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1 Peter 3


 1 Likewise (*) (1) let the wives be subject to their husbands, (2) that even they which obey not the word, may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives,


(*) Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 5:22 .

(1) In the third place he setteth forth the wives' duty to their husbands, commanding them to be obedient.
(2) He speaketh namely of them which had husbands that were not Christians, which ought so much the more be subject to their husbands, that by their honest and chaste conversation they may give them to the Lord.


 2 While they behold your pure conversation which is with fear.


 3  (*) (3) Whose appareling let it not be that outward, as with broided hair, and gold put about, or in putting on of apparel;


(*) 1 Timothy 2:9 .

(3) He condemneth the riot and excess of women and setteth forth their true appareling such as is precious before God, to wit, the inward and incorruptible which consisteth in a meek and quiet spirit.


 4 But let it be the (a) hidden man of the heart, which consisteth in the incorruption of a meek and quiet spirit, which is (b) before God a thing much set by.


(a) Who hath his seat fastened in the heart; so that the hid man is set against the outward decking of the body.
(b) Precious indeed, and so taken of God.


 5  (4) For even after this manner in time past did the holy women, which trusted in God, attire themselves, and were subject to their husbands.


(4) An argument taken of the example of women, and especially of Sarah, who was the mother of all believers.


 6 As Sarah obeyed Abraham, and (*) called him (♣) Sir, whose daughters ye are, while ye do well, (5) not being (♠) afraid of any terror.


(*) Genesis 18:12 .

(♣) Or, Master.

(5) Because women are of nature fearful, he giveth them to understand, that he requireth of them that subjection, which is not wrung out of them either by force or fear.

(♠) But willingly do your duty; for your condition is not the worse for your obedience.


 7  (*) (6) Likewise ye husbands, (c) dwell with them as men of (d) (♣) knowledge, (7) (♠) giving (e) honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker (f) vessel, (8) even as they which are (♦) heirs together of the (g) grace of life, (9) that your (♥) prayers be not interrupted.


(*) 1 Corinthians 7:3 .

(6) He teacheth husbands also their duties, to wit, 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 hath, the more circumspectly he must behave himself in bearing those commodities, which through the woman's weakness oft times cause trouble both to the husband and the wife.

(♣) By neither keeping them to strait, nor in giving them to much liberty.
(7) The second argument: because the wife notwithstanding that she is weaker by nature than the man, is an excellent instrument of the man made to far most excellent uses; whereupon it followeth that she is not therefore to be neglected because she is weak, but on the contrary part she ought to be so much the more cared for.

(♠) Taking care, and providing for her.
(e) Having an honest care for her.
(f) The woman is called a vessel after the manner of the Hebrews, because the husband useth her as his fellow and helper to live faithfully before God.
(8) The third argument: for that they are equal in that which is the chiefest (that is to say, in the benefit of eternal life) which otherwise are unequal as touching the governance and conversation at home, and therefore they are not to be despised although they be weak.
(g) Of that gracious and free benefit whereby we have everlasting life given us.

(♦) Man ought to love his wife, because they lead their life together, also for that she is the weaker vessel, but chiefly because that God hath made them as it were fellow heirs together of life everlasting.
(9) The fourth argument: All brawlings and chidings must be eschewed, because they hinder prayers and the whole service of God whereunto both the husband and wife are equally called.

(♥) For they cannot pray when they are at dissention.


 8  (10) Finally, be ye all of one mind, one suffer with another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous,


(10) He returneth to common exhortations and commendeth concord and whatsoever things pertain to the maintenance of peace and mutual love.


 9  (*) (11) Not rendering evil for evil, neither rebuke for rebuke, but contrariwise bless; (12) knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should be (♣) heirs of blessing.


(*) Proverbs 17:13; Proverbs 20:22; Matthew 5:39; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15 .

(11) We must not only not recompense injury for injury, but we must also recompense them with benefits.
(12) An argument taken of comparison: Seeing that we ourselves are called of God whom we offend so often, to so great a benefit (so far is he from revenging the injuries which we do unto him) shall we rather make ourselves unworthy of so great bountifulness, than forgive one another's faults? And from this verse to the end of the chapter, 1 Peter 3:9-22; there is a digression of going from the matter he is in the band with, to exhort us valiantly to bear afflictions.

(♣) God hath made us when we were his enemies, heirs of his kingdom, and shall not we forgive our brethren a small fault?


 10  (*) (13) For if any man long after life, and to (h) see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.


(*) Psalm 34:13 .

(13) A secret objection: But this our patience shall be nothing else but a fleshing and hardening of the wicked in their wickedness, to make them to set upon us more boldly, and to destroy us. (Nay saith the Apostle by the words of David) to live without doing hurt, and to follow after peace when it fleeth away, is the way to the happy and quiet peace. And if so be any man be afflicted for doing justly, the Lord maketh all things, and will in his time deliver the godly, which cry unto him, and will destroy the wicked.
(h) Lead a blessed and happy life.


 11  (*) Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and follow after it.


(*) Isaiah 1:16 .


 12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers, and the (i) face of the Lord (*) is against them that do evil.


(i) This word (Face) after the manner of the Hebrews, is taken for (anger.)

(*) To take vengeance on him.


 13  (14) And who is it that will harm you, if ye follow that which is good?


(14) The second argument: when the wicked are provoked, they are more wayward; therefore they must rather be overcome with good turns; And if they cannot be gotten by that means also, yet notwithstanding we shall be blessed, if we suffer for righteousness’ sake.


 14  (*) Notwithstanding blessed are ye, if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake. (15) Yea, (♣) (♠) fear not their (k) fear, neither be troubled.


(*) Matthew 5:10 .

(15) A most certain counsel in afflictions, be they never so terrible, to be of a constant mind, and to stand fast. But how shall we attain unto 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 loveth mankind, that is good and true indeed.

(♣) Isaiah 8:12-13 .

(♠) That is, when they think to make you afraid by their threatenings.
(k) Be not dismayed as they are.


 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 reverence,


(l) Give him all praise 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 to godly reverence, that the enemies may not have anything justly to object, but may rather be ashamed of themselves.


 16  (*) Having a good conscience, that when they speak evil of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed, which slander your good conversation in Christ.


(*) 1 Peter 2:12 .


 17  (17) 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 standeth upon two general rules of Christianity, which notwithstanding all men allow not of. The one is, if we must needs suffer afflictions, it is better to suffer wrongfully than rightfully; the other is this, because we are so afflicted, not by hap, but by the will of our God.


 18  (*) (18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, (19) the just for the unjust, (20) that he might bring us to God, (21) and was put to death concerning the (m) flesh, but was quickened by the (♣) spirit.


(*) Romans 5:6; Hebrews 9:15 .

(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 that are unjust to suffer for the just’s cause?
(20) Another argument being partly taken of things coupled together, to wit, because Christ bringeth us to his Father that same way that he went himself, and partly from the cause efficient, to wit, because Christ is not only set before us for an example to follow, but also he holdeth us up by his virtue in all the difficulties of this life, until he bring us to his Father.
(21) Another argument taken of the happy end of these afflictions, wherein also Christ goeth before us both in example and virtue, as one who suffered most grievous torments even unto death, although but in one part only of him, to wit, in the flesh or man's nature, but yet became conqueror by the virtue of his divinity.
(m) As touching his manhood, for his body was dead, and his soul felt the sorrows of death.

(♣) By the power of God.


 19  (22) By (*) the which (♠) he also went, and preached unto the (♣) spirits that are in prison.


(22) A secret objection: Christ indeed might do this, but what is that to us? Yet (saith the Apostle) for Christ hath shewed forth this virtue in all ages both to the preservation of the godly, were they never so few and miserable, and to revenge the rebellion of his enemies, as it appeareth by the history of the flood; for Christ is he which 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 virtue, preaching repentance even by the mouth of Noah himself who then prepared the Ark, to those disobedient spirits which are now in prison waiting for the full recompense of their rebellion, and saved those few (that is, eight only persons) in the water.

(*) By the virtue of which Spirit, that is to say of the divinity; therefore this word, Spirit, cannot in this place be taken for the soul, unless we will say, that Christ was raised up again, and quickened by the virtue of his soul.

(♠) Christ being from the beginning head and governor of his Church, came in the days of Noah, not in body, which then he had not, but in Spirit, and preached by the mouth of Noah for the space of 120 years to the disobedient, which would not repent, and therefore are now in prison reserved to the last judgment.

(♣) He calleth them spirits, in respect of his time, not in respect of the time that they were in the flesh.


 20 Which were in time passed disobedient, when (n) once the longsuffering of God abode in the days of (*) Noah, while the Ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight (o) (♣) souls were saved in the water.


(n) This word (once) sheweth that there was a furthermost day appointed, and if that were once past, there should be no more.

(*) Genesis 6:14; Matthew 24:38; Luke 17:26 .
(o) Men.

(♣) Or, persons.


 21  (23) To the which also the figure that now saveth us, even Baptism agreeth (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but in (*) that a good conscience maketh request to (p) God) (24) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,


(23) A proportional applying of the former example to the times which followed the coming of Christ: for that preservation of Noah in the waters was a figure of our Baptism, not as though the material water of Baptism saveth us, as those waters which bare up the Ark saved Noah, but because Christ with his inward virtue, which the outward Baptism shadoweth, preserveth us being washed, so that we may call upon God with a good conscience.

(*) Or, the taking to witness of a good conscience.
(p) The conscience being sanctified, may freely call upon God.
(24) That selfsame virtue, whereby Christ rose again, and now being carried into heaven, hath received all power, doeth at this day defend and preserve us.


 22 Which is (*) at the right hand of God, gone into heaven, to whom the Angels, and Powers, and might are subject.


(*) Hebrews 1:3 .



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