I suppose, therefore, that this is good
The opinion of the apostle, the sentiment of his mind, his judgment in this case were, that it was better, more advisable and eligible, for persons that were single to continue so; his reason for it follows,
for the present necessity;
by which is meant not the shortness of life, and the necessity of dying, when husband and wife must part, upon which trouble ensues; nor the various sorrows, cares, encumbrances, trials, and exercises that attend a conjugal state, as bearing and bringing forth, and bringing up children, provision for the family which are common to all, and at all times more or less; but the present time of persecution, under which the churches of Christ were; agreeably the Syriac version reads it, (anbzd aqea ljm) , "because of the necessity of the time", or season: using the very Greek word in text; as the Targumists F17 also have frequently adopted it into their language, and use the phrase (yqea tev) , "an hour, or time of necessity", for a time of great affliction and distress, just as the apostle does here; because this was the present case of the Christians, he thought it most prudent for such as were single to remain so; since as they were often obliged to move from place to place, to fly from one city to another, this would be very incommodious for married persons, who might have young children to take care of, and provide for; see ( Matthew 24:19 ) ( Luke 23:29 ) upon a like account, the Jewish doctors advise to the same the apostle here does F18;
``from the day that the empire is extended, which decrees hard decrees upon us, and causes the law and the commandments to cease from us, and does not suffer us to circumcise children; it is right that we agree among ourselves, (hva avyl alv) , not to marry, and beget children:''I say it is good for a man so to be;
to remain unmarried, to live a single life, to be a virgin; for the word "virgin", as here used, relates to men as well as maidens, and denotes the single state of either. The apostle does not add, "even as I"; as he does in ( 1 Corinthians 7:8 ) which seems to confirm the conjecture already made, that he was not a bachelor, but a widower; otherwise he would doubtless have enforced this advice by his own example, as before.
F17 Targum Jon. & Hieros. in Gen. xxii. 14. & xxxviii. 25. & Targum Sheni in Esth. v. 1.
F18 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 60. 2.