1 Corinthians 14:11

11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and the speaker is a foreigner to me.

Read 1 Corinthians 14:11 Using Other Translations

Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
but if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
But if I don’t understand a language, I will be a foreigner to someone who speaks it, and the one who speaks it will be a foreigner to me.

What does 1 Corinthians 14:11 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
1 Corinthians 14:11

Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice
The force and power of a language, the signification of it, the ideas its words convey, but only hear the sound of it:

I shall be to him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh
shall be a barbarian unto me:
like one of those rude and uncultivated people that inhabit deserts and wild places, who can neither understand the language of others, nor be understood by others; and indeed may be meant of any sort of people, that do not understand one another's language: the word (rb) , "bar", and (arb) , "bara", in the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic languages, not only signifies a field, a wood, or desert place, but also without, or any thing extraneous; and being doubled, signifies one that lives without, in another land; a stranger, and that speaks a strange language; so all other nations of the world were barbarians to the Hebrews, and particularly the Egyptians; see the Targum on ( Psalms 114:1 ) and so were all other nations to the Greeks, see ( Romans 1:14 ) and also to the Romans: and the sense is, that where the signification of a language and the sense of words are not known, the speaker is like a man that lives in a strange country to him that hears him; and the hearer is like to one that lives in a strange country to him that speaks, since they cannot understand one another. The word sometimes is used for men, (afwnoi h ankooi) , F26, "that can neither speak nor hear", men dumb and deaf; and when words cannot be understood, the case is all one as with such persons.


FOOTNOTES:

F26 Scholia in Aristoph. in Avibus, p. 550.
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