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Summary —A Charge to the Elders. The Young Exhorted. Humility Enjoined. Watchfulness. Salutations from the Brethren at Babylon.
1–4. The elders which are among you. That Peter means the officers, not the aged persons, is shown by verse 2. Who am a fellow-elder. An elder as well as an apostle. He exhorts them as one of themselves. And a witness. An eye witness of what Christ suffered and of his resurrection. A partaker of the glory. An heir of the glory that shall be revealed when Christ comes. 2. Feed the flock of God. “Tend” (Revision). The word means more than feed. See John 21:15–17. Which is among you. The churches wherever you are. Taking the oversight. Acting as bishops (Acts 20:28). Not of constraint. Attend to the duties cheerfully, willingly. Not for filthy lucre. Not for sordid love of gain, but with alacrity. 3. Neither as being lords. Not with an arbitrary, despotic rule. Over God's heritage. Rather, “over the charge allotted you” (Revision). Ensamples to the flock. Instead of ruling imperiously, rather set an example that others may follow. 4. And when the chief Shepherd. Christ, to whom all the under shepherds shall give account. Shall receive the crown of glory. The eternal reward of faithful duty.
5–7. Likewise, ye younger. Some scholars think that all who are not elders are meant. Among the Greeks “younger” sometimes meant those inferior in position. Perhaps the word enforces this sense as well as those younger in years. Be subject unto the elder. “Elders” in the Greek. The duty of submissiveness and humility is the thought of the passage. Yea, all be subject to one another. The literal rendering is “Wrap yourselves up in humility one to another.” Mutual deference must be shown, as well as mutual service. God resisteth the proud, etc. Quoted from Prov. 3:34. 6. Humble yourselves. Because “God giveth grace to the humble.” Under the mighty hand. God exalts as well as casts down. He lifts up the humble, therefore, “Humble yourselves that he may exalt you.” In due time. In God's own time; not our time, but God's. 7. Casting. Simply submitting, doing the Lord's will, and casting all care on him.
8–11. Be sober. Sobriety is necessary to vigilance. Be vigilant. Wide awake and watchful. The reason follows. An enemy is ready to spring upon them. The devil, as a roaring lion. He goeth about as the lion, seeking for prey. The lion while hunting only roars when it springs. So the devil is stealthy and does not give warning of his approach. 9. Whom resist. See James 4:7. When the devil is resisted he flees. Stedfast. Firm in the faith. Knowing that the same sufferings, etc. That your sufferings are not unusual, but that the brethren everywhere suffer as you do. 10. And the God of all grace. Who bestows all grace. Who called you. God is always spoken of as the author of the calling. A little while. You may be called to suffer for a season, but it will soon be over. Make you perfect. He will supply every need, leave nothing wanting.
12–14. By Silvanus. Silas, the old companion of Paul. See Acts, chapter 16. It has been supposed that Paul, then a prisoner at Rome, had sent Silvanus to Peter. Our faithful brother, as I suppose. This implies that Peter had little personal acquaintance, Silvanus having been with Paul in the work among the Gentiles. Have written unto you. He sends this letter “by Silvanus.” This is the true grace of God. The gospel which had been preached to them. 13. She that is in Babylon. See Revision. The word church is not in the Greek. Peter probably referred to his wife. The salutations are from individuals. Babylon. See remarks in Introduction. Alford says, “There is no reason whatever for regarding this any place but the Chaldean capital.” So doth Mark, my son. Most likely John Mark, the author of the second gospel. See Acts 12:12; 13:5; 15:37; Col. 4:10. 14. Salute one another with a kiss of love. See notes on Rom. 16:16; 1 Cor. 16:20.
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