1Don’t rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers,
2older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters with all purity.
The Support of Widows
3Support5:3 Lit Honor widows5:3 Ex 22:22; Jms 1:27 who are genuinely in need.
4But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.
5The widow who is truly in need and left all alone has put her hope in God5:5 1Co 7:34 and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers;
6however, she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.5:6 Lk 15:24; Eph 2:1,5; 5:14; Rv 3:1
7Command this also, so that they will be above reproach.
8But if anyone does not provide5:8 Rm 12:17; 2Co 8:21 for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith5:8 Mt 10:33; Php 1:27; 1Tm 1:2; 2Pt 2:1; Jd 4; Rv 2:13 and is worse than an unbeliever.
9No widow is to be enrolled on the list for support unless she is at least sixty years old, has been the wife of one husband,
10and is well known for good works5:10 Mk 14:6; 2Co 9:8; Gl 3:10; Jms 2:14–26 — that is, if she has brought up children, shown hospitality,5:10 2Jn 10 washed the saints’ feet,5:10 Lk 7:44; Jn 13:5–14 helped the afflicted,5:10 Heb 11:37 and devoted herself to every good work.5:10 2Co 9:8
11But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they are drawn away from Christ by desire, they want to marry5:11 1Tm 5:14
12and will therefore receive condemnation5:12 Mk 12:40 because they have renounced their original pledge.
13At the same time, they also learn to be idle, going from house to house; they are not only idle, but are also gossips5:13 Pr 17:9; 3Jn 10 and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t say.
14Therefore, I want younger women to marry,5:14 Gn 2:18–25; 1Co 7:9–10; 1Tm 4:3; 5:11 have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us.5:14 Ti 2:4–5
15For some have already turned away5:15 Heb 12:13 to follow Satan.
16If any5:16 Other mss add believing man or believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it can help widows in genuine need.
Honoring the Elders
17The elders who are good leaders are to be considered worthy of double honor,5:17 Or of respect and remuneration especially those who work hard5:17 1Th 5:12 at preaching and teaching.
18For the Scripture says: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,5:18Dt 25:45:18 Dt 25:4; 1Co 9:9 and, “The worker is worthy of his wages.”5:18 Lv 19:13; Dt 24:14–15; Mt 10:10; Lk 10:7; 1Co 9:4–14; 2Pt 2:13
19Don’t accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.5:19 Dt 19:15
20Publicly rebuke those who sin, so that the rest will be afraid.
21I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to observe5:21 Lk 11:28 these things without prejudice, doing nothing out of favoritism.
22Don’t be too quick to appoint5:22 Lit to lay hands on5:22 Ex 29:10; Lv 4:15; Lk 4:40; Ac 6:6; 28:8; 1Tm 4:14; Heb 6:2 anyone as an elder, and don’t share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.5:22 Php 4:8
23Don’t continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
24Some people’s sins are obvious, preceding them to judgment,5:24 Mt 12:41; Jn 5:22–30; Heb 9:27 but the sins of others surface5:24 Lit follow later.
25Likewise, good works are obvious, and those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden.