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1. Jude. Rev., Judas. One of the brethren of Jesus; not the brother of James the Apostle, the son of Alphaeus, but of James the superintendent of the church at Jerusalem. He is named among the brethren of the Lord. Matt. xiii. 55; Mark vi. 3.
Servant. He does not call himself an apostle, as Paul and Peter in their introductions, and seems to distinguish himself from the apostles in vv. 17, 18: "The apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they said," etc. We are told that Christ's brethren did not believe on him (John vii. 5); and in Acts 1 the brethren of Jesus (ver. 14) are mentioned in a way which seems to separate them from the apostles. Doulov, bond-servant, occurs in the introductions to Romans, Philippians, Titus, James, and 2 Peter.
Brother of James. That Jude does not allude to his relationship to the Lord may be explained by the fact that the natural relationship in his mind would be subordinate to the spiritual (see Luke xi. 27, 28), and that such a designation would, as Dean Alford remarks, "have been in harmony with those later and superstitious feelings with which the next and following ages regarded the Lord's earthly relatives." He would shrink from emphasizing a distinction to which none of the other disciples or apostles could have a claim, the more so because of his former unbelief in Christ's authority and mission. It is noticeable that Jas. likewise avoids such a designation.
In Jesus Christ (Ihsou Cristw). The simple dative without preposition. Therefore for Jesus Christ; by the Father to whom Christ committed them (John xvii. 11). Compare 1 Thess. v. 23; Philippians i. 6, 10.
Called (klhtoiv). At the end of the verse, for emphasis.
2. Love. Peculiar to Jude in salutation.
3. Beloved. Occurring at the beginning of an epistle only here and 3 John 2.
When I gave all diligence (pasan spoudhn poioumenov). Lit., making all diligence; the phrase found only here. In Heb. vi. 11, we find "shew diligence" (endeiknusqai); and in 2 Pet. i. 5, "adding diligence." See note there.
The common salvation. The best texts add hJmwn, of us. So Rev., "our common salvation."
It was needful (anagkhn escon). Lit., I had necessity. Alford, I found it necessary. Rev., I was constrained.
Earnestly contend (epagwnizesqai). Only here in New Testament.
Once (apax). Nor formerly, but once for all. So Rev., "No other faith will be given," says Bengel.
Ordained (progegrammenoi). The meaning is in dispute. The word occurs four times in New Testament. In two of these instances pro has clearly the temporal sense before (Rom. xv. 4; Eph. iii. 3). In Gal. iii. 1, it is taken by some in the sense of openly, publicly (see note there). It seems better, on the whole, to take it here in the temporal sense, and to render written of beforehand, i.e., in prophecy as referred to in vv. 14, 15. So the American Rev. Lasciviousness. See on 1 Pet. iv. 3.
5. Ye once knew (eidotav apax). Entirely wrong. The participle is to be rendered as present, and the once is not formerly, but once for all, as ver.
3. So Rev., rightly, though ye know all things once for all.
6. First estate (archn). The word originally signifies beginning, and so frequently in New Testament, mostly in the Gospels, Acts, Hebrews, Catholic Epistles, and Revelation. From this comes a secondary meaning of sovereignty, dominion, magistracy, as being the beginning or first place of power. So mostly by Paul, as principalities (Rom. viii. 38); rule (1 Corinthians xv. 24). Compare Luke xii. 11, magistrates; Rev., rulers; and Luke xx. 20, power. Rev., rule. A peculiar use of the word occurs at Acts x. 1, "the sheet knit at the four corners (arcaiv); "the corners being the beginnings of the sheet. In this passage the A.V. has adopted the first meaning, beginning, in its rendering first estate. Rev. adopts the second, rendering principality. The Jews regarded the angels as having dominion over earthly creatures; and the angels are often spoken of in the New Testament as ajrcai, principalities; as Rom. viii. 38; Eph. i. 21; so that this term would be appropriate to designate their dignity, which they forsook.
Habitation (oikhthrion). Only here and 2 Cor. v. 2.
Everlasting (aidioiv). Only here and Rom. i. 20. For a longer form ajeidiov, from ajei, always.
"There the Titanian gods, to murky gloom Condemned by will of cloud-collecting Jove, Lie hid in region foul." Theogony, v., 729.
Giving themselves over to fornication (ekporeusasai). Rev., more strictly, having given, etc. Only here in New Testament. The force of ejk is out and out; giving themselves up utterly. See on followed, 2 Pet. i. 16. Going after (apelqousai opisw). The aorist participle. Rev., having gone. The phrase occurs Mark i. 20; James and John leaving their father and going after Jesus. "The world is gone after him" (John xii. 19). Here metaphorical. The force of ajpo is away; turning away from purity, and going after strange flesh.
Strange flesh. Compare 2 Pet. ii. 10; and see Rom. i. 27; Leviticus xviii. 22, 23. Also Jowett's introduction to Plato's "Symposium;" Plato's "Laws," viii., 836, 841; Dollinger, "The Gentile and the Jew," Darnell's trans., ii., 238 sq.
Are set forth (prokeintai). The verb means, literally, to lie exposed. Used of meats on the table ready for the guests; of a corpse laid out for burial; of a question under discussion. Thus the corruption and punishment of the cities of the plain are laid out in plain sight.
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (purov aiwniou dikhn upecousai). Rev., rightly, substitutes punishment for vengeance, since dikh carries the underlying idea of right or justice, which is not necessarily implied in vengeance. Some of the best modern expositors render are set forth as an example of eternal fire, suffering punishment. This meaning seems, on the whole, more natural, though the Greek construction favors the others, since eternal fire is the standing term for the finally condemned in the last judgment, and could hardly be correctly said of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities are most truly an example of eternal fire. "A destruction so utter and so permanent as theirs has been, is the nearest approach that can be found in this world to the destruction which awaits those who are kept under darkness to the judgment of the great day" (Lumby). Suffering (upecousai). Only here in New Testament. The participle is present, indicating that they are suffering to this day the punishment which came upon them in Lot's time. The verb means, literally, to hold under; thence to uphold or support, and so to suffer or undergo.
8. Yet (mentoi). Not rendered by A.V., but expressing that though they have these fearful examples before them, yet they persist in their sin. Dominion - dignities (kuriothta - doxav). It is not easy to determine the exact meaning of these two terms. Kuriothv, dominion, occurs in three other passages, Eph. i. 21; Col. i. 16; 2 Peter ii. 10. In the first two, and probably in the third, the reference is to angelic dignities. Some explain this passage and the one in Peter, of evil angels. In Colossians the term is used with thrones, principalities, and powers, with reference to the orders of the celestial hierarchy as conceived by Gnostic teachers, and with a view to exalt Christ above all these. Glories or dignities is used in this concrete sense only here and at 2 Pet. ii. 10.
9. Michael the archangel. Here we strike a peculiarity of this epistle which caused its authority to be impugned in very early times, viz., the apparent citations of apocryphal writings. The passages are vv. 9,14, 15. This reference to Michael was said by Origen to be founded on a Jewish work called "The Assumption of Moses," the first part of which was lately found in an old Latin translation at Milan; and this is the view of Davidson, so far at least as the words "the Lord rebuke thee" are concerned. Others refer it to Zech. iii. 1; but there is nothing there about Moses' body, or Michael, or a dispute about the body. Others, again, to a rabbinical comment on Deut. xxxiv. 6, where Michael is said to have been made guardian of Moses' grave. Doubtless Jude was referring to some accepted story or tradition, probably based on Deut. xxxiv. 6. For a similar reference to tradition compare 2 Tim. iii. 8; Acts vii. 22. Michael. Angels are described in scripture as forming a society with different orders and dignities. This conception is developed in the books written during and after the exile, especially Daniel and Zechariah. Michael (Who is like God?) is one of the seven archangels, and was regarded as the special protector of the Hebrew nation. He is mentioned three times in the Old Testament (Dan. x. 13, 21; xii. 1), and twice in the New Testament (Jude 9; Apoc. xii. 7). He is adored as a saint in the Romish Church. For legends, see Mrs. Jameson, "Sacred and Legendary Art," i., 94 sq.
A railing accusation (krisin blasfhmiav). Lit., a judgment of railing; a sentence savoring of impugning his dignity. Michael remembered the high estate from which he fell, and left his sentence to God.
They know not (ouk oidasin). Mental comprehension and knowledge, and referring to the whole range of invisible things; while the other verb in this verse, also translated by A.V. know (ejpistantai, originally of skill in handicraft), refers to palpable things; objects of sense; the circumstances of sensual enjoyment. Rev. marks the distinction by rendering the latter verb understand.
11. Woe (ouai). Often used by our Lord, but never elsewhere except here and in Revelation. The expression in 1 Cor. ix. 16 is different. There the word is not used as an imprecation, but almost as a noun: "Woe is unto me" So Hos. ix. 12 (Sept.).
Ran greedily (execuqhsan). Lit., were poured out. Rev., ran riotously. A strong expression, indicating a reckless, abandoned devotion of the energies, like the Latin effundi. So Tacitus says of Maecenas, "he was given up to love for Bathyllus;" lit., poured out into love.
After. Better, as Rev., in; as, "in the way of Cain." The error was their sphere of action. Similarly, In the gainsaying (th antilogia). In the practice of gainsaying like Korah's.'Antilogia is from ajnti, against, and legw, to speak. Hence, literally, contradiction. Gainsay is a literal translation, being compounded of the Anglo-Saxon gegn, which reappears in the German gegen, against, and say.
12. Spots (spiladev). Only here in New Testament. So rendered in A.V., because understood as kindred to spiloi (2 Pet. ii. 13); but rightly, as Rev., hidden rocks. So Homer, ("Odyssey," iii., 298), "the waves dashed the ship against the rocks (spiladessin)." See on deceivings, 2 Peter ii. 13. These men were no longer mere blots, but elements of danger and wreck.
Feeding (poimainontev). See on 1 Pet. v. 2. Lit., shepherding themselves; and so Rev., shepherds that feed themselves; further their own schemes and lusts instead of tending the flock of God. Compare Isa. lvi. 11.
Whose fruit withereth (fqinopwrina). From fqinw or fqiw, to waste away, pine, and ojpwra, autumn. Hence, literally, pertaining to the late autumn, and rightly rendered by Rev., autumn (trees). The A.V. is entirely wrong. Wyc., harvest trees. Tynd., trees without fruit at gathering-time. Twice dead. Not only the apparent death of winter, but a real death; so that it only remains to pluck them up by the roots.
Foaming out (epafrizonta). Only here in New Testament. Compare Isa. lvii. 20.
Shame (aiscunav). Lit., shames or disgraces.
Wandering stars. Compare 2 Pet. ii. 17. Possibly referring to comets, which shine a while and then pass into darkness. "They belong, not to the system: they stray at random and without law, and must at last be severed from the lights which rule while they are ruled" (Lumby).
14. Enoch prophesied. This is the second of the apocryphal passages referred to in notes on ver. 9. It is quoted from the apocryphal book of Enoch, directly, or from a tradition based upon it. The passage in Enoch is as follows: "Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and to destroy the wicked, and to strive (at law) with all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him." The Book of Enoch, which was known to the fathers of the second century, was lost for some centuries with the exception of a few fragments, and was found entire in a copy of the Ethiopic Bible, in 1773, by Bruce. It became known to modern students through a translation from this into English by Archbishop Lawrence, in 1821. It was probably written in Hebrew. It consists of revelations purporting to have been given to Enoch and Noah, and its object is to vindicate the ways of divine providence, to set forth the retribution reserved for sinners, angelic or human, and "to repeat in every form the great principle that the world - natural, moral, and spiritual - is under the immediate government of God." Besides an introduction it embraces five parts:
2. Parables concerning the kingdom of God, the Messiah, and the Messianic future.
3. Astronomical and physical matter; attempting to reduce the images of the Old Testament to a physical system.
4. Two visions, representing symbolically the history of the world to the Messianic completion.
Ungodly (asebeiv) - ungodly deeds (ergwn ajsebeiav, lit., works of ungodliness) which they have ungodly committed (hsebhsan), and of all their hard speeches which ungodly (asebeiv) sinners, etc. The evident play upon the word ungodly can be rendered but clumsily into English. Rev., translates, All the ungodly, of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. The words ungodly sinners are placed in an unusual position, at the end of the sentence, for emphasis; ungodliness being the key-note of the writer's thought.
Hard (twn sklhrwn). Speeches is supplied. Lit., hard things. So Rev. The railing, gainsaying; the profane and vain babblings (2 Tim. ii. 16). Compare John vi. 60, a hard saying, where the word means not abusive but difficult. In Jas. iii. 4, rough, used of the winds. In Acts xxvi. 14, of Saul of Tarsus; "hard to kick against the pricks."
Complainers (memyimoiroi). From memfomai, to find fault with, and moira, a part or lot. Lit., blamers of their lot.
Having men's persons in admiration (qaumazontev proswpa). The Rev., shewing respect of persons, is neater, but the A.V. more literal: admiring the countenances. Compare Gen. xix. 21, Sept., "I have accepted thee:" lit., have admired thy face.
Beloved. Compare ver. 3.
Ungodly lusts (epiqumiav twn asebeiwn). Lit., lusts of ungodlinesses.
19. Separate themselves (apodiorizontev). Only here in New Testament. Themselves is unnecessary. Better, as Rev., make separations; i.e., cause divisions in the church. The verb is compounded with ajpo, away; dia, though; orov, a boundary line. Of those who draw a line through the church and set off one part from another.
Sensual (yucikoi). See on Mark xii. 30. As yuch denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence, "the center of the personal being, the I of each individual," so this adjective derived from it denotes what pertains to man as man, the natural personality as distinguished from the renewed man. So 1 Cor. ii. 14; xv. 44. The rendering sensual, here and James iii. 15, is inferential: sensual because natural and unrenewed. In contrast with this is The spirit. The higher spiritual life. So the adjective pneumatikov, spiritual, is everywhere in the New Testament opposed to yucikov, natural. See 1 Cor. xv. 44, 46.
22. And of some have compassion, making a difference. This follows the reading, kai ouv men ejleeite (eleate) diakrinomenoi. The best texts, however, read diakrinomenouv, which would require, "On some have mercy who are in doubt. So Rev. Others, again, for ejleeite, have mercy, read ejlegcete, reprove, and render diakrinomenouv, who are contentious: "Some who are contentious rebuke." The Rev. rendering better suits what follows.
23. Snatching them out of the fire. The writer has in mind Zechariah iii. 2, a brand plucked from the burning. Compare Amos. iv. 11.
With fear (en fobw). Lit., in fear; i.e., of the contagion of sin while we are rescuing them.
25. Both now and ever (kai nun kai eijv pantav tou,v aijwnav). Lit., both now and unto all the ages. The best texts add pro pantov tou aijwnov, before all time.