1 Peter 1:4

1 Peter 1:4

To an inheritance incorruptible
This is a further explanation of the "lively hope", or hope laid up in heaven, which regenerate ones are begotten to: it is an "inheritance"; a large estate, and rich possession, they are born heirs apparent to; what is not to be got by industry, or obtained by the works of the law; for they that are of the law are not heirs; but what is the pure bequest and free gift of God, as a Father to his children; for an inheritance is proper and peculiar to children, nor does it belong to any but them; and it comes to them through the death of the testator, Christ, and of it the Holy Spirit is the pledge and earnest: and here it is said to be

incorruptible;
it is free from corruption in itself; nor can it be corrupted by others, by moth, or rust, or other things, as gold, silver, and garments may, which are a part of earthly inheritances; nor can it be enjoyed by corrupt persons, either corrupted with sin, or clothed with frailty and mortality; wherefore, in order to inherit it, corruption must put on incorruption, in every sense; other epithets and commendations of it follow:

and undefiled;
it is in its own nature pure and holy, and free from any defilement of sin; nor are there any of those impurities in it which Jews and Mahometans dream of in their vainly expected earthly paradise; nor will it be possessed by any but undefiled persons, such as are made so through the blood and righteousness of Christ:

and that fadeth not away;
as do world, and the glory of it, and all inheritances and possessions in it; here is no continuing city, but there is one to come; in this inheritance are durable riches, everlasting habitations, an house eternal in the heavens, glories in it that will never wither and die, and pleasures which will never end, and which will be enjoyed without decrease or loathing:

reserved in heaven for you;
the Alexandrian copy reads, "for us"; and the Ethiopic version renders it, "for us and you"; for all the saints; for all who are the elect, according to the foreknowledge of God, and who are begotten again to a lively hope; for these this inheritance is prepared, laid up, and secured in the hands or Christ their feoffee, who has it in trust for them, and with whom they are co-heirs; and it is safe for them "in heaven"; out of the reach of men and devils: this serves both to commend the inheritance, to set forth the excellency of it, lying in such a place as heaven; for the situation of an inheritance adds oftentimes to the valuableness of it; and also the safety and security of it; it is safe, being in heaven, and more so as it is in Christ's hands there. The Jews are wont to call the future state an inheritance of the land of the living: they say F21

``this is called (hlxn) , "an inheritance"; and add, but in this world a man has no inheritance, nor continuance;''

so they interpret that phrase, "by the God of thy father", in ( Genesis 49:25 ) thus F23

``this is (anoxa) , "the inheritance" of the superior place, which is called "heaven";''

and sometimes they style it (hale atnoxa) , "the superior inheritance", or "the inheritance above" F24; all which agrees with Peter's language.


FOOTNOTES:

F21 Tzeror Hammor, fol. 150. 3.
F23 Zohar in Gen. fol. 131. 2.
F24 Zohar in Exod. fol. 34. 3.
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