The First Letter from Peter

Chapter 3

Peter teaches the duty of wives and husbands to each other, 1-7; exhorting all men to unity and love, 8-13; and to suffer persecution, 14-18. He declares also the benefits of Christ toward the old world, 19-22.

1 Likewise, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands so that if any do not obey the word, they also may, without the word, be won by the deportment of the wives, 2 While they behold your chaste manner of life coupled with fear. 3 Do not let your adorning be that which is outward—of braiding the hair, of wearing gold, or of putting on apparel— 4 But let it be the hidden person of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 5 For after this manner in former times the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands, 6 Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You are her daughters as long as you do well and are "not afraid of sudden fear."

7 Likewise, husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life, so that your prayers are not hindered.

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, compassionate, loving as brothers, tender-tearted, and courteous, 9 Not rendering evil for evil or railing for railing, but on the contrary, blessing, knowing that you are called to this, so that you should inherit a blessing. 10 For,

"He who will love life/
and see good days,/
let him restrain his tongue from evil,/
and his lips that they speak no guile.

11 Let him shun evil and do good./
Let him seek peace and pursue it.

12 The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous,/
and his ears are open to their prayers./
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

13 And who is he who will harm you if you are followers of that which is good? 14 But if you suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are you. "And do not be afraid of their terror, neither be troubled," 15 But "sanctify the Lord" God in your hearts. Always be ready to give an answer to every man who asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, but with meekness and fear. 16 Have a good conscience so that, whereas they speak evil of you as of evildoers, they may be ashamed who falsely accuse your good deportment in Christ. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, that you suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. 18 For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, so that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive by the Spirit, 19 By which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 Who formerly were disobedient when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, in which few, that is, eight souls, were saved by water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, also now saves you (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 Who has gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers being made subject to him.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Peter, Chapter 3[➚]


[v.1-7] - Reference, Ephesians 5:22-33.

[v.1] - "wives, be in subjection to your own husbands" - From John Calvin's Sermons on Job: "For whereas God has honored men in giving them the dignity of being the head of mankind, and appointed the woman to be inferior in degree, men must not be proud of it."

[v.6a] - "Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord" From John Gill's Exposition: "Going along with him wherever he went, as from Chaldea to Canaan, and into Egypt, and the land of the Philistines, saying the words he put into her mouth, Genesis 12:5 and doing the things he bid her do, Genesis 18:6 'calling him lord;' or 'my lord,' as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, and as it appears she did from Genesis 18:12."

[v.6b] - "not afraid of sudden fear" - Quoting Proverbs 3:25 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.7] - Reference, 1st Corinthians 7:3.

[v.10-12] - Quoting Psalm 34:12-16 (LXX—paraphrased).

[v.14] - Quoting Isaiah 8:12 (LXX).

[v.15] - Quoting Isaiah 8:13 (LXX).

[v.18] - Reference, Acts 20:28; 1st Corinthians 6:20, 7:23; Titus 2:14; 1st Peter 1:18-19; Revelation 5:9.

[v.20] - "in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing" - Reference, Genesis, ch. 6 and 7.

[v.21] - "which now saves us" - From Matthew Henry's Commentary, "The apostle shows that the efficacy of baptism to salvation depends not upon the work done, but upon the resurrection of Christ, which supposes his death, and is the foundation of our faith and hope, to which we are rendered conformable by dying to sin, and rising again to holiness and newness of life. Learn, 1. the sacrament of baptism, rightly received, is a means and a pledge of salvation. Baptism now saveth us. God is pleased to convey his blessings to us in and by his ordinances, Acts 2:38; 22:16. 2. The external participation of baptism will save no man without an answerable good conscience and conversation. There must be the answer of a good conscience towards God."

[v.22] - Reference, Mark 16:19.