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.
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).