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1 Corinthians 10:6

ESV Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.
NIV Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
NASB Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they indeed craved them.
CSB Now these things took place as examples for us, so that we will not desire evil things as they did.
NLT These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did,
KJV Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

What does 1 Corinthians 10:6 mean?

Just as born-again Christians have received spiritual blessings and protection from Christ, the Israelites in the wilderness did, as well. Paul revealed in the previous verse that these blessings and protections were not enough to protect them from God's discipline for their own sinfulness. Thus, most of that generation of Israelites were overthrown by God and died in the wilderness.

Paul now warns the Corinthian Christians to take seriously the Israelites' example. Their response should be to stop desiring to do evil, as the Israelites did.

Apparently the Corinthians misunderstood what many Christians still misunderstand today. They believed their freedom in Christ—their freedom from following the law of Moses—meant they were free to indulge in sinful desires without fear of consequence from the Lord. While it's true that believers are saved from damnation through faith in Christ by God's grace, Paul wants them to understand that the Lord will discipline them in this life, if necessary.

This verse may specifically be referring to a time in the wilderness in which some people became dissatisfied with the manna God was providing and craved meat (Numbers 11:4–34). For their complaining and lack of gratitude, God gave them what they wanted but also struck them with a plague. Those killed by God were buried in "graves of craving" (Numbers 11:34).

The Corinthians likely did not miss the connection to their own demand. In an earlier letter, they seem to have insisted on eating whatever they wanted, without worrying about causing others to stumble by eating meat that had been offered to idols (1 Corinthians 8:13).
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