|New International Version (©2011)|
If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
New Living Translation (©2007)
And what value was there in fighting wild beasts--those people of Ephesus--if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, "Let's feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!"
English Standard Version (©2001)
What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
If I fought wild animals in Ephesus with only human hope, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
International Standard Version (©2012)
If I have fought with wild animals in Ephesus from merely human motives, what do I get out of it? If the dead are not raised, "Let's eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
NET Bible (©2006)
If from a human point of view I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what did it benefit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
And if, as a citizen of the people, I was cast to wild beasts in Ephesaus, what have I gained if the dead do not rise? Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
If I have fought with wild animals in Ephesus, what have I gained according to the way people look at things? If the dead are not raised, "Let's eat and drink because tomorrow we're going to die!"
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what is the gain to me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.
American King James Version
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantages it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
American Standard Version
If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.
If (according to man) I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me, if the dead rise not again? Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die.
Darby Bible Translation
If, to speak after the manner of man, I have fought with beasts in Ephesus, what is the profit to me if those that are dead do not rise? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.
English Revised Version
If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.
Webster's Bible Translation
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to-morrow we die.
Weymouth New Testament
If from merely human motives I have fought with wild beasts in Ephesus, what profit is it to me? If the dead do not rise, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.
World English Bible
If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, then "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
Young's Literal Translation
if after the manner of a man with wild beasts I fought in Ephesus, what the advantage to me if the dead do not rise? let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die!
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:20-34 All that are by faith united to Christ, are by his resurrection assured of their own. As through the sin of the first Adam, all men became mortal, because all had from him the same sinful nature, so, through the resurrection of Christ, shall all who are made to partake of the Spirit, and the spiritual nature, revive, and live for ever. There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory. Then shall we rejoice in the completion of his undertaking, that God may receive the whole glory of our salvation, that we may for ever serve him, and enjoy his favour. What shall those do, who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Perhaps baptism is used here in a figure, for afflictions, sufferings, and martyrdom, as Mt 20:22,23. What is, or will become of those who have suffered many and great injuries, and have even lost their lives, for this doctrine of the resurrection, if the dead rise not at all? Whatever the meaning may be, doubtless the apostle's argument was understood by the Corinthians. And it is as plain to us that Christianity would be a foolish profession, if it proposed advantage to themselves by their faithfulness to God; and to have our fruit to holiness, that our end may be everlasting life. But we must not live like beasts, as we do not die like them. It must be ignorance of God that leads any to disbelieve the resurrection and future life. Those who own a God and a providence, and observe how unequal things are in the present life, how frequently the best men fare worst, cannot doubt as to an after-state, where every thing will be set to rights. Let us not be joined with ungodly men; but warn all around us, especially children and young persons, to shun them as a pestilence. Let us awake to righteousness, and not sin.
Verse 32. - After the manner of men. The phrase is a qualification of the strong metaphor, "I fought with beasts." It is equivalent to "humanly speaking." This is Chrysostom's view. It is the most reasonable, and accords with the use of the phrase in Romans 3:5; Galatians 3:15. Meyer, however, explains it to mean "with mere human motives." I have fought with beasts. Not literally, for in that case he would have mentioned it in 2 Corinthians 11. as one of his deadliest perils, and it must have been recorded by St. Luke in his full account of St. Paul's life at Ephesus. A Roman citizen was legally exempt from this mode of punishment. The word points to some special peril incurred in resisting the hostility of the worshippers of Artemis (Acts 20:19), but not to the tumult in the theatre, which did not happen till after this letter was despatched (1 Corinthians 16:8, 9). The metaphor is not uncommon. Thus in 2 Timothy 4:17 St. Paul alludes to Nero (probably) as "the lion." David often compares his enemies to wild beasts (Psalm 22:21, etc.). When his jailor informed Agrippa of the death of Tiberius, he did so in the words, "The lion is dead." St. Ignatius writes of the ten soldiers who were conducting him to Rome as "ten leopards." Epimenides, in the line quoted by St. Paul in Titus 1:12, spoke of the Cretans as "evil wild beasts," and the pseudo-Heraclitus gives this same uncomplimentary title to these very Ephesians. Let as eat and drink; for tomorrow we die. Perhaps the "if the dead are not raised" belongs to this clause. He means that such an Epicurean maxim, if never excusable, would at least be natural, if men could only look to life in the present. The sentiment is found on the lips of the despairing and the sensual alike in Isaiah 22:13, and in the writings of the heathen (Horace, 'Od.,' 1:4, 13-17, etc.). St. Paul would be all the more familiar with it because it formed the infamous epitaph of a statue of Sardauapalus, which he must have often seen in his boyhood at Anchiale, near Tarsus. It represented the debased king as snapping his fingers, and using almost these very words. It is strange that similar passages should be found even in the Talmud. Shemuel said to Rav Yehudah, "Seize and eat, seize and drink; for the world is like a wedding feast (soon over)" ('Eiruvin,' fol. 54, 1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,.... This is one of the particulars of the jeopardy and danger of life he had been in: some understand this in a figurative sense, and think that by "beasts" are meant Satan, the roaring lion, and his principalities and powers; or men of savage dispositions, persecuting principles, and cruel practices; as Herod is called a fox, by Christ, and Nero a lion, by the apostle; and suppose his fighting with them at Ephesus designs his disputations with the hardened and unbelieving Jews, his concern with exorcists, the seven sons of Sceva, and the troubles he met with through Demetrius the silversmith, and others of the same craft; the reason of such an interpretation is, because Luke makes no mention of anything of this kind, that befell the apostle in his history of the Acts of the Apostles: but to this it may be replied, that Luke does not relate everything that befell him and the rest; and his omission of this is no sufficient argument against it; besides, a literal sense not to be departed from, unless there is a necessity for it; and especially when it is suitable to the context, and to the thread and reasoning of the discourse, as it is certainly here; the literal sense best agrees with the apostle's argument. There were two sorts of usages among the Romans in their theatres; sometimes they cast men naked to the wild beasts, to be devoured by them, as wicked servants, deadly enemies, and the vilest of men (m); and so the Syriac version renders the words here, "if as among men, , "I am cast to the beasts": and seems to represent it as a supposed case, and not as matter of fact, in which the difficulty about Luke's omission is removed, and the argument in a literal sense is just and strong: sometimes they put men armed into the theatre to fight with beasts (n), and if they could conquer them and save themselves it was well, if not, they fell a prey to them; it is this last custom that is here referred to: and if regard is had to what befell thee apostle at Ephesus, when Demetrius and his craftsmen made the uproar mentioned in Acts 19:21 this could not be in reality, but only in the purpose and design of men; and certain it is, that though he was not then had to the theatre, yet Demetrius and his men intended to have hurried him there, as they did Gaius and Aristarchus his companions; and he himself was desirous of going thither, had he not been prevented by the disciples, and by the Asiarchs his friends, who had the command of the theatre where these practices were used; and then the sense is this, if after the manner of men, or in the intention and design of men, and as much as in them lay, "I have fought with beasts at Ephesus"; though if this epistle was written, as it is said to be, before that commotion by Demetrius, no respect can be had to that; but rather to something in fact before, at the same place, when the apostle did actually fight with beasts, and was wonderfully and providentially preserved; and may he what he refers to, in 2 Corinthians 1:8 when he despaired of life, had the sentence of death in himself, and yet was delivered; and then his sense is, if "after the manner of brutish men", the Romans, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus": which I was obliged to do, or deny the Gospel preached;
what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? instead of its being a glorious action, it was a fool hardy one; and if he had died in it, what profit could he have had by it, if he rose not again; or if there is no resurrection of the dead? instead of incurring such dangers, and running such risks, it would be more eligible to sit down and say with the Epicureans,
let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die; which words seem to be taken out of Isaiah 22:13 and are used in favour of the doctrine of the resurrection, showing that the denial of it opens a door to all manner of licentiousness; and are not spoken as allowing or approving of such a conduct; nor as his own words, but as representing a libertine, and pointing out what such an one would say, and might justly infer from such a tenet, that there is no resurrection of the dead.
(m) Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 3. c. 5. Tertul. Apolog. c. 40. & de Spectaculis, c. 19. (n) Tertul. de Spectaculis, c. 21. & 23. Cicero in Vatinium Orat. 32.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. Punctuate thus: "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me? If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink," &c. [Bengel]. If "merely as a man" (with the mere human hope of the present life; not with the Christian's hope of the resurrection; answering to "If the dead rise not," the parallel clause in the next sentence), I have fought with men resembling savage beasts. Heraclitus, of Ephesus, had termed his countrymen "wild beasts" four hundred years before. So Epimenides called the Cretians (Tit 1:12). Paul was still at Ephesus (1Co 16:8), and there his life was daily in danger (1Co 4:9; compare 2Co 1:8). Though the tumult (Ac 19:29, 30) had not yet taken place (for after it he set out immediately for Macedonia), this Epistle was written evidently just before it, when the storm was gathering; "many adversaries" (1Co 16:9) were already menacing him.
what advantageth it me?—seeing I have renounced all that, "as a mere man," might compensate me for such sufferings, gain, fame, &c.
let us eat, &c.—Quoted from the Septuagint, (Isa 22:13), where the prophet describes the reckless self-indulgence of the despisers of God's call to mourning, Let us enjoy the good things of life now, for it soon will end. Paul imitates the language of such skeptics, to reprove both their theory and practice. "If men but persuade themselves that they shall die like the beasts, they soon will live like beasts too" [South].
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