1 Corinthians 9:9

New Testament

7 Who ever serves in the army at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its fruit? Who tends a flock and does not consume its milk? 8 Am I saying these things only on the basis of common sense, or does the law not say this as well? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” God is not concerned here about oxen, is he? 10 Or is he not surely speaking for our benefit? It was written for us, because the one plowing and threshing ought to work in hope of enjoying the harvest. 11 If we sowed spiritual blessings among you, is it too much to reap material things from you? 12 If others receive this right from you, are we not more deserving?But we have not made use of this right. Instead we endure everything so that we may not be a hindrance to the gospel of Christ.

Bava Metzia 91b

Babylonian Talmud

The mishna teaches that Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says: A laborer may not eat unless he performs labor with his hands and with his feet. The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda? The Gemara explains: This halakha is like that of a threshing ox; just as one is not required to let an ox feed unless it is performing labor with its hands and with its feet, as it uses all four of its legs to thresh, so too a laborer is not entitled to eat unless he is performing labor with his hands and with his feet.

 Notes and References

"... The case for a Jewish accommodation setting of 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 has significantly more text-based support than the arguments surveyed in the previous section ... Paul employs Jewish sources to formulate his stance on food offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 8 and 10. In the relinquishment of rights/accommodation chapter (1 Corinthians 9), Paul quotes from Israel’s law with the lead-in, “Do I say this on human authority? Does not the law also say the same? For it is written in the law of Moses” (1 Coriknthians 9:8–9). The dominical command in 1 Corinthians 9:14 refers to a Jewish teacher. The two other contemporary individuals mentioned in the chapter (Cephas and Barnabas) are both Jews. 1 Corinthains 9:19–23 uses no/moß and compounds of no/moß nine times. Paul refers to being “under the law”, “as one without the law”, “not without the aw of God” and “in Christ’s law” – terminology that draws attention to Jewish law as a point of reference. These Jewish touchstones in 1 Corinthians 9:19–23 and 8:1–11:1 give weight to the argument that Paul’s “all things to all people” language is informed by a Jewish accommodation setting. But what specific Jewish accommodation setting could Paul be drawing from? ..."

Rudolph, David J. A Jew to the Jews: Jewish Contours of Pauline Flexibility in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (pp. 115-116) Mohr Siebeck, 2011

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.