1 Peter 3:5-6

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

5. Sic enim aliquando et sanctae mulieres quae sperabant in Deum, ornabant seipsas, subjectae propriis maritis:

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

6. Quemadmodum et Sara obediebat Abrahae, dominum ipsum appellans, cujus filiae estis factae, si benefeceritis, et non terreamini ullo pavore.


He sets before them the example of pious women, who sought for spiritual adorning rather than outward meretricious ornaments. But he mentions Sarah above all others, who, having been the mother of all the faithful, is especially worthy of honor and imitation on the part of her sex. Moreover, he returns again to subjection, and confirms it by the example of Sarah, who, according to the words of Moses, called her husband Lord. (Genesis 18:12.) God, indeed, does not regard such titles; and it may sometimes be, that one especially petulant and disobedient should use such a word with her tongue; but Peter means, that Sarah usually spoke thus, because she knew that a command had been given her by the Lord, to be subject to her husband. Peter adds, that they who imitated her fidelity would be her daughters, that is, reckoned among the faithful.

6. And are not afraid. The weakness of the sex causes women to be suspicious and timid, and therefore morose; for they fear lest by their subjection, they should be more reproachfully treated. It was this that Peter seems to have had in view in forbidding them to be disturbed by any fear, as though he had said, "Willingly submit to the authority of your husbands, nor let fear prevent your obedience, as though your condition would be worse, were you to obey." The words may be more general, "Let them not raise up commotions at home." For as they are liable to be frightened, they often make much of a little thing, and thus disturb themselves and the family. Others think that the timidity of women, which is contrary to faith, is generally reproved, as though Peter exhorted them to perform the duties of their calling with a courageous and intrepid spirit. However, the first explanation is what I prefer, though the last does not differ much from it. 1

1 The words are, "Whose daughters ye become, when ye do well and fear no terror." Terror here stands for what terrifies. The paraphrase of Macknight seems to give the real and simple meaning of the passage, "Whose daughters ye Christian women have become, by behaving well towards your husbands, and not being frightened to actions contrary to your religion through fear of displeasing them."