I cannot come (ou dunamai elqein). Less polite than the others but a more plausible pretence if he wanted to make it so. The law excused a newly married man from war ( Deuteronomy 24:5 ), "but not from social courtesy" (Ragg). The new wife would probably have been glad to go with him to the feast if asked. But see 1 Corinthians 7:33 . There is here as often a sharp difference between the excuses offered and the reasons behind them.