1 Peter 3:20 KJV (With Strong’s)

ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
Which sometime
pote (Greek #4218)
indefinite adverb, at some time, ever
KJV usage: afore-(any, some-)time(-s), at length (the last), (+ n- )ever, in the old time, in time past, once, when.
Pronounce: pot-eh'
Origin: from the base of 4225 and 5037
were disobedient
apeitheo (Greek #544)
to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely)
KJV usage: not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.
Pronounce: ap-i-theh'-o
Origin: from 545
, when
hote (Greek #3753)
at which (thing) too, i.e. when
KJV usage: after (that), as soon as, that, when, while.
Pronounce: hot'-eh
Origin: from 3739 and 5037
hapax (Greek #530)
one (or a single) time (numerically or conclusively)
KJV usage: once.
Pronounce: hap'-ax
Origin: probably from 537
f the longsuffering
makrothumia (Greek #3115)
longanimity, i.e. (objectively) forbearance or (subjectively) fortitude
KJV usage: longsuffering, patience.
Pronounce: mak-roth-oo-mee'-ah
Origin: from the same as 3116
of God
ho (Greek #3588)
the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom)
KJV usage: the, this, that, one, he, she, it, etc.
Pronounce: ho
Origin: ἡ (hay), and the neuter τό (to) in all their inflections
theos (Greek #2316)
a deity, especially (with 3588) the supreme Divinity; figuratively, a magistrate; by Hebraism, very
KJV usage: X exceeding, God, god(-ly, -ward).
Pronounce: theh'-os
Origin: of uncertain affinity
ekdechomai (Greek #1551)
to accept from some source, i.e. (by implication) to await
KJV usage: expect, look (tarry) for, wait (for).
Pronounce: ek-dekh'-om-ahee
Origin: from 1537 and 1209
en (Greek #1722)
"in," at, (up-)on, by, etc.
KJV usage: about, after, against, + almost, X altogether, among, X as, at, before, between, (here-)by (+ all means), for (... sake of), + give self wholly to, (here-)in(-to, -wardly), X mightily, (because) of, (up-)on, (open-)ly, X outwardly, one, X quickly, X shortly, (speedi-)ly, X that, X there(-in, -on), through(-out), (un-)to(-ward), under, when, where(-with), while, with(-in). Often used in compounds, with substantially the same import; rarely with verbs of motion, and then not to indicate direction, except (elliptically) by a separate (and different) preposition.
Pronounce: en
Origin: a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest (intermediate between 1519 and 1537)
the days
hemera (Greek #2250)
day, i.e. (literally) the time space between dawn and dark, or the whole 24 hours (but several days were usually reckoned by the Jews as inclusive of the parts of both extremes); figuratively, a period (always defined more or less clearly by the context)
KJV usage: age, + alway, (mid-)day (by day, (-ly)), + for ever, judgment, (day) time, while, years.
Pronounce: hay-mer'-ah
Origin: feminine (with 5610 implied) of a derivative of ἧμαι (to sit; akin to the base of 1476) meaning tame, i.e. gentle
of Noah
Noe (Greek #3575)
Noe, (i.e. Noach), a patriarch
KJV usage: Noe.
Pronounce: no'-eh
Origin: of Hebrew origin (05146)
, while the ark
kibotos (Greek #2787)
a box, i.e. the sacred ark and that of Noah
KJV usage: ark.
Pronounce: kib-o-tos'
Origin: of uncertain derivation
was a preparing
kataskeuazo (Greek #2680)
to prepare thoroughly (properly, by external equipment; whereas 2090 refers rather to internal fitness); by implication, to construct, create
KJV usage: build, make, ordain, prepare.
Pronounce: kat-ask-yoo-ad'-zo
Origin: from 2596 and a derivative of 4632
, wherein
eis (Greek #1519)
to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases
KJV usage: (abundant-)ly, against, among, as, at, (back-)ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for (intent, purpose), fore, + forth, in (among, at, unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-)on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore(-unto), throughout, til, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-)until(-to), ...ward, (where-)fore, with. Often used in composition with the same general import, but only with verbs (etc.) expressing motion (literally or figuratively).
Pronounce: ice
Origin: a primary preposition
hos (Greek #3739)
the relatively (sometimes demonstrative) pronoun, who, which, what, that
KJV usage: one, (an-, the) other, some, that, what, which, who(-m, -se), etc. See also 3757.
Pronounce: hos
Origin: ἥ (hay), and neuter ὅ (ho) probably a primary word (or perhaps a form of the article 3588)
oligos (Greek #3641)
puny (in extent, degree, number, duration or value); especially neuter (adverbially) somewhat
KJV usage: + almost, brief(-ly), few, (a) little, + long, a season, short, small, a while.
Pronounce: ol-ee'-gos
Origin: of uncertain affinity
, that
touto (Greek #5124)
that thing
KJV usage: here (-unto), it, partly, self(-same), so, that (intent), the same, there(-fore, -unto), this, thus, where(-fore).
Pronounce: too'-to
Origin: neuter singular nominative or accusative case of 3778
esti (Greek #2076)
he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are
KJV usage: are, be(-long), call, X can(-not), come, consisteth, X dure for a while, + follow, X have, (that) is (to say), make, meaneth, X must needs, + profit, + remaineth, + wrestle.
Pronounce: es-tee'
Origin: third person singular present indicative of 1510
, eight
oktos (Greek #3638)
KJV usage: eight.
Pronounce: ok-to'
Origin: a primary numeral
psuche (Greek #5590)
breath, i.e. (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle only; thus distinguished on the one hand from 4151, which is the rational and immortal soul; and on the other from 2222, which is mere vitality, even of plants: these terms thus exactly correspond respectively to the Hebrew 05315, 07307 and 02416)
KJV usage: heart (+ -ily), life, mind, soul, + us, + you.
Pronounce: psoo-khay'
Origin: from 5594
were saved
diasozo (Greek #1295)
to save thoroughly, i.e. (by implication or analogy) to cure, preserve, rescue, etc.
KJV usage: bring safe, escape (safe), heal, make perfectly whole, save.
Pronounce: dee-as-odze'-o
Origin: from 1223 and 4982
dia (Greek #1223)
through (in very wide applications, local, causal, or occasional)
KJV usage: after, always, among, at, to avoid, because of (that), briefly, by, for (cause) ... fore, from, in, by occasion of, of, by reason of, for sake, that, thereby, therefore, X though, through(-out), to, wherefore, with (-in). In composition it retains the same general importance.
Pronounce: dee-ah'
Origin: a primary preposition denoting the channel of an act
hudor (Greek #5204)
water (as if rainy) literally or figuratively
KJV usage: water.
Pronounce: hoo'-dore
Origin: ὕδατος (hoo'-dat-os), etc. from the base of 5205

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Cross References


Ministry on This Verse

the longsuffering.
the days.
Gen. 6:14‑22• 14Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
16A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.
17And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
18But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.
19And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
20Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive.
21And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.
22Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
(Gen. 6:14‑22)
Heb. 11:7• 7By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. (Heb. 11:7)
Gen. 7:1‑7,13,23• 1And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.
2Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.
3Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.
4For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
5And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
6And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.
13In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;
23And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
(Gen. 7:1‑7,13,23)
Gen. 8:1,18• 1And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters asswaged;
18And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him:
(Gen. 8:1,18)
Matt. 7:14• 14Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (Matt. 7:14)
Luke 12:32• 32Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
Luke 13:24‑25• 24Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
(Luke 13:24‑25)
2 Peter 2:5• 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; (2 Peter 2:5)
 the only ones said to be the objects of His preaching were that generation of mankind which had been favored with the pleading of His Spirit in Noah. Such a favor when they were alive would much more naturally have weighed against the alleged visitation after death, even if other scriptures did not prove its needlessness for saints and its unavailingness for sinners. (1 Peter 3:19-20 by W. Kelly)
 The clear bearing of the teaching is to contrast the disobedient mass of spirits (in the prison of the separate state for such) with the few who in the ark were brought safe through water. The unbelieving Jews who objected to the fewness of the Christians were thus powerfully met, as well as their contempt for preaching as having no serious effect, whether believed or rejected. (1 Peter 3:19-20 by W. Kelly)
 These spirits then are in prison, because they did not hearken to the Spirit of Christ in Noah (compare 2 Peter 2:5-9). (1 Peter 3 by J.N. Darby)

J. N. Darby Translation

heretofore disobedienti, when the longsufferingk of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing, into which few, that is, eight souls, were savedl through waterm:

JND Translation Notes

Or "disbelieving." see John 3.36 and ch. 2.7,8.
Makrothumia. see Note.f, Jas. 5.7.
The Greek means "arrive safe into a place of security through difficulty or danger," as Acts 27.44.
This does not mean, I think, that they went through the water to get in, i.e. through the course of the flood. The apostle's mind does not turn to the flood, but to the water as an instrument. Water was ruin and death, and they were saved through it.

W. Kelly Translation

disobedient aforetime when the long-suffering of God was waiting in Noah’s days, while an ark was being prepared, in which few, that is eight souls, were brought safe through water1;

WK Translation Notes

[whole verse]: "Let us see, however" (continues [Calvin]), "why he mentions only unbelievers; for he seems (!) to say that Christ in Spirit appeared to those who were formerly disobedient. But I distinguish otherwise; that then also the pure servants of GOD were mixed up with unbelievers and were almost hidden by their multitude (!). Greek syntax (I confess) is at variance with this meaning (!); for Peter, if he meant this, ought to have used the genitive absolute (!!). But because it was no new thing for the apostles to put one case instead of another (!), and we see Peter here heaping together many things confusedly (!) and no other suitable sense can be elicited (!), I have no hesitation in thus explaining an intricate passage; so that readers may understand that those called disobedient are different from those to whom the preaching was made (!).
After then he said that Christ manifested Himself to the dead, he immediately adds, ’when there were formerly disobedient men’; by which he means that the holy fathers sustained no harm from being almost overwhelmed by the multitude of the ungodly." How sad this perversion of the text.
... it would not be easy to discover a match for the hardihood of the words just cited, and the utter want of self-distrust in thinking and speaking as he does of an inspired man. The Greek construction, he admits, is adverse to the sense he would impose. This is enough for one who believes that the Holy Spirit perfectly guided Peter. Certainly the dative ἀπειθήσασιν is in agreement with the πνεύμασιν just before, which demolishes the imaginary distinction of GOD’S servants mixed up with the unbelieving. It is impossible to construe or even conceive the meaning Calvin would insist on, without giving up the claim of the Epistle to be divinely inspired. Again, it is as false that the apostles elsewhere put one case instead of another as that Peter here heaps anything confusedly together. The most suitable sense has been shown to be the strictest according to grammatical considerations. Calvin therefore would have been much wiser if he had hesitated about his own explanation, which in fact brings intricacy into a passage by no means obscure, either in syntax or in scope. (Preaching to the Spirits in Prison, p. 55-56)
^ disobedient: Is it not strange, first, that the Revisers should have perpetuated the error of the Authorized Version in 20, "Which... were," as if the Greek had been τοῖς, and next, that the Americans [correctors of the RV] should be insensible to the mistake? The absence of the article proves the participle to be part of the predicate and assigns the reason for their present imprisonment, "disobedient as heretofore they were when" etc. (Bible Treasury 15:63)
disobedient aforetime... through: Is it accurate to render the beginning of 20, ἀπ. π., "which aforetime were disobedient"? Would not this require τοῖς ἀπ.? Is not the force rather "disobedient as they once proved when," etc.? Their being in prison was in consequence of their previous disobedience to God’s patient warning. At the close of the verse "through water" is right, not "by" it. Water was the destructive element, through which grace saved Noah and those with him in the ark: cf. 1 Cor. 3:15. (Bible Treasury 14:80)
aforetime: The careful student will notice that the original is not exactly rendered by the English translators and most others in this respect, that ἀπειθήσασιν from the omission of the article must needs be a predicate, and not an epithet describing or defining the spirits. The meaning therefore is not "which were," etc., for this requires τοῖς, but "disobedient as they once were when," etc. (Preaching to the Spirits in Prison, p. 22)
was waiting: ἀπεξεδέχετο is unquestionably correct, of the uncials K alone being adverse according to Matthai, and of the cursives not one supporting the reading of Stephens, Beza, and the Elzevir editions. It seems to be a mere conjecture of Erasmus, who in his first edition gave ἄπαξ ἐδέχετο(so K), in the rest ἄπαξ ἐξεδέχετο. In fact, it is hard to comprehend how the adverb could be used with the imperfect, though it might with any other tense. It is remarkable that though Erasmus read the blundering ἄπαξ in the text of all his five editions, he gave the correct word in his notes, even before it was published in the Complutensian Polyglott. (Preaching to the Spirits in Prison, p. 4-5)
few: The question between ὀλίγοι (א A B, six cursives, Origen, Cyprian, Augustine) and ὀλίγαι. (C K L P, most cursives and fathers) is more delicate, and less decided. It is the only case in which the text as given above differs from the Complutensian edition. (Preaching to the Spirits in Prison, p. 5)