2 Peter 2:1-14

False Teachers and Their Destruction

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,[a] putting them in chains of darkness[b] to be held for judgment;
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless
8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;
11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from[d] the Lord.
12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.[e]
14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!

2 Peter 2:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
ESV
1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
NLT
1 But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.
MSG
1 But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They'll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other - biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They've put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction,
CSB
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves.

2 Peter 2:1-14 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 PETER 2

This chapter contains a description of false teachers, that were then in Christian churches, as there had been false prophets among the Jews; and they are described by the doctrines, which they privily introduced; in general, damnable heresies; in particular, denying the Lord that bought them; and by their success, having many followers of them in their pernicious ways; and by the sad effects following hereupon; with respect to the way of truth, that was blasphemed; with respect to their hearers, they, through the covetousness of these false teachers, were made merchandise of; and with respect to themselves, swift and sure destruction would be brought upon them, 2Pe 2:1-3, which is illustrated and confirmed by the instances of punishment in the angels, the men of the old world, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, 2Pe 2:4-8 and whereas, in these instances, notice is taken of the deliverance of some righteous persons, as Noah and Lot, when wicked men were destroyed; the apostle draws this conclusion from the whole, that the Lord knows both how to deliver the saints out of afflictions, and to reserve wicked men until the day of judgment, then to be punished, 2Pe 2:9, especially such shall be then punished, who are described by their impure course of lift, their contempt of civil government, and their presumption and selfwill, 2Pe 1:10 which sins of theirs are aggravated by the different conduct of angels, superior to them; and by their being like brute beasts, as ignorant as they, and even below them; whose punishment will be to perish in their corruption, as the just reward of their unrighteousness, since they are open in sin, take pleasure in it, and sport themselves with it, and are spots and blemishes in Christian societies, 2Pe 2:11-13 and these, who are no other than the false teachers before spoken of, are further described by their adulterous eyes, which cannot cease from sin; by their beguiling unstable souls; by the covetous practices their hearts were exercised with; by their just desert, cursed children; by the course they steer, forsaking the right way, going astray from it, and following the way of Balaam in his covetousness, and other wicked practices, for which he was reproved by his ass; and by various metaphors, which express the emptiness of these persons, and which also point at their destruction, and describe their boasts and brags, and the influence they have, through their lasciviousness and uncleanness, on some persons, who have been outwardly reformed, 2Pe 2:14-18 and this they obtain over them in a very stupid and senseless way, by promising them liberty, when through being overcome by them, and drawn into sin, they were brought into bondage, and become servants of corruption; and so their case is worse than it was before their reformation, and profession of religion; and better it would have been not to have had the knowledge they had, than after it to turn from the paths of truth and holiness, which is illustrated by a true Scripture proverb, which expresses the filthy nature of sin, the character of these men, and their irrecoverable state and condition, 2Pe 2:19-22.

2 Peter 2:1-14 In-Context

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.
3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;
5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;
6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;
7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless
8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—
9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.
10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;
11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.
12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.
13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.
14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!
15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.
16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17 These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
18 For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

Cross References 30

  • 1. Deuteronomy 13:1-3; Jeremiah 6:13; S Matthew 7:15
  • 2. 1 Timothy 4:1
  • 3. Jude 4
  • 4. S 1 Corinthians 6:20
  • 5. Jude 4
  • 6. ver 14
  • 7. 2 Corinthians 2:17; 1 Thessalonians 2:5
  • 8. Genesis 6:1-4
  • 9. 1 Timothy 3:6; Jude 6; Revelation 20:1,2
  • 10. 2 Peter 3:6
  • 11. Ge 6:5-8:19
  • 12. Hebrews 11:7; 1 Peter 3:20
  • 13. Genesis 19:24,25
  • 14. Numbers 26:10; Jude 7
  • 15. Matthew 10:15; Matthew 11:23,24; Romans 9:29
  • 16. Genesis 19:16
  • 17. 2 Peter 3:17
  • 18. Hebrews 11:4
  • 19. Psalms 37:33; S Romans 15:31; Revelation 3:10; 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 20. S Matthew 10:15
  • 21. 2 Peter 3:3; Jude 16,18
  • 22. Jude 8
  • 23. Jude 9
  • 24. Psalms 49:12; Jude 10
  • 25. S Romans 13:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:7
  • 26. 1 Corinthians 11:20,21; Jude 12
  • 27. ver 18
  • 28. James 1:8; 2 Peter 3:16
  • 29. ver 3
  • 30. Ephesians 2:3

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Greek "Tartarus"
  • [b]. Some manuscripts "in gloomy dungeons"
  • [c]. In contexts like this, the Greek word for "flesh" ("sarx" ) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit; also in verse 18.
  • [d]. Many manuscripts "beings in the presence of"
  • [e]. Some manuscripts "in their love feasts"
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