Yet in the church I had rather speak five words
Referring not to the five books of Moses, as Jerom suggests, and much less, as the Papists say, to the five words, "for this is my body"; by the muttering of which they suppose the bread in the Lord's supper to be transubtantiated into the body of Christ; but meaning a very few words, which he chose to speak in the church before the congregation, when and where saints were met together for public worship, for their edification and comfort, and the glory of God; for though at other times, and to other people, he might think fit to make use of his gift in speaking with divers tongues, yet at such a time and place he thought it much more eligible to say ever so few words
so as to be understood by others, as well as himself:
that by my voice I might teach others also;
the doctrines of the Gospel, the mysteries of grace, the duty of men towards God and men, and one another:
than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue;
than to deliver ever so long an oration in a language not understood by them, which could be of no use unto them; for though they might hear his voice, the sound of his words, yet thereby he could not teach and instruct them to their profit, unless they understood the language which he spoke; and therefore five words understood were more likely to be of use than ten thousand spoken in a strange language.