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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
1 Timothy 5

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

1 Timothy 5:1. πρεσβυτέρῳ, an elder) The word here denotes age.— μή ἐπιπλήξῃς, do not rebuke) This belongs also to the words which follow.— ὡς ἀδελφοὺς, as brethren) So an old man ought to exhort the young men as children.


Verse 2

1 Timothy 5:2. ὡς ἀδελφὰς, as sisters) Such respectful treatment is well fitted to promote purity.


Verse 3

1 Timothy 5:3. χήρας, widows) Chrysostom speaks at great length of widows, de Sacerd., p. 166, et seqq.— τίμα, honour) by acts of kindness, 1 Timothy 5:17-18.— ὄντως χήρας, widows indeed) Ploce;(39) the word indeed excludes those who have children or live luxuriously (1 Timothy 5:6).


Verse 4

1 Timothy 5:4. ΄ανθανέτωσαν, let them learn) i.e. let the sons learn; and rather the grandsons, for in the correlative progenitors ( τοῖς προγόνοις) alone are mentioned. There is an elegant Metonymy of the antecedent for the consequent; the consequent is, that the widows should remain with their relations (viz. their sons or grandchildren).— πρῶτον τὸν ἴδιον, first their own) before they are put into any public office (duty).— οἷκου εὐσεβεῖν, to treat their family with dutiful affection) We have the same word with the accusative, Acts 17:23. The reason (ground) for the dutiful conduct enjoined, is evident from the end of the verse.— ἀμοιβὰς ἀποδιδόναι τοῖς προγόνοις, to requite their progenitors [parents, Engl. Vers.]) Some think that the duty of widows who have families, is here intended; and Pricæus compares with this passage that of Augustine regarding his mother Monica, She had requited her parents, she had treated her family with pious affection, 1 Timothy 1:9, Confess, 100:9. That saying of the Roman censors in reference to old bachelors is quite in accordance with this: Nature writes in you the law, as of being born, so also of begetting; and your parents, by supporting you, have bound you, if you have any shame, to pay the debt of bringing up grandchildren (for them).—Val. Max., l. 2, c. 4. But the word μανθανέτωσαν, let them learn, and its plural number, shows that the matter under discussion, is the duty of children and grandchildren. Therefore the widow in 1 Timothy 5:5, who has no children, is opposed to the widow who has children, because the former has no one from whom she can receive requital, and she therefore has her hopes placed solely in God.


Verse 5

1 Timothy 5:5. ΄εμονωμένη) desolate (reduced to desolation). The idea of the word χήρα, signifying orbity [bereavement], is here unfolded.— ἤλπικεν, hath put her trust) The antithesis is in 1 Timothy 5:4.— προσμένει ταῖς δεήσεσι, continueth instant in supplications) The antithesis is in 1 Timothy 5:6.


Verse 6

1 Timothy 5:6. σπαταλῶσα) She that liveth in pleasure (luxuriously). James 5:5, ἐτρυφήσατε καὶ ἐσπαταλήσατε. Hesychius explains σπαταλᾷ, as τρυφᾷ.— ζῶσα τέθνηκε, though living, she is dead) This remark may be applied to any ungodly man, although he may be actively engaged in the business of life, but especially to a widow devoted to pleasure. Although she seems to her own self still to enjoy life, yet she is dead while she lives, because she is now no longer of benefit (profitable or serviceable), either naturally or spiritually, and therefore she deserves no honour (1 Timothy 5:3, i.e. no share in the public maintenance).


Verse 7

1 Timothy 5:7. ταῦτα, these things) which have been just now spoken.— ὧσιν, may be) viz. true widows.


Verse 8

1 Timothy 5:8. ἰδίων, his own) even out of his house.— τῶν οἰκείων, those of his own house) Such even especially as the mother or lonely (helpless) widow, at home, 1 Timothy 5:4. Many parents make this an excuse for their avarice; but this passage chiefly treats of the duty of grandchildren, which ought to flow from love, not to be opposed to faith.— οὐ προνοεῖ, does not provide) with food and necessary clothing.— τὴν πίστιν ἤρνηται, has denied the faith) Paul hopes that there will be no one among Christians who does not provide for his mother. Faith does not set aside natural duties, but perfects and strengthens them.— ἀπίστου, an infidel) whom even nature teaches this, although he has never embraced the faith.


Verse 9

1 Timothy 5:9. καταλεγέσθα) let not a widow be taken into the number.— μὴ ἔλαττον ἐτῶν ἑξήκοντα) The genitive here does not depend on the comparative, for in that case it would have been written ἔλαττων,(40) but on χήρα; ἔλαττον (for κατὰ ἔλαττον, as Lat. summum, minimum, for ad summum, ad minimum, at most, at least) is used adverbially. So Plato, τάλαντα οὐκ ἔλαττον ἑκατόν (at least a hundred talents; literally, a hundred talents—not less).— ἐτῶν ἑξήκοντα, of sixty years) The antithesis is in 1 Timothy 5:11. Even virgins of this age might be reckoned among widows. But the apostle would by no means praise those who would thrust their younger daughters into monasteries, where they may remain from their youth up to their death.— ἑνὸς, of one) i.e. who has been lawfully married, or has had one husband, or one and afterwards a second.


Verse 10

1 Timothy 5:10. ἔργοις καλοῖς, good works) These are presently enumerated, among which is also this species, παντὶ ἔργῳ ἀγαθῷ ἐπακολουθεῖν, where ἀγαθὸς is more than καλός.— ἐτεκνοτρόφησεν) if she have rightly brought up children, either her own, or those of others, for the benefit of the Church.— ἐξενοδόχησεν, lodged strangers) that she may be worthy of being publicly compensated by the Church for the benefits which she has conferred on its members.— πόδας ἔνιψεν, has washed the feet) A Synecdoche of the part, for every kind of humble offices.— θλιβομένοις, the straitened [the afflicted]) with poverty.—(41) ἐπηκολούθησε, has followed up) It is the part of ministers and men to take the lead in good works, Titus 3:8; Titus 3:14 ( προΐστασθαι, not as Engl. Vers. to maintain, but to take the lead in good works); of women to follow up, by assisting so far as they are able. The glosses in Pricæus are, ἐπηκολούθησεν, ἐκοινώνησεν, ὑπηρέτησεν.


Verse 11

1 Timothy 5:11. παραιτοῦ, refuse) Do not take up their case. The same word occurs, Titus 3:10 (reject, παραιτοῦ).— ὅταν γὰρ καταστρηνιάσωσι τοῦ χριστοῦ) when they have begun to wax wanton (to indulge in luxury) against Christ, viz. with regard to ecclesiastical benefits. The genitive is governed by κατὰ; what στρῆνος is, see Revelation 18:3 (“The abundance,” or “power,” of her delicacies, στρήνους). Extravagance (wantonness) and Christ are by no means compatible.— τοῦ χριστοῦ, Christ) to whom they had entirely devoted themselves.— θέλουσιν, they will) the matter being no longer undecided.


Verse 12

1 Timothy 5:12. ἔχουσαι, having) for certain, by this time.— ὅτι) because.— τὴν πρώτην πίστιν ἠθέτησαν) πίστιν ἀθετεῖν, as Raphelius shows from Polybius, is not to keep the faith; comp. 1 Timothy 5:8. It is called πρώτη πίστις, their first faith, the faith of their early life, which they had before they were enrolled among the widows. Their second vows break this faith, and are opposed to it; comp. “thy first love,” Revelation 2:4.


Verse 13

1 Timothy 5:13. ΄ανθάνουσι περιερχόμεναι, they learn going about) This participle is not put for the infinitive, but the genus, ‘learning,’ is reprehended: the species follows, they learn the things which are learned by going about from house to house, i.e. they curiously pry into the state of families. The Mimesis(42) lies in this, that the expression used is, they learn. For elsewhere those things are only said to be learned which are good. But these women learn by going about, they search out all things; and thence their progress is progress in the wrong direction.— τὰς οἰκίας, houses) 2 Timothy 3:6.— φλύαροι, [tattlers] triflers) in respect to words.— περίεργοι busybodies) in respect to deeds.— λαλοῦσαι, speaking) This word is construed with they leanr. They speak out all that they have learned.— τὰ μὴ δέοντα) μὴ δεῖ, Titus 1:11.


Verse 14

1 Timothy 5:14. νεωτέρας, the younger women) He does not acid, widows, for the widow in this passage is properly she who remains a widow. And this arrangement (mode of acting), which the apostle mentions, equally applies to the unmarried and to widows under sixty years. The monastic system regarding nuns is quite inconsistent with the whole meaning of the apostle; and Paul does not write to Timothy about the government of any company of monks, for there were none such in existence.— γαμεῖν, τεκνογονεῖν, οἰκοδεσποτεῖν, to marry, to bear children, rule their family [guide the house]) Three successive steps in domestic society. So they shall have full employment, without idleness or curiosity.— τῷ ἀντικειμένῳ, to the adversary) The word שטן, Symmachus, in Psalms 38 :(20) 21, has translated by the word ἀντίκειμαι, and in the following verse mention is made of Satan: yet the word ἀντικείμενος, adversary, may be in this place understood of wicked men; comp. ch 1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:8; Titus 2:10.— λοιδορίας χάριν, for the sake of calumny [by way of reproach]) which is eager to exaggerate the vices of a few, and to impute them to the whole Church and its doctrines.


Verse 15

1 Timothy 5:15. ἤδη, already) A particle used for the purpose of appealing to experience.— τινὲς, some) rashly professing widowhood.— ἐξετράπησαν, have been turned aside) and thereby have given occasion to calumny.— ὀπίσω τοῦ σατανᾶ, after Satan) who turned them aside from Christ.


Verse 16

1 Timothy 5:16. ἐπαρκείτω, let him (or her) relieve them) 1 Timothy 5:10 [ θλιβομένοις ἐπήρκεσεν, “relieved the afflicted”].— ἐκκλησία, the Church) in relieving the widows.— ἐπαρκέσῃ, in order that it may have enough for relieving) viz. the Church.


Verse 17

1 Timothy 5:17. διπλῆς, double) On account of their being older, and on account of their office. The eldership involves of itself veneration on account of age. Even Peter opposes the elders to the younger men ( νεωτέροις), and yet he speaks as concerning an office, 1 Peter 5:5; 1 Peter 5:1, etc. Double, i.e. large, Revelation 18:6.— μάλιστα, especially) Some then were able to rule, and to rule well, although they were not employed in word and doctrine, viz. in sacred studies, and in the instruction of others. But those who had been so employed ( κοπιῶντες), were less at leisure for working, and for acquiring fortune, and were worthy of compensation.


Verse 18

1 Timothy 5:18. καὶ, ἄξιος, and, worthy) The apostle quotes this, either as Scripture, or as a proverb approved of by the Lord, Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:7.


Verse 19

1 Timothy 5:19. πρεσβυτέρου, an elder) 1 Timothy 5:17.— κατηγορίαν, accusation) According to the law of Moses, a private person might be summoned, but not condemned, when there was only one witness: Paul directs that an elder should not even be summoned; for both his character as an innocent person stands higher, and he is more exposed to envy and calumny.— μὴ παραδέχου, do not receive) Timothy had therefore the power of judging in the Church, 1 Timothy 5:21; 1 Timothy 5:24.


Verse 20

1 Timothy 5:20. τοὺς ἁμαρτάνοντας) them that sin, the elders convicted by witnesses. The others are contradistinguished from those.— οἱλοιποὶ) the others in the flock, who have either committed the same sin, or lest they should commit it.— φόβον, fear) suitable to those who are prepared to sin.


Verse 21

1 Timothy 5:21. ἐνώπιον, before) Paul presents vividly to Timothy the last judgment, in which God will be revealed, and Christ will be seen face to face with His angels; comp. 2 Timothy 4:1. And yet the words, face to face, do not shut out reference to the present time, 1 Timothy 5:4 ( ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ); 2 Corinthians 8:21. See ch. 1 Timothy 6:13, etc.— καὶ κυρίου, and the Lord) The article is not added, though it is immediately added with respect to the angels. Therefore the appellations, God and Lord, refer to one subject [before Him who is at once God and Lord, Jesus Christ];(43) comp., however, 2 Timothy 4:1.(44) The old reading has not κυρίου.(45)ἐκλεκτῶν) An epithet, which sharpens the reverence of Timothy; ἐκλεκτὸς, choice, 1 Peter 2:6.— χωρὶς προκρίματος) χωπὶς τοῦ προπετῶς καὶ δίχα κεκρι΄ένης βουλῆς πρᾶξαί σε τί.(46) Glos. ap. Pricæum.— προκρί΄α, prejudice (prejudging), is the failing of him who determines, before the matter fully opens itself out; 1 Timothy 5:22, note. There ought to be judgment, not prejudice (prejudging); 1 Timothy 5:24.— κατὰ πρὁσκλισιν) The glosses by the same writer are, κατὰ πρόσκλισιν, κατὰ χάριν, προσπάθειαν, ἐτερο΄έρειαν, In short, prejudice through hatred, partiality through favour. [Often a man is hurried headlong by some impulse, and treats this or that person either well or ill accordingly; but we should act considerately, and think, what is suitable to the Divine will.—V. g.]

AD( δ) corrected, Gfg Vulg., Hilar. 328, Lucif. omit κυρίου. Rec. Text has no good authority for it.—ED.


Verse 22

1 Timothy 5:22. χεῖρας, hands) It was the duty of Timothy to lay his hands on the presbyters.— ταχέως, hastily) without previous examination.— μησὲ κοινώνει, nor be partaker) They do so, who do anything hastily. [And indeed, in this passage, the sudden imposition of hands is that upon which a check is placed. But certainly, in the other departments of life, the participation of other men’s sins is very frequent. That happens either before or after the act, in our thoughts, affection, gestures, words, writings, works; by doing, omitting to do; in regard to superiors, equals, inferiors, ministers, subjects; while a greater or less portion of the fault falls sometimes on the one side, sometimes on the other.—V. g.] 1 Timothy 5:24-25, show that waiting for a time is salutary, and an admonition is introduced parenthetically (“keep thyself—infirmities”), which young Timothy was meanwhile carefully to observe.


Verse 23

1 Timothy 5:23. σεαυτὸν, thyself) The antithesis is, other men’s. Timothy is admonished, in passing, how he should regulate his own conduct, while he is engaged in regulating the conduct of others; and this parenthesis very elegantly imitates the delay that ought to be allowed to intervene in such matters.— μηκέτι, no longer) A safe admonition, always keeping in view the precept, keep thyself pure.


Verse 24

1 Timothy 5:24. τινῶν, of some) Not only is the aspect of the sins which are committed [i.e the footing on which they stand, the point of view from which they are to be regarded] different, but also of the men, though committing the same sins.— αἱ ἁμαρτίαι, the sins) their evil deeds, and their evil habits to be known from the former.— πρόδηλοι) manifest before any inquiry is made, or anything determined concerning the men.— προάγουσαι) going before, preceding him that commits them, so that he is immediately seen to be unworthy of the imposition of hands. The antithesis is, follow after.— εἰς κρίσιν) [Engl. Vers. to judgment] so far as concerns the judgment to be formed of the men.— τισὶ) That is more emphatic than if he had repeated τινῶν; some also their own sins follow.— ἐπακαλουθοῦσι follow after) Meanwhile we must wait patiently, till the matter fully discloses itself, and we must not inquire too harshly. God, however, directs His faithful servant to do and say what is seasonable. The preposition ἐπὶ implies no long interval.


Verse 25

1 Timothy 5:25. τὰ ἄλλως ἔχοντα, the works that are otherwise) Those which are not beforehand manifest. The saying, which is found at Ecclesiastes 8:14, is remarkable, and should in the present day be especially attended to.— κρυβῆναι be hid) long.— οὐ δύναται, cannot) although they who do them may often wish to keep them concealed.

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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-timothy-5.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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