This know also
That not only men of bad principles and practices are in the churches now, as before described in the preceding chapter, but that in succeeding ages there would be worse men, if possible, and the times would be still worse; this the apostle had, and delivered by a spirit of prophecy, and informed Timothy, and others of it, that he and they might be prepared for such events, and fortified against them:
that in the last days perilous times shall
"or hard" and difficult times to live in; not by reason of the outward calamities, as badness of trade, scarcity of provisions, the ravages of the sword but by reason of the wickedness of men, and that not of the profane world, but of professors of religion; for they are the persons afterwards described, who will make the times they live in difficult to others, to live soberly, righteously, and godly; the days will be evil, because of these evil men: or they will be "troublesome" times, very afflicting and distressing to pious minds; as the places and times, and men and customs of them were to Lot, David, Isaiah, and others: and also "dangerous" ones to the souls of men; who will be beguiled by their fair speeches, and specious pretences, to follow their pernicious ways, which will bring destruction upon them; their doctrines will eat as a gangrene, and their evil communications will corrupt good manners, before observed. And these times will be "in the last days" of the apostolic age, and onward to the end of the world: the Jews generally understand by this phrase, when used in the Old Testament, the days of the Messiah; and which are the last days of the world, in comparison of the times before the law, from Adam to Moses, and under the law, from thence to Christ; and even in the times of the apostles, at least towards the close of them, great numbers of men rose up under the Christian name, to whom the following characters well agree, as the Gnostics, and others; and who paved the way for the man of sin, the Romish antichrist, whose priests and votaries are here likewise described to the life: so that these last days may take in the general defection and apostasy of the church of Rome, as well as those times, which followed the apostles, and those which will usher in the second coming of Christ. The Ethiopic version renders it, "in the latter days will come an evil, or bad year".