1 Peter 5:1-14 NIV
To the Elders and the Flock
1To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s Sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: 2Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.
5In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”a
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s Mighty Hand, that He may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
8Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10And the God of all grace, Who called you to His Eternal Glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To Him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12With the help of Silas,b whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
In this chapter the apostle first exhorts pastors/elders and members of churches to their respective duties as such; and then to those which were common to them all, as Christians; and closes the epistle with prayers for them, salutations of them, and with his apostolic benediction.
He begins with the pastors or elders, and describes himself as a fellow elder, an eyewitness of Christ's sufferings, and a partaker of His glory, 1 Peter 5:1, and these he exhorts to feed the flock of God, where they were; to take the charge and oversight of them, freely, readily, and willingly, and not through force or covetousness; and not to exercise a tyrannical dominion over them, but to be examples to them, 1 Peter 5:2, and the argument made use of to encourage them to all this is, that at the appearance of Christ, the Chief Shepherd, they should receive a never fading crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4 and next, the members of the churches are exhorted to submit to the rule and government of their pastors, being according to the Word of God; and to be subject to one another; and particularly to put on humility, as a garment very ornamental to them; and the rather, since God opposes Himself to men that are proud, but gives more grace to the humble, 1 Peter 5:5 and especially he exhorts them to be humble under the Hand of God, since that is a mighty one, and this is the way to be exalted in due time; and also to cast their care upon Him, seeing He cared for them, 1 Peter 5:6 and then the apostle proceeds to the common duties of Christians, and to exhort them to sobriety and watchfulness, since Satan their adversary was a cruel and cunning one, and ever seeking the ruin of men; and to resist him in the steadfast exercise of faith, and patiently bear all afflictions, seeing the same were accomplished in their fellow believers in the world, 1 Peter 5:8 and then he puts up some petitions for them, that they might be perfected, established, strengthened, and settled, 1 Peter 5:10 and ascribes Glory and Dominion forever to the God of grace, to Whom he prays, 1 Peter 5:11 after which he names the person by whom he sends this epistle, giving a summary of it; that it was an exhortation and a testimony to the true doctrine of grace wherein they stood, 1 Peter 5:12, and next follow the salutations of the church at Babylon, and of his son Mark, to them, 1 Peter 5:13, and lastly, he desires they would salute one another with a kiss of love, and gives them his benedictory wish, 1 Peter 5:14.
Church at Babylon
The church that is at Babylon,.... The Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, supply the word "church", as we do. Some, by "Babylon", understand Rome, which is so called, in a figurative sense, in the book of the Revelations. So they understood it, that Peter was at Rome, when he wrote this epistle. But it cannot be proved, nor any reason be given why the proper name of the place should be concealed, and a figurative one expressed.
It is best therefore to understand it literally, of Babylon in Assyria, the metropolis of the dispersion of the Jews, and the center of it, and where, as the minister of the circumcision, Peter may be thought to reside, here being a number of persons converted and formed into a Gospel church state, whereby was fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 87:4, “I(Jehovah) will count Egypt and Babylon among those who know Me--also Philistia and Tyre, and even distant Ethiopia. They have all become citizens of Jerusalem!”
Perhaps this church might consist chiefly of Jews, which might be the reason of the apostle's being here, since there were great numbers which continued to reside here, from the time of the captivity, who did not return with Ezra; and these are said by the Jews to be of the purest blood: many of the Jewish doctors lived here; they had three famous universities in this country, and here their Talmud was written, called, Babylonian.
The church in this place is said to be elected together with you; that is, were chosen together with them in Christ, before the foundation of the world, to grace here, and glory hereafter; or were equally the elect of God as they were, for as such he writes to them, 1 Peter 1:2 .
This Church, he says, “salutes you; wishes all peace, happiness, and prosperity of every kind, and so does Marcus, my son”; either, in a natural sense, his son according to the flesh; since it is certain Peter had a wife, and might have a son, and one of this name: or rather in a spiritual sense, being one that he was either an instrument of converting him, or of instructing him, or was one that was as dear to him as a son; in like manner as the Apostle Paul calls Timothy, and also Titus, his own son.
This seems to be Mark the evangelist, who was called John Mark, was Barnabas's sister's son, and his mother's name was Mary; Colossians 4:10. He is said to be the interpreter of Peter, and to have wrote his Gospel from what he heard from him; and who approved of it, and confirmed it, and indeed it is said to be his.