Text – TRW [Precise Translation]
1But also false prophets become in the people, as also in you all will be false teachers, which some will draw alongside choices of destruction, also the ones in their pouring forth of speech who withhold the Absolute Ruler who buys them, the ones imposing swift destruction on themselves.
2And many will go off the way into the actions of incontinence of them, through whom the way of truth will be hindered by what they are revealing.
3And in the holding of more, in carefully shaped words, they will traverse to pierce in order to make you into merchandise; to whom the dividing by decision from long ago is not being without effect and the destruction of them will not nod off to sleep.
Verse 1 (x2)
choices of destruction
Verse 3 (x1)
the destruction of them
We see a progression regarding destruction, within this preface to the False Teachers. The process of destruction begins with the choices of these false teachers. The big turning point for them, though is when they treat what God has said as if He has not said it. That is the error the serpent led Eve into back in the Garden of Eden, “Did the LORD God really say that?” And so the false teachers follow their true father, the father of lies and nullification of the Absolute Ruler, “the ones in their pouring forth of speech who withhold the Absolute Ruler who buys them, the ones imposing swift destruction on themselves.”
the ones in their pouring forth of speech who withhold
the ones in their pouring forth of speech who withhold
With the ἀ- prefix on ῥέω, it means without, not against (the prefix of which is αντι-). So it is without pouring forth in speech, namely without the pouring forth of speech that reveals God as we should fear Him (Absolute Ruler). It equally means, at the same time, to disavow, or withhold pouring forth speech of God. The effect is that these people do not measure their words in the light of the fear of YHWH.
an action that lacks self-control (an incontinent action)
into actions that lack the same self-control as they do
The false teachers lack self-control over the desires of their flesh (v 10 “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness”). This rejection of authority over the desires of their flesh extends to how they relate to any power governing them as well (v. 10 “and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”) So this incontinence is a lack of self-control, but this extends to many or all regions of their lives.
to hinder by what one is revealing
through whom the way of truth will be hindered by what they are revealing
βλασφημέω comes from βλάπτω (to hinder) and φήμη (some statement about reputation), which comes from φημί (to reveal one’s thoughts). Keep in mind that these people are leaving the path of truth and their actions and words after leaving will cause the truth to be hindered by what is revealed through them. Their incontinent actions bring a bad reputation to the truth. It reminds one of Romans 2:24 “24 For the name of God is hindered among the Gentiles through what is being revealed by you, as it is written.”
to traverse to pierce in order to make merchandise
they will traverse to pierce in order to make you into merchandise
Verse 3 has the verb form εμπορευσονται, but Revelation 18:11, 15 have the plural noun form, οι εμποροι, the merchants. The singular is ἔμπορος and it is derived from ἐν, meaning in or into, and πορεύομαι, meaning to traverse. This second word comes from the same derivative as πεῖρα, test, trial, which is from the base of πέραν, apparently accusative case of an obsolete derivative of πείρω (to “pierce”). We can maintain the roots of the word within the translation using this construction: to traverse to pierce in order to make merchandise.
The root of piercing should always remind us of the piercing of Jesus on the Cross. When we think of these false teachers who want to traverse our churches and pierce us in order to make us into merchandise, we should compare them to the Jewish religious leaders in the days of Christ. They were threatened by Jesus’ ministry, because they could lose their control of the people and lose the income from the ways they were merchandising the people. In this respect and many others these false teachers are no different.
We find this kind of condemnation of the false teachers further on in 2 Peter 2:14-15 “14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 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;”
The False Teachers are on a path of destruction and they are looking to use you while they are going to their destruction. Even if in words they talk a lot about God, their speech is poured out without any regard or fear of YHWH. Their actions also reveal the same by the fact that these are incontinent actions. They lack the power of self-control over the lusts of the flesh. The lusts of the flesh include sexual immorality, gluttony, greed for gain, power over people, pride, lies, jealousy, etc… The words and the actions of these False Teachers hinder the way of truth by what they reveal. And if that was not enough, they traverse our churches and pierce us in order to turn us into their merchandise, seeking either to just make a living using us or even to get rich from us.