The first epistle of st. Peter 1: 1-2: 17


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I. 1 Pet. 1:1-2:10. Thanksgiving and general exhortation.

II. 2:11-4:11. Exhortation to renunciation of heathen principles of conduct, and acceptance of Christian principles, and to the consequent transformation of special social duties.

III. 4:12—end. Exhortation to the endurance of sufferings regarded as trials of the Church.

II. and III. both begin with jAgaphtoiv, a word which occurs nowhere else in the Epistle: this confirms the joining of 4:7-11 to II. These verses are likewise rather a close to what precedes than an introduction to what follows, though partly transitional.

I. 1 Pet. 1:1-2:10.
1:1 f. Salutation.

1:3-12. Thanksgiving for the Christian hope in the midst of trials, that hope being the fulfilment of prophetic expectations.

1:13-2:10. Exhortation to obedience in conformity to the grandeur of the Christian hope and the privileges of the Christian commonwealth.
II. 1 Pet. 2:11-4:11.

2:11 f. Exhortation to purity of motive, and so to purity of life in the presence of the heathen (a kind of general heading to the section).

2:13-3:12. Definite relative duties, in civic society, of servants and masters, of wives and husbands, the section concluding with the universal bond of the Christian mind, and the Divine promise respecting it.

3:13-4:6. Good and evil doing in relation to suffering at the hands of the heathen, with the digression on the preaching to the spirits in prison.

4:7-11. Resumes the concluding exhortation of 3:8, 9, pointing to God as at once the source and the goal of all Christian conduct, which is represented as a human distribution of His grace in all the relations of life, and directed towards His glory.

III. 1 Pet. 4:12—end.
4:12-19. Suffering for the Christian name, and what is involved in it.

5:1-5. Consequent lesson as to the relation of elders to other members of the Church; and of all its members to each other.

5:6-11. Resumes 4:19 after digression, and exhibits the whole present state of the Christians as subject to God’s providential care.

5:12-14. Final greetings.

I. 1 Pet. 1:1-2:10
1:1 f. Salutation

I. SALUTATION (1 Pet. 1:1, 2). The salutation is formed in an independent manner after the model which had been created by St Paul, especially as it appears in his Epistles to the Galatians and Romans. Writer and recipients are designated by their personal or local name, and also described in brief phrases expressive of relations to be presupposed throughout the Epistle; and some leading thoughts of the Epistle are rapidly indicated beforehand. The indication is here made by a setting forth of three stages of Divine operation in and for man, “foreknowledge,” consecration, and sacrificial life.

1. Pevtro", G4377, Peter] St Peter here ignores altogether his original name Simeon or Simon, which indeed appears to have early fallen into disuse. For the Graecised Aramaic form of the new and significant name given him by the Lord he substitutes its Greek equivalent, probably because he is writing to churches to which, as strangers to the language of Palestine, the name Cephas would carry no special force. St Paul’s use of Cephas appears to have its motive in indirect references to the words of Palestinian opponents. See the Additional Note on the names of St Peter.

ajpovstolo" jIhsou' Cristou', an apostle of Jesus Christ] This title stands at the head of all St Paul’s Epistles (in Galatians not quite obviously) with four easily explicable exceptions, the two early Epistles to the Thessalonians (“Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus”), the Epistle to the Philippians whose peculiar debts to Timothy gave him a right to a primary share in the salutation (“Paul and Timotheus”), and the purely personal letter to Philemon; and St Peter assumes himself to be clothed with the same function, enabling him to speak with authority to the Asiatic churches, whoever their founders might have been. Having once for all made, or rather suggested, the claim, he is thenceforward content to keep it out of sight, and in 5:1 he addresses the elders as a “fellow-elder” (sunpresbuvtero"). The title apostle, as having been in the special sense originally bestowed by the Lord Himself (Mark 3:14 [true text] || Luke 6:13), and as having been afterwards associated by Him with His own unique Apostolate (John 17:18; 20:21), must likewise have had for St Peter a peculiar sanctity in relation to his own life and the purpose to which it was devoted.

The double name, expressing the identity of Him who on earth was called Jesus with the Messiah of God, is used by St Peter six times in the first 13 verses, three times afterwards, while he never has Jesus without Christ. The full phrase apostle of Jesus Christ stands similarly at the head of seven of St Paul’s Epistles, but usually, and perhaps always (the text is sometimes uncertain), with the order Christ Jesus, which brings out more clearly the derivation from the formula cristo;" jIhsou'", Jesus is Christ: cf. Acts 4:33 (in the most probable of the many readings) oiJ ajpovstoloi tou' kurivou jIhsou'.

ejklektoi'", elect] that is, in the first instance, elect as a body, and as members of an elect body, not simply as individuals. Twogreat forms of Divine “election” are spoken of in the O.T., the choosing of Israel, and the choosing of single Israelites or bodies of Israelites to perform certain functions for Israel, as Abraham (Neh. 9:7), Moses (Ps. 106:23), Saul (1 Sam. 10:24), David (2 Sam. 6:21 [cf. 1 Sam. 16:8, 10]; 1 Chr. 28:4; Ps. 78:70; 89:3 (Heb.), 19; Jer. 33:24 [David’s house]), Solomon (1 Chr. 28:5 f. [cf. 10]; 29:1), Zerubbabel (Hag. 2:23), the tribe of Judah (1 Chr. 28:4; Ps. 78:67 f.), Aaron (1 Sam. 2:28; Ps. 105:26), and the Levites (1 Chr. 15:2; 2 Chr. 29:11; Jer. 33:24). St Peter has in mind the choosing of Israel, which is spoken of by the verb rj'B;, H1047, ejklevgomai, G1721, in Deuteronomy (Deut. 4:37; 7:6 ff.; 10:15; 14:2), several Psalms, II Isaiah (cf. I Isa. 14:1), and elsewhere; and the verbal adjective ryjiB;, H1040, ejklektov", G1723, is similarly applied to Israel in II Isa. 43:20; 45:4 (sing.); 65:9, 15, 22 and Ps. (Pss. 88:4 [89:4] LXX.) 105:6, 43; 106:5 (cf. 2 Macc. 1:25). That St Peter is here following the O.T. in its idea of a chosen people, not merely an assemblage of chosen men, is a natural inference from 1 Pet. 2:9 f., where gevno" ejklektovn, “an elect or chosen race,” is one of the phrases taken directly from II Isa. 43:20. He had been preceded by St Paul in the central chapters of Romans 9-11, which set forth the relation of Jew to Gentile in the eternal counsel of God. In 11:28 St Paul refers to the original election of Israel, while in 11:5, 7 (cf. 9:11) he speaks of a new election, that of the spiritual Israel; and it is to this new Israel, or to a part of it, that St Peter addresses himself. It is singular that ejklektov", G1723, never stands at the beginning of St Paul’s Epistles, as it does here (for the sense however cf. 1 Thess. 1:4; Eph. 1:4): his corresponding word in Romans and 1 Corinthians (so also St Jude’s) is klhtov", G3105, “called,” and he often uses kalevw, G2813, “call,” with a similar force (cf. 2 Pet. 1:10). The “calling” and the “choosing” imply each other, the calling being the outward expression of the antecedent choosing, the act by which it begins to take effect. Both words emphatically mark the present state of the persons addressed as being due to the free agency of God. Both words are combined remarkably with each other and with pistoiv, “faithful,” in Apoc. 17:14, this third epithet, expressive of the “faith” which St Paul always represents as characteristic of the new Israel (so also virtually St Peter in 1 Pet. 2:7 compared with 2:9 f.), having at the beginning of Ephesians and Colossians a place like that of ejklektov", G1723, here. A fourth word similarly used in most of St Paul’s epistles, a{gio", G41, “holy,” likewise reappears in a similar connexion further on in this Epistle (1 Pet. 2:9 “a holy nation,” from Exod. 19:6, in association with “an elect race”).

But the preliminary election to membership of an elect race does not exclude individual election. The choice of the plural ejklektoi'" parepidhvmoi" is not in itself decisive, though we must not forget the significant transition in 1 Cor. 1:2. But the whole spirit of the Epistle (see especially 1 Pet. 2:5) excludes any swallowing up of the individual relation to God in the corporate relation to Him; and the individual relation to God implies the individual election. But as to what is involved in election, corporate or individual, we must learn from the Bible, not from later theological systems.

In Deuteronomy (Deut. 4:37) the choosing by God is ascribed to His own “love” of Israel: the ground of it lay in Himself, not in Israel; it was not a reward. In II Isa. 43:21, as quoted significantly in 1 Pet. 2:9, a further motive is stated, to “tell forth His excellencies”: God’s choosing is not for the sake of His chosen alone; they are chosen because He has a special ministry for them to perform towards the surrounding multitude. This is but a wider application of the principle recognised already. As is the election of ruler or priest within Israel for the sake of Israel, such is the election of Israel for the sake of the whole human race. Such also, still more clearly and emphatically, is the election of the new Israel. Nor is the principle of less validity in respect of the individual members of the new chosen race. Each stone in the spiritual house of God has its own place to fill, and was chosen by God for that place. Each member of Christ’s spiritual body has its own work to do, and was chosen by God for that work.

parepidhvmoi" diaspora'", who are strangers of dispersion] Parepidhmevw (also -iva: the form parepivdhmo", G4215, is very rare) is a common word in late Greek (literature and inscriptions), being applied to those “strangers” (xevnoi) who settled in a town or region without making it their permanent place of residence. Parepivdhmo" occurs twice in the LXX. (Gen. 23:4; Ps. 38:13), both times associated with pavroiko", G4230; once literally, for Abraham’s position among the sons of Heth, once figuratively, for the life of man on earth. St Peter likewise couples the two words together in 1 Pet. 2:11, having previously spoken of to;n th'" paroikiva" uJmw'n crovnon in 1:17. For the history of the biblical terms for sojourning see the Additional Note.

diaspora'", of dispersion] was apparently suggested by the salutation of St James’s Epistle (James 1:1), tai'" dwvdeka fulai'" tai'" ejn th'/ diaspora'/. Standing between the almost technical parepidhvmoi" and a series of geographical names, it cannot well have a merely general sense (making it equivalent to “dispersed sojourners”), but must have at least some reference to the Dispersion properly so called, the “Diaspora” spoken of by St James (cf. John 7:35). The term was taken partly from the LXX. rendering of Deut. 28:25, kai; e[sh/ diaspora; (ejn diaspora'/ AF) ejn pavsai" basileivai" th'" gh'", whence it is sparingly repeated in the later books (Neh. 1:9; Ps. 146:2 (plur.); Isa. 49:6; Jer. 13:14 (a*); 15:7; 41:17; Dan. 12:2 (LXX.); Judith 5:19; 2 Macc. 1:27), partly from the more frequently used verb diaspeivrw, G1401, which is freely employed by the LXX. in this connexion, as well as the more obvious diaskorpivzw, G1399, for hr:z:, H2430, to “scatter” or “blow abroad.” The cognate [r"z:, H2445, to “sow,” has this figurative sense only in Zech. 10:9 (LXX. kai; sperw' aujtou;" ejn laoi'"). The (late) Hebrew name for the Dispersion has nothing to do with scattering or sowing, being hl;/G, H1583, , “exile,” (lit. “stripping”), and hence “the exiles” collectively.

The absence of an article before diaspora'" would hardly here exclude the sense “strangers of the Dispersion,” for in sentences having the nature of headings articles are often omitted in places where they would naturally be inserted in ordinary composition; and qeou' patrov", pneuvmato", and ai{mato" (vs. 2) are likewise without articles, doubtless for the same reason. The th'/ before diaspora'/ in St James’s salutation followed almost of necessity from the indispensable tai'" before dwvdeka fulai'". But the intermediate sense “strangers of dispersion” suits the context better, and this is simpler and more dignified than “strangers of a dispersion.”

In what sense did St Peter intend the two terms to be applied? “The Dispersion” was a purely Jewish term, and exclusively denoted the Jews scattered abroad. The term parepivdhmoi included men of every land, race, and creed; but to Jewish ears it would peculiarly well express the universal position of Jews settled at a distance from the Holy Land. The inference that the Christians addressed must have been Jewish Christians has therefore an obvious plausibility. It is not supported however by the contents of the Epistle generally, nor is it an intrinsically probable interpretation. Had St Peter intended to single out in this manner the Jewish Christians, he would hardly have made exclusive use of words which in themselves contained no reference to Israel or anything belonging to Israel, and have thereby simply expressed the relations of individual Jews to the outer world.

St Peter’s true meaning is brought out by the two passages of the Epistle already cited, 1 Pet. 1:17 and 2:11; the latter of which, standing at the beginning of the expressly hortatory section of the Epistle, reunites in the phrase of the LXX. the parepidhvmoi" of 1:1 and the paroikiva" of 1:17. In each case an element of the sense is contributed by each of the two passages of the Old Testament. “The time of sojourning” is evidently the remaining portion of life on earth, following the Psalmist’s thought, Ps. 118:19, pavroiko" ejgwv eijmi ejn th'/ gh'/ (cf. also Gen. 47:9 bis, Jacob’s words to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my life [so LXX.] a}" paroikw' are 130 years,” and again, “the days of the years of the life of my fathers, a}" hJmevra" parwv/khsan”): but the context, with its thrice repeated ajnastrofh'/, ajnastravfhte, ajnastrofh'" (see note on 1 Pet. 1:15), points to a yet clearer reference to such a sojourning as Abraham’s, a sojourning in the midst of a people having other standards of life and fundamental beliefs than their own. In like manner, the exhortation founded on the double phrase in 2:11 appeals first to a universal duty of men as spiritual beings, and then (vs. 12) to the position of the Asiatic Christians in their intercourse with the surrounding heathen (again ajnastrofhvn). The two conceptions were indeed for Christians of St Peter’s time inseparable. Together they doubtless make up the greater part of what he meant to suggest by the word parepidhvmoi" in his salutation. It is in fact complementary in sense to ejklektoi'". Behind the visible strangership and scattering in the midst of the world were the one invisible and universal commonwealth, of which the Asiatic Christians were members, and the God who had chosen it and them out of the world. A vivid apprehension of what the two words together implied is the constant premiss to most of the exhortations of the Epistle.

It does not follow however that no reference was intended to the Jewish associations of the phrase parepidhvmoi" diaspora'". On the contrary, the meaning gains in force if (see  in loco) the words point back to the Jewish Dispersion as a foreshadowing of the position of the Christian converts, and are thus a partial anticipation of the later teaching (1 Pet. 2:9 f.) on the Christian Israel. “You Christians of the Asiatic provinces are the true strangers of dispersion,” St Peter thus seems to say; making virtually the same claim as when St Paul said “We are the true circumcision” (Phil. 3:3: cf. Rom. 2:25-29; Eph. 2:11). That part of the Divine mission of Israel which arose out of its scattering was now to be carried forward by the Church of the true Messiah.

A discussion of the list of geographical names which follows is reserved for the Detached Note: On the provinces of Asia Minor included in St Peter’s address. The chief conclusions are as follows. The names are those of provinces of the Roman Empire. They include the whole of what we call Asia Minor N. and W. of the Taurus range, the great natural boundary recognised by the ancients. Interpreted with reference to a direct turning of the mind’s eye of the writer towards the distant peninsula, the order of the names is unfavourable to the claim of Rome to be held the place of writing indicated in 1 Pet. 5:13. Under the same condition it is still more unfavourable to the claim of Babylon. If however the indicated order is not that of a distant prospect in imagination, but of an actual intended journey, it answers precisely (cf. Ewald, Sieben Sendschr. des N. B., p. 2f.) to a course which would naturally be followed by one landing at a seaport of Pontus, making a circuit through the principal known or probable seats of Christian communities, and returning to the neighbourhood of the Euxine. Moreover some such cause, due to practical motives, is needed to account for the remarkable severance of Pontus and Bithynia, which stand at the beginning and the end of the list respectively, although they together formed but a single province, and every other province receives but a single name. The contemplated journey is doubtless that of Silvanus, by whom the Epistle was to be conveyed (1 Pet. 5:12). Provincial Pontus, that is, the seaboard of the district best known as Paphlagonia, contained several ports at which Silvanus might naturally enter Asia Minor, the most important being Sinope, which was a Roman colony. Such a route would however be out of the question if he were proceeding from Babylon; while it needs no further explanation than the active commerce between the harbours of Pontus and the West if the starting-point was Rome. A few years earlier Aquila, originally a Jew of Pontus, is found apparently settled at Rome, and holding an important position among the Roman Christians; between whom and the Christians of Pontus communications were thus likely to arise. Unknown circumstances due to such intercourse may well have made Pontus, rather than Provincial Asia, the primary destination of Silvanus’s journey.

Of the five provinces named, Galatia and Asia alone are mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. as having Christian converts among their inhabitants. Pontus (apparently not Bithynia) was however the home of the Christians whose numbers, constancy, and harmlessness strongly impressed the younger Pliny in 112, when he consulted Trajan about sanctioning their persecution. Sinope was the birthplace of Marcion, originally a wealthy ship-owner, whose father was a bishop. Within the limits of Provincial Galatia were included at least the churches founded by St Paul in Galatia proper, in Lycaonia, and in Phrygia. To Caesarea, the capital of Cappadocia, a place of much commercial importance, the Gospel could not fail to be very early carried from Lycaonia or Provincial Asia along the great road which connected Ephesus with the East. Of Provincial Asia Ephesus and the other six churches of the Apocalypse are sufficient representatives. Lastly, for Bithynia, like Cappadocia, we have no primitive Christian record: but it could hardly remain long unaffected by the neighbourhood of Christian communities to the South-West, the South, and probably the East; even if no friend or disciple took up before long the purpose which St Paul had been constrained to abandon, when a Divine intimation drew him onward into Europe (Acts 16:6-10).

2. The three clauses of this verse beyond all reasonable question set forth the operation of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son respectively. Here therefore, as in several Epistles of St Paul (1 Cor. 12:4-6; 2 Cor. 13:13; Eph. 4:4-6), there is an implicit reference to the Threefold Name. In no passage is there any indication that the writer was independently working out a doctrinal scheme: a recognised belief or idea seems to be everywhere presupposed. How such an idea could arise in the mind of St Paul or any other apostle without sanction from a Word of the Lord, it is difficult to imagine: and this consideration is a sufficient answer to the doubts which have, by no means unnaturally, been raised whether Matt. 28:19 may not have been added or recast in a later generation. St Peter, like St Paul, associates with the subject of each clause, if one may so speak, a distinctive function as towards mankind: on their relations to the Divine Unity he is silent.

It is not at once obvious to which word or words of 1 Pet. 1:1 this vs. 2 is attached; what it is that is said to be “according to the foreknowledge” & c. In looking backwards from vs. 2, we may pass over parepidhvmoi" diaspora'" as evidently inadequate to carrying the contents of vs. 2. jEklektoi'", which comes next, is not only the nearest adjective but evidently such a word as, taken by itself, might naturally have vs. 2 appended to it. It is however by no means natural that so much weight should belong to a single word unmarked for special emphasis by order or particle, divided from vs. 2 by eight words, and itself preceded by four words. This difficulty entirely disappears if vs. 2 has a double reference, to ajpovstolo" jIhsou' Cristou', the first words of the Epistle which are not a proper name, as well as to ejklektoi'". With this construction, the only construction which allows the two verses of the Salutation to form an orderly whole, the sense in full would be to this effect, “Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ according to the foreknowledge & c., to the strangers of dispersion, & c. who are elect according to the foreknowledge” & c. The Greek commentators (Cyril, Theophylact) take vs. 2 with ajpovstolo", G693, and thus are wrong only in ignoring the equally true reference to ejklektoi'", which most modern books as exclusively recognise.

It is indeed somewhat difficult at first sight to connect the third clause of 1 Pet. 1:2 (“unto obedience and sprinkling” & c.) with St Peter’s apostleship, though the first two clauses apply obviously enough. But the long salutation which opens the Epistle to the Romans affords striking parallels, as regards both the double reference of vs. 2 as a whole and the association of apostleship with “obedience” in particular. At the outset (vs. 1) St Paul describes himself as “called [to be] an apostle” (klhto;" ajpovstolo"), and presently (vv. 6, 7) takes up the epithet to apply it to the Romans likewise, “among whom [sc. all the Gentiles] are ye also called [to be] Jesus Christ’s” (ejn oi|" ejste; kai; uJmei'" klhtoi; jI. C.), and again “to all that are at Rome...called [to be] saints” (klhtoi'" aJgivoi": cf. 1 Cor. 1:1 f., Pau'lo" klhto;" ajpovstolo" jI. C....klhtoi'" aJgivoi"). Thus the common link between apostle and Christian converts, with St Peter “foreknowledge,” with St Paul is “calling,” which constitutes a later stage in God’s dealings with both: compare Rom. 8:28 ff., where the retrospective phrase toi'" kata; provqesin klhtoi'" ou\sin is immediately explained by the sequence o{ti ou}" proevgnw, kai; prowvrisen k.t.l., ou}" de; prowvrisen, touvtou" kai; ejkavlesen. In substituting the earlier stage, St Peter is merely following the spirit of the Epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 1:3-12: cf. 3:9-11). Again, in Rom. 1:5 St Paul distinctly says “through whom we received grace and apostleship unto obedience of faith,” the plural being probably used because the first named gift, “grace,” was common to himself and the Romans (Rom. 5:2; and 12:3; 15:15), though “apostleship” in the stricter sense was not: and the substantial identity of the phrase eij" uJpakohvn as used by both writers is not affected by the presence or absence of pivstew" (cf. Rom. 15:18; 16:19).

This careful coupling together of the apostolic and the universal Christian callings, as governed by identical Divine conditions, would have been unreal if the vital qualification of apostleship had not consisted in individual experience. It implied directly that the inner substance of the mostspecial apostleship was a Christian faith and life; indirectly that the Christian profession was invested with an inherent apostleship of its own. When St Paul writes to the Galatians thus (Gal. 1:15 f.: cf. 1 Tim. 1:12-16), “It was the good pleasure of the God who set me apart from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son within me that I might proclaim the good tidings of Him among the Gentiles,” he is only expressing the same truth in another shape: and St Peter must have heard it throughout his later years in the “Follow me” of the first invitation and the last charge beside the lake. In what sense the “sprinkled blood” might have a special significance in the “witness” to be borne by apostles, will appear below.

provgnwsi", G4590, a word absent from the LXX. has in the Apocrypha its ordinary and obvious sense “foreknowledge,” that is, prescience, without any implication of fore-ordaining. In Acts 2:23, the only other place in which it occurs in the N.T., it is coupled with God’s “determinate counsel” (th'/ wJrismevnh/ boulh'/ kai; prognwvsei tou' qeou'), a very strong phrase: here the sense is ambiguous, for “foreknowledge” may be taken either as shown by the association with “counsel” to include more than prescience, or as merely adding to “counsel” the idea of knowledge. Similarly the verb proginwvskw, G4589, in the Apocrypha, as in classical literature, means simply to “foreknow”; and so it does in Acts 26:5; 2 Pet. 3:17, the foreknowledge in both cases being on the part of men. Any presumption however that the sense is equally restricted here is negatived by the three other passages of the N.T. which contain the verb, Rom. 8:29; 11:2; 1 Pet. 1:20; in all of which bare prescience fits ill into the context. It has been rightly observed (Steiger, on 1 Pet. 1:2) that in all these three passages the object of the verb is personal, “those whom He foreknew,” “His people which He foreknew,” “Christ, who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world.” The precise force of this peculiar usage, a force which must admit of application to Christ no less than to God’s people, is apparently explained by a fundamental passage of Old Testament prophecy, Jer. 1:5. The word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah saying “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee” [where “Before” and “knew” make up a virtual “foreknew”], “and before thou camest out of the womb, I hallowed thee: I gave (appointed) thee a prophet unto the nations.” Here the “foreknowing” of a prophet stands manifestly for his previous designation; as it were, his previous recognition. Language of nearly the same import occurs in II Isa. 49:1, “Jehovah hath called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name” (cf. vv. 3, 5); and the two forms of speech are combined in the phrase “I know thee by name” in Exod. 33:12, 17, addressed by Jehovah to Moses. (Compare also the Assumptio Moysis i.14, “Itaque excogitavit et invenit me, qui ab initio orbis terrarum praeparatus sum, ut sim arbiter testamenti illius”; the original of the last words, as preserved by Gelasius of Cyzicus, ii.18 [Mansi, Conc. ii.844], cited by Hilgenfeld, being apparently proeqeavsatov me oJ qeo;" pro; katabolh'" kovsmou ei\naiv me th'" diaqhvkh" aujtou' mesivthn.) This “knowledge” is not a knowledge of facts respecting a person but a knowledge of himself; it is, so to speak, a contemplation of him in his individuality, yet not as an indifferent object but as standing in personal relations to Him who thus “foreknows” him. It must not therefore be identified with mere foreknowledge of existence or acts (prescience); or again, strictly speaking, with destination or predestination (oJrivzw, proorivzw), even in the biblical sense, that is, in relation to a Providential order, much less in the philosophical sense of antecedent constraint. In the sequence already cited from St Paul (Rom. 8:29 f.) it stands as the first movement of the Divine Mind, to use human language, antecedent to “predestination.” St Peter, however, who never uses oJrivzw, G3988, or proorivzw, G4633, in his Epistle, apparently includes both stages under the one term “foreknowledge” both here and in 1 Pet. 1:20; that is, he thinks of it as directed not to a person simply, but to a person in relation to a function.

The idea of a “foreknowledge” of God’s people lay before St Peter in two chapters of the Romans, as applied both to the original Israel (Rom. 11:2) and to the new Israel (8:28 ff.). He was equally following St Paul’s lead in transferring to the apostles the idea of a “foreknowledge” of the prophets on the part of God. St Paul’s mind was evidently full of thoughts derived from the twin passages of Jeremiah and II Isaiah, when he wrote Gal. 1:15 and Rom. 1:1, if indeed they did not mingle with all his thoughts of his own peculiar and solitary work. St Peter’s appropriation of the idea falls in with the general drift of his Epistle. The Divine commission of the apostles was no after-thought, as it were, suggested only by casual needs belonging to human circumstances, but part of the original Divine counsel. The application to the Asiatic Christians themselves is illustrated by many subsequent verses.

The association of “foreknowledge” with ejklektoi'" may have been suggested by the connexion between Rom. 8:33 and vv. 28 ff. (cf. Eph. 1:4 f.). For the corresponding “election” of apostles see Luke 6:13; John 6:70; 13:18; 15:16; Acts 1:2 (the Twelve); Acts 9:15 (St Paul).

qeou' patrov", of God, even the Father] In the salutations of the Epistles and in similar contexts ajpo; qeou' patrov" (ejn qew'/ patriv) is seven or eight times followed by hJmw'n, both with the addition of kai; kurivou (-w/) jI. C. (2 Thess. 1:1; Gal. 1:3, probable reading; 1 Cor. 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:2; Rom. 1:7; Phil. 1:2; Eph. 1:2; Philem. 3) and without it (Col. 1:2, right reading): compare oJ qeo;" kai; path;r hJmw'n (nom. gen. dat.: 1 Thess. 1:3; 3:11, 13; Gal. 1:4; Phil. 4:20), and also oJ kuvrio" hJmw'n jI. C. kai; ªoJº qeo;" oJ path;r hJmw'n (2 Thess. 2:16, right reading). Similarly hJmw'n or tw'n ajnqrwvpwn is the genitive implied for qrhskeiva kaqara; kai; ajmivanto" para; tw'/ qew'/ kai; patriv in James 1:27. JHmw'n is transferred to the second member of the full double clause (e.g., ajpo; qeou' patro;" kai; C. jI. tou' kurivou hJmw'n) in the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. 1:2, right reading; 2 Tim. 1:2; Titus 1:4, right reading), and in these alone, with the doubtful exception of Gal. 1:3 (see above): it is omitted altogether (ejn qew'/ patri; kai; kurivw/ jI. C. or ajpo; k.t.l.) in 1 Thess. 1:1; 2 Thess. 1:1, right reading; Eph. 6:23; so also Jude 1, ejn qew'/ patri; hjgaphmevnoi" kai; jI. Cristw'/ tethrhmevnoi". In these four places the context allows either hJmw'n or jIhsou' Cristou' or both to be mentally supplied; and the same may be said of 1 Cor. 8:6 (hJmi'n ei|" qeo;" oJ pathvr,...kai; ei\" kuvrio" jI. C.). On the other hand jIhsou' Cristou' is clearly intended in dia;... jI. C. kai; qeou' patro;" tou' ejgeivranto" aujto;n ejk nekrw'n (Gal. 1:1), in para; qeou' patro;" kai; para; jI. C. tou' uiJou' tou' patrov" (2 John 3, right reading), and in labw;n ga;r para; qeou' patro;" timh;n kai; dovxan (2 Pet. 1:17): compare o{tan paradidw'/ th;n basileivan tw'/ qew'/ kai; patriv (1 Cor. 15:24). This last sense is also, like the other, definitely expressed in the fuller phrase tw'/ qew'/ patri; tou' kurivou hJmw'n jI. ªC.º (Col. 1:3, right

reading): compare oJ qeo;" kai; path;r tou' kurivou hJmw'n jI. C. (2 Cor. 1:3; 11:31 without hJm. or X.; Rom. 15:6; Eph. 1:3; 1 Pet. 1:3), and iJerei'" tw'/ qew'/ kai; patri; aujtou' (Apoc. 1:6). In three or four passages of St Paul’s Epistles of the Roman captivity there can be little doubt that pathvr, G4252, combines both references; i{'sa glw'ssa ejxomologhvshtai o{ti KURIOS IHSOUS CRISTOS eij" dovxan qeou' patrov" (Phil. 2:11); pavnta [sc. poiei'te] ejn ojnovmati kurivou jIhsou', eujcaristou'nte" tw'/ qew'/ patri; dij aujtou' (Col. 3:17, right reading); with the parallel Eph. 5:20, eujcaristou'nte" pavntote uJpe;r pavntwn ejn ojnovmati tou' kurivou hJmw'n jI. C. tw'/ qew'/ kai; patriv; and according to a not improbable reading (for tw'/ patriv) eujcaristou'nte" tw'/ qew'/ patriv,...o}"...hJma'" metevsthsen eij" th;n basileivan tou' uiJou' th'" ajgavph" aujtou' (Col. 1:12). In St Peter’s salutation likewise the double reference was probably intended. The Fatherhood to the Only Begotten seems to be implied in the theological structure of 1 Pet. 1:2 (cf. vs. 3), the Fatherhood to men in the human objects (ajpovstolo", ejklektoi'") of the Divine foreknowledge (cf. vs. 17). The combination finds support in the already much cited passage of Romans (Rom. 8:29: cf. 14-17, 19), o{ti ou}" proevgnw, kai; prowvrisen summovrfou" th'" eijkovno" tou' uiJou' aujtou', eij" to; ei\nai aujto;n prwtovtokon ejn polloi'" ajdelfoi'".

The writers of the N.T. had doubtless a clear purpose in thus joining together, especially at the beginning of Epistles, the two designations “God” and “Father”; of course using them both alike as appellations, for qeov", G2536, in the N.T. is never a proper name (see Justin Martyr Ap. 2.6, [Onoma de; tw'/ pavntwn patri; qeto;n ajgennhvtw/ o[nti oujk e[; dev path;r kai; qeo;" kaiv ktivsth" kaiv kuvrio" kaiv despovth" oujk ojnovmatav ejstin ajllj ejk tw'n eujpoi>w'n kai; tw'n e[rgwn prosrhvsei"...o}n trovpon kai; tov qeo;" prosagovreuma oujk o[nomav ejstin ajlla; pravgmato" dusexhghvtou e[mfuto" th'/ fuvsei tw'n ajnqrwvpwn dovxa). Each word suggested a part of the truth. To associations of supremacy, power, authorship, superintendence, were added associations of love, watchful care, and corrective discipline on the one part, and on the other of responsive faith and love, and above all of likeness of mind and character. See further on 1 Pet. 1:3, p. 29.

ejn aJgiasmw'/ pneuvmato", in sanctification (hallowing) by the Spirit] The Greek may equally mean hallowing of the human spirit, or hallowing by the Holy Spirit; but the analogy of the other clauses (qeou' patrov", pneuvmato", jIhsou' Cristou') is decisive for the latter sense. After aJgiasmw'/ the addition of aJgivou would have been superfluous, if not unnatural; and the article is omitted only as all other articles in the Salutation. The phrase probably comes from 2 Thess. 2:13, ei{lato uJma'" oJ qeo;" ajpj ajrch'" eij" swthrivan ejn aJgiasmw'/ pneuvmato" kai; pivstei ajlhqeiva", eij" o} ejkavlesen uJma'" dia; tou' eujaggelivou hJmw'n, a passage of similar general import; where again the Spirit of God is doubtless intended, the “Spirit” and the “truth” being alike external to the Thessalonians whom the Spirit hallowed and whose faith the truth sustained. So also in 1 Thess. 4:7 (ouj ga;r ejkavlesen hJma'" oJ qeo;" ejpi; ajkaqarsiva/ ajllj ejn aJgiasmw'/) the change from ejpiv, G2093, to ejn, G1877, is readily intelligible if “hallowing” (transitive) is meant, not merely “becoming holy” (neuter).

ejn, G1877, marks “hallowing by the Spirit” as that act of God “in virtue of” which His antecedent “foreknowledge” began, as it were, to take effect. The continuous process of hallowing is doubtless included in accordance with the double force of the conception of “holiness” (see on 1 Pet. 1:15). Apostles, like prophets, had a special hallowing by the Spirit for their special office: so Eph. 3:5, wJ" nu'n ajpekaluvfqh toi'" aJgivoi" ajpostovloi" aujtou' kai; profhvtai" ejn pneuvmati (though the direct reference can be only to Christian prophets); compare Jer. 1:5; Isa. 6:3-7. Gentiles became members of a “holy nation” (1 Pet. 2:9) or people, not in virtue of belonging to a privileged race, but as receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit: so St Peter at Jerusalem in Acts 15:7 ff., [Andre" ajdelfoiv, uJmei'" ejpivstasqe o{ti ajfj hJmerw'n ajrcaivwn ejn uJmi'n ejxelevxato oJ qeo;" dia; tou' stovmatov" mou ajkou'sai ta; e[qnh to;n lovgon tou' eujaggelivou kai; pisteu'sai, kai; oJ kardiognwvsth" qeo;" ejmartuvrhsen aujtoi'" dou;" to; pneu'ma to; a{gion kaqw;" kai; hJmi'n, kai; oujqe;n dievkrinen metaxu; hJmw'n te kai; aujtw'n, th'/ pivstei kaqarivsa" ta;" kardiva" aujtw'n: and again in Eph. 1:13 (in contrast to Jews who had become Christians, tou;" prohlpikovta" ejn tw'/ cristw'/) ejn w|/ kai; uJmei'" ajkouvsante" to;n lovgon th'" ajlhqeiva", to; eujaggevlion th'" swthriva" uJmw'n, ejn w|/ kai; pisteuvsante", ejsfragivsqhte tw'/ pneuvmati th'" ejpaggeliva" tw'/ aJgivw/.

eij" uJpakohvn, unto obedience] Since in Hebrew the same word means “to hear” and “to obey,” the writers of the N.T. were predisposed to make a more than ordinary use of the natural figure by which hearkening (attentive hearing) stands for obedience. As used by them however it was no mere form of speech, but the best expression of the truth, conveying as it did the idea of response to the voice of God:— “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” St Paul twice uses the verb uJpakouvw, G5634, with a negative for the refusal of Jews to obey the call of the Gospel (2 Thess. 1:8; Rom. 10:16: compare the use of ajpeiqevw, G578, illustrated on 1 Pet. 2:8); and this very phrase eij" uJpakohvn occurs three times in Romans with reference to obedience yielded to the Gospel by Gentiles, twice (Rom. 1:5; 16:26) followed by pivstew" in the sense “obedience dependent on faith,” “inspired by faith” (cf. dia; dikaiosuvnh" pivstew" 4:13), once followed by ejqnw'n (15:18 w|n ouj kateirgavsato Cristo;" dij ejmou' eij" uJpakoh;n ejqnw'n): compare his final warning to the unbelieving Jews of Rome at the end of the Acts (Acts 28:28), gnwsto;n ou\n uJmi'n e[stw o{ti toi'" e[qnesin ajpestavlh tou'to to; swthvrion tou' qeou': aujtoi; kai; ajkouvsontai. What is doubtless intended is not the mental acceptance of a belief but action consequent on such acceptance, open profession in the first instance and afterwards a life in accord with it. These associations are not lost in St Peter’s use of eij" uJpakohvn (in 1 Pet. 4:17 he has himself the phrase tw'n ajpeiqouvntwn tw'/ tou' qeou' eujaggelivw/), but, as will be seen on the next clause, it must have included wider associations derived from the O.T. The word uJpakohv, G5633, recurs in two other verses of this chapter, 1 Pet. 1:14 wJ" tevkna uJpakoh'", and vs. 22 ejn th'/ uJpakoh'/ th'" ajlhqeiva".

eij", G1650, unto, expresses the purposed result of the Divine choosing and hallowing on character and life. Compare the remarkable phrase of Rom. 6:17, cavri" de; tw'/ qew'/ o{ti h\te dou'loi th'" aJmartiva" uJphkouvsate de; ejk kardiva" eij" o}n paredovqhte tuvpon didach'", where the whole context proves the tuvpo" didach'" to be the Christian standard of ethical teaching.

kai; rJantismo;n ai{mato" jIhsou' Cristou', and sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ] The key to the precise meaning of this phrase is given by the context. The “sprinkling” is coupled with “obedience,” and is placed after “obedience.”

In the N.T. the blood of Christ is associated with various images which need to be clearly distinguished. There is here no direct reference to the idea of purchase or ransom, as in 1 Pet. 1:18, 19 (ejlutrwvqhte, timivw/), or to the idea of sacrificial atonement, as in several other books of the N.T. This application of the idea of ritual sprinkling is absent from St Paul’s Epistles (though in one passage, cited below, it is virtually implied) and from the rest of the N.T. except the Epistle to the Hebrews, where directly or indirectly it plays a considerable part in Hebrews 9 (9:7, 11-22) and recurs in two retrospective allusions, in 10:22 and 12:24 (ai{mati rJantismou'). With St Peter the range of possible references to the O.T. is more narrowly limited by the evident implication that the objects sprinkled were the apostles and the converts themselves, whereas most of the many sprinklings of blood prescribed in the Levitical Law were to be performed on the altar or other inanimate things. In two cases only were human beings to be sprinkled with blood under the Levitical Law; with the blood of the bird in the cleansing of the leper (Lev. 14:6 f.), and with that of the ram in the consecration of Aaron and his sons (Exod. 29:21; Lev. 8:30). Neither of these sprinklings can possibly have suggested St Peter’s language. The O.T. contains but one other ritual sprinkling of human beings with blood. It was a single historical event, never, as far as we know, repeated; and thus it stands outside the Levitical legislation. Express reference is made to it in Heb. 9:19 f. and 12:24. This event is the sprinkling which formed the ratification of the covenant between Jehovah and His people through the mediator Moses, as described in Exod. 24:3-8.

The chief points in the narrative are these. Moses proclaims to the people “all the words of Jehovah and all the judgements,” and all the people answer with one voice “All the words which Jehovah hath spoken will we do.” Moses writes down the words, builds an altar, and sends young men who offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings of oxen to Jehovah. Half of the blood of these sacrifices he sprinkles on the altar. He takes the book of the covenant and reads it before the people, who make answer “All that Jehovah hath spoken will we do, and be obedient.” The other half of the blood, set by in basons, Moses then sprinkles on the people with the words “Behold the blood of the covenant which Jehovah hath made with you concerning all these words.”

This consecration of a covenant by the blood of sacrifices (alluded to in Ps. 50:5; Zech. 9:11: cf. Heb. 9:17) was not peculiar to the Jews. For the Greek usage of dipping the hands in the blood of sacrifices in making treaties see Hermann and Stark, Gottesd. Alt., p. 122.

In this as in other instances a heathen custom was refined and spiritualised by its significant adjuncts.

The essential points of the narrative in Exodus are these. First, that the primary purpose of the sprinkling was to consecrate the covenant between Jehovah and the people, the invisible bond between them being indicated by the community of origin of the blood on the altar, as representing Jehovah, and the blood on the persons of the people. Second, that the blood so sprinkled was that of victims who had been sacrificed. Third, that the sprinkling of the people with this blood was regarded as a consecration and symbolic purification of themselves. And fourth, that this consecration of the people followed or accompanied a promise of obedience made by the people.

Now it is on an application of these primitive acts and ideas that St Peter’s reference to sprinkling is founded. First, it takes its whole meaning from the conception of the new order of things introduced by Messiah’s appearing, Death, and Resurrection, as a New Covenant between God and man, such a covenant as is fully expounded in Heb. 8 on the basis of the great prophecy of Jeremiah (Jer. 31:31-34). This covenant, like the old, is consecrated with blood. The sprinkling of blood on the altar is represented by the sacrifice of the Cross. Messiah Himself said, “This is my blood of the covenant” (tou'tov ejstin to; ai|mav mou th'" diaqhvkh": Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24, right text in both places), thus repeating the exact words of Exodus 24 in pointing to the new sacrifice of Himself; and the expository form of the saying, as given in 1 Cor. 11:25, and hence in the interpolated recital in Luke 22:20 (hJ kainh; diaqhvkh ejn tw'/ ai{mativ mou), contains the same primary terms with the word “new” added. St Paul had likewise to all appearance the consecration of the New Covenant in view when he wrote to the Ephesians (Eph. 2:13) “But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off were made nigh in the blood of the Christ”; the death of Messiah having been, to borrow St John’s words (John 11:51 f.), a death not for the Jewish nation only but for the gathering together of God’s scattered children. Accordingly here St Peter doubtless means to signify that the admission of the Asiatic converts was an admission to a New Covenant consecrated by a new sprinkling of blood. Secondly, the sprinkling presupposed a shedding; the consecration of the New Covenant presupposed the antecedent sacrifice of the Cross, the virtue of which proceeded from nothing cognisable by the outward senses, but from the inner yielding up of the very life for the sake of men at the Father’s will. Thirdly, the admission of the Asiatic converts to the New Covenant, involving as it did an ideal sprinkling of themselves with the blood of Him who had died for their sins, was a consecration of themselves in a Divine communion, an initiation into newness of life to be governed by willing fulfilment of the New Covenant. Fourthly, reception into the Christian covenant implied acceptance of an authoritative standard of righteousness contained in the Gospel: a Christian obedience took the place of the obedience of the Old Covenant.

Thus each element of the transaction recorded in Exodus had its counterpart in the entrance into the New Covenant, and the combination and sequence of “obedience” and “sprinkling” in the establishment of the Old Covenant explain the combination and sequence of “obedience” and “sprinkling” which we find in St Peter. It is true that St Peter’s word uJpakohv, G5633, is but feebly represented by the ajkousovmeqa of the LXX. yet it was the one substantive by which St Peter could here reproduce clearly the sense of the original (see above p. 22), a sense which moreover is demanded by the context in many other places in which the LXX. renders [m'v;, H9048, by ajkouvw, G201.

While however the incidents of the establishment of the Old Covenant with Israel thus supplied St Peter with the framework of his language, the fundamental Sacrifice of the New Covenant could not but impart its own character to the ideal sprinkling of the new people of God. Fulfilment of the New Covenant rested on union with Him who had died and now lived again, and on a life conformed to His in the strength of that union, that is, on the life of sacrifice. To be sprinkled with His blood was to be pledged to the absolute and perpetual abnegation of self, culminating, if need be, in a violent death, for the good of men and the glory of God. Obedience was the form of moral good which the preparatory dispensation of law could best teach. Under the higher dispensation of grace it lost none of its necessity: the sprinkled blood enlarged its scope, while it filled it with a new spirit and sustained it with a new power.

Such being the import of the sprinkling for all who might be admitted to the Christian covenant, it is not rash to surmise that St Peter’s words were used by him with an ulterior reference to the immediate occasion of his Epistle. Persecution having begun, martyrdom would not long be absent. Both for the writer and for the recipients of the Epistle there was a not remote prospect of having to seal their testimony with their blood. Now in Apoc. 7:14 it is of them that “came out of the great tribulation,” evidently a persecution, that the elder speaks as having “cleansed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” And again in 12:11 it is said of those who overcame the great dragon that “they themselves (aujtoiv) overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they loved not their life even unto death.” These passages imply the idea that the blood of martyrdom was in some sense comprehended in “the blood of the Lamb,” of Him who is called in the same book (1:5; 3:14: compare the similar language applied to Antipas 2:13) “the faithful Witness,” or Martyr. This is but the complete carrying out of St Paul’s meaning when, writing to the Corinthians out of a great depth of affliction, he speaks of “the sufferings of the Christ as overflowing unto us” (2 Cor. 1:5, kaqw;" perisseuvei ta; paqhvmata tou' cristou' eij" hJma'"), and again when he speaks to the Philippians of “communion in His (Christ’s) sufferings” (koinwnivan paqhmavtwn aujtou') and of “becoming conformed to His death” (Phil. 3:10). When therefore St Peter (1 Pet. 4:13) calls on the Asiatic Christians to “rejoice insomuch as they were partakers of the sufferings of the Christ” (kaqo; koinwnei'te toi'" tou' cristou' paqhvmasin), the literal sense of his words is the only probable one (cf. 5:1, mavrtu" tw'n tou' cristou' paqhmavtwn in parallelism to oJ kai; th'" mellouvsh" ajpokaluvptesqai dovxh" koinwnov"); and it may well be presupposed here. It is indeed no more than a special application of what was the import of the sprinkling for every Christian, symbolically represented in a manner now by the use of the cross in Baptism.

cavri" uJmi'n kai; eijrhvnh plhqunqeivh, Grace to you and peace be multiplied] The two words “grace” and “peace” stand thus alone together in the initial salutation of all St Paul’s Epistles except 1 and 2 Timothy, which (like 2 John) have the triad “grace, mercy, peace”; and in that of 2 Peter and of the Apocalypse: the Pastoral Epistles omit the pronoun. The ultimate source of the combination (“grace” and “peace”) as thus used is probably the Aaronic Benediction in Num. 6:24 ff.: so, with some exaggeration, Otto in Jahrb.f. deutsche Theol. 1867, pp. 681f., 689f., where much illustrative matter is given. The Face of Jehovah (cf. Ps. 4:6, 8) as the primary source of good to His people stands first in the second and third members of the Benediction (“make His face to shine upon thee,” “lift up His countenance upon thee”) and the second member closes with “and be gracious to thee,” the third with “and give thee peace.”

cavri", G5921, grace, a favourite word in this Epistle as with St Paul and the author of Hebrews, seems as used in the N.T. to combine the force of two Hebrew words ˆje, H2834, and ds,j&,, H2876,. It is by far the commonest rendering of the substantive ˆje, in the LXX. though the verb ˆn"j;, H2858, is usually rendered by ejleevw, G1796, show mercy, the LXX. having no analogous verb connected with cavri", G5921. “Mercy” is however but a single and subordinate aspect of ˆje,, a comprehensive word, gathering up all that may be supposed to be expressed in the smile of a heavenly King looking down upon His people. This is the idea of the verb ˆn"j;(LXX. eujloghvsai, v. l. ejlehvsai) in the Aaronic Benediction. But cavri", G5921, likewise includes the force of ds,j&,(usually e[leo", G1799) (see Delitzsch in Z.S.f. Luth. Th. 38, 450; also Cremer in voce), i.e. the coming down of the Most High with help to the helpless. So Ps. 85:7 f., 10, “mercy” followed by “peace.” On ds,j&,see Hupfeld on Ps. 1:54 f. It is worth notice that the intercalated e[leo", G1799, mercy of the Pastoral Epistles (substituted for cavri", G5921, in Jude 2, e[leo" uJmi'n kai; eijrhvnh kai; ajgavph: cf. Gal. 6:16), though it might be a duplicate rendering of ˆje, which it does three times translate in the LXX. is probably intended for ds,j&,, so as to couple together the two Hebrew aspects of “grace.” In Wisdom 3:9; 4:15 they are likewise so coupled, o{ti cavri" kai; e[leo" ªejnº toi'" ejklektoi'" aujtou'. JH cavri" (the article never being absent) stands alone (except in 2 Cor. 13:13, a peculiar case) at the end of all St Paul’s Epistles, Hebrews, and the Apocalypse; either absolutely (Eph., Col., Epp. Past., Heb.) or with tou' kurivou ªhJmw'nº jIhsou' ªCristou'º added.

Thus the word grace, standing at the head of the Christian form of blessing, directs our thoughts to the heavenly source of blessing. Before “joy” or “peace” or any other form of well being, which formed the subject of ordinary good wishes, the Apostles first wished for their converts the smile and the merciful help of the Lord of heaven and earth. When that had been desired for them, all other blessings could also be desired, and that with a new meaning. The Incarnation itself was the perfect expression of what was meant by “grace,” and in its light and power all God’s good gifts were become new.

eijrhvnh, G1645, peace, is by far the most usual LXX. rendering of µ/lv;, H8934, a word of wide sense. With the Jews, as with other Shemitic peoples, it was the most comprehensive term of wellbeing. Compare Tert. Adv. Marc. 5.5, Communem scilicet et eundem [titulum] in epistulis omnibus, quod non utique salutem praescribit eis quibus scribit, sed gratiam et pacem. Non dico quid illi cum Iudaico adhuc more, destructori Iudaismi? Nam et hodie Iudaei in pacis nomine appellant, et retro in scripturis sic salutabant.

In the N.T. eijrhvnh, G1645, probably never transgresses the limitations suggested by common Greek usage, peace in antithesis to every kind of conflict and war and molestation, to enmity without and distraction within. In salutations the apostles naturally retain the natural and impressive term traditional with their countrymen, but they subordinate it to the term “grace” which itself, as we have seen, looked back from the gift to the Giver, and which the Gospel had now clothed with special significance. This subordination is marked not only by the order but by the collocation of the pronoun uJmi'n, to you, which invariably precedes kai; eijrhvnh, and peace. In the final salutation of this Epistle (1 Pet. 5:14) “peace” stands alone when elsewhere we find “the grace”: but “grace” stands in two emphatic phrases just before (5:10, 12). Compare Eph. 6:23 f.; Gal. 6:16, 18; 2 Thess. 3:16, 18.

plhqunqeivh, be multiplied] This added verb, copied in Jude and 2 Peter (as also in Clem. Rom. 1; Polyc. 1; Mart. Polyc. 1; Constit. Ap. 1.1), evidently comes from the eijrhvnh uJmi'n plhqunqeivh of Dan. 4:1 (= iii.98 LXX. and Thdn. = iii.31 Hebr.); 6:25 (omitted in LXX.). The fundamental image recurs in another phrase, “the multitude” (or “abundance” bro, H8044, from a different root from the verb in Dan.) “of peace,” plh'qo" eijrhvnh", Ps. 37:11; 72:7. St Peter doubtless gives the word its natural sense. He prays not only for grace and peace but for their multiplication; that is, in all probability, that the trials through which the Asiatic Christians are about to pass may result in a manifold increase of grace and peace.

The first paragraph (1 Pet. 1:3-12) after the Salutation is a benediction which prolongs and unfolds itself under three forms, and thus prepares the way for exhortation and instruction by drawing the converts upwards towards the height of the “grace” into which they had been received. First (vv. 3-5) it is a benediction proper, a blessing of the Father’s name because by raising His Son from the dead He had brought the converts into a new state of existence, carrying with it an undying hope, an inviolable inheritance. Next (vv. 6-9) the benediction of God passes into a bold affirmation of the exulting gladness which faith was enabling the converts to cherish under fiery trial, and of the joyful love with which faith was enabling them to cleave to the unseen Lord; the final result of this faith being the saving of their souls alive. Lastly (vv. 10-12) the height of the “grace” is set forth from another side, as the true object of the anticipations of ancient prophets, revealed to them as such in answer to their own seekings and searchings; while the concluding words point to the future unrolling of this latest stage in God’s dealings with men as similarly watched for by angels above.

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