Edgar Krentz surveyed the importance of military language as a topos in many areas of Greco-Roman

society: politics, biographical writing, and philosophy (in particular, ethics!
#$%&' ()%%*+ ,+'+$- #%./(0$ 1/1%2 $&%)*:
1 Peter 5:5-9 You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves
with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble
yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that "e may e#alt you at the proper time,
casting all
your an#iety upon "im, because "e cares for you
&e of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the
devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour
&ut resist him, firm in your faith,
knowing that the same e#periences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the
1 Peter 5:5 Ὁμοίως, νεώτεροι, ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις· πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις τὴν
ταπεινοροσ!νην "γ#ομβώσασ$ε, %τι &'( $ε)ς ὑπερηάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινο*ς
δὲ δίδωσιν +άριν,
-απεινώ$ητε ο.ν ὑπ) τὴν #ραται/ν +ε*ρα το0 $εο0, 1να ὑμ2ς
ὑ3ώσ4 "ν #αιρ5,
π2σαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμ6ν "πιρί3αντες "π7 α8τ9ν, %τι α8τ5 μέλει
περ: ὑμ6ν,
;ή3ατε, γρηγορήσατε, ' ἀντίδι#ος ὑμ6ν διάβολος <ς λέων =ρυ9μενος
περιπατε* >ητ6ν &τινα( #αταπιε*ν·
? ἀντίστητε στερεο: τ@ πίστει εAδ9τες τ/ α8τ/
τ6ν πα$ημάτων τ@ "ν &τ5( #9σμB ὑμ6ν ἀδελ9τητι "πιτελε*σ$αι,
1 Peter 5:9 &ut resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same e#periences of suffering are being
accomplished by your brethren who are in the world
1 Peter 5:9 ? ἀντίστητε στερεο: τ@ πίστει εAδ9τες τ/ α8τ/ τ6ν πα$ημάτων τ@ "ν
&τ5( #9σμB ὑμ6ν ἀδελ9τητι "πιτελε*σ$αι,
1 Peter 5:9 ? ἀντίστητε στερεο: τ@ πίστει, εAδ9τες τ/ α8τ/ τ6ν πα$ημάτων τ@ "ν
#9σμB ὑμ6ν ἀδελ9τητι "πιτελε*σ$αι,
1 Peter 5:9 cui resistite fortes fide scientes eadem passionum ei -uae in mundo est vestrae fraternitati

Edgar 3! Krentz, 43ilitary 5anguage and 3etaphors in 6hilippians,7 in 8rigins and 3ethod: 9owards a
:ew ;nderstanding of <udaism and =hristianity (ed! >radley ?! 3c5ean@ Aheffield: Aheffield Bcademic,
Annang Asumang, ‘Resist him’ (1 Pet 5:9): Holiness
and Non-Retaliatory Resonses to !n"ust #u$ering
as %Holy &ar’ in 1 Peter, 'he (ournal o) the #outh
A)ri*an 'heologi*al #eminary 11 (+,11)
En pdf
" 6eter eFhorts readers to respond to unGust suffering with non-retaliatory righteous behaviour,
while looHing forward to vindication at the 5ordIs return!

3ilitary metaphors are employed in the :ew 9estament in several different settings and to various
effects for this purpose! 9he various military metaphors found in the first epistle of 6eter, for eFample, were
meant to encourage =hristian believers to see themselves as spiritual warriors, rather than as helpless
victims! 9he depiction of the devil as a roaring lion, who devours unwatchful =hristians (4Jour
adversary, the devil, prowls about liHe a roaring lion, seeHing someone to devour,7 " 6eter K:L, for
eFample, linHs the persecution of the believers with the devilIs influence, and so, underlines their
persecution as part of spiritual warfare! The military metaphors situate Christian existence
in the world “as in itself an internal spiritual conflict between the old and new
natures, a conflict which requires the believer‘s constant assertion of victory
and self-control”.
3ilitary metaphors in particular, are employed in the :ew 9estament in several different
settings and to various effects for this purpose (cf! >rinH
MNNK:"C"-MN"@ Krentz
the holy war concept had five different, but
overlapping, types throughout 8ld 9estament history! En the first type,
the war was a purely cosmological spiritual combat between God and
other gods, without human involvement! 9his type is more often
eFpressed in the hymns of the 8ld 9estament (e!g! EFod "K@ 6s "L, MP@
OP, OO, LC@ <ob MQ!
9he fifth type of holy war depiction, liHe the fourth, also contains
apocalyptic, eschatological, and ethical components! >ut the ethical
dimension is considerably more emphasized than in the previous one!
GodIs enemies are identified, not only by their lacH of allegiance to
him, but also, because of their lacH of moral Rualities such as Gustice,
peace and righteousness! (e!g! Esa KC@ San "":DM-DD@ cf! >anwell "COO:KK-QN@ <anzen MNND:M"-D"!
9his reinterpretation of the holy war motif in apocalyptic,
$%,0(T -% >rinH 5 MNNK! B generalUs eFhortation to his troops: 6aulUs military
rhetoric in M =or "N:"-"" (6art "! >iblische Veitschrift PC (M: "C"-MN"
Krentz E "CCD! 3ilitary language and metaphors in 6hilippians! En >?
3c5ean (ed!, 8rigins and method: towards a new
understanding of <udaism and =hristianity: essays in honour of
<ohn =! ?urd, "NK-"MO! <A:9A LQ@ Aheffield: <A89 6ress! ,+'+$ %& -%
eschatological, and ethical directions continues in the :ew 9estament!""

3ost interpreters believe, for eFample, that <esusI eForcisms were part
of a wider holy war theme of his ministry, which climaFed with his
victorious resurrection (Suff "CCM:KK-O"@ Gombis MN"N@ ?uie-<olly
"CCO:"C"-M"O@ Kovac "CCK:MDQ-MPO@ 3c=urley "CLD@ Riccoeur "CQO!
9hat he achieved this victory through his redemptive suffering not only
underlines his fulfilment of EsaiahIs Auffering Aervant prophecies, but
also, indicates the tremendous transformation of the holy war motif
itself! En <esus, and subseRuently through him and his people, enduring
righteous suffering becomes a weapon through which God wages war
against his enemies!
-./0 12344:
En Ephesians Q, for eFample, believers are eFhorted to put on the divine armour, which was previously
described by Esaiah, in order to wage war against evil spiritual powers (cf! Bsumang MNNL:"-"C@
<anzen MNND:M"-D"@ :eufeld "CCO! Et must be noted that the list of weapons in Ephesians Q includes
=hristian virtues!
6aulIs ethical eFhortations in Romans "D:""-"P are derived from this reinterpretation of the holy war
motif (MNNO:"-MM! B similar phenomenon occurs in " 9hessalonians K, where the apocalyptic and
eschatological dimensions of the holy war motif are combined with ethical instructions as part of
preparations for the second coming of =hrist
Resisting the devil, the roaring lion (1 Pet 5:5-9:
the identification of the devil, as the enemy to be firmly resisted, places that eFhortation in
the holy war conteFt! Bs astutely put by ?orrell, W9he terse imperatives
here sound liHe the instructions given to those who must face a battle,
indeed the author doubtless believed that the end-time, the last days in
which he and his readers were living, would be a time of evil and
suffering, and time of climactic conflict between good and evilI
("CCL:CQ@ cf! Grudem "CLL:MND! Xp MKY
Aecondly, the depiction of the devil as a $roarin% lionI, who devours
unwatchful =hristians, lin&s the persecution of the believers with the
devil‘s influence, and so, underlines their persecution as part of spiritual
warfare. 9he eFact source of this roaring lion imagery for the devil is
debated by interpreters! 6aschHe (MNNQ:PLC-KNN, however, has cogently
argued that contrary to the popular view that it was derived from 6salm
M":"P (5ZZ or the booH of Saniel, the ima%ery was more li&ely based
on the 'oman ad bestias executions in the circuses of the empire at the
time. [hichever is the most liHely source, most interpreters agree that
the metaphor represents $human a%ents under the devil‘s power‘ (Elliott
MNNN:LKO@ cf! >igg "COL@ 3ichaels "CLL, or the ungodly Wworld
systems deformed by the powers of darHness and sinI (<obes MNNK:D"P!
En either case, the ima%ery places the devil at the centre of the
persecution of the believers in (sia )inor, and hence, underlines
6eterIs strategy of response as an eFhortation to spiritual warfare! Xp MQY
9hirdly, in describing the believerIs enemy as \]^_`abc d \ _`efbgbc ἀ ὑ ῶ
(adversary the devil, 6eter closely associates the devil with the unGust
suffering that the believers were facing! 9he word \]^_`abc is a hapaF ἀ
legomenon, usually reserved as a technical term for official court prosecutors or accusers (e!g! 6rov
"L:"O 5ZZ@ cf! <ob ":Q! ! En other words, in strate%ically identifyin% the enemy as *+,-./01 ἀ
2 * -.340501, 6eter unveils the devil as the slanderer and accuser-in-chief spearheadin% the ὑ ῶ
persecution of the believers Xp MQY
hourthly, outside of " 6eterIs triple use (":"D@ P:O@ K:L, the call to
sobriety is rare in the :ew 9estament! Et is however employed as part of
ethical eFhortations in a spiritualized holy war conteFt in "
9hessalonians K:Q-L and Romans "D:""-"P, where as in " 6eter K:L,
they are also linHed with spiritual conflict and a call to waHefulness!

Bs stated earlier, the 8ld 9estament bacHground of this phenomenon,
namely, associating sobriety with the holy war motif, is in Esaiah KC,
where the opponents who are at the receiving end of GodIs fury, are
metaphorically depicted as disoriented drunHards (KC:"N! Bs it will be
shown, a similar linHage (call to sobriety with holy war occurs in "
6eter ":"D! 9he spiritual battle reRuires a focused resolution of the mind
against the enemy, in whatever guises he appears!
hifthly, the :ew 9estament often uses the specific word \]^i]]]j ἀ
(resist, K:Ca in the conteFt of spiritual warfare associated with
persecution andkor temptations! Et is certainly used by <ames (P:O
against the devil, by <esus against evil in general (3att K:DC and
persecuting adversaries in particular (5uHe M":"K@ cf! Bcts Q:"N, and by
6aul in describing the spiritual opposition of 3oses by 6haraohIs
magicians (M 9im D:L!"D
AiFth, while the eFhortation in K:Cb to be %stead)ast‘ does not, on its
own, demand a holy war interpretation, given the present conteFt, it
may well be related to it! Bs a military metaphor, 7+8980.
$solidly stand a%ainst‘< is used to describe the solid front with which the
army is to stand its ground against the enemy on the battle field! Bnd it
is in this sense that its cognates are used in Ephesians Q:""-"D! Given
the other evocations of the holy war motif in " 6eter K:L-""@ the call to
steadfastness should also be regarded as complementing the holy war imagery!Xp ML-CY
6ut together, the call to vigilance, sobriety, steadfastness, and resistance
in 6eterIs final eFhortation (K:L-C was the recapitulation of several
battle cries throughout the epistle to the persecuted believers! 9hey
cannot approach their =hristian engagement with the persecuting
society as helpless victims, but as emboldened spiritual warriors
resisting the devil in the midst of their eFperience of unGust suffering!
=ontinually guarded by Godls power (" 6et ":K
[ithin the conteFt of the beraHah of " 6eter ":D-"M, in which the
apostle praises God for his worH of salvation, the word 6789789:;<89=
(guarded is used to describe one of the benefits of our salvation! 9his
word is a technical military term for describing a military guard, who
protects the city against invasion, while at the same time, Heeping the
beleaguered inhabitants from escaping (5ouw and :ida "CLL!"P
Bs several interpreters have underlined, the bacHground of this use of the
word in ":K is the eFodus theology of the epistle, in which salvation is
depicted as entering the 6romised 5and to taHe possession of the
believerIs inheritance (e!g! Grudem "CLL:QD@ hieldmeier MNNL:O"! En
that case, the use of mnbonbodp\boc evoHes the imagery of the military
fortifications of the cities of the 6romised 5and!
girding up the loins of your minds (" 6et ":"D:
q urging the believers to gird up the loins of their
minds, does not, on its own, immediately evoHe military ideas! En the
ancient Aemitic and 3editerranean conteFt, it simply refers to gathering
and putting the fringes of oneIs clothing in shape and around the hips as
part of preparation for a swift action of some sort! WRoll up your
sleeves is its modern eRuivalent (<obes MNNK:"""! Et is certainly used ‖
in this general sense in the 8ld 9estament, among others, in relation to
EliGah (" Kgs "L:PQ, ElishaIs instructions to his servants (M Kgs P:MC,
C:" and GodIs challenge to the self-absorbed <ob (<ob DL:D@ cf! <er
=n that case, > 6eter >?>@ calls upon the believers to abandon
mental sloppiness and fo%%iness of thou%ht, and get themselves in
shape for the dual responses of hoping in Wthe grace that <esus =hrist
will bring youI, and being holy (":"D-"Q! he call to gird up the loins of the mind, is
directly meant to allude to EsraelIs preparations for eFodus as instructed
in EFodus "M:""q
Aecondly, the call to rgird up the loins of the mindI is linHed to the call
to sobriety in ":"D! 9he call to sobriety (K:L enhances the holy war
imagery thereq 9he mental alertness holds their resistive actions
the military metaphor 7+9A+8B0*+A. ;wa%e war< in C?>>
clearly situates Christian existence in the world as in itself an internal
spiritual conflict between the old and new natures, a conflict which
requires the believer‘s constant assertion of victory and self-control.
s]nt]jub\]t` was part of a common vocabulary of eFhortations to
moral development in ?ellenistic circles (cf! hieldmeier MNNL:"PL@ volf
"CCP:MK! Et will however be a mistaHe to miss the thoroughly <ewish
nature of the concept in M:""! En its Siasporic <ewish sense,
i]nt]jub\]t` was essentially used to refer to the fight for inner spiritual
integrity as part of maintaining oneIs relationship with God (e!g! 6hilo
XEbr """@ wG P!OP@ 5eg M!"NQ@ 8pif OC-L"Y@ P 3acc D:K@ Bpocalypse of
3oses "C:D@ MK:P@ ML:P!
6eter places this call for subGugating Wthe enemy withinI first as the
prelude for strong engagement of society, and for good reasons! En the
conteFt of the holy war idea, this relates to the reRuirement for the
sanctification of soldiers, self-control, and abstention from seFual
relations as part of the preparations for, and conduct of, battle (cf! M
Aam "":""@ Seut MD:"N! 6eter has evidently reinterpreted and transformed this to become a general
eFhortation to ensure internal spiritual integrity,
Brm yourselves with the same intention as =hristls (" 6et P:":
q urges the believers to D5,7A7E8 ;literally, $arm yourselves‘< as part of the mind-set and ὁ
disposition to face the unFust sufferin% of the world. Bpart from the eFplicit use of the military
metaphor, the direct relation to <esusI suffering underlines this passage
as a call to holy war! Bs stated earlier, liHe the rest of the :ew
9estament, 6eterIs christology depicts the suffering and death of =hrist
as holy war, followed of course by his resurrection and proclamation of
victory to the imprisoned spirits (D:"O-MM! 6eter thus naturally
compares the military connotations in <esusI sufferings and resurrection
to the mission of the believers! 9hey must face up the persecuting world
as soldiers of =hrist, on whom they model their response!