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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 2PETER 2
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    CHAPTER 2

    2Pe 2:1-22. FALSE TEACHERS TO ARISE: THEM BAD PRACTICES AND SURE DESTRUCTION, FROM WHICH THE GODLY SHALL BE DELIVERED, AS LOT WAS.

    1. But--in contrast to the prophets "moved by the Holy Ghost" (2Pe 1:21).
    - also--as well as the true prophets (2Pe 1:19-21). Paul had already testified the entrance of false prophets into the same churches.
    - among the people--Israel: he is writing to believing Israelites primarily (see on 1Pe 1:1). Such a "false prophet" was Balaam (2Pe 2:15).
    - there shall be--Already symptoms of the evil were appearing (2Pe 2:9-22; Jude 4-13).
    - false teachers--teachers of falsehood. In contrast to the true teachers, whom he exhorts his readers to give heed to (2Pe 3:2).
    - who--such as (literally, "the which") shall.
    - privily--not at first openly and directly, but by the way, bringing in error by the side of the true doctrine (so the Greek): Rome objects, Protestants cannot point out the exact date of the beginnings of the false doctrines superadded to the original truth; we answer, Peter foretells us it would be so, that the first introduction of them would be stealthy and unobserved (Jude 4).
    - damnable--literally, "of destruction"; entailing destruction (Php 3:19) on all who follow them.
    - heresies--self-chosen doctrines, not emanating from God (compare "will-worship," Col 2:23).
    - even--going even to such a length as to deny both in teaching and practice. Peter knew, by bitter repentance, what a fearful thing it is to deny the Lord (Lu 22:61, 62).
    - denying--Him whom, above all others, they ought to confess.
    - Lord--"Master and Owner" (Greek), compare Jude 4, Greek. Whom the true doctrine teaches to be their OWNER by right of purchase. Literally, "denying Him who bought them (that He should be thereby), their Master."
    - bought them--Even the ungodly were bought by His "precious blood." It shall be their bitterest self-reproach in hell, that, as far as Christ's redemption was concerned, they might have been saved. The denial of His propitiatory sacrifice is included in the meaning (compare 1Jo 4:3).
    - bring upon themselves--compare "God bringing in the flood upon the world," 2Pe 2:5. Man brings upon himself the vengeance which God brings upon him.
    - swift--swiftly descending: as the Lord's coming shall be swift and sudden. As the ground swallowed up Korah and Dathan, and "they went down quick into the pit." Compare Jude 11, which is akin to this passage.

    2. follow--out: so the Greek.
    - pernicious ways--The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "licentiousness" (Jude 4). False doctrine and immoral practice generally go together (2Pe 2:18, 19).
    - by reason of whom--"on account of whom," namely, the followers of the false teachers.
    - the way of truth shall be evil spoken of--"blasphemed" by those without, who shall lay on Christianity itself the blame of its professors' evil practice. Contrast 1Pe 2:12.

    3. through, &c.--Greek, "IN covetousness" as their element (2Pe 2:14, end). Contrast 2Co 11:20; 12:17.
    - of a long time--in God's eternal purpose. "Before of old ordained to condemnation" (Jude 4).
    - lingereth not--though sinners think it lingers; "is not idle."
    - damnation--Greek, "destruction" (see on 2Pe 2:1). Personified.
    - slumbereth not--though sinners slumber.

    4. if--The apodosis or consequent member of the sentence is not expressed, but is virtually contained in 2Pe 2:9. If God in past time has punished the ungodly and saved His people, He will be sure to do so also in our days (compare end of 2Pe 2:3).
    - angels--the highest of intelligent creatures (compare with this verse, Jude 6), yet not spared when they sinned.
    - hell--Greek, "Tartarus": nowhere else in New Testament or the Septuagint: equivalent to the usual Greek, "Gehenna." Not inconsistent with 1Pe 5:8; for though their final doom is hell, yet for a time they are permitted to roam beyond it in "the darkness of this world." Slaves of Tartarus (called "the abyss," or "deep," Lu 8:31; "the bottomless pit," Re 9:11) may also come upon earth. Step by step they are given to Tartarus, until at last they shall be wholly bound to it.
    - delivered--as the judge delivers the condemned prisoner to the officers (Re 20:2).
    - into chains-- (Jude 6). The oldest manuscripts read, "dens," as ALFORD translates: the Greek, however, may, in Hellenistic Greek, mean "chains," as Jude expresses it. They are "reserved" unto hell's "mist of darkness" as their final "judgment" or doom, and meanwhile their exclusion from the light of heaven is begun. So the ungodly were considered as virtually "in prison," though at large on the earth, from the moment that God's sentence went forth, though not executed till one hundred twenty years after.

    5. eighth--that is, Noah, and seven others. Contrasted with the densely peopled "world of the ungodly."
    - preacher--not only "righteous" himself (compare 2Pe 2:8), but also "a preacher of righteousness": adduced by Peter against the licentiousness of the false teachers (2Pe 2:2) who have no prospect before them but destruction, even as it overtook the ungodly world in Noah's days.

    6. with, &c.--"TO overthrow" [ALFORD].
    - ensample--"of (the fate that should befall) those who in after-time should live ungodly." Compare Jude 7, "set forth for an example."

    7. just--righteous.
    - filthy conversation--literally, "behavior in licentiousness" (Ge 19:5).
    - the wicked--Greek, "lawless": who set at defiance the laws of nature, as well as man and God. The Lord reminds us of Lot's faithfulness, but not of his sin in the cave: so in Rahab's case.

    8. vexed--Greek, "tormented."

    9. knoweth how--He is at no loss for means, even when men see no escape.
    - out of--not actually from.
    - temptations--trials.
    - to be punished--Greek, "being punished": as the fallen angels (2Pe 2:4), actually under sentence, and awaiting its final execution. Sin is already its own penalty; hell will be its full development.

    10. chiefly--They especially will be punished (Jude 8).
    - after--following after.
    - lust of uncleanness--defilement: "hankering after polluting and unlawful use of the flesh" [ALFORD].
    - government--Greek, "lordship," "dominion" (Jude 8).
    - Presumptuous--Greek, "Darers." Self-will begets presumption. Presumptuously daring.
    - are not afraid--though they are so insignificant in might; Greek, "tremble not" (Jude 8, end).
    - speak evil of--Greek, "blaspheme."
    - dignities--Greek, "glories."

    11. which are--though they are.
    - greater--than these blasphemers. Jude instances Michael (Jude 9).
    - railing accusation--Greek, "blaspheming judgment" (Jude 9).
    - against them--against "dignities," as for instance, the fallen angels: once exalted, and still retaining traces of their former power and glory.
    - before the Lord--In the presence of the Lord, the Judge, in reverence, they abstain from judgment [BENGEL]. Judgment belongs to God, not the angels. How great is the dignity of the saints who, as Christ's assessors, shall hereafter judge angels! Meanwhile, railing judgments, though spoken with truth, against dignities, as being uttered irreverently, are of the nature of "blasphemies" (Greek, 1Co 4:4, 5). If superior angels dare not, as being in the presence of God, the Judge, speak evil even of the bad angels, how awful the presumption of those who speak evil blasphemously of good "dignities." 2Sa 16:7, 8, Shimei; Nu 16:2, 3, Korah, &c., referred to also in Jude 11; Nu 12:8, "Were ye (Aaron and Miriam) not afraid to speak evil of My servant Moses?" The angels who sinned still retain the indelible impress of majesty. Satan is still "a strong man": "prince of this world"; and under him are "principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world." We are to avoid irreverence in regard to them, not on their account, but on account of God. A warning to those who use Satan's name irreverently and in blasphemy. "When the ungodly curseth Satan, he curseth his own soul."

    12. (Jude 19).
    - But--In contrast to the "angels," 2Pe 2:11.
    - brute--Greek, "irrational." In contrast to angels that "excel in strength."
    - beasts--Greek, "animals" (compare Ps 49:20).
    - natural--transposed in the oldest manuscripts, "born natural," that is, born naturally so: being in their very nature (that is, naturally) as such (irrational animals), born to be taken and destroyed (Greek, "unto capture and destruction," or corruption, see on Ga 6:8; compare end of this verse, "shall perish," literally, "shall be corrupted," in their own corruption. Jude 10, naturally . . . corrupt themselves," and so destroy themselves; for one and the same Greek word expresses corruption, the seed, and destruction, the developed fruit).
    - speak evil of--Greek, "in the case of things which they understand not." Compare the same presumption, the parent of subsequent Gnostic error, producing an opposite, though kindred, error, the worshipping of good angels": Col 2:18, "intruding into those things which he hath not seen."

    13. receive--"shall carry off as their due."
    - reward of--that is, for their "unrighteousness" [ALFORD]. Perhaps it is implied, unrighteousness shall be its own reward or punishment. "Wages of unrighteousness" (2Pe 2:15) has a different sense, namely, the earthly gain to be gotten by "unrighteousness."
    - in the daytime--Translate as Greek, "counting the luxury which is in the daytime (not restricted to night, as ordinary revelling. Or as Vulgate and CALVIN, "the luxury which is but for a day": so GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

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