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1 Peter 2:9

    1 Peter 2:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

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

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But you are a special people, a holy nation, priests and kings, a people given up completely to God, so that you may make clear the virtues of him who took you out of the dark into the light of heaven.

    Webster's Revision

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

    World English Bible

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

    English Revised Version (ERV)

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

    Clarke's Commentary on 1 Peter 2:9

    Ye are a chosen generation - The titles formerly given to the whole Jewish Church, i.e. to all the Israelites without exception, all who were in the covenant of God by circumcision, whether they were holy persons or not, are here given to Christians in general in the same way; i.e. to all who believed in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, and who received baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    The Israelites were a chosen or elected race, to be a special people unto the Lord their God, above all people that were upon the face of the earth, Deuteronomy 7:6.

    They were also a royal priesthood, or what Moses calls a kingdom of priests, Exodus 19:6. For all were called to sacrifice to God; and he is represented to be the King of that people, and Father of those of whom he was king; therefore they were all royal.

    They were a holy nation, Exodus 19:6; for they were separated from all the people of the earth, that they might worship the one only true God, and abstain from the abominations that were in the heathen world.

    They were also a peculiar people, λαος εις περιποιησιν, a purchased people; סגלה segullah, a private property, belonging to God Almighty, Deuteronomy 7:6; none other having any right in them, and they being under obligation to God alone. All these things the apostle applies to the Christians, to whom indeed they belong, in their spirit and essence, in such a way as they could not belong to the Hebrews of old. But they were called to this state of salvation out of darkness - idolatry, superstition, and ungodliness, into his marvellous light - the Gospel dispensation, which, in reference to the discoveries it had made of God, his nature, will, and gracious promises towards mankind, differed as much from the preceding dispensation of the Jews, as the light of the meridian sun from the faint twinkling of a star. And they had these privileges that they might show forth the praises of Him who had thus called them; αρετας, the virtues, those perfections of the wisdom, justice, truth, and goodness of God, that shone most illustriously in the Christian dispensation. These they were to exhibit in a holy and useful life, being transformed into the image of God, and walking as Christ himself walked.

    Barnes' Notes on 1 Peter 2:9

    But ye are a chosen generation - In contradistinction from those who, by their disobedience, had rejected the Saviour as the foundation of hope. The people of God are often represented as his chosen or elected people. See the notes at 1 Peter 1:2.

    A royal priesthood - See the notes at 1 Peter 2:5. The meaning of this is, probably, that they "at once bore the dignity of kings, and the sanctity of priests" - Doddridge. Compare Revelation 1:6; "And hath made us kings and priests unto God." See also Isaiah 61:6; "But ye shall be named priests of the Lord; men shall call ye ministers of our God." It may be, however, that the word royal is used only to denote the dignity of the priestly office which they sustained, or that they constituted, as it were, an entire nation or kingdom of priests. They were a kingdom over which he presided, and they were all priests; so that it might be said they were a kingdom of priests - a kingdom in which all the subjects were engaged in offering sacrifice to God. The expression appears to be taken from Exodus 19:6 - "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests" - and is such language as one who had been educated as a Jew would be likely to employ to set forth the dignity of those whom he regarded as the people of God.

    An holy nation - This is also taken from Exodus 19:6. The Hebrews were regarded as a nation consecrated to God; and now that they were cast off or rejected for their disobedience, the same language was properly applied to the people whom God had chosen in their place - the Christian church.

    A peculiar people - Compare the notes at Titus 2:14. The margin here is purchased. The word "peculiar," in its common acceptation now, would mean that they were distinguished from others, or were singular. The reading in the margin would mean that they had been bought or redeemed. Both these things are so, but neither of them expresses the exact sense of the original. The Greek λαὸς εἰς περιποίησιν laos eis peripoiēsin) means, "a people for a possession;" that is, as pertaining to God. They are a people which he has secured as a possession, or as his own; a people, therefore, which belong to him, and to no other. In this sense they are special as being His; and, being such, it may be inferred that they should be special in the sense of being unlike others (unique) in their manner of life. But that idea is not necessarily in the text. There seems to be here also an allusion to Exodus 19:5; "Ye shall be a peculiar treasure with me (Septuagint λαὸς περιούσιος laos periousios) above all people."

    That ye should show forth the praises of him - Margin, "virtues." The Greek word (ἀρετὴ aretē) means properly "good quality, excellence" of any kind. It means here the excellences of God - His goodness, His wondrous deeds, or those things which make it proper to praise Him. This shows one great object for which they were redeemed. It was that they might proclaim the glory of God, and keep up the remembrance of His wondrous deeds in the earth. This is to be done:

    (a) by proper ascriptions of praise to him in public, family, and social worship;

    (b) by being always the avowed friends of God, ready ever to vindicate His government and ways;

    (c) by endeavoring to make known His excellences to all those who are ignorant of Him; and,

    (d) by such a life as shall constantly proclaim His praise - as the sun, the moon, the stars, the hills, the streams, the flowers do, showing what God does. The consistent life of a devoted Christian is a constant setting forth of the praise of God, showing to all that the God who has made him such is worthy to be loved.

    Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light - On the word called, see the notes at Ephesians 4:1. Darkness is the emblem of ignorance, sin, and misery, and refers here to their condition before their conversion; light is the emblem of the opposite, and is a beautiful representation of the state of those who are brought to the knowledge of the gospel. See the notes at Acts 26:18. The word marvelous means wonderful; and the idea is, that the light of the gospel was such as was unusual, or not to be found elsewhere, as that excites wonder or surprise which we are not accustomed to see. The primary reference here is, undoubtedly, to those who had been pagans, and to the great change which had been produced by their having been brought to the knowledge of the truth as revealed in the gospel; and, in regard to this, no one can doubt that the one state deserved to be characterized as darkness, and the other as light. The contrast was as great as that between midnight and noonday. But what is here said is substantially correct of all who are converted, and is often as strikingly true of those who have been brought up in Christian lands, as of those who have lived among the pagans. The change in conversion is often so great and so rapid, the views and feelings are so different before and after conversion, that it seems like a sudden transition from midnight to noon. In all cases, also, of true conversion, though the change may not be so striking, or apparently so sudden, there is a change of which this may be regarded as substantially an accurate description. In many cases the convert can adopt this language in all its fulness, as descriptive of his own conversion; in all cases of genuine conversion it is true that each one can say that he has been called from a state in which his mind was dark to one in which it is comparatively clear.

    Wesley's Notes on 1 Peter 2:9

    2:9 But ye - Who believe in Christ Are - In a higher sense than ever the Jews were. A chosen or elect race, a royal priesthood - Kings and priests unto God, Rev 1:6. As princes, ye have power with God, and victory over sin, the world, and the devil: as priests, ye are consecrated to God, for offering spiritual sacrifices. Ye Christians are as one holy nation, under Christ your King. A purchased people - Who are his peculiar property. That ye may show forth - By your whole behaviour, to all mankind. The virtues - The excellent glory, the mercy, wisdom, and power of him, Christ, who hath called you out of the darkness of ignorance, error, sin, and misery.

    Verses Related to 1 Peter 2:9

    Psalms 35:28 - And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
    Romans 4:11 - And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    Psalms 92:1 - It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:

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