1 Timothy 5:10

10 having a reputation for 1good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has 2shown hospitality to strangers, if she 3has washed the saints' feet, if she has 4assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted 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 own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,
10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.
11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,
12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Acts 9:36; 1 Timothy 6:18; Titus 2:7; Titus 3:8; 1 Peter 2:12
  • 2. 1 Timothy 3:2
  • 3. Luke 7:44; John 13:14
  • 4. 1 Timothy 5:16

Footnotes 1

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