2 Peter 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

New Living Translation
They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water.

English Standard Version
For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God,

New American Standard Bible
For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water,

King James Bible
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God.

International Standard Version
But they deliberately ignore the fact that long ago the heavens existed and the earth was formed by God's word out of water and with water,

NET Bible
For they deliberately suppress this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For they disregard this when they please: That the Heavens which were from the first, and The Earth, from the water and by the water, arose by the word of God,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They are deliberately ignoring one fact: Because of God's word, heaven and earth existed a long time ago. The earth [appeared] out of water and was kept alive by water.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Of course, they willingly ignore that the heavens were created of old and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, by the word of God;

King James 2000 Bible
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

American King James Version
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

American Standard Version
For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;

Douay-Rheims Bible
For this they are wilfully ignorant of, that the heavens were before, and the earth out of water, and through water, consisting by the word of God.

Darby Bible Translation
For this is hidden from them through their own wilfulness, that heavens were of old, and an earth, having its subsistence out of water and in water, by the word of God,

English Revised Version
For this they wilfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;

Webster's Bible Translation
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

Weymouth New Testament
For they are wilfully blind to the fact that there were heavens which existed of old, and an earth, the latter arising out of water and extending continuously through water, by the command of God;

World English Bible
For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God;

Young's Literal Translation
for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:5-10 Had these scoffers considered the dreadful vengeance with which God swept away a whole world of ungodly men at once, surely they would not have scoffed at his threatening an equally terrible judgment. The heavens and the earth which now are, by the same word, it is declared, will be destroyed by fire. This is as sure to come, as the truth and the power of God can make it. Christians are here taught and established in the truth of the coming of the Lord. Though, in the account of men, there is a vast difference between one day and a thousand years, yet, in the account of God, there is no difference. All things past, present, and future, are ever before him: the delay of a thousand years cannot be so much to him, as putting off any thing for a day or for an hour is to us. If men have no knowledge or belief of the eternal God, they will be very apt to think him such as themselves. How hard is it to form any thoughts of eternity! What men count slackness, is long-suffering, and that to us-ward; it is giving more time to hisown people, to advance in knowledge and holiness, and in the exercise of faith and patience, to abound in good works, doing and suffering what they are called to, that they may bring glory to God. Settle therefore in your hearts that you shall certainly be called to give an account of all things done in the body, whether good or evil. And let a humble and diligent walking before God, and a frequent judging of yourselves, show a firm belief of the future judgment, though many live as if they were never to give any account at all. This day will come, when men are secure, and have no expectation of the day of the Lord. The stately palaces, and all the desirable things wherein wordly-minded men seek and place their happiness, shall be burned up; all sorts of creatures God has made, and all the works of men, must pass through the fire, which shall be a consuming fire to all that sin has brought into the world, though a refining fire to the works of God's hand. What will become of us, if we set our affections on this earth, and make it our portion, seeing all these things shall be burned up? Therefore make sure of happiness beyond this visible world.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - For this they willingly are ignorant of; literally, for this escapes them of their own will. All things have not always been as they are; there have been great changes; there was once a great catastrophe; but this they willfully forget, Huther translates differently, "For, whilst they assert this, it is hidden from them that," etc. But this rendering seems forced and unsatisfactory, and gives a meaning to θέλω which it has nowhere in the New Testament. That by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. The Revised Version translates, That there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the Word of God. The mockers say that all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. That creation itself was a great, a stupendous change, a mighty effort of the power of God. St. Peter refers to it in words evidently derived from the Book of Genesis, not from any other sources, whether Greek, Egyptian, or Indian. There were heavens from of old (the word ἔκπαλαι occurs elsewhere only in 2 Peter 2:3). There was an earth formed or standing out of the water. The Greek participle here used is συνεστῶσα, literally, "standing together or consisting" (comp. Colossians 1:17); it may be taken closely with both prepositional Clauses, "earth consisting of water and by means of water." Thales had taught that water was the beginning of things, the original element (πάντα ἐξ ὕδατος συνεστάναι); the narrative in Genesis represents water as originally overspreading all things: "The earth was without form [ἀόρατος, Septuagint], and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." We may therefore understand St. Peter as meaning that the earth was formed or compacted out of water, or out of those substances which the water at first held in solution; and that it is kept together in coherence and solidity by means of water. If, on the other hand, we regard the participle as closely connected with the second preposition only, the meaning will be that the earth, held together and compacted by means of water, rose up out of the water, and appeared above it, when God said, "Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear." It is possible, again, to understand the preposition διά locally, and to translate "amidst water." Comp. Psalm 136:6, "He stretched out the earth above the waters;" and Psalm 24:2, "He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods." Of course, neither St. Peter nor Moses is speaking in the language of science; their object was, not to teach scientific truth, but to present the great fact of creation in an aspect suitable to our poor capacities. For the clause, "by the Word of God (τῷ τοῦ Θεοῦ λόγῳ)," comp. Hebrews 11:3, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (ῤήματι Θεοῦ)." St. Peter may be referring to the formula, "And God said," so constantly repeated in the account of the creation, or (what is really the same truth) to the fact that "all things were made by him [by God the Word], and without him was not anything made that was made."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For this they willingly are ignorant of,.... Namely, what follows; for as these men were such as had professed Christianity, and had the advantage of revelation, and had the opportunity of reading the Scriptures, they might have known that the heavens and the earth were from the beginning; and that they were made by the word of God; and that the earth was originally in such a position and situation as to be overflowed with a flood, and that it did perish by a general inundation; and that the present heavens and earth are kept and reserved for a general burning; and it might be discerned in nature, that there are preparations making for an universal conflagration; but all this they chose not to know, and affected ignorance of: particularly

that by the word of God the heavens were of old: not only in the times of Noah, but "from the beginning"; as the Ethiopic version reads, and which agrees with the account in Genesis 1:1; by "the heavens" may be meant both the third heaven, and the starry heavens, and the airy heavens, with all their created inhabitants; and especially the latter, since these were concerned in, and affected with the general deluge; and these were in the beginning of time, out of nothing brought into being, and so were not eternal, and might be destroyed again, or at least undergo a change, even though they were of old, and of long duration: for it was "by the word of God" that they at first existed, and were so long preserved in being; either by the commanding word of God, by his powerful voice, his almighty fiat, who said, Let it be done, and it was done, and who commanded beings to rise up out of nothing, and they did, and stood fast; and so the Arabic version renders it, "by the command of God"; or by his eternal Logos, the essential Word of God, the second Person in the Trinity, who is often in Scripture called the Word, and the Word of God, and, as some think, by the Apostle Peter, 1 Peter 1:23, and certain it is that the creation of all things is frequently ascribed to him; see John 1:16; wherefore by the same Word they might be dissolved, and made to pass away, as they will:

and the earth standing out of the water and in the water; that is, "by the Word of God"; for this phrase, in the original text, is placed after this clause, and last of all; and refers not only to the being of the heavens of old, but to the rise, standing, and subsistence of the earth, which is here particularly described for the sake of the deluge, the apostle afterwards mentions: and it is said to be "standing out of the water", or "consisting out of it"; it consists of it as a part; the globe of the earth is terraqueous, partly land and partly water; and even the dry land itself has its rise and spring out of water; the first matter that was created is called the deep, and waters in which darkness was, and upon which the Spirit of God moved, Genesis 1:2; agreeably to which Thales the Milesian asserted (t), that water was the principle of all things; and the Ethiopic version here renders the words thus, "and the Word of God created also the earth out of water, and confirmed it": the account the Jews give of the first formation of the world is this (u);

"at first the world was , "water in water"; what is the sense (of that passage Genesis 1:2;) "and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters?" he returned, and made it snow; he casteth forth his ice like morsels, Psalm 147:17; he returned and made it earth; "for to the snow he saith, Be thou earth", Job 37:6, and the earth stood upon the waters; "to him that stretched out the earth above the waters", Psalm 136:6;''

however, certain it is, that the earth was first covered with water, when at the word, and by the command of God, the waters fled and hasted away, and were gathered into one place, and the dry land rose up and appeared; and then it was that it "stood out of the water"; see Genesis 1:9; moreover, the earth consists, or is kept and held together by water; there is a general humidity or moisture that runs through it, by which it is compacted together, or otherwise it would resolve into dust, and by which it is fit for the production, increase, and preservation of vegetables and other things, which it otherwise would not be: and it is also said to stand "in the water", or by the water; upon it, according to Psalm 24:2; or rather in the midst of it, there being waters above the firmament or expanse; in the airy heavens, in the clouds all around the earth, called the windows of heaven; and water below the firmament or expanse, in the earth itself; besides the great sea, a large body of waters is in the midst of the earth, in the very bowels of it, which feed rivers, and form springs, fountains and wells, called "the fountains of the great deep", Genesis 7:11; and in this position and situation was the earth of old, and so was prepared in nature for a general deluge, and yet was preserved firm and stable by the word of God, for a long series of time; so the Arabic version renders it, "and the earth out of the water, and in the water, stood stable, by the command of God"; but when it was his pleasure, he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly, of which an account follows.

(t) Vid. Laert. l. i. in Vit. Thaletis. (u) T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 77. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. Refutation of their scoffing from Scripture history.

willingly—wilfully; they do not wish to know. Their ignorance is voluntary.

they … are ignorant of—in contrast to 2Pe 3:8, "Be not ignorant of this." Literally, in both verses, "This escapes THEIR notice (sagacious philosophers though they think themselves)"; "let this not escape YOUR notice." They obstinately shut their eyes to the Scripture record of the creation and the deluge; the latter is the very parallel to the coming judgment by fire, which Jesus mentions, as Peter doubtless remembered.

by the word of God—not by a fortuitous concurrence of atoms [Alford].

of old—Greek, "from of old"; from the first beginning of all things. A confutation of their objection, "all things continue as they were FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION." Before the flood, the same objection to the possibility of the flood might have been urged with the same plausibility: The heavens (sky) and earth have been FROM OF OLD, how unlikely then that they should not continue so! But, replies Peter, the flood came in spite of their reasonings; so will the conflagration of the earth come in spite of the "scoffers" of the last days, changing the whole order of things (the present "world," or as Greek means, "order"), and introducing the new heavens and earth (2Pe 3:13).

earth standing out of—Greek, "consisting of," that is, "formed out of the water." The waters under the firmament were at creation gathered together into one place, and the dry land emerged out of and above, them.

in, &c.—rather, "by means of the water," as a great instrument (along with fire) in the changes wrought on the earth's surface to prepare it for man. Held together BY the water. The earth arose out of the water by the efficacy of the water itself [Tittmann].

2 Peter 3:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Christ's Coming Judgment
4and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation." 5For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.…
Cross References
Genesis 1:6
And God said, "Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water."

Genesis 1:9
And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so.

Psalm 24:2
for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

Psalm 136:6
who spread out the earth upon the waters, His love endures forever.

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Treasury of Scripture

For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

they willingly.

Proverbs 17:16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing …

John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God …

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because …

by the word.

Genesis 1:6,9 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, …

Psalm 24:2 For he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the floods.

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of …

Psalm 136:6 To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy …

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…

standing. Gr. consisting.

Colossians 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

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