1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
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(9) As it is written.—Where do the words which follow occur? They are not to be found as here given anywhere in the Old Testament. It has therefore been suggested (Origen) that they are from some apocryphal book, or some book which has been lost, as is supposed many have been. Chrysostom also suggests that it may be a reference, not to a writing, but to historical facts, as in Matthew 2:23. None of these explanations would justify the use of that phrase, “it is written,” with which these words are introduced, and which in the apostolic writings is confined to quotations from the Old Testament scriptures. It is not used where the words are taken from other sources (see, e.g., Jude 1:9; Jude 1:14). Although the words given here are not to be found in the same sequence in any passage in the Old Testament, still there are phrases scattered through the writings of Isaiah (see Isaiah 64:4; Isaiah 65:17; see also Isa 62:15 in the LXX.), which would easily be joined together in memory and resemble even verbally the passage as written here by the Apostle. This is not the only place in which St. Paul would seem to thus refer to the Old Testament scriptures (see 1Corinthians 1:19-20) when he is not basing any argument upon a particular sentence in the Scriptures, but merely availing himself of some thoughts or words in the Old Testament as an illustration of some truth which he is enforcing.

1 Corinthians 2:9-11. But — This ignorance fulfils what is written concerning the blessings of the Messiah’s kingdom; eye hath not seen, &c. — No merely natural or unenlightened man hath either seen, heard, or known; the things which God hath prepared, saith the prophet, for them that love him — “These words do not immediately respect the blessings of another world, but are spoken by the prophet of the gospel state, and the blessings then to be enjoyed by them that should love God, Romans 8:28. For all the prophets, say the Jews, prophesied only of the days of the Messiah.” — Whitby. Indeed, as he adds, both the context and the opposition of these words to the revelation of these things by the Spirit, show the primary intent of the apostle to be, that no human wisdom, by any thing that may be seen, heard of, or conceived by us, can acquaint us with the things taught by the Holy Spirit, without a supernatural illumination. But God hath revealed — Yea, and freely given, 1 Corinthians 2:12, them to us by his Spirit — Who intimately and fully knows them; for the Spirit searcheth — Knows and enables us to search and find out; all things — Which it concerns us, and would be for our profit, to be acquainted with; even the deep things of God — Be they ever so hidden and mysterious; the depths both of his nature and attributes, and of his kingdom of providence and grace. Or, these deep things of God “are the various parts of that grand plan which the wisdom of God hath formed for the salvation of mankind, their relation to and dependance on each other, and operation and effect upon the system of the universe, the dignity of the person by whom that plan had been executed, and the final issue thereof in the salvation of believers; with many other particulars, which we shall not know till the light of the other world break in upon us.” — Macknight. For what man knoweth the things of a man — What individual of the human race could know the things belonging to human nature; save the spirit of man which is in him — Unless he were possessed of a human spirit? Surely the spirit of a creature inferior to man, can neither discern nor comprehend the things peculiar to the human nature. Even so the things of God — Things that belong to the divine nature; knoweth no man — No mere man; no man devoid of divine teaching; the teaching of the Spirit of God. In other words, as soon might brute creatures, by the help of the faculties peculiar to them, understand human things, as a man, only possessed of human faculties, could, merely by the aid of them, understand divine things; and indeed much sooner; for God is infinitely more elevated above man, than man is above the brutes.

2:6-9 Those who receive the doctrine of Christ as Divine, and, having been enlightened by the Holy Spirit, have looked well into it, see not only the plain history of Christ, and him crucified, but the deep and admirable designs of Divine wisdom therein. It is the mystery made manifest to the saints, Col 1:26, though formerly hid from the heathen world; it was only shown in dark types and distant prophecies, but now is revealed and made known by the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is the Lord of glory; a title much too great for any creature. There are many things which people would not do, if they knew the wisdom of God in the great work of redemption. There are things God hath prepared for those that love him, and wait for him, which sense cannot discover, no teaching can convey to our ears, nor can it yet enter our hearts. We must take them as they stand in the Scriptures, as God hath been pleased to reveal them to us.But as it is written - This passage is quoted from Isaiah 64:4. It is not quoted literally; but the sense only is given. The words are found in the apocryphal books of Elijah; and Origen and Jerome supposed that Paul quoted from those books. But it is evident that Paul had in his eye the passage in Isaiah; and intended to apply it to his present purpose. These words are often applied by commentators and others to the future life, and are supposed by them to be descriptive of the state of the blessed there. But against the supposition that they refer directly to the future state, there are insuperable objections:

(1) The first is, that the passage in Isaiah has no such reference. In that place it is designed clearly to describe the blessedness of those who were admitted to the divine favor; who had communion with God; and to whom God manifested himself as their friend. That blessedness is said to be superior to all that people elsewhere enjoy; to be such as could be found no where else but in God. See Isaiah 64:1, Isaiah 64:4-5, Isaiah 64:8. It is used there, as Paul uses it, to denote the happiness which results from the communication of the divine favor to the soul.

(2) the object of the apostle is not to describe the future state of the redeemed. It is to prove that those who are Christians have true wisdom 1 Corinthians 2:6-7; or that they have views of truth, and of the excellence of the plan of salvation which the world has not, and which those who crucified the Lord Jesus did not possess. The thing which he is describing here, is not merely the happiness of Christians, but their views of the wisdom of the plan of salvation. They have views of that which the eyes of other people have not seen; a view of wisdom, and fitness, and beauty which can be found in no other plan. It is true that this view is attended with a high degree of comfort; but the comfort is not the immediate thing in the eye of the apostle.

(3) the declaration in 1 Corinthians 2:10, is conclusive proof that Paul does not refer to the happiness of heaven. He there says that God has revealed these things to Christians by his Spirit. But if already revealed, assuredly it does not refer to that which is yet to come. But although this does not refer directly to heaven, there may be an application of the passage to a future state in an indirect manner, which is not improper. If there are such manifestations of wisdom in the plan here; if Christians see so much of its beauty here on earth; and if their views so far surpass all that the world sees and enjoys, how much greater and purer will be the manifestations of wisdom and goodness in the world of glory.

Eye hath not seen - This is the same as saying, that no one had ever fully perceived and understood the value and beauty of those things which God has prepared for his people. All the world had been strangers to this until God made a revelation to his people by his Spirit. The blessedness which the apostle referred to had been unknown alike to the Jews and the Gentiles.

Nor ear heard - We learn the existence and quality of objects by the external senses; and those senses are used to denote any acquisition of knowledge. To say that the eye had not seen, nor the ear heard, was, therefore, the same as saying that it was not known at all. All people had been ignorant of it.

Neither have entered into the heart of man - No man has conceived it; or understood it. It is new; and is above all that man has seen, and felt, and known.

The things which God hath prepared - The things which God "has held in reserve" (Bloomfield); that is, what God has appointed in the gospel for his people. The thing to which the apostle here refers particularly, is the wisdom which was revealed in the gospel; but he also intends, doubtless, to include all the provisions of mercy and happiness which the gospel makes known to the people of God. Those things relate to the pardon of sin; to the atonement, and to justification by faith; to the peace and joy which religion imparts; to the complete and final redemption from sin and death which the gospel is suited to produce, and which it will ultimately effect. In all these respects, the blessings which the gospel confers, surpass the full comprehension of people; and are infinitely beyond all that man could know or experience without the religion of Christ. And if on earth the gospel confers such blessings on its friends, how much higher and purer shall be the joys which it shalt bestow in heaven!

9. But—(it has happened) as it is written.

Eye hath not seen, &c.—Alford translates, "The things which eye saw not … the things which God prepared … to us God revealed through His Spirit." Thus, however, the "but" of 1Co 2:10 is ignored. Rather construe, as Estius, "('We speak,' supplied from 1Co 2:8), things which eye saw not (heretofore), … things which God prepared … But God revealed them to us," &c. The quotation is not a verbatim one, but an inspired exposition of the "wisdom" (1Co 2:6, from Isa 64:4). The exceptive words, "O God, beside (that is, except) Thee," are not quoted directly, but are virtually expressed in the exposition of them (1Co 2:10), "None but thou, O God, seest these mysteries, and God hath revealed them to us by His Spirit."

entered—literally, "come up into the heart." A Hebraism (compare, Jer 3:16, Margin). In Isa 64:4 it is "Prepared (literally, 'will do') for him that waiteth for Him"; here, "for them that love Him." For Isaiah spake to them who waited for Messiah's appearance as future; Paul, to them who love Him as having actually appeared (1Jo 4:19); compare 1Co 2:12, "the things that are freely given to us of God"

The place where this is written is by all agreed to be Isaiah 64:4, where the words are, For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. It is so usual with the penmen of holy writ to quote the sense of texts in the Old Testament, not tying themselves to letters and syllables, that it is mightily vain for any to object against this quotation, as no where written in the Old Testament, but taken out of some apocryphal writings. The sense of what is written, Isaiah 64:4, is plainly the same with what he speaketh in this place; the greatest difference is, the apostle saith,

them that love him; the prophet, him that waiteth for him (which is the certain product and effect of love). The whole 64th chapter of Isaiah, {Isaiah 64:1-12} and some chapters following, treat concerning Christ; so doth this text. Christ and his benefits are to be understood here, by

the things which God hath prepared for them that love him; which are set out as things not obvious to sense, nor to be comprehended by reason. It could never have entered into the heart of men to conceive, that God should give his only begotten Son out of his own bosom, to take upon him our nature, and to die upon the cross; or, that Christ should so far humble himself, and become obedient unto death.

But as it is written,.... Not in an apocryphal book, called the Apocalypse of Elijah the prophet, as some have thought, but in Isaiah 64:4 with some variation; and is brought to prove that the Gospel is mysterious and hidden wisdom, unknown to the princes of this world, and ordained before the world was, for the glory of the saints: for the following words are not to be understood of the glories and happiness of the future state; though they are indeed invisible, unheard of, and inconceivable as to the excellency and fulness of them, and are what God has prepared from all eternity, for all those on whom he bestows his grace here; but of the doctrines of grace, and mysteries of the Gospel, as the context and the reason of their citation abundantly show; and are what

eye hath not seen, nor ear heard: which could never have been seen to be read by the eye of man, nor the sound thereof ever heard by the ear of man, had not God been pleased to make a revelation of them; and though they are to be seen and read in the sacred writings, and to be heard either read or expounded, with the outward hearing of the ear; yet are neither to be seen nor heard intellectually, spiritually, and savingly, unless, God gives eyes to see, and ears to hear; the exterior senses of seeing and hearing are not sufficient to come at and discover the sense of them; flesh and blood, human nature cannot search them out, nor reveal them, no nor the internal senses, the intellectual capacity of men:

neither have entered into the heart of man; this clause is not in the original text; but is a phrase often used by the Jews, for that which never came into a man's mind, was never thought of by him, or he ever had any conceptions, or the least notion and idea of; so the elders of the city, at the beheading of the heifer, are represented not only as saying, "our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it"; but also neither , "hath it entered into our hearts", that the sanhedrim hath shed blood (y); and elsewhere (z) it is said, this matter is like to a king, , "into whose heart it entered", to plant in his garden, &c.

The things which God hath prepared for them that love him; in the original text it is, "for him that waiteth for him"; the sense is the same, for such as hope in the Lord and wait for him, are lovers of him; and the meaning is, that God has prepared and laid up in his own breast, in his counsels and covenant, in the types, shadows, and sacrifices of the old law, in the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament, such doctrines and mysteries of grace as were not so seen, heard, known, and understood by the Old Testament prophets and saints; and has reserved for his people under the Gospel dispensation, the times of the Messiah, a more clear discovery of them: so the Jews themselves own that these words belong to the world to come (a), which with them commonly signifies the days of the Messiah; though here they think fit to distinguish them, and interpret the phrase, "eye hath not seen", of the eye of the prophets: their words are these (b);

"all prophesied not, but of the days of the Messiah; but as to the world to come, eye hath not seen, O God, besides thee.''

The gloss on it is,

"the eye of the prophets hath not been able to see it.''

Indeed, the mysteries of the Gospel are more clearly discerned now, than by the prophets formerly.

(y) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 46. 2.((z) Sepher Bahir in Zohar in Gen. fol. 31. 1.((a) Zohar in Exod. fol. 64. 4. & 67. 2.((b) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. Sabbat, fol, 63. 1. Sanhedrin, fol. 99. 1. Maimon. in Misn. Sanhed. c. 11. sect. 1. & Hilch. Teshuva, c. 8. sect. 7. & Jarchi in Isaiah 64.4.

{8} But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the {i} heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

(8) Another objection: but how could it be that those intelligent men could not perceive this wisdom? Paul answers: because we preach those things which surpass all man's understanding.

(i) Man cannot so much as think of them, much less conceive them with his senses.

1 Corinthians 2:9. Ἀλλά] but, antithesis to ἣν οὐδεὶς τῶν ἀρχόντων τ. αἰ. τ. ἔγνωκεν.

The passage of Scripture, which Paul now adduces, is to be translated: “What an eye hath not seen, nor an ear heard, and (what) hath not risen into the heart of a man, (namely:) all that God hath prepared for them that love Him.” In the connection of our passage these words are still dependent upon λαλοῦμεν. Paul, that is to say, instead of affirming something further of the wisdom itself, and so continuing with another ἥν (which none of the rulers have known, but which), describes now the mysterious contents of this wisdom, and expresses himself accordingly in the neuter form (by ), to which he was induced in the flow of his discourse by the similar form of the language of Scripture which floated before his mind. The construction therefore is not anacoluthic (Rückert hesitatingly; de Wette and Osiander, both of whom hold that it loses itself in the conception of the mysteries referred to); neither is it to be supplemented by γέγονε (Theophylact, Grotius). The connection with 1 Corinthians 2:10, adopted by Lachmann (in his ed. min[373]), and in my first and second editions, and again resorted to by Hofmann: what no eye has seen, etc., God, on the other hand (δέ, see on 1 Corinthians 1:23), has revealed to us, etc., is not sufficiently simple, mars the symmetry of the discourse, and is finally set aside by the consideration that, since the quotation manifestly does not go beyond ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν, καθὼς γέγραπται logically would need to stand, not before, but after , because in reality this , and not the ΚΑΘῺς ΓΈΓΡΑΠΤΑΙ, would introduce the object of ἈΠΕΚΆΛΥΨΕΝ.

.] Chrysostom and Theophylact are in doubt as to what passage is meant, whether a lost prophecy (so Theodoret), or Isaiah 52:15. Origen, again, and other Fathers (Fabricius, a[374] Cod. Apocr. N. T. p. 342; Pseudepigr. N. T. I. p. 1072; Lücke, Einleit. z. Offenb. I. p. 235), with whom Schrader and Ewald agree, assume, amidst vehement opposition on the part of Jerome, that the citation is from the Revelation of Elias, in which Zacharias of Chrysopolis avers (Harmonia Evang. p. 343) that he himself had actually read the words. Grotius regards them as “e scriptis Rabbinorum, qui ea habuerunt ex traditione vetere.” Most interpreters, however, including Osiander and Hofmann, agree with Jerome (on Isaiah 64 and a[375] Pammach. epist. ci.) in finding here a free quotation from Isaiah 64:4 (some holding that there is, besides, a reference to Isaiah 52:15, Isaiah 65:17); see especially Surenhusius, ΚΑΤΑΛΛ. p. 526 ff., also Riggenbach in the Stud. u. Krit. 1855, p. 596 f. But the difference in sense—not to be got over by forced and artificial interpretation of the passage in Isaiah (see especially Hofmann)—and the dissimilarity in expression are too great, hardly presenting even faint resemblances; which is never elsewhere the case with Paul, however freely he may make his quotations. There seems, therefore, to remain no other escape from the difficulty than to give credit to the assertion—however much repugnance may have been shown to it in a dogmatic interest from Jerome downwards—made by Origen and others, that the words were from the Apocalypsis Eliae. So, too, Bleek in the Stud. u. Krit. 1853, p. 330. But since it is only passages from the canonical Scriptures that are ever cited by Paul with καθὼς γέγρ., we must at the same time assume that he intended to do so here also, but by some confusion of memory took the apocryphal saying for a canonical passage possibly from the prophecies, to which the passages of kindred sound in Isaiah might easily give occasion. Comp also Weiss, biblische Theol. p. 298.

ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε Κ.Τ.Λ[377]] For similar designations in the classics and Rabbins of what cannot be apprehended by the senses or intellect, see Wetstein and Lightfoot, Horae, p. 162. Comp Empedocles in Plutarch, Mor. p. 17 E: οὔτʼ ἐπιδερκτὰ τάδʼ ἀνδράσιν, οὔτʼ ἐπακουστὰ, οὔτε νόῳ περιληπτά. With respect to ἀναβ. ἐπὶ καρδ., עָלָה עַל לֵב, to rise up to the heart, that is, become a consciously apprehended object of feeling and thought, so that the thing enters as a conception into the sphere of activity of the inner life, comp on Acts 7:23.

ΤΟῖς ἈΓΑΠ. ΑὐΤΌΝ] i.e. in the apostle’s view: for the true Christians.[380] See on Romans 8:28. What God has prepared for them is the salvation of the Messianic kingdom. Comp Matthew 25:34. Constitt. Apost. vii. 32. 2 : οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι πορεύσονται εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομοῦντες ἐκεῖνα, ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδε Κ.Τ.Λ[382]

[373] in. codices minusculi, manuscripts in cursive writing. Where these are individually quoted, they are marked by the usual Arabic numerals, as 33, 89.

[374] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[375] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[377] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[380] Clement, ad Cor. I. 34, in quoting this same passage (with his usual formula for scriptural quotations, λέγει γάρ), has here τοῖς ὑπομένουσιν αὐτόν, remembering perhaps Isaiah 64:4 in the LXX. Clement also, there can be no doubt, held the passage to be canonical, which is explained, however, by the fact of his being acquainted with our Epistle. The Constitt. apost. too, vii. 32. 2, have τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν. The so-called second Epistle of Clement, chap. 11, has the passage only as far as ἀνέβη.

[382] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

1 Corinthians 2:9 confirms by the language of Scripture (καθὼς γέγραπται) what has just been said. The verse is open to three different constructions: (1) It seems best to treat the relatives, , ὅσα, as in apposition to the foregoing ἣν clauses of 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (the form of the pronoun being dictated by the LXX original), and thus supplying a further obj[356] to the emphatically repeated λαλοῦμεν of 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 : “but (we speak), as it is written, things which eye,” etc. (so Er[357], Mr[358], Hn[359], Al[360], Ed[361], El[362], Bt[363]). (2) Hf[364], Ev[365], after Lachmann, prefix the whole sentence to ἀπεκάλυψεν of 1 Corinthians 2:10; but this subordination requires the doubtful reading δέ (for γάρ) in 1 Corinthians 2:10, to which it improperly extends the ref[366] of the formula καθὼς γέγραπται, while it breaks the continuity between the quotation and the foregoing assertions (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 1:31). (3) Bg[367], D.W[368], Gd[369], Lt[370], and others, see an anacoluthon here, and supply ἐστίν, factum est, or the like, as a peg for the ver. to hang upon, as in Romans 15:3—“But, as it is written, (there have come to pass) things which eye,” etc. This, however, seems needless after the prominent λαλοῦμεν, and weakens the concatenation of 1 Corinthians 2:6-9. The ἀλλὰ follows on the οὐδεὶς of 1 Corinthians 2:8, as ἀλλὰ in 1 Corinthians 2:7 (see note) on the οὐ of 1 Corinthians 2:6. The entire sentence may be thus arranged:—

[356] grammatical object.

[357] Erasmus’ In N.T. Annotationes.

[358] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

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

[360] Alford’s Greek Testament.

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

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

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

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

[365] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[366] reference.

[367] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

.W. De Wette’s Handbuch z. N. T.

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

[370] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

λαλοῦμεν Θεοῦ σοφίαντ. ἀποκεκρυμμένην,

ἢν προώρισεν ὁ Θεὸς κ.τ.λ.,

ἢν οὐδεὶς τ. ἀρχόντωνἔγνωκν κ.τ.λ

ἀλλὰἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδεν

ὅσα ἡτοίμασεν ὁ Θεὸς τ. ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν.

The words cited do not appear, connectedly, in the O.T. Of the four clauses, the 1James , 2 nd, and 4th recall Isaiah 64:4 f. (Hebrews , Isaiah 64:3 f.)—after the Hebrew text; the 3rd occurs in a similar strain in Isaiah 65:17 (LXX, 16); see other parls. In thought, as Hf[371] and Bt[372] point out, this passage corresponds to Isaiah 64 : in P. God does, as in Isaiah He is besought to do, things unlooked for by the world, to the confusion of its unbelief; in each case these things are done for fit persons—Isaiah’s “him that waiteth for Him,” etc., being translated into Paul’s “those that love Him”; ἐποίησεν is changed to ἡτοίμασεν, in conformity with προώρισεν (1 Corinthians 2:7). A further analogy appears between the “terrible things in righteousness” which the prophet foresees in the coming theophany, and the καταργεῖν that P. announces for “the rulers of this world”. Clement of Rome (ad Cor[373], xxxiv. 8) cites the text briefly as a Christian saying, but reverts from Paul’s τ. ἀγαπῶσιν to the Isaianic τ. ὑπομένουσιν αὐτόν, manifestly identifying the O. and N.T. sayings.

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

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

[373] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Or[374] wrote (on Matthew 27:9), “In nullo regulari libro hoc positum invenitur, nisi in Secretis Eliæ prophetæ”—a lost Apocryphum; Jerome found the words both in the Ascension of Isaiah and the Apocalypse of Elias, but denies Paul’s indebtedness to these sources; and Lt[375] makes out (see note, ad loc[376]) that these books were later than Paul. Origen’s suggestion has been adopted by many expositors, but is really needless; this is only an extreme example of the Apostle’s freedom in adopting and combining O.T. sayings whose substance he desires to use. The Gnostics quoted the passage in favour of their method of esoteric teaching.

[374] Origen.

[375] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[376] ad locum, on this passage.

ὅσα, of the last clause, is a climax to of the first—“so many things as God prepared for those that love Him”: cf. a Cor. 1 Corinthians 1:20, Php 4:8, for the pronominal idiom.—In ἡτοίμασεν κ.τ.λ. Paul is not thinking so much of the heavenly glory (see note on δόξα, 1 Corinthians 2:7), as of the magnificence of blessing, undreamed of in former ages, which comes already to believers in Christ (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:5-7).—τ. ἀγαπ. αὐτὸν affirms the moral precondition for this full blessedness (cf. John 14:23)—a further designation of the ἅγιοι, πιστεύοντες, κλητοί, ἐκλεκτοὶ of chap. 1.

9. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen] There has been much discussion whence these words are derived, but they are quite sufficiently near to the passage in Isaiah 64:4 to be regarded as a quotation from thence. It is unreasonable to require greater literal accuracy in the citation of words from the O. T. than is customary in a modern preacher, who is frequently content with giving the general drift of the passage he quotes. Such a practice was even more likely to exist in days when the cumbrous nature of books prevented them from being so readily at hand as at present We can hardly suppose, with some modern divines, that the passage is a quotation from the liturgy of the Apostolic Church, for Origen, Chrysostom, and Jerome, are alike ignorant of the fact.

1 Corinthians 2:9. Ἀλλὰ, but) viz. it has happened, comp. Romans 15:3; Romans 15:21, and 1 Corinthians 1:31.—καθὼς, as) He shows that the princes of the world knew not wisdom.—ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς) Isaiah 64:4, in the LXX., ἀπὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος οὐκ ἠκούσαμεν, οὐδε οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν εἰδον Θεὸν πλήν σου, καὶ τὰ ἔργα σου, ἃ ποιήσεις τοῖς ὑπομενοῦσιν ἔλεος. “Since the beginning we have not heard, nor have our eyes seen any god besides Thee and Thy works, which Thou wilt do to them that wait for mercy.”—, which) what eye hath not seen are those things, which God hath prepared.—ὀφθαλμὸς, οὖς, the eye, the ear) of man.—οὐκ ἀνέβη) neither have ascended [entered], that is, have not come into the mind.—ἡτοίμασεν, prepared) Hebr. יעשה, he will do; what was future in the time of Isaiah, had been actually accomplished in the time of Paul. Hence the one was speaking to them that were waiting for Him [Isaiah 64:4], the other to men that love [Him, who has appeared, 1 John 4:19]: comp. things that are freely given, 1 Corinthians 2:12, by the grace of the New Testament, the fruits of which are perfected in eternity.—[Romans 8:28; Jam 2:5.]

Verse 9. - But as it is written. The whole sentence in the Greek is unfinished. The thought seems to be, "But God has revealed to us things which eye hath not seen, etc., though the princes of this world were ignorant of them." Scriptural quotations are often thus introduced, apart from the general grammar of the sentence, as in the Greek of 1 Corinthians 1:31. Eye hath not seen, etc. The Revised Version is here more literal and accurate. The quotation as it stands is not found in the Old Testament. It most resembles Isaiah 64:4, but also vaguely resembles Isaiah 53:15; 65:17. It may be another instance of a loose general reminiscence (comp. 1 Corinthians 14:21; Romans 9:33). "Non verbum e verbo expressit," says St. Jerome, "sed παραφραστικῶς ευνδεμ σενσυμ aliis sermonibus indicavit." St. Chrysostom regards the words as part of a lost prophecy. Origen, Zacharias of Chrysopolis, and others say that the words occurred in an apocryphal book, the 'Apocalypse of Elias,' but if so the apocryphal writer must have had the passage of Isaiah in his mind. Some regard the words as a fragment of some ancient liturgy. Origen thought that they came from the 'Revelation of Elijah.' They were also to be found in the 'Ascension of Isaiah' (Jerome on Isaiah 64:4). and they occur in the Talmud (Sanhedr. 99 a). In a curious fragment of Hegesippus (circ. A.D. 150) preserved in Photius (Cod. 232.), that old writer indignantly repudiates this passage, saying that it is futile and "utterly belies (καταψεύδεσθαι) the Holy Scriptures and the Lord, who says, 'Blessed are your eyes which see, and your ears which hear.'" Photius cannot understand why (ὅτι καὶ παθὼν) Hegesippus should speak thus. Routh ('Rel. Sacr.,' 253) hardly knows how to excuse him; but perhaps if we had the context of the fragment we should see that he is attacking, not the words themselves, but some perversion of them by heretics, like the Docetae. The phrase, "As it is written," decisively marks an intention to refer to Scripture. Neither have entered into the heart of man; literally, things which have not set foot upon the heart. The general thought is that God's revelations (for the immediate reference is to these, and not to future bliss) pass all understanding. The quotation of these words as referring to heaven is one of the numberless instances of texts inaccurately applied. 1 Corinthians 2:9Eye hath not seen, etc.

From Isaiah 64:4, freely rendered by Septuagint. The Hebrew reads: "From of old men have not heard, not perceived with the ear, eye has not seen a God beside Thee who does (gloriously) for him who waits on Him." Septuagint, "From of old we have not heard, nor have our eyes seen a God beside Thee, and Thy works which Thou wilt do for those who wait for mercy." Paul takes only the general idea from the Old-Testament passage. The words are not to be limited to future blessings in heaven. They are true of the present.

Have entered (ἀνέβη)

Lit., went up. See on Acts 7:23. Compare Daniel 2:29, Sept.

Heart (καρδίαν)

See on Romans 1:21.

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