SCOFFERS ABOUT TO
GROWTH IN THE
1. now--"This now a second Epistle I write." Therefore he had
lately written the former Epistle. The seven Catholic Epistles were
written by James, John, and Jude, shortly before their deaths;
previously, while having the prospect of being still for some time
alive, they felt it less necessary to write [BENGEL].
unto you--The Second Epistle, though more general in its
address, yet included especially the same persons as the First
Epistle was particularly addressed to.
pure--literally, "pure when examined by sunlight"; "sincere."
Adulterated with no error. Opposite to "having the understanding
darkened." ALFORD explains, The mind, will,
and affection, in relation to the outer world, being turned to God [the
Sun of the soul], and not obscured by fleshly and selfish
by way of--Greek, "in," "in putting you in
(2Pe 1:12, 13).
Ye already know
it is only needed that I remind you
2. prophets--of the Old Testament.
of us--The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "And of
the commandment of the Lord and Saviour (declared) by
YOUR apostles" (so "apostle of the
--the apostles who live among you in the present time, in
contrast to the Old Testament "prophets."
3. Knowing this first--from the word of the apostles.
shall come--Their very scoffing shall confirm the truth
of the prediction.
scoffers--The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate add,
"(scoffers) in (that is, 'with') scoffing." As
"harping with harps."
walking after their own lusts--
Jude 16, 18).
Their own pleasure is their sole law, unrestrained by reverence for
Ps 10:11; 73:11.)
Presumptuous skepticism and lawless lust, setting nature and its
so-called laws above the God of nature and revelation, and arguing from
the past continuity of nature's phenomena that there can be no future
interruption to them, was the sin of the antediluvians, and shall be
that of the scoffers in the last days.
Where--implying that it ought to have taken place before this,
if ever it was to take place, but that it never will.
the promise--which you, believers, are so continually looking
for the fulfilment of
What becomes of the promise which you talk so much of?
his--Christ's; the subject of prophecy from the earliest
the fathers--to whom the promise was made, and who rested
all their hopes on it.
all things--in the natural world; skeptics look not
as they were--continue as they do; as we see them to
continue. From the time of the promise of Christ's coming as Saviour
and King being given to the fathers, down to the present time, all
things continue, and have continued, as they now are, from "the
beginning of creation." The "scoffers" here are not necessarily
atheists, nor do they maintain that the world existed from eternity.
They are willing to recognize a God, but not the God of
revelation. They reason from seeming delay against the fulfilment
of God's word at all.
5. Refutation of their scoffing from Scripture history.
willingly--wilfully; they do not wish to know. Their
ignorance is voluntary.
they . . . are ignorant of--in contrast to
"Be not ignorant of this." Literally, in both verses, "This escapes
THEIR notice (sagacious philosophers though they
think themselves)"; "let this not escape YOUR
notice." They obstinately shut their eyes to the Scripture record of
the creation and the deluge; the latter is the very parallel to the
coming judgment by fire, which Jesus mentions, as Peter doubtless
by the word of God--not by a fortuitous concurrence of atoms
of old--Greek, "from of old"; from the first beginning of
all things. A confutation of their objection, "all things continue as
they were FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION." Before
the flood, the same objection to the possibility of the flood might
have been urged with the same plausibility: The heavens (sky) and earth
have been FROM OF OLD, how unlikely then that they
should not continue so! But, replies Peter, the flood came in
spite of their reasonings; so will the conflagration of the earth come
in spite of the "scoffers" of the last days, changing the whole order
of things (the present "world," or as Greek means, "order"), and
introducing the new heavens and earth
earth standing out of--Greek, "consisting of," that is,
"formed out of the water." The waters under the firmament were at
creation gathered together into one place, and the dry land emerged
out of and above, them.
in, &c.--rather, "by means of the water," as a great
instrument (along with fire) in the changes wrought on the
earth's surface to prepare it for man. Held together BY the water. The earth arose out of the water
by the efficacy of the water itself [TITTMANN].
6. Whereby--Greek, "By which" (plural). By means of
which heavens and earth (in respect to the WATERS which flowed together from both) the
then world perished (that is, in respect to its occupants,
men and animals, and its then existing order: not was
annihilated); for in the flood "the fountains of the great deep
were broken up" from the earth (1) below, and "the windows of
heaven" (2) above "were opened." The earth was deluged by that
water out of which it had originally risen.
which are now--"the postdiluvian visible world." In contrast to
"that then was,"
the same--Other oldest manuscripts read, "His" (God's).
kept in store--Greek, "treasured up."
reserved--"kept." It is only God's constantly watchful
providence which holds together the present state of things till His
time for ending it.
8. be not ignorant--as those scoffers are
Besides the refutation of them
drawn from the history of the deluge, here he adds another (addressed
more to believers than to the mockers): God's delay in fulfilling His
promise is not, like men's delays, owing to inability or fickleness in
keeping His word, but through "long-suffering."
this one thing--as the consideration of chief importance
one day . . . thousand years--
Moses there says, Thy eternity, knowing no distinction between a
thousand years and a day, is the refuge of us creatures
of a day. Peter views God's eternity in relation to the last day: that
day seems to us, short-lived beings, long in coming, but with the
Lord the interval is irrespective of the idea of long or short. His
eternity exceeds all measures of time: to His divine knowledge all
future things are present: His power requires not long delays for the
performance of His work: His long-suffering excludes all impatient
expectation and eager haste, such as we men feel. He is equally blessed
in one day and in a thousand years. He can do the work of a thousand
years in one day: so in
it is said, "He is not slack," that is, "slow": He has always the power
to fulfil His "promise."
thousand years as one day--No delay which occurs is long to God:
as to a man of countless riches, a thousand guineas are as a single
penny. God's œonologe (eternal-ages measurer) differs
wholly from man's horologe (hour-glass). His gnomon
(dial-pointer) shows all the hours at once in the greatest activity and
in perfect repose. To Him the hours pass away, neither more slowly, nor
more quickly, than befits His economy. There is nothing to make Him
need either to hasten or delay the end. The words, "with the Lord"
"In Thy sight"), silence all man's objections on the ground of his
incapability of understanding this [BENGEL].
9. slack--slow, tardy, late; exceeding the due time, as
though that time were already come.
"will not tarry."
his promise--which the scoffers cavil at.
"Where is the promise?" It shall be surely fulfilled "according to His
count--His promise to be the result of "slackness" (tardiness).
long-suffering--waiting until the full number of those appointed
shall be completed.
to us-ward--The oldest manuscripts, Vulgate, Syriac, &c.,
read, "towards YOU."
any--not desiring that any, yea, even that the scoffers, should
perish, which would be the result if He did not give space for
come--go and be received to repentance: the Greek
implies there is room for their being received to
repentance (compare Greek,
10. The certainty, suddenness, and concomitant effects, of the
coming of the day of the Lord. FABER argues from
this that the millennium, &c., must precede Christ's literal
coming, not follow it. But "the day of the Lord" comprehends the
whole series of events, beginning with the pre-millennial advent, and
ending with the destruction of the wicked, and final conflagration, and
general judgment (which last intervenes between the conflagration and
the renovation of the earth).
will--emphatical. But (in spite of the mockers, and
notwithstanding the delay) come and be present the day of the
as a thief--Peter remembers and repeats his Lord's image
(Lu 12:39, 41)
used in the conversation in which he took a part; so also Paul
(Re 3:3; 16:15).
the heavens--which the scoffers say' shall "continue" as they
with a great noise--with a rushing noise, like that of a
whizzing arrow, or the crash of a devouring flame.
elements--the component materials of the world [WAHL]. However, as "the works" in the earth are mentioned
separately from "the earth," so it is likely by "elements," mentioned
after "the heavens," are meant "the works therein," namely, the sun,
moon, and stars (as THEOPHILUS OF ANTIOCH [p. 22, 148, 228]; and JUSTIN MARTYR [Apology,
2.44], use the word "elements"): these, as at creation, so in the
destruction of the world, are mentioned [BENGEL].
But as "elements" is not so used in Scripture Greek, perhaps it
refers to the component materials of "the heavens," including
the heavenly bodies; it clearly belongs to the former clause,
"the heavens," not to the following, "the earth," &c.
melt--be dissolved, as in
the works . . . therein--of nature and of art.
11. Your duty, seeing that this is so, is to be ever eagerly
expecting the day of God.
then--Some oldest manuscripts substitute "thus" for "then": a
happy refutation of the "thus" of the scoffers,
(English Version, "As they were," Greek, "thus").
shall be--Greek, "are being (in God's appointment,
soon to be fulfilled) dissolved"; the present tense implying the
certainty as though it were actually present.
what manner of men--exclamatory. How watchful, prayerful,
to be--not the mere Greek substantive verb of existence
(einai), but (huparchein) denoting a state or
condition in which one is supposed to be [TITTMANN]. What holy men ye ought to be found to be, when
the event comes! This is "the holy commandment" mentioned in
conversation . . . godliness--Greek, plural:
behaviors (towards men), godlinesses (or pieties
towards God) in their manifold modes of manifestation.
12. hasting unto--with the utmost eagerness desiring
[WAHL], praying for, and contemplating, the coming
Saviour as at hand. The Greek may mean "hastening (that is,
urging onward [ALFORD]) the day of God";
not that God's eternal appointment of the time is changeable, but God
appoints us as instruments of accomplishing those events which
must be first before the day of God can come. By praying for His
coming, furthering the preaching of the Gospel for a witness to all
nations, and bringing in those whom "the long-suffering of God" waits
to save, we hasten the coming of the day of God. The
Greek verb is always in New Testament used as neuter (as
English Version here), not active; but the Septuagint
uses it actively. Christ says, "Surely I come quickly. Amen."
Our part is to speed forward this consummation by
praying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"
the coming--Greek, "presence" of