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came not at any time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy spirit. CH. II [But there were false prophets also among the Jewish people; as there will be false teachers also among you, who will privily bring in destructive heresies †, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them ; bringing on them2 selves swift destruction. And many will follow their im
purities; on account of ¶ whom the way of truth will be 3 evil-spoken of. And through covetousness they will make a gain of you by their feigned words: but their judgement, long since foretold, now lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.
For if God spared not the angels who sinnedff, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them up to chains of dark5 ness to be reserved for judgement; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, the eighth person preserved, when he brought the flood on the 6 world of ungodly men; and turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, and condemned them with an utter overthrow, making them an example to those who should 7 afterward be ungodly; but delivered righteous Lot, who was 8 grieved by the impure behaviour of lawless‡‡ men; (for that righteous man, while he dwelt among them seeing and hearing, tormented his righteous soul from day to day with
✦ Or, craftily, N. m.
+ Gr. heresies of destruction, N. m.
Dr. Whitby interprets this of God the Father, who only is called AccπOTES in the New Testament. See Deut. xxxii. 6; 1 Cor. vi. 20; referred to by Whitby. See also Exod. xv. 16. Who provided means for their deliverance from idolatry and vice. because of, N.
their pernicious ways; R. T.
+ Or, if God spared not the messengers who had sinned, i. e. the spies who were sent to explore the land of Canaan, etc. See Simpson's Essays, p. 205, etc. But, if the common interpretation be admitted, it will not establish the popular doctrine concerning fallen angels. For, 1. The epistle itself is of doubtful authority. 2. From the change of style this is the most doubtful portion of the epistle. 3. By those who admit the genuineness of the epistle, this chapter is supposed to have been a quotation from some ancient apocryphal book, and the apostle might not mean to give authority to the doctrine, but to argue with his readers upon known and allowed principles. See Sherlock's Diss., and Benson, and Doddridge's Introductions to this epistle. The epistle of Jude is supposed to allude to, or to quote from, the same apocryphal work,
N. m. wicked, N.
9 their unlawful deeds ;) then the Lord knoweth how to deliver those that are godly out of trial, and to reserve those that are unrighteous to the day of judgement to be punish10 ed: but chiefly those who walk after the flesh with polluted
desires, and despise dominion. Presumptuous, and self11 willed, they are not afraid to blaspheme dignities: whereas
angels, that are greater in power and might*, bring not a blaspheming accusation against them [before the Lord]. 12 But these, as brute creatures led by nature, made to be taken and destroyed, blaspheming in things of which they are ignorant, will be destroyed in their corruption of them13 selves; and will receive the reward of unrighteousness, accounting it pleasure to riot in the day-time; blemishes and spots, rioting in their love-feasts, while they banquet 14 with you; having eyes full of adultery, and which cannot cease from sin; alluring the unstable ||; having a heart 15 exercised in covetousness; cursed children, who have forsaken the right path, and gone astray, and followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the reward of 16 unrighteousness, but received a rebuke for his transgression:
the dumb beast†† speaking with man's voice, forbad the mad17 ness of the prophet. These are as wells without water, and
as clouds driven away by a storm; to whom the blackness 18 of darkness is reserved [for ever]. For when they speak very great swelling words of falsehood, they allure, by carnal desires and impurities ‡‡, those that had nearly escaped!!!! 19 from such as live in error. While they promise them freedom, they themselves are the slaves of corruption: for by whatever a man is overcome, by that he is enslaved also. 20 For if, when they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
* See the note on ver. 4. Compare also Jude, ver. 9.
+ as counting, N.
tas being blemishes, N.
Or, in over-reaching.
# through the desires of the impure flesh, N.
Gr. unstable souls.
Hass, N. beast of burden, Gr.
Christ, they be again entangled in them, and overcome, 21 their last state is worse than their first. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, when they have known it, to turn from the holy 22 commandment delivered to them. But it hath happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog hath returned to what himself cast up; and the sow that had washed herself, to her wallowing in the mire."]
CH. III. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure understanding by re2 minding you; that ye may remember the words formerly spoken by the holy prophets, and the commandment of 3 us the apostles of our Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that great scoffers will come in the last days, walk4 ing after their own evil desires, and saying, "Where is the promise of his appearance? for, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning 5 of the creation." For of this they are wilfully ignorant,
that the heavens were made of old by the word of God, and the earth also, which standeth out of the water and 6 in the water*: which things being so, the world that then was, having been overflowed with water, was de7 stroyed. But the heavens and the earth which are now, are reserved by his wordt, and kept for fire against the day of judgement, and of the destruction of ungodly But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing; that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a 9 thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is longsuffering toward us ‡, not willing that any should perish, 10 but willing that all should come to repentance||. But the
* Or, that of old were heaven and an earth, compacted out of water, and by means of water, by the word of God. See Wakefield.
by the same word, R. T.
Or, willing that none should perish, but that etc.
Or, you. MSS.
day of the Lord will come as a thief*; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be greatly heated and dissolved, the earth also 11 and the works on it will be burned up. Since therefore
all these things will be dissolved, what kind of persons 12 ought ye to be in all holy behaviour and godliness; looking for and earnestly desiring† the coming of the day of God, in which the heavens will be set on fire and will be dissolved, and the elements will be greatly heated and 13 will melt? Nevertheless, according to his promise, we look for new heavens, and a new earth, in which righteousness will dwell.
Wherefore, beloved, since ye look for these things, endeavour to be found by him in peace, spotless and un15 reproveable: and account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation: as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given him, hath written unto 16 you; as in all his epistles also, speaking in them of these things in which things some are hard to be understood,
a thief in the night; R. T.
+Some point thus-what kind of persons ought ye to be? Te ought in all holy behaviour and godliness to look for and earnestly desire etc." Newcome.
This in a literal sense is impossible, because the heavens are incombustible. Nor is it reasonable to believe that an event so little countenanced by natural appearances as that of the destruction of the earth by a general conflagration, is the subject of a divine prediction. It is well known that in the language of prophecy great political changes and revolutions are foretold under the symbol of terrible convulsions in the natural world. In this language our Lord foretells the approaching desolation of Jerusa lem, Matt. xxiv. 29. And in language precisely similar, borrowed indeed from the prophet Joel, the apostle Peter himself, Acts ii. 31, describes the calamities of the Jewish nation which were then impending. It can hardly admit of a doubt that the sublime language of this context is to be interpreted in a similar manner. The 13th verse is a quotation from Isaiah Ixv. 17, where the new heavens and the new earth are universally understood to signify the gospel dispensation. Consequently, “the heavens and the earth which are now," ver. 7, must necessarily signify the Jewish dispensation, or the then moral state of the world, which must pass away to make room for the promulga tion of the Christian religion. But this revolution cannot take place without producing great changes and convulsions in the political world; which, in prophetic language, is expressed by the heavens being on fire, the elements melting, and the earth with the works on it being burned up.
which the unlearned and unsteadfast wrest, as they do the 17 other scriptures also, to their own destruction. Since therefore, beloved, ye know these things before, beware lest ye be led away with the error of the wicked, and fall 18 from your own steadfastness. But grow in the favour and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and for ever. Amen.