How is it then, brethren?
&c.] Or "what is it brethren?" The Arabic renders it, "what is the sense of my words?" The meaning of what he had said, the drift of his whole discourse; or rather the sense is, what is to be done in the case he was about to propose?
when ye come together;
as a church into one place, to worship God;
everyone of you hath a psalm;
not that everyone had this, or any other gift here mentioned, but that there were some among them that had one or other of these several gifts: some of them had a gift of composing and singing a psalm extempore; they delighted in psalmody, and were forward to promote it, and fond of spending the time wholly in it.
Hath a doctrine;
others of them had a gift of deducing doctrines out of the word of God, which is profitable for that purpose, in an extraordinary manner, without study, and were capable of teaching them, and instructing men in them in a very edifying way:
hath a tongue
others had the gift of speaking with divers tongues; or had knowledge and skill in the Hebrew tongue, could not only pray and sing in that language, and read the sacred text, but could deliver a sermon in it.
Hath a revelation;
others had a peculiar insight into the types and figures of the Mosaic dispensation, a clear view of the prophetic writings, and a large discovery of the mysteries of the Gospel, by the Spirit, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation.
Hath an interpretation;
others had a gift of interpreting languages, particularly the Hebrew language, when anything was delivered therein by another. Now the apostle answers to the question, what is to be done in such a case, where there is such a variety of gifts, and everyone is desirous of exercising his peculiar gift?
let all things be done to edifying;
intimating, that each of these things might be done; every gift might be made use of: he that had a psalm might sing it; and he that had a doctrine might deliver it; he that had a tongue might speak with it; and he that had a revelation might declare it; and he that had an interpretation might make use of it; provided that care was taken that each was done in such a manner, as might be for the edifying of the church that was met together; otherwise, if it was only for ostentation sake to make a show of their gifts and talents, and to nourish their own pride and vanity, no good end would be answered; it had better be let alone: but if edification could be promoted, each gift might be employed; for which the apostle gives the following directions.