1 Timothy 5:10

10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has 1shown hospitality, 2has washed the feet of the saints, has 3cared for the afflicted, and has 4devoted herself to every good work.

1 Timothy 5:10 Meaning and Commentary

1 Timothy 5:10

Well reported of for good works
Both by the members of the church, and by them that were without:

particularly if she have brought up children;
that is, "well", as the Arabic version adds; in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; commanding them, as Abraham did, to keep the way of the Lord, and to do justice and judgment; training them up in the paths of religion and virtue, from which they will not so easily depart when grown up.

If she have lodged strangers;
as Abraham and Lot did, who entertained angels unawares: this may be understood of strangers in common, but especially of the brethren, ministers, and others, who came from distant parts, and travelled about to spread the Gospel of Christ. The F25 Jews say many things (aynoka dwbkb) , "in honour of hospitality" or entertaining of strangers, especially of receiving into their houses the disciples of the wise men, and giving them food and drink, and the use of their goods; this was what gave persons a very great character with them, and highly recommended them.

If she have washed the saints' feet;
which was usual in those hot countries, where they wore sandals only, partly for refreshment, and partly for the removal of dust and filth, contracted in walking; instances of this we have in several places of Scripture, ( Genesis 18:4 ) ( 19:2 ) . It was such a common piece of civility, that our Lord complains of the neglect of it towards him, ( Luke 7:44 ) . It was what he did to his own disciples, and in so doing set them an example of what they should do to one another, ( John 13:14 ) and being a mean and low office, and which very likely was done by the servants of the house; the sense may be, if she has condescended to do the meanest office for the saints.

If she have relieved the afflicted;
either in body, with her purse; or in mind, by visiting them, and speaking comfortably to them: in general,

if she have diligently followed every good work;
not only have done good works at certain times, but has followed that which is good; has closely pursued it, and that with great eagerness and diligence; has been constant and indefatigable in the performance of it.


F25 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 63. 2.

1 Timothy 5:10 In-Context

8 But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,
10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry
12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.

Cross References 4

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.