2 Peter 2:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

King James Bible
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

Darby Bible Translation
For if God spared not [the] angels who had sinned, but having cast them down to the deepest pit of gloom has delivered them to chains of darkness [to be] kept for judgment;

World English Bible
For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

Young's Literal Translation
For if God messengers who sinned did not spare, but with chains of thick gloom, having cast them down to Tartarus, did deliver them to judgment, having been reserved,

2 Peter 2:4 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

For if God spared not the angels - The angels were originally placed in a state of probation; some having fallen and some having stood proves this. How long that probation was to last to them, and what was the particular test of their fidelity, we know not; nor indeed do we know what was their sin; nor when nor how they fell. St. Jude says they kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation; which seems to indicate that they got discontented with their lot, and aspired to higher honors, or perhaps to celestial domination. The tradition of their fall is in all countries and in all religions, but the accounts given are various and contradictory; and no wonder, for we have no direct revelation on the subject. They kept not their first estate, and they sinned, is the sum of what we know on the subject; and here curiosity and conjecture are useless.

But cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness - Αλλα σειραις ζοφου ταρταρωσας παρεδωκεν εις κρισιν τετηρημενους· But with chains of darkness confining them in Tartarus, delivered them over to be kept to judgment; or, sinking them into Tartarus, delivered them over into custody for punishment, to chains of darkness. Chains of darkness is a highly poetic expression. Darkness binds them on all hands; and so dense and strong is this darkness that it cannot be broken through; they cannot deliver themselves, nor be delivered by others.

As the word Tartarus is found nowhere else in the New Testament, nor does it appear in the Septuagint, we must have recourse to the Greek writers for its meaning. Mr. Parkhurst, under the word ταρταροω, has made some good collections from those writers, which I here subjoin.

"The Scholiast on Aeschylus, Eumen., says: Pindar relates that Apollo overcame the Python by force; wherefore the earth endeavored ταρταρωσαι, to cast him into Tartarus. Tzetzes uses the same word, ταρταροω, for casting or sending into Tartarus; and the compound verb καταταρταρουν, is found in Apollodorus; in Didymus' Scholia on Homer; in Phurnutus, De Nat, Deor., p. 11, edit. Gale; and in the book Περι Ποταμων, which is extant among the works of Plutarch. And those whom Apollodorus styles καταταρταρωθεντας, he in the same breath calls ῥιφθεντας εις Ταρταρον, cast into Tartarus. Thus the learned Windet, in Pole's Synopsis. We may then, I think, safely assert that ταρταρωσας, in St. Peter, means not, as Mede (Works, fol., p. 23) interprets it, to adjudge to, but to cast into, Tartarus; ῥιπτειν εις Ταρταρον, as in Homer, cited below. And in order to know what was the precise intention of the apostle by this expression, we must inquire what is the accurate import of the term Ταρταρος. Now, it appears from a passage of Lucian, that by Ταρταρος was meant, in a physical sense, the bounds or verge of this material system; for, addressing himself to ΕΡΩΣ, Cupid or Love, he says: Συ γαρ εξ αφανους και κεχυμενης αμορφιας ΤΟ ΠΑΝ εμορφωσας, κ. τ. λ. 'Thou formedst the universe from its confused and chaotic state; and, after separating and dispersing the circumfused chaos, in which, as in one common sepulchre, the whole world lay buried, thou drovest it to the confines or recesses of outer Tartarus -

'Where iron gates and bars of solid brass

Keep it in durance irrefrangible,

And its return prohibit.'

"The ancient Greeks appear to have received, by tradition, an account of the punishment of the 'fallen angels,' and of bad men after death; and their poets did, in conformity I presume with that account, make Tartarus the place where the giants who rebelled against Jupiter, and the souls of the wicked, were confined. 'Here,' saith Hesiod, Theogon., lin. 720, 1, 'the rebellious Titans were bound in penal chains.'

Τοσσον ενερθ' ὑπο γης, ὁσον ουρανος εστ'απο γαιης.

Ισον γαρ τ' απο γης ες ΤΑΡΤΑΡΟΝ ηεροεντα.

'As far beneath the earth as earth from heaven;

For such the distance thence to Tartarus.'

Which description will very well agree with the proper sense of Tartarus, if we take the earth for the center of the material system, and reckon from our zenith, or the extremity of the heavens that is over our heads. But as the Greeks imagined the earth to be of a boundless depth, so it must not be dissembled that their poets speak of Tartarus as a vast pit or gulf in the bowels of it. Thus Hesiod in the same poem, lin. 119, calls it -

ΤΑΡΤΑΡΑ τ' ηεροεντα μυχῳ χθονος ευρυοδειης·


Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness...

Deuteronomy 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man...

Psalm 78:50 He made a way to his anger; he spared not their soul from death, but gave their life over to the pestilence;

Ezekiel 5:11 Why, as I live, said the Lord GOD; Surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things...

Ezekiel 7:4,9 And my eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense your ways on you...

Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not you.

the angels.

Job 4:18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:

Luke 10:18 And he said to them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning...

1 John 3:8 He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested...

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation...


Isaiah 14:12 How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!

Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with you, Jesus, you Son of God?...

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire...

Mark 5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the most high God? I adjure you by God...

Luke 8:31 And they sought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.

Revelation 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels...

Revelation 20:2,3,10 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years...


2 Peter 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation...

to be.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished:

Job 21:30 That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.

Jude 1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

The Owner and his Slaves
'Denying the Lord that bought them.'--2 Peter ii. 1. The institution of slavery was one of the greatest blots on ancient civilisation. It was twice cursed, cursing both parties, degrading each, turning the slave into a chattel, and the master, in many cases, into a brute. Christianity, as represented in the New Testament, never says a word to condemn it, but Christianity has killed it. 'Make the tree good and its fruit good.' Do not aim at institutions, change the people that live under them and
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture Ephesians, Peter,John

What is to be Said of the Sea of Apamia.
'The sea of Apamia' is reckoned the seventh among those seas that compass the land of Israel; which word hath a sound so near akin to the word Pamias, by which name the Rabbins point out the fountains of Jordan,--that the mention of that word cannot but excite the memory of this, yea, almost persuade that both design one and the same place: and that the sea Apamia was nothing else but some great collection of waters at the very springs of Jordan. This also might moreover be added to strengthen that
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

A Preliminary Discourse to Catechising
'If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' - Col 1:23. Intending next Lord's day to enter upon the work of catechising, it will not be amiss to give you a preliminary discourse, to show you how needful it is for Christians to be well instructed in the grounds of religion. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' I. It is the duty of Christians to be settled in the doctrine of faith. II. The best way for Christians to be settled is to be well grounded. I. It is the duty of Christians
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

The Catholic Epistles.
I. Storr: De Catholicarum Epp. Occasione et Consilio. Tüb. 1789. Staeudlin: De Fontibus Epp. Cath. Gott. 1790. J. D. Schulze: Der schriftstellerische Charakter und Werth des Petrus, Jacobus und Judas. Leipz. 1802. Der schriftsteller. Ch. des Johannes. 1803. II. Commentaries on all the Catholic Epistles by Goeppfert (1780), Schlegel (1783), Carpzov (1790), Augusti (1801), Grashof (1830), Jachmann (1838), Sumner (1840), De Wette (3d ed. by Brückner 1865), Meyer (the Cath. Epp. by Huther,
Philip Schaff—History of the Christian Church, Volume I

Cross References
Jude 1:6
And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

Revelation 20:1
And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

Revelation 20:2
He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

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