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Saturday, July 20th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
1 Peter 3

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

1 Peter 3:1 . Ὑποτασσόμενοι , subject ) In the progress of the discourse, by a change of construction which is full of character, the participle is put for the imperative: 1 Peter 3:7-8 . καὶ εἴ τινες , even if any ) Peter speaks with mildness. λόγῳ · λόγου , the word: word ) Used in a double sense by the figure [23] Antanaclasis: in the former place, the Gospel is signified; in the latter, discourse . The conversation itself breathes the force of the doctrine. κερδηθήσωνται ) The future Subjunctive, of rare occurrence. So καυθήσωμαι , 1 Corinthians 13:3 ; ἐμβληθήσηται , Daniel 3:11 ; Daniel 6:7 . It is a more remote future, as in Latin, lucraturus eris, you will be about to gain .

[23] ANTANACLASIS. See Append.

Verse 2

1 Peter 3:2 . Ἐν φόβῳ , in fear ) This is to be referred to ἁγνήν , chaste ; not to ἀναστροφὴν , conversation. Fear is something general, commended by the apostle to all Christians, but especially commended to women, that their conversation be chaste .

Verse 3

1 Peter 3:3 . Ὡν ἔστω , whose let it be ) A graphic painting of the inward character by the outward gestures. [24] Women themselves are thus to resolve: we claim for ourselves, we regard as our own, not outward ornament, but the inner man, etc. οὐχ ὁ κόσμος , not adorning ) Although they use such adorning , as the occasion permits, yet they do not consider it as adorning. ἐμπλοκῆς · περιθέσεως · ἐνσύσεως , of plaiting; of wearing; of putting on ) The verbals imply the labour bestowed on dress, which consumes much time.

[24] See Append. on ETHOPOEIA. E.

Verse 4

1 Peter 3:4 . Ἀλλʼ ὁ κρυπτὸς , but the hidden ) The inner is opposed to the outward : but instead of the inner it is called the hidden ; by which a just desire of concealing itself is included in the idea. ἄνθρωπος , man ) Ephesians 3:16 , note. ἐν , in ) Understand ὤν , which is . This hidden man is not the ornament itself, but is adorned by the ornament: the ornament itself is that which is incorruptible, etc., whence those women are so adorned whose hidden man rejoices in such a spirit. ἀφθάρτῳ , incorruptible ) Ephesians 6:24 , note. This is opposed to outward adorning, which is corrupted . Concerning gold , comp. ch. 1 Peter 1:18 . Meekness and quietness ought to be incorruptible . Moreover the corruption of this spirit is turbulent obstinacy (contumacy) and fear . πραέος καὶ ἡσυχίου , of a meek and quiet spirit ) The meek is he who does not create disturbance; the quiet , who bears with tranquility the disturbances caused by others, whether superiors, inferiors, or equals: to the former the end of 1Pe 3:5 has reference; to the latter, the end of 1 Peter 3:6 . Moreover the meek is shown by his affections; the quiet , in words, countenance, and mode of acting. ὅ , which ) The incorruptible . ἐνώπιον τοῦ Θεοῦ , in the sight of God ) who looks to inward, and not outward things: whom the righteous strive to please.

Verse 5

1 Peter 3:5 . Αι ἅγιαι γυναῖκες , the holy women ) most worthy of imitation. αἱ ἐλπίζουσαι , who hoped ) Hope in God is true holiness. This epithet is a part of the subject. ὑποτασσόμεναι , being in subjection ) The adorning of the matrons in the old time is explained by the words, being in subjection (of which subjection Sara is an example), doing well, and not fearing , etc.

Verse 6

1 Peter 3:6 . Ὡς , even as ) The particle used in bringing forward an example. ὑλήκουσε , obeyed ) Genesis 18:6 . κύριον , lord ) Genesis 18:12 , Septuagint, ὁ δὲ κύριός μου . Also 1 Samuel 1:8 : καὶ εἴπεν αὐτῇ , Ἐλκανᾶ ὁ ἀνὴρ αὐτῆς , Ἄννα · καὶ εἶπεν , ἰδοὺ ἐγώ κύριε · τί ἐστί σοι ὅτι κλαίεις ; And Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah! and she said, Here am I, my lord: and he said, why weepest thou? αὐτὸν , him ) although he was born of the same father: Genesis 20:12 . ἐγενήθητε , ye have become ) he says; not ye are [as Engl. Vers.] He addresses those that believe even of the Gentiles. τέκνα , daughters ) Daughters ought to imitate their mother, as the sons Abraham. ἀγαθοποιῦσαι , doing well ) This also depends upon adorned [1 Peter 3:5 ; Engl. Vers, differently]. καὶ μὴ , and not ) Comp. 1Pe 3:13 ; 1 Peter 3:16 ; 1 Peter 3:15 . You need fear no man in doing what is right. φοβούμεναι , fearing ) Anger assails men, fear women. πτόησιν , [fluttering] terror ) coming upon them from without; 1 Peter 3:14 , note. Proverbs 3:25 , Septuagint: Καὶ οὐ φοβηθήσῃ πτόησιν ἐπελθοῦσαν · And thou shalt not be afraid of sudden terror .

Verse 7

1 Peter 3:7 . Ὁμοίως , in like manner ) The likeness does not refer to special duties, some of which belong to the wife, and others to the husband; but to the foundation of love: thus, in like manner , ch. 1 Peter 5:5 . γυῶσιν , knowledge ) The master shows gentleness , ch. 1 Peter 2:18 ; the husband γυῶσιν . Γνῶσις , which has regard to the weaker vessel , implies moderation , and produces γνώμην [ judgment, kindly judiciousness, friendly advice ]; respecting which word, see 1 Corinthians 7:25 , note. Therefore it excludes all violence, by which the weaker are struck with terror [ 1Pe 3:6 ], especially that caused by anger. Adam furnished a remarkable example of the dominion exercised by a husband tempered with moderation, who himself gave name to his wife, and gave her the power of naming her children. ὡς , as ) It is twice used here: in the former place it refers to γνώσιν , moderation ; in the other, to τιμὴν , honour . The weakness of the vessel requires moderation; the inheritance enjoins honour (which implies more). ἀσθενεστέρῳ , to the weaker ) The comparative: even the man has weakness . σκεύει , vessel ) This denotes the sex and entire disposition and temperament of woman. τῷ γυναικείῳ ) Τὸ γυναικεῖον , absolutely: that is, women. ἀπονέμοντες τιμὴν , giving honour ) This is said in accordance with the command, that women should be in subjection . Comp. ch. 1 Peter 2:17 . τιμὴν , honour ) viz. that of a just opinion respecting them, of kindness, and of a chaste conversation. Comp. in honour , 1 Thessalonians 4:4 . συγκληρονόμοι ) Others read συγκληρονόμοις : [25] but the apostle is prescribing to husbands their duties towards their wives of whatever character, even towards those who do not believe the word. Comp. 1 Peter 3:1 . See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. συγκληρονόμοι , joint-heirs ) Heirs together with other believers. The reason why the husband ought to show moderation towards the wife, is derived from the weakness of the wife ; the reason why the husband ought to give honour to the wife, is derived from the fact, that God also gives honour to the man, as to an heir. The hope of eternal glory makes men noble-minded and mild. There is a similar argument shortly afterwards in 1 Peter 3:9 , Bless, inasmuch as ye are called to inherit a blessing. The nominative case, joint-heirs , elegantly corresponds with the word dwelling together with them. Husbands are said to be joint-heirs , not with their wives, but with all the faithful. Comp. συνεκλεκτὴ , elected together with you , ch. 1 Peter 5:13 . ἐγκόπτεσθαι ) Some few read ἐγκόπτεσθαι . [26] The Hebrew phrases in Schœttgenius agree with both the Greek words: and indeed עקר with the word ἐκκόπτεσθαι , where barrenness is treated of, through which children fail, who otherwise arise in succession to their parents through prayer : עכב and עכר with the word ἐγκόπτεσθαι , where sins which are a hindrance to prayers are treated of. This therefore is the better reading. For the apostle wishes that the prayers of husbands should not even be hindered or interrupted. But they are interrupted by intemperance and wrath, 1 Corinthians 7:5 ; and there is no time in which the recollection of injuries occurs to one more, than when engaged in prayer: [27] and to those who do not forgive, our heavenly Father does not forgive, although they pray. προσευχάς , prayers ) by which you gain that inheritance, and seek the salvation of your wives. Comp. note on 1 Timothy 2:8 .

[25] Tisch. and Elzev. Rec. Text read συγκληρονόμοις , with Vulg. and Syr. and inferior MSS. The reading of B is doubtful. But the weightiest authorities, AC later Syr. and Stephens’ Rec. Text have συγκληρονόμοι : and so rightly Lachm. E.

[26] AB read ἐγκόπτεσθαι : so Lachm.: and so Vulg. Memph. “impediantur.” None of the oldest authorities, except both Syr. Versions, support ἐκκόπτεσθαι , which is the reading of Rec. Text and Tisch. E.

[27] It not seldom happens that, at the time when a quarrel has broken out among friends, neighbours, colleagues, and the learned, so as to take possession of the mind day and night, prayer ceases altogether. V. g.

Verse 8

1 Peter 3:8 . Πάντες , all ) Before this, from ch. 1 Peter 2:18 , he has been describing particular duties. ὀμόφρονες , unanimous ) in mind. The three parts of 1 Peter 3:8-9 , by the figure Chiasmus, [28] in inverted order answer to the psalm which is repeated in 1 Peter 3:10-11 , by three clauses (members). [29] ΣΥΜΑΠΑΘΕῖς , having the same feelings with, sympathising ) in prosperity and adversity. Raphelius proves from Polybius the wide sense in which the word is used: Θάρσος ἐμβαλεῖν καὶ συμπαθεῖς ποιῆσαι τοὺς παρακαλουμένους , to inspire confidence, and make those who are exhorted entertain the same feelings with himself . φιλάδελφοι , having brotherly love ) towards the saints. εὔσπλαγχνοι , pitiful ) towards the afflicted.

[28] See Append. on CHIASMUS.

[29] Therefore the expression τὸ δὲ τέλος refers not to the conclusion of the whole Epistle, but to the exhortation to maintain a conversation such as is right, 1 Peter 3:11 . V. g.

Verse 9

1 Peter 3:9 . Κακὸν , evil ) in deed. λοιδορίαν , railing ) in words. τοὐναντίον , on the contrary ) This has reference to railing . For evil is the opposite to those things which occur in the preceding verse. ὅτι , because ) No railing can injure you. Comp. 1 Peter 3:13 . You ought to imitate God, who blesses you. εἰς τοῦτο , unto this ) So, for this purpose, that , ch. 1 Peter 4:6 . εὐλογίαν , a blessing ) for eternity, the first-fruits of which are enjoyed by the righteous even now. See next verse.

Verse 10

1 Peter 3:10 . Ὁ γὰρ θέλων ζωὴν ἀγαπᾷν καὶ ἰθεῖν ἡμέρας ἀγαθὰς , he who wishes to love life and to see good days ) If you wish, says Peter, to taste of that inheritance, you must abstain from evil in speaking and in practice. Psalms 34:12-16 , Septuagint: Τίς ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος ὁ θέλων ζωὴν , ἀγκπῶν ἡμέρας ἰδεῖν ἀγαθάς ; What man is there who wishes life, loving to see good days? And thus the Hebrew has it in that passage, and the Syriac Version in this. Peter, without altering the sense, imparts to it fresh vivacity: θέλων ζωὴν ἀγαπᾷν , who wishes so to live, that he may not be wearied of life . Opposed to this is ἐμίσησα τὴν ζωὴν , Ecclesiastes 2:17 ; that is, I became weary of life . And so Genesis 27:46 ; Numbers 11:15 . παυσάτω τὴν γλῶσσαν αὐτοῦ , let him refrain his tongue ) The Septuagint has παῦσον τὴν γλῶσσάνσου , refrain thy tongue , and the remainder of the passage in the second person, as far as the words διʼωξον αὐτήν , ensue it .

Verse 12

1 Peter 3:12 . Ὅτι οἱ ὀφαθλμοὶ ) because the eyes . The Septuagint has ὀφαθαλμοὶ the remainder is in the same words, as far as κακά . ἐπὶ δικαίους , over the just ) who have from that source life and good days. πρόσωπον , the countenance ) with anger: comp. 2 Samuel 22:28 . Anger excites the whole countenance of a man; love affects the eyes.

Verse 13

1 Peter 3:13 . Καὶ τίς , and who? ) And has the force of drawing an inference, and of maintaining an assertion. τίς ὁ κακώσων , who is he that will harm you? ) that is, often a matter is much more easy than is supposed. Opposed to that which is good . Isaiah 1:9 , מִי הוּא יַרְשִׁיעֵנִי , Septuagint, τίς κακώσει με ; who shall do me harm? τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ [30] ΜΙΜΗΤΑῚ , followers of good ) Follow good (in the neuter gender), says St John , 3 d Epistle, 1 Peter 3:11 . And thus Peter also in this passage. Satan is called ὁ πονηρὸς , the evil one : whereas God is good. But this epithet is not accustomed to be put (by Antonomasia [31] ) for a proper name.

[30] The reading ζηλωταὶ , which was left an open question by the margin of both Editions, seems to be preferred by the Germ. Vers. E. B.

[31] See Append. on this figure. E.

ABC Vulg. (“æmulatores”) read ζηλωταί : so Lachm. But Rec. Text and Tisch., with very inferior authorities, μιμηταί . E.

Verse 14

1 Peter 3:14 . Πάσχοιτε , ye suffer ) A milder word than κακοῦσθαι , to be afflicted . μακάριοι , happy ) ch. 1 Peter 4:14 . Not even does this deprive you of a, happy life; it rather increases it. A remarkable manner of treating the subject of the cross. τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτῶν μὴ φοβηθῆτε , μηδὲ ταραχθῆτε · Κύριον δὲ τὸν θεὸν ἁγίσατε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν , Be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts ) He teaches how adversities are to be borne, in order that happiness may not be diminished. Isaiah 8:12-13 , Septuagint, τὸν δὲ φόβον αὐτοῦ ( τοῦ λαοῦ ) οὐ μὴ φοβηθῆτε , οὐδὲ μὴ ταραχθῆτε . Τὸν Κύριον τῶν δυνάμεων αὐτὸν ἁγιάσατε , καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσταί σου φόβος . Ye shall not fear their fear, nor shall ye be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts Himself, and He shall be thy fear . Do not fear that fear, which the wicked both themselves entertain, and endeavour to excite in you. Φοβεῖσθαι φόβον is said, as χαίρειν χαρὰν , to rejoice with joy . There is one only who is to be feared, even the Lord : who is sanctified with pure fear, and truly honoured as God , the feelings of the pious answering to the Divine omnipotence [ Isa 8:13 ].

Verse 15

1 Peter 3:15 . Ἕτοιμοι δὲ , but prepared ) The word prepared gives the idea of boldness; δὲ has force. Not only ought the conversation to be good, on which point see ch. 1 Peter 2:12 , note, but every one also ought to be prepared to make confession . τῷ αἰτοῦντι , to him that asketh ) Among the Gentiles some were openly wicked, 1 Peter 3:16 ; others were in doubt. To these latter believers are ordered to give a kind answer. ἐλπίδος , of the hope ) which they confess, who say that they are strangers in the world, and avoid its lusts, ch. 1 Peter 2:11 . Comp. Hebrews 11:13 , and following verses. The hope of Christians has often excited others to inquiry. μετὰ , with ) Twells, P. I. p. 125, joins this with every man that asketh ; but it depends upon prepared to give an answer . There is need of meekness with regard to ourselves; of fear , with respect to others; of a good conscience towards God. φόβου , fear ) In common language, respect . They who have a good conscience, when accused, are more easily provoked, and less easily preserve meekness and fear , than the guilty. Therefore they are here admonished, to unite with a good conscience, meekness and fear , and thus to gain a complete victory. Meekness avails especially, when we have to do with inferiors; fear , when we have to do with superiors.

Verse 16

1 Peter 3:16 . Ἔχοντες , having ) This is added to the word prepared without a copula. ἐπηρεάζοντες ὑμῶν ἀναστροφὴν , who falsely accuse your conversation ) An abbreviated form of speech: that is, who falsely accuse you on account of your good conversation.

Verse 17

1 Peter 3:17 . Κρεῖττον , better ) happier, in innumerable ways. εἰ , if ) And this will is recognised from those things which befall us. τὸ θέλημα , the will ) which is kind. τοῦ Θεοῦ , of God ) For our inclination does not wish it. Comp. the words of Christ to Peter , John 21:18 .

Verse 18

1 Peter 3:18 . Ὄτι , because ) That is better , by means of which we are rendered more like to Christ, in death and in life: for His passion brought the best issue (result) to Himself, and the best fruit to us. Χριστὸς , Christ ) The Holy One of the holy. These are neatly turned expressions: Christ for sins, the just for the unjust . ἅπαξ , once only ) never again to suffer hereafter. It is better for us also to suffer once with Christ, than for ever without Christ. περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν , for sins ) just as though He Himself had committed them. ἔπαθε , suffered ) and that too in such a way, that His enemies slew Him on account of His confession . But His preaching was not thereby hindered; for He discharged that office, both before the day of His death, and on the day of His death, and immediately after His death. δίκαιος , the Just ) [Who has accomplished good for us in a most pre-eminent way, 1 Peter 3:17 . V. g.] Why should we not suffer on account of justice? 1 Peter 3:14 . ἵνα ἡμᾶς προσαγάῃ , that He might bring us ) that He Himself, when He departed to the Father, might justify us, who had been alienated from God, and might bring us to heaven ( 1Pe 3:22 ) together with Himself, by the same steps of humiliation and exaltation which He Himself passed through. From this word as far as ch. 1 Peter 4:6 , Peter closely connects together the path or progress of Christ and the faithful (by which path he himself also was following his Lord, according to His prediction, Joh 13:36 ), intertwining therewith the unbelief and punishment of the many. τῷ Θεῷ , to God ) who willed it. More is signified by the Dative than if he had used a Preposition [ πρὸς Θεὸν ], unto God . θανατωθεὶς , being slain by death ) as though He now had no existence. Peter shows us how our προσαγωγὴ , access to God , was effected. σαρκὶ , in the flesh ) The flesh and the spirit do not properly denote the human and divine nature of Christ: comp. ch. 1 Peter 4:6 ; but either of them, so far as it is the principle and fixed condition of life, and of the working which is in conformity with it, whether it be among mortals, of however righteous a character it may be; or with God, even that which is in glory: Romans 1:4 , note. To the former state the soul in the body is more adapted; to the latter, the soul either out of the body, or when united with the glorified and spiritual body: 1 Corinthians 15:44 . ζωοποιηθεὶς , quickened ) This process of quickening ought to be explained as antithetical to that of being put to death . As to the rest, Christ having life in Himself, and being Himself the life, neither ceased, nor a second time began, to live in spirit: but no sooner had He by the process of death been released from the infirmity which encompassed Him in the flesh, than immediately (as illustrious divines acknowledge) the energy of His imperishable life began to exert itself in new and most prompt modes of action. Wisely therefore does Hauber refer the burial of our Redeemer in some way to His exaltation, in the Contemplations about the Burial of Jesus Christ , p. 8. Comp. the dissertation of Essenius , p. 10. This quickening, and in connection with it His going and preaching to the spirits, was of necessity quickly followed by the raising of His body from the dead, and His resurrection from the tomb, 1 Peter 3:21 . Christ liveth unto God, Romans 6:10 . Comp. the phrase according to God , ch. 1 Peter 4:6 . The discourse of our Lord, John 6., which Peter had received in a becoming manner, John 6:68 , had been fixed in the heart of Peter; and with that portion, and especially John 6:51 ; John 6:53 ; John 6:62-63 , may be compared that which Peter writes, 1Pe 1:2 ; 1 Peter 1:19 ; 1 Peter 3:18 ; 1Pe 3:22 ; 1 Peter 4:1 .

Verses 18-19

1 Peter 3:18-19 . Πνεύματι πνεύμασι , in spirit; to the spirits ) These expressions are adapted to each other.

Verse 19

1 Peter 3:19 . Ἐν ᾧ ) in which spirit. Christ had to do with the living, in the flesh; with spirits, in spirit. He Himself has efficacy with the living and the dead. There are wonders in that invisible world. In a subject full of mystery, we ought not to dismiss from it the proper signification of the language employed, because it has no parallel passages. For they, to whom each mystery has first been revealed, have most nobly believed the word of God even without parallel passages. For instance, our Saviour only once said, This is My body . The mystery respecting the change of those who shall be alive at the coming of the Lord, is only once written. τοῖς πνεύυασι , to the spirits ) Peter does not say that all the spirits were in that place of confinement, for many might have been in a more gloomy place; but he means, that Christ preached to all who were in confinement. ἐν φυλακῇ , in guard ) The guilty are punished in prison; they are kept in guard , until they experience what the Judge is about to do. The expression about the state of those living under the Old Testament, Galatians 3:23 , bears some analogy to this. πυεύμασι , to the spirits ) of the dead. Comp. Hebrews 12:23 . He does not call them souls , as in the next verse. πορευθεὶς , going ) namely, to those spirits. The same word is used in 1 Peter 3:22 . Those spirits were not in the tomb of Jesus: He went to them. ἐκήρυξεν , He preached ) By this preaching, which followed close upon His being quickened, Christ showed Himself both alive , even then, and righteous . Peter would not say, εὐηγγελίσατο , He preached the Gospel , if even ever so much the preaching of grace only were here designed: for the hearers had fallen asleep before the times of the Gospel ; therefore he uses a word of wider meaning, He preached (or published ). Noah, a preacher of righteousness, was despised, 2 Peter 2:5 ; but Christ was a more powerful preacher , who, when quickened in spirit, vindicated His own righteousness, which was not believed by them of former times, and openly refuted their unbelief, 1 Timothy 3:16 . If he were speaking of preaching by Noah, the word sometime would either be altogether omitted, or be joined with the word preached . This preaching was a prelude to the general judgment; comp. ch. 1 Peter 4:5 ; and the term “preaching” itself is to be taken in its wider sense, that it may be understood to have been to some a preaching of the Gospel, as Hutter says, to their consolation, which is more peculiarly the office of Christ; to others, and perhaps the greater part, a publishing of the law, for their terror. For if the judgment itself shall be a cause of joy to some, assuredly this preaching was not a subject of dread to all. The author of the Adumbrations, which are assigned to Clement of Alexandria and to Cassiodorus, says, They saw not His form, but heard the sound of His voice. Calvin , in his Institutes, 2d Book, ch. 16:9, says, For the context also leads to this conclusion, that the faithful, who had died before that time, were sharers of the same grace with us: because it enhances the power of His death from this circumstance, that it penetrated even to the dead; while the souls of the righteous obtained an immediate view of that visitation, which they had anxiously expected, on the contrary, it was more plainly revealed to the lost, that they are altogether excluded from salvation. And though Peter does not speak with such distinctness, it must not thus be understood as though he mixed together the righteous and the wicked without any difference, but he only wishes to teach, that a perception of the death of Christ was common to both.

Verse 20

1 Peter 3:20 . Ἀπειθήσασι , who had been unbelieving ) who in their life had not believed the patriarchs, when they admonished them in the name of God. ποτὲ , sometime ) This sometime (used in 1Pe 3:5 also with reference to a long time [ago]), and this long-suffering , of which he speaks immediately after, have reference to all ages of the Old Testament previously to the death of Christ. It is called forbearance , Romans 3:26 . Long-suffering preceded the first coming of Christ, as here shown, and His second coming, 2 Peter 3:9 , note. ὅτε , when ) The weak reading, ὅτι , is rightly refuted by Wolf. A certain edition, which has ὂτι , is very corrupt, even in this very word. Some copies have ὂτι , according to Erasmus, even in his first edition; but the Basileensis II . is the only one which is found, from which Erasmus rarely deviated, though he did in this instance, and with reason. ἀπεξεδέχετο [32] ) Other copies have ἅπαξ ἐδέχετο ; but very few have this reading, ε being first corrupted into α , as is often the case; nor does the simple verb δέχεσθαι agree with the passage. See App. Crit. on this place. Ἀπεξεδέχετο , that is, God continued waiting , that men might believe. But there is greater force in the Greek double compound: He continued waiting on, until there was an end of His waiting, in the death of the men. ἐν , in ) Understand οἷον : that is, for instance [to wit], in the days of Noah . The most remarkable species is subjoined to the genus, for these reasons: 1) On no occasion did a greater number perish together than at the deluge. 2) By mention of water , Peter conveniently passes to the subject of baptism. 3) The destruction of the world by water is a prelude to its destruction by fire, 2 Peter 3:6-7 , in conjunction with the last judgment, ch. 1 Peter 4:5 . Nor is it matter of surprise that the word sometime is used in a wider meaning than the days of Noah ; since also the days of Noah altogether were many more than the days of the building of the ark ; but these, however, are immediately added. Compare with this the definite marking of time, which gradually becomes more particular, in Mark 14:30 ; Luke 4:25 ; Deuteronomy 31:10 . O what ample (noble) preaching! κατασκευαζομένης κιβωτοῦ , while an [not the ] ark was in preparation ) Κιβωτοῦ without the article: Hebrews 11:7 . The expression is adapted to the mind of the unbelieving spectators. This building occupied a long season, for it is not probable that many assisted Noah in his work. During the whole of that time especially the long-suffering of God waited. εἰς ἣν , into which ) Having entered into the ark by faith, they sought and found safety. ὀλίγοι , a few ) It is the more probable that some out of so great a multitude repented, when the rain came; and though they had not believed while God was waiting, and while the ark was building, afterwards, when the ark was completed, and punishment assailed them, began to believe; and to these, and to all like them, Christ afterwards presented Himself as a preacher of grace. Luther attributed less weight to this interpretation in his homilies on 1st Peter, published in A.D. 1523; but shortly before his death he more decidedly embraced it. There is a well-known passage in his Comm. on Genesis 7:1 , and his Exposition of Hosea agrees with it, published in the year 1545, in which, ch. 1 Peter 4:2 , he referred the two days (spoken of by the prophet) to the descent into hell; and quoting this passage of Peter, he says; Here Peter plainly says, not only that Christ appeared to the fathers and patriarchs who were dead, some of whom undoubtedly Christ, on His resurrection, raised with Himself to eternal life, but also preached to some who in the time of Noah did not believe, and waited for the patience of God, that is, who hoped that God would not deal so severely with all flesh, in order that they might recognise that THEIR sins were FORGIVEN through the sacrifice of Christ . In accordance with this are the comments of L. Osiander on this passage, of Hutter , in Expl. Concordiæ, p. 993; and also of Peter Martyr , T. I. LL. CC., col. 783. ὀκτὼ , eight ) Ham, who was about to incur the curse, being taken from this number, there were seven, a sacred number. διʼ ὕδατος , through water ) διὰ , through ; an appropriate particle, denoting passage , without consideration either of the peril which threatened from the waters in themselves, or of the safety afforded in their being borne above them in the ark. Thus the following verse accords with this.

[32] So ABC Vulg. Orig. 2,553 d and 4,135 a . Rec. Text has ἅπαξ ἐξεδέχετο , with no authority except Orig. 4,135 a in a MS.

Verse 21

1 Peter 3:21 . Ὃ καὶ ἡμᾶς ἀντίτυπον ) The relative ὅ , which , stands in the place of ὕδωρ , water ; and has ἀντίτυπον added to it as an epithet; but the substantives, baptism and asking [“ answer ”], are put in apposition to it. νῦν , now ) at this time, which is in other respects an evil time. σώζει , saves ) brings us forth from the destruction of the whole world, and of the Jewish people. There is a reference to were saved , 1 Peter 3:20 . Peter shows that, as in former times there were some who perished through unbelief, and others who were saved through faith, so altogether in the New Testament there are some who are saved (as in this passage), others, on the contrary, who perish: ch. 1 Peter 4:4-6 : that they both experience, although in different ways, the efficacy (power) of Christ: which very thing has special force to bring forth the godly from the wicked, and to confirm them in patience. οὐσαρκὸς , not of the flesh ) He declares why and how far baptism has so salutary an effect. There were baptisms also among the Jews; but they were such only as purified the flesh, and to this their efficacy was limited: even now the flesh is washed in baptism, but the washing of the flesh is not that in which baptism really consists, nor does it (baptism) save, so far as it is [ i.e. in respect of its being] done by the hand : comp. Ephesians 2:11 : but so far as it is the asking [“ answer ”] of a good conscience. The word σαρκὸς , of the flesh , is emphatically put first, and the putting away of impurity is ascribed to the flesh [ i.e. “the flesh’s putting away of impurity”] (accordingly it is not said, the putting away of the filth of the flesh [as Engl. Vers.]); and the conscience is opposed to the flesh . συνειδήσεως ἀγαθῆς ἐπερώτημα , [33] the asking of a good conscience ) Daniel 4:14 , שאלתא (parallel to which is פחגמא , a judicial decree , Heb. דבר ), in the Septuagint, ἘΠΕΡΏΤΗΜΑ , in this one passage. But שאל and דרש are oftened rendered by the same by the word ἘΠΕΡΩΤΆΩ . The Greek Scholia have this: ἘΠΕΡΏΤΗΜΑ , ΤΟΥΤΈΣΤΙΝ , ἈῤῬΑΒῺΝ , ἘΝΈΧΥΡΟΝ , ἈΠΌΔΕΙΞΙς , an earnest, a pledge, a proof . There is no doubt but that the apostle had reference to the Hebrew שאלה . It is the part of the godly to ask , to consult, to address God with confidence; but it is the part of the ungodly not to ask Him, or to ask idols: Judges 20:18 ; Judges 20:23 ; Judges 20:27 ; 1 Samuel 10:22 ; 1Sa 23:2 ; 1 Samuel 23:4 ; Isaiah 30:2 ; Hosea 4:12 ; in all which places the Septuagint has ἘΠΕΡΩΤᾷΝ . Therefore it is the asking of a good conscience which saves us; that is, the asking, in which we address God with a good conscience, our sins being forgiven and laid aside. Comp. 1 Peter 3:16 ; Hebrews 10:22 . This asking is given in baptism; and it is exercised in all acts of faith, of prayers, and of Christian life; and God always regards it as worthy of an answer. Comp. Deuteronomy 26:17-18 , את יהוה האמרת , τὸν Θεὸν εἳλου , thou hast chosen God: ויהוה האמירך , ΚΑῚ ΚΎΡΙΟς ΕἽΛΕΤΌ ΣΕ , and the Lord hath chosen thee: Isaiah 19:21 . διʼ ἀναστάσεως , by the resurrection ) Constructed with saves . Comp. ch. 1 Peter 1:3 ; 1 Peter 1:21 .

[33] ἐπερώτημα . The word seems to denote the promises made in baptism. St Luke 2:46 , uses the word ἐπερωτᾷν for questioning, where he speaks of the child Jesus as being found in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions. The word appears to comprehend, as referred to baptism, the mutual questions and answers which make up the process of teaching on one side, and the stipulation on the other. T. See Quarterly Review, vol. 71, p. 332.

Verse 22

1 Peter 3:22 . Ὅς ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ Θεοῦ , καταπιὼν τὸν θάνατον , ἵνα ζωῆς αἰωνίοι κληρονόμοι γενώμεθα ) Such is the reading of the version which is by far the most ancient of all. Who is on the right hand of God, after having swallowed up death, that we might be made the heirs of eternal life . [34] This reading is followed by Augustine, Cassiodorus, Fulgentius, Beda, and, as Mill affirms, by all the Latin writers. See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. Peter derives special uses from the sufferings of Christ, from His death, from His return to life, from His resurrection, from His going into heaven, from His judging the quick and dead; but from His sitting at the right hand of God he either derives no use, or that which is still read in the Latin Version. By His death, Christ altogether destroyed death: but His sitting on the right hand of God presupposes that this death has been once for all exhausted, that He may claim life for us; and it involves a STATE of LIFE which is glorious, eternal, and salutary for us. Acts 2:28 ; Romans 6:9-10 ; Hebrews 7:16 ; Hebrews 7:24-25 ; 1 Corinthians 15:54 ; John 14:19 . The signification of past time in καταπιὼν ought especially to be considered. πορευθεὶς ) after that He had gone . ἀγγέλων , angels ) To Him angels are subject, and that too of all ranks , whether good or evil; and so also are men.

[34] “Qui est in dexterâ Dei, [deglutiens mortem, ut vitæ æternæ hæredes efficeremur.”] Vulgate in Amiat. and other oldest MSS. Fuldensis MS., however, and others, omit the words in brackets; and they are not supported by Greek MSS. E.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/1-peter-3.html. 1897.
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