1 Corinthians 10:5 MEANING

1 Corinthians 10:5
(5) But with many of them.--Better, Nevertheless not with the greater part of them was God pleased. This introduces the point from which the Apostle seeks to draw the great lesson of self-distrust. All had all these privileges--privileges of a baptism and a spiritual meat and drink which correspond with the sacramental ordinances which are proofs and pledges of all the privileges of us Christians--and yet with the greater part--in fact, with all except two--of that vast multitude God was not pleased, as is proved by the fact that (Numbers 14:16) all except Caleb and Joshua perished in the wilderness.

Verse 5. - With many of them; rather, with most of them. They were overthrown in the wilderness. A quotation from the LXX. of Numbers 14:16. All but Caleb and Joshua perished (Numbers 26:64, 65; comp. Jude 1:5). In Hebrews 3:17 the word used is "they fell."

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.But with many of them God was not well pleased,.... As he is with none but those that are in Christ; and with none of the services of men, but what are done in faith, which become acceptable to him through Jesus Christ; for in him only persons and services are accepted with God; and this was the way of acceptance in the Old, as in the New Testament dispensation: how many of the Jewish fathers God was not well pleased with, or took no delight in, but hated and abhorred, which is the sense of the phrase here, whether they were the greatest part or not, is not certain; however, they were not all, excepting Joshua and Caleb, as some interpreters understand it; for not all that died in the wilderness were out of the special grace and favour of God, witness Moses, Aaron, Miriam, and, it is to be supposed and hoped, hundreds and thousands more; but the apostle has respect to such who were the instances of God's direful vengeance and displeasure, as appears from the reason given;

for they were overthrown in the wilderness: he does not say merely that they died there, for many with whom God was well pleased died there; but these, their carcasses fell in the wilderness, being stricken, thrown down, and overthrown by the immediate hand of God; they did not die a common death, according to the ordinary course of nature; but by the plague, or by the sword, or by fire from heaven, or by fiery serpents, or by a destroying angel, or by one judgment or another, as hereafter mentioned.

Courtesy of Open Bible