1 Peter 5:4
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive a crown of glory that fades not away.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear.—Or, And at the chief Shepherd’s appearing. The “and” treats it as a simple natural consequence of acting as just indicated. The beautiful word for “chief Shepherd” seems to have been invented by St. Peter, and it has been apparently imitated in Hebrews 13:20. How could an office be more honoured than by speaking of Christ as the chief bearer of that office?

A crown of glory that fadeth not away.—It might perhaps be more closely, though less beautifully, represented by the glorious crown of amaranth, or the amaranthine crown of glory. Amaranth is the name of a flower which, like our immortelles, does not lose its colour or form. St. Peter immediately adds “of glory,” lest we should think too literally of the wreath of immortelles.

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.And when the chief Shepherd shall appear - The prince of the pastors - the Lord Jesus Christ. "Peter, in the passage above, ranks himself with the elders; here he ranks Christ himself with the pastors" - Benson. See the notes at 1 Peter 2:25. Compare Hebrews 13:20.

Ye shall receive a crown of glory - A glorious crown or diadem. Compare the notes at 2 Timothy 4:8.

That fadeth not away - This is essentially the same word, though somewhat different in form, which occurs in 1 Peter 1:4. See the notes at that verse. The word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:25.

4. And—"And so": as the result of "being ensamples" (1Pe 5:3).

chief Shepherd—the title peculiarly Christ's own, not Peter's or the pope's.

when … shall appear—Greek, "be manifested" (Col 3:4). Faith serves the Lord while still unseen.

crown—Greek, "stephanos," a garland of victory, the prize in the Grecian games, woven of ivy, parsley, myrtle, olive, or oak. Our crown is distinguished from theirs in that it is "incorruptible" and "fadeth not away," as the leaves of theirs soon did. "The crown of life." Not a kingly "crown" (a different Greek word, diadema): the prerogative of the Lord Jesus (Re 19:12).

glory—Greek, "the glory," namely, to be then revealed (1Pe 5:1; 1Pe 4:13).

that fadeth not away—Greek, "amaranthine" (compare 1Pe 1:4).

And when the chief Shepherd; the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Prince of pastors, called the great Shepherd of the sheep, Hebrews 13:20, as here the chief Shepherd, not only for his supereminent dignity over all other pastors, but because of the power he hath over them, they being all subject to his authority, receiving their charge from him, and exercising their office in his name, and being accountable to him for their administrations.

Shall appear: see 1 Peter 1:7,13 4:13.

Ye shall receive; or, carry away, viz. from Christ, who, as the Judge, shall award it to you.

A crown of glory; either, a glorious crown; or, that glory which shall be as a crown to you. It is called a crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8; a crown of life, Jam 1:12.

That fadeth not away; in opposition to those crowns which were given to conquerors in war, and in public games, which were made of perishable flowers or herbs: see 1 Peter 1:4 1 Corinthians 9:25. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear,.... This is the encouraging motive and argument to engage the elders and pastors of churches to discharge their office faithfully, cheerfully, and in an humble manner: by "the chief Shepherd" is meant Christ, who may well be called so, since he is God's fellow, and in all respects equal with him, and is the Shepherd and Bishop of the souls of men; all other bishops, pastors, and elders, are under him; they receive their commissions from him to feed his lambs and sheep; are made pastors and overseers by him; and have their gifts, qualifying them for such offices, from him; and have their several flocks assigned unto them by him; and from him have they all the food with which they feed them, and are accountable to him for them, and the discharge of their office; so that Christ is the chief Shepherd, in the dignity of his person, he being God over all, blessed for ever; in his qualifications for his office, having all power, grace, and wisdom in him, to protect his flock, supply their wants, guide and direct them; and in the nature and number of his flock, being rational creatures, the souls of men, even elect men; and though they are, when compared with others, but a little flock, yet, considered by themselves, are a great number; and especially the general assembly will be, in comparison of the little bodies and societies of saints under pastors and teachers, of Christ's setting over them, with respect to whom, principally, he is called the chief Shepherd: the allusion is to the principal shepherd, whose own the sheep were, or, however, had the principal charge of them; who used to have others under him, to do the several things relating to the flocks he directed, and were called "little shepherds"; so Aben Ezra says (s), it was customary for the shepherd to have under him , "little shepherds": the same perhaps with the hirelings, whose own the sheep are not, John 10:12 who are retained, or removed, according to their behaviour; these, in the Talmudic language, are called (t), or though, according to Guido (u), the word, pronounced in the latter way, signifies a "chief shepherd", who takes care of men, and has other shepherds, servants under him; and such an one used to be called , "the great", or "chief shepherd"; so Maimonides (w) says, it was the custom of shepherds to have servants under them, to whom they committed the flocks to keep; so that when , "the chief shepherd", delivered to other shepherds what was under his care, these came in his room; and if there was any loss, the second shepherd, who was under the "chief shepherd", was obliged to make good the loss, and not the first shepherd, who was the chief shepherd; and to the same purpose says another of their commentators (x); it is the custom of , "the chief shepherd", to deliver (the flock) to the little shepherd that is under him; wherefore the shepherd that is under him is obliged to make good any loss: now, such a shepherd is Christ; he has others under him, whom he employs in feeding his sheep, and who are accountable to him, and must give up their account when he appears: at present he is out of the bodily sight of men, being received up to heaven, where he will be retained till the time of the restitution of all things; and then he will appear a second time in great glory, in his own, and in his Father's, and in the glory of his holy angels: and when he thus appears,

ye shall receive a crown of glory which fadeth not away; in distinction from those crowns which were given to the conqueror, in the Olympic games; which were made of divers flowers, of the olive, wild olive, pine tree, and of parsley, and inserted in a branch of the wild olive tree (y) and which quickly faded away; or in allusion to crowns made of amaranthus (z), the plant "everlasting", so called, from the nature of it, because it never fades: the eternal glory and happiness, which is here meant by a crown of glory, or a glorious crown, never fades away, but ever shines in its full lustre; and this faithful ministers shall receive at the hands of the chief Shepherd, as a gift of his, as a reward of grace; when they have finished their work, they will enter into the joy of their Lord, and shine as the stars for ever and ever; they shall reign with Christ, as kings, on a throne of glory, wearing a crown of glory, and enjoying a kingdom and glory to all eternity.

(s) Comment. in Zech. xi. 8. (t) T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 56. 2.((u) Dictionar. Syr. Chald. p. 102. (w) In Misn. Bava Kama, c. 6. sect. 2.((x) Bartenora in Misn. Bava Kama, c. 6. sect. 2.((y) Vide Paschalium de Coronis, l. 6. c. 1. p. 339. c. 16. p. 391. c. 18. p. 399. c. 19. p. 413. (z) Ib. l. 3. c. 11. p. 178.

{7} And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

(7) That the shepherds' minds are not overcome either with the wickedness of men, or their cruelty, he warns them to continually look at the chief shepherd, and the crown which is laid up for them in heaven.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1 Peter 5:4. Assurance of the future reward for the faithful fulfilment of the exhortation just given.

καί] simply connects the result with the exhortation (cf. Winer, p. 406 [E. T. 542]), and is not to be taken αἰτιολογικῶς for ἵνα.

φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποιμένος] With φανερ. cf. Colossians 3:4; 1 John 2:28; Christ is here termed ἀρχιποιμήν (ἅπ. λεγ., chap. 1 Peter 2:25 : ὁ ποιμήν; Hebrews 13:20 : ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ μεγάς) as He “to whom the elders, with the flock they tend, are subject” (Hofmann).

κομιεῖσθε (cf. chap. 1 Peter 1:9) τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον] The greater number of commentators consider ἀμαράντινος as equal to ἀμάραντος in chap. 1 Peter 1:4; but the direct derivation of the word from μαραίνεσθαι is hardly to be justified. It comes rather from the substantive ἀμάραντος, and therefore means, as Beza explains: ex amaranto videlicet, cujus floris (inquit Plinius) summa natura in nomine est, sic appellato quoniam non marcescit. Accordingly the figure present to the mind of the apostle was an amaranthine wreath; thus also Schott.[271] It is at least uncertain whether ΣΤΈΦΑΝΟς here (as frequently in the writings of Paul) is thought of as a wreath of victory (thus the greater number of commentators), since among the Jews, also, wreaths of flowers and leaves were in use as tokens of honour and rejoicing (cf. Winer’s bibl. Realwörterbuch, s.v. Kränze).

τῆς δόξης is the genitive of apposition; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8; Jam 1:12; Revelation 2:10 : the ΔΌΞΑ is the unfading crown which they shall obtain.

[271] Perhaps, however, Hofmann may be right when he supposes that ἀμαράντινος stands in the same relation to ἀμάραντος as ἀληθινός to ἀληθής and ὑγιεινός to ὑγιής, and that accordingly the word should be written ἀμαραντινός.1 Peter 5:4. φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος, at the manifestation of the chief Shepherd, i.e., Christ, ἀρχιποίμην is the equivalent of ὁ ποίμην ὁ μέγας of Hebrews 13:20, being formed on them analogy of ἀρχιερεύς = בהן הגדל; else it occurs only as Symmachus’ rendering of נקד (LXX, νωκηδ) in 2 Kings 3:4 and in a papyrus. Cf. appeal to Jehovah, ὁ ποιμαίνων τὸν Ἰσραὴλἐμφάνηθι of Psalm 80:1τὸνστέφανον = the crown of life which He promised (Jam 1:12). The metaphor is probably derived from the wreath of fading flowers presented to the victor in the games (cf. ἀμαράντινον); but it may also be due to the conception of the future age as a banquet, at which the guests were crowned with garlands (Sap. 1 Peter 2:8, στεψώμεθα ῥόδων κάλυξιν πρὶν ἢ μαρανθῆναι). See on 1 Peter 1:4.4. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear] The word for “chief Shepherd” is not found elsewhere, and would seem therefore to have been coined by St Peter, to express the thought which had been impressed on his mind by his Lord’s words, “I am the good Shepherd” (John 10:14). In his own work, as in that of all pastors of the Church, he saw the reproduction of that of which Christ had set the great example. For “shall appear” it would be better to read is manifested.

a crown of glory that fadeth not away] More accurately, as the Greek has the article, “the crown of glory.” The four last words answer to the one Greek word, “amaranthine,” or “unfading,” the adjective being a cognate form of that in chap. 1 Peter 1:4. The crown here is the wreath or chaplet of flowers worn by conquerors and heroes, as in 1 Corinthians 9:25, James 1:12, and differs from the “crowns” or diadems of Revelation 12:3; Revelation 19:12, which were distinctively the badge of sovereignty. It is possible, as the adjective “amaranth” was applied to the kind of flowers which we know as “everlastings,” that there may be an allusive reference to the practice of using those flowers for wreaths that were placed in funerals upon the brows of the dead. The word and the thought reappear in one of Milton’s noblest passages:

“Immortal Amaranth, a flower which once

In Paradise, hard by the tree of life,

Began to bloom, but soon, for man’s offence

To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows

And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life;

And where the river of bliss through midst of Heaven

Rolls o’er Elysian flowers her amber stream

With these, that never fade, the spirits elect

Bind their resplendent locks, inwreathed with beams.”

Paradise Lost, III. 353–361.1 Peter 5:4. Φανερωθέντος, is manifested) It is the part of faith to serve the Lord, though yet unseen.—ἀρχιποίμενος) the Chief Shepherd. Ἀρχιποίμην has the acute accent on the penultimate, as φιλοποίμην, βουποίμην.Verse 4. - And when the chief Shepherd shall appear; rather, is manifested. The word rendered "chief Shepherd" ἀρχιποίμην occurs only here; it reminds us of the Lord's description of himself as "the good Shepherd," and of the "great Shepherd of the sheep" (Hebrews 13:20). Ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. This is the true reward of the faithful presbyter, not power or filthy lucre. Literally, it is "the crown of glory," the promised glory, the glory of the Lord which he hath promised to his chosen. "The glory which thou gavest me, I have given them" (John 17:22). The crown is the glory; the genitive seems to be one of apposition. The Greek word here rendered "that fadeth not away" ἀμαράντινος is not exactly the same with that so rendered in 1 Peter 1:4 ΧΧΧ; taken literally, the words used here mean an amaranthine wreath - a wreath of amaranth flowers; the general meaning remains the same, "unfading." St. Peter is thinking, not of a kingly crown, but of the wreaths worn on festive occasions or bestowed on conquerors. The chief Shepherd (ἀρχιποίμενος)

Only here in New Testament. In harmony with 1 Peter 5:2. "The last thing Peter could have dreamed of as possible would be its misapplication to himself or his so-called successors" (Cook). Compare Hebrews 13:20, great Shepherd; and John 10:11, John 10:14, good Shepherd. Also, Ezekiel 34:15, Ezekiel 34:16, Ezekiel 34:23.

Ye shall receive

See on receiving, 1 Peter 1:9.

Crown (στέφανον)

From στέφω, to put round, encircle. It is the crown of victory in the games; of military valor; the marriage wreath, or the festal garland, woven of leaves or made of gold in imitation of leaves. Thus it is distinguished from the royal crown, which is διάδημα, of which diadem is a transcript. In Paul, στέφανος is always used of the conqueror's crown, not of the king's (1 Corinthians 9:24-26; 2 Timothy 2:5). Though it is urged that Peter would not have employed a reference to the crown of the victors in the games, because of the abhorrence of the Palestinian Jews for heathen spectacles, yet the reference to the crown of leaves seems to be determined by the epithet unfading, as compared with garlands of earthly leaves. The crown of thorns woven for Jesus is called στέφανος with reference rather to its being twined than to its being a caricature of a kingly crown.

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