« PreviousContinue »
Leigh, Crit. Sac. obferves this, as occurring every where in the facred writings of the New Testament-uxoribus sui duoi avdpas tribuuntur passim in facris. Leigh sub voc. idios. Εph. ν. 24, 25. τοις ιδίοις ανδράσιν, their own husbands–τας γυναικας εαυτών, your wives ;and ver. 28, TAS ÉQUTWV yuvõixas, their wives THU ŠAUT8 yuvained, his wife.- Again, Col. iii. 18, 19. Tõis idiois dvdpaow-propriis viris—their owΝ husbands-τας γυναικας, your wives (έαυτών being understood). St. Peter, who was the apostle of the circumcifion, uses the same mode of expression, 1 Pet. iii. 1. Let the wives be fubjeδί, τους ίδιους ανδράσιν-propriis viris-to their own husbands. Comp. 1 Pet. iii. 5: The word idios has certainly an emphatical meaning wherever we find it, therefore must have its emphasis in this place, as well as in others. It seems to denote such an appropriation of the husband to the wife, as that the could not have, or go to any other man. This idea may be illustrated from Rom. xiv. 4. Who art thou that judgest another man's fer
deration, the word Ideos denotes that the man is the woman's husband, in such a sense as no other man is or can be. CHRIST, John v. 18, is said to call God Idlov TlaTepe-His own proper father :—this must be in a sense as exclusive of all other beings, as the idios dunp is exclusive of all other men.
So 1 Cor. xv. 38. God giveth it a body as it pleaseth Him, and to every feed-70 if you owua-his own body, i. e. so peculiarly appropriated to that sort of grain that it can pass into no other. Thus hath God given to every WIFE –τον ιδιον ανδρα - her own- peculiar - appropriated-HUSBAND-fo that, while he liveth (Rom. vii. 3.) she can pass to no other man.
vant ? Tô idi'w nupiw-proprio domino-to his own master he standeth or falleth. Here idros is used as an epithet to the master with respect to the servant (as 1 Tim. vi, 1. Tit. ii. 9.) and must denote such an appropriation of the master to the servant, as to exempt the servant from the authority, power, controul, command, or service of any other, but that of his own (18/8) master; for, as was observed before, no man can serve two masters, though the master may have many servants ; nor is any
of his servants the less fo, because he has others. So here, 1 Cor. vii. 2. and the other passages referred to, the husband is styled idlov, to denote, that no other man can have any power, propriety, or interest whatsoever in the society of the wife, but the idros doup, the proper
and appropriated, peculiar husband. I own that I can account for this difference of expression in no other way, than by supposing the scripture consistent with itself, and that the diftinction so evident in the Old Testament was to be preserved throughout the New Testament--that though a man might have more than one wife, yet a woman could have but one husband; had she more, neither could be styled properly idios dunp, for the would be as much the property of one as of the other, or rather be in common between, or among them, according to their number ; whereas, doubtless, though a man has two wives, each may be properly 4tyled γύνη εαυτου-* his wife.
* The propriety of this can hardly be disputed, when we reflect that it is the constant language of the Old Testament.
No man may be said to have an exclusive property in, or appropriation of himself to, a person or thing, which others may share with him: therefore the word id.cs is peculiarly adapted to denote the exclusve appropriation of the husband to the wife to be, like the exclusive appropriation of the master to the fervant, such a one as gives to him alone, exclusive of all others, the whole attention, obedience, and service of the party, so long as the relation which requires these shall continue. Whereas yuvn, wife, is never found with the exclusive idios, but coupled only with the pronoun poffeffive εαυτά. . To illustrate what has been said, we may observe as to Jacob and his two wives, Leah and Rachel, Rachel as well as Leah, with respect to Jacob, was yuvy EAUTY, his wife (Gen. xxx. 26. xxxi. 50.) and he the idios dvnp, the husband, exclusively of all other men, appropriated to both, insomuch that neither could have gone to any
other man, without being an adulteress: but we no where find Jacob, nor any other polygamist, stigmatized as an adulterer or fornicator, on account of his having two wives. That such a custom as Plutarch shews to have originated from the famous lawgiver of Sparta, ihould reach Corinth, which stood at the edge of Peloponnesus, is not at all surprizing, when we find it had even reached to * Rome. Numa Pompilius,
* In short, this custom of lending wives to each other was so common among the Gentiles, that it is inconceivable such a practice should not be among the Corinthians,
the famous successor of Romulus, anno 715 before Christ, established this horrid practice among the Romans. He was a great reformer of religion, and improver of the laws, in which he is said “ to have had a particular
regard to the preserving of modesty in wo
men. Nevertheless, he permitted hus“ bands to lend their wives, after they had “ had children by them. This was a kind “ of temporary divorce, in favour of those
men whose wives were barren; but the “ husbands still continued to have the same
power over them, and could call them “ home, or lend them to others, as they “ pleased.” Ant. Univ. Hist. vol. xi.
That this practice long continued at Rome, there can be little doubt; for, about 700 years afterwards, we find, ist ato of Utica actually gave his wife Marcia to his friend Hortensius, and himself aflisted at the wedding.
The words of the text clearly apply to the forbidding so monstrous a breach of the law of marriage, and apply equally to polygamy as to monogamy. Abigail and Abinoam
Cesar tells us of the antient Britons.-" Ten or twelve " of them have wives in common amongst them-but
every woman's children are accounted his, who first “ pofféffed her when a virgin; so many men, having “ each of them married his proper wife, afterwards " agreed upon that friendly way of possessing them.” De B. G. lib. v. Much inore to the fame purpose may be found in Puffendorf, book vi. C. I. § 15.
were, with refpect to David, each of them your AUT8, his wife-for the Holy Ghost faith, 1 Sam. xxv. 43. they were both of them his wives : and therefore he was the idios amp, the peculiar, proper, appropriated husband to both. If David had taken another man's wife, or either of them had been lent out or given to another man, this would have fallen directly under the interdict of the apostle, who here says no more than is exactly consonant with the law of Mofes.
Saying that this text forbids polygamy, because the word wife is in the fingular number, is mere trifling; as much so, as contending that a man is to love but one * neighbour, because it is said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; not neighbours; or that he shall keep but one fervant, because it is said,
* We meet with numberless passages in the scripture, where the fingular is not to be understood exclusively, that is, so as not to include the plural, but distributively so as to include it. Witness the passages referred to, as also the fourth commandment-cs Thou lhalt do no “ manner of work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter,
nor thy man-feruant, nor thy maid-fervant, nor the
stranger that is within thy gates.” Are we to gather from hence, that a man is to have but one fon, one daughter, one man-fervant, one maid-servant, &c. ? So the ninth commandment-" Thou shalt not bear false wit“ness against thy neighbour.”—Endless are the examples of this fort, which might be brought, to shew that, in many instances, the singular number cannot be confined to an exclusive sense, but must, of necessity, be extended distributively, so as to include many, and indeed all of the kind which is spoken of: and in this sense the word wife must be understood, i Cor. vii. 2, in order to make the text harmonize with the Old Testament.