1. But--in contrast to the prophets "moved by the Holy Ghost"
also--as well as the true prophets
Paul had already testified the entrance of false prophets into the same
among the people--Israel: he is writing to believing
Israelites primarily (see on
Such a "false prophet" was Balaam
there shall be--Already symptoms of the evil were appearing
false teachers--teachers of falsehood. In contrast to the true
teachers, whom he exhorts his readers to give heed to
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
damnable--literally, "of destruction"; entailing destruction
on all who follow them.
heresies--self-chosen doctrines, not emanating from God
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
Lord--"Master and Owner" (Greek), compare
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
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
bring upon themselves--compare "God bringing in the flood
upon the world,"
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
which is akin to this passage.
2. follow--out: so the Greek.
pernicious ways--The oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read,
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
3. through, &c.--Greek, "IN
covetousness" as their element
2Co 11:20; 12:17.
of a long time--in God's eternal purpose. "Before of old
ordained to condemnation"
lingereth not--though sinners think it lingers; "is not idle."
damnation--Greek, "destruction" (see on
slumbereth not--though sinners slumber.
4. if--The apodosis or consequent member of the sentence is not
expressed, but is virtually contained in
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
angels--the highest of intelligent creatures (compare with this
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
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,"
"the bottomless pit,"
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
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
but also "a preacher of righteousness": adduced by Peter against the
licentiousness of the false teachers
who have no prospect before them but destruction, even as it overtook
the ungodly world in Noah's days.
6. with, &c.--"TO overthrow"
ensample--"of (the fate that should befall) those who in
after-time should live ungodly." Compare
"set forth for an example."
filthy conversation--literally, "behavior in licentiousness"
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
8. vexed--Greek, "tormented."
9. knoweth how--He is at no loss for means, even when men see no
out of--not actually from.
to be punished--Greek, "being punished": as the fallen
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
lust of uncleanness--defilement: "hankering after
polluting and unlawful use of the flesh" [ALFORD].
government--Greek, "lordship," "dominion"
Presumptuous--Greek, "Darers." Self-will begets
presumption. Presumptuously daring.
are not afraid--though they are so insignificant in might;
Greek, "tremble not"
speak evil of--Greek, "blaspheme."
11. which are--though they are.
greater--than these blasphemers. Jude instances Michael
railing accusation--Greek, "blaspheming judgment"
against them--against "dignities," as for instance, the fallen
angels: once exalted, and still retaining traces of their former power
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,
Nu 16:2, 3,
Korah, &c., referred to also in
"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."
But--In contrast to the "angels,"
brute--Greek, "irrational." In contrast to angels
that "excel in strength."
beasts--Greek, "animals" (compare
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,
compare end of this verse, "shall perish," literally, "shall be
corrupted," in their own corruption.
naturally . . . corrupt themselves," and so
destroy themselves; for one and the same Greek word
expresses corruption, the seed, and destruction, the
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":
"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"
has a different sense, namely, the earthly gain to be gotten by
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
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