1 Corinthians 15:55
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

King James Bible
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Darby Bible Translation
Where, O death, [is] thy sting? where, O death, thy victory?

World English Bible
"Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?"

Young's Literal Translation
where, O Death, thy sting? where, O Hades, thy victory?'

1 Corinthians 15:55 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? - Που σου, Θανατε, το κεντρον· που σου, ᾁδη, το νικος· These words are generally supposed to be taken from Hosea 13:14, where the Hebrew text stands thus: אהי דבריך מות אהי קטבך שאול ehi debareyca maueth; ehikatabca sheol: which we translate, O death! I will be thy plagues; O grave! I will be thy destruction; and which the Septuagint translate very nearly as the apostle, που ἡ δικη σου, Θαντε; που το κεντρον σον, ᾁδη; O death, where is thy revenge, or judicial process? O grave, where is thy sting? And it may be remarked that almost all the MSS., versions, and many of the fathers, interchange the two members of this sentence as they appear in the Septuagint, attributing victory to death; and the sting, to hades or the grave; only the Septuagint, probably by mistake or corruption of copyists, have δικη, dike, revenge or a judicial process, for νικος, nikos, victory: a mistake which the similarity of the words, both in letters and sound, might readily produce. We may observe, also, that the אהי ehi (I will be) of the Hebrew text the Septuagint, and the apostle following them, have translated που, where, as if the word had been written איה where, the two last letters interchanged; but אהי ehi, is rendered where in other places; and our translators, in the 10th verse of this same chapter (Hosea 13:10) render אהי מלך ehi malca, "I will be thy king," but have this note in the margin, "Rather, where is thy king? King Hoshea being then in prison." The apostle, therefore, and the Septuagint, are sufficiently vindicated by the use of the word elsewhere: and the best Jewish commentators allow this use of the word. The Targum, Syriac, Arabic, Vulgate, and some MSS. of Kennicott and De Rossi, confirm this reading.

Having vindicated the translation, it is necessary to inquire into the meaning of the apostle's expressions. Both Death and Hades are here personified: Death is represented as having a sting, dagger, or goad, by which, like the driver of oxen, he is continually irritating and urging on; (these irritations are the diseases by which men are urged on till they fall into Hades, the empire of Death); to Hades, victory is attributed, having overcome and conquered all human life, and subdued all to its own empire. By the transposition of these two members of the sentence, the victory is given to Death, who has extinguished all human life; and the sting is given to Hades, as in his empire the evil of death is fully displayed by the extinction of all animal life, and the destruction of all human bodies. We have often seen a personification of death in ancient paintings - a skeleton crowned, with a dart in his hand; probably taken from the apostle's description. The Jews represent the angel of death as having a sword, from which deadly drops of gall fall into the mouths of all men.

Hades, which we here translate grave, is generally understood to be the place of separate spirits. See the note on Matthew 11:23.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

O death.

Hosea 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be your plagues; O grave...


Acts 9:5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute: it is hard for you to kick against the pricks.

Revelation 9:10 And they had tails like to scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.


grave. or, hell.

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

Acts 2:27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer your Holy One to see corruption.

Revelation 20:13,14 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them...


is thy victory.

Job 18:13,14 It shall devour the strength of his skin: even the firstborn of death shall devour his strength...

Psalm 49:8-15 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceases for ever:)...

Psalm 89:48 What man is he that lives, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.

Ecclesiastes 2:15,16 Then said I in my heart, As it happens to the fool, so it happens even to me; and why was I then more wise? Then I said in my heart...

Ecclesiastes 3:19 For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes...

Ecclesiastes 8:8 There is no man that has power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither has he power in the day of death...

Ecclesiastes 9:5,6 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward...

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression...

The Image of the Earthly and the Heavenly
Eversley, Easter Day, 1871. 1 Cor. xv. 49. "As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." This season of Easter is the most joyful of all the year. It is the most comfortable time, in the true old sense of that word; for it is the season which ought to comfort us most--that is, it gives us strength; strength to live like men, and strength to die like men, when our time comes. Strength to live like men. Strength to fight against the temptation which
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons

Fifth Sunday after Easter
Text: First Corinthians 15, 51-58. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II

Paul's Estimate of Himself
'By the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain.'--1 COR. xv. 10. The Apostle was, all his life, under the hateful necessity of vindicating his character and Apostleship. Thus here, though his main purpose in the context is simply to declare the Gospel which he preached, he is obliged to turn aside in order to assert, and to back up his assertion, that there was no sort of difference between him and the other recognised teachers of Christian truth. He
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

The Unity of Apostolic Teaching
Whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.'--1 COR. xv. 11. Party spirit and faction were the curses of Greek civic life, and they had crept into at least one of the Greek churches--that in the luxurious and powerful city of Corinth. We know that there was a very considerable body of antagonists to Paul, who ranked themselves under the banner of Apollos or of Cephas i.e. Peter. Therefore, Paul, keenly conscious that he was speaking to some unfriendly critics, hastens in the
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

Cross References
Hosea 13:14
"I will deliver this people from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? "I will have no compassion,

1 Corinthians 15:56
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

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