What does 1 Corinthians 10:4 mean?
ESV: and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
NIV: and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.
NASB: and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
CSB: and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.
NLT: and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.
KJV: And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues to make a connection between the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness and the Christians in Corinth. This concept applies equally well to all Christians. The Israelites were "baptized into Moses" through their experiences of the Lord's leading in the cloud (Exodus 13:21) and the Lord's protection as they went through the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21–28). In addition, they all ate the same spiritual food in the form of manna from heaven (Exodus 16:15).

Here it is stated that they all drank the same spiritual drink in the form of the water that flowed miraculously from a rock (Exodus 17:1–7). Paul identifies that Rock as Christ Himself, providing water for the Israelites. This makes the connection between the Israelites and the Christians in Corinth even more obvious.

Like those Israelites, Christians are baptized, though into Christ instead of Moses. Christians observe communion by eating the spiritual food of Christ's body, rather than manna. They drink the spiritual drink of His blood, rather than water from the rock. It's possible that Paul's intention in this passage is to make a specific connection between the experiences of the Israelites and the Corinthians' practice of Christian baptism and communion.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 10:1–13 describes how the generation of Israelites who escaped from Egypt were blessed by God and yet fell repeatedly into idol worship. God severely punished many of them, including the fate of wandering the desert until death. The Corinthians should read their example as a warning unless they, too, fall at God's hand for participating with idols. Their standing in Christ does not mean that God will not act against unfaithfulness to Him with false gods. Still, such temptations are common, and God always provides His children a way to escape from sin.
Chapter Summary:
Idol worship is an extremely serious sin. Paul reminds the Christians in idol-saturated Corinth of that by referring to the history of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness. Though blessed by God, they worshiped false idols. God killed many of them for it. Paul commands his readers to flee from idol worship. To participate with idol worship in any way is to participate with demons. God always provides some way to avoid sin. So, they must avoid giving anyone the idea that they approve of idol worship, even by knowingly eating food offered to idols. Their first question must always be, ''Will this glorify God?''
Chapter Context:
The previous chapter concluded with Paul's commitment to continue to control himself. He exercises discipline so he does not become ineffective in his ministry. He begins chapter 10 by reminding the Corinthians of how the Israelites brought consequences on themselves in the wilderness. Among their many sins was worshiping idols, and God killed many of them for it. The Corinthians must flee idol worship and any appearance of supporting the demonic practice. They are free to eat meat if they don't know that it is idol food. However, they should be ready to set aside their own freedoms and rights whenever doing so will glorify God and win others to Christ.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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