Servants (oi oiketai). Note article with the class as with andre ( Romans 3:7 ), though not with gunaike ( Romans 3:1 ). Oiketh, old word from oiko (house), means one in the same house with another (Latin domesticus), particularly house servants (slaves) in distinction from the general term doulo (slave). "Ye domestics." See similar directions to Christian servants (slaves) in Colossians 3:22-25 ; Ephesians 6:5-7 ; 1 Timothy 6:1 ; Titus 2:9 . Oiketh in N.T. occurs only here, Luke 16:13 ; Acts 10:7 ; Romans 14:4 . Be in subjection (upotassomenoi). Present middle participle of upotassw, common late compound to subject oneself to one ( Luke 2:51 ). Either the participle is here used as an imperative (so in Luke 3:1Luke 3:7 ) as in Romans 12:16 , or the imperative este has to be supplied (Robertson, Grammar, p. 945). To your masters (toi despotai). Dative case of despoth, old word for absolute owner in contrast with doulo. It is used also of God ( Luke 2:29 ; Acts 4:24Acts 4:29 ) and of Christ ( 2 Peter 2:1 ; Jude 1:4 ). Kurio has a wider meaning and not necessarily suggesting absolute power. To the good and gentle (toi agaqoi kai epieikesin). Dative case also with the article with class. For epieikh see on "Jas 3:17". 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 (toi skolioi). "To the crooked." Old word, also in Luke 3:5 ; Acts 2:40 ; Philippians 2:15 . Unfortunately there were slave-holders as there are employers today, like this group. The test of obedience comes precisely toward this group.