on 1-corinthians 10 :25
Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat - The case to which the apostle refers is simply this; it was customary to bring the flesh of the animal to market, the blood of which had been poured out in sacrifice to an idol; or, taken more particularly, the case was this; one part of the sacrifice was consumed on the altar of the idol: a second part was dressed and eaten by the sacrificer; and a third belonged to the priest, and was often sold in the shambles. To partake of the second share, or to feast upon the sacrifice, St. Paul absolutely forbids, because this was one part of the religious worship which was paid to the idol; it was sitting down as guests at his table, in token that they were in fellowship with him. This was utterly incompatible with receiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which was the communion of the body and blood of Christ. But as to the third share, the apostle leaves them at liberty either to eat of it or forbear; except that, by eating, their weak brethren should be offended; in that case, though the thing was lawful, it was their duty to abstain. See the notes on 1 Corinthians 8:1, etc. Hindoos eagerly embrace whatever has been offered to an idol: hence it is common to see the flowers that have been thus offered placed in the hair of a Hindoo. Water that has been thus made sacred is preserved in Hindoo houses, and with it they rub their bodies, and occasionally sip a drop, regarding it as the water of life. - See Ward.
Asking no questions for consciences sake - Dr. Lightfoot observes, that "the Jews were vexed with innumerable scruples in their feasts, as to the eating of the thing, as well as to the company with which they ate; and even the manner of their eating. Of fruits and herbs brought to the table, they were to inquire whether they were tithed according to custom; whether they were consecrated by the Truma, or whether they were profane; whether they were clean, or touched with some pollution, etc. And concerning flesh set on the table, they were to inquire whether it was of that which had been offered to idols; whether it were the flesh of an animal that had been torn by wild beasts; or of that which had been strangled, or not killed according to the canons; etc., etc. All which doubts the liberty of the Gospel abolished as to one's own conscience, with this proviso, that no scandal or offense be cast before another man's weak or scrupulous conscience."
From this it is evident that the apostle had the case of the Jewish converts in view, and not the Gentiles. The latter were not troubled with such extraordinary scrupulousness.
on 1-corinthians 10 :25
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.
on 1-corinthians 10 :25
10:25 The apostle now applies this principle to the point in question. Asking no questions - Whether it has been sacrificed or not.