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1Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. 3Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of fine clothing, 4but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5So once the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husbands, 6as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.

7Likewise you husbands, live considerately with your wives, bestowing honor on the woman as the weaker sex, since you are joint heirs of the grace of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered.

8Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love of the brethren, a tender heart and a humble mind. 9Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10For

“He that would love life

and see good days,

let him keep his tongue from evil

and his lips from speaking guile;

11let him turn away from evil and do right;

let him seek peace and pursue it.

12For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous,

and his ears are open to their prayer.

But the face of the Lord is against those that do evil.”

13Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is right? 14But even if you do suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15but in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence; 16and keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are abused, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17For it is better to suffer for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than for doing wrong. 18For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; 19in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. 21Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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