Paul's First Letter to Timothy

Chapter 5

Rules to be observed in reproving, 1, 2. Of widows, 3-16. Of elders, 17-22. A precept for Timothy's health, 23. Some men's sins go before to judgment and some men's sins follow after, 24, 25.

1 Do not rebuke an elder, but entreat him as a father, and the younger men as brothers, 2 The elder women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honor widows who are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to requite their parents, for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she who is a widow indeed and desolate trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things give in charge, so that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let no one be enrolled as a widow under sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, 10 Well reported of for good works, if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. 11 But refuse the younger widows, for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they will marry, 12 Having condemnation, because they have cast off their first faith. 13 And at the same time, they learn to be idle, wandering around from house to house, and not only idle, but tattlers also, and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not. 14 I wish therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, and give no occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some are already turned aside after Satan. 16 If any man or woman who believes has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be charged, so that it may relieve those who are widows indeed.

17 Let the elders who lead well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his hire." 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder, except before two or three witnesses. 20 Rebuke those who sin in the sight of all so that others may also fear. 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 22 Do not hastily lay hands on any man, neither be partaker of other men's sins. Keep yourself pure.

23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.

24 Some men's sins are evident, going before them to judgment, and for some men, they follow after. 25 Likewise also, the good works of some are evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hid.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Timothy, Chapter 5[➚]


[v.18a] - Quoting Deuteronomy 25:4 (LXX).

[v.18b] - "The laborer is worthy of his hire" - See also, Luke 10:7, which is most likely what Paul is citing here. He is quoting both Moses and Christ. The following are three commentaries that explain this passage. From John Gill's Exposition: "[This] seems to be taken from Luke 10:7 which Gospel was now written, and in the hands of the apostle; who here, by two testimonies, the one from Moses, and the other from Christ, supports the right of the honourable maintenance of the ministers of the Gospel." From the Pulpit Commentary: "In Luke 10:7 the words are identical with those here used, even to the omission (in the R.T.) of the verb ἔστιν. The conclusion is inevitable that the writer of this Epistle was acquainted with and quoted from St. Luke's Gospel; and further, that he deemed it, or at least the saying of the Lord Jesus recorded, in it, to be of equal authority with 'ἡ γραφή,' the Scripture. If this Epistle was written by St. Paul after his first imprisonment at Rome, we may feel tolerably certain that he was acquainted with the Gospel or St. Luke, so that there is no improbability in his quoting from it." From John Calvin's Commentary: "He does not quote this as a passage of Scripture, but as a proverbial saying, which common sense teaches to all. In like manner, when Christ said the same thing to the Apostles, (Matthew 10:10,) he brought forward nothing else than a statement approved by universal consent."

[v.19] - Reference, Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17; 2nd Corinthians 13:1.

[v.22] - "Do not hastily lay hands on any man" - That is, do not be too quick to ordain a man. From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: "Lay hands—that is, ordain (1st Timothy 4:14; 2nd Timothy 1:6; Titus 1:5). The connection is with 1st Timothy 5:19. The way to guard against scandals occurring in the case of presbyters is, be cautious as to the character of the candidate before ordaining him; this will apply to other Church officers so ordained, as well as to presbyters."