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1 Corinthians 14:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— In the law it is written, By men of strange tongues and by the lips of strangers will I speak unto this people; and not even thus will they hear me, saith the Lord.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— In the Law it is written, “BY MEN OF STRANGE TONGUES AND BY THE LIPS OF STRANGERS I WILL SPEAK TO THIS PEOPLE, AND EVEN SO THEY WILL NOT LISTEN TO ME,” says the Lord.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— In the law it is written, With [men of] other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— It is written in the law, By people of other tongues, and by strange lips, will I speak to this people; and neither thus will they hear me, saith the Lord.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— In the law, it is written—With strange tongues, and with lips of strangers, will I speak unto this people; and, not even so, will they hearken unto me,—saith the Lord.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— in the law it hath been written, that, 'With other tongues and with other lips I will speak to this people, and not even so will they hear Me, saith the Lord;'
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— In the law it is written: In other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people: and neither so will they hear me, saith the Lord.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— In the Law it is written, With [men of] other tongues, and other lippes will I speake vnto this people: and yet for all that will they not heare me, saith the Lord.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— In the law it is written, In a strange language and in another tongue Will I speak with this people; Yet so will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— In the law it is written, With a foreign speech, and in another tongue, will I speak with this people; and even so also they will not hearken to me, saith the Lord.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
In 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
law 3551
{3551} Prime
νόμος
nomos
{nom'-os}
From a primary word νέμω [[nemo]] (to parcel out, especially food or grazing to animals); law (through the idea of prescriptive usage), generally (regulation), specifically (of Moses [including the volume]; also of the Gospel), or figuratively (a principle).
it is written, 1125
{1125} Prime
γράφω
grapho
{graf'-o}
A primary verb; to 'grave', especially to write; figuratively to describe.
z5769
<5769> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 215
y3754
[3754] Standard
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
With 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
[men of] other tongues 2084
{2084} Prime
ἑτερόγλωσσος
heteroglossos
{het-er-og'-loce-sos}
From G2087 and G1100; other tongued, that is, a foreigner.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
other 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
2087
{2087} Prime
ἕτερος
heteros
{het'-er-os}
Of uncertain affinity; (an-, the) other or different.
lips 5491
{5491} Prime
χεῖλος
cheilos
{khi'-los}
From a form of the same as G5490; a lip (as a pouring place); figuratively a margin (of water).
will I speak 2980
{2980} Prime
λαλέω
laleo
{lal-eh'-o}
A prolonged form of an otherwise obsolete verb; to talk, that is, utter words.
z5692
<5692> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 814
unto this 5129
{5129} Prime
τούτῳ
touto
{too'-to}
Dative singular masculine or neuter of G3778; to (in, with or by) this (person or thing).
people; 2992
{2992} Prime
λαός
laos
{lah-os'}
Apparently a primary word; a people (in general; thus differing from G1218, which denotes one's own populace).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
yet for all y3779
[3779] Standard
οὕτω
houto
{hoo'-to}
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows).
that x3779
(3779) Complement
οὕτω
houto
{hoo'-to}
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows).
will they y1522
[1522] Standard
εἰσακούω
eisakouo
{ice-ak-oo'-o}
From G1519 and G0191; to listen to.
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
not 3761
{3761} Prime
οὐδέ
oude
{oo-deh'}
From G3756 and G1161; not however, that is, neither, nor, not even.
hear 1522
{1522} Prime
εἰσακούω
eisakouo
{ice-ak-oo'-o}
From G1519 and G0191; to listen to.
z5695
<5695> Grammar
Tense - Future (See G5776)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 271
me, 3450
{3450} Prime
μοῦ
mou
{moo}
The simpler from of G1700; of me.
saith 3004
{3004} Prime
λέγω
lego
{leg'-o}
A primary verb; properly to 'lay' forth, that is, (figuratively) relate (in words [usually of systematic or set discourse; whereas G2036 and G5346 generally refer to an individual expression or speech respectively; while G4483 is properly to break silence merely, and G2980 means an extended or random harangue]); by implication to mean.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
the Lord. 2962
{2962} Prime
κύριος
kurios
{koo'-ree-os}
From κῦρος [[kuros]] (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

1 Corinthians 14:21

_ _ In the law — as the whole Old Testament is called, being all of it the law of God. Compare the citation of the Psalms as the “law,” John 10:34. Here the quotation is from Isaiah 28:11, Isaiah 28:12, where God virtually says of Israel, This people hear Me not, though I speak to. them in the language with which they are familiar; I will therefore speak to them in other tongues, namely, those of the foes whom I will send against them; but even then they will not hearken to Me; which Paul thus applies, Ye see that it is a penalty to be associated with men of a strange tongue, yet ye impose this on the Church [Grotius]; they who speak in foreign tongues are like “children” just “weaned from the milk” (Isaiah 28:9), “with stammering lips” speaking unintelligibly to the hearers, appearing ridiculous (Isaiah 28:14), or as babbling drunkards (Acts 2:13), or madmen (1 Corinthians 14:23).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

1 Corinthians 14:21-25

_ _ In this passage the apostle pursues the argument, and reasons from other topics; as,

_ _ I. Tongues, as the Corinthians used them, were rather a token of judgment from God than mercy to any people (1 Corinthians 14:21): In the law (that is, the Old Testament) it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak to this people; and yet for all this they will not hear me, saith the Lord, Isaiah 28:11. Compare Deuteronomy 28:46, Deuteronomy 28:49. To both these passages, it is thought, the apostle refers. Both are delivered by way of threatening, and one is supposed to interpret the other. The meaning in this view is that it is an evidence that a people are abandoned of God when he gives them up to this sort of instruction, to the discipline of those who speak in another language. And surely the apostle's discourse implies, “You should not be fond of the tokens of divine displeasure. God can have no gracious regards to those who are left merely to this sort of instruction, and taught in language which they cannot understand. They can never be benefited by such teaching as this; and, when they are left to it, it is a sad sign that God gives them over as past cure.” And should Christians covet to be in such a state, or to bring the churches into it? Yet thus did the Corinthian preachers in effect, who would always deliver their inspirations in an unknown tongue.

_ _ II. Tongues were rather a sign to unbelievers than to believers, 1 Corinthians 14:22. They were a spiritual gift, intended for the conviction and conversion of infidels, that they might be brought into the Christian church; but converts were to be built up in Christianity by profitable instructions in their own language. The gift of tongues was necessary to spread Christianity, and gather churches; it was proper and intended to convince unbelievers of that doctrine which Christians had already embraced; but prophesying, and interpreting scripture in their own language, were most for the edification of such as did already believe: so that speaking with tongues in Christians assemblies was altogether out of time and place; neither one nor the other was proper for it. Note, That gifts may be rightly used, it is proper to know the ends which they are intended to serve. To go about the conversion of infidels, as the apostles did, had been a vain undertaking without the gift of tongues, and the discovery of this gift; but, in an assembly of Christians already converted to the Christian faith, to make use and ostentation of this gift would be perfectly impertinent, because it would be of no advantage to the assembly; not for conviction of truth, because they had already embraced it; not for their edification, because they did not understand, and could not get benefit without understanding, what they heard.

_ _ III. The credit and reputation of their assemblies among unbelievers required them to prefer prophesying before speaking with tongues. For, 1. If, when they were all assembled for Christian worship, their ministers, or all employed in public worship, should talk unintelligible language, and infidels should drop in, they would conclude them to be mad, to be no better than a parcel of wild fanatics. Who in their right senses could carry on religious worship in such a manner? Or what sort of religion is that which leaves out sense and understanding? Would not this make Christianity ridiculous to a heathen, to hear the ministers of it pray, or preach, or perform any other religious exercise, in a language that neither he nor the assembly understood? Note, The Christian religion is a sober and reasonable thing in itself, and should not, by the ministers of it, be made to look wild or senseless. Those disgrace their religion, and vilify their own character, who do any thing that has this aspect. But, on the other hand, 2. If, instead of speaking with tongues, those who minister plainly interpret scripture, or preach, in language intelligible and proper, the great truths and rules of the gospel, a heathen or unlearned person, coming in, will probably be convinced, and become a convert to Christianity (1 Corinthians 14:24, 1 Corinthians 14:25); his conscience will be touched, the secrets of his heart will be revealed to him, he will be condemned by the truth he hears, and so will be brought to confess his guilt, to pay his homage to God, and own that he is indeed among you, present in the assembly. Note, Scripture — truth, plainly and duly taught, has a marvellous aptness to awaken the conscience, and touch the heart. And is not this much more for the honour of our religion than that infidels should conclude the ministers of it a set of madmen, and their religious exercises only fits of frenzy? This last would at once cast contempt on them and their religion too. Instead of procuring applause for them, it would render them ridiculous, and involve their profession in the same censure: whereas prophesying would certainly edify the church, much better keep up their credit, and might probably convince and convert infidels who might occasionally hear them. Note, Religious exercises in Christian assemblies should be such as are fit to edify the faithful, and convince, affect, and convert unbelievers. The ministry was not instituted to make ostentation of gifts and parts, but to save souls.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

1 Corinthians 14:21

It is written in the Law — The word here, as frequently, means the Old Testament. In foreign tongues will I speak to this people — And so he did. He spake terribly to them by the Babylonians, when they had set at nought what he had spoken by the prophets, who used their own language. These words received a farther accomplishment on the day of pentecost. Isaiah 28:11.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

1 Corinthians 14:21

In the (r) 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.

(r) By the "law" he understands the entire scripture.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the law:
The passage quoted is taken from the prophet Isaiah; but the term torah, Law, was used by the Jews to express the whole Scriptures, law, prophets, and hagiographia; and they used it to distinguish these Sacred Writings from the words of the scribes. It is not taken from the LXX, from which it varies as much as any words can differ from others where the general meaning is similar. It accords much more with the Hebrew; and may be considered as a translation from it; "only what is said of God in the third person, in the Hebrew, is here expressed in the first person, with the addition of λεγει [Strong's G3004], Κυριος [Strong's G2962]," saith the Lord. - Dr. Randolph.
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

With:

Deuteronomy 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, [as swift] as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
Isaiah 28:11-12 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. ... To whom he said, This [is] the rest [wherewith] ye may cause the weary to rest; and this [is] the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
Jeremiah 5:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it [is] a mighty nation, it [is] an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
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Dt 28:49. Is 28:11. Jr 5:15. Jn 10:34. Ro 3:19.

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