I beseech you, brethren
Entreat or exhort you as brethren in the Lord; this entreaty or exhortation is to submission to fellow helpers and labourers of the ministry, more particularly expressed in the following verse, after the apostle has given a character of the household of Stephanas, who are principally intended, and which contains reasons and arguments why they should be submitted to; and which account stands in the following parenthesis,
ye know the house of Stephanas;
a person of note at Corinth, whom the apostle had baptized, together with his family, ( 1 Corinthians 1:16 ) . The Vulgate Latin version, and some copies, add, "and of Fortunatus and Achaicus", persons mentioned along with Stephanas, in ( 1 Corinthians 1:17 ) ;
that it is the firstfruits of Achaia:
this family was one of the first in the regions of Achaia, of which Corinth was the metropolis, that believed in Christ; these were some of the first instances of conversion, and who received the firstfruits of the Spirit in these parts, and by the grace of God had been enabled to persevere hitherto, and were worthy of respect: the same he says of Epaenetus, in ( Romans 16:5 ) ;
and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of
that is, either to minister to the wants of poor saints, whether out of their own substance, or the churches' stock, being deacons, or to minister to the saints by preaching the Gospel; which good work they desired, willingly gave up themselves to, and cheerfully engaged in, and took the oversight and care of the flock, not by constraint, but willingly; not that they thrust themselves into an office, or came into it in an irregular way, but being called into it in an orderly manner by the church, and invested with it, they applied to the execution of it with great heartiness, diligence, and zeal, and so were very deserving of due respect, as next mentioned.