In 2 Peter 3:6, it mentions the World that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.

Which 'world' is being addressed?

The World in Gen 1:1 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters


The World of Noah and the flood: I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth


6 Answers 6


God Formed The Earth To Be Inhabited Turn your Bible with me to,

Isaiah 45:18 18 “For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD, and there is none else.”

Our Heavenly Father “formed” the earth to be inhabited. He formed the earth for people, animals, insects, and plants to thrive.

He did not form the earth “without form, void”, full of “darkness” and covered in water, nor could life emerge from the earth if it was “an indistinguishable ruin”.

God did not create the earth “in vain” (Strong’s: H8414) which is the same Hebrew word we find in Genesis 1:2 being “without form”. Jehovah, our Heavenly Father is telling us plainly, He did not create the earth “vain,” He did not create the earth “without form”.

Instead, He created the earth with “form” (Strong’s: H3335) which means,

“To mould into a form; especially as a potter”.

Our Father is the Potter who molded the earth into form, He “established” (Strong’s: H3559) the earth which means He “perfected” it, (Isaiah 64:8).

Scripture makes it abundantly clear, our Father “is not the author of confusion,” He is not the Creator of “a desolation,” “but of peace” and ‘perfection’, (1 Corinthians 14:33, Psalms 18:30).

Isaiah 45:18 perfectly aligns with Genesis 1:2 when we understand “was” should have been translated “became”.

These facts bring harmony to the Scriptures. He formed the earth in perfection, but it “became without form, void,” and full of “darkness” due to Satan’s Sin in “The World That Was”, “before the heavens and earth which are now.”

The World That Was “Became” Covered In Water Our Father is gracious enough to provide us with multiple witnesses to the facts we have covered so far. We are going to turn our Bible to the book of Psalms, and we should understand Psalms 104:5-30 perfectly overlays with Genesis 1:1-31.

Psalms 104:5 5 “Who laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be removed for ever.”

Jehovah, our Heavenly Father laid the foundations of the earth “in the beginning” as Genesis 1:1 documents. Scripture makes it clear, the earth will never be removed, (Genesis 8:22).

When this took place is unknown to mankind, it could have been millions or even billions of years ago. I am sure one day our Father will provide us with these details.

Psalms 104:6 6 “Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.”

While Psalms 104:5 explains our Father “laid the foundations of the earth” in the beginning, verse 6 explains He then covered the earth with water. Meaning, it was not covered with water before, but “became” covered in water, “became without form, void” and full of “darkness” as we learned in Genesis 1:2.

Scripture provides us with even more clarity and detail by explaining there was so much water it “stood above the mountains”. Simply meaning, there was no “dry land” which completely aligns with the state of the earth as outlined in Genesis 1:2;9 until “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” during the Seven Days of Genesis.

For our Father to create the earth in ‘perfection’ and then destroy “The World That Was” by covering the earth in water means something happened. There had to be a reason for Him to take such action. As we have explained, this was due to Satan’s Sin in The First Earth Age.

This is the earth age and its destruction which Peter describes as the world that was, caused by Lucifer and the angels who followed him, Revelation 12:4. This is not describing Noah’s flood, which is of this second and present earth age, the age of the judgment of all men. The flood of Genesis 6 had the family of Noah, birds, and no mention of cities which were destroyed. In verse twenty-two, God tells us of the shortcomings of His children during this present earth age, because there is hardly any teaching of the 1st earth age and its overthrow, yet the scientific community knows that this earth had undergone turmoil at one time.

  • Best answer I've read thus far. Thanks Mike! Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 9:35

"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:" (2 Peter 3:6 KJV)

The key word here is "perished". No one died from a flood before Noah's day.

The scripture at Gen. 1:1 describes the earth as being "empty" so there were no people to destroy with floodwater.

Also if we look at the context of Peter's word in this verse, we can see that he was talking about the last days and the coming judgment. (2 Peter 3:3,4, 7,10,12)

Notice how he starts the chapter:

"Beloved ones, this is now the second letter I am writing you in which, as in my first one, I am stirring up your clear thinking faculties by way of a reminder, 2 that you should remember the sayings previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. " (2 Peter 3:1,2. NWT)

He prefaces his next statement by saying he is writing this letter to remind them of what happened in the past. Like his teacher Jesus, Peter reminded his listeners of the parallel between the last days and Noah's day before the flood came.

"For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. 38 For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, 39 and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be." (Matthew 24:37-39 NWT)

"First of all know this, that in the last days ridiculers will come with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: 'Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as they were from creation’s beginning.' For they deliberately ignore this fact, that long ago there were heavens and an earth standing firmly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; 6 and that by those means the world of that time suffered destruction when it was flooded with water." (2 Peter 3:3-6 NWT)

Notice the similarity between these two scriptures. They both speak of apathetic people who would ignore the message of salvation and continue on as if no judgment would ever come. Now verse 6 makes more sense.

He goes on in this chapter to apply the lesson we can learn from the people of Noah's day.

"Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, consider what sort of people you ought to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion" (2 Peter 3:11 NWT)

Since we know the end is coming, Peter asks us to consider, which means to "think carefully about", what sort person we should be. Not like the people of Noah's day, but attentive and obedient to the word of God. He goes on to say in verse 14:

"Therefore, beloved ones, since you are awaiting these things, do your utmost to be found finally by him spotless and unblemished and in peace."

Last Days

  • Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics! You do a great job bringing the message together.
    – Frank Luke
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 13:49
  • Hey—your first point spurred some questions in me. I recall that Gen starts out with a world that is void, covered with darkness. I can hardly imagine this to be the initial state of the World the Ultimate Designer would create. After all, he is perfect and so are his creations (it is sin that causes things to go awry). Also notice that water is already on the seen, but we know it was created. Where does the devil's story come into place, for we find him in Eden also. All this to say that there could be reason for a world pre Gen 1:1 and thereby credence to a potential pre-adamite flood. Commented Jan 31, 2016 at 11:46

While the preceding verse (5) makes reference to Genesis 1:2, verse 6 itself is referring to the flood of Noah's time, note the connecting word 'later' in the CEV (a version produced by the American Bible society):

5 They will say this because they want to forget that long ago the heavens and the earth were made at God’s command. The earth came out of water and was made from water. 6 Later it was destroyed by the waters of a mighty flood. - 2 Peter 3:5-6 (cf. Genesis 7:11-12)

Saying this, many other version are quite ambiguous and possibly misleading in their translation (cf. Biblegateway's online english versions for verse 6) - you may receive either a conflicting answer or perhaps a more nuanced agreement that exegetes the original (greek) text with more authority.


Ozzie Ozzie is exactly right. God would never create a earth that is in darkness and void and uninhabited. That is exactly how the earth is described in Genesis 1:2. Thats gives us a major clue that something had to happen to leave the earth this way.

Both Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 mention Lucifer being a man and being over nations that were on the earth during that time. He appears to have had a dual role. Covering cherub and also ruler of the earth.

When he fell he was no longer covering cherub and he and his kingdom of people on the earth got judged by God. The poster was correct in saying that there were no survivors. Satan was a fallen angel and therefore could not be killed.


Is Peter referring to the world of the flood or the pre-Adamite world in 2 Peter 3:6?

2 Peter 3:6-7 (NRSV)

6 "Through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless."

Peter is referring to the world of the flood during Noah's time,

Peter tells us that God brought a flood on the world of ungodly people - that is the wicked human society alienated from God that existed during Noah's time - perished. Notice that the planet earth the heavens - the stars the galaxies and the celestial bodies did not suffer any permanent damage.

2 Peter 2:5(NASB)

5 "And did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;"

Peter draws a parallel of the ancient world at the time of the deluge and shows that the present heavens and earth (verse 7) which have also deviated and alienated it self from God has been reserved for destruction on the day of judgement.

2 Peter 3:6-7 (NRSV)

6 "Through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless."

Jesus also prophesied that our days would parallel the days of Noah and that God has made up his mind to destroy the wicked and has set a time for this to take place, at the coming of the "Son of Man."

Matthew 24:36-39 (NRSV)

The Necessity for Watchfulness

36 “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father. 37 For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, 39 and they knew nothing until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man."

As I have already mentioned , the planet earth and the literal heavens did not suffer any permanent damage during the deluge, they will not suffer any permanent damage during the day of judgement. So what do the "heavens" and the "earth" refer to in this verse?

The present heavens -refers to rulers, kings and authorities which govern mankind today. The "earth " - refers to the wicked human society which is opposed and alienated from God.


2 Peter 3:6 "Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished" This flood that Peter written of,is not the flood of Noah, in the flood of Noah there were 8 souls saved out of that flood of Noah's, But this flood that Peter written there were no one left alive, Notice the word ( perished ) stands to mean, that everything perished with nothing left over. Therefore the world that then was perished, that nothing was left over alive. Unlike the flood of Noah there was 8 souls and animals saved alive. Unlike the flood, Peter wrote of, nothing was saved alive, but perished.This is what the word ( perished ) means, nothing is left over but all perished,There were two floods. I know this will probably go over alot of peoples heads,because people are not taught about the first earth age in the churches.we are now in the second earth age,and third earth age comes when Christ Jesus comes in His second coming, which will start the millennium.Therefore you see when Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:3-7--Verse 3--"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts," Verse 4--"And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation " Verse 5--"For this they are willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old,and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Verse 6--"Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished " Verse 7--"But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" Notice that in Verse 5 Peter wrote ( For this they willingly are ignorant of) You see people to day have no clue about the beginning of the creation, For this they willingly are ignorant of, You see people to day think the creation of all things started at Adam and Eve, Of course this being a false doctrine of man's teachings.You see Peter is speaking of a time way back before God created this world unto which we now live in.The world that then was, Was the first earth age that God destroyed by a flood of water,this flood would make the flood of Noah's look like a spring of water compared to the flood to the world that then was,You see the world that then was,is to where the dinosaurs bones came from,that now the archaeologist find the bones of the dinosaurs covered beneath the earth,that some are dated to be a million of years old.You see why Peter said ( for this they willingly are ignorant of) people have no idea as to that first earth age why God destroyed it by a much bigger flood of water than that of the flood of Noah's. The reason God destroyed that first earth age,was because of Lucifer's ( Satan's) rebellion against God, This is why Peter said in Verse 5--"For this they willingly are ignorant of " You see people are not taught about the first earth age and have no clue about what happen or where Satan did start his rebellion against God.People to day are taught that everything started at Adam and Eve unto which it did not. The things to day started back with Adam and Eve,But as far as Satan's rebellion against God that all started back in the first earth age to where the dinosaurs bones came from as a witness to the first earth age that God destroyed them all, because of Satan's rebellion against God.You see in Verse 7 Peter wrote " But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store) You see the heavens and the earth which are now,by the same word of God created the heavens and the earth which are now, created that first earth age by the same word of God. Notice that in Verse 7 that the heavens and the earth which are now,are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and the perdition of ungodly men. You see the first earth age God destroyed it by a flood of water.but now this second earth age that we live in, God will destroy it by fire as Peter wrote in Verse 7. You see this fire will only destroy those that are ungodly men and anything that is of sin by fire.Note that in Hebrews 12:29--"For our God is a consuming fire" Therefore the fire of God will consume all things that are evil and of sin.

  • Hello, it looks like you may have made a new account. For situations like this, we typically recommend you edit your existing post. If you are having trouble with your account or need your accounts merged, you can try contacting the help center. The idea of one global flood is hotly disputed and scholars have difficulty proving a single global flood, let alone two. Are you aware of any scholars who do claim there were two floods that you are able to reference? Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 16:14
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    Also, please edit your post to have some paragraph breaks. A wall of text w/o any formatting is very hard to read.
    – ThaddeusB
    Commented Dec 21, 2015 at 17:19

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