1 Am I not free? am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus our Lord? are not *ye* my work in [the] Lord?
2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet at any rate I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are *ye* in [the] Lord.
3 My defence to those who examine me is this:
4 Have we not a right to eat and to drink?
5 have we not a right to take round a sister [as] wife, as also the other apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?
6 Or *I* alone and Barnabas, have we not a right not to work?
7 Who ever carries on war at his own charges? who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? or who herds a flock and does not eat of the milk of the flock?
8 Do I speak these things as a man, or does not the law also say these things?
9 For in the law of Moses it is written, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that is treading out corn. Is God occupied about the oxen,

References for 1 Corinthians 9:9

    • a 9:9 - See Deut. 25.4.
      10 or does he say [it] altogether for our sakes? For for our sakes it has been written, that the plougher should plough in hope, and he that treads out corn, in hope of partaking of [it].

      References for 1 Corinthians 9:10

        • b 9:10 - These two 'fors' are an example of the rapidity of the apostle's style. To make the sense hang together, we should have to add, in the first case, 'not as a man merely,' or, 'surely it does:' 'For in the law of Moses,' &c.; and, in the second, 'not about the oxen, for for our sakes,' &c.
        • c 9:10 - Or 'with:' see Rom. 4.18.
          11 If we have sown to you spiritual things, [is it a] great [thing] if *we* shall reap your carnal things?
          12 If others partake of this right over you, should not rather *we*? But we have not used this right, but we bear all things, that we may put no hindrance in the way of the glad tidings of the Christ.

          References for 1 Corinthians 9:12

            • d 9:12 - Metecho, see Note q, Heb. 2.14.
              13 Do ye not know that they who labour [at] sacred things eat of the [offerings offered in the] temple; they that attend at the altar partake with the altar?

              References for 1 Corinthians 9:13

                • e 9:13 - Or 'perform the sacred rites.'
                • f 9:13 - Or 'of what is sacred.' It is well to distinguish naos (as ch. 3.16), 'the house,' including both parts of the house (i.e. the holy of holies and the holy place), from hieron (the word used here), 'the general buildings of the temple.'
                  14 So also the Lord has ordained to those that announce the glad tidings to live of the glad tidings.
                  15 But *I* have used none of these things. Now I have not written these things that it should be thus in my case; for [it were] good for me rather to die than that any one should make vain my boast.
                  16 For if I announce the glad tidings, I have nothing to boast of; for a necessity is laid upon me; for it is woe to me if I should not announce the glad tidings.
                  17 For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with an administration.
                  18 What is the reward then that I have? That in announcing the glad tidings I make the glad tidings costless [to others], so as not to have made use, as belonging to me, of my right in [announcing] the glad tidings.

                  References for 1 Corinthians 9:18

                    • g 9:18 - The same word as translated in ch. 7.31, 'not disposing of it as their own.' According to common usage it is 'to use as one who has possession of a thing;' using it as he likes, as his own. The apostle, as sent of the Lord to preach, had a right to be supported; but he did not use this right. It would not have been an abuse; but he did not use it for himself, as a thing he possessed. He weighed the effect as to Christ's glory. 'Made use of it' hardly fully expresses the force of it. The sense is given in result in adding 'as belonging to me.'
                      19 For being free from all, I have made myself bondman to all, that I might gain the most [possible].

                      References for 1 Corinthians 9:19

                        • h 9:19 - 'The most possible' gives the sense. It is used for the major part of any body, and hence for the mass opposed to leaders. It is not 'the more,' i.e. so much the more, but the greatest number possible, the whole mass that he could reach by these means.
                          20 And I became to the Jews as a Jew, in order that I might gain the Jews: to those under law, as under law, not being myself under law, in order that I might gain those under law:
                          21 to those without law, as without law, (not as without law to God, but as legitimately subject to Christ,) in order that I might gain [those] without law.

                          References for 1 Corinthians 9:21

                            • i 9:21 - Anomos, 'without law'. This is important as showing the true force of the Greek word anomia employed elsewhere, as in 1John 3.4, 'sin is lawlessness,' not 'transgression of law.'
                            • j 9:21 - Or, 'under law to Christ' (not under the law), i.e. rightfully, duly, subject to Him. I have said 'legitimately' to preserve the connection with law. See Acts 19.39, 'regular,' i.e. lawful and right.
                              22 I became to the weak, [as] weak, in order that I might gain the weak. To all I have become all things, in order that at all events I might save some.

                              References for 1 Corinthians 9:22

                                • k 9:22 - Or 'by all means.'
                                  23 And I do all things for the sake of the glad tidings, that I may be fellow-partaker with them.
                                  24 Know ye not that they who run in [the] race-course run all, but one receives the prize? Thus run in order that ye may obtain.
                                  25 But every one that contends [for a prize] is temperate in all things: *they* then indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown, but *we* an incorruptible.
                                  26 *I* therefore thus run, as not uncertainly; so I combat, as not beating the air.
                                  27 But I buffet my body, and lead it captive, lest [after] having preached to others I should be myself rejected.