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Chapter 5

5:1 Rebuke not an elder [presbuterōi mē epiplēxēis]. Dative case [presbuterōi] used in the usual sense of an older man, not a minister (bishop as in 3:2) as is shown by “as a father.” First aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive with negative [] (prohibition against committing the act) of [epiplēssō], 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 [neōterous hōs adelphous]. Comparative adjective [neōteros] from [neos] (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).

5:2 The elder women as mothers [presbuteras hōs mēteras]. Anarthrous again, “older women as mothers.” Respect and reverence once more. The younger as sisters, in all purity [neōteras hōs adelphas en pasēi hagniāi]. Anarthrous also and comparative form as in verse 1. See 4:12 for [hagnia]. No sort of behavior will so easily make or mar the young preacher as his conduct with young women.

5:3 That are widows indeed [tas ontōs chēras]. For [ontōs] (actually, really), see Lu 23:47; 1Co 14:25; and verse 5. For widows [chēra] see Mr 12:40,42; Ac 6:1; 1Co 7:8. Parry notes that in verses 3-8 Paul discusses widows who are in distress and 9-16 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 [timā], keep on honouring) the widows.

5:4 Grandchildren [ekgona]. Old word from [ekginomai], here only in N.T. Let them learn [manthanetōsan]. The children and grandchildren of a widow. Present active imperative third person plural of [manthanō]. “Let them keep on learning.” First [prōton]. 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 [eusebein]. Present active infinitive with [manthanetōsan] and old verb, in N.T. only here and Ac 17:23. From [eusebēs] [eu, sebomai], pious, dutiful. Their own family [ton idion oikon]. “Their own household.” Filial piety is primary unless parents interfere with duty to Christ (Lu 14:26). To requite [amoibas apodidonai]. Present active infinitive of [apodidōmi], to give back, old and common verb (Ro 2:6), to keep on giving back. [Amoibas] (from [ameibomai], to requite like for like) is old and common word, but here only in N.T. Their parents [tois progonois]. Dative case of old and common word [progonos] (from [proginomai], to come before), “ancestor.” In N.T. only here and 2Ti 1:3. See 2:3 for “acceptable” [apodekton].

5:5 Desolate [memonōmenē]. Perfect passive participle of [monoō] (from [monos], “left alone,” old verb, here alone in N.T. Without husband, children, or other close kin. Hath her hope set on God [ēlpiken epi theon]. Perfect active indicative of [elpizō], “hath placed her hope (and keeps it) on God.” Text doubtful whether God [theon] or Lord [Kurion]. Continues [prosmenei]. See on 1:3. With dative case here. Night and day [nuktos kai hēmeras]. “By night and by day” (genitive, not accusative). Paul does not say that she should pray “all night and day.”

5:6 She that giveth herself to pleasure [hē spatalōsa]. Present active participle of [splatalaō], late verb (Polybius) from [spatalē] (riotous, luxurious living). In N.T. only here and Jas 5:5.

5:7 That they may be without reproach [hina anepilēmptoi ōsin]. See 3:2 for [anepilēmptos]. Final clause with [hina] and present subjunctive.

5:8 Provideth not for his own [tōn idiōn ou pronoei]. Condition of first class with [ei] and present active (or middle [pronoeitai] indicative of [pronoeō], old verb, to think beforehand. Pauline word in N.T. only here, 2Co 8:21; Ro 12:7. With genitive case. He hath denied the faith [tēn pistin ērnētai]. Perfect middle indicative of old verb [arneomai]. His act of impiety belies (Tit 1:16) his claim to the faith (Re 2:13). Worse than an unbeliever [apistou cheirōn]. Ablative case of [apistou] after the comparative [cheirōn]. Who makes no profession of piety.

5:9 Let none be enrolled as a widow [chēra katalegesthō]. Present passive imperative of [katalegō], 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” [mē elatton etōn hexēkonta gegonuia]. Second perfect active participle of [ginomai]. For the case of [etōn], see Lu 2:42. This list of genuine widows (verses 3, 5) apparently had some kind of church work to do (care for the sick, the orphans, etc.). The wife of one man [henos andros gunē]. Widows on this list must not be married a second time. This interpretation is not so clear for 3:2, 12; Tit 1:6.

5:10 If she hath brought up children [ei eteknotrophēsen]. Condition of first class. Late and rare word (Aristotle, Epictetus), first aorist active indicative of [teknotropheō] [teknotrophos], from [teknon, trephō], here only in N.T. Qualification for her work as leader. If she hath used hospitality to strangers [ei exenodochēsen]. First aorist again and same condition. Late form (Dio Cassius) of old verb [xenodokeō] (Herodotus), to welcome strangers [xenous dechomai]. Only here in N.T. Hospitality another qualification for such leadership (3:2). If she hath washed the saints’ feet [ei hagiōn podas enipsen]. Same condition and tense of [niptō] (old form [nizō], common in N.T. (Joh 13:5). Proof of her hospitality, not of its being a church ordinance. If she hath relieved the afflicted [ei thlibomenois epērkesen]. Same condition and tense of [eparkeō], to give sufficient aid, old word, in N.T. only here and verse 16. Experience that qualified her for eleemosynary work. If she hath diligently followed [ei epēkolouthēsen]. Same condition and tense of [epakoloutheō], old verb, to follow close upon [epi]. So here, verse 24; 1Pe 2:21. In a word such a widow must show her qualifications for leadership as with bishops and deacons.

5:11 But younger widows refuse [neōteras de chēras paraitou]. Present middle imperative as in 4:7. “Beg off from.” They lack experience as above and they have other ambitions. When they have waxed wanton [hotan katastrēniasōsin]. First aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of [katastrēniaō], late compound (only here and Ignatius), to feel the impulse of sexual desire, but simplex [strēniaō] (Re 18:7,9). Souter renders it here “exercise youthful vigour against Christ” [tou Christou], genitive case after [kata] in composition).

5:12 Condemnation [krima]. See 3:6. They have rejected [ēthetēsan]. First aorist passive of [atheteō], late verb (first in LXX and Polybius), to reject, set aside (from [athetos]. See 1Th 4:8; Ga 2:21. Their first faith [tēn 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 [krima] and [pistis].

5:13 And withal [hama de kai]. See Phm 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 [argai manthanousin]. There is no [einai] (to be) in the Greek. This very idiom without [einai] after [manthanō] occurs in Plato and Dio Chrysostom, though unusual. [Argai] (idle) is old adjective [a] privative and [ergon], without work). See Mt 20:3; Tit 1:12. Going about [perierchomenai]. Present middle participle of [perierchomai], old compound verb. See Ac 19:13 of strollers. From house to house [tas oikias]. Literally “the houses,” “wandering around the houses.” Vivid picture of idle tattlers and gossipers. But tattlers also [alla kai phluaroi]. Old word from [phluō] (to boil up, to throw up bubbles, like blowing soap bubbles). Only here in N.T. [Phluareō] in 3Jo 1:10 only in N.T. And busybodies [kai periergoi]. Old word (from [peri, ergon], busy about trifles to the neglect of important matters. In N.T. only here and Ac 19:19. See 2Th 3:11 for [periergazomai]. Things which they ought not [ta mē deonta]. “The not necessary things,” and, as a result, often harmful. See Tit 1:11 [ha mē dei] (which things are not necessary).

5:14 I desire [boulomai]. See 2:8. The younger widows [neōteras]. No article and no word for widows, though that is clearly the idea. [Neōteras] is accusative of general reference with [gamein] (to marry) the object (present infinitive active) of [boulomai]. Bear children [teknogonein]. A compound verb here only in N.T. and nowhere else save in Anthol. See [teknogonia] in 2:15. Rule the household [oikodespotein]. Late verb from [oikodespotēs] (Mr 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 [aphormēn]. Old word [apo, hormē], a base to rush from, Pauline use in 2Co 5:12; 11:12; Ga 5:13. To the adversary [tōi antikeimenōi]. Dative case of the articular participle of [antikeimai], a Pauline idiom (Php 1:28). Reviling [loidorias]. Old word (from [loidoreō], in N.T. only here and 1Pe 3:9. Genitive case with [charin].

5:15 Are turned aside [exetrapēsan]. Second aorist (effective) passive indicative of [ektrepō]. See 1:6. After Satan [opisō tou Satanā]. “Behind Satan.” Late use of [opisō] (behind) as a preposition. Used by Jesus of disciples coming behind (after) him (Mt 16:24).

5:16 That believeth [pistē]. “Believing woman.” Hath widows [echei chēras]. The “any believing woman” is one of the household-rulers of verse 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 [eparkeitō autais]. For this verb (imperative present active) see verse 10. Let not be burdened [mē bareisthō]. Present passive imperative (in prohibition [] of [bareō], old verb [baros], burden), Pauline word (2Co 1:8). That are widows indeed [tais ontōs chērais]. Dative case with [eparkesēi] (first aorist active subjunctive with [hina], final clause). See verse 3 for this use of [ontōs] with [chērais] “the qualified and enrolled widows.” Cf. verse 9.

5:17 The elders that rule well [hoi kalōs proestōtes presbuteroi]. See verse 1 for ordinary sense of [presbuteros] for “older man.” But here of position in same sense as [episkopos] (3:2) as in Tit 1:5 = [episkopos] in verse 7. Cf. Luke’s use of [presbuteros] (Ac 20:17) = Paul’s [episkopous] (Ac 20:28). [Proestōtes] is second perfect active participle of [proistēmi] (intransitive use) for which see 3:4. Let be counted worthy [axiousthōsan]. Present passive imperative of [axioō], to deem worthy (2Th 1:11). With genitive case here. Of double honour [diplēs timēs]. Old and common contract adjective [diploos], two-fold, in opposition to [haploos], single fold). But why “of double honour”? See 6:1 for “of all honour.” White suggests “remuneration” rather than “honour” for [timēs] (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 [malista hoi kopiōntes en logōi kai didaskaliāi]. Either those who work hard or toil (usual meaning of [kopiaō], 2Ti 2:6) in preaching and teaching (most probable meaning. See verse 18) or those who teach and preach and not merely preside (a doubtful distinction in “elders” at this time). See Tit 1:8f. See both [kopiaō] and [proistamai] used for same men (elders) in 1Th 5:12 and the use of [kopiaō] in 1Co 15:10; 16:16.

5:18 Thou shalt not muzzle [ou phimōseis]. Prohibition by [ou] and future (volitive) indicative of [phimoō] (from [phimos], muzzle), old word, quoted also in 1Co 9:9 as here from De 25:4, and for the same purpose, to show the preacher’s right to pay for his work. See 1Co 9:9 for [aloōnta] (when he treadeth out the corn). The labourer is worthy of his hire [axios ho ergatēs tou misthou autou]. These words occur in precisely this form in Lu 10:7. It appears also in Mt 10:10 with [tēs trophēs] (food) instead of [tou misthou]. In 1Co 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 Ac 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 [ergatēs] (labourer) see Php 3:2.

5:19 Against an elder [kata presbuterou]. In the official sense of verses 17f. Receive not [mē paradechou]. Present middle imperative with [] (prohibition) of [paradechomai], to receive, to entertain. Old verb. See Ac 22:18. Accusation [katēgorian]. Old word (from [katēgoros]. In N.T. only here, Tit 1:6; Joh 18:29 in critical text. Except [ektos ei mē]. For this double construction see 1Co 14:5; 15:2. At the mouth of [epi]. Idiomatic use of [epi] (upon the basis of) as in 2Co 13:1.

5:20 Them that sin [tous hamartanontas]. The elders who continue to sin (present active participle). In the sight of all [enōpion pantōn]. “In the eye of [ho en opi ōn], the one who is in the eye of, then combined = [enōpion] all” the elders (or even of the church). See next verse 21 and Ga 1:20. Public rebuke when a clear case, not promiscuous gossip. May be in fear [phobon echōsin]. Present active subjunctive with [hina] (final clause), “may keep on having fear” (of exposure). Possibly, “the rest of the elders.”

5:21 The elect angels [tōn eklektōn aggelōn]. For this triad of God, Christ, angels, see Lu 9:26. “Elect” in the sense of the “holy” angels who kept their own principality (Jude 1:6) and who did not sin (2Pe 2:4). Paul shows his interest in angels in 1Co 4:9; 11:10. Observe [phulaxēis]. First aorist active subjunctive of [phulassō], to guard, to keep (Ro 2:26). Subfinal use of [hina]. Without prejudice [chōris prokrimatos]. Late and rare word (from [prokinō], to judge beforehand), three times in the papyri, here only in N.T. “Without prejudgment.” By partiality [kata prosklisin]. Late word from [prosklinō], to incline towards one (Ac 5:36), only here in N.T.

5:22 Lay hands hastily [cheiras tacheōs epitithei]. Present active imperative of [epitithēmi] in the sense of approval (ordination) as in Ac 6:6; 13:3. But it is not clear whether it is the case of ministers just ordained as in 4:14 [epithesis], or of warning against hasty ordination of untried men, or the recognition and restoration of deposed ministers (verse 20) as suits the context. The prohibition suits either situation, or both. Be partakers of other men’s sins [koinōnei hamartiais allotriais]. Present active imperative of [koinōneō] (from [koinōnos], partner) with [] in prohibition with associative instrumental case as in 2Jo 1:11; Ro 12:13. On [allotrios] (belonging to another) see Ro 14:4. Keep thyself pure [seauton hagnon tērei]. “Keep on keeping thyself pure.” Present active imperative of [tēreō].

5:23 Be no longer a drinker of water [mēketi hudropotei]. Present active imperative (prohibition) of [hudropoteō], old verb (from [hudropotēs], water drinker, [hudōr, pinō], 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 [alla ainōi oligōi chrō]. Present middle imperative of [chraomai] with instrumental case. The emphasis is on [oligōi] (a little). For thy stomach’s sake [dia ton stomachon]. Old word from [stoma] (mouth). In Homer throat, opening of the stomach (Aristotle), stomach in Plutarch. Here only in N.T. Our word “stomach.” Thine often infirmities [tas puknas sou astheneias]. [Puknos] is old word, dense, frequent. In N.T. only here, Lu 5:33; Ac 24:26. [Astheneias] = weaknesses, lack of strength (Ro 8:26). Timothy was clearly a semi-invalid.

5:24 Evident [prodēloi]. “Openly plain,” “plain before all.” Old word, in N.T. only here and Heb 7:24. Going before unto judgment [proagousai eis krisin]. See 1:18 for [proagō]. The sins are so plain that they receive instant condemnation. And some men also they follow after [tisin de kai epakolouthousin]. Associative instrumental case [tisin] with [epakolouthousin] for which verb see verse 10, “dog their steps” (Parry) like 1Pe 2:21, not clearly manifest at first, but come out plainly at last. How true that is of secret sins.

5:25 Such as are otherwise [ta allōs echonta]. “Those (deeds, [erga] which have it otherwise.” That is good deeds not clearly manifest. Cannot be hid [krubēnai ou dunantai]. Second aorist passive infinitive of [kruptō]. 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 Mt 5:14-16.

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