Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

2 Peter 3:13

    2 Peter 3:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But having faith in his word, we are looking for a new heaven and a new earth, which will be the resting-place of righteousness.

    Webster's Revision

    But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    World English Bible

    But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

    Clarke's Commentary on 2 Peter 3:13

    We, according to his promise, look for new heavens - The promise to which it is supposed the apostle alludes, is found Isaiah 65:17 : Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind; and Isaiah 66:22 : For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed, etc. Now, although these may be interpreted of the glory of the Gospel dispensation, yet, if St. Peter refer to them, they must have a more extended meaning.

    It does appear, from these promises, that the apostle says here, and what is said Revelation 21:27; Revelation 22:14, Revelation 22:15, that the present earth, though destined to be burned up, will not be destroyed, but be renewed and refined, purged from all moral and natural imperfection, and made the endless abode of blessed spirits. But this state is certainly to be expected after the day of judgment; for on this the apostle is very express, who says the conflagration and renovation are to take place at the judgment of the great day; see 2 Peter 3:7, 2 Peter 3:8, 2 Peter 3:10, 2 Peter 3:12. That such an event may take place is very possible; and, from the terms used by St. Peter, is very probable. And, indeed, it is more reasonable and philosophical to conclude that the earth shall be refined and restored, than finally destroyed. But this has nothing to do with what some call the millennium state; as this shall take place when time, with the present state and order of things, shall be no more.

    Barnes' Notes on 2 Peter 3:13

    Nevertheless we, according to his promise - The allusion here seems to be, beyond a doubt, to two passages in Isaiah, in which a promise of this kind is found. Isaiah 65:17; "for, behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Isaiah 66:22; "for as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord," etc. Compare Revelation 21:1, where John says he had a vision of the new heaven and the new earth which was promised: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and there was no more sea." See the notes at Isaiah 65:17.

    Look for new heavens and a new earth - It may not be easy to answer many of the questions which might be asked respecting the "new heaven and earth" here mentioned. One of those which are most naturally asked is, whether the apostle meant to say that this earth, after being purified by fire, would be suited again for the home of the redeemed; but this question it is impossible to answer with certainty. The following remarks may perhaps embrace all that is known, or that can be shown to be probable, on the meaning of the passage before us.

    I. The "new heavens and the new earth" referred to will be such as will exist after the world shall have been destroyed by fire; that is, after the general judgment. There is not a word expressed, and not a hint given, of any "new heaven and earth" previous to this, in which the Saviour will reign personally over his saints, in such a renovated world, through a long millennial period. The order of events, as stated by Peter, is:

    (a) that the heavens and earth which are now, are "kept in store, reserved unto fire "against the day of judgment," and perdition of ungodly men," 2 Peter 3:7;

    (b) that the day of the Lord will come suddenly and unexpectedly, 2 Peter 3:10; that then the heavens and earth will pass away with a great noise, the elements will melt, and the earth with all its works be burned up, 2 Peter 3:10; and,

    (c) that after this 2 Peter 3:13 we are to expect the "new heavens and new earth."

    Nothing is said of a personal reign of Christ; nothing of the resurrection of the saints to dwell with him on the earth; nothing of the world's being fitted up for their home previous to the final judgment. If Peter had any knowledge of such events, and believed that they would occur, it is remarkable that he did not even allude to them here. The passage before us is one of the very few places in the New Testament where allusion is made to the manner in which the affairs of the world will be closed; and it cannot be explained why, if he looked for such a glorious personal reign of the Saviour, the subject should have been passed over in total silence.

    II. The word "new," applied to the heavens and the earth that are to succeed the present, might express one of the following three things - that is, either of these things would correspond with all that is fairly implied in that word:

    (a) If a new world was literally created out of nothing after this world is destroyed; for that would be in the strictest sense "new." That such an event is possible no one can doubt, though it is not revealed.

    (b) If an inhabitant of the earth should dwell after death In any other of the worlds now existing, it would be to him a "new" abode, and everything would appear new. Let him, for instance, be removed to the planet "Saturn," with its wonderful ring, and its seven moons, and the whole aspect of the heavens, and of the world on which he would then dwell, would be new to him. The same thing would occur if he were to dwell on any other of the heavenly bodies, or if he were to pass from world to world. See this illustrated at length in the works of Thomas Dick, LL. D. - "Celestial Scenery," etc. Compare the notes at 1 Peter 1:12.

    (c) If the earth should be renovated, and suited for the home of man after the universal conflagration, it would then be a new abode.

    III. This world, thus renovated, may be, from time to time, the temporary abode of the redeemed, after the final judgment. No one can prove that this may not be, though there is no evidence that it will be their permanent and eternal home or that even all the redeemed will at any one time find a home on this globe, for no one can suppose that the earth is spacious enough to furnish a dwelling-place for all the unnumbered millions that are to be saved. But that the earth may again be revisited from time to time by the redeemed; that in a purified and renovated form it may be one of the "many mansions" which are to be fitted up for them John 14:2, may not appear wholly improbable from the following suggestions:

    (1) It seems to have been a law of the earth that in its progress it should be "prepared" at one period for the dwelling-place of a higher order of beings at another period. Thus, according to the disclosures of geology, it existed perhaps for countless ages before it was fitted to be an abode for man; and that it was occupied by the monsters of an inferior order of existence, who have now passed away to make room for a nobler race. Who can tell but the present order of thing may pass away to make place for the manifestations of a more exalted mode of being?

    (2) there is no certain evidence that any world has been annihilated, though some have disappeared from human view. Indeed, as observed above, (see the notes at 2 Peter 3:10) there is no proof that a single particle of matter ever has been annihilated, or ever will be. It may change its form, but it may still exist.

    continued...

    Wesley's Notes on 2 Peter 3:13

    3:13 We look for new heavens and a new earth - Raised as it were out of the ashes of the old; we look for an entire new state of things. Wherein dwelleth righteousness - Only righteous spirits. How great a mystery!