1 Corinthians 10:11
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.
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(11) Happened unto them for ensamples.—Better, happened unto them typically; and it was written for our admonition. The verb “happened” is plural, referring to the multiplied occurrences which the Apostle has just mentioned; but “written” is singular, referring to the sacred record in which the historical facts are handed down. The Apostle does not state that the purpose which God had in view in allowing these sins and judgments was that they might serve “for ensamples” for after-generations, as may at first sight seem to be the meaning of the English, but the real point of the passage is—These things which occurred to them are to be looked upon by us, not merely as interesting historical events, but as having a typical significance. Their record remains as a standing warning that great privileges may be enjoyed by many, and used by them to their destruction. The temporal blessings of the Jewish nation foreshadow the greater spiritual blessings of the Christian Church.

The ends of the world.—Better, the ends of the ages (Matthew 13:39).

1 Corinthians 10:11-13. Now all these things — These various calamitous events; happened unto them for ensamples — That we might learn wisdom at their expense, and not trust to external privileges, while we go on in a course of disobedience to the divine authority. The apostle’s meaning is, that punishment inflicted on sinners in a public and extraordinary manner, makes them examples of the divine vengeance to their own generation, and to all succeeding ones which have any knowledge of their history. And they are written for our admonition — To warn us Christians; upon whom the ends of the world — Or, of the ages; των αιωνων, are come — That is, at the end of the Mosaic dispensation, whose duration was measured by ages or jubilees. Or it may signify the last dispensation of religion, namely, that of the gospel, which succeeded the patriarchal and the Jewish. 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. And under it Christ will come as an avenger and a judge. Wherefore — As if he had said, Seeing that so many who enjoyed great spiritual privileges, yet were punished for their sins, therefore let him that thinketh he standeth — Or rather, that most assuredly standeth, (for the word δοκει, rendered thinketh, most certainly strengthens, rather than weakens the sense,) or is confident that he is able to resist temptation, and to continue steadfast in the practice of his duty; and that, thereupon, he shall be secure from punishment; take heed lest he fall — Into sin and perdition. There hath no temptation Πειρασμος, trial, of any kind, whether by way of suffering, as the word means, James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; and in many other places; or of inducement to sin, as the expression signifies, James 1:13-14; but such as is common to man — Usual and ordinary among men: or, as the Greek word more especially imports, proportioned to human strength. At the time the apostle wrote this, the Christians at Corinth had not been much persecuted; see chap. 1 Corinthians 4:8. But — Or and; God is faithful — To his promise, and therefore will not suffer you to be tempted — Or tried; above that ye are able — Through the strength which he imparts, to endure the trial, and stand in the evil day; but will, with the temptation — By which he suffers you to be assaulted; make a way to escape — Greek, την εκβασιν, a passage out — That is, will provide for your deliverance; that — If you be not wanting to yourselves; you may be able to bear it — Yea, and may acquire new strength by, and comfort from the combat.

10:6-14 Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, therefore should be checked in their first rise. Let us fear the sins of Israel, if we would shun their plagues. And it is but just to fear, that such as tempt Christ, will be left by him in the power of the old serpent. Murmuring against God's disposals and commands, greatly provokes him. Nothing in Scripture is written in vain; and it is our wisdom and duty to learn from it. Others have fallen, and so may we. The Christian's security against sin is distrust of himself. God has not promised to keep us from falling, if we do not look to ourselves. To this word of caution, a word of comfort is added. Others have the like burdens, and the like temptations: what they bear up under, and break through, we may also. God is wise as well as faithful, and will make our burdens according to our strength. He knows what we can bear. He will make a way to escape; he will deliver either from the trial itself, or at least the mischief of it. We have full encouragement to flee from sin, and to be faithful to God. We cannot fall by temptation, if we cleave fast to him. Whether the world smiles or frowns, it is an enemy; but believers shall be strengthened to overcome it, with all its terrors and enticements. The fear of the Lord, put into their hearts, will be the great means of safety.For ensamples - Greek: "types" (τύποι tupoi). The same word which is used in 1 Corinthians 10:6. This verse is a repetition of the admonition contained in that verse, in order to impress it more deeply on the memory; see the note at 1 Corinthians 10:6. The sense is, not that these things took place simply and solely to be examples, or admonitions, but that their occurrence illustrated great principles of human nature and of the divine government; they showed the weakness of men, and their liability to fall into sin, and their need of the divine protection, and they might thus be used for the admonition of succeeding generations.

They are written for our admonition - They are recorded in the writings of Moses, in order that we and all others might be admonished not to confide in our own strength. The admonition did not pertain merely to the Corinthians, but had an equal applicability to Christians in all ages of the world.

Upon whom the ends of the world are come - This expression is equivalent to that which so often occurs in the Scriptures, as, "the last time," "the latter day," etc.; see it fully explained in the notes on Acts 2:17. It means the last dispensation; or, that period and mode of the divine administration under which the affairs of the world would be wound up. There would be no mode of administration beyond that of the gospel. But it by no means denotes necessarily that the continuance of this period called "the last times," and "the ends of the world" would be brief, or that the apostle believed that the world would soon come to an end. It might be the last period, and yet be longer than any one previous period, or than all the previous periods put together. There may be a last dynasty in an empire, and yet it may be longer than any previous dynasty, or than all the previous dynasties put together. The apostle Paul was at special pains in 2 Thessalonians 2 to show, that by affirming that the last time had come, he did not mean that the world would soon come to an end.

11. Now … these things … ensamples—resuming the thread of 1Co 10:6. The oldest manuscripts read, "by way of example."

the ends of the world—literally, "of the ages"; the New Testament dispensation in its successive phases (plural, "ends") being the winding up of all former "ages." No new dispensation shall appear till Christ comes as Avenger and Judge; till then the "ends," being many, include various successive periods (compare Heb 9:26). As we live in the last dispensation, which is the consummation of all that went before, our responsibilities are the greater; and the greater is the guilt, Paul implies, to the Corinthians, which they incur if they fall short of their privileges.

Now all these things happened to them for ensamples; all these dispensations of Divine providence in the revelations of Divine wrath against several sorts of sinners, happened to the Jews, who were God’s first and ancient people, and enjoyed those great privileges which were before mentioned, not only as just punishments upon them for their sins, but as examples or types, to let the succeeding world know what they should find God towards such kind of sinners.

And they are written for our admonition; and God in his wise providence hath ordered the record of them in holy writ, that others who should live afterward might read, and hear, and fear, and take warning, and beware of such wicked actions, as pulled down such vengeance upon a people, than which none can plead a nearer relation to God, or the receiving of greater favours and privileges from him.

Upon whom the ends of the world are come: the apostles ordinarily in their epistles speak of the world as nigh to an end in their age, though it hath since continued more than sixteen hundred years; which would incline one to think, that they thought it would have been at an end before this time, but had no such revelation from God. So true is that of our Saviour, that of that day and hour knoweth no man; and it should teach us to beware of too particular determinations in the case, which the apostles did not make, though they spake of theirs as the last times, and themselves as such upon whom the ends of the world were come.

Now all these things happened unto them,.... All these punishments came upon them in various ways, not by chance, but by the will of God, and as their sins deserved:

and were for ensamples; to others, to their future posterity, and to the churches of God in all ages:

and they are written for our admonition; that men in a church state particularly may take warning, by these instances of their sin and punishment, to avoid the one and escape the other, and not presume upon their external privileges and favours:

upon whom the ends of the world are come; "or in whom the ends of ages are met"; for the apostle does not mean this material visible world, the universe and all things in it, which has continued, since the writing of this, about two thousand years: but the Jewish ages, or times of the Mosaic economy, which begun when these instances of sin and punishment were, and which now in the times of the apostles were at an end; everything in those periods that were figurative and emblematical, having their fulfilling end and accomplishment, and also were now abrogated: likewise the ages or times of Gentile darkness and ignorance may be intended, which now were come to an end, through the light of the Gospel, and the power of God attending the ministration of it; and hence the ends both of the Jewish and Gentile ages may be said to come upon, or meet in the apostles and their times, who had the advantage of looking back on former ones, and of receiving instruction from thence.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the {k} ends of the world are come.

(k) This our age is called the end, for it is the culmination of all the ages.

1 Corinthians 10:11. Ταῦτα] These facts, referred to in 1 Corinthians 10:6 ff.

τυπικῶς] in a typical fashion,[1612] in such a way that, as they fell out, a typical character, a predictive reference, impressed itself upon them. Eisenmenger (II. p. 159 f., 264, 801) gives passages from the Rabbins in support of the principle of the interconnection of the whole theocratic history: “Quicquid evenit patribus, signum filiis,”—a principle generally correct according to the idea of the θειὰ μοῖρα. It is only among the Fathers that we find τυπικός and τυπικῶς used anywhere else in this sense (it is otherwise in Plutarch, Mor. p. 442 C).

συνέβαινον] brings out the progressive development of the events; the aorist ἐγράφη simply states the fact. Comp on 1 Corinthians 10:4, and Matthiae, p. 1117. The δέ contrasts ἐγράφη κ.τ.λ[1614] with what precedes it, expressing “quod novum quid accedit, oppositionem quandam,” Hermann, a[1615] Viger. p. 845: “that it was written, again, was for,” etc.

πρὸς νουθεσίαν ἡμῶν] for our admonition (comp on 1 Corinthians 4:14). That is to say, when we are tempted to the same sins, then should the thought of those facts that happened ΤΥΠΙΚῶς, warn us not to bring down upon ourselves like judgments by like offences. As to the later form, ΝΟΥΘΕΣΊΑ in place of ΝΟΥΘΈΤΗΣΙς and ΝΟΥΘΕΤΊΑ, see Lobeck, a[1617] Phryn. p. 512.

ΕἸς ΟὛς Κ.Τ.Λ[1618]] is not opposed, as Hofmann would have it, to the beginning of Israel’s history, to which the transactions in question belong, which is neither conveyed by the text nor in itself historically correct (for the beginning of that history lies in the days of the patriarchs); but it gives point to the warning by reminding the readers how nigh at hand the day was of retributive decision. Τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων is identical with ἡ συντέλεια τῶν αἰώνων, Hebrews 9:26, the concrete τὰ τέλη (the ends) being put here for the abstract συντέλεια (consummation). In other words, upon the supposition of the Parousia being close at hand, the last times of the world were now come; the αἰῶνες, which had their commencement at its beginning, were now running out their final course. The plural expression τὰ τέλη, here used, corresponds to the conception of a plurality of periods in the world’s history, whose common consummation should carry with it the final issues of them all.[1619] With the Parousia the αἰῶνες ἐπερχόμενοι (see on Ephesians 2:7) begin to run. What is implied by the plural is not one thing running alongside of another, in particular, not the time of Israel and the time of the Gentiles (Hofmann), but the succession of the world-periods, one coming after another. So always, where αἰῶνες occurs in a temporal sense.

κατήντηκεν] They have reached to us, i.e. have fallen upon our lifetime, and are now here. The αἰῶνες are conceived of as stretching themselves out, as it were, in space. Comp 1 Corinthians 14:36.

[1612] The Recepta τύποι would mean: These things happened to them as types; comp. ver. 6. Hofmann takes ταῦτα δὲ τύποι as an independent clause. But what an arbitrary disruption of the sentence this would be! And how thoroughly self-evident and void of significance the συνέβαινον ἐκείνοις would in that case be!

[1614] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1615] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1617] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1618] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1619] Weiss, in his bibl. Theol. p. 301, gives a different interpretation, making τὰ τέλη the goals. Each of the past αἰῶνες, according to his view, served as a preparation for the time of full maturity. But Paul always uses τέλος in the sense of end (in 1 Timothy 1:5 it is otherwise); and this, too, is the most natural meaning here, where he is speaking of the lapse of periods of time. The thought is the same as in πλήρωμα τῶν καιρῶν, Ephesians 1:9 f.

1 Corinthians 10:11. “Now these things befel them by way of example” “(τυπικῶς)—or “typically,” “prefiguratively,” if the other rendering of τύποι in 1 Corinthians 10:6 be preferred (“in figura contingebant illis,” Vg[1454]); the adv[1455] became current in the latter sense in eccl[1456] Gr[1457] The judgments quoted were exemplary in their nature; the story of them serves as a lesson for all time—“they were written with a view to (πρὸς) our admonition”.—συνέβαινον, impf., of the train of events; ἐγράφη, aor[1458], of the act of record summing them up. For the admonitory purpose of O.T. writers, see Isaiah 8:16; Isaiah 30:8 ff., Habakkuk 2:2 f., Deuteronomy 31:19 ff.—“Unto whom the ends of the ages have reached” (κατήντηκεν, devenerunt, Vg[1459])—“whom they have overtaken”. καταντάω signifies reaching a mark, “arriving at” a definite point, whether the ultimate goal or not (see parls.). τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων is syn[1460] with ἡ συντέλεια τ. αἰώνων (Matthew 13:40, etc.) and other eschatological expressions (cf. 1 Peter 1:20, Hebrews 1:2; also Galatians 4:4, Ephesians 1:10); the pl[1461] indicates the manifold issues culminating in the Christian Church. “World-ages” (αἰῶνες) do not simply follow each other, but proceed side by side; so in particular the age of Israel and that of the Gentiles” (Hf[1462]); “the ends” of Jewish and Pagan history alike are disclosed in Christianity; both streams converged, under God’s direction (cf. Acts 15:15 ff; Acts 17:26 ff.), upon the Gentile Churches (τέλος has the double sense of conclusion and aim). The Church is the heir of the spiritual training of mankind; cf., for the general idea, John 4:37 f., 2 Timothy 3:16 f., Galatians 3:29, Ephesians 1:9 ff.

[1454] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1455] adverb

[1456] ecclesiastical.

[1457] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

aorist tense.

[1459] Latin Vulgate Translation.

[1460] synonym, synonymous.

[1461] plural.

[1462] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

11. ensamples] Here, as in 1 Corinthians 10:6, the word in the original is types, or perhaps with some editors we should read ‘typically.’ See note on 1 Corinthians 10:6.

1 Corinthians 10:11. Πάντα, all things) He resumes what he said, 1 Corinthians 10:6, and in this recapitulation adds, all things, which stands in apposition with ensamples.—[87] τύποι) ensamples.—ἐκείνοις, to them) construed with happened.—ἐγράφη, were written) The use of the Old Testament Scripture is in the fullest force in the New Testament. It was not written out in the beginning [but subsequently: for the edification of us in the ends of the world].—τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνωΝ, the ends of the ages) οἱ αἰῶνες, all things, even former ages; ΤᾺ ΤΈΛΗ, in the New Testament, comp. Romans 10:4. The plural has great force. All things meet together, and are coming to their height: benefits and dangers, punishments and rewards; comp. the following verse. All that now remains is that Christ should come, as the avenger and judge; and until that happens, these ends, being many, include various periods succeeding each other.—ΚΑΤΉΝΤΗΣΕΝ, have come upon) as it were unexpectedly. He does not say, we, who have come upon the ends. The same word occurs, 1 Corinthians 14:36.

[87] The Germ. Ver. shows on the margin of the 2d Ed. the reading τυπικῶς raised from the mark ε to the mark γ.—E. B.

Lachm. reads τυπικῶς, with ABC Orig. 1, 170; 536f; 4, 8e; fg Vulg. Iren. (“in figura”), Hilary (in præformationem). Tisch. reads τύποι, with D(Λ)G Memph., Theb., later Syr. (Syr. has in exemplum nostrum).—ED.

Verse 11. - For ensamples; literally, by way of figure; typically. The rabbis said, "Whatever happened to the fathers is a sign to their children." The thought is the same as in Romans 15:4, "Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning." The example in this instance would come home more forcibly from the sickness and mortality then prevalent among the Corinthian Christians (1 Corinthians 11:30). The ends of the world; rather, of the egos. The expression is in accordance with the view which regarded the then epoch as "the close or consummation of the ages" (Matthew 13:39; 1 Peter 4:7, "The end of all things is at hand;" 1 John 2:18, "It is the last time;" Hebrews 9:26; Matthew 13:39). 1 Corinthians 10:11Happened (συνέβαινον)

The imperfect tense marks the successive unfolding of the events.

For ensamples (τύποι)

The best texts read τυπικῶς by way of figure.

Admonition (νουθεσίαν)

See on the kindred verb to warn, Acts 20:31.

Ends of the world (τὰ τέλη τῶν αἰώνων)

Lit., ends of the ages. So Rev. Synonymous with ἡ συντέλεια τῶν αἰώνων the consummation of the ages, Hebrews 9:26. The phrase assumes that Christ's second coming is close at hand, and therefore the end of the world. Ellicott acutely remarks that the plural, ends, marks a little more distinctly the idea of each age of preparation having passed into the age that succeeded it, so that now all the ends of the ages have come down to them.

Are come (κατήντηκεν)

See on Acts 26:7. Compare Ephesians 4:13; Philippians 3:11.

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