New American Standard Bible
forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
King James Bible
Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
Darby Bible Translation
having left the straight way they have gone astray, having followed in the path of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the reward of unrighteousness;
World English Bible
forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;
Young's Literal Translation
having forsaken a right way, they did go astray, having followed in the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who a reward of unrighteousness did love,
2 Peter 2:15 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Which have forsaken the right way - The straight path of honesty and integrity. Religion is often represented as a straight path, and to do wrong is to go out of that path in a crooked way.
Following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor - See Numbers 22:5, following. In the Book of Numbers, Balaam is called the son of "Beor." Perhaps the name Beor was corrupted into Bosor; or, as Rosenmuller suggests, the father of Balaam may have had two names. Schleusner (Lexicon) supposes that it was changed by the Greeks because it was more easily pronounced. The Septuagint, however, reads it as Βεὼρ Beōr - "Beor." The meaning here is, that they IMitAted Balaam. The particular point to which Peter refers in which they imitated him, seems to have been the love of gain, or covetousness. Possibly, however, he might have designed to refer to a more general resemblance, for in fact they imitated him in the following things:
(1) in being professed religious teachers, or the servants of God;
(2) in their covetousness;
(3) in inducing others to sin, referring to the same kind of sins in both cases.
Balaam counselled the Moabites to entice the children of Israel to illicit connection with their women, thus introducing licentiousness into the camp of the Hebrews (Numbers 31:16; compare Numbers 25:1-9); and in like manner these teachers led others into licentiousness, thus corrupting the church.
Who loved the wages of unrighteousness - Who was supremely influenced by the love of gain, and was capable of being employed, for a price, in a wicked design; thus prostituting his high office, as a professed prophet of the Most High, to base and ignoble ends. That Balaam, though he professed to be influenced by a supreme regard to the will of God Numbers 22:18, Numbers 22:38, was really influenced by the desire of reward, and was willing to prostitute his great office to secure such a reward, there can be no doubt.
(1) the elders of Moab and of Midian came to Balaam with "the rewards of divination in their hand" Numbers 22:7, and with promises from Balak of promoting him to great honor, if he would curse the children of Israel, Numbers 22:17.
(2) Balaam was disposed to go with them, and was restrained from going at once only by a direct and solemn prohibition from the Lord, Numbers 22:11.
(3) notwithstanding this solemn prohibition, and not with standing he said to the ambassadors from Balak that he would do only as God directed, though Balak should give him his house full of silver and gold, Numbers 22:18, yet he did not regard the matter as settled, but proposed to them that they should wait another night, with the hope that the Lord would give a more favourable direction in reference to their request, thus showing that his heart was in the service which they required, and that his inclination was to avail himself of their offer, Numbers 22:19.
(4) when he did obtain permission to go, it was only to say that which the Lord should direct him to say, Numbers 22:20; but he went with a perverse heart, with a secret wish to comply with the desire of Balak, and with a knowledge that he was doing wrong, Numbers 22:34, and was restrained from uttering the curse which Balak desired only by an influence from above which he could not control. Balaam was undoubtedly a wicked man, and was constrained by a power from on high to utter sentiments which God meant should be uttered, but which Balaam would never have expressed of his own accord.
LibraryHow 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.
How those are to be Admonished who do not Even Begin Good Things, and those who do not Finish them when Begun.
So he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, at Pethor, which is near the River, in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying, "Behold, a people came out of Egypt; behold, they cover the surface of the land, and they are living opposite me.
So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the fees for divination in their hand; and they came to Balaam and repeated Balak's words to him.
So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.
The angel of the LORD said to him, "Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way was contrary to me.
because they did not meet you with food and water on the way when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you.
because they did not meet the sons of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing.
and said, "You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
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