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9 knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that hath not these things is blind, closing his eyes, and hath forgotten his former purification from his sins 1.
Wherefore, brethren, more earnestly endeavour to make your calling and election sure: for, if ye do these things, 11 ye will never fall: for thus an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be richly ministered unto you.
Wherefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things: though ye know them, and be established 13 in the present truth. Yet I think it right, as long as I am 14 in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by reminding you; know
ing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as 15 our Lord Jesus Christ declared to me. So I will endeavour that ye may always be able, after my decease, to make mention of these things.
For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and appearance of the Lord 17 Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when such a voice came to him from the excellent glory, "This is my 18 beloved son, in whom I am well-pleased." And this voice we heard, which came from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.
We have also the word of prophecy more confirmed; to which ye do well that ye attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star rise in 20 your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of scrip21 ture giveth its own solution. For prophecy came not at any time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy spirit.
1 Or, purification from his former sins. 2
CH. 11. 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 impurities; on account of whom the way of truth will be evil3 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 sinned, 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 af 7 terward 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 hear
3 their per
1 Or, craftily, N. m.
Gr. heresies of destruction, N. m. 4 because of, N. 5 wicked, N.
* Dr. Whitby interprets this of God the Father, who only is called Airrors 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..
+ Or, if God spared not the messengers who had sinned, i. e. the spies who were sent to explore the land of Canaan, &c. See Simpson's Essays, p. 205, &c. 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 Discourses, 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.
2 PETER II.
ing, tormented his righteous soul from day to day with their 9 unlawful deeds ;) then the Lord knoweth how to deliver those that are godly out of trial, and to reserve those that are un10 righteous to the day of judgement to be punished: but chiefly those who walk after the flesh with polluted desires', and despise dominion. Presumptuous, and self-willed, they are 11 not afraid to blaspheme dignities: whereas angels, that are greater in power and might, bring not a blaspheming accu12 sation against them [before the Lord]. But these, as brute creatures, led by nature, made to be taken and destroyed, blaspheming in things of which they are ignorant, will be 13 destroyed in their corruption of themselves; and will receive the reward of unrighteousness, accounting3 it pleasure to riot in the day-time; blemishes and spots, rioting in their love14 feasts, while they banquet with you; having eyes full of
adultery, and which cannot cease from sin; alluring the un15 stable; having a heart 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 16 the reward of unrighteousness, but received a rebuke for his transgression: the dumb beast speaking with man's voice, 17 forbad the madness of the prophet. These are as wells with
out water, and as vapours driven away by a storm; to whom 18 the blackness of darkness is reserved [ for ever]. For when
they speak very great swelling words of falsehood, they allure by carnal desires and impurities 1o, those that had nearly 19 escaped" 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 20 also. For if, when they have escaped the pollutions of the
2 See the note on ver. 4. Compare also
5 Gr. unass, N. beast
Gr. in the desire of pollution.
3 as counting, N. 4 as being blemishes, N.
Jude, ver. 9.
world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they be again entangled in them, and overcome, their 21 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 commandment de22 livered 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 wallow. ing in the mire."
CH. III. This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in
both which I stir up your pure understanding by reminding 2 you; that ye may remember the words formerly spoken by
the holy prophets, and the commandment of us the apostles 3 of our Lord and Saviour: knowing this first, that great scoffers will come in the last days, walking after their own 4 evil desires, and saying, "Where is the promise of his ap
pearance? for, since the fathers fell asleep, all things con5 tinue as they were from the beginning 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 6 standeth out of the water and in the water2: which things being so, the world that then was, having been overflowed 7 with water, was destroyed. But the heavens and the earth which are now, are reserved by his word, and kept for fire against the day of judgement, and of the destruction of 8 ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one
thing: that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, 9 and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should pe10 rish, but willing that all should come to repentance3. But
1 Gr. scoffers with scoffing. that scoffers, R. T.
1 Or, you, Mss.
the 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 will 13 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 unre15 proveable and account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation: as our beloved brother Paul also, according 16 to the wisdom given him, hath written unto you: as in all his epistles also, speaking in them of these things: in
a thief in the night; R. T. 2 "Some point thus-what kind of persons ought ye to be? Ye ought in all holy behaviour and godliness to look for and earnestly desire, &c." 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 Jerusalem, 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 lxv. 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 promulgation 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.