1 Corinthians 10:1-13

1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Lent C17


1 I do not wantI you to be unaware,II brothersIII and sisters, that our ancestorsIV were all under the cloud,V and all passed through the sea,VI 

Notes on verse 1

I “want” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
II “be unaware” = agnoeo. From a (not) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect); from noos (mind); probably from the base as ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience)}. This is unaware not to know. Sometimes it is willful ignorance, but other times it is simple not knowing.
III “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
IV “ancestors” = pater. Literally “fathers.”
V “cloud” = nephele. From nephos (cloud; figurative for a great crowd or multitude). This is cloud or cloudiness.
VI “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.

2 and all were baptizedVII into MosesVIII in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritualIX food,X 

Notes on verses 2-3

VII “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.
VIII “Moses” = mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
IX “spiritual” = pneumatikos. From pneuma (wind, breath, or ghost; a breeze or blast of air, a breath; figuratively, a spirit, the human soul or the part of us that is rational; also angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit); from pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is spiritual, spiritual people, or spiritual things – that which is ethereal or divine or religious.
X “food” = broma. 17x in NT. From bibrosko (to eat); related to bora (food); perhaps from bosko (to feed or pasture a flock; figuratively, to nourish spiritually). This is any kind of food in a literal or figurative sense.

4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followedXI them, and the rockXII was Christ.XIII Nevertheless, GodXIV was not pleasedXV with most of them, and they were struck downXVI in the wilderness.XVII

Notes on verses 4-5

XI “followed” = akoloutheo. From a (with, fellowship, union) + keleuthos (road, way). This is to accompany or follow someone, especially the way a disciple does.
XII “rock” = petra. 15x in NT. This is large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff. It can also be cave or stony ground.
XIII “Christ” = christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
XIV “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XV “pleased” = eudokeo. From eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to think well of, to be pleased or resolved. Properly, this is what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of.
XVI “struck down” = katastronnumi. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + stronnuo (to spread, make a bed). This is to spread over, overthrow. It can imply to lay low or to slay.
XVII “wilderness” = eremos. Properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated. It could be a deserted area or a desert place. It could be seen as secluded, solitary, or lonesome. Any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally.

6 Now these things occurred as examplesXVIII for us, so that we might not desireXIX evilXX as they did.XXI 

Notes on verse 6

XVIII “examples” = tupos. 16x in NT. From tupto (to strike repeatedly, wound, punish; figuratively to offend). This is a figure, model, image, impression, pattern, copy. Properly, this is a model created through much repetition so figuratively it is the proper model. It can be the impression of a stamped image, the mark of a scar, the shape of a statue. Figuratively, it can refer to a style or resemblance. Used specially, it is a model as something to imitate or as a cautionary tale. This is where the word “type” comes from.
XIX “desire” = epithumetes. 1x in NT. From epithumeo (desire, lust, longing for, setting one’s heart on; longing whether good or bad; passion and yearning set on the object of desire); {from epi (on, upon, fitting) + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}. This is one who craves or desires eagerly. It is a passion counter to God’s will.
XX “evil” = kakos. This is bad, evil, harm, ill. It is evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm. It refers to deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character. Can be contrasted with the Greek poneros, which is that which bears pain – a focus on the miseries and pains that come with evil. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue.
XXI “did” = epithumeo. Related to “desire” in v6. See note XIX above.

7 Do not become idolatersXXII as some of them did; as it is written, “The peopleXXIII sat down to eat and drink, and they rose upXXIV to play.”XXV We must not indulge in sexual immoralityXXVI as some of them did,XXVII and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 

Notes on verses 7-8

XXII “idolaters” = eidololatres. 7x in NT. From eidolon (image, idol, worship or an idol); {from eidos (form, shape, sight, appearance); from eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate)} + from latris (a hired servant; someone who is qualified to perform a technical task)}. This is someone who serves/worships an idol. It can be used literally or figuratively.
XXIII “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
XXIV “rose up” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.
XXV “play” = paizo. 1x in NT. From pais (child, youth, servant, slave); perhaps from paio (to strike or sting). This is to play or sport like a child – implies singing and dancing.
XXVI “indulge in sexual immorality” = porneuo. From porne (prostitute, whore); from pornos (fornicator or immoral person); perhaps from pernemi (to sell off or export); related to piprasko (to sell with travel involved; to sell into slavery; to be devoted to); from perao (to travel); from peran (over, beyond). This is to fornicate – used figuratively for practicing idolatry or doing immoral things.
XXVII “did” = porneuo. Same as “indulge in sexual immorality” in v8. See note XXVI above.

We must not put Christ to the test,XXVIII as some of them did,XXIX and were destroyedXXX by serpents.XXXI 10 And do not complainXXXII as some of them did,XXXIII and were destroyed by the destroyer.XXXIV 

Notes on verses 9-10

XXVIII “put…to the test” = ekpeirazo. 4x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + peirazo (to test, try, tempt, or make proof of; to test, scrutinize, or assay something; examine, entice, prove, or discipline); {from peira (trial, experiment, attempt, experience, assaying); from the base of peran (over, beyond, across); akin to pera (on the far side); from a derivative or peiro (to pierce)}. This is to tempt or test thoroughly.
XXIX “did” = peirazo. Related to “put…to the test” in v9. See note XXVIII.
XXX “destroyed” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
XXXI “serpents” = ophis. 14x in NT. Perhaps from optanomai (to be seen, to gaze at something with eyes wide open, to see something remarkable). This is snake or serpent, often used of the devil. It is the snake as a type that is sly or cunning – someone malicious.
XXXII “complain” = gogguzo. 8x in NT. This is to mutter, whisper, grumble, or complain. It is meant to mimic the sound of doves – muffled tones, a constant murmur.
XXXIII “did” = gogguzo. Same as “complain” in v10. See note XXXII above.
XXXIV “destroyer” = olotheutes. Related to “destroyed” in v9. 1x in NT. From olothreuo (to destroy, ruin, spoil, slay); probably from olethros (thorough ruin or doom with far reaching destructive aftereffects; not total annihilation, but focuses on the loss after the fact; death or punishment); from ollumi (see note XXX above). This is destroyer, one that ruins. Can be used specially to refer to a venomous serpent.

11 These things happenedXXXV to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instructXXXVI us, on whom the endsXXXVII of the agesXXXVIII have come.XXXIX 

Notes on verse 11

XXXV “happened” = sumbaino. 8x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to walk together, happen, occur, meet. It could also be things that work together as a unit.
XXXVI “instruct” = nouthesia. 3x in NT. From noutheteo (to warn, exhort, counsel, to reason with someone to teach them – lean on their logic and reasoning);{ from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)} OR from the base of ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position)}. This is warning, counsel, instruction. It is a warning that calls attention meant to bolster reasoning – a mild rebuke.
XXXVII “ends” = telos. From tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.
XXXVIII “ages” = aion. From the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
XXXIX “come” = katantao. 13x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + antao (to meet with personally) OR from kata (see above) + anti (opposite, instead of, against). This is to arrive, reach, come. It is to come from a high place to a low one or from deep waters to the coast. Figuratively, this can mean attain or receive by inheritance.

12 So if you thinkXL you are standing, watch outXLI that you do not fall. 13 No testingXLII has overtaken you that is not common to everyone.

Notes on verses 12-13a

XL “think” = dokeo. Related to “pleased” in v5. See note XV above.
XLI “watch out” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
XLII “testing” = peirasmos. Related to Related to “put…to the test” & “did” in v9. From peirazo (see note XXVIII above). This is a test as in an experiment or assaying. It is also trial, temptation, and discipline. Further, it could be used to mean calamity, affliction, or adversity more generally.

God is faithful,XLIII and he will not letXLIV you be tested beyond your strength,XLV but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be ableXLVI to endureXLVII it.

Notes on verse 13b

XLIII “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.
XLIV “let” = eao. 11x in NT. To leave, allow, permit. It can also be to allow something reluctantly.
XLV “strength” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
XLVI “be able” = dunamai. Same as “strength” in v13. See note XLV above.
XLVII “endure” = hupophero. 3x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to endure or suffer – to bear up under. It could be carried as the current or a river. It could also be carried away from danger.

Image credit: “NASA’s SDO Shows Images of Significant Solar Flare” by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2014.

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