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2 Peter 2:15-17

Context
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 

2:17 These men 7  are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness 8  have been reserved.

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.

2 tn “Wages of unrighteousness” in Greek is the same expression found in v. 13, “wages for harmful ways.” The repetition makes the link between the false teachers and Balaam more concrete.

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).”

6 sn Balaam’s activities are detailed in Num 22—24 (see also Num 31:8, 16).

7 tn Although some translations have simply “these” or “these people,” since in v. 14 they are described as having eyes “full of an adulteress,” men are in view.

8 tn Grk “utter darkness of darkness.” Verse 4 speaks of wicked angels presently in “chains of utter darkness,” while the final fate of the false teachers is a darker place still.



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