John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 1:20 - 1:20

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 1:20 - 1:20

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1Co 1:20. Ποῦ σοφός, ποῦ γραμματεύς; ποῦ συζητητὴς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) Isa 33:18, LXX., ποῦ εἰσι γραμματικοί; ποῦ εἰσιν οἱ συμβουλεύοντες; ποῦ ἐστιν ὁ ἀριθμῶν τοὺς συστρεφομένους. Hebr. איה ספר איה שקל איה ספר את־המגדלים. The first half of the verse proposes two questions, of which the former is cleared up in the second half, and the latter in the verse following (We have also a similar figure in Isa 25:6): Where is the scribe? where is the weigher (or, receiver)? where is the scribe with the towers? where is the weigher (or, receiver) with a strong people, on whom thou canst not bear to look? For the expression appears to be proverbial, which the particle את, with, usually accompanies, and in this mode of speaking denotes universality, Deu 29:18. That some charge of the towers was in the hands of the scribes, may be gathered from Psa 48:12-13. The term, weighers (or receivers) is readily applicable to commanders of forces. Comp. Heinr. Scharbau Parerg. Phil. Theol. P. iv. p. 109, who has collected many facts with great erudition, and has furnished us with the handle for [the suggestion which originated] these reflections of ours. Paul brings forward both the passages in Isaiah against the Jews; but the second has the words so changed, as to apply more to recent times, and at the same time to the Gentiles, 1Co 1:22. Some think that the three classes of learned men among the Jews, חכמים ספרים דרשים, are intended. We certainly find the first and second in Mat 23:34. There is moreover a threefold antithesis, and that too a very remarkable one, in Isa 33:22, where the glorying of the saints in the Lord is represented. But this is what the apostle means to say: The wise men of the world not only do not approve and promote the Gospel, but they oppose it, and that too in vain.-τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου) of this world, which is quite beyond the sphere of the “preaching of the cross” [ὁ λόγος ὁ τοῦ σταυροῦ, 1Co 1:18].-ἐμώρανεν, made foolish) so that the world cannot understand the ground of the Divine counsel and good pleasure [εὐδόκησεν], 1Co 1:21.-τὴν σοφίαν, the wisdom) The wisdom of this world [1Co 1:20], and in the wisdom of God [1Co 1:21], are antithetic.-κόσμου[7]) of the world, in which are the Jews and the Greeks.

[7] The margin of both editions defends the pronoun τούτου as the reading in this verse, although it is omitted in the Germ. Ver.-E. B.

ABC corrected later, and D corr. later, Orig. 3, 175e, omit τούτου. But Ggf Vulg. Orig. 3, 318e; Cypr. 324: Hilary 811, 822, have τούτου.-ED.