corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.20.07.04
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Peter 3:4

but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The hidden man of the heart - Ὁ κρυπτος της καρδιας ανθρωπος . This phrase is of the same import with that of St. Paul, Romans 7:22, ὁ εσω ανθρωπος, the inner man; that is, the soul, with the whole system of affections and passions. Every part of the Scripture treats man as a compound being: the body is the outward or visible man; the soul, the inward, hidden, or invisible man. The term ανθρωπος, man, is derived, according to the best etymologists, from ανα τρεπων ωπα, turning the face upward. This derivation of the word is beautifully paraphrased by Ovid. The whole passage is beautiful; and, though well known, I shall insert it. After speaking of the creation and formation of all the irrational animals, he proceeds thus: -

"Sanctius his animal, mentisque capacius altae

Deerat adhuc, et quod dominari in caetera posset.

Natus Homo est: sive hunc divino semine fecit

Ille opifex rerum, mundi melioris origo;

Sive recens tellus, seductaque nuper ab alto

Aethere, cognati retinebat semina coeli. -

Pronaque cum spectent animalia caetera terram,

Os Homini Sublime Dedit; Coelumque Tueri

Jussit, et erectos ad sidera tollere veltus."

Metam, lib. i. ver. 76.

"A creature of a more exalted kind

Was wanting yet, and then was Man design'd;

Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast,

For empire form'd, and fit to rule the rest.

Whether with particles of heavenly fire

The God of nature did his soul inspire,

Or earth but new divided from the sky,

Which still retain'd th' ethereal energy. -

Thus, while the mute creation downward bend

Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend,

Man looks aloft, and with erected eyes

Beholds his own hereditary skies."

Dryden.

The word ανθρωπος, man, is frequently applied to the soul, but generally with some epithet. Thus ὁ εσω ανθρωπος, the inner man, Romans 7:22, to distinguish it from the body, which is called ὁ εξω ανθρωπος, the outer man, 2 Corinthians 4:16; ὁ κρυπτος ανθρωπος, the hidden man, as in the text; ὁ καινος ανθρωπος, the new man, the soul renewed in righteousness, Ephesians 2:15, to distinguish him from ὁ παλαιος ανθρωπος, the old man, that is, man unregenerate or in a state of sin, Romans 6:6. And the soul is thus distinguished by the Greek philosophers.

A meek and quiet spirit - That is, a mind that will not give provocation to others, nor receive irritation by the provocation of others. Meekness will prevent the first; quietness will guard against the last.

Great price - All the ornaments placed on the head and body of the most illustrious female, are, in the sight of God, of no worth; but a meek and silent spirit are, in his sight, invaluable, because proceeding from and leading to himself, being incorruptible, surviving the ruins of the body and the ruins of time, and enduring eternally.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-peter-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

But let it be the hidden man of the heart - This expression is substantially the same as that of Paul in Romans 7:22, “the inward man.” See the notes at that place. The word “hidden” here means that which is concealed; that which is not made apparent by the dress, or by ornament. It lies within, pertaining to the affections of the soul.

In that which is not corruptible - Properly, “in the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” This is said to be incorruptible in contradistinction to gold and apparel. They will decay; but the internal ornament is ever enduring. The sense is, that whatever pertains to outward decoration, however beautiful and costly, is fading; but that which pertains to the soul is enduring. As the soul is immortal, so all that tends to adorn that will be immortal too; as the body is mortal, so all with which it can be invested is decaying, and will soon be destroyed.

The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit - Of a calm temper; a contented mind; a heart free from passion, pride, envy, and irritability; a soul not subject to the agitations and vexations of those who live for fashion, and who seek to be distinguished for external adorning. The connection here shows that the apostle refers to this, not only as that which would be of great price in the sight of God, but as that which would tend to secure the affection of their husbands, and win them to embrace the true religion, (see 1 Peter 3:1-2); and, in order to this, he recommends them, instead of seeking external ornaments, to seek those of the mind and of the heart, as more agreeable to their husbands; as better adapted to win their hearts to religion; as that which would be most permanently proved. In regard to this point we may observe:

(1) that there are, undoubtedly, some husbands who are pleased with excessive ornaments in their wives, and who take a pleasure in seeing them decorated with gold, and pearls, and costly array.

(2) that all are pleased and gratified with a suitable attention to personal appearance on the part of their wives. It is as much the duty of a wife to be cleanly in her person, and neat in her habits, in the presence of her husband, as in the presence of strangers; and no wife can hope to secure the permanent affection of her husband who is not attentive to her personal appearance in her own family; especially if, while careless of her personal appearance in the presence of her husband, she makes it a point to appear gaily dressed before others. Yet.

(3) the decoration of the body is not all, nor is it the principal thing which husband desires. He desires primarily in his wife the more permanent adorning which pertains to the heart. Let it be remembered:

(a) that a large part of the ornaments on which females value themselves are lost to a great extent on the other sex. Many a man cannot tell the difference between diamonds and cut-glass, or paste in the form of diamonds; and few are such connoisseurs in the matter of female ornaments as to appreciate at all the difference in the quality or color of silks, and shawls, and laces, which might appear so important to a female eye. The fact is, that those personal ornaments which to females appear of so much value, are much less regarded and prized by people than they often suppose. It is a rare thing that a man is so thoroughly skilled in the knowledge of the distinctions that pertain to fashions, as to appreciate that on which the heart of a female often so much prides itself; and it is no great credit to him if he can do this. His time usually, unless he is a draper or a jeweler, might have been much better employed than in making those acquisitions which are needful to qualify him to appreciate and admire the specialties of frivilous female apparel.

(b) But a man has a real interest in what constitutes the ornaments of the heart. His happiness, in his contact with his wife, depends on these. He knows what is denoted by a kind temper; by gentle words; by a placid brow; by a modest and patient spirit; by a heart that is calm in trouble, and that is affectionate and pure; by freedom from irritability, fretfulness, and impatience; and he can fully appreciate the value of these things No professional skill is necessary to qualify him to see their worth; and no acquired tact in discrimination is requisite to enable him to estimate them according to their full value. A wife, therefore, if she would permanently please her husband, should seek the adorning of the soul rather than the body; the ornament of the heart rather than gold and jewels. The one can never be a substitute for the other; and whatever outward decorations she may have, unless she have a gentleness of spirit, a calmness of temper, a benevolence and purity of soul, and a cultivation of mind that her husband can love, she cannot calculate on his permanent affection.

Which is in the sight of God of great price - Of great value; that being of great value for which a large price is paid. He has shown his sense of its value:

(a)by commending it so often in his word:

(b)by making religion to consist so much in it, rather than in high intellectual endowments, learning, skill in the arts, and valor; and,

(c)by the character of his Son, the Lord Jesus, in whom this was so prominent a characteristic.

Sentiments not unlike what is here stated by the apostle, occur not unfrequently in pagan Classic writers. There are some remarkable passages in Plutarch, strongly resembling it: “An ornament, as Crates said, is that which adorns. The proper ornament of a woman is that which becomes her best. This is neither gold, nor pearls, nor scarlet, but those things which are an evident proof of gravity, regularity, and modesty” - Conjugalio Praecept., c. xxvi. The wife of Phocion, a celebrated Athenian general, receiving a visit from a lady who was elegantly adorned with gold and jewels, and her hair with pearls, took occasion to call the attention of her guest to the elegance and costliness of her dress. “My ornament,” said the wife of Phocion, “is my husband, now for the twentieth year general of the Athenians” - Plutarch‘s Life of Phocion. “The Sicilian tyrant sent to the daughters of Lysander garments and tissues of great value, but Lysander refused them, saying, “These ornaments will rather put my daughters out of countenance than adorn them” - Plutarch. So in the fragments of Naumachius, as quoted by Benson, there is a precept much like this of Peter: “Be not too fond of gold, neither wear purple hyacinth about your neck, or the green jasper, of which foolish persons are proud. Do not covet such vain ornaments, neither view yourself too often in the glass, nor twist your hair into a multitude of curls,” etc.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-peter-3.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Hidden man of the heart ... Subsequent versions usually have "hidden person" of the heart; and as the passage deals with the duties of wives, this is better. The "hidden person" is the same as Paul's "inner man" (Ephesians 3:16), meaning the actual person, the private being which every person knows himself to be. Paul described a real Jew as being a Jew who is one "inwardly," which stresses the same thought (Romans 2:28f).

Incorruptible apparel ... "Paul assures us in this passage that moral characteristics gained in this life remain our characteristics in the next."[7] All of this warning against outward display of expensive dress and ornaments indicates that many of the Christians of that period were wealthy, as does likewise Paul's passage in 1 Timothy 6:17f.

ENDNOTE:

[7] A. J. Mason, op. cit., p. 413.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-peter-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But let it be the hidden man of the heart,.... By which is meant internal grace; which gives a beauty and ornament to the soul, far preferable to that which plaiting of the hair, wearing of gold, or any costly apparel, can give to the body: and this is called a man, as it is elsewhere the new man, Ephesians 4:24 because it has that which answers to what is in man, to his soul, and the powers and faculties of it: this man, or new creature, has a new heart and Spirit; it has a will to that which is spiritually good, and an understanding of divine things, and affections for Christ, for his Gospel, ordinances, ways, and people, and for things above: it has what answers to all the five senses; there is in it a seeing of the Son of God in the glories of his person and the fulness of his grace, and of the invisible things of another world; an hearing of the word, of the voice of Christ, so as to understand it, and live, and to distinguish it from the voice of a stranger; a smelling a sweet savour in the things of God, and of his Spirit, and in the person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; a tasting that the Lord is gracious, his fruits pleasant, and his word sweeter than the honey, or the honeycomb; and a feeling of the burden of sin, an handling of the word of life, a laying hold on Christ, and retaining him: and it has what answers to the parts and members of the body; it has eyes to see with, ears to hear with, hands to receive from Christ, and work with, to his glory, and feet to walk with: it has, in short, all the parts of a man, though these are not yet grown up to perfection; and so that is not yet a perfect man, or arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; but a man it is: and "a man of the heart"; it has its seat there; it is an inward principle in the soul; hence it is called the "inner" and "inward man"; and nothing outward is it, as external humiliation for sin, abstinence from it, reformation of life and manners, a profession of religion, and conformity to Gospel ordinances; but it is something inward, as appears from its names, both here and elsewhere; it is called spirit, seed, the root of the matter, and oil in the vessels; and from the seat and subject of it, the heart, the spirit, the understanding and will, the mind, conscience, and affections: and it is the "hidden man"; it is wisdom in the hidden part; it is hidden from the men of the world; they do not know what it is, nor what it means, nor how it is, or can be; the life of it is hidden from them, and the food it lives upon is hidden manna to them, and so are both its joys and sorrows: it is sometimes hidden from the saints themselves; when they walk in darkness, and see no light, they are at a loss to know whether this principle is in them or not; and it is hidden from other believers, till they give an account of it to them, when by comparing it with the word of God, and their own experience, they perceive it is the grace of God in them; and it is hidden from Satan, it is out of his reach, he cannot touch it; though he can touch the old man, and stir up the corruptions of it, yet he cannot touch the new man, that which is born of God, nor hurt or destroy it; but it is not hidden from God; he sees it where men cannot, being covered with a variety of infirmities and sins, and knows it is not where men sometimes think it is. The nature of this hidden man is further expressed by what follows,

in that which is not corruptible; it is opposed to corruptible things, as the outward adorning consists of, such as plaited hair, silver and gold, golden chains, rings, &c. and costly apparel; nor is it corrupt in itself; the old man is corrupt according to its deceitful lusts, but this new man, the hidden man of the heart, has no corruption in it, nor cleaving to it: it is the workmanship of God, and is created in righteousness and holiness; though it is as yet imperfect, there is nothing impure in it; nor can it ever perish, or be lost; it is an incorruptible seed, and will always remain when gold will perish, and the best of garments be moth eaten, and decay:

even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit; this is one, and a principal part of the inward adorning, or hidden man of the heart; and those that are possessed of such a spirit are not easily provoked to anger; patiently bear, and put up with injuries; carry themselves affably and courteously unto all; entertain the meanest thoughts of themselves, and the best of others; do not envy the gifts and graces of others, and are willing to be instructed and admonished by the meanest saint; quietly submit to the will of God, in all adverse dispensations of Providence; and ascribe all they have, and are, to the free grace of God, and reckon that when they have done all they can, they are but unprofitable servants. This grace of meekness, humility, and quietness, is a fruit of the Spirit, and so a part of the hidden man, and is what is very ornamental to a believer; it is his clothing, his inward adorning, and what makes him lovely in the sight of God, and of his people; see 1 Peter 5:5 and it is very useful to him in hearing the word, in giving a reason of the hope that is in him, in restoring others, and in showing forth a good conversation; and particularly it greatly becomes, and exceedingly beautifies women professing godliness; who ought to bear much with their husbands, and be in silence, which is what the apostle has a principal regard unto: and to encourage the more to the exercise of it, adds,

which is in the sight of God of great price; which may refer to the whole adorning, to the hidden man of the heart, which is incorruptible, in opposition to the outward adorning, which may be esteemed by men, and be precious in their sight; and particularly to the ornament of meekness and quietness of spirit; for God has a great regard to the meek, humble, and quiet souls; he lifts them up, when cast down; he causes glad tidings to be preached to them; he increases their joy in the Lord; he feeds them, when hungry, to their satisfaction; he guides them in judgment, and teaches them his ways; he will rise up in judgment for them, and reprove with equity for their sake; he gives more grace unto them, and beautifies them with salvation, and will cause them to inherit the earth.


Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-peter-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(a) Who has his abiding place fastened in the heart: so that the hidden man is set against the outward adorning of the body.

(b) Precious indeed and so taken of God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-peter-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

But — “Rather.” The “outward adornment” of jewelry, etc., is forbidden, in so far as woman loves such things, not in so far as she uses them from a sense of propriety, and does not abuse them. Singularity mostly 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 in Alford].

hiddeninner man, which the Christian instinctively hides from public view.

of the heartconsisting in the heart regenerated and adorned by the Spirit. This “inner man of the heart” is the subject of the verb “be,” 1 Peter 3:3, Greek: “Of whom let the inner man be,” namely, the distinction or adornment.

in that — consisting or standing in that as its element.

not corruptible — not transitory, nor tainted with corruption, as all earthly adornments.

meek and quietmeek, not creating disturbances: quiet, bearing with tranquillity the disturbances caused by others. Meek in affections and feelings; quiet in words, countenance, and 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).


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

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

William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

4. “But the hidden man of the heart in purity of a meek and quiet spirit which before God is perfection complete.” This verse describes the charming wife in positive characteristics, clear and unmistakable. This “hidden man of the heart” is none other than the new creature created in the heart by the Holy Ghost in regeneration. The “purity of a meek and quiet spirit, which before God is perfection complete,” is a duplicated and powerful statement of Christian perfection, the second work of grace. Hence the Holy Ghost says that the constituents of her beauty, i.e., regeneration and entire sanctification, constituting “the beauty of holiness,” throw into eclipse all the phantasmagoria of jewelry, finery, artistic fashions and diabolical styles, which would only bankrupt and disgust her husband, leaving him unsaved, ruin her health, inflate her vanity and send her own soul to hell.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-peter-3.html.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

But the hidden man of the heart (αλλ ο κρυπτος της καρδιας αντρωποςall' ho kruptos tēs kardias anthrōpos). Here αντρωποςanthrōpos is in contrast with κοσμοςkosmos just before. See Paul‘s use of αντρωποςanthrōpos for the outer and old, the inner and new man (2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 7:22; Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 3:16; Ephesians 4:22, Ephesians 4:24). See also the Jew εν κρυπτωιen kruptōi (Romans 2:29) and what Jesus said about God seeing “in secret” (Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:6).

In the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit (εν τωι απταρτωι του ησυχιου και πραεως πνευματοςen tōi aphthartōi tou hēsuchiou kai praeōs pneumatos). No word in the Greek for “apparel” (κοσμωιkosmōi). For απταρτοςaphthartos see note on 1 Peter 1:4 and note on 1 Peter 1:23. For πραυςpraus see Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29. ΠνευμαPneuma (spirit) is here disposition or temper (Bigg), unlike any other use in the N.T. In 1 Peter 3:18, 1 Peter 3:19; 1 Peter 4:6 it means the whole inner man as opposed to σαρχsarx or σωμαsōma very much as πσυχηpsuchē is used as opposed to σωμαsōma (οho). Spirit just mentioned.

Of great price (πολυτελεςpoluteles). Old word (from πολυpolu and τελοςtelos cost), in N.T. only here, Mark 14:3; 1 Timothy 2:9.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-peter-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Meek ( πραέος )

See on Matthew 5:5.

Of great price ( πολυτελές )

The word used to describe costly raiment, 1 Timothy 2:9.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-peter-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

The hidden man of the heart — Complete inward holiness, which implies a meek and quiet spirit. A meek spirit gives no trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs without being troubled.

In the sight of God — Who looks at the heart. All superfluity of dress contributes more to pride and anger than is generally supposed. The apostle seems to have his eye to this by substituting meekness and quietness in the room of the ornaments he forbids. "I do not regard these things," is often said by those whose hearts are wrapped up in them: but offer to take them away, and you touch the very idol of their soul. Some, indeed only dress elegantly that they may be looked on; that is, they squander away their Lord's talent to gain applause: thus making sin to beget sin, and then plead one in excuse of the other.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-peter-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Verse 4

Man; character.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/1-peter-3.html. 1878.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

4.] but (rather let their adornment be) the hidden man of the heart (= ὁ ἔσω[ θεν] ἄνθρωπος, see reff. Here, as Wies. well argues, it is not, as in ref. Rom., merely the inner man as distinguished from the outer man, which unbelievers have as well as believers: and that for this reason, that the κρυπτὸς ἄνθρωπος is not here that which is to be adorned, but is itself the adornment: and consequently is of necessity the regenerate life itself in its freshness and beauty. And this is designated as being τῆς καρδίας, a gen. of apposition,—consisting in the heart, changed, and lovely with Christian affections and graces), in (standing in, as its condition and element. No art. is needed before ἐν, because this clause is further descriptive, not of ἄνθρωπος, but of κόσμος) the incorruptible (ornament) ( τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ, a concrete adj. used by preference over the abstract noun, apparently as contrasted with the concretes just mentioned) of the meek and quiet spirit (“mansuetus, qui non turbat: tranquillus, qui turbas aliorum fert placide. Ad illud refer 1 Peter 3:5 fin.: ad hoc, 1 Peter 3:6 fin.” Bengel) which (viz. the meek and quiet spirit: not, as Grot, al., the whole preceding, ἀλλʼ … πνεύματος, nor, as Bengel and Steiger, τὸ ἄφθαρτον. The art. before πραέος marks the antecedent to the ) is in the sight of God (“qui interna, non externa spectat,” Bengel) of great price (reff.: the word used for costly ointment and raiment).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-peter-3.html. 1863-1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

4But let it be the hidden, man of the heart The contrast here ought to be carefully observed. Cato said, that they who are anxiously engaged in adorning the body, neglect the adorning of the mind: so Peter, in order to restrain this desire in women, introduces a remedy, that they are to devote themselves to the cultivation of their minds. The word heart, no doubt means the whole soul. He at the same time shews in what consists the spiritual adorning of women, even in the incorruptness of a meek and quiet spirit “Incorruptness,” as I think, is set in opposition to things which fade and vanish away, things which serve to adorn the body. Therefore the version of Erasmus departs from the real meaning. In short, Peter means that the ornament of the soul is not like a fading flower, nor consists in vanishing splendor, but is incorruptible. By mentioning quiet and a tranquil spirit, he marks out what especially belongs to women; for nothing becomes them more than a placid and a sedate temper of mind. (36) For we know how outrageous a being is an imperious and a self-willed woman. And further, nothing is more fitted to correct the vanity of which Peter speaks than a placid quietness of spirit.

What follows, that it is in the sight of God of great price, may be referred to the whole previous sentence as well as to the word spirit; the meaning indeed will remain the same. For why do women take so much care to adorn themselves, except that they may turn the eyes of men on themselves? But Peter, on the contrary, bids them to be more anxious for what is before God of a great price.

“But the hidden man of the heart, clothed in (or with) the incorruptible adorning of a mild and quiet spirit.”

“Mild” or meek, not given to passion or wrath, patient, not proud nor arrogant; quiet, peaceable, not garrulous, not turbulent, nor given to strife and contention. — Ed.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-peter-3.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE TRUE WOMAN

‘The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.’

1 Peter 3:4

I want to try and put before you, keeping clear as far as may be of political considerations, the end which, according to God’s Holy Word, a Christian woman should strive after, for this is the highest object of ambition, and this is the true woman’s right.

Now, what shall we say as to the true place and perfection of a Christian woman? What is to be her model? What is she to aim at? In a word, what is the highest life to which she can aspire? Well, to most, there will occur the previous difficulty. Is it better to be a matron or a maid? Which is the higher life? And to this question you will get answers wide as the poles asunder. But the special advantages and disadvantages of the two states do not strictly come within the limits of our subject, for I want to speak not of what constitutes a good matron or a good maid, but what are the characteristics of a good woman.

I. What are the natural characteristics of women?

(a) They are physically weaker than men, and on this sense of weakness is based their feeling of dependency. I know, alas! (to the shame of men be it spoken) that men have used this, their physical superiority, for cruelty and tyranny—have used, did I say?—do use it in our Christian land, aye, here at our very doors; but they are more like brutes than men who do it, and, thank God, these are exceptions in Christian England; but in no wise does this shameful fact of cruelty on the one side touch the fact of the inferiority of women in mere physical strength.

(b) They are weaker in reasoning and scientific processes. When she advances in scientific power she loses in womanly tact. Men’s reasoning, of which we boast, continually leads us wrong, but the instinct of a woman seldom errs. Poets and satirists constantly talk about women as beings that no one can comprehend, and this is put down to the fact that they are so illogical, or so wayward and capricious. But there is another explanation. It is this: man is very weak in that power of perception, that capacity for instinctively grasping a character which a woman’s nature gives her. Few men understand women. Few men are not easily seen through by women. People would be shocked if we said that instinct is higher than reason, but it very often is—certainly it is more infallible—and God, in dividing to every one as He would, has given men more of the power of reasoning, and women more of insight and tact.

(c) It follows from this very inferiority in head and superiority in heart that women are more religious than men. We say they ‘jump at conclusions,’ but if the conclusions are right, it is better to reach them anyhow than to lose oneself half-way in vague and unproductive questionings. Men often do this; scientific men, logically minded men, men who at starting admit that they are investigating only secondary causes, of which God is the first cause, sometimes get lost among these second causes, and begin to wonder whether there is a God at all. Women rarely do this. They jump at the conclusion of the reasoning, which is also the beginning of all things on which we reason, God the Creator of the world. It is an instinctive but a true process, and one which they would be indeed unwise to exchange for another method, which may be learned, but is not natural to them. I think this is why an irreligious woman or an unbelieving woman shocks our feelings so much more than a sceptical man.

(d) They are essentially made forhome.’ Made to be the centre, far more than the man is, of moral and religious family life. About the true woman there is something of retiredness, something of quiet, something which shows that without being selfish she is self-contained. This does not mean—God forbid—that she is not to be educated, that we should endorse the opinions of those who think her capable of nothing but needlework and cooking, or the still more foolish view of later times that the only thing she is fit for is the fancy work which may kill time, work that can by no conceivable possibility be useful to herself or others. A woman, whether married or single, has it always in her power to take part in the Divine work of teaching others, and no means which will fit her for this work will she be wise to neglect. I say the ‘Divine work,’ for I can conceive of no human labour more Divine than nursing children for God, and directing the fresh, pure souls of infants to their Father in heaven. Those who have given their hearts to such work are often surprised how everything seems to help them—their secular studies, the culture of eye and ear, and even the less intellectual but not less womanly occupations of the house. Yes, thank God! women must work, and women must be taught; and yet with all their work, and all their learning, and all their anxiety to do what they can for others, there will still be a retiredness about the true woman. I believe our instinctive judgments in this matter are right. The woman who is always anxious to be in the front is no true woman; the woman who likes to enter the lists with men is not a true woman; the woman who is so busy running hither and thither that she has no care for the quiet retiredness of home duties is no true woman; the woman whose one thought in her dress is to wear something striking, something that will catch the eye of the other sex, or stir up the envy of her own, is no true woman. Even ‘society,’ as it is called, unchristian as it is in many things, admits this, that the perfection of a woman’s dress is that it should call for no remark. It is a part of woman’s modesty that she should shrink from public gaze, at least that she could not court it; and if in her special work for God she be called to take what some would call a prominent part, the innate womanliness of her bearing will show even there the ‘ornament of a meek and quiet spirit,’ which in the sight of God, aye, and in the sight of men too, is of great price. These are the characteristics which we naturally look for in women, and admire when we see them: dependence on a stronger arm, the instinctive power of a loving nature, a religious and reverent disposition, and a love of retiredness and home. Can we change any of these without loss? I think not.

II. Now turn to what is enjoined by the Word of God.—I must sum up these duties very shortly.

(a) The first is ‘obedience’; obedience of the child to the father, and the wife to the husband. Children, obey your parents in all things; likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands. Here is the dependency which we have noticed as a fact appearing under the form of a duty. ‘Obey: be subject.’ It is, of course, easy to quote these commands, and say it means slavery, an old-world view of the relation of the sexes. But it is not true. The obedience and subjection of child or wife has its root in love, and where love reigns, obedience is easy. When a girl chafes at the restrictions of home, it is a sad omen for her married life; but the good daughter passes almost naturally into the good wife. It is one of Lord Bacon’s sayings that ‘a good wife commands by obeying’; which means, I think, not that she gets her own way by pretending to let her husband have his, but that the husband who finds his wife ready and willing to carry out his wishes, ready to obey, will, if he is a man at all, be all the more kind and courteous; less, not more, exacting, and least inclined to tyranny; more ready, if he has wandered from it, to be won back to the Faith by the gentle influence, the conversation of the wife.

(b) And the second duty which stands out prominently in the Bible is sobriety and retiredness. Listen to St. Peter’s words, spoken indeed primarily to wives, but bringing out clearly the true perfections of womanhood: ‘Whose adorning … is in the sight of God of great price.’

Illustrations

(1) ‘I think if English women sometimes set definitely before them the lives of the holy women as their pattern, and turned to their Bibles to see what is told us, it would be a real help. For instance, suppose an Englishwoman tries to find out what there is told us about her who was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, the first thing she would notice would be how very little is told us about her. The Roman Catholic has filled up the gap with many an apocryphal story, but surely the lesson is an easy one to read, that the true woman loves to be unknown, wrapped in the sacred privacy of home life, from which only the calls of affection or the duties of religion draw her. As the unknown life of Jesus of Nazareth teaches us the need of seclusion and quiet for those who are preparing for a great purpose, so the little known life of the holy mother hints to us the need of retiredness in the true woman.’

(2) ‘Culture, civilisation, laws, all have failed to teach the double truth of the equality of the sexes before God, and their different yet equally noble spheres in the family on earth. The educated Hindoo, no less than the savage South Sea Islander, has failed to realise these truths, and it is only by spreading far and wide the knowledge of God’s love in Christ for every creature He has made, only by teaching the dignity of that nature which the Eternal Son has taken into God, that we can effectually aid the heathen daughters of the One Father. But on the other hand, here in England, and in other Christian countries, there is danger of a very different degradation, for I call that a degradation which draws away any being from its proper objects of ambition, and makes it aim at a place in God’s world which neither nature nor revelation have allotted to it.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-peter-3.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 4. But let it be the hidden] Vestite vos serico pietatis, byssino sanctitatis, purpura pudicitiae. Taliter pigmentatae Deum habebitis amatorem. It is Tertullian’s counsel to young women, Clothe yourselves, saith he, with the silk of piety, with the satin of sanctity, with the purple of modesty; so shall you have God himself to be your suitor. (Lib. de Cult. Fem.) Plutarch speaks of a Spartan woman, that when her neighbours were showing their apparel and jewels, she brought out her children, virtuous and well taught, and said, These are my ornaments and jewels. {Titus 2:4} In that which is not corruptible] Or, In the incorruption of a meek and quiet spirit, &e., a garment that will never be the worse for wearing, but the better. Some wives may seem to have been molten out of that salt pillar into which Lot’s wife was transformed; these, as they please not God, so they are contrary to all men.

Of great price] God makes great reckoning of a quiet mind, because it is like himself. He promiseth earth to the meek, and heaven to the incorrupt or sincere, and pure in heart.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-peter-3.html. 1865-1868.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

1 Peter 3:4. As antithesis to what precedes, ἀλλʼ ἔσωθεν κόσμος would have been expected; instead of this, however, the author at once states in what that adornment does consist.

κρυπτὸς τῆς καρδίας ἄνθρωπος] does not mean: the virtutes christ. quas Spir. s. per regenerationem in homine operatur (Gerhard; so, too, Wiesinger and Fronmüiller), for here there is no mention either of the Holy Ghost or of regeneration. It denotes simply the inner man, in contradistinction to the outward man (so, too, de Wette, Brückner, Weiss, Schott, Hofmann); κρυπτός, antithesis to ἔξωθεν, 1 Peter 3:3; cf. ἔσω ἀνθρ., Romans 7:22; Ephesians 3:16; ἔσωθεν, sc. ἄνθρ., 2 Corinthians 4:16; cf., too, such expressions as: τὰ κρυπτὰ τῆς καρδίας, 1 Corinthians 14:25, and τὰ κρυπτὰ τῶν ἄνθρ., Romans 2:16. The apostle selected the expression κρυπτός as a contrast to the conspicuous adornment formerly spoken of. τῆς καρδίας is not gen. qualitatis (Schott); καρδία itself denotes no quality; it is the genitive of apposition subjoined, in that καρδία is the seat of the feeling and the disposition.

ἐν τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ] τὸ ἄφθαρτον, substantive (like φθαρτά, chap. 1 Peter 1:18), “the imperishable” (incorrectly, Hofmann: ἐν τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ, sc. κόσμῳ), in contrast to the perishable ornaments above mentioned. The prepos. ἐν points out the sphere in which the inner hidden man should move. If “ ὧν κόσμος ἔστω” be supplied after ἀλλά, then “ ἐν is to be joined with it, so as to show in what, and with what, this their inward hidden man should be their ornament” (Schott; so, too, Hofmann).

τοῦ πρᾳέος καὶ ἡσυχίου πνεύματος] a more exact definition of the ἄφθαρτον; it denotes not the πν. ἅγιον of God, but the spirit of man. The meek and quiet spirit (here emphasized with special reference to ὑποτασσόμενοι, 1 Peter 3:1) is that “imperishable,” in which the hidden life of woman should exist and move.(170)

ἐστιν ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ πολυτελές] does not apply to the whole (Grotius), nor to τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ (Bengel, Pott, Steiger, Schott), since it is self-evident that the ἄφθαρτον is in God’s eyes πολυτελές. It is to be taken with the immediately preceding: πνεύ΄ατος (de Wette, Wiesinger). Such a πνεῦ΄α is, in the judgment of God (1 Timothy 2:3), πολυτελές (Mark 14:3; 1 Timothy 2:9), whilst outward adornment, worthless to the divine mind, possesses a value only in the eyes of men.(171)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-peter-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

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


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-peter-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The hidden man of the heart; the inward man, Romans 7:22 2 Corinthians 4:16; either the soul in opposition to the body, or the image of God, and graces of his Spirit in the soul, called elsewhere the new man, and opposed to natural corruption, or the old man, Ephesians 4:24 Colossians 3:9,10.

In that which is not corruptible: this relates to what follows,

the ornament of a meek, & c., and is opposed to those external ornaments before mentioned, which are of a fading, perishing nature, whereas this is constant and durable: and therefore women who are more apt to be overmuch pleased with external dresses, and bodily ornaments, are exhorted rather to enrich and beautify their souls with Divine graces, than their bodies with gaudy clothes.

Even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit: this notes the particular grace or graces (parts of the new man) in which the spiritual beauty and adorning of women’s souls consists; and either these two words, meek and quiet, are but indifferent expressions of the same grace; or, by meekness may be meant gentleness, easiness and sweetness of spirit, in opposition to moroseness, frowardness, pride, passion, &c.; and by quietness, a peaceable, still, modest temper, in opposition to pragmaticalness, talkativeness, clamorousness. These two usually go in conjunction together, and the latter is the effect of the former: see 1 Timothy 2:9-12.

Which: either this refers to spirit, or to the whole sentence, the ornament of a meek, & c., but the sense is still the same.

Is in the sight of God; who can best judge, (as looking to the inner man, which is not obvious to the eyes of others), and whose judgment is most to be valued: here God’s judgment is opposed to the judgment of vain women, who think to commend themselves to others by outward bravery, and of a vain world, which esteems such things.

Of great price: the excellency of grace and spiritual ornaments is set in opposition to gold and costly apparel: q.d. If women will be fine that they may appear beautiful, let them choose the best ornaments, those of the mind and heart, a meek and quiet spirit, which are precious in the sight of God himself, rather than these external ones, which serve only to draw men’s eyes toward them.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-peter-3.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Let it be the hidden man of the heart; instead of outward adornments visible to man, let it consist in the inward spiritual state of the heart, invisible to sense, which alone God regards. 1 Samuel 16:7.

In; consisting or lying in.

That which is not corruptible-quiet spirit; or, the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, like that which Jesus manifested, and which those possess who imitate him. Matthew 11:29.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-peter-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

4. ὁ κρυπτὸς ἄνθρωπος, cf. Romans 7:22 τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον.

ἄνθρωπος does not mean man as opposed to woman but is a neutral term, like homo. Here it means the inner character, cf. τὸν καινὸν ἄνθρωποντὸν παλαιὸν ἄνθρωπον, Ephesians 4:22-24.

ἐν τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ. Probably a neuter adjective used as a substantive = the incorruptible apparel.

ἡσύχιος is used in Isaiah 66:2 of “a contrite spirit.” Here it means tranquil as opposed to restless, fussy, or perturbed. Only in 1 Timothy 2:2, a tranquil (ἤρεμον) and quiet (ᾑσύχιον) life. The substantive ἡσυχία is used of silence in Acts 22:2; 1 Timothy 2:11, and of quietness in 2 Thessalonians 3:12 as opposed to restless excitement.

Bengel distinguishes πραΰς as meaning “qui non turbat,” ἡσύχιος “qui turbas aliorum, superiorum, inferiorum, aequalium fert placide.” Also πραΰς, he says, refers to feelings, ἡσύχιος to words, look, or conduct.

πραΰς = mild, gentle, meek as opposed to self-seeking and aggressive, cf. Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29; Matthew 21:5.

πολυτελές. Such an ornament is like a costly jewel in God’s estimation, cf. Mark 14:3; 1 Timothy 2:9. In the LXX. it is used of gold and precious stones.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
"Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-peter-3.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4. The hidden man of the heart—This is the true adorning, which should be most eagerly sought and highly prized, and to which all other should be subordinate. It is further described as consisting in the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is not corruptible, as gold, apparel, and even the body itself are. Such an ornament is not possible for her who lives only for the world and display. In God’s sight, who looks upon the inward, not the outward, it is very precious.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-peter-3.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

1 Peter 3:4. but the hidden man of the heart. This phrase is taken by some to be practically equivalent to what is elsewhere called the ‘new man’ (Colossians 3:10), or the ‘new creature’ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), i.e the regenerate life itself on its inward side, the new nature that is formed by the Spirit of God ‘in the secret workshop of the heart,’ ‘the new way of thinking, willing, and feeling’ (Fronmüller, so also Alford, Wiesinger, Beza, etc.). It is analogous, however, rather to the other Pauline expressions, the ‘inner man’ (Ephesians 3:16), or the ‘inward man’ (Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16). Of itself it denotes not the regenerate life specifically, but simply the inner life, the true self within, the contrast here being between those external accessories of ornamentation on which it is vain to depend for power of attraction or persuasion, and those inner qualities of character which are the secret of all permanent, personal influence (so substantially Calvin, Bengel, Huther, Hofmann, Schott, Weiss, etc.). The term ‘man’ is used much as we use the I, the self, the personality. It is described as ‘hidden,’ in antithesis to those exterior, material adornments which are meant to catch the eye. And it is defined as ‘of the heart,’ as found in the heart, or identified with it. Clement, in the treatise already referred to (Pad. 1 Peter 3:1), defines the ‘inner man’ as the ‘rational nature which rules the outer man.’

in the imperishableness of the meek and quiet spirit. The inner personality of moral beauty which makes the wife’s true adorning, which belongs to the heart and cannot be seen by the outer eye, is further defined in respect of what it consists in. That is, as the phrase literally runs, ‘in the imperishable of the meek and quiet spirit;’ the adjective meaning not ‘without stain,’ or ‘uncorrupted,’ as Grotius, Luther, Erasmus, take it, but in accordance with 1 Peter 1:7, simply ‘permanent’ in opposition to the transitory and decaying. This is construed, therefore, in several ways; either as = in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (so A. V., but with a certain strain upon the Greek); or = in the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit (so R. V., with Hofmann, Alford, etc.); or = in the imperishableness of a meek and quiet spirit,—i.e in what cannot perish, namely, a meek and quiet spirit. This last is most in harmony with the previous contrast (in 1 Peter 1:7) between proved faith which is to be found unto praise at Christ’s coming, and gold that perisheth. So the Rhemish gives ‘in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a modest spirit.’ The other old English Versions are in confusion, e.g. Wycliffe’s ‘in incorruption and of mild spirit,’ Tyndale’s ‘incorrupt with a meek and a quiet spirit’ (so also the Genevan), and Cranmer’s ‘without all corruption, so that the spirit be at rest and quiet.’ The quality of meekness implies more than gentleness. In the old Greek ethics it amounts only to mildness, in the sense of the opposite of roughness and violence (Plato, Rep. 558A, etc.), or in that of the subsidence of anger (Herod, 1 Peter 2:18). It is defined by Aristotle as the mean between passionate temper and the neutral disposition which is incapable of heated feeling, and as inclining to the weakness of the latter (Nic. Eth. iv. 5). In the New Testament it is not mere equanimity, but the grace of a positive denial of self which holds disputings alien to it, and curbs the tendency of nature to passion, resistance, and resentment (cf. also Matthew 5:5; Matthew 21:5, and, above all, Christ’s application of it to Himself, Matthew 11:29). The quality of quietness expresses a tranquility or peaceableness (the adjective is the same as the ‘peaceable’ of 1 Timothy 2:2, its only other New Testament occurrence) which has its deep source within. Together, therefore, the two epithets may describe the beauty of the spirit which, as Bengel suggests, at once shrinks from giving trouble by the assertion of one’s rights, and bears in calmness the grievances which come from others.

which is in the sight of God of great price. The estimate which is put upon such a spirit by Him who has said of Himself that He ‘seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7), should be a further recommendation of it to these women. The same epithet is used to describe the array as costly (1 Timothy 2:9), and the spikenard as very precious (Mark 14:3). It is another, with a similar sense, which occurs in 1 Peter 1:7, and is used to describe the pearl (Matthew 13:46) as one ‘of great price,’ and Mary’s spikenard as ‘very costly’ (John 12:3; cf. Matthew 26:7). With Peter’s statement of the wife’s true adorning, compare above all the picture of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 (specially Proverbs 31:25); and such classical parallels as this from Plutarch’s Nuptial Precepts—‘that adorns a woman which makes her more becoming; and this is not done either by gold, or emerald, or purple, but by those things which give her the appearance of dignity, orderliness, modesty.’


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-peter-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

1 Peter 3:4. Yours be the secret man of the heart not the outward ornament. A better antithesis and a pretty paradox would be secured by supplying ἄνθρωπος with ἔξωθεν and taking κ. as predicate: your ornament be cf. οὕτως ἐκόσμουν ἑαυτάς (1 Peter 3:5). But the order in 1 Peter 3:3 is against this and a Greek reader would naturally think of the other sense of κ.= world universe and remember that man is a microcosm and “the universe the greatest and most perfect man” (Philo, p. 471 M.).— κρυπτὸς τῆς καρδίας ἄνθρωπος, the hidden man that is the heart (or which belongs to the heart) is the equivalent of the Pauline inner man (Romans 7:22), i.e., Mind as contrasted with the outward man, i.e., flesh (Rom. l.e., cf. 2 Corinthians 4:16). St. Peter employs the terms used in the Sermon on the Mount; cf. St. Paul’s ἐν τῷ κρυπτῷ ἰουδαῖος and περιτομὴ καρδίας, Romans 2:29.— ἐν τῷ ἀφθάρτῳ clothed in the incorruptible thing (or ornament, sc. κόσμῳ) contrasted with corruptible goldens; cf. James 2:2, ἀνὴρἐν ἐσθῆτι λαμπρᾷ.— τοῦπνεύματος, namely, the meek and quiet spirit. The adjectives are perhaps derived from the version of Isaiah 64:2, known to Clement of Rome (Ep. i. xiii. 4), ἐπὶ τίνα ἐπιβλέψω ἀλλʼ ἐπὶ τὸν πρᾳὺν καὶ ἡσύχιον καὶ τρέμοντά μου τὰ λόγια. Jesus professed Himself, πρᾳὺς καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ. For πνεύματος compare πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης, Romans 1:4. In Romans 2:29, πν. is coupled with heart as contrasted with flesh and outwardness. which spirit or the posssesion of which reference.— πολυτελές suggests use of conception of Wisdom which is precious above rubies (Proverbs 3:15, etc.); cf. James 1:21; James 3:13, ἐν πρᾳύτητι σοφίας and description of the wisdom from above, James 3:17.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-peter-3.html. 1897-1910.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

1 Peter 3:4 ‘but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.’

‘but let it be’-Language of choice. Every woman can truly be a woman which reflects the image of God (Genesis 1:26). This is within the reach of all who desire to be a woman that pleases God. Hence, the picture of the worthy woman isn’t a ‘super-woman’.

‘the hidden person of the heart’-‘Hidden’-‘concealed, secret’ (Thayer p. 362); ‘hidden personality of the heart’ (Mon); ‘the inner life’ (TCNT); ‘inner loveliness of the heart’ (Nor).

Points to Note: 1. This is the same as the ‘inner man’ (2 Corinthians 4:16; Romans 7:22) the ‘soul’ (Matthew 10:28) or the ‘spirit’ (Hebrews 12:9). Men and women are dual beings having both a physical outward form and an inward soul or spirit..

‘of the heart’-‘Behavior that reflects the influence of the gospel and gains men for Christ begins within…..When Christ rules the heart He rules the conduct. It’s all a matter of faith, what Christ is to a man determines what that man will be for Christ…and what he will be to others.’ (Plain Talk). The inner person is hidden in the sense that you can’t see the soul. But the heart is revealed (always) through actions, attitudes and words (Mark 7:20-23; Matthew 15:18). ****Often people say, ‘I don’t like my personality’. We need to realize that we cannot separate our personality from the spiritual condition of soul. Or the condition of our heart. Our present personality is who we really are! The real you isn’t something different from your personality.

‘with the imperishable quality’-‘lasting charm’ (Tay) ‘Not liable to corruption or decay’ (Thayer p. 88). Clothing and jewelry will wear out, fade and one will find that even the most expensive things tend to go out of style. No amount of time, makeup and effort can hide the aging of the human body. But a wonderful and godly personality is something that won’t fade with time. ‘the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit will last for eternity.’ (Grudem p. 140) ‘Her primary cultivation is to be of the inner person, that of the heart. Let that be her distinction and adornment most admired and attended.’ (Oberst p. 150) (See Proverbs 11:16; Proverbs 11:22; Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 14:1; Proverbs 19:13-14; Proverbs 31:30).

‘of a gentle’-‘the opposite of self-assertiveness or self-interest.’ (Vine pp. 55-56); ‘Gentle, humble, considerate’ (Arndt p. 699); ‘not characterized by self-will, envy, pride, presumption, or obstinacy.’ (Woods p. 90) Points to Note: 1. The same as the word ‘meekness’ (Matthew 5:5; Matthew 11:29; Galatians 5:23; Galatians 6:1). ‘It means “not insistent on one’s own rights”, or “not pushy, not selfishly assertive”, “not demanding one’s own way”.’ (Grudem p. 140) 2. Barclay notes that gentleness or meekness is opposed to arrogance and pride. It is the word in which strength and gentleness are perfectly combined. The attitude in which real learning takes place, i.e. humble enough to admit your own ignorance (James 1:21) ‘The root meaning…is self-control…. It is when we have ‘gentleness’ that we treat all men with perfect courtesy, that we can rebuke without rancor, …that we can face the truth without resentment, that we can be angry and yet sin not, that we can be gentle and yet not weak.’ (Flesh and Spirit p. 121)

In practical terms this means: Even though your husband is a non-Christian you are not given the right to become arrogant, engage in manipulation, make his life miserable, become rude or caustic, or become cold or distant.

‘quiet spirit’-‘tranquil’ (Thayer p. 281). ‘The sense of being calm, peaceful, and tranquil as opposed to restless, rebellious, disturbed, or insubordinate.’ (Davids p. 119) In practical terms this means: That such a woman have complete trust in God (Isaiah 30:15). When she responds to something foolishly said by her husband that she responds with calmness, confidence and respect. That she doesn’t run throughout the congregation telling everybody about all her marital problems, or trying to get everyone to take her side. That she doesn’t use the sins of her husband to justify her own sinful actions, or spiritual weakness. This woman is willing to listen to advice, especially the commands in this section. She also realizes that out-talking her husband or out-whiting him won’t accomplish what God desires most-i.e. the salvation of her husband’s soul. And that this is no place for harshness, resentment or bitterness. Too many husbands and wives think that the most important thing in any disagreement with their mates is to win the argument. Winning them to God is the important thing! This is the woman who isn’t flustered by the unfaithfulness of her husband. She doesn’t pity herself, she is involved as any other member in the congregation, for her trust is in God, and her God will supply all her needs (Matthew 6:33). And maybe most importantly, a woman with a meek and quiet spirit won’t resent the teachings in these verses or any other verses found in the Word of God. She won’t roll her eyes when this verses are discussed and she won’t think of 100 reasons why this teaching is unrealistic, idealistic or bound to fail.

‘which is precious in the sight of God’-Even more precious than gold. ‘Precious’-very expensive. Human estimation of value and Divine estimation are not always the same (Isaiah 55:8-9; Philippians 3:7). Someone once said, ‘Remember, gold is street paving material in heaven.’

‘Tertullian mentions the modest garb worn by Christian women as indicating their consciousness of their new spiritual wealth and worthiness. They exchanged the temples, theaters, and festivals of paganism for the home, labored with their hands, cared for their husbands and children, graciously dispensed Christian hospitality, nourished their spiritual life in the worship service of the church, ministered to the sick. Their modesty and simplicity were a rebuke to the reaction from the shameless extravagances and immoralities of heathenism. That they were the most conspicuous examples of the transforming power of Christianity is manifest from the admiration and astonishment of the pagan Libanius who exclaimed, “What women these Christians have”.’ (ISBE p. 3103)


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-peter-3.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

man. App-123. "The hidden man" means "the inward man" of Romans 7:22. 2 Corinthians 4:16. Ephesians 3:16.

that which, &c. the incorruptible (Greek. aphthartos. See Romans 1:23). Supply "ornament" again here.

meek App-127.

quiet. See 1 Timothy 2:2.

spirit. App-101.

God. App-98.

of great price. See 1 Timothy 2:9.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-peter-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
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:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-peter-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

Your beauty should consist. "Develop a radiant personality! This is the true ageless beauty! It shines out of a gentle and quiet spirit, not one that is loud and quarrelsome! God will not be impressed with your display, but he will value your gentle and quiet spirit!"


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-peter-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) But let it be . . .—The connection of the clauses is somewhat difficult, but is made more so by our translation of 1 Peter 3:3. Literally it would run, of whom let it not be, or, to whom let there not belong the outward adorning, but the hidden man of the heart. If we adopt the translation in the Authorised Version, it makes “the hidden man” an ornament to be worn in preference to the gold and braided hair, which would be both illogical, and dishonouring to “the hidden man.” What St. Peter says is, “Do not rely, for winning your husbands, upon ornamentation (which is but external), but upon character.”

The hidden man of the heart.—Not equivalent to St. Paul’s expression, “the new man” (Ephesians 4:24), but simply the inner self, the true self—i.e., the genuine moral character. It is more like St. Paul’s phrase, “the inward man,” and may, perhaps, have been adapted from, it. (Comp. Romans 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16.) According to his custom, St. Peter explains by adding the genitive, “of the heart.” (Comp. 1 Peter 1:13.) At the same time, the choice of that particular word, rather than “soul” or “mind,” gives warmth and affection to what might otherwise seem a bare moral or metaphysical conception.

In that which is not corruptible.—The sense is somewhat obscured by our insertion of “even the ornament.” Had it been “even in the ornament,” it would have been clearer, though not right even then. It is literally, in the imperishableness of the meek and quiet spirit, contrasting the abiding beauty of character with the “perishable” or “contemptible” nature of the ornaments just spoken of. So in 1 Peter 1:18, he spoke of “silver and gold” as “perishable.” The same kind of phrase is used by St. Paul in 1 Timothy 6:17, “trust in the uncertainty of riches”—i.e., in riches which are but uncertain things. So here, “in the imperishableness of the meek spirit” means in the meek spirit, which is not (like gold) a perishable thing. Yet the preposition “in” must not be taken as equivalent to “dressed in,” “adorned with;” the “meek and quiet spirit” is not a mere decoration of the “hidden man.” Neither, on the other hand, is it quite “consisting in,” as though “hidden man” and “meek spirit” were identical; for “the hidden man of the heart” would be bad in bad men, and good in good: see, for instance, our Lord displaying the hidden man of the Pharisee’s heart (Matthew 23:28). It is rather the particular mode in which St. Peter wishes the inward character to exhibit itself. We might paraphrase the whole thus:—“Let it not be with you a matter of external ornamentation—elaborate processes, and costly, but perishable, decorations—but let it be a matter of the heart, the character, the true self, manifesting itself in a constant tone of unassuming and imperturbable sweetness—an imperishable attraction.” The word “spirit” here is used, not in its strict metaphysical sense, but in the sense of a mood or general tenour and complexion of life; as, for instance, in Luke 9:55 (perhaps), 1 Corinthians 4:21, Galatians 6:1, and elsewhere. St. Peter assures us in this passage that moral characteristics gained in this life remain our characteristics in the next.

Which is in the sight of God of great price.—The antecedent to “which” has been variously taken. Is it “the meek and quiet spirit?” Is it “the imperishableness of the meek and quiet spirit?” Or is it “the hidden man of the heart exhibiting itself in such a spirit?” Each has something to be said for it, but the last seems nearest to the truth. The thing which is valuable in the eyes of God is the having such an inward character. Thus we might put a stronger stop at the word “spirit;” and this relative clause will be another instance of St. Peter’s favourite mode of speech noticed on 1 Peter 2:24. Such a possession will be not only attractive to the husband for the time, but has a permanent value as being esteemed by God.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-peter-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
the hidden
Psalms 45:13; 51:6; Matthew 23:26; Luke 11:40; Romans 2:29; 6:6; 7:22; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:3,9,10
which is not
1:23
a meek
15; Psalms 25:9; 147:6; 149:4; Isaiah 11:4; 29:19; 57:15; 61:1; Matthew 5:5; 11:29; Matthew 21:5; 2 Corinthians 10:1; Galatians 5:23; Ephesians 4:2; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 3:2; James 1:21; 3:13-17
quiet
Psalms 131:2; Jeremiah 51:59; 1 Thessalonians 4:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Timothy 2:2
which is in
1 Samuel 16:7; Psalms 147:10,11; 149:4; Luke 16:15

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-peter-3.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

It is right for a woman to display a proper attraction for the opposite sex, but it is much more important that she appear as she should in the eyes of God; the things that will please Him are described in this verse. Hidden man of the heart is a figure of speech to denote the opposite of the outward body that may receive material adornment. Not corruptible means something not subject to decay as is the material of bodily dress. Meek and quiet are virtually the same in effect. The first indicates a mind of humbleness and the second denotes the conduct that such a spirit manifests. In God"s sight such qualities are of great price which signifies they are of much value. That is because they are durable ‘and destined to outlast all temporal ornaments such as those made of gold and silver.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on 1 Peter 3:4". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/1-peter-3.html. 1952.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 4th, 2020
the Week of Proper 8 / Ordinary 13
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology