The Meaning of 2 Peter 3:8 Explained

2 Peter 3:8

KJV: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

YLT: And this one thing let not be unobserved by you, beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day;

Darby: But let not this one thing be hidden from you, beloved, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

ASV: But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

What does 2 Peter 3:8 Mean?

Verse Meaning

Again Peter reminded his readers to remember what they had learned previously ( 2 Peter 3:1) and not to forget, as the scoffers did ( 2 Peter 3:5). As far as God"s faithfulness to His promises, it does not matter if He gave His promise yesterday or a thousand years ago. He will still remain faithful and will fulfill every promise (cf. Psalm 90:4). The passage of a thousand years should not lead us to conclude that God will not fulfill what He has promised. The passing of time does not cause God to forget His promises. Peter was not saying that the "day of judgment" will last1 ,000 years since a day is as1 ,000 years with the Lord. This would contribute nothing to Peter"s argument against the scoffers.
This verse does not mean that God operates in a timeless state. Time is simply the way He and we measure the relationship of events to one another. The idea of a timeless existence is Platonic, not biblical. God"s relationship to time is different from ours since He is eternal, but this does not mean that eternity will be timeless. Eternity is endless time.
"Peter did not say that to God "one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years are one day." The point is not that time has no meaning for God but rather that His use of time is such that we cannot confine Him to our time schedules. His use of time is extensive, so that He may use a thousand years to do what we might feel should be done in a day, as well as intensive, doing in a day what we might feel could only be done in a thousand years." [1]
This statement does not negate the hope of the imminent return of the Lord either. Peter, as the other New Testament writers, spoke as though his readers would be alive at His return ( 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14). This was an indisputable hope of the early Christians. [2]

Context Summary

2 Peter 3:1-9 - Longsuffering Delay
Peter does not hesitate to place the commandments of himself and the other Apostles of Jesus on a level with the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and he repeats his admonitions because of the urgency of the crisis then threatening the Church. Apparently there was a well-grounded fear that she would relax her attitude of expectancy and give credence to the materialistic philosophy of the age.
Men argued then from the appearances of things, and especially from the regular routine of cause and effect. They did not realize that, from time to time, there had been the intrusion of the divine personal will into the course of history, introducing a higher set of laws and arresting the ordinary succession of events; as for instance, the Flood and the miracles of Old Testament history. Why, then, should not the ordinary course of nature be broken in upon by the Second Advent, when the Lord shall gather His saints about Him and reign gloriously? What God has done He can do again! There is a person and a will behind the slight veil of the present life. [source]

Chapter Summary: 2 Peter 3

1  He assures them of the certainty of Christ's coming to judgment;
8  warning the godly, for the long patience of God, to hasten their repentance
10  He describes also the manner how the world shall be destroyed;
11  exhorting them to all holiness of life;
16  and again to think the patience of God to tend to their salvation, as Paul wrote to them in his epistles

Greek Commentary for 2 Peter 3:8

Forget not this one thing [εν τουτο μη λαντανετω υμας]
Rather, “let not this one thing escape you.” For λαντανετω — lanthanetō (present active imperative of λαντανω — lanthanō) see 2 Peter 3:5. The “one thing” It may come tomorrow; but what is tomorrow? What does God mean by a day? It may be a thousand years” (Bigg). Precisely the same argument applies to those who argue for a literal interpretation of the thousand years in Revelation 20:4-6. It may be a day or a day may be a thousand years. God‘s clock (παρα κυριωι — para kuriōi beside the Lord) does not run by our timepieces. The scoffers scoff ignorantly. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for 2 Peter 3:8

Matthew 24:48 My lord tarrieth [χρονιζει μου ο κυριος]
That is the temptation and to give way to indulge in fleshly appetites or to pride of superior intellect. Within a generation scoffers will be asking where is the promise of the coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:4). They will forget that God‘s clock is not like our clock and that a day with the Lord may be a thousand years or a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8). [source]
Revelation 1:1 Shortly come to pass [γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει]
For the phrase ἐν τάχει shortlysee Luke 18:8, where yet long delay is implied. Expressions like this must be understood, not according to human measurement of time, but rather as in 2 Peter 3:8. The idea is, before long, as time is computed by God. The aorist infinitive γενέσθαι is not begin to come to pass, but denotes a complete fulfilment: must shortly come to pass in their entirety. [source]
Revelation 20:2 The dragon [τον δρακοντα]
Accusative after εκρατησεν — ekratēsen instead of the genitive as in Revelation 2:1. He has been behind the beast and the false prophet from the start. Now he is seized.The old serpent (ο οπις ο αρχαιος — ho ophis ho archaios). Precisely the description in Revelation 12:9, only the nominative is here retained, though in apposition with the accusative τον δρακοντα — ton drakonta a frequent anacoluthon in the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:5, etc.). Swete calls it a parenthesis.Which is The relative here relieves the construction and takes the place of ο καλουμενος — ho kaloumenos in Revelation 12:9 before Διαβολος και ο Σατανας — Diabolos kai ho Satanās bound him First aorist active indicative of δεω — deō a thousand years Accusative of extent of time. Here we confront the same problem found in the 1260 days. In this book of symbols how long is a thousand years? All sorts of theories are proposed, none of which fully satisfy one. Perhaps Peter has given us the only solution open to us in 2 Peter 3:8 when he argues that “one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” It will help us all to remember that God‘s clock does not run by ours and that times and seasons and programs are with him. This wonderful book was written to comfort the saints in a time of great trial, not to create strife among them. [source]
Revelation 20:2 Which is [ος εστιν]
The relative here relieves the construction and takes the place of ο καλουμενος — ho kaloumenos in Revelation 12:9 before Διαβολος και ο Σατανας — Diabolos kai ho Satanās bound him First aorist active indicative of δεω — deō a thousand years Accusative of extent of time. Here we confront the same problem found in the 1260 days. In this book of symbols how long is a thousand years? All sorts of theories are proposed, none of which fully satisfy one. Perhaps Peter has given us the only solution open to us in 2 Peter 3:8 when he argues that “one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” It will help us all to remember that God‘s clock does not run by ours and that times and seasons and programs are with him. This wonderful book was written to comfort the saints in a time of great trial, not to create strife among them. [source]
Revelation 22:7 And behold, I come quickly [και ιδου ερχομαι ταχυ]
Christ is the speaker, either through this angel or more probably directly from Christ without introduction as in Revelation 22:12, Revelation 22:16. About Christ coming quickly see Revelation 2:5, Revelation 2:16; Revelation 3:11; Revelation 16:15, and already in Revelation 1:2. Once more we must recall that ταχυ — tachu and εν ταχει — en tachei are according to God‘s time, not ours (2 Peter 3:8). [source]
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation [ἀποκάλυψις]
The Greek word is transcribed in Apocalypse. The word occurs only once in the Gospels, Luke 2:32, where to lighten should be rendered for revelation. It is used there of our Lord, as a light to dispel the darkness under which the heathen were veiled. It occurs thirteen times in Paul's writings, and three times in first Peter. It is used in the following senses: (a.) The unveiling of something hidden, which gives light and knowledge to those who behold it. See Luke 2:32(above). Christianity itself is the revelation of a mystery (Romans 16:25). The participation of the Gentiles in the privileges of the new covenant was made known by revelation (Ephesians 3:3). Paul received the Gospel which he preached by revelation (Galatians 1:12), and went up to Jerusalem by revelation (Galatians 2:2). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(b.) Christian insight into spiritual truth. Paul asks for Christians the spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:17). Peculiar manifestations of the general gift of revelation are given in Christian assemblies (1 Corinthians 14:6, 1 Corinthians 14:26). Special revelations are granted to Paul (2 Corinthians 12:1, 2 Corinthians 12:7). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(c.) The second coming of the Lord (1 Peter 1:7, 1 Peter 1:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:7) in which His glory shall be revealed (1 Peter 4:13), His righteous judgment made known (Romans 2:5), and His children revealed in full majesty (Romans 8:19). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The kindred verb ἀποκαλύπτω is used in similar connections. Following the categories given above,-DIVIDER-
(a.) Galatians 1:16; Galatians 3:23; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Peter 1:12. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(b.) Matthew 11:25, Matthew 11:27; Matthew 16:17; Luke 10:21, Luke 10:22; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 14:30; Philemon 3:15. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(c.) Matthew 10:26; Luke 2:35; Luke 12:2; Luke 17:30; Romans 1:17, Romans 1:18; Romans 8:18; 1 Corinthians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 2:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 5:1. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The word is compounded with ἀπό fromand καλύπτω tocover. Hence, to remove the cover from anything; to unveil. So of Balaam, the Lord opened or unveiled his eyes ( ἀπεκάλυψεν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς : Numbers 22:31, Sept.). So Boaz to Naomi's kinsman: “I thought to advertise thee:” Rev., “disclose it unto thee” ( ἀποκαλύψω τὸ οὖς σου : Rth 4:4 , Sept.). Lit., I will uncover thine ear. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The noun ἀποκάλυψις revelationoccurs only once in the Septuagint (1 Samuel 20:30), in the physical sense of uncovering. The verb is found in the Septuagint in Daniel 2:19, Daniel 2:22, Daniel 2:28. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
In classical Greek, the verb is used by Herodotus (i., 119) of uncovering the head; and by Plato: thus, “reveal ( ἀποκαλύψας ) to me the power of Rhetoric” (“Gorgias,” 460): “Uncover your chest and back” (“Protagoras,” 352). Both the verb and the noun occur in Plutarch; the latter of uncovering the body, of waters, and of an error. The religious sense, however, is unknown to heathenism. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The following words should be compared with this: Ὀπτασία avision (Luke 1:22; Acts 26:19; 2 Corinthians 12:1). Ὅραμα avision (Matthew 17:9; Acts 9:10; Acts 16:9). Ὅρασις avision (Acts 2:17; Revelation 9:17. Of visible form, Revelation 4:3). These three cannot be accurately distinguished. They all denote the thing seen or shown, without anything to show whether it is understood or not. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
As distinguished from these, ἀποκάλυψις includes, along with the thing shown or seen, its interpretation or unveiling. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
Ἐπιφάνεια appearing(hence our epiphany ), is used in profane Greek of the appearance of a higher power in order to aid men. In the New Testament by Paul only, and always of the second appearing of Christ in glory, except in 2 Timothy 1:10, where it signifies His first appearing in the flesh. See 2 Thessalonians 2:8; 1 Timothy 6:14; Titus 2:13. As distinguished from this, ἀπολάλυψις is the more comprehensive word. An apocalypse may include several ἐπιφάνειαι appearingsThe appearings are the media of the revealings. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
Φανέρωσις manifestationonly twice in the New Testament; 1 Corinthians 12:7; 2 Corinthians 4:2. The kindred verb φανερόω tomake manifest, is of frequent occurrence. See on John 21:1. It is not easy, if possible, to show that this word has a less dignified sense than ἀποκάλυψις . The verb φανερόω is used of both the first and the second appearing of our Lord (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 1:2; 1 Peter 1:20; Colossians 3:4; 1 Peter 5:4). See also John 2:11; John 21:1. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
Some distinguish between φανέρωσις as an external manifestation, to the senses, but single and isolated; while ἀποκάλυψις is an inward and abiding disclosure. According to these, the Apocalypse or unveiling, precedes and produces the φανέρωσις or manifestation. The Apocalypse contemplates the thing revealed; the manifestation, the persons to whom it is revealed. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
The Revelation here is the unveiling of the divine mysteries.Of Jesus ChristNot the manifestation or disclosure of Jesus Christ, but the revelation given by Him.To shew ( δεῖξαι )Frequent in Revelation (Revelation 4:1; Revelation 17:1; Revelation 21:9; Revelation 22:1). Construe with ἔδωκεν gavegave him to shew. Compare “I will give him to sit” (Revelation 3:21): “It was given to hurt” (Revelation 7:2): “It was given him to do;” (A.V. “had power to do;” Revelation 13:14).Servants ( δούλοις )Properly, bond-servants. See on Matthew 20:26; see on Mark 9:35.Must ( δεῖ )As the decree of the absolute and infallible God.Shortly come to pass ( γενέσθαι ἐν τάχει )For the phrase ἐν τάχει shortlysee Luke 18:8, where yet long delay is implied. Expressions like this must be understood, not according to human measurement of time, but rather as in 2 Peter 3:8. The idea is, before long, as time is computed by God. The aorist infinitive γενέσθαι is not begin to come to pass, but denotes a complete fulfilment: must shortly come to pass in their entirety. He sent ( ἀποστείλας )See on Matthew 10:2, Matthew 10:16.Signified ( ἐσήμανεν )From σῆμα asign. Hence, literally, give a sign or token. The verb occurs outside of John's writings only in Acts 11:28; Acts 25:27. See John 12:33; John 18:32; John 21:19. This is its only occurrence in Revelation. The word is appropriate to the symbolic character of the revelation, and so in John 12:33, where Christ predicts the mode of His death in a figure. Compare sign, Revelation 12:1.Angel ( ἀγγέλου )Strictly, a messenger. See Matthew 11:10; Luke 8:24; Luke 9:52. Compare the mediating angel in the visions of Daniel and Zechariah (Daniel 8:15, Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; Daniel 10:10; Zechariah 1:19). See on John 1:51.ServantDesignating the prophetic office. See Isaiah 59:5; Amos 3:7; compare Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9.JohnJohn does not name himself in the Gospel or in the Epistles. Here “we are dealing with prophecy, and prophecy requires the guarantee of the individual who is inspired to utter it” (Milligan). Compare Daniel 8:1; Daniel 9:2. [source]

What do the individual words in 2 Peter 3:8 mean?

[This] one however thing not let be hidden from you beloved that one day with [the] Lord [is] like a thousand years and
Ἓν δὲ τοῦτο μὴ λανθανέτω ὑμᾶς ἀγαπητοί ὅτι μία ἡμέρα παρὰ Κυρίῳ ὡς χίλια ἔτη καὶ

Ἓν  [This]  one 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.
δὲ  however 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
τοῦτο  thing 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
λανθανέτω  let  be  hidden  from 
Parse: Verb, Present Imperative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λανθάνω  
Sense: to be hidden, to be hidden from one, secretly, unawares, without knowing.
ἀγαπητοί  beloved 
Parse: Adjective, Vocative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀγαπητός  
Sense: beloved, esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love.
ὅτι  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ὅτι  
Sense: that, because, since.
μία  one 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.
ἡμέρα  day 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ἡμέρα  
Sense: the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night.
παρὰ  with  [the] 
Parse: Preposition
Root: παρά  
Sense: from, of at, by, besides, near.
Κυρίῳ  Lord  [is] 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: κύριος  
Sense: he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
ὡς  like 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡς 
Sense: as, like, even as, etc.
χίλια  a  thousand 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: χίλιοι  
Sense: a thousand.
ἔτη  years 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: ἔτος  
Sense: year.

What are the major concepts related to 2 Peter 3:8?

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