1 Peter 2:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority,

New Living Translation
For the Lord's sake, respect all human authority--whether the king as head of state,

English Standard Version
Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,

Berean Study Bible
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to the king as the supreme authority,

Berean Literal Bible
Be in subjection to every human institution for the sake of the Lord, whether to the king as being supreme,

New American Standard Bible
Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,

King James Bible
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the Emperor as the supreme authority

International Standard Version
For the Lord's sake submit yourselves to every human authority: whether to the king as supreme,

NET Bible
Be subject to every human institution for the Lord's sake, whether to a king as supreme

New Heart English Bible
Subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Submit to all the sons of men for the sake of God; to Kings, because of their authority,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Place yourselves under the authority of human governments to please the Lord. Obey the emperor. He holds the highest position of authority.

New American Standard 1977
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority,

Jubilee Bible 2000
Therefore, be subject to every human ordinance that is of the Lord, whether it be to a king or to a superior,

King James 2000 Bible
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

American King James Version
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

American Standard Version
Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Be ye subject therefore to every human creature for God's sake: whether it be to the king as excelling;

Darby Bible Translation
Be in subjection [therefore] to every human institution for the Lord's sake; whether to [the] king as supreme,

English Revised Version
Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Webster's Bible Translation
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme;

Weymouth New Testament
Submit, for the Lord's sake, to every authority set up by man, whether it be to the Emperor as supreme ruler,

World English Bible
Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme;

Young's Literal Translation
Be subject, then, to every human creation, because of the Lord, whether to a king, as the highest,
Study Bible
Submission to Authorities
12Conduct yourselves with such honor among the Gentiles that, though they slander you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us. 13Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to the king as the supreme authority, 14or to governors as those sent by him to punish evildoers and praise well-doers.…
Cross References
Romans 13:1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which is from God. The authorities that exist have been appointed by God.

Romans 13:5
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authority, not only to avoid punishment, but also as a matter of conscience.

1 Peter 2:17
Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.
Treasury of Scripture

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;

Proverbs 17:11 An evil man seeks only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall …

Proverbs 24:21 My son, fear you the LORD and the king: and meddle not with them …

Jeremiah 29:7 And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried …

Matthew 22:21 They say to him, Caesar's. Then said he to them, Render therefore …

Mark 12:17 And Jesus answering said to them, Render to Caesar the things that …

Luke 20:25 And he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which …

Romans 13:1-7 Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power …

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

1 Timothy 2:1,2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, …

Titus 3:1 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey …

2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, …

Jude 1:8-10 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, …

(13) To every ordinance of man.--Second prudential rule, subordination. Literally, to every human creation, i.e., to every office or authority which men have established. It is not only to ordinances of directly Divine institution that we are to submit. Mind that he does not say we are to submit to every law that men may pass. This passage is most directly modelled on Romans 13:1, et seq., where the reason assigned for submission is the same as that in John 19:11, viz., that ultimately the authority proceeds from God Himself. Here, however, the thought is quite different. They are to submit, but not because of the original source from which the authority flows, but because of the practical consequences of not submitting. It must be done "for the Lord's" (i.e., Jesus Christ's) "sake," i.e., in order not to bring discredit upon His teaching, and persecution upon His Church. This difference of treatment, in the midst of so much resemblance, shows that at the date of St. Peter's letter there was much more immediate cause for laying stress on political subordination. St. Paul, writing to the Roman Church, urges submission to Claudius, because the Roman Jews (among whom the Christians were reckoned) were often in trouble and expelled from the city of Rome (Acts 18:2); St. Peter, writing in all probability from the Roman Church, urges submission to Nero and the provincial governors because "ignorant and foolish men" were beginning to misrepresent the Christian Church as a kind of Internationalist or Socialist conspiracy.

The king, as supreme.--First division of second prudential rule: subordination political. Of course it means the emperor. The name "king," though detested in Latin, was used without scruple by the provincial Greeks to express the sovereignty of the Caesars. When he is described here as "supreme," it is not intended (as our English version would convey) to contrast his supreme power with the inferior power of the "governors;" the word is only the same which is rendered "higher" in Romans 13:1. Huther rightly says, "The emperor was in the Roman Empire not merely the highest, but actually the only ruler; all other magistrates were but the instruments by which he exercised his sway." Of course all Asia Minor, to which St. Peter was writing, was in the Roman Empire; the language would have been different had the letter been addressed to, or perhaps had it even been written from, the geographical Babylon.

Verse 13. - Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man. The aorist passive (ὑποτάγητε) is used, as often, in a middle sense. The word for "ordinance" is κτίσις, which in classical Greek means "foundation," as of a city; but in the New Testament is used elsewhere only of the works of God, in the sense of "creation," or "a creature" (see Mark 16:15; Colossians 1:23, etc.). Hence some, as De Wette, translate the words, "to every human creature," supporting their view by 1 Peter 5:5. But on the whole this seems unlikely; ἀνθρωπίνη κτίσις is a strange and awkward periphrasis for ἄνθρωπος. It is better to understand it as meaning a human creation or foundation. Certainly "there is no power but of God" (Romans 13:1); but the form which that power assumes is a human institution. St. Peter bids his readers to submit themselves to the de facto form of government. For the Lord's sake. Not from human motives, as fear of punishment; but for the Lord's sake, because "the powers that be are ordained of God," and in obeying them we obey the ordinance of God. Christians were commonly accused of insubordination, of doing "contrary to the decrees of Caesar" (Acts 17:7); they must show by their conduct that these accusations are false, that the progress of the gospel be not hindered. Whether it be to the king, as supreme. By "the king" is meant the Roman emperor, who was frequently so described in the Greek writers. Nero was emperor when St. Peter wrote. Christians were to obey even him, wicked tyrant as he was; for his power was given him from above, as the Lord himself had said of Pilate (John 19:11). Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man,.... Or, "to every human creation", or "creature"; not to "all the sons of men", as the Syriac version renders it; or to all the individuals of mankind; for there are some that are in such stations and circumstances, that they are not to be submitted to, but to be ruled over, and governed: so kings are not to submit to their subjects, nor are parents to be subject to their children, nor husbands to their wives, nor masters to their servants, which would be preposterous; but submission is limited and restrained to persons in such a place and situation: "the human creature", or "creation", here designs the Gentiles, who are elsewhere called the creature, the whole creation, every creature, and every creature under heaven, Romans 8:19 and particularly Heathen magistrates, styled creation, or creature: not as men, for all men, as such, are creatures; but as magistrates, being created, constituted, and appointed such, and installed into, and invested with such an office: and "human"; not only because they were men, and were taken out from among men that bore the office of magistrates, and governed over men, and were for the good and advantage of mankind, but because they were created and placed in such a station by men; though government itself is of God, is a divine institution, yet this and that particular form of government is of man; and especially the forms of government among the Gentiles were human; and are here so called, in distinction from the form of government among the Jews, which was a theocracy, and was divine; wherefore the Jews, and so these converted ones, scrupled yielding obedience to Heathen magistrates; on which account they were spoken against, as evildoers; hence the apostle, in the first place, and as a principal part of their honest conversation among the Gentiles, exhorts them to submission to civil magistrates, though they were creatures of men; and to everyone of them, though a Gentile, an unbeliever, and a wicked man: and this he urges,

for the Lord's sake; for the sake of Christ Jesus the Lord, because of his command, who ordered to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and in imitation of him, who paid tribute to whom tribute was due; and for the sake of his honour and glory, who was ill thought and spoken of by the Gentiles, because of the disregard of the converted Jews to their magistrates; and which served to prejudice them against Christ and his Gospel: the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions, read, "for God's sake"; because civil government is of God; magistracy is of divine appointment; the powers that he are ordained of God, though this or the other form is of man's prescription: it is the command of God that magistrates should be obeyed; and it makes for his glory, as well as for the good of men, when they are submitted to in things that do not contradict the revealed will of God; for otherwise, not man, but God, is to be obeyed:

whether it be to the king; to Caesar, the Roman emperor; and the then reigning one seems to be Nero, who, though a wicked man, was to be submitted to in things civil and lawful; and it holds good of any other king that has the supreme government of a nation: the Syriac version reads it in the plural number, "to kings"; and though the name of king was odious to the Romans, from the times of Tarquin, nor did they call their chief governor, or governors, by this name, yet other nations did; see John 19:15 and subjection was to be yielded to him, "as supreme"; for the sake, and in consideration of his being in so high and exalted a station, having the supreme power and government of the people in his hands. The Syriac version renders it, "because of their power"; and the Arabic version, "because of his power"; and the Ethiopic version, "because all things are his"; the Roman emperors were absolute monarchs; see Romans 13:1. 13. every ordinance of man—"every human institution" [Alford], literally, "every human creation." For though of divine appointment, yet in the mode of nomination and in the exercise of their authority, earthly governors are but human institutions, being of men, and in relation to men. The apostle speaks as one raised above all human things. But lest they should think themselves so ennobled by faith as to be raised above subordination to human authorities, he tells them to submit themselves for the sake of Christ, who desires you to be subject, and who once was subject to earthly rulers Himself, though having all things subject to Him, and whose honor is at stake in you as His earthly representatives. Compare Ro 13:5, "Be subject for conscience' sake."

king—The Roman emperor was "supreme" in the Roman provinces to which this Epistle was addressed. The Jewish zealots refused obedience. The distinction between "the king as supreme" and "governors sent by him" implies that "if the king command one thing, and the subordinate magistrate another, we ought rather to obey the superior" [Augustine in Grotius]. Scripture prescribes nothing upon the form of government, but simply subjects Christians to that everywhere subsisting, without entering into the question of the right of the rulers (thus the Roman emperors had by force seized supreme authority, and Rome had, by unjustifiable means, made herself mistress of Asia), because the de facto governors have not been made by chance, but by the providence of God.2:13-17 A Christian conversation must be honest; which it cannot be, if there is not a just and careful discharge of all relative duties: the apostle here treats of these distinctly. Regard to those duties is the will of God, consequently, the Christian's duty, and the way to silence the base slanders of ignorant and foolish men. Christians must endeavour, in all relations, to behave aright, that they do not make their liberty a cloak or covering for any wickedness, or for the neglect of duty; but they must remember that they are servants of God.
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