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The Epistles of Paul - 1 Corinthians Part 11: Israel According to the Flesh.
It can be imagined that if Paul of Tarsus had sat down and wrote a book explaining the Biblical and historical foundations of his Christian teachings, and why he had taken the Gospel of Christ exclusively to the nations of Europe and Anatolia, that the introductory chapter of that book may include some of this very language found here in 1 Corinthians chapter 10, but it would also include the language found in Romans chapters 4 and 9, and then in Hebrews chapter 8. Many of the most notable nations of Europe as they were at the time of Paul of Tarsus had consisted of and were even founded by the descendants of the children of Israel of the Old Testament. Paul's epistles explicitly state as much, and the literal interpretations of those statements are dismissed or even mocked by the so-called scholars of today. This concept is indeed consistent with all Biblical teaching as well as archaeology and the classical histories, and it only sounds fantastic to modern men, men who are conceited in their worldly knowledge, because this concept is not taught in worldly schools. That, however, is not the fault of Paul of Tarsus, because it certainly should be taught.
The poet Homer, the most famous and usually considered to be the earliest of the great Greek epic poets, was writing not long before 600 BC. In his epics, however, Homer was not describing the world of his own time. Rather, Homer was attempting to describe the world and its inhabitants as he believed that they existed in a time 600 years before his own, when the Trojan War was fought. The Greek historian Thucydides and others help to supply the chronology. For such reasons, Homer spoke of the Phoenicians often, but never mentioned their most famous city, Tyre. According to Flavius Josephus, the building of Tyre and its rise to fame began about 240 years before the building of Solomon's temple. If such a statement is accurate, and there is no reason to doubt it, then it totally vindicates Homer's omission of Tyre from his accounts. That is one example. Homer also omitted any mention of Dorians in Greece, or even in Europe, except that he names them as one of the tribes inhabiting the island of Crete. By all Greek accounts, the Dorians invaded the Peloponnesus and displaced the Danaans from much of Greece about two generations after the Trojan War, or not long before 1100 BC. The great kings of the Bible, David, Solomon and Hiram of Tyre, had not yet been born.
In his Antiquities of the Judaeans, Book 12, the Judaean historian and Levitical priest Flavius Josephus had recorded the following, speaking about a time beginning about 175 BC, wrote: “224 And [now] Hyrcanus' father, Joseph, died. He was a good man, and of great magnanimity; and brought the Judaeans out of a state of poverty and lowliness, to one that was more splendid. He retained the right to collect the taxes of Syria, and Phoenicia, and Samaria twenty-two years. His uncle also, Onias, died [about this time], and left the high priesthood to his son Simeon. 225 And when he was dead, Onias, his son, succeeded him in that dignity. To him it was that Areus, king of the Lacedemonians, sent an embassy, with a letter; the copy whereof here follows: 226 'Areus, king of the Lacedemonians, to Onias, sends greetings. We have met with a certain writing, whereby we have discovered that both the Judaeans and the Lacedemonians are of the same family, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham. It is but just, therefore, that you, who are our brethren, should send to us about any of your concerns as you please. 227 We will also do the same thing, and esteem your concerns as our own, and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours. Demotoles, who brings you this letter, will bring your answer back to us. This letter is four square; and the seal is an eagle, with a dragon in his claws.' 228 And these were the contents of the letter which was sent from the king of the Lacedemonians.” Laconia, also called Lacedemonia, was a district of the southwest Peloponnesus, where Sparta was found, and its inhabitants were also primarily of the stock of the Dorians.
Because of the ravaging of the temple and the wars with the Syrians which began around that same time, this letter from Areus of Lacedemonia was not answered for several years, but it was eventually answered. This is recorded in 1 Maccabees chapter 12: “5 And this is the copy of the letters which Jonathan wrote to the Lacedemonians: 6 Jonathan the high priest, and the elders of the nation, and the priests, and the other of the Judaeans, unto the Lacedemonians their brethren send greeting: 7 There were letters sent in times past unto Onias the high priest from Darius [not necessarily a confusion, but a title of respect], who reigned then among you, to signify that ye are our brethren, as the copy here underwritten doth specify. 8 At which time Onias entreated the ambassador that was sent honourably, and received the letters, wherein declaration was made of the league and friendship. 9 Therefore we also, albeit we need none of these things, that we have the holy books of scripture in our hands to comfort us, 10 Have nevertheless attempted to send unto you for the renewing of brotherhood and friendship, lest we should become strangers unto you altogether: for there is a long time passed since ye sent unto us. 11 We therefore at all times without ceasing, both in our feasts, and other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as reason is, and as it becometh us to think upon our brethren: 12 And we are right glad of your honour. 13 As for ourselves, we have had great troubles and wars on every side, forsomuch as the kings that are round about us have fought against us. 14 Howbeit we would not be troublesome unto you, nor to others of our confederates and friends, in these wars: 15 For we have help from heaven that succoureth us, so as we are delivered from our enemies, and our enemies are brought under foot. 16 For this cause we chose Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, and sent them unto the Romans, to renew the amity that we had with them, and the former league. 17 We commanded them also to go unto you, and to salute and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of our brotherhood. 18 Wherefore now ye shall do well to give us an answer thereto.” A copy of the letter from the Lacedemonians to the Judaeans was then included in 1 Maccabees 12, and it states the same things which Josephus had also recorded, “that the Lacedemonians and Judaeans are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham”, a statement which without a doubt signifies literal kinship, and not merely some perceived spiritual bond.
Therefore, where Paul opens 1 Corinthians chapter 10 and speaking to the Greeks of Corinth he asserts that “our fathers were all under the cloud”, attesting that the ancestors of the Corinthians were in the Exodus as well as his own ancestors, there are several historical witnesses verifying his assertion, and we find that Paul must indeed be taken seriously.
1 Now I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all had passed through the sea. 2 And all up to Moses had immersed themselves in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all had eaten the same [א wants the words “the same”; P46, A, and C want “same”; the text follows B, D, and the MT] spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same [P46 and A want “same”] spiritual drink; for they drank of an attending spiritual rock, and that rock was Christ.
If the poet Homer imagined the Dorians to have been on Crete two generations before they had invaded the Peloponnesus circa 1100 BC, and if the ancient records of the Dorians as well as those of the Judaeans admit that the Dorians are of the stock of Abraham, then the only logical conclusion is that the Dorians had settled in Crete from their original home in Palestine, most likely Dor in the land of Manasseh, and then later that they moved on to invade Greece. Only this could explain how the assertions which Paul of Tarsus makes here are true. For this Paul has a circumstantial witness, in the ancient history leading up to and including the epic poetry of Homer, and he has two surviving material witnesses, in the histories of Flavius Josephus and 1 Maccabees. In this understanding we also see one portion of the fulfillment of the ancient prophets of Israel, that the seed of Abraham had indeed become many nations, and that the lost sheep of Israel had indeed wandered over every mountain by the time of the prophet Ezekiel (chapter 34).
There are some commentators who insist that the Greek word for rock here must refer to something other than Christ, since the word is feminine in its grammatical form. However simply because a word is feminine in form does not mean it is feminine in its application. Rather, the Greeks, according to Liddell & Scott, used the masculine form πέτρος (petros) to describe a stone, and the feminine form πέτρα (petra) to describe bedrock. At their entry for πέτρος Liddell & Scott have in part: “a stone, distinguished from πέτρα”, and at the corresponding entry for πέτρα they have: “a rock, a ledge or shelf of rock ... πέτρα is a fixed rock, πέτρος a stone”. The commentators who protest that πέτρα is feminine take advantage of the Greek usage in an attempt to claim that the rock in the desert was the church, or ekklesia. However the entire congregation of Israel in the desert was referred to as the ekklesia, and to assert that the rock which nourished them in the desert was the same ekklesia is to assert that the children of Israel saved themselves from Egypt. Indeed, the Rock which nourished them was Christ, and their deliverance was not of themselves.
5 Yet with the greater number of them Yahweh had not been pleased, for they had been thrown down in the desert. 6 But these have become models for us, for us not to become desirers of evil, just as also they in that place had desired.
Reflecting upon the relationship of man to his ancestors, Paul said in 1 Timothy chapter 5: “4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.” That is the King James Version. However in order to better illustrate the meaning of what was being said, we will quote the same passage from the Christogenea New Testament, which says: “4 And if any widow has child or grandchild, they must first learn piety at home and to return compensation to their ancestors.” Ostensibly, one returns compensation to one's ancestors by living piously, because – if one is indeed a child of God - one's very existence was made possible by the piety of ones ancestors!
Paul tells the Corinthians in a different way, what he had later told the Romans in chapter 15 of his epistle to them: “4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Now imagine the Dorian Greeks to have claimed an alien Abraham for a forefather, and to have accepted an alien faith in the gospel of Christ, if they were anything other than Israelites. If they were not actually Israelites, then their own ancestors and their own pagan traditions should have mattered more than the alien Abraham and the alien faith. Accepting Christianity, they would be found dishonoring their own ancestors in favor of something alien. But on the other hand, if they were Israelites, then in turning to the Gospel of Christ they were forsaking the sins of their more immediate fathers, the later Israelites whom the Biblical record had described as having went off into paganism, they would be fulfilling the words of the prophets who said they would do so, and they would be honoring their more ancient ancestors: those whom Paul lays forth as an example of piety and mercy here. Either the Dorian Greeks were Israelites and the true Israelites were Aryans. or one of the greatest ancient branches of the Aryan race had forsaken their ancestors and spat in the face of their fathers by accepting Christianity. Yahshua Christ said to the Edomite Judaean impostors who rejected Him that “If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). The acceptance of Christ by the Dorian Corinthians is the final proof that they were indeed of children of Abraham. Just as the ancient Lacedemonian king had attested, and the ancient high priest of Judaea had agreed. For that reason Paul had told them in the opening chapter of this epistle that the proof of the anointed had been fulfilled in them.
7 Neither become idolaters, just as some of them; as it is written, “the people were seated to eat and to drink, then rose up to play.”
Here Paul quotes from Exodus chapter 32, which records the first major departure of the people from the promises which they had made at Sinai: “1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. [Note that although Aaron had complied with the building of the idol, he nevertheless declared the next day to be a feast day to Yahweh.] 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. [The word for play may also mean to mock or to scorn, as the same form which appears here is also used in Genesis 39:14 and 17 and in Exodus 23:32. The children of Israel must have been partaking in activities which made a mockery of their Sinai covenant.] 7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”
The calf itself was only an inanimate object, however the mockery and the activities associated with the worship of the calf were the real sin, which later in the account are only described so far as dancing. From Exodus 32, speaking of Moses: “19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” However it is even later made evident that there was more involved than mere dancing: “25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked [they were doing more than dancing!]; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) 26 Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. 27 And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.” It is evident that Aaron had not confronted the people after he announced the feast. However he made the people naked. Ostensibly, Aaron had simply taken the clothing which the people who had participated in such activity had laid aside on their own. We see also that only three thousand men were slain in punishment, although many hundreds of thousands had come up out of Egypt. A small percentage of sinners can cause the downfall of a large nation when those sins are permitted by the balance of the people.
8 Neither should we commit fornication, just as some of them had committed fornication, and in one day twenty-three thousand had fallen.
This can only be a reference to the episode in the Book of Numbers where the children of Israel had committed whoredom with the daughters of Moab. Here there is a discrepancy between Paul’s twenty-three thousand, and the twenty-four thousand figure given at Numbers 25:9, in both the Masoretic and Septuagint texts [the line did not survive in the Dead Sea Scrolls]. The Greek manuscript known as Miniscule 81, which is dated to 1044 AD and stored at the British Library, and also several of the Vulgate, Syriac manuscripts as well as some copies of the manuscripts of the Majority Text, seem to have “corrected” Paul’s figure here to match the one in Numbers 25. The reason for Paul’s discrepancy can only be conjectured. But we must note that those who have examined it, while criticizing the details, seem to overlook the most important aspect of the citation, which is that Paul's intended use of the term for fornication is to describe the joining of the sons of Israel to women of another tribe. Therefore, as Jude asserts that fornication is the pursuit of strange, or different, flesh, Paul also asserts that fornication is race-mixing.
The event to which Paul refers is described in Numbers chapter 25: “1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”
The children of Israel were commanded at Mount Sinai to be a separate and holy people. This concept is first seen in Exodus chapter 19: “5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” This commandment stands today, as the apostle Peter invoked it in his epistles to the dispersed tribes of Israel, in 1 Peter chapter 2: “9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” Peter cites a prophecy of Hosea which is in reference to the punishment and reconciliation of Israel, and upholds the commandment for them to be a separate and holy people in Christ.
From Malachi chapter 2 we see that other so-called gods have children, and that Yahweh the God of Israel refuses to recognize those children: “10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? 11 Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god. 12 The LORD will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the LORD of hosts.”
Judah had married a Canaanite woman, the “daughter of a strange god”. Looking at the history of the Canaanite people, we see from Genesis chapter 15 that they themselves had mingled with the Kenites, the Rephaim giants, and other tribes which had not descended from Noah. Yahshua Christ Himself, in His discourse with the Canaanite and Edomite Jews who opposed Him, explained this when they made the same claim of which Malachi prophesied and they asserted that “We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God” (John 8:41), and when Yahshua replied He said to them “If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
Fornication was one important reason why ancient Israel was put off from Yahweh God. In Hosea chapter 5 we read: “3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, thou committest whoredom, and Israel is defiled. 4 They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God: for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the LORD. 5 And the pride of Israel doth testify to his face: therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. 6 They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them. 7 They have dealt treacherously against the LORD: for they have begotten strange children: now shall a month devour them with their portions.”
The distinction was more than merely religious: it must also have been racial, since there were tribes whose people the Israelites were permitted to intermarry with under certain circumstances, and there were tribes which Israelites were forbidden to intermarry with. If we all had one Father and one God, how could there be “strange children” whom God would destroy for that very reason? In the New Testament, the apostle Jude continued to consider fornication the pursuit of different flesh, and in the Revelation Yahshua Christ Himself warned about fornication where in chapter 2 He spoke of Jezebel, using her as a type to represent those who promote fornication: “20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.”
Many Judaized pseudo-Christians love to claim that the New Testament Jesus is loving and kind, unlike that mean-spirited murderous God of the Old Testament. Most of those idiots have never read either Testament. Just like the God of the Old Testament to whom Jesus so often refers, Jesus Himself will kill the children of race-mixers: they shall not see the kingdom of Heaven. For that reason Paul warns against fornication in relation to Numbers chapter 25, and not merely to idolatry. For the children of Israel were described as committing whoredom with the daughters of Moab, and only after as having joined themselves unto Baalpeor. In the ancient world, fornication and idolatry went hand-in-hand. Unbeknownst to most so-called Christians, race-mixing is also idolatry today as well, as Christ Himself professes in Revelation chapter 2.
9 Neither should we tempt Christ, just as some of them also had tempted, and by the serpents they perished.
Neither should we tempt Christ. The Codex Alexandrinus (A) has the word for God instead, while the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B) and Ephraemi Syri (C) have the word commonly translated as Lord. Here the text of the Christogenea New Testament agrees with the 3rd century papyrus P46, the Codex Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text. Paul had already declared that the spiritual rock which sustained the Israelites in the desert was also Christ, so it is not fantastic to follow those manuscripts which have Christ here.
From Deuteronomy chapter 32: “1 Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: 3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. 4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” As Yahshua Christ attested, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:9) and “I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).
The incident to which Paul refers is found in Numbers chapter 21: “5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread [the manna]. 6 And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.”
10 Neither should you [א and D have “we”; the text follows A, B, C and the MT] mutter, just as some of them had muttered, and by the destroyer they perished.
The Greek word for destroyer, ὁλοθρευτής (Strong's # 3644), is a word found only here in surviving Greek literature, verb ὁλοθρεύω (Strong's # 3645), which is said by Joseph Thayer to be “an Alexandrian word” meaning to destroy utterly, are found in the Septuagint and in Hebrews chapter 11 and Acts chapter 3. These words are clearly derived from a common Greek word, ὅλεθρος, which is ruin, destruction or death and which is found often in secular literature, and used on four other occasions by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:3, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, and 1 Timothy 6:9).
We read in Numbers chapter 14 “26 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 27 How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 30 Doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.”
11 Now these things as examples happened to them, and have been written for our admonition, to those whom have attained to the fulfillments of the ages.
There are four versions of the first clause of verse 11 among the major ancient manuscripts. The Codex Claromontanus and the Majority Text “Now all these examples happened to them”; the Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Ephraemi Syri (C) have “Now all these as examples happened to them”; the Codex Alexandrinus (A) has “Now these examples happened to them”; the text follows the Codex Vaticanus (B) “Now these things as examples happened to them”.
The Greek word καταντάω (Strong's # 2658) is “to come to, arrive at...to attain to” (Thayer). Therefore it is to attain here where the King James Version has come, because Paul is not speaking in a spatial sense in this passage, but rather he is speaking in a temporal sense. The Greek word τέλος (Strong's # 5056) is “the fulfillment or completion of anything...i.e. its consummation, issue, result, end” (Liddell & Scott), so the word being in the plural here and having a definite article it is rendered as “the fulfillments” where the King James Version has “the ends”. Finally, in the New Testament the King James Version has translated the Greek word αἰών (Strong's # 165) as “world” 39 times, and the related word αἰώνιος as “world” 3 times. Yet αἰών, from which we get the English word eon, means “a period of existence...an age” and αἰώνιος means “lasting for an age...eternal”. Of these 42 occurrences, 25 are in the epistles of Paul, according to Strong's Concordance. The word αἰών could not possibly refer to the planet, or “world” as the term is wrongly interpreted today. It can only refer to a period of time. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that the King James Version translators limited the meaning of the word world to a spacial definition. Rather, originally the word world was derived from two ancient Saxon words meaning man and age. The word world therefore refers to the age of Biblical man, and not the planet or everyone on it.
Isaiah chapter 27 is a good prophetic summary of the purpose and the fulfillment of these ages of man which Paul refers to: “1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. 2 In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. 3 I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Fury is not in me: who would set the briers and thorns against me in battle? I would go through them, I would burn them together. 5 Or let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me. 6 He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. 7 Hath he smitten him, as he smote those that smote him? or is he slain according to the slaughter of them that are slain by him? 8 In measure, when it shooteth forth, thou wilt debate with it: he stayeth his rough wind in the day of the east wind. 9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up. 10 Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour. 12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” The outcasts of Egypt are the children of Israel, who were in captivity in Egypt. Those who were ready to perish in Assyria are the children of Israel, who were liable to the penalty of death but who under the mercy of Yahweh had ultimately fulfilled the promises that Israel would become a multitude of nations while they were alienated from Him. In connection with this same thing, Yahweh had promised through the prophet Jeremiah (chapter 30) “11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” This describes those who attain to the fulfillments of the ages, which is those Israelites who survive this punishment and accept their redemption in Christ.
12 Consequently he who is expecting to be established, must beware lest he shall fall.
Repentance and a returning to Yahweh God must be made in a spirit of humility, as Paul also warns in Galatians chapter 6: “1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Therefore we do not exalt ourselves over our ancestors because of their errors, but rather we take them as admonishments not to do those same things. From Habakkuk chapter 1: “12 Art thou not from everlasting, O LORD my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O LORD, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.”
13 Temptation has not seized you, except from manhood; but trustworthy is Yahweh, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond where you are able, but with the temptation He will also bring about the way out, for which to be able to bear it.
The Majority Text ends verse 13 saying “that you would be able to bear it.” The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Claromontanus (D).
While men are indeed tempted, Paul is saying that it is not God but their own manhood which tempts them. The apostle James would agree, where he also warns us that the temptation itself does not come from God in chapter 1 of his epistle. and he says “13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
Paul is not saying that God tempts men, but that when men are tempted that God provides men with a way out of that temptation. Of course it goes without saying that man must turn to God in order to find that way out. Paul refers to this same thing in Hebrews chapter 4 where he says “14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
14 On which account, my beloved ones, flee from idolatry. 15 As to those who are prudent I speak; you determine that which I say.
The command to flee from idolatry is clear, and Paul has illustrated the reasons why it is necessary to do so. Yet here Paul's address to the prudent must refer to the arguments concerning the fellowship of Christ which he is about to make:
16 The cup of eulogy which we bless, is it not fellowship of the blood of Christ? The wheat-bread which we break, is it not fellowship of the body of Christ?
The Greek word ἄρτος (Strong's # 740) is literally and properly translated wheat-bread here, but it is simply loaf twice in verse 17 which follows. When the word appears elsewhere in Paul's epistles, it is wheat-bread (at 1 Corinthians 11:23, 26, 27, and 28, and 2 Corinthians 9:10), bread (2 Thessalonians 3:8 and 12) or wheat loaf (Hebrews 9:2). We translate the word literally in order to illustrate the folly of what some cults perceive to be “communion”, which is centered around temple rituals and the serving of paper-like wafers: quite contrary to the communion of the gospel accounts and of Paul’s admonitions and instructions in his epistles, where it is evident that communion is what Christians should share in common every day.
The bread is not the literal body of Christ, and neither is it somehow magically transformed, since even after it is blessed and broken it is still wheat-bread. Likewise the wine filling the cup of eulogy, or blessing, is not the literal blood of Christ. Rather the sharing of bread and wine is in the fellowship of the blood and body of Christ, and Christians should share their blessings in common with one another for the reason which Paul is about to explain.
17 Because one loaf, one body, we the many are, for we all partake from the one loaf.
In the progression of Paul's rhetorical logic, “we the many” are “one loaf, one body” before partaking of the wheat-bread of the fellowship of Christ. It is not being a Christian which makes one a part of the body. Rather, being a part of the body gives one the opportunity to be a Christian!
The people of Israel collectively are the body of Christ, as Paul says in Ephesians chapter 4: “11 And He has given the ambassadors, and the interpreters of prophesy, and those who deliver the good message, and the shepherds - teachers, 12 towards the restoration of the saints, for the work of ministering for building of the body of the Christ [Anointed in the CNT]”, and again in chapter 5: “23 because the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the assembly: He is deliverer of the body. ”
The word communion as it appears in the King James Version is κοινωνία (Strong's # 2842) and it means association or partnership or fellowship, signifying a sharing of something in common with another. At a proper communion, the bread and wine represent the fellowship of the body, and the actual body and blood of Christ are those sitting around the table! This shall be further discussed here in chapter 11, where of eating and drinking we see Paul ask “22 have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?”
18 Behold Israel down through the flesh: are not those who are eating the sacrifices partners of the altar? 19 What then do I say? That that which is sacrificed to an idol is anything? Or that an idol is anything? 20 Rather, that whatever the Nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to Yahweh.
The 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus(א), Alexandrinus (A), and Ephraemi Syri (C) want the last clause of verse 19 where it says: “Or that an idol is anything?” The Majority Text has it in a different order, preceding the clause which precedes it here.
The Codices Vaticanus (B) and Claromontanus (D) have the first clause of verse 20 to read “Rather, that whatever they sacrifice is to demons and not to Yahweh”, wanting the words for “the nations”. The text of the Christogenea New Testament agrees with the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus(א), Alexandrinus (A), Ephraemi Syri (C) and the Majority Text, and although there are minor variations among these in Greek, they do not affect the English.
The phrase τὰ ἔθνη is “the Nations” (the plural of ἔθνος. Strong's # 1484) here and not “the heathen” or “the Gentiles” as it is in other translations. However even without the phrase, it is quite clear that the scope of the statement concerning idolatry is in reference to the genetic, authentic children of Israel, as it says in verse 18 that the subject is “Israel down through the flesh”. The King James Version wrote “Israel after the flesh”, and another way to say it would be “Israel according to the flesh”.
The same Greek phrase, where in the King James Version it says “after the flesh” also appears in Acts 2:30 concerning Christ, where Peter says of David that “30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne”. The same Greek phrase appears again in Romans 1:3 where Paul says of Christ that He was “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh”. The same Greek phrase appears again in Romans 9:3 where Paul prays for his kinsmen, those who are Israelites, “according to the flesh”. Paul uses the term elsewhere in other contexts, but the meaning is always the same.
If Christ is the fleshly, genetic seed of David; if the Israelites in Judaea are Paul's fleshly, genetic kinsmen, then the nations of the Greco-Roman world who Paul refers to here as practitioners of paganism are fleshly, genetic Israelites! Nowhere does Paul of Tarsus mention a spiritual Israel. Rather, Paul accounts Israel by tribes at least two years after this epistle was written, where speaking of his arrest by the Jews he says in Acts chapter 26: “6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers: 7 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.” With this it is also evident that the Jews and the twelve tribes are two distinctly different entities.
There are many examples of the idolatry of Israel in Scripture, both in Palestine and in their captivity. The prophet Ezekiel was a prophet of the captivity, writing in Mesopotamia around the same time that Jeremiah was writing in Judah. In Ezekiel chapter 8 the prophet is shown a vision concerning the temple, and it says in part: “4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain. 5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. 6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. 7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. 8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door. 9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. 10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.”
The words of Ezekiel concerning the idols of Israel are similar to the words which Paul used to 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
At the beginning of 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul had explained to them that their ancestors had been in the Exodus with Moses. We provided historical corroboration verifying Paul's statements. In Romans chapter 1 we have seen Paul assert that the Romans had the truth of God, and changed it into a lie. While early Roman history is not as accessible as that of the Dorian Greeks, their own Trojan ancestors can also be traced back to the Israelites of Scripture. These are only two branches of the Aryan race, however notable. In truth, the Scythians, the Galatae or Galatians, the Iberians, the Romans, half of the Greek tribes – all mentioned by Paul - as well as other Aryan tribes which Paul did not mention, such as the Parthians, Alans, Goths, and Britons had all descended from the Israelites of the Bible, and as Paul wrote these things all of them were sacrificing to pagan deities, to idols, or demons. Paul is talking about none other than the Nations descended from Jacob-Israel.
Paul himself had explained this in Romans chapter 4. There he said that “13 Indeed, not through the law is the promise to Abraham or to his offspring, that he is to be the heir of the Society, but through righteousness of faith. 14 For if they from of the law are heirs, the faith has been voided, and the promise annulled. [In other words, the Jews who were pretenders keeping the law could not be the heirs.] 15 For the law results in wrath, so where there is no law, neither is there transgression. 16 Therefore from of the faith, that in accordance with favor, then the promise is to be certain to all of the offspring, not to that of the law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all; 17, (just as it is written, 'That a father of many nations I have made you,') before Yahweh whom he trusted, who raises the dead to life, and calls things not existing as existing; 18, who contrary to expectation, in expectation believed, for which he would become a father of many nations according to the declaration, 'Thus your offspring will be'”.
Paul was not bringing the Gospel to some “spiritual” Israel. Rather, Paul was bringing the Gospel to the dispersions of the ancient Israelites, the seed of the promise, Israel according to the flesh. The fulfillment of the promise to Abraham, that his offspring would become many nations, was a historical reality fulfilled by the time of Christ. It was those nations, descended from the patriarch Jacob, who were the exclusively intended recipients of the message of the Gospel, since the Gospel is the Good News concerning the Redemption of those same children of Israel.
The children of Israel are according to the flesh, and there are no other children of Israel unless they are according to the flesh, reckoned by tribes right through the end of the Scripture, in Acts chapter 28 by Paul and in the Revelation of Yahshua Christ in chapters 7 and 21. According to Paul of Tarsus himself in Acts chapter 26, and according to Yahshua Christ in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9, none of these were Jews. As Paul says in Romans chapter 9, and quotes from the prophet Jeremiah in Hebrews chapter 8, the covenants and the promises, the law and the glory, the sonship and the service of God are all exclusively for those same children of Israel, according to the flesh.