Titus 2:3 MEANING

Titus 2:3
(3) The aged women likewise.--St. Paul, faithful to what had now become one of the guiding principles of Christianity, the equal position of women in the city of God, fellow-heirs with men in the citizenship of the city which hath foundations, proceeds to remind the elder women of Crete of their own high duties in the company of believers. They now--the women--must remember that the position which Christ and His disciples had claimed for them in the world was not without its grave responsibilities. These aged women of the flock. like the elders just exhorted, had also much to do for Christ.

That they be in behaviour as becometh holiness.--That is, that they should show themselves as it becometh holiness; or, more literally, in demeanour reverend. The Greek word rendered "in behaviour," or "in demeanour," includes dress, appearance, conversation, manner; includes an outward deportment dependent on something more internal. The elder Christian woman in her whole bearing should exhibit a certain dignity of sacred demeanour; there should be something in her general appearance, in her dress, in her speech, in her every-day behaviour, which the younger and more thoughtless sister could respect and reverence--an ideal she might hope one day, if the Master spared her so long, herself to reach. For an admirable gloss on these words, see 1 Timothy 2:9-10.

Not false accusers.--Or better, perhaps, not slanderers. St. Paul knew well how easily old age yields itself to this temptation. Old age is at times intolerant, censorious, even bitter, forgetful especially of the days of youth; but Christ's aged saints must use their voice for better things than these.

Not given to much wine.--This warning was probably called for, owing to the evil habits and customs of the Cretans.

Teachers of good things.--Or, teachers of what is good. Beza's rendering, "mistresses of honour" (honestatis magistr?), is singular and expressive. This does not mean that these aged women should occupy the place of public instructresses, but that they should, by here and there speaking a kind warning word, and, better still, by the golden silence of a useful honoured life, teach their younger sisters lessons of truth and faith and love.

Verse 3. - That for the, A.V; be reverent in demeanor for that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, A.V.; slanderers for false accusers, A.V.; nor for not, A.V.; enslaved for given, A.V.; that which is good for good things, A.V. Reverent (ἱεροπρεπεῖς); only here in the New Testament, twice in 4 Maccabees (in 9:25, where the eldest of the seven brothers who suffered martyrdom ruder Antiochus Epiphanes is called ὁἱεροπρεπὴς νεανίας; and in 11:20, where it is coupled with αἰών, "age," or "generation"); it is not uncommon in classical Greek. The word means "becoming a holy person, place, or matter;" otherwise expressed in 1 Timothy 2:10, "which becometh women professing godliness;" and Ephesians 5:3, "as becometh saints." In demeanor (ἐν καταστήματι; Of much wider meaning than καταστολή in 1 Timothy 2:7); here only in the New Testament, once in 3Macc. 5:45, "a state" or "condition," spoken of elephants; and so in classical Greek, applied to a man, to health, to the air, or the body politic. Here mien, demeanor, or deportment, including, as St. Jerome expounds it, the movements of the body, the expression of the countenance, what is said, and what is left unsaid. The whole habit and composition or structure of mind and body is to be ἱερόπρεπες, what becomes a holy woman. Slanderers (διαβόλους); as 1 Timothy 3. (q.v.). Nor enslaved to much wine (comp. 1 Timothy 3:8). Observe the fitness of the phrase "enslaved." The drunkard is thoroughly the slave of his vicious appetite (cutup. Titus 3:3; Romans 6:16; 2 Peter 2:19). Teachers of that which is good (καλοδιδασκάλους); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., or in classical Greek; teachers, by their holy demeanor as well as by their words. For as Ignatius (quoted by Ellicott) says of the Bishop of the Trallians, "His very demeanor (αὐτὸ τὸ κατάστημα) was a great lesson (μοθητεία)."

2:1-8 Old disciples of Christ must behave in every thing agreeably to the Christian doctrine. That the aged men be sober; not thinking that the decays of nature will justify any excess; but seeking comfort from nearer communion with God, not from any undue indulgence. Faith works by, and must be seen in love, of God for himself, and of men for God's sake. Aged persons are apt to be peevish and fretful; therefore need to be on their guard. Though there is not express Scripture for every word, or look, yet there are general rules, according to which all must be ordered. Young women must be sober and discreet; for many expose themselves to fatal temptations by what at first might be only want of discretion. The reason is added, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Failures in duties greatly reproach Christianity. Young men are apt to be eager and thoughtless, therefore must be earnestly called upon to be sober-minded: there are more young people ruined by pride than by any other sin. Every godly man's endeavour must be to stop the mouths of adversaries. Let thine own conscience answer for thine uprightness. What a glory is it for a Christian, when that mouth which would fain open itself against him, cannot find any evil in him to speak of!And the aged women likewise,.... Speak also to them the things which become their profession, and what is right for them to be, and do: these aged women design not persons in office, who were ancient widows, and had some care of the poor; or presbyteresses, as some call them, the wives of presbyters or elders, as being distinct from deaconesses; but godly women in years, who are to be instructed and exhorted:

that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness; or "holy women", sanctified by the Spirit of God; and who are priestesses unto God, as the word may signify, being made so by Christ unto the Father, as men are made kings and priests by him; such ought to be in their clothing, and in their speech, and in the whole of their conduct and conversation, as become the character which they bear, and the profession they make:

not false accusers; of the brethren, and sisters, which is to act the part of the devil; and indeed, the same word is here used which is commonly given to him; not raising false reports of, bringing false charges against members of churches, and so making differences and divisions among them.

Not given to much wine; or serving it, or being enslaved by it, which is very scandalous in any, especially in the female sex, and yet was what was too common in the eastern countries.

Teachers of good things; both by example and by instruction, but in their own houses privately; for they were not suffered to teach publicly, or to speak in the church; these should be teachers, not of old wives' fables, of superstitious customs, rites, and ceremonies, of the intrigues of love, and of things filthy and obscene, which are too often handed down to posterity by such persons; but of things that are solid and substantial, useful and improving, honest and honourable, chaste and pure. Particularly,

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