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16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

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16. himself—in all the Majesty of His presence in person, not by deputy.

descend—even as He ascended (Ac 1:11).

withGreek, "in," implying one concomitant circumstance attending His appearing.

shoutGreek, "signal shout," "war shout." Jesus is represented as a victorious King, giving the word of command to the hosts of heaven in His train for the last onslaught, at His final triumph over sin, death, and Satan (Re 19:11-21).

the voice of … archangel—distinct from the "signal shout." Michael is perhaps meant (Jude 9; Re 12:7), to whom especially is committed the guardianship of the people of God (Da 10:13).

trump of God—the trumpet blast which usually accompanies God's manifestation in glory (Ex 19:16; Ps 47:5); here the last of the three accompaniments of His appearing: as the trumpet was used to convene God's people to their solemn convocations (Nu 10:2, 10; 31:6), so here to summon God's elect together, preparatory to their glorification with Christ (Ps 50:1-5; Mt 24:31; 1Co 15:52).

shall rise first—previously to the living being "caught up." The "first" here has no reference to the first resurrection, as contrasted with that of "the rest of the dead." That reference occurs elsewhere (Mt 13:41, 42, 50; Joh 5:29; 1Co 15:23, 24; Re 20:5, 6); it simply stands in opposition to "then," 1Th 4:17. FIRST, "the dead in Christ" shall rise, THEN the living shall be caught up. The Lord's people alone are spoken of here.