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Treatment of Widows

Never speak harshly to an older man, but appeal to him as if he were your father. Treat[a] younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters, with absolute purity.

Honor widows who have no other family members to care for them.[b] But if a widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to respect their own family by repaying their parents, for this is pleasing in God’s sight. A woman who has no other family members to care for her[c] and who is left all alone has placed her hope in God and devotes herself to petitions and prayers night and day. But the self-indulgent widow[d] is just as good as dead.

Continue to give these instructions, so that they may be blameless. If anyone does not take care of his own relatives, especially his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. A widow may be put on the widows’[e] list if she is at least sixty years old and has been the wife of one husband.[f] 10 She must be well known for her good actions as a woman who has raised children, welcomed strangers, washed the saints’ feet, helped the suffering, and devoted herself to doing good in every way.

11 But do not include younger widows on your list.[g] For whenever their natural desires cause them to lose their devotion to the Messiah,[h] they want to remarry. 12 They receive condemnation because they have set aside their prior commitment to the Messiah.[i] 13 At the same time, they also learn how to be lazy while going from house to house. Not only this, but they even become gossips and keep busy by interfering in other people’s lives, saying things they should not say.

14 Therefore, I want younger widows to remarry, have children, manage their homes, and not give the enemy any chance to ridicule them. 15 For some widows[j] have already turned away to follow Satan. 16 If any woman[k] is a believer and has relatives who are widows, she should help them. The church should not be burdened, so it can help those widows who have no other family members to care for them.[l]

Elders and Their Duties

17 Elders who handle their duties[m] well should be considered worthy of double compensation,[n] especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox while it is treading out grain,”[o] and, “A worker deserves his pay.”[p] 19 Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported “by two or three witnesses.”[q] 20 As for those who keep on sinning, rebuke them in front of everyone so that the rest will also be afraid. 21 With God as my witness, as well as the Messiah[r] Jesus and the chosen angels, I solemnly call on you to carry out these instructions without prejudice, doing nothing on the basis of partiality. 22 Do not ordain[s] anyone hastily. Do not participate in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. 23 Stop drinking only water, but use a little wine for your stomach because of your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some people are obvious, leading them to judgment. The sins[t] of others follow them there. 25 In the same way, good actions are obvious, and those that are not cannot remain hidden.


  1. 1 Timothy 5:1 The Gk. lacks Treat
  2. 1 Timothy 5:3 Lit. who are really widows
  3. 1 Timothy 5:5 Lit. who is really a widow
  4. 1 Timothy 5:6 Lit. the one
  5. 1 Timothy 5:9 The Gk. lacks widows’
  6. 1 Timothy 5:9 Or devoted to her husband; lit. a woman of one man
  7. 1 Timothy 5:11 The Gk. lacks on your list
  8. 1 Timothy 5:11 Or Christ
  9. 1 Timothy 5:12 The Gk. lacks to the Messiah
  10. 1 Timothy 5:15 The Gk. lacks widows
  11. 1 Timothy 5:16 Other mss. read man or woman
  12. 1 Timothy 5:16 Lit. who are really widows
  13. 1 Timothy 5:17 Or who rule
  14. 1 Timothy 5:17 Or honor
  15. 1 Timothy 5:18 Cf. Deut 25:4
  16. 1 Timothy 5:18 Cf. Luke 10:7
  17. 1 Timothy 5:19 Cf. Deut 17:6; 19:15
  18. 1 Timothy 5:21 Or Christ
  19. 1 Timothy 5:22 Lit. lay hands on
  20. 1 Timothy 5:24 Lit. Those