Temple service food (1 Cor. 9:13)

“Do you not know

That those who are employed

In the temple service

Get their food

From the temple.

Those who serve

At the altar


In what is sacrificed

On the altar?”

οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι οἱ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐργαζόμενοι τὰ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἐσθίουσιν, οἱ τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ παρεδρεύοντες τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ συνμερίζονται;

Paul once again asked “Do you not know (οὐκ οἴδατε) that those who are employed in the temple service (ὅτι οἱ τὰ ἱερὰ ἐργαζόμενοι) eat the food (ἐσθίουσιν) from the temple (τὰ ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ)?  Those who serve at the altar (οἱ τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ παρεδρεύοντες) share in what is sacrificed on the altar (τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ συνμερίζονται).” Only the Pauline letters used his word παρεδρεύοντες, that means to wait on, serve, or minister, and the word συνμερίζονται, that means to have a share in, partake with, or divide together with.  Paul reminded the Jewish Christians in Corinth about the Levitical priests in the Jerusalem temple.  They received 10% of whatever was sacrificed on the altar, so that they ate the food that they sacrificed.  They shared in what was offered in the Temple.  This could also refer to the pagan temples, since sacrifices were offered there with the temple priests getting their share.  Thus, the 10% to the temple or church or tithing carried over from the Jewish practice to Christianity.  Do ministers deserve to share in the sacrifices offered?

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