Neither let us tempt Christ
As all such persons do, who, presuming on the power and grace of Christ to keep them, or upon what they have received from him, unnecessarily expose themselves to snares and temptations, and so to danger; and as many of the Corinthians did, who are here chiefly respected, who trusting to their gifts and attainments, their knowledge and Christian liberty, would go into an idol's temple, sit down at meat there, and exposed themselves great and imminent danger; which was a tempting Christ, whether he would preserve them or not:
as some of them also tempted;
that is, as some of the Israelites tempted, which they did more than once; but what is referred to here, is the time they spake against God and Moses, in ( Numbers 21:5 Numbers 21:6 ) as appears from the punishment annexed, their being destroyed by serpents. The Arabic version adds "him", meaning Christ, which is a right interpretation of the text; otherwise there would be no force in the apostle's reasoning; for Christ was the angel that went before the Israelites in the wilderness, the angel of God's presence, that bore, and carried, and saved them; he is the Jehovah they tempted at Massah and Meribah, and elsewhere, and God they spake against at this place referred to; hence it is clear that our Lord existed before his incarnation, and that he is truly and properly God; the Alexandrian copy reads, "neither let us tempt God", and so the Ethiopic version: "and were destroyed of serpents"; fiery ones, which were sent among them by the Lord Christ, they tempted and spoke against, which bit them, and of these bites many of them died. This might lead to the consideration, of the original cause of man's sin and fall, and the ruin of human nature, by the means of a serpent; and may be an emblem of the future destruction of the wicked, which will be everlasting fire, prepared for the devil, the old serpent, and his angels.