5:9 No widow should be put on the list 1 unless 2 she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, 3 5:10 and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, 4 practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress – as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. 5
1 sn This list was an official enrollment, apparently with a formal pledge to continue as a widow and serve the Lord in that way (cf. v. 12). It was either (1) the list of “true widows” who were given support by the church or (2) a smaller group of older women among the supported widows who were qualified for special service (perhaps to orphans, other widows, the sick, etc.). Most commentators understand it to be the former, since a special group is not indicated clearly. See G. W. Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 222-23 for discussion.
2 tn Grk “let a widow be enrolled if she has reached not less than sixty years.”
4 tn Grk “if she raised children.” The phrase “if she raised children” begins a series of conditional clauses running to the end of the verse. These provide specific examples of her good works (v. 10a).
5 tn Grk “followed after every good work.”