5:1 The 1 elders which are among you 2 I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
(1) He describes peculiarly the office of the
Elders, that is to say, of them that have the care of the Church. (2)
He uses a preface concerning the circumstance of his own person: that is, that
he as their companion communes with them not of manners which he knows not,
but in which he is as well experienced as any, and propounds to them no other
condition but that which he himself has sustained before them, and still takes
the same trouble, and also has the same hope together with them.
5:2 3 a
Feed the 4 flock of God which is 5
among you, 6 taking the oversight
[thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a
(3) The first rule: he that is a shepherd let him
feed the flock.
(4) The second: Let not shepherd consider, that
the flock is not his, but Gods. (5) The third:
Let not shepherds invade other men's flocks, but let them feed that which
God hath committed unto them. (6) Let the
shepherds govern the Church with the word and example of godly and unblamable
life, not by force but willingly, not for greedy gain, but with a ready mind,
not as lords over God's portion and heritage, but as his ministers.
5:3 Neither as being lords over [God's] b
heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
(b) Which is the Christian people.
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that
fadeth not away.
(7) That the shepherds' minds are not overcome
either with the wickedness of men, or their cruelty, he warns them to
continually look at the chief shepherd, and the crown which is laid up for
them in heaven.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be
subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: 9
for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
(8) He commends many peculiar Christian virtues,
and especially modesty: an admonition all of us need, but especially the
younger ones by reason of the perverseness and pride of that age. (9)
Because pride seems to many to be the way to the glory of this life, the
apostle testifies to the opposite, that dishonour and shame is the reward of
pride, and glory the reward of modesty.
5:6 Humble yourselves therefore 10
under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
(10) Because those proud and lofty spirits
threaten the modest and humble, the apostle warns us to set the power of God
against the vanity of proud men, and to rely completely on his providence.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
(11) The cruelty of Satan, who seeks by all means
to devour us, is overcome by watchfulness and faith.
5:9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, 12
knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your c
brethren that are in the world.
(12) The persecutions which Satan stirs up, are
neither new nor proper to any one man, but from old and ancient times common
to the whole Church, and therefore we must suffer patiently, in which we have
such and so many fellows of our conflicts and combats.
(c) Amongst your brethren which are dispersed
throughout the world.
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ
Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish,
strengthen, settle [you].
(13) He seals up as with a seal the former
exhortation with a solemn prayer, again willing them to ask increase of
strength at his hands, of whom they had the beginning, and hope to have the
accomplishment: that is, of God the Father in Christ Jesus, in whom we are
sure of the glory of eternal life.
By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly,
exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
(14) Continuance and perseverance in the doctrine
of the apostles is the only ground and foundation of Christian strength: Now
the sum of the apostles doctrine, is salvation freely given by God.
The [church that is] at d Babylon,
elected together with [you], saluteth you; and [so doth] Marcus my son.
(15) Familiar salutations.
(d) In that famous city of Assyria, where Peter
the apostle of circumcision then was.