1 Peter 5:9
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
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(9) Whom resist stedfast in the faith.—The expression is somewhat more picturesque in the Greek than in the English. “Stand and face him,” instead of running away from posts of duty (1Peter 5:2), or lying still and letting things take their course (1Peter 5:8). And the words for “stedfast in the faith” seem to mean not only that each individual is to stand firm, but that they are to present all together a solid front to the lion.

Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.—The phraseology of the original is very strange. The sameness of the sufferings is brought out by an expression which literally runs “the same things in the way of sufferings;” the fraternal unity, by the use of the same abstract word which we had in 1Peter 2:17. The verb rendered “to accomplish” sometimes denotes execution or infliction. So the whole will run, knowing that the very same things in the way of sufferings are being inflicted upon your brotherhood which is in the world. “There is one thing,” says Archbishop Leighton, “that much troubles the patience and weakens the faith of some Christians; they are ready to think there is none, yea, there was never any beloved of God in such a condition as theirs. Therefore the Apostle St. Paul breaks this conceit (1Corinthians 10:13), ‘no temptation hath taken you but such as is common to man:’ and here is the same truth, ‘the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren.’ This is the truth, and, taken altogether, is a most comfortable truth; the whole brotherhood go in this way, and our eldest Brother went first.” The addition, “that are in the world,” points the suffering Christians indirectly to solace themselves with the thought of that portion of the brotherhood which has got beyond the infliction. It would be possible to translate, though somewhat far-fetched in point of thought, “knowing that the same sufferings (or, the identity of the sufferings) is completed by your brotherhood in the world”—i.e., finds a consummation in making closer the bonds of brotherhood between you.

5:5-9 Humility preserves peace and order in all Christian churches and societies; pride disturbs them. Where God gives grace to be humble, he will give wisdom, faith, and holiness. To be humble, and subject to our reconciled God, will bring greater comfort to the soul than the gratification of pride and ambition. But it is to be in due time; not in thy fancied time, but God's own wisely appointed time. Does he wait, and wilt not thou? What difficulties will not the firm belief of his wisdom, power, and goodness get over! Then be humble under his hand. Cast all you care; personal cares, family cares, cares for the present, and cares for the future, for yourselves, for others, for the church, on God. These are burdensome, and often very sinful, when they arise from unbelief and distrust, when they torture and distract the mind, unfit us for duties, and hinder our delight in the service of God. The remedy is, to cast our care upon God, and leave every event to his wise and gracious disposal. Firm belief that the Divine will and counsels are right, calms the spirit of a man. Truly the godly too often forget this, and fret themselves to no purpose. Refer all to God's disposal. The golden mines of all spiritual comfort and good are wholly his, and the Spirit itself. Then, will he not furnish what is fit for us, if we humbly attend on him, and lay the care of providing for us, upon his wisdom and love? The whole design of Satan is to devour and destroy souls. He always is contriving whom he may insnare to eternal ruin. Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance. To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs. Be stedfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there. The consideration of what others suffer, is proper to encourage us to bear our share in any affliction; and in whatever form Satan assaults us, or by whatever means, we may know that our brethren experience the same.Whom resist - See the notes at James 4:7. You are in no instance to yield to him, but are in all forms to stand up and oppose him. Feeble in yourselves, you are to confide in the arm of God. No matter in what form of terror he approaches, you are to fight manfully the fight of faith. Compare the notes at Ephesians 6:10-17.

Steadfast in the faith - Confiding in God. You are to rely on him alone, and the means of successful resistance are to be found in the resources of faith. See the notes at Ephesians 6:16.

Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world - Compare for a similar sentiment, 1 Corinthians 10:13. The meaning is, that you should be encouraged to endure your trials by the fact that your fellow-Christians suffer the same things. This consideration might furnish consolation to them in their trials in the following ways:

(1) They would feel that they were suffering only the common lot of Christians. There was no evidence that God was especially angry with them, or that he had in a special manner forsaken them.

(2) the fact that others were enabled to bear their trials should be an argument to prove to them that they would also be able. If they looked abroad, and saw that others were sustained, and were brought off triumphant, they might be assured that this would be the case with them.

(3) there would be the support derived from the fact that they were not alone in suffering. We can bear pain more easily if we feel that we are not alone - that it is the common lot - that we are in circumstances where we may have sympathy from others. This remark may be of great practical value to us in view of persecutions, trials, and death. The consideration suggested here by Peter to sustain those whom he addressed, in the trials of persecution, may be applied now to sustain and comfort us in every form of apprehended or real calamity. We are all liable to suffering. We are exposed to sickness, bereavement, death. We often feet as if we could not bear up under the sufferings that may be before us, and especially do we dread the great trial - death. It may furnish us some support and consolation to remember:

(1) that this is the common lot of people. There is nothing special in our case. It proves nothing as to the question whether we are accepted of God, and are beloved by him, that we suffer; for those whom he has loved most have been often among the greatest sufferers. We often think that our sufferings are unique; that there have been none like them. Yet, if we knew all, we should find that thousands - and among them the most wise, and pure, and good - have endured sufferings of the same kind as ours, and perhaps far more intense in degree.

(2) others have been conveyed triumphantly through their trials. We have reason to hope and to believe that we shall also, for:

(a) our trials have been no greater than theirs have been; and,

(b) their natural strength was no greater than ours. Many of them were timid, and shrinking, and trembling, and felt that they had no strength, and that they should fail under the trial.

(3) the grace which sustained them can sustain us. The hand of God is not shortened that it cannot save; his ear is not heavy that it cannot hear. His power is as great, and his grace is as fresh, as it was when the first sufferer was supported by him; and that divine strength which supported David and Job in their afflictions, and the apostles and martyrs in theirs, is just as powerful as it was when they applied to God to be upheld in their sorrows.

(4) we are especially fearful of death - fearful that our faith will fail, and that we shall be left to die without support or consolation. Yet let us remember that death is the common lot of man. Let us remember who have died - tender females; children; the timid and the fearful; those, in immense multitudes, who had no more strength by nature than we have. Let us think of our own kindred who have died. A wife has died, and shall a husband be afraid to die? A child, and shall a father? A sister, and shall a brother? It does much to take away the dread of death, to remember that a mother has gone through the dark valley; that that gloomy vale has been trod by delicate, and timid, and beloved sisters. Shall I be afraid to go where they have gone? Shall I apprehend that I shall find no grace that is able to sustain me where they have found it? Must the valley of the shadow of death be dark and gloomy to me, when they found it to be illuminated with the opening light of heaven? Above all, it takes away the fear of death when I remember that my Saviour has experienced all the horrors which can ever be in death; that he has slept in the tomb, and made it a hallowed resting-place.

9. (Lu 4:13; Eph 6:11-17; Jas 4:7.)

steadfast—Compare established in the truth," 2Pe 1:12. Satan's power exists only in respect to the unbelieving; the faithful he cannot hurt (1Jo 5:18). Faith gives strength to prayer, the great instrument against the foe (Jas 1:6, &c.).

knowing, &c.—"encouragement not to faint in afflictions": your brethren suffer the same; nothing beyond the common lot of Christians befalls you (1Co 10:13). It is a sign of God's favor rather than displeasure, that Satan is allowed to harass you, as he did Job. Your fellow Christians have the same battle of faith and prayer against Satan.

are—are being accomplished according to the appointment of God.

in the world—lying in the wicked one, and therefore necessarily the scene of "tribulation" (Joh 16:33).

Whom resist; by not yielding to his temptations, Ephesians 4:27, and by employing your spiritual armour against him, Ephesians 6:11-13, &c.: see Jam 4:7.

Stedfast in the faith; either:

1. Hold your faith, persevering in it, which the devil would fain bereave you of, (as soldiers used in war to look to their shields, it being dishonourable to lose them), and without which ye will never be able to stand out against the devil: or:

2. Stedfast or strong by faith; intimating, that faith is a Christian’s greatest strength, it being by faith that he engageth the power of God and grace of Christ on his side, whereby he comes to be victorious over all his enemies, 1Jo 5:4.

Knowing that the same afflictions; either:

1. The devil’s temptations, which here he calls afflictions, because believers are passive in them, and count them the greatest afflictions; or rather:

2. Persecutions, which though they come upon them immediately from the men of the world, yet it is by the instigation of the devil, the prince of the world, who hath a principal hand in them, and acts by men as his instruments: so that when men oppress them, they are to resist the devil, who thereby tempts them. They have a spiritual enemy to deal with even in temporal afflictions.

Are accomplished in your brethren; or, fulfilled, or perfected: either:

1. Others of your brethren are filling up the measure of sufferings God hath allotted them, for the mortifying of the flesh, and conforming them to Christ their Head, as well as you are filling up yours, Colossians 1:24; or:

2. He speaks of the community of their sufferings: q.d. What afflictions ye endure, others endure too, and therefore ye should not grudge to suffer, when ye have so good company in your sufferings.

That are in the world; either this notes the sufferings of the saints to be universal, so as to reach them all, wheresoever they are dispersed throughout the world; or, to be short, as being confined to the time only of their abode in the world.

Whom resist,.... By no means give way to him, by indulging any sin, or yielding to any temptation, but oppose him, and stand against his wiles, his cunning and his power:

steadfast in the faith; both in the doctrine of faith, which Satan endeavours to remove from, or cause to stagger in; and in the grace of faith, exercising it on the promises of God, and his perfections, particularly his power and faithfulness concerned in them, and in the blood, righteousness, sacrifice, and person of Christ, which faith is capable of making use of, as a shield, to good purpose, against all the fiery darts of Satan; as also in a profession of faith, which, as it should be held fast without wavering, and which the devil is very busy to keep persons from making, or to cause them to drop it when they have made it, by violent suggestions, strong temptations, and a flood of reproaches and persecutions; all which should be disregarded:

knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world; and therefore should not be surprised and staggered by them, nor think them strange, but endure them without murmuring, and with patience and cheerfulness; since they are the "same afflictions" and trials which others have been exercised with in all ages: the same which the fraternity, or "brotherhood", as the word signifies, see 1 Peter 2:17 who stand in the same relation to God and Christ as they do, endure; yea, the same which Christ himself, who stands in this relation to them, has endured: and which must be expected while they are "in the world"; but this is the great mercy, that they are only endured in this world; there will be none in the world to come; they will be "accomplished" and finished here; and every believer has his measure, which must be filled up; and so has the whole of Christ, his church, and when they are fulfil they will be no more.

Whom resist stedfast in the faith, {12} knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your {c} brethren that are in the world.

(12) The persecutions which Satan stirs up, are neither new nor proper to any one man, but from old and ancient times common to the whole Church, and therefore we must suffer patiently, in which we have such and so many fellows of our conflicts and combats.

(c) Amongst your brethren which are dispersed throughout the world.

1 Peter 5:9. ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει] cf. Jam 4:7; Ephesians 6:11 ff. τῇ πίστει does not belong to ἀντίστητε (Bengel), but to στερεοί; not as the dat. instrum. (Beza, Hensler), but as the dative of nearer definition: “firm in the faith;” cf. Acts 16:5; Colossians 2:7; cf. Winer, p. 202 [E. T. 270]. It is only a firm faith that can resist the devil.

εἰδότες τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτωνἐπιτελεῖσθαι] Almost all interpreters assume that the construction here is that of the accus. c. inf. Hofmann nevertheless denies this, remarking that in the N. T. εἰδότες (in the sense of “knowing”) never takes the accus. c. inf., but always the particle ὅτι, and that when εἰδότες is followed by the accus. c. inf., it signifies “to understand how to do a thing.”[278] If this be correct, ἘΠΙΤΕΛΕῖΣΘΑΙ must have an active meaning, ΤᾺ ΑὐΤᾺ ΤῶΝ ΠΑΘ. be the accusative after it, and the dative ΤῇἈΔΕΛΦΌΤΗΤΙ be dependent on ΤᾺ ΑὐΤΆ. Explaining ἘΠΙΤΕΛΕῖΣΘΑΙ on the analogy of the phrase: ΤᾺ ΤΟῦ ΓΉΡΩς ἘΠΙΤΕΛΕῖΣΘΑΙ (Xen. Mem. iv. 8. 8), and seeing in τὰ αὐτά the idea of measure expressed, Hofmann translates: “knowing how to pay for your Christianity the same tribute of affliction as your brethren in the world.” This explanation cannot be accepted without hesitation. For, on the one hand, from the fact that in other parts of the N. T. ΕἸΔΌΤΕς does not take the accus. c. inf., it cannot be concluded that here it does not do so either, the more especially that the construction of the accus. c. inf. occurs comparatively rarely in the N. T.; and, on the other hand, the phrase: ΤᾺΤῶΝ ΠΑΘ. ἈΠΟΤΕΛ., is not analogous with the expression: ΤᾺ ΤΟῦ ΓΉΡΩς ἘΠΙΤΕΛ., since in the former there is no conception corresponding to ΤΟῦ ΓΉΡΩς. Hofmann inserts, indeed, as such, the idea of the Christian calling, but it is purely imported, and nowhere hinted at in the text. Accordingly, ἘΠΙΤΕΛΕῖΣΘΑΙ—grammatically considered—can have a passive signification, not, indeed, equivalent to: “are completed” (Thuc. 7:2; Php 1:6, and other passages), for this idea would not be suitable here, but rather: “are being accomplished” (thus Herod. 1:51, in connection with τὰ ἐπιτασσόμενα; 1:138: ἘΠΙΤΕΛΈΣΑΙ Ἃ ὙΠΈΣΧΕΤΟ). This idea is, in truth, not very appropriate either; it seems to be more fitting to take the verb in a middle sense, as equivalent to: “are accomplishing themselves;” and to translate: “knowing (or better rather: considering) that the same sufferings are accomplishing themselves in the brethren.” This rendering is to be preferred to all others. The Vulg. translates ἘΠΙΤΕΛ. by fieri; Luther by “befall;” both are too inexact renderings of the sense.[279] In the explanation above given, τὰ αὐτά is used as a substantive, as frequently happens with the neuter of adjectives (Winer, p. 220[280] [E.T. 294]), and is put here to emphasize the sameness of the sufferings (thus de Wette, Wiesinger); τῇἀδελφότητι is to be taken as the more remote object; on no condition can the dative be understood as equivalent to ὙΠΌ in passives. With the idea ἈΔΕΛΦΌΤΗΤΙ, cf. chap. 1 Peter 2:17.

The addition, ἘΝ ΚΌΣΜῼ, alludes to the reason of the afflictions (Steiger). Wiesinger justly remarks: “in the world, the dominion of the Evil One, the Christian can and dare expect nothing else.” Possibly it may contain at the same time a reference to the ἈΔΕΛΦΌΤΗς, which the Lord has already taken to Himself ἘΚ ΤΟῦ ΚΌΣΜΟΥ. The thought that the brethren have to bear the same afflictions, serves to give strength in resisting the devil, since the consciousness of bearing similar afflictions in common with all Christian brethren, encourages to patient endurance.

[278] Cf. the passages quoted by Hofmann: Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13; Luke 12:36; Jam 4:17; Php 4:12; 1 Timothy 3:5; 2 Peter 2:9.

[279] The translation of Wichelhaus: “to be laid upon,” is entirely unjustifiable.

[280] Hofmann erroneously appeals to Hartung’s Gr. II. p. 238, in support of the interpretation: “the same measure of suffering.”

1 Peter 5:9. ᾧ ἀντίστητε. St. James adds the same exhortation to his quotation of Prov. The connexion is not obvious but is perhaps due to the traditional exposition of לץ = ὑπερηφάνοις as referring to the Devil and his children. As God ranges Himself against scoffers, so must Christians resist the Devil who is working with their slanderous tempers. Oecumenius and Cramer’s Catena both appeal to an extract from Justin’s book against Marcion (?) which is preserved in Irenæsus and quoted by Eusebius. The main point of the passage is that before Christ came the devil did not dare to blaspheme against God, for the prophecies of his punishment were enigmatic; but Christ proclaimed it plainly and so he lost all hope and goes about eager to drag down all to his own destruction.—στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει, rock like in your faith, abbreviation of ἐπιμένετε τῇ πίστει τεθεμελιωμένοι καὶ ἑδραῖοι, Colossians 1:23; cf. τὸ στερέωμα τῆς εἰς Χριστὸν πίστεως, Colossians 2:5 and Acts 16:5, αἱἐκκλησίαι ἐστερεοῦντο τῇ πιστει. The metaphorical use of στ. in a good sense is not common. Peter perhaps thinks of the στερεὰ πέτρα (צור) of Isaiah 51:1 and warns them against his own failing.—εἰδότεςἐπιτελεῖσθαι. The rendering (first suggested by Hoffmann) knowing how to pay (that you are paying) the same tax of sufferings as the brotherhood in the world is paying seems preferable to the common knowing that the same kinds of sufferings are being accomplished for (by) … it assumes the proper idiomatic force of ἐπιτελεῖσθαι and accounts for τὰ αὐτά (sc. τέλη) followed by the genitive. Xenophon who is a good authority for Common Greek uses . thus twice:—Mem. iv. 8. 8, “but if I shall live longer perhaps it will be necessary to pay the penalties of old age (τὰ τοῦ γήρως ἐπιτελεῖσθαι) and to see and hear worse …” Apol, 33 nor did he turn effeminate at death but cheerfully welcomed it and paid the penalty (ἐπετελέσατο). For the dative with τὰ αὐτά. same as, cf. 1 Corinthians 11:5, ἓν καὶ τὸ αὐτὸ τῇ ἐξυρημένῃ.

9. whom resist stedfast in the faith] The word for “resist” is the same as that used in the parallel passage of James 4:7. “Faith” is probably used in its subjective rather than its objective sense, for unshaken trust in God rather than unwavering orthodoxy. Comp. the “shield of faith” in Ephesians 6:16.

knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren] Better, that the same sufferings (as keeping up the continuity of thought with chaps. 1 Peter 1:11, 1 Peter 4:13, 1 Peter 5:1) are being wrought out for your brotherhood (the same collective term as in chap. 1 Peter 2:17) that are in the world. The Apostle appeals to the thought of sympathy with other sufferers as a ground of steadfastness. Those to whom he wrote were not isolated in their afflictions. Far and near there were comrades fighting the same battle. It was at once their duty and their privilege to follow all examples of steadfastness of which they heard elsewhere, and to set that example, so that others, cheered by it, might be strengthened to endure even to the end.

1 Peter 5:9. Τῇ πίστει, through or by the faith) Constructed with resist [not “stedfast in the faith,” as Engl. Vers.]—τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων, the very same sufferings) Not merely like sufferings, but the very same. The same governs the Dative ἀδελφότητι, brotherhood. Thus Lucretius: eadem aliis sopitus quiete est. Chrysost. de Sacerd., p. 202: εἰς τὴν αὐτὴν ἐκείνοις ἐκπίπτειν μανίαν, to fall into the same madness with them. The meaning of the apostle is: the same sufferings which happen to your brethren are also undergone by you. Comp. Matthew 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:6; Php 1:30. [Therefore it is not a bad sign in a person, if the devil harasses him with sufferings.—V. g.]—ἐν κόσμῳ) in the whole of this world, which lies in the evil one, the devil: 1 Peter 5:8. It is antithetical to the eternal glory of God, 1 Peter 5:10.—ὑμῶν ἀδελφότητι, to your brotherhood) of Jews and Gentiles.—ἐπιτελεῖσθαι, are accomplished) The measure of sufferings is gradually filled up.

Verse 9. - Whom resist steadfast in the faith; comp. James 4:7, where the same word, ἀντίστητε, is used; the close resemblance seems to indicate St. Peter's knowledge of the Epistle of St. James; comp. also St. Paul in Ephesians 6:13, etc. The Greek word for "steadfast" στεροί is emphatic; it implies solidity, rocklike firmness. Only faith can give that steadfastness - faith in Christ, the one Foundation, the Rock on which the Christian's house is built. Faith here is trustfulness rather than objective truth. Therefore the rendering of the Revised Version seems preferable, "in your faith," the article having, as often, a possessive meaning. Knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world; literally, the same (forms) of afflictions τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων unusual construction with the pronoun, though common with adjectives, intended to give emphasis; the sufferings were the very same. The infinitive is present; it should therefore be rendered, "are being accomplished." The persecutions were now beginning to break out. The word for "brethren" is the collective, ἀσ`δελφότης, brotherhood, which we met with in 1 Peter 2:17. The dative is that of reference - "in" or "for" the brotherhood. (For the words, "in the world," comp. John 16:33, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.") There is another way of taking the clause. The unusual construction (in the Greek Testament) of the accusative and infinitive, which, indeed, occurs nowhere else with εἰδώς, has led Herman and others to take the verb ἐπιτελεῖσθαι as middle, and to connect the dative, "for the brotherhood," with τὰ αὐτά, the same. Thus the translation will be, "Knowing how to pay the same tribute of affliction as your brethren in the world." This seems forced and unnecessary. Huther gives another possible translation, which he thinks preferable to all others: "Knowing [or better rather, 'considering'] that the same sufferings are accomplishing themselves in the brethren." 1 Peter 5:9Resist (ἀντίστητε)

The Rev., very judiciously, substitutes withstand; resist having been already used in 1 Peter 5:5 for ἀντιτάσσεται. Withstand is, moreover, the more accurate rendering; as the verb means rather to be firm against onset than to strive against it. With in withstand is the Saxon wid, against, which appears in the German wider.

Steadfast (στερεοὶ)

Compare 2 Timothy 2:19; and the kindred verb στερεόω, to strengthen (Acts 3:7, Acts 3:16; Acts 16:5). Paul, in Colossians 2:5, uses a cognate noun, στερέωμα, evidently as a military metaphor: "Beholding your order (τάξιν, compare ἀντιτάσσεται, 1 Peter 5:5) and your solid front or close phalanx" (στερέωμα). It might be difficult to find, on the whole, a better rendering than steadfast, yet it falls a little short of the meaning. Steadfast is Anglo-Saxon, stede, a place, and faest, fast; and hence means firm in its place; but στερεοὶ conveys also the sense of compactness, compact solidity, and is appropriate, since a number of individuals are addressed and exhorted to withstand the onset of Satan as one compacted body. Στερεός implies solidity in the very mass and body of the thing itself; steadfastness, mere holding of place. A rock is στερεός, firm, solid; but a flexible weed with its tough roots resisting all efforts to pull it up, may be steadfast. The exhortation is appropriate from Peter, the Rock.

The same afflictions (τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων)

Rev., better, sufferings. A very peculiar construction, occurring nowhere else in the New Testament. Lit., the same things of sufferings, emphasizing the idea of identity.

Are accomplished (ἐπιτελεῖσθαι)

More correctly, are being accomplished. The present infinitive denotes something in process of accomplishment.

Brethren (ἀδελφότητι)

Lit., brotherhood. Only here and 1 Peter 2:17.

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