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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
1 Peter 5



Verses 7-11

7–5:11.] General exhortations with reference to behaviour within the Christian body, in contemplation of the approaching end. This portion of the Epistle falls into three sections: 7–11, Christian and social duties, in consideration of the end being at hand: 12–19, Christian bearing of suffering, in the same consideration: 1 Peter 5:1-11, ecclesiastical and general mutual ministrations: passing off into fervent general exhortations and aspirations.

Verse 1

1.] Elders therefore among you I exhort (any who are in the situation of πρεσβύτεροι, anarthrous: the omission of τούς after πρεσβ. is not surprising in St. Peter’s style, but has apparently led to the insertion of the art. by those who did not advert to this peculiarity. The designation here is evidently an official one (1 Peter 5:2), but at the same time reference to age is included: cf. νεώτεροι, 1 Peter 5:5. The οὖν takes up the above exhortation, ch. 1 Peter 4:19) who am a fellow-elder (with you: “Hortatio mutua inter æquales et collegas inprimis valet,” Beng.), and witness of the sufferings of Christ ( μάρτυς, not in the sense of Acts 1:8; Acts 1:22; Acts 2:32; Acts 10:39, al. (De Wette, al.),—a witness to testify to by words,—nor as Hebrews 12:1; Acts 22:20; Revelation 2:13; Revelation 17:6, a witness, in bearing about in his own person (Luth., Calv., Huther),—nor both of these together (“Petrus et viderat ipsum Dominum patientem, et nunc passiones sustinebat,” Bengel);—but in the sense of an eye-witness, on the ground of which his apostolic testimony rested: q. d. I who say to you χριστὸς ἔπαθεν σαρκί, say this of sufferings which my own eyes saw. Thus this clause links on the following exhortation to the preceding portion of the Epistle concerning Christian suffering, and tends to justify the οὖν. Observe that it is not ὁ καὶ μάρτυς, but συμπρεσβ. κ. μάρτυς are under the same art.: q. d. “the one among the συμπρεσβύτεροι who witnessed the sufferings of Christ”), who am also a partaker of the glory which is about to be revealed (I prefer to take this as an allusion to our Lord’s own words John 13:36, ὕστερον ἀκολουθήσεις μοι, rather than regard it as alluding to the Transfiguration, as some (e. g. Dr. Burton), or to the certainty that those who suffer with Him will be glorified with Him (see above on this view of μάρτυς). As bearing that promise, he came to them with great weight of authority as an exhorter—having seen the sufferings of which he speaks, and being himself an heir of that glory to which he points onwards),—

Verses 1-11

1–11.] Last hortatory portion of the Epistle; in which the word ending the former portion, ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ, is taken up and spread over various classes among the readers: thus 1 Peter 5:1-4, he exhorts the leaders of the church; 1 Peter 5:5, the younger members (see note there); 1 Peter 5:6-9, all in common. Then, 1 Peter 5:10-11, follows his general parting wish and ascription of praise to God.

Verse 2

2.] tend ([or keep] the aor. stronger than the pres. in the imperative: gathering together the whole ποιμαίνειν into one ποίμαναι as the act of the life) the flock (compare the injunction given to St. Peter himself in John 21:16, ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου. “Quam ergo ovium pascendarum curam a Christo sibi noverat commendatam, in ejus societatem presbyteros vocat,” Gerhard. The verb includes in one word the various offices of a shepherd; the leading, feeding, heeding: “pasce mente, pasce ore, pasce opere, pasce animi oratione, verbi exhortatione, exempli exhibitione,” Bernard, in Wiesinger. Our only, but not sufficient, word is, ‘tending’) of God (cf. Acts 20:28. The similitude is among the commonest in Scripture: cf. Jeremiah 3:15; Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:2 ff.; John 10:11 ff.) which is among you ( τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν is taken by Erasm. and Calvin to mean “quantum in vobis est:” and no doubt this is possible; yet it sounds more Latin than Greek, which would rather perhaps be τὸ καθʼ ὑμᾶς, or τὸ ἐξ ὑμῶν, as Wies. observes. But the sense is the greatest objection: “Petrus noverat sibi a Christo non esse dictum, pasce quantum in te est, oves meas, sed absolute et simpliciter, pasce,” as Gerhard. And the ἐν ὑμῖν above seems decisive against this meaning. But even then we find various renderings: as “vobis pro vestra parte commissum,” Bengel, as εἶναι or κεῖσθαι ἔν τινι, and so Luther (die Heerde, so euch befohlen ist), Steiger, al.: Huther says, ἐν signifies here, as elsewhere also, inner communion, not merely local presence: “the flock which is under your charge.” Gerhard gives “qui vobiscum est, videlicet cum quo unum corpus, una ecclesia estis,” to which I do not see that Huther has any right to object, as he does. But the mere local meaning is by far the best. He orders them to feed the flock of God, not generally, nor œcumenically, but locally, as far as concerned that part of it found among them) [, overseeing (it) (the word ἐπισκοποῦντες, which tallies very much with St. Peter’s participial style, has perhaps been removed for ecclesiastical reasons, for fear πρεσβύτεροι should be supposed to be, as they really were, ἐπίσκοποι: “ipsum episcopatus nomen et officium exprimere voluit,” Calv.)] not constrainedly (‘coacte:’ as Bengel, “necessitas incumbit, 1 Corinthians 9:16, sed hujus sensum absorbet lubentia. Id valet et in suscipiendo et in gerendo munere. Non sine reprehensione sunt pastores qui, si res integra esset, mallent quidvis potius esse:” Bed(24), “Coacte pascit gregem Dei, qui propter rerum temporalium penuriam non habens unde vivat, idcirco prædicat Evangelium ut de Evangelio vivere possit.” And then, as Calv., “Dum agimus ad necessitatis præscriptum, lente et frigide in opere progredimur”) but willingly (not exactly, as Bed(25), “supernæ mercedis intuitu,” but out of love to the great Shepherd, and to the flock. The addition in (26) (27) al., κατὰ θεόν, is curious, and not easily accounted for. It certainly does not, as Huther says, clear up the thought, but rather obscures it. The expression is seldom found; and never in the sense here required. Cf. Romans 8:27; 2 Corinthians 7:9 ff.), nor yet ( μηδέ brings in a climax each time) with a view to base gain (“propter quæstum et terrena commoda,” as Bede(28) Cf. Isaiah 56:11; Jeremiah 6:13; Jeremiah 8:10; Ezekiel 34:2-3, &c.; and Titus 1:7) but earnestly (as 2 Corinthians 12:14 (cf. προθυμία, 2 Corinthians 8:11; 2 Corinthians 9:2), prompted by a desire not of gain, but of good to the flock;—ready and enthusiastic, as (the illustration is Bede’s) the children of Israel, and even the workmen, gave their services eagerly and gratuitously to build the tabernacle of old):

Verse 3

3.] nor yet as lording it over (the κατα as in reff. and in καταδυναστεύω, James 2:6, κατακαυχάομαι, Romans 11:18, James 2:13, καταμαρτυρέω, Matthew 26:62, carries the idea of hostility, and therefore, when joined with κυριεύω, of oppression; of using the rights of a κύριος for the diminution of the ruled and the exaltation of self. Christian rulers of the church are προϊστάμενοι (1 Thessalonians 5:12; Romans 12:8), ἡγούμενοι (Luke 22:26), but not κυριεύοντες (Luke 22:25-26). One is their κύριος, and they are His διάκονοι) the portions (entrusted to you) (so is κλῆρος understood by (not Cyril, as commonly cited: see below) Bed(29) apparently, Erasm. (“gregem qui cuique forte contigit gubernandus”), Estius (“gregis Dominici portiones, quæ singulis episcopis pascendæ et regendæ velut sortito obtigerunt.”), Calov., Bengel, Wolf, Steiger, De Wette, Huther, Wiesinger, al. And so Theophanes, Homil. xii. p. 70 (in Suicer), addresses his hearers, ἡμεῖς δέ, ὦ κλῆρος ἐμός: cf. also Acts 17:4 (of which I do not see why De Wette should say that it has nothing to do with the present consideration). On the other hand, 2. ‘the heritage of God’ is taken as the meaning by Cyril (on Isaiah 3:12 (vol. iii. p. 63), not 1 Peter 1:6, as commonly cited by all, copying one from another. But the passage is not satisfactory. In the Latin, we read “non ut dominentur in clero, id est, populo qui sors Domini est:” but the words in italics have no representatives in the Greek, which simply quotes this verse without comment), Calv. (“quum universum ecclesiæ corpus hæreditas sit domini, totidem sunt veluti prædia, quorum culturam singulis presbyteris assignat”), Beza (and consequently E. V.), Grot., Benson, al. But the objections to this are, that κλῆροι could not be taken for portions of κλῆρος,—and that θεοῦ could in this case hardly be wanting. Again, 3. some, principally R.-Cath. expositors, have anachronistically supposed κλῆροι to mean the clergy: so even Œc.,— κλῆρον τὸ ἱερὸν σύστημα καλεῖ, ὥσπερ καὶ νῦν ἡμεῖς, and Jer(30), Epist. ad Nepot. (lii. 7, vol. i. p. 262): so Corn. a-Lap. (“jubet ergo S. Petrus Episcopis et Pastoribus, ne inferioribus clericis imperiose dominari velint”), Justiniani (doubtfully: “sive P. de fideli populo universo, sive de ordine ecclesiastico loquatur”), Feuardentius, al. 4. Dodwell understood it of the church-goods: which view has nothing to recommend it, and is refuted by Wolf, Curæ, h. l. That the first meaning is the right one, is decided by τοῦ ποιμνίου below: see there), but becoming (it is well, where it can be done, to keep the distinctive meaning of γίνομαι. This more frequently happens in affirmative than in negative sentences: cf. μὴ γίνου ἄπιστος ἀλλὰ πιστός, John 20:27, where this distinctive meaning can be well brought out in the latter clause, but not in the former) patterns of the flock (the tyrannizing could only apply to the portion over which their authority extended, but the good example would be seen and followed by the whole church: hence τῶν κλήρων in the prohibition, but τοῦ ποιμνίου in the exhortation. τύποι, because the flock will look to you: “pastor ante oves vadit.” Gerh. The Commentators quote from Bernard, “Monstrosa res est gradus summus et animus infimus, sedes prima et vita ima, lingua magniloqua et vita otiosa, sermo multus et fructus nullus:” and from Gregory the Great, “Informis est vita pastoris, qui modo calicem Domini signat, modo talos agitat: qui in avibus cœli ludit, canes instigat,” &c.);

Verse 4

4.] and (then) ( καί of the result of something previously treated, as Matthew 26:55; John 10:16 al. fr.: see Winer, § 53. 3) when the chief Shepherd (see ch. 1 Peter 2:25; Hebrews 13:20; and compare Ezekiel 34:15-16; Ezekiel 34:23; Matthew 25:32) is manifested (used by St. Peter, as ἀποκαλύπτω, in a double reference, to Christ’s first coming, and His second also: cf. ch. 1 Peter 1:20; so also by St. Paul, Colossians 3:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; by St. John, 1 John 2:28; 1 John 3:2; 1 John 3:5; 1 John 3:8. Here, clearly of the second coming. It would not be clear, from this passage alone, whether St. Peter regarded the coming of the Lord as likely to occur in the life of these his readers, or not: but as interpreted by the analogy of his other expressions on the same subject, it would appear that he did), ye shall receive (reff.) the amarantine ( ἀμαράντινος is adj. from ἀμάραντος, the everlasting, or unfading, flower. Most Commentators have assumed without reason that it = ἀμάραντος, ch. 1 Peter 1:4, unfading. Philostr. in Heroicis, p. 741, cited in Wolf, has ὅθεν καὶ στεφάνους ἀμαραντίνους εἰς τὰ κήδη πρῶτοι θετταλοὶ ἐνόμισαν: see also Palm and Rost, sub voce. In the sense, there will be no difference: but the Apostle would hardly have used two derivatives of the same word, to express one and the same quality) crown (reff.) of His glory (or, of glory: but I prefer the other. That we shall share His glory, is a point constantly insisted on by St. Peter: cf. 1 Peter 5:1, ch. 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Peter 1:7; and above all, 1 Peter 5:10 below. This idea reaches its highest in St. John, with whom the inner unity of the divine life with the life of Christ is all in all. Cf. especially 1 John 3:2 f.).

Verse 5

5.] In like manner (i. e. ‘mutatis mutandis,’ in your turn: see ch. 1 Peter 3:7; with the same recognition of your position and duties), ye younger, be subject to the elders (in what sense are we to take νεώτεροι and πρεσβύτεροι here? One part of our answer will be very clear: that πρεσβύτεροι must be in the same sense as above, viz., in its official historical sense of presbyters in the church. This being so, we have now some clue to the meaning of νεώτεροι: viz. that it cannot mean younger in age merely, though this, as regarded men, would generally be so, but that as the name πρεσβύτεροι had an official sense, of superintendents of the church, so νεώτεροι like-wise, of those who were the ruled, the disciples, of the πρεσβύτεροι. Thus taken, it will mean here, the rest of the church, as opposed to the πρεσβύτεροι. Nor will this meaning, as Weiss maintains, p. 344, be at all impugned by πάντες δέ which follows, inasmuch as that clearly embraces both classes, πρεσβύτεροι and νεώτεροι. As Wiesinger well says, The Apostle is teaching what the πρεσβ. owe to the church, what the church to them, what all without distinction to one another. Weiss would understand these νεώτεροι as he does in Acts 5:6, and νεανίσκοι ib. Acts 5:10 (but see note there), young persons, who were to subserve the ordinary wants of the elders in the ministration. Luther, Calv., Gerhard, al., and more recently De Wette and Huther, take νεώτεροι for the younger members of the congregation: in which case, as most of these confess, we must enlarge the sense of πρεσβυτέροις here, which in my mind is a fatal objection to the view. The above interpretation, that νεώτεροι are the rest of the congregation as distinguished from the πρεσβύτεροι, is that of Bed(31), Est., Benson, Pott, al., and of Wiesinger): yea (the E. V. happily thus gives the sense of the δέ: q. d. Why should I go on giving these specific injunctions, when one will cover them all?) all gird on humility to one another (an allusion to our Lord’s action of girding Himself with a napkin in the servile ministration of washing the disciples’ feet: of which He himself said, καὶ ὑμεῖς ὀφείλετε ἀλλήλων νίπτειν τοὺς πόδας. ὑπόδειγμα γὰρ ἔδωκα ὑμῖν ἵνα καθὼς ἐγὼ ἐποίησα ὑμῖν καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιῆτε. The impression made on St. Peter by this proof of his Master’s love is thus beautifully shewn. As to the details: the ὑποτασσόμενοι of the rec. has probably been a clumsy gloss to help out the construction of the dat. commodi ἀλλήλοις. - ἐγκομβώσασθε is variously interpreted. Its derivation is from κόμβος, a string or band attached to a garment to tie it with: hence κόμβωμα, an apron, through κομβόω, to gird or tie round; and thus ἐγκομβόω, to gird on, and - όομαι, to gird on one’s self. ἐγκόμβωμα is used for a kind of girdle by Longus, Pastoralia ii. 33, and Pollux iv. 119. See in Wetst. The Schol. in ms. 16 says, ἀντὶ τοῦ ἐνειλήσασθε, περιβάλεσθε, ἢ ἀναστείλασθε. In Hesych., the κομβολύτης is explained to be a βαλαντιότομος. There is a very complete and learned dissertation on this passage in the Fritz-schiorum Opuscula, pp. 259–275, containing all the literature of the subject. The result there is, “omnes lectores, oratione in eos conversa, admonet, ut quemadmodum servi heris se modeste submittunt (the ἐγκόμβωμα being a servile garment or apron), ita unus alteri tanquam minor majori cedens obsequiosum modestumque se præbeat: ‘omnes autem lubenter alter alteri cedentes modestiam vobis pro servorum encombomate incingite.’ ” This is perhaps going too far, to seek the meaning of the verb altogether in its derivative: but the reference is at least possible. For more particulars consult the dissertation itself, and Wetstein’s note.

Some put a comma after ἀλλήλοις, and join πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις to the preceding, ‘yea, all of you (be subject) to one another.’ But this is unnecessary, the dative being in this sense abundantly justified: cf. Romans 14:6; 1 Corinthians 14:22; 2 Corinthians 5:13. Winer, § 31. 4. b): because (reason why you should gird on humility) God (the citation agrees verbatim with James 4:6) opposeth Himself to the proud (“reliqua peccata fugiunt Deum, sola super-bia se opponit Deo; reliqua peccata deprimunt hominem, sola superbia erigit eum contra Deum. Inde etiam Deus superbis vicissim se opponit,” Gerhard. The student will remember the saying of Artabanus to Xerxes, Herod. vii. 10, ὁρᾷς τὰ ὑπερέχοντα ζῶα ὡς κεραυνοῖ ὁ θεός, οὐδὲ ἐᾷ φαντάζεσθαι, τὰ δὲ σμικρὰ οὐδέν μιν κνίζει; … φιλέει γὰρ ὁ θεὸς τὰ ὑπερέχοντα πάντα κολούειν), but giveth grace to the humble ( ταπεινοῖς here in a subjective sense, the lowly-minded, those who by their humility are low. “Humilitas est vas gratiarum,” Aug(32) in Gerh.).

Verses 5-7

5–7.] Exhortation to the younger, and to all, to humility and trust in God.

Verse 6

6.] Humble yourselves (on the medial signification of some verbs in the aor. 1 pass. in the N. T., see Winer, § 39. 2. The commonest example is ἀποκριθείς. Cf. also διεκρίθη, Matthew 21:21; Romans 4:20, &c.) therefore (the same spirit as before continues through this and the following verses: the μέριμνα here, and the παθήματα, 1 Peter 5:9, keeping in mind their persecutions and anxieties, as also does κραταιὰν χεῖρα, see below) under the mighty hand of God (on the expression, see reff., LXX. The strong hand of God is laid on the afflicted and suffering, and it is for them to acknowledge it in lowliness of mind), that He may exalt you (the Apostle refers to the often repeated saying of our Lord, Matthew 23:13, Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14. The same is also found in the O. T., Psalms 18:27; Proverbs 29:23) in (the) time (appointed) ( ἐν καιρῷ is one of those phrases in which the article is constantly omitted: see reff., and Winer, § 19. 1. This humility implies patience, waiting God’s time: “ut nimiæ festinationi simul obviam eat,” Calv. The καιρός need not necessarily be understood as Bengel (“Petrus sæpe spectat diem judicii”) of the end; it is more general: cf. ἐν καιροῖς ἰδίοις, 1 Timothy 6:15):

Verse 7

7.] casting (aor., once for all, by an act which includes the life) all your anxiety ( πᾶσαν τήν, ‘the whole of;’ not, every anxiety as it arises: for none will arise if this transference has been effectually made. This again is an O. T. citation (ref. Ps.), ἐπίῤῥιψον ἐπὶ κύριον τὴν μέριμνάν σου. The art. also shews that the μέριμνα was not a possible, but a present one; that the exhortation is addressed to men under sufferings. As to the connexion, we may remark, that this participial clause is explanatory of the former imperative one, inasmuch as all anxiety is a contradiction of true humility: μέριμνα, by which the spirit μερίζεται, part for God, part for unbelief, is in fact an exalting self against Him) upon Him, because (seeing that: the justifying reason for the ἐπιῤῥίψαι) He careth ( αὐτῷ prefixed for emphasis, to take up the ἐπʼ αὐτόν) for (about: the distinction between περί and ὑπέρ after verbs of caring is thus given by Weber, Demosth. p. 130 (see Winer, § 47. l): “ περί solam mentis circumspectionem vel respectum rei, ὑπέρ simul animi propensionem significat.” But perhaps it must not be too much pressed) you.

Verse 8

8.] Be sober (see ch. 1 Peter 4:7, and Luke 21:34; Luke 21:36. This sobriety of mind, as opposed to intoxication with μέριμναι βιωτικαί, is necessary to the ἀντιστῆναι στερεοί: only he who is sober stands firm), be watchful (can it be that Peter thought of his Lord’s οὕτως οὐκ ἰσχύσατε μίαν ὥραν γρηγορῆσαι μετʼ ἐμοῦ, on the fatal night when he denied Him?

Bengel says, “ νήψατε, vigilate, anima: γρηγορήσατε, vigilate, corpore:” but the distinction is not borne out: both words are far better taken as applying to the mind; as Aug(33) in Wies.: “corde vigila, fide vigila, spe vigila, caritate vigila, operibus vigila”): your adversary (the omission of any causal particle, as ὅτι, inserted in the rec., makes the appeal livelier and more forcible, leaving the obvious connexion to be filled up by the reader. ὁ ἀντίδ. ὑμ., your great and well-known adversary: “ut sciant, hac lege se Christi fidem profiteri, ut cum diabolo continuum bellum habeant. Neque enim membris parcet, qui cum capite prœliatur,” Calv. ἀντίδικος properly, and in reff. an adversary in a suit at law: but here = שָטָן, an enemy in general) the devil (anarthrous as a proper name, as in Acts 13:10; Revelation 20:2) as a roaring lion (“comparatur diabolus leoni famelico et præ impatientia famis rugienti, quia perniciem nostram inexplebiliter appetit, nec ulla præda ei sufficit,” Gerh.) walketh about (cf. Job 1:7; Job 2:2) seeking whom to devour (“incorporando sibi per mortalem culpam,” Lyra: see reff.):

Verse 8-9

8, 9.] Other necessary exhortations under their afflictions; and now with reference to the great spiritual adversary, as before to God and their own hearts. “Ne consolatione illa, quod Deo sit cura de vobis, ad securitatem abutamur, præmonet nos Apostolus de Satanæ insidiis,” gloss. interlin.

Verse 9

9.] whom resist (see ref. James) firm in the faith (dat. of reference, as σχήματι εὑρεθεὶς ὡς ἄνθρωπος, Philippians 2:8, τέκνα φύσει ὀργῆς, Ephesians 2:3, &c.), knowing (being aware: it is an encouragement against their giving way under Satan’s attacks, to remember that they do not stand alone against him; that others are, as Gerhard expresses it, not only παθημάτων συμμέτοχοι, but in “precibus et pugna contra Satanam σύμμαχοι”) that the very same sufferings (this construction, a gen. after ὁ αὐτός, is not elsewhere found in N. T. In it, as in the dat. construction in reff., the adj. is made into a subst. to express more completely the identity. It is (see Winer, § 34. 2) much as when an adj. is made into a subst. governing a gen.: e. g. τὸ ἀμετάθετον τῆς βουλῆς, Hebrews 6:17, τὸ ὑπερέχον τῆς γνώσεως, Philippians 3:8, τὸ πιστὸν τῆς πολιτείας Thuc. i. 68, τὸ ὑπερβάλλον τῆς λύπης Plato, Phædr. 240 A) are being accomplished in (the case of: the dat. of reference, as in γίνεσθαι ὑμῖν and similar phrases. Much unnecessary difficulty has been found in the word ἐπιτελεῖσθαι. It has its usual N. T. meaning of ‘accomplish,’ ‘complete,’ as in reff. and Philippians 1:6, al.; these sufferings were being accomplished, their full measure attained, according to the will of God, and by the appointment of God, in, with reference to, in the case of, the ἀδελφότης. The Dative must not be regarded as = a gen. with ὑπό: but there is another way of taking it, viz. as dependent on τὰ αὐτά, making ἐπιτελεῖσθαι middle: “knowing that ye are accomplishing the same sufferings with” &c. This is defended by Harless; but in this case we should certainly expect ὑμᾶς to be inserted, as αὐτόν in Luke 4:41, and σεαυτόν in Romans 2:19) your brotherhood (ref.) in the world ( ἐν κόσμῳ, not to direct attention to another brotherhood not in the world, as Huther; but as identifying their state with yours: who, like yourselves, are in the world, and thence have, like yourselves, to expect such trials).

Verse 10

10.] But (q. d. however you may be able to apprehend the consolation which I have last propounded to you, one thing is sure: or as Bengel, “vos tantum vigilate et resistite hosti: cætera Deus præstabit”) the God of all grace (who is the Source of all spiritual help for every occasion: see reff.) who called you (which was the first proof of His grace towards you) unto (with a view to; ‘consolationis argumentum:’ He who has begun grace with a view to glory, will not cut off grace till it be perfected in glory. Cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:14) His eternal glory in Christ Jesus ( ἐν χρ. ἰησ. belongs to καλέσας, which has since been defined by ὑμᾶς εἰς τ. αἰ. αὐ. δόξ. Christ Jesus is the element in which that calling took place. The words cannot, as Calov., al., be joined with what follows), when ye have suffered a little while (these words belong to what has gone before, ὁ καλέσας ὑμᾶς κ. τ. λ., not to what follows, as is decisively shewn by the consideration that all four verbs must belong to acts of God on them in this life, while these sufferings would be still going on. The ὀλίγον παθόντας expresses the condition of their calling to glory in Christ, viz. after having suffered for a short time. παθόντας, as in all cases of an aor. part. connected with a future verb, is to be taken in the strictness of its aoristic meaning as a futurus exactus: the παθήματα are over when the δόξα comes in), shall Himself ( αὐτός, solemn and emphatic: “ostendit enim Apostolus ex eodem gratiæ fonte et primam ad gloriam cœlestem vocationem et ultimam hujus beneficii consummationem provenire,” Gerhard) perfect (you) (see ref. Heb. and note: “ne remaneat in vobis defectus,” Beng.), shall confirm (establish you firmly, so as to be στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει: “ne quid vos labefactet,” Beng.), shall strengthen (the word σθενόω belongs to later Greek), shall ground (you) (fix you as on a foundation, “ut superetis omnem vim adversam. Digna Petro oratio. Confirmat fratres suos,” Bengel. Cf. Luke 22:32, σὺ ποτὲ ἐπιστρέψας στήρισον τοὺς ἀδελφούς σου: and 2 Timothy 2:19, ὁ στερεὸς θεμέλιος τοῦ θεοῦ ἕστηκεν):

Verse 10-11

10, 11.] Final assurance of God’s help and ultimate perfecting of them after and by means of these sufferings.

Verse 11

11.] to Him (again emphatic: “ne quidquam laudis et gloriæ sibi vindicent,” Gerh.) be (i. e. be ascribed: or, as ch. 1 Peter 4:11, ἐστιν, is, i. e. is due) the might (which has been shewn in this perfecting, confirming, strengthening, grounding you, and in all that those words imply as their ultimate result,—of victory and glory) to the ages of the ages. Amen.

Verses 12-14

12–14.] CONCLUSION. By Silvanus the faithful brother (there seems to be no reason for distinguishing this Silvanus from the companion of St. Paul and Timotheus, mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:19, and known by the name of Silas in the Acts. See further in Prolegomena, § iv. 19), as I reckon ( ὡς λογίζομαι belongs most naturally to τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, not to διʼ ὀλίγων which follows: and indicates the Apostle’s judgment concerning Silvanus, given, not in any disparagement of him, nor indicating, as De W. and Bengel, that he was not known to St. Peter, but as fortifying him, in his mission to the churches addressed, with the Apostle’s recommendation, over and above the acquaintance which the readers may already have had with him), I have written (the epistolary aor. See reff.) to you ( ὑμῖν is taken by some, as E. V., Luther, Steiger, al., as dependent on πιστοῦ, which is harsh, and leaves ἔγραψα without any object of address) in (by means of, as my vehicle of conveying my meaning) few words (Erasm., Grot., Pott, al. fancy that this ἔγρ. διʼ ὀλίγων refers to the second Epistle: but see 2 Peter 3:1. On διʼ ὀλίγων, cf. Hebrews 13:22. It perhaps may here refer to some more copious instructions which Silvanus was to give them by word of mouth: or may serve to fix their attention more pointedly on that which had been thus concisely said), exhorting (such in the main is the character of the Epistle) and giving my testimony (the ἐπί in ἐπιμαρτυρῶν indicates merely the direction of the testimony, not as Bengel, “testimonium jam per Paulum et Silam audierant pridem: Petrus insuper testatur”) that this (of which I have written to you; see below) is (the inf. εἶναι belongs to both παρακαλῶν and ἐπιμαρτυρῶν) the true grace (not “doctrina evangelii” as Gerh., nor “state of grace” as De Wette, but simply “grace” ch. 1 Peter 1:2, as testified by the preaching of the Apostles to be covenanted and granted to them by God. This identification of the preached and written message with the true mind of God towards man, is not uncommon with our Apostle: e. g., ch. 1 Peter 1:12; 1 Peter 1:25 (1 Peter 2:10; 1 Peter 2:25). The reason of this was not any difference, as some would have us believe, between the teachings of St. Peter and St. Paul, but the difficulty presented to the readers in the fact of the fiery trial of sufferings which they were passing through) of God, in which stand ye (the construction is pregnant; into which being admitted, stand in it. On every account, we are bound to read στῆτε, not ἑστήκατε, which has apparently come in from the similar ἐν ᾗ ( ) ἑστήκατε in reff. Every reason which Wiesinger gives against στῆτε, is in fact a reason for it. στῆτε εἰς is, he says, evidently wrong, because the readers were already in the grace:—I answer,—and consequently it was corrected to what seemed right: εἰς ἣν στῆτε, he says further, would not fit the context:—and consequently, we may reply, the temptation would be stronger to correct it. The idea of its having been an emendation to suit παρακαλῶν is simply absurd; that participle referring back to the contents of the Epistle, not requiring any justification in this sentence; as any, even the dullest copyist, must see. As it stands, it is a short and earnest exhortation, containing in it in fact the pith of what has been said by way of exhortation in the whole Epistle).

Verse 13

13.] She that is elected together with you in Babylon salutes you (who, or what is this? The great majority of Commentators understand it to mean a sister congregation, elect like yourselves, ch. 1 Peter 1:1. So (34) al. in digest, E. V., Luth., Calv., Gerhard, Steiger, &c., and the more recent interpreters, De Wette, Huther, Wiesinger. And this perhaps may be a legitimate interpretation. Still it seems hardly probable, that there should be joined together in the same sending of salutation, an abstraction, spoken of thus enigmatically, and a man, ΄άρκος ὁ υἱός μου, by name. No mention has occurred in the Epistle of the word ἐκκλησία, to which reference might be made: if such reference be sought for, διασπορά, in ch. 1 Peter 1:1, is the only word suitable, and that could hardly be used of the congregation in any particular place. Finally, it seems to be required by the rules of analogy, that in an Epistle addressed to ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδημοι, individually, not gregatim, ἡ ἐν βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτή must be an individual person also. These considerations induce me to accede to the opinion of those, who recognize here the ἀδελφὴ γυνή whom St. Peter περιῆγεν, 1 Corinthians 9:5; and to find, in the somewhat unusual periphrastic way of speaking of her, a confirmation of this view. Bengel, who defends it, adduces ch. 1 Peter 3:7, where the wives are called συγκληρονόμοι χάριτος ζωῆς. Still, I own, the words ἐν βαβυλῶνι a little stagger me in this view. But it seems less forced than the other. On the question, what Babylon is intended, whether Rome, or the Chaldæan capital, or some village in Egypt, see Prolegomena, § iv. 10 ff.), and Marcus my son (perhaps, and so most have thought, the well-known Evangelist (see Eus. H. E. ii. 15: Orig(35) in Eus. vi. 25: Œc. al.): perhaps the actual son of St. Peter, bearing this name (Œc.-altern., Bengel, al.). The fact of Peter taking refuge in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:2), casts hardly any weight on the side of the former interpretation: but it derives some probability from the circumstance that St. Mark is reported by Eus. l. c., and iii. 39, 1 Peter 5:8, vi. 14, 25, to have been the ἀκόλουθος and μαθητής and ἑρμηνευτὴς πέτρου, on the authority of Papias and Clement of Alexandria: and that Irenæus (Hær. iii. 11, p. 174, Eus. 1 Peter 5:8) reports the same. The υἱός is understood either spiritually or literally, according as one or other of the above views is taken).

Verse 14

14.] Salute one another in (as the medium of salutation) a kiss of love (see on ref. Rom. where, as every where except here, φίλημα ἅγιον is the expression. For a full account of the custom, see Winer, Realw. art. Kuss). Peace be to you all that are in Christ (the concluding blessing of St. Paul is usually χάρις, not εἰρήνη: cf. (Romans 16:24) 1 Corinthians 16:23; 2 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 6:18; Ephesians 6:24 (where however εἰρήνη τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς κ. τ. λ. precedes); Philippians 4:23; Colossians 4:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:28; 2 Thessalonians 3:18; 1 Timothy 6:21; 2 Timothy 4:22; Titus 3:15; Philemon 1:25 (Hebrews 13:25). “Formula petita,” says Gerhard, “ex salutatione Christi præsertim post resurrectionem usitata.” The blessing differs also from those in St. Paul, in the limitation implied by ὑμῖν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν χριστῷ, whereas St. Paul has ever μετὰ πάντων ὑμῶν. Here it is, “peace to you, I mean, all that are, and in as far as they are, in Christ;” in union and communion with Him. τοῖς ἐν χριστῷ is quite in St. Paul’s manner, cf. reff. See also our ch. 1 Peter 3:16, 1 Peter 5:10).


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

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