“For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.”
King James Version (KJV)
4:9 God hath set forth us last, as appointed to death - Alluding to the Roman custom of bringing forth those persons last on the stage, either to fight with each other, or with wild beasts, who were devoted to death; so that, if they escaped one day, they were brought out again and again, till they were killed.
1Co 4:9 God hath set forth us the apostles last. In contrast with them, the state of the apostles is given. The figure is drawn from the Roman amphitheater. At "last", near the close of the games, gladiators doomed to die were led forth and shown to the spectators, then stripped of all armor, and exposed naked to the attack of others. We are made a spectacle unto the world. So the apostles were doomed to reproach, suffering and to death.