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1. Beloved. Occurring four times in this chapter.
Second - I write. An incidental testimony to the authorship of the second epistle.
Pure minds (eilikrinh dianoian). The latter word is singular, not plural. Hence, as Rev., mind. The word rendered pure is often explained tested by the sunlight; but this is very doubtful, since eilh, to which this meaning is traced, means the heat, and not the light of the sun. Others derive it from the root of the verb eiJlissw, to roll, and explain it as that which is separated or sifted by rolling, as in a sieve. In favor of this etymology is its association in classical Greek with different words meaning unmixed. The word occurs only here and Philip. i. 10. The kindred noun eijlikrineia, sincerity, is found 1 Cor. v. 8; 2 Corinthians i. 12; ii. 17. Rev., here, sincere.
3. Scoffers walking (empaiktai poreuomenoi). This is the reading followed by A.V. But the later texts have added ejmpaigmonh, in mockery, occurring only here, though a kindred word for mockings (empaigmwn) is found Heb. xi. 36. This addition gives a play upon the words; and so Rev., "Mockers shall come with mockery, walking," etc.
4. From the beginning of the creation (ap archv ktisewv). Not a common phrase. It occurs only Mark x. 6; xiii. 19; Apoc. iii. 14. Fell asleep (ekoimhqhsan). A literal and correct translation of the word, which occurs frequently in the New Testament, but only here in Peter. Some have supposed that the peculiarly Christian sense of the word is emphasized ironically by these mockers. It is used, however, in classical Greek to denote death. The difference between the pagan and the Christian usage lies in the fact that, in the latter, it was defined by the hope of the resurrection, and therefore was used literally of a sleep, which, though long, was to have an awaking. See on Acts vii. 60.
5. This they willingly are ignorant of (lanqanei autouv touto qelontav). Lit., this escapes them of their own will. Rev., this they wilfully forget.
The heavens were. But the Greek has not article. Render, there were heavens. So, too, not the earth, but an earth, as Rev. Standing (sunestwsa). Incorrect; for the word is, literally, standing together; i.e., compacted or formed. Compare Col. i. 17, consist. Rev., compacted.
Out of the water. Again no article. Render out of water; denoting not the position of the earth, but the material or mediating element in the creation; the waters being gathered together in one place, and the dry land appearing. Or, possibly, with reference to the original liquid condition of the earth - without form and void.
In the water (di udatov). Omit the article. Dia has its usual sense here, not as Rev., amidst, but by means of. Bengel: "The water served that the earth should consist." Expositors are much divided as to the meaning. This is the view of Huther, Salmond, and, substantially, Alford.
Being overflowed (kataklusqeiv). Only here in New Testament. Cataclysm is derived from it.
7. The heavens - which now are (oi nun ouranoi). A construction similar to the then world (ver. 6). The now heavens, or the present heavens. Kept in store (teqhsaurismenoi). Rev., stored up. Lit., treasured up. The same word which is used in Luke xii. 21, layeth up treasure. Sometimes with the kindred noun qhsaurouv, treasures, as Matthew vi. 19; lit., treasure treasures.
Unto fire. Some construe this with treasured up; as Rev., stored up for fire; others with reserved, as A.V.; others again give the sense stored with fire, indicating that the agent for the final destruction is already prepared.
9. Is not slack (ou bradunei). Only here and 1 Tim. iii. 15. The word is literally to delay or loiter. So Septuagint, Gen. xliii. 10, "except we had lingered." Alford's rendering, is not tardy, would be an improvement. The word implies, besides delay, the idea of lateness with reference to an appointed time.
Come (cwrhsai). Move on, or advance to.
With a great noise (roizhdon). An adverb peculiar to Peter, and occurring only here. It is a word in which the sound suggest the sense (rhoizedon); and the kindred noun, rJoizov, is used in classical Greek of the whistling of an arrow; the sound of a shepherd's pipe; the rush of wings; the plash of water; the hissing of a serpent; and the sound of filing. The elements (stoiceia). Derived from stoicov, a row, and meaning originally one of a row or series; hence a component or element. The name for the letters of the alphabet, as being set in rows. Applied to the four elements - fire, air, earth, water; and in later times to the planets and signs of the zodiac. It is used in an ethical sense in other passages; as in Gal. iv. 3, "elements or rudiments of the world." Also of elementary teaching, such as the law, which was fitted for an earlier stage in the world's history; and of the first principles of religious knowledge among men. In Col. ii. 8, of formal ordinances. Compare Heb. v. 12. The kindred verb stoicew, to walk, carries the idea of keeping in line, according to the radical sense. Thus, walk according to rule (Galatians vi. 16); walkest orderly (Acts xxi. 24). So, too, the compound sustoicew, only in Gal. iv. 25, answereth to, lit., belongs to the same row or column with. The Greek grammarians called the categories of letters arranged according to the organs of speech sustoiciai. Here the word is of course used in a physical sense, meaning the parts of which this system of things is composed. Some take it as meaning the heavenly bodies, but the term is too late and technical in that sense. Compare Matt. xxiv. 29, the powers of the heaven.
Shall melt (luqhsontai). More literally, as Rev., shall be dissolved. With fervent heat (kausoumena). Lit., being scorched up.
11. To be dissolved (luomenwn). So Rev. But the participle is present; and the idea is rather, are in process of dissolution. The word and all therein is essentially transitory.
Ought ye to be (uparcein). See on ch. i. 8.
Hasting unto (speudontav). Wrong. Rev., earnestly desiring, for which there is authority. I am inclined to adopt, with Alford, Huther, Salmond, and Trench, the transitive meaning, hastening on; i.e., "causing the day of the Lord to come more quickly by helping to fulfil those conditions without which it cannot come; that day being no day inexorably fixed, but one the arrival of which it is free to the church to hasten on by faith and by prayer" (Trench, on "The Authorized Version of the New Testament"). See Matt. xxiv. 14: the gospel shall be preached in the whole world, "and then shall the end come." Compare the words of Peter, Acts iii. 19: "Repent and be converted," etc., "that so there may come seasons of refreshing" (so Rev., rightly); and the prayer, "Thy kingdom come." Salmond quotes a rabbincal saying, "If thou keepest this precept thou hastenest the day of Messiah." This meaning is given in margin of Rev. Wherein (di hn). Wrong. Rev., correctly, by reason of which.
Melt (thketai). Literal. Stronger than the word in vv. 10, 11. Not only the resolving, but the wasting away of nature. Only here in New Testament.
13. We look for. The same verb as in ver. 12. It occurs three times in 12-14.
New (kainouv). See on Matt. xxvi. 29.
14. Without spot and blameless. See on ch. ii. 13.
Wrest (streblousin). Only here in New Testament. Meaning, originally, to hoist with a windless or screw; to twist or dislocate the limbs on a rack. It is a singularly graphic word applied to the perversion of scripture. The other scriptures (tav loipav grafav). Showing that Paul's epistles were ranked as scripture. See on Mark xii. 10.
17. Being led away (sunapacqentev). Better, Rev., carried away. It is the word used by Paul of Barnabas, when he dissembled with Peter at Antioch. "Barnabas was carried away with their dissimulation" (Galatians ii. 13).
Of the wicked (aqesmwn). See on ch. ii. 7.
Fall from (ekpeshte). Lit., "fall out of." Compare Gal. v. 4. Steadfastness (sthrigmou). Only here in New Testament. See on ch. i. 12.