2 Corinthians 5:1 Commentary
2 Corinthians 5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: FOR WE know that if the tent which is our earthly home is destroyed (dissolved), we have from God a building, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Lockman)
Barclay: For we know that if this earthly house of ours, that tent which is the body is pulled down, we have a building which comes from God, a house not made with hands, eternal and in the heavens. (Westminster Press)
ESV: For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (ESV)
HCSB: 5 For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study notes available online free)
KJV: For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (New English Bible - Oxford Press)
NET: For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens. (NET Bible)
MH: For it is part of our Christian tradition that if this earthly body which we call a tent-house is destroyed by death, we have the assured hope of receiving a building that God supplies, a house that is not constructed by human hands, that is destined to last forever, and whose site is heaven. (Murray Harris' expanded paraphrase of 2Corinthians).
NLT: For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: We know, for instance, that if our earthly dwelling were taken down, like a tent, we have a permanent house in Heaven, made, not by man, but by God. (Phillips: Touchstone)
WBC: For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is dismantled, we have a house from God, one not built by human hands, eternal, in the heavens.
Weymouth: 1 For we know that if this poor tent, our earthly house, is taken down, we have in Heaven a building which God has provided, a house not built by human hands, but eternal.
Wuest: For we know that if our house of this present tent-life on earth be taken down, a building from God we have, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: 5:1 For we have known that if our earthly house of the tabernacle may be thrown down, a building from God we have, an house not made with hands -- age-during -- in the heavens,
for the Saints
|Testimonial & Didactic||Practical||Apologetic|
Misunderstanding & Explanation
|Apostle's Conciliation, Ministry & Exhortations||Apostle's Solicitation for Judean Saints||Apostle's Vindication
Ephesus to Macedonia:
Macedonia: Preparation for Visit to Corinth
Adapted & modified from Jensen's Survey of the New Testament (Recommended Resource) & Wilkinson's Talk Thru the Bible
|2Corinthians written ~ 57AD - see Chronological Table of Paul's Life and Ministry|
|2Corinthians Outline by G Campbell Morgan|
FOR WE KNOW THAT IF THE EARTHLY TENT WHICH IS OUR HOUSE IS TORN DOWN: Oidamen (1PRAI) gar hoti ean e epigeios hemon oikia tou skenous kataluthe, (3SAPS): (we know: Job 19:25,26 Ps 56:9 2Ti 1:12 1Jn 3:2,14,19 5:19,20) (our: 2Co 5:4 4:7 Ge 3:19 Job 4:19 1Co 15:46-48 2Pe 1:13,14) (Torn down: Job 30:22 2Pe 3:11)
If you have not read the entire chapter, 2Corinthians 5, let me suggest you stop reading these notes and take some time to leisurely, actively (not passively) read through the chapter using a more literal translation such as NAS, ESV, NKJV. As you stroll through the chapter, be careful to observe for the key words Paul uses, stopping long enough to question each key word with one of the 5W/H questions and using the results of your observations to summarize Paul's major subject or subjects. Don't let yourself get bogged down on details or difficult to understand verses. Then read the chapter a second time with the goal being to give the chapter a title that uses some of the major subject words in the title. Don't try to be too cute or too alliterative, but give the chapter a title which would be distinctive enough for that chapter that when you heard it, you would know exactly where to turn in 2Corinthians. Then read chapter 5 a third time with the purpose of trying to identify the points where Paul changes subjects and use these change points to come up with an outline of the chapter. Now you are ready to read the commentary notes with a Berean-like mindset (Acts 17:11-note). Click observation if you are interested in more hints on how to study a chapter or book of the Bible inductively.
If you have taken time to compose your own outline of 2Corinthians 5, you might want to compare your results with those of A C Gaebelein's Outline on 2Corinthians 5. And remember that there is no "inspired" outline, so do not be discouraged if your outline does not match someone else's outline. And also remember that as you practice this simple exercise each time your read a chapter, you will find that your skills of observation will begin to improve dramatically.
The following outline is modified from Hannah's Bible Outlines on of this section of 2 Corinthians...
Kent Hughes has an illustrative introduction to this great chapter...
Rod Mattoon has a parallel thought on "Ne Plus Ultra...Plus Ultra" writing that...
One source writes that "A bewildering profusion of interpretations make this passage one of the most debated in the NT." These notes will attempt as much as possible to avoid contentious issues without watering down the exposition.
For we know - "For" indicates Paul is continuing his train of thought, explains in more detail what he has just said (2Co 4:16 17 18). In other words, Paul has just contrasted temporal and eternal (momentary light affliction...eternal weight of glory; seen = temporal...not seen = eternal) in 2Co 4:17-note, 2Co 4:18-note and now he explains how these wonderful changes are going to take place as he contrasts our present earthly body with our future heavenly body.
Jamieson says "for" assigns "the reason for the statement (2Co 4:17), that affliction leads to exceeding glory."
Henry Alford adds that for
As John MacArthur says...
S Lewis Johnson asks the question...
We know - Expresses Paul's confidence. How do we know? Because God has told us and that settles it! We know it by divine revelation! "As a sure matter of hope" (Alford)
When it comes to a discussion of the issue of death, most unbelievers use words like "I believe.... I hope... I think" but only believers in Christ can honestly use the glorious words "We know."
Paul is saying we know assuredly or beyond a shadow of a doubt (see 2Co 4:14; cp Job's assurance in Job 19:25) Jesus set the secure standard for all believers declaring...
Because I live, you will live also.
We know that Jesus is alive and for this reason we know that death cannot claim us because He has promised us eternal life (Jn 17:3)! You can stake your eternal life on it beloved! As William Romaine succinctly stated "Death stung itself to death when he stung Christ."
Death may be the king of terrors
A W Pink put it this way...
S Lewis Johnson adds that in
As Guzik says...
We Know - That death does not win and this should motivate us to live for Him. As Richard Sibbes said...
Spurgeon comments that...
Literally eido/oida refers to perception by sight (perceive, see) as in Mt 2:2
Eido/oida is distinguished from ginosko (epiginosko, epignosis - the other major NT word group for knowing) because ginosko generally refers to knowledge obtained by experience or "experiential knowledge". On the other hand, eido/oida often refers more to an intuitive knowledge, although this distinction is not always clear cut. Eido/oida is not so much that which is known by experience as an intuitive insight that is drilled into one's heart. Eido/oida is a perception, a being aware of, an understanding, an intuitive knowledge which in the case of believers can only be given by the Holy Spirit.
In summary, eido/oida suggests fullness of knowledge, absolute knowledge (that which is without a doubt), rather than a progress in knowledge that is obtained by experience (as usually signified by use of the verb ginosko)
If (1437) (ean) according to A T Robertson is a "Third class condition, ean and first aorist passive subjunctive."
Henry Alford explains that the "if" is not "iffy" so to speak...
In other words all believers shall not sleep (die). There is a generation of believers who will experience the rapture (see word study on harpazo) and thus will not die physically (not have their tents "torn down"), but who shall be “changed” "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet" (1Co 15:51 52 53). (Related resource: Table comparing Rapture vs Second Coming)
Paul lived with a sense of the imminent return of Jesus Christ as indicated by his use of the pronoun "we" in passages that described the return of the Lord. For example in First Corinthians he wrote "we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed" (1Co 15:51). Similarly in First Thessalonians he wrote "we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep" (1Th 4:15). In other words if Christ returned during his lifetime he would not experience physical death.
While believers may or may not die (but be raptured), such is not the case with unbelievers, all of whom will die physically. Puritan writer Richard Baxter wrote that “Man always knows his life will shortly cease, Yet madly lives as if he knew it not.” (And this is tragically true for to many believers!) As someone else has said each one of us has been given “2 dates and 1 dash!” (1900-2001) (In a sense that is even true for those who will be raptured - life on earth has a beginning and an ending, either by death or the rapture).
In view of the finiteness and finality of our earthly existence John Calvin wrote...
Believers of all people should be living in preparation for dying which is the way Paul lived (cp 1Co 15:31, Gal 2:20-note)! I like the way Spurgeon so aptly described this style of "living"...
J I Packer asks the question we all do well to answer...
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones put it well noting that
Brian Bell takes an interesting excursus noting that...
Spurgeon comments that
Alan Redpath explains it this way...
Earthly (1919)(epigeios from epí = upon + ge = earth) means earthly, being upon the earth, belonging to earth, wrought in men upon earth, characteristic of the earth or this present world. Not heavenly. Most often used in NT to contrast earthly with heavenly (things [truths] = Jn 3:12, bodies = 1Co 15:40, 2Co 5:1, mindset = Php 3:19, wisdom = Jas 3:15).
Epigeios - 7x in 6v in NAS - Jn 3:12; 1Co 15:40 (contrasting "heavenly bodies and earthly bodies"); 2Co 5:1; Php 2:10; Php 3:19; Jas 3:15 (contrasting telling "earthly things...heavenly things"). NAS = earth(1), earthly(4), earthly things(2).
Vincent has a long note on earthly...
Tent (4636) (skenos from skene = tent, booth, cloth hut, habitation, tabernacle Mt 17:4 Mk 9:5) is used only here and 2Co 5:4 ("in this tent" [skenos] ~ idiom meaning to be physically alive) and refers to a temporary abode, residence (tent, tabernacle) as opposed to a permanent structure. Skenos is used figuratively by Paul to refer to the human body as the habitation of the soul (the "tabernacle of the soul" - As an aside, beloved, recall that in the OT the "tabernacle" was where people met with God (Ex 25:22)! Is that true of your "tabernacle"? More to the point, have you met with Him yet today? This week? Remember you are under grace not law - let that love of God [which has been poured out in your heart by the Spirit -Ro 5:5-note, 1Jn 4:19] motivate your meeting with Him.).
Paul had just used another metaphor to describe the human body - earthen vessels (2Co 4:7-note)
IVP Bible Background Commentary writes that...
Denney comments that...
Alford comments that the figure of an earthly tent...
Spurgeon comments on our bodies as tents declaring that
House (3614)(oikia [word study] from oikos = house) is literally one's residence, home or abode. Oikia is an inhabited edifice, building or dwelling. By extension, oikia describes that which one possesses (property, possession, goods) as in Mk 12:40. Oikia describes the house where Jesus was born (Mt 2:11), the place which a lamp is to light (Mt 5:15-note), the place Peter's mother-in-law was ill (Mt 8:14), the believer's future home, our Father's house (Jn 14:2), and in short oikia described the place in which much of Jesus' ministry took place (see below and observe the uses of oikia in the Gospels).
Oikia when used as a figure of speech (as in the present passage) describes the human body as the habitation of the soul in the present state. Jesus uses oikia as a figure of speech to describe where one chooses to build their "spiritual" house, the foundation on which one places their trust or faith (Mt 7:24, 25-note, Mt 7:26; 27-note).
MacDonald observes that...
Spurgeon comments that...
Torn down (2647)(kataluo [word study] from kata = down, prefix intensifying verb luo = loosen, dissolve, demolish, untie, undo) means literally to loosen down (unloose) and then to utterly destroy or to overthrow completely. To throw down (as the stones of the Temple Mt 24:2).
Paul is saying that our bodies are like tents which will be torn down at the time of our death. At that time the "tent" (the believer's body) goes into the grave, whereas our spirit and soul of go to be with the Lord. The temporary nature of an earthly "tent" also reminds us that we are to be but temporary residents in this short span of time called "life". The apostle Peter put it this way...
The apostle James offers a different picture of the temporary nature of our earthly existence...
An old Indian proverb is not bad theology declaring that "Life is a bridge. Cross over it, but build no house on it."
Paul was prepared to die which made him ready for anything, for as someone once wisely said...
Until you are free to die,
P E Hughes...
Torn down is "a mild word for death, in the case of believers." (Jamieson). "A gentle word...taken down, done away with" (Bengel)
Guzik adds that torn down...
Spurgeon adds that...
Kataluo is used literally of destroying, demolishing or dismantling an edifice (even brick by brick) (cp Mt 24:2, 26:61, 27:40, Mk 13:2, Acts 6:14)
Kataluo - 17x in 16v in NAS - Mt 5:17; 24:2; 26:61; 27:40; Mk 13:2; 14:58; 15:29; Lk 9:12; 19:7; 21:6; Acts 5:38 39; 6:14; Ro 14:20; 2Co 5:1; Gal 2:18. NAS = abolish(2), destroy(5), destroyed(1), find lodging(1), guest(1), overthrow(1), overthrown(1), tear down(1), torn down(4).
Kataluo is used as a figure of speech to describe death as pictured by one tearing down ("folding up") an "earthly tent" (where "tent" is a metaphor for our earthly body - see 2Co 5:1 - see slightly different verb analusis with similar idea in 2Ti 4:6-note). Paul uses kataluo to describe the belief that one is saved solely by grace through faith and not law keeping (Gal 2:18).
Liddell Scott adds that kataluo was used
of governments, to dissolve, break up, put down...to dissolve, dismiss, disband a body...to neglect the watch... to end, bring to an end...to break the peace...to unloose, unyoke, to take it down from the wall...to take up one's quarters, to lodge, (he is my guest)... to go and lodge with him... to take one's rest (may I take my rest in the grave)
Marvin Vincent on torn down in 2Co 5:1...
Lit., loosened down. Appropriate to taking down a tent. See on Mk 13:2; Lk 9:12; Acts 5:38; and compare 2Pe 3:11, 12-note, and the figure of the parting of the silver cord on which the lamp is suspended, Eccl 12:6. Also Job 4:21, where the correct rendering is: Is not their tent-cord plucked up within them? (2 Corinthians 5 Word Studies in the New Testament)
Peter used a similar figure to describe the temporal nature of the body in his second epistle writing...
I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling (skenoma [word study] from skenoo = to pitch a tent = a figurative descriptive Peter's body), to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. (2 Pe 1:13 14-note)
In describing his recovery (Is 38:9), Hezekiah used the metaphor of a tent to describe the brevity of his life writing...
Like a shepherd’s tent my dwelling (physical life) is pulled up and removed from me (speaking of the end of his life); as a weaver I rolled up my life. He cuts me off from the loom (as a a finished fabric cut off from the loom); from day until night You make an end of me. (Is 38:12)
Brian Bell asks...
If a man dies will he live again? That’s what Job asked, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14a) Then he answered himself, “All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.” (Job 14:14b) The writer of Pr 23:18 said, “For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.”. Tents are fun to camp in…but they are not a “home”! A tent is only a temporary place!. We will one day set aside this Earthly Tent in exchange for Heaven’s Suit! (2Corinthians 5 Sermon Notes)
Rod Mattoon tells the touching story of Eric Barker...
Eric Barker, a missionary from Great Britain, spent over 50 years in Portugal preaching the Gospel, often under adverse conditions. During World War II, the situation became so critical that he was advised to send his wife and eight children to England for safety. His sister and her three children were also evacuated on the same ship. Although his beloved relatives were forced to leave, he remained behind to carry on the work. On the Lord's Day following their departure, Pastor Barker stood before his congregation and said, "I've just received word that all my family have arrived safely home!" He then proceeded with the service as usual. Later, the full meaning of his words became known to his people. He had been handed a wire just before the church service informing him that a submarine had torpedoed the ship, and everyone on board had drowned. He knew that because all were believers they had reached a more "desired home." Although overwhelmed with grief, he managed by the grace of God to live above his circumstances and to stay on the firing line for Jesus Christ. The knowledge that his family was enjoying the bliss of Heaven comforted his heart and helped him to keep one eye on eternity. Keeping one eye on eternity involves the promise of a new body. Secondly, it involves pining for our new body. Notice verses two through four. (Treasures from 2 Corinthians, Volume 1).
WE HAVE A BUILDING FROM GOD, A HOUSE NOT MADE WITH HANDS, ETERNAL IN THE HEAVENS: oikodomen ek theou echomen (1PPAI) oikian acheiropoieton aionion en tois ouranois: (a building: Jn 14:2,3 1Co 3:9 Heb 11:10) (an : Col 2:11 Heb 9:11,24 1Pe 1:4)
Wiersbe sums up Paul's vibrant testimony in this section...
We have (echo) means to possess and the present tense speaks of this as our present and continual possession, an "assured prospect of possession, as certain as if it were in our hands, laid up “in the heavens” for us." (Jamieson). John uses the present tense in a similar way writing that believers have "eternal life" now (Jn 3:36, Jn 6:47). Paul wants to be sure that his readers knew this truth about the future to allow us to live in light of the truth about this present life (which ends in death).
This world is not my home, I am just a passin' through,
P E Hughes...
Puritan Thomas Watson expressed this sure hope of possessing our resurrection bodies when he declared that
Spurgeon comments that...
Guzik reminds us that...
Our building from God is certain because...
Peter says that believers are assured of
Marvin Vincent adds that
The building from God is an actual possession in virtue of the believer’s union with Christ (see in Christ). It is just as we say of a minor, before he comes into possession of his property, that he has so much. Compare Mt 19:21.
Tent...building - Paul changes metaphors to signify a change of meaning, the first (tent) temporary (this present life), the second (building) enduring (eternal). A T Robertson agrees noting that "a building is more substantial than the tent" and conveys a sense of permanence.
Building from God - This refers primarily to the believer's heavenly body rather than their heavenly home. The future resurrection body is eternal in contrast to our present temporary tent, a truth that parallels our permanent future residence in a "city which has foundations, Whose Architect and Builder is God." (Heb 11:10-note, cp Jn 14:2, 3).
Building (3619)(oikodome [word study] from oikos = dwelling, house + doma = building or demo = to build) is literally the building of a house and came to refer to any building process. Oikodome can refer to the actual process of building or construction. Another literal meaning is as a reference to a building or edifice which is the result of a construction process (Mt 24:1, Mk 13:1, 2 are the only literal uses of oikodome in the NT).
Most of the NT uses of oikodome are metaphorical or figurative and refer to the church as the building for God's indwelling Eph 2:21 (cp 1Co 3:9 ). In the present passage Paul is referring to the body not an actual building.
MacArthur explains that...
Made without hands (886) (acheiropoietos from a = without + cheiropoíetos = made with hands <> cheír = hand + poiéo = to make) is used figuratively in all 3 NT occurrences and is not found in the Septuagint. Clearly this adjective emphasizes the supernatural character of our new body, one given to us by God, Giver of "every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift." (Jas 1:17)
P E Hughes comments that acheiropoietos
MacArthur writes that acheiropoietos in this verse...
MacDonald asks why does Paul say made without hands because...
Here are the only other NT uses of acheiropoietos...
David Garland has an interesting thought on the phrase “Not made with hands” stating that it
Eternal in the heavens - This description of our future glorious body presents a strong contrast with our present temporary tent on earth. Does this striking contrast not make you yearn for your heavenly clothing?
Brian Bell asks...
Is it natural to long for heaven? Do you get upset when the waitress takes away the 1st dish of a “many course” meal?”. No, because you know she is going to replace it with something better. (2Corinthians 5 Sermon Notes)
Eternal (166) (aionios [word study] from aion) means existing at all times, perpetual, pertaining to an unlimited duration of time (Ro 1:20 - God's power, Mt 18:8 - God's place of judgment, Ro 16:26 - God's attribute). Aionios is the antithesis of proskairos (temporal) and in the present context indicates that our new bodies will no longer be subject to disease, decay, and death, but will endure forever in our heavenly home.
Paul's only other uses of aionios in Corinthians are in the preceding context...
Illustration - Over the triple doorways of the Cathedral of Milan there are three inscriptions spanning the splendid arches. Over one is carved a beautiful wreath of roses, and underneath is the legend, “All that which pleases is but for a moment.” Over the other is sculptured a cross, and there are the words, “All that which troubles us is but for a moment.” But underneath the great central entrance to the main aisle is the inscription, “That only is important which is eternal.” If we realize these three truths, we will not let trifles trouble us, nor be interested so much in the passing pageants of the hour. We would live, as we do not now, for the permanent and eternal (See 2Corinthians 4:17 18-note).
Heaven (3772) (ouranos from oros = a relatively high elevation of land) refers in the physical sense to over-arching, all-embracing heaven beneath which is the earth and all that is therein. In context heaven refers to the transcendent abode or dwelling place of God, the angels and all the righteous (saved, regenerate, born again) dead.
How beautiful must be our future home - A little girl was taking an evening walk with her father. Wonderingly, she looked up at the stars and exclaimed: "Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful, what must the right side be!"
2 Corinthians 5:2 Commentary
2 Corinthians 5:2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Here indeed, in this [present abode, body], we sigh and groan inwardly, because we yearn to be clothed over [we yearn to put on our celestial body like a garment, to be fitted out] with our heavenly dwelling, (Lockman)
Barclay: For indeed so long as we are as we are we earnestly long to put on our abode which is from heaven, and if indeed we have put it on we shall not be found naked. (Westminster Press)
ESV: For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, (ESV)
HCSB: And, in fact, we groan in this one, longing to put on our house from heaven, (Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study notes available online free)
KJV: For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
NEB: In this present body we do indeed groan; we yearn to have our heavenly habitation put on over this one (New English Bible - Oxford Press)
NET: For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling, (NET Bible)
MH: What is more, being housed in this tent we constantly sigh with longing because we yearn to put on over it, as someone would don an overgarment, our dwelling that is supplied from heaven. (Murray Harris' expanded paraphrase of 2Corinthians).
NLT: We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: In this present frame we sigh with deep longing for the heavenly house, (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: For in this one we sigh, because we long to put on over it our dwelling which comes from Heaven—
Wuest: For indeed, in this [tent] we are groaning, longing to be clothed in addition with our house which is from heaven, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for also in this we groan, with our dwelling that is from heaven earnestly desiring to clothe ourselves,
|FOR INDEED IN THIS HOUSE WE GROAN, LONGING TO BE CLOTHED WITH OUR DWELLING FROM HEAVEN: kai gar en touto stenazomen, (1PPAI) to oiketerion hemon to ex ouranou ependusasthai (AMN) epipothountes, (PAPMPN): (we: 2Co 5:4 Ro 7:24 8:23 1Pe 1:6,7) (longing: Php 1:23) (clothed : 2Co 5:3,4 1Co 15:53,54)
GROANING AND LONGING
Here Paul mixes metaphors of a house by picturing putting it on like clothing.
For (1063) (gar) expresses the reason for his groaning now is his anticipation of the glory to follow, not so much a reflection of present afflictions or trials. This groaning is for our future grace (1Pe 1:13-note) and glory (Ro 8:23-note where redemption of our body = glorification)
Alford explains for indeed (kai gar) this way...
This (5129) (toutoi) means this one, denoting that which is present or near in time or place or something just mentioned, in this case the "house" just mentioned. Note "house" is not present in the Greek text..
In this house - It is as if Paul in a sense is pointing to his own body as he begins writing this verse.
Thomas Constable in contrast to Spurgeon and a number of other commentators (see note by John MacArthur below) does not believe we will be "disembodied spirits" if we die before the rapture when we will receive our eternal, incorruptible glorified bodies. Scripture does not directly speak to this so called "intermediate state", so Constable uses indirect evidence to support his view...
Pratt takes somewhat of a "middle ground" regarding the doctrine of the intermediate state...
My personal opinion is that the Scriptures do not clearly describe the "intermediate" state or the time between the death of a believer and the coming of Jesus at which time all believers receive their glorified bodies (at least all believers who have died during the church age). One thing we can all agree on that is that when we are absent from this body we are in His very presence and that doctrinal truth should put an end to any contentious disagreements regarding the intermediate state.
I like Matthew Henry's comment that...
We groan - This is no unhappy groaning but good groaning like a child does as they wait for Christmas and the time to open their presents. Paul was groaning positively" because he was longing to receive the "present" of his resurrection body as a replacement his present earthly tent.
Warren Wiersbe says it this way...
Groan (4727)(stenazo from stenós = narrow, contracted as when one is squeezed or pressed by circumstances, the gate leading to eternal life - Mt 7:13, 14) describes an inward, unexpressed feeling of sorrow. To sigh or groan is the sense here. Other contexts convey the meaning of to complain strongly or to grumble (Jas 5:9).
The present tense pictures the believer's groaning as ongoing in this present life. This is our "habitual practice" because we know that these frail, decaying earthly bodies pale in comparison to our inestimably superior future bodies.
Webster says that to groan means to breathe with a deep murmuring sound; to utter a mournful voice, as in pain or sorrow. To sigh; to be oppressed or afflicted; or to complain of oppression. To utter a deep moan indicative of pain, grief, or annoyance. To make a prolonged stressed dull cry expressive of agony, pain, or disapproval. To make a loud harsh creaking sound, as of a tree bending in the wind.
Stenazo - 6x in 6v in the NAS - Mark 7:34; Ro 8:23; 2Co 5:2, 4; Heb 13:17; Jas 5:9. NAS = complain(1), deep sigh(1), grief(1), groan(3).
Paul expresses a similar thought on "future groaning" in Romans 8 where not only do believers groan but so does all of creation...
In his letter to the Philippians he expressed his desire to be out of this present world...
Harry Ironside writes that "we groan"...
David Guzik writes that...
Longing (1971)(epipotheo from epi = intensification or direction + potheo = to yearn) means to have a strong desire for something, with implication of need. To long for, have great affection for, yearn for someone or something.
To long (English dictionary) - To have or feel a strong desire for something. To desire earnestly or eagerly. To have an eager appetite.
The present tense describes our continual yearning for better body in a better place on that glorious day when faith will become sight! Beloved are you longing for your resurrection body? If not it might reflect that you have become too comfortable in this present world which is passing away! How much more bearable are present afflictions when we truly cultivate a future focused mindset. Remember that what we are longing for will determine what we are living for because our heart always follows after what we treasure.
MacArthur explains that Paul was longing for...
Epipotheo - 9x in NAS - Ro 1:11; 2Co 5:2; 9:14; Php 1:8; 2:26; 1Th 3:6; 2Ti 1:4; Jas 4:5; 1Pe 2:2. NAS - desires(1), long for(2), long to(1), longing for(1), longing to(3), yearn for(1).
Vincent comments that epipotheo as a...
Epipotheo was a favorite word with Paul describes a strong desire, an intense craving of possession, a great affection for, a deep desire, an earnest yearning for something with implication of need. Here it describes the natural yearning of personal affection. Paul loved Timothy as a man loves his own son and he longed for the joy of renewed fellowship with him face to face. The force of the original Greek sentence emphasizes that the direction of Paul's desire is for Timothy. This yearning is further nourished by his constant remembrance of Timothy's tears.
Peter exhorts his readers to lay aside list of several sins (1Peter 2:1- note - If you lose your appetite for the Word, the loss of which will "stunt" your spiritual growth, then you need to do a little personal inventory check to see if any of the sins listed in verse 1 are dulling your "appetite" for "pure milk")...
Epipotheo is used in the not-apocryphal Septuagint (LXX) in the 9 verses (Deut 13:8; 32:11; Ps 42:1; 62:10; 84:2; Ps 119:20, 131, 174; Jer 13:14) The use of epipotheo in several psalms helps paint a beautiful picture...
Clothed with - Literally "put on over". KJV = "clothed upon". Wuest renders it "clothed in addition". New English Bible = "put on over". (see explanation below)
Illustration - A pastor once received a letter from a nine-year-old girl that said, "Dear Pastor, I hope to go to heaven someday, but later than sooner. Love, Ellen." Out of the mouths of babes! Ellen speaks for almost everyone. We all want to go to Heaven, but later as opposed to sooner. However, as we have come to expect, this isn't the way Paul thought. Paul hoped to get there sooner rather than later. (Hughes, R. K. 2 Corinthians: Power in Weakness. Preaching the Word. Crossway or Logos or Wordsearch)
Clothed (1902) (ependuomai from epí = upon or intensifier of + enduo = to clothe, English - endue, literally to enter into, as clothes) is a stronger form of enduo and means to put on in addition, to put on one's self as putting on a garment over existing clothing or to put one piece of clothing over another which is presently being worn. Here Paul is using the verb figuratively in reference to being clothed with our future resurrection body.
Barnett remarks that...
Vincent notes that ependuomai is used
S Lewis Johnson expounds on this section giving attention to this verb...
Dwelling (3613) (oiketerion from oikeo = to dwell) is used only here and in Jude 1:6 and means a dwelling place, above, habitation (3Macc 2:15 of the dwelling of God). BDAG says oiketerion was used in secular Greek as an "astrological term ‘house of Kronos = Saturn".
Plummer says that oiketerion
denotes a permanent abode or home", and "the difference between oikia and oiketerion is that the latter implies an oiketer, an inhabitant, while the former does not
Our dwelling from heaven - This phrase refers to our resurrection bodies, although a few commentators favor our resurrection residences ("mansions" Jn 14:2KJV). The context favors the former interpretation but does not exclude the latter.
Just as believers in this life have physical bodies like the first Adam, in the life to come we will have glorified bodies like Christ, the "Last Adam" (1Co 15:45).
John uses our glorious future hope as a motivator for present pure living...
Paul writes that believers should be motivated not to set our minds on earthly things (Php 3:19-note)...
From heaven (ex ouranou) - Literally "out of heaven" and thus from God as in 2Co 5:1. Heaven - our real home!
Heaven (3772) (ouranos from oros = a relatively high elevation of land) here refers to the dwelling place of God, the place all believers will one day dwell and the place which we long to inhabit.
THE PROSPECT OF OUR ETERNAL FUTURE:
Spurgeon speaks to the practical import of the knowledge of our future dwelling...
2 Corinthians 5:3 Commentary
2 Corinthians 5:3 inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: So that by putting it on we may not be found naked (without a body). (Lockman)
Barclay: For, while we are in this tent of the body, we groan, for life weighs us down, for it is not so much that we desire to be stripped of this house, (Westminster Press)
ESV: if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. (ESV)
HCSB: since, when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. (Holman Christian Standard Bible - Study notes available online free)
KJV: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
NEB: in the hope that, being thus clothed, we shall not find ourselves naked. (New English Bible - Oxford Press)
NET: if indeed, after we have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked. (NET Bible)
MH: This presupposes, to be sure, that once we have put on this new dwelling, our spiritual body, we shall never experience disembodied nakedness. (Murray Harris' expanded paraphrase of 2Corinthians).
NLT: For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: for we do not want to face utter nakedness when death destroys our present dwelling - these bodies of ours. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Weymouth: if indeed having really put on a robe we shall not be found to be unclothed.
Wuest: seeing that also, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked [a disembodied spirit]. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: if so be that, having clothed ourselves, we shall not be found naked,
|INASMUCH AS WE, HAVING PUT IT ON, WILL NOT BE FOUND NAKED: ei ge kai ekdusamenoi (AMPMPN) ou gumnoi eurethesometha. (1PFPI): (Having : Ge 3:7-11 Ex 32:25 Rev 3:18 16:15)
David Lowery summarizes these interpretative approaches...
Robert Gromacki asserts that...
Thomas Constable offers some indirect evidence but he prefaces his comments with a caveat noting that...
Augustine wrote that
S Lewis Johnson writes that naked is a figure of speech and does not literally
Philip E Hughes has this note on the "disembodied state"...
Guzik explains that...
Holman Christian Standard Study Bible adds that...
A T Robertson describes naked as "disembodied spirits, “like the souls in Sheol, without form, and void of all power of activity” (Plummer)."
Pratt adds that...
Radmacher (et al) writes that...
Inasmuch as - in view of the fact that, seeing that, since, considering that, to the extent that; in so far as. "Assuming that" we will be clothed in eternity future, we will not be naked as if we were some bodiless spirit. The reader should be aware that some evangelical interpreters actually see this as a reference to a disembodied state that they feel exists between death and the coming of the Lord (when we will receive our permanent glorified bodies).
Put on (1746)(enduo from en = in + dúo = to sink, go in or under, to put on) means literally to clothe or dress someone and to put on as a garment, to cause to get into a garment (eg, Lk 15:22 where the father says "quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him...").
See long technical note from NETBible on 2Corinthians 5:3 - "put on has the mark of authenticity and should be considered original."
Found (2147) (heurisko - English = eureka from exclamation attributed to Archimedes on discovering a method for determining the purity of gold) learn location of something, either by intentional searching or by unexpected discovery learn whereabouts of something, find, discover, come upon, happen to find Mt13:44
Vine summarizes the uses of gumnos
Gumnos - 15x in 15v in NAS - Mt 25:36, 38, 43 44; Mk 14:51 52; Jn 21:7; Acts 19:16; 1Cor 15:37; 2Cor 5:3; He 4:13; Jas 2:15; Rev 3:17; 16:15; 17:16. NAS = bare(1), naked(11), open(1), stripped(1), without clothing(1). Here are some of the uses (or see links above)
Marvin Vincent writes that gumnos means...
James Smith (from his work The Better Land)
"But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence!" Psalm 17:15
Present circumstances may be trying. The Lord may hide his face, or withhold sensible comforts. Providence may appear to frown, and temporal things may run counter to our wishes. Corruption may work powerfully within, and innumerable sins may stare us in the face. Comparing ourselves with what God requires—we may be depressed; and comparing ourselves with what Jesus was—we may not be able to discover more than a very faint resemblance.
But let us look forward! It will not be always as it is now. There will be a change, and a glorious change, soon! Others may have easier circumstances, they may be strangers to the conflicts we endure—and we may wonder at their prosperity. But what pleases them—would not satisfy us. Nor must we expect full satisfaction in this present world.
If we are hungering and thirsting after righteousness;
if we are longing to be like Jesus;
if we are pining and praying for the presence of God;
there is a glorious prospect before us!
We shall soon see our God! We may now be vexed, wearied, and disappointed; but we shall awake in the likeness of Jesus! Our present privileges are great—but our future prospects are unspeakably glorious! "Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes—we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is!" 1 John 3:2
We shall be like him! O glorious privilege! We shall wake up in his likeness! O delightful prospect! My poor, afflicted, tried, tempted, and aged friend—lift up your downcast head! Look beyond your present circumstances, for your redemption draws near. "For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down—when we die and leave these bodies—we will have a home in Heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands!" 2 Corinthians 5:1.
"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand!" Psalm 16:11.
J C Philpot - We have no abiding city here
"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down—when we die and leave these bodies—we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God Himself and not by human hands." 2 Corinthians 5:1
As then we see and feel that all is passing away, what a mercy it is if we can look beyond this vain scene to that which abides forever and ever! "We have no abiding city here," is a lesson which the Lord writes upon the heart of all His pilgrims. And as it is more deeply engraved upon their bosom, and cut into more legible characters, they look up and out of themselves, to that City which has foundations—of which the maker and builder is God.
It is very blessed when we can use the favors of God in providence without abusing them—when we can see His kind hand in the gift, and not make an idol of it—when we can bless Him for His providential mercies, and yet feel that without Himself they are not only worthless but miserable. How many have lived all their lives in beautiful houses—have never known a day's hunger—have eaten of the fat and drunk of the sweet all the days of their life—have lain down at night in a luxurious bed, where they have felt neither cold nor frost—and yet at last when their mortal existence has come to a close, have made their bed in hell!