2 Peter 1:15
Moreover I will endeavor that you may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) Moreover I will endeavour.—The verse requires re-arranging. “Always” (or better, at all times) belongs to “may be able,” not to “have in remembrance;” and perhaps “moreover” is not quite right. Better, But I will endeavour that ye may at all times also (as well as now) have it in your power after my decease to remember these things. To what does this declaration point? The simplest answer is, to his writing this letter, which they might keep and read whenever they liked. (Comp. 2Peter 1:13.) Other suggestions are—to his having copies of this letter distributed; or, writing other letters; or, instructing, St. Mark to write his Gospel; or, commissioning “faithful men” to teach these things. There seems to be nothing either for or against these conjectures. It is a coincidence worth noting that, with the Transfiguration in his mind (2Peter 1:16-18), he uses, in close succession, two words connected in St. Luke’s account of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:31; Luke 9:33)—“decease” and “tabernacle.”

2 Peter 1:15. Moreover I will endeavour — By writing these things in this epistle, and by every other means in my power, while it pleases God to continue me among you; that ye may be able — Through frequently reading what I here write; after my decease to have these things always in remembrance — “The apostle’s care in this was highly commendable; because the most important truths, if they are not remembered, have no influence on the mind. The gradation in this passage is beautiful. He proposed to put the brethren in remembrance of some revealed truths, with which they were acquainted; he proposed to do this, not once or twice, but always, as long as he lived; nay, he proposed [by leaving this written testimony among them] to put them in remembrance of these things after his death. Wherefore the ministers of the gospel, following Peter’s example, ought to insist most on the things which are of most importance to their people, although they are already well instructed in them, the influence of truth depending not so much upon the knowledge, as upon the frequent recollection of it.” — Macknight.1:12-15 We must be established in the belief of the truth, that we may not be shaken by every wind of doctrine; and especially in the truth necessary for us to know in our day, what belongs to our peace, and what is opposed in our time. The body is but a tabernacle, or tent, of the soul. It is a mean and movable dwelling. The nearness of death makes the apostle diligent in the business of life. Nothing can so give composure in the prospect, or in the hour, of death, as to know that we have faithfully and simply followed the Lord Jesus, and sought his glory. Those who fear the Lord, talk of his loving-kindness. This is the way to spread the knowledge of the Lord; and by the written word, they are enabled to do this.Moreover, I will endeavour - I will leave such a permanent record of my views on these subjects that you may not forget them. He meant not only to declare his sentiments orally, but to record them that they might be perused when he was dead. He had such a firm conviction of the truth and value of the sentiments which he held, that he would use all the means in his power that the church and the world should not forget them.

After my decease - My "exodus," (ἔξοδον exodon;) my journey out; my departure; my exit from life. This is not the usual word to denote death, but is rather a word denoting that he was going on a journey out of this world. He did not expect to cease to be, but he expected to go on his travels to a distant abode. This idea runs through all this beautiful description of the feelings of Peter as he contemplated death. Hence he speaks of taking down the "tabernacle" or "tent," the temporary abode of the soul, that his spirit might be removed to another place 2 Peter 1:13; and, hence, he speaks of an "exodus" from the present life - a journey to another world. This is the true notion of death; and if so, two things follow from it:

(1) we should make preparation for it, as we do for a journey, and the more in proportion to the distance that we are to travel, and the time that we are to be absent; and,

(2) when the preparation is made, we should not be unwilling to enter on the journey, as we are not now when we are prepared to leave our homes to visit some remote part of our own country, or a distant land,

To have these things always in remembrance - By his writings. We may learn from this,

(1) that when a Christian grows old, and draws near to death, his sense of the value of Divine truth by no means diminishes. As he approaches the eternal world; as from its borders he surveys the past, and looks on to what is to come; as he remembers what benefit the truths of religion have conferred on him in life, and sees what a miserable being he would now be if he had no such hope as the gospel inspires; as he looks on the whole influence of those truths on his family and friends, on his country and the world, their value rises before him with a magnitude which he never saw before, and he desires most earnestly that they should be seen and embraced by all. A man on the borders of eternity is likely to have a very deep sense of the value of the Christian religion; and is he not then in favorable circumstances to estimate this matter aright? Let anyone place himself in imagination in the situation of one who is on the borders of the eternal world, as all in fact soon will be, and can he have any doubt about the value of religious truth?

(2) we may learn from what Peter says here, that it is the duty of those who are drawing near to the eternal world, and who are the friends of religion, to do all they can that the truths of Christianity "may be always had in remembrance." Every man's experience of the value of religion, and the results of his examination and observation, should be regarded as the property of the world, and should not be lost. As he is about to die, he should seek, by all the means in his power, that those truths should be perpetuated and propagated. This duty may be discharged by some in counsels offered to the young, as they are about to enter on life, giving them the results of their own experience, observation, and reflections on the subject of religion; by some, by an example so consistent that it cannot be soon forgotten - a legacy to friends and to the world of much more value than accumulated silver and gold; by some, by solemn warnings or exhortations on the bed of death; in other cases, by a recorded experience of the conviction and value of religion, and a written defense of its truth, and illustration of its nature - for every man who can write a good book owes it to the church and the world to do it: by others, in leaving the means of publishing and spreading good books in the world.

He does a good service to his own age, and to future ages, who records the results of his observations and his reflections in favor of the truth in a book that shall be readable; and though the book itself may be ultimately forgotten, it may have saved some persons from ruin, and may have accomplished its part in keeping up the knowledge of the truth in his own generation. Peter, as a minister of the gospel, felt himself bound to do this, and no men have so good an opportunity of doing this now as ministers of the gospel; no men have more ready access to the press; no men have so much certainty that they will have the public attention, if they will write anything worth reading; no men, commonly, in a community are better educated, or are more accustomed to write; no individuals, by their profession, seem to be so much called to address their fellow-men in any way in favor of the truth; and it is matter of great marvel that men who have such opportunities, and who seem especially called to the work, do not do more of this kind of service in the cause of religion. Themselves soon to die, how can they help desiring that they may leave something that shall bear an honorable, though humble, testimony to truths which they so much prize, and which they are appointed to defend? A tract may live long after the author is in the grave; and who can calculate the results which have followed the efforts of Baxter and Edwards to keep up in the world the remembrance of the truths which they deemed of so much value? This little epistle of Peter has shed light on the path of men now for 1,800 years (circa 1880's), and will continue to do it until the second coming of the Saviour.

15. endeavour—"use my diligence": the same Greek word as in 2Pe 1:10: this is the field in which my diligence has scope. Peter thus fulfils Christ's charge, "Feed My sheep" (Joh 21:16, 17).

decease—"departure." The very word ("exodus") used in the Transfiguration, Moses and Elias conversing about Christ's decease (found nowhere else in the New Testament, but Heb 11:22, "the departing of Israel" out of Egypt, to which the saints' deliverance from the present bondage of corruption answers). "Tabernacle" is another term found here as well as there (Lu 9:31, 33): an undesigned coincidence confirming Peter's authorship of this Epistle.

that ye may be able—by the help of this written Epistle; and perhaps also of Mark's Gospel, which Peter superintended.

always—Greek, "on each occasion": as often as occasion may require.

to have … in remembrance—Greek, "to exercise remembrance of." Not merely "to remember," as sometimes we do, things we care not about; but "have them in (earnest) remembrance," as momentous and precious truths.

These things; the doctrine before delivered concerning faith in Christ, the practice of good works, and their continuance in both.

Always; this may be joined either to

endeavour, and so relate to the apostle himself; he would always be diligent, and do his part, that they might have these things in remembrance: or rather, (according to our translation), to having

in remembrance, Peter being now near his end; and therefore this always may better refer to them that were to live after him, than to himself that was so soon to die.

In remembrance; or, to commemorate them, viz. to the benefit and edification of the church; and this includes their having them in remembrance, but implies something more. Moreover, I will endeavour,.... He signifies, that he should not only use all diligence to stir them up to, and put them in remembrance of the necessary duties of their calling while he was alive, but should make it his study to concert some measures, and take some steps,

that you may be able after my decease: or Exodus, meaning his going out of this world by death, in allusion to the Israelites going out of Egypt, and marching for Canaan's land; this world being, like Egypt, a place of wickedness, misery, and bondage; as heaven, like Canaan, a place and state of rest and happiness.

To have these things always in remembrance; by which they might be always put in mind of them, or by recurring to which they might have their memories refreshed; and what he means is, to leave these exhortations and admonitions in writing, which they might read, and be of use to them when he was dead and gone; and indeed by this, and his former epistle, though being dead, he yet speaketh.

Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Peter 1:15. σπουδάσω δὲ καί] “but I will, moreover, also zealously take care, that;” καί connects this sentence with 2 Peter 1:13; it belongs to σπουδάσω, not to what follows.

ἑκάστοτε] ἅπ. λεγ. “on every occasion,” quotiescunque usus venerit (Bengel); it belongs to ἔχειν κ.τ.λ., and must not be connected with σπουδάσω.

ἔχειν ὑμᾶςποιεῖσθαι] The construction of σπουδάζειν with the accus. cum inf. only here; ἔχειν with the infinitive means: “to be able.”

τὴν μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι, here only: “to call up the memory (recollection) of this,” that is, in you; similarly μνείαν ποιεῖσθαι (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16, etc.).

τούτων as in 2 Peter 1:12. Dietlein, altogether arbitrarily, understands it of the memory of the history of Christ as He appeared in the flesh.

Peter promises to his readers, that as it was his intention in 2 Peter 1:12 to remind them of the truths stated in 2 Peter 1:3-11, he would also endeavour that after his death they should always be able to remember them. By what means he would do this is in this passage as little stated as in the μελλήσωὑμᾶς ὑπομιμνήσκειν, 2 Peter 1:12. The reference here is not to the first and second epistles;[47] this in like manner is opposed by the future σπουδάσω. The words ΔῈ ΚΑΊ following on ΣΠΟΥΔΆΣΩ seem to imply that the author would do something else besides the ὙΠΟΜΙΜΝΉΣΚΕΙΝ, whereby his readers after his death would be put in a position to remember what he had now written to them. This additional something may, however, be regarded as the ἜΧΕΙΝ ὙΜᾶςΤῊΝ ΤΟΎΤΩΝ ΜΝΉΜΗΝ ΠΟΙΕῖΣΘΑΙ itself in relation to ὙΜᾶς ὙΠΟΜΙΜΝΉΣΚΕΙΝ; that is to say, the latter states what he, the former what they, should do. It is most probable that the author in μελλήσω ὑπομιμνήσκειν and ΣΠΟΥΔΆΣΩ expresses his intention of continuing for the future also to write to his readers as time and opportunity presented themselves. It is entirely arbitrary to take the promise as referring to copies of his letters (de Wette), or to the composition of the Gospel of Mark, which is supposed to have been done under Peter’s superintendence (Michaelis, Pott, Fronmüller, etc.), or to the appointing of faithful teachers, cf. 2 Timothy 2:2.

[47] Dietlein: “Peter finds it necessary, in the first place, to stir up their remembrance during his lifetime, and secondly, to secure it for the time after his death; he wishes to provide for the latter also, at all times, i.e. he will not stop short at the epistle he has already written, but will make use of the present opportunity for writing a second.”2 Peter 1:15. σπουδάσω. The form is used by Polybius and later writers for the classical σπουδάσομαι. ἑκάστοτε goes with ἔχειν = “on each occasion when you have need”. The word is found apparently in the same sense in P. Gen. 313f. (ii. A.D.), ἑκάστοτέ σοι κατʼ ἐπιδημίαν παρενοχλῶν (“causing you annoyance on each occasion when you are at home”). τὴν τούτων μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι. What is the reference in τούτων? It must have the same reference as in 2 Peter 1:12, viz. to the practice of the Christian graces, and the larger reference must be to some systematic body of instruction. This might easily take the form of reminiscences of the example of Jesus Himself, and the allusion may be to the Petrine reminiscences contained in the Gospel of St. Mark (cf. μετὰ δὲ τὴν τούτων (Peter and Paul) ἔξοδον Μᾶρκος τὰ ὑπὸ Πέτρου κηρυσσόμενα ἐγγράφως ἡμῖν παραδέδωκεν Iren. iii. 1. 1.). “He has already referred to Christ (2 Peter 1:3), as having called them ἰδίᾳ δόξῃ καὶ ἀρετῇ”; surely nothing could be more appropriate, more helpful to a godly life, than that Peter should leave behind the picture of this δόξα καὶ ἀρετή drawn from his own recollection. And the following words, οὐ γὰρ σεσοφισμένος κ.τ.λ. (2 Peter 1:16) seem to imply a statement of facts” (Mayor, 143., where see whole discussion against Zahn. Introd. II. pp. 199 ff.). ἔξοδον. The same word is used in Luke 9:31 of the death of Christ. It seems to include the thought of subsequent glory (cf. Expositor, vi. ii. pp. 73 f. Smith, Days of His Flesh, pp. 274 f.) The meaning “death” is found in B.G.U. 168. (ii.–iii. A.D.). ἐπιγνοῦσα τὴν (το)ῦ Εὐδαίμονος ἔξοδον.

τὴν τούτων μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι: “refer to”; always in Greek writers, from Herodotus down = “mentionem facere, “make mention of” (cf. Grimm-Thayer under μνήμη). The sense here seems much the same. The document “referred to” would be an authentic source of information. Cf. P. Fay, 19 (ii. A.D.) [ἀκριβ]εστάτην μνήμην ποιούμενος.15. Moreover I will endeavour that you may be able after my decease …] The word “endeavour” in the modern sense is perhaps slightly too weak, the Greek verb implying diligent and earnest effort. In the Greek word for “decease” (exodos), we meet with another suggestive coincidence with the history of the Transfiguration. When the Apostle had seen the forms of Moses and Elijah, they had spoken of the “decease” which Christ should accomplish at Jerusalem (Luke 9:31). It may be noted that this use of the word, as an euphemistic synonym for “death,” is entirely absent from Greek classical writers, and that probably the two passages referred to are the earliest instances of its use in that sense. It occurs, however, a little later in Josephus (Ant. iv. 8, § 2) and in Wis 3:2 (“Their departure was taken for misery”), probably the work of a contemporary. In the intention thus expressed we may fairly see a confirmation of the tradition which speaks of St Mark’s acting as the “interpreter” or amanuensis of St Peter, in writing his Gospel, recording, at the request of the Apostle’s disciples, what they had heard orally from him. (Euseb. Hist. ii. 15, iii. 39, Iren. iii. 10, § 6.)

Another interpretation of the words may be noticed as deserving a place among the curiosities of exegesis. Roman Catholic commentators, Cornelius a Lapide and others, have connected the words “after my decease” with the verb “I will endeavour,” and have thus construed the Apostle’s words into an argument for his continued watchfulness and superintendence over the development of the Church’s doctrine.2 Peter 1:15. Σπουδάσω, I will endeavour) On this depends ὑμᾶς ἔχειν, that you may have [“be able”]. Thus also the Latins construct the verb studeo.—ἑκάστοτε, at every time) as often as there shall be occasion.—ἔχειν) An elegant phrase, ἔχω ποιεῖσθαι. But they were about to have it [in their power], since this very Epistle of Peter was left to them.Verse 15. - Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance; rather, but I will also give diligence that ye may be able at every time after my decease to call these things to remembrance. Of the two particles used here the δέ connects this verso with verse 13; the καί implies a further resolve. St. Peter will not only stir up the minds of his readers during his life, but he will give diligence to enable them to call to remembrance, after his death, the truths which he had preached. These words may refer simply to the present Epistle; but it seems more natural to understand them of an intention to commit to writing the facts of the gospel history; if this be so, we have here a confirmation of the ancient tradition that the Second Gospel was written by St. Mark at the dictation of St. Peter. The verb σπουδάσω is that used in verse 10, and should be translated in the same way; they must give diligence to make their calling and election sure. St. Peter, for his part, will give diligence to furnish them with a lasting record of the truths of Christianity. The adverb ἑκάστοτε, at every time, whenever there may be need, occurs only here in the New Testament. (For ἔχειν in the sense of "to be able," compare the Greek of Mark 14:8.) It is remarkable that we have here, in two consecutive verses, two words which remind us of the history of the Transfiguration, "tabernacle," and "decease" (ἔξοδος; see Luke 9:31). Then Peter proposed to make three tabernacles; then he heard Moses and Elijah speaking of the Lord's decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. The simple unconscious occurrence of these coincidences is a strong proof of the genuineness of our Epistle; it is inconceivable that an imitator of the second century should have shown this delicate skill in adapting his production to the circumstances of the supposed writer. The last words of the verse may mean (and in classical Greek would mean) "to make mention of these things;" but the usual rendering seems more suitable here. St. Peter was anxious rather that his readers should have the truths of the gospel living in their memories, than that they should talk about them; that would follow as a matter of course: "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Some Roman Catholic commentators think that this passage contains a promise that the apostle would still, after his death, continue to remember the needs of the Church on earth, and to help them by his intercessions; but this interpretation involves a complete dislocation of clauses, and cannot possibly be the true meaning of the words. Ye may be able (ἔχειν ὑμᾶς)

Lit., that you may have it. A similar use of have, in the sense of to be able, occurs Mark 14:8. The same meaning is also foreshadowed in Matthew 18:25, had not to pay; and John 8:6, have to accuse.

Decease (ἔξοδον)

Exodus is a literal transcript of the word, and is the term used by Luke in his account of the transfiguration. "They spake of his decease." It occurs only once elsewhere, Hebrews 11:22, in the literal sense, the departing or exodus of the children of Israel. "It is at least remarkable," says Dean Alford, "that, with the recollection of the scene on the mount of transfiguration floating in his mind, the apostle should use so close together the words which were there also associated, tabernacle and decease. The coincidence should not be forgotten in treating of the question of the genuineness of the epistle."

Call to remembrance (μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι)

The phrase occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. In classical Greek, to make mention of. An analogous expression is found, Romans 1:9, μνείαν ποιοῦμαι, I make mention. See, also, Ephesians 1:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Plm 1:4. Some render it thus here, as expressing Peter's desire to make it possible for his readers to report these things to others. Rev., to call these things to remembrance.

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