Titus 2:4
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
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(4) That they may teach the young women to be sober.—Better rendered, simply, that they may teach (or school) the young women, omitting the words “to be sober.” In Ephesus the representative of the Apostle was directed himself to exhort the younger women; very likely the same charge being given here to the aged women of the congregations was owing to the state of the Cretan Christian, which called not only for more practical and homely, but also for more individual, exhortations. So here this special work was left for the elder women among the faithful to carry out. Such a reformation, not only in the discipline of the Church, but also in the individual life and conversation, as St. Paul desired to see in Crete, would never be brought about by a sermon, or even by many sermons, however eloquent and earnest, from Titus. It would be a matter requiring long time and patience, and would, as observed above, rather follow as the result of patient individual effort and holy example.

To love their husbands, to love their children.—There was evidently in Crete a feverish longing for excitement, for novelty in religious teaching; hence the demand for, and consequent supply of, the “fables” and “commandments of men” spoken of in Titus 1:14. Women as well as men preferred rather to do something for religion and for God, and thus to wipe out past transgressions, and perhaps to purchase the liberty of future licence. They preferred the rigid and often difficult observance of the elaborate ritual, “the tithing of the mint, and anise, and cummin,” to quietly and reverently “doing their Father’s business.’ St. Paul’s method of correcting this false and unhealthy view of religion was to recall women as well as men to the steady, faithful performance of those quiet every-day duties to which God had, in His providence, called them. The first duty of these younger women, St. Paul tells Titus, and which he would have their elder sisters impress on them, was the great home duty of loving their husbands and children. While St. Paul would never have the women of Christ forget their new and precious privileges in the present, their glorious hopes in the future, yet here on earth he would never let them desert, or even for a moment forget, their first and chiefest duties. Their work, let them remember, lay not abroad in the busy world. Their first duty was to make home life beautiful by the love of husband and child—that great love which ever teaches forgetfulness of self.

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!That they may teach the young women to be sober - Margin, "wise" - a word similar to that which in Titus 2:2 is rendered "temperate," and in 1 Timothy 3:2, "sober." The meaning is, that they should instruct them to have their desires and passions well regulated, or under proper control.

To love their husbands - φιλάνδρους philandrous. This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. In Ephesians 5:25, Paul directs husbands to love their wives, and in Ephesians 5:33, the wife to reverence her husband, and here he says that it should be one of the first duties enjoined Son the wife that she should love her husband. All happiness in the marriage relation is based on mutual love. When that departs, happiness departs. No wealth or splendor in a dwelling - no gorgeousness of equipage or apparel - no magnificence of entertainment or sweetness of music - and no forms of courtesy and politeness, can be a compensation for the want of affection. Mutual love between a husband and wife will diffuse comfort through the obscurest cottage of poverty; the want of it cannot be supplied by all that can be furnished in the palaces of the great.

To love their children - Nature prompts to this, and yet there are those so depraved that they have no maternal affection; Notes, Romans 1:31. Religion reproduces natural affection when sin has weakened or destroyed it, and it is the design of Christianity to recover and invigorate all the lost or weakened sensibilities of our nature.

4. to be sober—Greek, "self-restrained," "discreet"; the same Greek as in Tit 2:2, "temperate." (But see on [2528]Tit 2:2; compare Note, [2529]2Ti 1:7). Alford therefore translates, "That they school (admonish in their duty) the young women to be lovers of their husbands," &c. (the foundation of all domestic happiness). It was judicious that Titus, a young man, should admonish the young women, not directly, but through the older women. That they may teach the young women to be sober: young women, especially conversing amongst heathens, are prone to be light and airy, and over frolicsome, following the heat of their youthful temper, and forming their converse after the manner of others; which is a behaviour, though it may suit their youth, yet if they be Christians it will not suit their profession, which calls to them for more gravity: speak to them that are aged to mind them to be sober.

To love their husbands, to love their children: it being natural for young women to love their husbands and children, these precepts seem not so much to concern the things, as the manner of it, to love them as they ought to love them.

That they may teach the young women to be sober,.... Or to be chaste, modest, and temperate; or to be wise and prudent in their conduct to their husbands, and in the management of family affairs, who have had a large experience of these things before them.

To love their husbands; to help and assist them all they can; to seek their honour and interest; to endeavour to please them in all things; to secure peace, harmony, and union; to carry it affectionately to them, and sympathize with them in all afflictions and distresses; for this is not so much said in opposition to placing their affections on other men, and to the defilement of the marriage bed, as to moroseness and ill nature.

To love their children; not with a fond, foolish, loose, and ungoverned affection; but so as to seek their real good, and not only their temporal, but spiritual and eternal welfare; to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to use and keep proper discipline and government over them; for otherwise, amidst all the fondness of natural affection, a parent may be said to hate a child, Proverbs 13:24.

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
Titus 2:4-5. Ἵνα σωφρονίζωσι τὰς νέας κ.τ.λ.] Since σωφρονίζειν must necessarily have an object, τὰς νέας κ.τ.λ. should not, like πρεσβύτας υηφαλίους εἶναι, Titus 2:2, and πρεσβύτιδας, Titus 2:3, be joined with λάλει, Titus 2:1 (Hofmann), but with σωφρονίζουσιν, so that the exhortations given to the young women are to proceed from the older women.

σωφρονίζειν] (ἅπ. λεγ.) is properly “bring some one to σωφροσύνη,” then “amend,” viz. by punishment; it also occurs in the sense of “punish, chastise;” it is synonymous with νουθετεῖν. According to Beza, it expresses opposition to the juvenilis lascivia et alia ejus aetatis ac sexus vitia.

The aim of the ΣΩΦΡΟΝΊΖΕΙΝ is given in the next words: ΦΙΛΆΝΔΡΟΥς (ἍΠ. ΛΕΓ.) ΕἾΝΑΙ, ΦΙΛΟΤΈΚΝΟΥς (ἍΠ. ΛΕΓ.) These two ideas are suitably placed first, as pointing to the first and most obvious circumstances of the ΝΈΑΙ.

Titus 2:5. ΣΏΦΡΟΝΑς ἉΓΝΆς] The latter is to be taken here not in the general sense of “blameless,” but in the more special sense of “chaste” (Wiesinger).

ΟἸΚΟΥΡΟΎς (Rec.); Wahl rightly: “ex οἶκος et ΟὖΡΟς custos: custos domus, de feminis, quae domi se continent neque ΠΕΡΙΈΡΧΟΝΤΑΙ, 1 Timothy 5:13.” Vulgate: domus curam habentes; Luther: “domestic.” The word ΟἸΚΟΥΡΓΟΎς (read by Tischendorf, see critical remarks) does not occur elsewhere; if it be genuine, it must mean “working in the house” (Alford: “workers at home”), which, indeed, does not agree with the formation of the word. The word οἰκουργεῖν occurring in later Greek means: “make a house;” see Pape, s.v.


] is rightly taken by almost all as an independent epithet: “kindly.” Some expositors, however, connect it with ΟἸΚΟΥΡΟΎς (so Theophylact, Oecumenius); but this is wrong, since ΟἸΚΟΥΡΟΎς is itself an adjective. Hofmann joins it with ΟἸΚΟΥΡΓΟΎς, and translates it “good housewives” (so Buttmann, in his edition of the N., T., has no comma between the two words); but where are the grounds for explaining ΟἸΚΟΥΡΓΟΎς to mean “housewives”?

ὑποτασσομένας τοῖς ἰδίοις ἀνδράσιν] On ΤΟῖς ἸΔΊΟΙς ἈΝΔΡ., comp. 1 Corinthians 7:2. The thought that wives are to be subject to their husbands is often expressed in the N. T. in the same words, comp. Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1. It is to be noted that the apostle adds this ὙΠΟΤΑΣΣΟΜΈΝΑς after using ΦΙΛΆΝΔΡΟΥς. The one thing does not put an end to the other; on the contrary, neither quality is of the right kind unless it includes the other. How much weight was laid by the apostle on the ὙΠΟΤΆΣΣΕΣΘΑΙ may be seen from the words: ἽΝΑ ΜῊ Ὁ ΛΌΓΟς ΤΟῦ ΘΕΟῦ ΒΛΑΣΦΗΜῆΤΑΙ, which are closely connected with ὙΠΟΤΑΣΣΟΜΈΝΑς Κ.Τ.Λ.; comp. Titus 2:10, where the same thought is expressed positively, and 1 Timothy 6:1. The apostolic preaching of freedom and equality in Christ might easily be applied in a fleshly sense for removing all natural subordination, and thus disgrace be brought on the word of God; hence the express warning. The remark of Chrysostom: ΕἸ ΣΥΜΒΑΊῌ ΓΥΝΑῖΚΑ ΠΙΣΤῊΝ ἈΠΊΣΤῼ ΣΥΝΟΙΚΟῦΣΑΝ, ΜῊ ΕἾΝΑΙ ἘΝΆΡΕΤΟΝ, Ἡ ΒΛΑΣΦΗΜΊΑ ἘΠῚ ΤῸΝ ΘΕῸΝ ΔΙΑΒΑΊΝΕΙΝ ΕἼΩΘΕΝ, is unsatisfactory, because the apostle’s words are thereby arbitrarily restricted to a relation which is quite special.

Titus 2:4. σωφρονίζουσιν. The only other examples of ἵνα with a pres. indic. in Paul are 1 Corinthians 4:6 (φυσιοῦσθε) and Galatians 4:17 (ζηλοῦτε). These may be cases of an unusual formation of the subj., both being verbs in -όω. γινώσκομεν, 1 John 5:20, is another instance. Train is the excellent rendering of the R.V. The A.V., teach … to be sober, although an adequate rendering elsewhere, leaves φιλάνδρους εἶναι disconnected. Timothy is bidden (1 Timothy 5:2) παρακαλεῖννεωτέρας himself; but this refers to pastoral public monitions, not to private training in domestic virtues and duties, as here.

τὰς νέας: There is no other instance in the Greek Bible of νέος, in the positive, being applied to a young person; though it is common in secular literature. There is possibly a certain fitness in the word as applied here to recently married women, whom the apostle has perhaps exclusively in view.

φιλάνδρους: “This is the chief point of all that is good in a household” (Chrys.). One of the three things in which Wisdom “was beautified” is “a woman and her husband that walk together in agreement” (Sir 25:1).

φιλοτέκνους: “She who loves the root will much more love the fruit” (Chrys.). φιλάνδρῳ καὶ φιλοτέκνῳ is cited from an “epitaph from Pergamum about the time of Hadrian” by Deissmann, who gives other references to secular literature. (Bible Studies, trans. p. 255 sq.).

4, 5. The standard of holy living for young women

4. that they may teach the young women to be sober] A.V. ‘teach to be sober’ (i.e. pure) gives the full meaning of the verb, but not its grammatical force train in purity to be lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children. The verb has in Philo and other authors come to have hardly more than the force ‘school,’ ‘train,’ but surely St Paul is here restoring and raising it. The verb is only here, and the subst. only in 2 Timothy 1:7, where see note.

Titus 2:4. Σωφρονίζωσι τὰς νέας, that they may teach the young women to be sober) Titus is enjoined to treat the Cretan women with somewhat greater severity than Timothy was to treat the women of Ephesus, 1 Timothy 5:2. He himself was to admonish the latter; Titus is to admonish the former, by means of the women who were more advanced in age.

Verse 4. - Train for teach... to be sober, A.V. Train (σωφρονίζωσι); only here in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., but common in classical Greek in the sense of to "correct," "control," or "moderate," which is its meaning here. Ellicott renders it "school" (comp. 1 Timothy 5:14). The A.V. "teach to be sober" is manifestly wrong. To love their husbands (φιλάνδρους εῖναι); here only in the New Testament, not found in the LXX., but occasionally, in this sense, in classical Greek. To love their children (φιλοτέκνους); here only in the New Testament, not found in the LXX. except in 4 Macc. 15:4, but not uncommon in classical Greek. Titus 2:4They may teach (σωφρονίζωσι)

Better, school or train. N.T.o. olxx. The verb means to make sane or sober-minded; to recall a person to his senses; hence, to moderate, chasten, discipline.

To love their husbands, to love their children (φιλάνδρους εἶναι, φιλοτέκνους)

Lit. to be husband-lovers, children-lovers. Both adjectives N.T.o. olxx. Φίλανδρος in Class. not in this sense, but loving men or masculine habits; lewd. In the better sense often in epitaphs. An inscription at Pergamum has the following: Ἱούλιος Βάσσος Ὁτακιλίᾳ Πώλλῃ τῇ γλυκυτάτῃ γυναικί, φιλάνδρῳ καὶ φιλοτέκνῳ συμβιωσάσῃ ἀμέμπτως ἔτη λ, Julius Bassus to Otacilia Polla my sweetest wife, who loved her husband and children and lived with me blamelessly for thirty years.

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