1 Peter 5:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve;

New Living Translation
Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly--not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.

English Standard Version
shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

New American Standard Bible
shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;

King James Bible
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Shepherd God's flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God's will; not for the money but eagerly;

International Standard Version
Be shepherds of God's flock that is among you, watching over it, not because you must but because you want to, and not greedily but eagerly, as God desires.

NET Bible
Give a shepherd's care to God's flock among you, exercising oversight not merely as a duty but willingly under God's direction, not for shameful profit but eagerly.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Shepherd the flock of God that follows you and give care spiritually, not by compulsion, but with pleasure, not by defiled profit, but with all your heart,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Be shepherds over the flock God has entrusted to you. Watch over it as God does: Don't do this because you have to, but because you want to. Don't do it out of greed, but out of a desire to serve.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Feed the flock of God which is among you, caring for her, not by force, but willingly; not for shameful lucre, but with willing desire;

King James 2000 Bible
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for dishonest gain, but of a ready mind;

American King James Version
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

American Standard Version
Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking care of it, not by constraint, but willingly, according to God: not for filthy lucre's sake, but voluntarily:

Darby Bible Translation
shepherd the flock of God which [is] among you, exercising oversight, not by necessity, but willingly; not for base gain, but readily;

English Revised Version
Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according unto God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Webster's Bible Translation
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight of it, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but from a ready mind;

Weymouth New Testament
Be shepherds of God's flock which is among you. Exercise the oversight not reluctantly but eagerly, in accordance with the will of God; not for base gain but with cheerful minds;

World English Bible
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily, not for dishonest gain, but willingly;

Young's Literal Translation
feed the flock of God that is among you, overseeing not constrainedly, but willingly, neither for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:1-4 The apostle Peter does not command, but exhorts. He does not claim power to rule over all pastors and churches. It was the peculiar honour of Peter and a few more, to be witnesses of Christ's sufferings; but it is the privilege of all true Christians to partake of the glory that shall be revealed. These poor, dispersed, suffering Christians, were the flock of God, redeemed to God by the great Shepherd, living in holy love and communion, according to the will of God. They are also dignified with the title of God's heritage or clergy; his peculiar lot, chosen for his own people, to enjoy his special favour, and to do him special service. Christ is the chief Shepherd of the whole flock and heritage of God. And all faithful ministers will receive a crown of unfading glory, infinitely better and more honourable than all the authority, wealth, and pleasure of the world.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 2. - Feed the flock of God which is among you; rather, tend, as a shepherd tends his flock. The verb ποιμάνατε is aorist, as if St. Peter wished to concentrate into one point of view all the labors of the ministerial life. He is echoing the word so solemnly addressed to himself by the risen Lord, "Feed my sheep ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου." The word covers all the various duties of the pastoral office: "Pasce mente, pasce ore, pasce operc, pasce animi oratione, verbi exhortatione, exempli exhibitione" (St. Bernard, quoted by Alford). St. Peter lays stress upon the solemn fact that the flock belongs to God, not to the shepherds (comp. Acts 20:28). Some understand the words rendered "which is among you τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν " as meaning" quantum in vobis est," "as far as lies in your power." Others as "that which is committed to you," or "that which is placed under your care." But the simple local meaning seems the best. Taking the oversight thereof. This word ἐπισκοποῦντες is not found in the Sinaitic and Vatican Manuscripts. Alford thinks that "it has, perhaps, been removed for ecclesiastical reasons, for fear πρεσβύτεροι should be supposed to be, as they really were, ἐπίσκοποι It is in the Alexandrine and most other ancient manuscripts and versions, and there seems to be no sufficient reason for omitting it. It shows that when this Epistle was written, the words πρεσβύτερος and ἐπίσκοπος, presbyter and bishop, were still synonymous (comp. Acts 20:17 and 28 in the Greek; also Titus 1:5 and 7). Not by constraint, but willingly. The word ἀναγκαστῶς, by constraint, occurs only here. St. Paul says (1 Corinthians 9:16), "Necessity is laid upon me;" but that was an inward necessity, the constraining love of Christ. Bede, quoted by Alford, says, "Coacte pascit gregem, qui propter rerum temporalium penurium non habens unde vivat, idcirco praedicat evangelium ut de evangelio vivere possit." Some good manuscripts add, after "willingly," the words κατὰ Θεόν, "according to God," i.e. according to his will (comp. Romans 8:27). Not for filthy lucre. The adverb αἰσχροκερδῶς occurs only here (for the thought, comp. 1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7). It would seem that, even in the apostolic age, there were sometimes such opportunities of gain (see Titus 1:11; 2 Timothy 3:6) as to be a temptation to enter the ministry for the sake of money. St. Peter uses a strong word in condemnation of such a motive. But of a ready mind. This adverb προθύμως occurs nowhere else in the New Testament; it has a stronger meaning than the preceding word ἑκουσίως, willingly; it implies zeal and enthusiasm.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Feed the flock of God which is among you,.... Some read, "as much as in you is"; that is, to the utmost of your power, according to your abilities, referring to the manner of feeding the flock, doing it in the best way they are capable of; but the phrase is rather descriptive of the flock to be fed, which points it out, and distinguishes it from all others, and for which they should have a particular regard; it being the flock, as the Syriac version renders it, which "is delivered unto you"; which was committed to their care, and they were made overseers of, and stood in a special relation to; wherefore it was incumbent on them to regard them, so as they did not, and were not obliged to regard, any other distinct flock: by "the flock of God"; or, "of Christ", as some copies read, is meant, not the whole world, which Philo the Jew (r) calls the greatest and most perfect, , "flock of the true God"; but the church of God, over which they were elders or pastors, consisting of Christ's sheep and lambs, he ordered Peter to feed, as he now does his fellow elders; and because they are the flock of God, which he has chosen, distinguished, and separated from the rest of the world, and has made the care and charge of Christ; put them into his hands, whence they are called the sheep of his hand; which he has purchased with his blood, and effectually called by his grace, and returned them to himself, the Shepherd and Bishop of souls, who before were as sheep going astray, and folded them together in a Gospel church state; all this is a reason, and a strong one, why they should be fed; not with every wind of doctrine, which blows up the pride of human nature, and swells men with vain conceits of themselves; nor with the chaff of human doctrines; nor with trifling and speculative notions; but with knowledge and understanding of divine and evangelical truths, with the words of faith and sound doctrine, with the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ; with the Gospel of the grace of God, which contains milk for babes, and meat for strong men; and with a crucified Christ himself, who is the bread of life, and whose flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; by directing them to his person, blood, and righteousness, to live by faith on; by preaching the doctrines of peace and pardon by his blood, atonement and satisfaction by his sacrifice, and justification by his righteousness, and complete salvation by his obedience and death: in short, feeding includes the whole of the pastor's work, the ministry of the word, the administration of ordinances, and the rule and government of the church, in the several branches of it; for the same word signifies to rule as to feed; and which work is further expressed by

taking the oversight thereof; that is, of the flock; or "take the care of it", as the Syriac version renders it, and adds, "spiritually"; in a spiritual manner; which is an interpretation of the phrase: an acting the part of a bishop or overseer of it, as the word signifies; looking diligently to it, inspecting into the various cases of the members of the church; using diligence to know the state of the flock, and performing all the offices of a careful shepherd; as feeding the flock; and not themselves; strengthening the diseased; healing the sick; binding up that which was broken; bringing again that which was driven away, and seeking that which was lost; watching over them that they go not astray; and restoring of them in the spirit of meekness, when they are gone out of the way; and overlooking both their practices and their principles; admonishing, reproving them for sin, as the case requires; and preserving them, as much as in them lies, from wolves, and beasts of prey; from false teachers, and from all errors and heresies: all which is to be done,

not by constraint; or with force, in a rigorous and severe manner; for this may be understood actively of pastors not forcing their flock, over driving them, or ruling them with force and cruelty, complained of in Ezekiel 34:4 or passively, of their being forced to feed the flock, and superintend it; as such may be said to be, who enter into the ministry, and continue in it, because obliged to it for want of a livelihood, and not knowing how to get one any other way; or through the pressing instances of relations, acquaintance, and friends; this ought not to be a matter of necessity, but of choice; they should be induced to it by no other necessity than what Christ has laid upon them, by calling them to the work, and furnishing them for it with the gifts of his Spirit; and should engage and continue in it by no other constraint than that of his love; wherefore it follows,

but willingly. The Vulgate Latin version adds, "according to God", and so some copies; according to the will of God, and agreeably to his word; and the Ethiopic version renders it, "with equity for God"; with all uprightness and integrity, for the sake of the honour and glory of God; this should be done with all a man's heart and soul, and should spring from pure love to Christ; for no man is fit to feed Christ's lambs and sheep but those who sincerely love him; see John 21:15, and from a cordial and affectionate concern for the good of souls; and from, an hearty desire unto, and delight in, the work itself; otherwise all he does will be as a task and burden; he will do it grudgingly, and with negligence, and will murmur under it, at least secretly. The Arabic version renders it, "watching, not forced watches, but willing ones". This contrast of phrases seems to be Jewish, or Rabbinical (s); it is a tradition of the Rabbans;

"blood which is defiled, and they sprinkle it ignorantly, it is accepted; presumptuously, not accepted; of what things are these said? of a private person; but of a congregation, whether ignorantly or presumptuously, it is accepted; and of a stranger, whether ignorantly or presumptuously, , "whether by constraint or willingly", it is not accepted:''

it follows here,

not for filthy lucre; not from a covetous disposition, which is a filthy one; and for the sake of gaining money, and amassing wealth and riches, as the false prophets in Isaiah's time, who were never satisfied; and the false teachers in the apostle's time, who, through covetousness, made merchandise of men, and supposed that gain was godliness; whereas there is no such thing as serving God and mammon; and as the work of the ministry should not be entered upon, and continued in, with any such sordid view; so neither for the sake of gaining glory and applause, a presidency, and chief place in the churches, and a name among the ministers of the Gospel, and credit and esteem among men:

but of a ready mind; or, "from the whole heart", as the Syriac version renders it; and in a cheerful view of reproaches and persecutions, of the loss of credit and reputation, of worldly substance, and of life itself; and with a sincere concern for the glory of God, and the good of immortal souls; being ready to do everything with cheerfulness, that may contribute to either of these. The Ethiopic version renders it, "in the fulness of your heart with joy".

(r) De Agricultura, p. 195. (s) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 25. 1. Vid. T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 54. 1. & Maimon. Hilch. Issure Mizbeach, c. 4. sect. 5, 6.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

2. Feed—Greek, "Tend as a shepherd," by discipline and doctrine. Lead, feed, heed: by prayer, exhortation, government, and example. The dignity is marked by the term "elder"; the duties of the office, to tend or oversee, by "bishop." Peter has in mind Christ's injunction to him, "Feed (tend) My sheep … Feed (pasture) My lambs" (Joh 21:16). He invites the elders to share with him the same duty (compare Ac 20:28). The flock is Christ's.

which is among you—While having a concern for all the Church, your special duty is to feed that portion of it "which is among you."

oversight—Greek, "bishopric," or duty of bishops, that is, overseer.

not by constraint—Necessity is laid upon them, but willingness prevents it being felt, both in undertaking and in fulfilling the duty [Bengel]. "He is a true presbyter and minister of the counsel of God who doeth and teacheth the things of the Lord, being not accounted righteous merely because he is a presbyter, but because righteous, chosen into the presbytery" [Clement of Alexandria].

willingly—One oldest manuscript, Vulgate, Syriac, and Coptic, add, "as God would have it to be done" (Ro 8:27).

not for filthy lucre—(Isa 56:11; Tit 1:7).

of a ready mind—promptly and heartily, without selfish motive of gain-seeking, as the Israelites gave their services willing-heartedly to the sanctuary.

1 Peter 5:2 Additional Commentaries
Context
Instructions to Elders
1Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.…
Cross References
Numbers 18:7
But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death."

John 21:16
Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep."

Acts 20:28
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.

Acts 20:29
I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

1 Timothy 3:8
In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

Philemon 1:14
But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary.
Treasury of Scripture

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Feed.

Songs 1:8 If you know not, O you fairest among women, go your way forth by …

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs …

Ezekiel 34:2,3,23 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and …

Micah 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty …

Micah 7:14 Feed your people with your rod, the flock of your heritage, which …

John 21:15-17 So when they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of …

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

the flock.

Isaiah 63:11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying…

Jeremiah 13:17,20 But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places …

Ezekiel 34:31 And you my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your …

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaves the flock! the sword shall be …

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to …

1 Corinthians 9:7 Who goes a warfare any time at his own charges? who plants a vineyard, …

which is among you. or, as much as in you is.

Psalm 78:71,72 From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob …

Acts 20:26,27 Why I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men…

taking.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any …

not by.

Isaiah 6:8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and …

1 Corinthians 9:16,17 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity …

not for.

Isaiah 56:11 Yes, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are …

Jeremiah 6:13 For from the least of them even to the greatest of them every one …

Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to …

Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach …

Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nothing? …

Acts 20:33,34 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel…

2 Corinthians 12:14,15 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not …

1 Timothy 3:3,8 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, …

Titus 1:7,11 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, …

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise …

Revelation 18:12,13 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of …

of.

Acts 21:13 Then Paul answered, What mean you to weep and to break my heart? …

Romans 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that …

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey …

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