Studies In The Book Of I Corinthians

(I Corinthians 10:1-11)


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1. Did Paul want the Christians in Corinth to be ignorant concerning Israel’s crossing of the Red Sea during the days of Moses?

No: “(1) Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; (2) And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (I Corinthians 10:1-2).

Š     As we’ll address in this context (I Corinthians 10:6; 11), knowledge of things in the Old Testament is very helpful for us (Romans 15:4).

Š     This information would be new to those in Corinth who were Gentiles.  They were, by implication, a large number of Gentiles in Corinth (I Corinthians 12:2).

Š     Those Jews of the past are our fathers in the faith (Galatians 3:26-29).

Š     With Moses, Israel crossed the Red Sea on dry ground with the water as walls around them (Exodus 14:19-22, Exodus 14:29, Nehemiah 9:11, and Psalms 66:6).

Š     The same occurred with the Jordan River (Joshua 4:23).

Š     Seeing these things only temporarily helped Israel (Psalms 106:7-13).


2. What “spiritual meat” did the Israelites eat?

The verse doesn’t say: “And did all eat the same spiritual meat” (I Corinthians 10:3).


Š     One possible meaning would be the word of God (Deuteronomy 8:1-3).

Š     Another possible meaning would be the manna in the wilderness (Exodus 16:1-35, Psalms 78:23-25, and Psalms 105:40).


3. What “spiritual drink” did the Israelites drink?

Yes: ”And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed [“ACCOMPANIED”; Strong’s # 190] them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Corinthians 10:4).


Š     Jesus is God (Romans 9:1-5) and God was their rock (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).  This gives us some knowledge here that Jesus was not “hands off” during the Old Testament dispensation.  This very well could mean that it was Jesus accompanying them out of Egypt (Exodus 13:21 and Psalms 78:14).


4. Why was Israel overthrown in the wilderness?

God was not pleased with them: “But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness” (I Corinthians 10:5).


Š     They [except Caleb and Joshua; Numbers 26:64-65] didn’t want to enter the land and take it (Numbers 13:17-14:39).  Such failure would have made God a liar (Genesis 17:8 and Deuteronomy 34:4).  Which has implications for us too (i.e. Hebrews 7:14).


5. Why are these things our examples?

That we should not lust after evil things: “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted” (I Corinthians 10:6).


Š     They lusted (Psalms 106:14-15).  That’s wrong (I Peter 2:11 and I Peter 4:1-3).  We therefore learn that consequences follow such sinfulness (Psalms 78:27-31).

Š     We should learn from past examples of sin/punishment (II Peter 2:6 and Jude 7).


6. To what sin of Israel does the phrase, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” refer to?

Idolatry: “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play” (I Corinthians 10:7; cf. Exodus 32:1-8).


Š     Idolatry is wrong (Deuteronomy 5:7-9, Deuteronomy 11:16-17, Acts 15:20, I Corinthians 6:9-10, I Corinthians 10:14, and I John 5:21).


7. What caused 23,000 Israelites to fall in one day?

Fornication: “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand” (I Corinthians 10:8).


Š     Seemingly, if this is the example in reference, there must have been more than 1 day, but the total that fell was 24,000 (Numbers 25:1-9).


8. What happened when Israel tempted Christ?

Destruction by serpents: “Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents” (I Corinthians 10:9; cf. Numbers 21:4-9).


9. Do we want to be murmurers?

No: “Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer” (I Corinthians 10:10).


Š     Could be many references here, one that hasn’t been addressed is what happened when Korah and others rose up in complaint against Moses and even murmuring that followed that punishment (Numbers 16:1-50).


10. Can we receive admonishments from things written in the Old Testament?

Yes: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (I Corinthians 10:11).


Š     To admonish is to rebuke and correct.  This is certainly possible using all Scriptures (Proverbs 6:23, II Timothy 3:15-4:2, and Titus 2:15).  That is not to say the O.T. is the same as the N.T. (Acts 13:38-39), but there are things to learn from it.






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