|New International Version (©2011)|
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
New Living Translation (©2007)
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.
English Standard Version (©2001)
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer.
International Standard Version (©2012)
Because everything will soon come to an end, be sensible and clear-headed, so you can pray.
NET Bible (©2006)
For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
The end of all things has arrived, therefore sober up and wake up to prayer.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
But the end of all things is at hand: be therefore sober minded, and watch unto prayer.
American King James Version
But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch to prayer.
American Standard Version
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer:
But the end of all is at hand. Be prudent therefore, and watch in prayers.
Darby Bible Translation
But the end of all things is drawn nigh: be sober therefore, and be watchful unto prayers;
English Revised Version
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer:
Webster's Bible Translation
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch to prayer.
Weymouth New Testament
But the end of all things is now close at hand: therefore be sober-minded and temperate, so that you may give yourselves to prayer.
World English Bible
But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.
Young's Literal Translation
And of all things the end hath come nigh; be sober-minded, then, and watch unto the prayers,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:7-11 The destruction of the Jewish church and nation, foretold by our Saviour, was very near. And the speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end, is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters, and earnest in religion. There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to suppose that charity will cover or make amends for the sins of those who exercise it, so as to induce God to forgive them. The nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavours should be serious and earnest. And in all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end. He is a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth for ever.
Verse 7. - But the end of all things is at hand. The mention of the judgment turns St. Peter's thoughts into another channel. The end is at hand, not only the judgment of persecutors and slanderers, but the end of persecutions and sufferings, the end of our great conflict with sin, the end of our earthly probation: therefore prepare to meet your God. The end is at hand: it hath drawn near. St. Peter probably, like the other apostles, looked for the speedy coming of the Lord. It was not for him, as it is not for us, "to know the times or the seasons" (Acts 1:7). It is enough to know that our own time is short. When St. Peter wrote these words, the end of the holy city, the center of the ancient dispensation, was very near at hand; and behind that awful catastrophe lay the incomparably more tremendous judgment, of which the fall of Jerusalem was a figure. That judgment, we know now, was to be separated by a wide interval from the dale of St. Peter's Epistle. But that interval is measured, in the prophetic outlook, not by months and years. We are now living in "the last times" (1 Timothy 4:1; 1 John 2:18). The coming of our Lord was the hennaing of the last period in the development of God's dealings with mankind; there is no further dispensation to be looked for. "Not only is there nothing mere between the Christian's present state of salvation and the end, but the former is itself already the end, i.e. the beginning of the end" (Schott, quoted by Huther). Be ye therefore sober; rather, self-restrained, calm, thoughtful. The thought of the nearness of the end should not lead to excitement and neglect of common duties, as it did in the case of the Thessalonian Christians, and again at the approach of the thousandth year of our era. And watch unto prayer; rather, be sober unto prayers. The word translated "watch" in the Authorized Version is not that which we read in our Lord's exhortation to "watch and pray." The word used here (νήψατε) rather points to temperance, abstinence from strong drinks, though it suggests also that wariness and cool thoughtfulness which are destroyed by excess. The Christian must be self-restrained and sober, and that with a view to perseverance in prayer. The aorist imperatives, perhaps, imply that St. Peter's readers needed to be stirred up (2 Peter 1:13; 2 Peter 3:1), to be aroused from that indifference into which men are so apt to fall. The exhortation to persevere in watchfulness would be expressed by the present.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the end of all things is at hand,.... With respect to particular persons, the end of life, and which is the end of all things in this world to a man, is near at hand; which is but as an hand's breadth, passes away like a tale that is told, and is but as a vapour which appears for a while, and then vanishes away. Or this may be said with regard to the Jews, the end of their church and civil state was near at hand, of their sacrifices, temple, city, and nation; or with respect to the whole universe, to the scheme and fashion of this world, which will soon be gone, though the substance will abide; when the heavens shall pass away, and the earth and all therein will be burnt up; when there will be an end of all the purposes and promises of God respecting the present state of things concerning his church and people, and of the judgments of God upon his enemies here; when the man of sin will be destroyed, and the wickedness of the wicked will be come to an end, and the sorrows, afflictions, and persecutions of the saints, will be no more; and when will be an end put to the present dispensation of things; there will be an end of the ministry of the word, and of the administration of ordinances; time will be no more, and the final state of both good and bad men will take place: this may be said to be at hand in the apostle's time, though so long ago, because that was the last time, and the last dispensation of things; and whereas they knew not the exact time when it would be, they frequently spoke of it as near, in order to stir up the saints to the more diligent discharge of duty, and fervent exercise of grace, as here:
be ye therefore sober, or "temperate", as the Arabic version renders it; and so is opposed to intemperance in eating and drinking, which is an abuse of the creatures of Gods, and unfits a man for the duties of religion; when Satan easily gets an advantage, and is often the cause of other sins, and is frequently dissuaded from, for the same reason as here; see 1 Corinthians 7:31 or chaste, as the Syriac version; and so is opposed to immodesty in words, actions, or apparel, in which sense sobriety is used in 1 Timothy 2:9 or "prudent", as the Vulgate Latin version; and is opposed to all self-conceit and vanity of mind, and imprudence in conduct and conversation; see Romans 12:3 and to all immoderate care of the world, which has the same effect upon the soul as surfeiting and drunkenness on the body: it hinders the soul in the service of God, chokes the word, and makes it unprofitable, and runs men into many sins, snares, and temptations; and the consideration of the end of all things being at hand should draw off from it. It may also signify soundness of mind and judgment in the doctrines of faith, which are words of truth and soberness; and the rather this may be exhorted to, since towards the close of time there will be little of the doctrine of faith in the earth, and men will not be able to endure sound doctrine: it follows,
and watch unto prayer; watch all opportunities of praying, or of attendance on that ordinance, both in private and in public; watch and observe both your present wants, and present mercies, that ye may know what to pray for, and what to return thanks for; and that you have a due reverence of the divine Majesty, in whose presence you are entering. The Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions render it, "watch", or "be awake in prayers"; be careful that you lift up your hearts with your hands to God; that you pray for such things as are agreeable to the revealed will of God;, that you pray in faith, and lift up holy hands without wrath and doubting; and watch for the Spirit of God to enlarge your hearts in prayer, and to assist you both as to the matter and manner of praying. And persons should also watch after prayer for a return of it; and that they do not depend upon the duty performed; and that they are not negligent to return thanks for the mercy prayed for, when received. Very rightly does the apostle join the above exhortation with this, since a man that is not sober is neither fit to watch nor pray; and a drunken man, according to the Jewish canons, might not pray (l):
"one that is a drinker, or in drink, let him not pray, or if he prays, his prayer is deprecations; a drunken man, let him not pray, and if he prays his prayer is blasphemies.''
Or, as it is elsewhere (m) expressed,
"let not a drunken man pray, because he has no intention; and if he prays, his prayer is an abomination, therefore let him return and, pray when he is clear of his drunkenness: let no one in drink pray, and if he prays, his prayer is prayer (unless the word should rather be rendered "folly", as it may); who is a drunken man? he that cannot speak before a king; a man in drink can speak before a king, and not be confounded; even though he drinks but a fourth part, or a quarter of wine, let him not pray until his wine is departed from him.''
(l) T. Hieros. Terumot, fol. 40. 4. (m) Maimon. Hilch Tephilla, c. 4. sect. 17.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. Resuming the idea in 1Pe 4:5.
the end of all things—and therefore also of the wantonness (1Pe 4:3, 4) of the wicked, and of the sufferings of the righteous [Bengel]. The nearness meant is not that of mere "time," but that before the Lord; as he explains to guard against misapprehension, and defends God from the charge of procrastination: We live in the last dispensation, not like the Jews under the Old Testament. The Lord will come as a thief; He is "ready" (1Pe 4:5) to judge the world at any moment; it is only God's long-suffering and His will that the Gospel should be preached as a witness to all nations, that induces Him to lengthen out the time which is with Him still as nothing.
sober—"self-restrained." The opposite duties to the sins in 1Pe 4:3 are here inculcated. Thus "sober" is the opposite of "lasciviousness" (1Pe 4:3).
watch—Greek, "be soberly vigilant"; not intoxicated with worldly cares and pleasures. Temperance promotes wakefulness or watchfulness, and both promote prayer. Drink makes drowsy, and drowsiness prevents prayer.
prayer—Greek, "prayers"; the end for which we should exercise vigilance.
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