2 Peter 1:21

21 For 1no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God 2as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

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2 Peter 1:21 Meaning and Commentary

2 Peter 1:21

For the prophecy
The whole Scripture, all the prophetic writings; so the Jews call the Scriptures (hawbnh) , "the prophecy" F7, by way of eminence, and from the subject matter of the sacred word:

came not in old time by the will of man;
was not brought into the world at first, or in any period of time, as and when man would, according to his pleasure, and as he thought fit: neither Moses, nor David, nor Isaiah, nor Jeremiah, nor Ezekiel, nor Daniel, nor any other of the prophets, prophesied when they pleased, but when it was the will of God they should; they were stirred up to prophesy, not by any human impulse, but by a divine influence: with this agrees what R. Sangari says,

``that the speech of the prophets, when the Holy Spirit clothed them, in all their words was directed by a divine influence, and the prophet could not speak in the choice of his own words,''

or according to his will:

but holy men of God;
such as he sanctified by his Spirit, and separated from the rest of men to such peculiar service; and whom he employed as public ministers of his word: for so this phrase "men", or "man of God", often signifies, ( 1 Samuel 2:27 ) ( 2 Timothy 3:17 )

spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;
who illuminated their minds, gave them a knowledge of divine things, and a foresight of future ones; dictated to them what they should say or write; and moved upon them strongly, and by a secret and powerful impulse stirred them up to deliver what they did, in the name and fear of God: which shows the authority of the Scriptures, that they are the word of God, and not of men; and as such should be attended to, and received with all affection and reverence; and that the Spirit is the best interpreter of them, who first dictated them; and that they are to be the rule of our faith and practice; nor are we to expect any other, until the second coming of Christ.


F7 R. Eliahu in Adderet apud Trigland. de Sect Karaeorum, c. 10. p. 153.

2 Peter 1:21 In-Context

19 And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,
20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Cross References 2

  • 1. 2 Timothy 3:16
  • 2. 1 Peter 1:11; [2 Samuel 23:2; Luke 1:70; Acts 1:16; Acts 3:18]
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.