1 Peter 5

5:1-5

1Πρεσβυτέρους τοὺς ἐν ὑμῖν παρακαλῶ ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων, ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός· 2ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπισκοποῦντες μὴ ἀναγκαστῶς ἀλλ’ ἑκουσίως κατὰ θεόν, μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς ἀλλὰ προθύμως, 3μηδ’ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου· 4καὶ φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον. 5ὁμοίως, νεώτεροι, ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις· πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.

The writer includes another segment focused on the issue of ὑποτάσσομαι (5:5). In the first part he addresses those who “shepherd” the local churches and then moves to consider the way “the younger men” respond to this expression of leadership. The key principle is expressed in 5:5b. In 5:1 he expresses an instruction, using the present active indicative verb παρακαλῶ (cf. 2:11). He fronts the direct object, presumably to give it prominence and signal a new section. He uses no particles to show any relationship with what has preceded. However, he may desire his readers to use chapter 4 as the context for his instructions here. The term πρεσβυτέρους means “older men” (cf. 1 Timothy5:1ff)  in contrast to the νεώτεροι found in v. 5, where the correlation between these two terms is repeated. He specifies which group of “older men” he is addressing by using the articulated prepositional phrase τοὺς ἐν ὑμῖν, an idiom he repeats in 5:2.

Although the subject is first person, indicated by the personal ending of the main verb, he includes an extensive description of this subject in the compound expression ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων, as well as in the substantival adjective ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός. You might consider why he incorporates such a description at this point. The single article with ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς is an example of the Granville Sharp rule and indicates that both nouns refer to the same person. He identifies himself as one of the same kind of leaders συμπρεσβύτερος. He is also a μάρτυς “witness” and the content of what he has experienced is expressed in the objective genitive, τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων. Is he admitting that he witnessed the crucifixion? Or, is he acknowledging his own suffering for the sake of the Messiah? How should we define the function of the genitive τοῦ Χριστοῦ? Consider the similar idea expressed in 1:11; 2:21; 3:18; 4:1. The second element is ὁ…κοινωνός (the participant), that echoes the use of the cognate verb κοινωνεῖτε in 4:13. It is modified by an ascensive καί and the genitive τῆς…δόξης that defines what he shares. The noun is qualified by the attributive participle μελλούσης that is completed by the present passive infinitive ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι. The writer uses both of these terms (δόξα, ἀποκαλύπτω) numerous times in earlier parts of his letter and here shows that the experience of the Messiah gets replicated in the life of his followers.

The substance of the writer’s instructions to these “older men” gets expressed in the aorist active imperative ποιμάνατε (2:2). Its object is the cognate term τὸ…ποίμνιον that is linked first to these older men (ἐν ὑμῖν) and then to God, with the genitive τοῦ θεοῦ. The genitive is probably possessive. An adverbial present active participle ἐπισκοποῦντες, defines the manner of this “sheep tending,” creating clarification of the instruction. It is cognate with the noun ἐπίσκοπος used in 2:25. The three coordinate adverbs probably modify the participle’s action. The repeated μή…ἀλλ’ extends the characterization through to the end of v. 3 where the noun τοῦ ποιμνίου recurs, perhaps marking an inclusio. The negative μή probably reflects the imperative or participle formation.

The first contrast is between ἀναγκαστῶς “under compulsion” and ἑκουσίως κατὰ θεόν “willingly in accordance with God,” indicating that the leader embraces this service under God’s direction (cf. 2:16; 4:10-11). The second concerns wrong motives, i.e., μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς “not for shameful greed,” ἀλλὰ προθύμως “eagerly,” presumably because they are grateful to God for the opportunity to serve him and his people in this way. The writer changes the syntax of the third contrast using an adverbial present active participle ὡς κατακυριεύοντες in a negative comparison, “as those who exercise lordly authority” (cf. Mark 10:43-45). The genitive complement τῶν κλήρων changes the shepherding metaphor to one that describes the assigning of some property to a person by some means (e.g., Acts 1:17). Presumably, the “older men” as mature and wise believers in the house-churches are viewed as receiving an allotted part of God’s flock for which they have responsibility to care. After rejecting this mode of leadership, the writer indicates the positive with another adverbial participle γινόμενοι, that has a predicate nominative τύποι, modified by τοῦ ποιμνίου, a genitive of reference, i.e., “for the flock.”

Along with this instruction, the writer provides a promise (5:4). He connects the promise to the command with καί that may have a resultative nuance (“and so”). He begins with a genitive absolute φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος formed with an aorist passive participle. The subject is τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος that refers to the Messiah and continues the shepherd analogy. The genitive absolute expresses a temporal idea “when the chief-shepherd has appeared….” For φανερόω see 1:18. The future middle indicative κομιεῖσθε means “you will acquire, gain” (cf. 1:9). What nuance might the middle voice add in this context? The direct object τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον incorporates the previously used genitive τῆς δόξης (5:1), as well as the alpha-privative adjective ἀμαράντινον (1:4). The genitive could be a genitive of material or an attributive genitive, i.e., “glorious crown.” The crown, a symbol of victory, is unfading because it is not made of myrtle or flowers.

In v. 5a the writer turns his attention to another group of men in the congregation, the νεώτεροι, a vocative. He correlates this group with the “older men” by using the adverb ὁμοίως. He casts this as another instruction, using an aorist medio-passive imperative form ὑποτάγητε (cf. 2:13). What is the function of the dative τοῖς πρεσβυτέροις? It marks those to whom the young men are to rank themselves appropriately.

The particle δέ (v. 5b) marks a new topic, perhaps a summarizing principle, with the sense “now then.” It incorporates another aorist middle imperative ἐγκομβώσασθε. It has the sense of “gird yourselves about.” The writer places the subject first, πάντες, followed by the object τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην in the focal position. The dative reciprocal pronoun ἀλλήλοις marks those who will benefit from this action. The writer provides a rationale for this instruction, introduced by causal ὅτι. Apart from the explicit subject ὁ θεός, the clause is a quotation from Proverbs 3:34.

LXX         κύριος ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.

The writer substitutes ὁ θεός for κύριος, but this is the only adjustment he makes to the LXX text. In both clauses, the translator has placed the object (ὑπερηφάνοις) and indirect object (ταπεινοῖς) before the verb and created two parallel statements. The verbs are present middle/active tense forms. The verb ἀντιτάσσω perhaps plays off of the previous ὑποτάσσω used in v. 5a. The writer uses the adjective ταπεινός, verb ταπεινόω, and noun ταπεινοφροσύνη 5:5-6.

5:6-11

6Ταπεινώθητε οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ, ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃ ἐν καιρῷ, 7πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ’ αὐτόν, ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν. 8νήψατε, γρηγορήσατε. ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν διάβολος ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος περιπατεῖ ζητῶν τινα καταπιεῖν· 9ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει εἰδότες τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων τῇ ἐν κόσμῳ ὑμῶν ἀδελφότητι ἐπιτελεῖσθαι. 10ὁ δὲ θεὸς πάσης χάριτος, ὁ καλέσας ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν ἐν Χριστῷ ὀλίγον παθόντας αὐτὸς καταρτίσει, στηρίξει, σθενώσει, θεμελιώσει. 11αὐτῷ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν.

We should probably not see a strong division between 5:5 and 5:6 given the writer’s use of οὖν, his use of the verb ταπεινόω, and the continued imperative formation. 5:6-7 form one, extended sentence. ταπεινώθητε is an aorist medio-passive imperative, that could mean “humble yourselves” or “be humbled.” ὑπό + accusative defines location under. The metaphor of τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ occurs in the Greek Pentateuch to describe Yahweh’s interventions to protect and provide for Israel in their wilderness experience. The genitive defines to whom the “hand” belongs. It belongs to series of metaphors the defines Yahweh as Israel’s divine warrior. It fits well in this context in which the devil roams about as a roaring lion. This primary instruction is modified by a purpose clause marked by ἵνα. The object ὑμᾶς is fronted in the subordinate clause. ὑψώσῃ is an aorist active subjunctive form. The correlation between ταπεινόω / ὑψόω also occurs in James 4:10 and 2 Cor. 11:7; cf. Matt. 23:12 and Luke 18:14. It describes the ascension of the Lord Jesus in Acts 2:33. ἐν καιρῷ is a locative of time, i.e., “at an appropriate/opportune time.” The initial imperative is also modified by a following adverbial aorist active participle ἐπιρίψαντες – the nominative plural form links it with the initial imperative. Again the writer positions the object before the participle – πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν. The genitive pronoun is probably subjective, i.e., “every concern you experience.” The adverbial phrase ἐπ’ αὐτόν refers to θεός and defines him as the one who can bear the weight of these anxieties. The preposition picks up the prepositional prefix attached to the participle. Lastly, the writer offers an explanation for the deity’s action, marked by the causal ὅτι. Note the similar pattern in v. 5. He uses the impersonal verb μέλει “there is a concern” and identifies that one who experiences concern with the dative αὐτῷ, i.e., God. The adverbial phrase περὶ ὑμῶν identifies for whom this party is concerned and thus shows care. They belong to his flock and so he will use his hand to protect and nurture them.

Three more instructions follow in vv. 8-9. The first two are single, aorist active imperatives νήψατε, γρηγορήσατε, the first of which the writer has employed previously (1:13; 4:7). Vigilance is necessary because of what follows. The writer then makes a declaration whose main verb is a present active indicative form περιπατεῖ. The aspect of this verb suggests a continuing action. The subject precedes the verb and is extensively developed. The essential subject is ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν with a genitive modifier (objective genitive). ἀντίδικος is a legal term describing a person who brings a lawsuit, a plaintiff, accuser. To whom, how and in what ways does Satan present accusations? It may be intended in a more general sense of “enemy.” διάβολος formally is an adjective and since it is anarthrous here it could function as an appositional substantival adjective, “a slanderer.” ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος is a comparison construction,  probably modifies διάβολος, and λέων probably functions as a nominative with an implied περιπατεῖ. The present middle participle ὠρυόμενος is attributive and modifies λέων. It is a fairly common description of a lion, but may be paraphrasing Ps. 22:14 ὡς λέων ὁ ἁρπάζων καὶ ὠρυόμενος, a Psalm detailing the plight of a righteous sufferer. Following the main verb is an adverbial present active participle that explains why this accuser is walking around. He seeks to harm people —  ζητῶν τινα καταπιεῖν. The object is an indefinite pronoun. The verb ζητέω frequently is completed by an infinitive, as it is here with the second aorist active infinitive καταπιεῖν (“to swallow down”) and it expresses purpose. P72 A 436 642 2492 lat read τινα καταπιη “whom he might devour.” The infinitive is read by B Ψ 1175.

The sentence is completed with a relative clause marked by ᾧ, the object of ἀντίστητε, a second aorist active imperative. στερεοὶ is a predicate adjective that modifies the plural subject. It is in turn defined by the dative of manner τῇ πίστει. An additional modifier is the adverbial participle εἰδότες, perhaps causal in force. It is completed by an object clause formed with a present passive infinitive ἐπιτελεῖσθαι whose subject is the neuter plural τὰ αὐτά, modified by the genitive τῶν παθημάτων, giving definition to the generic subject as an epexegetical genitive. The function of the dative τῇ…ἀδελφότητι is more debated – agency, disadvantage, respect??? ὑμῶν might be construed as a genitive of relationship. The noun is qualified by the embedded prepositional phrase ἐν [τῷ] κόσμῳ, indicating location of the “brotherhood.”

After the stern warnings in vv. 6-9, the writer offers a declaration of hope, marked by δέ, indicating a new topic. The clause contains a list of four future active verbs. Their multiplicity, as well as semantic similarity, emphasize the declaration about ὁ θεὸς τῆς χάριτος, the subject. As the source of this favour or grace, the deity is able to make good on his promise. The subject is qualified by an attributive participle ὁ καλέσας. The recipients of the invitation are the defined object (ὑμᾶς). The nature of the invitation is expressed in the adverbial prepositional phrase εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν, with the preposition having a metaphorical sense of movement. αὐτοῦ defines whose glory they will share. ἐν Χριστῷ [Ἰησου] could be adverbial, modifyiing the participle, or characterizing δόξαν, or may be an example of the “in Christ” phrase modifying the previous ὑμᾶς. Given its position, probably is qualifies δόξαν. A second adverbial second aorist active participle παθόντας qualifies the verbal phrase καλέσας ὑμᾶς. Again the writer uses the δόξα – πάθημα contrast. The nominative αὐτός resumes the subject after so much intervening material, but also is an intensifier. The four future verbs are strung together without any conjunctions. As you can imagine, the textual tradition is quite complex. The repeated verbal endings create a rhyming effect.

The writer ends this section with a doxology. The dative of reference or possession αὐτῷ probably refers back to ὁ θεός. This is a nominal clause and the subject is marked by the article – τὸ κράτος (cf. 4:11). εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας is an adverbial temporal phrase indicating duration of time, i.e., “unto/to/for the ages.”

5:12-14

12Διὰ Σιλουανοῦ ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαι, δι’ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτην εἶναι ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰς ἣν στῆτε. 13ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ καὶ Μᾶρκος ὁ υἱός μου. 14ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης.

Εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ.

We come to the concluding salutation and the writer gives a few details about the production of the letter and his companions. The main verb in v. 12 is ἔγραψα and the aorist is used from the standpoint of the audience – he has already written the letter when the audience receives it. There is no explicit object, but there is an indirect object ὑμῖν. Dubis suggests that its position embedded in the prepositional phrase might suggest that it modifies τοῦ πιστοῦ, i.e., “faithful to you.” The adverbial prepositional phrase διὰ Σιλουανοῦ…τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ is generally taken to indicate that this person had some role either in the production of the letter or its delivery (cf. Acts. 15:23; Romans 16:22). τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ is an appositional modifier of Σιλουανοῦ. The writer includes a comparative clause ὡς λογίζομαι “as I reckon” that substantiates the claim that Silvanus is indeed his trustworthy representative. δι’ ὀλίγων sort of apologizes for the brief scope of the letter. The compound adverbial present active participles παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν, following the verb, indicate circumstances that motivated the writing and contents of the letter. They together are completed by an object clause with an infinitive εἶναι as the main verb. The subject is the demonstrative ταύτην and the predicate nominative is the anarthrous ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ. The genitive might be subjective genitive. χάριν in turn is modified by the relative clause εἰς ἣν στῆτε that contains another imperative (cf. ἀντίστητε in v. 9 – note the wordplay?). The prepositional phrase could be locative “in which.” However, some interpret it as indicating purpose “for which.”

The last two verses share a number of greetings, using standard idioms. The present middle indicative ἀσπάζεται indicates the emotional involvement of the subject in the action. The verb has a compound subject that follows and it is singular because according to Greek idiom, the first member of the compound subject ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ supplies the person and number of the verb. It has an embedded adverbial prepositional phrase indicating location. We do not know whether Βαβυλῶνι refers to a city of that name or is a cipher for Rome. Much debate occurs about the identification of συνεκλεκτὴ, but most commentators consider the reference to be ἐκκλησία, a term that this writer does not use elsewhere. The second member of the compound subject Μᾶρκος ὁ υἱός μου is composed of a proper name with an appositional epithet. Most commentators take this as a reference to John Mark, but in what sense he is the “son” of the writer is unknown. As far as we know, Peter had no progeny with this name. Probably it describes a spiritual, mentoring relationship, such as Paul describes with Timothy. If the place is Rome, we do not know how Mark arrived in Rome, but the reference in 2 Tim 4:11 would seem to put him in the context of Rome roughly at the same time, perhaps.

In v. 14 the writer shifts the focus of greetings and instructs his audience ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους, using an aorist middle imperative and the reciprocal pronoun as object. The manner of their greeting is expressed in the adverbial prepositional phrase ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης, with genitive probably functioning as an attributive genitive, i.e., “a kiss defined by love.” He concludes with the verbless greeting with εἰρήνη being the subject focus. ὑμῖν is dative of possession or reference. It is defined by the appositional πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ. The articulated prepositional phrase probably defines the sphere [of authority?] within which these people now exist.