1 Corinthians 10:3

And did all eat the same spiritual food;
All Commentaries on 1 Corinthians 10:3 Go To 1 Corinthians 10

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And did all eat the same spiritual meat. Not, as Calvin supposes, the same as we, as though Christians and Hebrews alike feed, not on the Real Body of Christ, but on the typical. You will say, perhaps, that S. Augustine (tract25 in Johan.) and S. Thomas explain it to be the same as we eat. I reply: They understand "the same" by analogy, for the Hebrews received typically what we receive really. But this is beside the meaning of the Apostle, who understands the same to refer, not to us but to themselves. All the Hebrews , whether good or bad, ate the same food, that is the same manna. This is evident from the context, "But with many of them God was not well pleased," that is to say, that though all ate the same manna, drank of the same water from the rock, yet all did mot please God. As, then, they had one baptism and one spiritual food, so too have we; and as, notwithstanding, they were not all saved, but many of them perished, so is it to be feared that many of us may perish, although we have the same sacraments common to us all. So Chrysostom, Theophylact, Anselm, and others. And notice with them that manna is here called "spiritual food," or mystical, or typical, because the manna was a type of the Eucharist. So the water from the rock is called "spiritual drink," because it was a type of the blood of Christ. Others take "spiritual" to mean miraculous, i.e, not produced by the powers of nature but of spirits, viz, God and the angels; for of this kind was manna, of which the Psalmist says, "So man did eat angels" food" (Ps. lxxviii25). 1. Manna allegorically stood for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, as is evident from S. John vi49 , 50. Especially did it represent the contained part, and the effect of the sacrament, as Chrysostom, Theophylact, and Cyril point out at length, in commenting in the passage of S. John just quoted. Hence the Apostle says here: "They did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink." Even Calvin takes this of the Holy Communion, and says that the manna was a type of the body of Christ. From this you may rightly infer that in the Blessed Sacrament the flesh of Christ is truly present, since manna was a symbol of a thing really existing, and not merely imagined; for some of us as well as of the Jews will eat the spiritual meat, i.e, the typical and symbolical flesh, and will not have more of the truth signified than the Jews, nay, much less; for manna was sweeter than our bread, and far more clearly than dry bread represented the body of Christ. A certain minister of this new flock has lately yielded this point as a clear consequence. But who does not see that it is at variance with Holy Scripture and with reason? For the New Law is more excellent than the Old, and therefore the sacraments of the New surpass those of the Old. Therefore the Apostle says: "These things were our examples." But the thing figured is better than the figure, as a body is than its shadow, and a man than his likeness. Therefore the sacraments of the New Law, and especially the Eucharist, as a thing figured, must be more noble than the sacraments of the Old Law, and than the manna itself, which was but a type and figure of our Eucharist. Again, in S. John vi, Christ at some length puts His body in the Eucharist before the manna (vers, 48,59). The bread that He there speaks of is that which is Divine, consecrated and transubstantiated into the body of Christ. Who does not see that the manna was a better representation of the body of Christ than bread? It can be shown in many ways. 2. S. Paul has most fittingly compared manna to the body of Christ in the Eucharist, and has most beautifully shadowed it out: (a) the element in the Eucharist and the manna have the same colour; (b) it is not found except by those who have left the fleshpots of Egypt and the lusts of the flesh; (d) to the covetous and to infidels both turn to worms and bring condemnation; (e) the manna was not given till after the passing of the Red Sea—the Eucharist is not given till after baptism; (f) after the manna came, the Hebrews fought with Amalek, but before that God alone had fought for them against the Egyptians. They fought and conquered; so the obstacles and temptations which beset the heavenly life are allowed by God to trouble those only who are fortified against them, and they are overcome by the power of the Eucharist. (g) The manna was bread made by angels, without seed, or ploughing, or any human toil; so the body of Christ was formed of the Virgin alone by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. (h) Manna gave every kind of sweet taste to those who were good and devout. Hence Wisdom (xvi20) says of manna: "Thou feddest Thine own people with angels" food, and didst give them bread from heaven prepared without labour, containing in itself all sweetness and every pleasant taste." So Christ is milk to babes, oil to children, solid food to the perfect, as Gregory Nyssen says. (j) The manna was small: Christ is contained by a small Host; (k) the manna was beaten in a mortar: Christ was stripped of His mortality in the mortar of the Cross. (l) The faithful wonderingly exclaim, " Prayer of Manasseh -hu—What is this—that God should be with us!" (m) All collected an equal measure of manna, viz, one omer; so all alike receive whole Christ, though the species or the Host be greater of smaller, as Rupert says. (n) The manna was collected in the wilderness on the six week-days only; so in our eternal Sabbath and Promised Land the veil of the sacrament will be done away, and in perfect rest we shall enjoy the sight of Christ face to face. (o) The manna melted under the sun, so is the sacrament dissolved when the species are melted by heat. More will be found in the commentary on Exod. xxi.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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