What does 1 Peter 3;18-19 mean? It says Yeshua preached to those souls which were detained in Sheol ( Hades) 20... which were formerly disobedient in the days of Noah when the long suffering of ELOHIM commanded an ARK to be made….
Does that mean that they had a chance to repent and will end up in Heaven?
Let’s examine this verse a little more closely:
1 Peter 3: 17. For it is profitable to you that you suffer evil while you do good deeds, if this should be the pleasure of Elohim; and not, while you do evil deeds. 18. For the Mashiyach also once died for our sins, the righteous for sinners; that he might bring you to Elohim. And he died in body but lived in spirit. 19. And he preached to those souls which were detained in Sheol (Hades) 20. which were formerly disobedient in the days of Noah when the long suffering of Elohim commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it and were kept alive in the waters. (AENT)
One of the biggest problems is, Greek Bibles left out the words “in hope of their repentance.” You see, those people in pre-flood days had 100 YEARS to repent - and they didn't. So, to put it bluntly, Yeshua's “preaching” to them consisted of reprimands about their failure to repent and return to YHWH. SINNERS who deliberately rejected YHWH and His teachings, simply do not end up in "Heaven." Scripture is clear about that.
To clarify a bit about the huge mistake the pre-flood people made by NOT turning to YHWH during those 100 years, we must remember there is an “age of accountability.”
Children are not held accountable to God until they have completed their bar and bat mitzvahs - “coming of age” ceremonies at age 13. (“Bar” for boys and “bat” for girls mitzvah.) Tradition holds that this is when they become “responsible” for their own actions, according to Torah, and have grown up enough to make up their own minds via a CONSCIOUS decision about whether or not accept YHWH and live by His Divine Rules. (See Deuteronomy 1:3, Isaiah 7:16, Proverbs 20:11, Proverbs 22:6, Luke 2:42-46.)
In Isaiah 14 we read of those who were brought down to Sh'ol. Verses 15-22:
Isaiah 14:15: Instead you are brought down to Sh'ol, to the uttermost depths of the pit.
16 Those who see you will stare at you, reflecting on what has become of you: 'Is this the man who shook the earth, who made kingdoms tremble, 17 who made the world a desert, who destroyed its cities, who would not set his prisoners free?'
18 "All other kings of the nations, all of them, lie in glory, each in his tomb. 19 But you are discarded, unburied, like a loathed branch, clothed like the slain who were pierced by the sword, then fall to the stones inside a pit, like a corpse to be trampled underfoot.
20 You will not be joined with those kings in the grave, because you destroyed your own land, you have brought death to your own people. The descendants of evildoers will be utterly forgotten.
21 Get ready to slaughter his sons for the iniquity of their fathers; so they won't arise, take over the earth and cover the world with their cities." 22 "I will arise against them," says Adonai-Tzva'ot. "I will cut off from Bavel name and remnant, offshoot and offspring," says Adonai."
Do we not see in this prophecy those who died in the flood so many generations before Isaiah? Those who died in the flood were not buried, they did not join those "kings" who were buried. These people of the flood were the prisoners of Satan. Satan can bind only those who are bound to sin.
But Yeshua HAD preached to those who died in the flood. Yeshua WAS the "WORD" and they had the WORD, (though not yet in the form of Yeshua), but they chose to ignore it. Those who had not yet died, just before the flood, had plenty of time to repent, but they did not. Remember, at that time, only Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:8). All others (except Noah's wife, his sons and his son's wives) had rejected YHWH.
Peter, in his letter goes on:
1 Peter 4:3-6: "For you have spent enough time already living the way the pagans want you to live — in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, wild parties and forbidden idol-worship. They think it strange that you don't plunge with them into the same flood of dissoluteness, and so they heap insults on you. But they will have to give an account to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. This is why he was proclaimed to those who have died; it was so that, although physically they would receive the judgment common to all humanity, they might live by the Spirit in the way that God has provided."
So it seems the point is that the dead had the opportunity. They had the WORD and they could have lived by it, but they chose not to. So the problematic verse, 1 Peter 1:19, is not describing an ACTIVE effort of Yeshua to those who died in the flood, rather, it is saying that they, too, already HAD the WORD and could have lived by it, and could have been spared.