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.

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
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For this they willingly are ignorant of - They shut their eyes against the light, and refuse all evidence; what does not answer their purpose they will not know. And the apostle refers to a fact that militates against their hypothesis, with which they refused to acquaint themselves; and their ignorance he attributes to their unwillingness to learn the true state of the case.

By the word of God the heavens were of old - I shall set down the Greek text of this extremely difficult clause: Ουρανοι ησαν εκπαλαι, και γη εξ ὑδατος και δι' ὑδατος συνεστωσα, τῳ του Θεου λογῳ· translated thus by Mr. Wakefield: "A heaven and an earth formed out of water, and by means of water, by the appointment of God, had continued from old time." By Dr. Macknight thus; "The heavens were anciently, and the earth of water: and through water the earth consists by the word of God." By Kypke thus: "The heavens were of old, and the earth, which is framed, by the word of God, from the waters, and between the waters." However we take the words, they seem to refer to the origin of the earth. It was the opinion of the remotest antiquity that the earth was formed out of water, or a primitive moisture which they termed ὑλη, hule, a first matter or nutriment for all things; but Thales pointedly taught αρχην δε των παντως ὑδωρ ειναι, that all things derive their existence from water, and this very nearly expresses the sentiment of Peter, and nearly in his own terms too. But is this doctrine true? It must be owned that it appears to be the doctrine of Moses: In the beginning, says he, God made the heavens and the earth; and the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Now, these heavens and earth which God made in the beginning, and which he says were at first formless and empty, and which he calls the deep, are in the very next verse called waters; from which it is evident that Moses teaches that the earth was made out of some fluid substance, to which the name of water is properly given. And that the earth was at first in a fluid mass is most evident from its form; it is not round, as has been demonstrated by measuring some degrees near the north pole, and under the equator; the result of which proved that the figure of the earth was that of an oblate spheroid, a figure nearly resembling that of an orange. And this is the form that any soft or elastic body would assume if whirled rapidly round a center, as the earth is around its axis. The measurement to which I have referred shows the earth to be flatted at the poles, and raised at the equator. And by this measurement it was demonstrated that the diameter of the earth at the equator was greater by about twenty-five miles than at the poles.

Now, considering the earth to be thus formed εξ ὑδατος, of water, we have next to consider what the apostle means by δι' ὑδατος, variously translated by out of, by means of, and between, the water.

Standing out of the water gives no sense, and should be abandoned. If we translate between the waters, it will bear some resemblance to Genesis 1:6, Genesis 1:7 : And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of, בתוך bethoch, between, the waters; and let it divide the waters from the waters: and God divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; then it may refer to the whole of the atmosphere, with which the earth is everywhere surrounded, and which contains all the vapours which belong to our globe, and without which we could neither have animal nor vegetative life. Thus then the earth, or terraqueous globe, which was originally formed out of water, subsists by water; and by means of that very water, the water compacted with the earth - the fountains of the great deep, and the waters in the atmosphere - the windows of heaven, Genesis 7:11, the antediluvian earth was destroyed, as St. Peter states in the next verse: the terraqueous globe, which was formed originally of water or a fluid substance, the chaos or first matter, and which was suspended in the heavens - the atmosphere, enveloped with water, by means of which water it was preserved; yet, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants, was destroyed by those very same waters out of which it was originally made, and by which it subsisted.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

they willingly.

Proverbs 17:16 Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he has no heart to it?

John 3:19,20 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light...

Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind...

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 And with all delusion of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth...

by the word.

Genesis 1:6,9 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters, and let it divide the waters from 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 them by the breath of his mouth.

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

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.

Twenty Seventh Sunday after Trinity to the Reader.
Text: 2 Peter 3, 3-7. TO THE READER. When the year has twenty-seven Sundays after Trinity, which seldom occurs, substitute the text of 2 Peter 3, 3-7 for the twenty-sixth Sunday and use the text of the twenty-sixth Sunday for the twenty-seventh Sunday.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

Thirty-First Day. Holiness and Heaven.
Seeing that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of men ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?'--2 Pet. iii. 11. 'Follow after the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord.'--Heb. xii. 14. 'He that is holy, let him be made holy still.... The grace of the Lord Jesus be with the holy ones. Amen.'--Rev. xxii. 11, 21. O my brother, we are on our way to see God. We have been invited to meet the Holy One face to face. The infinite mystery of holiness, the
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

On Predestination
"Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son: -- Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Romans 8:29, 30. Our beloved brother Paul," says St. Peter, "according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; as also in all his Epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Spiritual Growth
Thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring whose waters fail not.' (Isaiah lviii. 11.) 'Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.' (2 Peter iii. 18.) The truths of the Bible exist in counterpart, having at least two aspects, each of which must be considered in relation to the other, if their full meaning is to be understood. That is a very necessary statement in regard to the aspect of truth which we emphasize under the general heading of 'Spiritual
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

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.

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