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2 Peter 3:7 - Exposition

But the heavens and the earth, which are now; rather, the heavens which are now, and the earth. The "now" does not refer, as some think, to any change wrought by the Flood, but distinguishes the present heavens and earth from the new heavens and new earth, which Christians are to look for ( 2 Peter 3:13 ). By the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire. Several of the better manuscripts have "by his Word," which, on the whole, seems to give the best meaning. The reading in the text may, indeed, be understood in a similar sense, "by the same Word of God;" otherwise it would mean that the original word of creation determined also the duration of the world and the means of its destruction. The words rendered, "are kept in store," are, literally, "have been treasured ( τεθησαυρισμένοι εἰσίν )" (comp. Romans 2:5 ). It seems better to take the dative πυρί ("with fire," or "for fire") with this verb rather than with the following, as in the Authorized Version. If we take the first meaning of the dative, the sense will be that the world has been stored with fire, i.e., that it contains, stored up in its inner depths, the fire which is destined ultimately to destroy it. But the other view seems on the whole more probable; the heavens and the earth are stored up for fire or unto fire, i.e., with the purpose in the counsels of God of their ultimate destruction by fire. This is the clearest prophecy in Holy Scripture of the final conflagration of the universe; but comp. Isaiah 66:15 ; Daniel 7:10 ; Malachi 4:1 ; 2 Thessalonians 1:8 . Such a doctrine formed part of the physical theories of the Stoics; it is also found in the 'Book of Enoch.' Against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. The participle "reserved" ( τηρούμενοι ) is best taken with this clause: "Reserved against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."

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