1 Peter 1:10

1 Peter 1:10  •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The concluding verses of the introduction refer to salvation as far as it was originally disclosed to prophets, and now fully presented as glad tidings by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven, consequent on the sufferings which were to befall Christ and the glories that should follow, while we await that power which will even externally deliver from evil at His appearing. The brief unfolding here given was of extreme moment for the believing remnant whom the Apostle then addressed and all such as might follow. They had little difficulty in apprehending that the Lord in that day will not only accomplish the blessed and joyous prospect for the earth, but for the heavens also. Salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time, comprehends, though it be not limited to, their entering on an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfailing, reserved for them on high, whilst they need to be guarded in God's power through faith meanwhile. It is but soul-salvation now, the pledge of what is final, complete, and glorious in that day. The rejection of Christ and His absence on high brought in meanwhile a necessary modification which tests every soul of man, and not least those who had the early and partial revelations of God.
The unbelieving Jews sought to solve the difficulty by the fiction of two Messiahs: one the son of Joseph, of the tribe of Ephraim; the other the son of David, of the tribe of Judah; the first, to contend and suffer death; the second, to conquer and reign gloriously and forever. The Talmud taught it; the later Targum applied it to Song of Sol. 4:5, 7:3; and the Rabbis Solomon Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and D. Kimchi popularized it. Now we know that the Old Testament leaves no conceivable opening for two such personages, but lays the utmost stress on their being different states of the same Anointed of Jehovah. He was indeed the Son of David, not through Mary only as in Luke 3, but legally too through Joseph who was of Solomon's royal stem as in Matt. 1 And, what was of immeasurably deeper importance, He and He only of David's sons was David's Lord, as in Psa. 110:11<<A Psalm of David.>> The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110:1) cited by Himself to confound the haughty adversaries who doubted and despised Him. The crowd then, and probably their leader, had not yet invented the delusion of a double Messiah; but they left no room for His sufferings, and cared only for His earthly glory as their vested right. Hence when He said (John 12:3232And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. (John 12:32)), “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all to me” (this He said signifying by what death He was about to die), they answered, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ abideth forever: and how sayest thou, The Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”
As we shall have more to say, when we look closely into ver. 11, we turn here to examine the details of what precedes in its due order.
“Of which salvation prophets1 that prophesied of the grace that [was] toward you sought out and searched out” (1 Pet. 1:1010Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: (1 Peter 1:10)).
So we learn from Gen. 49:1818I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord. (Genesis 49:18). “Salvation” was identified with the coming and work of the Messiah. The believers little if at all understood how it was to be; but they had no doubt of the saving grace which would then be manifested. They recognized signal acts of deliverance meanwhile, as in the days of Moses the miraculous passage of the Red Sea; as in the work which Jehovah wrought by Jonathan; and as later still in Jehoshaphat's day, when the sons of Ammon and Moab and those of mount Seir destroyed each other to the relief of Judah whom they had menaced with ruin. But they looked on to the latter day as the goal of their hopes, when Messiah should establish the salvation fully and forever. How clearly it is “grace,” not of works whereof flesh might glory.
Hence in the Psalms we hear as in Psalm 14:77Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the Lord bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad. (Psalm 14:7), “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When Jehovah bringeth back the captivity of His people, then shall Jacob rejoice, Israel shall be glad.” In the second book Psa. 53 similarly concludes, “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of His people, then shall Jacob rejoice, Israel shall be glad.” The times were dark, and growingly darker; but if the godly remnant fall back on what God, Elohim, is when covenant privileges were no longer enjoyed, they anticipate in faith God's scattering the ruined foe, and long for final salvation to come out of Zion as His center, when His people as a whole should return with everlasting joy. It is certain too from Psa. 67 that the Spirit of prophecy, if the written word had been but heeded, regards God's mercy to Israel as His way to extend His “saving health among all nations.” Sovereign grace is not more sure and definite than rich and free. “Let the peoples praise Thee, O God, let all the peoples praise Thee. Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy! for Thou shalt judge the peoples with equity and govern the nations upon earth.” Nothing can be in more marked contrast with Jewish narrowness. Salvation is neither of prescriptive right, nor of personal merit, but of “grace.” And so will sing in a day yet to come, both the nations, and all Israel that shall be saved.
It is of deep interest to observe that the next Psa. 68, has for its central truth the Lord ascended on high, the mighty conqueror, Who, as He “received gifts in man” (i.e. as such), gave gifts to men. So the Apostle could add, without citing the words which await divine grace in its future activity, “yea, the rebellious also, for the dwelling of Jah Elohim [there].” Alas! the Jews are still rebellious; but the day hastens, when they shall look up and say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of Jehovah; and He will assuredly come with a blessing never to pass away. Their God is the God of salvation; and so they are to prove, when in answer to their cry He rends the heavens and comes down, and all their righteousnesses are as a polluted garment in their eyes, as indeed they are, and He clothes them with the raiment of salvation and praise. But we must refrain from citing more from the book of praises.
None need wonder that the prince of prophets is pre-eminently rich in speaking of salvation so divine. In Isa. 7 which closes the first section of his prophecies, Isaiah predicts that Israel shall say, “Behold, God is my salvation: I will trust and not be afraid; for Jah, Jehovah, is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation. And with joy ye shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.” This follows beyond doubt the introduction of Messiah and His future reign in Isa. 11. In Isa. 25:99And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. (Isaiah 25:9) he says when drawing to the end of the next section with various and prolonged thanksgiving, “Behold, this is our God: we have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is Jehovah, we have waited for Him; we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” So in Isa. 26:11In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. (Isaiah 26:1), “We have a strong city: salvation doth He appoint for walls and bulwarks.” In his third section, where the final troubler of Israel is revealed with a “woe” to him, Isa. 33, we have in Isa. 33:22O Lord, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble. (Isaiah 33:2), “Jehovah be gracious to us; we have waited for Thee. Be their arm every morning, yea, our salvation in the time of trouble;” then in Isa. 33:2222For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33:22), “Jehovah is our judge, Jehovah our lawgiver, Jehovah our king; He will save us.” Again in Isa. 35:44Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. (Isaiah 35:4), “Be strong, fear not; behold, your God: vengeance cometh, the recompence of God! He will come Himself, and save you.” In the middle or fourth section of history we could not look for more than such a typical reference as Isa. 38:2020The Lord was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord. (Isaiah 38:20). But in the fifth where “My servant” appears, we have ample testimony and in forms of great variety beyond the words “save” or “salvation.” He restores, redeems, forms for Himself, pours water and His Spirit upon them, as His witnesses and His servants as He is the God of Israel, the Saviour, “a just God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isa. 45:21-2221Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isaiah 45:21‑22); see also Isa. 45:8,178Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it. (Isaiah 45:8)
17But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. (Isaiah 45:17)
; Isa. 46:1313I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory. (Isaiah 46:13)). In the sixth division, where Messiah comes out fully and His rejection, salvation is still more conspicuous, as in Isa. 49:6,8,25; 51:5,6,8; 52:76And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. (Isaiah 49:6)
8Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages; (Isaiah 49:8)
25But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. (Isaiah 49:25)
5My righteousness is near; my salvation is gone forth, and mine arms shall judge the people; the isles shall wait upon me, and on mine arm shall they trust. 6Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished. (Isaiah 51:5‑6)
8For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. (Isaiah 51:8)
7How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7)
. Who can be surprised that discerns the Saviour suffering, and exalted, in Isa. 53 where we have the fullest and clearest witness to Him and His work, though the expression of “save” or salvation there occurs not. But many other words point to that truth and the meritorious and efficacious cause, as in Isa. 53:5,6,8,10-11,125But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5‑6)
8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. (Isaiah 53:8)
10Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. 11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:10‑12)
. In the seventh or last part we have its express and abundant mention, as in Isa. 59:1,11,16-17; 60:18; 61:10; 62:1; 64:51Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: (Isaiah 59:1)
11We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. (Isaiah 59:11)
16And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. 17For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Isaiah 59:16‑17)
18Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise. (Isaiah 60:18)
10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)
1For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. (Isaiah 62:1)
5Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. (Isaiah 64:5)
In Jeremiah it is enough to refer to Jer. 25:20; 33:10-11; 46:2720And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, (Jeremiah 25:20)
10Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, 11The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord. (Jeremiah 33:10‑11)
27But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. (Jeremiah 46:27)
; in Ezek. 34:22; 36:29; 37:2322Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. (Ezekiel 34:22)
29I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. (Ezekiel 36:29)
23Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. (Ezekiel 37:23)
; Hos. 1:77But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. (Hosea 1:7); Zeph. 3:17, 1917The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
19Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. (Zephaniah 3:19)
; Zech. 8:7, 13; 9:16; 10:6; 12:77Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; (Zechariah 8:7)
13And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. (Zechariah 8:13)
16And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. (Zechariah 9:16)
6And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. (Zechariah 10:6)
7The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. (Zechariah 12:7)
. Only it would be a mistake to imagine that other prophets did not predict the same thing in other words. See for example Daniel (9:24) who confesses the sins of Israel and pleads the Lord's righteousness and name. Then comes the answer of a definite time, when the transgression should be closed, and an end made of sins, and expiation for iniquity, and everlasting righteousness brought in, and the vision and prophet sealed, and the holy of holies anointed. So it is with others, each in differing forms.
Nothing then can be plainer in result than that prophets predicted concerning the coming salvation, which did not fail for such as believed the gospel, like those to whom the Apostle addressed this Epistle. For what if the mass of the Jews were without faith? Their unbelief did not make of none effect the faith of God. Those who submit to His righteousness in Christ reap the blessing.
Prophets before them, we are told, diligently sought and searched diligently concerning that salvation. Their prophesying did not supersede the need or the profit of sedulous research, but rather stimulated it. No honor in prophesying saved its instruments from seeking and searching earnestly to understand what was given them to predict out of the fullness which is in God. Dependence is and has ever been called for, with confidence in His goodness and His tender consideration of our own ignorance and weakness. But the gift of His word encourages us to wait on Him for understanding it as far as pleases Him. So did inspired men, as we see notably in Daniel, for a case at hand, as well as for what would only be in the time of the end. Nor can any incidental fact more distinctly prove how truly prophecy was not of man's will nor shrewd guess of wit, but of God, Who spoke or wrote by His servant in the Spirit. For he had still to sift it with all diligence to understand what he had thus divinely uttered. Salvation was a rich blessing from God, transcending all that they possessed in gracious privilege and bound up with Messiah's day, which God alone gave prophets to anticipate. But what they prophesied, they needed to weigh and examine deeply to make truly their own, in whatever measure of intelligence that might be.