Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 54 (1 Corinthians 15:54)

Death is swallowed up in victory - Κατεποθη ὁ θανατος εις νικος . These words are a quotation from Isaiah 25:8 , where the Hebrew is לנצח המות בלע billa hammaveth lanetsach : He (God) hath swallowed up death in victory; or, for ever. These words in the Septuagint are thus translated: κατεπιεν ὁ θανατος ισχυσας· Death having prevailed, or conquered, hath swallowed up. But in the version of Theodotion, the words are the same with those of the apostle. The Hebrew לנצח lanetsach the Septuagint sometimes translate εις νικος , in victory, but most commonly εις τελος , for ever; both, as Bishop Pearce observes, in such kind of phrases, signifying the same thing, because eternity conquers all things; and accordingly, in 2 Samuel 2:26 , where the Septuagint have μη εις νικος καταφαγεται ἡ ῥομφαια , our English version has, Shall the sword devour For Ever? And the same may be seen in Job 36:7 ; Lamentations 5:20 ; Amos 1:11 ; Amos 8:7 ; from which authority the bishop translates the clause here, Death is swallowed up For Ever.

Death is here personified and represented as a devouring being, swallowing up all the generations of men; and by the resurrection of the body and the destruction of the empire of death, God is represented as swallowing him up; or that eternity gulps him down; so that he is endlessly lost and absorbed in its illimitable waste. How glorious a time to the righteous, when the inhabitant shall no more say, I am sick; when God shall have wiped away all tears from off all faces, and when there shall be no more death. This time must come. Hallelujah! The Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible