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1 Peter 5:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Likewise, ye younger - Νεωτεροι probably means here inferiors, or those not in sacred offices; and may be understood as referring to the people at large who are called to obey them that have the rule over them in the Lord. In this sense our Lord, it appears, uses the word, Luke 22:26.

Be subject one to another - Strive all to serve each other; let the pastors strive to serve the people, and the people the pastors; and let there be no contention, but who shall do most to oblige and profit all the rest.

Be clothed with humility - To be clothed with a thing or person is a Greek mode of speech for being that thing or person with which a man is said to be clothed. Be ye truly humble; and let your outward garb and conduct be a proof of the humility of your hearts. Εγκομβωμα, from the original word εγκομβωσασθε, signifies often an outward ornamental garment, tied in different places with knots or bows, probably ornamented all over with bows or knots of different coloured ribands, silk twist, etc. But it also signifies the outward garment worn by servants, slaves, girls, and shepherds, which was rather intended to be the guard of the other garments than an ornament to those thus dressed: and I am rather inclined to take it in this sense than in the former; for as the apostle calls upon them to be subject to each other, he desires them to put on humility, as the encomboma or servant's dress, that they may appear to be such as were ready to serve; and that he cannot refer to this article of clothing as an ornament the next words sufficiently prove: God resisteth the Proud, and giveth grace to the Humble - the proud, with all their ornaments, God resists; while those who are clothed with the humble garment he adorns.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Likewise, ye younger - All younger persons of either sex.

Submit yourselves unto the elder - That is, with the respect due to their age, and to the offices which they sustain. There is here, probably, a particular reference to those who sustained the office of elders or teachers, as the same word is used here which occurs in 1 Peter 5:1. As there was an allusion in that verse, by the use of the word, to age, so there is in this verse to the fact that they sustained an office in the church. The general duty, however, is here implied, as it is everywhere in the Bible, that all suitable respect is to be shown to the aged. Compare Leviticus 19:32; 1 Timothy 5:1; Acts 23:4; 2 Peter 2:9.

Yea, all of you be subject one to another - In your proper ranks and relations. You are not to attempt to lord it over one another, but are to treat each other with deference and respect. See the Ephesians 5:21 note; Philemon 2:3 note.

And be clothed with humility - The word here rendered “be clothed” ( ἐγκομβώμαι egkombōmai) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It is derived from κόμβος kombos - a strip, string, or loop to fasten a garment; and then the word refers to a garment that was fastened with strings. The word ἐγκόμβωμα engkombōma refers particularly to a long white apron, or outer garment, that was commonly worn by slaves. See Robinson, Lexicon; Passow, Lexicon. There is, therefore, special force in the use of this word here, as denoting an humble mind. They were to be willing to take any place, and to perform any office, however humble, in order to serve and benefit others. They were not to assume a style and dignity of state and authority, as if they would lord it over others, or as if they were better than others; but they were to be willing to occupy any station, however humble, by which they might honor God. It is known that not a few of the early Christians actually sold themselves as slaves, in order that they might preach the gospel to those who were in bondage. The sense here is, they were to put on humility as a garment bound fast to them, as a servant bound fast to him the apron that was significant of his station. Compare Colossians 3:13. It is not unusual in the Scriptures, as well as in other writings, to compare the virtues with articles of apparel; as that with which we are clothed, or in which we are seen by others. Compare Isaiah 11:5; Isaiah 59:17.

For God resisteth the proud … - This passage is quoted from the Greek translation in Proverbs 3:34. See it explained in the notes at James 4:6, where it is also quoted.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Humility preserves peace and order in all Christian churches and societies; pride disturbs them. Where God gives grace to be humble, he will give wisdom, faith, and holiness. To be humble, and subject to our reconciled God, will bring greater comfort to the soul than the gratification of pride and ambition. But it is to be in due time; not in thy fancied time, but God's own wisely appointed time. Does he wait, and wilt not thou? What difficulties will not the firm belief of his wisdom, power, and goodness get over! Then be humble under his hand. Cast "all you care;" personal cares, family cares, cares for the present, and cares for the future, for yourselves, for others, for the church, on God. These are burdensome, and often very sinful, when they arise from unbelief and distrust, when they torture and distract the mind, unfit us for duties, and hinder our delight in the service of God. The remedy is, to cast our care upon God, and leave every event to his wise and gracious disposal. Firm belief that the Divine will and counsels are right, calms the spirit of a man. Truly the godly too often forget this, and fret themselves to no purpose. Refer all to God's disposal. The golden mines of all spiritual comfort and good are wholly his, and the Spirit itself. Then, will he not furnish what is fit for us, if we humbly attend on him, and lay the care of providing for us, upon his wisdom and love? The whole design of Satan is to devour and destroy souls. He always is contriving whom he may insnare to eternal ruin. Our duty plainly is, to be sober; to govern both the outward and the inward man by the rules of temperance. To be vigilant; suspicious of constant danger from this spiritual enemy, watchful and diligent to prevent his designs. Be stedfast, or solid, by faith. A man cannot fight upon a quagmire, there is no standing without firm ground to tread upon; this faith alone furnishes. It lifts the soul to the firm advanced ground of the promises, and fixes it there. The consideration of what others suffer, is proper to encourage us to bear our share in any affliction; and in whatever form Satan assaults us, or by whatever means, we may know that our brethren experience the same.
Ellen G. White
Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 491-6

Among all God's workers there should be a spirit of unity and harmony. The Lord has especially blessed some with an experience that has fitted them to be wise counselors. In our several callings there is to be a mutual dependence on one another for assistance. Of this, Peter says: TM 491.1

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” TM 491.2

But this does not authorize any one man to undertake the work of ordering his brethren arbitrarily to do as he thinks advisable, irrespective of their own personal convictions of duty. Nor are God's chosen laborers to feel that at every step they must wait to ask some officer in authority whether they may do this or that. While cooperating heartily with their brethren in carrying out general plans that have been laid for the prosecution of the work, they are constantly to look to the God of Israel for personal guidance. TM 491.3

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Writers and Editors, 45

We must study the truth for ourselves. No living man should be relied upon to think for us. No matter who it is, or in what position he may be placed, we are not to look upon any man as a perfect criterion for us. We are to counsel together, and to be subject to one another; but at the same time we are to exercise the ability God has given us to learn what is truth. Each one of us must look to God for divine enlightenment. We must individually develop a character that will stand the test in the day of God. We must not become set in our ideas, and think that no one should interfere with our opinions.—The Review and Herald, June 18, 1889. CW 45.1

Not Revealed to Just One or Two—God has not passed His people by, and chosen one solitary man here and another there as the only ones worthy to be entrusted with His truth. He does not give one man new light contrary to the established faith of the body. In every reform men have arisen making this claim. Paul warned the church in his day, “Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” The greatest harm to God's people comes through those who go out from among them speaking perverse things. Through them the way of truth is evil spoken of. CW 45.2

Let none be self confident, as though God had given them special light above their brethren. Christ is represented as dwelling in His people; and believers, as “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone; in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.” “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,” says Paul, “beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” CW 45.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 196

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 9T 196.1

“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:17-21. 9T 196.2

It should be understood that perfect unity among the laborers is necessary to the successful accomplishment of the work of God. In order to preserve peace, all must seek wisdom from the Great Teacher. Let all be careful how they introduce ambitious propositions that will create dissension. 9T 196.3

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Ellen G. White
That I May Know Him, 175

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5. TMK 175.1

How many cling with tenacious grasp to their self-termed dignity, which is only self-esteem. These seek to honor themselves instead of waiting in humbleness of heart for Christ to honor them. In conversation more time is spent in talking of self than in exalting the riches of the grace of Christ.... TMK 175.2

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