Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The
1 [I,] the fellow-elder, and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and participant of the glory which is about to be unveiled, I exhort the elders among y’all:
2 Start feeding the flock of God among y’all,
not compulsively but rather voluntarily,
and not due to bribery, but rather passionately;
3 and not as those who are domineering over their allotment,
but rather [as] those who are examples to the flock.
4 Then after the Lead Shepherd is brought to light, y’all will obtain the unfading crown of glory!
5 Likewise, younger guys, start submitting yourselves to the elders,
and all of you, gird yourselves with humble-mindedness toward one another,
because “God arrays Himself against proud men, but to humble men He gives grace.”
6 Therefore let yourselves start being humbled under the mighty hand of God,
in order that He may exalt y’all in [His] appointed time
7 y’all having pitched your every anxiety upon Him,
because it matters to Him concerning y’all.
· Show graph of a hyperbola (X = Y2). This is a symbol of what God wants to happen in your life.
o Trace the pattern with various Bible figures: Job, David, Jesus?
· Last week we looked at Peter’s instructions to the elders and to the younger people in the church.
· In the latter part of v.5, Peter addresses “all” of you in the church; I want to pick back up there.
· Last week I applied humility in the direction of other people, and that is a valid application of the first few verses of 1 Peter 5 – “submit to the elders” and “be humble toward one another,”
· but as Peter progresses into verses 6-7, we see the principle of humility applied in a second direction, and that is in the direction of God – “be humbled under the mighty hand of God. ”
· Let’s start by overlapping a bit with the end of verse 5:
· “The kindred word ἐγκόμβωμα, from which the verb [“gird yourselves”] is directly formed, means a slave's apron, under which the loose garments were girt up.” ~Marvin Vincent
· “‘gird on humility as the slave dress...’: as the Lord girded Himself with a towel to perform a servile office of humility and love, washing His disciples’ feet, a scene in which Peter had played an important part, so that he would naturally have it before his mind.” ~Jameison, Fausset, and Brown Commentary
· “Bind it on, so the word signifies, so that no force may be able to tear it from you.” ~John Wesley
· “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.” ~Albert Barnes
· “To be clothed with a thing or person is a Greek mode of speech for being that thing or person with which a man is said to be clothed. Be ye truly humble; and let your outward garb and conduct be a proof of the humility of your hearts.” ~Adam Clarke
· “This is a grace which shows itself
o in a man's thinking and speaking the best of others, and the worst of himself;
o in not affecting places and titles of eminence;
o in being content with the lowest place, and patiently bearing the greatest contempt;
o in not aspiring to things too high for him, always acknowledging his own meanness, baseness, and unworthiness, ascribing all he is, and has, to the grace and goodness of God, whether it be gifts of nature, providence, or grace:
o and this is a believer's clothing, not the robe of his justifying righteousness before God, but is a considerable part of his inward garment of sanctification, which is in the sight of God of great price; and makes a large show in his outward conversation garments before men, and renders him lovely and amiable: it is an ornament to him, which is precious with God, and recommends him to the esteem of men, and the religion and Gospel he professes, and his profession of it.” ~John Gill
· “Humility is the great preserver of peace and order in all Christian churches and societies; consequently pride is the great disturber of them, and the cause of most dissensions and breaches in the church.” ~Matthew Henry
· “God has two hands; the one, which like a hammer beats down and breaks in pieces those who raise up themselves; and the other, which raises up the humble who willingly let down themselves, and is like a firm prop to sustain them. Were we really convinced of this, and had it deeply fixed in our minds, who of us would dare by pride to urge war with God?” ~John Calvin
· Because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble, we are to be humbled under God.
· This command in v.6 is spelled in the Aorist tense and Passive voice in Greek.
o As an Aorist tense, it speaks of a singular event – perhaps the beginning of being humbled,
o and as a Passive voice, “you” are being acted upon by God to “be humbled/laid low.”
§ I think it is unfortunate that all the other standard English versions translate it “humble yourselves” as though it were Middle voice instead of Passive voice.
§ The difference is in the emphasis on who is doing the action – you or God.
§ I believe that the emphasis does not lie on our action of groveling in the dust to get more humble but rather the emphasis lies upon submission to God while He humbles us in whatever way He wants.
· I believe that this command must be related to the overall topic of Christian suffering in Peter’s epistle. This word “lay low/humble” is consistently used to describe God’s chastening of believers:
o We see it in the Old Testament in the exile of the Israelites who had turned to worship idols and trust in human strength:
§ Jer. 13:18 “Say to the king and the princes, ‘Let yourselves be humbled, and sink down; for your crown of glory is removed from your head.’” (NAW of LXX).
§ Psalm 44:19 “[T]hou hast laid us low in a place of affliction, and the shadow of death has covered us.” (Brenton)
§ Psalm 90:15 “[L]et us rejoice in all our days, in return for the days wherein thou didst afflict us, the years wherein we saw evil.” (Brenton)
§ Psalm 107:11-13 “...they rebelled against the words of God, and provoked the counsel of the Most High. So their heart was brought low with troubles; they were weak, and there was no helper. Then they cried to the Lord in their affliction, and he saved them out of their distresses.” (Brenton)
§ Psalm 119:71 “It is good for me that thou hast afflicted me; that I might learn thine ordinances... 75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are righteousness, and that thou in truthfulness hast afflicted me.” (Brenton)
§ Psalm 142:6 “Attend to my supplication, for I am brought very low; deliver me from them that persecute me; for they are stronger than I.” (Brenton)
o In the New Testament, Jesus speaks multiple times of being humbled as a corrective chastisement from God for exalting yourself: “whoever will exalt himself will be humbled, yet whoever will humble himself will be exalted.” (NAW)
§ We hear Him say that in regards to the proud Pharisees in Matthew 23:12,
§ then He says the same thing in Luke 14:11 in the context of choosing a low seat at banquets: “Exalt yourself by taking a seat of honor, and you will be humbled by being given a lower seat. Humble yourself by taking a seat lower than your station, and you will be exalted by being moved up.”
§ And he says it again in Luke 18:14 in the context of the parable of the two men in the temple – the one who boasted to God of how good he was received no benefit from God, but the one who bowed down and beat his breast because he was so appalled at his own sins and confessed them to God, he is the one God forgave and blessed.
o The Apostle Paul also speaks of being “humbled” through difficult financial circumstances or through difficult interpersonal conflicts:
§ Philippians 4:12-13 “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (NKJV)
§ 2 Cor. 12:21 “lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented...” (NKJV)
· This is not to say that there is no Biblical basis for taking action to purposefully humble yourself, for there is, for instance, in Matthew 18:4 “whichever one [of you] will humble himself like this child, it is this man who is the greater one in the kingdom of the heavens” (NAW), but my point is that I do not think Peter is speaking here of putting on a long face and finding ways to make yourself miserable, rather I think he is speaking of submitting to God’s providence in your life, trusting Him and waiting on His timing for deliverance even when He brings persecution into your life.
· I think that the phrase “mighty hand of God” reinforces this idea of patiently enduring persecution or hardship, because almost every time in the Bible that this phrase occurs, it refers to God bringing judgment upon people:
o In every occurrence of this word in the Pentateuch books, it is referring to God’s judgment upon Egypt and the Canaanites as He delivered the Jews from slavery and set them up in the Promised Land: “with a strong hand the Lord God brought thee out of Egypt.”
o In Deuteronomy 11:2 it is called “discipline” - “...the discipline [παιδεια] of the Lord thy God, and his wonderful works, and his strong hand, and his high arm” (Brenton).
o In Job, the “mighty hand” of God speaks of chastisement which God brought personally upon a certain believer.
o And in the books of the prophets, the “mighty hand” of God is what subdued Jerusalem before the Chaldeans (Jer. 21:5) and chastened the Jews with Exile (Ezek. 20:33), and also what humbled Babylon and exalted the remnant as they returned to rebuild Jerusalem (Ezek. 20:34).
o This passage in First Peter is the only place this phrase “mighty hand of God” appears in the New Testament, and it is in the context of persecution.
like what Gordon Clark said in his commentary at this point: “we are all to
humble ourselves, not so much before one another, but under the mighty hand of
God – this is probably an echo of 4:17 [“judgment begins at the house of God”].
God sends tribulation upon His people. So it was in the days of old. The
Assyrians were the rod of God’s anger, and he sent them against his own
hypocritical nation; but after Assyria had done God’s bidding in bringing wrath
· Now, when I feel that first sting of the Lord’s chastisement, my natural reaction is to rebel against it.
No! My carefully-laid plans were not supposed to break down like that!”
I yell at God; I scold my kids; I grouse at my wife; I pout.
o I was just reading an article to Lillian and Hope from the Daughterhood By Design website where a girl was sharing about the frustrations of her day: She had driven 3 hours to buy a bottle of Iodine for her Dad’s medical clinic, but while she was driving back home after the shopping trip, the Iodine had leaked and make rusty orange stains on her skirt. She arrived home late in the evening and slipped on the steps, skinning her ankle. When she stepped into the kitchen she discovered that her brother had left the kitchen a mess expecting her to clean it up. “Thanks a lot!” She yelled (unthankfully) up at her brother’s bedroom as she unloaded the groceries she had bought into the fridge, and then the bottle of apple juice slipped from her hands and shattered on the kitchen floor. It is at that point that she reminded the readers, “1 Peter 4:12 says, ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’” and she relates that her sister put her on the right track by quoting 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
o John Wesley commented, “The hand of God - Is in all troubles.”
· So when you feel that first sting of the Lord’s chastisement against you, don’t stiffen yourself with pride; instead submit humbly to it because
o it will do you good even though it is painful,
o and it will be brief because it is carefully controlled by a loving God,
o and it will be followed by God exalting you.
· “Pride is at the root of most of our anxiety. To human pride it is humiliating to cast everything upon another and be cared for.” ~Marvin Vincent
· Commentator John Gill wrote, “[B]e ye humbled before God, and in his sight; quietly submit to his will; patiently bear every affliction without murmuring, repining, or replying against him; be still under the rod, and despise not the chastening of the Lord; mourn over sin as the cause, acknowledge your vileness and unworthiness, and stand in awe of his majesty, considering yourselves as under the mighty hand of God ... [T]o be under it in an humble manner is safe and profitable; such are hid as in the hollow of his hand, and are safe as in a pavilion... and such ... is the way to exaltation.”
· You must be abased before you can be exalted.
o Proverbs 18:12 “Before ruin a man's heart is exalted, and before honour it is humble.” (Brenton) [graph that with X = Y2]
o It was the pattern with the Old Testament saints humbled by slavery in Egypt and exalted to the point of being feared by every nation in the Middle East after God’s miraculous devastation of the mighty Egyptian army at the Red Sea!
o Or you can look at it the other way around. Who, does the Bible say, are the ones that don’t get exalted? Those who won’t be humble enough to trust and obey: Hebrews 3:18-19 “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” (NKJV)
o On the other hand, God exalted the humble girl named Mary who was willing to submit to God’s will, and He gave her the enviable position of being the mother of Christ.
o And Christ said in Mark 10:15, “...whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (NKJV)
o This follows the pattern of Jesus Himself who “humbled himself” by letting go of His divine glory and becoming a man, and humbled Himself even further by undergoing crucifixion, and then He was raised from the dead and raised up into heaven and exalted in status above every name (Phil. 2).
o Remember the disciples on the road to Emmaeus who were puzzled by first half of the pattern: “We thought He was the Messiah, but then He died!” [X < 0 on the graph]. Jesus caught up with them in Luke 24:26 and asked, “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (NKJV) If that is the pattern Christ had to experience, then we his followers should expect the same pattern in our lives.
o James 4:6-10 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (NKJV)
· He shall exalt you in “due/proper/appointed time.” The Greek word for “time” here is kairos, a specialized word which denotes “the time at which people meet” or “when a planned event comes off.”
o The timing of your exaltation is calculated by a personal God. God has a time in mind that He wants to lift you up and give you special treatment.
o The sooner you repent of your pride and let God humble you, the sooner He can get on with His plan to exalt you!
· Now, what are we to do while we are experiencing the low point of humiliation and submitting under the mighty hand of God?
· Peter seems to be quoting from the Septuagint Greek of Psalm 55:22, the context of which again is righteous people being persecuted by wicked people: “Cast your care upon the Lord, and he will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. God will bring them [the wicked] down to the pit of destruction...” (NAW from LXX)
· Peter changes the imperative in the Psalm into an aorist participle, implying that it’s only after you have “cast/tossed/pitched your cares onto Him” that God “will exalt you.”
· We ran into this word “care/anxiety” back in the Gospel of Matthew
o chapter 13 in the Parable of the Sower, where the seed that was choked out by the weeds representing the cares of this world.
o The verbal form of this word merimna showed up before that in Matthew 6:25 “...stop caring [so much] about your life (What might you eat? and What might you drink?) and about your body (How might you clothe yourselves?)... 33 But continue seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added onto you. 34 Therefore don’t start caring [too much] concerning tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.” (NAW)
o According to Greek lexicon writers Strong and Thayer, the root meaning has to do with dividing one’s attention over multiple worries rather than staying fixed on one goal (1 Cor. 7:32-34).
o “You shall love the Lord your God” with what? “Part of your heart, soul, mind, and strength?” No! “with ALL of your heart, soul, mind, and strength!”
· Peter says you need to cast how much of your care upon God? Some of your cares? Most of your cares? No! All of your cares. Don’t hang onto a single anxiety. Why?
o Matthew Henry explains in his commentary, “The cares even of good people are... too often very sinful;
§ when they arise from unbelief and diffidence,
§ when they torture and distract the mind,
§ unfit us for the duties of our place
§ and hinder our delightful service of God,
§ they are very criminal... Throw your cares, which are so cutting and distracting, which wound your souls and pierce your hearts, upon the wise and gracious providence of God; trust in him with a firm composed mind, for he careth for you. He is willing to release you of your care, and take the care of you upon himself. He will either avert what you fear, or support you under it. He will order all events to you so as shall convince you of his paternal love and tenderness towards you; and all shall be so ordered that no hurt, but good, shall come unto you.”
· How do we get to the point that we can put our worries on God? Believe that He cares for you!
o Every one of your concerns matter to Him.
§ Matthew 25:40b “...as much as you did it for one of the least of these brothers of mine, it was to me that you did it.” He feels everything done to you.
§ Psalm 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” Your concerns matter!
o John Calvin wrote, “As soon as we are convinced that God cares for us, our minds are easily led to patience and humility. Lest, then, the wickedness of men should tempt us to a fierceness of mind, the Apostle prescribes to us a remedy, and also David does in the thirty-seventh Psalm, so that having cast our care on God, we may calmly rest. For all those who recumb not on God’s providence must necessarily be in constant turmoil and violently assail others.”
o In Isaiah 49:14-16, Zion said, “Jehovah has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.” [And God says, “What?] Can a woman forget her nursing baby – from having compassion on a son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I, I will not forget you. Look, I have engraved you on my palms, your walls are always before me...” (NAW)
o “he cares for you” Commentator John Gill expounded well on what that means: God cares
§ “for the bodies of his people, and their outward concerns of life,
§ for food and raiment for them, and for the preservation of them,
§ who will not suffer them to want, nor withhold any good thing from them,
§ or ever leave them and forsake them;
§ and for their souls, for which he has made provision in his Son,
§ and in the covenant of his grace has laid help upon a mighty Saviour;
§ and who has obtained an eternal redemption for them, bestows his grace upon them, and gives every needful supply of it to them,
§ and keeps them by his power through faith unto salvation.” This is how He cares for you!
· “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... Remember, poor, despised, afflicted child of God, that you will never be forgotten. Friends on earth, the great, the frivolous, 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.” ~Albert Barnes
· Your concerns are His concerns, and He will exalt you in His appointed time. [refer to X >0 on graph]
5 ῾Ομοίως, νεώτεροι NPM-C, ὑποτάγητεAPM-2P πρεσβυτέροις, πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις [ii] τὴν [iii]ταπεινοφροσύνηνASF [iv]ἐγκομβώσασθεADM-2P · ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται PMI-3S, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιPAI-3S χάριν[v].
5 Likewise, younger guys, start submit-ting yourselves to the elders, and all of you, gird yourselves with humble-mindedness toward one another, because God arrays Himself against proud men, but to humble men He gives grace.
5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elderX. Yea, all of you be sub-ject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
5 Likewise you younger [people], submit yourselves to your elders. Yes all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE."
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
5 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
5 YoungX men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Prov. 3:34 LXX κύριος ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.
Prov 3:34 אִם-לַלֵּצִים הוּא-יָלִיץ וְלַעֲנִיִּים יִתֶּן-חֵן:
6 ΤαπεινώθητεAPM-2P οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰνASF χεῖραASF τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃAAS-3S ἐν καιρῷ[vi],
6 Therefore let yourselves start being humbled[vii] under the mighty hand of God, in order that He may exalt y’all in [His] appointed time -
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
7 πᾶσανASF τὴν μέριμνανASF ὑμῶν [viii]ἐπιρρίψαντεςAAP-NPM ἐπ᾿ αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτῳ μέλειPAI-3S περὶ ὑμῶν.
7 Casting all your care upon him; for X he careth for you.
7 casting all your care upon Him, for X He cares for you.
casting all your anxiet
7 casting all your anxiety on Him, because X He cares for you.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because X he cares for you.
Psalm 55:22 ἐπίρριψονxxx ἐπὶ κύριον τὴν μέριμνάν σου, καὶ αὐτός σε δια θρέψει...
Ps 55:22 Brenton Castx thy care upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee...
Psalm 55:23a הַשְׁלֵךְ עַל-יְהוָה יְהָבְךָ וְהוּא יְכַלְכְּלֶךָ
 John Calvin took it differently, saying that “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God” was the same as “submit to the elders.” “We must ever bear in mind for what end he bids us to be humble before God, even that we may be more courteous and kind to our brethren, and not refuse to submit to them as far as love demands. Then they who are haughty and refractory towards men, are, he says, acting insolently towards God. He therefore exhorts all the godly to submit to God’s authority; and he calls God’s power his hand, that he might make them to fear the more.” But I think Gordon Clark got it right: “The previous verse had begun with the idea of humility among men, and with respect to one another; the reason for this humility within the church organization is the divine principle that God resisteth the proud and will bring down high looks. Therefore we are all to humble ourselves, not so much before one another, but under the mighty hand of God...” The majority of the commentators I read were in agreement with Clark’s interpretation.
 (...λέντιον διέζωσεν ἑαυτόν John 13:4 )
 Job 30:21b “thou hast scourged me [μαστιγω] with a strong hand” ~Brenton
 Acts 13:17 “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.
 Luke 1:52 “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly.” (NKJV)
[i] Where the traditional
Patriarchal edition of the Greek Bible is challenged by the Textus Receptus
or by the modern critical editions, I note that. When an English translation
adds words not in the Greek text, but does not indicate it has done so by the
use of italics (or greyed-out text), I put the added words in [square
brackets]. When one English version chooses a wording which is different from
all the other translations, I underline it. When a version chooses a
translation which, in my opinion, either departs too far from the root meaning
of the Greek word or departs too far from the grammar form of the original
Greek word, I use
strikeout. And when an English version omits a word
which is in the Greek text, I insert an X. (Sometimes I will place the X at
the end of a word if the Greek word is plural but the English translation is
singular.) I have also tried to use colors to help the reader see correlations
between the Greek original and the various translations when there are more
than two different translations of a Greek word.
[ii] The Textus Receptus follows the Majority of Greek manuscripts in adding the word ‘υποτασσομενοι (“submitting”) here (a repetition of the main verb already in the verse), but it is not to be found in any manuscript dated before the 9th Century (although it is found in a Syriac version dated to the 7th century). This raises the question of why all the manuscripts and translations dated prior to the 7th century (including the Coptic and Latin versions and the Syriac Peshitta) do not have this extra word. Perhaps the editors of the Patristic text knew something Erasmus (the editor of the Textus Receptus) didn’t.
[iii] cf. Acts 20:19; Ephesians 4:2; Philippians 2:3; Colossians 2:18,23; 3:12
[iv] Hapex legomenon (Peter uses a lot of words which occur nowhere else in the entire Greek Bible!)
[v] “Gives grace” = Salvation (Psalm 18:27, 84:11, 2 Thess. 2:16, 2 Tim. 1:9), Spiritual gifts (Rom 12:6, 2 Cor 8:1, Gal. 2:9, Eph 4:7)
[vi] A handful of Greek manuscripts (the Alexandrinus being the only one older than 9th century) add the word episcopes “of visitation/accountability.” This was picked up in several ancient versions between the 5th and 7th centuries: Vulgate, Hyrcanian, and Boharic. The word is uncontroverted in the final phrase of 1 Peter 2:21 (“in a day of visitation”). Here it appears to limit the meaning a little bit (not absolutely) from “God’s appointed time” to specifically the second coming.
[vii] This verb is an Aorist Passive Imperative. As an Aorist tense, it speaks of a singular event – perhaps the beginning of being humbled. All the other standard English translations translate it “humble yourselves” as though it were Middle voice. (This cannot, by the way, be a deponent due to the non-existence of a middle form, because this verb does appear elsewhere in the middle voice in the Greek Bible, for instance in Psalm 35:14 & Prov. 18:12, so I’m puzzled as to why English translators have so uniformly avoided a straightforward passive rendering of this verb here.) I believe that this command must be related to the overall topic of Christian suffering in Peter’s epistle. This word “lay low/humble” is consistently used throughout the Old Testament to describe God’s chastening of believers, especially the exile of the wayward Israelites: Jeremiah 13:18, Psalms 44:19, 90:15, 107:11-13, 119:71&75, 142:6). In the New Testament, Jesus speaks of being humbled as a corrective chastisement from God for exalting yourself and being proud (Matthew 23:12, Luke 14:11, Luke 18:14). The Apostle Paul speaks of being humbled through difficult financial circumstances or through difficult interpersonal conflicts: Philippians 4:12-13, 2 Corinthians 12:21) The phrase “mighty hand of God” reinforces this idea, because almost every time in the Bible that this phrase occurs, it refers to God bringing judgment upon people (the lone exception out of the 23 instances is Ezekiel 3:14). In every occurrence of this word in the Pentateuch books, it is referring to God’s judgment upon Egypt and the Canaanites as He delivered the Jews from slavery and set them up in the Promised Land. “with a strong hand the Lord God brought thee out of Egypt.” In Deuteronomy 11:2 it is called “discipline.” In Job it speaks of chastisement which God brought personally to a certain believer (Job 30:21b). And in the books of the prophets, God’s mighty hand brings down Jerusalem before the Chaldeans (Jer. 21:7), chastises His people with Exile (Ezek 20:33), and then gathering those exiles back (Ezek 20:34). You must be abased before you can be exalted (Proverbs 18:12, Mark 10:15, Luke 24:26, Hebrews 3:18-19, Luke 1:52, Acts 13:17, James 4:6-10, Phil. 2).
[viii] Although the majority of Greek manuscripts double the first letter of the root of this verb in the two instances that it occurs in the New Testament (here and Luke19:35), modern critical editions don’t. Neither the Nestle-Aland nor the UBS edition even acknowledge that they followed a variant in their apparatus at either passage. The consistent spelling of this root throughout the Septuagint is with the double rho: Leviticus 6:27; Numbers 35:20,22; Job 22:16; 27:22; Psalms 55:22 (the source of Peter’s quote); Ezekiel 43:24; Amos 8:3; and Nahum 3:6, so I think the Patriarchal edition I’m using should be followed here rather than following the modern editions which assume Peter and Luke made spelling errors. It makes no difference in the larger scheme of things, however, since this is merely a matter of proper spelling and not a difference in word meaning.
[ix] Vincent, Robertson, and JFB interpret the Aorist participle as a “once for all time” action. I have interpreted it temporally in relation to the previous verb at the end of v.6, whereas the NIV interpreted it as a parallel imperative to the true imperative which opens verse 6.
[x] Cf. Matt. 6:25&34, 13:22, 1 Cor. 7:32-34