2:1 Warnings Against False Teachers
SUMMARY OF II PETER 2:
False Prophets and False Teachers. The Judgment on the Fallen Angels. Judgment on the Antediluvians. The Perverseness of Wicked Men. The Example of Balaam, the Son of Beor.
There were false prophets. The true prophets are referred to in 2Pe 1:19. Here the false prophets are spoken of in contrast. The term false prophet occurs several times in the Old Testament. For example, see Jer 5:31 6:13 8:10 Christ foretells the rise of false prophets (Mt 24:24).
Among the people. Israel is meant.
Even as there shall be false teachers among you. Teachers of false doctrines. Paul often warns against such teachers. See Ac 20:30.
Who privily shall bring in damnable heresies. Destructive heresies (Revised Version). Party divisions caused by false teaching. A heresy is a schism, or that which tends to produce schism.
Even denying the Lord that bought them. This is the culmination of false teaching in the church and has been fulfilled by those professedly Christian teachers who reject the divinity of Christ and the atoning power of his blood.
And bring upon themselves swift destruction. Sudden destruction.
2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways. Lascivious doings (Revised Version). Immoral life is the result of false doctrine, and thus a reproach is brought upon the truth.
2:3 And through covetousness... make merchandise of you. By their feigned words, or crafty speeches, the false teachers shall use their followers as a source of gain.
2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned. In order to show that judgments on these wicked teachers are sure, Peter cites examples. Even angels when they sinned were subjected to punishment.
But cast [them] down to hell. The sinning angels were cast out of heaven. The word rendered hell is not Gehenna, but Tartarus, a Greek term used for the place of future punishment.
Delivered [them] into chains of darkness. Pits of darkness (Revised Version); possibly dungeons of darkness gives the idea. Compare Jude 1:6 Both passages point to a time when angels sinned, fell, and thus became angels of darkness.
2:5 And spared not the old world. The case of the antediluvians furnishes the second example of God's swift justice.
But saved Noah the eighth [person]. But preserved Noah with seven others (Revised Version). God did not then forget the righteous.
A preacher of righteousness. By example as well as by word. See Ge 7:1 1Pe 3:20.
2:6 Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes. The third example of judgment on sin. See Ge 19:29.
2:7 And delivered just Lot. The saving of the righteous is as marked as the punishment of the wicked. See Ge 19:1,7.
Vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. See Ge 19:5.
2:8 For that righteous man... vexed [his] righteous soul. Lot, seeing and hearing the wickedness around him, was sore distressed.
2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations. These examples show that the Lord knows how to deliver the righteous from every species of trial,
and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished. And to hold the wicked in reserve for judgment.
2:10 Chiefly them. Those next named will receive the greater punishment.
That walk after the flesh. Follow its dictates and live impure lives.
And despise government. Refuse to submit to authority.
Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. A characteristic of this class is their presumption and a want of reverence for what is high and holy. See Jude 1:8.
2:11 Whereas angels... bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. The angels, superior in might and power, do not show such presumption, or disrespect to any lofty power. Compare Jude 1:9. There is so striking a parallel between a part of this chapter and a part of Jude that it is thought that either Peter or Jude had the epistle of the other before him. Jude shows us that even Michael did not rail against Satan.
2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts. As if utterly irrational.
Made to be taken and destroyed. The brute beasts were destined to the slaughter for man's uses. So these men blindly rush to destruction.
Speak evil of the things that they understand not. How often the scoffer fulfills this description!
2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness. Their destruction is the legitimate reward of their own wrong doing.
[As] count it pleasure to riot in the day-time. Literally, in the day. I believe that the idea is that, like dumb brutes forgetful of coming destruction, they take pleasure in carousal for a day, regardless of the morrow.
Spots [they are] and blemishes. Marring the brightness and beauty of the church.
Sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you. Revelling in their love-feasts (Revised Version). Converting even these into scenes of revel.
2:14 Having eyes full of adultery. Looking around with a lustful appetite.
2:15 Following the way of Balaam. See Nu 31:16. Balaam sold himself out to an evil cause for the sake of gain.
2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity. By the voice that was put into the mouth of the brute he rode (Nu 22:28-30).
2:17 These are wells without water. Springs without water (Revised Version). They promise much but disappoint.
Clouds that are carried with a tempest. Mists driven by a storm (Revised Version). The thought is the same. These mists promise rain, but it fails to descend.
To whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For these apostates the blackness of darkness is reserved (Revised Version).
2:18 For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity. This shows how they promise great things and disappoint. They offer great swelling words, and entice those who are about to be delivered from error.
2:19 While they promise them liberty. Liberty from all restraint, complete freedom to serve their own wills, such liberty as those who rail against God's law are wont to offer.
They are servants of corruption. Those who offer liberty are themselves slaves, serving their own passions and lusts. He who is swayed by appetite or habit cannot be free.
2:20 The latter end is worse with them than the beginning. If one who has been converted is enticed back again into his sins, his state is worse than before. That this is possible is taught in many places.
2:21 For it had been better, etc. To other sins there is then added the sin of rejecting the way of righteousness after an experimental knowledge of it.
2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb. Their relapse is described in the proverbs. See Pr 26:11.
The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again. Such a repulsive course can be compared only with the most disgusting habits of unclean animals.