1 Peter 4:4 MEANING

1 Peter 4:4
(4) Wherein they think it strange.--The word "wherein" is used in exactly the same sense as in 1 Peter 2:12; that is to say, it does not directly point back to the list of sins just named, but the grammatical antecedent is to be supplied in the participial clause which follows, thus: "In a particular where they cannot imagine your not being as bad as themselves, slanderously affirming that you are." The only difficulty involved in this view is one which does not show in the English, viz., that the participle is attracted into the nominative case by the influence of the finite verb, instead of being (as it strictly should) in the genitive, agreeing with "of the Gentiles." But we have seen before that St. Peter deals very freely with participles in the nominative case. (See 1 Peter 2:12, where "having" is nominative, though in strictness it should be accusative, agreeing with "you, as strangers and pilgrims;" comp. also 1 Peter 2:18; 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 3:7; 1 Peter 3:9; 1 Peter 3:15-16.) Like instances are not wanting in classical Greek.

Verse 4. - Wherein they think it strange. Wherein, in which course of life, in the fact that the Christians once lived like the Gentiles, but now are so wholly changed. The word ξενίζεσθαι means commonly to be a guest, to live as a stranger in another's house (Acts 10:6, 18; Acts 21:16); here it means to be astonished, as at some strange sight, as such guests would no doubt sometimes be (comp. ver. 12 and Acts 17:20). That ye run not with them to the same excess of riot. The Greek words are very strong, "while ye run not with them," as if the Gentiles were running greedily in troops to riot and ruin. The word for "excess" (ἀνάχυσις) is found here only in the New Testament; it means" an overflowing;" the rendering sentina ("a sewer" or "cesspool") is doubtful. The word rendered "riot" (ἀδωτία) occurs also in Ephesians 5:18 and Titus 1:6, and is used in the adverbial form in describing the recklessness of the prodigal son (Luke 15:13). It means that lost state in which a man is given up to self-indulgence, and saves neither reputation, earthly position, nor his immortal soul. Speaking evil of you; better, perhaps, translated literally, blaspheming. The words "of you" are not in the original; they who revile Christians for well-doing are blasphemers, they speak really against God.

4:1-6 The strongest and best arguments against sin, are taken from the sufferings of Christ. He died to destroy sin; and though he cheerfully submitted to the worst sufferings, yet he never gave way to the least sin. Temptations could not prevail, were it not for man's own corruption; but true Christians make the will of God, not their own lust or desires, the rule of their lives and actions. And true conversion makes a marvellous change in the heart and life. It alters the mind, judgment, affections, and conversation. When a man is truly converted, it is very grievous to him to think how the time past of his life has been spent. One sin draws on another. Six sins are here mentioned which have dependence one upon another. It is a Christian's duty, not only to keep from gross wickedness, but also from things that lead to sin, or appear evil. The gospel had been preached to those since dead, who by the proud and carnal judgment of wicked men were condemned as evil-doers, some even suffering death. But being quickened to Divine life by the Holy Spirit, they lived to God as his devoted servants. Let not believers care, though the world scorns and reproaches them.Wherein they think it strange,.... Here the apostle points out what the saints must expect from the men of the world, by living a different life; and he chooses to mention it, to prevent discouragements, and that they might not be uneasy and distressed when they observed it; as that they would wonder at the change in their conversations, and look on it as something unusual, new, and unheard of, and treat them as strangers, yea, as enemies, on account of it:

that you run not with them into the same excess of riot; to their luxurious entertainments, their Bacchanalian feasts, and that profusion of lasciviousness, luxury, intemperance, and wickedness of all sorts, which, with so much eagerness of mind, and bodily haste, they rushed into; being amazed that they should not have the same taste for these things as before, and as themselves now had; and wondering how it was possible for them to abstain from them, and what that should be that should give them a different cast of mind, and turn of action:

speaking evil of you; and so the Syriac and Arabic versions supply "you" as we do; but in the Greek text it is only, "speaking evil of, or blaspheming"; God, Christ, religion, the Gospel, and the truths of it, and all good men; hating them because different from them, and because their lives reprove and condemn them; charging them with incivility, unsociableness, preciseness, and hypocrisy.

Courtesy of Open Bible