Jude 1:13
Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jude 1:13. Raging waves of the sea — Unstable in their doctrine, and turbulent and furious in their tempers and manners, having no command of their irascible passions. Foaming out their own shame — By their wicked and outrageous behaviour, even among their disciples, showing their own filthiness to their great disgrace. The apostle seems here to have alluded to Isaiah 57:20, The wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. Wandering stars Πλανηται, literally, planets, which shine for a time, but have no light in themselves. The Jews called their teachers stars, and Christian teachers are represented under the emblem of stars, Revelation 1:20; Revelation 2:1. And as the planets seem to have a very irregular motion, being sometimes stationary and sometimes retrograde, they are very proper emblems of persons unsettled in their principles, and irregular in their behaviour, such as these men were. To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness, &c. Who will soon be driven to an eternal distance from the great original of light and happiness, to which they shall never return. Thus the apostle illustrates their desperate wickedness, by comparisons drawn from the air, earth, sea and heavens.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.Raging waves of the sea - Compare 2 Peter 2:18. They are like the wild and restless waves of the ocean. The image here seems to be, that they were noisy and bold in their professions, and were as wild and ungovernable in their passions as the billows of the sea.

Foaming out their own shame - The waves are lashed into foam, and break and dash on the shore. They seem to produce nothing but foam, and to proclaim their own shame, that after all their wild roaring and agitation they should effect no more. So with these noisy and vaunting teachers. What they impart is as unsubstantial and valueless as the foam of the ocean waves, and the result is in fact a proclamation of their own shame. Men with so loud professions should produce much more.

Wandering stars - The word rendered "wandering" (πλανῆται planētai) is that from which we have derived the word "planet." It properly means one who wanders about; a wanderer; and was given by the ancients to planets because they seemed to wander about the heavens, now forward and now backward among the ether stars, without any fixed law. - Pliny, Nat. Hist. ii. 6. Cicero, however, who saw that they were governed by certain established laws, says that the name seemed to be given to them without reason. - De Nat. Deo. ii. 20. So far as the "words" used are concerned, the reference may be either to the planets, properly so called, or to comets, or to "ignes fatui," or meteors. The proper idea is that of stars that have no regular motions, or that do not move in fixed and regular orbits. The laws of the planetary motions were not then understood, and their movements seemed to be irregular and capricious; and hence, if the reference is to them, they might be regarded as not an unapt illustration of these teachers. The sense seems to be, that the aid which we derive from the stars, as in navigation, is in the fact that they are regular in their places and movements, and thus the mariner can determine his position. If they had no regular places and movements, they would be useless to the seaman. So with false religious teachers. No dependence can be placed on them. It is not uncommon to compare a religious teacher to a star, Revelation 1:16; Revelation 2:1. Compare Revelation 22:16.

To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever - Not to the stars, but to the teachers. The language here is the same as in 2 Peter 2:17. See the notes at that verse.

13. Raging—wild. Jude has in mind Isa 57:20.

shame—plural in Greek, "shames" (compare Php 3:19).

wandering stars—instead of moving on in a regular orbit, as lights to the world, bursting forth on the world like erratic comets, or rather, meteors of fire, with a strange glare, and then doomed to fall back again into the blackness of gloom.

Raging waves of the sea; not only inconstant as water, but unquiet, turbulent, restless, that cannot cease from sin.

Foaming out their own shame; that wickedness whereof they should be ashamed; like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, Isaiah 57:20.

Wandering stars; either planets properly called, or rather meteors called running stars, inconstant in their motion, uncertain in their shining, making a little show, but presently vanishing; such was the doctrine of these, which had a show of light, but a deceitful and inconstant one.

To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever; the thickest darkness, viz. that of hell; they would be counted lights, but are themselves cast into utter darkness, 2 Peter 2:17. As blackness of darkness shows the horror of their punishment, so its being reserved for them shows the certainty of it. Raging waves of the sea,.... False teachers are so called, for their, swelling pride and vanity; which, as it is what prevails in human nature, is a governing vice in such persons, for knowledge without grace puffs up; and this shows that they had not received the doctrine of grace in truth, for that humbles; as also for their arrogance, boasting, and ostentation; and for their noisiness, their restless, uneasy, and turbulent spirits, for their furious and wrathful dispositions; as well as for their levity and inconstancy, and for their turpitude and filthiness:

foaming out their own shame: wrathful words, frothy and obscene language, and filthy doctrines; and which expresses the issue of their noisy and blustering ministry, which ends in uncleanness, shame, emptiness, and ruin,

Wandering stars; they are called "stars", because they have the appearance of such, and blaze for a while, in seeming light, zeal, and warmth, and in fame and reputation; and "wandering" ones, not comparable to the planets, which go their regular course, but to fiery exhalations, gliding and running stars; because they wander about from house to house, as well as from one nation to another, and being never settled in their principles, nor at a point in religion; and wander also after their own carnal lusts, and cause others to wander likewise, and at last become falling stars; not from real grace and sanctified knowledge, which they never had; but from truth to error, and from a seemingly holy life and conversation, to a vicious one; and from a profession of religion, to open profaneness; and whose fall is irrecoverable, as that of stars:

to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever; or the blackest darkness, even utter darkness; which phrase not only expresses the dreadful nature of their punishment, their most miserable and uncomfortable condition; but also the certainty of it, it is "reserved" for them among the treasures of divine wrath and vengeance, by the righteous appointment of God, according to the just demerit of their sins; and likewise the duration of it, it will be for ever; there will never be any light or comfort, but a continual everlasting black despair, a worm that dieth not, a fire that will not be quenched, the smoke and blackness of which will ascend for ever and ever; hell is meant by it, which the Jews represent as a place of darkness: the Egyptian darkness, they say, came from the darkness of hell, and in hell the wicked will be covered with darkness; the darkness which was upon the face of the deep, at the creation, they interpret of hell (e),

(e) Shemot Rabba, sect. 14. fol. 99. 3.

Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the {n} blackness of darkness for ever.

(n) Most gross darkness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jude 1:13. Continuation of the figurative description of those false teachers. The two images here employed characterize them in their erring and disordered nature.

κύματα ἄγρια θαλάσσης κ.τ.λ.] Already Carpzov has correctly referred for the explanation of these words to Isaiah 57:20; the first words correspond to the Hebrew כַּיָּם נִגְרָשׁ; the following words: ἐπαφρίζοντα τὰς ἑαυτῶν αἰσχύνας, to the Hebrew יִגְרְשׁוּ מֵימָיו רֶפֶשׁ וָטִיט, only Jude uses the literal word where Isaiah has the figurative expression.

ἐπαφρίζειν] properly: to foam oJude Jude 1:1 :Luther well translates it: which foam out their own shame.

αἰσχύνας, not properly vices (de Wette); the plural does not necessitate this explanation, but their disgraceful nature, namely, the shameful ἐπιθυμίαι which they manifest in their wild lawless life; not “their self-devised wisdom” (Schott).

From the fact that the Hebrews sometimes compared their teachers to the sea (see Moses, theol. Samar., ed. Gesenius, p. 26), it is not to be inferred, with Schneckenburger and Jachmann, that there is here a reference to the office of teachers; this is the more unsuitable as the opponents of Jude hardly possessed that office.

ἀστέρες πλανῆται] These two words are to be taken together, wandering stars; that is, stars which have no fixed position, but roam about. The analogy with the preceding metaphors requires us to think on actual stars, with which Jude compares his opponents; thus on comets (Bretschneider, Arnaud, Stier, de Wette, Hofmann) or on planets (so most of the early commentators, also Wiesinger). The latter opinion is less probable, because the πλανᾶσθαι of the planets is less striking to the eye than that of the comets. It is incorrect “in the explanation entirely to disregard the fact whether there are such ἀστέρες πλανῆται in heaven or not” (so earlier in this commentary, after the example of Schott), and to assume that Jude, on account of their ostentation (Wiesinger, Schott), designates these men as stars, and by πλανῆται indicates their unsteady nature. De Wette incorrectly assumes this in essentials as equivalent with πλανῶντες καὶ πλανώμενοι, 2 Timothy 3:13. Bengel thinks that we are in this figure chiefly to think on the opaqueness of the planets; but such an astronomical reference is far-fetched. Jachmann arbitrarily explains ἀστέρες = φωστῆρες, Php 2:15, as a designation of Christians. Several expositors also refer this figure to the teaching of those men, appealing to Php 2:15 and Daniel 12:3; so already Oecumenius: δοκοῦντες εἰς ἄγγελον φωτὸς μετασχηματίζεσθαιἀπεναντίας μόνον τοῦ κυρίου φέρονται δογμάτων (Hornejus, and others); but the context gives no warrant for this.

οἷς ὁ ζόφος τοῦ σκότους εἰς αἰῶνα τετήρηται] This addition may grammatically be referred either to what immediately precedes, thus to the ἀστέρες πλανῆται, or to the men who have been described by the figures used by Jude. It is in favour of the first reference (Hofmann: “Jude names them stars passing into eternal darkness, comets destined only to vanish”) that a more precise statement is also added to the preceding figure; thus the addition ὑπὸ ἀνέμων παραφερόμεναι to νεφέλαι ἄνυδροι κ.τ.λ. But it is against it that the expression chosen by Jude is evidently too strong to designate only the disappearance of comets, therefore the second reference is to be preferred (Wiesinger; comp. Jude 1:6), which also the parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:17 favours. The addition of the genitive τοῦ σκότους to ὁ ζόφος serves to strengthen this idea.Jude 1:13. κύματα ἄγρια θαλάσσης ἐπαφρίζοντα τὰς ἑαυτῶν αἰσχύνας. Cf. Cic. Ad Hercnn. iv. 55, spumans ex ore scelus. The two former illustrations, the reefs and the clouds, refer to the specious professions of the libertines and the mischief they caused; the third, the dead trees, brings out also their own miserable condition; the fourth and fifth give a very fine description of their lawlessness and shamelessness, and their eventual fate. The phrase ἄγρια κύματα is found in Wis 14:1. The rare word ἐπαφρίζω is used of the sea in Moschus Jude 1:5. It refers to the seaweed and other refuse borne on the crest of the waves and thrown up on the beach, to which are compared the overflowings of ungodliness (Psalm 17:4), the ῥυπαρία καὶ περισσεία κακίας condemned by Jam 1:21, where see my note. The libertines foam out their own shames by their swelling words (Jude 1:16), while they turn the grace of God into a cloak for their licentiousness (Jude 1:4). We may compare Php 3:19, ἡ δόξα ἐν τῇ αἰσχύνῃ αὐτῶν.

ἀστέρες πλανῆται. This is borrowed from Enoch (chapters xliii., xliv.) where it is said that some of the stars become lightnings and cannot part with their new form, ib. lxxx, “In the days of the sinners, many chiefs of the stars will err, and will alter their orbits and tasks, ib. lxxxvi, where the fall of the angels is described as the falling of stars, ib. lxxxviii, “he seized the first star which had fallen from heaven and bound it in an abyss; now that abyss was narrow and deep and horrible and dark … and they took all the great stars and bound them hand and foot, and laid them in an abyss,” ib. xc. 24, “and judgment was held first upon the stars, and they were judged and found guilty and were cast into an abyss of fire”; also xviii. 14 f.

It would seem from these passages, which Jude certainly had before him, that πλανῆται cannot here have its usual application, the propriety of which was repudiated by all the ancient astronomers from Plato downwards. Cf. Cic. N. D. ii. 51, “maxime sunt admirabiles motus earum quinque stellarum quae falso vo—cantur errantes. Nihil enim errat quod in omni aeternitate conservat motus constantes et ratos,” with the passages quoted in my notes on that book.

Some commentators take it as applying to comets; perhaps the quotations from Enoch xliv and lxxx fit better with shooting-stars, ἀστέρες διᾴττοντες (Arist. Meteor. i. 4, 7) which seem to rush from their sphere into darkness; compare Hermes Trismegistus ap. Stob. Ecl. 1. 478, κάτωθεν τῆς σελήνης εἰσὶν ἕτεροι ἀστέρες φθαρτοὶ ἀργοὶοὓς καὶ ἡμεῖς ὁρῶμεν διαλυομένους, τὴν φύσιν ὁμοίαν ἔχοντες τοῖς ἀχρήστοις τῶν ἐπὶ γῆς ζῴων, ἐπὶ ἕτερον δὲ οὐδὲν γίγνεται ἢ ἵνα μόνον φθαρῇ. For the close relationship supposed by the Jews to exist between the stars and the angels, see my note on Jam 1:17, φώτων. In this passage, however, the subject of the comparison is men, who profess to give light and guidance, as the pole-star does to mariners (ὡς φωστῆρες ἐν κόσμῳ, Php 2:15), but who are only blind leaders of the blind, centres and propagators of πλάνη (Jude 1:11), destined to be swallowed up in everlasting darkness. Cf. Revelation 6:13; Revelation 8:10; Revelation 8:12; Revelation 9:1; Revelation 12:4.

οἷς ὁ ζόφος τοῦ σκότους εἰς αἰῶνα τετήρηται. See the parallel in 2 Peter 2:17, and above Jude 1:6.13. raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame] Image follows on image to paint the shameless enormities of the false teachers. In this we trace an echo of the thought, though not of the words, of Isaiah 57:20. The same image meets us, though in a milder form, and to express a different type of spiritual evil, in James 1:6. The Greek word for “shame” is in the plural, as indicating the manifold forms of the impurity of the false teachers.

wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever] The latter words are parallel to 2 Peter 2:17. The word for “wandering stars” is that which in the terminology of astronomy distinguishes the “planets” from the fixed stars. Here, however, the ordered regularity of planetary motion supplies no fit point of comparison, and we may probably see in the words a reference either to comets or shooting stars, whose irregular appearance, startling and terrifying men, and then vanishing into darkness, would present an analogue to the short-lived fame and baleful influence of the false teachers whom St Jude has in view. They too were drifting away into the eternal darkness.Jude 1:13. Ἐπαφρίζοντα, foaming out) swollen through plenty: Isaiah 57:20.—ἀστέρες πλανῆται, wandering stars) It has been ascertained in a more recent age, that planets are of themselves dark (opaque) bodies, shining with borrowed light. St Jude, even at that time, from his divine light, conveyed this meaning. For it is plain, from the subsequent mention of darkness, that the allusion is not merely to the etymological derivation of wandering stars [πλανῆται, Th. πλανάομαι, I wander] (although this is also suitable). Comp. 2 Peter 2:17. And the same reason shows that it is not to be understood of the ignis fatuus. Aristotle plainly distinguishes between οἱ δοκοῦντες ἀστέρες διάττειν, the stars which appear to dart through the heavens, shooting stars, and οἱ πλανῆται ἀστέρες, the planets. Book i. Meteor, ch. 4 and 6.—οἷς, to whom) As before, in the case of the clouds, trees, and waves, so now to the wandering stars, an appropriate description is added, with reference to the Apodosis.Raging (ἄγρια)

Rev., wild, which is better, as implying quality rather than act. Waves, by nature untamed. The act or expression of the nature is given by the next word.

Foaming out (ἐπαφρίζοντα)

Only here in New Testament. Compare Isaiah 57:20.

Shame (αἰσχύνας)

Lit., shames or disgraces.

Wandering stars

Compare 2 Peter 2:17. Possibly referring to comets, which shine a while and then pass into darkness. "They belong not to the system: they stray at random and without law, and must at last be severed from the lights which rule while they are ruled" (Lumby).

Blackness (ζόφος)

See on 2 Peter 2:4.

Of darkness (τοῦ σκότους)

Lit., "the darkness," the article pointing back to the darkness already mentioned, Jde 1:6.

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