2 Peter 2:22
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

King James Bible
But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

Darby Bible Translation
But that word of the true proverb has happened to them: The dog has turned back to his own vomit; and, The washed sow to her rolling in mud.

World English Bible
But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog turns to his own vomit again," and "the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire."

Young's Literal Translation
and happened to them hath that of the true similitude; 'A dog did turn back upon his own vomit,' and, 'A sow having bathed herself -- to rolling in mire.'

2 Peter 2:22 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb - The meaning of the proverbs here quoted is, that they have returned to their former vile manner of life. Under all the appearances of reformation, still their evil nature remained, as really as that of the dog or the swine, and that nature finally prevailed. There was no thorough internal change, any more than there is in the swine when it is washed, or in the dog. This passage, therefore, would seem to demonstrate that there never had been any real change of heart, and of course there had been no falling away from true religion. It should not, therefore, he quoted to prove that true Christians may fall from grace and perish. The dog and the swine had never been anything else than the dog and the swine, and these persons had never been anything else than sinners.

The dog is turned to his own vomit again - That is, to eat it up. The passage would seem to imply, that whatever pains should be taken to change the habits of the dog, he would return to them again. The quotation here is from Proverbs 26:11; "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly." A similar proverb is found in the Rabbinical writers. Of the truth of the disgusting fact here affirmed of the dog, there can be no doubt. Phaedrus (Fab. 27.) states a fact still more offensive respecting its habits. In the view of the Orientals, the dog was reckoned among the most vile and disgusting of all animals. Compare Deuteronomy 23:18; 1 Samuel 17:43; 2 Samuel 3:8; 2 Samuel 9:8; 2 Samuel 16:9; Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2. See also Horace, II. Epis. 1, 26:

Vixisset canis immundus, vel amica luto sus.

On the use of this proverb, see Wetstein, in loc.

And the sow that was washed ... - This proverb is not found in the Old Testament, but it was common in the Rabbinical writings, and is found in the Greek classics. See Wetstein, in loc. Its meaning is plain, and of the truth of what is affirmed no one can have any doubt. No matter how clean the swine is made by washing, this would not prevent it, in the slightest degree, from rolling in filth again. It will act out its real nature. So it is with the sinner. No external reformation will certainly prevent his returning to his former habits; and when he does return, we can only say that he is acting according to his real nature - a nature which has never been changed, any more than the nature of the dog or the swine. On the characteristics of the persons referred to in this chapter, 2 Peter 2:9-19, see the introduction, Section 3.

This passage is often quoted to prove "the possibility of falling from grace, and from a very high degree of it too." But it is one of the last passages in the Bible that should be adduced to prove that doctrine. The true point of this passage is to show that the persons referred to never "were changed;" that whatever external reformation might have occurred, their nature remained the same; and that when they apostatized from their outward profession, they merely acted out their nature, and showed that in fact there had been "no" real change. This passage will prove - what there are abundant facts to confirm - that persons may reform externally, and then return again to their former corrupt habits; it can never be made to prove that one true Christian will fall away and perish. It will also prove that we should rely on no mere external reformation, no outward cleansing, as certain evidence of piety. Thousands who have been externally reformed have ultimately shown that they. had no religion, and there is nothing in mere outward reformation that can suit us for heaven. God looks upon the heart; and it is only the religion that has its seat there, that can secure our final salvation.

2 Peter 2:22 Parallel Commentaries

Library
How those are to be Admonished who Abstain not from the Sins which they Bewail, and those Who, Abstaining from Them, Bewail them Not.
(Admonition 31.) Differently to be admonished are those who lament their transgressions, and yet forsake them not, and those who forsake them, and yet lament them not. For those who lament their transgressions and yet forsake them not are to be admonished to learn to consider anxiously that they cleanse themselves in vain by their weeping, if they wickedly defile themselves in their living, seeing that the end for which they wash themselves in tears is that, when clean, they may return to filth.
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Of Councils and their Authority.
1. The true nature of Councils. 2. Whence the authority of Councils is derived. What meant by assembling in the name of Christ. 3. Objection, that no truth remains in the Church if it be not in Pastors and Councils. Answer, showing by passages from the Old Testament that Pastors were often devoid of the spirit of knowledge and truth. 4. Passages from the New Testament showing that our times were to be subject to the same evil. This confirmed by the example of almost all ages. 5. All not Pastors who
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

Testimonies.
"Without faith it is impossible to please God."--Heb. xi. 6. In order to prevent the possibility of being led into paths of error, faith is directed, not to a Christ of the imagination, but to "the Christ in the garments of the Sacred Scripture," as Calvin expresses it. And therefore we must discriminate between (1) faith as a faculty implanted in the soul without our knowledge; (2) faith as a power whereby this implanted faculty begins to act; and (3) faith as a result,--since with this faith (1)
Abraham Kuyper—The Work of the Holy Spirit

How those are to be Admonished who do not Even Begin Good Things, and those who do not Finish them when Begun.
(Admonition 35.) Differently to be admonished are they who do not even begin good things, and those who in no wise complete such as they have begun. For as to those who do not even begin good things, for them the first need is, not to build up what they may wholesomely love, but to demolish that wherein they are wrongly occupied. For they will not follow the untried things they hear of, unless they first come to feel how pernicious are the things that they have tried; since neither does one desire
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

2 Peter 2:21
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