Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Read Chapter 10
George Leo Haydock
In a figure of us. That is, this was done and written to teach us, what we may expect, if we imitate the murmurs, infidelities, ingratitude, and disobedience of the Hebrew people. Unless we renounce our irregular desires, unless we mortify our passions, baptism and communion will prove our greater condemnation. The greatest graces are but subjects of alarm, unless our life correspond with them.
Just as the gifts are symbolic, so are the punishments symbolic. Baptism and holy Communion were prefigured in prophecy. In the same way the certainty of punishment for those who are unworthy of this gift was proclaimed beforehand for our sake, so that we might learn from these examples how we must watch our step.
For as the gifts are figures, even so are the punishments figures: and as Baptism and the Table were sketched out prophetically, so also by what ensued, the certainty of punishment coming on those who are unworthy of this gift was proclaimed beforehand for our sake that we by these examples might learn soberness. Wherefore also he adds,
To the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. For as in the benefits the types went before and the substance followed, such shall be the order also in the punishments. Do you see how he signifies not only the fact that these shall be punished, but also the degree, more severely than those ancients? For if the one be type, and the other substance, it must needs be that the punishments should as far exceed as the gifts.
And see whom he handles first: those who eat in the idol-temples. For having said, that we should not lust after evil things, which was general, he subjoins that which is particular, implying that each of t...
Out of them? For, being about to take a cursory view of what befell the people (of Israel) he begins with saying: "Now these things happened as examples for us.".
? For, to borrow the apostle's phrase, these were "figures of ourselves; "