1 Peter 3:9

9 Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.

1 Peter 3:9 Meaning and Commentary

1 Peter 3:9

Not rendering evil for evil
Doing an ill thing in return to one that has done ill to you, and in a way of revenge for it; which is contrary to what is before advised to, and which is taking God's prerogative and work out of his hands, whose vengeance is, and which is to be overcome of evil:

or railing for railing;
returning ill language to such as have given it, but rather should imitate Christ, who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, ( 1 Peter 2:23 ) and whose advice is, instead of returning injuries, blows, or words, to turn to him that smites on the right check the other also and to bless them that curse, do good to them that hate, and pray for them that persecute, ( Matthew 5:39 Matthew 5:44 ) and which is here directed to:

but contrariwise blessing;
praying for a blessing on them; for if we are to do so for our enemies, for them that hate us, despitefully use and persecute us, as did Christ, Stephen the protomartyr, and the apostles, then much more our fellow Christians who may do us an injury or speak evil of us, or to us: who seem to be chiefly intended: the argument to persuade to it follows,

knowing that ye are thereunto called;
referring either to what goes before being called by grace to the discharge of all the above duties exhorted to, and particularly to suffer patiently all injuries and affronts; and instead of making returns in the same way, to bless and pray for those that have hurt us, either by words or deeds; see ( 1 Peter 2:20 1 Peter 2:21 ) or to what follows, that ye should inherit a blessing; temporal blessing or blessings; for godliness has the promise of this life and godly persons shall not want any good thing; and even while the blessings of others are cursed they have their outward mercies with a blessing, and they are blessings indeed to them; wherefore, the little they may have is better than the large affluence of others: and also spiritual blessing, or blessings; such as peace of conscience, the pardon of all their sins a justifying righteousness adopting grace, all supplies of grace from Christ, his presence and communion with him: and also an eternal one, even life for evermore; called so, because it springs from the free favour, good will, and blessing of God, and which its being an inheritance also shows; and because such that enjoy it are eternally and unspeakably happy.

1 Peter 3:9 In-Context

7 Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind.
9 Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.
10 For "He that would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile;
11 let him turn away from evil and do right; let him seek peace and pursue it.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.