Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

1 Thessalonians 4:16

    1 Thessalonians 4:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a word of authority, with the voice of the chief angel, with the sound of a horn: and the dead in Christ will come to life first;

    Webster's Revision

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

    World English Bible

    For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God's trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first,

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    Definitions for 1 Thessalonians 4:16

    Archangel - Chief angel.
    Trump - Trumpet.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Thessalonians 4:16

    The Lord himself - That is: Jesus Christ shall descend from heaven; shall descend in like manner as he was seen by his disciples to ascend, i.e. in his human form, but now infinitely more glorious; for thousands of thousands shall minister unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand shall stand before him; for the Son of man shall come on the throne of his glory: but who may abide the day of his coming, or stand when he appeareth?

    With a shout - Or order, εν κελευσματι· and probably in these words: Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment; which order shall be repeated by the archangel, who shall accompany it with the sound of the trump of God, whose great and terrible blasts, like those on mount Sinai, sounding louder and louder, shall shake both the heavens and the earth!

    Observe the order of this terribly glorious day:

    1. Jesus, in all the dignity and splendor of his eternal majesty, shall descend from heaven to the mid region, what the apostle calls the air, somewhere within the earth's atmosphere.

    2. Then the κελευσμα, shout or order, shall be given for the dead to arise.

    3. Next the archangel, as the herald of Christ, shall repeat the order, Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment!

    4. When all the dead in Christ are raised, then the trumpet shall sound, as the signal for them all to flock together to the throne of Christ. It was by the sound of the trumpet that the solemn assemblies, under the law, were convoked; and to such convocations there appears to be here an allusion.

    5. When the dead in Christ are raised, their vile bodies being made like unto his glorious body, then,

    6. Those who are alive shall be changed, and made immortal.

    7. These shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air.

    8. We may suppose that the judgment will now be set, and the books opened, and the dead judged out of the things written in those books.

    9. The eternal states of quick and dead being thus determined, then all who shall be found to have made a covenant with him by sacrifice, and to have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, shall be taken to his eternal glory, and be for ever with the Lord. What an inexpressibly terrific glory will then be exhibited! I forbear to call in here the descriptions which men of a poetic turn have made of this terrible scene, because I cannot trust to their correctness; and it is a subject which we should speak of and contemplate as nearly as possible in the words of Scripture.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:16

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven - notes, Acts 1:11.

    With a shout - The word here used (κέλευσμα keleusma), does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It properly means a "cry' of excitement, or of arging on; an outcry, clamor, or shout, as of sailors at the oar, Luc. Catapl. 19; of soldiers rushing to battle, Thuc. 3:14; of a multitude of people, Diod. Sic. 3:15; of a huntsman to his dogs, Xen. Ven. 6:20. It does not mean here, that the Lord would himself make such a shout, but that he would be attended with it; that is, with a multitude who would lift up the voice like that of an army rushing to the conflict.

    With the voice of the archangel - The word archangel occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in Jde 1:9, where it is applied to Michael. It properly means a chief angel; one who is first, or who is over others - ἄρχων archōn. The word is not found in the Septuagint, and the only archangel, therefore, which is named in the Scriptures, is Michael; Jde 1:9; compare Revelation 12:7. Seven angels, however, are referred to in the Scriptures as having an eminence above others, and these are commonly regarded as archangels. Revelation 8:2, "and I saw the seven angels which stood before God." One of these is supposed to be referred to in the Book of Tobit, 12:15, "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One." The names of three only of the seven are mentioned in the Jewish writings: Michael, the patron of the Jewish nation, Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1.

    Gabriel, Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; compare Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26. Raphael, Tobit 3:17; 5:4; 8:2; 9:1, 5; 12:15. The Book of Enoch adds that of Uriel, pp. 187, 190, 191, 193. Michael is mentioned as one "of the chief princes," Daniel 10:13; and as "the great prince," Daniel 12:1; compare notes on Ephesians 1:21, and see an article by Prof. Stuart in the Bibliotheca Sacra. No. 1, on Angelology. It seems evident from the Scriptures, that there is one or more among the angels to whom the name archangel properly belongs. This view is in accordance with the doctrine in the Scriptures that the heavenly beings are divided into ranks and orders, for if so, it is not unreasonable to suppose that there should be one or more to whom the most exalted rank pertains; compare Revelation 12:7. Whether there is more than one to whom this name appropriately belongs, it is impossible now to determine, and is not material. The word here (in Greek) is without the article, and the phrase might be rendered, "with the voice of an archangel."

    The Syriac renders it, "with the voice of the prince of the angels." On an occasion so august and momentous as that of the coming of the final Judge of all mankind; the resurrection of the dead, and the solemn transactions before the tribunal of the Son of God deciding the destiny of countless million for ever, it will not be inappropriate that the highest among the heavenly hosts should be present and take an important part in the solemnities of the day. It is not quite certain what is meant here by "the voice of the archangel," or for what purpose that voice will be heard. It cannot be that it will be to raise the dead - for that will be by the "voice of the Son of God" John 5:28-29, and it seems most probable that the meaning is, that this will be a part of the loud shout or cry which will be made by the descending hosts of heaven; or perhaps it may be for the purpose of summoning the world to the bar of judgment; compare Matthew 24:31.

    And with the trump of God - The trump which God appoints to be sounded on that solemn occasion. It does not mean that it will be sounded by God himself; see the notes on Matthew 24:31.

    And the dead in Christ - Christians.

    Shall rise first - That is, before the living shall be changed. A doctrine similar to this was held by the Jews. "Resch Lachisch said, Those who die in the land of Israel shall rise first in the days of the Messiah." See Wetstein, in loc. It is implied in all this description, that the interval between their resurrection and the change which will occur to the living, will be brief, or that the one will rapidly succeed the other compare notes, 1 Corinthians 15:23, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Thessalonians 4:16

    4:16 With a shout - Properly, a proclamation made to a great multitude. Above this is, the voice of the archangel; above both, the trumpet of God; the voice of God, somewhat analogous to the sound of a trumpet.