Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 17 (2 Peter 2:17)

These are wells without water - Persons who, by their profession, should furnish the water of life to souls athirst for salvation; but they have not this water; they are teachers without ability to instruct; they are sowers, and have no seed in their basket. Nothing is more cheering in the deserts of the east than to meet with a well of water; and nothing more distressing, when parched with thirst, than to meet with a well that contains no water.

Clouds that are carried with a tempest - In a time of great drought, to see clouds beginning to cover the face of the heavens raises the expectation of rain; but to see these carried off by a sudden tempest is a dreary disappointment. These false teachers were equally as unprofitable as the empty well, or the light, dissipated cloud.

To whom the mist of darkness is reserved - That is, an eternal separation from the presence of God, and the glory of his power. They shall be thrust into outer darkness, Matthew 8:12 ; into the utmost degrees of misery and despair. False and corrupt teachers will be sent into the lowest hell; and be "the most downcast, underfoot vassals of perdition."

It is scarcely necessary to notice a various reading here, which, though very different in sound, is nearly the same in sense. Instead of νεφελαι , clouds, which is the common reading, και ὁμιχλαι , and mists, or perhaps more properly thick darkness, from ὁμου , together, and αχλυς , darkness, is the reading in ABC, sixteen others, Erpen's Arabic, later Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Vulgate, and several of the fathers. This reading Griesbach has admitted into the text.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible