|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:6-14 Even an apostle could not edify, unless he spoke so as to be understood by his hearers. To speak words that have no meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the air. That cannot answer the end of speaking, which has no meaning; in this case, speaker and hearers are barbarians to each other. All religious services should be so performed in Christian assemblies, that all may join in, and profit by them. Language plain and easy to be understood, is the most proper for public worship, and other religious exercises. Every true follower of Christ will rather desire to do good to others, than to get a name for learning or fine speaking.
Verse 13. - Pray that he may interpret; either, so pray as to be able to interpret, or, pray with the object of afterwards interpreting. The meaning, "pray to have the power of interpretation given him," seems excluded by the next verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue,.... The Hebrew, or any other, the gift of speaking with which is bestowed upon him:
pray that he may interpret; that he may have also the gift of interpretation of tongues; for as has been before hinted, these two gifts were distinct; and a man might have the one, and not the other; a man might speak in an unknown tongue, so as to understand himself, what he said, and be edified, and yet not be capable of translating it at once into the common language of the people; and if he could not do this, he would not excel in his gift to the edification of the church; whereas if he could interpret he would, and therefore, above all things, he should pray to the Father of lights, the giver of every good and perfect gift, that he might be furnished with this also.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Explain, "Let him who speaketh with a tongue [unknown] in his prayer (or, when praying) strive that he may interpret" [Alford]. This explanation of "pray" is needed by its logical connection with "prayer in an unknown tongue" (1Co 14:14). Though his words be unintelligible to his hearers, let him in them pray that he may obtain the gift of interpreting, which will make them "edifying" to "the church" (1Co 14:12).
1 Corinthians 14:13 Parallel Commentaries
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