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2 Corinthians 5:1

    2 Corinthians 5:1 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For we are conscious that if this our tent of flesh is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in heaven.

    Webster's Revision

    For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

    World English Bible

    For we know that if the earthly house of our tent is dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.

    Definitions for 2 Corinthians 5:1

    Tabernacle - A tent, booth or dwelling.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Corinthians 5:1

    If our earthly house of this tabernacle - By earthly house, the apostle most evidently means the body in which the soul is represented as dwelling or sojourning for a time, and from which it is to be liberated at death; for as death dissolves the tabernacle, it can then be no habitation for the soul. The apostle also alludes here to the ancient Jewish tabernacle, which, on all removals of the congregation, was dissolved and taken in pieces; and the ark of the covenant, covered with its own curtains, was carried by itself; and when they came to the place of rest, then the dissolved parts of the tabernacle were put together as before. When we consider this simile in connection with the doctrine of the resurrection, which the apostle has treated so much at large in these epistles, and which he keeps constantly in view, then we shall see that he intends to convey the following meaning: that as the tabernacle was taken down in order to be again put together, so the body is to be dissolved, in order to be re-edified; that as the ark of the covenant subsisted by itself, while the tabernacle was down, so can the soul when separated from the body; that as the ark had then its own veil for its covering, Exodus 40:21, so the soul is to have some vehicle in which it shall subsist till it receives its body at the resurrection.

    A building of God - Some think this refers to a certain celestial vehicle with which God invests holy souls on their dismissal from the body; others suppose it relates to the resurrection body; and some imagine that it relates merely to the state of blessedness which the saints shall possess in the kingdom of glory. See the following note.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Corinthians 5:1

    For we know - We who are engaged in the work of the gospel ministry. Paul is giving a reason why he and his fellow-laborers did not become weary and faint in their work. The reason was, that they knew that even if their body should die, they had an inheritance reserved for them in heaven. The expression "we know" is the language of strong and unwavering assurance. They had no doubt on the subject. And it proves that there may be the assurance of eternal life; or such evidence of acceptance with God as to leave no doubt of a final admission into heaven. This language was often used by the Saviour in reference to the truths which he taught John 3:11; John 4:22; and it is used by the sacred writers in regard to the truths which they recorded, and in regard to their own personal piety; John 21:24; 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:5,1 John 2:18; 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:14, 1 John 3:19, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:6, 1 John 4:13; 1 John 5:2, 1 John 5:15, 1 John 5:19-20.

    That if our earthly house - The word "earthly" here (ἐπιγειος epigeios) stands opposed to "heavenly," or to the house eternal (ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς en tois ouranois) in the heavens." The word properly means "upon earth, terrestrial, belonging to the earth, or on the earth," and is applied to bodies 1 Corinthians 15:40; to earthly things John 3:12; to earthly, or worldly wisdom, James 3:15. The word "house" here refers doubtless to the body, as the habitation, or the dwelling-place of the mind or soul. The soul dwells in it as we dwell in a house, or tent.

    Of this tabernacle - This word means a booth, or tent - a movable dwelling. The use of the word here is not a mere redundancy, but the idea which Paul designs to convey is, doubtless, that the body - the house of the soul - was not a permanent dwelling-place, but was of the same nature as a booth or tent, that was set up for a temporary purpose, or that was easily taken down in migrating from one place to another. It refers here to the body as the frail and temporary abode of the soul. It is not a permanent dwelling; a fixed habitation, but is liable to be taken down at any moment, and was suited up with that view. Tyndale renders it, "if our earthly mansion wherein we now dwell." The Syriac renders it, "for we know that if our house on earth, which is our body, were dissolved." The idea is a beautiful one, that the body is a mere unfixed, movable dwelling. place; liable to be taken down at any moment, and not designed, anymore than a tent is, to be a permanent habitation.

    Were dissolved - (καταλυθῇ kataluthē). This word means properly to disunite the parts of anything; and is applied to the act of throwing down, or destroying a building. It is applied here to the body, regarded as a temporary dwelling that might be taken down, and it refers, doubtless, to the dissolution of the body in the grave. The idea is, that if this body should moulder back to dust, and be resolved into its original elements; or if by great zeal and, labor it should be exhausted and worn out. Language like this is used by Eliphaz, the Temanite, in describing the body of man. "How much less in those that dwell in houses of clay," etc.; Job 4:19; compare 2 Peter 1:13-14.

    We have a building of God - Robinson (Lexicon) supposes that it refers to "the future spiritual body as the abode of the soul." Some have supposed that it refers to some "celestial vehicle" with which God invests the soul during the intermediate state. But the Scripture is silent about any such celestial vehicle. It is not easy to tell what was the precise idea which Paul here designed to convey. Perhaps a few remarks may enable us to arrive at the meaning:

    (1) It was not to be temporary; not a tent or tabernacle that could be taken down.

    (2) it was to be eternal in the heavens.

    (3) it was to be such as to constitute a dwelling; a clothing, or such a protection as should keep the soul from being "naked."

    (4) it was to be such as should constitute "life" in contradistinction from "mortality." These things will better agree with the supposition of its referring to the future body of the saints than any thing else; and probably the idea of Paul is, that the body there will be incorruptible and immortal. When he says it is a "building of God" (ἐκ Θεοῦ ek Theou), he evidently means that it is made by God; that he is the architect of that future and eternal dwelling. Macknight and some others, however, understood this of the mansions which God has prepared for His people in heaven, and which the Lord Jesus has gone to prepare for them; compare John 14:2. But see the note on 2 Corinthians 5:3.

    An house - A dwelling; an abode; that is, according to the interpretation above, a celestial, pure, immortal body; a body that shall have God for its immediate author, and that shall be suited to dwell in heaven forever.

    Not made with hands - Not constructed by man; a habitation not like those which are made by human skill, and which are therefore easily taken down or removed, but one that is made by God himself. This does not imply that the "earthly house" which is to be superseded by that in heaven is made with hands, but the idea is, that the earthly dwelling has things about it which resemble that which is made by man, or as if it were made with hands; that is it is temporary, frail, easily taken down or removed. But that which is in heaven is permanent, fixed, eternal, as if made by God.

    Eternal in the heavens - Immortal; to live forever. The future body shall never be taken down or dissolved by death. It is eternal, of course, only in respect to the future, and not in respect to the past. And it is not only eternal, but it is to abide forever in the heavens - in the world of glory. It is never to be subjected to a dwelling on the earth; never to be in a world of sin, suffering, and death.

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Corinthians 5:1

    5:1 Our earthly house - Which is only a tabernacle, or tent, not designed for a lasting habitation.