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1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of Probably iod, 4779. James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, Syria. VulgarÆra, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:


Titus i. 12. Neither do such allusions establish the credibility
or correctness of the whole work, but of that part only which
they immediately employ. The preceding observations, apply
with equal force to ver. 9. in which the apostle is supposed to cite
an apocryphal relation, or tradition, concerning the archangel
Michael disputing with Satan for the body of Moses. This is,
by some writers, referred to a book called the "Assumption, or
Ascension of Christ," which in all probability was a forgery
much later than the time of Jude; but Dr. Lardner and Mack-
night think it much more credible that the apostle alludes to
the vision in Zech. iii. 1-3. In further illustration of this
verse, we may remark, that it was a Jewish maxim, that "it is
not lawful for man to prefer ignominious reproaches, even
against wicked spirits." Might not the apostle, then, have
used it merely as a popular illustration, without vouching for the
fact, of that sober and wholesome doctrine, "not to speak evil
of dignities?" from the example of an archangel, who did not
venture to rail even at Satan, but meekly said, "The Lord re-
buke thee?"

The epistle itself was acknowledged, and generally received, as
soon as it was fully ascertained to have been written by the apostle
Jude, the brother of James, and cousin-german of our Lord.
It is found in all the ancient catalogues of the sacred writings
of the New Testament: it is considered genuine by Clement of
Alexandria, and is quoted as St. Jude's production by Tertul-
lian, by Origen, and by the greater part of the ancients men-
tioned by Eusebius. See Lardner's works, 4to. vol. iii. p. 440
-443. Its authenticity is confirmed by the subjects discussed
in it, which are in every respect suitable to the character of
an apostle of Jesus Christ; and, as Dr. Macknight truly ob-
serves, there is no error taught, no evil practice enjoined, for
the sake of which any impostor could be induced to impose a
forgery of this kind upon the world.

The other objection to the authenticity of this epistle arises from the omission of the word apostle. The writer calls himself the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of our Lord; probably from a desire to shew at once that he was a different person from Judas Iscariot. For if he had styled himself an apostle simply, he would not have been distinguished from that traitor: and, as the brother of James he has fully established his claims to the apostleship, and his relationship to our Lord. James (chap. i. 1.) has also used the same manner of expression; so likewise has St. Paul, in his inscription to the Philippians. And the word apostle is omitted by the latter in his Epistle to Philemon, and in his Epistle to the Thessalonians; and St. John, in his epistles, does not use the word apostle, nor make any mention of his own name. Yet no one, on this account, have supposed that these epistles were not genuine.

Commentators differ as to the persons to whom this epistle was addressed. Estius and Witsius suppose that St. Jude wrote to Christians every where, but more especially to the converted Jews. Dr. Hammond, that the epistle was addressed to Jewish Christians, with the design of cautioning them against the errors of the Gnostics. Dr. Benson, that it was written to

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2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be mul- Probably riod, 4779. tiplied. Syria. Vulgar Era,


Jewish believers, particularly to those of the western dispersion.
But from the inscription, (Jude i. 3.) Drs. Lardner and Mac-
knight, Bishop Tomline, and Dr. A. Clarke, concur in think-
ing that it was written to all, without distinction, who had em-
braced the Gospel. The only reason, Dr. Macknight remarks,
which has induced commentators to suppose that Jude wrote
to the Jewish believers alone, is, that he makes use of argu-
ments and examples taken from the sacred books of the Jews.
But St. Paul, we have seen, followed the same course when
writing to the Gentiles; and both apostles did so with pro-
priety, not only because all who embraced the Gospel acknow-
ledged the authority of the Jewish Scriptures, but also because
it was of the greatest importance to make the Gentiles sensible
that the Gospel was in perfect unison with the ancient reve-

It is generally supposed, from the internal evidence of this
epistle, that it must have been written after St. Peter's second
epistle. Estius and Witsius consider that it was written in the
latter part of the apostolical age. Ecumenius is of opinion that
Jude, ver. 17. alludes to Peter in his second epistle, and Paul
in almost all his epistles; from which he infers that Jude wrote
late after the decease of the apostles. Dr. Mill fixes its date to
the year 90, principally because the false teachers, whom St.
Peter describes as yet to come, are mentioned by Jude as al-
ready come. But on a comparison of this epistle with the
second of St. Peter, there does not appear to be such a remark-
able difference in their phraseology, as will be sufficient to
prove that St. Jude wrote his epistle so long after St. Peter's
second Epistle, as Dr. Mill supposed; though it proves, as
most critics agree, that it was written after the latter. The
very great coincidence in sentiment and style between these two
epistles renders it likely that they were written about the same
time; and, since we have seen that the second Epistle of St.
Peter was in all probability written early in A.D. 65, we are in-
duced, with Lardner, to place it towards the close of the same
year, or perhaps in A.D. 66. Bishop Tomline, however, dates
it in A.D. 70; Beausobre and L'Enfant, between A.D. 70 and
75; and Dodwell and Dr. Cave, in 71 or 72.

There is a striking similarity between this epistle and that of the second chapter of the second Epistle of St. Peter; which Estius and Benson account for by supposing that Jude wrote it after he had seen that of St. Peter, sometimes copying his very words, compare 2 Peter iii. 3. with Jude ver. 17, 18. Macknight is also of this opinion, and remarks upon it, “The Spirit may have directed Jude to write upon the same subject with Peter, and even in the words which Peter used, to give the greater authority to both epistles: and that the condemnation of the false teachers, and the exhortations which the two apostles addressed to the faithful in their time, might have the more weight with them, and with Christians in succeeding ages, when they found these things delivered by both, precisely in the same terms."

Lardner conjectures on the contrary, and perhaps with greater probability. (Canon, vol. iii. p. 353.) "It seems very unlikely that St. Jude should write so similar an epistle if he had not seen Peter's. In that case, St. Jude would not have



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§ 2. JUDE 3-11.

The Apostle having heard of the pernicious Doctrines of
the false Teachers, exhorts Christians strenuously to con-
tend for the Faith which had been delivered to the Apos-
tles and Prophets by Jesus Christ, through the Spirit-
For some ungodly Men had crept into the Church, who
taught that the Goodness of God was so great, that Men
might Sin with impunity if they possessed Faith-denying
both the Father and Son, (1 John ii. 22.)—whose Con-
demnation was foretold by the Divine Law from the very
Beginning-To confute these dangerous Doctrines, the
Apostle reminds them of the Punishment inflicted even on
the chosen People of God for their Sins, (Compare
Numb. xiv. 23. with Heb. iii. 18, 19.)—of that reserved
for the Angels, who, discontented with their Station, at-
tempted to advance themselves-leaving their assigned
Habitations and of the utter and eternal Destruction of
the Cities of Sodom and Gomorrah-He shews that these
false Teachers, and their Followers, by the same Sins of
Unbelief, Disobedience, and Licentiousness, will bring
upon themselves the same Punishment-These blaspheme,
or revile, all established Authority-although Michael,
the Archangel, so much greater than they, did not bring
a railing Accusation even againt the Devil-but left him
to the Judgment of God-They revile Laws and Magis-
trates, not knowing their Use and Origin; governed as
brute Beasts by Instinct; destroying themselves by the
Indulgence of their animal Propensities-They have fol-
lowed after the Example of Cain, destroying the Souls
of their Brethren-Of Balaam, by corrupting the Word
of God for gain-Of Korah and his Party, by opposing
the Apostles and Ministers of Christ, as they did Moses
and Aaron; and they shall as surely perish, as Korah
and his Associates did.

3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you
of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write
unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly con-
tend for the faith which was once delivered unto the

thought it needful for him to write at all. If he had formed a
design of writing, and had met with an epistle of one of the
apostle's very suitable to his own thoughts and intentions, I
think he would have forebore to write. Indeed, the great
agreement in subject and design, between these two epistles,
affords a strong argument that they were writ about the same

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4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, riod, 4779. were before of old ordained to this condemnation; unVulgar Æra, godly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.


5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

6 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.

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.

8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation", but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

31 Archbishop Tillotson (a) supposes that this difficult passage is illustrated by Deut. xxxiv. 6. He conjectures that Michael was employed by God secretly to bury the body of Moses, to defeat the malignant purpose of the devil, who, could he have discovered to the Jews where Moses was interred, would have encouraged them to pay idolatrous honours to his remains, and they might have made him an occasion of idolatry after his death who had been so great an enemy to it in his life-time. Beza and Estius are of the same opinion.

Macknight refers it to the vision of Zech. iii. 1. where the same words are used; he observes, "In Daniel's prophecy, (chap. x. 13—21. and xii. 1.) Michael is spoken of as one of the chief angels who took care of the Israelites as a nation. He may, therefore, have been the angel of the Lord before whom Joshua the high-priest is said to have stood, "Satan being at his right-hand to resist him ;" namely, in his design of restoring the Jewish church and state, (which is typified in this chapter) called by Jude "the body of Moses," just as the Christian Church is called by St. Paul "the body of Christ." Zachariah adds, "and the Lord," that is, the angel of the Lord, as is plain from ver. 1. "said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan! even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee!" Adam Clarke considers this, as the most likely interprc. tation of the passage; and it will appear, he continues, the more probable, when it is considered that among the Hebrews, the word "body," is often used for a thing itself; so in Rom. vii. 24. owμa тns aμaprias, the body of sin, signifies sin itself; so the body of Moses, may signify Moses himself; or that in which he was particularly concerned, viz. bis institutes, religion, &c. It may be added, that the Jews consider Michael and Samuel, one as the


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10 But these speak evil of those things which they Probably riod, 4779. know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, Syria. Vulgar Era, 66. in those things they corrupt themselves.

11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core ".

JUDE 12-16.

The Apostle tells the Christians that these Teachers are a
disgrace to their Love-feasts, pampering their Appetites
-He compares them to Clouds without Water (Deut.
xxxii. 2.), their Office promising good Doctrine, yet giv-
ing none; carried about by their Passions; so diseased
themselves, that their Doctrines must be corrupt; natu-
rally and spiritually dead; rooted out as barren; fierce
and violent, as the Waves of the Sea, foaming out their
own wickedness; unsettled and irregular in their conduct
(Rev. i. 16. and ii. 1.) and being destitute of Light, they
are reserved for eternal Darkness; against whom also
(according to the ancient Tradition) Enoch the seventh
from Adam (to distinguish him from Enoch the Son of
Cain, who was the third) prophesied, when he predicted
the Condemnation of the Wicked in his own Time, and
their Destruction by the Deluge-For these false Teach-

friend, the other as the enemy, of Israel. Samael is their accuser,
Michael their advocate. And as Michael is represented, Dan.
xii. 1. standing up in defence of the children of Israel; and
again, in Rev. xii. 7. as fighting against the dragon, (called,
ver. 9. the devil, and Satan) and his angels; whatever interpre-
tation we give to the passage, it is only rational to infer a con-
tinued and persevering opposition is made by the great adver-
sary of man to frustrate the plans of Omnipotence for their sal-
vation; and that heavenly spirits protect and minister to the
children of light, and preserve them from the powers of evil,
and the children of darkness,

(a) Vol. ii. p. 158.

* Jones, in his figurative language, p. 158, has the following observations on this passage: "The Church that went from Egypt to Canaan, gives us an example of every thing that can happen to the Christian Church, from the beginning of it even to the end of the world. The same evil which happened in the Church of Moses, is found in the Church of Christ. Corah and his company had no dispute about the object or form of divine worship: they questioned none of the doctrines of the law; they rose up against the persons of Moses and Aaron; that is, against the civil and ecclesiastical authority; contending that themselves and the congregation had an equal right; that Moses and Aaron had taken too much upon themselves; and, by exercising an usurped authority, were abusing and making fools of the people. This was their sin, and they maintained it to the last, and perished in it. It was the dispute of popular power against divine authority: and wherever the like pretensions are avowed by Christians, and the same arguments used in support of them, there we see the gainsaying of Corah,”

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