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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 1PETER 3
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    CHAPTER 3

    1Pe 3:1-22. RELATIVE DUTIES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES: EXHORTATIONS TO LOVE AND FORBEARANCE: RIGHT CONDUCT UNDER PERSECUTIONS FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE, AFTER CHRIST'S EXAMPLE, WHOSE DEATH RESULTED IN QUICKENING TO US THROUGH HIS BEING QUICKENED AGAIN, OF WHICH BAPTISM IS THE SACRAMENTAL SEAL.

    1. Likewise--Greek, "In like manner," as "servants" in their sphere; compare the reason of the woman's subjection, 1Co 11:8-10; 1Ti 2:11-14.
    - your own--enforcing the obligation: it is not strangers ye are required to be subject to. Every time that obedience is enjoined upon women to their husbands, the Greek, "idios," "one's own peculiarly," is used, while the wives of men are designated only by heauton, "of themselves." Feeling the need of leaning on one stronger than herself, the wife (especially if joined to an unbeliever) might be tempted, though only spiritually, to enter into that relation with another in which she ought to stand to "her own spouse (1Co 14:34, 35, "Let them ask their own [idious] husbands at home"); an attachment to the person of the teacher might thus spring up, which, without being in the common sense spiritual adultery, would still weaken in its spiritual basis the married relation [STEIGER].
    - that, if--Greek, "that even if." Even if you have a husband that obeys not the word (that is, is an unbeliever).
    - without the word--independently of hearing the word preached, the usual way of faith coming. But BENGEL, "without word," that is, without direct Gospel discourse of the wives, "they may (literally, in oldest manuscripts, 'shall,' which marks the almost objective certainty of the result) be won" indirectly. "Unspoken acting is more powerful than unperformed speaking" [ŒCUMENIUS]. "A soul converted is gained to itself, to the pastor, wife, or husband, who sought it, and to Jesus Christ; added to His treasury who thought not His own precious blood too dear to lay out for this gain" [LEIGHTON]. "The discreet wife would choose first of all to persuade her husband to share with her in the things which lead to blessedness; but if this be impossible, let her then alone diligently press after virtue, in all things obeying him so as to do nothing at any time against his will, except in such things as are essential to virtue and salvation" [CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA].

    2. behold--on narrowly looking into it, literally, "having closely observed."
    - chaste--pure, spotless, free from all impurity.
    - fear--reverential, towards your husbands. Scrupulously pure, as opposed to the noisy, ambitious character of worldly women.

    3. Literally, "To whom let there belong (namely, as their peculiar ornament) not the outward adornment (usual in the sex which first, by the fall, brought in the need of covering, Note, see on 1Pe 5:5) of," &c.
    - plaiting--artificial braiding, in order to attract admiration.
    - wearing--literally, "putting round," namely, the head, as a diadem--the arm, as a bracelet--the finger, as rings.
    - apparel--showy and costly. "Have the blush of modesty on thy face instead of paint, and moral worth and discretion instead of gold and emeralds" [MELISSA].

    4. But--"Rather." The "outward adornment" of jewelry, &c., is forbidden, in so far as woman loves such things, not in so far as she uses them from a sense of propriety, and does not abuse them. Singularity mostly comes from pride and throws needless hindrances to religion in the way of others. Under costly attire there may be a humble mind. "Great is he who uses his earthenware as if it were plate; not less great is he who uses his silver as if it were earthenware" [SENECA in ALFORD].
    - hidden--inner man, which the Christian instinctively hides from public view.
    - of the heart--consisting in the heart regenerated and adorned by the Spirit. This "inner man of the heart" is the subject of the verb "be," 1Pe 3:3, Greek: "Of whom let the inner man be," namely, the distinction or adornment.
    - in that--consisting or standing in that as its element.
    - not corruptible--not transitory, nor tainted with corruption, as all earthly adornments.
    - meek and quiet--meek, not creating disturbances: quiet, bearing with tranquillity the disturbances caused by others. Meek in affections and feelings; quiet in words, countenance, and actions [BENGEL].
    - in the sight of God--who looks to inward, not merely outward things.
    - of great price--The results of redemption should correspond to its costly price (1Pe 1:19).

    5. after this manner--with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (compare the portrait of the godly wife, Pr 31:10-31).
    - trusted--Greek, "hoped." "Holy" is explained by "hoped in (so as to be 'united to,' Greek) God." Hope in God is the spring of true holiness [BENGEL].
    - in subjection--Their ornament consisted in their subordination. Vanity was forbidden (1Pe 3:3) as being contrary to female subjection.

    6. Sara--an example of faith.
    - calling him lord-- (Ge 18:12).
    - ye are--Greek, "ye have become": "children" of Abraham and Sara by faith, whereas ye were Gentile aliens from the covenant.
    - afraid with any amazement--Greek, "fluttering alarm," "consternation." Act well, and be not thrown into sudden panic, as weak females are apt to be, by any opposition from without. BENGEL translates, "Not afraid OF any fluttering terror coming from without" (1Pe 3:13-16). So the Septuagint, Pr 3:25 uses the same Greek word, which Peter probably refers to. Anger assails men; fear, women. You need fear no man in doing what is right: not thrown into fluttering agitation by any sudden outbreak of temper on the part of your unbelieving husbands, while you do well.

    7. dwell--Greek, "dwelling": connected with the verb, 1Pe 2:17, "Honor all."
    - knowledge--Christian knowledge: appreciating the due relation of the sexes in the design of God, and acting with tenderness and forbearance accordingly: wisely: with wise consideration.
    - them . . . giving honour to the wife--translate and punctuate the Greek rather, "dwelling according to knowledge with the female (Greek adjective, qualifying 'vessel'; not as English Version, a noun) as with the weaker vessel (see on 1Th 4:4. Both husband and wife are vessels in God's hand, and of God's making, to fulfil His gracious purposes. Both weak, the woman the weaker. The sense of his own weakness, and that she, like himself, is God's vessel and fabric, ought to lead him to act with tender and wise consideration towards her who is the weaker fabric), giving (literally, 'assigning,' 'apportioning') honor as being also (besides being man and wife) heirs together," &c.; or, as the Vatican manuscript reads, as to those who are also (besides being your wives) fellow heirs." (The reason why the man should give honor to the woman is, because God gives honor to both as fellow heirs; compare the same argument, 1Pe 3:9). He does not take into account the case of an unbelieving wife, as she might yet believe.
    - grace of life--God's gracious gift of life (1Pe 1:4, 13).
    - that your prayers be not hindered--by dissensions, which prevent united prayer, on which depends the blessing.

    8. General summary of relative duty, after having detailed particular duties from 1Pe 2:18.
    - of one mind--as to the faith.
    - having compassion one of another--Greek, "sympathizing" in the joy and sorrow of others.
    - love as brethren--Greek, "loving the brethren."
    - pitiful--towards the afflicted.
    - courteous--genuine Christian politeness; not the tinsel of the world's politeness; stamped with unfeigned love on one side, and humility on the other. But the oldest manuscripts read, "humble-minded." It is slightly different from "humble," in that it marks a conscious effort to be truly humble.

    9. evil--in deed.
    - railing--in word.
    - blessing--your revilers; participle, not a noun after "rendering."
    - knowing that--The oldest manuscripts read merely, "because."
    - are--Greek, "were called."
    - inherit a blessing--not only passive, but also active; receiving spiritual blessing from God by faith, and in your turn blessing others from love [GERHARD in ALFORD]. "It is not in order to inherit a blessing that we must bless, but because our portion is blessing." No railing can injure you (1Pe 3:13). Imitate God who "blesses" you. The first fruits of His blessing for eternity are enjoyed by the righteous even now (1Pe 3:10) [BENGEL].

    10. will love--Greek, "wishes to love." He who loves life (present and eternal), and desires to continue to do so, not involving himself in troubles which will make this life a burden, and cause him to forfeit eternal life. Peter confirms his exhortation, 1Pe 3:9, by Ps 34:12-16.
    - refrain--curb, literally, "cause to cease"; implying that our natural inclination and custom is to speak evil. "Men commonly think that they would be exposed to the wantonness of their enemies if they did not strenuously vindicate their rights. But the Spirit promises a life of blessedness to none but those who are gentle and patient of evils" [CALVIN].
    - evil . . . guile--First he warns against sins of the tongue, evil-speaking, and deceitful, double-tongued speaking; next, against acts of injury to one's neighbor.

    11. In oldest manuscripts, Greek, "Moreover (besides his words, in acts), let him."
    - eschew--"turn from."
    - ensue--pursue as a thing hard to attain, and that flees from one in this troublesome world.

    12. Ground of the promised present and eternal life of blessedness to the meek (1Pe 3:10). The Lord's eyes are ever over them for good.
    - ears . . . unto their prayers-- (1Jo 5:14, 15).
    - face . . . against--The eyes imply favorable regard; the face of the Lord upon (not as English Version, "against") them that do evil, implies that He narrowly observes them, so as not to let them really and lastingly hurt His people (compare 1Pe 3:13).

    13. who . . . will harm you--This fearless confidence in God's protection from harm, Christ, the Head, in His sufferings realized; so His members.
    - if ye be--Greek, "if ye have become."
    - followers--The oldest manuscripts read "emulous," "zealous of" (Tit 2:14).
    - good--The contrast in Greek is, "Who will do you evil, if ye be zealous of good?"

    14. But and if--"But if even." "The promises of this life extend only so far as it is expedient for us that they should be fulfilled" [CALVIN]. So he proceeds to state the exceptions to the promise (1Pe 3:10), and how the truly wise will behave in such exceptional cases. "If ye should suffer%%%%%

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