on 2-peter 2 :14
Having eyes full of adultery - Μοιχαλιδος· Of an adulteress; being ever bent on the gratification of their sensual desires, so that they are represented as having an adulteress constantly before their eyes, and that their eyes can take in no other object but her. But instead of μοιχαλιδος of an adulteress, the Codex Alexandrinus, three others, with the Coptic, Vulgate, and one copy of the Itala, together with several of the fathers, have μοιχαλιας, of adultery.
Cannot cease from sin - Which cease not from sin; they might cease from sin, but they do not; they love and practice it. Instead of ακαταπαυστους, which cannot cease, several MSS. and versions have ακαταπαυστου, and this requires the place to be read, Having eyes full of adultery and incessant sin. The images of sinful acts were continually floating before their disordered and impure fancy. This figure of speech is very common in the Greek writers; and Kypke gives many instances of it, which indeed carry the image too far to be here translated.
Beguiling unstable souls - The metaphor is taken from adulterers seducing unwary, inexperienced, and light, trifling women; so do those false teachers seduce those who are not established in righteousness.
Exercised with covetous practices - The metaphor is taken from the agonistae in the Grecian games, who exercised themselves in those feats, such as wrestling, boxing, running, etc., in which they proposed to contend in the public games. These persons had their hearts schooled in nefarious practices; they had exercised themselves till they were perfectly expert in all the arts of seduction, overreaching, and every kind of fraud.
Cursed children - Such not only live under God's curse here, but they are heirs to it hereafter.
on 2-peter 2 :14
Having eyes full of adultery - Margin, as in the Greek, "an adulteress;" that is, gazing with desire after such persons. The word "full" is designed to denote that the corrupt passion referred to had wholly seized and occupied their minds. The eye was, as it were, full of this passion; it saw nothing else but some occasion for its indulgence; it expressed nothing else but the desire. The reference here is to the sacred festival mentioned in the previous verse; and the meaning is, that they celebrated that festival with licentious feelings, giving free indulgence to their corrupt desires by gazing on the females who were assembled with them. In the passion here referred to, the "eye" is usually the first offender, the inlet to corrupt desires, and the medium by which they are expressed. Compare the notes at Matthew 5:28. The wanton glance is a principal occasion of exciting the sin; and there is much often in dress, and mien, and gesture, to charm the eye and to deepen the debasing passion.
And that cannot cease from sin - They cannot look on the females who may be present without sinning. Compare Matthew 5:28. There are many men in whom the presence of the most virtuous woman only excites impure and corrupt desires. The expression here does not mean that they have no natural ability to cease from sin, or that they are impelled to it by any physical necessity, but only that they are so corrupt and unprincipled that they certainly will sin always.
Beguiling unstable souls - Those who are not strong in Christian principle, or who are naturally fluctuating and irresolute. The word rendered beguiling means to bait, to entrap, and would be applicable to the methods practiced in hunting. Here it means that it was one of their arts to place specious allurements before those who were known not to have settled principles or firmness, in order to allure them to sin. Compare 2 Timothy 3:6.
An heart they have exercised with covetous practices - Skilled in the arts which covetous men adopt in order to cheat others out of their property. A leading purpose which influenced these men was to obtain money. One of the most certain ways for dishonest men to do this is to make use of the religious principle; to corrupt and control the conscience; to make others believe that they are eminently holy, or that they are the special favorites of heaven; and when they can do this, they have the purses of others at command. For the religious principle is the most powerful of all principles; and he who can control that, can control all that a man possesses. The idea here is that these persons had made this their study, and had learned the ways in which men could be induced to part with their money under religious pretences. We should always be on our guard when professedly religious teachers propose to have much to do with money matters. While we should always be ready to aid every good cause, yet we should remember that unprincipled and indolent men often assume the mask of religion that they may practice their arts on the credulity of others, and that their real aim is to obtain their property, not to save their souls.
Cursed children - This is a Hebraism, meaning literally, "children of the curse," that is, persons devoted to the curse, or who will certainly be destroyed.
on 2-peter 2 :14