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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Jude 1

 

 

Verse 1

Jude 1:1. ἰούδας, Jude) The Epistle has three parts.

I. THE INSCRIPTION, Jude 1:1-2.

II. THE DISCUSSION: in which he exhorts them to contend for the faith, Jude 1:3 :

And, having described the destruction and character of the adversaries, Jude 1:4-16,

He admonishes the righteous, Jude 1:17-18;

Confirms them, Jude 1:19-21;

And instructs them in their duty towards others, Jude 1:22-23.

III. THE CONCLUSION, with a Doxology, Jude 1:24-25.

This Epistle closely agrees with the Second of Peter, which Jude appears to have had before his eyes. Comp. Jude 1:17-18, with 2 Peter 3:3. Peter wrote that at the end of his life: from which it may be inferred, that St Jude lived longer, and saw, by that time, the great declension of all things in the Church, which had been foretold by St Peter. But he passes by some things mentioned by Peter, he expresses others with a different purpose and in different language, he adds others; while the wisdom of the apostle plainly shines forth, and his severity increases. Thus Peter quotes and confirms Paul, and Jude quotes and confirms Peter.— ἀδελφὸς δὲ ἰακώβου, but the brother of James) James was more widely known, being styled the brother of the Lord; therefore Jude modestly calls himself the brother of James.— τοῖς) A periphrasis, to which the antithesis answers in Jude 1:4.— ἠγαπημένοις, beloved) The conclusion corresponds with the introduction: Jude 1:21.— τετηρημένοις, preserved) To be preserved uninjured for Christ, is a subject of joy: John 17:2; John 17:11; John 17:15; 2 Corinthians 11:2. The sources and completion of salvation are pointed out: and this passage has a kind of anticipatory precaution ( προθεραπείαν), lest the righteous should be alarmed by the mention of such dreadful evils.— κλητοῖς, called) Calling is altogether the prerogative of Divine bounty.


Verse 2

Jude 1:2. ἔλεος, κ. τ. λ., mercy, etc.) in a time of wretchedness. Hence it is that mercy is put in the first place: the mercy of Jesus Christ, Jude 1:21; peace, in the Holy Spirit, comp. Jude 1:20; love, of God, Jude 1:21. Here is a testimony concerning the Holy Trinity.


Verse 3

Jude 1:3. πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος) when I gave all diligence.— γράφεινσωτηρίας, to writesalvation) Antithetical to marked out before (fore-written) to judgment: Jude 1:4.— περὶ, concerning) Here is the design of the Epistle: Jude 1:20-21. There is a close agreement between the beginning and the end of the Epistle.— κοινῆς, common) by equally (“like”) precious faith: 2 Peter 1:1. The ground of mutual exhortation.— σωτηρίας, salvation) Even severe admonitions tend to salvation.— ἀνάγκην ἔσχον) I could not but.— γράψαι ὑμῖν παρακαλῶν, to write to you with exhortation) Of all kinds of writing, Jude judged exhortation to be most salutary at that time. The word, to write, is in close connection with exhorting. Exhortation is introduced in Jude 1:17-18. This is the express design of the Epistle.— ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι, that ye contend) It is a double duty, to fight earnestly in behalf of the faith, against enemies; and to build one’s self up in the faith: Jude 1:20. Comp. Nehemiah 4:16-18.— ἅπαξ, once for all) The particle expresses great urgency: no other faith will be given. Comp. in the second instance [subsequently, “afterward”], Jude 1:5.— παραδοθείσῃ, delivered) from God.— τοῖς ἀγίοις) to all the saints, who are such (i.e. holy) by reason of their most holy faith: Jude 1:20. Construe this with delivered.— πίστει, the faith) by which we arrive at salvation: Jude 1:20-21.


Verse 4

Jude 1:4. παρεισέδυσαν, have crept in unawares) παρὰ, under, by the way.— οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρίμα, who were of old forewritten for this judgment) For their coming was predicted, Jude 1:17; and that they should undergo the judgment, which he is about to describe, is evident from the examples of punishments inflicted upon others of similar impurity—examples which have long been written. There is no reference to predestination; respecting which, however, there is a similar expression, οἱ γραφέντες εἰς ζωὴν, they who are written unto life, Isaiah 4:3; but he is speaking of the prediction of Scripture. πάλαι, of old, in the time of Enoch, Jude 1:14; and since he himself only spake it, and did not also write it, it must be regarded as an abbreviated expression, in this sense: They were long ago foretold by Enoch, and afterwards marked out by the written word. Therefore comp. the word ἀσεβεῖς, ungodly, with Jude 1:15. The meaning of εἰς is as far as relates to. τοῦτο, this, is forcibly demonstrative; the apostle already, as it were, seeing their punishment. The language used by Enoch comprises all the ungodly of the beginning and of the end of the world. The disposition and the punishment of all are alike.— ἡμῶν, of us) not of the ungodly.— χάριν, the grace) of the Gospel.— τὸν μόνον δεσπότην, the only Master) Sirach 18:33, in the Complutensian Edition: κρείσσων παῤῥησία ἐν δεσπότῃ μόνῳ, εἴπερ νεκρὰ καρδία νεκρῷ ἀντέχεται.— καὶ κύριον, and Lord) St Jude shows that the impiety of those whom he censures, makes attacks both against God and against Christ: τὴν τοῦ θεου ἡμῶν χάριν μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν, καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμῶν ιησουν χριστον ἀρνούμενοι· who alter the grace of our GOD as relates to [“into”] lasciviousness, and deny our only Master, and Lord JESUS CHRIST. This was not observed by those who inserted θεὸν after δεσπότην.(1) A passage exactly parallel occurs, 2 Peter 2:1, τὸν ἀγοράσαντα αὐτοὺς δεσπότην ἀρνού΄ενοι, denying the, Lord that bought them.— ἀρνούμενοι, denying) Let the portentous fictions (heresies) of the ancient heretics, as mentioned by the fathers, be thoroughly weighed.


Verse 5

Jude 1:5. ὑπομνῆσαι, to remind) In an active sense.— εἰδότας ὑμᾶς, though you know) The Accusative Absolute, as Acts 26:3. The reason why he only admonishes or reminds them is, because they already know it, and have ascertained it once for all. This expression answers to that of Peter, knowing this first.— ἅπαξ) once for all: Jude 1:3, note.— σώσας, having saved) There is an antithesis in, destroyed.


Verse 6

Jude 1:6. ἀγγέλους, the angels) 2 Peter 2:4, note.— μὴ τηρήσαντας, that kept not) They ought therefore to have kept it.— ἀρχὴν) their dignity; the state once for all assigned to them, under the Son of God: Colossians 1— ἀπολιπόντας, who left) of their own accord.— ἴδιον, their own) befitting them.— οἰκητηρίον, habitation) bright and shining, opposed to ζόφον, darkness.— ἀϊδίοις, everlasting) A dreadful epithet, as here used. So Jude 1:7, αἰωνίου, everlasting.— τετήρηκεν, He hath reserved) determined to reserve.


Verse 7

Jude 1:7. τούτοις) [in a manner like] to these, the ungodly, who are doomed to undergo a like punishment.— ἐκπορνεύσασαι) giving themselves to fornication. For the simple verb πορνεύω, זנה, the Septuagint often has ἐκπορνεύω. But here the word is peculiarly adapted to a lust still more abominable.— ἀπελθοῦσαιἑτέρας, going away after—other) unnatural lusts.—[ πρόκεινται, are set forth, lie before our eyes) The cities therefore were situated, not in the Dead Sea, but upon the shore.—V. g.]— δεῖγμαδίκην, an example—punishment) These are put in apposition; the punishment, which they endure, is an example of eternal fire, as Cassiodorus says: for the punishment of those cities is not itself eternal: Ezekiel 16:53; Ezekiel 16:55. Comp. 2 Peter 2:6.


Verse 8

Jude 1:8. ΄έντοι, indeed) A particle setting forth and comparing the impurity of such ungodly men with Sodom, whence the resemblance of punishment mentioned in Jude 1:7 is plainly seen.— ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι) disturbed with impure and confused dreams, and from their dreams conjecturing the future. The words, they know not, Jude 1:10, are equivalent: Isaiah 56:10-11, Septuagint, οὐκ ἔγνωσανἐνυπνιαζόμενοι κοίτην.— οὐκ εἰδότες σύνεσιν, πάντες ταῖς ὁδοῖς αὐτῶν ἐξηκολούθησαν· They are ignorantsleeping, lying downthey cannot understandthey all look to their own way.(2)κυριότητα, dignities) See 2 Peter 2:10, note.


Verse 9

Jude 1:9. δὲ ΄ιχαὴλ, but Michael) It matters not whether the apostle received the knowledge of this contention from revelation only, or from the tradition of the elders: it is sufficient that he writes true things, and even admitted to be true by the brethren. Comp. Jude 1:14, note. δὲ answers to μέντοι.— ἀρχάγγελος, the archangel) Mention is made of the archangel in this place only, and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 (where also a most important subject is treated of, the resurrection of the dead): there is no mention of it elsewhere; so that we cannot determine whether there is one archangel only, or more.— ὅτε, when) When this dispute arose, and on what day, is not expressed: it certainly happened after the death of Moses.— τῷ διαβόλῳ, with the devil) against whom it is especially befitting for Michael to contend, Revelation 12— διακρινόμενος διελέγετο, disputing he contended) It was therefore a judicial contest.— περὶ τοῦ ΄ωσέως σώματος, concerning the body of Moses) He is plainly speaking of the identical body of Moses, now lifeless. In a matter full of mystery, we ought not to alter that part of the language which is plain, according to our own convenience. The devil, who had the power of death, and therefore perhaps claimed the right of hindering the resurrection of Moses, made some attempt, whatever it was, against the body of Moses.(3)οὐκ ἐτόλ΄ησε, did not dare) Modesty is an angelic virtue. The greater was the victory at length given to Michael: Revelation 12:7.—The Synopsis of Sohar, p. 92, n. 6. It is not permitted man ignominiously to rail at a race opposed to him; that is, evil spirits.—Schœtt-genius. οὐκἀλλʼ ὡς, Romans 9:32.— βλασφη΄ίας, of railing) that is, βλάσφημον, railing, 2 Peter 2:11.— ἐπιτι΄ήσαι σοι, punish thee) An instance of the Divine reserve.— κύριος, the Lord) and none but He. To His judgment the angel assents beforehand [in advance].


Verse 10

Jude 1:10. ὅσα) all things, which.— οὐκ οἴδασι, they are not acquainted with) This is said of spiritual things, belonging to God and the saints.— φυσικῶς, naturally) by their natural faculties, respecting natural things, by a natural mode of knowledge, and a natural appetite. That which is physical is here opposed to that which is spiritual, Jude 1:19.— ἐπίστανται, they know) A more subtle knowledge is conveyed by the former expression, οἴδασι, they are (not) acquainted with.— φθείρονται, they perish [“corrupt themselves”]) Comp. the following verse.


Verse 11

Jude 1:11. οὐαὶ, woe!) Jude alone of the apostles, and he in this passage only, threatens a woe, from a threefold reason, which follows immediately. To the same purport, Peter calls them accursed children!(4)τοῦ κάϊν, of Cain) the murderer of his brother.— τοῦ βαλαὰμ, of Balaam) the false prophet.— μισθοῦ) for reward.— ἐξεχύθησαν) they have been poured forth, like a torrent without a bank.— ἀντιλογίᾳ, in the gain saying) מריבה, Septuagint, ἀντιλογία.— τοῦ κορὲ, of Korah) thrusting himself into the priesthood.


Verse 12

Jude 1:12. ἐν ταῖς ἀγάπαις ὑμῶν, in your agapæ [love-feasts]) in your banquets by which brotherly love is nourished.— σπιλάδες) As there is a Paronomasia between Peter and Jude on the words ἀγάπαις and ἀπάταις, so there is an instance of Homonymia(5) between the same writers in the words σπῖλοι, 2 Peter 2:13, and σπιλάδες, in this passage: for σπιλάδες may be taken for “spots” (maculæ), as the Vulgate renders it: comp. Jude 1:23 : whence Hesychius has σπιλάδες, μεμιασμένοι, polluted, at the same time showing a Metonymia(6) in this place. But he also says, σπιλάδες, αἱ περιεχόμεναι τῇ θαλάσσῃ πέτραι, the rocks which are surrounded by the sea. Moreover στιλὰς also denotes a storm; and this very notion, of which we have remarked an example on Chrysostom, respecting the priesthood, p. 375, is approved by Œcumenius. Let the reader make his choice. This metaphor is followed by four others; from the air, the earth, the sea, the heaven.— συνευωχούμενοι ἀφόβως, feasting themselves without fear) Sacred feasts are to be celebrated with fear; [which is opposed to luxury.—V. g.] Feasting is not faulty in itself: therefore without fear ought to be connected with this verb.— ἑαυτοὺς, themselves) not the flock.— δένδρα φθινοπωρινὰ) φθίνων, that is, μὴν, the last part of the month: thus φθινόπωρον, the end of the autumn: thence δένδρον φθινοπωρινὸν, a tree of such art appearance as that which presents itself at the end of the autumn, without leaves and fruit. There is here a gradation, consisting of four members. The first, and flowing from it the second, has reference to the fruit: the third, and flowing from it the fourth, has reference to the tree itself.— ἄκαρπα, without fruit) trees which produce nothing serviceable for food.— δὶς) twice; that is, entirely: with reference to their former state, and their Christian state.— ἐκριζωθέντα, plucked up by the roots) This is the last step in the process here mentioned.


Verse 13

Jude 1:13. ἐπαφρίζοντα, foaming out) swollen through plenty: Isaiah 57:20.— ἀστέρες πλανῆται, wandering stars) It has been ascertained in a more recent age, that planets are of themselves dark (opaque) bodies, shining with borrowed light. St Jude, even at that time, from his divine light, conveyed this meaning. For it is plain, from the subsequent mention of darkness, that the allusion is not merely to the etymological derivation of wandering stars [ πλανῆται, Th. πλανάομαι, I wander] (although this is also suitable). Comp. 2 Peter 2:17. And the same reason shows that it is not to be understood of the ignis fatuus. Aristotle plainly distinguishes between οἱ δοκοῦντες ἀστέρες διάττειν, the stars which appear to dart through the heavens, shooting stars, and οἱ πλανῆται ἀστέρες, the planets. Book i. Meteor, ch. 4 and 6.— οἷς, to whom) As before, in the case of the clouds, trees, and waves, so now to the wandering stars, an appropriate description is added, with reference to the Apodosis.


Verse 14

Jude 1:14. προεφήτευσε) acted as prophet.— καὶ τούτοις, even to these) not only respecting these, and not to the antediluvians only; for he says, all: Jude 1:5.— ἕβδομος, the seventh) The antiquity of the prophecy is shown, Jude 1:4; for it appears to have been the earliest respecting the coming of the Judge. There were only five fathers between Enoch and Adam: 1 Chronicles 1:1; and the translation of Enoch took place earlier than A.M. 1000: and this very title is peculiar to Enoch, and of frequent use among the Hebrews. The seventh from Adam, is an expression not without mystery; for in him who is thus described, freedom from death and a sacred number are combined: for every seventh object is most highly valued. The Fragment of Enoch, indeed, relates a tenfold septenary: inasmuch as those ungodly men, who were overwhelmed with the deluge, δεθέντες ἐπὶ ἑβδομήκοντα γενεὰς εἰς τὰς νάπας τῆς γῆς, shall be bound to dark valleys of the earth for seventy generations, even until the day of their judgment. See Heidan. de Orig. Err., p. 174.— ἀπὸ ἀδὰμ, from Adam) The first coming of Christ was foretold to Adam; the second to Enoch. The seventh from Adam prophesied the things which shall close the seventh age of the world.— ἐνὼχ, Enoch) Who shall determine, whether St Jude took this also from some ancient book, or from tradition, or from immediate revelation? If from a book, it is however judged to be different from that against which Bangius disputes, in his Treatises on the Origin of Letters, especially p. 94. Comp. Suicer’s Thesaurus, P. i. col. 1131.— κύριος, the Lord) The name of Jehovah was already known in the time of Enoch.— ἐν ἁγίαις μυριάσιν, amidst holy myriads) of angels: Matthew 25:31. A mysterious ellipsis(7) was suitable to those early times.


Verse 15

Jude 1:15. κρίσιν, judgment) Enoch looked forward beyond the deluge.— κατὰ πάντων, against all men) who have sinned. A general description (the genus).— ἐξελέγξαι,(8) to convince) The conviction, which there was even then, will be completed in the judgment. A process of conviction is employed against those who are unwilling to know.— πάντας τοὺς ἀσεβεῖς, all the ungodly) A particular description (the species).— ἐλάλησαν, have spoken) Jude 1:8; Jude 1:10.— κατʼ αὐτοῦ, against Himself) even though they had not thought that all their ungodly sayings [with which also the sons of the Lord and His servants are assailed, Job 42:7; Malachi 3:13.—V. g.] were directed against Him.— ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀσεβεῖς, ungodly sinners) A sinner is bad; ἀσεβὴς, one who sins without fear, is worse.

ABC Vulg. (“argucre”) read ἐλέγξαι: but Rec. Text, ἐξελέγξαι, with modern and cursive MSS.—E.


Verse 16

Jude 1:16. γογγυσταὶ, murmurers) against men.— μεμψίμοιροι, complainers) against God.— πορευόμενοι, walking) with respect to themselves, Jude 1:18.— θαυμάζοντες πρόσωπα) having men’s persons in admiration. So the Septuagint translates נשא פנים and הדר פנים, on either side [either in a bad or a good sense].


Verse 17

Jude 1:17. ὑμεῖς δὲ, ἀγαπητοὶ, but ye, beloved) Thus also Jude 1:20.— μνήσθητε, remember) They therefore to whom Jude writes had also heard the other apostles.— ἀποστόλων, apostles) Jude does not exempt himself from the number of the apostles; for in the next verse he says, to you, not, to us.


Verse 19

Jude 1:19. οὗτοι) these. He shows that the characters of these are such as have been foretold, Jude 1:18.— οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες) ἑαυτοὺς is understood, though this also is added by some:(9), Isaiah 45:24, Septuagint, αἰσχυνθήσονται πάντες οἱ ἀφορίζοντες ( διορίζοντες is the reading of the Vatican edition) αὐτούς· All that separate themselves shall be ashamed. They separate themselves from God, and from living communion with the Church; yet not from its outward fellowship, Jude 1:12, at the beginning. Comp. Hosea 4:14, יפרדו; [Proverbs 18:1; Isaiah 66:5; Luke 6:22.—V. g.]— ψυχικοὶ, animal) who are influenced by the animal nature only, without the spirit.— πνεῦ΄α ΄ὴ ἔχοντες, not having spirit) Therefore the spirit is not an essential part of man.


Verse 20

Jude 1:20. δὲ, but) Separating, and building yourselves up, are opposite terms; also animal, and in the Holy Spirit.— ἀγιωτάτῃ, most holy) than which nothing can be more holy. The superlative singular, with great force of exhortation and urgency.— ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι, praying in the Holy Spirit) Ephesians 6:18; Zechariah 12:10; John 4:24. Jude makes mention of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: he also makes mention of faith, of love and hope, in this and the following verses.— προσευχόμενοι, praying) The attention of the righteous is requisite, but much more their prayers, by which they obtain Divine assistance.


Verse 21

Jude 1:21. ἑαυτοὺς, yourselves) He who defends himself first, is able then, and not till then, to preserve others. The following verses.— προσδεχόμενοι, waiting for) They, who build themselves up, are able to wait with confidence.— ἔλεος, mercy) Opposed to fire, Jude 1:23.— εἰς, unto) To be construed with waiting for.


Verse 22

Jude 1:22. καὶ, and) He who has already taken measures to secure his own interests, may take measures for the interests of others.


Verse 22-23

Jude 1:22-23. οὓς μὲν ἐλέγχετε διακρινομένους· οὓς δὲ σώζετε ἐκ πυρὸς ἁρπάζοντες· οὓς δὲ ἐλεεῖτε ἐν φόβῳ,(10) Some indeed, who are hesitating, convince; but save others, snatching them from the fire; but on others have pity with fear) The apostle enumerates three descriptions of those, whose safety the righteous ought to consult: and the first class is deficient in understanding; the second in disposition, and that vehemently; the third in disposition, but in a less degree. Therefore, 1st, conviction, or a demonstration of good and evil, ought to be applied to those who are harassed with doubts, and hesitate in uncertainty and perplexity. 2d, Those whom the fire has already nearly seized upon, ought to be grasped by any part, with rapid effort, and thus preserved. 3d, They are to be treated with mercy and gentleness, who can be led back into the way by fear alone, and a kind pointing out of the danger. See App. Crit., Ed. ii., on this passage.— μισοῦντες, holding in hatred) This strictly coheres with ἐλεεῖτε, pity. He says, Wretched men must be rescued in one way from the fire, and in another way from the mud. It is sufficient for these last to be treated with mildness, fear only being applied: these, being almost untouched by you, may perceive from this very circumstance your hatred and loathing even of the mere surface of impurity.— καὶ, even) not only the flesh itself, which they pollute, Jude 1:8, but even the garment.— ἐσπιλωμένον χιτῶνα, the spotted tunic) The tunic is the whole outward habit of life, in which we are affected by others. The phrase resembles a proverbial one.

διακρινομένους is read by ABC Vulg. Syr. later Syr. Memph: but Rec. Text, διακρινόμενοι, with inferior Uncial MSS.

οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε ἐν φόβῳ is the reading of AB Vulg. But Rec. Text omits these words, except that it inserts ἐν φόβῳ after οὓς δὲ and before ἐκ πυρὸς, in opposition to ABC Vulg., which omit these words in that place. C and both Syr. Versions, however, omit οὓς δὲ ἐλεᾶτε, and merely put ἐν φόβῳ after ἁρπάζοντες.—E.


Verse 24

Jude 1:24. φυλάξαι αὐτοὺς ἀπταίστους, to keep you(11) free from stumbling) in contradistinction to those ungodly men. αὐτοὺς, for ὑμᾶς, refers to the preceding announcements, as Matthew 23:37.— κατενώπιον τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ, before the presence of His glory) before the presence of Himself, when He shall he revealed most gloriously.— ἀμώμους, without fault) in your own selves. This is antithetical to, free from stumbling.

αὐτοὺς is the reading of B (according to Tisch.) and Stephens’ Rec. Text. ὑμᾶς, in C Vulg. and Elezev. Rec. Text. A has ἡμᾶς.—E.


Verse 25

Jude 1:25.(12) δόξα καὶ ΄εγαλωσύνη, glory and majesty) This refers to the only God.— κράτος καὶ ἐξουσία, might and power) This refers to, who is able.(13)

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Jude 1:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/jude-1.html. 1897.

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