Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 15:52

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

In a moment - Εν ατομῳ· In an atom; that is, an indivisible point of time. In the twinkling of an eye; as soon as a man can wink; which expressions show that this mighty work is to be done by the almighty power of God, as he does all his works, He calls, and it is done. The resurrection of all the dead, from the foundation of the world to that time, and the change of all the living then upon earth, shall be the work of a single moment.

At the last trump - This, as well as all the rest of the peculiar phraseology of this chapter, is merely Jewish, and we must go to the Jewish writers to know what is intended. On this subject, the rabbins use the very same expression. Thus Rabbi Akiba: "How shall the holy blessed God raise the dead? We are taught that God has a trumpet a thousand ells long, according to the ell of God: this trumpet he shall blow, so that the sound of it shall extend from one extremity of the earth to the other. At the first blast the earth shall be shaken; at the second, the dust shall be separated; at the third, the bones shall be gathered together; at the fourth, the members shall wax warm; at the fifth, the heads shall be covered with skin; at the sixth, the souls shall be rejoined to their bodies; at the seventh, all shall revive and stand clothed." See Wetstein. This tradition shows us what we are to understand by the last trump of the apostle; it is the seventh of Rab. Akiba, when the dead shall be all raised, and, being clothed upon with their eternal vehicles, they shall be ready to appear before the judgment seat of God.

For the trumpet shall sound - By this the apostle confirms the substance of the tradition, there shall be the sound of a trumpet on this great day; and this other scriptures teach: see Zechariah 9:14; Matthew 24:31; John 5:25; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, in which latter place, the apostle treats this subject among the Thessalonians, as he does here among the Corinthians. See the notes at 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

Shall be raised incorruptible - Fully clothed with a new body, to die no more.

We shall be changed - That is, those who shall then be found alive.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

In a moment - ( ἐν ἀτόμῳ en atomō). In an “atom,” scil. of time; a point of time which cannot be cut or divided ( α athe alpha privative (“not”) and τομη tomēfrom τέμνω temnō“to cut”). A single instant; immediately. It will be done instantaneously.

In the twinkling of an eye - This is an expression also denoting the least conceivable duration of time. The suddenness of the coming of the Lord Jesus is elsewhere compared to the coming of a thief in the night; 2 Peter 3:10. The word rendered “twinkling” ( ῥιπῆ ripēfrom ῥίπτω rhiptō“to throw, cast”) means “a throw, cast, jerk,” as of a stone; and then “a jerk of the eye,” that is, “a wink” - Robinson.

At the last trump - When the trumpet shall sound to raise the dead. The word “last” here does not imply that any trumpet shall have been before sounded at the resurrection, but is a word denoting that this is the consummation or close of things; it will end the economy of this world; it will be connected with the last state of things.

For the trumpet shall sound - See the note at Matthew 24:31.

And the dead shall be raised - See the note at John 5:25.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
All the saints should not die, but all would be changed. In the gospel, many truths, before hidden in mystery, are made known. Death never shall appear in the regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. Therefore let us seek the full assurance of faith and hope, that in the midst of pain, and in the prospect of death, we may think calmly on the horrors of the tomb; assured that our bodies will there sleep, and in the mean time our souls will be present with the Redeemer. Sin gives death all its hurtful power. The sting of death is sin; but Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting; he has made atonement for sin, he has obtained remission of it. The strength of sin is the law. None can answer its demands, endure its curse, or do away his own transgressions. Hence terror and anguish. And hence death is terrible to the unbelieving and the impenitent. Death may seize a believer, but it cannot hold him in its power. How many springs of joy to the saints, and of thanksgiving to God, are opened by the death and resurrection, the sufferings and conquests of the Redeemer! In verse 58, we have an exhortation, that believers should be stedfast, firm in the faith of that gospel which the apostle preached, and they received. Also, to be unmovable in their hope and expectation of this great privilege, of being raised incorruptible and immortal. And to abound in the work of the Lord, always doing the Lord's service, and obeying the Lord's commands. May Christ give us faith, and increase our faith, that we may not only be safe, but joyful and triumphant.
Ellen G. White
The Faith I Live By, 185.5

There will be a relinking of the family chain. When we look upon our dead, we may think of the morning when the trump of God shall sound, when “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:52. FLB 185.5

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 369.4

Now is the time to receive grace and strength and power to combine with our human efforts that we can form characters for everlasting life. When we do this we will find that the angels of God will minister unto us, and we shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. And when the last trump shall sound, and the dead shall be called from their prison house and changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the crowns of immortal glory shall be placed upon the heads of the overcomers. The pearly gates will swing back for the nations that have kept the truth and they will enter in. The conflict is ended. HP 369.4

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 261.4

In the day of His coming, the last great trumpet is heard, and there is a terrible shaking of earth and heaven. The whole earth, from the loftiest mountains to the deepest mines, will hear. Everything will be penetrated by fire. The tainted atmosphere will be cleansed by fire. The fire having fulfilled its mission, the dead that have been laid away in the grave will come forth—some to the resurrection of life, to be caught up to meet their Lord in the air, and some to behold the coming of Him whom they have despised and whom they now recognize as the Judge of all the earth. UL 261.4

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