1 Peter 2:17

17 1Honor all people, 2love the brotherhood, 3fear God, 4honor the king.

1 Peter 2:17 Meaning and Commentary

1 Peter 2:17

Honour all men
To whom honour is due, according to the place, station, and circumstances in which they are, the gifts of providence and grace bestowed on them, and the usefulness they are of, whether they be Jews or Gentiles, rich or poor, believers or unbelievers: it is a saying of Ben Zoma F5,

``who is to be honoured, or is worthy of honour? (twyrbh ta dbkm) , "he that honoureth creatures";''

meaning men in general, or the Gentiles particularly, who were sometimes so called by the Jews; (See Gill on Mark 16:15), and may be meant by "all men" here:

love the brotherhood;
or "your brethren", as the Syriac version renders it: the whole company of the brethren in Christ, who are born of God, are members of Christ, and of the same body, and have the same spirit, belong to the same family, and are of the household of faith, let them be of whatsoever nation, or in whatsoever circumstances of life. The Jews had not that good opinion of, nor that affection for the Gentiles, but were ready to treat them with indifference, neglect, and contempt; and not only those that knew not God, but even believing Gentiles themselves; and which is the reason of these exhortations, that they should despise no man, but honour all; and especially should express their love, both by words and deeds, to those that were in the same spiritual relation with them, and that without any difference, on account of their being of another nation:

fear God;
not with a servile, but a filial fear, the new covenant grace of fear; which springs from the goodness of God, has that for its object, and is increased by the fresh instances and discoveries of it; and which shows itself in a reverential affection for God, a strict regard to his worship and ordinances, and a carefulness of offending him. This is placed between what goes before, and follows after, to show the influence it has on each of them; for where the fear of God is, there will be due respect shown to all men, more or less, and an hearty and affectionate love to all the saints, as brethren, and a proper regard to those that are set in high places of dignity and power:

honour the king;
Caesar, the Roman emperor, though a wicked, persecuting Nero, and so any other king or governor; who, so far as he acts the part of a civil magistrate, preserves the peace, the property, and liberty of his subjects, is a terror to evil works, and an encourager of good ones, and rules according to the laws of God, and civil society, is deserving of great honour and esteem from men; and which is to be shown by speaking well of him; by a cheerful subjection to him; by an observance of the laws, and by payment of tribute, and doing everything to make him easy, and honourable in his government: advice much like this is given by Isocrates F6;

``fear God, honour parents, revere friends, and obey the laws.''


F5 Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 1.
F6 Paraen. ad Demos Orat. 1.

1 Peter 2:17 In-Context

15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.
16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.
17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.
19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

Cross References 4

  • 1. Romans 12:10; Romans 13:7
  • 2. 1 Peter 1:22
  • 3. Proverbs 24:21
  • 4. Matthew 22:21; 1 Peter 2:13

Footnotes 1

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.