With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce1 the unstable;2 they are experts in greed3--an accursed brood!415
They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam5 son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness.
But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey--a beast without speech--who spoke with a man's voice and restrained the prophet's madness.617
These men are springs without water7 and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.818
For they mouth empty, boastful words9 and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping10 from those who live in error.
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity--for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.1120
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing12 our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ13 and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.1421
It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.1522
Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"a16 and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."