An inheritance ( κληρονομίαν )
A Pauline word, from κλῆρος , a lot, and νέμομαι , to distribute among themselves. Hence an inheritance is originally a portion which one receives by lot in a general distribution. In the New Testament the idea of chance attaching to the lot is eliminated. It is the portion or heritage which one receives by virtue of birth or by special gift. So of the vineyard seized by the wicked husbandmen: “Let us seize on his inheritance” (Matthew 21:38); of Abraham in Canaan: “God gave him none inheritance ” (Acts 7:5); “an eternal inheritance ” (Hebrews 9:15).
Incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away
Note Peter's characteristic multiplication of epithets. Incorruptible ( ἄφθαρτον )From ἀ , not, and φθείρω , to destroy or corrupt. Undefiled ( ἀμίαντον )From ἀ , not, and μιαίνω , to defile, though the verb means especially to defile by staining, as with color; while μολύνω , also translated defile (1 Corinthians 8:7), is to besmirch, as with mire. We might render unstained, though the word is not used with any conscious reference to its etymology. That fadeth not away ( ἀμάραντον ) Used by Peter only, and but once. From ἀ , not, and μαραίνομαι , to wither. The loveliness of the heavenly inheritance is described as exempt from the blight which attaches to earthly bloom. As between ἄφθαρτον , incorruptible, and ἀμάραντον , unwitheringthe former emphasizes the indestructibility of substance, and the latter of grace, and beauty. The latter adjective appears in the familiar botanical name amaranth. It will be observed that all of these three epithets are compounded with the negative particle ἀ , not. Archbishop Trench aptly remarks that “it is a remarkable testimony to the reign of sin, and therefore of imperfection, of decay, of death throughout this whole fallen world, that as often as we desire to set forth the glory, purity, and perfection of that other, higher world toward which we strive, we are almost inevitably compelled to do this by the aid of negatives; by the denying to that higher order of things the leading features and characteristics of this.” Compare Revelation 21:1, Revelation 21:4, Revelation 21:22, Revelation 21:23, Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:3, Revelation 22:5.
Reserved ( τετηρημένην )
Lit., which has been reserved, a perfect participle, indicating the inheritance as one reserved through God's care for his own from the beginning down to the present. Laid up and kept is the idea. The verb signifies keeping as the result of guarding. Thus in John 17:11, Christ says, “keep ( τήρησον ) those whom thou hast given me;” in John 17:12, “I kept them” ( ἐτήρουν )i.e., preserved by guarding them. “Those whom thou gavest me I guarded ( ἐφύλαξα ).” So Rev., which preserves the distinction. Similarly, John 14:15, “keep ( τηρήσατε ) my commandments;” preserve them unbroken by careful watching. So Peter was delivered to the soldiers to guard him ( φυλάσσειν ), but he was kept ( ἐτηρεῖτο ) in prison (Acts 12:4, Acts 12:5). Compare Colossians 1:5, where a different word is used: ἀποκειμένην , lit., laid away.
For you ( εἰς )
The use of this preposition, instead of the simpler dative, is graphic: with reference to you; with you as its direct object.