Titus 2:5
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
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(5) To be discreet.—See Note in Titus 2:2 of this chapter.

Chaste.—Not only in act, but also in look, in speech, in thought, even in dress.

Keepers at home.—The older authorities here, instead of “keepers at home” (domum custodientes, domus curam habentes), read workers at home; the Greek word is not found elsewhere. The sense of the passage is, however, little changed by the alteration. The meaning is clear, “Domi mansit lanam fecit.” Home duties, cares, pleasures, sacrifices of self—these God-appointed duties ought to fill the mind and the heart of the young wife. There should be no desire, no attempt, to go round to the other houses, and so contracting idle, gossiping habits. Hofmann thus sums up these directions to the young Christian women of Crete, “Gute Hausfrauen will der Apostel haben.”

Good.—Gracious, kind, thoughtful to others, especially to inferiors.

Obedient to their own husbands.—More accurately, submitting themselves to their own husbands. Women who really love their Master Christ should take care that, as far as in them lay, the law of subordination in the family to its rightful head should be strictly carried out. In a Church like that of Crete, made out of divided houses often, where the Christian wife was married to a Pagan husband, such a charge as this was especially needful.

That the word of God be not blasphemed.—These words refer to all the exhortations from Titus 2:2 onwards, but more particularly to those clauses enforcing home duties immediately preceding. There was, of course, the fear that wives, carried away by religious fervour, might neglect the plainer every-day duties for the seemingly loftier and more self-denying occupations included under the head of religious works. Such failure in every-day tasks would, of course, be bitterly charged on the religion of Christ, and the gospel would run the danger of being evil-spoken of, even in other than purely Pagan circles. But the reference extends over a broader area than that occupied by Christian mistresses of households. All, of every rank and age, who think they love the Lord Jesus should remember that the “enemy” is ever watching their words and works; never should they who wear the colours of the great King forget the charge of the King’s son, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

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!To be discreet - The same word rendered, in Titus 2:2, "temperate," and explained in Titus 2:4.

Chaste - Pure - in heart, and in life.

Keepers at home - That is, characteristically attentive to their domestic concerns, or to their duties in their families. A similar injunction is found in the precepts of the Pythagoreans - τὰν γὰρ γύναικα δεῖ οἰκουρεῖν καὶ ἔνδον μένειν tan gar gunaika dei oikourein kai endon menein. See Creuzer's Symbolik, iii. 120. This does not mean, of course, that they are never to go abroad, but they are not to neglect their domestic affairs; they are not to be better known abroad than at home; they are not to omit their own duties and become "busy-bodies" in the concerns of others. Religion is the patron of the domestic virtues, and regards the appropriate duties in a family as those most intimately connected with its own progress in the world. It looks benignly on all which makes home a place of contentment, intelligence, and peace. It does not flourish when domestic duties are neglected; - and whatever may be done abroad, or whatever self-denial and zeal in the cause of religion may be evinced there, or whatever call there may be for the labors of Christians there, or however much good may be actually done abroad, religion has gained nothing, on the whole, if, in order to secure these things, the duties of a wife and mother at home have been disregarded. Our first duty is at home, and all other duties will be well performed just in proportion as that is.

Good - In all respects, and in all relations. To a wife, a mother, a sister, there can be no higher characteristic ascribed, than to say that she is good. What other trait of mind will enable her better to perform her appropriate duties of life? What other will make her more like her Saviour?

Obedient to their own husbands - Ephesians 5:22-24 note; Colossians 3:18 note.

That the word of God be not blasphemed - That the gospel may not be injuriously spoken of (Notes, Matthew 9:3), on account of the inconsistent lives of those who profess to be influenced by it. The idea is, that religion ought to produce the virtues here spoken of, and that when it does not, it will be reproached as being of no value.

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 [2530]Eph 5:21, 22; [2531]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].

To be discreet; swfronav the word signifies temperate, and imports an ability to govern all our affections and passions. Discretion is but one piece of the fruit.

Chaste; the word signifieth pure as well as chaste, and chastity only as it is a species of purity.

Keepers at home; house-wives, not spending their time in gadding abroad, but in looking to the affairs of their own families.

Obedient to their own husbands: the same is required of wives, Ephesians 5:22, and is due from them to their husbands, as being their head.

That the word of God be not blasphemed: as for the discharge of their duty towards God, so for the credit and reputation of the gospel, that for their carriage contrary to the rules of nature and morality, as well as of religion, the gospel may not be evil spoken of, as if from that they had learned their ill and indecent behaviour. 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.

To be discreet, chaste, {a} keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

(a) Not roving about idly.

Titus 2:5. οἰκουργούς: workers at home. Field says that “the only authority for this word is Soranus of Ephesus, a medical writer, not earlier than the second century,” οἰκουργὸν καὶ καθέδριον διάγειν βίον; but the verb is found in Clem. Rom., ad Cor. i. 1, γυναιξίντὰ κατὰ τὸν οἶκον σεμνῶς οἰκουργεῖν ἐδιδάσκετε. οἰκουρούς, keepers at home, domum custodientes ([316] [317]81) domus curam habentes (Vulg.), though constantly found in descriptions of virtuous women, is a less obviously stimulating epithet. Mothers who work at home usually find it a more absorbing pleasure than “going about from house to house” (1 Timothy 5:13). But the “worker at home” is under a temptation to be as unsparing of her household as of herself; and so St. Paul adds ἀγαθάς, benignas, kind (R.V.), rather than good (A.V.). For this force of ἀγαθός, see reff.

[316] The Latin text of Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[317] Speculum

ἰδίοις: ἴδιος (See on 1 Timothy 3:4) is not emphatic: it is simply, their husbands. The ἴδιος merely differentiates husband from man.

ἵνα μὴ ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ βλασφημῆται: For λόγος, as used here, the more usual word is ὄνομα (from Isaiah 52:5). See reff. on 1 Timothy 6:1; and also Jam 2:7, Revelation 13:6; Revelation 16:9. ἡ ὁδὸς τῆς ἀληθείας, in 2 Peter 2:2, is equivalent to ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ here. The practical worth of a religion is not unfairly estimated by its effects on the lives of those who profess it. If the observed effect of the Gospel were to make women worse wives, it would not commend it to the heathen; “for the Greeks judge not of doctrines by the doctrine itself, but they make the life and conduct the test of the doctrines” (Chrys.). See note on 1 Timothy 5:14.5. to be discreet, chaste] The ‘expulsive power of the new affection’ for husband and for child would lead them on best to be wholly pure (note above on Titus 2:2 and on 1 Timothy 3:2) in mind and spirit, and chaste in look, and word, and act.

keepers at home] Rather, we should read with R.V. workers at home, following ms. authority though with no support from the older versions. Vulg. ‘domus curam habentes.’ The word, which appears not to be found elsewhere, is formed similarly to the word for ‘malefactor,’ which in N.T. occurs only 2 Timothy 2:9, and Luke 23:32-33; Luke 23:39 : and to that used of the younger widows, 1 Timothy 5:13, ‘prying round into other people’s work.’ The verb occurs with the same variation of reading, Clem. Rom. ad Cor. 1. 1, the Alexandrine ms. reading ‘workers’ as here; ‘And ye taught them to be grave workers at home, keeping to the due limits of subjection, wholly pure minded;’ an evident reminiscence of this passage.

good, obedient to their own husbands] Vulg. excellently, ‘benignas,’ kindly, ‘amiable,’ ‘good,’ as we say ‘a good man is good to his beast’; so it is used evidently of masters towards slaves in union with ‘gentle,’ i.e. ‘considerate,’ 1 Peter 2:18, ‘in subjection to your masters, not only to the kindly and considerate, but also to the churlish.’ Render the next clause, which is identical in 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5, in subjection to their own husbands. This participial phrase is almost proverbial apparently at this time. The word and thought ‘subjection’ occurs prominently in Titus and St Peter; Titus 2:5; Titus 2:9; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:3; 1 Peter 2:18; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:5; 1 Peter 5:5.

that the word of God be not blasphemed] Better, be not evil spoken of; the word of God is here ‘the Gospel’ in the sense of ‘the Christian religion;’ in 1 Timothy 6:1 called ‘the name of God,’ and ‘the doctrine.’ For ‘the word of God’ cf. Revelation 1:2; Revelation 1:9; Revelation 6:9. St Paul’s earlier usage connects itself more with the preaching of the Gospel, 1 Corinthians 14:36; 2 Corinthians 2:17; 2 Corinthians 4:2; Colossians 1:25. The clause belongs to the whole instruction. ‘If Christians profess to be influenced by a supernaturally strong and sacred motive, and then fail to do what lower and ordinary motives often succeed in effecting, the world charges the failure on the lofty motive itself, and Christ bears once again the sins of His people.’ Dr Reynolds.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. Keepers at home (οἰκουργούς)

Wrong. Rend. workers at home. N.T.o. olxx, oClass.

Good (ἀγαθάς)

Not attributive of workers at home, but independent. Rend. kindly. The mistress of the house is to add to her thrift, energy, and strict discipline, benign, gracious, heartily kind demeanor. Comp. Matthew 20:15; 1 Peter 2:18; Acts 9:36. See on Acts 11:24; see on Romans 5:7.

Obedient (ὑποτασσομένας)

Better, subject or in subjection. Frequent in Paul, but not often in the active voice. See on James 4:7; see on Romans 8:7; see on Philippians 3:21; and comp. 1 Corinthians 14:34; Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18.

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