First Peter 2:18-20 Word Study


Verse 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. (or) Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.

Servants means one in the same house with another particularly house servants (slaves) in distinction from the general term δουλος — doulos (slave). “Ye domestics.” Christian servants (slaves) in Colossians 3:22-25; Ephesians 6:5-7; 1 Timothy 6:1.; Titus 2:9.

Be in subjection (υποτασσομενοι — hupotassomenoi). Present middle participle of subject oneself to one (Luke 2:51). Either the participle is here used as an imperative (so in 1 Peter 3:1, 1 Peter 3:7) as in Romans 12:16.,

To your masters (old word for absolute owner It is used also of God (Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24, Acts 4:29) and of Christ (2 Peter 2:1; Judges 1:4).has a wider meaning and not necessarily suggesting absolute power.

To the good and gentle (There were slave-owners (masters) like this as there are housekeepers and employers of workmen today. This is no argument for slavery, but only a sidelight on a condition bad enough at its best.

To the froward “To the crooked.” Old word, also in Luke 3:5; Acts 2:40; Philemon 2:15. Unfortunately there were slave-holders as there are employers today, like this group. The test of obedience comes precisely toward this group.

Verse 19 For this is thank worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (or) For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.

For this is acceptable (“For this thing obedience to crooked masters) is grace” (χαρις
If a man endureth griefs present active indicative of υποπερω — to bear up under, in N.T. only here, 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Timothy 3:11.

For conscience toward God Suffering is not a blessing in and of itself, but, if one‘s duty to God is involved (Acts 4:20), then one can meet it with gladness of heart. Τεου — Theou (God) is objective genitive.

Suffering wrongfully Present active participle unjustly, here alone in N.T. This is the whole point, made clear already by Jesus in Matthew 5:10-12, where Jesus has also “falsely See also Luke 6:32-34.

Verse 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (or) For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God

For what glory (what kind of glory). “What price glory?” Κλεος — is old word report, praise, glory, here only in N.T.

If ye shall take it patiently future active indicative for which see James 1:12. Same condition also in next sentence

When ye sin Present active participle of αμαρτανω (continued repetition).
And are buffeted for itPresent passive participle only in N.T. (cf. Matthew 26:67) and ecclesiastical writers. Repeated action again. No posing as a martyr allowed here. Christians do sometimes deserve persecution, as Jesus implied (Matthew 5:10-12).

When ye do well . Present active participle
And suffer for it ( Present active participle of (1 Peter 2:19). No “for it” in the Greek here or in the previous sentence.
This is acceptable with God ( “This thing (neuter) is thanks (1 Peter 2:19) by the side of God (as God looks at it).”


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