Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world?
(Pou sopo; pou grammateu; pou sunzhthth tou aiwno toutou;
). Paul makes use of Isaiah 33:18
without exact quotation. The sudden retreat of Sennacherib with the annihilation of his officers. "On the tablet of Shalmaneser in the Assyrian Gallery of the British Museum there is a surprisingly exact picture of the scene described by Isaiah" (Robertson and Plummer). Note the absence of the Greek article in each of these rhetorical questions though the idea is clearly definite. Probably sopo
refers to the Greek philosopher, grammateu
to the Jewish scribe and sunzhthth
suits both the Greek and the Jewish disputant and doubter ( Acts 6:9
; Acts 9:29
; Acts 17:18
; Acts 28:29
). There is a note of triumph in these questions. The word sunzhthth
occurs here alone in the N.T. and elsewhere only in Ignatius, Eph. 18 quoting this passage, but the papyri give the verb sunzhtew
for disputing (questioning together). Hath not God made foolish?
(ouci emwranen o qeo;
). Strong negative form with aorist active indicative difficult of precise translation, "Did not God make foolish?" The old verb mwrainw
, foolish, was to be foolish, to act foolish, then to prove one foolish as here or to make foolish as in Romans 1:22
. In Matthew 5:13
; Luke 14:34
it is used of salt that is tasteless. World
). Synonymous with aiwn
(age), orderly arrangement, then the non-Christian cosmos.