3:1 Likewise, 1 ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own
husbands; 2 that, if any obey not the word, they also may
without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
(1) In the third place he sets forth the wives' duties to their
husbands, commanding them to be obedient.
(2) He speaks namely of those who had husbands who were not
Christians, who ought so much the more be subject to their
husbands, that by their honest and chaste conversation,
they may win them to the Lord.
3:33 Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of
plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on
(3) He condemns the unrestrained indulgences and excesses of
women, and sets forth their true apparel, such as is
precious before God, that is, the inward and incorruptible,
which consists in a meek and quiet spirit.
3:4 But [let it be] the a hidden man of the heart, in that
which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and
quiet spirit, which is b in the sight of God of great
(a) Who has his abiding place fastened in the heart: so that
the hidden man is set against the outward adorning of
(b) Precious indeed and so taken of God.
3:54 For after this manner in the old time the holy women
also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in
subjection unto their own husbands:
(4) An argument taken from the example of women, and especially
of Sarah, who was the mother of all believers.
3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose
daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are 5 not
afraid with any amazement.
(5) Because women are by nature fearful, he gives them to
understand that he requires of them that subjection, which
is not wrung out from them either by force or fear.
3:76 Likewise, ye husbands, c dwell with [them] according
to d knowledge, 7 giving e honour unto the wife, as
unto the weaker f vessel, 8 and as being heirs together
of the g grace of life; 9 that your prayers be not
(6) He also teaches husbands their duties, that is, that the
more understanding and wisdom they have, the more wisely
and circumspectly they behave themselves.
(c) Do all the duties of wedlock.
(d) The more wisdom the husband has, the more circumspectly
he must behave himself in bearing those inconveniences,
which through the woman's weakness often cause trouble
both to the husband and the wife.
(7) The second argument: because the wife nonetheless is weaker
by nature than the man, she is an excellent instrument of the
man, made for far more excellent uses: upon which it
follows that she is not therefore to be neglected, because
she is weak, but on the contrary she ought to be so much
more cared for.
(e) Having an honest care for her.
(f) The woman is called a vessel after the manner of the
Hebrews, because the husband uses her as his friend and
helper, to live faithfully before God.
(8) The third argument: for that they are equal in that which
is the most important (that is to say, in the benefit of
eternal life) who otherwise are unequal concerning the
leadership and conduct at home, and therefore they are
not to be despised although they are weak.
(g) Of that gracious and free benefit, by which we have
everlasting life given to us.
(9) The fourth argument: All fighting and rebuking must be
avoided, because they hinder prayers and the whole service
of God, to which both the husband and wife are equally
3:810 Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one
of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:
(10) He turns to common exhortations, and commends harmony and
whatever things pertain to the maintenance of peace and
3:911 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing:
but contrariwise blessing; 12 knowing that ye are
thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
(11) We must not only not recompense injury for injury, but we
must also recompense them with benefits.
(12) An argument taken by comparison: Seeing that we ourselves
are unworthy of so great bountifulness, than forgive one
another's faults? And from this verse to the end of the
chapter, (1Pe 3:9-22), there is a digression, to exhort
us valiantly to bear afflictions.
3:1013 For he that will love life, and h see good days, let
him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they
speak no guile:
(13) A secret objection: But this our patience shall be nothing
else but an inciting and hardening of the wicked in their
wickedness, to make them set upon us more boldly and
destroy us. Indeed (faith the apostle by the words of David)
to live without doing harm, and to follow after peace when
it flies away, is the way to that happy and quiet peace.
If so be any man be afflicted for doing justly, the Lord
marks all things, and will in his time deliver the godly,
who cry to him, and will destroy the wicked.
(h) Lead a blessed and happy life.
3:12 For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his
ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the i face of the
Lord [is] against them that do evil.
(i) This word "face" after the manner of the Hebrews, is taken
3:1314 And who [is] he that will harm you, if ye be followers
of that which is good?
(14) The second argument: when the wicked are provoked, they
are more wayward: therefore they must instead be won by
good deeds. If they cannot be gained by that means also,
yet nonetheless we shall be blessed if we suffer for
3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy [are
ye]: 15 and be not afraid of their k terror, neither be
(15) A most certain counsel in afflictions, be they never so
terrible, to be of a steady mind and to stand fast. But
how shall we attain to it? If we sanctify God in our
minds and hearts, that is to say, if we rest upon him as
one that is almighty that loves mankind, that is good and
(k) Be not dismayed as they are.
3:15 But l sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: 16 and [be]
ready always to [give] an answer to every man that asketh
you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and
(l) Give him all prayers and glory, and hang only on him.
(16) He will have us, when we are afflicted for righteousness
sake, to be careful not for redeeming of our life, either
with denying or renouncing the truth, or with like
violence, or any such means: but rather to give an account
of our faith boldly, and yet with a meek spirit, and full
of godly reverence, that the enemies may not have anything
justly to object, but may rather be ashamed of themselves.
3:1717 For [it is] better, if the will of God be so, that ye
suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
(17) A reason which stands upon two general rules of
Christianity, which nonetheless all men do not allow. The
one is, if we must suffer afflictions, it is better to
suffer wrongfully than rightfully: the other is this,
because we are so afflicted not by accident, but by the
will of our God.
3:1818 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, 19 the
just for the unjust, 20 that he might bring us to God,
21 being put to death in the m flesh, but quickened by
(18) A proof of either of the rules, by the example of Christ
himself our chief pattern, who was afflicted not for his
own sins (which were none) but for ours, and that
according to his Father's decree.
(19) An argument taken by comparison: Christ the just, suffered
for us that are unjust and shall it grieve us who are
unjust, to suffer for the cause of Christ.
(20) Another argument being partly taken of things coupled
together, that is, because Christ brings us to his Father
that same way that he went himself, and partly from the
cause efficient: that is, because Christ is not only set
before us for an example to follow, but also he holds us
up by his power in all the difficulties of this life,
until he bring us to his Father.
(21) Another argument taken from the happy end of these
afflictions, in which Christ also goes before us both in
example and power, as one who suffered most grievous
torments even to death, although but only in one part of
him, that is, in the flesh or man's nature: but yet became
conqueror by virtue of his divinity.
(m) As touching his manhood, for his body was dead, and his
soul felt the sorrows of death.
3:1922 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in
(22) A secret objection: Christ indeed might do this, but what
is that to us? Indeed (faith the apostle) for Christ has
showed his power in all ages both in the preservation of
the godly, were they never so few and miserable, and in
avenging the rebellion of his enemies, as it appears by
the history of the flood: for Christ is he who in those
days (when God through his patience appointed a time of
repentance to the world) was present, not in corporal
presence, but by his divine power, preaching repentance,
even by the mouth of Noah himself who then prepared the
ark, to those disobedient spirits who are now in prison,
waiting for the full recompence of their rebellion, and
saved those few, (that is, only eight people) in the
3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when n once the
longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the
ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight o souls
were saved by water.
(n) This word "once" shows that there was a furthermost day
appointed, and if that were once past, there should be
3:2123 The like figure whereunto [even] baptism doth also now
save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,
but the answer of a good conscience toward p God,) 24
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
(23) A proportional applying of the former example to the time
which followed the coming of Christ: for the preservation
of Noah in the waters, was a figure of our baptism, not as
though the material water of baptism shows us, as those
waters which bare up the ark saved Noah, but because
Christ with his inward virtue, which the outward baptism
shadows, preserves us being washed, so that we may call
upon God with a good conscience.
(p) The conscience being sanctified, may freely call upon
(24) That same virtue, by which Christ rose again, and now
being carried up into heaven has received all power, does
at this day defend and preserve us.