1 Corinthians 2:9 Meaning of No Eye Has Seen, What No Ear Has Heard

1 Corinthians 2:9
“However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

Explanation and Commentary of 1 Corinthians 2:9

The gospel is the “hidden wisdom of God” (1 Cor 2:6). When Jesus came and brought salvation with him, he seemed to be a surprise to everyone, not the least of which were those who had long anticipated and hoped for his coming. But Christ confounded human wisdom, and not many were given eyes to see and understand. Even his own disciples failed to comprehend him time and time again until they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2) and given the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16).

Beyond Jesus’ salvation for us by way of the cross, God has plans for us that are almost too wonderful for words, and can only be experienced by trusting in him. The way of dying to self, to be hidden in God (Gal 2:20) is profound and often appears too simple to people to actually follow.

In this particular application, Paul has in mind his next topic (1 Cor 3) of the tendency of people, even in the church, to boast in human leaders, looking for a person to submit themselves to, rather than Christ.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of 1 Corinthians 2:9

#1 “However…”
Paul has said that the rulers of their age did not understand the wisdom of God, which was not like the wisdom of the age (1 Cor 2:6-8). The evidence was that they killed the “Lord of Glory.”

#2 “as it is written:”
Paul commonly draws from the Old Testament. Jesus can be found in every chapter by those with eyes to see. The whole Bible is about him (Lk 24:13-35). The following verse is quoted from Isaiah 64:4.

#3 “‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,”
Though Jesus was the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), few were able to grasp that he was the Son of God, and no one at the time understood his death on the cross. To believe God, we must be given “eyes to see” (Mt 13:16), and “ears to hear” (Mk 7:16).

#4 “and what no human mind has conceived’”
Paul talks further to the Corinthians of the mind of Christ, saying, no one knows a person like the spirit of that person (1 Cor 2:11). God’s Spirit can reveal the truth about God to us and give us the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16)

The 8-minute video commentary below fully explains the meaning of 1 Corinthians 2:9.

This incredible video below will make you an expert on the book of 1 Corinthians in less than ten minutes.

Biblical Translations of 1 Corinthians 2:9

NIV
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him—

NLT
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—

KJV
But as it is written, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

NKJV
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 Meaning

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.