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Spiritual Rock


(pneumatike petra):

Having a spiritual significance: supernatural, manifesting the power of the Divine Spirit; allegorically applied to Christ as fulfilling the type in the smitten rock in the desert, from which water miraculously burst forth to nourish the Israelites. A tradition current among the Jews affirms that this rock followed the people in their journeyings and gave forth a living stream for their supply. Paul made this ever-flowing rock a beautiful and accurate symbol of Christ: "The rock was Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Without the characterizing word "spiritual," this figurative term, with the same significance, is common to the Scriptures; applied

(1) to Yahweh, God:

"Rock of his salvation," "their rock is not as our Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:15,31); "Yahweh is my rock" (Psalms 18:2; compare Isaiah 26:4; 32:2; 1 Samuel 2:2; 2 Samuel 22:2);

(2) to the foundation-stone of Christian confession and testimony (Matthew 16:18; compare Ephesians 2:20; 1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:6-8), and thus to Christ Himself;

(3) in Christian hymnology to Jesus crucified and spear-pierced:

"Rock of ages, cleft for me."

Dwight M. Pratt

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'SPIRITUAL ROCK'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". 1915.