1 Corinthians 15:41
There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory.
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(41) For one star . . .—Better, for star differeth from star in glory. It is not only that the heavenly bodies differ from earthly, but they differ from each other—sun from moon, moon from stars. And there is a further variety still—even amid the stars themselves there is variety. The word “glory” is naturally used as intimating the aspect in which the difference of the heavenly bodies strikes us, looking at them from earth. The God who is thus not limited to a monotonous form for the substance of which Physical Nature consists, need not be in any difficulty as to some other variety of form for Human Nature beyond that which we see it confined to during its earthly life.

15:35-50 1. How are the dead raised up? that is, by what means? How can they be raised? 2. As to the bodies which shall rise. Will it be with the like shape, and form, and stature, and members, and qualities? The former objection is that of those who opposed the doctrine, the latter of curious doubters. To the first the answer is, This was to be brought about by Divine power; that power which all may see does somewhat like it, year after year, in the death and revival of the corn. It is foolish to question the Almighty power of God to raise the dead, when we see it every day quickening and reviving things that are dead. To the second inquiry; The grain undergoes a great change; and so will the dead, when they rise and live again. The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life, though how it is we cannot fully understand. The works of creation and providence daily teach us to be humble, as well as to admire the Creator's wisdom and goodness. There is a great variety among other bodies, as there is among plants. There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly state; and there will be a variety of glories among them. Burying the dead, is like committing seed to the earth, that it may spring out of it again. Nothing is more loathsome than a dead body. But believers shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness, unto all his people, by the supply of his Holy Spirit to the soul; and he will also quicken and change the body by his Spirit. The dead in Christ shall not only rise, but shall rise thus gloriously changed. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed. They will be then glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are ever afterwards to dwell. The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption. And the body follows the state of the soul. He, therefore, who neglects the life of the soul, casts away his present good; he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has.There is one glory of the sun ... - The sun has one degree of splendor, and the moon another, and so also the stars. They differ from each other in magnitude, in brightness, in beauty. The idea in this verse differs from that in the former. In that 1 Corinthians 15:40 Paul says, that there was a difference between the different classes of bodies; between those in heaven and those on earth. He here says, that in the former class, in the heavenly bodies themselves, there was a difference. They not only differed from those on earth, but they differed from each other. The sun was more splendid than the moon, and one star more beautiful than another. The idea here is, therefore, not only that the bodies of the saints in heaven shall differ from those on earth, but that they shall differ among themselves, in a sense somewhat like the difference of the splendor of the sun, the moon, and the different stars. Though all shall be unlike what they were on earth, and all shall be glorious, yet there may be a difference in that splendor and glory. The argument is, since we see so great differences in fact in the works of God, why should we doubt that he is able to make the human body different from what it is now, and to endow it with immortal and eternal perfection? 41. one glory of … sun … another … of … moon—The analogy is not to prove different degrees of glory among the blessed (whether this may be, or not, indirectly hinted at), but this: As the various fountains of light, which is so similar in its aspect and properties, differ (the sun from the moon, and the moon from the stars; and even one star from another star, though all seem so much alike); so there is nothing unreasonable in the doctrine that our present bodies differ from our resurrection bodies, though still continuing bodies. Compare the same simile, appropriate especially in the clear Eastern skies (Da 12:3; Mt 13:43). Also that of seed in the same parable (Mt 13:24; Ga 6:7, 8). Amongst the celestial bodies there is a great deal of difference with respect to the qualities; one of them is in glory much differing from another, the glory of the moon is not like the glory of the sun, and the glory of a star is much beneath the glory both of the sun and of the moon; yea, one star is more glorious than another: yet they are all bodies, though of different species and qualities. There is one glory of the sun,.... Which is the greater light, the fountain of light, and whose glory exceeds that of the other heavenly bodies:

and another glory of the moon; which is the lesser light, and receives its light from the sun, and consequently its glory is inferior:

and another glory of the stars; which though very bright and sparkling, and are innumerable, have a lesser glory, at least to our appearance, than the sun and moon: the Jews have a notion (u), that

"all the stars and the orbs are endued with a soul, and with knowledge, and understanding; and that they live, and stand, and know him that said, and the world was; and everyone of them, "according to his greatness", , "and according to his dignity", praise and glorify their Creator, as the angels; and as they know God, so they know themselves, and the angels that are above them; for the knowledge of the stars and the orbs is lesser than the knowledge of angels, and greater than the knowledge of men:''

for one star differeth from another star in glory; all which is to be understood, not as if the glory of the sun meant the glory of Christ, the sun of righteousness, who excels in glory, even in his human nature; and the glory of the moon, the glory of the church, who receives her's from Christ; and the glory of the stars; the glory of particular saints; and as if there will be, in the resurrection state, degrees of glory among them: for what peculiar glory can be thought to be upon the body of one, that is not upon another, when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father? and admitting there was any truth in this, it is not the truth of this text; the only design of which, as the above, is to show, that as not only celestial and terrestrial bodies differ from each other, but even heavenly ones, so at the resurrection, the bodies of the saints then will differ in glory from their present ones; though these are now the members of Christ, are presented to God an holy sacrifice, and are washed with pure water.

(u) Maimon. Iesode Hatorah, c. 3. sect. 11.

There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
1 Corinthians 15:41. Even amongst the σωματα ἐπουράνια there are varieties, just as amongst the ἐπίγεια (1 Corinthians 15:39), such as are indicated by the diff[2518] of aspect in the visible celestial objects: “There is one glory of sun, and another glory of moon, and another glory of stars—for star differs from star in glory”. While these luminous orbs are not to be identified with the “heavenly bodies” of 1 Corinthians 15:40 (see note), they serve to symbolise the diversity of glory amongst them; all are glorious, but in degrees.—ἄλλη, as in 1 Corinthians 15:39 (contrast 1 Corinthians 15:40), indicates diff[2519] within the same order. The frequent symbolic association of sun and stars with God, the angels, the righteous, and with the glorified Jesus, may account for the asyndetic transition from 1 Corinthians 15:40 b (signifying persons) to 1 Corinthians 15:41. From the distinctions manifest amid the common glory of the visible heavens we may conjecture corresponding distinctions in the heavenly Intelligences and in the bodies appropriate to them.

[2518] difference, different, differently.

[2519] difference, different, differently.

1 Corinthians 15:42-49. § 55. THE FIRST ADAM AND THE LAST. The Ap. has now removed à priori objections, and brought his theory of bodily resurrection within the lines of natural analogy and probability of reason. He has at the same time largely expounded it, intimating (1) that the present is, in some sense, the seed of the future body, and (2) that the two will differ as the heavenly must needs differ from the earthly. He goes on to show that this diff[2520] has its basis and pattern in the diff[2521] between the primitive Adam and the glorified Christ, who are contrasted in condition (1 Corinthians 15:42 b, 1 Corinthians 15:43), in nature (1 Corinthians 15:44 ff.), and in origin (1 Corinthians 15:47 ff.).

[2520] difference, different, differently.

[2521] difference, different, differently.41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon] The argument is pushed a step farther. The celestial bodies are not all alike. They differ in beauty and excellency. And so to all eternity it shall be true of men raised and in possession of their heavenly bodies, that ‘one star differeth from another star in glory.’ So Chrysostom on 1 Corinthians 15:38. “Augustine elegantly says, ‘splendor dispar: cœlum commune.’ ” Wordsworth. An erroneous interpretation of St Matthew 20:10 has led some to the conclusion that all rewards shall be exactly alike in the world to come. As the Apostle here shews, the analogy of nature makes against this in every way. And the passage just cited has reference not to the equality of rewards, but of the principle on which such rewards are given. The labourer is rewarded, not for length of service, but for the spirit in which that service has been rendered.1 Corinthians 15:41. Ἀστὴρ γὰρ, for one star) For intensive. Not only have the stars a glory differing from that of the sun and moon, but also, what is more to the point, one star often surpasses another star in brightness. There is no star, no glorious body that has not some decided point of difference from another.Verse 41. - There is one glory of the sun. "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun" (Matthew 13:43). The point of the illustration is the difference between the earthly and the resurrection body; not the supposed differences between the saints themselves in glory. This is not a question under consideration, and St. Paul, as we have seen, is not in the habit of mixing up half a dozen different questions in the same immediate argument. St. Augustine says of the saints, "Their splendour is unequal; their heaven is one." This may be very true, but to deduce it from this verse is to press into the argument an illustration used for another purpose. Tertullian's comment is very unhappy. He makes "men" mean servants of God; "beasts," Gentiles; "birds," martyrs; "fishes," those who have been baptized; the "sun," Christ; the "moon," the Church, etc. One star differeth from another star in glory. All the righteous shall shine as "the brightness of the firmament and ... as the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3), and their future bodies shall differ from their present, as one star differs from another. Glory (δόξα)

Lustre; beauty of form and color.

"As heaven's high twins, whereof in Tyrian blue

The one revolveth, through his course immense

Might love his fellow of the damask hue,

For like and difference."

" - the triple whirl

Of blue and red and argent worlds that mount


Or float across the tube that Herschel sways,

Like pale-rose chaplets, or like sapp'hire mist,

Or hang or droop along the heavenly ways,

Like scarves of amethyst."

Jean Ingelow, "Honors."


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