1 Corinthians 9:7

What soldier ever serveth? (ti strateuetai pote;). "Who ever serves as a soldier?" serves in an army (strato). Present middle of old verb strateuw. At his own charges (idioi opswnioi). This late word opswnion (from opson, cooked meat or relish with bread, and wneomai, to buy) found in Menander, Polybius, and very common in papyri and inscriptions in the sense of rations or food, then for the soldiers' wages (often provisions) or the pay of any workman. So of the wages of sin ( Romans 6:23 ). Paul uses labwn opswnion (receiving wages, the regular idiom) in 2 Corinthians 11:8 . See Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary; Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 148,266; Light from the Ancient East, p. 168. To give proof of his right to receive pay for preaching Paul uses the illustrations of the soldier (verse 2 Corinthians 7 ), the husbandman (verse 2 Corinthians 7 ), the shepherd (verse 2 Corinthians 7 ), the ox treading out the grain ( 2 Corinthians 8 ), the ploughman (verse 2 Corinthians 10 ), the priests in the temple ( 2 Corinthians 13 ), proof enough in all conscience, and yet not enough for some churches who even today starve their pastors in the name of piety. Who planteth a vineyard? (ti puteuei ampelwna;). Ampelwn no earlier than Diodorus, but in LXX and in papyri. Place of vines (ampelo), meaning of ending -wn. Who feedeth a flock? (ti poimainei poimnhn;). Cognate accusative, both old words. Paul likens the pastor to a soldier, vinedresser, shepherd. He contends with the world, he plants churches, he exercises a shepherd's care over them (Vincent).

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