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1 Timothy 5:24

ESV The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later.
NIV The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them.
NASB The sins of some people are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after.
CSB Some people's sins are obvious, preceding them to judgment, but the sins of others surface later.
NLT Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.
KJV Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

What does 1 Timothy 5:24 mean?

Verses 24 and 25 form a conclusion to Paul's section regarding the treatment of elders in the church. Four categories of people are mentioned, with the first two groups in this verse. It's important to keep the immediate context in mind, which is really that of verse 22. There, Timothy is warned to be cautious in who he installs as an elder, while avoiding impurity through sins.

First, Paul writes about those whose sins are obvious and known to all. This means those whose flaws and errors are already known to the world, before being revealed and judged in eternity (Matthew 12:36). The same general idea applies also to good works: some are clear and obvious to all.

The second category refers to those sins which are hidden, obscured, or simply undiscovered. This is the primary reason Timothy was commanded not to be in a careless rush when choosing elders (1 Timothy 5:22). Unlike elders worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17), some men were especially clever at concealing their sins. In their case, their sins "appear later," meaning they will eventually be known, either in this life or after death.
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