1 Corinthians 10
Avoid Israel’s Mistakes
10 For I do not want you to be unaware, believers, that our fathers were all under the cloud [in which God’s presence went before them] and they all passed [miraculously and safely] through the [Red] Sea;(A) 2 And all [of them] were baptized into Moses [into his safekeeping as their leader] in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all [of them] ate the same [a]spiritual food;(B) 4 and all [of them] drank the same [b]spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.(C) 5 Nevertheless, God was not well-pleased with [c]most of them, for they were scattered along the ground in the wilderness [because their lack of self-control led to disobedience which led to death].(D)
6 Now these things [the warnings and admonitions] took place as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did.(E) 7 Do not be worshipers of handmade gods, as some of them were; just as it is written [in Scripture], “The people sat down to eat and drink [after sacrificing to the [d]golden calf at Horeb], and stood up to play [indulging in immoral activities].”(F) 8 We must not indulge in [nor tolerate] sexual immorality, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand [suddenly] fell [dead] in a single day!(G) 9 We must not tempt the Lord [that is, test His patience, question His purpose or exploit His goodness], as some of them did—and they were killed by serpents.(H) 10 And do not murmur [in unwarranted discontent], as some of them did—and were destroyed by the [e]destroyer.(I) 11 Now these things happened to them as an example and warning [to us]; they were written for our instruction [to admonish and equip us], upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let the one who thinks he stands firm [immune to temptation, being overconfident and self-righteous], take care that he does not fall [into sin and condemnation]. 13 No temptation [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].
14 Therefore, my beloved, run [keep far, far away] from [any sort of] idolatry [and that includes loving anything more than God, or participating in anything that leads to sin and enslaves the soul]. 15 I am speaking as to wise and sensible people; judge [carefully and thoughtfully consider] for yourselves what I say. 16 Is the cup of blessing which we bless [at the Lord’s Supper] not a sharing in the blood of Christ? [Indeed it is.] Is the bread which we break not a sharing in the body of Christ? [Indeed it is.] 17 Since there is one bread, we [believers] who are many are [united into] one body; for we all partake of the one bread [which represents the body of Christ]. 18 Consider the people of Israel; are those who eat the sacrifices not partners of the altar [united in their worship of the same God]? [Indeed they are.](J) 19 What do I mean then? That a thing offered to idols is anything [special or changed simply because it is offered], or that an idol is anything? 20 On the contrary, the things which the Gentiles (pagans) sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons [in effect], and not to God; and I do not want you to become partners with demons [by eating at feasts in pagan temples].(K) 21 You cannot drink [both] the Lord’s cup and the cup of demons. You cannot share in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons [thereby becoming partners with them]. 22 Do we [really] provoke the Lord to jealousy [when we eat food sacrificed to handmade “gods” at pagan feasts]? Are we [spiritually] stronger than He? [Certainly not! He knows that the idols are nothing. But we deeply [f]offend Him.](L)
23 All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life]. 24 Let no one seek [only] his own good, but [also] that of the other person. 25 [Regarding meat offered to idols:] Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking any questions for the sake of your conscience, 26 For the [whole] earth is the Lord’s, and everything that is in it.(M) 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you [to a meal at his home] and you want to go, eat whatever is served to you without asking questions [about its source] for the sake of your conscience. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This meat has been offered in sacrifice to an idol,” do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who told you, and for conscience’s sake— 29 and by conscience I mean for the sake of the other man’s, not yours. For [g]why is my freedom [of choice] judged by another’s conscience [another’s ethics—another’s sense of right and wrong]? 30 If I take my share [of food] with thankfulness, why am I accused because of something for which I give thanks?
31 So then, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of [our great] God. 32 Do not offend Jews or Greeks or even the church of God [but live to honor Him]; 33 just as I please everyone in all things [as much as possible adapting myself to the interests of others], not seeking my own benefit but that of the many, so that they [will be open to the message of salvation and] may be saved.
- 1 Corinthians 10:3 I.e. divinely provided manna.
- 1 Corinthians 10:4 I.e. divinely provided water from a rock.
- 1 Corinthians 10:5 Of all those adult Israelites who had been in bondage in Egypt, only Joshua and Caleb (along with those born in the wilderness) were allowed to enter the promised land.
- 1 Corinthians 10:7 The selection of a calf-god was probably inspired by the Egyptian bull-god Apis (Hapis), believed to be a living manifestation of the Egyptian god Ptah.
- 1 Corinthians 10:10 Perhaps a reference to the angel of destruction whom the rabbis called Mashhith.
- 1 Corinthians 10:22 The offense consists of becoming “partners with demons” (v 20) merely to enjoy the pagan meal as an exercise of the believer’s liberty.
- 1 Corinthians 10:29 Or to what end, i.e. what good can come of it?
1 Corinthians 10
New American Standard Bible
Avoid Israel’s Mistakes
10 For (A)I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all (B)under the cloud and they all (C)passed through the sea; 2 and they all were (D)baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and they all (E)ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all (F)drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was [a]Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased; for their dead bodies were (G)spread out in the wilderness.
6 Now these things happened as (H)examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as (I)they indeed craved them. 7 Do not be (J)idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “(K)The people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to (L)play.” 8 Nor are we to commit sexual immorality, as (M)some of them [b]did, and (N)twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor are we to put the Lord to the test, as (O)some of them [c]did, and were killed by the snakes. 10 Nor (P)grumble, as some of them [d]did, and (Q)were killed by the (R)destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an (S)example, and (T)they were written for our instruction, upon whom (U)the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let the one who (V)thinks he stands watch out that he does not fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except something common to mankind; and (W)God is faithful, [e]so He will not allow you to be (X)tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
14 Therefore, my (Y)beloved, flee from (Z)idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise people; you then, judge what I say. 16 Is the (AA)cup of blessing which we bless not a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is the (AB)bread which we break not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one loaf, we (AC)who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one loaf. 18 Look at [f]the people of (AD)Israel; are those who (AE)eat the sacrifices not partners in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or (AF)that an idol is [g]anything? 20 No, but I say that things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they (AG)sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become partners with demons. 21 (AH)You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and (AI)the table of demons. 22 Or do we (AJ)provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not (AK)stronger than He, are we?
23 (AL)All things are permitted, but not all things are of benefit. All things are permitted, but not all things [h](AM)build people up. 24 No one is to (AN)seek his own advantage, but rather that of his [i]neighbor. 25 (AO)Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions, for the sake of conscience; 26 (AP)for the earth is the Lord’s, and [j]all it contains. 27 If (AQ)one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, (AR)eat anything that is set before you without asking questions, for the sake of conscience. 28 But (AS)if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and for the sake of conscience; 29 Now by “conscience” I do not mean your own, but the other person’s; for (AT)why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, (AU)why am I slandered about that for which I (AV)give thanks?
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or (AW)whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. 32 (AX)Do not offend Jews or Greeks, or (AY)the church of God; 33 just as I also (AZ)please everyone in all things, (BA)not seeking my own benefit but the benefit of the many, (BB)so that they may be saved.
- 1 Corinthians 10:4 I.e., the Messiah
- 1 Corinthians 10:8 Lit committed sexual immorality
- 1 Corinthians 10:9 Lit made trial
- 1 Corinthians 10:10 Lit grumbled
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 Lit who will not
- 1 Corinthians 10:18 Lit Israel according to the flesh
- 1 Corinthians 10:19 I.e., anything real
- 1 Corinthians 10:23 Or edify
- 1 Corinthians 10:24 Lit the other
- 1 Corinthians 10:26 Lit its fullness