The Meaning of 1 Peter 3:11 Explained

1 Peter 3:11

KJV: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

YLT: let him turn aside from evil, and do good, let him seek peace and pursue it;

Darby: And let him avoid evil, and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it;

ASV: And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it.

What does 1 Peter 3:11 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 3:11

Let him turn away [εκκλινατω]
First aorist active imperative third person singular of εκκλινω — ekklinō where the lxx has εκκλινον — ekklinon (second person singular). Old verb, in N.T. only here, Romans 3:12; Romans 16:17. Peter adapted the passage all through to his own construction and use. So as to ποιησατω — poiēsatō (let him do) for ποιησον — poiēson (do thou), ζητησατω — zētēsatō (let him seek) for ζητησον — zētēson (do thou seek), διωχατω — diōxatō (let him pursue) for διωχον — diōxon (do thou pursue), all first aorist active imperatives (of ποιεω ζητεω διωκω — poieōzēteōdiōkō). See Hebrews 12:14 for “pursuing peace.” If men only did! [source]
Eschew [ἐκκλινάτω]
The old word eschew is from the Norman escheverto shun or avoid. It reappears in the German scheuento be startled or afraid, and in the English shy, and to shy (as a horse). The Greek word here occurs only twice elsewhere (Romans 3:12; Romans 16:17), where Rev. renders turn aside and turn away. It is compounded of ἐκ , out of, and κλίνω , to cause to bend or slope; so that the picture in the word is of one bending aside from his course at the approach of evil. Rev., turn away from. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 1 Peter 3:11

Romans 12:13 Given to hospitality [φιλοξενίαν διώκοντες]
Lit., pursuing hospitality. For a similar use of the verb compare 1 Corinthians 14:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 3:11. A necessary injunction when so many Christians were banished and persecuted. The verb indicates not only that hospitality is to be furnished when sought, but that Christians are to seek opportunities of exercising it. [source]
1 Thessalonians 5:15 That which is good [τὸ ἀγαθὸν]
Not to be limited to profitable, beneficent (as Lightfoot, Lünemann), although ἀγαθός commonly includes a corresponding beneficent relation of its subject to another subject, which is emphasized here by to all men. See on Romans 5:7. It may also include what is absolutely, morally good, as Romans 2:10. So Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 3:11; Romans 7:18. [source]
2 Timothy 2:22 Peace [εἰρήνην]
Not a distinct virtue in the list, but a consequence of the pursuit of the virtues enumerated. Const. with with them that call, etc. For peace with διώκειν pursuesee Romans 14:19; Hebrews 12:14, and Psalm 34:14, cit. 1 Peter 3:11. [source]
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace [εἰρήνην διώκετε]
Comp. lxx, Romans href="/desk/?q=ro+14:19&sr=1">Romans 14:19; 1 Peter 3:11. The verb is used of the pursuit of moral and spiritual ends, Romans 9:30, Romans 9:31; Romans 12:13; 1 Corinthians 14:1; Philemon 3:12, Philemon 3:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22. [source]

What do the individual words in 1 Peter 3:11 mean?

Let him turn away also from evil and let him do good Let him seek peace let him pursue it
ἐκκλινάτω δὲ ἀπὸ κακοῦ καὶ ποιησάτω ἀγαθόν ζητησάτω εἰρήνην διωξάτω αὐτήν

ἐκκλινάτω  Let  him  turn  away 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἐκκλίνω  
Sense: to turn aside, deviate (from the right way and course).
δὲ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
κακοῦ  evil 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: κακός  
Sense: of a bad nature.
ποιησάτω  let  him  do 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
ἀγαθόν  good 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ἀγαθός 
Sense: of good constitution or nature.
ζητησάτω  Let  him  seek 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ζητέω  
Sense: to seek in order to find.
εἰρήνην  peace 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: εἰρήνη  
Sense: a state of national tranquillity.
διωξάτω  let  him  pursue 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διώκω  
Sense: to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away.