Which have forsaken the right way
The right way of the Lord, the way of truth, the Gospel of truth; or Christ, who is the way, the truth, and the life; the true way to eternal life, and which is the right way to eternal happiness; the way of life, righteousness, and salvation by Christ, the Christian faith, and the doctrine of it, which they once professed, but now relinquished:
and are gone astray;
from the right way, the way of truth and holiness, into the paths of error and profaneness:
following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor;
which Jude calls his error, ( Jude 1:11 ) , and is the path of covetousness, uncleanness, and idolatry, sins which he was either guilty of himself, or taught, advised, and seduced others to; see ( Revelation 2:14 ) . The Vulgate Latin version reads "Balaam [out of] Bosor", taking "Bosor" for the name of a place, of which "Balaam" was; but not "Bosor", but "Pethor", was the place of Balaam's residence, ( Numbers 22:5 ) . The Arabic and Ethiopic versions supply, as we do, "the son of Bosor"; and the Syriac version reads, "the son of Beor", as in ( Numbers 22:5 ) ; for Beor and "Bosor" are the same names; the "sheva" being pronounced by "o", as it is by "oa" in "Boanerges", and the "ain" by "s". Moreover, the letters (u) and (e) are sometimes used for one another, as in (Nau) and (Nae) , (Ura) and (era) , and so (e) and (v) , especially in the Chaldean dialect; and Peter now being at Babylon in Chaldea, see ( 1 Peter 5:13 ) ; it is no wonder that he so pronounced.
Who loved the wages of unrighteousness:
which were the rewards of divination, ( Numbers 22:7 ) ; which were brought him for his divining or soothsaying, and may well be called unrighteous wages, since it was for doing unrighteous things, or things in an unrighteous manner; and these he loved, desired, and greedily coveted, and fain would he have taken Balak's gold and silver, and have cursed Israel, but was restrained by the Lord: he showed a good will to it, in going along with the messengers, and in building altars, and offering sacrifice in one place after another, in which there was a great resemblance between him and the men here spoken of.