1 Corinthians 14:11

11 If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.

1 Corinthians 14:11 Meaning and Commentary

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.

1 Corinthians 14:11 In-Context

9 So with yourselves; if in a tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is being said? For you will be speaking into the air.
10 There are doubtless many different kinds of sounds in the world, and nothing is without sound.
11 If then I do not know the meaning of a sound, I will be a foreigner to the speaker and the speaker a foreigner to me.
12 So with yourselves; since you are eager for spiritual gifts, strive to excel in them for building up the church.
13 Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.