This chapter embraces the following subjects:
I. An exhortation to the elders of the churches to be faithful to the flocks committed to their charge, 1 Peter 5:1-4.
II. An exhortation to the younger members of the church to evince all proper submission to those who were older; to occupy the station in which they were placed with a becoming spirit, casting all their care on God, 1 Peter 5:5-7.
III. An exhortation to be sober and vigilant, in view of the dangers which beset them, and the arts and power of their great adversary, the devil, and especially to bear with patience the trials to which they were subjected, in common with their Christian brethren elsewhere, 1 Peter 5:8-11.
IV. Salutations, 1 Peter 5:12-14.
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:The elders which are among you I exhort - The word "elder" means, properly, "one who is old;" but it is frequently used in the New Testament as applicable to the officers of the church; probably because aged persons were at first commonly appointed to these offices. See Acts 11:30, note; Acts 14:23, note; Acts 15:2, note. There is evidently an allusion here to the fact that such persons were selected on account of their age, because in the following verses (1 Peter 5:4) the apostle addresses particularly the younger. It is worthy of remark, that he here refers only to one class of ministers. He does not speak of three "orders," of "bishops, priests, and deacons;" and the evidence from the passage here is quite strong that there were no such orders in the churches of Asia Minor, to which this Epistle was directed. It is also worthy of remark, that the word "exhort" is here used. The language which Peter uses is not that of stern and arbitrary command; it is that of kind and mild Christian exhortation. Compare the notes at Plm 1:8-9.
Who am also an elder - Greek: "a fellow-presbyter," (συμπρεσβύτερος sumpresbuteros.) This word occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means that he was a co-presbyter with them; and he makes this one of the grounds of his exhortation to them. He does not put it on the ground of his apostolical authority; or urge it because he was the vicegerent of Christ; or because he was the head of the church; or because he had any pre-eminence over others in any way. Would he have used this language if he had been the "head of the church" on earth? Would he if he supposed that the distinction between apostles and other ministers was to be perpetuated? Would he if he believed that there were to be distinct orders of clergy? The whole drift of this passage is adverse to such a supposition.
And a witness of the sufferings of Christ - Peter was indeed a witness of the sufferings of Christ when on his trial, and doubtless also when he was scourged and mocked, and when he was crucified. After his denial of his Lord, he wept bitterly, and evidently then followed him to the place where he was crucified, and, in company with others, observed with painful solicitude the last agonies of his Saviour. It is not, so far as I know, expressly said in the Gospels that Peter was pre sent at the crucifixion of the Saviour; but it is said Luke 23:49 that "all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things," and nothing is more probable than that Peter was among them. His warm attachment to his Master, and his recent bitter repentance for having denied him, would lead him to follow him to the place of his death; for after the painful act of denying him he would not be likely to expose himself to the charge of neglect, or of any want of love again. His own solemn declaration here makes it certain that he was present. He alludes to it now, evidently because it qualified him to exhort those whom he addressed. It would be natural to regard with special respect one who had actually seen the Saviour in his last agony, and nothing would be more impressive than an exhortation falling from the lips of such a man. A son would be likely to listen with great respect to any suggestions which should be made by one who had seen his father or mother die. The impression which Peter had of that scene he would desire to have transferred to those whom he addressed, that by a lively view of the sufferings of their Saviour they might be excited to fidelity in his cause.
And a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed - Another reason to make his exhortation impressive and solemn. He felt that he was an heir of life. He was about to partake of the glories of heaven. Looking forward, as they did also, to the blessed world before him and them, he had a right to exhort them to the faithful performance of duty. Anyone, who is himself an heir of salvation, may appropriately exhort his fellow-Christians to fidelity in the service of their common Lord.
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 the flock of God - Discharge the duties of a shepherd toward the flock. On the word "feed," see the notes at John 21:15. It is a word which Peter would be likely to remember, from the solemn manner in which the injunction to perform the duty was laid on him by the Saviour. The direction means to take such an oversight of the church as a shepherd is accustomed to take of his flock. See the notes at John 10:1-16.
Which is among you - Margin, as much as in you is. The translation in the text is the more correct. It means the churches which were among them, or over which they were called to preside.
Taking the oversight thereof - ἐπισκοποῦντες episkopountes. The fair translation of this word is, "discharging the episcopal office"; and the word implies all that is always implied by the word "bishop" in the New Testament. This idea should have been expressed in the translation. The meaning is not merely to take the oversight - for that might be done in a subordinate sense by anyone in office; but it is to take such an oversight as is implied in the episcopate, or by the word "bishop." The words "episcopate," "episcopal," and "episcopacy," are merely the Greek word used here and its correlatives transferred to our language. The sense is that of overseeing; taking the oversight of; looking after, as of a flock; and the word has originally no reference to what is now spoken of as especially the episcopal office. It is a word strictly applicable to any minister of religion, or officer of a church. In the passage before us this duty was to be performed by those who, in 1 Peter 5:1, are called presbyters, or elders; and this is one of the numerous passages in the New Testament which prove that all that is properly implied in the performance of the episcopal functions pertained to those who were called presbyters, or elders. If so, there was no higher grade of ministers to which the special duties of the episcopate were to be entrusted; that is, there was no class of officers corresponding to those who are now called "bishops." Compare the notes at Acts 20:28.
Not by constraint, but willingly - Not as if you felt that a heavy yoke was imposed on you, or a burden from which you would gladly be discharged. Go cheerfully to your duty as a work which you love, and act like a freeman in it, and not as a slave. Arduous as are the labors of the ministry, yet there is no work on earth in which a man can and should labor more cheerfully.
Not for filthy lucre - Shameful or dishonorable gain. See the notes at 1 Timothy 3:3.
But of a ready mind - Cheerfully, promptly. We are to labor in this work, not under the influence of the desire of gain, but from the promptings of love. There is all the difference conceivable between one who does a thing because he is paid for it, and one who does it from love - between, for example, the manner in which one attends on us when we are sick who loves us, and one who is merely hired to do it. Such a difference is there in the spirit with which one who is actuated by mercenary motives, and one whose heart is in the work, will engage in the ministry.
Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.Neither as being lords - Margin, "overruling." The word here used (κατακυριεύω katakurieuō) is rendered "exercise dominion over," in Matthew 20:25; exercise lordship over, in Mark 10:42; and overcame, in Acts 19:16. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It refers properly to that kind of jurisdiction which civil rulers or magistrates exercise. This is an exercise of authority, as contradistinguished from the influence of reason, persuasion, and example. The latter pertains to the ministers of religion; the former is forbidden to them. Their dominion is not to be that of temporal lordship; it is to be that of love and truth. This command would prohibit all assumption of temporal power by the ministers of religion, and all conferring of titles of nobility on those who are preachers of the gospel. It needs scarcely to be said that it has been very little regarded in the church.
Over God's heritage - των κλήρων tōn klērōn. Vulgate: "in cleris" - over the clergy. The Greek word here (κλῆρος klēros) is that from which the word "clergy" has been derived; and some have interpreted it here as referring to the clergy, that is, to priests and deacons who are under the authority of a bishop. Such an interpretation, I however, would hardly be adopted now. The word means properly:
(a) a lot, die, anything used in determining chances;
(b) a part or portion, such as is assigned by lot; hence,
(c) an office to which one is designated or appointed, by lot or otherwise; and,
The meaning here is, "not lording it over the possessions or the heritage of God." The reference is, undoubtedly, to the church, as that which is especially his property; his own in the world. Whitby and others suppose that it refers to the possessions or property of the church; Doddridge explains it - "not assuming dominion over those who fall to your lot," supposing it to mean that they were not to domineer over the particular congregations committed by Providence to their care. But the other interpretation is most in accordance with the usual meaning of the word.
But being ensamples to the flock - Examples. See the notes at 1 Timothy 4:12. Peter has drawn here with great beauty, the appropriate character of the ministers of the gospel, and described the spirit with which they should be actuated in the discharge of the duties of their office. But how different it is from the character of many who have claimed to be ministers of religion; and especially how different from that corrupt communion which professes in a special manner to recognize Peter as the head, and the vicegerent of Christ. It is well remarked by Benson on this passage, that "the church of Rome could not well have acted more directly contrary to this injunction of Peter's if she had studied to disobey it, and to form herself upon a rule that should be the reverse of this."
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.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.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.Likewise, ye younger - All younger persons of either sex.
Submit yourselves unto the elder - That is, with the respect due to their age, and to the offices which they sustain. There is here, probably, a particular reference to those who sustained the office of elders or teachers, as the same word is used here which occurs in 1 Peter 5:1. As there was an allusion in that verse, by the use of the word, to age, so there is in this verse to the fact that they sustained an office in the church. The general duty, however, is here implied, as it is everywhere in the Bible, that all suitable respect is to be shown to the aged. Compare Leviticus 19:32; 1 Timothy 5:1; Acts 23:4; 2 Peter 2:9.
Yea, all of you be subject one to another - In your proper ranks and relations. You are not to attempt to lord it over one another, but are to treat each other with deference and respect. See the Ephesians 5:21 note; Philippians 2:3 note.
And be clothed with humility - The word here rendered "be clothed" (ἐγκομβώμαι egkombōmai) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is derived from κόμβος kombos - a strip, string, or loop to fasten a garment; and then the word refers to a garment that was fastened with strings. The word ἐγκόμβωμα engkombōma refers particularly to a long white apron, or outer garment, that was commonly worn by slaves. See Robinson, Lexicon; Passow, Lexicon. There is, therefore, special force in the use of this word here, as denoting an humble mind. They were to be willing to take any place, and to perform any office, however humble, in order to serve and benefit others. They were not to assume a style and dignity of state and authority, as if they would lord it over others, or as if they were better than others; but they were to be willing to occupy any station, however humble, by which they might honor God. It is known that not a few of the early Christians actually sold themselves as slaves, in order that they might preach the gospel to those who were in bondage. The sense here is, they were to put on humility as a garment bound fast to them, as a servant bound fast to him the apron that was significant of his station. Compare Colossians 3:13. It is not unusual in the Scriptures, as well as in other writings, to compare the virtues with articles of apparel; as that with which we are clothed, or in which we are seen by others. Compare Isaiah 11:5; Isaiah 59:17.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:Humble yourselves therefore - Be willing to take a low place - a place such as becomes you. Do not arrogate to yourselves what does not belong to you; do not evince pride and haughtiness in your manner; do not exalt yourselves above others. See the notes at Luke 14:7-11. Compare Proverbs 15:33; Proverbs 18:12; Proverbs 22:4; Micah 6:8; Philippians 2:8.
Under the mighty hand of God - This refers probably to the calamities which he had brought upon them, or was about to bring upon them; represented here, as often elsewhere, as the infliction of his hand - the hand being that by which we accomplish anything. When that hand was upon them they were not to be lifted up with pride and with a spirit of rebellion, but were to take a lowly place before him, and submit to him wish a calm mind, believing that he would exalt them in due time. There is no situation in which one will be more likely to feel humility than in scenes of affliction.
That he may exalt you in due time - When he shall see it to be a proper time:
(1) They might be assured that this would be done at some time. He would not always leave them in this low and depressed condition. He would take off his heavy hand, and raise them up from their state of sadness and suffering.
(2) this would be in due time; that is, in the proper time, in the best time:
(a) It might be in the present life.
(b) It would certainly be in the world to come. There they would be exalted to honors which will be more than an equivalent for all the persecution, poverty, and contempt which are suffered in this world. He may well afford to be humble here who is to be exalted to a throne in heaven.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.Casting all your care upon him - Compare Psalm 55:22, from whence this passage was probably taken. "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Compare, for a similar sentiment, Matthew 6:25-30. The meaning is, that we are to commit our whole cause to him. If we suffer heavy trials; if we lose our friends, health, or property; if we have arduous and responsible duties to perform; if we feel that we have no strength, and are in danger of being crushed by what is laid upon us, we may go and cast all upon the Lord; that is, we may look to him for grace and strength, and feel assured that he will enable us to sustain all that is laid upon us. The relief in the case will be as real, and as full of consolation, as if he took the burden and bore it himself. He will enable us to bear with ease what we supposed we could never have done; and the burden which he lays upon us will be light, Matthew 11:30. Compare the notes at Philippians 4:6-7.
For he careth for you - See the notes at Matthew 10:29-31. He is not like the gods worshipped by many of the pagan, who were supposed to be so exalted, and so distant, that they did not interest themselves in human affairs; but He condescends to regard the needs of the meanest of his creatures. It is one of the glorious attributes of the true God, that he can and will thus notice the needs of the mean as well as the mighty; and one of the richest of all consolations when we are afflicted, and are despised by the world, is the thought that we are not forgotten by our heavenly Father. He who remembers the falling sparrow, and who hears the young ravens when they cry, will not be unmindful of us. "Yet the Lord thinketh on me," was the consolation of David, when he felt that he was "poor and needy," Psalm 40:17. "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up," Psalm 27:10.
Compare Isaiah 49:15. What more can one wish than to be permitted to feel that the great and merciful Yahweh thinks on him? What are we - what have we done, that should be worthy of such condescension? Remember, poor, despised, afflicted child of God, that you will never be forgotten. Friends on earth, the great, the frivilous, the noble, the rich, may forget you; God never will. Remember that you will never be entirely neglected. Father, mother, neighbor, friend, those whom you have loved, and those to whom you have done good, may neglect you, but God never will. You may become poor, and they may pass by you; you may lose your office, and flatterers may no longer throng your path; your beauty may fade, and your admirers may leave you; you may grow old, and be infirm, and appear to be useless in the world, and no one may seem to care for you; but it is not thus with the God whom you serve. When he loves, he always loves; if he regarded you with favor when you were rich, he will not forget you when you are poor; he who watched over you with a parent's care in the bloom of youth, will not cast you off when you are "old and grey-headed," Psalm 71:18. If we are what we should be, we shall never be without a friend as long as there is a God.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:Be sober - While you cast your cares Upon God, and have no anxiety on that score, let your solicitude be directed to another point. Do not doubt that he is able and willing to support and befriend you, but be watchful against your foes. See the word used here fully explained in the notes at 1 Thessalonians 5:6.
Be vigilant - This word (γρηγορέω grēgoreō) is everywhere else in the New Testament rendered "watch." See Matthew 24:42-43; Matthew 25:13; Matthew 26:38, Matthew 26:40-41. It means that we should exercise careful circumspection, as one does when he is in danger. In reference to the matter here referred to, it means that we are to be on our guard against the wiles and the power of the evil one.
Your adversary the devil - Your enemy; he who is opposed to you. Satan opposes man in his best interests. He resists his efforts to do good; his purposes to return to God; his attempts to secure his own salvation. There is no more appropriate appellation that can be given to him than to say that he resists all our efforts to obey God and to secure the salvation of our own souls.
As a roaring lion - Compare Revelation 12:12. Sometimes Satan is represented as transforming himself into an angel of light, (see the notes at 2 Corinthians 11:14); and sometimes, as here, as a roaring lion: denoting the efforts which he makes to alarm and overpower us. The lion here is not the crouching lion - the lion stealthfully creeping toward his foe - but it is the raging monarch of the woods, who by his terrible roar would intimidate all so that they might become an easy prey. The particular thing referred to here, doubtless, is persecution, resembling in its terrors a roaring lion. When error comes in; when seductive arts abound; when the world allures and charms the representation of the character of the foe is not of the roaring lion, but of the silent influence of an enemy that has clothed himself in the garb of an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14.
Walketh about, seeking whom he may devour - "Naturalists have observed that a lion roars when he is roused with hunger, for then he is most fierce, and most eagerly seeks his prey. See Judges 14:5; Psalm 22:13; Jeremiah 2:15; Ezekiel 22:25; Hosea 11:10; Zephaniah 3:3; Zechariah 11:3" - Benson.
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.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.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.But the God of all grace - The God who imparts all needful grace. It was proper in their anticipated trials to direct them to God, and to breathe forth in their behalf an earnest and affectionate prayer that they might be supported. A prayer of this kind by an apostle would also be to them a sort of pledge or assurance that the needed grace would be granted them.
Who hath called us unto his eternal glory - And who means, therefore, that we shall be saved. As he has called us to his glory, we need not apprehend that he will leave or forsake us. On the meaning of the word called, see the notes at Ephesians 4:1.
After that ye have suffered a while - After you have suffered as long as he shall appoint. The Greek is, "having suffered a little," and may refer either to time or degree. In both respects the declaration concerning afflictions is true. They are short, compared with eternity; they are light, compared with the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. See the notes at 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
Make you perfect - By means of your trials. The tendency of affliction is to make us perfect.
Strengthen - Give you strength to bear all this.
Settle you - Literally, found you, or establish you on a firm foundation - θεμελιώσες themeliōses. The allusion is to a house which is so firmly fixed on a foundation that it will not be moved by winds or floods. Compare the notes at Matthew 7:24 ff.
To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.To him be glory ... - See the notes at 1 Peter 4:11.
By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.By Silvanus - Or Silas. See the 2 Corinthians 1:19 note; 1 Thessalonians 1:1, note. He was the intimate friend and companion of Paul, and had labored much with him in the regions where the churches were situated to which this Epistle was addressed. In what manner he became acquainted with Peter, or why he was now with him in Babylon is unknown.
A faithful brother unto you, as I suppose - The expression "as I suppose" - ὡς λογίζομαι hōs logizomai - does not imply that there was any doubt on the mind of the apostle, but indicates rather a firm persuasion that what he said was true. Thus, Romans 8:18, "For I reckon (λογίζομαι logizomai) that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared," etc. That is, I am fully persuaded of it; I have no doubt of it. Peter evidently had no doubt on this point, but he probably could not speak from any personal knowledge. He had not been with them when Silas was, and perhaps not at all; for they may have been" strangers "to him personally - for the word "strangers," in 1 Peter 1:1, may imply that he had no personal acquaintance with them. Silas, however, had been much with them, (compare Acts 15:17-31,) and Peter had no doubt that he had shown himself to be "a faithful brother" to them. An epistle conveyed by his hands could not but be welcome. It should be observed, however, that the expression "I suppose" has been differently interpreted by some. Wetstein understands it as meaning, "Not that he supposed Silvanus to be a faithful brother, for who, says he, could doubt that? but that he had written as he understood matters, having carefully considered the subject, and as he regarded things to be true;" and refers for illustration to Romans 8:18; Philippians 4:8; Hebrews 11:9. Grotius understands it as meaning, "If I remember right;" and supposes that the idea is, that he shows his affection for them by saying that this was not the first time that he had written to them, but that he had written before briefly, and sent the letter, as well as he could remember, by Silvanus. But there is no evidence that he had written to them before, and the common interpretation is undoubtedly to be preferred.
Exhorting - No small part of the Epistle is taken up with exhortations.
And testifying - Bearing witness. The main design of the office of the apostles was to bear witness to the truth, (See the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:1;) and Peter in this Epistle discharged that part of the functions of his office toward the scattered Christians of Asia Minor.
That this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand - That the religion in which you stand, or which you now hold, is that which is identified with the grace or favor of God. Christianity, not Judaism, or Paganism, was the true religion. To show this, and bear continual witness to it, was the leading design of the apostolic office.
The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you - It will be seen at once that much of this is supplied by our translators; the words "church that is" not being in the original. The Greek is, ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ hē en Babulōni suneklektē; and might refer to a church, or to a female. Wall, Mill, and some others, suppose that the reference is to a Christian woman, perhaps the wife of Peter himself. Compare 2 John 1:1. But the Arabic, Syriac, and Vulgate, as well as the English versions, supply the word "church." This interpretation seems to be confirmed by the word rendered "elected together with" - συνεκλεκτὴ suneklektē. This word would be properly used in reference to one individual if writing to another individual, but would hardly be appropriate as applied to an individual addressing a church. It could not readily be supposed, moreover, that any one female in Babylon could have such a prominence, or be so well known, that nothing more would be necessary to designate her than merely to say, "the elect female." On the word Babylon here, and the place denoted by it, see the introduction, section 2.
And so doth Marcus my son - Probably John Mark. See the notes at Acts 12:12; Acts 15:37. Why he was now with Peter is unknown. If this was the Mark referred to, then the word son is a title of affection, and is used by Peter with reference to his own superior age. It is possible, however, that some other Mark may be referred to, in whose conversion Peter had been instrumental.
Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity - A kiss of love; a common method of affectionate salutation in the times of the apostles. See the notes at Romans 16:16.