2 Peter 2:1 NASB

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.

This is a question regarding Annihilationism verses Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT). Is the "swift destruction" referring to the length of the destruction in hell (the punishment is not everlasting or lengthy but rather swift), or is it referring to an imminent destruction (destruction that is soon to come to these false prophets and teachers)?

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4 Answers 4


The second, of course! - because "swift", "speedy" - ταχινός - is not "short" βραχύς: the "swift" has a more adverbial slant, expressing the condition of action, something happening swiftly, in a short time, while "short" applies more to a condition, and "destruction" is not a condition to last for a short time, but rather a final, ending point of a process. On the contrary, that this ending point may come soon and very soon is expressed by a more adverbial adjective "swift" ταχινός.

Thus, the one who not only does not repent, but on the contrary, continues to seduce others with false teachings, then they leave no reason for God to continue His forbearance and long-suffering, but invite His wrath, which is for their own benefit (for always divine wrath is for good of man upon whom this wrath is exerted), which will destroy their evil ways, for "the way of the wicked will be destroyed" (Psalm 1:6), that is to say, God does not destroy the wicked whom He continuously loves, but the "way of the wicked".

And what to do if many wicked and heretical scoundrels identify themselves with their wicked ways and ideas? It is their epistemo-ontological mistake, or oftentimes also recalcitrance based on stupidity(or vice-versa: stupidity based on recalcitrance), which God lovingly wants to correct through, sometimes painful and surgical, chastisement.

  • But deemed either fire, or wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the lights of heaven, to be the gods which govern the world. Wisdom 13:2 KJA.
    – Betho's
    Mar 14, 2023 at 18:48

It is referring to the day of Judgment mentioned in verse 9. Israel's Judgment begins at the 6th Seal. It is the curse of the Song of Moses as Father whistles for the Assyrian of Isa 5 and Isa 7. This hired razor fly and the bee army will mostly come out of the North when Father's presence comes to earth. Zeph 1:7 The land will see the first sign in the Sun, Moon and Stars of Joel 2:10. This army will attack on swift steeds / vehicles. Israel will drink of the Cup for < 3 years. These 6 Trumpet Judgments on Israel will result in the purging of Zech 13:7-9. After Israel and Egypt drinks at the final Pass Through of Dan 11:40-45 and Nah 1:14-15, then everyone else gets to drink with Sheshach / Baghdad drinking last. Jer 25.

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    Mar 14, 2023 at 19:47

Matthew 24:39-40

"and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one left".

Neither of the men in the field have time to go the bank and check their accounts, settle a few bills and then go to say good-bye to their family. "The coming of the Son of Man" [Mt 24:37] will not just take all by surprise but leave no time for sorting anything out. One moment there two men and the next moment only one. That is "swift" see Levan G's notes on "swift" in his answer above.

If one man is horrified and the other thrilled neither would have gone to work it they had known what was to happen. They would have been at home saying good-byes. They are both at work because judgement has fallen suddenly.

1 Thessalonians 5:3

"While people are saying, "There is peace and security," then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman". ESV . My emphasis.

Occasionally one hears of babies born on the road on the way to the hospital. The birth here in 1 Thess 5:3 is sudden and not only cuts across the previous safe cozy "peace and security". It takes the "peace and security" by surprise otherwise they would not have said it.


Peter was speaking to the Jewish Christians. So he might be using a historical event that the Jews knew it very well. Apparently he was using a section of Jeremiah 28, the account of the false prophet Hananiah, as an allusion to the fate of the false teachers at that time.

In this account, Hananiah lied to the people of Jerusalem:

2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.

3 Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon.

4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin[a] son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”

12 After the prophet Hananiah had broken the yoke off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah:

13 “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron.

14 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will put an iron yoke on the necks of all these nations to make them serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and they will serve him. I will even give him control over the wild animals.’”

15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, yet you have persuaded this nation to trust in lies.

16 Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to remove you from the face of the earth. This very year you are going to die, because you have preached rebellion against the Lord.’”

17 In the seventh month of that same year, Hananiah the prophet died. (NIV)

In this understanding, your second observation is more likely, that "swift destruction" refer to an imminent destruction (destruction that is soon to come to these false prophets and teachers).

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