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Commentary requested: 2nd Peter 3:9

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Michael Collum, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

    Christian Seeker
    2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

    When I read this passage, I read that Jesus will return when everyone has repented.

    Kindly take a look at the context and provide commentary.
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  2. BCsenior

    BCsenior Still an evangelist

    With the greatest mercy and grace and longsuffering,
    the Holy Spirit works to get the BAC to repent of his sins ...
    instead of being unfaithful, while habitually sinning w/o repentance.

    (This is the case, if Peter is talking about BACs, who are the "us-ward".
    The NKJV footnote says Peter is talking to "you", i.e. BACs)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  3. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    According to a commentary on this passage, there was discussion on this topic in Jewish circles. There are things about the wording that reflect that. Some seem to have thought that the end would be delayed until Israel repented (though probably not even last person).

    But remember that the NT often has a measure of predestination, though I don't think it teaches full-blown Calvinism. God has planned for people to be saved. Note the reference to election in 1:10. Christ won't come until everyone God wants has repented. If this is true, the often-quoted 3:9 doesn't actually mean that God wants everyone in the world to be saved, but rather all of you, meaning those he has chosen to save.

    (In my opinion there are other grounds to say that God intend to save everyone, but this passage may not say that.)
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  4. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    I understand it means God wishes that all would repent, but it doesn’t mean all will repent and it doesn’t mean God will force all to repent.
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  5. Kenny'sID

    Kenny'sID Well-Known Member Supporter

    1213 x 2
  6. LittleLambofJesus

    LittleLambofJesus Hebrews 2:14.... Pesky Devil, git! Supporter

    United States
    That is my understanding also.

    I list a few commentaries at bottom.

    First a few verses taken from Biblehub:

    2 Peter 3:9 biblehub

    Isaiah 46:13
    I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.
    Habakkuk 2:3
    For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
    Revelation 6:10 is showing the same thing as Luke 18:1 concerning the 1st century Saints and destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad........
    "DAYS OF VENGEANCE" Isaiah 61:2 and Luke 21:22 Revelation

    Luke 18:7

    The yet God not no should be doing the avenging<1557> of the chosen-ones of Him, the ones imploring to Him of day and night and is far-feeling on them.

    Revelation 6:10

    And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true,
    until You judge and avenge <1556 >your blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

    Revelation 18:20
    ‘Be making merry<2165> over Her, O heaven, and the Saints, the Apostles and the Prophets,
    that the GOD judges the judgment of ye out of Her!’

    Revelation 19:1
    After these I hear as a great sound of a vast throng in the heaven, saying,
    "HalleluYah! the salvation and the glory and the honor, and the power of our God; 2 That true and righteous His judgings, that He judges the great Whore who corrupts the earth in Her whoredom, and avenges<1556> the blood of His bond-servants out of Her hand"
    2 Peter 3:9 Commentaries:

    Pulpit Commentary
    Verse 9. - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness. The Lord here, as frequently in these Epistles, is God the Father; it is he only who knoweth that day and that hour (Mark 13:32). Some take the genitive τῆς ἐπαγγελίας with "the Lord," and translate, "The Lord of the promise is not slack." This is a possible connection, but, not so satisfactory as the ordinary rendering. (For the genitive with the verb βραδύνει, see Winer, 3:30, 6, b.) The latter clause may be understood, "as some think it, i.e., the delay of the judgment, to be slackness;" or better, perhaps, "as some understand the meaning of slackness." Men are slow in fulfilling their promises from various, often selfish, motives; the Lord's delay comes from love and long-suffering. But is long-suffering to us-ward; rather, to you-ward, which seems to be the best-supported reading; two ancient manuscripts give "for your sake." St. Peter has the same thought in the First Epistle (1 Peter 4:20); there he reminds us how the long-suffering of God waited while the ark was a-preparing; here he tells us that the delay of the judgment, at which unbelievers scoff, is due to the same cause. We note here an item of evidence for the common authorship of the two Epistles (comp. Habakkuk 2:3, quoted in Hebrews 10:37, and Ecclus. 32:22, in the Septuagint; also Augustine's well-known words, "Pattens quid aeternus"). Not willing that any should perish; rather, not wishing or desiring (μὴ βουλόμενος). The participle gives the reason of the Lord's delay; he hath no pleasure that the wicked should die (Ezekiel 18:23, 32, and Ezekiel 33:11). But that all should come to repentance. The G reek word for "come" (χωρῆσαι), occurs in the same sense in Matthew 15:17 (see also the remarkable parallel from Plutarch, 'De Flum.,' page 19 (quoted by Alford), εἰς μετάνοιαν... χωρήσας). Calvin takes it transitively, "willing to receive all to repentance." But the common translation is plainly right (comp. 1 Timothy 2:4 combined with 2 Timothy 2:25).
    Benson Commentary
    2 Peter 3:9. The Lord is not slack — Ου βραδυνει, does not delay, or is not slow; concerning his promise — To fulfil it, as if the time fixed for the fulfilment of it were past; for it shall surely be fulfilled in its season; but is long-suffering, to us-ward — Children of men; not willing that any should perish — Any human being, any soul that he hath made. That is, he is not primarily willing; his first will, with regard to the whole posterity of Adam, hath been and is, that they should be eternally saved; and as a proof of it he hath given his Son a ransom for all; (1 Timothy 2:6; Hebrews 2:9;) hath commanded his gospel, that is, the glad tidings of salvation, to be preached to all, to every human creature, (Mark 16:15,) and, to help man’s weakness, causes his grace, even his saving grace, (as η χαρις η σωτηριος literally signifies,) to appear to, or to visit and strive with, all men, in order to their repentance, faith, and new obedience. But if they reject his counsel against themselves, which they are under no necessity of doing, by continuing impenitent, unbelieving, and disobedient, then, secondly, he wills, and that justly, that they should perish, for they are accountable to him, their rightful Lawgiver, Governor, and Judge, and he will judge them, and all the world, in righteousness.
    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
    (9) Third Answer—a practical one: Make good use of what to you seems to be delay.
    The Lord is not slack.—We are in doubt whether “the Lord” means Christ or God the Father. In 2Peter 3:8 “the Lord” certainly means God; and this is in favour of the same meaning here. On the other hand, “concerning His promise” naturally refers to Christ’s promise that He will return. The same doubt recurs with regard to 2Peter 3:15 (see Note there). By “is not slack is meant “does not delay beyond the time appointed.” There is no dilatoriness; He waits, but is never slow, is never late.

    Concerning his promise.—The Greek construction is peculiar, formed on the analogy of a comparative adjective—“is not slower than his promise.” (Comp. Romans 3:23.)

    But is longsuffering.—(Comp. 2Peter 3:15 and 1Peter 3:20. As St. Augustine puts it, God is patiens quia aeternus—longsuffering because He is eternal. He who is from everlasting to everlasting can afford to wait. (Comp. the Shepherd, Sim. VIII. xi. 1.)

    To us-ward.—The true reading, beyond all doubt, is towards you. It is specially natural here that St. Peter should not include himself among those whom he addresses; for he is writing mainly to Gentile Christians (2Peter 1:1), and this longsuffering of God had been conspicuous in His dealings with the Gentiles (Romans 11:11-36.) (See second Note on 1Peter 1:12.)
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  7. tdidymas

    tdidymas Newbie

    It can't possibly mean everyone, because there are billions of unrepentant unbelievers who have died since that was written.

    The "all" is referring to "us-ward," that is, the churches he is writing to. So, following the context, I read it like this: God is not willing that any of us should perish, but that all of us should come to repentance.

    And whosoever takes heed to the warning and repents, such a person is the elect of God. Whoever takes no heed and doesn't repent (ever) obviously isn't one of the "us-ward" he is referring to, that is, not one of the elect.

    So then, God is delaying the Day of the Lord to give time for the elect to repent of their sins. Such is how I read this verse.
  8. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Simul Justus et Peccator Supporter

    United States
    Hi Michael, 2 Peter was written to/about believers. Chapter 3 was written to/about believers (as was the passage that v9 is found in).

    That said, v9 tells us that God is longsuffering to us-ward, that He patiently waits for all of "us" to come to repentance and be saved. The question is, who is the "us" (that the Apostle refers to), and how can we figure that out :scratch:

    Here are two things to consider about that. Along with "who" the Epistle is addressed/written to/about, another question that needs to be asked is this, is God longsuffering towards those who He already knows will ~never~ come to faith/repentance and be saved, or is He longsuffering towards His elect alone (which includes His "saints to be", of course), IOW, those who He knows will eventually come to faith and be saved?

    p.s. - if your interest is in finding a verse that poses a problem for the Reformed doctrine of Limited Atonement, 2 Peter 3:9 isn't it, but 1 Timothy 2:4 certainly could be!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  9. Jonaitis

    Jonaitis Pilgrim

    United States
    I noticed the word 'us-ward' in the verse. It appears that this refers to the audience of Peter's epistle. The Lord is not wishing any of his children perish, but that all should come to repentance in due season - which could span for +2,000 years.

    I see it this way: God will continue to delay the last day until all of his elect come to faith. Once this passes, then judgment will immediately commence. The ungodly are alive today through the long-suffering of God toward his elect who haven't yet came to faith.
  10. Michael Collum

    Michael Collum Everything began with a voice, use yours Supporter

    Christian Seeker
    Thank you everyone who has posted commentary so far. It has been helpful.
  11. ajcarey

    ajcarey Active Member

    United States
    This is one of those many instances where simply reading the book (or even the chapter) of the verse in question makes the answer clear. The entire book of 2 Peter is written to Christians to keep them from being deceived by false teachers who abuse the grace of God and turn it into a license to live ungodly. Those who turn aside after them will end up worse off than those who had never really known God at all and will surely be condemned with the wicked when Christ returns. If all eventually will come to repentance the theme of the book and its many warnings and instructions would be utterly pointless. Just reading the book straightforward and honestly will prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt.