The Meaning of 1 Peter 3:10 Explained

1 Peter 3:10

KJV: For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:

YLT: for 'he who is willing to love life, and to see good days, let him guard his tongue from evil, and his lips -- not to speak guile;

Darby: For he that will love life and see good days, let him cause his tongue to cease from evil and his lips that they speak no guile.

ASV: For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile:

What does 1 Peter 3:10 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Peter 3:1-12 - Christian Family-Life
In the previous chapter the Apostle had been urging the poor slaves of wealthy householders to submit quietly to wrongs, leaving God to vindicate. Here he turns to the wives of unbelieving husbands, showing that their chaste behavior, their meek and quiet spirit, their pleasant subordination of self, are the greatest arguments for our religion. What we are is more important than what we say. Our life is our best sermon. If we would expend as much care on the hidden man of the heart as many do on the outer, what lovely characters would result! When Massillon had preached on this subject of the inner and outer man before Louis XIV, the king exclaimed as he left the church, "I know those two men!"
The same temper becomes us all. Let us be compassionate to the faults of others, even when they repay our good with evil and revile our blessing. God sends rain and sun irrespective of the character of the recipients. In this way we shall inherit the blessedness to which we have been called, and see good days. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Peter 3

1  He teaches the duty of wives and husbands to each other;
8  exhorting all men to unity and love;
14  and to suffer persecution
19  He declares also the benefits of Christ toward the old world

Greek Commentary for 1 Peter 3:10

For [γαρ]
Reason for the entire exhortation in 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Peter 3:9 and introducing in 1 Peter 3:10-12 a quotation from Psalm 34:13-17 with some slight changes. [source]
Would love life [τελων ζωην αγαπαιν]
“Wishing to love life.” This present life. The lxx expressions are obscure Hebraisms. The lxx has αγαπων — agapōn (participle present active of αγαπαω — agapaō not the infinitive αγαπαιν — agapāin him refrain Third person singular first aorist active imperative of παυω — pauō to make stop, whereas the lxx has παυσον — pauson (second person singular).His tongue (την γλωσσαν — tēn glōssan). See James 3:1-12.That they speak no guile Purpose clause with genitive article του — tou (negative μη — mē) and the first aorist active infinitive of λαλεω — laleō But it can also be explained as the ablative case with the redundant negative μη — mē after a verb of hindering (παυσατω — pausatō) like Luke 4:42. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061. “Let him refrain his lips from speaking guile.” [source]
His tongue [την γλωσσαν]
See James 3:1-12. [source]
That they speak no guile [του μη λαλησαι δολον]
Purpose clause with genitive article του — tou (negative μη — mē) and the first aorist active infinitive of λαλεω — laleō But it can also be explained as the ablative case with the redundant negative μη — mē after a verb of hindering (παυσατω — pausatō) like Luke 4:42. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 1061. “Let him refrain his lips from speaking guile.” [source]
Will love [θέλων ἀγαπᾶν]
Not the future tense of love, but the verb to will, with the infinitive: he that desires or means to love. Rev., would love. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Peter 3:10

John 1:4 In Him was life [ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν]
He was the fountain of life - physical, moral, and eternal - its principle and source. Two words for life are employed in the New Testament: βίος and ζωὴ . The primary distinction is that ζωὴ means existence as contrasted with death, and βίος , the period, means, or manner of existence. Hence βίος is originally the higher word, being used of men, while ζωὴ is used of animals ( ζῶα ). We speak therefore of the discussion of the life and habits of animals as zoo logy; and of accounts of men's lives as bio graphy. Animals have the vital principle in common with men, but men lead lives controlled by intellect and will, and directed to moral and intellectual ends. In the New Testament, βίος means either living, i.e., means of subsistence (Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43), or course of life, life regarded as an economy (Luke 8:14; 1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:4). Ζωὴ occurs in the lower sense of life, considered principally or wholly as existence (1 Peter 3:10; Acts 8:33; Acts 17:25; Hebrews 7:3). There seems to be a significance in the use of the word in Luke 16:25: “Thou in thy lifetime ( ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου ) receivedst thy good things;” the intimation being that the rich man's life had been little better than mere existence, and not life at all in the true sense. But throughout the New Testament ζωὴ is the nobler word, seeming to have changed places with βίος . It expresses the sum of mortal and eternal blessedness (Matthew 25:46; Luke 18:30; John 11:25; Acts 2:28; Romans 5:17; Romans 6:4), and that not only in respect of men, but also of God and Christ. So here. Compare John 5:26; John 14:6; 1 John 1:2. This change is due to the gospel revelation of the essential connection of sin with death, and consequently, of life with holiness. “Whatever truly lives, does so because sin has never found place in it, or, having found place for a time, has since been overcome and expelled” (Trench). Ζωὴ is a favorite word with John. See John 11:25; John 14:6; John 8:12; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 5:20; John 6:35, John 6:48; John 6:63; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:1, Revelation 22:17; Revelation 7:17; John 4:14; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22:14, Revelation 22:19; John 12:50; John 17:3; John 20:31; John 5:26; John 6:53, John 6:54; John 5:40; John 3:15, John 3:16, John 3:36; John 10:10; John 5:24; John 12:25; John 6:27; John 4:36; 1 John 5:12, 1 John 5:16; John 6:51.Was the Light of men ( ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων )Passing from the thought of creation in general to that of mankind, who, in the whole range of created things, had a special capacity for receiving the divine. The Light - the peculiar mode of the divine operation upon men, conformably to their rational and moral nature which alone was fitted to receive the light of divine truth. It is not said that the Word was light, but that the life was the light. The Word becomes light through the medium of life, of spiritual life, just as sight is a function of physical life. Compare John 14:6, where Christ becomes the life through being the truth; and Matthew 5:8, where the pure heart is the medium through which God is beheld. In whatever mode of manifestation the Word is in the world, He is the light of the world; in His works, in the dawn of creation; in the happy conditions of Eden; in the Patriarchs, in the Law and the Prophets, in His incarnation, and in the subsequent history of the Church. Compare John 9:5. Of men, as a class, and not of individuals only. [source]
1 Timothy 4:8 The life that now is [ζωῆς τῆς νῦν]
According to the strict Greek idiom, life the now. This idiom and the following, τῆς μελλούσης N.T.oThe phrase ὁ νῦν αἰών thepresent aeon, 1 Timothy 6:17; 2 Timothy 4:10; Titus 2:12. Ὁ αἰών οὗτος this aeon, a few times in the Gospels, often in Paul, nowhere else. We have ὁ αἰών ὁ μέλλων theaeon which is to be, and ὁ αἰών ὁ ἐρχόμενος or ἐπερχόμενος theaeon which is coming on, in the Gospels, once in Paul (Ephesians 2:7), and in Hebrews once, μέλλων αἰών without the article. Ἑν τῷ καιρῷ τούτῳ inthis time, of the present as contrasted with the future life, Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30. Ὁ νυν καιρός thenow time, in the same relation, Romans 8:18. For ζωὴ lifesee on John 1:4. The force of the genitive with ἐπαγγελία promisemay be expressed by for. Godliness involves a promise for this life and for the next; but for this life as it reflects the heavenly life, is shaped and controlled by it, and bears its impress. Godliness has promise for the present life because it has promise for the life which is to come. Only the life which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:1) is life indeed, 1 Timothy 6:19. Comp. 1 Peter 3:10; 1 Corinthians 3:21-23. [source]
1 Peter 3:10 For [γαρ]
Reason for the entire exhortation in 1 Peter 3:8, 1 Peter 3:9 and introducing in 1 Peter 3:10-12 a quotation from Psalm 34:13-17 with some slight changes. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Peter 3:10 mean?

The [one] for desiring life to love and to see days good let him keep the tongue from evil lips - not to speak deceit
γὰρ θέλων ζωὴν ἀγαπᾶν καὶ ἰδεῖν ἡμέρας ἀγαθὰς παυσάτω τὴν γλῶσσαν ἀπὸ κακοῦ χείλη τοῦ μὴ λαλῆσαι δόλον

  The  [one] 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
θέλων  desiring 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: θέλω  
Sense: to will, have in mind, intend.
ζωὴν  life 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ζωή  
Sense: life.
ἀγαπᾶν  to  love 
Parse: Verb, Present Infinitive Active
Root: ἀγαπάω  
Sense: of persons.
ἰδεῖν  to  see 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: εἶδον 
Sense: to see with the eyes.
ἡμέρας  days 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: ἡμέρα  
Sense: the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night.
ἀγαθὰς  good 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: ἀγαθός 
Sense: of good constitution or nature.
παυσάτω  let  him  keep 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: παύω  
Sense: to make to cease or desist.
γλῶσσαν  tongue 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: γλῶσσα  
Sense: the tongue, a member of the body, an organ of speech. 2 a tongue.
κακοῦ  evil 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: κακός  
Sense: of a bad nature.
χείλη  lips 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: χεῖλος  
Sense: a lip, of the speaking mouth.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
λαλῆσαι  to  speak 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἀπολαλέω 
Sense: to utter a voice or emit a sound.
δόλον  deceit 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: δόλος  
Sense: craft, deceit, guile.