2 Peter 3:3
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
SECOND PREDICTION: Scoffers shall throw doubt on Christ’s return.

(3) In the last days.—Comp. 1Peter 1:20; Hebrews 1:2; and the parallel passage to this, Jude 1:18. “Know this first, children, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts” is quoted in a homily attributed on doubtful authority to Hippolytus. (See above on 2Peter 2:1.)

Scoffers.—The best authorities add “in scoffing,” intensifying the meaning by repetition (as in Ephesians 1:3; Revelation 14:2; comp. Luke 22:15). There are other repetitions of this kind in the New Testament, which have been rendered by strengthening the verb in some other way (John 3:29; Acts 4:17; Acts 5:28; James 5:17).

2 Peter 3:3. Knowing this first — That your faith in the prophetic word may not be shaken, but that you may be armed and prepared for the trial; that there shall come in the last days — The expression here used, επεσχατου των ημερων, is different from υστεροις χρονοις, future, or latter times, (1 Timothy 4:1,) and from εσχαταις ημεραις, the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1. It is also different from επεσχατων των χρονων, these last times, 1 Peter 1:20. And it probably means the last part of the days of the world’s duration. Scoffers — Or mockers, who shall ridicule the expectation of such awful events, and deride the truths, promises, and threatenings of the divine word; walking after their own lusts — Influenced by their appetites and passions, and their earthly and sensual inclinations. Here the apostle has laid open the true source of infidelity, and of men’s scoffing at religion. “They may pretend to religion,” as Dr. Benson says, “but they are governed by sense and appetite, and they take refuge in infidelity, and scoff at religion, to make themselves easy in their vices.” “When the apostle wrote this passage, there were Epicureans and others among the Gentiles, and Sadducees among the Jews, who ridiculed the promises of the gospel concerning the resurrection of the dead, the general judgment, the destruction of the earth, and a future state of rewards and punishments. Wherefore, seeing the scoffers, of whom St. Peter here speaks, had not yet appeared, but were to come in the last period of the duration of the world, it is probable that they were to arise in the church itself. Accordingly they are reproved, (2 Peter 3:5,) for being wilfully ignorant of the Mosaic history of the creation and of the deluge; and Jude says, (Judges 1:18-19,) the scoffers separated themselves from other Christians, and had not the Spirit, though they pretended to be inspired. The evil of scoffing at the doctrines and promises of the gospel may be learned from Psalm 1:1, where scoffing at religion is represented as the highest stage of impiety.” — Macknight.3:1-4 The purified minds of Christians are to be stirred up, that they may be active and lively in the work of holiness. There will be scoffers in the last days, under the gospel, men who make light of sin, and mock at salvation by Jesus Christ. One very principal article of our faith refers to what only has a promise to rest upon, and scoffers will attack it till our Lord is come. They will not believe that he will come. Because they see no changes, therefore they fear not God, Ps 55:19. What he never has done, they fancy he never can do, or never will do.Knowing this first - As among the first and most important things to be attended to - as one of the predictions which demand your special regard. Jude Jde 1:18 says that the fact that there would be "mockers in the last time," had been particularly foretold by thom. It is probable that Peter refers to the same thing, and we may suppose that this was so well understood by all the apostles that they made it a common subject of preaching.

That there shall come in the last days - In the last dispensation; in the period during which the affairs of the world shall be wound up. The apostle does not say that that was the last time in the sense that the world was about to come to an end; nor is it implied that the period called "the last day" might not be a very long period, longer in fact than either of the previous periods of the world. He says that during that period it had been predicted there would arise those whom he here calls "scoffers." On the meaning of the phrase "in the last days," as used in the Scriptures, see the Acts 2:17 note; Hebrews 1:2 note; Isaiah 2:2 note.

Scoffers - In Jude Jde 1:18 the same Greek word is rendered "mockers." The word means those who deride, reproach, ridicule. There is usually in the word the idea of contempt or malignity toward an object. Here the sense seems to be that they would treat with derision or contempt the predictions respecting the advent of the Saviour, and the end of the world. It would appear probable that there was a particular or definite class of men referred to; a class who would hold special opinions, and who would urge plausible objections against the fulfillment of the predictions respecting the end of the world, and the second coming of the Saviour - for those are the points to which Peter particularly refers. It scarcely required inspiration to foresee that there would be "scoffers" in the general sense of the term - for they have so abounded in every age, that no one would hazard much in saying that they would be found at any particular time; but the eye of the apostle is evidently on a particular class of people, the special form of whose reproaches would be the ridicule of the doctrines that the Lord Jesus would return; that there would be a day of judgment; that the world would be consumed by fire, etc. Tillotson explains this of the Carpocratians, a large sect of the Gnostics, who denied the resurrection of the dead, and the future judgment.

Walking after their own lusts - Living in the free indulgence of their sensual appetites. See the notes at 2 Peter 2:10, 2 Peter 2:12, 2 Peter 2:14, 2 Peter 2:18-19.

3. Knowing this first—from the word of the apostles.

shall come—Their very scoffing shall confirm the truth of the prediction.

scoffers—The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate add, "(scoffers) in (that is, 'with') scoffing." As Re 14:2, "harping with harps."

walking after their own lusts—(2Pe 2:10; Jude 16, 18). Their own pleasure is their sole law, unrestrained by reverence for God.

Knowing this first; especially, as being very necessary to be known. The apostle having in the former chapter cautioned these saints against the more close enemies of the gospel, seducers and false teachers, here he foretells them of more open enemies, profane scoffers.

In the last days: see 1 Corinthians 10:11 2 Timothy 3:1.

Scoffers; profane contemners of God, and deriders of his truth, Psalm 1:1 119:51 Isaiah 28:14,22.

Walking after their own lusts; such as are natural to them; lusts of ungodliness, Judges 1:18. Knowing this first,.... In the first place, principally, and chiefly, and which might easily be known and observed from the writings of the apostles and prophets; see 1 Timothy 4:1;

that there shall come in the last days scoffers, or "mockers"; such as would make a mock at sin, make light of it, plead for it, openly commit it, and glory in it; and scoff at all religion, as the prejudice of education, as an engine of state, a piece of civil policy to keep subjects in awe, as cant, enthusiasm, and madness, as a gloomy melancholy thing, depriving men of true pleasure; and throw out their flouts and jeers at those that are the most religious, for the just, upright man, is commonly by such laughed to scorn, and those that depart from evil make themselves a prey; and particularly at the ministers of the word, for a man that has scarcely so much common sense as to preserve him from the character of an idiot, thinks himself a wit of the age, if he can at any rate break a jest upon a Gospel minister: nor do the Scriptures of truth escape the banter and burlesque of these scoffers; the doctrines of it being foolishness to them, and the commands and ordinances in it being grievous and intolerable to them; yea, to such lengths do those proceed, as to scoff at God himself; at his persons, purposes, providences, and promises; at Jehovah the Father, as the God of nature and providence, and especially as the God and Father of Christ, and of all grace in him; at Jehovah the Son, at his person, as being the Son of God, and truly God, at his office, as Mediator, and at his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, which they trample under foot; and at Jehovah the Spirit, whom they do despite unto, as the spirit of grace, deriding his operations in regeneration and sanctification, as dream and delusion; and, most of all, things to come are the object of their scorn and derision; as the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, a future judgment, the torments of hell, and the joys of heaven; all which they represent as the trifles and juggles of designing men: such as these, according to the prophets and apostles, were to come in "the last days"; either in the days of the Messiah, in the Gospel dispensation, the times between the first and second coming of Christ; for it is a rule with the Jews (s), that wherever the last days are mentioned, the days of the Messiah are intended; see Hebrews 1:1; when the prophets foretold such scoffers should come; or in the last days of the Jewish state, both civil and religious, called "the ends of the world", 1 Corinthians 10:11; a little before the destruction of Jerusalem, when iniquity greatly abounded, Matthew 24:11; or "in the last of the days"; as the words may be rendered; and so answer to , in Isaiah 2:2, and may regard the latter part of the last times; the times of the apostles were the last days, 1 John 2:18; they began then, and will continue to Christ's second coming; when some time before that, it will be a remarkable age for scoffers and scorners; and we have lived to see an innumerable company of them, and these predictions fulfilled; from whence it may be concluded, that the coming of Christ is at hand: these scoffers are further described as

walking after their own lusts; either after the carnal reasonings of their minds, admitting of nothing but what they can comprehend by reason, making that the rule, test, and standard of all their principles, and so cast away the law of the Lord, and despise the word of the Holy One of Israel; or rather, after their sinful and fleshly lusts, making them their guides and governors, and giving up themselves entirely to them, to obey and fulfil them; the phrase denotes a continued series of sinning, a progress in it, a desire after it, and pleasure in it, and an obstinate persisting in it; scoffers at religion and revelation are generally libertines; and such as sit in the seat of the scornful, are in the counsel of the ungodly, and way of sinners, Psalm 1:1.

(s) Kimchi in Isa. ii. 2.

{2} Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days {a} scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

(2) He vouches the second coming of Christ against the Epicureans by name.

(a) Monstrous men, who will seem wise by their contempt of God, and wicked boldness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Peter 3:3. τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες] cf. chap. 2 Peter 1:20.

γινώσκοντες] refers in loose construction (instead of an accus.) to the subject contained in μνησθῆναι.

ὅτι ἐλεύσονται κ.τ.λ.] Cf. Judges 1:18.[86]

ἘΝ ἘΜΠΑΙΓΜΟΝῇ] gives sharp prominence to the conduct of the ἘΜΠΑῖΚΤΑΙ. The word is a ἍΠ. ΛΕΓ.; Hebrews 11:36 : ἘΜΠΑΙΓΜΌς; with the constr. ἜΡΧΕΣΘΑΙ ἘΝ, cf. 1 Corinthians 4:21.

ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺςΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟΙ] Judges 1:18; Judges 1:16; ἸΔΊΑς is added so as to strengthen the pronoun ΑὙΤῶΝ.

[86] Hofmann unwarrantably assumes that by that, of which the writer would have his readers to be specially mindful, he does not mean only the contents of the sentence depending directly on γινώσκοντες, but still more than that.2 Peter 3:3. τοῦτο πρῶτον γινώσκοντες. Accusative is required, but all MSS. have nominative, cf. Judges 1:18. ἐπʼ ἐσχάτων τῶν ἡμερῶν. Mockers are one of the signs of the approach of the end, cf. 1 John 2:18. ἐν ἐμπαιγμονῇ ἐμπαῖκται: ἐμπαίκτης is an unclassical form. cf. Mark 15:20. This verse is not part of the prophetic or apostolic message of 2 Peter 3:2, but a particular caution of the writer, based on Jude.3. knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers] The better MSS. give the emphatic Hebrew idiom of reduplication (comp. Genesis 22:17), scoffers shall come in their scoffing. The first noun is found only here and in the parallel passage of Jdg 1:18; the latter, here only.

walking after their own lusts, and saying …] This is given as the ground of their mocking temper. The habit of self-indulgence is at all times the natural parent of the cynical and scoffing sneer.2 Peter 3:3. Πρῶτον, first) So ch. 2 Peter 1:20, note.—γινώσκοντες, knowing) The nominative case coheres with that ye may be mindful: comp. Acts 15:23, note. The righteous already knew this from the word of the apostles, Judges 1:17-18.—ἐλεύσονται, shall come) in greater number and shamelessness. By which very thing they themselves confirm the truth of this prediction.—ἐμπαῖκται,[15] mockers) Thus the Septuagint renders Isaiah 3:4, חעלולים, those who perform the most serious matters in the most trifling manner, even when they do not employ joke and laughter. [They are wholly given up to mocking, having no foundation besides for whatever they please to do.—V. g.]—ἘΠΙΘΥΜΊΑς,[16] lusts) This is the origin of error, the root of licentiousness.

[15] The fuller reading, ἐν ἐμπαιγμονῇ ἐμπαῖκται, is preferred both in the margin of both Editions and in the Germ. Vers., which has “lauter Spötter,” or rather, as it is read in the margin of the Germ. Vers. “Erz-Spötter.”—E. B.

[16] κατὰ τὰς ἰδίαςπορευόμενοι, walking according to their own lusts) This is an exact description of an abandoned man, that he does whatever is his own pleasure, and is not restrained by any reverence towards GOD.—V. g.

ABC (C omitting ἐν) Vulg. add ἐν ἐμπαιγμονῇ. Rec. Text, with inferior authorities, omits these words.—E.Verse 3. - Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers. (For the irregular construction of γινώσκοντες, see Winer, 3:63, 2, a.) St. Peter has the words, "knowing this first," in 2 Peter 1:20, where he is speaking of the interpretation of prophecy; he repeats them now when referring to the scoffers who mocked at the long delay of the Lord's coming foretold by the prophets. (For "the last days," see note on 1 Peter 1:20.) The Revised Version has, "Mockers shall come with mockery." This represents the words ἐν ἐμπαιγμοπνῇ, found in nearly all the best manuscripts, which give emphasis to the expression after the Hebrew manner. The word ἐμπαιγμονή occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, and ἐμπαῖκται, scoffers, only in the parallel passage, Jude 1:18. Walking after their own lusts. Self-indulgence often leads to skepticism. This verse is quoted in a homily ascribed to Hippolytus. Scoffers walking (ἐμπαῖκται πορευόμενοι)

This is the reading followed by A. V. But the later texts have added ἐμπαιγμονῇ, in mockery, occurring only here, though a kindred word for mockings (ἐμπαιγμῶν) is found Hebrews 11:36. This addition gives a play upon the words; and so Rev., "Mockers shall come with mockery, walking," etc.

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