To guileless feeding on the word by the sense of
their privileges as new-born babes, living stones in the spiritual
temple built on Christ the chief corner-stone, and royal priests, in
contrast to their former state: also to abstinence from fleshly lusts,
and to walk worthily in all relations of life, so that the world
without which opposes them may be constrained to glorify God in seeing
their good works. Christ, the grand pattern to follow in patience under
suffering for well-doing.
1. laying aside—once for all: so the
Greek aorist expresses as a garment put off. The
exhortation applies to Christians alone, for in none else is the new
nature existing which, as "the inward man" (Eph 3:16) can cast off the old as an outward
thing, so that the Christian, through the continual renewal of his
inward man, can also exhibit himself externally as a new man. But to
unbelievers the demand is addressed, that inwardly, in regard to
the nous (mind), they must become changed, meta-noeisthai
(re-pent) [Steiger]. The
"therefore" resumes the exhortation begun in 1Pe 1:22. Seeing that ye are born again of an
incorruptible seed, be not again entangled in evil, which "has no
substantial being, but is an acting in contrariety to the being formed
in us" [Theophylact]. "Malice," &c.,
are utterly inconsistent with the "love of the brethren," unto which ye
have "purified your souls" (1Pe 1:22).
The vices here are those which offend against the BROTHERLY LOVE inculcated above. Each succeeding one
springs out of that which immediately precedes, so as to form a
genealogy of the sins against love. Out of malice springs
guile; out of guile, hypocrises (pretending to be what we
are not, and not showing what we really are; the opposite of "love
unfeigned," and "without dissimulation"); out of hypocrisies,
envies of those to whom we think ourselves obliged to play the
hypocrite; out of envies, evil-speaking, malicious, envious
detraction of others. Guile is the permanent disposition;
hypocrisies the acts flowing from it. The guileless knows no
envy. Compare 1Pe 2:2,
"sincere," Greek, "guileless." "Malice delights in
another's hurt; envy pines at another's good; guile
imparts duplicity to the heart; hypocrisy (flattery) imparts
duplicity to the tongue; evil-speakings wound the character of
2. new-born babes—altogether without
2:1). As long as we are here
we are "babes," in a specially tender relation to God (Isa 40:11). The childlike spirit is indispensable
if we would enter heaven. "Milk" is here not elementary truths in
contradistinction to more advanced Christian truths, as in 1Co 3:2; Heb
5:12, 13; but in contrast to
"guile, hypocrisies," &c. (1Pe 2:1); the simplicity of Christian
doctrine in general to the childlike spirit. The same "word of
grace" which is the instrument in regeneration, is the instrument also
of building up. "The mother of the child is also its natural
nurse" [Steiger]. The babe, instead of
chemically analyzing, instinctively desires and feeds on the milk; so
our part is not self-sufficient rationalizing and questioning, but
simply receiving the truth in the love of it (Mt 11:25).
desire—Greek, "have a yearning
desire for," or "longing after," a natural impulse to the regenerate,
"for as no one needs to teach new-born babes what food to take, knowing
instinctively that a table is provided for them in their mother's
breast," so the believer of himself thirsts after the word of God
119:1-176). Compare Tatius' language as to Achilles.
2:1, "laying aside
guile." Irenæus says of
heretics. They mix chalk with the milk. The article, "the," implies
that besides the well-known pure milk, the Gospel, there is no
other pure, unadulterated doctrine; it alone can make us
guileless (1Pe 2:1).
of the word—Not as Alford, "spiritual," nor "reasonable," as English
Version in Ro 12:1. The
Greek "logos" in Scripture is not used of the
reason, or mind, but of the WORD; the preceding context
requires that "the word" should be meant here; the adjective
"logikos" follows the meaning of the noun logos,
1:21, "Lay apart all
filthiness … and receive with meekness the engrafted WORD," is exactly parallel, and confirms
English Version here.
grow—The oldest manuscripts and
versions read, "grow unto salvation." Being BORN again unto salvation, we are also to
grow unto salvation. The end to which growth leads is perfected
salvation. "Growth is the measure of the fulness of that, not
only rescue from destruction, but positive blessedness, which is
implied in salvation" [Alford].
thereby—Greek, "in it";
fed on it; in its strength (Ac 11:14). "The word is to be desired with
appetite as the cause of life, to be swallowed in the hearing, to be
chewed as cud is by rumination with the understanding, and to be
digested by faith" [Tertullian].
3. Peter alludes to Ps 34:8. The first "tastes" of God's goodness
are afterwards followed by fuller and happier experiences. A taste
whets the appetite [Bengel].
benignant, kind; as God is revealed to us in Christ, "the Lord" (1Pe 2:4), we who are born again ought so
to be good and kind to the brethren (1Pe 1:22). "Whosoever has not tasted the word to
him it is not sweet it has not reached the heart; but to them who have
experienced it, who with the heart believe, 'Christ has been sent
for me and is become my own: my miseries are His, and His
life mine,' it tastes sweet" [Luther].
4. coming—drawing near (same
Greek as here, Heb 10:22)
by faith continually; present tense: not having come once for all at
stone—Peter (that is, a
stone, named so by Christ) desires that all similarly should be
living stones BUILT ON Christ, the true
foundation-stone; compare his speech in Ac 4:11. An undesigned coincidence and mark of
genuineness. The Spirit foreseeing the Romanist perversion of Mt 16:18 (compare Mt 16:16, "Son of the Living God," which coincides with his language here,
"the LIVING stone"), presciently makes
Peter himself to refuse it. He herein confirms Paul's teaching. Omit
the as unto of English Version. Christ is positively
termed the "living stone"; living, as having life in Himself
from the beginning, and as raised from the dead to live evermore (Re 1:18) after His rejection by men, and
so the source of life to us. Like no earthly rock, He lives and
gives life. Compare 1Co 10:4, and
the type, Ex 17:6; Nu 20:11.
referred to also by Christ Himself: also by Paul; compare the kindred
prophecies, Isa 8:14; Lu 2:34.
chosen of God—literally, "with
(or 'in the presence and judgment of') God elect," or, "chosen
2:6). Many are alienated from
the Gospel, because it is not everywhere in favor, but is on the
contrary rejected by most men. Peter answers that, though rejected by
men, Christ is peculiarly the stone of salvation honored by God,
first so designated by Jacob in his deathbed prophecy.
5. Ye also, as lively stones—partaking
of the name and life which is in "THE Living
Stone" (1Pe 2:4; 1Co 3:11). Many names which belong to Christ in
the singular are assigned to Christians in the plural. He is "THE Son," "High Priest," "King," "Lamb"; they,
"sons," "priests," "kings," "sheep," "lambs." So the Shulamite called
from Solomon [Bengel].
are built up—Greek, "are being
built up," as in Eph 2:22. Not
as Alford, "Be ye built up." Peter
grounds his exhortations, 1Pe 2:2, 11, &c., on their conscious sense of
their high privileges as living stones in the course of being built
up into a spiritual house (that is, "the habitation of the
priesthood—Christians are both the
spiritual temple and the priests of the temple. There are
two Greek words for "temple"; hieron (the sacred
place), the whole building, including the courts wherein the
sacrifice was killed; and naos (the dwelling,
namely, of God), the inner shrine wherein God peculiarly manifested
Himself, and where, in the holiest place, the blood of the slain
sacrifice was presented before Him. All believers alike, and not merely
ministers, are now the dwelling of God (and are called the
"naos," Greek, not the hieron) and priests unto
1:6). The minister is not,
like the Jewish priest (Greek, "hiercus"), admitted
nearer to God than the people, but merely for order's sake leads the
spiritual services of the people. Priest is the abbreviation of
presbyter in the Church of England Prayer Book, not
corresponding to the Aaronic priest (hiereus, who offered
literal sacrifices). Christ is the only literal
hiereus-priest in the New Testament through whom alone we may
always draw near to God. Compare 1Pe 2:9, "a royal priesthood," that is, a
body of priest-kings, such as was Melchisedec. The Spirit never, in
New Testament, gives the name hiereus, or sacerdotal
priest, to ministers of the Gospel.
holy—consecrated to God.
spiritual sacrifices—not the literal
one of the mass, as the Romish self-styled disciples of Peter teach.
56:7, which compare with
"acceptable to God" here; Ps 4:5;
50:14; 51:17, 19; Ho 14:2; Php 4:18. "Among spiritual sacrifices the first
place belongs to the general oblation of ourselves. For never can we
offer anything to God until we have offered ourselves (2Co 8:5) in sacrifice to Him. There follow
afterwards prayers, giving of thanks, alms deeds, and all exercises of
piety" [Calvin]. Christian houses of
worship are never called temples because the temple was a place
for sacrifice, which has no place in the Christian dispensation;
the Christian temple is the congregation of spiritual worshippers. The
synagogue (where reading of Scripture and prayer constituted the
worship) was the model of the Christian house of worship (compare
Note, see on Jas 2:2, Greek,
"synagogue"; Ac 15:21).
Our sacrifices are those of prayer, praise, and self-denying services
in the cause of Christ (1Pe 2:9,
by Jesus Christ—as our mediating High
Priest before God. Connect these words with "offer up." Christ is both
precious Himself and makes us accepted [Bengel]. As the temple, so also the priesthood, is
built on Christ (1Pe 2:4, 5)
[Beza]. Imperfect as are our services,
we are not with unbelieving timidity, which is close akin to refined
self-righteousness, to doubt their acceptance THROUGH Christ. After extolling the dignity of
Christians he goes back to Christ as the
sole source of it.
6. Wherefore also—The oldest manuscripts
read, "Because that." The statement above is so "because it is
contained in Scripture."
Behold—calling attention to the
glorious announcement of His eternal counsel.
elect—so also believers (1Pe 2:9, "chosen," Greek, "elect
precious—in Hebrew, Isa 28:16, "a corner-stone of preciousness."
See on Isa 28:16. So in 1Pe 2:7, Christ is said to be, to believers,
"precious," Greek, "preciousness."
confounded—same Greek as in
Ro 9:33 (Peter here as elsewhere
confirming Paul's teaching. See Introduction; also Ro 10:11), "ashamed." In Isa 28:16, "make haste," that is, flee in sudden
panic, covered with the shame of confounded hopes.
7. Application of the Scripture just quoted
first to the believer, then to the unbeliever. On the opposite effects
of the same Gospel on different classes, compare Joh 9:39;
2Co 2:15, 16.
precious—Greek, "THE preciousness" (1Pe 2:6). To you believers belongs the
preciousness of Christ just mentioned.
disobedient—to the faith, and so
disobedient in practice.
the stone which … head of …
Those who rejected the STONE were all
the while in spite of themselves unconsciously contributing to its
becoming Head of the corner. The same magnet has two poles, the one
repulsive, the other attractive; so the Gospel has opposite effects on
believers and unbelievers respectively.
8. stone of stumbling, &c.—quoted
8:14. Not merely they
stumbled, in that their prejudices were offended; but their
stumbling implies the judicial punishment of their reception of
Messiah; they hurt themselves in stumbling over the corner-stone, as
"stumble" means in Jer 13:16; Da 11:19.
at the word—rather, join "being
disobedient to the word"; so 1Pe 3:1; 4:17.
whereunto—to penal stumbling;
to the judicial punishment of their unbelief. See above.
also—an additional thought; God's
ordination; not that God ordains or appoints them to sin,
but they are given up to "the fruit of their own ways" according
to the eternal counsel of God. The moral ordering of the world is
altogether of God. God appoints the ungodly to be given up unto
sin, and a reprobate mind, and its necessary penalty. "Were
appointed," Greek, "set," answers to "I lay,"
Greek, "set," 1Pe 2:6. God,
in the active, is said to appoint Christ and the elect
(directly). Unbelievers, in the passive, are said to be
appointed (God acting less directly in the appointment of the
sinner's awful course) [Bengel]. God
ordains the wicked to punishment, not to crime [J. Cappel]. "Appointed" or "set" (not here
"FORE-ordained") refers, not to the eternal counsel so directly, as to
the penal justice of God. Through the same Christ whom sinners
rejected, they shall be rejected; unlike believers, they are by God
appointed unto wrath as FITTED
for it. The lost shall lay all the blame of their ruin on their own
sinful perversity, not on God's decree; the saved shall ascribe all the
merit of their salvation to God's electing love and grace.
9. Contrast in the privileges and destinies of
believers. Compare the similar contrast with the preceding context.
chosen—"elect" of God, even as Christ
your Lord is.
generation—implying the unity of
spiritual origin and kindred of believers as a class distinct from the
royal—kingly. Believers, like Christ,
the antitypical Melchisedec, are at once kings and
priests. Israel, in a spiritual sense, was designed to be the
same among the nations of the earth. The full realization on earth of
this, both to the literal and the spiritual Israel, is as yet
holy nation—antitypical to Israel.
peculiar people—literally, "a people
for an acquisition," that is, whom God chose to be peculiarly
literally, "acquired." God's "peculiar treasure" above
show forth—publish abroad. Not
their own praises but His. They have no reason to magnify
themselves above others for once they had been in the same darkness,
and only through God's grace had been brought to the light which they
must henceforth show forth to others.
"excellencies": His glory, mercy (1Pe 2:10), goodness (Greek, 1Pe 2:3; Nu 14:17, 18; Isa 63:7). The same term is applied to believers,
of him who hath called you—(2Pe 1:3).
out of darkness—of heathen and even
Jewish ignorance, sin, and misery, and so out of the dominion of the
prince of darkness.
marvellous—Peter still has in mind
light—It is called "His," that is,
God's. Only the (spiritual) light is created by God, not
darkness. In Isa 45:7, it
is physical darkness and evil, not moral, that God is said to
create, the punishment of sin, not sin itself. Peter, with
characteristic boldness, brands as darkness what all the world
calls light; reason, without the Holy Spirit, in spite of its
vaunted power, is spiritual darkness. "It cannot apprehend what faith
is: there it is stark blind; it gropes as one that is without eyesight,
stumbling from one thing to another, and knows not what it does" [Luther].
10. Adapted from Ho 1:9, 10;
2:23. Peter plainly confirms
Paul, who quotes the passage as implying the call of the Gentiles to
become spiritually that which Israel had been literally, "the people of
God." Primarily, the prophecy refers to literal Israel, hereafter to be
fully that which in their best days they were only partially, God's
not obtained mercy—literally, "who
were men not compassionated." Implying that it was God's pure
mercy, not their merits, which made the blessed change in their
state; a thought which ought to kindle their lively gratitude,
to be shown with their life, as well as their lips.
11. As heretofore he exhorted them to walk
worthily of their calling, in contradistinction to their own former
walk, so now he exhorts them to glorify God before unbelievers.
Dearly beloved—He gains their
attention to his exhortation by assuring them of his love.
strangers and pilgrims—(1Pe 1:17). Sojourners, literally, settlers
having a house in a city without being citizens in
respect to the rights of citizenship; a picture of the Christian's
position on earth; and pilgrims, staying for a time in a foreign
land. Flacius thus analyzes the
exhortation: (1) Purify your souls (a) as strangers on earth who
must not allow yourselves to be kept back by earthly lusts, and (b)
because these lusts war against the soul's salvation. (2) Walk piously
among unbelievers (a) so that they may cease to calumniate Christians,
and (b) may themselves be converted to Christ.
fleshly lusts—enumerated in Ga 5:19, &c. Not only the gross
appetites which we have in common with the brutes, but all the thoughts
of the unrenewed mind.
which," that is, inasmuch as being such as "war." &c. Not only do
they impede, but they assail [Bengel].
the soul—that is, against the
regenerated soul; such as were those now addressed. The regenerated
soul is besieged by sinful lusts. Like Samson in the lap of Delilah,
the believer, the moment that he gives way to fleshly lusts, has the
locks of his strength shorn, and ceases to maintain that spiritual
separation from the world and the flesh of which the Nazarite vow was
12. conversation—"behavior"; "conduct."
There are two things in which "strangers and pilgrims" ought to bear
themselves well: (1) the conversation or conduct, as subjects
2:13), servants (1Pe 2:18), wives (1Pe 3:1), husbands (1Pe 3:7), all persons under all circumstances
2:8); (2) confession
of the faith (1Pe 3:15, 16). Each of the two is derived from the
will of God. Our conversation should correspond to our Saviour's
condition; this is in heaven, so ought that to be.
honest—honorable, becoming, proper
3:16). Contrast "vain
conversation," 1Pe 1:18. A
good walk does not make us pious, but we must first be pious and
believe before we attempt to lead a good course. Faith first receives
from God, then love gives to our neighbor [Luther].
whereas they speak against
you—now (1Pe 2:15),
that they may, nevertheless, at some time or other hereafter
glorify God. The Greek may be rendered, "Wherein they
speak against you … that (herein) they may, by your good
works, which on a closer inspection they shall behold, glorify
God." The very works "which on more careful consideration, must move
the heathen to praise God, are at first the object of hatred and
evildoers—Because as Christians they
could not conform to heathenish customs, they were accused of
disobedience to all legal authority; in order to rebut this charge,
they are told to submit to every ordinance of man (not sinful in
they shall behold—Greek, "they
shall be eye-witnesses of"; "shall behold on close
inspection"; as opposed to their "ignorance" (1Pe 2:15) of the true character of Christians and
Christianity, by judging on mere hearsay. The same Greek verb
occurs in a similar sense in 1Pe 3:2. "Other men narrowly look at (so
the Greek implies) the actions of the righteous" [Bengel]. Tertullian
contrasts the early Christians and the heathen: these delighted in the
bloody gladiatorial spectacles of the amphitheater, whereas a Christian
was excommunicated if he went to it at all. No Christian was found in
prison for crime, but only for the faith. The heathen excluded slaves
from some of their religious services, whereas Christians had some of
their presbyters of the class of slaves. Slavery silently and gradually
disappeared by the power of the Christian law of love, "Whatsoever ye
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." When the
pagans deserted their nearest relatives in a plague, Christians
ministered to the sick and dying. When the Gentiles left their dead
unburied after a battle and cast their wounded into the streets, the
disciples hastened to relieve the suffering.
glorify—forming a high estimate of the
God whom Christians worship, from the exemplary conduct of Christians
themselves. We must do good, not with a view to our own glory,
but to the glory of God.
the day of visitation—of God's grace;
when God shall visit them in mercy.
13. every ordinance of man—"every human
institution" [Alford], literally, "every
human creation." For though of divine appointment, yet in the
mode of nomination and in the exercise of their authority, earthly
governors are but human institutions, being of men, and in
relation to men. The apostle speaks as one raised above all human
things. But lest they should think themselves so ennobled by faith as
to be raised above subordination to human authorities, he tells them to
submit themselves for the sake of Christ, who desires you to be
subject, and who once was subject to earthly rulers Himself, though
having all things subject to Him, and whose honor is at stake in you as
His earthly representatives. Compare Ro 13:5, "Be subject for conscience' sake."
king—The Roman emperor was "supreme"
in the Roman provinces to which this Epistle was addressed. The Jewish
zealots refused obedience. The distinction between "the king as
supreme" and "governors sent by him" implies that "if the king command
one thing, and the subordinate magistrate another, we ought rather to
obey the superior" [Augustine in Grotius]. Scripture prescribes nothing upon
the form of government, but simply subjects Christians to that
everywhere subsisting, without entering into the question of the
right of the rulers (thus the Roman emperors had by force seized
supreme authority, and Rome had, by unjustifiable means, made herself
mistress of Asia), because the de facto governors have not been
made by chance, but by the providence of God.
14. governors—subordinate to the
emperor, "sent," or delegated by Cæsar to preside over the
for the punishment—No tyranny ever has
been so unprincipled as that some appearance of equity was not
maintained in it; however corrupt a government be, God never suffers it
to be so much so as not to be better than anarchy [Calvin]. Although bad kings often oppress the good,
yet that is scarcely ever done by public authority (and it is of what
is done by public authority that Peter speaks), save under the mask of
right. Tyranny harasses many, but anarchy overwhelms the whole state
[Horneius]. The only justifiable
exception is in cases where obedience to the earthly king plainly
involves disobedience to the express command of the King of kings.
praise of them that do well—Every
government recognizes the excellence of truly Christian subjects. Thus
Pliny, in his letter to the Emperor
Trajan, acknowledges, "I have found in them nothing else save a
perverse and extravagant superstition." The recognition in the long run
mitigates persecution (1Pe 3:13).
15. Ground of his directing them to submit
themselves (1Pe 2:13).
put to silence—literally, "to muzzle,"
"to stop the mouth."
ignorance—spiritual not having "the
knowledge of God," and therefore ignorant of the children of God, and
misconstruing their acts; influenced by mere appearances, and ever
ready to open their mouths, rather than their eyes and ears. Their
ignorance should move the believer's pity, not his anger. They
judge of things which they are incapable of judging through unbelief
(compare 1Pe 2:12).
Maintain such a walk that they shall have no charge against you, except
touching your faith; and so their minds shall be favorably disposed
16. As free—as "the Lord's freemen,"
connected with 1Pe 2:15,
doing well as being free. "Well-doing" (1Pe 2:15) is the natural fruit of being
freemen of Christ, made free by "the truth" from the bondage of
sin. Duty is enforced on us to guard against licentiousness, but the
way in which it is to be fulfilled, is by love and the holy
instincts of Christian liberty. We are given principles, not
not using—Greek, "not as
having your liberty for a veil (cloak) of badness, but as
the servants of God," and therefore bound to submit to every
ordinance of man (1Pe 2:13)
which is of God's appointment.
17. Honour all men—according to
whatever honor is due in each case. Equals have a respect due to
them. Christ has dignified our humanity by assuming it; therefore we
should not dishonor, but be considerate to and honor our common
humanity, even in the very humblest. The first "honor" is in the
Greek aorist imperative, implying, "In every case render
promptly every man's due" [Alford].
The second is in the present tense, implying, Habitually and
continually honor the king. Thus the first is the general precept;
the three following are its three great divisions.
Love—present: Habitually love
with the special and congenial affection that you ought to feel to
brethren, besides the general love to all men.
Fear God … the king—The king is
to be honored; but God alone, in the highest sense,
18. Servants—Greek, "household
servants": not here the Greek for "slaves." Probably including
freedmen still remaining in their master's house. Masters
were not commonly Christians: he therefore mentions only the duties of
the servants. These were then often persecuted by their
unbelieving masters. Peter's special object seems to be to teach them
submission, whatever the character of the masters might be. Paul
not having this as his prominent design, includes masters in his
be subject—Greek, "being
subject": the participle expresses a particular instance of the general
exhortation to good conduct, 1Pe 2:11, 12, of which the first particular precept
is given 1Pe 2:13,
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake." The
general exhortation is taken up again in 1Pe 2:16; and so the participle 1Pe 2:18, "being subject," is joined to the
hortatory imperatives going before, namely, "abstain," "submit
yourselves." "honor all men."
all—all possible: under all
circumstances, such as are presently detailed.
fear—the awe of one subject: God,
however, is the ultimate object of the "fear": fear "for the
Lord's sake" (1Pe 2:13),
not merely slavish fear of masters.
gentle—indulgent towards errors:
considerate: yielding, not exacting all which justice might demand.
froward—perverse: harsh. Those bound
to obey must not make the disposition and behavior of the superior the
measure of the fulfilment of their obligations.
19. Reason for subjection even to froward
thankworthy—(Lu 6:33). A course out of the common, and
especially praiseworthy in the eyes of God: not as Rome
interprets, earning merit, and so a work of supererogation (compare
for conscience toward God—literally,
"consciousness of God": from a conscientious regard to God, more than
endure—Greek, "patiently bear
up under": as a superimposed burden [Alford].
20. what—Greek, "what kind
glory—what peculiar merit.
buffeted—the punishment of slaves, and
suddenly inflicted [Bengel].
this is—Some oldest manuscripts read,
"for." Then the translation is, "But if when … ye take it
patiently (it is a glory), for this is acceptable."
"thankworthy," as in 1Pe 2:19.
21. Christ's example a proof that patient
endurance under undeserved sufferings is acceptable with God.
hereunto—to the patient endurance of
unmerited suffering (1Pe 3:9).
Christ is an example to servants, even as He was once in "the form of a
called—with a heavenly calling, though
for us—His dying for us is the
highest exemplification of "doing well" (1Pe 2:20). Ye must patiently suffer, being
innocent, as Christ also innocently suffered (not for Himself, but
for us). The oldest manuscripts for "us … us," read, "you
… for you." Christ's sufferings, while they are for an example,
were also primarily sufferings "for us," a consideration which
imposes an everlasting obligation on us to please Him.
leaving—behind: so the
Greek: on His departure to the Father, to His glory.
an example—Greek, "a copy,"
literally, "a writing copy" set by masters for their pupils. Christ's
precepts and sermons were the transcript of His life. Peter
graphically sets before servants those features especially
suited to their case.
follow—close upon: so the
his steps—footsteps, namely, of
His patience combined with innocence.
22. Illustrating Christ's well-doing
2:20) though suffering.
did—Greek aorist. "Never in a
single instance did" [Alford]. Quoted
neither—nor yet: not even [Alford]. Sinlessness as to the mouth is
a mark of perfection. Guile is a common fault of servants. "If
any boast of his innocency, Christ surely did not suffer as an
evildoer" [Calvin], yet He took it
patiently (1Pe 2:20). On
Christ's sinlessness, compare 2Co 5:21; Heb 7:26.
23. Servants are apt to "answer again" (Tit 2:9). Threats of divine
judgment against oppressors are often used by those who have no other
arms, as for instance, slaves. Christ, who as Lord could have
threatened with truth, never did so.
committed himself—or His
cause, as man in His suffering. Compare the type, Jer 11:20. In this Peter seems to have before his
53:8. Compare Ro 12:19, on our corresponding duty. Leave your
case in His hands, not desiring to make Him executioner of your
revenge, but rather praying for enemies. God's righteous
judgment gives tranquillity and consolation to the oppressed.
24. his own self—there being none
other but Himself who could have done it. His
voluntary undertaking of the work of redemption is implied. The
Greek puts in antithetical juxtaposition, OUR, and His OWN
SELF, to mark the idea of His substitution for us. His
"well-doing" in His sufferings is set forth here as an example to
servants and to us all (1Pe 2:20).
bare—to sacrifice: carried and
offered up: a sacrificial term. Isa 53:11, 12, "He bare the sin of many": where
the idea of bearing on Himself is the prominent one; here the
offering in sacrifice is combined with that idea. So the same
Greek means in 1Pe 2:5.
our sins—In offering or
presenting in sacrifice (as the Greek for "bare" implies)
His body, Christ offered in it the guilt of our sins upon the
cross, as upon the altar of God, that it might be expiated in Him, and
so taken away from us. Compare Isa 53:10, "Thou shalt make His soul an offering
for sin." Peter thus means by "bare" what the Syriac takes two
words to express, to bear and to offer: (1) He hath
borne our sins laid upon Him [namely, their guilt, curse, and
punishment]; (2) He hath so borne them that He offered them
along with Himself on the altar. He refers to the animals upon which
sins were first laid, and which were then offered thus laden
[Vitringa]. Sin or guilt among the
Semitic nations is considered as a burden lying heavily upon the sinner
on the tree—the cross, the proper
place for One on whom the curse was laid: this curse stuck to
Him until it was legally (through His death as the guilt-bearer)
destroyed in His body: thus the handwriting of the bond against us is
cancelled by His death.
that we being dead to sins—the effect
of His death to "sin" in the aggregate, and to all particular "sins,"
namely, that we should be as entirely delivered from them, as a
slave that is dead is delivered from service to his
master. This is our spiritful standing through faith by virtue
of Christ's death: our actual mortification of particular sins
is in proportion to the degree of our effectually being made
conformable to His death. "That we should die to the sins whose
collected guilt Christ carried away in His death, and so LIVE TO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS (compare Isa 53:11. 'My righteous servant shall
justify many'), the gracious relation to God which He has
brought in" [Steiger].
by whose stripes—Greek,
ye were healed—a paradox, yet true.
"Ye servants (compare 'buffeted,' 'the tree,' 1Pe 2:20, 24) often bear the strife; but
it is not more than your Lord Himself bore; learn from Him patience in
25. (Isa 53:6.)
For—Assigning their natural need of
healing (1Pe 2:24).
now—Now that the atonement for all has
been made, the foundation is laid for individual conversion: so
"ye are returned," or "have become converted to,"
Shepherd and Bishop—The designation of
the pastors and elders of the Church belongs in its
fullest sense to the great Head of the Church, "the good Shepherd." As
the "bishop" oversees (as the Greek term means),
so "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous" (1Pe 3:12). He gives us His spirit and feeds and
guides us by His word. "Shepherd," Hebrew, "Parnas," is
often applied to kings, and enters into the composition of
names, as "Pharnabazus."