1 Corinthians 10:6
Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
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(6) Now these things were our examples.—Better, Now these things were types of us. “Now” introduces the contrast between the physical Israel and the spiritual Israel, between the physical death which befell the majority of the former, and the spiritual death which, if privileges be neglected or abused, must befall the latter.

To the intent.—St. Paul regards everything that has happened in history as having a divine purpose of blessing for others. All this material suffering on their part will not be in vain if it teaches us the spiritual lesson which God would have us learn from it.

We should not lust after evil things.—The Apostle now sets forth the causes with which the majority of the Israelities neutralised the great advantages in which all had shared. The lusting after evil things must be taken as applying to their general conduct (evidenced especially in the circumstances mentioned in Numbers 11:4; Numbers 11:18). “As they also” directly connects the sins which the Corinthians were in danger of with the sins which led to the overthrow of the Israelites. The idolatry and eating and drinking and committing fornication all refer to kinds of sin which the Corinthians were liable to commit if they did not keep themselves perfectly distinct from the heathen. (See 1Corinthians 6:12.)

10:6-14 Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, therefore should be checked in their first rise. Let us fear the sins of Israel, if we would shun their plagues. And it is but just to fear, that such as tempt Christ, will be left by him in the power of the old serpent. Murmuring against God's disposals and commands, greatly provokes him. Nothing in Scripture is written in vain; and it is our wisdom and duty to learn from it. Others have fallen, and so may we. The Christian's security against sin is distrust of himself. God has not promised to keep us from falling, if we do not look to ourselves. To this word of caution, a word of comfort is added. Others have the like burdens, and the like temptations: what they bear up under, and break through, we may also. God is wise as well as faithful, and will make our burdens according to our strength. He knows what we can bear. He will make a way to escape; he will deliver either from the trial itself, or at least the mischief of it. We have full encouragement to flee from sin, and to be faithful to God. We cannot fall by temptation, if we cleave fast to him. Whether the world smiles or frowns, it is an enemy; but believers shall be strengthened to overcome it, with all its terrors and enticements. The fear of the Lord, put into their hearts, will be the great means of safety.Now these things - The judgments inflicted on them by God for their sins.

Were our examples - Greek: "types" (τύποι tupoi). Margin, "figures." They were not designed to be types of us, but they are to be held up as furnishing an admonition to us, or a warning that we do not sin in the same way. The same God directs our affairs that ordered theirs; and if we sin as they did, we also must expect to be punished, and excluded from the favor of God, and from heaven.

Lust after evil things - Desire those things which are forbidden, and which would be injurious. They lusted after flesh, and God granted them their desires, and the consequence was a plague, and the destruction of multitudes Exodus 11:4. So Paul infers that the Corinthian Christians should not lust after, or desire the meat offered in sacrifice to idols, lest it should lead them also to sin and ruin.

6. were—Greek, "came to pass as."

our examples—samples to us of what will befall us, if we also with all our privileges walk carelessly.

lust—the fountain of all the four other offenses enumerated, and therefore put first (Jas 1:14, 15; compare Ps 106:14). A particular case of lust was that after flesh, when they pined for the fish, leeks, &c., of Egypt, which they had left (Nu 11:4, 33, 34). These are included in the "evil things," not that they are so in themselves, but they became so to the Israelites when they lusted after what God withheld, and were discontented with what God provided.

Our examples; our types or patterns (as the Greek word signifies): we may, by God’s dispensations to them, learn what God will be to us: as they were patterns to us, of persons enjoying great spiritual privileges; so they are also examples or patterns to show us what we may expect from God, and to deter us from such practices, as brought the vengeance of God upon them; which were their sinful lustings or desirings of things which God had forbidden, as they did the flesh-pots, and onions, and garlic of Egypt, and to return thither again, Numbers 11:4,5,33 14:2-4. Now these things were our examples,.... Or "types"; that is, these punishments which were inflicted on these persons for their sins, were designed as instructions for others to avoid the like sins, that they may escape the same punishment; just as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, being condemned with an overthrow, as these men were, were made ensamples to all that should hereafter live such vicious lives and conversations; and in a very lively manner, as in a type or print, these exhibited the displeasure of God against sin, what such must expect who commit it; so men are called out of Babylon, lest, partaking of her sins, they also receive of her plagues. The Jews have a common saying (s) "that what happened to the fathers is a sign unto the children"; to which the apostle may have respect:

to the intent that we should not lust after evil things. The apostle proceeds to enter into particular instances, in which these things were examples, teaching us to avoid sin, and so punishment; and begins with lust, which is the root and foundation of all sin; all the evil in the world arises from it, and the world itself is full of it, and is in God's account the same as action: and here he particularly strikes at those Corinthians, that lusted after the feasts in the idols' temples; and hints that that arose rather from a carnal sensual appetite, which ought not to be indulged, than from any other principle:

as they also lusted; that is, after evil things, the fish, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, onions, and garlic of Egypt, Numbers 11:4 which though they were not evil in themselves, yet the Israelites sinned in lusting after them, in not being content with the manna, the food which God had prepared for them; and besides, their desire after these things did not arise from want, but from a sensual appetite, and was attended with murmuring against the Lord and his servants, and was highly resented; for though the Lord gave them flesh according to their desire, yet while it was between their teeth, he sent a plague among them, by which multitudes were taken off, and the name of the place was called , "Kibroth Hataavah, the graves of lusts"; the people that lusted being buried there, Numbers 11:34.

(s) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 77. 4.

{3} Now these things were our {h} examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

(3) An amplifying of the example against those who are carried away with their lusts beyond the bounds which God has measured out. For this is the beginning of all evil, as of idolatry (which has gluttony as a companion), fornication, rebelling against Christ, murmuring, and such like. And these things God punished most sharply in that old people, to the end that we who succeed them, and have a more full declaration of the will of God, might by that means take better heed.

(h) Some read figures: which signified our ordinances. For circumcision was to the Jews a seal of righteousness, to us a symbol of baptism, and so in the other ordinances.

1 Corinthians 10:6. The typical reference of what is adduced in 1 Corinthians 10:1-5 to the Christians: These things (while they so fell out) became types of us, i.e. historical transactions of the O. T., guided and shaped by God, and designed by Him figuratively to represent the corresponding relation and experience on the part of Christians. See regarding τύπος, on Romans 5:14.

ἐγενήθησαν] The plural is by attraction from the predicate τύποι. See Kühner, II. p. 53 f.; Krüger, § lxiii. 6. Hofmann (comp 1 Corinthians 6:11) takes the Israelites as the subject: “They became this as types of us;” but the recurrence of the ταῦτα in 1 Corinthians 10:11 should have been enough of itself to preclude such a view.

ἘΠΙΘΥΜΗΤ. ΚΑΚῶΝ] quite general in its reference: desirers (Herod. vii. 6; Dem. 661 ult., and often in Plato) of evil things (Romans 1:30). To restrict it to the “Corinthios epulatores” (Grotius) is arbitrary; for it is equally so to confine the καθὼς κἀκεῖνοι ἐπεθ. which follows solely (Rückert, de Wette, Osiander, Neander), or particularly (Hofmann), to the desire of the Israelites for flesh (Numbers 11:4), whereas in truth the words refer generally to the evil lusts which they manifested so often and in so many ways upon their journey, that particular desire not excluded.1 Corinthians 10:6-14. § 32. THE MORAL CONTAGION OF IDOLATRY. The fall of the Israel of the Exodus was due to the very temptations now surrounding the Cor[1423] Church—to the allurements of idolatry and its attendant impurity (1 Corinthians 10:6 ff.), and to the cherishing of discontent and presumption (1 Corinthians 10:9 f.). Their fate may prove our salvation, if we lay it to heart; the present trial, manifestly, is nothing new; and God who appoints it will keep it within our strength, and will provide us with means of escape (1 Corinthians 10:11 ff.). The whole is summed up in one word, “Flee from idolatry!” (1 Corinthians 10:14).

[1423] Corinth, Corinthian or Corinthians.6. Now these things were our examples] Literally, types of us. In figure of us, Wiclif. The word here used is derived from τύπτω, to strike, and signifies (1) a mark, stroke of any kind, impressed or engraven, ‘print,’ St John 20:25; (2) an image, figure, as in Acts 7:43; (3) an example, pattern, Acts 7:44 (where the word is rendered fashion), cf. Hebrews 8:5; (4) type, in the recognized sense of the word, that of a person or circumstance designed by God to foreshadow some other person or circumstance in the future, Romans 5:14; (5) as equivalent to purport, substance of a letter or address, Acts 23:25; (6) form, outline, substance, as of a system of doctrine or morals (like the derived word ὑποτύπωσις in 2 Timothy 1:13); Romans 6:17; (7) Example in the matter of conduct, for imitation or warning, Php 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Timothy 4:12, &c. Either this, as in our version, or (4) is the meaning here, or it may include both meanings. God impressed such a character upon the Jewish history—or rather perhaps it was the natural result of the similar position in which Christians now stand to that occupied by the Jews under the law—that it foreshadowed the history of the Christian Church. This idea is carried out more fully than in this Epistles in reference to the Old Testament generally, in the Epistles to the Galatians and Hebrews. Here it is simply used to point out the way in which the warnings of the Jewish history are valuable to Christians.

as they also lusted] St Paul gives five instances of the Israelites’ sin. First the desire for food other than God had given them, Numbers 11:4; Numbers 11:33-34.1 Corinthians 10:6. Ταῦτα, these) benefits, which the people received, and the sins which they at the same time committed.—τύποι, examples) by which we may be instructed, from which we may learn, what punishments, we must expect, if, receiving such benefits, we should sin in a similar manner.—εἰς τὸ μὴ, that not) The benefits are put down in the order, in which they are arranged by Moses, in the different chapters of Exodus; the offences, with their punishments, in a different order. The fundamental principle, from which the offences proceed, is concupiscence: afterwards, the mention of idolatry most of all serves his purpose, 1 Corinthians 10:7; 1 Corinthians 10:4 : fornication was usually joined with idolatry, 1 Corinthians 10:8 : temptation with murmuring; see the following verses. Those offences are chiefly mentioned, which relate to the admonition of the Corinthians.—ἐπιθύμητας) The LXX. have this verbal noun.—κακῶν, after evil things) Romans 14:20.—ἐπεθύμησαν, lusted) Numbers 11:4.Verse 6. - These things were our examples. If this rendering be adopted, perhaps "examples" is the best equivalent of the original tupoi, as in Philippians 3:17, "Walk so as ye have us for an example (tupelo)." It may, however, mean "types," i.e. foreshadowing symbols, as in Romans 5:14, where Adam is the "figure" (tupos) of Christ. But, in spite of Alford's decisive rejection of it, the rendering, "Now in these things they proved to be figures of us," is at least equally probable. To the intent. Of course, the events had their own immediate instruction, but the example which they involved was the ulterior purpose of their being so ordained by the providence of God. As they also lusted. (For quails, Numbers 11:4, 33; and see Psalm 95:7-11.) Examples (τύποι)

See on 1 Peter 5:3. The word may mean either an example, as 1 Timothy 4:12, or a type of a fact or of a spiritual truth. Hebrews 9:24; Romans 5:14.

We should not lust (μὴ εἶναι ἡμᾶς ἐπιθυμητὰς)

Lit., should not be desirers. Ἑπιθυμητής desirer, lover, only here in the New Testament. Frequent in the classics. The sins of the Israelites are connected with those of the Corinthians.

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