JUDE

Introduction

  1. The external attestation to this small letter is early and good.
  2. It finds a place in the second-century Muratorian Canon; Tertullian recognized it as an authoritative Christian document; so did Clement of Alexandria, who wrote a commentary on it.
  3. Origen hints that there were doubts in his day, but he clearly did not share them, for he quotes Jude as authoritative with enthusiasm: "And Jude wrote an Epistle, tiny in the extreme, but yet full of powerful words and heavenly grace" (Commen. in Matth. 10:17)
  4. In addition, Athenagoras, Polycarp, and Barnabas seem to have cited the Epistle early in the second century, so it could hardly have been composed later than the end of the first.
  5. Eusebius classes it among the disputed books, and it was not admitted into the early Syrian Canon, the Peshitta.
  6. The reason is not hard to discover.
  7. Jude quoted apocryphal writings, and although in some circles in the West this tended to add stature to the apocryphal works in question, in the East this link with apocryphal material was sufficient to cause Judeís rejection.
  8. Jerome says as much.
  9. He explains the cause of the doubts about Jude as "because he appealed to the apocryphal book of Enoch as an authority, it is rejected by some" (De vir. Ill. iv.)
  10. As late as the end of the fourth century Didymus of Alexandria had to defend Jude against those who attacked it because of its use of apocryphal material.
  11. It is clear that this was the only reason for the hesitation felt in some quarters about Jude.
  12. By AD 200 it was accepted in the main areas of the ancient church, in Alexandria (Clement and Origen), in Rome (Muratorian Canon), and in Africa (Tertullian).
  13. Only in Syria were there objections, and even there these could hardly have been in unison, because Jude was accepted into the Philoxenian and Harklean recensions of the N.T.
  14. Clement of Alexandria, in the Adumbrations, says that this letter was written by Jude, the brother of James, the Lordís brother.
  15. So does Epiphanius, but he calls him an apostle as well, as do many of the Fathers (Origen, Athanasius, Jerome, Augustine).
  16. That the Lordís brethren were loosely known to others as apostles appears from Gal.1:19.
  17. But Jude was no apostle.
  18. He styles himself "a bond-slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James".
  19. There can be no doubt who is meant.
  20. Kummel summarizes the matter well when he writes, "As Ďbrother of Jamesí he is characterized clearly enough. There was only one eminent, well-known James, the brother of the Lord (Jam.1:1; Gal.1:19; 2:9; 1Cor.15:7). Then Jude is one of the brothers of Jesus, the third named in Mark 6:3, the fourth in Matthew 13:55. Otherwise we know nothing of this Jude" (Introduction to the NT, p. 300).
  21. The author could hardly be Judas, the brother of James (Lk.6:16), one of the twelve, because the author of this letter expressly dissociates himself from the apostles (v.17).
  22. But why, if Jude is the brother of the Lord, does he not say so?
  23. The answer, as old as Clement of Alexandria, is his humility.
  24. The church called James and Jude brothers of the Lord (1Cor.9:5), but they preferred to think of themselves as His servants, remembering, no doubt, that in the time of their actual association with Him as brothers, they did not believe in Him (Jn.7:5).
  25. But both letters (James and Jude) combine unquestioned authority with personal humility, which is precisely what one would expect from a converted member of the family circle of Jesus.
  26. The Epistle of Jude has received a very poor press.
  27. Not only has it lived in the shadow of Second Peter, but it seems to be little but a string of denunciations, and many regard it as an "early Catholic" reaction to incipient Gnosticism.
  28. Both of these assumptions are highly questionable.
  29. Firstly, the denunciations.
  30. True, they predominate from vv.5-19.
  31. But the most important and distinctive parts of Jude come in vv.1-4 and vv.20-25.
  32. It is here, not in the denunciations, that the burden of his message is concentrated.
  33. In any case, the polemical section is far from mere denunciation.
  34. One author concludes that it is a carefully composed "pesher" (or "commentary") exegesis, in which Jude argues that the libertinism of his opponents marks them out as the sinners of the last days who were prophesied by the O.T., by some inter-testamental works, and by the words of the apostles.
  35. Moreover, Jude is not addressing his opponents in this letter.
  36. It is not a case of "argument weak: shout louder".
  37. He is writing to warn his orthodox, if wobbly, Christian readers of the dangers of succumbing to the blandishments of the false teachers, and when he comes to his positive teaching at the end of the letter, he gives wise advice on how to help those who are carried away into error, and shows a deep pastoral care (vv.22,23).
  38. Secondly, the "early Catholicism".
  39. The somewhat pejorative epithet arose in Germany to denote the reaction of the second century church to the twin threats of Gnosticism and Montanism.
  40. It denoted a hardening of the arteries, a fossilization of the faith into set forms, an emphasis on church leaders, a fading of the parousia hope, and a distancing from the apostolic age.
  41. Many commentators have seen Jude as a representative of "early Catholic" literature, and have dated it, accordingly, in the first part of the second century.
  42. "The faith" has become straitjacketed (v.3), the apostles belong to a bygone era (v.17), and the opponents, since patristic days, have been seen as Gnostics.
  43. Nevertheless, such a conclusion is too bland.
  44. It assumes what it seeks to prove.
  45. For there is nothing in the letter itself to point to any of the distinguishing marks of Gnosticism proper.
  46. Such identification is read into the letter rather than out of it.
  47. You did not need to be a Gnostic to have visions, be fascinated by the apocrypha, live a sensuous life, and defile the love feasts!
  48. Even if it were possible to demonstrate that marks of what later became Gnosticism are prevalent in Judeís false teachers, that would be an unsafe criterion for dating.
  49. Many of the seeds of later Gnosticism were clearly there in the first century, as the Letters of John and, indeed, the Corinthian Epistles make plain.
  50. Furthermore, the author does not refer to the apostles as belonging to a bygone era; he simply states that he himself did not belong to their number, and he urges his readers to pay attention to their predictions that false teachers would arise, for this has, in fact, taken place (hence, his letter).
  51. The reference to "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (v.3) does not require a late date.
  52. "The faith" is used in this objective way as early as Gal.1:23 and Phil.1:27.
  53. Paul makes it plain that the idea of Christian orthodoxy was well established by the fifties of the first century (e.g., Rom.6:17; Gal.1:8ff; 1Thess.2:13; 2Thess.2:15; 3:6,14).
  54. No, this letter comes from the heart of Jewish Christianity.
  55. It is nourished by the beliefs and assumptions of apocalyptic Judaism.
  56. All the evidence points in this way - the rugged Jewishness of the Epistle, the use of those apocalyptic books 1 Enoch and the Testament of Moses, the midrash pesher exegesis (i.e., homiletic exposition with, particularly in the Qumran Community, an application of the Biblical prophecies to the "end time") of vv.5-19.
  57. Jude is no defensive Catholic tract from the second century, but a passionate defense of Jewish Christian faith and life to believers living in the midst of a pluralistic and permissive pagan society.
  58. And therein lies one of its great values for Christians in our own liberal, materialistically oriented times.
  59. Why did Jude write this letter?
  60. And when did he do so?
  61. He wrote in a hurry because of the outbreak of dangerous antinomianism in churches with which he was concerned.
  62. It was brought by travelling teachers (v.4) who "turn the grace of our God into licentiousness".
  63. It has been customary to regard them as Gnostics.
  64. It has been the traditional way to interpret Jude since at least the days of Clement of Alexandria, who thought Jude wrote prophetically against the Carpocratians.
  65. Some have seen in the hints afforded by Judeís denunciations the following characteristics in his opponents: as docetic Christology (v.4), the Gnostic division of mankind into pnuematics and psychics (v.19), and angelology and dreams (vv. 6-9).
  66. On the one hand, we have seen that Jude cannot be placed in the second century, but on the other hand, these very covert allusions would be a singularly ineffective way of countering a major Gnostic heresy, based on a cosmological dualism of which there is no trace here.
  67. We can be confident that Judeís opponents were not Gnostics.
  68. The heretics were a self-indulgent group of people, antagonistic to the element of law in the Christian life, keen on freedom, rather insubordinate to human and celestial authorities alike, were arrogant and schismatic, and claimed prophetic revelations as authority for their teaching.
  69. They did not cut themselves off from the orthodox, but sought to infiltrate them and draw them away; thus they were "sunken reefs in your love feasts".
  70. Such were their main characteristics: they found their way (along with much else) into second century Gnosticism.
  71. But there is insufficient criteria supplied us in the letter to arrive at a precise identification of who they were.
  72. Bauckham sees them as charismatics who had "gone over the top", Ellis has Judaizers, Reicke as political agitators, while others find their affinities with Edessa or Qumran.
  73. We do not know precisely who they were.
  74. What we do know is that they were a dangerous libertine element which had come into the churches with which Jude was concerned, and he was clear that if they remained unchecked they could do much damage.
  75. Their advocacy of liberty was so specious, their way of life so tempting, their pretensions to spirituality so impressive, their initiative and independence so attractive.
  76. They were a great danger, and that is why Jude wrote.
  77. And when?
  78. There is really very little to go on, which accounts for the wide variety of scholarly guesses.
  79. His was not a general letter, but written to people he knew in a particular situation (vv.3-5, 17,18, 20).
  80. He is clearly Jewish himself, but that does not mean that his readers are.
  81. He assumes their knowledge of Jewish inter-testamental and apocryphal literature.
  82. He talks of "our common salvation", which would fit either Jewish or Gentiles readers.
  83. Certain scholars see Antioch as a probable destination.
  84. It is within the Palestine area, to which James, and therefore possibly Jude, confined himself.
  85. Antioch comprised Jewish and Gentile Christians; moreover, various of the apostles ministered there, which would make good sense of v.17.
  86. Certainty is, of course, impossible; there is inadequate evidence on which to base a considered judgment.
  87. There can be no doubt that Jude knew and used at least two apocryphal writings, the Assumption of Moses and the Book of Enoch, and probably others as well, such as the Testament of Naphtali in v.6 and the Testament of Asher in v.8.
  88. Jude quotes Enoch freely.
  89. It is a long apocryphal book probably composed at different periods from the first century BC to the first century AD.
  90. Jude cites Enoch 1. 9 in v.15, almost verbatim.
  91. In v.14 he calls Enoch "the seventh from Adam", a description from Enoch lx. 8, and there is a good deal in Enoch which is drawn on in Judeís description of the fallen angels in vv.6 and 13.
  92. Judeís indebtedness to the Assumption of Moses (v.9) is no less certain.
  93. Indeed it is openly asserted by Origen, Clement, and Didymus, who knew the book, which now exists only in fragments; it was probably written at the very beginning of the first century AD.
  94. Both the Assumption and Enoch were highly esteemed in the early church.
  95. Jude quotes them as relevant to the situation for which he writes, and well-known to him and to his readers.
  96. New Testament writers occasionally allude to this vast mass of extra-canonical material that was circulating in the first century.
  97. Paul alludes to the rabbinical midrash on the Rock in 1Cor.10:4; the author of Hebrews frequently echoes the works of Philo; in 2Tim.3:8 we are told that Jannes and Jambres were the magicians who defied Moses before Pharaoh (a piece of Jewish haggada based on Ex.7:11 and found in various extra-canonical writings).
  98. Similarly, the instrumentality of angels in giving the law (Gal.3:19; Heb.2:2), and the statements in Acts.7:22, Jam.5:16, and Heb.11:37 all allude to apocryphal material.
  99. An inspired writer might well use uninspired quotes or allusion where the ideas were not at variance to divine revelation.
  100. We have no right to assume that inspiration of some incidents or ideas within these extra-canonical writings extends to other things within a particular work.
  101. Jude and Second Peter: where lies the priority?
  102. Verses 4-16 of Jude have extensive parallels, both in language and subject matter, with chapter 2 of Second Peter.
  103. The affinities are so close, as anyone can see who reads the two passages, even in an English translation.
  104. Did Second Peter use Jude, or vice versa?
  105. The following are reasons why I prefer the priority of 2 Peter:
    1. The probability that Jude.17,18 refer to the prophecy of 2Pet.3:2-3.
    2. The fact he wrote hurriedly makes it likely that he would have made use of a suitable source that was at hand (i.e., Second Peter).
    3. The unity of style in Second Peter makes it unlikely that Peter made wholesale borrowing from another author.
    4. That the leading apostle would borrow from an obscure man like Jude seems to be against the priority of Jude.
Author and Recipients (v.1)

VERSE 1 Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ (VIou,daj VIhsou/ Cristou/ dou/loj [pr.n. Judas/Jude, all one and the same; from Judah, + gen.m.s., Christos Iesous, + n.m.s., doulos, slave]), and brother of James (avdelfo.j de. VIakw,bou [conj., de, and, + n.m.s., adelphos, brother, + gen.m.s.pr.n., James]), to those who are the called (toi/j klhtoi/j [def.art.w/adj.dat.m.p., kletos, called, invited]), beloved in God the Father (hvgaphme,noij evn qew/| patri. [pf.pass.pt.dat.m.p., agapao, to love, + prep.w/loc.m.s., theos, God, + loc.m.s., pater, father]), and kept for [by] Jesus Christ (kai. tethrhme,noij VIhsou/ Cristw/ [conj. + pf.pass.pt.instr.m.p., thre,w, tereo, keep, preserve, + dat.m.s., Christos Iesous]):

ANALYSIS: VERSE 1

  1. Jude (or Judas, derived from Judah) makes two significant claims about himself.
  2. The first has to do with his status within the household of God.
  3. All believers are designated bond-slaves; only their rank and duties differ.
  4. Even apostles (the highest rank) like Paul (Rom.1:1; Phil.1:1) and Peter (2Pet.1:1) recognized it, and both Jude and James (1:1), who were half-brothers of Jesus, make a point of calling themselves His bond-slaves.
  5. What a change from the days before His resurrection, when His brothers did not believe in Him, but thought Him mentally unbalanced (Jn.7:5; Mk.3:21,31).
  6. Jude recognized that he had no special advantages because he was connected to Jesus through blood.
  7. Jesus recognized the superiority of the spiritual kinship over blood relations (Mt.12:47-50).
  8. Flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom of God (Jn.1:13).
  9. All of Jesusí immediate family members were required to make the adjustments to God like everyone else in the human race.
  10. Mary recognized that her unborn baby was her Savior (Lk.1:47).
  11. The designation "bond-slave" is used against a culture that practiced slavery.
  12. Whether we are obedient slaves or disobedient slaves, we are nevertheless all slaves.
  13. Our future promotion and rewards depend upon our willingness to acclimate to our calling and niche in Ph2.
  14. Each believer is a slave of Jesus Christ and each believer will be evaluated on his/her willingness to acclimate to the niche and responsibilities that befall him/her.
  15. As slaves/servants, we are all under Godís authority (Mt.8:5-10).
  16. We should expect a certain amount of suffering for the faith, as we are not above Christ (Mt.10:24-39).
  17. Greatness is based on willingness to serve (Mt.20:20-28).
  18. As servants, we should not expect to be praised for doing our assignments (Lk.17:7-10).
  19. We will be rewarded according to our faith (Lk.19:13-27).
  20. Pleasing people renders us unfit to be servants of Christ (Gal.1:10).
  21. Secondly, Jude calls himself the "brother of James".
  22. The unadorned name, James, meant one person, and only one, in the apostolic church - James, the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
  23. Though others called Jude "brother of the Lord" (1Cor.9:5), he preferred to style himself "brother of James" and "bond-slave of Jesus Christ".
  24. It is a further mark of his modesty that he was prepared to play second fiddle to James, his more celebrated brother.
  25. There is the parallel of Andrew, content to be known as Simon Peterís brother (Mt.4:18; 10:2; Lk.6:14; Jn.1:40; 6:8).
  26. Men like Jude and Andrew might well have been jealous and resentful of the acclaim given their far more famous brothers, but both gladly accepted their place in the constellation of honored men of their era.
  27. What is important is Ph3 notoriety.
  28. Jude does not tell us where his readers lived, but he does give three remarkable descriptions of what it means to be a Christian.
  29. This is the first of several such triads in this short letter.
  30. It is possible that all three adjectives derive from the Servant Songs of Isaiah where Israel is described as called, loved, and kept by God.
  31. In line with early Christian practice, Jude takes over these attributes of the historic Israel and applies them to the followers of Jesus.
  32. First, they are "beloved in (evn) God the Father".
  33. This is the only place in the N.T. where believers are said to be "loved in God the Father".
  34. Paul often speaks of the believer as being "in Christ" (Rom.15:17; 2Cor.2:17, et. al.), or "in the Lord" (Rom.16:8; 1Cor.4:17, et. al.).
  35. No doubt Jude means to combine the two ideas that his readers are loved by God, and also are incorporated in the Beloved One, and so in God (cp. Jn.14:10).
  36. Secondly, they are "kept for (or better, Ďbyí) Jesus Christ".
  37. This is the only occurrence of the perfect participle of the verb "keep" (tereo).
  38. The verb is used in connection with the doctrine of eternal security in the high priestly prayer of Christ in John 17:12, where the Lord is the subject of the action (cp. vv.6,11,15).
  39. In Jn.17:11 Jesus petitions the Father to "keep them in Your name", which also relates to this very important doctrine.
  40. Jesus taught this doctrine in Jn.10:28,29.
  41. Jude assures the readers that their position "in the Father" is secure and that it does not depend upon them but upon the faithfulness and power of God.
  42. Third, not first (as in the translation), is the designation "called", or "invited".
  43. It is one of the N.T. titles of distinction for believers (adj.dat. of advantage m.p., kletos, called, invited; Rom.1:7; 8:28; 1Cor.1:2,24; Jude.1:1; Rev.17:14).
  44. In Rom.8:28 it refers to our initial call to saving faith.
  45. The call to eternal salvation is based on grace and not works (2Tim.1:9).
  46. The WOG enjoins believers to remain in the temporal niche in which grace found them (1Cor.7:20ff).
  47. Our calling is to a specific future look called hope (Eph.1:18; 4:4; Phil.3:14; cp. Heb.3:1).
  48. We are commanded to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called" (Eph.4:1; 2Thess.1:11).
  49. We have been called to a specific function within the body of Christ (Rom.1:1; 1Cor.1:1), as our individual spiritual gifts are bestowed upon us at salvation.
  50. The "called" are comparatively few from the elite of society (1Cor.1:26).
  51. We should make an effort to understand the particulars related to the why, how, and when of our calling (2Pet.1:10).
  52. Actually, many more are called than are in fact chosen (Mt.22:14).
  53. All who have received Christ are designated "the called" (Rom.1:5,6).
  54. There is nothing about our destiny that is irrelevant to the call of God.
  55. The call of God forms a fitting climax to this triad of descriptions of the privileged position of the believer in Jesus Christ.
  56. God loves him positionally; Christ keeps him; God calls him.
  57. So God has called us to His eternal kingdom and, based on our faith in Christ (the only acceptable response to the Ph1 aspect), we are from that moment forward forever guaranteed a seat at the Kingís supper; the only question that remains is how illustrious a guest we will be!
The Threefold Prayer-Wish (v.2)

VERSE 2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you (e;leoj u`mi/n kai. eivrh,nh kai. avga,ph plhqunqei,h [n.nt.s., eleos, mercy, + pro.dat.p., su, you, + conj. + n.f.s., eirene, peace, + conj. + n.f.s., agape, love, + aor.pass.opt.3.s, plhqu,nw, plethuno, be multiplied, grow, increase; same form as 1Pet.1:2; 2Pet.1:2]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 2

  1. Jude has another triad of qualities that he desires for his readers.
  2. The verb "may be multiplied" is an aorist passive optative.
  3. The optative expresses a wish on the part of the author.
  4. This form of the verb also occurs in 1Pet.1:2 and 2Pet.1:2.
  5. He wants the blessings associated with these things to continue to escalate in their Christian lives.
  6. If these believers sincerely continue with doctrine, then they can expect to see "mercy, peace, and love" increase in their Christian experience cp. 2Pet.1:2, Gal.5:22.
  7. These factors will increase where the truth is continually being taught and applied.
  8. How do we know that the intake and application of BD is the key to the realization of this wish?
  9. For the answer, see 2Pet.1:2: "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge (epignosis) of God and of Jesus our Lord (source)".
  10. Why "mercy"?
  11. It is rare in a greeting (cf. 1Tim.1:2; 2Tim.1:2; 2Jn.3), but singularly important in these four places where it occurs against a background of false teaching.
  12. It is a reminder that not only at his regeneration (cf. 1Pet.1:3; 1Tim.1:16; Ti.3:5), not only at the Bema Seat (2Tim.1:18; Jude.21), but every day of his life the positive believer stands in need of the mercy of God.
  13. Nothing but unmerited mercy can meet the needs of habitual sinners.
  14. We stand in need of mercy every time we sin and apply rebound.
  15. We should extend the same mercy towards others that God extends toward us (Mt.18:23-35).
  16. Godís mercy is extended to generation after generation to those who fear Him (Lk.1:50).
  17. Godís mercy is behind Israelís forgiveness and restoration (Lk.1:54).
  18. Whenever we are singularly blessed, even if it is based on our faithfulness, it is an act of mercy (Lk.1:58; cp. Phil.2:27).
  19. Mercy is upon those who walk according to BD (Gal.6:16).
  20. Church Age believers are under special mercy based upon their dispensational privilege (Eph.2:4; 1Pet.2:10).
  21. Deliverance is an act of mercy (Heb.4:16).
  22. Only mercy can triumph over judgment (Jam.2:13).
  23. God is a God of mercies (Rom.12:1; 2Cor.1:3;Lam.3:22,32).
  24. All believers enjoy Ph1 peace, or reconciliation (Rom.5:1 cp. 8:1), and through knowledge of our salvation we have inner peace with respect to our final destiny.
  25. BD teaches us how to enjoy inner peace (cf. Jn.14:27; 16:33; Phil.4:7).
  26. BD calls us to external peace with our fellow man (Rom.12:18; 14:19; Prov.16:7).
  27. Then there is Ph2 reconciliation, as per 2Cor.5:20.
  28. In that context, both Ph1 (vv.18,19) and Ph2 (v.20) reconciliation are featured.
  29. Phase 2 reconciliation is also in view in 2Pet.3:14 where, addressing believers, Peter admonishes them: "be diligent to be found by Him in peace...".
  30. The Corinthians corporately had become estranged from Paulís ministry and were thereby estranged from God, so Paul wrote First Corinthians as a corrective.
  31. They repented and repudiated the false teachers who had seduced them.
  32. Second Corinthians was written in response to the news of their turn around, as reported by Titus (2Cor.7:6, 13,14).
  33. Phase 1 reconciliation predominates in Scripture and is featured in the following N.T. passages (Rom.5:10; 11:15; 2Cor.5:18,19; Eph.2:16; Col.1:20,22).
  34. "Peace", as used in this salutation, includes Ph2 reconciliation, as well as the inner and external aspects.
  35. All are multiplied in the lives of those who are pursuing epignosis.
  36. Last, but not least, is "love", which concludes the triad.
  37. The noun avga,ph occurs 119X in the Greek N.T., while the verb avgapa,w occurs 167X.
  38. One of Godís attributes is Love (1Jn.4:8,16).
  39. He expects us to exhibit the same love towards man and God.
  40. Jesus taught love of the brotherhood under the designation of "a new commandment" in Jn.13:34: "A new (kainos) commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another" (cp. 1Jn.2:7,8; 2Jn.1:5).
  41. As we apply in fellowship (FHS) toward one another, we keep this commandment.
  42. We need to be constantly learning epignosis in order to fulfill all the love directives.
  43. Our love for God is measured by our willingness to keep His commandments (Jn.14:15: "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments").
  44. Under the Law, there is the "great commandment" to love God with all oneís heart, soul, and strength (Deut.6:5; cp. Mt.22:36-38).
  45. The second is to love your fellow man as yourself (Lev.19:18; cp. Mt.22:39).
  46. This is popularly called "the golden rule".
  47. These two commandments summarize the whole Law (some 613 commandments; Mt.22:40).
  48. In order to flourish in these commandments, one had to become familiar with the O.T. canon.
  49. Godís love increases in our experience to the extent that we know and do His will.
  50. Godís love for us is made evident via the IHS who teaches us about His grace (Rom.5:5).


The Letter That Had to Wait (v.3)

VERSE 3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you (VAgaphtoi, poiou,menoj pa/san spoudh.n ra,fein u`mi/n [adj.voc.m.p., agapetos, beloved, dear friends, + pres.mid.pt.n.m.s., poieo, do, make, + adj.acc.f.s., pas, all, every, + acc.f.s., spoude, speed; diligence; "effort", + pres.act.infin., grapho, write, + pro.dat.p., su, you]) about our common salvation (peri. th/j koinh/j h`mw/n swthri,aj [prep.w/def.art.w/adj.gen.f.s., koino,j, koinos, common, + gen.f.s., soteria, salvation, + pro.gen.p., ego, "our"]), I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith (avna,gkhn e;scon gra,yai u`mi/n parakalw/n evpagwni,zesqai th/| pi,stei [acc.f.s., avna,gkh, anagke, necessity, compulsion, + aor.act.ind.1.s., echo, have; "felt", + aor.act.infin., grapho, write, + pro.dat.p., su, + pres.act.pt.n.m.s., parakaleo, exhort, summon, implore; "earnestly", + pres.midd.infin., evpagwni,zomai, epagonizomai, make a strenuous effort, struggle for; "contend"; 1X, + def.art.w/dat.f.s., pistis, faith {body of truth}]) which was once for all handed down to the saints (paradoqei,sh| a[pax toi/j a`gi,oij [aor.pass.pt.dat.f.s., paradidomi, hand over, + adv., hapax, once, once for all, + def.art.w/adj.dat.m.p., hagios, holy; saint]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 3

  1. Judeís brief greeting concluded, he plunges at once into the circumstances that have brought him to write this letter.
  2. He has felt compelled to do so, he explains, by alarm at the threat poised by certain heretics to the spiritual well-being of believers to whom this letter was first sent.
  3. The Church was threatened by the teaching of innovators of suspect orthodoxy and morality.
  4. The exact import of the participial clause Ė"while I was making every effort to write to you...I felt the necessity" Ė is not easy to disentangle.
  5. According to the generally accepted interpretation of these words, it had been his earnest intention "to write to you about our common salvation", i.e. (presumably) to prepare a general and positive presentation of the faith for their benefit; but this project had to be interrupted by the urgent need to deal with a particular critical situation.
  6. Various interpreters fail to detect in his words any implication of a change of plan.
  7. To them the phrases "our common salvation" and "the faith once for all delivered to the saints" are not antithetical, but complimentary.
  8. All the writer is saying is that "being very eager to write" his correspondents, he has been constrained by the emergency.
  9. Both exegeses make good sense and are syntactically possible, but in favor of the former it is urged:
    1. That the latter makes the sentence unnecessarily labored and repetitive.
    2. That the difference of tense between the two infinitives "to write" (the first is present tense, the second is aorist) seems to distinguish a general intention which fell short of accomplishment from a concrete action carried through.
    3. That the structure and wording of the sentence suggest a contrast between a general essay on the faith and a peremptory exhortation to defend it.
  10. If we accept the former exegesis, it is fruitless to speculate whether the writer ever fulfilled his original plan or not.
  11. The scenario presented, incidentally, is entirely lifelike, and agrees well with the view taken in the Introduction that Jude is a genuine letter directed at a particular situation and is not a general homily.
  12. For the affectionate "Beloved/Dear friends" (literally, "loved"), see v.1b and 2Pet.2:11.
  13. By our "common salvation", some think he means the salvation which he, a Jewish Christian, and they, Gentile Christians, share alike.
  14. But in the absence of any other reference in the letter to such a distinction, this is artificial.
  15. Almost certainly, the expression means "the salvation which we Christians share in common".
  16. It brings out the corporate nature of salvation as understood by Judaism, with its consciousness of being the people of God, and even more vividly by Christianity, with its conviction of union with Christ.
  17. This is one of the most characteristic differences between it and Hellenistic piety, in which salvation (esp. of the mystery cults) tended to be a private experience of the individual.
  18. The Greek phrase "while I was making every effort" contains a present continuous participle, which refers to Judeís interrupted studies with a view to publishing a detailed doctrinal treatise on "our common salvation".
  19. We have such a detailed treatise in our Book of Romans.
  20. Jude was much engaged in this project when circumstances redirected his energies.
  21. In the words "I felt the necessity" (or "I found it necessary"), the Greek verb (aor.act.ind., echo) is aorist, thus standing in contrast to the present linear participle "making every effort".
  22. He has been driven by alarming news "to write" (aorist infinitive versus present infinitive in the preceding clause of grapho, "to write") in such a fashion as "appealing" (pres.act.part. of parakaleo) to his audience to "contend earnestly for" their convictions.
  23. The verb (pres.dep.infin., epagonizomai) is exceptionally strong, and the picture conjured up by it and its cognates is of athletics, a wrestling match or some other contest at the games.
  24. This metaphor is vivid in the Pastorals, which speak of "the good fight of the faith", or simply "the good fight" (1Tim.6:12; 2Tim.4:7ff).
  25. Paul draws on the arena, stadium, or battlefield to drive home the rigorous demands of the Christian life (1Cor.9:24-27; Eph.6:10-17) or of the apostolic ministry (Col.1:29).
  26. The Greek writers never tire of comparing the life of virtue to the strenuous training and toilsome encounters of athletes (Plutarch, Mor. 593de).
  27. Here, the cause that needs vigorous defense is "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints".
  28. This is an extremely important expression which, taken in conjunction with "our common salvation", adds precision to our authorís conception of Christianity.
  29. Clearly "the faith" is not manís response to the doctrinal message, but to the actual message itself.
  30. Faith is used here in the objective sense of revealed truth/doctrine (cp. Acts.6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5; 1Cor.16:13; 2Cor.13:5; Gal.1:23; 3:23; 6:10; Eph.4:13; Phil.1:25,27; Col.1:23; 1Tim.3:9,13; 4:1,6; 5:8; 6:10,21; 2Tim.1:13; 2:18; 3:8; 4:7; Ti.1:1,13; Jude.1:3).
  31. Moreover, it "has been delivered", i.e., handed down, committed, and entrusted with the idea of further transmission within the Church.
  32. The agents of the action of this verb are human beings (see Lk.1:2; Acts.16:4; Rom.6:17; 1Cor.11:2; 2Thess.2:15; 3:6; 2Tim.2:1ff).
  33. The custodians are "the saints", or the Church at large.
  34. The qualifying adverb "once for all" points to the apostolic era (first century AD).
  35. During the period of the alpha Church, the deposit was made.
  36. By the time Jude wrote, the process was well advanced.
  37. This same adverb (hapax) is used again in v.5 in connection with the consummation of a process.
  38. Apostolic Christianity is viewed here as a system of revealed teaching/doctrine, which is by its very nature unalterable and normative.
  39. Apostolic teaching, not whatever be the current theological fad, is the hallmark of authentic Christianity.
  40. Because Christianity is a historical faith, the witness of the original hearers and their circle, the apostles, is determinative of what we can know about Jesus.
  41. We cannot get behind the N.T. witness, nor can we get beyond it, though we must accurately interpret it to each successive generation.
  42. The person whose witness outruns the N.T. canon is to be rejected (2Jn.9Ė10).
  43. Jude is simply displaying the same concern that his readers should adhere to the primitive apostolic faith as Paul does so frequently in his letters (cf. 2Cor.11:3,4; Gal.1:8,9; Col.2:6-8; 1Thess.2:13; 2Thess.3:6).
  44. Here, Jude attacks antinomianism with the same passion as Paul in Galatians attacks legalism.
  45. Both are perversions of the gospel.
  46. The defense of this faith must be continuous, costly, and agonizing: the cost of being unfashionable, the agony of seeking to express the faith in a way that is really comprehensible to contemporary man.
  47. Contending for the faith is illustrated in the verses that follow.
  48. The Bible and its teachings have come under attack through the centuries and God has raised up individuals to defend it against all manner of attack.


The Occasion for the Letter (v.4)

VERSE 4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed (ga,r tinej a;nqrwpoi pareise,dusan [conj., gar, + pro./indef.n.m.p., tis, some; certain, + n.m.p., anthropos; "persons", + aor.act.ind.3.p., pareisdu,w, pareidsuo, slip in, sneak in; 1X]), those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation (oi` progegramme,noi pa,lai eivj tou/to to. kri,ma [def.art.w/pf.pass.pt.n.m.p., progra,fw, prographo, write before or previously; "marked out", 4X: Rom.15:4; Gal.3:1; Eph.3:3; Jude.1:4, + adv., palai, long ago, + prep. w/pro.acc.nt.s., houtos, this, + def.art.w/acc.nt.s., krima, judgment]), ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness (avsebei/j metatiqe,ntej th.n ca,rita h`mw/n tou/ qeou/ eivj avse,lgeian[adj.n.m.p., asebes, ungodly, irreverent, + pres.act.pt.n.m.p., metati,qhmi, metatithemi, transfer, transplant; change, alter; 6X: Acts.7:16; Gal.1:6; Heb.7:12; 11:5; Jude.4, + def.art.w/acc.f.s., charis, grace, + pro.gen.p. ego; "our", + def.art.w/gen.m.s., theos, + prep.w/acc.f.s., avse,lgeia, aselgeia, sexual indulgence, licentiousness; 10X: Mk.7:22; Rom.13:13; 2Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 1Pet.4:3; 2Pet.2:2,7,18; Jude.4]) and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (kai. avrnou,menoi h`mw/n to.n mo,non despo,thn kai. ku,rion VIhsou/n Cristo.n [conj., + pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., avrne,omai, arneomai, deny, + pro.gen.p., ego, + def.art.w.adj.acc.m.s., monos, only, + acc.m.s., despo,thj, despotes, master, owner, + conj., + acc.m.s., kurios, + acc.m.s., Christos Iesous]).

ANALSIS: VERSE 4

  1. Here is the peril that caused Jude to rush off his unexpected letter.
  2. He heard of "certain persons" who had "crept in unawares".
  3. The rare verb pareisdu,w (pareisduo) means to "smuggle in", and here it means to enter the fellowship of positive volition surreptitiously (done by stealth).
  4. Diogenes Laertius used it of a secret return to a country; Plutarch of the insidious decline of good laws and the stealthy substitution of inferior ones.
  5. It denotes a sinister and secretive activity.
  6. It is similar to pareisago Ė "to bring in under false pretenses" Ė of Gal.2:4 and 2Pet.2:1, where the same deceitful activity of false teachers is in view.
  7. Such an incursion by "ungodly persons" is wrong just because it was clandestine (cf. Gal.2:4; 2Tim.3:6).
  8. Such an infiltration is always more serious when the danger comes from within ("Operation Trojan Horse").
  9. Jesus warned against those who would masquerade as sheep but were in fact wolves in sheepís clothing (Mt.7:15).
  10. The apostles also warned against such types (Acts.20:29,30; Phil.3:2; 1Tim.4:1ff; 2Tim.3:1; 1Jn.4:1).
  11. There will always be those who will be a menace to the sheep (Jn.10:1).
  12. Probably the libertine heretics were itinerate teachers - a common problem in the early church (see 2Cor.10 and 11:5; 2Jn.1:10; 3Jn.1:9).
  13. When Jude wrote, the infiltration of the local churches had already begun.
  14. There is a contemptuous ring in "certain persons" (cf. Paulís use of the indefinite pronoun tines in Gal.1:7; 2:12).
  15. Those who installed themselves in the Christian communities were disseminating their false teachings in situ rather than from a separatist sect.
  16. The situation at hand resembles that of Gal.2:4, where Paul speaks of "false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty...in order to bring us into bondage".
  17. Both Peter (Second Peter) and Jude addressed the crisis associated with this clandestine attack against the apostolic orthodoxy in the latter half of the first century AD.
  18. Their teachings were so perverse and heretical that they had to operate in this fashion if they hoped to have any chance of success.
  19. Before Jude characterizes their perversity, he mentions their judgment.
  20. The expression "long beforehand marked out" is an interpretative attempt to make sense of the Greek expression.
  21. The verb (pf.pass.pt., prographo, write before) is found in Eph.3:3, where Paul refers to a previous (i.e., lost) letter sent to the Ephesians where he communicated in nutshell fashion the mystery doctrine of the church ("as I wrote before in brief").
  22. In Rom.15:4 the verb is used in connection with the O.T. canon: "For whatever was written in earlier times for our instruction...".
  23. The verb is used metaphorically in Gal.3:1, where it is translated "portrayed" in connection with the vivid presentation of the crucifixion of Christ by Paul when he was with them (aor.pass.ind.).
  24. The fourth and final use of the verb in the N.T. has to do with a previous written (or spoken) mention of the judgment of the false teachers specified in Second Peter and Jude.
  25. The adverb (palai) "long ago" simply denotes time past in antithesis to the present.
  26. Whether the time is short or long is determined by the context.
  27. The adverb occurs 7X in the N.T.: Mt.11:21; Mk.15:44; Lk.10:13; 2Cor.12:19; Heb.1:1; 2Pet.1:9; Jude.1:4.
  28. The adverb means "formerly", without reference to duration.
  29. "Long ago" is an acceptable translation in Mt.11:21 and Lk.10:13, but it could also simply be rendered "formerly".
  30. For a short period of time, see Mk.15:44.
  31. In 2Cor.12:19 the words "All this time" refer to a relatively short period of time.
  32. Hebrews 1:1 refers to time past, generally speaking.
  33. In 2Pet.1:9 the mention of their "former sins" is a more or less recent occurrence.
  34. The problem in Jude.1:4 is interpretative.
  35. Is it "long beforehand", as suggested by the English translations and the obvious reference in Mt.11:21 and Lk.15:44, or is Jude making an oblique reference to a more recent record?
  36. In the absence of any written O.T. prophecy of the condemnation of the false teachers, and with the understanding that Jude was familiar and dependent upon Second Peter, the answer is at hand.
  37. Jude refers to the condemnation made more explicit in Second Peter 2 (vv.3,12,17).
  38. If this is the case, then the translation of the adverb as "already" makes perfect sense.
  39. The proposed translation is "those who were already (or previously) marked out (or written beforehand) for this condemnation".
  40. While speaking of "this judgment", Jude fails to specify which judgment or provide fresh details.
  41. He is apparently drawing on a source in which the judgment was described in more detail (as in Second Peter 2).
  42. "This condemnation" refers to both the eschatological wrath that will eliminate these types from the planet during the Tribulation and Second Advent, as well as their judgment for Ph1 unbelief.
  43. These subtle intruders are described further.
  44. They are "ungodly", or profane, in terms of the true faith.
  45. This term, as we have seen, refers to unbelievers (2Pet.3:7; cp. v.15).
  46. Jude further identifies them as those "who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness".
  47. The big question here is: What aspect of grace is he referring to?
  48. If it is saving grace, then this contradicts the allegation that they "deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ".
  49. These types are certainly not men who proclaimed the gospel of free grace (cp. 2Pet.2:1).
  50. The grace Jude speaks of is the grace provided for under Divine Institution #2, which is Right Man/Right Woman, or marriage.
  51. And specifically, that aspect of marriage called sex.
  52. Marriage and sex are grace gifts given to the entire human race.
  53. Sex is not only designed for the orderly perpetuation of the species, but also for recreation between a man and a woman within the context of marriage (cp. Prov.5:15-19).
  54. Any thing else is a form of licentiousness.
  55. The noun refers to sexual immorality and is used 10X in the N.T.: Mk.7:22; Rom.13:13; 2Cor.12:21; Gal.5:19; Eph.4:19; 1Pet.4:3; 2Pet.2:2,7,18; Jude.1:4.
  56. The liberals, including the theological liberals, speak of sexual freedom, or liberation.
  57. Many denominations and churches have embraced the liberal ethic of anything goes between consenting adults.
  58. Only the true teaching of Scripture liberates people; this other enslaves them.
  59. "A free people must understand what freedom is. And in our present situation the law must not be permitted to contribute to the widespread confusion of liberty with licentiousness. Liberty is not an abstract right to do whatever we feel like without regard to the consequences. It especially does not mean this in those areas where the consequence of abuse is to destroy liberty. If we want to hold on to liberty, then we must limit those abuses that will destroy it. We canít have it both ways. This means that at some level, in the laws of a free society, limits must be set which respect the requirements of freedom." -- Alan Keyes.
  60. Freedom is abused by the liberals and the result is slavery (1Pet.2:16; 2Pet.2:19).
  61. The false teachers arising in Judeís day and dominating the landscape in our day are doctrinal heretics, as well.
  62. They attack who and what Jesus Christ is.
  63. They deny His deity, His work, and His resurrection.
  64. The phrase is reminiscent of 2Pet.2:1 (more proof of dependency).
  65. Further, the designation despotes, "Master", in the N.T., always refers to God the Father, except in Second Peter and here.
  66. "Only" (to.n mo,non) is added here because, like the later Gnostics, they maintained that He was a mere man on whom the divine Spirit descended at His baptism, along with the idea that Jesus was one of a number of potential leaders of epoch proportions.
  67. So they denied His deity and supreme lordship.
  68. Those who deny the Son also deny the Father (this theme is featured in First John).


Expose of the False Teachers (vv.5-16)

Three Precedences for their Doom (vv.5-7)

The Exodus Generation (v.5)

VERSE 5 Now I desire to remind you (de. bou,lomai ~Upomnh/sai u`ma/j [conj., de, + pres.dep.ind.1.s., boulomai, desire, + aor.act.infin., u`pomimnh,skw, hupomimnesko, remind, + pro.acc.p., su]), though you know all things once for all (eivdo,taj u`ma/j pa,nta a[pax [pf.act.pt.acc.m.p., oida, know, + pro.acc.p., su, + adj.acc.nt.p., pas, all, + adv., hapax, once for all]), that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt (o[ti Îo`Ð ku,rioj sw,saj lao.n evk gh/j Aivgu,ptou [conj., hoti, + def.art.w/n.m.s., kurios, lord, + aor.act.pt.n.m.s., sozo, save, + acc.m.s., laos, people, + prep.w/gen.f.s., ge, earth; land, + gen.f.s., Aiguptos, Egypt]), subsequently destroyed those who did not believe (to. deu,teron avpw,lesen tou.j mh. pisteu,santaj [def.art.w/adj.acc.nt.s., deuteros, second; afterward; "subsequently", + aor.act.ind.3.s., avpo,llumi, apollumi, destroy; perish {pass.}, + def.art.w/aor.act.pt.acc.m.p., pisteuo, believe, w/neg.]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 5

  1. After introducing his opponents, Jude proceeds to demonstrate what will happen to such men.
  2. He does so by drawing upon three instances of divine judgment from the O.T.
  3. All this he says by way of a reminder: "Now I intend to remind you".
  4. He assumes a general knowledge of O.T. history on their part, which was previously taught them by their teachers.
  5. This is reflected in his observation "though you know all things".
  6. The perfect participle "know" refers to their comprehension of the historical facts relative to these three examples, as well as their comprehension of the spiritual lessons each example affords.
  7. Jude simply triggers their spiritual frame of reference and makes application to the present assault upon the integrity of the faith of positive volition.
  8. The adverb "once for all" occurs in the Greek sentence after "the Lord" (Îo`Ð ku,rioj).
  9. It is translated in the English versions with the preceding phrase, suggesting that they "once" knew "all things".
  10. The NKJV renders the phrase "though you once knew all things", indicating that they had apparently forgotten these incidents and their attendant lessons.
  11. There is no warrant for such an exegesis.
  12. The Greek syntax is against these renditions.
  13. The adverb is used in the N.T. in the sense of "once", as strictly a numerical concept in the sense of one time (2Cor.11:25), and of something done uniquely, as in "once for all", as in Heb.9:28.
  14. Following the latter usage here, the phrase makes perfect sense, as the Exodus from Egypt was a unique event, or a one-of-a-kind event.
  15. The phrase containing "once for all" would read: "that the Lord, once for all having saved a people out of the land of Egypt...".
  16. In this phrase Jude summarizes all the details involved in this unprecedented and spectacular deliverance, simply because these early Christians had been taught so well.
  17. He refers to the Jewish race of the time as simply "a people".
  18. The Jewish population at the time lived in the NE delta region of Egypt known by the name Goshen where they had resided in segregation from the Egyptians since the days of Jacob (Gen.45:10; 46:28,29,34; 47:1,4,6).
  19. The Jewish people came out of Egypt in accordance with the prophecy of Gen.15:13,14.
  20. This prophecy specified that the Jewish people would be aliens and slaves in a land that was not theirs for 400 years.
  21. It further specified that God would judge the oppressor nation and deliver His people with "many possessions" (see Ex.11:2,3; 12:35,36).
  22. Egypt, the most powerful and glamorous nation at the time of the Exodus (1446BC), was reduced to a shambles via ten plagues, the defeat of Pharaoh and his forces at the Red Sea crossing, and the subsequent 400 year Hyksos/Amalakite oppression.
  23. This was punishment for the anti-Semitism and genocide sponsored by the dynasty in power (Ex.1:8, 22).
  24. Israel was spared the 10 plagues, as they were all supernaturally conceived and monitored (Ex.8:22; 9:26).
  25. After the tenth plague, Pharaoh granted permission for Israel to leave.
  26. Israel left the border of Egypt and moved NNW along the Kingís Highway until God told Moses to turn south into the Sinai, where they finally arrived at the beach at Nuweiba on the Gulf of Aqaba.
  27. The adult male population (20 years old and up) is specified as about 600,000 (Ex.12:37; cp. 38:26, where the exact number is given as 603,550).
  28. This means that there were some 2 to 3 million people, counting women and children (also livestock), who crossed the Aqaba branch of the Red Sea into Arabia/Midian (see Ex.12:37,38).
  29. The males who were 20 years and older were the Exodus Generation.
  30. They were believers, but negative believers (Ps.106:12ff; Ex.14:31).
  31. God made a distinction between His people and the Egyptians, who were unbelievers (Ex.11:7), and the fact that the Israelites escaped the curse of the tenth plague (Ex.12:26-28).
  32. The events at the crossing of the Red Sea are used to symbolize the baptism of the HS and union with Christ (1Cor.10:1,2), another indication of their Ph1 status.
  33. The drinking of water from the Rock further symbolized the possession of eternal life (1Cor.10:3).
  34. The physical deliverance of the people foreshadows Ph1 deliverance.
  35. All who left Egypt, even the weak, made it across the land bridge at Aqaba.
  36. Yet Jude reports that "after delivering" the Israelites, they were "subsequently destroyed" (aor.act.ind.3.p., apollumi).
  37. Another translation: "afterwards (adj., deuteros, a number, "second"; in a succession of events, as here, "afterwards") those who did not believe perished".
  38. In Ex.14:31 it says that "When Israel saw the great power which Yahweh had used against the Egyptians, the people feared Yahweh, and they believed in Yahweh and in His servant Moses".
  39. The unbelief Jude speaks of is their negative volition towards the ministry of Moses during the years of their desert sojourn.
  40. It was specifically the Exodus Generation that failed to trust God and who, in their persistent unbelief, came under the sin unto death (Deut.2:14-16; Josh.5:6).
  41. Israel wandered in the wilderness for forty years, and over that period of time, God killed off that generation of over 600,000 men with the exception of two positive believers - Joshua and Caleb (603,550 minus 2 = 603,548; see Num.14:24).
  42. Following the evil majority report of the twelve spies, God took an oath by Himself that the Exodus Generation was to die off before they could enter the land of promise (Deut.1:34-46).
  43. Israel faced ten tests over the first two years of their wanderings, culminating in the test associated with spying out the land, and they flunked them all (Num.14:6-22).
  44. The tenth test was the final straw.
  45. The ten tests include:
    1. The too much water test on the west shore of the Red Sea (Ex.14:11-12).
    2. The wrong kind of water test at Marah (Ex.15:23,24).
    3. The no food test in the wilderness of Sin (Ex.16:2ff).
    4. The two-part specific instructions test in connection with the gathering of the manna (Ex.16:20,27).
    5. The no water test at Rephidim (Ex.17).
    6. The absent leader test at Sinai (Ex.32:7).
    7. The same routine test at Taberah (Num.11:1,2).
    8. The self-control test at Kibroth-hattaavah (Num.11:33).
    9. The evil report test at Kadesh (Num.14 cp. 13:25-33).
  46. According to the number of days the spies were on patrol was the number of years Israel was to remain in the wilderness (Num.14:33-35).
  47. During that forty-year period, God administered the SUD to that generation, minus the two exceptions (Num.26:63-65).
  48. Scripture in various places bears witness to the destruction (SUD) of that formative generation and the reasons (Pss.78:8-53; 95:6-11; 106:6-27; 1Cor.10:5-11; Heb.3:16-19; 4:1,2).
  49. The question posed by this verse is, how does the physical destruction of that generation apply to the judgment of the unbelievers who are profiled in Jude and Second Peter?
  50. The Exodus Generation was guilty of the same kinds of vices.
  51. They denied the Lord who delivered them.
  52. They practiced idolatry even at Sinai.
  53. They engaged in immorality.
  54. They were malcontents and insubordinate to authority.
  55. These things are more or less the venue of the false teachers of Jude and Second Peter.
  56. They continually put God to the test and He had to respond in wrath.
  57. They acted more like unbelievers than believers.
  58. The answer to the question is that, if God was compelled to act so harshly with believers, how much more will He come against unbelievers who actively seek to subvert the truth (see 1Pet.4:17,18).
  59. They face not only the prospect of the SUD, but eternal retribution.
  60. Like those of the Exodus Generation, God picks off the heretics one by one.
  61. Men who have been the most ardent and high profile enemies of the faith often have miserable lives and deaths.


The Angelic Infiltration (v.6)

VERSE 6 And angels who did not keep their own domain (te avgge,louj tou.j mh. thrh,santaj e`autw/n avrch.n [part./enclitic, used as a conj., closely corrodinating concepts, likewise, + acc.m.p., angelos, angel, + neg.w/def.art.w/aor.act.pt.acc.m.p., tereo, keep, + pro./reflexive, heautou, oneís own; "their own", + def.art.w/acc.f.s., arche, primacy; first, original; domain]), but abandoned their proper abode (avlla. avpolipo,ntaj to. i;dion oivkhth,rion [conj., + aor.act.pt.acc.m.p., avpolei,pw, apoleipo, leave behind; desert, abandon, + def.art.w/adj.acc.nt.s., idios, oneís own, w/acc.nt.s., oivkhth,rion, oiketerion, abode, habitation; 2X: 2Cor.5:2]), He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day (teth,rhken desmoi/j avi<dioij u`po. zo,fon eivj kri,sin mega,lhj h`me,raj [pf.act.ind.3.s., tereo, keep, + adj.dat.nt.p., avi<dioj, aidios, everlasting; 2X: Rom.1:20, + dat.nt.p., desmos, bond, + prep., hupo, w/acc.m.s., zophos, gloom, darkness; 5X: Heb.12:18; 2Pet.2:4,17; Jude.6,13, + prep., eis, w/acc.f.s., krisis, judgment, + adj.gen.f.s., megas, great, + gen.f.s., hemera, day; i.e., "day of the Lord"]),

ANALYSIS: VERSE 6

  1. The second example of encouragement and warning, like the first, is introduced by the weak connective te, and.
  2. Again, the particle is used to indicate closely related concepts within a context.
  3. It could be translated "likewise", or "similarly".
  4. This is Peterís first example of notorious behavior (2Pet.2:4).
  5. The identity of these particular angels/demons is based on the exegesis of Gen.6 and comparison with 1Pet.3:19,20.
  6. First, we must dispense with the notion that these angels are fallen angels en masse and the related idea that Jude refers here to the fall of angels.
  7. Satan and his angels were originally created perfect, or sinless (Ezek.28:12-17), but pride was his downfall.
  8. Following Satanís fall from sinless perfect and his demotion from being "the anointed cherub who covers", he solicited the angelic race and one-third of all angels became like him (cp. Rev.12:4).
  9. The other two-thirds remained loyal and sinless.
  10. God sentenced the fallen angels to the Lake of Fire, but has not yet carried out the sentence (Mt.25:41).
  11. We categorize these angels as free fallen angels.
  12. All the Biblical evidence points to the fact that Satan and his angels, except for those specified in First and Second Peter and Jude, have never been, and are not now, in hell (Lk.8:31; Eph.6:11,12).
  13. Yet 2Pet.2:4 and Jude.6 speak of angels who are imprisoned in the underworld beneath the earth.
  14. These angels are the "sons of God" of Gen.6:2,4.
  15. The designation is only found 5X in the O.T.: twice in Gen.6 and 3X in Job (1:6; 2:1; 38:7).
  16. The Job references are unequivocally in reference to angels and not humans.
  17. All angels were created by the Son of God, and as Godís creatures they are properly called "sons of God" (Col.1:16; Ps.148:5).
  18. According to Job.38:7, they were created before the physical universe of Gen.1:1.
  19. In other words, they were eyewitnesses to original creation.
  20. The angels of Gen.6 cohabited with beautiful women of the antediluvian era, producing a super race of demigods whose legends prevail in the mythology of the ancients.
  21. This hybrid race of half angel/half man is mentioned in passing in Gen.6:4.
  22. Satanís objective was to contaminate the human gene pool and eventually frustrate the promise of Gen.3:15 ("seed of the woman"), negating the true humanity of the Savior.
  23. Had he been successful, he would have won the AC by default.
  24. But his scheme was cut short by the Noahic flood, in which the hybrid race was destroyed along with the rest of humanity, minus the eight souls on the ark.
  25. The perpetrators were cast into Tartarus (2Pet.2:4 Ė literally, "the chains of the gloom of Tartarus"), a place in which, according to Greek mythology, the Titans were consigned.
  26. At the flood these demons were removed from circulation and incarcerated in Tartarus, where they have been ever since.
  27. Jesus Christ, in His resurrection body, visited Sheol and made a victorious proclamation to these demon spirits, according to 1Pet.3:18-20.
  28. The proclamation rubbed salt in their wounds, as it was obvious that Satan had been unsuccessful in all His attempts to frustrate the incarnation.
  29. Judeís point is that no matter how spectacular the assault on Godís Word, enemies are doomed to failure, as they are up against Godís perfect essence.
  30. The angels, in prison since the flood, will be briefly released to carry out a five-month terror campaign upon those who take the mark of the beast (Rev.9:5,10).
  31. This does not violate the fact that they are in "eternal bonds".
  32. Satan, who is imprisoned during the 1,000 years, will be released for a brief period (Rev.20:1,2; cp. v.7ff).
  33. These "bonds" are "eternal", as there is no escaping this state.
  34. It is a gloomy realm to add to the misery and to reflect the spiritual condition of the prisoners.
  35. "The judgment of the great day" refers to the Great White Throne Judgment coming between the dissolution of original creation and just before the New Creation (Rev.20:11-15).
  36. Jude, like Peter, does not give specific information on the nature of the crime that has rendered them powerless over the centuries since the flood.
  37. Peter simply mentions the fact that they "sinned".
  38. Jude, in a somewhat redundant statement, refers to them as those "who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode".
  39. The noun "domain" (acc.fem.sing., avrch,), when used in relation to time, means "beginning" (Mt.19:4); when used of anything, it means "the first" (Heb.2:3); when used in relation to rank, it means "rule" (Eph.1:21); and when used of a being with authority, it means "ruler" (Rom.8:38).
  40. By engaging in sexual relations with humans, these angels "did not keep" their call to perpetual celibacy.
  41. They did not keep, or guard, their calling when they materialized themselves and took wives from the human race.
  42. The resulting unions were not marriages in Godís eyes, even though the human race so regarded them.
  43. Angels do not propagate themselves (Mt.22:30); furthermore, they do not die (Lk.20:36).
  44. They are a fixed number from creation and they are all of the male gender.
  45. These sexual liaisons were as abhorrent to God as are the so-called homosexual unions of today.
  46. Their sin was akin to bestiality, as they crossed the boundary between two levels of creation.
  47. The phrase "but abandoned (2.aor.act.pt) their proper abode" further brings this out.
  48. The noun "proper abode" only occurs here and in 2Cor.5:2, where the body is the "proper abode" of the soul.
  49. The liberals of the last days are placed in the same category of notorious sinners with the fornicating angels of Gen.6.
  50. They will be remembered as a threat that, while doing untold damage, in the end is exposed and shut down dramatically.
  51. Their activities will be halted as they face the judgments of the Tribulation.
Sodom and Gomorrah (v.7)

VERSE 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them (w`j So,doma kai. Go,morra kai. ai` peri. auvta.j po,leij [conj./compar. hos, as + n.nt.p. Sodoma, Sodom + conj. + n.nt.p., Gomorra + conj. + def.art.w/n.f.p. polis, city + prep./peri.w/pro.acc.f.p. autos, acts as a demonstr. pro. placed in the predicate position; "around them"], since they in the same way as these [o[moion tro,pon tou,toij [adj.acc.m.s., homoios, of the same kind, resembling; "in the same" + acc.m.s., tropos, manner, way, fashion + pro./demonstr.dat.m.p. houtos, this; "these"] indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh [evkporneu,sasai kai. avpelqou/sai ovpi,sw sarko.j e`te,raj [aor.act.pt.n.f.p., evkporneu,w ekporneuo, misbehave sexually; "indulged in gross immorality" + conj. + aor.act.pt.n.f.p., avpe,rcomai aperchomai, go away; go after + prep.opiso (after) w/adj.gen.f.s., heteros, different; "strange" w/gen.f.s., sarx, flesh], are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire [pro,keintai dei/gma u`pe,cousai di,khn aivwni,ou puro.j [pres.dep.ind.3.p., pro,keimai prokeimai, be on public display; exist for all to see + acc.nt.s., deigma, proof, example + acc.f.s., dike, punishment + adj.gen.nt.s., aionios, eternal + gen.nt.s., pur, fire]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 7

  1. "Just as" (compar.adv., hos) draws a comparison between this and the previous example.
  2. Both examples have in common high-handed sinning, resulting in a dramatic manifestation of the overruling will of God.
  3. Both examples involved gross sexual misbehavior.
  4. In the case of "Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them", the vice was the practice of homosexuality.
  5. This is readily documented from the narrative of Gen.19 (cf. vv.4-11).
  6. The connection to the previous example of angelic perversion is further reinforced by the words "since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh".
  7. The demonstrative pronoun "these" (dat.m.p., houtos) refers to the fallen angels who had sexual relations with women from the human race.
  8. Their sin was akin to bestiality.
  9. The adjective translated "in the same way" (acc.m.p., homoios) links the sin of the "sons of God" of Gen.6 with the STA activity of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  10. While it was not the same sin, it fell into the same category in terms of its depravity.
  11. The aorist participle "indulged in gross immorality" (ekporneuo) occurs only here in the N.T. and is an intensified form of the simple verb "to fornicate" (proneuo).
  12. This verb, along with the other supporting vocabulary, points to grievous sexual misconduct.
  13. Homosexuality and lesbianism constitute abnormal and gross sexual perversions in God's eyes according to Rom.1:26,27.
  14. In the prosperous cities of the then-verdant valley of the Jordan plain, this practice had reached militant proportions.
  15. In other words, it was being forced upon people (males) apart from their consent with little or no interference from the authorities.
  16. Coerced homosexuality brought much misery upon both citizen and hapless visitor, as seen in the use of the noun "outcry" in Gen.18:20,21; 19:13.
  17. This "outcry" refers to all the misery militant homosexuality had brought upon those who lived there and who visited there.
  18. Young boys were forced into this awful lifestyle.
  19. This noun means to call out for help when under great distress.
  20. Homosexual gangs roamed the streets at night.
  21. The second aorist participle following the conjunction, translated "went", refers to the pursuit of this vice on the part of the larger male population.
  22. It is used with the preposition "after" (opiso, behind; after) and its object is "strange flesh".
  23. The adjective "strange" (gen.fem.sing.) is heteros, which means "other", or "different".
  24. Within the context of the morality of the WOG it refers to that which is off limits according to the divine design.
  25. The divine design provides for sexual relations between a male and a female.
  26. Sex between males (or females) constitutes going after strange flesh.
  27. Flesh refers here to the physical person.
  28. So the flesh that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah went after was different in the sense that it was not the flesh God designed for the male of the species to pursue for sexual gratification.
  29. God designed, from the beginning, the female to be the object of sexual pleasure within the context of D.I. #2, or marriage.
  30. God eventually responded to this "outcry" with wrath, which exterminated the entire population of four of the five cities.
  31. He rained brimstone, or sulphur, upon the region, igniting it with fire.
  32. The horrific heat generated by the burning sulphur reduced everything to ashes (cf. 2Pet.2:6).
  33. The physical evidence of such a destruction is visible along the shores of the Dead Sea.
  34. The eerie shapes of city walls and buildings are evident on both shores of the Salt Sea.
  35. Imbedded in the ash are balls of unburned sulphur.
  36. Death, rather than life, marks the whole region to this day.
  37. The region constitutes an exhibit, or warning, as to what God thinks of the practice and acceptance of this unnatural vice.
  38. Hence, the words "are exhibited as an example".
  39. These words mirror Peter's statement in 2Pet.2:6.
  40. Peter adds the comment "to those who would live ungodly thereafter".
  41. On the face of this planet is a place that serves as a warning to all peoples of all time of the dire consequences of the promotion and practice of the homosexual vice.
  42. That place is within the territory of the State of Israel.
  43. The verb "are exhibited" (aor.dep.ind., prokeimai) is correctly translated.
  44. It means "to put on public display" and occurs 5X in the N.T.: 2Cor.8:12; Heb.6:18; 12:1,2; Jude7.
  45. The ungodly scoff at this, but the liberals of our day will see that God's silent exhibit is not to be mocked at.
  46. America will undergo a worse judgment in that, from the time of her nuclear annihilation, no human will inhabit her shores even forever (Jer.50:40; cp. Isa.13:19).
  47. The land of Israel experienced a similar fate during the years of dispersion (Deut.29:23ff).
  48. The noun deigma, translated "example", occurs only here in this form, and means strictly "proof".
  49. The noun u`podeigma occurs 6X (Jn.13:15; Heb.4:11; 8:5; 9:23; Jam.5:10; 2Pet.2:6) and means essentially the same thing.
  50. Here we have a negative example to be avoided.
  51. The hellish judgment that so dramatically and suddenly ended the history of these cities mirrors their eternal fate.
  52. The unnatural vice and its attendant misery were the basis for the dramatic temporal end to that affluent civilization.
  53. But that is not the reason for the eternal punishment of those people.
  54. Certainly, it is the common understanding of the words "in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire".
  55. However, men do not suffer in hell for their earthly sins, but rather for the sin of unbelief (Jn.3:18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God").
  56. The people of those cities also happened to be unbelievers.
  57. It is of interest to note that they will not fare as badly as others who were overtly much more moral (cf. Mt.10:15).
  58. They simply went from the frying pan into the fire as they were indicted on two counts.
  59. The words "eternal fire" should settle the argument with respect to the permanency of the judgment awaiting negative unbelievers.
  60. This phrase occurs here and in Mt.18:8 and 25:41.
  61. Notice that both this example and the one before it make mention of the eternal aspect of the judgment awaiting the culprits.
  62. But no such fate befell the Exodus Generation, only temporal wrath!


Application of the Examples (v.8)

VERSE 8 Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming (~Omoi,wj me,ntoi kai. ou-toi evnupniazo,menoi[adv., homoios, likeswise, in the same way, + conj., mentoi, used here as an adversative, nevertheless; "Yet", + pro./demonstr.n.m.p., houtos, this; "these men", + pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., evnupnia,zomai, enupniazomai, dream; fantasize, dream {up}; 2X: Acts.2:17]), defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties(me.nmiai,nousin sa,rka de. avqetou/sin kurio,thta de blasfhmou/sin do,xaj [conj., men, on the one hand, in the first place, + pres.act.ind.3.p., miai,nw, miaino, defile, stain, + acc.f.s., sarx, flesh, + conj., de, on the other hand, + pres.act.ind.3.p., avqete,w, atheteo, regard as nothing, set aside, + acc.f.s., kurio,thj kuriotes, dominion, rulership, + conj, de, on the other hand, + pres.act.ind.3.p., blasphemo, slander, defame + acc.f.p., doza, glory; dignitary]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 8

  1. Jude proceeds to link the behavior of the liberal heretics with the apostates cited in vv.5-7 as well as demonstrating a contrast with the conduct of Michael the archangel in v.9.
  2. The words "Yet in the same way" supplies the grammatical link.
  3. The Greek construction begins with the adverb o`moi,wj (homoios) which means 'likewise' or 'similarly.'
  4. Next follows the correlative particle me,ntoi (mentoi) with the adversative de, (de) which with the particle means 'but on the other hand.'
  5. The translation: "Similarly on the one hand..."
  6. In the Greek sentence next comes the adjunctive use of the conjunction kai, translated "also."
  7. In a different time and in a different context "these men" (demonstr.pro. houtos) follow the same mental and overt pattern of the notorious rebels cited above.
  8. Jude begins with the mental process that resulted in their rationalization and justification of sexual immorality (cf. v.3 "who turn the grace of our God into sexual indulgence").
  9. Hence, the words "by dreaming."
  10. The present participle 'to dream' is used here in the sense of 'dream-up' rather than in the sense of receiving an impression during sleep or of a supernaturally induced vision during sleep (Acts.2:17).
  11. The Colossian heresy involved the claim to visionary experiences to justify their doctrines (Col.2:18) but not here.
  12. These heretics indulged in wishful thinking.
  13. Their "dreaming" applies to three actions which Jude goes on to specify.
  14. The false teachers are arraigned for sex lust, rebellion and irreverence.
  15. By saying they "defile the flesh" he is referring to their promotion of sexual freedom.
  16. Jude has already mentioned in general terms their subversion of legitimate sex in v.4.
  17. Sexual immorality in general is clearly indicated here as well.
  18. Modern liberalism promotes immorality including the vice of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  19. The second and third charges are closely connected to the first in the Greek syntax which is lost in translations.
  20. The next two charges have been prefaced by and "at the same time."
  21. These words bring out the nuance in the Greek, introduced by the particle men followed by the next two clauses introduced by de.
  22. The point is important, for the two final clauses ("reject authority" and "revile glories") constitute sins of presumption which are fueled by the false teachers propensity for sexual freedom.
  23. Second, they "reject authority", thus displaying the arrogance and pride which is characteristic of the three examples in vv.5-7 Jude has cited.
  24. The question is, what authority?
  25. The answer is, all duly established authority, beginning with God's authority.
  26. Libertines are by definition anti-authority and antinomian.
  27. The third item, that they "revile angelic majesties" is an interpretative translation influenced by verse 9.
  28. The noun translated "angelic majesties" is the accusative feminine plural noun doxa meaning glory.
  29. It is found 3x in this form in the NT: 1Pet.1:11; 2Pet.2:10 and Jude.1:8.
  30. In 1Peter 1:11 it is used of the doctrines related to the inauguration of the kingdom of God (i.e., 2nd Advent).
  31. 2Pet.2:10 is the parallel to Jude.1:8.
  32. "Glories" refers here to the distinctives of the Christian faith.
  33. The noun "revile" (blasphemeo) is used one other time in this letter at v.10.
  34. There it is used of the liberal verbal attack upon "the things they do not understand."
  35. This supports the interpretation of "glories" specified in point 32.
  36. Liberals "revile" (i.e., 'bad-mouth') the doctrines of the Christian faith and especially the things that involve the supernatural.
  37. Liberals are constantly conjuring up ("by dreaming") naturalistic explanations for the miracles recorded in the Bible.
  38. Again, "dreaming" sponsors all three indictments of v.8.


VERSE 9 But Michael the archangel (de. o` Micah.l o` avrca,ggeloj [conj. + def.art.w/pr.n. Michael], when he disputed with the devil [o[te diakrino,menojtw/| diabo,lw| [conj.as adv. hote, when + def.art.w/n.m.s.pr.n. + pres.mid.pt.n.m.s., diakri,nw diakrino, discern; debate; contend; "disputed" + def.art.w/instr.m.s., diabolos, devil; root means slanderer] and argued about the body of Moses [diele,geto peri. tou/ Mwu?se,wj sw,matoj [imperf.mid.ind.3.s. diale,gomai dialegomai, discuss; argue; "and argued" + prep.peri.w/def.art.w/gen.m.s., Moses + gen.nt.s., soma, body], did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment [ouvk evto,lmhsen evpenegkei/n blasfhmi,aj kri,sin [neg. + aor.act.ind.3.s., tolma,w tolmao, dare, be brave enough to + aor.act.infin. evpife,rw epiphero, cause to experience; inflict; pronounce (of an accusation) + gen.f.s., blasfhmi,a blasphemia, abusive speech; insult; "railing" + acc.f.s., krisis, judgment, decision], but said, "The Lord rebuke you [avlla. ei=pen ku,rioj VEpitimh,sai soi [conj. + aor.act.ind.3.s., lego, say+ n.m.s., kurios + aor.act.opt.3.s., evpitima,w epitimao, appraise, assess; rebuke + pro.dat.s. su])!"

ANALYSIS: VERSE 9

  1. The presumption and arrogance of the false teachers toward the truths of Christianity stands in stark contrast to "Michael the archangel."
  2. Michael did not presume to verbally berate and condemn the devil on the occasion when he was disputing with him over the corpse of Moses.
  3. In Scripture Michael is the chief elect angel, a position he was promoted to when Satan "the covering cherub" fell.
  4. The title "archangel," is found in the NT only here and in 1Thess.4:16.
  5. Michael is mentioned in Dan.10:13 and 12:1.
  6. He is the guardian angel of the Jewish people.
  7. Among the angels he is the chief antagonist of the Devil and leader of the elect angels (Rev.12:7).
  8. The title devil means 'the slanderer.'
  9. The incident cited by Jude under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit does not appear in Scripture.
  10. The Bible merely records the fact that the Lord buried Moses in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth-peor, and that no man knows his burial place to this day (Deut.34:6).
  11. Philo (Vit. Mos. ii. 291) relates that 'immortal angelic powers buried him.'
  12. According to several early Christian writers (Clement, Origen and Didymus) Jude is referring to the legend in the form it appears here from the "Assumption of Moses" an apocryphal book.
  13. This was a composite work written by a Pharisaic quietist, written in Hebrew or Aramaic in the first quarter of the 1st century, but soon translated into Greek.
  14. A substantial fragment survives in a Latin translation, but the sections dealing with the death and burial of Moses are missing.
  15. As far as we can reconstruct it, the ancient legend to which Jude is alluding was to the effect that, when Moses died, Michael was assigned to bury the body, but the Devil did his best to prevent him, claiming that as lord of the material order the corpse was his and then, faced with Michael's refusal threatened to accuse Moses (it is part of Satan's function to accuse men before God) of having murdered the Egyptian (Ex.2:12).
  16. The Devil disputed Michael's right to do so, since Moses had been a murderer, and therefore the body belonged to him.
  17. But even under such provocation, the story goes, Michael was not disrespectful to Satan, but showed considerable restraint.
  18. The language of this verse makes it clear that there was a face-off between Michael and the Devil.
  19. We may speculate what was to the real reason Satan wanted the body of Moses.
  20. He may have wanted it so that he could use his shrine as a place of veneration/idolatry.
  21. The archangel, however, instead of responding with "a railing judgment", committed the responsibility for rebuking him for his insolence to God, using a mild imprecation which is taken from Zech.3:2.
  22. The point of the story is that if an angel of Michael's stature was so careful in what he said, how much more should mortal men watch their words.
  23. Michael shows that even an archangel is not autonomous.
  24. The devil was certainly bring a slanderous and malicious accusation against Moses, but the archangel did not take it upon himself to entertain it.
  25. Moses was indeed a murderer, so Michael did not attempt to dismiss the charge as unjustified on his own authority.
  26. He could only appeal to the Lord for judgment and say "the Lord rebuke you."
  27. What a contrast to the false teachers who set themselves upon over the Law and authority and the teachings of Scripture.
  28. This brief digression serves as a study in contrasts between the restraint the highest ranking angel who was on the side of righteousness and false teachers who presume to have the answers and throw caution to the wind when they speak on spiritual matters.


VERSE 10 But these men revile the things which they do not understand (de. ou-toi blasfhmou/sin o[sa me.n ouvk oi;dasin [conj. + pro.demonstr.n.m.p. houtos, this; 'these men" + pres.act.ind.3p., blasphemeo, slander, revile + pro.correlative.acc.nt.p., o[soj hosos, as much as; "the things" + neg.w/pf.act.ind.3.p., oida, know, understand, recognize]; and the things which they know by instinct [de. o[sa evpi,stantai fusikw/j [conj. + pro.correlative.acc.nt.p., o[soj hosos, as much as; "the things" + pres.dep.ind.3.p., evpi,stamai epistamai, understand, comprehend; "they know" + adv. phusikos, by instinct; cp. noun fusiko,j phusikos, instinctive at Rom.1:26,27 & 2Pet.2:12], like unreasoning animals [w`j ta. a;loga zw/|a [adv. hos, like + def.art.w/adj.n.nt.p., a;logoj alogos, not able to reason; 3x: Acts.25:27; 2Pet.2:12; Jude.10], by these things they are destroyed [evn tou,toij fqei,rontai [prep.w/pro.demonstr.instr.nt.p., houtos + pres.pass.ind.3.p. fqei,rw phtheiro, ruin, destroy]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 10

  1. In contrast to the august archangel who, out of respect surrenders His case to God, "these men/types bad-mouth the things that they do not understand."
  2. After his brief digression, Jude returns to verse 8 and draws our attention to the root of their modus operandi.
  3. These being first the carnal and the other two being their spiritual presumption (cf. v.8).
  4. He begins with the contemptuous "these men" which he takes up from v.8a.
  5. The verb "revile" purposely picks up the "railing" of v.9 and the "revile" of v.8.
  6. Here the object of the verb (blasphemo) is "the things" (correlative pronoun (o[sa) of divine viewpoint (BD).
  7. It is not the result of having any true understanding that the liberal scoffers make their attacks upon the faith but is the result of their negative volition and intense hatred of all that falls under the banner of sound teaching.
  8. It is not the result of their having any superior knowledge (is there a veiled attack here upon 'Gnostic' pretentions?); on the contrary, it is their modus operandi to assault "the things they do not understand."
  9. As he will touch on in v.19, they do not have God the Holy Spirit.
  10. An illuminating passage is provided in 1Cor.2:7-17, especially v.10 and 15f., where Paul declares that the natural man (i.e., unbeliever) is incapable of understanding spiritual matters.
  11. For all their human intelligence and academic training these men have no true insight into spiritual things.
  12. They speak out against original creation, verbal plenary inspiration, the flood, the incarnation, substitutionary atonement, resurrection and prophetic truth, not to mention the moral code of Scripture.
  13. The dream-up all sorts of alternative explanations for these things expounding upon them with high-sounding terms.
  14. Theirs is knowledge falsely so-called (1Tim.6:20) which keeps them from ever arriving at epignosis truth (2Tim.3:7).
  15. In the Greek of this verse we have the men...de construction differentiating that which "they do not understand" from that, which as natural men, "they know by instinct."
  16. Paul taught that there is a universal moral law written in the hearts of all mankind (Rom.2:14-15; cp. vv.26-27).
  17. Otherwise pagan cultures could not have developed advanced moral and criminal codes.
  18. This distinguishes mankind from the lower creation.
  19. Jude employs the adverb (fusikw/j) while Paul uses the cognate noun (fu,sei; Rom.1:26; 2:14).
  20. The corresponding adjective is used in Rom.1:26 and 27 and 2Pet.2:12.
  21. Paul uses the adjective to teach that the natural order clearly teaches that sex is for partners of the opposite sex.
  22. In Corinthians he teaches that it is against the natural order of things for a male to wear long hair (1Cor.11:14).
  23. However, in 2Pet.2:12 the adjective is used of animals ("creatures of instinct") who are governed by programmed instincts, but lack the reasoning skills of humans.
  24. This verse is of interest in that it is the parallel to the verse under consideration.
  25. In other words, it is used differently here than it is in 2Pet.2.
  26. The further indictment against the moral and spiritual reprobates is that they do not follow what they know instinctively to be true!
  27. They pontificate on what they do not know and turn away from what they do know.
  28. At least animals follow their limited natural instincts, which is more than can be said for the theological and moral liberals.
  29. In the end, they act just like "unreasoning animals" who are being fattened for slaughter (2Pet.2:12).
  30. Jude makes explicit what Peter leaves to our deductive reasoning ability.
  31. And so, like dumb animals, they all will be destroyed.
  32. The words "by these things" refers to the very principles of God's word and God's natural order that could deliver them from judgment.
  33. "These things" refers to the doctrines that a sovereign and all-mighty God holds all men to.
  34. Being negative and extremely hostile toward God and His moral order they live in a dream world.
  35. Physically, they are immoral; intellectually they are arrogant; and spiritually they are under the blackout of the soul.
  36. 'Moral relativity' and 'progressive thinking' are their undoing.
  37. The judgment of God will catch up with them individually and collectively.
  38. The present day counterparts face the wrath of the day of the Lord.
  39. The application of this to positive volition is to adhere to moral integrity, intellectual humility/honesty and spiritual sensitivity.
They Emulate Three Notorious Individuals (v.11)

VERSE 11 Woe to them (ouvai. auvtoi/j [part. of interjection, ouai, denotes the pain that will come upon the culprit + pro.dat.m.p. autos]! For they have gone the way of Cain [o[ti evporeu,qhsan th/| o`dw/| tou/ Ka,i?n [conj. hoti + aor.pass.ind.3.p., poreu,omai poreuomai, go, journey + def.art.w/loc.f.s., hodos, way + def.art.w/gen.m.s.indecl. Cain], and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam [kai. misqou/ evxecu,qhsan th/| pla,nh| tou/ Balaa.m [conj. + gen.m.s., misthos, way, pay + aor.pass.ind.3.p., evkce,w ekcheo, pour out; shed (blood); give oneself over to; "rushed headlong" + def.art.w/dat.f.s., plane, error + def.art.w/gen.m.s.indecl. Balaam], and perished in the rebellion of Korah [kai. avpw,lonto th/| avntilogi,a| tou/ Ko,re [conj. + aor.mid.ind.3.p., apollumi, perish + def.art.w/loc.f.s., avntilogi,a antilogia, dispute; rebellion]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 11

  1. Once again Jude turns to the OT for examples with which to compare the false teachers, and selects three notorious individuals whose wickedness brought upon them disaster.
  2. A similar fate awaits their present-day counterparts.
  3. "Woe to them!", he exclaims using an imprecation of doom which is found frequently in the OT especially in the prophets and in the Gospels and the book of Revelation (twice in the epistles, here and in 1Cor.9:16).
  4. First, "they have gone ('travel'/'journey'/'proceed') in the way of Cain", which is a reference to their modus vivendi (i.e., manner of life).
  5. What is paramount in most peoples' mind about Cain is that he murdered his brother, being the first person to commit this crime.
  6. Cain was an unrepentant unbeliever (1Jn.3:12).
  7. Cain the firstborn of Adam and Eve (Gen.4:1 was not a man of faith being the very opposite (Heb.11:4).
  8. Cain was a great lover of self, the rebel against God who relies on his own resources, the instructor and founder of a society which gave itself over to godlessness, materialism and sensuality (Gen.4:16,17,24).
  9. This is "the way of Cain."
  10. Cain corrupted others and this is the point of Jude's comparison with the heretics.
  11. Secondly, they are compared to Balaam the Gentile prophet of God.
  12. Balaam was solicited by the king of Moab to curse Israel for a fee.
  13. He was frustrated on all three attempts.
  14. He was exceedingly avaricious which fact stands out clearly from the narrative of Num.22-24.
VERSE 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts (ou-toi, eivsin oi` spila,dej evn tai/j avga,paij u`mw/n [pro.demonstr.n.m.p. houtos, this + pres.act.ind.3.p., eimi + def.art.w/n.f.p., spila,j spilas, a rock over which the sea washes; metaph. of those who wreck the lives of others + prep.w/def.art.w/loc.f.p., avga,ph agape, love; love feasts/fellowship meals; only so used here in the NT] when they feast with you without fear [suneuwcou,menoi avfo,bwj [pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., suneuwce,omai suneuchomai, feast together; here & 2Pet.2:13 + adv. aphobos, without fear], caring for themselves [poimai,nontej e`autou.j [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., poimai,nw poimaino, tend, shepherd, look after; rule (Rev.2:27); "caring" + pro.reflexive.acc.m.p. heautou; "for themselves"]; clouds without water [nefe,lai a;nudroi [n.f.p., nefe,lh nephele, cloud + adj.n.f.p., a;nudroj anudros, without water], carried along by winds [parafero,menai u`po. avne,mwn [pres.pass.pt.n.f.p., parafe,rw paraphero, blown along + prep.w/gen.m.p., a;nemoj anemos, wind]; autumn trees without fruit [fqinopwrina. de,ndra a;karpa [adj.n.nt.p., fqinopwrino,j phthinoporinos, belonging to autumn; 1x + n.nt.p., de,ndron dendron, tree + adj.n.nt.p., a;karpoj akarpos, without fruit], doubly dead, uprooted [di.j avpoqano,nta evkrizwqe,nta [adv., dis, once and again; "doubly" + aor.act.pt.n.nt.p., avpoqnh,skw apothnesko, die]);

VERSE 13 wild waves of the sea (a;gria ku,mata qala,sshj [adj.n.nt.p., a;gria, agria, found in the open field or forest, wild; fig. of strong natural forces; of sea waves raging + n.nt.p., kuma, wave + gen.f.s., qa,lassa, thalassa, sea]), casting up their own shame like foam (evpafri,zonta ta.j e`autw/n aivscu,naj [pres.act.pt.n.nt.p., evpafri,zw, epaphrizo, foam up, cast up to the surface; fig. of living shamefully in an abandoned way; 1x + pro.reflexive.gen.nt.p., heautou, ones own + def.art.w/acc.f.p., aivscu,nh, aischune, shame]); wandering stars (planh/tai avste,rej [adj.n.m.p., planh,toj, planetos, wandering + n.m.p., avsth,r, aster, star]), for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever (oi-j o` zo,foj tou/ sko,touj teth,rhtai eivj aivw/na [pro.rel.dat.m.p., hos; "for whom" + def.art.w/n.m.s., zophos, gloom + def.art.w/gen.nt.s., skotos, darkness + pf.pass.ind.3.p., tereo, hold in reserve + prep.w/acc.m.s., aion, age, time; lit. "into the age" only here in the singular with the preposition; usually with the plural]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 12-13

  1. At this juncture Jude leaves the OT examples, and in a series of five picturesque metaphors characterizes their spiritual condition.
  2. For the designation "These men are" (ou-toi, eivsin) compare vv. 16 and 19 and 2Pet.2:17.
  3. The demonstrative pronoun houtos ("these men") is repeated from vv.8 and 10.
  4. The pronoun is featured in this letter to designate a specific category of reversionism in a contemptuous way.
  5. It is like our "these types."
  6. Jude proceeds with a series of five colorful designations of the libertines, all taken from nature (i.e., rocks, clouds, trees, waves and stars).
  7. The first depends upon two possible meanings of the hapax feminine plural noun (spila,j) translated "hidden reefs".
  8. The cognate verb is spilo,w (spiloo) and means "to stain".
  9. It is used metaphorically in the NT in Jam.3:6 and Jude.23.
  10. There is a masculine noun (spi,loj) which means "spot", occurring in Eph.5:27 and 2Pet.2:13.
  11. In the parallel verse, 2Pet.2:13, the masculine noun is correctly translated in the English versions as "stains" or "spots".
  12. The immorality and antinomianism of the false teachers who had attached themselves to the fellowship of positive volition is likened to "stains" on a garment.
  13. In Jude, the feminine plural noun is used with a masculine definite article (oi`).
  14. There is some doubt as to what spilades means, since it is a rare word, occurring only here in the NT.
  15. In secular Greek, it means "rocks" or "hidden reefs".
  16. These libertines at the agape-feasts were like sunken "reefs", waiting to shipwreck the faith and morals of the unwary.
  17. The setting provided an atmosphere more conducive to catching believers off guard.
  18. "Hidden reefs/rocks" gives an excellent sense, and goes well with the author's penchant for vivid imagery drawn from nature.
  19. The agape-feasts provided the setting for the Lord's Table in the early church, and very soon proved liable to abuse through greed, disorder, drunkenness, and immorality (1Cor.11:20-22).
  20. The parallel verse in 2Pet.2:13 makes mention of such abuses, which were encouraged by certain individuals.
  21. The present deponent participle "feast together" (suneuwce,omai) is used here and in 2Pet.2:13 where it is translated by the pejorative "carouse" (NAS).
  22. Peter declares that these men took pleasure in tricking believers with respect to matters of morality and doctrine ("They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse [or better "feast"] with you.").
  23. They encouraged excess and challenged the faith of the adjusted/godly.
  24. This is a most unusual assault upon the early church, in that the culprits were unbelievers (all the evidence in 2Peter and Jude so indicates).
  25. Jude further characterizes them as men who were "without fear".
  26. They were devoid of the fear of God.
  27. The reality is that such types have much to fear.
  28. They did what they did without the slightest qualm.
  29. They were extremely arrogant in their assault upon the faith of positive volition.
  30. The next phrase, "caring for themselves", contains the present participle of the verb "to shepherd" (poimaino) and the reflexive pronoun heautou.
  31. This phrase underlines their total selfishness.
  32. They "act the shepherd to themselves" recalls Ezek.34:8 "the shepherds fed themselves, and have not fed the sheep".
  33. Instead of looking after others, they have led them astray.
  34. It is plain that they sought positions of leadership to further their agenda.
  35. The next four images stand loosely in apposition to "the men who...feast with you".
  36. First, they are "clouds without water carried along by winds".
  37. The traveler in the Middle East is often exasperated by the heavy clouds that roll in and fail to bring rain, and only intensify the excessive heat.
  38. The idea is that they are all show and no substance.
  39. They have nothing to offer those who are foolish enough to listen to them.
  40. They are like the man who talks big of presents he never bestows (Prov.25:14).
  41. Here is a graphic example of the uselessness of teaching that is supposedly "advanced" and "enlightened", but does not bring the hearer to maturity.
  42. Second, the words, "carried along by winds", refers to the false teachers who are here compared to "clouds".
  43. This refers to their penchant for new and novel concepts.
  44. The phrase reminds us of Eph.4:14 and the words "carried about by every wind of doctrine".
  45. They are victims of their own instability, advocating things that are in conflict and sensational (tickle ears).
  46. Thirdly, they are like "autumn trees" which ought to be loaded with fruit.
  47. They personally have barren lives and are of no benefit to others who come in contact with them.
  48. The adjective "autumn" (fqinoporino,j) occurs only here.
  49. These are men who, based on their exposure to Christianity, should be loaded with good works (i.e., fruit).
  50. These "trees" are "doubly dead" (di.j avpoqano,nta; adv. twice followed by the aor.pt. of apothnesko, "to die"), which corresponds to spiritual death and operational death.
  51. Spiritual death is the condition of all humanity in the unsaved state (cp. Eph.2:1 "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins," Also Col.2:13 "And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions," And Jn.5:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.").
  52. Operational death is seen in the words "faith without works is dead" of Jam.2:20,26.
  53. The only works they had is "dead works", the product of either spiritual death or temporal death (out of fellowship works as in Heb.9:14).
  54. The adjective "uprooted" refers to their projected sin unto death.
  55. All of these types have and will fall into the hands of a living God (Heb.10:31 "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of a living God.").
  56. "Uprooted" refers to their removal from the historical scene.
  57. The prophetic implication is that their kind will be removed permanently from the earthly kingdom (cf. Matt.15:13 "But He answered and said, 'Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.'").
  58. This adjective occurs 4x: Matt.13:29; 15:13; Lk.17:6; Jude.12.
  59. Fourthly, they are "wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame", i.e., their own shameful deeds.
  60. No doubt Isa.57:20 lies behind this image, as it conjures up the restlessness of the wicked and their continual output of filthy scum; such is found about the seashore when the tide recedes.
  61. The word evpafri,zw (epaphrizo) is very rare.
  62. The poet Moschus uses it of the seaweed and other rubbish borne on the crest of the wave and deposited on the beach.
  63. The previous figures present what these types do not produce, while this one presents what they do produce.
  64. These individuals spread everywhere the debris of their corrupt reasoning.
  65. The adjective "wild" (a;gria) is an antonym of "tame".
  66. It refers to their lack of self-control in the promotion of their liberal agenda.
  67. The dirty scum they are constantly contaminating society with will, in the end, be to "their own shame", when God unmasks evil and judges the perpetrators.
  68. Jude's fifth and final figure are of falling stars that have left their courses in the sky.
  69. Jude is not thinking of planets, but of shooting stars, whose doom is the black darkness forever.
  70. For this metaphor he goes to 1 Enoch (18:14ff) where the angel shows Enoch "a prison for the stars of heaven".
  71. Later, he sees stars bound together, and is told "these are stars which have transgressed...and this is the prison of the angels in which they are kept for ever (21:2,6,10)".
  72. This suggests that Jude is thinking of the doom of the fallen angels of Genesis 6 (of which he had spoken in v.6), when he talks of the doom "reserved" for wandering "stars".
  73. This conclusion is strengthened by the fact that he goes on to quote Enoch in the next verse.
  74. They pretend to be lights, but have gone astray, and doom awaits them (there is probably a play on plantetai, wandering, and plane, error of v.11).
  75. The words, "the black darkness", are literally, "the gloom of the darkness".
  76. It refers to the realm of the underworld, or sheol-hades, where all unbelievers end up.
  77. The noun translated "black" (zophos) is used to describe the place of the sinning angels of Gen.6 in 2Pet.2:4 and Jude.6.
  78. It is also used two times of the realm of these reversionistic unbelievers in 2Pet.2:17 and Jude.13.
  79. The noun zophos means partial or complete darkness.
  80. The underworld of judgment is a murky place.
  81. The perfect passive indicative of tereo (to keep, guard, keep in reserve), translated "reserved", is also found in connection with these people in 2Pet.2:17.
  82. 2Pet.2:17 is parallel to Jude.12,13 (Peter and Jude used different metaphors).
  83. Their end confirms the interpretation that these men are unbelievers masquerading as Christians.

Enoch's Prophecy (vv.14-15)

VERSE 14 It was also about these men that Enoch (de. kai. tou,toij ~Enw.c [conj. de, now + conj.adjunctive, kai + pro./demonst.dat.m.p., houtos + n.m.s.indecl., Enoch]), in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying ([e[bdomoj avpo. VAda.m Proefh,teusen le,gwn [adj.ord.n.m.s., e[bdomoj, ebdomos, seventh + prep.w/abl.m.s.indecl., Adam + aor.act.ind.3.s., propheteuo, prophesy + pres.act.pt.n.m.s., lego, say]), "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones (VIdou. ku,rioj h=lqen evn a`gi,aij muria,sin auvtou/ [part./exclamatory, idou, behold, take note + n.m.s., kurios, lord + aor.act.ind.3.s., erchomai, come + prep.w/adj.instr.f.p., hagios, saint; "holy ones" + instr.f.pl., muria,j, murias, a myriad, ten thousand; in plural countless thousands + pro.gen.m.s., autos, his]),

VERSE 15 to execute judgment upon all (poih/sai kri,sin kata. pa,ntwn [aor.act.infin., poieo, do; "execute" + acc.f.s., krisis, judgment + prep., kata w/adj.gen.m.p., pas, all; 1x for kata panton]), and to convict all the ungodly (kai. evle,gxai pa/san yuch.n [conj. + aor.act.infin., evle,gcw, elegcho, bring to light, expose, convict; 17x: Matt.18:15; Lk.3:19; Jn.3:20; 8:46; 16:8; 1Cor.14:24; Eph.5:11,13; 1Tim.5:20; 2Tim.4:2; Titus.1:13; 2:15; Heb.12:5; Jam2:9; Jude.15; Rev.3:19 + adj.acc.f.s., pas, all + acc.f.s., psuche, soul, life, inner self; these types are convinced within themselves; "the ungodly"]) of all their ungodly deeds (peri. pa,ntwn tw/n e;rgwn avsebei,aj auvtw/n [prep.peri.w/adj.gen.m.p., pas, all + def.art.w/gen.nt.p., ergon, work, deed + adj.gen.nt.p., avse,beia, asebeia, ungodly, irreverent, impious]) which they have done in an ungodly way ([w-n hvse,bhsan [pro.rel.gen.nt.p. hos, which + aor.act.ind.3.p., avsebe,w, asebeo, be ungodly/profane; "they have done in an ungodly way"]), and of all the harsh things (kai. peri. pa,ntwn tw/n sklhrw/n [conj. + prep., peri w/adj.gen.nt.p., pas, all + def.art.w/gen.nt.p., sklhro,j, skleros, hard, harsh, strict]) which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him (w-n avsebei/j a`martwloi. evla,lhsan katV auvtou/ [pro.rel.gen.nt.p., hos, which + adj.n.m.p., asebes, ungodly + adj.n.m.p., hamartolos, sinful; subst., sinner + aor.act.ind.3.p., laleo, speak, communicate + prep., kata w/pro.gen.m.s., autos, him])."
 

ANALYSIS: VERSES 14 & 15

  1. Jude now confirms this analysis of his opponents with a prophecy dealing with their collective end.
  2. This judgment is the judgment associated with the second advent of Jesus Christ.
  3. He quotes 1 Enoch (1:9).
  4. The books of Enoch are a collection of apocalyptic literature, written by various authors and circulated under the name of Enoch.
  5. 1 Enoch is an Ethiopic version translated in Greek from the original Hebrew version that was composed by the Pharisees between 163-63 BC.
  6. Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam, which is confirmed in the genealogy of super grace heroes of the antediluvian era as recorded in Genesis 5.
  7. In the line of the messianic patriarchs, Enoch's legacy stands out based on his life and exit from the earth (Gen.5:22-24).
  8. Enoch functioned as a prophet and one of his prophetic utterances has come down to us via oral tradition.
  9. This prophecy was recorded in the apocryphal book called 1 Enoch.
  10. Although we have only a third of the text of 1 Enoch in Greek, we do possess this prophecy, and Jude sticks very closely to the original.
  11. The context of the quote describes the holy and eternal God coming forth to bestow blessing on the elect and to pronounce judgment upon the wicked.
  12. Jude has introduced "the Lord" which does not appear in the original.
  13. The original has "the Great Holy One".
  14. While literary dependence is certain, it is likely that he is quoting from memory.
  15. A Christian understanding of the quote has Jesus Christ as the agent of God at His second advent.
  16. The exclamatory particle "Behold" is strictly the aorist imperative from the verb o`ra,w (to see, observe, perceive).
  17. The verb "came" or "has come" has, as its Hebrew equivalent, a "prophetic perfect".
  18. The prophetic aorist is designed to underscore the certainty of Christ's coming by viewing it as a fiat accompli (accomplished fact).
  19. At His coming, the Lord is not alone, but is accompanied "with many tens of thousands of His holy ones".
  20. Prior to the revelation of the mystery doctrine of the Church, this was understood to be the holy angels.
  21. That holy angels will accompany Christ at His advent see Dan.7:10; Zech.14:5b; Matt. 25:31 and 2Thess.1:7.
  22. In addition to the elect angels, Jesus Christ will return with His glorified bride, which is the saints ("holy ones") of the present dispensation (see Rev.19:14 cp. v.8; 2Thess.1:10).
  23. The whole planet will witness this unprecedented spectacle (Rev.1:7).
  24. In v.16 Jude continues with the Enoch prophecy that was handed down through the centuries by oral tradition and came to be cited by the unknown author of 1 Enoch.
  25. The Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch has this prophecy in two sections; "And lo, he come with ten thousand of his holy ones to execute judgment upon them, and he will destroy the ungodly, and will convict all flesh of all that sinners and ungodly have wrought and ungodlywise committed against him" (1:9); and "You have slanderously spoken proud and hard words with you impure mouths against his greatness." (5:4) (Translation by Charles).
  26. Wohlenberg and Zahn present the Greek fragment which has but one section: o]ti e;rcetai su.n tai/j muria,sin auvtou/ kai. tou/j a`gi,oij auvtou/ poih/sai kri,sin kata. avsebei,aj kai. evle,gxei pa/san sa,rka peri. pa,ntwn e;rgwn th/j avsebei,aj auvtw/n w-vn katela,lhsan kat vauvtou/ avmartwloi. avsebei/j.
  27. There are two aspects to the second Coming of Christ.
  28. The first is "to execute judgment upon all" who are evil and unbelieving.
  29. The second aspect is to deliver and vindicate the righteous through the ages.
  30. Jude focuses on the wrath that will come upon all on the planet that remain unbelieving, and in particular modern liberals who assault the teachings of Scripture.
  31. Not only will the Lord "execute judgment" upon the rebels, but He will also "convict" (aor.infin., evle,gcw, elegcho, bring to light, expose, convince, convict) them of the error of their teachings and deeds.
  32. "Every soul" (that is literally what is behind "all the ungodly" as the Greek reads pa/san yuch.n) that subscribes to humanism (liberalism) will "eat crow".
  33. So the Lord's coming will "convict every soul of all their ungodly deeds...and of all the harsh things...spoken against" the Lord.
  34. Jude's deliberate repetition of "ungodly" and its derivatives should be noted; the author has used it already in v.4 with considerable emphasis.
  35. 1 Enoch is full of denunciations of "the ungodly", and this must have attracted Jude's attention to the prophecy.
  36. The division of their sins into sins of deed and word is also characteristic of the Book of Enoch, which while harping on social injustice (xcix. 7-9; xcvi. 4-8; etc.), idolatry (xcix. 7-9) and transgressions of the Law (v. 4), repeatedly mentions arrogant and insulting language, which is derogatory to God's majesty (e.g., v. 4; xxvii. 2; ci. 3).
  37. Jude not only speaks of their "ungodly deeds", but also of the "ungodly way" in which their evil works were carried out.
  38. These types resort to all sorts of underhanded methods to implement their evil deeds.
  39. God will judge and convict the ungodly of "all the harsh things" they "have spoken against" the Lord.
  40. All will be judged and exposed; to the great delight of the righteous and the chagrin of the wicked.

Characteristics of the "Ungodly Sinners" (v.16)

VERSE 16 These are grumblers, finding fault (Ou-toi, eivsin goggustai, memyi,moiroi [pro.demonstr.n.m.p., houtos, this + pres.act.ind.3.p., eimi + n.m.p., goggusth,j, gongustes, complainer; 1x + adj.n.m.p., memyi,moiroj, mempsimoiros, faultfinder; 1x], following after their own lusts (poreuo,menoi e`autw/n kata. ta.j evpiqumi,aj [pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., poreuomai, go, journey, follow after + pro.reflex.gen.m.p., heautou + prep., kata w/def.art.w/acc.f.p., epithumia, lust]); they speak arrogantly (kai. to. sto,ma auvtw/n lalei/ u`pe,rogka [conj., kai; not translated + def.art.w/n.nt.s., stoma, mouth; not translated + pro.gen.m.p., autos; not translated + pres.act..ind.3.p., laleo, speak + adj.acc.nt.p., uvpe,rogka, huperogka, excessive size, swollen; of speech: arrogant, bombastic; 2x: 2Pet.2:18]), flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage (qauma,zontej pro,swpa ca,rin wvfelei,aj [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., qauma,zw, thaumazo, be amazed; but with the following word 'face' it is an idiom + acc.nt.p. prosopon, face + prep., charin, for the sake of + gen.f.s., wvfelei,aj, ophelieas, advantage; 2x: Rom.3:1]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 16

  1. His quotation finished, Jude specifies the verbal and overt sins of the ungodly liberals.
  2. He flushes out the designation "ungodly sinners" from v.15.
  3. "These" (demon.pro. houtoi) is seen in 2Pet.2:12,17 and Jude.8,10,12,16,19.
  4. As in Enoch's prophecy their misdeeds are classified as sins of the tongue and overt sinning.
  5. The pronoun is followed by the present active indicative third plural of eimi ("are") which occurs here and in 2Pet.2:17; Jude.12, and 19 (ou-toi, eivsin).
  6. For "grumblers" Jude uses the onomatopoeic hapax goggustai, (gognustai); Paul used the verb to describe the discontent of the Israelites in the wilderness (1Cor.10:10).
  7. The noun means "habitual complainer".
  8. Whenever a person becomes maladjusted to God and His word, he is likely to begin complaining about something (cf. Lk.5:30; Jn.6:41,43,61; 7:12; Matt.20:11; all other references to the verb in the NT).
  9. The masculine noun "complaining" (goggusmo,j gongusmos) occurs in Jn.7:12; Acts.6:1; Phil.2:14; 1Pet.4:9.
  10. The noun is followed by the hapax adjective "finding fault" (memyi,moiroi, mempsimoiroi) which corresponds to our "malcontents".
  11. The twin concepts are interrelated.
  12. It is their truculent attitude towards God and His word that is censured here.
  13. This includes their attitude towards duly established authority.
  14. Like Israel in the desert, they were continually grumbling against God and the restrictions imposed upon them by the moral code.
  15. A number of passages reveal the severity of this STA activity among the Israelites under Moses (Ex.16:7-12; 17:3; Num.14:27-29; 17:5,10; Ps.106:25).
  16. Dissatisfied with the status quo, the false teachers were voicing their antagonism toward doctrine and those who stood in their way.
  17. They were always cursing their luck (that is the real meaning of "faultfinder").
  18. The mempsimoiros was a standard Greek character, like Andy Capp in the Daily Mirror.
  19. 'Your're satisfied by nothing that befalls you; you complain about everything; you don't want what you've got; you long for what you haven't got; in winter you wish for summer, and in summer that it were winter; you are like sick folk, hard to please; and mempsimoiros! (Lucian, Cynic xvii).
  20. These words fit many a believer (observe how certain types are constantly complaining).
  21. This attitude is roundly condemned in Scripture (Jam.5:9 "Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door!").
  22. Complaining against others is indicative of the failure to forgive (Col.3:13).
  23. It is to insult God who gives us all things; it is to forget that whatever befalls us works together for our good (Rom.8:28).
  24. These men are habitually "proceeding according to their own lusts" - kata. ta.j evpiqumi,aj e`autw/n poreuo,menoi- which parallels Peter's virtually identical expression: kata, ta/j ivdi,aj evpiqumi,aj auvtw/n poreuo,menoi (2Pet.3:3).
  25. Jude cites the apostolic prophecy of 2Pet.3:3 in v.18.
  26. They are always taking their cues from the ISTA.
  27. We have noted their sex, power, approbation, and materialism lust (cp. 2Pet.2:10,18; 3:3; Jude.16,18).
  28. Such types tend not to be content and well adjusted.
  29. They entice others to do likewise (2Pet.2:18).
  30. Liberalism caters to the lust pattern of the OSN and that is what makes it so popular.
  31. It is what made ancient paganism so popular.
  32. The liberals are further cited for the sin of "arrogant speech".
  33. Literally, "and their mouth speaks pompous words" (kai. to. sto,ma auvtw/n lalei/ u`pe,rogka).
  34. The adjective (acc.nt.p.) u`pe,rogkoj (huperogkos) is used here as a substantive, and also in 2Pet.2:18: "For when they articulate bombastic words of emptiness, they entice through the lusts of the flesh, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error."
  35. Liberal speech is swollen and way out of touch with sound and sober words of the truths of biblical Christianity.
  36. The pronouncements of secular and religious liberalism tend to fall into the category of the bombastic and grandiose.
  37. Humanistic relativism is the order of the day.
  38. We see all around us the cult of self.
  39. We are enticed to break free from the bonds of outdated morality (2Pet.2:19).
  40. This accounts for the rampant immorality, crime and greed that characterizes the last days.
  41. All this has filtered down to the man on the street who thinks of himself as merely a product of chance who answers to no one.
  42. Whenever the Bible is mentioned, it is brushed aside or ridiculed.
  43. The pied pipers of liberalism are to be found in academia, journalism, politics, religion, and the entertainment industry.
  44. These men speak of the things they do not understand and reject the innate moral code written in their hearts (cf. v.10).
  45. All that has ever been said and written in opposition to the Creator will be to their shame at His coming (cf. v.15).
  46. They are bombastic, wordy, and full of themselves, among those they target to impress and seduce.
  47. They curry favor with those they deem to impress and influence.
  48. And finally, Jude cites them for the sin of flattery, which is a form of insincerity.
  49. They are first and foremost interested in themselves and not so much in those they are speaking to.
  50. The "advantage"(gen.fem.sing., opheleia) refers to their self-promotion, at the expense of their audience whom they are deceiving (knowingly or as willing dupes).
  51. The words "flattering people" are literally, "admiring faces" (qauma,zontej pro,swpa).
  52. This expression, found only here in the NT, is found in the LXX to translate the Hebrew idiom nasa panim, "raise faces" (Deut.10:17 "the awesome God who does not show partiality"; 28:50; Job.13:10; it is used in a good sense of an "honorable man" in Job.22:8; Isa.3:3; 9:15).
  53. Flattery is characteristic of the speech of the wicked (Ps.5:9; 12:2,3; 36:2f).
  54. Flattery is used by those who are treacherous (Prov.26:28; 29:5; Rom.16:18).
  55. All forms of favoritism are to be avoided (Rom.2:11; Eph.6:9; Col.3:25; Jam.2:1).
  56. These types have been trained in self-promotion (2Pet.2:14), and so behind all they do is "for the sake of an advantage".
  57. Those who love the truth speak even to their own hurt (Ps.15:4).
  58. Self-promotion and deception are behind the words of those who promote the tenets of liberalism and tyranny.
  59. Being respectful is one thing, being a flatterer is quite another.

A Contemporary Prophet Reminder (vv.17-18)

A Church Age Prophecy (v.17)

VERSE 17 But you, beloved (~Umei/j de,( avgaphtoi, [pro.n.p., su + conj, de + adj.voc.m.p., agapetos, beloved]), ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ (mnh,sqhte tw/n r`hma,twn tw/n proeirhme,nwn u`po. tw/n avposto,lwn tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n VIhsou/ Cristou/ [aor.pass.imper.2.p., mimnh,skomai, mimneskomai, remember + def.art.w/gen.nt.p., hrema, word, utterance + pf.pass.pt.gen.nt.p., prole,gw, prolego, speak beforehand, predict; cp. 2Pet.3:2 + prep., hupo w/def.art.w/gen.m.p., apostolos, apostle + def.art.w/gen.m.s., kurios + pro.gen.p., ego + gen.m.s., Iesous Christos]),

Its Content (v.18)

VERSE 18 that they were saying to you (o[ti e;legon u`mi/n\[conj., hoti + imperf.act.ind.3.p., lego, say + pro.acc.p., su]), "In the last time there will be mockers (Îo[tiÐ VEpV evsca,tou Îtou/Ð cro,nou e;sontai evmpai/ktai [conj. hoti + prep.epi.w/adj.gen.m.s., eschatos, last + gen.m.s., chronos, time + fut.mid.ind.3.p., eimi + n.m.p., evmpai,thj, empaites, mocker, one who makes fun of another; 2x: 2Pet.3:3]), following after their own ungodly lusts (poreuo,menoi kata. ta.j e`autw/n tw/n avsebeiw/n evpiqumi,aj [pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., poreuomai, go, follow after + pro.reflex.gen.m.p., heautou + def.art.w/gen.f.p., asebeia, ungodly + prep., kata w/acc.f.p., epithumia, lust])."

ANALYSIS: VERSES 17-18

  1. Jude has appealed to the ancient prophecy of Enoch, preserved via oral tradition and mentioned in the apocryphal book 1 Enoch; now he reminds his readers of the words of the apostles.
  2. The false teachers (houtoi, "these men") have ignored the legacy, "but you (humeis de) remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ".
  3. The verb "remember" is an aorist imperative.
  4. The translation is simply, "But you, beloved remember...".
  5. The Greek for "words" is hrema, which means "utterances" or "sayings".
  6. Forgetfulness of the warnings of God in Scripture is a major cause of falling into error.
  7. Jude points out that there is nothing in the current attack which could not have been expected.
  8. The apostles had foretold it.
  9. The use of the term "spoken beforehand" (proeipon) means simply that the apostles made mention of the rise of these types before it came to pass.
  10. Indeed, the apostles said it "to you" (humin of v.18)- palpable evidence that we are dealing with historical contemporaries of the apostles.
  11. This certainly includes the Twelve, and may include certain others of special association with the Twelve (like Barnabas; cp. Acts.14:14; 2Cor.8:23 "messengers"; Phil.2:25 "messenger"); but see point 23 below.
  12. The main line apostles acted as prophets to the church and made predictions regarding last things.
  13. They acted in the same capacity as the prophets of the OT, who addressed the same issue (cp. 2Pet.3:1-3).
  14. Appeal to apostolic teaching would be very proper in one like Jude, who was not an apostle, and a very modest man (see comments on v.1).
  15. It is noteworthy that he does not say, like 2Peter, "your apostles", which could well include the writer (2Pet.1:1), but rather "the apostles".
  16. Paul predicted the rise of false teachers in Acts.20:29-30.
  17. There is abundant evidence in the NT that this trend was well under way before the Twelve passed from the scene (e.g., 2Cor.11:13; Rev.2:2, et al).
  18. Jesus predicted the rise of false prophets and messiahs (Mk.13:22-24).
  19. Today these types are brought into homes via television (2Tim.3:6 a prophecy of trends of the last days).
  20. The dismay and bewilderment, with the emergence of novelties in belief and behavior, is offset by Jude's reminder.
  21. His appeal is that there is no cause for undue dismay, since the apostles themselves have given an unambiguous forecast of precisely these alarming developments.
  22. Adjusted believers should rather regard these dangers as a challenge to stand fast with respect to the apostolic witness and give help, whenever it is solicited, to unsettled brethren.
  23. There is a solemn note in "the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ", which compels us to take it as referring strictly to the original Twelve.
  24. Again, we should observe that Jude does not include himself among "the apostles", and he does not call himself one in the letter's salutation.
  25. The imperfect tense of "they were saying to you" stresses the repeated nature of the apostolic warning, in situ.
  26. Clearly, warnings like Acts.20:29-30; 2Thess.2:5; 1Tim.4:1-3; and 2Tim.3:1ff (not to mention a host of other written correspondence as well as face-to-face communication) are meant.
  27. The particular warning that follows is substantially identical with 2Pet.3:3.
  28. Peter and Jude must have borrowed from a common source.
  29. The hypothesis of a common source, designed for common use against false teachers, is supported by the use the two letters make of this quotation.
  30. Peter applies it to those who scoffed at the doctrine of the Second Advent, and who were slaves to their lusts.
  31. Jude, while not making explicit mention of the doctrine of the Lord's return, cites their total lack of true spirituality in v.19.
  32. Both writers are applying the prophecy to unbelievers of a libertine persuasion, whose agenda was to upset the good morals and sound doctrine of Christians.
  33. The Greek noun empaiktai, translated "mockers", is found only here and in 2Pet.3:3 in the whole NT, but quite often in the LXX.
  34. Jude's use of the word "ungodly" is remarkable.
  35. The word is absent from Peter's citation, and Jude has, in fact, used it four times in v.15, once more than the 1 Enoch prophecy which he was quoting.
  36. His repeated stress upon asebeia shows the revulsion of a sensitive godly man to those who make pious pretensions, but utterly belie them in their behavior.
  37. It is used here as a descriptive genitive in the phrase "their own ungodly lusts" (cp. "ungodly sinners" in v.15).
  38. The words "ungodly lusts" versus just "lusts" suggests their advocacy of moral and sexual freedom in the name of Christianity.
  39. They scoffed at men who had moral scruples as "old-fashioned" and "repressive", unlike the enlightened and liberated teachers who were exploiting their Christian freedom!
  40. They abused grace and claimed that all sinning was incidental.
  41. They probably held to incipient Gnostic doctrine that became prominent in the second century.
  42. The time frame for the fruition of this prophecy is said to be "in the last time" (VEpV evsca,tou Îtou/Ð cro,nou) which clearly refers to the course of the church age and onward to the Second Advent (cp. Heb.1:2; 1Pet.1:20).
  43. The word "time" (chronos) means a span of time.
  44. It is equivalent to the designation "last days" of 2Tim.3:1 and Jam.5:3.
  45. In the OT, the phrase refers to the end-time fulfillment of OT prophecies (Isa.2:2; Jer.23:20; 49:39; Ezek.38:16; Hos.3:5; Micah.4:1; Acts.2:17).
  46. In intertestamental and Christian sources it denotes the time of the fulfillment of the OT prophecies.
  47. It is used in the NT in reference to the First Advent of Christ (Acts.2:17; Heb.1:2; 1Pet.1:20) and to their own present (1Jn.2:18) as well as the outstanding future (1Pet.1:5).
  48. The First Advent marks the terminus a quo and the Second Advent the terminus ad quem.
  49. The thing that drives false teachers is "their own lusts", be it power, approbation, sex, or monetary lust or some combination thereof.
  50. They are constantly "following after" (present participle poreuomai) the call of the flesh and not God the HS, who leads us into all truth.

Concluding Characterization (v.19)

VERSE 19 These are the ones who cause divisions (Ou-toi, eivsin oi` avpodiori,zontej [pro.demonstr.n.m.p., houtos, this + pres.act.ind.3.p., eimi + def.art.w/pres.act.pt.n.m.p., avpodiori,zw, apodiorizo, strictly, separate off by placing boundaries, cause divisions; 1x]), worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit (yucikoi, mh. e;contej pneu/ma [adj.n.m.p., psuchikos, natural; 6x: 1Cor.2:14; 15:44,46; Jam.3:15; Jude.19 + neg.w/pres.act.pt.n.m.p., echo, have + acc.nt.s., pneuma, spirit, human spirit]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 19

  1. For the third time (cf. vv.12, 16) Jude launches out with a contemptuous houtoi, "these types".
  2. And, as in v.17, he contrasts it with "but you, beloved"; so here he uses the same phrase in v.20.
  3. What else can he have to say about the heretics?
  4. This verse reveals a lot.
  5. He starts by using a very rare word and calls them "the ones who cause divisions", or "who divide" you, or "create divisions".
  6. It may be used (as in Aristotle) to mean, "the men that make distinctions" (i.e., invidious distinctions between themselves and other people).
  7. The word (avpodiori,zw), found only here in the Bible, denotes those superior people who keep themselves to themselves- a manifestation of Christian Phariseeism.
  8. The verb means strictly, "to separate off by placing boundaries"; hence, "set up distinctions" or "cause divisions".
  9. The ways in which this divisiveness exhibited itself was that they probably formed a clique of their own at the Agape meals (v.12).
  10. They certainly despised the simple pastors set over the churches (v.8), and attached themselves to the well-to-do (v.16).
  11. Now, on the whole, the rich would have been the educated.
  12. "It was out of this state of things that Gnosticism arose. It was the revolt of the well-to-do, half-educated bourgeois class" (Bigg).
  13. It was probably with a prototype of Gnosticism that we have to do here.
  14. These men were arrogant because they had arrived, spiritually and intellectually.
  15. They were the elite.
  16. That is why they kept themselves to themselves.
  17. They were, indeed, very much like Pharisees, and Jude deals with them like Jesus dealt with the Pharisees.
  18. The derivation of the name Pharisee probably means "separated", and denotes the exclusive people who divided themselves off.
  19. And Jesus told them they were indeed separated- from the God they claimed to know! (Mk.3:23-26, Gk.).
  20. Here Jude does the same.
  21. They claim to be separated off.
  22. He agrees. They are!
  23. Exclusiveness always hurts the exclusive man more than those from whom he separates himself.
  24. It seems they despised the ordinary believer, and called themselves psuchikoi (transl. "worldly-minded"), men governed by the natural life, not spiritual.
  25. They themselves claimed to be pneumatikoi, to have the fullness of the Spirit, and not bound by the restrictions and inhibitions of ordinary Christians.
  26. They were the spiritual aristocracy, immune to the laws of conduct, which bound ordinary believers.
  27. So far from being filled and led by God the HS they did not have the Spirit at all.
  28. And those who do not have God the HS indwelling them are classified as unbelievers (Rom.8:9b "But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.").
  29. So the words "devoid of the Spirit" or literally, "not having the Spirit", supports the position taken in the interpretation of 2Peter and Jude, that these heretics had never come to saving faith.
  30. The designation "wordly-minded" or better "natural men" is to be compared with 1Cor.2:14 where Paul teaches that "a natural man (yuciko.j a;nqrwpoj) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually (pneumatikw/j) apppraised".
  31. All human viewpoint is the product of the natural man's thinking and so is yuciko,j (Jam.3:15).
  32. For the designation "spiritual" (pneumatiko,j) see 1Cor.2:15 "But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.".
  33. Believers out of fellowship are not experientially spiritual (1Cor.3:1; 14:37; Gal.6:1).
  34. The teachers who were insinuating themselves into the lives and communities of Christians were clearly counterfeit Christians.
  35. The mystery cults, which for a time constituted a threat to Christianity, used language like this.
  36. A German scholar (Reitzenstein) cites a prayer of the Mithras cult in which "natural human (psuchike) ability" is contrasted with the "holy spirit" conferred in the mystery.
  37. It is not impossible that the false teachers borrowed their invidious distinctions (and the language to go with them) from the mystery cults.
  38. Jude saddles them with their own petard, as he exploits the same terminology for orthodox ends.
  39. That is why we are enjoined "not to believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1Jn.4:1).
  40. Of course, they are going to employ the same terminology to try and trip up the unwary.
  41. These types formulate their insidious teachings in very clever ways, so as to sound orthodox.
  42. But, when we look beneath the surface, we find the real theology.
  43. The surface is designed to lure people in (as with the Mormons and their ads).
  44. A lot of organizations are reticent to publish the unvarnished version, but the truth as to what they really mean is attainable.
  45. Various authors have done exposés on the cults.

Concluding Exhortations (vv.20-23)

Regarding the CWOL (vv.20-21)

VERSE 20 But you, beloved (u`mei/j de,( avgaphtoi, [pro.n.p., su + conj., de + adj.voc.m.p. agapetos]), building yourselves up on your most holy faith (evpoikodomou/ntej e`autou.j th/| a`giwta,th| u`mw/n pi,stei [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., evpoikodome,w, epoikoeomeo, build up; 7x: 1Cor.3:10,12,14; Eph.2:20; Col.2:7; Jude.20 + pro.reflex.acc.m.p., heautou + def.art.w/adj.superlative.dat.f.s., hagiotate, "most holy" w/dat.f.s., pistis, faith or BD + pro.gen.p., su; "your"]); praying in the Holy Spirit (proseuco,menoi evn pneu,mati a`gi,w| [pres.dep.pt.(imper)n.m.p., proseuchomai, pray + prep.en.w.adj.loc.nt.s., hagios + loc.nt.s., pneuma, spirit of HS]);

ANALYSIS: VERSE 20

  1. For the second time Jude calls them "beloved" (cf. v.17), and on each occasion it is in contrast to the liberal corrupters of Christianity.
  2. The designation "beloved" refers to their enviable position in God the Father and in God the Son who is the "Beloved of God" (cf. v.1 cp. v.3,17; 2Pet.1:17; 3:1,8,14,15,17; also 1Pet.2:11; 4:12).
  3. God, who is love, has provided everything for their positional and experiential preservation in the Angelic Conflict.
  4. God expresses His love in various ways.
  5. His love for us is greater than our love for Him.
  6. He loves us with the same love that He has for His Beloved Son.
  7. He will do no less for us as we face the pressures of the conflict.
  8. At this juncture, Jude launches into some highly compressed exhortation, which if followed, would preserve them from contamination by the heretics.
  9. This is, in fact, the primary purpose of his correspondence: to alert his readers for survival in the face of a potent threat to their spiritual momentum.
  10. A series of injunctions follows (present participles and aorist imperatives).
  11. If implemented at a reasonable level they will ensure deliverance from the corrupters.
  12. The first imperative (pres.part. of epoikodomeo, build on/up) has to do with the intake of BD.
  13. The verb is accompanied by the reflexive pronoun ("yourselves") which points to individual responsibility.
  14. This "faith" is objective as it was in v.3.
  15. Faith is used here as a synonym for doctrine or truth.
  16. The expression "your most holy faith" contains the definite article which carries the notion of "the one and only".
  17. The pronoun "your" indicates that which is the heritage of positive volition.
  18. The superlative adjective "most holy" (a`giwta,th) occurs only here, and further underscores its source (a holy God) and what it does for those who take it seriously (sanctifies them).
  19. The foundation of their lives is to be "the most holy faith".
  20. A building is not better than its foundation.
  21. Consistent intake of BD, as contained in the books and verses of the Bible, is what the foundation of our lives is to be made of, all else is sand.
  22. The present participle indicates something they are currently doing and should continue doing.
  23. Failure to implement this injunction renders all that follows impotent.
  24. Secondly, they should continue "praying in the Holy Spirit".
  25. The injunction recalls Paul's in Eph.6:18 "Pray at all times in the Spirit".
  26. Prayer, in or by the HS, is one of Paul's great themes (Rom.8:26; 1Cor.12:3; Gal.4:6), and we may detect the influence of his theology here.
  27. Again, a contrast with the heretics is deliberately drawn: they do not even have the HS (v.19), and so have no prayer.
  28. The adjusted, however, who are constantly building themselves up on doctrinal teaching, enjoy the active presence of God the HS, and the visible fruit of this is effective prayer.
  29. Those who reject sound doctrine, both in terms of attitude and application, produce only offensive prayers (Prov.28:9 which refers to GAP).
  30. Praying in the Spirit means to pray in fellowship and in accordance with the will of God.
  31. So much that goes for prayer today is simply "strange incense".
  32. God the HS interprets and edits our prayers before the throne of grace (Rom.8:26) which verse contains a reassuring promise.

Importance of FHS (v.21)

VERSE 21 keep yourselves in the love of God (thrh,sate e`autou.j evn avga,ph| qeou/ [aor.act.imper.2.p., tereo, keep + pro.reflex.acc.m.p., heautou + prep.en.loc.f.s., agape, love + gen.m.s., theos]), waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life (prosdeco,menoi to. e;leoj tou/ kuri,ou h`mw/n VIhsou/ Cristou/ eivj zwh.n aivw,nion [pres.dep.pt.n.m.p., prosde,comai, prosdechomai, wait eagerly for; cp. Titus.2:13 + def.art.w/acc.nt.s., eleos, mercy + def.art.w/gen.m.s., kurios + pro.gen.p., ego + gen.m.s., Iesous Chistos + prep., eis w/acc.f.s., zoe, life + adj.acc.f.s., aionios, eternal]).

ANALYSIS: VERSE 21

  1. The centerpiece to verses 20 & 21 is the finite aorist imperative "keep" or "preserve (tereo) yourselves in the love of God".
  2. All the other imperatival participles ("building yourselves up", "praying", and "waiting anxiously") are a part of the support cast.
  3. As long as positive believers are truly keeping themselves in the love of God, the reality of the three participles will be operational.
  4. The aorist imperative is like the hub to the spokes of a wheel.
  5. Hence, the importance of the command to "keep" oneself "in the love of God".
  6. This command has to do with staying in fellowship or under the control (leadership) of God the HS who indwells every believer.
  7. God, who is love, indwells us in the Person of God the HS.
  8. When we are ruled/controlled by the IHS (i.e. FHS) we are fulfilling the command "to walk in love" (Eph.5:2 "and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma,"; cp. "walk in the light" of 1Jn.1:7; 2Jn.6).
  9. This command is also parallel to the one which says we are to "abide" in Christ (Jn.15:4,6,7; 1Jn.2:28) or "abide in Me" (Jn.15:5).
  10. In order to go from a state of carnality to a state of spirituality, the believer must apply 1Jn.1:9.
  11. Spirituality (FHS) is an absolute and is strictly by grace.
  12. Jude's readers are enjoined to keep themselves in fellowship.
  13. The phrase "the love of God" can be interpreted as either God's love for us or our love for Him.
  14. The latter is most probably in view here, as God loves all humanity and all believers apart from their response (God's universal love).
  15. In other words, God's love for believers is universal apart from their response.
  16. The believer who loves God is the one who keeps His commandments including the command to make the rebound adjustment (Jn.14:21 "He who has My commandments (GAP) and keeps (application) them, it is he who loves Me; and He who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love Him, and will disclose Myself to him (special insight into the POG).").
  17. The importance of keeping short accounts cannot be overemphasized.
  18. The imperatival participle "waiting anxiously" relates to our Ph3 hope and completes the supporting cast of three (which includes the importance of intake of BD and prayer).
  19. All three functions of a normal Christian depend upon the main actor: staying in fellowship, and its corollary: being led by the HS.
  20. The present participle (prosdechomai) is used here in the sense of keen expectancy.
  21. It is used in connection with the arrival of a special guest (Phil.2:29).
  22. It is regularly used of prophetic anticipation (Mark.15:43; Lk.2:25,38; 12:36; 23:51; Titus.2:13).
  23. Jude is, of course, referring here to the Church's prophetic coming-out in connection with the Rapture.
  24. "The mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ" is the same as "the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" of 1Pet.1:13.
  25. The phrase "to eternal life" (eivj zwh.n aivw,nion) occurs at: Matt.25:46; Jn.4:14,36; 6:27; 12:25; Acts.13:48; Rom.5:21; 1Tim.1:16; Jude.1:21.
  26. "The mercy" (to. e;leoj) refers to the blessings associated with our glorification.
  27. Mercy is God's; the grace of God in action.
  28. Note the need for "the mercy" of God, not only initially (Ph1), but daily; not only daily, but at the final evaluation (cf. 2Tim.1:18 "the Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in the day-and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.").
  29. In spite of our shortcomings, God provides grace so we can qualify for the crown.
  30. Salvation (Ph1) is, itself, an act of God's mercy towards sinners.
  31. Ph2 salvation at the Bema is for those who fail daily, and who even fail dramatically, but rebound and move on.
  32. Eternal life is the present possession of all who believe in Christ (e.g., "he who has the Son has life").
  33. By "eternal life", Jude means the unrealized part of that life, of the new era to come, which has already been realized in believers.
  34. It means the resurrection life at the return of Christ.
  35. At the Rapture we enter into the full blessings associated with Ph1 and Ph2 sanctification.
  36. Strictly speaking, none of us deserve "the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life".
  37. But we can all qualify for the full measure of that blessedness (the crown/prize) if we hold fast to the doctrine to the end.
  38. The key is keeping ourselves "in the love of God" (FHS) which is manifested by the participles "building yourselves up", "praying in the Holy Spirit", and "waiting anxiously".

Mercy on the Fallen (vv.22-23)

VERSE 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting (kai. ou]j me.n evlea/teou]j diakrinome,nouj [conj. + part. men, on the one hand + pres.act.imper.2.p. evlea,w eleao, show mercy + pro.rel.acc.m.p. hos; "some" + pres.act.pt.acc.m.p., diakri,nw diakrino, ; discern; judge a dispute; doubt]);

VERSE 23 save others (de. sw,|zete ou]j [conj., de on the other hand w/men + pres.act.imper.2.p. sozo, save + pro.rel.acc.m.p. hos], snatching them out of the fire [a`rpa,zontejevk puro.j [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., a`rpa,zw harpazo, snatch, seize; cp. 1Thess.4:17 + prep.ek.w/abl.nt.s. pur, fire]; and on some have mercy with fear [de. ou]j evlea/teou]j evn fo,bw| [conj. de with men as above + pro.rel.acc.m.p. hos; "some" + pres.act.imper.2.p. eleao, show mercy + prep.en.w/loc.m.s. phobos, fear], hating even the garment polluted by the flesh [misou/ntej kai. to.ncitw/naevspilwme,non avpo. th/j sarko.j [pres.act.pt.n.m.p., miseo, hate + conj./ascensive kai + def.art.w/acc.m.s., citw,n chiton, tunic as garment worn next to the skin + pf.pass.pt.acc.m.s., spilo,w spiloo, stain, defile; 2x: Jam.3:6 where the tongue "defiles the whole body" + prep.apo.w/def.art.w/gen.f.s., sarx, flesh; here of STA]).

ANALYSIS: VERSES 22-23

  1. Abruptly, without any transition, Jude appends his brief but splendid summation of the CWL with counsel on how his readers should function towards fellow-members of the royal family who have fallen, in greater or lesser degrees, under the manipulations of the intruders.
  2. Difficult in itself, these two verses are made even more difficult by the uncertainty of the Greek text, which has come down to us in a peculiarly confused state.
  3. From the mass of variants, however, two rival texts by and large emerge.
  4. The shorter one, represented by B (codex Vaticanus) distinguishes two groups of failing believers.
  5. Over against it stands a longer text supported by Codex Sinaiticus, A and others; it distinguishes three groups, and in its most likely form (there are several variants within it) has been rendered (RSV) as follows: 'And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.'
  6. The sense it yields is excellent.
  7. Editors are divided in their evaluation of these texts.
  8. The consideration inclining one in favor of the shorter version are (a) its stylistic roughness and sheer difficulty as compared with the smoothness and correctness of the longer one, and (b) the fact that the latter (longer) and its variants can be intelligibly explained as attempts to make sense of the abrupt shorter text, and (c) Jude's predilection for arranging his material in groups of three (as in verses 2, 4, 8, in the examples in verses 5-7 and 11.
  9. The various forms of the text are abberations which arose partly from scribal inattentiveness, partly from indecision concerning the sense of diakri,nw in v.22 (in v.9 it means "to dispute with" with someone; here, however, it must mean "to doubt"), and partly from concern to provide a main clause after three (or two) relative clauses (ou]j).
  10. If this is accepted, the first of the two groups consists of the ones "who are doubting."
  11. The verb found in the present participle (diakrino) has already appeared in v.9 with the meaning 'be at odds with' and translated "disputed with.'
  12. The assumption that this must therefore be the sense here may have caused some MSS to insert elegchete ('convince' or 'refute') in place of 'have mercy' (eleate).
  13. Hence, the rendition: 'There are some who raise disputes, these you should refute.'
  14. However, the verb quite frequently (e.g., Matt.21:21; Mk.11:23; Acts.10:20; Rom.4:20; 14:23; Jam.1:6) signifies 'be doubtful', 'waver'.
  15. In the active voice the meaning is 'to discern' or 'to judge.
  16. In the middle and passive voices the meaning is 'to doubt' or 'to dispute.'
  17. Inevitably some of these believers had been dangerously influenced by the pseudo teachers but had not taken the big step into reversionsim.
  18. The strong are encouraged to "have mercy" (pres.act.imper. eleao) on them by getting together with a believer who is wavering and articulating the spiritual issues that are at stake.
  19. The believer who is seeking to win over the believer who has been thrown off balance by false doctrine is not to engage the failing believer in a high-handed fashion but to show mercy/grace to the one who is in the 'middle ground.'
  20. In a kind tactful manner set before the doubters the truth without compromise.
  21. It is then let to the individual's volition to walk away from the error of the heretics.
  22. The words "save others" (ou]j de. sw,|zete) introduces the 2nd group.
  23. The verb "save" is also a present active imperative.
  24. This type of individual requires a direct frontal assault.
  25. They are on the wrong path and need to be told as much in no uncertain terms.
  26. They need to be aggressively rescued.
  27. The present participle "snatching" is used as an imperative.
  28. The verb harpazo means to seize forcibly as when wild animals or thieves carry off their prey (Jn.6:15).
  29. It is used in 1Thess.4:17 for the removal of the body of Christ from the earth at the Rapture (cp. 2Cor.12:2, 4; Rev.12:5).
  30. Here it is used metaphorically of the aggressive in-your-face approach toward those who have gone over to the other side and who need a reality check.
  31. When a person falls into a life-threatening situation the rescuer takes all necessary action to save the victim.
  32. The words "out of the fire" (evk puro.j) continues the figure of speech.
  33. Some interpreters think that this is a reference to eternal condemnation, and that the subjects are unbelievers, in this context the false teachers.
  34. Calvin presents this as the 'fire and brimstone evangelist.'
  35. However, there is another fire that is reserved for all believers when they stand before Christ in judgment and that is the fire of the Bema Seat (cf. 1Cor.3:13-15 & Jn.15:6).
  36. This judgment is toward our works, that is, our Ph2.
  37. All human good (works performed out-of-fellowship) will be burned which constitutes loss of potential reward.
  38. That which survives represents divine good production and will be rewarded with SG3.
  39. Believers who are caught up in false teaching will suffer great loss and shame.
  40. Believers who are in reversionism and carnality are 'in the fire' so to speak, but as long as there is life and grace are salvable.
  41. Aggressive measures are required for those who are in the fire zone.
  42. When there is danger of fire, we should not hesitate to snatch away violently those we are lead to save; for it is not enough to beckon with a finger or to kindly stretch forth the hand.
  43. Those who are led by God the HS will know when to engage in 'tough love.'
  44. The 3rd group constitutes believers who have fallen into gross immorality and who recognize it.
  45. They are distinct from those who are leaning that direction (v.22) and those who's Ph2 is being trashed (v.23a).
  46. Jude uses the same imperative "have mercy" with this group as he did with the 1st category.
  47. This example is identical to the candidates of Gal.6:1: "Brethren, even if anyone is caught in a trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted."
  48. Such ministering should never be done in a spirit of sanctimoniousness or superiority.
  49. It must be done "in fear", in recognition that 'I too, have an OSN and I also am capable of falling.'
  50. This mental attitude must be a doctrinal safeguard with respect to the one who is counseling the fallen.
  51. This same sentiment is expressed in different language in Gal.6:1.
  52. Believers are to have compassion on even the most corrupted victim.
  53. At the same time the one who is ministering to the fallen should retain their keen sense of hatred of the particular activity that brought the victim down.
  54. Hence, Jude's metaphor "hating even the garment polluted by the flesh."
  55. The trick here is to identify what the "garment" represents.
  56. The "flesh" corresponds to the ISTA.
  57. In the metaphor it refers to the body which soils the garment (citw,n was actually a tunic) worn next to the skin (Matt.5:40; 10:10; Mk.6:9; 14:63; Lk.6:29; 9:3; Jn.19:23; Acts.9:39; Jude.1:23).
  58. Over it was worn a outer garment (to. i`ma,tion Matt.5:40; Jn.19:23) called a 'coat' or 'outer garment.'
  59. The perfect passive participle "polluted" or "stained" (spilo,w) refers to the particular STA activity that is particularly odious and embarrassing (cp. Jam.3:6 for the other reference).
  60. So the staining of the white linen tunic corresponds to the contamination of the righteous life by some gross moral infraction.
  61. The activity should never be treated as normal or commonplace.
  62. The activity should be viewed with revulsion.
  63. So to hate with fear the tunic of their personal life spotted as it was by gross STA activity is what is in view here.
  64. We should show mercy by fully accepting them back into our fellowship (corporately and individually) while hating the activity that so defiled them.
  65. While they are involved in the activity and unrepentant we should separate from them.
  66. We should never make excuses for their activity but encourage them to righteous living.
  67. Those who think they are beyond help should be encouraged to acclimate to the forgiveness they enjoy under the grace of God in rebound.


Doxology (vv.24-25)

God's Part (v.24)

VERSE 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling (de. Tw/ duname,nw| fula,xai u`ma/j avptai,stouj [conj. de, now + def.art.w/pres.dep.pt.dat.m.s., dunamai, be able + aor.act.infin. fula,ssw phulasso, guard, protect + pro.acc.p. su + adj.acc.m.p., a;ptaistoj aptaistos, from falling; 1x], and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy [kai. sth/sai katenw,pion th/j do,xhj auvtou/ avmw,mouj evn avgallia,sei [conj. + aor.act.infin. istemi, stand + prep.katenopion, in the presence of w/def.art.w/gen.f.s., doxa, glory + pro.gen.m.s., autos, his + adj.acc.m.p., a;mwmoj amomos, blameless, faultless; 8x: Eph.1:14; 5:27; Phil.2:15; Col.1:11; Heb.9:14; 1Pet.1:19; Jude.24; Rev.14:5 + prep.en.w/instr.f.s., a`galli,asij hagalliasis, extreme joy often demonstrated by jumping, clapping and shouting; 5x: Lk.1:14,44; Acts.2:46; Heb.1:9; Jude.24],
 

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