Clothes or no clothes (2 Cor. 5:4)

“While we are still

In this tent,

We groan

Under our burden,

Because we wish

Not to be unclothed,

But to be further clothed,

So that what is mortal

May be swallowed up

By life.”

καὶ γὰρ οἱ ὄντες ἐν τῷ σκήνει στενάζομεν βαρούμενοι ἐφ’ ᾧ οὐ θέλομεν ἐκδύσασθαι ἀλλ’ ἐπενδύσασθαι, ἵνα καταποθῇ τὸ θνητὸν ὑπὸ τῆς ζωῆς.

Paul said while we are still in this tent (καὶ γὰρ οἱ ὄντες ἐν τῷ σκήνει), we groan (στενάζομεν) under our burden (βαρούμενοι), because we wish not to be unclothed (ἐφ’ ᾧ οὐ θέλομεν ἐκδύσασθαι), but to be further clothed (ἀλλ’ ἐπενδύσασθαι), so that what is mortal (τὸ θνητὸν) may be swallowed up (ἵνα καταποθῇ) by life (ὑπὸ τῆς ζωῆς).  Only this Corinthian letter used this word σκήνει, that means a tent, tabernacle, or the human body, and the word ἐπενδύσασθαι, that means to have on over, a garment, put on myself.  Only the Pauline letters used this word θνητὸν, that means mortal or subject to death.  Paul continued with this metaphor of our body as a tent.  We are anxious and groan for our heavenly body.  We want to be clothed with eternity instead of our heavy human mortal body.  However, we do not want to be naked, but have better clothes.  Paul said that our mortal bodies or tents would be swallowed up into an eternal life.  Our mortal human bodies would become eternal glorified bodies that could exist in our new eternal heavenly building of God.  Thus, we would have our glorified bodies living with God forever.  Are you anxious for your heavenly body?

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