1 Peter 2:9 indicates that we are called to a royal priesthood … does this exclude women?

A verse that is often cited in support of the ordination of women as pastors is 1 Peter 2:9: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

Yet if read in context, this verse doesn’t saying anything about women being priests or pastors. Instead, Peter is quoting directly from Moses. “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5, 6 NKJV). Nobody thinks Moses wrote this in support of women priests.

While all of the Levites and priests from the line of Aaron were married, none of their wives officiated in the role of priest—yet they were considered part of the tribe of priests. “There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah. His wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth” (Luke 1:5 (NKJV). Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron, but it was only her husband that officiated in the temple.

Yes, all believers are called to be a royal priesthood the same way in which Israel was—respecting God’s command that only the men officiate in the sacred rites and sacrifices.

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