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Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament

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1 Corinthians 4:9

Hath set forth us the apostles last (hmav touv apostolouv esxatouv apedeixen).
The first aorist active indicative of apodeiknumi, old verb to show, to expose to view or exhibit (Herodotus), in technical sense (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4) for gladiatorial show as in ethriomaxhsa (1 Corinthians 15:32). In this grand pageant Paul and other apostles come last (esxatouv, predicate accusative after apedeixen) as a grand finale.

As men doomed to die (wv epitanatiouv).
Late word, here alone in N.T. The LXX (Bel and the Dragon 31) has it for those thrown daily to the lions. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (A.R. vii. 35) uses it of those thrown from the Tarpeian Rock. The gladiators would say morituri salutamus. All this in violent contrast to the kingly Messianic pretensions of the Corinthians.

A spectacle (teatron).
Cf. Hebrews 11:33-40. The word, like our theatre, means the place of the show (Acts 19:29,31). Then, it means the spectacle shown there (teama or tea), and, as here, the man exhibited as the show like the verb teatrizomenoi, made a spectacle (Hebrews 10:33). Sometimes it refers to the spectators (teatai) like our "house" for the audience. Here the spectators include "the world, both to angels and men" (twi kosmwi kai aggeloiv kai antrwpoiv), dative case of personal interest.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 4:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". <>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.


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