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Verse 36. Thou fool. Foolish, inconsiderate man! The meaning is, that it was foolish to make this objection, when the same difficulty existed in an undeniable fact which fell under daily observation. A man was a fool to urge that as an objection to religion, which must exist in the undeniable and every-day facts which they witnessed. The idea is, "The same difficulty may be started about the growth of grain. Suppose a man, who had never seen it, were to be told that it was to be put into the earth; that it was to die; to be decomposed; and that from the decayed kernel there should be seen to start up first a slender, green, and tender spire of grass, and that this was to send up a strong stalk, and was to produce hundreds of similar kernels at some distant period. These facts would be as improbable to him as the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. When he saw the kernel laid in the ground; when he saw it decay; when apparently it was returning to dust, he would ask, How CAN these be connected with the production of similar grain? Are not all the indications that it will be totally corrupted or destroyed? "Yet, says Paul, this is connected with the hope of the harvest, and this fact should remove all the objection which is derived from the fact that the body returns to its native dust. The idea is, that there is an analogy, and that the main objection in the one case would lie equally well against the acknowledged and indisputable fact in the other. It is evident, however, that this argument is of a popular character, and is not to be pressed to the quick; nor are we to suppose that the resemblance will be in all respects the same. It is to be used as Paul used it. The objection was, that the body died, and returned to dust, and could not, therefore, rise again. The reply of Paul is, "You may make the same objection to grain that is sown. That dies also. The main body of the kernel decays. In itself there is no prospect that it will spring up. Should it stop here, and had you never seen a grain of wheat grow— had you only seen it in the earth, as you have seen the body in the grave—there would be the same difficulty as to HOW it would produce other grains, which there is about the resurrection of the body."

Is not quickened. Does not become alive; does not grow.

Except it die. See Barnes "Joh 12:24".

The main body of the grain decays, that it may become food and nourishment to the tender germ. Perhaps it is implied here, also, that there was a fitness that men should die in order to obtain the glorious body of the resurrection, in the same way as it is fit that the kernel should die, in order that there may be a new and beautiful harvest.

{a} "which thou sowest" Joh 12:24

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