Devotional Readings, Reflections on Israel

1 Corinthians 14 – A digression on prophesying!

Interesting back to back chapter reading today.

Notice the teaching of God through Moses found here, then listen go Paul as you read.

Deu 18:15  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Deu 18:16  According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

Deu 18:17  And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

Deu 18:18  I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

Deu 18:19  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Deu 18:20  But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

Deu 18:21  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?

Deu 18:22  When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

John Gill writes..

Deuteronomy 18:15

The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet,…. Not Joshua, as Aben Ezra, not Jeremiah, as Baal Haturim, nor David (o), as others; nor a succession of prophets, as Jarchi; for a single person is only spoken of; and there is a dissimilitude between Moses and anyone of the prophets, and all of them in succession, Deu 34:10, but the Messiah, with whom the whole agrees; and upon this the expectation of a prophet among the Jews was raised, Joh 6:14 and is applied to him, and referred to as belonging to him in Act 3:22, who was a prophet mighty in word and deed, and not only foretold future events, as his own sufferings and death, and resurrection from the dead, the destruction of Jerusalem, and other things; but taught and instructed men in the knowledge of divine things, spake as never man did, preached the Gospel fully and faithfully, so that as the law came by Moses, the doctrine of grace and truth came by him; and he was raised up of God, called, sent, commissioned and qualified by him for the office of a prophet, as well as was raised from the dead as a confirmation of his being that extraordinary person:

from the midst of thee; he was of Israel, according to the flesh, of the tribe of Judah, and of the house of David, born of a virgin in Bethlehem, preached only in Judea, and was raised from the dead in the midst of them, and of which they were witnesses:

of thy brethren; the Israelites, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, and to whom he was sent as a prophet, and among whom he only preached:

like unto me; the Targum of Jonathan adds,”in the Holy Spirit;”which he received without measure, and in respect of which was superior to Moses, or any of the prophets: he was like to Moses in the faithful discharge of his office, in his familiar converse with God, in the miracles which he wrought; as well as in his being a Mediator, and the Redeemer of his people, as Moses was a mediator between God and the people of Israel, and the deliverer of them out of Egypt; and it is a saying of the Jews (p) themselves,”as was the first redeemer, so is the second:”

unto him ye shall hearken; externally attend on his ministry, internally receive his doctrine, embrace and profess it; do what is heard from him, hear him, and not another, always and in all things; see Mat 17:5.

(o) Herbanus in Disputat. cum Gregent. p. 13. col. 2. (p) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 63. 2.


Mat 17:5  While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Luk 9:35  And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.


1 Corinthians 14:26

How is it then, brethren?…. Or “what is it brethren?” The Arabic renders it, “what is the sense of my words?” The meaning of what he had said, the drift of his whole discourse; or rather the sense is, what is to be done in the case he was about to propose?

when ye come together; as a church into one place, to worship God;

everyone of you hath a psalm; not that everyone had this, or any other gift here mentioned, but that there were some among them that had one or other of these several gifts: some of them had a gift of composing and singing a psalm extempore; they delighted in psalmody, and were forward to promote it, and fond of spending the time wholly in it.

Hath a doctrine; others of them had a gift of deducing doctrines out of the word of God, which is profitable for that purpose, in an extraordinary manner, without study, and were capable of teaching them, and instructing men in them in a very edifying way:

hath a tongue others had the gift of speaking with divers tongues; or had knowledge and skill in the Hebrew tongue, could not only pray and sing in that language, and read the sacred text, but could deliver a sermon in it.

Hath a revelation; others had a peculiar insight into the types and figures of the Mosaic dispensation, a clear view of the prophetic writings, and a large discovery of the mysteries of the Gospel, by the Spirit, as a spirit of wisdom and revelation.

Hath an interpretation; others had a gift of interpreting languages, particularly the Hebrew language, when anything was delivered therein by another. Now the apostle answers to the question, what is to be done in such a case, where there is such a variety of gifts, and everyone is desirous of exercising his peculiar gift?

let all things be done to edifying; intimating, that each of these things might be done; every gift might be made use of: he that had a psalm might sing it; and he that had a doctrine might deliver it; he that had a tongue might speak with it; and he that had a revelation might declare it; and he that had an interpretation might make use of it; provided that care was taken that each was done in such a manner, as might be for the edifying of the church that was met together; otherwise, if it was only for ostentation sake to make a show of their gifts and talents, and to nourish their own pride and vanity, no good end would be answered; it had better be let alone: but if edification could be promoted, each gift might be employed; for which the apostle gives the following directions.

Prophecy and Tongues

1Co 14:1  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1Co 14:2  For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

1Co 14:3  But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.


John Gill writes…

1 Corinthians 14:3

But he that prophesieth,…. Preaches, prays, or sings, in a language understood by the common people:

speaketh unto men to edification; to the building of them up in Christ, and on their most holy faith, so that they grow up as an holy temple to the Lord: and exhortation; to the more vigorous exercise of grace, and the more cheerful and fervent discharge of duty:

and comfort; of distressed minds, either through the temptations of Satan, or divine desertions, or inward corruptions, or outward afflictions; for all which ends and purposes the Scriptures are written, and gifts are bestowed on men to explain them; and which ends are answered when God gives a blessing to the word; but can never be expected, if delivered in a language not understood. This bears hard upon the Papists performing any part of divine worship in a language unintelligible to the common people.


1Co 14:4  He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

1Co 14:5  I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

1Co 14:6  Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

1Co 14:7  And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

1Co 14:8  For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

1Co 14:9  So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

1Co 14:10  There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

1Co 14:11  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.

1Co 14:12  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

1Co 14:13  Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:14  For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1Co 14:15  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1Co 14:16  Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

1Co 14:17  For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

1Co 14:18  I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

1Co 14:19  Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

1Co 14:20  Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

1Co 14:21  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

1Co 14:22  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

1Co 14:23  If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

1Co 14:24  But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

1Co 14:25  And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Orderly Worship

1Co 14:26  How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.


1Co 14:27  If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

1Co 14:28  But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

1Co 14:29  Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

1Co 14:30  If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

1Co 14:31  For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

1Co 14:32  And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

1Co 14:33  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1Co 14:34  Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

1Co 14:35  And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1Co 14:36  What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

1Co 14:37  If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

1Co 14:38  But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

1Co 14:39  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

1Co 14:40  Let all things be done decently and in order.

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