|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-7 The wife must discharge her duty to her own husband, though he obey not the word. We daily see how narrowly evil men watch the ways and lives of professors of religion. Putting on of apparel is not forbidden, but vanity and costliness in ornament. Religious people should take care that all their behaviour answers to their profession. But how few know the right measure and bounds of those two necessaries of life, food and raiment! Unless poverty is our carver, and cuts us short, there is scarcely any one who does not desire something beyond what is good for us. Far more are beholden to the lowliness of their state, than the lowliness of their mind; and many will not be so bounded, but lavish their time and money upon trifles. The apostle directs Christian females to put on something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, even the graces of God's Holy Spirit. A true Christian's chief care lies in right ordering his own spirit. This will do more to fix the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper. Christians ought to do their duty to one another, from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God. The husband's duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. They are heirs together of all the blessings of this life and that which is to come, and should live peaceably one with another. Prayer sweetens their converse. And it is not enough that they pray with the family, but husband and wife together by themselves, and with their children. Those who are acquainted with prayer, find such unspeakable sweetness in it, that they will not be hindered therein. That you may pray much, live holily; and that you may live holily, be much in prayer.
Verse 5. - For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God; rather, who hoped in God (εἰς Θεόν); whose hope was set toward God and rested in God. Bengel says," Vera sanctitas, spes in Deum." St. Peter is the apostle of hope. Adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. The apostle bids Christian women to consider the example of the saintly women of the Old Testament. With their hope resting upon God, they could not care for finery and costly jewels. They adorned themselves with the more costly ornament of a meek and quiet spirit: they showed their meekness by living in subjection to their husbands. Submission to authority is the key-note of this part of the Epistle.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For after this manner in the old time,.... In ages past, the years of many generations, since the time that God created man upon earth; in the times before the flood, and after it; in the times of the patriarchs, judges, kings, and prophets of Israel, under the Old Testament dispensation. The apostle exhorts and encourages to this inward dress and ornament, from the antiquity of it: for in this way, and after this fashion,
the holy women also: who were sanctified by the Spirit of God, and lived holy lives and conversations, such as Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Leah, Ruth, Hannah, and others:
who trusted in God; that he would send the Messiah, and make good all his promises, judging and believing him to be faithful to his word, and able to fulfil whatever he had promised, as Sarah, Hebrews 11:11. Such holy and believing women as these are worthy of imitation in their adorning and dress, and who, in the manner before described by the apostle, adorned themselves; or this was the adorning which they sought after, valued, and chiefly regarded; not what was external, but internal: and which lay in meekness and humility, and in a quiet deportment, and in
being in subjection unto their own husbands; according to their original make, and natural relation, and the laws of God, and of creation; which is more becoming and adorning than plaiting of hair, wearing of gold, or costly raiment, and recommends them more, both in the sight of God and men; nothing being a more indecent and uncomely sight than a woman not in subjection to her husband.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. after this manner—with the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit (compare the portrait of the godly wife, Pr 31:10-31).
trusted—Greek, "hoped." "Holy" is explained by "hoped in (so as to be 'united to,' Greek) God." Hope in God is the spring of true holiness [Bengel].
in subjection—Their ornament consisted in their subordination. Vanity was forbidden (1Pe 3:3) as being contrary to female subjection.
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