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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

1 Corinthians 10

Verse 1

ISRAEL IN JOURNEY -BLESSINGS AND WARNING EXAMPLES

1) "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant." This is a case of Paul’s direct address to the (Greek adelphoi) brethren of the Corinth church. He expressed a strong will that they be not or remain not ignorant of or uninformed concerning experiences of the Israelites.

2) "How that all our fathers were under the cloud." That the fathers of all the Israelites were once over-shadowed by a divinely sent cloud cover - They were safe while abiding under it, by day and by night. God went before them, Exodus 13:21-22; Exodus 14:19-20; Exodus 14:24; Romans 11:26.

3) “And all our fathers were under the cloud.” (kai pantes dia tes thalasses dielthon) "And all of their own choice or volition passed through the sea." This figure speaks of Divine guidance, provision and safety for all under the blood, who follow God’s Light of the Word and the Spirit; Psalms 119:105; Romans 8:14.

Verse 2

1) "And were all baptized unto Moses." All Israelites were baptized, (Greek ebaptisanto, immersed) (Greek eis, "with reference to" Moses).The immersion (in the cloud and in the sea) was (Gk. eis) "with reference to" acknowledgment and identity with Moses as their leader, not Pharaoh. The blood delivered, the Spirit led, and the water identified them as children of God who were willing to follow God’s leader.

2) “In the cloud and in the sea.” In the cloud they were submerged, and in the sea they were submerged, immersed, or covered. The waters were rolled back, the sea-bed was dry, and the cloud of the Lord covered them, went before them, and curtained them from Pharaoh’s army. Exodus 14:19-31. To be "baptized" "eis" "’Moses," means the same as to be "baptized into Christ," Galatians 3:27. In each instance the enslaved receives salvation, deliverance by the blood - baptism identifies one with his leader, Moses or Christ. Those baptized into Christ are those who first became children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:26.

Verse 3

1) And did all eat." (kai pantes ephagon) "And all ate," all delivered by the blood, identified voluntarily by baptism unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, did also have food adequately and divinely supplied.

2) “The same spiritual meat." The same spiritual (Greek broma) means food - (angel-food) manna, or food for spiritual people. This referred to the manna given from heaven six days a week for 40 years – Exodus 16:4; Exodus 16:12-15; Exodus 16:31; Exodus 16:35. That manna typified Christ our bread of Life, John 6:33; John 6:48-51.

God has never provided or required his minister to preach but one way of salvation - not by works, ceremonies, or keeping of laws, but by faith in the blood, Acts 10:43; Romans 3:24-25. Those saved by the blood are to yield to his leadership of the Spirit in service to honor his name, Romans 8:14; Ephesians 2:10. In such service he guides and provides, Philippians 4:19.

Verse 4

1) “And did all drink the same spiritual drink.” This means spirit provided, divinely provided drink. It stayed with them through their wilderness journey, so does Christ our Water of life, and His Spirit, John 4:14; John 6:35.

2) "For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them:” The Rock which Moses smote and to which he spoke typified Christ, rock, foundation, and sustainer of our salvation, Exodus 17:5-6. The smitten Rock speaks of the crucified Christ, from whom the water of Life comes. Moses was to speak to the Rock only the second time; through prayer the saved receive refreshing strength, thus Moses’ presumptuous second smiting of the Rock brought God’s anger. The Christ was smitten but once for our sins, Numbers 20:8; Numbers 20:10-13; Hebrews 9:25-26; Hebrews 10:3; Hebrews 10:11-12.

3) "And that Rock was Christ." The (pneumatikon akolouthouses petras) means "spiritual following Rock" - which is declared to be Christ. They, the Israelites, drank of Christ, as surely as his true followers today drink of Him, Isaiah 55:11; 1 Peter 2:8; John 7:37-39; Acts 4:11-12; Ephesians 2:20.

Verse 5

1) "But with many of them." (alla en tois pleiosin auton) "But with the many or majority of them - the masses of them." Numbers 14:22-23.

2) "God was not well pleased." (ouk eudokesen ho theos) "God was not well pleased." Their murmurings, complaints, and rebellion against God, led to the death of all who came out of Egypt, among the males forty years and upward, except Joshua and Caleb, Psalms 95:9-11.

3) "For they were overthrown in the wilderness.” (katesthrotheson gar en te eremo) "For they were scattered in the desert or uninhabited place." Deuteronomy 1:26-27; Deuteronomy 1:34-37; Hebrews 4:3.

Verse 6

1) "Now these things were our examples.” (tauta de tupoi hemon egenethesan) "Now these were our examples, or types, "for us to learn. One generation is charged to consider God’s blessings and judgments on previous generations to their profit, Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 32:7.

2) “To the intent we should not lust after evil things.”(eis to me einai hemas epithumetas kakron) "So that we should not be longer after wrong things." To long, covet, or selfishly lust after by-gone material things is a sin of and in the flesh, 1 John 2:15-17. Saints of God should flee, seek to suppress, or overcome these lustful temptations, Titus 2:12.

3) “As they also lusted.” (kathos kakeinoi epethumesan) "Just as those of Israel longed and murmured for wrong, bad, or evil things." Murmuring, complaining, or faultfinding with holy men and holy things stirs the wrath of God which often brings divine acts of chastening and judgement on the murmurers, Exodus 16:2; Exodus 17:3; Numbers 14:2; Numbers 14:29-33; Numbers 16:1-3; Numbers 16:11; Numbers 16:31-35; Numbers 16:41-48; Psalms 106:24-26.

Verse 7

1) “Neither be ye idolaters." (mede eidololatrai ginesthe) "Neither become ye idolaters," ye who have control of your own will or choices. Colossians 3:5; 1 John 5:21, reads "keep or guard yourselves from idols." Ephesians 5:5,

2) “As were some of them." (kathos tines auton) "As some of them, the Israelites were," by their own choice - during their journey. Exodus 32:1-35 recounts their making and worshipping the golden calf.

3) “As it is written.” (hosper) "Just as or for example" (gegraptai) "it has been written or recorded."

4) “The people sat down to eat and drink." (ho laos phagein kai pein) "The people sat or reclined to eat and to drink." Exodus 32:6. They sat before the idol, beholding it as an object of worship, a sin against the One true God, Psalms 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:10-13. To eat and to drink in praise of idols, false gods, brings God’s judgement down, Daniel 5:1-30.

5) "And rose up to play.” (kai anestesan paizein) "And stood up to play." The play was of dancing and singing around the golden calf, acts of idolatrous worship practiced by the Egyptians. Note even God’s people are influenced by long association with evil people and evil worship. 2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Exodus 32:15-20; It was also so true of Lot’s family, Genesis 19:1-38.

Verse 8

1) “Neither let us commit fornication.” (mede porneuomen) "Neither let us commit fornication." Carnal fornication and adultery were closely associated with sacrificial rituals of the Moabites and many other nations that worshipped heathen and idol gods, Numbers 25:1-3.

2) "As some of them committed." (kathos tines auton epornuson) "In the same manner some of them committed fornication," Numbers 25:4-9. This reference recounts how Phinehas, grandson of Aaron the high priest of Israel, thrust an Israelite man and Midianite woman both through the belly with a javelin and slew them, Psalms 106:30.

3) "And fell in one day three and twenty thousand.” (epesan mia hemera eikosi treis chiliades) "And fell down in one day twenty-three thousand." Twenty-three thousand were slain in one day, but those that fell in this plague of Divine Judgement, extending beyond the one, were twenty-four thousand, a thousand were thus slain after the first day of the plague, Numbers 25:9; Numbers 25:14-18. A total of 14,750 were slain in another plague at the Rebellion of Korah, Numbers 16:35; Numbers 16:49.

Verse 9

1) “Neither let us tempt Christ." (mede ekpeira zomen ton kurion) "Neither let us over-tempt or presumptuously actively tempt or try (the Lord’s patience)." The term "kurion" which means "Lord" indicates that the Israelites tempted or tested the preexistent "Lord" of all men while in their wilderness journey, after salvation or deliverance by the blood.

2) "As some of them also tempted." (kathos tines auton epeirasan) "In the manner some of them tempted or tried (him)." The manner of their testing the Lord, was their chiding, scolding, deriding and murmuring against Moses, God’s appointed leader, Exodus 17:2-3. How many today foolishly deride, murmur against God’s anointed! 1 Samuel 24:6; 1 Samuel 24:12; 1 Samuel 26:9-11.

3) "And were destroyed of serpents.” (kai hupe epheon apolunto) "And were by the serpent destroyed, or brought to great suffering, pain and loss." Another manner of Israel’s tempting the Lord is recounted in Numbers 21:5-6. For this complaint against his anointed, law-giver and prophet, Moses, God sent fiery serpents of judgement to death upon and among them until they cried for mercy, Numbers 21:7-9. Delivered people should follow their leader, as he follows the Lord, not chide, murmur, find fault with him, 1 Corinthians 11:1.

Israel sinned against the Lord in two ways: 1) they presumed to dare God’s judgement, and 2) they despaired of His goodness.

Verse 10

1) “Neither murmur ye.” (mede gonguzete) "Neither murmur, whisper, or complain ye." Such expresses ingratitude and a wrong relation of one to both his God, and his fellowman and indicates a personal selfishness and covetousness toward one’s own way, so prominent among the Pharisees and Sadducees, Luke 5:30; Luke 15:2; Luke 19:7.

2) "As some of them also murmured.” (kathaper tines auton egongusan) "In like manner or after the pattern of some of them who murmured." They murmured about water to drink, bread to eat, and burial place, Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2-3. They murmured in their tents before their children, against God. Deuteronomy 1:27.

3) "And were destroyed by the destroyer.” (kai apolonte hupo tou olethreutou) "And they were destroyed by the destroyer." Exodus 16:20; Exodus 17:9-16; Numbers 16:35; Numbers 16:49; Numbers 25:9; Numbers 31. Their sins were willful and presumptuous sins, Hebrews 10:26; Romans 6:1.

GRUMBLE-HOUSE

Grumble-House is on the North side of Dismal Street. It is surrounded by a stone wall, which fails to admit the sunlight of God’s Grace. It is located near a forest which is haunted by the screeching of discontent. There are many rodents on the premises which spoil the fruits of the Spirit. The lamp of joy is never seen in any of its gloomy rooms. Owing to their spirit of heaviness, the inmates of Grumble House have no garments of Praise; but are clad in the beggarly elements of the world. As they have never learned Ephesians 5:19, their only song is like the croaking of a raven; because it does not proceed from hearts overflowing with thankfulness to God for all His goodness and mercy.

I will not grumble, grunt, or growl; Or sit and mope like some old owl: Because life’s inconvenient things Do test the strength of soaring wings With which to rise above the roof Of Grumble-House; and thus give proof That I belong to Pleasant-Town; And wear a smile, but ne’er a frown. Thus will my aged wrinkled face Reflect my Father’s loving grace.

- Church of Christ Advocate

Verse 11

1) "Now these things happened to them for ensamples.” (tauta de tupikos sunebainen ekeinos) "What is more these things happened or came down upon these men typically." Remembrance of God’s blessings and judgments of the past are set forth as examples of admonition for Christians, Deuteronomy 8:2; Deuteronomy 8:18; Deuteronomy 32-7; 2 Timothy 1:5-6.

2) "And they are written for our admonition.” (egrap he de pros nouthesian hemon) "And were written or recorded for our admonition, warning, or guide of conduct." Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10. The Landmarks of the church of the Lord and people of the Lord are to be used profitably by every generation, 2 Peter 1:12.

3) "Upon whom the ends of the world are come.” (eis ous ta tele ton aionon katenteken) "Upon whom the ends of the age have arrived." As Israel was the people of God, custodians of the worship and services of God until the coming of Christ, even so the Church of Jesus Christ is the administrative agency upon whom the work of the Lord rests during the Gentile Age, as the end of the world or ages are come, Matthew 4:13-17; Acts 10:37; Acts 15:15-17; Ephesians 3:21. Concerning all Israel’s experiences from Egyptian bondage to their deliverance into the Promised Land, and from Joshua until the Lord came, Paul would have the Corinth church and other church in colleague, or close association with her, of like faith and practice, understand that God cared for them as He did for Israel to the coming of Jesus, 1 Corinthians 10:1; 1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Corinthians 10:11.

Verse 12

1) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth.” (hoste ho dekon estanai) "So then, the one thinking (that) he stands." Trust in self is perilous. This vanity of self-righteousness was a danger among the Corinth brethren, 1 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 6:1-2. Peter fell into sin, avowing he would never deny the Lord, Matthew 26:33-35 three times, Matthew 26:69-75.

2) "Take heed lest he fall." (blepeto me peste) "Let him look (to himself) lest he fall." Israel, as a nation, did, Romans 11:11; Romans 11:22. The idea of the warning is that one should be cautious of trusting or boasting in the flesh, 1 John 1:8-9; Jeremiah 10:23.

Verse 13

1) "There hath no temptation taken you." (peirasmos humas ouk eilephen) "Not a temptation has taken hold of you." Each thinks his trials and testings are unique, different from all others, but such is not true. The human nature is bad in all, Ephesians 2:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 3:5.

2) "But such as is common to man.” (ei me anthrpoinos) "Except what is natural to humanity." Man’s natural lusts of his own depravity is the origin of his being led away from God, James 1:13-14.

3) "But God is faithful.” (pistos de ho theos) The control of temptations is attributed to the power of God, for every man, Matthew 6:13; James 1:12. God is faithful in restraining too great temptations and heeding His Son’s intercession for His children through them, Hebrews 7:25.

4) "Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able." (hos ouk easei humas peirasthenai huper ho dunasthe) "But God is faithful who will not allow you to be tested or tried beyond what ye are able (to bear)." Consider the trials of Job, the little maid of Samaria, Mary, our Lord’s mother.

5) "But will with the temptation." (alla sun to peirasmo) "But in close association with the testing or temptation." He who "never leaves or forsakes his own" guides them through, on to victory, even if in death, Hebrews 13:5; Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15-16. He intercedes in our testing hours, 1 John 2:2.

6) "Also make a way to escape." (kai poiesei ten ekbasin) "Also will make a way out." He did for Israel, through the Red Sea, waters of Jordan, for the Hebrew children through the fiery furnace, for Peter, and Paul and Silas from behind prison bars, See 2 Corinthians 11:24-33.

7) "That ye may be able to bear it.” (tou dunasthai hupenegkein) "So that ye may be able to endure." He did with Joseph, and David, and Daniel, and the Hebrew children and the Faith persons of Hebrews Hebrews 11:1-40; Hebrews 13:5; and Peter.

Verse 14

1) “Wherefore, my beloved." (dioper agapetoi mou) "In the light of these things my beloved ones." The sad fate of Israelite brethren in disobedience, the likelihood of their facing trials, the pledge of God for Divine help to resist temptations - These things serve as to enforce considerations of Paul’s following appeal:

2) "Flee from idolatry.” (pheugete apo tes eidololatrias) "Flee ye from idolatrous appearance or participation." He then proceeds to point up the danger of the hypocrisy of eating of the Lord-s table, the Lord’s cup, the Lord’s loaf, and of devil’s simultaneously. Such a thought is revolting and insulting to the Lord - much like a man consorting with an harlot and expecting knowledgeable approval of his wife.

Verse 15

1) "I speak as to wise men." (hos phronimois lego) "I speak as to prudent, discerning, or discreet men." These people were addressed as people of good sense, capable of evaluating or determining matters that of moral, ethical, and spiritual nature would affect their personal, family, business, church and spiritual lives.

2) “Judge ye what I say.” (krinate humeis ho phemi) "You all judge what I speak - you are men of prudence." Paul’s final word on this matter of learning and acting from Old Testament types and object lessons recognized the power of personal choice, volition, or free moral agency in decisions of conduct for every person. Romans 14:11-13; Philippians 2:10-11.

POOR TASTE IN CLOTHES

In the spring of 1924, I was assisting Pastor N. E. Norwood in a revival meeting at Fort Ogden, Florida. Driving along the highway, we passed a gang of convicts working the road. They were clothed in stripes; and I remarked to Pastor Norwood: "I don’t like their clothes. If I had the selection, I should have selected a different suit." ’Why," he answered, "they don’t select their suits, do they?" "Oh, yes!" I answered. "Well," he said, "I didn’t know that. I thought the state selected their suits for them." "No," I replied, "every man selects his own suit. Those fellows knew the penalty of violating the law before they committed the acts. They made their choice; they selected their suits. And they are wearing the suits of their own selection." What suit have you selected - the black stripe suit of shame and dishonor, or the "white robe of righteousness?"

"Wings."

Verse 16

1) "The cup of blessing which we bless." (to poterion tes eulogias ho eulogomen) "The cup of the blessing which we bless." This refers to the cup of the fruit of the vine which members of the Lord’s supper partake after it has been blessed. It is a cup of gratitude in memory of the blood of Christ, Matthew 26:27.

2) "Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?" (ouchi koinonia estin tou haimatos tou christou) "Is it not a communion of the blood of Christ?" As (a communion) from (Greek koinonia) this refers to a memorial reflection on the purpose and nature of the blood of Christ, on which basis he makes intercession for our sins, Matthew 26:28.

3) "The bread which we break." (ton arton hon kalomen) "(AND) the bread which we break." This refers to the unleavened bread, symbolical of and a memorial of the body of Christ in which He bore our sins on the tree of Calvary, Matthew 26:26.

4) "Is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (ouchi koinonia tou somatos tou christou estin) "Is it not a communion of the body of Christ?" The (Greek koinonia) means a common memorial sharing of the body of Christ, in whom we live, Luke 22:20; Luke 22:28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

Verse 17

1) "For we being many are one bread.” (hoti eis artos hoi pollei esmen) "Because as we, the many, are one bread." The we of the many exist as one bread, bearing and sharing the bread of life to others. Each congregation is to bear and symbolize it, Ecclesiastes 11:1-6.

2) "And one body." (en soma) land) one body." The one body here refers to one kind of body, the church body, Ephesians 1:20-21.

3) "For we are partakers of that one bread." (hoi gar pantes ek tou enos; artou metechomen) "For we all partake out of the one bread." Of the true Bread of Life, the sinless Christ, we live. Of the Bread of the Lord’s supper we memorialize that broken body. It was to the church as an institution, and each congregation, the ordinance, of the Lord’s Supper was given. It is to be kept by members of each local congregation, by all members after serious self-examination. 1 Corinthians 11:23-28.

Verse 18

1) “Behold Israel after the flesh.” (blepete ton Israel kata sarka) "Look ye at Israel according to flesh conduct." Paul continues to use Israel, in her carnality, as a warning example to the Corinth Christians. After her carnal nature she lusted, coveted, and longed for Egypt’s things and ways, including the calf gods, Psalms 106:14; Psalms 106:19; Psalms 106:25; Psalms 106:28; Psalms 106:35-38.

2) "Are not they which eat of the sacrifices.” (ouch oi estiontes tas thusias) "Are not those habitually, continually eating of the sacrifices." one is known by the company that he keeps. If he keeps company with false religions, sits continually with them in eating and drinking worship, he says to the world "I approve."

3) "Partakers of the altar?” (koinonoi tou thusiasteriou eisin) "Common sharers, consorters, of the altar sacrifices?" or do not those regularly identified with sacrifice eating, sharers or partakers of the worship. This is a question of rhetoric nature affirming that the altar-sacrifice worshiper by a common continual eating thus endorses the sacrifices of false worship, a thing God abhors, Exodus 32:1-10.

Verse 19

1) ’What say I then?” (ti oun phemi) "What therefore do I say?" (You ask). In essence he said that Christians, church members, sinned when they sat in eating sacrifices with or worshipped before altars on ’ which sacrifices were being offered to heathen gods.

2) "That the idol is any think.” (hoti eidalothuton ti estin) "Or that an idol is any thing," do I say? He would not contradict what he had previously said, that an idol was nothing in the world, 1 Corinthians 8:4.

3) "Or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols in any thing?” ’ (hoti eidolothuton ti estin?) "Or that an idolatrous sacrifice is anything?" do I say? Neither an idol nor a sacrifice to an idol, lifeless, senseless thing is anything. But Paul would not have men bow or worship before or toward them lest their influence be hurt and they cause others to stumble, Psalms 115:1-8; 1 Corinthians 8:5-13.

Verse 20

1) “But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice.” (alla hoti ha thuousin dimoniois kai ou theo thuousin) "But that which (the things)they sacrifice, (the heathen)." Ephesians 2:2-3.

2) “They sacrifice to devils." They sacrifice to demons." Demon spirits presided over worshipers of idols and feasts of bacchanalian debauchery, that often accompanied their riotous, carnal, debauching religious festivals, 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 12:7.

3) “And not to God.” Right and wrong, sin and righteousness, God and the devil can not cohabit or mix. Separation of false and true living and worship is taught in the scriptures, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

4) “And I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." (ou thelo de humas koinonous ton daimonion ginesthai) I will not moreover you all to become sharers in close association with demons." To worship heathen gods was to Paul tantamount or equal to the worship of demons, abhorred by God, Psalms 115:4-8; Psalms 135:15-18.

Verse 21

1) “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord." (ou dunasthe poterion kuriou pinein) "Ye are not able to drink a cup of the Lord." To drink of the fruit of the vine at the Lord’s Table, then to drink at the altars of the heathen temples, presided over by demons, is reprehensible, offensive to God, Luke 6:24.

2) “And the cup of devils." (kai poterion deimonion) "And a cup of demons," (at the same time). Demons preside over idol’s temples, Luke 16:9. The cup of the Lord and of the devils or demons are contrasted as divinely incompatible, unholy, unacceptable, 2 Thessalonians 3:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:14.

3) "Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table.” (ou dunasthe trapezes kuriou metechein) "Ye are not able to be a partaker or (holder-on) to a table of the Lord." Compromise of two conflicting, contradictory altars and programs of worship constitute base hypocrisy on the part of participants, condemned of the Lord, 2 Corinthians 6:14-17.

4) "And the table of devils.” (kai trapezes diamonion) "And a partaker or holder on (to) a table of demons." Demons have tables, altars, over which they preside and the Lord’s church has a table over which she is to preside, Luke 22:29-30. Those who serve other tables, altars of worship, have no right to eat at the Lord’s table until they lay aside allegiance to other religious tables or altars, Hebrews 13:9-10; 1 Corinthians 11:24-26.

Verse 22

1) "Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?” (he parazeloumen ton kurion) "Do we dare agitate the Lord to jealousy?" Are we this ignoble? Paul would have the brethren ask themselves. To stir the Lord’s jealousy was to arouse or provoke his anger to wrath. Paul later expressed the love of God for his church as a separated people when he affirmed his jealousy over them as the espoused of the Lord, 2 Corinthians 11:1-4.

2) "Are we stronger than he?" (me ischuroteroi autou esemen) "We are not stronger than he, are we?" This too is a chiding rhetoric question, indicating the folly of "two-timing" God. As a wife should not flirt with, sit long with, insinuate equal interest with a man to whom she is not married, even so must members of the Lord’s church avoid religious union, cohabitation as equal participants of worship, with those of other faith, order, and systems of worship, such as ecumenism, Galatians 6:7-8.

Verse 23

1) “All things are lawful for me.” (panta eksestin) "All things (kind of things) are lawful (to me)." So far as eating meat formerly forbidden by the fulfilled Mosaic law was concerned, Paul asserted all things or all kind of things (under the law) were lawful to him, Colossians 2:14-17.

2) But all things are not expedient.” (all’ ou panta sumpherei) "But all things do not harmoniously carry me forward." Paul’s love for the church and his love for the brethren caused him to live a life restrained from doing anything that might hurt another, Romans 14:13.

3) “All things are lawful for me.” (panta eksestin) "All kind of things are lawful (to me)-." Paul reiterates the first phase of this verse that he is no longer under ties and restrictions of the old law (of Moses), relating to eating, drinking, feast days, new moons, and their observance. All kinds of regulatory restrictions of that law had been fulfilled.

4) “But all things edify not.” (all’ ou panta oikodomei) "but all things do not enlarge, enhance, or build up." For love’s sake Paul would do nothing that would hinder the edification, or building up of the church of the Lord and her members, Galatians 5:13-14.

Verse 24

1) Let no man seek his own." (medeis to heautou zeteito) "Let no one seek or pursue the things of his selfish interest." This was love’s driving faith of Paul’s life – Romans 1:14-15; Romans 9:1-3.

2) “But every man another’s wealth.” (alla to tou heterou) "But let each one seek or pursue the other, the interest or welfare of the person of different attitudes or dispositions, the interest of the immature Christian, the interest of the heathen or the unbeliever." Our Lord sought our wealth, not His own, in life and in death, 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Verse 25

1) “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles.” (pan to en makello poloumenon) "Everything or anything being sold in a meat market." Whatever was on sale, being sold in the shambles, open, public meat market had become food ordained for the general public, sanctioned of the Lord.

2) "That eat." (estiete) "You all eat." Or all of you do not hesitate to eat.

3) “Asking no question for conscience sake.” (meden anakrinontes dia ten suneidesen) "Not one thing questioning or raising inquiry because of conscience." If the meat had been sacrificed to an idol god earlier in the day, but the seller had then carried it to the public market and crying it out or offering it for a sale for his livelihood, not your sanctioning his god or his worship, buy it, eat it, do not embarrass the man’s conscience. Paul was instructing spiritually the eating would not help or hinder a Christian’s life under such conditions, 1 Corinthians 8:8.

Verse 26

1) "For the earth is the Lord’s." (tou gar kuriou he ge) "For of the Lord the earth (exists). The earth is of the Lord and the fulness of it belongs to Him," is Paul’s view of the meat and the market place. Psalms 24:1.

2) "And the fullness thereof.” (kai to pleroma autes) "And the fulness of it." That meat sold in the shambles, public market place, unassociated with heathen worship, belongs to the Lord; to eat it is therefore proper. While to sit and eat of the same meat before an altar of an idol god would be wrong, signifying Christian sanction of idolatry, forbidden of the Lord; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; Galatians 4:8; 2 John 1:10-11; 1 John 5:21.

Verse 27

1) "If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast.” (ei tis kalei humas ton apiston) "if anyone of the unbelievers invites you all (to a common meal)." Paul instructed the Corinth brethren concerning social conduct with their unsaved neighbors or friends of the world.

2) And ye be disposed to go.” (Kai thetete poreuesthai) "And ye all have a strong will to go, of your own volition." Remember our Lord ate socially with publicans and sinners. Note His answer when He was chided about it, Matthew 9:23.

3) Whatsoever is set before you.” (pan to paratithemeon humin) "Everything placed alongside you or set out for you to eat." About such Paul became "all things to all men that he might by all means save some," 1 Corinthians 9:22.

4) Eat, asking no question for conscience sake.” (esthiete meden anakrinontes dia ten suneidesin) "Eat ye, about not one thing raising a question of judgement, because of conscience." - Yours or theirs - It is not a feast of worship, but a social hour of communion. 1 Corinthians 9:23-26.

Verse 28

1) “But if any man say unto you.” lean de tis humin eipe) "But if anyone should say to you" - a supposition of possibility in a different circumstance, where meat or food has been offered to idols.

2) This is offered in sacrifice unto idols." (touto hierothuton estin) "This is a slain temple sacrifice (to idols)." This contingency of possibility confronted early Christians; they were then to forgo eating the meat, though it was not wrong for them as regards the law - yet to eat might ruin his testimony of Christ.

3) "Eat not for his sake that shewed it." (me estiete di’ ekeinon) "Eat ye not on account of that man" - that individual’s soul - (Gk. ton menusanta) "the one pointing out that it is idol sacrifice meat."

4) "And for conscience sake.” (kai ten suneidesin) "And because of the conscience" of him. His conscience by your eating might be seared in the concept that you sanctioned the idol worship.

5) "For the earth is the Lord’s." As redeemed believers, servants and stewards of God and Christ, one is to use his influence to win the lost and avoid causing weak Christians to stumble - to eat -food even in a social feast where it was announced that it had been sacrificed to an idol god was wrong, lest a brother were caused to fall or a sinner were caused to neglect receiving Christ, 1 Corinthians 8:13.

6) "And the fullness thereof.” To do something right can be wrong - as to cross a deep stream leaving a two year old toddler playing alone on the far bank; or to take sugar from a bowl with strychnine beside then leave the small child alone to eat. See?

Verse 29

1) “Conscience, I say.” (suneidesin de lego) "Yet, I say conscience" - The monitor of the soul - the sensorial recorder of one’s comprehension of right and wrong, based on his knowledge of moral and ethical standards.

2) "Not thine own, but of the other.” (ouchi ten heautou) "Not the one (conscience) of himself." The informed Corinth Christian would not have an accusing or confused conscience from eating meat offered to an idol, knowing that idols were fakes, frauds, nothing, Psalms 115:4-8; 1 Corinthians 8:4.

3) "For why is my liberty judged. (hinati gar he eleutheria mou krinetai) "For why is the liberty or freedom of me judged (or restricted)" - The answer is that the (heteros) man of a different kind of conscience must be saved, 1 Corinthians 9:22.

4) "Of another man’s conscience?" (hupo alles suneideseos) "or brought under another man’s conscience?" Paul would have the Corinth Christians not use their liberty merely to satisfaction of the flesh, but by love to serve others, Galatians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 8:9.

Verse 30

1) "For if I by grace be a partaker.” (ei ego chariti metecho) "If I (saved by grace) partake or eat an idol sacrifice, after being told what it is." -hypothetical usage for purpose of emphasis - Even though the eating would not hurt Paul, he still considers the welfare of others.

2) "Why am I evil spoken of." (ti blasphemoumai) "Why am I evil spoken of, blasphemed, or denounced?" Men of heathen conscience, beholding Christians knowingly give thanks over food devoted to idols, regarded such actions a sacrilegious indulgence and denounced it as two-faced hypocrisy.

3) "For that for which I give thanks?” " (huper ou ego euchaeristo) "Because of what I give thanks for or over?" Why, Paul rhetorically asks, is there good sense in my praying over food already dedicated to idols, while claiming there is one God, and one Saviour? Such is revolting hypocrisy, deceit. One may be sincere and devout on his part yet do something that the world considers scandalous or grossly irreverent, such as playing ball on Sunday, or going to a religious, clean movie. If such be not wrong for the individual Christian, yet because it might be considered scandalous or irreverent to unbelievers, children of God would do well to forego such - See? 1 Corinthians 8:12-13; Romans 12:1-2.

Verse 31

1) “Whether therefore ye eat or drink.” (eite oun esthiete eite pinete) "Whether therefore you all eat or you all drink." The supreme rule, moral and spiritual guide, for a Christian’s conduct is duty -the duty to glorify or honor God in everything that he does. Colossians 3:17, requires this "in word and in deed," in all that one says and all that one does,

2) "Or whatsoever ye do." (eite ti poiete) "Or whatever you all do." he whatsoever of word, thought, or deed, of this passage is just as broad and inclusive to the believer as the "whosoever" of John 3:15 is to the unbeliever.

3) "Do all to the glory of God." (panta eis doksan theou poiete) "Do it all to the glory of God." If the eating, drinking, thought, word, or deed be with relation to religious services or social conduct, it is to be done with an unselfish discipline to the will of Christ, as according to the Word of truth, that each member of the church may glorify God, 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 3:21; Matthew 5:15-16.

Verse 32

1) "Give none offence.” (aproskopoi ginesthe) "Be ye unoffensive or without offence." Let your life be unoffensive, as much as in you is to all people and all classes of people, conducting it as "wise as serpents and harmless as doves," Matthew 10:16; Romans 12:18.

2) “Neither to the Jews.” (kai ioudaiois) "Even to Jews" - This general term is used to refer to the race, family, or company of people to whom the Law of Moses and programs of Divine Service and worship was given, until the coming of Christ, John 4:22; John 18:20; 1 Corinthians 9:20.

3) "Nor to the Gentiles.” (kai hellesin) "And to the Greeks." The term (hellesin) seems to refer by contextual setting to both Grecian nationals and the mixed multitude of Jews and Gentiles or heathens, especially those whom he had recently discussed, that ate sacrifices at tables of demons.

4) "Nor to the church of God." (kai te ekklesia tou theou) "And to the church of God." The church (ekklesia) "called out assembly" of God was not to be offended by anything any member thought, said, or did. Such was a standard of holiness of life and perfection of conduct, a standard set forth by our Lord, Matthew 5:48. Note the three terms: 1) Jew, 2) Gentile, and 3) church of God, the one His Son established, refer to the three classes or groups of people about whom all prophecy was given and is being or to be fulfilled. The "to whom is he writing or speaking," or "about what or whom" should be considered a contextual consideration for interpreting any passage relating to prophecy. Matthew 6:18; Mark 13:34; 1 Timothy 3:15; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 33

1) "Even as I please all men in all things.” (kathos kago panta pasin apesko) "Just as I, (in) all things, please all men." As our Lord "came not to please himself" or "do his own will," but the will of the Father who sent Him, so did Paul, and so should we. John 6:38; Romans 15:3; Romans 1:14-15; 1 Corinthians 9:22-23; Matthew 6:33.

2) "Not seeking mine own profit." (me zeton to hemautou sumphoron) "Not continually seeking the profit, advantage, or orchestration (glory) of myself, or praise of men in my own egotism." Few there are who seem able to deny self and unselfishly give self and all to Christ and for others, as our Lord did, 2 Corinthians 8:9; Mark 8:34; Philippians 3:7-10.

3) "But the profit of many." (alla to ton pollon) "But that (advantage, benefit, or profit) of the masses." As Christ came "to seek and to save" the lost and voluntarily laid down His life for all men, even so did He call the children of His church, John 10:18; John 18:6; Luke 19:10; John 20:21.

4) "That they may be saved." (hina) "in order that," introducing the purpose clause of affirmation - (Gk. sothosin) "they may be saved." The term "saved" means "delivered" and may refer to either delivery or salvation of the soul from hell, when eternal life is given to the believer in the new birth of regeneration or "salvation" may be used to refer to the "delivery" of life’s service and usefulness from Satan to Christ; Ephesians 2:8-10; Philippians 2:12.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/1-corinthians-10.html. 1985.