1 Peter 1:11
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New International Version
trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

New Living Translation
They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ's suffering and his great glory afterward.

English Standard Version
inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.

Berean Study Bible
trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

Berean Literal Bible
inquiring into what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them was signifying, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glories after these,

New American Standard Bible
seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

King James Bible
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They inquired into what time or what circumstances the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings and the glories that would follow.

International Standard Version
They tried to find out what era or specific time the Spirit of the Messiah in them kept referring to when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow.

NET Bible
They probed into what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when he testified beforehand about the sufferings appointed for Christ and his subsequent glory.

New Heart English Bible
searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they searched for what time The Spirit of The Messiah who dwelt in them revealed, and testified that the sufferings of The Messiah were coming, and his glory which was after that;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So they tried to find out what time or situation the Spirit of Christ kept referring to whenever he predicted Christ's sufferings and the glory that would follow.

New American Standard 1977
seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

Jubilee Bible 2000
searching when and in what point of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, which announced beforehand the afflictions that were to come upon the Christ, and the glory that should follow them.

King James 2000 Bible
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

American King James Version
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

American Standard Version
searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Searching what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in them did signify: when it foretold those sufferings that are in Christ, and the glories that should follow:

Darby Bible Translation
searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ which [was] in them pointed out, testifying before of the sufferings which [belonged] to Christ, and the glories after these.

English Revised Version
searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them.

Webster's Bible Translation
Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Weymouth New Testament
They were eager to know the time which the Spirit of Christ within them kept indicating, or the characteristics of that time, when they solemnly made known beforehand the sufferings that were to come upon Christ and the glories which would follow.

World English Bible
searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that would follow them.

Young's Literal Translation
searching in regard to what or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ that was in them was manifesting, testifying beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory after these,
Study Bible
A Living Hope
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who foretold the grace that would come to you, searched and investigated carefully, 11trying to determine the time and setting to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they foretold the things now announced by those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.…
Cross References
Matthew 26:24
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about Him, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed. It would be better for him if he had not been born."

Luke 24:26
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?"

Acts 16:7
And when they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not permit them.

2 Peter 1:21
For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Treasury of Scripture

Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:18,19 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, …

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the …

Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son …

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy …

Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said to me, See you …

the sufferings.

Psalm 22:1-21 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? why are you so far from …

Psalm 69:1-21 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in to my soul…

Psalm 88:1-18 O lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before you…

Isaiah 52:13,14 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and …

Isaiah 53:1-10 Who has believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed…

Daniel 9:24-26 Seventy weeks are determined on your people and on your holy city, …

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is …

Luke 24:25-27,44 Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that …

the glory.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your …

Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between …

Psalm 22:22-31 I will declare your name to my brothers: in the middle of the congregation …

Psalm 69:30-36 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with …

Psalm 110:1-6 The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you at my right hand, until I make …

Isaiah 9:6,7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government …

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to …

Isaiah 53:11,12 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: …

Daniel 2:34,35,44 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote …

Daniel 7:13,14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man …

Zechariah 8:18-21 And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying…

Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall …

John 12:41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.

Acts 26:22,23 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing …

(11) Searching.--This further explains the "inquired and searched" above; it particularises the object of the inquiry. They knew that they spoke "concerning a salvation," but they did not know the details. The present passage is perhaps the most striking in the whole New Testament in regard to the doctrine of prophetic inspiration. Assuming that the prophets did not speak simply of their own human calculation, but somehow under the influence of the Divine Spirit, we are brought to face the question, how far their utterances were their own, and how far suggested to them from on high. The doctrine of Montanism, which has not altogether died out of the Church yet, asserts that from first to last prophecy is superhuman; that every word and letter is forced upon the man by a power not his own, which leaves him no choice. God, and God alone, is responsible for every syllable. The human will and intelligence need not even concur in the message they deliver, nor even be conscious that they are delivering it. Thus Montanus makes God to say through him: "Lo, man is as a lyre, and I am as that which strikes the chords: the man is unconscious, and I alone wake." On the other hand, some of the early opponents of Montanism went so far as to say that the inspired writers had a clear and immediate perception, a complete insight into the mysteries which they foretold,--that Isaiah, for instance, saw, as plainly as we do, Mary and Jesus in his prophecy of Immanuel. Our present verses show a doctrine between the two. The prophets find themselves impelled to say words which they are conscious of choosing and using, but which they feel to have a deeper meaning than they themselves were conscious of intending. It is clear to them (1Peter 1:12) that what they meant primarily as applying to present circumstances, was in reality being overruled by the Spirit to apply more fully to the future. But what that future was they struggled, and half in vain, to know. We may apply to them what Keble says of the Greek poets:--

"As little children lisp, and tell of Heaven,

So thoughts beyond their thoughts to those high bards were given."

What, or what manner of time.--If this be right, it must mean, "what exact or approximate date." But the simplest translation would be, to whom, or what period, the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing. This would give new significance to the sentence. They were aware that they were speaking of a Messiah; but who the man should be who would hold that office, or at what period of their history he would arise, this was what they longed to know. They foresaw a Christ, but they could not foresee Jesus; they could give to their Christ no definite position in future history. (Comp. Matthew 22:42; Luke 3:15; Luke 23:35; John 3:28; John 7:26; John 7:41; Acts 2:36, and often.)

The Spirit of Christ which was in them.--They are conscious of a power within them which is not themselves, "moving" them. And this power is described as "the Spirit of Christ." Now, observe that a change has come over St. Peter's way of speaking. Hitherto, he has always said, "Jesus Christ," his object being to keep constantly before the eyes of these Hebrews the truth which he was the first man to enunciate, viz., "Thou art the Christ" (Matthew 16:16), that Jesus was the person who fulfilled all that was expected of the Messiah. "Christ" is not once used by St. Peter (as it is often by St. Paul) as a proper name: it always marks the office, not the person. Therefore we may not prove by this expression two doctrines, however true they may be in themselves, which are commonly sought to be supported by it, viz., the preexistence of our Lord, and the procession of the Holy Ghost from Him as well as from the Father. In spite of a well-quoted passage in Barnabas (1 Peter 5), "The prophets had the gift from Him, and prophesied of Him," it cannot here mean, "the Holy Ghost given them by our Lord Himself." Besides, it is theologically incorrect to say that Christ as the Anointed had any pre-existence, except as an indefinite hope in the minds of the Hebrews. The Son, the unincarnate Word, pre-existed, but it is Apollinarianism to say that Jesus had any existence before the Incarnation,--still more Christ, since it may be doubted whether the Incarnate Word became "Christ" until His baptism. That, at least, appears to be St. Peter's doctrine (Acts 10:38). "The Spirit of Messiah," then, at any rate when applied to the ages before Christ came, must have a different meaning. Probably not exactly "the Spirit that was to anoint and be in the Messiah," but rather, "the Messiah-spirit" or "the Messianic spirit." The prophets wondered who the man was, and where he would live, to whom this Messianic inspiration which they felt within was pointing. St. Peter himself, we repeat, was the first person who fully knew the answer.

When it testified beforehand.--A much more solemn word in the original than it looks in the English, and used by no other writer than St. Peter. It does not mean simply, "when it bore witness beforehand;" but "testifying" means an appeal to Heaven to mark and record the words so spoken: "when with a solemn appeal it announced beforehand." Was he not thinking of the awful appeal in Daniel 12:7?

The sufferings of Christ.--This unduly contracts the fulness of the Greek, which reads, the sufferings for Christ (just as we had before "the grace for you"), i.e., "these sufferings in reserve for Messiah." The Old Testament passages which may be supposed to be chiefly indicated are Isaiah 53 and (still more) Daniel 9:24-26. If it be asked how St. Peter knew that the prophets had these longings and doubts, we answer, that it was not only a probable guess, but the result of a study of Daniel, who records again and again the prophetic agony of his search into the future. Beware of treating the title "Christ" as a proper name. Eight out of the ten times that St. Peter uses the word by itself, i.e., without "Jesus" or "the Lord," it is in direct connection with suffering (here, and in 1Peter 1:19; 1Peter 2:21; 1Peter 3:18; 1Peter 4:1; 1Peter 4:13-14; 1Peter 5:1). Conversely, he never speaks of the sufferings of Jesus Christ. That is to say, he loves to dwell upon the Passion of our Lord, not in its personal but its official aspect. The striking point is that the Messiah should have suffered thus. It was especially necessary to show this in any effort to retain the faith of the Hebrews. Comp. Luke 24:26-46 (Peter present); Acts 3:18 (Peter speaking); Acts 17:3 (to Hebrews); Acts 26:23. And we can see a reason for the insistence in St. Peter's history. The very same day, apparently, when he had announced his belief that Jesus was the Messiah, he took Him to task for speaking of sufferings and shame. He never could forget the reprimand, like a sword-cut, which he received. The whole Epistle may be said to be an expansion of what Jesus said in answer (Matthew 16:23-27). Some commentators include in this phrase of "the sufferings in reserve for Messiah," the thought of the sufferings of the Church as well; but it seems far-fetched, especially when we see the true meaning of the word "Christ." Finally, we may add, that some would join very closely together the words for "signify" and "testifying beforehand," which would give us this sense: "examining, in reserve for whom, or for what period, the Spirit, with its solemn appeal beforehand, was pointing out these sufferings in reserve for Messiah." This is possible, and keeps the same sense, but it unnecessarily complicates the sentence.

And the glory that should follow.--Literally, and the glories after them. The plural "glories" corresponds to the plural "sufferings,"--the one as multiform as the other; resurrection, ascension, reassumption of the divine glory (John 17:5), triumphs of Church history, restitution of all things. The sufferings and subsequent glories of the Christ form, of course, together the whole of the gospel.

Verse 11. - Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify; or, as the Revised Version, did point unto. The Authorized Version neglects the preposition εἰς. The apostle says that the Spirit of Christ dwelt in the prophets. The words πνεῦμα Ξριστοῦ cannot mean "the Spirit which bears witness of Christ," as Bengel and others. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ (see Romans 8:9; Galatians 4:6). He is not only sent from the Father by the Son, but he proceedeth from the Father and the Son. This important statement involves also the pre-existence and the Divinity of Christ (comp. John 8:56, 58; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Jude 1:5, in the best-supported reading). The prophets felt within them the working of the Spirit. They knew that the mysterious voice which filled their souls was his voice. Its utterances were not always clear; they were sometimes obscure and mystical, but the heart of the prophets was stirred to the utmost; they sought with earnest prayer and devout thought into the purposes of God announced in the revelation. Especially they asked, as the apostles asked the Lord on the Mount of Olives, "When shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming?" At what time would the Messiah be revealed? What would be the distinctive character, the marks, the signs, of that time? "Prophetae ab ipso habentes donum in ilium prophetarunt" ('Ep. Barnab.,' 100. 5). When it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow; rather, the sufferings for Christ (destined for Christ), and the glories after these. Compare St. Peter's speech (Acts 3:18), "Those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." So St. Paul, in his speech before King Agrippa (Acts 26:22, 23), asserts that he had said "none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: that Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead." The doctrine of a suffering Messiah was a stumbling-block to the Jews. The apostles could not understand it till after the Savior's resurrection; Peter himself had recoiled from it with horror, and had been rebuked by the Lord (Matthew 16:22, 23); now, taught by the Spirit, he understands the foreshadowings of the sufferings of Christ, which the Spirit of Christ had testified to the prophets. The Lord himself had expounded, on the day of his resurrection, the things concerning himself, beginning at Moses and all the prophets: "Ought not Christ," he said, "to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:26). Some think that St. Peter is referring mainly to the prophets of the New Testament, and that the words, "the sufferings of Christ," are to be understood mystically of Christ suffering in his Church, as "the afflictions of Christ" in Colossians 1:24. But the context does not require this explanation, and the parallel passages quoted above seem to preclude it. Searching what, or what manner of time,.... The prophets made a very diligent inquiry into the exact time when Christ should come to work out the salvation of his people; to whom it was made known that his coming should be before the sceptre, or tribe of Judah, and all civil government in it, ceased; and before the second temple was destroyed, into which the Messiah, the messenger of the covenant, was to come, as the Lord and proprietor of it; and that it should be seventy weeks, or 490 years, from a date given in Daniel 9:24 as it was revealed to the Prophet Daniel; who particularly inquired, and diligently searched into this matter, and was eminently a man of desires this way, as he is styled, Daniel 9:23 and they not only searched into the exact time, but into the manner and quality of the time when the Saviour should come; and foretold that it would be, with respect to the nations of the world, a time of profound peace; with respect to the Jews, that it would be a time of great blindness, ignorance, unbelief, and hardness of heart; that such would be that generation, or age, for wickedness and barbarity, as could not be declared and expressed; and that few would believe the report of the Gospel; and that the Messiah would be rejected of men, and be wounded, bruised, and put to death; and with respect to the Gentiles, that the Gospel would be preached to them, and that they should seek to Christ, be gathered to him, and hope and trust in him; and that the followers of the Messiah should be persecuted, and greatly distressed, and yet comforted and sustained; and this should be the face of the times, and the state of things, when the salvation should be revealed: and all this, and much more,

the Spirit of Christ in them did signify; or "make manifest": from whence it appears, that Christ then existed, as he did before there were any prophets, and even from everlasting, being the eternal God; and that the Spirit is from him, as well as from the Father; and as here, so he is often by the Jews (a) called , "the Spirit of the Messiah", or "Christ"; and that the Spirit is truly God, since he could declare beforehand the exact time of Christ's coming, and the finality of the age in which he came, as well as bear a previous testimony to his sufferings and glory; as also, that he was in the prophets, and they were inspired by him, and spake as he moved and directed them:

when, it testified before hand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. The "sufferings of Christ" are what the Jews call (b) , "the sorrows of the Messiah". These are particularly testified of in Psalm 22:1. The glory, or "glories", as it may be rendered, design his resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, his session at the right hand of God, and having all power, authority, and judgment committed to him; and which are eminently and distinctly prophesied of in Psalm 16:10.

(a) Zohar in Gen. fol. 19. 3. & passim. (b) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 118. 1. & passim. 11. what—Greek, "In reference to what, or what manner of time." What expresses the time absolutely: what was to be the era of Messiah's coming; what manner of time; what events and features should characterize the time of His coming. The "or" implies that some of the prophets, if they could not as individuals discover the exact time, searched into its characteristic features and events. The Greek for "time" is the season, the epoch, the fit time in God's purposes.

Spirit of Christ … in them—(Ac 16:7, in oldest manuscripts, "the Spirit of Jesus"; Re 19:10). So Justin Martyr says, "Jesus was He who appeared and communed with Moses, Abraham, and the other patriarchs." Clement of Alexandria calls Him "the Prophet of prophets, and Lord of all the prophetical spirit."

did signify—"did give intimation."

of—Greek, "the sufferers (appointed) unto Christ," or foretold in regard to Christ. "Christ," the anointed Mediator, whose sufferings are the price of our "salvation" (1Pe 1:9, 10), and who is the channel of "the grace that should come unto you."

the glory—Greek, "glories," namely, of His resurrection, of His ascension, of His judgment and coming kingdom, the necessary consequence of the sufferings.

that should follow—Greek, "after these (sufferings)," 1Pe 3:18-22; 5:1. Since "the Spirit of Christ" is the Spirit of God, Christ is God. It is only because the Son of God was to become our Christ that He manifested Himself and the Father through Him in the Old Testament, and by the Holy Spirit, eternally proceeding from the Father and Himself, spake in the prophets.1:10-12 Jesus Christ was the main subject of the prophets' studies. Their inquiry into the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow, would lead to a view of the whole gospel, the sum whereof is, That Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. God is pleased to answer our necessities rather than our requests. The doctrine of the prophets, and that of the apostles, exactly agree, as coming from the same Spirit of God. The gospel is the ministration of the Spirit; its success depends upon his operation and blessing. Let us then search diligently those Scriptures which contain the doctrines of salvation.
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