1However, there also came to be false prophets among the people, as there will also be false teachers among YOU. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them, bringing speedy destruction upon themselves.2Furthermore, many will follow their acts of loose conduct, and on account of these the way of the truth will be spoken of abusively.3Also, with covetousness they will exploit YOU with counterfeit words. But as for them, the judgment from of old is not moving slowly, and the destruction of them is not slumbering.
4Certainly if God did not hold back from punishing the angels that sinned, but, by throwing them into Tar′ta‧rus, delivered them to pits of dense darkness to be reserved for judgment;5and he did not hold back from punishing an ancient world, but kept Noah, a preacher of righteousness, safe with seven others when he brought a deluge upon a world of ungodly people;6and by reducing the cities Sod′om and Go‧mor′rah to ashes he condemned them, setting a pattern for ungodly persons of things to come;7and he delivered righteous Lot, who was greatly distressed by the indulgence of the law‐defying people in loose conduct—8for that righteous man by what he saw and heard while dwelling among them from day to day was tormenting his righteous soul by reason of their lawless deeds—9Jehovah knows how to deliver people of godly devotion out of trial, but to reserve unrighteous people for the day of judgment to be cut off,10especially, however, those who go on after flesh with the desire to defile [it] and who look down on lordship.
Daring, self‐willed, they do not tremble at glorious ones but speak abusively,11whereas angels, although they are greater in strength and power, do not bring against them an accusation in abusive terms, [not doing so] out of respect for Jehovah.12But these [men], like unreasoning animals born naturally to be caught and destroyed, will, in the things of which they are ignorant and speak abusively, even suffer destruction in their own [course of] destruction,13wronging themselves as a reward for wrongdoing.
They consider luxurious living in the daytime a pleasure. They are spots and blemishes, indulging with unrestrained delight in their deceptive teachings while feasting together with YOU.14They have eyes full of adultery and unable to desist from sin, and they entice unsteady souls. They have a heart trained in covetousness. They are accursed children.15Abandoning the straight path, they have been misled. They have followed the path of Ba′laam, [the son] of Be′or, who loved the reward of wrongdoing,16but got a reproof for his own violation of what was right. A voiceless beast of burden, making utterance with the voice of a man, hindered the prophet’s mad course.
17These are fountains without water, and mists driven by a violent storm, and for them the blackness of darkness has been reserved.18For they utter swelling expressions of no profit, and by the desires of the flesh and by loose habits they entice those who are just escaping from people who conduct themselves in error.19While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are existing as slaves of corruption. For whoever is overcome by another is enslaved by this one.20Certainly if, after having escaped from the defilements of the world by an accurate knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they get involved again with these very things and are overcome, the final conditions have become worse for them than the first.21For it would have been better for them not to have accurately known the path of righteousness than after knowing it accurately to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.22The saying of the true proverb has happened to them: “The dog has returned to its own vomit, and the sow that was bathed to rolling in the mire.”