1 Corinthians 10:3
And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
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(3) Spiritual meat.—The manna (Exodus 16:13) was not natural food, for it was not produced in the natural way, but it was supplied by the Spirit and power of God. Bread from earth would be natural bread, but this was bread from heaven (John 6:31). Our Lord (John 6:50) had already made the Christian Church familiar with the “true bread,” of which that food had been the typical forecast.

10:1-5 To dissuade the Corinthians from communion with idolaters, and security in any sinful course, the apostle sets before them the example of the Jewish nation of old. They were, by a miracle, led through the Red Sea, where the pursuing Egyptians were drowned. It was to them a typical baptism. The manna on which they fed was a type of Christ crucified, the Bread which came down from heaven, which whoso eateth shall live for ever. Christ is the Rock on which the Christian church is built; and of the streams that issue therefrom, all believers drink, and are refreshed. It typified the sacred influences of the Holy Spirit, as given to believers through Christ. But let none presume upon their great privileges, or profession of the truth; these will not secure heavenly happiness.And did all eat the same spiritual meat - That is, "manna." Exodus 16:15, Exodus 16:35; Nehemiah 9:15, Nehemiah 9:20. The word meat here is used in the old English sense of the word, to denote "food" in general. They lived on "manna." The word "spiritual" here is evidently used to denote that which was given by the Spirit, or by God; that which was the result of his miraculous gift, and which was not produced in the ordinary way, and which was not the gross food on which people are usually supported. It had an excellency and value from the fact that it was the immediate gift of God, and is thus called "angels food." Psalm 78:25. It is called by Josephus "divine and extraordinary food." Ant. Psalm 3:1. In the language of the Scriptures, that which is distinguished for excellence, which is the immediate gift of God, which is unlike that which is gross and of earthly origin, is called "spiritual," to denote its purity, value, and excellence. Compare Romans 7:14; 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 15:44, 1 Corinthians 15:46; Ephesians 1:3. The idea of Paul here is, that all the Israelites were nourished and supported in this remarkable manner by food given directly by God; that they all had thus the evidence of the divine protection and favor, and were all under his care. 3. same spiritual meat—As the Israelites had the water from the rock, which answered to baptism, so they had the manna which corresponded to the other of the two Christian sacraments, the Lord's Supper. Paul plainly implies the importance which was attached to these two sacraments by all Christians in those days: "an inspired protest against those who lower their dignity, or deny their necessity" [Alford]. Still he guards against the other extreme of thinking the mere external possession of such privileges will ensure salvation. Moreover, had there been seven sacraments, as Rome teaches, Paul would have alluded to them, whereas he refers to only the two. He does not mean by "the same" that the Israelites and we Christians have the "same" sacrament; but that believing and unbelieving Israelites alike had "the same" spiritual privilege of the manna (compare 1Co 10:17). It was "spiritual meat" or food; because given by the power of God's spirit, not by human labor [Grotius and Alford] Ga 4:29, "born after the Spirit," that is, supernaturally. Ps 78:24, "corn of heaven" (Ps 105:40). Rather, "spiritual" in its typical signification, Christ, the true Bread of heaven, being signified (Joh 6:32). Not that the Israelites clearly understood the signification; but believers among them would feel that in the type something more was meant; and their implicit and reverent, though indistinct, faith was counted to them for justification, of which the manna was a kind of sacramental seal. "They are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises" [Article VII, Church of England], as appears from this passage (compare Heb 4:2). Those of the Jews that perished in the wilderness, did all eat the same manna which Caleb and Joshua ate of, who went into Canaan; or, those Jews that so perished in the wilderness did eat the same spiritual meat that we do, they in the type, we in the antitype. Manna is called

spiritual meat:

1. Because it was bread which came down from heaven, the habitation of spiritual beings, John 6:31.

2. It was miraculously produced.

3. Because it was angels’ food, given out by their ministry.

4. But principally, because it signified Christ, who was the true bread from heaven, John 6:32.

And did all eat the same spiritual meat. Meaning the manna; and which the Jews also call (h) , "spiritual food", as also their sacrifices, (i) , "spiritual bread": not that the manna was so in own nature; it was corporeal food, and served for the nourishment of the body; but either because it was prepared by angels, who are ministering spirits, at the command of God, and hence called angels' food, Psalm 78:25 or rather because it had a mystical and spiritual meaning in it; it was not the true bread, but was typical of Christ, who is so: it resembled Christ in its original; it was prepared of God, as Christ is, as his salvation prepared before the face of all his people; it was the free gift of God, as Christ is to the mystical Israel; it came down from heaven, as Christ, the true bread of life did: it answered to him in its nature; it was in form round, expressive of his being from everlasting to everlasting, and of the perfection both of his divine and human natures; it was in colour white, signifying his purity of nature, and holiness of life and conversation; it was in quantity small, setting forth his outward meanness and despicableness in the eyes of men; and in quality it was sweet in taste, as Christ, and all the blessings and fruits of his grace are to believers. The usefulness of the manna was very great, a vast number, even all the Israelites, were supplied with it, and supported by it for forty years together, as all the elect of God, and the whole family of Christ are by the fulness of grace which is in him; and as in order that it might be proper and suitable food, it was ground in mills, or beaten in a mortar, and baked in pans; so Christ was bruised, and wounded, and endured great sufferings, and death itself, that he might be agreeable food for our faith: and as the Israelites had all an equal quantity of this food, none had more or less than others, so all the saints have an equal share and interest in Christ, in his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; as they have the same like precious faith, they have the same object of it. To say no more, as the manna was the food of the wilderness, or of the people of Israel, whilst travelling in it, so Christ, and the fulness of grace that is in him, are the food and supply of the spiritual Israel, and church of God, whilst they are passing through this world to the heavenly glory. Now, though all the Israelites did not eat of Christ, the true bread, which was typified by the manna; yet they all ate the same food, which had a spiritual meaning in it, and a respect to Christ, but did not all enter into the land flowing with milk and honey.

(h) Yade Mose in Shemot Rabba, fol. 109. 3.((i) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 93. 2.

And did all eat the {d} same spiritual {e} meat;

(d) The same that we do.

(e) Manna, which was a spiritual meat to the believers, who in faith lay hold upon Christ, who is the true meat.

1 Corinthians 10:3-4. Just as all received the self-same type of baptism (1 Corinthians 10:1-2), so too all were partakers of one and the same analogue of the Christian ordinance of the Supper.[1583]

τὸ αὐτό] so that each one therefore stood on the very same level of apparent certainty of not being cast off by God.

The βρῶμα πνευματικόν is the manna (Exodus 16:13 ff.), inasmuch as it was not, like common food, a product of nature, but came as bread from heaven (Psalm 78:24 f.; Wis 16:20; John 6:31 f.), the gift of God, who by His Spirit wrought marvellously for His people. Being vouchsafed by the χάρις πνευματική of Jehovah, it was, although material in itself, a χάρισμα πνευματικόν, a food of supernatural, divine, and spiritual origin. Comp Theodore of Mopsuestia: πνευματικὸν καλεῖ καὶ τὸ βρῶμα καὶ τὸ πόμα, ὡς ἂν τοῦ πνεύματος ἄμφω διὰ τοῦ Μωϋσέως κατὰ τὴν ἀπόῤῥητον αὐτοῦ παρασχόντος δύναμιν. οὕτω δὲ καὶ πνευματικὴν ἐκάλεσεν τὴν πέτραν, ὡς ἂν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος ἐκδοῦσαν τὰ ὕδατα. What the Rabbins invented about the miraculous qualities of the manna may be seen in von der Hardt, Ephem. phil. pp. 101, 104; Eisenmenger’s entdeckt. Judenth. II. p. 876 f., I. pp. 312, 467. Philo explains it as referring to the Logos, Leg. alleg. ii. p. 82, Quod deter. pot. insid. sol. p. 213.

πόμα] Exodus 17:1-6; Numbers 20:2-11. Regarding the forms πόμα and πῶμα, see Lobeck, Paral. p. 425 f.

ἔπινονΧριστός] a parenthetic explanation in detail as to the quite peculiar and marvellous character of this πόμα. The imperfect does not, like the preceding aorist, state the drinking absolutely as a historical fact, but is the descriptive imperfect, depicting the process of the ἔπιον according to the peculiar circumstances in which it took place; it thus has a modal force, showing how things went on with the πάντεςἔπιον, while it was taking place. Bengel remarks rightly on the γάρ: “qualis petra, talis aqua.”

ἐκ πνευματ. ἀκολ. πέτρας· ἡ δὲ πέτρα ἦν ὁ Χ.] from a spiritual rock that followed them; the Rock, however (which we speak of here), was Christ. Πνευματικῆς has the emphasis; it corresponds to the preceding πνευματικόν, and is explained more specifically by ἡ δὲ π. ἦν ὁ Χ. The relation denoted by ἀκολουθούσης, again, is assumed to be self-evident, and therefore no further explanation is given of the word. The thoughts, to which Paul here gives expression, are the following:—(1) To guard and help the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness, Christ accompanied them, namely, in His pre-existent divine nature, and consequently as the Son of God (= the Λόγος of John), who afterwards appeared as man (comp Wis 10:15 ff.). (2) The rock, from which the water that they drank flowed, was not an ordinary natural rock, but a πέτρα πνευματική; not the mere appearance or phantasm of a rock, but an actual one, although of supernatural and heavenly origin, inasmuch as it was the real self-revelation and manifestation of the Son of God, who invisibly accompanied the host on its march; it was, in other words, the very Christ from heaven, as being His own substantial and efficient presentation of Himself to men (comp Targ. Isaiah 16:1, and Philo’s view, p. 1103 A, that the rock was the σοφία). (3) Such being the state of the case as to the rock, it must of necessity be a rock that followed, that accompanied and went with the children of Israel in their way through the desert; for Christ in His pre-existent condition, the heavenly “substratum,” so to speak, of this rock, went constantly with them, so that everywhere in the wilderness His essential presence could manifest itself in their actual experience through the rock with its abundant water; and, in point of fact, did so manifest itself again and again. In drinking from the rock, they had their thirst quenched by Christ, who, making the rock His form of manifestation, supplied the water from Himself, although this marvellous speciality about the way in which their thirst was met remained hidden from the Israelites.

Since the apostle’s words thus clearly and completely explain themselves, we have no right to ascribe to Paul, what was a later invention of the Rabbins, the notion that the rock rolled along after the marching host (Bammidbar, R. S. 1; Onkelos on Numbers 21:18-20; and see Wetstein and Schöttgen, also Lund, Heiligth., ed. Wolf, p. 251); such fictions as these, when compared with what the apostle actually says, should certainly be regarded as extravagant aftergrowths (in opposition to Rückert and de Wette). It is just as unwarrantable, however, to explain away, by any exegetical expedient, this rock which followed them, and which was Christ. The attempts which have been made with this view run directly counter to the plain meaning of the words; e.g. the interpretation of Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Piscator, Drusius, Grotius, Lightfoot, Billroth, al[1587] (which dates from Theodore of Mopsuestia), that the rock means here what came from it, the water (!), which, they hold, followed the people and prefigured Christ (ἦν). That ἦν denotes here significabat (so too Augustine, Vatablus, Salmasius, Bengel, Loesner, al[1588]), is a purely arbitrary assumption, seeing that Paul neither says ἐστί, nor τύπος ἦν, or the like, nor even indicates in any way in the context a typico-allegorical reference. This applies also against what Ch. F. Fritzsche has in his Nova opusc. p. 261: “The rock in the wilderness was a rock of blessing, strength, and life-giving for the Jews, and thus it prefigures Christ,” etc. Paul does not say anything of the sort; it is simply his expositors who insert it on their own authority. Baur, too, does violence to the apostle’s words (comp his neut. Theol. p. 193), by asserting that Paul speaks of Christ as the πνευμ. πέτρα only in so far as he saw a type which had reference to Christ in the rock that followed the Israelites, according to the allegoric interpretation which he put upon it.[1590] See, in opposition to this, Räbiger, Christol. Paul. p. 31 f.; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 319. The ordinary exposition comes nearer to the truth, but fails to reach it in this respect, that it does not keep firm enough hold of the statement, that “that rock was Christ,” and so of its identity with Him, but takes Christ to be the Rock only in an ideal and figurative sense, regarding Him as different from the rock from which the water flowed, but as the author of its supply. So, in substance, Chrysostom,[1591] Oecumenius, Theophylact, Melanchthon, Cornelius a Lapide, and many others, among whom are Flatt, Kling in the Stud. und Krit. 1839, p. 835; Osiander, Neander, Hofmann.[1592]

[1583] Bengel well says: “Si plura essent N. T. sacramenta, ceteris quoque simile quiddam posuisset Paulus.” At the same time, it should be observed that the ecclesiastical notion of a sacrament does not appear in the N. T., but is an abstraction from the common characteristics of the two ordinances in question. Both, however, are equally essential and characteristic elements in the fellowship of the Christian life. Comp. Baur, neut. Theol. p. 200; Weiss, bibl. Theol. p. 353.

[1587] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1588] l. and others; and other passages; and other editions.

[1590] Baur is wholly unwarranted in taking πνευματικός, ver. 3 f., in the sense of typical or allegorically significant. His appeal to Revelation 11:8 and Barnab. 10 is irrelevant.

[1591] οὐ γὰρ ἡ τῆς πέτρας φύσις τὸ ὕδωρ ἠφίει φησὶν οὐ γὰρ ἂν καὶ πρὸ τούτου ἀνέβλυζεν, ἀλλ ἑτέρα τις πέτρα πνευματικὴ τὸ πᾶν εἰργάζετο, τουτέστιν ὁ Χριστὸς ὁ παρὼν αὐτοῖς πανταχοῦ καὶ πάντα θαυματουργῶν.

[1592] Comp. his Schriftbew. I. p. 171: “The rock from which the water flowed was a natural one, and stood fast in its own place; but the true Rock that really gave the water was the צוּר יִשְׂרָאֵל (Isaiah 30:29), was Jehovah, who went with Israel.” By not calling the Rock God, but Christ, the apostle points forward, as it were (according to Hofmann), to the application which he is about to make of the words, namely, to the cup which Christ gives us to drink. But Paul’s words are so simple, clear, and definite, that it is impossible to get off by any quid pro quo. For the rest, it is to be observed that in this passage, as in the previous one, where the crossing of the sea is taken as a typical prefiguration of baptism, we have doubtless a Rabbinical process of thought on the part of the apostle, which, as such, is not to be measured by the taste of our day, so that this unvarnished exegetical conception of it might be set down as something “absurd,” as is done by Hofmann. The Rabbinical culture of his time, under which the apostle grew up, was not done away with by the fact of his becoming the vessel of divine grace, revelation, and power. Comp. Galatians 4:22 ff. Our passage has nothing whatever to do with Isaiah 30:29, where men go up into the temple to Jehovah, the Rock of Israel. It is of importance, however, in connection with Paul’s doctrine regarding the pre-existence of Christ and its accordance with the doctrine of the Logos.

1 Corinthians 10:3-4. After deliverance came the question of sustenance. This was effected in the desert by means no less miraculous and symbolic: “and they all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink”—the manna of Exodus 16:13 ff., etc., and the stream drawn from the rocks of Rephidim (Exodus 17.) and Kadesh (Numbers 20.).—The epithe πνευματικὸν does not negative the materiality of the βρῶμα and πόμα, any more than the corporeality of the ripe Christian man described in 1 Corinthians 2:15; it ascribes to these nutriments a higher virtue—such as, e.g., the bread of Christ’s miracles had for intelligent partakers—a spiritual meaning and influence: for the bread, see Deuteronomy 8:2 f. (cf. Matthew 4:3 f., John 6:31 ff., Psalm 78:23 ff.); for the water, Exodus 17:7, Numbers 20:13, Psalm 105:41, Isaiah 35:6.—In drinking from the smitten rock the Israelites “were drinking” at the same time “of a spiritual rock”—and that not supplying them once alone, but “following” them throughout their history. 1 Corinthians 10:4 b explains 4a (γὰρ): P. justifies his calling the miraculous water “spiritual,” not by saying that the rock from which it issued was a spiritual (and no material) rock, but that there was “a spiritual rock accompanying” God’s people; from this they drank in spirit, while their bodies drank from the water flowing at their feet. The lesson is strictly parl[1414] to that of Deuteronomy 8:3 f. respecting the manna. In truth, another rock was there beside the visible cliff of Rephidim: “Now this rock (ἡ πέτρα δέ) was the Christ!” The “meat” and “drink” are the actual desert food—“the same” for “all,” but endowed for all with a “spiritual” grace; the “spiritual rock” which imparted this virtue is distinguished as “following” the people, being superior to local limitations—a rock not symbolic of Christ, but identical with Him. This identification our Lord virtually made in the words of John 7:37. The impf[1415] (ἔπινον) (4b), exchanged for ἔπιον (4a), indicates the continuous aid drawn from this “following rock”.

[1414] parallel.

[1415]mpf. imperfect tense.

Baur, Al[1416], and others suppose P. to be adopting the Rabbinical legend that the water-bearing Rephidim rock journeyed onwards with the Israelites (see Bammidbar Rabba, s. 1; Eisenmenger, Entd. Judenthum, I. 312, 467, II. 876 f.). Philo allegorized this fable in application to the Logos (Leg. alleg. II. §§ 21 f.; Quod det. pot. insid. solet, § 30). This may have suggested Paul’s conception, but the predicate πνευματικῆς) emphatically discards the prodigy; “we must not disgrace P. by making him say that the pre-incarnate Christ followed the march of Israel in the shape of a lump of rock!” (Hf[1417]). ὁ Χριστός—not the doctrine, nor the hope of the Christ, but Himself—assumes that Christ existed in Israelite times and was spiritually present with the O.T. Church, and that the grace attending its ordinances was mediated by Him. “The spiritual homogeneity of the two covenants”—which gives to the Apostle’s warning its real cogency—“rests on the identity of the Divine Head of both. The practical consequence saute aux veux: Christ lived already in the midst of the ancient people, and that people has perished! How can you suppose, you Christians, that you are secured from the same fate!” (Gd[1418]).

[1416] Alford’s Greek Testament.

[1417] J. C. K. von Hofmann’s Die heilige Schrift N.T. untersucht, ii. 2 (2te Auflage, 1874).

[1418] F. Godet’s Commentaire sur la prem. Ép. aux Corinthiens (Eng. Trans.).

Holsten rejects the parenthetical ἡ πέτρα δέ clause as a theological gloss; but it is necessary to explain the previous ἐκ πνευμ. ἀκολ. πέτρας, and is covered doctrinally by the διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα of 1 Corinthians 8:6 (see note). Already Jewish theology had referred to the hypostatized “Wisdom” (see Wisdom 10), or “the Logos” (Philo passim), the protection and sustenance of ancient Israel. The O.T. saw the spiritual “rock of Israel” in Jehovah (Deuteronomy 32, 2 Samuel 23:3, Isaiah 17:10; Isaiah 26:4, etc.), whose offices of grace, in the N.T. view of things, devolve on Christ.—The Ap. does not in so many words associate the “spiritual food” and “drink” of 1 Corinthians 10:3 f. with the Lord’s Supper, as he did the crossing of the Red Sea with Baptism; but the second analogy is suggested by the first, and by the reference to the Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 10:15 ff. In no other place in the N. T. are the two Sacraments collocated.

3. and did all eat the same spiritual meat] The manna (Exodus 16), “inasmuch as it was not like common bread, a product of nature, but came as bread from heaven (Psalm 78:24; Wis 16:20; St John 6:31), the gift of God, Who, by His Spirit, wrought marvellously for His people.” Meyer. Cf. also Nehemiah 9:15.

1 Corinthians 10:3. Καὶ πάντες, and all) The three former particularly refer to baptism; this and the following, to the Lord’s Supper. If there were more sacraments of the New Testament, Paul would have laid down something that bore likewise a resemblance to the others.—τὸ αὐτὸ) the same, in respect of the fathers that fell, or did not fall; not in respect of them and us; for in the New Testament there is none of the Mosaic manna; comp. of one [partakers of that one bread], 1 Corinthians 10:17.—βρῶμα, meat) Exodus 16:14.—πνευματικὸν, spiritual) Manna was spiritual food, not in itself, John 6:32; nor merely in the way of prefiguration; but because there was give from Christ to the Israelites, along with food for the body, food for the soul, the manna, which is far more noble than external food: comp. the next verse; and in this better sense, the denomination is given; comp. Psalm 78:24-25 : and there was spiritual food not only to believers, but also, on the part of God [as far as God’s part is concerned], to the others.

Verse 3. - And did all eat the same spiritual meat. As the cloud and the Red Sea symbolized the waters of baptism, so the manna and the water of the rock symbolized the elements of the other Christian sacrament, the Lord's Supper. The manna might be called "a spiritual food," both because it was "angels' food" (Psalm 78:25; Wisd. 16:20) and "bread from heaven" (Psalm 78:24; John 6:31), and also because it was a type of "God's good Spirit," which he "gave to instruct them" (Nehemiah 9:20). St. Paul only knows of two sacraments. 1 Corinthians 10:3Spiritual meat

The manna, called spiritual because coming from heaven. See Psalm 78:25; John 6:31; and on Revelation 11:8; Revelation 2:17.

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