Verse 6: (Matt. 5:12; Rom. 12:12; 2 Cor. 6:10; 1 Pet. 4:13) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now (2 Cor. 4:17; 1 Pet. 5:10) for a season, if need be, (Jam. 1:2) ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations…
[In, etc., ἐν ᾧ ἀγαλλιᾶσθε] In which (that is, time [Œcumenius in Estius]: or, in which matter [Tirinus, Beza, Piscator], namely, in the preservation of God and eternal salvation [Gomar]: That ᾧ/which is referred, not to one word, but to the whole matter [Grotius, similarly Estius, Menochius, Gerhard, Gomar, Beza, Piscator]) ye exult (Erasmus, etc.). Those great benefits expected overspread you with joy, Matthew 5:12 (Grotius).
Wherein; this referreth to the whole foregoing sentence; Ye rejoice in your being kept by the power of God unto salvation. Ye greatly rejoice: the Greek word signifies something more than a bare rejoicing, and therefore is added to a word that signifies to rejoice, Matthew 5:12, and implies an outward expression of the inward gladness of the heart, by looks, words, gestures, etc. Some read the word in the imperative mood, by way of exhortation; but the indicative, according to our translation, seems most agreeable to the context, in which, as yet, he commends the saints, to whom he writes, for the grace of God in them; descending to his exhortation afterward, verse 13.
[A short time, etc., ὀλίγον ἄρτι, εἰ δέον ἐστὶ, λυπηθέντες, etc.] For a short while (or, a small amount [Vulgate, Montanus], either, 1. in magnitude [certain interpreters in Estius], or measure; that is to say, these affliction are small [Gomar]: or, 2. in duration [Estius]; for a brief time [Erasmus, Illyricus, Tigurinus, thus Estius, Menochius, Gerhard], or, for a while, as in Mark 6:31, בְּרֶגַע קָטֹן, Isaiah 54:7 [Grotius]) now (or, at this time [Tremellius out of the Syriac]: It signifies that these were only of this time [Gomar]: or, for a certain time, namely, while this brief life endures: Ἄρτι is rightly translated now: Matthew 26:29; John 13:7, 33; 16:12; 1 Corinthians 4:11, and elsewhere [Grotius]) (if it be needful) (or, if it is necessary [Beza], δέον ἐστὶ, it is that of which there is a need, in the place of δεῖ, it is necessary, Acts 19:36 [Gerhard], that is to say, if the situation thus bears [Estius, Grotius], if it is necessary thus to be done [Gerhard], if God wills [Estius, Gomar], for His own glory and our salvation: for they do not always happen or continue [Gomar]) afflicted (or, vexed [Castalio], affected with sadness [Pagnine, Beza, Piscator]) in (or, by reason of [Grotius]) various trials (Erasmus), or, temptations (Piscator, Grotius, Vulgate, etc.), or, through (or, among [Camerarius], on account of [Estius]) various temptations. Thus he calls persecutions (Piscator), or afflictions (Estius), as in James 1:2 (Piscator), which the unbelieving Gentiles, and the Jews, bringing upon them (Grotius).
Though now for a season; viz. while this life lasts, which is but a little time, 2 Corinthians 4:17. If need be; if God see it fit, needful for your good, and conducing to his glory; intimating, that God doth not always afflict believers, but when he sees just cause, and never doth it without cause. Ye are in heaviness: Question. How could they be in heaviness, and yet rejoice? Answer. Their grief and joy were about different objects; they might be in heaviness by reason of present afflictions, and rejoice in hope of future glory; they might grieve as men, and rejoice as saints; sense of suffering might affect them, and yet the faith of better things coming relieve them. If their heaviness did in any degree abate their joy, yet it did not wholly hinder it; and though their joy did overcome their heaviness, yet it did not wholly exclude it. Through manifold temptations; he so calls afflictions, from the end and effect of them, the trial of their faith, Luke 22:28; Acts 20:19; Galatians 4:14; James 1:2; 2 Peter 2:9: he calls them manifold, as being not only numerous, but various, and of divers kinds.
Verse 7: That (Jam. 1:3, 12; 1 Pet. 4:12) the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though (Job 23:10; Ps. 66:10; Prov. 17:3; Is. 48:10; Zech. 13:9; 1 Cor. 3:13) it be tried with fire, (Rom. 2:7, 10; 1 Cor. 4:5; 2 Thess. 1:7-12) might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ…
[That, etc., ἵνα τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως] That is, τῆς πίστεως ὑμῶν, of your faith, plainly as in James 1:3 (Grotius). There is a trajection in the case of the word ὑμῶν/your (Gerhard, Piscator). That the examination, or testing (or, trial [Beza]) of your faith (Drusius, Piscator, Vulgate, Grotius), that is, your tested faith (Estius, Gerhard), namely, tested through those temptations (Grotius, thus Estius, Gerhard).
[More precious than gold] He compares faith with gold (Gerhard, Piscator). Gold, by use and wear, is consumed, but faith endures and is increased by use (Gomar). Or, gold’s, understanding, trial, or examination (Beza, Piscator), χρυσίου, of gold, that is, τοῦ δοκιμίου τοῦ χρυσίου, than the trial of faith (Grotius, Beza). It is an ellipsis, of which sort is found in Matthew 5:20; John 5:20 (Beza); 1 John 2:2 (Beza, Piscator). Such is that saying, omnium triumphorum lauream adepte majorem, thou hast been crowned with a laurel greater than of all triumphs, that is, than the laurel of all triumphs. For that examination is useful for a short time, but this forever (Grotius). There is an argument here; If gold by testing and purging by fire is rendered precious and dear to men, why should not God exact the testing of faith through afflictions, so that it might be made more pleasing (Estius)?
[That, etc., τοῦ ἀπολλυμένου, etc.] That perisheth (or, at length is going to perish [Grotius]; that is corruptible [Erasmus]: For gold is worn away, with bits imperceptibly rubbing off: …A ring is consumed by use [Grotius]), yet is proven by fire (Erasmus, Pagnine, etc.), that is to say, yet it is valued so highly by men that they will it to be proven by fire, by which it obtains its value among them (Etius). Moreover, that matter is not always going to continue, yet it is tested by flames, so that it might shine all the more: Job 23:10; Proverbs 17:3; Malachi 3:3; δοκιμαζομένου/tested, מְזֻקָּק/refined, in 1 Chronicles 28:18, and in 1 Chronicles 29:4, in which places the Greeks have δοκίμου/tested (Grotius).
That the trial of your faith; i.e. your faith when tried. He compares the faith of the saints with gold, and argues from the less to the greater: q.d. If men do so far esteem their gold, that they will make the excellency and preciousness of it appear by trying it in the fire, which purgeth away the dross, and discovers the goodness of the metal; no wonder if God will have the faith of the saints (more precious to him than gold is to men) tried by afflictions, that the excellency of it may more fully be discovered. Being much more precious than of gold; i.e. than the trial of gold; or gold tried, compared with faith tried. That perisheth; is worn away, and consumed by use, as many particles of it likewise may be in the very trial of it, verse 18; whereas faith is not consumed nor wasted, but increased by being used, and made more conspicuous by being tried.
[Might be found (or, discovered [Piscator], understanding, to be [Beza, Piscator], or, to have resulted [Tirinus], that is, it might result [Estius, Grotius], and understand, for you [Beza, Piscator, Tirinus]) unto praise, etc.] Namely, that testing (Grotius). That ye might have from God praise, 1 Corinthians 4:5, honor, John 12:26, glory, Romans 2:10 (Gerhard). That ye might be laudable and glorious (Tirinus), or, worthy of praise, etc. (Estius). Ἔπαινος/praise is performed with words; τιμή/honor, with deeds and gestures; δόξα/glory is a sound judgment concerning the virtue of anyone (Gerhard). He heaps up many words so that he might show the magnificence of the matter. Thus also Romans 11:29; Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; Philippians 1:11 (Grotius).
Might be found unto praise and honour and glory; i.e. may be found to be, or to have turned, to praise, etc., the dignity of it being by that means evidenced. These several words show whither present trials tend, and in what they issue; they may be reproachful and ignominious now, Hebrews 12:2, but they end in glory. We need not be critical about the difference of these three words, praise, honour, and glory, which may be synonymous expressions (by way of amplification) of the same thing, yet they are mentioned distinctly with relation to believers elsewhere; praise, 1 Corinthians 4:5, honour, 1 Samuel 2:30; John 12:26, glory, as well as honour, Romans 2:10.
[At the revelation, etc.] That is, at the day of judgment (Estius, Menochius), or of the coming of Christ unto judgment; which is called ἀποκάλυψις, a revelation/appearing, here and in verse 13; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; and φανέρωσις, an appearance, Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 5:4; and ἐπιφάνεια, an appearing, 1 Timothy 6:14; 2 Timothy 4:1 (Gerhard), when Christ, who now is hidden (Estius, similarly Menochius), shall appear (Estius, Menochius, Grotius, Beza, Piscator), to our eyes (Menochius), coming in glory (Estius), at His second advent (Beza). We have ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι, to be revealed, in the same sense in Luke 17:30 (Grotius).
At the appearing of Jesus Christ; i.e. at the day of judgment, frequently so called, as 1 Peter 1:13; 5:4; Colossians 3:4; 2 Thessalonians 1:7. Christ’s glory is at present hid and obscured, while he is instructing his elect, and training them up unto patience, and defers his judging of his enemies; but at last it will be fully manifested in the face of the world, when he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, etc., Revelation 1:7.
 Matthew 5:12a: “Rejoice (χαίρετε), and be exceeding glad (ἀγαλλιᾶσθε): for great is your reward in heaven…”
 Mark 6:31: “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while (ὀλίγον): for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”
 Isaiah 54:7: “For a small moment (בְּרֶגַע קָטֹן) have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.”
 Matthew 26:29: “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth (ἀπ᾽ ἄρτι, or, from now) of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
 John 13:7: “Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now (ἄρτι); but thou shalt know hereafter.”
 John 13:33: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now (ἄρτι) I say to you.”
 John 16:12: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now (ἄρτι).”
 1 Corinthians 4:11: “Even unto this present hour (ἄχρι τῆς ἄρτι ὥρας) we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace…”
 Acts 19:6: “Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, it is needful (δέον ἐστὶν) that ye be quiet, and do nothing rashly.”
 Greek: ἐν ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς.
 James 1:2: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers (ποικίλοις) temptations (πειρασμοῖς)…”
 James 1:3: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith (τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως) worketh patience.”
 Matthew 5:20: “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed of the scribes and Pharisees (μὴ περισσεύσῃ ἡ δικαιοσύνη ὑμῶν πλεῖον τῶν γραμματέων καὶ Φαρισαίων), ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
 John 5:20: “For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these (μείζονα τούτων—ἔργα, or, greater works than of these), that ye may marvel.”
 1 John 2:2: “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for of the whole world (περὶ ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου).”
 Pliny’s Natural History 7:30, 31.
 Ovid’s Ex Ponto 3:10.
 1 Corinthians 1:7: “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming (τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν) of our Lord Jesus Christ…”
 2 Thessalonians 1:7: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, in the revelation (τῇ ἀποκαλύψει) of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his mighty angels…”
 Colossians 3:4: “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear (φανερωθῇ), then shall ye also appear (τότε καὶ ὑμεῖς—φανερωθήσεσθε) with him in glory.”
 1 Peter 5:4: “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear (φανερωθέντος), ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”