Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 7:37

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Nevertheless - But. The apostle in this verse states some instances where it would not be proper to give a daughter in marriage; and the verse is a kind of summing up of all that be had said on the subject.

That standeth steadfast in his heart … - Most commentators have understood this of the father of the virgin, and suppose that it refers to his purpose of keeping her from the marriage connection. The phrase to stand steadfast, is opposed to a disposition that is vacillating, unsettled, etc., and denotes a man who has command of himself, who adheres to his purpose, a man who has “hitherto” adhered to his purpose, and to whose happiness and reputation it is important that he should be known as one who is not vacillating, or easily moved.

Having no necessity - Where there is nothing in her disposition or inclination that would make marriage necessary, or when there is no “engagement or obligation” that would be violated if she did not marry.

But hath power over his own will - Hath power to do as he pleases; is not bound in the case by another. When there is no “engagement, or contract,” made in childhood, or promise made in early life that would bind him. Often daughters were espoused, or promised when they were very young, and in such a case a man would be bound to adhere to his engagement; and much as he might desire the reverse, and her celibacy, yet he would not have power over his own will, or be at liberty to withhold her.

And hath so decreed in his heart - Has so judgeD, determined, resolved.

That he will keep his virgin - His daughter, or ward, in an unmarried state. He has “power and authority” to do it, and if he does it he will not sin.

Doeth well - In either of these cases, he does well. If he has a daughter, and chooses to retain her in an unmarried state, he does well or right.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The apostle is thought to give advice here about the disposal of children in marriage. In this view, the general meaning is plain. Children should seek and follow the directions of their parents as to marriage. And parents should consult their children's wishes; and not reckon they have power to do with them, and dictate just as they please, without reason. The whole is closed with advice to widows. Second marriages are not unlawful, so that it is kept in mind, to marry in the Lord. In our choice of relations, and change of conditions, we should always be guided by the fear of God, and the laws of God, and act in dependence on the providence of God. Change of condition ought only to be made after careful consideration, and on probable grounds, that it will be to advantage in our spiritual concerns.