Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary - Alford
Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:ΙΟΥΔΑ
1, 2.] Address and greeting. Judas, a servant of Jesus Christ (δοῦλος, probably not here in the wider sense, in which all Christians are servants of Christ—but in that special sense in which those were bound to His service who were employed in the preaching and disseminating of His word: see reff.: on the absence of any official designation, see prolegomena), and brother of James (see prolegomena), to the called (in the sense of St. Paul (reff.); effectually drawn by God the Father to the knowledge of the Gospel), beloved in (the phrase is one not elsewhere found, and difficult of interpretation. The meanings “by,” = ὑπό, cf. 2Thessalonians 2:13, ἀδελφοὶ ἠγαπημένοι ὑπὸ κυρίου; “on account of,” understanding ἠγαπημένοις “beloved by the writer,” are hardly admissible. The only allowable sense of ἐν seems to be, “in the case of,” “as regards,” understanding of course that the love of the Father is spoken of) God the Father (St. Paul ordinarily in his greetings adds ἡμῶν to θεὸς πατήρ, cf. Romans 1:7; 1Corinthians 1:3; 2Corinthians 1:2; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 2Thessalonians 1:1; Philemon 1:3. But he has θεὸς πατήρ absolutely in the following places; Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:2; Ephesians 6:23; Philippians 2:11; 2Thessalonians 1:2; 1Timothy 1:2; 2Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; as also St. Peter, 1Peter 1:2; 2Peter 1:17; St. John, 2John 1:3. It became more frequently used, as might be expected, in the later days of the canon) and kept for Jesus Christ (reserved, to be His at the day of His coming: the dative is commodi. If the question be asked, kept by whom? the answer must be, by God the Father: though constructionally the words are not connected. Observe the perfect participles, giving the signification “from of old and still”): mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied (all three proceeding from God: God’s mercy, God’s peace, God’s love: see ver. 21. In the somewhat similar passage, Ephesians 6:23, εἰρήνη τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς κ. ἀγάπη μετὰ πίστεως ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς κ. κυρίου Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, the love and faith are clearly, in themselves, the gift of God: mutual love or love towards God. But the other seems better here).
3, 4.] Purpose, and occasion, of the Epistle.
3.] Beloved (only found in the beginning of an Epistle here and 3John 1:2), giving all diligence (the phrase σπουδὴν ποιεῖσθαι is only found here: see reff. and especially 2 Pet. It implies more than mere earnest desire: a man’s σπουδή is necessarily action as well as wish: “giving diligence” seems the exact idea required. The participle like other present participles is contemporaneous with the verb to which it is attached, viz. ἔσχον: cf. John 9:25, τυφλὸς ὢν ἄρτι βλέπω, “I, who am a blind man, now see”) to write to you concerning the common salvation (thus must the sentence be arranged, and not as Lachm. al., with a comma after ὑμῖν, and joining περὶ τῆς κοινῆς ἡμ. σωτηρίας to the next clause. For thus the participial clause loses all its weight and propriety, and indeed the apodosis likewise: see below.
περὶ τῆς κοινῆς σωτηρίας may mean, concerning the fact of our common salvation, brought in by Christ; or concerning the means of attaining that salvation, i. e. the doctrines and practices by which it is to be forwarded. Perhaps the latter is here preferable. On the idea conveyed by κοινῆς, see reff. and 2Peter 1:1), I found it necessary (reff.: not, as E. V., “it was needful:” nor as Grot., “nihil potius habui, quam ut:” the ἀνάγκη was not part of the σπουδὴν ποιεῖσθαι, but supervened on it owing to the circumstance to be mentioned in the next verse) to write to you (notice the aoriat here following the present before: I was most desirous to write (present expressing merely the general fact of writing) …: but I found it necessary to write (at once; to have written, “epistolam absolvere”) …) exhorting (you) to contend earnestly for (cf. συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει, Philippians 1:27: the ἐπί gives the purpose for which the fight is to be waged) the faith (objective here: the sum of that which Christians believe: “fides quæ creditur” not “quâ creditur”) once for all (“particula valde urgens: nulla alia dabitur fides,” Bengel. This is obscured by the “once” of the E. V., which represents merely “olim,” not “semel”) delivered to the saints (i. e. Christians: believers, as in reff. The meaning then of this verse is, that St. Jude, who was before earnestly desirous to write to the Church universal concerning the salvation which is common to us all (De Wette, after Sherlock, supposes that St. Jude was actually engaged on a larger and more general Epistle, and was compelled to break it off by the necessity mentioned. This may have been so: but we can hardly gather so much from the words), found urgent occasion at once to do so, respecting not merely nor directly that common salvation, but one point, viz. the keeping inviolate the faith once for all delivered to God’s people. And the reason of this necessity which arose, now follows).
4.] For there crept in (aor. explaining the arising of the occasion of his thus writing. On παρεισέδυσαν, cf. 2Peter 2:1, παρεισάξουσιν, and note: also Galatians 2:4, where we have both παρεισάκτους and παρεισῆλθον. Secrecy, and lack of legitimate introduction, are plainly expressed in this word. “Crept in,” viz. into the Christian church) certain men (“le mot τινες a quelque chose de méprisant, comme dans Galatians 2:12,” Arnaud. And so, it may be observed, has ἄνθρωποι in this connexion) (men) who have been of old written down in prophecy (by the οἱ προγεγρ. these persons are again brought up and designated; q. d. “namely, the very men who &c.” προγεγραμμένοι has been variously interpreted. The prep. may have two meanings: either 1) that of time, previously, as in Galatians 3:1, where the various meanings of the word are discussed: 2) that of publicity, “openly,” taking “to proscribe” as the sense of the word. But it is against this latter that this sense is never found in the N. T.: and that “proscribed,” if taken in its usual meaning, will not admit of εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρῖμα following it. Wolf’s interpretation, “qui dudum sunt accusati in hoc judicium,” lets go the proscripti altogether. There can be little doubt then that we must keep ποό to its temporal sense, as indeed do Œc., Thl. (but understanding the reference wrongly: προγεγραμμένους δὲ αὐτοὺς έλεγεν, ὅτι καὶ Πέτρος κ. Παῦλος περὶ αὐτῶν εἴρηκεν ὅτι ἐν ἐσχάτοις χρόνοις ἐλεύσονται πλάνοι τοιοῦτοι κ.τ.λ.), and most recent Commentators. Then, thus understanding it, to what time and fact are we to refer such designation of them? Clearly not to God’s eternal purpose, in this place, from the term πάλαι, which, as Huther remarks, is never used of that purpose, but points to some fact in time. And if so, then the previous writing down of these men can only point to the O. T. prophecies. In that case there is a pregnant construction, “of old fore-described (and destined).” What special description of them is intended, might be difficult to say were it not for the quotation below ver. 14 from the prophecy of Enoch. The warnings contained in the historical facts adduced below may also be meant. It may be observed that the ultra-prædestinarians, Beza and Calvin, find, as we might expect, strong defence for their views in their interpretation here. Beza indeed gathers from this place, “hoc æternum Dei decretum non modo eventum rerum, sed ipsas imprimis personas comprehendere”) to this judgment (what judgment, or rather result of judgment? “Judicium de quo mox,” as Bengel: the sentence which St. Jude has in his mind and proceeds in the following verses to unfold. κρῖμα, as so often, though not = κατάκριμα, yet gets the condemnatory meaning from the character of the context), impious, changing the grace of our God (τὴν χάριτα, the gift of grace, the state of salvation, in which our sins are forgiven us and we are admitted into the freedom of God’s children. ἡμῶν, drawing closer the bond of God’s true children to Him and one another, and thus producing greater abhorrence of those who have thus abused His grace) into lasciviousness (the words might mean, “perverting the grace of our God in the direction of, for the purpose of, lasciviousness:” and so De Wette: but it is against this, that μετατιθέναι in reff. is simply to change, not to pervert: and we therefore must understand, as above, that they made the state of grace and Christian liberty into a state of (moral) licence and wantonness: as , “hanc ejus gratiam transferunt in luxuriam, qui nunc tanto licentius et liberius peccant quanto minus se vident asperitate legis de admissis facinoribus examinari”), and denying (see 2Peter 2:1) the only Master, and our Lord Jesus Christ (in 2Peter 2:1 δεσπότης is used of Christ: which circumstance might tempt us to refer it to Christ here also: and so Bengel, De Wette, Stier, al. But probability seems to weigh on the other side. In every other place (see reff.) δεσπότης is used of God: 2) the addition μόνος seems to bind this meaning to it here: (3) the denial of God by disobeying His law is the epexegetic resumption of the last clause: 4) δεσπότης κ. κύριον are hardly distinguishable if both applied to Christ. For these reasons I must agree with Huther, in regarding the rejected θεόν as having been, although a gloss, yet a true one: and would remind the reader, once for all, that the reference of any term in the parallel place of 2 Peter is no guide for us here, seeing that it belongs to the extremely curious relation of the two passages to each other, that many common terms are used in different senses).
5-7.] Examples of Divine vengeance.
5.] First example: unbelieving Israel in the wilderness. Cf. Heb_3:16-5. But (solemn contrast to the conduct just mentioned) I wish to remind you, knowing as ye do (better here than “although ye know,” on account of ἅπαξ. “Causa, cur admoneat duntaxat; quia jam sciant, semelque cognitum habeant.” Bengel. The E. V. is doubly wrong: in rendering εἰδώς as an aor. part., “though ye … knew,” and in giving to ἅπαξ the signification of “olim,” “once”) once for all (i. e. having once for all received the knowledge of) all things (all that refers to that of which I am speaking: the τοῦτο of the rec. was a good explanation: but πάντα is more forcible, and carries with it a latent admonition, to apply other examples for yourselves), that Jesus (critical principles seem to require this remarkable reading. It is not entirely precedented by 1Corinthians 10:4: for there St. Paul uses not the personal human name, but χριστός, in which there is no such difficulty. The only account to be given seems, that the Person designated by the two names being the same, they became sometimes convertibly used in popular exhortation. On the fact see Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20, Exodus 23:23: 32:2; Isaiah 63:9, where however note the remarkable rendering of the LXX), having saved the people (perhaps “a people:” λαός is not one of those words of which we can say that they are constantly found without the art. where yet their meaning is definite: cf. Acts 15:14, Romans 10:21, 2Corinthians 6:16, Hebrews 8:10, 1Peter 2:9 (10). But we are never safe in strictness on this point in these later Epistles; and especially when an objective case is thus thrown forward into emphasis, which emphasis often does the work of the definite article) out of the land of Egypt, secondly (not as E. V., “afterward:” still less with Grot., Wolf, “ex contrario:” but it indicates a second deed of the Lord, His first-mentioned having been the deliverance out of Egypt. By this τὸ δεύτερον the former aor. part. is marked as being not contemporary with but antecedent to the aor. verb following) destroyed them that believed not (viz. by forbidding their entrance into the land of promise (cf. Hebrews 3:18), and slaying them in the wilderness. This example is not mentioned in 2Pe_2, but instead of it, the judgment of the flood).
6.] Second example: the rebel angels. See 2Peter 2:4. And (τε shews that the connexion with the foregoing is very close) angels, those which kept not (ἀγγέλους is probably indefinite, and then the art. τούς designates those angels who are meant. μή stands with the part., not οὐ, because μὴ τηρήσαντας conveys not only the fact (cf. οἱ οὐκ ἠλεημένοι, 1Peter 2:10), but the reason for what follows: cf. Matthew 18:25, μὴ ἔχοντος αὐτοῦ ἀποδοῦναι ἐκέλευσεν αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ πραθῆναι. See Acts 21:34: Luke 12:47, ἐκεῖνος ὁ δοῦλος ὁ … μὴ ἑτοιάσας μηδὲ ποιήσας … δαρήσεται πολλάς: and many more examples in Winer, edn. 6, § 55, where the whole matter is ably discussed) their own dignity (some interpret ἀρχή, as E. V., “first estate,” “original condition.” So Erasm., Calv., and Beza, “originem:” Stier, “ihren ersten Grund:” some again, “the government which was over them,” viz. that of God: so Ollarius in a dissertation on this passage, cited in Wolf, h. l. But seeing that angels are often in the N. T. called ἀρχαί, as they also were among the Jews, and that such meaning answers best to the parallel clause which follows, there can be little doubt that the Vulg. “principatum” is right. The fact alluded to is probably that which is obscurely indicated in Genesis 6:2. See prolegomena), but left their own (proper) habitation (viz. heaven), He hath kept (τετήρηκεν, in sharp contrast to τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας. The word is a pregnant one, ἔδησεν or περιέθηκεν, τοῦ τηρῆσαι) against the judgment of the great day (at the end of the world) in eternal bonds under darkness (cf. Hes., Theogon. 729, ἔνθα θεοὶ Τιτῆνες ὑπὸ ζόφον ἠεοόεντα " κεκρύφαται βουλῇσι Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο " χώρῳ ἐν εὐρώεντι. The ὑπό in both cases is to be accounted for by the darkness being considered as brooding over them, and they under it. There is apparently a difference which we cannot explain, between the description of the rebel angels here and in 2 Pet., and that in the rest of the N. T., where the devil and his angels are said to be powers of the air, and to go about tempting men. But perhaps we are wrong in absolutely identifying the evil spirits mentioned here with those spoken of in 2 Pet.).
7.] Third Example: Sodom and Gomorrha. See 2Peter 2:6. How (not “even as,” E. V.; “wie auch,” Luther; “similiter,” Semler, al.; nor does it answer to ὁμοίως below, ver. 8; but is dependent on ὑπομνῆσαι ὑμᾶς βούλομαι above, ver. 5, and parallel with ὅτι there: see reff.) Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, following fornication (the ἐκ, as in ref. Gen., seems to mean, to its fulfilment, thoroughly, without reserve: hardly, as Stier, “beyond the bounds of nature,” though this was so) in like manner to these (τούτοις, the angels above mentioned. The manner was similar, because the angels committed fornication with another race than themselves, thus also ἀπελθόντες ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας. So τούτοις is taken by Lud.-Cappell., Herder, Augusti, Schneckenberger, achmann, De Wette, Arnaud, Stier, Huther. But other references have been attempted. Beza, Est., Calov., Krebs, understand the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha to be intended: justifying the construction by such passages as Jos. Vita 69, τίνα τρόπον ἐξαρπάσω τὴν Τιβεριάδα τῆς Γαλιλαίων ὀργῆς ἔτι αὐτούς. But it is fatal to this, that thus we should have αἱ περὶ αὐτάς πόλεις as the main subject of the sentence, and Sodom and Gomorrha only mentioned by the way. Again, Bengel and Rosenmüller have referred τούτοις to the ungodly men who are being treated of. But this is still less likely, seeing that they come in ver. 8, evidently after a series of examples in which they have not been mentioned, with ὁμοίως μέντοι καὶ οὗτοι) and going away after (see reff. Here more stress is to be laid on the ἀπ-, than in those passages: it was a departure from the appointed course of nature and seeking after that which was unnatural) other flesh (than that appointed by God for the fulfilment of natural desire: as Œc., σάρκα ἑτέραν τὴν ἄῤῥενα φύτιν λέγει ὡς μὴ πρὸς συνουσίαν γενέσεως συντελοῦσαν: the sin of Sodom was afterwards common in the most enlightened nations of antiquity, see Romans 1:27. But in all probability Sodom and Gomorrha must be numbered among those whose sin went farther even than this: cf. Leviticus 18:22-25. See 2Peter 2:10), are set forth as an example (reff. Libanius says of Troy, κεῖται παράδειγμα δυστυχίας), undergoing (to this day, pres. part. alluding to the natural phænomena of the Dead sea: cf. Wisd. 10:7, οἷς ἐπὶ μαρτύριον τῆς πονηρίας καπνιζομένη καθέστηκε χέρσος: and Winer’s Realw., “Todtes Meer”) the just punishment of eternal fire (δίκην ὑπέχειν, see reff.: especially 2 Macc., and add δίκην τίειν, 2Thessalonians 1:9. πυρὸς αἰωνίου is far better joined with δίκην than with δεῖγμα as Huther: and the sense is, undergoing the punishment, as may even now be seen, of eternal fire of that fire; which shall never be quenched).
8 ff.] Designation of these evil men as following the same destructive courses. In like manner nevertheless (i. e. notwithstanding these warning examples) these men in their dreams (ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι, by the construction of the sentence which proceeds with σάρκα μὲν μιαίνουσιν, κυρ. δὲ ἀθετοῦσιν, δόξας δὲ βλασφημοῦσιν,—must belong not to the first member alone, but to all. This necessity precludes the whole class of meanings represented by “de somniis, in quibus corpus polluitur:” explained by Calv., “est metaphorica loquutio, qua significat, ipsos esse tam hebetes, ut sine ulla verecundia ad omnem turpitudinem se prostituant.” And those being got rid of, and a fortiori the interpretation given by Bretschneider, “falsis oraculis decepti, vel falsa oracula edentes” (see reff.),—we have but this left, that the word should represent that state of dreaming in the sleep of sin, out of which men are so often called on to awake to righteousness and the light of Christ: so (in Huther) Horneius: “tam insipientes sunt, ut quasi lethargo quodam sopiti non tantum impure vivant, sed etiam quæ non norunt tam audacter vituperent:” and Arnaud (ibid.), “cependant ceux-ci, comme des gens qui agissent sans savoir ce qu’ils font, comme s’ils rêvaient, pour ainsi dire, …”) defile the flesh (by unnatural lusts, as in ver. 7. σάρκα, generally: not, ‘their flesh,’ but our common flesh), and despise lordship and speak evil of glories (of what sort? Calv., Beza, Grot., Leclerc, Wolf, Semler, al., understand those of kings and Cæsars: Œc. alt., Hammond, include ecclesiastical rulers and Apostles. But to neither of these meanings can vv. 9, 10 be fitted: and it becomes therefore necessary to understand the words of celestial lordships and dignities: probably in both cases those of the holy angels. So De Wette: similarly Huther, but understanding κυριότητα of God, and δόξας of the angels. It is against this last view, that κυριότης, in reff. Eph. Col., is used of angels. Philo de Monarchia i. 6, vol. ii. p. 218, says, δόξαν δὲ σὴν εἶναι νομίζω τάς σε δορυφορούσας δυνάμεις. The ancient interpretations were curious, as given in the Oxf. Catena: τὴν μίαν κυριότητα κ. δόξαν τῆς ἁγίας Τριάδος βλασφημοῦντες:—again, δόξας ἐκάλεσε τὰς δύο διαθήκας, ὡς ὁ Παῦλος φησίν, εἰ γὰρ ἡ διακονία τῆς κατακρίσεως δόξα, πολλῷ μᾶλλον ἡ διακονία τῆς δικαιοσύνης δόξα: and so Severus also, and Œc. alt.):
9.] But Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed concerning the body of Moses, dared not (by the context, from reverence for Satan’s former glory) bring against him a judgment of evil speaking (i. e. as E. V., a railing accusation: a sentence savouring of, belonging to, βλασφημία; not as Calov., “ultionem de blasphemia sumere:” the blasphemy is not one spoken by, but against, the devil), but said, The Lord rebuke thee (the source of the tradition to which St. Jude here refers as familiar to his readers, is not known with any certainty, Origen, περὶ ἀρχῶν, iii. 2. 1, vol. i. p. 138, says, “primo quidem in Genesi serpens Evam seduxisse describitur: de quo in Adscensione Mosis, cujus libelli, meminit in Epistola sua Apostolus Judas, Michael archangelus cum diabolo disputans de corpora Mosis, ait …” Œc. h. l. says, λέγεται τὸν Μιχαὴλ τὸν ἀρχάγγελον τῇ τοῦ Μωϋσέως ταφῇ δεδιηκονηκέναι, τοῦ διαβόλου τοῦτο μὴ καταδεχομένου, ἀλλʼ ἐπιφέροντος ἔγκλημα αὐτῷ τοῦ Αἰγυπτίου φόνου, ὡς αὐτοῦ ὄντος τοῦ Μωϋσέως, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο μὴ συγχωρεῖσθαι αὐτὸν τυχεῖν ἐντίμου ταφῆς. No such tradition is found in any apocryphal or rabbinical book now extant. In the targum of Jonathan in Deuteronomy 34:6, it is stated that the grave of Moses was given into the special custody of Michael. See also several Rabbinical legends having more or less reference to the point in Wetstein. Some, mentioned as early as Severus in the Catena, have given an allegorical interpretation, understanding by τὸ σῶμα Μωϋσέως the law, or Jewish polity, or even people: and, thus interpreting, fix the occasion very variously: at the giving of the law (τινές in Severus): at the siege under Hezekiah, or the rebuilding under Zerubbabel (Starck, in Wolf). All such explanations are of course out of the question: and the literal matter of fact alone to be held fast. It is, however, remarkable, that the same words, ἐπιτιμήσαι (ἐν) σοι κύριος, are spoken by the angel (κύριος, LXX) to the devil in Zechariah 3:1-3. This has led some, e. g. Bede, to imagine, that this was the occasion referred to, when Joshua and Satan stood as adversaries concerning the deliverance of Israel from captivity. Another and more curious explanation is given in the Catena: ὅτε ἤγαγεν (ὁ Μιχαὴλ) Μωϋσῆν ἐν τῷ ὄρει ἔνθα μετεμορφώθη ὁ κύριος, τότε ἔλεγεν ὁ διάβολος τῷ Μιχαήλ, ἐψεύσατο ὁ θεὸς εἰσαγαγὼν τὸν Μωϋσῆν, ἔνθα ὤμοσε μὴ εἰσελθεῖν αὐτόν. The whole matter is thoroughly discussed, and every source of illustration exhausted, in Rampf, Der Brief Judæ u. s. w. pp. 201-253. His conclusion, in which I entirely agree, is that St. Jude took the incident from primitive tradition, which tradition slightly modified, is also given by the prophet Zechariah. That the incident is related as matter of fact, and not as an “argumentum ad hominem,” is evident by the very form of it. That, being thus related as matter of fact, it is matter of fact, is a conclusion which will or will not be made, according as we are or are not persuaded of the authenticity of our Epistle as a part of canonical Scripture: and according as we esteem that canonical Scripture itself).
10.] Contrast of the behaviour of these persons to that just related. 2Peter 2:12. These on the other hand, whatever things they know not, speak evil of (the reference in ὅσα μὲν οὐκ οἴδασιν is to the spiritual world. Those who understand κυριότητα and δόξας above of human authorities, are at a loss for an explanation here: so Arnaud, “il est assez difficile de préciser, quelles étaient ces choses qu’ignoraient ces impies”): but whatever things naturally, as the irrational animals, they understand (viz. the objects of sense: of which σάρξ ver. 8 has already been mentioned as one. φυσικῶς, as Œc., φυσικῇ ὁρμῇ ἀδιακρίτως: Wetst. cites Xen. Cyr. 7, μάχη, ἣν ὁρῶ πάντας ἀνθρώπους φυσικῶς ἐπισταμένους: but it appears from Sturz, Lex, Xen. φύσις, 1. f. that the place is Cyr. ii. 3. 5, and the word φύσει, not φυσικῶς. In Xen. Apol. Socr. iii. 9. 1, we have ἡ ἀνδρεία πότερον εἴη διδακτὸν ἢ φυσικόν. In 2Peter 2:12, the comparison to irrational creatures is not confined to the sort of knowledge which they have, but is extended to the persons themselves and their conduct), in these (in the element and region of these) they corrupt themselves (or, are depraved).
11.] The description is interrupted by a denunciation on them for having followed in the steps of former ungodly men. Woe unto them (see reff.: from which it appears that Bengel is not exact, when he says “uno hoc loco unus hic apostolus uœ intentat”): for they went by the way (the dat. is probably one of rule, cf. reff., rather than one following ἐν understood. The aorists ἐπορεύθησαν, &c. are probably proleptic, as looking back on their course; as those in Joh_17,—ἐγώ σε ἐδόξασα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, &c. In an English version we are almost compelled to render these by our perfect, “they have gone,” &c.) of Cain (how? Œc. answers, διὰ τῆς ἀδελφοκτονίας, by perverse doctrine, or even according to his interpretation of ἐνυπνιαζόμενοι above, by abusing that process by which men might be born into the world: Grot., “Cain fratri vitam caducam ademit: illi fratribus adimunt æternam.” But these explanations do not seem to fit the context, where as yet no indication has been given of their seducing power. Some (e. g. Lyra) have answered, from their persecuting the believers: but neither does this appear in the context: others, as De Wette and Arnaud, have regarded Cain simply as a representative of all bad men: Schneckenb., as that of all unbelievers, according to Jewish tradition (“respondit Cain … non est judicium nec judex, nec est aliud sæculum,” &c. Targ. Hieros. ad Genesis 4:7: see also Philo, “quod deterius,” &c., p. 155 ff., De agriculturâ, p. 169. De Wette). The most probable answer is that given by Stier and Huther, that the point of comparison is that selfish regard and envy which was at the root of Cain’s sin), and rushed after (ἐκχυθῆναι, “effundi in,” as Tacitus, Ann. i. 54, “Mæcenate effuso in amorem Bathylli:” so Polyb. xxxii. 11. 4, οἱ δʼ εἰς ἑταίρας ἐξεκέχυντο: Strom. ii. 20 (118), p. 491 P., εἰς ἡδονὴν ἐκχυθέντες) the error of Balaam for reward (such, and not as De Wette, “they were poured out (ruined) by the deception of the reward of Balaam.” So also Horneius, “deceptione mercedis qua deceptus fuit Balaam, effusi sunt.” For this latter disturbs the parallelism of the three clauses, in which we have τῇ ὁδῷ τοῦ Κάϊν, … τῇ πλάνῃ τοῦ Βαλαάμ, … τῇ ἀντιλογίᾳ τοῦ Κορέ, strictly correlative. De Wette’s reasons for his view are (1) that the ordinary rendering severs the purpose, “for reward,” from the error of Balaam: 2) that “for reward” does not suit ἐξεχύθησαν, which implies recklessness. But it may be answered to 1) that this by no means follows: for under the μισθοῦ may be well implied, “as Balaam did,” or we may take μισθοῦ—ἐξεχύθησαν as one idea, “they ran-greedily-for reward,” and τῇ πλάνῃ τοῦ B., after the error of Baalam, i. e. as Balaam did in his πλάνη: and to 2) that although ἐκχυθῆναι implies recklessness, yet it may be reckless pursuit of some favourite end, as in “alienari in libidinem.” As to the construction, πλάνῃ may be either the normal dative, as τῇ ὁδῷ above, or the dat. of direction, = εἰς τὴν πλάνην: and the gen. μισθοῦ is the usual one of price, as in 1Corinthians 7:23, τιμῆς ἠγοράσθητε), and perished in the gainsaying (ἀντιλογίᾳ, either the instrumental dative, “perished by gainsaying, as Korah,” or the dative with ἐν implied, “perished in,” i. e. as included in, “the gainsaying of Korah,” i. e. when we read of Korah and his company perishing in their gainsaying, we read of these too, as perishing after the same example. This latter seems preferable, on account of the parallelism with the other two clauses) of Korah (the common point being, that they like Korah despised God’s ordinances. ἀντιλογίᾳ, because Korah and his company ἀντέλεγον τῷ Μωϋσεῖ. See reff., and cf. τὸ ὕδωρ τῆς ἀντιλογίας, Numbers 20:13 (24), 27:14; Deuteronomy 32:51, Deuteronomy 32:33:8; Psalm 80:7, Psalm 105:32).
12, 13.] Continuation of the description of these ungodly men. 2Peter 2:13, 2Peter 2:17. These are the rocks (which are) in your love-feasts (σπιλάδες, αἱ ὕφαλοι πέτραι, Etymol. M. Cf. Od. ε. 405, ἀλλʼ ἀκταὶ προβλῆτες ἔσαν, σπιλάδες τε πάγοι τε. See Wetst.’s note. They are the rocks on which the ἀγάπαι stand in danger of being wrecked. Cf. Œc., as quoted under ἀφόβως below. It is unnecessary and unjustifiable to attempt to give σπιλάδες any other meaning, as some have done on account of the σπίλοι in 2Peter 2:13. But each passage must stand on its own ground. See Palm and Rost’s Lex., who however give at the end, = ὁ σπῖλος, citing for it this passage and Orph. lith. 614. Arnaud endeavours to unite both meanings, resting on the etymology as given by Eustathius (see Wetst.), αἱ παράλιαι πέτραι, παρὰ τὸ σπιλοῦσθαι τῇ ἄχνῃ: “les rochers continuellement battus par les flots de la mer et souillés par son écume:” but this is too far-fetched. See by all means the illustrations in Wetstein. As regards the construction, we might, as Stier, take οἱ with σπιλάδες: but the above may, supplying ὄντες, seem better, as ἀγγέλους τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας κ.τ.λ. ver. 6. ἀγάπαις has generally been taken to refer to the love-feasts: the ἐν ταῖς ἐκκλησίαις γινόμεναι τράπεζαι, ὡς καὶ Παῦλός φησιν ἐν τῇ πρὸς Κορινθίους, ἃς καὶ ἀγάπας ἐκάλουν: see Winer, Realw. Erasmus would keep the ordinary meaning, “in dilectionibus vestris,” or “inter charitates vestras.” But the συνευωχούμενοι seems to fix the other. St. Peter has for ἀγάπαις, ἀπάταις, as at present read: see note there), feasting with you (συνευωχούμενοι may mean, feasting together: but the ὑμῶν preceding makes the other more probable) fearlessly (ἀφόβως is joined with ἐαυτ ποιμ. by Erasm., Beza (and consequently E. V.), Tricæus, and Stier: but thus συνευωχ. would be left standing very badly alone. “Cum timore colenda sunt convivia sacra. Convivari per se nihil vitii habet. Ideo ‘sine timore’ huic verbo annecti debet,” Bengel. Œc. mentions both arrangements: ἀφόβως συνευωχούμενοι, τουτέστιν, μηδένα φόβον τοῖς συνευωχουμένοις προσδοκῶσιν, ἐξαίφνης ὥσπερ σπιλάδες ἐπάγοντες αὐτοῖς τὸν ὄλεθρον τῶν ψυχῶν. ἤ, πρὸς τὸ ποιμαίνοντες, τό, ἀφόβως ἑαυτοὺς συντάττοντες), pasturing their own selves (using the ἀγάπαι not for their legitimate purpose, the realization of the unity of Christians by social union, but for their own purposes, the enjoyment of their lusts, and the furtherance of their schemes. See Ezekiel 34:1 ff.; the parallelism of which has however been too far pressed here by Grot. (“se dum saginent, gregem negligunt”), Bengel (“non gregem”); which thought does not seem to be in the context, but merely that they feed and pasture themselves in the ἀγάπαι, having no regard to the Shepherd (or shepherds) set over them. Erasmus widens the sense too far—“suo ductu et arbitrio viventes”): clouds without water (see on πηγαὶ ἄνυδροι in 2Peter 2:17. Water is expected from clouds), carried out of course by winds (here our text is the more concise: St. Peter having, as above, the πηγαὶ ἄνυδροι separate from the ὀμίχλαι ὑπὸ λαίλαπος ἐλαυνόμεναι. Cf. Proverbs 25:14, Heb. or E. V. παραφερόμεναι, borne by, or as above, borne out of their course, hither and thither), autumn trees (i. e. as trees are in the late autumn (ἄκαρπα explaining it, see below): as Bengel, “arbor tali specie qualis est autumno extremo, sine (foliis et?) pomis:” not “frugiperdæ,” as Grot.: and so Erasm., Beza (and consequently E. V.), al., and Stier, for which meaning there is no authority in usage: as neither for Schöttgen’s, “quæ non nisi auctumno senescenti fructus ferunt immaturos et nulli usui futures”), without fruit (as trees at the time above mentioned; but there is nothing in this word to indicate whether fruit has been on them or not), twice dead (it is not easy to explain these words in reference to trees. For that we must do so, and not, as Beza, Est., Bengel, Schneckenb., al., desert the similitude, and understand it of spiritual death twice inflicted, or of death here and in eternity (so Grot.: “neque hic bonum habebunt exitum, neque in sæculo altero”), must be evident by ἐκριζωθέντα following. Œc. says, τὰ φθινοπωρινὰ δένδρα δὶς ἀποθνήσκοντα, ἐν τε τῇ τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτῶν ἀποβολῇ, καὶ ἐν τῇ τῶν φύλλων ἀποῤῥοῇ: and then he explains the first particular as above: Beza, Rosenm. explain δίς by “plane,” “prorsus,” which meaning, though denied by Bretschneider, De Wette illustrates by “bis dat qui cito dat:” and Horace’s “pro quo bis patior mori.” But the most likely reference of the word is to the double death in a tree, which is not only as it seems to the eye in common with other trees, in the apparent death of winter, but really dead, dead to appearance, and dead in reality. Huther comes near this, but does not quite reach it, when he says, “not only without fruit, but dead and dried up:” but this would not be two deaths; whereas the other is), rooted out (the various descriptive clauses form a climax: not only without leaves and fruit, but dead: not only dead, but plucked up and thrown aside. “Tous ces mots sont des métaphores énergiques pour montrer le néant de ces impures, la légèreté de leur conduite, la stérilité de leur foi et l’absence de leurs bonnes mœurs.” Arnaud):
13.] wild waves of the sea, foaming up their own shames (cf. Isaiah 57:20, in Heb. and E. V.: “The wicked are like the troubled sea, whose waters cast up mire and dirt,” which beyond doubt has been in the Writer’s mind. αἰσχύνας, plur., either, each his own αἰσχύνη, or all their own αἰσχύνας, disgraces, instances of disgraceful conduct), wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness is reserved for ever (cf. 2Peter 2:17, where nearly the same words occur. ἀστέρες πλανῆται would seem most probably to indicate comets, which (as in Oct. 1858) astonish the world for a time, and then pass away into darkness. The similitude would not find any propriety as applied to the planets, properly so called: for there can be no allusion to the astronomical fact of their being naturally opaque bodies, as Bengel imagines. Many Commentators have supposed that the similitude is to be understood of teachers, who would enlighten others, and yet are doomed to darkness themselves: so Œc., comparing the transformation into an angel of light, 2Corinthians 11:14. But the context does not justify this. Rather should we say, these professing Christians, by their profession lights in the world, instead of letting that light shine on more and more into the perfect day, are drifting about in strange errors of doctrine and practice till it will be utterly extinguished in eternal darkness).
14, 15.] Prophecy of Enoch respecting them:—see below. Yea, and (δὲ καί are better taken together, applying to the whole sentence, than separated, joining καί with τούτοις, “of these as well as of others,” for no other prophecies of Enoch are alluded to) of these (προφητεύειν is usually joined with περί: here and in ref. only (γεγραμμένα) with a dat. It is the dat. of reference, answering to πρὸς αὐτούς, Mark 12:12: see Winer, edn. 6, § 31. 4) prophesied Enoch seventh from Adam (“ut vaticinii antiquitatem commendet,” Calv. Possibly also the fact of seven being the sacred number may have been in view, as Bengel: “mysterii non expers, in quo immunitas a morte et numerus sanctus concurrunt.” Cf. Wetstein’s note, in which several similar designations are quoted: e. g. Philo, Vit. Mos. i. 2, vol. ii. p. 81, alleges Moses to have been the seventh generation from Abraham. R. Berbai, on Numbers 25:12, says, “Erat autem Phineas septima progenies a Jacobo patre nostro,” &c.), saying, Behold, the Lord (“Jam Henochi tempore nomen Jehovah notum erat,” Bengel) came (the historic tense of prophecy) among (in, as surrounded by) His holy myriads (of angels: cf. Deuteronomy 33:2: Zechariah 14:5, Hebrews 12:23), to execute judgment (reff.) upon all, and to convict all the impious concerning all their works of impiety which they impiously did, and concerning all the hard things which impious sinners spoke against Him. I have discussed in the prolegomena the question as to the source of this citation, and its relation to the present apocryphal book of Enoch. I will only here set down the passage as it at present stands in De Sacy’s version: “Et venit cum myriadibus sanctorum, ut faciat judicium super eos et perdat impios et litiget cum omnibus carnahbus pro omnibus quæ fecerunt et operati sunt contra eum peccatores et impii.”
16.] Continuation of the description, especially with reference to the concluding words of the prophecy. These are murmurers (γογγυσταί, οἱ ὑπʼ ὀδόντα καὶ ἀπαῤῥησιάστως τῷ δυσαρεστουμένῳ ἐπιμεμφόμενοι, Œc. Murmurers against what, is not said: probably, against the appointments and ordinances of God. Bengel’s distinction between the two words, “γογγ. adversus homines, μεμψ. contra Deum,” does not appear justified) dissatisfied with their lot (see on μεμψιμοιρία, Theophrastus, Char. xvii. Wetst. and Elsner give examples: e. g. Philo, Vit. Mos. i. 33, vol. ii. p. 109, of the Israelites, καὶ πάλιν ἤρξαντο μεμψιμοιρεῖν: Lucian, Sacrif. 1, τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος μεμψιμοιρούσης, ὅτι μὴ παρειλήφθη πρὸς τὴν θυσίαν ὑπὸ τοῦ Οἰνεως. μεμψίμοιρος is interpreted by Hesych., μεμφόμενος τὸ ἀγαθόν· ἢ φιλεγκλήμων, ἢ φιλαίτιος, walking according to their lusts (this is closely connected with the preceding: “quia sibi in pravis cupiditatibus indulgent, simul difficiles sunt ac morosi, ut illis nunquam satisfiat: hinc fit ut semper obmurmurent ac querantur.” Calv.), and their mouth speaking great swelling things (see 2Peter 2:18 note), admiring (the nom. part. belongs not to εἰσίν above, but to αὐτῶν immediately preceding, being joined to it by a loose construction: see reff.) (men’s) persons (see reff.: holding mere outward appearances, dignities, of men in admiration. In ref. Gen., it is God who says to Abraham, ἰδού, ἐθαύμασά σου τὸ πρόσωπον, “Behold, I have regarded (E. V., accepted) thee.” In the ref. Levit., the word imports as here, and is parallel with οὐ λήψῃ πρόσωπον in the preceding clause. The Commentators quote Lysias, Orat. 31, οὔτε γὰρ τοὺς πονηροὺς ὑπερορᾷ, οὔτε τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς θαυμάζει, ἀλλʼ ἶσον ἑαυτὸν παρέχει πᾶσιν, said of death. In 4 Kings 5:1 Naaman is said to have been a man τεθαυμασμενος τεοσώπῳ, of high dignity) for the sake of advantage (“magniloquentiam taxat, quod se ipsos fastuose jactent: sed interea ostendit illiberali esse ingenio, quia serviliter se dimittant.” Calv. Compare μισθοῦ, ver. 11).
17, 18.] Exhortation to remember how the Apostles forewarned them of these men. But ye, beloved (see again below, ver. 20), remember the words which were before spoken (not “prophesied:” see reff.) by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ (this can hardly be cited as evidence on one side or the other on the question whether St. Jude himself was an Apostle. He might use the expression, being himself an Apostle: be is certainly more likely to have used it, not being one. According to the critical text, St. Peter uses the same expression, without the ἡμῶν, 2Peter 3:2: and whichever view is taken as to the genuineness or otherwise of 2 Peter, there could be no intention by such an expression to exclude either the real or the pretended St. Peter from the number of the Apostles), that they told you (whether by writing, or by word of mouth, does not appear: so that we cannot say, with Bengel, “ergo hi, ad quos Judas scribit, cæteros quoque Apostolos audierant.” It is worthy of remark that he does not say ἔλεγον ἡμῖν, but ὑμῖν; hereby again not indeed making it certain that he included himself among the Apostles, but making it very uncertain, whether he intends to exclude himself) that at the last of the time (see notes on 2Peter 3:3: Hebrews 1:1: 1Peter 1:20; = at the end of the world, in the last age of the Church) there shall be scoffers (men who sport with what is holy and good; the λοιμοί of Psalm 1:1. The prophecy is contained in 2Timothy 3:1, 1Timothy 4:1, Acts 20:29, and doubtless formed a constant subject of viva voce warning. 2Peter 3:1, 2Peter 3:2, can hardly be supposed to be referred to, for that place is, as this, a reminiscence of things before said by the Apostles, and nearly in the same words), walking according to their own lusts of impieties (ἀσεβειῶν, gen. after ἐπιθυμίας, indicating the direction, or perhaps the character, of those desires. Cf. the same words above, ver. 16).
19.] Last characteristics of these men. These are they that separate (or “are separating,” viz. from the Church, having no real sympathy with the spirit of the Gospel, The act. verb does not seem to require ἑαυτούς to be supplied: that draw lines of distinction, by walking after their own desires, not in the path of the Church’s obedience, thus separating both themselves from you, and you from themselves), sensual (we have do English word for ψυχικός; and our biblical psychology is, by this defect, entirely at fault. The ψυχή is the centre of the personal being, the “I” of each individual. It is in each man bound to the spirit, man’s higher part. and to the body, man’s lower part; drawn upwards by the one, downwards by the other. He who gives himself up to the lower appetites, is σαρκικός: he who by communion of his πνεῦμα with God’s Spirit is employed in the higher aims of his being, is πνευματικός. He who rests midway, thinking only of self and self’s interests, whether animal or intellectual, is the ψυχικός, the selfish man, the man in whom the spirit is sunk and degraded into subordination to the subordinate ψυχή. In the lack of any adeqaute word, I have retained the “sensual” of the E. V., though the impression which it gives is a wrong one: “selfish” would be as bad, for the ψυχικός may be an amiable and generous man: “animal” would be worse: “intellectual,” worse still. If the word were not so ill-looking in our language, “psychic” would be a great gain), not having the spirit (πνεῦμα, see above, not directly the Holy Spirit of God (the absence of the art. would be no objection to this: see reff. and Romans 8:14, 1Corinthians 2:4, al. fr.), but the higher spiritual life of man’s spirit in communion with the Holy Spirit. These men have not indeed ceased to have πνεῦμα, as a part of their own tripartite nature: but they have ceased to possess it in any worthy sense: it is degraded beneath and under the power of the ψυχή, the personal life, so as to have no real vitality of its own. See Delitzsch, Biblische Psychologie, v. Abschn. § 2, “das neue Geiftesleben:” and Beck, Umriss der biblischen Seelenlehre, p. 35 ff.).
20-23.] Concluding exhortation to the readers: and a) vv. 20, 21, as to their own spiritual life. But ye, beloved (resumed from ver. 17), building up yourselves (ἑαυτους, not = ἀλλήλους, but as in Philippians 2:12) upon (as a foundation) your most holy faith (the faith here is the foundation; viz., the fides quæ creditur, the object of faith. Bullinger (in Huther), “Vestræ fidei superstruentes vos ipsos.” Elsewhere in Scripture, Christ is this foundation, see 1Corinthians 3:11; which in fact comes to the same, for He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith, the α and ω), praying in the Holy Spirit (as the means of thus building yourselves up. The expression προσεύχεσθαι ἐν πν. ἁγίῳ is not found elsewhere, but is in strict analogy with Scripture usage: cf. λαλεῖν ἐν πν. ἁγ., also Romans 8:26, Ephesians 6:18. Some, e. g. Luther, join ἐν πν. ἁγ. with what has gone before, and this is approved by De Wette: but surely προσευχόμενοι would not be left thus standing alone. De W. cites Œc. for this arrangement, but it is very doubtful whether he adopts it: ὑμεῖς δὲ τῇ ἁγιωτάτῃ ὑμῶν πίστει ἐποικοδομοῦντες, ἤτοι ἑαυτοὺς ἀνακτώμενοι ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ, τουτέστι, κατὰ τὴν τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος διδασκαλίαν τὰς ἑαυτῶν ἀθροίσεις ἐν ταῖς προσευχαῖς ὑμῶν ποιούμενοι: where it is evident that there should be a period at ἀνακτώμενοι, and that προσευχόμενοι has been omitted, or perhaps was never expressed, after ἁγίῳ; at any rate the latter sentence is an explanation of ἐν πν. ἁγ. προσευχόυενοι), keep yourselves (aor. of the one great life-long act to be accomplished by the ἐποικοδομεῖν and προσεύχεσθαι) in the love of God (within that region of peculiar love wherewith God regards all who are built up on the faith and sustained by prayer: θεοῦ being a subjective gen., “God’s love,” not objective, as Grot., Semler, Bengel, Vorstius, Arnaud, al. The expression is very like μείνατε ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ, John 15:9, where κἀγὼ ὑμᾶς ἠγάπησα preceding fixes the meaning to be Christ’s love to them), looking for (present part. as in Titus 2:13, where see note. It is to be the habit of the life, as those other pres. participles, ἐποικ. and προσευχόμενοι) the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ (viz. that which He will shew at His coming, τὸν εἰς τὴν ἐσχάτην ἡμέραν τῆς αἰωνίου ζωῆς βραβευόμενον ὑμῖν, Œc.: cf. Titus 2:13. Huther remarks that ἔλεος, more usually predicated of the Father, is in the addresses of the Pastoral Epistles, and of 2 John, attributed to the Father and Son jointly) unto eternal life (these words may be joined with ἔλεος,—that mercy, whose issue shall be eternal life; or with προσδεχόμενοι,—as the issue and aim of the expectation; or with τηρήσατε,—as the final terminus of that watchful guarding. Perhaps the right choice between the three will be to combine the two last: for προσδεχόμενοι is subordinate and conditional to τηρήσατε: “keep yourselves … in expectation of … unto”). The direct and studied reference to the Blessed Trinity will not escape the reader.
b) vv. 22, 23.] Exhortation as to their conduct with reference to the persons previously stigmatized in the Epistle. And some indeed convict when contending with you (or, “when separating from you.” These appear to be the only two meanings which suit the context. Œc. takes the latter, but apparently including in it the idea of hostile disputation: κακείνους δέ, εἰ μὲν ἀποδιίστανται ὑμῶν, τοῦτο γὰρ σημαίνει τὸ διακρἰνεσθαι … where the Latin renders, “illos vero si vobis resistant, nam id significat disceptantes …” The Vulg. renders it passive: “et hos quidem arguite judicatos,” which can hardly stand as giving the pres. part. διακρινομένους, and representing rather διακρίνοντες. De Wette, following Bengel, understands it “doubting”—“convince,” “persuade in the right direction,” “those who doubt.” But thus the sense of ἐλέγχετε is missed, which is never simply to convince, but always carries the punitive idea with it, to convict. Grot. gives another meaning, “reprehendite eos qui se cæteris præferunt.” Huther goes with Œc. The sense of contending, for διακρίνομαι, is found both in classical writers and in the N. T., e. g. Acts 11:2, and our Epistle, ver. 9 (which is no slight indication of the meaning here): cf. διακρίνεσθαι μάχῃ Herod. ix. 58, ὅπλοις κ. λόγοις Demosth. p. 163. 15 al. in Palm and Rost’s Lex.
This is the first class: that of those who oppose themselves, who must be convicted and down-argued. According to the rec. οὓς μὲν ἐλεεῖτε διακρινόμενοι, the rendering will be, as E. V., “of some have compassion, making a difference,” viz. between them and the others); but others save (pres., attempt to save; not σώσατε, which would imply that you had the power, and must do it effectually), snatching them from the fire (the same passage in the prophets, Zechariah 3:1-3, which has already been before St. Jude’s mind in ver. 9, again furnishes him with the material of this figure. There we read οὐκ ἰδοὺ τοῦτο ὡς δαλὸς ἐξεσπασμένος ἐκ πυρός; cf. also ref. Amos. Notice too the repetition of διακρίνεσθαι in close connexion, which speaks not a little for the sense above given to it. The πῦρ is most probably not future eternal fire, as Œc. ἐκ τοῦ ἠπειλημένου αὐτοῖς πυρός: but the present hell into which their corrupt doctrines and practices have cast them, not however without reference to its ending in fire eternal. This is the second class; as Œc., εἰ δὲ πρὸς ἴασιν ἀφορῶσι: or rather perhaps, any over whom your influence extends, as younger members of the Church, &c., whom you can thus rescue by snatching them out of the fire of temptation and peril), and others compassionate (the form ἐλεάω, for the usual ἐλεέω is also found in reff. Rom.; and ἐλλογὰν Romans 5:13 (in ()), Philemon 1:18. See Winer, edn. 6, § 15) in fear (on what account, is shewn by what follows. Œc. rightly, except that (see below) he identifies this class with the last,—προσλαμβάνεσθε δὲ μετὰ τοῦ ἐλεεῖν αὐτοὺς καὶ μετὰ φόβου, περισκεπτόμενοι μή πως ἡ πρόσληψις τούτων, ἀμελῶς ὑμῶν τὰ πρὸς αὐτοὺς διακειμένων, λύμης ὑμῖν γενηται αἰτία. This is the third class: consisting of those whom not falling in the way of so as personally to convict, nor having influence over so as to rescue, the believers could only compassionate (and on occasion given, lovingly help) as led away hopelessly to their ruin: but in shewing such compassion, they were to maintain a wholesome fear of their deadly error, for fear they themselves should become defiled by it. It may suffice to repudiate at once Bengel’s interpretation of ἐν φόβῳ, “clementer, metu duntaxat incusso.” The following clause is epexegetical of ἐν φόβῳ), hating (not, “seeing that ye hate,” as De W., nor “though ye hate,” as Jachm.: the pres. part. simply falls under and expands the verbal clause ἐλεᾶτε-ἐν-φόβῳ, thus forming part of the command) even the (or, “their,” cf. Œc. below) garment which has received defilement from the flesh (τῷ ἐλέῳ τῷ πρὸς αὐτοὺς συνεπέσθω τὸ μῖσος τὸ πρὸς τὰ μιαρὰ αὐτῶν ἔργα, μισούντων ὑμῶν καὶ βδελυσσομένων, καὶ τὸν ἀπὸ τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτῶν ἐσπιλωμένον, ἤτοι μεμιασμένον αὐτῶν χιτῶνα, ὡς τῇ πρὸς τὴν αὐτῶν σάρκα προσψαύσει, καὶ αὐτοῦ βδελυροῦ χρηματίζοντος. And so Bengel, understanding χιτῶνα of their garment, which you are to loathe, and to be afraid even to touch: “tunica est totius vitæ habitus exterior, qua ab aliis attingimur.” This may be, but it is more probable that the χιτών is literal, and the saying a proverbial one—hating not merely fleshly pollution itself, but even the traces and outskirts of it; even that, be it what it may, which has its mark and stain upon it. On the sense, see Revelation 3:4).
24, 25.] Concluding Doxology, conceived in terms referring to their state of danger and necessity of divine upholding. But (the δέ, as in Romans 16:25, closes off all other considerations and sums up all in this one. It is not at all given by the “now” of the E. V., which conveys a strictly temporal idea to the hearer) to Him that is able (exactly thus, Romans 16:25) to keep them (the occurrence of αὐτούς (which is almost beyond doubt the true reading instead of ὑμᾶς or ἡμᾶς) can only be accounted for by the supposition that St. Jude writes here, as of all to whom he has been addressing himself, in the third person, as if he was praying to God for them. His reason for not using ὑμᾶς may have been his desire to include also in the term those who might be convicted, rescued from the fire, and compassionated, as well as his more immediate reader. But it is hardly likely, in the solemn close of his Epistle, that he should mean by αὐτούς, those only) without falling (see reff.: and for πταίειν, James 2:10, James 3:2), and to set (them) before-the-presence-of His glory (which will be revealed when the Son of man shall come, ἐν τῇ δόξῃ αὐτοῦ καὶ τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων, Luke 9:26, in the ἐπιφανείᾳ τῆς δόξης τοῦ μεγάλου θεοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ χριστοῦ, Titus 2:13) blameless (see reff. and 1Thessalonians 3:13) in (element, in which they will be found) great-rejoicing (tripudiatio, the exuberance of triumphant joy: see reff.: and the verb in 1Peter 1:6 reff.), to the only God our Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord (on the union of θεός with σωτήρ, see Prolegg. to Vol. III., ch. 7 § 1, 34. Observe the qualification here), be (on account of πρὸ παντὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος below, De Wette insists as necessary that ἐστιν, as 1Peter 4:11, not ἔστω, is here to be supplied. But ἔστω might be in the Writer’s mind, while the precise periods embraced by it might rather be left to the fulness of his devout spirit than marked by strict precision) glory, majesty, might, and power, before all time (before the whole age, scil. of the world. Thus we have eternity “a parte ante”), and now (thus, time present), and to all the ages (thus, eternity “a parte post”). Amen (the ordinary conclusion of a doxology: cf. Romans 1:25, 1Peter 4:11 (and 2Peter 3:18, where as here it stands at the end of the Epistle)).