Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 7:35

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

This I speak for your own profit - The advices belong to yourselves alone, because of the peculiar circumstances in which you are placed. Nothing spoken here was ever designed to be of general application; it concerned the Church at Corinth alone, or Churches in similar circumstances.

Not that I may cast a snare upon you - Ουχ ἱνα βροχον ὑμιν επιβαλω - Here is a manifest allusion to the Retiarius among the Romans, who carried a small casting net, which he endeavored to throw over the head of his adversary and thus entangle him. Or to a similar custom among the Persians, who made use of a noose called the camand ; which they employed in the same way. One of these lies before me; it is a strong silken cord, one end of which is a loop to be held in the hand, and the rest is in the form of a common snare or noose, which, catching hold of any thing, tightens in proportion as it is pulled by the hand that holds the loop.

The apostle, therefore, intimates that what he says was not intended absolutely to bind them, but to show them the propriety of following an advice which in the present case would be helpful to them in their religious connections, that they might attend upon the Lord without distraction, which they could not do in times of persecution, when, in addition to their own personal safety, they had a wife and children to care for.

For that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction, - The original αλλα προς το ευσχημον και ευπροσεδρον τῳ Κυριῳ απερισπαστως, of which our version is only a paraphrase, is thus translated by Bishop Pearson: But for the sake of decency, and of attending more easily upon the Lord without distraction. This is much more literal than ours.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For your own profit - That you may avail yourselves of all your advantages and privileges, and pursue such a course as shall tend most to advance your personal piety and salvation.

Not that I may cast a snare upon you - The word rendered “snare” ( βρόχον brochon) means a cord, a rope, a bond; and the sense is, that Paul would not BinD them by any rule which God had not made; or that he would not restrain them from that which is lawful, and which the welfare of society usually requires. Paul means, that his object in his advice was their welfare; it was not by any means to bind, fetter, or restrain them from any course which would be for their real happiness, but to promote their real and permanent advantage. The idea which is here presented by the word “snare,” is usually conveyed by the use of the word “yoke” Matthew 11:29; Acts 15:10; Galatians 5:1, and sometimes by the word “burden;” Matthew 23:4; Acts 15:28.

But for that which is comely - ( εὔσχημον euschēmon). Decorous, fit, proper, noble. For that which is best Fitted to your present condition, and which, on the whole, will be best, and most for your own advantage. There would be a fitness and propriety in their pursuing the course which he recommended.

That ye may attend on the Lord - That you may engage in religious duties and serve God.

Without distraction - Without being drawn away ἀπερισπάστως aperispastōswithout care, interruption, and anxiety. That you may be free to engage with undivided interest in the service of the Lord.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Considering the distress of those times, the unmarried state was best. Notwithstanding, the apostle does not condemn marriage. How opposite are those to the apostle Paul who forbid many to marry, and entangle them with vows to remain single, whether they ought to do so or not! He exhorts all Christians to holy indifference toward the world. As to relations; they must not set their hearts on the comforts of the state. As to afflictions; they must not indulge the sorrow of the world: even in sorrow the heart may be joyful. As to worldly enjoyments; here is not their rest. As to worldly employment; those that prosper in trade, and increase in wealth, should hold their possessions as though they held them not. As to all worldly concerns; they must keep the world out of their hearts, that they may not abuse it when they have it in their hands. All worldly things are show; nothing solid. All will be quickly gone. Wise concern about worldly interests is a duty; but to be full of care, to have anxious and perplexing care, is a sin. By this maxim the apostle solves the case whether it were advisable to marry. That condition of life is best for every man, which is best for his soul, and keeps him most clear of the cares and snares of the world. Let us reflect on the advantages and snares of our own condition in life; that we may improve the one, and escape as far as possible all injury from the other. And whatever cares press upon the mind, let time still be kept for the things of the Lord.