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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical

Jude 1

Verses 1-4

Jude 1:1-4

Contents:—Address, salutation (Jude 1:1-2), occasion and scope of the Epistle, warning against bold false teachers, and pressing exhortation to the champions of the faith to contend with them.

Jude, the1 servant of Jesus Christ,2 and brother of James, to them3 that are sanctified4 2by5 God the Father, and preserved6 in7 Jesus Christ, and called: Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied. 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of8 the common9 salvation, it was needful10 for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once11 delivered unto the saints. 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before12 of old ordained to this condemnation,13 ungodly men, turning the grace14 of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord15 God, and our Lord16 Jesus Christ.

Title:—Ιουδα του αποστολου επιστολη καθολικη Rec; επ. του αγιου αποστ. Ιουδα. L.—M.]


Jude 1:1. Jude (from &יָדָה יְהוּדָה, the praised, the confessor), different from Judas Iscariot and Judas Lebbæus, or Thaddæus. See Introduction.

A servant of Jesus Christ.—δοῦλος; used in a restricted sense of persons intrusted with an office in the Church, cf. 2 Peter 1:1. Paul calls himself so, Romans 1:1; Titus 1:1; Philippians 1:1; and James 1:1. Paul and Peter superadd their call to the Apostolate; Jude and James omit ἀπόστολος. The simple reason of this omission is that they were no Apostles. This omission is the more remarkable in the case of Jude, because, as has been shown in the Introduction to 2 Peter, during the composition of this Epistle, he had before him the 2d Ep. of Peter, and especially also its introductory sentences. If the author of this Epistle and Judas Thaddæus, the Apostle, were identical, the silence he observes concerning his Apostleship would be unaccountable.

Brother of James.—Of that James, who was a brother of the Lord according to the flesh, and author of the Epistle that bears his name. See Introduction. Both are silent concerning their fraternal relation to the Lord. Why? Both may hare remembered His words: “Who is my mother and who are my brethren?” Matthew 12:49. A servant of Christ is really a nearer relation than a mere brother after the flesh, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:16. It is commonly said that modesty prompted Jude to call himself a brother of James and not a brother of the Lord (Bengel, Stier); but we ought not to forget that the recollection of that fraternal relation must have been very humiliating to him, for, although so nearly related to the Lord, he did not believe in Him for a long time, John 7:3-5. According to Huther, the words “brother of James” are not only intended to designate the individuality of the author (cf. John 14:22), but also to justify his writing; they possibly intimate that this Epistle was destined for the readers of that of James, seeing they are not described in more particular terms. See Introduction.

To the calledJesus Christ.—To the called, sc., greeting; κλητοί which is the principal word of the whole clause, signifies not only persons invited or bidden, but those in whom the Divine calling out of the world has already become efficient, 1 Peter 1:15; 1Pe 2:9; 1 Peter 2:21; 1Pe 3:9; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:3-10; called saints, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Corinthians 1:24; Romans 1:6-7; Galatians 1:6.

̔Ηγιασμένοις ἐν. To those who, in communion with God the Father, have been acquitted from the guilt and punishment of sins, and made a beginning in the sanctification of the Spirit, cf. 1 Peter 1:2.

’Iησοῦ Χριστῷ τετηρημένοις. Huther:—“The Part. Perf. simply denotes that which had taken place up to the time when the Epistle was written, but this condition must be conceived continuing according to the force of the Perfect tense.” Cf. Winer, p. 286, sq.—So Stier:—“Jude conceives his readers as having been preserved until then.” They are preserved from seduction and apostasy for Jesus Christ so that they are His possession, the reward of His sufferings, His glory and crown, enabling Him to say of them,“Thine they were and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word,” John 17:6; John 17:12; 1 Peter 1:5.

[Wordsworth;—“The evil angels are preserved or kept for judgment (2 Peter 2:4); the heavens are preserved or kept for fire; but ye are preserved or kept for Jesus Christ, as a peculiar people (1 Peter 2:9), and there is an everlasting inheritance preserved or kept in heaven for you.”—M.]

Jude 1:2. Mercy unto you—multiplied.—.ἔλεος. Instead of it, 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:2 have χάρις, while ἔλεος occurs in Galatians 6:16; 2 Timothy 1:16, and in connection with χάρις 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; 2Jn 1:3; cf. 1 Peter 1:3. It is the grace of God and Christ condescending to the helpless and miserable. Stier:—“We learn from the conclusion, Jude 1:21, that Jude refers here particularly to the mercy or grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, for he connects therewith the love of God, and appropriately assigns to the peace of the Holy Ghost the place of a living centre.” De Wette also explains ἀγάπη as the love of God to Christians, deeming the verb πληθυνθείη to be better suited to such an interpretation. On πληθυνθείη, cf. 1 Peter 1:2. Bengel’s note is: “a testimony of the Holy Trinity.”

Jude 1:3. When I gave all diligence, etc.—πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιεῖσθαι. To use all diligence, to be earnest in something either inwardly in mind and purpose, or outwardly in the execution of an action. Peter has σπουδὴν πᾶσαν παρεισφέρειν, 2 Peter 1:5, and σπουδάζειν, Jude 1:15. Here it denotes inward purpose. The Part. Pres., as de Wette observes, expresses the author’s action at the time he had occasion to write (cf. Winer, p. 406), but he seems to be wrong in supposing his writing to be already an action on the point of being executed. His opinion is, that Jude had been engaged on the composition of a longer and more comprehensive Epistle,(the loss of which we have to lament), when he was for the time called away from that work in order to write this present Epistle. His reference to Sherlock is inaccurate, for he only adverts to Jude’s intention of writing more fully.

Concerning our common salvation.—He had desired to write concerning its acquisition, enjoyment and preservation. This exhibits a contrast to the hortatory Epistle which circumstances (the appearance of antinomians or some other cause unknown to us) constrained him to indite.

I felt the necessity, etc.—Ἕσχον , I had with me, I felt within me the necessity, I saw myself inwardly constrained, cf. Luke 14:18; Luke 23:17; 1 Corinthians 7:37; Hebrews 7:27; παρακαλῶν denotes the character and tone, as well as the scope and matter of the Epistle.

̓Επαγωνίζεσθαι, to fight concerning and for a thing [metaphorically in the sense of earnestly contending for a thing.—M.]. Bengel: “There is a twofold duty, strenuously to fight for the faith against enemies, and to edify oneself in faith, Jude 1:20; cf. Nehemiah 4:16, etc.” [̓επαγωνίζεσθαι, supercertare, is to fight, standing upon a thing which is assaulted and which the adversary desires to take away, and it is to fight so as to defend it, and to retain it.—M.]

For the faith, πίστει, here the faith that is believed, objectively, the Gospel as Jude 1:20; Galatians 3:25; Romans 1:5. We have here a reference to 2 Peter 1:1, whence it follows that πίστει there also must be taken objectively.

Once, not=at one time, formerly, but once for all, so that it continues thus forever, that it is liable to no changes, and that no new revelation is to be looked for. [Casaubon: “To contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints. Divine words, few in number, but rich in meaning. If rightly understood and duly obeyed, these words would put an end to all modern controversies, and restore peace to the Church. Do we desire to know what the true faith is? St. Jude here tells us—that which was once, and once for all delivered to the saints. Every doctrine which can be shown to be posterior to that faith, is new; and every doctrine that is new is false.”—M.]. “No other faith will be given.” Bengel.

Delivered (communicated) not immediately by God, as Bengel interprets, but by the Apostles, cf. 2 Peter 2:21; 1Co 11:2; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3; Luke 1:2.

To the saints.—Cf. 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Peter 3:2; Colossians 1:2; Colossians 1:12; Colossians 3:12; Philemon 1:7; Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 6:10; Ephesians 1:1; Ephesians 1:15; Ephesians 1:18; Ephesians 2:19; Ephesians 3:8; Ephesians 3:18. [Bengel: Sanctis omnibus ex fide sanctissima, Jude 1:20.—M.]

Jude 1:4. For certain men—condemnation.—This verse supplies the reason of that necessity and of the contest which the readers are bound to maintain.

παρεισδύνειν, to enter by the side of, to creep in stealthily by a side-door. Those deceivers passed the right door, John 10:7, and like thieves and robbers entered by some other way into the fold of the Church, John 10:1. De Wette says rightly, that “it is not said that these men did creep in from without, but only, that their sentiments and habits were foreign to those of the Christian community, and that they ought not to belong to it.” Similar are the expressions παρεισθέρειν αἱρέσεις, 2 Peter 2:1, παρεισέρχεσθαι and παρείσακτος, Galatians 2:4. Cf. 1 John 2:19; 2 Timothy 3:6.

[“Le mot τινες a quelque chose de méprisant, comme dans Galatians 2:12.” Arnaud.—M.]

̔Οι προεγραμμένοι. The Article is used emphatically with the Participle, if the participial character is to be made especially prominent, cf. Winer, p. 120. They are unknown, insignificant men, but they have long since been described in the word of God. προγράφειν, to write beforehand of one, to predict by the word and by types Cf. Romans 15:4. The pregnant term denotes,

1. That they were described beforehand, e.g., Psalms 35:16; Psalms 10:4; Psalms 36:2; Psalms 58:4; Proverbs 13:25, and typified in the people who lived at the time of the flood, in the people of Sodom, in the wicked persecutors of David.

2. They were beforehand appointed for judgment, not by an absolute predestination, but because of their wickedness, which God foresaw in the light of His omniscience. Isaiah 4:3; rendered by the LXX. οἱ γραφέντες εἰς ζωήν, might be compared with this passage and applied to the eternal purpose of God, compared with a book, as Calvin does, but Huther rightly observes that πάλαι, long since, from of old, forbids such an interpretation. It is this very word which renders all reference to the Epistles of Paul and Peter inadmissible, as Grotius sees here a particular allusion to 2 Peter 2:0; it is doubtful whether, as Bengel maintains, there is here a reference to the Book of Enoch in the sense that Enoch predicted long before what afterwards became fixed in writing. [Alford thinks that the reference is to the Book of Enoch, cf. Jude 1:17, but deems it probable that the warnings contained in the historical facts mentioned below, may also be meant.—M.]

For this condemnation, of which the Apostle [?] treats in the sequel, seeing it, as it were, already present. Κρῖμα, here a judgment of condemnation.—The corresponding passage in Peter is,“whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not,” 2 Peter 2:3. [Wordsworth: “The doom which they would incur, had been προεγραμμένον, written public beforehand in the prophecy of Enoch (Jude 1:14), and visibly displayed in the punishment of the Israelites (Jude 1:5), and in that of the rebel angels (Jude 1:6), and had been graven indelibly in letters of fire on the soil of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 1:7.)

Since God is unchangeably just and holy, all who sin after the manner of those thus punished, must look for like punishment to theirs. They have been publicly designated beforehand for it, by the punishment of those whom they imitate in sin. Therefore, these false teachers cannot plead ignorance of the consequences of their sin; and you will be without excuse, if you are deceived by them.
The false teachers here specially noted, were the Simonians, Nicolaitans and Ebionites.”—M.]

Ungodly—lasciviousness, i.e., according to Stier’s explanation, those who refuse to know any thing of fear, submission and adoration. Men who, having torn themselves loose from God, the root of our life, show this in their life, cf. 1Pe 4:18; 2 Peter 2:5; 2 Peter 3:7; Jude 1:15; Romans 4:6; Romans 5:6; 1 Timothy 1:9. Their ungodliness is described by two exhibitions: a. They turn the grace of God into lasciviousness; χάριν not=evangelical doctrine, Christian religion (Calov, al.), nor=acquired life of grace (de Wette, who compares Galatians 5:4; 1 Peter 5:12), for the description which follows renders it highly improbable, that these men had received (although only in part, as Stier thinks) the first-fruits of the Spirit in conscious regeneration. But it is the grace offered to them in baptism, in calling, in the preaching of the word, in Holy Scripture, acquired for them by Christ and now ready for their acceptance. They take hold of it, but put it in the wrong place, viz., there where the law ought to be, this is the force of μετατιθέναι; instead of using it as an incentive to holiness, they employ it as a cloak of maliciousness, 1 Peter 2:16, as a passport of unrighteousness, Romans 6:1-2; 2 Peter 2:19; Galatians 5:13. They draw the daring conclusion: Because God is so merciful, because Christ has redeemed us from sin, because this and that sin have been passed unpunished, therefore we need not be so particular concerning sin, cf. Sir 5:3, sq.; Hebrews 7:12. Of course they thereby do not change the nature of grace, but only deprive themselves of its salutary effects. [They change the state of grace and Christian liberty into a state of moral licence and wantonness; so Alford. Bede: “Hanc ejus gratiam transferunt in luxuriam, qui nunc tanto Iicentius et liberius peccant, quanta minus se vident asperitate legis de admissis fascinoribus examinari.”—M.]

Τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν. Huther: “An expression of the sense of adoption,” not exactly, as Bengel maintains, in opposition to the ungodly.

Εἰς , cf. 1 Peter 4:3; 2Pe 2:7; 2 Peter 2:18.

And deny the only Master, God and the Lord Jesus Christ.—μόνον δεσπότην Θεόν. [See note 14 in App. Crit.—M.]. If Θεόν were a genuine reading, the most natural construction would be this: They deny the Father and the Son (although even in this case the sole reference to Christ would be possible), for the want of the Article would be no objection to it, because it might be omitted on account of ἡμῶν, cf. Winer, pp. 141. 142. Even without the probably false reading Θεόν δεσπότης may be applied to the Father, κύριος to the Son, like in Titus 2:13, according to the doctrine of Paul, μέγας Θεός relates to the Father, σωτήρ to the Son; but the comparison of 2 Peter 2:1, which Jude had before him, shows that the two predicates are to be understood of Christ. While Peter declares Christ to be the Lord that bought even those deceivers with His own blood, Jude infers therefrom that He is their only legitimate Lord, not as contrasted with the other persons of the Godhead, but with foreign lords, who rule over and in them. Isaiah 26:13. This view of the passage is not affected by μόνος, which is generally attributed to the Father, and κύριος retains its ordinary and usual meaning. Huther, on the other hand, understands δεσπότην of the Father, and cites Enoch 48:11: “They denied the Lord of the spirits and His Messiah,” cf. 1 John 2:22; but this quotation is fully counterbalanced by that of 2 Peter 2:1.

[Alford applies δεσπότην to the Father, and argues:

1. That in every other place δεσπότης is used of God, cf. Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Revelation 6:10; Jeremiah 4:10.

2. That the addition μόνος seems to bind this meaning to it here.

3. That the denial of God by disobeying His law is the epexegetic resumption of the last clause.
4. δεσπότην καὶ κύριον are hardly distinguishable if both applied to Christ. On these grounds he agrees with Huther in regarding the rejected Θεόν as having been, although a gloss, yet a true one; and would remind the reader, once for all, that the reference of any term in the parallel place of 2 Peter, is no guide for us here, seeing that it belongs to the extremely curious relation of the two passages to each other, that many common terms are used in different senses.—M.]

Deny, see 2 Peter 2:1. The reference here is according to the description of those deceivers, more especially to their practical denying (so de Wette and Huther). Even the book of Enoch (67:8. 10; 91:7) connects in the case of the ungodly the denial of the Lord of the spirits with voluptuousness.


[Jude 1:3. “The faith is that system of truths revealed in the Holy Scriptures concerning the dispensations of the God, whom we adore, and into whose name we were baptized, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, three Persons, one God. These truths are proposed to us as the ground of our hope, our comfort, and our joy; as the principles on which the conduct of life is to be framed, accepted and rewarded. We receive the revelation, which contains the truths, upon that, plenary and satisfactory evidence vouchsafed us of its authenticity, and we receive the truths, which it contains, on the authority of the Revealer. The different articles of our belief, dispersed in the Scriptures, were very early collected into summaries styled creeds, recited at baptism, and constituting thenceforward the badge and test of a man’s profession. By a formulary of this kind the catechumen himself was instructed; “the faith once delivered” was transmitted down to posterity; the members of the spiritual society were kept together; the doctrines, by them believed and taught, were made known to the world, and distinguished from a multitude of heterogeneous and erroneous opinions, by them disclaimed; a connection with the maintainers of which would justly have brought discredit on themselves and their cause. For these reasons the use of creeds appears to have at first been introduced and since continued.” Home.—M.]


The calling of God the beginning of all His exhibitions of grace.—General and particular calling. Man’s relation thereto.—Believers the possession, the spoil, the crown and reward of the Lord Jesus.—The Christian life a state of constant warfare.—The great danger of abusing grace.—The manifold denial of the Lord that bought us.
Starke:—Every Christian should be an honest Judas; i.e., a confessor, confessing Christ before the world according to the belief of his heart in word and life, that Christ may confess him before His Father. Matthew 10:32.—Would that all Jews were such, or would soon become such. Romans 10:1.—It is not enough for a man’s salvation that he receive the call of grace, he must accept it, become holy and persevere in grace, Isaiah 55:3 : Revelation 2:10; 1 Corinthians 15:1-2.—Christianity is never at a stand-still, but ever growing and progressing, 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 4:1.—We must fight for our faith against our lusts, the world and Satan; otherwise we shall not receive the end of faith, the salvation of our souls, 1 Peter 1:9.—God has prepared His grace for the penitent that are of a broken heart, Isaiah 61:1, and namely for their consolation and amendment. This truth ungodly men reverse in that they accord grace to the impenitent, not for their amendment, but for their security.—The more secret an enemy, the more dangerous, Psalms 64:6. Psalms 64:7.—Sinning in reliance upon grace is the poison which corrupts and kills the greatest number of souls. The Gospel is to them a savour of death unto death.—Those who deny Christ that bought them with His blood, are the servants of the devil, 1 John 3:8.

K. H. Rieger:—Even evil times should neither make us evil and harsh, nor cause us to fall from our first love. Whatever remains to be done, must be done by love, 1 Thessalonians 2:7.—Contending without one’s own edification would amount to quarrelling. Edification without contending is indifference which does not sufficiently consider what edifying is. Cf. Jude 1:20.—The devil introduces his children of malice among the children of the kingdom, even as tares creep in among good wheat and at first cannot be distinguished from it. His lies always spring up under some borrowed rag of truth.

Stier:—In the accredited, sealed word of the Scriptures we have the authentic deposit of the precious jewel of the first testimony of faith, which deposit is to be preserved and necessarily becomes the permanent rule of faith.—The faith delivered to Christendom is the treasure for the unimpaired possession and enjoyment of which we must fight against hostile powers.—God has a holy purpose of justice in that He gives up to the deception of powerful error all those who would not believe in the truth with all their heart, as they ought, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12.—Those who will not obey Christ, to the Christ whom they ought and must know as the Lord, have also no God in heaven, no gods (Psalms 82:0; Exodus 22:28) on earth, and become through and through rebels and insurrectionists.

[Barrow:—Some vehemency (some smartness and sharpness) of speech may sometimes be used in defence of truth, and impugning errors of bad consequence; especially when it concerneth the interests of truth that the reputation and authority of its adversaries should somewhat be abased or abated. If by a partial opinion or reverence toward them, however begotten in the minds of men, they strive to overbear or discountenance a good cause, their cause, so far as truth permitteth, and need requireth, may be detected and displayed. For this cause particularly may we presume our Lord (otherwise so meek in His temper, and mild in his carriage toward all men) did characterize the Jewish scribes in such terms, that their authority (being then so prevalent with the people) might not prejudice the truth, and hinder the efficacy of His doctrine. This is part of that ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι τῇ πίστει, the duty of contending earnestly for the faith, which is incumbent upon us.—M.]


Jude 1:1. Spiritual fellowship with Christ.

Jude 1:3. The rule of faith. Zeal for the cause of Christianity. The faith once delivered to the saints, a depositum or trust, committed to the care of the Church. Civil government and religion.

Cf. on Jude 1:4. Claget, Nicholas: The abuse of God’s grace, discovered in the kinds, causes, punishments, symptoms, cures, differences, cautions, and other practical improvements thereof. 4to., Oxford, 1659.—M.]


[1] Jude 1:1. [German:—Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, brother of James, to the called that are sanctified in God the Father, and preserved for Jesus Christ.—M.]

[The only instance (except Philippians 1:1, where the word is in the Plural), in which E. V. prefixes the definite Article to the descriptive title of the writer. Lillie.—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. [δὲ, rendered and in E. V., and not translated at all in German, may have antithetical force. De Wette says that it “appends another title, different from the one preceding.” It might be rendered, “James, a servant of Jesus Christ, but brother of James.” If this Jude is one of the brothers of the Lord (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3), as we believe he is, this δὲ would give us a beautiful insight into the spirituality of his mind, for it might be regarded as an intimation on his part that “no longer knowing Christ after the flesh, he now gloried in the far higher relationships (Matthew 11:11; Matthew 12:48-50; Luke 11:28) of the kingdom of heaven, gladly merging the distinction of nature in the spiritual fellowship of the brethren, whose one Master is Christ (Matthew 23:8).” Lillie.—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. [The construction of E. V. is not countenanced by the Greek. τοῖς κλητοῖς is a Noun, qualified by the intermediate Participles ἡγιασμένοις and τετηρημένοις.—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. Lachmann and Tisch. [following A. B., Sin., Vulg., Syr.] read ἠγαπημένοις ἐν. This reading would require τοῖς ἐν Θεῷ πατρὶ to be taken by itself, viz.: “to those belonging to God the Father;” for to render ἐν=by or on account of would be inadmissible. De Wette considers this reading incorrect. [But A. B., Sin. recommend it as the true reading. The sense is plain, viz.: “that are beloved (that have been and are, Perf.) in God the Father.”—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. [ἐν=in, not by. “Non solum A, sed et In Deo Patre, ut unum cum ipso sint, John 17:21.” Witsius.—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. [τετηρημένοις. “The Verb τηρέω occurs 75 times in the N. T. (five times in this Epistle), and in E. V. Isaiah 58:0 times rendered to keep; only here and 1 Thessalonians 5:23, to preserve. Wherever, as in this verse, it is used of believers, I prefer to translate it by keep, not so much on the general ground of uniformity, as on account of the large use of that term in the same connection in our Lord’s high-priestly prayer (John 17:0).” Lillie.—M.]

Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1. [Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ. Translate, not “in Jesus Christ,” as E. V., but “for Jesus Christ.” Hænlein: “Dativus subjecti, cui fideles Dei provida cura servati sunt.” Vorstius: “in eum finem, ut aliquando Christo adducantur tanquam sponsa sponso.”]

[8] Jude 1:3. [German:—Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you (more fully) concerning our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you in a hortatory form to contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints.—M.]

[περί=concerning, touching better than of in E. V.—M.]

[Cod. Sin. reads τοῦ γράφειν.—M.]

Jude 1:3; Jude 1:3. Lachm. has ἡμῶν after κοινῆς; Syr. Vulg. ὑμῶν; Sin. κοιν. ἡμῶν σωτηρίας καὶ ζωῆς.—M.]

Jude 1:3; Jude 1:3. [ἀναγκήν ἔσχον=“I had need,” or “I felt constrained.”—M.]

[11] Jude 1:3. [ἅπαξ, stronger than once,=semel et simul, semel pro semper, i.e., once for all. See Lexica.—M.]

[Translate:—Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto yon concerning our common salvation, I felt constrained to write unto you, exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered unto the saints.—M.]

Jude 1:4; Jude 1:4. [Sin. inserts καὶ before πάλαι. προγράφω=to write before, to declare, describe beforehand; ordained adopted by E. V. from Geneva V., is a very dubious rendering, and should be replaced by a leas objectionable word; either of the above have the merit of literal translations of the Greek.—M.]

Jude 1:4; Jude 1:4. [κρῖμα, condemnation, in the sense of punishment.—M.]

[14] Jude 1:4. Lach., Tisch. Read χάριτα, which is the poetic Accusative.

Griesb. and al., following the best authorities, omit Θεὸν, which is doubtless a gloss, and found its way into the text because δεσπότης is used of the Father in all passages except 2 Peter 2:1; cf. Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Revelation 6:10. μόνος, moreover, did not seem to suit Christ.

[15] Jude 1:4. [A. B. C., Sin. omit Θεὸν. Agreeing with this omission, translate: “For certain men have crept in privily, who have been long ago described beforehand (in the Holy Scriptures) for this condemnation, ungodly, perverting the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, and Lord Jesus Christ.”—M.]

[German:—“For some have crept in stealthily, who long since have been designated beforehand for this judgment, ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and deny the only Master, God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”—M.]

[16] Jude 1:4. [A. B. C., Sin. omit Θεὸν. Agreeing with this omission, translate: “For certain men have crept in privily, who have been long ago described beforehand (in the Holy Scriptures) for this condemnation, ungodly, perverting the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, and Lord Jesus Christ.”—M.]

[German:—“For some have crept in stealthily, who long since have been designated beforehand for this judgment, ungodly, who pervert the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and deny the only Master, God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”—M.]

Verses 5-15

Jude 1:5-15

Contents:—Three examples of the punitive justice of God, typical of the judgment awaiting those deceivers, introduced as a warning, Jude 1:6-8; more particular description of their sins. An exclamation of woe, Jude 1:11, followed by additional details of their character, and an application to them of a prophecy of Enoch.

5I will17 therefore18 put you in remembrance, though ye19 once knew this,20 how that the Lord,21 having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed22 them that believed not. 6And the angels23 which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved24 in everlasting chains25 under darkness unto the 7judgment of the great day. Even as26 Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner,27 giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange28 flesh, 8are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise29 also these filthy dreamers defile30 the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.31 32 9Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst33 not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. 10But these speak evil of those things34 which they know not: but what they know35 naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. 11Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward,36 and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12These are spots in your feasts of charity,37 when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about38 of winds; trees whose fruit withereth,39 with out fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for 14ever. And Enoch, also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied40 of these, saying, Behold the Lord41 cometh with ten thousand of his saints,42 15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince43 all that ar44 ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against13him.


Jude 1:5. But I will remind youbelieved not.—This connects with 2 Peter 1:12, although there the reference is not to historical facts, but to doctrines. In like manner the words,“you who know all things once for all” revert to that passage as well as to προγινώσκοντες, 2 Peter 3:17.—ἅπαξ τοῦτο (cf. Appar. Crit., N. 5). It is inadmissible to connect ἅπαξ with ὑπομνῆσαι, or to take it in the sense of once, formerly, from the beginning; it rather has here its usual meaning, you have heard it once for all and stamped it on your memory; you need not any new instruction on that head; but it is matter of urgent necessity for you to be reminded of it, earnestly to deliberate upon it, and to apply what has taken place to events as they occur. It is not related to the following τὸ δεύτερον. If we adopt the reading πάντα, all that is necessary is to connect it with the sequel, to the historical facts, and hence not to take it as at 1 John 2:20. [εἰδότας πάντα. Remembering that Jude wrote against the Gnostics (the men of knowledge), who laid claim to superior knowledge, and on that pretence beguiled their hearers into corrupt doctrines and licentious practices (2 Peter 1:2-3), the words εἰδότας πάντα seem to have an implied antithesis, and while affirming of his readers that they had all the knowledge necessary to their salvation (1 John 2:20), put them on their guard against the pretended superiority of knowledge of the Gnostics. See Wordsworth in loc.—M.].—Huther says on the reading ὁ ̓Ιησοῦς that it unfolds the same view as 1 Corinthians 10:4, and that the name of Jesus in this connection may be accounted for by the popular character of a parenetic Epistle.—τὸ δεύτερον neither=afterward, nor=on the contrary (Grotius). Forced is also the explanation of Winer, pp. 642, 643: “The Lord, after having delivered them, did, on a second occasion (when they were in need of His helping grace), refuse them His delivering grace and destroy them.” Equally unnatural is that of Huther: “God did reveal Himself to His people in two ways, the first time as a Deliverer, the second time as Judge, that is in the latter instance as Judge of the unbelieving who did not trustfully and obediently rely upon His promise.” Similarly Stier: “After God’s deliverance and pardoning there is also a second time surely following in the case of the unworthy.” No, it is said, He destroyed them the second time, and should be referred to two judgments of destruction, once, when the people, with the exception of a few, perished in the wilderness, and again to the Babylonish captivity, Numbers 14:23; 2 Chronicles 36:16, etc. The corresponding passage in 2 Peter (2:2) specifies the example of the flood; Jude wished to select a still stronger example, exhibiting a two-fold destruction of the chosen people. Notwithstanding the former wonderful deliverance, the people were twice destroyed. Had this Epistle been written after the destruction of Jerusalem, Jude might have added a τὸ τρίτον. [Notwithstanding Fronmüller’s emphatic assertion to the contrary, we feel constrained to advocate the view recommended in Appar. Crit., note 6. It is more telling in point of fact and more congruous in point of doctrine; it is perfectly sound in point of grammar, and the charge of its being forced and unnatural is arbitrary and unsupported by reasons.—M.]

Jude 1:6. And the angelsdarkness.—The allusion in 2 Peter 2:4 is here more fully explained. If it could be proved that Jude had before him the book of Enoch, which repeatedly adverts to the coming down of the angels in order to contaminate themselves with women, we should not be warranted to think here of the first fall in the world of spirits. But this presumption is not certain. See note on 2 Peter 2:4.

Their first estate.—Huther explains ἀρχή of the dominion, originally assigned to them; others (e.g., Calvin, Grotius) of their original condition, estate, cf. John 8:44. Both ideas may be combined as Stier [and others] do. [In that case we have primam dignitatem, Carpz. al.—M.]

Their own habitation, not heaven in general, but their own dwelling of light assigned to them by the Creator. Their fall and guilt seem to have been the consequence of their leaving that habitation and arbitrarily going beyond the sphere allotted to them. There is no explicit reference to Satan, but μὴ τηρεῖν, which points to incitement from without, may allude to him. Delitzsch: “They made themselves at home on earth and exchanged the power belonging to their vocation in heaven with an earthly exhibition of power usurped for the sake of selfish sensual indulgence.”

For the judgment of the great day, i.e., for the last judgment at the end of the world; an amplification of 2 Peter 2:4; cf. Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:17; Revelation 16:14.

With everlasting bonds.—Peter has only “chains (bands) of darkness,” cf Jude 1:7. The book of Enoch has this variation: “Bind them for seventy generations under the earth until the day of judgment, then shall they be removed to the lowest depths of fire.”

Under darkness.—De Wette: “In the depth of the under-world, in the abyss.” Revelation 20:2-3. At the same time the reference to the inward, spiritual darkness of the love of evil, must not be overlooked. See 2 Peter 2:4. [Clement of Alex. says,“that the chains in which the evil angels are now confined, are the air near this earth of ours,(“vicinus terris locus, caliginosus aër), and that they may well be said to be chained, because they are restrained from recovering the glory and happiness they have lost.”

Wordsworth: “This passage is cited by Origen in Mtt. tom., XV., p. 693, and in Rom. lib. 3., vol. IV., p. 510, where he calls this Epistle Scriptura divina,” ibid, lib., V., p. 549.—M.]

Jude 1:7. How Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.—To the two examples taken from the past history of Israel and the invisible world, Jude, again agreeing with Peter, adds a new example, taken from the heathen world, of a punitive judgment the consequences of which still remain.

The cities around them, an addition to 2 Peter 2:6. Admah and Zeboim. Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8.

In like manner as these men, τούτοις may be connected with Sodom and Gomorrah, that is, the inhabitants of those cities; as the sin of those cities is generally known, it cannot be thought strange that it is indirectly adverted to. It is less known of the other two cities, hence the selection of this word. Bengel refers τούτοις to the false teachers, Jude 1:4, but he thereby anticipates the thought of Jude 1:8. The majority of modern expositors believe the reference to be to the fallen angels, who, according to the book of Enoch, sinned in like manner. See on 2 Peter 2:6. We cannot believe that Jude or Peter considered fables of apocryphal books, like those contained in the book of Enoch and the Gospel of the Twelve Patriarchs, and which cannot be substantiated by Genesis 4:0. to be true,(see Evangel. Kirchenzeitung, 1858, p. 35, sq.), although Jude refers to them and confirms some of their statements. [Bengel’s construction, which is also that of Wordsworth and others, seems to be more natural and less artificial than that recommended by Fronmüller. The anticipation of the thought of Jude 1:8, is no valid objection. Jude first points out the analogy in general terms and then develops it. The very sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were those of some of the Gnostic sects. See the description of the Nicolaitans in Iren. 1:20; Theodoret haer. fab., 1. Epiphan. haer. 25.—M.]

ἐκπορνεύειν, although not used elsewhere in the New Testament, is of frequent occurrence in the LXX., where it is generally applied to spiritual whoredom, but also to physical in Genesis 38:24 for זָנָה. ἐκ is intensive, and denotes extravagant lust. The idea “transcending the limits of nature” belongs to what follows.

Gone after strange flesh, ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας;—ἀπέρχεσθαι ὀπίσω, to go after, literally, Mark 1:20; then tropically. Peter uses the term τορεύεσθαι ὀπίσω, 2 Peter 2:10. See note there. It is evident that this term cannot apply to angels, who have no flesh.

Are set forth, etc.; πρόκεινται [literally: lie before the eyes, ante (oculos) jacent.—M.] The parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:6, has a different turn,“having made [set, instituted—M.] them an example.” There we have ὑπόδειγμα, here δεῖγμα. The Dead Sea is to this day a testimony of that catastrophe; ruins of the sunken cities were perhaps still visible in the days of Jude at low-water; but this is not the case now, although such a myth of travellers is occasionally circulated. See Zeller Bibl. Wörterbuch, p. 510.

Πυρὸς αἰωνίου should be construed with δίκην,(de Wette), not with δεῖγμα. Stier: “They suffer a punishment intended to serve as an example and type of eternal fire.” Cf. Wis 10:7 [On the construction with δίκην, Wordsworth offers the following exposition: “As Sodom and Gomorrah suffer the vengeance of a fire that consumed them finally, so that they will never be restored, as long as the world lasts, so the bodies and souls of the wicked will suffer, as long as they are capable of suffering, which, since they are immortal, will, as Tertullian says: “be forever,” “erimus iidem, qui nunc, nec alii post resurrectionem: Dei quidem cultores, apud Deum semper, profani verò in pœnam aqueè jugis ignis habentes est ipsâ naturâ ejus, divinâ scilicet, subministrationem incorruptibilitatis.” Apol. 48.—M]. De Wette says that “subterraneous fire is presumed to be beneath the sea that covers the cities.” May this not be a false presumption?—ὑπέχειν, 2Ma 4:48; 2 Thessalonians 1:9. [On the Eternity of future punishment, see Bp. Taylor’s Sermon on Christ’s advent to judgment, part III., §. 6.—M.]

Jude 1:8. Now in like manner, etc.—μέντοι has at once illative and adversative force. Now, in like manner, however—i.e., without taking warning from those Divine judgments.

These dreamers also, refers back to Jude 1:4. ̓Ενυπνιαζόμενοι, on account of μὲν and δὲ should be construed both with μιαίνουσι and ἀθετοῦσι. This sets aside various false interpretations, which make reference to voluptuous dreams, nocturnal pollutions, etc. As ἐνύπνιον differs from ὅνειρος in that the former denotes a confused state of soul, an abnormal influence of the imagination on the bodily organs, whereas the latter designates a clear and sometimes most significant dream, so ἐνυτνιαζόμενοι is designed to portray that state of the soul in which the Ego is controlled and held captive by the power of ungodly, sensual impulses. Stier: “Their inner man is benumbed, blinded, absorbed by gloomy visions, dreamy and holden with sleep. Cf. Isaiah 29:10.

[Bengel: “Uno verbo ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι hominum mere naturalium indoles graphice admodum descripta est. Somnians multa videre, audire, etc., sibi videtur; concupiscentia agitatur, gaudio, angore, timore, rel. At nescit imperare sibi in isto statu: sed qualis est imago in somnio ex imagine orta, talis hominum illorum conditio. Hinc, omnibus licet rationis nervis adhibitis, concipere nequeunt, filios lucis vera libertate, in luci expergefactos, perfrui.”

Hornejus: “Tam insipientes sunt, ut quasi lethargo quodam sopiti non tantum impure vivant, sed etiam quæ non norunt tam audaciter vituperent.”

Arnaud: “Cependant ceux-ci, comme des gens qui agissent sans savoir ce qu’ils font, comme s’ils rêvaient, pour ainsi dire.….”—M.]

Defile the flesh, i.e., their own and strange flesh. The idea has a turn somewhat different from 2 Peter 2:10, to which Jude here alludes. Peter speaks of the lust, Jude of its gratification. In the sequel also Jude goes farther than Peter, a circumstance noteworthy with regard to their relation to each other. Ἀθετεῖν stronger than καταφρονεῖν; see on 2 Peter 2:10. Jude 1:11. In like manner 9 contains an expansion of and deviation from 2 Peter 2:11. The attempt of interpreting that passage by the verse under notice leads to confusion and forced meanings.

Jude 1:9. But Michael, the archangel, etc.—A comparison showing the daring and criminality of their blaspheming. They dare to do something against the lordship and the glories (see on them note on 2 Peter 2:11), which even Michael, the archangel, did not venture to do against Satan. The Hebrew Michael signifies,“Who is like God,” and denotes the humility and greatness of this Prince of angels, as well as the standard of all his actions, cf. Exodus 15:11; Psalms 89:7-8. He is called one of the chief Princes, Daniel 10:13; the great Prince standing up and fighting for the children of the people of God, Daniel 12:1; cf. Revelation 12:7; 1 Thessalonians 4:16. In the book of Enoch, where however the incident mentioned is not recorded, we read of him (as cited by Huther): “Who (set) over human virtue, governs the nations.” Jude supposes his readers familiar with this incident. The Jews had from ancient times various traditions of the burial of Moses, of a contest about his soul. According to Oecumenius, the tradition ran that God had charged Michael the archangel with the burial of Moses; that Satan opposed him, bringing an accusation against him relating to the murder of the Egyptian; in consequence of which he was unworthy of such honourable burial. Jude, like Paul, 2 Timothy 3:8, probably drew from this tradition, the Spirit of God directing him to extract the truth from those traditions. It is therefore not necessary to assume here a special revelation vouchsafed to Jude. Origen, Epiphanius and others refer to a book called “The Ascension or Removal of Moses”, but that book is doubtless of a later origin, and it is more probable that Jude made use of oral tradition rather than of that book.

Contending with the devil.—Διακρινόμενος διελέγετο; διακρίνεσθαι, to get into dispute, to separate and disagree, particularly to carry on a dispute in law. The words διαλέγετο ὅτε τῷ διαβόλῳ show that it was a verbal altercation. Stier: “The powers of heaven and hell contended consequently for the, body of the man of God after his death.”

Dared not, etc.—Huther: “From fear of the original glory of the devil.” Better,“from profound dread of the majesty of God.” Κρίσιν ἐπιφέρειν, cf. Acts 25:18, to give a sentence of condemnation against one. Βλασφημίας βλάσφημον, 2 Peter 2:11, words of insult, anger, or words of satire and mockery. Stier remarks, that even Father Luther did occasionally transgress in this respect and speak far too defiantly against the enemy.

The Lord rebuke thee.—The Angel of the Covenant addresses these words to Satan in Zechariah 3:2; cf. Acts 23:3.; 2 Timothy 4:14. The enemy himself has betrayed the secret that he may be overcome by the words,“The Most Merciful rebuke thee.” Bengel: “Modesty is an angelic virtue.”

Jude 1:10. These, however, etc.—Jude now passes from the particular expression of that daring disposition to the general. They speak evil, in general, of all things which they know not. For ὅσα is not=â, but=quæcunque. The reference is to the whole sphere of things invisible and heavenly, including the δόξαι. They are held by the delusion of materialism, that only that is real which may be seen with the eyes and touched by the hands, cf. Colossians 2:18.

But those things which they understand.—̔Επίστανται, apparently stronger than οἴδασι, is an ironical expression. The things they thoroughly understand, viz., the objects and means of sensual enjoyment, they use for their destruction, and really understand nothing of their nature and effects.

Naturally, as the brute beasts; φυσικῶς ὡς τὰ ἄλογα ζῶα, go together. Their understanding does not go beyond that which the instincts of nature, the instinctive desire of food and procreation, teach brute beasts. But they sink even beneath them because of their own free will and deliberation, they prostitute in carnal indulgence those powers of the soul which ought to introduce them to God and heavenly things. The parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:12, reads: “They speak evil of the things that they understand not,” with this difference, however, that Peter not only states the additional particular of the destiny of the brute creation, but connects also φυσικὰ with ζῶα, whereas here it goes with ἐπίστασθαι. It is evident that Jude made free use of the passage in Peter.

Therein do they ruin themselves, cf. 2 Peter 2:12; Psalms 49:13, 21.

Jude 1:11. Woe unto them, etc.—An utterance of woe, of frequent occurrence in the speeches of our Lord, expressive of pain and indignation, and conveying the threat of punishment, cf. Matthew 11:21; Matthew 18:7; Matthew 23:13; Matthew 24:19; Matthew 26:24; Mark 14:21; Mark 13:17; Luke 6:24-25; Luke 11:42; Luke 17:1. Bengel: “The only passage where this Apostle alone utters a woe for three reasons.” Paul says, 1 Corinthians 9:16 : “Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.” The expression occurs repeatedly in the book of Revelation, Revelation 8:13; Revelation 9:12; Revelation 11:14; Revelation 12:12; Revelation 18:10; Revelation 18:16; Revelation 18:19. 2 Peter 2:14, has “cursed children,” lit. “children of malediction.” Jude paraphrases it by,“woe unto them,” which threatens them with the curse. Jude, in addition to the example of Balaam, which we have in 2 Peter, produces the examples of Cain and the company of Core as types of the mind and judgment of those persons. He adverts rather to the order of the matter than to the order of time.

They walked.—De Wette: “Their career is regarded as already completed, the author prophetically foreseeing their end.” This contains a hint in favour of the genuineness of the Epistle.

The way of Cain; τῇ ὁδῷ, cf. Acts 14:16; Acts 9:31; the Dative of the direction in which [see above App. Crit., note 20.—M.], cf. 1 Samuel 15:20; LXX., Tob 4:5. It is not difficult to find the point of comparison. It is acting upon mere natural instincts, on the selfish impulses of nature (cf. φυσικῶς, Jude 1:10), in contempt of the warnings of God in the conscience and in His word. De Wette stops at the idea that Cain is here mentioned as the archetype of all bad men. Too general. Calov and others understand it of spiritual murder by deceiving the brethren, or of fiery persecution, so Lyra. Arbitrary. Schnecken, burger refers to the moral skepticism of the deceivers, since in the later writings of the Jews, Cain is represented to have said: “There is no Judge, no other world, no reward for the righteous, no punishment for the wicked.” Farfetched. Stier: “Selfish, hateful envy of the pious brother, because his piety was pleasing to God, consequently to God and man at one and the same time, the resistance of an evil conscience which is defiant instead of humbling itself, the root of the Cainite sin from which full hatred develops with fearful velocity into the act of murder.” Huther: “In comparing these false teachers with Cain, Jude intends to describe them as resisting God from envy of the grace shown to believers.” But this is not the description of those deceivers.—[Wordsworth: “Specially applicable to some classes of the Gnostics, who dared impiously to affirm that ‘Cain was made by a power superior to that of the Creator; and who acknowledged Esau, Korah and the Sodomites, and all such, as their own kindred.’ See Iren. 1, 31. (Stieren), 1, 35, p. 113 (Grabe). Cf. Tertull., Præscr. c. 47; Clem. Alexandr., Strom. 7, p. 549; Hippolyt., Phil. p. 133; Epiph., Hær. 38; Theodoret, Hæret. fab. c. 15; Philostr. c. 2; Tillemont, II., p. 21. These false teachers destroy like Cain; they love lucre and allure to sin like Balaam; they make divisions in the Church of Christ like Korah. Catena, p. 164, and cf. Bede on 1 John 1:6.”—M.]

And in the error of Balaam, etc.—Peter has,“They went astray, following the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness.” Jude gives this in a contracted form. See 2 Peter 2:15-16. πλάνῃ, cf. 2 Peter 2:18; James 5:20; Ezekiel 33:16, LXX. Huther: “Vicious life averted from the truth.” Not=εἰς πλάνην, but the Dative of direction in which, like τῇ ὁδῷ and with ἐξακολουθεῖν, 2 Peter 2:15; in the direction of erring.

Has drawn them along [they rushed headlong, see Appar. Crit., note 20.—M.]; ἐκχεῖσθαι, Middle, to stream forth like a torrent without a dam (Bengel), to suffer oneself to be carried away like the Latin effundi in venerem, in libidines. At the same time we may think of the meaning of שָׁפַךְ, to slip and fall, Psalms 63:2. [The force of the Greek verb is rather “to pour oneself out in a torrent.” See Loesner, p. 583.—M.]. Ἐξεχύθησαν μισθοῦ.The explanation,“They threw themselves into the error of Balaam for hire (=ἀντὶ or ἔνεκα),” is false; so is that of Schnecken burger: “They threw themselves into the error of Balaam in expectation of reward.” De Wette’s rendering also is very forced: “Through the seduction of Balaam’s reward they poured themselves out in vice.” In that case we ought to have τοῦ μισθοῦ Βαλαάμ.—Μισθοῦ should rather be taken in apposition with Βαλαάμ, a brief allusion, which is easily explained on the supposition that Jude had before him 2 Peter 2:15. The point of comparison lies first in selfishness and avarice, then in seduction to unchastity.

In the gainsaying of Core they perished.ἀντιλέγειν, to contradict, to quarrel, to offer resistance, used in LXX. for מְרִיבָה, cf. John 19:12; Hebrews 6:16; Hebrews 7:7; Hebrews 12:3. Κορέ, cf. Numbers 16:32; Numbers 26:10. It was an insurrection against the Lord and His representatives under the cover of right and religion. Huther: “They lost themselves in the gainsaying of Core.” He thinks that both the parallelism of the three clauses and the Preterite of the verb favour such a construction. The last reason proves nothing (see above), and the first is counterbalanced by the circumstance that ἀπολέσθαι is not used in the sense of losing oneself into a thing, of entangling oneself. Matthew 10:6 is not a parallel passage. Grammatical usage permits no other explanation than this: “they perished in the gainsaying of Core, by offering like resistance to God and His holy ordinances.” Stier sees a gradation in the words way, error and gainsaying. “The end and the beginning of the whole way is illustrated at the very commencement of history in the case of Cain, the rushing progress in the way of error is especially exhibited in the case of Balaam, the final insurrection and provocation of judgment is typified in Korah.” Huther calls to mind that opposition to God sprung, in the case of Cain, from envy, in that of Balaam, from covetousness, in that of Korah from pride; Jude 1:12 gives a further delineation of these deceivers, similar to 2 Peter 2:13; 2 Peter 2:17. [Irenæus, IV., 43, ed. Grabe: “The doom of those who rise against the true faith, and excite others against the Church of God, is to be swallowed up by the earth, and to remain in the gulf below, with Korah, Dathan and Abiram.”—M]

Jude 1:12. These are spots in your love-feasts, etc.—ἐν ταῖς , in your love-feasts, not, as Luther renders, in your alms, the exhibitions of love. The early degeneracy of the love-feasts connected with the Lord’s Supper is evident from 1 Corinthians 11:20, etc. [Hippolytus, Ref. Hæres., p. 172, states that the Simonians said that their promiscuous μίξεις were τελείαν and μακαρίζοντας ἑαυτοῦς ἐπὶ τῇ μίξει.—M.].—Σπίλάδες; σπίλαξ or really denotes a rock or a cliff, from σπέος, while σπίλος, the word used by Peter, means both a cliff and a spot. De Wette and Huther favour the literal sense: “It is these who are cliffs in your love-feasts, i.e., on which these feasts split, or good morals suffer shipwreck (cf. 1 Timothy 1:19).” It is more simple to understand it of the seductive, dangerous power of these men. But we agree with Stier in preferring the sense of stain, spot, because, as he remarks, grammatical usage might easily change in words of such near affinity; these words having a common root might be used more or less loosely, and the parallel in 2 Peter favouring it. Possibly both (Peter and Jude) alluded to Deuteronomy 32:5. [Aretius:—“σπίλας non solum est glarea, hoc est, ferræ species quæ maculas facile relinquit, sed est etiam concavum saxum in littore maris, seu lacuum ac fluminum, in quam concavitatem tanquam in commune receptaculum sordes aquarum confluunt.” Mack. (Scott, Bloomf.): “The word σπιλάδες properly signifies rocks in the sea, which, when they the above its surface, appear like spots.” Oecumen., Theophyl. (ὕφαλοι πέτραι), Lightoot, Wetstein, Whitby, Meyer, de Wette, Schleusner, Huther, Peile, Lillie, Alford, Wordsworth, al., all agree in rendering “rocks.” It is the only sense in which it occurs in ancient authors; it is, moreover, in better unison with the other metaphors by which Jude describes the false teachers (clouds, trees, waves, wandering stars) than spots. On these grounds we prefer “rocks” to “spots.”—Wordsworth:—“These σπιλάδες may be well said to be ἐν ταῖς , where the Church looks only for peace and safety, as in a deep and placid harbor. The words scopulus, φάρανξ, Charybdis, Euripus barathrum, etc., are thus applied frequently to persons. See Floruas, 4, 9, where Antony is called a scopulus; and Aristoph. Equites, 248, φάραγγα, καὶ Χάρυβδιν ἁρπαγῆς, and Anthol., 2, 15. 1, εἰς δολίους, where treacherous persons are compared to ὕφαλοι πέτραι. Horat., Ep. I., 15. 31,—

Pernicies et tempestas barathrumque macelli,

Quicquid quæsierat ventri donabat avaro.—M.]

συνευωχούμενοι. De Wette objects to supplying ὑμῖν, and translates “carousing together without fear;” so Stier. But since 2 Peter 2:13 has ὑμῖν, and ἀφόβως thus gets a better sense, moreover since otherwise σύν would be superfluous, it is perhaps better to render: “They carouse with you, push themselves to your love-feasts.” It is singular, however, that they not only would do so with impunity, but that Jude does not insist upon separation. The same objection, however, arises at 2 Peter 2:13, and is not so very difficult to be met. [It is to be regretted that Fronmüller has withheld the solution of the difficulty. The only one we are able to supply is that these false teachers abused the well-known liberal hospitality of the early Christians by clandestinely appearing at their love-feasts. The insertion of ὑμῖν is against the weight of MSS. evidence, and discountenanced by the majority of versions and reliable exegetes.—M.]

Without fear.—The most natural construction is to take ἀφόβως with συνευωχούμενοι, not with ποιμαίνοντες (Stier), which would isolate the former too much. They are so insolent as to dread neither correction nor expulsion, and still less the monitions of their own conscience. Bengel misses the sense by rendering,“To feast together is not wrong per se, therefore, ἀφόβως ought to be connected with this verb (ποιμαίν.).”

Feeding themselves.—Jude refers to Ezekiel 34:2; Ezekiel 34:8,“Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves,” cf. Isaiah 56:11. We learn from this circumstance that those deceivers set up as guides and leaders of the flock, and that they sought the wool of the sheep, not the sheep themselves, cf. 1 Peter 5:2. [Alford:—“Using the ἀγάπαι not for their legitimate purpose, the realization of the unity of Christians by social union, but for their own purposes, the enjoyment of their lusts and the furtherance of their schemes.”—M.]. The remark of Huther, that there is no other hint of said adversaries having filled the ecclesiastical office, is perfectly true, but that does not exclude their setting up as teachers and leaders. The true point of view is displaced if ποιμαίνοντες is restricted to the agapæ and expounded (as de Wette does),“They take their fill while they suffer the poor (the majority, the flock) to want,” 1 Corinthians 11:21. ποιμαίνειν, in that sense, would be an inappropriate term. The sequel also does not relate to the agapæ.

Clouds without water, driven fast by winds.—[Alford:—“Driven out of course by winds;” he reads παραφερόμενοι (with A. B. C. K., al.), borne out of their course, hither and thither.—M.]. In 2 Peter 2:17 another figure, viz.: “wells without water,” precedes the parallel to this, while here one is added which is wanting there, viz.: “dead trees.” De Wette, who applies the figure to the agapæ, is certainly wrong in saying that these men added largely to the agapæ, without sharing their contributions with the poor. No, the reference is rather to the promise and boasting of great and profound knowledge, but it is idle show and vapour, cf. Proverbs 25:14. They are carried about by every wind of doctrine, and cannot satisfy the wants of those who thirst for the truth. Huther:—“The figure delineates the inward spiritual emptiness of those men, who on that account are unable to do good, but it seems also to intimate their deceptive ostentation, which has been pointed out by Calvin.” The reference to doing good, however, belongs not to this, but to the next figure. ποιμαίνοντες and νεφέλαι point unmistakably to their arrogated teaching and leading.—Περιφερόμεναι, driven about, fitfully driven to and fro. [See above Appar. Crit., note 22.—M.] Peter has ἐλαυνόμεναι.

Late autumnal trees, etc.—Φθινοπωρινά, from φθίνω and ὀπώρα; ὀπώρα signifies the hottest season of the year; when that is over (φθίνει), the φθινόπωρον, late autumn, the beginning of winter, sets in; the adjective denotes, therefore,“late-autumnal,” not “fruit spoiling,” as Stier renders, contrary to grammatical usage. [The best account of this word is that given by Lillie in loco, which is here transcribed: “According to Passow (as translated by Liddell and Scott), ὀπώρα Isaiah , 1,‘the part of the year between the rising of Sirius and of Arcturus. … not so much …. autumn as our dog days, or at most the end of summer;, and then, because this was the season of fruit, it stands, 2, for ‘the fruit itself, esp. tree-fruit;—and hence also the verb ὀπωρίζω is to gather fruits. φθίνω, again is used, 1, intransitively, to decay, wither, and, 2, transitively, to corrupt, destroy. Joining the two words, each in its first signification, we have φθινόπωρον, autumn, or more commonly, senescens auctumnus et in hyemem vergens (Steph. Scap.), late autumn, the fall of the year (L. and S.); and φθινοπωρινός, belonging to that season—which are the only meanings of those compounds which the lexicons recognize as classical. In that sense, accordingly, is the Adjective taken here, in connection with ἄκαρπα, by Wicl. (harvest-trees without fruit), Tynd., Cranm.,(without fr. at gathering time), Castal.,(autumnales infructuosæ), Thom.,(auctumnal trees without fruit), Dav.,(aut. trees stripped of their fruit); and apart from that connection, by Rhemish; Vulg., and its followers generally, Dutch, French, Swiss, margin; Engl., Ann., Hamm.; Cocc.; Beausobre and L’Enfant, margin; Bengel, Moldenh; Hænlein (erroneously cited by Huther), Meyer, Gerlach, Barn.; de W.; Peile,(trees on the wane—“fallen into the sere and yellow leaf”), Huther;—Wahl, Robinson, Green,(autumnal, sere, bare), Schirl. The same interpretation is allowed also by Zeg., Wits., Gill, Laurm., Rosenm., Trol.,(‘without leaves,’ [which is also Wesley’s version],‘as trees are in autumn’), Bloomf.;—Schleusn. The second significations of φθίνω and ὀπώρα, however, appear combined in the use, according to Phavor., of φθινόπωρον to denote νόσος φθίνουσα ὀπώρας (hence Clarke: galled or diseased trees; an etymology and sense allowed also by Wits., Laurm., Trol., cankered;—Schleus.), and in Pindar’s use of φθινοπωρίς. Liddell and Scott do, indeed, mark this last word as a ‘pecul. fem.’ of φθινοπωρινός, which they explain to mean autumnal. But in the passage referred to—Pyth., 5, 161, 162, φθινοπωρὶςφθινοπωρὶς evidently does not mean that, but rather the blighting influence of these wintry blasts, and so it is explained by the best commentators of Pindar. Heyne translates thus: ‘fructibus exitialis ventorum hibernus flatus;’ and the most recent editor, Prof. Schneidewin, has the following note: ‘ὀπώρα ὥρα auctumus, annus dicuntur pro iis quæ giguntur iis temporibus. Jam sensus: Valeas viribus et consilio etiam in posterum, ne ventus brumalis tibi perdat temporis fructus.’ If it be said that the common version requires the noun to be taken in its second signification and the verb in its first, it may be replied, 1, that this acknowledged secondary meaning of the noun is its meaning in the only place where it is found in the New Testament, viz.: Revelation 18:14;—Revelation 2:0, that the intransitive use of the verb is by far the more frequent;—and, 3, that the verb retains this intransitive sense in other analogous cases of composition; e.g., φθινόκαρπος, applied by Pindar, Pyth., 4, 471, to an oak from which the limbs had been lopped; and φθινόκωλος, with wasting limbs (L. and S.). While, therefore, our present form φθινοπωρινός may not, in the one or two instances where it is found elsewhere, bear the meaning here ascribed to it, I concur nevertheless in the remark of Grotius: ‘Si usum vocis respicias, dicit arbores auctumnales. Sed magis respicitur ἐτυμολογία vocis, ut dicat eos similes esse arboribus, quarum fructus perit illico.’ This sense, moreover, is more in harmony with the design of the writer, which is to describe the characteristic and inward spiritual desolation of these wicked men …., and it lays a firmer basis for the dreadful climax whereby he effects that object, cf. Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14, etc.”—M.] They stand there, like late-autumnal trees, which have no fruit but only dry leaves. They deceive our expectations, as the baren fig-tree, Matthew 21:19; Luke 13:6, and are therefore ripe for the curse and woodman’s axe. As we expect the clouds to yield water, so we expect the trees to yield fruit. The former relates to their teaching, the latter to their life. Bengel:—“Trees, as they appear at the end of autumn, without fruit and leaves,” cf. Isaiah 1:30. Jude thinks of persons, who year after year are like late-autumnal trees. This is not a weak, but a very striking description, whereas, if we follow the etymology, the addition of ἄκαρπος would be superfluous.

Unfruitful.—Not “whose fruit has been taken off,” as de Wette, but without fruit [or better, incapable of yielding fruit.—M.]

Twice dead, not=wholly dead, which is arbitrary, for the figure is taken from trees which have at different times suffered fatal injury by frost or from insects. Stier: “By nature we are through the fall altogether dead trees; now these persons, having received the grace of regeneration, have died a second time (2 Peter 2:20). This is the second death in guilt and punishment.” Others (like Grotius) erroneously interpret these words of the first (earthly) and the second (post-terrene) death, seeing death had not yet affected them in either respect. [Wordsworth: “So these men are trees, which died twice, because these men having been once dead in trespasses and sins, arid raised to life in baptism, have relapsed and apostatized into the death of sin, and so have died twice; and because by their sins they have incurred the second death. See Revelation 2:11; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8, where it is said that the second death is the penalty of the unbelieving, abominable, and fornicators.” Oecumenius: “τὰ φθινοπώρινα δένδρα δὶς ,ἔν τε τῇ τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτῶν ,καὶ ἐν τῇ τῶν φύλλων .” De Wette illustrates by “bis dat qui cito dat,” and Horace’s “pro quo bis patior mori.” Alford refers to the double death in a tree, which is not only as it seems to the eye in common with other trees, in the apparent death of winter, but really dead: dead to appearance and dead in reality.—M.]

Uprooted, not trees dug out and thus eradicated, but such as still remain in the earth, shaken loose by their roots, and thus incapable of shedding leaves and bearing fruit. Figurative description of men torn loose from this vital foundation and the communion of the Church, no longer moved by the Holy Spirit, having ceased to do good works, and doomed to the penalty of the obdurate, cf. John 15:6; Matthew 3:10. [Arnaud: “Tous ces mots sont des métaphores energiques pour montrer le néant de ces impures, la légèreté de leur conduite, la sterilité de leur foi et l’absence de leurs bonnes mœurs.”—M.]

Jude 1:13. Raging waves of the sea [German,“wild waves,” better than raging, so Alford.—M.]. The Apostle probably thought of Isaiah 57:20 : “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt,” cf. Wis 14:1. ἄγριος is elsewhere used of wild beasts. The figure describes their passionate conduct, their rushing against divinely-ordered barriers, their inward impurity and hurtfulness, cf. Psalms 46:4. The figurative expression of Isaiah has a literal application in the Epistle.

̓Επαφρίζειν, properly to foam over, cover with foam, foam out. αἰσχύνας, an emphatic Plural, as 1 Peter 4:3, all kinds of shame proceeding from the evil treasure of the heart. Huther: “Shameful lusts, which they exhibit in their wild, immoral life.”

Wandering stars, etc.—ἀστέρες πλανῆται, wandering stars, from πλανᾷν πλανᾶσθαι, cf. 5:11; 2 Timothy 3:13. [Alford: “Comets, which astonish the world for awhile and then pass away into darkness.—Those professing Christians, by their profession of being lights in the world, instead of letting that light shine on more and more into the perfect day, are drifting about in strange errors of doctrine and practice, until it will be utterly extinguished in eternal darkness.”—M.]. It is difficult to see why the reference to comets, which were known to the people in ancient times, should be pronounced arbitrary (Huther). “That have no regular course, and depart from the sun (of righteousness).” Meyer. So also de Wette and Stier; the latter says: “If a star loses or deviates from its place or course, it either falls forthwith down dark, or, and, that is the sense here, it roves awhile with deceitful light until it reaches the point and catastrophe, which God has appointed.” The word ἀστέρες again contains a reference to men, that set up for lights of the Church, cf. Revelation 1:20; Daniel 12:3; Philippians 2:15. So Oecumenius. We must not think of authorized teachers, but remember that men, in order to gain distinction in those Churches, had to render themselves prominent by the light of knowledge; de Wette interprets the metaphor of the outward splendour of the luxury and perhaps also of the authority of those men; Huther applies the metaphor to unstable men, driven hither and thither by their carnal appetites, whose life presents the strongest contrast to the calm, well-ordered life of Christians. But this does not explain the term ἀστέρες.—Bengel observes: “It has recently been discovered that planets are opaque bodies that shine with borrowed light. Jude was enabled to intimate this in virtue of Divine illumination.” But the reference is neither to planets nor their opacity.

To whom [better, for whom.—M.] the blackness of darkness is reserved forever.—Cf. the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:17, and the commentary on it. Stier: “The comets, as unstable, disrupted ruins, may be hastening forward to a final darkness among the slags of the last process of reconstruction.”

Jude 1:14. But of [for.—M.] these also prophesied Enoch, the seventh from Adam..—Now follows a prophecy of Enoch of these people. τούτοις, with reference to them; see Winer, p. 244, cf. Luke 18:31.—καὶ should be connected with προφήτευσε, not with τούτοις. As other prophets, so Enoch also, the most ancient of prophets.

The seventh from Adam, cf. Genesis 5:18. There are really only five patriarchs between Enoch and Adam, viz., Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel and Jared, but Adam is included as the first. This designation, although omitted by commentators, occurs repeatedly in the book of Enoch; e.g., we read, Enoch 93:3: “I, as the seventh, am born in the first week, while judgment and justice were delayed;” cf. Enoch 60:8: “In the seventh week there shall arise an apostate generation;” Enoch 37:1, traces back the genealogy of Enoch to Adam, not for the sake of embellishment, but in order to remove all doubt as to his personal identity.” The epithet “the seventh” cannot be without meaning; Calvin thinks that it is intended to denote the great age of this prophecy; others see in it a secret, mystical meaning. Bengel: “Every seventh is the most esteemed.” Stier: “The seventh from Adam is personally a type of the sanctified of the seventh age of the world (of the seventh millennium, of the great earth-sabbath), therefore he prophesies for this time.” Menken: “The number seven was esteemed in the ancient world as an important signature pointing to the sacred and mystery. The fact that after sin and death had freely exerted their unhappy power during the first six generations, in the seventh generation mankind appeared in the person of one man (who had led a godly life, and was taken by God to God without seeing death) in a state of high completeness and blessed freedom from death, has a kind of prophetico-symbolical significance, and intimates that mankind in general, after having duly completed its course and fought its battle under the oppression of sin and death through six long world-periods, shall appear in the seventh world-period in a state of higher completeness, in a more Divine life and more blessed freedom from death. The seventh world-period is the Kingdom of God on earth. To Adam, the first, was revealed and promised the appearance and advent of the Lord, as a Helper and Saviour; to Enoch, the seventh from Adam, was revealed the last advent of the same Lord, Helper and Saviour, as a Judge and Avenger, and he was the first prophet, who spoke and taught this among men.” [“The number seven is sacred above all; Enoch is seventh from Adam and walks with God; Moses is seventh from Abraham; Phineas is seventh from Jacob our father, as Enoch was seventh from Adam. And they correspond to the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, the day of rest. Every seventh age is in the highest esteem.” Wetstein, citing Rabbinical writings, p. 737. Wordsworth deems it worthy of remark, that Enoch lived as many years as there are days in a solar year, viz., 365, and was then translated (Genesis 5:24.)—M.]. The words which follow are found almost literally in the above-mentioned apocryphal book of Enoch, which was formerly known only by fragments and notices of the early fathers, but has recently been discovered in an Æthiopic translation and translated from the Æthiopic into German. It became known in Europe about the close of the last century. Winer, Dorner and others ascribe its authorship to a Jew of the first century of the Christian era; Ewald places its date at the end of the second century before Christ. A new edition and translation of this book was published by D. Dillmann in 1853, who pronounces it to have been written about B. C. 110. The book consists, according to the careful investigation of the last-named scholar, of three parts: 1. The proper and original book of Enoch, which constitutes the greatest part of this apocryphal work. 2. Of historical additions for the elucidation of several doctrines and ideas from the pen of another author, who wrote not long afterwards. 3. Of so-called Noachian additions connected with other interpolations made by a third author, belonging at least to the end of the first century B. C. The passage in question is rendered by Dillmann thus: “And behold, He comes with myriads of saints to execute judgment on them, and He will destroy the ungodly and judge all flesh in all things which the sinners and the ungodly have committed and done against Him,” Jude 1:9. Considering that the variations between the Epistle and the book of Enoch are not inconsiderable, and that the book of Enoch is not expressly cited, there is still room to doubt whether Jude knew that book. But the tradition of Enoch’s prophecy he must at all events have known and considered true as to its kernel. [There is an English translation by Archbishop Lawrence, with an introduction and notes, which passed through three editions, 1821, 1833, 1838, but has been completely superseded by that of Dillmann, with an introduction and commentary, published at Leipzig in 1853. See Introduction § 7.—M.]

Behold the Lord came with His holy myriads.—Now follows the substance of the prophecy.—Ἠ̄λθε, the Aorist, because Enoch speaks in a vision, in which the future appears to him as present [really a prophetic past.—M.], as in Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 53:4. The Æthiopic text of the book of Enoch seems to have the Present.

With His holy myriads; ἐν. In them, i.e., to be glorified in them, as 2 Thessalonians 1:10, and with them. Myriads, literally ten thousands, then absolutely, many thousands. The book of Enoch in other similar passages with reference to Daniel 7:0, uses the terms thousand times thousand, and ten thousand times ten thousand; so Enoch 40:1; 71:10. In Deuteronomy 33:2, Jehovah is represented as revealing Himself from Sinai, shining forth from among many thousands of saints. According to Zechariah 14:5, He will come to judgment with all His saints, cf. Matthew 25:31; Revelation 5:11. The term denotes not only angels, but also the elect from among men; cf. Hebrews 12:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2.—With His, αὑτοῦ. They belong to Him, stand before His throne, and wait for His commands.

Jude 1:15. To give judgment, etc.—κρίσιν ποιεῖν. John 5:27; cf. Genesis 18:25; to execute it in fact. [The term here and in the references seems rather to denote the functions of the Judge, than those of the executor.—M.]

To convict all the ungodly; ἐξελέγξαι, the composite form intensifies the idea, which is their thorough and absolute conviction, not their punishment; the reference is to inward conviction in the conscience. [I doubt whether this interpretation is exhaustive; the conviction of course begins with the conscience, but the intensive nature of the composite seems to imply a conviction that shall bring the convicted to judgment, and entail the execution of the judicial sentence.—M.]

Wherein they were ungodly; ἀσεβεῖν used transitively, cf. 2 Peter 2:6. Winer, p. 236. The guilt of ungodliness is here made very prominent, the same word being used four times, cf. Zephaniah 3:11.

Of all the hard speeches; σκληρός, hard, dry, rough, indigestible [?—M.], used figuratively of daring, impious blasphemy; cf. 1 Samuel 2:3; Malachi 3:13; Numbers 16:26. Differently, John 6:60. This involves even greater guilt than the works which were the result of their ungodly disposition; hence they are named first. In the above-cited passage from the book of Enoch, nothing is said of such hard speeches; but soon after we read: “Ye have reviled His greatness with arrogant, blasphemous speeches of your unclean mouth; ye hard-hearted, ye shall find no peace,” Enoch 5:4; cf. Enoch 46:7.

Against Him.—“Although they did not believe that all their ungodly speeches were aimed at Him.”


1. Those who know the book of Enoch, with its absurd fancies and its coarse notions of the heavenly world, must revere more strongly than ever the chasteness and truth of our canonical writings, and be grateful to the Church for rejecting such clumsy fabrications. In that book we read, e.g., of the giants or tyrants mentioned in Genesis 6:0, that “the women with whom the angels had intercourse, conceived and brought forth great giants 6000 feet [German: 3000 Ellen.—M.] in height. These ate up all the produce of men, until men were unable to sustain them any longer. Then the giants turned upon the men to devour them,” etc. The book is full of the coarsest materialism, stating as irrefragable facts that there are in heaven particular receptacles for the winds, for hail, snow and rain, for thunder and lightning, that there is a literal cornerstone of the earth, and that the sky is supported by columns. Here is something to learn for the modern friends of an extreme realism.

2. The guilt of the heavenly spirits that apostatized from God is the more aggravated, because in their case there was no temptation from without, as in that of men.
3. Those deceivers confirm the old, but in most instances not sufficiently acknowledged truth, that the decisions of the will are not so much the result of thinking and perceiving, as, on the contrary, thinking and perceiving the result of the decisions of the will. Demosthenes (Olynth., II., 32) already declared “that persons accustomed to do mean and bad acts cannot understand a great and powerful thought, and that the thoughts and intentions of men are the reflections of their manner of life.”

4. In reading the account of corruption given in this Epistle, we have to apply the rule belonging to the prophecies of the Old Testament, that the events described in them take place at different times and stages of development before they meet their final and highest fulfilment.
5. “The whole development of evil, as well as of good, grows like a tree, the very beginnings of which contain the same kind in the germ, and foretell the end; but the Spirit of God has, with prophetic vision, described to us the events and delineated the persons for the future.” Stier.


Our curiosity should not lead us to seek to penetrate the mysterious incidents of the apostasy of angels; we should rather take warning from so much of it as is clear.—The necessity of continuing in grace, lest somebody spoil us of our crown.—Whoso rejects the light here and does not walk in the light now, will hereafter dwell in eternal darkness.—Whatever is spoken or written against the servants of God, the Eternal Judge will consider as spoken or written against Himself.
H. Rieger:—It is an old experience of constant and multiform repetition, that the most licentious men are generally also the most impatient of all checks emanating from human sources, that they decry all government and authority as an invention of the devil, and abuse, the liberty of the Gospel as a cloak of maliciousness. [Sensuality and lawlessness go together.—M.]—Those who walk in the way of Cain hypocritically observe the externals of religion and its exercise, but are at mortal enmity with whatever aims at the spirit and the truth, and thus end with being driven away from the face of God.

Starke:—It often happens that the more good God does to man, the more man wanders away from God, Deuteronomy 32:15. But if men resist the goodness of God, He has recourse to severity and justice, Romans 2:4; Romans 11:22.—Unbelief is certainly the greatest sin, and the source of all other vices.—Heaven is a many-mansioned house, John 14:2. Thank God that through Christ we may once more return to our first home, whereas the devils have left their habitation forever, 2 Corinthians 5:1-2.—The life of heaven is a state of liberty, light and peace; the life of hell is a state of confinement, darkness and perpetual fear of more punishment.—Sins that cannot be named in decency, or on account of ignorance, are yet so common among Christians that a preacher does not know whether he ought to speak of them, or be silent, Ezekiel 8:8-9.—O! the mad blindness of men, that will not grow wise by other people’s injury, but will persist in their daring even to the extent of being made examples of the Divine judgment, 2 Chronicles 30:8; Ezekiel 13:4-5.—Although some governments are not what they ought to be, men ought to honour in them the image of God, Ex. 22:38.—True zeal, be it never so great, is always humble and modest, whereas false zeal is defiant and passionate, Romans 10:2.—Jesus uttered His woes on none more than on false teachers and hypocrites, Matthew 23:13. They have the heart of a Cain, a Balaam and a Korah.—Gold and honours are two hooks with which the devil fishes and catches many thousand souls for his kingdom, John 13:2; 1 Chronicles 22:1.—All the feasts of Christians ought by rights to be love-feasts, Nehemiah 8:10.—Can there be anything more unhappy than being rooted out and separated from the communion of the life of Christ? Colossians 2:7.—Think ye that the pagans were allowed to revile their gods, as God is, without let or punishment, blasphemed among Christians? But have patience, Jesus will summon those mighty blasphemers to His bar, and avenge the insult that has been heaped upon Him.

[Literature on Jude 1:9;—

Hecht, Joannes, Disputatio inauguralis de certamine Michaëlis cum Diabolo de corpore Mosis, 4to., Jenæ., 1853.

Nieremberg, N., Exercitatio exegetico-polemica de Angelica super corpore Mosis discrepatione, 4to., Ratisbonæ, 1682.

Bachmann, I. G., De certamine circa corpus Mosis, Crit. Sac, Thes., 2, 794.

Hensel, M. Z., De certamine Archangeli Michaëlis cum Diabolo de corpore Mosis, Crit. Sac, Thes., 2, 797.

Calmet, A., La Mort et la Sépulture de Moyse, Dissertations, Commentaire, 8, 753.—M.]


Jude 1:5; Jude 1:5. [βούλομαι, to wish, to desire. Its force ought to be brought out in a stronger form than the ambiguous “I will.”—M.]

[18] Jude 1:5. [δὲ, not=therefore, but=but.

Kühner: “δέ most generally has an adversative force, and hence can express every kind of contrast. In respect to its signification, it ranks like the Latin autem, between the copulative connectives (τέ, καί) and the adversative (ἀλλά, etc.), since it contains both a copulative and adversative force, and hence either opposes one thought to another, (adversative), or merely contrasts it (copulative). Hence it is very frequently used in Greek, where the English uses and. The new thought being different from the preceding is placed in contrast with it.”

Winer (pp. 472. 473): “δέ never means therefore, then; nor for, nor does it ever serve as a mere copula or particle of transition.”—M.]

Jude 1:5; Jude 1:5. [ὑμᾶς. The force of the second ὑμᾶς is lost in E. V.; it is emphatic, and the emphasis ought to be brought out. “ But I wish to remind you, you who … ”—M.]

Jude 1:5; Jude 1:5. [εἰδότας has a Present sense. They know it once for all, certainly, fully. This thorough knowledge of theirs is the motive of Jude’s reminding them. They know it now; not that they knew it once and have now forgotten it.—M.]

[21] Jude 1:5. Lachm., Tisch. read εἰδότας ἅπαξ πάντα, ὅτιἸησοῦς. So Vulgate. Stier says, that this would be unexampled, unintelligible, remarkabl; that the dark Epistle had been much corrected and glossed. De Wette agrees with Lachmann, following A. B. C. and other authorities, but not in respect of Ἰησοῦς. [The reading πάντα is also sustained by Cod. Sin., several Cursives, Copt. Syriac. It is on many accounts preferable to τοῦτο.

Ἰησοῦς instead of Κύριος is the reading of A. B., several Cursives, Vulg., Copt., Sahidic, Æthiopic and Armenian verss.; also of Didymus, Cyril, Jerome, Cassian, and received by Griesb. and Lachmann. In point of doctrine, it agrees with that of Paul. Cf. 1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 3:7-19; Hebrews 4:1-2.—M.]

[22] Jude 1:5. [δεύτερον, the second time, again not afterwards, as in E. V. The first thing was deliverance, the second destruction. So Engl. Annot., Stier, Peile, Huther, Wordsw., Lillie.—M.]

[German: “But I will remind you, you that have known this once, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, for the second time destroyed those who believed not.”
Translate: “But I wish to remind you, you who know all things once for all, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, the next time destroyed those who believed not.”—M.]

Jude 1:6; Jude 1:6. [ἀγγέλους. The omission of the Article here contrasts angels with men, of whom Jude has spoken in the previous verse. τοὺς μὴ κ. τ. λ. specifies the particular class of angels in question.—M.]

[24] Jude 1:6. [“τετήρηκεν, says Huther, stands in sharp opposition to μὴ τηρήσαντας.” Hence the same word ought to be used in order to bring out the opposition.

[German:—“And the angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath kept for the judgment of the great day with everlasting bonds under darkness.”
[Translate:—“And angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath kept with everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.”—M.]

Jude 1:6; Jude 1:6. [δεσμοῖς , Abl. instr. “With everlasting bonds.” “E. V., 18 times out of 20 (the other exception being Mark 7:35, string) has bands or bonds.” Lillie. Calvin: “ Quocunque pergant, secum trahunt sua vincula et suis tenebris obvoluti manent. Interea in magnum diem extremum eorum supplicium differtur.” Milton, Par. Lost. IV., 75: “ Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell.”—M.]

Jude 1:7; Jude 1:7. [ὡς connected with ὑπομνῆσαι, viz.: “I wish to remind you. … how Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.”—M.]

Jude 1:7; Jude 1:7. [τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις τρόπον=in like manner as these men.—M.]

[28] Jude 1:7. ἑτέρας. “Nowhere else does E. V. translate ἕτερος, which occurs 98 times, by strange.” Lillie.—M.]

[German:—“How Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having whored themselves out in like manner as these, and gone after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
[Translate:—…. having given themselves over to fornication in like manner as these men, and gone after other flesh, are set forth, etc.—M.]

Jude 1:8; Jude 1:8. [μέντοι, omitted in E. V., has adversative force, and should be rendered by some such word as yet, however, etc.—M.]

Jude 1:8; Jude 1:8. [μὲν … .δὲ, on the one hand, on the other. Calvin:—“Notanda autem est antithesis, quum dicit eos carnem contaminare: hoc est, quod minus præstantiæ habet, dehonestare: et tamen spernere quasi probrosum, quod in genere humano maxime excellit.”—M.]

[31] Jude 1:8. [Cod. Sin. has κυριότητας.—M.]

[German:—“Now in like manner these dreamers also defile the flesh, and thus (dabei=therewith, at the same time) reject the dominion and revile the majesties.”

[Translate:—“In like manner, however, these dreamers also on the one hand defile the flesh, on the other reject lordship and speak evil of dignities.”—M.]

Jude 1:9; Jude 1:9. Lachm. reads: ὅτε Μιχαὴλ ὁ ; but we prefer, with Stier, the common reading.

Jude 1:9; Jude 1:9. [οὐκ ἐτόλμησε, did not dare, or dared not, better than durst not of E. V. The former is Lillie’s rendering, the latter that of German version.—M.]

[34] Jude 1:10. ὅσα has distributive force, and is variously rendered quæcunque (Vulg.), quotquot (Laurm.), quæ et quanta (Wordsw.), omnia quæ (Bengel), whatsoever things (Kenr., Lillie).

ὅσα μὲν … .ὅσα δὲ state an antithesis, which should be brought out.—M.]

[35] Jude 1:10. [ἐπίστανται is stronger than οἴδασι of the first clause, cf. Mark 14:68; the former is to understand, the latter, to know.

[German:—“These, on the contrary, revile those things which they know not; but those things which they understand naturally, as the brute beasts, even therein do they ruin themselves.”
[Translate:—“These, however, on the one hand, speak evil of whatsoever things they know not, on the other, whatsoever things they understand naturally, as the brute beasts, in those they corrupt themselves.”—M.]

[36] Jude 1:11. [καὶ τῆ πλάντοῦ Βαλαὰμ μισθοῦ; the construction of this difficult clause, which has the most weighty authorities, is that which takes τῇ πλάνῃ as a Dative of the direction in which (Dodd., Mack. Thom., Scott, Stier, Peile, Wahl, Robins., Wordsw., Lillie), and μισαθοῦ ἑνεκα μισθοῦ, or Oec.’s κέρδους χάριν; (so Wic., Tynd., Cran., Reims, vss.; Grot., Beng., Bloomf., Stier, Winer, Robins., Wordsw., Lillie. al.). See Winer, p. 219, § 30, 10, e.—M.]

[German:—“Woe unto them, for they have walked in the way of Cain, and the error of Balaam with his hire has drawn them along, and in the gainsaying of Korah they have perished.”
This can hardly be called a translation; it is a paraphrase, which takes considerable liberty with the grammar of the original. Translate:—“Woe unto them, for in the way of Cain they walked, and in the error of Balaam they rushed headlong (Beng.: ‘effusi sunt, ut torrens sine aggere;’ Green, Lillie as here), and in the gainsaying of Core they perished.”—M.]

[37] Jude 1:12. Lachm. reads αὐτῶν instead of ὑμῶν, and supplies οἱ before ἐν ταῖς. Stier also prefers on internal grounds the reading “in their love-feasts.” ἀπάταις is less authentic here than in 2 Pet.

[οἱ ἐν ταῖς, A. B., Cod. Sin., G., Syr., Lachm., Tisch. Cod. Sin. has the reading οὗτοι εἰσιν γογγύσται μεμψίμυροι κα (**κατα) τὰσ ἐπιθυμίασ αὐτῶν πορευόμενοι, which Tischendorf characterizes thus: **improb. γογγ. usque πορ.—M.]

Jude 1:12; Jude 1:12. Tisch., al. read παραφερόμεναι, driven fast. The sense is not essentially different [i.e., from περιφερόμεναι, which is certainly an unauthentic reading. A. B. C., Sin., Griesb., Scholz, Lach., Tisch., Words., Alford, Lillie are all in favour of the former. Cod. Sin. has παντί .—M.]

[39] Jude 1:12. [Sin., φθινοπωρικὰ for φθινοπωρινὰ.—M.]

[German:—“These are spots in your love-feasts, carousing together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, driven fast by winds, late-autumnal trees, unfruitful, twice dead, uprooted.”
[Translate:—“These are rocks in your love-feasts, carousing together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, borne along by winds, late-autumnal trees, unfruitful, twice dead, uprooted.”
For reasons see below in Exegetical and Critical.—M.]

Jude 1:14; Jude 1:14. προφήτευσε δὲ καὶ τούτοις (Sin., προεπροφήτευσε). “But for these also prophesied Enoch,” better than “But of these” (German), and E. V.—M.]

Jude 1:14; Jude 1:14. Sin., ὁ κύριος.—M.]

Jude 1:14; Jude 1:14. Sin., ἁγίων . German inserts between brackets after myriads (of angels).—M.]

Jude 1:15; Jude 1:15. Lachm., Tisch. read simply: ἐλέγξαι [following A. B., Cod. Sin., which latter has the variation: ἐλέγξαι πάσαν ψυχὴν; and omits afterwards ἀσεβείας αὐτῶν.—M.]

[44] Jude 1:15. αὐτῶν restored by Tischend. in his last edition, after A. B. G. K., while Lachmann omits it.

[German:—“To give judgment against all, and to convict all ungodly ones of all their ungodly deeds, wherein they have shown themselves ungodly, and of all the hard speeches, which the ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
[Translate:—“To exercise judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, wherein they were ungodly (Lillie), and of all the hard speeches which sinners spake against Him.”—M.]

Verses 16-23

Jude 1:16-23

Contents:—Further description of the persons who were the subjects of the Apostles, prophecies, Jude 1:16-19; followed by an exhortation to edification on the foundation of faith, and to proper treatment of the deceived with a view to their salvation, Jude 1:20-23

4516These are murmurers; complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration46 because of advantage.47 17But,48 beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken49before of the apostles 18of50 our Lord Jesus Christ; How51 that they told you there should52 be mockers in the last time,53 who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.54 19These be they who separated themselves, sensual,55 having not the Spirit.5620But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your57 most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking58 for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22And of59 some have compassion, making a difference:60 23And others save with61 fear, pulling62 them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.63


Jude 1:16. These are, etc.—Jude, as with uplifted finger, points once more to these ungodly men, of whom Enoch prophesied.

Murmurers.ἅπαξ λεγόμενον from γογγύζω, to murmur or mutter, as well as μεμψίμοιροι, to which the former is nearly related. The object of their murmuring is not mentioned. Jude 1:15 seems to intimate that it was their discontent with the appointments and dispensations of Divine Providence, opposition to their superiors, especially in the Church, like the company of Korah murmured against Moses and Aaron, and like Diotrephes. 3 John 1:9.

Complainers.—[German: Discontented with God and the world. Alford following the German versions: “Dissatisfied with their lot.”—M.]. μεμψίμοιροι, properly, fault-finders with Providence, and the lot apportioned to them. From a passage in Theophrast, cited by de Wette, it would seem to be used of censoriousness and discontent in general. Bengel explains it of discontent with God. This word denotes the outward, the former the inward. [Cf. Theophrast, char. XVII. περὶ μεμψιμοιρίας and contrast this character with St. Paul’s spirit and language in Philippians 4:11-12; 1 Timothy 6:6-8; Hebrews 13:5. Wordsw., Philo, Vit. Mos., p. 109, 29, says of the Jews, καὶ πάλιν ἤρξαντο μεμψιμοιρεῖν; Lucian, Sacrif., 1., τῆς ̓ ’Αρτέμιδος μεμψιμοιρούσης ὅτι μὴ παρειλήφθη πρὸς τήν θυσίαν . Hesychius explains μεμψιμοιρός thus: μεμφόμενος τὸ , φιλαίτιος.—M.]

Walking after their own lusts.—The same expression occurs 2 Peter 3:3; cf. 2 Peter 2:10; 1 Peter 4:3. Calvin gives the right connection with the preceding thus: “Those who yield themselves to their evil lusts, are also murmuring and discontented, so that one can never do things right for them.”

And their mouth speaketh great swelling things.—Boastful, impudent words. Cf. notes on 2 Peter 2:18. The book of Enoch contains frequent references to such vaunting speeches directed against God and His appointments; it has the peculiar expression: “and these are they that control the stars and lift up their hands against the Most High.” James 3:5 : Daniel 7:8-20.

Admiring persons.—(German: “Flatterers to the face”); literally,“admiring the faces.” The former is to be taken as a parenthesis. Cf. Genesis 19:21; Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 10:17, rendered by LXX. θαυμάζειν πρόσωπον=פָנִים נָשָׂא, to favour one, to prefer, honour and highly esteem. So Stier, de Wette, Huther. The first and third parallel passages, however, are inapplicable, the reference in them being to God’s dealings with man, and the second relates to partiality, as in Sir 7:29. But as it is not said here whose person they regard, while in other places we have always some qualification, such as the person of the great or poor, it seems more fitting to emphasize πρόσωπα and to explain it with reference to sensuality, the leading characteristics of those deceivers, thus: they flatter the objects of their lust, extol their beauty and thus lure them to themselves in order to use them for their own purposes, not excluding pecuniary advantage. Cf. 2 Peter 2:14, where sensuality and covetousness are intimately connected.—ὠφελείας χάριν should be closely connected with θαυμάζοντες. [“Calvin: “Magnilo-quentiam taxat, quod se ipsos fastuose jactent: sed interea ostendit illiberali esse ingenio, quia serviliter se dimittant.”—Fronmüller’s interpretation of θαυμάζοντες πρόσωπα is very far-fetched. The phrase is a Hebraism and signifies to respect the person in a good or bad sense, to be partial, as a judge unjustly partial or corrupted by bribes; cf. Hebrew and LXX. of Leviticus 19:15; Job 32:21; Job 34:19; Psalms 82:2; Proverbs 18:5; Deuteronomy 10:17; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Job 13:10; Malachi 2:9; where it is used in a had sense. There is no need for the reference to sensuality, for the meaning that they favoured the rich and influential by accommodating their teaching to their prejudices and vicious practices is in perfect keeping with the character of those false teachers in particular, and all time-servers in general.—M.]

Jude 1:17. But ye, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.—As Peter thought it necessary to remind his readers of the Apostolical word in order to protect them from deceivers, 2 Peter 3:2; 2 Peter 3:15-16 :, so Jude feels prompted to adopt the same course. Besides the second Epistle of Peter, Jude may here refer to passages like Act 20:29-30; 2 Timothy 3:1, etc. The primary reference is to their warnings, against deceivers, the secondary to their exhortations to stedfastness and perseverance in the faith.

By the Apostles.—The unprejudiced reader of these words can hardly resist the conviction that this Epistle is not that of an Apostle, even as the author does not call himself an Apostle in Jude 1:1. Sepp’s opinion that he distinguishes himself from the other Apostles by the designation “the Lord’s brother” is sophistical. [I fully concur with Alford that this text is not decisive as to whether St. Jude was, or was not, an Apostle. He might use the expression, being himself an Apostle, and he is certainly more likely to have used it, not being an Apostle. St. Peter, on the authority A. B. C. K. L., al., at 2 Peter 3:3 uses the same expression without the ἡμῶν—“and whichever view is taken as to the genuineness or otherwise of 2 Peter, there could be no intention by such an expression to exclude either the real or the pretended St. Peter from the number of the Apostles.”—M.].—The contrast of Peter’s language (2 Peter 3:2) is remarkable. Jude’s using in the next verse ὑμῖν and not ἡμῖν does not prove anything. [For while it is not certain that he included himself among the Apostles, it is very uncertain whether he intended to exclude himself from their number. So Alford.—M.]. The principal reason why the reference is not to the Lord’s self-own words is stated by Stier, who says that we have the account of the words and works of Jesus from the lips of the Apostles, or on the testimony confirmed by the Apostles.

Spoken before.—The term includes both the priority of their testimony and its prophetical character. [This is the reason why the rendering of E. V. is preferable to the German translation. See above in Appar. Crit. Jude 1:17. Jude 1:4.—Wordsworth: “There seems also to be reference here to the description of the last days in St. Paul’s last Epistle, 2 Timothy 3:1-6, ἐν ἐσχάταις ἡμέραις ἔσονται ἄνθρωποι φίλαυτοι κ. τ. λ. There is a special propriety in this admonitory reference in this Epistle—one of the last of the Catholic Epistles—to the last, warning in the Epistles, of the Apostles of the Circumcision and of the Gentiles, St. Peter and St. Paul. Cf. Oecumcn. on Jude 1:1. Cf. the admonition in Hebrews 13:7 : “Remember your rulers, who spoke to you the word of God,” where St. Paul appears to be exhorting the Hebrews to remember especially St. James, the Bishop of Jerusalem; and St. Jude, the brother of St. James, here appears to be exhorting his readers to remember St. Peter and St. Paul.”—M.]

Jude 1:18. In the last time there shall be scoffers, etc.—Jude here evidently has an express reference to the second Epistle of Peter: for the words which he cites, are almost literally found at 2 Peter 3:3, the only variation being, first: that Peter says,“there shall come”, while Jude has “there shall be.” [See above, Appar. Crit. V. 18, 9.—M.]. But the latter expression occurs also in 2 Peter 2:1. The second variation is Jude’s addition of τῶν , it being, as we have already seen,(Jude 1:16), his aim to give special prominence to the ungodliness of those men. This verse supplies one of the chief proofs of the priority of the second Epistle of Peter. Even de Wette has to admit that such a prophecy cannot be found any where except in 2 Peter 3:3. Huther’s statement that these words need not be considered as a literally exact quotation, but that they may be a compression of the various predictions of the Apostles concerning this subject, is an untenable make-shift. Consider, e.g., the peculiar word ἐμπαῖκται, which occurs only here and 2 Peter 3:3.

In the last time; ἐν ἐσχάτῳ. See notes on 2 Peter 3:3,[cf. Appar. Crit., Jude 1:18; Jude 1:9.—M.]

In ungodliness.—Literally: “After their lusts turned to ungodliness;” so de Wette: “Lusts of ungodliness” (Stier), because the ground of every lust is nothing but some special ungodliness, denying, mocking and rejecting the divine opposed to that lust.

Jude 1:19. These are they who separate [themselves]. Final description of these men by a third, “These are.”

Who separate [themselves].—Ἀποδιορίζειν, to set off by drawing a boundary, to separate. Lachmann and Tischendorf omit ἑαυτούς; in that case we have to translate,“who cause separations, make factions.” So de Wette, Luther.—Huther, on the other hand, justly remarks, that had Jude intended to express that idea, he would hardly have satisfied himself with this one word. He considers ἑαυτούς genuine, and expounds: “They who separate themselves from the Church.” But this hardly suits the description of those men, Jude 1:12, who boldly pressed forward to the love-feasts of the faithful. The correct explanation follows from the next verse: They tear loose from the faith of the Church, and separate themselves from the Church inwardly, although they cannot be separated outwardly by Church-discipline, and indeed all the circumstances of the case point to the impossibility of such discipline being at that time administered in those Churches. [The different readings have been considered in Appar. Crit. Jude 1:19, note 11. The interpretation of Huther is based on an argument, by no means uncommon among commentators, but most objectionable wherever and whenever advanced. I refer to the supposed intention of the sacred writers, with which these commentators seem to be fully acquainted, although I am at a loss to conjecture how or whence they get that knowledge, and suspect, that an appeal to the intention of the sacred writers is a convenient way of enforcing a peculiar view, or of evading a difficulty. Moreover, every thing depends on the fitness of things, as it appears to each particular mind. Huther and Fronmüller think that if Jude had intended to express the general idea, he would not have confined himself to the use of one word; but others, with their idea of the fitness of things, will think that he selected this one word on account of its expressiveness. The fact is, that he did use only one word, οἱ , and since the Definite Article with the Participle Present denotes a habit and state, the Noun separatists, or the verbal form “they who separate,” seem to be in exact agreement with the Greek, while the omission of ἑαυτούς, supported by high authority, leaves us free to limit the meaning of ἀποδιορίζοντες to the men themselves, to extend it to others, or to apply it to both. We incline to do the last, and are supported by Oecumen., Clement of Alexandr., Erasmus, Estius (“Potest absolute sumi, Separantes, id est, qui separationem faciunt tam in cætibus, quam in doctrina.”), Bloomf., Wordsw., Lillie and others. The ancient Catena expounds this word: “Making schisms and rending the members of the Church,” and Hooker (Serm. 5:11) specifies three kinds of separations: “Men do separate themselves either by heresy, schism, or apostasy. If they loose the bond of faith, which then they are justly supposed to do, when they frowardly expugn any principal point of Christian doctrine, this is to separate themselves by heresy. If they break the bond of unity, whereby the body of the Church is coupled and knit in one, as they do which wilfully forsake all external communion with saints in holy exercises purely and orderly established in the Church, this is to separate themselves by schism. If they willingly cast off and utterly forsake both profession of Christ and communion with Christians, taking their leave of all religion, this is to separate themselves by plain apostasy.”—M.]

Psychical (German “Seelische”); ψυχικοί, cf. 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:44; 1 Corinthians 15:46. Persons in whom the earthly life of the soul rules, and the life of the Spirit with its higher powers is subjugated. Paul describes them as “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” Ephesians 2:3. They either live in open sin, or content themselves with outward propriety, while inwardly they are the slaves of pride, avarice, sensuality or other vices. [Alford: “Sensual. We have no English word for ψυχικός; and our biblical psychology is, by this defect, entirely at fault. The ψυχή is the centre of the personal being, the ‘I’ of each individual. It is in each man bound to the spirit, man’s higher part, and to the body, man’s lower part; drawn upwards by the one, downwards by the other. He who gives himself up to the lower appetites, is σαρκικός: he who by communion of his πενῦμα with God’s Spirit is employed in the higher aims of his being, is πνευματικός. He who rests midway, thinking only of self and self’s interests, whether animal or intellectual, is the ψυχικός, the selfish man in whom the spirit is sunk and degraded into subordination to the subordinate ψυχή. In the lack of any adequate word, I have retained the ‘sensual’ of the E. V., though the impression which it gives is a wrong one; ‘selfish’ would be as bad, for the ψυχικός may be an amiable and generous man: ‘animal’ would be worse: ‘intellectual,’ worse still. If the word were not so ill-looking in our language, ‘psychic’ would be a, great gain.”—‘Animal’ has some merit on account of its connection with anima; see Appar. Crit., 5:19, note 11 b. I have rendered “Seelischeψυχικοί, by “psychical,” which sounds and looks better than “psychic,” or the Saxon “soulish.”—Irenæus I., 6. 2–4, reports certain Gnostics of the sub-Apostolic age to have said,“that animal men (ψυχικοὶ) are conversant only with animal things (ψυχικὰ), and have not perfect Gnosis: and they describe us who are of the Church, as such; and they say that as we are only such, he must do good works, in order to be saved; but, they assert, that they themselves will be saved, not by practice, but because they are spiritual (πνευματικοὶ) by nature: and that as gold, though mingled with fire, does not lose its beauty, so they themselves, though wallowing in the mire of carnal works, do not lose their own spiritual essence, and therefore, though they eat things offered to idols, and are the first to resort to the banquets which the heathen celebrate in honour of their false gods, and abstain from nothing that is foul in the eyes of God or man, they say that they cannot contract any defilement from these impure abominations; and they scoff at us who fear God, as silly dotards (cf. Jude 1:10), and hugely exalt themselves, calling themselves perfect, and the elect seed; and they even make lust a virtue, and call us mere animal men (ψυχικοὺς), and say that we stand in need of temperance, in order to come to the pleroma, but that they themselves, who are spiritual and perfect, have no need thereof.”—M.]

Having no spirit.—De Wette says the reference lies to the Holy Spirit, although the Article is wanting. Huther understands the expression of higher soul-life wrought by the Spirit. But in either case we should have a most stale summing-up of the characteristics of those animal-minded men. Surely it is self-evident that persons like those here described, cannot have the Spirit of God and the new life and nature of regeneration. The negative μή, moreover, is decidedly opposed to such a supposition. Had Jude intended to convey that idea, he necessarily ought to have used οὐ; for the writers of the New Testament are more precise in this respect than is generally supposed. Winer, p. 494, sqq. μὴ means: I might say that they have no spirit at all. We might altogether deny their possessing a rational spirit. This is the meaning of πνεῦμα, which, besides body and soul, is one of the constituents of our nature. Hence we may not conclude from this passage, with Bengel, that “the spirit is no essential part of man.” On the contrary, it is that which essentially distinguishes man from an animal, a breath from (out of) God, the noblest part of our nature; but as, in the case of all natural men, it lies concealed since the fall in carnal and animal life, it may be so effectually sunk and buried under the flesh by continual sins, as if it were no longer extant. “Conscience at last becomes blunted, almost to annihilation; the mind is dried up and killed, the higher consciousness lowered to a state of mere animal dreaming, the faculty of cognition ceases to exist.” Stier. This state of induration was the condition of those animal men without spirit; they had almost reached the level of brutes, cf. Jude 1:10. [Alford: These men have not indeed ceased to have πνεῦμα, as a part of their own tripartite nature: but they have ceased to possess it in any worthy sense: it is degraded beneath and under the power of the ψυχή, the personal life, so as to have no real vitality of its own. See Delitzsch, Biblische Psychologie, § 2,“Das neue Geistesleben;” and Beck,“Umriss der biblischen Seelenlehre, p. 35, sqq.”—M.]

As contrasted with those men who had wandered so far from the true faith, Jude now exhorts the readers of his Epistle to give the more heed to building themselves up upon their most holy faith (Jude 1:20). The principal exhortation, contained in Jude 1:21,“Keep yourselves in the love of God,” is surrounded by three participial sentences, two of which at all events are coördinated, viz.,ἐποικοδομοῦντες and προσδεχόμενοι. They indicate the manner how that keeping is to take place. The central Participle προσευχόμενοι may either be joined to the preceding ἐν πνεύματιἁγίῳ and subordinated to ἐποικοδομοῦντες, or be connected with the sequel. Against the former connection de Wette advances three reasons with which we agree: a. The propriety of the thought per se; b. The antithesis to the separatistic lusts of those men abandoned by the Holy Spirit (and their own rational spirit); c. The trinitarian arrangement of the language: to which we add, d. The infrequency of the expression “to pray in the Holy Spirit,” which Huther explains as a praying in which the Holy Spirit is the moving and leading power, and in support of which Bengel cites Ephesians 6:18; Zechariah 12:10; John 4:24. Should it be thought that this construction lessens the force of προσευχόμενοι, its central position admits of its being joined not only to the sequel, but also to the preceding words, provided it be not connected with ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ which would be something different than praying in the Spirit.

Jude 1:20. Building up yourselves, etc.—(German: “Continue to build up yourselves with prayer on your most holy faith.”)

πίστις here, as in Jude 1:3 and 2 Peter 1:1, denotes objective faith, the truths of faith considered as a whole. This follows from the predicate and the verb, by which faith is qualified. The primary reference in most holy faith is antithetical to those unholy scoffers and deceivers, the secondary reference is general, and points to its origin, object and end. “Jude thus addresses the saints just because it is a faith of the sanctified in the thrice Holy One, in whom they are and become holy.” Stier.

ἐποικοδομοῦντες, to build upon it, and to build again, cf. οἰκοδομή, 1 Corinthians 3:9. Faith in God and Christ is the foundation on which we must build ourselves up, ever more firmly in all directions, and into which we must ever root ourselves deeper and deeper. The term implies both strengthening and growth, cf. Hebrews 12:28; Colossians 2:6-7; 2Pe 1:5; 2 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 2:5.

ἑαυτούς not=ἀλλήλους, although that is not excluded. Bengel:—“Who first defends himself, may also save others.”

In the Holy Spirit.—In His communion and power, not in reliance on their own wisdom and strength. [We can hardly agree with the construction advocated in the text, and see really no valid objection to προσευχόμενοι being joined with ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.—Fronmüller’s artificial arrangement strikes us as unnecessary and a distinction without a difference. “To pray in the Holy Spirit” is a clear idea, fully borne out by Bengel’s references, and in perfect keeping with the rest of the sentence. The three participles seem to be coördinated, building, praying and waiting being necessary to keeping ourselves in, the love of God; the parallelism, moreover, is perfect, 1, τῇ ἁγιωτάτπίστει ἐποικοδομοῦντες, 2, ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι, 3, προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος κ. τ. λ. In this trinitarian arrangement, moreover, we have an express reference to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and faith, love and hope grouped round “prayer in the Holy Spirit.”—M.]

Jude 1:21. Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.—The positive expression of the concluding caution of the second Epistle of Peter,“Beware lest ye fall from your own stedfastness.” Compare here the repeated exhortations of our Lord to abiding in His love, John 15:4; John 15:9. While it is true that nothing but the power of God can preserve us unto salvation, cf. 1 Peter 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; John 17:5, it is equally true that we must do our part in this great work of God, and make faithful and good use of our gifts and graces for our sanctification. Hence John says (1 John 5:18),“He that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” “Man also, by exercising himself in the word of God, may strengthen his love to God, and thereby more richly enjoy the love which God has to us.” John 14:21. Rieger.

In the love of God.—This is the genitivus subjecti, in the love which God has to us, in which we are through faith. This explanation agrees best with the verb “keep,” and the reference to the mercy of Christ which follows it. Our love to God is kindled by His love to us. Rieger and Richter connect the two ideas.

For the mercy of our Lord.—Cf. Titus 2:13. Since προσδεχόμενοι points to the future, the allusion is to the mercy by which Christ will glorify Himself in His saints in His great day, Cf. 2 Peter 3:12-15; Hebrews 9:28; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; James 2:13. Its opposite is the fire (Jude 1:23), into which we belong according to our natural state. Even the most advanced Christians confess: “We ask for time and for eternity nothing but mercy.”

Unto eternal life.—This may be connected with ἔλεος, the saving mercy of Christ conducing to eternal life (de Wette), but the connection with “keep yourselves” seems more natural (Huther). [Hardly as natural as the connection with προσδεχόμενοι (Bengel).—M.]—The prominence given here to the Trinity,“Holy Spirit, God, Jesus Christ,” should not be overlooked.

Jude 1:22. And on some, indeed, have compassion, etc.—Now follows a direction for the proper treatment of the weak and deceived among the body of believers. The textual criticism of this passage is difficult [see above Appar. Crit., v. 22:16.—M.]. Adhering to the common reading, the first question relates to the meaning of διακρινόμενοι, which signifies in the Middle, to contend or dispute with one, Acts 11:2; Jude 1:9, but also to be at variance with oneself, Matthew 21:21; Romans 4:20; Romans 14:23; James 1:6; in Active sometimes to prefer, distinguish, 1 Corinthians 4:7; then to cause to differ, to discern, Act 15:9; 1 Corinthians 11:29; and lastly, to judge, 1 Corinthians 11:31. The passage under notice admits only the sense to distinguish, discern, or separate, which it also bears in classical Greek. The meaning would then be clear, as given in the translation,“Separating them from others,” i.e., if you find in some only a spark of the love of Christ, have compassion on them and separate them in your judgment and conduct from others. Stier: “On some have compassion, making a difference, i.e., treating some mildly, others severely.”—ὅς μὲν and ὅς δὲ are often used for ὁ μὲν and ὁ δὲ. Winer, p. 117. If we adopt, however, the more authentic reading: οὕς μὲν ἐλεγχετε διακρινομένους διακρίνεσθαι cannot be taken in the sense of the Vulgate, but either in that of separation (Oecumenius), or better in that of contention. Oecumenius paraphrases: “If they separate themselves from you, before all things reveal their ungodliness.” But it is more correct to render: “when they contend with you, convict them, hold up to them their wrong and perverseness.” De Wette and Bengel make διακρινομένους=to doubt, to hesitate between fidelity to ecclesiastical order and apostasy, and explain the word of the deceived, not the deceivers. Although this distinction is not indicated here, it is evident that the reference cannot be to false teachers, who were described as incorrigible in Jude 1:12, but to weak, contentious and deceived members of the body of believers. Jude from Jude 1:20 onwards, ceases to deal with the false teachers, and refers only to believers. [The New Testament use of the word διακρίνομαι in Middle seems to preponderate in favour of “to doubt,” Acts 10:20; Acts 11:12; Romans 14:23; James 1:6; the note of Bengel on Jude 1:22-23 is as follows: “Tria genera enumerat apostolus eorum, quorum saluti consulere sancti debeant, ac primun quidem genus intellectu laborat; secundum affectuf, vehementer; tertiam affectu, minus vehementer. Itaque I. elenchus sive demonstrate boni et mali debet iis, qui eum dubitationibus conflictantur, et in medio antipitique hærent. II. Quos ignis jam prope corripuit, ii rapida vi, quacumque parte prehensi, servari debent. III. Misericorditer et leniter tractandi sunt ii, que metu solo, et benigna periculi demonstratione, in viam reduci possunt.”—M.]

Jude 1:23. But others save in fear, etc.—ἐν φόβῳ is opposed to ἐλεεῖν; attack them strongly, influence them by motives of fear and terror; delineate heaven and hell to them. Huther thinks of the fear of the persons engaged in saving them: take heed, lest in the attempt to convert them, ye be drawn over to their side, and fall a prey to their ruin. This yields a good sense, but the former explanation is preferable, the same precaution being necessary in the case of the first class of the deceived. [Doubtful whether the explanation commended by Fronmüller is tenable; the word fear seems hardly to describe the disposition of bold assailants, courage would be more apposite. Then the appeal to the fears of the deceived would require διά rather than ἐν; we prefer, therefore, the interpretation of de Wette: “with conscientious solicitude for the Church’s salvation and your own,” and Lillie’s briefer rendering: “In a spirit of fear.” Pricæus in Crit. Sacri: “Festinantes et trepidanles: eorum ritu qui aliquid ex flamma rapiunt, salvate eos: θᾶττον, ut loquitur Artemidorus.”—M.]

Plucking them out of the fire.—Huther understands πῦρ of the ruin in which they already find themselves. But this use of fire is not scriptural. Jude had spoken of eternal fire, Jude 1:7, as had Peter in 2 Peter 3:7. To that he refers back. Cf. Isaiah 1:11. “Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks that ye have kindled.” ἁρπάζειν denotes, as Huther rightly observes, hasty, almost violent snatching away, and indicates that they were already in extreme peril of perdition. So Joshua, the high-priest, is called “a brand plucked out of the fire.” Zechariah 3:2. Cf. Amos 4:11 : “Ye were as a firebrand, plucked out of the burning.” Stier refers to wavering Lot, when the angels took him by the hand, and led him away, half by force, from the burning. [Terence, Andr. 1. 1. “Quæ sese in ignem projicere voluit, prohibui, servavi.”—M.].—The other reading is: ἐλεᾶτε (for ἐλεεῖτε, see Winer, p. 97) ἐν φόβῳ μισοῦντες, where ἐλεᾶτε is to be joined to ἐν φόβῳ, and the latter to be understood of the caution to be exerted by those engaged in saving. Bengel distinguishes the three classes as given above under Jude 1:22, although, as Stier remarks, they cannot be well distinguished.

Hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.—Their compassion and saving activity must go hand in hand with sincere hatred of evil and every thing that is even outwardly connected with it. “Let not the saving love to the sinner do detriment to the hatred of sin.” Stier. Isaiah 52:11.

καί, here in the sense of even. Hence v. Meyer: “Hate, flee even every outward moral impurity and its infection, not only the inward, the flesh itself, but also the seemingly innocent trace of sin.” Bengel: “Hate the contamination which may pass from the flesh of those unclean persons to your outward and consequently also to your inward conversation.”

[Oecumenius: τῷ ἐλέῳ τῷ πρὸς αὐτοὺς συνεπέσθω τὸ μῖσος τὸ πρὸς τὰ μιαρὰ αὐτῶν ἔργα, μισούντων ὑμῶν καὶ βδελλυσσομένων, καὶ τὸν , ἤτοι μεμιασμένον αὐτῶν χιτῶνα ὡς, τῇ πρὸς τὴν αὐτῶν σάρκα προσψαύσει, καὶ αὐτοῦ βδελυροῦ χρηματίζοντος.—M.]

Χιτών, the tunic or inner robe, worn next to the skin; sometimes, however, it denotes also the outer garb. Here the figure of whatever belongs to the outward appearance of men, their mode of life, habits and manner of speech. [But the inner robe, nearest to the person is soiled by the stains of the flesh, that, therefore, ye must hate (Wordsw.). “Animæ videlicet tunica maculata est spiritus concupiscentiis pollutus carnalibus.” Clem. Alex. The expression of Jude is rather hyperbolical than proverbial. Pricaeus: “Ita Apuleius, Formidans, ac procul perhorrescens etiam ipsam domum ejus: ac si diceret, non tantum abhorrens convivium ad quod vocabatur, sed et aedes ipsas in quibus, illud convivium faciendum erat.”—M.]

σπιλόω; cf. James 3:6.


[1. Flattery, pride and partiality mark the hireling; sincerity, humility and impartiality the true pastor (Jude 1:16, cf. John 10:1-17.) “Omnis qui adulatur, aut propter avaritiam vel gloriam adulatur.”

2. The cure of souls, like the practice of medicine, requires a skilful diagnosis of every spiritual disease and judicious treatment. Medicine must be given with reference to the nature of the disease and the constitution of the patient, but the means used must in every case be adjusted to the end, viz.: the salvation of the patient. Seneca: “Aliter cum alio agendum est.” Cassiodorus: “Aegris non una causa salutis est: alter cibis reficitur, alter per abstinentia beneficia tenuatur; hic lavacra mollia, ille ferrum quærit ad vulnera.”—M.]


The knowledge “that thus it must be” (Matthew 26:54; John 16:1) is an admirable support of faith in affliction.—The spirit of scoffing is here represented as rooted not in the understanding, but in the heart sold to sin. The increase of scoffers belongs to the forerunners of the anti-christian time.—“By scoffing men completely break off the sting from God’s truth, which may interfere with their life according to their own lusts.” Rieger:—“It is only by standing fast in the faith resting on Apostolical testimony that we are secure against the stormy flood of the unbelief, scoffing and ungodliness of the last times. The hard struggles of Christians at the close of the Apostolical age with the fearful power of unbelief and scoffing are typical of similar conflicts in the last days before the judgment.—Edifying oneself and others is one of the chief duties of Christianity; complaining and disclosing hurts a poor art.—[“Qui sibi jam consuluit, consulat aliis.” Bengel.—M.].—The way of separation is displeasing to God, Proverbs 18:1.—One of the seals of the truth of our religion is its insisting everywhere on holiness. The evangelical Church is built upon the immovable foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, and not on the quicksand of human tradition.—The edifice of Christianity must not only have a firm foundation, but ever be raised higher and firmer.—The only true progress—going to meet eternal life.—Those who want first to do good works and conduct themselves well, and afterwards to believe in God and put their trust in Him, turn the house upsido down and put the roof on the floor.—If our building is to prosper, it must not be done in our own spirit and strength, but in the Holy Spirit with unceasing prayer.—Prayer the surest and most necessary means for the building of Christianity.—If we have had any experience of the sweetness of the love of God, the monition “Keep yourselves in the love of God” is addressed to us. This is done by opening our hearts to God, by musing on His great Love to us unworthy men, by carefully noting every thing that may hinder or further us in love, and by waiting for the mercy of Christ.—The beginning and the end of evangelical Christianity are alike; every thing from first to last is the result of mercy and grace.—Christianity is an unfathomable sea of the mercies of Jesus Christ. Those who trust themselves to it in penitence and faith will surely reach the haven of eternity.—Suffer yourselves not to be deprived of your part in this life, but wait for eternal life where the treasures of the mercy of God will be fully opened to you.—If we have found salvation in Christ, we are also seized by the desire of saving others; but we should take hold of every man according to his own peculiar wants.—Take heed lest in saving others thou burn thyself!—[“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away.” 1 Corinthians 9:27.—M.].—Divide the word rightly, classify your hearers, although some may not like it.—Our life should be nothing but a constant waiting for and desire of the life to come.

Starke:—O, the miserableness of the walk after one’s own lusts! and yet many, alas!—perhaps thyself also, reader—walk after their own lusts, 1 Timothy 6:9.—A teacher should deal with his hearers fairly, and, as far as possible, in love, for love often achieves more than the greatest punishment. But if the rod gentleness cannot effect any thing, then it is lawful to use the rod woe, Zechariah 11:7; 1Co 4:21; 2 Timothy 2:24; 2 Timothy 4:2. Scoffing is a most fearful sin, for it makes of God and His word pastime and mockery; it will rarely be seen that such scoffers attain to conversion, but in most instances they will be seen to come to a fearful end.—Would that there were not so many, even of the clergy, of whom we are constrained to say that they are carnal and have no spirit, and cannot please God, Romans 8:8-9.—[A sad reflection on the status of the German clergy in Starke’s time; thank God, things look much better there now, and it is one of the greatest blessings of this country that its clergy are conspicuous for godliness of living.—M.].—Living stones must move of their own accord to the building, 1 Peter 2:5. Their architect is God, their level His word, their task-master the Holy Ghost, who dwelleth in them. Fair building, proof against fire and war! Romans 14:19.

Hedinger:—Where faith is the foundation of the Christian edifice, prayer as the fruit of hope, raises it to heaven, and love is its pinnacle and perfection, 1 Corinthians 13:13.—If the offering of incense is to waft a sweet and grateful odour to God, it must be kindled by heaven-descended fire, Acts 2:2; Acts 2:4; Leviticus 9:24; 2 Chronicles 7:1.—Time and people must be distinguished.—The same medicine, be it never so good, does not suit every disease. Would that all sick Christian souls were treated according to their several wants! Let every one in his vocation of love do what he is able to God’s eternal praise and glory, 2 Timothy 2:15.—In the conversion of the ungodly and erring we require special wisdom, that different minds may be treated according to their kind, 1 Corinthians 3:1.—Fire must be removed by fire; although man with all his denunciations is not likely to accomplish much unless God clothe His word with power to strike men with fear and terror, Jeremiah 23:29.—Sparing and waiting will not do; he that saves a soul is like an angel that plucks it from the hell-fire of Sodom, James 5:20.—Those who would convert others should hate and shun sin. Therefore always begin at home in thy efforts to reprove and improve others, 1 Corinthians 9:27.—How few are ashamed to walk in the eyes of God and His saints in the garb of the old Adam and of sin! Shame! Lord Jesus, clothe Thou me with the robe of Thy innocence and righteousness.


Jude 1:20. As in a chain, which is made of many links, if you pull the first, you draw the rest; and as in a ladder of many staves, if you take away the lowest, all hope of ascending to the highest will be removed; so because all the precepts and promises in the law and the Gospel do hang upon this, Believe; and because the last of the graces of God doth not follow the first, that He glorifieth none but whom He hath justified, nor justifieth any but whom He hath called to a true, effectual and lively faith in Christ Jesus, therefore St. Jude exhorting us to build ourselves, mentioneth here expressly only faith, as the thing wherein we must be edified; for that faith is the ground and the glory of all the welfare of this building.—The strength of every building which is of God, standeth not in any man’s arms or legs; it is only in our faith, as the valour of Samson lay only in his hair. This is the reason why we are so earnestly called upon to edify ourselves in faith. Not as if this bare action of our minds, whereby we believe the Gospel of Christ, were able in itself, as of itself, to make us unconquerable and invincible, like stones, which abide in the building forever, and fall not out. No, it is not the worthiness of our believing, it is the virtue of Him in whom we believe, by which “we stand sure, as houses that are built upon a rock. He is a wise man which hath builded his house upon a rock; for he hath chosen a good foundation, and no doubt his house will stand. But how will it stand? Verily, by the strength of the rock which beareth it, and by nothing else.—M.]

Sermon Themes:—

Jude 1:17-18. Reason, not raillery, the proper test of religion. (Shorey).—The extreme folly and impiety of mocking at religion. (Warren).

Jude 1:20-21. The spiritual building. (J. Taylor).—The principles and prospects of a servant of Christ. (A. Fuller).

Jude 1:20-23. Religious errors arising from the abuse of ordinances. (John Miller).

Jude 1:22-23. Growth in sin, or the several states and degrees of sinners, with the manner how they are to be treated. (Jeremy Taylor).

Very valuable are R. Hooker’s two sermons upon part of St. Jude’s Epistle, Jude 1:17-21, an analysis of which may prove suggestive to the reader. He treats of the following subjects: Imperfection of Human Language; Respect of God’s Word, the Test of Love to Him; Neutrality in Religion Intolerable; Ridicule of Holy things a Token of Unbelief; Three Ways by which Men separate from Christ; Our Conduct shows whether we are of the Body; The Papists Charge us with Apostasy; Comparison of Popery with the System of Jeroboam; How the Gospel Spiritualizes our Natural Instincts; Extravagant Building; Edification must begin from Faith; Case of Israel a Warning to the Gentiles; Foolishness of the Roman Doctrine of Merit; Edification depends much on Good Pastors; etc., etc—M.]


Jude 1:16; Jude 1:16. [German:—“These are they, murmurers, discontented with God and the world.” The italicized words are paraphrase and comment, rather than translation. γογγυσταί, murmurers, describes their views of God, μεμψίμοιροι, complainers, denotes their discontent with their lot.—M.]

Jude 1:16; Jude 1:16. German:—“Flatterers to the face” is too free, better, “admiring persons,” which adheres more closely to the Greek θαυμάζοντες πρόσωπα.—M.]

Jude 1:16; Jude 1:16. [German:—“For profit’s sake.”—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. [ὑμεῖς δὲ, but ye. So German, all the old English and foreign versions, except the Dutch.—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. [German:—“the words which were foretold you by the Apostles;” too free, better retain the rendering of E. V.: “which were spoken before,” but substituting “by,” ὑπὸ, for “of.”—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. [German:—“the words which were foretold you by the Apostles;” too free, better retain the rendering of E. V.: “which were spoken before,” but substituting “by,” ὑπὸ, for “of.”—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. [The German omits “how,” which is superfluous; render, “that they told you, etc.”—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. [ἔσονται, shall be; so German, Vulgate, Reims, al.—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. Lachm. and Tischend. read ἐπἐσχατόυ τοῦ χρ. ἐλεύσονται. Stier considers this reading an imitation of 2 Peter 3:3. [It is the reading of A. B. C. and Sin.; but B. C. omit τοῦ before χρόνου, so Meyer and Huther. ἐλεύσονται is marked * * in Cod. Sin. by Tischendorf.—M.]

Jude 1:17; Jude 1:17. German:—“who walk after their own lusts in ungodlinesses.” While it is better to retain the participial construction, with Vulg., Syr., it is also better to bring out the grammatical relation of ἐπιθυμίας and ἀσεβειῶν, and to translate the whole verse: “that they told you that in the last time there shall be scoffers, walking according to their own lusts in ungodliness.”—M.

[55] Jude 1:19. [a. ἐαυτούς, B. C., Vulg., Griesb., al.; A., Sin., Tischend., Lachm., al. omit it. Lillie suggests “separate” without the Pronoun; the sense is hardly affected by the omission, for ἀποδιορίζοντες may be taken with the reflexive force which transitive verbs sometimes do bear (Winer, p. 266), and signifies “separatists,” both in doctrine and Church fellowship.—M.]

[b. ψυχικοί, German:—“Seelische;” the English “animal” on account of its connection with the Latin anima, the French âme, respectively answering to the Greek ψυχή. has something to recommend it, but is not as expressive and correct as “psychical” or “soulish.”—M.]

Jude 1:19; Jude 1:19. [πνεῦμαμὴ ἔχοντες. German: “That have no spirit,” or retaining the Participal construction: “having no spirit.”—M.]

[57] Jude 1:20. C. reads ἡμῶν for ὑμῶν. [Sin. observes the following order: ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτοὺς τῇ ἁγιωτάτῦμῶν πίστει.—M.]

[German: “ …. build yourselves further up on your most holy faith in the Holy Ghost with prayer,” better render with closer adherence to the Greek: “building up yourselves on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Ghost.”—M.]

Jude 1:21; Jude 1:21. [προσδεχόμενοι, “waiting for” (German) better than “looking for”.—M.]

Jude 1:22; Jude 1:22. [“οὓςμέν et οὓςδε rite sibi invicem opponuntur.” Laurmann. The opposition should be marked, and I adopt accordingly Lillie’s rendering: “On some, indeed, have compassion”—M.]

[60] Jude 1:22. C. reads; οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένου0ς; οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες ἐν φόβῳ. A. B., followed by Lachmann and Tischendorf, have three members. 1. ἐλέγχετε (B. ἐλεᾶτε); 2. σώζετε. … ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες; 3. ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ μισοῦντες. De Wette ascribes the last ἐλεᾶτε to a gloss, or the mistake of a transcriber. Vulgate: “hos quidem arguite judicatos.”

[Sin., ἐλεᾶτε διακρινομένους. On the different interpretations of this difficult verse see below in Exegetical and Critical, where the whole subject is discussed.—M.]

Jude 1:23; Jude 1:23. [ἐνφόβῳ, “in fear”, not “with fear” as E. V.—Sin. reads: “ … σώζετεἐκπυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ.” See more below in Exegetical and Critical.—M.]

Jude 1:23; Jude 1:23. [“Snatch” or “pluck” better than “pull.”—M.]

Jude 1:23; Jude 1:23. [The whole verse according to the Sinaitic reading would run thus: “But others save, plucking them out of the fire; and on others have compassion in fear.” So substantially Lachmann, Tischendorf, Wordsworth, Alford.—M.]

Verses 24-25

Jude 1:24-25

Contents:—Conclusion and Doxology

24Now64 unto him that is able to keep you65 from falling, and to present66 you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25To the only wise67 God our Saviour,68 be glory and69 majesty, dominion and power,70 both now and ever,71 Amen.72


Jude 1:24. But to Him that is able, etc.—The praise of God blends with the comfortable assurance that God can and will keep them even to His throne.

τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ this conclusion greatly resembles that in Romans 16:25.Jude 1:21; Jude 1:21 might suggest the doubt “Shall we succeed to keep ourselves in the love of God?” This doubt Jude solves by his reference to the power of God.

To keep you; ὑμᾶς φυλάξαι. Protect you from the perils of seduction, and preserve you in love, Jud 1:21; cf. 2 Thessalonians 3:3. [Alford: “The occurrence of αὐτούς (which is almost beyond doubt the true reading instead of ὑμᾶς of Rec. or ἡμᾶς of A), can only be accounted for by the supposition that St. Jude writes here, as of all to whom he has been addressing himself, in the third person, as if he was praying to God for them. His reason for not using ὑμᾶς may have been his desire to include also in the term those who might be convicted, rescued from the fire, and compassionated, as well as his more immediate reader. But it is hardly likely, in the solemn close of his Epistle, that he should mean by αὐτούς those only.”—M.]

From falling; ἅπταιστος, found only here, from πταίω, to stumble or strike against, cf. 2 Peter 1:10; James 3:2; James 2:10. Stier: “Who does not make or has not made a false step in his walk.”

In the presence of His glory; cf. 2 Peter 1:17. A special manifestation of it will take place at Christ’s coming to judgment.

Set; in that decisive day He will set them on His right hand and own them as His own, 2Th 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Matthew 25:33; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Revelation 1:5-6; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:10.

Faultless; ἄμωμος, Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 5:27; Colossians 1:22; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 14:5. Without the stains of sin, so that even the devil, the arch-blamer, cannot reproach them with any thing, after they have been cleansed and washed, cf. 2 Peter 3:14; Philippians 2:15.

With exceeding joy.ἐν , cf. 1 Peter 4:13; 1 Peter 1:6-9; 2 Timothy 2:10; Revelation 19:7.

Jude 1:25. To the only (wise) God, etc.—Amen.

μόνῳ, cf. 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 16:27; applies to God the Father, cf. John 17:3; Rev. 15:14.

Our Saviour.—A predicate of God the Father, as the above-mentioned clause διὰ Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυριόυ ἡμων is probably genuine, as in 1 Timothy 2:3, and as the Father is called in the Old Testament Saviour and Redeemer, 1 Samuel 14:39; Psa 106:21; 2 Samuel 22:3; 2 Samuel 1:0 Chron. 17:35. He is our Saviour through the mediation of the Son, for διά belongs to σωτῆρι, not to the sequel, cf. Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4. [See Appar. Crit., Jude 1:25, note 5.—M.]

Glory (and) majesty.—[See Appar. Crit., Jude 1:25; Jude 1:6.—M.], cf. 2 Peter 3:18; Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; Revelation 1:6; μεγαλωσύνη, cf. Deuteronomy 32:3, 70 =גֹּדֶל, Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 8:1. His wonderful greatness, as He is called in Scripture the Highest and Most High.

κράτος (German: power), strength. According to Roos, the essential, immovable strength of the Divine Being, which fainteth not, neither grows weary (Isaiah 40:28).

ἐξουσία [German: might), authority. His sovereignty, lordship and rule of all things. δόξα and κράτος are also found close together, 1 Peter 4:11; 1 Peter 5:11; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 5:13. Each of these attributes occurs in connection with one related to it. Stier defines the sense as follows: “The glorious majesty and the greatness of the love of God is praised for the good out of His fulness given, restored and preserved to His own; His mighty power is praised for the conquest of evil unto the victory of salvation attending the former.” We have probably to supply ἔστω, as 1 Peter 4:11.

Amen, similar to the conclusion of other doxologies, Romans 1:25; 2 Peter 3:18; so it is; it is assuredly true.

[The clauses διὰ Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν and πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος have an important bearing, the first being “directed against heretics who separated Jesus from Christ, and did not acknowledge Him as the Giver of all grace from God;” the second as “asserting the eternal pre-existence of Christ against the false teachers.” (Wordsworth); from the latter, says Lillie, may be derived the liturgical formula: “As it was in the beginning.”—M.]


Rieger:—“That which is impossible with men, is possible with God, who gladly uses His Divine power both in the first wakening of faith, Ephesians 1:19, and in keeping us to the end, John 10:28.” “For the good wrought in and by the accomplishment of His purpose of grace, honour and majesty are due to Him; for the evil conquered in and by the same power and might be ascribed to Him. Faith ascribes this doxology now, and hope is assured that there will be abundant cause for it throughout eternity.”

Starke:—God can do all things by His grace; this is the consolation of His elect and servants, Philippians 4:13.—O, eagerly-desired sight of the glory of Christ! Moses desired to see it in this life, and I cherish the same desire; but a sinful, guilty, mortal man may not see it, but in eternity I shall see it and not another, 1 John 3:2; Psalms 42:3, [cf. Job 19:27.—M.].—All the doings of men are evil, if they aim not at the spread of the honour and glory of God, 1 Corinthians 10:31.


Jude 1:24; Jude 1:24. [δέ, but, better than now; δέ here introduces an important thought, and is tantamount to: “False teachers may seek for glory elsewhere, but you will ascribe it all to God through Christ.” Wordsworth.—M.]

Jude 1:24; Jude 1:24. Tischendorf reads αὐτοὺς applying to the deceived. De Wette says that this difficult reading ought to be preferred. He thinks that the author, soaring in devotion, turns, as it were, away from the readers, and yet means them. Untenable. If αὐτοὺς is genuine, it would confirm the view that Jude 1:22-23 refer to deceived believers. [ύμᾶς is the reading of C. G., Rec., Elz., Lachm., Vulg., Syr., Arab., Æthiop., al.—M.]

Jude 1:24; Jude 1:24. [στῆσαι, German: stellen, to set. “The only instance, out of 19, in which a transitive form of ἵστημι is translated present in E. V.” Lillie.—M.]

Jude 1:25; Jude 1:25. σόφῷ, omitted in A. B. C. Sin., and rejected by Griesb., Scholz., Lachm., Tischend., al.; it has probably crept in from 1 Timothy 1:17; Romans 16:27. [German retains it.—M.].

Jude 1:25; Jude 1:25. Griesbach and other reliable authorities add: διὰ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν. So Tischendorf. [It is found in A. B. C., Sin., G., al., and is therefore the authentic reading.—M.]

Jude 1:25; Jude 1:25. [καὶ after δοξά cancelled by Lachm., Tischend., Meyer, Peyle, Wordsworth, al. It is wanting in Cod. Sin.—M.]

Jude 1:25; Jude 1:25. Griesbach and others add after ἐξουσία, πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος. Comprehensive description of eternity. Tischendorf pronounces the reading well-authenticated. [It is found in A. B. C., Cod. Sin., G., received by Scholz, Lachm., Tischend., Alford, Wordsworth, al., but not adopted by Fronmüller; it is the most authentic reading—M.]

[71] Jude 1:25. [εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας, literally, “unto all the ages,” Germ.: “unto all eternities.” The Italian, tutti i secoli, and the French, ‘tous les siècles,’ are the most literal versions.

[German of both verses:—“But to Him that is able to keep you inoffensively, and to set you before the face of His glorious majesty unblamable with exceeding joy, to the only wise God be glory and highness, strength and power both now and in all eternities. Amen.”
[Translate:—“But to Him that is able to keep you from falling and to set you in the presence of His glory faultless with exceeding joy, to the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, strength and authority, before all eternity, and now and unto all the ages. Amen.”—M.

Jude 1:25; Jude 1:25. [The Subscription:—Ιουδα επιστολη καθολικη.. C. al.: του αγιου αποστολου ιουδα επιστολη. L. al.: ετελειωθη συν θεω και η του ιουδα καθολικη επιστολη. δοξα σοι ο Θεος, οΘεος, ο Θεος, ο μακροθυμων επεμοι τω αναξιω δουλω σου. K.: Ιουδα επιστολη. A.: Ιουδα B., Sin. Omitted by many Cursives.—M.]

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Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Jude 1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". 1857-84.