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Song of Solomon
1 Corinthians 11 COMMENTARY (Matthew Henry)
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1 Corinthians 11
Matthew Henry's Commentary
1 Corinthians 11:1
Be ye followers of me, even as I also
11:1 The first verse of this chapter seems properly to be the close to the last. The apostle not only preached such doctrine as they ought to believe, but led such a life as they ought to live. Yet Christ being our perfect example, the actions and conduct of men, as related in the Scriptures, should be followed only so far as they are like to his.
1 Corinthians 11:2
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered
11:2-16 Here begin particulars respecting the public assemblies, ch. 1Co 14. In the abundance of spiritual gifts bestowed on the Corinthians, some abuses had crept in; but as Christ did the will, and sought the honour of God, so the Christian should avow his subjection to Christ, doing his will and seeking his glory. We should, even in our dress and habit, avoid every thing that may dishonour Christ. The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and comfort. And she should do nothing, in Christian assemblies, which looked like a claim of being equal. She ought to have power, that is, a veil, on her head, because of the angels. Their presence should keep Christians from all that is wrong while in the worship of God. Nevertheless, the man and the woman were made for one another. They were to be mutual comforts and blessings, not one a slave, and the other a tyrant. God has so settled matters, both in the kingdom of providence and that of grace, that the authority and subjection of each party should be for mutual help and benefit. It was the common usage of the churches, for women to appear in public assemblies, and join in public worship, veiled; and it was right that they should do so. The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are not against the great principles of truth and holiness; affected singularities receive no countenance from any thing in the Bible.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman
the man; and the head of Christ
1 Corinthians 11:4
Every man praying or prophesying, having
head covered, dishonoureth his head.
1 Corinthians 11:5
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with
head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
1 Corinthians 11:6
For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
1 Corinthians 11:7
For a man indeed ought not to cover
head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
1 Corinthians 11:8
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.
1 Corinthians 11:9
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
1 Corinthians 11:10
For this cause ought the woman to have power on
head because of the angels.
1 Corinthians 11:11
Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:12
For as the woman
of the man, even so
the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
1 Corinthians 11:13
Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
1 Corinthians 11:14
Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
1 Corinthians 11:15
But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for
hair is given her for a covering.
1 Corinthians 11:16
But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
1 Corinthians 11:17
Now in this that I declare
not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse.
11:17-22 The apostle rebukes the disorders in their partaking of the Lord's supper. The ordinances of Christ, if they do not make us better, will be apt to make us worse. If the use of them does not mend, it will harden. Upon coming together, they fell into divisions, schisms. Christians may separate from each other's communion, yet be charitable one towards another; they may continue in the same communion, yet be uncharitable. This last is schism, rather than the former. There is a careless and irregular eating of the Lord's supper, which adds to guilt. Many rich Corinthians seem to have acted very wrong at the Lord's table, or at the love-feasts, which took place at the same time as the supper. The rich despised the poor, and ate and drank up the provisions they brought, before the poor were allowed to partake; thus some wanted, while others had more than enough. What should have been a bond of mutual love and affection, was made an instrument of discord and disunion. We should be careful that nothing in our behaviour at the Lord's table, appears to make light of that sacred institution. The Lord's supper is not now made an occasion for gluttony or revelling, but is it not often made the support of self-righteous pride, or a cloak for hypocrisy? Let us never rest in the outward forms of worship; but look to our hearts.
1 Corinthians 11:18
For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1 Corinthians 11:19
For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1 Corinthians 11:20
When ye come together therefore into one place,
is not to eat the Lord's supper.
1 Corinthians 11:21
For in eating every one taketh before
his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
1 Corinthians 11:22
What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise
1 Corinthians 11:23
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the
night in which he was betrayed took bread:
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.
1 Corinthians 11:24
And when he had given thanks, he brake
, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
1 Corinthians 11:25
After the same manner also
the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink
, in remembrance of me.
1 Corinthians 11:26
For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
1 Corinthians 11:27
Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink
cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 11:28
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of
bread, and drink of
1 Corinthians 11:29
For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
1 Corinthians 11:30
For this cause many
weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
1 Corinthians 11:31
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
1 Corinthians 11:32
But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
1 Corinthians 11:33
Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.
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.
Courtesy of Open Bible
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