1 Peter 1:10 MEANING

1 Peter 1:10
(10) Now St. Peter brings his doctrine home to the hearts of his readers of the Dispersion, by showing them how scriptural it is. Surely they will not "draw back" (Hebrews 10:39), but believe on to the purchasing of their souls, when they consider that all the prophets looked forward with envy to the prize now in their hands.

(10) Of which salvation.--The "of" stands for "concerning," "with regard to"; and the salvation which formed the subject of investigation to the prophets was the present deliverance of the believing soul from sin and gloom, as well as the salvation yet future. It is difficult not to believe that the song of Zacharias was in St. Peter's mind when he thus wrote; the theme of that song is precisely the glory of present salvation through Christ, and the fulfilment of prophecy thereby: "Blessed be the Lord God . . . who hath raised up a horn of salvation for us . . ., as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets,--salvation from our enemies . . ., that we might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days; and thou too, little child, shalt be called a prophet . . . to give knowledge of salvation unto His people."

Have enquired and searched diligently.--Rather, did inquire; for our present version tends to convey the notion that the prophetic writings which we now possess are the result of the inquiry. This would be wrong. Calvin rightly says: "When he states that the prophets inquired and examined, this refers not to their writings or teaching, but to the private longing with which each was fired." In fact, St. Peter goes on to say that the writings which the Holy Spirit impelled them to make were actually the text on which their longings were the comment: they endeavoured to understand what they themselves had written. The two Greek words give a much more lively picture than the English, of the intense eagerness of the search, and of the depth to which it penetrated. If these great prophets took such pains to understand our present salvation, we ought to take heed not to "let it slip." Precisely the same argument is used for precisely the same purpose by our Lord in Matthew 13:16-17.

Who prophesied of the grace.--This is a description of the prophetic scriptures. The whole subject of the Old Testament is the bounty of God under the New; and this was what the prophets tried to realise.

The grace that should come unto you.--Perhaps the words in italics might be with advantage changed into, "the grace in reserve for you:" the word is the same as in 1 Peter 1:4. "Grace" here seems to mean little more than "favour" or "bounty," not the ordinary theological sense. The "favour" consists in our salvation.

Verse 10. - Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently; rather, prophets inquired and searched. There is no article, and the verbs are aorist. St. Peter illustrates the glory and greatness of our salvation (mark how he loves to repeat the word) by showing that it was the subject of the searching study of prophets and of the contemplation of angels. St. Peter was a diligent student of the prophetic books, and constantly quotes them, both in his Epistles and in his speeches recorded in the Acts. Here he gives us a very remarkable glimpse into the conditions of the prophetic consciousness. The scheme of our salvation was in some way revealed to the prophets; the mode of the revelation, whether by vision or otherwise, is not made known to us. Every point of contact between the infinite and the finite is enveloped in mystery; we can only know the fact - there was such a revelation. That salvation was so magnificent a prospect that it concentrated upon itself the rapt attention and deepest interest of those to whom the promise was revealed. Prophets inquired and searched diligently. The revelation was real, but it was not complete, not distinct in its details. God revealed so much of the coming salvation as was sufficient to support his servants in their trials, and to quicken their faith in the Messiah. Prophets searched diligently, as miners seeking treasure; they prayed, and thought, and meditated, and exercised all their intellectual energies in the effort to comprehend the revelation which had been vouchsafed to them. Daniel was a remarkable example of this searching (Daniel 7:16; Daniel 9:2, 3). The revelation came to the prophet from God; the prophet received it, but could not comprehend it in all its depth and height - he searched diligently.

"Thoughts beyond their thoughts
To those high bards were given."

(Christian Year.') (Compare the song of Zacharias, Luke 1:68-79.) Who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you? He defines the prophets, of whom he speaks as those who prophesied of the favor of God manifested in the redemption of mankind through his blessed Son. "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). St. Paul loved to dwell on the grace of God; so did St. Peter.

1:10-12 Jesus Christ was the main subject of the prophets' studies. Their inquiry into the sufferings of Christ and the glories that should follow, would lead to a view of the whole gospel, the sum whereof is, That Christ Jesus was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. God is pleased to answer our necessities rather than our requests. The doctrine of the prophets, and that of the apostles, exactly agree, as coming from the same Spirit of God. The gospel is the ministration of the Spirit; its success depends upon his operation and blessing. Let us then search diligently those Scriptures which contain the doctrines of salvation.Of which salvation the prophets have inquired,.... They greatly desired the coming of the Saviour, and to see him; they longed after the salvation to be accomplished by him, and expressed their wishes for him, and that; and inquired into the nature of it, and gave an account thereof, according to the measure of light and knowledge communicated to them; they pointed out Christ as a Redeemer of his people, and his salvation as spiritual and eternal:

and searched diligently; in the use of means; by prayer and supplication; by reading the prophecies that went before; by observing the types, shadows, and sacrifices of the law; and by waiting upon the Lord for the inspiration of his Spirit. This last clause is omitted in the Syriac version, but rightly retained in all others:

who prophesied of the grace; that should come unto you; Jews, and also the Gentiles. They prophesied both of Christ, who is the unspeakable gift of God's free grace, who is full of grace, and by whom it comes; and also of the several blessings of grace through Christ, as of redeeming grace from sin, Satan, death, and the grave; of justifying grace, through his righteousness, he being the Lord our righteousness, in whom all the seed of Israel shall be justified, and glory; for though his righteousness is revealed without the law, yet it is witnessed to by law and prophets; of pardoning grace, as with God, and as a blessing of the new covenant, and as received through faith in Christ, to which give all the prophets witness; of adopting grace, both to Jews and Gentiles, signifying, that where they were not called the people of God, they should be called the sons of God; of regenerating and sanctifying grace, in giving a new heart and Spirit, in sprinkling with clean water, in writing the laws of God in the inward parts, and pouring out the Spirit in a plenteous manner on all sorts of men; of persevering grace, intimating that they that fear the Lord shall not depart from him, and that his loving kindness shall never depart from them; and of eternal life and glory, as God's free gift, which is that everlasting salvation, they say, Israel shall be saved in the Lord with.

Courtesy of Open Bible