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  • Both Jude and James, who wrote the Epistle of James (James 1:1), were brothers of the Lord Jesus in the flesh (Matt. 13:55).

  • Or, for. By points to the strength for and means of keeping; for points to the purpose for and object of keeping. All the believers have been given to the Lord by the Father (John 17:6). They are being kept for Him and by Him.

  • That mercy is mentioned instead of grace in the greeting may be due to the church's degradation and apostasy (cf. vv. 21-22). See note 2 Tim. 1:2b.

  • General salvation, common to and held by all believers, like the common faith (Titus 1:4).

  • Lit., struggle.

  • Not subjective faith as our believing but objective faith as our belief, referring to the things we believe in, the contents of the New Testament as our faith (Acts 6:7; 1 Tim. 1:19; 3:9; 4:1; 5:8; 6:10, 21; 2 Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Titus 1:13), in which we believe for our common salvation. This faith, not any doctrine, has been delivered once for all to the saints. For this faith we should earnestly contend (1 Tim. 6:12).

  • Verses Jude 1:4-19 closely parallel 2 Pet. 2. This indicates that this Epistle was written in the time of the church's apostasy and degradation.

  • Lit., gotten in by the side, or, slipped in by a side door (cf. secretly bring in in 2 Pet. 2:1, and note 2 Pet. 2:12c).

  • I.e., in the prophecies.

  • The judgment, unfolded in the succeeding verses, on the apostates' creeping in unnoticed. Judgment here is condemnation for punishment; it refers to being condemned to be punished.

  • The evil of the heretical apostates was
    1) their perverting of the grace of God into wantonness, into the abusing of freedom (cf. Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16),
    2) their denying of the headship and lordship of the Lord. These two go together. Turning the grace of God into an abuse of freedom for the purpose of wantonness requires denying the Lord's rule and authority.

  • Or, wantonness; the same Greek word as for licentiousness in 1 Pet. 4:3 and 2 Pet. 2:2.

  • The evil of the heretical apostates was
    1) their perverting of the grace of God into wantonness, into the abusing of freedom (cf. Gal. 5:13; 1 Pet. 2:16),
    2) their denying of the headship and lordship of the Lord. These two go together. Turning the grace of God into an abuse of freedom for the purpose of wantonness requires denying the Lord's rule and authority.

  • Or, the only Master and our Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Some MSS read, Jesus.

  • Lit., secondly.

  • See note 2 Pet. 2:15, point 1.

  • The Greek word means beginning (of power), first place (of authority); hence, original dignity in a high position. The fallen angels did not keep their original dignity and position but abandoned their own dwelling place, which is in heaven, to come to earth at Noah's time to commit fornication with the daughters of men (Gen. 6:2; 1 Pet. 3:19 and note 1 Pet. 3:193).

  • I.e., heaven.

  • In the gloomy pits of Tartarus (2 Pet. 2:4).

  • Probably the final judgment of the great white throne (see note 2 Pet. 2:44).

  • I.e., in the same manner as the fallen angels mentioned in the preceding verse. This proves that the angels in the preceding verse were the sons of God in Gen. 6:2, who, putting on human bodies, took humans as wives and committed fornication with different flesh, i.e., with human beings, who are different from angels. The males of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities indulged their lust with males (Rom. 1:27; Lev. 18:22), with flesh that was different from what God had ordained, according to the nature of His creation, for human marriage (Gen. 2:18-24). By committing fornication with different flesh in this way, they acted in the same manner as the angels in the preceding verse and, consequently, underwent the penalty of eternal fire.

  • The ungodly men spoken of in v. 4 were dreamers, bearing the name of Christian yet doing things as in dreams, such as perverting the grace of God into licentiousness to defile their flesh, and denying Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord, despising His lordship and reviling the authorities in His heavenly government.

  • Moses' body was buried by the Lord in a valley in the land of Moab, in a place known by no man (Deut. 34:6). It must have been done purposely in this manner by the Lord. When Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ on the mount of transfiguration (Matt. 17:3), Moses must have been manifested in his body, which had been kept by the Lord and resurrected. In view of this, probably, the devil attempted to do something to Moses' body, and the archangel argued with him concerning this. The reference in 2 Pet. 2:11 is general, but this is a definite case, concerning the body of Moses.

  • See note 2 Pet. 2:112. This indicates that in the Lord's heavenly government the devil, Satan, was even higher than the archangel Michael. God appointed him and set him so (Ezek. 28:14). In any case, Satan was under the Lord, so Michael said to him, "The Lord rebuke you." Michael kept his position in the order of divine authority.

  • Referring to the dreamers in v. 8.

  • Know denotes a deeper sensing of invisible things, and understand denotes a superficial realization of visible objects.

  • Know denotes a deeper sensing of invisible things, and understand denotes a superficial realization of visible objects.

  • Or, instinctively. These dreamers revile what they do not know but should know; and what they understand they understand naturally, instinctively, without reason, like animals of instinct. They do not use reason to exercise man's deeper and higher knowledge, which includes the consciousness of man's conscience. What they practice is shallow and base instinctive understanding, like that of animals, which are without human reason. By behaving in this way, they are being corrupted, or destroyed.

  • Lit., living creatures (including men); indicating men who live like animals.

  • Or, by.

  • See note 2 Pet. 2:15, point 3.

  • The way of religiously serving God according to one's own will, heretically rejecting the redemption by blood required and ordained by God, and according to the flesh envying God's true people because of their faithful testimony to God (Gen. 4:2-8).

  • Lit., been poured out. I.e., gave themselves up to, rushed headlong into, ran riotously in.

  • The error of teaching wrong doctrine for reward, while knowing it to be contrary to the truth and against the people of God, and abusively using the influence of certain gifts to lead the people of God astray from the pure worship of the Lord to idolatrous worship (Num. 22:7, 21; 31:16; Rev. 2:14). Coveting for reward will cause the coveting ones to rush headlong into the error of Balaam.

  • I.e., were destroyed (v. 5). See note 2 Pet. 2:15, point 1.

  • Lit., contradiction, speaking against. This is rebellion against God's deputy authority in His government and against His word spoken by His deputy (such as Moses). This brings in destruction (Num. 16:1-40).

  • The Greek word means a rock. It "may allude here to a sunken rock with the sea over it" (Darby); hence, hidden reefs. The Greek word for spots in 2 Pet. 2:13 is very similar to the word here for hidden reefs; hence, some translations render this word spots. Actually, these two words refer to two different things. The spots are defects on the surface of precious stones; the hidden reefs are at the bottom of the water. The early heretics were not only spots on the surface but also hidden reefs at the bottom, both of which were a damage to the believers in Christ.

  • Feasts of love motivated by God's love (the higher love — 1 John 4:10-11, 21). In early days the believers often ate together in love for fellowship and worship (Acts 2:46). This kind of feasting was joined to the Lord's supper (1 Cor. 11:20-21, 33) and was called a love feast.

  • The pleasure-seeking heretics (2 Pet. 2:13) pretended to be shepherds, but at the love feasts they fed only themselves, having no concern for others. Toward others, they were waterless clouds, having no life supply to render.

  • Autumn is a season for reaping fruit. The self-seeking apostates seemed to be fruit trees in season, but they had no fruit to satisfy others. They had died twice, not only outwardly, in appearance, as most trees do in autumn, but also inwardly, in nature. They were thoroughly dead; hence, it was right that they were uprooted.

  • Shepherds, clouds, trees, and stars are positive figures in biblical metaphor, but hidden reefs, waves, and the sea are negative. These apostates were false shepherds, empty clouds, dead trees, and wandering stars; they were also hidden reefs and wild, raging waves of the sea, foaming out, without restraint, their own shames.

  • The metaphor of wandering stars indicates that the erratic teachers, the apostates, were not solidly fixed in the unchanging truths of the heavenly revelation but were wandering about among God's starlike people (Dan. 12:3; Rev. 1:20). Their destiny is the gloom of darkness, which has been kept for them for eternity. The erratic apostates are wandering stars today, but they will be imprisoned in the gloom of darkness.

  • This must be the manifestation of the Lord's parousia (coming) as mentioned in 2 Thes. 2:8 and note 2 Thes. 2:83, Matt. 24:27, 30, and Zech. 14:4-5.

  • Lit., in, or, among.

  • Probably including, as in Zech. 14:5, the saints (1 Thes. 3:13) and the angels (Matt. 16:27; 25:31; Mark 8:38).

  • The Lord's coming is for the carrying out of God's governmental judgment, which will deal with all the ungodly ones. See note 1 Pet. 1:172c, par. 2.

  • Lit., faces.

  • The adjective form of soul. "The psyche [soul] is the center of the personal being, the «I» of each individual. It is in each man bound to the spirit, man's higher part, and to the body, man's lower part; drawn upwards by the one, downwards by the other. He who gives himself up to the lower appetites, is fleshly: he who by communion of his spirit with God's Spirit is employed in the higher aims of his being, is spiritual. He who rests midway, thinking only of self and self's interests, whether animal or intellectual, is the psychikos, the selfish man, the man in whom the spirit is sunk and degraded into subordination to the subordinate psyche [soul]" (Alford).

  • The human spirit, not the Spirit of God. The apostates are devoid of spirit. They "have not indeed ceased to have a spirit, as a part of their own tripartite nature [1 Thes. 5:23]: but they have ceased to possess it in any worthy sense: it is degraded beneath and under the power of the psyche [soul], the personal life, so as to have no real vitality of its own" (Alford). They do not care for their spirit or use it. They do not contact God by their spirit in communion with the Spirit of God; neither do they live and walk in their spirit. They have been drawn downward by their flesh and have become fleshy, so that they have lost the consciousness of their conscience (see note 2 Pet. 2:122) and have become like animals without reason (v. 10).

  • Or, in.

  • Objective faith, referring to the precious things of the New Testament in which we believe for our salvation in Christ (see note Jude 1:33). On the foundation of this holy faith, and in the sphere of it, by praying in the Holy Spirit, we build up ourselves. The truth of the faith in our apprehension and the Holy Spirit enjoyed through our prayer are necessary for our building up. Both the faith and the Spirit are holy.

  • We should keep ourselves in the love of God by building up ourselves upon our holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit (v. 20); thus we await and look for the mercy of our Lord that we may not only enjoy eternal life in this age but also inherit it for eternity (Matt. 19:29).

  • The entire Blessed Trinity is employed and enjoyed by the believers in their praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping themselves in the love of God, and awaiting the mercy of our Lord unto eternal life.

  • Referring to the inheritance and enjoyment of eternal life, the life of God, which is the goal of our spiritual seeking. Because we aim at this goal, we desire to be kept in the love of God and await the mercy of our Lord.

  • Some MSS read, some convince, those who are wavering.

  • Or, disputing.

  • This metaphor is probably adopted from Zech. 3:2.

  • The fire of God's holiness for His judgment (Matt. 3:10, 12; 5:22).

  • While we are having mercy on others, we should be in fear of the awful contagion of sin, hating even the things spotted by the lust of the flesh. On fear, see note 1 Pet. 1:174e.

  • cf. Rev. 3:4

  • In this concluding praise the writer indicated clearly that although he had charged the believers to endeavor in the things mentioned in vv. 20-23, only God our Savior was able to guard them from stumbling and set them before His glory without blemish in exultation. To Him be glory...!

  • The glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, which will be manifested at His appearing (Titus 2:13; 1 Pet. 4:13) and in which He will come (Luke 9:26).

  • In the element of.

  • "The word signifies the exuberance of triumphant joy" (Alford).

  • The only God is our Savior, and the man Jesus Christ is our Lord. To such a Savior, through such a Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority throughout all ages.

  • The only God is our Savior, and the man Jesus Christ is our Lord. To such a Savior, through such a Lord, be glory, majesty, might, and authority throughout all ages.

  • Glory is the expression in splendor; majesty, the greatness in honor; might, the strength in power; and authority, the power in ruling.

  • Before all time refers to eternity past; now, to the present age; and unto all eternity, to eternity future. Thus, this is from eternity past, through time, unto eternity future.

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