2 Peter 1:19  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
I take prophecy in this passage to mean the subject* matter of the prophecy when the actual declaration of the mind of God in the revelation made to the mind of the prophet is 'given, which is the force of ἐπιλύσεως. But this cannot be gathered like the words of an oracle merely from the words, not carried on beyond their own force on the subject of which the utterance speaks. Coming from the Holy Ghost, the words are a part of the great scheme of God with His ends always in view. Hence I apprehend "prophecy of scripture." A particular prophecy may be recorded in scripture, not in the sense of a prophecy of scripture. Thus when Pharaoh's servants dreamed, it was not a prophecy of scripture. Joseph gave the ἐπίλυσις (the word used in Aquila), and they were as thus interpreted a prophecy of the fall of the two servants; but could not come under the character of prophecies of scripture. They ended through bringing about God's purpose as to Joseph in diverse fate of the two servants. In prophecies of scripture the Holy Ghost gives as from one mind, though partially revealed what is in that one mind, what is a link in the chain of all the counsels and purposes of God. Τίνεται is practically tantamount to ἐστι. Still there is more thought of result. The prophecy (that is, the mind of God in what is said) does not derive its being from a particular interpretation of an isolated communication, like the servants' dreams.
Prophecy among the heathen was not in the proper sense of the word the revelation itself, but the carmen which expressed the god's mind. That is, it expressed the import of the revelation as expressed in the language into which it was put for the inquirer; only, as the word of God, He took care that the communication should be as divine as the revelation. (1 Cor. 2:1313Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Corinthians 2:13); 2 Peter 1:2121For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21).)
So I should not call Agabus' prophecy a prophecy of scripture, though it be more connected indeed with the scheme of God in Christianity. Thus the prophets sought what the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand; and the prophecy to ἐπιλελυμμένη gave the mind of God as to its place in the divine plans. Prophecy is not properly the revelation of the thing to the prophet, but the communication of it by the prophet as the Holy Ghost moved him to speak. This, when a prophecy of scripture, was not an isolated communication which began and ended in itself in what it had to tell. ‘Ιδία ἐπίλυσις ("private interpretation") does not characterize a scripture prophecy.
(*What is the proper force of γίνεται in 2 Peter 1:2020Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (2 Peter 1:20)? Is it true that the verse refers to the coming of prophecy, whence it draws its origin, rather than bow its meaning is to be interpreted! Is it true of all prophecy alike (for example, 1 Tim. 4:11Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)) that it is not of self-interpretation?')