1 Timothy 5

5:1 Do not rebuke [refers to severe verbal censure or scolding] an older man harshly, but exhort [to encourage or to implore; term carries idea of correcting in a gentle manner] him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers,

5:2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity [pastors must be above all suspicion sexually and relationally with those under their care].


5:3 Give proper recognition
[to support; prize; revere; honor] to those widows [cf. Ex. 22:22; Deut. 24:19-22; Ps. 68:5; Jas. 1:27] who are really in need [Paul defined what he meant by “really in need” in the verses that follow].

5:4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these [note three reasons why families should minister to widows in their own families…] should learn first of all [1] to put their religion into practice by [2] caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, [3] for this is pleasing to God.

5:5 The widow who is really in need [with no source of income] and left all alone [with no relatives to support her] puts her hope in God [depends on God to provide for her needs] and continues night and day [consistently] to pray and to ask God for help.

5:6 But the widow who lives for pleasure [a self-indulgent widow; one who lives for herself rather than for God] is dead [spiritually dead] even while she lives [physically alive].

5:7 Give the people [entire congregation and widows] these instructions [about ministering to widows], too, so that no one may be open to blame [possibly means that the church would not be blamed for caring for some widows and not others].

5:8 If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family [this expanded the responsibility beyond widows to include any family members truly in need], he has denied the faith and is worse [because his act of negligence is done with knowledge of what God requires] than an unbeliever.

5:9 No widow may be put on the list [an official support list; note three qualifications…] of widows unless [1] she is over sixty [employment and remarriage unlikely at this age], [2] has been faithful to her husband,

5:10 [3] and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality [opening her home to strangers and the needy; willing to make sacrifices to meet needs of others], washing the feet of the saints [indicates a willingness to humbly serve], helping those in trouble [anyone with a problem such as hunger, bereavement, sickness, persecution] and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

5:11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry.

5:12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge.

5:13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to.

5:14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.

5:15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

5:16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.

5:17 The elders [individuals who served the church as leaders; term in this verse likely synonymous with pastor or overseer] who direct the affairs of the church well [who demonstrate good leadership and capable management of the church] are worthy of double honor [an ample honorarium; expression includes idea of appreciation and financial remuneration], especially those whose work is preaching and teaching [these words stress the importance of the ministry of the Word].

5:18 For the Scripture says [cf. Deut. 25:4], “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,” and [cf. Matt. 10:10b; Lk. 10:7] “The worker deserves his wages.”

5:19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses [cf. Deut. 17:6; 19:15].

5:20 Those [church leaders] who sin [suggests a repeated practice rather than an isolated occurrence] are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others [other elders or the church as a whole] may take warning [or be afraid].

5:21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect [designation apparently is in contrast to fallen angels (cf. Jude 6)] angels, to keep these instructions without partiality [or prejudice], and to do nothing out of favoritism.

5:22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

5:23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

5:24 The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.

5:25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious [cf. Prov. 3:3-4 re: “a good name” or reputation before God and man; cf. Matt. 5:16], and even those that are not cannot be hidden.

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