1 Timothy Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern
1. Do not rebuke an older man sharply, but appeal to him as you would to a father; treat younger men like brothers,
"You shall rise before the hoary head and honor the face of the old man; I am Adonai, your God" (Leviticus 19:32).
2. older women like mothers and younger women like sisters, with absolute purity.
3. Show respect to widows who are really in need.
Widows who are really in need, literally, "who are real widows."
4. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, first let them learn to do their religious duty to their own family and thus repay some of the debt they owe their forebears, for this is what is acceptable in the sight of God.
5. Now the widow who is really in need, the one who has been left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in petitions and prayers night and day.
"Let your widows trust in me" (Jeremiah 49:11).
6. But the one who is self-indulgent is already dead, even though she lives. 7 And instruct them about this, so that they will not be open to blame.
7. And instruct them about this, so that they will not be open to blame.
8. Moreover, anyone who does not provide for his own people, especially for his family, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
Charity begins at home. Also, if believers should support related widows, how much more (Mt 6:30N) should they support themselves (2 Th 3:6-12, Ep 4:28).
9. Let a widow be enrolled on the list of widows only if she is more than sixty years old, was faithful to her husband,
10. and is known for her good deeds — as one who has reared her children well, showed hospitality, washed the feet of God’s people, helped those in trouble, and engaged in all kinds of good work.
The list of widows. Being a "real widow" (v. 3&N) is an office, so to speak, like shammash; and like shammashim widows must meet the qualifications set forth in order to be eligible for aid.
Was faithful to her husband, or: "was married only once" (see 3:2N).
One who has reared her children well, or "one who looks after children well." The former gives the literal sense of Greek teknoirophein, but conflicts with v. 4.
11. But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they begin to feel natural passions that alienate them from the Messiah, they want to get married.
12. This brings them under condemnation for having set aside the trust they had at first.
13. Besides that, they learn to be idle, going around from house to house; and not only idle, but gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t.
14. Therefore, I would rather the young widows get married, have children and take charge of their homes, so as to give the opposition no occasion for slandering us.
15. For already some have turned astray to follow the Adversary.
16. If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, she should provide relief for them — the congregation shouldn’t be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are really in need.
These verses balance Ac 2:44-46,4:32-35, where believers shared their possessions with those in need. The first resort of the needy is to be their families, not the congregation; conversely, those with needy relatives should care for them (vv. 4, 8, 16).
17. The leaders who lead well should be considered worthy of double honor, especially those working hard at communicating the Word and at teaching.
18. For the Tanakh says, "You are not to muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain" (Deuteronomy 25:4), in other words, “The worker deserves his wages.”
Compare 1С 9:7-9, Mt 10:10.
19. Never listen to any accusation against a leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15).
Although Sha'ul here reminds Timothy of a legal principle enunciated in the Torah, nevertheless some Christian theologians consider the "civil law" of the Torah to have been abrogated by the New Covenant!
20. Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others.
In an age when people flee from authority, rebuke has fallen into disuse, and congregational discipline is frequently weak. Public rebuke, properly administered, is a form of God's love, but how many can see it that way? The subject is pursued in greater depth at MJ 12:5-13.
21. Before God, the Messiah Yeshua and the chosen angels, I solemnly charge you to observe these instructions, not pre-judging and not doing anything out of favoritism.
The chosen angels, as opposed to the fallen angels, will take part in the final judgment (Mt 25:31, Mk 8:38, Lk 9:26, Rv 14:10). Timothy should judge in a manner worthy of them; they will have a part in judging him (compare Lk 6:37-38).
22. Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure.
23. Stop drinking water; instead, use a little wine for the sake of your digestion and because of your frequent illnesses.
Water was often impure, a disease-carrier; wine was less likely to be so. Wine itself was usually served diluted with three to six parts water. Medicinal and ceremonial use of wine has Scriptural support; getting drunk has Scriptural opposition. Normal use of wine at meals has Scriptural support, also use of strong drink for special festivals, and for easing final pain at death or in times of great grief. Obviously, these general principles would not apply to someone who has a problem with alcohol.
24. The sins of some people are obvious and go ahead of them to judgment, but the sins of others follow afterwards.
25. Likewise, good deeds are obvious; and even when they are not, they can’t stay hidden.
- chapter 1
- chapter 2
- chapter 3
- chapter 4
- chapter 5
- chapter 6