2 Peter 3:12
Looking for and hastening to the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Hasting unto.—There is no “unto” in the Greek. The margin is probably right, hasting the comingi.e., hastening Christ’s coming by holy lives, by helping to make the Gospel known to all nations (Matthew 24:14), so as to “accomplish the number of the elect,” and by praying “Thy kingdom come.” (Comp. 2Timothy 4:8; Revelation 22:20.) The thought is singularly parallel to St. Peter’s speech in Solomon’s Porch (Acts 3:19-21, where see Notes); and as the thought is striking and unusual—perhaps nowhere else in the New Testament distinctly—this coincidence may fairly be admitted as a note of genuineness.

The coming of the day of God.—A phrase which occurs here only. It is doubly remarkable: (1) “coming,” in the special sense indicated by the particular word used in the Greek, is elsewhere used of Christ Himself, not of the day; (2) “the day of God” is a very unusual expression.

Wherein.—Rather, by reason of which, either “the day” or “the coming” being meant.

Shall melt.—“Melt” is here correct, being quite a different word from that rendered “melt” in 2Peter 3:10, which is the same as that here translated “be dissolved.” In the so-called Second Epistle of Clement (chap. 16) we have a somewhat similar passage—“The day of judgment cometh even now as a burning oven (Malachi 4:1), and [the powers] of the heavens shall melt, and all the earth as lead melting on the fire.”

3:11-18 From the doctrine of Christ's second coming, we are exhorted to purity and godliness. This is the effect of real knowledge. Very exact and universal holiness is enjoined, not resting in any low measure or degree. True Christians look for new heavens and a new earth; freed from the vanity to which things present are subject, and the sin they are polluted with. Those only who are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, shall be admitted to dwell in this holy place. He is faithful, who has promised. Those, whose sins are pardoned, and their peace made with God, are the only safe and happy people; therefore follow after peace, and that with all men; follow after holiness as well as peace. Never expect to be found at that day of God in peace, if you are lazy and idle in this your day, in which we must finish the work given us to do. Only the diligent Christian will be the happy Christian in the day of the Lord. Our Lord will suddenly come to us, or shortly call us to him; and shall he find us idle? Learn to make a right use of the patience of our Lord, who as yet delays his coming. Proud, carnal, and corrupt men, seek to wrest some things into a seeming agreement with their wicked doctrines. But this is no reason why St. Paul's epistles, or any other part of the Scriptures, should be laid aside; for men, left to themselves, pervert every gift of God. Then let us seek to have our minds prepared for receiving things hard to be understood, by putting in practice things which are more easy to be understood. But there must be self-denial and suspicion of ourselves, and submission to the authority of Christ Jesus, before we can heartily receive all the truths of the gospel, therefore we are in great danger of rejecting the truth. And whatever opinions and thoughts of men are not according to the law of God, and warranted by it, the believer disclaims and abhors. Those who are led away by error, fall from their own stedfastness. And that we may avoid being led away, we must seek to grow in all grace, in faith, and virtue, and knowledge. Labour to know Christ more clearly, and more fully; to know him so as to be more like him, and to love him better. This is the knowledge of Christ, which the apostle Paul reached after, and desired to attain; and those who taste this effect of the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, will, upon receiving such grace from him, give thanks and praise him, and join in ascribing glory to him now, in the full assurance of doing the same hereafter, for ever.Looking for - Not knowing when this may occur, the mind should be in that state which constitutes "expectation;" that is, a belief that it will occur, and a condition of mind in which we would not be taken by surprise should it happen at any moment. See the notes at Titus 2:13.

And hasting unto the coming - Margin, as in Greek: ""hasting the coming."" The Greek word rendered "hasting," (σπεύδω speudō,) means to urge on, to hasten; and then to hasten after anything, to await with eager desire. This is evidently the sense here - Wetstein and Robinson. The state of mind which is indicated by the word is that when we are anxiously desirous that anything should occur, and when we would hasten or accelerate it if we could. The true Christian does not dread the coming of that day. He looks forward to it as the period of his redemption, and would welcome, at any time, the return of his Lord and Saviour. While he is willing to wait as long as it shall please God for the advent of His Redeemer, yet to Him the brightest prospect in the future is that hour when he shall come to take him to Himself.

The coming of the day of God - Called "the day of God," because God will then be manifested in his power and glory.

12. hasting unto—with the utmost eagerness desiring [Wahl], praying for, and contemplating, the coming Saviour as at hand. The Greek may mean "hastening (that is, urging onward [Alford]) the day of God"; not that God's eternal appointment of the time is changeable, but God appoints us as instruments of accomplishing those events which must be first before the day of God can come. By praying for His coming, furthering the preaching of the Gospel for a witness to all nations, and bringing in those whom "the long-suffering of God" waits to save, we hasten the coming of the day of God. The Greek verb is always in New Testament used as neuter (as English Version here), not active; but the Septuagint uses it actively. Christ says, "Surely I come quickly. Amen." Our part is to speed forward this consummation by praying, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (Re 22:20).

the coming—Greek, "presence" of a person: usually, of the Saviour.

the day of God—God has given many myriads of days to men: one shall be the great "day of God" Himself.

wherein—rather as Greek, "on account of (or owing to) which" day.

heavens—the upper and lower regions of the sky.

melt—Our igneous rocks show that they were once in a liquid state.

Looking for; patiently waiting for, and expecting.

And hasting unto; by fervent desire of it, and diligent preparation for it.

The coming of the day of God; the day of the Lord, 2 Peter 3:10. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God,.... The same with the day of the Lord, 2 Peter 3:10, and so the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions here read; and it intends the day of Christ's second coming to judgment, and so is a proof of the deity of Christ; and is called "the day of God", in distinction from man's day, or human judgment, 1 Corinthians 4:3, which is often fallacious; whereas the judgment of God is according to truth; and because in that day Christ will appear most clearly to be truly and properly God, by the manifest display of his omniscience, omnipotence, and other glorious perfections of his; and because it will be, as the day of God is, a thousand years; and also the day in which God will finish all his works, as on the seventh day the works of creation, on this the works of Providence; when all his purposes, promises, and threatenings, relating to the final state of all persons and things, will be fulfilled, and every work be brought to light, and into judgment, and everything will stand in a clear light; for the day will declare it, either respecting God, or men; and there will be a display, as of his grace and mercy, to his church and people; for it will be the day of his open espousals to them, and of the gladness of his heart; so of his wrath and anger towards the wicked: for this great and dreadful day of the Lord shall burn like an oven, and destroy the wicked, root and branch: and it will be the day of Christ's glorious appearing, and of his kingdom, in which he will reign, before his ancients, gloriously; and when it is ended, God, Father, Son and Spirit, will be all in all: now "the coming" of this day saints should be "looking for" by faith; believing that it certainly will come, since the patriarchs, prophets, Christ himself, the angels of heaven, and the apostles of the Lamb, have all declared and asserted the coming of this day; and they should look for it, and love it, as with the strongest affection for it, and most vehement desire of it, since they will then appear with Christ in glory; and they should look out, and keep looking out for it, as what will be quickly; and though it is not as soon as they desire and expect, yet should still look wistly for it, and with patience and cheerfulness wait for it: yea, they should be "hasting unto" it, or "hastening" it; for though the day is fixed for the coming of Christ, nor can it be altered, as his coming will not be longer, it cannot be sooner, yet it becomes the saints to pray earnestly for it, that it may be quickly, and for the accomplishment of all things that go before it, prepare for it, and lead unto it; such as the conversion of the Jews, and the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles; and by putting him in mind of, and pleading with him, his promises concerning these things, and giving him no rest till they are accomplished; there seems to be some reference to the prayers of the Jews for the Messiah's coming, which they desire may be "in haste"; which will show that they are in haste for the coming of this day; and all which things God will hasten, though it will be in his own time: and moreover, saints should be hasting to it by their readiness for it, having their loins girt, and their lights burning, and their lamps trimmed, and they waiting for their Lord's coming, and going forth in acts of faith and love, and in the duties of religion, to meet him, and not slumber and sleep:

wherein; in which day, as in 2 Peter 3:10; or by which; by which coming of Christ, or of the day of God,

the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; at whose coming and presence, and from whose face the heavens and earth shall flee away, just as the earth shook, and the heavens dropped, and Sinai itself moved, when God appeared upon it; see Revelation 20:11. This is a repetition of what is said in 2 Peter 3:10, exciting attention to the exhortation given.

Looking for and {e} hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

(e) He requires patience from us, yet such patience as is not slothful.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Peter 3:12. σπεύδοντας. Either (1) “earnestly desiring,” cf. Isaiah 16:5, σπεύδων δικαιοσύνην, or (2) preferably, “hastening the coming”. “The Church may be said to bring the day nearer when it prays, ‘Thy kingdom come’ ” (Bigg). The writer is here referring to the Jewish idea that the sins of men prevented Messiah from appearing. “Si Judaei poenitentiam facerent una die, statim veniret Messias, films David.”

The words are capable of a still more spiritual meaning, which, however, is rather beyond the consciousness of this writer. The kingdom of God is “within” us, and Christians may be said to hasten this coming by holiness of life. Christian conduct is itself both a rebuke to vice and a realisation of the presence of Christ in the hearts of His disciples.

τήκεται. Again present for future. The phrases in this verse are repeated from 2 Peter 3:10 in order to introduce the more impressively the idea in 2 Peter 3:13.12. looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God …] The English versions follow the Vulgate and Luther in this rendering. It is doubtful, however, whether the Greek verb for “hasten,” followed by an accusative without a preposition, can have this meaning, and its natural transitive force (as e.g. in the LXX. of Isaiah 16:5, and Herod. i. 38) would give the sense hastening the day. So taken, the thought of the Apostle is that the “day of God” is not immutably fixed by a Divine decree, but may be accelerated by the readiness of His people or of mankind at large. In proportion to that readiness there is less occasion, if we may so speak, for the “long-suffering of God,” to postpone the fulfilment of His promise.

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved] More accurately, on account of which, viz. “the day of God,” the destruction of the present order being for the sake of that which is to usher in a new and better state. On the words that follow see note on 2 Peter 3:10, which is almost verbally reproduced. Micah 1:4 may be referred to as presenting the same picture of destruction.2 Peter 3:12. Τὴν παρουσίαν, the coming) This depends upon looking for and hastening, taken together: when ye offer prayers for His speedy coming. He who eagerly desires anything, urges forward the matter itself, if he is able, to a speedy accomplishment. Σπεύδω is used with an Accusative, Septuagint; Esther 5:5; Isaiah 16:5. The participle includes the statement of the cause, as in 2 Peter 3:14.—τοῦ Θεοῦ, of God) The expression, the day of God, is of rare occurrence. For diei Dei (the day of God), the Latin translator, or a very early copyist, wrote diei Domini[23] (the day of the Lord), probably for the sake of a more easy pronunciation. This reading was adopted in some Greek manuscripts, which everywhere follow the Latin readings. On the other hand, one Latin manuscript at Lovain has in the margin diei Dei. God grants to men many thousand days: one, and that the last, is the great day of God Himself.—διʼ ἣν, on account of which) viz. coming. An instance of the figure Chiasmus, consisting of four parts: what manner of personslooking foron account of whichbut new heavens. The first part is deduced from the third, and the second from the fourth.—πυρούμενοι· καυσούμενα) In other places, πυροῦσθαι applies rather to a dry body, καυσοῦσθαι to a moist one.

[23] AB Vulg., in some MSS. have Θεοῦ. But C and Amiat. MS. (the oldest) of Vulg. have κυρίου.—E.Verse 12. - Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God. The preposition "unto" is inserted without authority. The second participle σπεύδοντας is followed directly by the accusative, and is evidently transitive. In the Septuagint Version of Isaiah 16:5, σπεύδων δικαιοσύνην represents the "hasting righteousness" of our translation (comp. Pindar, 'Isthm.,' 5:22, where σπεύδειν ἀρετάν means "to pursue virtue"). Here the translation "hastening" is most appropriate. The Father hath put the times and seasons in his own power; but as the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, so now he is "long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish;" and in his gracious mercy waits for the repentance of his chosen. St. Peter seems to represent Christians as "hastening the coming [literally, 'presence'] of the day of God" by working out their own salvation, and helping to spread the knowledge of the gospel (Matthew 24:14), and so rendering the long-suffering patience of God no longer necessary. The words imply also the duty of praying for that coming, as we do in the second petition of the Lord's Prayer, and in the Funeral Service, "Beseeching thee, that it may please thee, of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom." Compare St. Peter's speech in Acts 3, where he says, "Repent ye therefore... that so (ὅπως ἄν) there may come seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ" (verses 19, 20, Revised Version). This remarkable coincidence of thought furnishes an argument of considerable weight in favour of the genuineness of this Epistle. Another possible rendering of the word is "earnestly desiring," which is adopted in the text of the Revised Version, and is preferred by some commentators. Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved. The Greek for "wherein" is δἰ,' ἥν, on account of which, i.e., on account of the day of God, or, what comes to much the same meaning, on account of the coming, the presence, of that day. Old things must pass away because of the coming of the day of God; the old order must give place to new. And the elements shall melt with fervent heat. The apostle repeats the striking words which he had already used in verse 10, with a different verb. The Greek word for "shall melt" here is not λυθήσεται, as in verse 10, but a stronger word τήκεται, are being melted, or wasted away. The tense is the prophetic present, implying a certain fulfillment. There is probably a reference to Isaiah 34:4, where the Septuagint rendering is Καὶ τακήσονται πᾶσαι αἱ δυνάμεις τῶν οὐρανῶν. Looking for (προσδοκῶντας)

The same verb as in Luke 1:21, of waiting for Zacharias. Cornelius waited (Acts 10:24); the cripple expecting to receive something (Acts 3:5).

Hasting unto (σπεύδοντας)

Wrong. Rev., earnestly desiring, for which there is authority. I am inclined to adopt, with Alford, Huther, Salmond, and Trench, the transitive meaning, hastening on; i.e., "causing the day of the Lord to come more quickly by helping to fulfil those conditions without which it cannot come; that day being no day inexorably fixed, but one the arrival of which it is free to the church to hasten on by faith and by prayer" (Trench, on "The Authorized Version of the New Testament"). See Matthew 24:14 : the gospel shall be preached in the whole world, "and then shall the end come." Compare the words of Peter, Acts 3:19 : "Repent and be converted," etc., "that so there may come seasons of refreshing" (so Rev., rightly); and the prayer," Thy kingdom come." Salmond quotes a rabbinical saying, "If thou keepest this precept thou hastenest the day of Messiah." This meaning is given in margin of Rev.

Wherein (δι' ἣν)

Wrong. Rev., correctly, by reason of which.

Melt (τήκεται)

Literal. Stronger than the word in 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 3:11. Not only the resolving, but the wasting away of nature. Only here in New Testament.

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