And when I was present with you, and wanted
Whilst he was among them, preaching the Gospel to them, he wanted the common necessaries of life: and yet, says he,
I was chargeable to no man,
or "benumbed no man"; a metaphor, as some think, taken from the torpedo, or cramp fish; which is of such a cold and benumbing nature, as that, when even at the hook, it will strike the fisherman with its cold, and so benumb him as to take away his feeling, and the use of his limbs: now the apostle's meaning is, that he did not chill and benumb any man's charity, by asking relief from him, for he importuned no man on this account; nor was he benumbed himself, to the detriment of any man; for though he was reduced to great straits, he was not slothful and sluggish in preaching the Gospel, but pursued it with as much diligence and industry as if he had been supported by it in the most handsome manner; nor did he act the part of an idle drone, sit still and starve, but laboured with his own hands, to the relief of himself and others; and whereas it could not be thought he should be able to provide this way thoroughly, both for himself and these that were with him, it was made up by other hands:
for that which was lacking to me;
which he could not make up by his own hand labour and industry:
the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied;
meaning either Silas and Timotheus, who came to him from Macedonia, whilst he was at Corinth, working at his trade with Aquila and Priscilla, ( Acts 18:5 ) who might bring him a supply out of these parts; or else some that belonged to the churches of Macedonia, particularly the Philippians, who frequently communicated to him, and sent him presents by some or other of the brethren, as by Epaphroditus, ( Philippians 4:15 Philippians 4:16 Philippians 4:18 ) .
And in all things,
I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you;
he worked hard, lived sparingly, and received from others; that as in respect to his maintenance, so in everything else he might live without being a dead weight upon them, or any ways troublesome to them: not that a minister's maintenance is, or ought to be reckoned a burden upon a people; it is but a due debt, and what is their just right; but because it is accounted so by carnal men, and such as are disaffected to the Gospel, and the ministry of it, therefore the apostle uses such language:
and so will I keep myself;
time is, for the future; he having taken up a resolution in himself not to be chargeable and troublesome to them, but to provide for himself some other way. This he adds, lest they should think that he had said what lie did to stir them up to a discharge of their duty, in contributing towards his support for time to come.