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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Timothy 5:3

Honor widows who are widows indeed;

Adam Clarke Commentary

Honor widows that are widows indeed - One meaning of the word τιμαω, to honor, is to support, sustain, etc., Matthew 15:4, Matthew 15:5; and here it is most obviously to be taken in this sense. Provide for those widows especially which are widows indeed - persons truly destitute, being aged and helpless, and having neither children nor friends to take care of them, and who behave as becometh their destitute state. But see the note on 1 Timothy 5:10.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-timothy-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Honour widows - The particular attention and respect which are enjoined here, seem to refer to the class of widows who were supported by the church, and who were entrusted with the performance of certain duties toward the other female members, see 1 Timothy 5:9. It is to be remembered that the contact of the sexes was much more circumscribed in Oriental countries than it is among us; that access to the female members of the church would be much less free than it is now, and that consequently there might have been a special propriety in entrusting the duty of watching over the younger among them to the more aged. This duty would be naturally entrusted to those who had not the care of families. It would also be natural to commit it, if they were qualified, to those who had not the means of support, and who, while they were maintained by the church, might be rendering a valuable service to it. It would seem, therefore, that there was a class of this description, who were entrusted with these duties, and in regard to whose qualifications it was proper that Timothy should be instructed. The change of customs in society has made this class less necessary, and probably the arrangement was never designed to be permanent, but still it may be a question whether such an arrangement would not now be wise and useful in the church. On this subject, see the notes on Romans 16:1.

That are widows indeed - Who are truly widows. We associate with the word “widow,” commonly, not only the idea of the loss of a husband, but many other things that are the usual accompaniments of widowhood - a poor and dependent condition; care and solicitude; sadness and sorrow. This idea is implied in the use of the word employed here - χήρα chēra- which means properly one who is “bereaved,” (from the adjective χήρος chēros“bereaved”), and which, as Calvin says, conveys the idea of one in distressed circumstances. What Paul regarded as constituting true widowhood, he specifies in 1 Timothy 5:4-5, 1 Timothy 5:9-10. He connects with it the idea that she had no persons dependent on her; that she was desolate, and evinced true trust in God; that she was so aged that she would not marry again; and that by her life she had given evidence of possessing a heart of true benevolence; 1 Timothy 5:10.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-timothy-5.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Honor widows that are widows indeed.

Honor ... "That is, maintain out of the common stock."[4] Spence affirmed the same thing, "The widow is not merely to be honored, but she is also to be assisted out of the alms of the faithful."[5] This construction of the word "honor" goes back to our Lord's command that "honor thy father and mother" forbade use of the device of Corban to avoid their financial assistance" (Matthew 15:4-6). The same word occurs again in 1 Timothy 5:17, below, where likewise the meaning includes financial remuneration.

Despite the duty of helping needy widows, however, Paul moved quickly to countermand any intention of the church's assuming financial obligations that properly belonged to children or other next of kin to those in need. See next verse.

[4] John Wesley, One Volume New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1972), in loco.

[5] H. D. M. Spence, Ellicott's Bible Commentary, Vol. VIII (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959), p. 201.


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-timothy-5.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Honour widows that are widows indeed. Who those are, see in 1 Timothy 1:5. The honour to be given them is not a putting of them into the office of a deaconess, in the church; which office, some think, is referred to in Acts 6:1, and did obtain in some of the primitive churches; and it might be that some of these widows, the apostle here and hereafter speaks of, might be preferred to the rest, and be set over them, and have the care of such, who were more infirm; but then this could only be the case of some, whereas the honour here spoken of is what is to be given to all that are really widows; and therefore rather regards some external honour and respect to be shown them, by words and actions; and especially it designs an honourable provision for them, and maintenance of them; in which sense the word is used in 1 Timothy 5:17. So, with the Jews, giving gifts to persons, and making presents to them, is called honour. When Manoah asked the angel's name, that he might do him honour, when his saying came to pass, Judges 13:17 the sense, according to them, isF17Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 10. fol. 199. 4. ,

"that I may inquire in what place I may find thee, when thy prophecy is fulfilled, and give thee דורון, "a gift"; for there is no honour but what signifies a gift, as it is said, Numbers 22:17, "honouring I will honour thee".'

So giving gifts to the poor, or providing for their maintenance, is doing them honour; and that this is the sense here, appears by what follows in the context.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-timothy-5.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 a Honour widows that are widows indeed.

(2) The apostle gives these rules concerning the care of widows.

(a) Have care of those widows who have need of help.


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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-timothy-5.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Honour — by setting on the church roll, as fit objects of charitable sustenance (1 Timothy 5:9, 1 Timothy 5:17, 1 Timothy 5:18; Acts 6:1). So “honor” is used for support with necessaries (Matthew 15:4, Matthew 15:6; Acts 28:10).

widows indeed — (1 Timothy 5:16). Those really desolate; not like those (1 Timothy 5:4) having children or relations answerable for their support, nor like those (in 1 Timothy 5:6) “who live in pleasure”; but such as, from their earthly desolation as to friends, are most likely to trust wholly in God, persevere in continual prayers, and carry out the religious duties assigned to Church widows (1 Timothy 5:5). Care for widows was transferred from the Jewish economy to the Christian (Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 24:17, Deuteronomy 24:19).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-timothy-5.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

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.


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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
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-timothy-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Honor ( τίμα )

Not only by respectful treatment but by financial support. Comp. τιμήσει , Matthew 15:5, and πολλαῖς τιμαῖς ἐτίμησαν , Acts 28:10; and διπλῆς τιμῆς 1 Timothy 5:17. Comp. Ephesians href="/desk/?q=eph+6:2&sr=1">Ephesians 6:2, citation), and only here in Pastorals.

Widows ( χήρας )

Paul alludes to widows in 1 Corinthians 7:8only, where he advises them against remarrying. They are mentioned as a class in Acts 6:1, in connection with the appointment of the seven. Also Acts 9:39, Acts 9:41. In the Pastorals they receive special notice, indicating their advance from the position of mere beneficiaries to a quasi-official position in the church. from the very first, the church recognised its obligation to care for their support. A widow, in the East, was peculiarly desolate and helpless. In return for their maintenance certain duties were required of them, such as the care of orphans, sick and prisoners, and they were enrolled in an order, which, however, did not include all of their number who received alms of the church. In Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians, they are styled “the altar of God.” To such an order the references in the Pastorals point. The Fathers, from the end of the second century to the fourth, recognised a class known as πρεσβύτιδες agedwomen (Titus 2:3), who had oversight of the female church-members and a separate seat in the congregation. The council of Laodicaea abolished this institution, or so modified it that widows no longer held an official relation to the church.

Who are widows indeed ( τὰς ὄντως χήρας )

Comp. 1 Timothy 5:5, 1 Timothy 5:16. Ὄντως verilytruly, twice in Paul, 1 Corinthians 14:25; Galatians 3:21. See on 2 Peter 2:18. Wherever ὄντως is used by Paul or by any other N.T. writer, it is used purely as an adverb (see Luke 23:47; Luke 24:34): but in all the four instances in the Pastorals, it is preceded by the article and converted into an adjective. The meaning is, who are absolutely bereaved, without children or relations (comp. 1 Timothy 5:4), and have been but once married. There is probably also an implied contrast with those described in 1 Timothy 5:6, 1 Timothy 5:11-13.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-timothy-5.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Honour widows that are widows indeed.

Honour — That is, maintain out of the public stock.


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Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-timothy-5.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Widows indeed; those that are entirely friendless and desolate, as explained below. (1 Timothy 5:5.) To honor them in this case means to provide for them. (Compare 1 Timothy 5:17.)


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-timothy-5.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

3Honor widows that are really widows. By the word honor he does not mean any expression of respect, but that special care of them which bishops (85) took in the ancient Church; for widows were taken under the protection of the Church, that they might be supported out of the common funds. The meaning of this mode of expression is as if he had said, “For selecting widows that are to be taken under your care and that of the deacons, you ought to consider who they are that are really widows (86) What was their condition we shall afterwards explain more fully. But we must here attend to the reason why Paul does not admit any but those who are absolutely widows, and, at the same time, widows without children; for, in that condition, they dedicated themselves to the Church, that they might withdraw from all the private concerns of a family, and might lay aside every hindrance. Justly, therefore, does Paul forbid to receive the mothers of families, who are already bound by a charge of a different kind. When he calls them “really widows”, he alludes to the Greek word χήρα, which is derived ἀπὸ τοῦ χηροῦσθαι, from a verb which signifies to be “deprived” or “destitute.”


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-timothy-5.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.

Ver. 3. Honour widows indeed] That is, such as are widows not by divorce, but by the death of their husbands, and loss of their children; such as was Naomi. Honour them, that is, take them into the college of widows, to be maintained at the Church’s charge. In this sense ministers are to have double honour, {see 1 Timothy 5:17} which is therefore so termed, because they testified thereby the virtues of those so sustained.


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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-timothy-5.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Timothy 5:3. Honour widows To honour here, signifies not only to respect but maintain, as is evident from the context from 1 Timothy 5:17 and other passages of Scripture: "Respect and maintain the widows, who are (what that word imports) really χηρας, that is, bereaved and desolate."


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-timothy-5.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our apostle proceeds to give Timothy directions concerning widows, particularly those who were to be maintained by the church's charity, and to live upon it.

Note, 1. The persons who were to be relieved and supported by the church's charity: widows indeed; that is, such widows as were desolate, being deprived both of husband and maintenance at once; and having neither children, nor grand-children, nor near relations, in a capacity to relieve them; and they were also such as were resolved to continue in widowhood: these he required should be honoured, that is, have respect shown them, maintenance allowed them, employment provided for them, to visit the sick and poor, and give notice of their wants to the church, and to spend their time in the exercise of devotion, trusting in God: Continue in supplication and prayer night and day.

Note, 2. That such widows as had children and near relations, were to be taken care for, by them, and not by the church; Let them learn to shew piety at home, that is, relieve their own relations before they show kindness to strangers, or before the church be burdened with them; where the original word is very emphatical and significative. Let them exercise religion and godliness towards their own house; implying, that to extend our charity to our nearest relations is a duty in the first place, and to perform it with cheerfulness is an act of religion and godliness, and that it is in vain to pretend to religion, if we see a relation in want, and are able, but unwilling, to relieve them.

Note, 3. The character which St. Paul gave of some widows in his time: they lived in pleasure; with the censure which he passed upon them, namely, that they were dead whilst they lived; she that liveth in pleasure, that is, licentiously, sportingly, wantonly, profusely, to the dishonour of her husband's memory, and her own personal disgrace, she is dead in sin, dead to Christ and his holy religion, whilst she lives in the world; and so is not to be looked upon by the church as a vital member of it, much less to be maintained by the church's charity. This is what St. Paul thought needful to give Timothy in charge concerning widows, that so they might be found blameless, and without scandal to religion.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-timothy-5.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

3. τίμα] Is this to be interpreted generally, ‘honour’ merely, or with reference to the context? The best guide to an answer will be what follows. If the command be merely to hold them in honour, why should the destitute be held in more honour than those who had families? The command χήρας τίμα would surely apply to all alike. But seeing that it does not apply to all alike, we must necessarily limit its general meaning to that particular in which the one would be honoured, and the other not. Thus without giving or seeking for an unusual meaning to τίμα, we may fairly interpret it of this particular kind of honour, viz. being inscribed on the Church’s κατάλογος (1 Timothy 5:9) as a fit object of charitable sustenance. That such a roll existed in the very earliest days of the church, we know from Acts 6:1. Cf. also Ignat. ad Polyc. c. 4, p. 721 f.: Justin M. Apol. i. 67, p. 84: Euseb. H. E. vi. 43. Thus Huther and De W., and Ellic., after Grot., Calv., all.

τὰς ὄντως χήρας] cf. 1 Timothy 5:16 below,—those who are really in a widowed (destitute) state, as contrasted with those described 1 Timothy 5:4. But then the enquiry has been made, Is this ὄντως χήρα to be defined by mere external circumstances, or not rather by the religious character, described below, 1 Timothy 5:5? Or are we to bind (as Chrys., al.) the two together? In a certain sense, I believe we must thus unite them. The Apostle commands, ‘Honour (by placing on the list) those who are widows indeed:’ for it is these especially, they who are destitute of earthly friends, who are most likely to carry out the true religious duties of a widow. Thus, without the two qualifications being actually united, the former is insisted on as ordinarily ensuring the latter.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-timothy-5.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 Timothy 5:3. From this to 1 Timothy 5:16 we have instructions regarding the widows of the church.

χήρας τίμα] Theodoret, Theophylact, Pelagius, and most recent expositors, among others, de Wette and Wiesinger, refer τίμα to the support of the widows by money. De Wette explains τίμα directly as “care for them, support them,” adding, “he is speaking of support from the church-purse.” Wiesinger, on the other hand, remarks: “We do not say that τιμάω means ‘support’ exactly, but it means an honouring which was to manifest itself in supporting them.” In proof of this view, appeal is made to the passages in Acts 6:1; Acts 28:10; Matthew 15:4-6; but wrongly. In the two last passages the meaning “support with money” can only arbitrarily be given to τιμᾷν (see Meyer on Acts 28:10); and though the widows were supported by the church, as we learn from Acts 6:1 (comp. also Ignatius, ad Polycarp. chap. iv.; Justin Martyr, Apolog. i. 67), we cannot from that draw any inference as to the meaning of τιμᾷν. But even the context does not necessitate us to specialize the meaning. Granted that all that follows referred only to money-support to be given to the widows, why should not these special exhortations be introduced by one of a more general nature? Besides, the support mentioned being the business of the church, and not of Timothy alone, the apostle—according to the analogy of καταλεγέσθω (1 Timothy 5:9)—would not have written τίμα, but χῆραι τιμάσθωσαν. Hence, with several old and some recent commentators, such as Matthies, van Oosterzee, Plitt, Hofmann, we should retain the usual meaning of τιμᾷν. Their support by the church is simply a consequence and proof of the τιμᾷν.

τὰς ὄντως χήρας] is added to define more precisely what widows Paul was thinking of, viz. those who are widows in the true and proper sense of the word (Luther: right widows). ὄντως is used as an adjective only here in the N. T. (Plato, Phaedr. 260a: τὰ ὄντως ἀγαθά). What kind of widows are meant thereby, we are to infer from what follows.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-timothy-5.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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).


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-timothy-5.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Honour widows; give a respect to such as have lost their husbands, with a regard to that honourable estate of marriage in which they have been formerly, and do not only pay them a due respect, but afford them a maintenance, Acts 6:1.

That are widows indeed: who are widows indeed he openeth further, 1 Timothy 5:5; such as are not only pious, but desolate, as the Greek word for a widow implies, according to its derivation.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-timothy-5.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

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.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-timothy-5.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

3. χήρας τίμα κ.τ.λ. Honour as widows those that are widows indeed.

ἡ ὄντως χήρα is a bona fide widow, i.e. one who is alone in the world without husband or grown-up children to support her. This is apparent from the next verse. The force of τίμα has been disputed; but although τιμᾷν does not as a rule carry the idea of material support, it does not exclude it (cp. διπλῆς τιμῆς in 1 Timothy 5:17 and St Matthew 15:5 ff.), and it is plain that to an ὄντως χήρα due honour and respect would necessarily involve such assistance. In the earliest days of the Church the support of widows was counted a Christian duty, as the narrative of Acts 6:1 ff. shews. Cp. Ignat. Polyc. 4 χῆραι μὴ ἀμελείσθωσαν.


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"Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-timothy-5.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. Honour—Rightly appreciate after due scrutiny.

Widows indeed—Real and not spurious widows. To a real widow three things were requisite: first, actual death of husband; second, actual destitution, with no relatives to support her; and, third, worthiness as member of the Church.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-timothy-5.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Honour widows who are indeed widows.’

‘Honouring’ here signifies taking care of from a family point of view, both emotionally and financially, with the church acting in lieu of children who were to ‘honour’ their parents (Exodus 20:12). In the same way the church family is to ‘honour’ (show love to and provide for) widows. For providing for widows compare Acts 6:1. The Jews were very strong on providing charitable help to the needy, and especially to the old, and for that purpose the synagogues would take up regular local collections from all Jews. In that regard at least they on the whole followed the requirements of the Law (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 16:14; Deuteronomy 24:17-21; Deuteronomy 26:12-13; Deuteronomy 27:19; Job 22:9; Job 24:3; Psalms 68:5; Psalms 94:6; Psalms 146:9; Isaiah 1:17; Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 10:2; Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 22:3; Ezekiel 22:7; Zechariah 7:10; Malachi 3:5).. The Christian church rightly aligned themselves with the practise, and made provision for their own in the same way. Widows with no remaining relatives and with no resources were in a parlous state in the ancient world, for they had no means of support. And so the church became their family and were to ‘honour’ them in the place of the children that they did not have. And ‘honouring’ included loving as well as providing

‘Who are indeed widows.’ That is who are widows who have no family to care for them. This may have included some who had been widowed when a polygamous husband became a Christian, although we would assume that in those cases he would still be seen as having a responsibility of care towards them.

It was incumbent on Jewish husbands to make provision for their wives in case of their deaths, regularly by means of jewellery and personal ornaments, at the time of their marriage, but in many cases such provision would necessarily be inadequate. The same pattern would continue, at least among Jewish Christians.


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-timothy-5.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Timothy 5:3. The verses that follow depend for their right interpretation on a true estimate of the position of the ‘widows’ in a Christian community in the Apostolic Church, and this seems accordingly the right place for bringing together the data for such an estimate. (1) At the beginning of the Church’s life we find them recognisd as a distinct class, maintained wholly or in part out of the common fund of the disciples (Acts 6:1). So in Acts 9:39, they appear as recipients of the bounty of Dorcas. It was natural, however, in the simple communism of the period, that some conditions guarding against abuses should be attached to these privileges, that where there was still any capacity for work, that work should be required of them. And thus they became more and more an order of women leading a devout life. We enter here on the rules which St. Paul thought expedient.

Honour widows. Possibly, as the context indicates, with the secondary meaning of ‘support,’ as in Acts 28:10, and, to some extent, even in the Fifth Commandment. The addition, ‘that are widows indeed,’ implies a half-humorous reference to the class of those who claimed the privileges but did not answer to the ideal.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-timothy-5.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Timothy 5:3. τίμα: It is difficult to fix precisely the force of τιμάω in this connexion. On the one hand, the passage (1 Timothy 5:3-8) is a part of the general directions as to Timothy’s personal relations to his flock. Respect, honour, would, then, render the word adequately. On the other hand, 1 Timothy 5:4; 1 Timothy 5:8 show that the question of widows’ maintenance, as a problem of Church finance, was in the apostle’s mind; and he goes on, in 1 Timothy 5:9, to lay down regulations for the admission of widows to the number of those who were entered on the Church register for support. Perhaps respect was first in the writer’s mind, while the term used, τίμα, easily lent itself to the expression of the notion of support, which immediately suggested itself. Similarly Chrys. ( τῆς τῶν ἀναγκαίων τροφῆς), comparing 1 Timothy 5:17, where τιμή has the sense of pay, cf. Sirach 38:1, Matthew 15:4-6, Acts 28:10. Honora beneficiis is Bengel’s comment.

τὰς ὄντως: Those who really deserve the name of widows are (1) those who have no younger relatives on whom they have a claim for support, (2) those who conform to certain moral and spiritual requirements detailed below.


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Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-timothy-5.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Honour widows. To honour, here means to relieve and maintain. (Witham)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-timothy-5.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

The Care of Widows

“Honor”: To revere, venerate, and in this context, “honor” includes not only respect, but also financial support (Matthew 15:4). God had equally stressed care for widows in the Old Testament as well (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 10:18; Deuteronomy 27:19; Deuteronomy 14:28; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; Deuteronomy 26:12). The term “honor” also reminds us that the financial support mentioned in this section is not to be dealt out to them as to mere paupers, in a manner to degrade them, but as to women whom the church holds in honor. The support here is not charity or a hand out; rather it is a way of honoring these women.

“Widows”: The basic thought of the word “widow” is that of loneliness. “The word comes from an adjective meaning ‘bereft’ and speaks of her resultant loneliness as having been bereft of her husband” (Hiebert p. 91).

“Who are widows indeed”: Truly, in reality, in point of fact. The term “indeed” is a contrast between a widow who has family and one who is completely alone (5:4,5,16). Timothy is to see to it that such widows are cared for, and such is an indication of true religion (James 1:27).


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Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-timothy-5.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

indeed. See John 8:36.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-timothy-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Honour widows that are widows indeed.

Honour - by setting on the church roll as fit objects of charity (1 Timothy 5:9; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Acts 6:1). So "honour" is used for support, Matthew 15:4; Matthew 15:6; Acts 28:10.

Widows indeed (1 Timothy 5:16) - really desolate: not like those (1 Timothy 5:4) having children or relations answerable for their support, nor like those (1 Timothy 5:6) 'who live in pleasure;' but such as, from earthly friendlessness, trust wholly in God, persevere in prayers, and carry out the duties assigned to church widows (1 Timothy 5:5). Care for widows was transferred from the Jewish economy to the Christian (Deuteronomy 14:29; Deuteronomy 16:11; Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 24:19).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-timothy-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Honour widows that are widows indeed.—The mention of the relations of a pastor to the female members of the flock suggests another train of thought. Christianity had, during the thirty years of its history, developed a perfectly new existence for women who professed the faith of Jesus of Nazareth. In the Master’s new and strange (new and strange to the civilised world of that day) command—that the poor, the needy, and the sick should be succoured, that the helpless should be helped, and the comfortless comforted—a blessed calling was invented. so to speaks for Christian women. Their secluded and, in many respects, degraded life in the old world was, in great measure, owing to the fact that till Christ taught the universal duty of charity, women had no recognised public occupation in the world. The charge of the Founder of the new religion provided an endless variety of blessed, happiness-giving work for women of all ages and rank.

The novel prominence, however, of females in such great centres as Ephesus not only necessitated some organisation which should administer the alms, and generally watch over and direct the self-sacrificing labours of the female portion of the community, but also required special vigilance, on the part of the chief pastor and his assistant presbyters and deacons, to prevent the charities of the Church being misused. The widow—the desolate and destitute, the mourning widow indeed, she who is in every sense a widow and has no one to whom to look for aid—she always has a claim on the Church. Not merely is she to be honoured by a simple exhibition of respect, but she is to be assisted and supported out of the alms of the faithful.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-timothy-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Honour widows that are widows indeed.
Honour
2,17; Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:6; 1 Thessalonians 2:6; 1 Peter 2:17; 3:7
widows
9; Deuteronomy 10:18; 14:29; 16:11,14; 27:19; Job 29:13; 31:16; Psalms 68:5; Psalms 94:6; 146:9; Jeremiah 49:11; Matthew 23:14; Luke 7:12; Acts 6:1; 9:39; James 1:27
indeed
4,5,9-11,16; Luke 2:37; John 1:47

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-timothy-5.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

Show respect for widows. We can identify four types of widows in what Paul writes here. (1) The true widow (1 Timothy 5:5); (2) The widow with children or grandchildren (1 Timothy 5:4); (3) The widow who gives herself to pleasure (1 Timothy 5:6); (4) The listed widow (1 Timothy 5:9). Widows were helpless in the harsh world of the first century. The church quickly showed a sense of responsibility toward their welfare (see Acts 6:1-6 and notes).


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-timothy-5.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

1 Timothy 5:3. Honour widows that are widows indeed.

Honor widows. The question comes to mind - if I am to honor widows that are widows indeed, then are there widows that I don"t have to honor? NO!

Honor, I think has more to it than just simple honor or respect. We will see this as we go along.

The term translated honor here is also used in Ephesians 6:2 of honoring your father and mother so the picture Paul is painting continues with the idea of respect.

Is it possible that the respect that you show to people in some cases, should result in material giving as well? Indeed, giving of material things is a sign of honor in a way. When we give a present to someone it is in honor of some special day or it may at times be for just showing that you honor their friendship.

Before we move on, I would like to draw your attention to something that is somewhat foreign to our own society. In our society the widow is not held in high esteem unless she has money and you might get some. This is true in some churches. The attention given to widows often is to keep on their good side in case the church is in the will.

The widow is usually totally ignored by society, indeed all too often by her own family. In the Old Testament the widow was one of those subgroups of the Israelite nation that God had a special place for. He wanted the widows and the orphans cared for. It seems from the many times that it is mentioned that these two groups were very close to God.

I will just list a few references for you to study on your own along this line. A concordance will also help if you want to go further. Psalms 68:5; Psalms 146:9; Proverbs 15:25; Exodus 22:22; Job 31:16; Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 14:29. (James 1:27 mentions that pure religion is visiting the widows and orphans.)

The common ground between the widow and orphan is that they both have lost the man in their life as well as their provider. Indeed, that is what this text in I Tim. is all about - taking care of the widows.

I would like to list the requirements listed in this text for a "widow indeed".

1. one that has lost her husband in 1 Timothy 5:5.

2. one who trusteth in God (a believer) 1 Timothy 5:5

3. one who continues in supplication and prayers night and day 1 Timothy 5:5 - a Godly woman that is known for her walk with the Lord.

4. one who liveth not in pleasure 1 Timothy 5:6 - if she is out at the mall every day buying clothes etc. then she is not qualified. She should not be married to the pleasures of this life. She should be committed to living a right and proper life.

5. one who is blameless 1 Timothy 5:7 - yes this is the same word that is used of the elder of the church in chapter three. Their life should be such that no one can lay hold of them with accusations.

6. one who is over 60 1 Timothy 5:9 - I assume that the limit is set because one younger could probably take care of herself.

In our society with medical help etc. as it is there are many sixty year old women that should probably be supporting themselves for awhile. Life expectancy was not very high in Paul"s day. If a woman can"t support herself then the church should help.

7. one who was wife of only one man 1 Timothy 5:9 - if she has outlived two husbands, then she will probably have plenty of family if not money to take care of herself.

This may also relate to the idea that if she has had more than one husband that she is more serious about men rather than being serious about the Lord.

8. one who is well reported of because of her good works 1 Timothy 5:10 - she is to have a good reputation around the community. It might be that the good works could be continued as she can for the church.

This seems to shift to a list of the good works that are mentioned above. It isn"t that she must have done all of these, but that she is the type of woman that has done these good works and is known for them.

a. one who has brought up children 1 Timothy 5:10 - that person deserves some help. They have done a good size job in life already!

b. one who has lodged strangers

c. one who has washed the saints feet

d. one who has relieved the afflicted

e. one who has diligently followed every good work 10

9. one who has no one to help support them 16

This indicates that a woman that can support herself or has family that can support her should not be on the widows list.

However, anyone filling this list of qualifications should seek and find help from her local assembly.

Yes, we have Social Security and welfare and all those other programs, yet they do not always keep the older women going. IF there is a need then the church should meet it if the woman is a widow indeed.

We should note that "Poverty is not dishonorable in itself, but only when it comes from idleness, intemperance, extravagance, and folly." Plutarch

Some have suggested that this should be a group of widows that are gathered together to work in the church. The sixty-year limit in Paul"s days would have made the women pretty old for much work at all.

The thought of a group for work is not widely held. It would not be wrong to involve the widows as they have ability if they desire to, but it should not be involvement because the church is helping them. The church isn"t to be in the employment business. It should be to serve the Lord.

The thought of taking care of widows is not new in Timothy"s time, but was around even in the early part of Acts.

Acts 6:1 mentions, "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration."

The first deacons arose from the need to care for the widows of the early church.

I have always thrilled with churches that get behind their people to care for them.

When living in Nebraska we attended a small Bible church. I had surgery with no insurance and Faith was making very little at her job. The church rallied behind us and saw us through the bad times. They were truly God"s provision for our needs at that time.

This is something that we should do for more than just the widows. If we have people that fall into problems, then we should help. If they dive into the problems because they decide not to work then you have another story indeed.


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Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.

Bibliography
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 5:3". "Stanley Derickson - Notes on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sdn/1-timothy-5.html.

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