1Corinthians 10:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
‘Ignorant’ – It seems that many Corinthians thought they were secure in their salvation because they had repented, were baptized and had partaken of Christian ordinances. According to them nothing they did could cut them off from Christ – they could partake of idolatrous feasts and still be saved (8:4-13; 10:16-33). This is why Paul made the plain statement of 1Corinthians 9:27. He now shows them that Israel also had sacramental ordinances in the wilderness similar to those of Christians; and that, regardless of their typical baptism (10:2), their typical eucharist (10:3), their eating of manna and drinking of that spiritual Rock – Christ (10:4), when they joined with idolaters and partook of idolatrous feasts, going into sin, that God cut them off and destroyed them (10:5-11). He then warns Christians that God will also cut them off from Christ if they sin (10:11-14; 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 8:12-13; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:4-11; 10:26-38).
‘Under’ [Greek: hupo] denotes the underside of anything and is in contrast with upper, above or over anything. Israelites were completely overwhelmed by the cloud and the Divine Presence. This is called a baptism in the cloud (10:2).
‘Passed through’ [Greek: dia] a passing through. Israel’s experience is called a baptism in the sea (10:2). The baptism was in the cloud and in the sea in the same sense of baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11).
‘Spiritual’ [Greek: pneumatikos] non-carnal; religious; or spiritual. Twelve spiritual things are noted in the Word: Man who follows the things of the Holy Spirit (1Cor. 2:15; 3:1; 14:37; Gal. 6:1; Hos. 9:7); gifts of the Spirit (1:11; 1Cor. 1:7; 12:1; 14:1, 12); things (15:27; 1Cor. 2:13; 9:11); body (resurrected, 1Cor. 15:44-46); blessings of the Spirit (Eph. 1:3); songs (religious, Eph. 5:19); wisdom and knowledge (Col. 1:9); house (spiritual people, 1Pet. 2:5); sacrifices (1Pet. 2:5); law, because it typified the spiritual thing of the New Testament (7:14); meat and drink, typifying Christ the Spiritual Rock of 1Corinthians 10:3-4; wickednes because it is of evil spirit origin (Eph. 2:2; 6:12; John 8:44).
‘Meat’ – The food rained from heaven is called: Manna (Ps. 78:24); grain from heaven; angels’ food (Ps. 78:25); meat; bread (John 6:31-32).
‘For they drank of that spiritual Rock’ – this refers to the waters from the smitten rock (Ex. 17:6; Num. 20:11; Ps. 78:15). The rock was a type of Christ (10:4; cp. Deut. 32:4, 15, 18, 31, 37; 1Sam. 22:2,47; Ps. 18:2; 27:5; 62:6-7; Isa. 32:2).
‘Them’ – There is no word in the Greek for them here. The meaning is that the miracle of the smitten rock followed the miracle of manna from heaven (Ex. 16-17).