Marriage is honourable in all
Some read these words as an exhortation, "let" it "be so"; others as an assertion, it is so. "Marriage" is the union of one man and one woman in wedlock, whereby they become one flesh; it is a joining together of male and female in this relation, and of two only, and of such as are not within the degrees of blood forbid by the law, ( Leviticus 18:6-18 ) and of such as are fit for marriage: and this is "honourable", as it was instituted by God, and has been honoured with the presence of Christ, ( Genesis 2:22 Genesis 2:24 ) ( John 2:1-11 ) . And it is so in the ends of it, being to procreate children, multiply the earth, build up families, preserve a legitimate offspring, and prevent fornication and all uncleanness; and it is so, when the duties of the relation are performed on both sides: and it is honourable "in all"; in all things, in all respects, upon all accounts; "every way", as the Arabic version renders it; or as the Ethiopic version, "everywhere"; it has been honourably esteemed of among all nations; it becomes persons of all ranks and degrees, quality, and order; and it is honourable in all that are lawfully married, and do not violate the marriage contract, or defile the marriage bed: hereby are condemned such who despise marriage, that they may give a loose to their wandering and insatiable lusts; and such who, under a pretence of greater sanctity and perfection, reject it as unlawful; and the Papists, who deny it to men employed in sacred work:
and the bed undefiled:
the Arabic version reads, "his bed"; and the Syriac and Ethiopic versions, "their bed"; the bed of such whose marriage is honourable; which is not polluted by admitting others into it, or by acts of fornication and adultery: "but", or "for", as the Alexandrian copy reads,
whoremongers and adulterers God will judge;
the former of these may be rendered "fornicators", as it is by the Vulgate Latin version: fornication is a sin committed by single persons, unmarried ones; and though it was reckoned among the Gentiles a thing indifferent, yet is contrary to the law of God, and is a work of the flesh, and makes unfit for the kingdom of God, and brings down the judgments of God both here and hereafter. And this is in opposition to marriage, which is appointed to prevent it. The sin "adulterers" are guilty of, is a sin committed by persons, who are either one or both in a married state, and so is directly a pollution of the marriage bed: this was punishable with death by the law of God, and light of nature; and though men may make light of it, God will judge and punish such as commit it, both in this life, with diseases, poverty, and disgrace, and in the world to come, at the great day of account; for however secretly it may be committed, God, who is omniscient, sees it, and will bring it into judgment; nor shall any be able to escape the righteous judgment of God, for he is omnipotent, as well as omniscient. The Jews say,
``whoever lies with another man's wife, shall not escape (hnyd) , "the judgment", or damnation of hell F20''
F20 T. Bab. Sota. fol. 4. 2.