|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:26-33 Religious exercises in public assemblies should have this view; Let all be done to edifying. As to the speaking in an unknown tongue, if another were present who could interpret, two miraculous gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the church be edified, and the faith of the hearers confirmed at the same time. As to prophesying, two or three only should speak at one meeting, and this one after the other, not all at once. The man who is inspired by the Spirit of God will observe order and decency in delivering his revelations. God never teaches men to neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their age or station.
Verse 31. - Ye may all prophesy; rather, ye all can; that is, "if you have the gift of prophesying." St. Paul has already implied that at every assembly there would be idiotai, unendowed worshippers, who only came to profit by the gifts of others, and that "all" are not prophets (1 Corinthians 12:29). May be comforted; rather, may be exhorted or cheered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For ye may all prophesy one by one,.... Not every member of the church, but everyone that had the gift of prophecy; so that they were not confined to two or three prophets at a meeting, but as many as would, or as had anything to deliver, and as time would allow; only care must be taken that confusion be avoided, and order preserved by exercising in turns one after another. This was agreeably to the custom of the Jewish synagogue, in which more might read and speak, though but one at a time; for
"it is forbidden to read in the book of the law, except one only, that all may hearken, and be silent, that so they may hear the words from his mouth, as if they had heard them that very moment from Mount Sinai.''
that all may learn; more of the doctrine of Christ, and of the mind and will of God, and attain to a greater knowledge in the mysteries of the Gospel, and in the duties of religion, even prophets and teachers as well as private members and common hearers; for there are none who know ever so much, but are capable of being further taught and instructed, and that sometimes by such whose gifts are interior to them:
and all may be comforted; or exhorted, or receive exhortation. The word used signifies both; and prophecy is useful both for exhortation and comfort, and that both to preachers and people.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. For ye may—rather, "For ye can [if ye will] all prophesy one by one," giving way to one another. The "for" justifies the precept (1Co 14:30), "let the first hold his peace."
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