1 Corinthians 10:25
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Whatsoever is sold in the shambles.—Here is the practical application of the principle laid down. When a Christian sees meat exposed for sale in the public market let him buy it and eat it; he need not ask any question to satisfy his conscience on the subject. Some of the meat which had been used for sacrificial purposes was afterwards sold in the markets. The weaker Christians feared lest if they unconsciously bought and ate some of that meat they would become thereby defiled. The Apostle’s view is that when once sent into the public market it becomes simply meat, and its previous use gives it no significance. You buy it as meat, and not as part of a sacrifice. Thus the advice here is not at variance with the previous argument in 1Corinthians 10:20-21. The act which is there condemned as a “partaking of the table of devils” is the eating of sacrificial meat at one of the feasts given in the court of the heathen temple, when the meat was avowedly and significantly a portion of the sacrifice. The words “for conscience sake” have been variously interpreted as meaning, (1) Enter into no inquiry, so that your conscience may not be troubled, as it would be if you learned that the meat had been used for sacrifice; or, (2) Ask no question, lest some weak person’s conscience be defiled if they hear that it is sacrificial meat and yet see you eat it. This latter interpretation must be rejected, as the Apostle clearly points out in 1Corinthians 10:28 that he has been here speaking of the person’s own conscience, and only there proceeds to speak of a brother’s conscience.

1 Corinthians 10:25-26. The apostle now applies this principle to the point in question; and on the ground of it, gives the following rules concerning meats. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles — Though it were offered to idols before, yet being now set openly to sale, the idol is no more honoured therewith, and it is common meat; that you may buy, and eat it in private, either in a friend’s house or your own, asking no question — Whether it has been offered in sacrifice to an idol or not; for conscience’ sake — With a view to satisfy your conscience respecting the lawfulness of eating it. Or the expression, for conscience’ sake, may mean, lest any needless scruple should arise, either in your own or your brother’s conscience, so that you could not eat of it freely, without doubting in yourself, or giving offence to your brother. For the earth is the Lord’s, as the psalmist has expressed it, Psalm 24:1, and the fulness thereof — All creatures therein, which were made for man’s use, and are given us freely to enjoy in Christ, 1 Timothy 4:4; 1 Timothy 6:17. And no demon hath any power or dominion over them. “By this argument the apostle showed the Corinthians that their knowledge and faith, as Christians, ought to prevent them from asking any questions concerning their food, which might lead the heathen to think that they acknowledged the power of their deities, either to give or to withhold any part of the fulness of the earth from the worshippers of the true God.”

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.Whatsoever is sold in the shambles - In the market. The meat of animals offered in sacrifice would be exposed there to sale as well as other meat. The apostle says that it might be purchased, since the mere fact that it had been offered in sacrifice could not change its quality, or render it unfit for use. They were to abstain from attending on the feasts of the idols in the temple, from partaking of meat that had been offered them, and from celebrations observed expressly in honor of idols; but lest they should become too scrupulous, the apostle tells them that if the meat was offered indiscriminately in the market with other meat, they were not to hesitate to purchase it, or eat it.

Asking no question for conscience' sake - Not hesitating or doubting, as if it might possibly have been offered in sacrifice. Not being scrupulous, as if it were possible that the conscience should be defiled. This is a good rule still, and may be applied to a great many things. But:

(1) That which is purchased should be in itself lawful and right. It would not be proper for a man to use ardent spirits or any other intoxicating drinks because they were offered for sale, any more than it would be to commit suicide because people offered pistols, and bowie-knives, and halters to sell.

(2) there are many things now concerning which similar questions may be asked; as, e. g. is it right to use the productions of slave-labor, the sugar, cotton, etc., that are the price of blood? Is it right to use that which is known to be made on Sunday; or that which it is known a man has made by a life of dishonesty and crime? The consciences of many persons are tender on all such questions; and the questions are not of easy solution. Some rules may perhaps be suggested arising from the case before us:

(a) If the article is exposed indiscriminately with others in the market, if it be in itself lawfill, if there is no ready mark of distinction, then the apostle would direct as not to hesitate.

(b) If the use and purchase of the article would go directly and knowingly to countenance the existence of slavery, to encourage a breach of Sunday, or to the continuance of a course of dishonest living, then it would seem equally clear that it is not right to purchase or to use it. If a man abhors slavery, and violations of Sunday, and dishonesty, then how can he knowingly partake of that which goes to patronize and extend these abominations?

(c) If the article is expressly pointed out to him as an article that has been made in this manner, and his partaking of it will be construed into a participation of the crime, then he ought to abstain; see 1 Corinthians 10:28. No man is at liberty to patronize slavery, Sunday violations, dishonesty, or licentiousness, in any form. Every man can live without doing it; and where it can be done it should be done. And perhaps there will be no other way of breaking up many of the crimes and cruelties of the earth than for good people to act conscientiously, and to refuse to partake of the avails of sin, and of gain that results from oppression and fraud.

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.

It is possible that butchers, before they brought their meat into the market, might offer some part of it to the idol; or it is possible that the priests, who had a share in the beasts offered to idols, or the people that had offered such beasts, who, also had a share returned them, might out of covetousness come and bring’ it to be sold in the market. The apostle directeth the Corinthians in such cases to make no scruple, but eat of it, if it were commonly sold in the shambles; which argued, that the thing in itself, considered nakedly, was not sinful. But yet he would have them in that case ask no questions, whence it came? Or whether it had not been offered to an idol? For the sake of other men’s consciences, lest some others standing by should take notice that they bought and ate such meat. Or their own consciences, lest, though the thing in itself, so separated from a sacred use, and returned to its common use, might be lawfully eaten, yet their consciences should afterwards reflect upon them for the doing of it.

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.

{7} Whatsoever is sold in the {u} shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

(7) An applying of the rule to the present matter: whatever is sold in the market, you may indifferently buy it as if it were from the Lord's hand, and eat it either at home with the faithful, or being called home to the unfaithful, that is, in a private banquet. But yet with this exception, unless any man is present who is weak, whose conscience may be offended by setting meats offered to idols before them: for then you ought to have a consideration of their weakness.

(u) The flesh that was sacrificed used to be sold in the markets, and the price returned to the priests.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 10:25. On μάκελλον, shambles, slaughter-house (Varro, de ling. Lat. 4, p. 35; Dio Cass. lxi. 18), see Kypke, II. p. 219. Comp Plut. Mor. 752 C: μακελεῖα. It passed over into the Rabbinical writings also; see Drus. in loc[1702]

μηδὲν ἀνακρίν.] making no investigation (Vulg. interrogantes; not: condemning, as Grotius, Ewald, and others take it, contrary to the meaning of the word), i.e. instituting no inquiry about any of the pieces of meat exposed for sale, as to whether it had been offered in sacrifice or not. The weaker Christians, that is to say, were afraid of the possibility (see on 1 Corinthians 8:7) of their buying sacrificial meat at the fleshmarket, because they had not yet risen to see that the flesh of the victims when brought to the public mart had lost its sacrificial character and had become ordinary meat. They would probably, therefore, often enough make anxious inquiries over their purchases whether this or that piece might have been offered at the altar or not. The stronger believers did not act in this way; and Paul approves their conduct, and enjoins all to do the same.

διὰ τὴν συνείδησιν] may be taken as referring either (1) to μηδὲν ἀνακρίνοντες as to the required mode of the πᾶν ἐσθίειν: eat all without inquiry, in order that your conscience may not be troubled, which would be the case if you were told: This is meat offered to idols (so Erasmus, Rosenmüller, Hofmann, and others, following Chrysostom);[1703] or (2) simply to ἀνακρίνοντες: without making any inquiry on grounds of conscience. So Castalio, Calvin, Beza, al[1704], including Billroth and Ewald (the latter, however, rendering: “condemning nothing on account of conscience”). The second method of connection is preferable, both because it gives the simplest and most direct sense for διὰ τ. συνείδ., and also because of the τοῦ γὰρ Κυρίου κ.τ.λ[1705] that follows,—words by which Paul designs to show that, as regards such questions about food, there is really no room for holding a court of conscience to decide upon the lawfulness or unlawfulness of eating. He means then that his readers should partake freely of all flesh sold in the fleshmarket, without for conscience’ sake entering into an inquiry whether any of it had or had not been sacrificial flesh. The flesh offered for sale was to be flesh to them, and nothing more; conscience had no call whatever to make any inquiry in the matter; for the earth is the Lord’s, etc., 1 Corinthians 10:26. Other interpreters understand the conscience of others to be meant: “No investigation should be made … lest, if it turned out to be sacrificial flesh, the conscience of any one should be rendered uneasy, or be defiled by participation in the food;” so Rückert, and so in substance Vatablus, Bengel, Mosheim, and others, including Flatt, Pott, Heydenreich, de Wette, Osiander, Maier. Comp 1 Corinthians 8:7; 1 Corinthians 8:10. But it could occur to none of the apostle’s readers to take ΤῊΝ ΣΥΝΕΊΔ. as referring to anything but their own individual conscience. It is otherwise in 1 Corinthians 10:28, where ΔΙʼ ἘΚΕῖΝΟΝ ΤῸΝ ΜΗΝΎΣ. prepares us for the transition to the conscience of another person; while the ΟὐΧῚ ΤῸΝ ἙΑΥΤΟῦ in 1 Corinthians 10:29 shows that in 1 Corinthians 10:25; 1 Corinthians 10:27 it was just the reader’s own conscience that was meant.

[1702] n loc. refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1703] “Vitandum enim est offendiculum, si incidat, non accersendum,” Erasmus adds in his Paraphrase with fine exegetical discernment.

[1704] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1705] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

1 Corinthians 10:25-26. The above rule is now applied in the concrete, πὰν τὸ ἐν μακέλλῳ πωλούμενον κ.τ.λ., “Anything that is on sale in the meat-market eat, not asking any question of conscience”. μάκελλον is a term of late Gr[1547], borrowed from Latin (macellum): possibly a local word, introduced by the colonia; for the anarthrous ἐν μακ., cf. note on ἐν σταδίῳ (1 Corinthians 9:24).—μηδὲν ἀνακρίνοντες διὰ συνείδησιν might mean “for conscience’ sake (to avoid embarrassment of conscience) making no enquiry” (Cm[1548], Er[1549], Hf[1550], El[1551], Holsten), as though addressed to men of weak conscience—Bg[1552] however, “propter conscientiam alienam” (referring to 1 Corinthians 10:29); or, “because of your (sc. strong) conscience making no enquiry”—since you are not troubled with scruples (Est., Mr[1553], Ed[1554]); or, “making no enquiry on the ground of conscience,” the adv[1555] phrase simply defining the kind of question deprecated (so Bz[1556], Hn[1557], Bt[1558], Gd[1559], Ev[1560]): the last interpretation best suits the generality of the terms, and the connexion with 1 Corinthians 10:26. For ἀνακρίνω, see 1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 4:3, 1 Corinthians 9:3, and notes; it signifies enquiry with a view to judgment at the bar of conscience.—μηδέν, acc[1561] of definition, as in Acts 10:20; Acts 11:12; Sm[1562] baldly renders it as transitive obj[1563], “examining nothing”—kein Fleischstück untersuchend! For μὴ in ptpl[1564] clause, see Wr[1565], p. 606.—The citation from Psalm 24:1, recalling the argument of 1 Corinthians 8:4 ff., quiets the buyer’s conscience: consecration to an idol cannot deprive the Lord of anything that belongs to “the earth and its fulness,” and which His providence supplies for His servants’ need; cf. Romans 14:6 b, 14, 1 Timothy 4:4.—πλήρωμα, in its primary sense, id quo res impletur (cf. Lt[1566], Colossians, pp. 257 ff.); “terra si arboribus, herbis, animalibus etc., careret, esset tanquam domus supellectile et omnibus instrumentis vacua” (Cv[1567]).

[1547] Greek, or Grotius’ Annotationes in N.T.

[1548]
John Chrysostom’s Homiliœ († 407).

[1549] Erasmus’ In N.T. Annotationes.

[1550] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1551] C. J. Ellicott’s St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians.

[1552] Bengel’s Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

[1553]
Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Eng. Trans.).

[1554] T. C. Edwards’ Commentary on the First Ep. to the Corinthians.2

[1555] adverb

[1556] Beza’s Nov. Testamentum: Interpretatio et Annotationes (Cantab., 1642).

[1557] C. F. G. Heinrici’s Erklärung der Korintherbriefe (1880), or 1 Korinther in Meyer’s krit.-exegetisches Kommentar (1896).

[1558] J. A. Beet’s St. Paul’s Epp. to the Corinthians (1882).

[1559] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

[1560] T. S. Evans in Speaker’s Commentary.

[1561] accusative case.

[1562] P. Schmiedel, in Handcommentar zum N.T. (1893).

[1563] grammatical object.

[1564]tpl. participial.

[1565] Winer-Moulton’s Grammar of N.T. Greek (8th ed., 1877).

[1566] J. B. Lightfoot’s (posthumous) Notes on Epp. of St. Paul (1895).

[1567] Calvin’s In Nov. Testamentum Commentarii.

25. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles] This and the two following verses are directed against over-scrupulousness. Some Christians were afraid to buy meat in the public market, lest it might have been offered in sacrifice to an idol. See note on ch. 1 Corinthians 8:1.

asking no question for conscience sake] Rather, entering upon no inquiry. This may be interpreted (1) as directing, that no inquiry was to be made, lest the answer should suggest conscientious scruples, or (2) as urging that no conscientious scruples need be felt which should lead to any necessity for making inquiries. The latter is more in accordance with the robust morality of the Apostle, and with the context The conscience need not be sensitive upon such points; it need not suggest entangling difficulties, where in truth there were none. This is better than to suppose with some, that information was to be kept back in order to avoid anxiety on the part of the scrupulous.

1 Corinthians 10:25. [89]Μηδὲν ἀνακρίνοντες, asking no questions) whether it has been offered to an idol or not. Curiosity is often more injurious, than simplicity.—διὰ τὴν συνείδησιν, for the sake of the conscience) of another, 1 Corinthians 10:29, whose benefit is consulted by keeping silence, lest he should be disturbed.

[89] πᾶν, all) As far as concerns the difference of meats, ver. 26.—V. g.

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. 1 Corinthians 10:25The shambles (μακέλλω)

Only here in the New Testament. It is a Latin word, which is not strange in a Roman colony like Corinth. In sacrifices usually only a part of the victim was consumed. The rest was given to the priests or to the poor, or sold again in the market. Any buyer might therefore unknowingly purchase meat offered to idols.

Asking no question

As to whether the meat had been used in idol sacrifice. See on 1 Corinthians 2:14.

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