1 Corinthians 2:10 Commentaries: For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10
But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) But God hath revealed them unto us.—Here the emphatic word is “us.” The latter part of 1Corinthians 2:8-9 are parenthetical, and the sense goes back to the beginning of 1Corinthians 2:8. “None of the princes of this age know these things, but God hath revealed them unto us His apostles and teachers” (Matthew 13:11; Matthew 16:17; 2Corinthians 12:1). This revelation of spiritual truth is made by the Holy Spirit of God to our spirits (Romans 8:16). The Apostle gives two proofs that the Apostles have this knowledge, and that the Holy Spirit is the source of it: 1. (1Corinthians 2:10-11), because the Holy Spirit alone is capable of imparting this knowledge; and 2. (1Corinthians 2:12-16), because the Holy Spirit has been given to us the Apostles.

Searcheth all things.—The word “searcheth” here does not convey the idea of inquiry for the purpose of acquiring knowledge, but rather complete and accurate knowledge itself, as in Romans 8:27; see also Psalm 139:1.

2:10-16 God has revealed true wisdom to us by his Spirit. Here is a proof of the Divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, 2Pe 1:21. In proof of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, observe, that he knows all things, and he searches all things, even the deep things of God. No one can know the things of God, but his Holy Spirit, who is one with the Father and the Son, and who makes known Divine mysteries to his church. This is most clear testimony, both to the real Godhead and the distinct person of the Holy Spirit. The apostles were not guided by worldly principles. They had the revelation of these things from the Spirit of God, and the saving impression of them from the same Spirit. These things they declared in plain, simple language, taught by the Holy Spirit, totally different from the affected oratory or enticing words of man's wisdom. The natural man, the wise man of the world, receives not the things of the Spirit of God. The pride of carnal reasoning is really as much opposed to spirituality, as the basest sensuality. The sanctified mind discerns the real beauties of holiness, but the power of discerning and judging about common and natural things is not lost. But the carnal man is a stranger to the principles, and pleasures, and actings of the Divine life. The spiritual man only, is the person to whom God gives the knowledge of his will. How little have any known of the mind of God by natural power! And the apostles were enabled by his Spirit to make known his mind. In the Holy Scriptures, the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully made known to us. It is the great privilege of Christians, that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit. They experience his sanctifying power in their hearts, and bring forth good fruits in their lives.But God hath revealed them - That is, those elevated views and enjoyments to which people everywhere else had been strangers, and which have been under all other forms of religion unknown, have been communicated to us by the revelation of God - This verse commences the "third" part of this chapter, in which the apostle shows how these truths, so full of wisdom had been communicated to Christians. It had not been by any native endowments of theirs; not by any strength of faculties, or powers. but solely by revelation from God.Unto us - That is, first to the apostles; secondly, to all Christians - to the church and the world through their inspired instructors; and third, to all Christians by the illuminating agency of the Spirit on their hearts. The connection shows that he did not mean to confine this declaration to the apostles merely, for his design was to show that all Christians had this knowledge of the true wisdom. It was true that this was revealed in an eminent manner to the apostles, and through their inspired preaching and writings; but it is also true, that the same truths are communicated by the agency of the same Spirit to all Christians; John 16:12-14. No truth is now communicated to Christians which was not revealed to and by the inspired writers; but the same truths are imparted by means of their writings, and by the illumination of the Spirit to all the true friends of God.

By his Spirit - By the Holy Spirit, that was promised by the Saviour. John 14:26; John 15:26-27; John 16:7-14. This proves:

(1) That people by nature are not able to discover the deep things of God - the truths which are needful to salvation.

(2) that the apostles were inspired by the Holy Spirit; and if so, then the Scriptures are inspired.

(3) that all Christians are the subjects of the teaching of the Holy Spirit; that these truths are made known to them by his illumination; and that but for this, they would remain in the same darkness as other men.

For the Spirit - The Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God; see 1 Corinthians 2:11.

Searcheth - This word does not fully express the force of the original ἐρευνᾷ ereuna. It means to search accurately, diligently, so as fully to understand; such profound research as to have thorough knowledge. So David uses the Hebrew word חקר chaaqar in Psalm 139:1. So the word is used to denote a careful and accurate investigation of secret and obscure things, in 1 Peter 1:11. Compare John 7:52; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23, where it is used to denote that profound and accurate search by which the desires and feelings of the heart are known - implying the most profound knowledge of which we can have any conception; see Proverbs 20:27. Here it means, that the Holy Spirit has an intimate knowledge of all things. It is not to be supposed that he searches, or inquires as people do who are ignorant; but that he has an intimate and profound knowledge, such as is usually the result of a close and accurate search. The result is what the apostle means to state - the accurate, profound, and thorough knowledge, such as usually attends research. He does not state the mode in which it is obtained; but the fact. And he uses a word more emphatic than simple knowledge, because he designs to indicate that his knowledge is profound, entire, and thorough.

All things - All subjects; all laws; all events; all beings.

The deep things of God - He has a thorough knowledge of the hidden counsels or purposes of God; of all his plans and purposes. He sees all his designs. He sees all his councils; all his purposes in regard to the government of the universe, and the scheme of salvation. He knows all whom God designs to save; he sees all that they need; and he sees how the plan of God is suited to their salvation - This passage proves:

(1) That the Spirit is, in some respects, distinct from the Father, or from him who is here called God. Else how could he be said to search all things, even the deep purposes of God? To "search" implies "action, thought, personality." An attribute of God cannot be said to search. How could it be said of the justice, the goodness, the power, or the wisdom of God that it "searches," or "acts?" To search, is the action of an intelligent agent, and cannot be performed by an attribute.

(2) the Spirit is omniscient. He searches or clearly understands "all things" - the very definition of omniscience. He understands all the profound plans and counsels of God. And how can there be a higher demonstration of omniscience than to "know God?" - But if omniscient, the Holy Spirit is divine - for this is one of the incommunicable attributes of God; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Psalm 139:1; Jeremiah 17:10.

(3) he is not a distinct being from God. There is a union between him and God, such as may be compared to the union between a man and his soul, 1 Corinthians 2:11. God is one; and though he subsists as Father, Son, and Spirit, yet he is one God, Deuteronomy 6:4 - This passage is, therefore, a very important, and a decisive one in regard to the personality and divinity of the Holy Spirit.

10. revealed … by … Spirit—The inspiration of thoughts (so far as truth essential to salvation is concerned) makes the Christian (1Co 3:16; 12:3; Mt 16:17; Joh 16:13; 1Jo 2:20, 27); that of words, the PROPHET (2Sa 23:1, 2; 1Ki 13:1, 5), "by the word of the Lord" (1Co 2:13; Joh 20:30, 31; 2Pe 1:21). The secrets of revelation are secret to some, not because those who know them will not reveal them (for indeed, the very notion of revelation implies an unveiling of what had been veiled), but because those to whom they are announced have not the will or power to comprehend them. Hence the Spirit-taught alone know these secrets (Ps 25:14; Pr 3:32; Joh 7:17; 15:15).

unto us—the "perfect" or fully matured in Christian experience (1Co 2:6). Intelligent men may understand the outline of doctrines; but without the Holy Spirit's revelation to the heart, these will be to them a mere outline—a skeleton, correct perhaps, but wanting life [Whatley, Cautions for the Times, 14], (Lu 10:21).

the Spirit searcheth—working in us and with our spirits (compare Ro 8:16, 26, 27). The Old Testament shows us God (the Father) for us. The Gospels, God (the Son) with us. The Acts and Epistles, God (the Holy Ghost) in us [Monod], (Ga 3:14).

deep things of God—(Ps 92:5). His divine nature, attributes, and counsels. The Spirit delights to explore the infinite depths of His own divine mind, and then reveal them to us, according as we are capable of understanding them (De 29:29). This proves the personality and Godhead of the Holy Ghost. Godhead cannot be separated from the Spirit of God, as manhood cannot be separated from the Spirit of man [Bengel].

God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; God by his Spirit hath opened our understandings to understand the Holy Scriptures, the types and prophecies of Christ, and what the holy prophets have spoken of him both as to his person and offices.

For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God; for the Holy Spirit being the third person in the blessed Trinity, and so equal with the Father and the Son,

searcheth the deep things of God, and so is able to reveal to us all the counsels of God, whatsoever God would have men to understand concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. So as this text is an evident proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit, he searching the deep things of God, and being alone able to reveal them unto men, so as they shall acknowledge, comprehend, and believe them. But God hath revealed them unto us,.... Should it be said, that since this wisdom is so hidden and mysterious, the doctrines of the Gospel are so unknown, so much out of the sight and understanding of men, how come any to be acquainted with them? The answer is ready, God has made a revelation of them, not only in his word, which is common to men, nor only to his ministers, but to private Christians and believers,

by his Spirit; which designs not the external revelation made in the Scriptures, though that also is by the Spirit; but the internal revelation and application of the truths of the Gospel to the souls of men, which is sometimes ascribed to the Father of Christ. Matthew 16:17 sometimes to Christ himself, Galatians 1:12 and sometimes to the Spirit of Christ, Ephesians 1:17 and who guides into all truth, John 16:13, and here to the Father by the Spirit:

for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God; which does not suppose any ignorance of these things in the Spirit, antecedent to his searching of them; but his complete and perfect knowledge of them; even as God's searching of the hearts of men expresses his omniscience, and through knowledge of all that is in them: the "all things" the Spirit searches into, and has a perfect knowledge of, do not design in the utmost extent everything which comes within the compass of his infinite understanding; but every thing that is in, or belongs to the Gospel of Christ, even the more mysterious and sublime, as well as the more plain and easy doctrines: for the "deep things of God" intend not the perfections of his nature, which are past finding out unto perfection by men; nor the depths of his wise and righteous providence; but the mysterious doctrines of the Gospel, the fellowship of the mystery which was hid in God, his wise counsels of old concerning man's salvation, the scheme of things drawn in his eternal mind, and revealed in the word.

{9} But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit {k} searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

(9) A question: if it surpasses the capacity of men, how can it be understood by any man, or how can you declare and preach it? By a special enlightening of God's Spirit, with which whoever is inspired, he can enter even into the very secrets of God.

(k) There is nothing so secret and hidden in God, but the Spirit of God penetrates it.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 2:10. Having thus set forth the hitherto hidden character of the divine σοφία, Paul now turns to its unveiling, as a result of which it was that that λαλοῦμεν of 1 Corinthians 2:6 f. took place. In doing this he puts ἡμῖν emphatically first in the deep consciousness of the distinction implied in so signal a mark of divine favour. The object of ἀπεκάλ. is the immediately preceding a ἃ ἡτοίμασεν κ.τ.λ[383]

ἩΜῖΝ] plural, as λαλοῦμεν in 1 Corinthians 2:6, and therefore neither to be referred to the apostle alone (Rosenmüller, Rückert, and others), nor to all Christians (Billroth, etc.).

ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦ ΠΝΕΎΜ. ΑὐΤΟῦ] The Holy Spirit, proceeding forth from God as the personal principle of Christian enlightenment, of every Christian endowment, and of the Christian life, is the medium, in His being communicated to men (1 Corinthians 2:12), of the divine revelation; He is the bearer of it; Ephesians 1:17; Ephesians 3:3; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Corinthians 14:6, al[384]

ΤῸ ΓᾺΡ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ Κ.Τ.Λ[385]] Herewith begins the adducing of proof for that ἡμῖν δὲ ἀπεκάλυψεν κ.τ.λ[386] which continues on to 1 Corinthians 2:12, to this effect, namely: For the Spirit is familiar with the mysteries of God, because He alone stands in that unique relation as respects knowledge to God, which corresponds to the relation of the human spirit to man (1 Corinthians 2:10-11); but what we have received is no other than this Spirit of God, in order that we might know the salvation of God (1 Corinthians 2:12), so that no doubt remains that we have actually the ἀποκάλυψις in question through the Spirit. That ΤῸ ΠΝΕῦΜΑ means not the human spirit, but the Holy Spirit, is certain from what goes before and from 1 Corinthians 2:11-12.

ἐρευνᾷ] rightly interpreted by Chrysostom: ΟὐΚ ἈΓΝΟΊΑς, ἈΛΛʼ ἈΚΡΙΒΟῦς ΓΝΏΣΕΩς ἘΝΤΑῦΘΑ ΤῸ ἘΡΕΥΝᾷΝ ἘΝΔΕΙΚΤΙΚΌΝ. Comp Psalm 139:1; Romans 8:27; Revelation 2:23. The word expresses the activity of this knowledge. But Paul was not thinking of “God’s knowing Himself in man” (Billroth, comp Baur), or of any other such Hegelian views as they would impute to him.

ΠΆΝΤΑ] all things, without limitation. Comp Wis 7:23; Psalm 139:7.

ΤᾺ ΒΆΘΗ ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ] Comp Jdt 8:14 : ΒΆΘΟς ΚΑΡΔΊΑς ἈΝΘΡΏΠΟΥ; see on Romans 11:33, also Plato, Theaet. p. 183 E. The expression: “depths of God,” denotes the whole rich exhaustless fulness which is hidden in God,—all, therefore, that goes to make up His being, His attributes, His thoughts, plans, decrees, etc. These last (see 1 Corinthians 2:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12), the βαθύβουλον (Aeschylus, Pers. 143) of the Godhead, are included; but we are not to suppose that they alone are meant. The opposite is τὰ βαθέα τοῦ Σατανᾶ, Revelation 2:24. The depths of God, unsearchable by the cognitive power of created spirits (comp Romans 11:33), are penetrated by the cognitive activity of His own immanent principle of life and manifestation, so that this, i.e. the Holy Spirit, is the power [Potenz] of the divine self-knowledge. God is the subject knowing and the object known in the intrinsic divine activity of the Spirit, who is the substratum of the absolute self-consciousness of the Godhead, in like manner as the human spirit is the substratum of the human Ego.

[383] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[384] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[385] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[386] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.1 Corinthians 2:10. The true reading, ἡμῖν γάρ (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26), links this ver. to the foregoing by way of illustration: “For to us (being of those that love Him) God revealed (them), through the Spirit”: cf. 1 Corinthians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 8:3, 1 Corinthians 13:2, 1 John 4:7; also ἀπεκαλύφθη τ. ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις κ.τ.λ., Ephesians 3:5, indicating the like ethical receptivity. ἀπεκάλυψεν echoes ἐν μυστηρίῳ and τ. ἀποκεκρυμμένην (1 Corinthians 2:7), signifying a supernatural disclosure (see notes on 1 Corinthians 1:7, 1 Corinthians 14:6); cf. esp. Romans 16:25, κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν μυστηρίου, and Ephesians 1:17 in connexion with 1 Corinthians 2:6 f. above. The tense (aor[378]) points to the advent of Christianity, “the revelation given to Christians as an event that began a new epoch in the world’s history” (Ed[379]).—The Spirit reveals,—“for the Spirit investigates everything (πάντα ἐραυνᾷ), even the depths of God”: He discloses, for He first discoversοὐκ ἀγνοίας, ἀλλʼ ἀκριβοῦς γνώσεως τὸ ἐρευνᾶν δεικτικόν (Cm[380]). The phrase describes an Intelligence everywhere active, everywhere penetrating (cf. Psalm 139:1-7). For the complementary truth concerning the relation of Father and Spirit, see Romans 8:27. The Spirit is the organ of mutual understanding between man and God. P. conceives of Him as internal to the inspired man, working with and through, though immeasurably above his faculties (see 1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:16; Romans 8:26, etc.). τὰ βάθη (pl[381] of noun βάθος) are those inscrutable regions, below all that “the eye sees” and that “comes up into the heart of a man” (1 Corinthians 2:9), where God’s plans for mankind are developed: cf. Romans 11:33 ff., Ephesians 1:9 ff; Ephesians 3:18, and by contrast Revelation 2:24. These deep-laid counsels centre in Christ, and are shared by Him (Matthew 11:27, John 5:20; John 17:10; John 17:25); so that it is one thing to have the Spirit who “sounds the deeps of God” and to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). The like profound insight is claimed, in virtue of his possessing the Holy Spirit, by the writer of the Wisdom of Solomon (1 Corinthians 2:7), but in a ὑπεροχὴ λόγου καὶ σοφίας that goes to discredit the assumption; cf. also Sir 42:18. The attributes there assigned to the half-personified “Wisdom,” N.T. theology divides between Christ and the Spirit in their several offices towards man. The “Spirit” is apprehended in Wisdom under physical rather than, as by Paul, under psychological analogies.

[378] aorist tense.

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

[380] John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

[381] plural.

1 Corinthians 2:10 to 1 Corinthians 3:2. § 8. THE REVEALING SPIRIT. The world’s rulers committed the frightful crime of “crucifying the Lord of glory,” because in fact they have only “the spirit of the world,” whereas “the Spirit of God” informs His messengers (1 Corinthians 2:10-12), who communicate the things of His grace in language taught them by His Spirit and intelligible to the spiritual (1 Corinthians 2:13-16). For the like reason the Cor[377] are at fault in their Christian views, being as yet but half-spiritual men (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

[377] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.10. for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God] In this and the next verse we gather (1) the personality of the Holy Ghost, (2) His distinction from the Father. He not only searches the deep things of God, which He could not be described as doing were He identical with the Father, but though on account of His perfect knowledge of the Mind of God He is likened to the spirit of man which is one of the component elements of his being, the Apostle speaks of the one as the ‘spirit of a man which is in him,’ but of the other as the Spirit which is from (ἐκ, proceeding out of) God.

searcheth] “The word to search is here indicative not of ignorance, but of accurate knowledge, at least if we may judge from the fact that this is the very phrase the Apostle has used even of God, saying, ‘He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.’ ”—Chrysostom. The knowledge, in fact, as 1 Corinthians 2:11 shews, is of the same kind as the knowledge of the spirit of man concerning what passes within his breast, though, of course, infinitely more complete.1 Corinthians 2:10. Ἡμῖν) to us, apostles.—ἀπεκάλυψε, hath revealed) an antithesis to, hidden [wisdom, 1 Corinthians 2:7]. Comp. Isaiah 45:19; Isaiah 45:15; Psalm 51:8, and again Luke 10:21.—πἁντα, all things) 1 Corinthians 2:9.—τὰ βάθη, the deep things) very much hidden, Psalm 92:6; not merely those things, which believers search out, 1 Corinthians 2:9 [10] and 12, in both at the end. The deep things of God, even of His divine nature, as well as of His kingdom.Verse 10. - But God hath revealed them unto us. They are secret no longer, but are "mysteries which now it is given us to know" (Matthew 13:11). By his Spirit. The Spirit guides into all truth (John 13:16). In ch. 12:8-11 St. Paul attributes every gift of wisdom directly to him. Searcheth. "How unsearchable are his judgments!" (Romans 11:33). Yea, the deep things of God. This expression, "The depths of God," passed into the cant expression of the Gnostics, and it may be with reference to their misuse of it that St. John uses the phrase, "The depths of Satan" (Revelation 2:24). "Oh, the depth," etc.! (Romans 11:33). Searcheth (ἐρευνᾶ)

See on John 5:39. Not, searcheth in order to discover; but of the ever active, accurate, careful sounding of the depths of God by the Spirit.

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