Copyright © T. E. Killian -- Christian Author
in the same way
defile the flesh,
and slander glorious beings.
9 But Michael
when he was disputing with the devil
about the body of Moses,
did not dare slanderous accusation
"The Lord rebuke you!"
these men blaspheme
the things they do not understand,
what they know by instinct,
like unreasoning animals,
they are destroyed by these things.
11 Woe to them!
For they have gone the way of Cain,
have abandoned themselves
to the error of Balaam
and have perished
in the rebellion of Korah.
The Easy Study Bible Diagramed
8 Yet in the same way these dreamers, defile the flesh, reject authority, and slander glorious beings. 9 But Michael the archangel, when he was disputing with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" 10 But these men blaspheme the things they do not understand, and what they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, they are destroyed by these things. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, have abandoned themselves to the error of Balaam for profit, and have perished in the rebellion of Korah.
In the first verse, the author calls himself “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and brother of James.” Therefore, he is most commonly thought to be Jude, the half-brother of Christ.
The only Jude it could possibly be is one of the apostles but the way he refers to the apostles in in verse 17 leads us to believe that he wasn’t that Jude.
In spite of its limited subject matter and size, Jude was widely accepted by the early church leaders and referred to often by them.
Jude seems to have intended to write on one subject but changed his mind when he heard about the dangerous false teachers. They had already crept into the congregation and Jude heaped condemnation on them (v.13). Their problem was that they were “turning the grace of our God into immorality (v.4). This evidently referred to a humanistic belief that God’s grace entitles believers to do whatever they want morally without having to follow God’s commandments.
The false teachers were motivated by their own sensual lust and desire for financial gain (v. 16). So, Jude wrote this letter as a warning to the believers. Not only did he attack falsehood, he encouraged these believers to stay true to the faith and to reach out compassionately to those who were tempted to compromise with the false teachers (vv. 20-22).
Jude wrote to condemn false teachers who were trying to convince Christians that they could sin because they had been forgiven and God’s grace covered them. Jude wants us to oppose this teaching with the truth about God’s grace.
In the same way also, these people have visions, which make them sin against their own bodies, despise God's authority and insult the glorious beings above. Even the chief angel Michael, when he was quarrelling with the Devil and they argued about who would have the body of Moses, did not dare condemn the Devil with insulting words, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" But these people attack and insult anything they do not understand, yet they are being destroyed by those things that they know by instinct, like wild animals. How terrible for them! For they have traveled down the path that Cain took. For the sake of money, they have given themselves over to the error that Balaam committed. They have perished in Korah's rebellion.
Words to understand:
dreamers – to dream (divinely suggested) dreams; metaphorically, to be beguiled with sensual images and carried away to an impious course of conduct
defile – to dye with another color, to stain; to defile, pollute, sully, contaminate, soil; to defile with sins
authority – dominion, power, lordship; in the NT: one who possesses dominion
glorious beings – splendor, brightness; of the moon, sun, stars; magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace; majesty; a thing belonging to God
Michael – “who is like God” the first of the chief princes or archangels who is supposed to be the guardian angel of the Israelites
archangel – archangel, or chief of the angels
was disputing – to separate, make a distinction, discriminate, to prefer; to determine, give judgment, decide a dispute; to separate one’s self in a hostile spirit, to oppose, strive with dispute, contend
devil – prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely; a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer; the devil
about – about, concerning, on account of, because of, around, near
body – the body both of men or animals; a dead body or corpse; the living body
Moses – “drawing out” the legislator of the Jewish people and in a certain sense the founder of the Jewish religion. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, commonly referred to as the Books of Moses.
Lord – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord
rebuke – to admonish or charge sharply; to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely
blaspheme – to speak reproachfully, rail at, revile, calumniate, blaspheme; to be evil spoken of, reviled, railed at
know – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to perceive by any of the senses; notice, discern, discover; to pay attention, observe; to inspect, examine; to look at, behold; to know; to have regard for one, cherish, pay attention to
instinct – in a natural manner, by nature, under the guidance of nature: by the aid of the bodily senses
unreasoning – destitute of reason; contrary to reason, absurd
animals – a living being; an animal, brute, beast
destroyed – to corrupt, to destroy; to be destroyed, to perish; in an ethical sense, to corrupt, deprave; to lead away a Christian church from that state of knowledge and holiness in which it ought to abide
have gone – to lead over, carry over, transfer; to pursue the journey on which one has entered, to continue on one’s journey; to depart from life; to follow one, that is: become his adherent; to lead or order one’s life
the way – properly; a way; a traveled way, road; a traveler’s way, journey, travelling: metaphorically, a course of conduct; a way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding
Cain – “maker: fabricator (literally smith)” – the first born of Adam, and slew his brother, Abel
Balaam – A native of Pethor, a city in Mesopotamia, endued by Jehovah with prophetic power. He was hired by Balak to curse the Israelites; and influenced by the love of reward, he wished to gratify Balak; but he was compelled by Jehovah’s power to bless them. Hence later the Jews saw him as a most abandoned deceiver.
rebellion – gainsaying, contradiction; opposition, rebellion
Korah – “baldness” a man who, with others, rebelled against Moses
1 Corinthians 3:17, If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.
1 Thessalonians 4:8, So, the one who rejects this does not reject man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.
Some translations add “filthy” to dreamers. It is not in any Greek manuscript.
Jude is probably referring to evil angels here. They slander the good ones or anyone who remains faithful to God.
Not even the chief angel Michael did this. Michael quarreled with the Devil about who would have the body of Moses. However, Michael did not dare condemn the Devil with insulting words, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"
Jude probably took this account concerning Michael (and Enoch in v. 14) from a well-known ancient Jewish book based on tradition called The Assumption of Moses. But this could be referred to in Revelation.
Revelation 12:7, And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels also fought
The point Jude is making here is that if the archangel did not try to fight the devil on his own, then we should not either. He is saying that we are to use Christ literally, as a weapon against the devil. That’s what he’s saying that the archangel did.
These people attack with insults anything they do not understand. Those things that they know by instinct, like wild animals, are the very things that destroy them.
2 Peter 2:12, But these, like irrational animals, creatures of instinct to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed
The False teachers claimed to possess secret knowledge that gave them authority. Again, does that sound familiar? Many today say that the Bible doesn’t answer all the questions we need answered. Of course, they claim to have all the answers. Beware!
How terrible for them! They have followed the way that Cain took. For the sake of money, they have given themselves over to the error that Balaam committed. They have rebelled as Korah rebelled, and like him, they are destroyed.
Revelation 2:14, But I have a few things against you, because you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
Jude gives three examples of men who did whatever they wanted:
(1) Cain, who murdered his brother out of vengeful jealousy (Genesis 4:1-16).
(2) Balaam, who prophesied out of greed, not out of obedience to God's command (Numbers 22—24.
(3) Korah, who rebelled against God's divinely appointed leaders, wanting the power for himself (Numbers 16:1-35).
These men are examples of the attitudes that are typical of false teachers. These attitudes are pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed, lust for power, and disregard of God's will.
Verse for March 11