The Three Judgments--2 Peter 2:4-9
Have you ever been in a court of law or watched night court on TV? After the hearing, the judge makes his judgment. Doubtlessly some of his judgments are not just. God's judgments, however, are always just. Three such judgments are presented in 2 Peter 2:4-9. Consider first that:
I. THE JUDGMENTS INVOLVE CORRUPTION--vv. 4-8
A. The Judgment of Angels
1. The nature of their sin.
a. The corruption involved is stated as being sin.
b. Jude 6 states that these were those who "kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation."
c. Generally two ideas are presented
(I) Some refer this to the initial sin of angels under the guidance of Satan.
(II) Others refer it to the account given in Genesis 6:2 referring the "Sons of God" to angels.
d. The proper understanding may depend on the judgment of them, which looks like an immediate judgment and
permanent in nature.
e. Though inclined to the second idea, Calvin stated, "Most men are curious, and make no end of inquiries on
this things; but since God in Scripture has only sparingly touched on them, and as it were by the way, he thus
reminds us that we ought to be satisfied with this small knowledge. And indeed they who curiously inquire, do
not regard edification, but seek to feed their souls with vain speculations." (Calvin, 396-7)
2. The certainty of their judgment
a. Cast into hell
(I) Actually, the word is "Tartarus."
(II) Alford equates it with hell as does Matthew Henry.
(III) Jude states that they are "reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great
day." (Verse 6)
(IV) At least, it is the abode of these rebellious angels.
(V) May be equivalent to the bottomless pit--Revelation 20:1-3
b. Chained in darkness
(I) Peter states this here.
(II) Jude reiterates it in verse 6.
(III) As Matthew Henry pointed out, sin always binds creatures, whether an angel or a human being.
c. The comparison with Jude
(I) There is some similarity of wording between 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.
(II) There are also marked differences.
(III) In the Greek there are very few common terms.
(A) Of course the word aggelos (only case difference), angel, is in both passages.
(B) Eis krisin, unto judgment, appears in both passages.
(C) As far as this writer can discern, zophon, darkness, seems to be the only other common word except
for normally commonly used words.
(IV) It would seem to this writer that if either one saw the other's epistle or if they had both gotten their
material from the same source, there would be greater similarity than differences.
d . Certain in judgment
(I) They are judged now and imprisoned.
(II) They are imprisoned until the final great white throne. (Note that the lake of fire in the final judgment--
B. The Judgment of Men at the Flood--v. 5
1. The sparing not of the world
a. The world before the flood was wicked.
(I) Genesis 6:5-7
(II) It is called here "The old world." This would argue against evolution which tries to take present processes
and applying them to the past.
(III) World condemned by Noah in faith--Hebrews 11:7
b. The Bible records it several times.
(I) Matthew 24:38, 39--spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ
(II) 1 Peter 3:20
(III) Of course, verse 5 here
(IV) Hebrews 11:7 implies it.
c. This is Peter's second example that God will punish the wicked; therefore, the false teachers (vv. 1-3) will also
2. The saving of Noah and family
a. The meaning of the eighth
(I) Not as some interpret it, the eighth preacher--beginning with Enos.
(II) He was the eighth person.
(A) The word "person" is in italics indicating that it is not in the Greek.
(B) So it is simply "The eighth."
(C) In checking the Greek it looks like the word "eighth" occurs before "Noah"; thus a literal rendering
would be "the eighth, Noah, a preacher of righteousness."
(III) Therefore, he was the eighth together with seven others.--Cf. Genesis 7:13
(A) Noah's wife
(B) Shem and his wife
(C) Ham and his wife
(D) Japheth and his wife
b. The preacher of righteousness
(I) Noah was not saved as a preacher of righteousness.
(II) Noah was saved by grace--cf. Genesis 6:8
(III) Noah became a preacher of righteousness after being saved.
(A) He was a preacher of moral righteousness, even the righteousness of God.
(B) There is the implication here as well as in 1 Peter 3:20 that Noah preached while building the ark.
(C) Also suggested in Hebrews 11:7.
c. NOTE: This part is not in Jude; here again this would seem strange if both were following a common source
or if either had access to the other epistle.
C. The Judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah--vv. 6-8
1. Wicked Sodom and Gomorrah
a. They were turned into ashes.
(I) "No political union or confederacy can keep off judgments from a sinful people. Sodom and the
neighbouring cities were no more secure by their regular government than the angels by the dignity of their
nature or the old world by their vast number." (Henry, VI:1046)
(II) Peter stated that these cities were made an example of God's wrath against the ungodly.
(III) This is the third example to show that the false teachers will be judged.
(IV) Other cities were involved--Jude 7.
(A) Here again there are a few similarities, but some very distinct differences.
(B) Though this writer has not checked the Greek (as he did in connection with verse 4), it would not be
surprising to find that the two passages have only a few words in common.
b. God overthrew them.
(I) This is the word used in the historical record.--Cf. Genesis 19:25
(II) It is the word from which we get "catastrophe."
(III) "Most heinous sins bring most grievous judgments. Those who were abominable in their vices were
remarkable for their plagues. Those who are sinners exceedingly before the Lord must expect the most
dreadful vengeance." (Ibid.)
2. Just Lot
a. He was righteous.
(I) The historical record (Genesis 19:12ff.) shows little of righteousness except he did try to persuade his
sons-in-law to leave.
(II) The account here in Peter bears this out.
(III) It does not appear in Jude's account, for he was only concerned with judgment.
(IV) This again shows that Peter and Jude did not derive their information from a common source; or else one
must argue that they were very selected, which argues against their position.
(V) "When God sends destruction on the ungodly, he commands deliverance for the righteous." (Ibid.)
b. He was vexed.
(I) The nature of his vexation
(A) The word "vex"
(1) To wear down or tire by toil
(2) The idea is to harass beyond bearing.
(B) It was daily as verse 8 points out.
(C) That Lot had temptations is evident from the record in Genesis.
(D) Nevertheless, his heart was upset by the daily sin around him .
(E) Are not our hearts vexed with the filth of our day?
(II) The cause of his vexation
(A) Their conversation (walk as much as talk) was filthy.
(B) The deeds were contrary to law.
(C) Is it any different in this present day?
II. THE JUDGMENTS HAS RESULTS--v. 9
A. The Deliverance of the Righteous--v. 9a
1.The two examples of deliverance
a. Noah from the old world by water
b. Lot from Sodom by fire
2. The Lord knows how
a. The first part of the grand conclusion
b. "The wisdom of God is never at a loss about ways and means to deliver his people." (op. cit., 1047)
c. 2 Timothy 2:19
d. Today, He delivers from temptations.
(I) Trials, persecutions
(II) Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13
B. The Punishment of the Wicked--v. 9b
1. The reservation of their judgment
a. The preservation of impenitent sinners is only a reserving of them to the day of the revelation of the righteous
judgment of God." (Ibid.)
b. The is the second part of the grand conclusion.
c. Their judgment is sure.
2. The day of judgment
a. There is a day of judgment.
b. Hebrews 9:27
c. Reference to the great white throne judgment--Revelation 20:11ff.
3. 2 Peter and Jude both speak of judgment.
a. Even a cursory reading of the two show very few similarities if any.
b. The differences are numerous and generally ignored by those advocating either a common source or one writer
having the other when they wrote.
c. They just can not admit that Peter and Jude wrote independently by the power of the Holy Spirit.
God speaks of three judgments: of angels,
of men at the flood, and of Sodom and Gomorrah. These are
to us that God will punish the wicked. God does deliver the righteous and reserves the wicked for judgment.
Are you ready by having trusted Jesus Christ? If not, click to How to Be Saved and then receive Jesus Christ as your Savior.