The Judgment of False Teachers
1There were indeed false prophets#Dt 13:1–5; Mt 7:15 among the people, just as there will be false teachers#Ac 20:29; 2Co 11:13–15; Gl 2:4; 1Tm 4:1; 2Tm 4:3 among you. They will bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought#1Co 6:20; 7:23 them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their depraved ways, and the way of truth will be maligned because of them.#Rm 2:24 3They will exploit#Jms 4:13 you in their greed#Eph 5:3 with made-up stories. Their condemnation,#Mt 12:41; 23:33; Rm 3:8 pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
4For if God didn’t spare#Rm 8:32; Jd 6 the angels who sinned but cast them into hell#2:4 Gk Tartarus#Rv 20:2–3,10 and delivered them in chains#2:4 Other mss read in pits of utter darkness to be kept for judgment;#Mt 25:41 5and if he didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah,#Gn 5:29 a preacher of righteousness, and seven others,#2:5 Lit Noah, the eighth, a preacher of righteousness#1Pt 3:20 when he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6and if he reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah#Gn 19:24; Jd 7 to ashes and condemned them to extinction,#2:6 Other mss omit to extinction making them an example of what is coming to the ungodly;#Is 1:9; Jd 15 7and if he rescued righteous Lot,#Gn 19:16 distressed by the depraved behavior of the immoral 8(for as that righteous man lived among them day by day, his righteous soul was tormented by the lawless deeds he saw and heard#Ps 119:136,158; Ezk 9:4) — 9then the Lord knows how to rescue#1Co 10:13 the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,#Mt 10:15; Jd 6 10especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.#Jd 8–12
Bold, arrogant people! They are not afraid to slander the glorious ones; 11however, angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord.#2:11 Other mss read them from the Lord 12But these people, like irrational animals — creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed — slander what they do not understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed. 13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. They consider it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight. They are spots and blemishes, delighting in their deceptions#2:13 Other mss read delighting in the love feasts while they feast with you. 14They have eyes full of adultery#Mt 5:27–28 that never stop looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse!#Jr 23:14; Hs 4:2; Eph 2:3; Heb 2:13 15They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path#Ac 13:10 and have followed the path of Balaam,#Nm 22:5–7; Dt 23:4; Neh 13:2; Jd 11; Rv 2:14 the son of Bosor,#2:15 Other mss read Beor who loved the wages of wickedness#Hs 9:1; Mc 1:7; Ac 1:18 16but received a rebuke for his lawlessness: A speechless donkey spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.#Nm 22:22–35
17These people are springs without water, mists driven by a storm. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them.#Jd 13 18For by uttering boastful, empty words,#Jd 16 they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped#2:18 Or people who are actually escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.#Jn 8:34; Rm 6:16; 7:5 20For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of the Lord#2:20 Other mss read our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,#2Pt 1:2 they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first.#Mt 12:45; Lk 11:26 21For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness#Pr 8:20; 12:28; 16:31; 21:21; Mt 21:32 than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command#Rm 7:12; 1Tm 6:14 delivered#Jd 3 to them.#Ezk 18:1–32; Heb 6:4–6; 10:26–27 22It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit,#2:22Pr 26:11#Pr 26:11 and, “A washed sow returns to wallowing in the mud.”