Jude 1:9
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

New Living Translation
But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy, but simply said, "The Lord rebuke you!" (This took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses' body.)

English Standard Version
But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

New American Standard Bible
But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

King James Bible
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Yet Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the Devil in a debate about Moses' body, did not dare bring an abusive condemnation against him but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"

International Standard Version
Even the archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil and fought over the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him. Instead, he said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"

NET Bible
But even when Michael the archangel was arguing with the devil and debating with him concerning Moses' body, he did not dare to bring a slanderous judgment, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But Michael the Archangel, who, when he was speaking with The Devil about the body of Moses, did not speak to bring a slanderous judgment against him, but he said, “THE LORD JEHOVAH will rebuke you.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the archangel Michael argued with the devil, they were arguing over the body of Moses. But Michael didn't dare to hand down a judgment against the devil. Instead, Michael said, "May the Lord reprimand you!"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Yet when Michael, the archangel, contended with the devil, disputing over the body of Moses, he dared not bring against him a curse of judgment, but said, The Lord reprehend thee.

King James 2000 Bible
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil as he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you.

American King James Version
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you.

American Standard Version
But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee.

Darby Bible Translation
But Michael the archangel, when disputing with the devil he reasoned about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a railing judgment against [him], but said, [The] Lord rebuke thee.

English Revised Version
But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing judgment, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

Weymouth New Testament
But Michael the Archangel, when contending with the Devil and arguing with him about the body of Moses, did not dare to pronounce judgement on him in abusive terms, but simply said, "The Lord rebuke you."

World English Bible
But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"

Young's Literal Translation
yet Michael, the chief messenger, when, with the devil contending, he was disputing about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring up an evil-speaking judgment, but said, 'The Lord rebuke thee!'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 9. - The irreverent and unbridled speech of these "filthy dreamers" is now contrasted with the self-restraint of one of the "dignities" of the angelic world. The point of the contrast is sufficiently clear. The incident itself is obscure. But Michael the archangel. With the exception of Revelation 12:7, where he is described as warring with the dragon, this is the only mention which the New Testament makes of Michael. It is entirely in harmony, however, with the Old Testament representation. It is only in the Book of Daniel that he is named there, but he appears as the champion and protector of Israel against the world-powers of heathenism. He is "one of the chief princes" (Daniel 10:13), "your prince" (Daniel 10:21), "the great prince" (Daniel 12:1), who gives help against Persia, and stands for the chosen people. He is also introduced in the Book of Enoch, and the view given of him there is like that in Jude. He is "the merciful, the patient, the holy Michael" (40:8). He belongs to that developed form which the doctrine of angels took towards the close of Old Testament revelation, when the ideas of distinction in dignity and office were added to the simpler conception of earlier times. In the apocryphal books we find a hierarchy with seven archangels, including Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel. When contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. These last words occur in Zechariah 3:2, where they are addressed by the Lord to Satan. The term used for "disputed" points to a contention in words. The phrase rendered "railing accusation" by the English Version, and "invective" by others, means rather a judgment or "sentence savouring of evil-speaking," as Alford puts it. Following the Rhemish Version, therefore, the Revised Version renders it a "railing judgment." What is meant, then, is that Michael restrained himself, leaving all judgment and vengeance even in this case to God. But what is the case referred to? The Targum of Jonathan, on Deuteronomy 34:6, speaks of Michael as having charge of the grave of Moses, and there may be something to the same effect in other ancient Jewish legends (see Wetstein). But with this partial exception, there seems to be nothing resembling Jude's statement either in apocryphal books like that of Enoch or in the rabbinical literature, not to speak of the canonical Scriptures. Neither is the object of the contention quite apparent - whether it is meant that the devil attempted to deprive Moses of the honour of burial by impeaching him of the murder of the Egyptian, or that he sought to preserve the body for idolatrous uses such as the brazen serpent lent itself to, or what else. The matter, nevertheless, is introduced by Jude as one with which his readers would be familiar. Whence, then, comes the story? Some have solved the difficulty by the desperate expedient of allegory, as if the body of Moses were a figure of the Israelite Law, polity, or people; and as if the sentence referred to the giving of the Law at Sinai, the siege under Hezekiah, or the rebuilding under Zerubbabel. Others seek its source in a special revelation, or in some unrecorded instructions given by Christ in explanation of the Transfiguration scene. Herder would travel all the way to the Zend-Avesta for it. Calvin referred it to oral Jewish tradition. Another view of it appears, however, in so early a writer as Origen, viz. that it is a quotation from an old apocryphal writing on the Ascent or Assumption of Moses, the date of which is much disputed, but is taken by some of the best authorities (Ewald, Wieseler, Dillmann, Drummond) to be the first decade after the death of Herod. This is the most probable explanation; and Jude's use of this story, therefore, carries no more serious consequences with it than the use he afterwards makes of the Book of Enoch. Beyond what could be gathered from a few scattered references and quotations in the Fathers and some later writings, the book in question remained unknown for many centuries. But in the year 1861 a considerable part of it, which had been discovered in the Ambrosian Library of Milan, was given to the public by Ceriani, in an Old Latin version, and since that time various editions of it have been published. Ewald observes that the quotation "shows how early the attempt was made to describe exactly the final moment of the life of Moses, and to weave into this description a complete answer to the questions which arose concerning his highest glory, and his guilt or innocence" ('History of Israel,' 2, page 226, Eng. trans.). Some who are not prepared to accept the theory that the passage is a quotation from this ancient book, understand Jude to refer to a traditional expansion of Scripture, based partly on the narrative of the death of Moses in Deuteronomy, and partly on the scene between Joshua and Satan in Zechariah 3. So, for example, Professor Lumby, who is of opinion that the mention of Jannes and Jambres in 2 Timothy 3:8, and certain passages in Stephen's speech as reported in Acts 7, show that there were current among the Jews "traditional explanations of the earlier history, which had grown round the Old Testament narrative." (On the Assumption of Moses, and the spread of legend on the subject of the death of Moses, see Schurer's 'The Jewish People in the Time of Christ,' volume 3, div. 2. pages 80-83, Clark's translation.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Yet Michael the archangel,.... By whom is meant, not a created angel, but an eternal one, the Lord Jesus Christ; as appears from his name Michael, which signifies, "who is as God": and who is as God, or like unto him, but the Son of God, who is equal with God? and from his character as the archangel, or Prince of angels, for Christ is the head of all principality and power; and from what is elsewhere said of Michael, as that he is the great Prince, and on the side of the people of God, and to have angels under him, and at his command, Daniel 10:21. So Philo the Jew (o) calls the most ancient Word, firstborn of God, the archangel; Uriel is called the archangel in this passage from the Apocrypha:

"And unto these things Uriel the archangel gave them answer, and said, Even when the number of seeds is filled in you: for he hath weighed the world in the balance.'' (2 Esdras 4:36)

when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses; which some understand literally of the fleshly and natural body of Moses, buried by the Lord himself, partly out of respect to him; and partly, as some think, lest the Israelites should be tempted to an idolatrous worship of him; but rather it was to show that the law of Moses was to be abolished and buried by Christ, never to rise more: and they think that this dispute was either about the burying of his body, or the taking of it up again; Satan on the one hand insisting upon the taking of it up, in order to induce the Israelites to worship him, and Michael, on the other hand, opposing it, to prevent this idolatry; but then the difficulty is, where Jude should have this account, since the Scriptures are silent about it. Some have thought that he took it out of an apocryphal book, called "the Ascension of Moses", as Origen (p), which is not likely; others, that he had it by tradition, by which means the Apostle Paul came by the names of the Egyptian magicians Jannes and Jambres; and some passages are referred to in some of their writings (q), as having some traces of this dispute; but in them the discourse is not concerning the body, but the soul of Moses; not concerning burying or taking up of his body, when buried, but concerning the taking away of his soul, when he was alive; which none of the angels caring to undertake, at length Samael, the chief of devils, did, but without success, wherefore God took it away with a kiss himself: besides, the apostle produces this history as a thing well known; nor is it reasonable to suppose that such an altercation should be between Michael, and the devil, on such an account; or that it was in order to draw Israel into idolatry on the one hand, and on the other hand to prevent it; since never was the custom of the Israelites to worship their progenitors or heroes; nor did they seem so well disposed to Moses in his lifetime; nor was there any necessity of taking up his body, were they inclined to give him honour and worship; yea, the sight of his dead body would rather have prevented than have encouraged it: but this is to be understood figuratively; and reference is had to the history in Zechariah 3:1; as appears from the latter part of this verse: some think the priesthood of Christ is intended, which was the end, the sum and substance, of the law of Moses; and seeing that Joshua, the high priest, was a type of Christ, and the angel of the Lord contended with Satan about him, he might be said to dispute with him about the body of Moses; but this sense makes a type of a type, and Christ to contend about himself; besides, this should rather be called the body of Christ than of Moses, others think that the temple of the Jews is meant about the rebuilding of which the contention is thought to be; and which may be called the body of Moses, as the church is called the body of Christ; though it should be observed, that the temple is never so called, and that not the place where the church meets, but the church itself, is called the body of Christ: but it is best of all to understand it of the law of Moses, which is sometimes called Moses himself, John 5:45; and so the body of Moses, or the body of his laws, the system of them; just as we call a system of laws, and of divinity, such an one's body of laws, and such an one's body of divinity: and this agrees with the language of the Jews, who say (r), of statutes, service, purification, &c. that they are , "the bodies of the law"; and so of Misnic treatises, as those which concern the offerings of turtle doves, and the purification of menstruous women, that they are "the bodies" of the traditions (s), that is, the sum and substance of them: so the decalogue is said (t) to be "the body of the Shema", or "Hear, O Israel", Deuteronomy 6:4, so Clemens of Alexandria (u) says, that there are some who consider the body of the Scriptures, the words and names, as if they were, , "the body of Moses" (w). Now the law of Moses was restored in the time of Joshua the high priest, by Ezra and Nehemiah. Joshua breaks some of these laws, and is charged by Satan as guilty, who contended and insisted upon it that he should suffer for it; so that this dispute or contention might be said to be about the body of Moses, that is, the body of Moses's law, which Joshua had broken; in which dispute Michael, or the angel of the Lord, even the Lord Jesus Christ himself,

durst not bring against him a railing accusation; that is, not that he was afraid of the devil, but though he could have given harder words, or severer language, and which the other deserved, yet he chose not to do it, he would not do it; in which sense the word "durst", or "dare", is used in Romans 5:7,

but said, the Lord rebuke thee; for thy malice and insolence; see Zechariah 3:2; and this mild and gentle way of using even the devil himself agrees with Christ's conduct towards him, when tempted by him in the wilderness, and when in his agony with him in the garden, and amidst all his reproaches and sufferings on the cross. And now the argument is from the greater to the lesser, that if Christ, the Prince of angels, did not choose to give a railing word to the devil, who is so much inferior to him, and when there was so much reason and occasion for it; then how great is the insolence of these men, that speak evil of civil and ecclesiastical rulers, without any just cause at all?

(o) De Confus. Ling. p. 341. & quis. rer. divin. Haeres. p. 509. (p) , l. 3. c. 2.((q) Debarim Rabba, fol. 245. 3, 4. Abot R. Nathan, c. 12. fol. 4. 2, 3. Petirath Mosis, fol. 57. 1. &. c. (r) Misn. Chagiga, c. 1. sect. 8. (s) Pirke Abot, c. 3. sect. 18. (t) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 6. 2.((u) Stromat, l. 6. p. 680. (w) Vid. Chion. Disput. Theolog. par. 1. & 2. De Corpore Mosis, sub Praesidio Trigland. Lugd. Batav. 1697.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

9. Michael, the archangel—Nowhere in Scripture is the plural used, "archangels"; but only ONE, "archangel." The only other passage in the New Testament where it occurs, is 1Th 4:16, where Christ is distinguished from the archangel, with whose voice He shall descend to raise the dead; they therefore err who confound Christ with Michael. The name means, Who is like God? In Da 10:13 he is called "One ('the first,' Margin) of the chief princes." He is the champion angel of Israel. In Re 12:7 the conflict between Michael and Satan is again alluded to.

about the body of Moses—his literal body. Satan, as having the power of death, opposed the raising of it again, on the ground of Moses' sin at Meribah, and his murder of the Egyptian. That Moses' body was raised, appears from his presence with Elijah and Jesus (who were in the body) at the Transfiguration: the sample and earnest of the coming resurrection kingdom, to be ushered in by Michael's standing up for God's people. Thus in each dispensation a sample and pledge of the future resurrection was given: Enoch in the patriarchal dispensation, Moses in the Levitical, Elijah in the prophetical. It is noteworthy that the same rebuke is recorded here as was used by the Angel of the Lord, or Jehovah the Second Person, in pleading for Joshua, the representative of the Jewish Church, against Satan, in Zec 3:2; whence some have thought that also here "the body of Moses" means the Jewish Church accused by Satan, before God, for its filthiness, on which ground he demands that divine justice should take its course against Israel, but is rebuked by the Lord who has "chosen Jerusalem": thus, as "the body of Christ" is the Christian Church, so "the body of Moses" is the Jewish Church. But the literal body is evidently here meant (though, secondarily, the Jewish Church is typified by Moses' body, as it was there represented by Joshua the high priest); and Michael, whose connection seems to be so close with Jehovah-Messiah on the one hand, and with Israel on the other, naturally uses the same language as his Lord. As Satan (adversary in court) or the devil (accuser) accuses alike the Church collectively and "the brethren" individually, so Christ pleads for us as our Advocate. Israel's, and all believers' full justification, and the accuser's being rebuked finally, is yet future. Josephus [Antiquities,4.8], states that God hid Moses' body, lest, if it had been exposed to view, it would have been made an idol of. Jude, in this account, either adopts it from the apocryphal "assumption of Moses" (as Origen [Concerning Principalities, 3.2] thinks), or else from the ancient tradition on which that work was founded. Jude, as inspired, could distinguish how much of the tradition was true, how much false. We have no such means of distinguishing, and therefore can be sure of no tradition, save that which is in the written word.

durst not—from reverence for Satan's former dignity (Jude 8).

railing accusation—Greek, "judgment of blasphemy," or evil-speaking. Peter said, Angels do not, in order to avenge themselves, rail at dignities, though ungodly, when they have to contend with them: Jude says that the archangel Michael himself did not rail even at the time when he fought with the devil, the prince of evil spirits—not from fear of him, but from reverence of God, whose delegated power in this world Satan once had, and even in some degree still has. From the word "disputed," or debated in controversy, it is plain it was a judicial contest.

Jude 1:9 Additional Commentaries
God's Judgment on the Ungodly
8Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. 9But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 34:6
He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is.

Daniel 10:13
But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Daniel 10:21
but first I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth. (No one supports me against them except Michael, your prince.

Daniel 12:1
"At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.

Zechariah 3:2
The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

1 Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

2 Peter 2:11
yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.

Revelation 12:7
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.
Treasury of Scripture

Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke you.

Michael. It is most probable, that the Apostle took this account concerning Michael, and that of the prophesying of Enoch, from an ancient tradition preserved and well known among the Jews.

Daniel 10:13,21 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty …

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands …

Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against …


1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with …

the body.

Deuteronomy 34:6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: …


Exodus 22:28 You shall not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of your people.

Isaiah 36:13-21 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, …

Mark 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, …

Luke 23:39,40 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, …

1 Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise …

2 Peter 2:11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing …

The Lord.

1 Chronicles 12:17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, If …

Isaiah 37:3,4,10-20 And they said to him, Thus said Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, …

Zechariah 3:2 And the LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, O Satan; even the …

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