Q 124 Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?

A.
By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents,[649] but all superiors in age[650] and gifts;[651] and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family,[652] church,[653] or commonwealth.[654]

[649] Proverbs 23:22, 25. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.... Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.

Ephesians 6:1-2. Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.

[650] 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

[651] Genesis 4:20-22. And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.

Genesis 45:8. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

[652] 2 Kings 5:13. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

[653] 2 Kings 2:12. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.

2 Kings 13:14. Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died. And Joash the king of Israel came down unto him, and wept over his face, and said, O my father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof.

Galatians 4:19. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

[654] Isaiah 49:23. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.