New Defender's Study Bible Notes
14:21 it is written. This passage is quoted from Isaiah 28:11, with a possible reference also to Deuteronomy 28:49. The Lord was warning in both that he would teach unbelieving Israel obedience by punishing them through a nation of different language. This further proves that the “tongues” of this chapter are not ecstatic utterances but intelligible foreign languages. As the invading language of an alien people would speak forcibly to the rebellious Israelites, so the miraculous manifestation of a message given in a language unknown to the speaker but known to the hearers would be a convincing “sign” to unbelievers that God was, indeed, speaking to them (I Corinthians 14:22). This had been exactly the effect of the tongues on the day of Pentecost, and so it should be whenever they are used (if ever) today. These “tongues” were (and are today) being badly misused, and Paul was trying diligently to circumscribe their use to situations comparable to that at Pentecost.