1 Corinthians 10:15
I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
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(15) I speak as to wise men.—These words are not hypothetical; they imply the point of view from which the Apostle is now regarding his readers—viz., competent to recognise the force of his argument. Having warned them against any participation in idolatry, even such as would be involved in joining in the sacrificial feasts, as dangerous to themselves, he now proceeds to show that such a participation would be derogatory to, and incompatible with, their union with Christ. The identity and intimacy of that union is first established by a reference to the Holy Communion, in partaking of which both the unity of the Church and its union with Christ are vividly expressed.

10:15-22 Did not the joining in the Lord's supper show a profession of faith in Christ crucified, and of adoring gratitude to him for his salvation ? Christians, by this ordinance, and the faith therein professed, were united as the grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as the members in the human body, seeing they were all united to Christ, and had fellowship with him and one another. This is confirmed from the Jewish worship and customs in sacrifice. The apostle applies this to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of a heathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made, and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eats the Lord's supper, is accounted to partake in the Christian sacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook of what was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity; for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, could never be had at once. If Christians venture into places, and join in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God.I speak as to wise men ... - I speak to people qualified to understand the subject; and present reasons which will commend themselves to you. The reasons referred to are those which occupy the remainder of the chapter. 15. Appeal to their own powers of judgment to weigh the force of the argument that follows: namely, that as the partaking of the Lord's Supper involves a partaking of the Lord Himself, and the partaking of the Jewish sacrificial meats involved a partaking of the altar of God, and, as the heathens sacrifice to devils, to partake of an idol feast is to have fellowship with devils. We cannot divest ourselves of the responsibility of "judging" for ourselves. The weakness of private judgment is not an argument against its use, but its abuse. We should the more take pains in searching the infallible word, with every aid within our reach, and above all with humble prayer for the Spirit's teaching (Ac 17:11). If Paul, an inspired apostle, not only permits, but urges, men to judge his sayings by Scripture, much more should the fallible ministers of the present visible Church do so.

To wise men—refers with a mixture of irony to the Corinthian boast of "wisdom" (1Co 4:10; 2Co 11:19). Here you have an opportunity of exercising your "wisdom" in judging "what I say."

As to the present case, you are persons that understand the principles of Christian religion, I will make you judges in this case.

I speak as to wise men,.... That is, what he was now going to say concerning the Lord's supper, and the communion which believers have with Christ in it, which they as Christians must have knowledge of; and concerning the participation of the altar the Israelites had, who ate of the sacrifices of it, which many of them, being Jews, as such must know; and therefore being fully persuaded of the propriety and pertinency of the instances he was about to produce, and of the justness of his reasoning upon them, he appeals to the Corinthians, as men of wisdom and understanding in these things, and makes them themselves judges thereof:

judge what I say; consider and weigh the matter well, and you will discern and judge that what I say is proper and pertinent, just and right.

{5} I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

(5) Now returning to those idol's feasts, that he may not seem to delay at all: first he promises that he will use no other reasons, than such as they knew very well themselves. He gives the following line of reasoning. The holy banquets of the Christians are pledges, first of all, of the community that they have with Christ, and next, one with another. The Israelites also do ratify in the sacrifices, their mutual union in the very same religion. Therefore so do the idolaters also join themselves with their idols, or demons rather (for idols are nothing) in those solemn banquets, whereupon it follows, that that table is a table of demons, and therefore you must avoid it. For you cannot be partakers of the Lord and of idols together, much less may such banquets be considered as indifferent things. Will you then strive with God? And if you do, do you think that you will get the upper hand?

1 Corinthians 10:15 ff. Paul has just been forbidding his readers to participate in the sacrificial feasts, on the ground of its being idolatry. This he now explains by the analogy of the holy fellowship, into which the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 10:15-17), and participation in the Israelitish sacrifices (1 Corinthians 10:18), respectively brought those who partook of them. It does not follow from his second illustration that the idols were gods, but that they were demons, with whom his readers should have no fellowship; one could not partake both of Christ’s table and of the table of demons (1 Corinthians 10:19-22). The former excludes the latter.

1 Corinthians 10:15. Ὡς φρονίμοις] i.e. to those of whom I take for granted that they are intelligent; ὡς indicates the mode of contemplation, the aspect under which he regards his readers in saying to them, etc. Comp 1 Corinthians 3:1; 2 Corinthians 6:13, al[1643] See Bernhardy, p. 333.

λέγω refers to κρίνατε ὑμ. ὅ φ. (comp 1 Corinthians 7:12), and ὅ φημι points to what follows in 1 Corinthians 10:16-18. “As to intelligent men (who can judge aright), I say: judge ye what I affirm.” On the difference between λέγω and φημί, comp Romans 3:8; Herod. iii. 35; Xen. Apol. 13, Anab. i. 7. 18, vi. 6. 16, ii. 1. 14; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 906.

The emphasis is on ὑμεῖς; your own judgment shall decide.

[1643] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

1 Corinthians 10:15-24. § 33. THE COMMUNION OF THE LORD, AND OF DEMONS. A further warning the Ap. will give against dalliance with idolatry, based on Christian practice as the former was based on Israelite history. He points to the table of the Lord’s Supper, and asks the Cor[1485] to judge as men of sense whether it is possible to take of Christ’s cup and loaf, and then to sit at a table where in reality one communicates with demons! What can be more revolting than such conduct? what more insulting towards the Lord?

[1485] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.

15–22. The danger of eating Meats sacrificed to Idols shewn from the example of Sacrificial Feasts in general

15. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say] Even in the plenitude of his Apostolic authority, he does not forbid the Corinthians the exercise of their reason. They, as well as he, have the unction from above (1 John 2:20, cf. ch. 1 Corinthians 2:12), and can therefore discern the force of what he says. See also ch. 1 Corinthians 11:13.

1 Corinthians 10:15. Φρονίμοις, to the wise) to whom a few words are sufficient to enable them to form their judgment concerning this mystery.

Verses 15-22. - The inherent disgracefulness of any tampering with idolatry. Verse 15. - I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. An appeal to their own reason to confirm his argument (comp. 1 Corinthians 11:13), perhaps with a touch of irony in the first clause (1 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Corinthians 11:19). The word for "I say" is φημι, I affirm. 1 Corinthians 10:15Wise (φρονίμοις)

See on wisdom, Luke 1:17; see on wisely, Luke 16:8. The warning against the sacrificial feasts and the allusion in 1 Corinthians 10:3 suggest the eucharistic feast. An act of worship is sacramental, as bringing the worshipper into communion with the unseen. Hence he who practices idolatry is in communion with demons (1 Corinthians 10:20), as he who truly partakes of the Eucharist is in communion with Christ. But the two things are incompatible (1 Corinthians 10:21). In citing the Eucharist he appeals to them as intelligent (wise) men, concerning a familiar practice.

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