Why, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.—These words show that through all the previous argument and warning the writer had in view the particular dangers arising from their contact with the heathen world, and especially the partaking in the sacrificial feasts. Not because they were enemies, but because they are his “beloved” he had written thus to them. Because God is a faithful God—because He makes it possible for you to escape these dangers and sins—flee from idolatry. Do not be trying how near you can get to it, but rather how far you can get from it.1 Corinthians 10:14-15. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, &c. — To understand what follows, it seems necessary to suppose that the Corinthians, in their letter, put three questions to the apostle concerning meats sacrificed to idols. 1st, Whether they might innocently go with their heathen acquaintance into the idol’s temple, and partake of the feasts on the sacrifices which were eaten there in honour of the idol? 2d, Whether they might buy and eat meat sold in the markets which had been sacrificed to idols? 3d, Whether, when invited to the houses of the heathen, they might eat of meats sacrificed to idols, which were set before them as a common meal? To the first of these questions the apostle answered, chap. 8., that their joining the heathen in their feasts on the sacrifices in the idol’s temple, even on the supposition that it was a thing in itself innocent, might be a stumbling-block to their weak brethren, in which case it ought to be avoided; but whether such a practice were a thing innocent or sinful in itself, he did not on that occasion consider. Here, therefore, he resumes the subject, that he might treat of it fully, and answer the other questions proposed to him by the Corinthians relative to that matter. Flee from idolatry — And from all approaches to it, whatever circumstances of allurement or danger may seem to plead for some degrees of compliance. I speak as to wise men — I use a rational argument, which will bear the strictest examination, and which I am willing should be canvassed as accurately as you please; judge you, therefore, what I say — What I advance, to show you that the eating of the sacrifices in the idol’s temple is, or leads to, a real worshipping of the idol: and that, therefore, you will naturally bring guilt upon your consciences, by such associations and participations of their idolatrous feasts.
Flee from idolatry - Escape from the service of idols; from the feasts celebrated in honor of them; from the temples where they are worshipped. This was one of the dangers to which they were especially exposed; and Paul therefore exhorts them to escape from everything that would have a tendency to lead them into this sin. He had told them, indeed, that God was faithful; and yet he did not expect that God would keep them without any effort of their own. He therefore exhorts them to flee from all approaches to it, and from all the customs which would have a tendency to lead them into idolatrous practices. He returns, therefore, in this verse, to the particular subject discussed in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 - the propriety of partaking of the feasts in honor of idols; and shows the danger which would follow such a practice. That danger he sets forth in view of the admonitions contained in this chapter, from 1 Corinthians 10:1 to 1 Corinthians 10:12. The remainder of the chapter is occupied with a discussion of the question stated in 1 Corinthians 8:1-13, whether it was right for them to partake of the meat which was used in the feasts of idolaters.
flee—Do not tamper with it by doubtful acts, such as eating idol meats on the plea of Christian liberty. The only safety is in wholly shunning whatever borders on idolatry (2Co 6:16, 17). The Holy Spirit herein also presciently warned the Church against the idolatry, subsequently transferred from the idol feast to the Lord's Supper itself, in the figment of transubstantiation.idolatry more especially, keeping at the utmost distance imaginable from that, being of all sins in its kind the greatest transgression; upon which account it is often in Scripture compared to whoredom. Though we ought to be afraid of and to decline all sin; yet as God hath revealed his wrath against any particular sin more than other, so every good Christian is obliged more to detest and abhor that sin. How the Corinthians were concerned in this caution, we shall read afterwards, 1 Corinthians 10:20. For though idolatry be properly where the failure is in the ultimate or mediate object of our worship, and the creature is made either the ultimate term of our worship, or the medium in and by which we worship the Creator; yet there are many other ways by which we may be partakers of the sins of others, and this sin of idolatry in particular: and idolatry being a sin of the greatest magnitude, from which they were bound to keep the furthest distance, they were bound to take heed of being partakers of other men’s sins of this kind.
flee from idolatry; as what is most dishonourable, pernicious, and abominable: the apostle's meaning is, not only that they would not worship idols, or commit plain downright acts of idolatry; but that they would stand at the greatest distance from idols, not so much as go into an idol's temple, and there sit down and eat; which if not a real act of idolatry, had at least the show of one; and his sense is, that they would abstain from all appearance of idolatry, from every occasion of it, and whatsoever led unto it; particularly he means, that they would not eat of things sacrificed to idols as such, and in an idol's temple; which he considers as a species of idolatrous worship, and by a similar instance he after proves it to be so, even a partaking of the table of devils.Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Corinthians 10:14. Διόπερ] for this very reason (1 Corinthians 8:13), to wit, in order that you may not withdraw from this saving guidance of the faithful God, and deprive yourselves of it; idolatry would separate you from God. Comp 1 Corinthians 10:22. And they would make themselves indirectly guilty of idolatry by partaking of the sacrificial feasts. See 1 Corinthians 10:7; 1 Corinthians 10:20 f. As respects φεύγειν ἀπό, fugiendo discedere a, see on Matthew 3:7. Rückert would draw a distinction here to the effect that, had the verb been joined with the accusative (1 Corinthians 6:18), it would have indicated that the readers were already involved in idolatrous worship; but this is untenable (2 Timothy 2:22; Wis 1:5; Plato, Legg. i. p. 636 E; Soph. Phil. 637, Oed. R. 355), being a confusion of the phrase in question with φεύγειν ἐκ (Xen. Anab. i. 2. 18; Tob 1:18). The precise meaning here must be sought in the context, which certainly gives us only the idea of the danger being at hand (1 Corinthians 10:7).1 Corinthians 10:14 gives the final point to all that has been urged, from 1 Corinthians 10:1 onwards: the sad fate of the Israelite fathers, the correspondence between their trials and those of the Cor readers, the possibility of effectual resistance, and the certain relief to which the Divine fidelity is pledged—these considerations combine to enforce the appeal, Flee from idolatry; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18 a, and note.—διόπερ, as in 1 Corinthians 8:13 (see note), points with emphatic finger along the line of past history; ἀγαπητοί (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:14) reinforces admonition with entreaty.
 Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.14. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry] A return to the main argument in ch. 8. An idol is nothing, and meats offered to idols are nothing; but idolatry is a deadly sin, and so also is whatever tends to promote it.1 Corinthians 10:14. Ἀπὸ τῆς εἰδωλολατρείας, from idolatry) The consequent [idolatry] is put for the antecedent [things offered to idols], with a view the more to deter the Corinthians from indulging in this sin: i.e. avoid things offered to idols, and the religious use of them, in so far as they are things offered to idols. Having premised this caution in the 23d ver., he shows that the use of those things in a civil point of view is indeed lawful, but still they ought to be used with great caution.Verse 14. - Wherefore. As a result of the whole reasoning, which has been meant to inspire the weak with a more liberalizing knowledge, and the strong with a more fraternal sympathy. Dearly beloved. The word "dearly" should be omitted. Flee from idolatry. The original implies that they were to turn their backs on idolatry, and so fly from it.
Notice the article: the idolatry, the temptation of which is constantly present in the idol-feasts.
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