1But there also came to be false prophets#See Mt. 7:15-23 v. 7-8, and again v. 21. among the people, as also among you there shall be false teachers, who shall secretly bring in destructive heresies, and deny the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves.
2And many shall follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of,
3and in greed, with fabricated words, they shall use you for gain. From of old their judgment does not linger, and their destruction does not slumber.
4For if Elohim did not spare the messengers who sinned, but sent them to Tartaros, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be kept for judgment,
5and did not spare the world of old, but preserved Noaḥ, a proclaimer of righteousness, and seven others, bringing in the flood on the world of the wicked,
6and having reduced to ashes the cities of Seḏom and Amorah condemned them to destruction – having made them an example to those who afterward would live wickedly,
7and rescued righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the indecent behaviour of the lawless#athesmosanomos
8(for day after day that righteous man, dwelling among them, tortured his righteous being by seeing and hearing their lawless works),
9then יהוה knows how to rescue the reverent ones from trial and to keep the unrighteous unto the day of judgment, to be punished,
10and most of all those walking after the flesh in filthy lust and despising authority – bold, headstrong, speaking evil of esteemed ones,
11whereas messengers who are greater in strength and power do not bring a slanderous accusation against them before the Master.
12But these, like natural unreasoning beasts, having been born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheme that which they do not know, shall be destroyed in their destruction,
13being about to receive the wages of unrighteousness, deeming indulgence in the day of pleasure, spots and blemishes, revelling in their own deceptions while they feast with you,
14having eyes filled with an adulteress, and unable to cease from sin, enticing unstable beings, having a heart trained in greed, children of a curse,
15having left the right way they went astray, having followed the way of Bil‛am the son of Be‛or, who loved the wages of unrighteousness,
16but he was rebuked for his transgression: a dumb donkey speaking with the voice of a man restrained the madness of the prophet.
17These are fountains without water, clouds driven by a storm, to whom the blackest darkness is kept forever.
18For speaking arrogant nonsense, they entice – through the lusts of the flesh, through indecencies – the ones who have indeed escaped from those living in delusion,
19promising them freedom, though themselves being slaves of corruption – for one is a slave to whatever overcomes him.
20For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of the Master and Saviour יהושע Messiah, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the first.
21For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the set-apart command#The singular “command” often means “commands” – see 1 Tim. 6:14, Dt. 17:20, Ps. 19:8. delivered unto them.
22For them the proverb has proved true, “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “A washed sow returns to her rolling in the mud.”