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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

1 Peter 5

Verse 1

1) "The elders which are among you I exhort," (Greek presbuterous) "Elders" - mature ordained brethren, whether ordained for the office of bishop or deacon - in the congregations of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia, Peter exhorts.

2) "Who also am an elder" - So far as the Scriptures disclose Peter was an "elder" and an “apostle" but never a bishop, pastor or overseer of a congregation. The term (Greek sumpresbuteros) means, co-elder, which Peter affirmed himself to be with the elders of Asia Minor.

3) "And a witness of the suffering of Christ." The writer establishes his identity with and personal knowledge of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. As one of the three inner-circle or seeming pillar disciples he was intimately near him, Luke 9:27-36; Matthew 26:36-41.

4) "And also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed” And also a (Greek Koinonos) "shares of glory (Greek mellouses) "being about (Greek apokaluptesthai) to be unveiled or disclosed. Peter was about to disclose to brethren of his what God had in store for them at His coming.

Verse 2

1) "Feed the flock of God." (Greek poimanate) "Shepherd ye or tend ye" the (Greek poimion) flock -- there is more to tending or shepherding a flock than just feeding them. John 21:15-17.

2) "Which is among you." Which flock is scattered among the elders, or the elders are among -- each flock of God’s covenant congregation is to be tended by elders among them, as ordained of God. Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Acts 11:30; Titus 1:5.

3) "Taking the oversight thereof" As the shepherd goes before and calls and cares for his flock, by day and by night, for food, shelter, and safety, as God’s elders are to help provide the needs of his flock. -

4) "Not by constraint, but willingly" Not (Greek anagkstos) by way of compulsion, or dictatorial, but willingly. 2 Corinthians 8:12; 1 Corinthians 9:17.

5) "Not for filthy lucre." (Greek mede aischrokerdos) "Nor from eagerness for base earthly gain." While elders who minister faithfully in Word and doctrine should be well supported by the flock, the filthy lucre should never be the basis of their service, 1 Timothy 6:9-12.

6) "But of a ready mind." (Greek prothumos) "but eagerly" or with zeal. Titus 2:14; Ecclesiastes 9:10.

Verse 3

1 ) "Neither as being Iords.” (G reek katakurieuontes) "exercising lordship over." Elders who tend God’s flock are to do so without resort to intimidating and recriminating dictatorial threats.

2) "Over God’s heritage" (Greek ton kleron) "of the heritage" the church, those the elders are to tend in Spiritual needs.

3) "But being ensamples to the flock." But (Greek tupoi) "types" (Greek ginomenoi) becoming, or examples becoming of the flock. The elders, deacons, pastor and ordained ministers in each church who are not pastors should be examples to them, 1 Corinthians 11:1; 1 Timothy 4:12; Philippians 3:17.

Verse 4

1) "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear" or shall be manifest the chief Shepherd -- Jesus at His second coming, Isaiah 40:11.

a) John 10:11 the good Shepherd gives his life for His sheep.

b) Hebrews 13:20 the great Shepherd was brought forth to make intercession.

2) "Ye shall receive a crown of glory", and 1 Peter 5:3 the chief Shepherd shall see that His faithful shepherds receive the reward of a crown of glory.

3) "That fadeth not away." (Greek amarantinon) an unfading, untarnishing (Greek stepanon) crown. This seems to be especially promised to faithful elders, mature men of the church, ordained to serve the Lord as either deacons or ministers. See also Daniel 12:3; 2 John 1:8.


A minister in England was preaching to a crowd of people in a street meeting. A rough man, driving past, shouted, "Well, governor, you’ll be getting a half crown for that job." Instantly, the minister replied, "No, my man, you are wrong. The Lord Jesus Christ, my Master, never gives half crowns. He gives whole crowns to those who serve Him."

--Gospel Herald

Verse 5

1) "Likewise ye younger." (homoios) likewise (as elders) (Greek neoteroi) you younger men.

2) "Submit yourselves unto the elder." (Greek hupotagete) "Submit yourselves unto the elder." (Greek hpotagete) "Submit ye yourselves" to the elders, be subject to the mature ordained leaders of the flock. Avoid attempting to correct or reprimand mature ordained brethren.

3) "Yea all of you be subject one to another." Let all of you younger men be subject to, learn to serve God with one another. Note Ephesians 4:1-3; Ephesians 5:21.

4) "And be clothed with humility." (Greek egkombosasthe) "Gird ye on" or be ye girded with humility or a mind of subjection.

5) "For God resisteth the proud. ’ The proud, the arrogant who defy God’s Word or instructions, have his disapproval, resistance, Proverbs 3:34; Proverbs 18:12; James 4:6.

6) "And giveth grace to the humble." (Greek tapeinois) "to humble men" he gives -- doles .) but grace, Philippians 2:5-7; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 2 Chronicles 34:27; Micah 6:8.

Verse 6

1) "Humble yourselves therefore." (Gk. tapeinothete) "Be ye humbled," therefore, as a subject of God, of your own will or accord. John 7:17.

2) "Under the mighty hand of God." Under the (Greek kraitan) "mighty or critical" hand of God -under a hand that blesses or chastens.

3) "That he may exalt you in due time." (Greek hina) "in order that" he, God, may (Greek hupsose) exalt or set thee on high -- in time, or at the proper time. Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14.


Among those who visited Dr. Carey, the missionary, in his last illness was Alexander Duff, the Scotch missionary. On one occasion he spent some time talking chiefly about Carey’s missionary life, until the dying man whispered, "Pray." Duff knelt down and prayed and then said "Goodbye."

As he passed from the room, he thought he heard a feeble voice pronouncing his name, and turning, found that he was recalled. He stepped back accordingly, and this is what he heard, spoken with gracious solemnity: "Dr. Carey! Dr. Carey! When I am gone say nothing about Dr. Carey -- speak about Dr. Carey’s Saviour."

Duff went away rebuked and awed with a lesson in his heart that he never forgot.

--Scattered Seed


I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other; and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other; and that it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower; and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts.

--Alliance Weekly

Verse 7

1) "Casting all your care upon him." Peter’s exhortation continues (Greek epiripsantes) continually or repeatedly tossing or casting (Greek merimnan) the anxiety of you on Him --Jesus Christ. Psalms 55:22; Psalms 37:5; Proverbs 3:5-6.

2) "For he careth for you." (Greek hoti auto melei) "because to him it matters" (Greek peri humon) "Concerning you." Praise God He cares, Hebrews 13:5.


Does Jesus care when my heart is pained

Too deeply for mirth or song;

As the burdens press, and the cares distress,

And the way grows weary and long?

Does Jesus care when my way is dark

With a nameless dread and fear?

As the daylight fades into deep night shades,

Does He care enough to be near?

Does Jesus care when I’ve tried and failed

To resist some temptation strong;

When for my deep grief there is no relief,

Tho’ my tears flow all the night long?

Does Jesus care when I’ve said "good-by"

To the dearest on earth to me,

And my sad heart aches till it nearly breaks,

Is it aught to Him? Does He care?

0 yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief;

When the days are weary, the long night dreary,

I know my Saviour cares.

Verse 8

1) "Be sober, be vigilant." (Greek nepsate) "be ye sober,” earnest, sincere, restrained, or well balanced in emotions and judgment. (Greek gregoresate) "Watch ye cautiously." One must "be something before he can do something."

2) "Because your adversary the devil." Note the Lord’s commands and admonitions -are always reasonable. Sobriety and watchfulness are exhorted because of the (antidikos) adversary of the believer who is the (diabolos) Devil.

3) "As a roaring lion." (Greek hos leon oruomenos) as a roaring lion -- on the prowl, seeking food, doesn’t roar while prowling for food but sneaks quietly upon the prey.

4) "Walketh about" (Greek peripatei) walketh about, circling in different directions on soft, cushioned, padded feet.

5) "Seeking whom he may devour." Seeking the ones (Greek katapiein) "to devour" deceptively, craftily, unexpectedly he comes upon men. Genesis 3:1; 2 Corinthians 11:14.

Verse 9

1) "Whom resist steadfast in the faith." How can he be encountered? (Greek ho antistete) whom “stand up against resist." (Greek stereoi te pistei) "firm in the faith," the Word of God -- as Jesus did, Matthew 4:4; Matthew 4:7; Matthew 4:10-11.

2) "Knowing that the same afflictions." Knowing or recognizing that the (Greek auta) "Same things," sufferings or afflictions -- same kind of afflictions, sufferings and even persecutions.

3) "Are accomplished in your brethren." Are to be finished or experienced in your brethren. All who live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution, 2 Timothy 3:12.

4) "That are in the world." Fallen men are heir to afflictions, troubles, and persecutions. None escapes them, not even the most holy, Job 5:7; Job 14:1; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:15-16.


The Bible gives more than thirty names to the devil, and every one of them implies or predicates his personality.

Among other unflattering titles he is called "a liar," "a thief," "a murderer."

It is perfectly puerile to talk about "a principle of evil" in order to avoid the fact of the devil’s personality.

Imagine a policeman chasing "the principle of evil" down the street or firing his pistol into the spirit of murder"!

There could be no such thing as a "lie" without a "liar", or a "theft" without a "thief," or a "murder" without a "murderer."

To deny the existence and personality of the devil is not only to give the lie to your own experience, but also to impeach the truthfulness of both reason and revelation.

--Dr. Wm. E. Biederwolf

Verse 10

1) "But the God of all grace " (Greek ho de theos pases charitos) moreover, in addition to this the God, source of all grace -- there is no other source of Grace. Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 12:9.

2) "Who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus." The God of all grace has made it available, offered it to all men, by faith in Jesus Christ, and called all men to accept this grace, that they may have eternal glory with Him. He has decreed His grace for all men and called all to accept it in Christ, but forces none to accept it. Revelation 22:17.

3) "After that ye have suffered a while." (Greek oligon pathontas) "ye having suffered a little while" In comparison with eternity and the suffering of Christ, His children are called to suffer but little and for a little while. Hebrews 10:36-37.

4) "Make you perfect." (Greek autos katartisei) himself will adjust, reconstruct you, or make you perfect, -- giving you a new body, Matthew 5:48; Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:23.

5) "Stablish, strengthen, settle you." The terms stablish, strengthen, and (Greek themeliosei) to "found" or strengthen one describes what the grace of God shall ultimately accomplish in his children. 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Verse 11

1) "To Him be glory and dominion." (Greek- auto to kratos) to him (God) exists the glory, might, or dominion – 2 Samuel 7:16; Psalms 89:27-37; Daniel 4:3; Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 1:32-33; Revelation 5:11-14.

2) "Forever and ever. Amen." (Greek eis) "into" (tous aionos ton aionon) "the ages of the ages" or eternally. (Greek amen) " So may it ever be," Ephesians 3:21; Judges 1:25.


To God be the glory, great things He hath done,

So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,

Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,

And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the earth hear His voice!

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

Let the people rejoice!

0 come to the Father thro’ Jesus the Son,

And give Him the glory Great things He hath done.

Verse 12

1) "By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you." (Greek dia silouanou) through Silvanus, bearer of this epistle (Greek tou pistou adelphou) "A faithful brother of you." 2 Corinthians 1:19.

2) "As I suppose, I have written briefly" (hos logizomai) "As I reckon or calculate -- take for granted." (di oligon) "by means of a few words" (Greek egrapsa) "I wrote." Thus Peter wrote this letter, sending it to these congregations in five countries by Silvanus.

3) "Testifying that this is the true grace of God." Exhorting and witnessing this message or letter to be, set forth, (Greek alethe charin) true Grace of God. John 1:16-17; Romans 3:24.

4) "Wherein ye stand." (eis hen stete) "in which (Grace) ye stand," growing grace, 2 Peter 3:18.

Verse 13

1) "The church that is at Babylon." The (Greek su neklekte) (co-chosen assembly) in Babylon, indefinite locality from which Peter wrote.

2) "Elected together with you, saluteth you." This affinity fellowship "Elected together" in Babylon sent (Greek apazetai) greetings to sister churches in five Asia Minor countries.

3) "And so does Marcus, my son." "and (so does) Mark, my son" -- evidently in the ministry.

Verse 14

1) "Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity the (philemati agapes) "kiss of charity, love, or peace” was a declaration of sincere friendship practiced socially in New Testament days, sanctioned by disciples of the Lord. Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:26.

2) "Peace be with you all." As our Lord willed a benediction of peace to His disciples so Peter does to the brethren, John 20:21; Ephesians 6:23; 3 John 1:14.

3) "That are in Christ Jesus. Amen." (Greek tois en Christ) to the ones (those) in Christ, new creatures. 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 3:3-4.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on 1 Peter 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.