1 Peter 4:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
For it is time for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

New Living Translation
For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God's household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God's Good News?

English Standard Version
For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Berean Study Bible
For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

Berean Literal Bible
For it is the time for the judgment to have begun from the house of God; and if from us first, what will be the outcome of those disobeying the gospel of God?

New American Standard Bible
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

King James Bible
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For the time has come for judgment to begin with God's household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?

International Standard Version
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. And if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who refuse to obey the gospel of God?

NET Bible
For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God?

New Heart English Bible
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins first with us, what will happen to those who do not obey the Good News of God?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For it is time that the judgment will begin from the house of God; but if it begins from us, what is the end of those who are not convinced of The Good News of God?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The time has come for the judgment to begin, and it will begin with God's family. If it starts with us, what will be the end for those who refuse to obey the Good News of God?

New American Standard 1977
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Jubilee Bible 2000
For it is time that the judgment begins from the house of God; and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of those that do not obey the gospel of God?

King James 2000 Bible
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begins with us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

American King James Version
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

American Standard Version
For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what'shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God. And if first at us, what shall be the end of them that believe not the gospel of God?

Darby Bible Translation
For the time of having the judgment begin from the house of God [is come]; but if first from us, what [shall be] the end of those who obey not the glad tidings of God?

English Revised Version
For the time is come for judgment to begin at the house of God: and if it begin first at us, what shall be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Webster's Bible Translation
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first beginneth at us, what will be the end of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Weymouth New Testament
For the time has come for judgement to begin, and to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the end of those who reject God's Good News?

World English Bible
For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don't obey the Good News of God?

Young's Literal Translation
because it is the time of the beginning of the judgment from the house of God, and if first from us, what the end of those disobedient to the good news of God?
Study Bible
Suffering as Christians
16But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear this name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? 18And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”…
Cross References
Jeremiah 25:29
"For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in this city which is called by My name, and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth," declares the LORD of hosts.'

Jeremiah 49:12
For thus says the LORD, "Behold, those who were not sentenced to drink the cup will certainly drink it, and are you the one who will be completely acquitted? You will not be acquitted, but you will certainly drink it.

Ezekiel 9:6
"Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women, but do not touch any man on whom is the mark; and you shall start from My sanctuary." So they started with the elders who were before the temple.

Amos 3:2
"You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth; Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities."

Romans 1:1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel of God,

Romans 2:9
There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil, first for the Jew, then for the Greek;

Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.

2 Thessalonians 1:8
in blazing fire. He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

1 Timothy 3:15
so that, if I am delayed, you will know how each one must conduct himself in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

Hebrews 3:6
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house. And we are His house, if we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.
Treasury of Scripture

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

judgment.

Isaiah 10:12 Why it shall come to pass, that when the Lord has performed his whole …

Jeremiah 25:29 For, see, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my …

Jeremiah 49:12 For thus said the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink …

Ezekiel 9:6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and …

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness …

Matthew 3:9,10 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: …

Luke 12:47,48 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, …

and if.

Luke 23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?

what.

Matthew 11:20-24 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works …

Luke 10:12-14 But I say to you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for …

Hebrews 2:2,4 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression …

Hebrews 12:24,25 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of …

obey.

1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which …

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, that you should not obey …

Galatians 5:7 You did run well; who did hinder you that you should not obey the truth?

2 Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that …

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation …

Hebrews 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which …

(17) For the time is come.--The "for" (literally, because) seems to substantiate the whole of the former part of the section, from 1Peter 4:12 onwards, but with special reference to the injunction to glorify God on the ground of bearing the name of Christians, upon which it follows in much the same way as "for the spirit of glory" followed upon "if ye be reproached . . . happy are ye." The judgment is just about to begin, and all those who bear the name of Christians may well be thankful that they do.

That judgment.--It should be, that the judgment--i.e., the great judgment which we all expect. The word "begin," however, shows that in St. Peter's mind it would be a long process; and he probably does not distinguish in his mind between the "burning which is befalling for a trial" and the final judgment, except that that "burning" is but the beginning. (Comp. 1Peter 4:5.)

Begin at the house of God.--The phrase contains an obvious reference to Ezekiel 9:6 (comp. also Jeremiah 25:29). Who are meant by the "house of God" is clear, not only from such passages as 1Peter 2:5; 1Corinthians 3:16; 2Thessalonians 2:4, but also from the immediate addition, "and if first at us." We who are Chrestiani, who bear the mark of the Christ's shame upon our foreheads, and are not ashamed of it, are quite safe in this judgment: "come not near any man upon whom is the mark." The sense is a little closely packed. It seems as if St. Peter meant at first only to say, "Thank God that you are 'Christians,' for the judgment is just about to begin," as something which only concerns the unbelievers; then, as an afterthought, he adds, "and begin, too, at the house of God," by way of making the believers also feel the need of care.

And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be . . .?--It is more expressive to omit, with St. Peter, the verb "begin ": and if first at us. The argument is: "If we, who are the very household of God, must undergo this searching investigation first, what will happen, as the judgment nears its climax, to those who," &c.? When he says "the end of those that obey not," he does not mean exactly "the final doom of those that obey not," as contrasted with "the end" of those that obey, or as contrasted with their own earlier opportunities: rather, "the end" is the end of the great process of judgment, as contrasted with the "beginning first at us." The judging of the house of God has now gone on for eighteen hundred years, but it has not yet touched those who are without.

That obey not the gospel of God?--Rather, that disobey the gospel of God?. The word is the same which we have noticed several times (see Note on 1Peter 3:1) as being peculiarly applied to the Jews. Now the object of this mysterious threat (which is made more terrible by being thrown into the form of a question) is not only to solace the persecuted by the thought of God being their avenger, but to warn them against slipping into the position of those thus threatened. The recipients of the Letter, we must recollect, were Jewish Christians, who were in a two-fold danger--either of relapsing sullenly into Judaism, or of plunging into heathen excesses, like the Nicolaitan school, under the notion that such things could not hurt the spiritually-minded. To meet these two forms of danger, the Apostle hints darkly at the punishment of the two classes in this phrase and in the verse following, precisely as St. Paul, in 2Thessalonians 1:8 (see Note there), divides the wicked to be punished into Jew and Gentile, or, in Romans 2:9, still more particularly. And that he is thinking specially of unbelieving Jews in this place appears from the context in Ezekiel 9:6 (especially 1Peter 4:9), where the separation to be effected is not between Jew and Gentile, but between Jew and Jew--those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations" committed by Israel, and those that commit the abominations. As Bengel remarks, "The persecution of Nero was but a few years before the catastrophe of the Jews."

Verse 17. - For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God. The house of God is the Church (see 1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16; and 1 Peter 2:5). The judgment must begin at the sanctuary (Ezekiel 9:6; see also Jeremiah 25:15-29). The beginning of judgment is the persecution of the Christians, as our Lord had taught (Matthew 24:8, 9, and following verses); but that judgment is not unto condemnation: "When we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world" (1 Corinthians 11:32); it is the fiery trial, "which is much more precious than of gold that perisheth," the refining fire of affliction. And if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? Compare the passage in Jeremiah already referred to: "Behold, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my Name, and should ye be utterly unpunished?" Compare also our Lord's question, "If they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" Gerhard (quoted by Huther) rightly remarks," Exaggeratio est in interrogatione." The question suggests answers too awful for words. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God,.... By the house of God is either meant the temple at Jerusalem, which is often so called, because it was built for God, and where were the symbol of his presence, and his worship; and now the time was come, or at hand, that God would begin at his sanctuary, and leave this house desolate, and not one stone should be left upon another, as Christ had foretold: or else the church of God, which is frequently called the house of God, because it is of his building, where he dwells, and grants his gracious presence, and which he beautifies, fills, repairs, and defends; and so may design believers in Christ, those that are of the household and family of God: and by judgment is meant, not punishment for sin, strictly speaking, because Christ has endured this in the room and stead of his church and people, and therefore in justice cannot be inflicted on them; but afflictions and persecutions, and which are fatherly chastisements, and different from God's judgment on the world, and condemnation with it; see 1 Corinthians 11:32 and these may be said to "begin" with them, because it is only in this life the saints have their afflictions; and which are in love to them, and therefore are early brought upon them to try them, and purge them, and make them partakers of his holiness: besides, wicked men are often made use of as instruments, by which God chastises his people; upon which account they are reserved till last, to be the objects of his vengeance, when they have filled up the measure of their sins; and then what is begun in love at the house of God, will end in wrath and severe punishment on them: and whereas it is said, "the time" is come, or at hand, it may be observed, that as God has his set time to favour his Zion, so likewise to chastise her; all his people's times are in his hand, as of comfort, so of temptation, affliction, and persecution. The first times of Christianity, or of the preaching of the Gospel, were times of trouble and distress; for as it was necessary the Gospel should be confirmed by signs and wonders, so that it should be tried and proved by the sufferings of the saints for it: and the phrase also suggests, that these sufferings and afflictions were but for a time, and even as it were for a moment, for a little while; and is a reason why the saints should glorify God, as these words imply, being introduced with the causal particle, "for"; that they have their sufferings now, and not with the wicked in the world to come, which will have no end:

and if it first begin at us; either us Jews, for Peter, and those he writes to, were such; or us Christians, who believe in Christ, have embraced his Gospel, and profess his name:

what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God? of which God is the author, and which contains things relating to him; as the grace of God, the righteousness of God, peace with him, pardon from him, justification before him, and acceptance with him; and which he commits to men, and qualifies them for preaching it, and succeeds the ministry of it; and it being his Gospel, as it makes it the more valuable in itself, so it is to be had in the greatest reverence and esteem; and the greater is the sin of such who despise and reject it, as did the unbelieving Jews, who seem chiefly designed, here; it was first preached to them, but they disbelieved the doctrines of it, and submitted not to its ordinances, and rejected Christ, the Saviour, the sum and substance of it; and put it away from them, judging themselves unworthy of everlasting life: and what shall the end of such be? in this world wrath came upon them to the uttermost, ruin upon their nation, city, and temple; and in the world to come everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and eternal vengeance in flames of fire. The Jews have various phrases, and frequent expressions in their writings, which resemble these, and serve to illustrate them. When Noah told the old world of the flood, and called upon them to repent, they are represented as saying to him (o),

"where does punishment begin? , "at the house" of that man does it "begin?" when Methuselah died, they said unto him, does not punishment begin at the house of that man?''

and elsewhere (p), says R. Jonathan,

"punishment does not come into the world, but in the time that the wicked are in the world; and it does not begin (i.e. at them) , but it begins at the righteous;''

and again (q).

"when God executes judgment on the righteous, he is praised; for if he executes this on them, how much more on the ungodly?''

see Isaiah 10:11.

(o) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 79. 4. (p) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 60. 1. Caphtor, fol. 70. 2.((q) Jarchi in Numb. 179. apud Grotium in loc. 17. Another ground of consolation to Christians. All must pass under the judgment of God; God's own household first, their chastisement being here, for which they should glorify Him as a proof of their membership in His family, and a pledge of their escape from the end of those whom the last judgment shall find disobedient to the Gospel.

the time—Greek, "season," "fit time."

judgment must begin at the house of God—the Church of living believers. Peter has in mind Eze 9:6; compare Am 3:2; Jer 25:29. Judgment is already begun, the Gospel word, as a "two-edged sword," having the double effect of saving some and condemning others, and shall be consummated at the last judgment. "When power is given to the destroyer, he observes no distinction between the righteous and the wicked; not only so, but he begins first at the righteous" [Wetstein from Rabbins]. But God limits the destroyer's power over His people.

if … at us, what shall the end be of them, etc.—If even the godly have chastening judgments now, how much more shall the ungodly be doomed to damnatory judgments at last.

gospel of God—the very God who is to judge them.4:12-19 By patience and fortitude in suffering, by dependence on the promises of God, and keeping to the word the Holy Spirit hath revealed, the Holy Spirit is glorified; but by the contempt and reproaches cast upon believers, he is evil spoken of, and is blasphemed. One would think such cautions as these were needless to Christians. But their enemies falsely charged them with foul crimes. And even the best of men need to be warned against the worst of sins. There is no comfort in sufferings, when we bring them upon ourselves by our own sin and folly. A time of universal calamity was at hand, as foretold by our Saviour, Mt 24:9,10. And if such things befall in this life, how awful will the day of judgment be! It is true that the righteous are scarcely saved; even those who endeavour to walk uprightly in the ways of God. This does not mean that the purpose and performance of God are uncertain, but only the great difficulties and hard encounters in the way; that they go through so many temptations and tribulations, so many fightings without and fears within. Yet all outward difficulties would be as nothing, were it not for lusts and corruptions within. These are the worst clogs and troubles. And if the way of the righteous be so hard, then how hard shall be the end of the ungodly sinner, who walks in sin with delight, and thinks the righteous is a fool for all his pains! The only way to keep the soul well, is, to commit it to God by prayer, and patient perseverance in well-doing. He will overrule all to the final advantage of the believer.
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