1 Now - That ye may not become reprobates, consider how highly
favoured your fathers were, who were God's elect and peculiar people, and
nevertheless were rejected by him. They were all under the cloud - That
eminent token of God's gracious presence, which screened them from the
heat of the sun by day, and gave them light by night. And all passed through
the sea - God opening a way through the midst of the waters. Exod 13:21
2 And were all, as it were, baptized unto Moses - initiated into
the religion which he taught them. In the cloud and in the sea - Perhaps
sprinkled here and there with drops of water from the sea or the cloud,
by which baptism might be the more evidently signified.
3 And all ate the same manna, termed spiritual meat, as it was
1. Of Christ and his spiritual benefits:
2. Of the sacred bread which we eat at his table.
4 And all drank the same spiritual drink - Typical of Christ,
and of that cup which we drink. For they drank out of the spiritual or
mysterious rock, the wonderful streams of which followed them in their
several journeyings, for many years, through the wilderness. And that rock
was a manifest type of Christ - The Rock of Eternity, from whom his people
derive those streams of blessings which follow them through all this wilderness.
5 Yet - Although they had so many tokens of the divine presence.
They were overthrown - With the most terrible marks of his displeasure.
6 Now these things were our examples - Showing what we are to
expect if, enjoying the like benefits, we commit the like sins. The benefits
are set down in the same order as by Moses in Exodus; the sins and punishments
in a different order; evil desire first, as being the foundation of all;
next, idolatry, 1Co 10:7,14; then fornication, which usually accompanied
it, 1Co 10:8; the tempting and murmuring against God, in the following
verses. As they desired - Flesh, in contempt of manna. Num 11:4
7 Neither be ye idolaters - And so, "neither murmur ye," 1Co 10:10.
The other cautions are given in the first person; but these in the second.
And with what exquisite propriety does he vary the person! It would have
been improper to say, Neither let us be idolaters; for he was himself in
no danger of idolatry; nor probably of murmuring against Christ, or the
divine providence. To play - That is, to dance, in honour of their idol.
8 And fell in one day three and twenty thousand - Beside the princes
who were afterwards hanged, and those whom the judges slew so that there
died in all four and twenty thousand. Num 25:1,9.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ - By our unbelief. St. Paul enumerates
five benefits, 1Co 10:1 - 4; of which the fourth and fifth were closely
connected together; and five sins, the fourth and fifth of which were likewise
closely connected. In speaking of the fifth benefit, he expressly mentions
Christ; and in speaking of the fourth sin, he shows it was committed against
Christ. As some of them tempted him - This sin of the people was peculiarly
against Christ; for when they had so long drank of that rock, yet they
murmured for want of water. Num 21:4, &c
10 The destroyer - The destroying angel. Num 14:1,36
11 On whom the ends of the ages are come - The expression has
great force. All things meet together, and come to a crisis, under the
last, the gospel, dispensation; both benefits and dangers, punishments
and rewards. It remains, that Christ come as an avenger and judge. And
even these ends include various periods, succeeding each other.
12 The common translation runs, Let him that thinketh he standeth;
but the word translated thinketh, most certainly strengthens, rather than
weakens, the sense.
13 Common to man - Or, as the Greek word imports, proportioned
to human strength. God is faithful - In giving the help which he hath promised.
And he will with the temptation - Provide for your deliverance.
14 Flee from idolatry - And from all approaches to it.
16 The cup which we bless - By setting it apart to a sacred use,
and solemnly invoking the blessing of God upon it. Is it not the communion
of the blood of Christ - The means of our partaking of those invaluable
benefits, which are the purchase of the blood of Christ. The communion
of the body of Christ - The means of our partaking of those benefits which
were purchased by the body of Christ - offered for us.
17 For it is this communion which makes us all one. We being many
are yet, as it were, but different parts of one and the same broken bread,
which we receive to unite us in one body.