1 Timothy 5 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of 1 Timothy 5)
5:1 Rebuke 1 not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren;

(1) Of giving personal reprehensions appropriately, according to the degrees of ages and gender.
5:3 2 a Honour widows that are widows indeed.

(2) The apostle gives these rules concerning the care of widows.
(a) Have care of those widows who have need of help.

5:4 3 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety 4 at home, and 5 to requite their parents: 6 for that is good and acceptable before God.

(3) Widow's children and nephews must take care of their parents according to their ability. (4) The first reason, because that which they bestow upon their parents, they bestow it upon themselves. (5) Another, because nature itself teaches us to repay our parents. (6) The third: because this duty pleases God.

5:5 7 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

(7) The second rule. Let the church take care of those who are indeed widows, that is to say, those who are poor and destitute of help from their own friends, and live godly and religiously.

5:6 8 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

(8) The third rule: let widows that live in pleasure, and neglect the care of their own family, be held and considered as fallers away from God and his religion, and worse than the unfaithful themselves.

5:9 9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of b one man,

(9) The fourth rule: let none under sixty years old be taken into the number of widows, to serve the congregations or churches. And they must be those who are free from every reproach of immorality, and are well reported of, for their diligence, charity, and integrity.
(b) That has only ever had one husband at a time.

5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have c washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

(c) This is spoken with regard to the manner of those countries.

5:11 10 But the younger widows d refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

(10) The first reason why younger widows are not to be admitted to this ministry, that is, because of the unsteadiness of their age they will at length shake off the burden that Christ has laid upon them, and think rather upon marrying again: and so will forsake the ministry to which they had bound themselves.
(d) Take them not into the assembly of widows.

5:13 11 And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

(11) Another reason: because they are for the most part gossips and busybodies, and idly roving up and down, neglecting their charge and duty.

5:14 12 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

(12) The fifth rule: let younger widows marry and govern their houses in a godly way.

5:16 13 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

(13) The sixth rule: let the faithful help their widows at their own expense as much as they can, and do not let the congregation be burdened with these expenses.

5:17 14 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of e double honour, f especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

(14) Now he gives rules, and shows how he ought to behave himself with the elders, that is to say, with the pastors, and those who have the governance in the discipline of the church, who is president of their company. The first rule: let the church or congregation see to this especially, as God himself has commanded, that the elders that do their duty well, are honestly supported.
(e) We must be more concerned for them, than for the rest.
(f) There were two types of elders: the one dealt with the government only, and looked to the behaviour of the congregation; the other in addition to that, dealt with both preaching and prayers, to and for the congregation.

5:19 15 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

(15) The second rule: allow no accusation to be considered against an elder, unless there are two or three witnesses.

5:20 16 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

(16) The third rule: let the leaders so convicted be openly rebuked, so that they may be an example to others.

5:21 17 I charge [thee] before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

(17) The fourth rule: let sincerity be used without any prejudice or respect of persons in ecclesiastical proceedings (especially against the elders), because God himself is present there, and the Lord Jesus Christ with a multitude of angels.

5:22 18 Lay hands g suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

(18) The fifth rule: let the minister lay hands suddenly on no man. Let him not be faulty in this, either by favouring any man's folly, or perverse affection. If anything is not done well by his fellow elders, let him keep his conscience pure.
(g) As much as you are able, do not rashly admit anyone at all to any ecclesiastical function.

5:23 19 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.

(19) The sixth rule: let the elders have consideration for their health, in their diet.

5:24 20 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some [men] they follow after.

(20) Because hypocrites sometimes creep into the ministry, even though there is ever so great diligence used, the apostle wishes the pastors not to be therefore troubled, or slack at all in their diligence in trying and examining, because the Lord has appointed a time to discover the faults of such men, and it is our duty to take heed that we do not offend in our trying and examining.

5:25 21 Likewise also the good works [of some] are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.

(21) Another comfort belonging to them, who are sometimes slandered and misreported.