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1: Now - That ye may not become reprobates, consider how
highly favoured your fathers were, who were God's elect and
peculiar people, and nevertheless were rejected by him. They
were all under the cloud - That eminent token of God's gracious
presence, which screened them from the heat of the sun by day,
and gave them light by night. And all passed through the sea
- God opening a way through the midst of the waters.(Ex 13:21,14:22)
2: And were all, as it were, baptized unto Moses
- initiated into the religion which he taught them. In the
cloud and in the sea - Perhaps sprinkled here and there with
drops of water from the sea or the cloud, by which baptism
might be the more evidently signified.
3: And all ate the same manna, termed spiritual meat,
as it was typical,
- Of Christ and his spiritual benefits:
- Of the sacred bread which we eat at his table.
4: And all drank the same spiritual drink - Typical of
Christ, and of that cup which we drink. For they drank out of
the spiritual or mysterious rock, the wonderful streams of
which followed them in their several journeyings, for many
years, through the wilderness. And that rock was a manifest
type of Christ - The Rock of Eternity, from whom his people
derive those streams of blessings which follow them through
all this wilderness.(Ex 17:6).
5: Yet - Although they had so many tokens of the divine
presence. They were overthrown - With the most terrible marks
of his displeasure.
6: Now these things were our examples - Showing what we
are to expect if, enjoying the like benefits, we commit the
like sins. The benefits are set down in the same order as by
Moses in Exodus; the sins and punishments in a different
order; evil desire first, as being the foundation of all;
next, idolatry, (1Co 10:7),14; then fornication, which usually
accompanied it, (1Co 10:8); the tempting and murmuring against
God, in the following verses. As they desired - Flesh, in
contempt of manna.(Nu 11:4)
7: Neither be ye idolaters - And so, "neither murmur ye,"(1Co 10:10). The other cautions are given in the first person;
but these in the second. And with what exquisite propriety does
he vary the person! It would have been improper to say,
Neither let us be idolaters; for he was himself in no danger
of idolatry; nor probably of murmuring against Christ, or the
divine providence. To play - That is, to dance, in honour of
their idol.(Ex 32:6).
8: And fell in one day three and twenty thousand - Beside
the princes who were afterwards hanged, and those whom the
judges slew so that there died in all four and twenty
9: Neither let us tempt Christ - By our unbelief. St.
Paul enumerates five benefits, (1Co 10:1-4); of which the
fourth and fifth were closely connected together; and five
sins, the fourth and fifth of which were likewise closely
connected. In speaking of the fifth benefit, he expressly
mentions Christ; and in speaking of the fourth sin, he shows
it was committed against Christ. As some of them tempted him
- This sin of the people was peculiarly against Christ; for
when they had so long drank of that rock, yet they murmured
for want of water.(Nu 21:4), &c
10: The destroyer - The destroying angel.(Nu 14:1,36)
11: On whom the ends of the ages are come - The expression
has great force. All things meet together, and come to a
crisis, under the last, the gospel, dispensation; both
benefits and dangers, punishments and rewards. It remains,
that Christ come as an avenger and judge. And even these ends
include various periods, succeeding each other.
12: The common translation runs, Let him that thinketh
he standeth; but the word translated thinketh, most certainly
strengthens, rather than weakens, the sense.
13: Common to man - Or, as the Greek word imports,
proportioned to human strength. God is faithful - In giving the
help which he hath promised. And he will with the temptation
- Provide for your deliverance.
14: Flee from idolatry - And from all approaches to it.
16: The cup which we bless - By setting it apart to a
sacred use, and solemnly invoking the blessing of God upon it.
Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ - The means of
our partaking of those invaluable benefits, which are the
purchase of the blood of Christ. The communion of the body of
Christ - The means of our partaking of those benefits which were
purchased by the body of Christ - offered for us.
17: For it is this communion which makes us all one. We
being many are yet, as it were, but different parts of one and
the same broken bread, which we receive to unite us in one body.
18: Consider Israel after the flesh - Christians are the
spiritual "Israel of God." Are not they who eat of the
sacrifices partakers of the altar - Is not this an act of
communion with that God to whom they are offered? And is not
the case the same with those who eat of the sacrifices which
have been offered to idols?
19: What say I then - Do I in saying this allow that an
idol is anything divine? I aver, on the contrary, that what
the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils. Such in
reality are the gods of the heathens; and with such only can
you hold communion in those sacrifices.
21: Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of
devils - You cannot have communion with both.
22: Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy - By thus caressing
his rivals? Are we stronger than he - Are we able to resist, or
to bear his wrath?
23: Supposing this were lawful in itself, yet it is not
expedient, it is not edifying to my neighbour.
24: His own only, but another's welfare also.
25: The apostle now applies this principle to the point
in question. Asking no questions - Whether it has been
sacrificed or not.
26: For God, who is the Creator, Proprietor, and
Disposer of the earth and all that is therein, hath given the
produce of it to the children of men, to be used without
28: For his sake that showed thee, and for conscience'
sake - That is, for the sake of his weak conscience, lest it
should be wounded.
29: Conscience I say, not thy own - I speak of his
conscience, not thine. For why is my liberty judged by
another's conscience - Another's conscience is not the standard
of mine, nor is another's persuasion the measure of my
30: If I by grace am a partaker - If I thankfully use the
common blessings of God.
31: Therefore - To close the present point with a
general rule, applicable not only in this, but in all
cases, Whatsoever ye do - In all things whatsoever, whether
of a religious or civil nature, in all the common, as well
as sacred, actions of life, keep the glory of God in view,
and steadily pursue in all this one end of your being, the
planting or advancing the vital knowledge and love of God,
first in your own soul, then in all mankind.
32: Give no offence - If, and as far as, it is possible.
33: Even as I, as much as lieth in me, please all men.