Spared not the old world - The apostle's argument is this: If God spared not the rebellious angels, nor the sinful antediluvians, nor the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha, he will not spare those wicked teachers who corrupt the pure doctrines of Christianity.
Saved Noah the eighth - Some think that the words should be translated, Noah the eighth preacher of righteousness; but it seems most evident, from 1 Peter 3:20, that eight persons are here meant, which were the whole that were saved in the ark, viz. Shem, Ham, Japhet, and their three wives, six; Noah's wife seven; and Noah himself the eighth. The form of expression, ογδοον Νωε, Noah the eighth, i.e. Noah and seven more, is most common in the Greek language. So in Appian, Bell. Pun., p. 12, Τριτος δε ποτε εν σπηλαιῳ κρυπτομενος ελαθε, sometimes he the third (i.e. he with two others) lay hid in a cave. Andocides, Orat. iv. p. 295: Αἱρεθεις επι τουτῳ δεκατος αυτος, he himself the tenth (i.e. he and nine others) were chosen to this. See a number of other examples in Kypke.
World of the ungodly - A whole race without God - without any pure worship or rational religion.
And spared not the old world - The world before the flood. The argument here is, that he cut off that wicked race, and thus showed that he would punish the guilty. By that awful act of sweeping away the inhabitants of a world, he showed that people could not sin with impunity, and that the incorrigibly wicked must perish.
But saved Noah the eighth person - This reference to Noah, like the reference to Lot in 2 Peter 2:7, seems to have been thrown in in the progress of the argument as an incidental remark, to show that the righteous, however few in number, would be saved when the wicked were cut off. The phrase “Noah the eighth,” means Noah, one of eight; that is, Noah and seven others. This idiom is found, says Dr. Bloomfield, in the best writers - from Herodotus and Thucydides downward. See examples in Wetstein. The meaning in this place then is, that eight persons, and eight only of that race, were saved; thus showing, that while the wicked would be punished, however numerous they might be, the righteous, however few, would be saved.
A preacher of righteousness - In Genesis 6:9, it is said of Noah that he was “a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God;” and it may be presumed that during his long life he was faithful in reproving the wickedness of his age, and warned the world of the judgment that was preparing for it. Compare the notes at Hebrews 11:7.
Bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly - Upon all the world besides that pious family. The argument here is, that if God would cut off a wicked race in this manner, the principle is settled that the wicked will not escape.
Noah and his family were not alone in fearing and obeying God. But Noah was the most pious and holy of any upon the earth, and was the one whose life God preserved to carry out his will in building the ark and warning the world of their coming doom. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, lived until the very year of the flood, and there were others who believed the preaching of Noah, and aided him in building the ark, who died before the flood of waters came upon the earth. Noah, by his preaching and example in building the ark, condemned the world. God gave all an opportunity who chose to repent and turn to him. But they believed not the preaching of Noah. They mocked at his warnings, and ridiculed the building of that immense boat on dry land. Noah's efforts to reform his fellow men did not succeed. But for more than one hundred years he persevered in his efforts to turn men to repentance and to God. Every blow struck upon the ark was preaching to the people. Noah directed, he preached, he worked, while the people looked on in amazement, and regarded him as a fanatic. 3SG 65.1
God gave Noah the exact dimensions of the ark, and explicit directions in regard to the construction of it in every particular. In many respects it was not made like a vessel, but prepared like a house, the foundation like a boat which would float upon water. There were no windows in the sides of the ark. It was three stories high, and the light they received was from a window in the top. The door was in the side. The different apartments prepared for the reception of different animals were so made that the window in the top gave light to all. The ark was made of the cypress or gopher wood, which would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. It was a building of great durability which no wisdom of man could invent. God was the designer, and Noah his master-builder. 3SG 66.1
After Noah had done all in his power to make every part of the work correct, it was impossible that it could of itself withstand the violence of the storm which God in his fierce anger was to bring upon the earth. The work of completing the building was a slow process. Every piece of timber was closely fitted, and every seam covered with pitch. All that men could do was done to make the work perfect; yet after all, God alone could preserve the building upon the angry, heaving billows, by his miraculous power. 3SG 66.2Read in context »
Before the Flood God sent Noah to warn the world, that the people might be led to repentance, and thus escape the threatened destruction. As the time of Christ's second appearing draws near, the Lord sends His servants with a warning to the world to prepare for that great event. Multitudes have been living in transgression of God's law, and now He in mercy calls them to obey its sacred precepts. All who will put away their sins by repentance toward God and faith in Christ are offered pardon. But many feel that it requires too great a sacrifice to put away sin. Because their life does not harmonize with the pure principles of God's moral government, they reject His warnings and deny the authority of His law. PP 102.1
Of the vast population of the earth before the Flood, only eight souls believed and obeyed God's word through Noah. For a hundred and twenty years the preacher of righteousness warned the world of the coming destruction, but his message was rejected and despised. So it will be now. Before the Lawgiver shall come to punish the disobedient, transgressors are warned to repent, and return to their allegiance; but with the majority these warnings will be in vain. Says the apostle Peter, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning.” 2 Peter 3:3, 4. Do we not hear these very words repeated, not merely by the openly ungodly, but by many who occupy the pulpits of our land? “There is no cause for alarm,” they cry. “Before Christ shall come, all the world is to be converted, and righteousness is to reign for a thousand years. Peace, peace! all things continue as they were from the beginning. Let none be disturbed by the exciting message of these alarmists.” But this doctrine of the millennium does not harmonize with the teachings of Christ and His apostles. Jesus asked the significant question, “When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. And, as we have seen, He declares that the state of the world will be as in the days of Noah. Paul warns us that we may look for wickedness to increase as the end draws near: “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” 1 Timothy 4:1. The apostle says that “in the last days perilous times shall come.” 2 Timothy 3:1. And he gives a startling list of sins that will be found among those who have a form of godliness. PP 102.2Read in context »
The descendants of Seth were called the sons of God; the descendants of Cain, the sons of men. As the sons of God mingled with the sons of men, they became corrupt and, by intermarriage with them, lost, through the influence of their wives, their peculiar, holy character, and united with the sons of Cain in their idolatry. Many cast aside the fear of God and trampled upon His commandments. But there were a few that did righteousness, who feared and honored their Creator. Noah and his family were among the righteous few. SR 62.1
The wickedness of man was so great, and increased to such a fearful extent, that God repented that He had made man upon the earth, for He saw that the wickedness of man was great, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. SR 62.2
More than one hundred years before the Flood the Lord sent an angel to faithful Noah to make known to him that He would no longer have mercy upon the corrupt race. But He would not have them ignorant of His design. He would instruct Noah and make him a faithful preacher to warn the world of its coming destruction, that the inhabitants of the earth might be left without excuse. Noah was to preach to the people, and also to prepare an ark as God should direct him for the saving of himself and family. He was not only to preach, but his example in building the ark was to convince all that he believed what he preached. SR 62.3Read in context »
Those who had slighted the warning of Noah and ridiculed that faithful preacher of righteousness repented too late of their unbelief. The ark was severely rocked and tossed about. The beasts within expressed, by their varied noises, the wildest terror; yet amid all the warring of the elements, the surging of the waters, and the hurling about of trees and rocks, the ark rode safely. Angels that excel in strength guided the ark and preserved it from harm. Every moment during that frightful storm of forty days and forty nights the preservation of the ark was a miracle of almighty power. SR 68.1
The animals exposed to the tempest rushed toward man, choosing the society of human beings, as though expecting help of them. Some of the people bound their children and themselves upon powerful beasts, knowing that they would be tenacious for life, and would climb to the highest points to escape the rising water. The storm did not abate its fury—the waters increased faster than at first. Some fastened themselves to lofty trees upon the highest points of land, but these trees were torn up by the roots and carried with violence through the air and appeared as though angrily hurled, with stones and earth, into the swelling, boiling billows. Upon the loftiest heights human beings and beasts strove to hold their position until all were hurled together into the foaming waters, which nearly reached the highest points of land. The loftiest heights were at length reached, and man and beast alike perished by the waters of the Flood. SR 68.2Read in context »