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2 Peter 3:9 - Exposition

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 4:1-19 :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. 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 , Ezekiel 18:32 , 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 , εἰς μετάνοιαν χωρήσας ). Calvin takes it transitively, "willing to receive all to repentance." But the common translation is plainly right.

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