15 million Ukrainian are displaced by Russia's war.
Millions miss a meal or two each day.
Help us change that! Click to donate today!

Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

1 Peter 4

Verse 1

1 Peter 4:1 . Χριστοῦ , Christ ) who is the Lord of glory. σαρκὶ , with the flesh ) Shortly afterwards, ἐν σαρκὶ , in the flesh . [35] ὁπλίσασθε ) arm yourselves , against enemies. ὅτι ) because . This is that continual subject of reflection . Altogether, comp. Romans 6:6-11 . πέπανται ) has obtained a cessation , freedom.

[35] τὴν αὐτὴν ἔννοιαν , the same mine ) viz. of suffering with willingness. V. g.

Verse 2

1 Peter 4:2 . Εἰς τὸ , that he may live ) for it is connected with the words, He has obtained cessation . There is a connection between the word in the flesh , 1 Peter 4:1 , and in the flesh , 1 Peter 4:2 . Sin , 1 Peter 4:1 , shows itself in the desires [lusts], and suffering in the flesh reminds the man that the rest of his time in the flesh is at length about to have an end. ἀνθρώπων , of men ) those of yourselves and others. ἐπιθυμίαις , lusts or desires ) of various kinds: but the will of God is perfect. There is the same antithesis, 1 John 2:17 . βιῶσαι ) to live . An appropriate word. It is not used of the brute creation.

Verse 3

1 Peter 4:3 . Ἀρκετὸς , sufficeth ) A lowering of expression [MEIOSIS. See Append.]: for not even ought the past times to have been wasted in sins. At the same time a loathing of sin is expressed on the part of those who repent. κατεργάσασθαι , to have wrought ) namely, for you [36] to have wrought. This is shortly afterwards explained. πεπορευμένους , when ye walked ) advanced madly. The antithesis to this word is πορευθεὶς , He went and, is gone and , ch. 1 Peter 3:19 ; 1 Peter 3:22 . οἰνοφλυγίαις , κώμοις , πότοις , in excess of wine, revellings , and banquetings ) Those before mentioned are practised by individuals, these by clubs. ἀθεμίτοις , in abominations ) by which the most sacred law of God is violated: Romans 1:23-24 . εἰδωλολατρείαις , idolatries ) of various kinds. So, in the antithesis, the word manifold or various , 1 Peter 4:10 .

[36] Rec. Text reads ἡμῖν after ἀρκετὸς γάρ , with C alone of the oldest authorities But AB Vulg. and both Syr. omit ἡμῖν . So Beng. understands the “ you .” E.

Verse 4

1 Peter 4:4 . Ἐν ᾧ , in which ) while you determine that it is sufficient to have lived badly [in past time]. συντρεχόντων , running together with them ) in a troop, eagerly. τὴν αὐτὴν ) the same as they do up to this day, and as you did formerly with them. ἀνάχυσιν , confusion ) This is described in 1 Peter 4:3 . βλασφημοῦντες , speaking evil of you ) uttering against you reproaches, of pride, singularity, secret impiety, etc.

Verse 5

1 Peter 4:5 . Ἀποδώσουσι λόγου , shall give account ) in particular of their evil speaking: Jude 1:15 . τῷ ) to Christ. ἑτοίμως ἔχοντι , who is ready ) The apostles, when they do not professedly treat of the time of Christ’s coming, set forth that coming as close at hand to their expectation and piety: hence it is that Peter comprehends those who then reviled under the living , as though shortly about to be judged.

Verse 6

1 Peter 4:6 . Γὰρ , for ) The particle connects ready and is at hand , 1 Peter 4:5 ; 1 Peter 4:7 . The Judge is ready; for now that the Gospel is preached, nothing but the end remains. καὶ νεκροῖς , even to the dead ) Peter calls those dead who lived through the whole period of the New Testament, from the time that the Gospel was preached by the apostles after the ascension of Christ, especially concerning Christ the Judge , Acts 10:42 , and those whom the Judge, who is at any moment about to come, will find dead , and will restore to life, 1 Peter 4:5 . The Gospel is preached also to the living ; but he mentions the dead , because the saying, that they might be judged , etc., is especially accomplished in death. And from this very thing it is plain that the preaching of the Gospel which is meant, is before that death, and not subsequent to it. When the body is put off in death, the condition of the soul is altogether fixed, either for evil or for good. The Gospel is preached to no one after death. Christ Himself preached to those who had formerly lived, ch. 1 Peter 3:20 . In the New Testament there is preaching in abundance to those who are alive. The Lord sees respecting those to whom that preaching does not come in their life. εὐηγγελίσθη ) He , that is, Christ, was declared in the Gospel . While they were alive, He caused Himself to be preached to them by the Gospel. The Gospel is always preached at the present day: but Peter speaks in past time, for [ i.e. having respect to] the time of judgment[in relation to which the preaching will have been past ]; which, as we have said, he sees as it were close at hand. ἴνα , that ) The end and efficacy of the Gospel is, that men may be made like Christ in death and in life, ch. 1 Peter 3:18 . The way of salvation through Christ is both secured and made known to all: they who have believed are saved, and ought to be objects of imitation, not of reproach, to others; they who have not believed, nay, have even used reproaches, are justly punished. κριθῶσι ζῶσι , might be judged: might live ) They who receive the Gospel become like the death of Christ through repentance; and successively through (by means of) all adversities, even until the death of the body. That death is called a judgment , with reference to the old man; and to this judgment, distinguishing evil things from good, the faithful themselves readily subscribe: nor will they be liable to the dreadful universal judgment : 1 Peter 4:5 ; 1Pe 4:17-18 ; 1 Corinthians 11:32 . But the same also live with Christ: and they are said to live , not to be made alive ; because they have been made alive already together with Christ: ch. 1 Peter 3:18 , compared with Ephesians 2:5 . Respecting this judgment and life, comp. 1 Peter 4:1-3 ; for the faithful, while they are engaged in the flesh, already receive the beginning of these things. κατὰ ἀνθρώπους ) as far as relates to men ; for they are exempted from human affairs. κατὰ Θεὸν ) as far as relates to God ; for they live to God. πνεύματι , in spirit ) See ch. 1 Peter 3:18 , note.

Verse 7

1 Peter 4:7 . Πάντων ) of all things ; and therefore also of the arrogance of the wicked, and of the sufferings of the righteous. τέλος , the end ) when the number of the dead and living shall be complete: [in the last judgment. V. g.] οὖν , therefore ) He returns to exhortation; and in 1Pe 4:7-11 duties are opposed to the sins enumerated in 1 Peter 4:3 . For luxuries are opposed to the being sober and watchful; desires (“lusts”), to love; excesses in wine, revellings, banquetings , to hospitality; abominable idolatries, to the lawful ministering of heavenly gifts to the glory of the true God. καὶ νήψατε , and watch ) Temperance assists watchfulness, and each of them assists prayers: they who are removed from temperance are sleepy; and the sleepy are slothful as to prayer, even on this account, that they do not willingly take any time from their labour and the ordinary pursuits of life. προσευχὰς , prayers ) which are necessary at the last time.

Verse 8

1 Peter 4:8 . Τὴν ἀγάπην , love ) Love is already presupposed to exist: the injunction is, that it be more vehement. ὄτι ἀγάπη καλύπτει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν , because love covers a multitude of sins ) Proverbs 10:12 , Septuagint, πάντας δὲ τοὺς μὴ φιλονεικοῦντας καλύψει φιλία , friendship shall cover all that are not contentious . Comp. Proverbs 17:9 . He who greatly loves, covers the faults of him whom he loves, as many as they are: he turns away his own eyes from them, and, as far as is lawful, blinds others respecting them, and makes them the subject of prayer to God. And the Divine love attends such a love as this with aid and approbation, and rewards with a like return him also who loves: Matthew 6:14 . Love also is especially necessary on this account, because the Judge is at hand: James 5:9 . And they are blessed whom the end of all things finds without sins , except such as are covered .

Verse 9

1 Peter 4:9 . Εἰς ἀλλήλους , mutually ) This relates to those who dwelt in different cities or districts. γογγυσμῶν , murmurings ) These are avoided by preserving an equality of duties, or by not nicely weighing their inequality.

Verse 10

1 Peter 4:10 . Καθὼς , even as ) Understand shortly afterwards, so . αὐτὸ , that (gift) itself ) without striving after another. ποικίλης , [“manifold”] varied ) distributing various gifts, with reference to the speech, or ministering. See next verse.

Verse 11

1 Peter 4:11 . Ὡς λόγια Θεοῦ , as it were oracles ) that is, let him speak the things which God supplies , at the present time. ὡς ἐξ ἰσχύος , as out of the strength ) with activity. ἐν πᾶσι , in all things ) for all men and all things are of Him, and through Him, and to Him. ᾧ , to whom ) To God. There is a similar expression respecting Christ, 2 Peter 3:18 . ἠ δόξα , the glory ) for instance, of wisdom, which utters the oracles. τὸ κράτος , the strength ) which gives power to the righteous. The same doxology occurs, ch. 1 Peter 5:11 .

Verse 12

1 Peter 4:12 . Ἀγαπητοὶ , μὴ ξενίζεσθε , beloved, do not think it strange ) He exhorts them with love. A taste of the Divine power, which the preceding verses relate, forbids us to be offended as by a strange thing . For adversities to befall the saints is, in one point of view, something strange ; for they are sons of God: in another, it is not strange ; for it is adapted to them, for their purification [lit. seasoning ]. πυρώσει , the burning ) ch. 1 Peter 1:7 . πρὸς πειρασμὸν ) which is not except for trial . ὑμῖν , to you ) The dativus commodi. γινομένῃ , when it takes place ) by Divine counsel. συμβαίνοντος , happening ) accidentally.

Verse 13

1 Peter 4:13 . Καθὸ , even as) Glory answers to the measure of sufferings, but much more abundantly. κοινωνεῖτε , ye are partakers ) willingly. παθήμασι , in the sufferings ) 1 Peter 4:1 . χαίρετε , ἵνα , rejoice, that ) That , here, is more than if he had said ὅνα , because . By joy and desire we attain to joy and gladness. Comp. ἵνα , that , John 8:56 . The reward of joyful patience is had regard to here. ἀγαλλιώμενοι , with exulting joy ) then free from all suffering.

Verse 14

1 Peter 4:14 . Εἰ ὀνειὸίζεσθε ἐν ὁνόματι Χριστοῦ , if ye are reproached in the name of Christ ) The Gentiles thought it a reproach if they called any one a Christian : 1 Peter 4:16 . τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ Πνεῦμα , the Spirit of glory and of God ) The same Spirit which was on Christ: Luke 4:18 . He is here called the Spirit of glory , overcoming all the reproaches of the world, and the Spirit of God , whose Son is Jesus Christ. The abstract, glory , is put for the concrete; as 2 Peter 1:17 ; 2 Peter 1:3-4 . The article τὸ is with great force put twice, as Apocalypse, Revelation 21:6 . And glory may be taken so as to be ἕν διὰ δυοῖν , Glory and God , that is, the God of glory , or as an appellation of Christ (comp. 1 Peter 4:16 , as a Christian , and 1 Peter 4:13 ; James 2:1 , note); and it may be implied that the Spirit of Christ is also the Spirit of God the Father. The faithful, deeply feeling joy, experience the same Spirit sometimes as the Spirit of Glory and sometimes as the Spirit of God, in a different sense, the difference of which the Spirit itself reveals. ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἀναπαύεται , rests upon you ) That spirit is upon the righteous even before they suffer reproaches; but then they are more confirmed on this very account, and receive more abundant consolations of the Spirit: Numbers 11:25-26 , ἐπανεπαύσατο ἐπʼ αὐτοὺς τὸ πνεῦμα , the spirit rested upon them . βλασφημεῖται , He is evil spoken of ) namely, Christ. δοξάζεται , He is glorified ) in the midst of your reproaches, 1 Peter 4:16 . He writes from his own experience. Comp. Acts 5:41 .

Verse 15

1 Peter 4:15 . Μὴ γὰρ , for not ) The particle for gives the reason why the Lord is glorified in those who suffer. For it presupposes that they have it as a settled principle in themselves, to wish to suffer in no other way than as Christians; and not to commit anything contrary to this, which is deserving of punishment. There is a similar imperative, ch. 1 Peter 3:3 . ὡς φονεὺς , as a murderer ) Disgraceful titles. ἢ ὡς ἀλλοτριοεπίσκοπος , as one who pries into the business of others ) The particle as , repeated here only, makes a wide separation between the man who pries into the business of others, and the classes of evil-doers (here mentioned); hut still it also distinguishes him from the Christian. Such are they who thrust themselves into business, whether public or private, sacred or civil, with which they have no concern, as though they were impelled by great prudence and faithfulness, and hatred of the wickedness of the world. Men of this kind often incur ill will from the world, and more so than they deserve (especially from those in power, and who less readily endure just advisers and inspectors, than such as are like themselves); and thus they easily meet with sufferings . And this might especially happen in the case of heathen magistrates.

Verse 16

1 Peter 4:16 . Μὴ αἰσχυνέσθω , let him not be ashamed ) although the world is ashamed of shame δοξαζέτω , let him glorify ) Peter might have said, with the force of an antithesis, let him esteem it an honour to himself: but he teaches that the honour is to be resigned to God. Let him glorify God, who regards man as worthy of the honour of sufferings, and who at the same time bestows upon him a great benefit, together with an exemption from the punishments of the wicked, which are about to come upon them. There is a similar antithesis in Psalms 79:12-13 , Let our enemies be put to shame: let the Lord be glorified . ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ , [37] in this part ) i.e. in respect of sufferings which are of a better kind. See next verse.

[37] The reading ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ , which had not been approved of by the larger Ed., is openly preferred by Exodus 2:0 , and is confidently exhibited in the Germ. Vers. E. B.

Ὀνόματι is the reading of AB Vulg. Μέρει is read by Rec. Text on inferior authority. E.

Verse 17

1 Peter 4:17 . Ὁ καιρὸς , the time ) that is, now is . τοῦ ἄρξασθαι τὸ κρίμα , that judgment should begin ) It is one and the same judgment from the time of the preaching of the Gospel by the apostles until the last judgment . Ἄρξασθαι , a middle verb. ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴου τοῦ Θεοῦ , from the house of God ) that is, the Church, ch. 1 Peter 2:5 . Judgment begins from this with a mild beginning: Jeremiah 25:29 ; Jeremiah 49:12 ; Ezekiel 9:6 . τί τὸ τέλος , what shall be the end ) The judgment, which is more tolerable at the beginning, gradually becomes more severe. The righteous, having gone through their part, behold with security the miseries of the wicked: the wicked, while they afflict the righteous, fill up their own measure, and learn what their own portion will be; but the righteous better know this, and therefore they are patient.

Verse 18

1 Peter 4:18 . Καὶ εἰδίκαιος φανεῖται ; and if the righteous appear? ) Proverbs 11:31 , Septuagint, εἰμὲν δίκαιος μόλις σώζεται , ὁ ἀσεβὴς καὶ ἁμαρτωλὸς ποῦ φανεῖται ; Very heavy chastisements are inflicted upon the righteous, when they at any time meanwhile offend: how much heavier punishments shall the wicked suffer? The persecution of Nero preceded the calamity of the Jews by a few years. The righteous, the ungodly, and the sinner . A semi-double sentence. [38] A man is righteous with reference to his neighbour, ungodly with reference to God, a sinner with reference to himself. We must therefore supply, by the force of the opposites in the first proposition, εὐσεβὴς , godly ; and ὅσιος , holy: in the second proposition, ἄδικος , unjust . μόλις ) with difficulty [Comp. Matthew 25:5 ; Mat 25:9 ]. This is softened, 2 Peter 1:11 , πλουσίως , abundantly .

[38] See Append. on SEMIDUPLEX ORATIO. E.

Verse 19

1 Peter 4:19 . Καὶ οἱ πάσχοντες , even those who suffer ) Καὶ , even , with the force of a concession. Καὶ , even , with a participle, is the same as εἰ καὶ , and if [even though]; with a verb, εἰ καὶ πάσχοιτε , and if [ even though ] ye suffer , ch. 1 Peter 3:14 . We ought not to conceive distrust from suffering. κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ Θεοῦ , according to the will of God ) on account of doing the will of God in a different manner from evil-doers, who suffer according to the will of God, inasmuch as God wills them to be punished: 1 Peter 4:15 . The will of God is in Christ. πιστῷ κτίστῃ , to a faithful Creator ) to Him to whom souls are safely committed, who does not even at the first [at the earliest time that He might in each instance] send upon us sufferings for our injury. Let the supra-Lapsarians see how they recognise a Creator faithful towards all. παρατιθέσθωσαν , let them commit ) as a deposit , not alarmed, but rather gladdened by sufferings, since they receive them to their advantage. ψυχὰς , their souls ) although the body appears to perish. ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐα , in well-doing ) This should be the one and only care of those who suffer, both to act well and to suffer well: He will take care of the rest. To be taken with let them commit . Well-doing always has confidence united to it: ch. 1 Peter 3:6 ; 1 John 3:22 .

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Peter 4". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.