Jude 1:6
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness to the judgment of the great day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Jude 1:6. And the angels which kept not their first estate — Or, as the clause may be rendered, their first dignity, or principality, (see on 2 Peter 2:4,) namely, the dignity or principality assigned them; but left their own habitation — Properly their own by the free gift of God. The apostle’s manner of speaking insinuates that they attempted to raise themselves to a higher station than that which God had allotted to them; consequently, that the sin for which they were and are to be punished, was pride and rebellion. He hath reserved — Delivered to be kept; in everlasting chains under darkness — O how unlike their own habitation! Everlasting chains is a metaphorical expression, which denotes a perpetual confinement, from which it is no more in their power to escape, than a man, who is strongly bound with iron chains, can break them. Unto the judgment of the great day — Elsewhere called the day of the Lord, and emphatically that day. In our Lord’s description of the general judgment, he tells us that the wicked are to depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels; which implies that these wicked spirits are to be punished with the wicked of mankind. Observe, reader, when these fallen angels came out of the hands of God, they were holy, (else God made that which was evil,) and being holy they were beloved of God, (else he hated the image of his own spotless purity.) But now he loves them no more, they are doomed to endless destruction; (for if he loved them still, he would love what is sinful;) and both his former love, and his present righteous and eternal displeasure, toward the same work of his own hands, are because be changeth not; because he invariably loveth righteousness, and hateth iniquity.1:5-7 Outward privileges, profession, and apparent conversion, could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned aside in unbelief and disobedience. The destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, shows that none ought to presume on their privileges. They had miracles as their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them; pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall. The fallen angels are kept to the judgment of the great day; and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due time. The destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that war against the soul,And the angels which kept not their first estate - A second case denoting that the wicked would be punished. Compare the notes, 2 Peter 2:4. The word rendered "estate" (ἀρχὴν archēn) is, in the margin, "principality." The word properly means, "beginning, commencement;" and then that which surpasses others, which is "first," etc., in point of rank and honor; or pre-eminence, priority, precedence, princedom. Here it refers to the rank and dignity which the angels had in heaven. That rank or pre-eminence they did not keep, but fell from it. On the word used here, compare Ephesians 1:2; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 2:10, as applied to angels; 1 Corinthians 15:24; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15, as applied to demons.

But left their own habitation - To wit, according to the common interpretation, in heaven. The word rendered "habitation" (οἰκητήριον oikētērion) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means here that heaven was their native abode or dwelling-place. They left it by sin; but the expression here would seem possibly to mean that they became "dissatisfied" with their abode, and voluntarily preferred to change it for another. If they did become thus dissatisfied, the cause is wholly unknown, and conjecture is useless. Some of the later Jews supposed that they relinquished heaven out of love for the daughters of men - "Robinson."

He hath reserved in everlasting chains - See the notes, 2 Peter 2:4. Peter says, "chains of darkness;" that is, the darkness encompasses them "as" chains. Jude says that those chains are "everlasting," (δεσμοῖς ἀΐ́δίοις desmois aidios. Compare Romans 1:20, "his eternal power and Godhead." The word does not elsewhere occur. It is an appropriate word to denote that which is eternal; and no one can doubt that if a Greek wished to express that idea, this would be a proper word to use. The sense is, that that deep darkness always endures; there is no intermission; no light; it will exist forever. This passage in itself does not prove that the punishment of the rebel angels will be eternal, but merely that they are kept in a dark prison in which there is no light, and which is to exist for ever, with reference to the final trial. The punishment of the rebel angels after the judgment is represented as an everlasting fire, which has been prepared for them and their followers, Matthew 25:41.

6. (2Pe 2:4.)

kept not their first estate—Vulgate translates, "their own principality," which the fact of angels being elsewhere called "principalities," favors: "their own" implies that, instead of being content with the dignity once for all assigned to them under the Son of God, they aspired higher. Alford thinks the narrative in Ge 6:2 is alluded to, not the fall of the devil and his angels, as he thinks "giving themselves over to fornication" (Jude 7) proves; compare Greek, "in like manner to these," namely, to the angels (Jude 6). It seems to me more natural to take "sons of God" (Ge 6:2) of the Sethites, than of angels, who, as "spirits," do not seem capable of carnal connection. The parallel, 2Pe 2:4, plainly refers to the fall of the apostate angels. And "in like manner to these," Jude 7, refers to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, "the cities about them" sinning "in like manner" as "they" did [Estius and Calvin]. Even if Greek "these," Jude 7, refer to the angels, the sense of "in like manner as these" will be, not that the angels carnally fornicated with the daughters of men, but that their ambition, whereby their affections went away from God and they fell, is in God's view a sin of like kind spiritually as Sodom's going away from God's order of nature after strange flesh; the sin of the apostate angels after their kind is analogous to that of the human Sodomites after their kind. Compare the somewhat similar spiritual connection of whoremongers and covetousness. The apocryphal book of Enoch interprets Ge 6:2 as Alford. But though Jude accords with it in some particulars, it does not follow that he accords with it in all. The Hebrews name the fallen angels Aza and Azael.

left—on their own accord.

their own—Greek, "their proper."

habitation—heaven, all bright and glorious, as opposed to the "darkness" to which they now are doomed. Their ambitious designs seem to have had a peculiar connection with this earth, of which Satan before his fall may have been God's vicegerent, whence arises his subsequent connection with it as first the Tempter, then "the prince of this world."

reserved—As the Greek is the same, and there is an evident reference to their having "kept not their first estate," translate, "He hath kept." Probably what is meant is, He hath kept them in His purpose; that is their sure doom; moreover, as yet, Satan and his demons roam at large on the earth. An earnest of their doom is their having been cast out of heaven, being already restricted to "the darkness of this present world," the "air" that surrounds the earth, their peculiar element now. They lurk in places of gloom and death, looking forward with agonizing fear to their final torment in the bottomless pit. He means not literal chains and darkness, but figurative in this present world where, with restricted powers and liberties, shut out from heaven, they, like condemned prisoners, await their doom.

Kept not their first estate; in which they were created, their original excellency, truth, holiness, purity, John 8:44, as well as dignity.

But left their own habitation; viz. a heavenly one, from whence, though they were righteously thrust out by God, 2 Peter 2:4, yet they may be truly said to have left it themselves, in that they voluntarily rebelled against the law of their creation, and committed that sin which they knew would certainly be punished with such a dejection.

He hath reserved in everlasting chains; into which, Peter says, they were delivered. And the angels which kept not their first estate,.... Or "principality"; that holy, honourable, and happy condition, in which they were created; for they were created in perfect holiness and righteousness, stood in the relation of sons to God, and were, for the lustre of their nature, comparable to the morning stars; they were among the thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers; were a superior rank of creatures to men, and who beheld the face, and enjoyed the presence of God; but this estate they kept not, for being mutable creatures, one of them first sinning, the rest were drawn into it by him, and so were not what they were before, nor in the same estate, or place:

but left their own habitation; by attempting to rise higher; or by quitting their station and posts of honour, being unwilling to be subject to God, and especially to the Son of God, who was to assume human nature, and in it be above them, which they could not bear; and by gathering together in a body, in another place, with Satan at the head of them; though this may be considered as a part of their punishment, and they may be said to do what they were forced to; for they were drove out of their native habitation, heaven; they were turned out of it, and cast down to hell; see 2 Peter 2:4. And this their habitation, which they left, or fell from, or they were cast out of, is by the Jews frequently called the place of their holiness, or their holy place (g),

He hath reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness; by these "everlasting chains" may be meant the power and providence of God over them, which always abide upon them; or their sins, and the guilt of them upon their consciences, under which they are continually held; or the decrees and purposes of God concerning their final punishment and destruction, which are immutable and irreversible, and from which there is no freeing themselves:, the phrase, under darkness, may refer to the chains, as in 2 Peter 2:4; where they are called "chains of darkness"; either because the power, providence, and purposes of God are invisible; so the Syriac version reads, "in unknown chains"; or because horror and black despair are the effects of sin, and its guilt, with which their consciences are continually filled: or it may denote the place and state where they are, either in the darkness of the air, or in the dark parts of the earth, or in hell, where is utter darkness, even blackness of darkness; or that they are under the power of sin, which is darkness, and without the light of God's countenance, or any spiritual knowledge, or comfort: and they are "reserved" in these chains, and under this darkness; or "in prison", as the Arabic version renders it; which denotes the custody of them, and their continuance in it, in which they are kept by Jesus Christ, who can bind and loose Satan at his pleasure; and it shows that they are not as yet in full torment, but are like malefactors that are kept in prison, until the assize comes: so these are laid in chains, and kept in custody

unto the judgment of the great day; that is, the future and last "judgment" of men and devils, which is certain, and will be universal, and executed with the strictest justice: this is called "a day", which is fixed by God, though unknown to men and angels; and because of the evidence and quick dispatch of things, the matters judged will be as clear as the day, and finished at once; and a great one, for the Judge will appear in great glory; great things will be done, the dead will be raised, and all nations will be gathered together, and the process will be with great solemnity; the thrones will be set, the books opened, the several sentences pronounced, and, all punctually executed; the judgment of the great day is the same the Jews call , "the day of the great judgment" (h). This account shows the imprisoned state of the devils, that they are not their own lords, and cannot do as they would; they are under restraints, and in chains, and not to be feared; which must be a great mortification to their proud and malicious spirits: and since this is the case of fallen angels, what severity may be expected from God against the opposers of the truths of the Gospel?

(g) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 73. 1. Pirke Eliezer, c. 14, 22, 27. Zohar in Gen. fol. 28. 1. & Sepher Bahir in ib. fol. 27. 3.((h) Targum in Psal. l. 3.

{5} And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

(5) The fall of the angels was most severely punished, how much more then will the Lord punish wicked and faithless men?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Jude 1:6. A second example taken from the angelic world. As God spared not the people rescued from bondage, so neither did He spare the angels who left their habitation. This also was an admonitory representation for Christians, who, in the face of the high dignity which they possessed by redemption, yielded themselves to a life of vice.

ἀγγέλους τε τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας κ.τ.λ.] is, according to the construction, as the τε indicates, closely connected with the preceding.

ἀγγέλους without the article considered generally; the participle connected with the article indicates the definite class of angels who are here meant.

For the understanding of this verse the following points are to be observed:—(1) By the twofold participial clause τοὺς μὴἀρχήν and ἀπολιπόνταςοἰκητήριον, something sinful is attributed to the angels (2 Peter 2:4 : ἁμαρτησάντων), on account of which the punishment expressed by εἰς κρίσεντετήρηκε was inflicted upon them; (2) The two clauses μὴἀλλὰ … so correspond, that the second positive clause explains the first negative clause; and (3) what Jude says of the angels corresponds with the doctrine of the angels contained in the Book of Enoch.

τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀρχήν κ.τ.λ.] ἀρχή must here denote something which the angels by forsaking τὸ ἴδιον οἰκητήριον did not preserve, but gave up or slighted. But by ἀπολ. τὸ ἴδ. οἰκητ., according to the Book of Enoch 12:4,[18] is meant their forsaking of heaven, and their descent to earth in order to go after the daughters of men (so also Hofmann); but not, as Hornejus and others think, the loss of the heavenly dwelling, which they drew upon themselves by conspiring against God; which would militate against the first observation.

By ἈΡΧΉ expositors understand either the original condition (origo: Calvin, Grotius, Hornejus,[19] and others), or the dominion which originally belonged to them (Bengel, de Wette, Wiesinger, Schott, Hofmann; Brückner thinks that the meaning dominion passes over into that of origin). According to the first explanation, the term is too indefinite, both in itself and in reference to the second parallel clause. It is in favour of the second explanation, that in the N. T. angels are often designated by the name ἀρχή, ἀρχαί; as also the prevailing idea among the Jews was, that to the angels a lordship belongs over the earthly creation. By this explanation, also, the two clauses correspond; instead of administering their office as rulers, they forsook their heavenly habitation, and thus became culpable. The explanation, according to which ἀρχὴ ἑαυτῶν denotes not the dominion of the angels, but the dominion of God, to which they were subjected, is both against linguistic usage and against the context.

εἰς κρίσιντετήρηκεν] Statement of the punishment. This also corresponds with the expression in the Book of Enoch, where in chap. 10:12 it is said: “Bind them fast under the mountains of the earth … even to the day of judgment … until the last judgment will be held for all eternity.[20]

τετήρηκεν is in sharp contrast to μὴ τηρήσαντας: the perfect expresses an action begun in the past and continued in the present. The mode of retention is more precisely stated by δεσμοῖς ἀϊδίοις ὑπὸ ζόφον] By ἀϊδίοις the chains by which they are bound are designated as eternal, and incapable of being rent.

ὑπὸ ζόφον] ζόφος only here and Jude 1:13, and in the parallel passages 2 Peter 2:4; 2 Peter 2:17; comp. also Wis 17:2;[21] usually ΣΚΌΤΟς, the darkness of hell; ὙΠΌ is explained by conceiving the angels in the lowest depths of hell, covered with darkness.[22] In τετήρηκεν is not contained the final doom which will only take place at the general judgment; therefore: εἰς κρίσιν μεγάλης ἡμέρας] μεγ. ἡμέρα, without any further designation, used of the last judgment only here; the same adjective, as an attribute of that day, in Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:17; Revelation 16:14.

[18] “Announce to the watchers of heaven, who forsook the high heaven and their holy eternal abodes, and have corrupted themselves with women;” xv. Jude 1:3 : “Wherefore have ye forsaken the high and holy and eternal heaven, and have slept with women?” … lxiv.: “These are the angels who have gone down from heaven to earth;” and other passages. Genesis 6:2 lies at the foundation of this tradition, the explanation of which is to this day contested. Whilst Hofmann explains the expression בְּנֵי הָאֱלֹהִים as a designation of the angels, Ferd. Philippi decidedly rejects this explanation.

[19] Hornejus, after John 8:44, designates as the original condition here meant, veritas i. e. innocentia et sanctitas. Stier thinks “that the original condition was at the same time the ground of their nature and condition in God, or, as it is now perhaps called, the principle of their true life. They preserved not themselves in God, whilst they surrendered and lost the proper pure ground of their glorious being.”

[20] Comp. also x. Jude 1:4 : “Bind Azâzêl, and put him in darkness,” xiv. 5, xxi. 10, etc. In the Midrasch Ruth in the Book of Zohar it is said: Postquam filii Dei filios genuerunt, sumsit eos Deus et ad montem tenebrarum perduxit, ligavitque in catenis ferreis, quae usque ad medium abyssi magnae pertingunt.

[21] Comp. also Hesiod. Theog. v. 729, where it is said:

[22] There is an apparent difference between what is here said and the representations of the N. T. elsewhere, according to which Satan and his ἄγγελοι have even now their residence in the air (Ephesians 2:2, or in the upper regions, ἐν τοῖς ἐπουρανίοις, Ephesians 6:12), and although already judged by Christ (John 16:11), yet as κοσμοκράτορες exercise power over unbelievers, and also lay snares for believers, in order to bring them again into subjection. Expositors, in general, have attempted to reconcile this by referring this continued activity of the devil to the special permission of God; Calvin otherwise: porro nobis fingendus non est locus, quo inclusi sint diaboli; simpliciter enim docere voluit Ap., quam misera sit eorum conditio … nam quocunque pergant, secum trahunt sua vincula et suis tenebris obvoluti manent. Dietlein remarks on 2 Peter 2:4 : “Not only Tartarus, but also the chains of darkness, are to be understood in a local and corporeal sense, but not of such a locality, or of such an imprisonment in that locality, as would require an exclusion from our locality, or an incapability of movement through our locality.” But all these artificial explanations are to be rejected, inasmuch as Jude does not speak of Satan and his angels, but of a definite class of angels, to whom, in agreement with the Book of Enoch, he refers Genesis 6:2. This is correctly observed by Hofmann, Wiesinger, and Schott, with whom Brückner appears to agree; on the other hand, F. Philippi (p. 140) observes: “Jude speaks here of the original fall of the angels from pride, not of their union with earthly women.”

Ἔνθα θεοὶ Τιτῆνες ὑπὸ ζόφῳ ἠρόεντα

Κεκρύφαται, βουλῆσι Διὸς νεφεληγερέταο

Χώρῳ ἐν εὐρώεντι.Jude 1:6. ἀγγέλους τε τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαντας τὴν ἐαυτῶν ἀρχὴνεἰς κρίσιντετήρηκεν.] Cf. Clem. Al. Adumbr. “Angelos qui non servaverunt proprium principatum, scilicet quem acceperunt secundum profectum.” This of course supplies an even more striking instance of the possibility of falling away from grace, cf. Bede, “Qui angelis peccantibus non pepercit, nee hominibus parcet super-bientibus, sed et hos quoque cum suum principatum non servaverint, quo per gratiam adoptionis filii Dei effecti sunt, sed reliquerint suum domicilium, id est, Ecclesiae unitatem … damnabit”. On the Fall of the Angels see Introduction and the parallel passages in 2 Peter 2:4, and in Enoch, chapters 6–10.

ἀρχήν.] Used of office and dignity, as in Genesis 40:21 of the chief butler: here perhaps of the office of Watcher, though Spitta takes it more generally of the sovereignty belonging to their abode in heaven = τὸν ἄνω κλῆρον in Clem. Al. 650 P. The term ἀρχή is used of the evil angels themselves in Ephesians 6:12. Cf. Enoch xii. 4, of the Watchers (angels) who have abandoned the high heaven and the holy eternal place and defiled themselves with women, ib. xv. 3. Philo says of the fallen angels (M. i. p. 268), καλὸν μὴ λιποτακτῆσαι μὲν τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ τάξεως, ἐν ᾗ τοὺς τεταγμένους πάντας ἀριστεύειν ἀνάγκη, αὐτομολῆσαι δὲ πρὸς τὴν ἄνανδρον ἡδονήν. So Just. M[788] Apol. ii. 5, οἱ δʼ ἄγγελοι παραβάντες τήνδε τὴν τάξιν γυναικῶν μίξεσιν ἡττήθησαν with Otto’s n.

[788]. Codex Ruber (sæc. ix.), at the British Museum; it derives its name from the colour of the ink.

ἀπολιπόντας τὸ ἴδιον οἰκητήριον. Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:2, τὸ οἰκ. τὸ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, and the quotation from Enoch in the last n. [For οἰκητήριον, cf. Enoch xv. 7 (the message of Enoch to the Watchers) “the spiritual have their dwelling in heaven” … ἡ κατοίκησις αὐτῶν ἔσται ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. Chase.]

εἰς κρίσιν μεγάλης ἡμέρας δεσμοῖς ἀϊδίοις ὑπὸ ζόφου τετήρηκεν. Cf. 2 Peter 2:4 σειροῖς ζόφου ταρταρώσας, 2 Peter 2:9, ἀδίκους εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεως κολαζομένους τηρεῖν, 2 Peter 3:7, τηρούμενοι εἰς ἡμέραν κρίσεωςτῶν ἀσεβῶν ἀνθρώπων, Joel 2:31, ὁ ἥλιος μεταστραφήσεται εἰς σκότοςπρὶν ἐλθεῖν τὴν ἡμέραν Κυρίου τὴν μεγάλην καὶ ἐπιφανῆ Revelation 6:17, ἦλθεν ἡ ἡμέρα ἡ μεγάλη τῆς ὀργῆς αὐτοῦ, Revelation 16:14, συναγαγεῖν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸν πόλεμον τῆς μεγάλης ἡμέρας τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ παντοκράτορος. Enoch 10:5, ἐπικάλυψον αὐτῷ (Azazel) σκότος, καὶ οἰκησάτω ἐκεῖ εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, Enoch 10:12, δῆσον αὐτοὺςμέχρι ἡμέρας κρίσεως αὐτῶν, Enoch 12:11 (Gr. in Charles’ App. [789]) μέχρι τῆς μεγάλης ἡμέρας τῆς κρίσεως, ib. liv. 6, note on xlv. 1. So ἡμέρα τοῦ κυρίου 1 Corinthians 1:8, 2 Peter 3:10 al., ἐκείνη ἡ ἡμέρα 2 Thessalonians 1:10. On δεσμοῖς see En. liv. 3–5, “I saw how they made iron chains of immeasurable weight, and I asked for whom they were prepared, and he said unto me ‘These are prepared far the hosts of Azazel’.” cf. δέσμιοι σκότους (Wis 17:2) of the plague of darkness.

[789] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

ἀϊδίοις. The chains are called “everlasting,” but they are only used for a temporary purpose, to keep them for the final judgment. It seems to be here synonymous with αἰώνιος in Jude 1:7. So too in the only other passages in which it occurs in the Bible, Wis 7:26, ἀπαύγασμά ἐστι φωτὸς ἀϊδίου, and Romans 1:20, ἡ ἀΐδιος αὐτοῦ δύναμις καὶ θειότης.6. And the angels which kept not their first estate] The two last words answer to a Greek term which may either mean “beginning,” i.e. their original constitution, the meaning adopted in the English version, or “sovereignty.” The latter sense may mean either that they rejected the sovereignty of God, or that they abandoned the position of power and dignity which He had assigned them. Looking to the fact that the term is used in the New Testament, as by Jewish writers, as describing a class of angels (the “principalities” of Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:15), the latter explanation is probably the true one. On the nature of the sin referred to, see notes on 2 Peter 2:4.

but left their own habitation] As this is named as the sin, not as the punishment, it seems to imply a descent from the region of heaven to that of earth, like that implied in the language of Genesis 6:2.

he hath reserved in everlasting chains …] The words, like those of 2 Peter 2:4, seem to indicate a distinction between the angels who were thus punished, and the “demons” or “unclean spirits” with Satan at their head, who exercise a permitted power as the tempters, accusers, and destroyers of mankind, the “world-rulers of this darkness” of Ephesians 6:12, who even “in heavenly places” carry on their warfare against the souls of men. It is possible that St Jude recognised such a distinction. His language, like that of St Peter, follows the traditions of the Book of Enoch, which speaks of fallen angels as kept in their prison-house till the day of judgment (xxii. 4), and those which are represented by the Midrasch Ruth in the Book of Zohar, “After that the sons of God had begotten sons, God took them and brought them to the mount of darkness and bound them in chains of darkness which reach to the middle of the great abyss.” A fuller form of the Rabbinic legend relates that the angels Asa and Asael charged God with folly in having created man who so soon provoked Him, and that He answered that if they had been on earth they would have sinned as man had done. “And thereupon He allowed them to descend to earth, and they sinned with the daughters of men. And when they would have returned to Heaven they could not, for they were banished from their former habitation and brought into the dark mountains of the earth” (Nischmath Chaim in Nork’s Rabbinische Quellen und Parallelen). The resemblance between this tradition and that of the Zoroastrian legend of the fall of Ahriman and his angels, and again of the punishment of the Titans by Zeus in the mythology of Hesiod (Theogon. 729), shews the wide-spread currency of the belief referred to. How far this allusive reference to a tradition which the writers accepted stamps it with a Divine authority as an article of faith is a question the answer to which depends on external considerations as to the nature of the inspiration by which the writers who so referred were guided. The office of the interpreter is limited to stating what, as far as can be gathered, was actually in the thoughts of the writer.Jude 1:6. Ἀγγέλους, the angels) 2 Peter 2:4, note.—μὴ τηρήσαντας, that kept not) They ought therefore to have kept it.—ἀρχὴν) their dignity; the state once for all assigned to them, under the Son of God: Colossians 1—ἀπολιπόντας, who left) of their own accord.—ἴδιον, their own) befitting them.—οἰκητηρίον, habitation) bright and shining, opposed to ζόφον, darkness.—ἀϊδίοις, everlasting) A dreadful epithet, as here used. So Jude 1:7, αἰωνίου, everlasting.—τετήρηκεν, He hath reserved) determined to reserve.Verse 6. - The second instance of Divine judgment is taken from the angelic world. The copula connects it closely with the former, and gives it some emphasis: "angels, too," i.e., angels not less than the people selected by God to be a people for himself, have been examples of the terrible law of Divine retribution. The particular class of angels are defined as those who kept not their first estate; or better, their own principality. The idea conveyed by the term here is that of lordship rather than beginning. It is the term which is held by most commentators to be used as a title of angels in such passages as Colossians 1:16; Ephesians 1:21; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12, etc., where mention is made of "principalities." In the present passage Tyndale, Cranmer, the Genevan and our Authorized Version agree in rendering it "first estate." But the Rhemish gives "principality," and Wickliffe has "princehood." Those seem right, therefore, who take the reference to be to the Jewish idea of a peculiar dignity or lordship held by the angels in creation. The sin alleged as the reason for the penalty which the writer recalls to the minds of his readers is that they failed to keep this lordship, and left their proper habitation; by which latter clause a descent to a different sphere of being is intended. The penalty itself is this - that God hath kept them in everlasting chains (or, bonds, with the Revised Version) under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. It is well to retain the rendering "kept" in this clause, instead of the "reserved" of the Authorized Version. For the verb used in describing the sin and that used in describing the penalty are the same. As they "kept not their lordship," God has "kept them in everlasting bonds." The word by which the idea of the everlasting is expressed is a peculiarly strong one, occurring only once again in the New Testament, viz. in Romans 1:20, where it is applied to God's "eternal power." It designates these bonds as bonds from which there never can be escape. The place of this present penal detention is declared to be "under darkness." The term selected for the darkness, again, is an unusual one, occurring only here, in verse 13, and in 2 Peter 2:4, 17, and possibly Hebrews 12:18. It means the densest, blackest darkness, and is used both in Homer and in the apocryphal literature (Wisd. 17:2) of the darkness of the nether world. This darkness, as Dean Alford observes, is "considered as brooding over them, and they under it." But this present penal detention is itself the prelude to a still more awful doom - "the judgment of the great day" (cf. Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:17). There is a similar, but less definite, statement on the subject of angelic sin and penalty in 2 Peter 2:4. But these representations differ greatly from others (e.g., Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12), where the air or the heavenly places appear as the scenes occupied by evil spirits, and these spirits possess freedom. In the New Testament, indeed, there are no passages, except those in Peter and Jude, which speak of fallen angels as at present in bonds. Even in Matthew 25:41, the statement is of a fate prepared, and nothing more. The difference in the two representations is due probably to a difference in the subjects. Other passages refer to the devil and his angels. But in the present passage there is nothing to indicate that the fall of Satan is in view. The sin suggested by the context is not the sin of pride, but a sin against nature. The reference, therefore, is taken to be to the Jewish idea that amatory passion is not limited to the creatures of earth, and that some angels, yielding to the spell of the beauty of the daughters of men, forsook their own kingdom, and entered unto unnatural relations with them. The Jewish belief is seen in the story of Asmodeus in the Book of Tobit; it is found by Josephus (who has been followed by not a few modern interpreters) in Genesis 6:1-4; and it is given with special distinctness in the Book of Enoch. First estate (ἀρχὴν)

The word originally signifies beginning, and so frequently in New Testament, mostly in the Gospels, Acts, Hebrews, Catholic Epistles, and Apocalypse. From this comes a secondary meaning of sovereignty, dominion, magistracy, as being the beginning or first place of power. So mostly by Paul, as principalities (Romans 8:38); rule (1 Corinthians 15:24). Compare Luke 12:11, magistrates; Rev., rulers; and Luke 20:20, power. Rev., rule. A peculiar use of the word occurs at Acts 10:11, "the sheet knit at the four corners (ἀρχαῖς);" the corners being the beginnings of the sheet. In this passage the A. V. has adopted the first meaning, beginning, in its rendering first estate. Rev. adopts the second, rendering principality. The Jews regarded the angels as having dominion over earthly creatures; and the angels are often spoken of in the New Testament as ἀρχαί, principalities; as Romans 8:38; Ephesians 1:21; so that this term would be appropriate to designate their dignity, which they forsook.

Habitation (οἰκητήριον)

Only here and 2 Corinthians 5:2.

Everlasting (ἀΐδίοις)

Only here and Romans 1:20. For a longer form ἀείδιος, from ἀεί, always.

Under darkness (ὕπο ζόφον)

Under carries the sense of the darkness brooding over the fallen spirits. On darkness, see on 2 Peter 2:4. Compare Hesiod:

"There the Titanian gods, to murky gloom

Condemned by will of cloud-collecting Jove,

Lie hid in region foul."

Theogony, v., 729.

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