New American Standard Bible

Back to Reader

1 Corinthians

14

:

29

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.

Lexicon

Verse part Definition: Part of speech: Strong's: Greek: Transliteration:
Let two two Adj-NMP H1417 δύο duo
Analysis:

Two: Two divergent opinions

The classic example for the number "two" is found in Matthew chapter 26. There, Yeshua says to His disciples,

"You know that after two days comes the Passover, and the Son of Man will be given over for crucifixion."  Matthew 26:2

The phrase "after two days" is somewhat meaningless because after two days can mean three or more days. The period is unspecified. The reason for such ambiguous language is because the purpose of the number two in this passage is not solely numerical. This means that the text is not intending to provide the reader with some definite information concerning a time period. Rather, the purpose of the number two in this context is one of the numerological meanings of the number two.  Often the number two relates to two divergent opinions. In the aforementioned verse, the author wants to inform the reader that there are two very different understandings for this coming Passover. Yeshua wants to emphasize that He is going up to Jerusalem in order to die as the true Passover sacrifice. Even though Yeshua states this emphatically, the disciples did not receive this. In fact, the disciples did not perceive at all what was going to take place during Passover in regard to Yeshua. In other words, Yeshua and the disciples have two divergent opinions concerning the Passover.

This same principle is also found in the Hebrew Bible (Old Covenant). In the book of Amos one reads,

"Can two walk together without them having agreed" Amos 3:3

The word which was translated into English with the phrase "them having agreed" is נועדו. The root of this word is יעד, which relates to a specific destination. The word which precedes this word is בלתי and in this context the word implies a change to the condition. In other words, had there not been a change in the condition, then the two could not walk together, i.e. they could not have arrived at the common destination.

The concept of divergent or different is also seen in the book of Genesis. In speaking about the sun and moon one reads, "And God made two great lights…" (Genesis 1:16). Obviously the sun and moon are very different, as one is a source of light, while the latter just reflects light. Also in the book of Genesis, one encounters the account of the flood. Here Noah is commanded to bring onto the ark two sorts of each type of animal. In this passage, the two relates to two different (or divergent) kinds of the same sort, i.e. male and female. 

Likewise, two angels came to Sodom, demonstrating that the people of Sodom had a very different way of living from that of the Law of God. Once again, the reader should not assume that every occurrence of the number two in the Bible demands this interpretation. However, one will find in a great majority of Biblical passages, the reader will be assisted in arriving at the proper interpretation, when he considers this divergent quality for the number two. 

Loveisrael.org - Baruch Korman, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved - Used with Permission 2016 

or or, than Conj H2228 ē
three three Adj-NMP H5140 τρεῖς treis
Analysis:

Three: Purposes of God in: Testing, revealing, proving, documenting, victory and if applied to God, holiness

The number "three" is one of the most significant numbers in the Scriptures. Its primary purpose is for the sake of revealing or documenting something as fact (testing to validate something). It is also connected to the outcome of the will of God. One of the most famous occurrences for the number three is found in the book of Jonah, where Jonah is in the belly of the fish "three days and three nights."  A major aspect of the book of Jonah is that the prophet was fleeing from the presence of HaShem. Instead of Jonah going to Nineveh as God had commanded, the prophet desired not to obey this commandment, even if it meant that his relationship with God would be destroyed. HaShem decided to test to see if Jonah preferred to end his relationship with God rather than go to Nineveh. By placing Jonah in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights, it would be revealed whether it was true that Jonah wanted to end his relationship with God over this commandment to go to Nineveh. It is most significant that immediately after (in the next verse) the reader is informed that Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.  What does Jonah do? The text states that Jonah prayed to the Lord his God from within the fish. Hence, the three days and three nights ultimately revealed, proved, or documented that what Jonah said he wanted was not true. One could also say that Jonah was tested for those three days and three nights and the test results showed that he did not want to end his relationship with God and in the end Jonah went to Nineveh.

In a similar manner, Peter rejects Yeshua's statement that he will deny Him. Therefore, Yeshua says to Peter that he will deny Him three times. These three denials prove, document, and reveal to the reader that Yeshua's statement was factual. It is not a coincidence that when Yeshua reinstated Peter after the resurrection, He asked him three times, "do you love Me?” In this context, Yeshua was testing the validity of Peter's statement. 

Yeshua also revealed that He, in a similar manner to Jonah being in the belly of the fish three days and three nights, would be in the belly of the earth three days and three nights and then rise from the dead. In this passage, the number three not only documents the fact that He died, but also the resurrection. It is also very significant that Yeshua rose on the third day.

The number three also relates to victory, as in the completion of God's purposes and plans. In the book of Genesis, one reads about the offering of Isaac. This passage has great theological significance and is one of the first passages which is read in the morning synagogue service each day. This section begins with HaShem commanding Abraham to offer his son as a burnt offering on one of the mountains in the land of Moriah. The climax of this portion of Scripture comes about on the third day. It was on the third day that HaShem provided the ram so that Isaac would live. In this passage, Isaac represents the promise (of God) which would have died (ended) had not HaShem acted. There is not a conflict between the two concepts for the number three of victory (the fulfillment of God’s will) and revelation or documentation. Often, it is the climax of what HaShem wants to do, which is simply being revealed or proved with the use of the number three.

Please note that when the number three is applied to God, then it can relate to holiness; whereas the number seven relates to holiness when this number is about man (see explanation for the number seven).

Loveisrael.org - Baruch Korman, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved - Used with Permission 2016

prophets a prophet (an interpreter or forth-teller of the divine will) N-NMP H4396 προφῆται prophētai
speak, to talk V-PMA-3P H2980 λαλείτωσαν laleitōsan
and let the others other, another Adj-NMP H243 ἄλλοι alloi
pass judgment. to distinguish, to judge V-PMA-3P H1252 διακρινέτωσαν diakrinetōsan

Parallel Verses

Removed text
Added text
New American Standard Bible Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.
King James Bible Let two or three the prophets speak, speak two or three, and let the others pass judgment.other judge.
Berean Bible Let And let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.discern.
Interlinear Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others pass judgment.