1 Corinthians 15:52

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:52 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 15:52

In a moment
Or point of time, which is very short indeed; what a moment is, according to the Jewish doctors, (See Gill on Matthew 4:8).

In the twinkling of an eye;
these two the Jews not only put together as here, but make one to be as the other; so they say F11, (Nye Prhk) (egrh) , "a moment is as the twinkling of an eye". This phrase, as the twinkling of an eye, is frequently used in Jewish writings F12, to signify how speedily ard suddenly anything is done, and which is the design of it here; and the apostle's meaning is, that the change upon the bodies of living saints will be so quick, that it will be done in a trice, before a man can shut his eyes and open them again; so that it will be as it were imperceptible, and without the least sensation of pain; this may also be referred to the resurrection, which will be quick, and done at once; though it seems rather, and chiefly, to respect the change of the living; what follows, indeed, favours the other sense also; for all will be quick and sudden, the coming of Christ, the raising of the dead, and the change of the living:

at the last trumpet, for the trumpet shall sound;
or "by the last trumpet", as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; that is, by means of it, through the sounding of that:

and the dead shall be raised incorruptible;
free from all frailty, mortality, and corruption, when the trumpet shall sound:

at the same time also,

we shall be changed;
the saints that will be found alive; the apostle speaks in the first person, because of the uncertainty of Christ's coming, and of the blowing of the last trumpet, he not knowing but it might be in his time; what this last trumpet will be, is not easy to say; it can hardly be thought to be a material one: the Jews F13 have a notion, that a trumpet will be blown at the time of the resurrection of the dead, as at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; which will quicken the dead, as they say it then did; and that this will be blown by Michael the archangel F14: it seems very likely to be the same with the shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God, ( 1 Thessalonians 4:16 ) all which may be no other than the voice of Christ; at the hearing of which, the dead will rise; but whether this will be an articulate one, as at the raising of Lazarus, or is only expressive of his power, which will then be put forth, is not material, nor a point to be determined: and what if by all this should be meant some violent claps of thunder, as at Mount Sinai, which will shake the whole earth; and when almighty power will be put forth to raise the dead: since such are by the Jews F15 called the voices of the son of David, and are expected by them, a little before his coming? This is called the "last" trumpet, not so much with respect to those that go before, much less to the seven trumpets in the Revelations, of which as yet there was no revelation made, but because there will be none after it; see:

``And the trumpet shall give a sound, which when every man heareth, they shall be suddenly afraid.'' (2 Esdras 6:23)


F9 Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 11. fol. 202. 3.
F11 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 2. 4. Eeha Rabbati, fol. 54. 4.
F12 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 2. 2. Sabbat, fol. 34. 2. Zohar in Gen, fol. 38. 4. & 39. 1. & 65. 4. Caphtor, fol. 75. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 77. fol. 67. 4.
F13 Targum. Jon. in Exod. xx. 18. & Kettoreth Hassammim in ib. Abarbinel. Mashmia Jeshua, fol. 11. 4.
F14 Abkath Rochel, p. 138.
F15 T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 97. 1. & Gloss. in ib. Vid. Megilla, fol. 17. 2.

1 Corinthians 15:52 In-Context

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.