|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:10-16 Impure seducers and their abandoned followers, give themselves up to their own fleshly minds. Refusing to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ, they act against God's righteous precepts. They walk after the flesh, they go on in sinful courses, and increase to greater degrees of impurity and wickedness. They also despise those whom God has set in authority over them, and requires them to honour. Outward temporal good things are the wages sinners expect and promise themselves. And none have more cause to tremble, than those who are bold to gratify their sinful lusts, by presuming on the Divine grace and mercy. Many such there have been, and are, who speak lightly of the restraints of God's law, and deem themselves freed from obligations to obey it. Let Christians stand at a distance from such.
Verse 14. - Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; literally, of an adulteress. Compare our Lord's words in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5:28), which may have been in St. Peter's thoughts. For the second clause, comp. 1 Peter 4:1, "He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin." Beguiling unstable souls; rather, enticing. The word δελεάζοντες, from δέλεαρ, a bait, belongs to the art of the fowler or fisherman, and would naturally occur to St. Peter's mind. He uses it again in verse 18 of this chapter (comp. also James 1:14). The word for "unstable" (ἀστηρίκτους) occurs only here and in 2 Peter 3:16. It is a word of peculiar significance in the mouth of St. Peter, conscious, as he must have been, of his own want of stability in times past. He would remember also the charge once given to him, "When thou art converted, strengthen (στήριξον) thy brethren" (Luke 22:32). An heart they have exercised with covetous practices; rather, trained in covetousness, according to the reading of the best manuscripts, πλεονεξίας. This is the third vice laid to the charge of the false teachers. They had practiced it so long that their very heart was trained in the habitual pursuit of gain by all unrighteous means. Cursed children; rather, children of curse. Like "the son of perdition," "children of wrath," "children of disobedience," "son of Belial," etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Having eyes full of adultery,.... For the seventh command is not only violated by unclean actions, and obscene words, but also by unchaste looks: and so the Jews explain (k) that precept,
""thou shalt not commit adultery", Exodus 20:14; you shall not go after your hearts, nor after "your eyes"; says R. Levi, the heart and the "eye" are sin's two brokers.''
Hence we read (l) of , "one that commits adultery with his eyes"; See Gill on Matthew 5:28; compare Job 31:1. Some read the words, "having eyes full of the adulteress": that is, having a lewd and infamous woman always in mind and sight, continually looking at her and lusting after her:
and that cannot cease from sin: which may be understood either of these wicked men, who are like the troubled sea, that cannot rest, but are continually casting up the mire and dirt of sin out of their polluted heart; who live and walk in sin, and are always committing it, their conversation being nothing else but one continued series of sinning; nor can they do otherwise, since they are slaves to their lusts, and are carried away with the force and power of them: or of their eyes, which were always rolling after unlawful objects; their eyes and their hearts were only, and always, for their lust, as the prophet says of others, that they were but for their covetousness, Jeremiah 22:17; a sin also which reigned in these men:
beguiling unstable souls: such as were unsteady in their principles, and unstable in their ways; were like children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, not being rooted in Christ, nor established in the faith; these, as the serpent beguiled Eye, they corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ; imposed false doctrines on them, and deceived them by false glosses and outward appearances; and by fair words and good speeches, and by their wanton looks and carnal lusts, they allured them into the sin of adultery; or ensnared them, drew them into the net and snare of Satan, and so they were taken and led captive.
An heart they have exercised with covetous practices; an immoderate love of money, a covetous desire after it, is the root of all evil, the bane of religion, and source of heresy, and is a vice which has always prevailed among false teachers; and the character here given well agrees with Simon Magus, the father of heresies, and his followers: hence care is always taken to insert, among, the characters and qualifications of Gospel ministers, that they be not greedy of filthy lucre, 1 Timothy 3:3; this iniquity, when it is a reigning one, and is become an habit, as it was in the persons here described, for it had its seat in their heart, they were habituated to it, and continually exercised it in a multitude of instances and wicked practices, is insatiable and damnable:
cursed children; or "children of the curse"; which may be understood either actively, children that do curse, as children of disobedience are such as commit acts of disobedience; so these were cursing children, who, though their mouths might not be full of cursing and bitterness, as openly profane sinners be, yet they inwardly, and from their hearts, cursed the true followers of Christ, and their principles; or passively, cursed children who were under the curse of the law, and from which there was no redemption for them, but at the last day will have the awful sentence pronounced on them, Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.
(k) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 3. 3. (l) Vajikra Rabba, sect. 23. fol. 165. 1. Vid. A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 3. c. 5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. full of adultery—literally, "full of an adulteress," as though they carried about adulteresses always dwelling in their eyes: the eye being the avenue of lust [Horneius]. Bengel makes the adulteress who fills their eyes, to be "alluring desire."
that cannot cease—"that cannot be made to cease from sin."
beguiling—"laying baits for."
unstable—not firmly established in faith and piety.
heart—not only the eyes, which are the channel, but the heart, the fountain head of lust. Job 31:7, "Mine heart walked after mine eyes."
covetous practices—The oldest manuscripts read singular, "covetousness."
cursed children—rather as Greek, "children of curse," that is, devoted to the curse. Cursing and covetousness, as in Balaam's case, often go together: the curse he designed for Israel fell on Israel's foes and on himself. True believers bless, and curse not, and so are blessed.
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