1 Timothy 5;9 KJV
9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man
Is Paul saying that widows should be widowed once so as to qualify for church support.
Is this a proper reading of the text?
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γεγονυια ενος ανδρος γυνη
being . . . of one man . . . wife [EGNT]
... having been the wife of one man [KJV]
... having been a wife of one husband [YLT]
A widow approaching, or being recommended to, the church as a suitable candidate for financial support, having no nephews or other dependants to support her would be asked two questions.
What is your age ? How many men have you been married to ?
The answers are to be '60'(or more) and 'one'.
My understanding of both Greek and English indicates to me that your surmise was correct and that your reading of the text was the proper one. And I think that EGNT, KJV and YLT all agree with you.
"taken into the number" clearly doesn't refer to the number of the elect/[objectively speaking] Christians. "Widow," as "virgins" (plural, and as a class within the Church) in the primitive Church, as in the Medieval, refers to a class of religious life, what we now call 'nuns'—not as cloistered, but as a devoted-to-God class who dedicate their life to God in that specific way (not as later developments evolved into cloistered nuns specificlly, as developed, but nonetheless as a class of people who dedicated their virginity or widowhood to God as a real-life life sacrifice).
Judith 15:11 (DRB) For thou hast done manfully, and thy heart has been strengthened, because thou hast loved chastity, and after thy husband hast not known any other: therefore also the hand of the Lord hath strengthened thee, and therefore thou shalt be blessed for ever.
1 Corinthians 7:28 (DRB) But if thou take a wife, thou hast not sinned. And if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned: nevertheless, such shall have tribulation of the flesh. But I spare you.
St. Paul considered it, almost reluctantly, as a concession, to not be "sin" if you don't refrain from relations in marriage. Which means he viewed virginity/abstinance as superior ("if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned") to Holy Matrimony (marriage).
This produces, and was taken as in any case, a call to virgin or chaste life. See Christian history.
I cannot see any discouragement from re-marrying here. In other places, Paul encourages women to marry (1 Cor 7:9, 36). All that might be implied in 1 Tim 5:9 is simply that the widow, to qualify for support, must have been the wife of only one husband (at a time) and not been divorced (Mal 2:16). Jesus set out the only valid grounds for separation (Matt 19:1-12) on which Paul expanded in 1 Cor 7.
Therefore, all that Paul is saying here is if the widow is a lady in good standing as far as her marriage history is concerned, she is eligible for church support.