on 1-timothy 5 :11
But the younger widows refuse - Do not admit those into this office who are under sixty years of age. Probably those who were received into such a list promised to abide in their widowhood. But as young or comparatively young women might have both occasion and temptations to remarry, and so break their engagement to Christ, they should not be admitted. Not that the apostle condemns their remarrying as a crime in itself, but because it was contrary to their engagement. See on 1 Timothy 5:14 (note).
Wax wanton - Καταστρηνιασωσι· From κατα, intensive, and στρηνιαω, to act in a luxurious or wanton manner. The word is supposed to be derived from στερειν, to remove, and ἡνια, the rein; and is a metaphor taken from a pampered horse, from whose mouth the rein has been removed, so that there is nothing to check or confine him. The metaphor is plain enough, and the application easy.
on 1-timothy 5 :11
But the younger widows refuse - That is, in respect to the matter under discussion. Do not admit them into the class of widows referred to. It cannot mean that he was to reject them as members of the church, or not to treat them with respect and kindness.
For when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ - There is probably a thought conveyed by these words to most minds which is by no means in the original, and which does injustice both to the apostle and to the "younger widows" referred to. In the Greek there is no idea of wantonness in the sense of lasciviousness or lewdness; nor was this, though now a common idea attached to the word, by any means essential to it when our translation wan made. The word "wanton" then meant "wandering" or "roving in gaiety or sport; moving or flying loosely; playing in the wind; then, wandering from moral rectitude, licentious, dissolute, libidinous" - Webster. The Greek word here used, καταστρηνιάζω katastrēniazō, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The word στρηνιάω strēniaō - however, is used twice, and is in both cases translated "lived deliciously;" Revelation 18:7, Revelation 18:9. The word is derived from στρῆνος strēnos (whence "strenuous"), properly meaning "rudeness, insolence, pride," and hence, "revel, riot, luxury;" or from - streenees - , the adjective - "strong, stiff, hard, rough." The verb then means "to live strenuously, rudely," as in English, "to live hard;" also, to live wild, or without restraint; to run riot, to live luxuriously. The idea of strength is the essential one, and then of strength that is not subordinate to law; that is wild and riotous; see Pussow and Robinson, Lexicon. The sense here is, that they would not be subordinate to the restraints implied in that situation, they would become impatient, and would marry again. The idea is not that of wantonness or lewdness, but it is that of a mind not subdued by age and by trials, and that would be impatient under the necessary restraints of the condition which was contemplated. They could not be depended on with certainty, but they might be expected again to enter into the married relation.
They will marry - It is clear, from this, that the apostle did not contemplate any vows which would prevent their marrying again; nor does he say that it would be absolutely wrong for them to marry, even if they were admitted in to that rank; or as if there were any vows to restrain them from doing it. This passage, therefore, can never be adduced in favor of that practice of taking the veil in nunneries, and of a vow of perpetual seclusion from the world.
on 1-timothy 5 :11
5:11 Refuse - Do not choose. For when they are waxed wanton against Christ - To whose more immediate service they had addicted themselves. They want to marry - And not with a single eye to the glory of God; and so withdraw themselves from that entire service of the church to which they were before engaged.