1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written…
Not in an apocryphal book, called
the Apocalypse of Elijah the prophet, as some have thought, but in
(Isaiah 64:4) with some variation; and is brought to prove that the
Gospel is mysterious and hidden wisdom, unknown to the princes of
this world, and ordained before the world was, for the glory of the
saints: for the following words are not to be understood of the
glories and happiness of the future state; though they are indeed
invisible, unheard of, and inconceivable as to the excellency and
fulness of them, and are what God has prepared from all eternity,
for all those on whom he bestows his grace here; but of the
doctrines of grace, and mysteries of the Gospel, as the context and
the reason of their citation abundantly show; and are what
eye hath not seen, nor ear heard:
which could never have been seen
to be read by the eye of man, nor the sound thereof ever heard by
the ear of man, had not God been pleased to make a revelation of
them; and though they are to be seen and read in the sacred
writings, and to be heard either read or expounded, with the outward
hearing of the ear; yet are neither to be seen nor heard
intellectually, spiritually, and savingly, unless, God gives eyes to
see, and ears to hear; the exterior senses of seeing and hearing are
not sufficient to come at and discover the sense of them; flesh and
blood, human nature cannot search them out, nor reveal them, no nor
the internal senses, the intellectual capacity of men:
neither have entered into the heart of man;
this clause is not in
the original text; but is a phrase often used by the Jews, for that
which never came into a man's mind, was never thought of by him, or
he ever had any conceptions, or the least notion and idea of; so the
elders of the city, at the beheading of the heifer, are represented
not only as saying, "our hands have not shed this blood, neither
have our eyes seen it"; but also neither (wnybl le htle) , "hath it
entered into our hearts", that the sanhedrim hath shed blood F25;
and elsewhere F26 it is said, this matter is like to a king,
(wblb hlev) , "into whose heart it entered", to plant in his garden,
The things which God hath prepared for them that love him;
original text it is, "for him that waiteth for him"; the sense is the
same, for such as hope in the Lord and wait for him, are lovers of
him; and the meaning is, that God has prepared and laid up in his own
breast, in his counsels and covenant, in the types, shadows, and
sacrifices of the old law, in the promises and prophecies of the Old
Testament, such doctrines and mysteries of grace as were not so seen,
heard, known, and understood by the Old Testament prophets and saints;
and has reserved for his people under the Gospel dispensation, the
times of the Messiah, a more clear discovery of them: so the Jews
themselves own that these words belong to the world to come F1,
which with them commonly signifies the days of the Messiah; though
here they think fit to distinguish them, and interpret the phrase,
"eye hath not seen", of the eye of the prophets: their words are
``all prophesied not, but of the days of the Messiah; but as
to the world to come, eye hath not seen, O God, besides
The gloss on it is,
``the eye of the prophets hath not been able to see it.''
Indeed, the mysteries of the Gospel are more clearly discerned now,
than by the prophets formerly.
F25 T. Bab. Sota, fol. 46. 2.
F26 Sepher Bahir in Zohar in Gen. fol. 31. 1.
F1 Zohar in Exod. fol. 64. 4. & 67. 2.
F2 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. Sabbat, fol, 63. 1. Sanhedrin, fol.
99. 1. Maimon. in Misn. Sanhed. c. 11. sect. 1. & Hilch. Teshuva, c.
8. sect. 7. & Jarchi in Isa. lxiv. 4.