They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam1 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.217
These men are springs without water3 and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.418
For they mouth empty, boastful words5 and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping6 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.720
If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing8 our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ9 and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.1021
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.1122
Of them the proverbs are true: "A dog returns to its vomit,"a12 and, "A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud."