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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
1 Peter 5

 

 

Verses 1-4

Submission as Elders to the Chief Shepherd - 1 Peter 5:1-4 contains Peter's charge to church leaders, giving them guidelines on how to rule over God's flock so that they will receive a reward for their stewardship. His charge is reminiscent of Jesus' charge to Peter in John 21:21-25 to feed His sheep.

Illustration- Note a similar charge by King David to those who rule over the people of Israel in his last prophetic words:

2 Samuel 23:3-4, "The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain."

1 Peter 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:

1 Peter 5:1 — "who am also an elder" - Comments- Peter is called an "elder" by the early Church historian Eusebius.

"If, then, any one came, who had been a follower of the elders, I questioned him in regard to the words of the elders, what Andrew or what Peter said, or what was said by Philippians , or by Thomas, or by James , or by John , or by Matthew , or by any other of the disciples of the Lord, and what things Aristion and the presbyter John , the disciples of the Lord, say. For I did not think that what was to be gotten from the books would profit me as much as what came from the living and abiding voice." (Ecclesiastical History 3394)

1 Peter 5:1 — "and a witness of the sufferings of Christ" - Comments- In 1Peter 5 :1 Peter says that he was an eyewitness of Christ's sufferings. This implies that Peter observed Jesus' scourging and His crucifixion.

1 Peter 5:2Comments- The apostle Peter bases his plea upon (1) his authority as an elder and as an eyewitness of Christ's sufferings, and (2) his partaking of the glories of His Second Coming.

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

1 Peter 5:2Comments - Jesus Christ commanded Peter to shepherd God's sheep ( John 21:15-17). Peter now hands this same responsibility to those under him.

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God"s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

1 Peter 5:4Comments- 1 Peter 5:4 implies that there is a special blessing for all those who are faithful stewards of the leadership offices in the body of Christ. This verse also reveals the underlying theme of this Epistle, which is the office and ministry of God the Father, who has elected us unto an eternal hope in glory.

Perhaps the best explanation that I have heard of what a crown represents comes from Marietta Davis' book Caught Up Into Heaven, which says, "Their crowns represented the starry heavens, being miniature expressions of the wreathed universes that encircle the throne of the Infinite One." 113] It represents the fact that we shall one day rule and reign with Christ Jesus in Heaven.

113] Marietta Davis, Caught Up Into Heaven (New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1982), 126.


Verses 1-9

Submission to Authority within the Church- Peter then returns to his exhortation towards submission among the congregation and to God as Head of the Church ( 1 Peter 5:1-9). He earlier dealt with submission to those in authority within society ( 1 Peter 2:13 to 1 Peter 3:7), followed by an exhortation to endure suffering from these unbelievers ( 1 Peter 3:8 to 1 Peter 4:19), since persecutions are often inflicted from a pagan society. Now Peter deals with submission within the body of Christ as an expression of the love walk.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Submission as Elders — 1 Peter 5:1-4

2. Submission as young people — 1 Peter 5:5 a

3. Submission to one another — 1 Peter 5:5 b, c

4. Submission to God to resist the Devil — 1 Peter 5:6-9


Verse 5

1 Peter 5:5 a — Submission as Young People - The youth are to submit to the older believers.

1 Peter 5:5 b, c — Submission to One Another - We are to submit to one another as an expression of true humility.

1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

1 Peter 5:5"Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder" - Comments- How do younger men (and women) submit to elders? One way is to make things right with others through apologies and confessions of wrong actions and motives. Another way is to follow their wise instructions.

1 Peter 5:5 — "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility" - Comments- In 1 Peter 5:1-5 Peter has exhorted elders to take charge over God's flock, and for the younger to be subject to these elders. As it happens so often within the body of Christ, people can take such instructions to an extreme and misuse these privileges. Therefore, Peter closes this passage by bringing all things into proper balance and perspective by telling everyone, whether small or great, that humility should be exercised at all times to all people.

In Rick Joyner's two books, The Final Quest and The Call he discusses numerous times the cloak of humility that he was given to wear while being caught up into the heavenlies. This cloak was of drab colors and looked unattractive compared to the glorious angels around him. Thus, at one point he started to take it off, but regretted the results of such an attempt. We can picture this phrase "clothed with humility" illustrated when Jesus arose from the supper table, laid aside His garment, and wrapped a towel around Himself and began to wash the disciples' feet. 114]

114] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999); Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977).

John 13:4, "He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself."

1 Peter 5:5 — "for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" - Comments- 1 Peter 5:5 quotes from Proverbs 3:34 using the LXX.

"The Lord resists the proud; but he gives grace to the humble." (LXX)

Proverbs 3:34, "Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly." (KJV)


Verses 6-9

Submission to God to Resist the Devil - Once we learn submission to our fellow Prayer of Manasseh , we are walking in the humility necessary to live humbly before the Lord so that we can resist the works of darkness. The Devil cannot touch those who walk in love ( 1 John 5:18).

1 John 5:18, "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not."

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

1 Peter 5:6 — "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God" - Comments- The way we humble ourselves under God's mighty hand is expressed in the preceding verses ( 1 Peter 5:1-5), which is to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord. When we walk in humility towards one another, we are in fact humbling ourselves towards God. The phrase "mighty hand of God" is figuratively used to refer to His almighty power to intervene in the affairs of those who humble themselves before Him. When we are helpless to change the difficult circumstances around us, such as persecutions, which is emphasized in 1Peter, God is able to intervene and deliver us.

1 Peter 5:6 — "that he may exalt you in due time" - Comments- Having served the Lord for about twenty years, I have had to go through a number of times in my life when the Lord called me out of one job or ministry into a new phase of ministry. The Lord exalts us in his own season, but He will not exalt us until we are at a place in our Christian life where we are ready for the new responsibility. This new promotion does not come from the Lord until we have humbled ourselves and been faithful in the previous phase of ministry.

It had been my experience that when we have faithful in the area of service that we are currently in, we will begin to feel restless. By that I mean we will begin to sense that we are no longer comfortable where we are. We lose the energy and the desire to continue in this work. But it is not time yet to leave. As we wait on the Lord, He will begin to speak to our hearts and give us conformation that a change is coming. It is not time to quit our present employment. It is a time to continue and be faithful until the Lord opens a new door. At that time, you are ready for the change, and you do not have to struggle in prayer for answers, for the Lord has already prepared you for such a change.

God"s time to promote, or exalt us, is the best time. If we will allow God to open the doors in our lives, we will find ourselves walking in his perfect will. If we make the changes ourselves, we will find ourselves out of God"s will trying to do things that we are not able to do nor equipped to do.

The key to promotion from the Lord is to be faithful where we are at. This requires us to daily humble ourselves in the positions that we are serving in.

1 Peter 5:6Comments- The Lord is not against man being exalted. He is against man exalting himself.

1 Peter 5:6Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 15:33, "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

1 Peter 5:7 — "Casting all your care upon him" - Comments- This verse does not tell us to cast some of our cares upon Him, and some of them upon man. He will carry this load with us, but man is limited in his ability to care. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

"My child, do not share thy burdens with all who come unto thee profession concern. Lo, I, Myself, am the great burden-bearer. Ye need not look for another. I will lead thee and guide thee in wisdom from above. All things shall be as I plan them, if ye allow Me the freedom to shape circumstances and lead thee to the right decisions." 115]

115] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 17.

"My child, lean thy head upon My bosom. Well I know thy weariness, and every burden I would lift. Never bury thy griefs; but offer them up to Me. Thou wilt relieve thy soul of much strain if ye can lay every care in My hand. Never cling to any trouble, hoping to resolve it thyself, but turn it over to Me; and in doing Song of Solomon , ye shall free Me to work it out." 116]

116] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 18.

1 Peter 5:7Comments- You cannot cast your cares upon the Lord before first humbling yourself before God, as mentioned in the preceding verse ( 1 Peter 5:6).

If the Lord tells us to cast all of our cares upon Him, then He is concerned about each one of them. Now, every worry we may cast upon Him is not necessarily important; thus, the Scriptures tell us that He cares for us. That Isaiah , our redemption and well being is what God is focused upon, while He helps us sort through those things in life that we consider important. He has a way of bringing us into maturity so that we no longer worry about the things that used to bother us, and we no longer pursue the things we did while immature.

1 Peter 5:7Scripture Reference- 1 Peter 5:7 is similar to 1 Peter 4:19.

1 Peter 4:19, "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator."

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

1 Peter 5:8 — "seeking whom he may devour" - Comments- This phrase means that he cannot devour everyone. He cannot devour those are sober and vigilant. Otherwise, this verse would read, "seeking whomsoever he chooses to devour." We see method of seeking in Job 1:7 when Satan said he was going "to and fro" upon the earth.

1 Peter 5:8Comments- Peter certainly knew from experience the deceptiveness of Satan. Jesus had warned him of Satan's desire to have Peter deny the Lord Jesus Christ ( Luke 22:31-32), and still he yielded to this temptation.

Luke 22:31-32, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."

Illustration- In the mid-1980"s, a windstorm came thru Panama City, Florida. Jack Emerson had just purchased a new car. That night, it was parked in his driveway. The strong wind blew over a telephone pole onto the car and damaged it. Earlier that night, the Lord had quickened Jack to get up and pray. He had failed to do so. The next morning, he went out to find his car with a telephone pole lying on top of it. In frustration, he asked the Lord why the pole fell on his car, and not next door, onto the property of his very, lost and sinful neighbor. The Lord quickly spoke to him these words, "A king does not war against a city that he has already conquered." The incident was then understood.

Illustration- One morning I watched an ant crawl down a window screen. Suddenly a spider ten times his size rushed out and latched onto him. But the ant managed to get loose and walked on. The spider attacked again, but the ant got out of his clutches again and carried on, unscathed. This ant was ready and armored for the sudden attack of the enemy.

1 Peter 5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

1 Peter 5:9"Whom resist steadfast in the faith" - Word Study on "resist" - This is the same Greek word used in James 4:7.

James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Word Study on "steadfast" - The word "steadfast" can mean, "immovable, unable to be shaken or moved about, to stand your ground and not give in."

Comments- The phrase "in the faith" refers to standing upon God's Word. Kenneth Hagin says that you will only defeat the devil when you've got a foundation of God's Word and you act upon it. He then says, "Your level of faith is directly related to the degree of God's Word dwelling in your heart, that Isaiah , that Word which is reality to you and in which you are daily walking." 117] For example, in meetings where faith is high and the gifts of the Spirit are moving, it is much easier to receive one's healing. However, people often lose their healing weeks later because they do not have the faith within themselves to stand on. Satan may put these lying symptoms back on their bodies and the person is overcome again with the same infirmity that he was delivered from during the meeting. They lost it because they did not know their authority in Christ Jesus.

117] Kenneth Hagin, The Believer's Authority (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1984, 1992), 62.

We cannot resist the devil when we are weak in faith. Believers often go out and try something because they saw someone else do it successfully. It will only work when God's Word in that area has become a spiritual truth to you.

Comments- Until you have had enough, the devil has not. He will be right where he has been unless the Church drives him out. The Lord once spoke to a missionary regarding India and said that there are areas in this nation where the devil has never been challenged by the Church.

Benny Hinn tells this testimony. In 1996 he has a vision of a demon trying to come after him. The next day this vision was repeated. Then the Lord said to him that if you will pray, I would stop this demon from coming against you. If you do not pray, then I cannot stop this demon. 118]

118] Benny Hinn, This is Your Day (Irving, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

1 Peter 5:9"knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world" - Comments- During trials by Satan, affliction must be endured. If in sickness, endure for victory. If in human persecution, endure till death or deliverance.

1 Peter 5:9Comments- Note that this insight into the character is that of a roaring lion. In each passage of the Scriptures that Satan is discussed, it is in light of the theme of that passage. We know that the theme of 1Peter is that of the perseverance of the saints against persecutions from without. Therefore, this passage reveals to us how Satan tries to hinder or stop the perseverance of saints along their spiritual journey through sudden fear.

In contrast, we see the role of Satan in the book of Ephesians as a ruler over the children of disobedience. This is because the theme of Ephesians is God's eternal plan for man and the calling of the believer to exercise his divine authority in order to fulfill God's calling in his life. This is why the last chapter of Ephesians teaches the saints how to conduct spiritual warfare.

1 Peter 5:8-9Comments- The Believer's Authority- 1 Peter 5:8-9 teaches us that every believer has been given authority over the devil. Peter did not tell them to send a message to Paul that prayer clothes be sent to them. Peter told these believers that they themselves had the same authority that Peter and Paul had to cast the devil out of their lives. Note this parallel passage in the first epistle of Peter. Note the parallel passage in James.

James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."


Verses 10-14

Conclusion- 1 Peter 5:10-14 serves as the conclusion of the epistle of 1Peter. In his closing remarks he gives a benediction, which actually summarizes the theme of his epistle ( 1 Peter 5:10-11) and then gives his closing farewell greetings ( 1 Peter 5:12-14).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Benediction — 1 Peter 5:10-11

2. Final Greetings — 1 Peter 5:12-14

1 Peter 5:10-11 — Benediction - In 1 Peter 5:10-11 we have a closing benediction.

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

1 Peter 5:10 — "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus," - Comments- The Lord once said to me, "Long for the hope of eternal glory with Me, for this glory has been My past."

1 Peter 5:10 — "after that ye have suffered a while" - Comments- We do not like the word "suffer." But it is often the times of trials coupled with our patience endurance the effects the most change in us. It may be in the long discipline of obtaining a college degree, or it may be learning how to cope with a divorce or the loss of a loved one. However, in all of our efforts to behave ourselves in a godly manner when suffering, we find ourselves becoming a strong person.

1 Peter 5:10Comments- In these concluding remarks in 1 Peter 5:10 we again see the same emphasis upon the office and ministry of God the Father in calling us into His eternal glory as is reflected in his opening remarks. Peter opened this Epistle by referring to the Father's election, and closes with our role of having to suffer in order to partake of this divine election. We are able to endure such suffering through the hope of eternal life that Peter mentions by weaving this primary theme of the need to persevere throughout the Epistle.

1 Peter 5:11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 5:12-14 — Final Greetings - In 1 Peter 5:12-14 he gives final greetings to his recipients.

1 Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.

1 Peter 5:12 — "By Silvanus" - Comments- Silvanus ( σιλουανό ς) (G 4610) was the Roman name of one of Paul's close traveling companions. Although Paul and Peter use this Roman name when referring to him in their epistles, we also know him in the book of Acts by his Jewish name Silas. His first appearance in Scriptures takes place in Acts 15 during the Jerusalem council where he is identified as a leader ( Acts 15:22) in the Jerusalem church, and a prophet ( Acts 15:32). He was chosen along with Judas Barsabas to accompany Paul and Barnabas back to the church in Antioch in order to place into effect some guidelines for Gentile Christians. He moved about with Paul during his second missionary journey and is last identified with Paul in Acts 18:5 where he and Timothy meet Paul in Corinth. Paul will refer to him in his two epistles to the church at Thessalonica ( 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:1) and in his second epistle to the Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 1:19). We also find his name mentioned as "faithful brother" and bearer of Peter's first epistle ( 1 Peter 5:12).

1 Peter 5:13Comments- These remarks in 1 Peter 5:13 about Silvanus, or Silas as he was also known in the book of Acts , indicated that he served as Peter's amanuensis or secretary, and that he may well have delivered this epistle to the churches of Asia Minor.

1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.

1 Peter 5:14 — "The church that is at Babylon… saluteth you" - Comments (1) - We must evaluate whether Peter was using this name "Babylon" in its literal sense, or metaphorically. The arguments in favor of Rome are:

A. The Early Church Fathers- The early Church fathers favored Rome as its place of writing. Ancient Church tradition favors a metaphorical interpretation of the word "Babylon." For example, Eusebius tells us that Peter wrote his first epistle while in Rome.

"And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon, as he does in the following words: ‘The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.'" (Ecclesiastical History 2152)

Jerome agrees with this interpretation of Babylon.

"Peter also mentions this Mark in his first epistle, figuratively indicating Rome under the name of Babylon "She who is in Babylon elect together with you saluteth you and so doth Mark my son." (Lives of Illustrious Men 8)

B. There is No Evidence that Peter Ever Visited Babylon- It is improbable that Peter ever visited Babylon, since there is no historical account of such a visit. Although the ancient city Babylon held a prominent role in Old Testament history, it held little importance during the Roman era. According to Josephus there was a large Jewish population that lived in ancient Babylon, located along the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia (Antiquities 1522; 1531), which is somewhat confirmed by Philo of Alexandria; 119] but it was probably disseminated toward the end of the reign of Caligula around A.D 40 (Antiquities 1891-9). In addition, there is no evidence that a church was ever located in Babylon. However, many scholars who argue for a literal interpretation believe that Babylon did have a significant amount of Jews residing there, and that it served as the center of the Eastern Jewish Diaspora.

119] Philo writes, "I say nothing of the countries beyond the Euphrates, for all of them except a very small portion, and Babylon, and all the satrapies around, which have any advantages whatever of soil or climate, have Jews settled in them." (On the Virtues and Office of Ambassadors 36) See C. D. Yonge, The Works of Philo Judaeus, the Contemporary of Josephus, vol 4 (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1855), 161.

C. The Name "Babylon" Was Used Metaphorically in Ancient Times- The name "Babylon" was used as a designation for the city of Rome on numerous occasions, both in the Scriptures, in the Old Testament Apocrypha and by the early Church fathers. For example, we note that John the apostle used the term "Babylon" metaphorically of the city of Rome in his book of Revelation ( Revelation 14:8; Revelation 16:19; Revelation 17:5; Revelation 18:2; Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:21), in which he also used the term "Sodom and Egypt" metaphorically to refer to Jerusalem ( Revelation 11:8). We can also note that Paul likened Hagar and Mount Sinai to Jerusalem ( Galatians 4:25). When we look in the Old Testament, we find Isaiah calling Jerusalem by the figurative names "Sodom" and "Gomorrah" ( Isaiah 1:10). Jeremiah compares Jerusalem to Sodom and Gomorrah ( Jeremiah 23:14). In addition, Barry Smith provides a list of metaphorical uses of the word Babylon in the Old Testament Apocryphal writings (2Bar 10:1-2; 11:1; 67:7; 4Ezra 3:1-2, 28, 31; Sib. Or 5143, 158-59). 120] One reason for Peter using the term "Babylon" metaphorically is because of the danger he may have placed the church at Rome in danger by identifying their existence in the city of Rome.

120] Barry D. Smith, The New Testament and its Context: The First Letter of Peter (Crandall University, 2009) [on-line]; accessed 5 September 2010; available from http://www.abu.nb.ca/courses/ntintro/1Pet.htm; Internet.

However, many scholars believe that a literal interpretation should be accepted within the text because there is no suggestion of figurative language within Peter's first epistle. Yet, we can object to this statement because Peter does use the phrase "Diaspora" in a broad since to refer to the Church rather than the Jews who were dispersed abroad.

The term "Babylon" was most likely applied to Rome because this city was the seat of the Roman Empire where the center of widespread opposition and persecution against Christianity began, much like Babylon in ancient times was the seat of persecutions and destruction upon Jerusalem. In addition, for the Jews the term "Babylon" represented a place of exile, which would have appropriately applied to the early Church in the hostile environment of the Roman Empire. Thus, Peter could have accurately called his readers "strangers and pilgrims" living in a land of exile and persecutions.

According to the Greek historian Strabo (63 B.C. to A.D 24), there was also a lesser known city called Babylon, located near modern-day Cairo in Egypt, which served as a Roman military outpost in ancient times; 121] but because this city played no significant role in ancient history, and because there is no indication of a church in this location for the first four centuries, this place is not seriously considered by modern scholarship.

121] Strabo writes, "And, having sailed farther up the river [the Nile], one comes to Babylon, a stronghold, where some Babylonians had withdrawn in revolt and then successfully negotiated for permission from the kings to build a settlement; but now it is an encampment of one of the three legions that guard Aegypt." (Geography 17130) See The Geography of Strabo, vol 8, trans. Horace Leonard Jones, in The Loeb Classical Library, eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse (London: William Heinemann, c 1932, 1967), 85-86.

In summary, it is widely believed by modern scholarship that Peter was using the term "Babylon" as a symbolic name for Rome, who became the persecutor of the Church during this period in history. However, there are still credible scholars who understand the name to be used in a literal sense.

Comments (2) - The first kingdom in the history of mankind was started by Nimrod, who founded the kingdom of Babel. This is the first time that man forces his rule over other cultures and nations. The context of chapter 11of Genesis reveals from the story of the tower of Babel that this kingdom was a rebellious kingdom, in defiance against God. It is out of this same people that the kingdom of Assyria will one day rise and destroy the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 B.C. It is the same spiritual force of Satan that will one day conquer southern Judah in 596 B.C. under the rule of Nebuchadnezzer. Peter recognized this as the same spirit that raised up the Roman Empire and will launch large-scale persecutions against the Church until the time of Constantine. It is the spirit that raised up Islam to persecute the Jews and Christians. It is the same spirit of anti-christ that John the apostle mentions in his first epistle. He refers to Babylon as the major foe against the Lord in the book of Revelation.

Peter used this title for the city of Rome in the same sense that Jesus called John the Baptist by the name of Elijah, since John bore the same spirit as Elijah bore.

Matthew 11:14, "And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come."

Luke refers to the "spirit of Elijah."

Luke 1:17, "And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

It is the same spiritual force that will rise up in the last days in the book of Revelation in the form of the antichrist. John refers to the "spirit of antichrist" in his first epistle.

1 John 4:3, "And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

As the ancient kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon were anti-Semitic, so is the Babylon found in the book of Revelations. It is the powers of darkness at war against God's people, both Jews and Christians alike. The New Testament refers to different types of spirits, such as unclean spirit, spirits of infirmity, spirits of divination, deaf and dumb spirits, seducing spirits, etc. The spirit of antichrist is a particular spirit that will focus on making war against the children of God. 1 John 4:3 tells us that this spirit is already in the world and has been making war with God's children since his day. Jesus describes the antichrist when He told His disciples, "that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

John 16:2, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service."

Jesus also refers to this spirit in Matthew 24-25.

Matthew 24:9, "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name"s sake."

1 Peter 5:14 — "elected together with you" - Comments- The word "elect" using in the closing greetings of 1Peter is the same word used in its opening verse when Paul addressed the "elect strangers scattered throughout the Diaspora of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Thus, the underlying theme of the office and ministry of God the Father's office and ministry in our perseverance of divine election is reflected in the opening and closing verses of this Epistle, as well as being woven throughout it.

1 Peter 5:14 — "and so doth Marcus my son" - Comments- According to Eusebius, Papias (A.D. c 60-130), bishop of Hierapolis, said that John Mark was a follower of Peter, and wrote his Gospel based upon the memoirs of Peter. He says that those who followed Peter"s teachings were so overwhelmed at the apostle"s death in Rome that they besought John Mark , who was also a close follower of Peter, to record the Gospel that Peter had taught them. They so prevailed upon John Mark that he consented and wrote his Gospel. 122] Jerome calls John Mark "the disciple and interpreter of Peter." 123] John Mark was the nephew to Barnabas ( Colossians 4:10); and there is Scriptural evidence that Peter may have been paternally related to John Mark as well ( 1 Peter 5:13). However, it is generally agreed that John Mark's relationship to Peter was a close spiritual bond, so that the use of the phrase "Marcus my son" meant that John Mark was a convert or disciple or assistant to Peter. Paul calls Timothy and Titus his sons in a spiritual sense ( 1 Timothy 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:18, 2 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 2:1, Titus 1:4).

122] Eusebius writes, "And thus when the divine word had made its home among them, the power of Simon was quenched and immediately destroyed, together with the man himself. And so greatly did the splendor of piety illumine the minds of Peter"s hearers that they were not satisfied with hearing once only, and were not content with the unwritten teaching of the divine Gospel, but with all sorts of entreaties they besought Mark , a follower of Peter, and the one whose Gospel is extant, that he would leave them a written monument of the doctrine which had been orally communicated to them. Nor did they cease until they had prevailed with the Prayer of Manasseh , and had thus become the occasion of the written Gospel which bears the name of Mark." (Ecclesiastical History 2151) and, "‘This also the presbyter said: Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord"s discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.' These things are related by Papias concerning Mark." (Ecclesiastical History 33915) See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, trans. Arthur C. McGiffert under the title The Church History of Eusebius, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, A New Series, vol 1, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (Oxford: Parker and Company, c 1890, 1905), 115-116, 172-173.

123] Jerome writes, "Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter wrote a short gospel at the request of the brethren at Rome embodying what he had heard Peter tell. When Peter had heard this, he approved it and published it to the churches to be read by his authority as Clemens in the sixth book of his Hypotyposes and Papias, bishop of Hierapolis, record. Peter also mentions this Mark in his first epistle, figuratively indicating Rome under the name of Babylon ‘She who is in Babylon elect together with you saluteth you and so doth Mark my son."' (Lives of Illustrious Men 8) See Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, trans. Ernest C. Richardson, in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol 3, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (New York: The Christian Literature Company, 1906), 364.

Colossians 4:10, "Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister"s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)"

1 Peter 5:13, "The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son."

1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

1 Peter 5:14 — "Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity" - Comments- The Oriental custom of greeting with a kiss was practiced within the Jewish culture and the early Church. 124] Paul's charge to salute, or greet, the brethren with a holy kiss is also found in the closing remarks of three other Pauline epistles as well as 1Peter, where it is called a "kiss of love."

124] James D. G. Dunn, Romans 1-8, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 38A (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Romans 16:16.

Romans 16:16, "Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you."

1 Corinthians 16:20, "All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss."

2 Corinthians 13:12, "Greet one another with an holy kiss."

1 Thessalonians 5:26, "Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss."

1 Peter 5:14 — "Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus" - Comments- In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host ( Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle opening every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God's peace and grace upon his readers, and Peter did the same in his two epistles. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God"s peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."

This practice of speaking blessings upon God's children may have its roots in the Priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. We see in Ruth 2:4 that this blessing became a part of the Jewish culture when greeting people. Boaz blessed his workers in the field and his reapers replied with a blessing.

Ruth 2:4, "And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee."

We also see this practiced by the king in 2 Samuel 15:20 where David says, "mercy and truth be with thee".

2 Samuel 15:20, "Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee."

Peter was speaking a blessing on the churches of Asia Minor, especially that God would grant them more of His grace and abiding peace that they would have otherwise not known. In faith, we too, can receive this same blessing into our lives. Peter actually pronounces and invokes a blessing of divine grace and peace upon his readers with these words, "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied." I do not believe this blessing is unconditional, but rather conditional. In other words, it is based upon the response of his hearers. The more they obey these divine truths laid forth in this epistle, the more God's grace and peace is multiplied in their lives. We recall how the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, with six tribes standing upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people and six tribes upon Mount Ebal to curse the disobedient ( Deuteronomy 27:11-26). Thus, the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28:1-68 were placed upon the land. All who obeyed the Law received these blessings, and all who disobeyed received this list of curses. In the same way Peter invokes a blessing into the body of Christ for all who will hearken unto the divine truths of this epistle.

1 Peter 5:14 — "Amen" - Comments- In the Textus Receptus the word "Amen" is attached to the end of all thirteen of Paul's epistles, as well as to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark , and to the General Epistles of Hebrews , 1,2Peter, 1,2John, and to the book of Revelation. However, because "Amen" is not supported in more ancient manuscripts many scholars believe that this word is a later liturgical addition. For example, these Pauline benedictions could have been used by the early churches with the added "Amen."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/1-peter-5.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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