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1 Timothy 5:15 – After Satan

14-06-2024 - Posted by Hans

For already some were turned aside after Satan.

Various instructions from Paul to Timothy regarding the widows refer to a specific situation in Ephesus where Timothy worked. We are not even sure what the ministry consisted of for which Timothy would select sixty-plus year old widows (5:9). We can carefully try to understand it from the context. Of course, it was all clear to Timothy. These instructions apply to him, even though we as fellow readers can learn a lot from them.

From the verse before us we see that Paul’s instructions were based on experience. When he pointed out in the previous verses (:11-13) the dangers that younger widows might be exposed to in the ministry, he was not simply speculating. On the contrary, the dangers he mentioned were based on sad events. “For already some were turned aside,” Paul notes. That is to say, some younger widows now wanted to get married despite their vows and, lacking anything to do, hung around the houses gossiping and meddling. They gave rise to slander. Because of this attitude they went “after Satan”. Satan is the Hebrew/Aramaic word for ‘adversary’. Here it is “Satan” which refers to “the old serpent” or the “diabolos” (= one-thrower; Rev.12:9). That is what characterizes him: opposing and distorting God’s word.