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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
1 Corinthians 10

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

5. Israel’s wilderness-sojourn a type of the Christian race, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.

1. I would not that ye should be ignorant—Or that ye should ignore what you so well know.

All—This word occurs five times in the passage, (1 Corinthians 10:1-4,) and stands in contrast with the many of 1 Corinthians 10:5. All started from Egypt, but only Caleb and Joshua, with perhaps a few others, arrived in Canaan. So in the last chapter all run, but only one wins.

Under the cloud—The miraculous pillar of cloud by day, which was a pillar of fire by night, in which “the Lord went before” Israel. Exodus 13:20-22. In the passage of the Red Sea this cloud removed, and so went behind the camp of the Israelites as to hang between them and the Egyptians. The cloud thus between the two shed at once darkness upon the Egyptians and light upon Israel. In passing from front to rear of the Hebrew camp it may have so passed over it that the people were literally under the cloud. At any rate they were under its protection. Of course it was not a water cloud, and no rain or sprinkling can be supposed to have dropped from it.

Passed through the sea—In safety. Exodus 14:29-30.


Verses 1-13

CONTINUANCE OF RESPONSE TOUCHING PAUL’S GENUINE APOSTOLICITY, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.

The picture of the Grecian games closing the last chapter, (1 Corinthians 10:24-27,) and this picture of the wilderness history of Israel, (1 Corinthians 10:1-13,) are beautiful counterparts of each other. The former (applied by Paul specially to himself) draws from Grecian life, and the latter (which includes the Corinthians with himself) from Hebrew memories, a vivid illustration of the Christian life. The former would appeal to the feeling of Paul’s Gentile readers; the latter, more especially to the Jewish; but nevertheless assumes that the Gentile converts are becoming familiar with that dispensation which was specially preparatory to Christianity. Hence both classes recognise the Jewish ancestry as spiritual fathers. 1 Corinthians 10:1.

From all this parallelism the reason will appear why we consider this paragraph as a continuance of Paul’s response in regard to his own apostolicity, yet now including his Corinthian brethren as typified with himself. The race from starting-point to goal, and the pilgrimage from Egypt to Canaan, each furnishes an image of our transit through and from earth to heaven. The former, however, is upon a small scale, and is the immediate creation of the apostle’s own conception; the latter is extended, filled with symbolical details, and is not a mere momentary product of the apostle’s individual fancy, but an established type, recorded for the very purpose of admonition. The two passages should be read together as parallels, and as both lying in the line of thought illustrating the duty of Christian self-restriction. The general principle is undoubtedly true, that the Old Testament dispensation was, in its great structure, a type of the new. Under this general typism countless analogies and illustrations would arise in minute details of history. These minute resemblances, however, are rather illustrations than types. They are such as the conception of the individual author traces out, not organic and divinely fixed prefigurations.


Verse 2

2. Were baptized—Greek middle voice, baptized themselves; that is, accepted the virtual baptism. Their own wills concurred with the divine act.

Unto Moses—Greek, εις, into Moses; into that religion of which Moses was representative. So Romans 6:3, baptized into Christ.

In the cloud—As overshadowing them.

In the sea—The sea, like the flood in

1 Peter 1:2, suggests the baptismal element from which the simile of baptism takes its start. No definite image of the form of baptism, whether by affusion or immersion, is framed in either case.

Satan is our Pharaoh, Christ is our Moses, the pass of the sea is our baptism, the Holy Spirit is our guiding, protecting, separating, and consecrating fiery-cloudy pillar.


Verse 3-4

3, 4. All… same—The same baptism, the same spiritual meat, the same spiritual drink were shared by all. And all shared the same faith. The people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses. This emphatic repetition of the same spiritual state of all deserves a more marked attention than has usually been bestowed upon it. Israel was now the complete Church, in which all had the same faith, baptism, and, consequently, the same regeneration. Yet the large majority of them apostatized utterly and totally, and under divine wrath their carcasses strewed the wilderness. Here not the bare possibility of apostasy is affirmed, but its actual reality. The racers all start in the same Christian race alike. The Israelites all start alike through regeneration for the promised land. Yet they fail of both the earthly and the heavenly Canaan.

Spiritual meat… spiritual drink—Of which the manna and the water from the smitten rock are the suggestive similes. Like the bread and wine of the sacrament, the manna, the water, and even the rock, are all emblematical of the body or blood of Christ. Hence all Israel partook not only of the manna, but of the spiritual meat of which the manna was the emblem.

Spiritual drink—The water of life, of which the water from the smitten rock was an emblem.

Spiritual Rock… Christ—Hence it is not the rock smitten by Moses that St. Paul calls the spiritual Rock; but Christ, typified by the smitten rock, is the real spiritual Rock, of which they all did drink. Dr. Hodge and most other commentators involve themselves in inextricable confusion by making Paul call the material manna water, and rock spiritual.

Rock that followed them—Rabbinical tradition affirmed that either the rock smitten by Moses, or the water flowing from it, followed the Israelites through all their journey from Rephidim to Canaan. If, as Dr. Hodge interprets, it is the material manna, water, and rock, that Paul means, then it follows conclusively that Paul endorses the tradition as true. And Alford not only carries the physical interpretation through, but he affirms that it is violence not to agree that Paul actually affirms the truth of the tradition! But when Paul tells us that the Rock was Christ, it is inadmissible to make him say that the material rock, or the stream from it, followed them.

That Christ was the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the angel-Jehovah, has ever been a scriptural maxim in the Christian Church. Dr. Hodge well says: “Our Lord said, Abraham saw his day, for he was before Abraham.

John 8:58. John says, (John 12:41,) Isaiah beheld his glory in the temple; Paul says, the Israelites tempted him in the wilderness, (1 Corinthians 10:9;) and that Moses suffered his reproach. Hebrews 11:26. Judges 1:5 says, the Lord, or (as Lachmann, after the ancient versions and manuscripts, reads) Jesus, saved his people out of Egypt.” Hence there was a rock and a stream that followed Israel all their journey through; but that rock was not the rock of Horeb, as the rabbins fancied, but Christ himself.

Schoettgen quotes a Jewish writer thus: “There was a rock, shaped like a beehive, globular, and it rolled itself and went with them in their journeyings. When the camps stopped at their stations, and the tabernacle stood still, this rock came and placed itself in the threshold of the tent. Then came the princes, and, standing near it, said, Spring up, O well, etc., (Numbers 21:17,) and it sprung up.”

Dr. Wordsworth says, that as there were clouds to rain manna all their journey through, so there were rocks (genetically, rock) to supply water.

“He clave the rocks in the wilderness, and gave them drink as out of the great depths.” Psalms 78:15. “He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.” Psalms 105:41.


Verse 5

5. ManyAll ate and drank sacramentally of Christ, but many apostatized.

Overthrown—Rather, strown; their carcasses lying on the desert surface. This refers not to the myriads who died a natural death, but to the numbers that were slain by divine sentence for sin.


Verse 6

6. Examples—Literal Greek, types. Yet not divinely-established types, to which we are to conform; but figures of wrongs which we should avoid.

Lust—As the mental source whence sins, especially of the sensuous kind, proceed. Literal Greek, That we be not lusters of evil things. It was to these sensuous sins, especially, that Christians in the licentious, idolatrous, and heaven-daring city of Corinth were liable.


Verses 6-13

6-13. Thus far the apostle has typically endowed the Old Church with the sacraments, from Christ, of the New; he will now warn the New to beware of the typical sins, apostasies, and deaths, of the Old. Here note, 1. The sins specified by Paul are, first, that general lust from which proceed 1) idolatry, 2) fornication, 3) presumption, 4) murmurs. 2. This enumeration of sins is rightly interpreted as those peculiarly besetting the Church at Corinth. 3. They are to be interpreted as sins through which apostasy and destruction were likely to result. Hence Paul warns them (1 Corinthians 10:12) against a fall, yet assures them (1 Corinthians 10:13) that God ever makes apostasy unnecessitated. 4. For all their sins, falls, and deaths, the Corinthians may find in the wilderness-history of Israel, as in a mirror, the warning types.


Verse 7

7. Idolaters—Lust, or sensuous desires, in Corinth as in Israel, craved after idolatry. The revels and feasts of the golden calf were the very type of those wanton rites by which Paul’s Gentile Christians were lured to idolatry.

People sat down—At the banquet of sacrifice to the golden calf; held by them to be an image representative of Jehovah, yet made in disobedience to the second commandment of the decalogue. Precisely so the Corinthians were liable to join in idolatrous banquets under supposition that the compliance was in perfect allegiance to Jesus.

To play—To dance, and other antic sports, tending to but not necessarily including lasciviousness.


Verse 8

8. Let us—Paul, perhaps, reverts here to the first person from delicacy.

Fornication—Any illicit sexual connexion. This caution well follows next after that against idolatry; for the idol rites consisted largely of debauchery, as is illustrated by the case to which Paul now refers.

Committed—While the Israelites yet sojourned on the east side of the Jordan, the Moabite women first invited them to their sacrificial banquets, and thereby seduced them to whoredom. Numbers 25. The worship of the Corinthian Venus was of precisely the same kind; in which debauchery was consecrated as a religious rite. How liable the Corinthian Christians were to that sort of seduction the case of the incestuous man indicates.

Three and twenty thousand—The Old Testament (Numbers 25:9) says, four and twenty thousand. Scholars generally admit that Paul wrote as this present text stands; and many, as Alford and Kling, treat it as a failure of apostolic memory. Alford considers it discreditable to maintain any other view. Grotius reconciles the contradiction by supposing that the twenty-three thousand were slain by the plague and one thousand by Phinehas and his fellows. Wordsworth supposes that Paul gives the number who fell in the single day, while Numbers gives all that fell in consequence of the crime. Bengel supposes, that both accounts giving only the round numbers, the exact count might be between the two, and so both numbers be equally correct. Of course no moral truth is affected by the variance.


Verse 9

9. Tempt Christ—Some manuscripts read the Lord, instead of Christ. The meaning would then be the same, but the analogy of 1 Corinthians 10:4 and of Hebrews 11:26 is convincing proof that Christ is the true reading. To tempt the Divine Being is to provoke and dare his wrath by a persistence in presumptuous sin. The allusion is to Numbers 21:4-6, where Israel is described as provoking God by reproaches for bringing them into the desert and feeding them upon manna. So the Corinthian Christians might rebel at their separation from the pagan social world, and their restriction under the severe morality of Christ. In this way myriads of professing Christians have tempted Christ, have apostatized from his religion, and died of the fiery bite of the old serpent or his “infernal brood.”


Verse 10

10. Murmured—Korah and his company murmured against Moses and Aaron, (and so against God,) and more than 14,000 of the people were destroyed. Numbers 16:49. By analogy this warns the Corinthians to beware of those who would excite a captious rebellion and schism, not only against the gospel and the Church, but against the authority of Christ’s true apostles.

Destroyer—In the pestilence following the crime of Korah and his company no personal destroyer is mentioned; but one is presupposed as executing that divine judgment, perhaps from the analogy of Exodus 12:23, where the destroyer, the divine executioner of death for sin, is mentioned.


Verse 11

11. For ensamples—Greek, typically; that is, illustratively.

The worldWorld in the Greek, here, is plural, making ends of the worlds. The word signifies age or dispensation; implying a cycle of time in which some great round of Providence is accomplished. Hence, if the word here be rendered world, it must be understood to signify not κοσμος, cosmos, the material world, but a world-period, or time-world. These ages or time-worlds of sacred history can be variously measured. We may reckon the antediluvian period or world; the patriarchal; the Mosaic and the Christian. In Matthew 24:3 the Greek for end of the world is της συντελειας του αιωνος; literally, the together ending of the age, or present time-world. The term together ending, or con-summation, implies the converging of several threads of providential events to a common close. Similarly, here we have the (plural) endings, convergings to one close, of all the previous ages into the present final age. The age of the Messiah is the age for which the previous ages, or time-worlds, were framed. Hebrews 1:2. Hence the wilderness-histories of Israel find their antitype in the present history of the Church, and so were written for our admonition. We are heirs to all the past.


Verse 12

12. Wherefore—As a deduction from the wilderness-history, Paul draws this inference: beware of apostasy. And as this whole passage (1 Corinthians 10:1-14) is parallel to 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, so this warning against apostasy (1 Corinthians 10:12-14) is parallel to Paul’s avoidance of becoming a castaway, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Thinketh—Each one’s own consciousness must decide for himself whether he standeth on the Christian journeying-ground or not. But the exhortation of persons not to fall, in this and all other cases, must presuppose that they are really standing in a state of grace. The presupposition is, that if they stand as they are they will be saved. If, as some maintain, they are false professors, either by hypocrisy or self-deception, the sooner they cease to stand the better. Hence all exhortations not to fall are made on the assumption of the possibility and practical liability to fall from a true state of grace, or they are absurd.

Take heed—By believing it possible and guarding against it.

Fall—From a state in which, if he persevered, he would be saved.

To all this it cannot be wisely replied that, although there is danger of a Christian’s fall, yet the danger will never result; the very warning will be successful and prevent the falling. For in the present case the warning is based on the historic fact that thousands of Israel did fall; and we must not fall as they DID. We are exhorted not to fall from a true state of grace as they fell from a true state of grace. And Paul has taken great pains to declare and show, in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, how they were all, all, all a true part of a true Church, baptized and sacramented, so that their final perdition was a true and fearful fall; a type for true Christians carefully to avoid. If they never truly stood, they never fell; and if they fell, they once stood. If their fault and ruin was in actually falling, then their salvation would have been in actually standing—standing just as they were.


Verse 13

13. There—But your falling from grace, though possible, is by no means necessary. God, on his part, has done every thing for your perseverance if you do yours. He will keep you, none can pluck you from his hand, he will provide your escape from every temptation; only you must consent to be kept, to stay in his hand, and to escape by the way he provides. Sinners and apostates can defeat all the provisions of God’s grace. See our Note on Romans 8:35-39.

Common to man—A prolix but correct rendering of the Greek word ανθρωπινος, human. No temptation not ordinary in the level of human probation. Whether to idolatry, to fornication, to presumption against Christ, or to murmuring against his Church, all are no greater than Israel suffered before you and others will suffer after you.

To escape—Even if force compels a mechanical wrong act the will may refuse consent, and the deed is guiltless. If there were no power of escape, these would (unless we have wickedly destroyed our own power) be irresponsible for yielding to the temptation.

Able to bear—Thus far does God’s grace go. No power of motive will oblige our wills to apostatize or sin. When we choose to sin, it is not because we have not the power of contrary choice, but because we do not use it, or have guiltily forfeited it. On the other hand, no divine efficiency or decree—no motive force—will oblige us to use the way of escape. When God purposes to leave our free wills to act on trial, he does not destroy the trial by previously fixing the way we shall choose. From the very nature of trial or probation that would be to upset his own divine purpose.

Resumption (from 1 Corinthians 8:13) of the response touching the eating of idolatrous sacrifices, 1 Corinthians 10:14 to 1 Corinthians 11:1.


Verse 14

14. Wherefore—As an inference from all the above warnings, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, and 1 Corinthians 10:1-13.

Idolatry—Which resumes the thread of thought from 1 Corinthians 8:13, touching idol offerings, and continues it to 1 Corinthians 11:1.


Verse 15

15. Wise men—In the apostolic Church there was, in spite of every shortcoming, an inspired wisdom, responsive to the inspired teachings of the apostles, and ratifying them as the true doctrine of Christ.

Judge ye— For the statement of the true nature of the holy communion he relies on their full knowledge of its history and character. All this shows that the evangelical history was familiar both to apostle and Church, and is full proof of its truth and reality.


Verse 16

16. Cup of blessing—Note on Matthew 26:26. Communion is the common ownership of an undivided property; participation or partaking is the taking of a part of the common property for individual use. The Church in common possess the sacramental cup and bread; thereby the Church is one, as the cup and the bread are one.

Is it not… blood—Note Matthew 26:26.


Verse 17

17. One bread—The bread is one, not by being a single loaf, as some suppose, but by being one species or substance, and so one emblem. We are one bread, as all the particles of the bread are one composite whole.

One body—Being members of an organic whole, which is Christ’s body.

Partakers—Note on 1 Corinthians 10:16.


Verse 18

18. This unity and communion Paul now illustrates from the Jewish system, where partaking of the sacrifices rendered all adherents of the common altar.

Israel after the flesh—in distinction from Israel after the spirit.

Note Romans 9:8.

Partakers of the altar—If the altar be an idolatrous one, the partaker is an idolater; if it be an altar of Jehovah, then he acknowledges Jehovah. Such may not be the intention of the partaker, but such is the established and public import of the act.


Verse 19

19. What say I then?What is the import, then, of what I am now saying? Do I attribute any real existence to the imaginary gods and demigods represented by the idol, as Jupiter, Venus, Apollo? Or that the sacrifice is any thing more than a fiction?


Verse 20

20. ButOn the contrary, what I say is that, etc.

Devils—Demons. Note on Luke 10:17. Our translators should never have confounded devil and demon. In pagan mythology a demon was intermediate between gods and men. One class were supposed to be the spirits of dead men, either good or evil, according to their character in life. Another class were beings of supernatural origin, somewhat like the angels. They might be good, like the demon which Socrates claimed to be his supernatural monitor; and it is singular to note how wonderfully many of the attributes of the Pythian Apollo prefigured Christ! They might be evil, as held by the wisest philosophers, and send diseases and pestilences to men and animals, and supply temptations to wrong.

In the Septuagint the word demon is used to designate, generally, an evil supernatural spirit, or whatever evil living reality there was to appropriate the service of pagan worshippers. So Psalms 96:5. All the gods of the pagans are demons; Deuteronomy 32:17, they sacrificed unto demons, and not unto God. It is clear from 1 Corinthians 10:22 that the apostle has this passage in mind. Josephus uses the word demons to denote the surviving spirits of wicked dead men, who often possess the living, and are to be expelled by exorcisms and fumigations.

In the New Testament the word is always used in a bad sense. There is but one Satan, one devil, and his angels, (Matthew 25:41,) and his angels are doubtless identical with the demons. There is no intimation in Scripture that they are the surviving spirits of the wicked dead. Wherever in our translation the plural word devils is used, the Greek is demons. Paul denies that there is any real god or goddess in paganism, but Satan’s spiritual emissaries may so impersonate those imaginary beings as to appropriate the honours of the worship, and keep the worshippers in paganism. Notes on Mark 5:2, and Acts 16:16; Acts 16:18.

Not to God—They belong to the idolatrous and infernal, and antagonize the true religion and the true God.

I would not—And this would not, he shows next verse, involves a cannot.


Verse 21

21. Cannot—Ye can do one or the other; but ye cannot do both. It is a cannot arising from the incompatibility of the two things. It was the contrariety of the kingdoms of light and of darkness, and the apostle solemnly warns them to beware on which side they stand.

Cup of the Lord—The Jehovah of the Old Testament, who was at war with all idolatries, the Christ of the New Testament, who is establishing the kingdom of light on earth.

Cup of devils—This refers to the festal cup at the pagan sacrifices, from which the libations were poured forth, symbolizing the treating the god with wine. “Wherefore,” says Eneas in Virgil, “come forth, O youths, and in honour of so much excellence, wreath your foreheads, bring forth the cups, invoke the common deity, and present your wines.” Whatsoever Jew drank of these cups or ate the meats was denounced as an apostate.

Lord’s table—The Rhemish (Romanistic) commentator makes here a desperate effort to show that St. Paul sustains the doctrine that in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper there is a living victim, Christ, repeatedly and literally sacrificed upon an altar. His opponent, Dr. Fulke, very truly replied that neither the word victim, sacrifice, or altar is once used. The Christian holy sacrament is simply selected as the opposite image to the heathen sacrificial feasts, to present strongly the contrast by which the Christian is forbidden to be sharer in the other.

Doubtless as being the successor of, and substitute for, the sacrifices of the old covenant to figure one real sacrifice, once and for evermore offered, the sacrament may be viewed as a symbolic sacrifice. It sustains the same relation that baptism does to circumcision, and that our Sunday holy-day does to the Jewish sabbath. Hence very beautifully did the Council of Ephesus say, “We celebrate in the Churches the un-bloody service of the sacrifice.” And here, as the Council by the word “un-bloody” recognises that the wine is no literal blood, so it follows that the sacrifice is of no literal victim.


Verse 22

22. Provoke the Lord—As we have above intimated, St. Paul has in mind Deuteronomy 32:17-26, and this is an allusion to 1 Corinthians 10:21.

Stronger than he—So as to meet all the threatenings of Deuteronomy 32:21-26.


Verse 23

23. All thingsAll natural gratifications are, in their proper kind and degree, lawful. See note on 1 Corinthians 6:12-13.

But—This primitive all has its limitations.

Not expedient—And so, being unprofitable and injurious, may thereby become unlawful. And now he proceeds to lay down some of the moral expediences and prudences by which the eating of meats must be regulated.


Verse 24

24. His own—Advantage or gratification.

Another’s—Regulating your practice, not solely by your own convenience, but for another’s spiritual safety. And he proceeds now to specify how this is to be done.


Verse 25

25. Whatsoever is sold—The meats of idol sacrifices were often exposed to sale in the shambles, especially by the priests, when they had on hand a surplus above their own consumption. To the Christian this was intrinsically as lawful as any other meat.

Shambles—Not markets, nor buildings; but meat stalls in the market. In view of this lawfulness, therefore, without any questions for conscience’ sake, even if well knowing that a pagan priest had just exposed it for sale, the believer might purchase and eat.


Verse 26

26. The Lord’s—This meat is like any thing else in the Lord’s earth made for man’s use so far as it is usable.

Fulness—All with which the earth is filled. The passage is quoted from Psalms 24:1. It was used by the Jews in their thanksgiving before meal. It probably formed part of the eucharistic blessing, and indicates that the meat so eaten was consistent with the sacramental communion.


Verse 27

27. If—St. Paul has thus far stated the rule for the market; now comes the rule for the table.

Bid… feast—A Christian is invited by a pagan friend, not to a temple banquet, but to a feast at the latter’s residence.

Disposed to go—Though a pagan, he may still be a dear friend, and Christianity requires not that the innocent tie be broken.


Verse 28

28. Any man—The word idols, in the remark of this any man, being contemptuous, shows that it is not uttered by the host or any other pagan. Nor is it uttered by a Jew, since such never ate with Gentiles. It is, therefore, from some fellow-Christian, who hesitates not to attend a pagan’s feast, but is scrupulous to pick out and reject all idolatrous meats. This brother is weak; but your example of eating may either lead him to be unscrupulous and low in his Christian life, or to condemn the religion that keeps not (as he thinks) its followers unspotted from idolatry.

His sake— As he is in danger.

Conscience sake—Which is ever a most sacred thing.


Verse 29

29. Of the other—St. Paul is here particular to reiterate that it is not his conscience that weakly objects, but the inquirer’s; and that it is by his conscience you must avoid being condemned.

Judged—Condemned. The meaning, then, is: For why incur by my license a condemnation from my fellow-Christian’s conscience? It must be a doubtful, perhaps a reckless, use of my liberty, which is indulged in disregard of his judgment. Better offend against a man’s tastes, or his wishes, or even his temporal interests, than so transgress against his conscience as to endanger his soul.

Not thine own—When you yield external compliance you do not yield also the secret convictions of your own conscience. The conscientious principle you still hold in your own heart, that the eating is not unlawful, in the expectation that when superstition and prejudice have passed away the truth will predominate.

Of the other—Externally, you spare his conscience; internally, you retain your own.

My liberty—Which is judged and approved by my own conscience.

Judged—So as to displace my own decision.

Of another man’s conscience—The unalienable rights of the individual conscience, the private judgment of every man, is here conclusively maintained against all usurpers, whether priests, popes, or potentates. No other man’s conscience can be for me a substitute for my own. St. Paul would have, in delicate regard for his neighbour’s conscience, avoided eating meat in his presence, but nothing could have compelled him to declare that the eating of it was intrinsically a sin.


Verse 30

30. For—In enforcement of this view of the rights of his own conscience.

By grace—And, therefore, rightfully.

Give thanks—In a devout and conscientious spirit.

Why… evil spoken of—For I act in accordance with my own moral and religious nature.

We have given what we think to be clearly the sense of 1 Corinthians 10:28-30. But there are several other interpretations, of which we need notice but two.

1. That maintained by Stanley and others, which makes the two verses to be the objection of others, perhaps contained in the Corinthian letter, to Paul’s doctrine of compliance with the weak brother’s scruples on the ground that it is consenting to be judged by another’s conscience. The view is plausible, but it is not easy to see that the following verse (1 Corinthians 10:31) aims to be any reply to such an objection. On the contrary, the therefore seems to imply a conclusion drawn in accordance with 1 Corinthians 10:29-30.

2. The view of Alford, after Meyer, which makes 1 Corinthians 10:29 mean: For why incur by my license a condemnation from my fellow-Christian’s conscience? It makes 1 Corinthians 10:30 also say that I must not induce my good procedure to be evil spoken of. Such an interpretation accords well with the train of thought. But it cannot easily be forced upon 1 Corinthians 10:30, for that verse is clearly the utterance of one who is sure he is right, and therein ought not to be maligned by another.


Verse 31

31. Therefore—As a concluding rule from the whole of 1 Corinthians 10:23-30.

Eat, or drink—At feasts or elsewhere.

Glory of God—As a servant of God, willing ever to bring honour to his law and name.

This does not require that in every motion or deed we make God’s glory a distinct object of thought. It requires that we should plan and order our whole life in accordance with God’s law, and with the gospel of his Son. This supreme purpose should control the whole scheme, and be so carried out that our life, in whole and in all its parts, should be a lesson to men, inspiring them to glorify our Father which is in heaven.


Verse 32

32. None offence—No scandal.

Jews—The apostle ever avoided offence to his kinsmen after the flesh.

Gentiles—Crossing none of their prejudices where God’s law does not require it.

Church of God—Endeavouring to maintain its purity and peace by purity and peace on his own part.


Verse 33

33. Please all—That is, in purpose and effort, whether with successful result or not.

Be saved—His compliances and subserviences were neither for flattery nor self-interest, but for the eternal good of his fellow-beings. In this direction he was the most complying of men; in all others the most independent. In all these things he would have the Corinthians, according to the first verse of the next chapter, (where see note,) his followers.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-10.html. 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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