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Do not rebuke an older man sharply, but appeal to him as you would to a father; treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers and younger women like sisters, with absolute purity.

Show respect to widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, first let them learn to do their religious duty to their own family and thus repay some of the debt they owe their forebears, for this is what is acceptable in the sight of God. Now the widow who is really in need, the one who has been left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in petitions and prayers night and day. But the one who is self-indulgent is already dead, even though she lives. And instruct them about this, so that they will not be open to blame. Moreover, anyone who does not provide for his own people, especially for his family, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled on the list of widows only if she is more than sixty years old, was faithful to her husband, 10 and is known for her good deeds — as one who has reared her children well, showed hospitality, washed the feet of God’s people, helped those in trouble, and engaged in all kinds of good work.

11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when they begin to feel natural passions that alienate them from the Messiah, they want to get married. 12 This brings them under condemnation for having set aside the trust they had at first. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idle, going around from house to house; and not only idle, but gossips and busybodies, saying things they shouldn’t. 14 Therefore, I would rather the young widows get married, have children and take charge of their homes, so as to give the opposition no occasion for slandering us. 15 For already some have turned astray to follow the Adversary.

16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, she should provide relief for them — the congregation shouldn’t be burdened, so that it may help the widows who are really in need.

17 The leaders who lead well should be considered worthy of double honor, especially those working hard at communicating the Word and at teaching. 18 For the Tanakh says, “You are not to muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain,”[a] in other words, “The worker deserves his wages.” 19 Never listen to any accusation against a leader unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.[b] 20 Rebuke before the whole assembly those leaders who continue sinning, as a warning to the others. 21 Before God, the Messiah Yeshua and the chosen angels, I solemnly charge you to observe these instructions, not pre-judging and not doing anything out of favoritism. 22 Do not be hasty in granting s’mikhah to anyone, and do not share in other people’s sins — keep yourself pure.

23 Stop drinking water; instead, use a little wine for the sake of your digestion and because of your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some people are obvious and go ahead of them to judgment, but the sins of others follow afterwards. 25 Likewise, good deeds are obvious; and even when they are not, they can’t stay hidden.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 5:18 Deuteronomy 25:4
  2. 1 Timothy 5:19 Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15

Widows, Elders and Slaves

Do not rebuke an older man(A) harshly,(B) but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men(C) as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.(D) But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents,(E) for this is pleasing to God.(F) The widow who is really in need(G) and left all alone puts her hope in God(H) and continues night and day to pray(I) and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.(J) Give the people these instructions,(K) so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied(L) the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds,(M) such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,(N) washing the feet(O) of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble(P) and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies(Q) who talk nonsense,(R) saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry,(S) to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.(T) 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.(U)

16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.(V)

17 The elders(W) who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,(X) especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[a](Y) and “The worker deserves his wages.”[b](Z) 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder(AA) unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.(AB) 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove(AC) before everyone, so that the others may take warning.(AD) 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus(AE) and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands,(AF) and do not share in the sins of others.(AG) Keep yourself pure.(AH)

23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine(AI) because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 5:18 Deut. 25:4
  2. 1 Timothy 5:18 Luke 10:7

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