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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
1 Peter 3

 

 

Verse 1

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

Likewise , [ Homoios (Greek #3664)] - 'in like manner.' as 'servants' (cf. the reason of the woman's subjection, 1 Corinthians 11:8-10; 1 Timothy 2:11-14).

Your own - enforcing the obligation: it is not strangers ye are required to be subject to. [Every time that obedience is enjoined upon wives to husband, idios (Greek #2398), 'one's own peculiarly,' is used, while men's wives are designated only by heauton (Greek #1438), 'of themselves.'] Feeling the need of leaning on one stronger, the wife (especially if joined to an unbeliever) might be tempted, though only spiritually, to enter into that relation with another in which she ought to stand to her own spouse (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). An attachment to the teacher might spring up, which, without being adultery, would still weaken in its spiritual basis the married relation (Steiger).

That (even), if - even if you have a husband that obeys not the word (i:e., an unbeliever).

Without the word - independently of hearing the word preached, the usual way of faith. But Bengel, 'without word' - i:e., without direct gospel discourse of the wives, 'they may ('Aleph (') A B C, SHALL, which marks the almost objective certainty of the result) be won' indirectly. 'Unspoken acting is more powerful than unperformed speaking' ((Ecumenius). 'A soul converted is gained to itself, to the pastor, wife, or husband, who sought it, and to Christ; added to His treasury who thought not His own precious blood too dear to lay out for this gain' (Leighton). 'The discreet wife would choose first of all to persuade her husband to share with her in the things which lead to blessedness; but if this be impossible, let her alone diligently press after virtue, in all things obeying him so as to do nothing against his will, except such things as are essential to salvation' (Clemens Alexandrinus).


Verse 2

While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

Behold - on narrowly looking into it [ epopteusantes (Greek #2029)].

Chaste - free from all impurity.

Fear - reverential, toward your husbands. Scrupulously pure; not the noisy ambitiousness of worldly women.


Verse 3

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

'To whom let there belong (namely, as their ornament) not the outward adornment (usual in the sex which first, by the fall, brought in the need of covering: note, 1 Peter 5:5) of, etc., but,' etc.

Plaiting - artificial, to attract admiration.

Wearing , [ peritheseoos (Greek #4025)] - 'putting round,' namely, the head, as a diadem: the arm, as a bracelet: the finger, as rings.

Apparel - showy and costly. 'Have the blush of modesty instead of paint, and moral worth and discretion instead of gold and emeralds' (Melissa).


Verse 4

But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

But - Rather. The 'outward adornment' of jewellery, etc., is forbidden, in so far as a woman loves such things, not in so far as she uses them from a sense of propriety. Singularity comes from pride, and throws needless hindrances to religion in the way of others. Under costly attire there may be a humble mind. 'Great is he who uses his earthenware as if it were plate; not less great is he who uses his silver as if it were earthenware' (Seneca).

Hidden - inner man, which the Christian instinctively hides from public view

Of the heart - consisting in the heart adorned by the Spirit. This 'inner man of the heart' is subject of the verb "be" (1 Peter 2:3): 'of whom let the hidden man be'-namely, the adornment.

In that - consisting in that as its element.

Not corruptible - transitory, not tainted with corruption, as earthly adornments.

Meek and quiet - meek [ heesuchiou (Greek #2272)]; not creating disturbances; quiet [ praeoos (Greek #4239)], bearing tranquilly the disturbances caused by others. Meek in feelings; quiet in words, countenance, actions (Bengel). In the sight of God - who looks to inward, not merely outward things.

Of great price - the results of redemption should correspond to its costly price (1 Peter 1:19).


Verse 5

For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

After this manner - with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (cf. the portrait of the godly wife, Proverbs 31:10-31).

Trusted , [ elpizousai (Greek #1679) eis (Greek #1519) Theon (Greek #2316)]. "Holy" is explained by 'hoped in (so as to be united to) God.' Hope in God is the spring of holiness.

In subjection - their ornament consisted in subordination. Vanity was forbidden (1 Peter 3:3), as contrary to female subjection.


Verse 6

Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Sara - an example of faith.

Calling him lord - (Genesis 18:12.)

Ye are , [ egeneetheete (Greek #1096)] - 'ye have become:' "children" of Abraham and Sara by faith, whereas ye were Gentile aliens from the covenant.

Afraid with any amazement , [ ptoeesin (Greek #4423)] - 'fluttering alarm.' Act well, and be not thrown into panic, as weak females are apt to be, by opposition from without. Bengel, 'Not afraid OF any fluttering terror from without' (1 Peter 3:13-16). Septuagint [ ptoeesin (Hebrew #4423)] (Proverbs 3:25) was probably in Peter's mind. Anger assails men; fear, women. You need fear no man in doing right: not thrown into fluttering agitation by any sudden outbreak of an unbelieving husband's temper, while you do well.


Verse 7

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Dwell , [ sunoikountes (Greek #4924)] - 'dwelling:' connected with the verb, 1 Peter 2:17, "Honour all."

Knowledge - Christian: appreciating the due relation of the sexes in God's design: acting with tenderness and forbearance accordingly: with wise consideration.

Giving honour unto the wife - rather, 'dwelling according to knowledge with the female [ gunaikeioo (Greek #1134), adjective] as the weaker vessel (note, 1 Thessalonians 4:4. Both husband and wife are vessels in God's hand, of God's making, to fulfill His gracious purposes. Both weak, the woman the weaker. Sense of his own weakness, and that she, like himself, is God's vessel, ought lead him to act with tender and wise consideration toward her, the weaker fabric); (assigning [ aponemontes (Greek #632)], apportioning) honour as being also (besides being man and wife) heirs together,' etc.; or as C B, Vulgate, read, 'as to those who are also (besides being your wives) fellow-heirs.' (The reason why the man should dwell considerately with the wife is, because she is the weaker vessel; the reason why he should give honour to her is, because God gives honour to both as fellow-heirs: cf. the same argument, 1 Peter 3:9.) He does not take into account the case of an unbelieving wife, as she might yet believe.

Grace of life - God's gracious gift of life (1 Peter 1:4; 1 Peter 1:13).

That your prayers be not hindered - by dissensions, which prevent united prayer, on which depends the blessing.


Verse 8

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

General summary of relative duty, after the particular duties from 1 Peter 2:18.

Of one mind - as to the faith.

Having compassion one of another , [ sumpatheis (Greek #4835)] - 'sympathizing' in the joy and sorrow of others.

Love as brethren , [ filadelfoi (Greek #5361)] - 'loving the brethren.'

Pitiful - toward the afflicted.

Courteous , [ filofrones (Greek #5391)] - friendly-minded: Christian politeness: not the world's tinsel: stamped with unfeigned love on one side, and humility on the other. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read [ tapeinofrones (G5012a)], 'humble-minded.' It differs from 'humble,' in that it marks a conscious effort to he truly so.


Verse 9

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

Evil - in deed.

Railing - in word.

Blessing - your revilers [ eulogountes (Greek #2127), participle, not a noun].

Knowing that. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read merely, ' because.'

Are , [ ekleetheete (Greek #2564)] - 'were called.'

Inherit a blessing - not only passive, but active; receiving blessing from God by faith, and in turn blessing others from love (Gerhard in Alford). 'It is not in order to inherit a blessing that we must bless, but because our portion is blessings.' No railing can harm you (1 Peter 3:13). Imitate God who blesses you. The first-fruits of His blessing for eternity are enjoyed by the righteous even now (1 Peter 3:10) (Bengel).


Verse 10

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

Will love , [ theloon (Greek #2309)] - 'wishes to love.' He who loves life (present and eternal), and desires to continue to do so, not involving himself in troubles which make this life a burden, and involve forfeit of eternal life. Peter confirms 1 Peter 3:9 by Psalms 34:12; Psalms 34:16.

Refrain , [ pausatoo (Greek #3973)] - 'cause to cease;' implying that our inclination and custom is to speak evil. 'Men think they would be exposed to the wantonness of enemies if they did not vindicate their rights. But the Spirit promises a life of blessedness to those alone who are patient of evils' (Calvin).

Evil ... guile. First he warns against sins of tongue, evil and double-tongued speaking; next, against acts of injury to one's neighbour.


Verse 11

Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

In A B C, Vulgate [ de (Greek #1161)], 'Moreover (besides his words, in acts) let him.'

Eschew - `turn from.'

Ensue - pursue as hard to attain, and fleeing from one in this troublesome world.


Verse 12

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

For ... Ground of the promised life of blessedness to the meek (1 Peter 3:10).

Ears ... unto their prayers - (1 John 5:14-15.)

Face ... against. The Lord's eyes imply favourable regard (Deuteronomy 11:12); His face upon (not "against") them that do evil, implies that He narrowly observes, so as not to let them really hurt His people (cf. 1 Peter 3:13).


Verse 13

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

Who ... will harm you. This fearless confidence in God's protection Christ in His sufferings realized (Isaiah 1:9); so His members (Romans 8:33-39).

If ye be , [ geneesthe (Greek #1096)] - 'if ye have become.'

Followers , [ mimeetai (Greek #3402)]. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read [ zeelotai (Greek #2207)] "zealous of" (Titus 2:14).

Good. 'Who will do you evil [ kakoosoon (Greek #2559)], if ye be zealous of good?' Good. 'Who will do you evil [ kakoosoon (Greek #2559)], if ye be zealous of good?'


Verse 14

But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

But and if - `But if even.' The promises of this life extend only so far as is expedient for us: a qualification to the promise (1 Peter 3:10). 'If even ye should suffer:' a milder word than harm.

For righteousness - `not the suffering, but the cause for which one suffers, makes the martyr' (Augustine).

Happy. Not even can suffering take away your blessedness, but promotes it (cf. Mark 10:30).

And , [ de (Greek #1161)] - 'but.' Do not impair your blessing (1 Peter 3:9) by fearing man's terror in adversity. Literally, 'Be not terrified with their terror,' which they try to strike into you, and which strikes themselves in adversity. Quoted from Isaiah 8:12-13. He that fears God has none else to fear.

Neither be troubled - the threat of the law (Leviticus 26:36; Deuteronomy 28:65-66); the Gospel gives a heart assured of God's favour, and therefore unruffled amidst adversities. Not only be not afraid, but not even agitated.


Verse 15

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

Sanctify - honour as holy, enshrining in your hearts. So the Lord's prayer, Matthew 6:9. God's holiness is glorified by our hearts being the dwelling place of His Spirit.

The Lord God. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read Christ. [ Kurion (Greek #2962) ton (Greek #3588) Christon (Greek #5547)] 'Sanctify Christ as Lord.'

And , [ de (Greek #1161)] - 'but,' 'moreover.' Besides inward sanctification of God in the heart, be also ready always to give, etc. So A B but 'Aleph (') C, Vulgate, omit [de].

Answer - apologetic; defending your faith.

To every man that asketh you. The last words limit the "always." Not to a railer; but to everyone who inquires honestly. A reason - a reasonable account. This refutes Rome's 'I believe it, because the Church believes it.' Credulity is believing without, faith is believing on, evidence. There is no repose for reason but in faith. This verse does not impose an obligation to bring a learned and logical proof of revelation. But as believers deny themselves, crucify the world, and brave persecution, they must be buoyed up by some strong 'hope:' men of the world, having no such hope, are moved by curiosity to ask the secret of it; the believer must be ready to give an experimental account 'how this hope arose in him, what it contains, on what it rests' (Steiger).

With. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read 'but with.' Be ready, but with 'meekness:' not with self-suficiency (1 Peter 3:4). The most effective way.

Fear - due respect toward man, and reverence toward God; His cause does not need hot temper to uphold it.


Verse 16

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

Having a good conscience - the spring of readiness to give account of our hope. Hope and flood conscience go together, Acts 24:15-16. Profession without practice has no weight. But those who have a food conscience can afford to give an account of their hope 'with meekness.'

Whereas - (1 Peter 2:12.)

Falsely accuse , [ epeereazontes (Greek #1908)] - malice shown in deeds as well as words; "despitefully use," Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:28,

Conversation - conduct.

In Christ - the element of your life as Christians: it defines 'good.' It is your good walk as Christians, not as citizens, that calls forth malice (1 Peter 4:4-5; 1 Peter 4:14).


Verse 17

For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

Better. Say not, I would not bear it so ill if I deserved it. It is better that you do not deserve it, that doing well, yet being spoken against, you may prove yourself a true Christian (Gerhard). If the will of God be so. [Optative: theloi (Greek #2309) is in 'Aleph (') A B C, 'if the will of God should will it so.'] Those who honour God's will as their highest law (1 Peter 2:15) have the comfort to know that suffering is God's appointment (1 Peter 4:19). Our will does not wish it.


Verse 18

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Confirmation of 1 Peter 3:17, by the glorious results of Christ's Suffering innocently.

For - "Because." That is "better," 1 Peter 3:17, by which we are rendered more like Christ in death and life: for His death brought the best issue to Himself and to us (Bengel).

Christ - the Anointed Holy One of God: the Holy suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust.

Also - as well as yourselves (1 Peter 3:17). Compare 1 Peter 2:21 : there His suffering was made an example to us; here, a proof of the blessedness of suffering for well doing.

Once - for all: never again to suffer. It is "better" for us also once to suffer with Christ, than forever without Christ (Bengel). We now are suffering our "once;" it will soon be a thing of the past: a bright consolation.

For sins - as though He had Himself committed them. He incurred death by His "confession" (1 Timothy 6:13); as we are called on to 'give an answer to him that asketh a reason of our hope.' This was "well doing" in its highest manifestation. As He suffered, "the Just," so we ought willingly suffer "for righteousness' sake" (1 Peter 3:12; 1 Peter 3:14; 1 Peter 3:17).

That he might bring us to God - us, "the unjust," justified together with Himself in His ascension to the right hand of God (1 Peter 3:22). Thus Christ's death draws men to Him (John 12:32); spiritually now, in our access into the Holiest, opened by Christ's ascension; literally hereafter. "Bring us" by the same humiliation and exaltation through which Himself passed. The several steps of Christ's progress are trodden over again by His people, they being one with Him (1 Peter 4:1-3). "To God" [ Theoo (Greek #2316), dative, implying more than pros (Greek #4314) Theon (Greek #2316)] - namely, that God wishes it (Bengel).

Put to death - the means of bringing us to God.

In the flesh - i:e., in respect to the life of flesh.

Quickened by the Spirit. 'Aleph (') A B C, Origen, omit the article. Translate, as the antithesis to "in the flesh" requires, 'IN spirit;' i:e., in respect to His Spirit. "Put to death" in that mode of life; "quickened" in this. Not that His Spirit ever died and was quickened again; but whereas He had lived like mortal men in the flesh, He began to live a spiritual "resurrection" (1 Peter 3:21) life, whereby He has power to bring us to God. Two explanations of 1 Peter 3:18-19, are possible: (1) 'Quickened in Spirit,' i:e., immediately on His release from the "flesh," the energy of His undying spirit-life was "quickened" by the Father into new modes of action, namely, 'in the Spirit He went down

(as subsequently He went up to heaven, 1 Peter 3:22; the same [ poreutheis (Greek #4198)]) and heralded [not salvation, as Alford, contrary to Scripture, which everywhere represents man's state after death irreversible. Nor is mention made of conversion of the spirits in prison. Note, 1 Peter 3:20. Nor is the phrase here 'preached the Gospel' [euangelizoo], but heralded [ ekeeruxen (Greek #2784)]; simply made announcement of His finished work (so [ keerussein (Greek #2784)] Mark 1:45, "publish"); confirming Enoch and Noah's testimony; thereby declaring the condemnation of the diluvian unbelievers, and the salvation of Noah and believers (Birks thinks Christ announced His finished work to those who repented when the flood suddenly came, but who were shut out from the ark): a sample of the opposite effects of the word preached on all unbelievers and believers respectively; also a consolation to those whom Peter addresses, in their sufferings from unbelievers. This case is selected for the sake of "baptism," its 'antitype' (1 Peter 3:21), which seals believers as separated from the doomed world] to the spirits (His Spirit speaking to the spirits) in prison (in Hades or Sheol, awaiting the judgment, 2 Peter 2:4), which were of old disobedient when,' etc.

(2) The strongest argument for (1) is the position of "sometime," "of old," connected with "disobedient;" whereas if the preaching were long past, we should expect "sometime" to be joined to "went and preached." But this transposition may express that their disobedience preceded His preaching. The participle expresses the reason of His preaching, 'inasmuch as they were sometime disobedient'

(cf. 1 Peter 4:6). Also "went" seemingly is a personal going, as in 1 Peter 3:22, not merely in spirit. But see below. The objections are, "quickened" must refer to Christ's body (cf. 1 Peter 3:21, end); for as His Spirit never ceased to live, it could not be "quickened." Compare John 5:21; Romans 8:11, etc., where "quicken" is used of the bodily resurrection. Also, not His Spirit, but His soul, went to Hades. His Spirit, commended at death to His Father, was forthwith "in Paradise."

The theory (1) would thus require that His descent to the spirits in prison should be after His resurrection! Compare Ephesians 4:9-10, which makes the descent precede the ascent. Scripture elsewhere is silent about such a heralding, though probably Christ's death had immediate effects on the state of both the godly and the ungodly in Hades: the souls of the godly, perhaps, then were, as some fathers thought, translated to God's immediate presence; sheol was divided into Paradise and Gehenna (Psalms 16:10; Luke 16:22-26; Luke 23:43). The way into the heavenly Holiest was not made manifest while the Levitical dispensation stood, nor until Christ the Forerunner ascended into heaven (Romans 10:6-7; Ephesians 4:9; Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 11:40; Matthew 27:51-53; John 3:13; Colossians 1:18). But prison is always in a bad sense in Scripture: so that good spirits cannot be meant here. "Paradise," and "Abraham's bosom," the abode of good spirit in Old Testament times, are separated by a wide gulf from Gehenna, and cannot be "prison." Compare 2 Cor. 21:2,4 , where "paradise" and the "third heaven" correspond.

Also, Why should the antediluvian unbelievers in particular be selected as objects of His preaching in Hades? Explain: Quickened in spirit, in which (as distinguished from in person; "in which," i:e., in spirit, obviating the misconce ption that "went" implies a personal going) He went (in the person of Noah, "a preacher of righteousness," 2 Peter 2:5. Alford's note (Ephesians 2:17) is the best reply to his argument from 'went," that a local going to Hades in person is meant. As 'He CAME and preached peace' by His Spirit in the apostles after His death and ascension, so before His incarnation He preached in Spirit through Noah to the antediluvians (John 14:18; John 14:28; Acts 26:23); "Christ should show" [ katangellein (Greek #2605)], 'announce light to the Gentiles') and preached unto the spirit in prison, i:e., the antediluvians, whose bodies seemed free, but their spirits were in prison, shut up in the earth as one great condemned cell (parallel to Isaiah 24:22-23), 'upon the earth ... they shall be gathered together as prisoners gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison,' etc. (just as the fallen angels are judicially regarded as "in chains of darkness," though for a time at large on the earth, 2 Peter 2:4), where 1 Peter 3:18 has an allusion to the flood, "the windows from on high are open" (cf. Genesis 7:11); from this prison the only way of escape was that preached by Christ in Noah.

Christ, who in our times came in the flesh, in Noah's days preached in Spirit by Noah to the spirits then in prison (Isaiah 61:1, end, "The Spirit of the Lord God hath sent me to proclaim the opening of the prison to them that are bound"). So in 1 Peter 1:11, "the Spirit of Christ" 'testified in the prophets.' His 'Spirit strove' with the antediluvian men, but did not continue to do so, because man was "flesh," and suffered it to quench the Spirit (Genesis 6:3): so now they are "spirits in prison." Then His preaching had little success; now that He is gone to heaven (1 Peter 3:22) the Spirit's power in Him is infinite, owing to the resurrection. To share in this His resurrection power of the Spirit of life, they must be willing to suffer in the flesh. They have a double motive to this set before them:

(1) Christ's example of the blessed effect of voluntary suffering in the flesh;

(2) Christ's accession of power now, as compared with then (Matthew 28:18).

As Christ suffered even to death by enemies, and was afterward quickened in virtue of His "Spirit" (or divine nature, Romans 1:3-4; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 13:4), which henceforth evinced its full energy, the first result of which was the raising of His body (1 Peter 3:21, end) from the prison of the grave and His soul from Hades, so the same Spirit of Christ enabled Noah, amidst reproach, to preach to the disobedient spirits fast bound in wrath. That Spirit in you can enable you also to suffer patiently now, looking for the resurrection-deliverance. Be not afraid of suffering from well doing, for death in the flesh leads to life in the Spirit (cf. 1 Peter 2:19-24; 1 Peter 3:17).


Verse 19

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 20

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

When once the long suffering of God waited in the days of Noah. 'Aleph (') A B C, Vulgate, read [ apexedecheto (Greek #553) (omitting hapax (Greek #530), "once")] 'was continuing to wait on' (if haply men in the 120 years of grace would repent) until the end of His waiting came in their death by the flood. This refutes Alford's second day of grace given in Hades. Noah's days are selected, as the ark and the destroying flood answer respectively to "baptism" and the coming destruction of unbelievers by fire. Be not shaken in spirit by the majority hardening themselves against Christ's grace now: it was still more so at the flood, when all but "eight" perished through unbelief.

While the ark was a-preparing - (Hebrews 11:7.) A long period of God's 'long-suffering and waiting,' which rendered the world's unbelief the more inexcusable.

Wherein , [ eis (Greek #1519) heen (Greek #3739)] - '(by having entered) into which.'

Few - so now.

Eight - seven (the sacred number) with ungodly Ham.

Souls - used in living persons; why should not "spirits" also? Noah preached to their ears, but Christ in spirit, to their spirits, or spiritual natures.

Saved by water. The same water which drowned the unbelieving buoyed up the ark in which the eight were saved. Others, 'were brought safe through the water' [ di' (Greek #1223) hudatos (Greek #5204)]. The sense may be as in 1 Corinthians 3:15, 'they were safely preserved though having to be in the water' (cf. dia (Greek #1223) with genitive, 'spite of,' Romans 2:27).


Verse 21

The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Whereunto. A B C, Vulgate, read [ ho (Greek #3739) for hoo (Greek #3739)] 'which'-literally, 'which (namely, water, in general; being) the antitype (of the water of the flood) is now saving (the salvation being not yet fully realized, cf. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2; 1 Corinthians 10:5; Jude 1:5; puts into a state of salvation) us also (so B C but 'Aleph (') A, Vulgate, read 'You also;' as well as Noah and his party), to wit, baptism.' Water saved Noah, not of itself, but by sustaining the ark built in faith on God's word: it was to him the sign and mean of a regeneration of the earth. It betokened a death to be brought safe through, preliminary to a resurrection. Perishing humanity is the old man; Noah and the saved the newborn creature: the water that separated the two answers to baptism (Romans 6:3-4). The flood was for Noah a baptism, as the passage through the Red Sea for the Israelites. By the flood he and his family were transferred from the old world to the new; from immediate destruction to lengthened probation; from the companionship of the wicked to communion with God; from severing all bonds between the creature and the Creator to the privileges of the covenant: so we by spiritual baptism. As there was a Ham who forfeited the privileges, so many now. The antitypical water, namely, baptism, saves you also, not of itself, but the spiritual thing conjoined with it, repentance and faith, of which it is the seal, as Peter explains. Compare the union of the sign and thing signified, John 3:5; Ephesians 5:26; Titus 3:5 : cf. 1 John 5:6.

Not the ... - "Flesh" is emphatic. "Not the putting away of the filth of the flesh" (as by a mere water-baptism, unaccompanied with the Spirit's baptism, cf. Ephesians 2:11), but of the soul. The ark (Christ and His Spirit-filled Church), not the water, is the instrument of salvation: the water only flowed round the ark; so not the mere water-baptism, but water when accompanied with the Spirit.

Answer , [ eperooteema (Greek #1906)] - 'interrogation,' namely, of candidates for baptism (Acts 8:37); eliciting confession of faith "toward God," and renunciation of Satan (Augustine, 'Ad Catechumenos,' b. 4:; Cyprian Ep. 7:, 'Ad Rogation'), which, when flowing, from "a good, conscience," assure one of being "saved." Literally, 'a good conscience's interrogation (including the satisfactory answer) toward God.' Metonymy: a conscience that can bear interrogation in relation to the all-seeing God, and can answer, it is good and cleansed (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 10:22). I prefer this to (Wahl, Alford, etc.) 'inquiry of a good conscience after God:' none of the parallels alleged, not even 2 Samuel 11:7, Septuagint, is strictly in point. Byzantine Greek idiom (whereby the term meant - (1) The question; (2) the stipulation; (3) the engagement), easily flowing from the usage in Peter, confirms the former.

By the resurrection of Jesus - joined with 'saves:' in so far as baptism applies the power of Christ's resurrection. As Christ's death unto sin is the source of the believer's death unto, and so deliverance from, sin's penalty and power, so His resurrection-life is the source of the believer's new spiritual life.


Verse 22

Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

(Psalms 110:1; Romans 8:34; Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 2:10-15.) The fruit of His patience in voluntarily-endured, undeserved, sufferings: a pattern to us (1 Peter 3:17-18).

Gone (Luke 24:51) - proving His literal ascension. Literally, 'Is on the right hand of God, having gone into heaven.' Vulgate and Latin fathers add the benefit of Christ's sitting on God's right hand, 'Who is on the right hand of God, having swallowed up death, that we may become heirs of everlasting life;' involving for us A DEATHLESS LIFE. The Greek manuscripts reject the words. Compare Peter's speeches, Acts 2:32-35; Acts 3:21; Acts 3:26; Acts 10:40; Acts 10:42. An undesigned coincidence and proof of genuineness.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-peter-3.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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