1 Peter

Is the wife universally “weaker” than the husband?

1 Peter 3:7 KJV Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

1 Peter 3:7 ISV In a similar way, you husbands must live with your wives in an understanding manner, as with a most delicate partner. Honor them as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing may interfere with your prayers.

What does this mean- the weaker vessel?

Is the wife always and universally weaker than the husband?

Is this what this verse elucidates?

I don’t see this conclusion i.e. that the woman is “weaker” than the man in the marriage union.
I emphasize the phrase – “as unto the weaker vessel”; which is easily rendered in the ISV as “with a most delicate partner”.

I do not believe scripture is saying here that “she is the weaker vessel”. No. He says “as unto or like a weaker vessel”.

I believe the emphasis here is for the husband to treat his wife tenderly…delicately for she is precious to him. Just like we handle our precious diamond or gold jewelry with utmost care in our hands; carefully, tenderly “like brittle glassware”. This is the context I see here.

Diamond is not as brittle like glass; however we handle it in a careful and delicate manner because it IS precious to us. In the same vein, the woman IS NOT weaker (empirical data will more than confirm this) but the husband must handle her carefully and delicately “LIKE A WEAKER VESSEL” because she is PRECIOUS to him.



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