1 BUT there were false prophets among the people, as there will be false teachers also among you, who wickedly introduce damnable heresies, and deny the sovereign Lord who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will go out of the way after their fatal errors; by means of whom the way of truth will be injuriously reviled. 3 And with plausible speeches will they avariciously make gain of you whose condemnation from of old lingereth not, and their perdition doth not slumber.
4 For if God spared not the angels when they sinned, but casting them bound in chains of darkness into hell, delivered them to be kept fast until the judgment; 5 and spared not the old world, but guarded safely Noah the eighth person, the preacher of righteousness, when he brought a deluge on the world of the ungodly: 6 and reducing the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes, condemned them to final destruction, making them an example for all who in future should live ungodly; 7 but righteous Lot, afflicted grievously with the infamously impure conduct of those lawless men, he plucked out: 8 for by seeing and hearing, that righteous man whilst sojourning among them, suffered torment day by day in his righteous soul from their lawless doings; 9 the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, but to reserve the wicked unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 especially such as walk after the flesh in the eager pursuit of defilement, and despise government. Daring, self-sufficient, they tremble not at dignities, railing against them. 11 Whereas the angels, though so much greater in might and power, bring not a reviling accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these men, as the naturally irrational brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil of the things of which they are ignorant, will perish by their own corruption; 13 receiving the recompence of iniquity, counting daily luxury their pleasure; spots and blemishes, when they feast together with you; riotously indulging in their own delusions: 14 having eyes full of adultery, and insatiable of sin; ensnaring souls of no stability; having a heart practised in all the wiles of covetousness; children for a curse: 15 who forsaking the strait road are gone out of the way, following the path of Balaam the son of Bosor who loved the wages of iniquity. 16 But received a reproof for his peculiar transgression: the dumb ass articulating with a human voice restrained the perverseness of the prophet.
17 These are fountains without water, clouds driven by a hurricane; for whom the blackness of darkness for ever is reserved. 18 Uttering pompous discourses of inanity, ensnaring by the lusts of the flesh, by lascivious impurities, those who had truly escaped from such as live in a course of delusion. 19 Preaching liberty to them, while they themselves are the slaves of corruption: for by whatever a man is overcome, by that also he is enslaved. 20 For if having escaped from the defilements of the world by the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again enveloped by them and overcome, their last deeds are worse than the first. 21 For it had been better for them never to have been acquainted with the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to have turned aside from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But the true proverb is verified in them, The dog hath returned to his own vomit; and the sow which was washed to its wallowing in the mire.