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Verse 23. But every man. Every one, including Christ as well as others.

In his own order. In his proper order, rank, place, time. The word tagma usually relates to military order or array; to the arrangement of a cohort, or band of troops; to their being properly marshalled with the officers at the head, and every man in his proper place in the ranks. Here it means that there was a proper order to be observed in the resurrection of the dead. And the design of the apostle is, probably, to counteract the idea that the resurrection was passed already, or that there was no future resurrection to be expected. The order which is here referred to is, doubtless, mainly that of time; meaning that Christ would be first, and then that the others would follow. But it also means that Christ would be first, because it was proper that he should be first. He was first in rank, in dignity, and in honour; he was the leader of all others, and their resurrection depended on his. And as it was proper that a leader or commander should have the first place on a march, or in an enterprise involving peril or glory, so it was proper that Christ should be first in the resurrection, and that the others should follow on in due order and time.

Christ the first-fruits. Christ first in time, and the pledge that they should rise. See Barnes "1 Co 15:20".


Afterward. After he has risen. Not before, because their resurrection depended on him.

They that are Christ's. They who are Christians. The apostle, though in 1 Co 15:22 he had stated the truth that all the dead would rise, yet here only mentions Christians, because to them only would the doctrine be of any consolation, and because it was to them particularly that this whole argument was directed.

At his coming. When he shall come to judge the world, and to receive his people to himself. This proves that the dead will not be raised until Christ shall reappear. He shall come for that purpose; and he shall assemble all the dead, and shall take his people to himself. See Mt 25. And this declaration fully met the opinion of those who held that the resurrection was past already. See 2 Ti 2:18.

{a} "But every man" 1 Th 4:15-17

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