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Bible Commentaries

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Jude 1

Verse 1

Jud 1:1. The writer of this epistle calls himself brother of James, no doubt because of the prominence of James in the Jerusalem church, the man who wrote the epistle of that name. Neither of these men was one of the twelve apostles as is shown in remarks at Jas 1:1. This epistle is addressed to them that are sanctified which means Christians. (See the comments at 1Pe 1:1.)

Verse 2

Jud 1:2. To be multiplied means the blessings are to be very abundant. 1:3 Jud 1:3. The definition "thoughtful activity" has been offered the readers for the word diligence. Jude says he used it in writing this epistle which indicates its importance, also the trustworthiness of him as an author. Common salvation means a plan of salvation that is offered to all people alike, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. Earnestly contend. Both words are from EPAGONIZOMAI, which Thayer defines with the single word "contend"; it means that Christians should "face the foe" wherever he is met. The faith means the New Testament in which the common salvation is revealed. Once delivered to the saints. This denotes that the plan was put into the hands of men (who are saints; Christians) and that once is as often as it had to be revealed.

Verse 4

Jud 1:4. Crept in unawares means they came in some underhanded manner to get advantage over the disciples. Ordained is from a Greek word that means they were predicted in old times, that they would do the things that would bring this condemnation. They misused the grace (favor) of God by making it seem to support their lasciviousness (filthy desires). It would be expected that such characters would deny Jesus Christ because he would condemn their wicked deeds.

Verse 5

Jud 1:5. The importance of reminders is again indicated, for these brethren had known of the history of the Israelites. The point is that it is not enough to start serving the Lord, but it must be continued or He will judge his people.

Verse 6

Jud 1:6. This has the same point as the preceding verse. These angels had a favorable estate at first, but left their own habitation (their proper domain). These are the angels that sinned in 2Pe 2:4, and they are kept in everlasting chains under darkness which means Hades; they will be judged at the last day.

Verse 7

Jud 1:7. Even as denotes that the people of Sodom and Gomorrha will also be punished at the last day. Suffering the vengeance refers to the future judgment day. The last word means a sentence unto punishment the same as 2Th 1:9. The destruction of those cities was for this world only and did not constitute the eternal fire, for that is to come at the day of judgment. But their destruction in Genesis was intended as an example for the warning of others, and when that calamity came upon them they were given this sentence to be carried out at the last day. Strange flesh refers to their filthy immorality as described in Rom 1:27.

Verse 8

Jud 1:8. Filthy dreamers means they had visions of depraved indulgencies which defiled the flesh. Speak evil of dignities is explained at 2Pe 2:10.

Verse 9

Jud 1:9. The reference to Michael is for a contrast on the same principle as 2Pe 2:11. Devil disputed about the body of Moses. All we know about this dispute is what is said here, but we learn from Deu 34:6 that no man knew his burying place; that does not say the devil and the angels did not know. We are not told what was the point in their discussion; the important thing is the mildness of Michael in contrast with the false teachers.

Verse 10

Jud 1:10. This means they act more like beasts than men. (See 2Pe 2:12).

Verse 11

Jud 1:11. Way of Cain refers to his life of wicked selfishness, and they are compared to Balaam because of his willingness to be bribed. Gainsaying means contention for one's personal desires. Such a person is like Core (Korah in Numbers 16).

Verse 12

Jud 1:12. Spots is a figure of speech drawn from a hidden rock in the sea that wrecks the vessels. Jude says they will come to the feasts of charity (love feasts, 2Pe 2:13) for the purpose of feeding themselves. Clouds without water is explained at 2Pe 2:17. Trees . . . twice dead is another figure, indicating something utterly useless; the same is meant by being plucked up by the roots.

Verse 13

Jud 1:13. Raging waves is used because such things make great disturbances but accomplish nothing but threatening appearances. Wandering stars refers to the planets that seem to have no fixed position and these men are like that. Blackness of darkness refers to the "outer darkness" awaiting the wicked.

Verse 14

Jud 1:14. The Bible does not record this prophecy of Enoch, but Jude was an inspired man and knew what he was talking about. Seventh from Adam means he was in that numerical place in the genealogy of Christ. The ten thousand saints include those mentioned in Mat 27:52-53. For complete comments on this subject see those at Rom 8:29-30 in the first volume of the New Testament Commentary.

Verse 15

Jud 1:15. This verse describes some of the work Jesus will do when he comes at the last day. Convince means to convict and punish these ungodly persons. All their ungodly deeds and hard speeches are considered as being against Him.

Verse 16

Jud 1:16. Murmurers and complainers are usually those who wish to walk after their own lusts. They speak great swelling words for their effect upon those whom they think they can deceive. Having men's persons (de-sirable appearances) in admiration. That is, they become "respecter of persons" for their own personal advantage. The whole passage describes people extremely selfish.

Verse 17

Jud 1:17. Another reminder, but this time it is of things spoken before by the apostle. In referring to those who spoke before and mentioning apostles with them, it strengthens the conclusion that Jude was not one of them.

Verse 18

Jud 1:18. A mocker is one who makes fun of that which he cannot meet otherwise. The motive they have is their desire to walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Verse 19

Jud 1:19. Separate themselves. They put themselves in a different class from the faithful disciples by their wicked deeds. Sensual denotes being interested only in things that gratify the senses whether good or• bad. Having not the Spirit because its teaching is against the kind of life they are following.

Verse 20

Jud 1:20. Building up means to edify themselves by the word which is the source of the most holy faith (Rom 10:17). Praying in the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) means to pray according to its teachings in the scriptures.

Verse 21

Jud 1:21. All who keep the commandments will have the love of God, and such persons may expect the mercy of the Lord when he comes to judge tyre world.

Verse 22

Jud 1:22. People should be dealt with according to their ability, and also their opportunity for knowing right from wrong. (See Gal 6:1.)

Verse 23

Jud 1:23. Save with fear denotes a feeling of terror over the wilful doing of wrong by others. Those deserve no mercy especially and should be dealt with sternly in the hopes they may possibly be rescued, just as we would snatch a person from drowning even if we had to grasp him by the hair of his head. Hating even the garment denotes that we should abhor anything that has been near fleshly sin. Jas 1:27 says that pure religion consists in one's keeping himself unspotted from the world.

Verse 24

Jud 1:24. This and the next verse are a form of praise to the Lord that is most impressive. Keep you from falling will be done according to 2Pe 1:10. Christ will present us faultless if we serve him in this life (Luk 12:8), and He will do this with exceeding joy to Him and us.

Verse 25

Jud 1:25. Transferring the praise to God directly Jude says He is only wise. That means that God is the First Cause of wisdom as He is of all things. Glory means grandeur and majesty means greatness. Dominion means domain and power means authority. Jude ascribes these dignities to God to last now and ever.
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Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Jude 1". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/znt/jude-1.html. 1952.