|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:9-16 Every one brought into any office in the church, should be free from just censure; and many are proper objects of charity, yet ought not to be employed in public services. Those who would find mercy when they are in distress, must show mercy when they are in prosperity; and those who show most readiness for every good work, are most likely to be faithful in whatever is trusted to them. Those who are idle, very seldom are only idle, they make mischief among neighbours, and sow discord among brethren. All believers are required to relieve those belonging to their families who are destitute, that the church may not be prevented from relieving such as are entirely destitute and friendless.
Verse 11. - Younger for the younger, A.V.; waxed for began to wax, A.V.; desire to for will, A.V. Refuse. Note the wisdom of Paul, who will not have the young widows admitted into the roll of Church widows, lest, after the first grief for the loss of their husbands has subsided, they should change their minds, and wish to return to the world and its pleasures, and so incur the guilt of drawing back their hands from the plough. Would that the Church had always imitated this wisdom and this consideration for the young, whether young priests or young monks and nuns! Waxed wanton against (καταστρηνιάσωσι). This word only occurs here, but the simple στρηνιάω is found in Revelation 18:7, 9, and is used by the Greek poets of the new comedy in the sense of τρυφᾶν, to be luxurious (Schleusner, 'Lex.'). Trench ('Synonyms of New Testament'), comparing this word with τρυφᾶν and σπαταλᾶν, ascribes to it the sense of "petulance" from fullness, like the state of Jeshurun, who waxed fat and kicked (Deuteronomy 32:15); and so Liddell and Scott give the sense of "to be over-strong." The sense, therefore, is that these young widows, in the wantonness and unsubdued worldliness of their hearts, reject the yoke of Christ, and kick against the widow's life of prayer and supplication day and night. And so they return to the world and its pleasures, which they had renounced.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the younger widows refuse,.... To admit them into the number of widows relieved by the church; partly because they are fit for labour, and so can take care of themselves; and partly because they may marry, as the apostle afterwards advises they should, and so would have husbands to take care of them:
for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ; that is, being at ease, and without labour, live a wanton, loose, and licentious life, and in carnal lusts and pleasures, contrary to the commands of Christ, and to the reproach and dishonour of his name:
they will marry; not that it would be criminal for them to marry, or that second marriages are unlawful; for the apostle afterwards signifies that it was right, fit, and proper that such should marry; but his sense is, that marriage being the effect of wantonness, would not be so honourable in them, and especially after they had made application to the church for relief, and had declared themselves widows indeed, and desolate, and such as trusted in God, and gave themselves up to supplication and prayer; wherefore it would be much better for them, and more to the credit of religion, to marry first, than afterwards and it would be best not to apply at all to the church; and if they should, it would be most advisable to reject them for the said reasons.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. younger—than sixty years old (1Ti 5:9).
refuse—to take on the roll of presbyteress widows.
wax wanton—literally, "over-strong" (2Ch 26:16).
against Christ—rebelling against Christ, their proper Bridegroom [Jerome].
they will—Greek, "they wish"; their desire is to marry again.
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