B.J. Oropeza, «Laying to Rest the Midrash: Pauls Message on Meat Sacrificed to Idols in Light of the Deuteronomistic Tradition », Vol. 79 (1998) 57-68
Some scholars have suggested that Paul's discussion on meat sacrificed to idols in 1 Corinthians 8, 111,1 is composed of two separate documents: 8,19,23 and 10,2311,1 form letter B, and 10, 1-22, forms letter A. Unit A is often regarded as an early midrash which was written prior to its present form in 1 Corinthians. This article argues that the Deuteronomic tradition which Paul echoes in 8, 111,1 posits another reason why the literary integrity of his entire discussion on idol meats may be maintained. In this section of his letter Paul adopts the Deuteronomic motif of apostasy through idolatry which is prevalent in the Song of Moses (Deut 32). The language and ideas derived from this theme are integrated throughout the apostle's discourse.
God who is provoked to jealousy by foreign gods who are really "no-gods" (Deut 32,16,21; 31,29; 1 Cor 10,22). But why would God be provoked by the Corinthians? Paul most likely has the presumptuous attitude of the strong in mind. After Paul tells them they cannot have fellowship at the Lord's table and the table of idol-demons, he rhetorically asks, "Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than he is, are we?" The intention of Israel's provocation in the desert in 10,9 also seems aimed at the presumptuous attitude of the strong. The concept of tempting (e)kpeira/zw) in this verse appears in Deuteronomy 6,16 where the Israelites were warned not to put Yahweh to the test as they did at Massah (the place where they drank water from the rock: cf. 1 Cor 10,4). The passage is set in contextual proximity to the shema which Paul adopts at the beginning of his discussion (Deut 6,4, cf. 1 Cor 8,5-6). We might infer from this that the message in Deuteronomy never actually escaped Paul's thoughts throughout his discourse. These observations lead us to an important point: Paul never ceased to have the strong in view in his entire discourse. He is addressing them in both sections "A" and "B". One of the main differences in focus is that in chapter 8, he primarily warns that the strong could cause the weak to fall away; in chapter 10, they themselves are in danger of falling (10,12).
Moreover, Paul adds an interesting dimension to his account of Israel in the wilderness: the Israelites rebelled against Christ (10,9). Here again is another link to the Song of Moses. God is called the "rock" (Deut 32,220.127.116.11-31, cf. v.37). This metaphor highlights the unchanging nature of the covenantal God in contrast to the fickle nature God's covenantal people. Craigie rightly suggests that the Israelites' conception of God as the rock rwch emphasises "the stability and permanence of the God of Israel" (e.g., 2 Sam 23,3; Ps 18,3.31; 95,1; Isa 17,10) 16. The divine rock is associated with perfection, justice, and faithfulness (Deut 32,4). After the Israelites are nourished with honey and oil from the rock, they grow fat and abandon the Rock their saviour (32,13-15.18). Consequently, they are "sold out" by the Rock, and the promise of putting to flight their enemies is granted to their enemies who now put to flight the Israelites (32,30). The Rock of Israel will nevertheless have compassion on his people again and demonstrate that there is no god besides him (32,31.37-39). The Song of Moses thus emphasises the faithfulness of God as the "rock" in the wilderness who keeps his covenant with those who love him and destroys those who hate him (cf. Deut 7,9). God's faithfulness to his covenant suggests that God will not tolerate his own elect if they violate the covenant, and this is vividly spelled out in the blessings and cursings of Deuteronomy 2830.
Since the "rock " is associated with the redemptive work of God (Deut 32,15.18), Paul perhaps considered this a venue for associating the