This is a great explanation Does Paul quote Moses out of context?
The original verse in Deut was for the protection of the oxen and the owners of the animals. The oxen needed to be fed as they did their hard labor, even if they were being rented.
To review my argument: Moses gave the command to provide for the ox, but ultimately to protect an Israelite from being unjustly treated at the hand of one who borrows or rents his ox. The one benefiting from the labor of an ox should not take economic advantage of the owner of the ox.
Paul uses this argument to say that the apostles and missionaries and laborers for the Gospel must also be provided for by the people to whom they are ministering.
Just as an ox must be allowed to eat while it works, the preachers and missionaries deserve food and compensation for their labors.
Once this is seen, rich texture is added to Paul’s use of this verse. His point is not really that the Corinthians should have compassion or mercy for him and Barnabas, but that this is a matter of fundamental justice . The issue is not really kindness, but rights. When Paul says this is not really about the oxen, he is pointing to this wider and deeper reality at play in this verse as it was originally to be understood. Therefore the Corinthians should want to provide appropriate compensation as an expression of justice, even if Paul ultimately rejects the offer.
Also What does “Do not muzzle the oxen” mean? Neither of them are Catholic websites but the priniciples behind the meaning of the passage are the same, that workers should be fairly compensated for their labor.