Cup of Blessing

BLESSING, CUP OF (τὸ ποτήριον τη̂ς εὐλογίας). This expression is found only in 1 Corinthians 10:16, and is best understood in light of the ancient Jewish custom of concluding meals with a prayer of thanksgiving over a cup of wine, “the cup of blessing.” This ritual act acknowledged God as the Giver of all good gifts, and consecrated the meal to the one who ate. Noteworthy is the fact that the third cup of the Jewish Passover feast was also called the “cup of blessing” (SBK, IV, 41-76).

Borrowing this expression from Judaism, Paul applied it to the cup of the Lord’s Supper. He meant by it, therefore, not the cup which imparts blessing, but that over which the Christian gives his thanks to God for the death of Christ, and by which he sets apart the entire eucharistic meal (the Christian’s Passover?) as spiritual food for his soul.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

A technical term from the Jewish liturgy transferred to the Lord’s Supper, and signifying the cup of wine upon which a blessing was pronounced. The suggestion that it carries with it a higher significance, as a cup that brings blessing, is not without force. The succeeding words, "we bless," are equivalent to "for which we give thanks." It was consecrated by thanksgiving and prayer.

See also CUP.