2 Peter 2 Expanded Bible (EXB)
2 There used to be false prophets among God’s people [Deut. 13:1–5; 18:14–22; Jer. 28] just as you will have some false teachers ·in your group [L among you; Jude 4]. They will secretly ·teach [bring in; introduce] ·things that are wrong—teachings that will cause people to be lost [L destructive heresies/opinions/factions]. They will even ·refuse to accept [L deny] the Master [C Jesus] who bought ·their freedom [L them; C as a master purchases a slave; 1 Cor. 6:20; 1 Pet. 1:18]. So they will bring quick ·ruin [destruction] on themselves. 2 Many will follow their ·evil [depraved; debauched; licentious] ways and ·say evil things about [malign; slander] the way of truth. 3 ·Those false teachers only want your money, so [L In their greed] they will ·use [exploit] you ·by telling you lies [with deceptive/false words]. Their judgment spoken against them long ago is ·still coming [not idle], and their ruin ·is certain [does not sleep].
4 [L For if] When angels sinned, God did not ·let them go free without punishment [spare them]. [L But] He sent them to ·hell [L Tartarus; C a Greek term for the underworld] and put them in caves[a] of darkness where they are being held for judgment [Gen. 6:1–4; Jude 6]. 5 And God ·punished the world long ago [L did not spare the ancient world] when he brought a flood to the world that was full of ·people who were against him [the ungodly]. But God ·saved [protected; kept] Noah, ·who preached about being right with God [a preacher of righteousness; C Jewish tradition described Noah preaching repentance], and seven other people with him [C his wife plus his three sons and their wives; Gen. 6—9]. 6 And God also ·destroyed [condemned] the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them until they were ashes [Gen. 19; Jude 7]. He made those cities an example ·of what will happen to [or for future generations of] ·those who are against God [L the ungodly; Jude 7]. 7 But he saved Lot from those cities. Lot, a ·good [righteous] man, was ·troubled [distressed; or oppressed] because of the ·filthy lives [depraved behavior] of ·evil [lawless] people. 8 (Lot was a ·good [righteous] man, but because he lived with evil people ·every day [day after day], his ·good heart [righteous soul] was ·hurt [tormented] by the ·evil things [lawless deeds] he saw and heard.) 9 So the Lord knows how to save ·those who serve him [the godly] ·when troubles come [from trial/testing/temptation]. He will hold ·evil people [the wicked/unrighteous] ·and punish them, while waiting for the judgment day [or while they wait for their punishment on judgment day]. 10 That punishment is especially for those who ·live by doing the evil things their sinful selves want [L go after the flesh with defiling passion/lust] and who ·hate [despise] authority [Jude 8].
These false teachers are bold and ·do anything they want [arrogant; self-willed]. They ·are not afraid [L do not tremble] to ·speak against [slander; blaspheme] ·the angels [L the glorious ones; C probably angelic beings; unclear whether referring to good or evil angels; Jude 8]. 11 But even the angels, who are much stronger and more powerful ·than false teachers [or than the evil angels; C unclear whether referring to false teachers or to “the glorious ones” (seen as evil angels) of v. 10], do not ·accuse them with insults [L bring a slanderous charge against them] before[b] the Lord [see Jude 9]. 12 But these people ·speak against [slander; blaspheme] things they do not understand. They are like ·animals that act without thinking [irrational animals], animals [of simple instinct] born to be caught and killed. And, ·like animals, these false teachers will be destroyed [or like the evil angels, these false teachers will be destroyed; L in their destruction they will be destroyed; Jude 10]. 13 ·They have caused many people to suffer, so they themselves will suffer. That is their pay for what they have done [L …suffering harm as the wage of unrighteousness; C a wordplay based on the similarity of the Greek words translated “suffering harm” and “unrighteousness”]. They take pleasure in ·openly doing evil [doing evil/carousing in the daylight], so they are like dirty spots and ·stains [blemishes] among you. They delight in deceiving you while ·eating meals [or feasting] with you [C perhaps an allusion to the fellowship meal, or “love feast,” celebrated with the Lord’s Supper; Jude 12]. 14 ·Every time they look at a woman they want her [L They have eyes full of adultery], and ·their desire for sin is never satisfied [or they never stop sinning]. They ·lead weak people into the trap of sin [ensnare/entice/lure unstable people/souls], and they have ·taught [exercised; trained] their hearts to be greedy. ·God will punish them [L Accursed children; C under God’s curse]! 15 These false teachers ·left [abandoned] the ·right [or straight] road and ·lost their way [wandered away; went astray], following the way Balaam went. Balaam, the son of ·Beor [or Bosor], loved ·being paid for doing wrong [L the wages of unrighteousness; Num. 25; 31:16; Rev. 2:14]. 16 But a donkey, which cannot talk, ·told Balaam he was sinning [L rebuked his wrongdoing]. It spoke with a ·man’s [human] voice and stopped the prophet’s ·crazy thinking [madness; Num. 22:21–35; Jude 11].
17 Those false teachers are like ·springs [or wells] without water and ·clouds [or mists] blown by a ·storm [whirlwind; squall; Jude 12]. A place in the ·blackest [deepest; L gloomy] darkness has been kept for them [Jude 12—13]. 18 They ·brag with [speak with bombastic, boastful] words that ·mean nothing [are empty]. By their ·evil [fleshly] desires they ·lead people into the trap of sin—[entice] people who ·are just beginning to escape [or have barely escaped] from others who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom [C perhaps from the law or from fear of judgment], but they themselves are not free. They are slaves of ·things that will be destroyed [corruption; depravity]. For people are slaves of anything that ·controls [masters; overpowers; defeats] them [C this last sentence may be a common proverb]. 20 They ·were made free [escaped] from the ·evil [depravity; defilement] in the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But if they ·return to [L get entangled again with] evil things and those things ·control [master; overpower; defeat] them, then ·it is worse for them than it was before [their last/final state is worse than the first; Matt. 12:45; Luke 11:26]. 21 ·Yes, [L For] it would be better for them to have never known the ·right way [or the way of righteousness] than to know it and to turn away from the holy ·teaching [L commandment; law] that was ·given [passed on; handed down] to them. 22 What they did is like this true ·saying [proverb; parable]: “A dog ·goes back to what it has thrown up [T returns to its vomit; Prov. 26:11],” and, “After a pig is washed, it goes back and rolls in the mud.”
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