the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Holman Bible Dictionary
Old Testament References to aging persons in the Old Testament stress the physiological changes of aging (1 Kings 14:4; 2 Samuel 19:35; Ecclesiastes 12:1-5; Zechariah 8:4 ), the wisdom of the aging (Deuteronomy 32:7; Job 12:12 ), the honor due the aging (Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:32 ), and the continuing service of the aging (Genesis 12-50 , the patriarchs; Joshua 13:1; Joshua 14:10; Psalm 92:14; Joel 2:28 ). Aging is presented as a normal part of the biblical view of the life cycle (Psalm 90:10; Isaiah 46:4 ). See Elder .
New Testament References to aging persons in the New Testament focus on the responsibility of children or the family of faith to care for dependent or disabled aging persons (Mark 7:1-13; Matthew 15:1-6; 1 Timothy 5:4 , 1 Timothy 5:8; James 1:27 ). The young are urged to honor the aging (1 Timothy 5:1-2 ), and the aging are encouraged to be worthy examples (Titus 2:2-3 ). Christians are expected to care for widows (Acts 6:1-7 ), and the aging are expected to serve God as did Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna in Luke 1-2 . Such service by the aging can bring blessings to their families, as did Timothy's grandmother and mother (2 Timothy 1:5 ).
Practical Concerns The biblical view of aging is unequivocally positive, though allowing for foolish elderly (Ecclesiastes 4:13 ). Generally older persons have a reservoir of wisdom and understanding based on past experience (Deuteronomy 32:7 ). They can experience new family joys, even after many previous sad experiences (Ruth 4:13-17 ). Both youth and age have their unique worth; they are not in competition (Proverbs 20:29 ). While advancing age results in diminishing strength (Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 ), God's grace and help are ever the same (Isaiah 46:4 ).
Many promises of the New Testament have special meaning for older persons (John 10:10; 1 Corinthians 15:55-58 ).
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Aging'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hbd/​a/aging.html. 1991.