Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 12 (1 Peter 2:12)

Having your conversation honest - Living in such a manner among the Gentiles, in whose country ye sojourn, as becomes the Gospel which ye profess.

That whereas they speak against you as evil doers - In all the heathen countries, in the first age of the Church, the Christians and the Jews were confounded together; and as the latter mere everywhere exceedingly troublesome and seditious, the Christians shared in their blame, and suffered no small measure of obloquy and persecution on this very account. It was doubly necessary, therefore, that the Christians should be exceedingly cautious; and that their conduct should prove that, although many of them were of the same nation, yet they who had embraced Christianity differed widely in their spirit and conduct from those, whether Jews or Gentiles, who had not received the faith of Christ.

In the day of visitation - I believe this refers to the time when God should come to execute judgment on the disobedient Jews, in the destruction of their civil polity, and the subversion of their temple and city. God did at that time put a remarkable difference between the Jews and the Christians: all the former were either destroyed or carried into slavery; not one of the latter: nor did they deserve it; for not one of them had joined in the sedition against the Roman government. That the day of visitation means a time in which punishment should be inflicted, is plain from Isaiah 10:3 ; : And what will ye do in the Day of Visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from afar? To whom will ye flee for help? And where will ye leave your glory? Some think that by the phrase in this place is meant the time in which they should be brought before the heathen magistrates, who, after an impartial examination, should find them innocent, and declare them as such; by which God would be glorified, the work appearing to be his own. Others think that it signifies the time in which God should make them the offer of mercy by Jesus Christ. The words, however, may refer to the time in which the Christians should be called to suffer for the testimony of Christ; the heathens, seeing them bear their sufferings with unconquerable patience, were constrained to confess that God was with them; and not a few, from being spectators of their sufferings, became converts to Christianity,

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible