|New International Version (©2011)|
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Instead, I sometimes think God has put us apostles on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor's parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world--to people and angels alike.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: We have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men.
International Standard Version (©2012)
For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display in last place, like men condemned to death. We have become a spectacle for the world, for angels, and for people to stare at.
NET Bible (©2006)
For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to die, because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to people.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
For I suppose that God has appointed us Apostles at last, as for death, that we would be a stage play for the universe, for Angels and for men.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
As I see it, God has placed us apostles last in line, like people condemned to die. We have become a spectacle for people and angels to look at.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
American King James Version
For I think that God has set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
American Standard Version
For, I think, God hath set forth us the apostles last of all, as men doomed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, both to angels and men.
For I think that God hath set forth us apostles, the last, as it were men appointed to death: we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
Darby Bible Translation
For I think that God has set us the apostles for the last, as appointed to death. For we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men.
English Revised Version
For, I think, God hath set forth us the apostles last of all, as men doomed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.
Webster's Bible Translation
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle to the world, and to angels, and to men.
Weymouth New Testament
God, it seems to me, has exhibited us Apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; for we have come to be a spectacle to all creation--alike to angels and to men.
World English Bible
For, I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last of all, like men sentenced to death. For we are made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men.
Young's Literal Translation
for I think that God did set forth us the apostles last -- as appointed to death, because a spectacle we became to the world, and messengers, and men;
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:7-13 We have no reason to be proud; all we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. A sinner snatched from destruction by sovereign grace alone, must be very absurd and inconsistent, if proud of the free gifts of God. St. Paul sets forth his own circumstances, ver. 9. Allusion is made to the cruel spectacles in the Roman games; where men were forced to cut one another to pieces, to divert the people; and where the victor did not escape with his life, though he should destroy his adversary, but was only kept for another combat, and must be killed at last. The thought that many eyes are upon believers, when struggling with difficulties or temptations, should encourage constancy and patience. We are weak, but ye are strong. All Christians are not alike exposed. Some suffer greater hardships than others. The apostle enters into particulars of their sufferings. And how glorious the charity and devotion that carried them through all these hardships! They suffered in their persons and characters as the worst and vilest of men; as the very dirt of the world, that was to be swept away: nay, as the offscouring of all things, the dross of all things. And every one who would be faithful in Christ Jesus, must be prepared for poverty and contempt. Whatever the disciples of Christ suffer from men, they must follow the example, and fulfil the will and precepts of their Lord. They must be content, with him and for him, to be despised and abused. It is much better to be rejected, despised, and ill used, as St. Paul was, than to have the good opinion and favour of the world. Though cast off by the world as vile, yet we may be precious to God, gathered up with his own hand, and placed upon his throne.
Verse 9. - For. This word shows how different was the reality. Hath set forth; displayed as on a stage (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Us the apostles. St. Paul identifies them with himself; but undoubtedly he had "laboured more abundantly than they all." Last. Servants of all; in the lowest circumstances of humiliation (comp. Mark 9:35). The apostles. Not the twelve only, but those who might be called apostles in a wider sense, who shared the same afflictions (Hebrews 10:33). As it were appointed to death. This daily doom is referred to by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:30, 31; 2 Corinthians 4:11; Romans 8:36. Tertullian renders the word "veluti bestiaries," like criminals condemned to the wild beasts ('De Pudicit.,' 14). But the day had not yet come when Christians were to hear so often the terrible cry, "Christianos ad leones!" A spectacle; literally, a theatre. The same metaphor is used in Hebrews 10:33. To angels. The word, when used without an epithet, always means good angels, who are here supposed to look down in sympathy (comp. Hebrews 12:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last,.... Meaning either in time, in respect to the prophets and patriarchs under the former dispensation; and to the apostles, who were sent forth by Christ when on earth; when he, and Barnabas, and others, had received their mission since his ascension; or in state and condition, who though they were set in the first place in the church, yet were the least in the esteem of men; and were treated as the most mean, vile, and abject of creatures; were set or showed forth to public view, and made a gazing stock by reproaches and afflictions. And
as it were appointed to death; were continually exposed unto it; were in death oft, always carrying about with them the dying of the Lord Jesus; and were all the day long killed for his sake; all which the apostle not only thought, but believed, were not casual things, fortuitous events, but the determinations and appointments of God; and were brought about in his wise providence to answer some valuable ends, which made him the more easy under them, and reconciled unto them.
For we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. The word translated "spectacle" signifies a "theatre"; and the allusion is to the Roman theatres, in which various exercises were performed, for the gratification of the numerous spectators, who were placed around in a proper distance to behold; and not so much to the gladiators who fought, in such places, for the diversion of the multitude, as to those unhappy persons who were cast to the wild beasts, let loose upon them to devour them; which horrid barbarities were beheld by the surrounding company with great pleasure and satisfaction; and such a spectacle were the apostles in their sufferings and persecutions to the "whole" world, distinguished into "angels" and "men". By "angels" may be meant the devils, who stirred up the princes of this world against the apostles, to persecute and afflict them; than which nothing was a greater pleasure to these envious and malicious spirits: though good angels may be also included, as witnesses of the faith, courage, and constancy of the saints, and as comforters of them in all their tribulations; but evil angels seem chiefly designed: and by "men" are meant wicked men, who are as much pleased to behold the barbarities and butcheries committed upon the people of God, as the Romans in their theatres were to see the tragical scenes that were acted there.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. For—assigning the reason for desiring that the "reign" of himself and his fellow apostles with the Corinthians were come; namely, the present afflictions of the former.
I think—The Corinthians (1Co 3:18) "seemed" to (literally, as here, "thought") themselves "wise in this world." Paul, in contrast, "thinks" that God has sent forth him and his fellow ministers "last," that is, the lowest in this world. The apostles fared worse than even the prophets, who, though sometimes afflicted, were often honored (2Ki 1:10; 5:9; 8:9, 12).
set forth—as a spectacle or gazing-stock.
us the apostles—Paul includes Apollos with the apostles, in the broader sense of the word; so Ro 16:7; 2Co 8:23 (Greek for "messengers," apostles).
as it were appointed to death—as criminals condemned to die.
made a spectacle—literally, "a theatrical spectacle." So the Greek in Heb 10:33, "made a gazing-stock by reproaches and afflictions." Criminals "condemned to die," in Paul's time, were exhibited as a gazing-stock to amuse the populace in the amphitheater. They were "set forth last" in the show, to fight with wild beasts. This explains the imagery of Paul here. (Compare Tertullian [On Modesty, 14]).
the world—to the whole world, including "both angels and men"; "the whole family in heaven and earth" (Eph 3:15). As Jesus was "seen of angels" (1Ti 3:16), so His followers are a spectacle to the holy angels who take a deep interest in all the progressive steps of redemption (Eph 3:10; 1Pe 1:12). Paul tacitly implies that though "last" and lowest in the world's judgment, Christ's servants are deemed by angels a spectacle worthy of their most intense regard [Chrysostom]. However, since "the world" is a comprehensive expression, and is applied in this Epistle to the evil especially (1Co 1:27, 28), and since the spectators (in the image drawn from the amphitheater) gaze at the show with savage delight, rather than with sympathy for the sufferers, I think bad angels are included, besides good angels. Estius makes the bad alone to be meant. But the generality of the term "angels," and its frequent use in a good sense, as well as Eph 3:10; 1Pe 1:12, incline me to include good as well as bad angels, though, for the reasons stated above, the bad may be principally meant.
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