First Peter 2:13-17



In these verses God is placing you under the authority of the secular institutions of man.

The theme here is submission from the word hypotasso which is used in 2:13; 2:18; 3:1

submit yourselves” is from a military term “to arrange in military fashion under the command of a leader.”  The idea is to be in an attitude of submission.

This term means more than to obey the laws and rules of the land but is focused on the attitude that will keep you in a position to obey them.


instituted among men” – ktisiV anqrwpinoV

a)      ktisV – means creation, institution and here refers to institutions that men have created

b)      anqpwrinoV – means “human, that which is made by human beings, that which proceeds from men.”


The Divine order for society is government as in Genesis 9:3

The Purpose of Government is to maintain peace and avoid anarchy as seen in 1 Timothy 2:1-2


“governors”hgemosin this word is applied in a variety of ways but at this time was used specially for governors of provinces or proconsuls that were appointed by the emperor or the senate.


Roman governors of this time demanded order not only in society but in the home because they believed that the house is like a small city.  If you had insubordination in the home you would then have insubordination in the city and the government.


This is the importance of the fifth commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”  (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16)


Paul picks up on this in Ephesians 6:1,2 and says, “which is the first commandment with a promise – that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”



“doing good” this is used to defined “God’s will” and has in mind the idea of “showing yourselves to be good subjects.”


“silence” is from a Greek word that means “to close the mouth with a muzzle.” The definition would be “to muzzle, to put to silence, to gag, to restrain.”

This word is used in 1 Cor. 9:9 in reference to muzzling an ox.

The meaning of the word means “to reduce to silence.”

It is used this way in Matthew 22:34 when Jesus’ silenced the  Sadducees and in Mark 4:39 when He silenced the storm.


“foolish” speaks of the lack of reason, reflection and intelligence.   It refers to those who speak against Christianity in a senseless way.

Apparently one of the main forms of persecution here was talking.


“Free men” is really a  reference to the ancient world’s custom of releasing a slave to be a freedman.  The freedman was released by his master and would always live as one in debt to him and always showed honor to him. 

“cover up” refers to a veil or a cloak.


The Freedom God gives us is never Freedom From these things:

a)      Government

b)      Responsibility

c)      Pains or pleasures of life

d)      Morality


“slaves to God” – the freedman could willing become the slave of the one who freed him.


No  government that supports evil and punishes good can survive because evil is self destructive



“proper respect” – timhsate – is aorist imperative active and means “to honor”  The aorist denotes the complete action and emphasizes the carrying the honor to the final and complete stages.


“brotherhood” – is from adelfothV and is a definite reference to a band of brothers


Guidelines in the Imperative Mood (command) and Present Tense (continuous action):

1)      Respect Everyone

2)      Love the band of brothers (believers)

3)      Fear God – Do not fear those who can only kill the body as in Matthew 10:28

4)      Honor the king

1.      Normally there is no Real conflict in obeying God or the Government as in Matthew 22:15-21

2.      When government and God’s will do conflict it is very rare and the answer is in Acts 5:29 – it is better to obey God than man.  It is interesting and worth noting that Peter is speaking in Acts 5:29 and he is also the one who wrote First Peter 2:13


Kings today:

Proverbs 16:12-15

Proverbs 24:21

Proverbs 25:5

Proverbs 29:4, 14


Kings in the future:

Psalm 2

Psalm 72:11

Psalm 110:5