1 Corinthians 15:38

38 But God gives it a body as He wants, and to each of the seeds its own body.

1 Corinthians 15:38 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 15:38

But God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased him
It is not the husbandman, nor the sun, nor the rain, that give the grain of wheat, or any other, its verdure and beauty, the form in which it springs up, its stalk, blade, and ear, but God by his own power, and of his sovereign will and pleasure; and he does not create this new form, but gives it; and does not barely give it, but gives the body to it: to the selfsame grain, and not another: so the resurrection of the dead is God's work; it is an instance of his power, and of his sovereign will; and is to his people a branch of that eternal life, which is his pure gift through Jesus Christ; all that glory in which the body will arise springs from his free grace, and is bestowed upon the selfsame body, which was carried about here, and laid in the grave: and to every

seed its own body;
which is suitable and natural to it, according to its kind; see ( Genesis 1:11 ) as cummin to cummin, anise to anise, wheat to wheat, barley to barley, and not on the contrary; showing, that it is the same body that is raised that dies, though it is in a more glorious, and with more excellent qualities; which is manifest from express passages of Scripture; see ( Job 19:26 Job 19:27 ) ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 1 Corinthians 15:53 1 Corinthians 15:54 ) from the signification of the word resurrection, which is a raising up of that which is fallen and if the same body that falls by death is not raised, but another is given, it will not be a resurrection, but a creation: and also from the figurative phrases by which it is expressed, as here by the quickening of seed cast into the earth, and elsewhere by awaking out of sleep; now as it is the same seed that is sown that springs up again, and the same body that sleeps that awaked out of it, so it is the same body that is interred in the earth, and falls asleep by death, that will be quickened and awaked at the resurrection: and it is clear from the places from whence the dead will be raised, the repositories of them, as death and hell, or the grave, and the sea; for none but the same bodies that are laid in the grave, or cast into the sea, can be said to come forth out of them, or be delivered up; by them: and from the subject of the resurrection, the bodies of men, their vile and mortal bodies, which can be no other than their present ones; and from the end of the resurrection, which is that some may come to life, and others to damnation; and from the justice of God, which requires that the same bodies Christ has purchased, find who have served and suffered for him, should be glorified; and the same that have done evil against him, and abused themselves and his people, be punished: this might be argued from the translations of Enoch and Elijah in their bodies to heaven, in which they were on earth; and from the resurrection of the bodies of the saints at Christ's resurrection, and the change that will be on the bodies of living saints at the coming of Christ; for it is not reasonable to suppose, that some of the saints shall have their own bodies, and others none at all, or not the same they lived in here: this may be further confirmed, from the resurrection of Christ's body, which was the same he had before; it was not changed into a spirit, but consisted of flesh and bones, as it had done; and had on it the very print of the nails, and spear in his hands, feet, and side; and to this the bodies of the saints are to be fashioned: add to all this, if it is not a resurrection of the same body, but new ones are created, to which the soul will be united, it will not be a resurrection, but a transmigration of souls into other bodies; but as every seed has its own body, so will every soul have its own body, though greatly different as to its qualities, and much improved for the better, as in seed sown: and this is the sense of the ancient Jews {q},

``says R. Chijah, (Mwqy hwhd apwg awhhd) , "that that selfsame body that was shall rise", is clear from what is written, thy dead men shall live, ( Isaiah 26:19 ) and it is not written, shall be created; from whence it is evident that they shall not be created, but shall be quickened:''

and again F18,

``in the time to come, the holy blessed God will quicken the dead, and raise them (Mrpem) , "out of their own dust", that they may not be a building of dust, as they were at first, when they were created out of dust itself, a thing which is not stable, according to ( Genesis 2:7 ) and at that time they shall be raised out of the dust, out of that building, and shall stand in a stable building, that they may have stability, or duration.''

So on those words, "I kill and I make alive, I wound and I heal", ( Deuteronomy 32:39 ) they observe F19, that

``as wounding and healing are (dxab) , "in one", (and the same body,) so death and life are (dxab) , "in one and" the same.''


F17 Zohar in Exod. fol. 12. 3.
F18 Midrash Hannealam in Zohar in Gen. fol. 81. 1.
F19 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 91. 2.

1 Corinthians 15:38 In-Context

36 Foolish one! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37 And as for what you sow-you are not sowing the future body, but only a seed, perhaps of wheat or another grain.
38 But God gives it a body as He wants, and to each of the seeds its own body.
39 Not all flesh is the same flesh; there is one flesh for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones.
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