Jude 1:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead.

New Living Translation
When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord's love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you. They are like shameless shepherds who care only for themselves. They are like clouds blowing over the land without giving any rain. They are like trees in autumn that are doubly dead, for they bear no fruit and have been pulled up by the roots.

English Standard Version
These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;

Berean Study Bible
These men are the hidden reefs in your love feasts, shamelessly feasting with you but shepherding only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind; fruitless trees in autumn, twice dead after being uprooted.

Berean Literal Bible
These are the hidden reefs, feasting together with you fearlessly in your love feasts; shepherding themselves; clouds without water, being carried about by winds; autumnal trees without fruit, twice having died, having been uprooted;

New American Standard Bible
These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

King James Bible
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
These are the ones who are like dangerous reefs at your love feasts. They feast with you, nurturing only themselves without fear. They are waterless clouds carried along by winds; trees in late autumn--fruitless, twice dead, pulled out by the roots;

International Standard Version
These people are stains on your love feasts. They feast with you without any sense of awe. They are shepherds who care only for themselves. They are waterless clouds blown about by the winds. They are autumn trees that are fruitless, totally dead, and uprooted.

NET Bible
These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit--twice dead, uprooted;

New Heart English Bible
These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
These are those who are defiled in their feasts and run riot while feeding themselves without fear, clouds without rain that wander with the wind; trees, whose fruit has died, who are without fruit, which have died twice and they have pulled up from their roots,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
These people are a disgrace at the special meals you share with other believers. They eat with you and don't feel ashamed. They are shepherds who care [only] for themselves. They are dry clouds blown around by the winds. They are withered, uprooted trees without any fruit. As a result, they have died twice.

New American Standard 1977
These men are those who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

Jubilee Bible 2000
These are spots in your banquets of charity, feeding themselves without any fear whatsoever: clouds without water, carried to and fro of the winds; trees withered as in fall, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

King James 2000 Bible
These are spots in your love feasts, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about by winds; trees whose fruit withers, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

American King James Version
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit wither, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

American Standard Version
These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Douay-Rheims Bible
These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds, trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots,

Darby Bible Translation
These are spots in your love-feasts, feasting together [with you] without fear, pasturing themselves; clouds without water, carried along by [the] winds; autumnal trees, without fruit, twice dead, rooted up;

English Revised Version
These are they who are hidden rocks in your love-feasts when they feast with you, shepherds that without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Webster's Bible Translation
These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about by winds; withered autumnal trees, without fruit, twice dead, plucked out by the roots;

Weymouth New Testament
These men--sunken rocks! --are those who share the pleasure of your love-feasts, unrestrained by fear while caring only for themselves; clouds without water, driven away by the winds; trees that cast their fruit, barren, doubly dead, uprooted;

World English Bible
These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Young's Literal Translation
These are in your love-feasts craggy rocks; feasting together with you, without fear shepherding themselves; clouds without water, by winds carried about; trees autumnal, without fruit, twice dead, rooted up;
Study Bible
God's Judgment on the Ungodly
11Woe to them! They have traveled the path of Cain; they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam; they have perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12These men are the hidden reefs in your love feasts, shamelessly feasting with you but shepherding only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried along by the wind; fruitless trees in autumn, twice dead after being uprooted. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.…
Cross References
Proverbs 25:14
Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

Ezekiel 34:2
"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Woe, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?

Ezekiel 34:8
"As I live," declares the Lord GOD, "surely because My flock has become a prey, My flock has even become food for all the beasts of the field for lack of a shepherd, and My shepherds did not search for My flock, but rather the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock;

Matthew 15:13
But Jesus replied, "Every plant that My Heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by its roots.

1 Corinthians 11:20
Now then, when you come together, it is not the Lord's Supper you eat.

1 Corinthians 11:21
For as you eat, many of you proceed with your own meal to the exclusion of others. While one remains hungry, another gets drunk.

Ephesians 4:14
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed about by the waves and carried around by every wind of teaching and by the clever cunning of men in their deceitful scheming.

Hebrews 13:9
Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace and not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those devoted to them.

2 Peter 2:13
The harm they will suffer is the wages of their wickedness. They consider it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deception as they feast with you.

2 Peter 2:17
These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.
Treasury of Scripture

These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit wither, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

are spots. See on

2 Peter 2:13,14 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count …

feasts.

1 Corinthians 11:21,22 For in eating every one takes before other his own supper: and one …

feeding.

Psalm 78:29-31 So they did eat, and were well filled: for he gave them their own desire…

Isaiah 56:10-12 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb …

Ezekiel 34:8,18 As I live, said the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, …

Luke 12:19,20,45 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for …

Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine …

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged …

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory …

1 Thessalonians 5:6,7 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober…

James 5:5 You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have …

clouds.

Proverbs 25:14 Whoever boasts himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind without rain.

Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? …

2 Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; …

carried.

Ephesians 4:14 That we from now on be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried …

trees.

Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that …

Psalm 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Matthew 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had …

Matthew 21:19,20 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing …

Mark 4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, …

Mark 11:21 And Peter calling to remembrance said to him, Master, behold, the …

Luke 8:6 And some fell on a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered …

John 15:4-6 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, …

twice.

1 Timothy 5:6 But she that lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

Hebrews 6:4-8 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have …

See on

2 Peter 2:18-20 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through …

plucked.

2 Chronicles 7:20 Then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have …

Ezekiel 17:9 Say you, Thus said the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull …

Matthew 15:13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father has …

Mark 11:20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried …

(12-19) Three-fold description of the ungodly, corresponding to the three examples just given. The divisions are clearly marked, each section beginning with "These are" (Jude 1:12; Jude 1:16; Jude 1:19).

(12-15) Description corresponding to Cain.

(12) These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you.--Rather, These are the rocks in your feasts of charity, banqueting with you fearlessly (see next Note); or, These are they who banquet together fearlessly, rocks in your feasts of charity. The former is preferable. But in any case we must probably read rocks--i.e., that on which those who meet them at your love-feasts will be wrecked (see Notes on 1Corinthians 11:20-22)--not "spots," which is borrowed from 2Peter 2:13. But it is just possible that as spiloi, St. Peter's word, may mean either "spots" or "rocks" (though most commonly the former), so St. Jude's word (spilades) may mean either "spots" or "rocks" (though almost invariably the latter). In an Orphic poem of the fourth century, spilades means "spots "; but this is rather late authority for its use in the first century. Here "rocks" is the safer translation. St. Peter is dwelling on the sensuality of these sinners, and for him "spots" is the more obvious metaphor. St. Jude, in tracing an analogy between them and Cain, would be more likely to select "rocks." These libertines, like Cain, turned the ordinances of religion into selfishness and sin: both, like sunken rocks, destroyed those who unsuspectingly approached them. On the difference of reading respecting the word for "feasts of charity," or "love-feasts," see Note on 2Peter 2:13. Possibly the name Agap for such feasts comes from this passage. Had it been common when St. Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 11, he would probably have made a point of it; love-feasts in which there was no love. (Comp. 1Peter 5:14.)

Feeding themselves without fear. "Without fear" goes better with "feasting with you"; but the Greek admits of either construction. "Feeding themselves" instead of the poorer members of the flock; whereas feeding the poor was one great object of the love-feasts. Others explain, "feeding themselves" (literally, pasturing themselves) instead of waiting to be tended by the shepherds. The former is better, the scandal being similar to that described in 1Corinthians 11:21. (Comp. Isaiah 56:11, which St. Jude may possibly have had in his mind; and see above, second Note on Jude 1:8.)

Clouds without water.--Comp. Proverbs 25:14. The meaning is not that these men bring much food to the love-feasts and give nothing away: there is no longer any allusion to the love-feasts. Rather, these men are ostentatious generally, and yet do no good inflated and empty. (See on 2Peter 2:17.)

Carried about of winds.--More literally, borne past (without giving any rain) by winds; or, perhaps, driven out of their course (and so showing their flimsiness) by winds.

Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit.--There is no such strange contradiction in the Greek, nor in any of the earlier English versions. The meaning rather is, autumn trees (which ought to be full of fruit, and yet are) without fruit; in allusion, probably, to the barren fig-tree. Others, less simply, explain "trees in late autumn"--i.e., stripped and bare. But for this we should expect "winter trees" rather than "autumn trees."

Twice dead.--Utterly dead, and hence "plucked up by the roots." Spiritually these men were "twice dead" in having returned, after baptism, to the death of sin. The writer piles up metaphor on metaphor and epithet on epithet in the effort to express his indignation and abhorrence. The epithets here are in logical order: in autumn, fruitless, dead, rooted up.

(13) Foaming out their own shame.--More literally, shames, their shameful acts. Isaiah 57:20 is probably in St. Jude's mind: "The wicked are like the troubled sea, whose waters cast up mire and dirt."

Wandering stars.--Nothing is gained by understanding comets, which have their orbits, and do not wander, in St. Jude's sense, any more than planets do. The image is that of stars leaving their place in the heavens, where they are beautiful and useful, and wandering away (to the utter confusion of every one who directs his course by them) into sunless gloom, where their light is extinguished, and whence they cannot return. This simile suits the "false teachers of 2 Peter better than the "ungodly" of Jude. Would the writer of 2 Peter have neglected to avail himself of it?

(14) And Enoch also.--On the Book of Enoch, and this famous quotation from it, see Excursus at the end of the Epistle. The following passage from Irenus (IV. Xvi. 2) shows that he was acquainted with the book, and throws light on St. Jude's use of it:--"Enoch also, pleasing God without circumcision, was God's ambassador to the angels, although he was a man, and was raised to heaven, and is preserved even until now as a witness of the just judgment of God. For the angels by transgression fell to earth for judgment, while a man, by pleasing God, was raised to heaven for salvation." The mission of Enoch to the fallen angels is narrated in the Book of Enoch, 12-16.

The seventh from Adam.--This is not inserted without special meaning. It was scarcely needed to distinguish the son of Jared from the son of Cain; in that case it would have been more simple to say, "the son of Jared." It either points to the extreme antiquity of the prophecy, or else to the mystical and sabbatical number seven. Enoch (see preceding Note) was a type of perfected humanity, and hence the notion of "divine completion and rest" is perhaps suggested here. Thus, Augustine, in his reply to Faustus the Manichan (xii. 14):--"Enoch, the seventh from Adam, pleased God and was translated, as there is to be a seventh day of rest, in which all will be translated who during the sixth day of the world's history are created anew by the incarnate Word." Several of the numbers connected with Enoch in Genesis seem to be symmetrical, and intended to convey a meaning.

With ten thousands of his saints.--Or, among His holy myriads--i.e., encircled by them. (Comp. Deuteronomy 33:2; Hebrews 12:22.)

(15) To execute judgment.--The Greek phrase occurs only here and John 5:27.

To convince.--Better, to convict. (Comp. John 8:46, and see Notes on John 16:8, and on 1Corinthians 14:24.) The words "among them" must be omitted, as wanting in authority.

Hard speeches.--Comp. John 6:60, the only other place where this epithet is applied to words. The meaning is somewhat similar in each case: harsh, repulsive, inhuman. It does not mean "hard to understand." Nabal (1Samuel 25:3) has this epithet with the LXX., where the Authorised version has "churlish." In the Ethiopic version of the Book of Enoch there appears to be nothing to represent "hard speeches . . . spoken" in this passage.

(16-18) Description corresponding to Balaam.

(16) Complainers.--Literally, discontented with their lot. Men who "shape their course according to their own lusts" can never be content, for (1) the means of gratifying them are not always present, and (2) the lusts are insatiable. Such was eminently the case with Balaam, in his cupidity and his chafing against the restraints which prevented him from gratitifying it. There is a possible reference to this verse in the Shepherd of Hermas (Sim. IX. xix. 3).

Great swelling words.--See Note on 2Peter 2:18.

Having men's persons in admiration.--More simply, admiring persons (so the Rhemish version)--i.e., having regard to people of distinction, as Balaam to Balak. These ungodly men were courtiers, flatterers, and parasites.

Because of advantage.--For the sake of advantage--i.e., to gain something by it: like "for reward" (Jude 1:11). Exactly Balaam's case. Note that each half of the verse falls into an irregular triplet.

(17) But, beloved.--Better, as in Jude 1:20, But ye, beloved. "Ye" is emphatic in both cases: "ye," in contrast to these impious men. All previous English versions insert the "ye." While taking the form of an exhortation, the passage still remains virtually descriptive. "Be not ye deceived by their impudent boasting and interested pandering, for these are the scoffing sensualists against whom the Apostles warned you."

Spoken before of the apostles.--The old use of "of" for "by," like "carried about of winds" (Jude 1:12). (Comp. 2Peter 2:19.) St. Jude implies that this warning of the Apostles is well known to those whom he addresses. This appeal to the authority of Apostles would be more naturally made by one who was not an Apostle, but cannot be regarded as decisive. See Introduction, I., and Note on 2Peter 3:2, to which, however, this is not quite parallel, for the writer there has already declared himself to be an Apostle (2Peter 1:1). There is nothing to show that the author of our Epistle regards the Apostles as considerably removed in time from himself. "In the last time is their expression, not his; and by it they did not mean any age remote from themselves. (Comp. 1John 2:18; 2Timothy 3:1-2; 2Timothy 3:6; Hebrews 1:2; 1Peter 1:20.)

(18) How that they told you.--Or, perhaps, used to tell you: but we cannot infer from this that oral teaching exclusively is meant. This, again, leaves the question of the writer's position open. Had St. Jude written "how that they told us," it would have been decisive against his being an Apostle.

There should be mockers.--Better, that there shall be scoffers. The quotation is direct, and is introduced formally by a word which in Greek commonly precedes a direct quotation. This, however, scarcely amounts to proof that the quotation is from a written document. The word for "mockers" here is the same as that translated "scoffers" in 2Peter 3:3. The translation should be the same in both passages.

In the last time.--These words had better come first: that in the last time there shall be scoffers.

Who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.--Better, walking according to their own lusts of impieties. The force of the genitive may be merely adjectival, as the Authorised version renders it: but as it may indicate the things lusted for, it is better to keep a literal rendering of it.

(19) Description corresponding to Korah.

(19) These be they.--Better, These are they--for the sake of making the openings of Jude 1:12; Jude 1:16; Jude 1:19 exactly alike, as they are in the Greek.

Who separate themselves.--"Themselves" must be omitted, the evidence against it being overwhelming. "Who separate:" who are creating a schism, like Korah and his company; claiming to be the chief and most enlightened members in the community to which they still profess to belong, though they turn upside down its fundamental principles. The context rather leads us to suppose that these libertines claimed to be the only "spiritual" Christians, inasmuch as they said that to their exalted spiritual natures the things of sense were purely indifferent, and might be indulged in without loss or risk; while they taunted other Christians, who regulated their conduct carefully with regard to such things, with being psychic or "sensuous." Note the three-fold division of the verse.

Sensual.--The Greek word is psychic, and has no English equivalent; "sensuous" would perhaps be best. The LXX. do not use it, but it occurs six times in the New Testament. Four times (1Corinthians 2:14; 1Corinthians 15:44; 1Corinthians 15:46) it is translated "natural" (see Note on 1Corinthians 2:14); once (James 3:15), "sensual," with "natural" in the margin; and here simply "sensual." In 1Corinthians 15:44; 1Corinthians 15:46, the moral meaning is in the background; in the other three passages the moral meaning is prominent and is distinctly bad. Psychic is the middle term of a triplet of terms, "carnal, psychic, spiritual." "Carnal" and "spiritual" speak for themselves--the one bad, the other good. Psychic, which comes between, is much closer to "carnal," and with it is opposed to "spiritual." This is more clearly seen in the Latin equivalents--carnalis, animalis, spiritalis. The carnal man is ruled by his passions, and rises little above the level of the brutes. The psychic man is ruled by human reasoning, and human affections, and does not rise above the world of sense. The spiritual man is ruled by his spirit--the noblest part of his nature--and this is ruled by the Spirit of God. He rises to and lives among those things which can only be "spiritually discerned." Our Christian psychology is seriously affected by the absence of any English word for psychic--the part of man's nature which it represents is often lost sight of.

Having not the Spirit.--Or, perhaps, because they have no spirit. The Holy Spirit may be meant, although the Greek word has no article; but more probably spiritual power and insight is what is meant. These men had allowed the spiritual part of then nature, of which they talked so much, to become so buried in the mire of sensual indulgence and human self-sufficiency, that it was utterly inoperative and practically non-existent. The form of negative used in the Greek seems to imply that their "having no spirit" is the reason why they are justly called "sensuous."

Each of these three descriptions (Jude 1:12-19) is shorter than the preceding one. The writer hurries through an unpalatable subject to the more pleasing duty of exhorting those faithful Christians for whose sake he is writing.

Verses 12, 13. - The next two verses carry on the description of the men in a running fire of epithets and figures, short, sharp, and piercing, corresponding also at certain points with 2 Peter 2:13-17. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. What is referred to appears not to be ordinary friendly gatherings or occasions for the interchange of affection, but the well-known agapae, or love-feasts, of the primitive Church, the meals provided in connection with the Lord's Supper, at which rich and poor sat down together. In adopting the rendering "spots," the English Version follows Tyndale, Cranmer, the Genevan, and the Rhemish, and is followed by some good interpreters on the ground that the term, though formally different, is essentially the same as that in 2 Peter 2:13. The word itself, however, properly means "rocks," and therefore the point may be that their immoral conduct makes these men like treacherous reefs, on which their fellows make shipwreck. So the Revised Version gives "hidden rocks" in the text, and transfers "spots" to the margin. The "without fear," which is usually attached to the third clause, is connected by some with the second, in which case it expresses the reckless, irreverent spirit in which these men joined in the sacred agape. The last clause, "feeding [or, 'pasturing'] themselves," describes them further as having no regard to the proper object of these love-feasts in ministering to Christian fellowship and the holy sense of brotherhood, but as using them simply as a means for the saris-faction of their own appetites and the furtherance of their own base ends. Compare the evils referred to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:21, and the description of the shepherds in Ezekiel 34, and Isaiah 56:11. "They are like shepherds," says Humphry, "that have themselves for their flocks, feasting themselves, not their sheep, and doing this without fear of the chief Shepherd, who has his eye upon them." Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; or, carried past by winds. Like rainless clouds, the sport of the uncertain breezes, yielding nothing for the fruitfulness of earth, these empty, volatile, inconstant men disappoint the expectation of the Church and do it no service. Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots. The Authorized Version is less happy than usual in its rendering of the first clause. The Revised Version, in adopting "autumn trees" instead of "trees whose fruit withereth," returns to the renderings of the earlier versions, Wickliffe giving "harvest trees," Tyndale and Cranmer "trees without fruit at gathering-time," and the Rhemish "trees of autumn." The idea of uselessness and unfruitfulness, which was expressed in the previous figure, is repeated, but in a more absolute form, in this new figure. The late autumn is not the time, from the Eastern point of view, for the putting forth of fruit. The tree then becomes bare, barren, leafless. So is it with these men. Nor is it only that they have no fruit to show. The capacity of fruitfulness is extinct within them. The possibility of recovering it is gone from them. They are as dead to all good service as trees are which are rooted out as hopelessly useless. The phrase, "twice dead," may mean no more than "utterly dead." The point, however, is rather this - that they are dead, not only in respect of barrenness - which is a death in life - but in respect of the extinction of all vitality. Raging (or, wild) waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; or shames, as the original gives it; that is to say, shameful deeds, or, it may be, the degrading lusts which inspire their unlicensed life (Huther). This comparison recalls at once the figure in Isaiah 57:20. Wandering stars, to whom is (or, has been) reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. In the Book of Enoch (chapter 18:14) the angel shows the prophet "a prison for the stars of heaven, and for the host of heaven," and in the next verse it is explained that "the stars that roll over the fire are they who have transgressed the command of God before their rising, because they did not come forth in their time." It is possible that Jude had this in mind here, as the language of earlier chapters of the same book may have suggested others of Jude's figures. If the "wandering stars" are to be identified with any particular order of the heavenly bodies, it will be with the comets rather than the planets, the movements of the former seeming, to the common eye, so much the more erratic. The doom which is declared to be in reserve, no doubt takes its form so far from the immediate figure of the comet vanishing into the unseen. But the idea expressed is not so much that of suddenness as that of certainty and irreversibility. It is the doom which Christ himself pronounces to be prepared (Matthew 25:41), and, therefore, inevitable and perpetual. In confirmation of this statement of the certainty of the doom, the readers are next reminded of the Lord's judicial coming, and of that as the subject of prophecy. The prophecy in question, though not one of those recorded in the canonical Hebrew Scriptures, seems to have been familiar enough to the readers to make it a natural and pertinent thing to quote it. So Paul cites heathen authors or common popular sayings in support of his statements. These are spots in your feasts of charity,.... Or "love". The Jews speak , "of a feast of faith" (b). These here seem to be the Agapae, or love feasts, of the primitive Christians; the design of which was to maintain and promote brotherly love, from whence they took their name; and to refresh the poor saints, that they might have a full and comfortable meal now and then: their manner of keeping them was this; they began and ended them with prayer and singing; and they observed them with great temperance and frugality; and they were attended with much joy and gladness, and simplicity of heart: but were quickly abused, by judaizing Christians, as observing them in imitation of the passover; and by intemperance in eating and drinking; and by excluding the poor, for whose benefit they were chiefly designed; and by setting up separate meetings for them, and by admitting unfit persons unto them; such as here are said to be spots in them, blemishes, which brought great reproach and scandal upon them, being persons of infamous characters and conversations. The allusion is either to spots in garments, or in faces, or in sacrifices; or to a sort of earth that defiles; or else to rocks and hollow stones on shores, lakes, and rivers, which collect filth and slime; all which serve to expose and point out the persons designed. The Alexandrian copy and some others read, "these are in their own deceivings, spots", instead of as in 2 Peter 2:13,

when they feast with you; which shows that they were among them, continued members with them, and partook with them in their solemn feasts, and were admitted to communion; and carries in it a kind of reproof to the saints, that they suffered such persons among them, and allowed them such privilege, intimacy, and familiarity with them:

feeding themselves without fear; these were like the shepherds of Israel, who fed themselves, and not the flock, and were very impious and impudent, open and bare faced in their iniquities, neither fearing God nor regarding man,

Clouds they are, without water; they are compared to clouds for their number, being many false prophets and antichrists that were come out into the world; and for their sudden rise, having at once, and at an unawares, crept into the churches; and for the general darkness they spread over the churches, making it, by their doctrines and practices, to be a dark and cloudy day, a day of darkness, and gloominess, a day of clouds, and of thick darkness, a day of trouble, rebuke, and blasphemy; and for the storms, factions, rents, and divisions they made; as also for their situation and height, soaring aloft, and being vainly puffed up in their fleshly mind; as well as for their sudden destruction, disappearing at once. And to clouds "without water", because destitute of the true grace of God, and of true evangelical doctrine; which, like rain, is from above, from heaven; and which, like that, refreshes, softens, and fructifies. Now these false teachers looked like clouds, that promised rain, boasted of Gospel light and knowledge, but were destitute of it, wherefore their ministry was uncomfortable and unprofitable,

Carried about of winds; either of false doctrines, or of their own lusts and passions, or of Satan's temptations:

trees whose fruit withereth: or "trees in autumn"; either like to them, which put forth at that season of the year, and so come to nothing; or like to trees which are bare of leaves as well as fruit, it being the time when the leaves fall from the trees; and so may be expressive of these persons casting off the leaves of an outward profession, of their going out from the churches, separating from them, and forsaking the assembling together with them, when what fruit of holiness, and good works, they seemed to have, came to nothing; and so were

without fruit, either of Gospel doctrine, or of Gospel holiness and righteousness; nor did they make any true converts, but what they made were like the Pharisees, as bad, or worse than themselves; and from their unfruitfulness in all respects, it appeared that they were not in Christ the true vine, and were not sent forth by him, nor with his Gospel, and that they were destitute of the Spirit of God,

Twice dead; that is, entirely, thoroughly, and really dead in trespasses and sins, notwithstanding their pretensions to religion and godliness; or the sense may be, that they were not only liable to a corporeal death, common to them with all mankind, but also to an eternal one, or to the death both of soul and body in hell. Homer calls (d) those "twice dead", that go to hell alive: or rather the sense is this, that they were dead in sin by nature, as all men are, and again having made a profession of religion, were now become dead to that profession; and so were twice dead, once as they were born, and a second time as they had apostatized:

plucked up by the roots; either by separating themselves from the churches, where they had been externally planted; or by the act of the church in cutting them off, and casting them out; or by the judgment of God upon them,

(b) Zohar in Exod. fol. 36. 3, 4. (d) Odyss. l. 12. lin. 22. 12. spots—So 2Pe 2:13, Greek, "spiloi"; but here the Greek is spilades, which elsewhere, in secular writers, means rocks, namely, on which the Christian love-feasts were in danger of being shipwrecked. The oldest manuscript prefixes the article emphatically, "THE rocks." The reference to "clouds … winds … waves of the sea," accords with this image of rocks. Vulgate seems to have been misled by the similar sounding word to translate, as English Version, "spots"; compare however, Jude 23, which favors English Version, if the Greek will bear it. Two oldest manuscripts, by the transcriber's effort to make Jude say the same as Peter, read here "deceivings" for "love-feasts," but the weightiest manuscript and authorities support English Version reading. The love-feast accompanied the Lord's Supper (1Co 11:17-34, end). Korah the Levite, not satisfied with his ministry, aspired to the sacrificing priesthood also: so ministers in the Lord's Supper have sought to make it a sacrifice, and themselves the sacrificing priests, usurping the function of our only Christian sacerdotal Priest, Christ Jesus. Let them beware of Korah's doom!

feeding themselves—Greek, "pasturing (tending) themselves." What they look to is the pampering of themselves, not the feeding of the flock.

without fear—Join these words not as English Version, but with "feast." Sacred feasts especially ought to be celebrated with fear. Feasting is not faulty in itself [Bengel], but it needs to be accompanied with fear of forgetting God, as Job in the case of his sons' feasts.

clouds—from which one would expect refreshing rains. 2Pe 2:17, "wells without water." Professors without practice.

carried about—The oldest manuscripts have "carried aside," that is, out of the right course (compare Eph 4:14).

trees whose fruit withereth—rather, "trees of the late (or waning) autumn," namely, when there are no longer leaves or fruits on the trees [Bengel].

without fruit—having no good fruit of knowledge and practice; sometimes used of what is positively bad.

twice dead—First when they cast their leaves in autumn, and seem during winter dead, but revive again in spring; secondly, when they are "plucked up by the roots." So these apostates, once dead in unbelief, and then by profession and baptism raised from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, but now having become dead again by apostasy, and so hopelessly dead. There is a climax. Not only without leaves, like trees in late autumn, but without fruit: not only so, but dead twice; and to crown all, "plucked up by the roots."1:8-16 False teachers are dreamers; they greatly defile and grievously wound the soul. These teachers are of a disturbed mind and a seditious spirit; forgetting that the powers that be, are ordained of God, Ro 13:1. As to the contest about the body of Moses, it appears that Satan wished to make the place of his burial known to the Israelites, in order to tempt them to worship him, but he was prevented, and vented his rage in desperate blasphemy. This should remind all who dispute never to bring railing charges. Also learn hence, that we ought to defend those whom God owns. It is hard, if not impossible, to find any enemies to the Christian religion, who did not, and do not, live in open or secret contradiction to the principles of natural religion. Such are here compared to brute beasts, though they often boast of themselves as the wisest of mankind. They corrupt themselves in the things most open and plain. The fault lies, not in their understandings, but in their depraved wills, and their disordered appetites and affections. It is a great reproach, though unjust to religion, when those who profess it are opposed to it in heart and life. The Lord will remedy this in his time and way; not in men's blind way of plucking up the wheat with the tares. It is sad when men begin in the Spirit, and end in the flesh. Twice dead; they had been once dead in their natural, fallen state; but now they are dead again by the evident proofs of their hypocrisy. Dead trees, why cumber they the ground! Away with them to the fire. Raging waves are a terror to sailing passengers; but when they get into port, the noise and terror are ended. False teachers are to expect the worst punishments in this world and in that to come. They glare like meteors, or falling stars, and then sink into the blackness of darkness for ever. We have no mention of the prophecy of Enoch in any other part or place of Scripture; yet one plain text of Scripture, proves any point we are to believe. We find from this, that Christ's coming to judge was prophesied of, as early as the times before the flood. The Lord cometh: what a glorious time will that be! Notice how often the word ungodly is repeated. Many now do not at all refer to the terms godly, or ungodly, unless it be to mock at even the words; but it is not so in the language taught us by the Holy Ghost. Hard speeches of one another, especially if ill-grounded, will certainly come into account at the day of judgment. These evil men and seducers are angry at every thing that happens, and never pleased with their own state and condition. Their will and their fancy, are their only rule and law. Those who please their sinful appetites, are most prone to yield to ungovernable passions. The men of God, from the beginning of the world, have declared the doom denounced on them. Such let us avoid. We are to follow men only as they follow Christ.
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