The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 8 of 151
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Our English version has reversed the place of the article. In the original the word
"last" is without the article, but the word "death" has it. The usage of the word rendered
"last" (eschatos) is worth noticing in passing. We give only some of its occurrences.
It will be found that many passages contrast the "last" with the "first," and the idea
underlying the word and its usage seems to convey that of the last of a series.
Matt. 19: 30, "the first shall be last." The word occurs ten times in Matthew, and each
passage either actually refers to or implies the presence of the first (Matt. 5: 26; 12: 45;
19: 30; 20: 8, 12, 14, 16; 27: 64). It is so in Mark and Luke. In John the frequent
reference is to the "last day." That the "last day" need not necessarily mean that after that
period there would be no more days is indicated by John 7: 37, "in the last day, that
great day of the feast"--the last of the series of days which comprised the feast. The
word occurs five times in I Corinthians.
4: 9.
"For I think that God hath set forth us the Apostles last" (cf. Luke 14: 9).
15: 8.
"Last of all He was seen by me."
15: 26.
"A last enemy that is destroyed is the death."
15: 45.
"The last Adam a life-giving spirit."
15: 52.
"At the last trump."
It will be seen that I Cor. 15: contains four of the five references, and that the idea of
last of a series is still uppermost.
In the case of 15: 8 it is the last of a number of above 500 witnesses of the
resurrection; in 15: 45 it is the last of a series of two only, the parallel being between
the first Adam and the last Adam, and the first man the second man.
While it may be true that death is to be destroyed last of all, the truth of I Cor. 15: 26
is that death is the last of a series of enemies which are to be destroyed. The other
enemies which form the series are enumerated under the terms, "all rule all authority and
power" death being the last of them to be destroyed. Among the enemies of the believer
we find principalities and powers as indicated in Eph. 6: These same foes are seen in
Col. 2: 15.
It may be as well if we have placed before us the passages where exousia, translated
"authority," and dunamis, translated "power," in I Cor. 15: 24 are used in connection
with spiritual beings.
"The power of darkness" (Luke 22: 53).
"The power of Satan" (Acts 28: 18).
"The Prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2: 2).
"The power of darkness" (Col. 1: 13).
"The Dragon gave him his . . . . . great authority" (Rev. 13: 2).
"He executeth all the power to the first beast" (Rev. 13: 12).
"The Dragon which gave power to the beast" (Rev. 13: 4).
"Angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto Him" (I Pet. 3: 22).