Deuteronomy 7:1-5: All Communion with them Indigenous Pagans is Forbidden for Fear of Idolatry

Verse 1:  When the (Deut. 31:3; Ps. 44:2, 3) LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, (Gen. 15:19, etc.; Ex. 33:2) the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations (Deut. 4:38; 9:1) greater and mightier than thou…

[And He will have destroyed (thus the Samaritan Text, similarly the Syriac, Arabic), וְנָשַׁל[1]He will have cast out (Onkelos in Munster, Tigurinus, Ainsworth); He will have carried away (Kimchi in Munster, Oleaster, similarly the Septuagint, Munster); He will have driven out (Vatablus); He will have plucked out (Montanus); He will have cast down (Junius and Tremellius).

[The Hittites, etc.]  In Genesis 15:19, ten nations are enumerated:  therefore, the remaining three either perished previously, or were mixed with the seven others (Menochius out of Lapide).

Seven nations:  There were ten in Genesis 15:19-21; but this being some hundreds of years after that, it is not strange if three of them were either destroyed by foreign or domestic wars, or by cohabitation and marriage united with and swallowed up in some of the rest.


Verse 2:  And when the LORD thy God shall (Deut. 7:23; 23:14) deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and (Lev. 27:28, 29; Num. 33:52; Deut. 20:16, 17; Josh. 6:17; 8:24; 9:24; 10:28, 40; 11:11, 12) utterly destroy them; (Ex. 23:32; 34:12, 15, 16; Judg. 2:2; see Deut. 20:10, etc.; Josh. 2:14; 9:18; Judg. 1:24) thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them…

[Thou shalt not enter into a covenant]  That is, that they might dwell with thee in the same land (Menochius out of Bonfrerius).  The Egyptians seize upon these things in the institutes of Moses unto the odium of the Jews.  Manetho,[2] Συνάπτεσθαι δὴ μή τινι πλὴν τῶν συνωμοσμένων, that is, to enter into society with their co-conspirators alone.  Chæremon,[3] Μήτε ἀνθρώπων τινὶ εὐνοήσειν, that is, to be benevolent to no one.  Tacitus follows these:  Among them (the Jews) loyalty is firm, mercy is in readiness; but against all others they have a hostile hatred.  And Dio Cassius,[4] Κεχωρίδαται ἀπὸ τῶν λοιπῶν, etc., They differ from the rest of mankind almost universally, as in other things, so in food (Grotius).

[Thou shalt not show mercy, תְחָנֵּם[5]Thou shalt not show kindness to them; that is, thou shalt bestow no favor or benefit upon them (Malvenda, Ainsworth).

No covenant with them, to spare them, or permit them to dwell with thee in the land.  Other nations had more favour, but these were for their great wickedness, and for the good of Israel, devoted to utter destruction.


Verse 3:  (Josh. 23:12; 1 Kings 11:2; Ezra 9:2) Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

[Thou shalt not share in marriages with them]  That is, as long as they remain idolaters (Estius, Lapide).  For, if they be converted, the reason ceases, verse 4, because they will seduce.  For that reason Salmon took Rahab[6] (Lapide).  [Others otherwise:]  Not even with them converted to the Law.  Whence they gather that Rahab was not of the seven nations (Grotius).  See concerning this question in Ezra 10, in Commentary upon the Four Books of Sentences[7] 4:39 (Estius), and on Exodus 34:16 (Bonfrerius).  See on Deuteronomy 20:16 and Joshua 9:19 (Malvenda).  These words regard, not only the seven nations, but also other Pagans.  See Ezra 9 (Ainsworth out of the Hebrews).


Verse 4:  For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:  (Deut. 6:15) so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

[They will seduce, יָסִיר[8]She shall call away, that is, she would be able to call and lead away thy son (Vatablus).  She shall cause to depart (Malvenda).

They will turn away thy son, etc.:  i.e. There is manifest danger of apostacy and idolatry from such matches; which reason doth both limit the law to such of these as were unconverted, otherwise Salmon married Rahab, Matthew 1:5, and enlarge it to other idolatrous nations, as appears from 1 Kings 11:2; Ezra 9:2; Nehemiah 13:23.

[He shall destroy thee quickly, מַהֵר[9]Quickly; in Hebrew, with hastening.  ב/in/with is wanting before  מַהֵר(Piscator).


Verse 5:  But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall (Ex. 23:24; 34:13; Deut. 12:2, 3) destroy their altars, and break down their images (Heb. statues, or, pillars[10]), and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

[Altars]  Chæremon, where which he recites the institutes of Moses, Θεῶν τε ναοῦς καὶ βωμοῦς οἷς ἂν προστύχωσιν ἀνατρέπειν, the temples and altars of the gods, whatever came in their way to overturnHecatæus[11] concerning the Jews fastens the same upon them (Grotius).

[Groves]  There is a frequent mention of these in Sacred and profane literature.  Lucian[12] in Concerning the Syrian Goddess,[13] near the beginning, The first…Egyptians are said to have gained the acquaintance of the gods, and to have founded temples, and groves, etc.  Tacitus in his Concerning the Origin and Situation of the Germanics, They consecrate groves and woods.  Virgil’s Eclogues 6, Lest there be any grove than which Apollo might boast himself more; and in his Æneid 1, There was a grove in the city, etcHere, a temple, etc.  The nations were wont to plant groves around their temples.  They did these things by a depraved imitation.  See Genesis 21:33.  Concerning these things consult Fab. Semest. 3:1.  The Hebrew is אֲשֵׁירָה/Asherah, that is to say, blessed;[14] either, because there they would seek blessedness, as in a sacred place; or, by antiphrasis, that is, a place not at all blessed, but infamous and detestable (Malvenda).

Idolaters planted groves about the temples and altars of their gods.  Hereby God designed to take away whatsoever might bring their idolatry to remembrance, or occasion the reviving of it.

[1] Deuteronomy 7:1a:  “When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out (וְנָשַׁל) many nations before thee…”  נָשַׁל signifies to slip off, to drop off, or to clear away.

[2] Manetho (third century BC) was an Egyptian historian.  His Ægyptiaca has been of enduring value in the study of Pharaonic dynasties.

[3] Chæremon (first century AD) was an author, historian, and superintendent of a portion of the Alexandrian library.  He wrote a history of Egypt.

[4] Dio Cassius was a Roman historian of the third century AD.  His Historiæ Romanæ is an important sourse of information concerning that period.

[5] חָנַן signifies to show favor, or to be gracious.

[6] Matthew 1:5.  See also Joshua 6:25.

[7] Estius’ In Quatuor Libros Sententiarum Commentaria.

[8] סוּר, to turn aside, in the Hiphil conjugation, signifies to cause to turn aside.

[9] מָהַר signifies to hasten; מַהֵר is frequently taken in an adverbial sense, quickly.

[10] Hebrew:  וּמַצֵּבֹתָם.

[11] Hecatæus of Aberda (fourth century BC) was a Greek historian and philosopher.

[12] Lucian of Samosata (c. 120-c. 180) was a trained rhetorician, particularly skilled in satire.

[13] De Dea Syria.

[14] אָשַׁר signifies to proceed or advance, or to pronounce blessed.

Deuteronomy 7 Outline

Israel is commanded to cast out the Hittites, the Perizzites, etc, 1.  All communion with them forbidden, 2, 3, for fear of idolatry, 4.  They must ruin the places of idolatry, 5.  The Israelites’ holiness and relation to God, 6.  His faithfulness to the obedient, 9; and vengeance on them that hate him, 10.  The advantages of obedience, 12-16.  God encourages them, and promises to drive out the nations before there, 17-24.  They are commanded to destroy their images, 25; and keep themselves clean from their cursed things, 26.

Deuteronomy 6:20-25: Command to Transmit the Knowledge of God’s Works to Posterity

Verse 20:  And (Ex. 13:14) when thy son asketh thee in time to come (Heb. tomorrow[1]), saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD our God hath commanded you?


Verse 21:  Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh’s bondmen in Egypt; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt (Ex. 3:19; 13:3) with a mighty hand…

[We were servants]  He sets forth three reasons why the Israelites ought to obey God:  Benefits received, Advantages promised, and Grace in the presence of God:  in which the Hebrews think that tacitly are involved greater things than those promised, that is, eternal things (Grotius).

[The Lord]  Not any Angel, as the Jews relate in their Haggadah.[2]  Objection:  In Numbers 20:16, He sent His Angel.  Response:  That Angel was Christ, 1 Corinthians 10 (Dieu).

[With a strong hand]  They refer it to the pestilence, as in Exodus 9:3.  But they refer the stretched out arm to the sword (as in 1 Chronicles 21:16), by which He killed the firstborn (Dieu).


Verse 22:  (Ex. 7-12; Ps. 135:9) And the LORD shewed signs and wonders, great and sore (Heb. evil[3]), upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes…


Verse 23:  And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers.


Verse 24:  And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, (Deut. 6:2) to fear the LORD our God, (Deut. 10:13; Job 35:7, 8; Jer. 32:39) for our good always, that (Deut. 4:1; 8:1; Ps. 41:2; Luke 10:28) he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.

For our good:  The benefit of obedience is ours, not God’s, Job 35:7 and therefore our obedience is highly reasonable, and absolutely necessary.

[As it is today]  That is, as thou seest us unharmed today (Malvenda).


Verse 25:  And (Lev. 18:5; Deut. 24:13; Rom. 10:3, 5) it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.

[And He shall be merciful to us, וּצְדָקָה תִּהְיֶה־לָּנוּ]  And righteousness shall be to us (Malvenda, Samaritan Text, Drusius).  The sense:  We shall not only be called righteous, but we shall be so indeed before God and men.  For he who does righteous works is righteous.  For these things we ought to keep the precepts of our Lord; this law and equity require it (Drusius).  If men perfectly fulfill the Law, they would be justified before God (Ainsworth).  To others righteousness is here taken for mercy (Menochius), even the recompense and reward of the righteous in the future age (thus Jonathan and Gerundensis and Chizkuni in Drusius).  Elsewhere righteousness is put in the place of benignity (Drusius):  for a benefit and kindness performed, as in 1 Samuel 26:23; Isaiah 54:17 (Malvenda).

Heb. righteousness shall be to us.  We shall be owned and pronounced by God to be truly righteous and holy persons, if we sincerely obey him, otherwise we shall be declared to be unrighteous and ungodly persons, and all our profession of religion will appear to be in hypocrisy.  Or, mercy shall be to us, or with us.  For as the Hebrew word rendered righteousness is very oft put for mercy, as Psalm 24:5; 36:10; 51:14; Proverbs 10:2; 11:4; Daniel 9:16, etc.; so this sense seems best to agree both with the Scripture use of this phrase, in which righteousness, seldom or never, to my remembrance, but grace or mercy frequently, is said to be to us or with us, as 2 Samuel 15:20; Psalm 89:24; Proverbs 14:22; Galatians 6:16; 2 John 3; and with the foregoing verse and argument, God, saith he, verse 24, commanded these things for our good, that he might preserve us alive, as it is this day.  And, saith he in this verse, this is not all; for as he hath done us good, so he will go on to do us more and more good, and God’s mercy shall be to us, or with us, in the remainder of our lives, and for ever, if we observe, etc.

[1] Hebrew:  מָחָר.

[2] Haggadah is non-legalistic, historical anecdotes and moral exhortations found in the Mishnah and Talmud.  The aggadic material in these works has been brought together in various collections.

[3] Hebrew:  וְרָעִים.

Deuteronomy 6:16-19: Exhortation to Obedience

Verse 16:  (Matt. 4:7; Luke 4:12) Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, (Ex. 17:2, 7; Num. 20:3, 4; 21:4, 5; 1 Cor. 10:9) as ye tempted him in Massah.

[Thou shalt not tempt]  Thou shalt not provoke Him by sin, by murmuring, etc. (Menochius).

Ye shall not tempt the Lord:  i.e. Not provoke him, as the following instance explains.  Sinners, especially presumptuous sinners, are oft said to tempt God, i.e. to make a trial of God, whether he be what he pretends to be, so wise as to see their sins, so just and true and powerful as to take vengeance on them for their sins, concerning which they are very apt to doubt because of the present impunity and prosperity of many such persons.  See Numbers 14:22; Psalm 78:18; Matthew 4:7; Acts 5:9.


Verse 17:  Ye shall (Deut. 11:13, 22; Ps. 119:4) diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee.


Verse 18:  And thou (Ex. 15:26; Deut. 12:28; 13:18) shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD:  that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers…

Right and good in the sight of the Lord:  Not that which is right in thine own eyes, as many superstitious and sinful practices seem right and good to evil-minded men.  Let God’s will and word, and not thine own fancy or invention, be thy rule in God’s service.  Good actions are oft said to be right in God’s sight, as Jeremiah 34:15; Acts 4:19; and evil actions are oft said to be right in our own eyes, as Deuteronomy 12:8; Judges 17:6.

[Concerning which He swore]  Hebrew:  which He swore[1] (Piscator), promised upon oath (Junius and Tremellius), swore that He is about to give to thee (Arabic).


Verse 19:  (Num. 33:52, 53) To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.

[So that He might remove, לַהֲדֹף[2]To repel (Montanus); to expel (Septuagint); so that He might wear away (Chaldean).  [Others refer it to the beginning of verse 18:]  That thou mightest do what is right…(verse 19) by expelling (Junius and Tremellius, Ainsworth, Tigurinus).  [Others refer it to the immediately preceding verb, He swore:]  Concerning which He swore that He was going to expel (Samaritan Text, similarly Piscator, Chaldean Syriac).

[1] Hebrew:  אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּע.

[2] הָדַף signifies to drive out.

Deuteronomy 6:10-15: Warning against Forgetting God

Verse 10:  And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, (Josh. 24:13; Ps. 105:44) which thou buildedst not…

[And when He has introduced, etc., וְהָיָה וגו״]  Now, when this will have happened (Junius and Tremellius).  I translate it, moreover.  Verbatim:  and it shall happen, that is, it ought to be done:  what ought to be done? namely, that which is subjoined in verse 12, beware lest thou forget, etc.  Thus often to the verb הָיָה, to be, posited absolutely, is subjoined a particular verb by which that general is declared (Piscator).


Verse 11:  And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; (Deut. 8:10, etc.) when thou shalt have eaten and be full…

[Olive-yards]  זֵיתִים signifies this when it is subjoined to the name of vineyard;[1] otherwise it signifies olives (Piscator).


Verse 12:  Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage (Heb. bondmen, or, servants[2]).


Verse 13:  Thou shalt (Deut. 10:12, 20; 13:4; Matt. 4:10; Luke 4:8) fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and (Ps. 63:11; Is. 45:23; 65:16; Jer. 4:2; 5:7; 12:16) shalt swear by his name.

[Thou shalt swear]  If there is an oath (Menochius); for a necessary cause (Lyra, Estius).  When thou shalt wish to enter into a covenant with someone, or, when thou shalt be compelled by the Magistrate to swear (Fagius, Vatablus); then it is to be sworn by God alone (Estius).  Here, this is to be understood, and not by the name of an idol (Vatablus, Fagius out of Ibn Ezra); which, since it is nothing, concerning nothing is it able to testify and to do faithfully (Vatablus).  But think not that an oath in the name of God is here commanded for any light matter:  for this passage is to be understood only of a solemn oath (Vatablus, Fagius).

Swear by his name:  When thou hast a call and just cause to swear.  By his name, understand only, as Deuteronomy 5:2, not by idols, or any creatures.


Verse 14:  Ye shall not (Deut. 8:19; 11:28; Jer. 25:6) go after other gods, (Deut. 13:7) of the gods of the people which are round about you…


Verse 15:  (For [Ex. 20:5; Deut. 4:24] the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) (Deut. 7:4; 11:17) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

Among you, Heb. in the midst of you,[3] to see and observe all your ways and your turnings aside to other gods.

[1] Hebrew:  כְּרָמִים.

[2] Hebrew:  עֲבָדִים.

[3] Hebrew:  בְּקִרְבֶּךָ.

Deuteronomy 6:8, 9: Memorials of the Catechetical Instruction

Verse 8:  (Ex. 13:9, 16; Deut. 11:18; Prov. 3:3; 6:21; 7:3) And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

[And thou shalt bind, etc.]  The crasser Jews took these things literally; but they are better taken parabolically (Menochius, Tirinus, Bonfrerius).  For who would believe that Christ wore these things on his forehead? (Bonfrerius).  The sense:  Thou shalt always have a present memory of my commandments, as if thou shouldest have them inscribed upon frontlets, bracelets, and lintels (Tirinus, Vatablus).  Or, thou shalt make of these bracelets and frontlets, so that thou might be ever mindful (Vatablus).

[A sign on thine hand]  Men, when they desire to remember something, are wont to bind a scarlet thread on their finger (Oleaster).  [See the annotations on Exodus 13:16.]

[And they shall be moved[1]]  See whether it should have been written, they shall not be moved:  for the Greek is ἀσάλευτον/immovable (Grotius).  Immobile (Ainsworth).

[Hebrew:  לְטֹטָפֹת]  [They render it variously.]  For frontlets (Vatablus, Samaritan Text), that is, plates suspended upon the forehead.  This does not satisfy; for, 1.  Such a plate was not able to be seen with the eyes.  2.  The word is plural, and then there would be two plates, although they themselves were only one.  3.  טוֹטָפוֹת/totaphot ought to be placed between the eyes; but a plate was above them (Oleaster).  Others:  looking glasses, or mirrors (Oleaster); they shall be to you for glasses (Grotius).  For these are in pairs, and are placed between the eyes, and they themselves are seen, and all other things by them (Oleaster).  But concerning this word see Exodus 13:16 (Malvenda).  It appears to signify the same thing as elsewhere (namely, in Isaiah 3:21,[2] 22) is jewellery of the nose, that is, things overhanging the nose.  And those pieces of jewellery appear (from a comparison of this passage) to have been suspended above the nose, so that they might remind of some other matter.  So that the sense of this passage might be; Just as women are wont to suspend jewellery on the forehead between the eyes, so that they might be reminded of some other matter:  so also retain ye the precepts of my Law in recent memory (Piscator).

For a sign upon thine hand, etc.:  Thou shalt give all diligence, and use all means, to keep them in thy remembrance, as men ofttimes bind something upon their hands, or put it before their eyes, to prevent forgetfulness of a thing which they much desire to remember:  compare Proverbs 3:3; 6:21; 7:3.  See the notes on Exodus 13:16.


Verse 9:  (Deut. 11:20; Is. 57:8) And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

[On the lintel, עַל־מְזוּזֹת]  On the posts (Pagnine).  On the sides and entries of the house; so that daily anyone who enters the house might see them and be reminded (Vatablus).

[1] Here, it appears that טוֹטָפוֹת/frontlets is being related to טוט, to take away.

[2] Isaiah 3:21:  “The rings, and nose jewels (וְנִזְמֵי הָאָף)…”  נֶזֶם signifies ring.

1 Peter 5:1-4: Elders are Exhorted to Feed the Flock of Christ conscientiously

Verse 1:  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also (Philem. 9) an elder, and (Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; 5:32; 10:39) a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also (Rom. 8:17, 18; Rev. 1:9) a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed…

[The elders]  Either, 1.  with respect to age (Menochius out of Lapide, Gomar), as the Antithesis of the younger in verse 5 suggests (Gomar), as the word is taken in Luke 15:25; John 8:9; Acts 2:17; 1 Timothy 5:1, etc. (Gerhard):  or, 2.  with respect to office and dignity (Gerhard, Estius, Menochius out of Lapide), as the language of feeding conveys; whom he thus calls, because in age, or in mature prudence, they ought to excel the others (Gerhard).

[Πρεσβυτέρους]  He understands, either, 1.  Bishops alone (Estius, thus Hammond); or, 2.  all ministers of the word (Gerhard), pastors and governors of manners (Piscator, similarly Beza, Gomar).  He understands also the Elders of the assembly κοπιῶντας ἐν λόγῳ, laboring in the word,[1] and the others joined with them for government (Grotius); or, all Priests, whether they be minor and common, or major, that is, Bishops (Menochius out of Lapide).

[A fellow-elder, ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος]  A fellow-presbyter (Valla, Vatablus, Zegers, Estius, Menochius).  A presbyter together (Beza, Piscator, etc.), that is, a co-bishop (Estius):  set in the same office with you (Gerhard).

The elders which are among you I exhort; viz. those that were such, not so much by age as by office, as appears by his exhorting them to feed the flock, verse 2; he means the ordinary ministers of the churches among the believing Jews.  Who am also an elder:  elder is a general name, comprehending under it even apostles themselves, who were elders, though every elder were not an apostle.

[A witness of Christ’s sufferings]  Both, 1.  in word (Menochius, Estius), by which he preached Christ’s cross and death (Estius), of which Peter was an eyewitness (Tirinus).  Peter saw Him bound:[2]  Then, what the History does not relate, but is plausible, hearing that He was crucified, he desired to be a witness of this also, but at a distance and in the crowd.  The Apostles are eminently characterized by the name of witnesses, Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32 (Grotius).  And, 2.  in the work itself (Gerhard, Estius, Menochius), by which he was testifying that Christ is patient (Estius), with many afflictions born for Him (Estius, similarly Menochius, Gerhard), by which he was representing the sufferings of Christ in his own person also (Gerhard).  Compare Matthew 10:17, 18.  This sense is supported by the Antithesis of the glory of Christ (Gerhard, Estius).  Peter animates them by his own example, lest they should cease from duty out of fear of persecutions (Estius).

[And, etc., ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός]  And also of the glory to be brought to light (or, which shall be revealed [Erasmus, thus the Vulgate, Vatablus]:  Thus Romans 8:18:  Now we have a right, but the matter itself lies hidden [Grotius]; that is, of everlasting glory [Menochius, similarly Estius], which shall be revealed in the coming of the Lord [Estius]) a sharer, or, a partaker (Beza, Piscator, Erasmus, Vatablus, etc.), understanding, going to be.  Thus κοινωνοὶ τῆς παρακλήσεως, partakers of the consolation, 2 Corinthians 1:7[3] (Grotius); or, understanding, I have been, namely, in the transfiguration of the Lord[4] (certain interpreters in Estius, Menochius, Hammond):  concerning which it is spoken in 2 Peter 1:16, 17 (Gerhard).

And a witness; either, 1.  In his doctrine, in which he held forth Christ’s sufferings, whereof he had been an eyewitness, in which respect the apostles are often called witnesses, Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, 22; 2:32.  Or, 2.  In his example, in that he in suffering so much for Christ, did give an ample testimony to the reality of Christ’s sufferings, and that Christ had indeed suffered:  or, both may well be comprehended.  The glory that shall be revealed; viz. at Christ’s last coming, 1 Peter 1:5; 4:13; Romans 8:17, 18.


Verse 2:  (John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28) Feed the flock of God which is among you (or, as much as in you is[5]), taking the oversight thereof, (1 Cor. 9:17) not by constraint, but willingly; (1 Tim. 3:3, 8; Tit. 1:7) not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind…

[Feed ye[6]]  That is, rule ye (Grotius, Camerarius, Menochius), as appears out of Matthew 2:6;[7] John 21:15-17;[8] Acts 20:28.[9]  Thus the Hebrew רָעָה, to shepherd or feed, is applied to Kings, as in 2 Samuel 5:2;[10] 7:7;[11] Psalm 78:72;[12] but what things here follow sufficiently show that Royal government is not here understood, but that which is exercised by persuasion, not by force (Grotius).  This word comprehends all the care and government of a pastor/ shepherd (Estius).  Christ had commanded this to Peter also, John 21:15 (Grotius, Gerhard).  He takes the language of feeding out of the Old Testament, Jeremiah 3:15; 23:1, etc.; Ezekiel 34:2, 23; Micah 5:4 (Gerhard).

[Which, etc., τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον]  As much as in you is (Erasmus, Tigurinus, Calvin).  This does not satisfy (Estius, Gerhard):  for then he would have said τὸ καθ᾿ ὑμᾶς, or, as in Romans 12:18, τὸ ἐξ ὑμῶν, as much as lieth in you (Gerhard).  Which is in your hands (Pagnine, Beza, Piscator, Gerhard), that is, which is committed to your trust:  or, which depends upon you, as in Sophocles,[13] ἐν σοί ἔσμεν, we are in thee, in the place of, we depend upon thee (Beza):  or, which is with you (Gerhard), that is, with whom ye are one body, one church (Gerhard, Estius).  Which is in your place (Grotius).  Which in you (or, in your presence [Estius, Gerhard]) is (Vulgate).  Thus in the preceding verse, which are among you.[14]  And in Acts 20:28.[15]  And, as the flock is said to be in the pastor, so contrariwise the pastor in the flock, Acts 20:28, …in which He hath set, etc.  By which it is signified that there ought to be the closest conjunction of pastor and flock (Estius).

Feed; teach and rule, Matthew 2:6; John 21:15-17; Acts 20:28.  The flock of God; the church.  Which is among you; which is with you, or committed to your charge; intimating that the flock not being their own, they were to give an account of it to him that had set them over it.

[Providing for, ἐπισκοποῦντες]  Applying oneself (Erasmus, Gerhard, Estius).  Superintending (Estius out of Jerome, Menochius, Augustine in Valla).  Looking out for (Zegers).  Taking care (Vatablus, Piscator).  Being free for the inspection (Beza), understanding, of that (Vatablus, Beza, Piscator).  Bishoping (Valla).  Acting as a Bishop (Erasmus).  פְּקִידִים/overseers.[16]  Thus Presbyters are also called ἐπίσκοποι/overseers/bishops, Acts 20:28, which name by excellence adheres to the Chief man of the assembly (Grotius).  There is an allusion to the name of Bishop; that is to say, Answer to your name; do that which ye are called (Estius, Gerhard).

Taking the oversight thereof; or, being bishops, or acting as bishops over it, i.e. superintending, inspecting, and watching over it with all care, Acts 20:28-29.

[Not, etc., μὴ ἀναγκαστῶς, ἀλλ᾽ ἑκουσίως]  Not by compulsion (or, by force [Syriac], as unwilling [Castalio]:  The same as ἄκων/unwilling in 1 Corinthians 9:17;[17] that is to say, be ye not grieved as if by an imposed burden:  Thus Thucydides,[18] ἀναγκαστοὶ ἐκβάντες, when unwilling they went forth [Grotius]:  Not as of duty [Erasmus on verse 3], or of necessity [Grotius, Gerhard], slowly and lifelessly, perfunctorily or negligently, inasmuch as the consequent is here understood from the antecedent [Gerhard]:  not out of sadness, as in 2 Corinthians 9:7,[19] as if unwilling, as they are wont to be, who frequently and easily complain of the annoyances of their pastoral responsibility:  which is illiberal of soul [Estius]), but freely (Pagnine, Beza, Piscator), or, willingly (Castalio, Syriac, thus the Arabic, Montanus).  As willing (Erasmus, Tigurinus).  Out of affection (Erasmus).  Do ye what belongs to your office with a cheerful, or eager, spirit, בִּנְדָבָה, with voluntariness, Psalm 54:6[20] (Grotius).  The same as ἑκὼν, one willing, in 1 Corinthians 9:17.  Thus ἑκουσίως/willingly in Exodus 36:2;[21] Hebrews 10:26,[22] and κατὰ ἑκούσιον, of free will, in Philemon 14[23] (Gerhard).

Not by constraint; not merely because ye must:  what men do out of compulsion, they do more slightly and perfunctorily, as those that would not do it if they could help it:  see the like expression, 2 Corinthians 9:7.  But willingly; cheerfully and freely, as Exodus 36:2; Psalm 54:6:  compare 1 Corinthians 9:17.

[Neither, etc., μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς]  Not in an unseemly manner (that is, not with a wanton and avaricious soul [Estius]) desiring, or pursuing, gain (Beza, Piscator, Estius).  Of which sort is that pastor in Zechariah 11:16.  Not so that ye might turn this function into an occasion for gain.  You have the same in 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7.  Add 1 Timothy 6:8, 9 (Grotius).

Not for filthy lucre; not out of covetousness, or a design of making a gain of the work; it being a shameful thing for a shepherd to feed the sheep out of love to the fleece:  see Titus 1:7; 1 Timothy 3:3, 8.

[But, etc., ἀλλὰ προθύμως]  But with a right spirit, that is, optimally affected toward the people (Grotius):  or, ready, or eager (Menochius, Tirinus, Beza, Piscator, Erasmus, Vatablus), not unto his own advantage, but that of the sheep (Tirinus).

But of a ready mind; out of a good affection to the welfare of the flock, in opposition to the private gain before mentioned.  He doth not do his work freely, and of a ready mind, who is either driven to it by necessity, or drawn by covetousness.


Verse 3:  Neither as (Ezek. 34:4; Matt. 20:25, 26; 1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor. 1:24) being lords over (or, over-ruling[24]) (Ps. 33:12; 74:2) God’s heritage, but (Phil. 3:17; 2 Thess. 3:9; 1 Tim. 4:12; Tit. 2:7) being ensamples to the flock.

[Neither, etc., μηδ᾽ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων]  Neither as over-ruling, or exercising dominion (that is, ruling imperiously [Menochius, thus Tirinus], arrogantly [Tirinus], with ostentation of power and with terror [Estius]; unto thine own, not the flock’s, advantage [Hammond]; after the manner of kings ruling according to one’s own pleasure, as we said on Matthew 20:25, and Concerning the Law of War and Peace 2:22:14 [Grotius]) with respect to the clergy (Pagnine, Montanus, Beza, Piscator), or, upon, or over against, the clergy (Erasmus, Vatablus, Estius).  He calls here the clergy, either, 1.  the Order of Clerics, over whom Bishops are in charge (Menochius), Presbyters, Deacons, etc. (Estius); or, 2.  the flock, as it is next explained (Estius, thus Gerhard), the Church (Menochius), individual assemblies of the faithful (Piscator); particular congregations or parishes (Tirinus), or portions of the flock, which fell to individual bishops for feeding (Gerhard, Estius out of Cyprian):  flocks which fell to them by lot for government (Vatablus).  The reason for this appellation is twofold (Gerhard); 1.  because of old the people of Israel were called κλῆρος, either the patrimony, or inheritance, of God, Deuteronomy 4:20;[25] 9:29.[26]  Now the Christian people (Grotius, thus Gerhard), who fall to God, as it were, by lot (Vatablus); or, who are no less dear to God than an inheritance which falls to someone by lot (Piscator); the individual parts of which, as it is wont to be done ἐν ὁμογενέσι, in those of the same race, partake of the same name (Grotius).  2.  Because those portions of the flock fell to the Bishops, as it were, by lot, like portions of land which fell to individuals for a possession (Estius, Gerhard); which are called lots in Judges 1:3;[27] 20:9[28] (Gerhard).  Not a Kingdom, but a cure, was committed to Presbyters (Beza).

Neither as being lords; not exercising any such lordship or dominion over the people, as temporal lords and magistrates exercise over their subjects, Matthew 20:25, 26, etc.; Luke 22:25:  compare 2 Corinthians 1:24.  Over God’s heritage; the Lord’s clergy, the same as flock before; the Greek word is plural, and so it signifies the several churches or flocks which were under the charge of the several elders or pastors.  The church of Israel is often called God’s inheritance, which as it were fell to him by lot, (as the Greek word signifies,) and which was as dear to him as men’s inheritances are to them:  see Deuteronomy 4:20; 9:29; 32:9;[29] Psalm 33:12;[30] 74:2;[31] 78:71.[32]  Accordingly now the Christian church, succeeding it, is called God’s inheritance, and the word κλῆρος/clerus is no where in the New Testament peculiarly ascribed to ministers of the gospel.  This title given here to the Lord’s people, implies a reason why the elders should not lord it over them, viz. because they are still the Lord’s inheritance, and not their own; God having not given them a kingdom but a care, and still retaining his right to his people.

[But, etc., ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου]  But examples, or exemplars (as the word τύποι is taken in Exodus 25:40;[33] Philippians 3:17;[34] 1 Thessalonians 1:7;[35] 2 Thessalonians 3:9;[36] 1 Timothy 4:12;[37] Titus 2:7[38] [Grotius]; or patterns [Erasmus, Valla, Vatablus]) made (or, in such a way that ye be [Erasmus, thus Beza, Piscator]) of the flock (Montanus, Erasmus, etc.).  In Christian life and holiness (Estius, Menochius).  Teach ye those things which ye yourselves also do, otherwise than the Scribes and Pharisees, Matthew 23:4.  Latinus Pacatus,[39] It is most persuasively commanded by example.  Cicero concerning the Senate, this order with vice vacated; let it be a model for others[40] (Grotius).

But being ensamples to the flock; in holiness of life, practising before their eyes what you preach to their ears, Philippians 3:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; Titus 2:7.


Verse 4:  And when (Heb. 13:20) the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive (1 Cor. 9:25; 2 Tim. 4:8; Jam. 1:12) a crown of glory (1 Pet. 1:4) that fadeth not away.

[When He appears]  On the day of judgment (Menochius, thus Piscator), as in Colossians 3:4 (Grotius).

[The Prince of pastors[41]]  That is, Christ (Estius, Menochius, Piscator), who is the good shepherd, John 10:11 (Menochius), the great shepherd, Hebrews 13:20.  We have the word ἀρχιποίμην in 2 Kings 3:4[42] (Grotius).

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, etc., κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον]  Κομίζεσθαι, to carry off, is used elegantly of a Prize, as in 1 Peter 1:9;[43] Hebrews 10:36;[44] 11:39;[45] στέφανον δόξης, a crown of glory, Proverbs 16:31;[46] Jeremiah 13:18;[47] Ezekiel 16:12.[48]  Thus were called those crowns which were received during festival times, or in the highest delight.  Now, Peter elegantly adds ἀμαράντινον/unfading; for, among the crowns that were given to the deserving among the Greeks and other nations were στέφανοι ἀμαράντινοι, unfading crowns, with Philostratus as a witness;[49] Pliny in his Natural History 20 concerning Amaranth, its hightest nature is in its name, so called because it does not fade.[50]  Hence this Allegory is derived, at the same time having regard to Psalm 1:3.  See also 1 Peter 1:4.  You have the contrary in Isaiah 40:7; James 1:10, 11; 1 Peter 1:24 (Grotius).

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, James 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.

[1] 1 Timothy 5:17.

[2] See Matthew 26:56-58; Mark 14:50, 53, 54; Luke 22:54.

[3] 2 Corinthians 1:7:  “And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers (κοινωνοί) of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation (τῆς παρακλήσεως).”

[4] Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36.

[5] Greek:  τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον.

[6] Greek:  ποιμάνατε.  Ποιμαίνω signifies to shepherd, to rule or guide.

[7] Matthew 2:6:  “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda:  for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule (ποιμανεῖ) my people Israel.”

[8] John 21:15-17:  “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith unto him, Feed (βόσκε) my lambs.  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?  He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.  He saith unto him, Feed (ποίμαινε) my sheep.  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?  Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me?  And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.  Jesus saith unto him, Feed (βόσκε) my sheep.”

[9] Acts 20:28:  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (ποιμαίνειν) the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

[10] 2 Samuel 5:2:  “Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel:  and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed (תִרְעֶה; σὺ ποιμανεῖς, in the Septuagint) my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel.”

[11] 2 Samuel 7:7:  “In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed (לִרְעוֹת; ποιμαίνειν, in the Septuagint) my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?”

[12] Psalm 78:72:  “So he fed them (וַיִּרְעֵם; καὶ ἐποίμανεν αὐτοὺς, in the Septuagint) according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.”

[13] Sophocles (c. 495-406) was a Greek playwright.  Of his one hundred and twenty-three plays, only seven tragedies survive.

[14] 1 Peter 5:1a:  “The elders which are among you (πρεσβυτέρους τοὺς ἐν ὑμῖν) I exhort…”

[15] Acts 20:28:  “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which (ἐν ᾧ) the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”

[16] For example, Nehemiah 11:9:  “And Joel the son of Zichri was their overseer (פָּקִיד):  and Judah the son of Senuah was second over the city.”

[17] 1 Corinthians 9:17:  “For if I do this thing as one willing (ἑκὼν), I have a reward:   if as one unwilling (ἄκων), a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.”

[18] Thucydides (c. 460-c. 400 BC) was a Greek historian, author of the History of the Peloponnesian War.

[19] 2 Corinthians 9:7:  “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly (μὴ ἐκ λύπης, not out of sorrow), or of necessity:  for God loveth a cheerful giver.”

[20] Psalm 54:6:  “With voluntariness (בִּנְדָבָה), I will sacrifice unto thee:  I will praise thy name, O Lord; for it is good.”

[21] Exodus 36:2:  “And Moses called Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whose heart the Lord had put wisdom, even every one whose heart incited (נְשָׂאוֹ לִבּוֹ; τοὺς ἑκουσίως βουλομένους, those purposing willingly, in the Septuagint) to come unto the work to do it…”

[22] Hebrews 10:26:  “For if we sin wilfully (ἑκουσίως) after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins…”

[23] Philemon 14:  “But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity (κατὰ ἀνάγκην), but willingly (κατὰ ἑκούσιον).”

[24] Greek:  κατακυριεύοντες.

[25] Deuteronomy 4:20:  “But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance (נַחֲלָה; ἔγκληρον, in the Septuagint), as ye are this day.”

[26] Deuteronomy 9:29:  “Yet they are thy people and thine inheritance (וְנַחֲלָתֶךָ; καὶ κλῆρός σου, in the Septuagint), which thou broughtest out by thy mighty power and by thy stretched out arm.”

[27] Judges 1:3a:  “And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot (בְגוֹרָלִי; ἐν τῷ κλήρῳ μου, in the Septuagint), that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot (בְּגוֹרָלֶךָ; ἐν τῷ κλήρῳ σου, in the Septuagint).”

[28] Judges 20:9:  “But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go up by lot (בְּגוֹרָל; ἐν κλήρῳ, in the Septuagint) against it…”

[29] Deuteronomy 32:9:  “For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance (נַחֲלָתוֹ; κληρονομίας αὐτοῦ, in the Septuagint).”

[30] Psalm 33:12:  “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (לְנַחֲלָה לוֹ; εἰς κληρονομίαν ἑαυτῷ, in the Septuagint).”

[31] Psalm 74:2:  “Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance (נַחֲלָתֶךָ; κληρονομίας σου, in the Septuagint), which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.”

[32] Psalm 78:71:  “From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance (נַחֲלָתוֹ; τὴν κληρονομίαν αὐτοῦ, in the Septuagint).”

[33] Exodus 25:40:  “And look that thou make them after their pattern (בְּתַבְנִיתָם; κατὰ τὸν τύπον, in the Septuagint), which was shewed thee in the mount.”

[34] Philippians 3:17:  “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample (τύπον).”

[35] 1 Thessalonians 1:7:  “So that ye were ensamples (τύπους) to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.”

[36] 2 Thessalonians 3:9:  “Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample (τύπον) unto you to follow us.”

[37] 1 Timothy 4:12:  “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example (τύπος) of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”

[38] Titus 2:7:  “In all things shewing thyself a pattern (τύπον) of good works:  in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity…”

[39] Latinus Pacatus Drepanius (flourished as the end of the fourth century) was a Latin rhetorician and poet.  His panegyric of Theodosius I survives.

[40] De Legibus 3:3.

[41] Greek:  ἀρχιποίμενος.

[42] 2 Kings 3:4:  “And Mesha king of Moab was a sheepmaster (נֹקֵד; ἀρχιποίμην, in Symmachus), and rendered unto the king of Israel an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.”

[43] 1 Peter 1:9:  “Receiving (κομιζόμενοι) the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

[44] Hebrews 10:36:  “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive (κομίσησθε) the promise.”

[45] Hebrews 11:39:  “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received (ἐκομίσαντο) not the promise…”

[46] Proverbs 16:31:  “The hoary head is a crown of glory (עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת; στέφανος καυχήσεως, a crown of boasting, in the Septuagint), if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

[47] Jeremiah 13:18:  “Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down:  for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory (עֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאַרְתְּכֶם; στέφανος δόξης ὑμῶν, in the Septuagint).”

[48] Ezekiel 16:12:  “And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a crown of beauty (וַעֲטֶרֶת תִּפְאֶרֶת; καὶ στέφανον καυχήσεως, and a crown of boasting, in the Septuagint) upon thine head.”

[49] Heroicus 19.  Philostratus “the Athenian” (c. 170-c. 250) was a Greek sophist.  Little is known about him.

[50] Amaranth, an herb, received its name because it was unfading.

New Volume: Poole’s Defense of the Deity of the Spirit

At long last, thanks to the work of Michael Seal, the first volume in the “Literary Labors of the Reverend Matthew Poole” series is available.  Blasphemer Slaine with the Sword of the Spirit is Poole’s defense of the Deity of the Holy Spirit, written for the edification of the common man.

From the back cover:  “John Bidle’s “XII Arguments Drawn out of the Scripture; wherein the commonly Received Opinion, Touching the Deity of the Holy Spirit, Is clearly and fully Refuted” (1647) was answered by several Reformed theologians and scholars, both continental and British.  These responses were full, demonstrative, and clear; but they were written largely for academics.  It fell to a young parish minister, Matthew Poole, not yet thirty years of age, to provide a concise and popular response, for the edification of the common man.  Poole’s “Blasphemer Slaine with the Sword of the Spirit” remains one of the best popular defenses of the Deity of the Holy Spirit in the English language.”

The volume is available at

Soli Deo Gloria.

1 Peter 5 Outline

The elders are exhorted to feed the flock of Christ conscientiously, looking to the chief Shepherd for a reward, 1-4.  The younger are required to submit to the elder, and all to practise humility toward each other, 5, with resignation to God, 6, 7, to be sober, watchful, and stedfast in the faith, resisting the devil, 8, 9.  The Epistle is concluded with a prayer and benediction, 10-14.

1 Peter 4:16-19: Motives of Comfort under Pesecution, Part 3

Verse 16:  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; (Acts 5:41) but let him glorify God on this behalf.

[But if[1]]  That is, he suffers, or is afflicted (Piscator, Estius), either privately, or, by the public power (Estius).

[As a Christian]  Concerning the origin of this name you have Acts 11:26 (Grotius).

Yet if any man suffer as a Christian; if his Christianity be his only crime, and the cause of his sufferings.

[Let him not be ashamed]  Let him not regard it as shame or ignominy for himself (Estius).

Let him not be ashamed:  see 2 Timothy 2:12.

[In, etc., ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ]  In this part (Erasmus, Vatablus, Beza, Piscator, etc.).  As far as this matter is concerned, as in 2 Corinthians 3:10;[2] 9:3;[3] Colossians 2:16.[4]  In a manuscript is the Latin expression, ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ, in isto nomine, in that name.  Neither does the Syriac read otherwise (Grotius).  In this name (Estius out of the Vulgate).  Because of this (Menochius), that he suffers on account of Christ (Erasmus, thus Estius).

But let him glorify God on this behalf; i.e. on the account of his sufferings; let him bless God for keeping him from suffering as an evildoer, and for counting him worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake, Acts 5:41, as well as for giving him patience, and courage under sufferings.


Verse 17:  For the time is come (Is. 10:12; Jer. 25:29; 49:12; Ezek. 9:6; Mal. 3:5) that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and (Luke 23:31) if it first begin at us, (Luke 10:12, 14) what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

[The time, etc., ὅτι ὁ καιρὸς τοῦ ἄρξασθαι τὸ κρίμα ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ Θεοῦ]  The time (or, a time of this sort [Castalio], or, the time opportune, or predetermined [Beza, Gerhard, Menochius, Tirinus], understanding is [Erasmus, Piscator, etc.], or, comes [Beza]:  Such a time, both the present life [Menochius, similarly Gerhard], in which the pious are compelled to suffer in accordance with the appointment of God, so that God might be able to spare them in the future life [Gerhard]; and, the time of the beginning of Christianity, with the hatred of the Jews and unbelievers burning against it at that time [Menochius]; or, the time foretold by Christ, Matthew 24:9 [Grotius, thus Estius]; Luke 21:21; John 16:2 [certain interpreters in Gerhard, Estius]:  Peter here has regard unto various passages of the Old Testament, like Isaiah 10:12; Jeremiah 25:15, etc; 49:12; Ezekiel 9:6 [Gerhard]) that judgment (that is, trial [Menochius], punishment [Estius, Menochius, thus Piscator], chastening [Piscator], tribulation accompanying salvation [Menochius]:  Κρίμα is properly the judgment of condemnation, or punishment; but here it is Metaphorically undeserved affliction [Vorstius]:  Others:  Κρίμα in this place, as in Romans 5:16, is plainly מִשְׁפָּט/judgment, the ordinance of God, that is, concerning the sending of adversities, as what precedes shows; namely, for the purging of some, and for the trial of others and the setting forth of them as an example [Grotius]) begin at the house of God (Piscator, etc.), that is, with God’s domestics, sons, and servants (Piscator); or, at the Church and its members (Gerhard, thus Estius), in accordance with the expression in 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6 (Gerhard).  That is to say, the time is imminent in which Christians will suffer most grievous evils (Grotius).

For the time is come; or season, viz. that which is fixed by God:  the afflictions that befall God’s people come in the time appointed, and so are never unseasonable.  Or this may imply, that what the prophets spoke in their time, Isaiah 10:12; Jeremiah 25:29, doth especially agree to gospel times, viz. that judgment begins at the house of God.  Judgment; viz. temporary, and for good, in opposition to the destructive judgment he implies in the latter part of the verse; he means all those afflictions God brings upon his children for their correction, trial, instruction, mortification, 1 Corinthians 11:31, 32.  Must begin at the house of God; the church of God, and the members of it, called here his house, as 1 Timothy 3:15; Hebrews 3:6, and typified by the material house or temple of God under the Old Testament.

[If…first, etc.]  If we be first to bear evils (Grotius).

[What (that is, how miserable [Piscator] shall the end be, etc.]  That is, the conclusion (Beza, Piscator, similarly Estius).  It signifies terrible judgment, and torments never to be ended (Estius).  He treats of the Jews, and foretells the destruction of that nation (Grotius, thus Hammond).  You have τὸ τέλος, the end, in a similar sense in Matthew 24:14.[5]  The passage in Daniel 9:27 is in view, in which is כָּלָה, complete destruction, συντέλεια/consummation[6] (Drusius, Gerhard).

What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  How miserable, how dreadful will be the end of all those that would not obey the gospel!  Implying, that they shall be in a much worse condition if God take them in hand.  If he spare not his children, much less will he his enemies.  If the one sip of the cup of God’s wrath, the other shall wring out the dregs, and drink them, Psalm 75:8.


Verse 18:  (Prov. 11:31; Luke 23:31) And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

[And if the righteous (that is, the harmless [Gerhard], pious [Beza], who desire righteousness [Beza, Gerhard]) hardly, etc., εἰ ὁ δίκαιος μόλις σῴζεται]  These words are taken from the Greek of Proverbs 11:31[7] (Grotius).  Hardly (or, scarcely [Castalio]) he be saved (Beza, Piscator, thus Valla, Erasmus, Vatablus, etc.), that is, he arrives at salvation (Estius).  Hardly, either, 1.  because of the frailty of the flesh and the dangers of temptations (certain interpreters in Estius), on account of which there must be doubt for him concerning his salvation (certain interpreters in Vorstius); which does not satisfy (Vorstius):  or, 2.  because of pressures (Estius):  hardly, that is, with difficulty (Vorstius), not without great labor and effort (Vorstius, thus Menochius, Gerhard), on account of the strait and rugged way, Matthew 7:14 (Vorstius), through many penances (Menochius), afflictions, troubles, persecutions (Estius, similarly Menochius, Gerhard).  Μόλις here signifies not without adversities.  Thus μόλις πῶς in Xenophon, with difficulty.  Μόλις ἐπαίρουσι τὰ βλέφαρα, with difficulty they lift the eyes, in Galen.[8]  The Syriac here has למחסן, with force.  Thus μόλις and μετὰ πόνου are posited as things equivalent in Wisdom of Solomon 9:16.[9]  And μόλις is in a similar sense in Isocrates[10] (Grotius).  Thus μόλις in Acts 14:18[11] and 27:7.[12]  Μόλις is the same as μόγις, with toil, from μόγος/toil, which signifies πόνον/labor, μόχθον/toil, κακοπάθειαν/strain (Gerhard).

Scarcely be saved; with much labour and difficulty, through many tribulations, Acts 14:22, as going in the narrow way, and entering in at the strait gate, Matthew 7:13, 14.

[The impious and the sinner[13] (it extends more broadly than the preceding, not believing, etc. [Estius]:  Guilty, criminal, ὑπόδικος, liable to trial:  who sins securely, contumaciously, and against conscience:  These words are synonymous, as in Genesis 13:13;[14] although others thus distinguish them, ἀσεβὴς is an infidel, ἁμαρτωλὸς a bad Christian [Gerhard]:  Others:  ἀσεβὴς, impious toward God, ἁμαρτωλὸς, offensive toward men, as in Romans 5:8;[15] Galatians 2:15[16] [Grotius]:  But, because both are opposed to righteous, they are rather synonyms [Gerhard]:  You have ἀσεβὴς and ἁμαρτωλὸς conjointly also in 1 Timothy 1:9[17] [Grotius]), where shall they appear? ποῦ φανεῖται]  That is to say, nowhere, namely, in the house of God, that is, heaven (Piscator).  Where shall they go? what place shall receive them (Menochius)?  Or, they shall not dare to appear, or, they shall not be able to stand in the judgment, Psalm 1:5 (Gerhard).  Where shall he be found? shall he not be found in the greatest evils?  This opinion is very much like unto this in Rabbi Salomon[18] on Numbers 10, when God…performs judgment upon the righteous, He is praised:  for, if He does this in their case, how much more in the case of the impious?  See also Jeremiah 25:29 and Luke 23:31 (Grotius).

The ungodly and the sinner; unbelievers and impenitent sinners of all sorts; both words signify the same, in opposition to the righteous before mentioned.  Appear; he shall not be able to stand in God’s judgment against the sentence of condemnation then to be pronounced, Psalm 1:5:  q.d. If the righteous scarcely be saved, the wicked shall certainly perish.


Verse 19:  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God (Ps. 31:5; Luke 23:46; 2 Tim. 1:12) commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

[That suffer]  Πάσχειν here is to be agitated by adversaries (Grotius, similarly Beza), as in 1 Peter 2:19, 20, 23; 3:14, 17 (Grotius).

Let them that suffer; viz. any manner of affliction or persecution for righteousness’ sake.

[According to the will of God]  That is, what happens to us is brought in by the will of God, from which all our afflictions proceed (Estius):  or, with God thus dispensing, as in 1 Peter 3:17.  He does not treat here of a certain general permission, but of the special decree of God, by which He calls the pious to the cross by the example of Christ (Grotius):  Those suffering for Christ and righteousness, and that patiently and bravely, conforming their will to the divine (Menochius):  Who have deserved nothing from men, yet are punished by the secret judgment of God (Beza).

According to the will of God; according to that will of God, whereby he hath appointed them to suffer such things, 1 Peter 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 3:3.

[To a faithful, etc., ὡς πιστῷ κτίστῃ παρατιθέσθωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς ἑαυτῶν ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ]  As (or, before Him as [Beza], or, to Him as [Dieu out of the Syriac and Geneva]:  An Ellipsis of the Pronoun αὐτὸς/He, which sort is found in Hebrews 9:19, λαβὼν, having taken, in the place of αὐτὸς λαβὼν, he having taken, that is, that very Moses, by whom the Law had been spoken to the people, sprinkled:  That supplement is also able to be omitted, if a construction be admitted, κτίστῃ ὡς πιστῷ παρατιθέσθωσαν, let them commit to the creator as faithful [Dieu]) before a faithful builder (that is, God, who is also creator [Grotius], and therefore He has a right in us [Grotius, similarly Gerhard], neither will He repudiate His own work, Wisdom of Solomon 11:24:[19]  He has regard to Ecclesiastes 12:7 [Gerhard]; thereupon He is faithful; and therefore He shall stand to the promises, and shall repay the evils tolerated with the greatest goods [Grotius]) let them deposit (or, let them commit, as a deposit into the hand of God, as in Luke 23:46 [Beza], or, let them commend [Piscator, Vulgate] unto His guardianship and custody [Estius], both, so that He might furnish strength for suffering [Menochius, thus Tirinus]; and, so that He might watch over the obtaining of the victory [Tirinus], so that, if death itself should be thrust upon them [Estius], they might meet that last and difficult struggle of life without danger to salvation [Menochius]:  or, let them entrust to the decision of God [Grotius]) their souls (surviving when the body is destroyed in death, Matthew 10:28:  He also alludes to Luke 23:46 [Estius, thus Gerhard]; or, souls, that is, themselves, as we said on Matthew 10:39,[20] themselves whole and entire, how great soever they be [Grotius]) for well doing (Erasmus, Piscator, etc.), or, with a zeal for well doing, as in 1 Peter 2:15, so that, deterred by no severity of the cross, let them persevere in good works (Beza); with the tolerance of ills conjoining the study of virtues (Gerhard); amassing prayers with good deeds, that they might obtain a certain/fixed salvation (Menochius); and let them not weary in well doing.[21]  We had already several times this word ἀγαθοποιεῖν, to do well, in this sense, 1 Peter 2:14, 15, 20; 3:6, 17 (Grotius); or, in good deeds (Vulgate), in, or with, beneficence (Erasmus, Estius), with which they pursue even their persecutors, by rendering unto them good for evil,[22] and praying for them,[23] as Christ did:[24]  or, in good works; for God does not accept this deposit of souls from sinners, but from the just, who first commend themselves to God through good works (Estius).

Commit; commend into his hands, or lay up, or intrust with him as a depositum, Psalm 31:5; 2 Timothy 1:12.  The keeping of their souls; as the most precious things while they live, and most to be cared for when they die; that they may be kept from sin under afflictions, and from perishing in death:  or rather, their souls here includes their bodies, and so committing their souls is committing their whole selves to God.  In well-doing; not being deterred from well-doing by the evils they suffer, but by persevering in holiness notwithstanding their afflictions, making it appear to the last, that they do not suffer as evildoers.  As unto a faithful Creator; one who, as Creator, is able to keep what they commit to him; and being faithful to his promises, certainly will do it.

[1] Any man suffer has been supplied in the Authorized Version.

[2] 2 Corinthians 3:10:  “For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect (ἐν τούτῳ τῷ μέρει), by reason of the glory that excelleth.”

[3] 2 Corinthians 9:3:  “Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf (ἐν τῷ μέρει τούτῳ); that, as I said, ye may be ready…”

[4] Colossians 2:16:  “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect (ἐν μέρει) of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days…”

[5] Matthew 24:14:  “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end (τὸ τέλος) come.”

[6] Daniel 9:27:  “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:  and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation (כָּלָה; συντελείας, in the Septuagint), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

[7] The entire verse is taken almost verbatim from the Septuagint rendering of Proverbs 11:31.

[8] Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (129-200 AD) was an innovative Greek physician.

[9] Wisdom of Solomon 9:16:  “And hardly (μόλις) do we guess aright at things that are upon earth, and with labour (μετὰ πόνου) do we find the things that are before us:  but the things that are in heaven who hath searched out?”

[10] Isocrates (436-338 BC) was one of the most influential rhetoricians of his day.

[11] Acts 14:18:  “And with these sayings scarce (μόλις) restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.”

[12] Acts 27:7:  “And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce (μόλις) were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone…”

[13] Greek:  ὁ ἀσεβὴς καὶ ἁμαρτωλὸς.

[14] Genesis 13:13:  “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners (רָעִים וְחַטָּאִים; πονηροὶ καὶ ἁμαρτωλοὶ, in the Septuagint) before the Lord exceedingly.”

[15] Romans 5:8:  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners (ἁμαρτωλῶν), Christ died for us.”

[16] Galatians 2:15:  “We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners (ἁμαρτωλοί) of the Gentiles…”

[17] 1 Timothy 1:9:  “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners (ἀσεβέσιν καὶ ἁμαρτωλοῖς), for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers…”

[18] The details of the life of Rabbi Salomon Jarchi (Solomon Jarchi ben Isaac) have been obscured by the mists of time.  It is relatively safe to associate him with the eleventh century.  He commented on the whole of the Hebrew Bible, and the principal value of his commentary is its preservation of traditional Jewish interpretation.  He also authored the first comprehensive commentary on the Talmud.

[19] Wisdom of Solomon 11:24:  “For thou lovest all the things that are, and abhorrest nothing which thou hast made:  for never wouldest thou have made any thing, if thou hadst hated it.”

[20] Matthew 10:39:  “He that findeth his life (τὴν ψυχὴν, soul) shall lose it:  and he that loseth his life (τὴν ψυχὴν, soul) for my sake shall find it.”

[21] Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13.

[22] Luke 6:27; Romans 12:20, 21.

[23] Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28; Romans 12:14; 1 Peter 3:9.

[24] Luke 23:34.