2:1So then, put off all malice, treachery, pretense, envy, and trash talk.2:2As newborns, crave the rational, pure milk through which you may grow into salvation—2:3if you have sampled the Master’s kindness.
2:4Come toward the Living Stone, which people have rejected but God has chosen to hold up as a trophy.2:5Likewise, as living stones you are being constructed into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices that are pleasing to God through Jesus the Anointed.2:6It is for this reason we read in the scriptures, “Attention! In Zion I am laying a select cornerstone,1 and whoever believes will in no way be shamed by it.”2:7So the honor is to you who believe, but to the unbelievers it is “a stone rejected by the builders that became the cornerstone,”2:8and a stumbling stone, a rocky trap set for those who oppose the Word.2:9But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, an acquired people, so you should proclaim the brave virtues of the one who calls you out of darkness into his marvelous light.2:10Once you were no-name people but now you are people of God; once you were not pitied but now you are.
2:11Loved ones, I implore you as aliens and exiles to abstain from carnal lusts that make war against the soul.2:12Exhibit good behavior among the non-Judeans, so that when they speak against you as evildoers they will honor God when he visits us, because they saw your good deeds.2:13Be supportive of every human institution by means of the Master, whether to the king as superior,2:14or to governors sent by him to bring justice against evildoers but honor those who do good.2:15Thus it is God’s will that the ones doing good should silence the ignorance of clueless people.2:16Do not use your freedom as a front for evil. Instead, as slaves of God,2:17value everyone; love the believers; fear God; respect civic authority.
2:18Servants, support your employers in fear, and not only the nice ones but also the crooked ones.2:19You will be honored if you endure unjust suffering because you stand by your convictions about God.2:20After all, what credit is it if you suffer punishment because you failed? But if you do good and have to endure suffering, that earns you the favor of God.2:21For you were called into this, seeing that the Anointed also suffered for your sakes, leaving an example for you to follow in his footsteps.2:22He did not fail, nor was any treachery found in him.2:23Though he was mocked he did not mock in return; though he suffered, he did not threaten, leaving it to the one who judges rightly.2:24He carried our failures in his body upon the wood, so that we should live away from those and toward justice, and so that we may be healed by his wound.2:25For you were like straying sheep but now you have turned back toward the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
- 1“head of the corner” and “cornerstone” are interchangeable. Some interpret “head of the corner” as a capstone (finishing stone) or keystone (the uppermost stone that holds an arch in place). But the word “corner” contradicts this, and no one would trip over an upper or finishing stone.