1 Peter 2:9: Privileges of Believers, Part 4

Verse 9:  But ye are (Deut. 10:15; 1 Pet. 1:2) a chosen generation, (Ex. 19:5, 6; Rev. 1:6; 5:10) a royal priesthood, (John 17:19; 1 Cor. 3:17; 2 Tim. 1:9) an holy nation, (Deut. 4:20; 7:6; 14:2; 26:18, 19; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:14; Tit. 2:14) a peculiar people (or, a purchased people[1]); that ye should shew forth the praises (or, virtues[2]) of him who hath called you out of (Acts 26:18; Eph. 5:8; Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 5:4, 5) darkness into his marvellous light…

[But ye (Christians [Estius, similarly Menochius, Gerhard]:  The Particles, ye, we, are properly referred, indeed to all in the case of commandments, but to the elect in the cases of consolations and encomiums [James Cappel]:  understanding, are [Beza, Piscator]) an elect race]  He calls them a race on account of regeneration (Estius, thus Gerhard); elect, because they were chosen by God (Estius, Menochius, Gerhard), that they might be members of the Church (Menochius), and unto eternal life (Gerhard, similarly Estius).  The these he places over against reprobates, verses 7 and 8 (Beza).  See 1 Peter 1:2; you have γένος ἐκλεκτὸν, elect race, in Isaiah 43:20[3] (Grotius), that is, a select people (Hammond).  Peter returns to magnify the dignity and felicity of the pious (Gerhard out of Estius), which he had begun to set forth in verse 4 (Gerhard).

But ye; ye believers, in opposition to those reprobates that are disobedient to the word.  He shows that those dignities and privileges, which were mentioned by Moses as belonging to their forefathers, did much more belong to them; and that they had the real exhibition in Christ, of those good things whereof their fathers had but a taste, and which the rest of the Jews had lost by their unbelief.  Are a chosen generation; a people chosen of God, not only out of the world, but from among the rest of your own nation, and not only to an external adoption, and outward privileges, (as the whole body of the nation was,) but to eternal salvation.

[A royal Priesthood]  He cites the words of Exodus 19:6 (Menochius, thus Estius), according to the Septuagint version.  In the Hebrew it is, a kingdom sacerdotal, or of priests[4] (Estius, thus Drusius).  The sense:  a multitude of Kings and Priests (Cameron).  Take ἱεράτευμα/priesthood as in verse 5.  But βασίλειον/royal is added here, so that Christians might be understood thus to be made Priests through Christ, even while at the same time they are Kings after the pattern of Christ; not as the Israelites, concerning which this was said in Exodus 19:6 on account of the Paschal right, and on account of the liberty common to all and the magnificent victories; but because they offer those things to God concerning which we have already previously spoken, and because they are free from vinces, and overcome the Flesh, the World, and the Devil.  For that saying is able verily to be applied to a Christian man, A king is he, who fears nothing:  A king is he, who desires nothing;[5] and what Cicero says, it belongs to Kings to serve no lust.[6]  The sense is the same in Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 (Grotius).  They are called Priests with respect to God, because they are consecrated to the worship of God:  Kings, with respect to others, because they are lords over life, over death, over all their enemies (Cameron):  or, because they are masters of their affections (certain interpreters in Estius, similarly Menochius):  or rather, because they are sons and heirs of God, co-heirs of Christ, set to reign with Him eternally;[7] or, to such an extent they are members of Christ the King and Priest (Estius).  He alludes to the ancient custom, in which the Priesthood was joined to the royal power[8] (Tirinus).

A royal priesthood; or, kingdom of priests.  He called them an holy priesthood, verse 5, now he calls them a royal priesthood, to show that they were made not only spiritual priests, but spiritual kings; which privilege they had not as Jews, but as believers, who are all of them as priests in respect of God, to whom they are consecrated, and to whom they offer up spiritual sacrifices; so kings in respect both of their enemies, over whom they are victorious, and of the kingdom they are hereafter to inherit.

[An holy nation[9]]  1 Peter 1:15; with the language taken from Deuteronomy 7:6[10] and 14:2[11] (Grotius).  So called on account of holiness, not external and legal, like the Israelites, but internal and true (Estius, Gerhard).  A nation dedicated to God (Menochius).

An holy nation; Moses calls your fathers an holy people, Deuteronomy 7:6, in respect of their separation from the impurities of the Gentiles, their dedication to God, and the many laws God gave them, obliging them to external and ceremonial purity, whereby they were admonished of internal and real holiness; but ye are a holy nation in respect of that true and inward holiness itself, whereof that ceremonial holiness was but a signification.  He seems particularly to allude to Isaiah 62:12.

[A people, etc., λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν[12]]  That is, περιποιητὸς/peculiar (Beza).  The same as the Hebrew סְגֻלָּה, a treasure, or κειμήλιον, a treasure or property, which is reckoned as valuable and diligently guarded (Gerhard, Hammond); which word the Septuagint translators render περιούσιος (Gerhard), in Exodus 19:5[13] (Grotius).  But Theodotion[14] and Symmachus[15] render it ἐξαίρετος/chosen/choice (Gerhard), and in Malachi 3:17 εἰς περιποίησιν, for a possession[16] (Hammond, Grotius).  Περιποίησις means the same thing as σωτηρία/preservation/salvation, as in Hebrews 10:39[17] (Hammond).  See also Ephesians 1:14[18] (Gerhard).  [Thus they translate it:]  A people (or, society [Tremellius out of the Syriac]) peculiar (Arabic), or, redeemed (Tremellius out of the Syriac), who come into profit, adopted and engrafted into the people of God (Erasmus).  Or, for a claim (Montanus); of acquisition, or of a claim (Estius), or, of possession (Estius out of Jerome); for an acquisition (Piscator, Illyricus, Hammond), or, possession (Hammond), that is, which falls to God for an acquisition or possession (Piscator):  acquired (Tigurinus, Castalio, Vatablus, Zegers, Menochius), by the blood of Christ (Estius, Menochius); or, whom God claims for Himself as His own (Pagnine, Beza, Piscator).  Whom He redeems from the power of the Devil, and made His chosen property out of all sorts of men (Estius).  Or, for salvation, as in Hebrews 10:39 (Grotius, Hammond); that is to say, whom God shall save both from the ruin threatening Apostates, and forever (Hammond).

A peculiar people:  Exodus 19:5, it is a peculiar treasure;[19] so the same word is rendered, a special people, Deuteronomy 7:6, and, a peculiar people, Deuteronomy 14:2; the word used by the Septuagint implying as much;[20] but Malachi 3:17, where we render it jewels,[21] the Septuagint translators use the same word which Peter doth here,[22] which is as much as, a people of acquisition, or which God hath acquired to himself for his peculiar possession or treasure.  God had rescued the Israelites from their Egyptian bondage, and taken them to be his peculiar people above all others, and claimed a right to them, and counted them precious, as having redeemed them with a strong hand, and got possession of them at the expense of so much power, and so many miracles.  This deliverance of theirs was the type of Christ’s delivering the church from the tyranny of Satan, the spiritual Pharaoh, and the world, the spiritual Egypt, and a state of sin, the worst bondage; upon the account whereof God’s people are called a peculiar people, or a people thus acquired, Titus 2:14, and a purchased possession, Ephesians 1:14, where the same word is likewise used.

[That, etc., ὅπως τὰς ἀρετὰς, etc.]  That the virtues (namely, opposite to vices [Estius, Gerhard], wisdom, righteousness, goodness, etc. [Estius, thus Menochius, Gerhard, Piscator]:  For he does not say δυνάμεις/powers, but ἀρετὰς/praises/virtues/excellencies, which is a rare word in the Scriptures [Estius]:  But virtue is not proper to God, says Aristotle, and Eustratius[23] on Nicomachean Ethics 9, therefore ἀρετὴ/virtue here is the same as δύναμις/ power:  Thus the virtue of the Gods, in the place of the power, occurs here and there, as in Plautus,[24] etc. [Casaubon[25]]:  Others:  that the excellent things done [Menochius]; that the benefits [Æthiopic]; that the praises [Tremellius out of the Syriac, thus Camerarius], that is, the laudable things done [Camerarius]:  The language of ἀρετῆς sometimes signifies honest habits, as in Philippians 4:8:[26]  But, when it is used of God, as here, it corresponds to the word הוֹד /splendor, as in Habakkuk 3:3;[27] Zechariah 6:13,[28] or to the word תְּהִלָּה/praise, as in Isaiah 42:8,[29] 12;[30] 43:21;[31] 63:7:[32]  In which places it is, as here, in the plural ἀρετὰς, in the signification of potency [Grotius]) we might declare of Him, who has called you (with an efficacious calling, and according to His purpose, Romans 8:28 [Estius]:  God it is who has called us, Romans 9:12, 24; 1 Corinthians 7:15; Galatians 1:6, 15; 5:8; etc. [Grotius]) out of darkness (of ignorance [Gerhard, Gomar, Piscator], errors [Gerhard], vices [Gomar, Gerhard], Ephesians 5:11; of misery and death temporal, and eternal [Gerhard]:  The time before the Gospel is called σκότος/darkness, Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79; John 3:19; Acts 26:18; Romans 13:12; Ephesians 5:8; etc. [Grotius]) into His marvelous light (Beza, Piscator, etc.), that is, of the knowledge of God and of holiness:  compare Acts 26:18 (Piscator, Gomar):  or, of the Christian faith and Gospel (Menochius, similarly Estius out of Cajetan), which is called a light as true, John 1:9; 1 John 2:8, so also marvelous, here[33] and in Revelation 15:1,[34] to denote its excellence (Grotius):  or, because it is the knowledge of those things which we are able to attain neither with senses, nor with the mind, 1 Corinthians 2:8 (Estius).  But the contrast shows that by the name of light here is understood the grace and blessing of God, the consolation of the Holy Spirit, the hope of eternal life, and thus all the benefits of Christ.  This light he calls marvelous, both, because it marvelously illumines the mind to consider the marvels of the Law, Psalm 119:18, and, because it is worthy of admiration and praise, that God has called us unto that, etc. (Gerhard).  The Gospel itself and the life agreeing with it [are called] φῶς/light, as it is seen in the same passages [previously produced out of Grotius], and in Romans 13:12; Colossians 1:12.  This is the mystical sense of the passage in Isaiah 42:6, 7; Job 37:21 (Grotius).

That ye should show forth, etc.:  this notes the end of all these privileges vouchsafed them, viz. that they should glorify God in the enjoyment of them.  He seems to refer to Isaiah 43:7, 21:  This people have I formed for myself, (or acquired, as the Septuagint translators hath it,) they shall show forth my praise.  Show forth; publish and declare, both in words and deeds, that others may be excited to glorify God in the like manner.  The praises of him; or virtues, that wisdom, power, goodness, righteousness, truth etc., which God hath manifested in his vouchsafements to you, and in the acknowledgment of which he may be glorified.  Who hath called you; by an effectual calling, according to his purpose, Romans 8:28.  Out of darkness; the darkness of ignorance, unbelief, sin, and misery.  The time before the publication of the gospel, was a time of darkness, Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79.  Into his marvellous light; the light of knowledge, faith, holiness, comfort:  see Ephesians 5:8.  It is called marvellous, because men see what they never saw before, wonderful things out of God’s law, Psalm 119:18; and because it is a marvellous thing, that they who sat in so gross darkness should be translated into so glorious a light.

[1] Greek:  λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν.

[2] Greek:  τὰς ἀρετὰς.

[3] Isaiah 43:20b:  “…because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen (עַמִּי בְחִירִי; τὸ γένος μου τὸ ἐκλεκτόν, in the Septuagint).”

[4] Exodus 19:6:  “And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests (ממְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים; βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα, in the Septuagint), and an holy nation.”

[5] Seneca’s Thyestes 2.

[6] De Re Publica 1:34.

[7] See Romans 8:17.

[8] See Genesis 14:18.

[9] Greek:  ἔθνος ἅγιον.

[10] Deuteronomy 7:6:  “For thou art an holy people (עַם קָדוֹשׁ; λαὸς ἅγιος, in the Septuagint) unto the Lord thy God:  the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”

[11] Deuteronomy 14:2:  “For thou art an holy people (עַם קָדוֹשׁ; λαὸς ἅγιος, in the Septuagint) unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.”

[12] Περιποίησις is related to the verbal root περιποιέω, to preserve or acquire for oneself.

[13] Exodus 19:5:  “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure (סְגֻלָּה; λαὸς περιούσιος, a people peculiar, or of possession, in the Septuagint) unto me above all people:  for all the earth is mine…”

[14] Theodotion was a linguist and convert to Judaism, who translated the Hebrew Scripture into Greek in the middle of the second century AD.  His translation appears to be an attempt to bring the Septuagint into conformity with the Hebrew text.

[15] Symmachus (second century) produced a Greek translation of the Old Testament, which survives only in fragments.  Symmachus’ work is characterized by an apparent concern to render faithfully the Hebrew original, to provide a rendering consistent with the rabbinic exegesis of his time, and to set forth the translation in simple, pure, and elegant Septuagint-style Greek.

[16] Malachi 3:17:  “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels (סְגֻלָּה; εἰς περιποίησιν, in the Septuagint); and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”

[17] Hebrews 10:39:  “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving (εἰς περιποίησιν) of the soul.”

[18] Ephesians 1:14:  “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (εἰς ἀπολύτρωσιν τῆς περιποιήσεως), unto the praise of his glory.”

[19] Hebrew:  סְגֻלָּה.

[20] Greek:  λαὸν περιούσιον.

[21] Hebrew:  סְגֻלָּה.

[22] Greek:  περιποίησιν.

[23] Eustratius of Nicea (c. 1050-1120) was Bishop of Nicea.  He wrote commentaries on portions of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics and Nicomachean Ethics.

[24] Aulularia 166.  Titus Maccius Plautus (254-184 BC) was a Roman playwright.  Only twenty-one of his nearly one hundred and thirty comedies survive.

[25] Isaac Casaubon (1559-1614) began his career as Professor of Greek at Geneva and finished his career as a prebendary of Westminster and Canterbury.  He was a learned critic, and he produced annotated editions of Greek and Latin authors, as well as Notæ in Novum Testamentum.  He was among those that sought a reunion between the Protestant and Roman churches.

[26] Philippians 4:8:  “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue (ἀρετὴ), and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

[27] Habakkuk 3:3b:  “His glory (הוֹדוֹ; ἡ ἀρετὴ αὐτου, in the Septuagint) covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.”

[28] Zechariah 6:13a:  “Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory (הוֹד; ἀρετὴν, in the Septuagint), and shall sit and rule upon his throne…”

[29] Isaiah 42:8:  “I am the Lord:  that is my name:  and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise (וּתְהִלָּתִי; οὐδὲ τὰς ἀρετάς μου, in the Septuagint) to graven images.”

[30] Isaiah 42:12:  “Let them give glory unto the Lord, and his praise (וּתְהִלָּתוֹ; τὰς ἀρετὰς αὐτοῦ, in the Septuagint) declare in the islands.”

[31] Isaiah 43:21:  “This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise (תְּהִלָּתִי; τὰς ἀρετάς μου, in the Septuagint).”

[32] Isaiah 63:7a:  “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises (תְּהִלֹּת; τὰς ἀρετὰς, in the Septuagint) of the Lord…”

[33] 1 Peter 2:9b:  “…that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous (θαυμαστὸν) light…”

[34] Revelation 15:1a:  “And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous (θαυμαστόν), seven angels having the seven last plagues…”

1 Peter 2:8: Privileges of Believers, Part 3

Verse 8:  (Is. 8:14; Luke 2:34; Rom. 9:33) And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, (1 Cor. 1:23) even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:  (Ex. 9:16; Rom. 9:22; 1 Thess. 5:9; Jude 4) whereunto also they were appointed.

[And a stone of offense, etc.]  Or, against which one is dashed, etc. (Beza, Piscator).  Against which they shall violently strike, to be dashed and crushed by the same, as it is said in Matthew 21:44 (Estius).  This is what is said in Luke 2:34 (Menochius).

[To them which, etc., οἳ προσκόπτουσι, etc.]  Who stumble at the word, etc. (Montanus).  Namely, to them which against, or into, the Verbum/Word, or Sermonem/Word (Drusius, Piscator, thus Erasmus, Vatablus, Zegers, etc.) (that is, either, 1.  Christ, who is the Word, John 1:1 [Drusius]; or, 2.  the Gospel [Erasmus, thus Vatablus, Zegers, Cameron, Estius]:  Namely, to them which stumble by not being obedient to the Word [Beza]), disobedient (Piscator, Beza, etc.), or, rebels (James Cappel).  Others:  The passage is to be read thus, οἳ προσκόπτουσι, who dash (Cameron, thus Beze out of the Syriac), understanding, against Him, namely, the stone, out of Luke 4:11, Romans 9:32 (Beza out of the Syriac), τῷ λόγῳ ἀπειθοῦντες, being disobedient to the word (Cameron, Beza out of the Syriac, Camerarius, James Cappel).  The Present here is in the place of the Future, being unwilling to believe the word, they shall stumble most grievously, that is, they shall bear the most grievous punishments, in the destruction of the City and Temple, and in the captivities, exiles, and finally in the contempt before all.  See James 5:1 (Grotius).

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence; i.e. a stone at which they stumble, a rock at which they are offended; and so it implies Christ not to be the cause of their stumbling, but the object of it; they of their own accord, and through the pravity of their nature, without any just occasion given by him, being offended, either because they find not that in him which they expected, viz. outward encouragements; or find that in him which they do not like, the holiness of his law, and purity of his doctrine, contrary to their corruptions and lusts, and especially his requiring of them faith in him for the justification of their persons, which was so contrary to the pride of their hearts, and which was one great reason of the Jews stumbling at him, as seeking to establish their own righteousness, and therefore not submitting to the righteousness of God, Romans 9:32, 33, compared with Romans 10:3.  This stumbling includes not only their falling into sin, but into destruction too, the punishment of sin, Isaiah 8:14, 15; whereof Christ can be no more than the inculpable occasion, but their own unbelief the proper cause.  Which stumble at the word, being disobedient; these words may have a double reading:  one according to our translation; and then the sense is, that stumble at the word of the gospel, i.e. are disobedient to it, in rejecting Christ therein offered to them:  or, that stumble, being disobedient to the word; i.e. stumble at Christ preached to them in the word, and therefore will not obey it; they show that they are offended at Christ, by their not receiving his doctrine, nor accepting his offers.

[In which, etc., εἰς ὃ καὶ ἐτέθησαν]  Ad/unto, or in/unto, which et/also, or etiam/also, placed (or, put [Pagnine], created [Arabic], appointed [Beza], directed [Illyricus], determined, or ordained [Castalio, Grotius, Beza, Piscator, Menochius, Estius]:  Thus τιθεῖναι, שׂוּם, to put or place, is often used, as in John 15:16;[1] Acts 13:47;[2] 1 Thessalonians 5:9[3] [Grotius, thus Beza, Vorstius, Piscator, Hammond]) they were (Montanus, Piscator, Tremellius out of the Syriac).  Namely, by the Divine decree (Grotius, Piscator, Gomar), which is in Daniel[4] and Malachi[5] (Grotius).  That εἰς ὃ, unto which, is referred, either, 1.  to something more remote, that is, verse 6, where the stone here is said to be placed with this purpose, that he who believes might not be confounded.[6]  Therefore, he subjoins that the unbelieving also have been placed/appointed unto this, that they also might be built up upon this stone by faith, etc.; but that they had stumbled over it by their own fault.  For this connection is demonstrated by τίθημι in verse 6 and ἐτέθησαν in this verse (Gerhard).  Who stumble…neither do they believe the truth, although they were placed and appointed unto this (Zegers).  Or, 2.  to the contrary of that had preceded, so that the sense might be, The Unbelieving stumble at the Word (certain interpreters in Vorstius), unto which, that is, to be heard (certain interpreters in Estius), and to be believed (Tirinus), they were appointed, that is, created, ordained, commanded by God (Tirinus out of Bede and Lyra), instructed and prepared by the Legal types (certain interpreters in Vorstius).  For unto this Judaism had been prepared, that faith might be placed upon Christ, whom the Mosaic Law foresignified (Erasmus).  But this exposition is hard and violent (Vorstius).  And the Neuter ὃ/which is not able to be referred to the masculine λόγος/word, and for the same reason neither to λίθος/stone, as one has maintained (Estius).  Or, 3.  to the words immediately preceding (certain interpreters in Gerhard), unto which, namely, unto which condition (certain interpreters in Estius, Gerhard); that is, 1.  not to believe (Estius, Menochius, similarly Beza, Piscator, Gomar), they were appointed, either, by themselves and their own will and malice (Menochius):  or, by God (Estius, Menochius, Beza), from a comparison with Proverbs 16:4; Luke 2:34; Romans 9:22, 23 (Beza), who, for His own glory (Estius), and before they had sinned (Estius, similarly Menochius), permits them to fall into the sin of infidelity (Estius out of Œcumenius, Didymus, etc.); and by His just and free judgment He decreed to leave them in unbelief (Gomar), as they deserved (Menochius), and on account of that unbelief justly to punish them (Gomar).  This sense is supported by, 1.  a comparison with Romans 1:24; 9:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2.  the present arrangement.  For he speaks of the Jews reprobated by God (Estius).  Others:  That, they stumble, does not denote the sin, which is indicated by the word ἀπειθοῦντες/ disobedient (Hammond), but the punishment and ruin, which the bring upon themselves by their unbelief (Vorstius, thus Hammond).  Unto this the unbelieving were determined by God, that they might most grievously stumble, that is, bear the harshest punishments of their unbelief (Grotius, similarly Hammond, Vorstius).  Others:  On which, namely, foundation, or cornerstone, that is, Christ, they had been placed, that is, placed together (Menochius out of Vatablus and Cajetan).  For the Judaic religion and Synagogue was founded on Christ (Menochius out of Cajetan).  But in the Greek it is εἰς ὃ, unto which [not ἐν ᾧ, on whom (Estius)].  But the [Latin] Interpreter frequently does not make a distinction between εἰς/unto and ἐν/in (Zegers).

Whereunto also they were appointed; either this may refer, 1.  To verse 6, where Christ is said to be laid (the same word in the Greek with that which is here translated by appointed) in Sion, as a chief cornerstone, elect and precious, on whom whosoever believeth, shall not be confounded.  The apostle then adds, that even these unbelievers were appointed (viz. in their external vocation, as being taken into covenant with God) to be built on Christ by faith but they stumbled, by their unbelief, at the word of the gospel, and consequently at this stumbling-stone.  And then it is a high aggravating the unbelief of the Jews, that they, being God’s peculiar people, should reject that salvation which was sent to them, and to the first offer of which they were designed, Acts 13:26, 46, 47.  Or, 2.  To the words immediately going before, which stumble at the word, being disobedient; and then the sense is, (speaking concerning the reprobate Jews,) that God appointed them to this stumbling, in his decreeing not to give them faith in Christ, but to leave them to their unbelief, and to punish them justly for it:  see Romans 9:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Jude 4.  The scope of the apostle in this whole verse seems to be, to keep weak Christians from being offended at the multitude of unbelievers, and especially at their seeing Christ rejected by the Jewish rulers and doctors; and this he doth by pointing them to the Scripture, where all this was long since foretold, and therefore not to be wondered at now, nor be any occasion of offence to them:  see the like, John 16:1, 4.

[1] John 15:16a:  “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained (ἔθηκα) you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit…”

[2] Acts 13:47:  “For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set (Τέθεικά) thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.”

[3] 1 Thessalonians 5:9:  “For God hath not appointed (ἔθετο) us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ…”

[4] See Daniel 12.

[5] See Malachi 3; 4.

[6] 1 Peter 2:6b:  “Behold, I lay (τίθημι) in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

1 Peter 2:6, 7: Privileges of Believers, Part 2

Verse 6:  Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, (Is. 28:16; Rom. 9:33) Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

[Wherefore, etc., διὸ καὶ περιέχει ἐν τῇ γραφῇ, etc.]  Wherefore et/also (or, etiam/also [Piscator]) contains (or, includes [Glassius[1]]:  It is a brief expression [Grotius]:  Here is understood, either, 1.  God [Beza, Piscator, Glassius, Vorstius, Schmidt[2]], of whom mention is made in the preceding verse [Glassius, similarly Beza], that there might be an Ellipsis of the name, which is to be repeated out of the preceding verse, as in Amos 8:14, and of the way of Beersheba, repeat God[3] [Glassius’ “Grammar” 4:2:9:717]:  or, 2.  Christ, who contains the entire building [Erasmus], or who is described in Scripture as containing and connecting in Himself two peoples,[4] etc. [Erasmus in Estius]:  or, 3.  ἡ περιοχή, the enclosure or section:  For the Hebrews are wont to understand nouns out of verbs [Grotius]:  Περιοχὴ is a certain passage in Scripture, Acts 8:32[5] [Grotius, similarly Estius, Gerhard]:  Or, it is contained [Beza, Piscator, Illyricus, Pagnine, Montanus]:  Περιέχει is set down neutrally, Passive in signification [Gerhard], in the place of περιέχεται, it is contained [Gerhard, Beza, Piscator, Vorstius]; it is set done impersonally, like ἀπέχει, it is enough, in Mark 14:41:[6]  In the Medical Lexicon of Erotianus,[7] λέξις περιέχουσα, an expression embracing,[8] is a word that occurs in an author and place cited there [Hammond]:  Or, it is read:  See 1 Maccabees 15:2;[9] 2 Maccabees 9:18;[10] 11:16,[11] 22[12] [Grotius]; or, it is eminent, or it is preeminent, namely, that stone [Erasmus]; or, a thing excellent is declared [Erasmus in Estius]:  For περιέχειν sometimes means to be eminent [Estius]:  Or, it is treated [Castalio]; it is said [the Syriac in Glassius]; or, it is [Æthiopic]) the Scripture (Erasmus, Tigurinus, the Vulgate).  In one ancient codex, it is ἡ γραφή,[13] the Scripture[14] (Beza, Gerhard).  But this was derived from the Latin Version (Gerhard).  Or, in the Scripture (Illyricus, Pagnine, Montanus, Beza, Piscator, Grotius, etc), namely, the holy Scripture, out of Romans 1:2, or the θεοπνεύστῳ/inspired/ God-breathed Scripture, out of 2 Timothy 3:16 (Grotius).

Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture:  the Greek word being of an active form, makes great difference among expositors about these words; not to trouble the reader with variety, the plainest way of understanding them seems to be, either, 1.  That God be understood here, and supplied out of the former verse:  Wherefore God contains it in the Scripture:  or, 2.  That the word, though of an active termination, be yet taken in a passive signification, contains, for is contained; so our translators do, and this way of speaking is not unusual with other writers.

[Behold, I lay (or, I shall lay[15] [Gerhard]) in Zion (that is, Synecdochically in the city of Jerusalem, where this was done by the Apostles, as it was predicted in Isaiah 2:3; or, more generally and metonymically [Gomar], in the Church [Gomar, Estius], a type of which was the citadel and city of David built on mount Zion [Gerhard out of Estius]) a stone, chief and of the corner (or, to be placed at the highest angle [Erasmus, Tigurinus, Vatablus]; or, in the deepest corner [Beza, Piscator, Pagnine, Illyricus, Gomar], that is to say, the extreme angle [Piscator], which is eminent for firmness and size, upon which the entire mass leans [Gomar]), elect [concerning which word the most learned Hammond here discusses at length], precious[16]]  Gathered out of the Greek of Isaiah 28:16[17] (Grotius).  This this verse explained on Ephesians 2:20 (Menochius).

Behold, I; I the Lord, not man, Psalm 118:23.  Lay in Sion; viz. by the preaching of the gospel, wherein Christ was declared to be the only foundation of the church, and whereby faith was wrought in the hearts of men, who were thereby actually built on Christ, as their foundation, and so the spiritual house, 1 Peter 2:5, erected.  Sion; either by synecdoche, Jerusalem, (whereof Sion was a part,) where by the preaching of Christ first, and the apostles after his ascension, and sending the Spirit, this foundation stone was first laid, and God’s temple begun to be built, Psalm 110:2; Isaiah 2:3; Micah 4:2; Luke 24:47.  Or rather, Sion here is to be understood of the gospel church, whereof Sion was a type.  A chief cornerstone; or, Head of the corner, Psalm 118:22; that which both supports the building, and unites the parts; Christ being the foundation not of a part only, but of the whole church; all the parts of which, Gentile, as well as Jew, are jointly built on him, and upheld by him, Ephesians 2:20.  Elect, precious:  see 1 Peter 2:4, 5.

[He who will have believed upon Him (what things I say concerning this stone, and the salvation to be hoped for through Him [Estius]) shall not be confounded]  That is, he shall not be disappointed with respect to the expected salvation (Estius, Gerhard).  Hebrew:  לֹא יָחִישׁ, he shall not make haste, that is, he shall not have need to flee to other remedies, etc. (Gerhard).  But the Septuagint, in the place of יָחִישׁ, he shall make haste, read יָבִישׁ, he shall be put to shame.  [Concerning which see the Synopsis on Romans 9:33.]  The sense is κατὰ πόδας, immediately on the heels, in the Prophet, If any wish to be saved of the Ten Tribes, they are to flee to Jerusalem as unto a citadel.  But the sense is more sublime in Christ, to whom all who desire to be saved forever ought to flee (Grotius).  See Romans 10:11 (Beza).

And he that believeth on him shall not be confounded; shall not be disappointed of his expected salvation, and so shall have no cause to be ashamed of his hope.  This is according to the Septuagint, the Hebrew hath it, shall not make haste, i.e. he that believes in Christ shall not through haste, or distrust, or unwillingness to wait God’s time and way, seek after any other way of salvation than by Christ; and so (as before) not being disappointed, shall have no cause to be ashamed; whereas they that do not believe, but make haste, coming short of their expectation, are at last filled with confusion.  See the places in the margin.


Verse 7:  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious (or, an honour[18]):  but unto them which be disobedient, (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11) the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner…

[To you, etc., ὑμῖν οὖν ἡ τιμὴ]  To you therefore (understanding, He is [Erasmus, Pagnine, Piscator, etc.], or, understanding, was given [Tremellius out of the Syriac], and understanding, that stone as [Estius, Grotius, Erasmus, Piscator, etc.]) an honor (Montanus, Pagnine, Arabic), or, this honor (Tremellius).  Namely, in the judgment of God (Estius), that is to say, ye shall not be confounded, but honored by Christ in the day of judgment (Menochius).  Or, for an honor (Beza); excellent (Castalio), a prize (Piscator), precious (Erasmus, Illyricus, Tigurinus, Vatablus); to be prized (Erasmus, Vatablus).  He alludes to the preceding ἔντιμον/precious[19] (Grotius, Estius).  There is a Metonymy here, either, 1.  of the Adjunct in the place of the Subject, honor, that is, one honored, so that it might be referred to Christ; or, 2.  of the Effect in the place of the Cause, honor, that is, the cause of honor, or salvation; so that it might be opposed to the same in the preceding verse, which fits better here (Gomar).

[The stone, etc., Λίθον ὃν ἀπεδοκίμασαν οἱ οἰκοδομοῦντες, οὗτος ἐγενήθη, etc.]  It is a construction of which sort is that, urbem quam statuo vestra est, the city which I establish is yours:[20]  But in a manuscript it is λίθος.[21]  But I think that all these are rightly omitted in the Syriac, and transferred here from Matthew 21:42, for they do not pertain to this place.  But those things which follow, and are in Isaiah 8:14, are well adapted to the unbelieving.  What is there said concerning God, the same is best attributed to Christ here.  Those who strike against a hard stone are wont to fall violently, and often to be wounded.  The sense is the same as in Matthew 21:44, in which place see what things where said (Grotius).

Precious; the margin reads it, according to the Greek, an honour; either the abstract is put for the concrete, an honour, for honourable, or precious, (as the text hath it,) and then the sense is plain, that Christ, as he is precious in himself, and to his Father, so he is to them that believe.  Or, honour may be put for the cause of honour, and then it is opposed to shame and confusion before mentioned, and the sense is:  Ye that believe, shall be so far from being ashamed, or having your faith frustrated, that ye shall be honoured, and saved by Christ.  And this agrees well with what follows in this and verse 8.  Disobedient; unbelievers, who were disobedient to the great command of the gospel concerning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The builders; the high priests, scribes, Pharisees, and rulers of the Jews, whose duty it was to build up the church, as having not only the name, but the power then residing in them.  Disallowed; rejected him, and would not acknowledge him for the promised Messiah, and the great foundation upon which the church of God was to be built.  The same is made the head of the corner:  Question.  How is Christ to be made the Head of the corner to them that reject him?  Answer.  Either, 1.  Something is here to be understood, viz. this is said, or spoken, which follows, the stone which the builders, etc.:  that is to say, They despised him, but God hath honoured him; they would allow him no place in the building, but God hath given him the best, made him the Headstone of the corner.  Or, 2.  Christ may be said to be made to the disobedient, in spite of their rejecting and opposing him, the Head of the corner; i.e. a King and a Judge to restrain and curb them in, seeing they would not be ruled by him.

[1] Solomon Glassius (1593-1656) was a German Lutheran divine and critic.  He was Professor of Divinity at the University of Jena.  His Philologia Sacra was a groundbreaking work in Biblical Hebrew.

[2] Erasmus Schmidt (1560-1637), a learned Lutheran philologist, served as Professor at Wittenburg in both Mathematics and Greek.  He wrote Concordantiæ Novi Testamenti Græci and Versio Novi Testamenti Nova ad Græcam Veritatem Emendata, et Notæ ac Animadversione in Idem.

[3] Amos 8:14:  “They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, (supply, the God of, out of the preceding clause) the manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.”

[4] See, for example, Ephesians 2:11-22; John 10:16.

[5] Acts 8:32:  “The place (ἡ—περιοχὴ) of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth…”

[6] Ἀπέχει, he has in full, is formally active, but to be taken impersonally, it is enough.

[7] Erotianus, or Herodianus (first century AD), wrote A Collection of Hippocratic Words.  The Collection begins with a list of the works of Hippocrates, and then contains an extended glossary.

[8] Thus literally.  Περιέχουσα is formally active.

[9] 1 Maccabees 15:2:  “The contents whereof were these (καὶ ἦσαν περιέχουσαι τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον, or, and they were read after this manner):  King Antiochus to Simon the high priest and prince of his nation, and to the people of the Jews, greeting…”

[10] 2 Maccabees 9:18:  “But for all this his pains would not cease:  for the just judgment of God was come upon him:  therefore despairing of his health, he wrote unto the Jews the letter underwritten, having the form of a supplication, after this manner (περιέχουσαν δὲ οὕτως, or, being read thus)…”

[11] 2 Maccabees 11:16:  “For there were letters written unto the Jews from Lysias to this effect (περιέχουσαι τὸν τρόπον τοῦτον, or, being read after this manner):  Lysias unto the people of the Jews sendeth greeting…”

[12] 2 Maccabees 11:22:  “Now the king’s letter contained these words (περιεῖχεν οὕτως, or, was read thus):  King Antiochus unto his brother Lysias sendeth greeting…”

[13] Thus Codex Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[14] In the Nominative Case, making the Scripture the subject of περιέχει/contains.

[15] Greek:  τίθημι, in the present tense.

[16] 1 Peter 2:6:  “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious (λίθον ἀκρογωνιαῖον, ἐκλεκτόν ἔντιμον):  and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.”

[17] Isaiah 28:16:  “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone (λίθον πολυτελῆ ἐκλεκτὸν ἀκρογωνιαῖον ἔντιμον, a stone, very costly, elect, of the corner, precious, in the Septuagint), a sure foundation:  he that believeth shall not make haste (לֹא יָחִישׁ).”

[18] Greek:  ἡ τιμὴ.

[19] Verse 4, 6.

[20] With respect to grammatical propriety, one would expect urbem to be in the nominative case; however, it has been attracted to the accusative case by its connection with its relative pronoun, quam/which, which is properly accusative.  In like manner, one would expect Λίθον to be in the nominative case (Λίθος), but it has been attracted to the accusative case by its connection with the relative pronoun ὃν/ which.

[21] In the nominative case.  Thus Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

1 Peter 2:4, 5: Privileges of Believers, Part 1

Verse 4:  To whom coming, as unto a living stone, (Ps. 118:22; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11) disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious…

[Unto whom (namely, Christ [Estius, Menochius, Gerhard]) drawing near[1]]  That is, with daily progress in the virtues, ye more and more joining with Him (Estius).  The word here signifies Worship and Obedience.  See Hebrews 4:16;[2] 7:25;[3] 10:1,[4] 22;[5] 11:6;[6] קָרַב, to draw near[7] (Grotius).  He confirms here the preceding exhortation by the salutary beginning of vocation unto Christ; that is to say, a long time ago ye began to draw near to Christ by faith:  In this your vocation, therefore, advance ye constantly with daily progressions, etc. (Gerhard).

To whom; to which Christ.  Coming; by faith:  that is to say, In whom believing, John 6:35, 44, 45.  The word is in the present tense, the apostle describing here not their first conversion to Christ, but their present state, that they, being in Christ, were daily coming to him in the continued exercise of their faith.

[Stone]  That is, as unto a stone.  There is an ellipsis of the particle ὡς/ as,[8] which is common, as in Psalm 11:1, flee sparrow, that is, as a sparrow;[9] Isaiah 21:8, he cried (understand, as) a lion, etc. (Gataker’s[10] Cinnus 20:388).  The preceding exhortation he confirms from the excellent dignity of Christians (Estius), and of Christ Himself (Gerhard), whom because of firmness he calls a stone, that is, of the corner.  A name received from the Prophets, whose words he next relates (Estius).  He passes over her to another Metaphor from construction, and its stones (Menochius).  He compares the Church to the Tempe, the stones of which are individual believers (Beza).

[Living]  Who has life in Himself, and vivifies all His own (Estius, Gerhard).  That ζῶντα/living indicates an Allegory, just as recently the word λογικὸν/wordy/rational[11] (Grotius, similarly Estius); in one place καινὸν/new,[12] in another place πληρούμενον/filled,[13] or πνευματικὸν/spiritual,[14] and similar words.  The passages in Psalm 118:22; Isaiah 8:14; 28:16, are in view, concerning which we spoke on Matthew 21:42; Acts 4:11 (Grotius).

As unto a living; not, only having life in himself, but enlivening those that by faith adhere to him.  Stone; viz. a cornerstone, as 1 Peter 2:6.  Being about to set forth the church as a spiritual building, he first mentions Christ as the foundation, and cornerstone.

[By men (he understands the Jews [Grotius, Estius, Menochius], the Scribes and Pharisees [Drusius]; but especially thos who were in the Sanhedrin [Grotius]) rejected]  That is to say, Him, as if a stone useless, indeed harmful, they rejected from the construction of their Synagogue (Menochius).

[Ἀποδεδοκιμασμένον]  נִמְאָס/rejected.[15]  Thus also Matthew 21:42;[16] Luke 20:17.  In the place of the same is ἐξουθενηθεὶς, set at nought, despised, in Acts 4:11 (Grotius).

Disallowed indeed of men; rejected, not only by the unbelieving Jews and their rulers formerly, but still by the unbelieving world.

[By God, etc., παρὰ δὲ Θεῷ ἐκλεκτὸν, ἔντιμον]  But before God (that is, in the eyes of God [Estius]:  or, by God [Vulgate, Montanus]) chosen (unto the foundation of the Church [Menochius]:  or, that which is excellent he calls elect after the manner of the Scripture[17] [Estius]:  Ἐκλεκτὸν/elect, בָּחוּר/choice among the Hebrews, as the Septuagint read Isaiah 28:16, where it is generally read בֹּחַן/tried:[18]  The Syriac translates it גבא, as it is here translated:  What in the Psalm is made into the stone of the corner, that is, by which the entire building is supported, this he says here in different words, but with the same sense [Grotius]) and esteemed (Vatablus), or, precious (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator), or, prized (Erasmus, Vatablus).  Honored and worship in the whole earth (Menochius); or, made most dear (Grotius).

But chosen of God; either chosen to be the foundation of the building, and then it is the same as foreordained, 1 Peter 1:20; or chosen is the same as choice, excellent.  And precious:  a different expression of the same thing.  Here seems to be an allusion to those stones which men count precious, and have in great esteem; and Christ’s being precious in the sight of God, is set in opposition to his being disallowed of men, to intimate, that their unbelief, and rejecting Christ, doth not make him less valuable in himself, when his Father so much honours him.


Verse 5:  (Eph. 2:21, 22) Ye also, as lively stones, are built up (or, be ye built[19]) (Heb. 3:6) a spiritual house, (Is. 61:6; 66:21; 1 Pet. 2:9) an holy priesthood, to offer up (Hos. 14:2; Mal. 1:11; Rom. 12:1; Heb. 13:15, 16) spiritual sacrifices, (Phil. 4:18; 1 Pet. 4:11) acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

[And, etc., καὶ αὐτοὶ ὡς λίθοι ζῶντες οἰκοδομεῖσθε]  And ye yourselves (or, thus also ye [Vatablus]), as living stones (both ζῶντες/living and πνευματικὸς/spiritual indicate an Allegory:  Now, the sense is the same as in Ephesians 2:20:  Among the Hebrews the Levites were called the stones of the Temple:  But now individual Christians are called stones; all together the same are called the temple, or house, of God, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21; Revelation 3:12:  In a manuscript it is ἐποικοδομεῖσθε, ye are built up/upon,[20] namely, upon Christ the principal Stone:  Neither does the Latin read otherwise [Grotius]:  He adapts the Metaphor concerning the Christ stone to believers, whom he calls Stones, because a building firm and solid is made from stones; but he calls them living, so that he might indicate a Metaphor, and at the same time insinuate that they are not insensible stone, which are not able to move themselves, but are able to promove themselves to good actions, with God aiding, so that they might more perfectly adhere to the building [Estius]), are built (Montanus), or, are built upon (Vulgate).  This verb is, either, 1.  in the Indicative mood (certain interpreters in Gomar, thus Estius out of Bede and Cajetan, etc., Gerhard), so that this might be an exhibition of benefits, or of that benignity, of Christ, which was just now treated (certain interpreters in Gomar).  For Peter is engage in the magnifying of the dignity of the pious, etc. (Gerhard out of Estius).  Or, 2.  in the Imperative mood (Gomar, Estius), be ye built (Piscator, Zegers, Pagnine, the Syriac in Estius), be ye built up (Camerarius), be ye built upon (Vatablus), be ye edified (Beza, Piscator), build yourselves up (Menochius).  Understand it in the manner of continuation and increase, not of beginning, as it appears out of verse 2; for they were regenerated, etc. (Gomar).

[A spiritual house]  That is, Mystical, to distinguish it from the house material and properly so called, the Tabernacle and Temple (Estius).  Added by way of Apposition (Erasmus, thus Vatablus, Beza); that is to say, unto a house, etc., that is, so that ye might be the house of God through faith, etc. (Menochius).  All the faithful are being built into one spiritual house, namely, the Church (Estius).  He has regard here to the passages in which the Tabernacle or Temple is called the house of God, as in Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Deuteronomy 23:18; in other respects individual believers also are the house of God, 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 3:17 (Gerhard).

As lively; viz. as being enlivened by Christ.  The word here translated lively, and living in the former verse, is the same; but being there spoken of Christ, it is to be understood actively, and here being applied to believers, who receive their spiritual life from Christ, it must be taken passively.  Stones; each particular believer is here called a stone, as all together a house or temple, 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21, and in respect of their union among themselves, and with their foundation; though elsewhere, in respect of God’s inhabitation, even particular believers are called his temple, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19.  Are built up; viz. upon Christ the principal Cornerstone, Ephesians 2:20.  This may be understood, either, 1.  Imperatively, that is to say, Be ye built up; and then it is an exhortation, and relates not only to their continuing in Christ, but their being further built up on him by faith, and is of the same import as 1 Peter 2:2, that ye may grow:  or rather, 2.  Indicatively; the apostle as yet being engaged in showing the dignity and privileges of believers, and not entering upon his exhortation till verse 11.  The words being in the present tense, implies the building to be still but going on, and not yet finished.  A spiritual house; in distinction from the material one, relating to those scriptures where the tabernacle or temple is called God’s house, Exodus 23:19; 34:26; Deuteronomy 23:18.  The material house built of dead stones, was but a type of the spiritual house made up of lively stones, and built upon Christ the living Stone; and this he brings (the truth being always more excellent than the type) to heighten the privileges of the gospel church.

[An holy priesthood, ἱεράτευμα ἅγιον]  In a manuscript it is εἰς ἱεράτευμα, for a priesthood,[21] that is, Priests (Zegers, Estius), namely, generally and improperly, or metaphorically (Estius).  A priesthood he calls the function and administration of holy things in the spiritual house (Erasmus).  Ἱεράτευμα here signifies an order of Priests, from a comparison with Exodus 19:6 and Revelation 1:6.  Formerly the Priests were of one part of a Tribe, but through Christ all:  Romans 12:1; Philippians 2:17; 4:18; Hebrews 13:15; Revelation 1:6; 5:10; 20:6 (Grotius).  All saints were made such priests, both by external vocation, and by the internal sanctification of the Spirit (Gerhard).

[To offer, etc. ἀνενέγκαι, etc.]  That is, εἰς τὸ ἀνενέγκαι, in order to offer up, with an expression common among us (Grotius).  In order to offer spiritual sacrifices (Beza, Piscator, Estius, etc.), to distinguish from carnal sacrifices, and external worship (Estius, similarly Gerhard), that is, those sacrifices of which the old were shadows (Grotius, similarly Estius).  Now, these sacrifices are Prayers, Chastity of the body, Works of mercy (Grotius), Praises (Beza), the Offering of the self, Romans 12:1 (Gomar, Beza), and the Innocence of one’s actions (Gomar).  See what things are on Matthew 2:11, and those passages of Paul already mentioned, and what things Justin says against Trypho the Jew[22] [whose words you have in Grotius[23]].

[Acceptable (or, pleasing [Estius, Menochius], accepted [Beza, Piscator, Estius]:  Namely, unto our salvation and glory [Estius]:  The mystical sense of the Law of God, רֵיחַ־נִיחוֹחַ, a sweet savour, Leviticus 1:9:  See what things were said by us on Romans 12:1; 15:16, 31 [Grotius]) to God through Jesus]  Through whom we ought to offer all ours to the Father, that to Him they might be acceptable, meritorious, procuring (Menochius).  Others:  through Christ, that is, in the name of Christ (Hammond), or, in accordance with the precept of Christ, as in Hebrews 13:15 (Grotius).  This is to be referred, either, 1.  to the word ἀνενέγκαι, to offer up, from a comparison with Hebrews 13:15, through Him we offer, etc. (certain interpreters in Gerhard, thus Estius):  or, 2.  to acceptable to God (Gerhard out of Estius).

An holy priesthood; either the abstract is put for the concrete, an holy priesthood for holy priests; or it may note the whole college or society of evangelical priests, consisting of all particular saints, to whom, in the New Testament, this title is given, but never appropriated to gospel ministers:  Christ being a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec, had no partner with him in his priesthood, but was himself only to offer a propitiatory sacrifice to God for sin.  To offer up spiritual sacrifices; the immediate end of gospel priests, to offer, not bodily, but spiritual sacrifices; in general themselves, whom they are to consecrate to God, Romans 12:1; particularly prayer, thanksgivings, alms, and other duties of religion, Philippians 4:18; Hebrews 13:15, 16.  Acceptable to God by Jesus Christ:  by, and through whom alone, as the persons, so the performances, of believers (though in themselves imperfect) are pleasing to God, Christ presenting them to his Father by his intercession, and covering their defects by his own most perfect righteousness.  Some refer this clause, by Jesus Christ, to the foregoing verb, to offer up; and then the words run thus, to offer up spiritual sacrifices by Jesus Christ, acceptable to God; but the former seems most proper, and includes this latter:  we are therefore to offer up spiritual sacrifices to God by Christ, because they are acceptable only by him, Hebrews 13:21, compared with Hebrews 13:15, 16.

[1] Greek:  προσερχόμενοι.

[2] Hebrews 4:16:  “Let us therefore come (προσερχώμεθα οὖν) boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

[3] Hebrews 7:25:  “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come (τοὺς προσερχομένους) unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”

[4] Hebrews 10:1:  “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers (τοὺς προσερχομένους) thereunto perfect.”

[5] Hebrews 10:22:  “Let us draw near (προσερχώμεθα) with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

[6] Hebrews 11:6:  “But without faith it is impossible to please him:  for he that cometh (τὸν προσερχόμενον) to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

[7] For example, 1 Samuel 14:36:  “And Saul said, Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and spoil them until the morning light, and let us not leave a man of them.  And they said, Do whatsoever seemeth good unto thee.  Then said the priest, Let us draw near (נִקְרְבָה) hither unto God.”

[8] 1 Peter 2:4:  “To whom coming, (as unto must be supplied) a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious…”

[9] Psalm 11:1:  “In the Lord put I my trust:  how say ye to my soul, Flee (as must be supplied, and is in the Septuagint) a bird to your mountain? (Psa 11:1 KJV)”

[10] Thomas Gataker (1574-1654) was in his day regarded as a critic of unsurpassed skill, learning, and judgment.  On account of his great learning, he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster.  Darling:  “In the Assembly’s Annotations, he wrote on the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentations, so admirably that [Edmund] Calamy has observed that no commentator, ancient or modern, is entitled to higher praise.”  Cyclopædia Bibliographica, vol. 1, 1221.

[11] 1 Peter 2:2:  “As newborn babes, desire the rational (λογικὸν), sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…”

[12] For example, Revelation 5:9; 14:3.

[13] For example, Luke 2:40.

[14] For example, 1 Peter 2:5.

[15] For example, Jeremiah 6:30:  “Reprobate (נִמְאָס) silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected (מָאַס) them.”

[16] Matthew 21:42:  “Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected (ἀπεδοκίμασαν), the same is become the head of the corner:  this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?”  Thus also the parallel in Luke 20:17.

[17] For example, Romans 16:13:  “Salute Rufus chosen (ἐκλεκτὸν, or, a choice man) in the Lord, and his mother and mine.”

[18] Isaiah 28:16:  “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried (בֹּחַן; ἐκλεκτὸν/elect, in the Septuagint) stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation:  he that believeth shall not make haste.”

[19] Greek:  οἰκοδομεῖσθε.

[20] Thus Codex Sinaiticus.

[21] Thus Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[22] Justin, also known as the Martyr, was one of the great Greek apologists of the second century.  Justin’s Dialogue with Trypho presents a apologetic encounter between Justin and a Jew.

[23] Dialogue with Trypho 117:  “Now, that prayers and giving of thanks, when offered by worthy men, are the only perfect and well-pleasing sacrifices to God, I also admit.”

1 Peter 2:1-3: Exhortation to Put Off All Behavior Inconsistent with the Converted State

Verse 1:  Wherefore (Eph. 4:22, 25, 31; Col. 3:8; Heb. 12:1; Jam. 1:21; 5:9; 1 Pet. 4:2) laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings…

[Laying aside, etc., Ἀποθέμενοι οὖν, etc.]  That οὖν/wherefore is referred to 1 Peter 1:23 (Cameron, similarly Menochius, Gerhard); that is to say, since ye have been born again and are new men, lay aside old manners and vices; and uphold Christian infancy and innocence, upon which ye have entered in this regeneration (Menochius).  He urges φιλαδελφίαν, brotherly love, in 1 Peter 1:22; here he discourages the vices opposed to that charity (Gerhard, similarly Gomar), and to regeneration (Gomar).  Laying aside (as a garment worn out with age [Gomar]; or, lay aside[1] [Gerhard], that is, leave behind [Estius]:  We have the word ἀποτίθεσθαι in a like sense in Ephesians 4:22,[2] 25;[3] Colossians 3:8;[4] James 1:21[5] [Grotius]; or, after ye have laid aside, namely, in the regeneration accomplished through Baptism [Gerhard]), therefore, all (that is, altogether and perfectly [Estius]) malice (that is, every sort of vice [Menochius]:  Others:  Κακία elsewhere is the name of a Genus,[6] but here of a Species, like the Latin malitia/malice [Grotius, similarly Estius, Menochius]:  Thus Romans 1:29;[7] 1 Corinthians 5:8; Ephesians 4:31; Colossians 3:8; Titus 3:3 [Grotius]:  It is malice [Estius out of Jerome], or, that internal perversity [Gerhard], by which one with pains taken does harm to another [Gerhard, Estius], or, delights in the harm of another [Gerhard out of Augustine]), and all guile[8] (Romans 1:29 [Grotius]:  that is, contrivance of fraud in order to deceive someone [Menochius, similarly Gerhard]), and hypocrisies (Gerhard, etc.).  When someone pretends himself to be other than he is, and displays love in his expression which he has not in his heart (Gerhard, similarly Estius):  or, feigned goodnessWhen an evil man pretends to be good, then is he the worst.[9]  See Matthew 6:2; 23:28, etc. (Grotius).  Guile in words is falsehood, 1 Peter 2:22; in works, pretense, Acts 13:10;[10] in heart, the contrivance of fraud, Matthew 26:4[11] (Gerhard).

Wherefore:  Having in the former chapter mentioned the new birth, 1 Peter 1:23, and exhorted to brotherly love, as agreeable to it, 1 Peter 1:22, he begins this chapter with a dehortation, wherein he dissuades them from those vices which are contrary to the state of regenerate men in the general, and brotherly love in particular.  Laying aside; or, put off; a metaphor from an old over worn garment, fit only to be thrown away:  see Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:8, 9; James 1:21.  All malice; malignity, when men do evil to others voluntarily and industriously, or delight in other men’s harms:  see Romans 1:29; Ephesians 4:31.  All guile:  all fraudulence and impostures, and circumventing of others in any kind.  Hypocrisies; all flattering, and counterfeiting friendship, and showing love in words and outward carriage, when the heart is otherwise affected.  Christ calls them hypocrites that flattered him, Matthew 22:16, 18.

[Envies]  Romans 1:29; Galatians 5:21, etc. (Grotius).

Envies; grieving at other men’s welfare.

[And, etc., καὶ—καταλαλιάς]  And…detractions (Vulgate, thus Pagnine), or, contradictions (Montanus), disparagements (Gerhard, thus Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, Tremellius, etc.).  By which there is a malicious detraction from the reputation of an absent neighbor (Gerhard), Romans 1:30;[12] 2 Corinthians 12:20[13] (Grotius).

All evil speakings; all kind of detraction.


Verse 2:  (Matt. 18:3; Mark 10:15; Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 14:20; 1 Pet. 1:23) As newborn babes, desire the sincere (1 Cor. 3:2; Heb. 5:12, 13) milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…

[As infants just now born]  כְּעוֹלְלׅים,as those recently born (Grotius, thus Gomar), namely, of God, from whom ye received the word of the Gospel.  See on verse 3 (Grotius).  As recently by Baptism and the word of regeneration (Gerhard):  As men made new, and having begun a new sort of life (Beza).  He continues in the preceding metaphor (Estius).  Ὡς/as here is εἰδικὸν/formal, and denotes the truth and rationale of a thing, not similitude (Gomar).  It is to be lived by us in conformity with Christianity, not in conformity with Judaism (Grotius).

[The rational, etc., τὸ λογικὸν ἄδολον γάλα]  That milk (by the name of milk he understands, either, 1.  all the affections of the spiritual life [Calvin], or, a manner of living suitable for harmless nature, and for simple infancy [Calvin, similarly Lapide[14] and Heminge[15] in Gerhard]:  But milk in this sense does not occur in the Sacred Scripture:  Or, 2.  the word of God [Gomar], or the doctrine of the Gospel [Estius, Gerhard, Menochius, Tirinus, Beza, Cameron], which he here commends as the means of charity and sanctity, no less than of the implantation of faith; and of which the use is twofold, to regenerate, in which respect it is called seed, 1 Peter 1:23, and to nourish and preserve those regenerated, in which respect it is either milk or solid food, 1 Corinthians 3:1, 2; Hebrews 5:12-14 [Gomar]:  Yet this distinction is not attended to here, for milk is not opposed in this place to the food of the perfect, but to the old age of life [Estius]:  Milk has various figurative uses:  elsewhere it is opposed to solid food, but here to things mixed, and hence not sincere [Grotius]) of the word (namely, of the Evangelical word, concerning which 1 Peter 1:23 [Vorstius out of Piscator]:  λογικὸν/wordy/rational, in the place of τοῦ λόγου, of the word, indicates the very thing which is being compared to milk:  Similar examples in 1 Peter 2:13;[16] 3:7[17] [Piscator]:  Or, verbal [Vatablus, Zegers], that is, the word of God [Vatablus]:  Or, rational [Castalio, thus Montanus, Vulgate, Valla, Erasmus out of Jerome, Vatablus, Estius, Gomar, Vorstius], for λόγος/word, is both reasoning and speaking [Gomar]:  that is to say, which teaches us to live in conformity with reason [Zegers]:  or, spiritual [Grotius out of the Syriac, Estius, Menochius, Gomar]; λογικὸν/rational, that is, μυστικὸν/mystical, τὸ νοητόν, falling within the province of the mind:  See Romans 12:1,[18] and what things were said on Matthew 26:29; Luke 22:16 [Grotius]:  that is to say, I understand, not the milk of the body, but of the soul [Estius, thus Erasmus, Vatablus, Zegers], by which creatures making use of reason are fed [Hammond]; by which the mind is nourished and is strengthened [Menochius]) sincere[19] (Illyricus, Beza, Piscator), or, without guile (Montanus), averse to deceit (Castalio), pure (Tremellius out of the Syriac); which does not know deceit (Erasmus, Tigurinus), that is, either, which renders us free from deceit (Zegers); or, which will not disappoint those suckling (Vatablus); or, not adulterated (Piscator out of Beza, thus Tirinus), and mixed with water (Piscator, Gomar); not corrupted with human inventions (Gomar, thus Gerhard, Hammond), 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2 (Gomar).

[Earnestly desire, ἐπιποθήσατε]  Covet ye:  lest perchance it be ἐπιποτίζητε, water ye (Grotius).  Ἐπιποθεῖν signifies vehement desire, which sort infants have toward maternal milk.  See Romans 1:11;[20] 2 Corinthians 5:2;[21] 9:14;[22] Philippians 1:8;[23] 2:26[24] (Gerhard).

As newborn babes:  Pursuant to his discourse, 1 Peter 1:23, where he speaks of their new birth, he here calls them newborn babes; but that not in opposition to those that are adult, or of fall age, as Hebrews 5:14; 1 Corinthians 3:1, but in opposition to their former corrupt and unregenerate state, in which they were destitute of all spiritual life; and so this agrees, not only to young converts, but generally to all regenerate persons.  Desire; being newborn babes, act as such in earnestly desiring and longing for that spiritual nourishment, which is so needful for you, even as children, as soon as they come into the world, are lingering after the breast.  The sincere milk of the word:  the Greek may be rendered (and is by some) reasonable milk, viz. such as is for the soul, not for the body; that whereby the mind is nourished and strengthened; or, wordy milk, the substantive from which it is derived properly and first signifying word, or speech, and being used for the word of God, Hebrews 4:12.  But this not being proper English, our translation renders it best, the milk of the word, i.e. the word which is milk.  The apostle useth an adjective for a substantive, but that adjective doth not signify the quality of the subject, milk, as the other, sincere, doth, but the subject of itself.  The like phrase we have, 1 Peter 3:7; Greek, female, or wifeish, weaker vessel, which we turn by the substantive, wife, who is said there to be the weaker vessel.  So that the doctrine of the gospel is here to be understood, as Isaiah 55:1, and believers are to be nourished by the same word, as their food, by which, as the seed, they are said to be begotten, 1 Peter 1:23.  This milk of the word is said to be sincere, i.e. pure, without mixture or adulteration, not blended, or diluted, (as vintners do by their wine, to whose practice Paul alludes, when he speaks of men’s corrupting the word, 2 Corinthians 2:17; 4:2,) with human fictions or traditions.  Infants love the sweetness of their mothers’ milk, and desire it pure, as it is:  believers should desire the word pure, as it is in itself, not mixed with any thing that may lessen its sweetness and hinder its efficacy.

[That, etc., ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ αὐξηθῆτε]  That in it (or, through it [Beza, Piscator, Gerhard]) ye may be made to grow (Montanus, thus Beza), or, ye may mature (Piscator), that is, that ye might advance more and more in piety (Grotius, similarly Gerhard), as infants derive an increase in body (Gerhard).  A like similitude in Ephesians 4:13.  A manuscript, with the Syriac and Latin, here adds εἰς σωτηρίαν, unto salvation,[25] and that rightly.  For that increase has regard to nothing other than eternal salvation (Grotius).

That ye may grow thereby; that by the word, as your spiritual nourishment, ye may grow more in spiritual life and strength, till ye come to be perfect men, Ephesians 4:13.


Verse 3:  If so be ye have (Ps. 34:8; Heb. 6:5) tasted that the Lord is gracious.

[If, etc., εἴπερ ἐγεύσασθε ὅτι χρηστὸς, etc.]  If indeed (or, seeing that, εἴπερ, if indeed, in the place of ἐπειδήπερ, seeing that [Menochius, Gerhard]:  Εἴπερ, if indeed, here is not of one doubting, but of one supposing, as it is evident from the sense [Estius, thus Gerhard]:  that is to say, I know that ye are going to do this, provided that ye are whom I hope you to be [Grotius]) ye have tasted (γεύεσθαι, to taste, here is not to taste lightly [Grotius], with a bare knowledge and approbation, as in Hebrews 6:4 [Gomar], but to experience [Grotius]; or, to perceive by the tasting of the spiritual palate [Estius, similarly Gerhard], or with living faith [Gomar], as in Matthew 16:28; John 8:52; Hebrews 2:9; 6:4:  For the Hebrews are wont to borrow the terms concerning whatever external sense to signify the internal senses:  Therefore, the Septuagint in Psalm 34:8, in the place of טַעֲמוּ, taste ye, posits γεύσασθε καὶ ἴδετε, taste ye and see:  The Syriac is not otherwise here [Grotius]) that (or, how [Grotius]) kind (or, good [Beza, Piscator], obliging [Beza], pleasant, or sweet [Drusius, Grotius, Vulgate, Estius, Menochius, Gerhard], so that the translation might better proceed, taken from Tasting [Grotius, similarly Gerhard]:  See Luke 5:39:[26]  And thus the ancient Versions read in the Psalm, where it is טוֹב/ good[27] [Grotius]) the Lord is (Erasmus, etc.), that is, Christ (Grotius, Gomar, Gerhard), who is truly χρηστὸς/good (Gomar, Gerhard).  In Psalm 34, יְהוָה/ Jehovah, Κύριος/Lord,[28] in the manner of the Old Testament, is God the Father (Grotius).  [The sense:]  If indeed ye have been made partakers of spiritual consolations, of which the Lord deems His faithful worthy (Menochius); or, ye have received the Gospel in faith, as most gladsome news and worthy of all acceptation;[29] desire ye that further, just as infants, with the sweetness of milk tasted, wish to taste that again (Estius, similarly Gomar).

If so be; this doth not imply a doubting, but a supposition, as was before observed, 1 Peter 1:17.  Ye have tasted; not lightly tasted by a bare ineffectual knowledge, as Hebrews 6:4; but experienced and perceived by the taste of your spiritual palate; your spiritual sense, and ability to judge of spiritual things, being restored to you, with your new birth.  He referreth to Psalm 34:8, and possibly to Isaiah 66:11.  The Lord; the Lord Jesus Christ, as appears by the next verse.  Is gracious; good, kind, or rather, sweet:  the same word is applied to wine, Luke 5:39.  The sense of the whole is:  If ye have by faith received the gospel as glad tidings, and worthy of all acceptation, 1 Timothy 1:15, and therein perceived and experienced the sweetness of those consolations which are in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:1; or, which is the same, how sweet he is, who, in the preaching of the gospel, exhibits himself to your spiritual senses, to be fed upon and tasted by you.

[1] Latin:  deponite, in the imperative mood.

[2] Ephesians 4:22:  “That ye put off (ἀποθέσθαι) concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts…”

[3] Ephesians 4:25:  “Wherefore putting away (ἀποθέμενοι) lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour:  for we are members one of another.”

[4] Colossians 3:8:  “But now ye also put off (ἀπόθεσθε) all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

[5] James 1:21:  “Wherefore lay apart (ἀποθέμενοι) all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.”

[6] For example, 1 Corinthians 14:20:  “Brethren, be not children in understanding:  howbeit in wickedness (τῇ κακίᾳ) be ye children, but in understanding be men.”

[7] Romans 1:29:  “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness (κακίᾳ); full of envy, murder, debate, deceit (δόλου), malignity (κακοηθείας); whisperers…”

[8] Greek:  δόλον.

[9] From the Sententiæ of Publilius Syrus (flourished first century BC), a writer of Latin mxims.

[10] Acts 13:10:  “And said, O full of all subtilty (δόλου) and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?”

[11] Matthew 26:4:  “And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty (δόλῳ), and kill him.”

[12] Romans 1:30:  “Backbiters (καταλάλους), haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…”

[13] 2 Corinthians 12:20:  “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not:  lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings (καταλαλιαί), whisperings, swellings, tumults…”

[14] Cornelius à Lapide (1567-1637) was a Flemish Jesuit scholar.  His talents were employed in the professorship of Hebrew at Louvain, then at Rome.  Although his commentaries (covering all the Roman Catholic canon, excepting only Job and the Psalms) develop the four-fold sense of Scripture, he emphasizes the literal.  His knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, and the commentators that preceded him is remarkable.

[15] Nicholas Heminge (1513-1600) was a Danish divine.  He was educated at the University of Wittemberg under Melanchthon.  At Copenhagen he served as a minister and Professor, first of Hebrew, then of Divinity.  He wrote commentaries upon the Apostolic Epistles.

[16] 1 Peter 2:13:  “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man (πάσῃ ἀνθρωπίνῃ κτίσει, to every human ordinance) for the Lord’s sake:  whether it be to the king, as supreme…”

[17] 1 Peter 3:7a:  “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel (ὡς ἀσθενεστέρῳ σκεύει τῷ γυναικείῳ, as unto the feminine, weaker vessel), and as being heirs together of the grace of life…”

[18] Romans 12:1:  “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (λογικὴν) service.”

[19] Referring to and agreeing with, not the word, but the milk.

[20] Romans 1:11:  “For I long (ἐπιποθῶ) to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established…”

[21] 2 Corinthians 5:2:  “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring (ἐπιποθοῦντες) to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven …”

[22] 2 Corinthians 9:14:  “And by their prayer for you, which long after (ἐπιποθούντων) you for the exceeding grace of God in you.”

[23] Philippians 1:8:  “For God is my record, how greatly I long after (ἐπιποθῶ) you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”

[24] Philippians 2:26:  “For he longed after (ἐπιποθῶν) you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.”

[25] Thus Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[26] Luke 5:39:  “No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new:  for he saith, The old is better (χρηστότερός).”

[27] Psalm 34:8:  “O taste and see that the Lord is good (טוֹב; χρηστὸς, in the Septuagint):  blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

[28] In the Septuagint.

[29] See 1 Timothy 1:15; 4:9.

Outline of 1 Peter 2

The apostle exhorteth the Christian converts to lay aside all uncharitableness, 1-3.  He showeth their privileges through Christ, the chief cornerstone, 4-10.  He beseecheth them to abstain from fleshly lusts, and by their good conversation to promote God’s glory among the Gentiles, 11, 12.  He enforceth obedience to magistrates, 13-17, and teacheth servants to obey their masters, and to suffer patiently for well-doing, after the example of Christ, 18-25.

1 Peter 1:22-25: Exhortation to Mutual Love answering to the Gospel

Verse 22:  Seeing ye (Acts 15:9) have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned (Rom. 12:9, 10; 1 Thess. 4:9; 1 Tim. 1:5; Heb. 13:1; 1 Pet. 2:17; 3:8; 4:8; 2 Pet. 1:7; 1 John 3:18; 4:7, 21) love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently…

[Your souls, etc., τὰς ψυχὰς ὑμῶν ἡγνικότες ἐν τῇ ὑπακοη, etc.]  Your souls (he mentions the soul only, because its purification is to be sought principally and before all things, and it draws with it the cleansing of the flesh [Gerhard]) making pure (or, purifying [Vatablus], sanctifying [Zegers]; or, ye who have purified, or are purifying, or, since ye have purified [Estius, Gerhard, Beza, Piscator], since ye have sanctified [Estius out of the Syriac]; understanding, therefore [Beza, Piscator]; or, by purifying, so that the Participle is resolved into a Gerund:  For the Apostle does not commend them, that they have already done this, but exhorts them, that they might do it [Gerhard]:  It is not here treated of that first purification, but of a more exact purification, as the following mention of the Spirit demonstrates:  See John 13:10; 15:2 [Grotius]) in obedience (or, through obedience [Zegers, Piscator, Hammond], ἐν/in in the place of διὰ/ through [Piscator]; or, by obedience [Erasmus], by heeding [Beza, Piscator]) of the truth (or, to the truth [Erasmus, Beza, Piscator]; or, so that there might be obedience to the Gospel more and more:  For the Gospel is in a special manner called the truth:  See James 5:19:  ἐν τῇ ὑπακοῇ, in the obedience, that is, εἰς τὴν ὑπακοήν, unto the obedience [Grotius]:  Or, through faith, by which ye obey and acquiesce to the truth, and by which your hearts are purified, Acts 15:9 [Gerhard out of Estius, similarly Piscator, Vorstius]:  Therefore, this is a periphrasis of faith [Piscator, Vorstius, similarly Gomar]:  A Genitive of object, and a Synecdoche of genus [Piscator]) through the Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit [Estius, Gomar]; through the operation of the Holy Spirit [Piscator], who most exactly cleanses the affections also:  This is wanting in the Vulgate, in the Syriac, and in a manuscript[1] [Grotius]) into, or unto, fraternal love (εἰς/unto here could be taken ἐκβατικῶς, as the eventuality, love ye unto fraternal charity, that is, so that it might be evident to all that ye are brethren one to another and the sons of God[2] [Gerhard]:  or, through fraternal charity, εἰς/unto in the place of διὰ/through, as it is here and there [Gerhard out of Œcumenius]:  or, with fraternal charity [Erasmus, Pagnine], or, unto fraternal society, that is to say, into one body or corporation of fraternal charity [Estius]:  The language of φιλαδελφίας, brotherly love, appears also in Romans 12:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; Hebrews 13:1; 2 Peter 1:7 [Grotius, thus Estius, Gerhard], where it signifies the mutual love of Christians for each other [Estius, Gerhard, thus Erasmus]:  It is the same thing here as is ἀγάπη/love in Romans 12:9,[3] and in 2 Corinthians 6:6,[4] in both which also is the language of ἀνυποκρίτου/unfeigned [Grotius]) not feigned[5] (the Syriac, which does not take a face, that is, does not assume an external mask only [Estius]; which, as it is explained in 1 John 3:18, does not delight in word, but in deed and in truth [Estius, Gerhard]:  In human friendships there is much pretense:  sincere and without pretense is that which grows through Christ and because of Christ [Grotius]), out of a pure heart (as it is required in 1 Timothy 1:5; add Matthew 5:8; 2 Timothy 2:22 [Grotius]; that is, out of a heart purified by faith, as it appears out of the preceding, and from a comparison with 1 Timothy 1:4, 5 [Gerhard], so that the neighbor might be loved only because of God [Estius]:  For this excludes impure and carnal love [Estius, similarly Gomar]:  In a manuscript it is only ἐκ καρδίας, from the heart,[6] as in Romans 6:17, and thus the Latin reads [Grotius]) love ye (do ye what the Spirit urges [Grotius]) earnestly[7] (Montanus, Erasmus, Zegers), or, intensely (Beza, Piscator, thus Gerhard, Gomar), that is, ardently and with all strength (Gerhard):  vehemently (Erasmus, Vatablus, Grotius), not perfunctorily.  Thus we have ἀγάπην ἐκτενῆ, fervent love, also in 1 Peter 4:8; προσευχὴν ἐκτενῆ, fervent prayer, in Acts 12:5[8] (Grotius); ἐκτενῶς/fervently, in Luke 22:44:[9]  or, continually, continuously, without interruption, as in Joel 1:14;[10] Acts 26:7;[11] Judith 4:9,[12] 12[13] (Gerhard):  extendly, continuously, that is, that love might be extended to all time, and to every sort of neighbor (Menochius).  It is a Metaphor derived from the strings of bows, or of musical instruments.  For, as a taut/intense string on a bow sends forth an arrow more powerfully and further, and a taut/intense string emits a clearer sound, and is perceived better and by more, so also charity, the more intense and greater, the more widely and fully does it exert itself for the utility of others (Gomar).  It is the summary of the exhortation:  Just as ye have been purified by faith, so also thereafter exhibit ye pure charity in your conversation; so that your actions might answer to your generation, as the second life does to the first life, concerning which it follows (Estius).

Your souls; i.e. yourselves; the whole person is implied, the soul being the principal part.  In obeying the truth; in subjecting yourselves to the truth of the gospel, by faith, to which the purification of the heart is ascribed, Acts 15:9, not only as to justification, and purging away the guilt of sin, but as to sanctification, and cleansing from the defilement of it:  that is to say, Seeing ye have begun to purify your hearts by faith in Christ, set forth in the gospel, and made sanctification to them that believe, 1 Corinthians 1:30.  Through the Spirit; by the operation of the Spirit working faith in you.  Unto unfeigned love of the brethren; without hypocrisy, and which is not in word only, but in deed and in truth, 1 John 3:18.  Love to the brethren in Christ, and for Christ’s sake.  This notes one great end of our sanctification, viz. the exercise of brotherly love, whereby our love to God is likewise manifested, when we love them upon his account.  The whole clause may likewise be understood, as an exhortation to purify themselves more and more by faith, that so they might (being purged from carnal affections) be the better able, and more disposed, to love one another.  Love one another with a pure heart; as the source and fountain of your love to each other, and from whence it proceeds, 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22.  Fervently; or, vehemently, and intensely, strongly.  The word seems to be a metaphor taken from a bow, which the more it is bent, with the greater force it sends forth the arrow; so love, the more fervent and strong it is, the more abundantly it puts forth itself for the benefit of others.


Verse 23:  (John 1:13; 3:5) Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, (Jam. 1:18; 1 John 3:9) by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

[Being born again[14]]  See on verse 3[15] (Grotius).  Since ye are regenerated (Piscator).  He give the reason why Christians ought to love one another with fraternal affection, that is, because they are brethren (Menochius).  He here points out the principal cause of their fraternity, namely, the second birth (Estius).

Being born again:  this may refer either, 1.  To the general exhortation to holiness, verses 14 and 15, and then the argument runs thus:  Ye are in your regeneration become the children of God, and therefore ought to walk holily as become his children.  Or, 2.  To the more particular exhortation to brotherly love, verse 22:  that is to say, You are by your regeneration become spiritual brethren, and therefore ought to live like brethren.

[Not of corruptible seed]  Likewise filthy and unclean, Job 14:4, of which sort it that, of which is our first birth (Estius).  The seed of mortal man begets not except unto a moral life (Grotius).

Not of corruptible seed; which is itself corrupted ere any thing can be generated out of it, or out of which nothing is begotten but what is corruptible; so that all such generations tend but to a mortal life.

[But of incorruptible, ἀλλὰ ἀφθάρτου]  Understand it effectively, of seed leading to immortal life, just as we had ἐλπίδα ζῶσαν, living hope, in verse 3 (Grotius).

But of incorruptible; so the word is said to be, because containing still the same, and being immutable in itself, it changes and renews the hearts of those that by faith receive it.  Or, it may be understood of its being incorruptible effectively, because it leads, or tends, to an immortal life.

[Through, etc., διὰ λόγου Θεου ζῶντος, etc.]  These words are tied to the preceding through Apposition and ἐπεξήγησιν/explanation (Piscator).  Now, that ζῶντος/living, etc., is to be conjoined, either, 1.  with the word Θεου/God (Grotius, similarly Estius).  For he next says the same thing about the word of God (Estius).  This appears, both from a manuscript in which is ζῶντος Θεου,[16] and from Daniel 6:26, whence these words were taken, in which it is in the Greek, αὐτός ἐστιν θεὸς ζῶν καὶ μένων, He is God, living and abiding.  For it is not strange if the seed, which proceeds from God, who has always lived and is always going to live, leads to immortality.  It is common among the Hebrews to call God the sower, as we said on Matthew 13:3 (Grotius).  [Therefore, they translate it thus:]  Through (or, that is, through [Beza]) the word of God, living and abiding forever (Erasmus, Tigurinus, Pagnine, Estius, Gomar, Beza).  But then he would have written, διὰ λόγου Θεου ζῶντος, etc. (Piscator).  Or, 2.  With the word λόγου/word, just as it appears out of the following testimony of Isaiah (Vorstius out of Piscator).  [Now, these translate it:]  that is, by the living word of God, etc. (Piscator, Vorstius).  Thus he calls it, either in the place of efficacious, as it is in Hebrews 4:12,[17] or in the place of vivifying, as in John 6:51[18] (Piscator).

The word of God; the same which he called incorruptible seed, which is the instrument in regeneration, as is implied in the preposition, by, going before it.  Which liveth; this and the following verb may be joined, either, 1.  To God, the word of God, who liveth, etc.; or rather, 2.  To the word, so our translation reads it, which word liveth, and abideth, etc.; and this agrees best with the testimony of Isaiah in the next verse.  The word of God is said to be a living word, because it enliveneth the hearts of those that entertain it.


Verse 24:  For (or, for that[19]) (Ps. 103:15; Is. 40:6; 51:12; Jam. 1:10) all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away…

[All flesh (that is, by Synecdoche [Junius], man [Junius, Grotius, Estius, Gerhard], born carnally [Estius, Gerhard]:  He opposes here the ψυχικὸν/ natural man to the πνευματικῷ/spiritual, so that he might ascribe all to regenerating grace [Beza]:  understanding is[20] [Beza, Piscator]) hay, χόρτος]  Grass (Beza, Piscator, Erasmus, Junius, etc.).  Herbage (Grotius), that is to say, it passes away, and that quickly (Gerhard).  The sense is the same as that in Ecclesiasticus 14:18.[21]  That Homeric saying, Ὅιη περ φύλλων γενεὴ, οίηδε καὶ ἂνδρων, of which sort is the generation of all herbs, so also is that of men,[22] does not disagree (Grotius).

All flesh; all men as born of the flesh, and in their natural state, in opposition to regenerate men, verse 23.

[The glory,[23] etc.]  In Isaiah 40:6 it is חֶסֶד/goodliness (Gerhard), or, benignity,[24] that is, glory benignly bestowed upon man by God (Junius); which, as there the Septuagint, so here Peter, calls glory, so that the antecedent might be understood from the consequent.  Whatever is most excellent in man, and concerning which he is wont to glory, that is entirely like grass, which at first blossoms beautifully, but soon withers (Gerhard).  All that which is considered excellent in human matters, the form, the strength of the body, human erudition, riches, honors, are thus like the greenness of the herb.  For, that it is ἄνθος χόρτου, the flower of grass, we said on James 1:10, 11 (Grotius).  By the name of flesh and the glory thereof he especially understands here the Law of Moses and the doctrines of men, one may see from his scope (Vorstius).

All the glory of man; whatever is most excellent in man naturally, and which they are most apt to glory in.

[The hay dried up, etc.]  Nearly the same words here as are in James 1:11, so that it might appear that this was used as a Proverb.  See the things said there (Grotius).  [The sense of the passage:]  All things human pass away, and lose their greatest glory, and hence the carnal institutions of the Jews were not abrogated (Hammond).  This passage of Isaiah was adduced, both to declare the nature of both sorts of seed (concerning which in the preceding verse), and to confirm the durability of the divine word (Gerhard).

The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  see James 1:10.


Verse 25:  (Ps. 102:12, 26; Is. 40:8; Luke 16:17) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.  (John 1:1, 14; 1 John 1:1, 3) And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

[But the word of the Lord abides forever]  From Isaiah 40:8.  The same sense in Psalm 119:89 (Grotius).  He proves the former member, namely, the seed by which we have been regenerated is incorruptible (Estius, Gerhard); by which the spiritual man was born, who hence by definite reason is incorruptible, that is, does not die even with eternal death (Gerhard).  From that misery and vanity, says he, man is set free, since he has the word of the Lord abiding in him.  For, since that seed is eternal, it is fitting that it remain in an eternal subject, or, at least that subject by the power of God, and by sharing in that incorruptible seed, is made eternal (Junius).  The Word of God endures forever, both, 1.  absolutely, in itself, by reason of its enduring truth, as in Matthew 24:35; and, 2.  relatively, in those truly believing, 1 John 3:9 (Gomar).  Peter leaves this to be gathered from what has been said, that those who have been regenerated by this word are going to be incorruptible and immortal (Estius).

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever; not only absolutely in itself, and in respect of its perpetual verity, Psalm 119:160; Matthew 24:35; but relatively, as received by and dwelling in believers, 1 John 3:9, who always experience the effects of it in themselves in their regeneration, receiving a solid and lasting being from it, (the new nature,) which is likewise preserved by it, in opposition to that flux and mutable being they had by their first birth.

[Now, this is the word, etc.]  He means to say that those words of Isaiah have a most excellent sense, if they be understood concerning the Gospel.  For the other words of God also abide indeed, that is, they are not retracted by God; but the Gospel alone produces fruit truly eternal (Grotius).  He proves that the words of Isaiah pertain to this argument.  God, says he, already formerly willed this to be an argument belonging to the sacred proclamations in the Gospel, so that men might be cast down in themselves, but raised up by the Gospel unto a living hope through the resurrection of Christ.  Now, what Isaiah had formerly prophesied, the fulfillment of that now appears in the Church (Junius).  This word of Isaiah, says he, is the word of the Gosepl (Menochius, similarly Estius, Gerhard, Gomar); or, what is the same thing, the word of faith, which, received by faith, is efficacious to such an extent that it bestows upon believers eternity, that is, eternal life (Estius).

And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you; this word, of which Isaiah speaks, and which he so much magnifies, is the very same word of the gospel, which is preached unto you by us apostles.

[1] Thus Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[2] See John 13:35.

[3] Romans 12:9a:  “Let love be without dissimulation (ἡ ἀγάπη ἀνυπόκριτος).”

[4] 2 Corinthians 6:6:  “By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned (ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἀνυποκρίτῳ)…”

[5] Greek:  ἀνυπόκριτον.

[6] Thus Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus.

[7] Greek:  ἐκτενῶς.

[8] Acts 12:5:  “Peter therefore was kept in prison:  but prayer was made without ceasing (προσευχὴ δὲ ἦν ἐκτενὴς γινομένη, or, but fervent prayer was made) of the church unto God for him.”

[9] Luke 22:44:  “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly (ἐκτενέστερον):  and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”

[10] Joel 1:14:  “Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry (וְזַעֲקוּ; καὶ κεκράξατε—ἐκτενῶς, and cry…earnestly/continually, in the Septuagint) unto the Lord…”

[11] Acts 26:7a:  “Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly (ἐν ἐκτενείᾳ, or, continually) serving God day and night, hope to come.”

[12] Judith 4:9:  “Then every man of Israel cried to God with great fervency (ἐν ἐκτενείᾳ μεγάλῃ), and with great vehemency (ἐν ἐκτενείᾳ μεγάλῃ) did they humble their souls…”

[13] Judith 4:12:  “And cried to the God of Israel all with one consent earnestly (ἐκτενῶς), that he would not give their children for a prey, and their wives for a spoil, and the cities of their inheritance to destruction, and the sanctuary to profanation and reproach, and for the nations to rejoice at.”

[14] Greek:  ἀναγεγεννημένοι.

[15] 1 Peter 1:3:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again (ἀναγεννήσας) unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

[16] The overwhelming weight of manuscripts read in this way.

[17] Hebrews 4:12:  “For the word of God is quick (ζῶν), and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

[18] John 6:51:  “I am the living (ζῶν) bread which came down from heaven:  if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:  and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

[19] Greek:  διότι.

[20] 1 Peter 1:24a:  “For all flesh (is must be supplied) as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.”

[21] Ecclesiasticus 14:18:  “As of the green leaves on a thick tree, some fall, and some grow; so is the generation of flesh and blood, one cometh to an end, and another is born.”

[22] Iliad 6:146.

[23] Greek:  δόξα.

[24] Isaiah 40:6:  “The voice said, Cry.  And he said, What shall I cry?  All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof (חַסְדּוֹ; δόξα ἀνθρώπου, the glory of man, in the Septuagint) is as the flower of the field…”

1 Peter 1:19-21: Exhortation to Conversation answering to the Gospel, Part 4

Verse 19:  But (Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12, 14; Rev. 5:9) with the precious blood of Christ, (Ex. 12:5; Is. 53:7; John 1:29, 36; 1 Cor. 5:7) as of a lamb without blemish and without spot…

[But with the precious blood (thus he calls it because it was the blood of a man, and of an innocent [Gomar], and of the Son of God [Gomar, Estius], Acts 20:28 [Gomar]) as if (or, as [Vatablus, Erasmus]:  But ὡς/as here indicates truth, not similitude [Beza]:  or, as is natural [Beza, Piscator], just as [Valla, Vatablus]) of a lamb, etc.]  Ὡς here denotes cause, that is to say, since He is a lamb, that is, He that bears the sins of the world, John 1:29 (Piscator).  It must needs be a great matter on account of which God delivered His own Son to death.  Therefore our liberation is often attributed to the blood of Christ, Ephesians 1:7; 2:13; etc., or also to His life, namely, lost on account of us, Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:6, or also to His death endured on account of us, Romans 5:10; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 2:14 (Grotius).  Now, Christ is called a lamb, either, 1.  because He was similar to a lamb in innocence (Menochius, thus Estius), obedience, gentleness (Menochius), patience in death; or, 2.  by allusion to the types of the Old Testament (Estius), both, 1.  to the lambs of the daily sacrifice (Piscator); or, 2.  also properly and principally (Estius) to the Paschal Lamb (Estius, Piscator, thus Grotius); which was plainly prefiguring Christ (Estius), which ought to have been תָמִים /perfect, Exodus 12:5.[1]  For that it was required that no necessary part be lacking to it, but that neither there be any other notable deformity in it.  Christ was truly the Paschal Lamb, that is, that which was signified through that Lamb.  Through Him we have been freed from servitude, and from the wasting Angel:[2]  John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:7; and He was without sin, John 8:46; 1 Peter 2:22 (Grotius).

Precious; because the blood not only of an innocent person, but of the Son of God, Acts 20:28.  As of a lamb; i.e. who was a Lamb.  A lamb; the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world, John 1:29:  not only like a lamb, for his innocence and gentleness, Isaiah 53:7, but the Antitype of the lambs which under the law were offered in the daily sacrifices, and more especially of the paschal lamb; whatever was shadowed out in that, and those other sacrifices, having its accomplishment in Christ.  Without blemish; without fault, without defect, in which nothing was wanting that was requisite to its perfection; or, in which nothing could be blamed.  The Greek word[3] seems to be derived from the Hebrew מוּם/Mum, so often used for a blemish; see Leviticus 24:19, 20.[4]  And without spot; without any other deformity.  The lamb might have no defect, but yet might have some spot; and it was to be perfect, Exodus 12:5, which implied its having neither the one nor the other.  Christ was such a Lamb, perfect in holiness, and free from all sin, John 8:29, 46; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22.


Verse 20:  (Rom. 3:25; 16:25, 26; Eph. 3:9, 11; Col. 1:26; 2 Tim. 1:9, 10; Tit. 1:2, 3; Rev. 13:8) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest (Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10; Heb. 1:2; 9:26) in these last times for you…

[Foreknown, προεγνωσμένου]  Take it as πρόγνωσιν/foreknowledge in verse 2 (Grotius, Vorstius).  Foreordained (Pagnine, Beza, Piscator, Estius, thus Erasmus, Vatablus).  Decreed beforehand, or predestinated (Erasmus, Tirinus out of the Syriac).  Namely, unto so great our good, that is, so that He might redeem us by His shed blood (Estius).

[Before the constitution of the world]  Already from the beginning of the world God had determined to send Christ.  See on John 17:5 (Grotius).  Others:  From eternity (Beza, Piscator, thus Estius, Tirinus, Gerhard).  For by this expression eternity is wont to be denoted (Estius, thus Gerhard), as in John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4 (Gerhard).  For nothing precedes the creation except what is eternal (Estius, thus Gerhard), and time began with the world (Beza).  Neither are there any counsels in God which are not from eternity (Estius).

[But manifested[5]]  That is, sent, or exhibited (Estius).  Revealed (Grotius), namely, in the flesh, from 1 Timothy 3:16 (Piscator), or, in the world (Estius, Grotius), through the incarnation, passion, resurrection, and preaching of the Apostles (Menochius).  Thus also He is said ἐπιφᾶναι, to appear, in Luke 1:79.[6]  See John 1:11; 1 Timothy 3:16[7] (Grotius).

[In the last, etc., ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων[8] (in a manuscript it is ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου,[9] as also in Numbers 24:14[10] [Grotius]) τῶν χρόνων δι᾽ ὑμᾶς]  In the last times (namely, of the world [Piscator], in which we now live [Menochius]:  at last, after long expectation:  בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, in the latter days:  Thus Hebrews 1:1, 2:[11]  See 1 Timothy 4:1;[12] Jude 18[13] [Grotius]:  Thus he calls the whole time from the advent of the Lord unto the end of the age [Estius]) because of you (Beza, Piscator).  See Hebrews 11:40 (Beza); or, for your good (Grotius), that is, so that ye with other faithful men might be saved, etc. (Gerhard).  The fruit of redemption is extended to all ages, but was much more plentiful after the advent of Christ (Estius).  The argument runs thus:  Christ was only promised to your fathers, but is exhibited to you.  Therefore, ye are happier than they, Matthew 13:17; Hebrews 11:39, 40.  Hence this life is to be lived in a holy manner by you (Gomar).

Who verily was foreordained; by God’s decree appointed to the work of redemption, and to be that Lamb that should take away the sins of the world, Ephesians 1:9.  Before the foundation of the world; from eternity; there being nothing before the world began but what was eternal, John 17:24.  But was manifested; not only by his incarnation, 1 Timothy 3:16, but by the preaching of the gospel.  See these Scriptures:  Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 1:2; 9:26.  In these last times; last, in comparison of the times of the Old Testament; the same as the fulness of time, Galatians 4:4.  For you; that you, with other believers, might partake of salvation by him.  The fruit of Christ’s redemption reacheth all ages, but much more abundantly the times after his coming in the flesh.  The sum of the argument is, Christ was ordained from eternity, promised to the fathers, but manifested to you:  your privilege therefore being greater than theirs, Matthew 13:17; Hebrews 11:39, 40, you should be the more holy.


Verse 21:  Who by him do believe in God, that (Acts 2:24) raised him up from the dead, and (Matt. 28:18; Acts 2:33; 3:13; Eph. 1:20; Phil. 2:9; Heb. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:22) gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

[Who, etc., τοὺς δι᾽ αὐτοῦ πιστεύοντας, etc.]  It is apparent that it was done for your good:  for through Him ye have firmly believed in God the Father, not as Him who liberated you from Egypt, but as Him who liberated Christ from death, and exalted Him with the highest glory, so that from that author ye also might receive the same goods.  Concerning that exaltation of Christ, see Philippians 2:9, 10; Hebrews 2:9, 10 (Grotius).  He indicates that the manifestation of Christ is not advantageous to all, but rather to believers (Estius).  [Thus they render it:]  Who through Him (that is, Christ [Estius, Gerhard, Menochius]) ye believe upon God (as the author of our salvation [Estius, Gerhard]:  He says that through Christ we believe upon God, either, 1.  because God through Christ alone is revealed to us, John 1:14, and is approached by us, John 14:6 [Gerhard]; or, 2.  because faith is not able to be held only because of the merit of Christ [Estius, Gerhard]), that raised Him from the dead (this is the beginning of the glorification of Christ, the progress and enlargement of which is in the ascension, sending of the Holy Spirit, preaching, etc., from which it is certain that He is the Son of God and true God, etc. [Estius]), and gave to Him glory (Piscator, thus Beza, etc.).  Compare Philippians 2:9-11 (Piscator), and Hebrews 2:9, 10 (Vorstius).  Christ speaks of this, His glory, in John 5:23; 12:23; 17:5 (Estius).

Who by him do believe in God; both as revealing God to you, Matthew 11:27; John 1:14; and making way for you to God, who, out of Christ, is a consuming fire, so that there is no coming to him but by Christ, John 14:6; Ephesians 2:18; 3:12; Hebrews 7:25.  Gave him glory; viz. in his resurrection, ascension, sitting at the right hand of God, etc., Philippians 2:9-11; Hebrews 2:9, 10.

[That your faith and hope might be in God]  Or, upon God (Estius out of the Syriac, Montanus, etc.), or, so that ye might have faith and hope toward God (Erasmus).  [This is, either, 1.  anticipation:]  In vain do your fellow citizens object against you, that ye, because ye have place your faith upon Christ, and your hope joined to faith, fall from God.  For that very faith and hope of yours through Christ is directed unto Him as God, whose worshippers they profess themselves to be (Grotius).  [Or, 2.]  It is the reason for that which immediately precedes (Estius), or a conclusion from the preceding (Gerhard); [which they explain in a variety of ways:]  God gave to Christ this glory, so that He might reveal to the world that He is very God; so that, when ye believe and hope upon Christ, it is not a faith and hope in a simple man, but in God:  otherwise, believing upon Him, ye would be cursed, according to Jeremiah 17:5 (certain interpreters in Estius).  Others:  So that, seeing that He has raised Christ, who is your head, ye might believe (Menochius, thus Estius, Gerhard), both, 1.  that He has completely made satisfaction to God for your sins, and that ye are most perfectly reconciled to God (Gerhard):  [and, 2.]  that ye, as members of Him, shall be partakers of His blessed resurrection and glory (Estius, similarly Menochius, Gerhard).  For the resurrection and glory of Christ are the two foundations of our faith (Gomar, similarly Estius, Gerhard), as it is apparent from Acts 2:33; 5:31; 10:40, etc. (Gerhard, thus Estius), and 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17; 1 Peter 3:21 (Gomar).

That your faith and hope might be in God; that seeing Christ raised and glorified, ye might be fully confirmed in the belief of a thorough satisfaction made to Divine justice for sin, and perfect reconciliation wrought (for had not Christ fully paid the price of redemption, his Father would never have let him out of the prison of the grave, in which his justice had shut him up;) from which faith ariseth a hope, which looks to the resurrection of Christ your Head, as the certain pledge and earnest of your resurrection to life and glory.  Christ’s resurrection and glory are the great grounds of faith, 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:32, 33; 5:31; 10:40; Romans 4:24, 25; 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17.

[1] Exodus 12:5a:  “Your lamb shall be without blemish (תָמִים, or, perfect), a male of the first year…”

[2] See Exodus 11:4; 12:12, 29.

[3] Greek:  ἀμώμου/amomou.

[4] Leviticus 24:19, 20:  “And if a man cause a blemish (מוּם; μῶμον, in the Septuagint) in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth:  as he hath caused a blemish (מוּם; μῶμον, in the Septuagint) in a man, so shall it be done to him again.”

[5] Greek:  φανερωθέντος δὲ.

[6] Luke 1:79:  “To give light (ἐπιφᾶναι, or, to appear) to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

[7] 1 Timothy 3:16a:  “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:  God was manifest (ἐφανερώθη) in the flesh…”

[8] In the plural.

[9] In the singular:  Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[10] Numbers 24:14:  “And now, behold, I go unto my people:  come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days (בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים; ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν, in the last of the days, in the Septuagint).”

[11] Hebrews 1:2a:  “Hath in these last days (ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων) spoken unto us by his Son…”

[12] 1 Timothy 4:1:  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times (ἐν ὑστέροις καιροῖς) some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils…”

[13] Jude 18:  “How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time (ἐν ἐσχάτῳ χρόνω), who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

1 Peter 1:18: Exhortation to Conversation answering to the Gospel, Part 3

Verse 18:  Forasmuch as ye know (1 Cor. 6:20; 7:23) that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (Ezek. 20:18; 1 Pet. 4:3) received by tradition from your fathers…

[Knowing[1] (thus Montanus)]  Or, forasmuch as ye know (Beza, Piscator).  Considering, as in Acts 23:5[2] (Grotius).

Forasmuch as ye know; considering that ye were, etc.

[Not with corruptible, etc.]  See verse 7 (Grotius).

[Were ye redeemed, ἐλυτρώθητε]  נׅגְאַלְתֶּם, ye were redeemed.[3]  The same word in the same sense is found in Titus 2:14,[4] and the noun λυτρώσεως/ redemption, Hebrew 9:12[5] (Grotius).

That ye were not redeemed with corruptible things:  see Titus 2:14.  This implies them to have been in a servile condition, and in bondage to their own errors, till they were converted to Christ.  As silver and gold; the most precious things, of greatest esteem among men.

[From your vain, etc., ἐκ τῆς ματαίας ὑμῶν ἀναστροφῆς πατροπαραδότου]  From that your vain conversation (or, custom [Zegers], that is, from your vain and depraved manner of living [Menochius]) received from the fathers (Beza, Piscator, thus Estius), or, which ye had received from the tradition of the fathers (Vatabluss, Erasmus), or, of ancestral tradition (Vulgate).  Namely, by the examples of their impiety, Acts 7:51, 52 (Piscator), either, 1.  in Gentilism (Menochius); that is to say, from a carnal life, which was observed by the ancestors in a long succession, and was delivered to the children by hand like goods (Augustine in Estius).  But in that they were following corrupted nature, rather than the customs of their ancestors.  And the carnal life of the Gentiles is not wont to be signified by the name of ancestral tradition, but of ignorance, infidelity, etc. (Estius).  Or, 2.  in Judaism (Menochius).  He understands the vain observation of Judaism (Vorstius), or of the Mosaic law (Cajetan in Estius); or rather, those traditions of the elders, which are treated in Matthew 15 and Mark 7, which were partly vain, or useless for righteousness and salvation, partly harmful and contrary to God’s Law (Estius, similarly Gerhard).  From the observation of rites, without your soul being cleansed, which your Fathers, that is, teachers, had taught you to be sufficient for salvation.  Thus the title father is taken in 1 Corinthians 4:15.  Hence פרקי אבות, Pirkei Avoth[6] (Grotius).  He speaks of those Fathers, of which Ezekiel 20:18 treats; or, he has regard to native corruption propagated from the fathers (Beza).  By speaking of them as redeemed, he indicates that that conversation was servitude (Estius).

From your vain, because unprofitable to, and insufficient for, righteousness and salvation, conversation, viz. in your Judaism, wherein you were so much addicted to uncommanded rites and ceremonies, as to have little respect for God’s law.  Received by tradition; and so not only by their example and practice, but by their doctrine and precepts, Matthew 15:3, etc.; Mark 7:7, etc.  See likewise Galatians 1:14.  From your fathers; either your ancestors, as Ezekiel 20:18, or doctors and instructors, who are sometimes called fathers, 1 Corinthians 4:15.

[1] Greek:  εἰδότες.

[2] Acts 23:5:  “Then said Paul, I wist not (Οὐκ ᾔδειν), brethren, that he was the high priest:  for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people.”

[3] The Niphal of גָּאַל, to redeem.

[4] Titus 2:14:  “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem (λυτρώσηται) us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

[5] Hebrews 9:12:  “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption (λύτρωσιν) for us.”

[6] Pirkei Avoth, or The Chapters of the Fathers, is a collection of ethics teachings from the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period.  It is found in Tractate Avot in the Talmud.

1 Peter 1:15-17: Exhortation to Conversation answering to the Gospel, Part 2

Verse 15:  (Luke 1:74, 75; 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4, 7; Heb. 12:14; 2 Pet. 3:11) But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation…

[But, etc., ἀλλὰ κατὰ τὸν καλέσαντα, etc.]  Κατὰ, according to, is here mark of similitude (Gerhard).  But, just as He that hath called you (that is, efficaciously; and hath brought you [Estius], to His grace [Estius, Menochius], to faith and salvation [Menochius]; He, namely, God [Menochius, Estius], and Christ [Menochius]:  This Periphrasis is emphatic of God the Father [Gomar], to whom, as to the first cause, our vocation is often ascribed, Romans 9:11, 24; 1 Corinthians 7:15; Galatians 1:6; and elsewhere [Grotius]) is holy (Beza, Piscator, thus Erasmus, Vatablus, etc.).  It is an argument from the example of God by whom they were called (Gerhard, similarly Estius).  That God is here indicated by the name the Holy One what follows shows.  And Isaiah often thus makes use of the word Holy[1] (Grotius).  God is the source and exemplar of all holiness (Menochius).

But as he which hath called you; God the Father, to whom, as the First Cause, our calling is frequently ascribed, Romans 9:11, 24; 1 Corinthians 7:15; Galatians 1:6, 15.  It may be rendered:  According to the Holy One that hath called you, i.e. according to his example; you are children, and should therefore imitate your Father, Ephesians 5:1.  Called you; viz. effectually, to the knowledge and faith of Christ.  Is holy; so God is often styled by Isaiah and other penmen of the Scripture, as the fountain and exemplar of holiness.

[In all conversation]  With men of every sort, and in every state, prosperous or adverse (Gerhard); in all your actions (Menochius).

So be ye holy in all manner of conversation; either, through the whole course, and in the several parts, of your conversation; or, in all manner of conversation, as we read it, i.e. with whomsoever ye converse, believers or infidels, friends or enemies, relations or strangers; and in whatsoever condition ye are in, peace or trouble, prosperity or adversity.


Verse 16:  Because it is written, (Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 20:7) Be ye holy; for I am holy.

[It is written]  Leviticus 11:44; 19:2.  If this was said to the Israelites in that time, how much more in this time which requires more holiness (Grotius)?

[Holy, etc., Ἅγιοι γένεσθε]  Ἔσεσθε, be ye, is in the Royal Codex[2] (Gerhard), in a manuscript,[3] and in the Septuagint in Leviticus[4] (Grotius).  In the Hebrew, it is וִהְיִיתֶם, the future/imperfect in the place of the Imperative (Gerhard).  Holy, that is, pure from all blemish of sin (Menochius, similarly Estius).

[Since I, etc.]  Your Father (Gerhard).

Be ye holy; for I am holy:  I am your Father, and therefore you ought to imitate and obey me:  or, I that have severed you from other people, that you should be mine, Leviticus 20:26, to which place particularly this seems to refer.


Verse 17:  And if ye call on the Father, (Deut. 10:17; Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11) who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, (2 Cor. 7:1; Phil. 2:12; Heb. 12:28) pass the time of your (2 Cor. 5:6; Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet. 2:11) sojourning here in fear…

[If, etc., εἰ πατέρα ἐπικαλεῖσθε, etc.]  If (if is not a note of doubting, but of supposing a thing known:  for all regenerate men say, our Father, etc. [Estius]) ye call upon (namely, through Christ [Grotius]:  or, ye worship [Vatablus], or, ye name [Pagnine, Beza, Piscator], that is, if ye desire to be called the sons of that father:  See James 2:7 [Beza]), who judgeth without respect of persons (namely, that He might give or take away His Spirit [Grotius]:  that is to say, He is not only a Father, but also a Judge, and a most just Judge [Estius]:  ἀπροσωπολήπτως, without respect of persons, He judges, Job 34:19:  He will hold you as no more excused than those born of the Gentiles, Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25 [Grotius]) according to the work of each one (Erasmus, etc.); see Job 34:11:  ἔργον/work, the Singular in the place of the Plural, as in James 1:4, 25 (Grotius).

And if; this particle is used here, and frequently elsewhere, not as a note of doubting, but by way of assertion, and supposition of a thing known.  Ye call on the Father; either this is to be meant of invocation, their calling on God in prayer; and then the sense is:  If you be servants and worshippers of the Father; prayer being many times put for the whole worship of God, Isaiah 43:22; Acts 9:11:  or, of their calling God, Father, as Matthew 6:9; and then the sense is:  If you would be counted God’s children, James 2:7.  Who, without respect of persons; and so will no more excuse you that are Jews, and descended from Abraham, than those that are born of Gentile parents, Job 34:19; Acts 10:34; Ephesians 6:9.  Judgeth; and so is not a Father only, but a Judge, and that a most righteous one.  According to every man’s work; i.e. works, the singular number put for the plural, as James 1:25:  see Romans 2:6; Job 34:11.

[In, etc., ἐν φόβῳ τὸν τῆς παροικίας, etc.]  In, or with, fear (which is owed to the Father, and Judge, and God [Menochius]:  With the greatest reverence of God, Ephesians 6:5; Philippians 2:12 [Grotius]:  Or, Humbly, or with a certain lowly reverence, as in 1 Peter 2:18; 3:2, 15; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 7:15 [Cameron]) live in the of the tarrying (or, of the resident alien status [Erasmus, Tigurinus, Tremellius out of the Syriac, Vulgate, Grotius], of the lodging [Arabic], of the sojourning [Castalio], that is, of the dwelling in another land [Menochius]) of you (that is, of your life [Drusius]; that is to say, for this brief time of the present life [Menochius, similarly Estius]) time[5] (Beza, Piscator), χρόνον/time in the place of κατὰ χρόνον, during the time (Piscator).  Τὸν χρόνον, the time, is an Accusative of Duration:  παροικία, a sojourning, מָגוֹר, a sojourning or sojourning-place,[6] in Psalm 55:15;[7] 119:54.[8]  He comforts them inasmuch as they dwell as sojourners, signifying that all men are sojourners here:  concerning which see what things were said on Hebrews 11:13, etc. (Grotius).  Cicero:  Nature gave to us a domicile, not of staying, but of tarrying.[9]  Sirach’s Prologue, τοῖς ἐν τῇ παροικίᾳ βουλομένοις φιλομαθεῖν, which in a strange land are willing to learn, that is in this life[10] (Drusius).  See Matthew 2:23; 2 Corinthians 5:6 (Beza).

Pass the time of your sojourning here; the word signifies the temporary abode of a man in a place where he was not born, or doth not ordinarily reside; such being the condition of believers in the world, that they are sojourners, not citizens of it; they are travelling through it to their Father’s house and heavenly country, Hebrews 11:9, 10, 13, 16.  They are here exhorted to a suitable carriage, expressed in the next words.  In fear; which is due to him as a Father and a Judge.  It may imply the greatest reverence, and the deepest humility, Philippians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 1 Peter 3:2, 15.

[1] See, for example, Isaiah 5:19, 24; 6:3; 29:19, 23.

[2] The Royal Codex is the 1550 edition of the Greek New Testament published by Robert Estienne.  It is called the Editio Regia because of the handsome Greek font used in the printing.

[3] This reading is also found in Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus.

[4] For example, Leviticus 20:7:  “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be (וִהְיִיתֶם; ἔσεσθε, in the Septuagint) ye holy:  for I am the Lord your God.”

[5] That is, live in the time of your sojourning.

[6] From גּוּר, to sojourn.

[7] Psalm 55:15:  “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell:  for wickedness is in their dwellings (בִּמְגוּרָם; ἐν ταῖς παροικίαις αὐτῶν, in the Septuagint), and among them.”

[8] Psalm 119:54:  “Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage (מְגוּרָי; παροικίας μου, in the Septuagint).”

[9] Cato Maior de Senectute 23.

[10] Sirach’s Prologue 27-36:  “For in the eight and thirtieth year coming into Egypt, when Euergetes was king, and continuing there some time, I found a book of no small learning:  therefore I thought it most necessary for me to bestow some diligence and travail to interpret it; using great watchfulness and skill in that space to bring the book to an end, and set it forth for them also, which in a strange country are willing to learn, being prepared before in manners to live after the law.”