Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges?
&c.] Some people have done so, as did the Habessines F5, and the ancient Romans F6; though before the apostle wrote this, the senate had made an act, that the soldiers should have a stipend from the public; and this being now so common, and universally obtaining everywhere, the apostle puts the question he does; and his meaning is, that since ministers of the Gospel are the good soldiers of Jesus Christ, and are engaged in a warfare state, in fighting the good fight of faith, against his enemies, and those of his church, it is but reasonable that their charges should be bore, and they maintained at the public expense:
who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof?
The church of Christ is a vineyard, it is often so called in Scripture; ministers are planters, vinedressers, and labourers in it; and as the mystical Solomon, the owner of the vineyard, ought to have his thousand, the cultivators of it, the keepers of the fruit, should have their two hundred, ( Song of Solomon 8:12 )
Or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?
The churches of Christ are compared to flocks of sheep; the ministers of the word are pastors, or shepherds, who have the care and oversight of them, and feed them with knowledge and understanding; and it is but right and just that they enjoy the fruit of their labours, and have a proper and suitable maintenance, as it is that he who feeds a flock should eat of the milk which that produces.
F5 Ludolph. Hist. Ethiop. l. 2. c. 14.
F6 Liv. Hist. l. 4. prope finem. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 6. c. 22.