|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:9,10 Servants must know and do their duty to their earthly masters, with a reference to their heavenly one. In serving an earthly master according to Christ's will, He is served; such shall be rewarded by him. Not giving disrespectful or provoking language; but to take a check or reproof with silence, not making confident or bold replies. When conscious of a fault, to excuse or justify it, doubles it. Never putting to their own use that which is their master's, nor wasting the goods they are trusted with. Showing all good fidelity to improve a master's goods, and promote his thriving. If ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? Lu 16:12. True religion is an honour to the professors of it; and they should adorn it in all things.
Verse 9. - In subjection to for obedient unto, A.V.; be well-pleasing to them for please them well, A.V.; gainsaying for answering gain, A.V. Servants; i.e. dares (δούλους), the correlative to which is δεσπόταις, masters, who had absolute power over their slaves, and property in them (comp. 1 Peter 2:18, where they are called by the name of οἰκέται, house-slaves). The construction is carried on from the "exhort" of ver. 6. Well-pleasing (εὐαρέστους); elsewhere spoken with reference to God (Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Ephesians 5:10, etc.). In all things (ἐν πᾶσιν); nearly the same as περὶ πάντα in ver. 7; to be taken with εὐαρέστους. Some, however, connect the words with ὑποτάσσεσθαι, "to be obedient in all things." Gainsaying (ἐντιλέγοντας); as in Titus 1:9 (see note). Here, however, the" answering again" of the A.V. is a better rendering. It implies, of course, a resistance to the will of their master, and impatience of any rebuke (comp. 1 Peter 2:18-20).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters,.... And not others, whether they be believers, or unbelievers, gentle or froward, all their lawful commands ought to be obeyed; See Gill on Ephesians 6:5 and to please them well in all things; not only to obey and serve them, and do what they order, but to seek and endeavour to do it in such a way as may be grateful, acceptable, and well pleasing to them, whereby an interest in their affection, esteem, and commendation, may be gained: and this should be done always, and in all things, that are not contrary to a good conscience and to the Christian religion, and to the laws of God and nature. Or "that they may be well pleased in all things"; that is, be satisfied and contented with such things as they have, and in their state and condition as servants, and cheerfully abide in the calling wherein they are called:
not answering again; replying to their masters' orders, or complaints, either in a pert, or saucy, or grumbling manner; an evil very incident to servants, and which greatly provokes.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
to please them well—"to give satisfaction" [Alford]. To be complaisant in everything; to have that zealous desire to gain the master's goodwill which will anticipate the master's wish and do even more than is required. The reason for the frequent recurrence of injunctions to slaves to subjection (Eph 6:5, &c.; Col 3:22; 1Ti 6:1, &c.; 1Pe 2:18) was, that in no rank was there more danger of the doctrine of the spiritual equality and freedom of Christians being misunderstood than in that of slaves. It was natural for the slave who had become a Christian, to forget his place and put himself on a social level with his master. Hence the charge for each to abide in the sphere in which he was when converted (1Co 7:20-24).
not answering again—in contradiction to the master: so the Greek, "not contradicting" [Wahl].
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