1 Corinthians 6:16

16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[a]

1 Corinthians 6:16 in Other Translations

16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh."
16 And don’t you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her? For the Scriptures say, “The two are united into one.”
16 There's more to sex than mere skin on skin. Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, "The two become one."
16 Do you not know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her? For it says, The two will become one flesh.

1 Corinthians 6:16 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 6:16

What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot,
&c.] Not in marriage, but in carnal copulation, and unclean embraces, is one body with her

for two
("saith he", Adam, or Moses, or God, or the Scripture, or as R. Sol. Jarchi says, the Holy Spirit, ( Genesis 2:24 ) )

shall be one flesh;
what is originally said of copulation in lawful marriage, in which man and wife, legally coupled together, become one flesh, is applied to the unlawful copulation of a man with an harlot, by which act they also become one body, one flesh; and which is made use of by the apostle, to deter the members of Christ from the commission of this sin, which makes a member of Christ one body and flesh with an harlot, than which nothing is more monstrous and detestable. The apostle here directs to the true sense of the phrase in Genesis, "and they shall be one flesh"; that is, man and wife shall only have carnal knowledge of, and copulation with each other. Some Jewish F11 writers interpret this phrase, (dlwh dum) "on account of the foetus", which is formed by the means of them both, and which becomes "their one flesh": others F12, thus as if they were, or because they are, like as if they were one flesh; but others F13, in more agreement with the apostle, think that this has respect (rwbxh la) , "to that conjunction", by which the fixing of the species is completed; and others F14 expressly thus, "they two shall be one flesh", (dxa rvb Myvwe Mhynvv Mwqml) , "that is, in the place where both of them make one flesh": which is equally done by unlawful copulation with an harlot, as with a man's own wife.


F11 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 6. 3. Jarchi in Gen. ii. 24.
F12 Aben Ezra in ib.
F13 R. Levi ben Gersom in ib.
F14 Bereshit Rabba, sect. 18. fol. 15. 3. T. Hieros. Kiddushin, fol. 58. 3.

1 Corinthians 6:16 In-Context

14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.
15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!
16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31

Footnotes 1