The certainty of the ultimate exposure of the errorists:
v. 8. Now, as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
v. 9. But they shall proceed no further; for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.
According to Jewish tradition the men here mentioned, Jannes and Jambres, were sons of Balaam and belonged to the Egyptian magicians that were such strong opponents of Moses. By inspiration of the Spirit, St. Paul here changed tradition into history, thus supplementing the Old Testament account. These magicians had heard the Word of God from the mouth of Moses and Aaron, but they had deliberately and maliciously hardened their hearts against the truth, they had persisted in offering the most stubborn resistance to all the evidence of God's power. In the very same manner the errorists of Ephesus were resisting the truth as taught by Paul and Timothy, at the same time hindering the labor of the apostles by their secret opposition. The reason for their actions is found in the condition of their hearts: Men corrupt in their mind, not approved with respect to their faith. Men of that stamp have not only spoiled their minds for the acknowledgment of the truth, but they have also hardened their consciences. Any attempt to change this corruption seems doomed to failure from the outset. They may have a head-knowledge of the Christian doctrine, but they are void of all sound judgment in affairs of true Christian religion; if they are put to a test, they fail most lamentably. Since the knowledge of the Christian truth includes repentance and faith, self-denial and love, they are not at all pleased with the outlook. But their chief danger lies in this, that men of this kind are usually very clever in hiding their real sentiments.
The apostle, however, gives the comforting assurance that they will eventually be exposed: But they will not continue very much longer; for their lack of sense will become manifest to all, just as was that of those men. This statement is not at variance with chap. 2:16; for in that passage the apostle speaks of the increasing influence of the false teachers, while he here refers to the revelation of a hypocritical Christianity, such as may be hidden from the eyes of men for a long time. It is a matter of comfort that there will be a limit to the measure of hypocrisy which people may reach without being detected. The eyes of men will finally be opened to the real status of affairs; the lack of sense and wisdom in the hypocritical Christians will finally become manifest and an end thus put to their machinations. Note: This is a source of great consolation also in our days, since it happens time and again that certain sordid spirits will manage to gain adherents for themselves. Eventually all the opposition of error is bound to break down before the power of the truth. God does not permit the rule to be torn from His hand.