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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 9 - Verse 13

Verse 13. Do ye not know, etc. In this verse Paul illustrates the doctrine that the ministers of religion were entitled to a support from the fact that those who were appointed to offer sacrifice received a maintenance in their work.

They which minister about holy things. Probably the Levites. Their office was to render assistance to the priests, to keep guard around the tabernacle, and subsequently around the temple. It was also their duty to see that the temple was kept clean, and to prepare supplies for the sanctuary, such as oil, wine, incense, etc. They had the care of the revenues; and, after the time of David, were required to sing in the temple, and to play upon instruments, Nu 3:1-36; 4:1,30,35,42; Nu 8:5-22; 1 Ch 23:3-5,24,27; 24:20-31.

 

Live of the things of the temple? Marg., Feed; i.e., are supported in their work by the offerings of the people, and by the provisions which were made for the temple service. Nu 18:24-32.

And they which wait at the altar. Probably the priests who were employed in offering sacrifice.

Are partakers with the altar? That is, a part of the animal offered in sacrifice is burned as an offering to God, and a part becomes the property of the priest for his support; and thus the altar and the priest become joint, participators of the sacrifice. From these offerings the priests derived their maintenance. See Nu 18:8-19; De 18:1, etc. The argument of the apostle here is this: "As the ministers of religion under the Jewish dispensation were entitled to support by the authority and the law of God, that fact settles a general principle which is applicable also to the gospel, that he intends that the ministers of religion should derive their support in their work. If it was reasonable then, it is reasonable now. If God commanded it then, it is to be presumed that he intends to require it now.

{1} "live" "feed" {b} "they which wait" Nu 18:8; De 18:1

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