1 Corinthians 10:13
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.
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(13) There hath no temptation taken you.—What is meant by a “temptation common to man” (or rather, suited to man) is explained further on as a temptation which one is “able to bear.” From the warning and exhortation of the previous verse the Apostle passes on to words of encouragement, “You need not be hopeless or despairing.” God permits the temptation by allowing the circumstances which create temptation to arise, but He takes care that no Fate bars the path of retreat. With each temptation he makes a way to escape from it. And that is so, must be so, because God is faithful. The state of salvation to which God has called us would be a delusion if there were an insuperable difficulty to our continuing in it. We have in this verse, perhaps, the most practical and therefore the clearest exposition to be found of the doctrine of free-will in relation to God’s overruling power. God makes an open road, but then man himself must walk in it. God controls circumstances, but man uses them. That is where his responsibility lies.

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.There hath no temptation taken you - What temptation the apostle refers to here is not quite certain. It is probable, however, that he refers to such as would, in their circumstances, have a tendency to induce them to forsake their allegiance to their Lord, and to lead them into idolatry and sin. These might be either open persecutions, or afflictions on account of their religion; or they might be the various allurements which were spread around them from the prevalence of idolatry. They might be the open attacks of their enemies, or the sneers and the derision of the frivilous and the great. The design of the apostle evidently is, to show them that, if they were faithful, they had nothing to fear from any such forms of temptation, but that God was able to bring them through them all. The sentiment in the verse is a very important one, since the general principle here stated is as applicable to Christians now as it was to the Corinthians.

Taken you - Seized upon you, or assailed you. As when an enemy grasps us, and attempts to hold us fast.

But such as is common to man - εἰ μὴ ἀνθρώπινος ei mē anthrōpinos. Such as is "human." Margin, "Moderate." The sense is evident. It means such as human nature is liable to, and has been often subjected to; such as the human powers, under the divine aid may be able to resist and repel. The temptations which they had been subjected to were not such as would be suited to angelic powers, and such as would require angelic strength to resist; but they were such as human nature had been often subjected to, and such as man had often contended with successfully. There is, therefore, here a recognition of the doctrine that man has natural ability to resist all the temptations to which he is subject; and that consequently, if he yields, he is answerable for it. The "design" of the apostle is to comfort the Corinthians, and to keep their minds from despondency. He had portrayed their danger; he had shown them how others had fallen; and they might be led to suppose that in such circumstances they could not be secure. He therefore tells them that they might still be safe, for their temptations were such as human nature had often been subject to, and God was able to keep them from falling.

But God is faithful - This was the only source of security; and this was enough. If they looked only to themselves, they would fall. If they depended on the faithfulness of God, they would be secure. The sense is, not that God would keep them without any effort of their own; not that he would secure them if they plunged into temptation; but that if they used the proper means, if they resisted temptation, and sought his aid, and depended on his promises, then he would be faithful. This is everywhere implied in the Scriptures; and to depend on the faithfulness of God, otherwise than in the proper use of means and in avoiding the places of temptation, is to tempt him, and provoke him to wrath; see the notes on Matthew 4.

Who will not suffer you to be tempted ... - This is a general promise, just as applicable to all Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It implies:

(1) That all the circumstances, causes, and agents that lead to temptation are under the control of God. Every man that tempts another; every fallen spirit that is engaged in this; every book, picture, place of amusement; every charm of music, and of song; every piece of indecent statuary; and every plan of business, of gain or ambition, are all under the control of God. He can check them; he can control them; he can paralyze their influence; he can destroy them; compare Matthew 6:13.

(2) when people are tempted, it is because God suffers or permits it. He Himself does not tempt human beings James 1:13; He does not infuse evil thoughts into the mind; He does not create an object of temptation to place in our way, but He suffers it to be placed there by others. When we are tempted, therefore, we are to remember that it is because He allows or permits it; not because He does it. His agency is that of sufferance, not of creation. We are to remember, too, that there is some good reason why it is thus permitted; and that it may be turned in some way to his glory, and to our advancement in virtue.

(3) there is a certain extent to which we are able to resist temptation. There is a limit to our power. There is a point beyond which we are not able to resist it. We do not have the strength of angels.

(4) that limit will, in all cases, be beyond the point to which we are tempted. If not, there would be no sin in falling, anymore than there is sin in the oak when it is prostrated before the tempest.

(5) if people fall into sin, under the power of temptation, they only are to blame. They have strength to resist all the temptations that assail them, and God has given the assurance that no temptation shall occur which they shall not be able, by His aid, to resist. In all instances, therefore, where people fall into sin; in all the yielding to passion, to allurement, and to vice, man is to blame, and must be responsible to God. And this is especially true of Christians, who, whatever may be said of others, cannot plead that there was not power sufficient to meet the temptation, or to turn aside its power.

But will with the temptation ... - He will, at the same time that He allows the trial or temptation to befall us, make a way of deliverance; He will save us from being entirely overcome by it.

That ye may be able to bear it - Or that you may be able to bear up under it, or endure it. God knows what His people are able to endure, and as He has entire control of all that can affect them, He will adapt all trials to their strength, and will enable them to bear all that is appointed to them. This is a general promise, and is as applicable to other Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It was to them a positive promise, and to all in the same circumstances it may be regarded as such now. It may be used, therefore:

(1) As a ground of encouragement to those who are in temptation and trial. God knows what they are able to endure; and he will sustain them in their temptations. It matters not how severe the trial; or how long it may be continued; or how much they may feel their own feebleness; yet He who has appointed the trial is abundantly able to uphold them. They may, therefore, repose their all upon Him, and trust to His sustaining grace.

(2) it may be used as an argument, that none who are true Christians, and who are thus tried, shall ever fall away, and be lost. The promise is positive and certain, that a way shall be made for their escape, and they shall be able to bear it. God is faithful to them; and though he might suffer them to be tempted beyond what they are able to bear, yet He will not, but will secure an egress from all their trials. With this promise in view, how can it be believed that any true Christians who are tempted will be suffered to fall away and perish? If they do, it must be from one of the following causes; either because God is not faithful; or because He will permit them to be tempted above what they are able to bear; or because He will not make a way for their escape. Since no Christian can believe either of these, it follows that they who are converted shall be kept unto salvation.

13. Consolation to them, under their temptation; it is none but such as is "common to man," or "such as man can bear," "adapted to man's powers of endurance" [Wahl].

faithful—(Ps 125:3; Isa 27:3, 8; Re 3:10). "God is faithful" to the covenant which He made with you in calling you (1Th 5:24). To be led into temptation is distinct from running into it, which would be "tempting God" (1Co 10:9; Mt 4:7).

way to escape—(Jer 29:11; 2Pe 2:9). The Greek is, "the way of escape"; the appropriate way of escape in each particular temptation; not an immediate escape, but one in due time, after patience has had her perfect work (Jas 1:2-4, 12). He "makes" the way of escape simultaneously with the temptation which His providence permissively arranges for His people.

to bear it—Greek, "to bear up under it," or "against it." Not, He will take it away (2Co 12:7-9).

There hath no temptation taken you: temptation (as hath been said before) signifieth in the general notion of it no more than trials, and is often so used in holy writ. Now, in regard we are tried either by afflictive providences, or by motions made to us, either from God, or our own lusts, or the devil, or men of the world; temptations, in Scripture, sometimes signify afflictions, as Jam 1:2 1 Peter 1:6; sometimes, motions made to us by God, Genesis 22:1,2; both which sorts of temptations are good in themselves. Sometimes the term signifies motions made by the lusts and unrenewed part of our own souls, or by the devil, or by sinful men in the world; these are sinful temptations, and what we most ordinarily call by that name. Whether the apostle here means all or some of these, cannot certainly be determined; what he saith is true of all, and therefore that is the safest interpretation of the term in this place. Though he had not been before speaking indeed of afflictive temptations, he had before affrighted them with minding them of the possibility of their falling, though they did stand, or thought they stood, and cautioned them to take heed: here he comforteth them, by minding them, that no temptation had befallen them, but what was incident and common to man, anthrwpinov, and they could not expect to be freed from the common fate of mankind: then he minds them, that that God who had promised strength and assistance to his people, Matthew 7:11 Luke 11:13 2 Corinthians 1:18 1 Thessalonians 5:4 2 Thessalonians 3:3, was one that would be as good as his word, being

faithful, and would not suffer them to be tempted above their strength, and ability to oppose and resist; yea, and would

make a way to escape, both the evil of the temptation, that it should not overbear them to a total ruin of their souls, and likewise the burdensome and afflictive evil, that it should not continually lie upon them, provided they used their just endeavours, and (as he had said before) took heed lest they fell.

There hath no temptation taken you,.... Some, indeed, understand these words by way of reproof, that whereas their trials and exercises which had attended them were very light ones, and comparatively trivial; and yet they had given way to these temptations, and had sunk under them, and fallen by them, for which they were greatly to be blamed; or as threatening them with something more severe than anything as yet had befallen them, signifying that though they had as yet stood, and thought they still should; yet they ought not to presume on their own strength, or depend on outward things; since the temptations that as yet had come upon them were such as men might easily bear; there was no great trial or experiment of their grace and strength by them; they had not yet resisted unto blood; there were heavier and severer trials they might expect; and therefore should not be too secure in themselves, but take heed lest when these things should come upon them, in such a time of great temptation, they should fall away: but I rather think the words are spoken by way of comfort to the saints; intimating that as no temptation or affliction had befallen them, so none should, but what either came from men, or was common to men, or which men by divine assistance, and under divine influence, might bear; and therefore should not distress themselves with the apprehensions of it, as if it was some strange or unusual thing, and as if they must unavoidably perish and be destroyed by it:

but such as is common to man: "or is humane". There are divine temptations, or such as come from God; God may be said to tempt his people, as he did Abraham, by enjoining them things very hard and disagreeable to nature; and by afflicting them either in body or estate; and by withdrawing his presence, and withholding the communications of his grace, to try their faith, show them their weakness and need of himself. There are also diabolical temptations, or such as come from Satan; who tempts by soliciting to sin, by suggesting blasphemous thoughts, and filling with doubts and fears; and by dissuading from the use of means, as attending at the throne of grace, and on the word and ordinances: but the apostle here speaks of human temptations, such as come from men; meaning reproaches and persecutions, for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; and which are temptations or trials of grace, as of faith and patience, and under which there is great danger of falling away: now when the apostle says that none but such temptations had befallen them, he does not mean that they had been, or were, or would be entirely free from other temptations; but that those which they mostly dreaded, and were in danger by, were but human, such as came from men, and were, as our version suggests, common to Christian men, their brethren, who were in the flesh as they, and might be endured by men, strengthened by the grace of God; wherefore they had nothing to fear from hence, especially when they considered the faithfulness, care, and power of God next observed:

but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: no man can be tempted, afflicted, or persecuted by men, but by a divine permission, and that voluntary; nor more than, or above that measure which God hath determined; who proportions the affliction to the strength he determines and promises to give, and does give, and the strength of his people to the temptation or affliction he suffers to befall them; for which his faithfulness is engaged, having promised that as their day is, their strength shall be; that he will never leave them nor forsake them, and that he will bear, and carry, and save them unto the uttermost, and that they shall hold on and out unto the end:

but will with the temptation make a way to escape; for as he by his permission makes way for the temptation or affliction, which otherwise could not come; and as he knows how, in what manner, and at the best time, to deliver his people out of temptations; so he does and will, in his providence, open a way that they may escape out of them, at least so as not to be overpressed and destroyed by them:

that ye may be able to bear it; for God does not always think fit to remove at once an affliction or temptation, though at the earnest request of his people, as in the case of Paul, 2 Corinthians 12:7 yet he gives them grace sufficient to endure and stand up under it, yea, to get the victory of it, to be more that conquerors, and triumph over it.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to {l} man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also {m} make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

(l) Which comes from weakness.

(m) He that would have you tempted for your profit's sake, will make a way for you to escape out of the temptation.

1 Corinthians 10:13. Encouragement to this βλεπέτω μὴ πέσῃ. “Your temptations, as you know, have not hitherto gone beyond your strength, neither will they, through the faithfulness of God, do so in the future.” Rückert follows Chrysostom, Theodoret, Theophylact, Grotius, Bengel, Zachariae, and others, in his interpretation: “You are not yet out of danger; the temptations which have hitherto assailed you were only human ones, and you have not withstood them over well(?); there may come others greater and more grievous.” Similarly Olshausen, de Wette, Osiander, Neander, Ewald; so that, according to this view, Paul seeks first of all to humble, and then, from πιστός onwards, to encourage,—a connecting thought, however, being interpolated between the two clauses (“sed nunc major tentatio imminet,” Bengel).

πειρασμός] The context makes no special mention of sufferings and persecutions (Chrysostom, Theodoret, Camerarius, Grotius, Ewald, al[1624]), but of incitements to sin in general, as things which, if not overcome, instead of being a discipline to the man exposed to them, will bring about his πίπτειν; but suffering is included among the rest in virtue of the moral dangers which it involves. Pott restricts the reference too much (comp also Hofmann): “tentatio quae per invitationem ad convivia ilia vobis accidit,” which is inadmissible in view of the general terms employed in 1 Corinthians 10:12; the particular application follows only in 1 Corinthians 10:14.

εἴληφεν] marks the continuance of the fact of its not having taken them. It has not done so, and does not now. This use of λαμβάνειν, in reference to fortunes, states, etc., which seize upon men, is very common in the classics (Thuc. ii. 42; Pind. Ol. i. 130; Xen. Symp. i. 15, and often in Homer). Comp Luke 5:26; Luke 7:16; Wis 11:12; Bar 6:5.

ἀνθρώπινος] i.e. viribus humanis accommodatus, οὐχ ὑπὲρ ὃ δύναται ἄνθρωπος. See Pollux, iii. 131. The fact that in the second clause of the verse this phrase has ὑπὲρ ὃ δύνασθε and τοῦ δύνασθαι ὑπενεγκεῖν corresponding to it, militates against the rendering: “not of superhuman origin” (comp Plato, Alc. i. p. 103 A; Phaedr. p. 259 D; Rep. p. 497 C, 492 E), i.e. either not from the devil (Melanchthon, Piscator, Vorstius, al[1628]), or not from God (Olshausen, who finds an allusion in the second clause to the dolores Messiae). Comp οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνη κακία, Polyb. i. 67. 6, and the like; Plato, Prot. p. 344 C, Crat. p. 438 C; οὐκ ἀνθρωπίνης δυνάμεως, Thuc. vi. 78. 2; ὅσα ἄνθρωποι (sc[1630] δύνανται), Plato, Rep. p. 467 C; μεῖζον ἢ κατʼ ἄνθρωπον, Soph. Oed. Col. 604. Chrysostom: ἀνθρώπινος, τουτέστι μικρὸς, βραχὺς, σύμμετρος.

πιστός] for if He allowed them to be tempted beyond their powers, He would then be unfaithful to them as regards His having called them to the Messianic salvation, which now, in the case supposed, it would be impossible for them to reach.

ὅς] in the sense of ὅτι οὗτος, like the German “er der.” Comp Bernhardy, p. 291. Ὅσγε would be still more emphatic.

ὃ δύνασθε] what you are in a position to bear. The context shows the more special meaning. Comp on 1 Corinthians 3:2.

ἀλλὰ ποιήσει κ.τ.λ[1633]] but will with the (then existing) temptation make also the issue, i.e. not the one without the other. God is therefore conceived of here as He who makes the temptation, i.e. brings about the circumstances and situations which give rise to it (comp on Matthew 6:13), but, previously, as He who lets men be tempted. The two things, according to Paul’s view of the divine agency in the world, are in substance the same; the God who allows the thing to be is He also who brings it to pass. Hence the two modes of conception may be used interchangeably, as here, without contradiction. Comp on Romans 1:24.

Τ. ἜΚΒΑΣΙΝ] the issue (egressum, Wis 2:17; Wis 8:9; Wis 11:16; Hom. Od. v. 410; Xen. Anab. iv. 1. 20, iv. 2. 1; Polyb. iv. 64. 5) from the temptation, so that one escapes out of it morally free (comp ἘΚ ΠΕΙΡΑΣΜΟῦ ῬΎΕΣΘΑΙ, 2 Peter 2:9); similarly Eur. Med. 279, ἔκβασις ἄτης. Theophylact gives the sense with substantial correctness, ΤῊΝ ἈΠΑΛΛΑΓῊΝ ΤΟῦ ΠΕΙΡΑΣΜΟῦ; but it is unsuitable to make, as he does, the ΣῪΝ Κ.Τ.Λ[1637] refer to coincidence in time (ἅμα τῷ ἐπελθεῖν ὑμῖν τὸν πειρασμόν); so also Hofmann. Bengel puts it well: “καί, etiam, indivulso nexu.”

τοῦ δύνασθαι ὑπεν.] does not say wherein the issue might consist (of being able to bear the temptation; comp Fritzsche, a[1639] Matth. p. 844), for the δύνασθαι ὑπεν. is no ἔκβασις (the taking it so is illogical); but it is the genitive of design: in order that you may be able to bear it (the temptation). Were it not that God gave the ἔκβασις along with the πειρασμός, the latter would be too heavy for you; you would not be able to bear up under it, but would be crushed altogether. But that is not His will. That ὑμᾶς should be supplied to δύν. ὑπεν., is clear of itself from what precedes. See Kühner, a[1640] Xen. Mem. iii. 6. 10.

[1624] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1628] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1630] c. scilicet.

[1633] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1637] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1639] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1640] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

13. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man] Adapted to human powers (ἀνθρώπινος). A consolation, as the last verse was a warning. These words were intended to meet an objection that it was impossible to walk warily enough—impossible to adjust aright the boundaries of our own freedom and our brother’s need. Every temptation as it comes, St Paul says, will have the way of escape provided from it by God: All that a Christian has to do is to live in humble dependence upon Him, neither perplexed in the present nor anxious for the future. Cf. 2 Peter 2:9.

will with the temptation also make a way to escape] The original is stronger—with the temptation will make the way of escape also.

1 Corinthians 10:13. Πειρασμὸς, temptation) It is mere human temptation, such as may be overcome by a man, when the man has to do either with himself, or with others like himself; to this is opposed the temptation of demons; comp. 1 Corinthians 10:20; 1 Corinthians 10:14. Paul had greater experience; the Corinthians were inexperienced, and therefore more free from concern.—οὐκ εἴληφεν, has not taken) he says οὐκ, not οὐκέτι. He is, therefore, speaking of some temptation, with which they are at present struggling; comp. with εἴληφεν, hath taken, Luke 5:5; Luke 5:26; 2 Corinthians 12:16.—πιστὸς δὲ, but faithful) An abbreviated expression, of which the one member must be supplied from the other. Hitherto you have not been severely tempted; you owe that not to your own care, but to the protection of God; but now a greater temptation hangs over you; in it God also will be your defence, but be ye watchful. Thus δὲ, but, extends its meaning to 1 Corinthians 10:14. God is faithful in affording the assistance which both His word and His former works promise.—πειρασθῆναι, to be tempted) by men or demons.—δύνασθε, you are able) viz., to bear, from the end of the verse.—σὺν, with) God permits us to be moderately tempted; and at the same time provides a way of escape.—καὶ, also) the connection being unbroken.—ἐκβασιν) a way of escape, which takes place gradually, even while some things remain to be borne. The same word is found, Wis 2:17; Wis 8:8; Wis 8:11 :(14)15.

Verse 13. - But such as is common to man; rather, except such as is human; i.e. such as man can bear. The last verse was a warning; this is an encouragement. Having just heard what efforts even St. Paul had to make to run in the Christian race, and how terribly their fathers in the wilderness had failed to meet the requirements of God, they might be inclined to throw up every effort in despair. St. Paul, therefore, reminds them that these temptations were not superhuman, but were such as men had resisted, and such as they could resist. God is faithful He had called them (1 Corinthians 1:9), and since he knew "how to deliver the godly out of temptations" (2 Peter 2:9), he would surely perform his side of the covenant, and, if they did their parts, would stablish and keep them from evil (2 Thessalonians 3:3). Also. The mode of deliverance shall be ready simultaneously with the temptation. Away to escape; rather, the way to escape. The way to escape is different in different temptations, but for each temptation God would provide the special means of escaping it. 1 Corinthians 10:13Temptation (πειρασμὸς)

See on Matthew 6:13.

Common to man (ἀνθρώπινος)

The word means what belongs to men, human. It occurs mostly in this epistle; once in Romans 6:19, meaning after the manner of men, popularly (see note). See James 3:7; 1 Peter 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 4:3. It may mean here a temptation which is human, i.e., incident or common to man, as A.V., or, inferentially, a temptation adapted to human strength; such as man can bear, Rev. The words are added as an encouragement, to offset the warning "let him that thinketh," etc. They are in danger and must watch, but the temptation will not be beyond their strength.

A way to escape (τὴν ἔκβασιν)

Rev., better, the way of escape. The word means an egress, a way out. In classical Greek, especially, of a way out of the sea. Hence, in later Greek, of a landing-place. Compare Xenophon: "The ford that was over against the outlet leading to the mountains" ("Anabasis," iv. 3, 20). For the sense of issue or end, see on Hebrews 13:7. The words with the temptation and the way of escape imply an adjustment of the deliverance to each particular case.

To bear

Not the same as escape. Temptation which cannot be fed must be endured. Often the only escape is through endurance. See James 1:12.

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