1 Timothy 5:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

New Living Translation
But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.

English Standard Version
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.

New American Standard Bible
but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

King James Bible
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.

International Standard Version
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to respect their own family by repaying their parents, for this is pleasing in God's sight.

NET Bible
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they should first learn to fulfill their duty toward their own household and so repay their parents what is owed them. For this is what pleases God.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And if there is a widow who has children or grandchildren, let them learn first that they should be assigned to children of their households, and they should pay compensation to their parents, for this is acceptable before God.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The children or grandchildren of a widow must first learn to respect their own family by repaying their parents. This is pleasing in God's sight.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let those learn first to govern their house in piety and to recompense their parents, for this is honest and pleasing before God.

King James 2000 Bible
But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety at home, and so repay their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

American King James Version
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

American Standard Version
But if any widow hath children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety towards their own family, and to requite their parents: for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God.

Darby Bible Translation
but if any widow have children or descendants, let them learn first to be pious as regards their own house, and to render a return on their side to [their] parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

English Revised Version
But if any widow hath children or grandchildren, let them learn first to shew piety towards their own family, and to requite their parents: for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

Webster's Bible Translation
But if any widow hath children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

Weymouth New Testament
But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let these learn first to show piety towards their own homes and to prove their gratitude to their parents; for this is well pleasing in the sight of God.

World English Bible
But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety towards their own family, and to repay their parents, for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

Young's Literal Translation
and if any widow have children or grandchildren, let them learn first to their own house to show piety, and to give back a recompense to the parents, for this is right and acceptable before God.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:3-8 Honour widows that are widows indeed, relieve them, and maintain them. It is the duty of children, if their parents are in need, and they are able to relieve them, to do it to the utmost of their power. Widowhood is a desolate state; but let widows trust in the Lord, and continue in prayer. All who live in pleasure, are dead while they live, spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins. Alas, what numbers there are of this description among nominal Christians, even to the latest period of life! If any men or women do not maintain their poor relations, they in effect deny the faith. If they spend upon their lusts and pleasures, what should maintain their families, they have denied the faith, and are worse than infidels. If professors of the gospel give way to any corrupt principle or conduct, they are worse than those who do not profess to believe the doctrines of grace.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - Hath for have, A.V.; grandchildren for nephews, A.V.; towards their own family for at home, A.V.; this for that, A.V.; acceptable in the sight of for good and acceptable before, A.V. and T.R. Grandchildren (ἔκγονα; only here in the New Testament, but common in the LXX. and in classical Greek); descendants, children or grandchildren (as on the other hand, πρόγονοι in this verse includes grandparents as well as parents). In Latin nepotes, "descendants;" nos neveux (in French), "our descendants;" and so the English word "nephews" (derived from nepos, through the French neveu) properly means, and is commonly so used in all old English writers, as e.g., in Holinshed (Richardson's Dictionary), "their nephews, or sons' sons, which reigned in the third place." Locke's phrase, "a nephew by a brother," seems to show the transition to the modern use of "nephew." But as the old meaning of "nephews" is now obsolete, it is better to substitute "grandchildren," as in the R.V. Let them learn. Clearly "the children or grandchildren" is the subject. To show piety towards (εὐσεβεῖν). In the only other passage in the New Testament where this word occurs, Acts 17:23, it has also an accusative of the person - "whom ye worship." In classical Greek also εὐσεβεῖν τινα is used as well as εἰς, or περὶ, or πρὸς τινα.. Their own family, of which the widowed mother or grandmother formed a part. The force of τὸν ἴδον οῖκον, "their own family," lies in the implied contrast with the Church. As long as a widow has members of her own house who are able to support her, the Church ought net to be burdened (see ver. 16). To requite (ἀμοιβὰς ἀποδίδοναι); literally, to give back the return or exchange due. Ἀμοιβή is only found here in the New Testament, but is not uncommon in the LXX., and is much used in the best classical authors. The πρόγονοι had nourished and cared for them in their childhood; they must requite that care by honoring and supporting them in their old age. This is acceptable (ἀπόδεκτον); only here in the New Testament or LXX., and rarely if ever in classical Greek. The same idea is expressed in 1 Timothy 1:15, by πάσης ἀποδοχῆς ἄξιος, and in 1 Peter 2:19, 20, by χάρις Τοῦτο χάρις παρὰ Θεῷ, "This is acceptable with God."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But if any widow have children or nephews,.... Such are not widows indeed; they are not desolate, or alone, or without persons to take care of them; their children or nephews should, and not suffer the church to be burdened with them. Wherefore it follows,

let them learn first to show piety at home; which some understand of the widows, who, instead of casting themselves upon the church for a maintenance, or taking upon them the office of a deaconess, to take care of others, should continue in their own families, and bring up their children and nephews in like manner as they have been brought up by their parents, which will be more pleasing and acceptable unto God; but it is better to interpret it of their children; and so the Ethiopic version expresses it, "let the children first learn to do well to their own house", or family. It is the duty of children to take care of their parents in old age, and provide for them, when they cannot for themselves: this is a lesson they ought to learn in the first place, and a duty which they ought principally to observe; they should not suffer them to come to a church for relief, but first take care of them themselves, as long as they are in any capacity to do it; and these should be their first care before any others; so to do is an act of piety, a religious action, a pious one; it is doing according to the will and law of God, and is well pleasing to him:

and to requite their parents; for all the sorrow, pain, trouble, care, and expenses they have been at in bearing and bringing them forth into the world, in taking care of them in their infancy, in bringing them up, giving them an education, providing food and raiment for them, and settling them in the world; wherefore to neglect them in old age, when incapable of providing for themselves, would be base ingratitude; whereas to take care of them is but a requital of them, or a repaying them for former benefits had of them:

for that is good and acceptable before God; it is good in itself, and grateful, and well pleasing in his sight; it is part of the good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God; and which, as other actions done in faith, is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. if any widow have children—not "a widow indeed," as having children who ought to support her.

nephews—rather, as Greek, "descendants," or "grandchildren" [Hesychius]. "Nephews" in old English meant "grandchildren" [Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, 5.20].

let them—the children and descendants.

learn first—ere it falls to the Church to support them.

to show piety at home—filial piety towards their widowed mother or grandmother, by giving her sustenance. Literally, "to show piety towards their own house." "Piety is applied to the reverential discharge of filial duties; as the parental relation is the earthly representation of God our heavenly Father's relation to us. "Their own" stands in opposition to the Church, in relation to which the widow is comparatively a stranger. She has a claim on her own children, prior to her claim on the Church; let them fulfil this prior claim which she has on them, by sustaining her and not burdening the Church.

parents—Greek, (living) "progenitors," that is, their mother or grandmother, as the case may be. "Let them learn," implies that abuses of this kind had crept into the Church, widows claiming Church support though they had children or grandchildren able to support them.

good and—The oldest manuscripts omit. The words are probably inserted by a transcriber from 1Ti 2:3.

1 Timothy 5:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
Honoring Widows
3Honor widows who are widows indeed; 4but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.…
Cross References
Ephesians 6:2
"Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise--

1 Timothy 2:3
This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 5:16
If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.

Titus 1:11
They must be silenced, because they are disrupting whole households by teaching things they ought not to teach--and that for the sake of dishonest gain.
Treasury of Scripture

But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

nephews.

Judges 12:14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on three score …

Job 18:19 He shall neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any remaining …

Isaiah 14:22 For I will rise up against them, said the LORD of hosts, and cut …

learn.

1 Samuel 22:3,4 And David went there to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said to the king of …

Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and …

Luke 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject …

John 19:26,27 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, …

piety. or, kindness.

Matthew 15:4-6 For God commanded, saying, Honor your father and mother: and, He …

Mark 7:11-13 But you say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, …

to requite.

Genesis 45:10,11 And you shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near …

Genesis 47:12,28 And Joseph nourished his father, and his brothers, and all his father's …

Ruth 2:2,18 And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, Let me now go to the field, …

Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right…

good. See on ch.

1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

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