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).

Liberty .. Become A Stumbling Block

1Corinthians 8:8-13 But meat commends us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which has knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend. 

‘Take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.’ Take heed that you do not attend such feasts to idols even though you are convinced that an idol is nothing. This liberty may cause another to stumble who still believes that idols are something very real. He does not have your knowledge so he will commit sin if he follows your example (8:9-13).

‘Weak’ [Greek: asthenes] without strength (Rom. 5:6) weak (Matt. 26:41; Mark 14:38; 1Cor. 1:27; 4:10; 8:7, 10; 9:22; 11:30; 2Cor. 10:10; Gal. 4:9; 1Thess. 5:14; 1Pet. 3:7); weakness (1Cor. 1:25; Heb. 7:18); feeble (1Cor. 12:22); impotent (Acts 4:9); and sick (Matt. 25:39, 43, 44; Luke 10:9; Acts 5:15-16). Here it means weak in the faith, not diseased, as in many other places.

‘Emboldened’ [Greek: oikodomeo] to build up, as in 1Corinthians 8:1. Such an example will build up the weak brother to follow the practice of the strong, whereas the act of liberty will cause his edifice to come tumbling down and he will perish (8:11).

‘Perish’ [Greek: apollumi] to destroy, perish, or be lost, as in Matthew 10:28; to kill (Matt. 2:13; 12:14); torment (Matt. 8:29; Mark 1:24); mar (Mark 2:22); lose (Matt. 10:6, 39, 42); be lost (John 17:12; 2Cor. 4:3); perish or die (Matt. 8:25); and to ruin (Matt. 9:17), but never to annihilate.

‘But when you sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.’ By causing a brother to be lost you sin against Christ and defeat the purpose of His sacrificial death.

‘Wound’ [Greek: tupto] to strike or smite the heart (8:12); to beat (Luke 12:45; 22:64; Acts 18:17; 21:32); and to smite (Matt. 24:49; 27:30; Mark 15:19; Luke 6:29; 18:13; 23:48; Acts 23:2-3). ‘Offend’ [Greek: skandalizo] to cast a snare before one so as to destroy him (8:13; Rom. 14:21; 2Cor. 11:29; Matt. 5:29-30; 18:6-9).