Jude 1:17
But, beloved, remember you the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jude 1:17. But, beloved — To prevent you from giving heed to the vain speeches of these deceivers; remember the words which were spoken before — Or spoken prophetically; by the apostles — Who have preached the gospel to you in all its purity. He does not exempt himself from the number of apostles; for in the next verse he says, they told you, not us. The resemblance, as Doddridge justly observes, between this text and 1 Peter 3:2, is very remarkable. It is such as would incline one to think that Jude had the text in Peter before him, and omitted what had a peculiar reference to the former part of St. Peter’s epistle, and to which there was nothing in his own to answer. Though Jude only cites the words spoken by Peter in particular concerning the coming of scoffers in the last time, yet his exhortation being general, it comprehends the words spoken by the other apostles concerning the coming of false teachers, such as Paul’s, 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:4. Nay, it comprehends the words spoken by Jude himself in the preceding part of this epistle.1:17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.But, beloved, remember ye ... - There is a striking similarity between these two verses and 2 Peter 3:1-3. It occurs in the same connection, following the description of the false and dangerous teachers against whom the apostle would guard them, and couched almost in the same words. See it explained in the notes at the similar passage in Peter. When Jude (Jde 1:17) entreats them to remember the words which were spoken by "the apostles," it is not necessarily to be inferred that he was not himself an apostle, for he is speaking of what was past, and there might have been a special reason why he should refer to something that they would distinctly remember which had been spoken by the "other" apostles on this point. Or it might be that he meant also to include himself among them, and to speak of the apostles collectively, without particularly specifying himself.

Mockers - The word rendered "mockers" here is the same which in the parallel place in 2 Peter 3:3 is rendered "scoffers." Peter has stated more fully what was the particular subject on which they scoffed, and has shown that there was no occasion for it 2 Peter 3:4, following.

17. But; beloved … ye—in contrast to those reprobates, Jude 20, again.

remember—implying that his readers had been contemporaries of the apostles. For Peter uses the very same formula in reminding the contemporaries of himself and the other apostles.

spoken before—spoken already before now.

the apostles—Peter (see on [2673]2Pe 3:2, 3), and Paul before Peter (Ac 20:29; 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:1). Jude does not exclude himself from the number of the apostles here, for in Jude 18, immediately after, he says, "they told You," not us (rather as Greek, "used to tell you" implying that Jude's readers were contemporaries of the apostles, who used to tell them).

Especially Paul and Peter: see Acts 20:29 and 2 Peter 3:2, besides the places in the margin. From this passage it appears that this Epistle was written late, and, likely, after the other apostles, except John, were dead. But, beloved,.... Or "my beloved", as the Syriac and Arabic versions read; or "our brethren", as the Ethiopic version; the apostle addresses the saints in this manner, to distinguish them from the false teachers, and to show that he had a different opinion of them from them; and that be would have them beware of them, and not be surprised at them, since it was no other than what was foretold; and also to engage their attention and regard to the following exhortation:

remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; these words mean not the doctrines of the apostles in general, but particularly the prophecies delivered out by them, as by the Apostles Paul and Peter, concerning the false teachers that should arise; and these being spoken of before, and by apostles, even by the apostles, of our Lord Jesus Christ, were worthy of regard, and deserved to be remembered; a remembrance of which is a preservative from error, and a relief in the worst of times, whether of persecution, or heresy. This does not suppose that Jude was not an apostle, only that there were other apostles besides him; and that these, some of them at least, had prophesied of these men, and that he had lived to see their predictions verified; nor does he exclude himself from being one of them; yea, the Ethiopic version reads, "which we the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ have formerly declared unto you"; see 2 Peter 3:2.

{11} But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

(11) The rising up of such monsters was spoken of before, that we should not be troubled at the newness of the matter.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jude 1:17-18. Jude now turns to his readers, comforting[42] and exhorting them in reference to the ungodly above described; see 2 Peter 3:2-3.

ὑμεῖς δέ] an emphatic contrast to those above mentioned.

μνήσθητε] presupposes the words meant by Jude known to the readers, as learned from the apostles.

τῶν ῥημάτων τῶν προειρημένων] ῥῆμα; the word as an expression of thought. The προ in προειρημένων designates these words not as those which predict something future, but which were already spoken before (so also Hofmann).

ὑπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων κ.τ.λ.] Jude would hardly have so expressed himself were he himself an apostle, which several expositors certainly do not grant, explaining this mode of expression partly from Jude’s modesty and partly from the circumstance that, except himself and John, the other apostles were already dead.

Jude 1:18. ὅτι ἔλεγον ὑμῖν] ὑμῖν here renders it probable that Jude means such sayings as the readers had heard from the mouth of the apostles themselves; yet the words which follow are not necessarily to be considered as a literally exact quotation, but may be a compression of the various predictions of the apostles concerning this subject.[43]

ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου [τοῦ] χρόνου] a designation of the time directly preceding the advent of Christ. In the reading ΤΟῦ ΧΡΌΝΟΥ, ἘΣΧΆΤΟΥ is the genitive neuter, as in Hebrews 1:1.

ἜΣΟΝΤΑΙ ἘΜΠΑῖΚΤΑΙ] only here and in 2 Peter 3:3, a word occurring only in later Greek; the LXX. have translated תַּעֲלוּלִים by ἘΜΠ., as they render הִתְעַלֵּל by ἘΜΠΑΊΖΕΙΝ. Mockers, that is, men to whom the holy (not merely the resurrection, Grotius) serves for mockery. ΛΑΛΕῖΝ ὙΠΈΡΟΓΚΑ is a ἘΜΠΑΊΖΕΙΝ of the holy (which Hofmann without reason denies); this is naturally united with a surrender to their own lusts; therefore ΚΑΤᾺ ΤᾺς ἙΑΥΤῶΝ ἘΠΙΘΥΜΊΑς ΠΟΡΕΥΌΜΕΝΟΙ ΤῶΝ ἈΣΕΒΕΙῶΝ] ΤῶΝ ἈΣΕΒΕΙῶΝ, an echo of the saying of Enoch, is placed emphatically at the close, in order to render prominent the character and aim of ἘΠΙΘΥΜΊΑΙ.

That the apostles in their writings frequently prophesied of the entrance of heretical and ungodly men into the church, is well known; comp. Acts 20:29; 1 Timothy 4:1; 2 Timothy 3:2 ff.; yet ἘΜΠΑΊΖΕΙΝ is not elsewhere stated as a characteristic mark of these men; this is only the case in 2 Peter 3:3, where, however, the mockery is referred only to the denial of the advent of Christ.

[42] Why Jude should not have intended to comfort his readers by reminding them of what the apostles had, at an earlier period, said of the appearance of these men, as he here describes them, cannot be perceived (against Hofmann).

[43] Entirely without reason, Schott maintains that the intervening words: ὅτι ἔλεγον ὑμῖν, prove that Jude will here give a verbal quotation, and that this must be a writing earlier directed to the readers. ὅτι ἐλ. ὑμ. simply introduces the statement of the contents of the ῥήματα, which were earlier spoken by ths apostles. The plural is not to be referred to one apostle, and the verb does not in the least degree indicate that this word was written.Jude 1:17-19.—The Faithful are bidden to call to mind the warnings of the Apostles. The Apostles warned you repeatedly that in the last time there would arise mockers led away by their own carnal lusts. It is these that are now breaking up the unity of the Church by their invidious distinctions, men of unsanctified minds, who have not the Spirit of God. See Introduction on the Early Heresies in the larger edition.17. remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles …] The passage stands in close parallelism with 2 Peter 3:2, but differs in speaking only of “apostles” and not of prophets, and apparently also in referring only or chiefly to the predictions of the apostles and not to their commandments. If we could assume that 2 Peter was the earlier of the two Epistles, we might see in St Jude’s language a reference to that of the Apostle. It will be noticed also that St Jude does not say, as St Peter does, “of us the apostles” (see, however, note on 2 Peter 3:2), and so far leaves it uncertain whether he includes himself.Jude 1:17. Ὑμεῖς δὲ, ἀγαπητοὶ, but ye, beloved) Thus also Jude 1:20.—μνήσθητε, remember) They therefore to whom Jude writes had also heard the other apostles.—ἀποστόλων, apostles) Jude does not exempt himself from the number of the apostles; for in the next verse he says, to you, not, to us.Verses 17, 18. - A direct appeal is now introduced to the readers. Its object is to save them from being disconcerted by the rise of these impious men or beguiled by their pretensions. They are reminded, therefore, of apostolic words, by which from the beginning they had been taught to anticipate such perils and to be on their guard against them. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were (or, have been) spoken before of (i.e. by) the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Revised Version rightly restores the rendering "but ye, beloved," which the Authorized Version dropped. The older versions, Wickliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, the Genevan, the Rhemish, agree in introducing this emphatic "ye," which sets the readers in sharpest contrast to these "murmurers," and gives greater point to Jude's appeal. The teaching of the apostles on the subject in hand is referred to as something by no means strange to them. The terms would naturally suggest that the readers had been themselves hearers of the apostles. They are not decisive, however, of the question whether oral or written communications, direct or indirect instructions, are in view. The indeterminate sense of the term "apostle," and the general tenor of the reference, make it impossible to say that Jude ranks himself here among the twelve. The sentence would be more natural on the lips of one who was not himself an apostle. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. The Revised Version is more literally true to the original in giving this the direct form, how that they said, to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, etc. This does not necessarily imply, however, that written words are referred to, or that a quotation is being made. The tense of the verb, "said," by which the words are introduced, points the other way. It means that they were in the way of saying such things, and makes it probable, therefore, that Jude refers to the substance of what the apostles were in the habit of saying about the future in their ordinary preaching and teaching. Christ's own prophecies on the subject of the end (Matthew 24, 25) would form the text for such declarations. We have examples of these apostolic predictions in the case of Paul (Acts 20:29; 2 Timothy 3:1), in that of John (1 John 2:18), in that of Peter (2 Peter 3:2, 3). The last resembles the present passage most closely, the same unusual word for "mockers," or "scoffers," being common to both. The stress of the statement is again on the sensual impiety of these men, as appears from the strong and peculiar phrase with which the prediction closes, "walking after their own lusts of ungodliness" (Revised Version, margin). By "the last time" (with which compare the expressions in 1 Peter 1:5, 20; 2 Peter 3:3; Hebrews 1:1, etc.) is meant the time which closes the present order of things, and ushers in Christ's return. It was a Hebrew idea that time was divided into two great periods - " this age" and "the age to come," which were parted by the coming of Messiah. The "age to come," or the Messianic age, was in principle introduced by Messiah's first advent, but it was to be finally brought in by his second advent - an event conceived to be near. The time which heralded the conclusive termination of the one period and entrance of the other was "the last time" - a time of evils and of portents marking the end of the old order.
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