For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven - notes, Acts 1:11.
With a shout - The word here used ( ́ keleusma ), does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It properly means a "cry' of excitement, or of arging on; an outcry, clamor, or shout, as of sailors at the oar, Luc. Catapl. 19; of soldiers rushing to battle, Thuc. 3:14; of a multitude of people, Diod. Sic. 3:15; of a huntsman to his dogs, Xen. Ven. 6:20. It does not mean here, that the Lord would himself make such a shout, but that he would be attended with it; that is, with a multitude who would lift up the voice like that of an army rushing to the conflict.
With the voice of the archangel - The word archangel occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in Jude 1:9, where it is applied to Michael. It properly means a chief angel; one who is first, or who is over others - ̓́ archōn . The word is not found in the Septuagint, and the only archangel, therefore, which is named in the Scriptures, is Michael; Jude 1:9; compare Revelation 12:7. Seven angels, however, are referred to in the Scriptures as having an eminence above others, and these are commonly regarded as archangels. Revelation 8:2, "and I saw the seven angels which stood before God." One of these is supposed to be referred to in the Book of Tobit, 12:15, "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One." The names of three only of the seven are mentioned in the Jewish writings: Michael, the patron of the Jewish nation, Daniel 10:13, Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1.
Gabriel, Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; compare Luke 1:19, Luke 1:26. Raphael, Tobit 3:17; 5:4; 8:2; 9:1, 5; 12:15. The Book of Enoch adds that of Uriel, pp. 187, 190, 191, 193. Michael is mentioned as one "of the chief princes," Daniel 10:13; and as "the great prince," Daniel 12:1; compare notes on Ephesians 1:21, and see an article by Prof. Stuart in the Bibliotheca Sacra. No. 1, on Angelology. It seems evident from the Scriptures, that there is one or more among the angels to whom the name archangel properly belongs. This view is in accordance with the doctrine in the Scriptures that the heavenly beings are divided into ranks and orders, for if so, it is not unreasonable to suppose that there should be one or more to whom the most exalted rank pertains; compare Revelation 12:7. Whether there is more than one to whom this name appropriately belongs, it is impossible now to determine, and is not material. The word here (in Greek) is without the article, and the phrase might be rendered, "with the voice of an archangel."
The Syriac renders it, "with the voice of the prince of the angels." On an occasion so august and momentous as that of the coming of the final Judge of all mankind; the resurrection of the dead, and the solemn transactions before the tribunal of the Son of God deciding the destiny of countless million for ever, it will not be inappropriate that the highest among the heavenly hosts should be present and take an important part in the solemnities of the day. It is not quite certain what is meant here by "the voice of the archangel," or for what purpose that voice will be heard. It cannot be that it will be to raise the dead - for that will be by the "voice of the Son of God" John 5:28-29, and it seems most probable that the meaning is, that this will be a part of the loud shout or cry which will be made by the descending hosts of heaven; or perhaps it may be for the purpose of summoning the world to the bar of judgment; compare Matthew 24:31.
And with the trump of God - The trump which God appoints to be sounded on that solemn occasion. It does not mean that it will be sounded by God himself; see the notes on Matthew 24:31.
And the dead in Christ - Christians.
Shall rise first - That is, before the living shall be changed. A doctrine similar to this was held by the Jews. "Resch Lachisch said, Those who die in the land of Israel shall rise first in the days of the Messiah." See Wetstein, in loc. It is implied in all this description, that the interval between their resurrection and the change which will occur to the living, will be brief, or that the one will rapidly succeed the other compare notes, I Corinthians 15:23, I Corinthians 15:51-52.
Other Barnes' Notes entries containing 1 Thessalonians 4:16:
1 Thessalonians 1:10
1 Thessalonians 1:10
1 Thessalonians 4:18
1 Thessalonians 5:10
2 Thessalonians 1:7
2 Thessalonians 1:8
1 Timothy 6:14
2 Timothy 4:1
1 Peter 1:7
1 Peter 4:5
2 Peter 1:16
DISCLAIMER: Church of the Great God (CGG) provides these resources to aid the individual in studying the Bible. However, it is up to the individual to "prove all things, and hold fast to that which is good" (I Thessalonians 5:21). The content of these resources does not necessarily reflect the views of CGG. They are provided for information purposes only.