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1 Peter 1:10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come to you,
Concerning this salvation. Of the certainty that this system of religion, securing the salvation of the soul, would be revealed. The object of this reference to the prophets seems to be to lead them to value the religion which they professed more highly and to encourage them to bear their trials with patience. They were in a condition, in many respects, far superior to that of the prophets. They had the full light of the gospel. The prophets saw it only at a distance and but dimly. They were obliged to search anxiously that they might understand the nature of that system of which they were appointed to furnish the comparatively obscure prophetic intimations.
The prophets. This language would imply that this had been the prophets’ common and prevalent wish.
Have sought. This word is intensive. It means that they sought out or scrutinized with care the revelations made to them, that they might understand exactly what was implied in that which they were appointed to record in respect to the salvation which was to be made known through the Messiah. See the following places where the same word is used, which occurs here: Luke 11:50, 51; Acts 15:17; Rom. 3:11; Heb. 11:6; 12:17.
And searched diligently—ἐξερευνάω. Comp. Dan. 9:2-3. The word here used means to search out, to trace out, to explore. It is not elsewhere used in the New Testament, though one of the words from which this is compounded (ἐρευνάω) occurs. See John 5:39; 7:52; Rom. 8:27; 1 Cor. 2:10; Rev. 2:23. The idea is that they perceived that in their communications, there were some great and glorious truths that they did not fully comprehend and that they diligently employed their natural faculties to understand that which they were appointed to impart to succeeding generations. They thus became students and interpreters for themselves of their own predictions. They were not only prophets but men. They had souls to be saved in the same way as others. They had hearts to be sanctified by the truth, and it was needful, in order to this, that truth should be applied to their own hearts in the same way as to others. The mere fact that they were the channels or organs for imparting truth to others would not save them, any more than the fact that a man now preaches truth to others will save himself or than the fact that a sutler delivers bread to an army will nourish and support his own body.
Who prophesied of the grace that should come to you. Of the favor that should be shown to you in the gospel. Though the predictions that they uttered appeared to the men of their own times, and perhaps to themselves, obscure, yet they were, in fact, prophecies of what was to come and of the favors which, under another dispensation, would be bestowed upon the people of God. The apostle does not mean to say that they prophesied particularly of those persons he was then writing but that their prophecies were, in fact, for their benefit, for the things they predicted had actually terminated on them. The benefit was as real as though the predictions had been solely on their account.
By Albert Barnes