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14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.
14:2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
14:4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.
14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.
14:6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?
14:7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?
14:8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
14:9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.
14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.
14:11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.
14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.
14:14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
14:16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
14:17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.
14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:
14:19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.
14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.
14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
14:26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.
14:28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.
14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
14:30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
14:31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.
14:32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.
14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.
14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?
14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
14:39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.
14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

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Everything King James Bible:1 Corinthians

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 1 Corinthians
Book: 1 Corinthians
Chapter: 14

Prophecy preferred to the Gift of Tongues. (1-5) The
unprofitableness of speaking in unknown languages. (6-14)
Exhortations to Worship that can be understood. (15-25)
Disorders from vain display of Gifts; (26-33) and from women
speaking in the Church. (34-40)

1-5 Prophesying, that is, explaining Scripture, is compared
with speaking with Tongues. This drew attention, more than the
Plain interpretation of Scripture; it gratified pride more, but
promoted the purposes of Christian Charity less; it would not
equally do good to the souls of men. What cannot be understood,
never can edify. No advantage can be reaped from the most
excellent discourses, if delivered in language such as the
hearers cannot speak or understand. Every ability or possession
is valuable in proportion to its usefulness. Even fervent,
spiritual Affection must be governed By the Exercise of the
understanding, else men will disgrace the truths they profess to

6-14 Even an Apostle could not edify, unless he spoke So as to
be understood By his hearers. To speak words that have No
meaning to those who hear them, is but speaking into the Air.
That cannot answer the End of speaking, which has No meaning; in
this case, speaker and hearers are barbarians to each other. All
religious services should be So performed in Christian
assemblies, that all may join in, and profit By them. Language
Plain and easy to be understood, is the most proper for public
Worship, and other religious exercises. Every true follower of
Christ will rather desire to do good to others, than to get a
name for learning or fine speaking.

15-25 There can be No assent to prayers that are not
understood. A truly Christian Minister will seek much more to do
spiritual good to men's souls, than to get the greatest applause
to himself. This is proving himself the servant of Christ.
Children are apt to be struck with novelty; but do not act like
them. Christians should be like children, void of guile and
malice; yet they should not be unskilful as to the Word of
Righteousness, but only as to the arts of mischief. It is a
proof that a people are forsaken of God, when he gives them up
to the rule of those who teach them to Worship in another
language. They can never be benefitted By such teaching. Yet
thus the preachers did who delivered their instructions in an
unknown tongue. Would it not make Christianity ridiculous to a
Heathen, to hear the ministers pray or preach in a language
which neither he nor the assembly understood? But if those who
Minister, plainly interpret Scripture, or preach the great
truths and rules of the Gospel, a Heathen or unlearned person
might become a convert to Christianity. His Conscience might be
touched, the secrets of his Heart might be revealed to him, and
So he might be brought to confess his guilt, and to own that God
was present in the assembly. Scripture Truth, plainly and duly
taught, has a wonderful power to awaken the Conscience and touch
the Heart.

26-33 Religious exercises in public assemblies should have this
view; Let all be done to edifying. As to the speaking in an
unknown tongue, if another were present who could interpret, two
miraculous Gifts might be exercised at once, and thereby the
Church be edified, and the Faith of the hearers confirmed at the
same time. As to prophesying, two or three only should speak at
one meeting, and this one after the other, not all at once. The
Man who is inspired By the Spirit of God will observe order and
decency in delivering his revelations. God never teaches men to
neglect their duties, or to act in any way unbecoming their Age
or station.

34-40 When the Apostle exhorts Christian women to seek
information On religious subjects from their husbands at home,
it shows that believing families ought to assemble for promoting
spiritual knowledge. The Spirit of Christ can never contradict
itself; and if their revelations are against those of the
Apostle, they do not come from the same Spirit. The way to keep
peace, Truth, and order in the Church, is to seek that which is
good for it, to Bear with that which is not hurtful to its
welfare, and to keep up good behaviour, order, and decency.

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