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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament
Jude 1




ἰούδα ἐπιστολή

Instead of this superscription (in A C K) there is found in B only ἰούδα


Jude 1:1. Instead of ἰησ. χρ. (Rec. after A B L א, etc., several vss. etc., Lachm. Tisch. 8) Tisch. 7 had adopted χριστοῦ ἰησοῦ, after K P, etc., without sufficient justification.

ἡγιασμένοις] Rec. after K L P, etc.; instead of this ἠγαπημένοις, in A B א, 5, al., Syr. utr. Erp. Copt. etc., Orig. Eph., is adopted by Lachm. and Tisch. It is true that there are exegetical difficulties connected with the latter reading, but it is too strongly defended by authorities to be on that account considered spurious. Reiche, Schott, Hofmann have declared for it, Wiesinger against it; Brückner is undecided.

Jude 1:3. τῆς κοινῆς σωτηρίας] Rec. after K L P, al.; Tisch. 7 has retained this reading; Lachm. and Tisch. 8, on the contrary, read κοινῆς ἡμῶν σωτηρίας, for which A B C א, 5, al., Syr. Erp. Sahid. Theoph. Lucif. testify. The weight of authorities is in favour of this latter reading; it is possible that ἡμῶν was omitted, in order to give to the idea a universal character.

Jude 1:4. Instead of the usual form χάριν, Lachm. and Tisch., after A B, read χάριτα, which occurs in classical writers only among the poets (see Buttmann, Ausf. gr. Sprachl. § 44. Anm. 1) [E. T. 13].

τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν . χρ., with Griesbach, Scholz, Tittmann, Lachm. Tisch., after the testimonies of A B C 10, א, Lect. 1, 3, Erp. Copt. Sahid. etc., Eph. Didym. Chrys.

The Rec. has after δεσπότην the word θεόν (in K L P, etc., Syr. utr. Thph.), which, however, is a later addition, the more definitely to distinguish δεσπότην from κύριον ἡμῶν. In later MSS. many other variations are found, namely: θεὸν καὶ δεσπότην τὸν κύρ. ἡμ. . χρ., or δεσπότην καὶ θεὸν τὸν κύρ. ἡμ. . χρ., or θεὸν δεσπότην καὶ κύρ. ἡμ. . χρ.

Jude 1:5. After εἰδότας the Rec. has ὑμᾶς; Lachm. and Tisch. have omitted it; it is wanting in A B C** several min. etc., but is found in K L א, etc. It may have been omitted on account of the preceding ὑμᾶς.

τοῦτο (Rec. after K L, etc.) appears to be an explanatory correction instead of the original πάντα, for which A B C** א, etc., Vulg. etc., testify; also Reiche considers πάντα as the original reading. א has ἅπαξ after κύριος, so also several versions, yet after ὅτι κύριος. Two reasons co-operated for this displacement: (1) because ἅπαξ did not appear to suit εἰδότας, and (2) because the following τὸ δεύτερον appeared to require a word corresponding with σώσας. Tisch. on this observes: quae quidem lectio omnino praeferenda esset alteri, nisi incredibile esset ἅπαξ locum post εἰδότας a quopiam correctore nactum esse. Reiche remarks: loco, quem vulgo occupat, testium auctoritate servari debet.

The Rec. κύριος is found in K L, most min. some vss. and Fathers; Tisch. 7 has retained it; Tisch. 8 reads, after C* א, κύριος without the article. A B, several min. etc., have ἰησοῦς instead of κύριος (on this Tisch. 8 remarks: articulum om. et A B et reliqui qui ἰησοῦς praebent); Lachm. and Buttm. have adopted ἰησοῦς; C** and Lucif. read θεός. The reading ἰησοῦς (instead of κύριος) is indeed very strange, but might for this reason be changed into the other readings.

Jude 1:6. Instead of τε after ἀγγέλους (Tisch.), A, some min. etc., have δέ. Lachm. has δέ in the text-edition; but, on the other hand, in the larger edition he has rightly again adopted τε.

Jude 1:7. τούτοις τρόπον] Rec. after K L, etc.; a correction instead of τρόπον τούτοις (Lachm. Tisch.) in A B C א, many min. etc.

Jude 1:9. Instead of δὲ ΄ιχ. ἀρχάγγελος, ὅτε, Lachm., against the testimony of A C K L א, etc., has adopted, after B, ὅτε ΄ιχ. ἀρχ. τότε.

Jude 1:12. A B, 13, al., m. edd. Syr. utr. (Copt.?) etc., read after οὗτοί εἰσιν the relative οἱ, which Griesbach considers as probably genuine, and Lachm. and Tisch. have rightly adopted into the text;1(5) the omission must be considered as an explanatory correction.

ἀγάπαις] instead of which A C and some min. read ἀπάταις; a correction after 2 Peter 2:13.

ὑμῶν] Lachm. has in the small edition αὐτῶν, after A, etc., but in the larger edition the Rec. ὑμῶν, which is sufficiently attested by B C K L א, etc.; the reading αὐτῶν, which Stier without reason considers as original, is explained from 1 Peter 2:13.

Instead of ὑπὸ ἀνέμων, א reads παντὶ ἀνέμω; an evident correction.

παραφερόμεναι] is already by Griesb. Scholz, etc., after almost all authorities, rightly adopted into the text instead of the Rec. περιφερό΄εναι.

Jude 1:13. ἄγρια κύ΄ατα is in א instead of κύ΄ατα ἄγρια, which is attested by all authorities.

Buttmann has, after B, adopted πλανῆτες instead of πλανῆται, and ζόφος instead of ζόφος; as the other authorities, so also א testifies for the reading of the Rec.

εἰς αἰῶνα] after A B C א, etc., instead of the Rec. εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.

Jude 1:14. Instead of the form προεφήτευσε, attested by almost all authorities, Tisch. has, after B*, adopted ἐπροφήτευσε.

ἁγίαις ΄υριάσιν] after A B K L, etc., instead of the Rec. μυριάσιν ἁγίαις in C in א the reading is μυριάσιν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων.

Jude 1:15. ἐλέγξαι] after A B C K L א, etc., instead of the Rec. ἐξελέγξαι.

After ἀσεβεῖς the Rec. has αὐτῶν, found in K L, some min. vss. and Fathers; retained by Tischendorf,(6) and defended by Reiche; on the other hand, it is wanting in A B C (Lachm.); its spuriousness is scarcely to be doubted.

ἀσεβείας αὐτῶν is wanting in א; ἀσεβείας in C the omission is easily explained.

Tisch. 8 inserts after τῶν σκληρῶν the word λόγων, after C א, and many min.; it is wanting in most authorities (Tisch. 7); it appears to have been added from a regard to the preceding τῶν ἔργων.

Jude 1:18. After ἔλεγον ὑμῖν Tisch. 7, after A C K L, etc., has ὅτι (Rec.); Tisch. 8 has omitted it after B L* א; so also Lachm. in his larger edition, but hardly correctly.

Instead of the Rec. ἐν ἐσχάτῳ χρόνῳ (K L P, some min. and Oecumenius), which is an explanatory correction, Lachm. and Tisch. have rightly adopted ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τοῦ χρόνου; the article τοῦ is found in A א, al., etc.; its omission is easily explained, because ἐσχάτου was taken for an adjective.

ἔσονται] Whilst Lachm. in his small edition instead of it reads ἐλεύσονται, he has in the large edition rightly adopted the reading of the Rec. The reading ἐλεύσονται (in A C** etc.) is a correction after 2 Peter 3:3. א has primo manu ἔσονται; on the other hand corrected ἐλεύσονται.

Jude 1:19. After ἀποδιορίζοντες the Rec. has ἑαυτοῖς (C, Vulg. Aug.); an evident correction.

Jude 1:20. Instead of the Rec. τῇ ἁγιωτ. ὑμῶν πίστει ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτούς (K L P, al., pl. Syr. etc.), Lachm. and Tisch. read ἐποικοδο΄οῦντες ἑαυτ. τῇ ἁγ. ὑ΄. π. (A B C א, al., several vss. etc.).

Jude 1:22-23. The readings are here very various. The Rec. has καὶ οὓς ΄ὲν ἐλεεῖτε διακρινό΄ενοι· οὓς δὲ ἐν φόβῳ σώζετε, ἐν τοῦ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες. This reading is found in K L P (only τοῦ before πυρός is omitted); A reads καὶ οὓς ΄ὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινο΄ένους, οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεεῖτε ἐν φόβῳ; Lachm. and Tisch. have adopted this reading, only that instead of ἐλεεῖτε they read, with B: ἐλεᾶτε.

B deviates in this, that in Jude 1:22 it reads not ἐλέγχετε, but ἐλεᾶτε (so also א); in Jude 1:23 it omits the first οὓς δέ, and instead of ἐλεεῖτε has the form ἐλεᾶτε; C agrees on the whole with A, yet C** has in Jude 1:22 ἐλεᾶτε, as B, and in Jude 1:23 the words οὓς δὲ ἐλεεῖτε are wanting in C. The reading of A is held as the original by Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, Reiche, because the other readings can be most easily explained from it; Hofmann, on the contrary, prefers the reading in א, which is found also in B, only with the inadvertent omission of the words οὓς δέ after διακρινο΄ένους; whilst de Wette thinks that the original reading is preserved in C. The reading in B probably lies at the foundation of the reading in K L P the twofold ἐλεᾶτε was naturally objectionable, and therefore the words οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε were left out, διακρινο΄ένους changed into the nominative, and ἐν φόβῳ placed before σώζετε. For further observations, see the exposition.

Jude 1:24. Instead of ὑ΄ᾶς (ed. Elz.; A C L א, al., perm. several vss. Theoph. etc., Lachm. Tisch. 8), Tisch. 7 had, after K P, al., etc., hardly correctly adopted αὐτούς; A has ἡ΄ᾶς.

Jude 1:25. ΄όνῳ θεῷ is correctly adopted by Griesbach, after A B C א, 6, al., Syr., etc., instead of the Rec. ΄όνῳ σοφῷ θεῷ; σοφῷ is evidently borrowed from Romans 16:27, and is without reason defended by Reiche.

διὰ ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ κυρίου ἡ΄ῶν is likewise adopted by Griesbach (after A B C, etc.), whilst the words are wanting in the Rec.

The Rec. between δόξα and ΄εγαλωσύνη has καί after K L P, etc., which is correctly omitted by recent critics; on the other hand, the words πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος, wanting in the Rec., are attested by almost all authorities.

The subscription of the Epistle is in B: ἰούδα; in C: ἰούδα ἐπιστολὴ καθολική; and in A: ἰούδα ἐπιστολή.

Verse 1-2

Jude 1:1-2. The superscription is in form similar to that of the Epistles of Paul and Peter: ἰούδας ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ δοῦλος κ. τ. λ.] δοῦλος, as its position and Romans 1:1, Philippians 1:1, James 1:1 (see also Titus 1:1), show, denotes not the general service of believers to Christ (Schott), but the special service of those appointed to the gospel ministry. The more definite statement of office is here wanting; as the author is not the Apostle Jude (see Introd. sec. 1), so that his position in the Christian church is to be regarded as similar to that which a Barnabas, an Apollos, and others occupied, who, without being apostles in the narrower sense of the term, yet exercised a ministry similar to the apostolic.

With the first appellation the second ἀδελφὸς ἰακώβου is connected by δέ (see Titus 1:1), which, although not precisely a contrast (Schott), yet marks a distinction. This appellation serves not only to indicate who this Jude is (Arnaud), but likewise to justify his writing. Jude does not call himself “the brother of the Lord,” because his bodily relation to Christ stepped behind his spiritual, perhaps also because that surname already specially belonged to James.

τοῖς ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγαπημένοις [ ἡγιασμένοις] καὶ κ. τ. λ.] According to the reading ἡγιασμένοις, ἐν expresses not the mere instrument of holiness, but holiness as consisting in fellowship with God. The participle is either substantive, co-ordinate to the following ἰησοῦ χριστῷ τετηρημένοις κλητοῖς, or adjective, which is more probable on account of the similar participial form, τετηρημένοις.

According to the reading ἠγαπημένοις, ἐν θεῷ πατρί may denote the sphere within which the readers are ἠγαπημένοι, namely, by the writer. Against the opinion of de Wette, “that in this objective designation the subjectivity of the author cannot be mixed,” Colossians 1:2 might be appealed to, where Paul names the readers of his Epistle ἀδελφοί, that is, the brethren of himself and Timotheus (see also 2 John 1:1 and 3 John 1:1); but in relation to what follows: καὶ ἰησ. χρ. τετηρημένοις, this view is correct.

In the Vulgate, τοῖς ἐν θεῷ πατρί is taken as an idea by itself: his qui sunt in Deo Patre, etc.; and then to this idea the two attributes are added: ἠγαπημένοις and ἰησ. χρ. τετηρ. κλητοῖς. Apart from its harshness, not only is it opposed to this construction that by it the parallelism (incorrectly denied by Schott) of the two members of the clause—which is strongly indicated both by the form of the sentence and also by ἐν τῷ πατρί in reference to the following ἰησοῦ χριστῷ—is destroyed, but also ἠγαπημένοις would then be without any proximate statement. The same is also the case when it is assumed, with Rampf and Schott, that the participles ἠγαπημένοις and . χ. τετηρημένοις are equally subordinate to ἐν θεῷ πατρί, and explained as expressing “the living ground on which the called possess that which is expressed in the two participles” (Schott). The supplying of ὑπὸ θεοῦ or παρὰ θεῷ, necessary for this view, is at all events arbitrary; moreover, the juxtaposition of τοῖς ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἰησ. χριστῷ τετηρημένοις is extremely harsh.

It is incorrect to take ἐν as equivalent to ὑπό (Hensler); ἐν is rather to be retained in its proper signification, in which it is entirely suitable to the idea ἀγαπᾶσθαι, as the love which proceeds from any person dwells in him, the κλητοί as they are loved by God so are they loved in God. Hofmann incorrectly explains it: “who have been accepted in love by God;” for ἀγαπᾷν never has this meaning, not even in the passages cited by Hofmann: 1 Thessalonians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 3:12.

God is called πατρί in His relation to Christ, not to men: see Philippians 2:11; Galatians 1:1; and Meyer on the latter passage.

καὶ ἰησοῦ χριστῷ τετηρημένοις κλητοῖς] The dative ἰησ. χριστῷ is not dependent on an ἐν to be supplied from ἐν θεῷ πατρί (Luther: preserved in Jesus Christ). Hofmann indeed appeals for this supplement to Kühner, Gr. II. p. 477; but incorrectly, as this is rendered impossible by ἠγαπημένοις intervening. What Kühner says could only be the case were it written: ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ καὶ ἰησοῦ χριστῷ ἠγαπημένοις. Also ἰησοῦ χριστῷ is not the causative dative with the passive, instead of ὑπό with the genitive, but the dative commodi: for Christ (Bengel, de Wette, Wiesinger, Schott, and others). The participle τετηρημένοις is used neither instead of the present participle, as Grotius thinks, nor is it here to be understood of the act completed before God (de Wette, Wiesinger); but it simply denotes that which has taken place up to the time when the Epistle was written; thus: “to the called, who have been kept for Christ;” namely, in order to belong to Him in time and in eternity (so also Schott).(7) The idea τετηρ. is completely explained from the falling away from Christ which had taken place among so many; see Jude 1:4; comp. also John 17:11; 1 Peter 1:5.

Although ἐν θεῷ πατρί cannot be grammatically connected with τετηρημένοις, and although it primarily belongs to ἠγαπημένοις, yet it indicates by whom the preservation has taken place; Hornejus: quos Deus Pater … Christo … donavit et asservavit huc usque, ne ab impostoribus seducerentur et perirent.

κλητοῖς] a designation in the Pauline sense of those who have not only heard the gospel, but have embraced it by faith; see Meyer on 1 Corinthians 1:24. Jude 1:2. ἔλεος κ. τ. λ.] The word ἔλεος is used in the formula of salutation only here and in the Pastoral Epistles. The addition καὶ ἀγάπη is peculiar to Jude. The relation of the three terms is thus to be understood: ἔλεος is the demeanour of God toward the κλητοί; εἰρήνη their condition founded upon it; and ἀγάπη their demeanour proceeding from it as the effect of God’s grace. Accordingly ἀγάπη is used here as in Ephesians 6:23 (see Meyer in loco); only here the love is to be limited neither specially to the brethren (Grotius), nor to God (Calov, Wiesinger). Still ἀγάπη may also be the love of God to the κλητοῖς; comp. Jude 1:21 and 2 Corinthians 13:13 (14) (so Hornejus, Grotius, Bengel, de Wette-Brückner, Schott, and others). No ground of decision can be derived from πληθυνθείη. With the reading ἠγαπημένοις the second explanation merits the preference, although the position of this expression after εἰρήνη is somewhat strange. On πληθυνθείη, see 1 Peter 1:2; this form is apparently derived from Dan. 3:31.

Verse 3-4

Jude 1:3-4. Statement of the reason which determined Jude to write this Epistle: comp. on this 2 Peter 1:12 f., 2 Peter 3:1 f.

ἀγαπητοί] found at the beginning of an Epistle only here and in 3 John 1:2.

πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος κ. τ. λ.] Giving all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, I felt constrained to write to you, exhorting you to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Pricaeus, Lachmann, Buttmann put a comma after the first and after the second ὑμῖν, so that περὶσωτηρίας is connected with ἀνάγκην ἔσχον, and παρακαλῶν, etc., is separated from γράψαι. Most expositors, on the contrary, as Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, de Wette, Wiesinger, etc., connect περὶ σωτηρίας with the preceding γράφειν, and unite παρακαλῶν with γράψαι. Not only the position of the words, but also the train of thought decides for this latter arrangement; for since, according to Jude 1:4, the ἀνάγκη, inducing the author to write this Epistle, consisted in the appearance of wicked men, so it is evidently more suitable to connect γράψαι with παρακαλῶν ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι, having special reference to it, than with the general idea περὶ τῆς κοινῆς σωτηρίας, particularly as the contents of the Epistle are anything but a treatise concerning the common salvation.(8) The preceding participial clause states in what condition Jude was when the ἀνάγκην ἔχειν came upon him; the σπουδή to write already existed when the entrance of certain ungodly men constrained him not to write generally περὶ τῆς κοινῆς σωτηρίας, but to compose such a hortative Epistle as the present. Some expositors incorrectly think that the ἀνάγκη had its reason in the σπουδή (Erasmus: tantum mihi studium fuit, ut non potuerim non scribere vobis); others, that to the σπουδή the ἀνάγκη supervened as a new point; so Hornejus: cum summum mihi esset studium scribendi ad vos aliquid de communi nostrum omnium salute, etiam necessitas insuper scribendi imposita fuit, quae autem illa sit, statim addit (so also Calvin and others). De Wette (with whom Brückner agrees) considers that Jude by the first clause expresses that “he 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 the present Epistle;” but the expression πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος does not necessarily involve actual writing.(9)

σπουδὴν ποιεῖσθαι is only found here in the N. T. (2 Peter 1:5 : σπουδὴν πᾶσαν παρεισφέρειν; prologue to Ecclus.: προσφέρειν τινὰ σπουδήν); the meaning is: to be eagerly solicitous about something; it may refer both to mental activity and to external action; here the former is the case. Luther’s translation: “After I purposed,” is too flat; Meyer’s is better: “since it lies pressingly upon my heart.”

πᾶσαν serves, as frequently, for the strengthening of the idea.

The participle ποιούμενος, in connection with the aorists ἔσχον γράψαι, is to be taken as the imperfect participle. Stier incorrectly translates: “when engaged in it I would take diligence.” It expresses the activity which took place, when the action expressed by the finite verb occurred and therefore must not be resolved, with Haenlein, into the perfect or pluperfect.

περὶ τῆς κοινῆς ἡμῶν σωτηρίας] states on what Jude intended to write. On κοινῆς, comp. Titus 1:4; 2 Peter 1:1. There is no reason to refer the idea, with Semler, to the Jews and Gentiles, as the object common to both.

σωτηρία, not the doctrine of salvation (Jachmann), but the salvation itself, acquired by Christ for the world, and applied to believers. The explanation of Beza: de iis quae ad nostram omnium salutem pertinent, deviates from strict precision, as σωτηρία itself is indicated by Jude as the object of writing. Schott incorrectly explains σωτηρία, state of salvation, possession of salvation.

ἀνάγκην ἔσχον] Comp. Luke 14:10; Luke 23:17; 1 Corinthians 7:37. The explanation of Grotius is inaccurate: nihil potius habui, quod scriberem, quam ut, etc. The translation of Luther is too flat: “I considered it necessary;” for in ἀνάγκην ἔχειν is contained the idea of an objective necessity founded on duty, circumstances, etc. (de Wette, Wiesinger, Schott). The meaning here is: the entrance of false teachers constrained me, made me to recognise it as necessary. On the one hand, Semler inserts a strange reference, paraphrasing it: accidit interea inopinato, ut statuendum mihi … esset; and, on the other hand, Schott, who, in order to emphasize the contrast between the two members of the sentence, finds in ἀνάγκ. ἔσχον the thought expressed that Jude wrote this Epistle unwillingly, contrary to his inclination.

γράψαι ὑμῖν παρακαλῶν] παρακαλῶν is closely united to γράψαι, as indicating the kind of writing to which the author felt constrained by circumstances; therefore no comma is to be put after ὑμῖν.

ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι τῇπίστει] ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι, a ἅπ. λεγ., as συναθλέω, Philippians 1:27, connected with the dative of the object which is contended for; Stier: “to fight for the faith;” comp. Sirach 4:28 : ἀγωνίζειν περί.

πίστις is not = doctrina, system of doctrine; nor yet does it here denote the subjective quality of the believing disposition; but that which is believed by Christians ( τοῖς ἁγίοις), the objective contents of faith. Schott is incorrect in explaining it: “the conduct arising from faith;” for the notion of conduct does not suit παραδοθείσῃ. The explanation: the way of salvation (Hofmann), is also wanting in correctness; it is not proved by Galatians 3:23.

As the subject to παραδοθείσῃ, by whom the communication or transmission was effected, God (Bengel) is not here to be thought of, but the apostles, as Jude 1:17 shows; 2 Peter 2:21; Luke 1:2 (comp. also 1 Corinthians 11:2; 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Corinthians 15:3); yet the author does not name them, because “he is not concerned here with the personal instruments, but with the mode and manner of transmission contained in ἅπαξ” (Schott). τοῖς ἁγίοις are not the apostles (Nic. de Lyra), but Christians.

ἅπαξ brings prominently forward the fact that as it once took place, so there is now an end to the παράδοσις; Bengel: nulla alia dabitur fides. Jachmann incorrectly explains it by ἤδη, olim, jam, appealing to Jude 1:5 and Hebrews 6:4. According to Hofmann’s view, ἅπαξ is used “with reference to the preceding intention of Jude to present to the readers a writing having the common salvation as its object;” but this reference is not indicated.(10)

Verse 4

Jude 1:4. Compare 2 Peter 2:1-3.

παρεισέδυσαν γάρ] the reason of ἀνάγκην ἔσχον. παρεισέδυσαν marks the entrance of false teachers into the church as a secret and unauthorized creeping in of such as do not properly belong to it, but are internally foreign to it (comp. Galatians 2:4 : παρείσακτοι, explained by the scholiasts by ἀλλότριοι); it is synonymous with παρεισέρχεσθαι; comp. 2 Timothy 3:6.

τινες ἄνθρωποι] In the same indefiniteness the false teachers are also mentioned in 1 Timothy 1:6. Arnaud observes: le mot τινες a quelque chose de méprisant, comme dans Galatians 2:12; so also Wiesinger and Schott; this is possible; but the appeal to Galatians 2:12 is unjustified. That the expression ἄνθρωποι is used in order to bring forward the fact that they “with their entrance into the church remained in their natural state” (Schott), is highly improbable. Hofmann unnecessarily separates τινες from ἄνθρωποι, taking ἄνθρωποι, οἱ κ. τ. λ., as in apposition to τινες.

οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα] By the participle with the article a peculiar circumstance worthy of remark concerning these men is brought forward (Winer, p. 127 [E. T. 167]); but not, as Schott, after Rampf, arbitrarily maintains, “a mark perfectly clear to the readers is given for the recognition of those who are meant;” the article being equivalent to isti, those notorious men.

προγεγραμμένοι] The preposition προ in this verb indicates either antea, earlier, before; thus always in the N. T.; see Galatians 3:1 (comp. Meyer in loc.); Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:3; or palam. If it has this last meaning, then προγράφειν signifies “to announce something publicly by writing;” thus in an entirely special sense proscribere; accordingly Wolf explains it: qui dudum sunt accusati et in hoc judicium ( εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα) vocati. Yet this is inaccurate, as the peculiar idea of proscribere is not retained; for, if retained, it would not suit εἰς τ. τ. κρίμα. Yet more arbitrarily Wahl explains προγράφειν by designare. Oecumenius, Hornejus, and others have correctly taken προ here as a preposition of time. According to Isaiah 4:3, LXX.: οἱ γραφέντες εἰς ζωήν, the sense might be: those who are written before (as in God’s book of fate, and consequently destined) εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα (Calvin: haec metaphora inde sumpta est, quod aeternum Dei consilium, quo ordinati sunt fideles ad salutem, Liber vocatur); but the term πάλαι is unsuitable, as it is never in the N. T. used of God’s eternal counsels. προγράφειν is here rather to be understood entirely as in the adduced passages of the N. T.; and with de Wette a pregnancy of expression is to be assumed; thus: those who are already before by writing destined to this judgment. Hofmann explains προγεγραμμένοι according to John 1:46 compared with John 5:46 ( γράφειν τινα = γρ. περί τινος): “those of whom it is written before;” and then εἰς τοῦτο τ. κρ. = “in reference to this judgment;” but with regard to the former it is to be remarked, that the form of expression here is different from John 1:46; and with regard to the latter, that by it a weakening of the preposition in its direct connection with προγεγραμμένοι takes place.(11) Oecumenius refers this to the prophecies concerning future false teachers contained in the Epistles of Paul and Peter. Grotius, Schott, Hofmann, and others point particularly to 2 Peter 2. But πάλαι combined with προγεγρ. evidently points back to an earlier period,(12) so that only older prophecies can be meant, namely, the prophecies and types of the O. T., and perhaps particularly the prophecies contained in the Book of Enoch: see Jude 1:14 (so also Wiesinger). Against Calvin and Beza, who find the idea of the decretum aeternum here expressed, Bengel remarks: non innuitur praedestinatio, sed scripturae praedictio.

εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα] Although κρίμα in itself is not equivalent to κατάκριμα, yet here a condemnatory judgment is meant; τοῦτο, namely, that which Jude has in view, and which is indicated in the following verse; Stier: “for this judgment, which I now announce to them;” Arnaud: il y a τοῦτο, parceque cette punition est l’objet qui l’occupe. It is incorrect, with Wiesinger and Hofmann, to refer τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα to παρεισέδυσαν, as something including judgment in itself; or, with Schott, to the “damnable error of those men,” specified in the words τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ κ. τ. λ.; for neither the entering in nor the error can in themselves be called a κρίμα.

ἀσεβεῖς] to be taken by itself; not to be united with οἱ προγεγραμμένοι (against Tischendorf, who has placed no comma before ἀσεβεῖς). The ungodliness of these men is further indicated, according to its nature, by the participial clauses which follow (comp. 2 Peter 2:6).

τὴν τοῦ θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριν κ. τ. λ.] who pervert the grace of our God into lasciviousncss. χάρις, not = doctrina gratiae (Vorstius), nor evangelium (Grotius), nor fides catholica nobis gratis data (Nicolas de Lyra); but grace itself as the proffered gift of God in the forgiveness of sin and redemption from the law; so also Wiesinger, Fronmüller, Hofmann. It is incorrect to explain the idea by “the life of grace” (de Wette-Brückner), or by “the ordinances of grace” (Schott). ἡμῶν, belonging to τοῦ θεοῦ, is to be understood as an expression of the feeling of sonship; Bengel: nostri, non impiorum.

In μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν, ἀσέλγ. is either the purpose of the change of the grace of God, or that into which grace is changed. In the former case μετατίθημι here would in itself have a bad subsidiary meaning (de Wette: “who pervert the grace of our God for the purpose of licentiousness”); but it never elsewhere so occurs in the N. T. Accordingly, the second explanation is better (Brückner), according to which the meaning is: they have converted the χάρις, which God gave to them, into something different, namely ἀσέλγεια; inasmuch as liberty was converted by them into lasciviousness; comp. Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16; 2 Peter 2:19.

καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν . χρ. ἀρνούμενοι] In 2 Peter 2:1 the epithet δεσπότης is used of Christ; this favours the combination of τὸν μόνον δεσπότην as an attribute with ἰησ. χρ. (so de Wette, Schmidt, Rampf, Wiesinger, Schott, Fronmüller, Hofmann). But, on the one hand, in every other place this word denotes God; and, on the other hand, δεσπότης would hardly be distinguished from the word κύριος, if both were to be referred to Christ;(13) add to this that μόνος elsewhere expresses the unity of the divine nature; comp. Jude 1:25; John 5:44; John 17:3; Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15-16; Revelation 15:4; against which view Schott incorrectly urges 1 Corinthians 8:6 and Ephesians 4:5. For these reasons, it is more probable that τὸν μόνον δεσπότην is not an appellation of Christ, but a designation of God (Brückner); comp. 1 John 2:22 : ἀρνούμενος τὸν πατέρα καὶ τὸν υἱόν (also Enoch xlviii. 10 is to be compared: “they have denied the Lord of the spirits and His Anointed”). No argument against this explanation can be drawn from the want of the article before κύριον; see author’s commentary on Titus 2:3 (Winer, p. 121 ff. [E. T. 162]),(14) which is in an unjustifiable manner denied by Hofmann. The denial may be considered as either practical (comp. Titus 1:16) or theoretical. Since throughout this Epistle the carnal and godless disposition of these men is brought forward, it is most probable that Jude at least had the first kind of denial specially in view. At all events, such explanations as those of Grotius: “abnegabant Jesum, quia eum dicebant hominem natum ex homine,” are to be rejected, as Jude never reproaches his adversaries with such a definite erroneous doctrine.

Verse 5

Jude 1:5. From this verse to Jude 1:7 we have three examples, as representations of the judgment which threatens those mentioned in Jude 1:4. Compare with this 2 Peter 2:4-6.

ὑπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι] δέ is used metabatically (as a mere particle of transition); not in order to put ὑπομνῆσαι in contrast to παρακαλῶν (Jude 1:3), which is only to be justified by the explanation of Schott, that “Jude intends not properly to exhort the readers, but by παρακαλεῖν he means only that he will remind them.” ὑμᾶς is not the subject, but the object to ὑπομνῆσαι; comp. 2 Peter 1:12 (Romans 15:15).

εἰδότας [ ὑμάς] ἅπαξ πάντα] εἰδότας is either in an adversative sense = καίπερ εἰδότας (de Wette); or, which is to be preferred on account of ἅπαξ, the statement of the reason of ὑπομνῆσαι, Nicolas de Lyra: commonere autem vos volo et non docere de novo; et subditur ratio; Bengel: causa, cur admoneat duntaxat: quia jam sciant, semelque cognitum habeant; so also Wiesinger and Schott.

ἅπαξ is not to be united per hyperbaton with σώσας; also not = first, so that δεύτερον corresponding to it would be = secondly, and both referred to εἰδότας (Jachmann); but ἅπαξ belongs to εἰδότας, and τὸ δεύτερον to ἀπώλεσεν. Hornejus incorrectly explains ἅπαξ by: jampridem et ab initio (Arnaud: vous qui l’avez su une fois); it has here rather the same meaning as in Jude 1:3, rendering prominent that a new teaching is not necessary (de Wette, Stier, Wiesinger, Fronmüller, Schott, Hofmann).

πάντα; according to Nicolas de Lyra = omnia ad salutem necessaria; better: everything which is an object of evangelical teaching, here naturally with particular reference to what directly follows, to which alone the τοῦτο of the Rec. points.(15)

ὅτι κύριος ( ἰησοῦς) λαὸν σώσας] ὅτι belongs not to εἰδότας πάντα, but to ὑπο΄νῆσαι.

With the reading ( ) ἰησοῦς (Stier calls it: “without example, and incomprehensibly strange”) Jude here would speak from the same point of view as Paul does in 1 Corinthians 10:4 (comp. also 1 Peter 1:11), according to which all the acts of divine revelation are done by the instrumentality of Christ, as the eternal Son and revealer of God. The name ἰησοῦς, by which Christ is designated in His earthly and human personality, is, however, surprising; but Jude might have so used it from the consciousness that the eternal Son of God and He who was born of Mary is the same Person (comp. 1 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:5). With the reading κύριος—certainly the more natural—which de Wette-Brückner and Hofmann prefer, whilst Wiesinger and Schott consider ἰησοῦς as the original—a designation of God is to be understood.

λαόν] That by this the people of Israel is meant is evident; the article is wanting, because Jude would indicate that Israel was saved as an entire people, with reference to the following τοὺς ΄ὴ πιστεύσαντας.(16)

τὸ δεύτερον] is to be retained in its proper meaning, and to be explained neither, with Nicolas de Lyra and others, as = post (Arnaud: de nouveau, ensuite, après), nor, with Grotius and Wolf, as = ex contrario. It indicates that what was said in the preceding participial sentence, namely, the divine deliverance of the people from Egypt, is considered as a first deed, to which a second followed. The definite statement of what this second is, is usually derived from the preceding σώσας, and by it is accordingly understood a second deliverance; but there are different views as to what deliverance is meant. In this commentary the deliverance of the people from the wilderness was designated as this second deliverance, which certainly occurred to the people, yet only so that those who believed not did not attain to it, but were destroyed by God in the wilderness (so in essentials, Stier, Brückner, Wiesinger). On the other hand, Schmidt (bibl. Theologie, II.), Luthardt, Schott, Hofmann understand by it the deliverance effected by Christ; whilst they regard as the punishment falling on unbelievers, the destruction of Jerusalem, or the overthrow of the Jewish state. But both explanations are arbitrary; for, first, it is unauthorized to refer τὸ δεύτερον only to σώσας and not to ἐκ γῆς αἰγύπτου σώσας; and, secondly, in the principal sentence a deliverance is not at all indicated.(17) Whilst, then, Jude thinks on the deliverance from Egypt as a first deed, he does not mention a deliverance, but the destruction of those who believed not, as the second deed following the first. But this second is not indicated as a single deed, and therefore by it is to be understood generally what befell the unbelieving in the wilderness after the deliverance from Egypt; what this was is expressed in the words τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν. It is arbitrary to refer this, with Ritschl, only to the history recorded in Numbers 25:1-9; and still more arbitrary to refer it, with Fronmüller, to the Babylonish captivity (2 Chronicles 36:16 ff.). Compare, moreover, with this verse, Hebrews 3:16-19.

τοὺς ΄ὴ πιστεύσαντας] On ΄ή, with participles, see Winer, p. 449 f. [E. T. 606 f.]; comp. Jude 1:6 : τοὺς ΄ὴ τηρήσαντας. It is to be observed that in the corresponding passage, 2 Peter 2, instead of this example, the deluge is named.

Verse 6

Jude 1:6. A second example taken from the angelic world. As God spared not the people rescued from bondage, so neither did He spare the angels who left their habitation. This also was an admonitory representation for Christians, who, in the face of the high dignity which they possessed by redemption, yielded themselves to a life of vice.

ἀγγέλους τε τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας κ. τ. λ.] is, according to the construction, as the τε indicates, closely connected with the preceding.

ἀγγέλους without the article considered generally; the participle connected with the article indicates the definite class of angels who are here meant.

For the understanding of this verse the following points are to be observed:—(1) By the twofold participial clause τοὺς μὴἀρχήν and ἀπολιπόνταςοἰκητήριον, something sinful is attributed to the angels (2 Peter 2:4 : ἁμαρτησάντων), on account of which the punishment expressed by εἰς κρίσεντετήρηκε was inflicted upon them; (2) The two clauses μὴἀλλὰ … so correspond, that the second positive clause explains the first negative clause; and (3) what Jude says of the angels corresponds with the doctrine of the angels contained in the Book of Enoch.

τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀρχήν κ. τ. λ.] ἀρχή must here denote something which the angels by forsaking τὸ ἴδιον οἰκητήριον did not preserve, but gave up or slighted. But by ἀπολ. τὸ ἴδ. οἰκητ., according to the Book of Enoch 12:4,(18) is meant their forsaking of heaven, and their descent to earth in order to go after the daughters of men (so also Hofmann); but not, as Hornejus and others think, the loss of the heavenly dwelling, which they drew upon themselves by conspiring against God; which would militate against the first observation.

By ἀρχή expositors understand either the original condition (origo: Calvin, Grotius, Hornejus,(19) and others), or the dominion which originally belonged to them (Bengel, de Wette, Wiesinger, Schott, Hofmann; Brückner thinks that the meaning dominion passes over into that of origin). According to the first explanation, the term is too indefinite, both in itself and in reference to the second parallel clause. It is in favour of the second explanation, that in the N. T. angels are often designated by the name ἀρχή, ἀρχαί; as also the prevailing idea among the Jews was, that to the angels a lordship belongs over the earthly creation. By this explanation, also, the two clauses correspond; instead of administering their office as rulers, they forsook their heavenly habitation, and thus became culpable. The explanation, according to which ἀρχὴ ἑαυτῶν denotes not the dominion of the angels, but the dominion of God, to which they were subjected, is both against linguistic usage and against the context.

εἰς κρίσιντετήρηκεν] Statement of the punishment. This also corresponds with the expression in the Book of Enoch, where in chap. 10:12 it is said: “Bind them fast under the mountains of the earth … even to the day of judgment … until the last judgment will be held for all eternity.(20)

τετήρηκεν is in sharp contrast to μὴ τηρήσαντας: the perfect expresses an action begun in the past and continued in the present. The mode of retention is more precisely stated by δεσμοῖς ἀϊδίοις ὑπὸ ζόφον] By ἀϊδίοις the chains by which they are bound are designated as eternal, and incapable of being rent.

ὑπὸ ζόφον] ζόφος only here and Jude 1:13, and in the parallel passages 2 Peter 2:4; 2 Peter 2:17; comp. also Wisdom of Solomon 17:2;(21) usually σκότος, the darkness of hell; ὑπό is explained by conceiving the angels in the lowest depths of hell, covered with darkness.(22) In τετήρηκεν is not contained the final doom which will only take place at the general judgment; therefore: εἰς κρίσιν μεγάλης ἡμέρας] μεγ. ἡμέρα, without any further designation, used of the last judgment only here; the same adjective, as an attribute of that day, in Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:17; Revelation 16:14.

ἔνθα θεοὶ τιτῆνες ὑπὸ ζόφῳ ἠρόεντα

κεκρύφαται, βουλῆσι διὸς νεφεληγερέταο

χώρῳ ἐν εὐρώεντι.

Verse 7

Jude 1:7. Third example: the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them, which, however, is not co-ordinate with the preceding two, but is closely connected with the last-mentioned, “whilst here both times a permanent condition is meant, which a similar sin has had as its consequence, whereas ἀπώλεσεν (Jude 1:5) states a judgment of God already past” (Hofmann’s Schriftb. I. p. 428).

ὡς] is not to be connected with the following ὁμοίως, Jude 1:8; nor is ὅτι, Jude 1:5, to be connected with ὑπομνῆσαιβούλομαι (de Wette) = how instead of “that;” it refers rather to what directly precedes = like as (Semler, Arnaud, Hofmann, Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, and others; Luther: as also), whilst Jude 1:7 confirms ἀγγέλουςτετήρηκεν by the comparison with what befell Sodom and Gomorrha: God retains the angels kept unto the day of judgment, even as Sodom and Gomorrha πρόκεινται δεῖγμα κ. τ. λ. With the connection with ὑπομν. βουλ. (Jude 1:5) a preceding καί would hardly be necessary, also the words τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις indicate the close connection with Jude 1:6.

σόδομα καὶ γόμοῤῥα] frequently adduced in the O. and N. T. as examples of the divine judgment; see, for example, Romans 9:29.

καὶ αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις] according to Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8 : Admah and Zeboim.

τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις ἐκπορνεύσασαι] τούτοις may grammatically be referred to σόδ. κ. γόμ. (or, by synesis, to the inhabitants of these cities; so Krebs, Calvin, Hornejus, Vorstius, and others); but by this construction the sin of Sodom and Gomorrha would only be indirectly indicated. Since, also, τούτοις cannot refer to the false teachers, Jude 1:4, because, as de Wette correctly remarks, the thought of Jude 1:8 would be anticipated, it must refer to the angels who, according to the Book of Enoch, sinned in a similar way as the inhabitants of those cities (thus Herder, Schneckenburger, Jachmann, de Wette, Arnaud, Hofmann, and others).

ἐκπορνεύσασαι, the sin of the inhabitants, is designated as the action of the cities themselves. The verb (often in the LXX. the translation of זָנָה; also in the Apocrypha) is in the N. T. a ἅπ. λεγ. The preposition ἐκ serves for strengthening the idea, indicating that “one by πορνεύειν becomes unfaithful to true moral conduct” (Hofmann), but not that “he goes beyond the boundaries of nature” (Stier, Wiesinger, and similarly Schott).

καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας] The expression ἀπέρχ. ὀπίσω τινός is found in Mark 1:20 in its literal sense; here it has a figurative meaning; comp. 2 Peter 2:10, πορεύεσθαι ὀπ.; Jeremiah 2:5; Sirach 46:10.

Arnaud: ces mots sont ici un euphémisme, pour exprimer l’acte de la prostitution. In ἀπο is contained the turning aside from the right way. Oecumenius thus explains the import of σὰρξ ἑτέρα: σάρκα δὲ ἑτέραν, τὴν ἄῤῥηνα φύσιν λέγει, ὡς μὴ πρὸς συνουσίαν γενέσεως συντελοῦσαν; so also Brückner and Wiesinger. Stier, Schott, Hofmann proceed further, referring to Leviticus 18:23-24, and accordingly explaining it: “not only have they practised shame man with man, but even man with beast” (Stier). Only this explanation corresponds to σαρκὸς ἑτέρας, and only by it do the connection of Jude 1:7 with Jude 1:6, expressed by ὡς, and the explanation: τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις, receive their true meaning. The σάρξ of men was ἑτέρα σάρξ to the angels, as that of beasts is to men. In the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:6, the sin of the cities is not stated.

πρόκεινται δεῖγμα πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι] πρόκεινται: they lie before the eyes as a δεῖγμα; not: “inasmuch as the example of punishment in its historical attestation is ever present” (Schott); but: inasmuch as the Dead Sea continually attests that punishment, which Jude considers as enduring. There is a certain boldness in the expression, as properly it is not the cities and their inhabitants who are πρόκεινται. The genitive πυρὸς αἰωνίου may grammatically depend both on δεῖγμα and on δίκην. Most expositors (particularly Wiesinger, Schott, Brückner) consider the second construction as the correct one; but hardly rightly; as (1) δεῖγμα would then lose its exact definition; (2) πῦρ αἰώνιον always designates hell-fire, to which the condemned are delivered up at the last judgment (see Matthew 25:41); (3) the juxtaposition of this verse with Jude 1:6, where the present punitive condition of the angels is distinguished from that which will occur after the judgment, favours the idea that the cities (or rather their inhabitants) are here not designated as those who even now suffer the punishment of eternal fire.(23) But Jude could designate the cities as a δεῖγμα of eternal fire, considering the fire by which they were destroyed as a figure of eternal fire. Hofmann correctly connects πυρὸς αἰωνίου with δεῖγμα, but he incorrectly designates δεῖγμα πυρ. αἰων. as a preceding apposition to δίκην: “it may be seen in them ( δεῖγμα = exhibition) what is the nature of eternal fire, inasmuch as the fire that has consumed them is enduring in its after-operations;” by this explanation πῦρ αἰώνιον is deprived of its proper meaning. With δίκην ὑπέχουσαι the fact is indicated that they have continually to suffer punishment, since the period that punishment was inflicted upon them in the time of Lot;(24) corresponding to what is said of the angels in Jude 1:6.

δεῖγμα in N. T. ἅπ. λεγ. (James 5:11, and frequently: ὑπόδειγμα), not = example, but proof, testimony, sign. ὑπέχειν likewise in N. T. ἅπ. λεγ.; 2 Maccabees 4:48, ζημίαν ὑπέχειν (2 Thessalonians 1:9, δίκην τίειν).

Verse 8

Jude 1:8. Description of the sins of the false teachers; comp. 2 Peter 2:10.

ὁμοίως] i.e. similarly as Sodom and Gomorrha, etc.

μέντοι] expresses here no contrast (so earlier in this commentary: “notwithstanding the judgment which has come on those cities on account of such sins”), but it serves, as Hofmann correctly observes, appealing to Kühner’s Gramm. II. p. 694, “simply for the strengthening of the expression, putting the emphasis on ὁμοίως; those men, says Jude, actually do the same thing as the Sodomites.”

καὶ οὗτοι] refers back to τινες ἄνθρωποι, Jude 1:4.

ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι] only here and in Acts 2:17, where it is used of prophetical dreams, according to Joel 3:1. This meaning does not here suit, for Bretschneider’s explanation: “falsis oraculis decepti vel falsa oracula edentes,” is wholly arbitrary. Most expositors unite it closely with the following σάρκα μιαίνουσι, and understand it either: de somniis, in quibus corpus polluitur (Vorstius), or of voluptuous dreams, appealing to Isaiah 56:10 (LXX. ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι κοίτην, an inaccurate translation of the Hebrew חֹזִים שֹׁכְבִים), or of unnatural cohabiting (Oecumenius). Jachmann (with whom Brückner agrees) understands it generally = “sunk in sleep, i.e. hurried along in the tumult of the senses,” appealing to the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:10 ( ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ). Similarly Calvin: est metaphorica loquutio, qua significat, ipsos tam esse habetes, ut sine ulla verecundia ad omnem turpitudinem se prostituant. But in all these explanations the expression is only referred to the first clause of the following sentence; but this is opposed to the construction: it refers to both clauses,—else it would have been put directly with μιαίνουσι,—and denotes the condition in which and out of which they do those things which are expressed in the following clauses. It is unsatisfactory to keep in view only the negative point of ἐνυπνιάζεσθαι, the want of a clear consciousness (Hornejus: tam insipientes sunt, ut quasi lethargo sopiti non tantum impure vivant, etc.; Arnaud: qui agissent sans savoir ce qu’ils font); the positive point is chiefly to be observed, which consists in living in the arbitrary fancies of their own perverted sense, which renders them deaf to the truths and warnings of the divine word (so in essentials, Stier, Fronmüller, Wiesinger, Schott, Brückner, Hofmann(25)). The reference to Isaiah 29:10, LXX.: πεπότικεν ὑμᾶς κύριος κατανύξεως, is unsuitable (against Beza, Carpzov, and others), as here the discourse is not about a punitive decree of God.

σάρκα μὲν μιαίνουσι] not their flesh, but generally the flesh, both their own and that of others: the thought refers back to Jude 1:7 : ἐκπορνεύσασαι, etc.

κυριότητα δὲ ἀθετοῦσι, δόξας δὲ βλασφημοῦσιν] announces a new side of their sinful nature. As this verse is in evident connection of thought with Jude 1:10, where the words ὅσα δὲ φυσικῶςφθείρονται refer back to σάρκα μὲν μιαίν., so κυριότης and δόξαι can only be here such things as suit the words ὅσα οὐκ οἴδασιν. It is thus incorrect to understand them of political powers (Erasmus, Calvin, Grotius, Wolf, Semler, Stier, and others), or of ecclesiastical rulers (Oecumenius(26)), or of human authorities generally, the two words being either taken as designations of concrete persons, or one of them as a pure abstraction: Arnaud: par κυριότητα il faut entendre l’autorité en général et par δόξας les dignités quelconques, les hommes méritant, par leur position, le respect et la considération.

Both expressions are to be understood as a designation of supermundane powers. Almost all recent expositors agree in this, although they differ widely in the more definite statement. These different explanations are as follows:—(1) κυριότης is taken as a designation of God or Christ, and δόξαι as a designation of the good angels (Ritschl); (2) the good angels are understood in both expressions (Brückner); (3) κυριότης is understood in the first explanation, but δόξαι is explained of the evil angels (Wiesinger); (4) both expressions are understood as a designation of the evil angels (Schott). In order first correctly to determine the idea κυριότης, the relation of Jude 1:8 to what goes before is to be observed. The judgments which have befallen the people (Jude 1:5), the angels (Jude 1:6), and the cities (Jude 1:7), are by Jude adduced as a testimony against the Antinomians ( οὔτοι, Jude 1:8) mentioned in Jude 1:4, evidently because these persons are guilty of the same sins on account of which those judgments occurred. Since σάρκα ΄ιαίνουσι evidently points back to ἐκπορνεύσασαι, Jude 1:7, and further to ἀσέλγειαν, Jude 1:4, it is most natural to refer κυριότητα ἀθετοῦσιν to ΄ὴ πιστεύοντας, Jude 1:5, and, further, to τὸν ΄όνον δεσπότην ἀρνού΄ενοι, Jude 1:4. Consequently, by κυριότης—if one takes τὸν ΄όνον δεσπότην as a designation of God—is to be understood the Godhead; or, if one understands τ. μ. δ. as a predicate to ἰησ. χρ., Christ. If, now, it is assumed that δόξαι is an idea corresponding to κυριότης, and to be taken along with it, then by it the good angels are to be understood. But it must not be overlooked that the clause δόξας δὲ βλασφη΄οῦσιν is separated from the preceding clause by δέ; and that Jude 1:9 leads to a different understanding of δόξαι. When in Jude 1:9 it is said of the archangel Michael that he dared not κρίσιν ἐπενεγκεῖν βλασφη΄ίας against the devil, this βλασφημίας evidently refers back to βλασφη΄οῦσιν, Jude 1:8, consequently the two ideas δόξας and διάβολος are brought together, so that from this the preference must be given to the explanation which understands by δόξας the diabolical powers, or the evil angels. That not only δόξαι, but also κυριότης, is a designation of evil powers, Schott incorrectly appeals to the fact that in 2 Peter 2:10, and also here, the unchaste, carnal life of the false teachers is connected with their despising or rejection of κυριότης; for although it is presupposed that the recognition of the reverence for κυριότης might restrain these men from the abuse of their fleshly nature, yet it does not follow from this that only evil spirits can be meant, since also the recognition of the reverence for the divine power restrains from the abuse of the corporeal senses which were created by God. To the identification of κυριότης and δόξαι—whether good or evil angels are to be understood—not only is the form of the expression opposed, Jude not uniting the two clauses by καί, but, as already remarked, separating them by δέ,(27) but also the difference of the conduct of the Antinomians, whilst they despise ( ἀθετοῦσιν; 2 Pet.: καταφρονοῦσιν) the κυριότης, but blaspheme the δόξαι. The clearer this separation and distinction are kept in view, the less reason is there against deriving the exact meaning of δόξαι from Jude 1:9 (2 Peter 2:10 from Jude 1:11), and consequently against understanding by it evil angels (comp. Hofmann); only it must not be affirmed that Jude has used the expression δόξαι as a name for the evil angels as such, but only that, whilst so naming angels generally, he here means the evil angels, as is evident from Jude 1:9. That these may be understood by this designation cannot be denied, especially, as Wiesinger points out, as Paul in Ephesians 6:12 names them αἱ ἀρχαί, αἱ ἐξουσίαι, οἱ κοσμοκράτορες, and says of them that they are ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις.

ἀθετοῦσινβλασφημοῦσιν] The first expression is negative, the second positive; the Antinomians manifested the despising of κυριότης by the carnal licentiousness of their lives, whilst they fancied themselves exempt by χάρις (Jude 1:4) from the duty of obedience to the will of God (or Christ) as the κύριος requiring a holy life; but their blasphemy of the δόξαι consisted in this, that on the reproach of having in their immorality fallen under diabolical powers, they mocked at them as entirely impotent beings.


According to Ritschl’s opinion, the actions which Jude here asserts of the Antinomians represent directly only the guilt of their forerunners (namely, the Israelites, Jude 1:5; the angels, Jude 1:6; and the Sodomites, Jude 1:7), and his expressions can therefore only be understood in an indirect and metaphorical sense. To this conclusion Ritschl arrives (1) by explaining the second clause of Jude 1:10, that the Antinomians understood relations to be understood spiritually φυσικῶς ὡς τὰ ἄλογα ζῶα, i.e. that they considered the blessings promised in the kingdom of heaven as the blessings of sensual enjoyment; (2) by so understanding the relation of Jude 1:8 to the preceding, that δόξας βλασφ. is to be referred back to Jude 1:7, κυριότ. ἀθετ. to Jude 1:6, and σαρκὰ μιαίν. to Jude 1:5. According to his view, Jude finds the guilt of the Sodomites (Jude 1:7) to consist in this, that by the design of practising their lust on the angels, they blasphemed them; the guilt of the angels (Jude 1:6) in this, that they undervalued their own dominion; and the guilt of the Israelites (Jude 1:5) in this, that they had criminal intercourse with the impure daughters of Moab. Over against this, the guilt of the Antinomians consisted in this—(1) that they regarded immorality as a privilege of the kingdom of God, which they have in common with the angels; (2) that by referring their immoral practice to the kingdom of God, they showed a depreciation of the dominion which belongs to Christ, or to which they themselves are called; and (3) that by their ἀσέλγεια they were guilty of the defilement of those connected with them in the Christian church. But both the explanation of the second clause of Jude 1:10, where there is no mention of the blessings of the kingdom of heaven, and the statement of the relation of Jude 1:8 to what goes before, is incorrect, since in Jude 1:7 the Sodomites and the other cities are reproached, not with an evil intention, but with an actual doing; in Jude 1:6 the not preserving their ἀρχή and the forsaking of their οἰκητήριον are indeed reckoned as a crime to the angels, but specially on this account, because they did it—as τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις, Jude 1:7, shows—for the sake of ἐκπορνεύειν; and lastly, in Jude 1:5 the criminal intercourse with the daughters of Moab is not indicated as the reason of their ἀπώλεια, but their unbelief ( μὴ πιστεύοντας). For these reasons Wiesinger has correctly rejected the explanation of Ritschl as mistaken.

The view of Steinfass, expressed on 2 Peter 2:10, that the blasphemy of the δόξαι by the Antinomians consisted in their wishing to constrain the angels by charms to love-intrigues, is, apart from all other considerations, contradicted by the fact that neither in 2 Peter nor in Jude is there any reference to charms and love-intrigues with the angels.

Verse 9

Jude 1:9 places in a strong light the wickedness of this blasphemy (comp. 2 Peter 2:11). They do something against the δόξαι, which even Michael the archangel did not venture to do against the devil.

δὲ ΄ιχαὴλ ἀρχάγγελος] Michael, in the doctrine of the angels, as it was developed during and after the captivity by the Jews, belonged to the seven highest angels, and was regarded as the guardian of the nation of Israel: Daniel 12:1, הַשַּׂר הַגָּדוֹל הָעֹמֵד עַל־בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ; comp. Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:21; in the N. T. he is only mentioned in Revelation 12:7. In the Book of Enoch, chap. 20:5, he is described as “one of the holy angels set over the best part of the human race, over the people.”

ἀρχάγγελος only here and in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (Daniel 12:1, LXX., ἄρχων μέγας); see Winer’s bibl. Reallex.: Angel, Michael.

ὅτε τῷ διαβόλῳ κ. τ. λ.] This legend is found neither in the O. T. nor in the Rabbinical writings, nor in the Book of Enoch; Jude, however, supposes it well known. Oecumenius thus explains the circumstance: λέγεται τὸν ΄ιχαὴλτῇ τοῦ ΄ωσέως ταφῇ δεδιηκονηκέναι· τοῦ γὰρ διαβόλου τοῦτο μὴ καταδεχομένου, ἀλλʼ ἐπιφέροντος ἔγκλημα διὰ τὸν τοῦ αἰγυπτίου φονον, ὡς αὐτοῦ ὄντος τοῦ ΄ωσέως, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο μὴ συγχωρεῖσθαι αὐτῷ τυχεῖν τῆς ἐντίμου ταφῆς. According to Jonathan on Deuteronomy 34:6, the grave of Moses was given to the special custody of Michael. This legend, with reference to the manslaughter committed by Moses, might easily have been formed, as Oecumenius states it, “out of Jewish tradition, extant in writing alongside of the Scriptures” (Stier).(28) According to Origen ( περὶ ἀρχῶν, iii. 2), Jude derived his account from a writing known in his age: ἀνάβασις τοῦ ΄ωσέως.(29) Calvin and others regard oral tradition as the source; Nicolas de Lyra and others, a special revelation of the Holy Ghost; and F. Philippi, a direct instruction of the disciples by Christ, occasioned by the appearance of Moses on the mount of transfiguration. De Wette has correctly observed that the explanation is neither to be derived from the Zendavesta (Herder), nor is the contest to be interpreted allegorically ( σῶμα ΄ωσέως = the people of Israel, or the Mosaic law).

διακρινό΄ενος διελέγετο] The juxtaposition of these synonymous words serves for the strengthening of the idea; by διελέγετο the conflict is indicated as a verbal altercation.

οὐκ ἐτόλ΄ησε] he ventured not.

κρίσιν ἐπενεγκεῖν βλασφημίας] Calovius incorrectly explains it by: ultionem de blasphemia sumere; the words refer not to a blasphemy uttered by the devil, but to a blasphemy against the devil, from which Michael restrained himself.

κρίσιν ἐπιφέρειν] denotes a judgment pronounced against any one (comp. Acts 25:18 : αἰτίαν ἐπιφέρειν).

κρίσιν βλασφη΄ίας] is a judgment containing in itself a blasphemy. By βλασφ. that saying—namely, an invective—is to be understood by which the dignity belonging to another is injured. Michael restrained himself from such an invective against the devil, because he feared to injure his original dignity; instead of pronouncing a judgment himself, he left this to God. Herder: “And Michael dared not to pronounce an abusive sentence.”

ἀλλʼ εἶπεν· ἐπιτι΄ήσαι σοι κύριος] the Lord rebuke thee: comp. Matthew 17:18; Matthew 19:13, etc. According to Zechariah 3:1-3, the angel of the Lord spoke the same words to the devil, who in the vision of Zechariah stood at his right hand as an adversary of the high priest Joshua (LXX.: ἐπιτιμήσαι κύριος ἐν σοὶ διάβολε).

Verse 10

Jude 1:10. Description of the false teachers with reference to Jude 1:8 in contrast to Jude 1:9; comp. 2 Peter 2:12.

They blaspheme, ὅσα μὲν οὐκ οἴδασι, what they know not: the supermundane, to which the δόξαι, Jude 1:8, belong, is meant. Hofmann: “they know about it, otherwise they could not blaspheme it; but they have no acquaintance with it, and yet in their ignorance judge of it, and that in a blasphemous manner” (comp. Colossians 2:18 according to the usual reading). Those expositors who understand κυριότητα and δόξας of human authorities, are at a loss for an explanation of the thoughts here expressed; thus Arnaud: il est assez difficile de préciser, quelles étaient ces choses qu’ignoraient ces impies.

ὅσα δὲ φυσικῶς ἐπίστανται] a contrast to what goes before; corresponding to σάρκα μιαίνουσι, Jude 1:8, only here the idea is carried farther. Jachmann explains it: “the passions inherent in every one;” but this does not suit ἐπίστανται. De Wette correctly: the objects of sensual enjoyment; to which the σάρξ (Jude 1:8) especially belongs. By φυσικῶς ( ἅπ. λεγ. = of nature) ὡς τὰ ἄλογα ζῶα is prominently brought forward the fact that their understanding is not raised above that of the irrational animals, that to them only the sensual is something known. There is no distinction between εἰδέναι and ἐπίστασθαι, as Schott thinks, that the former denotes a comprehensive knowledge, and the latter a mere external knowing (“they understand, namely, in respect of the external and sensual side of things, practically applied”); but these two verbs obtain this distinctive meaning here only through the context in which they are employed by Jude (comp. Hofmann).

ἐν τούτοις φθείρονται] ἐν, more significant than διά, designates their entire surrender to these things.

φθείρονται; Luther, they corrupt themselves; better: they destroy themselves; namely, by their immoderate indulgences. In Luther’s translation the words ὡς τὰ ἄλογα ζῶα are incorrectly attached to this verb.

Verse 11

Jude 1:11. The author interrupts his description of these ungodly men by a denunciation on them, which he grounds by characterizing them after the example of the ungodly in the O. T. (comp. 2 Peter 2:15 ff.).

οὐαὶ αὐτοῖς] The same denunciation frequently occurs in the discourses of Jesus: “at once a threatening and a strong disapproval” (de Wette). With this οὐαί Jude indicates the judgment into which the Antinomians have fallen; it refers back to Jude 1:5-7; Wiesinger incorrectly understands it only as a mere “exclamation of pain and abhorrence.”(30) This denunciation of woe does not occur with an apostle; frequently in the O. T.

ὅτι τῇ ὁδῷ τοῦ κάϊν ἐπορεύθησαν] On the phrase: τῇ ὁδῷ τινος πορεύεσθαι, comp. Acts 14:16. (Acts 9:31 : πορ. τῷ φόβῳ τ. κυρίου.) τῇ ὁδῷ is to be understood locally (see Meyer on the above passages), not “instrumentally” (Schott), which does not suit ἐπορεύθησαν.

ἐπορεύθησαν; preterite (Luther and others translate it as the present), because Jude represents the judgment threatened in οὐαὶ αὐτοῖς as fulfilled (de Wette-Brückner). Schott incorrectly explains it: “they have set out, set forth.” Many expositors find the similarity with Cain to consist in this, that whereas he murdered his brother, these by seduction of the brethren are guilty of spiritual murder; so Oecumenius, Estius, Grotius (Cain fratri vitam caducam ademit; illi fratribus adimunt aeternam), Calovius, Hornejus, Schott, and others. But this conversion into the spiritual is arbitrary, especially as the desire of seduction in these men is not specially brought forward by Jude. Other expositors, adhering to the murder committed by Cain, think on the persecuting zeal of these false teachers against believers; so Nicolas de Lyra: sequuntur mores et studia latronis ex invidia et avaritia persequentes sincerioris theologiae studiosos. As the later Jews regarded Cain as a symbol of moral scepticism, so Schneckenburger supposes that Jude would here reproach his opponents with this scepticism; but there is also no indication of this in the context. De Wette stops at the idea that Cain is named as “the archetype of all wicked men;” so also Arnaud(31) and Hofmann; but this is too general. Brückner finds the point of resemblance in this, that as Cain out of envy, on account of the favour shown to Abel, resisting the commandment and warning of God, slew his brother, so these false teachers resisted God, and that from envy of the favour shown to believers. But in the context there is no indication of the definite statement “from envy.” It is more in correspondence with the context to find the tertium compar. in this, that Cain in spite of the warning of God followed his own wicked lusts; Fronmüller: “The point of comparison is acting on the selfish impulses of nature, in contempt of the warnings of God.”

καὶ τῇ πλάνῃ τοῦ βαλαὰμ μισθοῦ ἐξεχύθησαν] πλάνη, as a sinful moral error, denotes generally a vicious life averted from the truth; comp. James 5:20; 2 Peter 2:18 (Ezekiel 33:16, LXX. translation of פֶּשַׁע). ἐκχεῖσθαι in the middle, literally, to issue forth out of something, construed with εἴς τι; figuratively, to rush into something, to give oneself up with all his might to something (Clemens Alexandrinus, p. 491, 3; εἰς ἡδονὴν ἐκχυθέντες; several proof passages in Wahl, Elsner, Wetstein); it is less suitable to explain the verb according to Psalms 73:2, where the LXX. have ἐξεχύθη as a translation of שֻׁפְּכוּ = to slip (Grotius: errare). The dative τῇ πλάνῃ is = εἰς τὴν πλάνην; Schott incorrectly explains it as dativus instrumentalis, since ἐξεχύθησαν requires a statement for the completion of the idea. The genitive μισθοῦ is, with Winer, p. 194 [E. T. 258], to be translated: for reward (see Grotius in loco); so that the meaning is: “they gave themselves up for a reward (i.e. for the sake of earthly advantage, thus from covetousness; Luther: ‘for the sake of enjoyment’) to the sin of Balaam;” thus most interpreters, also Brückner, Wiesinger, Hofmann. De Wette, on the contrary, after the example of Erasmus, Vatablus, and others, explains βαλαά΄ as a genitive dependent on τοῦ ΄ισθοῦ; the dative τῇ πλάνῃ, as = by means of the error; and ἐξεχύθησαν as an intransitive verb = “to commit excesses, to give vent to.” Accordingly, he translates the passage as follows: “By (by means of) the error (seduction) of the reward of Balaam, they have poured themselves out (in vice).” So also Hornejus: deceptione mercedis, qua deceptus fuit Balaam, effusi sunt.(32) But this construction is extremely harsh, the ideas πλάνη and ἐξεχύθησαν are arbitrarily interpreted, and the whole sentence, so interpreted, would be withdrawn from the analogy of the other two with which it is co-ordinate.(33) Schott construes the genitive with πλάνῃ, whilst he designates it “as an additional, and, as it were, a parenthetically added genitive for the sake of precision,” and for this he supplies a πλάνῃ: “the error of Balaam, which was an error determined by gain.” This construction, it is true, affords a suitable sense, but it is not linguistically justified: it is entirely erroneous to take ΄ισθοῦ as in apposition to βαλαά΄ = ὃς ΄ισθὸν ἠγάπησεν, 2 Peter 2:15 (Fronmüller, Steinfass).

De Wette, chiefly from Revelation 2:14, finds the point of resemblance in this, that “Balaam as a false prophet and a seducer to unchastity and idolatry, and contrary to the will of God, went to Balak, and that he is also particularly considered as covetous and mercenary.” But there is no indication that the men of whom Jude speaks enticed others to idolatry. Hofmann observes that this clause calls the sin of those described as “a devilish conduct against the people of God, the prospect of a rich reward being too alluring to Balaam to prevent him entering into the desires of Balak to destroy the people of God;” but in this explanation also a reference is introduced not indicated by the context. That Jude had primarily in view the covetousness of Balaam, ΄ισθοῦ shows; blinded by covetousness, Balaam resisted the will of God; his resistance was his πλάνη, in which, and in the motive to it, the Antinomians resembled him (Brückner, Wiesinger); whether Jude had also in view the seduction to unchastity (comp. Numbers 31:16; Fronmüller), is at least doubtful; and it is still more doubtful to find the point of resemblance in this, that the Antinomians “had in view a material gain to be obtained by the ruin of the church of God” (Schott).

καὶ τῇ ἀντιλογίᾳ τοῦ κορὲ ἀπώλοντο] ἀντιλογία, contradiction; here, seditious resistance. ἀπώλοντο does not mean that “they lost themselves in the ἀντιλ. of Korah,” but “that they perished;” accordingly, τῇ ἀντιλογίᾳ is the instrumental dative. The point of resemblance is not, with Nicolas de Lyra, to be sought in this, that the opponents of Jude formed propter ambitionem honoris et gloriae sectas erroneas; or, with Hornejus, that they assumed the munus Apostolorum ecclesiae doctorum; or, with Hofmann, that they, as Korah (“whose resistance consisted in his unwillingness to recognise as valid the law of the priesthood of Aaron, on which the whole religious constitution of Israel rested”), “desired to assert a liberty not restricted;” but it consists in the proud resistance to God and His ordinances, which the Antinomians despise. By Schott’s explanation: “that they opposed to the true holiness a holiness of their own invention, namely, the holiness alleged to be obtained by disorderly excess,” a foreign reference is introduced.(34) The gradation of the ideas ὁδός, πλάνη, ἀντιλογία, in respect of definiteness, is not to be denied; but there is also a gradation of thought, for although the point about which Cain, Balaam, and Korah are named is one and the same, namely, resistance to God, yet this appears in the most distinct manner in the case of Korah.

Verse 12

Jude 1:12. A further description of these false teachers; comp. 2 Peter 2:13; 2 Peter 2:17.

οὗτοί εἰσιν [ οἱ] ἐν ταῖς ἀγάπαις ὑμῶν σπιλάδες] In the reading οἱ, ὄντες is either, with de Wette, to be supplied; thus: “these are they who are σπιλάδες in your ἀγάπαις;” or οἱ is to be joined to συνευωχούμενοι (comp. Jude 1:16; Jude 1:19; so Hofmann). That by ἀγάπαις the love-feasts are to be understood, is not to be doubted. Erasmus incorrectly takes it as = charitas, and Luther as a designation of alms.

The word σπιλάδες is usually explained = cliffs (so also formerly in this commentary). If this is correct, the opponents of Jude are so called, inasmuch as the love-feasts were wrecked on them (de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger), i.e. by their conduct these feasts ceased to be what they ought to be; or inasmuch as they prepared destruction for others, who partook of the love-feasts (Schott and this commentary). It is, however, against this interpretation that σπιλάς does not specially indicate cliffs, but has the more general meaning rocks (Hofmann: “projecting interruptions of the plain”), and the reference to being wrecked is not in the slightest degree indicated.(35)

Stier and Fronmüller take σπιλάδες as = σπῖλοι, 2 Peter 2:13; this is not unwarranted, as σπιλάς, which is properly an adjective (comp. σποράς, φυγάς, λογάς), may be derived as well from σπῖλος = filth (comp. γῆ σπιλάς = clayey soil; so Sophocles, Trach. 672, without γῆ), as from σπίλος = a rock (comp. πολυσπιλάς). In this case σπιλάδες may either be taken as a substantive = what is filthy, spots (these are spots in your agapé; so Stier and Fronmüller), or as an adjective, which, used adverbially (see Winer, p. 433), denotes the mode and manner of συνευωχεῖσθαι (so Hofmann). The former construction merits the preference as the simpler.

Apart from other considerations, σπῖλοι καὶ ΄ῶ΄οι in 2 Peter are in favour of taking σπιλάδες here in the sense of σπῖλοι.

συνευωχού΄ενοι] The verb εὐωχεῖσθαι(36) has not indeed by itself a bad meaning, signifying to eat well, to feast well, but it obtains such a meaning here by the reference to the agapé. The συν placed before it may either refer to those addressed, with you, see 2 Peter 2:13, where ὑμῖν is added to the verb (Wiesinger, Schott, Fronmüller, Hofmann); or to those here described by Jude, feasting together, i.e. with one another. Against the first explanation is the objection, that according to it the εὐωχεῖσθαι in their agapé would render those addressed also guilty (so formerly in this commentary); but against the second is the fact that the Libertines held no special love-feasts with one another, but participated in those of the church. The passage, 2 Peter 2:13, is decisive in favour of the first explanation.

The connection of ἀφόβως is doubtful; de Wette-Brückner, Arnaud, Schott, Fronmüller unite it with συνευωχούμενοι; Erasmus, Beza, Wiesinger, Hofmann, with ἑαυτοὺς ποιμαίνοντες. In this commentary the first connection was preferred, “because the idea συνευωχ. would otherwise be too bare.” This, however, is not the case, because if the verse is construed, as it is by Hofmann, it has its statement in what goes before; but if σπιλάδες is taken as a substantive, as it is by Stier and Fronmüller, then συνευωχ. is more precisely determined by the following ἀφόβωςποιμαίνοντες, whilst it is said that they so participate in the agapé that their feasting was a ἀφόβως ποιμαίνειν ἑαυτούς. Erasmus takes the latter words in a too general sense: suo ductu et arbitrio viventes; Grotius, Bengel, and others give a false reference to them after Ezekiel 34:2, understanding “that these feed themselves and not the church” (comp. 1 Peter 5:2), and accordingly Schneckenburger thinks specially on the instructions which they engage to give; but this reference is entirely foreign to the context. According to de Wette, it is a contrast to “whilst they suffer the poor to want” (1 Corinthians 11:21); yet there is also here no indication of this reference.

νεφέλαι ἄνυδροι] is to be understood no more of the agapé (de Wette, Schott), but generally. νεφ. ἄνυδρ. are light clouds without water, which therefore, as the addition ὑπὸ ἀνέμων παραφερόμεναι makes prominent, are driven past by the wind without giving out rain; comp. Proverbs 25:14. This figure describes the internal emptiness of these men, who for this reason can effect nothing that is good; but it seems also to intimate their deceptive ostentation(37); the addition serves for the colouring of the figure, not for adducing a special characteristic of false teachers; Nicolas de Lyra incorrectly: quae a ventis circumferuntur i. e. superbiae motibus et vanitatibus.

In the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:17, two images are united: πηγαὶ ἄνυδροι καὶ ὁμίχλαι ὑπὸ λαίλαπος ἐλαυνόμεναι.

According to the reading περιφερόμεναι, the translation would be: “driven hither and thither;” παραφερόμεναι denotes, on the other hand, driven past. A second figure is added to this first, by which the unfruitfulness (in good works) and the complete deadness of these men are described; in the adjectives the gradation is obvious.

δένδρα φθινοπωρινά] are not a particular kind of trees, such as only bare fruit in autumn, but trees as they are in autumn, namely, destitute of fruit (de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, etc.). It is arbitrary to desert the proper meaning of the word, and to explain φθινοπωρινά according to the etymology of φθίνειν by arbores quarum fructus perit illico = frugiperdae (Grotius; so also Erasmus, Beza, Carpzov, Stier. “which have cast off their fruit in an unripe state”).

ἄκαρπα] not: “whose fruit has been taken off” (de Wette), but “which are without fruit” (Brückner). Whether they have had fruit at an earlier period, and are now destitute of it, is not said. “The impassioned discourse proceeds from marks of unfruitfulness to that of absolute nothingness” (de Wette). δὶς ἀποθανόντα] Beza, Rosenmüller, and others arbitrarily explain δίς by plane, prorsus. Most expositors retain the usual meaning; yet they explain the idea twice in different ways; either that those trees are not only destitute of fruit, but also of leaves (so Oecumenius, Hornejus, and others); or that they bear no fruit, and are accordingly rooted out; or still better, δίς is to be referred to the fact that they are not only fruitless, but actually dead and dried up.(38) That Jude has this in his view, the following ἐκριζωθέντα shows. Several expositors have incorrectly deserted the figure here, and explained this word either of twofold spiritual death (Beza, Estius, Bengel, Schneckenburger, Jachmann, Wiesinger, Schott), or of death here and hereafter (so Grotius: neque hic bonum habebunt exitum, neque in seculo altero), or of one’s own want of spiritual life and the destruction of life in others. All these explanations are without justification. ἐκριζωθέντα is in close connection with δὶς ἀποθανόντα; thus, trees which, because they are dead, are dug up and rooted out;(39) thus incapable of recovery and of producing new fruit (Erasmus: quibus jam nulla spes est revirescendi). This figure, taken from trees, denotes that those described are not only at present destitute of good works, but are incapable of producing them in the future, and are “on this account rooted out of the soil of grace” (Hofmann). It is incorrect when Hofmann(40) in the application refers δὶς ἀποθανόντα to the fact that those men were not only in their early heathenism, but also in their Christianity, without spiritual life. There is no indication in the context of the distinction between heathenism and Christianity. Arnaud observes not incorrectly, but too generally: tous ces mots sont des métaphores énergiques pour montrer le néant de ces impies, la légèreté de leur conduite, la stérilité de leur foi et l’absence de leurs bonnes oeuvres.

Verse 13

Jude 1:13. Continuation of the figurative description of those false teachers. The two images here employed characterize them in their erring and disordered nature.

κύματα ἄγρια θαλάσσης κ. τ. λ.] Already Carpzov has correctly referred for the explanation of these words to Isaiah 57:20; the first words correspond to the Hebrew כַּיָּם נִגְרָשׁ; the following words: ἐπαφρίζοντα τὰς ἑαυτῶν αἰσχύνας, to the Hebrew יִגְרְשׁוּ מֵימָיו רֶפֶשׁ וָטִיט, only Jude uses the literal word where Isaiah has the figurative expression.

ἐπαφρίζειν] properly: to foam oJude Jude 1:1 :Luther well translates it: which foam out their own shame.

αἰσχύνας, not properly vices (de Wette); the plural does not necessitate this explanation, but their disgraceful nature, namely, the shameful ἐπιθυμίαι which they manifest in their wild lawless life; not “their self-devised wisdom” (Schott).

From the fact that the Hebrews sometimes compared their teachers to the sea (see Moses, theol. Samar., ed. Gesenius, p. 26), it is not to be inferred, with Schneckenburger and Jachmann, that there is here a reference to the office of teachers; this is the more unsuitable as the opponents of Jude hardly possessed that office.

ἀστέρες πλανῆται] These two words are to be taken together, wandering stars; that is, stars which have no fixed position, but roam about. The analogy with the preceding metaphors requires us to think on actual stars, with which Jude compares his opponents; thus on comets (Bretschneider, Arnaud, Stier, de Wette, Hofmann) or on planets (so most of the early commentators, also Wiesinger). The latter opinion is less probable, because the πλανᾶσθαι of the planets is less striking to the eye than that of the comets. It is incorrect “in the explanation entirely to disregard the fact whether there are such ἀστέρες πλανῆται in heaven or not” (so earlier in this commentary, after the example of Schott), and to assume that Jude, on account of their ostentation (Wiesinger, Schott), designates these men as stars, and by πλανῆται indicates their unsteady nature. De Wette incorrectly assumes this in essentials as equivalent with πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι, 2 Timothy 3:13. Bengel thinks that we are in this figure chiefly to think on the opaqueness of the planets; but such an astronomical reference is far-fetched. Jachmann arbitrarily explains ἀστέρες = φωστῆρες, Philippians 2:15, as a designation of Christians. Several expositors also refer this figure to the teaching of those men, appealing to Philippians 2:15 and Daniel 12:3; so already Oecumenius: δοκοῦντες εἰς ἄγγελον φωτὸς μετασχηματίζεσθαιἀπεναντίας μόνον τοῦ κυρίου φέρονται δογμάτων (Hornejus, and others); but the context gives no warrant for this.

οἷς ζόφος τοῦ σκότους εἰς αἰῶνα τετήρηται] This addition may grammatically be referred either to what immediately precedes, thus to the ἀστέρες πλανῆται, or to the men who have been described by the figures used by Jude. It is in favour of the first reference (Hofmann: “Jude names them stars passing into eternal darkness, comets destined only to vanish”) that a more precise statement is also added to the preceding figure; thus the addition ὑπὸ ἀνέμων παραφερόμεναι to νεφέλαι ἄνυδροι κ. τ. λ. But it is against it that the expression chosen by Jude is evidently too strong to designate only the disappearance of comets, therefore the second reference is to be preferred (Wiesinger; comp. Jude 1:6), which also the parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:17 favours. The addition of the genitive τοῦ σκότους to ζόφος serves to strengthen this idea.

Verse 14-15

Jude 1:14-15. The threatening contained in the preceding verses is confirmed by a saying of Enoch.

ἐπροφήτευσε δὲ καὶ τούτοις] καί refers either to τούτοις: “of these as well as of others;” according to Hofmann, of those who perished in the deluge; or it is designed to render prominent ἐπροφ. τούτοις in reference to what has been before said: “yea, Enoch also has prophesied of them.” Hofmann, in an entirely unwarrantable manner, maintains that there can be no question that καί puts its emphasis on the word before which it stands.

προφητεύειν generally with περί here construed with the dative, as in Luke 18:31, in reference to these.

ἕβδομος ἀπὸ ἀδὰμ ἐνώχ] ἕβδομος has hardly here the mystical meaning which Stier gives it: “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.” Also in the Book of Enoch, he is several times expressly designated as “the seventh from Adam” (60:8, 93:3); not in order to characterize him as the oldest prophet (Calvin, de Wette, and others), but to mark his importance by the coincidence of the sacred number seven (Wiesinger, Schott). The saying of Enoch here quoted is found, partly verbally, at the beginning of the Book of Enoch (Jude 1:9): “And behold He comes with myriads of saints to execute judgment on them, and He will destroy the ungodly and judge all flesh concerning all things which the sinners and ungodly have committed and done against Him.”(41) These words are taken from a speech in which an angel interprets a vision which Enoch has seen, and in which he announces to him the future judgment of God.

The question, from what source Jude has drawn these words, is very differently answered by expositors. It is most natural to conceive that he has taken them from the Book of Enoch; but then this presupposes that this book, although only according to its groundwork, is of pre-Christian Jewish, and not of Jewish Christian origin, which is also the prevailing opinion of recent critics. Hofmann, who denies the pre-Christian composition of the book, says: “Jude has derived it, in a similar manner as the incident between Michael and Satan, from a circle of myths, which has attached itself to Scripture, amplifying its words.” Yet, on the other hand, it is to be observed that it is difficult to conceive that oral tradition should preserve such an entire prophetic saying. F. Philippi thinks that Enoch in Genesis 5:22 is characterized as a prophet of God, and as such prophesied of the impending deluge; and that Jude, by reason of a deeper understanding of Genesis 5, could add the exposition already become traditionary, and speak of a prophecy of Enoch, the reality of which was confirmed to him by the testimony of the Holy Ghost; or that this prophecy of Enoch was imparted to the disciples by Christ Himself, when the already extant tradition concerning Enoch might have afforded them occasion to ask the Lord about Enoch, perhaps when he was engaged in delivering His eschatological discourses. But both opinions of Philippi evidently rest on suppositions which are by no means probable. As an example of the method by which the older expositors sought to rescue the authenticity of the prophecy, let the exposition of Hornejus suffice: haec quae Judas citat, ab Enocho ita divinitus prophetata esse, dubium non est; sive prophetiam illam ipse alicubi scripsit et scriptura ilia vel per Noam ejus pronepotem in arca, vel in columna aliqua tempore diluvii conservata fuit sive memoria ejus traditione ad posteros propagata, quam postea apocrypho et fabulosa illi libro autor ejus inseruerit, ut totum Enochus scripsisse videretur.

ἐν ἁγίαις μυριάσιν] comp. Zechariah 14:5; Deuteronomy 33:2; Hebrews 12:22; ( μυριάσιν ἀγγέλων) Revelation 5:11.

Jude 1:15. ποιῆσαι κρίσιν] see Genesis 18:25; John 5:27.

τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς] The pronoun αὐτῶν, according to the Rec., would refer to the people of Israel.

ὧν ἠσέβησαν] the same verb in Zephaniah 3:11; 2 Peter 2:6; here used as transitive; comp. Winer, p. 209 [E. T. 279]. The frequent repetition of the same idea is to be observed: ἀσεβεῖς, ἀσεβείας, ἠσέβησαν, and finally again ἀσεβεῖς; a strong intensification of ungodliness.

τῶν σκληρῶν] σκληρός, literally, dry, hard, rough; here in an ethical sense, ungodly, not equivalent to surly (Hofmann); in a somewhat different sense, but likewise of sayings, the word is used in John 6:60.

κατʼ αὐτοῦ] is by Hofmann in an unnecessary manner attached not only to ἐλάλησαν, but also to ἠσέβησαν, in spite of Zephaniah 3:11, where it is directly connected with ἠσέβησαν, which is not here the case. The sentence emphatically closes with ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀσεβεῖς, which is not, with Hofmann, to be attracted to what follows.

Verse 16

Jude 1:16. A further description of the false teachers attached to the concluding words of the prophetic saying: τῶν σκληρῶν ὧν ἐλάλησαν κατʼ αὐτοῦ; comp. 2 Peter 2:18-19.

οὗτοί εἰσι] as in Jude 1:10; Jude 1:19 with special emphasis.

γογγυσταί] ἅπ. λεγ. in N. T.; the verb is of frequent occurrence; Oecumenius interprets it: οἱ ὑπʼ ὀδόντα καὶ ἀπαῤῥησιάστως τῷ δυσαρεστουμένῳ ἐπιμεμφόμενοι. Jude does not say against whom they murmur; it is therefore arbitrary to think on it as united to a definite special object as rulers (de Wette), or, still more definitely, ecclesiastical rulers (Estius, Jachmann). Brückner correctly observes that “the idea is not to be precisely limited.” Everything which was not according to their mind excited them to murmuring. The epithet μεμψίμοιροι ( ἅπ. λεγ.), dissatisfied with their lot, gives a more precise statement; denoting that they in their pretensions considered themselves entitled to a better lot than that which was accorded to them. The participial clause, κατὰ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῶν πορευόμενοι, is added to the substantive, which, whilst it unfolds the reason of their dissatisfaction and murmuring, at the same time expresses a kind of contrast: they were dissatisfied with everything but themselves. Calvin: qui sibi in pravis cupiditatibus indulgent, simul difficiles sunt ac morosi, ut illis nunquam satisfiat. The view of Grotius is entirely mistaken, that Jude has here in view the dissatisfaction of the Jews of that period with their political condition.

καὶ τὸ στόμα αὐτῶν λαλεῖ ὑπέρογκα] ὑπέρογκα only here and in the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:18. Luther: “proud words” (verba tumentia, in Jerom. contra Jovian, Jude 1:24); comp. Daniel 11:36, LXX.: καὶ λαλήσει ὑπέρογκα; such words are meant which proceed from pride, in which man exalts himself, in contrast to the humility of the Christians submitting themselves to God. To this the parallel passage (2 Peter 2:18) also points, where the expression ὑπέρογκα refers to boasting of ἐλευθερία. A participial clause is again added to this assertion, as in the former clause, likewise expressing a kind of contrast: θαυμάζοντες πρόσωπα ὠφελείας χάριν. The expression θαυμάζειν πρόσωπα is in the N. T. ἅπ. λεγ.; in the O. T. comp. Genesis 19:21, LXX.: ἐθαύμασά σου τὸ πρόσωπον; Heb. נָשָׂא פְנֵי; in other passages the LXX. have λαμβάνειν τὸ πρ. In Leviticus 19:15 the LXX. translate נָשָׂא פְנֵי by λαμβ. τὸ πρ.; on the other hand, הָדַר פְּנֵי by θαυμάζειν τὸ πρόσωπον. Whilst in the first passage the friendly attitude of God toward Abraham is expressed, in the second passage it has the bad meaning of partiality. It has also this meaning here: it is to be translated to render admiration to persons (Herder: to esteem; Arnaud: “admirer, honorer”). In this sense θαυμάζειν occurs in Sirach 7:29 (comp. Lysias, Orat. 31, where it is said of death: οὔτε γὰρ τοὺς πονηροὺς ὑπερορᾷ, οὔτε τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς θαυμάζει, ἀλλʼ ἶσον ἑαυτὸν παρέχει πᾶσιν). This partial treatment of persons consisted in the flattering homage of those who hoped for some advantage from them, as ὠφελείας χάριν shows. It is unwarranted, with Hofmann, to interpret θαυμάζειν πρόσωπα: “to gratify and to please a person.” Proud boasting and cringing flattery form indeed a contrast, but yet are united together. Calvin: magniloquentiam taxat, quod se ipsos fastuose jactent: sed interea ostendit liberali esse ingenio, quia serviliter se dimittant.

θαυμάζοντες is not parallel with πορευόμενοι, but refers in a loose construction to αὐτῶν; by this construction the thought gains more independence than if θαυμαζόντων were written.

ὠφελείας χάριν] belongs not to the finite verb, but to the participle.

Verse 17-18

Jude 1:17-18. Jude now turns to his readers, comforting(42) and exhorting them in reference to the ungodly above described; see 2 Peter 3:2-3.

ὑμεῖς δέ] an emphatic contrast to those above mentioned.

μνήσθητε] presupposes the words meant by Jude known to the readers, as learned from the apostles.

τῶν ῥημάτων τῶν προειρημένων] ῥῆμα; the word as an expression of thought. The προ in προειρημένων designates these words not as those which predict something future, but which were already spoken before (so also Hofmann).

ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων κ. τ. λ.] Jude would hardly have so expressed himself were he himself an apostle, which several expositors certainly do not grant, explaining this mode of expression partly from Jude’s modesty and partly from the circumstance that, except himself and John, the other apostles were already dead.

Jude 1:18. ὅτι ἔλεγον ὑμῖν] ὑμῖν here renders it probable that Jude means such sayings as the readers had heard from the mouth of the apostles themselves; yet the words which follow are not necessarily to be considered as a literally exact quotation, but may be a compression of the various predictions of the apostles concerning this subject.(43)

ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου [ τοῦ] χρόνου] a designation of the time directly preceding the advent of Christ. In the reading τοῦ χρόνου, ἐσχάτου is the genitive neuter, as in Hebrews 1:1.

ἔσονται ἐ΄παῖκται] only here and in 2 Peter 3:3, a word occurring only in later Greek; the LXX. have translated תַּעֲלוּלִים by ἐ΄π., as they render הִתְעַלֵּל by ἐ΄παίζειν. Mockers, that is, men to whom the holy (not merely the resurrection, Grotius) serves for mockery. λαλεῖν ὑπέρογκα is a ἐ΄παίζειν of the holy (which Hofmann without reason denies); this is naturally united with a surrender to their own lusts; therefore κατὰ τὰς ἑαυτῶν ἐπιθυ΄ίας πορευό΄ενοι τῶν ἀσεβειῶν] τῶν ἀσεβειῶν, an echo of the saying of Enoch, is placed emphatically at the close, in order to render prominent the character and aim of ἐπιθυ΄ίαι.

That the apostles in their writings frequently prophesied of the entrance of heretical and ungodly men into the church, is well known; comp. Acts 20:29; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:2 ff.; yet ἐ΄παίζειν is not elsewhere stated as a characteristic mark of these men; this is only the case in 2 Peter 3:3, where, however, the mockery is referred only to the denial of the advent of Christ.

Verse 19

Jude 1:19. Final description of the false teachers, not specially, but according to their general nature.

οὗτοί εἰσιν] parallel with Jude 1:16.

οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες] the article marks the idea as definite: “these are they who,” etc.

ἀποδιορίζειν, a word which occurs only in Aristotle’s Polit. iv. 8. 9, is here very differently explained; with the reading ἑαυτούς it would most naturally be taken as equivalent to separate; thus, “who separate themselves from the church, whether internally or externally” (Wahl); without ἑαυτούς it is explained either as = to secede (Fronmüller), or = to cause separations and divisions, namely, in the church (Luther: “who make factions;” de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger; so also in this commentary). Neither explanation is, however, justified from the use of the word διορίζειν. It is still more arbitrary, with Schott, to explain it: “who make a distinction, namely, between the pneumatical (Pneumatikern), as what they consider themselves, and the psychical (Psychikern), as what true Christians regard them;” for there is no indication of such a distinction made by them. If we base the explanation on the significance of διορίζειν, the word may be understood as = to make definitions. But in this case what follows must be closely connected with it, by which the mode and manner of their doing so is stated, namely, that they do so as psychical men, who are without the πνεῦμα. Hofmann gives to the verb the meaning: “to determine (define) something exactly in detail,” and then assumes that the preceding genitive τῶν ἀσεβειῶν depends on οἱ ἀποδιοριζόμενοι, which may well be the case, because a participle standing for a substantive may as well as a substantive govern the genitive. According to this explanation, Jude intends to describe those men as persons “who make impieties the object of an exercise of thought exactly defining everything, and so are the philosophers of impieties.” This explanation is condemned by the harsh and artificial construction which it requires.(44)

ψυχικοὶ, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες] πνεῦμα is not man’s natural spirit,(45) for Jude could not deny this to his opponents; and to explain μὴ ἔχοντες in the sense: “I might say that they have no spirit at all” (Fronmüller), is completely arbitrary. It is rather to be understood of the Holy Spirit (de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Hofmann); the want of the article and of an epithet, such as ἁγίου or θεοῦ, is no objection against this interpretation, since the simple word πνεῦμα is often used in the N. T. as a designation for the objective Holy Spirit. It is erroneous to affirm that by this interpretation the conclusion of the description is too flat, for nothing worse can be said of a man who desires to be esteemed a Christian than that he wants the Holy Spirit. Moreover, only so understood does πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες correspond to the preceding ψυχικοί, to which it is added as an explanation; ψυχικοί they are, inasmuch as their natural spiritual life left to itself is under the unbroken power of the σάρξ; see 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; James 3:15.


Schott attempts to prove that the three verses, 12, 16, and 19, beginning with οὗτοι, refer to the threefold expression contained in Jude 1:11, namely, in this manner: that the Antinomians, in showing themselves to be σπιλάδες in their agapé (Jude 1:12), resembled Cain; that in being γογγυσταὶ μεμψίμοιροι, and out of greed for material gain indulging in mercenary flattery (Jude 1:16), they resembled Balaam; and that in establishing a self-invented ungodly sanctity in opposition to the divinely appointed and divinely effective Christian sanctity (Jude 1:19), they resembled Korah. This juxtaposition, however, is anything but appropriate, resting, on the one hand, on incorrect explanations; and, on the other hand, on the arbitrary selection of separate points. It is incorrect to affirm that the similarity of the Antinomians with Cain consisted in this, that what he did corporally they did spiritually; there is contained in this rather a distinction than a similarity. It is arbitrary to bring forward only the last clause of Jude 1:16, which reproaches the Antinomians with flattery, and which may also be found in Balaam; whereas the other expressions in the verse do not suit in the least degree. And lastly, it is erroneous so to interpret Jude 1:19 that the Antinomians were accused of the setting up of a false sanctity; even were this correct, yet the sanctity claimed by them is of a totally different nature from that to which Korah and his company laid claim.

Verse 20-21

Jude 1:20-21. Exhortation to the readers respecting themselves.

ὑμεῖς δὲ, ἀγαπητοί] as in Jude 1:17, in contrast to the persons and conduct of those mentioned in the last verse.

ἐποικοδομοῦντες κ. τ. λ.] The chief thought is contained in the exhortation ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε, to which the preceding ἐποικοδομοῦντεςπροσευχόμενοι is subordinate, specifying by what the fulfilment of that exhortation is conditioned. Yet it is asked, whether προσευχόμενοι is connected with ἐποικοδομοῦντες, or is annexed as an independent sentence to the following imperative; and whether ἐν πν. ἁγίῳ is to be united with ἐποικοδ. or with προσευχόμενοι. These questions are difficult to decide with perfect certainty. Wiesinger and Schott apparently correctly unite ἐν πν. ἁγ. with προσευχόμενοι, and these taken together with what follows. Hofmann, on the other hand, unites ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ with what goes before, and προσευχόμενοι with what follows. In this construction, however, the structure of the participial clause becomes too clumsy; also ἐν πν. ἁγ. becomes superfluous, as ἐποκοδομεῖν ἑαυτούς cannot take place otherwise than ἐν πνεύματι ἁγ. It is true, Hofmann observes that ἐν πν. ἁγ. is superfluous with προσευχόμενοι, and that Jude could not intend to say how they should pray, but that they should pray. But this is erroneous, for τηρεῖν ἑαυτούς here mentioned depends not only on this, that one should pray, but that one should pray rightly, that is, ἐν πν. ἁγ. Wiesinger correctly observes, that the first clause gives the general presupposition; the second, on the other hand, the more precise statement how τηρήσατε has to be brought about.

τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ὑμῶν πίστει] Both the adjective and the verb show that πίστις is here meant not in a subjective (the demeanour of faith, Schott), but in an objective sense (Wiesinger: “appropriated by them indeed as their personal possession, yet according to its contents as παραδοθεῖσα;” so similarly Hofmann).

ἐποικοδομοῦντες ἑαυτούς] When verbs compounded with ἐπί are joined with the dative, as here, this for the most part is used for ἐπί τι, more rarely for ἐπί τινι (see Winer, p. 400 f. [E. T. 535]). If the first is here the case, then ἐποικοδομεῖν τῇ πίστει is to be interpreted, with Wiesinger: “building on πίστις, so that πίστις is the foundation which supports their whole personal life, the soul of all their thinking, willing, and doing” (so also hitherto in this commentary);(46) comp. 1 Corinthians 3:12 : ἐποικοδομεῖν ἐπὶ τὸν θεμέλιον τοῦτον. If, on the other hand, the second is here the case, then it is to he explained, with Hofmann, “their faith is the foundation which supports their life; and accordingly, in the further development of their life it should ever be their care that their life rests upon this foundation;” comp. Ephesians 2:20 : ἐποικοδομηθέντες ἐπὶ τῷ θεμελίῳ τῶν ἀποστόλων. The first is, however, to be preferred, because, as already remarked, with these verbs the dative mostly stands for ἐπί τι. Both explanations come essentially to the same thing.

ἑαυτούς is not here = ἀλλήλους; the discourse is indeed of a general, but not precisely of a mutual activity; ἑαυτούς with the second person creates no difficulty; comp. Philippians 2:12.

ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι] The expression προσευχ. ἐν πν. ἁγ., it is true, does not elsewhere occur, but similar combinations are not rare ( λαλεῖν ἐν πν. ἁγ., 1 Corinthians 12:3; see Meyer in loc.); it means so to pray that the Holy Spirit is the moving and guiding power (Jachmann, unsatisfactorily: “praying in consciousness of the Holy Ghost”); comp. Romans 8:26.

ἑαυτοὺς ἐν ἀγάπῃ θεοῦ τηρήσατε] θεοῦ may either be the objective genitive (Vorstius: charitas Dei passiva i. e. qua nos Deum diligimus; so also Jachmann, Arnaud, Hofmann, and others), or the subjective genitive, “the love of God to us” (so de Wette, Schott, Wiesinger, Fronmüller); in the latter case the thought is the same as in John 15:9-10; this agreement is in favour of that interpretation, nor is the want of the article opposed to it (against Hofmann). This keeping themselves in the love of God is combined with the hope of the future mercy of Christ, which has its ground, not in our love to God, but in God’s love to us; comp. Romans 5:8 ff.

προσδεχόμενοι τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ κυρίου κ. τ. λ.] On προσδεχ., Titus 2:15.

τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν is the mercy which Christ will show to His own at His coming. Usually the idea ἔλεος is predicated not of the dealings of Christ, but of God; in the superscriptions of the Pastoral Epistles and of the Second Epistle of John, it is referred to God and Christ.

εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον] may be joined either with ἔλεος (de Wette), or with προσδεχόμενοι (Schott), or with τηρήσατε (Stier, Hofmann); since the imperative clause forms the main point, the last-mentioned combination deserves the preference, especially as both in προσδέχεσθαι and in ἔλεος ἰησ. χρ. the reference to ζωὴ αἰώνιος is already contained. The prominence here given to the Trinity, πνεῦμα ἅγιον, θεός, ἰησοῦς χριστός, as frequently in the N. T., is to be observed. With the exhortation contained in Jude 1:20-21, Jude has accomplished what he in Jude 1:3 stated to be the object of his writing.

Verse 22-23

Jude 1:22-23. The exhortations contained in these verses refer to the conduct of believers toward those who are exposed to seduction by the ἀσεβεῖς (Jude 1:4) (de Wette); not toward the false teachers themselves (Reiche), for these are of such a kind (Jude 1:12) that the church should have nothing to do with them. The best attested text is that which codex A affords: καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους· οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεεῖτε (Lachmann and Tischendorf, ἐλεᾶτε) ἐν φόβῳ; see critical remarks.

οὓς μὲνοὓς δέ instead of τοὺς μὲντοὺς δέ, see Winer, p. 100. According to this reading, three classes of the seduced are distinguished, and toward each a special conduct is prescribed. It is, however, asked whether, as Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, Reiche, and others assume, there is a gradation from the curable to the incurable (a dubitantibus minusque depravatis ad … insanabiles, quibus opem ferre pro tempore ab ipsorum contumacia prohibemur: Reiche); or conversely from the incurable to the curable. In reference to the first class it is said: οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους] The verb ἐλέγχειν denotes to rebuke some one’s sins by punishing him. The object for which this is done is not indicated in the word itself; it may be to lead the sinner to the acknowledgment of his sins, and thus to repentance, comp. 1 Corinthians 14:24; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:13; or it may also be condemnation, comp. particularly Jude Jude 1:15 (John 16:8; Titus 1:9). The explanation of Oecumenius is incorrect: φανεροῦτε τοῖς πᾶσιν τὴν ἀσέβειαν αὐτῶν. Those who are to be punished are denoted διακρινομένους. Both the translation of the Vulgate: judicatos, and the interpretation of Oecumenius: κακείνους εἰ μὲν ἀποδιΐστανται ὑμῶν ἐλέγχετε, are incorrect. διακρίνεσθαι signifies in the N. T. either to contend, which is here unsuitable, or to doubt, and is opposed to πιστεύειν; comp. Matthew 21:21; Mark 11:23; Romans 4:20; especially James 1:6. This last passage shows that, although not equivalent to ἀπιστεῖν, it denotes the condition in which ἀπιστία has the preponderance over πίστις, the latter being a vanishing point.(47) It is evident that Jude does not consider the διακρινό΄ενοι as weak believers (Schott), because, with reference to them, he will employ no other method than ἐλέγχειν (not παρακαλεῖν, or something similar); those seduced are in his view such as (punishment apart) are to be left to themselves.(48) In reference to the second class it is said: οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες] Their condition is not stated, but it is to be inferred from the conduct to be observed towards them. Toward those belonging to this class a σώζειν is to be employed, but of such a nature as is more precisely stated by ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες. ἐκ πυρός is not from the fire of future judgment (Oecumenius, Fronmüller), but πῦρ is the present destruction, in which they already are (Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott); ἁρπάζειν denotes hasty, almost violent, snatching out, and indicates that those are already in extreme danger of perdition; comp. Amos 4:11; Zechariah 3:2. Distinguished from the διακρινομένοις, the second class are to be considered as those who have not yet lost the faith, but have, through fellowship with the Antinomians, been enticed to their licentious life; these are to be rescued. σώζετε is evidently in contrast to ἐλέγχετε, and denotes them to be such as one may certainly hope to rescue, provided one snatches them with violence, and tears them out of this fellowship. In reference to the third class, Jude prescribes ἐλεεῖν (on the form ἐλεᾶτε, see Winer, p. 32 [E. T. 104]). This verb in the N. T. never means only “to have compassion” (Schott), but always to compassionate one with helpful love, as also ἔλεος is always used only of active compassion; so that with ἐλεεῖτε the exact contrary is said to what Luther finds expressed, when he explains it: “let them go, avoid them, and have nothing to do with them.” By this is denoted rather the helpful and saving benevolence by which the erring are again to be brought back to the right way. As this ἐλεεῖν makes a fellowship necessary with those upon whom it is exercised, Jude defines the same more precisely by ἐν φόβῳ; accordingly, they must not be wanting in foresight, lest they suffer injury themselves,(49) and he adds the participial sentence as an explanation of this ἐν φόβῳ: ΄ισοῦντες καὶ κ. τ. λ.(50) This exhortation shows that Jude considers the third class as those who are indeed already involved, but who, by active compassion, may again be re-established; it is not so bad with them as with those toward whom only ἐλέγχειν is to be employed; but also it is not yet so bad as with those who can only be rescued by hastily snatching them.

Hofmann considers the reading of א: καὶ οὕς μὲν ἐλεᾶτε διακρινομένους οὕς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες, οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ, as the correct one. In his explanation of this reading he distinguishes not three, but only two classes, assuming that only the first, but not the second οὓς δέ stands opposed to οὓς μέν; and that this latter οὓς δέ is to be considered rather as a resumption of the object mentioned in οὓς μέν. This opinion is, however, erroneous, since, according to it, the third οὕς is understood differently from the first and second οὕς, namely, as a pure relative pronoun; and since, in a highly arbitrary manner, “ ἐν φόβῳ is explained as a consequence, united with an imperative ἐλεᾶτε to be taken from οὓς ἐλεᾶτε:” “whom ye compassionate, them compassionate with fear.” Also the explanation of the first member of the sentence: “the readers are to compassionate the one with distinction,” is to be rejected, since it has against it N. T. usage, according to which διακρίνεσθαι is never used as the passive of διακρίνειν in the sense of “to distinguish.”

The addition μισοῦντες καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς σαρκὸς ἐσπιλωμένον χιτῶνα(51) is correctly explained by Oecumenhis: προσλα΄βάνεσθε αὐτοὺς ΄ετὰ φόβου, περισκεπτό΄ενοι ΄ήπως πρόσληψις τούτων λύ΄ης ὑ΄ῖν γένηται αἰτία.

καί, even, gives greater emphasis to the thought. The expression τὸν χιτῶνα is to be understood in a literal, and not in a figurative sense (Bullinger: exuvias veteris Adami, concupiscentias et opera carnis). χιτῶν is the under garment worn next the skin, and which, by means of its direct contact with the flesh unclean by unchastity, etc., is itself soiled ( σπιλόω only here and in James 3:6); comp. Revelation 3:4.

This garment is to the author the symbol of whatever, by means of external contact, shares in the moral destruction of those men. Calvin: vult fideles non tantum cavere a vitiorum contactu, sed ne qua ad eos contagio pertingat, quicquid affine est ac vicinum, fugiendum esse admonet.

Verse 24-25


τῷ δὲ δυνα΄ένῳ] THE SAME COMMENCEMENT OF THE DOXOLOGY IN Romans 16:27.





Jude 1:25. ΄όνῳ θεῷ] SEE Jude 1:4; John 5:44; Romans 16:27; 1 Timothy 1:17.


διὰ ἰησ. χριστοῦ] BELONGS TO σωτῆρι ἡ΄ῶν (SCHOTT), NOT TO δόξα κ. τ. λ. (WIESINGER); IN THIS LATTER CASE IT WOULD BE PUT AFTER ἐξουσία.

δόξα, ΄εγαλωσύνη κ. τ. λ.] δόξα AND κράτος OCCUR FREQUENTLY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT DOXOLOGIES (SEE 1 Peter 4:11); ΄εγαλωσύνη AND ἐξουσία ONLY HERE ΄εγαλωσύνη CORRESPONDS TO THE HEBREW גֹּדֶל, COMP. Deuteronomy 32:3, LXX.: δότε ΄εγαλωσύνην τῷ θεῷ ἡ΄ῶν.




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Bibliography Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Jude 1:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.

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