2 Peter 2:4-10 Casting Angels Into Hell

 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains[b] of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgement; if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;[c] and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials,[d] and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgement, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

Casting Angels Into Hell

The most radiant of beings, angels of light, were created free.  They were able to choose which way they want to live their lives.  Many chose to dedicate their lives to the service of the one who created them.  In so doing, they maintained their purity and radiance.  Tartarus was the destination of those who rebelled against God.  I do not believe this is literal, but figurative.  In Greek mythology, Tartarus was as far below Hades as Hades is below the earth.  It was an extreme banishment and was reserved for Titans and gods.  Peter alludes to the mythological fall of the Greek mythologies to paint a vivid picture of the depths to which the angelic beings fell.  God has exercised the power to cast angelic beings far from his presence.  He has also pronounced judgment on the whole world and engulfed it with water.  Why, then, do some people think that their self-centered teaching will bring about no consequences?

We need to have a fear of God.  It is not the fear of what will happen to his own, it is a fear that comes about in the face of such power.  We do not attribute changes in the weather to God, these days.  The Philippines is not seen as a particular place of punishment because of the weather that tore it apart.  I believe that is a good perspective.  We do not know why such things are allowed to happen.  Jesus, in Matthew 24/25 lets us know that horrible events will continue, but the end is yet to come.  We are promised, though, that a holy God will bring a final day of judgment where all these catastrophes will appear like mere child’s play.  If we believe in a God who has the right and the power to execute global justice, with all its implications, we should not respond with laughter and mocking.  Our response to an almighty and powerful God is to live in obedience and reverence.

The mark of those who attend churches but don’t understand the God who is worshiped there, is that they indulge their passions and disrespect authority.  We have taught the youth to rage against the machine, forgetting that we are part of the authority structure that we have had them dismantle.  Disrespect and disobedience bring about their own terrible rewards in God’s world.  We were not designed to be isolated, to be selfish, to satiate our senses, or to hate each other.  We were designed to be in community, to serve others, to be self-controlled, and to love one-another.


I want a God who is a soft, understanding friend.  I don’t have a drive for a hard, just, terrorizing God.  Help me to see your power and to think about it rightly.  Help me to live life trembling with reverence like electricity lines buzz when filled with power.


  1. Where were angelic beings cast?
  2. What other massive acts of judgment has God perpetrated?
  3. Why is Peter telling Christians about God’s terrifying power and judgment?
  4. How do people today need to respond to God in light of this passage?
  5. How do you respond to this passage?


About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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5 Responses to 2 Peter 2:4-10 Casting Angels Into Hell

  1. This passage is straight up with how God will deal with the ungodly. Peter holds no punches when he communicates exactly what God has done and will do. From this passage I am encourage by the fact that God is still very active and aware of what is going on in the World, especially when it comes to the righteous that are His. But I am also in fear and aw of who God is and the power and control that He does have. What a great passage of God’s sovereignty, power, justice, love, and care!
    God was casting angels from Heaven to heaven because of their sin. I guess this is when Satan would of been cast down as well. Other acts by God included Sodom and Gomorrah and the flood. Peter was reminding the people that God knows how to rescue the godly and that He is very involved with what is going on down here on earth. God is aware and active and paying attention to the righteous and ready to strike the ungodly.
    People need to respond in repentance and put their faith in Christ. They need to understand who they are sinning against when they do what they want to do, instead of what God wants them to do.

  2. Christina Zezulak says:

    This passage leaves with me an unquenchable hope. I am reminded that God sees the great wickedness of this place, and as He has done before, He will judge each deed. Even with this, I am reminded that I am supposed to be included in this soon-to-be judged wickedness that the world indulges in. Yet, I have been freed from the chains of sin. I am a new creation! I desire Him!
    The angelic beings that disobeyed God were casted into hell and were committed to chains. Peter mentions the acts of judgment that God has already done. He uses the examples of Noah and Lot, the people around them were destroyed but they, the righteous, were spared. This is our hope, the same hope I have described in the last paragraph. We must understand God’s terrifying judgment to truly be in awe of the amazing gift that God has given us: eternal & abundant life in Him.

  3. Eric Wildermuth says:

    This seems almost an answer to the Psalms and to Job who ask where the punishment is for the unrighteous. In their trials, they plead with God to judge the ungodly for their wickedness. Here, Peter tells the believers that the ungodly will be judged and that He will deliver the righteous from their afflictions. Telling the people of God’s righteous judgment reminds the people that He is completely holy and righteous and that He will not allow sin to go unpaid for. However, as a believer with the righteousness of Christ, I can know that I am safe and will be delivered from these afflictions.

  4. 33324bg says:

    How grievous would it be to read that “many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2:2)! Peter is saying that this will happen among God’s people to whom he’s writing!
    Some of his recipients may be angered at the news,(how could God let wolves walk in and steal away “many” of the flock?), but Peter reassures his recipients that these false prophets will be punished, that ALL the ungodly will be punished, and also that God knows how to keep His people from compromising with evil. I think verse 9 in this passage is key.

    Peter turns to biblical history to make his point. God saved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, God delivered Lot, whose righteous soul was tormented by the wickedness around him in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, God won’t forget any of His people. As Paul wrote elsewhere…

    “…the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

    Those, who in the future, fall away from the faith by listening to these false prophets, will show themselves to be never having faith at all. Those who are His God will protect by His power through faith for His return (1 Peter 1:5).

    This passage is convicting and comforting. Convicting because of what is written about Lot..that he felt spiritually oppressed “by the filthy conduct of the wicked.” Am I oppressed by the wickedness around me? I shouldn’t be indifferent. Do I not love righteousness and desire to see love for God and man flourish?

    It’s comforting because “God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” Even when friends and family around us are succumbing to lies and compromise is happening in the local church and on the national level, God can sustain me, so I do not compromise. (Jude 24, 1st Cor. 10:13) and He can provide temporary rescue and He will eventually permanently rescue me from this sinful world.

  5. kevin w. says:

    The text describes angels being cast into some sort of hellish place where they are unable to get out. What exactly this means or whether it is to be taken more symbolically, I am not sure. What is clear, however, is that God is not to be trifled with because He most certainly punishes the wicked. The world was corrupt and therefore God devastated the whole world with a flood. I think part of what Peter is getting at is don’t mess with God because if He was able and willing to kill all life save an extremely small minority then God will certainly punish the wicked. It is also comforting, however, because Peter also explicates that God also is powerful enough to preserve and protect the righteous in the midst of judgment and catastrophe. We should respond to this by remembering that our wicked deeds may actually be disciplined by God. It is also something to be hopeful and encouraged about because we know that God can preserve us and that the wicked and evil deeds will be judged.

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