I understand that there are three popular interpretations of 1 Peter 3:18-20.

  1. Jesus preached salvation, a second proclamation of grace to those who are in Hell.
  2. Similarly, Jesus preached to those in Hell, but only to those who rejected Noah's preaching while he built the ark.
  3. Jesus gave a proclamation of his victory over death to the demons in Hades.

I would like to ask a question regarding this third position related to a phrase in verse 20, taking for granted it is the correct interpretation.

Verse 20 in the NASB says (emphasis mine)

who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water. — 1 Peter 3:20

Is Peter saying that God was patient with the demons despite their disobedience for a time?

In Genesis 6:1-8

Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. — Genesis 6:1-8

...it says that the Nephilim intermarried with daughters of men so they bore them children. If it's not clear, I am assuming the Nephilim are demonic entities for the sake of argument. When Peter writes that God was patient, is that referring to a period of time where God chose not to judge these demons and that comes after Christ was in the grave according to this third position? Or is it referring to something else?

I understand that Peter is using parallelism of sorts in the surrounding context by comparing baptism to the ark saving (non-salvifically) Noah's family. So maybe there's an element of that as well that I am not understanding.


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