1 Timothy
Chapter 5

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1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.

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

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

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

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

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

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

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

13 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.

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

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

16 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.

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

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.

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

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

21 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.

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

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

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

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

Commentary for 1 Timothy 5

Directions as to the elder and younger men and women. (1,2) And as to poor widows. (3-8) Concerning widows. (9-16) The respect to be paid to elders. Timothy is to take care in rebuking offenders, in ordaining ministers, and as to his own health. (17-25)1,2 Respect must be paid to the dignity of years and place. The younger, if faulty, must be rebuked, not as desirous to find fault with them, but as willing to make the best of them. There is need of much meekness and care in reproving those who deserve reproof.

3-8 Honour widows that are widows indeed, relieve them, and maintain them. It is the duty of children, if their parents are in need, and they are able to relieve them, to do it to the utmost of their power. Widowhood is a desolate state; but let widows trust in the Lord, and continue in prayer. All who live in pleasure, are dead while they live, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins. Alas, what numbers there are of this description among nominal Christians, even to the latest period of life! If any men or women do not maintain their poor relations, they in effect deny the faith. If they spend upon their lusts and pleasures, what should maintain their families, they have denied the faith, and are worse than infidels. If professors of the gospel give way to any corrupt principle or conduct, they are worse than those who do not profess to believe the doctrines of grace.

9-16 Every one brought into any office in the church, should be free from just censure; and many are proper objects of charity, yet ought not to be employed in public services. Those who would find mercy when they are in distress, must show mercy when they are in prosperity; and those who show most readiness for every good work, are most likely to be faithful in whatever is trusted to them. Those who are idle, very seldom are only idle, they make mischief among neighbours, and sow discord among brethren. All believers are required to relieve those belonging to their families who are destitute, that the church may not be prevented from relieving such as are entirely destitute and friendless.

17-25 Care must be taken that ministers are maintained. And those who are laborious in this work are worthy of double honour and esteem. It is their just due, as much as the reward of the labourer. The apostle charges Timothy solemnly to guard against partiality. We have great need to watch at all times, that we do not partake of other men's sins. Keep thyself pure, not only from doing the like thyself, but from countenancing it, or any way helping to it in others. The apostle also charges Timothy to take care of his health. As we are not to make our bodies masters, so neither slaves; but to use them so that they may be most helpful to us in the service of God. There are secret, and there are open sins: some men's sins are open before-hand, and going before unto judgment; some they follow after. God will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and make known the counsels of all hearts. Looking forward to the judgment-day, let us all attend to our proper offices, whether in higher or lower stations, studying that the name and doctrine of God may never be blasphemed on our account.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Timothy 5

  • Ray321
    1 Timothy 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. The Word of God is Jesus and there for the Holy Spirit will guide us in truth for speaking the Word. We must not stop the Word.
  • Steve morrow
    1 TIMOTHY 5:20 THEM THAT SIN REBUKE BEFORE ALL THAT OTHERS ALSO MAY FEAR JEREMIAH 6:15 WERE THEY ASHAMED WHEN THEY HAD COMMITTED ABOMINATION NO THEY WERE NOT AT ALL ASHAMED NEITHER COULD THEY BLUSH THEREFORE THEY SHALL FALL AMONG THEM THAT FALL AT THE TIME THAT I VISIT THEM THEY SHALL BE CAST DOWN SAITH THE LORD
  • Irene123
    V. 21 - " ..... and the elect angels .....; this is a reference to the pastors of the churches; just as 2 Jn.1 refers to the (worldwide) church - the 'Bride' Of Christ; just as Rev.1:20 refers to the pastors of the 7 churches. I've run across some that think the elect lady and her children is an actual woman. It is indeed easy to believe 1 Jn.1 is to an individual, but Isa. 1:18 says to reason ...
  • Brianna
    Vs. 1-2

    A functioning congregation is like a family. The young ones can look to the older ones as mother, fathers, perhaps even grandparents. In many churches there is a perversion, viewing each other as sex objects. We need to view each other with purity. Any romantic feelings that may exist in the congregation should be between two mature Christians with pure intentions.
  • John
    Dear Timothy. I am truly sorry to hear about your misfortune. I pray that you are able to gather yourself together and stay strong in faith to our Lord Christ. May God bless you!
  • Bill Duckworth for verse 23
    We must not be a drunkard. That 's bible. But God, in His infinite wisdom , peppers his Holy Word with health recommendations. Here, He does also.
  • David Petrush for verse 8
    Reply to Kristyn Evans: Kristyn, I don 't know if what i am writing here is still relevant to your situation, for the fact that your comment was written in 2013 and now it is 2015. But still I will write. Remember what THE LORD says concerning marriage, "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore GOD has joined together, let no man split apart. " So you and your husband are now one single flesh. Let us compare that to a single unmarried person. An unmarried person is one flesh with themselves, therefore if they have a problem they cannot simply divorce it, but they must work it out, sacrifice, and and do whatever good thing needs to be done to fix it in their single body. Therefore compared to a married couple, their singular emotions and perspectives, and thoughts are no longer preserved to their singular mind and heart only, but also to their spouse 's for they are now one flesh . Then the same as the single unmarried person worked out the problem in their single body, the married must in one body and mind, through GOD, work out whatever problem they are having. Not cast it aside in divorcement, save for the cause of fornication.
  • Bruce burkley
    Paul is writing to Timothy, his son in the faith. Check Paul 's letter to the Romans chapter 14.17-23. This matter of drinking wine, and diet, is clearly allied with faith, as "the just shall live by faith "....we live by the faith of the son of God, not by the written commandments of the Torah when we trust in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the gospel .

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Bible Trivia

According to the Apostle Paul, how should you speak to an elder man?
  • Harshly
  • Politely
  • With rebuke.
  • Like a father.