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12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
7 Rom. 14. 21.
Verse 4. "Eating of those things...offered...unto idols."-It could not be unlawful in itself to eat what had been offered to idols; for the consecration of flesh or of wine to an idol did not make it the property of the idol; an idol being in fact a nonentity, and incapable of property. This is the doctrine of the apostle, who therefore allows the Corinthians to eat freely whatever was sold in the shambles, without being careful to ascertain whether it had been offered to idols or not. In case, however, "a weak brother" should call their attention to the circumstance, that the meat before them had been thus offered, they were, for his sake, to abstain. The Corinthians, however, had carried their ideas of liberty much further than this; being probably led away by their spirit of opposition to the Jewish Christians, who were disposed, according to their old notions, to abstain most scrupulously from the idol sacrifices, and deemed it their duty to ascertain that nothing of which they partook had been offered to an idol. But the Gentile converts, being taught that the eating of such food was a matter of indifference, and knowing that "an idol was nothing," chose to understand that all the circumstances which might be connected with such eating, were also matters of indifference. Therefore they thought it lawful to visit the heathen temples, which were frequently places of riot and debauchery, and to partake of the offerings, amidst the praises which were sung to the heathen gods. "This," as Michaelis observes, "was an actual participation of the idolatry; and such persons were of course considered by the heathen as having joined in their worship. St. Paul therefore judged it necessary to warn the Corinthians against idolatry, which he has done especially in 1 Cor. x. 7, 2; 2 Cor. vi. 14-17. Whether an act be a religious test or not depends on the circumstances and place of its performance. If I eat a wafer in my room, it signifies nothing: but if I eat it before a Romish altar, I avow myself a member of the church of Rome." It will be observed that in this note we have adverted not merely to the contents of this chapter, but to all which the apostle has said on the subject in his epistles to the Corinthians.
1 He sheweth his liberty, 7 and that the minister ought to live by the Gospel: 15 yet that himself hath of his own accord abstained, 18 to be either chargeable unto them, 22 or offensive unto any, in matters indifferent. 24 Our life is like unto a
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? 'have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.
3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,
4 Have we not power to eat and to drink?
5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a 'wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?
7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of
8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
9 For it is written in the law of Moses, "Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
13 Wherefore, 'if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is
1 Chap. 15. 8. 2 Or, woman. 3 Deut. 25. 4.
14 Even so hath the Lord ordained "that they which preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.
15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.
16 For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!
17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the Gospel is committed unto me.
18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the Gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the Gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet
• Or, feed.
Rom. 15. 27.
7 Gal. 6, 6. 1 Tim. 5. 17.
5 Num. 18, 20, Deut. 10, 9. and 18. 1.
Verse 1. "Am I not an apostle?"-It seems that St. Paul's apostolical authority had been questioned by the Judairing Christians at Corinth; and in proof of this, they had referred to certain disagreements between his practice and that of the other apostles, which they adduced as implying his own consciousness that he was not invested with the same powers which they possessed. In answer to this, Paul first asserts his full apostolical authority, and his equal right with them to all that which they claimed, but which he, from considerations of expediency, had declined. He then adduces instances in which, from such considerations, he had waived the exercise of his apostolical right; particularly that, although fully entitled to have his wants provided for by the church in which he laboured, he had, for the sake of independence, and to preclude the suspicion of interested motives, chosen rather to earn his own living by the labour of his hands. This is the general scope of the chapter.
7. "Who goeth a warfare...at his own charges?"—In times more ancient, it had not been customary for soldiers to receive pay from the public; the people, or a certain class of the people, being liable to be called out as occasion arose, and to serve at their own expense. This had been originally the Roman custom also; but at this time the Roman soldiers had long been in the habit of receiving pay from the public; as always happens when the military service becomes a profession. Consequently, the Roman empire scarcely at this time afforded an example of a soldier going a warfare at his own charges. Even those kings, ethnarchs, and tetrarchs, whom the Romans permitted to hold sovereignty, seem generally to have adopted the custom of paying the troops in their service. Thus, John the Baptist counselled the soldiers of Herod the tetrarch, to be "contented with their wages."
“Eateth not of the fruit thereof.”—This alludes to the custom for the tenant of a vineyard to pay a produce-rent tə the owner.
"Eateth not of the milk."-The Oriental shepherd is generally paid not in money, but by being allowed a part of the milk of the flock which he tends, and a certain proportion of the lambs which it produces while under his care. The proportion varies with circumstances; every tenth lamb is not unusual.
24. “Run in a race."-Here follow some beautiful allusions to the Isthmian Games, which, as already mentioned, were celebrated on the isthmus which connected the Morea with the continent, and near which the city Corinth stood. The Isthmian were the third of the four sacred games celebrated in Greece; the others being the Olympic, the Pythian, and the Nemaan. They were celebrated every third year, in the summer. They consisted of racing, wrestling, leaping, boxing, and quoiting; nor were music and poetry, or whatever was rare and costly in nature or art, wanting to aggrandize the spectacle. The illustrations of the apostle are taken almost exclusively from the stadium, or foot-race; the course for which was 300 cubits long.
"They... run all, but one receiveth the prize."-In the other games there were several prizes of different value, but in the race there was but one prize for the victor.
"So run, that ye may obtain."-This probably refers to the necessity of adherence to the rules by which the race was regulated. The path which the racers were to keep was marked out by white lines or by posts; and he who trespassed beyond these lines, diverging from the path which they marked out, lost the prize, even though he were the first to reach the goal. Indeed, if, as some state, the course was bounded on one side by the river Alpheus, and on the other was kept by men with drawn swords, a greater danger was involved, in any deviation, than the mere loss of the
25. “Is temperate in all things."-This refers to the severe previous training which those underwent who intended to compete for the prize at the Isthmian Games. This training lasted twelve months, during which, under an experienced teacher of the gymnastic arts, all the wants of nature, and all sensual indulgence, was under the most strict regulation. Their eating, drinking, walking, and sleeping were determined, as to time and quantity, by rule; and they were constantly exercised in those arts the prizes for which they intended to contest. Raphelius and others have pointed out the illustration which the following passage in Epictetus offers:-"Would you be a victor in the Olympic games? So, in good truth, would I; for it is a glorious thing. But pray consider what must go before, and what must follow, and so proceed in the attempt. You must then live by rule, eat what will be disagreeable, and refrain from delicacies: you must oblige yourself to constant exercise, at the appointed hour, in heat and cold; you must abstain from wine and cold liquors: in a word, you must be as submissive to all the directions of your master as to those of a physician." (Enchirid.' c. 35.)
"They do it to obtain a corruptible crown."-The immediate reward of the victor in these games, was a garland of leaves, which faded and perished soon. The victor's garland in the Isthmian Games was of pine-leaves; in the Olympic Games, of wild olive; in the Pythian, of laurel; and in the Nemaan, of parsley. It is true that there were, besides this, some important emoluments and privileges, which rewarded the victor in the games; but the "corruptible crown was the immediate and sensible reward of the victor, and probably was at the time more thought of than any
ulterior benefits, since it gave the right to them all, and covered the person who wore it with honour and distinction in the eyes of assembled Greece.
26. “Run, not as uncertainly.”—The third note on verse 24 explains this.
"Fight."-The metaphor here is changed from running to boxing. The apostle, in saying that he does not fight "as one that beateth the air," possibly alludes to the preliminary exercises of those who intended to engage in the pugilistic contests. In order to acquire the proper dexterity and firmness of muscle, it was customary for them to exercise themselves with the gauntlet, and to fling their arms about as if they were engaged with an actual combatant. This was called beating the air; and came to be a proverbial expression applied to those who missed their aim in the actual conflict; which seems to be the thing here intended by the apostle.
27. "I keep under my body," &c.—This is a continuation of the pugilistic metaphor, and is opposed to the uncertain beating of the air just mentioned. The word (roi) rendered "I keep under," means to strike on the face, and particularly on that part under the eyes, hence to strike under the eye, that being the part especially aimed at by the combatants. The word also is ofen used to signify a livid tumour on that part, and is sometimes proverbially employed to denote a face terribly bruised and disfigured, as the face of a boxer usually is when he comes from the combat.
"Bring it into subjection.”—This is thought by Hammond and others to allude to the practice of the wrestlers, in securing the victory by giving their opponent a fall. The connection of the two allusions, this to wrestling and the preceding to boxing, is the more obvious when it is understood that one of the games combined both sorts of play. There is an allusion which connects them as closely in Aristotle (Rhet.' l. i. c. 5); "He who can oppress and get down his adversary is called good at wrestling; he who can smite him down with his fist, an able boxer; but he that can do both is the pancratiasta."
6 Now these things were 'our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, "The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and 10fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and "were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and "were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto
them for "ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
Exod. 17. 6. Num. 20. 11.
1 Exod. 13. 21. Num. 9. 18. 2 Exod. 14. 22. 3 Exod. 16. 15.
33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 18 Or, thanksgiving. 19 Col. 3. 17. 20 2 Cor. 6. 3.
1 He reproveth them, because in holy assemblies 4 their men prayed with their heads covered, and 6 women with their heads uncovered, 17 and because generally their meetings were not for the better but for the worse, as 21 namely in profaning with their own feasts the Lord's supper. 23 Lastly, he calleth them to the first institution thereof.
21 Gr. Greeks
1 Deut. 10. 14. Psal. 24. 1. 17 Deut. 10. 14. Psal. 24. 1. CHAP. X.-The general design of this chapter appears to be to impress upon the Corinthians that they carried their ideas of Christian liberty to a dangerous extent, when they joined idolaters in the feasts held in the idol temples upon the sacrifices which had been offered there; since they could not do this without at least seeming to be idolaters themselves. This he illustrates by a reference to the idea of communion involved in the act of eating and drinking, in the Lord's Supper on the one hand, and in a participation of the sacrifices of the Jewish altar on the other; showing by these instances that to join in a feast considered sacred was considered the act of an adherent to that system under which it took place, and with which it was connected. Such being the scope of this chapter, its contents may be com prehended in the general illustration which has been given in the note to ch. viii.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the 'ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
Verse 16. "The cup of blessing.”—This, as we have already shown, was the name which the Jews gave to the final cup of wine at the Paschal feast.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the "Gentiles, nor to the Church of God:
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for
Y Ephes. 5. 23. 3 Gen. 1 26. • Gen. 2. 23,
1 Or, traditione,
a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
Il Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be 'divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
20 When ye come together therefore into one place, 'this is not to eat the Lord's supper.
21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the Church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
24 "And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is body, which is broken for you: this do remembrance of me.
7 Or, schisms.
8 Or, sects. 9 Or, ye cannot eat. 12 Or, for a remembrance.
25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.
26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, "ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
GREEK WORSHIPPING WITH THE HEAD UNCOVERED.
27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh "damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
10 Or, them that are poor. 11 Matt. 26. 26 Mark 14. 22. Luke 22. 19 13 Or, shew ye. 14 Or, judgment. 15 Or, judgment.
34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto "condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
JEW WORSHIPPING WITH THE HEAD COVERED.