For some are already turned aside after Satan.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For some are already turned aside.—It was the backsliding of these “nameless” ones, probably, which had been the immediate occasion of these directions to Timothy. Although these unhappy sisters had worked such great mischief to the cause of Christ, still St. Paul, with his tender grace and love, forbore to mention any by name. They had undertaken a task too severe for them to carry out, and had miserably failed. He spares these poor erring sisters, but directs the chief pastor of the Church at Ephesus, how to guard against such fatal results for the future.
After Satan.—They had swerved from the narrow, thorny road of self-denial which they had chosen for themselves, and perhaps dreading, after their public profession, to form afresh any legal marriage ties, had followed that downward path of sensuality which surely leads to Satan.1 Timothy 5:13, they had followed the great Tempter, rather than the Lord Jesus. This is stated as a reason why they should not be admitted into the number of the widows who were to be maintained at the expense of the church, and to whom the care of the younger female members was to be committed.
If any man or woman that believeth have widows; if any men or women that are Christians have any widows that are nearly related to them, if themselves be able,
let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; and not turn off that natural duty which they owe to their parents, or near relations, to relieve them, to the church, which hath others enough to look after, and upon which there lies only a moral and Christian obligation.
That it may relieve them that are widows indeed; that so the alms of the church may go to relieve those only who are perfectly desolate, having neither husbands nor any other near relations to provide for them. For some are already turned aside after Satan.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1 Timothy 5:15. Reason for the injunction given: ἤδη γάρ τινες ἐξετράπησαν ὀπίσω τοῦ σατανᾶ.
τινές, viz. “widows;” ἐξετράπησαν κ.τ.λ.; comp. 1 Timothy 1:6; ὀπίσω, comp. Acts 5:37; Acts 20:30 : they have turned away, viz. from the Christian path of life, and have followed Satan. This does not necessarily mean a formal apostasy from Christianity, or a connection with the heretics; it may also mean yielding oneself up to an un-Christian, carnal life (Wiesinger). This arose from their not living in accordance with the rule laid down by the apostle.
On ἤδη, Bengel rightly remarks: particula provocandi ad experientiam. De Wette is quite unjustified in asserting that Paul could not yet have had such an experience.1 Timothy 5:15. τινες: See note on 1 Timothy 1:3.
ἐξετράπησαν ὀπίσω τοῦ Σ.: This is a pregnant phrase, meaning “They have turned out of the way [of life and light] and have followed after Satan”. “The prepositional use of ὀπίσω, which is foreign to profane writers, takes its origin from the LXX (Hebr. אַחֲרֵי)” (Blass, Gram. p. 129). The primary phrase is ἔρχεσθαι [also ἀκολουθεῖν or πορεύεσθαι] ὀπίσω τινός. For ὀπίσω in an unfavourable sense cf. Luke 21:8, John 12:19, Acts 5:37; Acts 20:30, 2 Peter 2:10, Judges 1:7, Revelation 13:3. The phrase, no doubt, refers to something worse than a second marriage.15. some are … turned aside] Some of the younger widows who had been placed upon the roll had thus been led astray; St Paul was not merely theorising in 1 Timothy 5:11-13. The aorist here is rightly rendered ‘are turned’ according to the account given in 1 Timothy 5:10.1 Timothy 5:15. Ἤδη, already) A particle used for the purpose of appealing to experience.—τινὲς, some) rashly professing widowhood.—ἐξετράπησαν, have been turned aside) and thereby have given occasion to calumny.—ὀπίσω τοῦ Σατανᾶ, after Satan) who turned them aside from Christ.Verse 15. - Already some are for some are already, A.V. Some. This is generally understood of some widows who had already given occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully, by turning aside from the path of Christian virtue which they had begun to walk in, and following Satan who had beguiled them into the path of vice and folly. But the words are capable of another meaning, equally arising kern the preceding verse, viz. that some have already followed the example of Satan, "the accuser of the brethren," and have begun to revile Christianity, taking occasion from the conduct of some who were called Christians. These revilers might be not unbelieving Jews or heathen, but apostate or heretical Jews like those of whom the same verb (ἐκτρέπεσθαι) is used in 1 Timothy 1:6 and 2 Timothy 4:4. In something of the same spirit St. Paul called Elymas the sorcerer "a child of the devil," because he sought to turn away Sergius Paulus from the faith, probably by speaking evil of Barnabas and Saul.
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