1 Corinthians 11:34
And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) The rest—or, literally, the remaining matters—doubtless refers to some other details connected with the charity-feasts.

From the foregoing we gather the following outline of the method of celebration of the Lord’s Supper in the Apostolic Church.

It was a common practice amongst the Greeks at this time to hold a feast called eranos, to which all contributed, and of which all partook. A similar arrangement soon sprang up in the Christian communities, and were called agapæ, or “charity-feasts.” At these gatherings was celebrated—probably at first daily, and afterwards weekly—the Lord’s Supper. It consisted of two parts—a loaf broken and distributed during the meal, and a cup partaken of by all present after it. This bread and this cup were distinguished from the meal itself by the solemn declaration over them of the fact of the institution (1Corinthians 11:26). The entire feast, however, had a solemnity and sanctity imparted to it by the eucharistic acts which accompanied it; and while this bread and this wine constituted the “Supper of the Lord,” the entire “charity-feast” became consecrated by it as a “Lord’s Supper” (1Corinthians 11:20), the phrase being similar to “Lord’s day” (Revelation 1:10). To it the brethren came, not as individuals, but as members of the body of Christ. This gathering of the Church was His body now on earth; that sacramental bread and wine, the symbols of His body, which had been on earth, and which had been given for them. To the charity-feast the rich brought of their abundance, the poor of their poverty. But once assembled there everything was common. The party spirit which raged outside soon invaded these sacred scenes. The rich members ceased to discern in that gathering “the Body,” and to discern themselves as “members of that Body.” They regarded themselves as individuals, and the food which they brought as their own. The poor were put to shame; some of them arriving late would remain hungry, while the rich had eaten and drunk to excess. On those who acted thus there fell naturally God’s judgments of sickness and of death. To correct this terrible evil and grave scandal, St. Paul recalls to them the solemnity of the act of Holy Communion, what it meant, how it was instituted. He reminds them of how the whole feast was consecrated by having that eucharistic bread and wine united with it, and he commands those who wanted merely to satisfy their natural hunger to do so at home before coming to the “Lord’s Supper.” The two thoughts of communion with Christ and communion with one another, and of the bread and wine being the medium of the union with Him, and the source of the Christian unity, intersect and interlace each other, like the fine threads of some tapestry which are so skilfully interwoven that you cannot distinguish them while you look on the image or scene which they definitely produce. We may with theological subtlety dissever them; but if we do so we shall lose that loving image of the Holy Communion which the Apostle wrought out in his teaching, and on which he and the early Church gazed with tender adoration, and from which they drew the deepest draughts of spiritual life.

When I come.—There is no definite indication of an approaching visit in these words. They are quite general “whenever I come”

11:23-34 The apostle describes the sacred ordinance, of which he had the knowledge by revelation from Christ. As to the visible signs, these are the bread and wine. What is eaten is called bread, though at the same time it is said to be the body of the Lord, plainly showing that the apostle did not mean that the bread was changed into flesh. St. Matthew tells us, our Lord bid them all drink of the cup, ch. Mt 26:27, as if he would, by this expression, provide against any believer being deprived of the cup. The things signified by these outward signs, are Christ's body and blood, his body broken, his blood shed, together with all the benefits which flow from his death and sacrifice. Our Saviour's actions were, taking the bread and cup, giving thanks, breaking the bread, and giving both the one and the other. The actions of the communicants were, to take the bread and eat, to take the cup and drink, and to do both in remembrance of Christ. But the outward acts are not the whole, or the principal part, of what is to be done at this holy ordinance. Those who partake of it, are to take him as their Lord and Life, yield themselves up to him, and live upon him. Here is an account of the ends of this ordinance. It is to be done in remembrance of Christ, to keep fresh in our minds his dying for us, as well as to remember Christ pleading for us, in virtue of his death, at God's right hand. It is not merely in remembrance of Christ, of what he has done and suffered; but to celebrate his grace in our redemption. We declare his death to be our life, the spring of all our comforts and hopes. And we glory in such a declaration; we show forth his death, and plead it as our accepted sacrifice and ransom. The Lord's supper is not an ordinance to be observed merely for a time, but to be continued. The apostle lays before the Corinthians the danger of receiving it with an unsuitable temper of mind; or keeping up the covenant with sin and death, while professing to renew and confirm the covenant with God. No doubt such incur great guilt, and so render themselves liable to spiritual judgements. But fearful believers should not be discouraged from attending at this holy ordinance. The Holy Spirit never caused this scripture to be written to deter serious Christians from their duty, though the devil has often made this use of it. The apostle was addressing Christians, and warning them to beware of the temporal judgements with which God chastised his offending servants. And in the midst of judgement, God remembers mercy: he many times punishes those whom he loves. It is better to bear trouble in this world, than to be miserable for ever. The apostle points our the duty of those who come to the Lord's table. Self-examination is necessary to right attendance at this holy ordinance. If we would thoroughly search ourselves, to condemn and set right what we find wrong, we should stop Divine judgements. The apostle closes all with a caution against the irregularities of which the Corinthians were guilty at the Lord's table. Let all look to it, that they do not come together to God's worship, so as to provoke him, and bring down vengeance on themselves.And if any man hunger ... - The Lord's Supper is not a common feast; it is not designed as a place where a man may gratify his appetite. It is designed as a simple "commemoration," and not as a "feast." This remark was designed to correct their views of the supper, and to show them that it was to be distinguished from the ordinary idea of a feast or festival.

That ye come not together unto condemnation - That the effect of your coming together for the observance of the Lord's Supper be not to produce condemnation; see the note at 1 Corinthians 11:29.

And the rest will I set in order ... - Probably he refers here to other matters on which he had been consulted; or other things which he knew required to be adjusted. The other matters pertaining to the order and discipline of the church I will defer until I can come among you, and personally arrange them. It is evident from this, that Paul at this time purposed soon to go to Corinth; see 2 Corinthians 1:15-16. It was doubtless true that there might be many things which it was desirable to adjust in the church there, which could not be so well done by letter. The main things, therefore, which it was needful to correct immediately, he had discussed in this letter; the other matters he reserved to be arranged by himself when he should go among them. Paul was disappointed in his expectations of returning among them as soon as he had intended (see 2 Corinthians 1:17), and under this disappointment he forwarded to them another epistle. If all Christians would follow implicitly his directions here in regard to the Lord's Supper, it would be an ordinance full of comfort. May all so understand its nature, and so partake of it, that they shall meet the approbation of their Lord, and so that it may be the means of saving grace to their souls.

34. if any … hunger—so as not to be able to "tarry for others," let him take off the edge of his hunger at home [Alford] (1Co 11:22).

the rest—"the other questions you asked me as to the due celebration of the Lord's Supper." Not other questions in general; for he does subsequently set in order other general questions in this Epistle.

And if any one hungered, they should not make the place where they met together for the solemn worship of God, a place for eating and drinking at feasts, but eat at home; lest, by these disorderly and irreverent actions, they incurred the displeasure of God, and brought down the judgment of God upon themselves. Lastly, he minds them, that if there were any other things of this nature, which he had not spoken to, he did design suddenly to come to them, and then he would set them in order, by giving them rules about them.

And if any man hunger let him eat at home,.... Whereby the apostle shows his dislike of their ante-suppers in the place of public worship, at which they behaved in so indecent a manner, neglecting the poor, and too freely indulging themselves; and therefore if anyone was hungry, and could not wait till the Lord's supper was over, let him eat at home before he come to the place of worship, and satisfy his appetite, that he might with more ease and decency attend the table of the Lord:

that ye come not together unto condemnation or judgment; that is, that you may so behave when ye come together, that you may not bring upon you the judgment of the Lord, either by way of punishment or chastisement; that is to say, bodily diseases or death.

And the rest will I set in order when I:come: meaning, not doctrines of faith, but things respecting ecclesiastical order and polity, which were amiss among them.

{23} And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. {24} And the rest will I set in order when I come.

(23) The supper of the Lord was instituted not to feed the belly, but to feed the soul with the communion of Christ, and therefore it ought to be separated from common banquets.

(24) Such things as pertain to order, as place, time, form of prayers, and other such like, the apostle took order for in congregations according to the consideration of times, places, and persons.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Corinthians 11:34. To satisfy hunger, is a thing to be done at home. The Agapae should not be used as meals for such material purposes; they have a higher significance. Comp 1 Corinthians 11:22. Others take it: “If any one has such keen hunger that he cannot wait for the distribution, let him rather take a previous meal at home” (Billroth; comp Erasmus, Paraph). But how much of this is arbitrarily imported into the text!

τὰ δὲ λοιπά] What has not yet been regulated in this section, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34. The reference is to matters connected with the love-feasts; not indeed of a doctrinal kind, but, as the word ΔΙΑΤΆΣΣΕΣΘΑΙ is enough of itself to show, pertaining to outward order and arrangements, 1 Corinthians 7:17, 1 Corinthians 9:14, 1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 3:19; Titus 1:5. A passage taken advantage of by Roman Catholics in support of their doctrine of tradition. And, no doubt, it does serve to establish in general the possibility of the existence of apostolic traditions; but in each particular case in which such traditions are asserted, the burden of bringing forward the proof lies always upon those who make the assertion, and it can never be produced.

ὡς ἄν] whensoever I shall have come; in the temporal sense = simulatque. See on Php 2:23, and Hartung, II. p. 289.

34. that ye come not together unto condemnation] Rather, as margin, judgment. The same word is used here as in 1 Corinthians 11:29.

And the rest will I set in order when I come] Great changes in the order of administration of Holy Communion were rendered necessary by the abuses which so soon sprang up in the Christian Church. From an evening meal it became an early morning gathering (see Pliny, Ep. x. 42, 43), who says that in his day (about a.d. 110) the Christians were accustomed to meet “before it was light.” (Cf. “antelucanis coetibus” Tertullian, de Coronâ 3.) And the Agapae were first separated from the Lord’s Supper and then finally abolished altogether. See Neander, Hist. of the Church, vol. 1. §. 3, who remarks that in the earliest account we have of the mode in which Holy Communion was celebrated (in the Apology of Justin Martyr, written about a.d. 150) there is no mention of the Agapae. Similarly Gieseler, Compendium of Eccl. Hist., sec. 53, note. “So the form of the primitive practice was altered, in order to save the spirit of the original institution.”—Stanley.

Verse 34. - And if any man hunger, let him eat at home. A reminder of the sacred character of the agape as a symbol of Christian love and union. Unto condemnation; rather, judgment. In Greek, the same word (krima) is used which in ver. 29 is so unhappily rendered "damnation." But even "condemnation" is too strong; for that is equivalent to katakrima. The rest; all minor details. It is not improbable that one of these details was the practical dissociation of the agape from the Lord's Supper altogether. Certainly the custom of uniting the two seems to have disappeared by the close of the first century. When I come; rather, whenever. The Greek phrase (ὡς α}ν) implies uncertainty. The apostle's plans for visiting Corinth immediately had been materially disturbed by the unfavourable tidings as to the conditions of the Church.



1 Corinthians 11:34Will I set in order (διατάξομαι)

Referring to outward, practical arrangements. See on Matthew 11:1, and compare 1 Corinthians 9:14; 1 Corinthians 16:1; Galatians 3:19.

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