2:1 But 1 there were false prophets also among the a 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.
(1) As in times past there were two kinds of prophets, the one true and the other false, so Peter tells them that there will be true and false teachers in the Church, so much so that Christ himself will be denied by some, who nonetheless will call him redeemer. 2:2 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
(a) Under the law, while the state and policy of the Jews was yet standing.
(2) There shall not only be heresies, but also many followers of them. 2:3 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make b merchandise of you: 4 whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
(3) Covetousness for the most part is a companion of heresy, and makes trade in souls. 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to c hell, and delivered [them] into d chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
(b) They will abuse you, and sell you as they sell cattle in an auction. (4) Comfort for the godly: God who cast the angels that fell away from him, headlong into the darkness of hell, to eventually be judged; and who burned Sodom, and saved Lot, will deliver his elect from these errors, and will utterly destroy those unrighteous.
(c) So the Greeks called the deep dungeons under the earth, which should be appointed to torment the souls of the wicked in. 2:5 And spared not the e old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a f preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
(d) Bound them with darkness as with chains: and by darkness he means that most miserable state of life that is full of horror.
(e) Which was before the flood: not that God made a new world, but because the world seemed new. 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in g seeing and hearing, h vexed [his] righteous soul from day to day with [their] unlawful deeds;)
(f) For one hundred and twenty years, he did not cease to warn the wicked both by word and deed, of the wrath of God hanging over their heads.
(g) Whatever way he looked, and turned his ears. 2:9 The Lord i knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:
(h) He had a troubled soul, and being vehemently grieved, lived a painful life.
(i) Has been long practised in saving and delivering the righteous. 2:10 5 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of k dignities.
(5) He goes to another type of corrupt men, who nonetheless are within the bosom of the Church, who are wickedly given, and do seditiously speak evil of the authority of magistrates (which the angels themselves that minister before God, do not discredit.) A true and accurate description of the Romish clergy (as they call it.) 2:12 6 But these, as natural brute beasts, l made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their m own corruption;
(k) Princes and great men, be they ever so high in authority.
6 An accurate description of the same persons, in which they are compared to beasts who are made for destruction, while they give themselves to fill their bellies: For there is no greater ignorance than is in these men: although they most impudently find fault with those things of which they know not: and it shall come to pass that they shall destroy themselves as beasts with those pleasures with which they are delighted, and dishonour and defile the company of the godly. 2:13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, [as] they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots [they are] and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings n while they feast with you;
(l) Made to this end to be a prey to others: So do these men willingly cast themselves into Satans snares.
(m) Their own wicked conduct shall bring them to destruction.
(n) When by being among the Christians in the holy banquets which the Church keeps, they would seem by that to be true members of the Church, yet they are indeed but blots on the Church. 2:14 7 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
(7) He condemns those men, showing even in their behaviour and countenance an unmeasurable lust, making trade of the souls of vain persons, as men exercised in all the crafts of covetousness, to be short, as men that sell themselves for money to curse the sons of God in the same way Balaam did, whom the dumb beast reproved. 2:17 8 These are o wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of p darkness is reserved for ever.
(8) Another note by which it may be known what manner of men they are, because they have inwardly nothing but that which is utterly vain or very harmful, although they make a show of some great goodness, yet they shall not escape unpunished for it, because under pretence of false freedom, they draw men into the most miserable slavery of sin. 2:18 For when they speak great q swelling [words] of vanity, they r allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were s clean escaped from them who live in error.
(o) Who boast of knowledge and have nothing in them.
(p) Most gross darkness.
(q) They deceive with vain and swelling words. 2:20 9 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
(r) They take them, as fish are taken with the hook.
(s) Unfeignedly and indeed, clean departed from idolatry.
(9) It is better to have never known the way of righteousness, than to turn back from it to the old filthiness: and men that do so, are compared to dogs and swine.