2:1 Wherefore 1 laying aside all malice, and all guile, and
hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
(1) Having laid for the foundation the Spirit of God
effectually working by the word, and having built on it
three virtues which are the grounds of all Christian
actions, that is, faith, hope, and charity: now he proceeds
to a general exhortation the first part being that we flee
all show of both secret and open malice.
2:22 As a newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the
word, that ye may grow thereby:
(2) The second is, that being newly begotten and born of the
new seed of the incorrupt word, drinking and sucking
greedily the same word as milk, we should grow more and
more in that spiritual life. And he calls it, sincere, not
only because it is a most pure thing, but also that we
should take heed of them which corrupt it.
(a) As it becomes new men.
2:33 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.
(3) He commends that spiritual nourishment for the sweetness
and profit of it.
2:44 To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed
indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,
(4) He advances the same exhortation, but uses another kind of
borrowed speech, alluding to the temple. Therefore he
says, that the company of the faithful is as a certain holy
and spiritual building, built of the living stones, the
foundation of which is Christ, as a living stone sustaining
all that are joined to him with his living power and
knitting them together with himself, although this great
treasure is neglected by men.
2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house,
5 an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices,
acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
(5) Continuing, he compares us now to priests, placed for this
purpose in the spiritual temple, that we should serve him
with a spiritual worship, that is, with holiness and
righteousness: but as the temple, so is the priesthood
built upon Christ, in who alone all our spiritual offerings
2:66 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold,
I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he
that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
(6) He proves it by the testimony of the prophet Isaiah.
2:77 Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but
unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders
disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
(7) By setting the most blessed condition of the believers and
triumphs over the other: and also prevents an offence which
arises here, that none do more resist this doctrine of the
gospel, than they who are chiefest among the people of God.
In the time that Peter wrote these things, they were the
priests, elders and scribes. Therefore he answers first of
all, that there is no reason why any man should be
astonished by their stubbornness, as though it were a
strange matter, seeing as we have been foretold so long
before, that it should so come to pass: and moreover, that
it pleased God to create and make certain for this same
purpose, that the Son of God might be glorified in their
just condemnation. Thirdly, that the glory of Christ is
hereby set forth greatly, whereas nonetheless Christ
remains the sure head of his Church, and they that are
offended by him, cast down and overthrow themselves, and
not Christ. Fourthly, although they are created for this
end and purpose, yet their fall and destruction is not to
be attributed to God, but to their own obstinate
stubbornness, which comes between God's decree, and the
execution of it, or their condemnation, and is the true and
proper cause of their destruction.
2:98 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an
holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth
the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into
his marvellous light:
(8) On the other hand, he describes the singular excellency of
the elect, and also lest any man should doubt whether he is
chosen or not, the apostle calls us back to the effectual
calling, that is, to the voice of the gospel sounding both
in our ears and minds by the outward preaching and
ordinances, by which we may certainly understand that
everlasting decree of our salvation (which otherwise is
most secret and hidden) and that through the only mercy of
God who freely chooses and calls us. Therefore only this
remains, faith, that by all means possible we set forth the
great goodness of the most mighty God.
2:119 Dearly beloved, 10 I beseech [you] as strangers and
pilgrims, 11 abstain from fleshly lusts, 12 which war
against the soul;
(9) He returns to that general exhortation.
(10) A reason why we ought to live holy, that is, because we
are citizens of heaven, and therefore we ought to live not
according to the laws of this world, which is most
corrupt, but of the heavenly city, although we are
strangers in the world.
(11) Another argument: The children of God live not according
to the flesh, that is, according to that corrupt nature,
but according to the Spirit. Therefore fleshly actions
should not rule us.
(12) The third argument: for although those lusts gratify us,
yet they do not cease to fight against our salvation.
2:1213 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles:
that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they
14 may by [your] good works, which they shall behold,
glorify God in the day of b visitation.
(13) The fourth argument, taken from the profit of so doing: for
by this means also we provide for our good name and
estimation, while we compel them at length to change their
minds, who speak evil of us.
(14) The fifth argument, which is also of great force: because
the glory of God is greatly set forth by that means, by
example of our honest life, then the most corrupt men are
brought to God, and submit themselves to him.
(b) When God shall have mercy on them.
2:1315 Submit yourselves to c every ordinance of man 16
for the Lord's sake: 17 whether it be to the king, as
(15) That which he spoke generally, he now expounds in detail,
describing individually every man's duty. First, he
speaks of the obedience that is due both to the laws, and
also to the magistrates both higher and lower.
(c) By ordinance, is meant the inventing and ordering of
civil government, which he calls ordinance of man, not
because man invented it, but because it is proper for
(16) The first argument: because the Lord is the author and
avenger of this policy of men, that is, which is set
among men: and therefore the true servants of the Lord
must above all others be diligent observers of this order.
(17) He prevents a frivolous objection which is made by some,
who say they will obey kings and the higher magistrates,
and yet condemn their ministers, as though their ministers
were not armed with the authority of those who sent them.
2:14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him 18
for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them
that do well.
(18) The second argument taken from the end of this order,
which is not only most profitable, but also very
necessary: seeing that by that this means virtue is
rewarded, and vice punished, in which the peacefulness and
happiness if this life consists.
2:1519 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may
put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
(19) He declares the first argument more amply, showing that
Christian liberty does among all things least or not at
all consist in this, that is, to cast off the bridle of
laws (as at that time some altogether unskilful in the
kingdom of God reported) but rather in this, that living
holy lives according to the will of God, we should reveal
to all men, that the gospel is not a cloak for sin and
wickedness, seeing we are free of this sort, that yet we
are still the servants of God, and not of sin.
2:1720d Honour all [men]. Love the e brotherhood. Fear
God. Honour the king.
(20) He divides the civil life of man, by occasion of those
things of which he spoke, into two general parts: that is,
into those duties which private men owe to private men,
and especially the faithful to the faithful, and into that
subjection by which inferiors are bound to their
superiors, but so that kings are not made equal to God,
seeing that fear is due to God, and honour to kings.
(d) Be charitable and dutiful towards all men.
(e) The assembly and fellowship of the brethren.
2:1821 Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all
fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the
(21) He goes to the duty of servants towards their masters,
which he describes with these bounds, that servants submit
themselves willingly and not by force, not only to the
good and courteous, but also to the perverse and severe
2:1922 For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for f conscience
toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
(22) The taking away of an objection: indeed the condition of
servants is hard, especially if they have perverse
masters, but thus their subjection shall be so much more
acceptable to God, if his will prevails more with
servants, than the masters wrong treatment.
(f) Because he makes a conscience of it, to offend God, by
whose good will and appointment he knows this burden is
laid upon him.
2:2123 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an g example, that ye should
follow his steps:
(23) He alleviates the grievousness of servanthood, while he
shows plainly that Christ died also for servants, that
they should bear so much more patiently this inequality
between men who are of the same nature: moreover setting
before them Christ the Lord of lords for an example, he
signifies that they cannot but seem too subdued, who show
themselves more grieved in the bearing of injuries, than
Christ himself who was most just, and most severely of all
afflicted, and yet was most patient.
(g) A metaphor of speech taken from painters and schoolmasters.
2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he
suffered, he threatened not; but 24 committed [himself]
to him 25 that judgeth righteously:
(24) He shows them a remedy against injuries, that is, that
they commend their cause to God, by the example of Christ.
(25) He seems now to turn his speech to masters, who have also
themselves a master and judge in heaven, who will justly
avenge the injuries that are done to servants, without any
respecting of people.
2:2426 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the
tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto
righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
(26) He calls the servants back from considering the injuries
which they are constrained to bear, to think instead on
the greatness and the end of the benefit received from