1 Peter 2:24 MEANING

1 Peter 2:24
(24) Who his own self.--This verse, like the "for you" in 1 Peter 2:21, is intended to make the readers feel the claims of gratitude, not to set before them another point in which Christ was to be imitated. But at the same time it serves to enforce still more strongly the two points already mentioned--i.e., sinlessness and suffering. So far was Christ from "doing sins," that He actually His own self bore ours, and in so doing endured the extremity of anguish "in His own body," so that He could sympathise with the corporal chastisements of these poor servants; and "on the tree," too, the wicked slave's death.

Bare our sins . . . on the tree.--This brings us face to face with a great mystery; and to add to the difficulty of the interpretation, almost each word is capable of being taken in several different ways. Most modern scholars are agreed to reject "on the tree," in favour of the marginal "to," the proper meaning of the Greek preposition, when connected (as here) with the accusative, being what is expressed in colloquial English by the useful compound "on-to the tree." It is, however, not obligatory to see motion consciously intended in this preposition and accusative everywhere. It is used, for instance, Mark 4:38, of sleeping on the pillow; in 2 Corinthians 3:15, of the veil resting upon their hearts; in Revelation 4:4, of the elders sitting upon their thrones. This word, then, will give us but little help to discover the meaning of the word translated "bare." (1) That verb means literally "to carry or take up," and is used thus in Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, of taking the disciples up the Mount of Transfiguration; and in Luke 24:51, of Jesus being carried up into heaven: therefore Hammond, Grimm, and others would here understand it to be, "He carried our sins up with Him on-to the tree," there to expiate them by His death. (2) A much commoner meaning of the word is that which it bears in 1 Peter 2:5, "to offer up" (so also in Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 13:15; James 2:21). The substantive formed from it (Anaphora) is still the liturgical term for the sacrificial section of the Eucharistic service. This interpretation is somewhat tempting, because the very preposition here used, with the very same case, appears in James 2:21, and frequently in the Old Testament, together with our present verb, for "to offer up upon the altar." In this way it would be, "He offered up our sins in His own body on the altar of the cross." So Luther and others take it. This would be perfect, were it not for the strangeness of regarding the sins themselves as a sacrifice to be offered on the altar. The only way to make sense of it in that case would be to join very closely "our sins in His own body"--i.e., as contained and gathered up in His own sinless body, which might come to nearly the same thing as saying that He "offered up His own body laden with our sins" upon that altar. (3) Both these renderings, however, pass over the fact that St. Peter is referring to Isaiah 53. In the English version of that chapter, "hath borne," "shall bear," "bare," appears in 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:11-12, indifferently; but the Hebrew is not the same in each case, for in 1 Peter 2:11 the word for "shall bear" is identical with that rightly rendered "carry" in 1 Peter 2:4, and has not the same signification as that which appears as "to bear" in 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:12. The difference between these two Hebrew roots seems to be that the verb sabal in 1 Peter 2:11 means "to carry," as a porter carries a load, or as our Lord carried His cross; while the verb nasa,' used in 1 Peter 2:4 and 1 Peter 2:12, means rather "to lift or raise," which might, of course, be the action preparatory to that other of "carrying." Now, the Greek word which we have here undoubtedly better represents nasa' than sabal, but the question is complicated by the fact that the LXX. uses it to express both alike in 1 Peter 2:11-12, observing at the same time the distinction between "iniquities" and "sin," while in 1 Peter 2:4 (where again it reads "our sins" instead of "our griefs") it adopts a simpler verb; and St. Peter's language here seems to be affected by all three passages. The expression "our sins" (which comes in so strangely with the use of "you" all round) seems a reminiscence of 1 Peter 2:4 (LXX.). The order in which the words occur is precisely the order of 1 Peter 2:11, and the tense points to 1 Peter 2:12, as well as the parallel use in Hebrews 9:28, where the presence of the words "of many" proves that the writer was thinking of 1 Peter 2:12. We cannot say for certain, then, whether St. Peter meant to represent nasa' or sabal. We have some clue, however, to the way in which the Greek word was used, by finding it in Numbers 14:33, where the "whoredoms" of the fathers are said to be "borne" by their children (the Hebrew there being nasa'). Many instances in classical Greek lead to the conclusion that in such cases it implies something being laid or inflicted from without upon the person who "bears." Thus, in Numbers 14:33, it will be, "your children will have to bear your whoredoms," or, "will have laid upon them your whoredoms." In Hebrews 9:28 it will be, "Christ was once for all presented (at the altar), to have the sins of many laid upon Him." Here it will be, "Who His own self had our sins laid upon His body on the tree." Then comes a further question. The persons who hold the substitute theory of the Atonement assert that "our sins" here stands for "the punishment of our sins." This is, however, to use violence with words; we might with as good reason translate 1 Peter 2:22, "Who did, or performed, no punishment for sin." St. Peter asserts that Christ, in His boundless sympathy with fallen man, in His union with all mankind through the Incarnation whereby He became the second Adam, actually took, as His own, our sins, as well as everything else belonging to us. He was so identified with us, that in the great Psalm of the Messianic sacrifice, He calls them "My sins" (Psalm 40:12), sinless as He was. (See St. Matthew's interpretation of the same thought, Matthew 8:17.)

That we being dead.--Just as the former part of this verse is an expansion of "Christ suffered for us," so the latter part is an expansion of "that ye should follow His steps." The "we," however, is too emphatically placed in the English. To St. Peter, the thought of our union with Christ is so natural, that he slips easily over it, and passes on to the particular point of union which he has in view. "He bore our sins on the tree, in order that, having thus become 'lost' to those sins, we might live to righteousness." The words present, perhaps, a closer parallel to Colossians 1:22 than to any other passage; but comp. also Romans 6:2; Romans 6:8; Romans 6:11, and 2 Corinthians 5:14, and Notes. St. Peter's word for "dying" in this place is not elsewhere found in the New Testament, and is originally an euphemism for death; literally, to be missing--i.e., when sin comes to seek its old servants it finds them gone.

With whose stripes ye were healed.--Observe how soon St. Peter reverts to the second person, even though he has to change the text he is quoting. Another mark of his style may well be noticed here, viz., his fondness for a number of co-ordinate relative sentences. (See 1 Peter 1:8; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 2:1-3; and his speeches, Acts 3:13; Acts 3:15; Acts 4:10; Acts 10:38-39.) He is especially fond of finishing off a long sentence with a short relative clause, as here. Comp., for instance, 1 Peter 2:8, 2 Peter 2:17, also Acts 4:12, where it would be more correct to translate, "Neither is the salvation in any other, for, indeed, there is no second name under heaven which is the appointed name among men; in whom we must be saved"--i.e., if we are saved at all. The purpose of the little clause seems to be once more to make the good and ill-used servants feel, when the weals were smarting on their backs, that the Righteous Servant of Jehovah had borne the same, and that it had served a beneficial purpose, as they knew to their everlasting gratitude. Of course the "stripes" (in the original singular number, and literally weal) do not refer merely to the scourging. The words form a paradox.

Verse 24. - Who his own self, bare our sins in his own body on the tree. St. Peter has thus far spoken of our Lord as our Example of patient endurance; but he seems to feel that, although this is the aspect of the Savior's sufferings most suitable to his present purpose, yet it is scarcely seemly to dwell upon that most momentous of all events, the death of Christ our Lord upon the cross, without mentioning its more solemn and awful import. A martyr may be an example of patient suffering; he cannot bear our sins. The apostle proceeds to unfold the contents of the ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν in ver. 21. The Lord died for us: but what is the meaning of the preposition? Was it that his example might stimulate us to imitate his patience and his holy courage? This is a true view, but, taken alone, it would be utterly inadequate. The death of the Son of God had a far deeper significance. The ὑπέρ used here and elsewhere is explained by the more precise ἀντί of Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; 1 Timothy 2:6, in which last passage both propositions are combined. The Lord died, not only in our behalf, but in our stead. He gave "his life a ransom for many;" "he is the Propitiation for our sins." St. Peter exhibits here, with all possible emphasis, this vicarious aspect of the Savior's death. "He bore our sins himself." The pronoun is strongly emphatic; he bore them, though they were not his own. They were our sins, but he bore them - he alone; none other could bear that awful burden. He bare (ἀνήνεγκεν). The apostle is evidently quoting Isaiah 53:12, where the Hebrew verb is ?and the Septuagint Version is Καὶ αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκε; comp. vers. 4 and 11 (in ver. 11 there is another Hebrew verb) of the same chapter. In the Old Testament "to bear sins" or "iniquity" means to suffer the punishment of sin, whether one's own sin or the sin of others (see Leviticus 5:1, 17, and many similar passages). In the description of the ceremonial of the Day of Atonement in Leviticus 16. it is said (Ver. 22) that the scapegoat "shall bear upon him [the Hebrew is ; the Greek is λήψεται ὁ χίμαρος ἐφ ἑαυτῷ] all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited," where the scapegoat is represented as bearing the sins of the people and taking them away. Compare also the great saying of the Baptist, "Behold the Lamb of God. which taketh away the sin of the world!" where the Greek (ὁ αἴρων) may be rendered with equal exactness, "who beareth," or "who taketh away." The Lord took our sins away by taking them upon himself (comp. Matthew 8:17). As Aaron put the sins of the people upon the head of the scapegoat (Leviticus 16:21), and the goat was to bear them upon him unto a land not inhabited, so the Lord laid on the blessed Savior the iniquity of us all, and he bare our sins in his own body on to the tree, and, there dying in our stead, took them away. He bare them on himself, as the scapegoat bare upon him the iniquities of Israel. It was this burden of sin which made his sacred body sweat great drops of blood in his awful agony. He bare them on to the tree (ἐπὶ τὸ ξύλον); he carried them thither, and there he expiated them (comp. Hebrews 9:28, "Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many," where the same Greek word is used - ἀνενεγκεῖν). Another interpretation takes ἀναφέρειν in its sacrificial sense, as in Hebrews 7:27, and regards the cross as the altar: "He bore our sins on to the altar of the cross." The Lord is both Priest and Victim, and the verb is used in the sacred writings both of the priest who offers the sacrifice and of the sacrifice which bears or takes away sin. But the sacrifice which the Lord offered up was himself, not our sins; therefore it seems best to understand ἀναφέρειν here rather of victim than of priest, as in Hebrews 9:28 and the Greek Version of Isaiah 53:12. The thought of sacrifice was doubtless present to the apostle's mind, as it certainly was to the prophet's (see ver. 10 of Isaiah 53.). The word ξύλον is used for the cross twice in St. Peter's speeches in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5:30; Acts 10:39). It is also so used by St. Paul (Galatians 3:13). That we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. The Greek word ἀπογενόμενοι occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. Bengel understands it differently. He says that as γενέσθαι τινός means "to become the slave of some one," so ἀπογενέσθαι may mean to cease to be a slave. But this would require the genitive, not the dative, ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις; and the ordinary translation is more suitable to the following context. The word is several times used in Herodotus in the sense of "having died;" more literally, "having ceased to be." The tense (aorist) seems to point to a definite time, as the time of baptism (comp. Romans 6:2, 11; Galatians 2:19, 20). Righteousness here is simply the opposite of sin - obedience, submission to the will of God. Bengel says, "Justitia tota una est; peccatum multiplex." By whose stripes ye were healed. The apostle is quoting the Septuagint rendering of Isaiah 53:5. The Greek μώλωψ means the mark or weal left on the flesh by a scourge (comp. Ecclus. 28:17, Πληγὴ μάστιγος ποιεῖ μώλωπας). The slaves, whom the apostle is addressing, might perhaps not infrequently be subjected to the scourge; he bids them remember the more dreadful flagellation which the Lord endured. They were to learn patience of him, and to remember to their comfort that those stripes which he, the holy Son of God, condescended to suffer are to them that believe healing and salvation. Faith in the crucified Savior lifts the Christian out of the sickness of sin into the health of righteousness.

2:18-25 Servants in those days generally were slaves, and had heathen masters, who often used them cruelly; yet the apostle directs them to be subject to the masters placed over them by Providence, with a fear to dishonour or offend God. And not only to those pleased with reasonable service, but to the severe, and those angry without cause. The sinful misconduct of one relation, does not justify sinful behaviour in the other; the servant is bound to do his duty, though the master may be sinfully froward and perverse. But masters should be meek and gentle to their servants and inferiors. What glory or distinction could it be, for professed Christians to be patient when corrected for their faults? But if when they behaved well they were ill treated by proud and passionate heathen masters, yet bore it without peevish complaints, or purposes of revenge, and persevered in their duty, this would be acceptable to God as a distinguishing effect of his grace, and would be rewarded by him. Christ's death was designed not only for an example of patience under sufferings, but he bore our sins; he bore the punishment of them, and thereby satisfied Divine justice. Hereby he takes them away from us. The fruits of Christ's sufferings are the death of sin, and a new holy life of righteousness; for both which we have an example, and powerful motives, and ability to perform also, from the death and resurrection of Christ. And our justification; Christ was bruised and crucified as a sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our souls are cured. Here is man's sin; he goes astray; it is his own act. His misery; he goes astray from the pasture, from the Shepherd, and from the flock, and so exposes himself to dangers without number. Here is the recovery by conversion; they are now returned as the effect of Divine grace. This return is, from all their errors and wanderings, to Christ. Sinners, before their conversion, are always going astray; their life is a continued error.Who his own self bare our sins,.... As was typified by the high priest bearing the sins of the holy things of the people of Israel, when he went into the most holy place, and by the scape goat bearing the iniquities of all the people unto a land not inhabited, and as was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah. The apostle here explains the nature and end of Christ's sufferings, which were to make atonement for sins, and which was done by bearing them. What Christ bore were "sins", even all sorts of sin, original and actual, and every act of sin of his people; and all that is in sin, all that belongs to it, arises from it, and is the demerit of it, as both filth, guilt, and punishment; and a multitude of sins did he bear, even all the iniquities of all the elect; and a prodigious load and weight it was; and than which nothing could be more nauseous and disagreeable to him, who loves righteousness, and hates iniquity: and these sins he bore were not his own, nor the sins of angels, but of men; and not of all men, yet of many, even as many as were ordained to eternal life, for whom Christ gave his life a ransom, whom he justifies and brings to glory; our sins, not the sins of the Jews only, for Peter was a Jew, and so were those to whom he writes, but of the Gentiles also, even the sins of all his people, for them he saves from their sins, being stricken for them. His "bearing" them was in this manner: he becoming the surety and substitute of his people, their sins were laid upon him by his Father, that is, they were imputed to him, they were reckoned as his, and placed to his account; and Christ voluntarily took them upon himself; he took them to himself, as one may take the debt of another, and make himself answerable for it; or as a man takes up a burden, and lays it on his shoulders; so Christ took up our sins, and "carried" them "up", as the word here used signifies, alluding to the priests carrying up the sacrifice to the altar, and referring to the lifting up of Christ upon the cross; whither he carried the sins of his people, and bore them, and did not sink under the weight of them, being the mighty God, and the man of God's right hand, made strong for himself; and so made entire satisfaction for them, by enduring the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and all that punishment which was due unto them; and thereby bore them away, both from his people, and out of the sight of God, and his vindictive justice; and removed them as far as the east is from the west, and made a full end of them; and this he himself did, and not another, nor by another, or with the help of another; not by the means of a goat, as the high priest, but by himself; though he was assisted in bearing his cross, yet he had no help in bearing our sins; angels could not help him; his Father stood at a distance from him; there was none to help; his own arm brought salvation to him; but

his own self, who knew no sin, nor did any, he by himself purged away our sins, and made reconciliation for them, by bearing them: and which he did

in his own body, and not another's; in that body which his Father prepared for him, and which he took of the virgin, and was free from sin; though not to the exclusion of his soul, which also was made an offering for sin, and in which he endured great pains and sorrows for sin: and all this

on the tree; the accursed tree, the cross; which is expressive both of the shame and pain of his sufferings and death. The end of which was,

that we being dead to sin; "to our sins", as the Alexandrian copy, and the Ethiopic version read; as all the elect are, through bearing their sins, and suffering death for them, so as that sin shall not be imputed to them; it is as though it never was; it is dead to them, and they to that, as to its damning power and influence; so as that they are entirely discharged from it, and can never come into condemnation on account of it, and can never be hurt, so as to be destroyed by it; nor by death, either corporeal or eternal, since the sting of death, which is sin, is taken away, and the strength of sin, which is the law, is dead to them, and they to that: in short, through the death of Christ they are so dead to sin, that it is not only finished, made an end of, and put away, but the body of it is destroyed, that it should not be served; which is an end subordinate to the former, and expressed in the next clause:

should live unto righteousness; live, and not die the second death, and live by faith on the righteousness of Christ, for justification of life, and soberly, righteously, and godly in this present evil world; which the grace of God teaches, and the love of Christ in bearing sin constrains to, and the redemption by his precious blood lays under an obligation to do; for those whose sins Christ has bore are not their own, but being bought with the price of his blood, they are bound to live to him who has a property in them, and a right to claim all obedience from them:

by whose stripes ye were healed; the passage referred to is in Isaiah 53:5 which is a prophecy of the Messiah, as is acknowledged by the Jews (g), who say (h),

"this is the King Messiah, who was in the generation of the ungodly, as it is said, Isaiah 53:5 "and with his stripes we are healed"; and for this cause God saved him, that he might save Israel, and rejoice with them in the resurrection of the dead.

Sin is a disease, a natural and hereditary one, an epidemic distemper, that reaches to all men, and to all the powers and faculties of their souls, and members of their bodies; and which is nauseous and loathsome, and in itself mortal and incurable; nor can it be healed by any creature, or anything that a creature can do. Christ is the only physician, and his blood the balm and sovereign medicine; this cleanses from all sin; through it is the remission of sin, which is meant by healing; for healing of diseases, and forgiving iniquities, is one and the same thing; see Psalm 103:3 on which latter text a learned Jew (i) has this note,

"this interpreters explain , "as expressive of forgiveness";

and the Jews say, there is no healing of diseases but it signifies forgiveness (k): it is an uncommon way of healing by the stripes of another. Some think the apostle alludes to the stripes which servants receive from their masters, to whom he was now speaking; and in order to encourage them to bear them patiently, observes, that Christ himself suffered stripes, and that they had healing for their diseases and wounds, by means of his stripes, or through his being wounded and bruised for them,

(g) Zohar in Exod. fol. 85. 2. Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2. Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 53. 3. & 90. 1.((h) R. Moses Haddarsan apud Galatin. de Areanis Cathol. Verit. l. 6. c. 2.((i) R. Sol. Urbin Ohel Moed, fol. 64. 1.((k) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 43. 1.

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