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1 Corinthians 7 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Principles for Marriage

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:1 - Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:2 - But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:3 - The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:4 - For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:5 - Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:6 - Now as a concession, not a command, I say this.[fn]
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:7 - I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:8 - To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:9 - But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:10 - To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:11 - (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:12 - To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:13 - If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:14 - For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:15 - But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you[fn] to peace.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:16 - For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Live as You Are Called

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:17 - Only let each person lead the life[fn] that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:18 - Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:19 - For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:20 - Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:21 - Were you a bondservant[fn] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:22 - For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:23 - You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:24 - So, brothers,[fn] in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

The Unmarried and the Widowed

Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:25 - Now concerning[fn] the betrothed,[fn] I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:26 - I think that in view of the present[fn] distress it is good for a person to remain as he is.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:27 - Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:28 - But if you do marry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman[fn] marries, she has not sinned. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare you that.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:29 - This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none,
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:30 - and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods,
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:31 - and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:32 - I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:33 - But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife,
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:34 - and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:35 - I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:36 - If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[fn] if his[fn] passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:37 - But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed, he will do well.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:38 - So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:39 - A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
Unchecked Copy Box1Co 7:40 - Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.
ESV Footnotes
Or I say this:
Some manuscripts us
Or each person walk in the way
For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verses 22 (twice), 23
Or brothers and sisters; also verse 29
The expression Now concerning introduces a reply to a question in the Corinthians’ letter; see 7:1
Greek virgins
Or impending
Greek virgin; also verse 34
Greek virgin; also verses 37, 38
Or her

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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