1 Timothy 5:3-7

Honor widows who are really widows.

But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

And these things command, that they may be blameless.

honor (v.3) = fix the value, estimate, venerate — properly appreciate — (here) includes financial support

really widows (v.3) = absolutely, truly — without financial means, indigent and without children or other relations — There may have been a lot of women in these circumstances due to persecution in the church or perhaps because they had been saved out of an untenable pagan lifestyle.

first (v.4) — shows that this obligation is primary

piety (v.4) = reverence, regard — in a practical sense

at home (v.4) = in one’s household, family

repay (v.4) = recompense, repay what is due for the care of them when young, discharge an obligation

parents (v.4) = lit. “to come before” — older relatives

good and (v.4) — not in the original manuscripts

acceptable (v.4) = well-pleasing

before (v.4) = in the sight of

now (v.5) — in contrast to those who have someone to support them

trusts (v.5) — should be “hopes” — tense is “has her hope settled permanently on God”

supplications (v5) — expressions of personal needs — It could be that these widows who received financial support from the church were, in return, involved in the ministry of praying and caring for the needs of others in the church.

prayers (v.5) = devotions

continues (v.5) = remains, abides

lives in pleasure (v.6) = lives with extravagant self-indulgence, luxuriously (used elsewhere in Scripture only in James 5:5)

dead (v.6) — spiritually dead. Verse 6 literally reads “But the one who lives luxuriously, lives while she is in the state of having died, with the result that she is dead.”

blameless (v.7) = with no grounds for blame

The conditions for receiving welfare from the church are, and should be, much stricter than they are for receiving welfare from the state.

This entry was posted in 1 Timothy. Bookmark the permalink.