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1 Peter 3:19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
19 in which also he went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison,
In which also. Evidently by the Spirit referred to in the previous verse—ἐν ᾧ—the Divine nature of the Son of God; that by which he was ‘quickened’ again after he had been put to death; the Son of God regarded as a Divine Being, or in that same nature which afterward became incarnate, and whose agency was employed in quickening the man Christ Jesus, who had been put to death. The meaning is, that the same ‘Spirit’ which was efficacious in restoring him to life after he was put to death was that by which he preached to the spirits in prison.
He went. To wit, in the days of Noah. No particular stress should be laid here on the phrase ‘he went.’ The literal sense is, ‘he, having gone, preached,’ &c.—πορευθεὶς. It is well known that such expressions are often redundant in Greek writers, as in others. So Herodotus, ‘to these things they spake, saying’—for they said. ‘And he, speaking, said;’ that is, he said. So Eph. 2:17, ‘And came and preached peace,’ &c. Matt. 9:13, ‘But go and learn what that meaneth,’ &c. So God is often represented as coming, as descending, &c., when he brings a message to mankind. Thus Gen. 11:5, ‘The Lord came down to see the city and the tower.’ Exod. 19:20, ‘The Lord came down upon Mount Sinai.’ Numb. 11:25, ‘The Lord came down in a cloud.’ 2 Sam. 22:10, ‘He bowed the heavens and came down.’ The idea, however, would be conveyed by this language that he did this personally, or by himself, and not merely by employing the agency of another. It would then be implied here, that though the instrumentality of Noah was employed, yet that it was done not by the Holy Spirit, but by him who afterwards became incarnate. On the supposition, therefore, that this whole passage refers to his preaching to the antediluvians in the time of Noah, and not to the ‘spirits’ after they were confined in prison, this is language which the apostle would have properly and probably used. If that supposition meets the full force of the language, then no argument can be based on it in proof that he went to preach to them after their death, and while his body was lying in the grave.
And made proclamation. The word used here (ἐκήρυξεν) is of a general character, meaning to make a proclamation of any kind, as a crier does, or to deliver a message, and does not necessarily imply that it was the gospel which was preached, nor does it determine anything in regard to the nature of the message. It is not affirmed that he preached the gospel, for if that specific idea had been expressed, it would have been rather by another word—εὐαγγελίζω. The word here used would be appropriate to such a message as Noah brought to his contemporaries or to any communication which God made to men. See Matt. 3:1; 4:17; Mark 1:35; 5:20; 7:36. It is implied in the expression, as already remarked, that he did this himself; that it was the Son of God who subsequently became incarnate, and not the Holy Spirit, that did this; though the language is consistent with the supposition that he did it by the instrumentality of another, to wit, Noah. Qui facit per alium, facit per se. God really proclaims a message to mankind when he does it by the instrumentality of the prophets, or apostles, or other ministers of religion, and all that is necessarily implied in this language would be met by the supposition that Christ delivered a message to the antediluvian race by the agency of Noah. No argument, therefore, can be derived from this language to prove that Christ went and personally preached to those who were confined in hades or in prison.
To the spirits in prison. The apostle Peter makes known these spirits as those “who had formerly been disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah.” (1 Pet. 3:20) Here, Peter is obviously referring to the spirit persons who had sided with Satan and now are known as demons. Jude mentions, “And the angels who did not keep to their own domain but deserted their proper dwelling place, he has kept in eternal bonds under deep darkness for the judgment of the great day.”—Jude 6.
How was it that these spirit persons were disobedient when the patience of God was waiting in the days of Noah? Prior to the flood, these spirit persons left their proper dwelling place in heaven and materialized as humans. (Gen. 6:2, 4) Then, they had sexual relations with the women, who then gave birth to the Nephilim, who were half-demons and half-humans, giants on the earth. God had not designed the angels to materialize as human and especially not to be having sexual relations with humans. (Gen. 5:2) Therefore, the wicked demons that were disobedient and rebelled with Satan will one day be destroyed. At this moment, really since their rebellion in Noah’s day, as Jude informs us, they are in “bonds under deep darkness,” which is a spiritual prison, as you might say, because they are out and about, affecting humanity still. But the darkness is that they lost some of their powers, like materializing as humans and no longer being privy to what God’s will and purposes are.
So, when, how, and what did Jesus preach to these “spirits in prison”? Peter states that this took place after Jesus was “made alive in the spirit.” (1 Pet. 3:18-19) We notice that Jesus “proclaimed.” Peter used the past tense, which indicates that the proclamation had already taken place before Peter authored his first letter. It seems like it would have been between his ascension back to heaven in 33 C.E. and the writing of this first letter c. 62–64 C.E. It would also seem that this was an adverse message, not good news, but rather had to deal with what awaited these rebellious demons, “the judgment of the great day.”—John 14:30; 16:8-11.
After the Great Tribulation, at the outset of Armageddon, Jesus will bind and throw Satan and his demons angels into the abyss. (Luke 8:30-31; Rev. 20:1-3) In the meantime, these disobedient demonic spirits are in bonds under deep darkness, meaning their knowledge and powers have been limited. Mind you that they are still very powerful when compared to humans. Nevertheless, their destruction is unquestionable.—Rev. 20:7-10.
By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews
 Proclaim; Preach: (κηρύσσω kērussō) Like a herald (messenger) who announced or made known important news both publicly (Mark 5:20) and loudly for a king, the Christian apologetic evangelist, having been officially assigned by Jesus Christ, announces both publicly and privately, proclaiming or preaching the Word of God with the goal to persuade, urge, warn to comply. – Rom. 10:14; 1 Pet. 3:19; Matt. 24:14; 28:19-20; Ac 1:8.
 That is when God was patiently waiting