1 Corinthians 10:4

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BibleNew Testament1 Corinthians

KJV

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; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.          (KJV)

the Rock that Followed

In this verse, Paul builds on a traditional Jewish interpretation of Torah that understood that the rock that gave water for the Israelites when Moses struck it at Kadesh (Numbers 20:1-13) was the same rock that had given water when he had struck it many years earlier when they were at Rephidim (Exodus 17:6), and that therefore it must have travelled with them on the long wilderness journey from Rephidim to Kadesh.

Significance

Paul's willingness, not just to allude to this tradition, but to build a lesson of his own on it, is relevant to our understanding of the nature of God's inspiration of the apostle's writing. Specifically, it shows that a favourable mention by Paul of a traditional belief or interpretation does not necessarily imply that he believed that it was historically accurate or that he "endorsed" it.

Bruce (talk) 08:00, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

And also . . . [was: An alternative]

Paul The OT (especially the Psalms) refers to God as Israel's Rock. In the passage Paul continues within the context of a discussion of spiritual food and drink to say that Christ is our Rock, the source of 'our' spiritual drink similar to God was Israel's Rock in the wilderness and beyond. Paul (talk) 03:11, 14 April 2018 (UTC)

Bruce Indeed, and surely Paul agrees with that — so it's not an alternative. The significance for our purposes here is that he used the legend at all, not what he used it for.
(Changed sub-heading Bruce (talk) 05:03, 14 May 2018 (UTC))