2 Peter 3:5
Parallel Verses
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:

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,

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,

2 Peter 3:5 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For this they willingly are ignorant of - Λαιθάνει γὰρ αὐτοὺς τοῦτο θέλοντας Laithanei gar autous touto thelontas. There is some considerable variety in the translation of this passage. In our common version the Greek word (θέλοντας thelontas) is rendered as if it were an adverb, or as if it referred to their "ignorance" in regard to the event; meaning, that while they might have known this fact, they took no pains to do it, or that they preferred to have its recollection far from their minds. So Beza and Luther render it. Others, however, take it as referring to what follows, meaning, "being so minded; being of that opinion; or affirming." So Bloomfield, Robinson (Lexicon), Mede, Rosenmuller, etc. According to this interpretation the sense is, "They who thus will or think; that is, they who hold the opinion that all things will continue to remain as they were, are ignorant of this fact that things have not always thus remained; that there has been a destruction of the world once by water."

The Greek seems rather to demand this interpretation; and then the sense of the passage will be, "It is concealed or hidden from those who hold this opinion, that the earth has been once destroyed." It is implied, whichever interpretation is adopted, that the will was concerned in it; that they were influenced by that rather than by sober judgment and by reason; and whether the word refers to their "ignorance," or to their "holding that opinion," there was obstinacy and perverseness about it. The "will" has usually more to do in the denial and rejection of the doctrines of the Bible than the "understanding" has. The argument which the apostle appeals to in reply to this objection is a simple one. The adversaries of the doctrine affirmed that the laws of nature had always remained the same, and they affirmed that they always would. The apostle denies the fact which they assumed, in the sense in which they affirmed it, and maintains that those laws have not been so stable and uniform that the world has never been destroyed by an overwhelming visitation from God. It has been destroyed by a flood; it may be again by fire. There was the same improbability that the event would occur, so far as the argument from the stability of the laws of nature is concerned, in the one case that there is in the other, and consequently the objection is of no force.

That by the word of God - By the command of God. "He spoke, and it was done." Compare Genesis 1:6, Genesis 1:9; Psalm 33:9. The idea here is, that everything depends on his word or will. As the heavens and the earth were originally made by his command, so by the same command they can be destroyed.

The heavens were of old - The heavens were formerly made, Genesis 1:1. The word "heaven" in the Scriptures sometimes refers to the atmosphere, sometimes to the starry worlds as they appear above us, and sometimes to the exalted place where God dwells. Here it is used, doubtless, in the popular signification, as denoting the heavens as they "appear," embracing the sun, moon, and stars.

And the earth standing out of the water and in the water - Margin, "consisting." Greek, συνεστῶσα sunestōsa. The Greek word, when used in an intransitive sense, means "to stand with," or "together;" then tropically, "to place together," to constitute, place, bring into existence - Robinson. The idea which our translators seem to have had is, that, in the formation of the earth, a part was out of the water, and a part under the water; and that the former, or the inhabited portion, became entirely submerged, and that thus the inhabitants perished. This was not, however, probably the idea of Peter. He doubtless has reference to the account given in Genesis 1:of the creation of the earth, in which water performed so important a part. The thought in his mind seems to have been, that "water" entered materially into the formation of the earth, and that in its very origin there existed the means by which it was destroyed afterward.

The word which is rendered "standing" should rather be rendered "consisting of," or "constituted of;" and the meaning is, that the creation of the earth was the result of the divine agency acting on the mass of elements which in Genesis is called "waters," Genesis 1:2, Genesis 1:6-7, Genesis 1:9. There was at first a vast fluid, an immense unformed collection of materials, called "waters," and from that the earth arose. The point of time, therefore, in which Peter looks at the earth here, is not when the mountains, and continents, and islands, seem to be standing partly out of the water and partly in the water, but when there was a vast mass of materials called "waters" from which the earth was formed. The phrase "out of the water" (ἐξ ὕδατος ex hudatos) refers to the origin of the earth. It was formed "from," or out of, that mass. The phrase "in the water" (δἰ ὕδατος di' hudatos) more properly means "through" or "by." It does not mean that the earth stood in the water in the sense that it was partly submerged; but it means not only that the earth arose "from" that mass that is called "water" in Genesis 1, but that that mass called "water" was in fact the grand material out of which the earth was formed. It was "through" or "by means of" that vast mass of mingled elements that the earth was made as it was. Everything arose out of that chaotic mass; through that, or by means of that, all things were formed, and from the fact that the earth was thus formed out of the water, or that water entered so essentially into its formation, there existed causes which ultimately resulted in the deluge.

2 Peter 3:5 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Growth
'But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ....'--2 Peter iii. 18. These are the last words of an old man, written down as his legacy to us. He was himself a striking example of his own precept. It would be an interesting study to examine these two letters of the Apostle Peter, in order to construct from them a picture of what he became, and to contrast it with his own earlier self when full of self-confidence, rashness, and instability. It took a lifetime for Simon,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

How Christ is to be Made Use Of, in Reference to Growing in Grace.
I come now to speak a little to the other part of sanctification, which concerneth the change of our nature and frame, and is called vivification, or quickening of the new man of grace; which is called the new man, as having all its several members and parts, as well as the old man; and called new, because posterior to the other; and after regeneration is upon the growing hand, this duty of growing in grace, as it is called, 2 Pet. iii. &c. is variously expressed and held forth to us in Scripture;
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

God Rejoicing in the New Creation
THIS PASSAGE, like the rest of Isaiah's closing chapters, will have completest fulfillment in the latter days when Christ shall come, when the whole company of his elect ones shall have been gathered out from the world, when the whole creation shall have been renewed, when new heavens and a new earth shall be the product of the Savior's power, when, for ever and for ever, perfected saints of God shall behold his face, and joy and rejoice in him. I hope and believe that the following verses will actually
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

Fourth Sunday after Trinity Consolation in Suffering, and Patience.
Text: Romans 8, 18-22. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to vanity not of its own will, but by reason of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Cross References
Genesis 1:6
Then God said, "Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters."

Genesis 1:9
Then God said, "Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear"; and it was so.

Psalm 24:2
For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 136:6
To Him who spread out the earth above the waters, For His lovingkindness is everlasting;

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.

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