|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:23-33 There were cases wherein Christians might eat what had been offered to idols, without sin. Such as when the flesh was sold in the market as common food, for the priest to whom it had been given. But a Christian must not merely consider what is lawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others. Christianity by no means forbids the common offices of kindness, or allows uncourteous behaviour to any, however they may differ from us in religious sentiments or practices. But this is not to be understood of religious festivals, partaking in idolatrous worship. According to this advice of the apostle, Christians should take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others, or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all we do, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us where express rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.
Verse 25. - Whatsoever is sold. By this practical rule of common sense he protects the weak Christian from being daily worried by over scrupulosity. If a Christian merely bought his meat in the open market, no one could suspect him of meaning thereby to connive at or show favour to idolatry. It would, therefore, be needless for him to entertain fantastic scruples about a matter purely indifferent. The fact of its forming part of an idol offering made no intrinsic difference in the food. Shambles; rather food market. Asking no question for conscience sake. Do not trouble your conscience by scruples arising from needless investigation (ἀνακρίνων) about the food.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles,.... the word rendered "shambles", here used, is a Latin word, and is made use of by Latin writers in the same sense as here, for a place where food was sold (i). The original of the name is said (k) to be this; one Macellus, a very wicked and profane man, being for his robberies and filthy life condemned to die, a place was built in his house by Aemylius and Fulvius, censors, for selling of provisions, and which from his name was called "Macellum". The Syriac version retains the word here, and so do the Talmudists, and Rabbins (l) frequently; who say (m),
"Nylwqm, the "shambles", and the butchers of Israel, though flesh of them is found in the hand of a stranger, it is free:''
into these places the priests sent to be sold what was offered to their idols, which they could not dispense with themselves, or thought not lawful to make use of; for the Egyptians, as Herodotus says (n), used to cut off the heads of their beasts that were sacrificed, and carry them into the market and sell them to the Greeks, and if there were no buyers they cast them into the river. Now the apostle allows, that such meat that was sold in the shambles might be bought and eat of, but not in an idol's temple; there was a difference between an idol's temple, and eating things sacrificed to idols there, and buying them in shambles or meat market, and eating them at home:
that eat; buy, carry home, dress and eat, in your own houses:
asking no question; whether it was sacrificed to idols, or not:
for conscience sake; either a man's own, which may be hurt, wounded, and defiled, by eating contrary to it, should he know that what he eats had been offered to an idol; whereas if he asks no questions, and knows nothing of the matter, his conscience will not be afflicted: or else another man's that may stand by whilst the meat is bought, and sold; and who hearing questions asked and answered, and yet observes the meat, though sacrificed to idols, dressed and ate by the buyer, his conscience being weak, may be offended and grieved.
(i) Vid. Suet. Vita Jul. Caesar, c. 43. & Tiber. Nero, c. 34. (k) Alex. ab Alex Genial Diet. l. 3. c. 23. (l) T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 76. 2. T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 29. 2. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 75. 3.((m) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 95. 1.((n) L. 2. c. 39.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. shambles—butchers' stalls; the flesh market.
asking no question—whether it has been offered to an idol or not.
for conscience' sake—If on asking you should hear it had been offered to idols, a scruple would arise in your conscience which was needless, and never would have arisen had you asked no questions.
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