First Peter Chapter Five

Instructions and Encouragement to Pastors (vv.1-4)

Solidarity with the Asian Elders (v.1)

VERSE 1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you (Presbute,rouj [adj.acc.m.p., presbu,teroj, presbuteros, elder; Jewish term for the elderly males and of those who are leaders; here, in the context of pastors] ou=n [conj./infer., therefore; as to what precedes] evn u`mi/n [prep.w/pro.loc.p., su] parakalw/ [pres.act.ind.1.p.s., parakale,w, parakaleo, exhort]), as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ (o` sumpresbu,teroj [, sumpresbuteros, fellow elder; 1X] kai. ma,rtuj [conj. + n.m.s., martus, witness] tw/n tou/ Cristou/ paqhma,twn [, paqhma,, pathema, suffering, +, Christos]), and a partaker (o` koinwno,j [, koinois, sharer, partaker]) also of the glory (kai. th/j do,xhj [conj./adjunc. +, doxa, glory: Ph3]) that is to be revealed (mellou,shj avpokalu,ptesqai [, me,llw, mello, be about; must, be destined, + pres.pass.infin., avpokalu,ptw, apokalupto, reveal]),


  1. The section which follows bears comparison, on the one hand, with the household duty codes of 1Pet.2:13Ė3:9, and on the other with Peterís directives on mutual ministry within the congregations in 4:7-11.
  2. Peter begins here with the responsibilities of those in authority (vv.1-4): namely, the shepherds of the local churches scattered throughout what is now modern Turkey.
  3. The section begins with concentration upon the "elders", or Pastor-Teachers, responsible for feeding the flock.
  4. Adjusted spiritual leadership was essential to the cohesion and unity of these churches as they faced a common crisis.
  5. The particle "therefore" (oun) links the exhortation to what has preceded in 1Pet.4:12-19, probably on the ground that the crisis of "judgment" placed above-and-beyond demands upon those responsible for the oversight of the individual local churches.
  6. So Peter addresses fellow "elders" who shared the same responsibility he had as an apostle.
  7. The verb "exhort" in the Greek means, literally, "to call alongside" (parakaleo).
  8. Peter, functioning as an apostle, had the authority to oversee multiple congregations with local Pastor-Teachers.
  9. In ancient times the older men of a community were known as elders.
  10. Moses called the elders of Israel together and told them that God had appointed him to lead the people out of Egypt (Ex.3:29).
  11. Later he called on them to institute the Passover (Ex.12:21).
  12. At Sinai, 70 of the elders went up the mountain with Moses (Ex.24:9).
  13. In the wilderness, to relieve Moses, 70 elders shared his work as administrator and judge (Num.11:25).
  14. After Israel settled in the land, the elders were a separate group taken from the heads of the tribes and princes (1Kgs.8:1).
  15. Each town had its separate group of elders (1Sam.16:4; Ezra.10:14).
  16. After the return from exile, the elders made up the Sanhedrin.
  17. The elders joined the priests and scribes in opposition to Jesus (Mt.27:12).
  18. This term was used in the early church to designate leaders in the local churches (Acts.14:23).
  19. It is used of someone who is advanced in age (1Tim.5:1,2).
  20. The term was used interchangeably in the N.T. with "bishop/overseer".
  21. The term is used of both Pastors (teaching elders) and deacons (ruling elders).
  22. Context determines whether one or the other or both are in view.
  23. Finally, the term is used of the 24 elders around the throne of God and represents the royal priesthood of the church.
  24. The designation does not (at least in its N.T. applications) require that the individual be advanced in age to hold a church office (1Tim.4:12).
  25. The context here requires that the reference is to Pastors.
  26. When used of Pastors or deacons, it refers to spiritual seniority.
  27. Peter is quick to establish a common bond between himself and them when he refers to himself as a "fellow elder" (hapax).
  28. Peterís ad hoc formulation ("fellow elder") is completely natural in light of "fellow servant" (e.g., Col.1:7; 4:7) and "fellow worker" (e.g., Rom.16:3,9,21; 2Cor.8:23; Philm.1,24).
  29. While Peter at this late date in his ministry still considered himself an apostle (1:1), he makes it clear that his modus operandi is essentially the same as theirs.
  30. Peterís intention is to establish collegiality with the elders in the churches to which he writes.
  31. Although his apostolic authority is not made explicit here, we should not be misled by his modest stance, as if the author were presenting himself as their equal.
  32. His reference to himself as "the elder" is the same as that of the author of 2Jn (1:1) and 3Jn (1:1, ov presbu,teroj).
  33. While the term is not synonymous with "apostle", the designation is compatible with the latter, and in Peterís case is a corollary to it.
  34. The two terms are closely associated with the book of Acts, where most of Jesusí original disciples remained for a time (e.g., Acts.8:1,14; 11:1,30) and continued to exercise leadership.
  35. Peter thus establishes rapport with the elders in Asia Minor as " the fellow elder".
  36. The only other reference in the N.T. in which someone identifies himself with one of these compound sun formations is Rev.19:10 and 22:9, where an angel says to John, "I am a fellow servant with you and your brethren".
  37. The closest N.T. parallel is Paulís address at Miletus to the elders of Ephesus in Acts.20:17-38, where Paul uses himself as an example in support of an exhortation to "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (v.28).
  38. His appeal to the "elders" provides the occasion for an explicit self-reference, the first since his opening phrase, "apostle of Jesus Christ", in 1Pet.1:1.
  39. The second of three self-designations is linked by a common definite article serving both "fellow elder" and "witness", the two terms connected by a simple kai,.
  40. In Greek syntax, this is called the "Granville Sharp" rule (named after its discoverer).
  41. In Greek, when two nouns are connected by "and" (kai,), and the definite article precedes only the first noun, there is a close connection between the two.
  42. That connection indicates some sort of equality.
  43. The application of this rule influences how we interpret the second of Peterís self-designations - "witness of the sufferings of Christ".
  44. This rules out the view that says Peter is referring to his eyewitness experience with respect to Jesusí Passion, since the elders of Asia Minor were not eyewitnesses.
  45. Though many interpreters understand the phrase so, there is much to be said against what at first blush seems obvious.
  46. This interpretation (namely, that Peter was an eyewitness to the Passion) is at odds not only with the grammar, but also with the fact that Peter could hardly be described in a strict sense as a spectator of the Passion.
  47. Peter fled the scene shortly after Jesusí arrest, and along with the other disciples went into hiding (only John was present at the Cross; Mk.14:27,50).
  48. How then could he refer to himself as a hands-on witness as we understand it in a legal sense?
  49. He was an eyewitness of Christís public ministry and resurrection, having seen Christ after the event (Acts.2:32; 3:15; 10:39,41).
  50. He uses in 2Pet.1:16 a separate term to describe himself as an "eyewitness" (evpo,thj) of the Transfiguration.
  51. The term "witness" (ma,rtuj) is used of someone who has seen an event, as in eyewitness (Acts.6:13; 1Thess.2:10).
  52. The term is used of someone who relates what another has revealed to him (Acts.1:8; 5:32; 26:16; 1Cor.15:15; Rev.11:3).
  53. Is Peter saying that both he and they are witnesses of the truth of Christís sufferings, and if so, why?
  54. Is Peter grounding his right to a respectful hearing on the part of the Asian elders based on the fact that he is a co-herald of Christís Passion?
  55. Certainly, throughout his letter Peter has regularly dwelt on the subject of the Lordís sufferings (1:11,19; 2:21-24; 3:18Ė4:1,13).
  56. It seems that the solution is to be found in the parallelism between "witness" and "partaker" and 1Pet.4:13, where Peter displays a correspondence between sharing Christís sufferings and sharing His glory (as in this verse).
  57. In other words, he is claiming to be a "witness of the sufferings of Christ" in a deeper sense of himself suffering for his testimony.
  58. Peter was a living testimony to the sufferings of Christ, as he suffered the same kinds of things Christ suffered for the same reasons.
  59. This interpretation satisfies the grammar, the context, and the historical facts.
  60. The Asian elders were co-witnesses to what it meant to be a believer leading a congregation in the fires of the Angelic Conflict.
  61. Philippians 3:10 sheds light on this interpretation (cp. 1Thess.2:14).
  62. The Greek syntax has the force of carrying "fellow" to the second noun, "witness".
  63. Peter, as an apostle and elder, was at one with the Asian elders in their present tribulations.
  64. The third noun dealing with self-designation, "partaker", stands apart from the first two nouns, having its own definite article (ovÖkoinwno,j).
  65. But "partaker" is connected with the preceding noun, "witness", by the conjunction "also".
  66. Obviously, there is a sharp contrast between the two physical states, as it is in the case of Christí s experience (1Pet.1:11).
  67. The contrast is obvious and the comparison is extraordinary (cf. Rom.8:18; 1Pet.1:6,7; 4:13).
  68. "The glory that is to be revealed" refers to the coming of Christ at the Rapture.
  69. Peter looks ahead to the time when he and they and we will partake of Ph3 glory according to the measure of our Ph2 willingness to suffer all the things that adherence to BD brings into our lives.
  70. The "glory that is to be revealed" holds particular reward for spiritual shepherds, and thus for Peter himself, as specified in v.4.
Doís and Doníts of the Ministry (vv.2,3)

VERSE 2 shepherd the flock of God among you (poima,nate [aor.act.imper.2.p., poimai,nw, poimaino, shepherd, pastor] to. evn u`mi/n poi,mnion tou/ qeou/ [, poi,mnion, poimnion, flock, +, theos, + prep.w/pro.loc.p., su]), exercising oversight (Îevpiskopou/ntejÐ [ {imper.} n.m.p., evpiskope,w, episkopeo, oversee; Heb.12:15]) not under compulsion, but voluntarily (mh. avnagkastw/j avlla. e`kousi,wj [neg. + adv., anagkastos, under compulsion; 1X, + conj. + adv., ekousios, willingly; 2X: Heb.10:26]), according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness (kata. qeo,n mhde. aivscrokerdw/j avlla. proqu,mwj [prep., kata, + acc.m.s., theos, + conj., mede, neither, + adv., aischrokerdos, greediness for material gain; 1X, + conj., alla, but, + adv., prothumos, eagerly; 1X]);

VERSE 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge (mhdV w`j katakurieu,ontej tw/n klh,rwn [conj., mede, neither, + conj., hos, as, + {imper.} pl., katakurieu,w, katakurieuo, lord over; 4X: Mt.20:25; Mk.10:42; Acts.19:16; 1Pet.5:3, +, klh/roj, kleros, lot; share; "allotted to your charge"]), but proving to be examples to the flock (avlla. tu,poi gino,menoi tou/ poimni,ou [conj., but, + {imper.}, ginomai; "proving", + n.m.p., tu,poj, tupos, pattern, example, +, poimni,on, poimnion, flock]).


  1. The pastoral function of the elders now becomes explicit (cf. Acts.20:28).
  2. The aorist imperative of the verb poimai,nw, "shepherd" (the only occurrence of the aorist of the verb in the N.T.), is in keeping with the many aorist imperatives in First Peter, for it establishes a pattern of behavior to be maintained until the end of the age.
  3. The opening command echoes the command of Jesus to Peter in Jn.21:16: "Shepherd my sheep" (cp. "Feed my lambs" in 21:15, and "Feed my sheep" in 21:17).
  4. The "flock" belongs neither to the elders nor to Peter.
  5. To Peter it is "the flock of God (cp. "the church of God" in Acts.20:28).
  6. This is in keeping with the O.T. usage (e.g., "the Lordís flock", Jer.13:17; "the Lord God the Almighty will watch over His flock", Zech.10:3, LXX).
  7. Peter has previously used this metaphor in his letter in 1Pet.2:25.
  8. Christ died for the flock and gathers those who are Ph1 and Ph2 positive.
  9. In this capacity He acts as the Chief Shepherd.
  10. Jesus referred to His disciples as the "little flock" in Lk.12:32.
  11. The greater sheepfold is the consequence of centuries of evangelization (Jn.10:16).
  12. The metaphor harks back to Jn.10.
  13. Shepherding involves protection and feeding of the sheep.
  14. The words "among you" suggest allotment, or assignment (Acts.20:28), and geographical locale.
  15. In other words, right Pastor/right congregation.
  16. God the HS brings the two parties together (cp. Jn.10:3: "To him [right Pastor] the doorkeeper [the HS, while Christ is the Door] opens [provides access from day one forward], and the sheep [right congregation] hear his voice [GAP], and he calls his own sheep by name [mutual identification] and leads them out [shepherding].
  17. What is true in the N.T. of the local church (a term never used in 1Pet.) is true here of the "flock".
  18. The aorist imperative is followed by the present participle (imperatival) "exercising oversight" (evpiskope,w), which means to oversee (2X: Heb.12:15).
  19. Its effect is to interpret the metaphor "shepherding the flock" as the responsibility to oversee and care for the needs of right congregation.
  20. The corresponding noun evpisko,poj is translated "bishop", or "overseer" (5X: Acts.20:28; Phil.1:1; 1Tim.3:2; Ti.1:7; 1Pet.2:25).
  21. Four times it is used of "Pastors" or "deacons", and one time in reference to Christ (1Pet.2:25, where it is translated "Guardian").
  22. The function belongs first of all to Christ, the "Chief Shepherd" (v.4).
  23. But one of the ways He cares for His people is through the gift and office of Pastor-Teacher.
  24. Furthermore, the only way the flock can flourish is under the authority of the gift and office of Pastor-Teacher.
  25. Sheep (believers) separated from the shepherd do not flourish and are subject to all sorts of dangers.
  26. The two adverbs, "under compulsion" (with the neg.) and "willingly", which follow the present participle, declare by contrast how oversight is, and is not, to be exercised.
  27. The first adverb (avvnagkastw/j, under compulsion) is rare in Greek literature, occurring only here in the N.T., while the only other reference to the adverb (evkousi,wj, willingly) is Heb.10:26, where it means "intentionally" rather than "willingly".
  28. Together the two adverbs, linked by "notÖbut", form an appropriate contrast.
  29. The thought recalls 1Pet.4:9, where Peter urged the practice of hospitality "without complaining".
  30. The "compulsion" to which Peter refers is clearly a vice (STA activity).
  31. It is what Paul warned the Corinthians against in connection with giving (2Cor.9:7).
  32. Much the same concern is expressed with respect to church leaders in Heb.13:17: "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable to you".
  33. There might be any number of reasons a Pastor might serve "under compulsion".
  34. Various distractions, pursuits, or pressures might cause him to falter in his duties.
  35. "Willingly" is the standard that should prevail in his mental attitude.
  36. He should keep before him who it is that he is serving (cf. Col.3:23 "Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than men").
  37. The Pastor should not be serving because it is expected of him, but rather because it is a privilege and a joy to nurture positive volition.
  38. The second pair of adverbs also presents a contrast.
  39. However, they are not such natural opposites as the first pair is (a person can be greedy and enthusiastic).
  40. The hapax "sordid gain" means with greediness for material gain which involves some kind of fraud.
  41. Despite Peterís strong language, he is not warning specifically against fraud, only against being "in it for the money".
  42. His choice of words suggests that he considers this as serious as fraud.
  43. "Sordid gain" is an attempt to bring out the despicable nature of this vice.
  44. Peterís concern presupposes that elders were paid for their labors.
  45. Apostolic teaching promoted the financial support of those who taught the WOG (1Cor.9:11-14).
  46. However, it is not wrong for a Pastor to labor in hope of financial advancement, as long as he does not make that the criterion for continued service (cf. 2Tim.2:6).
  47. Those who are ruled by the monetary factor often turn out to be hirelings (cf. Jn.10:12,13).
  48. The adverb "eagerly" (hapax) denotes strong zeal, as in enthusiastically.
  49. Those who are avid students of the text, and therefore demonstrate their love by the quality of their work, will prove themselves honorable regardless of their income (1Tim.4:15).
  50. Verse 3 presents the third contrasting pair.
  51. Peter switches from adverbs back to participles (imperatival).
  52. Again, each of these three examples of contrasting pairs is designed to show how Pastors are to conduct their oversight.
  53. The term "lording it over" recalls Jesusí warning to His disciples in Mk.10:42 and Mt.20:25.
  54. This verb is used of subduing an unwilling subject (Acts.19:16).
  55. It characterized Gentile domination of subject populations.
  56. The negative part of the warning has to do with abuse of authority, not the exercise of authority.
  57. The office of elder carries with it rank and authority.
  58. Believers under the authority of the Pastor are referred to as "those allotted to your charge".
  59. Those words are represented in the Greek by the plural noun with the article, meaning "lot", or "share".
  60. The translation, of necessity, is interpretative.
  61. Klh/roj denotes a "lot" (e.g., a pebble or stick) by which decisions were sometimes made; then by derivation a "portion", or "share" in something (e.g., land or an inheritance), traditionally assigned by the casting of lots (cf. Mk.15:24; Acts.1:26); finally a "share", however assigned, but especially "by grace" (Acts.1:17; 8:21; Col.1:12).
  62. Peterís use of tw/n klh,rwn here must be understood in light of the implied parallelism with "the flock" at the end of the verse.
  63. If the "flock of God" is the church universal, then the "shares" are portions of the flock under the care of designated Pastors/elders.
  64. Each Pastor in a given locale has his "allotment", which is determined by the HS who operates under the Chief Shepherd.
  65. On tu,poj (tupos, example), see Paulís reference to himself to his churches in Phil.3:17 and 2Thess.3:9; to Timothy in 1Tim.4:12; and to Titus in Ti.2:7.
  66. The noun is used of the model church in 1Thess.1:7.
  67. It is used of a pattern for believers to follow, or not follow, as the case may be, in 1Cor.10:6.
  68. Here, the contrast with spiritual bullying is that good leaders are those who serve the needs of their respective flocks.
  69. Those who are bullies tend not to care about others, lacking compassion and humility.
Their Super Reward (v.4)

VERSE 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears (kai. fanerwqe,ntoj tou/ avrcipoi,menoj [conj. +, fanero,w, phaneroo, reveal; be revealed {pass.}, + w/gen.m.s., avrcipoi,mhn, archipoimen, chief shepherd; 1X]), you will receive the unfading crown of glory (komiei/sqe to.n avmara,ntinon th/j do,xhj ste,fanon [fut.midd.ind.2.p., komi,zw, komizo, buy {active}; pay back {midd.}, +, avmara,ntinoj, amarantinos, unfading; 1X, +, stephanos, crown, +, doza, glory]).


  1. The reference here, of course, is to the Rapture of the church.
  2. The Rapture concludes the Church Age.
  3. The Rapture is associated with an awards (rewards) ceremony called the Judgment/Bema Seat of Christ (1Cor.3:12-15; 2Cor.5:10).
  4. The Judgment Seat of Christ occurs immediately after the Rapture and before our journey into the third heaven.
  5. Christís glory is revealed to the church universal when He appears in the earthís upper atmosphere (1Thess.4:13-18; cp. Jn.14:3).
  6. All believers are guaranteed a resurrection body just like Christís (1Cor.15:35-57; 1Jn.3:2).
  7. Jesus Christ, called "Shepherd" (poimh,n) in 1Pet.2:25, is here designated ov avrcipoi,mhn (ho archipoimen), used metaphorically here; it is used literally of sheep masters in 2Kgs.3:4 and in Greek inscriptions (Deissman, 99-101).
  8. Jesus Christ is here designated "Chief Shepherd" to distinguish Him from the shepherds of their respective congregations.
  9. With this title, Peter seems to acknowledge the charge he himself is said to have received from Jesus according to Jn.21:15-17: "Feed my lambsÖFeed my sheep".
  10. Other designations along this line include "the great shepherd" (Heb.13:20) and "the good shepherd" (Jn.10:11,14).
  11. The same form of the verb (see below pt.13) "appears", used in 1Pet.1:20 of Christís "appearing" on earth for redemption (as a "lamb unblemished and spotless", 1:19), refers here to His future appearing in glory (as "Chief Shepherd").
  12. The chief shepherdís "appearing" is the same event as the "revelation of Jesus Christ" (1Pet.1:7,13), or of His "glory" (4:13; 5:1), or of "salvation" (1:5).
  13. The verb (, fanero,w, phaneroo) means to make manifest that which has been previously concealed.
  14. The verb "you will receive" (fut.midd.ind.2.p., komi,zw, komizo) means "receive payment", or "collect a reward".
  15. Peterís use of the word both here and in 1Pet.1:9 ("obtaining") indicates SG3 remuneration for faith plus works (application).
  16. Shepherds who execute under their godliness code will receive a payment, or reward, for their faithful diligence from the Chief Shepherd Himself at His appearing.
  17. The "crown" (ste,fanoj, stephanos), actually a victorís wreath, does not have to do with the authority to rule, but with a conferred honor for achievement.
  18. The genitive "of glory" is appositional, as in: The "wreath" is glory, the same kind of glory to which Peter referred in 1Pet.1:7 and 5:1.
  19. The "crown", or "wreath of glory", is available to all believers who complete their time on earth (Ph2) according to the rules laid down in Scripture (cf. 2Tim.2:5; 4:8).
  20. The "crown" represents the highest and most distinguished category of Ph3 glory, or SG3.
  21. It is also called "the crown of righteousness" (2Tim.4:8); or "the crown of life" (Jam.1:12; Rev.2:10); or "the crown of boasting" (1Thess.2:19); or "the prize" (1Cor.9:24; Phil.3:14; Col.2:18; 2Tim.2:5); or simply "the crown" (1Cor.9:25; Phil.4:1; Rev.3:11).
  22. That "the crown" and "the prize" are one and the same, see 1Cor.9:24,25 and 2Tim.2:5.
  23. The background to these references to the "wreath" was the athletic games held in Roman times.
  24. Winning an event qualified the victor for a wreath and associated perks.
  25. Peter highlights the character of the crown, or wreath, by describing it as "that which does not fade away", or "unfading" (adj., avmara,ntinoj, amarantinos).
  26. Peter probably refers here to actual flowers from which some wreaths were made.
  27. The adjective is formed from the name of an actual flower, the amaranth (cf. Philostratus, Heroicus 19.14).
  28. The meaning is the same as in 1Pet.1:4: the believerís Ph3 inheritance is the everlasting glory and honor that falls upon those who faithfully adhere to BD in Ph2.
  29. While all believers will enjoy Ph3 glory, there will be distinctions, based on compliance or non-compliance with the imperatives of BD (cf. 1Cor.3:12-15; 15:40).
  30. Pastor-Teachers who receive "the crown of glory" will be an elite fraternity.
  31. The glory of SG3, unlike temporal acquisitions, will never be diminished due to time and circumstances.
  32. Peter reinforces the argument of Paul in 1Cor.9:25 that athletes compete for "a corruptible crown", but "we for an incorruptible".

Summons to Submission and Humility (v.5)

VERSE 5 You younger men, likewise (~Omoi,wj( new,teroi [adv., homoios, in the same way, + adj.voc.m.p., neo,j, neos, young; "younger men"]), be subject to your elders (u`pota,ghte presbute,roij [aor.pass.imper.2.p., uvpota,ssw, hupotasso, be subject, + adj.dat.m.p., presbuteros, elder]); and all of you (pa,ntej de. [adj.voc.m.p., pas, + conj.]), clothe yourselves with humility toward one another (evgkombw,sasqe th.n tapeinofrosu,nhn avllh,loij [aor.midd.imper.2.p., evgkombo,omai, egkomboomai, clothe, put on; 1X, +, tapeinofrosu,nh, tapeinophosune, humility; 7X: Acts.20:19; Eph.4:2; Phil.2:3; Col.2:18,23; 3:12; 1Pet.5:5, + pro./reflex.dat.m.p., allelon, one another]), for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD (o[ti Î`OÐ qeo.j avntita,ssetai u`perhfa,noij [, theos, + pres.midd.ind.3.s., avntita,ssomai, antitassomai, oppose, resist; 5X: Acts.18:6; Rom.13:2; Jam.4:6; 5:6; 1Pet.5:5, + adj.dat.m.p., uvperh,fanoj, huperephanos, arrogant, proud; 5X: Lk.1:51; Rom.1:30; 2Tim.3:2; Jam.4:6; 1Pet.5:5]), BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE (de. di,dwsin ca,rin tapeinoi/j [conj. + pres.act.ind.3.s., didomi, give, + acc.f.s., charis, grace, + adj.dat.m.p., tapei/noj, tapeinos, humble]).


  1. The first part of this verse is toward the youthful members of the local assemblies, while the second part is for all the recipients.
  2. For the reciprocal use of o`moi,wj (homoios; i.e., "in turn", or "for your part") compare the transition from wives to husbands in 1Pet.3:7.
  3. The contrast between "elders" (those who are older or at least having spiritual seniority) and the "younger men" is designed to provide a parallel to what we observe in society.
  4. In the ancient world the division of society into older people and younger was taken for granted, as the division between men and women, free men and slaves, etc.
  5. The shift from "elders" (= officials) to the "younger" is natural, as the spiritual leadership was taken from those who were seniors, if not in age, in spiritual status.
  6. "Elder" is used in a technical sense in vv.1-4, while "younger" is used in the standard sense of someone who is in the category of what is normally understood as "youth".
  7. Peter offers only a simple admonition here, calling upon those so designated to "defer" to those who are responsible for the watch and care of the local assemblies (as in 1Pet.2:18 and 3:1), only the setting being different.
  8. Other N.T. admonitions to this group include 1Tim.5:1,2 and Ti.2:6.
  9. There is no evidence that Peter knows of any cases of rebellion against the eldersí authority.
  10. In I Clement, written from Rome a decade or two after First Peter, "the young against the old" is later explained in the letter as "the steadfast and ancient church of the Corinthians rebelling against its elders".
  11. So the "young men" are to submit to their spiritual leaders in Christ rather than exhibit that independence that is so characteristic of the young (cf. Jn.21:18).
  12. An example of gross violation of respect for elders is found in 1Kgs.12 when Rehoboam (Solomonís successor) rejected the counsel of the elders and followed the advice of his young associates (1Kgs.12:1-15).
  13. The result was the division of the nation of Israel into two kingdoms.
  14. The second part of the verse is a separate admonition to all believers of all classifications within the local assemblies scattered throughout the Asian provinces.
  15. "All of you" gathers into a single command the preceding advice to "elders" and "younger ones" alike.
  16. The accompanying "toward one another" picks up the note of mutuality sounded in 1Pet.4:8-10, where the proper posture of believers "toward one another" was "love" (v.8), hospitality (v.9), and service (v.10).
  17. Here the call is to "humility" (cf. "humble of spirit" in 1Pet.3:8).
  18. Believers are to "clothe" themselves with this fruit of the spirit, as with a garment.
  19. The particular verb (evgkombo,omai, 1X) means, literally, "to fasten on".
  20. It is possible, though not certain, that Peter is alluding to the action of Jesus in girding Himself with a towel to wash the disciplesí feet in Jn.13:4.
  21. The lesson was designed to demonstrate two things.
  22. The absolute necessity of Rebound and the importance of humility towards one another.
  23. If their superior was willing to humble Himself and wash their feet, so should we serve one another regardless of rank.
  24. To humble oneself is to do what is Biblically specified in any given situation.
  25. The quotation that concludes the admonition follows exactly the LXX of Prov.3:34.
  26. The same quotation occurs in Jam.4:6b.
  27. Since pride is the opposite of humility, the antithetical parallelism of the proverb is designed to distance us from pride, since "God is opposed to the proud".
  28. Whenever and wherever you see pride and arrogance, you are witnessing someone God is against.
  29. Pride is the original sin committed at the time of Satanís fall from perfection (Ezek.28:15,17).
  30. Pride unarrested always precedes a fall (Prov.16:18; 29:23).
  31. The present tense of the verbs "opposed" and "gives" refers to that which awaits the respective groups - "the proud" and "the humble".
  32. The "grace" given to "the humble" includes all that God does to sustain us as we endure adversity, as well as the final vindication when Ph3 grace is brought to us at the Bema Seat (cf. 1Pet.1:13).
  33. "The proud" have God as their enemy, and He deals with all of them in judgment and humiliation.
  34. "The humble" are characterized by obedience to the revealed will of God.
  35. They enjoy Ph2, but especially Ph3, vindication.
  36. The "grace" God gives to the humble is the same as Jamesí "greater grace", where this O.T. citation also occurs (Jam.4:6 "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, ĎGod is OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLEí".
  37. The context in James deals with adhering to God the HS no matter the cost, knowing that God will supply "greater grace" to those who do not rely on the cosmos or its ways, but trust in God to deliver and vindicate those who follow the lead of the IHS.
  38. Following the promise to give "greater grace", there follows in vv.7-10 a series of ten commands in a tense (aorist imperative) that indicates the need for a decisive and urgent break with worldliness (see vv.1-4).
  39. Here that call is to act in a humble manner toward other members of the Royal Family by doing (and thinking and saying) the things that are in their spiritual interests.
  40. When we humble ourselves, we can be assured that God will give us the Ph2 grace to overcome the hardships associated with our applications.
  41. Godís Ph2 grace is sufficient for any circumstance.
The Way to Exaltation (v.6)

VERSE 6 Therefore humble yourselves (Tapeinw,qhte ou=n [aor.pass.imper.2.p., tapeino,w, tapeinoo, humble; cp. Jam.4:10, +conj./inferen., oun, therefore]), under the mighty hand of God (u`po. th.n krataia.n cei/ra tou/ qeou/ [prep., hupo, under, w/adj.acc.f.s., krataio,j, krataios, mighty, + acc.f.s., cheir, hand, +, theos,]), that He may exalt you at the proper time (i[na u`ma/j u`yw,sh| evn kairw/ [conj., hina {result}, + pro.acc.p., su, + aor.act.subj.3.s., u`yo,w, hupsoo, exalt, lift up, + prep.w/dat.m.s., kairos, time, season]),

The Way to Wait (v.7)

VERSE 7 casting all your anxiety upon Him (evpiri,yantej pa/san th.n me,rimnan u`mw/n evpV auvto,n [, evpiri,ptw, epiripto, throw on; 2X: Lk.19:35, + adj.acc.m.s., pas, all, +, me,rimna, merimna, care, anxiety, worry, + pro.gen.p., su + prep. w/pro.acc.m.s., autos, him]), because He cares for you (o[ti auvtw/| me,lei peri. u`mw/n [conj., hoti, for, + pro.dat.m.s., autos, + pres.act.ind.3.s., melei, it is of concern; 10X: Mt.22:16; Mk.4:38; 12:14; Lk.10:40; Jn.10:13; 12:6; Acts.18:17; 1Cor.7:21; 9:9; 1Pet.5:7, + prep. w/pro.gen.m.p.]).


  1. The conjunction "therefore" introduces a conclusion to be drawn from the text (Prov.3:34) just quoted.
  2. "The humble", by definition, are those who persevere in the face of adversity, not allowing themselves to take matters into their own hands to alleviate the situation.
  3. "The humble" accept their allotment of suffering and turn it into a positive, beneficial experience.
  4. The command to "humble yourselves" demands a determined effort to acclimate to unpleasant circumstances in order to stay in the will of God.
  5. This commands echoes Ps.106:42, where Israel is "subdued/humbled under" the "hands/power" of their enemies.
  6. But Peter uses it in a positive sense of submission to Godís care and protection.
  7. The use of a passive voice as a middle is distinctive enough here and in Jam.4:10 to suggest that Peter and James may be drawing upon a common source.
  8. More common is the active voice with the reflexive pronoun "oneself", as in Phil.2:8, and in a Synoptic saying of Jesus to much the same effect as Peterís statement here (Lk.14:11; 18:14 "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted").
  9. Instead of simply "before God" (or "before the Lord", cf. Jam.4:10), Peter adopts the Biblical imagery of Godís "mighty hand", a phrase used especially in connection with Godís deliverance of Israel from Egypt (in the Pentateuch alone, cf. Ex.3:19; 6:1; 13:3,9,14,16; Deut.3:24; 4:34; 5:15; 6:21; 7:8,19; 9:26,29; 11:2; 26:8; 29:3; 34:12).
  10. The theme of humility and exaltation is conspicuous in the O.T. (e.g., 1Sam.2:7,8; Isa.1:25; 2:11; 40:4; Ezek.17:24; Job.5:11), in the Gospel tradition (not only Lk.14:11, 18:14, Mt.18:4, and 23:12, but also Lk.1:52), and elsewhere in the N.T. (2Cor.11:7; Phil.2:8,9; Jam.1:9; 4:10).
  11. The explicit command is coupled with the promise of divine exaltation (as in Jam.4:10 and the sayings of Jesus).
  12. It is quite possible that Peterís language is formulated with the remembered teaching of Jesus in view (to say nothing of Jesusí experience; cf. 3:18-22).
  13. To humble oneself under the Omnipotent hand of God is to remain faithful under ongoing adverse circumstances.
  14. It means not to abandon oneís niche and the duties demanded under the perfect will of God.
  15. The promise is that "when the time is right, God will give you help" (Jam.4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up").
  16. God has promised to deliver the righteous out of all his afflictions (Ps.34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all").
  17. The words "at the proper time" (evn kairw/) mean simply "the right time" (as in Mt.13:30; 24:45; Lk.12:42; 1Pet.1:5; also Lk.8:13).
  18. As far as persecution is concerned, it lasts as long as we are in Ph2, and so ultimate deliverance and exaltation await the coming of Christ (as in 1:5b).
  19. Final vindication awaits the coming of Christ when the righteous will shine as the noonday sun and the unbelieving will suffer eternal disgrace from His presence.
  20. We should not exclude the principle that God provides temporal (as compared to ultimate) vindication for those who are faithful.
  21. Examples of this abound in Scripture and experience.
  22. Verse 7 describes our modus operandi as we wait upon God under our testing.
  23. The verb "casting", or "throwing" (evpiri,ptw, epiripto; 2X: Lk.19:35), is not strictly imperatival in meaning.
  24. The aorist participle is contemporaneous with the main verb, "humble yourselves".
  25. The effect of this participle ("casting") is to define "humble yourselves".
  26. The self-humbling is explained here as entrusting oneself and oneís troubles to the One who "cares".
  27. The words "all your cares/anxiety" mean just that (cf. Ps.94:19).
  28. Anything that is a source of concern or worry is to be transferred to the Lord via prayer and Faith-Rest (cf. Phil.4:6; Ps.139:23; Isa.35:4).
  29. Only in this manner can we enter into His rest (Heb.4:1-10).
  30. Those who claim the promises like Heb.13:5 enter into His rest.
  31. His rest is a soulish state akin to the literal Sabbath.
  32. It is characterized by letting go and letting God handle the situation.
  33. The noun "cares" occurs 5X in the N.T. (cf. Mt.13:22; Mk.4:19; Lk.8:14; 21:34; 2Cor.11:28; 1Pet.5:7).
  34. The believer who trusts in God and His promises is not afraid when threatening circumstances rise up before him (Jer.17:8).
  35. The cognate verb merimna,w (merimnao), meaning to "be anxious/worry about", occurs 27X (Mt.6:25,27,28,31,34; Lk.12:11,22,25,26; Mt.10:19; Lk.10:41; 1Cor.7:32-34).
  36. The word is used in a non-sinful sense (Phil.2:20; 2Cor.11:28).
  37. Although not itself strictly an imperative, Peterís warning against "anxiety" is derived from an imperative in Ps.55:22: "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken".
  38. The reason we have no need for worry or fear is reflected in the words "for He cares for you" (literally, "it matters to him about you").
  39. The impersonal verb me,lei (melei) is used by Paul, ironically, from Godís care for oxen to His care for His communicators (1Cor.9:9).
  40. Peterís interest is in Godís special protecting care for those who trust in His promises in the face of suffering.
Call to Vigilance (v.8)

VERSE 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert (Nh,yate( grhgorh,sate [aor.act.imper.2.p., nh,fw, nepho, be sober; 6X: 1Thess.5:6,8; 2Tim.4:5; 1Pet.1:13; 4:7; 5:8, + aor.act.imper.2.p., grhgore,w, gregoreo, keep awake, be alert; 22X]). Your adversary, the devil (o` avnti,dikoj u`mw/n dia,boloj [, antidikos, opponent at law, adversary, + pro.gen.p. + n.m.s., diabolos, given to malicious gossip]), prowls about like a roaring lion (peripatei/ w`j le,wn wvruo,menoj [pres.act.ind.3.s., perimate,w, peripateo, walk; "prowls", + adv./compar., hos, as, + n.m.s., leon, lion, +, wvru,omai, oruomai, roar {of lions}]), seeking someone to devour (zhtw/n ÎtinaÐ katapiei/n [, zhte,w, zeteo, seek, + pro./indef.acc.m.s., tis, someone, + aor.act.infin., katapi,nw, katapino, devour, swallow up; 7X: Mt.23:24; 1Cor.15:54; 2Cor.2:7; 5:4; Heb.11:29; 1Pet.5:8; Rev.12:16]).

Resisting the Enemy (v.9)

VERSE 9 But resist him (w-| avnti,sthte [pro./rel.dat.m.s., hos; "him", + aor.act.imper.2.p., avnqi,sthmi, anthistemi, resist, oppose]), firm in your faith (stereoi. th/| pi,stei [adj.n.m.p., stereo,j, stereos, firm, solid, +, pistis, faith]), knowing that the same experiences of suffering (eivdo,tej ta. auvta. tw/n paqhma,twn [, oi/da, oida, know, +, autos, the same {preceded by the article}, +, pa,qhma, pathema, suffering; "experience of suffering"]) are being accomplished (evpitelei/sqai [pres.pass.infin., evpitele,w, epiteleo, complete, accomplish; finish; perform]) by your brethren who are in the world (th/| evn Îtw/|Ð ko,smw| u`mw/n avdelfo,thti [, avdelfo,thj, adelphotes, brotherhood; "brothers"; 2X: 1Pet.2:17, + prep. w/, kosmos, world]).


  1. The three strong imperatives which follow are a call to these believers to prepare themselves in mind and spirit for decisive battle with their invisible enemy, the devil (cp. Eph.6:10-18).
  2. The aorist imperatives ("Be sober", "be on the alert", and "resist him") are "ingressive" and "programmatic" in setting a new course of action once and for all (like "fix your hope" in 1Pet.1:13, another aorist imperative).
  3. As they face the "fiery ordeal" (1Pet.4:12) they need to heed these imperatives in order not to be swallowed up by the forces (human and angelic) that are against them.
  4. The call to spiritual sobriety (here and in 1Pet.4:7; cp. 1Thess.5:6,8; 2Tim.4:5; 1Pet.1:13) refers to sound judgment with respect to the pressures from within (ISTA) and without.
  5. We are to avoid reactor factors (fear, bitterness, hate, lusts).
  6. In the face of adversity we are not to overreact to the threats against us, knowing that our Chief Shepherd is in control and will not allow anything to work against our vital interests.
  7. Sober thinking is to look at all things through the lens of divine viewpoint.
  8. We are not to "freak out" when testing comes our way.
  9. God is in control and works all things together for our good.
  10. He provides sufficient grace for every situation.
  11. We can be assured that He hears when we call upon Him in the midst of the storm.
  12. The WOG is full of promises and examples that we can claim.
  13. Joy and peace are our heritage if we but keep our focus on the specifics of BD.
  14. The first imperative means to be mentally self-controlled (versus panic and despair).
  15. The second imperative, "be on the alert", means "be vigilant", or "be on guard".
  16. The idea of watchfulness is enjoined throughout Scripture.
  17. It is used with respect to living in the last days (Mt.24:42,43; 25:13; 1Thess.5:6,10) or facing a personal hour of crisis when subject to extreme temptation (Mt.26:38,40,41; Acts.20:31).
  18. Vigilance is a manly characteristic (1Cor.16:13).
  19. It is associated with prayer (Col.4:2).
  20. For those who are asleep at the wheel, it carries the connotation of "wake up" (Rev.3:2,3; 16:15).
  21. All of us need to heed this imperative considering the fact that we are living in the waning moments of the dispensation.
  22. Distractions abound which can take our focus off of the goal of appearing before Christ irreprehensible, having made the sacrifices so as to finish our course.
  23. Now is the time to pull out all the stops, regardless of the sacrifice, to attain to the Ph2 sanctification.
  24. The reason believers need to be of sound thinking and on red alert is now stated in terms of how dangerous our enemy is.
  25. For the first time in First Peter, opposition to believers is personified in a single "adversary", clearly identified as "the devil".
  26. Everywhere else in the letter the opposition is plural:
  1. The "disobedient" of 1Pet.2:7,8 and 4:17.
  2. The "Gentiles" of 2:12.
  3. Foolish men" in 2:15.
  4. The unreasonable masters of 2:18.
  5. The unbelieving husbands of 3:1.
  6. Those who revile your good behavior in 3:16.
  7. The "blasphemers" of 4:4b.
  8. The indefinite "they" in 3:14 and 4:14.
  1. The term "adversary" (dia,boloj) was used as an opponent in a lawsuit (e.g., Mt.5:25; Lk.12:58; 18:3), and Peter has used the term because of charges being leveled there against Christians.
  2. Hence, the term "devil", which means "accuser".
  3. Satan is forever slandering believers, either directly (as in Job.1:11; Rev.12:10) or via his agents (as in the case of the recipients).
  4. This term refers consistently in the N.T. to Satan as the archenemy of God and the fountain of evil in the world.
  5. The scene that Peter has in mind here is the universal conflict between the devil and the people of God.
  6. The whole world is his territory (Job.1:7; cf. v.9b).
  7. He operates through his demonic hordes (unclean spirits) and willing human agents.
  8. Even believers can be his agents (1Tim.5:15; 2Tim.2:26).
  9. "Prowls about like a lion" parallels the thought of Job.1:7.
  10. The lion analogy indicates that Satan is a dangerous creature who is always looking for prey.
  11. The adjectival participle "roaring" suggests the intimidation factor intended to induce believers to capitulate rather than suffer.
  12. The "roaring" is the threats hurled against believers by their opponents.
  13. Those who capitulate are "devoured", or "swallowed up" (the aorist infinitive of katapi,nw katapino; 7x):
  1. Mt.23:24 ("swallow a camel").
  2. 1Cor.15:54 ("DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP").
  3. 2Cor.2:7 ("overwhelmed by excessive sorrow").
  4. 2Cor.5:4 ("what is mortal may be swallowed up by life").
  5. Heb.11:29 ("the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned").
  6. Rev.12:16 ("The earth opened its mouth and drank up the river").
  1. The potential "swallowing" here refers not to martyrdom (a positive event), but to denial of the faith in order to alleviate suffering from the source of Satanís agents.
  2. Peter admonishes believers to "resist him" (the third aorist imperative in vv.8,9).
  3. The resistance he calls upon Christians to engage in is refusal to deny the faith in the face of threats and accusations and temptations.
  4. The satanic attack is formidable, but the weapons of our warfare will prove superior (cf. Eph.6:13 "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day [satanic offensive], and having done everything, to stand firm").
  5. Satan will abandon the attack if we stand up to him (cf. Jam.4:7 "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you").
  6. The words "firm in the faith" interprets "resist".
  7. To resist Satan is not to engage in hostile action against anyone, but to trust in God (cf. 4:19; 5:6; Jam.4:7).
  8. The imperatival force of "resist" carries over to the adjective "firm" (stereoi., stereoi).
  9. The phrase "firm in your faith" recalls "they were strengthened in the faith" in Acts.16:5.
  10. The adjective "firm" (stereo,j), or "hard", usually had negative connotations when applied to people (i.e., "stubborn").
  11. Here the term has a positive connotation, as in rock-like resolution.
  12. The noun "faith" occurs here with the dative case with the definite article (dative of reference).
  13. This construction can be used of either personal faith (the active sense, as in Acts.3:16; 15:9; Rom.4:19,20; 5:2; 11:20; Phil.3:9; 2Tim.3:10; Heb.4:2; 1Pet.5:9; 2Pet.1:5) or in reference to the body of doctrine (Acts.6:7; 14:22; 16:5; 1Cor.16:13; 2Cor.13:5; Phil.1:27; Col.1:23; 2:7; Ti.1:13; 2:2).
  14. The question here is, which usage best suits the context?
  15. All other references to "faith" in First Peter refer to faith in the active sense (1:5,7,9,21).
  16. It will be taken here as "faith" in the personal, or active, sense (as in Heb.11).
  17. Believers are not to waver in their faith, but to possess a rock-like faith in the presence of the roar of the satanic lion.
  18. We are not to give an inch to anyone who is trying to induce us to abandon our hope.
  19. This "lion" can be effectively resisted, hence the imperative "Resist him" ( plus aor.act.imper.2.p., avnqi,shmi, anthistemi, stand against, oppose).
  20. The aorist imperative of this verb occurs here and in Jam.4:7; both references are used of resisting "the devil".
  21. James adds the thought that Satan "will flee from you".
  22. When we use the spiritual weapons of our warfare, the satanic attack will be turned back, as was Jesusí experience in the great temptation.
  23. He used Scripture to overcome Satanís strategies.
  24. When we stand our ground, Satan will give up the fight.
  25. Courage will win the day against all his assaults.
  26. The verbal adjective "steadfast" is a military term.
  27. Paul uses the noun stere,wma (stereoma, steadfastness, firmness, solidarity) of the Colossian churchís solidity in the Angelic Conflict (Col.2:5 "For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order [taxus] and the stability [stereoma] of your faith in Christ").
  28. The Greek phalanx was a body of heavily-armed infantry formed in ranks and files, close and deep.
  29. The believer is to stand firm in his/her own faith, trusting in God for victory.
  30. There is a very important piece of information that will help bolster us in the day of temptation, which Peter sets before them in the final phrase of v.9.
  31. The perfect participle "knowing", followed by the accusative ("the same sufferings") and an infinitive ("are experienced"), is used of indirect discourse.
  32. It is a matter of knowing that something is true that arms the believer with moral support in the face of temptation.
  33. The participle "knowing" shares somewhat in the imperatival character of what precedes it.
  34. In effect, Peter is saying "know this" as he introduces an important piece of information.
  35. The important information - very important in any presentation of the doctrine of suffering - is that believers facing slander and persecution in the Asian provinces are not alone.
  36. Peter clearly affirms the solidarity of his own community of faith (cf. v.13), and that of the Christian brotherhood worldwide, with the distant congregations to which he writes.
  37. The phrase "the same experiences of suffering" refers to the fact that what the recipients were currently undergoing was mirrored by the universal "brotherhood" scattered throughout "the world".
  38. The term "your brethren" is, literally, "your brotherhood" (avdelfo,thj, adelphotes), used only here and in 1Pet.2:17.
  39. The infinitive "being accomplished" (evpitele,w, epiteleo, complete, accomplish; finish; perform [duty]; erect [tabernacle]) suggests a fixed amount of suffering, as in Col.1:24.
  40. This verb is chosen to accentuate the fact that the sufferings of the body of Christ are not a matter of chance but a necessary part of Godís purposes before the end of the age.
  41. The fact that others are suffering, and have suffered, the same kind of things we are undergoing is a great boost to our morale in our corner of the kingdom.
  42. Much is at stake, and we do not want to fall short when we all compare notes in Ph3!

A Final Assurance (v.10)

VERSE 10 After you have suffered for a little while (paqo,ntaj ovli,gon [, pa,scw, pascho, suffer, + adv., oligon, little; "for a little while]), the God of all grace (~O de. qeo.j pa,shj ca,ritoj [conj., de, now, +, theos, + adj.gen.f.s., pas, all, + gen.f.s., charis, grace]), who called you to His eternal glory in Christ (o` kale,saj u`ma/j eivj th.n aivw,nion auvtou/ do,xan evn Cristw/ [, kaleo, call, + prep.w/, aionios, eternal, + acc.f.s., doxa, glory, + prep.w/loc.m.s., Christos]), will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you (auvto.j katarti,sei( sthri,xei( sqenw,sei( qemeliw,sei [pro.n.m.s., autos; "himself", + fut.act.ind.3.s., katarti,zw, katartizo, mend {of nets; Mk.1:29}, restore; "perfect" {cf. 2Cor.13:11; Gal.6:1; 1Thess.3:10; Heb.13:21}, + fut.act.ind.3.s., sthri,zw, sterizo, strengthen, establish; resolve {Lk.9:51; cf. Rom.1:11; 16:25; 1Thess.3:2; 3:13; 2Thess.2:17; 3:3; Jam.5:8; 2Pet.1:12}, + fut.act.ind.3.s., sqeno,w, sthenoo, strengthen; 1X, + fut.act.ind.3s., qemelio,w, themelioo, firmly establish]).


  1. Following the Greek word order, the verse reads: "Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you".
  2. This verse contains a promise to all that suffer and endure in Ph2.
  3. Peter concludes the letter by applying directly to his audience the promise of Ph2 success to all who suffer as positive Christians.
  4. God is designated as "the God of all grace" (cp. "God of all comfort" in 2Cor.1:3).
  5. "All grace" corresponds in scope to the "manifold grace" of 1Pet.4:10 and the "grace of life" of 3:7.
  6. In each and every situation that the beleaguered suffer, God supplies ample grace.
  7. There is no situation that is too great for Godís grace.
  8. He provides everything we need in order to finish our course.
  9. Grace is something we do not earn or deserve.
  10. It is available to those who trust in God as we wait for future victory and vindication.
  11. The designation of God as the One "who called you" refers to their past conversion (cf. 1Pet.2:9).
  12. Calling is a Ph1 doctrine of salvation.
  13. This reality has Ph2 implications (1Pet.1:15; 2:21), as well as Ph3 implications (1Pet.3:9).
  14. Here the accent is upon past calling (Ph1 evangelization) and future destiny, which echoes the thought of 1Pet.3:9 (the "blessing" is SG3).
  15. Godís "eternal glory" is, of course, the same future glory mentioned repeatedly in the letter (1Pet.1:7; 4:13; 5:1,4).
  16. The absence of the definite article before "in Christ" tends to link the phrase (evn Cristw/) with the verb "called" rather with the noun "glory".
  17. For Peter (as for Paul), "in Christ" is the immediate consequence of divine calling (cp. v.14).
  18. "In Christ" is a reference to positional sanctification, or union with Christ, the special privilege of believers of this dispensation.
  19. "In Christ" points to the doctrine of eternal security.
  20. Those who are "in Christ" are safe and assured of Ph3 glory (immortality in a resurrection body).
  21. The phrase "after you have suffered a little while" stands in contrast to "eternal glory", just as "suffered" stands in contrast to "glory" (cf. 1Pet.1:11; 4:13; 5:1; also Rom.8:18; 2Cor.4:17).
  22. The whole phrase echoes the "even though now for a little while, if necessary" of 1Pet.1:6.
  23. Christian suffering pales in comparison to the SG3 vindication brought to us at the Rapture.
  24. The verse has the appearance of a benediction, except that the verbs ("may perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish") are not optatives (as e.g., Rom.15:13; 1Thess.3:11-13; 5:23; 2Thess.2:16,17; Heb.13:20,21), but future indicatives. (cf. 2Cor.13:11; Phil.4:9b).
  25. The benediction turns out to be a promise of Ph2 grace enabling believers to weather the conflict that is against them.
  26. The phrase begins with an emphatic auvto,j ("He"), referring to what God will do toward positive volition to ensure their survival in terms of Ph2.
  27. The four verbs are roughly synonymous.
  28. They sum up what God will accomplish in the spiritual development of the community of faith in order that they might prevail on their way to ultimate vindication.
  29. The verb "will perfect" (katarti,zw, katartizo) means "to fit or join together".
  30. It is used of James and John mending their fishing nets, thus preparing them for service (Mk.1:19).
  31. The cognate noun (katartismo,j, katatismos) is used in Eph.4:12, where the communication gifts equip the body of Christ for service (application).
  32. The word group has the connotation of being set right (cf. 1Cor.1:10; "made complete").
  33. In 2Cor.13:11 the verb is used by way of a command.
  34. It is used of the restoration of a believer caught in a notable sin in Gal.6:1 ("restore").
  35. In 1Thess.3:10 it is used of completing what may be "lacking in" Ph2 understanding.
  36. In Heb.10:5 it is used of the genetic weaving of Christís humanity.
  37. In Heb.11:3 it is used of the various spheres of creation.
  38. In Heb.13:21 it is used in the optative in a benediction in which the author wishes that believers may be "equipped" for every good work in order to accomplish Godís will.
  39. The thought here is that of spiritual improvement via the function of GAP.
  40. God will fill in all the blanks so that they can face whatever suffering comes their way.
  41. The second verb (sthri,zw, sterizo, "confirm") has the meaning of being steadfast, or determined.
  42. The cognate adjective occurs in v.9, where it is translated "firm".
  43. The object is "faith".
  44. God will develop the faith of positive volition into a rock-like faith able to weather any storm (cp. Lk.22:32).
  45. The verb is used of the resoluteness of Jesus with respect to His going to the Cross (Lk.9:51).
  46. It refers to that which is fixed (Lk.16:26; 1Thess.3:2).
  47. It, too, is related to GAP in Rom.1:11 and 2Pet.1:12.
  48. Other references include: 1Thess.3:13; 2Thess.2:17; 3:3; Jam.5:8; Rev.3:2.
  49. The third verb (sqeno,w, sthenoo, "strengthen") occurs only here and means "to strengthen".
  50. The fourth verb (qemelio,w, themelioo, "establish") means to ground on a firm foundation (cf. Mk.7:25; Eph.3:17; Col.1:23; Heb.1:10).
  51. So it means to ground a superstructure on a solid foundation.
  52. The foundation is Bible doctrine.
  53. By way of review, the expanded translation is: "He will equip you (that no deficiencies remain), buttress you (that no test will deter), strengthen you (that no test is too great), and ground you (that no test can move us).
  54. Again, all four verbs constitute things God has promised to do for positive volition so that we can overcome the forces of evil that are against us, with a view to Ph3 victory.
  55. Central to the realization of these things is the consistent intake of BD.
Final Benediction (v.11)

VERSE 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen (auvtw/| to. kra,toj eivj tou.j aivw/naj( avmh,n [pro.dat.m.s., autos, him, +, kratos, might, dominion, + conj. + prep.w/, aion, age, or "into the ages" = "forever and forever", + particle of affirmation, amen]).


  1. This is a shortened form of the doxology in 1Pet.4:11, this time in the name of the "God of all grace" (v.10) rather than Jesus Christ .
  2. Like the first doxology, this too is an affirmation of fact; the verb eivmi, (is), explicit in 1Pet.4:11, should be supplied here as well.
  3. The effect is to still further the certainty of future deliverance and vindication.
  4. God will prevail because of who and what He is.
  5. All enemies will be brought into subjection and the righteous will shine in the kingdom of His glory.

The True Grace of God (v.12)

VERSE 12 Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (Dia. Silouanou/ u`mi/n tou/ pistou/ avdelfou/ [prep.w/gen.m.s., Silvanus, the same as Silas, + pro.dat.p., su; "our", + w/adj.gen.m.s., pistos, faithful, reliable, w/gen.m.s., adelphos, brother]) (for so I regard him [w`j logi,zomai [conj. + pres.dep.ind.1.s., logizomai, consider]), I have written to you briefly [e;graya diV ovli,gwn [aor.act.ind.1.s., grapho, write, + prep.w/adj.gen.m.p., oligos, small, little, "briefly"]), exhorting and testifying (parakalw/n kai. evpimarturw/n [, parakaleo, exhort, + conj. +, evpimarture,w, epimartureo, testify]) that this is the true grace of God (tau,thn ei=nai avlhqh/ ca,rin tou/ qeou/ [pro.acc.f.s., houtos, this, + pres.act.infin., eimi, + adj.acc.f.s., avlhqh,j, akethes, true, +, theos]). Stand firm in it (eivj h]n sth/te [prep.w/pro.acc.f.s., hos {"in it"},+ aor.act.imper.2.p., i[sthmi, histemi, stand])!


  1. Peter wrote this letter from Rome in about 63/64AD.
  2. One Silvanus was the "scribe" through whom Peter dictated this inspired book of the N.T. canon.
  3. Silvanus (Latin transliteration into Greek) is the Silas (Greek) of the book of Acts (Acts.15:22,27,32,34,40; 16:19,25,29; 17:4,10,14,15; 18:5).
  4. In the N.T. epistles he is referred to as Silvanus (2Cor.1:19; 1Thess.1:1; 2Thess.1:1; 1Pet.5:12).
  5. He evidently served as Paul and Peterís secretary.
  6. It is also possible that he was the courier of this letter.
  7. In that case, the words "through Silvanus" would serve double duty.
  8. Certain of Paulís letters were transcribed by another (Rom.16:22; 1Cor.16:21; Col.4:18; 2Thess.3:17).
  9. Peter describes Silvanus as "our faithful brother", indicating that he was a valued co-worker throughout his career.
  10. He was associated with Paul in his missionary work to the Greek cities of Philippi (Acts.16:19,25,29), Thessalonica (Acts.17:4), Berea (Acts.17:10,14), and Corinth (Acts.18:5; cf. 2Cor.1:19).
  11. He was known as well to the churches to which Peter wrote.
  12. The mention of Silvanus in this fashion is not a case of "name-dropping"; rather, he needed a word of introduction and commendation.
  13. The effect of "for so I regard him" is not to weaken Silvanusís credentials (as if to imply, "thatís just my opinion"), but to strengthen them.
  14. The words "I have written" is one of only four first person plurals in this letter.
  15. Some have objected that neither Silvanus nor any other single messenger is likely to have delivered the letter to all the churches throughout the five provinces mentioned in 1Pet.1:1.
  16. Silvanus could simply have carried the letter to its port of entry, probably either Amisus or Amastris on the Black Sea, and have been officially welcomed there and at a few other congregations in the area.
  17. "I have written to you briefly" also occurs at the end of Hebrews (13:22), a document more than twice the size of First Peter.
  18. The formula was one of conventional politeness, as letters were expected to be brief, and so the author is depreciating having had to compress so important a subject into such a comparatively restricted space.
  19. Peter summarizes his message with admirable succinctness.
  20. In his letter he has been "exhorting" his readers to apply the ethical instruction which comprises much of his letter.
  21. The second participle, "testifying", indicates his function as a witness to something.
  22. Peter was a faithful witness to what he calls "the true grace of God".
  23. Grace, like anything else, is subject to distortion.
  24. When to the right, we call it "legalism"; when to the left, we call it "liberalism".
  25. The "true grace of God" refers to every grace factor related to Ph1, Ph2, and Ph3.
  26. The term grace occurs 8X in 1Pet. (1:2,20,13; 3:7; 4:10; 5:5,10,12).
  27. Doctrine, or what the text of Scripture says, defines grace.
  28. By taking this letter seriously, the recipients will fulfill the imperative to "Stand in it" (aorist active imperative).
  29. The prepositional phrase "in it" (eivj h]n) refers to grace as defined by Scripture.
  30. The proper understanding of grace comes from the literal grammatical approach to exegesis.
Greetings from the Roman Church (v.13)

VERSE 13 She who is in Babylon (h` evn Babulw/ni [, "She", + prep.w/loc.f.s., Babylon]), chosen together with you (suneklekth. [adj.n.f.s., suneklektes, chosen with; "chosen together with you"]), sends you greetings (VAspa,zetai [pres.dep.ind.3.s., avspa,zomai, aspazomai, greet]), and so does my son, Mark (kai. Ma/rkoj o` ui`o,j mou [conj., also, + proper noun, Markos, +, huios, son, + pro.1.s., ego; "my"]).

Final Command (v.14)

VERSE 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love (avspa,sasqe avllh,louj evn filh,mati avga,phj [aor.dep.imper.2.p., aspazomai, greet, + pro./reciprocal acc.p., allelon, one another, + prep.w/instr.nt.s., fi,lhma, philema, kiss, + gen.f.s., agape, love]). Peace be to you all who are in Christ (eivrh,nh u`mi/n pa/sin toi/j evn Cristw/| [n.f.s., eirene, peace, + pro.dat.p., su, + adj.dat.m.p., pas, all, + prep.w/loc.m.s., Christos]).


  1. "She who is in Babylon" is both a cryptic and prophetic reference to the Christian community in the city of Rome.
  2. In the first century AD "Babylon" was becoming, in Jewish and Christian circles, a cryptic, or symbolical, title for Rome.
  3. Rome was the capital of the pagan world, the notorious center of affluence, power, and sensuality.
  4. The designation appears more than anything else to anticipate the Babylon of Rev.17, where paganism would transmogrify (to change or alter, often with grotesque effect) itself into historical Roman Catholicism.
  5. At the time of writing, the mother-son cult was worshipped there as it had been in all places.
  6. The head of the cult was the Pontifex Maximus, its chief priest.
  7. That Peter is referring to the true church at Rome is made apparent when he speaks of those "chosen together with you".
  8. The doctrine of election recognizes all who God foreknew (cf. 1Pet.1:1,2).
  9. It was known among Christians at Rome that Peter was writing this letter.
  10. For a personal touch Peter mentions Mark, or John Mark, the evangelist, who in the early days had been a member of the Jerusalem community (Acts.12:12-17).
  11. He had set out with Paul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey, but had turned back, to the displeasure of Paul.
  12. Years later he was at Paulís side during his Roman imprisonments (Col.4:10; Philm.24; 2Tim.4:11).
  13. At Rome he became associated with his old family friend, Peter.
  14. According to tradition (Papias in Eusebius), he attached himself to the apostle Peter, deriving much of his material for the Gospel of Mark.
  15. Papias refers to Mark as Peterís "interpreter" (hermeneutes).
  16. The description "my son" reflects the relationship of trust and affection between the older man and his younger friend.
  17. These tidbits of historical information lend the ring of historical authenticity.
  18. After conveying the Roman churchís greeting, the author bids his reading audience to "Greet one another with a kiss of love".
  19. Paul concludes several of his letters with a similar request (Rom.16:16; 1Cor.16:20; 2Cor.13:12; 1Thess.5:26).
  20. The practice evidently established itself very early with Christians, as a token of their affectionate spiritual ties, to embrace one another.
  21. It was entirely Christian in its origin, without precedent in the synagogue.
  22. Finally comes an apostolic blessing which recalls 1Pet.1:2: "Peace be to you all who are in Christ".
  23. Paul normally concludes his letters in a call for grace (Rom.16:20; 1Cor.16:23; 2Cor.13:13; Gal.6:18; Eph.6:24; Phil.4:23; Col.4:18; 1Thess.5:28; 2Thess.3:18; 1Tim.6:21; 2Tim.4:22; Ti.3:15; Philm.25).
  24. The persons addressed are described as being "in Christ", the suggestion being that "peace" is grounded in relationship with Christ.
  25. As a result of union with Christ, the individual has moved into a new sphere of existence.
  26. He is united with Christ and shares His life and destiny.
  27. Peter refers to "peace" in its fullest scope.
  28. All aspects of peace are what he has in mind.
  29. Experiential (Ph2) peace refers to inner peace, the consequence of intake and application of BD.
  30. Only then can we suffer, if need be, and have inner peace and happiness.





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