For in this we groan earnestly
Meaning either for this happiness we groan, or rather in this tabernacle we groan. These words are a reason of the former, proving that the saints have a building of God; and they know they have it, because they groan after it here; for the groanings of the saints are under the influence and direction of the Spirit of God, who makes intercession for them, as for grace, so for glory, according to the will of God: and this groaning is further explained by
desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven;
by which is meant not the glorified body in the resurrection morn; for though the bodies of the saints will be glorious, incorruptible, powerful, and spiritual, they are not said to be celestial, nor will they be from heaven, but be raised out of the earth: besides, the apostle is speaking of an habitation the soul will go into, and is desirous of going into as soon as it removes out of the earthly house of the body, and of a clothing it desires to be clothed with as soon as it is stripped of the garment of the flesh: wherefore, by the house from heaven must be meant the heavenly glory, which departed souls immediately enter into, and are arrayed with, even the white and shining robes of purity, perfection, and glory they shall be clothed with, as soon as ever their tabernacles are unpinned and dissolved. The Jews indeed speak of a celestial body which the soul shall be clothed with immediately upon its separation from the earthly body, and much in such figurative terms as the apostle does in this, and the following verse;
``when a man's time is come, say they F4, to go out of this world, he does not depart until the angel of death has stripped him of the clothing of body, (see ( 2 Corinthians 5:4 ) ) and when the soul is stripped of the body, by the angel of death, it goes (arxa apwg awhhb avbltmw) , "and is clothed with that other body", which is in paradise, of which it was stripped when it came into this world; for the soul has no pleasure but in the body, which is from thence, and it rejoices because it is stripped of the body of this world, (Mylv arxa avwblb vbltaw) "and is clothed with another perfect clothing".''And a little after,
``the holy blessed God deals well with men, for he does not strip men of their clothes until he has provided for them other clothes, more precious and better than these, except the wicked of the world, who return not to their Lord by perfect repentance; for naked they came into this world, and naked (see ( 2 Corinthians 5:3 ) ) they shall return hence.''And in another place F5,
``the soul does not go up to appear before the Holy King, until it is worthy to be clothed (alyeld avwblb) , "with the clothing which is above".''
F4 Zohar in Exod. fol. 62. 1, 2.
F5 Zohar in Exod. fol. 92. 2. Vid. fol. 84. 3. & in Gen. fol. 49. 3. & Caphtor, fol. 18. 2. & 78. 2.