1 Corinthians 15:47

1 Corinthians 15:47

The first man is of the earth, earthy
He was formed out of the earth, ( Genesis 2:7 ) and the word there used signifies red earth. Josephus F3 observes, that the first man was called Adam, which in the Hebrew tongue signifies red, because he was made out of red earth; for such, adds he, is the true and virgin earth: Pausanias F4 makes mention of a clay, which is not the colour of earth, but like the sand of brooks and rivers; and gives a smell very near to that of the skin, or body of men; and which is said to be the remains of that clay, out of which all mankind was made: but be that as it will, Adam was certainly made out of the earth, and had his habitation and abode assigned him in the garden of Eden, and was made to cultivate and till it; his lordship and dominion, at most and best, only extended to the terraqueous globe, and the creatures in it; and having sinned, he was not only thrust out of the garden to till the ground out of which he was taken, but doomed to return to the dust from whence he came; and whose sin and fall had such an influence on him and his posterity, as to make their souls sensual and earthly, to mind, affect, and cleave unto earthly things:

the second man is the Lord from heaven;
as Adam was the first man, Christ is the second man; and these two are spoken of, as it they were the only two men in the world; because as the former was the head and representative of all his natural posterity, so the latter is the head and representative of all his spiritual offspring: and he is "the Lord from heaven"; in distinction from the first man, who was of the earth, and whose lordship reached only to the earth; whereas Christ is Lord of all, not only Lord of lords below, but Lord of angels and saints above; the whole family in heaven and in earth is named of him; and he has all power in heaven and in earth, and a name above every name in this world, and that to come, and is indeed higher than the heavens: this is not to be understood of his human nature, or of his human body, as if that came down from heaven, and passed through the virgin, as some heretics of old said, as water through a pipe; for though it was conceived and formed in a miraculous manner, under the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost from on high, yet was formed out of the matter and substance of the virgin, and so was of the earth; and was indeed an earthly body, supported by earthly means, and at last returned to the earth, and was interred in it: but it is to be understood either of Christ as a divine person, as the Son of God, as Lord of all, coming down from heaven at his incarnation; not by local motion, or change of place, but by assumption of the human nature into union with him, the Lord from heaven; or rather of him as he shall descend from heaven, as the Lord and Judge of all at the last day, when he will come in his glorious, spiritual, and heavenly body; and raise the righteous dead, and fashion their bodies like his own; when what follows will have its full accomplishment. The Cabalistic doctors among the Jews often speak F5 of (Nwyle Mda) , "the superior man", and (Nwtxt Mdaw) , "the inferior man"; and in their Cabalistic table F6, in the sixth "sephirah", or number, they place the man from above, the heavenly Adam; and, in one of their writings F7, have these remarkable words,

``(anynt Mdaw hale Mda Nam) , "who is the supreme man and the second man", but of whom it is said, ( Proverbs 30:4 ) "what is his name, and what is his son's name?" what is his name? this is the supreme man; what is his son's name? this is the inferior man; and both of them are intimated in that Scripture, ( Exodus 3:13 ) "and they shall say unto me, what is his name? what shall I say?"''

Some copies, and the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions; leave out the word "Lord", and add the word "heavenly", reading the clause thus, "the second man from heaven, heavenly".


F3 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 2.
F4 Phocica, sive l. 10. p. 615.
F5 Raziel, fol. 26. 1. & 31. 1. & 33. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 1. 4.
F6 In Cabala Denudata, par. 2. p. 9.
F7 Zohar in Gen. fol. 39. 2.