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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Peter 4

 

 

Verse 1

For as much then as Christ suffered in the flesh (Χριστου ουν πατοντος σαρκιChristou oun pathontos sarki). Genitive absolute with second aorist active participle of πασχωpaschō to suffer, and the locative case of σαρχsarx (flesh). The ουνoun (then, therefore) draws and applies the main lesson of 1 Peter 3:18-22, the fact that Christ suffered for us.

Arm ye yourselves also (και υμεις οπλισαστεkai humeis hoplisasthe). Direct middle first aorist imperative of οπλιζωhoplizō old verb from οπλονhoplon (weapon, John 18:3), in metaphorical sense, here only in N.T.

With the same mind (την αυτην εννοιανtēn autēn ennoian). Accusative of the thing (content), εννοιανennoian old word (from εν νουςenυπογραμμοςnous), putting in mind, thinking, will, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 4:12. “Here again Christus Patiens is our οτιhupogrammos ” (Bigg).

For (πεπαυται αμαρτιαςhoti). Reason for the exhortation.

Hath ceased from sin (παυωpepautai hamartias). Perfect middle indicative of αμαρτιαςpauō to make cease and the ablative singular αμαρτιαιςhamartias but B reads the dative plural hamartiais (cf. Romans 6:1.). Temptation has lost its appeal and power with such a man.


Verse 2

That ye no longer should live (εις το μηκετι βιωσαιeis to mēketi biōsai). Purpose clause with εις τοeis to (negative μηmē) and the first aorist (for the Attic second aorist βιωναιbiōnai) active infinitive of βιοωbioō old verb, to spend a life (from βιοςbios course of life, Luke 8:14), here only in N.T.

The rest of your time in the flesh (τον επιλοιπον εν σαρκι χρονονton epiloipon en sarki chronon). Accusative of time (χρονονchronon period of time). ΕπιλοιπονEpiloipon is old adjective (επι λοιποςepiεις τοloipos remaining in addition), here only in N.T. But eis to here can be result (so that) as in Romans 1:20; Romans 4:18.


Verse 3

Past (παρεληλυτωςparelēluthōs). Perfect active participle of the compound verb παρερχομαιparerchomai old verb, to go by (beside) as in Matthew 14:15 with ωραhōra (hour).

May suffice (αρκετοςarketos). No copula in the Greek, probably εστινestin (is) rather than δυναταιdunatai (can). Late and rare verbal adjective from αρκεωarkeō to suffice, in the papyri several times, in N.T. only here and Matthew 6:34; Matthew 10:25, apparently referring to Christ‘s words in Matthew 6:34 (possibly an axiom or proverb).

To have wrought (κατειργασταιkateirgasthai). Perfect middle infinitive of κατεργαζομαιkatergazomai common compound (κατα εργονkataτο βουλημαergon work) as in 1 Corinthians 5:3.

The desire (τελημαto boulēma). Correct text, not πεπορευμενουςthelēma Either means the thing desired, willed. Jews sometimes fell in with the ways of Gentiles (Romans 2:21-24; Romans 3:9-18; Ephesians 2:1-3) as today some Christians copy the ways of the world.

And to have walked (πορευομαιpeporeumenous). Perfect middle participle of κατειργασταιporeuomai in the accusative plural of general reference with the infinitive εν ασελγειαιςkateirgasthai Literally, “having walked or gone.”

In lasciviousness (ενen aselgeiais). All these sins are in the locative case with επιτυμιαιςen “In unbridled lustful excesses” (2 Peter 2:7; 2 Corinthians 12:21).

Lusts (οινοπλυγιαιςepithumiais). Cf. 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 4:2.

Winebibbings (οινοςoinophlugiais). Old compound (πλυωoinos wine, κομοιςphluō to bubble up), for drunkenness, here only in N.T. (also in Deuteronomy 21:20).

Revellings (κειμαιkomois). Old word (from ποτοιςkeimai to lie down), rioting drinking parties, in N.T. here and Galatians 5:21; Romans 13:13.

Carousings (πινωpotois). Old word for drinking carousal (from ατεμιτοις ειδωλολατριαιςpinō to drink), here only in the N.T. In the light of these words it seems strange to find modern Christians justifying their “personal liberty” to drink and carouse, to say nothing of the prohibition law. The Greeks actually carried lust and drunkenness into their religious observances (Aphrodite, for instance).

Abominable idolatries (ειδωλον λατρειαathemitois eidōlolatriais). To the Christian all “idolatry,” (τεμιτοςeidōlonτεμιστοςlatreia), worship of idols, is “abominable,” not allowed (alpha privative and τεμιζωthemitos ατεμιτοςthemistos the old form, verbal of themizō to make lawful), but particularly those associated with drinking and licentiousness. The only other N.T. example of athemitos is by Peter also (Acts 10:28) and about the Mosaic law. That may be the idea here, for Jews often fell into idolatrous practices (Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 274).


Verse 4

Wherein (εν ωιen hōi). “In which thing” (manner of life).

They think it strange (χενιζονταιxenizontai). Present passive indicative of χενιζωxenizō old verb (from χενοςxenos stranger), to entertain a guest (Acts 10:23), to astonish (Acts 17:20). See also 1 Peter 4:12. “They are surprised or astonished.”

That ye run not with them (μη συντρεχοντων υμωνmē suntrechontōn humōn). Genitive absolute (negative μηmē) with present active participle of συντρεχωsuntrechō old compound, to run together like a crowd or a mob as here (just like our phrase, “running with certain folks”).

Into the same excess of riot (εις την αυτην της ασωτιας αναχυσινeis tēn autēn tēs asōtias anachusin). ΑναχυσινAnachusin (from αναχεωanacheō to pour forth) is a late and rare word, our overflowing, here only in N.T. ΑσωτιαςAsōtias is the character of an abandoned man (ασωτοςasōtos cf. ασωτωςasōtōs in Luke 15:13), old word for a dissolute life, in N.T. only here, Ephesians 5:18; Titus 1:6.

Speaking evil of you (βλασπημουντεςblasphēmountes). Present active participle of βλασπημεωblasphēmeō as in Luke 22:65. “The Christians were compelled to stand aloof from all the social pleasures of the world, and the Gentiles bitterly resented their puritanism, regarding them as the enemies of all joy, and therefore of the human race” (Bigg).


Verse 5

Who shall give account (οι αποδωσουσιν λογονhoi apodōsousin logon). Future active indicative of αποδιδωμιapodidōmi For this use with λογονlogon (account) see Matthew 12:36; Luke 16:2; Acts 19:40; Hebrews 13:17. For the sudden use of the relative οιhoi see Romans 3:8.

To him that is ready to judge (τωι ετοιμως κρινοντιtōi hetoimōs krinonti). Dative, “to the one readily judging,” correct text, not ετοιμως εχοντι κριναιhetoimōs echonti krinai “to the one ready to judge,” which “softens the rugged original” (Hart). That is Christ apparently (1 Peter 1:13; 2 Corinthians 5:10), but the Father in 1 Peter 1:17.

The quick and the dead (ζωντας και νεκρουςzōntas kai nekrous). “Living and dead.” Those living at the time and those already dead (1 Thessalonians 4:15).


Verse 6

Was the gospel preached (ευηγγελιστηeuēggelisthē). First aorist passive indicative of ευαγγελιζωeuaggelizō Impersonal use.

Even to the dead (και νεκροιςkai nekrois). Does Peter here mean preached to men after they are dead or to men once alive but dead now or when the judgment comes? There are those (Augustine, Luther, etc.) who take “dead” here in the spiritual sense (dead in trespasses and sins as in Colossians 2:13; Ephesians 2:1), but consider it “impossible” for Peter to use the same word in two senses so close together; but Jesus did it in the same sentence, as in the case of πσυχηpsuchē (life) in Matthew 16:25. Bigg takes it to mean that all men who did not hear the gospel message in this life will hear it in the next before the final judgment.

That they might be judged (ινα κριτωσιν μενhina krithōsin men). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the first aorist passive subjunctive of κρινωkrinō to judge, whereas ζωσιν δεzōsin de (by contrast) is the present active subjunctive of ζαωzaō to live. There is contrast also between κατα αντρωπουςkata anthrōpous (according to men) and κατα τεονkata theon (according to God).


Verse 7

But the end of all things is at hand (παντων δε το τελος ηγγικενpantōn de to telos ēggiken). Perfect active indicative of εγγιζωeggizō to draw near, common late verb (from εγγυςeggus), same form used by the Baptist of the Messiah‘s arrival (Matthew 3:2) and by James in James 5:8 (of the second coming). How near Peter does not say, but he urges readiness (1 Peter 1:5.; 1 Peter 4:6) as Jesus did (Mark 14:38) and Paul (1 Thessalonians 5:6), though it is drawing nearer all the time (Romans 12:11), but not at once (2 Thessalonians 2:2).

Be ye therefore of sound mind (σωπρονησατε ουνsōphronēsate oun). In view of the coming of Christ. First aorist (ingressive) active imperative of σωπρονεωsōphroneō (σωςsōs sound, πρηνphrēn mind) as in Mark 5:15.

Be sober unto prayer (νηπσατε εις προσευχαςnēpsate eis proseuchas). First aorist (ingressive of νηπωnēphō (see 1 Peter 1:13) and plural προσευχαςproseuchas (prayers). Cf. Ephesians 6:18.


Verse 8

Above all things (προ παντωνpro pantōn). See this phrase in James 5:12.

Being fervent (εκτενη εχοντεςektenē echontes). Present active participle of εχοντεςechontes and predicate accusative of adjective εκτενηςektenēs (from εκτεινωekteinō to stretch out), stretched out, here only in N.T., “holding intent you love among yourselves.”

For love covereth a multitude of sins (οτι αγαπη καλυπτει πλητος αμαρτιωνhoti agapē kaluptei plēthos hamartiōn). See James 5:20 for meaning, sins of the one loved, not of the one loving.


Verse 9

Using hospitality (πιλοχενοιphiloxenoi). “Friendly to strangers,” old word (from πιλοσ χενοςphilosανευ γογγυσμουxenos), in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8. No verb here in the Greek.

Without murmuring (χωρις γογγυσμωνaneu goggusmou). Like chōris goggusmōn in Philemon 2:14. Complaint spoils hospitality. Jesus enjoined the entertainment of strangers (Matthew 25:35). Inns were rare and very poor. Hospitality made mission work possible (3 John 1:5).


Verse 10

Gift (χαρισμαcharisma). Late N.T. word (in late papyri) from χαριζομαιcharizomai to give graciously. It is used here by Peter as one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:9, 1 Corinthians 12:29-31; Romans 12:6).

Ministering (διακονουντεςdiakonountes). Present active participle plural of διακονεωdiakoneō common verb (Matthew 20:28), though εκαστοςhekastos (each) is singular.

As good stewards (ως καλοι οικονομοιhōs kaloi oikonomoi). For “steward” (οικονομοςoikonomos house-manager) see Luke 16:1; 1 Corinthians 4:1 (used by Paul of himself) and of any bishop (Titus 1:7), but here of any Christian. See καλοςkalos used with διακονοςdiakonos in 1 Timothy 4:6.

Of the manifold grace of God (ποικιλης χαριτος τεουpoikilēs charitos theou). For ποικιλοςpoikilos (many-colored) see note on 1 Peter 1:6 and note on James 1:2.


Verse 11

If any man speaketh (ει τις λαλειei tis lalei). Condition of first class, assumed as a fact.

Speaking as it were oracles of God (ως λογια τεουhōs logia theou). No predicate in this conclusion of the condition. For λογια τεουlogia theou see Acts 7:38 (Mosaic law); Romans 3:2 (the Old Testament); Hebrews 5:12 (the substance of Christian teaching), here of the utterances of God through Christian teachers. ΛογιονLogion (old word) is a diminutive of λογοςlogos (speech, word). It can be construed here as nominative or as accusative. The verb has to be supplied.

If any one ministereth (ει τις διακονειei tis diakonei). First-class condition again. See Acts 6:2-4 for the twofold division of service involved here.

Which God supplieth (ης χορηγει ο τεοςhēs chorēgei ho theos). Ablative case (ηςhēs) of the relative attracted from the accusative ηνhēn object of χορηγειchorēgei (present active indicative of χορηγεωchorēgeō old verb, to supply from χορηγοςchorēgos chorus leader, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 9:10). Peter has the compound επιχορηγεωepichorēgeō in 2 Peter 1:5, 2 Peter 1:11. God is the supplier of strength.

That God may be glorified (ινα δοχαζηται ο τεοςhina doxazētai ho theos). Purpose clause with ιναhina and the present passive subjunctive of δοχαζωdoxazō See John 15:8.

Whose is (ωι εστινhōi estin). “To whom (dative) is,” that is to Jesus Christ the immediate antecedent, but in Romans 16:27; Judges 1:25 the doxology is to God through Christ. For other doxologies see 1 Peter 5:11; 2 Peter 3:18; Galatians 1:5; Romans 9:5; Romans 11:36; Philemon 4:20; Ephesians 3:21; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:16; 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 7:12. The others addressed to Christ are 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Timothy 4:18; Revelation 1:6.


Verse 12

Think it not strange (μη χενιζεστεmē xenizesthe). Prohibition with μηmē and the present passive imperative of χενιζωxenizō for which verb see 1 Peter 4:4. “Be not amazed.”

Concerning the fiery trial among you (τει εν υμιν πυρωσειtei en humin purōsei). Instrumental case, “by the among you burning,” metaphorical sense of old word (since Aristotle), from πυροωpuroō to burn (πυρpur fire). See 1 Peter 1:7 for the metaphor. See Revelation 18:9, Revelation 18:18 only other N.T. examples. It occurs in Proverbs 27:21 for the smelting of gold and silver and so in Psalm 56:10 (lxx 65:10): “Thou didst smelt us as silver is smelted” (επυρωσας ημας ως πυρουται το αργυριονepurōsas hēmās hōs puroutai to argurion).

Which cometh upon you (υμιν γινομενηιhumin ginomenēi). Present middle participle of γινομαιginomai (already coming) with dative case υμινhumin prove you (προς πειρασμονpros peirasmon). “For testing.”

As though a strange thing happened unto you (ως χενου υμιν συμβαινοντοςhōs xenou humin sumbainontos). Genitive absolute with ωςhōs giving the alleged reason, and υμινhumin dative case with συμβαινοντοςsumbainontos (present active participle of συμβαινωsumbainō to go together, to happen (Mark 10:32), agreeing with χενουxenou (strange, Hebrews 13:9).


Verse 13

Inasmuch (κατοkatho). “In so far forth as” (“according to which thing”), old conjunction, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 8:12; Romans 8:26.

Ye are partakers of (κοινωνειτεkoinōneite). Present active indicative of κοινωνεωkoinōneō old verb (from κοινωνοςkoinōnos partner), to share in either with genitive (Hebrews 2:14) or dative as here (πατημασινpathēmasin).

That ye may rejoice with exceeding joy (ινα χαρητε αγαλλιωμενοιhina charēte agalliōmenoi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and second aorist passive subjunctive of χαιρωchairō with the present middle participle of αγαλλιαωagalliaō to exult (1 Peter 1:8), “that ye may rejoice exulting.” See 1 Peter 1:6-8 for this same idea associated with the second coming of Christ as here.


Verse 14

If ye are reproached (ει ονειδιζεστεei oneidizesthe). Condition of first class assumed as true with ειei and present passive indicative of ονειδιζωoneidizō for which verb see James 1:5.

For the name of Christ (εν ονοματι Χριστουen onomati Christou). “In the matter of the name of Christ.” For the idea see Matthew 5:11.; Matthew 19:29; Acts 5:41; Acts 9:16; Acts 21:13. This is the only N.T. example of just ονομα Χριστουonoma Christou here used because of the use of ΧριστιανοςChristianos in 1 Peter 4:16. For the beatitude μακαριοιmakarioi see Matthew 5:11.

The Spirit of glory and the Spirit of God (το της δοχης και το του τεου πνευμαto tēs doxēs kai to tou theou pneuma). Note repetition of the article (τοto) though πνευμαpneuma only once. The reference is to the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Glory and of God.

Resteth upon you (επ ημας αναπαυεταιeph' hēmas anapauetai). Quotation from Isaiah 11:2. Present middle indicative of αναπαυωanapauō to give rest, refresh (Matthew 11:28). “He rests upon the Christian as the Shechinah rested upon the tabernacle” (Bigg). Cf. 1 Peter 1:8; Matthew 3:16.


Verse 15

Let no one of you suffer (μη τις υμων πασχετωmē tis humōn paschetō). Prohibition with μηmē and present active imperative (habit prohibited).

As (ωςhōs). Charged as and being so. Two specific crimes (murderer, thief) and one general phrase (κακοποιοςkakopoios evildoer, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 2:14), and one unusual term αλλοτριεπισχοποςallotriepiscopos (a meddler in other men‘s matters). Note η ωςē hōs (or as) = or “also only as” (Wohlenberg). The word was apparently coined by Peter (occurring elsewhere only in Dionys. Areop. and late eccles. writers) from αλλοτριοςallotrios (belonging to another, 2 Corinthians 10:15) and επισκοποςepiskopos overseer, inspector, 1 Peter 2:25). The idea is apparently one who spies out the affairs of other men. Deissmann (Bible Studies, p. 224) gives a second-century papyrus with αλλοτριων επιτυμητηςallotriōn epithumētēs a speculator alienorum. Epictetus has a like idea (iii. 22. 97). Biggs takes it to refer to “things forbidden.” Clement of Alexandria tells of a disciple of the Apostle John who became a bandit chief. Ramsay (Church in the Roman Empire, pp. 293, 348) thinks the word refers to breaking up family relationships. Hart refers us to the gadders-about in 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:11 and women as gossipers in 1 Thessalonians 5:13. It is interesting to note also that επισκοποςepiskopos here is the word for “bishop” and so suggests also preachers meddling in the work of other preachers.


Verse 16

But if as a Christian (ει δε ως Χριστιανοςei de hōs Christianos). Supply the verb πασχειpaschei (condition of first class, “if one suffer as a Christian”). This word occurs only three times in the N.T. (Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16). It is word of Latin formation coined to distinguish followers of Christ from Jews and Gentiles (Acts 11:26). Each instance bears that idea. It is not the usual term at first like ματηταιmathētai (disciples), saints (αγιοιhagioi), believers (πιστευοντεςpisteuontes), etc. The Jews used ΝαζωραιοιNazōraioi (Nazarenes) as a nickname for Christians (Acts 24:5). By a.d. 64 the name Christian was in common use in Rome (Tacitus, Ann. XV. 44). Owing to itacism it was sometimes spelled ΧρηστιανοιChrēstianoi (ι ειiηei and μη αισχυνεστω pronounced alike).

Let him not be ashamed (μηmē aischunesthō). Prohibition with αισχυνωmē and present passive imperative of εν τωι ονοματι τουτωιaischunō Peter had once been ashamed to suffer reproach or even a sneer for being a disciple of Christ (Mark 14:68). See the words of Jesus in Mark 8:38 and Paul‘s in 2 Timothy 1:12. Peter is not ashamed now. In this name (en tōi onomati toutōi). Of Christian as in Mark 9:41, “because ye are Christ‘s.”


Verse 17

For the time is come (οτι ο καιροςhoti ho kairos). No predicate, probably εστινestin (is) to be supplied. The phrase that follows comes from the vision of Ezekiel (chapter Ezekiel 9:1-11). The construction is unusual with του αρχασταιtou arxasthai (genitive articular aorist middle infinitive of αρχωarchō), not exactly purpose or result, and almost in apposition (epexegetic), but note του ελτεινtou elthein used as subject in Luke 17:1. The persecution on hand (1 Peter 1:7) was a foretaste of more to come. By “house of God” he can mean the same as the “spiritual house” of 1 Peter 2:5 or a local church. Biggs even takes it to refer to the family.

And if it begin first at us (ει δε πρωτον απημωνei de prōton aph'hēmōn). Condition of first class again, with the verb αρχεταιarchetai understood. “From us” (απ ημωνaph' hēmōn) more exactly.

End (τελοςtelos). Final fate.

Of them that obey not the gospel of God (των απειτουντων τωι του τεου ευαγγελιωιtōn apeithountōn tōi tou theou euaggeliōi). “Of those disobeying the gospel of God.” See the same idea in Romans 2:8. See Mark 1:14 for believing in the gospel.


Verse 18

And if the righteous is scarcely saved (και ει ο δικαιος μολις σωζεταιkai ei ho dikaios molis sōzetai). First-class condition again with ειei and present passive indicative of σωζωsōzō Quotation from Proverbs 11:31. See 1 Peter 3:12, 1 Peter 3:14; Matthew 5:20. But the Christian is not saved by his own righteousness (Philemon 3:9; Revelation 7:14). For μολιςmolis see Acts 14:18 and for ασεβηςasebēs (ungodly, without reverence) see Romans 4:5; 2 Peter 2:5.

Will appear (πανειταιphaneitai). Future middle of παινωphainō to show. For the question see Mark 10:24-26.


Verse 19

Wherefore (ωστεhōste). Picking up the thread of consolation again (Bigg).

Commit their souls (παρατιτεστωσαν τας πσυχαςparatithesthōsan tas psuchas). Present (continuous) middle imperative third plural of παρατιτημιparatithēmi old word, a banking figure, to deposit, as in 1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:2, the word used by Jesus as he died (Luke 23:46).

In well-doing (εν αγατοποιιαιen agathopoiiāi). Late and rare word, only here in N.T., from αγατοποιεωagathopoieō (1 Peter 2:15, 1 Peter 2:20).

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Peter 4:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-peter-4.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Monday, August 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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