|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 14. - Desire for will, A.V.; widows (in italics) for women A.V.; rule the household for guide the house, A.V.; for reviling for to speak reproachfully, A.V. Widows. As the whole discourse is about widows, it is better to supply this as the substantive understood in νεωτέρας. In ver. 11 we have νεωτέρας χήρας. The οῦν which precedes is a further proof that this direction or command of the apostle's springs from what he had just been saying about the young widows, and therefore that what follows relates to them, and not to women generally. In order to avoid the scandal mentioned in ver. 11 of the young widows first dedicating their widowhood to Christ, and then drawing back and marrying, he directs that they should follow the natural course and marry, in doing which they would be blameless. Bear children (τεκνογονεῖν): here only in the New Testament or LXX.; but τεκνογονία occurs in 1 Timothy 2:15 (where see note). Rule the household (οἰκοδεσποτεῖν; here only in this sense); act the part of οἰκοδέσποινα, the mistress of a family (Plutarch and elsewhere). οἱκοδεσπότης frequent in the New Testament, and kindred words are used in classical Greek. For reviling (λοιδορίας χάριν). The adversary (ὁ ἀντικείμενος), the opponent of Christianity, was always seeking some occasion to speak reproachfully of Christians and revile them. Any misconduct on the part of Christian widows would give him the occasion he was looking for. They must be doubly careful, therefore, lest they should bring reproach upon the Name of Christ (camp. James 2:7; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 4:4, 14, 15). "Λοιδορίας χάριν is added... to ἀφορμὴν διδόναι to specify the manner in which the occasion would be used" Ellicott). Do not give the adversary a starting-point from which he may be able to carry out his desire to revile the people of God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will therefore that the younger women marry,.... Or "the younger" widows rather; and so some copies read; for this is not the apostle's advice to young women in general, though it will suit with them, but with younger widows in particular, of whom he is speaking:
bear children; and bring them forth, and feed, and nourish them, and bring them up in a religious way:
guide the house; manage domestic affairs, direct, order, or do what is proper to be done for the good of the family; which is much more commendable than to throw themselves upon the church, and live an idle and wanton life, and after that marry: and so
give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully; that is, either that Satan, the grand adversary of the saints, might have no opportunity to reproach them, and cast in their teeth their unbecoming walk, or accuse them before the throne; or that any enemy of the Christian religion might have no room nor reason to speak evilly of Christ, his Gospel, truths, and ordinances, on account of the disorderly conversation of any that profess his name; or that the , the great opposer of Christ, the man of sin, and son of perdition, even antichrist, 2 Thessalonians 2:4, might have no handle from hence to speak reproachfully of marriage, and forbid it, under a pretence of sanctity, as 1 Timothy 4:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. younger women—rather, as ellipsis ought to be supplied, "the younger widows," namely younger widows in general, as distinguished from the older widows taken on the roll of presbyteresses (1Ti 5:9). The "therefore" means seeing that young widows are exposed to such temptations, "I will," or "desire," &c. (1Ti 5:11-13). The precept here that they should marry again is not inconsistent with 1Co 7:40; for the circumstances of the two cases were distinct (compare 1Co 7:26). Here remarriage is recommended as an antidote to sexual passion, idleness, and the other evils noted in 1Ti 5:11-13. Of course, where there was no tendency to these evils, marriage again would not be so requisite; Paul speaks of what is generally desirable, and supposing there should be danger of such evils, as was likely. "He does not impose a law, but points out a remedy, to younger widows" [Chrysostom].
bear children—(1Ti 2:15); thus gaining one of the qualifications (1Ti 5:10) for being afterwards a presbyteress widow, should Providence so ordain it.
guide—Greek, "rule the house" in the woman's due place; not usurping authority over the man (1Ti 2:12).
give none occasion—literally, "starting-point": handle of reproach through the loose conduct of nominal Christians.
the adversary—of Christianity, Jew or Gentile. Php 1:28; Tit 2:8, "He that is of the contrary part." Not Satan, who is introduced in a different relation (1Ti 5:15).
to speak reproachfully—literally, "for the sake of reproach" (1Ti 3:7; 6:1; Tit 2:5, 10). If the handle were given, the adversary would use it for the sake of reproach. The adversary is eager to exaggerate the faults of a few, and to lay the blame on the whole Church and its doctrines [Bengel].
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