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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
1 Peter 2

 

 

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Verse 1

1 Peter 2:1. Put away then all malice—all guile and hypocrisy and envy—all backbiting. οὖν resumes διό (1 Peter 1:13). The faults to be put away fall into three groups, divided by the prefix all, and correspond to the virtues of 1 Peter 1:22 ( ὑπόκρισιν ἀνυπόκριτον). The special connection of the command with the preceding Scripture would require the expression of the latent idea, that such faults as these are inspired by the prejudices of the natural man and belong to the fashion of the world, which is passing away (1 John 2:17).— ἀποθέμενοι, putting off. Again participle with imperative force. St. Peter regards the metaphor of removal as based on the idea of washing off filth, cf. σαρκὸς ἀπόθεσις ῥύπου (1 Peter 3:21). St. James (1 Peter 1:21, διὸ ἀποθέμενοι πᾶσαν ῥυπαρίαν καὶ περισσείαν κακίας) which seems to combine these two phrases and to deduce the familiarity of the spiritual sense of filth (cf. Revelation 22:11, ῥυπαρὸς κἅγιος). St. Paul has the same word but associates it with the putting off of clothing (Colossians 3:5 ff.; Ephesians 4:22; Romans 13:12—all followed by ἐνδύσασθαι).— κακίαν, probably malice rather than wickedness. Peter is occupied with their mutual relations and considering what hinders brotherly love, not their vices, if any, as vice is commonly reckoned. So James associates the removal of κακία with courtesy; and St. Paul says let all bitterness and anger and wrath and shouting and ill-speaking be removed from you with all malice (Ephesians 4:31; cf. Colossians 3:8). κ. is generally eagerness to hurt one’s neighbour (Suidas)—the feeling which prompts backbitings and may be subdivided into guile, hypocrisy, and envy.— δόλον, Guile was characteristic of Jacob, the eponymous hero of the Jews, but not part of the true Israelite ( ἴδε ἀληθῶς ἰσραηλίτης ἐν δόλος οὐκ ἔστιν John 1:47). It was also rife among the Greeks ( μεστοὺςδόλου, Romans 1:29) as the Western world has judged from experience (Greek and grec = cardsharper; compare characters of Odysseus and Hermes). δ. is here contrasted with obedience to the truth (1 Peter 1:22), 1 Peter 2:22, 1 Peter 3:10.— ὑπόκρισιν is best explained by the saying Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites.… This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far away from me (Mark 7:6 f. = Isaiah 29:13). It stands for חנף profane, impure in Symmachus’ version of Psalms 35:16; so ὑποκριτὴς in LXX of Job (Job 34:30, Job 36:13), and Aquila (Proverbs 11:9), etc. In 2 Maccabees 6:25, is used of (unreal?—not secret) apostasy perhaps in accordance with the earlier sense of ח֙ which only in post-Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic = hypocrisy. In His repeated denunciations of the hypocrites Jesus repeated the Pharisees description of the Sadducees that live in hypocrisy with the saints (Ps. Song of Solomon 4:7). Polybius has . in the classical sense of oratorical delivery, and once contrasted with the purpose of speakers (xxxv. 2, 13).— καταλαλιάς, detractiones (Vulgate), of external slanders in 1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 3:11. For internal calumnies, cf. James 4:11; 2 Corinthians 12:20 illustrates one special case, for φυσιώσεις κᾳταλαλιαὶ correspond to εἷς ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἑνὸς φυσιοῦσθε κατὰ τοῦ ἑτέρου of 1 Corinthians 4:6 (cf. 1 Peter 1:12).


Verses 1-10

1 Peter 2:1-10. Continuation of practical admonition with appeal to additional ground-principles illustrating the thesis of 1 Peter 1:10.


Verse 2

1 Peter 2:2. ὡς, inasmuch as you are newborn babes: cf. ἀναγεγεννημένοι (1 Peter 1:23). The development of the metaphor rests upon the saying, unless ye be turned and become as the children ( ὡς τὰ παιδία) ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).— βρέφη (only here in metaphorical sense) is substituted for παιδία (preserved by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:20) as = babes at the breast. A παιδίον might have lost its traditional innocence but not a βρέφος (= either child unborn as Luke 1:41, or suckling in classical Greek). For the origin of the metaphor, which appears also in the saying of R. Jose, “the proselyte is a child just born,” compare Isaiah 28:9, Whom will he teach knowledge?.… Them that are weaned from the milk and drawn from the breasts, which the Targum renders, To whom was the law given?.… Was it not to the house of Israel which is beloved beyond all peoples?τὸγάλα. The quotation of 1 Peter 2:3 suggests that the milk is Christ; compare St. Paul’s explanation of the tradition of the Rock which followed the Israelites in the desert (1 Corinthians 10:4) and the living water of John 4:14. Milk is the proper food for babes; compare Isaiah 55:1, buy … milk (LXX, στέαρ) without money (cf. 1 Peter 1:18). This milk is guileless (cf. δόλον of 1 Peter 2:1) pure or unadulterated (cf. μηδὲ δολοῦντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ, 2 Corinthians 4:2). The interpretation of λογικόν (pertaining to λόγος) is doubtful. But the use of λόγος just above (1 Peter 1:23) probably indicates the sense which St. Peter put upon the adjective he borrowed (?) from Romans 12:1, τὴν λογικὴν λατρείαν. There and elsewhere λ. = rationabilis, spiritual; here belonging to contained in the Word of God, delivered by prophet or by evangelist. St. Paul in his use of λ. and of the metaphor of milk (solid food, 1 Corinthians 3:1 ff.) follows Philo and the Stoics.— ἵνασωτηρίαν, that fed thereon ye may grow up (cf. Ephesians 4:14 f.) unto salvation; cf. James 1:21, “receive the ingrafted word which is able to save your souls”.


Verse 3

1 Peter 2:3. St. Peter adopts the language of Psalms 34:9, omitting καὶ ἔδετε as inappropriate to γάλα. χρηστός (identical in sound with χριστός) = dulcis (Vulg.) or kind (cf. χρηστότης θεοῦ, Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22). Compare Hebrews 6:4 f. γευσαμένους τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς ἐπουρανίουκαὶ καλὸν γευσαμένους θεοῦ ῥῆμα.


Verse 4

1 Peter 2:4. πρὸς ὃν προσερχ. from Psalms 34:6, προσελθόντες πρὸς αὐτὸν (Heb. and Targum, they looked unto Him; Syriac, look ye.…). Cyprian uses Isaiah 2:2 f.; Psalms 23:3 f. to prove that the stone becomes a mountain to which the Gentiles come and the just ascend.— λίθον ζῶντα, a paradox which has no obvious precedent in O.T. Genesis 49:24 speaks of the Shepherd the stone of Israel, but Onkelos and LXX substitute אביך thy father for אבן stone. The Targum of Isaiah 8:14, however, has אבן מחי a striking stone, for אנגף which might be taken as meaning reviving or living stone, if connected with the foregoing instead of the following words. The LXX supports this connection and secures a good sense by inserting a negative; the Targum gives a bad sense throughout. ὑπʼἔντιμον, though by men rejected, yet in God’s sight elect precious. ἀποδεδοκ. comes from Psalms 118:22 (see 1 Peter 2:7); ἐκλ. ἐντ. from Isaiah 28:6 (see 1 Peter 2:6). ἀνθρώπων is probably due to Rabbinic exegesis “read not בונים builders but בני אדם sons of men”. St. Peter insists upon the contrast between God’s judgment and man’s in the sermon of Acts 2.


Verses 4-10

1 Peter 2:4-10. Passages of scripture proving that Christ is called stone are first utilised, then quoted, and finally expounded. The transition from milk to the stone may be explained by the prophecy the hills shall flow with milk (Joel 3:18), as the stone becomes a mountain according to Daniel 3:21 f.; or by the legend to which St. Paul refers (1 Corinthians 10:4); compare also ποτίσαι of Isaiah 43:20, which is used in 1 Peter 2:9. This collection of texts can be traced back through Romans 9:32 f. to its origin in the saying of Mark 12:10 f.; Cyprian (Test. 1 Peter 2:16 f.) gives a still richer form.


Verse 5

1 Peter 2:5. Fulfilment of the saying, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it (John 2:19). Christians live to God through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:11). For this development of the figure of building, cf. especially Ephesians 2:20 ff.— οἰκοδομεῖσθε, indicative rather than imperative. “It is remarkable that St. Peter habitually uses the aorist for his imperatives, even when we might expect the present; the only exceptions (two or three) are preceded by words removing all ambiguity, 1 Peter 2:11; 1 Peter 2:17, 1 Peter 4:12 f”. (Hort).— οἶκοςἅγιον, a spiritual house for an holy priesthood. The connection with priesthood (Hebrews 10:21) and the offering of sacrifices points to the special sense of the House of God, i.e., the Temple; cf. (1 Peter 4:17; 1 Timothy 3:5) ναὸς ὅς ἐστε ὑμεῖς, 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21. So Hebrews 3:5 f., οὗ ( χριστοῦ) οἶκός ἐσμεν ἡμεῖς …— ἱεράτευμα, body of priests, in Exodus 19:6 (Heb. priests) Exodus 23:22; 2 Maccabees 2:17; 2 Maccabees cf.9 infra. Here Hort prefers the equally legitimate sense, act of priesthood. Usage supports the first and only possible etymology the second. The ideal of a national priesthood is realised, Isaiah 61:6.— ἀνενέγκαιχριστοῦ. to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.— δια ἰησοῦ χ. is better taken with ἀν. than εὐπροσδ.; cf. Hebrews 13:15, διʼ αὐτοῦ, where the thankoffering is singled out as the fit type of the Christian sacrifice. Spiritual sacrifices are in their nature acceptable to God (John 4:23) and Christians are enabled to offer them through Jesus Christ. ἀναφέρειν in this sense is peculiar to LXX, Jas. and Heb.


Verse 6

1 Peter 2:6. περιέχει ἐν γραφῇ, it is contained in Scripture. The formula occurs in Josephus (Ant. xi. 7, βούλομαι γενέσθαι πάντα καθὼς ἐν [ τῇ ἐπιστολῇ] περιέχει) and is chosen for its comprehensiveness.— περιέχει is intransitive as the simple verb and other compounds often are; cf. περιοχή, contents, Acts 8:32.— γραφῇ. being a technical term, has no article.— ἰδοὺκαταισχυνθῇ, formal quotation of Isaiah 28:16, preceding quotation from Psalms, as prophets always precede the writings. The LXX has ἰδοὺ ἐμβάλλω ἐγὼ εἰς τὰ θεμέλια (unique expansion of normal θεμελιῶ = יסד of Heb., cf. εἰς τὰ θ. below; Targum, ממני I will appoint) σειὼν λίθον πολυτελῆ ( π. duplicate of ἔντιμον; Heb., a stone a stone; Targum, a king a king; pointing to Jewish Messianic interpretation) ἐκλεκτὸν ἀκρ. ἔντ. εἰς τὰ θεμέλια αὐτῆς (a foundation a foundation, Heb.) καὶ πιστεύων (+ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ (148) AQ) οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ (= יבוש for יחיש of Heb. = shall not make haste; Targum, when tribulation come shall not be moved). The chief difference is that St. Peter omits all reference to the foundation, and substitutes τίθημι; LXX is conflate, ἐμβάλλω εἰς being the original reading and τὰ θεμ. added by some purist to preserve the meaning of the Hebrew root. This omission may be due to the fact that Christians emphasised the idea that the stone was a corner stone binding the two wings of the Church together (Ephesians 2:20) and regarded this as inconsistent with εἰς κεφ.


Verse 7

1 Peter 2:7 f. The second quotation is connected with the first by means of the parenthetic interpretation: The “precious”-ness of the stone is for you who believe but for the unbelievers it is … “a stone of stumbling”. It is a stereotyped conflation of Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 8:14, which are so firmly cemented together that the whole is cited here where only the latter part is in point. The same idea of the two-fold aspect of Christ occurs in St. Paul more than once; e.g., Christ crucified to Jews a stumbling-block … but to you who believe1 Corinthians 1:23. The problem involved is discussed by Origen who adduces the different effects of the sun’s light.— τιμή, the τιμή involved in the use of the adjective ἔντιμον., or rather Heb. יקרה underlying it. The play on the peculiar sense thus required does not exclude the ordinary meaning honour (for which cf. 1 Peter 1:7; Romans 2:10).— λίθος ὃνγωνίας = Ps. l.c. (LXX)—the prophetic statement in scriptural phrase of the fact of their unbelief. The idea may be that the raising of the stone to be head of the corner makes it a stumbling-block but in any case λίθοςσκανδάλου is needed to explain this.— λίθος προσκόμματος κ. π. σκ. from Isaiah 8:14; LXX paraphrases the original, which St. Peter’s manual preserves, reading καὶ οὐχ ὡς λίθῳ προσκόμματι συναντήσεσθε οὐδὲ ὡς πετρας πτώματι (common confusion of construct, with Gen.).— οἱἀπειθοῦντες, description of the unbelieving in terms of the last quotation, who stumble at the word being disobedient. τῷ λόγῳ is probably to be taken with πρ. or both πρ. and . in spite of the stone being identified with the Lord. Stumbling at the word is an expression used by Jesus (Mark 4:17, διὰ τὸν λόγον σκανδαλίζονται; Matthew 15:12, ἀκούσαντες τὸν λόγον ἐσκανδαλίσθησαν; John 6:60, τοῦτο λόγος οὗτοςὑμᾶς σκανδαλίζει). For . cf. 1 Peter 4:17, τῶν ἀπειθούντων τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ εὐαγγελίῳ.— εἰς καὶ ἐτέθησαν, whereunto also (actually) they were appointed. ἐτέθησαν comes from τίθημι (6); stone and stumbler alike were appointed by God to fulfil their functions in His Purpose. For the sake of the unlearned he only implies and does not assert in so many words that God appointed them to stumble and disobey; but his view is that of St. Paul (see Romans 9, 11, especially Romans 9:17; Romans 9:22); cf. Luke 2:34. Didymus distinguishes between their voluntary unbelief and their appointed fall. If any are tempted to adopt such ingenious evasions of the plain sense it is well to recall the words of Origen: “If in the reading of scripture you stumble at what is really a noble thought, the stone of stumbling and rock of offence, blame yourself. You must not despair of this stone … containing hidden thoughts so that the saying may come to pass, And the believer shall not be shamed. Believe first of all and you will find beneath this reputed stumbling-block much holy profit (in Jeremiah 44 (51):22, Hom. xxxix. = Philocalia x.).


Verse 9

1 Peter 2:9 f. The Church, God’s new people, has all the privileges which belonged to the Jews. In enumerating them he draws upon a current conflation of Isaiah 43:20 f., ποτίσαι τὸ γένος μου το ἐκλεκτὸν (1) λαόν μου ὃν περιεποιησάμην (4) τὰς ἀρετάς μου διηγεῖσθαι with Exod. 19:65, ὑμεῖς δὲ ἔσεσθέ μοι βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα (2) καὶ ἔθνος ἅγιον (3) ἔσεσθέ μοι λαὸς περιούσιος (4) ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν (1); and Psalms 107:14, καὶ ἐξήγαγεν αὐτοὺς καὶ ἐκ σκιᾶς θανάτουἐξομολογησάσθων τῷ κυρίῳ τὰ ἐλέη αὐτοῦ καὶ τὰ θαυμάσια αὐτοῦ τοῖς υἱοῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων—to which is appended Hosea 1:6; Hosea 1:8.— γένος ἐκλεκτόν, Isa. l.c. LXX (Heb., my people my chosen); γένος, race implies that all the individual members of it have a common Father (God) and are therefore brethren (cf. υἱοὶ γένους ἁβραάμ, Acts 13:26); cf. 1 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:6.— βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα, a royal priesthood, from Exod. l.c. LXX (Heb., a kingdom of priests = Revelation 1:6, βασιλείαν ἱερεῖς). Christians share Christ’s prerogatives. The priesthood is the chief point (see 1 Peter 2:5) it is royal. Clement of Alexandria says: “Since we have been summoned to the kingdom and are anointed (sc. as Kings)”. The comparison of Melchizedek with Christ perhaps underlies the appropriation of the title.— ἔθνος ἅγιον, to the Jew familiar, with the use of ἔθνη for Gentiles, as much a paradox as Christ crucified. But λαός, the common rendering of עם in this connexion is wanted below, and St. Peter is content to follow his authority.— λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν, a people for possession = עם סגלה. The source of the Greek phrase is Malachi 3:17, but the Hebrew title variously rendered occurs in the two great passages drawn upon. Deut. (Deuteronomy 17:6, etc.) has λαὸς περιούσιος which is adopted by St. Paul (Titus 2:14); but the phrase εἰς π. is well established in the Christian vocabulary, Hebrews 10:39; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14, and the whole title is apparently abbreviated to περιποίησις in Ephesians 1:14.— ὅπωςἐξαγγείλητε, from Isa. l.c. + Ps. l.c., the latter containing the matter of the following designation of God. In Isa. τὰς ἀρετάς μου stands for תהלהי my praise; and this sense reappears in Esther 14:10. ἀνοῖξαι στόμα ἐθνῶν εἰς ἀρετάς ματαίων, the praises of idols. Elsewhere it stands for הוד. glory (Habakkuk 3:3; Zechariah 6:13). In the books of Maccabees (especially the fourth) it has its ordinary sense of virtue, which cannot be excluded altogether here. The whole clause is in fact the pivot on which the Epistle turns. Hitherto Peter has addressed himself to the Christians and their mutual relations, now he turns to consider their relations to the outside world (1 Peter 1:2 f.). In 2 Peter 1:3, . corresponds to θεία δύναμις, a sense which might be supported by Ps. l.c. (for discussion of other

Very uncertain—evidence see Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 95 ff., 362) and the events of Pentecost (see especially Acts 2:11).— τοῦφῶς is derived from Ps. l.c.; the natural antithesis light is readily supplied (cf. Ephesians 5:8; Ephesians 5:14); darkness = heathenism in cf. 10.


Verse 10

1 Peter 2:10, from Hosea 1:6; Hosea 2:1(3); cf. Romans 9:25 (has καλέσω κάλεσον of Hos.); the terms are so familiar that μου is omitted by Peter as unnecessary (cf. γένος ἐκ. for τὸ γ. μου .).


Verse 11

1 Peter 2:11 f. indicate generally the subject to be discussed. Beloved I exhort you to abstain from the lusts of the flesh, because they wage war against the soul. Standers and even torments can only affect the body. But the lusts natural or acquired which you have renounced may hinder your salvation, as they have already impeded your mutual love. For the sake of your old friends and kinsfolk refuse to yield to their solicitations. If rebuffed they resort to persecution of whatever kind, remember that it is only a passing episode of your brief exile. Let your conduct give them no excuse for reproach; so may they recognise God’s power manifest not on your lips but in your lives.— ἀγαπητοί, not an empty formulæ but explanation of the writer’s motive. He set before them the great commandment and now adds to it as Jesus did, Love one another as I have loved you, John 13:34.— ὡς π. καὶ παρεπιδήμους with ἀπεχ. (motive for abstinence in emphatic position) rather than παρακαλῶ (as νουθετεῖτε ὡς ἀδελφόν, 2 Thessalonians 3:15—the motive of exhortation is here expressed by ἀγ.) echoes παρεπιδήμοις of 1 Peter 1:1 and παροικίας of 1 Peter 1:17. The combination (= גר וחושב) occurs twice in LXX (Genesis 33:4; Psalms 39:13). Christians are in the world, not of the world.— ἀπέχεσθαι, cf. Plato, Phaedo, 82 C, true philosophers, ἀπέχονται τῶν κατὰ τὸ σῶμα ἐπιθυμιῶν ἁπάσων—not for fear of poverty, like the vulgar, nor for fear of disgrace, like the ambitious, but because only so can he, departing in perfect purity, come to the company of the gods”.— τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν, the lusts of the flesh. St. Peter borrows St. Paul’s phrase, ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν (Ephesians 2:3), but uses it in his own way in a sense as wide as τὰς κοσμικὰς . (Titus 2:12). For the flesh is the earthly life (cf. Colossians 3:5) the transitory mode of existence of the soul which is by such abstinence to be preserved (1 Peter 1:9).— αἵτινεςψυχῆς, because they are campaigning against the soul.— στρατεύονται (cf. 1 Peter 4:1 f., for military metaphor) perhaps derived from Romans 7:23, “I perceive a different law in my members warring against ( ἀντιστρατευόμενον) the law of my mind;” cf. James 4:1, the pleasures which war in your members, and 4 Maccabees 9:23, ἱερὰν καὶ εὐγενῆ στρατείαν στρατεύσασθε περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας.— κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς. The lusts of this earthly life are the real enemy for they affect the soul. Compare Matthew 10:28, which may refer to the Devil and not to God, and the Pauline parallel, σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματοςταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντικεῖται (Galatians 5:17).


Verse 12

1 Peter 2:12. Adaptation of the saying, ὅπως ἴδωσιν ὑμῶν τὰ καλὰ ἔργα καὶ δοξάσωσιν τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς (Matthew 5:16). The good behaviour on which the resolved ἀναστρέφεσθαι permits stress to be laid is the fruit of the abstinence of 1 Peter 2:2; cf. Hebrews 13:8; James 3:13. This second admonition is disjointed formally—against formal grammar—from the first; cf. Ephesians 4:1 f., παρακαλῶὑμᾶςἀνεχόμενοι.— ἐντοῖς ἔθνεσιν, the people of God (1 Peter 2:9) is a correlative term and implies the existence of the nations, who are ignorant and disobedient. The situation of the Churches addressed justifies the use of Dispersion in 1 Peter 1:1. But the point of the words here is this: you—the new Israel must succeed where the old failed, as it is written my name is blasphemed ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν on your account (Isaiah 52:5; LXX, cited Romans 2:24).— ἵναἐπισκοπῆς, in order that as a result of your good works they may be initiated into your secrets and come to glorify God in respect to your conduct when He at last visits the world, though now they calumniate you as evildoers in this matter.— ἐν in the case of the thing in which, i.e., your behaviour generally; cf. 1 Peter 3:16, 1 Peter 4:4, and for δοξ. τὸν θεὸν ἐν, 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Peter 4:16.— καταλαλοῦσιν ὡς κ. Particular accusations are given in 1 Peter 4:15. This popular estimate of Christians is reflected in Suetonius’ statement: Adflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominium superstitionis novae et maleficae (Ner. 16).— ἐποπτεύοντες takes Acc. in iii. 2 (overlook, behold, as in Symmachus’ version of Psalms 10:14; Psalms 33:13); but here the available objects are either appropriated ( θεόν with δοξ). or far off ( ἀναστροφήν). It will therefore have its ordinary sense of become ἐπόπτης, be initiated. The Christians were from the point of view of their former friends members of a secret association, initiates of a new mystery, the secrecy of which gave rise to slanders such as later Christians brought against the older mysteries and the Jews. St. Peter hopes that, if the behaviour of Christians corresponds to their profession, their neighbours will become initiated into their open secrets (for as St. Paul insists this hidden mystery has now been revealed and published).— δοξάσωσιν τὸν θεόν, come to glorify God—like the centurion, who said of the crucified Jesus, Truly this was the Son of God (Mark 15:39)—i.e., recognise the finger of God either in the behaviour of the Christians or in the whole economy (see Romans 11.).— ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐπισκοπῆς, from Isaiah 10:3, What will ye do—ye the oppressors of the poor of my people—in day of visitation ( יּום פקדה) i.e. (Targum), when your sins are visited upon you. But St. Peter looks for the repentance of the heathen at the last visitation (cf. 1 Peter 4:6), though the prophet found no escape for his own contemporaries. Compare Luke 19:44.


Verses 13-17

1 Peter 2:13-17. The duty of the Christian towards the State; compare Romans 13:1-7.— πάσῃ ἀνθρωπίνῃ κτίσει, every human institution, including rulers (14), masters (18), and husbands (1 Peter 3:1). κτίζειν is used ordinarily in many senses, e.g., of peopling a country, of founding a city, of setting up games, feasts, altar, etc. In Biblical Greek and its descendants it is appropriated to creation. Here κτίσις is apparently selected as the most comprehensive word available; and the acquired connotation—creation by God—is ruled out by the adjective ἀνθρωπίνῃ. It thus refers to all human institutions which man set up with the object of maintaining the world which God created.— διὰ τὸν κύριον, for the sake of the Lord. διά may be (1) retrospective—i.e., because Jesus said, Render what is Cæsar’s to Cæsar or, generally, because God is the source of all duly-constituted authority; or (2) prospective for the sake of Jesus (Jehovah); your loyalty redounding to the credit of your Master in heaven.— βασιλεῖ, the Roman Emperor, as in Revelation 17:9, etc.; Josephus B.J., ver 136, v. infra.— ὑπερέχοντι, pre-eminent, supreme, absolute, as in Sap. 6:5, where τοῖς ὑπερέχουσιν corresponds to those who are underlings of His Sovereignty (4), to whom power was given from the Lord (3); cf. διʼ αὐτοῦ below.— ἡγεμόσιν, properly Governors of provinces, but Plutarch uses the singular = Imperator. Peter rather follows the conventional rendering of the saying of Jesus, ἐπὶ ἡγεμόνων καὶ βασιλέων σταθήσεσθε, interpreted in the light of popular usage (cf. Luke 21:12) or of Jeremiah 39:3, ἡγεμόνες βασιλέως βαβυλῶνος. Contrast vague general term, ἐξουσίαις ὑπερεχ· ὡς … which St. Paul employed before his visit to Rome.— πεμπ., as being sent through the Emperor. διά implies that the governors are sent by God acting through the Emperor; so Romans 13:1-7 (cf. Sap. 6:3) and John 19:11, εἰ μὴ ἦν δεδομένον σοι ἄνωθεν.— εἰς ἐκδίκησιν, κ. τ. λ. The ruler executes God’s vengeance (Romans 12:19) and voices God’s approval (Psalms 22:25, παρὰ σοῦ ἔπαινός μου). The former function of governors has naturally become prominent, the latter is exemplified in the crowns, decrees and panegyrics with which the Greek and Jewish States rewarded their benefactors if not mere well-doers.— οὕτωςsince this is so (referring to 13 f.) God’s will is that … (cf. Matthew 18:14, οὕτως οὐκ ἔστιν θέλημα where οὕτως refers to the preceding parable) rather than God’s will is thus namely that … or … well-doing thus. Since God has set up governors who express His approval of well-doers, you as well-doers will receive official praise and thus be enabled to silence the slanderers. St. Peter is thinking of the verdict pronounced in the case of St. Paul and of Jesus himself.— φιμοῦν, (1) muzzle (1 Corinthians 9:9), (2) silence as Jesus did (Matthew 22:34, ἐφίμωσεν τοὺς σαδδουκαίους).— τὴν ἀγνωσίαν, a rare word—perhaps borrowed from Job 35:16, ἐν ἀγνωσίᾳ ῥήματα βαρύνει, He multiplieth words without knowledge. In 1 Corinthians 15:34, ἀγνωσίαν γαρ θεοῦ τινες ἔχουσιν, it is derived from Sap. 13:1, οἷς παρῆν θεοῦ ἀγνωσία. It is the opposite of γνῶσις ( ἀγνωσίας τε καὶ γνώσεως, Plato, Soph., 267 B) cf. ἄγνοια, of Jews who crucified Jesus, Acts 3:17.— τῶν ἀφρόνων = the foolish men who calumniate you (12). . is very common in the Wisdom literature (especially Proverbs); as used by Our Lord (Luke 11:40) and St. Paul (2 Corinthians 11); it implies lack of insight, a point of view determined by external appearances.


Verse 16

1 Peter 2:16. ὡς ἐλεύθεροι, the contrast with τῆς κακίας supports the connection of , in thought with ἀγαθοποιοῦντας, which explains the nature of the self-subjection required. Christians are free (Matthew 17:26 f. q.v.; John 8:36; Galatians 2:4) and therefore must submit to authority. Peter generalises summarily St. Paul’s argument in Galatians 5:13, which refers to internal relations.— καὶ μὴἐλευθερίαν, and not having your freedom as a cloak of your malice. For ἐπ. cf. Menander (apud Stobaeum Florileg.) πλοῦτος δὲ πολλῶν ἐπικάλυμμʼ ἐστιν κακῶν. The verb is used in Ps. cited Romans 4:7 = כפר; and this sense may perhaps be contemplated here; early Christians regarded their freedom as constituting a propitiation for future as for past sins.


Verse 17

1 Peter 2:17. Sweeping clause based partly on Romans 13:7 f. (cf. Matthew 22:21), partly on Proverbs 24:21, φοβοῦ τὸν θεὸν υἰὲ καὶ βασιλέα καὶ μηθετέρῳ αὐτῶν ἀπειθήσῃς.— πάντας τιμήσατε. The aorist imperative is used because the present would be ambiguous; cf. ἀπόδοτε, Rom. l.c., and for matter, Romans 12:10, τῇ τιμῇ ἀλλήλους προηγούμενοι, since πάντας covers both the brotherhood and the emperor.— οἱ οἰκέται, vocative; the word is chosen as being milder than δοῦλος and also as suggesting the parallel between slaves and Christians who are God’s household (1 Peter 2:5)— ὑποτασσόμενοι has force of imperative resuming ὑποτάγητε or goes with τιμήσατε (1 Peter 2:17) as being a particular application of that general principle.— τοῖς δεσπόταις, to your masters, not excluding God, the Master of all, as is indicated by the insertion of in all fear (cf. 1 Peter 2:17, etc.) and τοῖς ἀγαθοῖς καὶ ἐπιεικέσιν (cf. Psalms 86:4, σὺ κύριος χρηστὸς καὶ ἐπιεικής).— τοῖς σκολιοῖς, the perverse, cf. Philippians 2:15, ἵνα γένησθετέκνα θεοῦ ἄμωμα μέσον γενεᾶς σκολιᾶς καὶ διεστραμμένης, where the full phrase is cited from Deuteronomy 32:5 ( σκ. = עקש), The Vulgate has dyscolis = δυσκόλοις; Hesychius, σκολιός. ἄδικος; Proverbs 28:18, σκολιαῖς ὁδοῖς πορευόμενος χ. πορευόμενος δικαίως.


Verse 19

1 Peter 2:19 f. Summary application of the teaching of Jesus recorded in Luke 6:27-36 = Matthew 5:39-48.— χάρις seems to be an abbreviation of the O.T. idiom to find favour ( תן) with God—cf. χάρις παρὰ θεῷ (20)—taken from St. Luke’s version of the saying, εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἔστιν (Luke 6:32).—Compare χάριτας = רצון that which is acceptable in Proverbs 10:32.— διὰ συνείδησιν θεοῦ (i.) because God is conscious of your condition ( θεοῦ subjective genitive), a reproduction of thy Father which seeth that which is hidden … (Matthew 6:4, etc.); so συνείδ. in definite philosophical sense of conscience is usually followed by possessive genitive OR (2.) because you are conscious of God ( θ. objective genitive), cf. σ. ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 10:2. The latter construction is preferable: the phrase interprets διὰ τὸν κύριον with the help of the Pauline expression διὰ τὴν ς. (Romans 13:5; 1 Corinthians 10:25) employed in the same context.— πάσχων ἀδίκως, emphatic. Peter has to take account of the possibility which Jesus ignored, that Christians might deserve persecution; cf. 1 Peter 2:20; 1 Peter 2:25.— ποῖον κλέος, what praise rather than what kind of reputation ( κλ. neutral as in Thuc. 2:45) cf. ποία χάρις τίνα μισθόν, (only twice in Job in LXX) corresponds to ἔπαινος above: χάρις παρὰ θεῷ shows that the praise of the Master who reads the heart is intended.— κολαφιζόμενοι, from description of the Passion, Mark 14:65, ἤρξαντό τινεςκολαφίζειν αὐτόν, cf. Matthew 5:39, ὅστις σε ῥαπίζει. So also St. Paul recalls the parallel between Christ’s and the Chrstians’ sufferings (1 Corinthians 4:11) κολαφιζόμεθα.— ἀγαθοποιοῦντες, opposed to ἁμαρτάνοντες, explains ἀδίκως (19).— χάρις, see on 10. 1 Peter 2:19.


Verse 21

1 Peter 2:21. εἰς τοῦτο, sc. to do well and to suffer, if need be, without flinching, as Christ did.— ἐκλήθητε, sc. by God; cf. διὰ τὴν συνείδησιν θεοῦ.— ἔπαθεν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, 1 Peter 2:22 supplies the essential point, which would be readily supplied, but Christ’s suffering was undeserved ( δίκαιος ὑπὲρ ἀδίκων, 1 Peter 3:18).— καί also with reference to the similar experience of Christians; so Philippians 2:5, τοῦτο φρονεῖτε ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ ἐν χριστῷ.— ὑπογραμμόν (1) outline, 2 Maccabees 2:28, to enlarge upon the outlines of our abridgment; (2) copy-head, pattern, to be traced over by writing-pupils (Plato, Protag., 227 D Clement ot Alexandria, Strom., ver 8, 49, gives three examples of which βεδιζαμψχθωπληκτρον σφιγξ is one).— ἐπακολουθήσητε, reminiscence of jesus’ word to Peter, ἀκολουθήσεις ὕστερον, John 13:36.


Verse 22

1 Peter 2:22 = Isaiah 43:9, ἁμ. being put for ἀνομίαν ( חמם) and εὑρ. δόλος (so (149)c(150) (151)

(152), etc.) for δόλον (= Heb.) of LXX. The latter variation is due to conjunction of Zephaniah 3:13, οὐ μὴ εὑρεθῇ έν τῷ στόματι αὐτῶν γλῶσσα δολία: Christ being identified with the Remnant. The former appears in the Targum: “that they might not remain who work sin and might not speak guile with their mouth”.


Verse 23

1 Peter 2:23. Combination of the Scripture οὐκ ἀνοίγει τὸ στόμα (Isaiah 43:7) with the saying ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν και διώξωσιν (Matthew 5:11). For λοιδ. cf. 1 Corinthians 4:12. λοιδορούμενοι εὐλογοῦμεν of Matt. l.c.), John 9:28, the Jews ἐλοιδόρησαν the once blina man as Jesus’ disciple and, for O.T. type Deuteronomy 33:8, ἐλοιδόρησαν αὐτὸν ἐπὶ ὕδατος ἀντιλογίας (Levi = Christ the Priest, cf. ἀντιλογία, Hebrews 12:3).— οὐκ ἠπείλει the prophecy ἀπειλήσει τοῖς ἀπειθοῦσιν (Isaiah 66:14) is yet to be fulfilled (Luke 13:27). Oec. notes that He threatened Judas, seeking to deter him and reviled the Pharisees, but not in retort.— παρεδίδου. It is doubtful what object, it any, is to be supplied. The narrative of the Passion suggests two renderings: (i.) He delivered Himself ( ἑαυτὸν omitted as in Plato, Phaedrus, 250 E). cf. Luke 23:46 (Psalms 31:5), παρατίθεμαι τὸ πνεῦμά μου and Isaiah 53:6; κύριος παρέδωκεν αὐτόν, Isaiah 53:12 παρεδόθη. (ii.) He delivered the persecutors (latent in passive participles λοιδ. and πάσχων), when He said Father forgive them. In ordinary Greek παραδίδωμι without object = permit; but this hardly justifies the rendering He gave way to (cf. δότε τόπον τῇ ὀργῇ, Romans 12:19), i.e., permitted God to fulfil His will. But most probably παρ. τῷ … represents the Hebrew ellipse, גל אלֹ י״ commit to Jehovah (Psalms 22:9) for the normal commit, way, works, cause; LXX (Syriac) has ἤλπισεν = Matthew 27:43. Compare Joseph. Ant. vii. 9, 2, David περὶ πάντων ἐπιτρέψας κριτῇ τῷ θεῷ.— τῷ κρίνοντι δικαίως, cf. 1 Peter 1:17; the award was the glory.


Verse 24

1 Peter 2:24. Christ was not only well-doer but benefactor.— τὰς ἁμ.… ἀνήνεγκεν comes from Isaiah 53:12, LXX, καὶ αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκεν ( נשא usually translated λαμβάνειν), used also Hebrews 9:28. Christ is the perfect sin-offering: “Himself the victim and Himself the priest. The form of expression offered up our sins is due to the double use of חטאה for sin and sin-offering.— ἐν τῷ σώματι αὐτοῦ, a Pauline phrase derived from the saying, This is my body which is for you (1 Corinthians 9:24), explaining αὐτός of Isa. l.c.ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον, replaces the normal complement of ἀναφέρειν, ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον, in view of the moral which is to be drawn from the sacrificial language adopted. So James 2:21, ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον is substituted for ἐπάνω τῶν ξύλων of the original description of the offering of Isaac, Genesis 22:9. Christ died because He took our sins upon Himself (cf. Numbers 4:33, οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶνἀνοίσουσιν τὴν πορνείαν ὑμῶν). Therefore our sins perished and we have died to them, Colossians 2:14.— ἵναζήσωμεν. Compare Targum of Isaiah 53:10, “and from before Jehovah it was the will to refine and purify the remnant of His people that He might cleanse from sins their souls: they shall see the kingdom of His Christ an … prolong their days”.— ἀπογενόμενοι = (i.) die (Herodotus, Thucydides) as opposite of γενόμενοι come into being OR (ii.) be free from, as in Thuc. i. 39, τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων ἀπογενόμενοι. The Dative requires (i.), cf. Romans 6:2, οἵτινες ἀπεθάνομεν τῇ ἁμαρτία. The idea is naturally deduced from Isaiah 53, Christ bore our sins and delivered His soul to death, therefore He shall see His seed living because sinless.— οὗἰάθητε from Isaiah 53:5; μώλωπι properly the weal or scar produced by scourgeing (Sirach 28:17, πληγὴ μάστιγος ποιεῖ μώλωπας) thus the prophecy was fulfilled according to Matthew 27:26, φραγελλώσας. The original has ἰάθημεν. The paradox is especially pointed in an address to slaves who were frequently scourged.


Verse 25

1 Peter 2:25 = Isaiah 53:6, πάντες ὡς πρόβατα ἐπλανήθημεν combined with Ezekiel 34:6, where this conception of the people and their teachers (the shepherds of Israel) is elaborated and the latter denounced because τὸ πλανώμενον οὐκ ἐπεστρέψατε Further the use of this metaphor in the context presupposes the saying I am the good shepherd.… I lay down my life for the sheep (John 12:15).— ἐπίσκοπον, cf. Ezekiel 34:11, ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐκζητήσω τὰ πρόβατά μου καὶ ἐπισκέψομαι αὐτά. It is to be noted that the command which Jesus laid on Peter, feeding sheep, comes from Ez. I.c.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-peter-2.html. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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