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1: If any - He speaks tenderly. Won - Gained over to Christ.
2: Joined with a loving fear of displeasing them.
3: Three things are here expressly forbidden: curling the
hair, wearing gold, (by way of ornament,) and putting on costly
or gay apparel. These, therefore, ought never to be allowed,
much less defended, by Christians.
4: The hidden man of the heart - Complete inward holiness,
which implies a meek and quiet spirit. A meek spirit gives no
trouble willingly to any: a quiet spirit bears all wrongs
without being troubled. In the sight of God - Who looks at the
heart. All superfluity of dress contributes more to pride and
anger than is generally supposed. The apostle seems to have his
eye to this by substituting meekness and quietness in the room
of the ornaments he forbids. "I do not regard these things," is
often said by those whose hearts are wrapped up in them: but
offer to take them away, and you touch the very idol of their
soul. Some, indeed only dress elegantly that they may be looked
on; that is, they squander away their Lord's talent to gain
applause: thus making sin to beget sin, and then plead one in
excuse of the other.
5: The adorning of those holy women, who trusted in God, and
therefore did not act thus from servile fear, was,
- Their meek subjection to their husbands:
- Their quiet spirit, "not afraid," or amazed: and
- Their unblamable behaviour, "doing" all things "well."
6: Whose children ye are - In a spiritual as well as natural sense,
and entitled to the same inheritance, while ye discharge your conjugal
duties, not out of fear, but for conscience' sake.(Ge 18:12).
7: Dwell with the woman according to knowledge - Knowing they are
weak, and therefore to be used with all tenderness. Yet do not despise
them for this, but give them honour - Both in heart, in word, and in
action; as those who are called to be joint - heirs of that eternal life
which ye and they hope to receive by the free grace of God. That your
prayers be not hindered - On the one part or the other. All sin hinders
prayer; particularly anger. Anything at which we are angry is never more
apt to come into our mind than when we are at prayer; and those who do not
forgive will find no forgiveness from God.
8: Finally - This part of the epistle reaches to (1Pe 4:11).
The apostle seems to have added the rest afterwards.
Sympathizing - Rejoicing and sorrowing together. Love all believers
as brethren. Be pitiful - Toward the afflicted. Be courteous - To all
men. Courtesy is such a behaviour toward equals and inferiors as shows
respect mixed with love.
9: Ye are called to inherit a blessing - Therefore their railing
cannot hurt you; and, by blessing them, you imitate God, who blesses you.
10: For he that desireth to love life, and to see good
days - That would make life amiable and desirable.(Ps 34:12), &c.
11: Let him seek - To live peaceably with all men.
And pursue it - Even when it seems to flee from him.
12: The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous - For good.
Anger appears in the whole face; love, chiefly in the eyes.
13: Who is he that will harm you - None can.
14: But if ye should suffer - This is no harm to you, but a
good. Fear ye not their fear - The very words of the Septuagint,(Isa 8:12,13). Let not that fear be in you which the wicked
15: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts - Have an holy
fear, and a full trust in his wise providence. The hope - Of
eternal life. With meekness - For anger would hurt your cause as
well as your soul. And fear - A filial fear of offending God,
and a jealousy over yourselves, lest ye speak amiss.
16: Having a good conscience - So much the more beware of
anger, to which the very consciousness of your innocence may
betray you. Join with a good conscience meekness and fear, and
you obtain a complete victory. Your good conversation in Christ
- That is, which flows from faith in him.
17: It is infinitely better, if it be the will of God, ye
should suffer. His permissive will appears from his providence.
18: For - This is undoubtedly best, whereby we are most
conformed to Christ. Now Christ suffered once - To suffer no more.
For sins - Not his own, but ours. The just for the unjust - The
word signifies, not only them who have wronged their neighbours,
but those who have transgressed any of the commands of God; as
the preceding word, just, denotes a person who has fulfilled,
not barely social duties, but all kind of righteousness. That
he might bring us to God - Now to his gracious favour, hereafter
to his blissful presence, by the same steps of suffering and of
glory. Being put to death in the flesh - As man. But raised to
life by the Spirit - Both by his own divine power, and by the power
of the Holy Ghost.
19: By which Spirit he preached - Through the ministry of
Noah. To the spirits in prison - The unholy men before the flood,
who were then reserved by the justice of God, as in a prison,
till he executed the sentence upon them all; and are now also
reserved to the judgment of the great day.
20: When the longsuffering of God waited - For an hundred
and twenty years; all the time the ark was preparing: during
which Noah warned them all to flee from the wrath to come.
21: The antitype whereof - The thing typified by the ark,
even baptism, now saveth us - That is, through the water of
baptism we are saved from the sin which overwhelms the world
as a flood: not, indeed, the bare outward sign, but the inward
grace; a divine consciousness that both our persons and our
actions are accepted through him who died and rose again for us.
22: Angels and authorities and powers - That is, all
orders both of angels and men.