4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. KJV
What does it mean to be a “keeper at home”?
That word is harder to define because it is found a total of one time in the Bible. So much for seeing how the word is used in other places in the Scripture.
But we can look at the Greek word and see what it literally means. Let us look at the Greek word that the King James Version is based on “oikourgos.”
oikourgos (oy-koor-gos’) or oikouros (oy-koo-ros’); from NT:3624 [oikos– meaning house or dwelling] and ouros (a guard; be “ware”); a stayer at home, i.e. domestically inclined (a “good housekeeper”):
KJV – keeper at home.
(Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
Greek words work a lot like English words in that you can break them apart in order to better understand them.
So here we have that women are to be a “guard of the home” or a “watchman of the home,” i.e. “keeper at home.”
Since we understand the term home or dwelling let’s look at the word “ouros.”
What does it mean to guard, watch or keep according to the Bible?
Here is an instance of the word “ouros” being used in the New Testament.
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” ESV
The “Gatekeeper” is literally “thura,” door, portal or gate, plus “ouros,” keeper.
Now think about this passage, the Gatekeeper is literally in charge of the door and is protecting the sheep while the shepherd is away.
The Gatekeeper does not let a stranger in to steal the sheep or to harm them. But the Gatekeeper opens the door to the Shepherd. Sounds like a pretty important position.
Do we keep our homes with the same diligence that the gatekeeper keeps the gate to the sheepfold?
Are we guarding our families from the influence and attacks of the enemy?
Who is home to see what is being watched on the TV?
Who knows who calls?
Who is making sure that no visitors are harming our families?
Who knows what video games are being played?
Who is teaching the family about the True Shepherd?
Who is home tending the sick or weak sheep?
Are you guarding your home with the same diligence that a “gatekeeper” would have used?
Do you really know the condition of your flock?
Proverbs 27:23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, ESV