2 Peter 3:12

New Testament

9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you because he does not wish for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; when it comes, the heavens will disappear with a horrific noise, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze, and the earth and every deed done on it will be laid bare. 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must you be, conducting your lives in holiness and godliness, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God? Because of this day, the heavens will be burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze!

Sanhedrin 98a

Babylonian Talmud

§ Rabbi Alexandri says: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi raises a contradiction in a verse addressing God’s commitment to redeem the Jewish people. In the verse: “I the Lord in its time I will hasten it” (Isaiah 60:22), it is written: “In its time,” indicating that there is a designated time for the redemption, and it is written: “I will hasten it,” indicating that there is no set time for the redemption. Rabbi Alexandri explains: If they merit redemption through repentance and good deeds I will hasten the coming of the Messiah. If they do not merit redemption, the coming of the Messiah will be in its designated time.

 Notes and References

"... As you wait for the day of God (which is the same as the "Day of the Lord," verse 10) and work to hasten its coming. The idea of working to hasten the coming of the Messiah is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, but it often surprises both Jews and Christians to find the concept in the New Testament as well. Many Christians would be glad to sit back passively and wait for the Day of God; it is hard to motivate them to work to hasten its coining; and learning they are supposed to surprises them. On the other hand, Jews who think of the New Testament as fatalistic and otherworldly are equally amazed to discover Kefa's orientation toward action and ethical behavior ("You should lead godly and holy lives," verse 11). Moreover, there is reciprocity: not only are we to hasten the End, but, as we learn from Hebrews 10:25b ("And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching"), the End hastens us! On the present verse Yechiel Lichtenstein writes: 'Kefa says the believers can hasten the Day. In the Talmud compare Sanhedrin 98a, which applies Isaiah 60:22 ('I, Adonai, will hasten it in its time') to the Messiah's coming ..."

Stern, David H. Jewish New Testament Commentary (pp. 764-765) Jewish New Testament Publications, 1994

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