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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
1 Peter 2

 

 

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Verse 13

13–2:10.] GENERAL EXHORTATIONS FOUNDED ON THE BLESSEDNESS OF THE CHRISTIAN STATE.


Verse 1

1.] Laying aside (aor., ‘once for all:’ ‘having laid aside’) therefore (on the connexion, see above, ch. 1 ult.) all (manner of) malice ( κακία here proper; “nocendi cupiditas,” as Hemming (in Huther): not as Aretius, ib., the genus, of which the following are species. This cannot be well, on account of πάντα δόλον below, which shews that clause to be parallel, not subordinate, to this) and all guile (cf. 1 Peter 2:22; ch. 1 Peter 3:10; John 1:48] and ἄδολον below) and hypocrisies (closely connected with δόλους, and therefore not requiring πάσας, which is supplied from πάντα preceding. δόλος is the abiding disposition, ὑποκρίσεις are the acts of personation and deception which are some of its manifestations) and envies (again embraced under δόλον, but not perhaps so closely connected with it. The guileless disposition knows not envy), and all slanderings (ref. 2 Cor. The verb, but not the subst., is found in classical Greek. Aug(4), cited by Gerhard, says, “Malitia malo delectatur alieno: invidia bono cruciatur alieno: dolus duplicat cor: adulatio duplicat linguam: detrectatio vulnerat famam”),


Verses 1-10

1–10.] Exhortations to nourish and perfect this new life, under the image, α. of newborn babes (1–3), β. of God’s spiritual temple and priesthood (4–10).


Verse 2

2.] as newborn babes (so the Rabbis, of their neophytes: see Wetst. h. l.), long after ( ἐπι- gives, not intensity, but direction) the (the art. confines the reference to the gospel alone) spiritual (I thus render λογικόν, for want of a better and more distinctive word. Its sense is as in ref. Rom., to distinguish the γάλα spoken of from mere σαρκικὸν γάλα, and to shew that it is spoken figuratively and spiritually: “Lac illud animi, non corporis, lac mente hauriendum.” Our English is too poor in psychological distinctions to be able to express it by any appropriate adjective: “reasonable” (vulg.) is decidedly wrong, as E. V. in Rom.; and “of the word,” as E. V., here after Beza, is just as bad) guileless (not ‘unadulterated,’ in contrast to less pure human teachings (cf. δολοῦν τὸν λόγον, 2 Corinthians 4:2): but, in contrast to δόλος above, ‘that is without guile,’ has no byends, no one purpose but to nourish and benefit the soul) milk (not here in contrast, as in 1 Corinthians 3:2 and Hebrews 5:12-13, to strong meat: but simply in reference to its nourishing qualities), that on it (as τεθραμμένος ἐν, ‘fed on,’ see Winer, § 48. a (3). d, note [3, p. 485, Moulton’s edn.]) ye may grow (properly passive: be nourished up) unto salvation (the growth is the measure of the fulness of that—not only rescue from destruction, but—positive blessedness, which is implied in σωτηρία; see on the word above, ch. 1 Peter 1:5):


Verse 3

3.] if, that is (wenn anders of the German. The περ conditions the εἰ, see reff. and notes there: and Æsch. Ag. 28, εἴπερ ἰλίου πόλις ἑάλωκεν, ὡς ὁ φρυκτὸς ἀγγέλλων πρέπει [if so be expresses the same, viz. that the necessary condition of the above exhortation is assumed as having place in the readers]), ye tasted (have tasted. The infant once put to the breast desires it again: the Apostle appeals to this their first taste as an incentive to subsequent ones) that (the formula, from the well-known and beautiful Psalms 34) the Lord (“quod subjicitur: ad quem accedentes, non simpliciter ad Deum refertur, sed ipsum designat qualis patefactus est in persona Christi.” Calv.) is good (reff. Perhaps the simplest meaning of χρηστός, as applied to meats and drinks, is here intended: as vulg., “dulcis:” see Palm and Rost, χρη??James , 1. a).


Verse 4

4.] To whom (i. e. τὸν κύριον) approaching (pres., representing the daily habit of the Christian life, not something to be done once for all. προσέρχεσθαι is elsewhere in the N. T. always with a dat. Its signification here is, the approach made by faith, when the Christian closely realizes the presence and seeks the communion of his Lord), a (or, “the:” the omission of the art. seems to be very frequent in this Epistle, where yet a definite reference is undeniable) stone (“Petrus a petra Christo sic denominatus metaphora petræ delectatur, ac suo exemplo docet omnes debere esse petros, h. e., vivos lapides supra Christum fide ædificatos.” Gerhard, in Wies. The allusion is to Psalms 118:22 and Isaiah 28:16. Obs. that no ὡς must be supplied before λίθον, as is done in E. V. al.: Christ is the stone: we do not come to Him as we come to a stone) living ( ζῶντα points not only to the figure being realized in a higher department of being than its natural one, but also to the fact of the Lord being alive from the dead. It would be unnecessary, were not the idea broached by Steiger, to protest against any allusion being intended to “saxum vivum” (Æn. i. 171: Ov. Met. xiv. 714) as distinguished from broken stones), by men indeed rejected (in Ps. l. c. ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες), but in the sight of God (with God. “Deo judice, coram Deo”) chosen (not merely “eximius,” but selected, chosen out), had in honour (see below on 1 Peter 2:6),


Verse 4-5

4, 5.] Exhortation to come to Christ the chosen stone, and be built up into a spiritual temple unto God.


Verse 5

5.] be ye also as living (see above) stones built up (it is disputed whether οἰκοδομεῖσθε is indicative or imperative. Much is to be said both ways. Wiesinger, who is the ablest recent advocate for the indicative, maintains that the passage is epexegetical of the preceding ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ αὐξηθῆτε, shewing how love to the word, seeking in the word the Lord Himself and His goodness, of itself leads to the completion set forth in 1 Peter 2:5. But I cannot help feeling that this view of epexegesis of ἵνα ἐν αὐτ. αὐξ. is much weakened by the fact that πρὸς ὅν must be referred to κύριος, which is already separated from ἵνα κ. τ. λ. by εἴπερ ἐγεύσασθε κ. τ. λ. And other weightier reasons are behind. On the indicative view, the pres. part. προσερχόμενοι could hardly have been used, but it would surely have been προσελθόντες. This is felt by Luther, who renders it zu welchem ihr gekommen send. Again, the connexion with the foregoing by a participle, proceeding on to an imperative, exactly corresponds to the former hortatory sentences, ch. 1 Peter 1:13-14; 1 Peter 1:22, and 1 Peter 2:1. Finally, the long procession of mere predications, on this view, would be tame and almost tautological, in comparison with the powerful gathering up with the οὐν, 1 Peter 2:7, of the high and holy state on which the preceding exhortation depends, as contrasted with that of the unbelieving. I therefore decide for the imperative, against Syr. (Etheridge: “you also as living stones are builded”), Estius, Grot, Beng., al., and Wiesinger, and with Œc., Syr. (as commonly quoted), Beza, Aret., Benson, Steiger, De Wette, Huther) a spiritual house ( οἶκος = ναός, 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:21; as before, the stones are called living, and the house spiritual, not merely to signify that they are not dead stones, and the house not a material one, but on account of the life which Christians derive from Christ, the living Stone, and of the service which they render in virtue of being a body dwelt in by the Holy Spirit) for (see var. readd.) an holy priesthood (abstract, office of priesthood, including in itself the individual priests: see ref. Exod. Being God’s spiritual temple, they form an holy priesthood to Him, approaching and serving before Him in virtue of that Living and Holy One, whose mystic Body they are, and in whom the Father is well pleased: And they need no other by whom to approach God: being all priests, they require not, nor admit of, any distinct body of men among themselves specially called priests, nearer to God than themselves. No where is this more clearly declared by inference, than here) to offer up ( ἀναφέρειν, not occurring in St. Paul, nor in the classics, but (reff.) in Heb. and St. James, is the regular LXX word for offering up sacrifice. The aor. is here used, because no habitual offering, as in rite or festival, is meant, but the one, once-for-all, devotion of the body, as in Romans 12:1, to God as His. On the infin. of the purpose, see Winer, § 44. 1) spiritual sacrifices (cf. especially Hebrews 13:15-16. Spiritual, because as the temple, as the priests, as the God, so the offering. It is this, rather than any distinction from the O. T. sacrifices, that is pointed at in πνευματικάς) acceptable (reff.) to God through Jesus Christ (these last words may be joined, either, 1. with εὐπροσδέκτους, or, 2. with ἀνενέγκαι. This latter has for it the analogy of Hebrews 13:15, διʼ αὐτοῦ οὖν ἀναφέρωμεν κ. τ. λ., and is preferred by Grot., Aret., De Wette, Huther, Wiesinger: and I think reasonably. The introduction of διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ as a mere appendage of εὐπροσδέκτους would not satisfy the weighty character of the words, nay would seem to put them in the wrong place, seeing that not merely the acceptability, but the very existence, and possibility of offering, of those sacrifices depends on the mediation of the great High Priest).


Verse 6

6.] The exhortation of the previous verses is substantiated in its form and its assertions by O. T. prophecy. Because (q. d. the aforesaid is so, on the ground of Scripture) it is contained (reff.: and for the impersonal sense, Jos. Antt. xi. 4. 7, καθὼς ἐν αὐτῇ ( τῇ ἐπιστολῇ) περιέχει. Hence περιοχή, the contents or argument of a book or portion of a book, in later Greek) in Scripture ( γραφῇ, in its technical sense, anarthrous: not so found in the Gospels, but Romans 1:2; Romans 16:26; 2 Peter 1:20), Behold, I place in Zion a chief corner-stone, chosen, had in honour (the citation is a free one: τίθημι ἐν σιών representing ἐμβάλλω εἰς τὰ θεμέλια σιών,—the epithet πολυτελῆ being omitted, and ἐκλεκτόν and ἀκρογωνιαῖον transposed): and he that believeth on Him (or, ‘it:’ ἐπʼ αὐτῷ is not in the LXX-B., but is found in (5) (6)) shall not be ashamed (it is remarkable, that St. Paul in citing the same prophecy, Romans 9:33, has in common with St. Peter the two divergences from the LXX, the τίθημι ἐν σιών, and the insertion (?) of ἐπʼ αὐτῷ. On ἀκρογωνιαῖον, see ref. Eph. note. Here, whatever may be the case there, can hardly be any idea of the ‘lapis summangularis’ joining the two walls, Jewish and Gentile, together, as some (e. g. Œc.) have thought).


Verse 7

7.] To you (dat. commodi) then (inference from the ὁ πιστεύων ἐπʼ αὐτῷ κ. τ. λ.) is the honour (the τιμή) belonging to the Stone itself ( ἔντιμον above), with which you are united in the building: the honour implied in the οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ said of those who believe on Him. There can be, I think, no doubt that these two commonly divergent accounts given of the word τιμή ought to be combined in one. That the result of the οὐ μὴ καταισχυνθῇ is what the Apostle means to state, is evident by the οὖν and τοῖς πιστεύουσιν: that the form in which this is stated is ὑμῖν ἡ τιμή, is evidently owing to the occurrence of ἔντιμον above. It is as plainly altogether beside the purpose, with Erasm., Luth., Calv., Aret., Bengel, al., to understand ‘Christ,’ or ‘the Stone,’ as the subject, and render as E. V., “He is precious,” making ἡ τιμή predicate instead of subject) who believe: but to the disobedient (not, the unbelieving: see Hebrews 3:18, note. Unbelief is the root of ἀπείθεια: but it is the manner of Scripture, to follow it out into disobedience, its invariable effect, when spoken of in contrast to πίστις. The dat. is not one of reference, but incommodi. Then what follows is in the form of another quotation, or rather combination of quotations: the first from Psalms 118:22), the stone which the builders rejected, this has become for a (has been made into a) head corner-stone (this is true with regard to believers also: but to them it is grace and glory, to these it is terror and destruction), and a stone of stumbling and rock of offence (second quotation from Isaiah 8:14. Here again, St. Paul in Romans 9:33 has taken the same words, differing from the LXX, but agreeing with the Hebrew. This stumbling is not mere mental offence, which, e. g. they take at the preaching of the Cross; but the “stumbling upon the dark mountains” of Jeremiah 13:16, see Proverbs 4:19; Daniel 11:19; the eternal disgrace and ruin which forms the contrast to τιμή above. Cf. on πέτρα σκανδάλου, Matthew 16:23, note [the very expression carries a reminiscence of Peter’s own days of unbelief, when he was an offence,—he, πέτρος,—to his Lord]),


Verse 7-8

7, 8.] Appropriation of the honour implied in the last clause to believers: and per contra, to unbelievers, of another and opposite effect of the exaltation of this cornerstone.


Verse 8

8.] who stumble, being disobedient to the word ( τῷ λόγῳ belongs to ἀπειθοῦντες, not as E. V. after vulg., Erasm., Luth., Beza, Estius, al., to προσκόπτουσιν, which is doubly objectionable, in, 1. making ἀπειθοῦντες a mere tautology from ἀπειθοῦσιν before: 2. giving a place not prominent enough to τῷ λόγῳ, whereas on the other rendering it takes its proper place, as being the means of growth to the Christian, and rejected by the disobedient: 3. confining the sense of ‘stumbling’ (see above) to a mere subjective one: 4. opposing the analogy of ch. 1 Peter 3:1 and 1 Peter 4:17. Cf. Wolf, in loc.: “Qui impingunt, nempe, in lapidem illum angularem, verbo non credentes (obedientes?): quo ipso et offensio ipsa et ejus causa indicatur”), for which (thing, fact, viz. the προσκόπτειν, τῷ λόγῳ ἀπειθοῦσιν, their whole moral course of delinquency and the πρόσκομμα at the end of it) they were also ( καί, besides that they reach it, there is another consideration) appointed (set where they are, or were; viz. by Him who τίθησιν, above, the stone of stumbling. This exposition is certain, notwithstanding the protests of Œc., Did., al. Nor can I see how Bengel can escape, with his διττολογία, “Positi sunt respondet τῷ pono 1 Peter 2:6; sed cum differentia. Nam Deus Christum et electos active dicitur ponere; infideles dicuntur poni, passive.” What inference would he deduce from this? Would he take themselves as the agents, as Œc., Did., “Ad non credendum a semetipsis sunt positi,” thus passing over καί, and making the clause a vapid tautology? Or would he say with Aretius, “Non Deus certe, sed Satan tales posuit,” thus making in the world’s moral arrangement, Satan a coordinate power with God?).


Verse 9

9.] But ye (emphatic) are a chosen generation (not, as De Wette, “the chosen generation;” though this is implied, it is not in the words, nor does it correspond with the indefinite predicates which follow. On the expression, cf. ref. Isa., τὸ γένος μου τὸ ἐκλεκτόν. γένος betokens a common origin and unity of related life: but perhaps Wiesinger goes too far in pressing the idea here), a kingly priesthood ( ἱεράτευμα as above, see note. The expression is from the LXX of Exodus 19:6. Cf. Revelation 1:6, ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς βασιλείαν ἱερεῖς τῷ θεῷ, and 1 Peter 5:10. In the N. T. church these two elements, the kingship and the priesthood, are united in every individual believer, as in our great Head, Jesus Christ, who alone unites them in the O. T. church; the two coexisting, but never, except in the case of Melchisedek His foretype, united in the same Person), an holy nation (also from Exodus 19:6, LXX God’s declaration at Sinai respecting Israel), a people for acquisition (i. e. peculiarly God’s own, as interpreted by what follows in the place of Isaiah referred to, as well as here. There it stands, λαόν μου ὃν περιεποιησάμην τὰς ἀρετάς μου διηγεῖσθαι. See, on the word, ref. 1 Thess. note. In the place of Exodus which was before quoted, ch. Exodus 19:5, we read ἔσεσθέ μοι λαὸς περιούσιος ἀπὸ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν. See also Deuteronomy 7:6. Œc. says, περιποίησιν ἡμᾶς καλεῖ διὰ τὸ περιποιήσασθαι ἡμᾶς τὸν θεόν, as in Acts 20:28, τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ, ἣν περιεποιήσατο διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ ἰδίου), that ye may tell out ( ἐξαγγ. not = ἀναγγ. The prep. gives the sense of publishing forth) the virtuess (i. e. gracious dealings, excellent and glorious attributes: see Isa. above, and in reff. Philo repeatedly uses ἀρεταί in this sense; e. g. De Mut. Nom. § 34, vol. i. p. 606, πολλὴ δὲ ἄγνοια νομίζειν τὰς θεοῦ ἀρετὰς τὰς ἀῤῥεπεῖς καὶ παγιωτάτας χωρῆσαι ψυχὴν ἀνθρώπου δύνασθαι.… ἀκράτους μὲν γὰρ ἀναγκαῖον εἶναι τὰς τοῦ θεοῦ ἀρετάς: see other passages in Loesner) of Him (God: the Father) who called you out of darkness (“tenebræ ignorantiæ, errorum, peccatorum, miseriæ, adeoque totum diaboli regnum,” Gerh.) to (not exactly “into:” εἰς with καλέσαντος gives more the aim of the call, than its local result: to, i. e. to attain unto and be partakers of: to walk in and by) His wonderful light (this expression here can hardly mean the light of our Christian life only; but must import that light of God’s own Presence and Being, after which our walking in light is to be fashioned: the light to which St. John alludes, when he says, ἐὰν ἐν τῷ φωτὶ περιπατῶμεν, ὡς αὐτός ἐστιν ἐν τῷ φωτί. Had not this been intended, surely neither εἰς nor αὐτοῦ would have been used. “It is wonderful,” says De Wette, “just as to one coming out of long darkness the light of day would be wonderful.” The figure of the corner-stone has not quite passed away from the Apostle’s mind; in the end of the prophecy concerning which we read, Ps. 117:23 (Matthew 21:42), παρὰ κυρίου ἐγένετο αὕτη, καὶ ἔστιν θαυμαστὴ ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖς ἡμῶν:


Verse 9-10

9, 10.] Contrast, in a glorious description of the office, privilege, and function, of the enlightened and adopted people of God.


Verse 10

10.] who (contrast between their former and present states) were once no people (the Apostle is again citing, or rather clothing that which he has to write in, O. T. words. In Hosea 2:23 A, we read ἐλεήσω τὴν οὐκ ἠλεημένην, καὶ ἐρῶ τῷ οὐ λαῷ μου λαός μου εἶ σύ), but (are) now the people of God (these words, as Wies. maintains, apply most properly to Gentile Christians, although spoken in the prophecy of Jews, St. Paul thus uses them, Romans 9:25; and it is not impossible that that passage may have been in St. Peter’s mind), who were unpitied (of God: the οὑκ here and above, not merely negatives, but contraries: not “who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy,” as E. V., indicating a mere change of time in order of progress, but who were unpitied, objects of aversion and wrath), but now compassionated (the aor. part. has a fine and delicate force which cannot be given in a version: q. d. who were men who (have received no pity), but now men who (received pity), viz. when God called you by Christ).


Verse 11

11.] Beloved (as this word is only found once again in this Epistle, ch. 1 Peter 4:12, we may apply to it Wiesinger’s remark, “The seldomer our Apostle uses this endearing term, the weightier it is where it does occur as the opening of a hortatory discourse”), I exhort you as sojourners (see ref. Eph. and note) and strangers (see on ch. 1 Peter 1:1. This primary and literal meaning of the word is probably the uppermost one here, seeing that the Apostle is speaking of behaviour among the Gentiles. Still, from the more general reference of this first exhortation, the other and wider reference, “quia filii Dei, ubicunque terrarum agant, mundi sunt hospites” (Calv.), must not be left out of sight. These words, παροίκ. κ. παρεπιδ., belong, not to παρακαλῶ, as Huther, al., but to ἀπέχεσθαι. They form the ground why the readers should abstain, not why the Writer should exhort. In νουθετεῖτε ὡς ἀδελφόν, 2 Thessalonians 3:15, we have the other case) to abstain (or, with the reading - σθε, abstain) from the carnal lusts (= αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι τῆς σαρκός, reff. Eph. and 2 Pet.; αἱ κοσμικαὶ ἐπιθυμίαι, Titus 2:12. Here, it is, from the context, the walking and acting in the indulgence of these lusts which the Apostle is forbidding. See them enumerated in Galatians 5:19-21), the which ( αἵτινες, not = αἵ, but gathers up into a class the ἐπιθυμίαι and asserts it of all of them that they &c.: thus rendering a reason, ‘quippe quæ.’ With αἵ, it might have been taken, “from those fleshly lusts, which” &c.) war (ref. James and Romans 7:23. “Non modo impediunt, sed oppugnant: grande verbum.” Bengel) against the soul ( ψυχή, the man’s personal immortal part. as opposed to his body, his μέλη in which the ἐπιθυμίαι στρατεύονται, is held in suspension between influences from above and influences from beneath: drawn up and saved, or drawn down and ruined. And among its adversaries are these fleshly lusts, warring against it to its ruin):


Verse 11-12

11, 12.] 1 Peter 2:11, negative, exhorts to abstinence from fleshly lusts: 1 Peter 2:12, positive, to cause the unconverted Gentiles around, by their fair Christian walk, to glorify God.


Verse 11

11–4:6.] Exhortations to walk christianly and worthily towards and among those without who speak and act in a hostile manner. Hitherto we have seen them exhorted to walk worthily of their calling as distinguished from their own former walk: now the Apostle exhorts them to glorify God before an ungodly and persecuting world.


Verse 12

12.] Positive result of this abstinence, and its important fruit: having (we have the same disjunction of the construction in Ephesians 4:1-2, παρακαλῶὑμᾶςἀνεχάμενοι. It serves to give vividness to the description, taking the participle out from under the παρακαλῶ, and depicting, as it were, the condition recommended, as actually existing. It is so eminently, though not under exactly the same circumstances as to construction, in the beautiful procession of participles and adjectives in Romans 12:9-19) your behaviour among the Gentiles comely (as over against the ματαία ἀναστροφή of the Gentiles, ch. 1 Peter 1:18. Cf. ch. 1 Peter 3:16), that (aim of the preceding) in the matter in which (so ἐν ᾧ in reff.: not, ‘while,’ for that would not apply to δοξάσωσιν below: both could not be going on together: nor “whereas,” E. V., “pro eo quod,” Beza, for which sense of ἐν ᾧ there is no precedent. The sense is, ‘that that conduct, which was to them an occasion of speaking against you as evil-doers, may by your good works become to them an occasion of glorifying God.’ And ‘that, in which,’ will be in fact your whole Christian life) they speak against you at evildoers (often the Christians would be compelled to diverge from heathen customs and even to break human laws, and thus would incur the imputation of malefactors), they may, on the ground of your good works, being spectators of them (contrast to the ignorance assumed in the ἀγνωσία τῶν ἀφρόνων ἀνθρώπων below, 1 Peter 2:15. On the word, see reff.: and cf. ἐπόπτης, an eye-witness, 2 Peter 1:16), glorify God in (the) day of visitation (i. e., the day when God visits,— ἐπισκέπτεται, Luke 1:68; Luke 1:78; Acts 15:14,—mankind with His offers of mercy and grace: cf. also ref. Luke, where our Lord says of Jerusalem, οὐκ ἔγνως τὸν καιρὸν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς σου. The word has been variously understood: the Fathers generally (cf. Suicer in voc.), Lyra, Erasm, Beza, De Wette, al. explain it as above: Œc, Wolf., Bengel, al. think that the day of inquisition before earthly magistrates is meant ( ἡμέραν δὲ ἐπισκοπῆς τὴν κατὰ κόσμον ἐξέτασιν καλεῖ· ἐξετάσεως γὰρ ὑπʼ αὐτῶν τοῦ βίου ἡμῶν γενομένης, εἶτα πρὸς τὸ ἐναντίον τῆς ὑπολήψεως τῶν πραγμάτων εὑρισκομένων αὐτοί τε πρὸς οἷς αἰσχύνονται ἐπανορθοῦνται, καὶ ὁ θεὸς δοξάζεται. Œc.). Bed(7), al. understand it of the day of judgment. But the former sense is far preferable on account of usage, and for its fitness in the context).


Verse 13

13.] Be subjected (aor. pass. with a quasimiddle sense, given by the aorist coupled with the fact of the command: be in a condition of having been subjected: on the medial signification of aorists passive in N. T. see on ch. 1 Peter 5:6) to every human institution (“quod creat et condit homo,” Luth. Such, and not “every human creature,” as Syr., Erasm., Estius, Pott, De Wette, is the meaning. The latter would stultify what follows: for it is not to the king as a man, but to the king as a human institution, that we are to be subject. And so Œc., κτίσιν ἀνθρωπίνην τὰς ἀρχὰς λέγει τὰς χειροτονητὰς ὑπὸ τῶν βασιλέων, ἢ καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς βασιλεῖς, καθότι καὶ αὐτοὶ ὑπὸ ἀνθρώπων ἐτάχθησαν ἤτοι ἐτέθησαν. It is no objection to this, that all powers are ordained of God: for that consideration does not come into notice in these words, but in those which follow, διὰ τ. κύριον. Here, it is the lower side of such institutions, the fact of their being ordained and upheld by men, that is brought into sight) for the Lord’s sake (i. e. Christ’s: κύριος with St. Peter, except in O. T. citations, is always our Lord. And here there is additional reason, for that He, the Head of all principality and power, is yet in us his members subject to them, until the day when all shall be put under His feet): whether to king (general,—but, from the nature of the case as regarded those to whom the Epistle is addressed, here the Roman Emperor) as supereminent (“qui ita imperat, ut ab aliis hominibus ipsi non imperetur,” Gerh.),


Verses 13-17

13–17.] Exhortation to subjection to secular rule.


Verse 14

14.] or to governors (“ ἡγεμόνες præsides provinciarum, qui a Cæsare mittebantur in provincias,” Gerh.) as to men sent (in the habit of being sent,—sent from time to time: the pres. part. describes the genus: the particular ἡγεμόνες would be described as πεμφθέντες) through him (the king, not κυρίου, as some, and Calvin very positively, “qui pronomen ad regem referunt multum falluntur.” But there can be little doubt that he is wrong. For first the analogy of the clauses, ὡς ὑπερέχοντιὡς διʼ αὐτοῦ πεμπομένοις, shews that the grounds of obedience in each case, all being alike διὰ κύριον, belong to the actually existing rights of power in that case. The king is supreme, in his own right: governors rule by delegation from the king, ‘mittunturδιʼ αὐτοῦ. Then, the right understanding of διὰ κύριον, as applying to all, forbids this view. For thus we should obey the king as ὑπερέχων, no mention of the Lord being made, whereas rulers are to be obeyed as sent by the Lord. Finally, the prep. διὰ, as distinguished from ὑπό, designates rather the subordinate than the original sender. A governor could surely not be said to be sent διὰ κυρίου) for (to bring about) vengeance on (as in ref.: ἐκδίκησις, being a ‘vox media,’ has another meaning, that of “avenging of,” in Luke 18:7-8. Œc., taking it in this latter meaning, gives a convenient limitation to the duty, which was the furthest possible from the mind of the Apostle: ἔδειξε καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ πέτρος τίσι καὶ ποίοις ἄρχουσιν ὑποτάσσεσθαι δεῖ, ὅτι τοῖς τὸ δίκαιον ἐκδικοῦσιν) evil-doers, and praise of well-doers.


Verse 15

15.] For (ground of ὑποτάγητε; correlative with, but not going so for as, the purpose announced in 1 Peter 2:12) so (after this manner, in this direction and wise: viz. as follows, ἀγαθοποιοῦντας φιμοῦν κ. τ. λ.) is (‘se trouve,’ κεῖται) the will (thing willed, concrete result of the will) of God, that doing good (the anarthrous participle carries the reason with it: by doing good: “with well-doing,” E. V.) ye (necessarily understood) put to silence the ignorance (“Locutio quam usurpat, ‘obstruere ignorantiam,’ quamvis per novitatem dura sit, sensum tamen non obscurat.” Calv. On the word φιμόω, see reff.; and Palm and Rost’s Lex.

ἀγνωσία, see the instructive parallel, ref. 1 Cor., is not simply ignorance of this or that fact, but a state of lack of knowledge or understanding, habitual ignorance. This state is here introduced as speaking, “having (as Wiesinger) ever its mouth open rather than its eyes,” ready to cry out upon any mere appearance of things as misunderstood by it) of the foolish men (above designated: those viz. who καταλαλοῦσιν ὑμῶν ὡς κακοποιῶν; not, “of foolish men” in general, as E. V.).


Verse 16

16.] The connexion is somewhat doubtful. Chrys. (in Cramer’s Catena), Œc., Bengel, Gerh., De Wette, join ὡς ἐλεύθεροι with ὑποτάγητε above, 1 Peter 2:13; Bed(8), Luther, Calv., Hammond, Wiesinger, with ἀγαθοποιοῦντας, 1 Peter 2:15; Steiger, Huther, with the following, 1 Peter 2:17. This latter seems quite untenable, as carrying no application on from 1 Peter 2:16 to 1 Peter 2:17. No one would think of pleading his freedom as an excuse for not honouring all, or for not loving the brethren, or for not fearing God: or indeed for not, in some sense, honouring the King. But in a matter of subjection, such ἐλευθερία might be and often is made a cloak for disobedience. Connecting then ὡς ἐλεύθ. with what has preceded, which of the other connexions are we to take? That with ὑποτάγητε seems too distant: it may certainly be said that 1 Peter 2:17 brings in again the general duty in its most simple form: but even thus we can hardly account for the parenthetical 1 Peter 2:15, so unparenthetical in its aspect and construction. Whereas if we join ὡς ἐλεύθ. to 1 Peter 2:15, we obtain, as Wiesinger well argues, an epexegesis which that verse seems to need,—for it is almost a truism that we are to accomplish the φιμοῦν by ἀγαθοποιεῖν, unless some explanation be given of the particular circumstances under which this is to take place. I regard then 1 Peter 2:16 as an epexegesis of 1 Peter 2:15, not carrying on the construction with an accus. but with a nom. as already in 1 Peter 2:12, and indeed even more naturally here, because not the act consequent on ἀγαθοποιεῖν, as there on ἀπέχεσθαι, is specified, but the antecedent state and Christian mode of ἀγαθοποιεῖν. As free (children of God, His family and people, His kingly priesthood: not merely free from the law, or free from sin, or free from earthly subjection, but generally and abstractedly free—Christ’s freed men), and not as ( ὡς belongs to ἔχοντες, not to ἐπικάλυμμα) having (cf. above, 1 Peter 2:12) your freedom (for) a veil (reff.) of your evil intent (the τῆς, hypothetical: of the evil intent which using your freedom as a veil would necessarily presuppose), but as God’s (emphatic) servants (and therefore bound to submit yourselves to that which God ordains).


Verse 17

17.] A pithy general statement ( πάντας τιμήσατε, see below) of the whole department of Christian duty of which the Apostle is now speaking: then a note of transition, by the three following commands, to the next paragraph, where he severs the general into the special duties. Give honour to all men (i. e. by the force of the aor. imperat., to each man according as the case, which requires it, arises, q. d. ‘in every case render promptly every man’s due:’ = ἀπόδοτε πᾶσιν τὰς ὀφειλάς, Romans 13:7. So that the distinction between this and τιμᾶτε below is a clear one: see there. And by this force of the aor., this first precept assumes a place of general and wide-reaching reference, which then is severed by the three following present imperatives into three great branches, before the relations of ordinary life are introduced 1 Peter 2:18, with participial forms). Love (as your habit of mind and act, pres.) the brotherhood (the aggregate of οἱ ἀδελφοί: see ref. and compare ἱεράτευμα above, 1 Peter 2:9), fear God, honour (both these latter as continuing habits, frames of mind and courses of action) the king.


Verse 18

18.] Ye servants ( οἰκέτης, a domestic servant: a milder designation than δοῦλος. Possibly, as Steiger supposes, it may be here used to include the ‘liberti’ who still remained in their master’s house), [by being] in subjection (the part. carries on, immediately, the πάντας τιμήσατε above; but also belongs, at a greater distance, to the whole of the last paragraph, as a general designation of the habitual conduct, in and by which they were to shew forth an honest conversation among the Gentiles) in all fear ( ἐν παντὶ φόβῳ provides, by its wide generality, for the case by and by to be specially commented on. φόβος, not merely the reverence of an inferior, but the awe of one in subjection) to your masters; not only to the good (kind) and considerate (see note, ref. Phil.: those who make reasonable allowances, and exact no more), but also to the perverse ( σκολιός = עִקֵּשׁ, ref. Deut.: crooked, in deviating from right and justice, see note on ref. Phil. These masters are, as Gerh., “sævi et intractabiles, duri ac morosi”).


Verses 18-25

18–25.] Exhortation to servants to be obedient to their masters.


Verse 19

19.] For this is thankworthy (as in ref. Luke, εἰ ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἀγαπῶντας ὑμᾶς, ποία ὑμῖν χάρις ἐστί; i. e. what recognition at God’s hand in the day when He will come, and His reward with Him (= τίνα μισθὸν ἔχετε; Matthew 5:46)? It is said of something, to do or suffer which is out of, beyond, the ordinary course of what might have been expected. The meaning attempted by Wiesinger after Steiger, “this is grace,” i. e. a mark of divine grace, does not suit 1 Peter 2:20, χάρις παρά, not θεοῦ, but θεῷ: and is condemned by the passage in St. Luke. The idea that it means “gratiam divinam concilians,” Wahl, leading on to “hoc est opus supererogationis,” Lyra, is theologically inadmissible, besides doing violence to the construction. The E. V. has hit the meaning very well. Cf. Calvin: “Idem valet nomen gratiæ quod laudis. Intelligit enim nullam gratiam vel laudem conciliari nobis coram Deo, si pœnam sustinemus quam nostris delictis simus promeriti: sed qui patienter ferunt injurias, eos laude dignos esse, et opus facere Deo acceptum”), if ( εἰ ὑποφέρει τις = τὸ ὑποφέρειν τινά, forms an apposition to and epexegesis of τοῦτο: see for the infin. 2 Corinthians 2:1; 2 Corinthians 7:11, and for instances of ὅτι, ἵνα, &c. Winer, § 23. 5. We have ἐάν after τοῦτο in 1 John 2:3) on account of consciousness of God (realization in a man’s inner being, of God’s presence and relation to himself: cf. συνείδ. ἁμαρτιῶν, Hebrews 10:2. Calov. says perhaps too much: “quia conscius est id Deum velle et Deo gratum esse.” Better Calvin, “Hoc enim valet conscientia Dei, dum quis non hominum, sed Dei respectu officio suo fungitur”) any one endures (as a superimposed burden, see reff., but here induced perhaps by the idea of ὑποταγή which is dominant throughout: so De Wette) tribulations (“res tristitiam afferentes,” Wahl: cf. λυπηθέντες, ch. 1 Peter 1:6), suffering wrongfully ( ἀδίκως here emphatic, as carrying the transition to the next step of the argument).


Verse 19-20

19, 20.] Reason for being subject to the perverse; that it is well pleasing to God when we suffer for well-doing.


Verse 20

20.] For (proof of the foregoing by assuming (interrogatively) the refutation of the contrary) what kind of (was fur ein, Wies. But the qualitative force of ποῖος in an interrogation of this kind must not be pressed; it is of the slightest tinge imaginable: cf. the similar questions above from St. Matt. and St. Luke) glory (is it) (the word κλέος is perfectly general, and must not (as Bengel) be supplied with παρὰ θεῷ. What credit is due …? = τί περισσὸν ποιεῖτε; Matthew 5:47) if doing wrong and being buffeted (the participles are in close logical connexion, and both of them describe enduring habit, not the occurrence merely of one such case, not ἁμαρτήσαντες κ. κολαφιζόμενοι. “When ye be buffeted for your faults,” E. V., is somewhat too wide: “When ye do wrong and are buffeted for it” would express the Greek more closely.

κολαφιζ., reff.: here perhaps in the literal sense, as Bengel, “pœna servorum, eaque subita”) ye shall endure it ( ὑπομενεῖτε, not, as De Wette, only “the reluctant dull endurance of a criminal who cannot avoid his punishment:” this mars the hypothesis, which requires that the same kind of endurance should belong to both its sides, the only difference being in suffering justly and unjustly. So that ὑπομενεῖτε must carry the sense of ὑπομονή, patient endurance: as E. V., “ye shall take it patiently”)? but if well-doing and suffering (for it) (these last words are amply justified by the logical connexion of the participles, see above) ye shall endure it (it is glory) (with the reading τοῦτο γάρ below, it becomes necessary to supply, mentally at least, some such words): for this is thankworthy (see above) with (in the estimation of: see Luke 2:52) God.


Verse 21

21.] For (proof that undeserved suffering is χάρις παρὰ θεῷ, by the instance of Christ’s sufferings, which were our example) to this (state, viz. the endurance of wrongful sufferings) ye were called: because (ground of the assertion εἰς τοῦτο ἐκλήθητε) Christ also (the καί applies to the ἔπαθεν ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν, the words ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν carrying with them the ἀγαθοποιῶν, as explained below, 1 Peter 2:24) suffered for you, leaving behind for you (emphatic repetition from the former ὑμῶν. Tischendorf’s reasoning, edn. 7, that ἡμῶν, ὑμῖν was probably the original reading, and has given rise to ἡμῶν ἡμῖν and ὑμῶν ὑμῖν, may be met by the above consideration in favour of the more ancient reading. [In edn. 8 Tischdf. reads as in text.] ὑπολιμπάνω is a late form of ὑπολείπω. Themist. Orat. x. p. 139 D, is the only place quoted for this sense: Dion. Hal. i. 23 uses the 2 aor. in an intransitive sense, of streams failing,— τὰ δʼ ὑπελίμπανε θέρους, τὰ δʼ εἰς τέλος ἀπεσβέννυτο. On the pres. part. here, Bengel remarks, “in abitu ad Patrem.” It gives the abiding intent of the single fact ἔπαθεν: and might be rendered ‘ut relinqueret’) a copy ( ὑπογραμμός, a pattern to write or paint by: technically, ὑπογραμμοὶ παιδικοί were formulæ given by writing-masters to their pupils, containing all the letters of the alphabet. Clem. Strom, v. 8. 50, p. 675 P., who gives examples of them) that ye should follow upon ( ἐπακολουθέω, follow close upon, the ἐπί denoting close application to: it is a word commonly used of following behind another) His footsteps (so in reff.):


Verse 22

22.] Further expansion of this example of Christ, making it plain that He ἀγαθοποιῶν καὶ πάσχων ὑπέμεινεν:—who never did (the aor. gives the force, as distinguished from the imperf. ἐποίει, of “never in a single instance”) sin (the words are almost a citation from Isaiah 53:9, A[(9)3a], ἀνομίαν οὐκ ἐποίησεν, οὐδὲ εὑπέθη δόλος ἐν τῷ στόματι αὐτοῦ) nor yet (climax: not only did He never sin in act, but not even …) was guile ever found (“non deprehendebatur fraudulenta locutus,” Wiesinger: cf. Winer, § 65. 8, on this sense of εὑρίσκομαι) in His mouth:


Verse 23

23.] who when reviled, reviled not again (a proof of his ὑπομονή. Isaiah 53:7 is before the Apostle), when suffering threatened not (both these, imperfects, denoting constant habit. The order is again that of climax: from λοιδορούμενος to πάσχων, from οὐκ ἀντελοιδόρει to οὐκ ἠπείλει): but (see on this particular use of δέ as a stronger contrast than ἀλλά, on Hebrews 2:6. It is nearly our ‘yea, rather:’ removing the thing previously negatived altogether out of our field of view, and substituting something totally different for it) delivered (them) (see below) up (what? Most Commentators supply ἑαυτόν [ so E. V.], or ‘causam suam,’ both of which seem out of place and hardly justified by the usage of the verb. Rather would I supply an object out of the λοιδορούμενος and πάσχων foregoing, either, with Huther and Wiesinger, “His reproaches and sufferings,” or, which seems to me better, “those who inflicted them:” perhaps not without reference to “Father, forgive them: for they know not what they do”) to Him that judgeth (pres., whose office it is to judge) righteously (i. e. the Father: designated in ref. as ὁ ἀπροσωπολήμπτως κρίνων. Calv. says well, “Qui sibi ad expetendam vindictam indulgent, non judicis officium Deo concedunt, sed quodam modo facere volunt suum carnificem”).


Verse 24

24.] who Himself (now the ἀγαθοποιῶν reaches its height. He was not only negatively innocent, 1 Peter 2:22, but suffered in the pursuance of the noblest purpose of love, and that love towards us: by which fact His example is further brought home and endeared to us) bore our sins (but in the pregnant sense of “bore to sacrifice,” “carried and offered up:” see notes on James 2:21, ἀβραὰμ.… ἀνενέγκας ἰσαὰκἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον: see Leviticus 14:20; Hebrews 7:27. It is a word belonging to sacrifice, and not to be dissociated from it. In Isaiah 53:12, αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνένεγκεν, (Hebrews 9:28,) we have the sense of bearing on Himself more prominent: and by that passage our rendering here must be regulated: always remembering that the other sense lies behind) in His (own) (this is almost required by the repetition of αὐτοῦ after αὐτός, when it might have been well omitted, if no emphasis had been intended) body on the tree (constr. prægn., “took them to the tree and offered them up on it;” as the above sense of ἀνήνεγκεν necessitates. Cf. Vitringa in Huther: “Vix uno verbo ἔμφασις vocis ἀναφέρειν exprimi potest. Nota ferre et offerre. Primo dicere voluit Petrus, Christum portasse peccata nostra, in quantum illa ipsi erant imposita. Secundo, ita tulisse peccata nostra, ut ea secum obtulerit in altari. Respicit ad animantes, quibus peccata primo imponebantur, quique deinceps peccatis onusti offerebantur. Sed in quam aram ξύλον ait Petrus, lignum, h. e., crucem”); tha (purpose of that great and crowning suffering of the Lord) having died (not, as some Commentators, “having past away,” being removed to a distance (“longefacti a peccatis,” Grot.), but literally, “having died:” so Herod. ii. 85, 136, μηδʼ ἄλλον μηδένα τῶν ἑαυτοῦ ἀπογενόμενον θάψαι: 1 Peter 2:4, vi. 58, and other examples in Raphel and Wetstein) to our sins (reff.), we should live to righteousness (the same contrast is found, but with another image, of being freed from, and become servants to, in Romans 6:18. In Romans 6:11, where the same figure of death and life is used, it is νεκροὺς τῇ ἁμαρτίᾳ, ζῶντας δὲ τῷ θεῷ), by whose stripe ye were healed ( μώλωψ, the weal left by a stripe. From Isaiah 53:5, τῷ μώλωπι αὐτοῦ ἡμεῖς ἰάθημεν. “Paradoxon apostolicum: vibice sanati estis. Est autem μώλωψ, vibex, frequens in corpore servili, Sirach 23:10.” Bengel).


Verse 25

25.] For (justification of the last assertion by another allusion to Isaiah 53) ye were straying like sheep (so in ref. Isa., πάντες ὡς πρόβατα ἐπλανήθημεν): but ye have returned (not, “have been converted:” the 2 aor. pass. ἐπεστράφην occurs often in a middle sense, and it is impossible to press the passive: cf. Matt. (Matthew 9:22) Matthew 10:13; Mark 5:30. Wiesinger’s reason for doing so, that this word corresponds to ἰάθητε, is hardly tenable: it may with just as much plausibility be alleged that it corresponds to ἦτε πλανώμενοι) now unto the Shepherd (cf. ch. 1 Peter 5:4, and the prophecies in Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:23; Ezekiel 37:24, also John 10:11) and Bishop (there may be a reference to Ezekiel 34:11, ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ ἐκζητήσω τὰ πρόβατά μου καὶ ἐπισκέψομαι αὐτά (not to ref. Job, as some): but the most likely account of the expression is, that the Apostle transfers the well-known name of the elders of the churches, ἐπίσκοποι, to the great Head of the Church, of whom they were all the servants and representatives. On the name and office, see notes, Acts 20:17; Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1) of your souls (so in ch. 1 Peter 1:9; 1 Peter 1:22, and in 1 Peter 2:11).

 


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-peter-2.html. 1863-1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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