1 Corinthians 15:45

45 Thus it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1 Corinthians 15:45 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written
In ( Genesis 2:7 )

the first man Adam was made a living soul:
in the Hebrew text it is, man, or Adam, became, or was made a living soul; that is, as the apostle says, "the first man Adam": he calls him, as the Jews F1 frequently do, (Nwvarh Mda) , "the first man"; he was the first man that was made, and the first parent of mankind, and the head and representative of all his posterity, and so the first in time, causality and dignity; whose name was Adam, so called by God in the day he was created, because he was formed (hmdah Nm) , "from the ground, or earth"; when God breathed life into the earthly mass, or lump; and being animated with a rational soul, it became an animal body, or a living creature; and so the apostle proves, from the first man that was upon earth, that there is a natural, or animal body; a body animated by a soul, and which was supported by eating and drinking, by sleep and rest; and was capable of dying, and should die, in case of sin; and which was the state of it in its first creation, whilst in innocence, and before the fall; and this is all he meant to prove by this Scripture; for what follows is not mentioned as therein written, or elsewhere, but as the apostle's own assertion:

the last Adam was made a quickening spirit:
by "the last Adam" is meant Jesus Christ, called Adam, because he is really and truly a man, a partaker of the same flesh and blood as the rest of mankind; and because he is the antitype of the first man Adam, who was a figure of him that was to come; and therefore called Adam, for the same reason as he is called David and Solomon: he is said to be "the last", in distinction from the first Adam, with respect to him he stood, (Nwrxa) , last upon the earth, as in ( Job 19:25 ) to which passage some think the apostle here alludes; and because he appeared in the last days in the end of the world, and is the last that shall rise up as a common head and representative of the whole, or any part of mankind: now he is made "a quickening spirit"; which some understand of the Holy Spirit, which filled the human nature of Christ, raised him from the dead, and will quicken our mortal bodies at the last day; others of the divine nature of Christ, to which his flesh, or human nature, was united; and which gave life, rigour, and virtue, to all his actions and sufferings, as man; and by which he was quickened, when put to death in the flesh, and by which he will quicken others another day: though rather I think it is to be understood of his spiritual body, of his body, not as it was made of the virgin, for that was a natural, or an animal one; it was conceived and bred, and born as animal bodies are; it grew and increased, and was nourished with meat and drink, and sleep and rest; and was subject to infirmities, and to death itself, as our bodies be; but it is to be understood of it as raised from the dead, when it was made a spiritual body, for which reason it is called a "spirit": not that it was changed into a spirit, for it still remained flesh and blood; but because it was no more supported in an animal way; nor subject to those weaknesses that animal bodies are, but lives as spirits, or angels do; and a quickening one, not only because it has life itself, but because by virtue of the saints' union to it, as it subsists in the divine person of the Son of God, their bodies will be quickened at the last day, and made like unto it, spiritual bodies; also because he lives in his body as a spiritual one, they shall live in theirs as spiritual ones: and so the apostle shows, that there is a spiritual, as well as an animal body; that as the first man's body, even before the fall, was an animal or natural one; the last Adam's body upon his resurrection is a spiritual and life giving one, as the Syriac version renders it; so the Cabalistic writers F2 speak of

``Adam; who is the holy and supreme, who rules over all, and gives spirit and life to all.''


F1 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol 38. 2. & 100. 1. & alibi passim. & (Mda) (Nwmdq) , Cabala denud. par. 4. p. 195 Vid. 2 Esdras iii. 21.
F2 Zohar in Exod. fol. 59. 4.

1 Corinthians 15:45 In-Context

43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
44 It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.
45 Thus it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual.
47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.