John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 13:4

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John Bengel Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:4 - 13:4


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1Co 13:4. Ἡ ἀγάπη, love) He points out the nature of love. He does not say, love speaks with tongues, prophesies, gives to the poor: but it is long-suffering. This is a metonymy for the man, who has love. But Paul chiefly mentions those fruits of love, necessary in the use of the gifts, which he requires from the Corinthians, and without which there may be prophecies, but there can be no profit. If we take 1Co 8:1, we may advantageously compare together the delineation of love which Paul adapted to the Corinthians, and the delineation of wisdom, which James in like manner adapted to [portrayed for] those to whom he wrote, Jam 3:17.-μακροθυμεῖ, suffers long) The twelve praises of love are enumerated by three classes, 1Co 13:4-7-(if we reckon together one pair at the beginning, and two pairs at the end, as we show in the following notes). The first consists of two members, (1.) it suffers long, is kind: (2.) envies not. We have the same synthesis and antithesis, Gal 5:22; Gal 5:20. Long-suffering has respect to evil proceeding from others: kind has respect to the extending of good to others; on the other hand, it does not grieve at another’s good, nor rejoice at another’s calamity. The conjunction is wanting to is kind [Asyndeton].