New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:1 house of this tabernacle. Our present bodies are called “tabernacles” (or “tents”) because they are only temporary dwelling places, like the tents of the children of Israel in the wilderness. Peter used the same term (II Peter 1:14), as did John concerning the human body of Jesus (“the Word was made flesh, and [tabernacled] among us”—John 1:14). God, however, will provide an eternal dwelling-place, the resurrection body, for our eternal spirits.
5:1 not made with hands. This resurrection body, like that of the resurrection body of the Lord Jesus, is “not made with hands” (note Mark 14:58), but by the creative word of Christ (I Thessalonians 4:16; John 5:28-29). When Christ returns, those bodies now corrupting in their graves will “put on incorruption,” while those still living but subject to death will “put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:54) and both shall “ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:17).
5:2 clothed upon. If our earthly house is “dissolved” (II Corinthians 5:1) before Christ returns, there will be an intermediate period “with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:8) in which we shall neither wear our present body nor our future resurrection body. It was thus Paul’s earnest desire and, surely ours as well, still to be living when Christ returns, and thus immediately to be “clothed upon” with our resurrection bodies. The latter would thus be put on over our old bodies as it were, and so still be recognizable (as was that of Christ after His resurrection), but with all aspects of their old “mortality” (pain, sin, etc.) immediately “swallowed up of life” (II Corinthians 5:4).