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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
1 Peter 5



Verse 1

Who am a fellow-elder (ο συνπρεσβυτεροςho sunpresbuteros). Earliest use of this compound in an inscription of b.c. 120 for fellow-elders (alderman) in a town, here only in N.T., in eccles. writers. For the word πρεσβυτεροςpresbuteros in the technical sense of officers in a Christian church (like elder in the local synagogues of the Jews) see Acts 11:30; Acts 20:17. It is noteworthy that here Peter the Apostle (1 Peter 1:1) calls himself an elder along with (συνsun) the other “elders.”

A witness (μαρτυςmartus). This is what Jesus had said they must be (Acts 1:8) and what Peter claimed to be (Acts 3:15; Acts 10:39). So Paul was to be a μαρτυςmartus (Acts 22:15).

Who am also a partaker (ο και κοινωνοςho kai koinōnos). “The partner also,” “the partaker also.” See Luke 5:10; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Peter 1:4. See same idea in Romans 8:17. In Galatians 3:23; Romans 8:18 we have almost this about the glory about to be revealed to us where μελλωmellō as here is used with the infinitive.

Verse 2

Tend (ποιμανατεpoimanate). First aorist active imperative of ποιμαινωpoimainō old verb, from ποιμηνpoimēn (shepherd) as in Luke 17:7. Jesus used this very word to Peter in the interview by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:16) and Peter doubtless has this fact in mind here. Paul used the word to the elders at Miletus (Acts 20:28). See 1 Peter 2:25 for the metaphor.

Flock (ποιμνιονpoimnion). Old word, likewise from ποιμηνpoimēn contraction of ποιμενιονpoimenion (Luke 12:32).

Exercising the oversight (επισκοπουντεςepiskopountes). Present active participle of επισκοπεωepiskopeō old word (in Hebrews 12:15 alone in N.T.), omitted here by Aleph B.

Not by constraint (μη αναγκαστωςmē anagkastōs). Negative μηmē because of the imperative. Old adverb from verbal adjective αναγκαστοςanagkastos here alone in N.T.

But willingly (αλλα εκουσιωςalla hekousiōs). By contrast. Old adverb, in N.T. only here and Hebrews 10:26.

Nor yet for filthy lucre (μηδε αισχροκερδωςmēde aischrokerdōs). A compound adverb not found elsewhere, but the old adjective αισχροκερδηςaischrokerdēs is in 1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7. See also Titus 1:11 “for the sake of filthy lucre” (αισχρου κερδους χαρινaischrou kerdous charin). Clearly the elders received stipends, else there could be no such temptation.

But of a ready mind (αλλα προτυμωςalla prothumōs). Old adverb from προτυμοςprothumos (Matthew 26:41), here only in N.T.

Verse 3

Lording it over (κατακυριευοντεςkatakurieuontes). Present active participle of κατακυριευωkatakurieuō late compound (κατα κυριοςkataτων κληρωνkurios) as in Matthew 20:25.

The charge allotted to you (κληρικοςtōn klērōn). “The charges,” “the lots” or “the allotments.” See it in Acts 1:17, Acts 1:25 in this sense. The old word meant a die (Matthew 27:25), a portion (Colossians 1:12; 1 Peter 1:4), here the charges assigned (cf. Acts 17:4). From the adjective τυποι γινομενοιklērikos come our cleric, clerical, clerk. Wycliff translated it here “neither as having lordship in the clergie.”

Making yourselves ensamples (γινομαιtupoi ginomenoi). Present active participle of τυποιginomai and predicate nominative υπογραμμοςtupoi (types, models) for which phrase see 1 Thessalonians 1:7. Continually becoming. See 1 Peter 2:21 for του ποιμνιουhupogrammos (writing-copy).

To the flock (tou poimniou). Objective genitive.

Verse 4

When the chief Shepherd shall be manifested (πανερωτεντος του αρχιποιμενοςphanerōthentos tou archipoimenos). Genitive absolute with first aorist passive participle of πανεροωphaneroō to manifest, and genitive of αρχιποιμηνarchipoimēn a compound (αρχι ποιμηνarchiαρχιερευςpoimēn) after analogy of ο ποιμην ο μεγαςarchiereus here only in N.T., but in Testam. of Twelve Patrs. (Judges 8) and on a piece of wood around an Egyptian mummy and also on a papyrus a.d. 338 (Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 100). See Hebrews 13:20 for κομιειστεho poimēn ho megas (the Shepherd the great).

Ye shall receive (κομιζωkomieisthe). Future of τον αμαραντινον της δοχης στεπανονkomizō (1 Peter 1:9, which see).

The crown of glory that fadeth not away (στεπανοςton amarantinon tēs doxēs stephanon). For “crown” (αμαραντοςstephanos) see James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8; Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 4:4. In the Gospels it is used only of the crown of thorns, but Jesus is crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2:9). In all these passages it is the crown of victory as it is here. See 1 Peter 1:4 for Αμαραντινοςamarantos unfading. αμαραντAmarantinos is made from that word as the name of a flower amaranth (so called because it never withers and revives if moistened with water and so used as a symbol of immortality), “composed of amaranth” or “amarantine,” “the amarantine (unfading) crown of glory.”

Verse 5

Be subject (οποταγητεhopotagēte). Second aorist passive imperative of υποτασσωhupotassō the elder (πρεσβυτεροιςpresbuterois). Dative case. Here the antithesis between younger and elder shows that the word refers to age, not to office as in 1 Peter 5:1. See a like change in meaning in 1 Timothy 5:1, 1 Timothy 5:17.

All (παντεςpantes). All ages, sexes, classes.

Gird yourselves with humility (την ταπεινοπροσυνην εγκομβωσαστεtēn tapeinophrosunēn egkombōsasthe). First aorist middle imperative of εγκομβοομαιegkomboomai late and rare verb (in Apollodorus, fourth cent. b.c.), here only in N.T., from ενen and κομβοςkombos (knot, like the knot of a girdle). ΕγκομβωμαEgkombōma was the white scarf or apron of slaves. It is quite probable that Peter here is thinking of what Jesus did (John 13:4.) when he girded himself with a towel and taught the disciples, Peter in particular (John 13:9.), the lesson of humility (John 13:15). Peter had at last learned the lesson (John 21:15-19).

The proud (υπερηπανοιςhuperēphanois). Dative plural of υπερηπανοςhuperēphanos (James 4:6; Romans 1:30) after αντιτασσεταιantitassetai (present middle indicative of αντιτασσωantitassō as in James 4:6 (quoted there as here from Proverbs 3:34).

Verse 6

Humble yourselves therefore (ταπεινωτητε ουνtapeinōthēte oun). First aorist passive imperative of ταπεινοωtapeinoō old verb, for which see Matthew 18:4. Peter is here in the role of a preacher of humility. “Be humbled.”

Under the mighty hand of God (υπο την κραταιαν χειρα του τεουhupo tēn krataian cheira tou theou). Common O.T. picture (Exodus 3:19; Ezekiel 20:33, etc.).

That he may exalt you (ινα υπσωσηιhina hupsōsēi). Purpose clause with ιναhina and first aorist active subjunctive of υπσοωhupsoō Cf. Luke 14:11; Philemon 2:9.

In due time (εν καιρωιen kairōi). Same phrase in Matthew 24:45.

Verse 7

Casting (επιριπσαντεςepiripsantes). First aorist active participle of επιριπτωepiriptō old verb, to throw upon, in N.T. only here and Luke 19:35 (casting their clothes on the colt), here from Psalm 55:22. For μεριμναmerimna see Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:31, Matthew 6:34.

He careth (αυτωι μελειautōi melei). Impersonal verb μελειmelei (present active indicative) with dative αυτωιautōi “it is a care to him.” God does care (Luke 21:18).

Verse 8

Be watchful (γρηγορησατεgrēgorēsate). First aorist active imperative of γρηγορεωgrēgoreō late present imperative from perfect εγρηγοραegrēgora (to be awake) from εγειρωegeirō (to arouse), as in Matthew 24:42. For νηπσατεnēpsate see 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7.

Your adversary (ο αντιδικος υμωνho antidikos humōn). Old word for opponent in a lawsuit (Matthew 5:25).

The devil (διαβολοςdiabolos). Slanderer. See note on Matthew 4:1.

As a roaring lion (hōs ōruomenos leōn). But Jesus is also pictured as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). But Satan roars at the saints. Present middle participle ōruomai old verb, here only in N.T., to howl like a wolf, dog, or lion, of men to sing loud (Pindar). See Psalm 22:13.

Whom he may devour (ως ωρυομενος λεωνkatapiein). Second aorist active infinitive of ωρυομαιkatapinō to drink down. B does not have καταπιεινtina Aleph has καταπινωtina (somebody), “to devour some one,” while A has interrogative τιναtina “whom he may devour” (very rare idiom). But the devil‘s purpose is the ruin of men. He is a “peripatetic” (τιναperipatei) like the peripatetic philosophers who walked as they talked. Satan wants all of us and sifts us all (Luke 22:31).

Verse 9

Whom withstand (ωι αντιστητεhōi antistēte). Imperative second aorist active (intransitive) of αντιστημιanthistēmi same form in James 4:7, which see. Dative case of relative (ωιhōi). For the imperative in a subordinate clause see 1 Peter 5:12; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 2 Timothy 4:15; Hebrews 13:7. Cowardice never wins against the devil (2 Timothy 1:7), but only courage.

Steadfast in your faith (στερεοι τηι πιστειstereoi tēi pistei). Locative case πιστειpistei ΣτερεοςStereos is old adjective for solid like a foundation (2 Timothy 2:19).

The same sufferings (τα αυτα των πατηματωνta auta tōn pathēmatōn). An unusual construction with the genitive rather than the usual τα αυτα πατηματαta auta pathēmata perhaps as Hofmann suggests, “the same tax of sufferings” (“the same things in sufferings”). Probably this is correct and is like Xenophon‘s phrase in the Memorabilia (IV. 8. 8), τα του γηρως επιτελεισταιta tou gērōs epiteleisthai (to pay the tax of old age).

Are accomplished (επιτελεισταιepiteleisthai). Present (and so process) middle (you are paying) or passive (is paid) infinitive of επιτελεωepiteleō old verb, to accomplish (2 Corinthians 7:1).

In your brethren who are in the world (τηι εν τωι κοσμωι υμων αδελποτητιtēi en tōi kosmōi humōn adelphotēti). Associate-instrumental case αδελποτητιadelphotēti (in N.T. only here and 1 Peter 2:17, which see) after τα αυταta auta (like 1 Corinthians 11:5) or dative after επιτελεισταιepiteleisthai Even so ειδοτεςeidotes (second perfect active participle of οιδαoida) with an infinitive usually means “knowing how to” (object infinitive) as in Luke 12:56; Philemon 3:18 rather than “knowing that” (indirect assertion) as taken above.

Verse 10

The God of all grace (ο τεος της χαριτοςho theos tēs charitos). See 1 Peter 4:10 for ποικιλης χαριτος τεουpoikilēs charitos theou (of the variegated grace of God).

In Christ (εν Χριστωιen Christōi). A Pauline phrase (2 Corinthians 5:17-19), but Petrine also. For God‘s “calling” us (καλεσαςkalesas) see 1 Thessalonians 5:23.; 1 Corinthians 1:8.; Romans 8:29.

After that ye have suffered a little while (ολιγον πατονταςoligon pathontas). Second aorist active participle of πασχωpaschō antecedent to the principal verbs which are future active (καταρτισειkatartisei to mend, Mark 1:19; Galatians 6:1, στηριχειstērixei for which see Luke 9:51; Luke 22:32, στενωσειsthenōsei from στενοςsthenos and so far a απαχ λεγομενονhapax legomenon like ενισχυωenischuō according to Hesychius). For ολιγονoligon see 1 Peter 1:6.

Verse 11

To him (αυτωιautōi). To God (dative case). Note κρατοςkratos in the doxology as in 1 Timothy 6:16 and briefer than the doxology in 1 Peter 4:11, to Christ.

Verse 12

By Silvanus (δια Σιλουανουdia Silouanou). Probably this postscript (1 Peter 5:12-14) is in Peter‘s own handwriting, as Paul did (2 Thessalonians 3:17.; Galatians 6:11-18). If so, Silvanus (Silas) was the amanuensis and the bearer of the Epistle.

As I account him (ως λογιζομαιhōs logizomai). Peter uses Paul‘s phrase (1 Corinthians 4:1; Romans 8:18) in giving approval to Paul‘s former companion (Acts 15:40).

I have written (εγραπσαegrapsa). Epistolary aorist applying to this Epistle as in 1 Corinthians 5:11 (not 1 Corinthians 5:9); 1 Corinthians 9:15; Galatians 6:11; Romans 15:15; Philemon 1:19, Philemon 1:21.

Briefly (δι ολιγωνdi' oligōn). “By few words,” as Peter looked at it, certainly not a long letter in fact. Cf. Hebrews 13:22.

Testifying (επιμαρτυρωνepimarturōn). Present active participle of επιμαρτυρεωepimartureō to bear witness to, old compound, here alone in N.T., though the double compound συνεπιμαρτυρεωsunepimartureō in Hebrews 2:4.

That this is the true grace of God (ταυτην ειναι αλητη χαριν του τεουtautēn einai alēthē charin tou theou). Infinitive ειναιeinai in indirect assertion and accusative of general reference (ταυτηνtautēn) and predicate accusative χαρινcharin Peter includes the whole of the Epistle by God‘s grace (1 Peter 1:10) and obedience to the truth (John 1:17; Galatians 2:5; Colossians 1:6).

Stand ye fast therein (εις ην στητεeis hēn stēte). “In which (grace) take your stand” (ingressive aorist active imperative of ιστημιhistēmi).

Verse 13

She that is in Babylon, elect together with you (η εν αβυλωνι συνεκλεκτηhē en Babulōni suneklektē). Either actual Babylon or, as most likely, mystical Babylon (Rome) as in the Apocalypse. If Peter is in Rome about a.d. 65, there is every reason why he should not make that fact plain to the world at large and least of all to Nero. It is also uncertain whether η συνεκλεκτηhē suneklektē (found here alone), “the co-elect woman,” means Peter‘s wife (1 Corinthians 9:5) or the church in “Babylon.” The natural way to take it is for Peter‘s wife. Cf. εκλεκτηι κυριαιeklektēi kuriāi in 2 John 1:1 (also verse 2 John 1:13).

Mark my son (Μαρκος ο υιος μουMarkos ho huios mou). So this fact agrees with the numerous statements by the early Christian writers that Mark, after leaving Barnabas, became Peter‘s “interpreter” and under his influence wrote his Gospel. We know that Mark was with Paul in Rome some years before this time (Colossians 4:10).

Verse 14

With a kiss of love (εν πιληματι αγαπηςen philēmati agapēs). As in 1 Corinthians 16:20. The abuse of this custom led to its confinement to men with men and women with women and to its final abandonment (Apost. Const. ii. 57, 12).

That are in Christ (τοις εν Χριστωιtois en Christōi). This is the greatest of all secret orders and ties, one that is open to all who take Christ as Lord and Saviour.


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 5:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Monday, January 27th, 2020
the Third Week after Epiphany
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