corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.05.20
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
2 Peter 2

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-3

Warning of False Teachers - In 2 Peter 2:1-3 the apostle Peter tells his recipients that false teachers will enter the congregations of believers and deceive many; however, their judgment is certain. Peter will confirm this statement by giving three testimonies of God's divine judgment from the Old Testament Scriptures ( 2 Peter 2:4-9), which are sufficient to confirm his statement.

Compare Solomon's Warning in Proverbs - Peter's warning of men creeping into the churches to lure people away from the faith and into covetousness reflects Solomon's warning in Proverbs 1:10-19.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the 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.

2 Peter 2:1 — "But" - Comments- JFB notes this conjunction provides a contrast between holy men of God being moved by the Holy Ghost, and false prophets speaking by their own pretense.

2 Peter 2:1 — "there were false prophets also among the people" - Comments- We can look back into the Old Testament Scriptures and note the prophets of Baal in Israel during the reign of King Ahab and on Mount Carmel opposing Elijah ( 1 Kings 18:19), whom Jehu destroyed ( 2 Kings 10:19). We read about the false prophets who resisted Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 14:14; Jeremiah 23:13-14; Jeremiah 23:25-26) and prophesied during the time of Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 13:9; Ezekiel 22:28).

God used the office of the prophet to write the Old Testament and the office of the apostle to write the New Testament. When the prophets of old died, the Old Testament canon was closed and when the apostles of the Lamb died, the New Testament canon was closed. Therefore, when 2 Peter 2:1 refers to false prophets, he is contrasting them to those who truly stood in that office to deliver unto Israel the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament canon. This is reflected in the statement by Peter, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." ( 2 Peter 1:21)

2 Peter 2:1 — "even as there shall be false teachers among you" - Comments- Peter makes a reference to the office of a teacher in 2 Peter 2:1, which reflects the theme of this epistle 2Peter is a message exhorting believers to persevere against false doctrine by looking to the work of God the Father in securing our eternal inheritance. We see a reference to this office in Hebrews 5:12 and James 3:1. James selected the office of a teacher to warn them about its greater responsibility. In the Gospels Jesus was often call by this title, which is actually the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew/Aramaic term "rabbi." Since the Epistle of James is addressed to the Jewish community of converts, it was a term, or office, that they clearly understood. We can imagine Jewish teachers being invited into the local congregations in Asia Minor because of their knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures, and because of their acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

Hebrews 5:12, "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."

James 3:1, ‘My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."

Jesus gave the Church a similar warning in Matthew 24:11, "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." (also Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:24) Paul warns the church of Ephesus of these false teachers, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them," ( Acts 20:29-30). Paul tells Timothy of such people who will deceive many in 2 Timothy 3:1-6. Paul dealt with false apostles in 2Corinthians ( 2 Corinthians 11:13). John dealt with false prophets and teachers in five of his seven epistles to the churches of Asia Minor ( Revelation 2:2; Revelation 2:9; Revelation 2:14; Revelation 2:20; Revelation 3:9).

2 Peter 2:1 — "who privily shall bring in damnable heresies" - Word Study on "who privily shall bring in" - Strong says the Greek word "who privily shall bring in" ( παρεισά γω) (G 3919) means, "to lead in aside, i.e. introduce surreptitiously, or privily bring in." This word is used only once in the New Testament.

Word Study on "damnable" - Albert Barnes notes that the Greek word "damnable" is used again in the close of this verse, being translated "destruction." He says this word is translated "destruction" ( Matthew 7:13, Romans 9:22, Philippians 3:19, 2 Peter 3:16), and "perdition" ( John 17:12, Philippians 1:28, 1 Timothy 6:9, Hebrews 10:39, 2 Peter 3:7, Revelation 17:8; Revelation 17:11) in other New Testament passages, where it also refers to the eternal damnation of the human soul.

Word Study on "heresies" - The Greek word αἱ ρέ σεις (heresies) is listed as a work of the flesh in Galatians 5:20. The Enhanced Strong says it is found 9 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "sect 5, heresy 4."

Galatians 5:19-20, "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,"

Word Study on "damnable heresies" - Charles Bigg says the phrase αἱ ρέ σεις ἀ πωλεί ας (heresies of destruction) is a Hebraism, in which the genitive case is used in the place of the Greek adjective. 95]

95] Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), 272.

Comments - Albert Barnes explains how these false doctrines are brought in alongside sound doctrine. These false teachers know that such false teachings will not be embrace when introduced openly. Therefore, they first captive the attention of believers by announcing their adherence to sound doctrine; then, gradually, they introduce error in the midst of truth. This becomes very difficult for unstable Christians to discern, who then embrace all of these teachings. 96]

96] Albert Barnes, 2 Peter , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on 2Peter .

2 Peter 2:1 — "even denying the Lord that bought them" - Word Study on "even" - The Greek word καὶ is translated here as an adverb (even) rather than a conjunction (and). Biggs tells us that such use of "asyndetic participles" are characteristic of this second epistle of Peter. 97]

97] Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), 273.

Word Study on "the Lord" - The Greek word δεσπό της (G 1203) used in 2 Peter 2:1 is not the common Greek word κυριος that is normally used. Strong says the word δεσπό της means, "an absolute ruler, despot." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 10 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "Lord 5, master 5." δεσπό της is often used in relationship to an owner and a slave. Thus, it is the appropriate word to represent Jesus Christ as the owner, or master, of His servants.

Word Study on "bought" - Greek ( αγοράζω) - This word means "purchased." The Enhanced Strong says this word is used 31times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "buy 28, redeem 3." A γοράζω would have been used of a kinsman redeeming a relative out of slavery under the Mosaic Law ( Leviticus 25:47-55).

Comments - These false doctrines that will come into the Church will go so far as to deny the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Charles Bigg suggests that this phrase refers to Christians, saying that they were "bought by Christ" ( 1 Corinthians 7:23) and they became His servants. 98] It is clearly a verse that reveals how a born-again Christian can turn back and deny the Lord Jesus Christ and go to hell, which is stated in the phrase that follows, "and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

98] Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), 272.

1 Corinthians 7:23, "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."

The blood of Jesus paid for the sins of all mankind. Even lost people were purchase with the blood of Jesus and belong to Jesus Christ. Note:

Psalm 74:2, "Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt."

Acts 20:28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

1 Corinthians 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God"s."

1 Corinthians 7:23, "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men."

Galatians 4:5, "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons."

1 John 2:2, "And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

Revelation 5:9, "And they sung a new Song of Solomon , saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;"

Revelation 14:3, "And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb."

2 Peter 2:1 — "and bring upon themselves swift destruction" - Comments - Albert Barnes notes the fact that these men cause their own destruction, which reflects man's depravity. 99] It is not God's will for any many to go to hell. Such men choose their destiny by their own will. We read of a similar swift destruction when ten of the spies who were sent by Moses to spy out the Promised Land were quickly destroyed for giving a bad report to the people and discouraging them ( Numbers 14:36-37). God has always been swift to judge those who attack His children. We see how God divinely protected Israel and continually judged her enemies. This is how God watches over his Church and judges those who see to destroy it.

99] Albert Barnes, 2 Peter , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on 2Peter .

Numbers 14:36-37, "And the men, which Moses sent to search the land, who returned, and made all the congregation to murmur against him, by bringing up a slander upon the land, Even those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD."

2 Peter 2:1Comments - 2 Peter 2:1 prophecies of the future church sects, which we call denominations today, with the worst heresies denying the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The early Church saw itself as one group of people united in faith and doctrine. Church records the encroachment of heretical teachers and division that plague the Church until today.

2 Peter 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

2 Peter 2:2 — "And many shall follow their pernicious ways" - Word Study on "pernicious ways" BDAG says the Greek word "pernicious ways" ( ἀ σέ λγεια) (G 766) means, "licentiousness, debauchery, sensuality." The Enhanced Strong says the word is used 9 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "lasciviousness 6, wantonness 2, pernicious ways 1."

Comments- James 1:13-15 tells us that those who are deceived and follow these pernicious ways do so because of their own lusts. These trials and temptations laid before all of us give us the opportunity to show our sincere devotion to the Lord by resisting sin.

James 1:13-15, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."

2 Peter 2:2 — "by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of" - Comments- Regarding the phrase "the way of truth," Charles Biggs lists similar uses of ὁ δό ς in the New Testament as it refers to the Christian life. 100] We find ὁ δό ς used by itself in Acts 9:2; Acts 22:4; Acts 24:1, ὁ δὸ ν σωτηρί ας is used in Acts 16:17, and τὴ ν ὁ δὸ ν τοῦ κυρί ου is used in Acts 18:25. He notes two other uses of this word within 2Peter: εὐ θεῖ αν ὁ δὸ ν ( 2 Peter 2:15), and τὴ ν ὁ δὸ ν τῆ ς δικαιοσύ νης ( 2 Peter 2:21).

100] Charles Bigg, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Jude , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles A. Briggs, Samuel R. Driver, and Alfred Plummer (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1903), 273.

Acts 9:2, "And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem."

Acts 22:4, "And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women."

Acts 24:14, "But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:"

Acts 16:17, "The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation."

Acts 18:25, "This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John."

2 Peter 2:15, "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 2:21, "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."

Believers cause the Christian way to be spoken evil of by walking after the flesh, in greed for money and fame, in adulterous relationships, etc. They often identify themselves a Christians in the midst of their sinful ways. Paul made a similar statement in Romans 2:24, "For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written."

It is hard to witness to someone when the person claims to know a Christian who is acting like a hypocrite. It greatly hinders the presentation of the Gospel.

2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

2 Peter 2:3 — "And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you" - Comments- The words "covetousness" and "make merchandise of you" draw a picture in our minds of a market place where people are buying and selling their merchandise on the busy, crowded streets. Peter is comparing these false teachers to greedy merchants who are selling their goods to take advantage of the people. Their merchandise is false words, when purchased by unsuspecting buyers, results in them following false teachers and giving them the preeminence over the true apostles of Jesus Christ.

The word "feigned" can be translated "made up, fabricated."

The phrase "through covetousness" reveals an evil heart. The phrase "with feigned words" shows how these wicked people hide their inner covetousness with words to appear good on the outside. Proverbs 1:10-19 describes such people who entice others to follow their sinful ways.

The phrase "make merchandise" can be translated "to exploit, to make use of, to take advantage of." The message of these false teachers deceives men into allowing religious leaders to exploit them in every aspect of their lives. They make financial gain of unstable believers. Illustration: A man who was not a Christian, but was well traveled, once told me how the Catholic churches in poor countries are large and expensive and extravagant, and how poor, starving crowds give money to these churches.

2 Peter 2:3 — "whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" - Comments- We see a clear example of Hebrew parallelism in 2 Peter 2:3, which is most often used in its poetry.

The "now of a long time lingereth not" means, "since long age, it is not idle." Judgment is being made ready. Judgment is coming. Note:

Revelation 20:13, "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."


Verses 4-9

Three Testimonies of God's Judgment against the Ungodly - 2 Peter 2:4-9 gives three testimonies from the Old Testament of God's divine judgment upon the ungodly. Peter will refer to the fallen angels now bound in Tartarus ( 2 Peter 2:4), to Noah and the Flood ( 2 Peter 2:5), and to Lot and the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah ( 2 Peter 2:6-8). Three testimonies were considered sufficient in order to establish the truth. Thus, these three Old Testament stories establish the fact that God will judge the ungodly. He will give a closing, summary statement in 2 Peter 2:9 of how God is able to deliver the godly from the Day of Judgment, while punishing the ungodly. Peter will later say in this Epistle that if the righteous are scarcely saved, how much worse for the unrighteous ( 1 Peter 4:18).

1 Peter 4:18, "And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Fallen Angels — 2 Peter 2:4

2. Noah and the Flood — 2 Peter 2:5

3. The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's Deliverance — 2 Peter 2:6-8

4. Conclusion — 2 Peter 2:9

2 Peter 2:4 — The Fallen Angels- In 2 Peter 2:4 Peter gives the well-known story of the fallen angels as the first example of God's divine judgment against the ungodly. God judged the ungodly angels and spared those who were faithful.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;

2 Peter 2:4 — "For if God spared not the angels that sinned" - Comments- It is important to note that God made no way of redemption for the fallen angels. The reason is because these angels sinned willfully, already knowing God and dwelling in His magnificent presence. Note the passages in Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 10:26-27, which tell us that when children of God who are mature in the faith willfully choose to go back into sin, there is no more opportunity for salvation for them either.

Hebrews 6:4-6, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame."

Hebrews 10:26-27, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."

2 Peter 2:4 — "but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment" - Word Study on "cast them down to hell" - The Greek word used for "cast them down to hell" in 2 Peter 2:4 is "Tartaros" ( ταρταρό ω) (G 5020) and is only use once in the New Testament. Tartaros is identified as the place where these fallen angels are held captive. BDAG says the Greeks believed `the place called Tartaros was located below Hades. It appears to be the deepest region of Hell that God has been reserved as a holding place for Satan and his demons. It is possibly the same place that is also called the "deep" or the "bottomless pit," which is the Greek word ( ά βυσσος) (G 12), meaning, "bottomless, unbound, abyss." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 9 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "bottomless pit 5, deep 2, bottomless 2."

Comments- Jesus cast demons in the deep.

Luke 8:31, "And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep."

There is an angel named Abaddon who has been placed over the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:11, "And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."

The bottomless pit is a place of a fiery furnace and smoke.

Revelation 9:1-2, "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit."

This bottomless pit is the place where locusts with tails like a scorpion will come from during the Great Tribulation.

Revelation 9:3, "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power."

It is the place where the Beast will come from during the Great Tribulation.

Revelation 11:7, "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them."

Revelation 13:1, "And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy."

It has a key to open and close it, which means that God has control of who enters and leaves this abyss. It is the place where the Satan will be chained for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:1-3, "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."

Word Study on "chains" - BDAG says the Greek word "chains" ( σειραις) (G 4577) means, "cord, rope, chain."

Word Study on "darkness" - BDAG says the Greek word ζό φος (G 2217) means, "darkness, gloom. Within the context of 2Peter, it refers to the darkness of the underworld of Hell. The Enhanced Strong says it is used 4times in the New Testament being translated in the KJV as, "darkness 2, mist 1, blackness 1." However, the Textus Receptus uses this word in 2 Peter 2:4 as a fifth occurrence.

Hebrews 12:18, "For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,"

2 Peter 2:17, "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever."

Jude 1:6, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

Jude 1:13, "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."

Word Study on "chains of darkness" - The phrase "chains of darkness" (KJV) has various translations: "chains of hell" (BDAG). An alternate Greek text uses the word σιροις, which is translated as "pits, gloomy dungeons" (NIV), "pits of darkness" (NASB), and "pits of nether gloom" (RSV).

Comments- After casting these demons into Tartarus, God delivers them to "chains of darkness."

2 Peter 2:4Comments- 2 Peter 2:4 and a similar verse in Jude 1:6 tell us about a group of angels who are presently chained in darkness in Hell, or Tartaros, or the bottomless pit, and can no longer move about on earth.

Jude 1:6, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."

The Book of Jubilees indicates that these angels that are now kept in everlasting chains in darkness are not the group of angels that fell with Satan from heaven. Otherwise, there would not be so many demons that are presently moving about on earth today. It tells us that these are the angels that we read about in Genesis 6:1-7 who married the daughters of men and conceived giants upon the earth. It says that God took these wicked angels and bound them in the depths of the earth until the Day of Judgment.

"And it came to pass when the children of men began to multiply on the face of the earth and daughters were born unto them, that the angels of God saw them on a certain year of this jubilee, that they were beautiful to look upon; and they took themselves wives of all whom they chose, and they bare unto them sons and they were giants. And lawlessness increased on the earth and all flesh corrupted its way, alike men and cattle and beasts and birds and everything that walks on the earth- all of them corrupted their ways and their orders, and they began to devour each other, and lawlessness increased on the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of all men (was) thus evil continually. And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt, and all flesh had corrupted its orders, and all that were upon the earth had wrought all manner of evil before His eyes. And He said that He would destroy man and all flesh upon the face of the earth which He had created. But Noah found grace before the eyes of the Lord. And against the angels whom He had sent upon the earth, He was exceedingly wroth, and He gave commandment to root them out of all their dominion, and He bade us to bind them in the depths of the earth, and behold they are bound in the midst of them, and are (kept) separate. And against their sons went forth a command from before His face that they should be smitten with the sword, and be removed from under heaven. And He said ‘My spirit shall not always abide on man; for they also are flesh and their days shall be one hundred and twenty years'. And He sent His sword into their midst that each should slay his neighbour, and they began to slay each other till they all fell by the sword and were destroyed from the earth. And their fathers were witnesses (of their destruction), and after this they were bound in the depths of the earth for ever, until the day of the great condemnation, when judgment is executed on all those who have corrupted their ways and their works before the Lord." (The Book of Jubilees 51-11) 101]

101] The Book of Jubilees, translated by R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2, ed. R. H. Charles, 1-82 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), 20.

It is interesting to note that this parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:4 is joined to the following verse by the conjunction "and" by mentioning the destruction of the world and the salvation of Noah.

2 Peter 2:5, "And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"

According to passage in The Book of Jubilees quoted above, the destruction of the world by a flood and the casting down of these wicked angels were a part of the same event of judgment from God.

2 Peter 2:5 — Noah and the Flood- In 2 Peter 2:5 Peter gives the well-known story of Noah and the flood as the first example of God's divine judgment against the ungodly. God judged the world of sinners and spared Noah and his family.

2 Peter 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

2 Peter 2:5 — "And spared not the old world" - Comments- The former state of the earth prior to the flood was old from the fact that its characteristics have been changed and no longer exist. The characteristics of the new world in which we presently live are listed in Genesis 8:22, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."

2 Peter 2:5 — "but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness" - Comments- The phrase "the eighth person" means "one of eight," with the other seven persons implied as being saved.

2 Peter 2:6-8 — The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Lot's Deliverance - In 2 Peter 2:6-8 we read the story of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and delivered righteous Lot, which is taken from Genesis 19:1-38.

2 Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

2 Peter 2:6"an overthrow" - That Isaiah , a destruction.

2 Peter 2:7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

2 Peter 2:8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

2 Peter 2:8Comments- Although there are no specific Old Testament passages that narrate Lot's daily vexations in Sodom, it is generally understood from the wickedness of the city described in Genesis 191-38.

2 Peter 2:9 — Conclusion - In 2 Peter 2:9 the apostle concludes that the Lord always delivers the godly and punishes the ungodly.

2 Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

2 Peter 2:9Comments- Peter will show his readers how the Lord delivers them from similar temptations, which will be through the knowledge of God's Word, which allows them to become partakers of His divine nature. This verse reflects the underlying theme of 2Peter, which is the perseverance of the saints.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."

1 Corinthians 10:13, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

2 Peter 2:9Comments- 2 Peter 2:9 is an apotasis in Greek grammar, so it is the baseline sentence.


Verses 10-16

Characteristics of False Teachers - 2 Peter 2:10-16 reveals particular characteristics of the false teachers that will attempt to invade the churches. Their vice of financial covetousness accompanies fleshly indulgence.

2 Peter 2:10 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 dignities.

2 Peter 2:10 — "they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities" - Word Study on "dignities" - The NASB translates the word "dignities" as "angelic majesties" in 2 Peter 2:10 and in Jude 1:8. The NIV uses the word "authorities" here and in Jude 1:8 as a reference to "celestial beings."

Jude 1:8, "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities."

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Exodus 22:28, "Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people."

Acts 23:5, "Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people."

Jude 1:8, "Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities."

2 Peter 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.

2 Peter 2:11 — "Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might" - Comments - Matthew Poole notes that these angels are greater in physical strength as well as in rank and dignity. 102]

102] Matthew Poole, The Second Epistle General of Peter, in Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, vol 3 (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1852), 923.

2 Peter 2:11 — "bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord"- Comments - This statement shows that angels come before God"s throne, just as in Job's time. Albert Barnes interprets the phrase "against them" to refer to the fallen angels who had sinned. 103]

103] Albert Barnes, 2 Peter , in Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), comments on 2Peter .

Job 1:6, "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them."

Job 2:1, "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD."

Matthew 18:10, "Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven."

Luke 1:19, "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings."

Revelation 12:10, "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."

2 Peter 2:11Comments - The parallel verse to 2 Peter 2:11 is found in Jude 1:9, "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;

2 Peter 2:12 — "But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed" - Comments - The word "natural" means "by nature"; the word "brute" can mean "irrational"; the word "be taken" means "captured." Peter compares these false teachers to brutish beasts. Both are ignorant, both are destined to be destroyed, and both will be forgotten after their death so that no one will ever remember them again. This is the fate of false teachers who deceive the body of Christ.

2 Peter 2:12 — "speak evil of the things that they understand not" - Comments - In 2 Peter 2:12 the author makes a direct contrast between the ignorance of these false teachers and the knowledge of those believers who grow in their understanding of God's Word.

2 Peter 2:12 — "and shall utterly perish in their own corruption" - Comments - The word "perish" refers to eternal destruction in Hell.

2 Peter 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 while they feast with you;

2 Peter 2:13 — "Spots they are and blemishes" - Comments - Peter represents the unrighteous as being "spots and blemishes." In contrast, Paul represents the Church as being the Bride of Christ, not having spot or wrinkle, but will be holy and without blemish ( Ephesians 5:27).

Ephesians 5:27, "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

2 Peter 2:14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

2 Peter 2:15 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 2:15Comments - Balaam received rewards for prophesying ( Numbers 22:7; Numbers 22:21). No prophet of God ever prophesied in Israel or Judah for a reward. The story of Balaam is found in Numbers 22-24.

Numbers 22:7, "And the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand; and they came unto Balaam, and spake unto him the words of Balak."

Numbers 22:21, "And Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his ass, and went with the princes of Moab."

2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man"s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

2 Peter 2:16Comments - The story of the donkey speaking to Balaam is found in Numbers 22:21-35.


Verses 17-22

Judgment of False Teachers - After discussing the characteristics of false teachers in 2 Peter 2:10-16, 2 Peter 2:17-22 reveals the divine judgment of false teachers.

2 Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

2 Peter 2:17 — "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest" - Comments - Worrell says that these "wells without water" are "a graphic description of these boastful teachers, who promise much, but gave nothing of value, being destitute of all good." They have nothing to offer a thirsty soul. These "clouds that are carried with a tempest" are these teachers who are like clouds that "promise rain, but only bring wind." 104]

104] A. S. Worrell, The New Testament Revised and Translated (Philadelphia, PA: The American Baptist Publication Society, c 1904), 356.

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

2 Peter 2:18 — "For when they speak great swelling words of vanity" - Comments -The deceptive words of these false teachers stand in direct contrast to the prophetic words spoken by holy men who were moved by the Holy Ghost (see 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 3:2).

2 Peter 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

2 Peter 3:2, "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:"

2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

2 Peter 2:20 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.

2 Peter 2:20 — "after they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" - Scripture Reference- Note:

2 Peter 1:3-4, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

2 Peter 2:20 — "they are again entangled therein, and overcome" - Comments- This phrase describes the process of how someone backslides. At first, someone returns and plays with his old sins, know believing that he is in bondage again to them. Before he realizes it, sin entangles itself around the soul of its victim. This casual taste of old sins soon becomes bondage again and the person finds himself overcome and in bondage to the very sins that Christ Jesus delivered him from at salvation. God then turns such a person over to his sins and to eternal damnation.

In God's grace and mercy, He does not leave such a person without divine intervention and warnings. When His divine interventions do not stop this person, the Lord is left with no choice but to let this person become entangled again in his sins. Jesus tells us in the story of the strong man guarding his palace, that if he is again overcome, seven more demons much worse than the first will return and take over this house.

Luke 11:26, "Then goeth Hebrews , and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."

2 Peter 2:20"the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" - Illustrations:

Isaiah 22:14, "And it was revealed in mine ears by the LORD of hosts, Surely this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord GOD of hosts."

Jeremiah 2:13, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

2 Peter 2:20Comments - The idea in 2 Peter 2:20 of believers backsliding into the world is reflected in Jesus' teachings about the True Vine in John 15:1-6 as He describes the pruning of some branches that fail to produce; and it can be found in the Parable of the Sower in Mark 4as the seed that fails to produce a harvest.

Balaam ( 2 Peter 2:15-16), who is mentioned in this passage, certainly serves as an example of someone who knew the Lord and was again entangled with the world of sin because of his lusting after the reward.

2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

2 Peter 2:21Comments - The truth in 2 Peter 2:21 applies not only to Judgment Day where there will be greater degrees of punishment for those who have once know Christ and turned from Him, but it applies to a person in this life before death. It will bring curses upon a man in this life when he backslides.

Illustration- See the list of blessings and curses in Deuteronomy 28, which were for the children of God, the nation of Israel.

2 Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

2 Peter 2:22Comments - The phrase "the dog is turned to his own vomit again," is a quote from Proverbs 26:11, "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." However, the phrase "and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire," is not found in Scripture. Many scholars believe this second part of Peter's proverb is taken from The Story of Ahikar, 105] which reads, "thou hast been to me like the pig who went into the hot bath with people of quality, and when it came out of the hot bath, it saw a filthy hole and it went down and wallowed in it." 106]

105] Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare, James Rendel Harris, and Agnes Smith Lewis, The Story of Ahikar: From the Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Old Turkish, Greek and Slavonic Versions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913).

106] Richard J. Bauckham, 2 Peter ,, Jude , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 50 (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), S 279.

Perhaps the two dirtiest domesticated animals in these societies were dogs and pigs.

In his book The Final Quest Rick Joyner describes a vision in which hoards of Christians had been taken captive by demons of hell. He says that the only food provided from them was the vomit from the vultures. He continues:

"Those who refused to eat it simply weakened until they fell. Those who did eat it were strengthened for a time, but with the strength of the evil one. Then they would weaken unless they would drink the waters of bitterness that were constantly being offered to them. After drinking the bitter waters they would then begin to vomit on the others. When one of the prisoners began to do this, a demon that was waiting for a ride would climb up on him, and would ride him up to one of the front divisions." 107]

107] Rick Joyner, The Final Quest (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977), 21.

The author then describes a scene that is even worse than the vomit from the vultures. He says that the demons would urinate and defecate a repulsive slime onto these fallen Christians that they rode. This slime, which was the pride, selfish ambition, etc, that characterized the nature of this army division made the Christians feel better than those who partook of vomit and bitter water. Thus, they believed that these demons were messengers of God and that the slime was the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

It is easy to see how closely this vision describes 2 Peter 2:22, as horrible as it appears. I was raised around pigpens while growing up and well remember the "mire" that they wallowed in being polluted with their urine and feces. We also had dogs, and when they did vomit up, they often came back to eat what they had thrown up.

This is the actual state of Christians who once believed in Jesus Christ and then go back into the world of bondage and sin.

2 Peter 2:18-22Comments- Peter's Warning to Believers not to Backslide Due to False Teachers - In 2 Peter 2:18-22 the apostle warns believers not to be allured by the deceptive promises of false teachers and fall back into the pollutions of the world. His closing remarks in 1 Peter 3:17 again warns Christians not to be overcome by error. This passage of Scripture debunks the doctrine of Once-Saved-Always-Saved.

2 Peter 3:17, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Peter 2:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/2-peter-2.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 20th, 2019
the Fifth Week after Easter
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology