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the words, a living soul;" the other, of all those impure by the pure; the vile and degraded by who shall have a spiritual body in heaven. He the precious and the glorious. The idea is, that is called “ the last Adam ;" meaning that there there is a tendency towards perfection, and that shall be no other after him who shall affect the God observes the proper order by which that desting of man in the same way, or who shall which is most glorious shall be secured.
It was stand at the head of the race in a manner similar not his plan that all things in the beginning to what had been done by him and the first fa- should be perfect ; but that perfection should be ther of the human family. They sustain pecu- the work of time, and should be secured in an liar relations to the race; and in this respect they appropriate order of events. The design of Paul were “the first” and “the last” in the peculiar in this verse seems to be to vindicate the stateeconomy. The name “ Adam" is not elsewhere
ment which he had made, by showing that it was given to the Messiah, though a comparison is se- in accordance with what was every where obveral times instituted between him and Adain. served, that the proper order should be maintained. See Rom. v. 12-19. A quickening spirit, (uis This idea is carried through the following verses πνευμα ζωοποιούν.)-A vivifying spirit; a spirit giving or imparting life. Not a being Ver. 47. The first man is of the earth, earthy: having mere vital functions, or an animated nature, but a being who has the power of imparting
the second man is the Lord from heaven. life. This is not a quotation from any part of
* John iii. 13, 31. the Scriptures, but seems to be used by Paul either as affirming what was true on his own
The first man.-Adam. Is of the earth.-Was apostolic authority, or as conveying the substance
made of the dust. See Gen. ii. 7. Earthy.-Parof what was revealed respecting the Messiah in taking of the earth; he was a mass of animated the Old Testament. There may be also refer- clay, and could be appropriately called “ dust." ence to what the Saviour himself taught, that he (Gen. iii. 19.) Of course, he must partake of a was the source of life; that he had the power of nature that was low, mean, mortal, and corimparting life ; and that he gave life to all whom ruptible. The second man.—Christ. See More he pleased. See Note, John i. 4; v. 26, “ For as
on ver. 45. He is called the second man, as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given being the second who sustained a relation to men to the Son to have life in himself.” Ver. 21, that was materially to affect their conduct and " For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and destiny; the second and the last, (ver. 45,) wbo quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth should sustain a peculiar headship to the raee. whom he will." The word "spirit,” here ap
The Lord from heaven.—Called in chap. ii. 8. the plied to Christ, is in contradistinction from “a
** Lord of glory.” See Note on that place. This living being," as applied to Adam, and seems to expression refers to the fact, that the Lord Jesus be used in the sense of spirit of life, as raising had a heavenly origin, in contradistinction from the bodies of his people from the dead, and im- Adam, who was formed from the earth. The parting life to them. He was constituted not as
Latin Vulgate renders this, " the second man having life merely, but as endowed with the from heaven is heavenly;" and this idea seeins power of imparting life; as endowed with that to accord with the meaning in the former memspiritual or vital energy which was needful to im- ber of the verse. The sense is, evidently, that, part life. All life is the creation or production
as the first man had an earthly origin, and was of spirit, (II veðua;) as applied to God the Father, therefore, earthy, so the second man being from or the Son, or the Holy Spirit. Spirit is the heaven, as his proper home, would have a body source of all vitality. God is a spirit, and God adapted to that abode ; unlike that which was is the source of all life. And the idea here is, earthy, and which would be fitted to his exalted that Christ had such a spiritual existence, such nature, and to the world where he would dwell. power as a spirit; that he was the source of all And while, therefore, the phrase “ from heaven" life to his people. The word spirit is applied to
refers to his heavenly origin, the essential idea his exalted spiritual nature, in distinction from is, that he would have a body that was adapted his human nature, in Rom. i. 4; 1 Tim. iii. 16;
to such an origin and such a world--a body un1 Pet. iii. 18. The apostle does not here affirm like that which was earthy. That is, Christ had that he had not a human nature, or a vital exist- a glorified body, to which the bodies of the saints ence as a man; but that his main characteristic must yet be made like. in contradistinction from Adam was, that he was endowed with an elevated spiritual nature, which Ver. 48. As is the earthy, such are they also was capable of imparting vital existence to the dead. that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such
are they also that are heavenly, VER. 46. How beit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural ; and after
As is the earthy.—Such as Adam was. Such ward that which is spiritual.
are they also, &c.-Such are all his descendants ;
all who derive their nature from him. That is, Howbeit.—There is a due order observed. (Ver. they are frail, corruptible, mortal; they live in 23.) The decaying, the dying, the weak, the an animal body as he did, and, like him, they are corruptible, in the proper order of events, was subject to corruption and decay. And as is the first. This order is necessary, and this is observ- | heavenly.--As is he who was from heaven; as is ed every where. It is seen in the grain that dies the Lord Jesus now in his glorified body. Such in the ground, and in the resurrection of man. are they also, &c.—Such will they be also. They The imperfect is succeeded by the perfect ; the will be like him; they will have a body like his.
a Rom. viii. 29.
This idea is more fully expressed in Phil. iii. 21, | 17. The kingdom of God.—Heaven ; appro* Who shall change our vile body, that it may be priately called his kingdom, because be shall fashioned like unto his glorious body."
reign there in undivided and perfect glory for
Neither doth corruption, &c.—Neither can VER. 49. And as we have horne the image of the that which is in its nature corruptible, and liable
earthy, we shall also a bear the image of the to decay, be adapted to a world where all is inheavenly.
corruptible. The apostle here simply states the fact. He does not tell us why it is impossible.
It may be because the mode of communication And as we have borne the image of the earthy. there is not by the bodily senses ; it may be As, like our first father, we are frail, decaying, because such bodies as ours would not be dying; as we are so closely connected with him, fitted to relish the pure and exalted pleaas to be like him. This does not refer, mainly, sures of an incorruptible world; it may be beto one bearing his moral character, but to the
cause they would interfere with the exalted worfact that we are, like him, subject to sickness, ship, the active service, and the sleepless employfrailty, sorrow, and death. We shall also bear ments of the heavenly world ; it may be because the image of the heavenly.— The Lord Jesus such a body is constituted to derive pleasure from Christ, who was from heaven, and who is in objects which shall not be found in heaven. It is heaven. As we are so closely connected with adapted to enjoyment in eating and drinking, Adam as to resemble him, so, by the divine and the pleasures of the eye, the ear, the taste, arrangement, and by faith in the Lord Jesus, we
the touch ; in heaven the soul shall be awake to are so closely connected with him, that we shall
more elevated and pure enjoyments than these, resemble him in heaven. And as he is now free and, of course, such bodies as we here have from frailty, sickness, pain, sorrow, and death, would impede our progress and destroy our comand as he has a pure and spiritual body, adapted forts, and be ill adapted to all the employments to a residence in heaven, so shall we be in that and enjoyments of that heavenly world. future world. The argument here is, that the connexion which is formed between the believer | VER. 51. Behold, I show you a mystery : We and the Saviour is as close as that which sub
shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. sisted between him and Adam ; and as that con
c1 Thess. iv. 15-17. nexion with Adam involved the certainty that he would be subjected to pain, sin, sickness, and
Behold, I show you.—This commences the third death, so the connexion with Christ involves the subject of inquiry in the chapter,—the question, certainty that he will, like him, be free from sin, what will become of those who are alive when sickness, pain, and death, and like him will have the Lord Jesus shall return to raise the dead ? a body that is pure, incorruptible, and immortal. This was an obvious inquiry, and the answer
was, perhaps, supposed to be difficult. Paul Ver. 50. Now this I say, brethren, that "flesh
answers it directly, and says that they will unand blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; dergo an instantaneous change, which will make neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
them like the dead that shall be raised. A mys
tery.—On the meaning of this word, see Note, 6 John iii. 3, 5.
chap. ii. 7. The word here does not mean any Now this I say, brethren.—" I make this affirma- thing which was in its nature unintelligible, but tion in regard to this whole subject. I do it as that which to them had been hitherto unknown. containing the substance of all that I have said. “I now communicate to you a trath which has I do it in order to prevent all mistake in regard not been ght into the discussion, and in reto the nature of the bodies which shall be raised gard to which no communication has been made up." This affirmation is made respecting all the to you.” On this subject there had been no revedead and all the living, that there must be a ma-lation. Though the Pharisees held that the dead terial and important change in regard to them, would rise, yet they do not seem to have made before they can be prepared for heaven. Paul any statement in regard to the living who should had proved, in the previous verses, that it was remain when the dead should rise. Nor, perpossible for God to give us bodies different from haps, had the subject occupied the attention of those which we now possess; he here affirms, in the apostles; nor had there been any direct comthe most positive manner, that it was indispens-munication on it from the Lord Jesus himself. able that we should have bodies different from Paul then here says, that he was about to comwhat we now have. Flesh and blood.-Bodies municate a great truth which till then had been organized as ours now are. “ Flesh and blood ” unknown, and to resolve a great inquiry on which denotes such bodies as we have here, -bodies there bad as yet been no revelation. We shall that are fragile, weak, liable to disease, subject not all sleep.- We Christians; grouping all togeto pain and death. They are composed of ther who then lived and should live afterwards, changing particles ; to be repaired and strength- for his discussion has relation to them all. The ened daily; they are subject to decay, and are following remarks may, perhaps, remove some of wasted away by sickness, and of course they the difficulty which attends the interpretation of cannot be fitted to a world where there shall be this passage. The objection which is made to it Do decay and no death. Cannot inherit.- is, that Paul expected to live until the Lord Jesus Cannot he admitted as heir to the kingdom of should return; that he, therefore, expected that Ged. The future world of glory is often repre- the world would soon end, and that in this he sented as an heirship. See Note on Rom. viii. was mistaken, and could not be inspired. To this, we may reply, (1.) He is speaking of may occur in fact at distant periods, may in Christians as such-of the whole church that vision appear to be near each other; as in a had been redeemed —of the entire mass that landscape, objects which are in fact separated by should enter heaven ; and he groups them all distant intervals, like the ridges of a mountain, together, and connects himself with them, and
may appear to lie close to each other. (c) The says, “We shall not die ; we Christians, includ- Saviour expressly said, that it was not desimed ing the whole church, shall not all die,” &c. that they should know when future events would That he did not refer only to those whom he was occur. Thus, after his ascension, in answer to then addressing, is apparent from the whole an inquiry whether he then would restore the i discussion. The argument relates to Christians kingdom to Israel, he said, (Acts i. 7.) - It is -to the church at large; and the affirmation not for you to know the times or the seasons here has reference to that church considered as which the Father hath put in his own power." one church that was to be raised up on the last See Note on that verse. '(d) The Saviour said day. (2.) That Paul did not expect that the that even he himself, as man, was ignorant in Lord Jesus would soon come, and that the world regard to the exact time in which future events would soon come to an end, is apparent from a
“ But of that day, and that bour, similar place in the epistle to the Thessalonians. knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are In 1 Thess. iv. 15, he uses language remarkably in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." similar to that which is here used: “We which (Mark xiii. 32.) (e) The apostles were in fact are alive, and remain unto the coming of the ignorant, and mistaken in regard to, at least, the Lord,” &c. This language was interpreted by the time of the occurrence of one future event, the Thessalonians as teaching that the world would death of John. (Ch. xxi. 23.) There is, therefore, soon come to an end, and the effect had been to no departure from the proper doctrine of inspiraproduce a state of alarm. Paul was, therefore, tion, in supposing that the apostles were not at special pains to show in his second epistle to inspired on these subjects, and that they migbt them, that he did not mean any such thing. He be ignorant like others. The proper order of showed thein (2 Thess. ii.) that the end of the events they state truly and exactly: the exact world was not near ; that very important events time God did not, for wise reasons, intend to were to occur before the world would come to an make known. Shall not all sleep.-Shall not all end ; and that his language did not imply any die. See Note, ch. xi. 30. But we shall all be expectation on his part that the world would changed.-- There is considerable variety in the soon terminate, or that the Lord Jesus would reading of this passage. The Vulgate reads it, soon come. (3.) Parallel expressions occur in * We shall all indeed rise, but we shall not all be the other writers of the New Testament, and changed.” Some Greek MSS. read it, “ We shall with a similar signification. Thus, John (1 Epis. all sleep, but we shall not all be changed." ii. 18) says, “ It is the last time." Comp. Heb. Others, as the Vulgate, “ We shall all rise, but i. 2. But the meaning of this is not that the we shall not all be changed." But the present world would soon come to an end. The pro- Greek text contains, doubtless, the true reading; phets spoke of a period which they called “the and the sense is, that all who are alive at the last days,” (Isa. ii. 2; Micah iv. 1; in Hebrew, coming of the Lord Jesus shall undergo such : “the after days,") as the period in which the change as to fit them for their new abode in Messiah would live and reign. By it they meant beaven; or such as shall make them like those the dispensation which should be the last ; that who shall be raised from the dead. This change under which the world would close ; the reign of will be instantaneous, (ver. 52,) for it is evident the Messiah, which would be the last economy of that God can as easily change the living as he human things. But it did not follow that this can raise the dead ; and as the affairs of tbe was to be a short period; or that it might not be world will then have come to an end, there will longer than any one of the former, or than all be no necessity that those who are then alive the former put together. This was that which should be removed by death; nor would it be John spoke of as the last time. (4.) I do not proper that they should go down to lie any time know that the proper doctrine of inspiration in the grave. The ordinary laws, therefore
, by suffers, if we admit that the apostles were igno- which men are removed to eternity, will not rant of the exact time when the world would operate in regard to them, and they will be reclose; or even that in regard to the precise period moved at once to their new abode. when that would take place, they might be in
The following considerations may be Ver. 52. In a moment in the twinkling of an suggested on this subject, showing that the claim to inspiration did not extend to the knowledge of
eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall this fact. (a) That they were not omniscient,
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorand there is no more absurdity in supposing that ruptible, and we shall be changed. they were ignorant on this subject than in regard
d 2 Pet. ii. 10.
Matt. Erir, s1. to any other. (C) Iospiration extended to the
| John v. 25. order of future events, and not to the times. There is in the Scriptures no statement of the In a moment, (iv årówo.)—In an atom, scil. time when the world would close. Future events of time; a point of time which cannot be cut or were made to pass before the mind of the pro- divided (a priv. and roun, from réurw, to eat.) phets, as in a landscape. The order of the A single instant; immediately. It will be done images may be distinctly marked, but the times instantaneously. In the twinkling of an ey":may not be designated. And even events which | This is an expression also denoting the least con
e Zech, ix, 14.
ceivable duration of time. The suddenness of absorb, (Rev. xii. 16 :) to overwhelm, to drown, the coming of the Lord Jesus is elsewhere com- (Heb. xi. 29 ;) and then to destroy or remove. pared to the coming of a thief in the night. (2 The idea may be taken from a whirlpool, or Pet. iii. 10.) The word rendered “twinkling" maelstrom, that absorbs all that comes near it; (orn, from pittw, to throw, cast) means a and the sense is, that he will abolish or remove throw, cast, jerk, as of a stone: and then a jerk death ; that is, cause it to cease from its ravages of the eye, i.e. a wink.-Robinson. At the last and triumphs. In victory, (eis viros.)-Unto victrump.- When the trumpet shall sound to raise tory; so as to obtain a complete victory. The the dead. The word “last” here does not imply Hebrew (Isa. xxv. 8) is 77335. The LXX often that any trumpet shall have been before sounded render the word nys, which properly means at the resurrection, but is a word denoting that splendour, purity, trust, perpetuity, eternity, perthis is the consummation or close of things; it fection, by viroc, victory. (2 Kings ii. 26. Job will end the economy of this world ; it will be xxxvi. 7. Lam. iii. 18 ; v. 20. Amos i. ; ii.; connected with the last state of things. For the viii. 7.) The Hebrew word here may be rentrumpet shall sound. See Note, Matt. xxiv. 31. dered either unto the end, i.e. to completeness And the dead shall be raised. Note, John v. 25. or perfection, or unto victory, with triumph. It
matters little which is the meaning, for they both VER. 53. For this corruptible must put on in- come to the same thing. The idea is, that the corruption, and this mortals must put on im- power and dominion of death shall be entirely
destroyed, or brought to an end. mortality. & 2 Cor. v. 4. 1 John iii. 4.
VER. 55. O death, where is thy sting? O For this corruptible, &c.—It is necessary that a
grave, * where is thy victory?
i Hosea xiii. 14. change should take place, either by dying and
k Or, hell. then being raised, or by being changed without
O death.—This triumphant exclamation is the seeing death; for we cannot enter heaven as we
commencement of the fourth division of the Must put on.- — The word here used chapter,--the practical consequences of the doc(ivčúvw) properly means to go in, to envelope, trine. It is such an exclamation as every man to put on as a garment; and then to put on any with right feelings will be disposed to make, who thing; as the soul is, as it were, clothed with, or invested with a body; and here it means, must
contemplates the ravages of death ; who looks be endued with, or furnished with. It is equiva- upon a world where in all forms he has reigned,
and who then contemplates the glorious truth, lent to saying that this corruptible must become that a complete and final triumph has been incorruptible, and this mortal must become im. obtained over this great enemy of the happiness mortal. We must cease to be corruptible and
of man, and that man would die no more. It is mortal, and must become incorruptible and im
a triumphant view which bursts upon the soul mortal. The righteous who remain till the
as it contemplates the fact that the work of the coming of Christ shall be at once changed, and
second Adam has repaired the ruins of the first, invested, as Enoch and Elijah were, with incor
and that man is redeemed ; his body will be ruption and immortality.
raised ; not another human being should die, and Ver. 54. So when this corruptible shall have put
the work of death should be ended. Nay, it is
Death is not only at an end ; it shall not on incorruption, and this mortal shall have only cease, but its evils shall be repaired ; and a put on immortality, then shall be brought to glory and honour shall encompass the body of pass the saying that is written, Death" is man, such as would have been unknown had swallowed up in victory.
there been no death. No commentary can add
to the beauty and force of the language in this h Isaiah xxv. 8.
verse ; and the best way to see its beauty, and to
enjoy it, is to sit down and think of death; of So when, &c.-In that future glorious world, what death has been, and has done ; of the milwhen all this shall have been accomplished. lions and millions that have died ; of the earth Then shall be brought to puss. Then shall be strewed with the dead, and “arched with fully accomplished'; these words shall then re- graves ;" of our own death ; the certainty that ceive their entire fulfilment; or this event shall we must die, and our parents, and brothers, and meet all that is implied in these words. The sisters, and children, and friends; that all, all saying that is written.- What is written, or the must die ;-and then to suffer the truth, in its record which is made. These words are quoted full-orbed splendour, to rise upon us, that the from Isa. xxv. 8; and the fact that Paul thus time will come when death shall be at an end. quotes them, and the connexion in which they Who, in such contemplation, can refrain from stand, prove that they had reference to the times the language of triumph, and from hymns of of the gospel, and to the resurrection of the dead. praise? Where is thy sting ?-The word which Paul does not quote directly from the Hebrew, is here rendered sting (kévtpov) denotes properly or from the LXX, but gives the substance of a prick, a point; hence a goad or stimulus, i. e. the passage. Death.-Referring here, undoubt- a rod or staff with an iron point, for goading edly, to death in the proper sense; death as pros- oxen, (see Note, Acts ix. 5 ;) and then a sting trating the living, and consigning them to the properly, as of scorpions, bees, &c. It denotes grave. Is swallowed up.— KateTÓ3n (from kara- here a venomons thing, or weapon, applied to Fivw, to drink down, to swallow down) means to death persc nified, as it death employed it to de
stroy life, as the sting of a bee or a scorpion is agony, and horror which attend it. Had there used. The idea is derived from the venomous been no sin, men would not have died. If there sting of serpents, or other reptiles, as being were no sin, death would not be attended with hor. destructive and painful. The language here is ror or alarm. For why should innocence be afraid the language of exultation, as if that was taken to die? What has innocence to fear any where in away or destroyed. O grave, (çon.)—Hades, the the universe of a just God? The fact, therefore, place of the dead. It is not improperly rendered, that men die, is proof that they are sinners; the however, grave. The word properly denotes a fact that they feel horror and alarm, is proof that place of darkness; then the world, or abodes of they feel themselves to be guilty, and that they the dead. According to the Hebrews, Hades, are afraid to go into the presence of a holy God. or Sheol, was a vast subterranean receptacle, or If this be taken away, if sin be removed, of: abode, where the souls of the dead existed. It course the horror, and remorse, and alarm, which was dark, deep, still, awful. The descent to it it is fitted to produce will be removed also. Is was through the grave; and the spirits of all sin.-Sin is the cause of it. See Note, Rom. F. the dead were supposed to be assembled there ; 12. The strength of sin.-Its power over the the righteous occupying the upper regions, and mind; its terrific and dreadful energy ; and espe the wicked the lower. See Note on Isa. xiv. 9. cially its power to produce alarm in the hour of Comp. Lowth, Lect. on Heb. Poet. vii. Camp- death. Is the law.— The pure and holy law of beli, Prel. Diss. vi. part 2, § 2. It refers here to God. This idea Paul has illustrated at length in the dead ; and means that the grave, or Hades, Rom. vii. 9-13. See Notes on that passage. should no longer have a victory, Thy victory.- He probably made the statement here in order Since the dead are to rise ; since all the graves to meet the Jews, and to show that the law of are to give up all that dwell in them; since no God had no power to take away the fear of death; man will die after that, where is its victory? It and that, therefore, there was need of the gospel is taken away. It is despoiled. The power of and that this alone could do it. The Jews maindeath and the grave is vanquished, and Christ is tained that a man might be justified and saved by triumphant over all. It has been well remarked obedience to the law. Paul here shows that it here, that the words in this verse rise above the is the law which gives its chief vigour to sin, and plain and simple language of prose, and resemble that it does not tend to subdue or destroy it; and a hymn, into which the apostle breaks out in that power is seen most strikingly in the pangs view of the glorious truth which is here pre- and horrors of a guilty conscience on the bed of sented to the mind. The whole verse is indeed death. There was need, therefore, of the gospel, a somewhat loose quotation from Hos. xiii. 14, which alone could remove the cause of these which we translate,
horrors, by taking away sin, and thus leaving the
pardoned man to die in peace. Comp. Note, “O death, I will be thy plagues;
Rom. iv, 15.
VER. 57. But thanks " be to God, which giveth “O death, where is thy punishment ?
us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. O grave, where is thy sting ?"
n Rom. vii. 25.
o Rom. viii. 37. 1 John v. 4, 5. Probably Paul did not intend this as a direct quo
But thanks be to God.-See Note, Rom. vii. 25. tation ; but he spoke as a man naturally does who is familiar with the language of the Scriptures,
Which giveth us the victory.—Us who are Chrisand used it to express the sense which he intend- tians; all Christians. The victory over sin, death, ed, without meaning to make a direct and literal and the grave. God alone is the author of this quotation. The form which Paul uses is so victory. He formed the plan; he executed it in poetic in its structure that Pope has adopted it
, the gift of his Son; and he gives it to us personwith only a change in the location of the mem- ally when we come to die. Through our Lord bers, in the “Dying Christian :"
Jesus Christ.-By his death, thus destroying the
power of death ; by his resurrection and triumph “O grave, where is thy victory!
over the grave; and by his grace imparted to us O death, where is thy sting ?".
to enable us to sustain the pains of death, and
giving to us the hope of a glorious resurrection. VER. 56. The 'sting of death is sin ; and the Comp. Note, Rom. vii. 25 ; viii. 37. strength of sin is the law.
VER. 58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, 'be I Rom. vi. 23. m Rom. iv. 15.
ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in The sting of death.--'The sting which death
the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know bears; that with which he effects his purpose ; that which is made use of to inflict death ; or
that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. that which is the cause of death. There would
p 2 Pet. iii. 14. be no death without sin. The apostle here personifies death, as if it were a living being, and as Therefore, my beloved brethren.—In view of the making use of sin to inflict death, or as being the great and glorious truths which have been resting, or envenomed instrument, with which he vealed to us respecting the resurrection, Paul inflicts the mortal agony. The idea is, that sin closes the whole of this important discussion with is the cause of death. Ii introduced it; it makes an exhortation to that firmness in the faith wbich it certain; it is the cause of the pain, distress, ought to result from truths so glorious, and from