|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:51-58 All the saints should not die, but all would be changed. In the gospel, many truths, before hidden in mystery, are made known. Death never shall appear in the regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. Therefore let us seek the full assurance of faith and hope, that in the midst of pain, and in the prospect of death, we may think calmly on the horrors of the tomb; assured that our bodies will there sleep, and in the mean time our souls will be present with the Redeemer. Sin gives death all its hurtful power. The sting of death is sin; but Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting; he has made atonement for sin, he has obtained remission of it. The strength of sin is the law. None can answer its demands, endure its curse, or do away his own transgressions. Hence terror and anguish. And hence death is terrible to the unbelieving and the impenitent. Death may seize a believer, but it cannot hold him in its power. How many springs of joy to the saints, and of thanksgiving to God, are opened by the death and resurrection, the sufferings and conquests of the Redeemer! In verse 58, we have an exhortation, that believers should be stedfast, firm in the faith of that gospel which the apostle preached, and they received. Also, to be unmovable in their hope and expectation of this great privilege, of being raised incorruptible and immortal. And to abound in the work of the Lord, always doing the Lord's service, and obeying the Lord's commands. May Christ give us faith, and increase our faith, that we may not only be safe, but joyful and triumphant.
Verse 54. - Death is swallowed up in victory. A free citation from the Hebrew of Isaiah 25:8. The words "into victory" are the LXX. rendering in other passages (Amos 1:11; Amos 8:8) for the Hebrew lanetsach, forever. The metaphor, "is swallowed up," implying "the swallowing of the all swallower," is found in the rabbis (comp. Hebrews 2:14, 15).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption,.... As at the coming of Christ, both the bodies of living saints, and of dead ones being raised, will: and this
mortal shall have put on immortality; which will be the case, in the resurrection morn:
then shall be brought to pass that saying that is written; then that passage will have its full accomplishment, which stands in Isaiah 25:8 where it is read,
he will swallow up death in victory, or "for ever". That is, the Messiah shall by his death, and resurrection from the dead, obtain such an entire victory over death, not only for himself, but for all his people, that in the resurrection morn, when they will be all raised from the dead, death will be so swallowed up, that it will be no more: the Jews acknowledge that this prophecy belongs to the times of the Messiah; so they say (p), that
"the Messiah shall descend from Pharez, and in his day the holy blessed God will cause death to be swallowed up, as it is said, Isaiah 25:8 "he shall swallow up death in victory":''
and again (q),
"when the King Messiah comes, the holy blessed God will raise up those that sleep in the dust, as it is written, he shall swallow up death in victory:''
they also say (r), that this passage refers to future time, and to the world to come. The prophet expresses it actively, it being a prediction of what was to be done by the Messiah; the apostle cites it passively, as being accomplished by him after the resurrection, and considered as a part of the song sung by the risen saints; to which is added,
(p) Shemot Rabba, sect. 20. fol. 131. 4. (q) Zohar in Gen. fol. 73. 1.((r) Zohar in, Exod. fol. 108. 1, 2, 4. Misn. Moed Katon. c. 3. sect. 9. Zohar iu Lev. fol. 46. 3. Yade Mose in Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 20. 1. Echa Rabbati, fol. 48. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
54. then—not before. Death has as yet a sting even to the believer, in that his body is to be under its power till the resurrection. But then the sting and power of death shall cease for ever.
Death is swallowed up in victory—In Hebrew of Isa 25:8, from which it is quoted, "He (Jehovah) will swallow up death in victory"; that is, for ever: as "in victory" often means in Hebrew idiom (Jer 3:5; La 5:20). Christ will swallow it up so altogether victoriously that it shall never more regain its power (compare Ho 6:2; 13:14; 2Co 5:4; Heb 2:14, 15; Re 20:14; 21:4).
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