1 Timothy 5:9
Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
Note 24 at 1Ti 5:9: The phrase "the number" specifies a select group of women for whom the church became financially responsible (see note 10 at 1Ti 5:3). This does not mean that we Christians are not supposed to show benevolence to others who do not meet these requirements. We should help those in need even if they do not meet all the requirements Paul imposed here. Those for whom the church assumes total liability must reach a higher standard.
Note 25 at 1Ti 5:9: This is an interesting requirement for widows who are to be supported by the church. They have to be at least sixty years old! Paul gave an explanation for this in 1Ti 5:11-12 (see note 30 at 1Ti 5:11 and notes 31-32 at 1Ti 5:12). In those verses, he said that the younger widows will marry and forsake their first faith. He went on to say in 1Ti 5:13 that younger widows also tend to be idle, tattlers, and busybodies. These are strong words that may offend many younger widows today.
Note 26 at 1Ti 5:9: The requirement for the widows to have "been the wife of one man" probably refers to her having been faithful to her husband. This is the way the New International Version translates this verse - "No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband."