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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - 2PETER 2

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    CHAPTER II

    1. But. Introducing a contrast with those who spake by the Holy Ghost (ch. i. 21).

    There were (egenonto). Rev., better, there arose.

    There shall be. Note that Peter speaks of them as future, and Jude (ver. 4) as present.

    False teachers (yeudodidaskaloi). Only here in New Testament.

    Who (oitinev). Of that kind or class which, etc.

    Privily shall bring in (pareisaxousin). Only here in New Testament. The kindred adjective occurs in Gal. ii. 4, "false brethren privily brought in" (pareisaktouv). The metaphor is of spies or traitors introducing themselves into an enemy's camp. Compare Jude 4, crept in unawares. The verb means, literally, to bring (agein) into (eiv) by the side of (para).

    Damnable heresies (aireseiv apwleiav). Lit., heresies of destruction. Rev., destructive heresies. Heresy is a transcript of airesiv, the primary meaning of which is choice; so that a heresy is, strictly, the choice of an opinion contrary to that usually received; thence transferred to the body of those who profess such opinions, and therefore a sect. So Rev., in margin, sects of perdition. Commonly in this sense in the New Testament (Acts v. 17; xv. 5; xxviii. 22), though the Rev. has an odd variety in its marginal renderings. See Acts xxiv. 14; 1 Cor. xi. 19; Gal. v. 20. The rendering heretical doctrines seems to agree better with the context; false teachers bringing in sects is awkward.

    Denying. A significant word from Peter.

    The Lord (despothn). In most cases in the New Testament the word is rendered master, the Rev. changing Lord to master in every case but two - Luke ii. 29; Acts iv. 24; and in both instances putting master in margin, and reserving Lord for the rendering of kuriov. In three of these instances the word is used in direct address to God; and it may be asked why the Rev. changes Lord to Master in the text of Apoc. vi. 10, and retains Lord in Luke ii. 29; Acts iv. 24. In five out of the ten occurrences of the word in the New Testament it means master of the household. Originally, it indicates absolute, unrestricted authority, so that the Greeks refused the title to any but the gods. In the New Testament despothv and kuriov are used interchangeably of God, and of masters of servants.

    Swift (tacinhn). Used by Peter only. See on ch. i. 14.

    2. Shall follow. See on ch. i. 16.

    Pernicious ways (apwleiaiv). The true reading is ajselgeiaiv, lascivious doings. So Rev. See on 1 Pet. iv. 3. The use of the plural is rare. Compare Jude 4.

    3. Through covetousness (en pleonexia). Lit., in covetousness; denoting the element or sphere in which the evil is wrought.

    Feigned (plastoiv). Only here in New Testament. From plassw, to mould, as in clay or wax. The idea is, therefore, of words molded at will to suit their vain imaginations.

    Make merchandise (emporeusontai). Only here and Jas. iv. 13. Compare Jude 16, for the sake of advantage; their glory being in having a multitude of followers.

    Judgment (krima). Rev., sentence. So, commonly, in New Testament; the process or act of judging being expressed by krisiv.

    Of a long time (ekpalai). Rev., better, from of old, bringing out thus more sharply the force of ejk. Only here and ch. iii. 5. Construe with lingereth.

    Lingereth (argei). Only here in New Testament. Compare on the kindred adjective idle, ch. i. 8. There is a graphic picture in the sentence. The judgment is not idle. It is "represented as a living thing, awake and expectant. Long ago that judgment started on its destroying path, and the fate of sinning angels, and the deluge, and the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah were but incidental illustrations of its power; nor has it even since lingered.... It advances still, strong and vigilant as when first it sprang from the bosom of God, and will not fail to reach the mark to which it was pointed from of old" (Salmond and Lillie).

    Damnation (apwleia). More literally, Rev., destruction. The word occurs three times in vv. 1-3.

    Slumbereth (nustaxei). See on Matt. xxv. 5, the only other passage where it occurs.

    4. The angels. No article. Angels. So Rev. Compare Jude 6.

    Cast them down to hell (tartarwsav). Only here in New Testament. From Tartarov, Tartarus. It is strange to find Peter using this Pagan term, which represents the Greek hell, though treated here not as equivalent to Gehenna, but as the place of detention until the judgment. Chains of darkness (seiraiv zofou). Seira is a cord or band, sometimes of metal. Compare Septuagint, Prov. v. 22; Wisd. of Sol. xvii. 2, 18. The best texts, however, substitute siroiv or seiroiv, pits or caverns. Sirov originally is a place for storing corn. Rev., pits of darkness. Of darkness (zofou). Peculiar to Peter and Jude. Originally of the gloom of the nether world, So Homer:

    "These halls are full Of shadows hastening down to Erebus Amid the gloom (upo zofon)." Odyssey, xx., 355.

    When Ulysses meets his mother in the shades, she says to him:

    "How didst thou come, my child, a living man, Into this place of darkness? (upo zofon)." Odyssey, xi., 155.

    Compare Jude 13. So Milton:

    "Here their prison ordained In utter darkness, and their portion set As far removed from God and light of heaven As from the center thrice to the utmost pole." Paradise Lost, i., 71-74.

    And Dante:

    "That air forever black." Inferno, iii., 329.

    "Upon the verge I found me Of the abysmal valley dolorous That gather thunder of infinite ululations. Obscure, profound it was, and nebulous, So that by fixing on its depths my sight Nothing whatever I discerned therein." Inferno, iv., 7, 12.

    "I came unto a place mute of all light." Inferno, v., 28.

    To be reserved (throumenouv). Lit., being reserved. See on 1 Pet. i. 4, "reserved in heaven."

    5. Saved (efulaxen). Rev., preserved. See on 1 Pet. i. 4, and compare "the Lord shut him in" (Gen. vii. 16).

    Noah the eighth person. So the A.V., literally. Rev. is more perspicuous however: Noah with seven others. Compare 1 Pet. iii. 20.

    A preacher (khruka). Lit., a herald. Compare the kindred verb khrussw, to preach, everywhere in New Testament. The word herald is beautifully suggestive, at many points, of the office of a gospel minister. In the Homeric age the herald partook of the character of an ambassador. He summoned the assembly and kept order in it, and had charge of arrangements at sacrifices and festivals. The office of the heralds was sacred, and their persons inviolable; hence they were employed to bear messages between enemies. The symbol of their office was the herald's staff, or caduceus, born by Mercury, the herald-God. This was originally an olive-branch with fillets, which were afterward formed into snakes, according to the legend that Mercury found two snakes fighting and separated them with his wand, from which circumstances they were used as an emblem of peace. Plato ("Laws," xii., 941) thus speaks of the fidelity entailed by the office: "If any herald or ambassador carry a false message to any other city, or bring back a false message from the city to which he is sent, or be proved to have brought back, whether from friends or enemies, in his capacity of herald or ambassador, what they have never said - let him be indicted for having offended, contrary to the law, in the sacred office and appointment of Hermes and Zeus, and let there be a penalty fixed which he shall suffer or pay if he be convicted." In later times, their position as messengers between nations at war was emphasized. In Herodotus (i., 21), the word herald is used as synonymous with apostle. "Alyattes sent a herald (khruka) to Miletus in hopes of concluding a truce, etc. The herald (apostolov) went on his way to Miletus." A priestly house at Athens bore the name of khrukev, heralds.

    Bringing in (epaxav). The verb may be said to be used by Peter only. Besides this passage and ver. 1, it occurs only at Acts v. 28, where Luke probably received the account from Peter as the principal actor: "ye intend to bring upon us (epagagein) this man's blood."

    6. Turning into ashes (tefrwsav). Only here in New Testament.

    Having made them an example (upodeigma teqeikwv). Compare 1 Peter ii. 21. The word for example is condemned as unclassical by the Attic grammarians, and paradeigma is substituted, which means, properly, a sculptor's or a painter's model, or an architect's plan.

    7. Just (dikaion). Occurring three times in vv. 7, 8.

    Vexed (kataponoumenon). Only here and Acts vii. 24. Kata gives the force of worn down. So Rev., sore distressed.

    With the filthy conversation of the wicked (upo thv twn aqesmwn en aselgeia anastrofhv). Lit., by the behavior of the lawless in wantonness. Rev., the lascivious life of the wicked. Life or behavior (anastrofhv). See on 1 Pet. i. 15. Wicked (aqesmwn), lit., lawless. Only here and ch. iii. 17. Wantonness (aselgeia), see on Mark vii. 22.

    8. Dwelling (egkatoikwn). Only here in New Testament. Dwelling, and therefore suffering continually, from day to day.

    In seeing (blemmati). Only here in New Testament. Usually of the look of a man from without, through which the vexation comes to the soul. "Vexed his righteous soul."

    Vexed (ebasanizen). See on Matt. iv. 24, torments. The original sense is to test by touchstone or by torture. See on toiling, Mark vi. 48. Rev. gives tormented, in margin.

    Unlawful (anomoiv). Rev., lawless. Only here in New Testament with things. In all other cases it is applied to persons.

    9. Godly (eusebeiv). Used by Peter only. Compare Acts x. 2, 7. The reading at Acts xxii. 12, is eujlabhv, devout. See on ch. i. 3. Temptation (peirasmou). See on 1 Pet. i. 6.

    To reserve (threin). See on 1 Pet. i. 4. Rev., keep, is not an improvement.

    To be punished (kolazomenouv). Only here and Acts iv. 21, where the narrative probably came from Peter. The participle here is, lit., being punished, and therefore the A.V. is wrong. Rev., rightly, under punishment. Compare Matt. xxv. 46.

    10. Go after the flesh. Compare Jude 7.

    Of uncleanness (miasmou). Only here in New Testament. See on defilements, ver. 20. Compare Jude 8.

    Despise government. Rev., dominion. Compare Jude 8.

    Presumptuous (tolmhtai). Only here in New Testament. Lit., darers. Rev., daring.

    Self-willed (auqadeiv). Only here and Tit. i. 7. From aujtov, self, and hdomai, to delight in. Therefore a self-loving spirit.

    They tremble (tremousin). Compare Mark v. 33. An uncommon word in the New Testament. Luke viii. 47; Acts ix. 6.

    Dignities (doxav). Lit., glories. Compare Jude 8. Probably angelic powers: note the reference to the angels immediately following, as in Jude 9 to Michael. They defy the spiritual powers though knowing their might.

    11. Power and might (iscui kai dunamei). Rev., might and power. The radical idea of ijscuv, might, is that of indwelling strength, especially as embodied: might which inheres in physical powers organized and working under individual direction, as an army: which appears in the resistance of physical organisms, as the earth, against which one dashes himself in vain: which dwells in persons or things, and gives them influence or value: which resides in laws or punishments to make them irresistible. This sense comes out clearly in the New Testament in the use of the word and of its cognates. Thus, "Love the Lord thy God with all thy strength" (Mark xii. 30): "according to the working of his mighty power" (Eph. i. 19). So the kindred adjective ijscurov. "A strong man" (Matt. xii. 29): a mighty famine (Luke xv. 14): his letters are powerful (2 Cor. x. 10): a strong consolation (Heb. vi. 18): a mighty angel (Apoc. xviii. 21). Also the verb iJscuw. "It is good for nothing" (Matt. v. 13): "shall not be able" (Luke xiii. 24): "I can do all things" (Philip. iv. 13): "availeth much" (Jas. v. 16).

    Dunamiv is rather ability, faculty: not necessarily manifest, as ijscuv: power residing in one by nature. Thus ability (Matt. xxv. 15): virtue (Mark v. 30): power (Luke xxiv. 29; Acts i. 8; 1 Cor. ii. 4): "strengthen of sin" (1 Cor. xv. 56). So of moral vigor. "Strengthened with might in the inner man" (Eph. iii. 16): "with all might (Col. i. 11). It is, however, mostly power in action, as in the frequent use of dunameiv for miracles, mighty works, they being exhibitions of divine virtue. Thus "power unto salvation" (Rom. i. 16): the kingdom coming in power" (Mark ix. 1): God himself called power - "the right hand of the power" (Matt. xxvi. 64), and so in classical Greek used to denote the magistrates or authorities. Also of the angelic powers (Eph. i. 21; Rom. viii. 38; 1 Pet. iii. 22). Generally, then, it may be said that while both words include the idea of manifestation or of power in action, ijscuv emphasizes the outward, physical manifestations, and dunamiv the inward, spiritual or moral virtue. Plato ("Protagoras," 350) draws the distinction thus: "I should not have admitted that the able (dunatouv) are strong (iscurouv), though I have admitted that the strong are able. For there is a difference between ability (dunamin) and strength (iscun). The former is given by knowledge as well as by madness or rage; but strength comes from nature and a healthy state of the body. Aristotle ("Rhet.," i., 5) says "strength (iscuv) is the power of moving another as one wills; and that other is to be moved either by drawing or pushing or carrying or pressing or compressing; so that the strong (o iscurov) is strong for all or for some of these things."

    Railing judgment. Compare Jude 9; Zech. iii. 1, 2.

    12. As natural brute beasts made to be taken and destroyed. This massing of epithets is characteristic of Peter. Natural (fusika), Rev., mere animals, should be construed with made, or as Rev., born (gegennhmena). Brute (aloga), lit., unreasoning or irrational. Rev., without reason. Compare Acts xxv. 27. Beasts (zwa). Lit., living creatures, from zaw, to live. More general and inclusive than beasts, since it denotes strictly all creatures that live, including man. Plato even applies it to God himself. Hence Rev., properly, creatures. To be taken and destroyed (eijv alwsin kai, fqoran). Lit., for capture and destruction. Destruction twice in this verse, and with a cognate verb. Render the whole, as Rev., But these, as creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed.

    Speak evil (blasfemountev). Participle. Rev., rightly, railing. Compare vv. 10, 11.

    And shall utterly perish in their own corruption (en th fqora autwn kai fqarhsontai). There is a play upon the words, which the Rev. reproduces by rendering, "shall in their destroying surely be destroyed." The and, which in the A.V. connects this and the preceding sentence, is rather to be taken with shall be destroyed, as emphasizing it, and should be rendered, as Rev., surely, or as others, even or also. Compare on the whole verse Jude 10.

    13. And shall receive (komioumenoi). Lit., being about or destined to receive. See on 1 Pet. i. 9, and compare 1 Pet. v. 4. Some good texts read ajdikoumenoi, suffering wrong. So Rev., suffering wrong as the hire of wrong-doing.

    Reward of unrighteousness (misqon adikiav). Misqov is hire, and so is rendered in Rev. Compare Matt. xx. 8; Luke x. 7; John iv. 36. It also has in classical Greek the general sense of reward, and so very often in the New Testament, in passages where hire or wages would be inappropriate. Thus Matt. v. 12; vi. 1; x. 41. Hire would seem to be better here, because of the reference to Balaam in ver. 15, where the word occurs again and requires that rendering. The phrase misqov, reward or wages of iniquity, occurs only here and in Peter's speech concerning Judas (Acts i. 18), where the Rev. retains the rendering of the A.V., reward of iniquity. It would have been better to render wages of iniquity in both places. Iniquity and unrighteousness are used in English almost synonymously; though, etymologically, iniquity emphasizes the idea of injustice (inaequus), while unrighteousness (non-rightness) is more general, implying all deviation from right, whether involving another's interests or not. This distinction is not, however, observed in the Rev., where the rendering of adikia, and of the kindred adjective adikov, varies unaccountably, if not capriciously, between unrighteous and unjust. As they that count it pleasure to riot (hdonhn hgoumenoi trufhn). The as of the A.V. is needless. The discourse proceeds from ver. 13 by a series of participles, as far as following (ver. 15). Literally the passage runs, counting riot a pleasure.

    Riot (trufhn). Meaning rather daintiness, delicacy, luxuriousness. Even the Rev. revel is almost too strong. Compare Luke vii. 25, the only other passage where the word occurs, and where the Rev. retains the A.V., live delicately. So, also, Rev. substitutes, in Jas. v. 5, lived delicately for lived in pleasure.

    In the daytime. Compare Peter's words Acts ii. 15; also, 1 Thessalonians v. 7.

    Spots (spiloi). Only here and Eph. v. 27. Compare the kindred participle spotted (Jude 23), and defileth (James 3;6).

    Blemishes (mwmoi). Only here in New Testament. The negatives of the two terms spots and blemishes occur at 1 Pet. i. 19.

    Sporting themselves (entrufwntev). From trufh, luxuriousness. See on riot. Rev., revelling.

    With their own deceivings (en taiv apataiv autwn). The Rev., however, follows another reading, which occurs in the parallel passage Jude xii. ajgapaiv, love-feasts, the public banquets instituted by the early Christians, and connected with the celebration of the Lord's Supper. Rev. renders revelling in their love-feasts, though the American Committee insist on deceivings. On the abuses at these feasts, see 1 Corinthians xi. 20-22. For auJtwn, their own, the best texts read aujtwn, their. While they feast with you (suneuwcoumenoi). The word originally conveys the idea of sumptuous feasting, and is appropriate in view of the fact to which Peter alludes, that these sensualists converted the love-feast into a revel. Compare Paul's words, 1 Cor. xi. 21, "one is hungry and another drunken." This seems to favor the reading ajgapaiv. The word occurs only here and Jude 12.

    14. Eyes. Another illustration of Peter's emphasis on sight. It is the instrument of evil no less than of good. Compare Matt. v. 28.

    Adultery (moicalidov). Lit., an adulteress, but used as an adjective Matt. xii. 39; xvi. 4.

    That cannot cease (akataoaustouv). Only here, in New Testament. Compare hath ceased (1 Pet. iv. 1).

    Beguiling (deleazontev). Only here, ver. 18, and Jas. i. 14. From delear, a bait. An appropriate word from Peter the fisherman. Rev., enticing.

    Unstable (asthriktouv). A compound of the word at 1 Pet. v. 10, stablish. See note there, and on 2 Pet. i. 12.

    An heart they have exercised (kardian gegumnasmenhn econtev). The A.V. is awkward. Better, Rev., having a heart exercised. Exercised is the word used for gymnastic training, from which gymnastic is derived. With covetous practices. The A.V. follows the old reading, pleonexiaiv. The best texts read pleonexiav, covetousness. Rev., therefore, rightly, in covetousness.

    Cursed children (katarav tekna). Lit., children of cursing; and so Rev. See on Mark iii. 17, and 1 Pet. i. 14.

    15. Right (euqeian). Lit., straight, which is the radical meaning of right. Are gone astray (aplanhqhsan). See on Mark xii. 24.

    Following (exakolouqhsantev). See on ch. i. 16; ii. 2. Compare Jude 11. The way. Note the frequent occurrence of the word way in the story of Balaam (Numbers 22), and Peter's use of the same phrase, as here, the right ways of the Lord, in Acts xiii. 10.

    Bosor. Rev. gives Beor, the Old Testament form of the name. Wages of unrighteousness. See on ver. 13.

    16. Was rebuked (elegxin escen). Lit., had a rebuke. The word for rebuke only here in New Testament.

    For his iniquity (idiav paranomiav). Rev., his own transgression. His own, see on ch. i. 3. Transgression, from para, contrary to, and nomov, law. Only here in New Testament. Compare the kindred verb paranomew, also occurring but once, Acts xxiii. 3, where see note on contrary to the law.

    The dumb ass. Inserting an article not in the text, and omitted by Rev. Ass (upozugion). Lit., beast of burden. An animal subjected to the yoke. From uJpo, beneath, and zugon, a yoke. See on Matt. xxi. 5. Speaking (fqegxamenon). The verb is found in Peter only, here and ver. 18, and in Acts iv. 18, a Petrine narrative. It is well chosen, however. The verb denotes the utterance of a sound or voice, not only by man, but by any animal having lungs. Hence, not only of men's articulate cries, such as a battle-shout, but of the neigh of the horse, the scream of the eagle, the croak of a raven. It is also applied to sounds made by inanimate things, such as thunder, a trumpet, a lyre, the ring of an earthen vessel, showing whether it is cracked or not. Schmidt ("Synonymik") says that it does not indicate any physical capability on the part of the man, but describes the sound only from the hearer's stand-point. In view of this general sense of the verb, the propriety is apparent of the defining phrase, with man's voice.

    Forbad (ekwlusen). Rather, hindered, or, as Rev., stayed. Compare Acts viii. 36; Rom. i. 13, Rev. Madness (parafronian). Only here in New Testament. But compare the kindred verb parafronew (2 Cor. xi. 23), in the phrase, "I speak as a fool." From para, beside, and frhn, the mind; and so equivalent to the phrase, beside one's self.

    17. Wells (phgai). Better, as Rev., springs; yet the Rev. has retained well at John iv. 14, where the change would have given more vividness to Christ's metaphor, which is that of an ever upleaping, living fountain. Without water. As so often in the East, where the verdure excites the traveler's hope of water. Compare Jer. ii. 13, and the contrast presented in Isa. xlviii. 11; Prov. x. 11; xiii. 14.

    Clouds. The A.V. has followed the Tex. Rec., nefelai, as in Jude 12. The correct reading is oJmiclai, mists, found only here in New Testament. So Rev. With a tempest (upo lailapov). Rev., by a storm. The word occurs only twice elsewhere - Mark iv. 37; Luke vii. 23 - in the parallel accounts of the storm on the lake, which Jesus calmed by his word. There on the lake Peter was at home, as well as with the Lord on that occasion; and the peculiar word describing a whirlwind - one of those sudden storms so frequent on that lake (see note on the word, Mark iv. 37) - would be the first to occur to him. Compare Paul's similar figure, Eph. iv. 14. Blackness (zofov). See on ver. 4, and compare Jude 13.

    Of darkness (tou skotouv). Lit., the darkness, denoting a well-understood doom.

    Is reserved (tethrhtai). Lit., hath been reserved, as Rev. See on 1 Peter i. 4; 2 Pet. ii. 4.

    Forever. The best texts omit.

    18. When they speak (fqeggomenoi). Rev., better, uttering. See on ver. 16.

    Great swelling (uperogka). Only here and Jude 16. The word means of excessive bulk. It accords well with the peculiar word uttering, since it denotes a kind of speech full of high-sounding verbosity without substance. Fqeggomenoi, uttering, is significantly applied alike to Balaam's beast and to these empty declaimers.

    Entice. See ver. 14.

    Where clean escaped. The A.V. follows the Tex. Rec., ontwv ajpofugontav; ontwv meaning really, actually, as Luke xxiv. 34; and the participle being the aorist, and so meaning were escaped. But the best texts all read ojligwv, in a little degree, or just, or scarcely; and ajpofeugontav, the present participle, are escaping; and denoting those who are in the early stage of their escape from error, and are not safe from it and confirmed in the truth. Hence, Rev., correctly, who are just escaping. 'Oligwv, only here.

    19. Is overcome (htthtai). Lit., is worsted; from hsswn, inferior. Only here, ver. 20, and 2 Cor. xii. 13.

    Brought into bondage (dedoulwtai). Enslaved. Compare Rom. vi. 16.

    20. Pollutions (miasmata). Only here in New Testament. Compare ver.

    10. The word is transcribed in miasma.

    Entangled (emplakentev). Only here and 2 Tim. ii. 4. The same metaphor occurs in Aeschylus ("Prometheus"): "For not on a sudden or in ignorance will ye be entangled (emplecqhsesqe) by your folly in an impervious net of Ate (destruction)."

    22. According to the true proverb (to thv alhqouv parioimiav). Lit., that of the true proverb, or the matter of the proverb. For a similar construction see Matt. xxi. 21, that of the fig-tree; Matt. viii. 33, the things of those possessed. On proverb, see notes on Matt. xiii. 3. Vomit (exerama). Only here in New Testament.

    Wallowing (kulismon). Only here in New Testament.

    Mire (borborou). Only here in New Testament. This use of dogs and swine together recalls Matt. vii. 6.

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