9:1-14 It is not new for a minister to meet with unkind returns for good-will to a people, and diligent and successful services among them. To the cavils of some, the apostle answers, so as to set forth himself as an example of self-denial, for the good of others. He had a right to marry as well as other apostles, and to claim what was needful for his wife, and his children if he had any, from the churches, without labouring with his own hands to get it. Those who seek to do our souls good, should have food provided for them. But he renounced his right, rather than hinder his success by claiming it. It is the people's duty to maintain their minister. He may wave his right, as Paul did; but those transgress a precept of Christ, who deny or withhold due support.
4. Have we not power—Greek, "right," or lawful power, equivalent to "liberty" claimed by the Corinthians (1Co 8:9). The "we" includes with himself his colleagues in the apostleship. The Greek interrogative expresses, "You surely won't say (will you?) that we have not the power or right," &c.
eat and drink—without laboring with our hands (1Co 9:11, 13, 14). Paul's not exercising this right was made a plea by his opponents for insinuating that he was himself conscious he was no true apostle (2Co 12:13-16).