1 Timothy 5:18

New Testament

16 If a believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. The church should not be burdened so that it may help the widows who are truly in need. 17 Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. 18 For the scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.” 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 20 Those guilty of sin must be rebuked before all, as a warning to the rest. 21 Before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, I solemnly charge you to carry out these commands without prejudice or favoritism of any kind.

Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 4.8


21 Let not those that reap, and gather in the corn that is reaped, gather in the gleanings also; but let them rather leave some handfuls for those that are in want of the necessaries of life: that it may be a support, and a supply to them, in order to their subsistance. In like manner when they gather their grapes, let them leave some smaller bunches for the poor: and let them pass over some of the fruits of the olive trees, when they gather them; and leave them to be partaken of by those that have none of their own. For the advantage arising from the exact collection of all, will not be so considerable to the owners, as will arise from the gratitude of the poor. And God will provide that the land shall more willingly produce what shall be for the nourishment of its fruits, in case you do not meerly take care of your own advantage, but have regard to the support of others also. Nor are you to muzzle the mouths of the oxen, when they tread the ears of corn, in the threshing floor: for it is not just to restrain our fellow labouring animals, and those that work in order to its production, of this fruit of their labours. Nor are you to prohibit those that pass by at the time when your fruits are ripe, to touch them; but to give them leave to fill themselves full of what you have: and this whether they be of your own countrey, or strangers: as being glad of the opportunity of giving them some part of your fruits when they are ripe. But let it not be esteemed lawful for them to carry any away. Nor let those that gather the grapes, and carry them to the wine presses, restrain those whom they meet from eating of them. For it is unjust out of envy to hinder those that desire it, to partake of the good things that come into the world according to God’s will: and this while the season is at the height, and is hastening away, as it pleases God.

 Notes and References

"... In 1 Corinthians 9 Paul has occasion to defend the right of an apostle to receive material support from the church in which he is working. After a series of arguments (including the bold application to the matter in hand of Deuteronomy 25:4, "Thou shalt not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain") he clinches the matter with a direct appeal to the authority of Jesus. (Philo, On the Special Laws, I 260; The Rabbis preferred to maintain the literal meaning - as did Josephus Antiquities of the Jews IV, 8.21 - but were prepared to argue a fortiori from oxen to men) 'In the same way the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel'. Direct allusions to the teaching of Jesus are rare in Paul's letters. To what precise saying is he referring? It is unlikely that Jesus left instructions about the maintenance of preachers in local churches. We can hardly doubt that what Paul had in mind was some fairly general saying of Jesus which could be made to fit the present case. The workman is worthy of his hire" would do very well ..."

Harvey, A. E. "The Workman is Worthy of His Hire" Fortunes of a Proverb in the Early Chuch (pp. 209-211) Brill, 1982

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