|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:5-15 It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves Satan's purposes as well, to set up good works against the atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the end will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false system.
Verse 8. - I robbed; literally, I ravaged, or plundered. The intensity of St. Paul's feelings, smarting under base calumny and ingratitude, reveals itself by the passionate expression which he here uses. Other Churches. The only Church of which we know as contributing to St. Paul's needs is that at Philippi (Philippians 4:15, 16). Taking wages. The expression is again impassioned. It is meant rather ironically than literally. Literally it means rations (1 Corinthians 9:7).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I robbed other churches,.... Meaning the churches of Macedonia; not that what he had of them was by force and rapine, or by plundering of them, and spoiling of their substance, and living upon them against their wills, as soldiers use a conquered people, though the allusion is to such a custom; for what he had of theirs was freely communicated to him; as appears from the following verse: but because these churches from whom he received were poor, and the Corinthians whom he served were rich, he calls it a robbing of the former, though there was no injury in the case, for it was voluntary, because it was expended for the service of the latter:
taking wages of them to do you service; or "for your ministry"; either to supply their poor, or rather to support the ministry of the Gospel among them. The apostle continues the metaphor, taken from soldiers, to whom wages are due for their warfare; as are also to the ministers of the Gospel, the good soldiers of Jesus Christ; since no man goes a warfare at his own charges and expense but is for by those in whose service he is: and therefore, though the apostle did not think it advisable to ask for, and insist upon wages from them at that time, for his service among them, yet he took it of others in lieu of it; and this he mentions, partly to show that wages were due to him for his ministry, and partly to observe to them who they were beholden to for the support of the Gospel at first among them; as also to stir them up to be serviceable to other churches, as others had been to them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. I robbed—that is, took from them in order to spare you more than what was their fair share of contribution to my maintenance, for example, the Philippian Church (Php 4:15, 16).
to do you service—Greek, "with a view to ministration to you"; compare "supplied" (Greek, "in addition"), 2Co 11:9, implying, he brought with him from the Macedonians, supplies towards his maintenance at Corinth; and (2Co 11:9) when those resources failed ("when I wanted") he received a new supply, while there, from the same source.
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