1 BUT false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, and they will craftily bring in deadly heresies, even disowning the Lord who bought them and bringing on themselves quick ruin.
2 Many will follow their shameless ways and by these the path of truth will be profanely spoken of.
3 In covetousness they will make gain out of you by their cunning words. But their condemnation from of old has not been inactive, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4 For if God did not spare angels that had sinned, but thrust them down to Tartarus and committed them to pits of darkness to be kept for judgment,
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but guarded Noah, a herald of righteousness, and seven others, when he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly;
6 and if reducing to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah he condemned them to destruction, making them an example for the godless of what would come upon them,
7 and rescued righteous Lot worn out by the indecent lives of the lawless, \'97
8 for that righteous man living among them was tortured day and night in his righteous soul by the sight and hearing of their lawless deeds, \'97
9 the Lord knows how to rescue the pious from trial and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the day of judgment,
10 especially those who go after flesh in polluting passions, and despise lordship. They are daring, self-willed; they do not tremble to speak insultingly of glorious beings
11 even where angels greater in strength and power do not bring against them an insulting charge before the Lord.
12 But they, like irrational creatures, born mere animals for capture and destruction, while speaking profanely of things they are ignorant of, will be corrupted by their own corruption,
13 and will suffer unrighteously as the reward of their own unrighteousness. They think it pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are spots and blots as they revel in their deceptions while they feast sumptuously with you.
14 They have eyes engrossed with some adulteress, eyes which never cease from sin. They seduce unsteady souls. They have hearts practiced in covetousness. They are children of a curse.
15 Leaving the straight path they have wandered away following the path of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.
16 But he was reproved for his sin; a dumb beast of draught, speaking with human voice, checked the madness of the prophet.
17 These men are springs without water, storm-driven mists for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved.
18 For by speaking great empty swelling words they entrap in the passions of the flesh \'97 wanton excesses \'97 those who are nearly escaping from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty they themselves are the slaves of corruption; for by whatever any one is overcome to that he is enslaved.
20 For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they have been again entangled and overcome, their last state has become worse than the first.
21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment that has been committed to them.
22 That has happened to them which the true proverb says, "The dog returns to his own vomit and the sow after bathing returns to wallowing in the mire."