2 Peter 2:15

15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:15 Meaning and Commentary

2 Peter 2:15

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.

2 Peter 2:15 In-Context

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 while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.