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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 5

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

1 Timothy 5:1

Sharply Rebuke = Thayer Definition: 1) to strike upon, beat upon 2) to chastise with words, to chide, upbraid, rebuke

Verse 2

1 Timothy 5:2

Entreat -- (appeal) to older... younger

Verse 3

1 Timothy 5:3

Indeed = on’-toce; Adverb of the oblique cases of G5607; really: - certainly, clean, indeed, of a truth, verily. Strong’s.

Nephews = born of, a descendant, i.e. a grandchild: - grandchildren (1).

Piety =

Verse 4

1 Timothy 5:4

Nephew = born of, a descendant, i.e. a grandchild: - grandchildren (1). ["Nephew" is now obsolete in this usage.]

Piety = respect, support, reverence

Verse 5

1 Timothy 5:5

Indeed = on’-toce; Adverb of the oblique cases of G5607; really: - certainly, -- indeed, of a truth, verily. Strong’s.

Verse 6

1 Timothy 5:6

Liveth in pleasure = "...continues in self-indulgence"

Dead = "while living, she has died" spiritually.

Verse 7

1 Timothy 5:7

Verse 8

1 Timothy 5:8

Verse 9

1 Timothy 5:9

This chapter seems to deal with three categories of widows.

1) widows (young and old) - who have families

2) widows indeed - truly destitute without anyone

3) widows enrolled - who must meet certain qualifications as given in vs. 9-10 Young widows could not be included in this group, whether they had families or were widows indeed.

What did such "enrolled widows" do? Titus 2:3

These three classes correspond to the distinction between the "young widows", “real widows” (1 Timothy 5:5) and the “enrolled widows” (1 Timothy 5:9-11). [cf also Titus 2:2-5] see page 341 of Ferguson, E. (1996). The church of Christ: a biblical ecclesiology for today Titus 2:2-5;off=696;ctx=_needs_of_others.97_~These_two_classes_co> (p. 341). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. for a good distinction of "widows"; "real widows" and "enrolled widows", their support and services to be rendered. [The resource is in Logos Software]

From the earliest of time the church felt a keen responsibility toward widows. Acts 6:1

James makes our remember of them a matter of true religion - James 1:27

Verse 10

1 Timothy 5:10

Verse 11

1 Timothy 5:11

Wax wanton = Thayer "καταστρηνιάω katastrēniaō

Thayer Definition: 1) to feel the impulses of sexual desire Part of Speech: verb

Verse 12

1 Timothy 5:12

Cast of first faith ... set aside their previous pledge, NASV "become guilt of breaking their earlier promise to him" GNB

Roman Catholic -- background for pledges or commitment by nuns. (but young one forbidden!)

Probably a reference to the confession made at the point of conversion.


1) Identity -- Matthew 16:16

2) Lordship -- Philippians 2:11

Romans 10:9

Confession was a far greater commitment in the first century than seems to be made today at baptism.

One became an indentured slave.

Slaves - Some born into a household as slave; some made themselves servants for time to pay debts. Some then volunteered to serve for life, and were branded like the slaves who were born into slavery. See Galatians 6:17 Paul considered his scars as brand for Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:24-25

Verse 13

1 Timothy 5:13

House to house = this may have been one of the things the "enrolled widows" did. Working with young wives and mothers, teaching them about home-making, etc. Titus 2:4.

Busybodies = meddlesome, busy in other people’s affairs.

Gossip - slander - Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 16:27; Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 20:19 Proverbs 26:20; Proverbs 26:22; Proverbs 16:28 - 1 Corinthians 12:20; 2 Corinthians 12:20; 1 Timothy 5:13;

Scriptures To Improve Communication And Avoid Gossip

Proverbs 10:11; Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 10:32; Proverbs 11:12; Proverbs 12:19; Proverbs 13:3; Proverbs 15:2; Proverbs 15:14; Proverbs 15:28; Proverbs 16:21; Proverbs 16:23; Proverbs 16:24; Proverbs 17:4; Proverbs 17:20; Proverbs 17:27; Proverbs 17:28; Proverbs 18:4; Proverbs 18:6; Proverbs 18:7; Proverbs 18:13; Proverbs 18:21; Proverbs 18:23; Proverbs 25:18; Proverbs 29:20

Verse 14

1 Timothy 5:14

Verse 15

1 Timothy 5:15

Verse 16

1 Timothy 5:16

Verse 17

1 Timothy 5:17

17-25 Instructions Concerning Elders

Vs. 9-16 about the church supporting widows indeed leads Paul to another matter of church support for certain elders.

Double honor = 1) Some in the past took this to mean his stipend should be twice that of anyone else. Even at the love feasts he was given a double portion. Thus, the midevil "clergy" grew fat and rich! 2) Probably means that in addition to the esteem he is to receive, he should also receive renumeration, or maintenance as some word the financial support he was to be given.

Word and doctrine = preaching and teaching.

ELDERS & DEACONS Titus 1:5-9, 1 Timothy 3:1-13 & 1 Timothy 5:17, Acts 20:28, Hebrews 13:17.

Verse 18

1 Timothy 5:18

Scripture quoted: Deuteronomy 25:4; (1 Corinthians 9:19)

and Luke 10:7

Paul refers to Luke’s writing as "Scripture." This indicates that the Gospel of Luke was already being read wide spread.

Verse 19

1 Timothy 5:19

Don’t listen to what someone has to say, or complain about an elder. It must be generally know by more than one person.

Verse 20

1 Timothy 5:20

Them = anyone, but including elders.

Verse 21

1 Timothy 5:21

Triad of 1) God, 2) Lord Jesus Christ, and 3) elect angels. (the holy angels.)

Verse 22

1 Timothy 5:22

Lay hands suddenly = i.e. don’t be hasty in appointing men as elders or deacons.

Partaker = in appointing evil or unfit men, he becomes partaker of their evil deeds.

Verse 23

1 Timothy 5:23

Drink no longer water = "The writer well remembers a fearfully sick day that he passed at Ephesus in 1889, due to the water." See Johnson’s experience at Ephesus, in PNT.

One wonders if Dr. Luke was not involved in giving this prescription (Rx) for Timothy!

Wine = Is this simply grape juice, or fermented? A remedy for stomach ailment.

Verse 24

1 Timothy 5:24

Open beforehand = Some men’s lives are fully known, but some may conceal some sins.

Verse 25

1 Timothy 5:25

Good deeds = are difficult to hid, even when the doers want to remain anonymous (Faries "Boochie" Cooper, a case in point.)

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/1-timothy-5.html. 2021.
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