1. elders--alike in office and age
I . . . also an elder--To put one's self on a level
with those whom we exhort, gives weight to one's exhortations (compare
2Jo 1, 2).
Peter, in true humility for the Gospel's sake, does not put forward his
apostleship here, wherein he presided over the elders. In
the apostleship the apostles have no successors, for "the signs of an
apostle" have not been transmitted. The presidents over the presbyters
and deacons, by whatever name designated, angel, bishop, or
moderator, &c., though of the same ORDER as the
presbyters, yet have virtually succeeded to a superintendency of
the Church analogous to that exercised by the apostles (this
superintendency and priority existed from the earliest times after the
apostles [TERTULLIAN]); just as the Jewish
synagogue (the model which the Church followed) was governed by a
council of presbyters, presided over by one of themselves, "the chief
ruler of the synagogue." (Compare VITRINGA
[Synagogue and Temple, Part II, chs. 3 and 7]).
witness--an eye-witness of Christ's sufferings, and so
qualified to exhort you to believing patience in suffering for
well-doing after His example
(1Pe 4:19; 2:20).
This explains the "therefore" inserted in the oldest manuscripts, "I
therefore exhort," resuming exhortation from
His higher dignity as an apostle is herein delicately implied,
as eye-witnessing was a necessary qualification for apostleship:
compare Peter's own speeches,
Ac 1:21, 22; 2:32; 10:39.
also--implying the righteous recompense corresponding to the
partaker of the glory--according to Christ's promise; an earnest
of which was given in the transfiguration.
2. Feed--Greek, "Tend as a shepherd," by discipline and
doctrine. Lead, feed, heed: by prayer, exhortation, government, and
example. The dignity is marked by the term "elder"; the
duties of the office, to tend or oversee, by
"bishop." Peter has in mind Christ's injunction to him, "Feed
(tend) My sheep . . . Feed (pasture) My lambs"
He invites the elders to share with him the same duty (compare
The flock is Christ's.
which is among you--While having a concern for all the
Church, your special duty is to feed that portion of it "which is among
oversight--Greek, "bishopric," or duty of bishops, that
not by constraint--Necessity is laid upon them, but willingness
prevents it being felt, both in undertaking and in fulfilling the duty
[BENGEL]. "He is a true presbyter and minister of
the counsel of God who doeth and teacheth the things of the Lord, being
not accounted righteous merely because he is a presbyter, but because
righteous, chosen into the presbytery" [CLEMENT OF
willingly--One oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and
Coptic, add, "as God would have it to be done"
not for filthy lucre--
of a ready mind--promptly and heartily, without selfish motive
of gain-seeking, as the Israelites gave their services
willing-heartedly to the sanctuary.
3. being lords--Greek, "lording it": implying pride and
oppression. "Not that we have dominion over your faith."
God's heritage--Greek, "the inheritances," that
is, the portions of the Church committed severally to your
pastoral charge [BENGEL]. It is explained by "the
flock" in the next clause. However, in
"flock of God which is among you," answering to "(God's)
heritages" (plural to express the sheep who are God's portion
committed to you, favors English Version. The flock, as one
whole, is God's heritage, or flock in the singular. Regarded
in relation to its component sheep, divided among several
pastors, it is in the plural "heritages." Compare
Ac 1:17, 25,
"part" (the same Greek). BERNARD OF
CLAIRVAUX, wrote to Pope Eugene, "Peter could not
give thee what he had not: what he had he gave: the care over
the Church, not dominion."
ensamples--the most effective recommendation of precept
"patterns." So Jesus. "A monstrosity it is to see the highest rank
joined with the meanest mind, the first seat with the lowest life, a
grandiloquent tongue with a lazy life, much talking with no fruit"
4. And--"And so": as the result of "being ensamples"
chief Shepherd--the title peculiarly Christ's own, not Peter's
or the pope's.
when . . . shall appear--Greek, "be manifested"
Faith serves the Lord while still unseen.
crown--Greek, "stephanos," a garland of
victory, the prize in the Grecian games, woven of ivy, parsley,
myrtle, olive, or oak. Our crown is distinguished from
theirs in that it is "incorruptible" and "fadeth not away," as
the leaves of theirs soon did. "The crown of life." Not a
kingly "crown" (a different Greek word, diadema):
the prerogative of the Lord Jesus
glory--Greek, "the glory," namely, to be
that fadeth not away--Greek, "amaranthine" (compare
5. ye younger--The deacons were originally the younger
men, the presbyters older; but subsequently as presbyter
expressed the office of Church ruler or teacher, so Greek
"neoteros" means not (as literally) young men in age, but
subordinate ministers and servants of the Church. So Christ uses
the term "younger." For He explains it by "he that doth serve,"
literally, "he that ministereth as a deacon"; just as He explains "the
greatness" by "he that is chief," literally, "he that ruleth,"
the very word applied to the bishops or presbyters. So
"the young men" are undoubtedly the deacons of the Church of Jerusalem,
of whom, as being all Hebrews, the Hellenistic Christians
subsequently complained as neglecting their Grecian widows,
whence arose the appointment of the seven others, Hellenistic
deacons. So here, Peter, having exhorted the presbyters, or
elders, not to lord it over those committed to them, adds, Likewise ye
neoters or younger, that is, subordinate ministers and deacons,
submit cheerfully to the command of the elders [MOSHEIM]. There is no Scripture sanction for "younger"
meaning laymen in general (as ALFORD
explains): its use in this sense is probably of later date. The
"all of you" that follows, refers to the congregation
generally; and it is likely that, like Paul, Peter should notice,
previous to the general congregation, the subordinate ministers
as well as the presbyters, writing as he did to the same region
(Ephesus), and to confirm the teaching of the apostle of the Gentiles.
Yea--to sum up all my exhortations in one.
be subject--omitted in the oldest manuscripts and versions, but
TISCHENDORF quotes the Vatican manuscript
for it. Then translate, "Gird
(1Pe 1:13; 4:1)
fast on humility (lowliness of mind) to one another." The verb is
literally, "tie on with a fast knot"
[WAHL]. Or, "gird on humility as the
slave dress (encomboma)": as the Lord girded Himself with a
towel to perform a servile office of humility and love, washing His
disciples' feet, a scene in which Peter had played an important part,
so that he would naturally have it before his mind. Compare similarly
with Joh 21:15-17.
Clothing was the original badge of man's sin and shame. Pride caused
the need of man's clothing, and pride still reigns in dress; the
Christian therefore clothes himself in humility
(1Pe 3:3, 4).
God provides him with the robe of Christ's righteousness, in order to
receive which man must be stripped of pride.
God resisteth the proud--Quoted, as
from Pr 3:34.
Peter had James before his mind, and gives his Epistle inspired
with Jas 4:7,
literally, "arrayeth Himself against." Other sins flee from God: pride
alone opposeth itself to God; therefore, God also in turn opposes
Himself to the proud [GERHARD in
ALFORD]. Humility is the vessel of all graces
6. under the mighty hand--afflicting you
"accept" His chastisements, and turn to Him that smiteth you. He
depresses the proud and exalts the humble.
in due time--Wait humbly and patiently for His own fit time. One
oldest manuscript and Vulgate read, "In the season of
visitation," namely, His visitation in mercy.
7. Casting--once for all: so the Greek aorist.
care--"anxiety? The advantage flowing from humbling ourselves
under God's hand
is confident reliance on His goodness. Exemption from care goes along
with humble submission to God.
careth for you--literally "respecting you." Care is a
burden which faith casts off the man on his God. Compare
Ps 22:10; 37:5; 55:22,
to which Peter alludes;
Lu 12:22, 37;
careth--not so strong a Greek word as the previous
8. Peter has in mind Christ's warning to himself to watch
against Satan, from forgetting which he fell.
Be sober . . . vigilant--"Care," that is,
anxiety, will intoxicate the soul; therefore be sober, that is,
self-restrained. Yet, lest this freedom from care should lead
any to false security, he adds, "Be vigilant" against "your adversary."
Let this be your "care." God provides, therefore do not be anxious. The
devil seeks, therefore watch [BENGEL].
because--omitted in the oldest manuscripts The broken and
disjointed sentences are more fervid and forcible.
LUCIFER OF CAGLIARI reads as
adversary--literally, "opponent in a court of justice"
"Satan" means opponent. "Devil," accuser or
"A murderer from the beginning"
He counteracts the Gospel and its agents. "The tempter."
roaring lion--implying his violent and insatiable thirst for
prey as a hungry lion. Through man's sin he got God's justice on his
side against us; but Christ, our Advocate, by fulfilling all the
demands of justice for us, has made our redemption altogether
consistent with justice.
(Job 1:7; 2:2).
So the children of the wicked one cannot rest. Evil spirits are
said to be already in chains of darkness and in hell. This probably
means that this is their doom finally: a doom already begun in
part; though for a time they are permitted to roam in the world (of
which Satan is prince), especially in the dark air that surrounds the
earth. Hence perhaps arises the miasma of the air at times, as physical
and moral evil are closely connected.
devour--GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH