Now these things were our examples
Or "types"; that is, these punishments which were inflicted on these persons for their sins, were designed as instructions for others to avoid the like sins, that they may escape the same punishment; just as the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, being condemned with an overthrow, as these men were, were made ensamples to all that should hereafter live such vicious lives and conversations; and in a very lively manner, as in a type or print, these exhibited the displeasure of God against sin, what such must expect who commit it; so men are called out of Babylon, lest, partaking of her sins, they also receive of her plagues. The Jews have a common saying F19 (Mynbl Nmyo twbal eryav) "that what happened to the fathers is a sign unto the children"; to which the apostle may have respect:
to the intent that we should not lust after evil things.
The apostle proceeds to enter into particular instances, in which these things were examples, teaching us to avoid sin, and so punishment; and begins with lust, which is the root and foundation of all sin; all the evil in the world arises from it, and the world itself is full of it, and is in God's account the same as action: and here he particularly strikes at those Corinthians, that lusted after the feasts in the idols' temples; and hints that that arose rather from a carnal sensual appetite, which ought not to be indulged, than from any other principle:
as they also lusted;
that is, after evil things, the fish, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, onions, and garlic of Egypt, ( Numbers 11:4-6 ) which though they were not evil in themselves, yet the Israelites sinned in lusting after them, in not being content with the manna, the food which God had prepared for them; and besides, their desire after these things did not arise from want, but from a sensual appetite, and was attended with murmuring against the Lord and his servants, and was highly resented; for though the Lord gave them flesh according to their desire, yet while it was between their teeth, he sent a plague among them, by which multitudes were taken off, and the name of the place was called (hwath twrbq) , "Kibroth Hataavah, the graves of lusts"; the people that lusted being buried there, ( Numbers 11:34 ) .
F19 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 77. 4.