|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-8 Old disciples of Christ must behave in every thing agreeably to the Christian doctrine. That the aged men be sober; not thinking that the decays of nature will justify any excess; but seeking comfort from nearer communion with God, not from any undue indulgence. Faith works by, and must be seen in love, of God for himself, and of men for God's sake. Aged persons are apt to be peevish and fretful; therefore need to be on their guard. Though there is not express Scripture for every word, or look, yet there are general rules, according to which all must be ordered. Young women must be sober and discreet; for many expose themselves to fatal temptations by what at first might be only want of discretion. The reason is added, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. Failures in duties greatly reproach Christianity. Young men are apt to be eager and thoughtless, therefore must be earnestly called upon to be sober-minded: there are more young people ruined by pride than by any other sin. Every godly man's endeavour must be to stop the mouths of adversaries. Let thine own conscience answer for thine uprightness. What a glory is it for a Christian, when that mouth which would fain open itself against him, cannot find any evil in him to speak of!
Verse 5. - Sober-minded for discreet, A.V.; workers for keepers, A.V. and T.R.; kind for good, A.V.; being in subjection for obedient, A.V. Sober-minded (σώφρονας); as in ver. 2 and Titus 1:8; 1 Timothy 3:2. "Discreet" is nearer the sense than "sober-minded." Perhaps the French sage is nearer still. Workers at home (οἰκουργούς, for the T.R. οἰκουρούς). Neither word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament or in the LXX., nor does οἰκουργός in classical Greek. But οἰκουρός, which is probably the true reading (Huther), is common in good classical Greek for "stayers at home." It is derived from οῖκος and οῦρος, a "keeper." Kind (ἀγαθάς). The idea of kindness or good nature seems to be the side of goodness here intended; as we say, "He was very good to me" (so Matthew 20:15 and 1 Peter 2:18). Kindness is the leading idea in ἀγαθός. Obedient (ὑποτασσόμενας). These identical words occur in 1 Peter 3:1 (see too Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18). That the Word of God be not blasphemed (see 1 Timothy 6:1). St. Paul complains that the Name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles on account of the evil deeds of the Jews (Romans 2:24; see Ezekiel 36:20-23). Our Lord, on the other hand, exhorts that Christians, by their good works, should lead men to glorify their Father which is in heaven. The passage before us shows how much the honor of Christianity is bound up with the faithful discharge by Christians of the simple domestic duties of life. In truth, the family is the chief seat, and often the main test, of Christian virtue, as it is the distinctive feature of humanity as ordained by God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To be discreet,.... Or temperate in eating and drinking, so the word is rendered in Titus 2:2 or to be sober both in body and mind; or to be wise and prudent in the whole of their conduct, both at home and abroad:
chaste; in body, in affection, words and actions, having their love pure and single to their own husbands, keeping their marriage bed undefiled.
Keepers at home: minding their own family affairs, not gadding abroad; and inspecting into, and busying themselves about other people's matters. This is said in opposition to what women are prone unto. It is reckoned among the properties of women, by the Jews, that they are "gadders abroad" (x): they have some rules about women's keeping at home; they say (y),
"a woman may go to her father's house to visit him, and to the house of mourning, and to the house of feasting, to return a kindness to her friends, or to her near relations--but it is a reproach to a woman to go out daily; now she is without, now she is in the streets; and a husband ought to restrain his wife from it, and not suffer her to go abroad but about once a month, or twice a month, upon necessity; for there is nothing more beautiful for a woman, than to abide in the corner of her house; for so it is written, Psalm 45:13 "the king's daughter is all glorious within".''
And this they say (z) is what is meant by the woman's being an helpmeet for man, that while he is abroad about his business, she is , "sitting at home", and keeping his house; and this they observe is the glory and honour of the woman. The passage in Isaiah 44:13 concerning an image being made "after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man, that it may remain in the house" is by the Targum thus paraphrased:
"according to the likeness of a man, according to the praise of a woman, to abide in the house.''
Upon which Kimchi, has this note.
"it is the glory of a woman to continue at home, and not go abroad.''
The tortoise, which carries its house upon its back, and very rarely shows its head, or looks out of it, was, with the ancients, an emblem of a good housewife. These also should be instructed to be "good" or "kind" to their servants, and beneficent to the poor, and to strangers, towards whom, very often, women are apt to be strait handed, and not so generous and liberal as they should be:
obedient to their own husbands; See Gill on Ephesians 5:22, Ephesians 5:24.
that the word of God be not blasphemed; by unbelieving husbands, who, by the ill conduct of their wives, would be provoked to speak ill of the Gospel, as if that taught disaffection and disobedience to them.
(x) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 45. fol. 40. 3.((y) Maimon. Hilchot Ishot, c. 13. sect. 11. (z) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 5. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. keepers at home—as "guardians of the house," as the Greek expresses. The oldest manuscripts read, "Workers at home": active in household duties (Pr 7:11; 1Ti 5:13).
good—kind, beneficent (Mt 20:15; Ro 5:7; 1Pe 2:18). Not churlish and niggardly, but thrifty as housewives.
obedient—rather "submissive," as the Greek is translated; (see on Eph 5:21, 22; Eph 5:24).
their own—marking the duty of subjection which they owe them, as being their own husbands (Eph 5:22; Col 3:18).
blasphemed—"evil spoken of." That no reproach may be cast on the Gospel, through the inconsistencies of its professors (Tit 2:8, 10; Ro 2:24; 1Ti 5:14; 6:1). "Unless we are virtuous, blasphemy will come through us to the faith" [Theophylact].
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