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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - 1 Corinthians 13:12


    CHAPTERS: 1 Corinthians 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16     
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    King James Bible - 1 Corinthians 13:12

    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    World English Bible

    For now we see in a
    mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.

    Douay-Rheims - 1 Corinthians 13:12

    We see now through a
    glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know I part; but then I shall know even as I am known.

    Webster's Bible Translation

    For now we see through a
    glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    Greek Textus Receptus


    βλεπομεν
    991 5719 V-PAI-1P γαρ 1063 CONJ αρτι 737 ADV δι 1223 PREP εσοπτρου 2072 N-GSN εν 1722 PREP αινιγματι 135 N-DSN τοτε 5119 ADV δε 1161 CONJ προσωπον 4383 N-ASN προς 4314 PREP προσωπον 4383 N-ASN αρτι 737 ADV γινωσκω 1097 5719 V-PAI-1S εκ 1537 PREP μερους 3313 N-GSN τοτε 5119 ADV δε 1161 CONJ επιγνωσομαι 1921 5695 V-FDI-1S καθως 2531 ADV και 2532 CONJ επεγνωσθην 1921 5681 V-API-1S

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (12) -
    2Co 3:18; 5:7 Php 3:12 Jas 1:23

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 13:12

    Ahora vemos como por espejo, en obscuridad; mas entonces veremos cara a cara; ahora conozco en parte; mas entonces conocer como soy conocido.

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - 1 Corinthians 13:12

    Verse 12. Now we see through a
    glass, darkly] di esoptrou en ainigmati. Of these words some literal explanation is necessary. The word esoptron which we translate a glass, literally signifies a mirror or reflector, from eiv, into, and optomai, I look; and among the ancients mirrors were certainly made of fine polished metal. The word here may signify any thing by which the image of a person is reflected, as in our looking, or look in glass. The word is not used for a glass to look through; nor would such an image have suited with the apostle's design.

    The esoptron or mirror, is mentioned by some of the most ancient Greek writers; so Anacreon, Ode xi. ver. i. - legousin ai gunaikev, anakrewn, gerwn ei? labwn esoptron aqrei komav men ouket ousav.

    The women tell me, Anacreon, thou art grown old; Take thy mirror, and view How few of thy hairs remain.

    And again, in Ode xx. ver. v. - ego d esoptron eihn, opwv aei blephv me.

    I wish I were a mirror That thou mightst always look into me.

    In Exod. xxxviii. 8, we meet with the term looking glasses; but the original is tarm maroth, and should be translated mirrors; as out of those very articles, which we absurdly translate looking GLASSES, the brazen laver was made! In the Greek version the word esoptron is not found but twice, and that in the apocryphal books.

    In the book of the Wisdom of Solomon, chap. vii. 26, speaking of wisdom the author says: "She is the brightness of the everlasting light, kai esoptron akhlidwton, and the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of his goodness." In Ecclus. xii. 11, exhorting to put no trust in an enemy, he says: "Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him, and thou shalt be unto him, wv ekmemacwv esoptron, as if thou hadst wiped a looking glass, (mirror,) and thou shalt know that his rust hath not altogether been wiped away." All these passages must be understood of polished metal, not of glass, which, though it existed among the Romans and others, yet was brought to very little perfection; and as to grinding and silvering of glass, they are modern inventions.

    Some have thought that the apostle refers to something of the telescopic kind, by which distant and small objects become visible, although their surfaces become dim in proportion to the quantum of the magnifying power; but this is too refined; he appears simply to refer to a mirror by which images were rejected, and not to any diaphanous and magnifying powers, through which objects were perceived.

    Possibly the true meaning of the words di esoptrou en ainigmati, through a glass darkly, may be found among the Jewish writers, who use a similar term to express nearly the same thing to which the apostle refers.

    A revelation of the will of God, in clear and express terms, is called by them hryam ayrlqpsa aspecularia maira, a clear or lucid glass, or specular in reference, specularibus lapidibus, to the diaphanous polished stones, used by the ancients for windows instead of glass. An obscure prophecy they termed ayrhn ald ayrlqpsa aspecularia dela naharia, "a specular which is not clear." Num. xii. 6: If there be a prophet-I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and I will speak unto him in a dream; Rab. Tanchum thus explains: "My Shechinah shall not be revealed to him, hryam ayrlqpsab beaspecularia maira, in a lucid specular, but only in a dream and a vision." On Ezek. i. 4, 5: And I looked, and behold a whirlwind-a great cloud, and a fire unfolding itself, &c.; Sohar Chadash, fol. 33, says: "This is a vision arhn ald ayrlqpsab beaspecularia dela nahara, by an obscure or dark specular." From a great variety of examples produced by Schoettgen it appears that the rabbins make a great deal of difference between seeing through the lucid glass or specular, and seeing through the obscure one. The first is attributed only to Moses, who conversed with God face to face, i.e. through the lucid specular; and between the other prophets, who saw him in dreams and visions, i.e. through the obscure specular. In these distinctions and sayings of the ancient Jews we must seek for that to which the apostle alludes. See Schoettgen.

    The word ainigmati, which we render darkly, will help us to the true meaning of the place. The following is Mr. Parkhurst's definition of the term and of the thing: "ainigma, from hnigmai, the perfect passive of isuittw, to hint, intimate, signify with some degree of obscurity; an enigma, in which one thing answers or stands in correspondence to, or as the representative of, another, which is in some respects similar to it; occurs 1 Corinthians xiii. 12: Now-in this life, we see by means of a mirror reflecting the images of heavenly and spiritual things, en ainigmati, in an enigmatical manner, invisible things being represented by visible, spiritual by natural, eternal by temporal; but then-in the eternal world, face to face, every thing being seen in itself, and not by means of a representative or similitude." Now I know in part] Though I have an immediate revelation from God concerning his great design in the dispensation of the Gospel, yet there are lengths, breadths, depths, and heights of this design, which even that revelation has not discovered; nor can they be known and apprehended in the present imperfect state. Eternity alone can unfold the whole scheme of the Gospel.

    As-I am known.] In the same manner in which disembodied spirits know and understand.


    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 12. For now we see through a glass , etc.] In this present life, they that are enlightened by the Spirit of God, see God, the perfections and glory of his nature, the riches of his grace and goodness, as displayed in Christ; they behold the glory of Christ, as full of grace and truth, and are filled with love to him; the desires of their souls are after him, and they are changed into the same image by his Spirit; they discern the things of the Spirit of God; the veil being removed from them, they behold wondrous things, out of the law of God and Gospel of Christ, even such things as are unseen unto, and unknown by the natural man: but then it is all through a glass; not of the creatures; for though the invisible things of God may in some sort be seen and understood by the things that are made; and God, as the God of nature, may be seen in the works of creation and providence, yet not as the God of grace; it is only in his Son, and through the glass of the Gospel, he is to be beheld in this light: and so it is through the glass of the word and ordinances, that the glory of the person of Christ, of his offices, fulness of grace and righteousness, is only to be seen; in these he is evidently set forth to the eye of faith, as the surety, Saviour, and Redeemer of his people, and through these the knowledge of divine truths is communicated: and through all these but darkly : in an enigma, or riddle, or dark saying, as the word here used may be rendered; that is, in this present state, in comparison of the future one; for though the sight of things under the Gospel dispensation is clear, and with open face, in comparison of the legal one, yet even this is very obscure, and attended with great darkness and imperfection, when compared with the beatific vision in heaven, which will have no manner of interruption and obscurity in it: but then face to face : there will be no intervening mediums of vision; not the glass of the word and ordinances; there will be no need of them, God and Christ will be seen as they are; the judgments of God, his providential dispensations, will be all made manifest, and will be legible without the help of a glass; the doctrines of grace and truth will lie open and clear, free of all dark speeches, obscure hints, or enigmatical expressions: and as there will be nothing to intervene by way of assistance, there being no need of any, there will be nothing to intercept the sight; the objects will be nigh, even face to face; the view will be full and clear, the sight will be perfect, as well as the converse with the objects will be familiar; and which, without the least obstruction, will always so continue: there seems to be here a double reference, partly to what the Lord says of Moses, in ( Numbers 12:8) with him will I speak, mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and partly to what the Jews say of him, with a view to the same passage: all the prophets (say they f280 ) looked through a glass, which did not give light; (or, as they sometimes say, which was spotted, and was not clear;) Moses our master looked hryamh ayrlqpsyab , through a glass that gave light; or, as elsewhere, was bright and clear, and without any spot. Again, they say f281 , all the prophets prophesied by the means of an angel; hence they saw what they saw hdyjw lmb , by way of parable and riddle, or dark saying; Moses our master did not prophesy by the means of an angel; as it is said, with him will I speak mouth to mouth; and it is said, the Lord spake to Moses, face to face; and it is also said, the similitude of the Lord shall he behold; as if it was said, that there should be no parable; but he should see the thing clearly without a parable; of which likewise the law testifies, saying, apparently, and not in dark speeches; for he did not prophesy hdyjb , by way of riddle; (in an enigmatical way, darkly;) but apparently, for he saw the matter clearly.

    The two glasses, clear and not clear, the Cabalistic doctors call tiphereth and malchuth f282 . Tiphereth (they say) is a clear and well polished glass, by which Moses prophesied and had visions, and saw all things most exactly, in a very singular manner; malchuth is the glass that is not clear; so that he that prophesies by that, prophesies by riddle, and parable.

    Now the apostle suggests, that as there was such a difference between Moses and the rest of the prophets, the one saw clearly, the other through a glass darkly; a like, yea, a much greater difference there is between the clearest views saints have of divine things now, and those they shall be blessed with hereafter, and which he exemplifies in himself: now I know in part ; though not a whit behind the chief of the apostles; though his knowledge in the mystery of Christ was such, as had not been given to any in ages and generations past; and though he had been caught up into the third heaven and had heard words not lawful to be uttered, yet owns his knowledge in the present state to be but imperfect; which may be instructive to such, who are apt to entertain an high opinion of themselves, and dream of perfection in this life: but then shall I know, even as I am known ; in the other world and state, he signifies that he should know God, Christ, angels, and glorified saints, and all truths in a perfect manner, even as he was known of God and Christ perfectly, allowing for the difference between the Creator and the creature; his sense is, that he should have as full and complete a knowledge of persons and things as he was capable of; it would be like, though not equal to, the knowledge which God had of him; and which would be attended with the strongest love and affection to the objects known, even as he was known and loved of God.


    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 8-13 - Charity is much to be preferred to the gifts on which the Corinthian prided themselves. From its longer continuance. It is a grace, lastin as eternity. The present state is a state of childhood, the future tha of manhood. Such is the difference between earth and heaven. What narrow views, what confused notions of things, have children when compared with grown men! Thus shall we think of our most valued gift of this world, when we come to heaven. All things are dark and confuse now, compared with what they will be hereafter. They can only be see as by the reflection in a mirror, or in the description of a riddle but hereafter our knowledge will be free from all obscurity and error It is the light of heaven only, that will remove all clouds an darkness that hide the face of God from us. To sum up the excellence of charity, it is preferred not only to gifts, but to other graces, to faith and hope. Faith fixes on the Divine revelation, and assent thereto, relying on the Divine Redeemer. Hope fastens on futur happiness, and waits for that; but in heaven, faith will be swallowe up in actual sight, and hope in enjoyment. There is no room to believ and hope, when we see and enjoy. But there, love will be made perfect There we shall perfectly love God. And there we shall perfectly love one another. Blessed state! how much surpassing the best below! God is love, 1Jo 4:8, 16. Where God is to be seen as he is, and face to face there charity is in its greatest height; there only will it be perfected __________________________________________________________________


    Greek Textus Receptus


    βλεπομεν
    991 5719 V-PAI-1P γαρ 1063 CONJ αρτι 737 ADV δι 1223 PREP εσοπτρου 2072 N-GSN εν 1722 PREP αινιγματι 135 N-DSN τοτε 5119 ADV δε 1161 CONJ προσωπον 4383 N-ASN προς 4314 PREP προσωπον 4383 N-ASN αρτι 737 ADV γινωσκω 1097 5719 V-PAI-1S εκ 1537 PREP μερους 3313 N-GSN τοτε 5119 ADV δε 1161 CONJ επιγνωσομαι 1921 5695 V-FDI-1S καθως 2531 ADV και 2532 CONJ επεγνωσθην 1921 5681 V-API-1S

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    12. Through a
    glass (di esoptrou). Rev., in a mirror. Through (dia) is by means of. Others, however, explain it as referring to the illusion by which the mirrored image appears to be on the other side of the surface: others, again, think that the reference is to a window made of horn or other translucent material. This is quite untenable. Esoptron mirror occurs only here and Jas. i. 23. The synonymous word katoptron does not appear in the New Testament, but its kindred verb katoptrizomai to look at one's self in a mirror, is found, 2 Cor. iii. 18. The thought of imperfect seeing is emphasized by the character of the ancient mirror, which was of polished metal, and required constant polishing, so that a sponge with pounded pumice-stone was generally attached to it. Corinth was famous for the manufacture of these. Pliny mentions stone mirrors of agate, and Nero is said to have used an emerald. The mirrors were usually so small as to be carried in the hand, though there are allusions to larger ones which reflected the entire person. The figure of the mirror, illustrating the partial vision of divine things, is frequent in the rabbinical writings, applied, for instance, to Moses and the prophets. Plato says: "There is no light in the earthly copies of justice or temperance or any of the higher qualities which are precious to souls: they are seen through a glass, dimly" ("Phaedrus," 250). Compare "Republic," vii., 516.

    Darkly (en ainigmati). Lit., in a riddle or enigma, the word expressing the obscure form in which the revelation appears. Compare dij aijnigmatwn in dark speeches, Num. xii. 8.

    Face to face. Compare mouth to mouth, Num. xii. 8.

    Shall I know (epignwsomai). American Rev., rightly, "I shall fully know." See on knowledge, Rom. iii. 20. The A.V. has brought this out in 2 Cor. vi. 9, well known.

    I am known (epegnwsqhn). The tense is the aorist, "was known," in my imperfect condition. Paul places himself at the future stand-point, when the perfect has come. The compound verb is the same as the preceding. Hence American Rev., "I was fully known."


    Robertson's NT Word Studies

    13:12 {In a mirror} (di' esoptrou). By means of a mirror (esoptron, from optw, old word, in papyri). Ancient mirrors were of polished metal, not glass, those in Corinth being famous. {Darkly} (en ainigmati). Literally, in an enigma. Old word from ainissomai, to express obscurely. this is true of all ancient mirrors. Here only in N.T., but often in LXX. "To see a friend's face in a cheap mirror would be very different from looking at the friend" (Robertson and Plummer). {Face to face} (proswpon pros proswpon). Note triple use of pros which means facing one as in #Joh 1:1. proswpon is old word from pros and oy, eye, face. {Shall I know} (epignwsomai). I shall fully (epi-) know. Future middle indicative as ginwskw (I know) is present active and epegnwsqen (I was fully known) is first aorist passive (all three voices).


    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

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