1Co 9:1
9:1 Am {1} I not an apostle? am I not free? {2} have I not seen
    Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye {a} my work in the Lord?

 (1) Before he proceeds any further in his purposed matter of
     things offered to idols, he would show the cause of all
     this evil, and also take it away.  That is, that the
     Corinthians thought that they did not have to depart from
     the least amount of their liberty for any man's pleasure.
     Therefore he propounds himself for an example, and that in
     a matter almost necessary.  And yet he speaks of both, but
     first of his own person.  If (he says) you allege for
     yourselves that you are free, and therefore will use your
     liberty, am I not also free, seeing I am an apostle?
 (2) He proves his apostleship by the effects, in that he was
     appointed by Christ himself, and the authority of his
     function was sufficiently confirmed to him among them by
     their conversion.  And all these things he sets before
     their eyes, to make them ashamed because they would not in
     the least way that might be, debase themselves for the sake
     of the weak, whereas the apostle himself did all the he
     could to win them to God, when they were utterly reprobate
     and without God.
     (a) By the Lord.

1Co 9:2
9:2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to
    you: for the {b} seal of mine apostleship are ye in the

    (b) As a seal by which it sufficiently appears that God is
        the author of my apostleship.

1Co 9:3
9:3 {3} Mine answer to them that do {c} examine me is this,

 (3) He adds this by the way, as if he should say, "So far it is
     off, that you may doubt of my apostleship, that I use it to
     refute those who call it into controversy, by opposing
     those things which the Lord has done by me among you."
     (c) Which like judges examine me and my doings.

1Co 9:4
9:4 {4} Have we not power to {d} eat and to drink?

 (4) "Now concerning the matter itself", he says, "seeing that I
     am free, and truly an apostle, why may not I (I say not,
     eat of all things offered to idols) be maintained by my
     labours, indeed and keep my wife also, as the rest of the
     apostles lawfully do, as by name, John and James, the
     Lord's cousins, and Peter himself?"
     (d) Upon the expense of the Church?

1Co 9:5
9:5 Have we not power to lead about a {e} sister, a wife, as
    well as other apostles, and [as] the brethren of the Lord,
    and Cephas?

    (e) One that is a Christian and a true believer.

1Co 9:6
9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to {f} forbear

    (f) Not live by the works of our hands.

1Co 9:7
9:7 {5} Who {g} goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who
    planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or
    who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the

 (5) That he may not seem to burden the apostles, he shows that
     it is just that they do, by an argument of comparison,
     seeing that soldiers live by their wages, and husbandmen
     by the fruits of their labours, and shepherds by that which
     comes of their flocks.
     (g) Goes to warfare?

1Co 9:8
9:8 {6} Say I these things {h} as a man? or saith not the law
    the same also?

 (6) Secondly, he brings forth the authority of God's
     institution by an argument of comparison.
     (h) Have I not better ground than the common custom of men?

1Co 9:9
9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle
    the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God
    take care for {i} oxen?

    (i) Was it God's proper intention to provide for oxen, when
        he made this law?  For there is not the smallest thing
        in the world, but that God has a concern for.

1Co 9:11
9:11 {7} If we have sown unto you spiritual things, [is it] a
     great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?

 (7) An assumption of the arguments with an amplification, for
     neither in so doing do we require a reward appropriate for
     our work.

1Co 9:12
9:12 {8} If others be partakers of [this] {k} power over you,
     [are] not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this
     power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the
     gospel of Christ.

 (8) Another argument of great force: others are nourished
     among you, therefore it was lawful for me, indeed rather for
     me than any other.  And yet I refused it, and had rather
     still suffer any inconvenience, than the Gospel of Christ
     should be hindered.
     (k) The word signifies right and interest, by which he
         shows us that the ministers of the word must by right
         and duty be supported by the Church.

1Co 9:13
9:13 {9} Do ye not know that they which minister about holy
     things live [of the {l} things] of the temple? and they
     which wait at the altar are {m} partakers with the altar?

 (9) Last of all he brings forth the express law concerning the
     nourishing of the Levites, which privilege nonetheless he
     will not use.
     (l) This is spoken by the figure of speech metonymy, for
         those things that are offered in the temple.
     (m) Are partakers with the altar in dividing the sacrifice.

1Co 9:14
9:14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the
     gospel should live {n} of the gospel.

     (n) Because they preach the Gospel.  It follows by this
         place, that Paul received no living, neither would have
         any other man receive, by a commodity of masses, or
         any other such superstitious nonsense.

1Co 9:15
9:15 But I have used none of these things: {10} neither have I
     written these things, that it should be so done unto me:
     for [it were] better for me to die, than that any man
     should make my glorying void.

 (10) He takes away occasion of suspicion by the way, that it
      might not be thought that he wrote this as though he was
      demanding his wages that were not payed him.  On the
      contrary, he says, I had rather die, than not to continue
      in this purpose to preach the Gospel freely.  For I am
      bound to preach the Gospel,  seeing that the Lord has
      given and commanded me this office: but unless I do it
      willingly and for the love of God, nothing that I do is to
      be considered worthwhile.  If I had rather that the Gospel
      should be evil spoken of, than that I should not require
      my wages, then would it appear that I took these pains not
      so much for the Gospel's sake, as for my gains and
      advantages.  But I say, this would not be to use, but
      rather to abuse my right and liberty: therefore not only
      in this thing, but also in all others (as much as I could)
      I am made all things to all men, that I might win them to
      Christ, and might together with them be won to Christ.

1Co 9:18
9:18 What is my reward then? [Verily] that, when I preach the
     gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ {o} without charge,
     that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

     (o) By taking nothing from those to whom I preach it.

1Co 9:20
9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the
     Jews; to them that are under the {p} law, as under the law,
     that I might gain them that are under the law;

     (p) The word "law" in this place must be limited to the
         ceremonial Law.

1Co 9:22
9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I
     am made all things to {q} all [men], that I might by all
     means save some.

     (q) In matters that are indifferent, which may be done or
         not done with a good conscience.  It is as if he said,
         "I accommodated all customs and manners, that by all
         means I might save some."

1Co 9:23
9:23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be
     partaker thereof with {r} [you].

     (r) That both I and those to whom I preach the Gospel, may
         receive fruit by the Gospel.

1Co 9:24
9:24 {11} Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but
     one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

 (11) He brings in another reason for this wrong, that is,
      that they were given to gluttony, for there were solemn
      banquets of sacrifices, and the loose living of the
      priests was always too much celebrated and kept.
      Therefore it was hard for those who were accustomed to
      loose living, especially when they pretended the liberty
      of the Gospel, to be restrained in these banquets.  But
      on the other hand, the apostle calls them by a pleasant
      similitude, and also by his own example, to sobriety and
      mortification of the flesh, showing that they cannot be
      fit to run or wrestle (as then the games of Isthmies were)
      who pamper up their bodies.  And therefore affirming that
      they can have no reward unless they take another course
      and manner of life.

1Co 9:25
9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is {s}
     temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a
     corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

     (s) Uses a most excellent and moderate diet.

1Co 9:27
9:27 But I keep under my {t} body, and bring [it] into
     subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to
     others, I myself should be {u} a castaway.

     (t) The old man which strives against the Spirit.
     (u) Or, "reproved".  And this word "reproved" is not
         contrasted with the word "elect", but with the word
         "approved", when we see someone who is experienced not
         to be such a one as he ought to be.