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Elder ; an aged Christian man.
Ministers of the gospel should pay special attention to the aged, and treat them with special respect and kindness. They should also, in their needful and proper interaction with females of their congregations, possess and manifest a delicate sense of propriety, and the utmost purity of feeling, conversation, and conduct.
Honor widows ; the honor here referred to, as the context shows, was that of a reception to the list of those who were to have public maintenance from the congregation, and were employed in useful Christian labors.
Widows indeed ; worthy of the name of widows.
Children or nephews ; the word translated nephews means descendants, specially grandchildren. If a destitute widow had children or grandchildren who could support her, they were bound to do so, and not let her be a charge on the church. A disposition in children to be kind and attentive to their parents and grandparents, and if need be to support them and keep them from being a public charge, is required by the gospel, and is peculiarly pleasing to God.
Desolate ; destitute, and having no relatives to support her. The words "widow indeed, and desolate" describe both her worldly condition and her character as a Christian. If she was not only destitute but truly pious, was more than sixty years old, had been faithful to her husband and her children, hospitable when she had the means, attentive to the wants of poor Christians, and accustomed to relieve the distressed, she might be received into the number who were to be employed and supported by the church. Verse 1 Timothy 5:9 .
In pleasure ; in wantonness and luxurious self-indulgence.
Is dead while she liveth ; dead to Christ and his service, and dead in sin, while she lives only for this world’s pleasures.
These things ; what he has just said about widows and their relatives.
Give in charge ; command or enjoin.
His own ; his own relatives who are dependent on him, as a destitute mother or grandmother, and especially his wife, children, and such as belong to his own family.
Denied the faith ; practically, by disobeying its known requirements.
Worse than an infidel ; in this respect, violating what unbelievers and even heathen inculcate as a duty, and often practise. Professors of religion who are able and yet unwilling to provide comfortably for their own families, for their parents, grandparents, and other relatives who are necessarily dependent on them, act in opposition not only to the revealed will of God, but to the dictates of natural religion, and bring disgrace on the Christian cause.
Aged and indigent females, who have been distinguished for devotion to Christ and usefulness to men, and who have no relatives to support them, should be supported by the church of which they are members; and as far as may be rendered comfortable and useful.
The younger widows ; who make application to be employed and supported by the church.
Wanton against Christ ; being unwilling, through their wantonness and love of pleasure, to submit to the rules which he had enjoined.
Having damnation ; being condemned for their inconstancy, in deserting the trust committed to them, and with reference to which they had received support.
They ; these younger widows who are supported by the church under a promise of devoting themselves to her service.
I will-that the younger women marry ; the younger widows of whom he has been speaking. This would be better for them and better for society.
The adversary ; the enemy of religion. The admission of young women into institutions where it is expected that they will never be married, thus exposing them to the manifold evils of such a condition, is directly opposed to the revealed will of God, and productive of great mischiefs to themselves and the community.
Some ; of those spoken of in verses 1 Timothy 5:11-13 .
Turned aside after Satan ; by complying with his temptations and falling into the evils mentioned above.
Have widows ; widowed mothers or grandmothers, or any whom he or she ought to support.
Widows indeed ; who are destitute, are of the required age and character, and have not relatives to support them. Verse 1 Timothy 5:3 .
Elders ; having the superintendence of the church, some of whom labored as preachers and teachers of the gospel.
Double honor ; special respect, manifested, as the next verse shows, in provision for their wants. As the service of the church would occupy much of their time, especially when they devoted themselves to the work of preaching and teaching, a proportionate provision was to be made for their maintenance.
The scripture saith ; Deuteronomy 25:4 ; Matthew 10:10 ; Luke 10:7 . It is the will of God that officers of the church, especially ministers who devote their life to the promotion of her interests, should receive not only respect and gratitude, but a just and reasonable compensation for their services: enough at least to provide comfortable support for themselves and their families.
Two or three witnesses ; Deuteronomy 19:15 .
Them that sin ; and whose offences are proved.
The elect angels ; the holy angels whom God in accordance with his eternal purpose, has preserved in a state of sinlessness. They are "all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation." Hebrews 1:14 . As such they are present in the assemblies of his church, and witnesses of the transactions there taking place.
These things ; the directions just given.
Without preferring one before another ; literally, without prejudgment, which is manifested in deciding a case beforehand under the influence of prejudice against a man, or prepossession in his favor.
Doing nothing by partiality ; the immediate reference of these words is to the hearing of accusations and the administering of rebukes, verse 1 Timothy 5:19-20 . That they apply also to the ordaining of men for the service of the church is evident and is implied in what follows.
Lay hands ; in ordination.
Suddenly ; hastily, without due investigation respecting the qualifications of the candidate.
Partaker of other men’s sins ; as he would be, if through his negligence or sinful partiality improper men were raised to office in the church. In raising men to the sacred office, great care should be taken not to introduce improper persons. All suitable means should be used to ascertain their qualifications, and none be admitted who may not reasonably be expected to be faithful and useful.
Drink no longer water ; water merely.
A little wine ; as a medicine, on account of his bodily infirmities.
Going before to judgment ; they precede the man, as it were, to the place of judgment, and witness against him beforehand to his condemnation.
They follow after ; some wicked men’s characters are not known at first; it is necessary to take time, make inquiries, and become more acquainted with them.
Likewise ; so is it with good men. There is a great difference in the readiness with which men show their character.
They that are otherwise ; the good works that are otherwise; namely, not manifest beforehand.
Cannot be hid ; they will be revealed in time. Of course it is a duty to be cautious, to avoid haste, and use all proper means to obtain knowledge, in order to judge and act right.
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29