Amplified: For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: That is the way the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: This was the secret of the beauty of the holy women of ancient times who trusted in God and were submissive to their husbands. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For thus formerly also the holy women, the ones whose hope is directed to and rests in God, were accustomed to adorn themselves, putting themselves in subjection with implicit obedience to their own husbands, (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for thus once also the holy women who did hope on God, were adorning themselves, being subject to their own husbands,
FOR IN THIS WAY IN FORMER TIMES THE HOLY WOMEN ALSO: houtos gar pote kai ai hagiai gunaikes ai: (Pr 31:10,30; Lk 8:2,3; Acts 1:14; 9:36; 1Ti 2:10; 5:10; Titus 2:3,4)
Holy women is not a unique class of OT women, but as explained in the note directly below they were ordinary sinners saved by grace.
Spurgeon writes -
Holy (40) (hagios) (Click for study of hagios) literally means “set-apart ones.” These women lived holy lives because they lived separated lives, separated from the world out from which God had saved them. If these wives lived holy lives, it can be done in the amoral agnostic days in which we are living.
WHO HOPED IN GOD: elpizousai (PAPFPN) eis theon: (1Sa 2:1; Jer 49:11; Lk 2:37; 1Ti 2:15; 5:5; Heb 11:11)
Hoped (1679) (elpizo from elpis) (see study of Believer's Blessed Hope) means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. An attitude of confidence that something will come to pass. Also conveys the sense of counting on something. (Lk 6:34) It means to to anticipate, usually with pleasure, expecting some benefit. The verb does not mean "I hope so" as does the unsaved world which has no eternal hope, for a future without Christ is eternally hopeless. The hope that Christian's possess by grace through faith is one that reflects an absolute certainty of future good or that God will do good to us in the future (and forever!) The present tense indicates this glorious, radiant hope was the habitual practice of holy women.
Elpizo - 31 NT uses - Mt 12:21; Lk 6:34; 23:8; 24:21; Jn 5:45; Acts 24:26; 26:7; Ro 8:24, 25; 15:12, 24; 1Co. 13:7; 15:19; 16:7; 2Co. 1:10, 13; 5:11; 8:5; 13:6; Phil. 2:19, 23; 1Ti 3:14; 4:10; 5:5; 6:17; Philemon. 1:22; Heb. 11:1; 1Pe 1:13; 3:5; 2Jn. 1:12; 3Jn. 1:14
These women had learned to preach to themselves the way the psalmist did
Women who hope in God are women who look away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and they focus their attention on the sovereign power and love of God Who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever He pleases and Who alone can make the statement which He made to Sarah…
Women who hoped in God - remembering that He 11:1 (note) teaches us that "faith = assurance of things hoped for", were undoubtedly women who were declared righteous in God's sight (by faith) apart from their works. In the context of this section of Peter he is referring to the woman as the one who is saved and whose behavior can win her husband to Christ. So in using the example of the OT women, Peter is certainly implying that they were genuinely saved and the phrase "hoped in God" supports this observation. Biblical hope is not our modern day flighty definition of "maybe so" but it is an absolute assurance of future good. So when they hoped in God, God reckoned (imputed) it to them His righteousness. They were justified (declared righteous) by faith.
USED TO ADORN THEMSELVES: ekosmoun (3PIAI) heautas:
Adorn (2885) (kosmeo) (Click word study of kosmeo) means to cause something to be beautiful by decorating it. Here it refers to the correctness of a well-fitted garment, in no way outlandish or provocative. Christian wives are to dress themselves in good taste and appropriate to the occasion.
Kosmeo - 10 NT uses - Matt. 12:44; 23:29; 25:7; Lk. 11:25; 21:5; 1Tim. 2:9; Titus 2:10; 1 Pet. 3:5; Rev. 21:2, 19
Kosmeo is the source of our English word "cosmetic". Peter uses the imperfect tense which speaks of action going on in past time. These "holy women" were accustomed (over and over again) to adorn themselves in that manner. It was a repeated practice with them to adorn themselves with a meek and quiet spirit, not with the latest fad of the world. Dear sister in Christ, does this verse describe your practice?
BEING SUBMISSIVE TO THEIR OWN HUSBANDS: hupotassomenai (PPPFPN) tois idiois andrasin:
Peter repeats (1Pe 3:1-note) the idea of a godly wife's submission to her husband. Godly women of the OT adorned themselves by cultivating the moral and spiritual beauty of the inner life. One aspect of this beauty was a dutiful submission to their own husbands.
Being submissive (5293) (hupotasso= hupo = under + tasso = arrange in an orderly manner) (Click word study of hupotasso) (Click the 6 uses of hupotasso in 1Peter) in the passive voice means to submit oneself, to subordinate oneself, to obey, to place oneself under, to put oneself under orders, to align oneself under the authority of another.
Hupotasso - 38 NT uses - Lk. 2:51; 10:17, 20; Ro 8:7, 20; 10:3; 13:1, 5; 1Co. 14:32, 34; 15:27, 28; 16:16; Ep 1:22; 5:21, 24; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:18; Titus 2:5, 9; 3:1; Heb. 2:5, 8; 12:9; Jas 4:7; 1Pet. 2:13, 18; 3:1, 5, 22; 5:5
The use of the present tense indicates this is to be the wife's habitual practice or lifestyle, a lifestyle of continually submitting to her husband. Notice the little word own (idios = related to oneself, one's own) indicating her submission is to her own husband, not to another.
Hupotasso has in view the maintenance of God’s willed order, not personal inferiority of women in any way. This word may denote either voluntary or forced behavior, but not any sense of inferiority.
Hupotasso was used as military term to describe soldiers submitting to their superior or slaves submitting to their masters. The word has primarily the idea of giving up one’s own right or will. It meant to arrange [as for example troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader. Submission then is not so much to a person per se as to the position of rank that is established to ensure order rather than chaos. The buck private in the army may be a "better person" than the five-star general, but he is still a buck private. Slaves in the average Roman household in fact were "better people" in many ways when compared to their masters, yet they still had to be under authority to ensure order in the household. In non-military use hupotasso described "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".
Hupotasso is not a spineless submission but, as one writer has eloquently described it, a "voluntary selflessness."
Constable paraphrasing material from the Family Life Conference writes that…
Keep the historical context in mind reference to pagan husbands should be understood against the social background in which a wife was expected to accept the customs and religious rites of her husband.
Submission for Paul and Peter is a voluntary submission based on one’s own recognition of God’s order. It is the submission which is based on the death of pride on one hand and the desire to serve on the other. Ideally it is the submission not of fear but of perfect love. Christ Himself is the perfect example (1Pe 2:21, 22, 23, 24, 25 -see notes 1Pe 2:21; 22; 23; 24; 25) of a servant Who submitted without reservation to His Father's perfect will (Php 2:5, 6, 7, 8 -see notes Php 2:5; 6; 7;8). Thus there is nothing degrading about submitting to authority and accepting God’s ordained order that alone ensures the proper functioning of the marriage bond between a husband and wife.
Amplified: It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Sara, you will remember, obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. And you have become, as it were, her true descendants today as long as you too live good lives and do not give way to hysterical fears. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: as Sarah was in the habit of rendering obedience to Abraham, calling him lord, whose children [namely, Sarah’s] you become if the whole course of your life is in the doing of good, and you are not being caused to fear by even one particle of terror. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: as Sarah was obedient to Abraham, calling him 'sir,' of whom ye did become daughters, doing good, and not fearing any terror.
THUS SARAH OBEYED ABRAHAM CALLING HIM LORD: os Sarra hupekousen (3SAAI) to Abraam kurion auton kalousa (PAPFSN):
Obeyed (5219) (hupakouo [word study] from hupó = under + akoúo = physical hearing and apprehension of something with the mind- akouo gives us our English acoustics - the science of design which helps one hear) (See also word study of noun hupakoe) literally means to listen under with attentiveness and to respond positively to what is heard. The sense is that one understands and responds accordingly. Note that hupakouo implies an inward attitude of respect and honor, as well as external acts of obedience. Obedience on the part of children consists in listening to the advice given by parents. In Genesis 22 Isaac's willingness to be offered as a sacrifice is a model of such submission.
Hupakouo conveys the sense of subordinating one’s self to the person or thing heard, and hence to obey. The word means to hearken or to give respectful attention and so to obey. This word was used to describe one coming to the door upon hearing a knock, a good picture of obedience.
Webster's 1828 dictionary says that to obey means to comply with the commands, orders or instructions of a superior, or with the requirements of law, moral, political or municipal; to do that which is commanded or required, or to forbear doing that which is prohibited. To submit to the direction or control of. Seamen say, the ship will not obey the helm. To yield to the impulse, power or operation of.
Our English word obey is from Latin oboedīre, from ob- = to, towards + audīre = to hear.
Hupakouo - 21 NT uses - Matt. 8:27; Mk. 1:27; 4:41; Lk. 8:25; 17:6; Acts 6:7; 12:13; Rom. 6:12, 16f; 10:16; Eph. 6:1, 5; Phil. 2:12; Col. 3:20, 22; 2 Thess. 1:8; 3:14; Heb. 5:9; 11:8; 1 Pet. 3:6
Wuest says that
Hughes adds that…
It means to hear under authority and pictures the one hearing as being under the authority of some one else. Hupakouo means to obey on the basis of having paid attention to.
Thayer's first entry states that "properly, of one who on a knock at the door comes to listen who it is" In secular Greek the word spoke of one standing at a door, listening intently, almost eavesdropping. Such was the reference in the writings of Plato, who used the word to describe a doorkeeper. Later on the word came to mean obedience, for after one hears and understands a command or request, he should obey it. (See this meaning in Acts 12:13)
In the context of family relationships, it is notable that the wife is not commanded to obey her husband, as children are to obey their parents and slaves their masters. In other words, a husband is to treat his wife as an equal (cp Ep 5:21-note) and not as his servant or as if she were a child. The husband is not to order the wife about, calling on her to respond to his every wish and command.
Calling him lord - Obviously not in the sense that he was a "god" although unfortunately some husbands do place themselves in such an exalted position (at least in their own mind).
Lord (2962) (kurios from kúros = might, power in turn from kuróo = give authority, confirm) describes One who has absolute ownership and uncontrolled power. signifies sovereign power and authority. In the NT, Jesus is referred to some ten times as Savior and some 700 times as Lord. When the two titles are mentioned together, Lord always precedes Savior. Is He your kurios? In classical Greek, kurios was used of gods and was found on inscriptions applied to different gods such as Hermes, Zeus, etc. Secular Greek also used kurios to describe the head of the family, the one who is "lord" of wife and children (although that does not give him the right to "lord" it over them!).
Kurios was used by Philippian jailer when he said to Paul and Silas after a great earthquake rocked the prison, opening the doors to their prison cell…
Jesus used kurios in teaching that
Kurios was used in secular Greek as a title of honor addressed by subordinates to their superiors, or as a courteous name in the case of persons closely related. In a petition to a high Roman authority we have, “I became very weak, my lord” and in another example “I entreat you, sir, to hasten to me.” Sarah used it as a wifely courtesy to her husband, as a recognition of her willing submission to Abraham's authority over her.
Moses records Sarah's reaction to the prophecy that she would bear a son…
In a similar used of kurios Ruth addressed Boaz saying…
AND YOU HAVE BECOME HER CHILDREN IF YOU (continually) DO WHAT IS RIGHT WITHOUT BEING FRIGHTENED BY ANY FEAR: es egenethete (2PAPI) tekna agathopoiousai (PAPFPN) kai me phoboumenai (PPPFPN) medemian ptoesin: (Ro 9:7, 8, 9; Gal 4:22, 23, 24, 25, 26) (1Pe 3:14,15; Ge 18:15; Is 57:11; Da3:16, 17, 18; Mt 26:69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75; Acts 4:8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,19)
Wuest translates it
The NLT is even more to the point:
The Amplified Version adds that…
Become (1096) (ginomai) is not the verb of being, but of “becoming.” It means to cause to become or to come into existence. It means to enter a new state.
Do what is right (15) (agathopoieo from agathos = benevolent + poiéo = to make or do) literally means good doing. Agathos describes that which is beneficial in addition to being good. Agathos is that which is good in its character, beneficial in its effects and/or useful in its action. Agathos is used in the New Testament primarily of spiritual and moral excellence. Paul uses agathos to describe the gospel as the “glad tidings of good things” (Ro 10:15-note). The writer of Hebrews uses it in the same way, of “the good things to come” of which “Christ appeared as a high priest” (He 9:11-note) and of which the law was “only a shadow” (He 10:1 - note).
The whole matter of subjection is illustrated by a reference to Sarah, who referred to Abraham as lord. Peter is saying that if Sarah ‘obeyed’ Abraham and called him Lord, the Christian wives in Asia should also treat their husbands with deference and respect. Christian women have become the offspring of Sarah, spiritually speaking, and continually do what is right without fear of what their husbands might do.
Lenski explains that…
The daughters of Sarah are not to fear anything but displeasing God. They know that following Christ will mean suffering. But they believe God's promises…
Holy women who fix their hope in God take this promise of blessing through suffering, and they fight the tendency to fear by dwelling on the faithfulness of God.
And then they do what Peter says in chapter 4
These women affirm the sovereign rule of God over their suffering and that they do not suffer apart from His will, ultimately resting their souls in the firm and omnipotent hands of their faithful Creator. They cast out fear and they hope in God. And so they prove themselves to
J H Jowett asks…
1 Peter 3:7 You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: Oi andres homoios sunoikountes (PAPMPN) kata gnosin, os asthenestero skeuei to gunaikeio aponemontes (PAPMPN) timen, os kai sugkleronomois charitos zoes, eis to me egkoptesthai (PPN) tav proseuchas humon
Amplified: In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God's gift of new life. If you don't treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips - Similarly, you husbands should try to understand the wives you live with, honoring them as physically weaker yet equally heirs with you of the grace of eternal life. If you don't do this, you will find it impossible to pray properly. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Husbands, in like manner, let your domestic life with respect to them be governed by the dictates of knowledge, they being the weaker instrument, the feminine, holding in reserve for them particularly, honor as to those who are also fellow-inheritors with you of the grace of life, and this, in order that no (Satanic) inroads be made into your prayers. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: The husbands, in like manner, dwelling with them, according to knowledge, as to a weaker vessel -- to the wife -- imparting honour, as also being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.
YOU HUSBANDS LIKEWISE LIVE WITH YOUR WIVES : Oi andres homoios, sunoikountes (PAPMPN) kata gnosin: (Ge 2:23; Ge 2:24,Pr 5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19; Mal 2:14, 15,16; Mt19:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; 1Co7:3; Col 3:19; Ep 5:25, 26, 27, 28,33)
You husbands - Note that the first words in the Greek sentence (indicates emphasis) is husbands! Listen up! Treat your wife as precious, as a gift from God to be treasured, reassured, protected, and loved, with every tender provision being made for her.
In the same way (3668) (homoios from hómoios = like, resembling) means similarly, likewise, of equal degree or manner and denoting perfect agreement. In like manner. Equally. Too. In the same way. Similar in some respect. Resembling. In most of the NT uses homoios conveys the sense of "to do likewise".
This could refer back to (1 Peter 2:21,22, 23, 24, 25) thus calling on Christian husbands to be Christ-like even as Paul instructed Christian husbands in Ephesus writing…
Likewise without a doubt clearly indicates that submission is the responsibility of a Christian husband as well. How is this possible? It is not naturally possible but is only supernaturally possible as the husband surrenders his will to the filling/control of the sweet will of the Holy Spirit, for as Paul writes he is…
Then Paul instructs believers (both husbands and wives) who are under the control of the Holy Spirit, that one of the manifestations of a Spirit filled life is that they…
Homoios - 30 NT uses - Matt. 22:26; 26:35; 27:41; Mk. 15:31; Lk. 3:11; 5:10, 33; 6:31; 10:32, 37; 13:3; 16:25; 17:28, 31; 22:36; Jn. 5:19; 6:11; 21:13; Rom. 1:27; 1 Co. 7:3f, 22; Heb. 9:21; Jas. 2:25; 1 Pet. 3:1, 7; 5:5; Jude 1:8; Rev. 2:15; 8:12
Here the charge to the husband is to exercise his loving duty of being sensitive to the needs, fears, and feelings of his wife, to subordinate his needs to hers, whether she is a Christian or not. Husbands are to show consideration, chivalry, and companionship.
Live with (4924) (sunoikeo from sún = together with + oikéo = to dwell) is used only here in the NT and means to dwell or reside together, to cohabit. Live with in this context has the same meaning as our modern expression and according to Ray Pritchard fundamentally means “to share the same bed.”
The present tense calls for this to be a husband's lifestyle, something only possible when he is "strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man" (Eph 3:16-note) and continually being "filled with the Spirit" (Eph 5:18-note, cp Gal 5:16-note).
In a sense live with is used like an imperative (1Pe 2:18-note, 1Pe 3:1-note). A truly spiritual husband will fulfill his marital duties and love his wife. Tragically, one survey revealed that the average husband and wife had 37 minutes a week (not a day, but a week!) together in actual communication! Is it any wonder that marriages fall apart after the children grow up and leave home? The husband and wife are left alone to co-habit as virtual strangers! The empty nest era should be the best of times, not the worst of times, dear believing husband or wife!
Writing to the saints at Colossae Paul instructs husbands to
IN AN UNDERSTANDING WAY: kata gnosin:
Pastor Ray Pritchard writes that…
Clearly as husbands, we need to get to know our wives - what pleases them, what displeases them, what we can tell them and what we can't tell them (because it might bring their spirits down -- we need to protect them). I know a godly young man who made a mistake in this area concerning his gentle believing wife. For some reason his parents became angry with this young couple and choose to take out their anger by making unfounded, derogatory remarks about their son's wife. Unfortunately, he passed these words along (when there was really no need to have done so) and it severely wounded her spirit and has the potential to adversely effect their familial interactions the rest of their life. Men, we need to study our wives to know what we can pass along to them and what is best kept to ourselves.
Knowledge (1108) (gnosis from ginosko = to know, learn by experience, take in knowledge of someone, knowledge that goes beyond the merely factual, speaks of a special relationship between the person who knows and the object of the knowledge) in the present context speaks of a practical knowledge, of discretion or of prudence.
With an intelligent recognition of the nature of the marriage relation!!! Somebody asked Mrs. Albert Einstein if she understood Dr. Einstein’s theory of relativity, and she replied, “No, but I understand the Doctor.”
In premarital counseling one pastor gives the couple pads of paper and asked them to write down the three things each one thinks the other enjoys doing the most. Usually, the prospective bride makes her list immediately but the man sits and ponders. And usually the girl is right but the man wrong! What a beginning for a marriage!
The Christian husband needs to know his wife’s moods, feelings, needs, fears, and hopes. He needs to “listen with his heart” and share meaningful communication with her.
How can a husband show consideration for his wife if he does not understand her needs or problems?
To say, “I never knew you felt that way!” is to confess that, at some point, one mate excommunicated the other. When either mate is afraid to be open and honest about a matter, then he or she is building walls and not bridges.
J H Jowett…
AS WITH A WEAKER VESSEL, SINCE SHE IS A WOMAN: os asthenestero skeuei to gunaikeio:
Ray Pritchard writes that…
Weaker (772) (asthenes from a = without + sthénos = strength, bodily vigor) (See study of related verb astheneo - note the concentration of asthenes/astheneo in the epistles to the Corinthians - almost 50% of NT uses) is literally without strength or bodily vigor. Asthenes describes one's state of limited capacity to do or be something and is used literally of physical weakness (most of the uses in the Gospels) and figuratively of weakness in the spiritual arena (weak flesh, weak conscience, weak religious system or commandment [Gal 4:9, Heb 7:18], etc) and thus powerlessness to produce results.
Asthenes - 26 NT uses - Mt. 25:43, 44; 26:41; Mk. 14:38; Lk. 9:2; 10:9; Acts 4:9; 5:15, 16; Rom. 5:6; 1 Co. 1:25, 27; 4:10; 8:7, 9f; 9:22; 11:30; 12:22; 2 Co. 10:10; Gal. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:14; Heb. 7:18; 1 Pet. 3:7
Weaker in the more literal use speaks of a state of limited capacity to do. It means to be something weak. Peter's point is not that the wife is in ANY WAY inferior but that she is physically weaker, and in need of protection, provision, and strength from her husband. Aristotle set a horrible tone arguing that women were by nature inferior to men in every way except sexually. Aristotle was wrong!
The following is a summary the nuances of meaning of asthenes (modified from BDAG)…
Vessel (4632) (skeuos) describes something hollowed out for the purpose of containing something such as liquid. It is a container of any material used for a specific purpose, with the meaning varying according to the context.
Skeuos referred to a vessel used in the services of the temple (Mk 11:16) but was also used to describe household utensils. The English word vessel comes from a Latin word vasellum, the diminutive form of vas, a vase, the Latin words referring to a receptacle which covers and contains. Thus, the word comes to refer to an instrument whereby something is accomplished.
According to some lexicons, Peter's uses of skeuos in this passage is a euphemism in a Hebraist sense describing a wife as her husband's sexual partner.
BDAG summarizes the meanings of skeuos as
Jesus used skeuos to describe a recently converted man named Saul (Paul), Luke recording
Keathley in his commentary on 1Thes 4:1-12 writes that…
Paul used skeuos in his last known epistle writing…
There are 23 uses of skeuos in the NT Matt. 12:29; Mk. 3:27; 11:16; Lk. 8:16; 17:31; Jn. 19:29; Acts 9:15; 10:11, 16; 11:5; 27:17; Ro 9:21-note, Ro 9:22-note, Ro 9:23-note; 2Co 4:7; 1Th 4:4; 2Ti 2:20, 2Ti 2:21; Heb 9:21-note; 1Pe 3:7; Re 2:27-note; Re 18:12-note The NAS translate skeuos as article(2), container(1), goods(2), instrument(1), jar(1), object (3), property(2),sea anchor(1), vessel(4), vessels(6).
There are 226 uses of skeuos in the Septuagint - Gen. 24:53; 27:3; 31:37; 45:20; Exod. 3:22; 11:2; 12:35; 22:7; 25:9, 39; 27:3; 30:27, 28; 31:8; 35:13, 14, 16, 22; 37:16; 38:3, 30; 39:32, 33, 36, 38, 40; 40:9, 10; Lev. 6:28; 8:10; 11:32, 33; 13:49, 52, 53, 57, 58, 59; 14:50; 15:4, 6, 12, 22, 23, 26; Nu 1:50; 3:8, 31, 36; 4:10, 12, 14, 15, 26, 32; 7:1, 85; 18:3; 19:15, 17, 18; 31:6, 20, 50, 51; 35:16, 18, 20, 22; Deut. 1:41; 22:5; Jos. 7:11; Jdg. 9:54; 18:11, 16; Ruth 2:9; 1 Sam. 6:8, 15; 8:12; 10:22; 13:20, 21; 14:1, 6, 7, 12ff, 17; 16:21; 17:54; 20:40; 21:5, 8; 25:13; 30:24; 31:4ff, 9f; 2 Sam. 1:27; 8:8, 10; 17:28; 18:15; 23:37; 24:22; 1 Ki. 6:7; 7:45, 48, 51; 8:4; 10:21, 25; 15:15; 19:21; 2 Ki. 4:3f, 6; 7:15; 11:8, 11; 12:13; 14:14; 20:13; 23:4; 24:13; 25:14, 16; 1 Chr. 9:28f; 10:4f, 9f; 11:39; 12:33, 37; 18:8, 10; 22:19; 23:26; 28:13; 2 Chr. 4:11, 16, 18f; 5:1, 5; 9:20, 24; 15:18; 20:25; 23:7; 24:14; 25:24; 28:24; 29:18f; 32:27; 36:7, 10, 18f; Ezr. 1:6f, 10f; 5:14f; 6:5; 7:19; 8:25ff, 30, 33; Neh. 10:39; 13:5, 8f; Job 28:17; Ps. 2:9; 7:13; 31:12; 71:22; Eccl. 9:18; Is 10:28; 39:2; 52:11; 54:16f; 65:4; Jer. 22:28; 27:16, 19; 28:3, 6; 46:19; 48:12; 49:29; 50:25; 51:20, 34; 52:18; Ezek. 9:1; 12:3f, 7; 15:3; 16:17, 39; 23:26; 27:13; 40:42; Dan. 1:2; 5:2f, 23; 11:8; Hos. 8:8; 13:15; Jon. 1:5; Nah. 2:9; Zech. 11:15;
The husband is to dwell with the wife, remembering that she is an instrument of God as well as the husband, a child of God to be used by Him (not by him! [with a small "h"]) to His glory. The husband must ever keep in mind that she is the weaker instrument of the two, not morally or intellectually, but physically. This attitude toward the wife on the part of the husband therefore includes loving consideration of the wife in view of the fact that she is not physically as strong as he is.
Clearly by weaker Peter does not seek to convey any sense of inferiority as shown by the context. Of what is she also a recipient? She is a fellow heir or joint heir of the grace of life, and thus can in no way be considered inferior in God's eyes.
Since she is a woman - Pritchard comments on why husbands are to do this "since she is a woman"…
AND (continually) GRANT HER HONOR: aponemontes (PAPMPN) timen os kai: (1Co 12:22, 23, 24; 1Th 4:4)
Matthew Henry said the husband’s duty to his wife consisted in
Grant (632) (aponemo from apó = away + némo = distribute) is used only here in the NT and means to apportion, bestow or give. It means to grant that which is appropriate in a relationship (BDAG).
In secular Greek aponemo was used of a prefect (any of various high officials or magistrates of differing functions and ranks in ancient Rome) who gives to all their dues. It describes an officer commended for giving to all their just dues. Josephus uses aponemo to describe the honors Titus paid his troops after the destruction of Jerusalem.
Husbands should continually grant (present tense) submissive wives their just due and not take liberties with their rights.
Honor (5092) (time from tío = pay honor, respect) refers to the worth or merit of some object. It is the amount at which something is valued!
Time - 41 NT uses - Matt. 27:6, 9; Jn. 4:44; Acts 4:34; 5:2f; 7:16; 19:19; 28:10; Rom. 2:7, 10; 9:21; 12:10; 13:7; 1 Co. 6:20; 7:23; 12:23f; Col. 2:23; 1 Thess. 4:4; 1 Tim. 1:17; 5:17; 6:1, 16; 2 Tim. 2:20f; Heb. 2:7, 9; 3:3; 5:4; 1 Pet. 1:7; 2:7; 3:7; 2 Pet. 1:17; Rev. 4:9, 11; 5:12f; 7:12; 21:26
Time is a term used to describe the value of a precious stone. Thus, wives are to be treasured as one would treasure a precious stone (cp Pr 31:10, Pr 31:10KJV speaking of her worth). Husbands are to show their wives they are precious by spending time with them, talking with them, praying with them, protecting them (see 1Cor 13:7-see note on meaning of "bears all things"), loving them as Christ loved the church and even as we do our own bodies (Eph 5:25-note, Eph 5:28-note, Eph 5:29-note).
Christian husbands are to deem their helpmate whom God has given them as precious, and so are to treat them with honor. Christianity introduced chivalry into the relationship between men and women. In the Greek and Roman culture it was common for the husband to expect his wife to carry out the domestic duties, but not to enter into a true, intimate friendship with him. In contrast, the Christian husband is to love and respect his wife so his prayers won't be impeded. Since his prayers would include petitions for her salvation, it's important that he develop an intimate friendship with her.
The NIV rendering of treat with respect is a bit "weak", since one can treat someone with detached, formal 'respect' and yet give no special honor to that person.
Peter says husbands are to be as a habitual practice (their lifestyle) assigning or apportioning honor to their wives.
To honor your wife includes respect or esteem but again it is not cold, methodical interaction. Meditate on the contrasting thought: contempt, despite, disdain, scorn; disregard, neglect, slighting or the overt opposite = dishonor. The cruelty which is often the hardest to bear is often not deliberate but the product of sheer thoughtlessness.
Compare Paul's admonition to the Christian husbands in the church at Ephesus where Paul helps understand what it means to honor our wives…
J H Jowett…
AS A FELLOW HEIR OF THE GRACE OF LIFE: kai sugkleronomois charitos zoes: (Eph 3:6; Titus 3:7; Heb 1:14)
Fellow heir (4789) (sugkleronomos [word study] from sun = together + Kleronomos = heir, sharer by lot) means one who participates in the same lot, a joint heir in this case refers to marriage, the best relationship earthly life has to offer. The husband must cultivate companionship and fellowship with his wife, Christian or not.
Joint heir is also used by Paul in Romans 8 to refer to those who have been saved by grace through faith writing that..
Solomon (who had experience with too many wives - 1Ki 11:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11f) wrote…
Grace (5485)(charis [word study]) is a common NT word but one that is somewhat difficult to define and any definition I attempt will fall far short of the wealth of meaning found in this great Biblical word! That said, one of the most familiar short definitions of grace is "God's unmerited favor." (Lewis Sperry Chafer). Sadly, the working definition of grace for many believers goes little beyond this basic simple definition.
As Hampton Keathley says
SO THAT YOUR PRAYERS MAY NOT BE HINDERED: eis to me egkoptesthai (PPN) tas proseuchas humon: (Job 42:8; Mt 5:23,24; 18:19; Ro 8:26,27; Ep 4:30; 6:18)
So that (1519) (eis) is a preposition which primarily expresses the idea of motion into any place or thing but is used here in the figurative sense to mark the point toward which the husband's godly care of his wife will end - an open channel to the throne of the God of all grace! The result, effect or consequence of his treating his wife as God instructs (and enables by His indwelling Spirit) is beautiful fellowship with God Himself! This should be a strong motivating force for all of us husbands!
Ray Pritchard observes that…
Hindered (1581) (ekkopto from ek =from, out + kópto = cut) literally means to cut off or from (literally of a tree - Mt 3:10). It was used as a military metaphor meaning to cut in on, throw obstacles in the way of, or cut up the road so that normal movement was impossible. It means to cause to cease by removing, to do away with, to eliminate and more figuratively as in the present verse to hinder, frustrate, impede or retard.
Note that ekkopto is used here in 1Peter 3:7 by the Greek Textus Receptus (from which the King James translation derives), while the more modern manuscripts use egkopto/enkopto (NAS).
The idea inherent in both verbs is the same so that in Peter's warning failure to treat one's wife with understanding will get in the way of or cut off the husband's attempts to pray.
TDNT writes that in secular Greek ekkopto had several nuances…
a. The first sense of ekkopto is “to strike out” (e.g., the eyes, branches in pruning, etc.).
b. A second sense is “to break open” (doors, locks, etc.).
c. A third meaning is “to hew down” (trees)
d. Figuratively we then have the sense “to drive out” or
e. “to exclude” or “repel.”
f. Another figurative meaning is “to extirpate” or “destroy” (cities etc., but also states of mind, impulses, claims, etc) (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Eerdmans)
Ekkopto - 11 NT uses and 36 in the Septuagint (LXX) (Gen. 32:8; 36:35; Exod. 21:27; 34:13; Num. 16:14; Deut. 7:5; 12:3; 20:19f; Jos. 15:16; Jdg. 16:21; 21:6; 1 Ki. 15:13; 2 Chr. 14:3, 14f; 31:1; Job 14:7; 19:10; 42:17; Ps. 74:5; Prov. 30:17; Isa. 9:10; 27:9; Jer. 6:6; 10:3; 22:7; 44:7f; 46:23; Dan. 2:40; 4:14, 17, 23; 9:26; Mic. 5:14; Zech. 12:11)
Webster says that hinder means to make slow or difficult the progress of and stresses causing harmful or annoying delay or interference with progress.
Ekkopto is in the present tense indicating continuous action (continuously cut off - at least until we confess, repent and obey) and the passive voice which signifies the action of hindering comes from an outside source, specifically God.
Failure to give due honor to the wife will result in a cutting in on the efficacy of prayer, probably both his individual prayers & their united prayer times.
Mark it down: A husband's domestic relationship to his wife has a profound impact on his own spiritual fellowship with God!
This warning is very vivid to us now with ''call waiting'' in which one party abruptly says ''Excuse me while I get this other line!" In context this might refer specifically to the husband’s prayer!
Our fellowship with God can never be right, if our fellowship with our fellow-man is wrong. It is when we are at one (peace, unity, one heart and mind) with each other that we are most at one with our God. Do not be deceived. John explains that…
Disrupted husband to wife communication places a "brass roof" over the husband's prayers so that they do not ascend to the throne of God.
The Psalmist writes that…
Our fellowship with God is closely related to that with his fellow human beings John making this quite clear writing that…
Another way to look at this verse is to realize that God is so concerned that Christian husbands live in an understanding and loving way with their wives, that he "interrupts" His relationship with them when they are not treating their wives in a manner worthy of the Lord (cp grieving the Spirit - Ep 4:30-note).
The application of the principle in this passage in the life of every Christian husband is absolutely vital. No Christian husband should presume to think that any spiritual good will be accomplished by his life without an effective ministry of prayer. And no husband may expect an effective prayer life unless he lives with his wife "in an understanding way, granting her honor".
Husbands remember that the first manifestation of genuine, Spirit enabled love is a long fuse…
1. Are we partners or competitors?
2. Are we helping each other become more spiritual?
3. Are we depending on the externals or the eternals? The artificial or the real?
4. Do we understand each other better?
5. Are we sensitive to each other’s feelings and ideas, or taking each other for granted?
6. Are we seeing God answer our prayers?
7. Are we enriched because of our marriage, or robbing each other of God’s blessing? (adapted from Warren Wiersbe)
J H Jowett…
Opening the Door - When my wife and I went out to lunch with some friends, I noticed that the husband went around to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for his wife. I said to him, "Some women might consider that demeaning." "That's right," he said. "One woman saw me do that and remarked, 'I'm sure she's perfectly capable of opening the door for herself!' I told her, 'I don't open the door for my wife because she's incapable. I do it to honor her.'"
Dwell With Understanding- My wife, Marlene, and I have been married for some 30 years, and have learned to appreciate each other and enjoy each other’s unique qualities. But even after all these years she still surprises me from time to time. Recently, she reacted to a news report in a way that was opposite to what I expected. I told her, “Wow, that shocks me. I never would have thought you would land there on this issue.” Her response? “Your job is to figure me out, and my job is to keep you guessing!” The responsibility to understand your spouse is what keeps married life interesting and stretching.
Marriage thrives in a climate of love and respect.
Understand One Another - One of the best ways for a man to love his wife is to understand her. Peter explains that it is imperative for a husband to “dwell with [his wife] with understanding” (1Peter 3:7).
To those whose lives we touch in life,
Opening The Door - When my wife and I went out to lunch with some friends, I noticed that the husband went around to the passenger side of the car and opened the door for his wife. I said to him, "Some women might consider that demeaning." "That's right," he said. "One woman saw me do that and remarked, 'I'm sure she's perfectly capable of opening the door for herself!' I told her, 'I don't open the door for my wife because she's incapable. I do it to honor her.'"
THINKING IT OVER
Counterpoint - In a discussion about marriage, one person said, "The key to a good relationship is that 'two shall become one.'" Another countered, "Yes, but which one?" Is it possible to be "one" without sacrificing our individuality?
Harmony is pleasing
|Pastor Steven Cole (Click link for 100's of expositional messages) has the following excellent message…
Understanding Your Wife
I read a fictional story called “Johnny Lingo’s Eight-Cow Wife” (by Patricia McGerr, Reader’s Digest [2/88], pp. 138-141) that is a parable on our text. It took place on a primitive Pacific island, where a man paid the dowry for his wife in cows. Two or three cows could buy a decent wife, four or five a very nice one. But Johnny Lingo had offered an unheard of eight cows for Sarita, a girl whom everyone in her home village thought rather plain looking. The local folks all made fun of Johnny, who they thought was crazy to pay so much for a wife.
People tend to live up—or down—to how we treat them. If we offer repeated praise and affirmation, the person responds by living up to it. If we run the person down, they oblige us by meeting our negative expectations. Peter tells husbands that, like Johnny Lingo, they should treat their mates as eight-cow wives. Husbands should understand and honor their wives.
The reason Peter gives this command may startle you, if you aren’t overly familiar with the verse. We are not to treat our wives well so that we will have happy marriages, although that will be one result. Rather, we are to treat our wives properly so that our prayers will not be hindered! Isn’t that startling—that there is an undeniable connection between how you treat your wife and your prayer life! Since effective prayer is at the heart of a walk with God, this means that if a man mistreats his wife, I don’t care what he claims, he cannot be enjoying close communion with God.
Husbands are to understand and honor their wives
so that they will have an effective prayer life.
Although it is only a single verse, it is brimming with profound truth that will transform every marriage if we husbands will work at applying its principles. I would translate it freely like this: “Also, husbands should dwell together with their wives according to knowledge, assigning to them a place of honor as to a delicate instrument, namely, a feminine one, as a fellow-heir of the gracious gift of eternal life, so that a roadblock will not cut off your prayers.” There are two commands and one result:
1. Husbands are to understand their wives.
We all have a deep-seated longing to be understood by at least one other person who cares for us and accepts us for who we are. We all enter marriage with high hopes for a deepening understanding to be built between us and our mate. And yet, all too often, a couple grows increasingly callused toward one another.
In American culture, for some reason, men are often inept at understanding their wives on a deep level. So there are disappointments and hurt feelings that never get resolved. The husband shrugs his shoulders, ignores his wife whom he doesn’t understand, and pours himself into his job, which seems to be something he can handle. She shares her feelings with women friends and gets caught up in the frenzy of raising children and running a household. And then the nest starts emptying and the wife starts thinking about going back to school and getting a fulfilling job at about the same time the husband realizes that he isn’t fulfilled through his job and what he really wants is intimacy with his distant wife (or with a younger version who excites him more). It’s no surprise that the divorce curve shoots up at this point in life.
This piece, called “The Wall” (author unknown) captures the drift that often sets in when understanding is lacking in a marriage:
No one plans for that to happen, but we all know it does happen all too frequently. How can we prevent it? By working at three aspects of understanding our wives implied in this verse:
A. Understanding your wife involves developing and maintaining togetherness in your marriage.
Peter says that you should “live with” your wife. You say, “I’ve got that down! We both live at the same address and share the same bed and eat many meals together.” But the Greek word means more than just sharing living quarters. It is used only here in the New Testament, but in the Greek Old Testament it is used several times to refer to the sexual relationship in marriage. Peter uses it to refer to the aspect of togetherness. A husband is to promote a spirit of emotional, spiritual, and physical closeness that is only possible in the commitment of marriage.
It’s significant that Peter puts the responsibility for togetherness on the husband, not on the wife. In our culture, women are often the relational ones. Men aren’t real communicative; they just sort of grunt. But the Bible puts the burden for intimacy in marriage primarily on the husband, not on the wife. If there is a drift in your marriage, men, you are to take the initiative to bring things back together. This doesn’t mean that a wife can’t act first if she notices a distance in the relationship. But it does mean that as men we are to be active, not passive, in developing and maintaining a close relationship with our wives.
I read a true story about a man who made a private vow to try to be a loving, giving, unselfish husband for the two weeks of the family’s vacation. He worked hard at noticing his wife, of attending to her needs, of doing what she wanted to do, even if he really rather would have done something else. It went great. Toward the end of the time, he made a new vow to keep on choosing to love his wife like this.
But on the last night of the vacation, his wife was obviously upset. Finally she blurted, “Tom, do you know something I don’t?” “What do you mean?” he asked. “Well … that checkup I had several weeks ago … our doctor … did he tell you something about me? Tom, you’ve been so good to me … am I dying?” It took a moment for it all to sink in. Then Tom burst out laughing, took her in his arms, and said, “No, honey, you’re not dying; I’m just starting to live.” (Tom Anderson, “How Love Came Back,” Reader’s Digest [10/86], pp. 129-130.) Maybe husbands should treat their wives as if they were about to die!
It may sound perfectly obvious, but one way to develop and maintain togetherness in your marriage is to do things together. So many couples live in their own separate worlds. Men, help your wife with the dishes sometimes, not just because she needs the help, but to be together. Take walks together, go shopping together when you can. If you can’t tolerate shopping, at least drive her there sometimes and sit in the mall and watch the people or read a book. The idea is, to be together so that you intertwine your lives. As Simone Signoret observed,
B. Understanding your wife involves knowing her well.
“Dwell together with your wives according to knowledge.” This comes partly through spending time together. The Greek word means to grasp the full reality and nature of the object, based upon experience and evaluation. It is the apprehension of truth, especially (in the N. T.) of spiritual truth (see point C). But here it refers not just to spiritual knowledge, but also to a knowledge of your wife based on careful observation.
Shortly after Ray Perkins took over as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team, someone asked him if his wife objected to his 18-hour workdays. He replied, “I don’t know. I don’t see her that much.” He should have read the fortune cookie message that said, “If a man spend too much time with his fortune, someone else might steal his cookie!” Knowing your wife is not automatic. It takes time and effort.
Every husband needs to become an avid student of his wife. You need to know her personality, her likes and dislikes, her needs, her strengths, her weaknesses, her fears, her hopes, her joys. Such knowledge is a personal trust to be guarded with great care.
That man knew his wife and he didn’t use his knowledge to tear her down, but to build her up. That’s what Peter is talking about.
C. Understanding your wife involves knowing God and His truth well.
To dwell with your wife “according to knowledge” means knowing her well. But also it has the nuance of knowing spiritual truth well. This is implicit in the phrase, “as fellow-heirs of the grace of life.” This
points to the vast spiritual riches that are ours equally as men and women through faith in Christ (1Pe 1:4-note, 1Pe 1:13-note). As a husband leads his wife spiritually into a fuller knowledge of all that God has prepared for those who love Him, they will grow together in a depth of intimacy the world can’t know. In knowing God and His Word, we will come to know ourselves and our wives and thus be able to relate to them more adequately.
This means, men, that if you’re spiritually passive, you’re not being obedient to what God wants you to be doing as a husband. A lot of men feel inadequate spiritually. Their wives spend time going to Bible studies so that they know more about spiritual things than their husbands do. Many men leave early for work and come home late, too exhausted to spend time alone with God. I know it’s tough. But you can do what you want to do, and if growing and leading your family spiritually is a priority, you can do it.
Thus our first responsibility is to understand our wives, which means developing togetherness, knowing her well, and knowing God and His truth well.
2. Husbands are to honor their wives.
The word “grant” means to assign or apportion that which is due. A wife deserves honor (the Greek word has the nuance of value or worth). Grammatically, the phrase “as a delicate instrument, namely, a feminine one” can go either with “dwell together according to knowledge” or with “assigning her a place of honor.” I take it with the latter, the sense being, rather than take advantage of your wife because she is physically weaker, you should treat her carefully as you would a valuable instrument. A doctor would never think of taking an expensive, delicate instrument and using it to pound a nail. He would “honor” that instrument by treating it well.
In my opinion, if Christian husbands had practiced this well, we wouldn’t have the backlash of the so-called “evangelical feminist” movement. Notice the fine balance that Peter lays out: On the one hand, the wife is the “weaker vessel,” who should submit to her husband (1Pe 3:1-note) for the protection and care she needs. On the other hand, she is a fellow-heir of the grace of life, which means that she is not inferior personally or spiritually. Her husband is not to dominate her, but rather to assign to her a place of honor. Thus the Bible maintains a distinctive role for the sexes, but it does not put down women as second-class citizens.
A major part of honoring your wife involves how you speak to her and about her. There is no room for jokes or sarcasm that put down your wife. Also, if you have children, it is your job as head of the household to make sure that they honor their mother. You model it by treating her with honor, but you enforce it by disciplining them for disrespect toward her. You should join the husband of the virtuous woman (Pr 31:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 29, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31) in singing her praises. One of the things I often say to Marla and about her behind her back is that she makes our home a refuge for me. She serves you as a church by doing that, so that I get recharged for the ministry by being at home with her.
So the two commands are,
3. The result of understanding and honoring your wife will be an effective prayer life.
As I said, this is a somewhat startling conclusion. I would think that Peter would have said, “so that you will have a happy marriage,” or “so that God will be glorified.” Both will be true, of course. But Peter is calling attention to something we often forget or deny: That there is always a correlation between your relationship with your wife and your relationship with God (Mt 5:23, 24-note; Mt 6:14, 15-note). If you don’t want a roadblock thrown up in your prayer life, then you must understand and honor your wife. It’s also interesting that if the Greek word translated “dwell together” has a sexual connotation, then both here and in 1Co 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Scripture brings together that which we invariably separate, namely, sex and prayer. (I’ll let you explore the theological implications of that!)
But please note: If your prayers are not effective, your life is not effective in the ultimate sense. Prayer is at the very center of life, since it is our link with the living God. Everything else in life hinges on having an effective prayer life. Yet, sadly, many Christian couples never pray together. If you don’t pray with your wife, men, why not swallow your pride or fear and begin?
Husbands, your work is cut out for you: To make your wife an “eight-cow” wife! You are to understand her and honor her so that your prayers will not be hindered. The late Bible teacher Harry Ironside once had a super-spiritual young man come to him and say,
He probably thought that Ironside would commend him for his great dedication to God. But instead, Ironside wisely asked him,
When the young man stammered,
1. How can a man who has trouble expressing his feelings learn to communicate?
2. How can a man with a habit of putting down his wife learn to build her up instead?
3. How can a man who feels inadequate learn to lead spiritually?