« PreviousContinue »
TEXT. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and
exhortation, and comfort. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue, edifieth himself; but he
that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophe
sied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with
tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what
shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation,
or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine ? 7 And even things without life, giving sound, whether pipe or harp,
for nobody understands him ; the things he utters, by the
Spirit, in an unknown tongue, are mysteries, things not under3 stood by those who hear them. But he, that prophesieth “,
speaks to men, who are exhorted and comforted thereby, and 4 helped forwards in religion and piety. He that speaks in
an unknown tongue", edifies himself alone; but he, that pro5 phesieth, edifieth the church. I wish that ye had all the gift
of tongues, but rather that ye all prophesied; for greater is he that prophesieth, than he that speaks with tongues, unless he
interprets what he delivers in an unknown tongue, that the 6 church may be edified by it. For example, should I apply myself to you in a tongue you knew not, what good should I
unless I interpreted to you what I said, that you might understand the revelation, or knowledge, or prophecy, or docng trine e contained in it? Even inanimate instruments of sound,
NOTES. parison of others, is the gift of tongues, which he discourses of for abore twenty verses together, in a way fit to abate a too high esteem, and a too excessive use of it in their assemblies; which we cannot suppose he would have done, had they not been guilty of some such miscarriages in the case, whereof the twentyfourth verse is not without an intimation.
3dly, When he comes to give direction about the exercise of their gifts in their meetings, this of tongues is the only one that he restrains and limits, ver.
27, 28. 3 - What is meant by prophesying, see note, chap. xii. 10. 4 d By yamoon, “unknown tongue,” Dr. Lightfoot, in this chapter, understands
the Hebrew tongue, which, as he observes, was used in the synagogue in readi:g the Sacred Scripture, in praying and in preaching. If that be the meaning of tongue here, it suits well the apostle's design, which was to take them off from their Jewish, false apostle, who probably might have encouraged and promoted
this speaking of Hebrew in their assemblies. 6. It is not to be doubted but these four distinct terms, used here by the apostle,
had each its distinct signification in his mind and intention : whether what may be collected from these epistles may sufficiently warrant us to understand them
TEXT. except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known
what is piped, or harped ? 8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall
prepare himself to the battle ? 9 So likewise you, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be un
derstood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye
into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none
of them is without signification. 11 Therefore, if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto
him that speaketh a barbarian ; and he that speaketh shall be a
barbarian unto me. 12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that
ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that
he may interpret.
PARAPHRASE. as pipe, or harp, are not made use of, to make an insignificant noise; but distinct notes, expressing mirth, or mourning, or
the like, are played upon them, whereby the tune and compo8 sure are understood. And if the trumpet sound not some
point of war that is understood, the soldier is not thereby in9 structed what to do. So likewise ye, unless with the tongue,
which you use, utter words of a clear and known signification
to your hearers, you talk to the wind; for your auditors un10 derstand nothing that you say. There is a great number of
significant languages in the world; I know not how many : 11 every nation has its own. If then I understand not another's
language, and the force of his words, I am to him, when he speaks, a barbarian ; and whatever he says, is all gibberish to
me; and so is it with you; ye are barbarians to one another, 12 as far as ye speak to one another in unknown tongues. But
since there is emulation amongst you concerning spiritual gifts,
seek to abound in the exercise of those which tend most to the 13 edification of the church. Wherefore, let him that speaks an
NOTE. in the following significations, I leave to the judgment of others : Ist, 'Afoxélulos, " revelation," something revealed by God, immediately to the persou, vid. yer.30. 2dly, rvwors, “knowledge, the understanding the mystical and evangelical sense of passages in the Old Testament, relating to our Saviour and the Gospel. 3dly, lipopnlei«, "prophecy,” an inspired hymn, vid. ver. 26. 4thly, Ardaya, “ doctrine," any truth of the Gospel concerning faith or manners. But whether this, or any other precise meaning of these words can be certainly made out now, it is perhaps of po great necessity to be over-curious; it being enough, for the understanding the sense and argument of the apostle here, to know that these terms stand for some intelligible discourse, tending to the edification of the church, though of what kind each of them was, in particular, we certainly know not.
TEXT. 14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my under
standing is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the
understanding also : I will sing with the Spirit, and I will sing with
the understanding also. 16 Else, when thou shalt bless with the Spirit, how shall he that occu
pieth the room of the unlearned, say Amen, at thy giving of thanks ; seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest ?
PARAPHRASE. unknown tongue, pray that he may interpret what he says. 14 For, if I pray in the congregation in an unknown tongue, my
spirit, it is true, accompanies my words, which I understand, and so my spirit prays'; but my meaning is unprofitable to others who understand not my words. What, then, is to be done in the case ? Why, I will, when moved to it by the Spirit, pray in an unknown tongue, but so that my meaning may be understood by others; 1. é. I will not do it but when there is somebody by, to interpret". And so will I do also in singing '; I will sing by the Spirit, in an unknown tongue;
but I will take care that the meaning of what I sing shall be 16 understood by the assistants. And thus ye should all do, in all like cases.
For if thou, by the impulse of the Spirit, givest thanks to God in an unknown tongue, which all understand
NOTES. 14 This is evident from ver. 4, where it is said, “He that speaketh with a
tongue, edifies himself.” 15 & I will pot pretend to justify this interpretation of tow roi by the exact rules of the
Greek idiom ; but the sense of the place will, I think, bear me out in it. And, as there is occasion oftev to remark, he must be little versed in the writings of St. Paul, who does not observe, that when he has used a term, he is apt to repeat it again, in the same discourse, in a way peculiar to himself, and somewhat varied from its ordivary siguification. So, having here, in the foregoing verse, used volls, for the sentiment of his own mind, which was unprofitable to others, when he prayed in a tongue unknown to them, and opposed it to avrðux, which be used there, for his own sense accompanying his own words, intelligible to himself, when, by the impulse of the Spirit, be prayed in a foreign tongue; he here, in this verse, "continues to use praying, TW TYCúpatı, and to voi, in the same opposition; the one for praying in a strange tongue, which alone his own mind understood and accompanied; the other, for praying so, as that the meaning of his mind, in those words be uttered, was made kuowu to others, so that they were also benefited. This use of wrómago is farther confirmed, in the next verse : and what he means by rei, here, he expresses by dà voós, ver. 19, and there explains the meaning of it.
For so he orders, in the use of an unknown tongue, ver. 27. i Here it may be observed, that as, in their public prayer, one prayed, and the others held their peace; so it was in their singing, at least in that singing, which was of extempore hymns, by the impulse of the Spirit. VOL. VIII.
TEXT. 17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than you all : 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with understand
ing, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand
words in an unknown tongue. 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding : howbeit, in malice be
ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, “With men of other tongues, and other lips,
will I speak unto this people ; and yet, for all that, will they not
hear me, saith the Lord.” 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to
them that believe not : but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
PARAPHRASE. not, how shall the hearer, who, in this respect, is unlearned, and, being ignorant in that tongue, knows not what thou say
est, how shall he say Amen? How shall he join in the thanks, 17 which he understands not? Thou, indeed, givest thanks well; 18 but the other is not at all edified by it. I thank God, I speak 19 with tongues more than you all : But I had rather speak in the
church five words that are understood, that I might instruct
others also, than, in an unknown tongue, ten thousand, that 20 others understand not. My brethren, be not, in understanding,
children, who are apt to be taken with the novelty, or strangeness of things: in temper and disposition be as children, void
of malice k; but, in matters of understanding, be ye perfect 21 men, and use your understandings'. Be not so zealous for the
use of unknown tongues in the church; they are not so proper there: it is written in the law m, “With men of other
tongues, and other lips, will I speak unto this people; and 22 yet, for all that, will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” So
that, you see, the speaking of strange tongues miraculously is not for those who are already converted, but for a sign to those who are unbelievers : but prophecy is for believers, and
NOTES. 20 * By xoxía, “ malice," I think here is to be understood all sorts of ill temper of
mind, contrary to the gentleness and innocence of childhood; and, in particular, their emulativu and strife, about the exercise of their gifts in their assemb lies.
| Vid. Rom. xvi. 19. Eph. iv. 13-15. 21 in The books of sacred Scripture, delivered to the Jews by divine revelation,
under the law, before the time of the Gospel, which we now call the Old Testament, are, in the writings of the New Testament, called sometimes, “the law, the prophets, and the psalms," as Luke xxiv. 44; sometimes “the law aud the prophets," as Acts xxiv. 14. And sometimes they are all comprehended under this one name, “the law,'' as here ; for the passage cited is in Isaiah, chap. xxviii. 1.
TEXT. 23 If, therefore, the whole church be come together into one place, and
all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned,
or unbelievers, will they not say, that ye are mad ? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one
unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest;
so, falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God is in
you of a truth. 26 How is it then, brethren ? When ye come together, every one of
you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation,
hath an interpretation. Let all things be done to edifying. 27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the
most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
PARAPHRASE. not for unbelievers; and therefore fitter for your assemblies. 23 If, therefore, when the church is all come together, you should
all speak in unknown tongues, and men unlearned, or unbelievers, should come in, would they not say,
" that you are 24 mad ?" But if ye all prophesy, and an unbeliever, or an igno
rant man, come in, the discourses he hears from you reaching 25 his conscience, and the secret thoughts of his heart, he is con
vinced, and wrought upon; and so, falling down, worships 26 God, and declares that God is certainly amongst you. What
then is to be done, brethren ? When you come together, every one is ready ", one with a psalm, another with a doctrine, another with a strange tongue, another with a revelation, another
with an interpretation. Let all things be done to edification. 27 Even though any one speak in an unknown tongue, which is
NOTES. 26 It is plain, by this whole discourse of the apostle's, that there were contentions
and emulations amongst them, for precedency of their gifts; and therefore I think éxaços öxsi may be rendered “ every one is ready," as impatient to be first heard. If there were no such disorder amongst them, there would have been po peed for the regulations given, in the end of this verse, and the seven verses following, especially ver. 31, 32, where he tells them, they all may prophesy, one by one, and that the motions of the Spirit were not so ungovernable, as not 10 leave a man master of himself. He must not think himself under a necessity of
speaking, as soon as he found any impulse of the Spirit upon his mind. 27 St. Paul has said, in this chapter, as much as conveniently could be said,
to restrain their speaking in unknown tongues, in their assemblies, which seems to be that, wherein the vanity and ostentation of the Corinthians was niost forward to show itself. “It is not,” says he,“ a gift intended for the edification of believers; however, since you will be exercising it in your meetings, let it always be so ordered, that it may be for edification ;" tite, I have ren. dered - although." So I think it is sometimes used; but nowhere, as I re. member, simply for “ if," as in our translation ; nor will the sense here bear