VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
1 PETER 4
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
Mind (ennoian). Only here and Heb. iv. 12. Literally the word means thought, and so some render it here. Rev. puts it in margin. The rendering intent, resolution, is very doubtful. It seems rather to be the thought as determining the resolution. Since Christ has suffered in the flesh, be ye also willing to suffer in the flesh.
The rest of the time (epiloipon). Only here in New Testament.
Of our life (tou biou). The best texts omit.
Will (boulhma, the better reading for qelhma). Desire, inclination. See on Matt. i. 19.
When we walked (peporeumenouv). Rev., rightly, ye walked. Construe with to have wrought. The time past may suffice for you to have wrought the desire, etc., walking as ye have done; the perfect participle having an inferential reference to a course of life now done with.
Lasciviousness (aselgeiav). The following enumeration of vices is characteristic of Peter's style in its fulness and condensation. He enumerates six forms of sensuality, three personal and three social:
(1) 'Aselgeiaiv, wantonness. See on Mark vii. 22. Excesses of all kinds, with possibly an emphasis on sins of uncleanness.
(2) 'Epiqumiaiv, lusts. See on Mark iv. 19. Pointing especially to fleshly lusts, "the inner principles of licentiousness" (Cook).
(3) Oijnoflugiaiv, excess of wine. Only here in New Testament. The kindred verb occurs in the Septuagint, Deut. xxi. 20; Isa. xlvi. 12. From oinov, wine, and flew or fluw, to teem with abundance; thence to boil over or bubble up, overflow. It is the excessive, insatiate desire for drink, form which comes the use of the word for the indulgence of the desire - debauch. So Rev., wine-bibbings. The remaining three are revellings, banquetings, and idolatries.
Revellings (kwmoiv). The word originally signifies merely a merry-making; most probably a village festival, from kwmh, a village. In the cities such entertainments grew into carouses, in which the party of revellers paraded the streets with torches, singing, dancing, and all kinds of frolics. These revels also entered into religious observances, especially in the worship of Bacchus, Demeter, and the Idaean Zeus in Crete. The fanatic and orgiastic rites of Egypt, Asia Minor, and Thrace became engrafted on the old religion. Socrates, in the introduction to "The Republic," pictures himself as having gone down to the Piraeus to see the celebration of the festival of Bendis, the Thracian Artemis (Diana); and as being told by one of his companions that, in the evening, there is to be a torch-race with horses in honor of the goddess. The rites grew furious and ecstatic. "Crowds of women, clothed with fawns' skins, and bearing the sanctified thyrsus (a staff wreathed with vine-leaves) flocked to the solitudes of Parnassus, Kithaeron, or Taygetus during the consecrated triennial period, and abandoned themselves to demonstrations of frantic excitement, and dancing and clamorous invocation of the God. They were said to tear animals limb from limb, to devour the raw flesh, and to cut themselves without feeling the wound. The men yielded to a similar impulse by noisy revels in the streets, sounding the cymbals and tambourine, and carrying the image of the God in procession" (Grote, "History of Greece"). Peter, in his introduction, addresses the sojourners in Galatia, where the Phrygian worship of Cybele, the great mother of the gods, prevailed, with its wild orgies and hideous mutilations. Lucretius thus describes the rites:
"With vigorous hand the clamorous drum they rouse, And wake the sounding cymbal; the hoarse horn Pours forth its threatening music, and the pipe, With Phrygian airs distracts the maddening mind, While arms of blood the fierce enthusiasts wield To fright the unrighteous crowds, and bend profound Their impious souls before the power divine. Thus moves the pompous idol through the streets, Scattering mute blessings, while the throngs devout Strew, in return, their silver and their brass, Loading the paths with presents, and o'ershade The heavenly form; and all th' attending train, With dulcet sprays of roses, pluct profuse, A band select before them, by the Greeks Curetes called, from Phrygian parents sprung, Sport with fantastic chains, the measured dance Weaving infuriate, charmed with human blood, And madly shaking their tremendous crests." De Rerum Natura, ii., 618-631.
Banquetings (potoiv). Lit., drinking-bouts. Rev., carousings.
Abominable (aqemitoiv). Only here, and by Peter in the Acts x. 28. More literally, unlawful, emphasizing the idolatries as violations of divine law.
"Lo, Baccus comes! and with the festive cries Resound the fields; and mixed in headlong rout, Men, matrons, maids, paupers, and nobles proud, To the mysterious rites are born along." Metamorphoses, iii., 528-530.
Excess (anacusin). Only here in New Testament. Lit., pouring forth. Rev. has flood in margin. The word is used in classical Greek of the tides which fill the hollows.
Riot (aswtiav). From aj, not, and swzw, to save. Lit., unsavingness, prodigality, wastefulness; and thence of squandering on one's own debased appetites, whence it takes the sense of dissoluteness or profligacy. In Luke xv. 13, the kindred adverb ajswtwv is used. The prodigal is described as scattering his substance, to which is added, living wastefully (zwn aswtwv). Compare Eph. v. 18; Tit. i. 6.
Be ye sober (swfronhsate). The word is from swv, sound, and frhn, the mind. Therefore, as Rev., be ye of sound mind. Compare Mark v. 15. Watch (nhyate). See on ch. i. 13. The A.V. has followed the Vulgate, vigilate (watch). Rev. is better: be sober.
Unto prayer (eiv proseucav). Lit., prayers. The plural is used designedly: prayers of all kinds, private or public. Tynd. renders, Be ye discreet and sober, that ye may be apt to prayers. Compare Ephesians vi. 18, "with every kind of prayer, and watching thereunto."
Love covereth, etc. Compare Jas. v. 20; Prov. x. 12.
Manifold. See on ch. i. 6.
Giveth (corhgei). Only here and 2 Cor. ix. 10. Peter uses the compound ejpicorhgew, furnish, in 2 Pet. i. 5; which see.
Fiery trial (purwsei). The word means burning. In Prov. xxvii. 21 (Sept.), it is rendered furnace. In Psalms 45 (Sept.), 46 (A.V.), we read, "Thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast smelted us, as silver is smelted." Compare Zech. xiii. 9.
Which is to try you (umin ginomenh). The A.V. thus makes the trial a thing of the future; mistranslating the Greek present participle, which is taking place. This participle, therefore, represents the trial as actually in progress. The Rev. does not give this force by its which cometh upon you. To try you (prov peirasmon). Lit., for trial or probation.
Strange thing (xenon). Compare think it not strange, above.
Happened (sumbainontov). Again the present participle. Better, perhaps, were happening; by chance, instead of with the definite purpose indicated by "taking place with a view to probation." See above.
Be glad with exceeding joy (carhte agalliwmenoi). Lit., ye may rejoice exulting. See on ch. i. 6.
Well-doing (agaqopoiia). Only here in New Testament. Compare ch. ii. 14. The surrender to God is to be coupled with the active practice of good.