Jude 1:7
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
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Jude 1:7-8. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha — See on 2 Peter 2:6-9; and the cities about them — These were Admah and Zeboim. The four are mentioned Deuteronomy 29:23; Zoar, the fifth city in the plain of Sodom, was spared, at the request of Lot, for a place of refuge to him and his family. In like manner Τον ομοιον τουτοις τροπον, in a manner like to these; that is, either like to these wicked teachers, or like to the inhabitants of these wicked cities, Sodom and Gomorrah; giving themselves over to fornication — The word is applicable to any sort of uncleanness; and going after strange flesh — Giving themselves up to unnatural lusts; are set forth for an example — To other presumptuous sinners; suffering the vengeance of eternal fire — Having their lovely and fruitful country turned into a kind of hell upon earth. The meaning is, The vengeance which they suffered is an example, or type, of eternal fire. Likewise Ομοιως μεν τοι, in like manner, indeed; these filthy dreamers — So our translators render the word ενυπνιαζομενοι, an epithet which the persons described undoubtedly deserved. The word, however, only signifies dreamers; or rather, persons cast into a deep sleep, namely, into a state of ignorance and insensibility, of negligence and sloth, with respect to spiritual and eternal things; sleeping and dreaming all their lives. Defile the flesh — Their own bodies, which ought to be sacred, together with their spirits, to the service of God. Despise dominion — Those that are invested with it by Christ, and made by him the overseers of his flock; or, he may mean that they despised their civil rulers; and speak evil of dignities — Of persons in the most honourable stations. The Jews, fancying it sinful to obey the heathen magistrates, despised both them and their office. The ungodly teachers, of whom Jude speaks, carried the matter still further; they reviled all magistrates whatever, as enemies to the natural liberty of mankind.

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,Even as Sodom and Gomorrha - Notes, 2 Peter 2:6.

And the cities about them - Admah and Zeboim, Genesis 14:2; Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8. There may have been other towns, also, that perished at the same time, but these are particularly mentioned. They seem to have partaken of the same general characteristics, as neighboring towns and cities generally do.

In like manner - "In a manner like to these," (τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις τρόπον ton homoion toutois tropon.) The Greek word "these," is in the plural number. There has been much diversity in interpreting this clause. Some refer it to the angels, as if it meant that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah committed sin in a way similar to the angels; some suppose that it refers to the wicked teachers about whom Jude was discoursing, meaning that Sodom and Gomorrah committed the same kind of sins which they did; some that the meaning is, that "the cities round about Sodom and Gomorrah" sinned in the same way as those cities; and some that they were punished in the same manner, and were set forth like them as an example. I see no evidence that it refers to the angels, and if it did, it would not prove, as some have supposed, that their sin was of the same kind as that of Sodom, since there might have been a resemblance in some respects, though not in all. I see no reason to believe, as Macknight holds, that it refers to "false teachers," since that would be to suppose that the inhabitants of Sodom copied their example long "before" the example was set. It seems to me, therefore, that the reference is to the cities round about Sodom; and that the sense is, that they committed iniquity in the same manner as the inhabitants of Sodom did, and were set forth in the same way as an example.

Going after strange flesh - Margin: "other." The reference seems to be to the unusual sin which, from the name Sodom, has been called "sodomy." Compare Romans 1:27. The meaning of the phrase "going after" is, that they were greatly addicted to this vice. The word "strange, or other," refers to that which is contrary to nature. Doddridge, however, explains it, "going after strange and detestable gratifications of their pampered and indulged flesh."

Are set forth for an example - They furnish a warning against all such conduct, and a demonstration that punishment shall come upon the ungodly. The condemnation of any sinner, or of any class of sinners, always furnishes such a warning. See the notes, 2 Peter 2:6.

Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire - The word rendered "suffering" (ὑπέχουσαι hupechousai) means, properly, "holding under" - as, for example, the hand; then to hold toward any one, as the ear - to give attention; then it is used as denoting to hold a discourse toward or with any one, or to hold satisfaction to any one, to make atonement; and then as "undergoing, paying, or suffering punishment," when united, as it is here, with the word δίκην dikēn (punishment, or vengeance). See "Rob. Lex." Here it expresses the idea of undergoing punishment. The word properly agrees in the construction with "cities," (πόλεις poleis,) referring to Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them; but the things affirmed relate to the "inhabitants" of those cities. The word "vengeance" means punishment; that is, such vengeance as the Lord takes on the guilty; not vengeance for the gratification of private and personal feeling, but like that which a magistrate appoints for the maintenance of the laws; such as justice demands. The phrase "eternal fire" is one that is often used to denote future punishment - as expressing the severity and intensity of the suffering. See the notes, Matthew 25:41. As here used, it cannot mean that the fires which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah were literally eternal, or were kept always burning, for that was not true. The expression seems to denote, in this connection, two things:

(1) That the destruction of the cities of the plain, with their inhabitants, was as entire and perpetual as if the fires had been always burning - the consumption was absolute and enduring - the sinners were wholly cut off, and the cities forever rendered desolate; and,

(2) that, in its nature and duration, this was a striking emblem of the destruction which will come upon the ungodly. I do not see that the apostle here means to affirm that those particular sinners who dwelt in Sodom would be punished forever, for his expressions do not directly affirm that, and his argument does not demand it; but still the "image" in his mind, in the destruction of those cities, was clearly that of the utter desolation and ruin of which this was the emblem; of the perpetual destruction of the wicked, like that of the cities of the plain. If this had not been the case, there was no reason why he should have used the word "eternal" - meaning here "perpetual" - since, if in his mind there was no image of future punishment, all that the argument would have demanded was the simple statement that they were cut off by fire.

The passage, then, cannot be used to prove that the particular dwellers in Sodom will be punished forever - whatever may be the truth on that point; but that there is a place of eternal punishment, of which that was a striking emblem. The meaning is, that the case was one which furnished a demonstration of the fact that God will punish sin; that this was an example of the punishment which God sometimes inflicts on sinners in this world, and a type of that eternal punishment which will be inflicted in the next.

7. Even as—Alford translates, "I wish to remind you (Jude 5) that."

Sodom, &c.—(2Pe 2:6).

giving themselves over to fornication—following fornication extraordinarily, that is, out of the order of nature. On "in like manner to them" (Greek), compare Note, see on [2667]Jude 6. Compare on spiritual fornication, "go a whoring from thee," Ps 73:27.

going after strange flesh—departing from the course of nature, and going after that which is unnatural. In later times the most enlightened heathen nations indulged in the sin of Sodom without compunction or shame.

are set forth—before our eyes.

suffering—undergoing to this present time; alluding to the marks of volcanic fire about the Dead Sea.

the vengeance—Greek, "righteous retribution."

eternal fire—The lasting marks of the fire that consumed the cities irreparably, is a type of the eternal fire to which the inhabitants have been consigned. Bengel translates as the Greek will admit, "Suffering (the) punishment (which they endure) as an example or sample of eternal fire (namely, that which shall consume the wicked)." Eze 16:53-55 shows that Sodom's punishment, as a nation, is not eternal. Compare also 2Pe 2:6.

The cities about them; Admah and Zeboim, Jeremiah 49:18 Hosea 11:8.

In like manner, as Sodom, and Gomorrah did, likeness of sin inferring likeness of punishment.

Strange flesh; margin, other flesh; he means male flesh, which is other than what God appointed for that use they made of it; or, as we render it, strange flesh, i.e. that which is strange, improper, and unfit for such an end. It is the description of the unnatural filthiness of the Sodomites, Genesis 19:5: see Romans 1:26,27.

Are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire: eternal fire may be joined either:

1. With example, and the words thus placed, are set forth for an example of eternal fire, suffering vengeance; and the meaning is, that the vengeance they suffered in being destroyed by fire, is an example, or type, of eternal fire, that of hell: or:

2. With vengeance, according to our reading; and then the sense is, they are set forth for an example, ( viz. to those that after should live ungodly, 1 Peter 2:6), suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; the vengeance they suffer is an example to deter others from the like wickedness. This fire is called eternal, either because of the still continuing effects of it, or rather, because it was a type or representation of the fire of hell, and to those miserable Sodomites the very beginning of it, they being brought by these temporal flames into everlasting burnings.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them,.... Admah and Zeboiim, for Zoar was spared. This is a third instance of God's vengeance on sinners; and which, like that of the Israelites, and of the angels, was after great favours had been enjoyed: these places were delightfully situated, and very fruitful, as the garden of God; they were under a form of government, had kings over them, and had lately had a very great deliverance from the kings that carried them captive, being rescued by Abraham; they had a righteous Lot among them, who was a reprover in the gate, and Abraham made intercession for them with God. But they

in like manner giving themselves over to fornication; not as the angels, who are not capable of sinning in such a manner; though the Jews make this to be a sin of theirs, and so interpret Genesis 6:2 (i), but rather the Israelites, among whom this sin prevailed, 1 Corinthians 10:8; though it seems best of all to refer it to the false teachers that turned the grace of God into lasciviousness, and were very criminal this way; and then the sense is, that in like manner as they, the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah, gave themselves over to the sin of fornication; wherefore these men might expect the same judgments that fell upon them, since their sin was alike; which sin is a work of the flesh, contrary to the law of God, is against the body, and attended with many evils; exposes to judgment here and hereafter, and unfits for the communion of the saints, and for the kingdom of heaven:

and going after strange flesh; or "other flesh"; meaning not other women besides their own wives, but men; and designs that detestable and unnatural sin, which, from these people, is called sodomy to this day; and which is an exceeding great sin, contrary to the light of nature and law of God, dishonourable to human nature, and scandalous to a nation and people, and commonly prevails where idolatry and infidelity do, as among the Papists and Mahometans; and arose from idleness and fulness of bread in Sodom, and was committed in the sight of God, with great impudence: their punishment follows,

are set forth for an example; being destroyed by fire from heaven, and their cities turned into a sulphurous lake, which continues to this day, as a monument of God's vengeance, and an example to all such who commit the same sins, and who may expect the same equitable punishment; and to all who live ungodly lives, though they may not be guilty of the same crimes; and to all that slight and reject the Gospel revelation, with whom it will be more intolerable than for Sodom and Gomorrah; and to antichrist, who bears the same name, and spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt; and particularly to all false teachers, who besides their strange doctrines, go after strange flesh:

suffering the vengeance of eternal fire; which may be understood of that fire, with which those cities, and the inhabitants of it, were consumed; which, Philo the (k) Jew says, burnt till his time, and must be burning when Jude wrote this epistle. The effects of which still continues, the land being now brimstone, salt, and burning; and is an emblem and representation of hell fire, between which there is a great likeness; as in the matter of them, both being fire; in the efficient cause of them, both from the Lord; and in the instruments thereof, the angels, who, as then, will hereafter be employed in the delivery of the righteous, and in the burning of the wicked; and in the circumstance attending both, suddenly, at an unawares, when not thought of, and expected; and in the nature of them, being a destruction total, irreparable, and everlasting: and this agrees with the sentiments of the Jews, who say (l), that "the men of Sodom have no part or portion in the world to come, and shall not see the world to come.

And says R. Isaac,

"Sodom is judged , "with the judgment of hell" (m).

(i) Pirke Eliezer, c. 22. Joseph. Antiqu. l. 1. c. 3. sect. 1.((k) De Abrahamo, p. 370. (l) T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 29. 3.((m) Zohar in Gen. fol. 71. 3.

Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, {g} giving themselves over to fornication, and going after {h} strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

(g) Following the steps of Sodom and Gomorrah.

(h) Thus he sets forth their horrible and wicked perversions.

Jude 1:7. Third example: the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them, which, however, is not co-ordinate with the preceding two, but is closely connected with the last-mentioned, “whilst here both times a permanent condition is meant, which a similar sin has had as its consequence, whereas ἀπώλεσεν (Jude 1:5) states a judgment of God already past” (Hofmann’s Schriftb. I. p. 428).

ὡς] is not to be connected with the following ὁμοίως, Jude 1:8; nor is ὅτι, Jude 1:5, to be connected with ὑπομνῆσαιβούλομαι (de Wette) = how instead of “that;” it refers rather to what directly precedes = like as (Semler, Arnaud, Hofmann, Brückner, Wiesinger, Schott, and others; Luther: as also), whilst Jude 1:7 confirms ἀγγέλουςτετήρηκεν by the comparison with what befell Sodom and Gomorrha: God retains the angels kept unto the day of judgment, even as Sodom and Gomorrha πρόκεινται δεῖγμα κ.τ.λ. With the connection with ὑπομν. βουλ. (Jude 1:5) a preceding καί would hardly be necessary, also the words τὸν ὅμοιον τούτοις indicate the close connection with Jude 1:6.

Σόδομα καὶ Γόμοῤῥα] frequently adduced in the O. and N. T. as examples of the divine judgment; see, for example, Romans 9:29.

καὶ αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις] according to Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8 : Admah and Zeboim.

τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις ἐκπορνεύσασαι] τούτοις may grammatically be referred to Σόδ. κ. Γόμ. (or, by synesis, to the inhabitants of these cities; so Krebs, Calvin, Hornejus, Vorstius, and others); but by this construction the sin of Sodom and Gomorrha would only be indirectly indicated. Since, also, τούτοις cannot refer to the false teachers, Jude 1:4, because, as de Wette correctly remarks, the thought of Jude 1:8 would be anticipated, it must refer to the angels who, according to the Book of Enoch, sinned in a similar way as the inhabitants of those cities (thus Herder, Schneckenburger, Jachmann, de Wette, Arnaud, Hofmann, and others).

ἐκπορνεύσασαι, the sin of the inhabitants, is designated as the action of the cities themselves. The verb (often in the LXX. the translation of זָנָה; also in the Apocrypha) is in the N. T. a ἅπ. λεγ. The preposition ἐκ serves for strengthening the idea, indicating that “one by πορνεύειν becomes unfaithful to true moral conduct” (Hofmann), but not that “he goes beyond the boundaries of nature” (Stier, Wiesinger, and similarly Schott).

καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας] The expression ἀπέρχ. ὀπίσω τινός is found in Mark 1:20 in its literal sense; here it has a figurative meaning; comp. 2 Peter 2:10, πορεύεσθαι ὀπ.; Jeremiah 2:5; Sir 46:10.

Arnaud: ces mots sont ici un euphémisme, pour exprimer l’acte de la prostitution. In ἀπο is contained the turning aside from the right way. Oecumenius thus explains the import of σὰρξ ἑτέρα: σάρκα δὲ ἑτέραν, τὴν ἄῤῥηνα φύσιν λέγει, ὡς μὴ πρὸς συνουσίαν γενέσεως συντελοῦσαν; so also Brückner and Wiesinger. Stier, Schott, Hofmann proceed further, referring to Leviticus 18:23-24, and accordingly explaining it: “not only have they practised shame man with man, but even man with beast” (Stier). Only this explanation corresponds to σαρκὸς ἑτέρας, and only by it do the connection of Jude 1:7 with Jude 1:6, expressed by ὡς, and the explanation: τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις, receive their true meaning. The σάρξ of men was ἑτέρα σάρξ to the angels, as that of beasts is to men. In the parallel passage, 2 Peter 2:6, the sin of the cities is not stated.

πρόκεινται δεῖγμα πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι] πρόκεινται: they lie before the eyes as a δεῖγμα; not: “inasmuch as the example of punishment in its historical attestation is ever present” (Schott); but: inasmuch as the Dead Sea continually attests that punishment, which Jude considers as enduring. There is a certain boldness in the expression, as properly it is not the cities and their inhabitants who are πρόκεινται. The genitive πυρὸς αἰωνίου may grammatically depend both on δεῖγμα and on δίκην. Most expositors (particularly Wiesinger, Schott, Brückner) consider the second construction as the correct one; but hardly rightly; as (1) δεῖγμα would then lose its exact definition; (2) πῦρ αἰώνιον always designates hell-fire, to which the condemned are delivered up at the last judgment (see Matthew 25:41); (3) the juxtaposition of this verse with Jude 1:6, where the present punitive condition of the angels is distinguished from that which will occur after the judgment, favours the idea that the cities (or rather their inhabitants) are here not designated as those who even now suffer the punishment of eternal fire.[23] But Jude could designate the cities as a δεῖγμα of eternal fire, considering the fire by which they were destroyed as a figure of eternal fire. Hofmann correctly connects πυρὸς αἰωνίου with δεῖγμα, but he incorrectly designates δεῖγμα πυρ. αἰων. as a preceding apposition to δίκην: “it may be seen in them (δεῖγμα = exhibition) what is the nature of eternal fire, inasmuch as the fire that has consumed them is enduring in its after-operations;” by this explanation πῦρ αἰώνιον is deprived of its proper meaning. With δίκην ὑπέχουσαι the fact is indicated that they have continually to suffer punishment, since the period that punishment was inflicted upon them in the time of Lot;[24] corresponding to what is said of the angels in Jude 1:6.

δεῖγμα in N. T. ἅπ. λεγ. (Jam 5:11, and frequently: ὑπόδειγμα), not = example, but proof, testimony, sign. ὑπέχειν likewise in N. T. ἅπ. λεγ.; 2Ma 4:48, ζημίαν ὑπέχειν (2 Thessalonians 1:9, δίκην τίειν).

[23] Wiesinger incorrectly observes that “by this connection we must also assume that those angels also suffer the punishment of eternal fire,” since precisely the contrary is the case. Wiesinger arrives at this erroneous assumption by taking δεῖγμα as equivalent to example. It is also entirely erroneous when it is asserted that πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκη is an evident type of hell-fire, since πῦρ αἰώνιον is itself hell-fire. To be compared with this is 3Ma 2:5 : σὺΣοδομίταςπυρὶκατέφλεξας, παράδειγμα τοῖς ἐπιγινομένοις καταστήσας; and Libanius in reference to Troy: κεῖται παράδειγμα δυστοχία; πυρὸς αἰωνίου.

[24] There is no necessity to derive this representation from Wis 10:7, and the various phenomena which lead to the supposition of a subterranean fire at the Dead Sea (see Winer’s bibl. Realw.; todtes Meer).

Jude 1:7. ὡς Σόδομα καὶ Γόμορρα καὶ αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις. The 3rd example of Divine judgment differs from the two others, as it tells only of the punishment, not of the fall from grace. Hence the difference of connexion ἀγγέλους τε.… ὡς Σόδομα. Cf. 2 Peter 2:6, πόλεις Σοδόμων καὶ Γομόρρας καταστροφῇ κατέκρινεν. The destruction was not limited to these two cities, but extended to all the neighbouring country (Genesis 19:25, called Πεντάπολις in Wis 10:6), including the towns of Admah and Zeboim (Deuteronomy 29:23, Hosea 11:8). Zoar was spared at the request of Lot.

τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον τούτοις ἑκπορνεύσασαι. For the adverbial acc., cf. Matthew 23:37, ὃν τρόπον ἐπισυνάγει ὄρνις τὰ νοσσία, 2Ma 15:39, ὃν τρόπον οἶνοςἀποτελεῖ, οὕτω καὶ, Luc. Catapl. 6 τεθνᾶσι τὸν ὅμοιον τρόπον. “Like them.” i.e. the fallen angels. The two judgments are similarly joined in Test. Nepht. 3, μὴ γένησθε ὡς Σόδομα ἥτις ἐνήλλαξε τάξιν φύσεως αὐτῆς. Ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ οἱ Ἐγρήγορες ἐνήλλαξαν τάξιν φύσεως αὐτῶν, οὕς κατηράσατο Κύριος. Others understand τούτοις of the libertines who are subsequently referred to as οὖτοι (Jude 1:8; Jude 1:10; Jude 1:12; Jude 1:16; Jude 1:19); but the beginning of Jude 1:8 (μέντοι καὶ οὗτοι) seems to distinguish between them and the preceding. The verb ἐκπ. occurs in Genesis 38:24 of Tamar, Exodus 34:15-16, (μή ποτε) ἐκπορνεύσωσιν ὀπίσω τῶν θεῶν αὐτῶν, Leviticus 17:7, Hosea 4:12, Ezekiel 16:26; Ezekiel 16:28; Ezekiel 16:33.

ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας. In the case of the angels the forbidden flesh (lit. “other than that appointed by God”) refers to the intercourse with women; in the case of Sodom to the departure from the natural use (Romans 1:27), what Philo calls ἀνόμους καὶ ἑκθέσμους μίξεις (de Gig. M i. p. 267), cf. Exodus 30:9. οὐκ ἀνοίσεις θυμίαμα ἕτερον. For the post-classical phrase cf. 2 Peter 2:10, τοὺς ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἐν ἐπιθυμίᾳ μιασμοῦ πορευομένους, Deuteronomy 4:3, ἐπορεύθη ὀπίσω Βεελφεγώρ Jeremiah 2:2-3.

πρόκεινται δεῖγμα πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι. Cf. Enoch lxvii. 12, “this judgment wherewith the angels are judged is a testimony for the kings and the mighty,” 2 Peter 2:6, ὑπόδειγμα μελλόντων ἀσεβέσιν τεθεικώς, 1 Corinthians 10:6; 1 Corinthians 10:11 τύποι ἐγένοντο, Hebrews 4:11 ἵνα μὴ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τις ὑποδείγματι πέσῃ τῆς ἀπειθείας. The present aspect of the Lacus Asphaltites was a conspicuous image of the lake of fire and brimstone prepared for Satan and his followers, Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10; Revelation 21:8. It is questioned whether πυρός is governed by δεῖγμα or δίκην. If by δίκην, then the burning of Sodom is itself spoken of as still going on (eternal), and this is in accordance with Jewish belief as recorded in Wis 10:7 (πῦρ Πενταπόλεως) ἦς ἔτι μαρτύριον τῆς πονηρίας καπνιζομένη καθέστηκε χέρσος, Philo (De Abr. M. ii. xxi.), μέχρι νῦν καίεται. τὸ γὰρ κεραύνιον πῦρ ἥκιστα σβεννύμενον ἢ νέμεται ἢ ἐντύφεται. πίστις δὲ σαφεστάτη τὰ δρώμενα, τοῦ γὰρ συμβεβηκότος πάθους σημεῖόν ἐστιν ὅ τε ἀναδιδόμενος ἀεὶ καπνὸς καὶ ὃ μεταλλεύουσι θεῖον, ib. V. Moys. M. ii. p. 143. Some disallow this sense of αἰώνιος and think that it can only be used of hell-fire, as in 4Ma 12:12 (the words of the martyr contrasting the fires of present torture with the eternal flames awaiting the persecutor), ταμιεύεταί σε ἡ θεία δίκη πυκνοτέρῳ καὶ αἰωνίῳ πυρί, καὶ βάσανοι εἰς ὅλον τὸν αἰῶνα οὐκ ἀνήσουσί σε. For an examination of the word see Jukes, Restitution of all Things, p. 67 n. and cf. Jeremiah 23:39-40, Ezekiel 16:53; Ezekiel 16:55 (on the restoration of Sodom), Ezekiel 47:1-12 (a prophecy of the removal of the curse of the Dead Sea and its borders), Enoch, x. 5 and 12, where the εἰς αἰῶνα of the former verse is equivalent to seventy generations in the latter, also Ezekiel 47:10 where ζωὴ αἰώνιος is reckoned at 500 years. As the meaning of δεῖγμα is made clear by the following participial clause, it seems unnecessary to take it with πυρός in the sense of “an example or type of eternal fire,” which would escape the difficulty connected with αἰωνίου, but leaves δίκην ὑπέχουσαι (for which cf. Xen. Mem. ii. 1, 8, 2Ma 4:48) a somewhat otiose appendage. In the book of Enoch (lxvii. 4 foll.) the angels who sinned are said to be imprisoned in a burning valley (Hinnom, ch. 27) in which there was a great swelling of waters, accompanied by a smell of sulphur; and “that valley of the angels burned continually under the earth”. Charles notes on this that “the Gehenna valley here includes the adjacent country down to the Dead Sea. A subterranean fire was believed to exist under the Gehenna valley.”

7. the cities about them, in like manner … going after strange flesh] The words describe the form of evil for which the cities of the plain have become a byword of infamy. In saying that this sin was like that of the angels, it is clearly implied that in the latter case also there was a degradation of nature, such as is emphasized in the words that “the sons of God went in unto the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4). Impurity, and not simply or chiefly pride, as in the mediæval traditions represented in the poems of Cædmon and Milton, is thought of as the leading feature in the fall of the angels (Book of Enoch, c. 9).

suffering the vengeance of eternal fire] The words imply a reference to something more than the natural phenomena of the Dead Sea region. The fire which had destroyed them is thought of as being still their doom, as permanent as the “eternal fire” of Matthew 25:41. For “vengeance,” which admits of a bad as well as a good meaning, it might be better to read “just punishment.”

Jude 1:7. Τούτοις) [in a manner like] to these, the ungodly, who are doomed to undergo a like punishment.—ἐκπορνεύσασαι) giving themselves to fornication. For the simple verb πορνεύω, זנה, the Septuagint often has ἐκπορνεύω. But here the word is peculiarly adapted to a lust still more abominable.—ἀπελθοῦσαιἑτέρας, going away after—other) unnatural lusts.—[πρόκεινται, are set forth, lie before our eyes) The cities therefore were situated, not in the Dead Sea, but upon the shore.—V. g.]—δεῖγμαδίκην, an example—punishment) These are put in apposition; the punishment, which they endure, is an example of eternal fire, as Cassiodorus says: for the punishment of those cities is not itself eternal: Ezekiel 16:53; Ezekiel 16:55. Comp. 2 Peter 2:6.

Verse 7. - The third example is taken from the history of the cities of the Plain. This example is closely connected with the immediately preceding by the even as with which the verse opens; which phrase expresses a likeness between the two cases, to wit, between the reservation of those angels in bonds for the final judgment, and the fate of those cities as subjects of the penal vengeance of God. Two of those cities of evil memory, Sodom and Gomorrah, are mentioned by name. The other two, Admah and Zeboim, are included in the phrase, and the cities about them. Attention is rightly called by some of the commentators to the remarkable frequency with which the case of Sodom and Gomorrah is brought forward, both in the New Testament and in the Old, and to the use which Paul makes of it (as he finds it cited by Isaiah) in the great argument of Romans 9. The sin charged against these cities is stated in express terms to have been the same in kind with that of the angels - the indulgence of passion contrary to nature. They are described as having in like manner with these (that is, surely, in like manner with these angels just referred to; not, as some strangely imagine, with these men who corrupt the Church) given themselves over to fornication, and gone after strange flesh. The verbs are selected to bring out the intense sinfulness of the sin - the one being a strong compound form expressing unreserved surrender, the other an equally strong compound form denoting a departure from the law of nature in the impurities practiced. The sin has taken its name from the city with which the Book of Genesis so fearfully connects its indulgence. It forms one of the darkest strokes in the terrible picture which Paul has given us of the state of the ancient heathen world (Romans 1:27). With the Dead Sea probably in his view, the writer describes the doom of the cities as an example of or a witness to (the noun used being one that occurs again only in James 5:11, and bearing either sense) the retributive justice of God. They are set forth (literally, they lie before us) for an example, suffering the vengeance (rather, the punishment) of eternal fire. So it is put by the Authorized Version and the Revised Version, as also by Wickliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, the Genevan, and the Rhemish. There is much to be said, however, in favour of the order adopted by the Revised Version in its margin, viz. "set forth as an example of eternal fire, suffering punishment." It could not, except in a forced manner, be said that these cities, in being destroyed as they were, suffered the penalty of eternal fire, and continued to serve as an instance of that. But it could be said that, in being destroyed, they suffered punishment, and that the kind of punishment was typical of the eternal retribution of God. "A destruction," says Professor Lumby, "so utter and so permanent as theirs has been, is the nearest approach that can be found in this world to the destruction which awaits those who are kept under darkness unto the judgment of the great day." Jude 1:7The cities about them

Admah and Zeboim. Deuteronomy 29:23; Hosea 11:8.

Giving themselves over to fornication (ἐκπορνεύσασαι)

Rev., more strictly, having given, etc. Only here in New Testament. The force of ἐκ is out and out; giving themselves up utterly. See on followed, 2 Peter 1:16.

Going after (ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω)

The aorist participle. Rev., having gone. The phrase occurs Mark 1:20; James and John leaving their father and going after Jesus. "The world is gone after him" (John 12:19). Here metaphorical. The force of ἀπό is away; turning away from purity, and going after strange flesh.

Strange flesh

Compare 2 Peter 2:10; and see Romans 1:27; Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 18:23. Also Jowett's introduction to Plato's "Symposium ;" Plato's "Laws," viii., 836, 841; Dllinger, "The Gentile and the Jew," Darnell's trans., ii., 238 sq.

Are set forth (πρόκεινται)

The verb means, literally, to lie exposed. Used of meats on the table ready for the guests; of a corpse laid out for burial; of a question under discussion. Thus the corruption and punishment of the cities of the plain are laid out in plain sight.

As an example (δεῖγμα)

Only here in New Testament. From δείκνυμι, to display or exhibit; something, therefore, which is held up to view as a warning.

Suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι)

Rev., rightly, substitutes punishment for vengeance, since δίκη carries the underlying idea of right or justice, which is not necessarily implied in vengeance. Some of the best modern expositors render are set forth as an example of eternal fire, suffering punishment. This meaning seems, on the whole, more natural, though the Greek construction favors the others, since eternal fire is the standing term for the finally condemned in the last judgment, and could hardly be correctly said of Sodom and Gomorrah. Those cities are most truly an example of eternal fire. "A destruction so utter and so permanent as theirs has been, is the nearest approach that can be found in this world to the destruction which awaits those who are kept under darkness to the judgment of the great day" (Lumby). Suffering (ὑπέχουσαι). Only here in New Testament. The participle is present, indicating that they are suffering to this day the punishment which came upon them in Lot's time. The verb means, literally, to hold under; thence to uphold or support, and so to suffer or undergo.

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