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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Timothy 5



Verse 1

Rebuke not an elder (πρεσβυτερωι μη επιπληχηιςpresbuterōi mē epiplēxēis). Dative case πρεσβυτερωιpresbuterōi used in the usual sense of an older man, not a minister (bishop as in 1 Timothy 3:2) as is shown by “as a father.” First aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive with negative μηmē (prohibition against committing the act) of επιπλησσωepiplēssō to strike upon, old verb, but here only in N.T. and in figurative sense with words rather than with fists. Respect for age is what is here commanded, an item appropriate to the present time.

The younger men as brethren (νεωτερους ως αδελπουςneōterous hōs adelphous). Comparative adjective νεωτεροςneōteros from νεοςneos (young). No article, “younger men.” Wise words for the young minister to know how to conduct himself with old men (reverence) and young men (fellowship, but not stooping to folly with them).

Verse 2

The elder women as mothers (πρεσβυτερας ως μητεραςpresbuteras hōs mēteras). Anarthrous again, “older women as mothers.” Respect and reverence once more.

The younger as sisters, in all purity (νεωτερας ως αδελπας εν πασηι αγνιαιneōteras hōs adelphas en pasēi hagniāi). Anarthrous also and comparative form as in 1 Timothy 5:1. See note on 1 Timothy 4:12 for αγνιαhagnia No sort of behavior will so easily make or mar the young preacher as his conduct with young women.

Verse 3

That are widows indeed (τας οντως χηραςtas ontōs chēras). For οντωςontōs (actually, really), see Luke 23:47; 1 Corinthians 14:25; and 1 Timothy 5:5. For widows (χηραchēra) see note on Mark 12:40; note on Mark 12:42; note on Acts 6:1; and note on 1 Corinthians 7:8. Parry notes that in 1 Timothy 5:3-8 Paul discusses widows who are in distress and 1 Timothy 5:9 those who are in the employment of the local church for certain work. Evidently, as in Acts 6:1-6, so here in Ephesus there had arisen some trouble over the widows in the church. Both for individual cases of need and as a class Timothy is to show proper respect (τιμαtimā keep on honouring) the widows.

Verse 4

Grandchildren (εκγοναekgona). Old word from εκγινομαιekginomai here only in N.T.

Let them learn (μαντανετωσανmanthanetōsan). The children and grandchildren of a widow. Present active imperative third person plural of μαντανωmanthanō “Let them keep on learning.”

First (πρωτονprōton). Adverb, first before anything else. No “corban” business here. No acts of “piety” toward God will make up for impiety towards parents.

To shew piety (ευσεβεινeusebein). Present active infinitive with μαντανετωσανmanthanetōsan and old verb, in N.T. only here and Acts 17:23. From ευσεβηςeusebēs (ευ σεβομαιeuτον ιδιον οικονsebomai), pious, dutiful.

Their own family (αμοιβας αποδιδοναιton idion oikon). “Their own household.” Filial piety is primary unless parents interfere with duty to Christ (Luke 14:26).

To requite (αποδιδωμιamoibas apodidonai). Present active infinitive of Αμοιβαςapodidōmi to give back, old and common verb (Romans 2:6), to keep on giving back. αμειβομαιAmoibas (from τοις προγονοιςameibomai to requite like for like) is old and common word, but here only in N.T.

Their parents (προγονοςtois progonois). Dative case of old and common word προγινομαιprogonos (from αποδεκτονproginomai to come before), “ancestor.” In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 1:3. See note on 1 Timothy 2:3 for “acceptable” (apodekton).

Verse 5

Desolate (μεμονωμενηmemonōmenē). Perfect passive participle of μονοωmonoō (from μονοςmonos), “left alone,” old verb, here alone in N.T. Without husband, children, or other close kin.

Hath her hope set on God (ηλπικεν επι τεονēlpiken epi theon). Perfect active indicative of ελπιζωelpizō “hath placed her hope (and keeps it) on God.” Text doubtful whether God (τεονtheon) or Lord (ΚυριονKurion).

Continues (προσμενειprosmenei). See note on 1 Timothy 1:3. With dative case here.

Night and day (νυκτος και ημεραςnuktos kai hēmeras). “By night and by day” (genitive, not accusative). Paul does not say that she should pray “all night and day.”

Verse 6

She that giveth herself to pleasure (η σπαταλωσαhē spatalōsa). Present active participle of σπλαταλαωsplatalaō late verb (Polybius) from σπαταληspatalē (riotous, luxurious living). In N.T. only here and James 5:5.

Verse 7

That they may be without reproach (ινα ανεπιλημπτοι ωσινhina anepilēmptoi ōsin). See note on 1 Timothy 3:2 for ανεπιλημπτοςanepilēmptos Final clause with ιναhina and present subjunctive.

Verse 8

Provideth not for his own (των ιδιων ου προνοειtōn idiōn ou pronoei). Condition of first class with ειei and present active (or middle προνοειταιpronoeitai) indicative of προνοεωpronoeō old verb, to think beforehand. Pauline word in N.T. only here, 2 Corinthians 8:21; Romans 12:7. With genitive case.

He hath denied the faith (την πιστιν ηρνηταιtēn pistin ērnētai). Perfect middle indicative of old verb αρνεομαιarneomai His act of impiety belies (Titus 1:16) his claim to the faith (Revelation 2:13).

Worse than an unbeliever (απιστου χειρωνapistou cheirōn). Ablative case of απιστουapistou after the comparative χειρωνcheirōn Who makes no profession of piety.

Verse 9

Let none be enrolled as a widow (χηρα καταλεγεστωchēra katalegesthō). Present passive imperative of καταλεγωkatalegō old verb, to set down in an official list, only here in N.T. “Let a widow be enrolled,” the negative coming later, “having become of no less than sixty years” (μη ελαττον ετων εχηκοντα γεγονυιαmē elatton etōn hexēkonta gegonuia). Second perfect active participle of γινομαιginomai For the case of ετωνetōn see note on Luke 2:42. This list of genuine widows (1 Timothy 5:3, 1 Timothy 5:5) apparently had some kind of church work to do (care for the sick, the orphans, etc.).

The wife of one man (ενος ανδρος γυνηhenos andros gunē). Widows on this list must not be married a second time. This interpretation is not so clear for 1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 3:12; Titus 1:6.

Verse 10

If she hath brought up children (ει ετεκνοτροπησενei eteknotrophēsen). Condition of first class. Late and rare word (Aristotle, Epictetus), first aorist active indicative of τεκνοτροπεωteknotropheō (τεκνοτροποςteknotrophos from τεκνον τρεπωteknonει εχενοδοχησενtrephō), here only in N.T. Qualification for her work as leader.

If she hath used hospitality to strangers (χενοδοκεωei exenodochēsen). First aorist again and same condition. Late form (Dio Cassius) of old verb χενους δεχομαιxenodokeō (Herodotus), to welcome strangers (ει αγιων ποδας ενιπσενxenous dechomai). Only here in N.T. Hospitality another qualification for such leadership (1 Timothy 3:2).

If she hath washed the saints‘ feet (νιπτωei hagiōn podas enipsen). Same condition and tense of νιζωniptō (old form ει τλιβομενοις επηρκεσενnizō), common in N.T. (John 13:5). Proof of her hospitality, not of its being a church ordinance.

If she hath relieved the afflicted (επαρκεωei thlibomenois epērkesen). Same condition and tense of ει επηκολουτησενeparkeō to give sufficient aid, old word, in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 5:16. Experience that qualified her for eleemosynary work.

If she hath diligently followed (επακολουτεωei epēkolouthēsen). Same condition and tense of επιepakoloutheō old verb, to follow close upon (epi). So here, 1 Timothy 5:24; 1 Peter 2:21. In a word such a widow must show her qualifications for leadership as with bishops and deacons.

Verse 11

But younger widows refuse (νεωτερας δε χηρας παραιτουneōteras de chēras paraitou). Present middle imperative as in 1 Timothy 4:7. “Beg off from.” They lack experience as above and they have other ambitions.

When they have waxed wanton (οταν καταστρηνιασωσινhotan katastrēniasōsin). First aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of καταστρηνιαωkatastrēniaō late compound (only here and Ignatius), to feel the impulse of sexual desire, but simplex στρηνιαωstrēniaō (Revelation 18:7, Revelation 18:9). Souter renders it here “exercise youthful vigour against Christ” (του Χριστουtou Christou genitive case after καταkata in composition).

Verse 12

Condemnation (κριμαkrima). See note on 1 Timothy 3:6.

They have rejected (ητετησανēthetēsan). First aorist passive of ατετεωatheteō late verb (first in lxx and Polybius), to reject, set aside (from ατετοςathetos). See note on 1 Thessalonians 4:8; Galatians 2:21.

Their first faith (την πρωτην πιστινtēn prōtēn pistin). “Their first pledge” (promise, contract) to Christ. It is like breaking the marriage contract. Evidently one of the pledges on joining the order of widows was not to marry. Parry suggests a kind of ordination as with deacons and bishops (technical use of κριμαkrima and πιστιςpistis).

Verse 13

And withal (αμα δε καιhama de kai). See note on Philemon 1:22 for this very phrase, “and at the same time also.” Such young enrolled widows have other perils also.

They learn to be idle (αργαι μαντανουσινargai manthanousin). There is no ειναιeinai (to be) in the Greek. This very idiom without ειναιeinai after μαντανωmanthanō occurs in Plato and Dio Chrysostom, though unusual. ΑργαιArgai (idle) is old adjective (αa privative and εργονergon without work). See note on Matthew 20:3 and note on Titus 1:12.

Going about (περιερχομεναιperierchomenai). Present middle participle of περιερχομαιperierchomai old compound verb. See note on Acts 19:13 of strollers.

From house to house (τας οικιαςtas oikias). Literally “the houses,” “wandering around the houses.” Vivid picture of idle tattlers and gossipers.

But tattlers also (αλλα και πλυαροιalla kai phluaroi). Old word from πλυωphluō (to boil up, to throw up bubbles, like blowing soap bubbles). Only here in N.T. ΠλυαρεωPhluareō in 3 John 1:10 only in N.T.

And busybodies (και περιεργοιkai periergoi). Old word (from περι εργονperiπεριεργαζομαιergon), busy about trifles to the neglect of important matters. In N.T. only here and Acts 19:19. See note on 2 Thessalonians 3:11 for τα μη δεονταperiergazomai

Things which they ought not (α μη δειta mē deonta). “The not necessary things,” and, as a result, often harmful. See note on Titus 1:11 ha mē dei (which things are not necessary).

Verse 14

I desire (βουλομαιboulomai). See note on 1 Timothy 2:8.

The younger widows (νεωτεραςneōteras). No article and no word for widows, though that is clearly the idea. ΝεωτεραςNeōteras is accusative of general reference with γαμεινgamein (to marry) the object (present infinitive active) of βουλομαιboulomai

Bear children (τεκνογονεινteknogonein). A compound verb here only in N.T. and nowhere else save in Anthol. See τεκνογονιαteknogonia in 1 Timothy 2:15.

Rule the household (οικοδεσποτεινoikodespotein). Late verb from οικοδεσποτηςoikodespotēs (Mark 14:14), twice in the papyri, only here in N.T. Note that the wife is here put as ruler of the household, proper recognition of her influence, “new and improved position” (Liddon).

Occasion (απορμηνaphormēn). Old word (απο ορμηapoτωι αντικειμενωιhormē), a base to rush from, Pauline use in 2 Corinthians 5:12; 2 Corinthians 11:12; Galatians 5:13.

To the adversary (αντικειμαιtōi antikeimenōi). Dative case of the articular participle of λοιδοριαςantikeimai a Pauline idiom (Philemon 1:28).

Reviling (λοιδορεωloidorias). Old word (from χαρινloidoreō), in N.T. only here and 1 Peter 3:9. Genitive case with charin f0).

Verse 15

Are turned aside (εχετραπησανexetrapēsan). Second aorist (effective) passive indicative of εκτρεπωektrepō See note on 1 Timothy 1:6.

After Satan (οπισω του Σαταναopisō tou Satanā). “Behind Satan.” Late use of οπισωopisō (behind) as a preposition. Used by Jesus of disciples coming behind (after) him (Matthew 16:24).

Verse 16

That believeth (πιστηpistē). “Believing woman.”

Hath widows (εχει χηραςechei chēras). The “any believing woman” is one of the household-rulers of 1 Timothy 5:14. The “widows” here are the widows dependent on her and who are considered as candidates to be enrolled in the list.

Let her relieve them (επαρκειτω αυταιςeparkeitō autais). For this verb (imperative present active) see 1 Timothy 5:10.

Let not be burdened (μη βαρειστωmē bareisthō). Present passive imperative (in prohibition μηmē) of βαρεωbareō old verb (βαροςbaros burden), Pauline word (2 Corinthians 1:8).

That are widows indeed (ταις οντως χηραιςtais ontōs chērais). Dative case with επαρκεσηιeparkesēi (first aorist active subjunctive with ιναhina final clause). See 1 Timothy 5:3 for this use of οντωςontōs with χηραιςchērais “the qualified and enrolled widows.” Cf. 1 Timothy 5:9.

Verse 17

The elders that rule well (οι καλως προεστωτες πρεσβυτεροιhoi kalōs proestōtes presbuteroi). See 1 Timothy 5:1 for ordinary sense of πρεσβυτεροςpresbuteros for “older man.” But here of position in same sense as επισκοποςepiskopos (1 Timothy 3:2) as in Titus 1:5 = επισκοποςepiskopos in 1 Timothy 5:7. Cf. Luke‘s use of πρεσβυτεροςpresbuteros (Acts 20:17) = Paul‘s επισκοπουςepiskopous (Acts 20:28). ΠροεστωτεςProestōtes is second perfect active participle of προιστημιproistēmi (intransitive use) for which see note on 1 Timothy 3:4.

Let be counted worthy (αχιουστωσανaxiousthōsan). Present passive imperative of αχιοωaxioō to deem worthy (2 Thessalonians 1:11). With genitive case here.

Of double honour (διπλης τιμηςdiplēs timēs). Old and common contract adjective (διπλοοςdiploos two-fold, in opposition to απλοοςhaploos single fold). But why “of double honour”? See note on 1 Timothy 6:1 for “of all honour.” White suggests “remuneration” rather than “honour” for τιμηςtimēs (a common use for price or pay). Liddon proposes “honorarium” (both honour and pay and so “double”). Wetstein gives numerous examples of soldiers receiving double pay for unusual services. Some suggest twice the pay given the enrolled widows.

Especially those who labour in word and teaching (μαλιστα οι κοπιωντες εν λογωι και διδασκαλιαιmalista hoi kopiōntes en logōi kai didaskaliāi). Either those who work hard or toil (usual meaning of κοπιαωkopiaō 2 Timothy 2:6) in preaching and teaching (most probable meaning. See 1 Timothy 5:18) or those who teach and preach and not merely preside (a doubtful distinction in “elders” at this time). See Titus 1:8. See both κοπιαωkopiaō and προισταμαιproistamai used for same men (elders) in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 and the use of κοπιαωkopiaō in 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Corinthians 16:16.

Verse 18

Thou shalt not muzzle (ου πιμωσειςou phimōseis). Prohibition by ουou and future (volitive) indicative of πιμοωphimoō (from πιμοςphimos muzzle), old word, quoted also in 1 Corinthians 9:9 as here from Deuteronomy 25:4, and for the same purpose, to show the preacher‘s right to pay for his work. See note on 1 Corinthians 9:9 for αλοωνταaloōnta (when he treadeth out the corn).

The labourer is worthy of his hire (αχιος ο εργατης του μιστου αυτουaxios ho ergatēs tou misthou autou). These words occur in precisely this form in Luke 10:7. It appears also in Matthew 10:10 with της τροπηςtēs trophēs (food) instead of του μιστουtou misthou In 1 Corinthians 9:14 Paul has the sense of it and says: “so also the Lord ordained,” clearly meaning that Jesus had so said. It only remains to tell whether Paul here is quoting an unwritten saying of Jesus as he did in Acts 20:35 or even the Gospel of Luke or Q (the Logia of Jesus). There is no way to decide this question. If Luke wrote his Gospel before a.d. 62 as is quite possible and Acts by a.d. 63, he could refer to the Gospel. It is not clear whether Scripture is here meant to apply to this quotation from the Lord Jesus. For εργατηςergatēs (labourer) see note on Philemon 3:2.

Verse 19

Against an elder (κατα πρεσβυτερουkata presbuterou). In the official sense of 1 Timothy 5:17.

Receive not (μη παραδεχουmē paradechou). Present middle imperative with μηmē (prohibition) of παραδεχομαιparadechomai to receive, to entertain. Old verb. See Acts 22:18.

Accusation (κατηγοριανkatēgorian). Old word (from κατηγοροςkatēgoros). In N.T. only here, Titus 1:6; John 18:29 in critical text.

Except (εκτος ει μηektos ei mē). For this double construction see note on 1 Corinthians 14:5; 1 Corinthians 15:2.

At the mouth of (επιepi). Idiomatic use of επιepi (upon the basis of) as in 2 Corinthians 13:1.

Verse 20

Them that sin (τους αμαρτανονταςtous hamartanontas). The elders who continue to sin (present active participle).

In the sight of all (ενωπιον παντωνenōpion pantōn). “In the eye of (ο εν οπι ωνho en opi ōn the one who is in the eye of, then combined = ενωπιονenōpion) all” the elders (or even of the church). See next 1 Timothy 5:21 and Galatians 1:20. Public rebuke when a clear case, not promiscuous gossip.

May be in fear (ποβον εχωσινphobon echōsin). Present active subjunctive with ιναhina (final clause), “may keep on having fear” (of exposure). Possibly, “the rest of the elders.”

Verse 21

The elect angels (των εκλεκτων αγγελωνtōn eklektōn aggelōn). For this triad of God, Christ, angels, see Luke 9:26. “Elect” in the sense of the “holy” angels who kept their own principality (Judges 1:6) and who did not sin (2 Peter 2:4). Paul shows his interest in angels in 1 Corinthians 4:9; 1 Corinthians 11:10.

Observe (πυλαχηιςphulaxēis). First aorist active subjunctive of πυλασσωphulassō to guard, to keep (Romans 2:26). Subfinal use of ιναhina

Without prejudice (χωρις προκριματοςchōris prokrimatos). Late and rare word (from προκινωprokinō to judge beforehand), three times in the papyri, here only in N.T. “Without prejudgment.”

By partiality (κατα προσκλισινkata prosklisin). Late word from προσκλινωprosklinō to incline towards one (Acts 5:36), only here in N.T.

Verse 22

Lay hands hastily (χειρας ταχεως επιτιτειcheiras tacheōs epitithei). Present active imperative of επιτιτημιepitithēmi in the sense of approval (ordination) as in Acts 6:6; Acts 13:3. But it is not clear whether it is the case of ministers just ordained as in 1 Timothy 4:14 (επιτεσιςepithesis), or of warning against hasty ordination of untried men, or the recognition and restoration of deposed ministers (1 Timothy 5:20) as suits the context. The prohibition suits either situation, or both.

Be partakers of other men‘s sins (κοινωνει αμαρτιαις αλλοτριαιςKoinéōnei hamartiais allotriais). Present active imperative of κοινωνεωKoinéōneō (from κοινωνοςKoinéōnos partner) with μηmē in prohibition with associative instrumental case as in 2 John 1:11; Romans 12:13. On αλλοτριοςallotrios (belonging to another) see note on Romans 14:4.

Keep thyself pure (σεαυτον αγνον τηρειseauton hagnon tērei). “Keep on keeping thyself pure.” Present active imperative of τηρεωtēreō f0).

Verse 23

Be no longer a drinker of water (μηκετι υδροποτειmēketi hudropotei). Present active imperative (prohibition) of υδροποτεωhudropoteō old verb (from υδροποτηςhudropotēs water drinker, υδωρ πινωhudōrαλλα αινωι ολιγωι χρωpinō), here only in N.T. Not complete asceticism, but only the need of some wine urged in Timothy‘s peculiar physical condition (a sort of medical prescription for this case).

But use a little wine (χραομαιalla ainōi oligōi chrō). Present middle imperative of ολιγωιchraomai with instrumental case. The emphasis is on δια τον στομαχονoligōi (a little).

For thy stomach‘s sake (στομαdia ton stomachon). Old word from τας πυκνας σου αστενειαςstoma (mouth). In Homer throat, opening of the stomach (Aristotle), stomach in Plutarch. Here only in N.T. Our word “stomach.”

Thine often infirmities (Πυκνοςtas puknas sou astheneias). ΑστενειαςPuknos is old word, dense, frequent. In N.T. only here, Luke 5:33; Acts 24:26. Astheneias = weaknesses, lack of strength (Romans 8:26). Timothy was clearly a semi-invalid.

Verse 24

Evident (προδηλοιprodēloi). “Openly plain,” “plain before all.” Old word, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 7:24.

Going before unto judgment (προαγουσαι εις κρισινproagousai eis krisin). See 1 Timothy 1:18 for προαγωproagō The sins are so plain that they receive instant condemnation.

And some men also they follow after (τισιν δε και επακολουτουσινtisin de kai epakolouthousin). Associative instrumental case τισινtisin with επακολουτουσινepakolouthousin for which verb see 1 Timothy 5:10, “dog their steps” (Parry) like 1 Peter 2:21, not clearly manifest at first, but come out plainly at last. How true that is of secret sins.

Verse 25

Such as are otherwise (τα αλλως εχονταta allōs echonta). “Those (deeds, εργαerga) which have it otherwise.” That is good deeds not clearly manifest.

Cannot be hid (κρυβηναι ου δυνανταιkrubēnai ou dunantai). Second aorist passive infinitive of κρυπτωkruptō There is comfort here for modest preachers and other believers whose good deeds are not known and not blazoned forth. They will come out in the end. See Matthew 5:14-16.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Thursday, June 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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