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THE FIRST EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 9 - Verse 20

Verse 20. And unto the Jews. In this verse, and the two following, Paul states more at length the conduct which he had exhibited, and to which he refers in 1 Co 9:19. He had shown this conduct to all classes of men. He had preached much to his own countrymen, and had evinced these principles there.

I became as a Jew. I complied with their rites, customs, prejudices, as far as I could with a good conscience. I did not needlessly offend them. I did not attack and oppose their views, when there was no danger that my conduct should be mistaken. For a full illustration of Paul's conduct in this respect, and the principles which influenced him, See Barnes "Ac 16:3"; See Barnes "Ac 18:18"; See Barnes "Ac 21:21"; also Ac 21:22-27 See Barnes "Ac 23:1"; also Ac 23:5-6.

To those that are under the law. This I understand as another form of saying that he conformed to the rites, customs, and even prejudices of the Jews. The phrase, "under the law," means undoubtedly the law of Moses; and probably he here refers particularly to those Jews who lived in the land of Judea, as being more immediately and entirely under the law of Moses, than those who lived among the Gentiles.

As under the law. That is, I conformed to their rites and customs as far as I could do it. I did not violate them unnecessarily. I did not disregard them for the purpose of offending them; nor refuse to observe them when it could be done with a good conscience. There can be no doubt that Paul, when he was in Judea, submitted himself to the laws, and lived in conformity with them.

That I might gain. That I might obtain their confidence and affection. That I might not outrage their feelings, excite their prejudices, and provoke them to anger; and that I might thus have access to their minds, and be the means of converting them to the Christian faith.

{b} "unto the Jews" Ac 16:3; 21:23-26

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