Amplified: BUT UNDERSTAND this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear].
GWT: You must understand this: In the last days there will be violent periods of time.
KJV: This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
NLT: You should also know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.
Phillips: But you must realise that in the last days the times will be full of danger
Wuest: This be constantly knowing, that in the last days difficult times will set in
Young's Literal: And this know thou, that in the last days there shall come perilous times,
|BUT: Touto de:
But (de) is a conjunction standing after a clause that frequently denotes transition and serves to introduce something else, whether opposed to what precedes or simply continuative or explanatory. Always pause and ponder this term of contrast, asking at least what is the author contrasting? Here the conjunction indicates a change of direction. Paul had just explained that some who opposed him might be won (come to their senses 2Ti 2:26) by not quarreling with them but being kind and correcting them gently (2Ti 2:24 25). Now he changes direction radically describing those who not only would oppose him but who were intractable. In 2Ti 3:5 these individuals "have denied" the power of godliness which is in the perfect tense indicating the fixed state of their unregenerate hearts and in 2Ti 3:9 they (a subgroup of these men) continually "oppose the truth", have a "depraved (rotten to the core) mind" and are "rejected (tested and found wanting) as regards the faith." They will never come to a knowledge of the truth (2Ti 2:25) so that instead of gently correcting them, Timothy is to turn way from them continually (2Ti 3:5). In sum, the primary contrast brought out by the but in 2Ti 3:1 is that of two groups, those who might still respond to the Gospel and those who will not ever respond. So Paul proceeds to give Timothy a long list of traits by which these individuals can be identified, lest he be contaminated by their evil deception.
Donald Hubbard has an interesting outline of this chapter dividing it into two sections…
REALIZE THIS: ginoske (2PPAM):
The NIV rendering gets your attention -- "but mark this… " Literally it reads "this know" (touto de ginoske) which is phrased to get Timothy's attention. This truth is important to know. Forewarned is forearmed. Don’t be naïve and think that everything is going to be okay. It’s not all going to be okay. But forewarned is forearmed. If we know what is going to happen, we won’t be surprised when it does.
Realize (1097)(ginosko) is intelligent comprehension (knowledge obtained by experience) and is in the present imperative which calls for Timothy to make this his continual practice. The antonym of ginosko is agnoeo, to be ignorant of or fail to recognize the character of. In spiritual warfare ignorance of the character of these "last days" is not "bliss" but can lead to disaster and defeat (cp 2Co 2:11).
Paul commands Timothy as a good soldier (and by application all saints in these last days) to continually know, to continually keep before him the realization of the intensity of the struggle for the truth. The description that follows is of individuals who increasingly put themselves and their own desires ahead of every other consideration. The Christian soldier's duty is to remain true to their Lord, not to deny Him or His truth and to endure hardship despite difficult times, boldly proclaiming the Gospel that brings "the salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory" (2Ti 2:10-note) despite deception and corruption within the church and persecution from without.
Ray Pritchard has a humorous intro to a not to funny chapter…
Last (2078)(eschatos from ek = from, primarily as it relates to place) an adjective which means last in time or space/place (most remote) (Acts 1:8, Acts 13:47). Eschatos indicates the meaning “last” in the sense of a final stage in a process. For example, in Rev 15:1 the “last seven” plagues of judgment against the earth are declared to be the completion of God’s wrath against the wickedness of humankind. Eschatos can indicate the final element in a significant series.
We are living in the "Last days" (eschatos = last & gives us our English "eschatology" the theology of the final events of the world + hemera = day) a phrase that is not necessarily, as some exegetes state, only referring to the period immediately preceding the Second Coming of Christ. The writer of Hebrews says that God "in these last days has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb 1:2) which refers to His first coming.
Luke writes that
Comparing Scripture with Scripture, one can deduce that the "last days" is inaugurated by Messiah's First Coming, continues through Pentecost and comes to its culmination with the Second Coming of Christ, when "the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings" (Mal 4:2)
Peter also warned the saints about
For completeness, it should also be noted that the OT uses "last days" in a context which includes at least the setting up of Messiah's earthly (millennial) kingdom. E.g., the prophet Isaiah writes that
At any moment, Christ may return and bring all our activities and ambitions to a screeching halt. Since today could literally be the "last day" for any of us, we should
for Jesus said
Vance Havner says that our day is one of
Ray Pritchard comments on the phrase "the last days" noting that it…
In these last days is rendered variously as - "at the end of these days" (DNT), "But now in these final days" (NLT), "at the end of the present age" (Phillips), "in the last of these days." (Wuest)
The meaning of Hebrews 1:2 is that at the very termination of the times in which God is speaking to man, He speaks, not through the prophets, but in His Son, Who is "the Word" (Jn 1:1-2). So the writer of Hebrews is referring to the incarnation of God's Son at His First Coming. It follows that this is when the last days began. Luke utilizes the same time phrase writing that "in the last days God says that "I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind" (Acts 2:17), a prophecy from Joel 2:28 which was partially fulfilled at Pentecost, at the birth of the Church. Obviously Pentecost is related to the First Coming (and then the ascension) of Christ. We can therefore conclude that the last days were inaugurated by the First Coming of Christ.
Mounce agrees noting that eschatos can refer specifically to Jesus’ return on “the last day” or more generally to the period of time between His (Christ's) first and second coming."
In his Second Epistle Peter exhorted us to be aware "that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming?" (2Pe 3:3,4-note). In this context the mockers are not referring to the first but the Second Coming of Christ. It follows that the last days began with Christ's first coming and will extend to His Second Coming.
In summary, the last days are the time period between the First and Second Comings of our Lord Jesus Christ. This time period overlaps with the so called "church age."
THE LAST DAYS
One of the more notable uses of eschatos is when it is coupled with hemera (day) to give us the well known phrase "last days." See preceding discussion for the "when" of the last days. As noted above eschatos means "last" in time, last in a series, the final stage in a drama. Eschatology then is the study of the "last things", especially the times preceding and culminating in the Second Coming of the King of kings (Rev 17:14-note, Rev 19:16-note). Indeed, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is the final (eschatos) stage of the drama, the consummation of the history ("HIS-story") of the world! The phrase "LAST DAYS" (eschatos hemera) is found in both the NT & the OT (Specifically in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT.) See below for discussion of the prophetic significance of the 20 great OT passages that use "eschatos hemera", "last days".
As noted above, ESCHATOS describes the very DAYS in which we are living and which began at the First Coming of Christ, for "in these LAST DAYS (God) has spoken to us in His Son" (Heb 1:2), "in the LAST DAYS God says 'that I will pour forth My Spirit upon all mankind" (Acts 2:17), in the LAST DAYS difficult (dangerous, hard, troublesome) times will come (2 Timothy 3:1), "it is in the LAST DAYS that you have stored up your treasure" (James 5:3) and "in the LAST DAYS mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts and saying 'Where is the promise of HIS COMING?'" (2 Peter 3:3-4). Indeed, HE IS COMING AGAIN, for He Himself promised that we "will see the Son of Man COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory" (Mt 24:30), a promise which was repeated by John who declared "BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen." (Rev 1:7-note). Father, hear our cry - "Maranatha" ("Our Lord Come!"). Amen (1 Corinthians 16:22)
Eschatos is used to describe a number of entities in the New Testament - Money ("last cent" - Mt 5:26, Lk 12:59); the state of one's soul (Mt 12:45, Lk 11:26, 2Pe 2:20), a place "in line" so to speak (Mt 19:30, 20:16, Mk 10:31, Lk 13:30, cp Mt 20:8, 14), the day of resurrection of believers (Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54, 11:24); judgment day of unbelievers (Jn 12:48); how to be "first" (Mk 9:35, Lk 14:10); Christ (the last Adam - 1Co 15:45); the last trumpet associated with our bodies being changed in the twinkling of an eye (1Co 15:52); the time of the Second Coming (1Pe 1:5); the last plagues which complete the outpouring of God's righteous wrath (Rev 15:1-note, Rev 21:9-note) and finally, eschatos describes death as the "last enemy" (1Cor 15:26) who will "at last" be destroyed forever (Hallelujah!)
The Greek word Eschatos "has a variety of meanings depending upon the larger frame of reference: farthest extent in space, final element of time, and last piece of money." (The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary 2:576)
NIDNTT writes that
The adjective eschatos, attested from Homer onwards, is a superlative form derived from the prep. ek/ex, out of, away from, and originally designated the person or thing that was furthest outside (ex). Spatially it meant the place furthest away (e.g. Hesiod, Theog. 731, the utmost ends of the earth), temporally the last events of a series (e.g. Hdt., 7, 107), materially the extreme, rarely the highest (e.g. Libanius, Orationes 59, 88, greatest wisdom), mostly the lowest place in order of rank (e.g. Plato, Tht. 209b; Diod. Sic. 8, 18, 31, the most miserable of men)…
The Gk. language uses the term eschatos to designate the end-point of a continuously conceived succession of circumstances… In qualitative respects eschatos designates an extreme positive or negative intensification (Pindar, Ol. 1, 113, the highest reaches its peak with kings; Plato, Rep. 361a, greatest injustice; Gorgias 511d, extreme danger). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
What happens in the last days (observations derived solely from the passages which use "eschatos")?
There is a pouring forth of God's Spirit (Acts 2:17); there will be difficult, dangerous, perilous times (2Ti 3:1); mockers will come (2Pe 3:3, cp Jude 1:18), God has spoken (past tense) in His Son (Heb 1:2, cp "last times" 1Pe 1:20); treasure will rust (Jas 5:3). Compare to the phrase the last hour - antichrist coming (1Jn 2:18).
Eschatos - 52x in 47v - Eschatos is translated in NAS = end(1), last(46), last of all(1), last man(1), last men(1), late(1), remotest part(1).
Matthew 5:26-note (For context see Mt 5:23-25) "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent (a small Roman coin).
Comment: In the ancient world debtors were jailed till the debts were paid. Reconciliation should be made today. If there is any bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, hatred (or any other sin) that is separating you from someone, you need to "pay up the last cent" so to speak!
John MacArthur: The basic teaching is plain and unmistakable: we are to make every effort, with no delay, to make our relationship right with our brother before our relationship can be right with God and we can avoid chastening. (MacArthur, John. Matthew. Chicago: Moody Press)
Beloved, this verse begs the question, a serious, sobering question - Is that any other individual made in the image of God with to whom you "owe a debt?" Jesus thought this issue was so important to our spiritual life that He included it in the disciple's prayer "forgive us our debts as (just like, in the same manner) we forgive those who trespass against us." (Mt 6:12-note) And then of all the points in this great prayer, the one to which He gave extra attention was forgiveness (Read His "exposition" in Mt 6:14-15-note)
Matthew 12:45 "Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."
Matthew 19:30 "But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.
Matthew 20:8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.'
Matthew 20:12 saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'
Matthew 20:14 'Take what is yours and go, but I wish to give to this last man the same as to you.
Matthew 20:16 "So the last shall be first, and the first last."
Matthew 27:64 "Therefore, give orders for the grave to be made secure until the third day, otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him away and say to the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first."
Mark 9:35 Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, "If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."
Mark 10:31 "But many who are first will be last, and the last, first."
Mark 12:6 "He had one more to send, a beloved son; he sent him last of all to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mark 12:22 and so all seven left no children. Last of all the woman died also.
Luke 11:26 "Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
Luke 12:59 "I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent."
Luke 13:30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last."
Luke 14:9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, 'Give your place to this man,' and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. 10 "But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, 'Friend, move up higher'; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you.
John 6:39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day."
John 6:44 "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
John 6:54 "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
Comment: In the previous four passages in which Jesus repeats the phrase "on the last day", clearly accentuates the eternal security of every believer's salvation. Glory!
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. (Context tells what believers are to "drink" - Jn 7:38, 39! Not water but the Spirit!)
Comment: At dawn during the Feast of Tabernacles the priests took water from the Pool of Siloam in a golden vessel and brought it to the temple. As they approached the Water Gate the trumpets sounded “a short blast, a long one, then another short one. At the morning offering the water along w. wine was poured on the altar from two silver bowls. Perhaps at this time Jesus stood and cried out w. a loud voice (Edersheim, The Temple, 281f).
John 11:24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
John 12:48 "He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.
Acts 1:8-note but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
Acts 2:17 'AND IT SHALL BE IN THE LAST DAYS,' God says, 'THAT I WILL POUR FORTH OF MY SPIRIT ON ALL MANKIND; AND YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, AND YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS;
Acts 13:47 "For so the Lord has commanded us, 'I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.'"
1 Corinthians 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
1 Corinthians 15:8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
Comment: The last in a "series" - The apostles were brought out to make the grand finale
1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.
Comment: "By separating it and drawing special attention to it, emphasis is placed on the fact that the reign of Christ is not complete until death is conquered; everything is still in process.” (1 Corinthians. Baker exegetical commentary on the New Testament).
In 1Cor 15:24 at the end of the Millennial Reign, Christ "delivers up the (Millennial) kingdom to the God and Father." Christ "must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet" (1Cor 15:25) which is accomplished at the end of His Millennial reign which then is followed by the Great White Throne Judgment at which time "death and Hades" are thrown into Gehenna, the Lake of fire (Rev 20:14-note), so that then the last enemy death is abolished! Hallelujah to the King of kings!
1 Corinthians 15:45 So also it is written, "The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
2 Timothy 3:1-note But realize this, that in the last days difficult (dangerous, hard, perilous - demon of Mt 8:28 was "dangerous") times will come (literally "will stand", will set in, will be at hand).
Hebrews 1:2-note in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
James 5:3 Your gold and your silver have rusted; and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure!
Comment: Do not a suggestion of irony, for the treasure in mind is not their riches, but the misery that awaits them. What are you storing up for yourself? Treasure on earth or heaven? Where is your heart? (Mt 6:19-21-note, Mt 6:24-note)
1 Peter 1:5-note who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Comment: The word "time" is kairos which signifies the fit or appointed time or moment. The idea is that this is the last in an order of time. In this context, this is the appointed time when our inheritance is fully completed by the last episode of redemptive history (Mt 25:34).
MacArthur writes: Christians possess some of the benefits of salvation in this life, but the great fullness of redemption is yet to come. God has promised unfathomable glories in the eternal perfection of heaven that will one day be the conscious experience of every believer. He is the source of the believer’s inheritance; it came because of His mercy and by the gracious means of the new birth; and it remains perfect and eternally secure, a reality all believers can fix their hope on. (MacArthur, J.. 1 Peter. Chicago: Moody Publishers)
1 Peter 1:20-note For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you
Comment: Last times is a synonym for the last days, the time period between the first and second comings.
2 Peter 2:20-note For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2 Peter 3:3-note Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
Comment: Little wonder that they scoff! There denial of Jesus return facilitates as it were, their self gratification. As Paul summed it up "There is no fear of God before their eyes!" (Ro 3:18-note). See Jude's warning where "last time" is synonymous with last days. (Jude 1:18).
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.
Comment: Last hour is a synonym of last days or latter days.
Jude 1:18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
Revelation 1:17-note When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,
Revelation 2:8-note "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
Revelation 2:19-note 'I know your deeds, and your love and faith and service and perseverance, and that your deeds of late are greater than at first.
Revelation 15:1-note Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.
Revelation 21:9-note Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb."
Revelation 22:13-note "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end."
Eschatos - 64x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (most in Jeremiah = 14x) - Ge 33:2; 49:1; Ex 4:8; Lev 23:16; 27:18; Nu 2:31; 10:25; 24:14; 31:2; Dt 4:30; 8:16; 13:9; 17:7; 24:3; 28:49; 31:27, 29; 32:20; 34:2; Josh 1:4; 10:14; 24:27; Jdg 15:7; Ruth 3:10; 1Sa 29:2; 2Sa 2:26; 13:16; 19:11f; 23:1; 24:25; 1Kgs 9:26; 17:13; 1Chr 23:27; 2Chr 9:29; 12:15; 16:11; 20:34; 25:26; 26:22; 28:26; 35:27; Ezra 8:13; Neh 5:15; 8:18; Job 8:7, 13; 11:7; 18:20; 23:8; 42:12; Ps 73:17; 135:7; 139:4, 9; Pr 5:11; 19:20; 23:32; 25:8; 29:21; 31:25; Eccl 1:11; 4:16; 7:8; 10:13; Isa 2:2; 8:9; 37:24; 41:22, 23; 45:22; 46:10; 47:7; 48:20; 49:6; 62:11; Jer 6:22; 9:2; 10:13; 16:19; 17:11; 23:20; 25:32; 30:24; 31:8; 49:39; 50:12, 41; 51:16, 31; Lam 1:9; Ezek 35:5; 38:6, 8, 15, 16; 39:2; Da 2:28, 29, 45; 8:19, 23; 10:14; 11:20, 29; Hos 3:5; Joel 2:20; Jonah 2:5; Mic 4:1; Hag 2:9; Zech 14:8.
Eschatos is frequently in the Lxx in a phrase "first to last" which summarizes the deeds of kings- 2Chr 9:29 Solomon, 2Chr 12:15 Rehoboam, 2Chr 16:11 Asa, 2Chr 20:34 Jehoshaphat, first to last, 2Chr 25:26 Amaziah, 2Chr 26:22 Uzziah, 2Chr 28:26 (Ahaz) acts; 2Chr 35:27 (Josiah)
OF THE WORD ESCHATOLOGY
Eschatology (eschatos + logos - the "last word") refers to the last things or final events in God’s relationship with history and creation. In short, eschatology is teaching about the "end times" or more literally the doctrine of last things. A modern dictionary definition defines eschatology as "a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of mankind." Another secular dictionary says this term relates to "the end of the world" which is a somewhat "bleak" outlook! Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary states that eschatology is "the study of what will happen when all things are consummated at the end of history, particularly centering on the event known as the Second Coming of Christ." Unger says that eschatology is a "theological term employed to designate the doctrine of last things, particularly those dealing with the second coming of Christ and the events preceding and following this great event."
The Zondervan Encyclopedia gives us a good perspective regarding the significance of eschatology (or why believers should know prophecy) writing that…
It is hardly possible to overestimate the importance of eschatology to Christian faith: life without faith is empty, and faith without hope is impossible. If the “eschatology” of modern science—death for the individual, death for the species, death for the entire system of wheeling suns that we call the universe—is the only truth by which we can live, then indeed “let us eat, and drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” The Christian, however, does not believe that death is the last word. For him the resurrection of Jesus Christ has robbed death of its victory and brought hope and immortality to light. It is the content of this hope that the Christian doctrine of eschatology sets forth. (Silva, M., & Tenney, M. C. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D-G. The Zondervan Corporation)
Dr John MacArthur observes that
LAST DAYS IN THE SEPTUAGINT
The Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of the Hebrew OT repeatedly uses virtually the same Greek words (eschatos = last + hemera = day) to describe the last days, a term that any Jewish reader should have been familiar with. In the OT the term last days most often foretold of the coming "Great Tribulation" (Mt 24:21) and/or the establishment of Messiah's earthly (millennial) kingdom. In all of the following Old Testament passages the Hebrew time phrase is translated by the Greek words eschatos (last) and hemera (day) (The actual Greek phrase = ep eschaton ton hemeron) which is literally "last days." Below is a summary of all the Old Testament passages that use eschatos in an eschatological sense.
Genesis 49:1 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, "Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come (Lxx = eschatos hemera = last days [ep eschaton ton hemeron]).
Comment: The days to come is more literally "the latter end of the days." While not everyone agrees with this interpretation, Jacob's phrase appears to be very compatible with what will happen to the 12 Tribes of Israel in the last days just before Messiah's Second Coming. Certainly the book of Revelation speaks of events which are related to the 12 Tribes (See Rev 7:4-note). John MacArthur agrees writing "Throughout the Pentateuch, “the latter days” refers to the time when Messiah will establish His kingdom (see Ge 49:1, 8–12; Nu 24:14–24; Dt 32:39–43)."
Numbers 24:14 "And now, behold, I am going to my people; come, and I will advise you what this people will do to your people in the days to come (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron])."
Comment: The Jewish reader should have been familiar with Balaam's last and greatest prophecy regarding Israel and the Messiah as Balaam informed King Balak (Nu 24:14) "what (Israel would) do to (his) people in the days to come (= the last days)" going on to foretell of the Messiah, saying "I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near. A Star shall come forth from Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise from Israel… One from Jacob shall have dominion… " (Nu 24:17, 24:19)
Deuteronomy 4:30 "When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) you will return to the LORD your God and listen to His voice.
Comment: In the Septuagint the last phrase of Dt 4:29 is "in your affliction" (Lxx = thlipsis = same word used by Jesus to describe the "Great Tribulation" in Mt 24:21) (See Daniel's seventieth week).
Bible Knowledge Commentary comments: “The later days (Dt 4:30) may refer to any time after the initial dispersions, but the ultimate reference is to the time when the Lord Jesus will return to earth to establish His 1,000-year kingdom (Rev. 20:4). At that time a repentant Israel will finally seek the Lord… look for Him with all her heart and… soul and will obey Him (Dt 4:29). (Bolding added)
Deuteronomy 8:16 "In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]).
Comment: The phrase "in the end" in English translation of the Septuagint is literally "in the last days." While it is conceivable that this passage could refer to Israel's future and the good that God will do to them at the termination of the Great Tribulation, it is difficult to be as certain about this passage as some of the others in this list.
J Vernon McGee comments: At the “latter end,” in the future Millennium, God promises to make Israel the leading nation with earthly blessings. God has not promised that to the church, my friend; so don’t appropriate that promise for yourself. The Lord Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2–3). The hope of the child of God today is that Christ is coming to take us out of this world. The hope of Israel is in this world. That distinction is of utmost importance. If you try to mix these promises, it will cause utter confusion. Too many so-called theologians use a blender. They put the whole Bible into a blender, and they really mix it up! If you let the Bible stand as it is, you will see that God is very specific when He makes promises. (McGee, J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos or Wordsearch)
Deuteronomy 31:29 "For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days (literally - "the end of days" Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]), for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands."
MacArthur comments: “The latter days” (lit. “at the end of the days”) referred to the far distant future. This was the time when the king would come from Judah (Ge 49:8–12) to defeat Israel’s enemies (Nu 24:17–19). Here it is revealed that it would also be a time when disaster would fall upon Israel because of evil done, thus bringing the Lord’s wrath. The description of God’s judgment on Israel and the nations in this song can’t be limited to the immediate future of the people as they entered the Land, but extends to issues which are eschatological in time and global in extent, as the song indicates (32:1–43). (Bolding added)
Deuteronomy 32:20 "Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; For they are a perverse generation, Sons in whom is no faithfulness.
Comment: The Lxx uses eschatos to translate end so that the English rendering of the Lxx is "will show what shall happen to them (Israel) in the last days (days is not in the Greek text though)."
Isaiah 2:2-note Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains (referring to Jerusalem), And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.
Comment: Isaiah (and Micah = Mic 4:1 is virtually identical to Isa 2:2) foretell of Messiah's glorious millennial reign in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 23:20 The anger of the LORD will not turn back until (expression of time - should always cause you to pause and ask "What time is it?") He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart. In the last days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) you will clearly understand it. (Jer 23:20)
Comment: Jeremiah prophesied of the coming Great Tribulation (so named by Jesus), the "time of Jacob's distress" (Jer 30:7)
Jeremiah 30:24 The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back, until He has performed, and until He has accomplished the intent of His heart; In the latter days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) you will understand this."
Jeremiah 49:39 'But it will come about in the last days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) that I will restore the fortunes of Elam,'" Declares the LORD.
Ezekiel 38:8 "After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years (Lxx = eschatos heton [ep eschaton heton]) you will come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel which had been a continual waste; but its people were brought out from the nations, and they are living securely, all of them.
Comment: This passage is yet future.
Ezekiel 38:16 and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come about in the last days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]) that I shall bring you against My land, in order that the nations may know Me when I shall be sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog." (Ezekiel 38:16)
Comment: This passage is yet future.
Daniel 2:28-note "However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]). This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed.
Comment: Daniel's comments here introduce his following description of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream followed by the interpretation. Note that the prophecy in Daniel 2:28-45 deals especially with what will happen to the major Gentile kingdoms of the world history (specifically the kingdoms that interacted with God's chosen people Israel). In Daniel 7, the eschatological writings deal in more detail with what will happen to Israel. Finally in Daniel 10-12 there is even greater detail of what will happen to the nation of Israel in the last days or the end times. Given the miraculous "rebirth" of Israel in May, 1948 after almost 2000 years of non-existence as a sovereign nation, it is hard to believe that some Christians make the absurd statement that God is finished with Israel and has transferred all His OT promises to the Church. Louis Berkhof was so convinced that God was finished with Israel that in 1947 in his famous book on Systematic Theology he flatly stated that Israel would never again become a nation state, (a belief that fit with his amillennial belief). Beloved, if God had been finished with Israel as a land and as a national entity, it is hardly conceivable that He would have gone to the "trouble" to rebirth the nation in a single day!
Daniel 2:29-note "As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future (Lxx = eschatos hemera = last days = [ep eschaton ton hemeron]); and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place.
Comment: Note that future is rendered last days in the Septuagint, referring to the time preceding and including the Second Coming of Christ (the Stone in Da 2:28).
Daniel 2:45-Note (one version of Lxx, but not Theodoret) Daniel 2:45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a Stone (Messiah at His Second Coming) was cut out of the mountain without hands (supernatural) and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold (Da 2:35-Note = "all at the same time… not a trace of them was found"!), the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron] = "upon the last days"); so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy."
Comment: Remember that 25% of God's Word was prophetic at the time it was intially penned. Therefore we dare not reduce our study of prophecy to that of a neglected "step child" lest we find ourselves unaware of the "signs of the times." Indeed, God "has made known" (Da 2:28, 29) to His children who have eyes to see and ears to hear "what the Spirit says to the churches" (cp Rev 2:7) regarding "what will take place upon the last days!"
Daniel 8:19-note He said, "Behold, I am going to let you know what will occur at the final period of the indignation, for it pertains to the appointed time of the end.
Comment: "Final period of indignation" in Lxx is "ep eschaton tes orges" literally the "time of wrath." This is a difficult passage and it is best not to be dogmatic. Some see this as referring only to Antiochus Epiphanes, while some see this ancient foe to be a "type" of the future antichrist. Finally, some see a double fulfillment, partially fulfilled in Antiochus and finally fulfilled in the Antichrist. The difference between "type" and "double fulfillment" is minimal as both in some way see a prediction of the future Antichrist.
David Guzik comments: Some see this Antiochus and Antichrist connection, and some do not. Martin Luther wrote, "This chapter in Daniel refers both to Antiochus and Antichrist." John Calvin wrote, "Hence Luther, indulging his thoughts too freely, refers this passage to the masks of Antichrist."
Daniel 8:23-note "In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.
Comment: See interpretation of preceding passage.
MacArthur's comment: The far fulfillment sees Antiochus in Da 8:23–25 as prophetically illustrating the final tribulation period and the Antichrist. In such a view, the king here is also the “little horn,” as in Da 7:7; 8:9 and the willful king in Da 11:36–45.
Daniel 10:14-note (The archangel Michael was sent to Daniel to give him ) "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people (Jews = Israel) in the latter days (Lxx = eschatos hemera [ep eschaton ton hemeron]), for the vision pertains to the days yet future.
Comment: Careful observation reveals that the last three chapters of Daniel (Da 10-12) comprise a single "vision" and must be interpreted as a "unit" in order for one to arrive at the correct interpretation. This section unequivocally refers to the yet future time that immediately precedes the return of the Messiah Who will deliver Zion, remove ungodliness from Jacob (Israel) at which time "all Israel will be saved." (i.e., all of those who by grace place their faith in Christ.) (Ro 11:25-note).
Micah 4:1 (See comments above on Isaiah 2:2) And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it.
NIDNTT summarizes the sense of eschatos as used in the Septuagint translation…
Yahweh will make it possible for his people to turn back (Hos. 3:5). He will destroy his enemies (Jer. 23:20; 30:24). The nations will come to Jerusalem and receive instruction from Israel (Isa. 2:2ff.; Micah 4:1ff.). Salvation will penetrate “to the end of the earth” (Isa. 48:20; 49:6). Here the local significance has a universal eschatological function. In all this Yahweh will reveal himself as holy (Ezek 38:16, 23). However much the individual pictures of salvation presented by the various prophets differ, the expectation of a comprehensive age of salvation “at the end of the days” brought in by Yahweh himself is common to them all. (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
DIFFICULT TIMES TIMES WILL COME: ensthesontai (3PFMI) kairoi chalepoi: (Da 7:8; 7:20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25,11:36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45; 12:1,7,11; 2Th2:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; 1Ti4:1, 2, 3)
Difficult (5467) (chalepos Thayer says is from chalepto = to oppress, annoy) when referring to times means difficult, hard to bear, troublesome, hard, perilous and when referring people means fierce, violent dangerous, savage. This second use (the only other NT use) by Luke describes two demon possessed men as violent ("fierce", "savage", "dangerous") (Mt 8:28)!
Webster says "fierce" is violently hostile or aggressive in temperament, given to fighting or killing, extremely vexatious, furiously active or determined, wild or menacing appearance, and applies to humans and animals that inspire terror because of their wild and menacing aspect or fury in attack. This picture should give one a good sense of the character of the "times" and they will only go from bad to worse so don't be shocked!
Wiersbe offers the interesting thought that the use of chalepos to describe demons and last days
Ancient secular writers used chalepos to describe an ill-fitting cuirass (piece of armor covering the body from neck to waist), the "severity" of the wind, and of "hardships" or "sufferings".
One ancient writer used chalepos to describe "life" saying "life is a hard thing"!
Other secular uses described individuals as hard to deal with, harsh, severe, stern or strict, or a a judge as severe or an animal as savage. Plutarch used chalepos to describe an ugly, infected, and dangerous wound! Timothy (and all saints) needed to know that the world would become increasingly violent, hard to bear, dangerous and even savage.
Vance Havner says that our day is one of anarchy in the world, of apostasy in the church and of apathy in the individual believer.
Vine says that
Hard, difficult to bear, distressing and grievous seasons are coming Timothy. To expect these times is to become not a pessimist but a realist.
Calvin reminds us that what Paul is describing is not so much bad times but bad people, writing that
He goes on to say that
In short, the “last days” will be fierce, violent, dangerous and frightening. The last days will be savage times when men cast off all moral restraint and society begins to disintegrate.
Will come (enistemi from en = in + hístemi = stand) means to set in, to be at hand, to happen, with the implication of there being a particular set of circumstances (“shall be imminent” “shall come unexpectedly”). The idea is that these difficult times will "settle in upon" Timothy and upon all saints in these "last days"..
Times (seasons, opportunity, epoch, proper time) (2540)(kairos) means a point of time or period of time, time, period, frequently with the implication of being especially fit for something and without emphasis on precise chronology. It means a moment or period as especially appropriate the right, proper, favorable time (at the right time). A season. A point of time. A moment. An opportunity. Something that lasts for a season and so is transient, temporary or enduring only for a specific period of time.
Times is not chronos (chronological referring to clock or calendar time) but kairos which refers to periods of time, to seasons, epochs, or eras (click for detailed discussion of kairos).
Trench defines kairos as “a critical, epoch-making period foreordained of God when all that has been slowly, and often without observation, ripening through long ages, is mature and comes to the birth in grand decisive events, which constitute at once the close of one period and the commencement of another.”
Within this period of “last days” there will be “times” (seasons) of different kinds. These perilous "seasons" will become more and more intense for "evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse" (2Ti3:13-note), whereas the intervening periods of relative tranquility will become less frequent and peaceful, as the return of Christ nears.
Paul uses this idea of "kairos" to motivate the saints at Rome writing
In difficult times, we must persevere with the Bible in our hands and the witness of the Spirit in our hearts.
Pritchard notes that…
We should all manifest the outlook and attitude of
Amplified: For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane.
Barclay: For men will live a life that is centred in self; they will be lovers of money, braggarts, arrogant, lovers of insult, disobedient to their parents, thankless, regardless even of the ultimate decencies of life
KJV: For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
GWT: People will be selfish and love money. They will brag, be arrogant, and use abusive language. They will curse their parents, show no gratitude, have no respect for what is holy,
NLT: For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.
Phillips: Men will become utterly self-centred, greedy for money, full of big words. They will be proud and contemptuous, without any regard for what their parents taught them. They will be utterly lacking in gratitude, purity and normal human affections.
Wuest: for men shall be fond of themselves, fond of money, swaggerers, haughty, revilers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy
Young's Literal: for men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, evil-speakers, to parents disobedient, unthankful, unkind,
|FOR MEN WILL BE LOVERS OF SELF: esontai (3PFMI) gar oi anthropoi philautoi: (Ro15:1, 2, 3; 2Co 5:15; Php 2:21; Jas 2:8)
For (gar) is a strategic term of explanation, always worth pausing to ponder and ask what the author is explaining.
The "difficult times" will be primarily because of "difficult people" ("bad people" more than "bad times"). The coming seasons will be hard to bear and grievous because of the "difficult" people living in them as attested by a list of traits picturing mankind totally concentrated on self and in clear opposition to God. From hearts corrupted and distorted by self love flow all the other heinous sins.
Lovers of self (philautos is from phileo = have great affection for or be friend to + autos = self) means literally loving oneself, selfish, intent on one's own interests or concerned solely with one’s own desires, needs, or interests.
A close OT parallel is seen in the decadent days of the Judges when "there was no king in Israel" and the result was that when their focus was off of their true king, the Lord,
This trait appropriately heads the list since "self love" is the essence of all sin and the root from which all the other characteristics spring. The "center of gravity" of the natural man is self not Christ. We hear a lot today about how all people should love themselves no matter what their conduct is, with the hope that loving themselves will make their conduct better, but it never does. We don’t need to be encouraged to love self more but to love self less even to the point of a willingness to die to self.
Jesus was unmistakably clear on this vital point teaching that
Paul echoes the words of Jesus writing that
How tragic that many in the church are intoxicated with "love for self" rather than "death of self" turning God’s truth completely on its head. How preposterous that the source of evil (self) is now being lauded as the source of good. The fallacious false doctrine that one of the main problems that we have is that we don't think highly enough of ourselves has slithered into the church in the form of self-esteem, self-worth, self-fulfillment, positive self-image, positive thinking, etc. In the late 20th century one of the best selling secular books was blatantly titled Looking Out for Number One!.
Wayne Barber defining lovers of self adds that
MacArthur comments that
The18th century preacher Samuel Johnson said,
Self-love alienates men from God and from each other. Self-love is the supreme enemy of godliness and of genuine friendship and fellowship with the Creator.
LOVERS OF MONEY: philarguroi: (Lk12:15; Ro1:29; Col3:5; 2Pe 2:3;14,15; Jude11, 16 Rev 18:12,13)
"Lovers of money" (philarguros is from philos = loving or friend + arguros = silver, money) describes a person who is "fond" of money, avaricious (greedy of gain = excessively acquisitive especially in seeking to hoard riches) and implies obsessive acquisitiveness especially of money. This form of covetousness naturally flows out of a selfish heart and is “a rot of all kinds of evil.” This trait would naturally follow "self love" as it indicates the means for the gratification of self. The only other use in the NT describes the arrogant Pharisees as "lovers of money." (Lk 16:14)
Wayne Barber defines "lovers of Money" as
A proper historical context helps understand this mention of "lovers of money", for Timothy's work lay in Ephesus, perhaps the greatest market in the ancient world. In those days trade tended to flow down river valleys and; Ephesus was at the mouth of the River Cayster commanding the trade of one of the richest hinterlands in all Asia Minor. At Ephesus some of the greatest roads in the world met including the great trade route from the Euphrates valley which came by way of Colosse and Laodicea and poured the wealth of the east into the lap of Ephesus. It is not surprising that Ephesus was called "The Treasure-house of the ancient world" the epitome of materialism and prosperity in the ancient world and thus the kind of town where a man could so easily lose his soul. And so Timothy is warned of "difficult" people who love money not God.
In this universe there is God, and there are people and things. We should worship God, love people, and use things (discriminately, wisely). But if we start worshiping ourselves, we will ignore God and start loving things and using people. And this is a sure fire formula for a miserable life, but it sadly characterizes most of America today & even many who call themselves "Christians". The worldwide craving for things is just one evidence that people’s hearts have turned away from God.
BOASTFUL: alazones: (Ps10:3; 49:6; 52:1; Is 10:15; Acts 5:36; Ro1:29, 30, 31; 11:18; 2Th2:4; Jas4:16; 2Pe2:18; Jude16)
Boastful (213)(alazon) describes an arrogant individual who exaggerates or is disposed to exaggerate their own worth or importance in an overbearing manner. In his boasting he overstates the limits of truth, stressing the fact to magnify himself in his attempt to impress others. Selfish people are naturally boastful. If you want to know whether somebody loves themselves, then just listen to who they talk about.
"Boastful" refers to verbally boastful and is the characteristic of a person with a depraved mind. If you have a "sound mind" (a "healed" mind) you don't think of self in the same light as you do when you have a depraved mind. A person who is boastful is always proud of self because he thinks he deserves it. Boastful persons brag about their accomplishments, overstating the truth to the degree that it has no basis in reality. They are know-it-alls who try to deceive people into thinking they are brilliant. They love to see their names in print and their faces on television. They exaggerate their abilities, accomplishments, talents, reputations, and value to society and to the church. They are always the heroes of their own stories. Completely lacking in humility, they speak to draw attention to themselves and in their thoughts see themselves at the center of the universe. The fallen world is the source of this boastful pride (1Jn 2:16), and God stands in opposition to it (Jas 4:6). Perhaps the difference between the false teacher and the struggling Christian here is only a matter of degree or of sensitivity to the sin of selfishness as there are elements of this pernicious monster lurking in all of us.
ARROGANT: huperephanoi: (Pr 6:17; 1Ti6:4; Jas4:6; 1Pe5:5)
These men regard with contempt others whom they consider beneath them, either socially, or materially, or in natural endowments. Jesus described in a
This person is proud but it is unseen. He can be praying and be arrogant and you won't know. He contrasts with the person who is boastful and who can't hide it. The arrogant person may fool you at first with humble tendencies but in the heart there is arrogance and Jehovah not only hates "haughty eyes" (Pr6:17) but is actively "opposed to the proud" (Jas4:6, 1 Pe5:5-note)
The difference between the boastful man and the one who is arrogant is that the boaster is a swaggering creature, who tries to bluster his way into power and eminence. No one can possibly mistake him. But the sin of the man who is arrogant is in his heart. He might even seem to be humble; but in his secret heart there is contempt for everyone else. He nourishes an all-consuming, all-pervading pride and in his heart there is a little altar where he bows down before himself.
REVILERS: blasphemoi: (Ps73:9 Da7:25; 11:36; 1Ti1:20; 2Pe2:12; Jude10; Rev 13:1;5;6; 16:9, 11, 21)
Revilers (blasphemos - see related blasphemeo) describes those who rail and reproach with harsh, denigrating, demeaning insults directed against God and man alike. These men have no fear of God because they are lovers of self. They don't want God because God threatens everything that they are. And so they use insulting, pejorative terms that put God and others down. Their inner disdain will eventually find expression in outward slander
This sin describes those who hurl abuse at or speak abusively of others or make misrepresentations and false charges seeking to destroy the other's good name.
Barclay (online) adds that "the Jewish Rabbis ranked high in the list of sins what they called the sin of insult . The insult which comes from anger is bad but it is forgivable, for it is launched in the heat of the moment; but the cold insult which comes from arrogant pride is an ugly and an unforgivable thing."
DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS: goneusin apeitheis: (Pr 30:17, Mt15:6; Mk7:11,12; Ro1:30)
Disobedient (545)(apeithes from a = without + peítho = persuade) literally means one who continually refuses to be persuaded (unpersuadable) and therefore continually refuses to obey. They refuse to be compliant or submissive. An infrequently used word that accurately described these individuals is contumacious or stubbornly disobedient. Those who will rebel against their parents will have no qualms about rebelling against anyone else.
Wayne Barber comments that disobedience to parents is
Barclay adds that "the ancient world set duty to parents very high. The oldest Greek laws disfranchised the man who struck his parents; to strike a father was in Roman law as bad as murder; in the Jewish law honor for father and mother comes high in the list of the Ten Commandments. It is the sign of a supremely decadent civilization when youth loses all respect for age and fails to recognize the unpayable debt and the basic duty it owes to those who gave it life."
In Paul and Timothy’s day this sin set one off as fundamentally rebellious at heart, for the attitude toward parents was understood as a reflection of a deeper attitude toward God (Ex 20:12). They set themselves above the feelings of others and the authority of their parents — not only is this extremely selfish, but it is also destructive behavior. Have you observed these attitudes in the church?
Ungrateful (acharistos from a = without + charizomai =, to show favor or kindness) describes men who are utterly destitute of any gratitude toward God or others. They refuse to recognize the debt they owe both to God and to men. The strange characteristic of ingratitude is that it is the most hurting of all sins because it is the blindest. Lear's words remain true: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!" The very opposite attitude is seen in the Spirit controlled man (Ep 5:18-note, Ep 5:20-note)
Wayne Barber comments on grateful versus ungrateful noting that the root word for acharistos
MacArthur has an interesting comment
Unholy (anosios) from a = without + hósios = consecrated, hallowed, holy, righteous, unpolluted with wickedness) pertains to that that which is in opposition to God or what is sacred. It means ungodly and without regard of duty toward God or toward man and carries the idea not so much of irreligion as of gross indecency. In other words this man not only breaks the laws of God and society, but even breaks the unwritten laws of common decency. To the Greek it was anosios to refuse to bury a corpse. It was anosios for a brother to commit incest by marrying a sister or a son a mother. The man who is anosios offends the fundamental decencies of life. The unholy person is driven by self-love to gratify his lusts and passions of whatever sort, as fully as possible with no thought to propriety, decency, or personal reputation.
Barclay (online) has this note on anosios: "Men will refuse to recognize even the ultimate decencies of life… Anosios does not so much mean that men will break the written laws; it means that they will offend against the unwritten laws which are part and parcel of the essence of life."