1 Peter 2:1-10

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings,

[Wherefore...] This is in close connection with the preceeding chapter, from which it should not be taken separately, and the subject is continued to the end of the tenth verse.

[Laying aside all malice] These tempers and dispositions must be common to mankind as they are frequently spoken against; Christianity can never indulge in such because they show, not the mind of Christ, but of the old murderer.

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

[As newborn babes] In the preceeding chapter, 1 Peter 1:23, the apostle states that they had been "Born again", and as a newborn infant desires that nourishment which nature has provided for it, so they, as being born aqain --born from above, should as ernestly require that heavenly nourishment which is suited to their new nature. This the apostle calls the sincere milk of the word or, as some translate, the unadulterated milk; the pure doctrines of the Gospel as delivered in the epistles and gospels and preached by the apostles and their successors.

[That ye may grow thereby] Nothing can so effectively promote this end as continually receiving the pure truth of God, claiming the fulfilment of it's promises and acting according to it's instructions.

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

[If so be ye have tasted] There could be no doubt that they had tasted the goodness of Christ who were born again of incorruptible seed and whose hearts were purified by the truth and who had like precious faith with the apostles themselves.

[That the Lord is gracious] The Lord is a loving provider. It is a good thing to become dependent upon him. See Psalm 34:8.

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,

[To whom coming] Those who have been born again and have tasted the milk of the word are bonded with him and drawn to him.

[As unto a living stone] This is a reference to Isaiah 28:16. Jesus Christ is represented as the foundation upon which the Christian church is built, and upon which it must continue to rest. The stone is called living. He is the source of life to all his followers.

[Disallowed indeed of men] This is a plain reference to the prophecy found in Psalm 118:22.
The living stone was rejected by the Jewish religious leadership who thought they were doing God a favor. They were, but not in the way they thought. The priests, as part of their duties, were responsible for the slaughter of the sacrificial lambs and, inadvertently, for slaying, "The Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.

[Chosen of God] To be the Savior of the world, the founder of the church and the foundation upon which it rests. As Christ is the choice of the Father there can be no doubt that his sacrifice was sufficient for the salvation of a lost world.

[Precious] However despised by men, Jesus is infinitely honorable in the sight of God; and those who are united by faith in him partake of the same honor, being members of that great and glorious body of which he is the head, and stones in that supurb building of which he is the foundation. Colossians 1:18.

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

[A spiritual house] The spiritual house is the holy, or Christian family composed of the sons and daughters of God Almighty, made so by the redemption purchased by Christ. See Galatians 4:4-6, Romans 8:16.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

[Behold, I lay in Sion] It was at Jerusalem that Christ suffered and there that the preaching of the Gospel commenced.

[A chief corner stone] It is called the chief corner stone because it is laid in a corner of the foundation, where three dimensions meet, and is the reference point for the remainder of the building.

[Shall not be confounded] These words are quoted from Isaiah 28:16, as recorded in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament which was in common use at that time. The idea of confounded is that an external force can cause one's hopes and plans to be thwarted. No power in the universe can thwart God. He who comes to God, through Christ, for salvation shall not be confounded.

7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

[Unto you therefore which believe] He is precious.

[Unto them which be disobedient] He is a stumbling stone.
God is the same. Christ is the same. What makes the difference between a stepping stone and a stumbling stone is the attitude of the heart of the person.
Sadly, many people have vague hopes of someday being with God in Heaven but they prefer to substitute their own criteria for those set forth by God in his Word. They profess to be offended by the Gospel of Christ. Regardless of their displeasure, God has made Christ the only way. Romans 9:30-33, John 14:6.

9 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;

[Ye are a chosen generation] Here Peter is applying titles which were formerly given to the whole Jewish nation, all Israelites without exception, all who were in the covenant of God by circumcision, whether they were holy persons or not. (Exodus 19:5-6). Thus Christians; i.e. all who believe in Christ, whether Jews or Gentiles, have an identity and a special relationship with the Savior, not because of birth, but because of the second birth. Please find time to read, all in one sitting, Matthew 26:26-29, Hebrews ch. 8-10, Revelation 21:1-27.

10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

[In time past were not a people, but now are the people of God] A peculiar [distinct] people, called to this state of salvation out of darkness - idolatry, superstition and ungodliness - into his marvelous light. And they who have these privileges will show forth the praises of him who called them. It is evident that the, "People of God" whom Peter is addressing is composed of believers from among both the Jews and Gentiles. It was Peter to whom God gave that clear revelation. See Acts ch. 10.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 02/13/2007

Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006,2007 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved