1 Peter 1Strangers. This Epistle is addressed to Jewish Christians residing in the various provinces of Asia Minor here specified. Jews residing in countries foreign to Judea were called strangers, being such in the land where they were dwelling.—Asia; a certain province of Asia Minor, including Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, Lydia, &c., being the western and south-western part. The other provinces mentioned here are situated in the northern and eastern part of the same country. So that, in a word, this Epistle is addressed to the Jewish Christians of Asia Minor.
Elect—unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. The believer is elect unto obedience, inasmuch as, from being a rebellious transgressor, he is made henceforth obedient to the will of God; and he is elect unto sprinkling of the blood of Christ, as, through the atonement made by Christ, his past sins are forgiven. The figure of sprinkling with blood, to denote the spiritual efficacy of Christ's death, seems to be taken from some of the ceremonies of the Jewish law. (Ex. 24:8.)
Hath begotten us again; created us anew.—A lively hope; an animating hope.
In the last time; at the end of the world.
Wherein; that is, in the joyful hope of which the writer had been speaking.—Manifold temptations; many sufferings and trials.
That perisheth, though it be tried with fire; that is, though it stands the test of fire, it is not indestructible;—being often lost or consumed by means of other causes.
Searching what or what manner of time, &c.; that is, what time, or what manner of time. The distinction, however, which was intended to be marked by these two forms of expression, is not understood. It has been supposed that Peter alludes here to Dan. 9:22, 24, where the prophet is represented as earnestly desirous of understanding when and in what manner the promised redemption was to come.—The Spirit of Christ; the spirit of prophecy respecting Christ.
That not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister, &c.; that is, when they desired to know, as is stated in v. 11, at what time the events which they predicted were to be fulfilled, it was revealed to them that the promised blessings were not to be bestowed upon them, but upon a future and distant generation. To minister things is to perform any service relating to them; as the prophets, by their predictions, did in respect to the great plan of salvation.—Desire to look into; take pleasure in looking into.
Gird up, &c. The loose dress worn in those days had to be drawn around the body by a girdle, whenever any exertion or labor was required. (Exod. 12:11, Luke 12:35, John 13:4.) Hence the act of girding came to represent earnest preparation for duty. In this case, the direction means, Enter resolutely upon the work before you.—For the grace; the favor,—referring here evidently to the future happiness of the Christian.
Not fashioning yourselves; that is, your conduct and character.—In your ignorance; before you became acquainted with the truth in Christ.
In all manner of conversation; in all your conduct.
Lev. 11:44, 19:2.
If ye call on the Father; if you are looking to him,—depending upon his favor.
Your vain conversation; your life of folly and sin.
The lamb required for the ancient sacrifice was to be without a blemish. (Lev. 22:19, 20.) This perfection may be regarded as an emblem of the spiritual purity and spotlessness of Jesus Christ.
Was manifest; was manifested; that is, he visibly appeared.
Of corruptible seed; of frail and sinful parentage.
All flesh; all that comes from flesh, that is, from corruptible seed, as mentioned in the preceding verse.
The word of the Lord; that is, the incorruptible seed, mentioned in v. 23, as that through which the believer is born again.
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