1 Peter 2:11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
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PRUDENTIAL RULES OF CONDUCT IN VIEW OF THE HOSTILE ATTITUDE OF THE HEATHEN.—As slanders against the Christian name are rife, and bringing practical persecution on the Church, they are exhorted to extreme care about their conduct, especially in regard (1) to purity, and (2) to due subordination, whether as subjects to the officers of state, or as slaves to their masters, or as wives to their husbands (1Peter 2:11 to 1Peter 3:12.)

(11) Dearly beloved.—“Affectionate and pressing exhortation,” says Bengel. “That which is known to come from love,” says Leighton, “cannot readily but be so received too, and it is thus expressed for that very purpose, that the request may be the more welcome. Beloved, it is the advice of a friend, one that truly loves-you, and aims at nothing but your good; it is because I love you that I intreat you, and intreat you, as you love yourselves, to abstain from fleshly lusts.”

As strangers and pilgrims.—The exhortation will be felt with the more force if we turn to the Psalm from which St. Peter draws the phrase (Psalm 39:12, LXX.). The words, especially when compared with that Psalm, prepare for the description of distress which is to follow. (Comp. also Psalm 119:19.) The word “pilgrim” (which comes to us through the French form pelerin, from the Latin peregrinus) does not originally, or in this place, mean one on a pilgrimage. It implies no journeying, but simply residence in a foreign country. Here it represents the same Greek word which is rendered “strangers” in 1Peter 1:1, but is used in a metaphorical and not literal sense. Though no longer “scattered,” but gathered mercifully once more into “a people,” they were still far from home—unprotected residents in an alien and hostile world, which scrutinised their conduct and was anxious for an opportunity to get rid of them.

Abstain from fleshly lusts.—First prudential rule. Although all bad desires might be described as fleshly, the word seems here to mean what we usually understand by it, the lusts which lead to drunkenness, gluttony, and uncleanness. And though such sins are usually characteristic of the Gentile, not of the Jew, yet see our Note on 1Peter 1:14. Jews were not impeccable in such matters, and here the Apostle has a special reason for insisting on the observance of the seventh commandment. It may even be said that his mode of insistence recognises that his readers usually do observe it. He appeals to them as “Israelites from home” to be on their guard in such matters, as Leonidas might exhort Spartans going into battle not to flinch, or Nelson tell English sailors that “England expects every man to do his duty.” There was special reason for these Hebrew Christians to be more than ever vigilant, because (see Note on next verse) of the calumnies which the heathen were beginning to circulate about the Christians.

Which war against the soul.—This clause is no specifying of the particular fleshly lusts to be guarded against, as though there were some of them which did not war against the soul; but it is a description of the way in which all fleshly lusts alike act. It means not merely a general antagonism between soul and body, but that the lusts are on active service, engaged in a definite campaign against the immortal part of the man. St. Peter has probably forgotten for the moment his metaphor of strangers and sojourners, and we are not to put the two things together too closely, as though their position of strangers rendered them more liable to the attack of the hostile lusts. “Abstain” cannot mean merely “be on your guard against.” It runs rather thus: “You Christian Jews are dwelling as sojourners in the midst of jealous Gentile foreigners, and must, therefore, be particularly observant of moral conduct; for though I know that you usually are so, yet the fleshly appetites are actively engaged against your soul all the time; and if you should in any degree let them get the better of you, the heathen neighbours will at once take advantage of you.” As the expression might have been drawn equally well from St. Paul or from St. James, it is perhaps the easiest thing to suppose that (like the metaphors of building or of giving milk) it was part of the common property of Christians, and not consciously traceable to any originator.

1 Peter 2:11-12. I beseech you, as strangers — Or sojourners; and pilgrims — Who have no inheritance on this earth, but are travelling to the heavenly country. The former word, παροικοι, properly means those who are in a strange house, a house not their own: the second, παρεπιδημοι, those who are in a strange country, and among a people not their own. We sojourn in the body; we are pilgrims in this world; abstain from fleshly lusts — Or carnal desires; from inordinate desires of any thing in this country. “The settled inhabitants of a country are anxious to acquire riches, to purchase lands, and to build houses. But they who stay but a few weeks in a country, or who only travel through it, are commonly not solicitous to secure to themselves accommodations which they are so soon to leave. In the same manner, believers, being only sojourners on earth, and travellers to a better country, ought not to place their happiness in the enjoyment of those objects by which carnal desires are gratified, and which are peculiar to this earthly state, but in securing themselves possessions in the heavenly country, the proper habitation of the righteous.” — Macknight. Which carnal desires, though pleasant to the senses, war against the soul — Against the health, the strength, the liberty, the purity, the usefulness, the comfort of the soul. Having your conversation — Your whole behaviour; honest — Greek, καλην, amiable, excellent, commendable, and honourable, pious and virtuous in every respect. But our language sinks under the force, copiousness, and beauty of the original expressions; among the Gentiles — Your heathen neighbours, who narrowly watch you; that whereas they speak against you as evil-doers — As seditious persons and atheists, because ye do not worship their false gods, and because you join yourselves with what they presumptuously call the impious sect of Christians; they may by your good works — Your unblameable, useful, and holy conduct, your obedience to the just laws of the state, your submission to magistrates, and your patience and meekness when unjustly punished; which they shall behold — Shall be eye-witnesses of; may not only lay aside their blasphemous reproaches and bitter enmities, but may exchange them for commendations and praises, and so may glorify God — By owning his grace in you, being induced to believe and obey the truth, and to imitate your example; in the day of visitation — During the season in which the gospel is preached among them, whereby they are visited with the offers of pardon and salvation. It is well known that the patience, fortitude, and meekness with which the first Christians bore persecution for their religion, and the forgiving disposition which they expressed toward their persecutors, made such an impression on the heathen, who were witnesses of their sufferings, that many of them glorified God by embracing the gospel.

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.Dearly beloved, I beseech you strangers and pilgrims - On the word rendered "strangers," (παροίκους paroikous,) see the notes at Ephesians 2:19, where it is rendered "foreigners." It means, properly, one dwelling near, neighboring; then a by-dweller, a sojourner, one without the rights of citizenship, as distinguished from a citizen; and it means here that Christians are not properly citizens of this world, but that their citizenship is in heaven, and that they are here mere sojourners. Compare the notes at Philippians 3:20, "For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven." On the word rendered "pilgrims," (παρεπιδήμους parepidēmous,) see the 1 Peter 1:1 note; Hebrews 11:13 note. A pilgrim, properly, is one who travels to a distance from his own country to visit a holy place, or to pay his devotion to some holy object; then a traveler, a wanderer. The meaning here is, that Christians have no permanent home on earth; their citizenship is not here; they are mere sojourners, and they are passing on to their eternal home in the heavens. They should, therefore, act as become such persons; as sojourners and travelers do. They should not:

(a) regard the earth as their home.

(b) They should not seek to acquire permanent possessions here, as if they were to remain here, but should act as travelers do, who merely seek a temporary lodging, without expecting permanently to reside in a place.

(c) They should not allow any such attachments to be formed, or arrangements to be made, as to impede their journey to their final home, as pilgrims seek only a temporary lodging, and steadily pursue their journey.

(d) Even while engaged here in the necessary callings of life - their studies, their farming, their merchandise - their thoughts and affections should be on other things. One in a strange land thinks much of his country and home; a pilgrim, much of the land to which he goes; and even while his time and attention may be necessarily occupied by the arrangements needful for the journey, his thoughts and affections will be far away.

(e) We should not encumber ourselves with much of this world's goods. Many professed Christians get so many worldly things around them, that it is impossible for them to make a journey to heaven. They burden themselves as no traveler would, and they make no progress. A traveler takes along as few things as possible; and a staff is often all that a pilgrim has. We make the most rapid progress in our journey to our final home when we are least encumbered with the things of this world.

Abstain from fleshly lusts - Such desires and passions as the carnal appetites prompt to. See the notes at Galatians 5:19-21. A sojourner in a land, or a pilgrim, does not give himself up to the indulgence of sensual appetites, or to the soft pleasures of the soul. All these would hinder his progress, and turn him off from his great design. Compare Romans 13:4; Galatians 5:24; 2 Timothy 2:22; Titus 2:12; 1 Peter 1:14.

Which war against the soul - Compare the notes at Romans 8:12-13. The meaning is, that indulgence in these things makes war against the nobler faculties of the soul; against the conscience, the understanding, the memory, the judgment, the exercise of a pure imagination. Compare the notes at Galatians 5:17. There is not a faculty of the mind, however brilliant in itself, which will not be ultimately ruined by indulgence in the carnal propensities of our nature. The effect of intemperance on the noble faculties of the soul is well known; and alas, there are too many instances in which the light of genius, in those endowed with splendid gifts, at the bar, in the pulpit, and in the senate, is extinguished by it, to need a particular description. But there is one vice preeminently, which prevails all over the pagan world, (Compare the notes at Romans 1:27-29) and extensively in Christian lands, which more than all others, blunts the moral sense, pollutes the memory, defiles the imagination, hardens the heart. and sends a withering influence through all the faculties of the soul.

"The soul grows clotted by contagion,

Embodies, and embrutes, till she quite lose

The divine property of her first being."

Of this passion, Burns beautifully and truly said -

"But oh! it hardens a' within,

And petrifies the feeling."


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.

Strangers and pilgrims; not only strangers in the several countries where ye inhabit, (being out of your own land), but strangers in the world, as all believers are, 1 Chronicles 29:15 Psalm 39:12 Psalm 119:19 Hebrews 11:13,14.

Abstain from fleshly lusts; not only sensual desires, but all the works of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21, the carnal mind itself being enmity against God, Romans 8:7.

Which war; as enemies, oppose and fight against, Romans 7:23 Jam 4:1.

Against the soul; the inner man, or regenerate part, or Spirit, which is opposed to fleshly lusts: see Galatians 5:17.

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.

{9} Dearly beloved, {10} I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, {11} abstain from fleshly lusts, {12} which war against the soul;

(9) He returns to that general exhortation.

(10) A reason why we ought to live holy, that is, because we are citizens of heaven, and therefore we ought to live not according to the laws of this world, which is most corrupt, but of the heavenly city, although we are strangers in the world.

(11) Another argument: The children of God live not according to the flesh, that is, according to that corrupt nature, but according to the Spirit. Therefore fleshly actions should not rule us.

(12) The third argument: for although those lusts gratify us, yet they do not cease to fight against our salvation.

1 Peter 2:11-12. A new exhortation: the central thought is expressed in the beginning of 1 Peter 2:12. The apostle, after describing its peculiarly lofty dignity, considers the Christian church in its relation to the non-Christian world, and shows how believers must prove themselves blameless before it by right conduct in the different relations of human life. The condition necessary for this is stated in 1 Peter 2:11.

Ἀγαπητοί] This form of address expresses the affectionate, impressive earnestness of the following exhortation.

παρακαλῶ (sc. ὑμᾶς) ὡς παροίκους καὶ παρεπιδήμους]; cf. Psalm 39:13, LXX.

ὡς, as in 1 Peter 1:14.

πάροικος, cf. 1 Peter 1:17, in its strict sense: Acts 7:6; Acts 7:29, equal to, inquilinus, he who dwells in a town (or land) where he has no civil rights; cf. Luke 24:18. In Ephesians 2:19 it stands as synonymous with ξένος, of the relation of the heathen to the kingdom of God.

παρεπίδημος, cf. 1 Peter 1:1. The home of the believer is heaven, on earth he is a stranger. Calvin: sic eos appellat, non quia a patria exularent, ac dissipati essent in diversis regionibus, sed quia filii Dei, ubicunque terrarum agant, mundi sunt hospites; cf. Hebrews 11:13-15. A distinction between the two words is not to be pressed here; the same idea is expressed by two words, in order to emphasize it the more strongly. Luther inexactly translates παρεπίδημοι by “pilgrims.”

Even if ἀπέχεσθαι be the true reading, the words ὡς παροίκους κ.τ.λ. must be connected with παρακαλῶ (as opposed to de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger), for they show in what character Peter now regarded his readers (Hofmann)[131] in relation to the following exhortations, and have reference not simply to the admonition ἀπέχεσθαι; as Weiss also (p. 45) rightly remarks. Probably, however, ἀπέχεσθε is the original reading, and was changed into the infinitive in order to make the connection with παρακαλῶ more close. ἀπέχεσθαι presents the negative aspect of sanctification, as chap. 1 Peter 2:1 : ἀποθέμενοι.

τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν] similar expressions in Galatians 5:10; Ephesians 2:3; 2 Peter 2:18. The ἐπιθυμίαι are σαρκικαί, because they have their seat in the σάρξ. Wiesinger improperly says that “the lusts which manifest themselves outwardly” are here meant, for all ἐπιθυμίαι tend to, and do, manifest themselves outwardly, if there be no ἀπέχεσθαι. Schott assumes, without reason, that the ἐπιθυμίαι are here considered “as something outside of the Christian community, and manifesting itself only in the surrounding heathen population;” they are indeed peculiar to the unbelieving world; but the Christian, too, has them still in his σάρξ, though he can and should prevent them from having a determining power over him, inasmuch as in the world over which they rule he is a πάροικος καὶ παρεπίδημος.[132] This sequence of thought lies plainly indicated in the close connection of the exhortation with what precedes (as opposed to Hofmann).

αἵτινες στρατεύονται κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς] is not a definition of the σαρκικαί, but as αἵτινες, equal to “as those which,” shows, explains the nature of the ἐπιθυμίαι σαρκικαί, thus giving the reason of the exhortation.

στρατεύειν is not: “to lay siege to” (Steiger), but: “to war,” “fight against,” as in Jam 4:1 (Romans 7:23 : ἀντιστρατεύεσθαι).

ψυχή has here its usual meaning; it is neither: vita et salus animae (Hornejus, Grotius), nor: ratio (Pott: libidines, quae nos impellunt ad peragenda ea, quae rationi contraria sunt); nor does it mean: “the new man” (Gerhard: totus homo novus ac interior, quatenus est per Spiritum s. renovatus), nor: the soul, “in so far as it is penetrated by the Holy Spirit” (Steiger), nor: “life as determined by the new Ego” (Schott); but it is here simply, in contradistinction to σῶμα, the spiritual substance of man of which Peter says that it must be sanctified (chap. 1 Peter 1:22), and its σωτηρία is the end of faith (chap. 1 Peter 1:9); thus also de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Hofmann, Fronmüller. In the natural man the ψυχή is under the power of the ἐπιθυμίαι σαρκικαί (which according to Jam 4:1 have their dwelling ἐν τοῖς μέλεσιν; cf. also Romans 7:23); in him who is regenerate, it is delivered from them, yet the ἐπιθυμίαι seek to bring it again into subjection, so that it may fail of its σωτηρία;—in this consists the στρατεύεσθαι κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς.—1 Peter 2:12. τὴν ἀναστροφὴν ὑμῶν (chap. 1 Peter 1:15; 1 Peter 1:17) ἐν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἔχοντες καλήν] ἐν τοῖς ἔθν.: “among the Gentiles;” for the churches to whom Peter wrote were in Gentile lands.

ἔχοντες καλήν: Luther inexactly: “lead a good mode of life;” καλήν is a predicate: “having your mode of life good (as one good);” cf. chap. 1 Peter 4:8.

ἔχοντες (antithesis to ἀπέχεσθε, 1 Peter 2:11) is not here put for the imperative, but is a participle subordinate to the finite verb; if ἀπέχεσθαι be read, there is here, as in Ephesians 4:2, Colossians 3:16, an irregularity in the construction by which the idea contained in the participle is significantly made prominent.

ἵνα ἐν ᾧ καταλαλοῦσιν κ.τ.λ.] “that in the matter in which they revile you as evil-doers they may, on the ground of the good works they themselves have beheld, glorify God,” i.e. in order that the matter which was made the ground of their evil-speaking, may by your good works become to them the ground of giving glory to God.

ἵνα states the purpose; not for ὥστε; ἐν ᾧ is not: ἐν ᾧ χρόνω, as in Mark 2:19 (Pott, Hensler), for the καταλαλεῖν and the δοξάζειν cannot be simultaneous; nor is it: pro eo quod (Beza), such a construction has no grammatical justification; but ἐν specifies here, as in verb. affect., the occasioning object (cf. chap. 1 Peter 4:4), and the relative refers to a demonstrative to be supplied, which stands in the same relation to δοξάζωσι as ἐν ᾧ to καταλαλοῦσιν. It is not then τοῦτο, but ἐν τούτῳ, which is to be supplied (Steiger, de Wette, Wiesinger, Hofmann). If τοῦτο were to be supplied it would be dependent on ἐποπτεύσαντες; but such a construction is opposed by the circumstance that it is not this participle, but δοξάζωσι, which forms the antithesis to καταλαλοῦσι. The participle is interposed here absolutely (as in Ephesians 3:4 : ἀναγινώσκοντες), and ἐκ τῶν καλῶν ἔργων is connected with δοξάζωσι, the sense being: “on account of your good works.” Steiger specifies the καλὰ ἔργα as that which occasions the καταλαλεῖν,—and later the δοξάζειν τὸν Θεόν,—but the subsequent ἐκ τῶν καλῶν ἔργων does not agree with this; de Wette gives: “the whole tenor of life;” the connection with what precedes might suggest the ἀπέχεσθαι τῶν σαρκ. ἐπιθυμιῶν;[133] but it is simpler, with Hofmann, to understand by it generally the Christian profession.

With κακοποιοί, cf. 1 Peter 2:14; 1 Peter 4:15; John 18:30. Brückner, Wiesinger, Weiss (p. 367) justly reject the opinion of Hug, Neander, etc., that ΚΑΚΟΠΟΙΌς here, in harmony with the passage in Suetonius, Vit. Ner. c. 16: Christiani genus hominum superstitionis novae et malificae, is equivalent to “state criminal.” In the mouth of a heathen the word would signify a criminal, though not exactly a vicious man; one who had been guilty of such crimes as theft, murder, and the like (cf. 1 Peter 4:15), which are punished by the state[134] (cf. 1 Peter 2:14).

ἘΚ ΤῶΝ ΚΑΛῶΝ ἜΡΓΩΝ] The ΚΑΛᾺ ἜΡΓΑ, in the practice of which the ἈΝΑΣΤΟΦῊ ΚΑΛΉ) of the Christians consists, are here presented as the motive by which, when they see them, the heathen are to be induced to substitute the glorifying of God for their evil-speaking; as the Christians too, on their part, are often exhorted to holiness of life, that thus they may overcome the opposition of the Gentiles, cf. chap. 1 Peter 3:2. Hofmann incorrectly interprets ἘΚ Τ. ΚΑΛ. ἜΡΓΩΝ ἘΠΟΠΤΕΎΟΝΤΕς: “if the heathen judge of your Christianity by your good works;” for ἘΠΟΠΤΕΎΕΙΝ does not mean “to judge of.” With ἐκ τ. καλ. ἔργωνδοξάσωσι τ. Θεόν, comp. Christ’s words, Matthew 5:161 Peter 2:11 f. indicate generally the subject to be discussed. Beloved I exhort you to abstain from the lusts of the flesh, because they wage war against the soul. Standers and even torments can only affect the body. But the lusts natural or acquired which you have renounced may hinder your salvation, as they have already impeded your mutual love. For the sake of your old friends and kinsfolk refuse to yield to their solicitations. If rebuffed they resort to persecution of whatever kind, remember that it is only a passing episode of your brief exile. Let your conduct give them no excuse for reproach; so may they recognise God’s power manifest not on your lips but in your lives.—ἀγαπητοί, not an empty formulæ but explanation of the writer’s motive. He set before them the great commandment and now adds to it as Jesus did, Love one another as I have loved you, John 13:34.—ὡς π. καὶ παρεπιδήμους with ἀπεχ. (motive for abstinence in emphatic position) rather than παρακαλῶ (as νουθετεῖτε ὡς ἀδελφόν, 2 Thessalonians 3:15—the motive of exhortation is here expressed by ἀγ.) echoes παρεπιδήμοις of 1 Peter 1:1 and παροικίας of 1 Peter 1:17. The combination (= גר וחושב) occurs twice in LXX (Genesis 33:4; Psalm 39:13). Christians are in the world, not of the world.—ἀπέχεσθαι, cf. Plato, Phaedo, 82 C, true philosophers, ἀπέχονται τῶν κατὰ τὸ σῶμα ἐπιθυμιῶν ἁπάσων—not for fear of poverty, like the vulgar, nor for fear of disgrace, like the ambitious, but because only so can he, departing in perfect purity, come to the company of the gods”.—τῶν σαρκικῶν ἐπιθυμιῶν, the lusts of the flesh. St. Peter borrows St. Paul’s phrase, ἡμεῖς πάντες ἀνεστράφημέν ποτε ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν ποιοῦντες τὰ θελήματα τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ τῶν διανοιῶν (Ephesians 2:3), but uses it in his own way in a sense as wide as τὰς κοσμικὰς ἐ. (Titus 2:12). For the flesh is the earthly life (cf. Colossians 3:5) the transitory mode of existence of the soul which is by such abstinence to be preserved (1 Peter 1:9).—αἵτινεςψυχῆς, because they are campaigning against the soul.—στρατεύονται (cf. 1 Peter 4:1 f., for military metaphor) perhaps derived from Romans 7:23, “I perceive a different law in my members warring against (ἀντιστρατευόμενον) the law of my mind;” cf. Jam 4:1, the pleasures which war in your members, and 4Ma 9:23, ἱερὰν καὶ εὐγενῆ στρατείαν στρατεύσασθε περὶ τῆς εὐσεβείας.—κατὰ τῆς ψυχῆς. The lusts of this earthly life are the real enemy for they affect the soul. Compare Matthew 10:28, which may refer to the Devil and not to God, and the Pauline parallel, ἡ σὰρξ ἐπιθυμεῖ κατὰ τοῦ πνεύματοςταῦτα γὰρ ἀλλήλοις ἀντικεῖται (Galatians 5:17).

11. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims] This is manifestly the beginning of a fresh section of the Epistle. Somewhat after the manner of St Paul, the Apostle, alter having allowed his thoughts to travel through the mysteries of redemption, reaches, as it were, the highest region of the truth, and then pauses in the act of writing or dictating, and takes a fresh start. In doing so, however, he goes back to the opening words of the Epistle (see note on chap. 1 Peter 1:1). Those to whom he wrote were “strangers and pilgrims” (the English reader must remember that “pilgrim” is but another form of peregrinus), not only as belonging to the Jews of the dispersion, but as being, like the patriarchs of old (Hebrews 11:13), men who, in whatever country they might be, felt that their true home was elsewhere. In the LXX. version of Psalm 39:12 we find both the words and the thoughts to which St Peter now gives utterance. It is obvious that the special local position of the disciples, though not, it may be, altogether excluded, is now thrown quite into the background.

abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul] The negative aspect of the Christian life is put forward first, as being prior, both in order of thought, and often in that of time, to its more positive development. The entreaty rests upon the character implied in the previous words. Travellers in a strange land, yet more in the land of enemies, do not care commonly to adopt all its customs. They retain their nationality. The exiles who hung their harps by the waters of Babylon did not forget Jerusalem, and would not profane its hymns by singing them at idolfeasts (Psalm 137:1-3). The citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem were in like manner to keep themselves from all that would render them unfit for their true home. The words “fleshly lusts” have, perhaps, a somewhat wider range than the English term suggests, and take in all desires that originate in man’s corrupt nature, as well as those directly connected with the appetites of the body: comp. St Paul’s list of the “works of the flesh” in Galatians 5:19-21. In the description of these as “warring against the soul,” we have another striking coincidence of language with St James (James 4:1) and St Paul (Romans 7:23). “Soul” stands here, as in chap. 1 Peter 1:9, for the higher element of man’s nature which, in the more elaborate threefold division of man’s nature, adopted by St Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 and elsewhere, includes both “soul and spirit.”

1 Peter 2:11. Ἀγαπητοὶ, dearly beloved) A friendly and well-disposed exhortation.—παρακαλῶ, I beseech you) So ch. 1 Peter 5:1. [A great exhortation, of which the former part begins here; the second part in the middle of 1 Peter 2:15, ch. 3. Both parts have ἵνα ἐν ᾧ, κ.τ.λ., ch. 1 Peter 2:12, and 1 Peter 3:16.—Not. Crit.]—παροίκους καὶ παρεπιδήμονς, strangers and foreigners) A gradation: ye are not only as in a strange house, but even as in a foreign city, ye who believe of the Jews and Gentiles. The reason why ye should abstain. Leviticus 25:23, Septuagint, προσήλυτοι καὶ πάροικοι ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐναντίον ἐμοῦ, ye are strangers and sojourners before Me. Psalm 39:12, ὅτι πάροικος ἐγώ εἰμι ἐν τῇ γῇ καὶ παρεπίδημος, καθὼς πάντες οἱ πατέρες μον, for I am a stranger on the earth and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Comp. Hebrews 11:13, note.—ἀπέχεσθε, abstain) The Imperative,[17] as ch. 1 Peter 5:1-2, I exhortfeed. Thus cohere the words, having your conversation, etc., 1 Peter 2:12, and ch. 1 Peter 3:7-9, and the word ready [ἕτοιμοι coming after the previous Imperative, as ἔχοντες here], ch. 1 Peter 3:15.—σαρκικῶν, carnal) 2 Peter 2:10; 2 Peter 2:18.—στρατεύονται, war) Not only do they hinder, but attack. A fine word.

[17] Not the Infinitive ἀπέχεσθαι, as B Vulg. and Rec. Text. But ἀπέχεσθε in AC, both Syr. Versions, Memph. and Cyprian.—E.

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. 1 Peter 2:11Beloved (ἀγαπητοί)

A favorite term with Peter, occurring eight times in the epistles. See the phrase, our beloved. Barnabas and Paul, Acts 15:25, in the letter sent by the council at Jerusalem to the Gentile Christians, the account of which, doubtless, came from Peter. Compare our beloved brother Paul, 2 Peter 3:15.

Strangers (παροίκους)

Rev., sojourners. Compare 1 Peter 1:17, "the time of your sojourning (παροικίας)."

Which (αἵτινες)

The compound pronoun denotes a class, of that kind which, classifying all fleshly desires in one category.

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