Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
Rev., Judas. One of the brethren of Jesus; not the brother of James the Apostle, the son of Alphaeus, but of James the superintendent of the church at Jerusalem. He is named among the brethren of the Lord. Mat 13:55; Mar 6:3.
He does not call himself an apostle, as Paul and Peter in their introductions, and seems to distinguish himself from the apostles in Jde 1:17, Jde 1:18 : "The apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how that they said," etc. We are told that Christ's brethren did not believe on him (Joh 7:5); and in Acts 1 the brethren of Jesus (Joh 1:14) are mentioned in a way which seems to separate them from the apostles. Δοῦλος, bond-servant, occurs in the introductions to Romans, Philippians, Titus, James, and 2 Peter.
Brother of James
That Jude does not allude to his relationship to the Lord may be explained by the fact that the natural relationship in his mind would be subordinate to the spiritual (see Luk 11:27, Luk 11:28), and that such a designation would, as Dean Alford remarks, "have been in harmony with those later and superstitious feelings with which the next and following ages regarded the Lord's earthly relatives." He would shrink from emphasizing a distinction to which none of the other disciples or apostles could have a claim, the more so because of his former unbelief in Christ's authority and mission. It is noticeable that James likewise avoids such a designation.
See on Pe1 1:4. Compare Joh 17:6, Joh 17:12.
In Jesus Christ (Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ)
The simple dative without preposition. Therefore for Jesus Christ; by the Father to whom Christ committed them (Joh 17:11). Compare Th1 5:23; Phi 1:6, Phi 1:10.
At the end of the verse, for emphasis.
Peculiar to Jude in salutation.
Occurring at the beginning of an epistle only here and Jo3 1:2.
When I gave all diligence (πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος)
Lit., making all diligence; the phrase found only here. In Heb 6:11, we find "shew diligence" (ἐνδεικνυσθαι); and in Pe2 1:5, "adding diligence." See note there.
The common salvation
The best texts add ἡμῶν, of us. So Rev., "our common salvation."
It was needful (ἀνάγκην ἔσχον)
Lit., I had necessity. Alford, I found it necessary. Rev., I was constrained.
Earnestly contend (ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι)
Only here in New Testament.
The sum of what Christians believe. See on Act 6:7.
Not formerly, but once for all. So Rev., "No other faith will be given," says Bengel.
With the whole verse compare Pe2 2:1.
Crept in unawares (παρεισέδυσαν)
Rev., privily. See on Pe2 2:1. The verb means to get in by the side (παρά), to slip in by a side-door. Only here in New Testament.
The meaning is in dispute. The word occurs four times in New Testament. In two of these instances πρό has clearly the temporal sense before (Rom 15:4; Eph 3:3). In Gal 3:1, it is taken by some in the sense of openly, publicly (see note there). It seems better, on the whole, to take it here in the temporal sense, and to render written of beforehand, i.e., in prophecy as referred to in Jde 1:14, Jde 1:15. So the American Rev.
See on Pe1 4:3.
God is omitted in the best texts. On Lord (δεσπότην), see on Pe2 2:1.
Ye once knew (εἰδότας ἅπαξ)
Entirely wrong. The participle is to be rendered as present, and the once is not formerly, but once for all, as Jde 1:3. So Rev., rightly, though ye know all things once for all.
First estate (ἀρχὴν)
The word originally signifies beginning, and so frequently in New Testament, mostly in the Gospels, Acts, Hebrews, Catholic Epistles, and Apocalypse. From this comes a secondary meaning of sovereignty, dominion, magistracy, as being the beginning or first place of power. So mostly by Paul, as principalities (Rom 8:38); rule (Co1 15:24). Compare Luk 12:11, magistrates; Rev., rulers; and Luk 20:20, power. Rev., rule. A peculiar use of the word occurs at Act 10:11, "the sheet knit at the four corners (ἀρχαῖς);" the corners being the beginnings of the sheet. In this passage the A. V. has adopted the first meaning, beginning, in its rendering first estate. Rev. adopts the second, rendering principality. The Jews regarded the angels as having dominion over earthly creatures; and the angels are often spoken of in the New Testament as ἀρχαί, principalities; as Rom 8:38; Eph 1:21; so that this term would be appropriate to designate their dignity, which they forsook.
Only here and Co2 5:2.
Only here and Rom 1:20. For a longer form ἀείδιος, from ἀεί, always.
Under darkness (ὕπο ζόφον)
Under carries the sense of the darkness brooding over the fallen spirits. On darkness, see on Pe2 2:4. Compare Hesiod:
"There the Titanian gods, to murky gloom
Condemned by will of cloud-collecting Jove,
Lie hid in region foul."
Theogony, v., 729.
The cities about them
Admah and Zeboim. Deu 29:23; Hos 11:8.
Giving themselves over to fornication (ἐκπορνεύσασαι)
Rev., more strictly, having given, etc. Only here in New Testament. The force of ἐκ is out and out; giving themselves up utterly. See on followed, Pe2 1:16.
Going after (ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω)
The aorist participle. Rev., having gone. The phrase occurs Mar 1:20; James and John leaving their father and going after Jesus. "The world is gone after him" (Joh 12:19). Here metaphorical. The force of ἀπό is away; turning away from purity, and going after strange flesh.
Compare Pe2 2:10; and see Rom 1:27; Lev 18:22, Lev 18:23. Also Jowett's introduction to Plato's "Symposium ;" Plato's "Laws," viii., 836, 841; Dllinger, "The Gentile and the Jew," Darnell's trans., ii., 238 sq.
Are set forth (πρόκεινται)
The verb means, literally, to lie exposed. Used of meats on the table ready for the guests; of a corpse laid out for burial; of a question under discussion. Thus the corruption and punishment of the cities of the plain are laid out in plain sight.
As an example (δεῖγμα)
Only here in New Testament. From δείκνυμι, to display or exhibit; something, therefore, which is held up to view as a warning.
Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι)
Rev., rightly, substitutes punishment for vengeance, since δίκη carries the underlying idea of right or justice, which is not necessarily implied in vengeance. Some of the best modern expositors render are set forth as an example of eternal fire, suffering punishment. This meaning seems, on the whole, more natural, though the Greek construction favors the others, since eternal fire is the standing term for the finally condemned in the last judgment, and could hardly be correctly said of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities are most truly an example of eternal fire. "A destruction so utter and so permanent as theirs has been, is the nearest approach that can be found in this world to the destruction which awaits those who are kept under darkness to the judgment of the great day" (Lumby). Suffering (ὑπέχουσαι). Only here in New Testament. The participle is present, indicating that they are suffering to this day the punishment which came upon them in Lot's time. The verb means, literally, to hold under; thence to uphold or support, and so to suffer or undergo.
Not rendered by A. V., but expressing that though they have these fearful examples before them, yet they persist in their sin.
Dominion - dignities (κυριότητα - δόξας)
It is not easy to determine the exact meaning of these two terms. Κυριότης, dominion, occurs in three other passages, Eph 1:21; Col 1:16; Pe2 2:10. In the first two, and probably in the third, the reference is to angelic dignities. Some explain this passage and the one in Peter, of evil angels. In Colossians the term is used with thrones, principalities, and powers, with reference to the orders of the celestial hierarchy as conceived by Gnostic teachers, and with a view to exalt Christ above all these. Glories or dignities is used in this concrete sense only here and at Pe2 2:10.
Michael the archangel
Here we strike a peculiarity of this epistle which caused its authority to be impugned in very early times, viz., the apparent citations of apocryphal writings. The passages are Jde 1:9, Jde 1:14, Jde 1:15. This reference to Michael was said by Origen to be founded on a Jewish work called "The Assumption of Moses," the first part of which was lately found in an old Latin translation at Milan; and this is the view of Davidson, so far at least as the words "the Lord rebuke thee" are concerned. Others refer it to Zac 3:1; but there is nothing there about Moses' body, or Michael, or a dispute about the body. Others, again, to a rabbinical comment on Deu 34:6, where Michael is said to have been made guardian of Moses' grave. Doubtless Jude was referring to some accepted story or tradition, probably based on Deu 34:6. For a similar reference to tradition compare Ti2 3:8; Act 7:22.
Angels are described in scripture as forming a society with different orders and dignities. This conception is developed in the books written during and after the exile, especially Daniel and Zechariah. Michael (Who is like God?) is one of the seven archangels, and was regarded as the special protector of the Hebrew nation. He is mentioned three times in the Old Testament (Dan 10:13, Dan 10:21; Dan 12:1), and twice in the New Testament (Jde 1:9; Rev 12:7). He is adored as a saint in the Romish Church. For legends, see Mrs. Jameson, "Sacred and Legendary Art," i., 94 sq.
A railing accusation (κρίσιν βλασφημίας)
Lit., a judgment of railing; a sentence savoring of impugning his dignity. Michael remembered the high estate from which he fell, and left his sentence to God.
Compare Pe2 2:12.
They know not (οὐκ οἴδασιν)
Mental comprehension and knowledge, and referring to the whole range of invisible things; while the other verb in this verse, also translated by A. V. know (ἐπίστανται, originally of skill in handicraft), refers to palpable things; objects of sense; the circumstances of sensual enjoyment. Rev. marks the distinction by rendering the latter verb understand.
Only here in New Testament. Compare φυσικὰ, natural, Pe2 2:12.
Often used by our Lord, but never elsewhere except here and in the Apocalypse. The expression in Co1 9:16 is different. There the word is not used as an imprecation, but almost as a noun: "Woe is unto me." So Hosea 9:12 (Sept.).
Ran greedily (ἐξεχύθησαν)
Lit., were poured out. Rev., ran riotously. A strong expression, indicating a reckless, abandoned devotion of the energies, like the Latin effundi. So Tacitus says of Maecenas, "he was given up to love for Bathyllus;" lit., poured out into love.
Better, as Rev., in; as, "in the way of Cain." The error was their sphere of action. Similarly,
In the gainsaying (τῇ ἀντιλογίᾳ)
In the practice of gain-saying like Korah's. Ἀντιλογία is from ἀντί, against, and λέγω, to speak. Hence, literally, contradiction. Gainsay is a literal translation, being compounded of the Anglo-Saxon gegn, which reappears in the German gegen, against, and say.
Who spake against Moses (Num 16:3). The water which Moses brought from the rock at Kadesh was called the water of Meribah (Strife), or, in Septuagint, ὕδωρ ἀντιλογίας, the water of contradiction.
Only here in New Testament. So rendered in A. V., because understood as kindred to σπῖλοι (Pe2 2:13); but rightly, as Rev., hidden rocks. So Homer, ("Odyssey," iii., 298), "the waves dashed the ship against the rocks (σπιλάδεσσιν)." See on deceivings, Pe2 2:13. These men were no longer mere blots, but elements of danger and wreck.
When they feast with you
See on Pe2 2:13.
See on Pe1 5:2. Lit., shepherding themselves; and so Rev., shepherds that feed themselves; further their own schemes and lusts instead of tending the flock of God. Compare Isa 56:11.
Without fear (ἀφόβως)
Of such judgments as visited Ananias and Sapphira. Possibly, as Lumby suggests, implying a rebuke to the Christian congregations for having suffered such practices.
Clouds without water
Compare Pe2 2:17, springs without water. As clouds which seem to be charged with refreshing showers, but are borne past (παραφερόμεναι) and yield no rain.
Whose fruit withereth (φθινοπωρινὰ)
From φθίνω or φθίω, to waste away, pine, and ὀπώρα, autumn. Hence, literally, pertaining to the late autumn, and rightly rendered by Rev., autumn (trees). The A. V. is entirely wrong. Wyc., harvest trees. Tynd., trees without fruit at gathering-time.
Not only the apparent death of winter, but a real death; so that it only remains to pluck them up by the roots.
Rev., wild, which is better, as implying quality rather than act. Waves, by nature untamed. The act or expression of the nature is given by the next word.
Foaming out (ἐπαφρίζοντα)
Only here in New Testament. Compare Isa 57:20.
Lit., shames or disgraces.
Compare Pe2 2:17. Possibly referring to comets, which shine a while and then pass into darkness. "They belong not to the system: they stray at random and without law, and must at last be severed from the lights which rule while they are ruled" (Lumby).
See on Pe2 2:4.
Of darkness (τοῦ σκότους)
Lit., "the darkness," the article pointing back to the darkness already mentioned, Jde 1:6.
This is the second of the apocryphal passages referred to in notes on Jde 1:9. It is quoted from the apocryphal book of Enoch, directly, or from a tradition based upon it. The passage in Enoch is as follows:
"Behold he comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon them, and to destroy the wicked, and to strive (at law) with all the carnal for everything which the sinful and ungodly have done and committed against him."
The Book of Enoch, which was known to the fathers of the second century, was lost for some centuries with the exception of a few fragments, and was found entire in a copy of the Ethiopic Bible, in 1773, by Bruce. It became known to modern students through a translation from this into English by Archbishop Lawrence, in 1821. It was probably written in Hebrew. It consists of revelations purporting to have been given to Enoch and Noah, and its object is to vindicate the ways of divine providence, to set forth the retribution reserved for sinners, angelic or human, and "to repeat in every form the great principle that the world - natural, moral, and spiritual - is under the immediate government of God."
Besides an introduction it embraces five parts: 1. A narrative of the fall of the angels, and of a tour of Enoch in company with an angel through heaven and earth, and of the mysteries seen by him. 2. Parables concerning the kingdom of God, the Messiah, and the Messianic future. 3. Astronomical and physical matter; attempting to reduce the images of the Old Testament to a physical system. 4:. Two visions, representing symbolically the history of the world to the Messianic completion. 5. Exhortations of Enoch to Methuselah and his descendants. The book shows no Christian influence, is highly moral in tone, and imitates the Old Testament myths.
With ten thousands of his saints (ἐν ἀγίαις μυριάσιν)
Lit., in or among holy myriads. Compare Deu 33:2; Zac 14:5.
Ungodly (ἀσεβεῖς) - ungodly deeds (ἔργων ἀσεβείας, lit., works of ungodliness) which they have ungodly committed (ἠσέβησαν), and of all their hard speeches which ungodly (ἀσεβεῖς) sinners, etc
The evident play upon the word ungodly can be rendered but clumsily into English. Rev., translates, All the ungodly, of all their works of ungodliness which they have ungodly wrought, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. The words ungodly sinners are placed in an unusual position, at the end of the sentence, for emphasis; ungodliness being the key-note of the writer's thought.
Hard (τῶν σκληρῶν)
Speeches is supplied. Lit., hard things. So Rev. The railing, gainsaying ; the profane and vain babblings (Ti2 2:16). Compare Joh 6:60, a hard saying, where the word means not abusive but difficult. In Jam 3:4, rough, used of the winds. In Act 26:14, of Saul of Tarsus; "hard to kick against the pricks."
Only here in New Testament. Doubtless, originally, with some adaptation of sound to sense, gongustai. It is used of the cooing of doves.
From μέμφομαι, to find fault with, and μοῖρα, a part or lot. Lit., blamers of their lot.
Great swelling words
See on Pe2 2:18.
Having men's persons in admiration (θαυμάζοντες πρόσωπα)
The Rev., shewing respect of persons, is neater, but the A. V. more literal: admiring the countenances. Compare Gen 19:21, Sept., "I have accepted thee:" lit., have admired thy face.
Because of advantage
See Pe2 2:3, Pe2 2:14.
Compare Jde 1:3.
See on Pe2 3:3.
Ungodly lusts (ἐπιθυμίας τῶν ἀσεβειῶν)
Lit., lusts of ungodlinesses.
Separate themselves (ἀποδιορίζοντες)
Only here in New Testament. Themselves is unnecessary. Better, as Rev., make separations; i.e., cause divisions in the church. The verb is compounded with ἀπό, away; διά, through; ὅρος, a boundary line. Of those who draw a line through the church and set off one part from another.
See on Mar 12:30. As ψυχή denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence, "the centre of the personal being, the I of each individual," so this adjective derived from it denotes what pertains to man as man, the natural personality as distinguished from the renewed man. So Co1 2:14; Co1 15:44 :. The rendering sensual, here and Jam 3:15, is inferential: sensual because natural and unrenewed In contrast with this is
The higher spiritual life. So the adjective πνευματικός, spiritual, is everywhere in the New Testament opposed to ψυχικός, natural. See Co1 15:44, Co1 15:46.
And of some have compassion, making a difference
This follows the reading, καὶ οὓς μὲν ἐλεεῖτε (ἐλεᾶτε) διακρινόμενοι. The best texts, however, read διακρινομένους, which would require, "On some have mercy who are in doubt. So Rev. Others, again, for ἐλεεῖτε, have mercy, read ἐλέγχετε, reprove, and render διακρινομένους, who are contentious: "Some who are contentious rebuke." The Rev. rendering better suits what follows.
Snatching them out of the fire
The writer has in mind Zac 3:2, a brand plucked from the burning. Compare Amo 4:11.
With fear (ἐν φόβῳ)
Lit., in fear; i.e., of the contagion of sin while we are rescuing them.
Only here and Jam 3:6. See on Pe2 2:13.
To keep you from falling (φυλάξαι ὑμᾶς ἀπταίστους)
Lit., "to keep you without stumbling. Only here in New Testament. See the kindred word offend. Rev., stumble, Jam 2:10; Jam 3:2.
Exceeding joy (ἀγαλλιάσει)
See on Pe1 1:6.
Both now and ever (καὶ νῦν καὶ εἰς πάντας τοὺς αἰῶνας)
Lit., both now and unto all the ages. The best texts add πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος, before all time.