John S. C. Abbott and Jacob Abbott 2 Peter 3
Illustrated New Testament
The commandment of us; the commandment delivered by us.
Walking after their own lusts, living in open sin, and deriding the warnings of the gospel.
The promise of his coming, that is, the coming of Christ.--Since the fathers, &c. Their argument was, that the course of nature had gone on steadily the same from the days of the fathers, and that it still continued without any indication of an approaching change. To this the apostle replies in the 2 Peter 3:4-13, that the course of nature had not always gone on unchanged,--that the earth has once been destroyed by water, and he asserts that it will be again destroyed by fire.
They willingly are ignorant of; they will not consider it.--By the word of God; by the power of God.--The heavens were; that is, they existed.
One day is with the Lord, &c., an expression suggested, perhaps, to the apostle's mind by Psalms 90:4.
Not slack concerning his promise; not negligent in fulfilling it.--As some men count slackness; infer slackness,--that is, from the long delay. The idea is, that the lapse of time which intervenes before the threatenings of God are executed does not arise from neglect or forgetfulness, as some men suppose, but from forbearance and long-suffering, in hope that the sinner may repent.
As a thief in the might; unexpectedly and suddenly.
Hasting unto the coming, &c.; anticipating it with interest, and making active preparation for it.
New heavens and a new earth; an entire new constitution of things. The phrase heavens and earth, comprising, as it does, the whole visible creation, is often used as a general expression to denote all things. A "new heavens and a new earth" means therefore, simply, all things new. Some have understood this and other similar passages to imply that this earth, after undergoing a great change in its constitution, so as to be purified of its corruption, and divested of its elements of frailty and decay, and also of its means and sources of danger and suffering will be made the abode of the redeemed, after they have risen from the dead, and have been clothed in bodies which shall have undergone a similar transformation. There has been much other reasoning and speculation in regard to the future world, but the word of God has not revealed to us any details respecting its conditions and circumstances, and of course, on such a subject, what divine revelation has withheld, it is vain for human speculations to attempt to supply.
In which; in which things, that is, in the truths revealed in respect to the end of the world and the general judgment. The difficulties which the apostle here refers to are not difficulties in Paul's writings, but in the subject which he has himself been discussing. This the original conclusively shows.--Which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest; in the manner already explained in 2 Peter 3:3-5.
The error of the wicked; that is, the error referred to above,--their becoming careless and unconcerned about the displeasure of God, because his sentence is not speedily executed.
A similar doxology occurs before in 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:11,5:11, in both which cases it apparently, though not so unquestionably as in this case, stands as an ascription to the Savior. The certainty of the application of it, in this case, goes very far towards removing any doubt which we might feel in those.