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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Corinthians 10

 

 

Other Authors
Introduction

CHAPTER 10

1 Corinthians 10:1. γάρ] Elz. has δέ, against decisive evidence. An alteration arising from failure to understand the connection.—1 Corinthians 10:2. ἐβαπτίσαντο] A C D E F G א, min(1557) Dial. Bas. Cyr. al(1558) have ἐβαπτίσθησαν. Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Rückert. It is, however, an alteration to which copyists were induced by being accustomed to the passive of βαπτ.; the middle is sufficiently attested by B K L, Orig. Chrys. al(1559)1 Corinthians 10:9. κύριον] So B C א, min(1560) and several vss(1561) and Fathers. The readings θεόν and χριστόν are interpretations, the first occurring in A, 2, Slav. ms. Bede, the second adopted by Elz. Scholz, and Tisch. on the authority of D E F G K L, min(1562) vss(1563) Fathers; defended also by Reiche. Epiphanius avers χριστόν to be a change made by Marcion.—1 Corinthians 10:9-10. Elz. adds καί after καθώς; but this has too powerful testimony against it to be admissible on the ground of 1 Corinthians 10:8. It is deleted by Lachm. Tisch. Rückert.—1 Corinthians 10:9. ἀπώλοντο] Rückert, following A (?) B א, reads ἀπώλλυντο, as he does also in 1 Corinthians 10:10 on the authority of A. Rightly in both cases; the change of tense was overlooked.—1 Corinthians 10:11. πάντα] is wanting after δέ in A B 17, Sahid. and several Fathers. It comes before it in D E F G א, 3, Aeth. and some Fathers. Bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Rück. and Tisch.; an addition naturally suggested.

τύποι] Lachm. and Rück. read τυπικῶς, following A B C K א, min(1564) Syr. p(1565) (on the margin), and many Fathers. Rightly; the Recept(1566), defended by Reiche, is a repetition from 1 Corinthians 10:6. As connected with τυπικῶς, however, and resting on very much the same attestation (including א), συνέβαινεν should be adopted in place of συνέβαινον.

κατήντησεν] Lachm. and Tisch. have κατήντηκεν, on the authority of B D* E* F G א, 39, 46, and some Fathers. An instance of the frequent transformation of the perfect into the aorist form, with which the transcribers were more familiar.—1 Corinthians 10:13. Elz. has ὑμᾶς after δύνασθαι; but this is an addition opposed by decisive evidence.—1 Corinthians 10:19. Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. invert the order of the two questions, following B C** D E א**, min(1567) Copt. Sahid. Aeth. Vulg. Aug. Ambrosiast. Pel. Bede. Rightly. One of the two queries came to be left out, owing to the similarity in sound (so still in A C* and א*), and was afterwards restored where it seemed to stand most naturally (according to the order of origin and operation). Reiche, nevertheless, in his Comm. crit. I. p. 240 f., tries to defend the Recept(1568) (K L, with most of the min(1569) Syr(1570) utr. Goth. and Greek Fathers).—1 Corinthians 10:20. θύει τὰ ἔθνη] Lachm. Rück. and Tisch. read θύουσιν, on very preponderant evidence (as also θύουσιν afterwards). The missing subject τὰ ἔθνη was joined on to θύουσιν (so still in A C א), which thereupon drew after it the change to θύει.—1 Corinthians 10:23. Elz. has μοι after πάντα, against decisive evidence. Borrowed from 1 Corinthians 6:12.—1 Corinthians 10:24. After ἑτέρου Elz. has ἒκαστος, in face of decisive testimony. Supplied, perhaps, from remembrance of Philippians 2:4.—1 Corinthians 10:27. δέ] is wanting in A B D* F G א, and some min(1571) Copt. Vulg. Antioch. Chrys. Aug. Ambrosiast. Pel. al(1572) Lachm. and Rück. are right in rejecting it as a mere connective addition.—1 Corinthians 10:28. ἱερόθυτον] approved by Griesb., and adopted by Lachm. Rück. Tisch. Elz. and Scholz again have εἰδωλόθυτον, contrary to A B H א, Sahid. and the indirect witnesses given by Tisch. The commoner word (which is defended by Reiche) was first written on the margin, and then taken into the text.

After συνείδησιν Elz. has τοῦ γὰρ κυρίου γῆ κ. τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτῆς. A repetition of the clause in 1 Corinthians 10:26, which crept from the margin into the text; it is condemned by decisive testimony, as is also the δέ which Elz. puts after εἰ in 1 Corinthians 10:30.

CONTENTS on to 1 Corinthians 11:1.

The warnings supplied by the history of our fathers urge us to this self-conquest (1 Corinthians 10:1-11). Beware, therefore, of a fall; the temptation has not yet gone beyond what you are able to bear, and God’s faithfulness will not suffer it to do so in the future; flee, then, from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:12-14). This exhortation is supported, as regards the eating of sacrificial meat, by the analogies of the Lord’s Supper and the Jewish usages in partaking of sacrifices (1 Corinthians 10:15-18). And therewith Paul returns from the long digression, which has occupied him since 1 Corinthians 9:1, to his main subject, which he is now in a position to wind up and dispose of with all the more vigour and terseness (1 Corinthians 10:19 to 1 Corinthians 11:1).


Verse 1

1 Corinthians 10:1. γάρ] Paul had already, in 1 Corinthians 9:26 f., set himself before his leaders as an example of self-conquest; he now justifies his special enforcement of this duty by the warning example of the fathers. πλεῖον αὐτοὺς δεδίξασθαι βουληθεὶς τῶν κατὰ τὸν ἰσραὴλ ἀναμιμνήσκει, καὶ ὅσων ἀπήλαυσαυ ἀγαθῶν καὶ ὅσαις περιέπεσαν τιμωρίαις. καὶ καλεῖ τύπους τούτων ἐκεῖνα, διδάσκων ὡς τὰ ὅμοια πείσονται τὴν ὅμοιαν ἀπιστίαν κτησάμενοι, Theodoret.

οὐ θέλω ὑμ. ἀγν.] indicating something of importance. see on Romans 11:25.

οἱ πατέρες ἡμ.] i.e. our forefathers at the time of the exodus from Egypt. The apostle says ἡμῶν, speaking, as in Romans 4:1, from his national consciousness, which was shared in by his Jewish readers, and well understood by his Gentile ones. The idea of the spiritual fatherhood of all believers (Romans 4:11 ff., de Wette, al(1573)), or that of the O. T. ancestry of the N. T. church (Hofmann), would suit only with holy ancestors as being the true Israel (comp Romans 9:5 ff.; Galatians 6:16), but does not harmonize with the fact of the fathers here referred to being cited as warnings.

πάντες] has strong emphasis,(1575) and is four times repeated, the coming contrast of οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πλείοσιν, 1 Corinthians 10:5, being already before the apostle’s mind. All had the blessing of the divine presence ( ὑπὸ τ. νεφ. ἦσαν), all that of the passage through the sea; all received the analogue of baptism, all that of eating, all that of drinking at the Lord’s Supper; but with the majority God was not well pleased.

ὑπὸ τ. νεφ.] The well-known ( τήν) pillar of cloud (Exodus 13:21 f.), in which God’s presence was, is conceived as spreading its canopy over ( ὑπό) the march of the people that followed it. Comp Psalms 105:39; Wisdom of Solomon 10:17; Wisdom of Solomon 19:7.

διὰ τῆς θαλ.] See Exodus 14.


Verse 2

1 Corinthians 10:2. The discourse flows on in uninterrupted stream, beginning with the ὅτι in 1 Corinthians 10:1, to the end of 1 Corinthians 10:5; then follows the application in 1 Corinthians 10:6.

εἰς τὸν ΄ωϋσῆν] in reference to Moses, so that they thereby devoted themselves to Moses as the deliverer and mediator whom God had sent them. Comp on Romans 6:3; Matthew 28:19.

ἐβαπτίσαντο] they had themselves baptized, had the same thing, that is to say, done to them in reference to Moses as you had done to you in reference to Christ. The middle, which is not put here for the passive,—comp, on the contrary, what was said regarding ἀπελούσ., 1 Corinthians 6:11,—is purposely chosen, as in Acts 22:16, to denote the receptive sense (see Kühner, II. p. 18; Valckenaer, p. 256; Winer, p. 239 [E. T. 319]); for although ἐβαπτ., and the subsequent ἔφαγον and ἔπιον, do not represent any apparent merit, yet they certainly assume the reception of those wonderful divine manifestations, which nevertheless could not place the fathers, to whom such high privileges had been vouchsafed, in a position of safety afterwards, etc.

ἐν τῇ νεφ.] ἐν is local, as in βαπτίζειν ἐν ὕδατι, Matthew 3:11, al(1579), indicating the element in which, by immersion and emergence, the baptism was effected. Just as the convert was baptized in water with reference to Christ, so also that O. T. analogue of baptism, which presents itself in the people of Israel at the passage of the Red Sea with reference to Moses, was effected in the cloud under which they were, and in the sea through which they passed. So far as the sacred cloud, familiar to the readers, is concerned, there is no need for the assumption, based somewhat uncertainly on Psalms 68:9, of a “pluvia ex nube decidua” (Wolf, comp Pott); neither, again, is it enough to define the point of comparison simply as Grotius does (comp de Wette): “Nubes impendebat illorum capiti, sic et aqua iis, qui baptizantur; mare circumdabat eorum latera, sic et aqua eos, qui baptizantur.” The cloud and the sea, both being taken together as a type of the water of baptism, must be regarded as similar in nature. Comp Pelagius: “Et nubes proprium humorem portat;” so also Bengel: “Nubes et mare sunt naturae aqueae (quare etiam Paulus de columna ignis silet).” Theodoret, on the other hand, with several more, among whom are Schrader, Olshausen, and Maier, makes the cloud a symbol of the Spirit (John 3:5); but this would have against it the fact, that the baptism in the cloud (answering, according to this view, to the baptism of the Spirit) had preceded the baptism in the sea (water-baptism); so that we should have an incongruous representation of the baptism with water and the Holy Ghost. The cloud and the sea do not represent the two elements in baptism, the former the heavenly, and the latter the earthly one; but both together form the undivided type of baptism. The type appropriated the subjects to Moses as his; the antitype appropriates them to Christ as His redeemed ones; and in both instances this is done with a view to their salvation, as in the one case from temporal bondage and ruin, so in the other from that which is spiritual and eternal. We may add, that there is room enough for the play of typico-allegorical interpretation, to allow the circumstance to be kept out of account that the Israelites went dry through the sea (Exodus 14:16 ff.). The most arbitrary working out of the exposition of details may be seen in Theodoret.


Verse 3-4

1 Corinthians 10:3-4. Just as all received the self-same type of baptism (1 Corinthians 10:1-2), so too all were partakers of one and the same analogue of the Christian ordinance of the Supper.(1583)

τὸ αὐτό] so that each one therefore stood on the very same level of apparent certainty of not being cast off by God.

The βρῶμα πνευματικόν is the manna (Exodus 16:13 ff.), inasmuch as it was not, like common food, a product of nature, but came as bread from heaven (Psalms 78:24 f.; Wisdom of Solomon 16:20; John 6:31 f.), the gift of God, who by His Spirit wrought marvellously for His people. Being vouchsafed by the χάρις πνευματική of Jehovah, it was, although material in itself, a χάρισμα πνευματικόν, a food of supernatural, divine, and spiritual origin. Comp Theodore of Mopsuestia: πνευματικὸν καλεῖ καὶ τὸ βρῶμα καὶ τὸ πόμα, ὡς ἂν τοῦ πνεύματος ἄμφω διὰ τοῦ ΄ωϋσέως κατὰ τὴν ἀπόῤῥητον αὐτοῦ παρασχόντος δύναμιν. οὕτω δὲ καὶ πνευματικὴν ἐκάλεσεν τὴν πέτραν, ὡς ἂν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος ἐκδοῦσαν τὰ ὕδατα. What the Rabbins invented about the miraculous qualities of the manna may be seen in von der Hardt, Ephem. phil. pp. 101, 104; Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 876 f., I. pp. 312, 467. Philo explains it as referring to the Logos, Leg. alleg. ii. p. 82, Quod deter. pot. insid. sol. p. 213.

πόμα] Exodus 17:1-6; Numbers 20:2-11. Regarding the forms πόμα and πῶμα, see Lobeck, Paral. p. 425 f.

ἔπινονχριστός] a parenthetic explanation in detail as to the quite peculiar and marvellous character of this πόμα. The imperfect does not, like the preceding aorist, state the drinking absolutely as a historical fact, but is the descriptive imperfect, depicting the process of the ἔπιον according to the peculiar circumstances in which it took place; it thus has a modal force, showing how things went on with the πάντεςἔπιον, while it was taking place. Bengel remarks rightly on the γάρ: “qualis petra, talis aqua.”

ἐκ πνευματ. ἀκολ. πέτρας· δὲ πέτρα ἦν χ.] from a spiritual rock that followed them; the Rock, however (which we speak of here), was Christ. πνευματικῆς has the emphasis; it corresponds to the preceding πνευματικόν, and is explained more specifically by δὲ π. ἦν χ. The relation denoted by ἀκολουθούσης, again, is assumed to be self-evident, and therefore no further explanation is given of the word. The thoughts, to which Paul here gives expression, are the following:—(1) To guard and help the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness, Christ accompanied them, namely, in His pre-existent divine nature, and consequently as the Son of God (= the λόγος of John), who afterwards appeared as man (comp Wisdom of Solomon 10:15 ff.). (2) The rock, from which the water that they drank flowed, was not an ordinary natural rock, but a πέτρα πνευματική; not the mere appearance or phantasm of a rock, but an actual one, although of supernatural and heavenly origin, inasmuch as it was the real self-revelation and manifestation of the Son of God, who invisibly accompanied the host on its march; it was, in other words, the very Christ from heaven, as being His own substantial and efficient presentation of Himself to men (comp Targ. Isaiah 16:1, and Philo’s view, p. 1103 A, that the rock was the σοφία). (3) Such being the state of the case as to the rock, it must of necessity be a rock that followed, that accompanied and went with the children of Israel in their way through the desert; for Christ in His pre-existent condition, the heavenly “substratum,” so to speak, of this rock, went constantly with them, so that everywhere in the wilderness His essential presence could manifest itself in their actual experience through the rock with its abundant water; and, in point of fact, did so manifest itself again and again. In drinking from the rock, they had their thirst quenched by Christ, who, making the rock His form of manifestation, supplied the water from Himself, although this marvellous speciality about the way in which their thirst was met remained hidden from the Israelites.

Since the apostle’s words thus clearly and completely explain themselves, we have no right to ascribe to Paul, what was a later invention of the Rabbins, the notion that the rock rolled along after the marching host (Bammidbar, R. S. 1; Onkelos on Numbers 21:18-20; and see Wetstein and Schöttgen, also Lund, Heiligth., ed. Wolf, p. 251); such fictions as these, when compared with what the apostle actually says, should certainly be regarded as extravagant aftergrowths (in opposition to Rückert and de Wette). It is just as unwarrantable, however, to explain away, by any exegetical expedient, this rock which followed them, and which was Christ. The attempts which have been made with this view run directly counter to the plain meaning of the words; e.g. the interpretation of Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Piscator, Drusius, Grotius, Lightfoot, Billroth, al(1587) (which dates from Theodore of Mopsuestia), that the rock means here what came from it, the water (!), which, they hold, followed the people and prefigured Christ ( ἦν). That ἦν denotes here significabat (so too Augustine, Vatablus, Salmasius, Bengel, Loesner, al(1588)), is a purely arbitrary assumption, seeing that Paul neither says ἐστί, nor τύπος ἦν, or the like, nor even indicates in any way in the context a typico-allegorical reference. This applies also against what Ch. F. Fritzsche has in his Nova opusc. p. 261: “The rock in the wilderness was a rock of blessing, strength, and life-giving for the Jews, and thus it prefigures Christ,” etc. Paul does not say anything of the sort; it is simply his expositors who insert it on their own authority. Baur, too, does violence to the apostle’s words (comp his neut. Theol. p. 193), by asserting that Paul speaks of Christ as the πνευμ. πέτρα only in so far as he saw a type which had reference to Christ in the rock that followed the Israelites, according to the allegoric interpretation which he put upon it.(1590) See, in opposition to this, Räbiger, Christol. Paul. p. 31 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 319. The ordinary exposition comes nearer to the truth, but fails to reach it in this respect, that it does not keep firm enough hold of the statement, that “that rock was Christ,” and so of its identity with Him, but takes Christ to be the Rock only in an ideal and figurative sense, regarding Him as different from the rock from which the water flowed, but as the author of its supply. So, in substance, Chrysostom,(1591) Oecumenius, Theophylact, Melanchthon, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, among whom are Flatt, Kling in the Stud. und Krit. 1839, p. 835; Osiander, Neander, Hofmann.(1592)


Verse 5

1 Corinthians 10:5. οὐκ ἐν τοῖς πλείοσιν] not with the greater part of them. A tragical litotes. Caleb and Joshua alone reached the land of promise. Numbers 14:30.

κατεστρώθησαν] were struck down. Comp Numbers 14:16; Numbers 14:29. Their dying in the wilderness (some by a violent, some by a natural death) is here vividly portrayed, in accordance with Numbers 14, as death by the hand of God (Herod. viii. 53, ix. 76; Xen. Cyr. iii. 3. 64; Judith 7:14; 2 Maccabees 5:26). Comp also Hebrews 3:17.


Verse 6

1 Corinthians 10:6. The typical reference of what is adduced in 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 to the Christians: These things (while they so fell out) became types of us, i.e. historical transactions of the O. T., guided and shaped by God, and designed by Him figuratively to represent the corresponding relation and experience on the part of Christians. See regarding τύπος, on Romans 5:14.

ἐγενήθησαν] The plural is by attraction from the predicate τύποι. See Kühner, II. p. 53 f.; Krüger, § lxiii. 6. Hofmann (comp 1 Corinthians 6:11) takes the Israelites as the subject: “They became this as types of us;” but the recurrence of the ταῦτα in 1 Corinthians 10:11 should have been enough of itself to preclude such a view.

ἐπιθυ΄ητ. κακῶν] quite general in its reference: desirers (Herod. vii. 6; Dem. 661 ult., and often in Plato) of evil things (Romans 1:30). To restrict it to the “Corinthios epulatores” (Grotius) is arbitrary; for it is equally so to confine the καθὼς κἀκεῖνοι ἐπεθ. which follows solely (Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Neander), or particularly (Hofmann), to the desire of the Israelites for flesh (Numbers 11:4), whereas in truth the words refer generally to the evil lusts which they manifested so often and in so many ways upon their journey, that particular desire not excluded.


Verse 7

1 Corinthians 10:7. There follows now upon this general warning the first of four special ones against sins, to which the ἐπιθυμεῖν κακῶν might very easily lead. “Eligit, quod maxime Corinthiis congruebat,” Calvin.

μηδέ] also in particular do not. Comp Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 314 [E. T. 366]. The repetitions of μηδέ which follow, too, from 1 Corinthians 10:8 to 1 Corinthians 10:10 are also negatived, but in continuance of the special prohibitions.

γίνεσθε] in the second person, because of the special danger to which his readers, from their circumstances, were exposed. Comp on 1 Corinthians 10:10.

εἰδωλολάτραι] What Paul means is the indirect idolatry involved in partaking of the heathen sacrificial feasts. Comp on 1 Corinthians 5:11. This is clear from the quotation which he goes on to make ( φαγεῖν κ. πιεῖν). Comp 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Corinthians 10:20-21. The passage cited is Exodus 32:6 according to the LXX.; it describes the sacrificial feast after the sacrifice offered to the golden calf. The τινὲς αὐτῶν, four times repeated, certain of them, notwithstanding of there being very many (although not all), brings out all the more forcibly the offences over-against the greatness of the penal judgments. Comp on Romans 3:3.

παίζειν] to be merry. This comprised dancing, as we may gather from Exodus 32:19, and from ancient customs generally at sacrificial feasts; but to make this the thing specially referred to here (Hom. Od. viii. 251; Hesiod, Scut. 277; Pindar, Ol. xiii. 123) does not harmonize with the more general meaning of לְצַחֵק in the original text. To understand the phrase as indicating unchastity (Tertull. de jejun. 6) is contrary to Exodus 32:18-19, and Philo, de vit. Mos. 3, pp. 677 D, 694 A.


Verse 8

1 Corinthians 10:8. ἐπόρνευσαν] Numbers 25:1 ff.

εἴκοσι τρεῖς] According to Numbers 25:9, there were 24,000. So too Philo, de vit. Mos. 1, p. 694 A de fortit. p. 742 D and the Rabbins in Lightfoot, Horae, p. 205; also Josephus, Antt. iv. 6. 12. A slip of memory on the apostle’s part, as might easily take place, so that there is no need of supposing a variation in the tradition (Bengel, Pott), or an error in his copy of the LXX. (Ewald). Among the arbitrary attempts at reconciliation which have been made are the following: that Paul narrates only what happened on one day, Moses what happened on two (Grotius); that Moses gives the maximum, Paul the minimum (Calvin, Bengel); that 23,000 fell vi divina, and 1000 gladio zelotarum (Krebs, after Bernard and Havercamp on Josephus, loc. cit.); that Paul states merely what befell the tribe of Simeon (Michaelis). Cajetanus and Surenhusius would have us read εἴκοσι τέσσαρες, as, in point of fact, is given in a few codd(1601), but manifestly by way of correction. Osiander too leans to this; comp Valckenaer.


Verse 9

1 Corinthians 10:9. ἐκπειρ.] Stronger than the simple verb (to prove to the full), Matthew 4:7; Luke 10:25. Comp the classic ἐκπειράομαι (Herod, iii. 135; Plat. ep. 13, p. 362 E). To try the Lord,(1604) נִסָּה אֶת־יְהֹוָה, means generally, to let it come to the point whether He will show Himself to be God; in this case: whether He will punish (“quousque itura sit ejus patientia,” Grotius). See in general, Wetstein, a(1605), Matthew 4:7. What special kind of trying Paul has here in view, appears from καθὼς κ. τ. λ(1606), where the reference is to the people after their deliverance losing heart over the contrast between their position in the wilderness and the pleasures of Egypt. See Numbers 21:4-6. The readers therefore could not fail to understand that what the apostle meant was discontent on their part with their present Christian position, as involving so much renunciation of sensual pleasures formerly indulged in. How many, forgetting the blessings of their spiritual deliverance, might look back with a discontented longing to the licence of the past! It is a common opinion that Paul designates their participation in the sacrificial feasts as a tempting of God (comp 1 Corinthians 10:22, where, however, the connection is totally different, and τὸν κύριον does not apply to God at all). So Billroth, Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Maier; but this is quite at variance with the context, because not in keeping with the historical events indicated by the καθὼς καὶ κ. τ. λ(1608), and familiar to the readers. The context equally forbids the interpretations of Chrysostom and Theophylact: the craving for wonders; Theodoret, the speaking with tongues; Grotius, the conduct of the schismatics; and Michaelis, that of the anti-Pauline party.

ἐπείρασαν] namely, αὐτόν, not in an absolute sense (Winer, Reiche).

ἀπώλλυντο] see the critical remarks. The imperfect lays the stress on the continuous development of what occurred, and thus places it in the foreground of the historic picture. See Kühner, II. p. 74. As to ὑπό with ἀπώλλ., see Valckenaer, p. 261. Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 880.


Verse 10

1 Corinthians 10:10. Nor murmur, etc.; expression of contumacious discontent (Matthew 20:11; Philippians 2:14), without right or reason. Against whom? is discovered from the narrative, to which Paul here refers us. That this is to be found not in Numbers 14 (the more common view), but in Numbers 16:41; Numbers 16:49 (Calvin, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, Maier, Ewald), is clear, in the first place, because ἀπώλλ. ὑπὸ τ. ὀλοθρ. denotes a violent death, which does not tally with Numbers 14; and, in the second, because τινὲς αὐτῶν cannot apply to the whole people (except Caleb and Joshua), which it would have to do according to Numbers 14. If, however, what Paul has here in view is the murmuring against Moses and Aaron after the death of Korah and his company (Numbers 16:41; Numbers 16:49), then his prohibition must refer not to discontent against God (which was, moreover, referred to already in 1 Corinthians 10:9), but only to murmuring against the divinely commissioned teachers (Paul, Apollos, and others), who, in their position and authoritative exercise of discipline, corresponded to the type of Moses and Aaron as the theocratic leaders and teachers of the rebellious people. And it is for this reason that he uses the second person here, although the first both precedes and follows it. Amidst the self-conceit and frivolity which were so rife at Corinth, and under the influences of the party-spirit that prevailed, there could not fail to be perverse dispositions of the kind indicated, which would find abundant expression. Comp the evils prevalent in the same community at a later date, against which Clement contends in his epistle.

ἀπώλλ. ὑπὸ τ. ὀλοθρ.] namely, the 14,700, whose destruction (Numbers 16:46 ff.) is ascribed to the plague ( מַגֵּפָף) of God. Paul defines this more closely as wrought by the Destroyer (Hesychius, λυ΄εών), who is the executor of the divine plague, just as in Exodus 12:23 the מַשְׁחִית executes the plague ( נגף) of God,—this personal rendering of משׁחית (according to others, pernicies), which was the traditional one from the earliest times among Jews and Christians alike, being followed by the apostle also. The ὀλοθρευτής ( ὀλοθρεύων, Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 11:28; Wisdom of Solomon 18:25. Comp 2 Samuel 24:16; Isaiah 37:36; Job 33:22, al(1611); Acts 12:23) is the angel commissioned by God to carry out the slaughter; and he again is neither to be conceived of as an evil angel (a conception still foreign to the old Hebrew theology in general; see also 1 Chronicles 21:12; 2 Chronicles 32:21; 2 Maccabees 15:22-23), nor rationalized into a pestilence. The Rabbinical doctrine of the מלאך המות (see Eisenmenger, entdecktes Judenth. I. p. 854 ff.) developed itself out of the Hebrew idea.

ὀλοθρεύω, and the words formed from it, belong to the Alexandrian Greek. See Bleek on Heb. II. p. 809. But the reading ὀλεθρ., although in itself more correct, is very weakly attested here.


Verse 11

1 Corinthians 10:11. ταῦτα] These facts, referred to in 1 Corinthians 10:6 ff.

τυπικῶς] in a typical fashion,(1612) in such a way that, as they fell out, a typical character, a predictive reference, impressed itself upon them. Eisenmenger (II. p. 159 f., 264, 801) gives passages from the Rabbins in support of the principle of the interconnection of the whole theocratic history: “Quicquid evenit patribus, signum filiis,”—a principle generally correct according to the idea of the θειὰ μοῖρα. It is only among the Fathers that we find τυπικός and τυπικῶς used anywhere else in this sense (it is otherwise in Plutarch, Mor. p. 442 C).

συνέβαινον] brings out the progressive development of the events; the aorist ἐγράφη simply states the fact. Comp on 1 Corinthians 10:4, and Matthiae, p. 1117. The δέ contrasts ἐγράφη κ. τ. λ(1614) with what precedes it, expressing “quod novum quid accedit, oppositionem quandam,” Hermann, a(1615) Viger. p. 845: “that it was written, again, was for,” etc.

πρὸς νουθεσίαν ἡμῶν] for our admonition (comp on 1 Corinthians 4:14). That is to say, when we are tempted to the same sins, then should the thought of those facts that happened τυπικῶς, warn us not to bring down upon ourselves like judgments by like offences. As to the later form, νουθεσία in place of νουθέτησις and νουθετία, see Lobeck, a(1617) Phryn. p. 512.

εἰς οὒς κ. τ. λ(1618)] is not opposed, as Hofmann would have it, to the beginning of Israel’s history, to which the transactions in question belong, which is neither conveyed by the text nor in itself historically correct (for the beginning of that history lies in the days of the patriarchs); but it gives point to the warning by reminding the readers how nigh at hand the day was of retributive decision. τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων is identical with συντέλεια τῶν αἰώνων, Hebrews 9:26, the concrete τὰ τέλη (the ends) being put here for the abstract συντέλεια (consummation). In other words, upon the supposition of the Parousia being close at hand, the last times of the world were now come; the αἰῶνες, which had their commencement at its beginning, were now running out their final course. The plural expression τὰ τέλη, here used, corresponds to the conception of a plurality of periods in the world’s history, whose common consummation should carry with it the final issues of them all.(1619) With the Parousia the αἰῶνες ἐπερχόμενοι (see on Ephesians 2:7) begin to run. What is implied by the plural is not one thing running alongside of another, in particular, not the time of Israel and the time of the Gentiles (Hofmann), but the succession of the world-periods, one coming after another. So always, where αἰῶνες occurs in a temporal sense.

κατήντηκεν] They have reached to us, i.e. have fallen upon our lifetime, and are now here. The αἰῶνες are conceived of as stretching themselves out, as it were, in space. Comp 1 Corinthians 14:36.


Verse 12

1 Corinthians 10:12. ὥστε] Wherefore, warned by these instances from the O. T.

ἑστάναι] whosoever thinks that he stands, i.e. is firm and secure (Romans 5:2, and comp on 1 Corinthians 15:1) in the Christian life, namely, in strength of faith, virtue, etc. Comp Romans 14:4.

βλεπέτω, μὴ τέσῃ] points to the moral fall, whereby a man comes to live and act in an unchristian way. The greater, in any case, the self-confidence, the greater the danger of such a fall. And how much must the moral illusions abroad at Corinth have made this warning needful! Others understand the continuance in, or falling from, a state of grace to be meant (see Calvin, Bengel, Osiander). But all the admonitions, from 1 Corinthians 10:6 onwards (see, too, 1 Corinthians 10:14), have a direct reference to falling into sins, the consequence of which is a falling from grace so as to come under the divine ὀργή (comp Galatians 5:4).


Verse 13

1 Corinthians 10:13. Encouragement to this βλεπέτω μὴ πέσῃ. “Your temptations, as you know, have not hitherto gone beyond your strength, neither will they, through the faithfulness of God, do so in the future.” Rückert follows Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Grotius, Bengel, Zachariae, and others, in his interpretation: “You are not yet out of danger; the temptations which have hitherto assailed you were only human ones, and you have not withstood them over well(?); there may come others greater and more grievous.” Similarly Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, Ewald; so that, according to this view, Paul seeks first of all to humble, and then, from πιστός onwards, to encourage,—a connecting thought, however, being interpolated between the two clauses (“sed nunc major tentatio imminet,” Bengel).

πειρασμός] The context makes no special mention of sufferings and persecutions (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Camerarius, Grotius, Ewald, al(1624)), but of incitements to sin in general, as things which, if not overcome, instead of being a discipline to the man exposed to them, will bring about his πίπτειν; but suffering is included among the rest in virtue of the moral dangers which it involves. Pott restricts the reference too much (comp also Hofmann): “tentatio quae per invitationem ad convivia ilia vobis accidit,” which is inadmissible in view of the general terms employed in 1 Corinthians 10:12; the particular application follows only in 1 Corinthians 10:14.

εἴληφεν] marks the continuance of the fact of its not having taken them. It has not done so, and does not now. This use of λαμβάνειν, in reference to fortunes, states, etc., which seize upon men, is very common in the classics (Thuc. ii. 42; Pind. Ol. i. 130; Xen. Symp. i. 15, and often in Homer). Comp Luke 5:26; Luke 7:16; Wisdom of Solomon 11:12; Baruch 6:5.

ἀνθρώπινος] i.e. viribus humanis accommodatus, οὐχ ὑπὲρ δύναται ἄνθρωπος. See Pollux, iii. 131. The fact that in the second clause of the verse this phrase has ὑπὲρ δύνασθε and τοῦ δύνασθαι ὑπενεγκεῖν corresponding to it, militates against the rendering: “not of superhuman origin” (comp Plato, Alc. i. p. 103 A Phaedr. p. 259 D Rep. p. 497 C, 492 E), i.e. either not from the devil (Melanchthon, Piscator, Vorstius, al(1628)), or not from God (Olshausen, who finds an allusion in the second clause to the dolores Messiae). Comp οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνη κακία, Polyb. i. 67. 6, and the like; Plato, Prot. p. 344 C, Crat. p. 438 C οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνης δυνάμεως, Thuc. vi. 78. 2; ὅσα ἄνθρωποι (sc(1630) δύνανται), Plato, Rep. p. 467 C μεῖζον κατʼ ἄνθρωπον, Soph. Oed. Col. 604. Chrysostom: ἀνθρώπινος, τουτέστι μικρὸς, βραχὺς, σύμμετρος.

πιστός] for if He allowed them to be tempted beyond their powers, He would then be unfaithful to them as regards His having called them to the Messianic salvation, which now, in the case supposed, it would be impossible for them to reach.

ὅς] in the sense of ὅτι οὗτος, like the German “er der.” Comp Bernhardy, p. 291. ὅσγε would be still more emphatic.

δύνασθε] what you are in a position to bear. The context shows the more special meaning. Comp on 1 Corinthians 3:2.

ἀλλὰ ποιήσει κ. τ. λ(1633)] but will with the (then existing) temptation make also the issue, i.e. not the one without the other. God is therefore conceived of here as He who makes the temptation, i.e. brings about the circumstances and situations which give rise to it (comp on Matthew 6:13), but, previously, as He who lets men be tempted. The two things, according to Paul’s view of the divine agency in the world, are in substance the same; the God who allows the thing to be is He also who brings it to pass. Hence the two modes of conception may be used interchangeably, as here, without contradiction. Comp on Romans 1:24.

τ. ἔκβασιν] the issue (egressum, Wisdom of Solomon 2:17; Wisdom of Solomon 8:9; Wisdom of Solomon 11:16; Hom. Od. v. 410; Xen. Anab. iv. 1. 20, iv. 2. 1; Polyb. iv. 64. 5) from the temptation, so that one escapes out of it morally free (comp ἐκ πειρασ΄οῦ ῥύεσθαι, 2 Peter 2:9); similarly Eur. Med. 279, ἔκβασις ἄτης. Theophylact gives the sense with substantial correctness, τὴν ἀπαλλαγὴν τοῦ πειρασ΄οῦ; but it is unsuitable to make, as he does, the σὺν κ. τ. λ(1637) refer to coincidence in time ( ἅμα τῷ ἐπελθεῖν ὑμῖν τὸν πειρασμόν); so also Hofmann. Bengel puts it well: “ καί, etiam, indivulso nexu.”

τοῦ δύνασθαι ὑπεν.] does not say wherein the issue might consist (of being able to bear the temptation; comp Fritzsche, a(1639) Matth. p. 844), for the δύνασθαι ὑπεν. is no ἔκβασις (the taking it so is illogical); but it is the genitive of design: in order that you may be able to bear it (the temptation). Were it not that God gave the ἔκβασις along with the πειρασμός, the latter would be too heavy for you; you would not be able to bear up under it, but would be crushed altogether. But that is not His will. That ὑμᾶς should be supplied to δύν. ὑπεν., is clear of itself from what precedes. See Kühner, a(1640) Xen. Mem. iii. 6. 10.


Verse 14

1 Corinthians 10:14. διόπερ] for this very reason (1 Corinthians 8:13), to wit, in order that you may not withdraw from this saving guidance of the faithful God, and deprive yourselves of it; idolatry would separate you from God. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:22. And they would make themselves indirectly guilty of idolatry by partaking of the sacrificial feasts. See 1 Corinthians 10:7; 1 Corinthians 10:20 f. As respects φεύγειν ἀπό, fugiendo discedere a, see on Matthew 3:7. Rückert would draw a distinction here to the effect that, had the verb been joined with the accusative (1 Corinthians 6:18), it would have indicated that the readers were already involved in idolatrous worship; but this is untenable (2 Timothy 2:22; Wisdom of Solomon 1:5; Plato, Legg. i. p. 636 E Soph. Phil. 637, Oed. R. 355), being a confusion of the phrase in question with φεύγειν ἐκ (Xen. Anab. i. 2. 18; Tobit 1:18). The precise meaning here must be sought in the context, which certainly gives us only the idea of the danger being at hand (1 Corinthians 10:7).


Verse 15

1 Corinthians 10:15. ὡς φρονίμοις] i.e. to those of whom I take for granted that they are intelligent; ὡς indicates the mode of contemplation, the aspect under which he regards his readers in saying to them, etc. Comp 1 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 6:13, al(1643) See Bernhardy, p. 333.

λέγω refers to κρίνατε ὑμ. φ. (comp 1 Corinthians 7:12), and φημι points to what follows in 1 Corinthians 10:16-18. “As to intelligent men (who can judge aright), I say: judge ye what I affirm.” On the difference between λέγω and φημί, comp Romans 3:8; Herod. iii. 35; Xen. Apol. 13, Anab. i. 7. 18, vi. 6. 16, ii. 1. 14; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 906.

The emphasis is on ὑμεῖς; your own judgment shall decide.


Verse 16

1 Corinthians 10:16. τὸ ποτήριον] It is most natural to take this as in the accusative, after the analogy of the second clause of the verse (against Rückert). Respecting the attractio inversa, as in Matthew 21:42, see Bornemann, Schol. in Luc. p. 16 f.; Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 247 [E. T. 288]; Kühner, II. p. 512. This Greek fashion of “trajection” is of such common occurrence, that it is a piece of pure arbitrariness to infer, with Hofmann, from the accusative here that the action of blessing and breaking, of which the elements are the objects, makes them the κοινωνία.

Paul names the cup first, not because at the sacrificial feasts men thought less about food than about a pleasant meeting primarily for enjoying wine (they came for eating and drinking), but because he means to speak at more length about the bread, and in connection with it, especially to discuss the Israelitic partaking of the sacrifices, as it suited his theme of the meat offered to idols. For this reason he begins here by disposing briefly of the point concerning the cup. In chap. 11 he does otherwise, because not regarding the matter there from this special point of view.

τῆς εὐλογίας] genit. qualit., i.e. the cup over which the blessing is spoken, namely, when the wine contained in it is expressly consecrated by prayer to the sacred use of the Lord’s Supper.(1646) It is a mistake to understand τῆς εὐλογ. actively: the cup which brings blessing (Flatt, Olshausen, Kling), as the more detailed explanations which follow are sufficient of themselves to prove. They equally forbid the explanation of Schulz: the cup of praise(1647) (comp Kahnis, Lehre vom Abendm. p. 128). Neither should the phrase be viewed as a terminus technicus borrowed from the Jewish liturgy, and answering to the כוֹם הברכה. see on Matthew 26:27, and Rückert, Abendm. p. 219 f.

εὐλογοῦμεν] an epexegesis giving additional solemnity to the statement: which we bless, consecrate with prayer, when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Comp Mark 8:7; Luke 9:16; 1 Samuel 9:13. εὐλογ. in its literal sense must not be confounded with εὐχαριστ. (Erasmus, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Beza: “quod cum gratiarum actione sumimus”), although the prayer was, in point of fact, a thanksgiving prayer in accordance with Christ’s example, 1 Corinthians 11:24 f. As to the difference between the two words, comp on 1 Corinthians 14:16.

οὐχὶ κοιν. τ. αἵ΄. τ. χ. ἐστι] This is aptly explained by Grotius (after Melanchthon and others): “ κοινωνίαν vocat id, per quod fit ipsa communio.” The cup, i.e. its contents as these are presented and partaken of, is the medium of this fellowship; it is realized in the partaking.(1651) Comp 1 Corinthians 1:30; John 11:25; John 17:3; Rodatz in Rudelbach’s Zeitschrift 1844, 1, p. 131; Fritzsche, a(1653) Rom. II. p. 31. The sense therefore is: Is not communion with the blood of Christ established through partaking of the cup?(1654) ἐστί never means anything else than est (never significat); it is the copula of existence; whether this, however, be actual or symbolical (or allegorical) existence, the context alone must decide. Here it must necessarily have the former sense (against Billroth), for the mere significance of a participation would go no way towards proving the proposition that eating meat offered to idols was idolatry; and as, therefore, in 1 Corinthians 10:18 it is not the significance, but the fact of the participation, that is expressed (comp 1 Corinthians 10:20), so also must it of necessity be here. What sort of a participation it might be, was of no importance in the present connection, for the apostle is dealing here simply with the κοινωνία in itself, not with its nature, which differed according to the different analogies adduced (1 Corinthians 10:18; 1 Corinthians 10:20). It cannot therefore be gathered from this passage whether he was thinking of some kind of real, possibly even material connection of those eating and drinking in the Supper with the body and blood of Christ,(1656) or, on the other hand, of an inward union realized in the believing consciousness, consisting therefore in the spiritual contact whereby the believer, who partakes of the elements, is conscious to himself in so partaking of being connected by saving appropriation with the body and blood of reconciliation. But we see clearly from 1 Corinthians 11:24 f. that Paul could only mean the latter, since at the institution of the Supper the body of Christ was not yet slain, and His blood still flowed in His veins.(1657) See, besides, on Matthew 26:26. Again, if the glorified state of His body, i.e. the σῶμα τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ (Philippians 3:21), set in only with His ascension, and if, when He instituted the Supper, His body was still but the σῶμα τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, which soon after died upon the cross for reconciliation (Colossians 1:22), while, nevertheless, the first Lord’s Supper, dispensed by Jesus Himself, must have earned with it the whole specific essence of the sacred ordinance—that essence depending precisely upon the future crucifixion of the body and outpouring of the blood,—then the apostle cannot have in view the glorified(1658) σῶμα and αἷμα as being given and partaken of through the medium of the bread and wine. Otherwise, we should have to attribute to Paul the extravagant conception,—which is, however, equally out of harmony with the institution itself and without shadow of warrant in the apostle’s words, nay, at variance with what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:50,—that, at the last Supper, Jesus had His pneumatic body already at His disposal to dispense as He would (Olshausen, Hofmann), or that a momentary glorification, like that on the Mount, took place at the time of instituting the Supper, as Kahnis formerly held; but see now his Dogmat. I. p. 622; and comp also, on the other side, Ebrard, Dogma vom heilig. Abendm. I. p. 109 f. Either, therefore, the apostle regarded the κοινωνία of Christ’s body and blood as being different before His glorification from what it was afterwards, or it was in his eyes, both before and after, the inward spiritual fellowship realized by the inner man through the medium of the symbol partaken of, as an appropriation of the work of atonement consummated through means of His body and blood, and consequently as a real life-fellowship, other than which, indeed, he could not conceive it as realized when the Supper was instituted. Comp Keim in the Jahrb. für Deutsche Theol. 1859, p. 90; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 355. Against this κοινωνία subjectively realized in the devout feeling of the believer, and objectively established by the divine institution of the ordinance itself, it is objected that the phrase, “fellowship of the body and blood,” expresses at any rate an interpenetration of Christ’s body and the bread (according to the Lutheran synecdoche; comp Kahnis’ former view in his Abendm. p. 136, also Hofmann, p. 219). But this objection asserts too much, and therefore proves nothing, seeing that the fellowship with Christ’s body and blood realized by means of the symbol also corresponds to the notion of fellowship, and that all the more, because this eating and drinking of the elements essentially is the specific medium of the deep, inward, real, and living κοινωνία; hence, too, the “calix communionis” cannot be possibly a figurata loquutio. This last point we maintain against Calvin, who, while insisting that “non tollatur figurae veritas,” and also that the thing itself is there, namely, that “non minus sanguinis communionem anima percipiat, quam ore vinum bibimus,” still explains away the κοινωνία of the blood of Christ to the effect, “dum simul omnes nos in corpus suum inserit, ut vivat in nobis et nos in ipso.”

ὃν κλῶμεν] There was no need to repeat here that the bread, too, was hallowed by a prayer of thanksgiving, after the cup had been already so carefully described as a cup consecrated for the Supper. Instead of doing so, Paul enriches his representation by mention of the other essential symbolic action with the bread; comp 1 Corinthians 11:24. That the breaking of the bread, however, was itself the consecration (Rückert), the narrative of the institution will not allow us to assume.

τοῦ σώματος τ. χ.] in the strict, not in the figurative sense, as Stroth, Rosenmüller, Schulthess, and others: “declaramus nos esse membra corporis Christi, i.e. societatis Christianae,” comp also Baur, neut. Theol. p. 201. This interpretation is at variance with the first clause, for which the meaning of the Supper as first instituted forbids such a figurative explanation (in opposition to Zwingli(1664)); nor can this be justified by 1 Corinthians 10:17; for


Verse 17

1 Corinthians 10:17 confirms the statement that the bread is a communion of the body of Christ. For it is one bread; one body are we, the many, i.e. for through one bread being eaten in the Supper, we Christians, although as individuals we are many, form together one (ethical) body. This union into one body through participation in the one bread could not take place unless this bread were κοινωνία of the body of Christ, which is just that which produces the one body—that which constitutes the many into this unity. The proof advances ab effectu (which participating in the one bread in and of itself could not have) ad causam (which can only lie in this, that this bread is the communion of Christ’s body). The argument(1665) does not imply a logical conversion (as Rodatz objects); but either the effect or the cause might be posited from the Christian consciousness as premiss, according as the case required. See a similar process of reasoning ab effectu ad causam in 1 Corinthians 12:12. Comp also Luke 7:47. According to this, ὅτι is just the since, because (for), so common in argument, and there is no need whatever to substitute γάρ for it (Hofmann’s objection); ἐστί is to be supplied after εἷς ἄρτος; and the two clauses are placed side by side asyndetically so as to make the passage “alacrior et nervosior” (Dissen, a(1667) Pind. Exc. II. p. 276), and, in particular, to bring out with more emphasis the idea of unity ( εἷςἕν) (comp Acts 25:12). The οἱ γὰρ πάντες κ. τ. λ(1669) which follows leaves us no room to doubt how the asyndeton should logically be filled up (and therefore also); for this last clause of the verse excludes the possibility of our assuming a mere relation of comparison (as there is one bread, so are we one body; comp Heydenreich, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, al(1671)). The οἱ γὰρ πάντες, too, forbids our supplying ἐσ΄έν after ἄρτος (Zwingli, Piscator, Mosheim, Stolz, Schrader, comp Ewald); for these words indicate the presence of another conception, inasmuch as, repeating the idea conveyed in εἷς ἄρτος, they thereby show that that εἷς ἄρτος was said of literal bread. This holds against Olshausen also, who discovers here the church as being “the bread of life for the world!” Other expositors take ὅτι (comp 1 Corinthians 12:15 f.; Galatians 4:6) as introducing a protasis, and ἓν σ. κ. τ. λ(1674) as being the apodosis: “because it is one bread, therefore are we, the many, one body” (Flatt, Rückert, Kahnis, Maier, Hofmann, following the Vulgate, Castalio, Calvin, Beza, Bengel, al(1675) (1676)). In that case either we should have a further exposition about the bread (Hofmann), no sign of which, however, follows; or else this whole thought would be purely parenthetical, a practical conclusion being drawn in passing from what had just been stated. But how remote from the connection would such a side-thought be! And would not Paul have required to interpose an οὖν, or some such word, after the ὅτι, in order to avoid misunderstanding? Interpreters would not have betaken themselves to a device so foreign to the scope of the passage, had they not too hastily assumed that 1 Corinthians 10:17 contained no explanation at all of what preceded it (Rückert). Rodatz agrees with the rest in rendering: “because there is one bread, therefore are we, the many, one body,” but makes this not a subordinate thought brought in by the way, but an essentially new point in the argument; he does this, however, by supplying after ἓν σῶμα, “with Christ the Head” (comp also van Hengel, Annot. p. 167 f.), and finding the progress of the thought in the words supplied. But in this way the very point on which all turned would be left to be filled in, which is quite unwarrantable; Paul would have needed to write ἓν σῶμα αὐτοῦ τῆς κεφαλῆς, or something to that effect, in order to be understood.

οἱ πολλοί] correlative to the ἓν σῶμα (comp 1 Corinthians 10:15; 1 Corinthians 10:19): the many, who are fellow-participants in the Lord’s Supper, the Christian multitude. The very same, viewed, however, in the aspect of their collective aggregate, not, as here, of their multitudinousness, are οἱ πάντες, the whole; comp Romans 5:15; Romans 5:18. The unity of bread is not to be understood numerically (Grotius, who, from that point of view, lays stress upon its size), but qualitatively, as one and the same bread of the Supper. The thought of the bread having become a unity out of many separate grains of corn is foreign to the connection, although insisted on by many expositors, such as Chrysostom, Augustine, Erasmus, Calovius, al(1680)

ἐκ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἄρτου μετέχ. is interpreted by some as if there were no ἐκ: “since we are all partakers of one bread” (Luther). This is contrary to the linguistic usage, for μετέχειν is joined with the genitive (1 Corinthians 10:21; 1 Corinthians 9:12) or accusative (Bernhardy, p. 149), but never with ἐκ; and the assumption that Paul, in using ἐκ, was thinking of the verb ἐσθίειν (1 Corinthians 11:28), is altogether arbitrary. The linguistically correct rendering is: for we all have a share from the one bread, so that in analysing the passage we have to supply, according to a well-known usage (Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 138 [E. T. 158]), the indefinite indication of a part, τί or τινός, before ἐκ τοῦ ἑνὸς ἄρτου. Hofmann, too, gives the correct partitive sense to the expression. The article before ἑνός points back to what has been already said.


Verse 18

1 Corinthians 10:18. Another(1681) analogue to prove that participation in the sacrificial feasts is idolatry.

κατὰ σάρκα] without the link of the article, because ἰσρ. κατὰ σάρκα is regarded as a single idea. Comp on Romans 9:3. Israel after a purely human sort means the born Israelites, the Jews, as distinguished from the ἰσρ. κατὰ πνεῦμα (Romans 2:28 f.; Galatians 4:29; comp Galatians 6:16), which the Christians are, in virtue of their fellowship of life with Christ the promised σπέρμα of Abraham. It was very natural for the apostle to add κατὰ σάρκα, seeing that he had just been speaking of the sacred ordinance of the Christians.

As to the Jewish sacrificial feasts, see Michaelis, Mos. R. II. pp. 282, 346 f., IV. § 189.

κοινωνοὶ τοῦ θυσιαστ.] This is the theocratic bond of participation, whereby the man stands bound to the sacrificial altar, who eats of the sacrifice belonging to it as such. The Israelite who refused to eat of the flesh of the sacrifice as such, would thereby practically declare that he had nothing to do with the altar, but stood aloof from the sphere of theocratic connection with it. The man, on the other hand, who ate a portion of the flesh offered upon the altar, gave proof of the religious relation in which he stood to the altar itself. The question which may be asked, Why did not Paul write θεοῦ instead of θυσιαστ.? is not to be answered by affirming that he could not ascribe the κοιν. τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσί to the ἰσρ. κ. σάρκα (Rückert, Abendm. p. 217, and Neander; but could he not in truth, according to Romans 9:4 f., 1 Corinthians 11:1, say this of the people of God?), or by asserting that he could not well have attributed so high an effect to the sacrificial service (de Wette; but why should he not, seeing he does not specify any particular kind of fellowship with God?). But the true reply is this: the κοινωνία θεοῦ would have been here much too vague and remote a conception; for that fellowship belonged to the Jew already in his national capacity as one of the people of God generally, even apart from partaking of the sacrifices. It was by the latter that he showed the narrower and more specific relation of worship in which he stood to God, namely, the peculiarly sacred κοινωνία (Exodus 20:21 ff.) τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου. Hence the inappropriateness of the view taken by Rückert and many others, that Paul leaves the inference open: “and hence, too, with God,” and of that of Rodatz, that the altar is put for the offering.


Verse 19-20

1 Corinthians 10:19-20. By these two analogues, 1 Corinthians 10:16-18, the apostle has now justified his warning given above against the sacrificial feasts as a warning against idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14). But from the case of the Jewish sacrificial eating last adduced, his readers might easily draw the inference: “You declare, then, the idolatrous offerings and the idols to be what the heathen count them?” For whereas the apostle adduced the κοινωνία of the Jewish θυσιαστήριον, and that as an analogue of the heathen θυσιαστήρια, he seemed thereby to recognise the κοινωνία of these too, and consequently also the real divine existence of the idols thus adored. He therefore himself puts the possible false inference in the shape of a question (1 Corinthians 10:19), and then annuls it in 1 Corinthians 10:20 by adducing the wholly different results to which 1 Corinthians 10:18 in reality gives rise. The inference, namely, is drawn only from 1 Corinthians 10:18, not from 1 Corinthians 10:16-18 (de Wette, Osiander, Hofmann, al(1684)), as 1 Corinthians 10:20 ( θύουσιν, correlative to the θυσιαστηρίου of 1 Corinthians 10:18) shows.

τὶ οὖν φημι;] what do I maintain then? namely, in following up 1 Corinthians 10:18. Upon this way of exciting attention by a question, comp Dissen, a(1686) Demosth. de cor. p. 347. Krüger, Anab. i. 4. 14.

τὶ ἐστιν] is something, i.e. has reality, namely, as εἰδωλόθυτον, so that it is really flesh which is consecrated to a god, as the heathen think, and as εἴδωλον, so that it really is a divine being answering to the conception which the heathen have of it; as if, for instance, there were such a being as Jupiter in existence, who actually possessed the attributes and so forth ascribed to him by the heathen. To accent the words τι ἔστιν (Billroth, Tischendorf, comp Ewald) would give the sense: that any idol-sacrifice (and: any idol) exists, in the capacity, that is to say, of idol-sacrifice and of idol. Either rendering harmonizes with 1 Corinthians 8:4. In opposition to the latter of the two, it must not be said, with Rückert, that ἔστι would need to come immediately after ὅτι, for the last place, too, is the seat of emphasis (Kühner, II. p. 625); nor yet, with de Wette, that the one half ( εἰδωλόθυτον) is not so suitable, for the context surely makes it perfectly plain that Paul is not speaking of absolute existence. But since both renderings are equally good as regards sense and expression, we can only decide between them on this ground, that with the second the τί would be superfluous, whereas with the first—which, following the Vulgate, is the common one—it has significance, which should give it the preference. At the same time, we must not insert any pregnancy of meaning like that in 1 Corinthians 3:7 (of influence and effect) into the τί, as Hofmann does without warrant from the context; but it is the simple aliquid, the opposite of the non-real, of the non-ens.

ἀλλʼ] refers to the negative sense of the preceding question. Hence: “No; on the contrary, I maintain,” etc. See Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 37; Baeumlein, p. 10 f.

θύουσιν] see the critical remarks. The subject is self-evident: the sacrificers (the heathen, who sacrifice). Kühner, II. p. 35 f.

The assertion, again, that the heathen sacrifices are presented to demons and not to a real God ( θεῷ), follows ( οὖν, in 1 Corinthians 10:19) from the fellowship in which the Jew who ate of the sacrifices stood to the altar on which they were offered; inasmuch as confessedly it was only the Jewish θυσιαστήριον with its sacrifice that belonged to a real God, and consequently the heathen θυσιαστήρια and their offerings could not have reference to a God, but only to beings of an opposite kind, i.e. demons.

δαιμονίοις] does not mean idols, false or imaginary gods (Bos, Mosheim, Valckenaer, Zachariae, Rosenmüller, Heydenreich, Flatt, Pott, Neander), which is contrary to the uniform usage of the LXX. and the N. T.,(1688) and would, moreover, yield a thought quite out of keeping with the context; for it was the apostle’s aim to point to a connection with an antichristian reality. The word means, as always in the N. T., demons, diabolic spirits. That the heathen worships quoad eventum (of course not quoad intentionem) were offered to devils, was a view derived by all the later Jews with strict logical consistency from the premisses of a pure monotheism and its opposite. See the LXX. rendering of Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalms 106:37,—a reminiscence of which we have in Paul’s expression here,

Psalms 95:5; Baruch 4:7; Tobit 3:8; Tobit 6:14, and the Rabbinical writers quoted in Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenth. I. pp. 805 ff., 816 ff. So Paul, too, makes the real existences answering to the heathen conceptions of the gods, to be demons, which is essentially connected with the Christian idea that heathendom is the realm of the devil; for, according to this idea, the various individual beings regarded by the heathen as gods can be nothing else but diabolic spirits, who collectively make up the whole imperial host of the ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου (Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12), who is himself the ἀρχηγός.(1689) Comp Hahn, Theol. des N. Test. I. p. 366 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 279. The ancient church, too, followed Paul in remaining true to this idea. See Grotius on this passage. Usteri, Lehrbegr. p. 421 ff. As to the consistency of this view with that expressed in 1 Corinthians 8:4, see the remarks on the latter verse. Rückert therefore (with Grotius) is wrong in altering the representation to this effect, that according to Paul the demons had “given the heathen to believe” that there were gods to whom men should sacrifice, in order to obtain for themselves under their name divine worship and offerings, and that in so far the sacrifices of the heathen were presented to demons. The LXX. rendering of Deuteronomy 32:17 and Psalms 95:5 should of itself have been enough to prevent any such paraphrase of the direct dative-relation.

οὐ θέλω δὲ κ. τ. λ(1691)] that I, however, do not wish, still dependent upon ὅτι, the reply to τὶ οὖν φη΄ι being only thus completed. The κοινωνούς points back to κοινων. in 1 Corinthians 10:18. The article in τῶν δαι΄. denotes this class of beings.


Verse 21

1 Corinthians 10:21 gives the ground of the foregoing οὐ θέλω δὲ ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ(1692)

οὐ δύνασθε] of moral impossibility. “Nihil convenit inter Christum et impios daemones; utrisque serviri simul non potest nisi cum insigni contumelia Christi,” Erasmus, Paraph. Comp 2 Corinthians 6:15.

ποτήριον κυρίου] a cup having reference to the Lord, i.e. according to 1 Corinthians 10:16 : a cup which brings into communion with Christ. Its analogue is a ποτήριον δαιμονίων; the latter was quoad eventum, according to 1 Corinthians 10:20, the cup out of which men drank at the sacrificial feast, inasmuch as the whole feast, and therefore also the wine used at it, even apart from the libation (which Grotius, Munthe, Michaelis, de Wette, and others suppose to be meant), made the partakers to be κοινωνοὺς τῶν δαιμον. (1 Corinthians 10:20).

τραπέζης κυρίου] refers to the whole κυριακὸν δεῖπνον, 1 Corinthians 11:20. Instances of μετέχειν with τραπέζης, and like expressions, may be seen in Loesner, Obss. p. 288.


Verse 22

1 Corinthians 10:22. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? to prove that He will not suffer us to set Him on the same level with the demons? The connection is this: “You cannot, etc., 1 Corinthians 10:21, unless it were the case that we Christians were people whose business it is to provoke Christ to jealousy.” Hence the indicative, which should not be taken as deliberative, with Luther and others, including Pott, Flatt, and Rückert (or would we defy the Lord?), but: we occupy ourselves therewith, are engaged therein. Comp Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 370. The phrase, τὸν κύριον, however, should not be referred to God on the ground of the allusion undoubtedly made here to Deuteronomy 32:21 (so commonly, as by Ewald, Pott, Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen), but (as by de Wette and Hofmann), on account of 1 Corinthians 10:21, to Christ.

μὴ ἰσχυρ. κ. τ. λ(1695)] we are not surely stronger than He? i.e. we are not surely persons, whom His strength, which He would put forth against us to carry out the promptings of that jealousy,(1696) cannot get the better of? Comp Job 37:23. Chrysostom already correctly notes the abductio ad absurdum, with which Paul winds up this part of his polemic against the eating of sacrificial meat.


Verse 23

1 Corinthians 10:23. In connection, however, with this matter also, as with a former one, 1 Corinthians 6:12, the principle of Christian liberty in things indifferent admitted of application, and had no doubt been applied in Corinth itself. Paul therefore now proceeds to treat the subject from this purely ethical side, introducing the new section without any connective particle (Buttmann, neut. Gram. p. 345 [E. T. 403]), and enunciating in the first place the aforesaid principle itself, coupled, however, with its qualifying condition of love. Thereafter in 1 Corinthians 10:24 he lays down the general maxims arising out of this qualification; and then in 1 Corinthians 10:25 if. the special rules bearing upon the eating of meat offered in sacrifice.

οἰκοδομεῖ] promotes the Christian life of the brethren, 1 Corinthians 8:1. Comp on Romans 14:19. See the counterpart to this in Romans 14:13; Romans 14:15; Romans 14:20.

As to συμφέρει, see on 1 Corinthians 6:12.


Verse 24

1 Corinthians 10:24. Let no one be striving to satisfy his own interest, but, etc. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:33. We must not impair the ideal, to which this rule gives absolute expression (otherwise in Philippians 2:4), by supplying μόνον and καί, as Grotius and others do. See rather Romans 15:1 f. Even the limitation to the question in hand about sacrificial feasts (Pott), or to the adiaphora in general (Billroth, de Wette, Osiander), is unwarranted; for the special duty of the οἰκοδομεῖν is included under this quite general rule, the application of which to the matter in dispute is not to come till afterwards.

After ἀλλά we are mentally to supply ἕκαστος from the preceding μηδείς. See Bernhardy, p. 458; Stallbaum, a(1700) Plat. Symp. p. 192 E, Rep. p. 366 C Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 336 [E. T. 392].


Verse 25

1 Corinthians 10:25. On μάκελλον, shambles, slaughter-house (Varro, de ling. Lat. 4, p. 35; Dio Cass. lxi. 18), see Kypke, II. p. 219. Comp Plut. Mor. 752 C: μακελεῖα. It passed over into the Rabbinical writings also; see Drus. in loc(1702)

μηδὲν ἀνακρίν.] making no investigation (Vulg. interrogantes; not: condemning, as Grotius, Ewald, and others take it, contrary to the meaning of the word), i.e. instituting no inquiry about any of the pieces of meat exposed for sale, as to whether it had been offered in sacrifice or not. The weaker Christians, that is to say, were afraid of the possibility (see on 1 Corinthians 8:7) of their buying sacrificial meat at the fleshmarket, because they had not yet risen to see that the flesh of the victims when brought to the public mart had lost its sacrificial character and had become ordinary meat. They would probably, therefore, often enough make anxious inquiries over their purchases whether this or that piece might have been offered at the altar or not. The stronger believers did not act in this way; and Paul approves their conduct, and enjoins all to do the same.

διὰ τὴν συνείδησιν] may be taken as referring either (1) to μηδὲν ἀνακρίνοντες as to the required mode of the πᾶν ἐσθίειν: eat all without inquiry, in order that your conscience may not be troubled, which would be the case if you were told: This is meat offered to idols (so Erasmus, Rosenmüller, Hofmann, and others, following Chrysostom);(1703) or (2) simply to ἀνακρίνοντες: without making any inquiry on grounds of conscience. So Castalio, Calvin, Beza, al(1704), including Billroth and Ewald (the latter, however, rendering: “condemning nothing on account of conscience”). The second method of connection is preferable, both because it gives the simplest and most direct sense for διὰ τ. συνείδ., and also because of the τοῦ γὰρ κυρίου κ. τ. λ(1705) that follows,—words by which Paul designs to show that, as regards such questions about food, there is really no room for holding a court of conscience to decide upon the lawfulness or unlawfulness of eating. He means then that his readers should partake freely of all flesh sold in the fleshmarket, without for conscience’ sake entering into an inquiry whether any of it had or had not been sacrificial flesh. The flesh offered for sale was to be flesh to them, and nothing more; conscience had no call whatever to make any inquiry in the matter; for the earth is the Lord’s, etc., 1 Corinthians 10:26. Other interpreters understand the conscience of others to be meant: “No investigation should be made … lest, if it turned out to be sacrificial flesh, the conscience of any one should be rendered uneasy, or be defiled by participation in the food;” so Rückert, and so in substance Vatablus, Bengel, Mosheim, and others, including Flatt, Pott, Heydenreich, de Wette, Osiander, Maier. Comp 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 8:10. But it could occur to none of the apostle’s readers to take τὴν συνείδ. as referring to anything but their own individual conscience. It is otherwise in 1 Corinthians 10:28, where διʼ ἐκεῖνον τὸν ΄ηνύσ. prepares us for the transition to the conscience of another person; while the οὐχὶ τὸν ἑαυτοῦ in 1 Corinthians 10:29 shows that in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27 it was just the reader’s own conscience that was meant.


Verse 26

1 Corinthians 10:26 supplies the religious ground for the injunction just given: μηδὲν ἀνακρίνειν διὰ τ. συνείδησιν, expressed in the words of Psalms 24:1 (comp Psalms 50:12), which Paul here makes his own. If the earth and its fulness belong to God, how should it be necessary before using somewhat of them for food to institute an investigation on grounds of conscience, as if such gifts of God could be in themselves unholy, or involve sin in the use of them? Comp 1 Timothy 4:4. For the rest, the passage affords another proof that the apostle had now in principle gone beyond the standpoint of the decree of Acts 15. Comp on 1 Corinthians 8:1, remark.

As to πλήρω΄α, id, quo res impletur, see Fritzsche, a(1710) Rom. II. p. 469 ff. Calvin had already put the point well: “Terra enim, si arboribus, herbis, animalibus et aliis rebus careret, esset tanquam domus … vacua.”


Verse 27

1 Corinthians 10:27. δέ] of continuation. In the matter of invitations too the same principle holds good, only with the incidental limitation adduced in 1 Corinthians 10:28. Note the emphasis conveyed by the unusual place of the καλεῖ, in contrast to the τὸ ἐν μακέλλῳ πωλούμ. which has been already spoken of. Attention is thus called to the fact that a second and a new situation is now to be discussed; before, the reader was in the fleshmarket; now, he is a guest at a feast.

It is plain, at the same time, from 1 Corinthians 10:28, that what is meant is not the invitation to festivals in express connection with sacrifice, but to other heathen feasts, at which, however, flesh offered to idols might occur; for in the case of a sacrificial feast the ἱερόθυτόν ἐστι was a matter of course.

καὶ θέλετε πορ.] “Admonet tacite, melius forte facturos, si non eant, ire tamen non prohibet,” Grotius.


Verse 28

1 Corinthians 10:28. ἐὰν δέ τις κ. τ. λ(1711)] But should it so happen that some one, etc. It is clear from this that the host (Grotius, Mosheim, Semler) is not meant, otherwise τίς (1 Corinthians 10:27) would not be repeated, and besides, διʼ ἐκεῖνονσυνείδησιν would not suit; but a fellow-guest, and that not a heathen (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, al(1712), including de Wette and Maier, according to whom the thing is done maliciously, or to put the Christian to the test(1713)), nor a heathen or Christian indifferently (Flatt), nor a Jew (Wetstein), but a Christian fellow-guest (Osiander, Neander, al(1714)), who, being himself still under the influence of the ideas about sacrificial flesh, warns his fellow-believer at the table against defilement; and, moreover, a Gentile Christian (see remark on 1 Corinthians 8:7), who had somehow learned—perhaps only since coming to the house—that the flesh from the altar was to form part of the feast.(1715) According to Reiche, in his Comment. crit., we should not seek to define the τίς more specially, but leave it quite general. But this is at variance with the apodosis, which takes for granted that, in the case supposed, eating of flesh would involve a want of forbearance towards the μήνυσας, as was obviously implied of necessity in the διά after what had already been said in 1 Corinthians 8:7-13. The τίς, therefore, must be one whose conscience required to be spared, consequently neither a heathen nor a Jew, but, in accordance with 1 Corinthians 8:7 ff., only a brother who was of weak conscience. This holds against Hofmann also, who assumes that the case supposed in 1 Corinthians 10:28 might occur just as well if the seller knew the buyer to be a Christian as if the host or any of his family knew the guest as such. To leave the τίς thus indefinite is, besides, the more clearly wrong, seeing that the rule for buying meat had been finally disposed of in 1 Corinthians 10:25-26, and cannot extend into 1 Corinthians 10:28, because 1 Corinthians 10:28 is included under the case of the invitation brought forward in 1 Corinthians 10:27, and this case again is very distinctly separated by the very order of the words (see on 1 Corinthians 10:27) from that of the purchase in the market, 1 Corinthians 10:25.

διʼ ἐκεῖνον τ. μηνύσ. κ. τ. συνείδ.] for the sake of him who made it known, and of conscience, i.e. in order to spare him and not to injure conscience. The ( διὰ) τὴν συνείδησιν is the refrain which serves to give the motive for the rules laid down since 1 Corinthians 10:25. To whose conscience this refrain points here, Paul does not yet say (else he would have added αὐτοῦ), but utters again first of all this moral watchword without any more precise definition, in order immediately thereafter in 1 Corinthians 10:29 to express with the special emphasis of contrast the particular reference of its meaning designed here;(1716) for in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27, the συνείδησις had a different meaning. This κ. τ. συνείδησιν, therefore (the καί here being the simple and), carries with it something to whet curiosity; it stands forth in the first place as a sort of riddle, so to speak, which is to find its solution in 1 Corinthians 10:29.

Regarding μηνύσ., see on Luke 20:37. If we imagine the ΄ηνύσ. to be a heathen, the κ. τ. συνείδ. lands us in an insoluble difficulty. For either (1) we should, with Ewald, suppose that this heathen’s view of the matter was, that the Christian, being warned, would not eat, but, on the other hand, if he did, would be still worse than a Jew, converting liberty into licentiousness; comp Erasmus, Paraphr.(1718) But in that case how very obscurely Paul would have expressed himself, especially when in the whole context συνείδησις means the Christian consciousness raising scruples for itself, and that in respect of what was lawful or unlawful! Or (2) we should have, with de Wette, to take τὴν συνείδησιν as not the conscience of the μηνύσ. at all, but that of third persons (weak Christians), which, however, 1 Corinthians 10:29 forbids us to do, unless we are to regard Paul as writing with excessive awkwardness.

ἱερόθυτον] used of sacrificial flesh also in Plutarch, Mor. p. 729 C. The term is purposely chosen here instead of εἰδωλόθυτον, as a more honourable expression, because the words are spoken at table in the presence of heathen. We may be sure that this delicate touch is due to no corrector of the text (in opposition to de Wette and Reiche). As to the usage of the word in Greek, see Lobeck, a(1719) Phryn. p. 159.


Verse 29

1 Corinthians 10:29 f. Lest now any one should understand this last διὰ τ. συνείδ. as meaning one’s own conscience, as in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27, and so misunderstand Paul with his high views of Christian freedom, he adds here this emphatic explanation, and the reason on which it rests ( ἱνατί γάρ1 Corinthians 10:30).

τὴν ἑαυτοῦ] his own individual conscience, his, namely, who was warned.

τοῦ ἑτέρου] of the other in the case, points back to the τὸν μηνύσαντα, whose conscience, too, is afterwards included under ἄλλης συνειδήσεως.

ἱνατί γὰρ κ. τ. λ(1720)] For why is my liberty, etc., that is: for it is absurd that another man’s conscience should pronounce sentence (of condemnation) upon my liberty (my moral freedom from obligation as regards such things, indifferent as they are in themselves). This is the reason, why Paul does not mean one’s own conscience when he says that to spare conscience one should abstain from eating in the case supposed (1 Corinthians 10:28), but the conscience of the other. One’s own conscience, the distinctive moral element in one’s own self-consciousness, does not need such consideration; for it remains unaffected by the judgment passed and slander uttered, seeing that both are without foundation. The only motive for the abstinence, therefore, is the sparing of the conscience of others, not the danger to one’s own. Similarly Bengel; comp de Wette. The ordinary interpretation—adopted by Heydenreich, Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Olshausen, Neander, Maier, Ewald, Hofmann; Osiander is undecided—is that of Chrysostom, taking the words as the reason for the rule in 1 Corinthians 10:28, in the sense of: “For why should I give occasion to others to pass judgment upon me and to speak evil?” or, “There is no reason for letting it come to such a pass, that a Christian’s liberty should be subjected to that tribunal of the moral consciousness of others,” Hofmann. But even apart from the fact that the text says nothing about “giving occasion,” or “letting it come to such a pass,” it is a very arbitrary proceeding to take a clause standing in such a marked way in the course of the argument as συνείδησινἑτέρου, and to thrust it aside as something only incidentally appended. The connection, too, of the conditional protasis with the interrogative τί in the apodosis in 1 Corinthians 10:30, makes it clear enough that Paul wishes to bring out the absurdity of the relation between the two conceptions. Comp Romans 3:7, al(1723) Vatablus, Schulz, and Pott find here and in 1 Corinthians 10:30 the objection of an opponent “ad infirmitatem fratrum suorum se conformare nolentis.” The γάρ is not inconsistent with this (see Fritzsche, a(1724) Matth. p. 807), but the οὖν is (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Observe the difference between τοῦ ἑτέρου (alterius) and ἄλλης (alius, i.e. alienae), by which any other conscience whatever is meant.

χάριτι] Dative of the manner: gratefully, with thanks. Comp Ephesians 2:5, where, however, the context shows that the meaning is by grace; see in general, Bernhardy, p. 100 f. It refers to the grace at meat. By understanding it as beneficio Dei (Beza, Grotius, Heydenreich, Hofmann), we bring in Dei entirely without warrant, and overlook the parallel εὐχαριστῶ, the idea of which is the same with that of χάριτι.

The twice-used ἐγώ is emphatic: I for my part.

μετέχω] The object of the verb is self-evident: food and drink. Comp ὑπὲρ οὔ.

εὐχαριστῶ] “Gratiarum actio cibum omnem sanctificat, auctoritatem idolorum negat, Dei asserit; 1 Timothy 4:3 f.; Romans 14:6,” Bengel.


Verses 31-33

1 Corinthians 10:31-33. The section treating expressly of the participation in sacrifices has been brought to a close. There now follow, introduced by οὖν (which here marks the inference of the general from the particular), some additional admonitions, in which are expressed the leading moral rules for all right Christian conduct; ἀπὸ τοῦ προκειμένου ἐπὶ τὸ καθολικὸν ἐξήγαγε τὴν παραίνεσιν, ἕνα κάλλιστον ὅρον ἡμῖν δοὺς, τὸ τὸν θεὸν διὰ πάντων δοξάζεσθαι, Chrysostom.

ἐσθίετε and πίνετε are to be understood in a perfectly general sense, although the subject which the apostle had been handling hitherto naturally suggested the words. Rückert is wrong in holding that it would be more correct if ἐάν stood in place of εἰ. The εἰ is here also “particula plane logica, et quae simpliciter ad cogitationem refertur,” Hermann, a(1727) Viger. p. 834. τί, again, does not stand for the Attic ὁτιοῦν (Rückert), but the emphasis is on ποιεῖτε: be it that ye eat, or drink, or do anything; so that the three cases are: eating, drinking, acting.

πάντα] without any limitation whate1Co 10:“Magnum axioma,” Bengel. A Christian’s collective action should be directed harmoniously towards the one end of redounding to the glory of God; for all truly Christian conduct and work is a practical glorifying of God. Comp 1 Corinthians 6:20; Ephesians 1:12; Philippians 1:11; 1 Peter 4:11; John 15:8. The opposite: Romans 2:23.


Verse 32

1 Corinthians 10:32. ἀπρόσκοποι] become inoffensive (by constantly increasing completeness of Christian virtue). See on Philippians 1:10.

καὶ ἰουδ. καὶ ἕλλ. καὶ τ. ἐκκλ. τοῦ θεοῦ] i.e. for non-Christians and for Christians. The former are spoken of under two divisions. It is a mistake to suppose, with Beza, that the reference is to Jewish and Gentile Christians, which is at variance with καὶ τῇ ἐκκλ. τοῦ θεοῦ, since the three repetitions of καί stand on the same level. Hence also it will not do to lay all the emphasis, as Billroth does, upon τῇ ἐκκλ. τοῦ θεοῦ, although it is true that it is designated in a significant way, as in 1 Corinthians 11:22. The rule is clearly quite a general one; and it places on the same level the three classes with whom intercourse must be held without giving any occasion for moral offence.


Verse 33

1 Corinthians 10:33. πάντα πᾶσιν ἀρέσκω] See 1 Corinthians 9:19 ff. πάντα, in every respect, 1 Corinthians 9:25. ἀρέσκω, am at the service of. It denotes what takes place on the apostle’s side through his endeavour, namely, to be the servant of all, and to be all things to all men (1 Corinthians 9:19 ff.); not the result of his endeavour, as if he actually did please all (see on Galatians 1:10); for πᾶσιν ἀρέσκειν τὸν συμβουλεύοντα καὶ τὰ κοινὰ πράττοντα ἀδύνατον, Dem. 1481. 4. Comp Romans 15:2; 1 Thessalonians 2:4.

τῶν πολλῶν] of the many, the multitude, opposed to the unity of his own single person. Comp on 1 Corinthians 9:19; Romans 5:15; and on the idea, Clement, ad Cor. I. 48: ζητεῖν τὸ κοινωφελὲς πᾶσιν, καὶ μὴ τὸ ἑαυτοῦ.

ἵνα σωθῶσι] ultimate end, for the sake of which he sought their good: that they might be sharers in the Messianic salvation. Comp 1 Corinthians 9:22. “Ex eo dijudicandum utile,” Bengel.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-10.html. 1832.

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