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1. But there were false prophets also - As well as true. Among the people - Of Israel. Those that spake even the truth, when God had not sent them; and also those that were truly sent of him, and yet corrupted or softened their message, were false prophets. As there shall be false - As well as true. Teachers among you, who will privately briny in - Into the church. Destructive heresies - They first, by denying the Lord, introduced destructive heresies, that is, divisions; or they occasioned first these divisions, and then were given up to a reprobate mind, even to deny the Lord that bought them. Either the heresies are the effect of denying the Lord, or the denying the Lord was the consequence of the heresies. Even denying - Both by their doctrine and their works. The Lord that bought them - With his own blood. Yet these very men perish everlastingly. Therefore Christ bought even them that perish.
2. The way of truth will be evil spoken of - By those who blend all false and true Christians together.
3. They will make merchandise of you - Only use you to gain by you, as merchants do their wares. Whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not - Was long ago determined, and will be executed speedily. All sinners are adjudged to destruction; and God's punishing some proves he will punish the rest.
4. Cast them down to hell - The bottomless pit, a place of unknown misery. Delivered them - Like condemned criminals to safe custody, as if bound with the strongest chains in a dungeon of darkness, to be reserved unto the judgment of the great day. Though still those chains do not hinder their often walking up and down seeking whom they may devour.
5. And spared not the old, the antediluvian, world, but he preserved Noah the eighth person - that is, Noah and seven others, a preacher as well as practicer, of righteousness. Bringing a flood on the world of the ungodly - Whose numbers stood them in no stead.
9. It plainly appears, from these instances, that the Lord knoweth, hath both wisdom and power and will, to deliver the godly out of all temptations, and to punish the ungodly.
10. Chiefly them that walk after the flesh - Corrupt nature; particularly in the lust of uncleanness. And despise government - The authority of their governors. Dignities - Persons in authority.
12. Savage as brute beasts - Several of which in the present disordered state of the world, seem born to be taken and destroyed.
13. They count it pleasure to riot in the day time - They glory in doing it in the face of the sun. They are spots in themselves, blemishes to any church. Sporting themselves with their own deceivings - Making a jest of those whom they deceive and even jesting while they are deceiving their own souls.
15. The way of Balaam the son of Bosor - So the Chaldeans pronounced what the Jews termed Beor; namely, the way of covetousness. Who loved - Earnestly desired, though he did not dare to take, the reward of unrighteousness - The money which Balak would have given him for cursing Israel.
16. The beast - Though naturally dumb.
17. Fountains and clouds promise water: so do these promise, but do not perform.
18. They ensnare in the desires of the flesh - Allowing them to gratify some unholy desire. Those who were before entirely escaped from the spirit, custom, and company of them that live in error - In sin.
19. While they promise them liberty - From needless restraints and scruples; from the bondage of the law. Themselves are slaves of corruption - Even sin, the vilest of all bondage.
20. For if after they - Who are thus ensnared. Have escaped the pollutions of the world - The sins which pollute all who know not God. Through the knowledge of Christ - That is, through faith in him, chap. i, 3. They are again entangled therein, and overcome, their last state is worse than the first - More inexcusable, and causing a greater damnation.
21. The commandment - The whole law of God, once not only delivered to their ears, but written in their hearts.
22. The dog, the sow - Such are all men in the sight of God before they receive his grace, and after they have made shipwreck of the faith. Prov. xxvi, 11.
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