1 Corinthians 10
Expositor's Greek Testament
Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
1 Corinthians 10:1-5. § 31. THE BACKSLIDING OF ANCIENT ISRAEL. The Apostle has just confessed, in warning others, his own fear of reprobation. That this is no idle fear the history of the O.T. Church plainly proves. All the Israelite fathers were rescued from Egypt, and sealed with the ancient sacraments, and virtually partook of Christ in the wilderness; but, alas, how few of those first redeemed entered the Promised Land!

1 Corinthians 10:1-2. The phrase οὐ θέλω ὑμᾶς ἀγνοεῖν (see parls.) calls attention to something not altogether within the range of the reader’s knowledge (contrast οὐκ οἴδατε; 1 Corinthians 9:24, etc.); γὰρ attaches the paragraph, by way of enforcement, to the foregoing ἀδόκιμος. “Our fathers” is not written inadvertently to Gentile “brethren,” out of P.’s “national consciousness” (Mr[1410]); the phrase identifies the N.T. Church with “Israel” (cf. Romans 4:1-2 ff., Romans 11:17 f., Galatians 3:7; Galatians 3:29, Php 3:3; also Clem. ad Cor. 4); the fate of the fathers admonishes the children (Psalm 78:8; Psalm 95:9, etc.; Matthew 23:29 ff., Hebrews 3:4.). The point of the warning lies in the five-times repeated πάντες: “All our fathers escaped by miracle from the house of bondage; all received the tokens of the Mosaic covenant; all participated under its forms in Christ; and yet most of them perished! (1 Corinthians 10:5); cf. the πάντες μένεἶς δὲ of 1 Corinthians 9:24, and note.—For ὑπὸ τὴν νεφέλην, διὰ τῆς θαλάσσης, cf. Psalm 105:39; Psalm 106:11; also Wis 10:17; Wis 19:7. “The cloud” shading and guiding the Israelites from above, and “the sea” making a path for them through its midst and drowning their enemies behind them, were glorious signs to “our fathers” of God’s salvation; together they formed a λοῦτρον παλινγενεσίας (Titus 3:5), inaugurating the national covenant life; as it trode the miraculous path between upper and nether waters, Israel was born into its Divine estate. Thus “they all received their baptism unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea,” since in this act they committed themselves to the guidance ofMoses, entering through him into acknowledged fellowship with God; even so the Cor[1411] in the use of the same symbolic element had been “baptized unto Christ” (cf. Romans 6:3 f., Galatians 3:27). For the parl[1412] between Moses and Christ, see Hebrews 3. Paul sees a baptism in the waters of the Exodus, as Peter in the waters of the Deluge (1 Peter 3:20 f.).—ἐβαπτίσαντο, mid[1413] voice (see parls.), implies consent of the subjects—“had themselves baptised” (cf. ἀπελούσασθε, 1 Corinthians 6:11)—aggravating their apostasy.

[1410] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1411] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1412] parallel.

[1413] middle voice.

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
1 Corinthians 10:3-4. After deliverance came the question of sustenance. This was effected in the desert by means no less miraculous and symbolic: “and they all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink”—the manna of Exodus 16:13 ff., etc., and the stream drawn from the rocks of Rephidim (Exodus 17.) and Kadesh (Numbers 20.).—The epithe πνευματικὸν does not negative the materiality of the βρῶμα and πόμα, any more than the corporeality of the ripe Christian man described in 1 Corinthians 2:15; it ascribes to these nutriments a higher virtue—such as, e.g., the bread of Christ’s miracles had for intelligent partakers—a spiritual meaning and influence: for the bread, see Deuteronomy 8:2 f. (cf. Matthew 4:3 f., John 6:31 ff., Psalm 78:23 ff.); for the water, Exodus 17:7, Numbers 20:13, Psalm 105:41, Isaiah 35:6.—In drinking from the smitten rock the Israelites “were drinking” at the same time “of a spiritual rock”—and that not supplying them once alone, but “following” them throughout their history. 1 Corinthians 10:4 b explains 4a (γὰρ): P. justifies his calling the miraculous water “spiritual,” not by saying that the rock from which it issued was a spiritual (and no material) rock, but that there was “a spiritual rock accompanying” God’s people; from this they drank in spirit, while their bodies drank from the water flowing at their feet. The lesson is strictly parl[1414] to that of Deuteronomy 8:3 f. respecting the manna. In truth, another rock was there beside the visible cliff of Rephidim: “Now this rock (ἡ πέτρα δέ) was the Christ!” The “meat” and “drink” are the actual desert food—“the same” for “all,” but endowed for all with a “spiritual” grace; the “spiritual rock” which imparted this virtue is distinguished as “following” the people, being superior to local limitations—a rock not symbolic of Christ, but identical with Him. This identification our Lord virtually made in the words of John 7:37. The impf[1415] (ἔπινον) (4b), exchanged for ἔπιον (4a), indicates the continuous aid drawn from this “following rock”.

[1414] parallel.

[1415]mpf. imperfect tense.

Baur, Al[1416], and others suppose P. to be adopting the Rabbinical legend that the water-bearing Rephidim rock journeyed onwards with the Israelites (see Bammidbar Rabba, s. 1; Eisenmenger, Entd. Judenthum, I. 312, 467, II. 876 f.). Philo allegorized this fable in application to the Logos (Leg. alleg. II. §§ 21 f.; Quod det. pot. insid. solet, § 30). This may have suggested Paul’s conception, but the predicate πνευματικῆς) emphatically discards the prodigy; “we must not disgrace P. by making him say that the pre-incarnate Christ followed the march of Israel in the shape of a lump of rock!” (Hf[1417]). ὁ Χριστός—not the doctrine, nor the hope of the Christ, but Himself—assumes that Christ existed in Israelite times and was spiritually present with the O.T. Church, and that the grace attending its ordinances was mediated by Him. “The spiritual homogeneity of the two covenants”—which gives to the Apostle’s warning its real cogency—“rests on the identity of the Divine Head of both. The practical consequence saute aux veux: Christ lived already in the midst of the ancient people, and that people has perished! How can you suppose, you Christians, that you are secured from the same fate!” (Gd[1418]).

[1416] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[1417] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1418] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

Holsten rejects the parenthetical ἡ πέτρα δέ clause as a theological gloss; but it is necessary to explain the previous ἐκ πνευμ. ἀκολ. πέτρας, and is covered doctrinally by the διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα of 1 Corinthians 8:6 (see note). Already Jewish theology had referred to the hypostatized “Wisdom” (see Wisdom 10), or “the Logos” (Philo passim), the protection and sustenance of ancient Israel. The O.T. saw the spiritual “rock of Israel” in Jehovah (Deuteronomy 32, 2 Samuel 23:3, Isaiah 17:10; Isaiah 26:4, etc.), whose offices of grace, in the N.T. view of things, devolve on Christ.—The Ap. does not in so many words associate the “spiritual food” and “drink” of 1 Corinthians 10:3 f. with the Lord’s Supper, as he did the crossing of the Red Sea with Baptism; but the second analogy is suggested by the first, and by the reference to the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 10:15 ff. In no other place in the N. T. are the two Sacraments collocated.

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
1 Corinthians 10:5. “But not with the greater part (of them)”—a “tragic litotes: only Joshua and Caleb reached the Promised Land” (Numbers 14:30 : Mr[1419]). The result negatives what one expects from the antecedents; hence the strong adversative ἀλλʼ οὐκ.—τοῖς πλείοσιν—“the majority” of the πάντες so highly favoured; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:6. ηὐδόκησεν ἐν (after the LXX), Heb. chaphets b; the ἐν resembles that of 1 Corinthians 9:15; see Wr[1420], p. 291.—κατεστρώθησαν γὰρ κ.τ.λ., “For they (their bodies) were laid prostrate in the wilderness,” gives graphic proof, in words borrowed from the O.T. narrative, of God’s displeasure; sooner or later this doom overtook nearly all the witnesses of the Exodus (cf. Hebrews 3:17). “What a spectacle for the eyes of the self-satisfied Cor[1421]: all these bodies, full-fed with miraculous nourishment, strewing the soil of the desert!” (Gd[1422]).

[1419] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1420] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1421] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1422] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1 Corinthians 10:6-14. § 32. THE MORAL CONTAGION OF IDOLATRY. The fall of the Israel of the Exodus was due to the very temptations now surrounding the Cor[1423] Church—to the allurements of idolatry and its attendant impurity (1 Corinthians 10:6 ff.), and to the cherishing of discontent and presumption (1 Corinthians 10:9 f.). Their fate may prove our salvation, if we lay it to heart; the present trial, manifestly, is nothing new; and God who appoints it will keep it within our strength, and will provide us with means of escape (1 Corinthians 10:11 ff.). The whole is summed up in one word, “Flee from idolatry!” (1 Corinthians 10:14).

[1423] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 10:6. ταῦτα τύποι ἡμῶν ἐγενήθησαν may mean (a) “These things have been made our examples,” typi nobis (Cv[1424])—sc. exx. for our use; (b) “In these things (acc[1425] of specification) they proved types of us”—figurœ nostri (Vg[1426], Bz[1427], Mr[1428], Bt[1429], R.V. marg.); or (c) “As types of us they became such” (so Hf[1430]: cf. ταῦταἦτε, 1 Corinthians 6:11)—a construction clashing with that of the parl[1431] 1 Corinthians 10:11. (a) best suits the application of ταῦτα in the sequel (cf. 1 Peter 5:3); to make the fallen Israelites prophetic “types” of the Cor[1432] would be to presume the ruin of the latter!—ἐγενήθησαν is pl[1433] despite the neut. pl[1434] subject ταῦτα, through the attraction of the predicate: so πάντα ταῦτα κακουργίαι ἦσαν in Xenophon; the incidents included are distinctly viewed. For the deterrent “example,” cf. Hebrews 4:11.—With ἐπιθυμ. κακῶν cf. ἐφευρετὰς κακῶν, Romans 1:30 : the double ἐπιθυμητὰςἐπεθύμησαν recalls Numbers 11:4 (LXX); in alluding to the old “lusting” for the diet of Egypt, the Ap. hints at the attraction of the Cor[1435] idol-feasts; but his dehortation applies to all κακά (cf. 2 Corinthians 13:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, etc.). The general admonition is specialised in four particulars, with repeated μηδὲidolatry, fornication, tempting of the Lord, murmuring—based on the analogy furnished by 1 Corinthians 10:1-5.

[1424] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1425] accusative case.

[1426] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1427] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[1428] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1429] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[1430] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1431] parallel.

[1432] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1433] plural.

[1434] plural.

[1435] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
1 Corinthians 10:7. μηδὲ εἰδωλολάτραι γίνεσθε, “And do not become idolaters”: in apposition to the εἰς τὸ μὴ clause of 1 Corinthians 10:6, the dependent sentence of purpose passing into a direct impv[1436]; for the like conversational freedom, cf. 1 Corinthians 1:31, 1 Corinthians 4:16, 1 Corinthians 7:37, 1 Corinthians 9:15, and notes. The repetition of this warning in 1 Corinthians 10:14 shows its urgency. Even where eating of the εἰδωλόθυτα was innocent, it might be a stepping-stone to εἰδωλολατρεία.—Enforcing his appeal by ref[1437] to the calf-worship at Sinai, the Ap. dwells on the accompaniments of this apostasy: here lay the peril of his readers who, when released from the superstition of the old religion (1 Corinthians 8:4), were still attracted by its feasting and gaiety: “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to sport” (following the LXX precisely). This παίζειν, as in idolatrous festivals commonly, included singing and dancing round the calf (Exodus 32:18 f.); there is no need to imagine a darker meaning. It was a scene of wild, careless merriment, shocking under the circumstances and most perilous, that Moses witnessed as he descended bearing the Tables of the Law.—πεῖν, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:4 and note.

[1436] imperative mood.

[1437] reference.

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1 Corinthians 10:8. μηδὲ πορνεύωμεν: here P. comes closer to his readers, adopting the communicative 1st pl[1438] For the prevalence of this vice at Cor[1439] and its connexion with Cor[1440] idolatry, see 1 Corinthians 7:2, 1 Corinthians 6:11, and Introd., p. 734 (cf. Numbers 25:1 f. also Revelation 2:14); for its existence in the Cor[1441] Church, ch. 5. above, and 2 Corinthians 12:21. Wis 14:12 affirms, of idolatry at large, ἀρχὴ πορνείας ἐπίνοια εἰδώλων; see the connexion of Romans 1:24 with the foregoing context.—“23,000” is a curious variation from the figure given in Numbers 25:9 for the slain of Baal-Peor, which is followed by other Jewish authorities, vix., 24,000. It is more respectful to credit the Ap. with a trifling inadvertence than to suppose, with Gd[1442], that he makes a deliberate understatement to be within the mark. Ev[1443] gives no evidence for his alleged “Jewish tradition” in support of the reduced estimate. Possibly, a primitive error of the copyist, substituting γʹ for δʹ (Hn[1444]).

[1438] plural.

[1439] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1440] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1441] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1442] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1443] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1444] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1 Corinthians 10:9-10. The sins condemned in 1 Corinthians 10:7-8 are sins of sensuality; these, of unbelief (Ed[1445])—which takes two forms: of presumption, daring God’s judgments; or of despair, doubting His goodness. The whole wilderness history, with its crucial events of Massah and Meribah, is represented as a “trying of the Lord” in Psalm 95:8 ff. (cf. Numbers 14:22), a δοκιμασία (Hebrews 3:7-12); this process culminated in the insolence of Numbers 21:4 f., which was punished by the infliction of the “fiery serpents”. The like sin, of presuming on the Divine forbearance, the Cor[1446] would commit if they trifled with idolatry (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:22) and “sinned wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth” (Hebrews 10:26; Romans 6:1); cf. Deuteronomy 6:16 (Matthew 4:7), Psalm 78:17 ff., for this trait of the Israelite character. ἐκ-πειράζω is to try thoroughly, to the utmost—as though one would see how far God’s indulgence will go. The graphic impf[1447], ἀπώλλυντο, “lay a-perishing,” transports us to the scene of misery resulting from this experiment upon God!—ὑπὸ of agent after ἀπόλλυμι—a cl[1448] idiom, h.l. for N.T.—elsewhere construed with dat[1449], or ἐν and dat[1450], of cause or ground of destruction (1 Corinthians 8:11, Romans 14:15, etc.).—The “murmuring” also occurred repeatedly in the wilderness; but P. alludes specifically to the rebellion of Korah and its punishment—the only instance of violent death overtaking this sin (Numbers 16:41). The ὀλοθρευτὴς in such supernatural chastisement is conceived as the “destroying angel” (2 Samuel 24:16, Isaiah 37:36), called ὁ ὀλοθρεύων in Exodus 12:23, Hebrews 11:28 (cf. Wis 18:25); in later Jewish theology, Sammael, or the Angel of Death (Weber, Altsyn. Théologie, p. 244). The O.T. analogy suggests that P. had in view the murmurings of jealous partisans and unworthy teachers at Cor[1451] (1 Corinthians 1:12, 1 Corinthians 3:6, 1 Corinthians 4:6; 1 Corinthians 4:18 ff.); at this point he reverts to the impv[1452] of 2nd. pers[1453], γογγύζετε.—τινες (quidam), used throughout of the Israelite offenders, may mean many or few, anything short of “all” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4); cf., 1 Corinthians 10:5, also 1 Corinthians 9:22, 1 Corinthians 8:7, Romans 3:3.

[1445] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1446] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1447]mpf. imperfect tense.

[1448] classical.

[1449] dative case.

[1450] dative case.

[1451] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1452] imperative mood.

[1453]ers. grammatical person, or personal.

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1 Corinthians 10:11. “Now these things befel them by way of example” “(τυπικῶς)—or “typically,” “prefiguratively,” if the other rendering of τύποι in 1 Corinthians 10:6 be preferred (“in figura contingebant illis,” Vg[1454]); the adv[1455] became current in the latter sense in eccl[1456] Gr[1457] The judgments quoted were exemplary in their nature; the story of them serves as a lesson for all time—“they were written with a view to (πρὸς) our admonition”.—συνέβαινον, impf., of the train of events; ἐγράφη, aor[1458], of the act of record summing them up. For the admonitory purpose of O.T. writers, see Isaiah 8:16; Isaiah 30:8 ff., Habakkuk 2:2 f., Deuteronomy 31:19 ff.—“Unto whom the ends of the ages have reached” (κατήντηκεν, devenerunt, Vg[1459])—“whom they have overtaken”. καταντάω signifies reaching a mark, “arriving at” a definite point, whether the ultimate goal or not (see parls.). τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων is syn[1460] with ἡ συντέλεια τ. αἰώνων (Matthew 13:40, etc.) and other eschatological expressions (cf. 1 Peter 1:20, Hebrews 1:2; also Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10); the pl[1461] indicates the manifold issues culminating in the Christian Church. “World-ages” (αἰῶνες) do not simply follow each other, but proceed side by side; so in particular the age of Israel and that of the Gentiles” (Hf[1462]); “the ends” of Jewish and Pagan history alike are disclosed in Christianity; both streams converged, under God’s direction (cf. Acts 15:15 ff; Acts 17:26 ff.), upon the Gentile Churches (τέλος has the double sense of conclusion and aim). The Church is the heir of the spiritual training of mankind; cf., for the general idea, John 4:37 f., 2 Timothy 3:16 f., Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:9 ff.

[1454] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1455] adverb

[1456] ecclesiastical.

[1457] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

aorist tense.

[1459] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1460] synonym, synonymous.

[1461] plural.

[1462] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13. The “examples” just set forth are full of warning (a), but with an aspect of (b) encouragement besides. (a) “So then”—ὥστε with impv[1463], as in 1 Corinthians 3:21 (see note)—“he that thinks (ὁ δοκῶν: see note, 1 Corinthians 3:18) that he stands, let him take heed (βλεπέτω) lest he fall!” For “such thinking, as it leads to trust in oneself, is the beginning of a perilous security” (Hf[1464]); this vanity was precisely the danger of the Cor[1465] (see 1 Corinthians 4:6 ff., 1 Corinthians 5:2, etc.). For the pf. ἑστάναι, in this emphatic sense (to stand fast), see parls. A moral “fall” is apprehended, involving personal ruin (1 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Corinthians 10:8; Romans 11:2; Romans 11:22).—(b) The example which alarms the selfconfident, may give hope to the despondent; it shows that the present trials are not unprecedented: πειρασμὸς ὑμᾶς οὐκ εἴληφεν εἰ μὴ ἀνθρώπινος, “It is only human temptation that has come upon you”—such as men have been through before. 1 Corinthians 10:13 follows sharply on 1 Corinthians 10:12, ἀσυνδέτως, correcting a depressing fear that would arise in some minds.—εἴληφεν (see parls.) describes a situation which “has seized” and holds one in its grasp (pf.).—ἀνθρώπινος connotes both quod hominibus solet (Cv[1466]) and homini superabilis (Bg[1467]), such as man can bear (R.V.),—σύμμετρος τῇ φύσει (Thd[1468]). Some give an objective turn to the adj[1469], reading the clause as one of further warning: “It is only trial from men that has overtaken you” (so, with variations, Chr., Est., Gr[1470], Bg[1471]—opponitur tentatio demoniaca). But the sequel implies a temptation measured by the strength of the tempted; moreover, as El[1472] says, P. would have written οὔπω ἔλαβεν, rather than οὐκ εἴληφεν, if foreboding worse trial in store; nor did he conceive the actual trials of the Cor[1473], any more than those of the Thess. or Asian Churches (1 Thessalonians 3:5, Ephesians 6:10 ff.), as without diabolical elements (see 20 ff., 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 11:3; 2 Corinthians 11:14),—εἰ μὴ is attached to ἀνθρώπινος alone: lit[1474] “temptation has not seized you, except a human (temptation)”—i.e., “otherwise than human”.—πιστὸς δὲ ὁ Θεός contrasts the human and Divine; for the natural trial a supernatural Providence guarantees sufficient aid (see parls.). ὅς = ὅτι οὗτος (cf. 2 Corinthians 1:18): “God is faithful in that (or so that) He etc.”. Paul ascribes to God not the origination, but the control of temptation (cf. Matthew 6:13, Luke 22:31 f., Jam 1:12 ff.): the πειρασμὸς is inevitable, lying in the conditions of human nature; God limits it, and supplies along with it the ἔκβασις.—For the ellipsis in (ὑπὲρ ὃ) δύνασθε, cf.1Co 3:2—The art[1475] in ὁ πειρασμός, τὴν ἔκβασιν, is individualising: “the temptation” and “the egress” match each other, the latter provided for the former; hence καί, “also,” indivulso nexu (Bg[1476]). Issue is a sense of ἔκβασις in later Gr[1477]; in cl[1478] Gr[1479] disembarkation, then exit, escape. In τοῦ δύνασθαι ὑπενεγκεῖν (for gen[1480] inf[1481] of purpose, see Wr[1482], p. 408) the subject is not expressed; as coming under God’s general dealing with men, it is conceived indefinitely—“that one may be able to bear”. Shut into a cul de sac, a man despairs; but let him see a door open for his exit, and he will struggle on with his load. ἔκβασις signifies getting clear away from the struggle; ὑπενεγκεῖν, holding up under it, the latter made possible by the hope of the former. How different all this from the Stoic consolation of suicide: “The door stands open”! In the Cor[1483] “temptation” we must include both the allurements of idolatry and the persecution which its abandonment entailed.

[1463] imperative mood.

[1464] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1465] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1466] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1467] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Theodoret, Greek Commentator.

[1469] adjective.

[1470] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1473] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1474] literal, literally.

[1475] grammatical article.

[1476] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.


[1479] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

genitive case.

[1481] infinitive mood.

[1482] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1483] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:14 gives the final point to all that has been urged, from 1 Corinthians 10:1 onwards: the sad fate of the Israelite fathers, the correspondence between their trials and those of the Cor[1484] readers, the possibility of effectual resistance, and the certain relief to which the Divine fidelity is pledged—these considerations combine to enforce the appeal, Flee from idolatry; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18 a, and note.—διόπερ, as in 1 Corinthians 8:13 (see note), points with emphatic finger along the line of past history; ἀγαπητοί (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:14) reinforces admonition with entreaty.

[1484] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
1 Corinthians 10:15-24. § 33. THE COMMUNION OF THE LORD, AND OF DEMONS. A further warning the Ap. will give against dalliance with idolatry, based on Christian practice as the former was based on Israelite history. He points to the table of the Lord’s Supper, and asks the Cor[1485] to judge as men of sense whether it is possible to take of Christ’s cup and loaf, and then to sit at a table where in reality one communicates with demons! What can be more revolting than such conduct? what more insulting towards the Lord?

[1485] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

1 Corinthians 10:15. Ὡς φρονίμοις λέγω· κρίνατε ὑμεῖς ὅ φημι: “As to men of sense I speak; be yourselves the judges of what I affirm.” With this prefatory appeal to the intelligence of the readers cf. the introductory phrases of Romans 6:19, Galatians 3:15; the ground of admonition in this § lies entirely within the judgment of the Cor[1486], as that of the last § did not (1 Corinthians 10:1). The Cor[1487] are φρόνιμοι, intellectually clever and shrewd, not σοφοί (as some of them thought themselves to be, 1 Corinthians 3:18); this compliment is consistent with the censure of 1 Corinthians 3:1 ff.; see parls., also Trench Syn., § lxxv. “The new conception of the πνευματικὸς caused the word φρόνιμος to sink to a much lower level in the N.T. than it occupied in Plato or Aristotle” (Ed[1488]). Philo disparages φρόνησις, denning it as μέση πανουργίας κ. μωρίας (Quod Deus immut., § 35); he says, σοφία μὲν γὰρ πρὸς θεραπείαν Θεοῦ, φρόνησις δὲ πρὸς ἀνθρώπινον βίον διοίκησιν (De prœm. et pœn., § 14).—On φημί (again in 19), cf 1 Corinthians 7:29, and note. For like appeals, see Luke 12:57, Acts 4:19. The questions that follow, the readers will easily answer from their knowledge of religious custom and feeling.

[1486] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1487] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1488] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1 Corinthians 10:16. κοινωνία is the key-word of this passage (see parls.); the Lord’s Supper constitutes a “communion” centring in Christ, as the Jewish festal rites centred in “the altar” (1 Corinthians 10:18), and as “the demons,” the unseen objects of idolatrous worship, supply their basis of communion in idolatrous feasts (1 Corinthians 10:21 f.). Such fellowship involves (1) the ground of communion, the sacred object celebrated in common; (2) the association established amongst the celebrants, separating them from all others: “The word communion denotes the fellowship of persons with persons in one and the same object” (Ev[1489]). These two ideas take expression in 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 in turn; their joint force lies behind the protest of 1 Corinthians 10:20 ff.—Appealing to the Eucharist—or Eulogia, as it was also called—P. begins with “the cup” (cf. the order of Luke 22:17 ff., and Didaché ix. 2 f.), the prominent object in the sacrificial meal (1 Corinthians 10:21), containing, as one may say, the essence of the feast (cf. Psalm 23:5). τ. εὐλογίας is attributive gen[1490] (like “cup of salvation” in Psalm 116:13; see other parls., for both words); so Cv[1491], “destinatus ad mysticam eulogiam,” and Hn[1492] (see his note). Christ blessed this cup, making it thus for ever a “cup of blessing”; cf. the early sacramental phrases, οἱ τῆς εὐλογίας Ἰησοῦ ἄρτοι in Or[1493] on Matthew 10:25, and τὰς εὐλογίας τ. Χριστοῦ ἐσθίειν from the Catacombs (X. Kraus, Roma sotteranea, 217), cited by Hn[1494] On this view, ὃ εὐλογοῦμεν is no repetition of τῆς εὐλογίας, but is antithetical to it in the manner of Ephesians 1:3 : sc. “the cup which gives blessing, for which we give blessing to God”. The prevalent interpretation of τ. ποτήρ. τ. εὐλογίας makes the phrase a rendering of kôs habb’rakah, the third cup of the Passover meal, over which a specific blessing was pronounced (often identified with that of the Eucharist); or, as Ed[1495] thinks (referring to Luke 22:20), the fourth, which closed the meal and was attended with the singing of the Hallel. Such a technical Hebraism would scarcely be obvious to the Cor[1496], and the gen[1497] so construed is artificial in point of Gr[1498] idiom; whereas the former construction is natural, and gives a sense in keeping with the readers’ experience.—τὸ ποτήριον, τὸν ἄρτον are acc[1499] by inverse relative attraction, a constr[1500] not unknown, though rare, in cl[1501] Gr[1502] (see Wr[1503], p. 204). Hf[1504] thinks that, with the merging of these nouns in the rel[1505] clause, the Acts of blessing the cup and breaking the bread becomes the real subject of κοινωνία in each instance—as though P. wrote, “when we bless the cup, break the bread, is it not a communion, etc.?” In any case, the “communion” looks beyond the bare ποτήριον and ἄρτος to the whole sacred action, the usus poculi, etc. (Bg[1506]), of which they form the centre. “The bread” is “blessed” equally with “the cup,” but in its case the prominent symbolic act is that of breaking (see parls.), which connotes the distribution to “many” of the “one loaf.” Thus “the sacramental bread came to be known as the κλασμός: so Did., § 9” (Ed[1507]).—On the pl[1508] εὐλογοῦμεν, κλῶμεν, Mr[1509] observes: “Whose was it to officiate in this consecration? At this date, when the order of public worship in the Church was far from being settled, any Christian man was competent. By the time of Justin (Apol. i. 65) the function was reserved for the προεστώς, but on the understanding that he represented the community and acted in communion with it (see Ritschl, Altkath. Kirche, 2 pp. 365 f). The pls. of our passage speak out of the consciousness of the Christian fellowship, in which it is matter of indifference who may be, in this instance or that, its administrative organ.”—οὐχὶ κοινωνία τοῦ αἵματος, τοῦ σώματος, τοῦ Χριστοῦ; “Is it not a communion of (or in) the blood, the body, of Christ?” (cf., for the gen[1510] after κοινωνία, note on 1 Corinthians 1:9)—not “a communion with the blood, etc.” The stress lies on τοῦ Χριστοῦ in both questions: through the cup and loaf believers participate together in Christ, in the sacrifice of His blood offered to God (Romans 3:25, Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 1:11), and in the whole redemption wrought through His bodily life and death and resurrection. τὸ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ carries our thoughts from the incarnation (Php 2:7), through the crucifixion (Colossians 1:22), on to the heavenly glory of the Redeemer (Php 3:21). The cup and bread are here styled “a communion in Christ’s blood and body”; in His own words (1 Corinthians 11:25), “the new covenant in My blood,”—a communion on the basis of the covenant established by the sacrifice of the Cross.

[1489] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1490] genitive case.

[1491] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1492] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1493] Origen.

[1494] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1495] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1496] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1497] genitive case.

[1498] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

accusative case.

[1500] construction.

[1501] classical.

[1502] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1504] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1505] relative pronoun.

[1506] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.

[1508] plural.

[1509] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1510] genitive case.

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
1 Corinthians 10:17 unfolds the assertion virtually contained in the question just asked: “Seeing that (ὅτι) there is one bread, we, the many, are one body”; so Vg[1511], “Quoniam unus panis, unum corpus multi sumus,” Cv[1512], Bz[1513], Bg[1514], Hf[1515], Bt[1516], Hn[1517], Gd[1518], El[1519], R.V. marg.; cf. the mutually supporting unities of Ephesians 4:4 ff. The saying is aphoristic: One bread makes one body (Hn[1520])—a maxim of hospitality (equally true of “the cup”) that applies to all associations cemented by a common feast. “The bread” suggests the further, kindred idea of a common nourishment sustaining an identical life, the loaf on the table symbolising the ἀληθινὸς ἄρτος of John 6, which feeds the Church in every limb (1 Corinthians 12:13).—“For (γὰρ of explanation) we all partake from (partitive ἐκ, cf. 1 Corinthians 9:7) the one bread”; eating from the common loaf attests and seals the union of the participants in Christ.

[1511] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1512] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

[1513] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[1514] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1516] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[1517] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1518] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1519] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1520] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

1 Corinthians 10:17 is parenthetical, but no interpolation as Sm[1521] thinks; it is necessary to develop the idea of κοινωνία in 1 Corinthians 10:16, showing how vital to the Church is the fellowship of the Lord’s Table, that was being violated by attendance at idolfeasts.—The elliptical ὅτιἐσμεν is often construed as a continued dependent clause under the regimen of ὅτι: either (a) “Since we, who are many, are one bread (loaf), one body” (A.V., R.V. txt., with several ancient Verss., Est., Al[1522], Sm[1523]); or (b) “Since there (is) one bread, (and) we, the many, are one body” (D.W[1524], Mr[1525])—these renderings making the two statements a double reason for the κοινωνία of 1 Corinthians 10:16, instead of seeing in the εἶς ἄρτος an evidence of the ἓν σῶμα. But (a) confuses two distinct figures, and identifies unsuitably “the bread” with the Church itself, (b) escapes this error by reading into the first clause the ἐστὶν required to match ἐσμὲν in the second; but the copulative “and” is artificially supplied; moreover, Mr[1526]’s interpretation reverses the contextual relation of the ἄρτος and σῶμα, making the latter the ground of the former, whereas Paul argues that the bread assures the oneness of the body; through loaf and cup we realise our communion in Christ.

[1521] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[1522] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[1523] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[1524].W. De Wette’s Handbuch z. N. T.

Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1526] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
1 Corinthians 10:18. “For look at Israel after the flesh: are not those that eat the sacrifice communicants of the altar?”—i.e., participation in the sacrificial feast constitutes fellowship in the sacrifice.—τὸν Ἰσραὴλ κατὰ σάρκα, in contrast with Ἰσρ. κατὰ πνεῦμα (Romans 2:28 f., Galatians 4:29; Galatians 6:16, etc.: see note on οἱ πατ. ἡμῶν, 1). The Ap. is not thinking of the priests specifically, as in 1 Corinthians 9:3 (Hn[1527]), nor of the people as sharing with them (Al[1528]), but of the festal communion of Israelites as suche.g., at the Passover, the sacrificial meal κατʼ ἐξοχήν: see Leviticus 7:11-34, Deuteronomy 12:11-28, 1 Samuel 9:12 ff. The altar furnishes the table at which Jehovah’s guests enjoy their covenant fellowship in the gifts of His salvation. The feasters are thus κοινωνοὶ τ. θυσιαστηρίου, recognising the altar as their common altar and mutually pledging themselves to its service.

[1527] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1528] Alford’s Greek Testament.

What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
1 Corinthians 10:19-20. Paul’s appeal to the meaning of the Lord’s Supper is leading up to a prohibition of attendance at the idol-feasts. Against this veto the men of “knowledge” will argue that idolatry is illusion (1 Corinthians 8:4 ff.), its rites having no such ground in reality as belongs to Christian observances; the festival has no religious meaning to them, and does not touch their conscience (contrast 1 Corinthians 8:7); if friendship or social feeling invites their presence, why should they not go? Paul admits the non-reality of the idol in itself; but he discerns other terrible presences behind the image—“demons” are virtually worshipped at the idol-feast, and with these the celebrants are brought into contact. “What then do I affirm (the φημὶ of 1 Corinthians 10:15 resumed)? that an idol-sacrifice is anything (has reality)? or that an idol is anything? (to say this would be to contradict 1 Corinthians 8:4). No, but that (ἀλλʼ ὅτι) what the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I would not that you should be communicants of the demons!” How could the Cor[1529], as “men of sense, judge” of a situation like this? The riot and debauch attending heathen festivals showed that foul spirits of evil presided over them: cf. 1 Corinthians 10:6 ff., referring to the worship of Baal-Peor, with which the allusion here made to Deuteronomy 32:17 (cf. Psalm 106:37 f.) is in keeping. “That the worship of heathen cults was offered quoad eventum—not indeed quoad intentionem—to devils was, consistently with their strict monotheism, the general view of later Jews” (Mr[1530]). Heathenism P. regarded as the domain of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12; cf. Luke 4:6, 1 John 5:19), under whose rule the demons serve as the angels under that of God (2 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Timothy 4:1; cf. Matthew 12:24; Matthew 25:41, etc.); idolatry was, above everything, inspired by Satan. δαιμόνιον (= δαίμων, of which it is neut. adj[1531]) was primarily synon. with θεῖον—“δαίμων is related to θεὸς as numen to persona divina” (Cr[1532]); τὸ δαιμόνιον οὐδέν ἐστιν ἀλλʼ ἢ θεὸς ἢ θεοῦ ἔργον (Arist., Rhet., ii. 23. 8); hence Socrates called the mysterious guiding voice within him δαιμόνιόν τι. Ed[1533] observes a tendency, beginning with Eurip. and Plato and accentuated in the Stoics, “to use the word in a depreciatory sense”; already in Homer it often suggested the uncanny, the supernatural as an object of dread. The word was ready to hand for the LXX translators, who used it to render various Heb. epithets for heathen gods. Later Judaism, which peopled the unseen with good and evil spirits, made δαιμόνια a general term for the latter, apart from any specific refer. to idols (see, already, Tob 3:8, etc.); hence its prominence in the Gospels, and the origin of the word demoniac (ὁ δαιμονιζόμενος): on the whole subject, see Cr[1534] s.v., also Everling’s Paulinische Angelologie u. Dãmonologie. For κοινωνοὶ τ. δαιμονίων, cf. Isaiah 44:2, where the “fellows” of the idol signify a kind of religious guild, brought into mystic union with their god through the sacrificial meal (see Cheyne ad loc[1535]); also Isaiah 65:11. 1 Corinthians 10:20 c is calculated to bring home to the Cor[1536] the fearful danger of trifling with idolatry.

[1529] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1530] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1531] adjective.

[1532] Cremer’s Biblico-Theological Lexicon of N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans.).

[1533] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1534] Cremer’s Biblico-Theological Lexicon of N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans.).

[1535] ad locum, on this passage.

[1536] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils.
1 Corinthians 10:21-22. This lively apostrophe sets in the strongest light the inconsistency of Cor[1537] Christians who conform to idolatry, the untenability of their position. “You cannot drink the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons”—the two together! “You cannot partake of the Lord’s table and the table of demons!” cf. the τίς μετοχή, κοινωνία, κ.τ.λ.; of. 2 Corinthians 6:14 ff., and other parls. The nouns forming the obj[1538] are anarthrous as being qualitative, the impossibility lying in the kind of the two cups; cf. note on 1 Corinthians 2:5. “The Lord’s cup” is that received at His direction and signifying allegiance to Him; in 1 Corinthians 10:16, “the cup of (His) blessing.”—Possibly, P. alludes here to Malachi 1:7; Malachi 1:12, where ‘the table” signifies “the altar of Jehovah”; but the expression is borrowed without this identification. In this context table and altar are essentially distinguished; the altar supplies the table (cf. Hebrews 13:10). “S. Coena convivium, non sacrificium; in mensa, non in altari” (Bg[1539]). The τράπεζα includes the ποτήριον and ἄρτος of 1 Corinthians 10:16 together. This passage gives its name of “the Lord’s Table” to the Eucharist.—“Or (is it that) we provoke the Lord to jealousy?”—is this what we mean by eating at both tables? Paul includes himself in this question; such conduct is conceivable in his case, since he had no scruple against the idolothyta on their own account (see 1 Corinthians 10:8, 1 Corinthians 9:1). Deuteronomy 32:21 (neighbouring the previous allusion of 20) sufficiently indicates the result of such insolence: see other O.T. parls. For this argumentative in Paul’s questions, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9, etc., 1 Corinthians 9:6.—If the Cor[1540] are daring Christ’s sovereign displeasure by coquetting with idolatry, they must suppose themselves “stronger than He”! As sensible and prudent men they must see the absurdity, as well as the awful peril, of such double-dealing: cf. Deuteronomy 32:6; Deuteronomy 32:28 f. ἰσχυρός (1 Corinthians 1:25) implies inherent, personal strength. Of the δύναμις τ. κυρ. Ἰησοῦ Ρ. had given a solemn impression in ch. 1 Corinthians 5:4 f.; cf. 2 Corinthians 13:3 f.

[1537] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1538] grammatical object.

[1539] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
1 Corinthians 10:23. On πάντα ἔξεστιν κ.τ.λ., see notes to 1 Corinthians 6:12. The form of that ver. seems to be purposely repeated here (μοι only omitted), with the effect of bringing out the altruistic as complementary to the self-regarding side of Christian expediency. On Paul’s dialectical use of the words of opponents, cf. 1 Corinthians 8:10 ff. and notes. Closing his discussion about the sacrificial meats, P. returns to the point from which he set out in ch. 8., viz., the supremacy of love in Church life—there commended as superior to knowledge, here as supplying the guard of liberty; in both passages, it is the principle of edification.—The tacit obj[1543] of οἰκοδομεῖ (see 1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Corinthians 3:9-17) is “the Church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32). Edification, in its proper meaning, is always relative to the community; P. is safe-guarding not the particular interests of “the weak brother” so much as the welfare of the Church, when he says, “Not all things edify”.

[1543] grammatical object.

1 Corinthians 10:23 to 1 Corinthians 11:1. § 34. LIBERTY AND ITS LIMITS. The maxim “All things are lawful” was pleaded in defence of the use of the idolothyta, as of other Cor[1541] laxities; so the Ap. has to discuss it a second time (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:12). In ch. 6. he bade his readers guard the application of this principle for their own sake, now for the sake of others; there in the interests of purity, here of charity (1 Corinthians 10:23 f.). When buying meat in the market, or when dining at an unbeliever’s table, the Christian need not enquire whether the flesh offered him is sacrificial or not; but if the fact is pointedly brought to his notice, he should abstain, to avoid giving scandal (1 Corinthians 10:25-30). Above all such regulations stands the supreme and comprehensive rule of doing everything to God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let the Cor[1542] follow Paul as he himself follows Christ, in living for the highest good of others (1 Corinthians 10:32 to 1 Corinthians 11:1)

[1541] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1542] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
1 Corinthians 10:24. With μηδεὶς τ. ἑαυτοῦ κ.τ.λ. cf. 1 Corinthians 13:5, Romans 14:7; Romans 15:2, Galatians 6:2, Php 2:1 ff. After ἀλλὰ understand ἕκαστος, from the previous μηδείς: cf. the ellipsis in 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 3:7, 1 Corinthians 7:19 (Bm[1544], p. 392). For ὁ ἕτερος (= ὁ πλησίον, Romans 15:2), wider than ὁ ἀδελφός (1 Corinthians 8:11; cf. 1Co 8:27 f.)—“the other” in contrast with oneself—see parls.; Gr[1545] idiom prefers “the other” where we say “others“.—τὸ ἑαυτοῦ, τὸ τοῦ ἑτέρου implies some definite good—“his own, the other’s interest”: a N.T. h. l.; the pl[1546] elsewhere in such connexion (cf. Matthew 22:21).

[1544] A. Buttmann’s Grammar of the N.T. Greek (Eng. Trans., 1873).

[1545] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.


Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
1 Corinthians 10:25-26. The above rule is now applied in the concrete, πὰν τὸ ἐν μακέλλῳ πωλούμενον κ.τ.λ., “Anything that is on sale in the meat-market eat, not asking any question of conscience”. μάκελλον is a term of late Gr[1547], borrowed from Latin (macellum): possibly a local word, introduced by the colonia; for the anarthrous ἐν μακ., cf. note on ἐν σταδίῳ (1 Corinthians 9:24).—μηδὲν ἀνακρίνοντες διὰ συνείδησιν might mean “for conscience’ sake (to avoid embarrassment of conscience) making no enquiry” (Cm[1548], Er[1549], Hf[1550], El[1551], Holsten), as though addressed to men of weak conscience—Bg[1552] however, “propter conscientiam alienam” (referring to 1 Corinthians 10:29); or, “because of your (sc. strong) conscience making no enquiry”—since you are not troubled with scruples (Est., Mr[1553], Ed[1554]); or, “making no enquiry on the ground of conscience,” the adv[1555] phrase simply defining the kind of question deprecated (so Bz[1556], Hn[1557], Bt[1558], Gd[1559], Ev[1560]): the last interpretation best suits the generality of the terms, and the connexion with 1 Corinthians 10:26. For ἀνακρίνω, see 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 9:3, and notes; it signifies enquiry with a view to judgment at the bar of conscience.—μηδέν, acc[1561] of definition, as in Acts 10:20; Acts 11:12; Sm[1562] baldly renders it as transitive obj[1563], “examining nothing”—kein Fleischstück untersuchend! For μὴ in ptpl[1564] clause, see Wr[1565], p. 606.—The citation from Psalm 24:1, recalling the argument of 1 Corinthians 8:4 ff., quiets the buyer’s conscience: consecration to an idol cannot deprive the Lord of anything that belongs to “the earth and its fulness,” and which His providence supplies for His servants’ need; cf. Romans 14:6 b, 14, 1 Timothy 4:4.—πλήρωμα, in its primary sense, id quo res impletur (cf. Lt[1566], Colossians, pp. 257 ff.); “terra si arboribus, herbis, animalibus etc., careret, esset tanquam domus supellectile et omnibus instrumentis vacua” (Cv[1567]).

[1547] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

[1549] Erasmus’ In N.T. Annotationes.

[1550] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1551] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1552] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1554] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1555] adverb

[1556] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[1557] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1558] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[1559] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1560] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1561] accusative case.

[1562] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[1563] grammatical object.

[1564]tpl. participial.

[1565] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1566] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[1567] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
[1568] parallel.

[1569] classical.

[1570] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

idd. Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon.

Grimm-Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the N.T.

English Version.

[1574] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
1 Corinthians 10:28-29 a. ἐὰν δὲεἴπῃ, “But if any one say to you”—a probable contingency, as εἴ τις καλεῖ κ.τ.λ. (1 Corinthians 10:27) was an assumed fact; see Bn[1576] on the forms of the Condit. Sentence, §§ 242 ff.—δὲ confronts this contingency with both the situations described in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27. The information, “This is sacrificial meat,” might be volunteered to the Christian purchaser in the market (by the salesman, or a by-stander), or to the Christian guest at the unbeliever’s table (by the host, or by a fellow-guest), the communication being prompted by civility and the wish to spare the supposed susceptibilities of the Christian, or by the desire to embarrass him; whatever its occasion or motive, it alters the situation. The genuine reading, ἱερόθυτον (slain-as-sacred, i.e., in sacrifice), takes the statement as from the mouth of unbelievers; a Jew or Christian would presumably say εἰδωλόθυτον, as above and here in T.R.: Reuss and 1. suppose the informant to be “a Christian converted from heathenism” using the inoffensive term “at the table of a heathen host”; but τ. ἀπίστων suggests heathen company, and μηνύσαντα private information. “Forbear eating (μὴ ἐσθίετε, revoking the permission of 1 Corinthians 10:25 ff.) for the sake of him that informed (you), and for conscience’ sake.”—Μηνύω (see parls.), to disclose what does not appear on the surface or is imparted secretly. The informant expects the Christian to be shocked; with his συνήθεια τ. εἰδώλου (1 Corinthians 8:7), he looks on the flesh of the sacrifice as having acquired a religious character (it is ἱερόθυτον); by saying Τοῦτο ἱερόθυτον, he calls conscience into play—whose conscience the next clause shows.—διὰ τὸν μηνύσαντα καὶ τὴν συνείδησιν form one idea, being governed by the same prp[1577], καὶ adding an explanation; from regard to the conscience of the μηνύσας—not his possible contempt or ill-will—the Christian should decline the offered flesh or stop eating it.—συνείδησιν δὲ λέγω, οὐ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ κ.τ.λ., “Conscience however I mean, not one’s own, but that of the other”. 1 Corinthians 10:29 a explains the διὰ τ. συνείδησιν of 1 Corinthians 10:28, and reconciles its instruction with that of 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27, while it brings the matter under the governing rule laid down in 1 Corinthians 10:23 f. By contrast with “the other,” the 2nd pl[1578] of 1 Corinthians 10:28 becomes here 2nd sing[1579] reflexive.

[1576] E. Burton’s Syntax of the Moods and Tenses in the N.T. (1894).

[1577] preposition.

[1578] plural.

[1579]ing. singular number.

1 Corinthians 10:29 b, 1 Corinthians 10:30 justify, in two rhetorical questions, the Christian’s deference to the conscience of another: (a) ἵνα τί γὰρ κ.τ.λ.; “For to what purpose is my liberty judged by another conscience?” i.e. “What good end will be served by my eating under these circumstances, and exposing my freedom to the censure of an unsympathetic conscience?” cf. 1 Corinthians 2:15, Matthew 7:6. ἵνα τί (γένηται); ut quid? (Vg[1580]), signifies purpose, not ground as Mr[1581] and others take it; there is nothing to be gained by the exercise of liberty in this case. For κρίνω in adverse sense, see parls. For the previous συνείδ. τὴν τοῦ ἑτέρου (alterius), ἄλλης (alienœ) συνειδήσεως is substituted (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:29, 2 Corinthians 11:4), indicating a distinction not merely in the persons but in the consciences severally possessed. The Ap. says here of Liberty what he says of Faith in Romans 14:22 : κατὰ σεαυτὸν ἔχε ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ.—Question (b) intimates that, instead of any benefit resulting from the assertion of liberty in face of conscientious condemnation, positive harm ensues—thanksgiving leads to blasphemy! “If I with thanks (or by grace) partake, why am I blasphemed over (that for) which I give thanks?” The τί is prospective, as in 1 Corinthians 15:29 f. = εἰς τί or ἵνα τί; The bare χάριτι can scarcely mean here “by (the) grace (of God)”—esp. in view of εὐχαριστῶ; cf. Romans 14:6; Romans 14:16 (for βλασφημοῦμαι). Men of heathen conscience, seeing the Christian give thanks knowingly over food devoted to the idol, will regard his act as one of sacrilegious indulgence and denounce it accordingly; it seems to them a revolting hypocrisy; “Quelle religion est celle-là? devaient dire les païens” (Gd[1582])—a grievous πρόσκομμα both to Jews and Greeks (1 Corinthians 10:32); cf. Romans 2:24.—ὑπὲρ οὗ absorbs the dem. pron[1583] governed by the same prp[1584]; cf. 1 Corinthians 7:39, 2 Corinthians 2:3. The repeated emphatic ἐγὼ points to the Christian as devout on his own part, yet incurring the scandal of gross irreverence.

[1580] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1581] Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1582] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1583]ron. pronoun.

[1584] preposition.

Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?
For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31-32 conclude the matter with two solemn, comprehensive rules, introduced by the collective οὖν (cf. Romans 5:9; Romans 11:22), relating to God’s glory and to man’s salvation. The supreme maxim of duty, πάντα εἰς δόξαν Θεοῦ ποιεῖτε, applies to all that Christians “eat or drink” (including the idolothyta),—indeed to whatever they “do”; cf. Romans 14:20 ff., Colossians 3:17.—A second general rule emerges from the discussion: “Offenceless prove yourselves, both to Jews and to Greeks and to the church of God”. ἀπρόσκοποι here act[1585], as in Sir. 35:21, not causing to stumble; elsewhere pass[1586] in sense. For γίνεσθε, see note on 1 Corinthians 7:23. The three classes named make up Paul’s world of men: “Jews” and “Greeks” embrace all outside the Church (1 Corinthians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 9:20 f.); Christian believers alone form “the Church of God” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:2, and note; also Galatians 6:16). This text and 1 Corinthians 12:28 afford the first ex[1587] in P. of the comprehensive use of ἐκκλησία, as transcending local ref[1588] “The church of God” is bound up with His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31); its sacredness supplies a new deterrent from self-indulgence. It contains “the weak” who are liable to injury (1 Corinthians 8:9, 1 Corinthians 9:22).

[1585] active voice.

[1586] passive voice.

[1587] example.

[1588] reference.

Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
1 Corinthians 10:33; 1 Corinthians 11:1. Paul’s personal example played a large part in his argument (1 Corinthians 10:9); it is fitting he should refer to it in summing up. The negative ἀπρόσκοποι γίνεσθε, in 2nd person, now becomes the positive ἐγὼ πάντα πᾶσιν ἀρέσκω in the 1st: “As I also in all things please all.” ἀρέσκω is to comply with, accommodate oneself to, not give enjoyment to (cf. Romans 15:1; Romans 15:3)—no need to speak of a “conative present,” resembling ζητῶ ἀρέσκειν, Paul’s universal compliance is qualified by its purpose, ἵνα σωθῶσιν, in the light of which the verbal contradiction with Galatians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, is removed; there is nothing in his power that P. will not do for any man, to help his salvation (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:22 b).—Between the ἀρέσκω and its purpose lies the μὴ ζητῶν clause, in which the Ap. professes for himself the rule commended to the Cor[1589] in 1 Corinthians 10:27. The “self-advantage” which P. sets aside, touches his highest welfare (cf. Romans 9:3); P. sacrificed what seemed to be his spiritual as well as material gain—spending, e.g., weary hours in tent-making that might have been given to pious study—to secure spiritual gain for others; thus “losing himself,” he “found himself unto life eternal.” “The many,” in contrast with the single self; cf. 1 Corinthians 10:17, Romans 5:15 ff.—Through his own pattern P. points the readers to that of his Master and theirs: “Show yourselves (γίνεσθε, see 32, 1 Corinthians 7:23) imitators of me, as I also (am) of Christ”. P. does not point his readers backward to the historical model (“of Jesus,” or “Jesus Christ,” as in Ephesians 4:21), but upward to the actual “Christ,” whose existence is evermore devoted to God (Romans 6:10 f.) and to men His brethren (Romans 8:34 f., 1 Corinthians 1:30), “in” whom the Cor[1590] believers “are” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 1:30). Paul’s imitatio Christi turns on the great acts of Christ’s redeeming work (Ephesians 5:2, Php 2:5-11), rather than on the incidents of His earthly course.

[1589] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

[1590] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

The Expositor's Greek Testament - Nicoll

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