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Medieval Sourcebook:
The Bible on Marriage


Select Passage from the Bible on Marriage
(King James Version)

Genesis
3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
 
Proverbs
12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
 
31:1 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
31:2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
31:3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
31:4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
31:5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
31:7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
31:8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
31:14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
31:16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
31:17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
31:18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
31:20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
31:21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
31:22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
31:23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
31:24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
31:25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
31:27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
31:29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
31:30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
31:31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
 
EPISTLES OF ST PAUL

Ephesians
5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
 
Hebrews
13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
 
1 Corinthians
7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.
7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.
7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I.
7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.
7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
7:11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
7:13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
7:15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
7:17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.
7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised.
7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.
7:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.
7:21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.
7:22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
7:24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.
7:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.
7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;
7:30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;
7:31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
7:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.
7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
7:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.
7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.
7:38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better.
7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
7:40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
 
GOSPELS
 
Matthew
5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
 
Mark
10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.
10:12 And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

 


Source.

Etext file created for a class by Scott Mcletchie [letchie@loyno.edu], and used by permission here.


This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

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© Paul Halsall, October 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu