New Defender's Study Bible Notes
10:1 all our fathers. Although many of the Corinthian Christians were Gentiles, the Jewish patriarchs were their “fathers” in a spiritual sense, and the Old Testament record is as profitable for Gentiles now as for Jews.
10:1 under the cloud. The “cloud” was the shekinah glory cloud that both guided and protected the Israelites in their exodus from Egypt, while the “sea” was the Red Sea which God miraculously opened for them (Exodus 13:21; 14:29).
10:2 baptized. “Baptized” is simply a transliteration of the Greek baptizo, which means literally “inundated” or “immersed.” Both the cloud and the sea surrounded them, just as the baptismal waters surround a new Christian being “baptized.”
10:4 Rock that followed them. On the typological significance of the water-giving Rock, see notes on Exodus 17:5-6 and Numbers 20:7-12. The water they drank was literal water. The Rock that “followed” them, however, was not a literal rock, but the Spirit of Christ Himself. “He brought streams also out of the rock, and caused waters to run down like rivers” (Psalm 78:16). Evidently, when Moses smote the rock, it opened a great spring which became a continually flowing river, along which the children of Israel marched and camped in the wilderness for forty years. It is also worth noting that the Greek word used here for “Rock” is petra, and that this is the same word that Jesus used when he said that “upon this Rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Christ (not Peter) is the foundation rock upon which the true church is built (I Corinthians 3:11), and He is also the “living water,” the “well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:10,14).
10:6 examples. The word “examples” is the Greek tupos, from which we get “types.” Thus the experiences of the Israelites were actually designed by God as “types” of Christ and of our relation to Him. See also I Corinthians 10:11.
10:7 written. See Exodus 32:6. The people worshiped a golden calf which they themselves had made, thinking that it was their “god.” Such is the foolishness (Romans 1:22) of anyone who tries to believe a “creature” was the Creator (Romans 1:25).
10:8 three and twenty thousand. This was the number that died “in one day.” Numbers 25:9 indicates that the total number that died “in the plague” was twenty-four thousand. Evidently an additional thousand died either before or after that particular day. Both figures are probably round numbers.
10:20 devils. Even though the physical images worshiped by idolaters are nothing but vanity, they do represent a dangerous reality, for “demons” actually lurk in and around such idols. These demonic spirits are able in certain limited ways to cause temporal blessings or troubles to visit their adherents, thereby impressing them with the validity of their false religion, and binding them ever more securely in their grasp.
10:23 edify not. Here is another principle for testing whether a practice not specifically mentioned in Scripture is right or wrong. Does it “edify” or “build up” another person? See also Romans 14:21,23; I Corinthians 6:12,19-20.
10:31 glory of God. See note on I Corinthians 10:23.
10:32 church of God. The “church” can be neither Jewish nor Gentile, for in Christ, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision” (Colossians 3:11; also note Ephesians 2:11 and Galatians 6:15).