1 Corinthians 15:24
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
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(24-28) When he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father.—The Apostle carries on the thought of a triumph which the use of the word “troop” in the previous verse had commenced or suggested. There rises before the prophetic vision of St. Paul the final triumph of Christ over all evil, over all power, and the Son giving up to the Father (not His humanity, which is “for ever and ever”—Luke 1:32-33) the kingdom of this world, which in His humanity He conquered for the Father as well as for Himself. He will, the moment He becomes conqueror, sit down with the Father on His throne. Christ laying the spoils of a conquered world at the foot of the throne of the Father, shows, by that supreme act of self-sacrifice, that in His office as Redeemer He came, not to do His own will, but the will of the Father. In this sense the Son Himself, as Redeemer, is “put under Him”—God is all in all. We must clearly remember that the Apostle is here speaking of the Son as Redeemer, and is not penetrating into the deeper mysteries of the relation of the Persons in the Godhead. (See John 17:5; Hebrews 1:8.)

(24) All rule and all authority and power.Not only hostile rule and authority and power, but all intermediate rule of any sort, good and bad. The direct government by God of all creatures is to be at last attained. All the interventions of authority and power which the fall of man rendered necessary will be needless when the complete triumph of Christ comes in. Thus Humanity, having for ages shared the condition of fallen Adam, will be finally restored to the state of unfallen Adam. Man will see God, and be ruled by God face to face.

1 Corinthians 15:24. Then — After the resurrection and the general judgment; cometh the end — Of the world, the grand period of all those wonderful scenes that have appeared for so many succeeding generations; when he shall — Publicly and solemnly; have delivered up — Greek, οταν παραδω, when he shall deliver up; the mediatorial kingdom to God, even the Father — By whose commission he had held it, and to whose glory he had always administered it; when he shall have put down Οταν καταργηση, when he shall have destroyed all adverse rule, authority, and power — That had opposed itself to his government, and shall have triumphed over all the efforts which either men or devils could ever make against his dominion. This mediatorial kingdom which Christ will deliver up, is represented, Matthew 28:18, to be his possessing all power in heaven and in earth; “that is, power over angels as well as over men. This kingdom our Lord received in the human nature, as the reward of his humiliation, and was solemnly installed in it after his resurrection, when he ascended into heaven, and was invited by God to sit at his right hand till he should make his enemies his footstool. Further, because it is said, Colossians 1:17, He is before all things, and by him all things consist; and because we are told, Hebrews 1:3, that the Son, while he spake the gospel, upheld all things by the word of his power; it is believed, that besides the mediatorial kingdom which the Son administered in the human nature, and which he will deliver up to the Father after the judgment, he possessed the government of the universe from the beginning, in his character as Creator: and that, after the mediatorial kingdom is delivered up, the kingdom which he holds as Creator, will remain with him as from the beginning. So that after the judgment, the righteous shall enter still into the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ, as they are represented to do, 2 Peter 1:11.” — Macknight. Indeed, the divine reign, both of the Father and the Son, is from everlasting to everlasting. And only so far as the Father gave the kingdom to the Son, shall the Son deliver it up to the Father, John 13:3. Nor does the Father cease to reign when he gives it to the Son, neither the Son when he delivers it to the Father; but the glory which he had before the world began, (John 17:5; Hebrews 1:8,) will remain even after that is delivered up. Nor will he cease to be a king even in his human nature, Luke 1:33. If the citizens of the New Jerusalem shall reign for ever, (Revelation 22:5,) how much more shall he!

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.Then cometh the end - Then is the end; or then "is" the consummation. It does not mean that the end, or consummation is to "follow" that event; but that this "will" be the ending, the winding up, the consummation of the affairs under the mediatorial reign of Christ. The word "end" (τέλος telos) denotes properly a limit, termination, completion of anything. The proper and obvious meaning of the word here is, that then shall be the end or completion of the work of redemption. That shall have been done which was intended to be done by the incarnation and the work of the atonement; the race shall be redeemed; the friends of God shall be completely recovered; and the administration of the affairs of the universe shall be conducted as they were before the incarnation of the Redeemer. Some understand the word "end" here, however, as a metaphor, meaning "the "last," or the rest of the dead;" but this is a forced and improbable interpretation. The word end here may refer to the end of human affairs, or the end of the kingdoms of this world, or it may refer to the ends of the mediatorial kingdom of the Redeemer; the consummation of his special reign and work resulting in the surrender of the kingdom to the Father. The connection demands the last interpretation, though this involves also the former.

When he shall have delivered up - (παραδῷ paradō). This word means properly to give "near, with," or "to" anyone; to give over, to deliver up - Robinson. It is applied to the act of delivering up "persons" to the power or authority of others, as e. g. to magistrates for trial, and condemnation, Matthew 5:25; Mark 15:1; Luke 20:20; to lictors, or soldiers, for punishment Matthew 18:24; or to one's enemies, Matthew 26:15. It is applied also to persons or things delivered over or surrendered to do or suffer anything, Acts 15:26; 1 Corinthians 13:3; Ephesians 4:19. It is also applied to persons or things delivered over to the care, charge, or supervision of anyone, in the sense of giving up, entrusting, committing, Matthew 11:27; Matthew 25:14; Luke 4:6, Luke 4:10, Luke 4:22. Here the obvious sense is that of surrendering, giving back, delivering up, rendering up that which had been received, implying that an important trust had been received, which was now to be rendered back. And according to this interpretation, it means:

(1) That the Lord Jesus had received or been entrusted with an important power or office as mediator; compare the note on Matthew 18:18.

(2) that he had executed the purpose implied in that trust or commission; and,

(3) That he was now rendering back to God that office or authority which he had received at his hands.

As the work had been accomplished which had been contemplated in his design; as there would be no further necessity for mediation when redemption should have been made, and his church recovered from sin and brought to glory; there would be no further need of that special arrangement which had been implied in the work of redemption, and, of course, all the entrustment of power involved in that would be again restored to the hands of God. The idea, says Grotius, is, that he would deliver up the kingdom as the governors of provinces render again or deliver up their commission and authority to the Caesars who appointed them. There is no absurdity in this view. For "if" the world was to be redeemed, it was necessary that the Redeemer should be entrusted with power sufficient for his work. When that work was done, and there was no further need of that special exercise of power, then it would be proper that it should be restored, or that the government of God should be administered as it was before the work of redemption was undertaken; that the Divinity, or the Godhead, as such, should preside over the destinies of the universe. Of course, it will not follow that the Second Person of the Trinity will surrender "all" power, or "cease" to exercise government. It will be that power only which he had as Mediator; and whatever part in the administration of the government of the universe he shared as divine before the incarnation, he will still share, with the additional "glory" and "honor" of having redeemed a world by his death.

The kingdom - This word means properly dominion, reign, the exercise of kingly power. In the New Testament it means commonly the reign of the Messiah, or the dominion which God would exercise through the Messiah; the reign of God over people by the laws and institutions of the Messiah; see the note on Matthew 3:2. Here it means, I think, evidently, dominion in general. It cannot denote the peculiar administration over the world involved in the work of mediation, for that will be ended; but it means that the empire, the sovereignty, shall have been delivered up to God. His enemies shall have been subdued. His power shall have been asserted. The authority of God shall have been established, and the kingdom, or the dominion, shall be in the hands of God himself; and he shall reign, not in the special form which existed in the work of mediation, but absolutely, and as he did over obedient minds before the incarnation.

To God - To God "as" God; to the Divinity. The Mediator shall have given up the special power and rule as Mediator, and it shall be exercised by God as God.

Even the Father - And (καὶ kai) the Father. The word "Father," as applied to God in the Scriptures, is used in two senses - to designate "the" Father, the first person of the Trinity as distinguished from the Son; and in a broader, wider sense, to denote God as sustaining the relation of a Father to his creatures; as the Father of all. Instances of this use are too numerous to be here particularly referred to. It is in this latter sense, perhaps, that the word is used here - not to denote that the second person of the Trinity is to surrender all power into the hands of the first, or that he is to cease to exercise dominion and control; but that the power is to be yielded into the hands of God as God, that is, as the universal Father, as the Divinity, without being exercised in any special and special manner by the different persons of the Godhead, as had been done in the work of redemption. At the close of the work of redemption this "peculiar" arrangement would cease; and God, as the universal Father and Ruler of all, would exercise the government of the world; see, however, see the note on 1 Corinthians 15:28.

When he shall have put down - When he shall have "abolished," or brought to nothing, all that opposed the reign of God.

All rule ... - All those mighty powers that opposed God and resisted his reign. The words used here do not seem intended to denote the several departments or forms of opposition, but to be general terms, meaning that whatever opposed God should be subdued. They include, of course, the kingdoms of this world; the sins, pride, and corruption of the human heart; the powers of darkness - the spiritual dominions that oppose God on earth, and in hell; and death and the grave. All shalt be completely subdued, and cease to interpose any obstacles to the advancement of his kingdom and to his universal reign. A monarch reigns when all his enemies are subdued or destroyed; or when they are prevented from opposing his will, even though all should not voluntarily submit to his will. The following remarks of Prof. Bush present a plausible and ingenious view of this difficult passage, and they are, therefore, subjoined here. "If the opinion of the eminent critic, Storr, may be admitted, that the kingdom here said to be delivered up to the Father is not the kingdom of Christ, but the rule and dominion of all adverse power - an opinion rendered very probable by the following words: "when he shall have "put down" (Greek: "done away, abolished") all rule, and all authority and power," and 1 Corinthians 15:25, "till he hath put all "enemies" under his feet" - then is the passage of identical import with Revelation 11:15, referring to precisely the same period: "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever. It is, therefore, we conceive, but a special mode of denoting the "transfer," the "making over" of the kingdoms of this world from their former despotic and antichristian rulers to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, the appointed heir and head of all things, whose kingdom is to be everlasting.

If this interpretation be correct, we are prepared to advance a step further, and suggest that the phrase, "he shall have delivered up" (Greek, παραδῷ paradō), be understood as an instance of the idiom in which the verb is used without any personal nominative, but has reference to the "purpose of God as expressed in the Scriptures;" so that the passage may be read," Then cometh the end (that is, not the close, the final winding up, but the perfect development, expansion, completion, consummation of the divine plans in regard to this world), when the prophetic announcements of the Scriptures require the delivering up (that is, the making over) of all adverse dominion into the hands of the Messiah, to whose supremacy we are taught to expect that everything will finally be made subject" - "Illustrations of Scripture." A more extended examination of this difficult passage may be seen in Storr's Opuscula, vol. i. pp. 274-282. See also Biblical Repository, vol. 3:pp. 748-755.

24. Then—after that: next in the succession of "orders" or "ranks."

the end—the general resurrection, and final judgment and consummation (Mt 25:46).

delivered up … kingdom to … Father—(Compare Joh 13:3). Seeming at variance with Da 7:14, "His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away." Really, His giving up of the mediatorial kingdom to the Father, when the end for which the mediatorial economy was established has been accomplished, is altogether in harmony with its continuing everlastingly. The change which shall then take place, shall be in the manner of administration, not in the kingdom itself; God shall then come into direct connection with the earth, instead of mediatorially, when Christ shall have fully and finally removed everything that severs asunder the holy God and a sinful earth (Col 1:20). The glory of God is the final end of Christ's mediatorial office (Php 2:10, 11). His co-equality with the Father is independent of the latter, and prior to it, and shall, therefore, continue when its function shall have ceased. His manhood, too, shall everlastingly continue, though, as now, subordinate to the Father. The throne of the Lamb (but no longer mediatorial) as well as of God, shall be in the heavenly city (Re 22:3; compare Re 3:21). The unity of the Godhead, and the unity of the Church, shall be simultaneously manifested at Christ's second coming. Compare Zep 3:9; Zec 14:9; Joh 17:21-24. The oldest manuscripts for "shall have delivered up," read, "delivereth up," which suits the sense better. It is "when He shall have put down all rule," that "He delivereth up the kingdom to the Father."

shall have put down all rule—the effect produced during the millennary reign of Himself and His saints (Ps 110:1; 8:6; 2:6-9), to which passages Paul refers, resting his argument on the two words, "all" and "until," of the Psalmist: a proof of verbal inspiration of Scripture (compare Re 2:26, 27). Meanwhile, He "rules in the midst of His enemies" (Ps 110:2). He is styled "the King" when He takes His great power (Mt 25:34; Re 11:15, 17). The Greek for "put down" is, "done away with," or "brought to naught." "All" must be subject to Him, whether openly opposed powers, as Satan and his angels, or kings and angelic principalities (Eph 1:21).

Then cometh the end; the end of all the miseries and afflictions which believers meet with in this life, or the end of all our preaching and ministry, the end of the world, or the end of man; or rather, (as the next words seem to interpret it), the end of that mediatory kingdom of Christ, which he now administereth instead of his Father, and shall manage to the end of the world.

When he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father: Christ shall then deliver up those keys of life, and hell, and death to his Father, yet shall not Christ’s kingdom cease (for the prophet saith, Isaiah 9:7, that of it there shall be no end): Christ’s essential kingdom, which is his dominion, which he hath and exerciseth over all created beings, together with his Father, and the Holy Spirit, (all being but one Divine essence), that shall hold and abide for ever; but his mediatory kingdom, by which he ruleth over his church in the midst of his enemies, that shall cease, and be delivered up unto the Father. So that Christ’s delivering up the kingdom to his Father, proveth no inferiority of Christ to his Father, more than his Father’s committing that mediatory kingdom to him can prove his Father’s not reigning, or inferiority to him, which it certainly doth not. It signifieth only the ceasing of that dispensation, or Christ’s exercise of his mediatory kingdom on earth, in the rule and government of the church, and subduing his and his people’s enemies.

When he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power; then shall all rule and authority of kings and princes of the earth cease, and all the ministration of good angels, and power of evil angels; so shall all ministrations and governments in the church militant here on earth, and all those that are the enemies of the church shall be subdued and brought under.

Then cometh the end,.... Or "after that the end", the end of all things; either at the close of the thousand years, when the wicked dead will be raised last, and the final state of all men will openly take place; the end of the righteous will be peace and everlasting joy, and an uninterrupted communion with Christ, and enjoyment of life eternal, of the ultimate glory, and consummate happiness in soul and body; and the end of the wicked will be destruction and death, everlasting punishment in hell, where will be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth for evermore: or at the beginning of the thousand years; immediately upon Christ's second and personal coming, will be the end of the world; the heavens shall pass away, the elements shall melt, and the earth and all its works be burnt up; though these shall not be annihilated or destroyed, as to their being and substance, but only as to their present form and qualities; they shall be renewed, out of them shall arise new heavens, and a new earth, whereon righteous persons, and only righteous persons, will dwell, even all the righteous that will be raised at Christ's coming, or shall then be bound alive, where they shall reign with him during the thousand years; and then there wilt be an end of preaching the Gospel, and of administering ordinances, there being no more elect souls to be gathered in; nor will saints stand in need of edification and comfort from such means; then will also be the end, the accomplishment of all the purposes, promises, and prophecies of God, relating to the state and condition of his church and people in all the periods of time, and to their complete glory and happiness; the number of God's elect in regeneration, sanctification, and glorification will now be complete, the saints will be all perfected, and the church be as a bride prepared and adorned for her husband; and their salvation in soul and body consummate, there wilt be nothing wanting; then that which is perfect will be come, their bodies being raised and reunited to their souls, and both with the Lord: so the word "end" denotes the accomplishment, completion, and perfection of things; see Luke 22:37. Moreover, there will now be an end of all sin and sorrow of the saints; of all troubles and afflictions, inward or outward, and of death itself; and also of the kingdom of Christ, in its present form and manner of administration: the kingdom or church of Christ will not consist then of nominal and real Christians, of foolish and wise virgins, hypocrites and saints, but only of the latter; nor will it be governed by such laws and ordinances as now; nor will these be in the hands of such officers, as pastors and teachers, as at present, who are appointed to explain, enforce, and execute them: and this end of all things at the coming of Christ, will be

when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; not the kingdom of nature, which he has as the Son of God, as God equal with the Father, in right of nature, and upon the foot of creation, all being made by him; and which kingdom reaches to all creatures, angels, and men; this he did not receive from his Father, nor is he in it subordinate to him, but rules and works conjunctly with him in it; nor is he accountable to him in the administration of it; nor will he ever deliver it up to him: nor the kingdom of glory, which was prepared for the saints from the foundation of the world, is freely given to them by their Father, which they are called unto, and have a meetness for it, and a right unto it; this Christ has in his hands for them, and will not deliver it up to his Father, but introduce the heirs of it into it, quickly upon his coming; but the mediatorial kingdom is here meant, the kingdom of saints, over which Christ is appointed and set as King; even the whole church and general assembly of the firstborn, written in heaven. These were all given to Christ, put into his hands, and made his care and charge by his Father; and he undertook to preserve, protect, and save them; and had, as Mediator, all power in heaven and in earth, and everything subservient to support his kingdom and interest as such, given him; and he has been from the beginning of the world ruling in the midst of his enemies, subduing the people under him, and causing his people in the day of his power to be willing to serve him; writing his laws in their hearts, putting his Spirit within them, to cause them to walk in his statutes and keep his judgments; saving them out of the hands of their enemies, protecting and keeping them in safety, and providing every good thing for them; and continually delivering one or another of them from the power of darkness, and translating them into his own kingdom; and now having completed the number of them, in whose hearts he has reigned by his Spirit and grace, he will deliver them up to the Father from whom he received them; even everyone of them; all the children he gave unto him, and all of them; their bodies as well as their souls being now raised from the dead, as it was his Father's declared will they should be, when he gave them to him; and they will be delivered up and presented by him to his Father, perfectly holy, entirely faultless, and without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing: and now this does not suppose that he will then cease to reign over his church and people; for, as the Father is the everlasting King, and reigned in and over the church, whilst this kingdom was in the hands of Christ, so Christ will continue to reign over it, when he shall have delivered it to the Father; he will no more cease to reign then, than the Father does, during the present administration of the government of the church; Christ will then be so far from ceasing to reign, that he will reign more visibly and gloriously than ever, though in a different manner to what he does now; now he rules over his people in the midst of his enemies, but then he will rule in the midst of his saints; now he reigns in their hearts by his Spirit, and through the use of the word and ordinances, but then he will reign in person among them, displaying the glory of his majesty, without the use of such means, signs, and symbols. Nor does this imply any inferiority in Christ, as God, to the Father; since this is to be understood of him as Mediator, who as such is the Father's servant, and a righteous and faithful one he is, who will give a good account of the persons committed to his care and government, and of his administration; and in which sense it will be allowed the Father is greater than he; but this no way militates against his proper deity, and equality with the Father. The Ethiopic version, contrary to all copies and other versions, reads, "when God the Father shall have delivered up his own kingdom". The Jews (h) speak of

"ten kings that have ruled, from one end of the world to another; the first King is the holy and blessed God, the second Nimrod, the third Joseph, the fourth Solomon, the fifth Ahab, the sixth Nebuchadnezzar, the seventh Cyrus, the eighth Alexander the Macedonian, the ninth will be the King Messiah, according to Daniel 2:35 and of the tenth King they say, "then shall the kingdom return to its author"; or to him that was the first King, and he shall be the last; as is said, Isaiah 44:6.''

and this will be,

when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power; which since it is expressed in such universal terms, may very well be thought to reach to, and include all sort of rule, authority, and power whatever; when this time and state of things take place, all civil rule, authority, and power, will cease; even that which is now of God, and to which we are to be subject for the Lord's sake, and for conscience sake; and which is now encouraged and supported by Christ, by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice; this will be pulled down and utterly destroyed by him, the stone cast out of the mountain without hands; when the kingdom and the greatness of it will be given to him and to his saints; when the kings and princes of the earth will be no more, have no more rule and authority among men, but be upon a level with the meanest peasants, and shall be brought to the tribunal of Christ, and be judged by him: then also will all ecclesiastical rule, authority, and power be laid aside; there will be no more apostles, prophets, evangelists, nor bishops, elders, pastors, and teachers; who are now set over the churches in the Lord, to rule them according to the laws of Christ, by ministering the word faithfully, and administering the ordinances truly; and to whom when they rule well, subjection and honour are due; but all this will be no more, when the end comes, and the kingdom is delivered to the Father: nor will there be any more domestic, or family rule and government, as of the husband over the wife, the parent over the child, or the master over the servant; all will be upon an equal foot: nor any angelical authority and power, which angels may now exercise under God, over kingdoms, provinces, states, or particular persons: and especially all diabolical rule, authority, and power will be abolished, which Satan has usurped, or has been given him by men, as the god of this world; he, the prince of the world, was cast out through Christ's death, and by the preaching of the Gospel in the Gentile world; his principalities and powers were then spoiled and triumphed over; though he has still retained some sort and show of government, but then there will not be the least appearance of any; during the thousand years he will be cast into and shut up in the bottomless pit, and not suffered to go out and deceive the nations any more; and at the end thereof, though he will make one and his last onset, on the city of the saints, it will be fruitless, and he and all his shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, and there lie in torment for ever and ever: not the persons of these several powers shall be destroyed, but they shall be divested of the power and authority which they now have, either by right or usurpation.

(h) Pirke Eliezer, c. 11.

{14} Then cometh the {h} end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down {i} all rule and all authority and power.

(14) The fourth argument with which also he confirms the other, has a most sure ground, that is, because God must reign. And this is the manner of his reign, that the Father will be shown to be King in his Son who was made man, to whom all things are made subject (the promiser being the only exception) to the end that the Father may afterward triumph in his Son the conqueror. And he makes two parts of this reign and dominion of the Son in which the Father's glory consists: that is first, the overcoming of his enemies, in which some must be deprived of all power, as Satan and all the wicked, be they ever so proud and mighty, and others must be utterly abolished, as death. And second, a plain and full delivery of the godly from all enemies, that by this means God may fully set forth the body of the Church cleaving fast to their head Christ, his kingdom and glory, as a King among his subjects. Moreover he puts the first degree of his kingdom in the resurrection of the Son, who is the head: and the perfection, in the full conjunction of the members with the head, which will be in the latter day. Now all these tend to this purpose, to show that unless the dead do rise again, neither the Father can be King above all, neither Christ the Lord of all. For neither should the power of Satan and death be overcome, nor the glory of God be full in his Son, nor his Son in his members.

(h) The conclusion and finishing of all things.

(i) All his enemies who will be robbed of all the power that they have.

1 Corinthians 15:24. Εἶτα τὸ τέλος] sc. ἔσται. Then shall the end be, namely, as is clear from the whole context, the end of the resurrection. Bengel puts it aptly: “correlatum primitiarum” (comp. Matthew 24:14, where τὸ τέλος is correlative with ἀρχή in 1 Corinthians 15:8, also Mark 13:7; Mark 13:9); although Christ is only the first-fruits of the believers, He is nevertheless at the same time the beginning of all. According to Paul, therefore, the order of the resurrection is this: (1) it has begun already with Christ Himself; (2) at Christ’s return to establish His kingdom the Christians shall be raised up; (3) thereafter—how soon, however, or how long after the Parousia, is not said[46]—sets in the last act of the resurrection, its close, which, as is now self-evident after what has gone before, applies to the non-Christians[47]. These too shall, it is plain, be judged (1 Corinthians 6:2, 1 Corinthians 11:32), of which their resurrection is the necessary premiss (in opposition to Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 430 f.). Paul has thus conjoined the doctrine of Judaism regarding a twofold resurrection (Bertholdt, Christol. pp. 176 ff., 203 ff.) with the Christian faith, in accordance with the example of Christ Himself (see on Luke 14:14; John 5:29). The majority of interpreters after Chrysostom (including Reiche, Ewald, Maier) understand τὸ τέλος of the end of the present age of the world,[48] the final consummation (Weiss), the closing issue of things (Luthardt, v. d. letzten Dingen, p. 127), which includes also the resurrection of all men. In connection with this Rückert thinks (comp. Kling, p. 505) that εἶτα indicates the immediate following, one upon the other, of the ἀνάστασις and the ΤΈΛΟς; Olshausen, again, that Paul conceived the thousand years of the Messianic kingdom to come in between the Parousia and the ΤΈΛΟς, and the resurrection of the non-Christians to be joined together with the ΤΈΛΟς. But against the latter view it may be urged that, according to the constant doctrine of the New Testament (apart from Revelation 20), with the Parousia there sets in the finis hujus saeculi, so that the Parousia itself is the terminal point of the pre-Messianic, and the commencing-point of the future, world-period (Matthew 24:3, al.; Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 344). Against the former view it may be decisively urged, that εἶτα τὸ τέλος in the assumed sense would be inappropriate here, where the order of the resurrection is stated and is begun with ἀπαρχή; further, that Paul would not have given, in any proper sense at all, the promised order of succession, whether we take ΠΆΝΤΕς, 1 Corinthians 15:22, simply of believers or correctly of all in general. For in the former case there could be no mention at all of several τάγματα (see on 1 Corinthians 15:22); and in the latter case Paul would have passed over in silence the very greatest ΤΆΓΜΑ of all, that of those who died non-Christians. But how complete and self-consistent everything is, if ἈΠΑΡΧΉ is the beginning, ἜΠΕΙΤΑ ΟἹ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ the second act, and ΕἾΤΑ ΤῸ ΤΈΛΟς the last act of the same transaction! So in substance among the old interpreters, Theodoret and Oecumenius, later Cajetanus, Bengel, Jehne, de resurrect. carn. Alton. 1788, p. 19; Heydenreich, Osiander, Grimm in the Stud. u. Krit. 1850, p. 784. In accordance with what has been said, we must reject also the view of Grotius and Billroth, that τὸ τέλος is the end of the kingdom of Christ (comp. Kahnis, Dogm. I. p. 575); in connection with which Billroth leaves it undecided whether Paul conceived that there would be a thousand years’ reign, but finds rightly that his conception is different from that of Revelation 20:1 ff.[49] The same considerations militate against this view as against that of Rückert; moreover, τέλος requires its explanation not from what follows, but from what precedes it, with which it stands in the closest relation. This also in opposition to de Wette (so, too, Lechler, apost. u. nachapost. Zeitalter, p. 140; Neander in loc.), who understands the completion of the eschatological events (comp. Beza), so that the general resurrection would be included in the conception (comp. Theophylact: τὸ τέλος τῶν πάντων καὶ αὐτῆς τῆς ἀναστάσεως); similarly, therefore, as regards the latter point, with Luthardt and Olshausen. Theodoret is right, in accordance with the Pauline type of doctrine (comp. Matthew 13:39 f.), in remarking already at the preceding class (οἱ τοῖ Χ.): ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῸΝ Τῆς ΣΥΝΤΕΛΕΊΑς ΚΑΙΡΌΝ. For the intervening period between the ἜΠΕΙΤΑ and the ΕἾΤΑ is by no means to be reckoned to the ΑἸῺΝ ΟὟΤΟς, but to the ΑἸῺΝ ΜΈΛΛΩΝ, of which it is the first stage in time and development; the absolute consummation is then the giving over of the kingdom, which is immediately preceded by the last act of the resurrection (ΤῸ ΤΈΛΟς). Hofmann (comp. also his Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 657) takes τὸ τέλος adverbidlly, and then the two clauses commencing with ὅταν as protases to ἜΣΧΑΤΟς ἘΧΘΡῸς ΚΑΤΑΡΓ. Ὁ ΘΆΝΑΤΟς, 1 Corinthians 15:26, so that in this way ΔΕῖ ΓᾺΡ ΑὐΤῸΝ Κ.Τ.Λ., 1 Corinthians 15:25, falls to the second of those two protases as a reason assigned, inserted between it and the apodosis; consequently: then shall finally, when …, when …, the last enemy be brought to nought. This bringing to nought of death, he holds, includes the raising to life of such as, being ordained to life, did not belong to Christ during their bodily existence, and thus there is formed of these a second τάγμα, for the possibility of which Hofmann adduces Romans 2:15 f. But in what an involved and violent way are the simple, clear, and logically flowing sentences of the apostle thus folded and fenced in, and all for the purpose of getting out of them at last a second ΤΆΓΜΑ, which, however, does not stand there at all, but is only inserted between the lines; and that, too, such a ΤΆΓΜΑ as is entirely alien to the New Testament eschatology, and least of all can be established by Romans 2:15 f. (see in loc.) as even barely possible! And how unsuitable it is to treat 1 Corinthians 15:25, although introduced with solemn words of Scripture, as a subordinate sentence of confirmation, making the chain of protases on to the final short principal sentence only the longer and clumsier! In this whole section withal Paul employs only sentences of short and simple construction, without any involved periods. It may be added that, from a linguistic point of view, there would be nothing to object against the adverbial interpretation of τὸ τέλος, considered solely in itself (comp. 1 Peter 3:8); but, after the two elements which have gone before, the substantive explanation is the only one which presents itself as accordant with the context; nay, the adverbial use would have here, as the whole exegetical history of the passage shows, only led the understanding astra.

ὍΤΑΝ ΠΑΡΑΔΙΔῷ Κ.Τ.Λ.] states with what ΤῸ ΤΈΛΟς will be contemporaneous: when he gives over the (Messianic) kingdom, etc. The church, or the fellowship of believers (van Hengel), is never designated by ἡ βασιλ., not even 1 Corinthians 6:9 f.; Ephesians 5:5; Colossians 1:13; Colossians 4:11; neither is it so here. The conception, on the contrary, is: the last act of Christ’s Messianic rule consists in the close of the resurrection, namely, the raising up of the non-Christians;[50] this He performs when He is about to hand over the rule to God, after which the last-named wields the government Himself and immediately, and Christ’s Messianic, and in particular His kingly office—the regency which had been entrusted to Him by God (Php 2:9 f.)—is accomplished. It was a purely dogmatic (anti-Arian) explaining away of the clear meaning of the word to take παραδιδόναι as equivalent to ΚΑΤΟΡΘΟῦΝ (Chrysostom) or ΤΕΛΕΙΟῦΝ (Theophylact); such, too, was the interpretation of Theodoret, Ambrosiaster, Cajetanus, Estius, and others, including Storr and Flatt, according to which the giving over of the kingdom to the Father denotes the producing the result, that God shall be universally acknowledged as the supreme Ruler, even by those who did not wish to acknowledge Him as such. Hilary and Augustine (de Trin. i. 8) have another mode of explaining it away: what is meant is the bringing of the elect to the vision of God; similarly van Hengel (comp. Neander): Paul means to say, “Christum sectatores suos facturum peculium Dei, ut ei vivant;” and in like manner Beza, Heydenreich: we are to understand it of the presentation of the citizens of the kingdom, raised from the dead, before God. Another mode is that of Calovius, Bengel, Osiander, Reiche, al. (comp. also Gess, Pers. Chr. p. 280): it is only the form of the rule of Christ (namely, as the reconciler) that ceases then; the regnum gratiae ceases, and the regnum gloriae follows, which is what Luther’s and Melanchthon’s exposition[51] also comes to in substance. No; Christ, although by His exaltation to the right hand of the Father He has become the σύνθρονος of God, is still only He who is invested with the sovereignty by the Father until all hostile powers are overcome (comp. Php 2:9 ff.; Ephesians 1:21; Acts 2:33 ff.; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 1:13),[52] so that the absolute supreme sovereignty, which remains with the Father, is again immediately exercised after that end has been attained; the work of Christ is then completed; He gives up to the Father the Messianic administration of the kingdom, which has continued since His ascension.[53] The thought is similar in Pirke Elies. 11. “Nonus rex est Messias, qui reget ab extremitate una mundi ad alteram. Decimus Deus S. B.; tunc redibit regnum ad auctorem suum.” We must not mix up the spiritual βασιλεία, John 18:37, here, where the subject is the exalted Lor.

Τῷ ΘΕῷ Κ. ΠΑΤΡΊ] God, who is at the same time Father, namely, of Jesus Christ. Comp. Romans 15:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 11:31; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 5:20; Colossians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3; Jam 1:27; Jam 3:9. Estius says rightly: “unus articulus utrumque complectens.” See Matthiae, p. 714 f., and on Romans 15:6. That Paul, however, means by πατὴρ Χριστοῦ, not the supernatural bodily generation, but the metaphysical spiritual derivation, according to which Christ is ΚΑΤᾺ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ ἉΓΙΩΣΎΝΗς the Son of God, see on Romans 1:4.

But this giving over of the kingdom will not take place sooner than: ὍΤΑΝ ΚΑΤΑΡΓΉΣῌ Κ.Τ.Λ., when He shall have done away, etc. Observe the difference of meaning between ὅταν with the present (παραδιδῷ) and with the aorist (futur. exact.). See Matthiae, p. 1195. And this difference of tense shows of itself that of the two clauses introduced with ὅταν, this second one is subordinated to the first, and not co-ordinated with it (Hofmann). Hence, too, we have no καί or ΤΈ with the second ὍΤΑΝ. It is the familiar phenomenon of the double protasis, the one being dependent on the other (Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 2. 35; Anab. iii. 2. 31).

πᾶσαν ἀρχὴνδύναμ.] every dominion and every power and might, is to be understood, as 1 Corinthians 15:25 proves clearly, of all hostile powers, of all influences opposed to God, whose might Christ will bring to nought (καταργ., comp. 1 Corinthians 2:61 Corinthians 15:24. εἶτα τὸ τέλος: “Then (is) the end”—sc., “at His coming”. Christ’s advent, attended with the resurrection of His redeemed to eternal life, concludes the world’s history; then “the harvest” which is “the end of the world” (Matthew 13:39 f., 49; cf. Revelation 14:15 f.), “the end of all things” (1 Peter 4:7), the dénoûment of the drama of sin and redemption in which “the Adam” and “the Christ” have played out their respective parts, the limit of the human horizon.—As ἔπειτα was defined by ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ, so εἶτα by the two ὅταν clauses: “when He yields up the kingdom to His God and Father, when He has abolished every rule and every authority and power”. The two vbs. denote distinct, but connected and complementary acts. παραδιδῷ (the reading παραδιδοῖ is sbj[2359], not opt.: Bm[2360], p. 46) is pr. sbj[2361], signifying a proceeding, contingent in its date and manner of occurrence, but concurrent with εἶτα, which again rests upon ἐν τ. παρουσίᾳ. The aor[2362] sbj[2363] καταργήσῃ (Lat. futurum exactum) signalises an event lying behind the παραδιδῷ and by its nature antecedent thereto,—“when He shall have done away, etc.”; every opposing force has been destroyed, then Christ lays at the Father’s feet His kingdom. “Cum tradat (not tradiderit: so Vg[2364], eading παραδῷ) regnum, etc., cum evacuerit omnem principatum, etc.”—The title τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρί, “to Him who is God and Father,” contains the reason for this παράδοσις: Christ’s one aim was to glorify the Father (Luke 2:49, John 4:34; John 6:38; John 17:4, etc.); this end was reached proximately at the cross (John 19:30), and will be so ultimately when our Lord, having “subdued all things to Himself” (Php 3:21), is able to present to the Father a realm dominated by His will and filled with His obedient sons (cf. Matthew 6:9 f.). This is no ceasing of Christ’s rule, but the inauguration of God’s eternal kingdom: παραδιδῷ does not connote the losing of anything (see John 17:10); it is just the rendering to another of what is designed for Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Corinthians 5:5, Romans 8:32, Luke 4:6; Luke 10:22, etc.). “The end” does not mean the termination of Christ’s sovereignty, which in its largest sense began before the world (John 1:1-3; John 17:5) and is its goal (Colossians 1:16); but the termination of the reign of sin and death (Romans 5:21; cf. John 6:37 ff.). At the συντέλεια “the throne of God and of the Lamb,” “the kingdom of Christ and of God,” fills the N.T. horizon (Ephesians 5:5, Revelation 11:15; Revelation 22:3).—ἀρχὴν, ἐξουσίαν κ.τ.λ., should not be limited (with Ff[2365] generally, Est., Ed[2366], Gd[2367], El[2368], Sm[2369]: Everling, Paulin. Angelol. u.s.w., p. 44, in view of Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 6:12, Colossians 2:15, etc.) to angelic powers, or demons; nor (as by Cv[2370], Gr[2371]: cf. 1 Corinthians 2:6) to earthly rulers: πᾶσανπᾶσαν … (see πάντας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς, 25; πάντα ὑπέταξεν, 27; also Romans 8:37-39) embraces all forces oppugnant to God (Bg[2372], Cr[2373], Hn[2374], Hf[2375], Bt[2376]), on earth or above it, whether they exercise princely sway (ἀρχὴν) or moral authority (ἐξουσίαν) or active power (δύναμιν). Death is a βασιλεὺς amongst these (Romans 5:14); and behind death Satan (Hebrews 2:14 f.), “the prince” and “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4, John 14:30). On καταργέω, see note to 1 Corinthians 1:28.

[2359] subjunctive mood.

[2360] A. Buttmann’s Grammar of the N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans., 1873).

[2361] subjunctive mood.

[2362] aorist tense.

[2363] subjunctive mood.

[2364] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[2365] Fathers.

[2366] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[2367] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[2368] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[2369] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[2370] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[2371] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Cremer’s Biblico-Theological Lexicon of N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans.).

[2374] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[2375] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[2376] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

24. Then cometh the end] The end, the completion, that is, of the present order of things, when sin and death cease to be, and ‘the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ,’ Revelation 11:15.

when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father] The passage suggests to us the idea of a prince, the heir-apparent of the kingdom, going out to war, and bringing the spoils and trophies of his conquest to his father’s feet. Such an idea must have recurred with fresh vividness to the minds of the early Christians a few years afterwards, when they saw Titus bringing the spoils of the holy city of the old covenant, the ‘figure of the true,’ to his father Vespasian, and must have led them to look forward with eager expectation to the time when types and shadows should have their end, and the kingdom be the Lord’s, and He the governor among the people. At the Last Day, Christ as man shall receive the submission of all God’s enemies, and then lay them, all His triumphs, all those whom He has delivered captive from the hand of the enemy, at His Father’s feet. “Not,” says Estius, “that Christ shall cease to reign,” for ‘of His kingdom there shall be no end,’ St Luke 1:33 (cf. Daniel 7:14; Hebrews 1:8; Hebrews 2:8), but that He will, by laying all His conquests at His Father’s feet, proclaim Him as the source of all authority and power. There were certain heretics, the followers of Marcellus of Ancyra, who taught that Christ’s kingdom should come to an end, holding the error of the Sabellians that Christ was an emanation from the Father, and would be finally reabsorbed into the Father’s personality. It is supposed that the words, “Whose kingdom shall have no end,” were inserted in the Nicene Creed at the Council of Constantinople, a. d. 381, with a view to this error. The words, God, even the Father, are perhaps best translated into English by God the Father. So Tyndale renders.

when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power] Put down, literally, brought to an end. See ch. 1 Corinthians 13:10. All rule, that is, all exercise of authority save his own; princehead, Wiclif; all authority, that is, the right to exercise dominion; all power (virtus, Vulg.; vertu, Wiclif, see note on ch. 1 Corinthians 1:18), that is, all the inherent faculty of exercising authority. For earthly relations, such as those of father, magistrate, governor, prince, are but partial types and manifestations of the Divine Headship. Even Christ’s Humanity is but the revelation and manifestation of the Being of God. But ‘when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.’ Such human relations shall cease, for they shall be no more needed. Cf. Colossians 2:10.

1 Corinthians 15:24. Εἶτα, afterwards) after the resurrection of those who are Christ’s; for He, as King, will consummate the judgment between the resurrection and the end.—τὸ τέλος) The end, viz., of the whole resurrection. This is the correlative to the first fruits. In this end all orders [referring to “every man in his own order”] will obtain their completion [consummated development]: 1 Peter 4:7; Romans 6:22. This noun contains the force of the verbs, delivered up [1 Corinthians 15:24] and destroyed [1 Corinthians 15:26]. See how great mysteries that apostle draws from the prophetic syllables עד and כל, Psalm 110:1; Psalm 8:6. Gr. ἄχρις, until, and πάντα, all things. Therefore even the words of Scripture are inspired by God, θεόπνευστα. For all Scripture words rest upon the same principles as these [The same reasoning is applicable to all Scripture words].—ὅτανὅταν) when:—namely, when. The former is explained by the latter; and the first part of the following verse is to be referred to the former; the second part, to the latter. So soon as the Son shall have delivered up the kingdom to the Father, the Father will destroy all authority; and the deliverance of the kingdom into His hands takes place, that all authority may be swept away.—παραδῷ τὴν βασιλείαν, shall have delivered up the kingdom) The Father will not then begin to reign without the Son; nor will the Son cease then to reign without the Father; for the divine kingdom both of the Father and of the Son is from eternity and will be to eternity. But the apostle is here speaking of the mediatorial kingdom of the Son, which will be delivered up, and of the immediate [i.e., without mediation] kingdom of the Father, to which then it will give place. In the meantime, the Son manages the affairs, which the Father has put into His hands, for and by His own people, for the elect, by the instrumentality of angels also, and in the presence of the Father and against His enemies, so long as even an effort of these last continues. The Son will deliver up the kingdom to the Father, inasmuch as the Father gave it to the Son, John 13:3. The Father does not cease to reign, though He has appointed the Son to be king; nor does the Son cease to reign, when He delivers up the kingdom to the Father; and by the very circumstance, that it is said, not that it is to be abolished, but to be delivered up to the Father, it is signified, that it itself also is of infinite majesty. But the glory before the foundation of the world will remain, after the kingdom has been delivered up: John 17:5; Hebrews 1:8 : and He will not cease to be king according to His human nature, Luke 1:33.[137] If the citizens of the New Jerusalem shall reign for ever and ever, Revelation 22:5; how much more will God and Christ reign?—Τῷ ΘΕῷ ΚΑῚ ΠΑΤΡῚ, to God even the Father) God is here regarded in a twofold point of view. He is considered, both as God and as the Father in respect to Christ, John 20:17; even in His state of exaltation, Revelation 3:12; Revelation 3:21 : and in respect to believers, Colossians 3:17. He is considered as God, towards [in relation to] His enemies. καταργήσῃ [shall have put down] shall have abolished) viz., God even the Father, of whom it is also said (until) He put (θῇ, 1 Corinthians 15:25) and He has subjected [ὑπέταξεν, 1 Corinthians 15:27]. In a similar manner, the subject is changed to a different one [from God to Christ] in the third person, 1 Corinthians 15:25; 1 Corinthians 15:29 [the baptized for the dead—the dead—they, i.e., the former].—πᾶσαν ἀρχὴν καὶ πᾶσαν ἐξουσίαν καὶ δύναμιν, all rule and all authority and power) Rule and authority are also said of the powers of men, Titus 3:1 [principalities and powers]: but oftener of those of angels, Colossians 1:16 : and that too in the concrete, to denote their very essence [substances]: here however they are in the abstract, as βασιλείαν, concerning the kingdom of the Son: for the essences of angels will not be destroyed. Ἀρχὴ denotes rule; subordinate to this are ἐξουσία, authority, magistracy, and δύναμις, an army, forces.—ἐξουσία and ΔΎΝΑΜΙς are more closely connected as is seen by the fact that they have the one epithet, all, in common [The one πᾶσαν qualifies both ἘΞΟΥΣΊΑΝ and ΔΎΝΑΜΙΝ; though ἈΡΧῊΝ has a separate ΠᾶΣΑΝ]. Here not only rule, authority, forces of enemies, are signified, 1 Corinthians 15:25, such as is death, 1 Corinthians 15:26; but the all intimates that the rule, authority, etc., even of good angels shall cease. For when the king lays down His arms, after His enemies have been subdued, the soldiers are discharged, and the word καταργεῖν, to put down, is not an inapplicable term even to these latter: 1 Corinthians 13:8; 2 Corinthians 3:7.

[137] S. R. D. Moldenhauer on this passage refers to it the passage in Luke; comp. Daniel 7:14. He very often agrees with Bengel: for example, ver. 32, 49, etc.—E. B.

Verse 24. - The end. That "end of all things," beyond which the vision of Christian eschatology does not look. When he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God. The "kingdom" delivered up is not that of the coequal Godhead, but the mediatorial kingdom. The Divine kingdom "shall have no end" (Luke 1:33, etc.), and "shall not pass away" (Daniel 7:13). But the mediatorial kingdom shall end in completion when the redemptive act has achieved its final end. When he shall have put down; rather, shall have annulled or abolished. All rule. Because then "the kingdoms of the world" shall all "have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ" (Revelation 11:15). 1 Corinthians 15:24Rule - authority - power (ἀρχὴν, ἐξουσίαν, δύναμιν)

Abstract terms for different orders of spiritual and angelic powers; as Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16.

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