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19 So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.


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19. We—all believers.

a more sure—rather as Greek, "we have the word of prophecy more sure (confirmed)." Previously we knew its sureness by faith, but, through that visible specimen of its hereafter entire fulfilment, assurance is made doubly sure. Prophecy assures us that Christ's sufferings, now past, are to be followed by Christ's glory, still future: the Transfiguration gives us a pledge to make our faith still stronger, that "the day" of His glory will "dawn" ere long. He does not mean to say that "the word of prophecy," or Scripture, is surer than the voice of God heard at the Transfiguration, as English Version; for this is plainly not the fact. The fulfilment of prophecy so far in Christ's history makes us the surer of what is yet to be fulfilled, His consummated glory. The word was the "lamp (Greek for 'light') heeded" by Old Testament believers, until a gleam of the "day dawn" was given at Christ's first coming, and especially in His Transfiguration. So the word is a lamp to us still, until "the day" burst forth fully at the second coming of "the Sun of righteousness." The day, when it dawns upon you, makes sure the fact that you saw correctly, though indistinctly, the objects revealed by the lamp.

whereunto—to which word of prophecy, primarily the Old Testament in Peter's day; but now also in our day the New Testament, which, though brighter than the Old Testament (compare 1Jo 2:8, end), is but a lamp even still as compared with the brightness of the eternal day (compare 2Pe 3:2). Oral teachings and traditions of ministers are to be tested by the written word (Ac 17:11).

dark—The Greek implies squalid, having neither water nor light: such spiritually is the world without, and the smaller world (microcosm) within, the heart in its natural state. Compare the "dry places" Lu 11:24 (namely, unwatered by the Spirit), through which the unclean spirit goeth.

dawn—bursting through the darkness.

day starGreek, the morning star," as Re 22:16. The Lord Jesus.

in your hearts—Christ's arising in the heart by His Spirit giving full assurance, creates spiritually full day in the heart, the means to which is prayerfully giving heed to the word. This is associated with the coming of the day of the Lord, as being the earnest of it. Indeed, even our hearts shall not fully realize Christ in all His unspeakable glory and felt presence, until He shall come (Mal 4:2). Isa 66:14, 15, "When you see this, your heart shall rejoice … For, behold, the Lord will come." However, Tregelles' punctuation is best, "whereunto ye do well to take heed (as unto a light shining in a dark place, until the day have dawned and the morning star arisen) in your hearts." For the day has already dawned in the heart of believers; what they wait for is its visible manifestation at Christ's coming.

20. "Forasmuch as ye know this" (1Pe 1:18).

first—the foremost consideration in studying the word of prophecy. Laying it down as a first principle never to be lost sight of.

isGreek, not the simple verb, to be, but to begin to be, "proves to be," "becometh." No prophecy is found to be the result of "private (the mere individual writer's uninspired) interpretation" (solution), and so origination. The Greek noun epilusis, does not mean in itself origination; but that which the sacred writer could not always fully interpret, though being the speaker or writer (as 1Pe 1:10-12 implies), was plainly not of his own, but of God's disclosure, origination, and inspiration, as Peter proceeds to add, "But holy men … spake (and afterwards wrote) … moved by the Holy Ghost": a reason why ye should "give" all "heed" to it. The parallelism to 2Pe 1:16 shows that "private interpretation," contrasted with "moved by the Holy Ghost," here answers to "fables devised by (human) wisdom," contrasted with "we were eye-witnesses of His majesty," as attested by the "voice from God." The words of the prophetical (and so of all) Scripture writers were not mere words of the individuals, and therefore to be interpreted by them, but of "the Holy Ghost" by whom they were "moved." "Private" is explained, 2Pe 1:21, "by the will of man" (namely, the individual writer). In a secondary sense the text teaches also, as the word is the Holy Spirit's, it cannot be interpreted by its readers (any more than by its writers) by their mere private human powers, but by the teaching of the Holy Ghost (Joh 16:14). "He who is the author of Scripture is its supreme interpreter" [Gerhard]. Alford translates, "springs not out of human interpretation," that is, is not a prognostication made by a man knowing what he means when he utters it, but," &c. (Joh 11:49-52). Rightly: except that the verb is rather, doth become, or prove to be. It not being of private interpretation, you must "give heed" to it, looking for the Spirit's illumination "in your hearts" (compare Note, see on 2Pe 1:19).

21. came not in old time—rather, "was never at any time borne" (to us).

by the will of man—alone. Jer 23:26, "prophets of the deceit of their own heart." Compare 2Pe 3:5, "willingly."

holy—One oldest manuscript has, "men FROM God": the emissaries from God. "Holy," if read, will mean because they had the Holy Spirit.

movedGreek, "borne" (along) as by a mighty wind: Ac 2:2, "rushing (the same Greek) wind": rapt out of themselves: still not in fanatical excitement (1Co 14:32). The Hebrew "nabi," "prophet," meant an announcer or interpreter of God: he, as God's spokesman, interpreted not his own "private" will or thought, but God's "Man of the Spirit" (Ho 9:7, Margin). "Thou testifiedst by Thy Spirit in Thy prophets." "Seer," on the other hand, refers to the mode of receiving the communications from God, rather than to the utterance of them to others. "Spake" implies that, both in its original oral announcement, and now even when in writing, it has been always, and is, the living voice of God speaking to us through His inspired servants. Greek, "borne (along)" forms a beautiful antithesis to "was borne." They were passive, rather than active instruments. The Old Testament prophets primarily, but including also all the inspired penmen, whether of the New or Old Testament (2Pe 3:2).




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