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1 Peter 1:12

    1 Peter 1:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to us they did minister the things, which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven; which things angel desire to look into.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And it was made clear to those prophets that they were God's servants not for themselves but for you, to give you word of the things which have now come to your ears from the preachers of the good news through the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven; things which even angels have a desire to see.

    Webster's Revision

    To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven; which things angel desire to look into.

    World English Bible

    To them it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you, they ministered these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the Good News to you by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Ghost sent forth from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.

    Definitions for 1 Peter 1:12

    Gospel - Good news.
    Minister - Servants.

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Peter 1:12

    Unto whom it was revealed - We may presume that, in a great variety of cases, the prophets did not understand the meaning of their own predictions. They had a general view of God's designs; but of particular circumstances, connected with those great events, they seem to have known nothing, God reserving the explanation of all particulars to the time of the issue of such prophecies. When they wished to find out the times, the seasons, and the circumstances, God gave them to understand that it was not for themselves, but for us, that they did minister the things which are now reported unto us by the preaching of the Gospel. This was all the satisfaction they received in consequence of their earnest searching; and this was sufficient to repress all needless curiosity, and to induce them to rest satisfied that the Judge of all the earth would do right. If all succeeding interpreters of the prophecies had been contented with the same information relative to the predictions still unaccomplished, we should have had fewer books, and more wisdom.

    Angels desire to took into - Παρακυψαι· To stoop down to; the posture of those who are earnestly intent on finding out a thing, especially a writing difficult to be read; they bring it to the light, place it so that the rays may fall on it as collectively as possible, and then stoop down in order to examine all the parts, that they may be able to make out the whole. There is evidently an allusion here to the attitude of the cherubim who stood at the ends of the ark of the covenant, in the inner tabernacle, with their eyes turned towards the mercy-seat or propitiatory in a bending posture, as if looking attentively, or, as we term it, poring upon it. Even the holy angels are struck with astonishment at the plan of human redemption, and justly wonder at the incarnation of that infinite object of their adoration. If then these things be objects of deep consideration to the angels of God, how much more so should they be to us; in them angels can have no such interest as human beings have.

    We learn from the above that it was the Spirit of Christ in the Jewish prophets that prophesied of Christ; it was that Spirit which revealed him; and it is the same Spirit which takes of the things of Christ, and shows them unto us. Christ was never known by prophecy, but through his own Spirit; and he never was known, nor can be known, to the salvation of any soul, but by a revelation of the same Spirit. It is he alone that bears witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Peter 1:12

    Unto whom it was revealed - They were not permitted to know fully the import of the predictions which they were made the instruments of communicating to mankind, but they understood that they were intended for the benefit of future ages.

    That not unto themselves - We are not to suppose that they derived no benefit from their own predictions; for, as far as they understood the truth, it was as much adapted to sanctify and comfort them as it is us now: but the meaning is, that their messages had reference mainly to future times, and that the full benefit of them would be experienced only in distant ages. Compare Hebrews 11:39-40.

    Unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you - Not unto us by name, but their ministrations had reference to the times of the Messiah; and those to whom Peter wrote, in common with all Christians, were those who were to enjoy the fruits of the communications which they made. The word reported means announced, or made known.

    By them that have preached the gospel unto you - The apostles, who have made known unto you, in their true sense, the things which the prophets predicted, the import of which they themselves were so desirous of understanding.

    With the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven - Accompanied by the influences of the Holy Spirit bearing those truths to the heart, and confirming them to the soul. It was the same Spirit which inspired the prophets which conveyed those truths to the souls of the early Christians, and which discloses them to true believers in every age. Compare John 16:13-14; Acts 2:4; Acts 10:44-45. The object of Peter by thus referring to the prophets, and to the interest which they took in the things which those to whom he wrote now enjoyed, seems to have been, to impress on them a deep sense of the value of the gospel, and of the great privileges which they enjoyed. They were reaping the benefit of all the labors of the prophets. They were permitted to see truth clearly, which the prophets themselves saw only obscurely. They were, in many respects, more favored than even those holy men had been. It was for them that the prophets had spoken the word of the Lord: for them and their salvation that a long line of the most holy men that the world ever saw, had lived, and toiled, and suffered; and while they themselves had not been allowed to understand the fall import of their own predictions, the most humble believer was permitted to see what the most distinguished prophet never saw. See Matthew 13:17.

    Which things the angels desire to look into - The object of this reference to the angels is the same as that to the prophets. It is to impress on Christians a sense of the value of that gospel which they had received, and to show them the greatness of their privileges in being made partakers of it. It had excited the deepest interest among the most holy men on earth, and even among the inhabitants of the skies. They were enjoying the full revelation of what even the angels had desired more fully to understand, and to comprehend which they had employed their great powers of investigation. The things which are here referred to, εἰς ἅ eis ha - unto which) are those which the prophets were so desirous to understand - the great truths respecting the sufferings of Christ, the glory which would follow, and the nature and effects of the gospel. In all the events pertaining to the redemption of a world they felt a deep interest.

    The word which is rendered "to look," (παρακύψσαι parakupsai,) is rendered "stooping down," and "stooped down," in Luke 24:12; John 20:5, John 20:11; looketh, in James 1:25; and look, in the place before us. It does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It properly means, to stoop down near by anything; to bend forward near, in order to look at anything more closely - Robinson, Lexicon. It would denote that state where one, who was before at so great a distance that he could not clearly see an object, should draw nearer, stooping down in order that he might observe it more distinctly. It is possible, as Grotius supposes, that there may be an allusion here to the posture of the cherubim over the mercy-seat, represented as looking down with an intense gaze, as if to behold what was in the ark. But it is not necessary to suppose that this is the allusion, nor is it absolutely certain that that was the posture of the cherubim. See the notes at Hebrews 9:5. All that is necessarily implied in the language is, that the angels had an intense desire to look into these things; that they contemplated them with interest and fixed attention, like one who comes near to an object, and looks narrowly upon it. In illustration of this sentiment, we may make the following suggestions:

    I. The angels, doubtless, desire to look into all the manifestations of the character of God, wherever those manifestations are made:

    (1) It is not unreasonable to suppose that, to a great degree, they acquire the knowledge of God as all other creatures do. They are not omniscient, and cannot be supposed to comprehend at a glance all his doings.

    (2) they doubtless employ their faculties, substantially as we do, in the investigation of truth; that is, from things known they seek to learn those that are even unknown.

    (3) it is not unreasonable to suppose that there are many things in relation to the divine character and plans, which they do not yet understand. They know, undoubtedly, much more than we do; but there are plans and purposes of God which are yet made known to none of his creatures. No one can doubt that these plans and purposes must be the object of the attentive study of all holy created minds.

    (4) they doubtless feel a great interest in the welfare of other beings - of their fellow-creatures, wherever they are. There is in the universe one great brotherhood, embracing all the creatures of God.

    (5) they cannot but feel a deep interest in man - a fallen creature, tempted, suffering, dying, and exposed to eternal death. This they have shown in every period of the world's history. See the notes at Hebrews 1:14.

    II. It is probable, that in each one of the worlds which God has made, there is some unique manifestation of his glory and character; something which is not to be found at all in any other world, or, if found, not in so great perfection; and that the angels would feel a deep interest in all these manifestations, and would desire to look into them:

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    Wesley's Notes on 1 Peter 1:12

    1:12 To whom - So searching. It was revealed, that not for themselves, but for us they ministered - They did not so much by those predictions serve themselves, or that generation, as they did us, who now enjoy what they saw afar off. With the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven - Confirmed by the inward, powerful testimony of the Holy Ghost, as well as the mighty effusion of his miraculous gifts. Which things angels desire to look into - A beautiful gradation; prophets, righteous men, kings, desired to see and hear what Christ did and taught. What the Holy Ghost taught concerning Christ the very angels long to know.