1 Peter 2:9
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

New Living Translation
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

English Standard Version
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Berean Study Bible
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Berean Literal Bible
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of the One having called you out of darkness into His marvelous light,

New American Standard Bible
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God's OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

King James Bible
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

International Standard Version
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people to be his very own and to proclaim the wonderful deeds of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

NET Bible
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

New Heart English Bible
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But you are a chosen race who serve as Priests for The Kingdom, a holy people, a redeemed assembly; you should proclaim the praises of him who called you from darkness into his excellent light.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

New American Standard 1977
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Jubilee Bible 2000
But ye are the chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an acquired people, that ye should show forth the virtues of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.

King James 2000 Bible
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

American King James Version
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

American Standard Version
But ye are a elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Darby Bible Translation
But ye [are] a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light;

English Revised Version
But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may shew forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Webster's Bible Translation
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Weymouth New Testament
But you are a chosen race, a priesthood of kingly lineage, a holy nation, a people belonging specially to God, that you may make known the perfections of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

World English Bible
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Young's Literal Translation
and ye are a choice race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired, that the excellences ye may shew forth of Him who out of darkness did call you to His wondrous light;
Study Bible
The Living Stone
8and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble because they disobey the message—and to this they were appointed. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.…
Cross References
Exodus 19:5
'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;

Exodus 19:6
and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."

Deuteronomy 4:20
"But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.

Deuteronomy 7:6
"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 10:15
"Yet on your fathers did the LORD set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.

Deuteronomy 14:2
"For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Deuteronomy 26:18
"The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments;

Deuteronomy 26:19
and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken."

1 Samuel 12:22
"For the LORD will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the LORD has been pleased to make you a people for Himself.

Psalm 118:27
The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
Treasury of Scripture

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;

a chosen.

1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification …

Deuteronomy 10:15 Only the LORD had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he …

Psalm 22:30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

Psalm 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom …

Psalm 73:15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the …

Isaiah 41:8 But you, Israel, are my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed …

Isaiah 44:1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen:

a royal.

Exodus 19:5,6 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, …

Isaiah 61:6 But you shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you …

Isaiah 66:21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, said the LORD.

Revelation 1:6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be …

Revelation 5:10 And have made us to our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection: on …

an holy.

Psalm 106:5 That I may see the good of your chosen, that I may rejoice in the …

Isaiah 26:2 Open you the gates, that the righteous nation which keeps the truth …

John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified …

1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the …

2 Timothy 1:9 Who has saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according …

peculiar. or, purchased.

Deuteronomy 4:20 But the LORD has taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron …

Deuteronomy 7:6 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God: the LORD your God …

Deuteronomy 14:2 For you are an holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has …

Deuteronomy 26:18,19 And the LORD has avouched you this day to be his peculiar people, …

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the …

Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the …

Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, …

shew.

1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man …

Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is …

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, …

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted …

Ephesians 3:21 To him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, …

Philippians 2:15,16 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

praises. or, virtues. who.

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they …

Isaiah 60:1,2 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is …

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which …

Luke 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, …

Acts 26:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, Almost you persuade me to be a Christian.

Romans 9:24 Even us, whom he has called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Ephesians 5:8-11 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: …

Philippians 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God …

Colossians 1:13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated …

1 Thessalonians 5:4-8 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake …

(9) But ye.--Like St. Paul in 2Thessalonians 2:13, St. Peter turns with an outburst of triumph to the happier and more practical and attractive theme. All the most splendid titles of the old Israel belong in a fuller sense to these Hebrews who have joined the new Israel. In 1Peter 2:5 they are bidden to aim at being what here they are said to be. (Comp. Colossians 3:3; Colossians 3:5.)

A chosen generation.--Better, a chosen, or elect race. As originally the clan of Abraham was selected from among "all the families of the earth" (Amos 3:2), so out of the clan of Abraham after the flesh were these men selected to be a new clan, or race. They are not merely individuals selected one by one and left in isolation, but a tribe consolidated, only the bond henceforth is not merely one of common physical descent.

A royal priesthood, an holy nation.--These words are a direct quotation from Exodus 19:6, according to the LXX. version. The Hebrew has "a kingdom of priests," as in Revelation 1:6 (according to the best reading); which would mean, God's organised empire, every member of which is a priest. Nor is the thought far different here. The word "royal" does not seem intended to imply that every Christian is a king, or of royal birth (though that, of course, may be shown from elsewhere), but describes his belonging to the King as we might speak of the royal apartments, the royal borough, the royal establishment, or even of the royal servants. The substitution, therefore, of "royal priesthood" for "kingdom of priests" brings out more clearly the personal relation to the Personal King. But if the writer had said" royal priests," the notion of organisation would have slipped out of sight altogether. By way of compensation, therefore, it is restored in the substitution of "priesthood" (see Note on 1Peter 2:5) instead of "priests." This, and the next phrase, "an holy (i.e., consecrated) nation," describe the whole Israelite nation as they stood beneath Mount Sinai. This must be taken into consideration in dealing with the doctrine of the Christian ministry. The sacerdotal office was as common to all Israelites under the Law as it is to all the new Israel under the Gospel.

A peculiar people.--This curious phrase is literally, a people for a special reservation. It is, no doubt, intended to represent Exodus 19:5, though it differs both from the Greek and the Hebrew, the variation being due to a recollection of the Greek of two other passages of the Old Testament (Isaiah 43:21; Malachi 3:17). The word rendered "peculiar" means properly "making over and above," and would be represented in Latin by the word peculium, which means a man's private pocket-money, as, for instance, the money a slave could make by working over hours, or such as a wife might have apart from her husband. When children speak of a thing being their "very own" it exactly expresses what we have here. From this sense of "making over and above," by working out of hours, the word comes in other places to mean "earning by hard work," in such a way as to establish peculiar rights of property over the thing earned. So in Acts 20:28, where St. Paul is probably thinking of the passage of Isaiah above referred to, both the hard earning and the special possession are intended: "the Church of God, which He won so hard for His very own, by His own blood." Here, perhaps, the thought of "earning" is less obvious, and it means "a people to be His very own." Comp. 1Thessalonians 5:9, and Ephesians 1:7, where (according to Dr. Lightfoot) it means "for a redemption which consists of taking possession of us for His own."

That ye should shew forth the praises.--This is an adaptation, though not exactly according to the LXX., of Isaiah 43:21, which passage is brought to St. Peter's mind by the word rendered "peculiar." The word "praises" is put here in accordance with the English version there. The Greek means "virtues," or "powers," or "excellencies," a rare word in the New Testament (see 2Peter 1:3). And the word for "shew forth," which is nowhere else found in the New Testament, means by rights "to proclaim to those without what has taken place within." This strict signification is very suitable here. St. Peter says that God has taken us for a people peculiarly near to Him, and the purpose is, not that we may stand within His courts and praise Him, but that we may carry to others the tidings of what we have been admitted to see. This was the true function of the old Israel, "Do My prophets no harm" (Psalm 105:15). They were not elect for their own sake, but to act as God's exponents to the world. This function they abdicated by their selfish exclusiveness, and it has descended to the new Israel. St. Peter and St. Paul are at one.

Of him who hath called you out of darkness.--This is to be understood of the Father, not of Christ. For one thing, the act of calling is almost always ascribed in the New Testament to God Himself; and for another thing, it is probable that St. Peter regards our Lord as Head of this "people of God," just as He is corner-stone of the Temple, and High Priest of the hierarchy. The act of calling (literally it is, 'who called, not "who hath called") was that of sending the preachers of the gospel to them, i.e., St. Paul and his followers (comp. 1Peter 1:12; 1Peter 1:25). Here again, then, we have St. Peter speaking in praise of St. Paul's mission, and, indeed, speaking in the same tones of unbounded admiration: "His marvellous light." But could Hebrew Christians be said to have gone through so great a change in becoming believers? Had they been in "darkness?" We may answer that St. Peter's use of the word "marvellous" is no affectation of sympathy. He himself found the change to be what he here describes, therefore there is no difficulty in supposing that other Hebrews should have found it so too. Besides which, the state of the Jews immediately before Christ and without Him is often described as "darkness." (See Matthew 4:16; Luke 1:79.) This very passage is quoted a few years later by St. Clement of Rome (chap. 36), as applying to himself among others, and Dr. Lightfoot has clearly established that St. Clement was a Jew.

Verse 9. - But ye are a chosen generation. The pronoun "ye" is emphatic. St. Peter is drawing a contrast between the disobedient and unbelieving Jews and Christian people whether Jews or Gentiles; he ascribes to Christians, in a series of phrases quoted from the Old Testament, the various privileges which had belonged to the children of Israel. The words, "a chosen generation" (γένος ἐκλεκτόν), are from Isaiah 43:20, Γένος μου τὸ ἐκλεκτόν. The Cornerstone is elect, precious; the living stones built thereupon are elect likewise. The whole Christian Church is addressed as an elect race, one race, because all its members are begotten again of the one Father. A royal priesthood. Instead of "holy," as in ver. 5, St. Peter has here the epithet "royal." He follows the Septuagint Version of Exodus 19:6; the Hebrew has "a kingdom of priests." The word "royal" may mean that God's elect shall sit with Christ in his throne, and reign with him (Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:10), and that in some sense they reign with him now over their lower nature, their desires and appetites; or, more probably, the priesthood of Christians is called "royal" because it belongs to the King - "a priesthood serving Jehovah the King, just as we speak of 'the royal household'" (Weiss, quoted by Huther). An holy nation. Also from Exodus 19:6. The Israelites were a holy nation as separated from the heathen and consecrated to God's service by circumcision. Christians of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, are one nation under one King, separated to his service, dedicated to him in holy baptism. A peculiar people. The Greek words. λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν, represent the words, עַם סְגֻלָּה, of Deuteronomy 7:6, translated by the LXX. λαὸν περιούσιον, "a special people" (Authorized Version). St. Paul also has this translation in Titus 2:14. The Hebrew word סְגֻלָּה in Malachi 3:17 is rendered by the LXX. εἰς περιποίησιν, by the Authorized Version "my jewels." The children of Israel are called סְגֻלַּת יְחוָה, as the peculium, the private, special, treasured possession of God. God says of them, in Isaiah 43:21, "This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise;" rendered by the LXX. Λαόν μου ο}ν περιεποιησάμην τὰς ἀρετάς μου διηγεῖσθαι, God hath now chosen us Christians to be the Israel of God; the Christian Church is his peeulium, his treasure, "a people for God's own possession" (Revised Version). The literal meaning of the Greek words used by St. Peter is "a people for acquisition," or "for keeping safe," the verb having the sense of "gaining, acquiring," and also that of "preserving, keeping for one's self" (comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:9; also Acts 20:28, "The Church of God, which he purchased (η}ν περιεποιήσατο) with his own blood"). That ye should show forth the praises of him. That ye should tell out, publish abroad. The verb is found nowhere else in the New Testament. The word translated "praises" (ἀρετάς, literally, "virtues"), so very common in classical writers, occurs in the New Testament only here, 2 Peter 1:3, 5, and Philippians 4:8. Here St. Peter is quoting from the Septuagint Version of Isaiah 43:21 (the word is similarly used in Isaiah 42:12 and Isaiah 63:7). Perhaps the best rendering is that of the Revised Version, "excellencies." Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. He had chosen them before the foundation of the world; he called them when they received the gospel: "Whom he did predestinate, them he also called." He called them out of the darkness of ignorance and sin. The Gentiles walked in utter darkness, in less measure the Jews also. The light of his presence is marvelous, wonderful; those who walk in that light feel something of its irradiating glory. But ye are a chosen generation,.... Or "kindred"; the phrase is to be seen in the Septuagint, on Isaiah 43:20, to which, and the following verse, the apostle refers here, and in another part of this text. The allusion is throughout to the people of Israel in general, who, in an external way, were all that is here said; but was only true in a spiritual sense of such as were chosen and called among the Jews: and who were a "generation or kindred"; being regenerate, or through abundant mercy begotten, and of an incorruptible seed born again; and were akin to God, he being their Father, and they his children by adopting grace, and which was made manifest by their new birth; and also akin to Christ, he being their head, husband, Father, and brother, and they his members, spouse, children, and brethren; and to the saints, being of the same household and family in heaven and in earth; having the same Father, Lord, Spirit, faith, baptism, and they all brethren: and they were a "chosen" generation or kindred; being famous, and in high esteem with God, and accounted by him for a generation; he having chosen them above all kindreds, tongues, people, and nations, and that from all eternity; and of his own sovereign good will and pleasure; and not on account of their faith, holiness, and good works; and to special benefits, to the relation and kindred they are in, to grace here, and glory hereafter; to regeneration and sanctification, and to salvation and eternal life; just as Israel, as a nation, were chosen above all others, because of the love of God to them, and for no other reason, to many external privileges and favours, which others did not enjoy: now the apostle mentions this character first, because God's eternal election is the source and spring of all spiritual blessings, which provides and secures them, and according to which they are bestowed, and with which they are inseparably connected:

a royal priesthood; referring to Exodus 19:6, where the Israelites are called a "kingdom of priests"; which the Chaldee paraphrase renders, kings, priests; see Revelation 1:6 a character which one of the Jewish commentators says (y) shall return to the Jews , "in time to come"; and well agrees with all the people of Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, who are all of them kings, through their relation to Christ; and at the present time have a kingdom which cannot be moved, or taken away from them; being not only brought into the Gospel dispensation, the kingdom of the Messiah, and having a right to all the privileges and immunities of it, but have also the kingdom of grace set up within them, or grace, as a reigning principle, implanted in them; which lies not in anything external, but in righteousness and true holiness, in inward peace, and spiritual joy; and they have the power of kings over sin, Satan, and the world; and the riches of kings, being possessed of the riches of grace now, and entitled to the riches of glory in another world; they live like kings, they wear royal apparel, the robe of Christ's righteousness; they sit at the king's table, and feed on royal dainties; and are attended on as kings, angels being their life guards, and ministering spirits to them; and hereafter they shall reign with Christ on earth, and that for the space of a thousand years, and, after that, for ever: being raised up from a low estate, to inherit the crown of glory, to wear the crown of life and righteousness, and possess the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world, of which they are now heirs: and they are "priests", as well as kings; being made so by Christ, and through his priestly office; are anointed with the Holy Ghost, and sanctified by his grace, and allowed to draw near to God, and offer up by Christ their spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise; and are enabled and assisted to offer up the sacrifice of a broken heart, and their bodies also, and even their lives when called to it; the allusion is to the kingdom and priesthood being formerly together, and which met in Christ, Zechariah 6:13 and in his people. The Jews were wont to call the priestly dignity and office , "the crown of the priesthood" (z):

an holy nation; referring to the same place in Exodus 19:6 where the Israelites are so called, being separated by God from other nations, and legally and externally sanctified by him; as all the true Israel of God are sanctified, or set apart by God the Father, in eternal election, to real and perfect holiness; and are sanctified or cleansed from sin, by the blood and sacrifice of Christ; and are internally sanctified by the Spirit of God; have principles of holiness wrought in them, from whence they live holy lives and conversations:

a peculiar people; as the Israelites are called a "peculiar treasure", Exodus 19:5 to which the reference is: God's elect are a peculiar people, to whom he bears a peculiar love; they are chosen by him to be a special people above all others, and have peculiar blessings bestowed on them, and peculiar care is taken of them; they are the Lord's, his treasure, his jewels, his portion and inheritance, and therefore he will preserve and save them; they are a people for acquisition, purchase, and possession, as the words may be rendered; whom God has obtained, procured, and purchased for himself, with the precious blood of his Son; hence the Syriac version renders them, , "a redeemed company": the same with the church God has purchased with his blood, Acts 20:28 and the purchased possession, Ephesians 1:14 and which are redeemed and purified to be, and appear to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Titus 2:14 the end of all which grace being bestowed upon them in election, redemption, and regeneration, is,

that ye should show forth the praises of him; that is, God, who has chosen them into a spiritual kindred and relation, made them kings and priests, sanctified them by his Spirit, and redeemed them by his Son, as a peculiar people; all which laid them under obligation to show forth with their lips, and in their lives and conversations, his "virtues": we read, "praises"; and so the Syriac version; that is, the power, wisdom, goodness, love, grace, and mercy of God, and the commendations of them, displayed in the above instances: the apostle seems to have his eye on Isaiah 43:21, where the Septuagint use the same word for "praise", as here: next follows a periphrasis of God, and in it an argument, or reason for speaking of his virtues, and showing forth his praise:

who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; which is to be understood, not of an external call by the ministry of the word only; for many are called in this sense, who are not chosen, redeemed, and sanctified; but of an internal, special, powerful, holy, and heavenly calling, by the Spirit and grace of God: and this is, "out of darkness"; out of the darkness of the law, under the former dispensation, which was as night, in comparison of the Gospel day; and out of that darkness which the Jews were particularly in, in and about the coming of Christ, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and the spirituality of the law; having lost all right notions of the Messiah, and the true sense of the Scriptures, and were carried away with the traditions of the elders, and led by blind guides, the Scribes and Pharisees; out of this darkness, as well as what is common to men, in a state of unregeneracy, having no sight of themselves, their sin, and misery, nor knowledge of divine things, of God in Christ, and of salvation by him, and of the work of the Spirit upon the heart, they were called,

into his marvellous light: by which they saw the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the insufficiency of their righteousness, their need of Christ, and salvation by him; and astonishing it was to them, that they who were born blind, and were brought up in darkness, and were darkness itself, should be made light in the Lord; and the objects they saw were amazing to them; everything in a spiritual way was marvellous in their eyes; especially the sun of righteousness, the light of the world, and also the wonderful things out of the law, or doctrine of Christ, the Gospel, and the surprising love and grace of God, in the whole, and in the several parts of their salvation: it was with them, as if a child, from the moment of its birth, was shut up in a dungeon, where there was not the least crevice to let in the least degree of light, and should continue here till at years of maturity, and then be brought out at once, at noonday, the sun shining in its full strength and glory, when that particularly, and all objects about him, must strike him with wonder and surprise. The Syriac version renders it, "his most excellent light"; the apostle seems to refer to the form of praise and thanksgiving used by the Jews, at the time of the passover; who say (a),

"we are bound to confess, to praise, to glorify, &c. him who hath done for our fathers, and for us, all these wonders; he hath brought us out of bondage to liberty; from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to a good day, , "and out of darkness into great light"; and from subjection unto redemption.

This was also part of their morning prayer (b),

"I confess before thee, O my God, and the God of my fathers, that thou hast brought me out of darkness into light.

And it is to be observed, that the third Sephira, or number, in the Jewish Cabalistic tree, which answers to the third Person in the Trinity, among other names, is called, "marvellous light" (c),

(y) Baal Hatturim in loc. (z) Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 13. Tzeror Hammot, fol. 78. 3.((a) Misn. Pesachim, c. 10. sect. 5. Haggada Shel Pesach, p. 23. Maimon. Hilchot Chametz Umetzah, c. 8. sect. 5. (b) T. Hieros. Beracot, c. 4. fol. 7. 1.((c) Cabala Denudata, par. 2. p. 8. 9. Contrast in the privileges and destinies of believers. Compare the similar contrast with the preceding context.

chosen—"elect" of God, even as Christ your Lord is.

generation—implying the unity of spiritual origin and kindred of believers as a class distinct from the world.

royal—kingly. Believers, like Christ, the antitypical Melchisedec, are at once kings and priests. Israel, in a spiritual sense, was designed to be the same among the nations of the earth. The full realization on earth of this, both to the literal and the spiritual Israel, is as yet future.

holy nation—antitypical to Israel.

peculiar people—literally, "a people for an acquisition," that is, whom God chose to be peculiarly His: Ac 20:28, "purchased," literally, "acquired." God's "peculiar treasure" above others.

show forth—publish abroad. Not their own praises but His. They have no reason to magnify themselves above others for once they had been in the same darkness, and only through God's grace had been brought to the light which they must henceforth show forth to others.

praises—Greek, "virtues," "excellencies": His glory, mercy (1Pe 2:10), goodness (Greek, 1Pe 2:3; Nu 14:17, 18; Isa 63:7). The same term is applied to believers, 2Pe 1:5.

of him who hath called you—(2Pe 1:3).

out of darkness—of heathen and even Jewish ignorance, sin, and misery, and so out of the dominion of the prince of darkness.

marvellous—Peter still has in mind Ps 118:23.

light—It is called "His," that is, God's. Only the (spiritual) light is created by God, not darkness. In Isa 45:7, it is physical darkness and evil, not moral, that God is said to create, the punishment of sin, not sin itself. Peter, with characteristic boldness, brands as darkness what all the world calls light; reason, without the Holy Spirit, in spite of its vaunted power, is spiritual darkness. "It cannot apprehend what faith is: there it is stark blind; it gropes as one that is without eyesight, stumbling from one thing to another, and knows not what it does" [Luther].2:1-10 Evil-speaking is a sign of malice and guile in the heart; and hinders our profiting by the word of God. A new life needs suitable food. Infants desire milk, and make the best endeavours for it which they are able to do; such must be a Christian's desires after the word of God. Our Lord Jesus Christ is very merciful to us miserable sinners; and he has a fulness of grace. But even the best of God's servants, in this life, have only a taste of the consolations of God. Christ is called a Stone, to teach his servants that he is their protection and security, the foundation on which they are built. He is precious in the excellence of his nature, the dignity of his office, and the glory of his services. All true believers are a holy priesthood; sacred to God, serviceable to others, endowed with heavenly gifts and graces. But the most spiritual sacrifices of the best in prayer and praise are not acceptable, except through Jesus Christ. Christ is the chief Corner-stone, that unites the whole number of believers into one everlasting temple, and bears the weight of the whole fabric. Elected, or chosen, for a foundation that is everlasting. Precious beyond compare, by all that can give worth. To be built on Christ means, to believe in him; but in this many deceive themselves, they consider not what it is, nor the necessity of it, to partake of the salvation he has wrought. Though the frame of the world were falling to pieces, that man who is built on this foundation may hear it without fear. He shall not be confounded. The believing soul makes haste to Christ, but it never finds cause to hasten from him. All true Christians are a chosen generation; they make one family, a people distinct from the world: of another spirit, principle, and practice; which they could never be, if they were not chosen in Christ to be such, and sanctified by his Spirit. Their first state is a state of gross darkness, but they are called out of darkness into a state of joy, pleasure, and prosperity; that they should show forth the praises of the Lord by their profession of his truth, and their good conduct. How vast their obligations to Him who has made them his people, and has shown mercy to them! To be without this mercy is a woful state, though a man have all worldly enjoyments. And there is nothing that so kindly works repentance, as right thoughts of the mercy and love of God. Let us not dare to abuse and affront the free grace of God, if we mean to be saved by it; but let all who would be found among those who obtain mercy, walk as his people.
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