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1 Corinthians 10

Chapter Ten:

v. 20: Paul says that when the pagans sacrifice to idols “they sacrifice to demons.”  The word translated as “demon” here is the Greek word daimonion (Strong’s Concordance entry 1140), which Strong says is derived from daimon (Strong’s Concordance entry 1142).  Strong’s definitions for each of these entries are “a devil, god” and “a supernatural spirit (of a bad nature)” respectively.  I am not sure exactly what these spirits are, but two options present themselves: they are either evil ghosts, or they are fallen angels.  Pagans often treated dead heroes like gods, and they also practiced the accursed science of raising and consulting the dead.[1]  On the other hand, there are supernatural beings who rebelled against God and are in league with Satan.  The Nephilim of Genesis 6 are the children of human women and these beings.[2]  These are the creatures we have in mind when we say “demons,” and they are synonymous with fallen angels.  We know that angels (good and evil) have a higher order of existence than we do because of verses like Hebrews 2:9,16.  (Common sense should also tell us this when we read of the descriptions of the powers of angels.)  These beings are not spirits of the dead; there is a clear distinction between us (living or dead) and them.  Matthew 25:41, for instance, seems to imply a distinction between the spirits of humans and those of the fallen angels of Satan.  Having said all that, however, I am still not sure whether Paul means spirits of the dead or of demons here.  The distinction may not be important for the point he is trying to make; nevertheless, I tend to think that fallen angels are the ultimate culprits behind idolatry, even when a worshiper is sacrificing to a dead human’s spirit rather than a demonic one.  See also notes on Isaiah 47:10.


[2] See notes on Genesis 6.

2 Responses to “1 Corinthians 10”

  1. […] that comes from true knowledge; it must simply be a trick of Satan.  See particularly my notes on 1st Corinthians 10:20 and 1st Samuel […]

  2. […] that comes from true knowledge; it must simply be a trick of Satan.  See particularly my notes on 1st Corinthians 10:20 and 1st Samuel […]

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