. Anyone not respecting the permanence of marriage was to be considered an adulterer.
That also goes for those who do not respect the bond of matrimony. This is a divine judgement. Our problems with these passages is the lack of respect for God's authority and His written word. The elements of worldliness have deluded folks into acceptance of socially acceptable vices.
As I write this article, the United States House of Representatives is debating the issue of impeachment for Mr. Clinton. Although everyone agrees that he was wrong, most seem to feel that he should not be punished for something that "everyone" is trying to do. This world leader has become a role model for all those who seek fornication in their own lives.
Back to our study, we must understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:17) and do those things that He has authorized. Social acceptance cannot be the standard of righteousness. The word of God is given to us to do exactly that thing. The command of God is pointedly clear. The wife must not leave her husband. This is a command which so many ignore.
But Paul clearly states in the next verse what the woman's options are. There are only two options. Remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. The gender in this teaching is applicable to either the wife or the husband. Paul gave these two options because Jesus taught that marriage was for life. As long as the two shall live.
By telling them to remain unmarried or to be reconciled back to their spouse, Paul is teaching that the marriage bond remains intact even if a separation occurs. To go out and marry another would be adultery according to Jesus. The only reason that one would be allowed a marriage to another party, would be because the first one committed fornication.
Return to the New Testament Book of 1 Corinthians
Return to the MDR index