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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 2

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-20

24 Isa_40:6-8 .

4 Our Lord, speaking to the chief priests and elders, told them that the kingdom of God would be taken from them and given to a nation bringing forth its fruits, in proof of which He also quotes Psa_118:22-23 . The parable of the vineyard was spoken to them on this occasion

( Mat_21:33-46 ). They fulfilled this parable in rejecting Him, and He takes the kingdom from them and gives it to those who receive Him, and who form the nucleus of the believing nation of that day.

6 Isa_28:16 .

7 Peter himself, soon after the day of Pentecost, before the chief priests, charged them with rejecting the Stone which was to be the head of the corner ( Act_4:11 ) .

9 When Jehovah brought His people to Himself on eagles' wings, He purposed that they should be His peculiar treasure above all peoples, and that they should be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation ( Exo_19:4-6 ). Hitherto, through unbelief, they have not realized this ideal, but those who receive Christ shall fulfill it in the coming kingdom. As kings they will then rule the nations for God and as priests bring the nations to God.

10 The phrases "not a people" and who "have not been shown mercy" are usually referred to the gentile nations, in contrast with Israel. This passage is then adduced in favor of applying Peter's epistles indiscriminately to all men at all times, especially to the present ecclesia which is Christ's body. But a closer consideration will show that this passage proves the very opposite, for it quotes from the prophecy of Hosea, who speaks of the sons of Israel, and cannot possibly be interpreted of any other people. One passage reads as follows ( Hos_1:9-11 ): And He is saying :

"Call his name 'Lo Ammi' [Not My people],

For you are not my people

And I will not be yours.

And the number of the sons of Israel

Shall be as the sand of the sea

Which shall not be measured And shall not be numbered.

And it shall occur, in the place where it is being said to them

'You are not My people.’

It shall be said to them 'Sons of the living Deity.'

And the sons of Judah and the sons of Israel

Shall be gathered together as one,

And shall place over them one head,

And ascend from the land, For great is the day of Jezreel."

The companion passage is equally plain ( Hos_2:23 ):

"And I compassionate the uncompassioned,

And I say to Lo Ammi [Not My People]'

'You are My people !'

And he shall say, 'My God !' "

By no means may these quotations refer to any people but the chosen nation.

12 "Your behavior among the nations," or gentiles, confirms our conclusion that Peter is addressing those of his own nation outside the land.

13 The word "creation" here is the same word which is always so rendered in every other occurrence. Possibly the idea that creation is a prerogative of God led our translators to alter to "ordinance" here. Yet such contexts as this are the very ones which the English reader needs to correct his conception of this word, for according to this passage, man can create, and the word does not mean to bring into being that which heretofore had no existence.

Verses 21-25

21 Following in the footprints left by our Lord while He was on earth is often taken as the ideal of human deportment for believers in Christ. And so it is-for the Circumcision, to whom Peter writes. His path may be copied by them, for they find themselves in similar circumstances and under identical conditions. Not so with the nations in this economy of God's grace. In preparing Paul for his part as the channel through which the truth for today was to be revealed, God kept him from contact with Christ during our Lord's life on earth, both before and after His resurrection. It was only after His ascension into glory that He called Saul, and changed his name to Paul, and made him the medium for the special truth which is in force during the apostasy of Israel. Saul's call might have occurred long before, but it was deliberately deferred so as to conform to the truth with which he was entrusted. He, and we, know Christ only as ascended and glorified. If we were connected with His earthly life, then we, like the Syro-Phoenician woman ( Mar_7:26 ) could get nothing more than a few crumbs from Israel's board. He does not act in glory as He acted on earth. Now He makes no distinction between Jew and gentile, but lavishes unutterably greater grace on both than was possible when He was the Servant of the Circumcision ( Rom_15:8 ). The key to conduct which pleases God is to copy His present attitude toward us in our relations with our fellow men. It is not reasonable to follow in His steps when He came only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and kept Himself from contact with the outside nations. His walk in the land is no model for our conduct outside the land. Hence we are exhorted to be imitators of Paul, as he is of Christ ( 1Co_11:1 ), for he knew Christ ascended and glorified. And we are exhorted to be imitators of God, as beloved children ( Eph_5:1 ). Such a place we, sinners of the gentiles, did not have when Christ confined Himself to the favored nation.

1 The duties of the marital relationship are treated by Peter and Paul with characteristic difference. Paul ( Eph_5:21 ) enjoins submission and love in the light of the relation between Christ and the church; Peter points back to Sarah and Abraham.

9 Like our Lord in His sermon on the mount, the apostle sets a much higher mark than the law for the conduct of those who are candidates for the kingdom. Compare Mat_5:39 , etc., and Luk_6:27 , etc. An eye for an eye, or strict justice, gives place to a forgiving spirit. This is carried even further in connection with the present grace. We are to vanquish evil with good ( Rom_12:21 ), and to heap embers of fire on the heads of our enemies and to bless those who persecute us ( Rom_12:14 ). In a word, we are to be walking in love ( Eph_5:2 ).

10 This quotation from Psa_34:12-16 , without any introductory phrase to show its relation to the subject in hand, clearly indicates that the Psalms as a whole are perfectly in accord with the administration to which Peter and the twelve belonged. Our experience should harmonize with them to a certain point, but should rise far above their highest conceptions of conduct. To "love life and see good days" is a much lower motive than is presented to us.

14-15 In view of the coming storm of persecution Peter quotes and varies a word from Isa_8:12-13 spoken in similar circumstances, but with the significant substitution of "the Lord Christ" for "Jehovah of Hosts". Remembering Jewish reverence for the letter of Scripture and the intense dread of having any God but one, we see how firmly Peter is convinced that Christ is the Jehovah of the Hebrew Scriptures.

18 A grasp of the apostle's argument here will help us through this difficult passage. The subject is suffering for doing good. The Example is Christ and those sufferings which came to Him as they come to His disciples, because of the sin which surrounded Him. The argument is that He, though put to death, has now been exalted, even over the messengers and authorities and powers of the spirit realm (22), therefore those who suffer for doing good will also be exalted in due time. With this in mind, it is evident that it is not the evangel which is proclaimed to the spirits in prison, for that would be entirely out of line with the argument. It would imply that, as a result of their sufferings, their enemies will be evangelized. Such grace is foreign to Peter's epistles. The word here used is not evangelize, but herald or proclaim. It tells us, not that they were blessed, but that He was exalted. And what is more likely than that, after His ascension, He should be proclaimed the universal Suzerain to all creation, obedient or rebellious?

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 1 Peter 2". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/1-peter-2.html. 1968.
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