2 Peter 3:1-13

The Day of the Lord Will Come

1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them 1I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
2 2that you should remember the predictions of 3the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles,
3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come 4in the last days with scoffing, 5following their own sinful desires.
4 6They will say, "Where is the promise of 7his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation."
5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth 8was formed out of water and through water 9by the word of God,
6 and that by means of these the world that then existed 10was deluged with water and 11perished.
7 But by the same word 12the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and 13destruction of the ungodly.
8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and 14a thousand years as one day.
9 15The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise 16as some count slowness, but 17is patient toward you,[a]18 not wishing that any should perish, but 19that all should reach repentance.
10 But 20the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then 21the heavens will pass away with a roar, and 22the heavenly bodies[b] will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.[c]
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, 23what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
12 24waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and 25the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
13 But according to his promise we are waiting for 26new heavens and a new earth 27in which righteousness dwells.

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2 Peter 3:1-13 Meaning and Commentary


In this chapter the apostle makes mention of the end and design of his writing this second epistle; foretells that there would be scoffers at the coming of Christ in the last days; describes the coming of Christ and the burning of the world; and closes with the use saints should make of these things. The end of his writing both this and the former epistle was to put the persons he writes unto in mind of the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, delivered by the prophets and apostles, 2Pe 3:1,2; and then, agreeably to what the prophets had said, he predicts that there would be scoffers in the last day; who are described by their sinful course of life, and by their words, what they would say concerning the coming of Christ, and their reasoning about it, 2Pe 3:3,4; which arose from their ignorance of the creation of the heavens and the earth, and of the situation of them; and is refuted by showing that things have not remained as they were from the creation; that the earth standing in and out of the water, as it was capable of being overflowed with a flood, so it perished by one; and that the present heavens and earth are reserved and prepared for a general burning at the day of judgment, in which wicked men will be destroyed, 2Pe 3:5-7; but let these men scoff as they will, the length of time since the promise of Christ's coming was made should be no objection with the saints to the performance of it; since the longest term of time is nothing with God, however considerable it may be with men, 2Pe 3:8; besides, the reason of the coming of Christ being deferred, is not owing to any dilatoriness in the performance of the promise, but to the longsuffering of God towards his elect, being unwilling that anyone of them should be lost, but that all should be brought to repentance, 2Pe 3:9; but as for the coming of Christ, that is certain, and will be sudden; at which time will be the general conflagration, which is described in a very awful manner, 2Pe 3:10-12; and the use to be made of such a tremendous dispensation by the saints is to live a holy and godly conversation, 2Pe 3:11; to be eagerly looking for the coming of Christ, 2Pe 3:12, and to expect, according to his promise, new heavens and a new earth, in which will dwell righteous persons, 2Pe 3:13; and to be diligent to be found in peace at that day, 2Pe 3:14; and to account the longsuffering of God salvation; and the whole of this account, and the use of it, is strengthened by the testimony of the Apostle Paul, of whom, and of his epistles, a character is given, 2Pe 3:15,16; and the epistle is concluded with some cautions and exhortations to the saints, to beware lest they should be carried away with the errors of wicked men, and so fall from any degree of steadfastness in the faith; and to be concerned for a growth in grace, and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus, to whom glory is to be ascribed for ever and ever, 2Pe 3:17,18.

Cross References 27

  • 1. 2 Peter 1:13
  • 2. Jude 17
  • 3. Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21
  • 4. Jude 18
  • 5. 2 Peter 2:10
  • 6. Isaiah 5:19; Jeremiah 17:15; Ezekiel 11:3; Ezekiel 12:22, 27; Malachi 2:17
  • 7. See 1 Thessalonians 2:19
  • 8. Psalms 24:2; Psalms 136:6
  • 9. Genesis 1:6, 9; Psalms 33:6; [Hebrews 11:3]
  • 10. 2 Peter 2:5
  • 11. Genesis 7:11, 21
  • 12. ver. 10, 12
  • 13. [2 Thessalonians 1:9]
  • 14. Psalms 90:4
  • 15. Habakkuk 2:3; Hebrews 10:37
  • 16. [Ecclesiastes 8:11; Revelation 2:21]
  • 17. Isaiah 30:18; Luke 18:7
  • 18. Ezekiel 18:23, 32; Ezekiel 33:11
  • 19. 1 Timothy 2:4
  • 20. See Matthew 24:43
  • 21. [Revelation 6:14; Revelation 20:11; Revelation 21:1]; See Matthew 24:35
  • 22. Isaiah 34:4; [Isaiah 24:19; Micah 1:4; Nahum 1:5]
  • 23. 1 Peter 1:15
  • 24. [Luke 12:36; 1 Corinthians 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13; Jude 21]
  • 25. See ver. 10
  • 26. Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; Revelation 21:1
  • 27. Isaiah 60:21; Revelation 21:27

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Some manuscripts on your account
  • [b]. Or elements; also verse 12
  • [c]. Greek found; some manuscripts will be burned up
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.