Student or Learner
Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following brief excerpt from the Bible (1 Peter 1:8)?
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
be sober = "keep cool," "keep your head screwed on right," "don't lose your presence of mind," "try to keep calm about this," "don't be fearful," or "don't lose your temper."
Thank you for your efforts.
The word sober here has the meaning of serious. Thus it is saying "Be serious, stay focused...."
The New International Version gives "be self-controlled" for 'be sober'.
Yes, I understand that. I just thought that those who created NIV had researched the original texts and chosen the closest equivalent in the present-day language. Though it is possible that they have misinterpreted it. Anyway, we need to know the exact word that was used in the original text, which was then translated into English as 'sober'. By the way, in the Russian version it is also 'sober' but used as a verb in the archaic form - трезвитесь. There is no such a verb in today's Russian, so one can only guess what it might mean. In present day Russian this stem means either 'not drunk' or 'adequate, reasonable, not biased'.
If you read again the verses 8 and 9 of 1 Peter, namely:
(8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (9) Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
and if you leave hold of your thoughts so you will as sure as fate consent to my proposal for interpretation of the expression “be sober” which is very close to that one of Clark.
Let us assume that “be vigilant” means “ be watch" so the mentioned above verse 8 indicates that there is little room for carelessness. We are being called upon to be thoroughly self-controlled and to be alert (to be on the watch out, to be wide awake). Why? Because Satan aims to undermine our confidence, to sow discord, and to get us to stop believing and revert to carnality. These are the directions in which he will try to push us.
Notice Peter writes, "Whom he may devour." "May" indicates permission is given. He has the ability to devour us spiritually, but it does not have to happen. Putting the advice in verse 8 into more common (contemporary) language, instead of saying. "Be sober," we might say, "Keep cool," "Keep your head screwed on right," "Don't lose your presence of mind," "Try to keep calm about this," "Don't be fearful," or "Don't lose your temper."
In my opinion “be sober” = “become sober” = “sober down” = come to o’s senses = “keep cool” = to keep o’s head cool” = “be adequate” = “be reasonable” = “nor biased” = “don’t wander from the path of righteousness”
I like the proverb “straight from the horse’s mouth”. I have read the mentioned above interpretation in a very serious religious publication which gave me good cause to open the present thread.
Thank you again for your co-operation.
be vigilant - be watchful; be alert; pay attention
seeking whom he may devour - looking for those who are vulnerable
the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world - other Christians are in a similar situation
Defeating your Adversary, the Devil