1 Corinthians 15:54
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
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(54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption.—The Apostle now transports himself in thought to the time when there shall be the actual accomplishment of that for which there then is this absolute and moral necessity. These words bring before us with vivid power the intensity of the Apostle’s own belief in what he is teaching.

Death is swallowed up in victory.—These words, originally referring to the Jewish people (Isaiah 25:8), are naturally applied here to the human race, of which they were the chosen type.

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.So when ... - In that future glorious world, when all this shall have been accomplished.

Then shall be brought to pass - Then shall be fully accomplished; these words shall then receive their entire fulfillment; or this event shall meet all that is implied in these words.

The saying that is written - What is written, or the record which is made. These words are quoted from Isaiah 25:8; and the fact that Paul thus quotes them, and the connection in which they stand, prove that they had reference to the times of the gospel, and to the resurrection of the dead. Paul does not quote directly from the Hebrew, or from the Septuagint, but gives the substance of the passage.

Death - Referring here, undoubtedly, to death in the proper sense; death as prostrating the living, and consigning them to the grave.

Is swallowed up - Κατεπόθη Katepothē (from katapinō, to drink down, to swallow down) means to absorb Revelation 12:16; to overwhelm, to drown Hebrews 11:29; and then to destroy or remove. The idea may be taken from a whirlpool, or maelstrom, that absorbs all that comes near it; and the sense is, that he will abolish or remove death; that is, cause it to cease from its ravages and triumphs.

In victory - (εἰς νῖκος eis nikos. Unto victory; so as to obtain a complete victory. The Hebrew Isa 25:8 is לנצח laanetsach, The Septuagint often renders the word נצח drow netsach which properly means "splendor, purity, trust, perpetuity, eternity, perfection," by νῖκος nikos, "victory"; Job 36:7; Lamentations 3:18; Lamentations 5:20; Amos 1:1-15; Amos 2; Amos 8:7. The Hebrew word here may be rendered either "unto the end, that is," to completeness or perfection, or unto victory, with triumph. It matters little which is the meaning, for they both come to the same thing. The idea is, that the power and dominion of death shall be entirely destroyed, or brought to an end.

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).

That is, in an eternal and continuing victory; the saints shall die no more. The quotation which the apostle bringeth, is out of those two texts, Isaiah 25:8 Hosea 13:14; which two texts, the apostle saith, at that day will have a more full, perfect, and eminent accomplishment, than ever they before had. 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.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
1 Corinthians 15:54. Then, however, when this our change has taken place, shall the dominion of death cease; no one shall die any mor.

ὅταν δὲἀθανασ.] an, as it were, triumphant repetition of the same weighty words. Comp. Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. xxxix. Theodoret calls the passage a song of victory. All the less is the first clause to be rejected, with Hofmann, on critical grounds. The first corrector of א has rightly restored i.

γενήσεται] shall come to pass (in respect of its contents) the word, i.e. it shall become actual,—the written word shall become fact. Hofmann wrongly takes it: Men shall then say so, as it stands written. Where a λόγος or ῥῆμα goes forth, i.e. is spoken, there stands along with it the preposition of direction (as John 10:35, Luke 3:2, and frequently; comp. Genesis 15:1, al.), or whence the word comes (as Jeremiah 26:1), or through whom it goes forth (from God; as Haggai 1:3). It may be added, that they are not things simultaneous which are announced in the protasis and apodosis (as Hofmann objects); but when that which is spoken of in the protasis shall have taken place, then, because from this time forward no one shall fall any more under the power of death, shall that be realized, etc. This is the happy consequence of that,—the complete victory of the life, which will link itself to that change which shall thus take place in the twinkling of an eye, as to its signal and prelud.

ὁ λόγος] effatum, oraculum, 1Ma 7:16; Plato, Phaedr. p. 275 B; Pindar, Pyth. iv. 105. Comp. Romans 9:9; John 12:38; John 15:25.

κατεπόθη κ.τ.λ.] Isaiah 25:8, not according to the LXX.,[98] but according to the original text; in quoting which, however, בִּלַּע is rendered as passive, and לנצח is expressed in the way in which it is often rendered in other passages, e.g. 2 Samuel 2:26, Job 36:7, Jeremiah 3:5 (but not here), by the LXX.: εἰς νῖκος. The meaning is: Death has been completely done away. Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:4. This being brought to nought is represented under the image of being swallowed up (namely, by God; see the original text). As regards the event itself, comp. Revelation 21:4.

εἰς νῖκος] unto victory, i.e. so that thereby victory—namely, of the opposing power of eternal life in the future Aeon—is established; ΕἸς, in the sense of the result.[99] Comp. Matthew 12:20. Νῖκος is a later form, in place of the old νίκη. See Hermann, Diss. de Orph. p. 821.

Since the personified θάνατος is, according to the context, bodily death and nothing more, this passage also (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:26) is of no avail for the establishment of the doctrine of restoration (in opposition to Olshausen). Comp. on 1 Corinthians 15:22; 1 Corinthians 15:28. The passages from the Rabbins, who likewise, upon the ground of Isa. l.c., teach: “in diebus ejus (Messiae) Deus S. B. deglutiet mortem,” may be seen in Wetstein.

[98] Who here translate the words of the prophet incorrectly: κατέπιεν ὁ θάνατος ἰσχύσας.

[99] According to Osiander, εἰς is local; so that νῖκος is presented under the image of a wild beast, which swallows up its prey. Against this view there is, first, the absence of the article; secondly, εἰς (we should have expected ὑπό, comp. Polyb. ii. 41. 7); lastly, the τὸ νῖκος which follows vv. 55, 57.—Luther’s gloss puts it happily and graphically: “Death lies undermost, and has now no strength left; but life lies uppermost, and says, Victory!”1 Corinthians 15:54. This clothing of the saints with immortality fulfils a notable O.T. word respecting the Day of the Lord: “Then will be brought to pass the word that is written, Death has been swallowed up (κατεπόθη, the vb[2571] adopted in 2 Corinthians 5:4 as above) unto victory!” ὅταν, with its double clause, recalls the double ὅταν of 1 Corinthians 15:24 and of 1 Corinthians 15:27 f. (see notes), which are parl[2572] to each other and to this, alike marking the great “when,” the epoch of the consummation. The destruction of the “last enemy” secures absolute “victory” for Christ and His own. Paul corrects the LXX txt. of Isaiah 25:8, which makes Death the victor,—κατέπιεν ὁ θάνατος ἰσχύσας; he appears to have read the Heb. passively bulla‘, for Massoretic billa‘: Theodotion’s translation is identical with Paul’s. lanetsach (for ever) is often rendered εἰς νῖκος (later Gr[2573] form of νίκη) by the LXX, according to the Aramaic sense of the noun; its Heb. sense implies a final and unqualified overthrow of the King of Terrors, and therefore admits of P.’s application. “This is the farthest reaching of all O.T. prophecies; it bears allusion to Genesis 3” (Dillmann; see also Delitzsch, on the Isaianic txt.), and reverses the doom there pronounced.

[2571] verb

[2572] parallel.

[2573] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.54. Death is swallowed up in victory] The English version translates Isaiah 25:8, the passage here quoted, by ‘He will swallow up death in victory.’ But the literal meaning of the word so translated is ‘for ever,’ and the Vulgate here renders ‘in sempiternum,’ though the Septuagint frequently, but not here, renders it by victory, following the analogy of the Syriac and Chaldee, where a kindred word signifies victory. The verb also is in the perfect tense in the Hebrew, as speaking of the fixed purpose of God, and is here rendered by the aorist, and thus referred to the Death and Resurrection of Christ, in which, by ‘the determinate purpose and foreknowledge of God,’ death ‘was swallowed up unto victory.’1 Corinthians 15:54. Ὅταν δὲἀθανασίαν, but when—immortality) The frequent repetition of these words is very delightful.—τότε, then) not before. The Scripture is sure, therefore the resurrection is sure.—κατεπόθη ὁ θάνατος εἰς νῖκος, death is swallowed up in victory) Isaiah 25:8, LXX.—κατέπιεν ὁ θάνατος ἰσχύσας, it was swallowed up at one instantaneous draught: comp. Revelation 21:4.—εἰς νῖκος, Heb לנצח, which the LXX. not here but elsewhere often translate εἰς νῖκος, unto or in victory.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). Is swallowed up (κατεπόθη)

From Isaiah 25:8. The quotation agrees with the Hebrew: He shall swallow up death forever, rather than with the Septuagint, Death has prevailed and swallowed men up, which reverses the meaning of the Hebrew. Compare 2 Corinthians 5:4.

In victory (εἰς νῖκος)

Lit., unto victory, so that victory is to be established.

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