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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
1 Peter 1

 

 

Verse 1-2

1 Peter 1:1-2. The superscription, while corresponding in fundamental plan with those of the Pauline Epistles, has nevertheless a peculiar character of its own.

πέτρος] As Paul in his epistles calls himself not by his original name σαῦλος, so Peter designates himself not by his original name σίμων, but by that given him by Christ, which “may be regarded as his apostolic, his official name” (Schott); otherwise in 2 Pet.: συμεὼν πέτρος.

An addition such as διὰ θελήματος θεοῦ, or the like, of which Paul oftentimes, though not always, makes use in the superscriptions of his epistles, was unnecessary for Peter.

Peter designates his readers by the words: ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπίδημοις διασπορᾶς πόντου κ. τ. λ.] he calls the Christians to whom he writes—for that his epistle is addressed to Christians cannot be doubted—“elect strangers;” and withal, those who belong to the διασπορά throughout Pontus, etc. ἐκλεκτοί the Christians are named, inasmuch as God had chosen them to be His own, in order that they might be made partakers of the κληρονομία (1 Peter 1:4) reserved for them in heaven; cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:9 : ὑμεῖς γένος ἐκλεκτόν.

παρεπίδημος is he who dwells in a land of which he is not a native (where his home is not); in the LXX. it is given as the rendering of תּוֹשָׁב, Genesis 23:4; Psalms 39:12 (in other passages תּוֹשָׁב is translated by πάροικος; cf. Exodus 12:45; Leviticus 22:10; Leviticus 25:23; Leviticus 25:47, etc.); in the Apocrypha παρεπίδημος does not occur; in the N. T., besides in this passage, it is to be found in chap. 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 9:13.

If account be taken of 1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:17 ( τῆς παροικίας ὑμῶν χρόνος), and particularly of chap. 1 Peter 2:11, it cannot be doubted that Peter styled his readers παρεπίδημοι, because during their present life upon earth they, as Christians, were not in their true home, which is the κληρονομίατετηρημένη ἐν οὐρανοῖς. The expression is understood in this sense by the more modern writers, in particular by Steiger, Brückner, Wiesinger, Weiss, Luthardt (Reuter’s Repertor. 1855, Nov.), Schott, Hofmann, etc.(32) It is incorrect to refer the word here to an earthly home, that is, Palestine, as is done by de Wette, and in like manner by Weizsäcker (in Reuter’s Repert. 1858, No. 3).(33)

REMARK.

In the O. T. תּוֹשָׁב occurs in its strict signification in Genesis 23:4; Exodus 12:45; Leviticus 22:10; Leviticus 25:47 (LXX. πάροικος). In Leviticus 25:23, the Israelites are called נֵּדִים וְתוֹשָׁבִים, in a peculiar connection; God says that such they are with Him ( עִמָּדִי, cf. Genesis 23:4), in that the land wherein they should dwell belongs to Him . The same idea is to be found in Psalms 39:12, where the Psalmist bases his request for hearing on this, that he is נֵּד and תּוֹשָׁב with God ( עִמָּךְ), as were his fathers; for although in 1 Peter 1:5-7 the shortness of human life is made specially prominent, yet there is nothing to show that in 1 Peter 1:12 there is any reference to this. On the other hand, in 1 Chronicles 29:15 (1Chr. 30:15.), David in prayer to God speaks of himself and his people as נֵּרִים and תּוֹשָׁבִים, because they have no abiding rest on earth ( בַּצֵּל יָמֵינוּ עַל־חָאָרֶץ וְאֵין מִקִוֶה); here it is not the preposition עִמָּד, but לִפְנֵי which is used. In the passage Psalms 119:19, the relation in which the Psalmist speaks of himself as a stranger is not expressed בָּאָרֶץ, Psa 1:54; he calls his earthly life מְגוּרָי, as Jacob in Genesis 47:9, which points evidently enough to the circumstance that the Israelites were not without the consciousness that their real home lay beyond this earthly life; cf. on this, Hebrews 9:13-14, and Delitzsch in loc .

Whilst the expression ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις—wherein not ἐκλεκτοῖς (Hofmann) but παρεπιδήμοις is the substantival idea—is applicable to all Christians, the following words: διασπορᾶς πόντου κ. τ. λ., specify those Christians to whom the epistle is addressed (cf. the superscriptions of the Pauline Epistles).

διασπορά] strictly an abstract idea, denotes, according to Jewish usage: “Israel living scattered among the heathen,”—that is, it is a complex of concrete ideas, 2 Maccabees 1:27; John 7:35; cf. Meyer in loc.; Winer, bibl. Realwörterb., see under “Zerstreuung.”(34) The question is now: Is the word to be taken as applying only to the Jewish nation? From of old the question has, by many interpreters, been answered in the affirmative (Didymus, Oecumenius, Eusebius, Calvin, Beza, de Wette, Weiss, etc.), and therefrom the conclusion has been drawn that the readers of the epistle were Jewish-Christians.(35) But the character of the epistle is opposed to this view (cf. Introd. § 3). Since the Apostle Peter regarded Christians as the true Israel, of which the Israel of the O. T. was only the type (1 Peter 2:9), there is nothing to prevent the expression being applied, as many interpreters hold (Brückner, Wiesinger, Wieseler too; Rettberg in Ersch-Gruber, see under “Petrus,” and others), to the Christians, and withal to those who dwelt outside of Canaan. No doubt this land had not for the N. T. church the same significance which it possessed for that of the O. T., still it was the scene of Christ’s labours, and in Jerusalem was the mother-church of all Christendom.(36) Some interpreters, like Aretius, Schott, Hofmann, leave entirely out of view the local reference of the word, and take it as applying to the whole of Christendom ecclesia dispersa in toto orbe, in so far as the latter represents “a concrete corporeal centre around which the members of the church were locally united,” and “has its point of union in that Christ who is seated at the right hand of God” (Schott(37)). Against this, however, it must be urged that Peter, if he had wished the word διασπορά to have been understood in a sense so entirely different from the established usage, would in some way or other have indicated this.

It is entirely erroneous to suppose, with Augustine (contra Faustum, xxii. 89), Procopius (in Jes. 15:20), Cassiodorus (de instit. div. litt. ii. p. 516), Luther, Gualther, and others, and among more recent authors Steiger, that in the expression used by Peter the readers are designated as heathen Christians, or even with Credner (Einl. p. 638), Neudecker (Einl. p. 677), as aforetime proselytes. The one correct interpretation is, that in the superscription those readers only are described as “Christians who constituted the people of God living, scattered throughout the regions mentioned, who, in consequence of their election, had become strangers in the world, but who had their inheritance and home in heaven, whither they were journeying” (Wiesinger). The reason why Peter employed this term with reference to his readers lies in the design of the epistle; he speaks of them as ἐκλεκτοί, in order that in their present condition of suffering he might assure them of their state of grace as παρεπίδη΄οι, that they might know that they belonged to the home of believers in heaven. But it is at least open to doubt whether in διασπορᾶς there is any reference to the present want of direct union around Christ (Schott).

πόντου, γαλατίας κ. τ. λ.] The provinces of Asia Minor are named chiefly in a westerly direction, Galatia westward from Pontus, then the enumeration continues with Cappadocia lying south from Galatia, that is to say, in the east, and goes from thence westward towards Asia, after which Bithynia is mentioned, the eastern boundary of the northern part of Asia Minor. So that Bengel is not so far wrong (as opposed to Wiesinger) when he says: Quinque provincias nominat eo ordine, quo occurrebant scribenti ex oriente. If in Asia, besides Caria, Lydia, and Mysia, Phrygia also (Ptolem. v. 2) be included, and in Galatia the lands of Pamphylia, Pisidia, and a part of Lycaonia,—which, however, is improbable,—the provinces mentioned by Peter will embrace almost the whole of Asia Minor.

In the N. T. there is no mention of the founding of the Christian churches in Pontus, Cappadocia, and Bithynia.—1 Peter 1:2. κατὰ πρόγνωσιν κ. τ. λ.] The three adjuncts, beginning with different prepositions, are not to be taken with ἀπόστολος, as Cyrillus (de recta fide), Oecumen., Kahnis (Lehre v. Abendm. p. 65), and others think, but with ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδήμοις, pointing out as they do the origin, the means, and the end of the condition in which the readers as ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδη΄οι were. It is further incorrect to limit, as is prevalently done, their reference simply to the term ἐκλεκτοῖς,(38) and to find in them a more particular definition of the method of the divine election. Steinmeyer, in violation of the grammatical construction, gives a different reference to each of the three adjuncts joining κατὰ πρόγν. with ἐκλεκτοῖς, ἐν ἁγιασ΄ῷ with παρεπιδή΄οις, and εἰς ὑπακ. with ἁγιασ΄ῷ. But inasmuch as the ideas ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδή΄οις stand in closest connection, the two prepositions κατά and ἐν must apply equally to them. κατά states that the ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδη΄οι are such in virtue of the πρόγνωσις θεοῦ; κατά denotes “the origin, and gives the pattern according to which” (so, too, Wiesinger). πρόγνωσις is translated generally by the commentators as: predestination;(39) this is no doubt inexact, still it must be observed that in the N. T. πρόγνωσις stands always in such a connection as to show that it expresses an idea akin to that of predestination, but without the idea of knowing or of taking cognizance being lost. It is the perceiving of God by means of which the object is determined, as that which He perceives it to be. Cf. Meyer on Romans 8:29 : “It is God’s being aware in His plan, in virtue of which, before the subjects are destined by Him to salvation, He knows who are to be so destined by Him.” It is incorrect, therefore, to understand the word as denoting simply foreknowledge;(40) this leads to a Pelagianizing interpretation, and is met by Augustine’s phrase: eligendos facit Deus, non invenit. Estius translates πρόγνωσις at once by. praedilectio; other interpreters, as Bengel, Wiesinger, Schott, would include the idea of love, at least, in that of foreknowledge; but although it must be granted that the πρόγνωσις of God here spoken of cannot be conceived of without His love, it must not be overlooked that the idea of love is not made prominent.(41) Hofmann says: “ πρόγνωσις is—precognition; here, therefore, a work of God the Father, which consists in this, that He makes beforehand those whom He has chosen, objects of a knowledge, as the akin and homogeneous are known, that is, of an approving knowledge.”

πατρός is added to θεοῦ; the apostle has already in his mind the following πνεύ΄ατος and ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, in order thereby to emphasize more definitely the threefold basis of election. Bengel: Mysterium Trinitatis et oeconomia salutis nostrae innuitur hoc versu.

ἐν ἁγιασ΄ῷ πνεύ΄ατος] It seems simplest and most natural to interpret, with Luther and most others, “through the sanctifying of the Spirit”—that is, taking ἁγιασμός actively, and ἐν as denoting the instrumentality. The only difficulty in the way is, that ἁγιασ΄ός, a word foreign to classical Greek, and occurring but seldom in the Apocrypha, has constantly the neutral signification: “sanctification;”(42) cf. Meyer on Romans 6:19. Now, since the word, as far as the form is concerned, admits of both meanings (cf. Buttmann, ausführl. griech. Sprachl. § 119, 20), it is certainly permissible to assume that here—deviating from the general usus loquendi—it may have an active signification, as perhaps also in 2 Thessalonians 2:13. If the preposition ἐν be taken as equal to “through,” there results an appropriate progression of thought from origin ( κατά) to means ( ἐν), and further to end ( εἰς). If, however, the usage establish a hard and fast rule, the interpretation must be: “the holiness wrought by the, (Holy) Spirit,” so that the genitive as gen. auct. has a signification similar to that in the expression δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ;(43) in this interpretation ἐν may equally have an instrumental force. No doubt, many interpreters deny that ἐν can here be equal to διά, since the election is not accomplished by means of the Holy Spirit. But this ground gives way if the three nearer definitions refer not to the election,—as a divine activity,—and so not to the ἐκλεκτοῖς alone, but to the state into which the readers had been introduced by the choice of God, that is, to the ἐκλεκτοῖς παρεπιδή΄οις. It is incorrect to attribute to ἐν here a final signification; Beza: ad sanctificationem; de Wette: εἰς τὸ εἶναι ἐν ἁγιασ΄ῷ; the conception of purpose begins only with the subsequent εἰς.

The explanation, that ἐν ἁγ. πν. points out the sphere (or the limitations) within which the readers are ἐκλ. παρεπ. (formerly supported in this commentary), is wanting in the necessary clearness of thought.

εἰς ὑπακοὴν καὶ ῥαντισ΄ὸν αἵ΄ατος ἰησοῦ χρ.] The third adjunct to ἐκλ. παρεπίδ., giving the end towards which this condition is directed. The preposition εἰς is not to be connected with ἁγιασ΄ός (de Wette, Steinmeyer); for although such a construction be grammatically possible, the reference to the Trinity goes to show that these words must be taken as a third adjunct, co-ordinate with the two preceding clauses. Besides, if there were two parts only, the conjunction καί would hardly be awanting. ὑπακοή is to be construed neither with ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, whether taken as a subjective genitive (Beza: designator nostrae sanctificationis subjectum, nempe Christus Jesus qui patri fuit obediens ad mortem, where εἰς is arbitrarily rendered by διά), nor, with Hofmann and Schott, as an objective genitive: “obedience towards Christ” (for then this genitive would stand in a relation other than to αἵ΄ατος(44)), nor with αἵ΄ατος. ὑπακοή must be taken here absolutely, as in 1 Peter 1:14; cf. Romans 6:16. With regard to the meaning of ὑπακοή, many interpreters understand by it faith in Christ; so Luther, Gerhard, Vorstius, Heidegger, Bengel, Wiesinger, Hofmann, etc.; others, on the contrary, take it to signify “moral obedience;” so Pott, de Wette, Schott, etc. Many of the former, however, insist that by it a faith is meant “which of itself includes a conduct corresponding to it” (Hofmann), whilst by the latter it is emphasized that that moral obedience is meant which springs from faith, so that both interpretations are substantially in accord. It may then be said that ὑπακοή is the life of man conformed in faith and walk to the will of the Lord, which the ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδη΄οι as such must realize; so that there is no reason why the idea should be limited towards the one side or the other; cf. 1 John 3:23. The second particular: καὶ ῥαντισ΄ὸν αἵ΄ατος ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, is closely linked on to ὑπακοή. Some commentators have held that the O. T. type on which this expression is based was the paschal lamb (thus Beda: “aspersi sanguine Christi potestatem Satanae vitant, sicut Israel per agni sanguinem Aegypti dominatum declinavit;” Aretius, etc.). Others think that the ceremonial of the great day of atonement is meant (thus Pott, Augusti, Steiger, Usteri, etc.). Wrongly, however; for although in both cases blood was employed, neither the blood of the paschal lamb nor that of the offering of atonement was used to sprinkle the people. With the former the posts were tinged; with the latter the sacred vessels were sprinkled. Steinmeyer is wrong in tracing the expression to the sprinkling with water (Leviticus 19.) of him who had been defiled through contact with a corpse, from the fact that the LXX. have ῥαντισ΄ός only in this passage. For apart from the artificialness of the explanation which Steinmeyer(45) thus feels himself compelled to adopt, the reference to the water of sprinkling is inapt, since mention is made here of a sprinkling of blood, and not of water. A sprinkling of the people with blood took place only on the occasion of the sacrifice of the covenant.(46) The O. T. type on which the expression is founded is no other than the making of the covenant related in Exodus 24:8, to which even Gerhard had made reference, and as, in more recent times, has been acknowledged by Brückner, Wiesinger, Weiss, Schott. This is clear from Hebrews 9:19 ( λαβὼν τὸ αἷ΄α τῶν ΄όσχων πάντα τὸν λαὸν ἐῤῥάντισε) and Hebrews 12:24, where αἷ΄α ῥαντισ΄οῦ, i.e. “the blood by means of the sprinkling of which the ratification of the covenant took place,” is connected with the immediately preceding καὶ διαθήκης νέας μεσίτης. Accordingly, by ῥαντισ΄ὸς αἵ΄ατος ἰησ. χρ. is to be understood the ratification of the covenant relation grounded on the death of Christ, with those thereto ordained; the reference here, however, being not to the commencement, but to the continuance of that relation. For by this expression the apostle does not intend to remind his readers of the end God had in view in their election, but to set before them what the purpose of their election is, which, like the ὑπακοή, should therefore be realized in them as the elect strangers. They are then ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδη΄οι, in order that they may constantly render obedience to Christ, and in Him constantly possess the forgiveness of sins.(47)

The καί standing between ὑπακοήν and ῥαντισ΄όν is taken by Steinmeyer as an explicative; he explains: “in obedientiam, atque in eam praesertim, ut aspergamini sanguine Christi h. e. ut vos in mortis Jesu Christi communionem trahi patiamini.” Incorrectly: “inasmuch as the active idea of obedience can never be explained by the passive being sprinkled” (Wiesinger); and the introduction of the idea pati is arbitrary.

It is further to be observed that the readers are, by the expression last used: ῥαντ. αἵματος ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, here for the first time characterized directly as Christians, all the previous designations having been equally applicable to the children of Israel. A circumstance which shows clearly enough that Peter regards the Christian church as the true Israel, and that without making it in any way dependent on national connection.

As regards the lexicology, it must be remarked that in classical Greek ῥαντισ΄ός never occurs, and ῥαντίζειν only in later writers: the usual word is ῥαίνειν, e.g. Euripides, Iphig. in Aul. 1589: ἧς αἵματι βωμὸν ῥαίνετʼ ἄρδην τῆς θεοῦ; in the LXX. both verbal forms: ῥαντισ΄ός, only in Numbers 19., in a somewhat inexact translation, however.

χάρις ὑ΄ῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη] The distinction between χάρις and εἰρήνη is thus drawn by Gerhard: “pax a gratia distinguitur tanquam fructus et effectus a sua causa.” In harmony with this, χάρις is regarded by the interpreters for the most part as “the subjective in God” (Meyer on Romans 1:7); but Paul’s use of ἀπό and the subsequent πληθυνθείη show that by χάρις in forms of greeting, is to be understood the gifts which flow from it (the manifestation of grace). εἰρήνη specifies this gift more closely according to its nature (see on 1 Timothy 1:2 (48)). πληθυνθείη] Luther: “ye have peace and grace, but not yet to the full;” on the salutation form in the N. T., besides here only in 2 Peter 1:2 and Jude 1:2; in O. T. in Dan. 3:31, LXX.: εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πληθυνθείη; cf. Schoettgen: horae hebr. et talm., on this passage.


Verse 3

1 Peter 1:3. εὐλογητὸς θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρ. ἡμ. . χριστοῦ] The same formula occurs in 2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3.

εὐλογητός, not: “worthy of praise,” but: “praised;” in the LXX. the translation of בָּרוּךּ; in the N. T. the word εὐλογητός used only with reference to God. εἴη and not ἐστίν is probably to be supplied, as is done by most commentators, cf. Meyer on Ephesians 1:1; Winer, p. 545 [E. T. 732] (Schott; Buttm. p. 120); at least from the fact that in the doxologies introduced by means of relatives, ἐστίν is to be found (cf. Romans 1:25; also 1 Peter 4:11), it cannot be concluded that the indicative is to be supplied in an ascription of praise quite differently constructed, cf. LXX. Job 1:21. The adjunct καὶ πατὴρ κ. τ. λ. to θεός is explainable as a natural expression of the Christian consciousness. It is possible “that the whole formula of doxology has its origin in the liturgical usage, so to speak, in the primitive Christian church” (Weiss, p. 401).

κατὰ τὸ πολὺ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶς] The participial clause states the reason why God is to be praised. πολύ gives prominence to the riches of the divine mercy, Ephesians 2:4 : πλούσιος ὢν ἐν ἐλέει. κατά is used here in the same sense as in 1 Peter 1:2. ἀναγεννήσας has its nearer definition in the subsequent εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν. De Wette joins these intimately connected ideas in a somewhat too loose way, when he thus interprets: “who hath awakened us to repentance and faith, and thereby at the same time to a hope.” Similarly Wiesinger, who takes ἀναγεννήσας as a self-contained idea, and connects εἰς ἐλπίδα with it, in this sense, “that in the idea of regeneration this particular determination of it is brought into prominence, that it is a new birth to living hope, i.e. as born again we have attained unto a lively hope;” thus Schott. This view, however, refutes itself, because it necessitates unjustifiable supplements. More in harmony with the expression is Brückner’s interpretation, according to which εἰς denotes the aim of the new birth (“the hope is conceived of as the aim of him by whom the readers have been begotten again;” thus Morus already: Deus nos in melius mutavit, cur? ut sperare possimus). But if the attainment of σωτηρία be conceived as the aim and end of the new birth, the hopes directed to it cannot be so, all the less that this hope forms an essential element of the new life itself. The verb ἀναγεννᾷν is here taken not as an absolute, but as a relative idea, its supplement lying in εις ἐλπ. ζ. (so also Steinmeyer, Weiss, Hofmann). The ἐλπὶς ζῶσα is then to be thought of as the life into which the mercy of God has raised or begotten the believer from the death of hopelessness (Ephesians 2:12 : ἐν τῷ καιρῷ ἐκείνῳ χωρὶς χριστοῦἐλπίδα μὴ ἔχοντες); the connection is the same as in Galatians 4:24, where the simple γεννᾷν, is also construed with εἰς.(49) This view is justified, not only by the close connection of εἰς with the idea ἀναγεννᾷν, but also by the corresponding adj. ζῶσαν. In this there is no weakening of the idea ἀναγεννᾷν (in opposition to Wiesinger), for ἐλπίς need not be conceived as representing one single side of the Christian life, but under it may he understood the whole Christian life in its relation to the future σωτηρία. It is incorrect to take ἐλπίς here in the objective sense, as: object of hope; Aretius: res, quae spei subjectae sunt, h. e. vita aeterna; Bengel: haereditas coelestis; so also Hottinger, Hensler, etc. It is used rather in the subjective sense to denote the inward condition of life.

The expression ζῶσα has been variously translated by the commentators; thus Beza explains it as: perennis; Aretius: solida; Piscator: vivifica; Gualther: spes viva certitudinem salutis significat; Heidegger: ζῶσα: quia et fructus vitae edit, et spes vitae est et permanet; quia non languida, infirma est, sed παῤῥησίαν et πεποίθησιν habet et perpetua simul semperque exhilarans est, neque unquam intermoritur, sed semper renovatur et refocillatur; in the first edition of this commentary; “the hope of the Christian is pervaded by life, carrying with it in undying power the certainty of fulfilment (Romans 5:5), and making the heart joyful and happy;” it “has life in itself, and gives life, and at the same time has life as its object” (de Wette). Taken strictly, ζῶσα characterizes the hope as one which has life in itself, and is therefore operative. All else may as a matter of fact be connected with it, but is not contained in the word itself (Weiss, p. 92); more especially, too, the idea that it has the certainty of its own realization (Hofmann); cf. 1 Peter 1:23 : λόγος ζῶν; 1 Peter 2:4, 1 Peter 5 : λίθος ζῶν. Gerhard incorrectly interprets ἐλπίς by fides, sive fiducialis meriti Christi apprehensio quae est regenerationis nostrae causa formalis. For apart from the fact that Peter is not here speaking of regeneration at all, ἐλπίς and πίστις are in themselves separate ideas, which cannot be arbitrarily substituted for one another. It is erroneous also, with Luther, Calvin, and others, to resolve ἐλπὶς ζῶσα into ἐλπὶς ζωῆς; ζῶσα denotes not the end, but the nature of the hope.

διʼ ἀναστάσεως ἰησ. χριστοῦ ἐκ νεκρῶν] is not to be joined with ζῶσαν (Oecum., Luth., Bengel, Lorinus, Steiger, de Wette, Hofmann), but with ἀναγεννήσας, more nearly defined by εἰςζῶσαν (Calvin, Gerhard, Knapp, Weiss, p. 299; Schott, Brückner(50)); for ζῶσαν does not define a particular kind of hope, but only gives special prominence to an element already contained in the idea ἐλπίς. The resurrection of Christ is the means by which God has begotten us again to the living hope. It is the fact which forms the living ground of Christian hope. Wiesinger joins διʼ ἀναστ. somewhat too loosely with ἀναγ., explaining as he does: “He hath begotten us again, and thus in virtue of the resurrection of Jesus Christ hath aided us to living hope.”

As ζᾶσαν corresponds to the term ἀναγεννήσας, so does ἀνάστασις in the most exact manner to both of these ideas. By the resurrection of Christ the believer also is risen to life. It must be remarked the prepositions κατά, ἐν, εἰς, 1 Peter 1:2, are used to correspond with κατά, εἰς, διά; cf. 1 Peter 1:5, the use of the prepositions: ἐν, διά, εἰς.


Verses 3-12

1 Peter 1:3-12. Praise to God for the grace of which the Christians had been made the partakers. The prominence which the apostle gives to ἀναγεννᾷν εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν, as also his designation of them as ἐκλεκτοὶ παρεπίδημοι, is occasioned by the present state of suffering in which his readers were, and above which he is desirous of raising them.


Verse 4

1 Peter 1:4. εἰς κληρονομίαν] co-ordinate with the conception ἐλπίδα; it is nevertheless not dependent on it, but on ἀναγεννήσας, although it denotes the objective blessing to which the ἐλπίς has regard. It is added by way of apposition, in order to describe more nearly the substance of the hope with respect to its aim.

κληρονομία means, no doubt, in the O. and N. T. (Matthew 21:38; Luke 12:13) sometimes inheritance; but more frequently it has the signification of “possession.” In the O. T. it often serves to denote the land of Canaan and its separate parts, promised and apportioned to the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 12:9; Lamentations 5:2; Joshua 13:14, and other passages): γῆ, ἣν κύριος θεός σου δίδωσί σοι ἐν κλήρῳ, Deuteronomy 24:2, or ἣνδίδωσί σοι κληρονομῆσαι. In the N. T., and so here also, by the term is to be understood the completed βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ with all its possessions, as the antitype of the land of Canaan (cf. in particular, Hebrews 9:15). As this use of the word is not based on the signification “inheritance,” it cannot be maintained, with Wiesinger (Schott agreeing with him), that κληρονομία stands here with reference to ἀναγεννήσας, “to designate that of which the Christians as children of God have expectations.”(51) The following words: ἄφθαρτον καὶ ἀμίαντον καὶ ἀμάραντον] state the gloriousness of the κληρονομία.(52) ἄφθαρτος (cf. chap. 1 Peter 3:4), opposite of φθαρτός (1 Peter 1:18 equal to ἀπολλύμενος, 1 Peter 1:7), cf. 1 Peter 1:23; Romans 1:23; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 1 Corinthians 15:53-54; “not subject to the φθορά.” ἀμίαντος (James 1:27; Hebrews 7:26), “undefiled, undefilable.” ἀμάραντος ἅπ. λεγ. ( ἀμαράντινος is similar, chap. 1 Peter 5:4), “unfading;” in the last expression prominence is given to the imperishable beauty of the κληρονομία. Steinmeyer’s opinion is incorrect, that μίαντος has nearly the same meaning as πολύτιμος and τίμιος, 1 Peter 1:19.

It is not to be assumed that Peter alludes to the character “of the earthly κληρονομία (Weiss, p. 74) of the people of Israel,” especially as there is nothing in the expressions ἀμάραντος and ἄφθαρτος which can without artificial straining admit of such a reference.(53)

τετηρη΄ένην ἐν οὐρανοῖς εἰς ὑ΄ᾶς] The apostle having up to this time spoken generally, makes a transition, and addresses his readers directly: ἀναγενν. ἡ΄ᾶς; he thereby assures them that that κληρονο΄ία is a possession intended and reserved for them. For the conception here expressed, cf. especially Colossians 1:5, and Meyer in loc. The perf. τετηρημένην (Luth. inexactly: “which is kept”) stands here with reference to the nearness of the time when their κληρονομία will be allotted to believers; 1 Peter 1:5 : ἑτοί΄ην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι.(54)


Verse 5

1 Peter 1:5. As the basis of the thought: τετηρημένηνεἰς ὑμᾶς, the apostle subjoins to ὑμᾶς the additional τοὺς ἐν δυνάμει φρουρουμένουςεἰς σωτηρίαν, by which is expressed not the condition on which the readers might hope for the heavenly κληρονομία, but the reason why they possess expectations of it. The chief emphasis lies not on ἐν δυνάμει θεοῦ (Schott), but on φρουρουμένουςεἰς σωτηρίαν, inasmuch as the former expression serves only to define the φρουρεῖσθαι more precisely. Gerhard incorrectly makes the accusative depend on ἀναγεννήσας. The prep. ἐν (as distinguished from the following διά) points out the δύναμις θεοῦ as the causa efficiens (Gerhard), so that Luther’s: “out of God’s power” is in sense correct; the φρουρεῖσθαι is based on the δύν. θεοῦ. Steinmeyer wrongly explains, referring to Galatians 3:23, the δύναμις θεοῦ as the φρουρά within which the Christians as believers ( διὰ πίστεως equal to πιστεύοντες!) are kept, velut sub vetere T. lex carcerum instar exstitit, in quibus οἱ ὑπὸ νόμον ὄντες custodiebantur. To assume an antithesis between the δύν. θεοῦ and the law in explanation of this passage, is entirely unjustifiable. By δύν. θεοῦ is not to be understood, with de Wette and Weiss (p. 189), the Holy Spirit; He is never in any passage of the N. T. (not even in Luke 1:35) designated by these words. The means by which the power of God effects the preservation is the πίστις,(55) the ultimate origin of which nevertheless is also the gracious will of God.

On φρουρουμένους, Vorstius rightly remarks: notatur talis custodia, quae praesidium habet adjunctum.(56) The word by which the apostle even here makes reference to the subsequent ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασ΄οῖς, 1 Peter 1:6, has its nearer definition in the following εἰς σωτηρίαν ἑτοί΄ην ἀποκαλυφθῆναι, which by Calvin (haec duo membra appositive lego, ut posterius sit prioris expositio, rem unam duobus modis exprimit), Steiger, and others is joined to ἀναγεννήσας as a co-ordinate adjunct to εἰς κληρονο΄ίαν. It is preferable to connect them with φρουρου΄ένους; the more so that κληρονο΄ία, “with its predicates, so fully characterizes the object of hope, that εἰς σωτηρίαν κ. τ. λ. would add nothing further” (Wiesinger). The introduction of ὑ΄ᾶς, too, is decidedly opposed to the former construction. There is nothing to support the connection with πίστεως, in which σωτηρία would be regarded as the object of faith. According to the correct construction, the verbal conception is more nearly defined by the addition of the origin, means, and end, cf. 1 Peter 1:2-3.(57) The word σωτηρία is here—as the conjoined ἑτοί΄η ἀποκαλυφθῆναι shows—a positive conception; namely: the salvation effected and completed by Christ, not simply a negative idea, “deliverance from ἀπώλεια” (Weiss, p. 79). It does not follow from the circumstance that κληρονο΄ία and σωτηρία are synonymous terms, that the former is “only the negative side of the completed salvation.”

The verb ἀποκαλυφθῆναι is here, as elsewhere, used to denote the disclosure of what is already in existence (with God ἐν οὐρανοῖς, 1 Peter 1:4), but as yet hidden. ἕτοι΄ος is here, like ΄έλλων often, joined cum. inf. pass. (see Galatians 3:23. On the use of the inf. aor. in this connection, see Winer, p. 311 f. [E. T. 419 f.]); ΄έλλων nevertheless has a less strong force. The future salvation lies ready to be revealed, that is to say: ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ, by which is denoted the time when the world’s history will be closed (not “the relatively last; Bengel: in comparatione temporum V. T.; but absolutely the last time ἐν ἀποκαλύψει . χρ., 1 Peter 1:7.” Wiesinger(58)). When this time will be, the apostle does not say; but his whole manner of expression indicates that in hope it floated before his vision as one near at hand; cf. chap. 1 Peter 4:7.


Verse 6

1 Peter 1:6. ἐν ἀγαλλιᾶσθε] The verb expresses the liveliness of the Christian joy, equivalent to: exult; it is stronger than χαίρειν, with which it is sometimes connected (chap. 1 Peter 4:13; Matthew 5:12; Revelation 19:7(59)).

ἐν refers either to the preceding thought, that the salvation is ready to be revealed (Calvin: articulus “in quo” refert totum illud complexum de spe salutis in coelo repositae; so also Estius, Grotius, Calov, Steiger, Jachmann, de Wette, Brückner, Steinmeyer, Schott; similarly Gerhard, who, however, applies it to all that precedes: ἀναγεννήσας, etc.), or to καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ (Oecum., Erasmus, Luther, Wiesinger, etc.). In the first construction ἀγαλλ.—in form as in meaning—is praesens, and denotes the present joy of the Christians over their future salvation ( ἐν : over which, cf. chap. 1 Peter 4:4(60)). In the second construction a double interpretation is possible, inasmuch as ἐν may denote either the object or the time of the joy; in the first case the sense is: the καιρὸς ἔσχατος is for you an object of joy, because in it the salvation will be revealed; in the second case the sense is: in that last time ye shall rejoice (so Wiesinger and Hofmann); here the object of joy is doubtless not named, but it may be easily supplied, and the want of it therefore cannot be urged against this view (as opposed to Brückner). The last of these different views deserves the preference, both on account of the subsequent ὀλίγον ἄρτιλυπηθέντες, which forms a distinct antithesis to ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, and of the idea peculiar to the epistle, that in the present time the Christian has to suffer rather than to exult, and only in the future can he expect the full joy;—and the prevalent manner of conjunction, too, precisely in this section of the epistle, by which what follows is linked directly on to the word immediately preceding, cf. 1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 1:10, shows that ἐν applies to καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ. In this combination, however, it is more natural to take ἐν in the same sense as in that which it has before καιρῷ, rather than in another.(61)

Doubtless the present ἀγαλλιᾶσθε will then have a future force; but this occasions no difficulty, there being nothing uncommon in such a use of the present (cf. also Winer, p. 249 [E. T. 331 f.]).

The present tense strongly emphasizes the certainty of the future joy, rays of which fall even on the present life.(62)

ὀλίγον ἄρτι] ὀλίγον not of measure (Steiger), but of time, chap. 1 Peter 5:10, where it forms the antithesis to αἰώνιος; cf. Revelation 17:10; ἄρτι denotes present time. The juxtaposition of the two words is explainable by the apostle’s hope that the καιρὸς ἔσχατος would soon begin.

εἰ δέον ἐστί] not an affirmative (Bengel), but a hypothetical parenthesis: si res ita ferat: if it must be so, that is, according to divine decree; cf. chap. 1 Peter 3:17. Incorrectly Steinmeyer: qui per peregrinationis spatium, quamdiu necessarium est, contristati estis.(63)

λυπηθέντες ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασ΄οῖς] The aorist with ἄρτι has reference to the future joy: “after that ye have now for a short time been made sorrowful.” “It signifies the inward sadness, in consequence of outward experiences” (Wiesinger).

Particula ἐν non solum est χρονική, sed etiam αἰτιολογική (Gerhard). Both meanings pass over into each other, so that ἐν is not to be interpreted as synonymous with διά.

πειρασ΄οί are the events by which the faith of the Christian is proved or also tempted; here, specially the persecutions which he is called upon to endure at the hands of the unbelieving world, cf. James 1:2; Acts 20:19. By the addition of the adjective, the manifold nature of their different kinds is pointed out.

REMARK.

When Schott, in opposition to the interpretation here given, maintains the purely present force of ἀγαλλ. on the ground that “it must be the apostle’s object to commend by way of exhortation the readers for their present state of mind,” it is to be remarked—(1) That the apostle here gives utterance to no exhortation; and (2) That the apostle might perfectly well direct his readers to the certainty of the future joy, in order to strengthen them for the patient endurance of their present condition of suffering. It is perfectly arbitrary to assert, with Schott, that by ἄρτι the present trials as transitory are contrasted with the present joy as enduring, as also to maintain “that by the aorist λυπηθέντες the suffering is reduced to the idea of an ever-changing variety of individual momentary incidents which, in virtue of the uniform joy, may always lie behind the Christian surmounted”(!).

Schott insists again, without reason, that εἰ δέον [ ἐστι] cannot be taken as referring to the divine decree, in that it is “impossible to make the accomplished concrete fact of the λυπηθῆναι hypothetical with respect to the will of God;” for it is not clear why Peter should not characterize the λυπηθῆναι ἐν ποικ. πειρασμοῖς as something hypothetical here, where he does not as yet enter more particularly into the concrete facts. Nor can it be assumed that εἰ δέον ( ἐστί) is added in order to remind the readers that the τοικιλοὶ πειρασμοί should in reality occasion no sadness,—the less so that thus the intimately connected λυπηθέντες ἐν ποικ. πειρασμοῖς are torn asunder.


Verse 7

1 Peter 1:7. ἵνα] states the aim of the λυπηθῆναι ἐνπειρασμοῖς, in order to console the readers with respect to it, “that the approvedness of your faith may be found more precious than (that) of gold, which perisheth, yet it is tried by fire, to (your) praise, and glory, and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

δοκίμιον here, as in James 1:3 (cf. in loco), equal to δοκιμή, the approvedness as the result of the trial (Romans 5:3-4; 2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 9:13; Philippians 2:22).(64) The strict signification “medium of proof” is inappropriate, inasmuch as the aim of the λυπηθῆναι ἐν πειρασμοῖς cannot be stated as the glorification of these πειρασ΄οί, but as only that of faith in its approvedness (in opposition to Steinmeyer). Unsuitable, too, is the interpretation “trial” (Brückner, Wiesinger), τὸ δοκί΄ιον τῆς πίστεως being taken for πίστις δοκι΄αζο΄ένη, inasmuch as it is not the trial of the faith, but the faith being tried that is to be compared with the gold. This substitution of ideas is not justifiable, inasmuch as the process applied to an object cannot be put for the object itself to which it is applied. Only if δοκίμιον denote a quality of faith, can a substitution of this kind take place. δοκίμιον must be taken as: “approvedness,” and by approvedness of faith, the “approved,” or rather “the faith approving itself.”(65)

(64) δοκιμή in the N. T. has either an active or a passive signification; in the former it means: “the trial which leads to approvedness,” as in 2 Corinthians 8:2; in the latter: “the approvedness effected by trial,” as in the passages quoted; or better still: “a distinction must be drawn between a present and a perfect force, in that “ δοκιμή has a reflexive sense, either, then, the having approved itself, or the approving itself,” Cremer, s.v.

REMARK.

What Schott had formerly alleged with respect to δοκίμιον is repeated by Hofmann, only by him it is carried further. By an highly artificial interpretation of Psalms 11:7, LXX., and by the application of the rule established by him, “that the neuter of the adjective does not stand in the place of an abstract attributive, but expresses the condition of something as a concrete reality, and in conjunction with a genitive denotes the object thereby named in this its condition,” Hofmann makes out that it is here affirmed that “at the revelation of Christ it will be found that the faith of the readers has been subjected to purification, and is in consequence free from dross.” This whole interpretation is a pure matter of fancy, for δοκίμιον—a circumstance which both Schott and Hofmann have left unnoticed—is not an adjective, but a real substantive; for δοκιμεῖον.

Cremer explains: “ δοκ. is not the touchstone only, in and for itself, but the trace left behind on it by the metal; therefore τὸ δοκ. τῆς πίστεως is that which results from the contact of πίστις with πειρασμοῖς, that by which faith is recognised as genuine, equal to the proof of faith.” But in opposition to this it must be remarked that fire and not touchstone is here conceived as the means of testing.

πολυτιμότερον κ. τ. λ.] is by most interpreters closely connected with εὑρεθῇ, by others again (Wolf, Pott, Steinmeyer, Wiesinger, Hofmann) separated from it, and considered as in apposition to τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμ. τ. πιστ. The following facts, however, are decisive against the latter construction: (1) That—as Wiesinger admits—this appositional clause expresses “something understood of itself.” (2) That the intention here is not to make an observation on faith, but to state what is the design of sorrow, namely, that the faith which is approving itself may be found to be one πολύτιμος. (3) That thus εὑρεθῇ would be deprived of any nearer definition, in that the subsequent εἰς has reference not to εὑρεθῇ alone, but to the whole idea expressed. Yet it cannot well dispense with a nearer definition (in opposition to Hofmann).

The genitive χρυσίου is, as almost all the interpreters take it, to be joined in sense directly with the comparative: “than the gold,” so that the δοκίμιον of the faith is compared with the gold. Some commentators, like Beza, Grotius, Vorstius, Steinmeyer, Hofmann, assume an ellipsis (cf. Winer, p. 230 [E. T. 307]), supplying before χρυσίου the words τὸ δοκίμιον. In opposition it may be urged, however, not precisely “that this is cumbrous” (Brückner), but that the point of comparison is not properly the approval of faith, but the faith in the act of approving itself. Whilst comparing the faith with the gold, the apostle places the former above the latter; the reason of this he states in the attribute τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου connected with χρυσίου, by which reference is made to the imperishable nature of faith. To this first attribute he subjoins the second: διὰ πυρὸς δὲ δοκιμαζομένου, in order to name here also the medium of proving, to which the πειρασμοί, with respect to faith, correspond. Accordingly Wiesinger and Steinmeyer are wrong in asserting that in the interpretation here given the attribute τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου is inappropriate.

ἀπολλύμενος: φθαρτός, cf. 1 Peter 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23; also John 6:27. For the position of the adjective with art. after an anarthrous subst., see Winer, p. 131 f. [E. T. 174].

διὰ πυρὸς δὲ δοκιμαζομένου] The particle δέ seems to place this second adjunct in antithesis to the first ( ἀπολλυμένου) (thus de Wette: “which is perishable, and yet is proved by fire;” so also Hofmann). But opposed to this view is the circumstance that the trial and purification of what is perishable is by no means anything to occasion surprise; it is therefore more correct to find the purpose of the adjunct in this, that by it the idea of the δοκιμάζεσθαι is brought prominently forward. Vorstius remarks to the point: aurum igni committitur non ad iteritum, sed ad gloriam, sic fides cruci ad gloriam subjicitur.

For this comparison, see Job 23:10; Proverbs 17:3; Zechariah 13:9.

εὑρεθῇ εἰς ἔπαινον καὶ δόξαν καὶ τιμήν] The verb εὑρεθῆναι, “to be found to be,” is more significant than εἶναι (cf. Winer, p. 572 f. [E. T. 769 f.]), and has reference to the judicial investigation on the last day of judgment. The words following form an adjunct to the whole preceding thought: ἵναεὑρεθῇ. Beza rightly: hic agitur de ipsorum electorum laude, etc.; thus: “to your praise, glory, and honour.” Schott quite arbitrarily interprets ἔπαινος as in itself: “the judicial recognition” (as opposed to this, cf. Philippians 1:11; Philippians 4:8); τιμή: “the moral estimation of the person arising therefrom” (as opposed to this, cf. 1 Peter 3:7), and δόξα: “the form of glory” (as opposed to this, cf. Galatians 1:5; Philippians 1:11). Steinmeyer incorrectly applies the words not to the persons, but to their faith. δόξα and τιμή in the N. T. stand frequently together; in connection with ἔπαινος, here only. The juxtaposition of these synonymous expressions serves to give prominence to the one idea of honourable recognition common to them all. Standing as δίξα does between ἔπαινος and τιμή, it cannot signify: “the allotment of the possession of glory” (Wiesinger), but it is: “glory, praise.”

ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ] not: “through,” but: “at,” the revelation of Jesus Christ, that is, on the day of His return, which is at once the ἀποκάλυψις δικαιοκρισίας τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 2:5) and the ἀποκάλυψις τῶν υἱῶν τοῦ θεοῦ (Romans 8:19).


Verse 8

1 Peter 1:8. The longing of the believers is directed to the ἀποκάλυψις ἰησ. χριστοῦ, He being the object of their love and joy. This thought is subjoined to what precedes in two relative clauses, in order that thereby the apostle may advert to the glory of the future salvation.

ὃν οὐκ εἰδότες ἀγαπᾶτε] “whom, although ye know Him not (that is, according to the flesh, or in His earthly personality), ye love.” The object of εἰδότες is easily supplied from ὅν, according to the usage in Greek. The reading ἰδόντες expresses substantially the same thought.

Since ἀγάπη, properly speaking, presupposes personal acquaintance, the clause οὐκ εἰδότες is significantly added, in order to set forth prominently that the relation to Christ is an higher than any based on a knowledge after the flesh.

In the clause following—co-ordinate with this—the thought is carried further, the apostle’s glance being again directed to the future appearance of Christ.

εἰς ὂν ἄρτι μὴ ὁρῶντες πιστεύοντες δὲ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε] As regards the construction, εἰς ὅν can hardly be taken with ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, the participles ὁρῶντες and πιστεύοντες thus standing absolutely (Fronmüller), but, as most interpreters are agreed, must be construed with πιστεύοντες. The more precise determination of the thought must depend on whether ἀγαλλιᾶσθε is, with de Wette, Brückner, Winer, Steinmeyer, Weiss, Schott, to be taken as referring to present, or, with Wiesinger and Hofmann, to future joy. In the first case, ἀγαλλιᾶσθε is joined in the closest manner with πιστεύοντες, and ἄρτι only with μὴ ὁρῶντες (de Wette: “and in Him, though now seeing Him not, yet believing ye exult”); in the second, εἰς ὂνπιστεύοντες δέ is to be taken as the condition of the ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, and ἄρτι to be joined with πιστεύοντες (Wiesinger: “on whom for the present believing,—although without seeing,—ye exult”). In support of the first view, it may be advanced, that thus ἀγαλλιᾶσθε corresponds more exactly to ἀγαπᾶτε, and that μὴ ὁρῶντες forms a more natural antithesis to ἀγαλλιᾶσθε than to πιστεύοντες; for the second, that it is precisely one of the peculiarities characteristic of this epistle, that it sets forth the present condition of believers as one chiefly of suffering, which only at the ἀποκάλυψις of the Lord will be changed into one of joy; that the more precise definition: χαρᾷ ἀνεκλαλήτῳ καὶ δεδοξασμένῃ, as also the subsequent κομιζόμενοι, have reference to the future; that the ἄρτι seems to involve the thought: “now ye see Him not, but then ye see Him, and shall rejoice in beholding Him;” and lastly, that the apostle, 1 Peter 4:13, expressly ascribes the ἀγαλλιᾶσθαι to the future. On these grounds the second view is preferable to the first. The present ἀγαλλιᾶσθε need excite the less surprise, that the future joy is one not only surely pledged to the Christian, but which its certainty makes already present. It may, indeed, be supposed that ἀγαλλιᾶσθε must be conceived as in the same relation to time with ἀγαπᾶτε; yet, according to the sense, it is not the ἀγαλλιᾶσθαι, but the πιστεύειν, which forms the second characteristic of the Christian life annexed to ἀγαπᾷν. It is not, however, the case, that on account of the present πιστεύοντες, ἀγαλλ. also must be taken with a present signification (Schott), since love and faith are the present ground of the joy beginning indeed now, but perfected only in the future. The particle of time ἄρτι applies not only to μὴ ὁρῶντες, but likewise to πιστεύοντες δέ; the sense of μὴ ὁρῶντες πιστεύοντες δέ is not this, that although they now do not see, yet still believe—the not seeing and the believing do not form an antithesis, they belong to each other; but this, that the Christians do not indeed see, but believe. On the distinction between οὐκ εἰδότες and μὴ ὁρῶντες, see Winer, p. 452 [E. T. 609].

χαρᾷ ἀνεκλαλήτῳ καὶ δεδοξασμένῃ] serves to intensify ἀγαλλιᾶσθε. ἀνεκλάλητος, ἅπ. λεγ., “unspeakable,” is either “what cannot be expressed in words” (thus ἀλάλητος, Romans 8:26), or “what cannot be exhausted by words.”(66) δεδοξασ΄ένη, according to Weiss, means: “the joy which already bears within it the glory, in which the future glory comes into play even in the Christian’s earthly life;” similarly Steinmeyer: “hominis fidelis laetitia jam exstat δεδοξασ΄ένη, quoniam δόξαν ejus futuram praesentem habet ac sentit;” but on this interpretation relations are introduced which in and for itself the word does not possess. δεδοξασ΄ένος means simply “glorified;” χαρὰ δεδοξασμ. is accordingly the joy which has attained unto perfected glory; but “the imperfect joy of the Christian here (Wiesinger, Hofmann), and not the joy of the world, which as of sense and transitory is a joy ἐν ἀτι΄ίᾳ” (Fronmüller), is to be regarded as its antithesis; so that this expression also seems to show that ἀγαλλιᾶσθε is to be understood of the future exultation.


Verse 9

1 Peter 1:9. κομιζόμενοι τὸ τέλος κ. τ. λ.] gives the reason of that joy; the participle links itself simply on to ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, “inasmuch as ye obtain,” etc., and supplies confirmation that what is here spoken of is not present, but future joy. It is arbitrary to interpret, with de Wette and Brückner: “inasmuch as ye are destined to obtain;” or with Steiger: “inasmuch as even now in foretaste ye obtain.” Joined with the future present ἀγαλλιᾶσθε, the participle must also be in the present.(67) Cf. with this passage, more especially chap. 1 Peter 5:4.

κο΄ίζειν: “obtain” (cf. chap. 1 Peter 5:4), is in the N. T. frequently used of the obtaining of what will be assigned to man at the last judgment; 2 Peter 2:13; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25. Steinmeyer incorrectly explains the word: secum portare.

τὸ τέλος, not “the reward” = ΄ισθός (Beza, Vorstius, etc.), neither is it “the reward of victory” (Hofmann);(68) but it is the end of faith, that to which it is directed; see Cremer, s.v.

τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν] refers back to πιστεύοντες, 1 Peter 1:8.

σωτηρίαν ψυχῶν] The salvation is indeed one already present; but here is meant the Christians’ completed salvation, of which they shall be partakers, ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ (1 Peter 1:5).

On ψυχῶν, Bengel remarks: anima praecipue salvatur: corpus in resurrectione participat; cf. James 1:21; John 12:25; Luke 21:19.


Verse 10

1 Peter 1:10. περὶ ἧς σωτηρίας ἐξεζήτησαν καὶ ἐξηρεύνησαν προφῆται] The σωτηρία, to which the search of the prophets was directed, is, as the connection: περὶ ἧς σωτ., shows, the previously mentioned σωτηρία ψυχῶν, which is the τέλος of faith. Wiesinger and Schott extend the idea so as to include within it the present salvation. This is correct thus far, that the future salvation is only the completion of the present; but it is precisely to the completion that the apostle’s glance is directed. De Wette is wrong in understanding by σωτηρία “the work of salvation.”

Both verbs express the earnest search. ἐξερευνᾷν is in the N. T. ἅπ. λεγ. (LXX. 1 Samuel 23:23 : חָפַשׂ; 1 Chronicles 19:3 : תָקַר). The prefixed ἐκ serves to intensify the idea, without hinting that the prophets selected the right time from among different periods (Steiger); see the other passages in the N. T. where the verb ἐκζητεῖν occurs. The aim of their search is more precisely defined in 1 Peter 1:11. Luther’s translation is inexact: “after which salvation;” περί means rather: in respect to, with regard to.

Calvin justly remarks: quum dicit prophetas sciscitatos esse et sedulo inquisivisse, hoc ad eorum scripta aut doctrinam non pertinet, sed ad privatum desiderium quo quisque aestuavit. A distinction is here drawn between the individual activity put forth on the basis of the revelation of which they had been made partakers, and that revelation itself (Wiesinger, Schott, Hofmann).(69) To προφῆται is subjoined the nearer definition: οἱ περὶ τῆς εἰς ὑμᾶς χάριτος προφητεύσαντες] by which some prophets are not distinguished from others, as Hofmann thinks, but all are characterized according to their function. Bengel: Articulus hic praeter-missus grandem facit orationem, nam auditorem a determinata individuorum consideratione ad ipsum genus spectandum traducit; sic 1 Peter 1:12 : angeli.

εἰς ὑμᾶς χάρις] either from the prophets’ standpoint: “destined for you” (de Wette, Brückner), or from that of the apostles: “the grace of which ye have been made partakers” (Wiesinger, Schott). The first is the preferable view. χάρις is not to be taken as identical with σωτηρία (as opposed to Wiesinger), but the difference in expression points to a distinction in idea. χάρις denotes both the present and the future, σωτηρία only the future. Hofmann attaches particular importance to the fact that ὑμᾶς and not ἡμᾶς is here used; assuming that by ὑμᾶς the readers must be understood to be heathen-Christians. This is, however, incorrect, since Peter nowhere in his epistle makes a distinction between heathen and Jewish-Christians; by ὑμᾶς the readers are addressed not as heathen-Christians, but as Christians in general; cf. also 1 Peter 1:3-4 : ἀναγεννήσας ἡμᾶςτετηρημένους εἰς ὑμᾶς.


Verses 10-12

1 Peter 1:10-12. The design of this paragraph is not to prove the truth of the apostolic doctrine by its agreement with that of the prophets (Gerhard), but to bring prominently forward the glory of the σωτηρία before spoken of, by presenting it as the object of prophetic search. Calvin: “salutis hujus pretium inde commendat, quod in eam toto studio intente fuerunt prophetae.” Wiesinger also; in such a way, however, that he holds the real tendency to be this, that the readers should recognise themselves as “those favoured ones who, by the preaching of the gospel, had been made partakers of the salvation foretold in the O. T.” Schott thinks that here the position of the Christians is compared very favourably with that of the prophets, since the latter had to cling to a bare word referring to an indefinite time; the former, on the other hand, have in their possession of salvation the pledge of a blessed future—indeed, in a certain sense even possess it.

But how much is here introduced!


Verse 11

1 Peter 1:11 stands in close grammatical connection with the preceding, ἐρευνῶντες being conjoined with the verba finita of 1 Peter 1:10; what follows states the object of the ἐρευνᾷν.

εἰς τίνα ποῖον καιρόν] τίνα refers to the time itself, ποῖον to its character.(70) Steinmeyer (appealing without justification to Romans 4:13) explains incorrectly: vel potius; vel, ut rectius dicam.

ἐδήλου] not: “referred to” (Luth. or significaret, Vulg.), but: “revealed,” as Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 12:17, etc. Vorstius supplies: gratiam illam exstituram, de qua et ipsi vaticinabantur; this is incorrect. εἰςκαιρόν is conjoined rather directly—though not as its real object, but as a secondary determination—with ἐδήλου. An object is not to be supplied (neither ταῦτα nor τὴν χάριν ταύτην, Steiger), as ἐδήλου is in intimate union with the participle προμαρτυρόμενον (de Wette, Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott), by which “at once the act of δηλοῦν and its object are exactly determined” (de Wette).

τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς πνεῦμα χριστοῦ] By this the revealing subject is mentioned: the prophets only expressed what the Spirit within them communicated to them; “the τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς is to be taken as a special act of ἐδήλου” (Wiesinger), cf. besides, Matthew 22:43 and 2 Peter 1:21.(71)

This Spirit is characterized as the τὸ πνεῦ΄α τοῦ χριστοῦ, not in that it bears witness of Christ (Bengel: Spiritus Christi: testans de Christo; thus also Grotius, Augustine, Jachmann), for χριστοῦ is the subjective and not the objective genitive, but because it is the Spirit “which Christ has and gives” (Wiesinger); see Romans 8:8. The expression is to be explained from the apostle’s conviction of the pre-existence of Christ, and is here used in reference strictly to the προ΄αρτυρό΄ενον τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθή΄ατα κ. τ. λ. directly conjoined with it. Barnabas, chap. 1 Peter 5 : prophetae ab ipso habentes donum in illum prophetarunt.

REMARK.

By far the greater number of the interpreters rightly see in the term here applied to the Spirit a testimony to the real pre-existence of Christ. Not so de Wette, who finds in it merely the expression of the view “that the work of redemption is the same in both the O. and N. T., and that the Spirit of God at work in the former is identical with the Spirit of Christ;” and Weiss (pp. 247–249), who explains the name thus: that the Spirit which was at work in the prophets was the same as “that which Christ received at His baptism, and since then has possessed;” similarly Schmid also (bibl. Theol. p. 163), “the Spirit of God which in after time worked in the person of Christ.”

Weiss seeks to prove, indeed, that “Christ had in the pre-existent Messianic Spirit an ideal, or in a certain sense a real pre-existence,”—but in this way reflex ideas are attributed to the apostles, which certainly lay far from their mind. Besides, Weiss himself admits that in 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Corinthians 10:9, reference is made to the pre-existent Christ; but it cannot be concluded from Acts 2:36 that Peter did not believe it. Schott, too, in his interpretation, does not abstain from introducing many results of modern thought, when he designates τὸ πν. χρ. here as the Spirit “of the Mediator continually approaching the consummation of salvation(!), but as yet supernaturally concealed in God.” Steinmeyer does not touch the question of the pre-existence of Christ; he finds an adequate explanation of the expression in the remark of Bengel, although he takes χριστοῦ as a subject. gen.

προμαρτυρόμενον] This verb. compos. occurs nowhere else in the N. T., and in none of the classical writers; the simplex means properly: “to call to witness;” then, “to swear to, to attest;” προμαρτύρεσθαι is therefore: “to attest beforehand.”(72)

The object of ἐδήλουπρομαρτ. is τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθή΄ατα καὶ τὰς ΄ετὰ ταῦτα δόξας] On this Luther remarks, that it can be understood of both kinds of suffering, of those which Christ Himself bore, as well as of those which we endure. The majority of interpreters conceive the reference to be to the former: Oecumenius, Theophyl., Erasmus, Grotius, Aretius, Piscator (cf. Luke 24:26), Vorstius, Hensler, Stolz, Hottinger, Knapp, Steiger, de Wette, Brückner, Steinmeyer, Wiesinger, Weiss, Luthardt, Schott, Fronmüller, Hofmann, etc.; but not so Calvin: non tractat Petr. quod Christo sit proprium, sed de universali ecclesiae statu disserit; Bolten and Clericus explain it of the sufferings of the Christians; the same position is taken up in the first edition of this commentary. Since the main tendency of the paragraph, 1 Peter 1:10-12, is to give special prominence to the glorious nature of the believers’ σωτηρία, the latter view is favoured by the connection of thought. But, on the other hand, there is nothing opposed to the assumption, that the apostle here mentions the facts on which the σωτηρία is founded, as the substance of the testimony of the Spirit of God in the prophets. The expression τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθή΄ατα too, which must be interpreted on the analogy of τῆς εἰς ὑ΄ᾶς χάριτος, goes to show that by it are to be understood the sufferings which were ordained or appointed to Christ (Wiesinger).

On the plural τὰςδόξας, Bengel says: Plurale: gloria resurrectionis, gloria ascensionis, gloria judicii extremi et regni coelestis; thus also Grotius, de Wette, Steiger, Wiesinger, Weiss, Schott. But it might be more correct to explain the plural in this way, that as the one suffering of Christ comprehends in it a plurality of sufferings, so does His δόξα a plurality of glories. Hofmann: “by παθή΄ατα is to be understood the manifold afflictions in which the one suffering of Christ consisted, while the manifold glorifyings which go to make up His glory are included under δόξαι.”(73) Besides, it must be noted that the suffering of Christ is always designated by the plural παθήματα (with the exception of in Hebrews 2:9, where we have: τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου), but His glory always by the singular δόξα.

As the παθήματα and δόξαι, of Christ are the object of ἐδήλου προμαρτυρόμενον, so by καιρός, to which the ἐρευνᾷν of the prophets was directed, the time is referred to when this salvation would actually be accomplished. For this reason, then, ἐξηρεύνησαν, 1 Peter 1:10, cannot again be repeated in ἐρευνῶντες (Wiesinger, Schott), as if the εἰς τίνακαιρόν referred directly to the appearance of the σωτηρία; the apostle’s thought is rather this, that in their search as to the time of the sufferings, etc. of Christ, the prophets had before their eyes, as that with respect to which they sought to obtain knowledge, the σωτηρία of which believers were to be made partakers.

REMARK.

Definite corroboration of the ideas here expressed is to be found in the Book of Daniel, chap. Daniel 12:4; Daniel 12:9-10; Daniel 12:13. The fundamental presupposition is, that the “when” of the fulfilment was unknown to the prophets; according to 1 Peter 1:12, all that was revealed to them was, that it would take place only in the times to come. De Wette asserts too much when he says, that searching as to the time cannot be predicated of the genuine prophets of ancient Judaism, but of Daniel only, who pondered over the seventy years of Jeremiah. But although the words of Daniel may have given occasion for the apostle’s statement, still that statement is not incapable of justification. If the apostles searched as to the time when the promises of Christ would receive accomplishment, why should it not be presupposed that similarly the prophets, too, inquired into that which the πνεῦμα χριστοῦ testified beforehand to them, more especially as to the καιρός of its fulfilment?


Verse 12

1 Peter 1:12. οἷς ἀπεκαλύφθη] is linked on by way of explanation to ἐρευνῶντες: “to whom it was revealed,” i.e. “in that it was revealed to them.” This is to be taken neither as an antithesis to the searching, nor as the result of it, but as an element accompanying—and stimulating—it; see Wiesinger and Schott in loc.

ὅτι οὐχ ἑαυτοῖς ὑμῖν ( ἡμῖν) δὲ διηκόνουν αὐτά] ὅτι is not causal here (Luther: “for;” so also Luthardt and Hofmann). Opposed to this is the circumstance that if ὅτι κ. τ. λ. be taken as a parenthesis, and the νῦν ἀνηγγέλη κ. τ. λ. following be joined with ἀπεκαλύφθη (Hofmann), this sentence is strangely broken up; if, on the other hand, νῦν κ. τ. λ. be united with what immediately precedes (Luther), ἀπεκαλύφθη is plainly much too bald. Nor can it be denied that ὅτι naturally connects itself with ἀπεκαλύφθη, and νῦν is joined with διηκόνουν αὐτά. ὅτι states, then, not the reason, but the contents of what was revealed to the prophets.(74)

διακονεῖν, both in the N. T. and in the classics, is frequently a transitive verb joined with the accusative, and that in such a way that the accusative denotes either the result of the διακονεῖν, or the thing to which the service is directed (1 Peter 4:10). Here, where αὐτά is the accusative dependent on διηκόνουν, the latter is the case; for that which is announced to the Christians is not the result of the prophets’ ministrations, but that to which they were directed. That “they did their part in bringing to pass by their ministration the salvation which is now preached” (Wiesinger, and Schott also), is a thought in no way hinted at here, and in which: “did their part” is a purely arbitrary addition. The ministration of the prophets consisted not in the bringing to pass of the salvation, but in the proclaiming of that which was revealed to them (Brückner); and this is what is conveyed by αὐτά.

They exercised this ministration, οὐχ, etc., “not for their, rather for your (our) benefit,” i.e. in such a way that its application was to you (us), not to themselves.

On δέ after the negation, as distinguished from ἀλλά, cf. Winer, p. 411 [E. T. 621].(75) The difference in the reading ὑμῖν or ἡ΄ῖν does not essentially affect the meaning, since by ὑ΄ῖν, though the readers of the epistle are indeed addressed in the first instance, all the rest of the Christians are naturally thought of as included. Still, the idea expressed in the ὑ΄ῖν or ἡ΄ῖν δέ is not without difficulty. Taken strictly, the οὐχ ἑαυτοῖς alone was known to the prophets—and along with this likewise, that it was for others, i.e. for those who lived at the time of its fulfilment. But as these others are the Christians, the apostle directly opposes ὑμῖν δέ to οὐχ ἑαυτοῖς—that is, inserts the definite for the indefinite.

Wiesinger, Schott, Brückner join αὐτά closely with the which follows: “the same as that which now is proclaimed to you;” this is, however, incorrect. αὐτά is nowhere in the N. T. construed thus with a relative to which it is antecedent; it applies rather to what has been formerly mentioned; here, therefore, doubtless to that of which the πνεῦ΄α χριστοῦ testified beforehand to the prophets, and what they prophesied of the χάρις, of which the readers had been made partakers. It is less fitting to limit the reference to the τὰ εἰς χριστὸν παθή΄ατα, κ. τ. λ. being joined to it in a somewhat loose way.

It is entirely arbitrary for Hofmann to assert that “Peter does not speak of any prophecies in general, but of the written records in which were contained the prediction of the prophets, who had foretold the extension of grace to the Gentile world;” there is nothing here to lead to the supposition that the apostle makes any reference to written records,—and predictions with regard to the heathen.

By means of the following νῦν ἀνηγγέλη κ. τ. λ., the apostle insists that what the prophets foretold is that which is now proclaimed to the readers.

νῦν emphasizes the present, in which the facts of salvation are proclaimed as having already taken place, as contradistinguished from the time when they were predicted as future.

διὰ τῶν εὐαγγελισα΄ένων ὑ΄ᾶς ( ἐν) πνεύ΄ατι ἁγίῳ] For the construction of the verb εὐαγγελίζεσθαι, c. acc, cf. Galatians 1:9; Winer, p. 209 [E. T. 279].

If the reading: ἐν πν. be adopted, the Holy Spirit is conceived of as the power, as it were, encompassing and swaying them; if the other reading, as the moving and impelling cause. Like prophecy (1 Peter 1:11), the preaching of the gospel proceeds from the illumination and impulse of the Holy Spirit.

ἀποσταλέντι ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ] refers to the events of Pentecost; since then the Holy Spirit has His abode and is at work in the church.(76) Though the same Spirit was already in the prophets, 1 Peter 1:11, He had not yet at that time been sent from heaven. Who the individuals were who had preached the gospel to the readers, Peter does not say. No doubt the form of the apostle’s expression does not compel us to think of him as excluded from the τῶν εὐαγγελ.; yet it is very probable that Peter, had he intended to include himself, would somehow have given this to be understood.

εἰς ἐπιθυμοῦσιν ἄγγελοι παρακύψαι] The relative clearly goes back to νῦν ἀνηγγέλη. It is arbitrary to understand (with Schott) by that which the angels desired to see, “the nature and origin of the moral transformation wrought by the proclamation of the gospel;” or, with Hofmann, to give it this reference, “that Christ has died, and been glorified in such a way that now He can and should be preached to the heathen as having died, and been glorified for them;” it includes not only the παθήματα and δόξαι of Christ (Wiesinger), but the whole contents of the message of salvation (Brückner), which, as it is a testimony to the facts of redemption, is also a preaching of the σωτηρία founded on them, which is ἑτοίμη ἀποκαλυφθῆναι ἐν καιρῷ ἐσχάτῳ (1 Peter 1:5), and which the believers will obtain (1 Peter 1:9).(77)

ἐπιθυμοῦσι must not be taken as an aorist (Irenaeus, c. Haer. iv. 67; Oecumenius: ὧν τὴν γνῶσιν καὶ ἔκβασιν καὶ αὐτοὶ οἱ ἄγγελοι ἐπεθύμησαν), for the question is not as to what the angels did at the time of the prophets, but as to what they are now doing. That after which they long is the παρακύψαι εἰς αὐτά. On the inf. aor. after ἐπιθυ΄οῦσιν, see Winer, p. 310 f. [E. T. 416].

παρακύπτειν, properly, “to bend to the side so as to examine a thing,” means when joined with εἰς not only: “to look towards,” but: “to look into anything,” and that in order to obtain a more accurate knowledge of the object in question.(78) The παρά of the verb indicates that the angels stand outside the work of redemption, inasmuch as it is not for them, but for man (cf. Hebrews 2:16). The addition of this clause brings prominently forward the idea, not that the work of salvation is a mystery,—concealed even from the angels,—but that that which has been proclaimed to the readers is something so glorious that even the angels had a wish and a longing to see what was its fashion, and what the course of its development (cf. Ephesians 3:10). Nor is it implied in ἐπιθυμοῦσι that “the angels cannot attain to a knowledge of the economy of salvation” (Schott). It is more than doubtful whether there be here any reference to Exodus 25:20, as several interpreters assume. Beza: alludit Ap. ad duos illos Cherubim opercula Arcae insistentes, conversis in ipsam arcam oculis. Piscator: videtur respicere ad Cherubim super arcam foederis, tanquam ad typum.


Verse 13

1 Peter 1:13. The first group of exhortations extends from this verse to the end of the chapter.—1 Peter 1:13. First exhortation, which forms the basis of those which follow. The τελείως ἐλπίζειν is the foundation upon which the whole moral-religious life of the Christian must be raised.

διὸ ἀναζωσάμενοι τὰς ὀσφύας τῆς διανοίας ὑμῶν] διό does not refer back to any single thought in what precedes, certainly not to the glory of the σωτηρία touched upon in 1 Peter 1:10 ff. (Calvin: ex magnitudine et excellentia gratiae deducit exhortationem), still less to the thought expressed 1 Peter 1:5-9 : “that the Christian goes through trial towards a glorious destiny” (de Wette), but to the whole of the foregoing lines of thought (Schott), which, however, have their point of convergence in this, that unto the Christian begotten again εἰς ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν, the σωτηρία is appointed as the τέλος τῆς πίστεως (similarly Brückner).

ἀναζωσάμενοι τὰς ὀσφύας] a figurative expression taken from the runners (and others) who tucked up their dress, so as to prosecute their work with less hindrance. ἀναζώννυμι, ἅπ. λεγ. (Proverbs 31:17; LXX., ed. van Ess 29:17), means to tuck up; Luther incorrectly: “therefore so gird yourselves” (thus Wiesinger also translates, although he justly says: “The figure taken from the tucking up of a long under garment denotes preparedness for something,” etc.); cf. the passages, Luke 12:35 and Ephesians 6:14 (in both passages, however, περιζώννυμι). The figure is the more appropriate, that the Christian is a παρεπίδημος, on his way to the future κληρονομία. The figurative τὰς ὀσφύας finds its own explanation in the epexegetical genitive τῆς διανοίας ὑμῶν. Aretius interprets incorrectly: lumbi mentis i. e. ipsa recta ratio renati hominis recte judicans de negotio pietatis; διάνοια means here, as in Colossians 1:21 : the “disposition of mind.” The meaning of the phrase applies not only to deliverance from evil desires (Gerhard: quarumvis passionum et cupiditatum carnalium refrenatio praescribitur), but to all and every needful preparation of spirit for the fulfilling of the exhortations following; “it is the figure of spiritual preparedness and activity” (de Wette). The aorist participle points to this spiritual preparedness as the preliminary condition of ἐλπίζειν (Schott).

νήφοντες] cf. chap. 1 Peter 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8 (1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Timothy 4:5). Calvin correctly: non temperantiam solum in cibo et potu commendat, sed spiritualem potius sobrietatem, quum sensus omnes nostros continemus, ne se hujus mundi illecebris inebrient; similarly most interpreters. Otherwise, however, Weiss (p. 95 f.), who supposes an antithesis between ἀναζωσάμενοι and νήφοντες, inasmuch as the former is opposed “to want of courage and apathy,” the latter to “unnatural overstraining and excitement,” and “unhealthy exaltation.” But no such antithetical relation is (as little as there is in chap. 1 Peter 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:8, between γρηγορεῖν and νήφειν) here anywhere hinted at, nor is there anything in the whole epistle to lead us to suppose that Peter considered it necessary “to warn his hearers against the extravagant enthusiasm of a Messianic glory.” Rather in νήφοντες is prominence given to an important element in the ἀναζώσασθαι, without which a τελείως ἐλπίζειν cannot exist, namely, the clearness and soberness of mind with which the goal of hope and the way leading thither is kept in view.

τελείως ἐλπίσατε ἐπὶ τὴν φερομένην κ. τ. λ.] τελείως, ἅπ. λεγ., belongs not to νήφοντες (Oecumenius, Benson, Semler, Mayerhoff, Hofmann), but to ἐλπίσατε;(79) it shows emphatically that the hope should be perfect, undivided, unchangeable (“without doubt or faint-heartedness, with full surrender of soul,” de Wette; Wiesinger adds further: “excluding all ungodly substance and worldly desire, and including the μὴ συσχηματ., 1 Peter 1:14;” and Schott: “with reference also to the moral conduct of earnest sanctification”). Weiss (p. 93) finds the τελειότης of hope in this, that it does not allow itself to be overcome by suffering—but of suffering there is here no mention. Erasmus, Grotius, Bengel take it unsatisfactorily, only ratione temporis, i.e. “ad finem usque.”

ἐλπίζειν, frequently with εἰς, ἐν, ἐπί c. dat., is construed with ἐπί cum. accus. only here and in 1 Timothy 5:5; it means “to place his hope on something.” The object connected with it by means of ἐπί is not the proper object of hope; the latter stands in the accusative, or is expressed by a verb, either in the infin. or with ὅτι; but it is that from which the fulfilment of hope is expected.(80) If, as here, ἐπί be construed with the accusative, the disposition of mind with respect to the object is expressed; whilst if it be taken with the dative, the object is presented to us as the basis of hope, that on which it is founded.

ἐπὶ τὴν φερομένην ὑμῖν χάριν ἐν ἀποκαλύψει ἰησ. χριστοῦ] Several commentators interpret so that the sense runs: “place your hope on the grace which has been shown you by the revelation of Jesus Christ;” thus Erasmus, Luther, Calov, Bengel, Gerhard, Steiger, etc.; according to this, φερομένην is the ἀντίστροφον of κομίζεσθαι (i.e. “which has been already offered or communicated to you”), χάρις, “the forgiveness of sins effected by Christ,” and ἀποκάλυψις ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, “the revelation of Christ which has already taken place.” In the more exact definition of the term ἀποκάλυψις, these interpreters again diverge from one another; whilst Luther, Calov, Steiger, and others hold it to be “the revelation which has taken place in the gospel;” Bengel, etc., on the other hand, understand it of “the incarnation of Christ.” Erasmus gives both: sentit de mysterio evangelii divulgato per quod Christus innotuit, seu de adventu Christi. Steiger, in support of the first view, appeals to Luke 2:32; Romans 16:25; Galatians 1:16; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Corinthians 12:1; Ephesians 3:3; but all these passages do not furnish the proof desired. In no passage is the revelation of the gospel called the ἀποκάλυψις ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ. But the other view is opposed by the N. T. usus loquendi, according to which ἀποκ. always denotes the future coming of Christ only. It must also be held to be unwarrantable to interpret ἐν ἀποκ. ἰησ. χρ. here in a different sense from that given shortly before in 1 Peter 1:7 (and chap. 1 Peter 4:13).

Not less opposed to the former interpretation is the present participle φερομένην, since the present may not arbitrarily be taken in the sense of the preterite, but must be looked upon as a realization of the future. Steiger is no doubt right in holding that φερ. ὑμ. χάρις “does not speak of the object of hoping, but the ground on which hope is built.” But from this it does not follow that by the phrase “something already accomplished” must be understood, for why should the Christian not be able to set his hopes of salvation on the grace which in the future will be offered to him at and with the return of Christ? Piscator incorrectly explains χάρις: coelestis felicitas et gloria, quam Deus nobis ex gratia daturus est. Aretius, again, is right: benevolentia Dei, qua nos amplectitur in filio: the grace of God from which the Christian has to expect the coelestis felicitas.

With φερομένην, cf. Hebrews 9:16. φέρειν: “to bring, to present” (not “to bring nearer,” Schott), points here to the free grace of God. That is, then: “place your hope on the grace which will be brought to you at (in and with) the revelation (the second coming) of Christ.” It is rightly interpreted by Oecumenius, Calvin (who errs in this only, that he takes ἐν for εἰς, i.e. usque ad adventum Christi), Beza, Grotius, Estius, Semler, Pott, de Wette, etc.

REMARK.

The more recent interpreters take up different positions with respect to the view here presented. Wiesinger, Brückner, Schott, Fronmüller, Hofmann, agree with the interpretation of ἀποκάλυψις, but are opposed to that of ἐλπίζειν ἐπί. Weiss and Zöckler (De vi ac notione voc. ἐλπίς in N. T. 1856, p. 15 ff.), on the other hand, are against the latter, but in favour of the former.

As regards ἐλπίζ. Zöckler: Ea est vis praepositionis ἐπί c. acc. constructae, ut finem designet s. localem s. temporalem s. causalem, in quem tendat actus verbi. Qui tamen finis s. terminus sperandi ita discernendus est a simplici objecto sperandi, ut hoc significet rem, quam sibi obtingere speret subjectum, finis vero ille simul auctor sit, e quo pendeat vel satisfacere votis sperantis, vel deesse;(81) in support of which he justly quotes, in addition to this verse, 1 Timothy 5:5 (to which Wiesinger appeals without any justification), and a not inconsiderable number of passages from the LXX.; cf. Weiss also (p. 36 f.). De Wette interprets ἐλπίζειν correctly, but thinks that inasmuch as the σωτηρία is conceived as a χάρις, it is at once the ground and the object of the hope. With this Brückner agrees, finding “in this intermingling a part of the peculiarity of the thought;” whilst, on the other hand, Weiss sees in it only a makeshift, conveying no clear idea at all.

With regard to the term ἀποκάλυψις, Weiss explains it as: manifestatio Christi, quae fit in verbo evangelii in hac vita (Gerhard). But this interpretation is decidedly opposed to the N. T. usage; in no passage is the revelation, of which by the gospel we become partakers, described as an ἀποκάλυψις ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, although ἀποκαλύπτειν is used of the different kinds of revealing. The reference to the gospel is an evident importation. Weiss raises two objections to the correct view—(1) “It is, as a matter of fact, impossible that the Christian should set his hope on the grace that is to be brought at the revelation of Christ;”—but why should this be impossible? How often does it happen that the individual bases his hope for the fulfilment of his wish on an event as yet future, but which he is assured will happen! (2) “That the second coming of Christ is not a revelation of grace at all, but of just judgment;”—but the latter in no way excludes the former; and how could the Christian contemplate the second coming of Christ with calm, yes, even with joy, if there were no grace?


Verse 14

1 Peter 1:14. Second exhortation (extending to 1 Peter 1:21).

ὡς τέκνα ὑπακοῆς] does not belong to what precedes (Hofmann), but serves to introduce the new exhortation.(82)

ὡς does not here introduce a comparison (as 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 3:7), but marks the essential quality of the subject. Lorinus correctly remarks on 1 Peter 2:14 : constat hujusmodi particulas saepe nihil minuere, sed rei veritatem magis exprimere; it corresponds to our “as,” i.e. as becomes you who should be τέκνα ὑπακοῆς.

ὑπακοή is used here as absolutely as in 1 Peter 1:2, and has the same signification as there. The spirit which pervades the life of believers is the spirit of obedience, and therefore they should be τέκνα ὑπακοῆς. According to the analogy of similar compounds in the N. T., as τέκνα φωτός, Ephesians 5:8; its opposite: τέκνα κατάρας, 2 Peter 2:14; τέκνα τῆς ὀργῆς, Ephesians 2:3; particularly υἱοὶ τῆς ἀπειθείας, Ephesians 2:2,—the expression τέκνα ὑπακοῆς may be explained so as that τέκνα shall denote only the relation in which the persons in question stand to the idea of the accompanying genitive; cf. Winer, p. 223 f. [E. T. 298]; Buttmann, p. 141; Meyer on Ephesians 2:2 (thus Grotius, Jachmann, etc.; Fronmüller too). De Wette, Brückner, Schott, Weiss too most probably, p. 172, take τέκνα as the “children of God,” and ὑπακοῆς as the genitive of character (as Luke 16:8 : οἰκόνομος τῆς ἀδικίας; Luke 18:6 : κρίτης τῆς ἀδικίας). But as it is in 1 Peter 1:17 that mention is first made of the sonship relation of the Christian, it remains at least doubtful whether the apostle had in this expression that relation in view; at any rate the emphasis here lies not on τέκνα, but on ὑπακοῆς.

μὴ συσχηματιζόμενοι] μή occurs here on account of the imperative cast of the whole sentence. Neither γενήθητε (Bengel) nor any other similar word is to be supplied to the part., inasmuch as it does not correspond to the ἅγιοι γενήθητε but to the κατὰ τὸν καλέσαντα ὑμᾶς ἅγιον (Wiesinger); there is here no “departure from the construction” (de Wette). The word συσχηματίζεσθαι, occurring in the N. T. only here and in Romans 12:2, and nowhere but in later Greek, means: “to form his σχῆμα like that of another;”(83) it has reference not to the outward conduct merely, but to the whole outward and inward conformation of life, as the connection with the following words shows: ταῖς πρότερον ἐν τῇ ἀγνοίᾳ ὑ΄ῶν ἐπιθυ΄ίαις. The ἐπιθυ΄ίαι, i.e. the sinful desires (not “the satisfied lusts, or a life of pleasure,” as de Wette understands), which formerly held sway in them, are the σχῆμα, according to which they are not to fashion themselves in their new life.(84) Luther’s translation is inexact: “take not up your former position, when ye in your ignorance lived according to your lusts.” The ἐπιθυμίαι are more precisely characterized as formerly belonging to them ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ; ἐν specifies not merely the time (Calvin: tempus ignorantiae vocat, antequam in fidem Christi vocati essent), but likewise the origin (Wiesinger). ἄγνοια is used here as in Acts 17:30, Ephesians 4:18, ignorance in divine things, and is to be understood, if not exactly of idolatry, at least of heathenism, which is far from the knowledge of the living God and of His will. Paul, in Romans 1:18 ff., shows how the obscuring of the consciousness of God is the source of moral corruption.

REMARK.

In answer to Weiss, who can see in this passage no proof that the readers were Gentile-Christians, Wiesinger justly remarks, Schott and Brückner agreeing with him: “the ἄγνοια of which the Jews (Acts 3:17; Romans 10:3) are accused, or which Paul attributes to himself, 1 Timothy 1:13 (the same applies to Luke 23:34; John 8:19), is of quite a different kind; not an ἄγνοια of the moral demands of the law, but the misapprehension of the purpose of salvation manifesting itself also through the law.” If Weiss, on the other hand, insists (Die Petr. Frage, p. 624) that the invectives of Christ most plainly teach how, in the Jewish conception of the law, at that time its deeper moral demands were misapprehended; it must, as opposed to him, be observed that Christ’s attack was specially directed against the Pharisaic conception of it, and can in no way be applied to the people of Israel as such. Paul, in describing them, expressly allows to the Jews, Romans 2:17 ff., the γινώσκειν τὸ θέλημα; and an ἄγνοια, in the absolute sense here implied, is nowhere cast up to them.

The O. T. distinction between “sins of weakness ( בִּשְׁגָגָה, LXX.: κατʼ ἄγνοιαν, ἐν ἀγνοίᾳ) and insolent sins of disobedience” ( בְּיַד רָמָה) (Weiss, p. 175) does not apply here.


Verse 15-16

1 Peter 1:15-16. ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸν καλέσαντα ὑμᾶς ἅγιον] Steiger: “this positive instruction, instead of forming a participial clause of its own, like the preceding (negative), is in animated discourse at once merged into the principal clause;” there is, accordingly, nothing to be supplied; still Oecumenius explains, in sense, correctly: ἀλλὰ νῦν γοῦν, λέγει, τῷ καλέσαντι συσχηματιζόμενοι, ἁγίῳ ὄντι κ. τ. λ.

ἅγιον] is here a substantive, to which the participle καλ. is added as nearer definition (cf. 2 Peter 2:1), and that by way of strengthening the exhortation (“as ye are bound to do, since He hath called you”). The behaviour of those called must correspond with the nature of Him who has called them. Schott rightly remarks that the καλεῖν must here be taken as “an effectual calling,” by which the readers are delivered from their state of estrangement from God, and introduced into one of fellowship with Him.

καὶ αὐτοὶ ἅγιοι ἐν πάσῃ ἀναστροφῇ γενήθητε] καὶ αὐτοί forms the antithesis to τὸν ἅγιον; Schott incorrectly: “as against what God has, on His part, by His calling, done to you and made you.”

ἐν πάσῃ ἀναστροφῇ] not: in (your) whole (de Wette), but in (your) every walk.(85)

γενήθητε] denotes not the becoming, but the being; Luther correctly: like Him … be ye also holy.(86)1 Peter 1:16. διότι γέγραπται] διότι, i.e. διὰ τοῦτο ὅτι, “for this reason because,” indicates the reason for the preceding exhortation, and not simply for the use of the word ἅγιον (de Wette). The apostle goes back to the command given to Israel, as to the reason why the Christians, called as they were by the God of holiness, should be holy in their every walk. The holiness of God laid Israel under the obligation to be holy, since God had chosen them to be His people—the same is the case, as Peter suggests by καλέσαντα ὑμᾶς, with the N. T. church of believers, the true Israel, on whom, though doubtless in a form adapted to them, for this reason the commandments of the O. C. are still binding. Schott justly observes that the passage quoted by Peter is not meant to establish the duty of holiness in itself, but to show that the fact of belonging to God involves as a matter of duty the necessity of an holy walk. The expression, which the apostle quotes, occurs more than once in the book of Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7; Leviticus 20:26.


Verse 17

1 Peter 1:17. From here to the end of the verse the preceding exhortation is continued; the connection is shown by the copula καί.

καὶ εἰ πατέρα ἐπικαλεῖσθε] corresponding to the ὡς τέκνα ὑπακοῆς, 1 Peter 1:14. εἰ is here: “particula non conditionalis, sed assertiva, non dubitantis, sed rem notam praesupponentis” (Calvin). The form of the sentence is, however, hypothetical; the sense is: “if you act thus and thus, as ye are indeed now doing.” By this form the language is made more impressive than it would have been by a simple causative particle.

ἐπικαλεῖσθαι] as medium, means to “call upon” (for the meaning “to name,” as Wiesinger, de Wette, Brückner take it, is supported in the classics only by a doubtful passage in Dio Cass. lxxvii. 7). πατέρα is the accusative of more precise definition (thus Hofmann also); Luther: “since ye call on Him the (i.e. as, ὡς) Father.” The sense is: “if ye look on Him as Father who, etc., and ye acknowledge yourselves as His children.”(87) It is to be noticed that the ἐπικαλεῖσθε corresponds to the καλέσαντα, v. 15; God has called believers,—and they answer with the call to Him, in which they name Him Father. This mutual relationship lays the Christians under obligations to be holy as He is holy.(88)

τὸν ἀπροσωπολήπτως κρίνοντα τὸ ἑκάστου ἔργον] a circumlocution for God full of significance, instead of the simple τὸν θεόν, corresponding to the ἅγιον, 1 Peter 1:15.

ἀπροσωπολήπτως, a ἅπ. λεγ., formed on the noun προσωπολήπτης (Acts 10:34), which is composed of πρόσωπον and λα΄βάνειν; see Meyer on Galatians 2:6.

The present κρίνοντα indicates that impartial judgment is a characteristic function of God. The apostle mentions τὸ ἔργον as that according to which the judgment of God is determined; in this connection the plural is generally found (Romans 2:6); by the singular the whole conduct of man (outwardly and inwardly) is conceived as a work of his life.

ἑκάστου] not without emphasis. It implies that the Christian also—a son of God though he be—will, like all others, be judged according to his work; it is arbitrary to limit the application of the general term ἑκάστου to Christians only (Schott); there is no thought here of the distinction between Jew and Gentile (Bengel).

The term judge, as applied to God, stands in a peculiar contrast to πατέρα. The Christian, while conscious of the love of God shed abroad in his heart (Romans 5:5), must still never forget that God judges the evil, that His love is an holy love, and that sonship involves obligation of obedience towards a just God.

ἐν φόβῳ τὸνἀναστράφητε] corresponding to the ἅγιοι ἐν πάσῃ ἀναστροφῇ γενήθητε, 1 Peter 1:15; the feeling which harmonizes with the thought of the impartial judge is the φόβος; thus Peter places φόβος first by way of emphasis. φόβος is here, indeed, not the slavish fear which cannot co-exist with love (see 1 John 4:18); no more is it the reverence which an inferior feels for a superior (Grotius, Bolten, etc.); but it is the holy awe of a judge who condemns the evil; the opposite of thoughtless security. Calvin: timor securitati opponitur; cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:17; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 2:12.(89)

τὸν τῆς παροικίας ὑμῶν χρόνον] specifies the duration of the walk ἐν φόβῳ; παροικία: “the sojourn in a foreign country;” in its strict sense, Acts 13:17 (Ezra 8:34, LXX.); here applied to the earthly life of the Christian, inasmuch as their κληρονομία is in heaven, 1 Peter 1:1. This expression serves to give point to the exhortation expressed, hinting as it does at the possibility of coming short of the home; cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:11.


Verse 18

1 Peter 1:18. The apostle strengthens his exhortation by reminding his readers of the redemption wrought out for them by the death of Christ. It is an assumption too far-fetched to suppose that this verse serves to show “the causal connection between the protasis and the apodosis of 1 Peter 1:17” (Schott).

εἰδότες] not: “since ye know,” but: “considering,” “reflecting;” Gerhard: expendentes; cf. 2 Timothy 2:23 and my commentary on the passage.

ὅτι οὐ] The negation is placed foremost in order the more to give prominence to the position.

φθαρτοῖς, ἀργυρίῳ χρυσίῳ] φθαρτοῖς is not an adjective here (Luther: “with perishable silver and gold”), but a substantive:with perishable things;” see Winer, p. 491 [E. T. 662].

Benson thinks that by ἀργυρίῳ χρυσίῳ the apostle alludes to the custom of paying money as a sign of reconciliation, according to Exodus 30:12-16; Numbers 3:44-51; Numbers 18:16; this is possible, but not probable.

ἐλυτρώθητε] is here used in its strict signification of, to ransom, or redeem by a λύτρον (cf. Matthew 20:28), as in Titus 2:14, whilst in Luke 24:21 this definite application is lost sight of; with the thought, cf. 1 Corinthians 6:20. The ransom is stated in the following verse.

ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς] cf. 1 Peter 1:14. μάταιος, “empty, without real contents,” does not occur in an ethical sense in the classics; LXX. Isaiah 32:6 translation of אָוֶן is not to be limited specially to the idolatry of the heathen (Carpzov, Benson, etc.), still less to the ceremonial service of the Jews (Grotius). ἀναστροφὴ πατροπαράδοτος does not necessarily apply to the heathen (Schott), yet the expression more aptly characterizes their mode of life than the Jewish.">(90)

πατροπαραδότου] belongs to the whole idea preceding: ΄αταίας ὑ΄ῶν ἀναστροφῆς (see Winer, p. 489 [E. T. 659]). Aretius explains it by innata nobis natura; but this is not appropriate to ἀναστροφῆς; correctly Erasmus: quam ex Patrum traditione acceperatis; Steiger: “by upbringing, instruction, and example” (thus also de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Weiss, Schott). This attribute emphatically shows that the ΄αταία ἀναστροφή is peculiar, not to the individual only, but to the whole race, and has been from the earliest times, and consequently is so completely master of the individual that he cannot free himself from it.

There is here no “special reference to Judaeo-Christian readers” (Weiss, p. 181).


Verse 19

1 Peter 1:19. ἀλλὰ τιμίῳ αἵματι] τιμίῳ forms the antithesis to φθαρτοῖς, in so far as the perishable is destitute of true worth.

αἵματι] refers not only to the death, but to the bloody death of Christ; cf. Hebrews 9:22.

ὡςἀμνοῦ ἀμώμου καὶ ἀσπίλου χριστοῦ] ὡςἀσπίλου is in antecedent apposition to χριστοῦ (Wiesinger, de Wette-Brückner), as in chap. 1 Peter 2:7, where likewise ὡς ἀσθενεστέρῳ σκεύει is in similar apposition to τῷ γυναικείῳ (sc. σκεύει). It is incorrect to supply, with Steiger, Schott, and others, “ αἵματι” before ἀμνοῦ, taking χριστοῦ either as an explanatory adjunct (Steiger), or connecting it directly with αἵματι (Schott, Hofmann).

ὡς] is also here not merely comparative, as, among others, Schott and Hofmann hold, maintaining that “by ἀμνοῦ only an actual lamb is meant,” but it emphasizes that Christ is a blameless and spotless lamb (Gerhard, de Wette-Brückner).(91)

ἀ΄νός is, as Brückner also assumes, to be understood of a sacrificial lamb. This is clear both from the connection—since the ransom by the αἷμα of Christ (Leviticus 17:11) is here in question—and from the attributes ἄ΄ω΄ος and ἄσπιλος, of which the former is used in the O. T. expressly to denote the faultlessness of animals taken for sacrifice ( תָּמִים, LXX.: ἄ΄ω΄ος),—to this class lambs also belonged. The precise designation: a lamb, was probably suggested to Peter by Isaiah 53:7 (cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:22 ff.); from this it must not, however, be inferred, with Weiss (p. 227 ff.) and Schott, that there is nowhere here any reference to the idea of sacrifice. For although the passage in Isaiah compares the servant of God to a lamb simply on account of the patience he exhibited in the midst of his sufferings, still it is based so wholly on the idea of sacrifice, and the sufferings of Christ are so expressly presented as propitiatory, that it is easily explainable how, with this passage applied to Him, Christ could have been thought of precisely as a sacrificial lamb. Doubtless it is not Peter’s intention to give special prominence to the fact that Christ is the sacrificial lamb designated by Isaiah’s prophecy; for in that case the definite article would not have been wanting (cf. John 1:29, and Meyer in loc.); but alluding to the above passage, Peter styles Him generally a lamb,—which, however, he conceives as a sacrificial lamb. There is no direct allusion (Wiesinger) here to the paschal lamb (de Wette-Brückner, Schott); the want of the article forbids it. Hofmann, though he has justly recognised this, still firmly holds by the reference to the paschal lamb;—only in thus far, however, that he terms the slaying of it “the occurrence” which “was here present to the apostle’s mind.”(92) But the fact that the blood of this lamb did not serve to ransom Israel out of Egypt, but to preserve them from the destroying angel, is opposed to any such allusion. Further, it must not be left unnoticed that in the N. T. the paschal lamb is always styled τὸ πάσχα; and in the passage treating of it in Exodus 12 in the LXX., the expression πρόβατον only, and never ἀ΄νός, is employed.

The adjunct: ὡς ἀσπίλου, serves to specify particularly the blood of Christ as sacrificial, and not merely to give a nearer definition of its preciousness (the τίμιον), inasmuch as, “according to Petrine conceptions, it is precisely the innocence (denoted here by the two attributes) and the patience (conveyed by ἀμνός) which give to the suffering its τι΄ή” (as opposed to Weiss, p. 281 f.). The preciousness of the blood lies in this, that it is the blood of Christ; its redemptive power in this, that He shed it as a sacrificial lamb without blemish and fault.(93)

With ἄμωμος, cf. in addition to Leviticus 22:18 ff., especially Hebrews 9:14.

ἄσπιλος] is not to be found in the LXX. and in the N. T. only metaphorically; the two expressions here conjoined are a reproduction of the חָּמִים כָּל־מוּם לֹא יִהְיֶה־בּוֹ, Leviticus 22:18 ff. (Wiesinger). All the commentators construe χριστοῦ with what precedes, Hofmann only excepted, who separates it therefrom, and connects it with what follows, taking χριστοῦ προεγνωσμένου κ. τ. λ. as an absolute genitive (i.e. “in that … Christ … was foreordained,” etc.). But this construction does not specify by whose blood the redemption was accomplished, nor does it give a clear logical connection between the thought of the participial and that of the principal clause.

REMARK.

It must be observed that whilst the power of propitiation, i.e. of blotting out sin, is attributed to the blood of the sacrifice, Leviticus 16:11, the blood of Christ is here specified as the means by which we are redeemed from the ματαία ἀναστροφή. From this it must not be concluded, with Weiss (p. 279), that the blood of Christ is not regarded here as the blood of offering, inasmuch “as the sacrifice can have an expiatory, but not a redemptory worth;”—for the two are in no way opposed to each other. The expiation is nothing different from the redemption, i.e. ransom from the guilt by the blood freely shed. The redemption, however, which is here spoken of, though doubtless not identical with expiation, is yet a necessary condition of it,—a circumstance which Pfleiderer also fails to observe, when he says that the passage has reference only “to the putting away of a life of sin, to moral improvement, not to expiation of the guilt of sin.”


Verse 20

1 Peter 1:20. προεγνωσμένου μέν] is indeed not simply and at once: praeordinatus (Beza), but the foreknowledge of God is, with respect to the salvation He was to bring about, essentially a providing, cf. 1 Peter 1:2 : πρόγνωσις. In regard to Christ it was provided ( προεγνωσμένου refers not directly to ἀμνοῦ, but to χριστοῦ) that He should appear ( φανερωθέντος δέ) as a sacrificial lamb to redeem the world by His blood. The passage does not say that Christ would have appeared even though sin had never entered.

πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου] a frequent designation of antemundane eternity, John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4. This nearer definition specifies the sending of Christ as having originated in the eternal counsels of God, in order thus to give point to the exhortation contained in 1 Peter 1:17.

φανερωθέντος δέ] here of the first appearing of Christ, which in this passage is represented as an emerging from the obscurity in which He was (chap. 1 Peter 5:4, of His second coming); it is incorrect to refer φανερωθέντος to the obscurity of the divine counsels (as formerly in this commentary), since φανερωθέντος applies as much as προεγνωσμένου to the person of Christ. Between the πρόγνωσις and the φανέρωσις lies the προφητεία, 1 Peter 1:10. Rightly interpreted, φανερωθέντος testifies to the pre-existence of Christ.(94) The sequence of the aorist participle on the participle προεγνωσμένου is to be explained from this, that by φανερωθέντος an historical fact is mentioned.

ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων] ἔσχατον: a substantival use of it, “at the end of the times.” This ἔσχατον of the times is here conceived as the whole period extending from the first appearance of Christ to His second coming; in like manner Hebrews 1:1; otherwise 2 Peter 3:3, where by ἔσχατον is meant the time as yet future, immediately preceding the second coming of Christ; in like manner 1 Peter 1:5.(95)

Note the antithesis: πρὸ καταβ. κ. and ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τ. χρ.: beginning and end united in Christ.

διʼ ὑ΄ᾶς] refers in the first instance to the readers, but embraces at the same time all ἐκλεκτοί. Believers are the aim of all God’s schemes of salvation; what an appeal to them to walk ἐν φόβῳ τὸν παροικίας χρόνον! There is as little here to indicate any reference to the heathen (Hofmann) as there was in εἰς ὑμᾶς, 1 Peter 1:10.


Verse 21

1 Peter 1:21. τοὺς διʼ αὐτοῦ (i.e. χριστοῦ) πιστεύοντας (or πιστοὺς) εἰς θεόν] τούς: the same clausal connection as in 1 Peter 1:4-5.

The construction πιστεύειν εἰς is very frequent in the N. T., especially in John; Christ is for the most part named as the object; God, as here, in John 12:44; John 14:1.

This adjunct, by giving prominence to the fact that the readers are brought to faith in God by Christ, confirms the thought previously expressed by διʼ ὑμᾶς.(96) Nor should it ever have been denied that by it the readers may be recognised as having been heathens formerly.

τὸν ἐγείραντα αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν καὶ δόξαν αὐτῷ δόντα]

[97] not subjoined aimlessly as an accidental predicate applied by the apostle to God; but, closely linked on to θεόν, the words serve to describe θεόν more nearly as the object of the Christian faith. The conviction that God has raised and glorified Christ the Crucified belongs essentially to the Christian faith in God; with the first half of this clause, cf. Romans 4:24; Romans 8:11; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Galatians 1:1; with the second, John 17:5; John 17:22; and with the whole thought, Ephesians 1:20; Acts 2:32 f. This adjunct, defining θεόν more nearly, is not meant to declare “how far Christ by His revelation has produced faith in God” (Wiesinger),—the whole structure of the clause is opposed to this,—but what is the faith to which through Christ the readers have attained.

ὥστε] not: ἵνα (Oecumenius, Luther: “in order that;” thus also the Syr., Vulg., Beza, etc.), nor is it: itaque, as if a “ δεῖ” or a “ χρή” were to be supplied to εἶναι (Aretius); but: “so that,” it denotes the fruit which faith in God, who raised up Christ from the dead, has brought forth in the readers, which supplies the confirmation that Christ has appeared for their sake ( διʼ αὐτούς).

τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν καὶ ἐλπίδα εἶναι εἰς θεόν] Most interpreters translate: “so that your faith and your hope are directed to God;” Weiss, on the other hand (p. 43), Brückner, Schott, Fronmüller, Hofmann, take it: “so that your faith is at the same time hope toward God.” The position of the words seems to favour this last translation, since the genitive ὑμῶν stands between the two substantives, whilst otherwise either ὑμῶν τὴν πίστιν καὶ ἐλπίδα (or τὴν ὑμῶν πίστ.), cf. Romans 1:20, Philippians 1:25, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, or τὴν π. κ. ἐλπ. ὑμῶν, cf. Philippians 1:20, 1 Thessalonians 3:7, would have been expected;—but this is not decisive, inasmuch as in Ephesians 3:5 τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποστόλοις αὐτοῦ καὶ προφήταις occurs. On the other hand, the connection of thought gives the preference to the latter view; for, in the former case, not only is it noticeable that “the result is exactly the same as that denoted by τοὺς πιστούς (Weiss), but in it ἐλπίδα seems to be nothing more than an accidental appendage, whilst in reality it is the point aimed at in the whole deduction; that is to say, the truth and livingness of faith (in the resurrection and glorification of Christ) are manifested in this, that it is also an hope; cf. 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:6; 1 Peter 1:9; 1 Peter 1:13.(98) Schott is wrong in thinking that εἰς θεόν has reference not only to ἐλπίδα, but at the same time to τὴν πίστιν; for though by πίστις here only πίστις εἰς θεόν can be understood, yet it is grammatically impossible to connect the final εἰς θεόν, which is closely linked on to ἐλπίδα, likewise with τὴν πίστιν ὑμῶν.

The object of hope is specified in the words τὸν ἐγείραντα αὐτὸν κ. τ. λ.; it is the resurrection and attainment of the δόξα which is given to Christ; cf. Romans 8:11; Romans 8:17.


Verse 22

1 Peter 1:22. From 1 Peter 1:22 to 1 Peter 1:25 the third exhortation,(99) and its subject is love one of another. Gerhard incorrectly joins this verse with verse 17, and regards 1 Peter 1:18-21 as a parenthesis.

τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ἡγνικότες] The participle does not here express the accomplished act as the basis of the exhortation, as if it were: “after that ye, or since ye, have purified” (Bengel, Wiesinger), but it stands closely linked on to the imperative, and denotes the duty which must ever be fulfilled (hence the perf.) if the ἀγαπᾶν is to be realized (de Wette-Brückner, Schott, Fronmüller);(100) Luther inexactly: “make chaste … and,” etc.

ἁγνίζειν, a religious idea denoting in the first instance the outward, and afterwards the inward consecration and sanctifying also (cf. John 11:55; Acts 21:24; Acts 21:26; Acts 24:18); in passages too, as here, where it expresses moral cleansing from all impurity (here more especially from selfishness), it does not lose its religious significance; cf. James 4:8; 1 John 3:3.(101)

ἐν τῇ ὑπακοῇ τῆς ἀληθείας] ἀλήθεια is the truth revealed and expressed in the gospel in all its fulness. Calvin’s limitation of the idea is arbitrary: veritatem accipit pro regula, quam nobis Dominus in evangelio praescribit.

ὑπακοή, not “faith” (Wiesinger), but “obedience.” The genitive is not the gen. subj.: “the obedience which the truth begets,” but the gen. obj.: “obedience to the truth.” This ὑπακοή, however, consists in believing what the truth proclaims, and in performing what it requires (thus Weiss also).

The preposition ἐν exhibits ὑπακοή as the element in which the Christian must move in order to procure the sanctification of his soul.

If the reading διὰ πνεύ΄ατος be adopted, the πνεῦ΄α is not the human spirit, but the Spirit of God; Luther incorrectly: that the apostle here means to observe that the word of God must not only be heard and read, but be laid hold of with the heart.

εἰς φιλαδελφίαν ἀνυπόκριτον] does not belong to the ἀγαπήσατε following, either as denoting the terminus of love, and the sense being: diligite vos in fraternam caritatem, i.e. in unum corpus fraternae caritatis; or as: διά (Oecumenius), and thus pointing out the “agency by which;” nor, finally, is it embatic: ita ut omnibus manifestum fiat, vos esse invicem fratres (Gerhard);—but it is to be taken in conjunction with ἡγνικότες, and specifies the aim towards which the ἁγνίζειν is to be directed. Sanctification towards love, by the putting away of all selfishness, must ever precede love itself.

φιλαδελφία] love of the brethren peculiar to Christians, cf. 2 Peter 1:7; Romans 12:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

With ἀνυπόκριτος, cf. 1 John 3:18, where true unfeigned love is described.

ἐκ ( καθρᾶς) καρδίας] is not to be joined with what precedes,—it being thus a somewhat cumbrous adjunct,—but with what follows, setting forth in relief an essential element of love; with the expression ἐκ καρδίας, cf. Romans 6:17; Matthew 18:35 ( ἀπὸ τῶν καρδιῶν ὑ΄ῶν); on the Rec. ἐκ καθαρᾶς καρδίας, see 1 Timothy 1:5.(102)

ἀλλήλους ἀγαπήσατε ἐκτενῶς] ἀγαπᾶν is not to be limited, as Wiesinger proposes, “to the manifestation of love in act;” the passages, chap. 1 Peter 4:8, 1 John 3:18, do not justify this limitation.

ἐκτενῶς, “with strained energies;” it denotes here “the persevering intensity of love” (in like manner Weiss, p. 336; Fronmüller, Hofmann); Luther translates “ardently;” Schott without any reason asserts that in all the N. T. passages the word is used only in the temporal sense of duration, and therefore is so to be taken here; Luke 22:24, Acts 12:5; Acts 26:7, 1 Peter 4:8, are evidence not for, but against Schott’s assertion. The chief emphasis lies not on ἀγαπήσατε, but on ἐκ ( καθαρᾶς) καρδίας and ἐκτενῶς.


Verse 23

1 Peter 1:23. ἀναγεγεννημένοι] gives the ground of the preceding exhortation, by referring to the regeneration from incorruptible seed already accomplished, which, as it alone renders the ἀγαπᾷν ἐκτενῶς possible, also demands it. Luther: “as those who are born afresh;” cf. 1 John 4:7; 1 John 5:1. This regeneration is described, as to the origin of it, by the words which follow, and withal in such a way that here, as in 1 Peter 1:18, the position is strengthened by placing the negation first.

οὐκ ἐκ σπορᾶς φθαρτῆς, ἀλλὰ ἀφθάρτου] σπορά, strictly, “the sowing, the begetting,” is not here used with this active force (Aretius: satio incorrupta h. e. regeneratio ad vitam aeternam. Fronmüller: “the energizing principle of the Holy Spirit”), but it is “seed,” because, as de Wette says, the epithet suggests the idea of a substance. By σπορὰ φθαρτή is to be understood not the semen frugum, but the semen humanum (de Wette, Wiesinger, Weiss, Schott, Hofmann); cf. John 1:13.

The question arises, in what relation do ἐκ σπορᾶς ἀφθάρτου and διὰ λόγου stand to one another? The direct connection of the figurative expression ( σπορά) with the literal ( λόγος), and the correspondence which evidently exists between ἀφθάρτου and ζῶντος κ. μένοντος, do not allow of the two ideas being considered as different, nor of σπορά being taken to denote the “Holy Spirit” (de Wette-Brückner). On the other hand, the difference of the prepositions points to a distinction to which, from the fact that σπορά is a figurative, λόγος a real appellative (Gerhard, Weiss, Schott(103)), justice has not yet been done. The use of the two prepositions is to be understood by supposing a different relation of the same thing (of the λόγος) to the regeneration; in ἐξ we have its point of departure, and not merely its “originating cause” (Hofmann(104)); we have the word of God looked upon as the principle implanted in man working newness of life ( λόγος ἔ΄φυτος, James 1:21); διά, on the other hand, points to the outward instrumentality by which the new life is effected.

διὰ λόγου ζῶντος θεοῦ καὶ ΄ένοντος] refers back to 1 Peter 1:22 : ἐν τῇ ὑπακοῇ τῆς ἀληθ.; the Christian is laid under obligation to continued sanctification ἐν ὑπ. τ. ἀλ., inasmuch as he has been begotten again to newness of being, by the word of God, i.e. the word of truth.

λόγος θεοῦ is every word of divine revelation; here especially the word which, originating in God, proclaims Christ, i.e. the gospel. Schwenkfeld erroneously understands by it the Johannine Logos, which, indeed, even Didymus had considered possible.

On the construction of the adj. ζῶντος and ΄ένοντος, Calvin says: possumus legere tam sermonem viventem Dei, quam Dei viventis; he himself prefers the second combination; thus also Vulg., Oecum., Beza, Hensler, Jachmann, etc. Most interpreters give preference, and with justice, to the first, for which are decisive both the contents of the following verses, in which the emphasis is laid, not on the abiding nature of God, but of the word of God, and the position of the words—otherwise ζῶντος, on account of the subsequent καὶ ΄ένοντος, must have stood after θεοῦ. The superaddition of ΄ένοντος arises from the circumstance that this attribute is deduced from the previous one, and is brought in so as to prepare the way for the passage of Scripture (1 Peter 1:25 : ΄ένει) (de Wette(105)). The characteristics specified by these attributes are applicable to the word of God, not in its form, but in its inner substance. It is living in essence as in effect, and it is enduring, not only in that its results are eternal, but because itself never perishes. If the subjoined εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα be spurious, then without it the ΄ένειν must not be limited to the present life.(106)


Verse 24-25

1 Peter 1:24-25. Quotation from Isaiah 40:6; Isaiah 40:8, slightly altered from the LXX. in order to confirm the eternal endurance of the word by a passage from the Old Testament.(107)

διότι, as in 1 Peter 1:16; the passage here quoted not only confirms the idea ΄ένοντος, but it gives the reason why the new birth has taken place through the living and abiding word of God (so, too, Hofm.). The reason is this, that it may be a birth into life that passes not away.

πᾶσα σάρξ i.e. πᾶς ἄνθρωπος; caro fragilitatem naturae indicat (Aretius); not “all creature existence,” embracing both stones and plants, etc. (Schott), for of a plant it cannot be said that it is ὡς χόρτος.

ὡς χόρτος] is to be found neither in the Hebrew text nor in the LXX.

καὶ πᾶσα δόξα αὐτῆς] instead of αὐτῆς, the LXX. has ἀνθρώπου; in Hebrew, חַסְדּוֹ. Incorrectly Vorstius: Ap. nomine carnis et gloriae ejus intelligit praecipue legem Mosis et doctrinas hominum; Calvin again rightly: omne id quod in rebus humanis magnificum dicitur.

ἐξηράνθη χόρτος κ. τ. λ. gives the point of comparison, that wherein the σάρξ and its δόξα resemble the χόρτος and its ἄνθος; but it does not emphatically assert that “the relation of the flesh to its glory in point of nothingness is quite the same as that of the grass in its bloom” (Schott).

καὶ τὸ ἄνθος αὐτοῦ ἐξέπεσε] αὐτοῦ, if it be the true reading, is an addition made by Peter, for it is to be found neither in the LXX. nor in the Hebrew text. By the preterites ἐξηράνθη and ἐξέπεσε the transitoriness is more strongly marked; cf. James 1:11; James 5:2.—1 Peter 1:25. Instead of κυρίου, the LXX. have τοῦ θεοῦ ἡ΄ῶν, אֱלֹֽהֵינוּ. κυρίου can hardly have been written on purpose by Peter “because he had in his mind Christ’s word” (Luthardt). James refers to the same passage here cited by Peter, without, however, quoting it verbatim.

In the following words the apostle makes the application: τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν] τοῦτο is not used “substantively here,” as the predicate of the sentence equal to: that is; i.e. eternally abiding word of God is the word of God preached among you (Schott); but it refers back simply to the preceding τὸ ῥῆ΄α κυρίου, and is equivalent to: this word, of which it is said that it remaineth for ever, is the word which has been preached among you.

τὸ ῥῆ΄α τὸ εὐαγγελισθέν] Periphrasis for the gospel. In the O. T. it denotes the word of promise, here the gospel. Peter identifies them with each other, as indeed in their inmost nature they are one, containing the one eternal purpose of God for the redemption of the world, distinguished only according to different degrees of development.

εἰς ὑ΄ᾶς] i.e. ὑμῖν; in the expression here used, however, the reference to the hearers comes more distinctly into prominence; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:9, and Lünemann in loc.

In the last words Peter has spoken of the gospel preached to the churches to which he writes, as the word of God, by which his readers are begotten again of the incorruptible seed of divine life, so that, as such, in obedience to the truth thus communicated to them, they must sanctify themselves to unfeigned love of the brethren.

 


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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Peter 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-peter-1.html. 1832.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, September 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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