2 Peter 3:8: Delay No Argument against the Return, Part 1

Verse 8:  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and (Ps. 90:4) a thousand years as one day.

[But let not this one thing escape your notice[1]]  That is, Ye shall know this especially (Grotius).  Although the time of the coming of the Lord escape notice, yet this ought not to escape your notice (Estius).

Be not ignorant of this one thing; i.e. be sure of it:  the same word is here used as verse 5;[2] and so he cautions them against the ignorance of scoffers, and to prevent it, would have them certainly know this one thing, which is extant in the Scripture, which foretells Christ’s coming.

[One day before the Lord (that is, Christ, concerning whose coming he speaks [Estius, similarly Gerhard], and to whom the title, Κύριος/Lord, in this Epistle is appropriated:  There is emphasis here, Before God [Gerhard]; that is, in the eyes and estimation of the eternal and immutable God [Estius, similarly Menochius], who is not subject to the succession and mutation of time, to whom all things Past and Future are Present [Gerhard]) is as a thousand years, and a thousand years, etc.[3]]  He observes that no time ought to seem long in comparison with the coming eternity (Estius).  That to God nothing is either great, or of long duration (Gerhard), neither does God delay the promise of His coming (Gomar, thus Gerhard):  which he proves; either, from the eternal nature of God, in which there is no difference of time, long or short; or, from the state of eternal life in heaven in the presence of God, in comparison of which all delay is brief; so that before God is understood as in heaven (Gomar).  Therefore, they play the fool, who thing that what is to us brief or long-lasting is so to God (Beza).  To God His judgment comes as easily suddenly as slowly, and vice versa (Grotius).  That a day before God is as a thousand years is a common saying among the Hebrews (Grotius, thus Mede), as it appears in Psalm 90:4, and in the Midrash on that place,[4] Ecclesiasticus 18:10,[5] in the Zohar, on the Parashot Bereshith[6] (Grotius).  And from these this sentence appears to be taken, rather than from Psalm 90:4, where there is only one member of the sentence (Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 756).  There is a saying of Heraclitus in Seneca’s Epistles 12, One day is equal to all.  Pythagoras[7] in Iamblichus[8] says, Θεοῖς οὐδὲν μακρὸν εἶναι, nothing is long to the gods.  Plutarch in Consolation,[9] Τὰ γὰρ χίλια καὶ τὰ μύρια, κατὰ Σιμωνίδην, ἔτη στίγμά τι ἐστιν ἀόριστον πρὸς τὸν ἄπειρον ἀφορῶσιν αἰῶνα, for the thousands and the myriads of years, according to Simonides, are but as a moment to what is infinite.  Again, Plutarch in Concerning the Delays in Divine Vengeance,[10] Τοῖς θεοῖς πᾶν ἀνθρωπίνου βίου διάστημα, τὸ μηδὲν ἐστι, etc., to the gods every interval of human life is as nothing, etc.  Zosimus in his New History[11] 2, Πᾶς γὰρ χρόνος τῷ Θείῳ βραχὺς ἀεί τε ὄντι καὶ ἐσομένῳ, for all time to God, who is and ever shall be, is short.  These things, wont to be said concerning God, the Writer of this Epistle applies to Christ, as many things said concerning God in the Old Testament are wont to be applied to Christ in the New (Grotius).  Others:  I in no wise hold these words as an argument to remove slowness from God, as they are commonly taken, for the question is not whether the time be long or short with respect to, or in the estimation of, God, but of us; for not even one hundred thousand years before God are more than one day, and hence it would not seem long to God, if the day of judgment shall be delayed for so long:  but rather as a declaration of the nomenclature of the Day of judgment, which immediately preceded; that is to say, What I now said concerning the day of judgment, I would not that it be understood concerning a brief day, or of a few hours (Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 712, 755); but of a space of a thousand years during which that day shall last (Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 662).

That one day is with the Lord; the Lord Jesus Christ, of whose coming he speaks.  As a thousand years; by a synecdoche, a thousand years is put for any, even the longest revolution of time; and the sense is, that though there be great difference of time, long and short, with us, who are subject to time, and are measured by it; yet with Him who is eternal, without succession, to whom nothing is past, nothing future, but all things present, there is no difference of time, none long, none short, but a thousand years, nay, all the time that hath run out since the creation of the world, is but as a day; and we are not to judge of the Lord’s delay in coming by our own sense, but by God’s eternity.

[1] Greek:  ἓν δὲ τοῦτο μὴ λανθανέτω ὑμᾶς.

[2] 2 Peter 3:5:  “For this they willingly are ignorant of (λανθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦτο θέλοντας), that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water…”

[3] Greek:  ὅτι μία ἡμέρα παρὰ Κυρίῳ ὡς χίλια ἔτη, καὶ χίλια ἔτη ὡς ἡμέρα μία.

[4] Midrash Tehillim is an haggadic midrash on the Psalms, composed before the eleventh century.

[5] Ecclesiasticus 18:10:  “As a drop of water unto the sea, and a gravelstone in comparison of the sand; so are a thousand years to the days of eternity.”

[6] The Kabbalah is a set of secret, esoteric Rabbinic doctrines, handed down orally and based on a mystical interpretation of the Hebrew Scripture.  Zohar is one of the principal texts for Kabbalists.  It was probably written by Moses de León in the thirteenth century, but it has traditionally been attributed to Simeon ben Jochai, a second century Rabbi and mystic.  The Zohar comments on all of the Parashot (multi-chapter reading divisions) of Genesis (Bereshith).

[7] Pythagoras (582-507 BC) was a Greek philosopher and mathematician.

[8] The Life of Pythagoras.  Iamblichus (c. 245-c. 325) was instrumental in both shaping and spreading Neoplatonic philosophy in the ancient world.  He was heavily influenced by Pythagorean philosophy.

[9] Moralia 2:10.

[10] Moralia 7:44.

[11] Zosimus (fl. 490-520) was a Byzantine historian; he wrote Historia Nova, six books covering the history of the Roman emperors.

2 Peter 3:7: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 7

Verse 7:  But (2 Pet. 3:10) the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto (Matt. 25:41; 2 Thess. 1:8) fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

[But the heavens (either, 1.  the aerial [Estius, Augustine and Bede in Gerhard, similarly Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 758], not the super-elementary, or starry [Estius]:  or, 2.  the ethereal [Gerhard out of Catharinus[1] and Salmasius]; as it is evident, 1.  because these heavens are distinguished from the elements and the earth, and are opposed to the new heavens, which are certainly ethereal; 2.  because all heavens, even the ethereal, are said to be about to perish, Job 14:12; Psalm 72:7; 102:25-27; Isaiah 34:4; 51:6; 65:17; Revelation 20:11; 21:1 [Gerhard]:  The heavens, that is, Air and Ether [Grotius]), which now are (he says this for a distinction of the heaven and earth which were previously, from which they are diverse, not indeed in substance, or in all qualities, but to a good degree, on account of the mutation brought about by the flood, etc. [Estius]), and the earth (the Hebrews have no word that signifies World; and therefore they indicate it by its parts, heaven and earth [Hammond, Mede], just as evening and morning signifies a natural day:[2]  Thus body, flesh and bones, Ephesians 5:30, are put for the whole [Hammond]:  Thus in this place, heaven and earth, that is, the entire framework of this world set below the moon [Hammond, thus Mede]) by the same, etc., οἱ δὲ νῦν οὐρανοὶ καὶ ἡ γῆ τῷ αὐτῷ λόγῳ]  By the same word, or speech (Vulgate, Beza, Piscator, etc.), that is, by the command and decree of God (Menochius, similarly Piscator), by which formerly they were overwhelmed by the waters of the flood (Menochius).  Others read:  αὐτοῦ λόγῳ, by His Word[3] (Beza, Grotius), that is, τῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγῳ, by the Word of God, as in verse 5 (Grotius).

[Are kept in store, τεθησαυρισμένοι εἰσί]  That is, as if they were hidden in the repository of the divine providence, justice, and vengeance, that is, reserved for fire, as it follows (Menochius):  They are left intact unto the time, like those things which are shut up in a box.  For, that the word θησαυρῶν/treasures/repositories extends so far, we said on Matthew 2:11,[4] and thence θησαυρίζειν, to keep in store, Matthew 6:19, 20;[5] Luke 12:21;[6] etc. (Grotius).  Τῷ λόγῳ, by the Word, is able to be, either, 1.  Dative, that is to say, God keeps them for His own word and will, so that at some point concerning them He might do what pleases Him (certain interpreters in Gerhard, Estius).  Or, 2.  Ablative, that is to say, Those, by the Divine word and power, are kept in a certain repository, as it were, not so that they might remain forever, but so that they might be destroyed at the appointed time (other interpreters in Gerhard).  In either case, the substance comes to the same thing (Gerhard).  It signifies that the word of God is a repository, out of which God draws in His own time what He has decreed to do (Estius).

The heavens; the ethereal, or starry heaven, as well as aerial; for, verses 10, 12, he distinguisheth the heavens that are to perish by fire, from the elements; and verse 13, he opposeth a new heaven to that heaven which is to be consumed; but the new heaven is not meant merely of the aerial heaven.  And why should not this be meant of the same heavens, which elsewhere in Scripture are said to perish? Job 14:12; Ps 102:26, All of them wax old, etc.  By the same word; the same as 2 Peter 3:5.  Are kept in store; are kept safe as in a treasury, and untouched for a time, that they may be destroyed at last.

[Unto fire (namely, of the conflagration at the end of the world [Menochius, similarly Estius]) reserved]  So that it might be consumed by fire (Piscator).  Τηρεῖσθαι, to be reserved, here signifies a distinction, as in 2 Peter 2:4,[7] 9,[8] 17;[9] 1 Peter 1:4.[10]  This most ancient tradition is confirmed by Christ.  That the testimonies of that were found among the works of Hystaspes,[11] the Sibylls,[12] and Sophocles, and are extant even now in the works of Ovid, Seneca,[13] and Lucan,[14] we show in Concerning the Truth of the Christian Religion[15] 1 near the end.  Seneca has the same, in Natural Questions[16] 3:13, The end of the World is fire:  namely, from the Stoics, who were calling that end of the World ἐκπύρωσιν, the conflagration.  Zeno, of Citium, of course,[17] had received this from the Phoenicians:  for Citium was a colony of the Phoenicians on Cyprus.  Heraclitus had the same from the Pythagoreans; the Pythagoreans from the Jews.  Mention is made of this tradition in the Book which is called The Cedar of Lebanon.  Just as God formerly loosened the reins of the waters, so he shall loosen the reins of fire.  Ὃταν πυρὸς γέμοντα θησαυρὸν σχάσῃ Χρυσωπὸς αἰθὴρ, when the golden ether opens the repository full of fire, says Sophocles.  Fire was not in that first, wet mass, but God afterwards inserted it.  Moses calls it light, because what things are hot are also bright.  From this light were compacted the Stars, whence fires descend unto the earth, and under the earth fires are generated.  By these fires coming together, just as the waters united, shall arise that conflagration, fatal to the earth.  With all matter burning with one fire, whatever now in order shines shall be on fire, says Seneca in Concerning Consolation.[18]  In Minucius,[19] Cæcilius says of the Christians, They threaten the whole Globe and the very World with conflagration (Grotius).  Moreover, Adam had predicted, says Josephus in his Antiquities of the Jews 1:3, that all things finally are going to perish, once by the force of fire, and once by the force and abundance of water (Dieu).

Reserved unto fire; that they may be consumed by it.  The destruction of the world by fire at the last day, is opposed to the destruction of it by water in the flood.

[Unto (or, until [Piscator, Gerhard]) the day of judgment (that is, final and universal [Gerhard, thus Piscator]:  or, of condemnation [Piscator, Gerhard]) and of perdition of ungodly men]  Matthew 13:40; 25:41; Jude 7 (Grotius).  This he adds so that he might show the principal use of that fire, which is to torment the wicked forever (Estius).

Against the day of judgment; the general judgment.  And perdition of ungodly men; this the apostle speaks with an emphasis, because they were ungodly against whom he here bends his discourse.

[1] Lancelot Politi, also known as Ambrosius Catharinus (1483-1553), was an Italian Dominican scholar, who played a prominent role at the Council of Trent in defense of the Papacy against the Reformation.  In spite of theological eccentricities, he was considered to be an orthodox Romanist.

[2] See Genesis 1.

[3] Thus Codices Sinaiticus and Ephræmi Rescriptus, and the vast majority of Byzantine manuscripts.

[4] Matthew 2:11b:  “…and when they had opened their treasures (τοὺς θησαυροὺς), they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

[5] Matthew 6:19, 20:  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures (μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures (θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμῖν θησαυροὺς) in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal…”

[6] Luke 12:21:  “So is he that layeth up treasure for himself (οὕτως ὁ θησαυρίζων ἑαυτῷ), and is not rich toward God.”

[7] 2 Peter 2:4:  “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved (τετηρημένους) unto judgment…”

[8] 2 Peter 2:9:  “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve (τηρεῖν) the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished…”

[9] 2 Peter 2:17:  “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved (τετήρηται) for ever.”

[10] 1 Peter 1:4:  “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved (τετηρημένην) in heaven for you…”

[11] Hystaspes, or Vishtaspa, was a tenth century BC follower and patron of Zoroaster.  The Oracles attributed to him were probably collected later, in the early third century BC.

[12] The Sibylline Oracles claim to be the work of ten pre-Christian Sibyls, prophesying of the coming of Christ and the spread of Christianity.  They appear to have been the work of multiple authors of differing dates, and modified later by Jewish and Christian scribes.

[13] Lucius Annæus Seneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD) was a Roman philosopher and dramatist.

[14] Marcus Annæus Lucanus (39-65) was a Roman poet.

[15] De Veritate Religionis Christianæ.

[16] Naturales Quæstiones.

[17] Zeno of Citium (333-264 BC) was the founder of the philosophical school of Stoicism.

[18] Ad Marciam 26.

[19] Felix Marcus Minucius (third century) was perhaps the earliest Latin apologist.  His Octavius presents an apologetic encounter between Cæcilius Natalis, a pagan, and Octavius Januarius, a Christian.

2 Peter 3:6: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 6

Verse 6:  (Gen. 7:11, 21-23; 2 Pet. 2:5) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished…

[By which, etc., δι᾽ ὧν ὁ τότε κόσμος ὕδατι κατακλυσθεὶς ἀπώλετο]  Through which (or, by which things, that is, by which inundation [Castalio]:  By which [Vatablus]; Namely, by the heavens [Estius, Bede and the Glossa Ordinaria, etc., in Gerhard, Menochius, Beza], that is, rains poured out from heaven, Genesis 7:11 [Estius], and by the earth [Menochius, Bede, etc., in Gerhard, Beza, Vatablus], which together discharged that immense force of water as if by common consent, Genesis 7:11 [Beza, similarly Menochius, Gagnæus in Gerhard], and by the water [certain interpreters in Estius, Gerhard, Mede], and the word of God, of both which mention is made in the preceding verse [Gerhard]:  Others:  Δι᾽ ὧν, whereby, is to be translated illatively,[1] and the Genitive is here put in the place of the Accusative:  now, διὰ with thee Accusative signifies because of, as in John 6:57, δι᾽ ἐμέ, because of me;[2] in Romans 3:25, διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν, because of the remission[3] [certain interpreters in Gerhard]:  Wherefore [Pagnine, Piscator, Beza, Knatchbull]; δι᾽ ὧν is the same as ἀνθ᾽ ὧν, because of which, etc.; that is, That former world perished by the flood because of those very things, because of which the world that now is is kept and reserved for fire unto the day of judgment:  Namely, because there were in those days, as there shall be in the last, mockers, etc., who were unwilling to believe the preaching of Noah [Knatchbull]:  For which cause:  For thus the Greeks use ἀνθ᾽ ὧν and ἐξ ὧν, denoting, not something in particular, but the entire matter that has been treated:  For which cause, that is, Because there was such a constitution, of which sort we spoke, of the Earth and Heaven [Grotius]:  But this was not properly the cause of the flood, but rather the sins of men, etc.:  And an example, in which δι᾽ ὧν is thus taken, is not yet given [Gerhard]) the, which then was (or, of that time [Castalio], that is, former, original [Estius, Grotius], in the times of Noah [Grotius]), world (that is, that is, either, 1.  the heaven and the earth [most interpreters in Estius]; or, 2.  the men that then were [Grotius, thus Beza, Castalio, Piscator], and the other animals [Castalio, similarly Beza, Piscator], and the whole surface of the earth [Vorstius, similarly Gerhard]), being overflowed with water (overwhelmed with waters, erupting both from the earth, and from the heaven, as the history of Moses shows [Grotius]), perished (Beza, etc.), Genesis 7:11 (Mede).  Wherefore the world was not always so, neither shall it always be the same (Castalio).  Therefore, it is not incredible that there is going to be a mutation of heaven and earth, etc. (Estius).  The world shall be destroyed, not indeed with water, which was able to be cited here, but with fire, etc. (Gomar).

Whereby; by which heavens and water, mentioned in the former verse, the fountains of the great deep being broken up, and the windows of heaven opened, Genesis 7:11.  Or, by the word of God, as the principal cause, and the water as the instrumental, which, at his command, was poured out upon the earth both from above and below.  The world; the earth, with all the inhabitants of it, eight persons excepted.  This the apostle allegeth against the forementioned scoffers, who said that all things continued as they were, when yet the flood had made so great a change in the face of the lower creation.

[1] That is, inferentially.

[2] John 6:57:  “As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father (διὰ τὸν πατέρα):  so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me (δι᾽ ἐμέ).”

[3] Romans 3:25:  “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission (διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν) of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God…”

2 Peter 3:5: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 5

Verse 5:  For this they willingly are ignorant of, that (Gen. 1:6, 9; Ps. 33:6; Heb. 11:3) by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth (Ps. 24:2; 136:6; Col. 1:17) standing (Gr. consisting[1]) out of the water and in the water…

[It escapes notice, etc., λανθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦτο θέλοντας]  For that, being willing (or, willingly [Pagnine, Piscator, Erasmus, Vatablus, Estius, Æthiopic], or, because they will [Syriac]) they do not know (Erasmus, Illyricus, Tigurinus), or, it escapes notice (Castalio), or, it escapes them (Beza), it escapes their notice (Pagnine, Piscator).  They take pains that they might not know, being unwilling to turn to the Scriptures, out of which they were able to learn the truth (Estius); they are unwilling to know (Menochius, thus Gerhard), what they ought and are able to know (Gerhard).  Their ignorance was crass and affected (Estius).  There is a certain ignorance deriving much from the will.  Therefore, concerning certain ones it is said, they were unwilling to understand.  If they read Moses, they are able to understand that this World consists of corruptible things, and consequently it is not strange if it is going to come to pass that the World itself is ruined (Grotius).  Others:  It escapes the notice of those that will this, that is, who think in this way (Heinsius,[2] similarly Mede, Hammond).  For θέλειν to the Greeks, and velle to the Latins, is often the same as to esteem, or to think.  Herodianus, σεβίζουσι δὲ ὑπερφυῶς, Ἀπόλλωνα εἶναι ἐθέλοντες, but they exceedingly fear, because they will Apollo to be, that is, they think.  Cicero, For the four natures, of which he thinks all things to consist, he wills to be from heaven.[3]  And we are wont to say, Those that will this, that is, think.  Thus 2 Corinthians 1:17, the things that I will, that is, I teach, or affirm.  So here θέλοντας means those affirming, that is, with authority, without any reason beyond Thus I will, etc. (Hammond).  The pronoun this points to what follows (Estius).

[That, etc., ὅτι οὐρανοὶ ἦσαν ἔκπαλαι, καὶ γῆ ἐξ ὕδατος καὶ δι᾽ ὕδατος συνεστῶσα, τῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγῳ]  That συνεστῶσα/standing is referred, either, 1.  as much to the heaven as to the earth, by a Zeugma[4] (Grotius, Œcumenius and Lapide and Lessius[5] in Gerhard).  The earth out of the water emerged, and the same stands firm δι᾽ ὕδατος, through the water.  The heaven also of water consists.  For the entire heaven, as much what we call aerial as what we call ethereal, to the Hebrews is called by one name, and is thought to be vapor of waters, as we have shown on Genesis.  The same heaven also stands δι᾽ ὕδατος, through the water, on account of the clouds which are in heaven, and partly above heaven, as it is seen in Genesis 1:7; 7:11; Psalm 148:4 (Grotius).  Or, 2.  to the earth alone (Beza, thus Estius, Gerhard), a description of which is here added, on account of the mention of the flood, which did not touch the heaven (Beza).  [Thus they render the words:]  That the heavens (he set down heavens in the place of heaven, because the Hebrews do not have the singular number [of this word]:  Heaven, namely, the aeriel, and the lowest region of this:  for to this point, but not higher, the waters of the flood reached [Estius, similarly Piscator]:  Thus it is taken by Augustine, Bede, and nearly all Theologians [Estius]) were (or, existed [Beza, thus Piscator, Gerhard], understanding, created [Piscator, Gerhard]) already of old (that is, in the time of Noah, from a comparison with the following verse, in which it is said, ὁ τότε κόσμος, the world that then was, namely, in the time of Noah [Piscator]:  But the destruction of the world by the flood is not yet treated, but rather the primeval creation of the world [Gerhard]:  from ancient times [Gerhard out of the Syriac], from the very beginning of the world [Estius, similarly Gerhard, Beza, Hammond]:  for ἐκ[6] has the force of intensification, as in 2 Peter 2:3[7] [Gerhard]; ἐξ ἡμερῶν ἀρχαίων, of ancient days, Isaiah 37:26[8] [Grotius]), and the earth (that is, ἦν/was, stood forth [Piscator, Vorstius, Gerhard], or, emerged [Grotius]:  Here he calls the terrestrial globe, composed of earth and water, the earth, so that the atmosphere might be included under heaven [Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 758]) of, or out of, the water (as of a part of itself, enclosed in its cavities [Piscator]:  out of the water, that is, out of that wet mass, which the Greeks call ὕλην, matter or mud/slime, out of the Books of the Phoenicians [Grotius]; out of that great deep, Genesis 1:1, 2 [Hammond, Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 755]; out of the immense abundance of waters, which formerl covered the earth, but now is in the Ocean, rivers, and subterranean places [Hammond]; out of the water it emerged, by which in the beginning it was covered [Drusius, thus Beza, James Cappel, Estius, Menochius, Gerhard]:  or, outside of the water [Vorstius, thus Gerhard], or, separated from the waters [Gerhard]:  In this place he does not understand some material cause, not even an efficient cause; but only the place containing [Vorstius]) and through the water (as through a foundation upon which it leans:  See Genesis 7:11; Psalm 24:2 [Piscator]:  or, in the water [Pagnine, Beza, Piscator], as floating in that [Piscator]:  Δι᾽ ὕδατος, through the water, is in the place of ἐν ὕδατι, in the water [Piscator, Vorstius, Castalio], as in 1 Peter 3:20[9] [Piscator]; or, among the waters, or in the midst of the waters [Mede, Hammond, thus Beza, Grotius], that is, surrounded by waters, that is, the upper waters, or the clouds overhanding it [Hammond], as if it were διὰ μέσου, through the midst [Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter 755]:  Διὰ/through is put in the place of בְּתוֹךְ, in the midst of [Grotius, Mede, Hammond], as in 1 Peter 3:20 [Grotius, Hammond]; and in 1 Corinthians 3:15, διὰ πυρός, by fire, that is, in the midst of fire [Hammond]; and in 2 Timothy 2:2, διὰ πολλῶν μαρτύρων, by many witnesses, that is, among many witnesses:  Thus Herodotus, διὰ νήσων, through the islands, that is, among the islands [Mede]:  Thus through the mountains to the Latins is the same as in/ among the mountains [Castalio]) consisting (or, subsisting, for by water, as it were, it is aerated [James Cappel], compacted, and stuck together [Menochius, thus Estius], so that one part of it might adhere to the other [Menochius], lest it disintegrate into dust [Estius, thus Menochius]; and so that it might be apt for the production and preservation of mixed bodies [Estius, thus Gerhard], otherwise it is going to be too crumbly, too dusty, and is going to give way to the feet of those walking upon it [James Cappel]:  Others:  συνεστῶσα, to stand forth or to consist, is put in the place of to be, as constare, to be sure or to consist, is in the works of Cicero, whatsoever things in nature and in the whole world constarent, are or stand forth, are united by friendship, and scattered by discord[10] [Castalio]:  Others:  συνεστῶσα, that is, having its own σύστασιν (consistency), just as also the Natural Scientiests speak, as we said on Colossians 1:17:[11]  Thus you also have σύστασιν κόσμου, the composition of the world, in Wisdom of Solomon 7:17:[12]  For the Earth, together with the Water, make up one globe, and under the earth there are vast reservoirs of waters, into which entire seas insinuate themselves, and whence all arise, and often hide themselves again in them:  See Psalm 24:2; Ecclesiastes 1:7, and what things were said there [Grotius]) by the word of God (Montanus, Erasmus, Illyricus, etc.).  That is, whereby He said, Let there be light, etc. (Hammond).  By the commandment of God, who separates the waters from the dry ground (Menochius).  By the commandment of God conjoined with His power, since by it the earth, standing in waters, is perpetually preserved (Vorstius).  But this is to be referred to the earth and the heavens, as it is evident from a comparision with the following verse and Genesis 1; Psalm 33:9; 148:5 (Gerhard, thus Estius).  He here refutes the argument of the mockers brought in the preceding verse.  The long-lasting, says he, and unchanging state of the world does not prevent God, who created the world, from being able to destroy it (Gerhard).  See what things are on John 1:1.  Philo, λόγῳ γὰρ αἱ τροπαὶ καὶ ἐτήσιοι ὧραι τεταγμένῳ καὶ παγίῳ συνίστανται, for by the settled and fixed word the solstices and annual seasons are joined together.  He means this, that those waters, which are in heaven and on earth, by the command and power of God both are shut up and are loosed, just as also the Fire (Grotius).  This verse is preparatory to the following Atheistical aphorism, that no punishments are reserved for the impious, no rewards for the pious, which he refutes by the example of the flood, verse 6.  So that he might prepare the way to this, he here describes the state of the lower world, which was constituted by God in such a way that, when it pleased Him, He was able to flood it.  For He set the earth in the waters, etc. (Hammond).  The sense of the verse:  It escapes their notice that the heavens and earth stand by the word of God, and hence that by the same word of God they are able to perish and be destroyed (Menochius).  All things do not always continue in the same manner, as those mockers feign, etc. (Tirinus).

For this they willingly are ignorant of; they will not know what they ought to know, and, if they would search the Scripture, might know.  That by the word of God; the command of God, or word of his power, as it is called, Hebrews 1:3:  see Genesis 1:6, 9; Psalm 33:6; 148:5.  The heavens were; were created, or had a being given them, Genesis 1:6.  Of old; from the beginning of the world.  And the earth; the globe of the earth, which comprehends likewise the seas and rivers, as parts of the whole.  Standing out of the water and in the water:  according to our translation, the sense of these words may be plainly this, that the earth, standing partly out of the water, (as all the dry land doth, whose surface is higher than the water,) and partly in the water, (as those parts do which are under it,) or in the midst of the water, as being covered and encompassed by seas and rivers.  But most expositors follow the marginal reading, and render the Greek word by consisting; and then the meaning may be, either, 1.  That the earth consisting of water, as the matter out of which it was formed, (Moses calling the chaos which was that matter, waters, Genesis 1:2,) and by water, from which it hath its compactness and solidity, and without which it would be wholly dry, mere useless dust, unfit for the generation and production of natural things.  If we understand the words thus, the argument lies against the scoffers; for the earth thus consists of and by water, yet God made use of the water for the destroying of the world; and so natural causes are not sufficient for its preservation without the power of God sustaining it in its being; and whenever he withdraws that power, in spite of all inferior causes, it must perish.  Or, 2.  The words may thus be read, the heavens were of old, and the earth (supply from the former clause) was out of the water, and consisting by, or in, the water; and the meaning is, that the earth did emerge, or appear out of, or above, the water, viz. when God gathered the waters together, and made the dry land appear; and doth consist by, or among, or in, the midst of the waters, as was before explained.

[1] Greek:  συνεστῶσα.

[2] Daniel Heinsius (1580-1655) was a classical scholar, serving for almost sixty years at the University of Leiden.  During the Synod of Dort, he acted as secretary on behalf of the States-General.  He contributed to the Elzeviers edition of the New Testament, and wrote Exercitationes ad Novum Testamentum.

[3] De Natura Deorum 1.

[4] A Zeugma is a figure of speech, in which two subjects are used jointly with the same predicate, although the predicate belongs properly only to one.

[5] Lenært Lays, or Leonard Lessius (1554-1623), was a Belgian Jesuit theologian.

[6] 2 Peter 3:5b:  “…that by the word of God the heavens were of old (ἔκπαλαι)…”  Πάλαι signifies of old.

[7] 2 Peter 2:3:  “And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you:  whose judgment now of a long time (ἔκπαλαι) lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

[8] Isaiah 37:26:  “Hast thou not heard long ago (לְמֵרָחוֹק; πάλαι, in the Septuagint), how I have done it; and of ancient times (מִ֥ימֵי קֶ֖דֶם; ἐξ ἀρχαίων ἡμερῶν, in the Septuagint, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.”

[9] 1 Peter 3:20b:  “…while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water (δι᾽ ὕδατος).”

[10] De Amicitia 24.

[11] Colossians 1:17:  “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist (συνέστηκε).”

[12] Wisdom of Solomon 7:17:  “For he hath given me certain knowledge of the things that are, namely, to know the composition of the world (σύστασιν κόσμου), and the operation of the elements…”

2 Peter 3:4: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 4

Verse 4:  And saying, (Is. 5:19; Jer. 17:15; Ezek. 12:22, 27; Matt. 24:48; Luke 12:45) Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

[Saying, Where, etc., ποῦ ἐστιν ἡ ἐπαγγελία τῆς παρουσίας αὐτοῦ]  Where is the guarantee, or promise (that is, the thing promised [Mede]) of the coming (that is, the promised coming:  An expression of which sort is found in the preceding verse and in 2 Peter 2:18 [Gerhard]) of Him? (Erasmus, Beza, Piscator, Montanus), that is, of Christ, whose name preceded a little before, and, if that had not been, nevertheless it was sufficiently able to be understood from the matter itself (Grotius, similarly Gerhard), as in Hebrews 13:5 (Grotius), whose name those were unwilling to express out of ἐξουθενισμὸν/ contempt (Gerhard).  He here understands His glorious coming, to judgment (Gomar, thus Estius, Menochius, Gerhard, Mede, Tirinus), so many times promised and impressed (Tirinus).  It is the interrogation, either, 1.  of on doubting, that is to say, The Lord is slow, etc. (certain interpreters in Estius); or, 2.  of one denying (Estius, Vorstius, Gerhard, Gomar), that is to say, The promise of the coming of Christ is vain, and of the ruin and renovation of the world (Gomar, thus Mede).  Thus they were eager to remove from their followers the fear and hope of future things, so that they might immerse themselves completely in pleasures (Estius, similarly Gerhard).  In a similar way, the impious were eluding the Prophecies of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 12:27.  And it was said to Malachi, Where is that God of judgment, that is, who is coming to judge? Malachi 2:17 (Grotius).

And saying, Where is the promise?  Questioning or denying the great truths of the gospel, thereby to encourage themselves in walking after their own lusts.  Of his coming; viz. Christ’s, mentioned verse 2.  Possibly these scoffers might drop the name of Christ by way of contempt, not vouchsafing to mention it, as the Jews did, John 9:29; q.d. Where is the promise of his coming whom you expect?  His coming, to judge the world; q.d. His promised coming doth not appear, the promise of it is not fulfilled.

[Since, etc., ἀφ᾽ ἧς γὰρ οἱ πατέρες ἐκοιμήθησαν, πάντα οὕτω διαμένει ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς κτίσεως]  Ἀφ᾽ ἧς, from which:  Understand ἡμέρας/day (Grotius, Piscator, Estius, Gerhard).  And take ἡμέραν/day for time (Grotius).  [Thus they translate it:]  For from which (understanding, day [Piscator, Beza], so that it might be the Epoch from which it takes its beginning, excluding previous things, and including subsequent things [certain interpreters in Hammond]:  But this opinion does not satisfy; 1.  for the Epoch here is set down as far older than that, namely, from the creation; 2.  it is difficult to know which Fathers he has in view:  If you should say Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it could be opposed to this, that he takes the probation from the time of the flood, which was long before them:  Therefore, I would prefer to translate ἀφ᾽ ἧς as apart from the fact that, or, with this excepted, that is, that the fathers fell asleep, and their sons succeeded them, and men are not immortal, which does not pertain to the present arrangement [Hammond]) the Fathers (that is, the ancients, the Patriarchs and Prophets; you say that they believed in and proclaimed this coming [Estius, thus Gerhard]; or, the first and early Fathers, from whom the race of men was propagated [Menochius]) fell asleep (that is, died [Piscator, Estius, Menochius]; that is to say, they were not so much dead as asleep, or resting in the grave, as you say, so that this might be said mockingly, just as also the following word κτίσεως/creation [Gerhard, Beza], which they seize upon from the assumption of the Christians [Gerhard]), all things thus continue from the beginning of creation (Beza, Piscator, etc.), that is to say, Hitherto the world without mutation has endured.  Therefore, hereafter also it shall endure (Gomar, thus Estius).  As if He that is the author of nature could change nothing in it, or as if long continuance of time allows nothing in it for change (Estius).  Concerning the duration of the world, it is to be assessed in accordance with the power of God, as the preserving cause, and the will of God revealed in the word through the Prophets and Apostles (Gomar).  Manilius,[1] At that time, when the Greek ships devastated Pergama,[2] Arctos[3] and Orion were coming head on.  Consult Ecclesiastes 1:9 (Grotius).  Among the Hebrews Maimonides, excessively imbued with Aristotelian Philosophy,[4] disputes against the renovation of the World coming in the days of Messiah by this argument, that the world retains and follows its own custom.  But his opinion is refuted by Ibn Ezra and Abarbanel[5] (Mede).

For since the fathers, who died in the faith of Christ’s coming, and had the promise of it, fell asleep; i.e. died; the usual phrase of Scripture, which these scoffers seem to speak in derision; q.d. It is so long since the fathers fell asleep, (as you call it,) that it were more than time for them to be awakened, whereas we see the contrary.  All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation; i.e. the world continues to be the same it was, and hath the same parts it had; we see nothing changed, nothing abolished, but still nature keeps its old course.  Thus they argue, that because there had been no such great change, therefore there should be none; because Christ was not yet come to judgment, therefore he should not come at all; not considering the power of God, who is as able to destroy the world as to make it, nor the will of God revealed in his word concerning the end of it.

[1] Marcus Manilius (first century AD) was a Roman astrologer, who wrote a long poem of five books entitled Astronomica.

[2] Pergama was the citadel of Troy.

[3] Arctos is the Great or Little Bear constellation.

[4] Moses Maimonides, or Rambam (1135-1204), is reckoned by many to be the greatest Jewish scholar of his age.  Maimonides’ command of the Hebrew Scriptures, Rabbinic tradition, natural science, and Aristotelian philosophy is staggering.

[5] Isaac Abarbanel (1437-1508) was one of the great Spanish rabbis of his age and a stalwart opponent of Christianity, in spite of the danger.  He held fast to a literal interpretation of the Scripture, over against Maimonides’ philosophical allegorizing.  He commented on all of the Law and the Prophets.

2 Peter 3:3: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 3

Verse 3:  (1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; Jude 18) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, (2 Pet. 2:10) walking after their own lusts…

[Knowing this first[1] (that is, especially, as in 2 Peter 1:20[2] [Grotius], as a principal matter, and therefore especially necessary for caution [Gerhard])]  Ἔστε, be ye, is understood (Camerarius).  Know ye (Estius).

[They shall come in, etc., ὅτι ἐλεύσονται ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν ἐμπαῖκται]  In the final, or latest, or last, days (verbatim:  in the final of days [Piscator], understanding time[3] [Camerarius]:  It does not designate a certain time, but signifies in the end or hereafter, as in Numbers 24:14:[4]  Jude on the same matter said ἐν ἐσχάτῳ χρόνῳ, in the last time[5] [Grotius]:  This phrase, after the fashion of the Hebrews, designates future times, whether far distant, or even at hand, as we taught on 1 Timothy 4:1:  For it is evident that Peter speaks here of seducers who were going to arise a little afterwards [Estius]:  Others:  He designates in the place the time of the Apostasy of the Church under Antichrist, according to 1 Timothy 4:1 [Mede] [see the Synopsis there]) mockers (Beza, Piscator, Pagnine, Montanus), or, scoffers (Erasmus, Illyricus, Tigurinus, Castalio).  Which in Hebrew is לֵצִים/scorners[6] (Hammond, thus Grotius).  Thus men are called, who mock piety (Grotius, similarly Hammond), who want to appear clever by contempt of God and sacrilegious audacity (Beza).  Others:  They are here called scoffers, not because they hold the religion of Christ as sport and jest, since they themselves very much want to be held as Christians, but because they skilled in the art of deception; because, while they deceive men, those they both deride in their hearts, and expose to the mockery of others (Estius).  In a manuscript it is ἐν ἐμπαιγμονῇ ἐμπαῖκται, in scoffing scoffers,[7] in the place of ἐν ἐμπαιγμῇ, in scoffing, for it is called ἐμπαιγμὴ, ἔμπαιγμος, and ἔμπαιγμα.  Now, it is the custom of the Hebrews, for the sake of emphasis, to add Substantives to Adjectives.  And thus the Latin reads, translating, in deception scoffers; Augustine cites in a manner more closely modeled upon the Greek, by mocking mockers.  Those  ἐμπαῖκται/ scoffers that were going to be, I interpret as the Carpocratians as before, who were denying that the resurrection of the body was going to come, as Augustine relates, and even more audaciously that, with Jerusalem now destroyed, they were yet understanding that this scheme of the World would remain, contrary to the way that most Christians, even the Apostles, had thought that it was going to be; for they had received nothing certain concerning this matter from the Lord, except that Jerusalem would be destroyed before the World.  Although I said Apostles here, I understand them before the time of the Revelation made to John (Grotius).

Knowing this first; especially, as being very necessary to be known.  The apostle having in the former chapter cautioned these saints against the more close enemies of the gospel, seducers and false teachers, here he foretells them of more open enemies, profane scoffers.  In the last days:  see 1 Corinthians 10:11; 2 Timothy 3:1.  Scoffers; profane contemners of God, and deriders of his truth, Psalm 1:1; 119:51; Isaiah 28:14, 22.

[After their own (that is, innate in them by nature [Beza]) lusts, etc.[8]]  The same words are found in Jude 16.[9]  See also 2 Peter 2:10[10] (Grotius); that is to say, as lusts lead or drive them (Piscator).  Those indulging the appetite, wantonnes, etc. (Menochius, thus Estius).  Now, that it is not strange that those who do not believe in the resurrection would indulge the flesh in every way, Paul teaches us, 1 Corinthians 15:32 (Grotius).

Walking after their own lusts; such as are natural to them; lusts of ungodliness, Jude 18.

[1] Greek:  τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες.

[2] 2 Peter 1:20:  “Knowing this first (τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες), that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”

[3] That is, in the final time of days.

[4] Numbers 24:14:  “And now, behold, I go unto my people:  come therefore, and I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days (בְּאַחֲרִ֥ית הַיָּמִֽים׃; ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν, in the Septuagint).”

[5] Jude 18.

[6] For example, Psalm 1:1:  “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (לֵצִים).”

[7] Thus Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus.

[8] Greek:  κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας αὐτῶν ἐπιθυμίας πορευόμενοι.

[9] Jude 16a:  “These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts (κατὰ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῶν πορευόμενοι)…”

[10] 2 Peter 2:10a:  “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness (τοὺς ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ μιασμοῦ πορευομένους), and despise government.”

2 Peter 3:2: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 2

Verse 2:  That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, (Jude 17) and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour…

[That, etc., μνησθῆναι τῶν προειρημένων ῥημάτων ὑπὸ τῶν ἁγίων προφητῶν, καὶ τῆς τῶν ἀποστόλων ἡμῶν ἐντολῆς τοῦ Κυρίου καὶ σωτῆρος]  Some (indeed, all the Greek codices except the Complutensian [Gerhard]) have ὑμῶν/your,[1] that is, as if one of the Apostles was speaking.  I think that both [ἡμῶν/our, and ὑμῶν/your, which Grotius reads with the Vulgate] were inserted [but Grotius asserts this without argument, without any Codex, so that he might make for his singular opinion concerning the author of this Epistle], and that there is a Trajection in the place of τῆς ἐντολῆς τῶν ἀποστόλων, the commandment of the apostles, etc.  Thus Jude, who frequently follows this Author, ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων τοῦ Κυρίου, by the apostles of the Lord, etc. (Grotius).  [Thus they translate:]  To be mindful (μνησθῆναι, in the place of εἰς τὸ μνησθῆναι, in order to be mindful [Vorstius], or, so they ye might be mindful [Beza, Piscator, etc.]) of the words spoken before (concerning the coming of Christ to judgment, and the renewal promised at that time [Mede’s Paraphrase and Exposition of the Prophesie of Saint Peter]) by the holy Prophets (frequently in the Old Testament, as twice by Joel [Hammond]; by Isaiah, Daniel, and Malachi [Mede]), and of our commandment of the apostles of the Lord, etc. (Montanus), or, and of our commandment, who are Apostles, etc. (Erasmus, Vatablus, thus Piscator, most interpreters in Estius), or, of that precept, given to us by the Apostles, etc. (Beza), or, which ye received from us Apostles (Gerhard, thus Estius).  The pronoun ἡμῶν, of us, is not here possessive (Vorstius), in the place of ἡμετέρων/our (Piscator), but primitive, or exegetical (Vorstius); and it coheres with the noun ἀποστόλων/apostles, not by a syntax of government, but of agreement (Piscator, thus Vorstius).  For there is a Trajection here (Vorstius, thus Piscator), which is common in Peter (Piscator, Gerhard).  This exposition harmonizes, both with the prior member, and with the parallel passage in Jude 17.  Now, unto this most closely agrees that in which ἡμῶν/ our is conjoined with Κυρίου/Lord, etc., in this manner, of the commandment which ye received from the Apostles of our Lord and Savior (Gerhard).  The name of Savior indicates the worth of this doctrine (Beza).  Now, the commandment in this place is said to be both, of the Apostles, by whom it was commanded; and, of Christ as Lord and preceptor, as it appears from the placement of the word ἐντολῆς/commandment, so that here there might be no place for a Trajection (Beza).  Now, by ἐντολὴν/commandment here he understands, either, 1.  the precepts concerning the love of God and the neighbor, unto which all the rest are referred (Salmasius in Gerhard); or, 2.  the entire Christian doctrine (Gerhard, thus Beza), confirmed by the testimony of the Prophets and Apostles, which, having been previously been preached with the living voice by them, he recalls into memory for them.  For ἐντολὴ/commandment corresponds to the Hebrew word מִצְוָה,[2] which signifies doctrine (Gerhard).  Or, 3.  the precept that Peter in the preceding inculcated concerning the tenacious retaining of the doctrine delivered in the beginning, especially as far as the promises and glorious advent of Christ are concerned; and concerning the avoidance of False Teachers.  For concerning these Jude expressly explains, and concerning the same Peter subjoins (Estius).

The words which were spoken before by the holy prophets; the word of prophecy, 2 Peter 1:19:  he joins the prophets and apostles together, as concurring in their doctrine, and so useth it as an argument to persuade them to constancy in the faith of the gospel, that what the apostles preached to them was confirmed by what the prophets under the Old Testament had taught before, Acts 26:22; Ephesians 2:20.  And of the commandment of us; by this he means the whole doctrine of the gospel preached by him and the other apostles:  see 2 Peter 2:21; 1 John 3:23.  The apostles of the Lord and Saviour; who was the author of this commandment, and the principal in giving it, and from whom the apostles received it, who were but ministers and instruments in delivering it to others.

[1] 2 Peter 3:2b:  “…by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of your (ὑμῶν) apostles of the Lord and Saviour…”  Thus the majority of Byzantine manuscripts.

[2] The Septuagint frequently renders מִצְוָה by ἐντολὴ.

2 Peter 3:1: The Purpose of the Epistle: To Remind of the Coming of the Lord, Part 1

Verse 1:  This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which (2 Pet. 1:13) I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance…

[This…second epistle I write[1]]  From this place, and from 2 Peter 1:13, it is proven that Peter wrote this Epistle (Beza), and that he sent to the same, not more, but one Epistle (Estius).  Others:  This is the beginning of a new Epistle of the same Simeon unto those Jews in Egypt, professing the discipline of Christ (Grotius).

This second epistle:  this confirms what has been said, that this Epistle was written by Peter, as well as the former.

[In, etc., ἐν αἷς διεγείρω ὑμῶν ἐν ὑπομνήσει τὴν εἰλικρινῆ διάνοιαν]  By which (or, in which [Montanus, Piscator], namely, two Epistles [Estius, thus Erasmus, Vatablus, Grotius, Beza]:  otherwise he would have said ἐν ᾗ, in which[2] [Beza]:  The construction refers to the sense, not to the words [Gerhard, similarly Estius]:  Something is here presupposed and understood, in this manner, This now second, after and in addition to the form, to you I write, etc. [Gerhard]:  Others:  through which [Vatablus]) your sincere (that is, pure and simple, not colored [Tirinus]) mind (this is the language of one coaxing and hoping good things [Grotius, similarly Gerhard]; or, of one anticipating, that is to say, I do not write these so that I might render your mind sincere, but so that according to my office and love I might confirm you in sincerity [Gomar, similarly Gerhard]:  Paul commends εἰλικρίνειαν/sincerity to us, 1 Corinthians 5:8, even indeed by his own example, 2 Corinthians 1:12; 2:17:  Διάνοια/ mind, Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Hebrews 8:10; 10:16; etc. [Grotius]) through reminder (Beza), or, in reminding (Montanus), ἐν/in in the place of διὰ/through.  He teaches that they require, not so much a greater abundance of information, as a grave reminder (Gerhard), lest they forget (Gomar):  or, by recalling to mind.  It is the same expression as in 2 Peter 1:13.[3]  Thus we have ὑπομιμνήσκειν, to bring to remembrance, in the place of הִזְכִּיר,[4] John 14:26;[5] 2 Timothy 2:14;[6] 2 Peter 1:13 (Grotius).

I stir up your pure minds; or, sincere minds:  the sense is either, 1.  I stir up your minds, that they may be pure and sincere; and then he doth not so much commend them for what they were, as direct and exhort them to what they should be, that they might receive benefit by what he wrote, there being nothing that contributes more to the fruitful entertaining of the word, than sincerity and honesty of heart, when men lay aside those things which are contrary to it, and might hinder its efficacy, 1 Peter 2:1, 2.  Or, 2.  I stir up your minds, though pure and sincere, to continuance and constancy in that pure doctrine ye have received.  By way of remembrance:  see 2 Peter 1:13.

[1] Greek:  ταύτην ἤδη, ἀγαπητοί, δευτέραν ὑμῖν γράφω ἐπιστολήν.

[2] In the singular.

[3] 2 Peter 1:13:  “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance (διεγείρειν ὑμᾶς ἐν ὑπομνήσει)…”

[4] זָכַר, to remember, in the Hiphil conjugation, which frequently conveys a causative sense.

[5] John 14:26b:  “…he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance (ὑπομνήσει ὑμᾶς), whatsoever I have said unto you.”

[6] 2 Timothy 2:14:  “Of these things put them in remembrance (ὑπομίμνησκε), charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

2 Peter 3 Outline

The apostle declareth it to be the design of both his Epistles to remind the brethren of Christ’s coming to judgment, in opposition to scoffers, 1-7.  No argument can be drawn against it from the delay, which is designed to leave men room for repentance, 8, 9.  He describeth the day of the Lord, and exhorteth to holiness of life in expectation of it, 10-14.  He showeth that Paul had taught the like in his Epistles, 15, 16, and concludeth with advice to beware of seduction, and to grow in Christian grace and knowledge, 17, 18.

2 Peter 2:22: The Mischief of Relapsing into Sin, Part 3

Verse 22:  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, (Prov. 26:11) The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

[For (or, but [Estius]) has happened to them that, etc., συμβέβηκε δὲ αὐτοῖς τὸ τῆς ἀληθοῦς παροιμίας]  That (or, the substance [Estius]) of the true proverb (Montanus, Estius).  What is wont to be said in the true proverb (Erasmus, Pagnine, Beza, Piscator, Estius, etc.).  It is in the Greek of Proverbs 26:11[1] (Grotius).  The sense:  Not only in the protasis, but also in the apodosis, this proverbial expression is altogether true (Vorstius).

[The dog is turned again unto, etc., κύων ἐπιστρέψας ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον ἐξέραμα]  Unto its own (or, its characteristic [Montanus]) vomit (James Cappel, Piscator, etc.), that is, to swallow down that which it had vomited up, which is most disgusting and abominable (Estius, similarly Menochius, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals out of Ibn Ezra[2]), not made use of by anyone, not even in the extremity of famine (Menochius).  This was said by Solomon of him who repeats his folly (Drusius).  In the Greek of Proverbs 26:11 it is  ἔμετον/vomit (Gerhard, Gataker), which is the most common word, in the place of which here is ἐξέραμα/vomit, which is a less common word (Gataker’s Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma 41:411); which I do not remember having read elsewhere (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:672).  But from its parts it is gathered that it was not altogether unknown to the ancients.  Ἐρᾶν or ἐράσαι, says Salmasius following Hesychius, is κενῶσαι, to make empty.  Thence, adds Salmasius, ἐνερᾶν is to pour in; similarly κατερᾶν, to pour out, which word occurs in Dioscorides’ Concerning Medicinal Materials 2:87; 5:100, and in Pollux’s Onomasticon 7:33, to which one might have added διερᾶν, to pour from one vessel to another, or to filter through, out of Plutarch against Epicurus;[3] and finally ἐξερᾶν, to pour out or vomit (Gataker’s Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma 41:412).  Which word occurs here and there (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:672), and means to draw out, to bring out or to pull out (Gataker, Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals), to evacuate (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals), or, to vomit out, as in Dioscorides’ Concerning Medicinal Materials 6:19, where he of those that took the Pharicon poison, μετὰ τὸ ἐξεράσαι αὐτοὺς (Gataker’s Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma 41:412), that is, after they were evacuated (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals), or rather, after they vomited:  for it is not probable that he desired to await evacuation, which is done by ejection, in the case of a poison so fast acting (Gataker’s Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma 41:412).  Thus in Lærtius[4] Heraclitus[5] asks, Whether anyone is able from pressed intestines ἐξεράσαι, to draw out, the damp? (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:672).  Thus in Hippocrates’[6] Concerning Diseases[7] 4, καὶ ἐξερᾶ, καὶ πυρετταίνει, he both vomits, and is feverish.  Hence κατεξερᾶν in Arrianus’ Epictetus[8] 3:13, μὴ κατεξέρα, etc., Refuse to vomit out, to cough up, to discharge thy mucus upon them.  Ἀπερᾶν is also the same as ἐξερᾶν, as in Strabo’s Geography 1, where he says of the Black Sea, βιάζεσθαι, καὶ ἀπεράσαι τὸ πλεονάζον, it burst with force, and what was abounding in it vomited out (Gataker’s Adversaria Miscellanea Posthuma 41:412).  Moreover, the dog, just as also the sow, is an unclean animal according to the Law of Moses; and that, among other things, by reason of its diet, which is altogether impure in both.  The dog feeds upon the most foul-smelling things, even the putrid flesh of cadavers:  he licks up the discharge of ulcers (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:690), whether of others, as in Luke 16:21, or its own, Ælian’s[9] History of Animals[10] 8:9 (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:55:672).

[The sow (named from this quality in Hebrew, חֲזִיר, from חזר, to return [Hammond]), having been washed (understanding is returned [Erasmus, Vatablus, Estius, etc.], or, understanding is rolled back [Camerarius]) in, etc., εἰς κύλισμα[11] (in the place of which Theodotion used κυλισμὸν/wallowing[12] in Proverbs 2:18 [Grotius]) βορβόρου]  Into, or unto, the wallowing hole (or, wallowing [Erasmus]) of the mire (Erasmus, Pagnine, Castalio, Piscator, etc.).  In which she especially rejoices, and grows fat by wallowing in muddy places, as note Aristotle in his History of Animals 8:6, Ælian in his History of Animals 5:45, etc.  Whence also Aratus in his On Weather Signs[13] 1123, —σύες φορυτῷ ἐπιμαργαίνουσαι, swine are mad for rubbish (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:57:706).  This he maintains, that sinners, especially those that, having once been cleansed, are fallen back into their former vices, make themselves like unto these animals, which on account of their notable uncleanness have given place to adages (Estius).  Terence[14] in The Mother-in-Law,[15] I see that thou hast rolled over again into the same vice (Grotius).

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb:  this is added, to prevent the scandal that might arise from their apostacy; q.d. It is not to be wondered at that they are again entangled in and overcome by their former pollutions, when there never was a thorough change wrought in their hearts.  Dogs and swine (beasts unclean by the law) they still were, under the greatest appearances of reformation, and such they now show themselves to be by their vile apostacy.  The dog is turned to his own vomit again:  as dogs vomit up what is burdensome to them, but, still being dogs, and not having changed their natures by easing
their stomachs, lick up their own vomit again; so these, under a fit of conviction, through the power of the word, disgorge those sins which burdened their consciences, but having thereby gotten some ease, and their old nature and love to their former lusts still remaining, they again return to the same sins they had for a time forsaken.  The sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire:  as swine, that naturally love the dirt and mire, if sometimes they be washed from it, yet, still retaining their former disposition, return again to it; so likewise these here mentioned, however they may be washed from the pollutions of the world, and by the preaching of the gospel brought off from their former ways of sin, and brought into a profession of holiness, yet, still retaining their old nature and corrupt dispositions, they are easily prevailed over by them, and so relapse into their former abominations.

[1] The Greek of Proverbs 26:11:  ὥσπερ κύων ὅταν ἐπέλθῃ ἐπὶ τὸν ἑαυτοῦ ἔμετον καὶ μισητὸς γένηται, οὕτως ἄφρων τῇ ἑαυτοῦ κακίᾳ ἀναστρέψας ἐπὶ τὴν ἑαυτοῦ ἁμαρτίαν·  ἔστιν αἰσχύνη ἐπάγουσα ἁμαρτίαν, καὶ ἔστιν αἰσχύνη δόξα καὶ χάρις, as when a dog goes to its own vomit, and becomes abominable, so is a fool who returns in his wickedness to his own sin:  there is a shame that brings sin; and there is a shame that is glory and grace.

[2] Abraham Ibn Ezra (c. 1089-1164) was a renowned Spanish Rabbi.  At the heart of his work is his commentary on the Hebrew Bible.  He commented on all of the books, with the exception of Chronicles, and his exegesis manifests a commitment to the literal sense of the text.

[3] Moralia 14:75.

[4] Diogenes Lærtius was a biographer of Greek philosophers, writing his Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers probably sometime during the third century AD.

[5] Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535-c. 475 BC) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.

[6] Hippocrates (c. 460-370 BC) was a Greek physician, known as “The Father of Medicine”.

[7] De Morbis.

[8] Lucius Flavius Arrianus of Nicomedia was a second century Greek historian and a Roman senator.  His Discourses of Epictetus preserve the latter’s fatalistic Stoicism.

[9] Claudius Ælianus (c. 175-c. 235) was a Roman rhetorician and teacher.

[10] De Natura Animalium.

[11] In the Neuter.

[12] In the Masculine.

[13] Diosemeia.  Aratus (c. 315-240 BC) was a Greek didactic poet.  He is cited in Acts 17:28.

[14] Publius Terentius Afer (d. 159 BC) was a Roman playwright.

[15] Hecyra.