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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - 1 CORINTHIANS 10

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    10:1 {For} (gar). Correct text, not de. Paul appeals to the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness in confirmation of his statement concerning himself in #9:26f. and as a powerful warning to the Corinthians who may be tempted to flirt with the idolatrous practices of their neighbors. It is a real, not an imaginary peril. {All under the cloud} (pantes hupo ten nefelen). They all marched under the pillar of cloud by day (#Ex 13:21; 14:19) which covered the host (#Nu 14:14; Ps 95:39). this mystic cloud was the symbol of the presence of the Lord with the people.

    10:2 {Were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea} (pantes eis ton mwusen ebaptisanto en tei nefelei kai en tei qalassei). The picture is plain enough. The mystic cloud covered the people while the sea rose in walls on each side of them as they marched across. B K L P read ebaptisanto (causative first aorist middle, got themselves baptized) while Aleph A C D have ebaptisqesan (first aorist passive, were baptized). The immersion was complete for all of them in the sea around them and the cloud over them. Moses was their leader qen as Christ is now and so Paul uses eis concerning the relation of the Israelites to Moses as he does of our baptism in relation to Christ (#Ga 3:27).

    10:3 {The same spiritual meat} (to auto pneumatikon brwma). Westcott and Hort needlessly bracket to auto. brwma is food, not just flesh. The reference is to the manna (#Ex 16:13ff.) which is termed "spiritual" by reason of its supernatural character. Jesus called himself the true bread from heaven (#Joh 6:35) which the manna typified.

    10:4 {For they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them} (epinon ek pneumatikes akolouqouses petras). Change to the imperfect epinon shows their continual access to the supernatural source of supply. The Israelites were blessed by the water from the rock that Moses smote at Rephidim (#Ex 17:6) and at Kadesh (#Nu 20:11) and by the well of Beer (#Nu 21:16). The rabbis had a legend that the water actually followed the Israelites for forty years, in one form a fragment of rock fifteen feet high that followed the people and gushed out water. Baur and some other scholars think that Paul adopts this "Rabbinical legend that the water-bearing Rephidim rock journeyed onwards with the Israelites" (Findlay). That is hard to believe, though it is quite possible that Paul alludes to this fancy and gives it a spiritual turn as a type of Christ in allegorical fashion. Paul knew the views of the rabbis and made use of allegory on occasion (#Ga 4:24). {And the rock was Christ} (he petra de en ho cristos). He definitely states here in symbolic form the preexistence of Christ. But surely "we must not disgrace Paul by making him say that the pre-incarnate Christ followed the march of Israel in the shape of a lump of rock" (Hofmann). He does mean that Christ was the source of the water which saved the Israelites from perishing (Robertson and Plummer) as he is the source of supply for us today.

    10:5 {With most of them} (en tois pleiosin autwn). "A mournful understatement," for only two (Caleb and Joshua) actually reached the Promised Land (#Nu 14:30-32). All the rest were rejected or adokimoi (#9:27). {Were overthrown} (katestrwqesan). First aorist passive indicative of katastrwnnumi, old compound verb, to stretch or spread down as of a couch, to lay low (Euripides), as if by a hurricane. Powerful picture of the desolation wrought by the years of disobedience and wanderings in the desert by this verb quoted from #Nu 14:16.

    10:6 {Were our examples} (tupoi hemwn egeneqesan). More exactly, examples for us (objective genitive hemwn, not subjective genitive, of us). The word tupoi (our types) comes from tuptw, to strike, and meant originally the mark of a blow as the print of the nails (#Joh 20:25), qen a figure formed by a blow like images of the gods (#Ac 7:43), qen an example to be imitated (#1Pe 5:3; 1Ti 4:12; 1Th 1:7; 2Th 3:9), or to be avoided as here, and finally a type in a doctrinal sense (#Ro 5:14; Heb 9:24). {To the intent we should not lust after} (eis to me einai hemas epiqumetas). Purpose expressed by eis with the articular infinitive to einai and the accusative of general reference with epiqumetas (lusters) in the predicate.

    10:7 {Neither be ye idolaters} (mede eidwlolatrai ginesqe). Literally, stop becoming idolaters, implying that some of them had already begun to be. The word eidwlolatres seems to be a Christian formation to describe the Christian view. Eating ta eidwloquta might become a stepping-stone to idolatry in some instances. {Drink} (pein). Short form for piein, sometimes even pin occurs (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 204). {To play} (paizein). this old verb to play like a child occurs nowhere else in the N.T., but is common in the LXX and it is quoted here from #Ex 32:6. In idolatrous festivals like that witnessed by Moses when he saw the people singing and dancing around the golden calf (#Ex 32:18f.).

    10:8 {Neither let us commit fornication} (mede porneuwmen). More exactly, And let us cease practicing fornication as some were already doing (#1Co 6:11; 7:2). The connection between idolatry and fornication was very close (see Jowett, _Epistles of Paul_, II, p. 70) and see about Baal-Peor (#Nu 25:1-9). It was terribly true of Corinth where prostitution was part of the worship of Aphrodite. {In one day} (miai hemerai). An item that adds to horror of the plague in #Nu 25:9 where the total number is 24,000 instead of 23,000 as here for one day.

    10:9 {Neither let us tempt the Lord} (mede ekpeirazwmen ton kurion). So the best MSS. instead of Christ. this compound occurs in LXX and in N.T. always about Christ (here and #Mt 4:7; Lu 4:12; 10:25). Let us cease sorely (ek-) tempting the Lord by such conduct. {And perished by the serpents} (kai hupo twn ofewn apwllunto). Vivid imperfect middle (cf. aorist middle apwlonto in verse #10), were perishing day by day. The story is told in #Nu 21:6. The use of hupo for agent with the intransitive middle of apollumi is regular. Note the Ionic uncontracted genitive plural ofewn rather than ofwn.

    10:10 {Neither murmur ye} (mede gogguzete). Implying that some of them were murmuring. For this late picturesque onomatopoetic verb see on ¯Mt 20:11. The reference seems to be to #Nu 16:41f. after the punishment of Korah. {By the destroyer} (hupo tou oloqreutou). this word, from oloqreuw (late verb from oleqros, destruction) occurs only here, so far as known. The reference is to the destroying angel of #Ex 12:23 (ho oloqreuwn).

    10:11 {Now these things happened unto them} (tauta de sunebainon ekeinois). Imperfect tense because they happened from time to time. {By way of example} (tupikws). Adverb in sense of tupoi in verse #6. Only instance of the adverb except in ecclesiastical writers after this time, but adjective tupikos occurs in a late papyrus. {For our admonition} (pros nouqesian hemwn). Objective genitive (hemwn) again. nouqesia is late word from nouqetew (see on ¯Ac 20:31; 1Th 5:12,14) for earlier nouqetesis and nouqetia. {The ends of the ages have come} (ta tele twn aiwnwn katenteken). Cf. #Heb 9:26 he sunteleia twn aiwnwn, the consummation of the ages (also #Mt 13:40). The plural seems to point out how one stage succeeds another in the drama of human history. katenteken is perfect active indicative of katantaw, late verb, to come down to (see on ¯Ac 16:1). Does Paul refer to the second coming of Christ as in #7:26? In a sense the ends of the ages like a curtain have come down to all of us.

    10:12 {Lest he fall} (me pesei). Negative purpose with me and second aorist active subjunctive of piptw.

    10:13 {Hath taken} (eilefen). Perfect active indicative of lambanw. {But such as man can bear} (ei me anqrwpinos). Except a human one. Old adjective meaning falling to the lot of man. {Above that ye are able} (huper ho dunasqe). Ellipsis, but plain. There is comfort in that God is faithful, trustworthy (pistos). {The way of escape} (ten ekbasin). "The way out" is always there right along with (sun) the temptation. this old word only here in N.T. and #Heb 13:7 about death. It is cowardly to yield to temptation and distrustful of God.

    10:14 {Wherefore} (dioper). Powerfully Paul applies the example of the Israelites to the perilous state of the Corinthians about idolatry. See on verse ¯7 for word eidwlolatreia.

    10:15 {As to wise men} (hws fronimois). No sarcasm as in #2Co 11:19, but plea that they make proper use of the mind (fren) given them.

    10:16 {The cup of blessing} (to poterion tes eulogias). The cup over which we pronounce a blessing as by Christ at the institution of the ordinance. {A communion of the blood of Christ} (koinwnia tou haimatos tou cristou). Literally, a participation in (objective genitive) the blood of Christ. The word koinwnia is an old one from koinwnos, partner, and so here and #Php 2:1; 3:10. It can mean also fellowship (#Ga 2:9) or contribution (#2Co 8:4; Php 1:5). It is, of course, a spiritual participation in the blood of Christ which is symbolized by the cup. Same meaning for koinwnia in reference to "the body of Christ." {The bread which we break} (ton arton hon klwmen). The loaf. Inverse attraction of the antecedent (arton) to the case (accusative) of the relative (hon) according to classic idiom (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 488). artos probably from arw, to join or fit (flour mixed with water and baked). The mention of the cup here before the bread does not mean that this order was observed for see the regular order of bread and qen cup in #11:24-27.

    10:17 {One bread} (heis artos). One loaf. {Who are many} (hoi polloi). The many. {We all} (hoi pantes). We the all, the whole number, hoi pantes being in apposition with the subject {we} (hemeis unexpressed). {Partake} (metecomen). Have a part with or in, share in. See on ¯9:12; Heb 2:14; 5:13 (partaking of milk). {Of the one bread} (tou henos artou). Of the one loaf, the article tou referring to one loaf already mentioned. {One body} (hen swma). Here the mystical spiritual body of Christ as in #12:12f., the spiritual kingdom or church of which Christ is head (#Col 1:18; Eph 5:23).

    10:18 {After the flesh} (kata sarka). The literal Israel, the Jewish people, not the spiritual Israel (israel kata pneuma) composed of both Jews and Gentiles, the true children of faith (#Ro 2:28; 9:8; Gal 3:7). {Communion with the altar} (koinwnoi tou qusiasteriou). Same idea in koinwnoi participators in, partners in, sharers in (with objective genitive). The word qusiasterion is from late verb qusiazw, to offer sacrifice, and that from qusia, sacrifice, and that from quw, common verb to slay, to sacrifice (verse #20). The Israelites who offer sacrifices have a spiritual participation in the altar.

    10:19 {A thing sacrificed to idols} (eidwloquton). See on ¯Ac 15:29; 1Co 8:1,4. {idol} (eidwlon). Image of a god. See on ¯Ac 7:41; 15:20; 1Co 8:4,7.

    10:20 {But I say that} (all' hoti). The verb femi (I say) must be repeated from verse #19 before hoti. {To demons, and not to God} (daimoniois kai ou qewi). Referring to LXX text of #De 32:17. It is probable that by ou qewi Paul means "to a no-god" as also in #De 32:21 ep' ouk eqnei (by a no-people). this is Paul's reply to the heathen who claimed that they worshipped the gods represented by the images and not the mere wood or stone or metal idols. The word daimonia is an adjective daimonios from daimwn, an inferior deity, and with same idea originally, once in this sense in N.T. (#Ac 17:18). Elsewhere in N.T. it has the notion of evil spirits as here, those spiritual forces of wickedness (#Eph 6:12) that are under the control of Satan. The word daimonia, so common in the Gospels, occurs in Paul's writings only here and #1Ti 4:1. Demonology is a deep and dark subject here pictured by Paul as the explanation of heathenism which is a departure from God (#Ro 1:19-23) and a substitute for the worship of God. It is a terrible indictment which is justified by the lascivious worship associated with paganism qen and now.

    10:21 {Ye cannot} (ou dunasqe). Morally impossible to drink the Lord's cup and the cup of demons, to partake of the Lord's table and the table of demons. {Of the table of the Lord} (trapezes kuriou). No articles, but definite idea. trapeza is from tetra (four) and peza (a foot), four-footed. Here {table} means, as often, what is on the table. See #Lu 22:30 where Jesus says "at my table" (epi tes trapezes mou), referring to the spiritual feast hereafter. Here the reference is plainly to the Lord's Supper (Kuriakon deipnon, #1Co 11:20). See allusions in O.T. to use of the table in heathen idol feasts (#Isa 65:11; Jer 7:18; Eze 16:18f.; 23:41). The altar of burnt-offering is called the table of the Lord in #Mal 1:7 (Vincent).

    10:22 {Provoke to jealousy} (parazeloumen). The very word used in #De 32:21 of the insolence of the old Israelites. Quoted in #Ro 10:19. Such double-dealing now will do this very thing. {Stronger than he} (iscuroteroi autou). Comparative adjective followed by the ablative.

    10:23 See on ¯6:12 for {lawful} (exestin) and {expedient} (sumferei). {Edify not} (ouk oikodomei). Build up. Explanation of {expedient} (sumferei).

    10:24 {Let no man seek his own} (medeis to heautou zeteitw). this is Paul's rule for social relations (#1Co 13:5; Ga 6:2; Ro 14:7; 15:2; Php 2:1ff.) and is the way to do what is expedient and what builds up. {His neighbor's good} (to tou heterou). Literally, "the affair of the other man." Cf. ton heteron in #Ro 13:8 for this idea of heteros like ho plesion (the nigh man, the neighbor) in #Ro 15:2. this is loving your neighbor as yourself by preferring your neighbor's welfare to your own (#Php 2:4).

    10:25 {In the shambles} (en makellwi). Only here in N.T. A transliterated Latin word _macellum_, possibly akin to maceria and the Hebrew word for enclosure, though occurring in Ionic and Laconian and more frequent in the Latin. It occurs in Dio Cassius and Plutarch and in the papyri and inscriptions for "the provision market." Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, p. 276) says: "In the Macellum at Pompeii we can imagine to ourselves the poor Christians buying their modest pound of meat in the Corinthian Macellum (#1Co 10:25), with the same life-like reality with which the Diocletian maximum tariff called up the picture of the Galilean woman purchasing her five sparrows." {Asking no questions for conscience sake} (meden anakrinontes dia ten suneidesin). As to whether a particular piece of meat had been offered to idols before put in the market. Only a part was consumed in the sacrifices to heathen gods. The rest was sold in the market. Do not be over-scrupulous. Paul here champions liberty in the matter as he had done in #8:4.

    10:26 this verse gives the reason for Paul's advice. It is a quotation from #Ps 24:1 and was a common form of grace before meals. {Fulness} (plerwma). Old word from plerow, to fill, here that with which a thing is filled, whatever fills the earth.

    10:27 {Biddeth you} (kalei humas). To a general banquet, but not to a temple feast (#8:10) which is prohibited. If a pagan invites Christians to their homes to a banquet, one is to act like a gentleman.

    10:28 {But if any man say unto you} (ean de tis humin eipei). Condition of third class. Suppose at such a banquet a "weak" brother makes the point to you: " this hath been offered in sacrifice" (touto hieroquton estin). hieroquton, late word in Plutarch, rare in inscriptions and papyri, only here in N.T. {Eat not} (me esqiete). Present imperative with me prohibiting the habit of eating qen. Pertinent illustration to the point of doing what is expedient and edifying. {That shewed it} (ton menusanta). First aorist active articular participle (accusative case because of dia) from menuw, old verb, to point out, to disclose. See #Lu 20:37.

    10:29 {For why is my liberty judged by another conscience?} (hina ti gar he eleuqeria mou krinetai hupo alles suneidesews;). Supply genetai (deliberative subjunctive) after ti. Paul deftly puts himself in the place of the strong brother at such a banquet who is expected to conform his conscience to that of the weak brother who makes the point about a particular piece of meat. It is an abridgment of one's personal liberty in the interest of the weak brother. Two individualities clash. The only reason is love which builds up (#8:2 and all of chapter #1Co 13). There is this eternal collision between the forces of progress and reaction. If they work together, they must consider the welfare of each other.

    10:30 Paul carries on the supposed objective to his principle of love. Why incur the risk of being evil spoken of (blasfemoumai) for the sake of maintaining one's liberty? Is it worth it? See #Ro 14:6 where Paul justifies the conscience of one who eats the meat and of one who does not. Saying grace over food that one should not eat seems inconsistent. We have this very word _blaspheme_ in English.

    10:31 {To the glory of God} (eis doxan qeou). this is the ruling motive in the Christian's life, not just having his own way about whims and preferences.

    10:32 {Give no occasion of stumbling} (aproskopoi). Late word and in papyri, only three times in N.T. (here; #Php 1:10; Ac 24:16). See on ¯Acts 24:16. Here in active sense, not tripping others by being a stumbling-block, as in Sirach 32:21, but passive in #Ac 24:16.

    10:33 {Mine own profit} (to emoutou sumferon). Old word from sumferw, to bear together, and explains use of verb in verse #23. {That they may be saved} (hina s"th"sin). First aorist passive subjunctive of swzw, to save, with hina purpose clause with same high motive as in #9:22. this is the ruling passion of Paul in his dealings with men.

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