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Gann's Commentary on the Bible Gann on the Bible
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Jude 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ gbc/ jude-1.html. 2021.
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Jude 1". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://studylight.org/
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Walking Thru The Bible
(see also 2PETER)
1. Author: Several men in the NT bear the name “Judas,” a name quite common among the Jews. In English his name is shortened to Jude. Among the twelve there are two - Luke 6:16, John 14:22.
Jude calls himself “brother of James.” At the time he wrote this no James other than the Lord’s brother was so well known. - Acts 15:13 f; Galatians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 15:7.
Jesus had four half-brothers, James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas - Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3.
The brothers of the Lord were not disciples during his earthly ministry (John 7:5). Jude was present in Jerusalem with the disciples in Acts 1:14 which indicates that the resurrection of Jesus made his brothers believers– and strong ones. Jude and his wife must have done some evangelistic traveling - 1 Corinthians 9:5.
(Eusebius quotes the father of church history, Hegesippus, c. AD 150 concerning the grandchildren of Jude and their persecution by the Roman Emperor Domitian, p. 120.)
Strong external evidence caused the book to be accepted by the early church as written by Jude the brother of the Lord, and brother of James.
2. Jude and Second Peter: There are many similarities between these two books. Both deal with the same subject matter, giving similar warnings, and sometimes employ the same words and phrases.
3. Date: Probably late AD 60s ( AD 65 - 70 ). It seems that by 1 John 2:19 these false teachers had already separated themselves from the church. I take it that these were the last two NT books written.
4. Recipients: Many think it was written to the same people to whom Peter wrote.
5. Contents: This epistle furnishes us information about some of the problems which the first century churches had to deal. Jude treats the subject boldly and sternly. He shows concern for true doctrine and right living. True doctrine is the basis for morality, perversion of doctrine for immorality and apostasy.
1. Out world is in a state of change. Aircraft and missiles are outmoded before they are off the assembly line. Textbooks and technologies are outdated by the time they are in print. It is “change” that sells automobiles, etc., year by year.
2. The opinion is widespread that a modern age demands an updated religion. Science has made old beliefs taboo. Society rebels against traditional and obsolete modes of worship and service.
I. The Realm Of The Changeable
A. There have been bast changes in Physical Expedients from the first to the 21 centuries. Transportation; communication (Ephesians 6:21-22); conveniences.
B. Social customs have changed considerably in 20 centuries. Slavery (cf. Philemon and Onesimus, Ephesians 6:5-9); dress has radically changed (Acts 21:11; 1 Cor. 11); methods of greeting (Romans 16:16).
C. There were temporary necessities in the early church that were to pass away because they would no longer be needed when the faith was established. Inspiration of apostles and prophets, Ephesians 1:1; miracles to confirm the spoken word (Mark 16:17, Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:3-4); community of goods (Acts 2:44 ff).
II. The Realm of the Unchangeable
A. The Godhead is the same today as ever. God changes not (Malachi 3:6); Christ remains the same (Hebrews 13:8); the Holy Spirit abides forever (John 14:26).
B. Satan and sin have remained unchanged. (1 John 2:16). The same works of the flesh are practiced (Galatians 5:19-21). The same type of people live.
C. Man is basically the same today as always. He is still body-soul-and spirit. (1 Thessalonians 5:23). He stills needs 4-fold growth (Luke 2:52). His choice are still two masters to serve, two roads to travel.
D. Principles of faith and right have not and cannot change. (cf. Judges 1:3).
1. Principles behind changing customs and temporary necessities of the 1st century are still obligatory. (Submission to husbands; modesty, brotherly affection; humility and hospitality, love).
2. Principles of ethics and morals are unchanged. Matt 5-7 still relevant.
3. Principles of faith are still binding. Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24; James 2:24
III. Changing the Unchangeable
A. There are efforts to change the unchangeable.
1. New theology -- God is dead. (Psalms 14:1);
2. New Christology - Christ’s deity, miracles & resurrection denied (Matthew 22:42; 2 Peter 2:1) .
3. New soteriology;
5. New morality.
B. There are efforts within the church to change the unchangeable. New hermeneutics; new rapport with error. These are not new, but centuries old.
1. Change is permissible only in the area of expedients. (1 Corinthians 9:19 f)
2. In matters of faith and doctrinal truth we much preach the unchanging gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) and stand for the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16).
- - - - - -
Study of Jude - wg notes
Barnes has some full notes and studies, particularly on Judges 1:9 about ref to apocryphal books, etc.
Good sermon in Pulpit Commentary by T.C.
Can Read Jude in @ 2.5 minutes.
The writer has an affinity for 3’s.
DATE: Probably AD 65-70
Jude and 2Peter has many similarities, and written close to the same time. Jude seems to be slightly later. (2Peter speaks of false teachers as "coming" and Jude speaks of them as already here, Judges 1:4; Judges 1:12. )
Recipients: Probably the same people to whom 2Peter was written (2 Peter 2:1)
Purpose: To exhort Christians to steadfastness in contending for the faith which was threatened by false teachers.
- - - - -
Jude -- Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; John 7:5; Acts 15:13; 1 Corinthians 9:5; -- Galatians 1:19; 1 Corinthians 15:7
Jude -- The Greek name Ioudas derives from the Hebrew name Judah and was a popular name among Jewish men. The name Judah recalls the tribal founder and son of the patriarch Jacob. This Jude is likely Jesus’ brother, but another Jude is a possibility. - FSB
a servant of Jesus Christ -- The author calls himself a servant (doulos, also translated “slave”) of Jesus Christ. He does not claim authority to write because he is the earthly brother of the Lord, but because, like others (Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, James 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1), he is the slave of the Messiah.
Christ -- The Greek word used here literally means “anointed one” and serves as Jesus’ title, not His personal name—emphasizing Jesus’ role as the promised one of Israel. - FSB
brother of James -- Jude is the only NT writer to introduce himself by identifying his family connections. The James here is likely Jesus’ brother (Matthew 13:55), but it could be another James. If Jude is the brother of the former James, then he is also Jesus’ brother. James and Jude may be Mary and Joseph’s children or just Joseph’s (if Joseph was a widower prior to his marriage with Mary; compare Mark 15:40 and note) - FSB
and brother of -- It is unusual in the ancient near-east and Graeco-Roman world to designate oneself “brother of”; usually it is “son of.”
It is possible that both James and Jude were uncomfortable with the exalted title “brother of the Lord.” Others in the church may have used this designation for them (cf. Matthew 13:55; John 7:3-10; Acts 1:14; 1 Corinthians 9:5; and Galatians 1:19). - Utley
to all who have been called -- It is unclear who the specific recipients of Jude’s letter were. - NLTSB
sanctified -- (loved ) -- The TR (and majority text) has "sanctified", some MSS has "beloved". The grammatical forms of “beloved” (ēgapēmenois) and “sanctified” (ēgiasmenois) are very similar in Greek.
preserved -- in Christ (Romans 8:38) as long as we remain "sanctified" in God, and faithful to "the faith". [Misuse of John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39]
preserved -- (kept) God not only initiates salvation but He also completes it through Christ, thus preserving or keeping the believer secure for eternal life (cf. John 6:37-44; John 10:28-30; John 17:11, John 17:15; Romans 8:31-39; 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 9:24; 1 Peter 1:3-5). - MSB
preserved (kept) -- This could mean “guarded” or “preserved.” Believers have been and continue to be guarded by God (cf. 1 Peter 1:4-5). This is the emphasis of the closing prayer in vv. Judges 1:24-25. Paul often used the terms “called” and “beloved” in his greetings but never the term “kept!” - Utley
Mercy, peace, and love -- “Mercy and peace” was a common Jewish greeting; “love” was added to make this distinctively Christian. Only here in the NT do these 3 qualities appear so closely together.
Where grace prevails, there is mercy (Ephesians 2:4; Hebrews 4:16), peace (Romans 5:1), and love (Romans 5:5) in abundance. - MSB
God’s mercy can sustain them in times of difficulty (Hebrews 4:16); His peace can give a subtle calmness when evil abounds (Romans 15:13; Philippians 4:7); and His love can protect and assure believers in the face of peril (Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:12, 1 John 4:15-16). - BKC
This is the only greeting in a NT letter that does not mention “grace” (though God’s “mercy” and grace are related since both express his goodness), and it is the only one that mentions “love.” - NIVZSB
may mercy, peace, and love -- Jude uses many triads. Paul’s usual triad is grace, peace, and love (cf. 1 Timothy 1:2). This is a powerful prayer. It is a summary of the whole book. - Utley
be multiplied to you -- This is a rare AORIST PASSIVE OPTATIVE. It denotes a wish or prayer. It is also SINGULAR, directed to each believer. - Utley
Verses 1–2 form a typical but Christianized standard opening to a letter. Jude appears to be a combination of a sermon and a letter. There is no characteristic greeting at the conclusion. These one page (one papyrus sheet) letters were common in the Graeco-Roman world as the means of regular communication. Hundreds have been found in the papyri from Egypt, but only three are found in the NT (II, III John and Jude). - Utley
Jude concerned for their welfare.
His Purpose in writing.
Dear friends -- The Greek word used here, agapētos, meaning “beloved” or “dear friend,” serves as a tender and affectionate form of address. - FSB
I found it necessary. Cf. 1 Corinthians 9:16. This verse implies that Jude had intended to write a letter on salvation as the common blessing enjoyed by all believers, perhaps to emphasize unity and fellowship among believers, and remind them that God is no respecter of persons. But he was compelled, instead, to write a call to battle for the truth in light of the arrival of apostate teachers. - MSB
I felt the necessity to write -- This shows the Spirit’s leadership in writing (cf. 2 Peter 1:21). Notice that the INFINITIVE “to write” appears twice in v. 3. - Utley
our common salvation -- Jude is referring to the salvation that both he and his audience have experienced. - FSB
contend -- from the word "agonize", an athletic word, to strive for, fight for, "wage war against error." 1 Thessalonians 2:4.
The reason to contend: the entrance of wicked false teachers, Judges 1:4.
the faith -- In the NT, “faith” usually refers to the act of believing [or trusting], while the faith refers to the content of Christian belief. - NLTSB
the faith -- is the body of truths taught by the apostles. The term “the faith,” used also in Galatians 1:23 and 1 Timothy 4:1, refers to things believed. The false teachings of the apostates called for the believers to contend (epagōnizesthai, “agonize earnestly”) with all diligence in defense of those truths, which ungodly men were trying to destroy. In effect Jude said, “Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess” (Hebrews 4:14). - BKC
once for all delivered … saints. God’s revelation was delivered once as a unit, at the completion of the Scripture, and is not to be edited by either deletion or addition (cf. Deuteronomy 4:2; Deuteronomy 12:32; Proverbs 30:6; Revelation 22:18-19).
Scripture is complete, sufficient, and finished; therefore it is fixed for all time. Nothing is to be added to the body of the inspired Word (see notes on 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21) because nothing else is needed. It is the responsibility of believers now to study the Word (2 Timothy 2:15), preach the Word (2 Timothy 4:2), and fight for its preservation. - MSB
once for all delivered to the saints -- (i.e., to Christians). In other words, by the time that Jude wrote his letter, “the faith” had already been fixed and established in the apostolic teaching of the early church, and therefore could not be changed, but was under attack and in need of defense. - ESVSB
Although the NT documents had not yet been collected into a complete canon of Scripture, by this time the foundational NT teachings were circulating in oral form through the apostolic circles. In addition, some NT documents had already begun to circulate among the churches (cf. Colossians 4:16; also The Canon of the New Testament).
A further implication of this verse is that, after the writings authorized by the apostles were included in the NT canon, nothing more could ever be added to Scripture, since the content of the faith had been delivered “once for all.”
This is at odds with the teachings of other religions such as Mormonism and Islam, which hold that the NT writings existing today contain corrupted teachings, and that additional authoritative teachings came from God later (e.g., the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an, both of which contradict the NT at many points).
This conclusion also differs from the Roman Catholic view that official church tradition (in addition to Scripture) also has absolute divine authority. Since the letter of Jude was included in the NT canon, his letter must also have received early apostolic endorsement for inclusion, and everything in Jude’s letter is in complete accord with apostolic teaching and writings of the early church and with “the faith once for all delivered to the saints.” - ESVSB
For -- the reason Jude found for writing (see v.3b).
crept in unawares -- sneaked in, as by a side door. 2 Peter 2:1. False teachers usually come from within the group. Acts 20:30
have slipped in stealthily [unnoticed] -- False teachers could also have arisen within the community, established themselves as trustworthy, and then brought in destructive teachings.
ordained [designated] -- (marked out), the word means "to write before", i.e. by scripture previously written.
condemnation -- God’s judgment for sin has already been decided. Since the false teachers mentioned here are intentionally and unrepentantly leading others astray, Jude is sure of their fate (compare note on 2 Peter 2:3; Matthew 7:15; Mark 13:22; Acts 20:29-30). - FSB
ungodly men -- no piety or reverence toward God.
This is a key term in Jude (used six times) and 2 Pet. 2. These teachers are doctrinally false, which led to moral ungodliness. “By their fruit you shall know them” (cf. Matt. 7).
turning grace -- Using doctrine of "grace" to support "unrestrained vices", Romans 3:5-8, Romans 6:1;
denying -- By their ungodly living. Perhaps gnostics, saying that Jesus had not come in the flesh -- 1 John 4:2-3.
Literally, it means “renounce,” which may refer to renouncing Christ by their lifestyle (cf. Titus 1:16).
Denunciation of False Teachers - v. 5-16.
Vs. 5-7 Their certainty of condemnation is seen from three examples.
1) Judges 1:5 the Lord destroyed some in the desert (an argument for certainty of punishment.)
2) Judges 1:6 angels who left their assigned position (why they left is not revealed here.)
3) Judges 1:7 five cities of the plain- 4 destroyed and 1 spared (Zoar).
What do these three examples have in common? In all three, evildoers are punished.
Now I want to remind you -- "I will call certain facts to your memory, with which you are familiar, to show you what happens to such men."
After rescuing the nation of Israel from Egypt, God led them toward the Promised Land. But most of the people did not trust the Lord to protect them. Because of their unbelief, God sentenced the adults of that generation (except Joshua and Caleb) to wander in the wilderness until they died (see Num 14).
See v.5 note. Judges 1:5
angels -- had an assigned position. Why some left is not revealed here.
[See Utley’s good break down regarding this verse.]
the angels -- These might refer to the fall of Satan and his angelic followers, but no OT passage clearly describes this event (see notes on Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19). - NLTSB
Some scholars think Jude is likely referring to the account of the angels in the Book of Enoch.
The heart of Jude’s next comparison is the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority but apparently rebelled against God’s authority and sought to be equal to him. God has kept these beings in eternal chains ever since. Some scholars think this refers to the original fall of angels from heaven. Others think Jude is referring to the sin of angels in Genesis 6:1-4 (see note on 1 Peter 3:19). This view is strengthened by Jude’s citation of 1 Enoch 1.9 (Judges 1:14-15), which contains much discussion on the fall of these angels. - ESVSB
keep … kept -- Contrast how God “keeps” (the Greek word is translated “reserved” in Judges 1:13) these angels who did not “keep” their assigned positions with how God keeps Christians (see note on Judges 1:1), who must keep themselves (see note on Judges 1:20-21) - NIVZSB
left their proper dwelling -- The word rendered “habitation, domain, or dwelling place" (
oikētērion) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. They left, or deserted, their own position God had given them. οἰκητήριον
reserved -- G5084 The word means "watching over a place where prisoners are kept."
The word "reserved" is tçreô, and is in the perfect tense. That is, they have been placed under a complete and careful guard, with the result that they are in a state of being under this complete and careful guard continually.
Peter said they were reserved in "Tartarus" (hell) 2 Peter 2:4.
under darkness -- [deep gloom] -- Refers to some sort of underworld (Tartarus, Hades, hell, or Sheol;) - FSB
chains -- bonds, or bands. The word does not indicate that the angels are literally, physically, chained, but that they are in custody, detained in a certain place.
judgment … great day -- This refers to the final judgment when all demons and Satan are forever consigned to the “lake of fire” prepared for them (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10) and all the ungodly (Revelation 20:15). - MSB
Jude’s Point: If God did not spare angels who sinned, He will not spare disobedient men.
See v.5 note. Judges 1:5
cities -- Of the five cities on the plain, only Zoar was spared.Genesis 19:19-22. Deuteronomy 29:23.
Genesis 19 mentions only Sodom and Gomorrah by name, but Genesis 19:25 states that other cities in the valley were also destroyed. [These cities are listed by name in Deuteronomy 29:23.]
The destruction of these cities at the SE corner of the Dead Sea is used over 20 times in Scripture as an illustration of God’s judgment during the days of Abraham and Lot (cf. Gen. 18:22–19:29). - MSB
Smoke was still rising from the site of Sodom and Gomorrah in the first century a.d. (see Philo, On Abraham 141; Philo, Life of Moses 2.56; Wisdom of Solomon 10:7), and this was taken as a physical symbol of eternal divine judgment. - ESVSB
Writers contemporary to Jude witnessed that the area where God destroyed those cities had sulfurous odors, smoke, and a terribly desolate appearance (cf. Genesis 19:24-28) - NIVZSB
strange flesh -- RSV "unnatural lusts", homosexual. See Romans 1:27 note on GAYS (Homosexuals, Sodomites) and Lesbians In The Bible.
set forth for an example -- Utterly destroyed by fire they are an example that points to the eternal fire. - PNT
eternal fire -- The fire destroying their cities was not the end of their punishment, but it continued into the next world.
the punishment of eternal fire -- Yahweh, whose judgment is eternally true, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah with sulfur and fire (Genesis 19:24). These cities serve as symbols throughout the Bible of divine judgment executed by fire (Isaiah 1:10; Ezekiel 16:46; Zephaniah 2:9; Matthew 11:23; Revelation 11:8). - FSB
V. 8-16, Reasons for the condemnation of these False Teachers.
Application of the Warning (cf. Judges 1:4)
Yet in the same way -- The false teachers of Jude’s day had similarities to the rebellious ones of old that Jude has just mentioned.
these -- cf. Judges 1:4, False teachers who had crept in unnoticed.
dreamers -- This term is used of OT false prophets (cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-5; Jeremiah 23:25-32), those who claimed special revelations from God (cf. Colossians 2:18).
relying on their dreams -- Thus mistakenly following subjective experiences that they claim are from God but that lead them to disobey God’s written Word (cf. “following … ungodly passions,” Judges 1:18) - ESVSB
dreamers -- in their dreaming they: 1 - 2 - 3.
1) defile the flesh -- were immoral (like those of Sodom, etc.)
2) despise dominion -- rejected authority (like the sinning angels)
3) speak evil of dignities -- blasphemed good dignities: Christ, apostles, angels, (of v.9 even Michael did not speak flippantly, or blaspheme the devil when he disputed with him).
Compare Judges 1:8 with 2 Peter 2:10 and note how parallel they are.
A sharp contrast between the restraint of Michael and the blatant speaking of the false teachers of Judges 1:8.
archangel -- This term is only used in the NT here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:16. In the OT it refers to a national angel (cf. Daniel 10:13, 21; Daniel 12:1). There are apparently many levels of angelic authority (cf. Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 4:21; Colossians 1:16), but they are never discussed in detail or defined in the Scriptures.
While Jewish traditions holds to seven archangels, the word "archangel" is never found in the plural number in the Scriptures. Clarke points out "There can be properly only one archangel, one chief or head of all the angelic host."
Michael -- One of two angels named in the Bible (the other is Gabriel; see Daniel 8:16; Daniel 9:21; Luke 1:19; Revelation 12:7) Michael is called the "archangel". His names means "He who is like God." (In the OT, cf. Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; Daniel 12:1).
disputing concerning the body of Moses -- The reason for their argument over Moses’ body is unknown.
the body of Moses -- This relates to Moses’ death and burial on Mt. Nebo (cf. Deuteronomy 34:6).
The issue (according to Jewish tradition, not Scripture) involves Moses’ body, which Satan claimed because he had sinned by killing the Egyptian (cf. Exodus 2:12). Apparently Michael had been sent by YHWH to retrieve the physical remains of Moses, but was hindered by an angelic majesty (Satan, cf Job 1–2). This seems to parallel 2 Peter 2:11. - Utley
body of Moses. Moses died on Mt. Nebo in Moab without having entered the Promised Land and was secretly buried in a place not known to man (Deuteronomy 34:5-6).
It would likely be that this confrontation took place as Michael buried Moses to prevent Satan from using Moses’ body for some diabolical purpose not stated. Perhaps Satan wanted to use it as an idol, an object of worship for Israel. God sent Michael, however, to be certain it was buried. This account was recorded in the pseudepigraphal Assumption of Moses. - MSB
We have no way of knowing what status Jude accorded this story. He may have viewed it as (1) an incident that actually took place or (2) simply a well-known tradition that he can cite to illustrate his point—similar to a contemporary preacher citing an incident in The Chronicles of Narnia. Quoting or alluding to nonbiblical works does not suggest that those works are God-breathed, especially when the biblical author does not refer to those works as “Scripture” (vv. 14–15; cf. Paul’s quoting of nonbiblical works in Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 15:33; Titus 1:12). - NIVZSB
JOSEPHUS [Antiquities,4.8], states that God hid Moses’ body, lest, if it had been exposed to view, it would have been made an idol of. Jude, in this account, either adopts it from the apocryphal "assumption of Moses" (as ORIGEN [Concerning Principalities, 3.2] thinks), or else from the ancient tradition on which that work was founded. Jude, as inspired, could distinguish how much of the tradition was true, how much false. We have no such means of distinguishing, and therefore can be sure of no tradition, save that which is in the written word. - JFB
the devil -- Another name for Satan which means “accuser” or “slanderer” (cf. Revelation 12:9-10).
did not dare to pronounce -- Michael recognized his place in God’s order and left condemning the devil to God. While Michael showed restraint--even in dealing with the devil--the false teachers exhibited no reverence for authority. - FSB
The Lord rebuke you! -- This is the same phrase used by the angel of the Lord to Satan in Zechariah 3:2.
It could also be a quote from The Assumption of Moses, probably written in the first century. We only know of it from a later Latin fragment and quotes from Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Didymus. It is used to show the Archangel Michael’s respect for Satan’s position (with the sons of God, Job 2, and at the right hand of the angel of the Lord in Zechariah 3:1), which was so different from “these” false teachers’ comments about the angelic authorities. The term “Lord” refers to YHWH, while elsewhere in Jude it refers to Jesus.
Some have supposed that the reference is to the passage in Zechariah, Zechariah 3:1, But the objections to this are very obvious: [See Barnes for objections] - Barnes
Also see Macknight’s good point. (via Clarke).
But -- A conjunction to show contrast between what Michael did and these false teachers.
these -- the false teachers.
speak evil -- Lit. "blaspheme", in contrast with Michael’s action in Judges 1:9.
whatever they do no know -- cf. 2 Peter 2:12, Apostates are intellectually arrogant and spiritually ignorant in that they don’t know because they are blinded by Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) ... (1 Corinthians 2:14). In divine matters, they are no brighter than the dumbest beasts. - MSB
blaspheme all that they do not understand -- speaking evil against the truth of God, of which the false teachers were either ignorant or ignored, despite their claims otherwise.
things which -- they scorned higher things of the Spirit, and surrendered self to the appetites of the flesh.
brute beasts -- "creatures without reason."
Their animal-like instincts for sex, sin, and rebellion (cf. 2 Peter 2:13-14) will eventually destroy them (cf. Philippians 3:19). What irony, that this so-called special knowledge is the very thing that causes their demise. - Utley
Jude thus demolished their Gnostic claim to superior knowledge. And their understanding -- polluting “their own bodies” (v. 8) -- was, like the sin of Sodom, self-destructive. - BKC
vs. 11-13 Condemnation of Evil Doers
Three examples of disobedience that led to disaster.
The wages of sin is death; envy, violence, murder
1) Cain -- defied simple obvious law
2) Balaam -- degraded prophetic gift for gain
3) Kora -- rebelled against divine authority
Woe to them -- Jude structures his words in an OT prophetic pattern of a funeral dirge (cf. Isaiah 3:9; Isaiah 3:11; Isaiah 6:5; Habakkuk 2:10; ff. 12, 15, 19) or curse oath (cf. Deuteronomy 27:15-26).
We notice that Jude often picks up Jesus own words, who uses "woe" often in the Gospels (esp. Luke).
have gone [walked, taken] -- The verb poreuomai is used metaphorically several times in this book (and 2 Peter), referring to godless living.
1. Judges 1:11, "they went in the way of Cain"
2. Judges 1:16, "following after. . ."
3. Judges 1:18, "following after. . ."
4. 2 Peter 2:10, "indulge" (lit. "go after")
5. 2 Peter 3:3, "following after. . ."
way of Cain -- the way of disobedience, Genesis 4:7 Cain’s pride resulted in violence leading to murder and ultimately divine judgment. See Genesis 4:5-8; compare 1 John 3:12.
error of Balaam -- covetousness, Numbers 22:5 ff. Revelation 2:14; 2 Peter 2:15;
For a large financial reward, Balaam devised a plan for Balak, king of Moab, to entice Israel into a compromising situation with idolatry and immorality which would bring God’s own judgment on His people (cf. Numbers 31:16; Revelation 2:14). - MSB
gainsaying of Core [Korah’s rebellion] -- rebellion, Numbers 16:1 - 30. Korah perished after rebelling against God’s appointed leaders, Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16:1-35). The false teachers likewise rebelled against God’s appointed leaders--the apostles.
vs. 12–13 Jude characterizes “these” false teachers as
1. hidden reefs (unseen dangers)
2. clouds without water (promise, but no fulfillment)
3. trees without fruit (promise, but no fulfillment)
4. wild waves (chaos and its debris)
5. wandering stars (metaphor of error and sin)
spots [blemishes] ... (hidden reefs) -- The Greek word used occurs only this one time in the NT. It may be translated as “blemishes” (as in someone who makes something impure or ruined) or “hidden reefs” (like an unseen coral reef that could destroy a ship).
The false teachers may wait unseen to destroy Christians.
The word was also used in the NT of “spots” in the sense of "blemishes," or "stains".(cf. 2 Peter 2:13).
love feasts -- This reference in Jude is usually compared with other passages in the New Testament (1 Corinthians 11:25; Acts 2:46; Acts 6:2; 2 Peter 2:13).
The false teachers were participating like "brothers" with them in fellowship meals.
It seems like the "Lord’s Supper" ("communion") either followed or proceeded such "Love feasts" or fellowship meals where the believers ate together. [At Corinth they were abusing this practice.]
without fear, serving themselves -- These false teachers were like hireling shepherds who were interested in their own selves rather than in the interest of others. John 10:12; Philippians 2:4; Philippians 2:21.
clouds without water -- The words of these false teachers were empty clouds which bring the hope of rain, but actually deliver nothing but drought and death.
autumn trees without fruit -- Fruit trees that didn’t produce fruit; implies that the false teachers are not offering anything productive (compare Mark 11:12-25 and Matthew 7:16, another similarity to Jesus’ words.)
twice dead, uprooted; -- Trees bearing no fruit would first be declared dead and then uprooted, making them only useful as firewood (compare John 15:2-6). - FSB
raging waves -- The lives of the ungodly resemble raging tides that litter the shore with refuse or seas that are so tumultuous that they are impossible to navigate (compare Isaiah 57:20).
raging -- "Raging" is agrios, "wild, fierce, untamed." Vincent says, "wild," is better, since it implies quality rather than act.
foaming up their own shame; -- This refers to all the litter and refuse that is cast upon on the shore by the stormy waves.
wandering stars -- The Greek word used here may be literally rendered as “wanderer.” It could refer to planets, which in the ancient mindset disappeared into blackness for no apparent reason. It may also reference shooting stars, which appear for just a moment and then vanish. Likewise the false teachers briefly provide light, only to move into darkness—leading others astray. They mix truth (light) with falsehood (darkness). - FSB
wandering stars -- Seems to refer to comets which shine briefly and then pass into darkness.
Fixed stars help guide navigators, but wandering stars are useless to them. If any shipmaster would be stupid enough to follow one, he would be led astray. Similarly the prominence of apostate leaders is short-lived, useless, and false. They do lead unwary followers astray, pretending to be what they are not. - BKC
reserved the blackness of darkness -- Barnes thinks this refers to the false teachers (2Pe 2.17) rather than the "wandering stars". Probably however both are fitting here. The comets’s brightness dying out, and the false teachers to be consigned to the utter darkness of hell Matthew 8:12; Matthew 22:13; Matthew 25:30. (Again, notice to reference back to Jesus’ words.)
Enoch, the seventh -- Genesis 5 indicates that Enoch was Adam’s seventh descendant through his son Seth. First Enoch also explicitly calls Enoch “seventh from Adam” (1 Enoch 60:8). - FSB
There are a number of legends about him in Jewish literature, and at least two books of apocalyptic visions written between the OT and the NT are attributed to him (1–2 Enoch). - NLTSB
Enoch, the seventh from Adam -- does not necessarily imply that Enoch was literally the seventh generation descended from Adam; it may mean simply that he is the seventh one listed in the line of Adam in the Genesis narrative (Genesis 5:18-24; cf. 1 Chronicles 1:3). - ESVSB
also prophesied -- The only place in the Bible where Enoch is described as a prophet.
prophesied about these men -- The source of this information was the Holy Spirit who inspired Jude. The fact that it was recorded in the nonbiblical and pseudepigraphal Book of Enoch had no effect on its accuracy. - MSB
Listen! -- At least two Jewish books of apocalyptic visions written between the OT and NT were written in his name: 1 and 2 Enoch. Here Jude quotes from 1 Enoch 1:9 - NIVZSB
Since Jude’s statement is similar to a passage in the apocryphal Book of Enoch (1:9)—written prior to 110 b.c. and thus probably known by the early Christians—many assume that Jude is quoting from that book. Others suggest that the difference between Jude’s words and the Book of Enoch indicate that Jude received the information about Enoch directly from God, or that under divine inspiration he recorded an oral tradition. None of these views affects the doctrine of inspiration adversely. If Jude quoted the apocryphal book, he was affirming only the truth of that prophecy and not endorsing the book in its entirety (cf. Paul’s quotation of the Cretan poet Epimenides, in Titus 1:12). - BKC
[See Utley on Judges 1:14 for good observation on this quote. ]
tens of thousands of his holy ones -- Spiritual beings (likely angels) join in the judgment of humanity. This group of spiritual beings seems to be identified by Matthew 16:27 and Matthew 25:31 as angels (compare 2 Thessalonians 1:7). - FSB
to execute judgment -- One purpose of Christ’s return and the judgment will be to assure all the wicked of God’s fair and just judgment.
convict all the ungodly of all their deeds -- None will go away from that great judgment scene accusing God of not being just; the evidence against them will be unanswerable, every man will know he is receiving just what he deserved for his wickedness.
the harsh things -- The word here is
σκληρων G4642 sklçros. "hard, harsh, rough, stiff," of men, metaphorically, "harsh, stern, hard." When used with laleô, "to speak," it is used of one who speaks roughly.
From the root of this Greek word we get the word for "hardening of the arteries".
ungodly sinners -- Although Jude is specifically targeting unrepentant, false teachers (see Judges 1:16), an overall judgment of humanity is in view.
For this reason Jude emphasizes the need for his audience to accept the love of God, as shown in the mercy that Jesus offers through His death and resurrection. Jesus offers payment for the sins of the ungodly, so that they may have eternal life (Judges 1:20-21).
spoken against -- Enoch (and thus also Jude) focuses on blasphemy against God (e.g., in Judges 1:3-4, the opponents’ denial of Jesus Christ). Also Judges 1:8.
grumblers -- This term is used of Israel in the Septuagint to describe the wilderness wandering period (Exodus 15:24; Exodus 17:3; Numbers 14:29). Jude characterizes “these” false teachers as ...
2. finding fault
3. following their own lusts (cf. 2 Pet. 2:2, 14, 18; 3:3)
4. speaking arrogantly (cf. 2 Pet. 2:10, 18)
5. using flattery to seek personal gain (sexual, monetary, or power, cf. 2 Pet. 2:3). - Utley
"Murmurers" is goggustçs, "one who discontentedly complains," here, against God. The word is used of the cooing of doves. It refers, not to a loud, outspoken dissatisfaction, but to an undertone muttering.
complainers, (malcontents, discontented, faultfinders) -- Literally, “finding fault.” They gave vent to dissatisfaction with God’s will and way as was the case with Israel. - MSB
walking [following] --
πορευομενοι walking G4198 V-PNP-NPM The word, as used here, speaks of a course of conduct.
their own lusts -- By acting only to benefit themselves, the teachers proved themselves false.
"Lusts" is epithumia, "a passionate craving," good or bad, according to the context, here, evil. The word "lust" today refers to an immoral desire, but in A.D. 1611 when the A.V. was translated, it meant what the Greek word means, strong desire or craving, good or evil, depending upon the context. - Wuest
swelling words -- (boast about themselves) -- 2 Peter 2:18; They speak arrogantly, pompously, and even magnificently, but with empty, lifeless words of no spiritual value. Their message has external attractiveness, but is void of the powerful substance of divine truth.
flattering people -- Perhaps the false teachers were currying favor with the rich while ignoring the poor.
They tell people what they want to hear for their own profit (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3-4), rather than proclaiming the truth of God’s Word for the auditors’ benefit. Cf. Psalms 5:9; Psalms 12:2-3; Proverbs 26:28; Proverbs 29:5; Romans 3:13; Romans 16:18.
to gain advantage -- probably refers to financial gain, and ties in with an earlier mention of greed (Judges 1:11). - ESVSB
Describes showing respect merely for personal gain. The false teachers did not genuinely appreciate others, but they paid special attention to certain people to promote their own selfish ends. - FSB
But you, beloved -- This is a strong logical contrast.
beloved -- emphasizes Jude’s personal concern for the readers and God’s love for them (see notes on vv. 1–2 and 3). - ESVSB
remember -- Jude reminds them of the predictions of the apostles concerning the emergence of ungodly scoffers within the church during the last days. These apostolic warnings were probably oral, but such warnings were part of the common stock of early Christian preaching (e.g., Acts 20:29-30; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). - ESVSB
the apostles -- Implies that Jude’s audience heard the preaching of the apostles--suggesting that this letter may have an early date. This seems to be a reference to the eleven apostles whom Jesus called (Matthew 10:2-4), plus Matthias (who replaced Judas; Acts 1:12-26). - FSB
This verse implies that Jude is addressing second generation believers. Some readers may have heard the Apostles speak, but now that option is not possible. This period of transition from the “spoken gospel” to the “written gospel” was a time of great flux and confusion. - Utley
words … by the apostles -- The apostles had warned the coming generation about apostates, so that they would be prepared and not be taken by surprise (cf. Acts 20:28-31; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Pet. 2:1–3:4; 1 John 2:18; 2 John 1:7-11). God’s Word is designed to warn and protect (Acts 20:31; 1 Corinthians 4:14); as v. 18 indicates, there had been continually repeated warnings. - MSB
Jude’s readers must respond to the false teachers in three ways: (1) They must remember that the apostles predicted that these scoffers would arise (vv. 17–19). God knows what is happening, and he is in control. (2) They must keep themselves in God’s love (vv. 20–21). (3) They must reach out to those affected by the false teaching (vv. 22–23). - NIVZSB
spoken before [predictions] --
προειρημενων G4280, V-RPP-GPN A compound word "before" and "to say" meaning "to say before; to say beforehand; prophecies" - Thayer.
how they told you -- This exact apostolic teaching is not recorded elsewhere. Jude may be summarizing the general sense of the apostles’ teachings rather than the direct words. - FSB
mockers -- (scoffers), mocking, scoffing the idea of a Judgment Day. It may be a general reference to anyone adamantly disputing the truth of the clams of the Jesus and the apostles.
These false teachers have scoffed at Christ (Judges 1:4, Judges 1:15), at authority and angels, (Judges 1:8), and at anything they do not understand (Judges 1:10). Rejecting proper authority, they are left with their own ungodly desires (see Judges 1:16).
mockers -- The word rendered “mockers” here is the same which in the parallel place in 2 Peter 3:3 is rendered “scoffers.” Peter has stated more fully what was the particular subject on which they scoffed, and has shown that there was no occasion for it 2 Peter 3:4, following.
last time -- See note at Acts 2:17; and note at Acts 26:16; cf. (1 Peter 1:5; 1 Peter 1:20; and Acts 2:17; James 5:3; 2 Peter 3:3; Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 Timothy 4:1-2; 2 Timothy 3:1).
The classical interpretation of this is the time beginning with the resurrection and extending until Jesus’ return. After this time, God’s judgment will come - FSB
last time -- Lit. at the chronological end of the current epoch or season (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1). This term refers to the time of Messiah from His first coming until His second (2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3; 1 John 2:18). - MSB
there will be -- Jude again describes “these” false teachers:
1. mockers (by word and deed)
2. divisive (i.e. causing divisions or making distinctions)
4. devoid of the Spirit
own ungodly lusts -- Literally, after the lusts of their own impieties. This is a common phrase used to describe the unconverted (Judges 1:16; 2 Timothy 4:3) - MSB (Judges 1:16)
ungodly passions [desires, NIV] -- G1939,
ἐπιθυμία , epithumia, desire, craving, longing; desire for what is forbidden, lust, - Thayer
who cause divisions, worldly -- The scoffers are dividing the church, seeking the values of society rather than God. - FSB
sensual persons -- Apostate teachers advertise themselves as having the highest spiritual knowledge, but are actually attracted to the most debased levels of life. They are “soulish” not “spiritual.” Cf. James 3:15. - MSB
sensual -- Living an animal rather than a spiritual life. - PNT
cause divisions -- They fractured the church rather than united it (cf. Ephesians 4:4-6; Philippians 2:2). - MSB
cause divisons -- The false teachers’ teaching divided the believers into two basic groups: those who remained in the apostles’ teaching and those who departed from it. While they may have claimed to be the truly spiritual group, the false teachers were really worldly-minded sharing the viewpoint of unbelievers. - Constable
not having the Spirit -- Jude denounces the actions of the scoffers as devoid of God; this seems to be in juxtaposition to the false teachers’ claims that they rely on dreams, which they probably argued were from God (Judges 1:8).-FSB
not having the Spirit -- It may be that the false teachers were claiming to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, as the apostles were.
not having the Spirit -- Such men ... thus were not born again (Romans 8:9) - BKC
devoid of the Spirit -- There are several theories as to the meaning of this phrase but the best seems to be that they live on the level of instinct and mere animal appetite (Judges 1:10). - Utley
the spirit -- (Gk order,
πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες, spirit not having)
The word for “Spirit” stands without the article in the Greek, and though this does not necessarily exclude the thought that the Spirit of God is spoken of, it is, perhaps, better to rest in the meaning that the false teachers were so absorbed in their lower, sensuous nature that they no longer possessed, in any real sense of the word, that element in man’s compound being, which is itself spiritual, and capable therefore of communion with the Divine Spirit. - CBSC
The third clause admits of being rendered either “having not the spirit” (in which the Authorized is supported by Wickliffe, Tyndale, and Cranmer), or “having not the Spirit” (so the Revised Version, following the Genevan and the Rhemish). For it is in many passages difficult to decide whether the word “spirit” means the Holy Spirit of God or man’s own spirit - PC
But you -- (see Judges 1:17) Again a sharp contrast between Jude’s faithful believing readers and these false teachers.
But you, beloved -- (dear friends) See Judges 1:3. Jude fervently exhorts his audience to keep themselves in the love of God (Judges 1:21). - FSB
vs. 20-21 - Some translations seem to suggest three exhortations, but the Greek has four parallel participles: building, praying, keeping, expecting. - BKC
building -- True believers have a sure foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11) and cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) in Jesus Christ. The truths of the Christian faith (cf. v. 3) have been provided in the teaching of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20), so that Christians can build themselves up by the Word of God (Acts 20:32). - MSB
building yourselves up -- Growing doctrinally strong; engaging in a building process of personal and corporate development “in” (either “by means of” or “on the foundation of”) the content of Christian belief (see note on v. 3). The “building” imagery for developing the Christian community probably comes from the idea that the Christian church forms God’s new temple. - NIVZSB
on your most holy faith -- This grammatical form can mean (1) “on your most holy faith” (cf. NASB, NKJV, NRSV, TEV, NJB); (2) “by means of your most holy faith” (cf. New Century Version); or (3) “in your most holy faith” (cf. NEB, NAB, NIV).
The Greek term “faith” (pistis) is translated into English by three terms: “faith,” “believe,” or “trust.” Faith is used in three senses in the NT: (1) as personal acceptance of Jesus as the Christ of God; (2) as faithfully living for Him; and (3) as a body of truths about Him (cf. Judges 1:3; Galatians 1:23; Galatians 3:23-25). Mature Christianity involves all three senses. - Utley
The readers of the Epistle are exhorted to take that faith as a foundation, and to erect on it the superstructure of a pure and holy life. - CBSC
on your most holy faith -- As in Judges 1:3, faith refers to what Christians believe, the doctrinal and ethical core of Christian identity, which false teachers threaten. Believers must therefore devote themselves to it. - NLTSB
praying in the Holy Spirit -- This is not a call to some ecstatic form of prayer, but simply a call to pray consistently in the will and power of the Spirit, as one would pray in the name of Jesus Christ (cf. Romans 8:26-27). - MSB
That is, in the sense of praying in harmony with the leading of the Holy Spirit, rather than according to one’s own agenda (cf. Romans 8:26-27; Ephesians 6:18). The context here suggests the idea of praying in the Spirit in a general sense, rather than the specific sense of speaking in tongues described in 1 Corinthians 14:14-19. - ESVSB
Praying in the Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, but is “praying out of hearts and souls that are indwelt, illuminated, and filled with the Holy Spirit” (George Lawrence Lawlor, Translation and Exposition of the Epistle of Jude, p. 127). It is praying in the power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 6:18). - BKC
vs. 20-21 - Some translations seem to suggest three exhortations, but the Greek has four parallel participles: building, praying, keeping, expecting. - BKC
keep yourselves in the love of God -- This must mean one’s love for God, rather than God’s love for us. For Romans 8:34-35 assures us that nothing can separate God’s love for us from us.
keep yourselves in the love of God -- Believers should make God’s love for them the center of their lives (compare Philippians 2:12-13). - FSB
God’s love for the Christian is unending, but it calls for effort to stay with the faith and so stay in his love (John 15:9; 1 John 4:16).
keep yourselves in the love of God -- This is the main verb of the context. - Utley
How does one keep oneself in the love of God? ... God has chosen to deal with humans through covenant. There are benefits and requirements. We love the benefits and neglect the requirements. True faith is a faith that perseveres. God’s love initially draws us (cf. John 6:44, John 6:65) and sustains us, but we must co-operate with Him in covenantal response at every stage (cf. Philippians 2:12-13; 1 Peter 1:5-11). The Bible sets the ideal of mature, Christlike Christianity and we are forever trying to minimize the mandated responses. - Utley
keep (or guard) yourselves in the love of God -- is the main clause in vv. 20–21 and is modified by the two participles (“building,” “praying”) in v. 20 and the participle (waiting) in v. 21. Christians keep themselves in God’s love by growing strong doctrinally, persevering in prayer, and “waiting” for the Lord’s coming. Christians are to keep themselves in God’s love, and vv. 1–2 and vv. 24–25 teach that God keeps them as well. - ESVSB
keep -- Cf. Acts 13:43. This imperative establishes the believer’s responsibility to be obedient and faithful by living out his salvation (cf. Philippians 2:12), while God works out His will (cf. Philippians 2:13). It means to remain in the place of obedience where God’s love is poured out on His children, as opposed to being disobedient and incurring His chastening (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:27-31; Hebrews 12:5-11). - MSB
looking [waiting for] -- An eager anticipation of Christ’s second coming to provide eternal life in its ultimate, resurrection form (cf. Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:1-3), which is the supreme expression of God’s mercy on one to whom Christ’s righteousness has undeservedly been imputed (cf. Judges 1:2). Paul called this “loving His appearing” (2 Timothy 3:8) and John wrote that such a steady anticipation was purifying (1 John 3:3). - MSB
Although he doesn’t use the word, Jude here speaks of the sure hope of the Christian. They are to wait for the mercy of Jesus Christ that will be fully revealed at the last day when the saints receive eternal life (cf. 2 Timothy 1:18). Waiting for that day is not merely passive but calls for action - building, praying, and keeping.
looking -- An eager expectation of the Second Coming is a characteristic of believers (cf. Romans 8:19-25; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Titus 2:13). Believers are not “fully” saved until they have their new resurrected bodies (cf. 1 John 3:2). This refers to the ultimate salvation at the Second Coming. - Utley
some -- Three groups: 1) wavering with doubt, v.22; 2) those becoming persuaded by false teachers, v.22a; 3) those who followed the false teachers, v.23b. (NIVZSB)
some -- There are several textual variants here which could result in either two or three groups being indicated. They are: 1) sincere doubters who deserve compassion (v. 22; see marginal note); 2) those who are deeper in unbelief and urgently need to be pulled from the fire (v. 23); and 3) those declared disciples of apostasy who still deserve mercy, but are to be handled with much fear (v. 23; see marginal note), lest the would-be-rescuer also be spiritually sullied. Given the mss. evidence and Jude’s pattern of writing in triads, 3 groups is the more likely scenario. - MSB
some -- Other translations see two groups (cf. KJV, NEB, and Williams following the Greek manuscripts P72, B, C, K, L). In Answers to Questions, F. F. Bruce says:
“I think that most probably two classes are envisaged; those who are responsible for maintaining due order in the churches must use different methods towards those who persist in inculcating subversive and immoral doctrine and those who have been misled by false teachers” - Utley
on some -- "Be merciful to those who doubt." Some were in the early stages of wavering in their commitment to the faith as a result of the false teachers. - NIVZSB
compassion -- These victims of the apostate teachers need mercy and patience because they have not yet reached a firm conclusion about Christ and eternal life, and so remain doubters (see marginal note) who could possibly be swayed to the truth. - MSB
have compassion -- (mercy,) False teaching can cause those who are uncertain about what they believe (or those with less discernment) to be misled, even to the point of doubting Jesus’ return (compare note on 2 Peter 3:4). Rather than decide that they are lost, believers should lovingly convince doubters to return to true faith in Jesus. - FSB
Be merciful to those who doubt -- Some were in the early stages of wavering in their commitment to the faith as a result of the false teachers. - NIVZSB
making a distinction -- [those who doubt, ESB] KJV reads
and translates “making a difference”; but the word in James 1:6 is used means “wavering, doubting,” and this gives a good sense here. “Some you must convince when they are wavering [or doubting].” διακρινόμενοι
doubt -- Because the words of the apostates were confusing, probably many believers were in doubt as to whether to follow them. Such persons, Jude wrote, should not be slandered or criticized. They should be dealt with in love and mercy--the same way in which the Lord dealt with them (cf. v. 21). They needed encouragement, not criticism. They needed to be built up, not torn down. - BKC
those whose faith is wavering -- (NLT) Some believers were in the early stages of doubt because of what the false teachers were saying. - NLTSB
snatching them -- False teachers are on the path to experiencing God’s wrath (Judges 1:4). Those being misled by false teachings could suffer the same fate (see note on 2 Peter 2:13; compare Zechariah 3:1-5). Christians are thus to take an active role in drawing doubters away from false teachings and toward truth. - FSB
snatching them out of the fire -- Vincent’s Word Studies says the writer has in mind Zechariah 3:2, a brand plucked from the burning. Compare Amos 4:11. Robertson’s Word Pictures says, " Quotation from Amos 4:11 and Zechariah 3:3. Cf. Psalms 106:18. Firemen today literally do this rescue work. Do Christians?"
snatching them out of the fire -- meaning they were close to the fire of God’s judgment. - ESVSB Barnes says, As you would snatch persons out of the fire; or as you would seize on a person that was walking into a volcano. Then, a man would not use the mild and gentle language of persuasion, but by word and gesture show that he was deeply in earnest.
with fear -- May refer to the need for caution when engaging with those who have succumbed to false teachings, lest the doubters mislead the person attempting to help them. It could also be that the fear of God, who will bring judgment, is in view. - FSB
with fear -- lest the faithful Christian be influenced for evil by the person he is trying to restore. - ESVSB
to others -- ( Show mercy to still others" NLT), The third group probably consists of the false teachers themselves or those who had subscribed to the false teachers’ program. Showing mercy might have meant praying for them (cp. Matthew 5:44). - NLTSB
to others show mercy -- (NIV), This third group probably consists of those who followed the false teachers (or perhaps the false teachers themselves). One way to show mercy is to pray for them (cf. Matthew 5:44). - NIVZSB
garment defiled -- "the tunic stained by the flesh", Jude evokes the metaphor of a long garment, worn close to the skin, being tainted by its use. Christians are to loathe how sinfulness, brought on by listening to false teachings, has ruined the lives of those who did not resist. - FSB
garment -- ("clothing") Such persons are so corrupt that the stench of death has polluted them and even their clothing, as it were, reeks with the odor of corrupted flesh. - BKC
garment -- This refers to an inner garment worn in the first century. These clothing metaphors are often used of lifestyle characteristics in the Bible (cf. Zechariah 3:1-5; Isaiah 61:10; Job 29:14; Psalms 109:29; Ephesians 4:22, Ephesians 4:24-25; Colossians 3:9-10). The false teachers’ converts’ lives were “soiled.” - Utley
garment -- The “garment” stands for those things affected by contact with fleshly behavior such as personal habits and practices, speech, companions, and the like. Scripture often uses garments as a symbol of what other people see, namely, our conduct. - Constable
garment .--The “garment” is the inner tunic worn next to the flesh, and therefore thought of as contaminated by its impurity, and it serves accordingly as a symbol of all outer habits of life that are affected by the inner foulness of the soul that is in bondage to the flesh.
As men would loathe the touch of a defiled garment, bearing the stains of a cancerous ulcer, so they were to hate whatever was analogous to it in conduct (comp. Isaiah 30:22). The allusion to Zechariah 3:2 in the previous clause makes it probable that here also there is a reference to the “filthy garments;” polluted, i.e., with some ceremonial uncleanness, in which the high-priest Joshua the son of Josedech first appears in the prophet’s vision. In the benediction of Revelation 3:4 - CBSC
24–25 Jude concludes with a doxology expressing praise and blessing to God
vv 24–25 Jude concludes his letter with one of the most stirring doxologies in Scripture, and one quoted very often in liturgical settings. Jude’s wording makes it especially appropriate for his readers: They needed a renewed vision of God who could keep them from falling away, from succumbing to the enticing doctrine of false teachers. He has the glory, majesty, power, and authority to bring them safely into his glorious presence forever. - NLTSB
Him who is able -- This speaks of omnipotent God. Cf. Genesis 18:15; Deuteronomy 7:21; 1 Samuel 14:6; Matthew 19:26. -MSB
to Him who is able -- God the Father continues to be able to perform His will in an evil world. This is a wonderful title for God: Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:20; James 4:12; Judges 1:24.
keep you from stumbling -- "protect you from stumbling", A relationship with God Himself, through Jesus, is the ultimate safeguard against false teaching and sin (compare John 14:16). - FSB
stumbling -- The idea of sin as stumbling is found frequently in the Psalms (Psalms 38:16; Psalms 56:13; Psalms 66:9; Psalms 73:2; Psalms 91:12; Psalms 116:8; Psalms 121:3) and in James (James 2:10; James 3:2). Here stumbling is falling into the error of the false teachers and so suffering the fate of the fallen angels (Judges 1:6).
stumbling -- Jude means falling into sin or error (Greek aptaistos, “without stumbling”; cf. ptaiō, “stumble,” in Romans 11:11; James 2:10; James 3:2; 2 Peter 1:10). If such stumbling is left unchecked it will eventually lead to falling away from the faith. - ESVSB
faultless -- "blameless", This word recalls the description of sacrificial animals in the ot (see 1 Peter 1:19 and note; compare Romans 12:1-2; James 1:27). Believers are able to be blameless before God because of Jesus’ sacrificial death; He functions as the sacrifice on their behalf (Judges 1:3; 2 Peter 1:1; Hebrews 7:26-28; compare Isaiah 53:10). - FSB
exceeding joy --
ἀγαλλιάσει, Both adjective and substantive are expressed in Greek by the one word for “exulting joy” in Luke 1:14, Luke 1:44; Acts 2:46. - DBSC
with exceeding joy -- This refers primarily to the joy of the Savior (cf. Hebrews 12:2) but also includes the joy of believers (cf. 1 Peter 1:8). Joy is the dominant expression of heaven (see Matthew 25:23). - MSB
Vv. 24–25. In this final paragraph Jude exploded with a most elevated doxology, answering the unexpressed question, “But who will deliver us from the apostates and the apostasy into which they lead the unsuspecting?” - BKC
only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ -- Reflects the oneness of God, as well as the view that Jesus is a direct manifestation of God through whom people have a relationship with God. It is through Jesus that the saving act of God has come to humanity. - FSB
the only God -- There is only one God, who has acted redemptively (our Savior), once for all, in his one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. (On God as “Savior,” see note on 2 Tim. 1:8–10.) through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus is the mediator through whom the person who trusts in him is able to give praise and thanksgiving to God. The church praises God through Christ, saying, to God be glory (here in the sense of great honor), majesty (Gk. megalōsynē; he is greater than all), dominion (Gk. kratos; his sovereign reign has no boundaries), and authority (Gk. exousia; he rules over all creation); in other words, may the praiseworthiness of God, who is as gracious as he is great, be fully acknowledged in his people’s adoration of him. Before all time means before the beginning of creation (Gen. 1:1) and suggests that time began when God created the material universe (cf. 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2). And now and forever shifts the focus into the present and then into the infinite future. Amen. I.e., “let it be so.” - ESVSB
God is praised with four terms. Glory (dovxa, doxa) is a rich word pointing to the bright presence of God that overshadowed Sinai (Exodus 24:16-17) and the temple (1 Kings 8:11). It also suggests the reputation and renown of God. Majesty (megalwsuvnh, megalôsynç) connotes the transcendence of God. He is beyond human comprehension. Power (kravto", kratos) and authority (ejxousiva, exousia) are synonymous. “Authority” may be Jude’s final swipe at the false teachers who do not recognize God’s rule. - CPNIV
alone is wise -- Divine wisdom is embodied by Christ alone (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:24, 1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:3) and not by any human person or group, like the apostates. - MSB
glory, majesty, power, and authority -- Jude testifies to both God’s character, as one worthy to be praised, and to God’s right to rule all things, both now and forever. In doing so, Jude gives all credit to God, as seen in Jesus. - FSB
glory, majesty, power and authority. Cf. 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 4:11; Revelation 5:12-13; Revelation 7:12; Revelation 19:1. - NIVZSB
glory … power -- Both Jude on earth and the angels and saints in heaven (Revelation 4:10-11; Revelation 5:12-14) ascribed these qualities to our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. - MSB
forever -- In the words “for ever” we have literally unto all the ages, or æons. (
αἰῶνας) - CBSC
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FSB = Faithlife Study Bible
NLTSB = New Living Translation Study Bible
NIVZSB = NIV Zondervon Stuby Bible
ESVSB = ESV Study Bible
Utley = Bob Utley’s series of Bible Commentaries
BKC = Bible Knowledge Comentary
PNT = People’s New Testament
CBSC = Cambridge Bible Commentary for Schools and Collees
Constable = Tom Cnstable’s Expository Notes on the Bible
IVPBBCNT = The IVP Bible Background Commentary: NT
CPNIV = College Press, NIV Commentary