|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:11,12 Even the best of men, the chosen generation, the people of God, need to be exhorted to keep from the worst sins. And fleshly lusts are most destructive to man's soul. It is a sore judgment to be given up to them. There is a day of visitation coming, wherein God may call to repentance by his word and his grace; then many will glorify God, and the holy lives of his people will have promoted the happy change.
Verse 11. - Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims. St. Peter returns to practical topics: he begins his exhortation in the affectionate manner common in Holy Scripture. He calls his readers "strangers and pilgrims." The word here rendered "strangers" (πάροικοι) is equivalent to the classical μέτοικοι, and means "foreign set-tiers, dwellers in a strange land." The second word (παρεοίδημοι, translated "strangers" in 1 Peter 1.) means "visitors" who tarry for a time in a foreign country, not permanently settling in it. It does not contain the ideas associated with the modern use of "pilgrim;" though that word, derived kern the Latin peregrinus, originally meant no more than "sojourner." St. Peter is plainly using the words metaphorically his readers were citizens of the heavenly country; on earth they were sojourners. Both words occur in the Septuagint Version of Psalm 39:12 (38:13 in the Greek), with the same metaphorical meaning. Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Strangers and pilgrims should remember their distant home, and not follow the practices of the strange land in which they sojourn. The lusts of the flesh are all those desires which issue out of our corrupt nature (temp. Galatians 5:16-21). They "war against the soul." "Non mode impediunt," says Bengel, "sod oppugnant; grande verbum" (comp. Romans 7:23). St. Peter uses the word "soul" here for the whole spiritual nature of man, as in 1 Peter 1:9, 22.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Dearly beloved, I beseech you,.... The apostle, from characters of the saints, and which express their blessings and privileges, with great beauty, propriety, and pertinency, passes to exhortations to duties; he addresses the saints under this affectionate appellation, "dearly beloved", to express his great love to them, and to show that what he was about to exhort them to sprung from sincere and hearty affection for them, and was with a view to their real good; nor does he in an authoritative way command, as he might have done, as an apostle, but, as a friend, he entreats and beseeches them:
as strangers and pilgrims; not in a literal sense, though they were in a foreign country, in a strange land, and sojourners there, but in a spiritual and mystical sense; they were "strangers", not to God and Christ, and to the Spirit, to themselves, to the saints, and to all that is good, as they had formerly been, but to the world, the men of it, and the things in it; and therefore it became them to separate from it, and not conform to it; to abstain from all appearance of evil, to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts: and they were "pilgrims"; whose habit is Christ and his righteousness; whose food is Christ and his fulness; whose staff is Christ and the promises; whose guide is the blessed Spirit; the place for which they are bound is heaven, the better country, where is their Father's house, their friends, and their inheritance; this world not being their country, nor their resting place, it became them to have their conversation in heaven, and to
abstain from fleshly lusts; which spring from the flesh, and are concerned about fleshly things, and are exercised in and by the members of the flesh, or body; hence, in the Syriac version, they are called, "the lusts of the body": these are to be abstained from; not that the apostle thought that they could be without them; for while the saints are in the body, flesh, or corrupt nature will be in them, and the lusts thereof; but then these are not to be indulged, or provision to be made for them, to fulfil them; they are not to be obeyed and served, or lived unto, but to be denied and crucified, being unsuitable to the character of strangers and pilgrims, and also because of their hurtful and pernicious nature:
which war against the soul; see Romans 7:23, these are enemies to the spiritual peace, comfort, and welfare of the soul; and being of a man's household, and in his heart, are the worst enemies he has; and are to be treated as such, to be shunned and avoided, watched and guarded against; for though they cannot destroy the souls of true believers, they may bring much leanness upon them, and greatly distress them, and spoil them of their inward joy, and spiritual pleasure.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. As heretofore he exhorted them to walk worthily of their calling, in contradistinction to their own former walk, so now he exhorts them to glorify God before unbelievers.
Dearly beloved—He gains their attention to his exhortation by assuring them of his love.
strangers and pilgrims—(1Pe 1:17). Sojourners, literally, settlers having a house in a city without being citizens in respect to the rights of citizenship; a picture of the Christian's position on earth; and pilgrims, staying for a time in a foreign land. Flacius thus analyzes the exhortation: (1) Purify your souls (a) as strangers on earth who must not allow yourselves to be kept back by earthly lusts, and (b) because these lusts war against the soul's salvation. (2) Walk piously among unbelievers (a) so that they may cease to calumniate Christians, and (b) may themselves be converted to Christ.
fleshly lusts—enumerated in Ga 5:19, &c. Not only the gross appetites which we have in common with the brutes, but all the thoughts of the unrenewed mind.
which—Greek, "the which," that is, inasmuch as being such as "war." &c. Not only do they impede, but they assail [Bengel].
the soul—that is, against the regenerated soul; such as were those now addressed. The regenerated soul is besieged by sinful lusts. Like Samson in the lap of Delilah, the believer, the moment that he gives way to fleshly lusts, has the locks of his strength shorn, and ceases to maintain that spiritual separation from the world and the flesh of which the Nazarite vow was the type.
1 Peter 2:11 Parallel Commentaries
1 Peter 2:11 NIV
1 Peter 2:11 NLT
1 Peter 2:11 ESV
1 Peter 2:11 NASB
1 Peter 2:11 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible