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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Peter 2

 

 

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Verse 1

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

Laying aside - once for all. So [ apothemenoi (Greek #659)] aorist, as a garment put off. The exhortation applies to Christians alone: in none else is the new nature existing which, as "the inner man" (Ephesians 3:16), can more and more cast off the old as an outward thing. To unbelievers the exhortation is that inwardly, in the nous (Greek #3563) (mind), they must become changed [metanoeisthai: repent] (Steiger). 'Therefore' resumes 1 Peter 1:22. Seeing that ye are born again of incorruptible seed, be not again entangled in evil, which 'is an acting in contrariety to the being formed in us' (Theophylact). "Malice," etc., are utterly inconsistent with "love of the brethren," unto which ye have "purified your souls" (1 Peter 1:22). The vices here are those which offend against the BROTHERLY LOVE inculcated above. Each succeeding one springs out of that which immediately precedes, so as to form a genealogy of sins against love. Out of malice springs guile; out of guile, hypocrisies (pretending to be what we are not; not showing what we really are: the opposite of "love unfeigned," "without dissimulation"); out of hypocrisies, envies of those to whom we play the hypocrite; out of envies, evil steaking. Guile is the permanent disposition; hypocrisies, acts flowing from it. The guileless knows no envy. Compare 1 Peter 2:2, "sincere" [ adolon (Greek #97)], 'guileless.' 'Malice delights in another's hurt; envy pines at another's good; guile imparts duplicity to the heart; hypocrisy (flattery), duplicity to the tongue; evil speakings wound another's character' (Augustine).


Verse 2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Newborn babes - altogether without "guile" (1 Peter 2:1; Revelation 14:5); in a specially tender relation to God (Isaiah 40:11). The childlike spirit is indispensable if we would enter heaven. "Milk" is here not elementary truths, as in 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12-13; but in contrast to "guile," etc. (1 Peter 2:1); the simple Christian doctrine relished by the childlike spirit. The same "word of grace" which is the instrument in regeneration, is that also of building up. 'The mother of the child is also its natural nurse' (Steiger). The babe, instead of chemically analyzing, instinctively feeds on the milk; our part is not self-sufficient questionings, but simply receiving the truth in the love of it (Matthew 11:25).

Desire , [ epipotheesate (Greek #1971)] - 'have a yearning for,' or 'longing after,' natural to the regenerate; 'for as no one needs to teach newborn babes what food to take, knowing instinctively that a table is provided for them in their mother's breast,' so the believer of himself thirsts after the word of God, (Psalms 119:1-176.)

Of the word , [ logikon (Greek #3050)] - not as Alford, 'spiritual;' nor "reasonable," as Romans 12:1 : logos in Scripture means, not the reason, but the WORD the context requires so here: logikos (Greek #3050) follows the meaning of logos (Greek #3056), 'word.' James 1:21, "Lay apart all filthiness, etc., and receive with meekness the engrafted WORD," confirms the English version here.

Sincere - `guileless.' Irenaeus says, 'Heretics mix chalk with the milk.' "The" implies that, besides the well known pure milk, there is no other unadulterated doctrine: the Gospel alone can make us guileless (1 Peter 2:1).

Grow. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read, 'grow unto salvation.' Being BORN again, we are also to grow unto (perfected) salvation, the end of our growth. 'Growth is the measure of that, not only rescue from destruction, but positive blessedness, implied in salvation' (Alford).

Thereby - Greek, 'IN it:' fed on it: in its strength (Acts 11:14). 'The word is to be desired with appetite as the cause of life, swallowed in the hearing, chewed as cud is, by rumination with the understanding, and digested by faith' (Tertullian).


Verse 3

If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Peter alludes to Psalms 34:8 The first tastes of God's goodness are afterward followed by fuller experiences A Peter alludes to Psalms 34:8. The first tastes of God's goodness are afterward followed by fuller experiences. A taste whets the appetite (Bengel).

Gracious , [ Chreestos (Greek #5543)] - benignant, kind; as God is revealed in Christ, "the Lord." We who are born again, ought so to be kind to the brethren (1 Peter 1:22). 'Whosoever has not tasted the word, to him it is not sweet; but to them who have experienced it, who with the heart believe, "Christ has been sent for me and is become my own: my miseries are His, and His life mine," it tastes sweet' (Luther).


Verse 4

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

Coming - drawing near [ proserchomenoi (Greek #4334)] (Hebrews 10:22) by faith continually; present: not having come once for all at conversion.

Stone. Peter (i:e., a stone, named so by Christ) desires that all similarly should be living stones BUILT ON CHRIST, THE TRUE FOUNDATION-STONE: cf. his speech in Acts 4:11 : an undesigned coincidence and mark of genuineness. The Spirit foreseeing the Romanist perversion of Matthew 16:18 (cf. 1 Peter 2:16, "Son of the LIVING God," which coincides with "LIVING stone" here), presciently makes Peter himself refute it. He herein confirms Paul (1 Corinthians 3:11). Omit as unto. Christ is positively the "living stone:" living, as having life in Himself, and as raised from the dead to live evermore (Revelation 1:18), after His rejection by men; so the source of life to us. Like no earthly rock, He lives and gives life. Compare 1 Corinthians 10:4, and the type, Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11.

Disallowed , [ apodedokimasmenon (Greek #593)] - reprobated; referred to also by Christ, Matthew 21:42; also by Paul: cf. Isaiah 8:14; Luke 2:34.

Chosen of God , [ para (Greek #3844)] - 'with (in the presence and judgment of) God elect' (1 Peter 2:6). Many are alienated from the Gospel because it is rejected by most men. Peter answers that, though rejected by men, Christ is the stone of salvation honoured by God (cf. Genesis 49:24, end).


Verse 5

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Ye also, as lively stones - partaking of the name and life which is in "THE LIVING STONE" (1 Peter 2:4). Many names which pre-eminently belong to Christ are assigned to Christians in a lower sense. He is "THE Son," "High Priest," "King," "Lamb:" they, "sons," "priests," "kings," "lambs." So the Shulamite from Solomon (Song of Solomon 6:13) (Bengel). Are built up , [ oikodomeisthe (Greek #3618)] - 'are being built up,' as Ephesians 2:22. Not as Alford, 'Be ye built up.' Peter grounds his exhortations, 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Peter 2:11, etc., on their consciousness of being living stones in the course of being built up into a spiritual house (i:e., the temple of the Spirit).

Priesthood. Christians are at once the temple and the priests [ hieron (Greek #2411) (the sacred place) expresses the whole building, including the courts wherein the sacrifice was killed; and naos (Greek #3485) (the dwelling, namely, of God), the inner shrine wherein God peculiarly manifested Himself: where, in the Holiest, the blood of the sacrifice was presented before Him]. All believers alike, not merely ministers, are now the dwelling of God [and are called naos, not hieron], and priests unto God (Revelation 1:6). The minister is not, like the Jewish priest [ hiereus (Greek #2409)], nearer God than the people, but merely for order's sake leads their spiritual services. Priest is the abbreviation of presbyter, not corresponding to the Aaronic priest [ hiereus (Greek #2409)], who offered literal sacrifices. Christ is the only literal Hiereus-priest in the New Testament: through Him alone we may always draw near to God. Compare 1 Peter 2:9, "a royal priesthood." The Spirit never applies hiereus (Greek #2409), sacerdotal priest, to Gospel ministers.

Spiritual sacrifices - not the literal one of the mass, as Rome's self-called disciples of Peter teach. Compare Isaiah 56:7, with "accountable to God" here; Isaiah 19:21; Psalms 4:5; Psalms 50:14; Psalms 51:17; Psalms 51:19; Hosea 14:2; Philippians 4:18. 'The foremost of spiritual sacrifices is the oblation of ourselves (Romans 12:1). For never can we offer anything to God until we have offered ourselves (2 Corinthians 8:5). Then follow prayers, giving of thanks, alms-deeds, and all exercises of piety' (Calvin). Christian houses of worship are never called temples, because the temple was for sacrifice, which has no place in the Christian dispensation; the Christian "temple" is the congregation of spiritual worshippers. The synagogue (where reading of Scripture and prayer constituted the worship) was the model of the Christian house of worship (note, James 2:2; Acts 15:21). Our sacrifices are prayer, praise, and self-denying services to Christ (1 Peter 2:9, end).

By Jesus Christ - as our mediating High Priest before God. Connect with "offer up." Christ is precious Himself, and makes us accepted (Bengel). As the temple, so the priesthood, is built on Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5) (Beza). Imperfect as are our services, we are not with unbelieving timidity, or refined self-righteousness, to doubt their acceptance THROUGH CHRIST. After extolling the dignity of Christians, he goes back to CHRIST, its sole source.


Verse 6

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Wherefore also. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read [ dioti (Greek #1360)], 'Because that.' The statement above is so, 'because it is contained in Scripture.'

Behold - calling universal attention to the glorious announcement of His eternal counsel.

Elect - so believers (1 Peter 2:9).

Precious. In Hebrew, Isaiah 28:16, 'a corner stone of preciousness.' Compare note there. So 1 Peter 2:7. Precious. In Hebrew, Isaiah 28:16, 'a corner stone of preciousness.' Compare note there. So 1 Peter 2:7.

Confounded. Same Greek as Romans 9:33 (Peter confirming Paul). See 'Introduction;' Romans 10:11, "ashamed." In Isaiah 28:16, "make haste" - i:e., flee in panic, covered with the shame of confounded hopes.


Verse 7

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

Application of the same Scripture to the believer; then to the unbeliever. On the Gospel's opposite effects on different classes, cf. John 9:39; 2 Corinthians 2:15-16.

Precious , [ hee (Greek #3588) timee (Greek #5092)] - "THE PRECIOUSNESS" (1 Peter 2:6). To you believers belongs the preciousness of Christ just mentioned.

Disobedient - to the faith; so disobedient in practice.

The stone which ... , head of the corner - (Psalms 118:22.) Those who rejected the STONE were all the while, in spite of themselves, contributing to its becoming Head of the corner. The same Gospel magnet has two poles-one repulsive, the other attractive.


Verse 8

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Stone of stumbling ... - from Isaiah 8:14. Not merely they stumbled, in the sense that their prejudices were offended, but that they suffered the judicial punishment of their rejection of the Messiah: they hurt themselves in stumbling over the corner stone (cf. Jeremiah 13:16; Daniel 11:19).

At the word - join 'being disobedient to the word:' so 1 Peter 3:1; 1 Peter 4:17.

Whereunto - to penal stumbling; the judicial punishment of unbelief.

Also - an additional thought; not that God ordains to sin, but they are given up to "the fruit of their own ways" according to God's eternal counsel. The moral ordering of the world is altogether of God. God appoints the ungodly to be given up unto their own reprobate mind and its necessary penalty. Were appointed , [ etetheesan (Greek #5087)] - 'set,' answers to "I lay," 'set' (1 Peter 2:6). God is said to appoint Christ and the elect (directly). Unbelievers are appointed (God acting less directly in the appointment of the sinner's awful course) (Bengel). God ordains the wicked to punishment, not to crime (J. Cappel). "Appointed" (not here 'FORE-ordained') refers, not to God's eternal counsel so directly as to His penal justice. Through the same Christ whom sinners rejected, they shall be rejected; unlike believers, they are appointed unto wrath, as FITTED for it (Romans 9:22). The lost shall lay all the blame on their own perversity, not on God's decree; the saved shall ascribe all the merit to God's electing grace.


Verse 9

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Contrast the privileges and destinies of believers.

Chosen - `elect' of God, even as Christ your Lord is (1 Peter 2:6).

Generation. Believers are one in spiritual origin and kindred, as distinguished from the world.

Royal - kingly. Believers, like Christ, the antitypical Melchisedek, are a body of priest-kings. Israel spiritually was designed to be the same among the nations of the earth. The full realization of this, both to the literal and the spiritual Israel, is as yet future (Isaiah 61:6; Isaiah 66:21).

Holy nation - antitypical to Israel. We must be singular, if we would be holy; consistent, if we would be useful.

Peculiar people , [ laos (Greek #2992) eis (Greek #1519) peripoieesin (Greek #4047)] - 'a people for an acquisition;' i:e., whom God chose to be peculiarly His: Acts 20:28, "purchased;" literally, acquired. God's "special treasure" (Exodus 19:5).

Show forth , [ exangeileete (Greek #1804)] - published abroad. Not their own praises, but His. They have no reason to magnify themselves above others; for once they had been in the same darkness, and only through God's grace had been brought to the light which they must henceforth show forth to others.

Praises , [ aretas (Greek #703)] - 'virtues,' 'excellences:' His glory, mercy (1 Peter 2:10), goodness (Greek, 1 Peter 2:3; Numbers 14:17-18; Isaiah 63:7): applied to believers (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:5).

Out of darkness - pagan, and even Jewish, ignorance, sin, misery; so out of the dominion of the prince of darkness.

Marvellous. Peter still has in his mind Psalms 118:23; note, 1 Peter 2:7.

Light. It is called "His" - i:e., God's. Only the (spiritual) light is created by God, not darkness. In Isaiah 45:7, it is physical darkness and evil, not moral, that God is said to create: the punishment of sin, not sin itself. Peter, with characteristic boldness, brands as darkness what all the world calls light; reason, without the Holy Spirit, in spite of its vaunted power, is spiritual darkness. 'It cannot apprehend what faith is: there it is stark blind; it gropes as one without eyesight, stumbling from one thing to another, and knows not what it does' (Luther).


Verse 10

Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

From Hosea 1:9-10; Hosea 2:23. Peter plainly confirms Paul, who quotes the passage as implying the call of the Gentiles to become spiritually what Israel had been literally, "the people of God" (Romans 9:25). Primarily, the prophecy refers to literal Israel, hereafter to be fully what in their best days they were only partially-God's people.

Not obtained mercy , [ eeleeemenoi (Greek #1653) ... eleeethentes (Greek #1653)]. Formerly 'not in a state of being compassionated, but now once for all compassionated.' It was God's mercy, not their merits, which made the blessed change: this ought to kindle lively gratitude, to be shown with their life as well as their lips.


Verse 11

Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

As heretofore he exhorted them to walk worthily of their calling, in contrast to their former walk, so now he exhorts them to glorify God before unbelievers.

Dearly beloved. He gains their attention by assuring them of his love.

Strangers and pilgrims - (1 Peter 1:17.) [ Paroikous (Greek #3941) kai (Greek #2532) parepideemous (Greek #3927), sojourners, having a house in a city, without the rights of citizenship: a picture of the Christian's position on earth; and pilgrims, staying for a time in a foreign land.] Flacius:

(1) Purify your souls

(a) as strangers on earth, who must not allow yourselves to be kept back by earthly lusts; and

(b) because these lusts war against the soul.

(2) Walk piously among unbelievers (2) Walk piously among unbelievers

(a) that they may cease to calumniated Christians, and

(b) be themselves converted.

Fleshly lusts - enumerated in Galatians 5:19, etc. Not only gross animal appetites, but all the workings of the unrenewed mind.

Which , [ haitines (Greek #3748)] - 'the which;' i:e., inasmuch as they "war," etc. They not only impede, but assail.

The soul - i:e., the regenerated soul, such as those addressed. The believer is besieged by sinful lusts. Like Samson in Delilah's lap, the moment that he gives way to fleshly lusts, he has the locks of his strength shorn, and ceases to maintain that spiritual separation from the world and the flesh of which the Nazarite vow was the type.


Verse 12

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Conversation - `conduct.' In two things 'pilgrims' ought to bear themselves well:

(1) The conduct, as subjects (1 Peter 2:13), servants (1 Peter 2:18), wives

(1 Peter 3:1), husbands (1 Peter 3:7), and under all circumstances (1 Peter 2:8.);

(2) Confession of the faith (1 Peter 3:15-16).

Both derives from the will of God. Our conversation should correspond to our Saviour's condition: this is in heaven, so ought that to be.

Honest - becoming (1 Peter 3:16). Contrast 1 Peter 1:18, end. A good walk does not make us pious: we must first be pious by believing before we can lead a good course. Faith first receives from God, then love gives to our neighhour (Luther).

Whereas they speak against you - now (1 Peter 2:15); they may at some time hereafter glorify God. [ En (Greek #1722) hoo (Greek #3739) may be, 'Wherein they speak against you, etc., that (therein) they may, by your good works, which on a closer inspection they shall behold (the strict sense of epopteuontes (Greek #2029): so 1 Peter 3:2 : as opposed to their "ignorance" (1 Peter 2:15), of the true character of Christianity by judging on hearsay), glorify God.'] The very works 'which, on careful consideration must move the pagan to praise God, are at first the object of raillery' (Steiger). Evil doers. Because as Christians they could not conform to paganish customs, they were accused of disobedience to legal authority; to rebut this charge, they are told to submit to every ordinance of man (not sinful). 'Others narrowly look at the actions of the righteous' (Bengel). Tertullian contrasts the early Christians and the pagan. These delighted in the bloody gladiatorial spectacles of the amphitheater; whereas a Christian was excommunicated if he went to it at all. No Christian was found in prison for crime, but only for the faith. The pagan excluded slaves from some of their religious services; Christians had some of their presbyters of slaves. Slavery silently and gradually disappeared by the power of the Christian law of love: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." When the Pagans deserted their nearest relatives in a plague, Christians ministered to the sick. When Gentiles left their dead unburied after the battle, and cast their wounded into the streets, the disciples hastened to relieve the suffering. Justin Martyr, 'We formerly rejoiced in fornication, now we welcome chastity alone; then we loved the procuring of goods and money more than anything else, now we bring all we have to a common fund, and share it with everyone who needs. We who hated one another, now pray for our enemies, and try to persuade those who unjustly hate us to become, by living according to Christ, sharers of the hope of obtaining the came blessings with us from God the ruler of all.' Merivale assigns four causes of the conversion of the Roman empire:

(1) Fulfilled prophecies and miracles;

(2) Sense of sin and need on the part of the pagan;

(3) The holy example of primitive Christians;

(4) Its final temporal successes.

Glorify - forming a high estimate of Him whom Christians worship, from the exemplary conduct of Christians themselves. We must do good, not with a view to our own glory, but to that of God.

The day of visitation - when God shall visit them in grace (Luke 19:44).


Verse 13

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Every ordinance of man - `every human institution' (Alford); [ Ktisei (Greek #2937)] 'every human creation.' For though of divine appointment, yet in the mode and exercise of authority, earthly governors are human institutions, being of men, and in relation to men. The apostle speaks as one raised above human things. But lest they should think themselves raised by faith above human authorities, he tells them, submit yourselves for the sake of Christ, who desires you to be subject, and once was subject to earthly rulers Himself, though having all things subject to Him, and whose honour is at stake in you, His earthly representatives (cf. Romans 13:5).

King. The Roman emperor was 'supreme' in the Roman provinces to which this letter was addressed. Jewish zealots refused obedience. 'If "the king" command one thing, and the "governor sent by him" another, we ought rather to obey the superior' (Augustine in Grotius). Scripture prescribes nothing upon forms of government, but subjects Christians to that everywhere subsisting, without entering into the question of right (thus the Roman emperors had by force seized supreme authority, and Rome had, by unjustifiable means, made herself mistress of Asia): because the de facto governors have not been made by chance, but by the providence of God.


Verse 14

Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

Governors - subordinate to the emperor; delegated by Caesar to preside over provinces.

For the punishment. No tyranny ever has been so unprincipled that some equity was not maintained in it: however corrupt a government be, God never suffers it to be so much so as not to be better than anarchy (Calvin). Although bad kings often oppress, yet that is scarcely ever done by public authority (and it is of public authority that Peter speaks), except under the mask of right. Tyranny harasses many, but anarchy overwhelms the whole state (Horneius). The only justifiable exception is where obedience to the earthly king involves disobedience to the King of kings.

Praise of them that do well. Every government recognizes the excellence of Christian subjects. Thus Pliny, in his letter to the Emperor Trajan: 'I have found in them nothing else except a perverse and extravagant superstition.' This recognition in the long run mitigates persecution (1 Peter 3:13).


Verse 15

For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

Ground of directing them to submit themselves (1 Peter 2:13).

Put to silence , [ fimoun (Greek #5392)] - 'muzzle,' 'stop the mouth.'

Ignorance - spiritual: not having "the knowledge of God," therefore misconstruing His children's acts: influenced by appearances, ever ready to open their mouths, rather than their eyes and ears. Their ignorance should move the believer's pity, not anger. They judge of things which they are incapable of judging, through unbelief (1 Peter 2:12). Maintain such a walk that they shall have no charge against you, except touching your faith; so their minds shall be favourably disposed toward Christianity.


Verse 16

As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

As free - from sin, and to duty: 'the Lord's freemen' (1 Corinthians 7:22), connected with 1 Peter 2:15, doing well as being free. "Well doing" (1 Peter 2:15) is the natural fruit of being Christ's freemen, made free by "the truth" from sin's bondage. Duty is enforced to guard against licentiousness; but the way is by love and the holy instincts of Christian liberty. We have given principles, not details.

Not using , [ mee (Greek #3361) hos (Greek #3739) epikalumma (Greek #1942) echontes (Greek #2192) tees (Greek #3588) kakias (Greek #2549) teen (Greek #3588) eleutherian (Greek #1657)] - 'not as having your liberty for a veil (cloak) of badness, but as the servants of God:' therefore bound to submit to every ordinance of man (1 Peter 2:13) which is of God's appointment.


Verse 17

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Honour all men - according to the honour due in each case. Equals have a respect due to them. Christ has dignified our humanity by assuming it; therefore we should honour our common humanity, even in the humblest. [ Pantas (Greek #3956) timeesate (Greek #5091), aorist-`In every case render promptly every man's due' (Alford). Basilea (Greek #935) timate (Greek #5091), present-habitually honour the king.] The first is the general precept; the three following are its divisions.

Love , [ agapate (Greek #25), present] - habitually love, with the congenial affection you ought to feel to brethren, besides general love to all men.

Fear God. Honour the king. The king is to be honoured; God alone, in the highest sense, feared.


Verse 18

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

Servants , [ oiketai (Greek #3610)] - 'household servants:' not [ douloi (Greek #1401)] 'slaves;' including freedmen remaining in their master's house. Masters were not commonly Christians: he therefore mentions only servants' duties. These were often persecuted by unbelieving masters. Peter's object is to teach them submission, whatever the master's character is. Paul not having this design, includes masters' duties. Be subject , [ hupotassomenoi (Greek #5293)] - being subject: a particular instance of the general exhortation, 1 Peter 2:11-12, of which the first particular precept is 1 Peter 2:13. The general exhortation is taken up again, 1 Peter 2:16; and so, 1 Peter 2:18, 'being subject,' is joined to the imperatives, "abstain," "submit yourselves," "honour all men."

With - Greek, 'IN.'

All - all possible: under all circumstances.

Fear - the awe of one subject. God is its ultimate object: fear "for the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13), not merely slavish fear of masters.

Good - kind.

Gentle - indulgent toward errors [ epieikesin (Greek #1933)]; yielding, not exacting all which justice might demand.

Froward - perverse. Those bound to obey must not make the disposition of the superior the measure of their obligations.


Verse 19

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

Reason for subjection even to froward masters.

Thankworthy , [ charis (Greek #5485)] - (Luke 6:33.) A course out of the common: especially praiseworthy before God: not as Rome, earning merit; so a work of supererogation (cf. 1 Pet. 2:29 ).

For conscience toward God , [ suneideesin (Greek #4893) Theou (Greek #2316)] - 'consciousness of God:' conscientious regard to God, more than men.

Endure , [ hupoferei (Greek #5297)] - bear up under.

Grief , [ lupas (Greek #3077)] - 'griefs.'


Verse 20

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

What , [ Poion (Greek #4169)] - 'what kind of.'

Glory - merit.

Buffeted - the punishment of slaves, suddenly inflicted.

This is. So 'Aleph (') C, Vulgate; but A B read 'for.' Then, 'but if when ... ye take it patiently (it is a glory): for this is,' etc.

Acceptable , [ charis (Greek #5485)] - 'thankworthy.' as 1 Peter 2:19.


Verse 21

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

Christ's example a proof of 1 Peter 2:20, end.

Hereunto - to the patient endurance of unmerited suffering (1 Peter 3:9). Christ is an example to servants, having been in "the form of a servant" (Philippians 2:7).

Called - with a heavenly calling, though slaves.

For us - the highest exemplification of 'doing well' (1 Pet. ). Ye must patiently suffer, being innocent, as Christ innocently suffered (not for Himself, but for us). 'Aleph (') A B C, lot "us ... us," read, 'you ... you.' Christ's sufferings, while they are an example, were primarily sufferings "for us," a consideration which imposes an everlasting obligation on us to please Him.

Leaving - behind [ hupolimpanoon (Greek #5288)] - on His departure to the Father.

An example , [ hupogrammon (Greek #5261)] - a writing copy set by masters for their pupils. Christ's precepts were the transcript of His life. Peter graphically sets before servants features suited to their case.

Follow - close upon [ epakoloutheeseete (Greek #1872)].

His steps - footsteps: of His patience, combined with innocence.


Verse 22

Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

Christ's well doing (1 Peter 2:20), though suffering.

Did , [aorist] - 'Never in a single instance' (Alford), from Isaiah 53:9, end, Septuagint

Neither - nor yet. Sinlessness of mouth is a mark of perfection (James 3:2). Guile is a common fault of servants. On Christ's sinlessness, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26.


Verse 23

Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:

Servants are apt to 'answer again' (Titus 2:9). Threats of divine judgment against oppressors are often used by those who have no other arms. Christ, who could have threatened with truth, never did so.

Committed himself - His cause, as man in His suffering: cf. Jeremiah 11:20; Isaiah 53:8. Compare Romans 12:19, on our corresponding duty. Leave your case in His hands: not to make Him executioner of your revenge, but praying for enemies. God's righteous judgment gives tranquillity to the oppressed.


Verse 24

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

His own self - there being none other who could have done it. His voluntary undertaking of redemption is implied. The Greek puts in contrast OUR, and HIS OWN SELF, to mark His substitution for us.

Bare , [ aneenegnken (Greek #399)] - carried and offered up: a sacrificial term. Isaiah 53:11-12, where bearing on Himself is the prominent idea; here offering in sacrifice is combined with it. So 1 Peter 2:5, if He were only an example, the effect of His sacrifice would only be to His successors: there would be no retrospective efficacy to those who lived in Old Testament times. Our sins. In offering in sacrifice His body, Christ offered in it our sins' guilt upon the cross, as upon God's altar, that it might be expiated in Him, and so taken away from us (cf. Isaiah 53:10). Peter means by "bare" what the Syriac expresses by two words, to bear, and to offer:

(1) He hath borne our sins laid upon Him (namely, their guilt, curse, and punishment);

(2) He hath so borne them that He offered them along with Himself on the altar.

He refers to the bullocks and goats upon which sins were first laid, and which were then offered thus laden (Vitringa). Sin among Semitic nations is considered as a burden lying upon the sinner (Gesenius).

On the tree - the cross, the proper place for the Curse-bearer. This curse stuck to Him until it was legally (through His death as the guilt-bearer) destroyed in His body: thus the handwriting of the bond against us is cancelled (Colossians 2:14). [ Epi (Greek #1909) to (Greek #3588) xulon (Greek #3586): He took them to the tree and offered them on it.]

That we, being dead to sins - the effect of His death to 'sin' in the aggregate, and to all particular "sins " - namely, that we should be as entirely delivered from them as a slave that is dead is delivered from service to his master [ apogenomenoi (Greek #581)]. This is our spiritual standing through faith by virtue of Christ's death: our actual mortification of sins is in proportion to the degree of our being made conformable to His death. 'That we should die to the sins whose collected guilt Christ carried away in His death, and so LIVE TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS (cf. Isaiah 53:11), the gracious relation to God which He has brought in' (Steiger).

By whose stripes , [ mooloopi (Greek #3468)] - stripe.

Ye were healed - a paradox, yet true. 'Ye servants (cf. 1 Peter 2:20) often bear the stripe; but it is not more than He bore: learn from Him patience in wrongful sufferings.' Compare Paul at Philippi (Acts 16:23-25).


Verse 25

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

For - why they need healing (1 Peter 2:24).

Now - that the atonement for all has been made, the foundation is laid for individual conversion: so 'ye have become converted to,' etc.

Shepherd and Bishop. The designation of the Church's pastors and elders belongs in its fullest sense to the great Head, "the good Shepherd." As the "bishop" oversees (as episkopos (Greek #1985) means), so "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous" (1 Peter 3:12). He gives us His Spirit, feeding and guiding us by His Word. "Shepherd" (Parnas) often applied to kings: of the compound Pharnabazus.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Peter 2:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-peter-2.html. 1871-8.

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