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Bible Commentaries
2 Peter 2

The Bible Study New TestamentBible Study NT

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Verse 1


False prophets. “In speaking about God’s true prophets, I must remind you that there were also false prophets among the people in the past, and in the same way you must expect false teachers to appear among you!” People means the Jewish Nation. Christ predicted such things would happen (see Matthew 24:24). Destructive, untrue doctrines. See the Introduction to James and First John. And deny the Muter. We do not know for sure just how they denied the Master, but one of the first things that the circumcision party did, was to try to get rid of Christ-on-the-cross! See note on Philippians 3:1-8. Some denied Jesus’ Divinity; some denied Christ’s humanity. Bring upon themselves. Compare note on Matthew 24:21.

Verse 2


Many will follow. MacKnight says: “And many nominal Christians will embrace their destructive heresies, because they encourage them in their sins.” Speak evil of the Way of truth. “Those who claim to follow Christ, but who live such bad lives, will cause others to say evil things about the Way of truth. False teaching, since it denies truth, must always eventually end up in immoral living.”

Verse 3


In their greed. “In their greed for your money, these false teachers will tell you made-up legends to try to get control of you and your property!” Compare 1 Timothy 6:3-5; Titus 1:10-11. For a long time. See Jude 1:4 and note.

Verse 4


God did not spare. “The punishment of these false teachers and those who follow them is both certain and sure! Even the angels, of such high rank, were punished by God when they sinned!” See Jude 1:6 and note.

Verse 5


The ancient world. This means the world before the Flood. God offered to save these people all during the 120 years that Noah was building the ark (1 Peter 3:20). Through Noah he proclaimed this to the people. But at the end of the 120 years, God’s offer terminated, and punishment came swiftly on all who refused to repent! But note that God saved righteous Noah and his family!!!

Verse 6


Sodom and Gomorrah. See Jude 1:7 and note. The presence of only ten righteous men in these cities would have prevented their destruction. The destroying fire was symbolic of eternal punishment.

Verse 7


He rescued Lot. Peter points out that Lot was saved because he lived a righteous life, even in such a wicked place! Lot was deeply disturbed by the sin of the cities, but was not so successful with his family as was Noah. When he warned his sons-in-law, “But his sons-in-law regarded him as joking.” (Genesis 19:14 Zamenhof).

Verse 8


That good man. MacKnight says: “Lot dwelled sixteen years in Sodom after he parted with Abraham; which was a long space of severe trial. Doubtless Lot, who was so exceedingly grieved with the lewdness of the Sodomites from day to day, often earnestly desired to depart from so wicked a city. But he was directed, it seems, by God to remain, that he might be an example of his goodness and power in delivering the godly both from temptation and punishment.”

Verse 9


And so the Lord. “The examples of Noah and Lot show that God is willing to rescue godly men from their trials.” And how to keep. “The examples of the angels who sinned and of Sodom and Gomorrah (1 Peter 3:19) show God will keep the wicked under punishment (Luke 16:19-31 and notes) for the Day of Judgment. Judgment will not be judicial, but an official division of the resurrected dead (Matthew 25:32).

Verse 10


Especially. “If God will punish sinners of all kinds, he will especially punish those who follow filthy bodily lusts and despise God’s authority.” These filthy bodily lusts are the perversions of human nature that Paul describes in Romans 1:18-32. These false teachers. Now Peter describes them. Bold and arrogant. This is their motivation. MacKnight says: “In this passage the apostle had an eye to the false teachers of the Jewish nation, whose principles led them to despise the heathen magistrates, and even to revile (slander) and resist them.” Compare Romans 13:1-10. Show no respect. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says: “The false teachers may have scoffed at the idea both of angelic help, and of diabolic temptation. Their tendency seems to have been to make light of the Unseen, to foster a sense of the unreality both of sin and of goodness and to reduce the motives of conduct to a vulgar hedonism.”

Verse 11


Even the angels. “Even the holy angels do not insult these wicked false teachers who are doing so much damage among the churches!” See the example Jude gives in Jude 1:9.

Verse 12


But these men. “They are amoral like wild animals, fierce, greedy, destructive, rutting, etc.” They insult. “They insult spiritual things that seem nonsense to them (1 Corinthians 2:14).” They will be. “Both in the present and in the future life, they will be destroyed by their own actions!”

Verse 13


They will be paid. “For sin pays its wage death” (Romans 6:23). Compare Revelation 18:6. Pleasure for them. Sinners ordinarily do their deeds in secret. These are so bold and arrogant that they do not care who knows the sins they commit, and so they do these things openly without shame, like wild animals!!! They are. See Jude 1:12 and note.

Verse 14


They want. See Matthew 5:28 and note. The Greek says literally: “Having eyes full of an adulteress.” This can mean: (1) they have an obsession to look at immoral women; (2) in their mind, every woman is immoral. MacKnight says: “They inflamed themselves by looking lasciviously (lewdly) on the married women, whom they had debauched (seduced) by telling them that Christ’s precept (command) of loving one another was chiefly to be understood of the mutual love of the sexes. Thus did these wicked teachers and their disciples live in riot (orgy) by their own deceits.” Compare Revelation 2:20 and note. God’s curse! See Matthew 25:41 and note.

Verse 15


Left the straight path. Balaam sold out to an evil cause, for the money that was in it. See Revelation 2:14 and note.

Verse 16


And was rebuked. See Numbers 22:28-31. The false teachers claimed the things they were doing was based on special knowledge that God had given them. Peter here implies that what they are doing is really insane!!!

Verse 17


Dried-up springs. The East is dry, with few springs and little rain. It was a tragic disappointment for a thirsty traveler to come to a spring and find it dried-up. Peter says the false teachers are like that. They promise much but actually give nothing. Clouds. The farmer was equally disappointed to see clouds that promised rain, but gave none. Compare Jude 1:12 and notes. God has reserved. In scripture, darkness symbolizes a condition of misery without hope. Compare Matthew 8:12. Here Peter is talking about eternal punishment.

Verse 18


Proud and stupid. “They claim to be more important than us apostles and so they make proud and stupid statements to impress people.” Use immoral bodily lusts. “They seduce people to join with them in the immoral lusts which they, the false teachers, are addicted to.” Just beginning to escape. The lifestyle of the Christian is in sharp contrast to that of the pagan. See 1 Peter 4:2-4 and notes. Therefore it is necessary to re-educate the convert to Christ. See 1 Thessalonians 1:91 Thessalonians 1:91 Thessalonians 1:91 Thessalonians 1:91 Thessalonians 1:9 and note. New converts are especially vulnerable to the type of thing the false teachers use to trap them. This is one place where the mature Christian can do a great service for Christ. See Galatians 6:1-2 and notes.

Verse 19


They promise them. See Paul’s warning in Galatians 5:13 and note. The false teachers claimed that being free in Christ gave a person the right to do anything and everything they pleased!!! They themselves are slaves. See John 8:34 and note.

Verse 20


If men have escaped. This includes the false teachers themselves, who had at one time escaped from sin through Jesus Christ. It is not enough to escape from sin: you must actively fill your life with good!!! If you purposely return to sin, it will be much worse than before and much more difficult to escape from!!! See what Jesus said in Matthew 12:45 and note.

Verse 21


It would have been. Compare 1 Timothy 4:2. If a man is ignorant of truth, you can give him truth more easily, than if he already knows it and has renounced it! If a man gives up the Christian life-style and returns to the habit of sin, he is doing a deliberate act that puts him in the power of the Devil. This could lead to the condition of Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:29.

Verse 22


What happened. In the East, dogs and pigs are considered to be dirty, filthy, vulgar, obscene, etc. Lumby says: “But all the loathing which attached to these outcasts of the brute creation did not suffice to portray the defilement of these teachers of lies and their apostate lives. It needed those other grosser features – the return to the disgorged meal; the greed for filth, where a temporary cleansing serves, as it were, to give a relish for fresh wallowing – these traits were needed ere the full vileness of those sinners could be expressed.” Lipscomb adds: “It should be observed that in both instances the animal was changed. That each returned to its former offensive habits does not alter the fact that a change had occurred.”

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Peter 2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ice/2-peter-2.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.
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