1 Peter 3:8-22

Do No Evil

8 Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers,[a] and be compassionate and humble,[b]
9 not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing,[c] since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.
10 For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit,
11 and he must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it,
12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. [d]

Undeserved Suffering

13 And who will harm[e] you if you are passionate for what is good?[f]
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed.[g] Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed, [h]
15 but set apart the Messiah[i] as Lord in your hearts,[j] and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason[k] for the hope that is in you.
16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear,[l] [m] so that when you are accused,[n] those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.[o]
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will,[p] than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all,[q] [r] the righteous[s] for the unrighteous,[t] that He might bring you[u] to God,[v] after being put to death in the fleshly realm[w] but made alive in the spiritual realm.[x]
19 In that state[y] He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison[z]
20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah[aa] while an ark was being prepared; in it, a few-that is, eight people[ab]-were saved through water.
21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge[ac] of a good conscience[ad] toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God's right hand, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to Him.[ae]

Images for 1 Peter 3:8-22

1 Peter 3:8-22 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER 3

In this chapter the apostle instructs wives how to behave towards their husbands, and husbands how to behave towards their wives; and then exhorts to various things common to all Christians, and particularly to suffer patiently for righteousness sake; to which he encourages them from the sufferings of Christ, and the benefits resulting from them, on which he enlarges to the end of the chapter. He begins with the duty of wives to their husbands, even unbelieving ones, which is subjection to them, urged from the profitable effect of it; since hereby they might be won over to the Christian religion, without the use of the word, as a means, by their conversation, which is explained of chastity and fear, 1Pe 3:1,2. And he proceeds to give some advice about their apparel, that they should have a greater regard to internal ornaments; particularly meekness and quietness of spirit, which is highly esteemed of by God, rather than to outward adorning; and which he enforces by the examples of godly women in former times, who were so adorned, and were subject to their husbands, particularly Sarah, the wife of Abraham, 1Pe 3:3-6. And next the apostle directs husbands how to conduct towards their wives, to dwell with them, and honour them, because vessels, and weaker vessels, and also heirs of the same grace of life; and besides, to use them ill would be an hinderance of their praying together, 1Pe 3:7. And then follow various exhortations to unity of judgment, compassion, brotherly love, pity, courteousness, and patience under the reproaches and revilings of men, which is the way to inherit a blessing they are called unto, 1Pe 3:8,9 and that these are incumbent on the saints, and that they shall be blessed, who are helped to regard them, is proved by some passages out of Ps 34:12-16, which passages are cited, 1Pe 3:10-12. And in order to encourage to the exercise of the above things, the apostle suggests, that they that so behaved should not be hurt by any; and if they did suffer for righteousness sake from wicked men, yet still they would be happy; nor should this deter them from making a public confession of their faith; to which should be added a good conscience and conversation, to the shame and confusion of them that spoke evil of them, and accused them, 1Pe 3:13-16. And though they were distressed and injured by men, they should not be cast down, nor murmur, since it was the will of God it should be so; and since it was better to suffer for doing well than for doing ill; and especially the example of Christ should animate to patience, since he, an innocent person, suffered for the sins of unjust men, to reconcile them to God; and he is now glorified and happy, and so will his people be, 1Pe 3:17,18. And having made mention of his being quickened by the Spirit, the apostle takes occasion from hence of observing, that by the same Spirit Christ preached in the times of Noah to disobedient persons, whose spirits were now in hell; and he takes notice of the longsuffering of God in that dispensation towards them, and of the goodness of God in saving Noah, and his family, in the ark, which was a figure of baptism; of which some account is given what it is, and is not, and which saves by the resurrection of Christ, 1Pe 3:19-21 who is described by his ascension to heaven, session at the right hand of God, and dominion over angels, authorities, and powers, 1Pe 3:22.

1 Peter 3:8-22 In-Context

6 just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You have become her children when you do good and aren't frightened by anything alarming.
7 Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as co-heirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.
8 Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble,
9 not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.
10 For the one who wants to love life and to see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit,
11 and he must turn away from evil and do good. He must seek peace and pursue it,
12 because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
13 And who will harm you if you are passionate for what is good?
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be disturbed,
15 but set apart the Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.
16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring you to God, after being put to death in the fleshly realm but made alive in the spiritual realm.
19 In that state He also went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison
20 who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while an ark was being prepared; in it, a few-that is, eight people-were saved through water.
21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the pledge of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
22 Now that He has gone into heaven, He is at God's right hand, with angels, authorities, and powers subjected to Him.

Footnotes 31

  • [a]. Lit brotherly-loving
  • [b]. Other mss read courteous
  • [c]. Mt 5:44; 1 Th 5:15; 1 Pt 2:23
  • [d]. Ps 34:12-16
  • [e]. Or will mistreat, or will do evil to
  • [f]. Lit you are zealots, or you are partisans for the good, or you are eager to do good
  • [g]. Mt 5:10; 1 Pt 2:20; 4:14
  • [h]. Isaiah 8:12
  • [i]. Other mss read set God
  • [j]. Isaiah 8:13
  • [k]. Or who demands of you an accounting
  • [l]. Lit good; or keeping a clear conscience
  • [m]. Heb 10:22; 1 Pt 3:21
  • [n]. Other mss read when they speak against you as evildoers
  • [o]. 1 Pt 2:15
  • [p]. Lit if the will of God should will
  • [q]. Other mss read died for sins on our behalf; other mss read died for our sins; other mss read died for sins on your behalf
  • [r]. Rm 6:10; Heb 9:28; 10:10; 1 Pt 2:21; 4:1
  • [s]. Isaiah 53:11
  • [t]. Or the Righteous One in the place of the unrighteous many
  • [u]. Other mss read us
  • [v]. Eph 2:18
  • [w]. Or in the flesh
  • [x]. Or in the spirit, or in the Spirit
  • [y]. Or In whom, or At that time, or In which
  • [z]. The spirits in prison are most likely fallen supernatural beings or angels; see 2 Pt 2:4; Jd 6.
  • [aa]. Gn 6:1-8:22
  • [ab]. Lit souls
  • [ac]. Or the appeal
  • [ad]. Heb 10:22
  • [ae]. Eph 1:20-22