2:15 By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, 1 who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 2 2:16 yet was rebuked 3 for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, 4 speaking with a human voice, 5 restrained the prophet’s madness). 6
2 Peter 2:19Context
2:19 Although these false teachers promise 7 such people 8 freedom, they themselves are enslaved to 9 immorality. 10 For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved. 11
1 tn Although many modern translations (e.g., NASB, TEV, NIV, CEV, NLT) read “Beor” here, this is due to harmonization with the OT rather than following a variant textual reading. The Greek text of NA27 reads “Bosor,” an otherwise unattested form of the name of Balaam’s father.
3 tn Grk “but he had a rebuke.”
4 tn The Greek word ἄφωνος (afwno") means “mute, silent” or “incapable of speech.” For reasons of English style the word “dumb” was used in the translation. Despite the potential for misunderstanding (since “dumb” can refer to a lack of intellectual capability) more dynamic glosses were judged to be inelegant.
5 tn Grk “a voice of a (man/person).”
7 tn Verse 19 is a subordinate clause in Greek. The masculine nominative participle “promising” (ἐπαγγελλόμενοι, epangellomenoi) refers back to the subject of vv. 17-18. At the same time, it functions subordinately to the following participle, ὑπάρχοντες (Juparconte", “while being”).
8 tn Grk “them.”
10 tn Or “corruption,” “depravity.” Verse 19 constitutes a subordinate clause to v. 18 in Greek. The main verbal components of these two verses are: “uttering…they entice…promising…being (enslaved).” The main verb is (they) entice. The three participles are adverbial and seem to indicate an instrumental relation (by uttering), a concessive relation (although promising), and a temporal relation (while being [enslaved]). For the sake of English usage, in the translation of the text this is broken down into two sentences.
11 tn Grk “for by what someone is overcome, to this he is enslaved.”