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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
1 Peter 5



Verses 1-14

Encouragements to Shepherds and to Flock. Promise of God's Protection. Farewells

B. 1 Peter 5:1-5. 'To behave well in this trial you must preserve discipline. Let old and young, rulers and ruled, do their duty in love and humility, as men who have an eternal hope and a supreme invisible Lord.'

1. Elders] An official title among the Jews and in the early Church. From the Gk. for 'elder' 'priest' is derived, and from the Gk. for 'overseer' 'bishop.' In NT. however elders are not distinguished from bishops, as they soon afterwards were: cp. Acts 20:17, Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5, Titus 1:7. A witness] Gk. 'martyr,' not merely one who has seen, but one who bears witness to what he has seen: cp. Hebrews 12:1. The Apostles were to be witnesses: see Acts 1:8, Acts 1:22; John 15:27 cp. Acts 22:20; Acts 26:16; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 11:3; Revelation 17:6 and Revelation 1:5; Revelation 3:14, where Jesus Christ Himself is called 'the faithful witness.'

2. Feed] RV 'tend': cp. John 21:16; (RV).

3. Being lords over] RV 'lording it over': cp. Luke 22:25. God's heritage] RV 'the charge allotted to you.' From the Gk. word' 'clergy' is derived. Being ensamples] RV 'making yourselves,' etc.

4. The chief Shepherd] cp. 1 Peter 2:25; John 10:11.

A crown] RV 'the crown,' i.e. the wreath with which victors in such a contest as these elders expect to endure, may hope to be crowned: cp. 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 2:5; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:10.

5. Ye younger.. the elder] in the early Christian communities their actual age was a reason for the respect which the clergy received (1 Timothy 4:12; 1 Timothy 5:1; Philemon 1:9). Be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility] RV 'gird yourselves with humility, to serve one another.' An unusual word is used here, which might be translated 'knot round you.' Does St. Peter remember the Lord washing His disciples' feet with the towel knotted round Him (John 13:4.)? God resisteth, etc.] from Proverbs 3:34, quoted also in James 4:6.

1Peter 1 Peter 5:6-11. 'Humble yourselves, therefore, under the hand of God, whose might will be proved in the coming trial. Trust is part of humility. You have been taught to cast your burden of anxiety upon God (cp. Psalms 55:22): cast it all. Watch well. The real adversary you have to guard against is the great accuser, who with restless activity (cp. Job 1:7; Job 2:2) seeks to terrify you into your ruin. Resist him bravely in the trustful faith that your brothers throughout this world are joined with you in accomplishing the one divine purpose of all these sufferings. The trial, though sharp, is short, and through it God, whose gracious face is ever turned to you, and whose supremacy is eternal, shall bring you to perfection and security.'

D. 1 Peter 5:12-13, 'By Silvanus I have written this letter to you. I recommend him to you as one whom I account worthy to be called the faithful brother. The letter is a short one for, indeed, my affectionate exhortation, and my testimony as an Elder and Apostle can all be put thus briefly. The true grace of God. is manifested in the faithful conduct I have prescribed for you: stand fast therein. The people of God who are in this city like the captives in Babylon, yet in the purpose of God are one with you, send greeting, so does Mark, my spiritual son. Salute one another with the kiss which is the symbol of our Christian love.'

12. Silvanus] called Silas in Acts; the friend of St. Paul: see Acts 15, 16, 17, 18, 2 Corinthians 1:19; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1. Wherein ye stand] RV 'stand ye fast therein': cp. Galatians 5:1.

13. The church that is at Babylon] RV 'She that is in Babylon'; RM 'That is, The church, or. The sister.' The community, not a person, is probably meant: cp. 2 John 1:1. The Gk. has simply 'the.' Marcus] RV 'Mark.' John Mark the evangelist is no doubt meant, who became, according to tradition, St. Peter's companion and interpreter. My son] cp. 1 Timothy 1:2, 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 1:2; Galatians 4:19.

14. A kiss of charity] RV 'a kiss of love'; cp. Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

E. 1 Peter 5:14. Final blessing in which St. Peter uses the old Hebrew prayer for peace. This was the blessing he had heard his Lord use: cp. Matthew 10:12. Mark 5:34; Luke 2:14, Luke 2:29; John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26.

In Christ Jesus] RV 'Christ.' 'Christ Jesus,' so frequent in St. Paul's Epistles, is not used by St. Peter. For 'in Christ' see Intro. Amen] RV omits.


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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