0

In Paul's accounting of the ordering of the resurrection he mentions a few things that seem to be an allusion to Psalm 47:5:

[1Th 4:14-18 KJV] 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [IE: "precede"] them which are asleep. 16 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: 17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Are the mention of "the KURIOS himself", "gone up", "with a shout" and "sound of a trumpet" from Psalm 47 the background of his teaching in Thessalonians?:

[Psa 47:5 KJV] 5 God is gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.

Also note the theme of "subdued peoples" and "nations under our feet":

 4 *He subdued peoples for us 
   and nations under our feet. 

Brannan, R., Penner, K. M., Loken, I., Aubrey, M., & Hoogendyk, I. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Septuagint (Ps 46:4). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Paul seems to make use of that here:

[1Co 15:23-28 ESV] 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For "God has put all things in subjection under his feet." But when it says, "all things are put in subjection," it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

He even speaks of "our gathering together with him"!:

 10 *The rulers of the people are gathered with the God of Abraham, 
   for God’s mighty ones of the earth are magnified exceedingly. 

Brannan, R., Penner, K. M., Loken, I., Aubrey, M., & Hoogendyk, I. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Septuagint (Ps 46:10). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

In fact, the Psalm begins "For the end"!:

For the end, a psalm in the name of the sons of Korah.

Brannan, R., Penner, K. M., Loken, I., Aubrey, M., & Hoogendyk, I. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Septuagint (Ps 46:1). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

If so, then how might that change our understanding of the 1 Thessalonians passage?

Also, is this relevant?:

[Zec 9:14 KJV] 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

It may or may not be the same occasion but it does mention YHVH blowing a trumpet and possibly being transported up to his home in the sky via a cyclone:

[Job 38:1 KJV] 1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

[Job 40:6 KJV] 6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

When Paul says that "the Lord himself shall descend" should we understand him to be saying that it is "God (IE: the LORD/YHVH, the Father) himself" that shall descend or "the Lord Jesus himself"?

I always pictured "the Lord himself" as referring to Jesus, perhaps alluding to:

[Act 1:11 KJV] 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

However, in verse 14 it is God that brings the rest of the dead along with Jesus, (because it is God that raised Christ from the dead):

[1Th 4:14 KJV] 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

IE: God will bring all the rest of them that sleep up with Christ.

So does any of this change how we should view this passage?

Also, would the allusion(s) give meaning to Paul's mention of "by the word of the Lord"?

[1Th 4:15 KJV] 15 For this we say unto you by the word [λόγος, "utterance"] of the Lord [YHVH?], that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [IE: "shall not precede"] them which are asleep.

  • 1
    The NET has a different understanding: "God has ascended his throne amid loud shouts; the Lord has ascended his throne amid the blaring of ram’s horns." Apparently they see the emphasis not on God ascending but His throne. Regardless, the point is ascending to the throne not descending from the throne. IOW going to a place from whence He will rule/sit enthroned which is keeping with the theme of kingship and enthronement the people celebrate; not as in 1 Thessalonians where the King comes to His people. – Revelation Lad Dec 30 '18 at 16:08
  • So are you saying that their reading precludes the idea that Paul had this passage in mind or that we should think about the event differently? – Ruminator Dec 30 '18 at 17:53
1
+100

It's very interesting paralell, but I think that connections between these two texts are not so close to interpret it as an allusion. In a nutshell - in my opinion Paul in 1Thess 4:15-17 is not reffering to one particular passage from OT, but to some universal imagination of theophany which elements are present in many places of OT and apocalyptic literature.

First case is that the similarity of words used in this two texts will be not so close if we compare 1Thess to LXX. We have 3 elements here:

  • descending from heaven. In 1Thess 4:16 "καταβήσεται ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ" but in Ps 46:6 just "ἀνέβη". These verbs have the same stem (it's nothing unique, it's just very common verb), but because of different prefixes these verbs have completly opposite meanings - ascending and descending.

  • shout. In 1Thess 4:16 is " ἐν κελεύσματι,ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου, but in Ps 46:6 "ἐν ἀλαλαγμῷ"

  • trumphet of God. It's the only verbal similarity, because both text have "σαλπιγξ".

But I know that we are not talking about citation, but allusion, so close parallel in wording is not necessary - more important is a parallel of ideas, images and relations between them.

So Ps 47(46):6 "God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet" gives us 3 elements simillar to 1Thess: a) going up, b) shout, c) sound of the trumphet.

But image of 1Thess "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" we have: a) descending from heaven, b) shout, c) voice of the archangel, d) [sound] of the trumphet of God. But it's not the end of the image, further on we have ressurection of the dead and in verse 4:17 meeting in the clouds and so on.

So Paul gives not only more elements of the image, but these elements are also described in much richer language. It seems more natural to reduce an image to which one is reffering to, than to expand it.

But even if we ignore this fact and insist that Paul is alluding to Ps 47(46) only in part concerning teophany, it will rise a following quenstion: is the image of Ps 47 so unique, that Paul is reffering to that particular passage and not any other? In my opinion this is a primary problem in our case. Because it seems that descending/ascending is a typical motif of theophany in OT and such things as shouting, trumphets, angels, clouds etc. are standard elements of these kinds of images. In fact in OT and apocalyptic literature we find several passages corresponding to imaginery of 1Thess 4 in the same or even more close way than Ps 47. I don't have access to my software at the moment, but for quick example you can compare this to theophany at Mount Sinai in Ex 19.

Despite this I doubt that Paul in 1Thess 4 is alluding to some particular passage of OT. In fact, in a whole letter there is not even one clear reference to OT, probably because of mostly gentile audience. In opinion of most of the commentators 1Thess 4:14-17 alludes rather to hellenistic ceremonies of king's visitation to the city or province. But Paul, as a Jew, certainly had in mind some ideas, images and language characteristic to common jewish way of thinking about God and it manifests itself in his choice of words when he actually still talks about theophany.

0

After the 1,000 years, Christ delivers up the kingdom to the Father. (I Corinthians 15:24)

*Romans 8:But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

So going from your verse "1Th 4:14 KJV] 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him" it is also speaking of the Spirit in this verse. To apply it to the Father, or to Him exclusively would be more of an inference to the scripture.

We will be raised by the Spirit of God.

  • Interesting. Note that it is God that raises "by his spirit". (Actually it should read, "by his breath" because God breathes life into the dead as he breathed life into Adam). But I'm very glad you pointed out the Romans passage which is very relevant. +1 – Ruminator Dec 22 '18 at 3:25
  • Thank you! Here is an example of when he brought some of those that slept with Him the first time:*** Matthew 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. – Think On These Things Dec 22 '18 at 3:41
  • The zombie apocalypse! – Ruminator Dec 22 '18 at 3:42
  • LOL, the world is going to be in great, great fear when they witness the resurrection! – Think On These Things Dec 22 '18 at 3:43
0

This allusion is not listed in UBS5. However, there is a definite verbal parallel here.

The similarities are clear: Both have the sound of the trumpet and both have shout(s).

There is also an important difference: Ps 47:5 has God ascending; while 1 Thess 4:16 has the Lord descending.

Here is a left field suggestion. There is a fascinating comment made by the angel in Acts 1:11, "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Might it be possible that when Jesus ascended to heaven (see Ps 24) that He was received with shouts of joy and the sounds of trumpets; and when He returns there will be similar events - shouts and the sound of trumpets?

  • No doubt but the references I'm concerned with are when God trumpets and shouts, not say the angels. – Ruminator Dec 22 '18 at 12:44
  • 1
    Why - neither verse had God trumpeting and shouting. Both discuss other trumpeting and shouting. "Trumpet call of God" does not necessarily make God trumpet. – user25930 Dec 27 '18 at 10:14
  • What about this one?: [Zec 9:14 KJV] 14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. – Ruminator Dec 27 '18 at 11:52
  • 1
    No question about that! But that is not your question. I am confused about what question you are asking. The above reads more like a sermon than a specific question. – user25930 Dec 27 '18 at 19:32
  • I guess my question is this (concerning the Thess passage): "So does any of this change how we should view this passage?" For me finding the background often provides a whole new viewing angle. – Ruminator Dec 27 '18 at 19:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.