[L For if] When angels sinned, God did not ·let them go free without punishment [spare them]. [L But] He sent them to ·hell [L Tartarus; C a Greek term for the underworld] and put them in caves of darkness where they are being held for judgment [Gen. 6:1–4; Jude 6].
But even in those days there were false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you today. They will be men who will subtly introduce dangerous heresies. They will thereby deny the Lord who redeemed them, and it will not be long before they bring on themselves their own downfall. Many will follow their pernicious teaching and thereby bring discredit on the way of truth. In their lust to make converts these men will try to exploit you too with their bogus arguments. But judgment has been for some time hard on their heels and their downfall is inevitable. For if God did not spare angels who sinned against him, but banished them to the dark imprisonment of hell till judgment day: if he did not spare the ancient world but only saved Noah (the solitary voice that cried out for righteousness) and his seven companions when he brought the flood upon the world in its wickedness; and if God reduced the entire cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes (when he sentenced them to destruction as a fearful example to those who wanted to live in defiance of his laws), and yet saved Lot the righteous man, in acute mental distress at the filthy lives of the godless—Lot, remember, was a good man suffering spiritual agonies day after day at what he saw and heard of their lawlessness—then you may be absolutely certain that the Lord knows how to rescue a good man surrounded by temptation, and how to reserve his punishment for the wicked until his day comes.
God didn’t let the rebel angels off the hook, but jailed them in hell till Judgment Day. Neither did he let the ancient ungodly world off. He wiped it out with a flood, rescuing only eight people—Noah, the sole voice of righteousness, was one of them.
For if God spared not angels sinning, but betook them to be tormented, and to be drawn down with bonds of hell into hell [but betook them to be tormented, drawn down with bonds of hell into hell], to be kept into doom;