2 Peter 2:4-9

4 For 1if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and 2committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
5 and did not spare 3the ancient world, but preserved 4Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a 5flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and if He 6condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an 7example to those who would 8live ungodly lives thereafter;
7 and if He 9rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the 10sensual conduct of 11unprincipled men
8 (for by what he saw and heard that 12righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds ),
9 13then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the 14day of judgment,

2 Peter 2:4-9 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 PETER 2

This chapter contains a description of false teachers, that were then in Christian churches, as there had been false prophets among the Jews; and they are described by the doctrines, which they privily introduced; in general, damnable heresies; in particular, denying the Lord that bought them; and by their success, having many followers of them in their pernicious ways; and by the sad effects following hereupon; with respect to the way of truth, that was blasphemed; with respect to their hearers, they, through the covetousness of these false teachers, were made merchandise of; and with respect to themselves, swift and sure destruction would be brought upon them, 2Pe 2:1-3, which is illustrated and confirmed by the instances of punishment in the angels, the men of the old world, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, 2Pe 2:4-8 and whereas, in these instances, notice is taken of the deliverance of some righteous persons, as Noah and Lot, when wicked men were destroyed; the apostle draws this conclusion from the whole, that the Lord knows both how to deliver the saints out of afflictions, and to reserve wicked men until the day of judgment, then to be punished, 2Pe 2:9, especially such shall be then punished, who are described by their impure course of lift, their contempt of civil government, and their presumption and selfwill, 2Pe 1:10 which sins of theirs are aggravated by the different conduct of angels, superior to them; and by their being like brute beasts, as ignorant as they, and even below them; whose punishment will be to perish in their corruption, as the just reward of their unrighteousness, since they are open in sin, take pleasure in it, and sport themselves with it, and are spots and blemishes in Christian societies, 2Pe 2:11-13 and these, who are no other than the false teachers before spoken of, are further described by their adulterous eyes, which cannot cease from sin; by their beguiling unstable souls; by the covetous practices their hearts were exercised with; by their just desert, cursed children; by the course they steer, forsaking the right way, going astray from it, and following the way of Balaam in his covetousness, and other wicked practices, for which he was reproved by his ass; and by various metaphors, which express the emptiness of these persons, and which also point at their destruction, and describe their boasts and brags, and the influence they have, through their lasciviousness and uncleanness, on some persons, who have been outwardly reformed, 2Pe 2:14-18 and this they obtain over them in a very stupid and senseless way, by promising them liberty, when through being overcome by them, and drawn into sin, they were brought into bondage, and become servants of corruption; and so their case is worse than it was before their reformation, and profession of religion; and better it would have been not to have had the knowledge they had, than after it to turn from the paths of truth and holiness, which is illustrated by a true Scripture proverb, which expresses the filthy nature of sin, the character of these men, and their irrecoverable state and condition, 2Pe 2:19-22.

2 Peter 2:4-9 In-Context

2 Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3 and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;
7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds ),
9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
10 and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
11 whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord .

Cross References 14

  • 1. Jude 6
  • 2. Revelation 20:1
  • 3. Ezekiel 26:20; 2 Peter 3:6
  • 4. Genesis 6:8, 9; 1 Peter 3:20
  • 5. 2 Peter 3:6
  • 6. Genesis 19:24; Jude 7
  • 7. Isaiah 1:9; Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23; Romans 9:29; Jude 7
  • 8. Jude 15
  • 9. Genesis 19:16, 29
  • 10. Genesis 19:5f; 2 Peter 2:2, 18; Jude 4
  • 11. 2 Peter 3:17
  • 12. Hebrews 11:4
  • 13. 1 Corinthians 10:13; Revelation 3:10
  • 14. Matthew 10:15; Jude 6

Footnotes 2