Jude 1:14-19 Commentary

To go directly to that verse

"Certain persons have crept in unnoticed,
those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation,
ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and
deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Jude 1:4)

Click chart to enlarge
Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Another Summary Chart - Charles Swindoll


Jude 1:1-4

Jude 1:5-16

Jude 1:17-23

Jude 1:24-25

Salutation &

of False Teachers

Jude 1:17-23

Jude 1:24-25

Contend for
The Faith

Their Doom (Jude 1:5-7)
Their Denunciation (Jude 1:8-10)
Their Description (Jude 1:11-16)

Defense Against
False Teachers






Date: A.D. 70-80

Key Verses: Jude 1:4, Jude 1:20, Jude 1:24, 25

Key Words:

  • Lord (Jude 1:4, 5, 9, 14, 17, 21, 25),
  • Faith (Jude 1:3, 20)
  • Keep/Kept (Jude 1:1, 6, 21, 24),
  • Ungodly (Jude 1:4, 15, 18),
  • Beloved (Jude 1:1, 3, 17, 20),
  • Judgment (Jude 1:6, 9, 15),
  • Remember (Jude 1:17),
  • Angel/Archangel (Jude 1:6, 8, 9), Holy Spirit (Jude 1:19, 20).
  • See discussion of key words, a vital component of inductive Bible study.

The following outline is adapted from J Sidlow Baxter's Outline entitled "Contend for the Faith"

GREETING, Jude 1:1,2.


  • Their subtle perversions: Two basic denials (Jude 1:3-4).
  • Their certain doom: Three historic examples (Jude 1:5-7).
  • Their impious ways: Three historic examples (Jude 1:8-11).
  • Their utter falsity: six awful metaphors (Jude 1:12-13).
  • Enoch's prophecy: Coming destruction (Jude 1:14-16).


  • Realize that the apostasy has been foretold (Jude 1:17-19).
  • "Build," "pray in the Spirit," "keep," "look" (Jude 1:20,21).
  • Show compassion towards certain who contend (Jude 1:22).
  • Others seek urgently to rescue: but keep pure (Jude 1:23).
  • Jude's doxology: Coming consummation. (Jude 1:24, 25)

In all contending for the faith we must "keep ourselves in the love of God," the counterpart of which is that the love of God must be in us. We must love, even while we contend against the errors of apostatisers. We must love their souls even while we oppose their words and deplore their ways. Sometimes it is delicately difficult to keep these separate, but the love of Christ in our hearts will put wisdom on our lips....There are some who "contend" against us. Endless counter-contention with them is useless. But there are others who need "snatching out of the fire"; they have been deceived, and in one sense or another, i.e. by bewilderment, remorse, doubt or danger, are in the fire. And there an still others on whom we are to "have mercy with fear," i.e. being cautious lest in seeking to bring them back we should defile our own garments. (J Sidlow Baxter)

An Outline of Jude

 I.      The Opening Salutation (Jude 1:1–2)
      A.      The Writer (Jude 1:1a)
      B.      The Readers (Jude 1:1b)
      C.      The Prayer-wish (Jude 1:2)
II.      The Occasion for the Letter (Jude 1:3–4)
      A.      The Indication of His Original Purpose (Jude 1:3a)
      B.      The Indication of the Altered Purpose (Jude 1:3b)
      C.      The Reason for the Change in Purpose (Jude 1:4)
         1.      The intrusion of “certain men” into the churches (Jude 1:4a)
         2.      The prophetic announcement concerning these men (Jude 1:4b)
         3.      The characterization of these men (Jude 1:4c)
III.      The Historical Fate of Apostates (Jude 1:5–7)
      A.      The Courteous Attitude Toward the Readers (Jude 1:5a)
      B.      The Historical Examples of God’s Judgment (Jude 1:5b–7)
         1.      The example of unbelieving Israel (Jude 1:5b)
         2.      The example of fallen angels (Jude 1:6)
         3.      The example of the cities of the plain (Jude 1:7)
IV.      The Description of the Modern Apostates (Jude 1:8–16)
      A.      The Daring Nature of Their Conduct (Jude 1:8–11)
         1.      The portrayal of their conduct (Jude 1:8–9)
           a)      The open expression of their daring (Jude 1:8)
           b)      The angelic contrast to their daring (Jude 1:9)
         2.      The characterization of their conduct (Jude 1:10)
         3.      The parallels to their daring conduct (Jude 1:11)
      B.      The Figurative Description of Their Character (Jude 1:12–13)
         1.      They are “hidden rocks.” (Jude 1:12a)
         2.      They are “waterless clouds.” (Jude 1:12b)
         3.      They are “autumn trees.” (Jude 1:12c)
         4.      They are “wild waves.” (Jude 1:13a)
         5.      They are “wandering stars.” (Jude 1:13b)
      C.      The Prophetic Verification of Their Doom (Jude 1:14–15)
         1.      The identity of the prophetic messenger (Jude 1:14a)
         2.      The contents of the prophetic message (Jude 1:14b–15)
           a)      The manner of the Lord’s return (Jude 1:14b)
           b)      The judgment by the returning Lord (Jude 1:15)
      D.      The Summary Portrayal of Their Nature (Jude 1:16)
V.      The Exhortations to Believers amid Apostasy (Jude 1:17–23)
      A.      The Exhortation to Awareness of Apostasy (Jude 1:17–19)
         1.      The apostolic prediction of the “mockers” (Jude 1:17–18)
           a)      The identity of the messengers (Jude 1:17)
           b)      The prediction of the apostles (Jude 1:18)
         2.      The final picture of the apostates (Jude 1:19)
      B.      The Directive for Security amid Apostasy (Jude 1:20–21)
         1.      The activities undergirding security (Jude 1:20)
         2.      The duty embodying security (Jude 1:21a)
         3.      The expectation accompanying security (Jude 1:21b)
      C.      The Duty Toward the Victims of Apostasy (Jude 1:22–23)
         1.      Those needing compassionate aid (Jude 1:22)
         2.      Those whose condition demands aggressive action (Jude 1:23a)
         3.      Those whose pollution requires personal caution (Jude 1:23b)
VI.      The Concluding Doxology (Jude 1:24–25)
      A.      The Ability of the One Being Praised (Jude 1:24)
         1.      The ability to preserve from stumbling (Jude 1:24a)
         2.      The ability to present unblemished in glory (Jude 1:24b) 
      B.      The Ascription of Praise to God (Jude 1:25)
         1.      The recipient of the praise (Jude 1:25a)
         2.      The attributes of the one praised (Jude 1:25b)
         3.      The duration of the praise (Jude 1:25c) (Hiebert)

Jude 1:14 And it was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones: Proepheteusen (3SAAI) de kai toutois hebdomos apo Adam Enoch legon (PAPMSN) Idou elthen (3SAAI) kurios en hagiais muriasin autou

  • Enoch = Ge 5:18,24; 1Chr 1:1, 2, 3; Heb 11:5,6
  • Behold = Dt 33:2; Job 19:25, 26, 27; Ps 50:3, 4, 5; Da 7:9,10; Zech 14:5; Mt 16:27; Mt 24:30,31; 25:31; 1Th 3:13; 2Th 1:7,8; Rev 1:7

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - It was of these people, moreover, that Enoch in the seventh [generation] from Adam prophesied when he said, Behold, the Lord comes with His myriads of holy ones (ten thousands of His saints)

Barclay - It was of these, too, that Enoch, who was the seventh from Adam, prophesied when he said: Behold the Lord has come with ten thousands of his holy ones,

NET Now Enoch, the seventh in descent beginning with Adam, even prophesied of them, saying, "Look! The Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy ones,

Wuest - And there prophesied also with respect to these, the seventh from Adam, Enoch, saying, Behold, there comes the Lord with His holy myriads, to execute judgment against all and to convict all those who are destitute of a reverential awe towards go on a journey,” metaphorically, “to order one’s life.” The God, concerning all their works of impiety which they impiously performed and concerning all the harsh things which impious sinners spoke against Him.  (Eerdmans Publishing

And (de kai) - Jude had already alluded to the judgment of the apostates several times (Jude 1:4, 6, 13). In Jude 1:13 Jude had just noted "the black darkness has been reserved forever" for "these men," the apostates. Now in Jude 1:14, he uses the conjunction "and" which indicates he is continuing to discuss this theme of judgment on the apostates ("it was about these men"). As Hiebert says "Jude now undergirds his attack upon these sensual intruders with an appeal to prophecy, showing that their judgment is prophetically established." The word prophesied is first in the Greek sentence, emphasizing the importance of the prophetic message.

It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied - In this passage, Jude quotes from the apocryphal Book of Enoch, but his use of this extra-biblical Jewish writing does not signify he considered the Book of Enoch to be on a par with the authoritative Word of God, nor that he accepted all of its content. Blum also makes the point that “the prophecy does not give any startling new information but is simply a general description of the return of the Lord in judgment (cf. Dt. 33:2; Da 7:10-14; Zech 14:5; Mt 25:31)”. The ESV Study Bible adds that "Jude is simply drawing from First Enoch another example of judgment, which means that, in at least this specific instance, First Enoch 1.9 contains truth." (For more on Jude's use of First Enoch see - The Hermeneutics of Jude and 2Peter: The Use of Ancient Jewish Traditions - Walter Dunnett)

For completeness here is the original quotation in First Enoch...

And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones
To execute judgement upon all,
And to destroy all the ungodly:
And to convict all flesh
Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed,
And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

(Chapter 1 of the Book of Enoch - see verse 9)

It is notable that Jude's quotation from Enoch was the chief reason for the Book of Jude’s rejection from the Canon of the Bible for a number of years. However, by the 4th century A.D., Jude’s letter had been fully accepted by the entire church.

In John MacArthur's introduction to Jude, he discusses the quotation from 1 Enoch in "Interpretative Challenges"...

Because there are no doctrinal issues discussed, the challenges of this letter have to do with interpretation in the normal process of discerning the meaning of the text. Jude does quote from non-canonical, pseudepigraphal (i.e., the actual author was not the one named in its title) sources such as 1 Enoch (Jude 1:14 - [Ed: Actually Jude 1:9]) and the Assumption of Moses (Jude 1:9) to support his points. Was this acceptable? Since Jude was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2Ti 3:16-note; 2Pe 1:20,21-note) and included material that was accurate and true in its affirmations, he did no differently than Paul (cf. Acts 17:28-note; 1Cor 15:33; Titus 1:12-note). (Jude Introduction) (See also MacArthur Study Bible notes on Jude

Enoch was the seventh from Adam in the line of Seth (but see NET Note below). Lawlessness had climaxed in the time of Lamech, the seventh from Adam in the line of Cain, whereas godliness climaxed in Enoch. It is interesting to note that Enoch was a contemporary of Adam for a little over 300 years and that he lived alongside the other patriarchs listed in Genesis 5 all his life. He was in a sense "raptured" about seventy years before Noah was born. Moses records...

Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and became the father of Enoch. 19 Then Jared lived eight hundred years after he became the father of Enoch, and he had other sons and daughters. 20 So all the days of Jared were nine hundred and sixty-two years, and he died. 21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. 22 Then Enoch walked with God (cp Heb 11:5-note) three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God (Septuagint uses the verb euaresteo and translates it "Enoch was well-pleasing to God,"); and he was not, for God took him (Septuagint uses metatithemi = to transfer from one place to another). (Ge 5:18-24)

NET Note on seventh generation is interesting - The genealogical count is inclusive, counting Adam as the first, for Enoch is really the sixth in descent from Adam (Adam, Seth, Enosh, Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch). In this way, the picture of perfection/completion was retained (for the number seven is often used for perfection or completion in the Bible) starting with Adam and concluding with Enoch.

The Book of Enoch, which was known to the fathers of the second century, was lost for some centuries with the exception of a few fragments, and was found entire in a copy of the Ethiopic Bible, in 1773, by Bruce. It became known to modern students through a translation from this into English by Archbishop Lawrence, in 1821. It was probably written in Hebrew. It consists of revelations purporting to have been given to Enoch and Noah, and its object is to vindicate the ways of divine providence, to set forth the retribution reserved for sinners, angelic or human, and "to repeat in every form the great principle that the world—natural, moral, and spiritual—is under the immediate government of God."

Behold - Jude uses this word to cause us to focus our attention on the following prophetic pronouncement. Spurgeon says that "Behold is a word of wonder; it is intended to excite admiration. Wherever you see it hung out in Scripture, it is like an ancient sign-board, signifying that there are rich wares within, or like the hands which solid readers have observed in the margin of the older Puritanic books, drawing attention to something particularly worthy of observation."

The Lord came (aorist active indicative) - Not "will come" (future tense) but "came" (past tense). And so we see that the verb came is aorist tense but in this context describes an event that is yet future. This event (His coming to execute judgment in Jude 1:15) is so certain that Jude describes it as past tense. This use of the aorist tense is referred to as proleptic aorist. Daniel B Wallace says "The aorist indicative can be used to describe an event that is not yet past as though it were already completed. This usage is not at all common, though several exegetically significant texts involve possible proleptic aorists." (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics)

The Lord (kurios) is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, returning as King of kings and Lord of lords (Rev 19:11-16-note; cf Mt 16:27, Mt 24:30-31, Mt 25:31, 1Th 3:13). Notice that whereas in the flood God sent rain, in the final judgment He will send His Son to personally judge the ungodly world.

Recall that Peter highlighted the skepticism of non-believers in the last days regarding the Second Coming of Christ writing...

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, "Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation (Ed: Note how wrong they were -- because they had bought the lie of evolution and rejected the truth of God's Word in Genesis, they did not believe in God's past judgment of a global flood)." (2Pe 3:3-4-note)

With many thousands of His holy ones - "Literally, in or among holy myriads." (cp Dt 33:2; Zech 14:5)." (Vincent's Word Studies) The preposition "in or amid, presents the coming Lord as surrounded by a vast concourse of court attendants." (Hiebert) It is interesting that the KJV translates "hagiais muriasin autou" (His holy ones) as "His saints." The Amplified Version has "His myriads of holy ones (ten thousands of His saints)." Some of the modern paraphrases translate "His holy ones" as "His angels" (GWT, ICB, NCV, TEV, CEV). Undoubtedly both groups (saints and angels) are included in our returning Lord's entourage (and dear believer you can be sure that will be in that number!) as taught by comparing Rev 17:14 (See Garland's in depth analysis of the "called and chosen and faithful") with Rev 19:14 (See note = " the armies ["His holy ones" - saints and angels] which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses"). This incredible blessed hope (not a "hope so" but a "hope sure") that believers will return with the Conquering King (along with angels - cf Mt 16:27, 25:31, 2Thes 1:6-8) riding on white horses ought to cause each of us to "keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God and keep setting our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth." (Col 3:1-note, Col 3:2-note) for "When Christ, Who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory." (Col 3:4-note).

Jude 1:15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.": poiesai (AAN) krisin kata panton kai elegxai (AAN) pasan psuchen peri panton ton ergon asebeias auton on esebesan (3PAAI) kai peri panton ton skleron on elalesan (3PAAI) kat autou hamartoloi asebeis

  • execute = Ps 9:7,8; 37:6; 50:1-6; 98:9; 149:9; Ec 11:9; 12:14; Jn 5:22,23,27; Acts 17:31; Ro 2:16; 14:10; 1Co 4:5; 5:13; Rev 22:12, 13,14,15,20
  • convince = Ro 2:5; Ro 3:19-20
  • and of all = Jude 1:16; Ex 16:8; 1Sa 2:3; Ps 31:18; 73:9; 94:4; Isa 37:22-36; Da 7:20; Da 11:36; Mal 3:13, 14, 15; Mt 12:31-37; Rev 13:5,6,11

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - To execute judgment upon all and to convict all the impious (unholy ones) of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed [in such an] ungodly [way], and of all the severe (abusive, jarring) things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Barclay - to execute judgment upon all and to convict all the impious for all the deeds of their impiousness, which they have impiously committed, and for the harsh things which impious sinners have said against him.

NET to execute judgment on all, and to convict every person of all their thoroughly ungodly deeds that they have committed, and of all the harsh words that ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

Young's Literal - to do judgment against all, and to convict all their impious ones, concerning all their works of impiety that they did impiously, and concerning all the stiff things that speak against Him did impious sinners.'


NET Note explains that Jude 1:15 is "An apparent quotation from 1 En. 1:9. There is some doubt as to whether Jude is actually quoting from the text of 1 Enoch; the text here in Jude differs in some respects from the extant text of this pseudepigraphic book. It is sometimes suggested that Jude may instead have been quoting from oral tradition which had roots older than the written text."

Jude continues, explaining the purpose of the Lord Jesus' Second Coming...

To execute judgment upon all (to do justice) - Not only will this future judgment be personal (the Lord), but it will be universal (upon all)—all who are not safe in Christ, "just as the Flood destroyed all who were outside the ark (Ed: The "Ark" is a picture of Christ. Are you safe in the "Ark" of Christ and His perfect righteousness?), and the fire and brimstone destroyed all in Sodom and Gomorrah except Lot and his wife and two daughters." (Wiersbe). Upon all makes it clear that none outside the "Ark" will escape judgment! No escape! No second chances! No exceptions! At one time, we were all ungodly and in danger of facing this judgment, but praise God "while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." (Ro 5:6-note) Indeed, as Jesus declared "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." (John 5:24)

THOUGHT - Dear reader, have you passed out of death (the second death) and into life (eternal life in the presence of God)?

Peter links ungodliness with judgment giving two historical examples and one that is yet future...

HISTORY: and (God) did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He (God) condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; (2Pe 2:5-6-note)

PROPHECY: But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2Pet 3:7-note)

To convict (1651) (elegcho = primary verb but related to elegchos = bring to light to reveal hidden things) means to expose, to convict, to reprove, to shame or disgrace. Jesus would rebuke these apostates in such a way that they would be compelled to see and to admit the error of their ways. He would clearly demonstrate to them their wrong thinking and doing, and furnish indisputable proof of their flagrant ungodliness. Hiebert adds "To convict involves more than just bringing in the evidence; it involves refuting the arguments of the guilty (Ed: I frankly doubt that anyone will have a rebuttal to the evidence presented by the Righteous Judge!) and establishing their guilt beyond all doubt, to their own shame."


The apostates (and all the ungodly) will have one Righteous Judge (Ps 7:11-note, 2Ti 4:8-note), Jesus Christ (Jn 5:22, 27, 2Ti 4:1-note, Acts 17:31; Ro 2:16-note), but no jury. There will be a perfect prosecution, but no defendant defense, for every mouth will be closed and all will be accountable to God (Ro 3:19-note). There will be a sentence passed, but no appeal process, for there can be no higher court than God’s. Finally, there will be a final and forever punishment (cf Rev 20:11-15-note). The entire procedure will be just, for the Righteous One (Isa 53:11, Acts 3:14, Acts 7:52, Acts 22:14), the Son of God will be in charge.

Of all their ungodly (asebeia) deeds (more literally = works of ungodliness) which they have done in an ungodly way - "Ungodly way" is asebeo (Strong's 764 - used only here) and speaks of these apostates' utter disregard for God and His holy law, their gross irreverence and inveterate impiety being manifest by their sacrilegious words and works. Their impious deeds are the product of their distorted view of God. "They are devoid of any restraining reverence toward God." (Hiebert)

Richard Wolf adds that "ungodly deeds may be performed by persons who have a form of godliness (Ed: cf 2Ti 3:5). Every action that proceeds from an unholy, unrepentant heart is an ungodly deed." Williams writes "Satan in Eden and Judas in Gethsemane clothed ungodly deeds in soft words." (Quoted by Constable)

And of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him - Malachi give us an OT example of harsh things spoken against God, for God Himself says that "Your words have been arrogant against Me...You have said it is vain to serve God and what profit is it that we have kept His charge and that we have walked in mourning before the LORD of hosts?" (Mal 3:13-14-note, cp Ex 16:8, Ps 73:9-note; Job 42:7) Jude makes clear in Jude 1:16 what some of those "harsh things" are.

Harsh (4642)(skleros from skéllo = to harden, dry up; English = sclerosis) literally means hard, stiff, dried up, dry, severe. When referring to voices or sounds it means hoarse or harsh (Jn 6:60). When referring to things it means hard or tough. When referring to people, it conveys an inhuman character. "The word always conveys a grave reproach; it indicates a character harshly inhumane and uncivil" (Trench).For more background on the word group see Skleros - Hard as Rock

Skleros refers to winds as fierce, violent, rough (Jas 3:4; Pr 27:16).

In Acts 26:14, skleros refers to Saul of Tarsus; "hard to kick against the goads."

Figuratively a "hard man" is a master who is difficult to please (Mt 25:24)

Webster on Harsh - Rough to the ear; grating; discordant; jarring; as a harsh sound; harsh notes; a harsh voice. Austere; crabbed; morose; peevish. Rough; rude; abusive; as harsh words; a harsh reflection. Rigorous; severe. Though harsh the precept, yet the preacher charm´d. Dryden.

Skleros - 5x in 5v - difficult(1), hard(2), harsh things(1), strong(1).

Matthew 25:24 "And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, 'Master, I knew you to be a hard (strict, severe, harsh, demanding) man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.

John 6:60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult (offensive - see Jn 6:61) statement; who can listen to it?"

Barclay - The Greek word is skleros, which means not hard to understand but hard to accept. The disciples knew quite well that Jesus had been claiming to be the very life of God come down from heaven, and that no one could live this life or face eternity without submitting to him. Here we come upon a truth that re-emerges in every age. Time and again it is not the intellectual difficulty which keeps men from becoming Christians; it is the height of Christ's moral demand. At the heart of an religion there must be mystery, for the simple reason that at that heart there is God. In the nature of things man cannot ever fully understand God. Any honest thinker will accept that there must be mystery. The real difficulty of Christianity is two-fold. It demands an act of surrender to Christ, an acceptance of him as the final authority; and it demands a moral standard of the highest level. The disciples were well aware that Jesus had claimed to be the very life and mind of God come down to earth; their difficulty was to accept that as true, with all its implications. To this day many a man refuses Christ, not because he puzzles intellect, but because he challenges his life. (John-1 - Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Acts 26:14 "And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard (difficult) for you to kick against the goads.'

James 3:4 Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

Jude 1:15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.

Skleros - 55v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint -

Gen 21:11-12; 42:7, 30; 45:5; 49:3; Ex 1:14; 6:9; Num 16:26; Deut 1:17; 15:18; 26:6; 31:27; Jdg 2:19; 1Sa 1:15; 5:7; 25:3; 2Sa 2:17; 3:39; 1Kgs 12:4, 13, 24; 2Chr 10:4, 13; Job 9:4; 22:21; Ps 17:4; 60:3; Pr 17:27; 27:16; 28:14; 29:19; Eccl 7:17; Song 8:6; Isa 5:30; 8:12, 21; 14:3; 19:4; 21:2; 27:8; 28:2; 48:4; Dan 11:32; Zeph 1:14. Here is an excellent representative use...

Proverbs 28:14 How blessed is the man who fears always, But he who hardens (Lxx = hard of heart) his heart will fall into calamity. ("Fear keeps the heart tender and the soul safe. Security and presumption harden the sinner and he falls into mischief....a deep sensibility of sin is a special mercy. A deep sensibility of sin is a special mercy. To think what it is what it may be; that, indulged only in thought, if the Lord restrain not, it will end in apostasy--Oh! dare we trifle with it? The man, who presumes upon it, as too harmless for eternal punishment, and promises himself peace in the way of his own heart--a voice from heaven could scarcely describe the tremendous horrors of his case. Every word of God is a thunderbolt leveled at him. Scarcely less pitiable is the man, who makes light of his eternal state: living without prayer; so much better in his own eyes than his more ungodly neighbours; and fully satisfied with a mere external preparation for eternity. Forget not--Christian Professor--we may be strong in confidence, only because we are sleeping in delusion, or hardened in insensibility. From all the mischief of self-ignorance and' hardness of heart, Good Lord, deliver us! [Amen or Oh my!] from Charles Bridges' - click for full comment)

Vincent - The railing, gainsaying; the profane and vain babblings (2Ti 2:16-note).

Ungodly sinners (“godless sinners that they are!”) - Placed last in the Greek sentence for emphasis. Literally it reads "sinners, godless persons." They are not just sinners but "ungodly" ones at that! Ungodly is the key word in this passage and describes their basic sinful attitude of refusing to have a proper reverence for God. As Johann Bengel said "A sinner is bad; asebes, one who sins without fear, is worse."

Ungodly (765)(asebes from a = w/o + sébomai = worship, venerate) in simple terms describes a lack of interest in the things of God and a behavior and lifestyle consistent with such an irreverent attitude. See the depth study of the related word ungodliness (asebeia). Ungodly pertains to violating norms for a proper relation to deity, and in short means irreverent (lacking proper respect of God) or impious. Living as if God does not exist and with no regard for Him. Even the English dictionary definitions of ungodly are relatively accurate - denying or disobeying God; characterized by iniquity; lacking reverence for God; impious, sinful, immoral or wicked

William MacDonald - “The people are ungodly, their deeds are ungodly, the manner in which they perform these deeds is ungodly, and they further manifest their ungodliness by their blasphemies against the Lord.”

MacArthur - Their punishment comes because of their ungodly actions and their ungodly speech; both their works and their words betray the wickedness of their hearts. (2Peter and Jude MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Sinners (hamartolos) describes those who are continually erring from the way, constantly missing God's mark, living in opposition to His good and acceptable and perfect will.

Have spoken against Him - Against is kata which means down upon, toward and was used with verbs of swearing as well as when speaking to someone with a hostile intent (translated "against" = Mt 10:35, 2Cor 10:5, 1Pe 2:11, 1Cor 4:6)

These ungodly sinners spoke harsh words from a hard (sclerotic) heart, because out of the mouth comes that which fills a man ("for the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart" = Mt 12:34, 15:19, Lk 6:45). As Jamieson observes "Those who speak against God's children are regarded by God as speaking against Himself." The words we speak are important for Jesus said "that every careless (argos = ineffective, worthless) word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment." (Mt 12:36-See MacArthur's comment)

Hiebert - “Hard things” (tōn sklērōn) here does not mean things difficult to understand but rather things that are rough, harsh, and offensive. And their guilt will be shown to lie in the fact that they uttered such things “against him” (kat’ autou), against the Lord, Christ the Judge. With apparent impunity they have uttered their defiant speeches against Christ and His demands upon their lives. But all their speeches were placed on record, and they will be held accountable for them. Williams remarks that “their ungodly deeds and their hard words had a terrible consistency. Satan in Eden and Judas in Gethsemane clothed ungodly deeds in soft words.” (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Guzik - Many people take the judgment of God lightly. But the most important question in the world is “Will God judge me? Am I accountable to Him?” If we are truly accountable to God, they we are fools if we do not prepare to face that judgment. Think of someone arrested for a crime, with a date to appear in court - but made absolutely no preparation for their appearance before the judge. That person would be a fool. We shouldn’t be so foolish, and instead take advantage of our court-appointed advocate - Jesus Christ (1John 2:1). (Jude - Guzik's Commentary on the Bible)

What Means Most to Us? - How influential is music on the young people in our society? They buy millions of recordings annually. And screaming fans jam-pack concerts by well-known artists. So, whether we like it or not, rock, rap, and heavy metal are making a significant impact on today’s culture.

Neil Gallagher, leader of the group Oasis, made the claim, “We’re more popular than Jesus Christ now.” He added, “Some of the pop stars I like are more important to me than God.”

Such an opinion reveals an appalling shallowness of his understanding of the One who made him and will one day judge him. The New Testament letter of Jude says that Jesus will return one day “to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them . . . of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 1:15).

The music of Oasis and the warped thinking of its leader cry out for sharpest criticism. Yet what place does Jesus occupy in our lives? Is God supremely important to us? Are we thrilled by music that magnifies the gospel? Are we grateful for our salvation? And are we praying for those, young and old, who haven’t yet put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? What means most to us? - Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The arrogance of those, O Lord,
Who do not honor You!
Yet do we always put You first
In all we say and do?

What we do with Christ now
determines what He will do with us later.

Jude 1:16 These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage: Zeoutoi eisin (3PPAI) goggustai mempsimoiroi kata tas epithumias heauton poreuomenoi (PMPMPN) kai to stoma auton lalei (3SPAI) huperogka thaumazontes (PAPMPN) prosopa opheleias charin

  • murmurers = Nu 14:36; 16:11; Dt 1:27; Ps 106:25; Isa 29:24; Lk 5:30; 15:2; 19:7; Jn 6:41,61; 1Co 10:10; Php 2:14
  • walking = Jude 1:18; Gal 5:16,24; 1Th 4:5; 2Ti 4:3; Jas 1:14,15; 1Pe 1:14; 2:11; 1Pe 4:2; 2Pe 2:10; 3:3
  • their mouth = Jude 1:15; Job 17:4,5; Ps 17:10; 73:9, 10, 11; 2Pe 2:18
  • having = Lev 19:15; Job 32:21; 34:19; Ps 15:4; Pr 28:21; 1Ti 6:5; Jas 2:1-9; 2Pe 2:1, 2, 3

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - These are inveterate murmurers (grumblers) who complain [of their lot in life], going after their own desires [controlled by their passions]; their talk is boastful and arrogant, [and they claim to] admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage.

Barclay - For these people are grumblers. They querulously complain against the part in life which God has allotted to them. Their conduct is governed by their desires. Their mouths speak swelling words. They toady to men for what they can get out of it.

The Living Bible - These men are constant gripers, never satisfied, doing whatever evil they feel like; they are loudmouthed "show-offs," and when they show respect for others, it is only to get something from them in return.


These are grumblers - In the preceding verse Jude referred to harsh words, and now he elaborates on some of those harsh words. They are described as "fate-blaming grumblers" (BDAG), those who discontentedly complain (eg, against God), those who are dissatisfied with their fate. The idea is not necessarily loud, outspoken dissatisfaction, but more of an undertone muttering. They are "inveterate murmurers" (Amp), "constant gripers, never satisfied." (TLB)

Hiebert - "These (houtoi), like an accusing finger, once more points out these ungodly men (cf. Jude 1:8, 10, 12)." (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Guzik - Grumbling “is to insult the God who gives us all things; it is to forget that whatever befalls us, nothing can separate us from His love, nor deprive us of that most priceless of all treasures, the Lord’s presence in our lives.” (Green) “You know the sort of people alluded to here, nothing ever satisfies them. They are discontented even with the gospel. The bread of heaven must be cut into three pieces, and served on dainty napkins, or else they cannot eat it; and very soon their soul hates even this light bread. There is no way by which a Christian man can serve God so as to please them. They will pick holes in every preacher’s coat; and if the great High Priest himself were here, they would find fault with the color of the stones of his breastplate.” (Spurgeon) (Jude - David Guzik's Commentary)

Grumblers (1113) (goggustes from gogguzo = to grumble or murmur; cf goggusmos) is found only here in NT and describes a grumbler, complainer, murmurer. One who makes an audible expression of an unwarranted dissatisfaction. This word group is onomatopoeic and is derived from the sound made when murmuring or muttering in a low and indistinct voice with the idea of complaint. Goggustes is used of the cooing of doves. Goggustes is used in the Septuagint of Pr 26:21 to translate "contentious."

Webster's 1828 on murmur. Noun = A low sound continued or continually repeated, as that of a stream running in a stony channel, or that of flame. 1. A complaint half suppressed, or uttered in a low, muttering voice. Verb = To make a low continued noise, like the hum of bees, a stream of water, rolling waves, or like the wind in a forest; as the murmuring surge. 2. To grumble; to complain; to utter complaints in a low, half articulated voice; to utter sullen discontent; with at, before the thing which is the cause of discontent; as, murmur not at sickness; or with at or against, before the active agent which produces the evil.

Cross-References on Grumbling - Ex 14:12, Ex 15:24, Ex 16:2,7-9,12, Ex 17:3 Nu 11:1 14:2, 27,29, 36, Nu 16:11,41, Nu 17:5 Dt 1:27, Dt 9:8, 22 Jos 9:18 Ps 59:15, 106:25 Lk 5:30, Lk 15:2, Lk 19:7 Jn 6:41-43,61 1Co 10:10 Php 2:14 Jude1:16.

Related Resources

Hiebert - “Murmurers”, a noun used only here in the New Testament, depicts them as individuals dominated by a smoldering discontent which expresses itself, not in loud, outspoken outcries, but in muttered undertones....In 1 Corinthians 10:10 it is used of the low mutterings of resentment on the part of the sullen people of Israel in the wilderness. Jude does not indicate against whom the grumbling of these men is directed, but they obviously expressed their dissatisfaction with anything and everything that was not according to their liking. “Whenever a man gets out of touch with God he is likely to begin complaining about something.” It is an evil prohibited in Php 2:14-note and 1Pe 4:9-note. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

William Barclay - They are grumblers, for ever discontented with the life which God has allotted to them. In this picture he uses two words, one which was very familiar to his Jewish readers and one which was very familiar to his Greek readers. (a) The first is goggustes. (gg in Greek is pronounced ng). The word describes the discontented voices of the murmurers and is the same as is so often used in the Greek Old Testament for the murmurings of the children of Israel against Moses as he led them through the wilderness (Ex 15:24; Ex 17:3; Nu 14:29). Its very sound describes the low mutter of resentful discontent which rose from the rebellious people. These wicked men in the time of Jude are the modern counterparts of the murmuring children of Israel in the desert, people full of sullen complaints against the guiding hand of God. (Jude - Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Finding fault (complainers=KJV, "Fault finders"=NET; "malcontents"=ESV) (1113) (mempsimoiros from memphomai = to find fault, blame + moira = a part or lot) literally describes those who are "blamers of (dissatisfied with) their lot" and so the are discontented complainers, constantly finding fault and blaming! VDP would describe them well - "Very Draining Person!" "They querulously (with whining, habitually complaining) complain against the part in life which God has allotted to them." (Barclay)

Rogers - The word mempsimoiros was used to describe a standard Greek character: “You’re satisfied by nothing that befalls you; you complain at everything. You don’t want what you have got; you long for what you haven’t got. In winter you wish it were summer, and in summer that it were winter. You are like the sick folk, hard to please, and one who complains about his lot in life” (s. Green’s quotation from Lucian, Cynic, XVII). The word indicates one who complained against the God who has appointed each man his fate (TDNT; MM). (New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

Plummer says that mempsimoiros indicates their discontent “with the condition of life which God had assigned to them, and not only blaming Him for this, but for the moral restrictions which He had imposed upon them and upon all mankind.” (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Barclay - A mempsimoiros was a man who was forever grumbling about life in general. Theophrastus was the great master of the Greek character sketch, and he has a mocking study of the mempsimoiros, which is worth quoting in full: "Querulousness is an undue complaining about one's lot; the querulous man will say to him that brings him a portion from his friend's table: "You begrudged me your soup or your collops (slices of meat), or you would have asked me to dine with you in person." When his mistress is kissing him he says, "I wonder whether you kiss me so warmly from your heart." He is displeased with Zeus, not because he sends no rain, but because he has been so tong about sending it. When he finds a purse in the street, it is: "Ah! but I never found a treasure." When he has bought a slave cheap with much importuning the seller, he cries: "I wonder if my bargain's too cheap to be good." When they bring him the good news that he has a son born to him, then it is: "If you add that I have lost half my fortune, you'll speak the truth." Should this man win a suit-at-law by a unanimous verdict, he is sure to find fault with his speech-writer for omitting so many of the pleas. And if a subscription has been got up for him among his friends, and one of them says to him: "You can cheer up now," he will say: "What? when I must repay each man his share, and be beholden to him into the bargain?" Here, vividly drawn by Theophrastus' subtle pen, is the picture of a man who can find something to grumble about in any situation. He can find some fault with the best of bargains, the kindest of deeds, the most complete of successes, the richest of good fortune. "There is great gain in godliness with contentment" (1 Timothy 6:6); but the evil men are chronically discontented with life and with the place in life that God has given to them. There are few people more unpopular than chronic grumblers and all such might do well to remember that such grumbling is in its own way an insult to God. (Jude - Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Following after their own lusts - The idea is that the planned course of their conduct (poreuomai) is governed by their strong sensual desires. Wuest says these men are "ordering their course of conduct in accordance with their own passionate cravings."(Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)

Following after (4198) (poreuomai from póros = a passing or passage <> peíro or peráo = to pierce or run thru) means to go from one place to another. Poreuomai is used figuratively here to describe their ethical "journey" which is to gratify their flesh, which is a life journey which ends in disaster!

Hiebert comments that following after their own lusts "sets forth the real cause of their discontent. “After” (kata, “according to, down along the line of”) points to their standard of conduct, while the participle “walking” (following) or “journeying,” denotes a planned course of action. Their course of conduct is governed, not by the Word of God, but by “their lusts”, their own sinful desires and cravings. The inevitable result is dissatisfaction with what life brings them. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Plummer - Men who “walk after their lusts,” and shape their course in accordance with these, cannot be contented, for the means of gratifying the lusts are not always present, and the lusts themselves are insatiable: even when gratification is possible, it is only temporary; the unruly desires are certain to revive and clamor once more for satisfaction. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Lusts (1939)(epithumia) describes strong desires which are perverted and unrestrained and which originate from our corrupted, fallen, anti-God Sin nature we all inherited from Adam (Ro 5:12). James writes that "each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15-note). 

They speak arrogantly - Wuest says "their mouth speaks immoderate, extravagant things, catering to personalities for the sake of advantage."  (Wuest) NLT says "They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want."

Arrogantly (5246) (huperogkos from hupo = above + ogkos = swelling; only here and 2Pe 2:18-note) literally refers to that which has great swelling (excessive bulk) or is oversized, and conveys the idea of something larger than it has any right to be (cf "Supersized" portions at Fast Food restaurants). In classical Greek huperogkos was generally used of things of great or excessive size, and then came to be used of swollen and extravagant speech, haughty and bombastic.

Rogers - The word is generally used of great or even excessive size, and in later writers it is also used of big words and arrogant speech and demeanor (New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

Peter uses huperogkos in a parallel description of false teachers in the church...

For speaking out arrogant (huperogkos) words of vanity (mataiotes) they entice (deleazo = same verb used in James 1:14-note describing our own inherent lust-it has power to draw us into the web so that we commit sin) by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, (2 Pe 2:18-note)

Huperogkos - 7 uses in Septuagint - Ex 18:22, 26; Dt 30:11 (translates "difficult"); 2Sa 13:2 (translates "hard"); Lam 1:9 (LXE = "has lowered her boasting tone"); Da 5:12; Da 11:36;

The speech of the men described by Peter and Jude is full of high-sounding verbosity without substance. The pontification of these deceivers is with big, overswollen, ponderous words, this ostentatious verbosity being their "weapon" to ensnare the unwary with licentiousness as the bait on their hook.

In short, what Jude is doing here is giving us characteristics which should help us identify these snakes in our midst -- they are boastful, pompous, haughty, tumid, grand, inflated, bombastic in their speech with the goal of such pretentious palaver (misleading, beguiling speech) being to impress and entice. Mark it down - High sounding words make a great cover for false teaching. "They impress people with their vocabularies and oratory, but what they say is just so much “hot air.”" (Wiersbe)

It is fascinating that the same expression is used in the Septuagint translation of Daniel 11:36 to describe the Antichrist's blasphemous utterances against God. Here is Brenton's English translation of the Greek translation for comparison...

And he shall do according to his will, and the king shall exalt and magnify himself against every god, and shall speak great swelling words (uses the same two words as Jude - laleo + huperogkos), and shall prosper until the indignation shall be accomplished: for it is coming to an end. (Da 11:36-note)

MacDonald (Believer's Bible Commentary) - This is an accurate description of the words of many liberal preachers and false cultists. They are accomplished orators, holding audiences spellbound by their grandiose rhetoric. Their erudite vocabulary attracts undiscerning people. What their sermons lack in content, they make up for in a dogmatic, forceful presentation. But when they have finished they have said nothing. As an example of this sort of sterile sermon, here is a quotation from a well-known theologian of our (MacDonald's) day:

"It is not a relationship of either parity or disparity, but of similarity. This is what we think and this is what we express as the true knowledge of God, although in faith we still know and remember that everything that we know as “similarity” is not identical with the similarity meant here. Yet we also know and remember, and again in faith, that the similarity meant here is pleased to reflect itself in what we know as similarity and call by this name, so that in our thinking and speaking similarity becomes similar to the similarity posited in the true revelation of God (to which it is, in itself, not similar) and we do not think and speak falsely but rightly when we describe the relationship as one of similarity."

Guzik - These certain men knew how to use smooth, flattering words to get an advantage over other people. They would say anything - good or bad - to get an advantage. (Jude - David Guzik's Commentary)

Flattering (thaumazo = filled with wonder) people (prosopon = the face) (KJV = "having...in admiration") in the Greek is literally “admiring faces,” which is a Hebraistic idiom (translated into Greek) meaning to "admire the face" and so to flatter or praise insincerely. The idea is to show partiality to others in order to glean some benefit from them. See the Septuagint uses of this Hebrew idiom - Lev 19:15 ("you shall not be partial to the poor" [literally in Lxx = "absolutely not receive the face"] "nor defer to the great" [literally "not admire [thaumazo] face [prosopon]"); Job 13:10 ("show partiality"); Isa 9:15 ("honorable man") (cf partiality clearly prohibited in Dt 16:19, James 2:1-9). The idea is showing flattering admiration of individuals whom they seek to impress “for the sake of advantage,” not necessarily financial." (Hiebert) The "curry favor." (Curry = seek to gain favor by flattery or attention)

Kistemaker - With their arrogance (Ed: "brag loudly" NLT) they flout (Ed: treat with contemptuous disregard) God's honor and with their flattery they deceive their fellow men."

NET Note on flattering people - Enchanting folks (Greek “awing faces”) refers to the fact that the speeches of these false teachers are powerful and seductive.

Cleon Rogers - The expression is used to translate the Hebrew idiom, “to take, or raise, a man’s countenance,” i.e., to do honor or show favor to him. The formula had its origin in the oriental custom of making one to rise from the ground as a token of welcome. This imagery soon disappeared and the expression meant “to show favoritism toward” or “to curry favor w.” (Kelly). (New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

For the sake of gaining an advantage - Amplified = "they claim to admire men’s persons and pay people flattering compliments to gain advantage." ESV = "showing favoritism to gain advantage." NAB = "they fawn over people to gain advantage." Vincent explains "for the sake of advantage; their glory being in having a multitude of followers." NET = "enchanting folks for their own gain." Wiersbe = "They also use flattery to manipulate their listeners."

Hiebert - They show warm interest in others, not to help them but to exploit them. Inconsistently, they stoutly refuse submission to God, where it is due, but servilely render submission to follow human beings, where it is not due. “As the fear of God drives out the fear of man, so defiance of God tends to put man in His place, as the chief source of good or evil to his fellows.” Whenever men refuse God His rightful place in their lives, they inevitably place Him with inferior gods of their own making. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Peter uses a different verb but conveys the same idea...

and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. (2 Pe 2:3-note)

E C Pentecost sums up these apostates - Vocally discontented, sinfully self-centered, extravagantly egotistical, and deceptively flattering—such are apostates, then and today. Thus in unflinching terms Jude clearly identified the apostates, while at the same time exposing their character in order to warn believers of their true nature and their final destiny. He was laying the groundwork to call his readers to action against these ungodly men and their practices. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

SMOOTH TALKER - A man who was trying to explain the meaning of the word oratory commented with tongue in cheek, “If you say black is white, that’s foolishness. But if while you say black is white you roar like a bull, pound on the table with both fists, and race from one end of the platform to another, that’s oratory!”

We can quickly be swept off our feet by the way people express themselves, even though we have some questions about their message. Jude warned us about those whose mouths speak “great swelling words” (Jude 1:16). The masses are often moved more by style than by content.

According to Paul, the time will come when people will turn away from the truth of sound doctrine and tolerate only those who entertain and make people feel good (2Ti 4:3-4). So we must carefully analyze and evaluate in the light of the Scriptures everything we hear—even what is taught and proclaimed by the most eloquent of speakers. We must not allow ourselves to be swayed by mere oratory—especially in the church! We need to be sure that the Bible teachers we listen to are “speaking the truth in Christ and not lying” (1Ti 2:7).

Don’t let “idle talkers and deceivers” (Titus 1:10) confuse you. Eloquence is never a substitute for truth. (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

We must beware of speakers who
Distort and twist God's Word;
They'll entertain and motivate,
And call the truth absurd.

To recognize Satan's lies,
 focus on God's truth.

Jude 1:17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,: humeis de agapetoi mnesthete (2PAPM) ton rhematon ton proeiremenon (RPPNPN) hupo ton apostolon tou kuriou hemon Iesou Christou

  • remember = Mal 4:4; Acts 20:35; Eph 2:20; Eph 4:11; 2Pe 3:2; 1Jn 4:6

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - But you must remember, beloved, the predictions which were made by the apostles (the special messengers) of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Barclay But you, beloved, you must remember the words which were once spoken by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; you must remember that they said to us

NET But you, dear friends- recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wuest - But, as for you, divinely-loved ones, remember the words which were spoken previously by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you,  (Eerdmans Publishing

Jude 1:17-23

But you beloved - Jude uses this term of contrast, as he "changes direction" shifting the focus from the denunciation of the apostates to loving exhortations (imperatives) to God's beloved saints.

J B Phillips entitles Jude 1:17-19 - "Forewarned is Forearmed."

E C Pentecost - Having identified the apostates in expressive language, Jude gave the believers guidelines on how to avoid the apostates’ errors. It is not enough to recognize false teachers; it is also necessary to avoid falling into their errors. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Hiebert - With these verses (Jude 1:17-23) Jude turns from burning denunciation of the apostates to provide loving guidance and encouragement to the faithful amid apostasy. Although this section is closely related to the preceding denunciation, its tenor is entirely different. In the preceding section the aim was to expose and condemn the evil men intruding into the churches; here the aim is to provide faithful believers with a strategy to combat the apostates effectively. Jude now presents directives toward that end. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

NET NOTE - This verse parallels 2Pet 3:2 both conceptually and in much of the verbiage. There is one important difference, however: In 2 Pet 3:2 the prophets and apostles speak; here, just the apostles speak. This makes good sense if Jude is using 2Peter as his main source and is urging his readers to go back to the authoritative writings, both OT and now especially NT. (Ed comment: Notice that Jude 1:18 has a quote that is very similar to 2Peter 3:3, suggesting this apostolic letter may have been the source. This is not an unreasonable assertion in view of the fact that Jude was penned about 70-80AD and Second Peter about 66BC, which meant Jude theoretically had access to the Apostle's words spoken beforehand.)

Beloved (27)(agapetos) describes those who are dear to God, very much loved by Him and in a very special relationship with Him (Jude 1:3, Jude 1:20). Agapetos describes the love of another, this love being called out of the "giver's" heart by preciousness of the recipient of the love (the "beloved'). Agapetos is used only of Christians as united with God or with each other in love. In secular Greek agapetos is used mostly of a child, especially an only child to whom all the love of his parents is given (cf use by the Father describing His only Son and Abraham describing his "only son" in Ge 22:2). "Beloved does not refer to Jude’s love for those to whom he is writing, but to the fact that the saints are beloved ones of God." (Wuest)

Hiebert - “Beloved” assures the readers that, in spite of his fierce denunciation of the apostates, he maintains a deep, personal affection for them. His strong denunciation of the intruders has been prompted by his concern for their spiritual welfare. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Ought to remember - In light of the truth about the soul poisoning "snakes in the pond," this is not a suggestion but a necessity, and thus it is a command (aorist imperative). Do this now! Don't delay! It is urgent! You must remember! What are they (and we) to remember? The words spoken beforehand by Jesus' apostles. And beloved, isn't this the problem from the very beginning? When Satan asked Eve "Indeed, has God said..." (Ge 3:1+), her poor memory of what God had said (Ge 2:16-17) led her into disobedience. Without the internalized Word which is Truth (Jn 17:17), the "sword of the Spirit" (Eph 6:17-note) is dull and we are vulnerable to Satan's lies!

Note that Jude gives 5 commands (imperatives) in Jude 1:17-23, which serve to challenge his readers to contend earnestly for the faith (Jude 1:3). In the first 16 verses, Jude issued no imperatives, choosing instead to focus their attention on the problem. These verbal imperatives are: (1) Remember (Jude 1:17), (2) Keep (Jude 1:21), (3) Have mercy (Jude 1:22), (4) Save (Jude 1:23), and (5) Have mercy (Jude 1:23). Imperatives #1 and #2 are aorist imperative which speaks of urgency and #3-5 are present imperative, which calls for consistency, for this to be their habitual practice, even their "Gospel lifestyle!".

Hiebert - Having unfolded the dangers of the situation confronting them, Jude now presents a strategy for the combat. He calls upon them to have an awareness of apostasy as foretold by the apostles (Jude 1:17-19), to foster their own spiritual maturity for security amid apostasy (Jude 1:20-21), and to act savingly toward those who have been contaminated by the apostates (Jude 1:22-23). (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Peter's Second Epistle dealing with the false teachers several times calls his readers to remember, writing...

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. (I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,(2Pe 1:12-13-note)

This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets (this would refer to the OT Scriptures) and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles (of which Peter was one). (2Pe 3:1-2-note)

Remember (3403)(mimnesko) means to bring to mind or think of again. It means to keep in mind for attention or consideration. Most of the NT uses convey this sense of recalling information from memory. In Acts 10:31+ (Rev 16:19+) the idea of mimnesko is to think of and call attention to someone or some thing and to make mention of. The dying thief asked Jesus to keep him in mind when He came into His Kingdom (So what did the thief believe? That Jesus would die but would rise again and live to rule. He believed Jesus was the King!). (Lk 23:42+) He was asking Jesus to be concerned about him or to think of him.

Earlier Jude had commended the believers that "you know all things once for all" (Jude 1:5+), but now he senses the need for a series of direct commands. One can have knowledge of facts, but "must be able to recall the message of the Gospel so that they can defend themselves against the pernicious attacks of the heretics. They must know that they can effectively oppose their adversaries with the Gospel which has been preached by Christ's apostles." (Kistemaker)

Jude is asking the saints to allow back into their mind truths they had heard or been taught and to keep their mind alert and attentive to those truths.

THOUGHT - The best "weapon" against lies of the ungodly (such as the lie that it is "okay" to turn the grace of God into licentiousness and to deny that Jesus is our Master [Owner] and Lord - Jude 1:4-note) is the truth of God's Word. Are you daily, even moment by moment, recalling to your mind God's Word in order that His Word of Truth (the Gospel) (Col 1:5-note) might fortify your faith (Ro 10:17-note) and enable you to hold up the shield of faith to extinguish all the fiery missiles of untruth (cf Eph 6:16-note) and to have a "sword" to wield by the Spirit? (Eph 6:17-note) One of the best ways to recall to mind truth is to "eat" or memorize the truth of God's Word (for suggestions regarding what truth to "eat" see Memory Verses by Topic) and to meditate (see this note to help you understand "how" to meditate) on the truth of God's Word. Jesus understood the intake of His Truth to be our great, daily need when He declared "It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD (rhema - same word Jude uses in Jude 1:17) THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’”(Mt 4:4+) Are you suffering from "spiritual anorexia" regarding your intake of God's Word? It is as serious spiritually as it is physiologically! Humble yourself and ask the Spirit to give you a hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mt 5:6-note). and then be willing to submit to His leading (Gal 5:16-note, Gal 5:18-note).

Mimnesko - 23x in 23v - NAS Usage: recall(1), remember(13), remembered(8), remembrance(1).

Matthew 5:23+ "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word which Jesus had said, "Before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times." And he went out and wept bitterly.

Matthew 27:63 and said, "Sir, we remember that when He was still alive that deceiver said, 'After three days I am to rise again.'

Luke 1:54+ "He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy,

Luke 1:72+ To show mercy toward our fathers, And to remember His holy covenant,

Luke 16:25+ "But Abraham said, 'Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.

Luke 23:42+ And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"

Luke 24:6+ "He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,

Luke 24:8+ And they remembered His words,

John 2:17+ His disciples remembered that it was written, "ZEAL FOR YOUR HOUSE WILL CONSUME ME."

John 2:22+ So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

John 12:16 These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

Acts 10:31+ and he said, 'Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God.

Acts 11:16+ "And I (Peter) remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'

1 Corinthians 11:2 Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.

2 Timothy 1:4+ longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy.

Hebrews 2:6+ But one has testified somewhere, saying, "WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN, THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM?

Comment: Here remember conveys the idea of to think about again. The amazing truth is God does think about us! Praise Him today that before you awoke this morning, YOU were on His mind!



Comment: In Heb 8:12 and here the verb remember overlaps somewhat with God's forgiveness. He makes a choice to not recall our sins to His mind when we confess and repented (1Jn 1:9-note; Pr 28:13-note) The Accuser of our souls (kategoreo describes his continual cry against us) does just the opposite -- the devil tries to remind God of our sins and also shoots fiery missiles at us in an attempt to cause us to dwell upon our sins (even though they have been truly confessed!) (cp Rev 12:10-note, Eph 6:16-note) Perhaps you have confessed your sins but are still wrestling with guilt and shame. If so, it might be a fruitful exercise for you to meditate on passages that deal with the completeness of God's forgiveness which includes His "forgetfulness!" = Micah 7:18, 19; Ps 103:12, Isa 38:17 = Hezekiah's declaration should be our declaration after confession and repentance; Isa 43:25, Isa 44:22, Jer 31:34, Jer 50:20, Da 9:24, Heb 8:12, Heb 10:17, Ro 8:1, Was Paul who persecuting Christians able to forget the sin, the guilt, the shame? Read Php 3:13-note, Php 3:14-note - Note the verb Paul chose for "forgetting" is epilanthanomai = the idea is not just forgetting but "completely forgetting." The present tense indicates that because of Christ's full payment (TETELESTAI - IT IS FINISHED! PAID IN FULL!) this is to be the Spirit filled believer's continual duty and delight - not just to forget but to forget completely!) See also Does God really forget our sins?

Hebrews 13:3+ Remember (present imperative calling for the readers to continually keep in mind) the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

2 Peter 3:2+ that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

Jude 1:17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Revelation 16:19+ The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Mimnesko - 181 verses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Ge 8:1; Ge 9:15-16; Ge 19:29; 30:22; 40:13-14, 20, 23; 42:9; Ex 2:24; 6:5; 20:8; 32:13; Lev 26:42, 45; Num 11:5; 15:39-30; Deut 5:15; 7:18; 8:2, 18; 9:7, 27; 15:15; 16:3, 12; 24:9, 18, 20, 22; 25:17; 32:7; Josh 1:13; Jdg 8:34; 9:2; 16:28; 1Sa 1:11, 19; 4:18; 25:31; 2 Sam 19:19; 2Kgs 20:3; 2Chr 6:42; 24:22; Neh 1:8; 4:14; 5:19; 6:14; 9:17; 13:14, 22, 29, 31; Esther 2:1; 4:8, 17; 10:3; Job 4:7; 7:7; 10:9; 21:6; 28:18; 36:24; 41:8; Ps 8:4; 9:12; 16:4; 20:3; 22:27; Ps 25:6-7; 42:4,6; 45:17; 71:16; 74:2, 18, 22; Ps 77:3, 5, 11; 78:35, 39, 42; Ps 79:8; 83:4; 87:4; 88:5; 89:47, 50; 98:3; 103:14, 18; 105:5, 8, 42; Ps 106:4, 7, 45; 109:16; 111:5; 115:12; 119:49, 52, 55; 132:1; 136:23; Ps 137:1, 6-7; 143:5; Pr 31:7; Eccl 5:20; 9:15; 11:8; 12:1; Isa 12:4; 17:10; 26:16; 38:3; 43:25-26; 44:21; 46:8-9; 47:7; 48:1; 54:4; 57:11; Isa 62:6; 63:7, 11; 64:5, 7, 9; 65:17; 66:9; Jer 2:2; 11:19; 14:10, 21; 15:15; 18:20; 31:20, 34; 33:8; 44:21; 51:50; Lam 1:7, 9; 2:1; 3:19-20; Jer 5:1; Ezek 3:20; 6:9; 16:22, 43, 60-61, 63; 18:22, 24; 20:43; 21:23; 23:27; 36:31; Dan 5:10; Hos 2:17; 7:2; 8:13; 9:9; Amos 1:9; Jonah 2:7; Mic 6:5; Nah 2:5; Hab 3:2; Zech 10:9; Mal 4:4. Note the first great use in the OT...

Genesis 8:1 (cp uses of mimnesko in context of Covenant - Ge 9:15, 16) But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God caused a wind to pass over the earth, and the water subsided.

Comment: Here we see divine remembrance is an assurance of His trustworthiness (cf Ge 6:18). When He gives you His promise, you can believe it, even through the fog, even in the midst of the pain! He remembered His promise to Noah and will remember all His precious and magnificent promises to you dear called, beloved and kept believer (Jude 1:1). Inherent in God's remembering Noah is a foreshadowing of His faithfulness to keep His covenant with us (Ge 9:9, see especially Ge 9:11). As Ryrie says on God's remembering in Ge 8:1, it signifies "Not mere recall, but thinking about with loving concern."


The words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ - To what words does Jude refer? In light of the fact that Jude was one of the last books written (70-89AD), the words would surely include the Gospels, Paul's letters, Peter's letters, etc.

Words (rhema) refers to the spoken word, especially a word as uttered by a living voice. Hiebert adds "words as opposed to deeds, implies a message that has been delivered, whether orally or in written form" and the fact that he adds was spoken beforehand identifies the words as distinctly prophetic. Some commentators think that Jude's use of rhema (spoken words) implies that he is referring primarily to what they had heard orally from the apostles and not to what they had written, but other excellent commentators include the written words of the apostles.

Why is it so important to remember truth spoken beforehand by the apostles? Because they repeatedly warned of false teachers infiltrating the church and opposing the Gospel. Jesus Himself spoke beforehand, warning "Beware (prosecho in the present imperative = a command to never let one's guard down, implying the church is continually at risk of these apostate snakes "slithering in") of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves." (Mt 7:15-note; cp Mt 24:11, 24; Mk 13:22) The apostle Paul gave many similar warnings (2Cor 11:12-15, Col 2:16-19; 1Th. 2:14-16; 2Th. 2:3-12; 1Ti 4:1-3; 6:20-21; 2Ti 2:17-19; 2Ti 3:1-9; 2Ti 4:1-3; Acts 20:29-30) as did the apostle Peter (2Pe 2:1, etc). While the apostle John also warned about false teachers and false professors (1Jn 4:1; cf. 1Jn 2:18-19; 2Jn 1:7; 3Jn 1:9-11), his epistles were most likely not available to the saints, as they were written about 10 years later.

Guzik - The word of God is always the answer to dangers in or out of the church. The apostles had warned that just these things would happen; and even more so as the day approaches: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2Timothy 4:3-4-note)

Warren Wiersbe - I read somewhere that the Great Wall of China was penetrated at least three times by the enemy, and each time the guards were bribed! A strong defense depends on strong people, and this applies to spiritual battles as well as military contests. If the church is to oppose and defeat the false teachers, then all of us in the church must be strong and able to “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). There is always the danger of stumbling (Jude 1:24) and a stumble is the first step. (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

Spoken beforehand (4280)(proereo from pro = before + ereo = to say or declare) means literally to say beforehand, to speak in advance. Some uses convey a "prophetic" sense of declaring or telling before an event (foretell - Acts 1:16, Ro 9:29, 2Co 13:2). Even Jesus' warnings in the context of Mt 24:25 and Mark 13:23 were in a sense a foretelling of things to come.

The sense of proereo here in Jude 1:17 is that the words spoken beforehand were predictions (ESV = "recall the predictions foretold"). Jude's use of the perfect tense "marks their message as having abiding validity and value." (MacArthur).

Friberg (summary) - (1) in reference to future events foretell, tell beforehand, predict (Acts 1.16); (2) aorist or perfect in reference to what was said previously have already said, have mentioned previously (Gal 5.21)

Proereo - 12x in 12v - NAS Usage: foretold(2), forewarned(1), previously said(1), said before(3), spoken beforehand(2), told...in advance(2), told...before(1). The

Matthew 24:25 "Behold, I have told you in advance.

Mark 13:23 "But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.

Acts 1:16+ "Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.


2Corinthians 7:3 I do not speak to condemn you, for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

2Corinthians 13:2 I have previously said when present the second time, and though now absent I say in advance to those who have sinned in the past and to all the rest as well, that if I come again I will not spare anyone,

Galatians 1:9-note As we have said before (Here proereo refers to an earlier visit by Paul), so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!

Comment: The perfect tense points to the abiding authority of that they had said previously. The verb expresses the communication of authorized Christian teaching.

Galatians 5:21-note envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Comment: In using proereo, Paul is saying in essence that this is not the first time that the Galatians had been told that those who practice sin will receive a sinner's "reward!" To be sure, believers still sin, but they grieve over their sin and desire to fight to do whatever it takes to kill it by the enabling power of the Spirit. It may (often, usually) does "revive" and raise its ugly head on certain days and even in certain seasons of our life, but it is never committed with a whole hearted abandon and without any times of interruption. In short, sin is never a believer's practice.

1 Thessalonians 4:6-note and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

Hebrews 4:7-note He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before (perfect tense = speaks of the abiding effect of what was said in the past), "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS."

2 Peter 3:2-note that you should remember the words spoken beforehand (perfect tense = speaks of the abiding effect of what was said in the past) by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

Jude 1:17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand (perfect tense = speaks of the abiding effect of what was said in the past) by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,

The only use of proereo in the non-apocryphal Septuagint is in Isaiah...speaking of God's omniscience allowing Him to foretell events...

Isaiah 41:26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, "He is right!"? Surely there was no one who declared, Surely there was no one who proclaimed (Hebrew has two verbs rendered by the one Greek verb proereo - Brenton translation = "there is no one that speaks beforehand"), Surely there was no one who heard your words.

Apostles (652)(apostolos from apo = away from + stello = send forth) literally means "sent one" and conveys the basic idea of mission, one who is sent to do a job and associates authority with assignment. Secular Greek writer Demosthenes gives a picture of the meaning of "apostolos" which he used to describe a cargo ship sent out with a load. He also spoke of a naval fleet as "apostles" sent out to accomplish a mission. As an aside, it is clear that Jude does not seem to consider himself to be an apostle.

The NT "definition" of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ was one who had seen the risen Messiah (Acts 1:21-22, 1Cor 9:1) and was appointed by Him to plant the flag of faith in every community to which His master led him. He was Christ's ambassador and spoke with His authority. Summed up an apostle (1) belongs to the One who has sent; (2) is commissioned to be sent out; (3) possesses all the authority and power of the One who sent him.

Wiersbe - Wherever there is the authentic, the counterfeit will appear; this happened in the early church. False apostles and teachers began to appear, and it was necessary to develop a system to protect the church against false prophecies and forged letters. Since Christ had committed “the faith” (Jude 1:3) to His Apostles, one of the main tests in the early church was, “Is this what the Apostles taught?” When the church assembled the New Testament books, it was required that each book be written either by an apostle or by someone closely associated with an apostle. Apostolic teaching was, and still is, the test of truth....Whenever somebody offers you a “new revelation,” test it by what the Apostles wrote and by what Jesus Christ taught. You will soon discover that the “revelation” is a lie. (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

TIMELY ADVICE - I saw a group interacting with others outside my train station—sharing Scriptures with anyone who would listen. A group member approached and asked me to take a survey. One question referred to Revelation 22:17. She asked, “Who do you think is the ‘bride’?” I said, “The church.” She replied, “Read the text carefully. It’s God, the Mother.”

How should we respond in an age when false teaching is prevalent (there’s no teaching of God as mother in Scripture) and not all Bible teachers can be trusted? Jude gave us some timely advice.

First, we’re to remember the words of the apostles who wrote down much of the Word of God in the New Testament (Jude 1:17). They correctly predicted that false teaching would occur. So we shouldn’t be unduly discouraged or fearful when we see false teaching creep into the church. It’s a reality.

Second, we’re to grow in our understanding of God’s Word (Jude 1:20), for the Holy Scriptures are fully authoritative and totally sufficient. Someone said, “The safest Christian is the one who has a desire to grow in the truth of the Christian faith.”

Third, Jude exhorts us to live a life of dependence on God and to live in the sphere of God’s love for us—to dwell on it, to delight in it, to draw on it, and to be cheered on by it (Jude 1:20-21). A person who is full of God’s love won’t be vulnerable to a false teacher’s sales pitch. We can respond to wrong teaching with grace and truth—reaching out with true compassion and godly wisdom (Jude 1:22-23).

Last, but not least, we can rest in the power of God, who will keep us from falling away and to present us faultless (Jude 1:24). These truths can help us resist what is false! by poh fang chia

Jude 1:18 that they were saying to you, "In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.": hoti elegon (3PIAI) humin hoti Ep eschatou tou chronou esontai (3PFMI) empaiktai kata tas heauton epithumias poreuomenoi (PMPMPN) ton asebeion

  • there = Acts 20:29; 1Ti 4:1,2; 2Ti 3:1-5,13; 4:3; 2Pe 2:1; 3:3
  • who = Jude 1:16; Ps 14:1,2

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - They told you beforehand, In the last days (in the end time) there will be scoffers [who seek to gratify their own unholy desires], following after their own ungodly passions.

Barclay "In the last time there will be mockers, whose conduct is governed by their own impious desires."

NET For they said to you, "In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires."

TLB - that in the last times there would come these scoffers whose whole purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable.

Wuest - In the last time there shall be mockers ordering their course of conduct in accordance with their own passionate cravings which are destitute of reverential awe towards God. (Eerdmans Publishing)  

Young's Literal that they said to you, that in the last time there shall be scoffers, after their own desires of impieties going on,


That they were saying to you - Saying is imperfect tense picturing this as a repeated action - over and over they were saying the following words (as an aside, repetition is one of the keys to memorization of what God is saying in His Word. Are you actively memorizing His Word?)

Jude may be quoting the apostle Peter's words spoken beforehand...

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts (2Pe 3:3-note)

What were the mockers mocking? Read on - 2Pe 3:4 makes it clear that these individuals ridicule and treat with contempt the Bible's repeated promise of Jesus' Second Coming, asking “Where is the promise of His coming?"

Hiebert - We accept the priority of 2 Peter and suggest that Jude had read that epistle shortly before he felt constrained to write this letter; as he wrote, Peter’s prediction of the coming “mockers” was vividly recalled. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

In the last (eschatos) time - Peter has in the last days. The writer of Hebrews said "in these last days (God) has spoken to us in His Son." (Heb 1:2-see more detailed discussion of last days) To summarize the discussion of Hebrews 1:2, the last days are the time period between the First and Second Comings of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf Acts 2:17; Gal. 4:4; 2Ti 3:1; Heb 1:2; 1Pe 1:5, 20; 1Jn 2:18-19; James 5:3). This time period overlaps with the period most theologians refer to as the "church age."

Kistemaker on the last times - Scripture teaches that during this period, the forces of evil will become increasingly visible and audible. (Ed: cf Mt 24:6-12)

Related Resource

Constable - The "last time" refers to the end of the historical period that encompasses the church age and the Tribulation. After this "last time" God will rule directly over humankind, first during the Millennium and then in the new heavens and new earth (cf. 1Timothy 4:1; 2Timothy 3:1; et al.). It is the last time in relation to Jesus Christ's return to reign on earth. (Jude - Expository Notes)

There will be mockers - A prophecy that is being fulfilled even in our day (2014)! Mockers have to have something to mock so the implication is that these men are not totally ignorant of what the Bible says (assuming they mock God's promises and God's people who hold to those promises, especially of Christ's return).

Wiersbe - Before Satan can substitute his own lies, he must get rid of the truth of God’s Word. If he cannot argue it away, he will laugh it away, and he can usually find somebody to laugh with him. (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

Guzik - Perhaps Jude had in mind those who mock the idea of Jesus’ return. Or he may mean the kind of men who mock those who don’t go along the same path of destruction they travel on...Those who live according to their own ungodly lusts love to mock those who want to please God. Jude wants Christians to expect this kind of mocking, so they won’t be surprised by it. (Jude - David Guzik's Commentary)

Mockers (1703)(empaiktes from empaizo = to play, dance, mock, deride, scoff <> from en = in + paizo = to play as a child) describes those who make fun of another. They scorn and scoff. They "play like children" (Thayer). They treat with contempt and ridicule things of vital importance.

The root verb empaizo is used 13 times in the NT (Mt 2:16; 20:19; 27:29, 31, 41; Mk 10:34; 15:20, 31; Lk 14:29; Lk 18:32; Lk 22:63; Lk 23:11, 36) and all refer to the mocking of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore little surprise that if evil men mocked Him at His first coming, they would mock His prophetic promise of His Second Coming (2Pe 3:3Jn 14:3). These individuals "trifle" with the things of God dealing with them as if they are of no temporal or eternal import. They show their contempt for Christ's return by ridiculing and deriding that certainty, their derision motivated by their insolence, disrespect, incredulity and desire to justify their ungodly behavior. If you are not looking for Him, you will hardly be motivated to be living for Him!

Jude points out that nothing that has been observed about the false teachers should have taken the believers by surprise. The apostles had given warning (Jude 1:17) that in the end times evil deceivers would come among them. The description of the heretics as mockers indicates that one of their main tactics to gain credibility was to tear down godly leaders.

Constable - The object of the "mockers" mocking seems to be the revealed will of God (cf. Psalms 35:16; Proverbs 14:6; Proverbs 19:25; et al.). (Jude - Expository Notes)

Following (walking) after their own ungodly lusts (cf Jude 1:16 - "following after their own lusts") - This passage brings to mind a slave in chains being led about by a harsh master! Jude had alluded to their ungodly lusts as the driving force of their lives in Jude 1:4, 8, 10, 15, 16, 18-19. By following after their own ungodly lusts, the mockers are making a choice to deliberately reject God's warning word of judgment and opt for a godless lifestyle of sin (one things of the flagrant attack of God's Word regarding marriage of one man and one woman, not to mention the open acceptance of abortion, oft times these babies being the fruit of their ungodly lusts. Remember, God is not mocked and whatever evil seeds individuals and nations sow, they will eventually reap, later and greater! cf Gal 6:7-8-note, Pr 14:34-note)

Wiersbe - The phrase “walking after their own lusts” appears in 2Peter 3:3 and Jude 1:16 and Jude 1:18, and it explains why the apostates deny God’s truth: they do not want God to tell them how to live. They want to satisfy their own sinful desires, and the Word of God condemns their selfish way of life. When a person says, “I have intellectual problems with the Bible,” he probably has moral problems because the Bible contradicts what he is doing. The only sure way to know the truth of the Bible is by obeying it (John 7:17). (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

Following (4198)(poreuomai used in Jude 1:11, 16, 18) means literally going from one place to another, in this case from one passion to another (chasing, journeying). It speaks of their predominant way of conduct, the prevalent course of their life. What a vivid picture of their blatant disregard of God's holy word and His righteous judgment. Note that his is not just an occasional "slip up." The Present tense marks their action as habitual (as their lifestyle) and middle voice conveys a reflexive sense (they themselves following after) = pictures these apostates as initiating this "journey" and participating in the (rotten) fruits thereof. Having rejected the knowledge of God (and right fear of God), they fearlessly seek to indulge their fleshly appetites, advocating permissiveness with total disregard of any impending judgment.

Both Jude and Peter emphasize that the ungodly in the last days, will be almost entirely motivated by self-interest (2Timothy 3:1-note) and will be unconcerned about God's purposes (which is a good working definition of "ungodliness").

Ungodly (plural - more literally "ungodlinesses")(763)(asebeia from a = w/o + sébomai = worship, venerate) means want or lack of reverence or piety toward God (which speaks of one's heart attitude) speaks of a want of reverence and as used in the NT describes those living without regard for God. They conduct themselves in such a way as to effectively deny God's existence and right as Supreme Ruler and Authority.

Ungodly is "at the very end of the statement, underlines the fact that irreverent ungodliness was an inseparable characteristic of these mockers." (Hiebert)

Kistemaker - "For believers the impiety (ungodliness) of these godless people is a sign that the end of the world is near."

Hiebert - The genitive plural (ungodly - asebeia), standing rather awkwardly at the very end of the statement, underlines the fact that irreverent ungodliness was an inseparable characteristic of these mockers. The genitive may be understood as descriptive of their personal lusts, characterized as linked with ungodliness. Or the genitive may be subjective, meaning that their ungodliness was the source that gave rise to their lusts or evil cravings. Thus Williams remarks, “From ungodliness as bad soil grew lusts which were a legitimate product of such soil.” It is equally possible that the genitive is objective, meaning that these mockers are guided by “their own lusts for different manifestations of ungodliness.” The Jerusalem Bible represents this view, “and follow nothing but their own desires for wickedness.” Each of these views of the genitive makes good sense, but the last seems most plausible in view of the plural, “the ungodlinesses.” The view that these mockers are ever intent on experiencing the thrills of new forms of ungodliness is in agreement with Jude’s portrait of them. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Lusts (1939) (epithumia from epi = at, toward {the preposition "epi-" in the compound is directive conveying the picture of "having one’s passion toward" } + thumos = passion; epithumeo = set heart upon) is a neutral term denoting the presence of strong desires or impulses, longings or passionate craving (whether it is good or evil is determined by the context) directed toward an object. Most NT uses of epithumia are like this use in Jude and describe strong desires which are perverted and unrestrained and which originate from our SIN (flesh) nature, which is corrupt and fallen.

Hiebert has an interesting note on epithumia writing that the "degeneration in the meaning of the term (epithumia from God given desires to perverted desires) is a revealing commentary on human nature. Left to himself, instead of gaining mastery over his base desires and steadfastly adhering to the good, the individual is characteristically overcome by his evil cravings, so that they become the dominating force of his life." (Hiebert, D. Edmond: 1 Peter. Page 94. Moody)

Barclay - They mock at goodness and their conduct is governed by their own evil desires. The two things go together. These opponents of Jude had two characteristics, as we have already seen. They believed the body, being matter, was evil; and that, therefore, it made no difference if a man sated its desires. Further, they argued that, since grace could forgive any sin, sin did not matter. These heretics had a third characteristic. They believed that they were the advanced thinkers; and they regarded those who observed the old moral standards as old-fashioned and out of date. That point of view is by no means dead. There are still those who believe that the once--accepted standards of morality and fidelity, especially in matters of sex, are quite out of date. There is a terrible text in the Old Testament: "The fool says in his heart, There is no God" (Ps 53:1). In that text fool does not mean the brainless man; it means the man who is playing the fool. And the fact that he says there is no God is entirely due to wishful thinking. He knows that, if there is a God, he is wrong and can look for judgment; therefore, he eliminates him. In the last analysis those who eliminate the moral law and give free rein to their passions and desires, do so because they want to do as they like. They listen to themselves instead of listening to God--and they forget that there will come a day when they will be compelled to listen to him. (Daily Study Bible)

Spurgeon observed that this is "A prophecy which has been abundantly fulfilled. You need not go far to find them; they come in the form of living men, and they swarm in the form of their books. They are to be met with almost everywhere; like the locusts, they fill the air, and hide the light of the sun: “There shall come in the last days scoffers” Every time a blasphemer opens his mouth to deny the truth of revelation, he will help to confirm us in our conviction of the very truth which he denies. The Holy Ghost told us by the pen of Peter that it would be so."

Ulrich Zwingli - Jude foresaw the coming of mockers in the last time who would walk after their own lusts and godlessness, and having the Spirit. And by their deeds we see clearly that they have no hope, for they rage furiously and live shamelessly and desire inordinately and persecute arrogantly and seize and grasp everything that they can plunder or steal or gain. All these things are tokens of their godlessness and despair. Like their father the devil, they are harsh toward everybody, refuse the joy and consolation of salvation, and despise every warning that might turn them from error. They will not retain God in their knowledge. So they begin to experience already that eternal perdition that in the world to come they will fulfill eternally.

William Culbertson...In the last days mockers will come - Sometimes those of us who hold that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming again are spoken of as pessimists. I think it can be truly said that we are really the only ones who have any right to be optimistic. (William Culbertson)

Scoffers - A recent cartoon depicts a man at his desk looking at a computer screen, while outside his open office window another man is flying past, having just jumped from the top of the building. The man at the desk says to the jumper, “Tough luck, Conners. The market has gone up 1,200 points since you jumped.” So much for assuming that things will always be the way they are right now. As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change, and you would think that people would know better than to risk their eternal future on the assumption that nothing is going to change. But that’s exactly what doubters and skeptics have been doing since the earliest days of Christianity. “Scoffers” choose to forget or ignore the fact that God has kept His word in history and will do so again. God judged the world in the flood of Noah, and the world is scheduled for judgment again when Christ returns.

QUESTION - What does it mean that there will be scoffers in the last days?

ANSWER - Two passages in the Bible say that “in the last days, scoffers will come.” Second Peter 3:3 and Jude 1:18 both explain what that means. A “scoffer” in this context is one who mocks Christ, ridicules the things of God, and opposes the gospel. Both Peter and Jude were writing warnings against false teachers who were intent on leading others astray. The word scoffer refers to one who denies the truths of Scripture and entices others to go along with his error.

Scoffers have been present since the Garden of Eden. Satan’s first temptation of man was in the form of scoffing at God’s command: “Did God really say—?” (Genesis 3:1). Scoffers dominated Noah’s day (Genesis 6:5–8; Hebrews 11:7), leaving God with little choice but to destroy them all and start over with Noah, the only righteous man on earth. Scoffers refuse to believe the word of the Lord and set themselves up as their own gods (2 Chronicles 36:16). The psalmist warns against the digression that leads from casual association with wicked people to sitting “in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1, ESV), embracing their worldview—and sharing their fate.

Although scoffers have always been a part of this fallen world, Scripture seems to indicate that, as the Day of the Lord draws nearer, the scoffing will increase. Peter describes these scoffers as “following their own evil desires” (2 Peter 3:3) and questioning the second coming of the Lord Jesus (verse 4). Thousands of years have passed since Jesus ascended into heaven, promising to return for His faithful ones (John 14:1–4; Revelation 22:12). Scoffers point out the lapse of time and mock those who still wait and yearn for His appearing (2 Timothy 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:7).

Jude describes the scoffers of the last days as people who follow ungodly desires and create division in the church (Jude 1:18). They may even present themselves as church leaders, but they “do not have the Spirit” (verse 19). Paul goes into more detail about the condition of the world before Jesus returns: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people” (2 Timothy 3:1–5). Scoffers will fit right in with such a crowd.

We already see an increase of scoffers in our world today, and several factors may be contributing to that rise. Constant access to media, the internet, and other forms of technology provide an open platform for anyone with an opinion, and scoffing at everything once thought honorable is a favorite pastime. Scoffers are emboldened on social media by others who can instantly approve of their mockery. Many people are educated beyond their intelligence, and this new world without moral boundaries is producing scoffers instead of thinkers. Many try to use scientific training to say that, since the reality of the Creator God cannot be proved by man’s understanding, God must not exist. In rejecting Scripture, mankind has lost its moral compass, leaving us with no way to determine right or wrong, good or bad, truth or lie. In this climate, anyone who claims to know the truth is a prime target for scoffers.

Arrogance leads to scoffing, much as it did before the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1–4). When people become puffed up with their own importance, they begin to challenge anything that threatens their high opinion of themselves. Once we have removed the idea of God from consideration, then anything goes. Scoffers have tried to redefine marriage, obliterate gender binarism, and create a fantasy world in which reality becomes whatever we feel it is. Not long ago, such a mindset was the definition of insanity. Now we are told it is the ultimate wisdom. Romans 1:21–22 has never been more relevant: “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.”

The proliferation of scoffers is a sign of the last days. They profess themselves to be wise, but they are really fools (Psalm 14:1). Regardless of the eschatological timeline one prefers, we can all agree that the number of scoffers and deceivers is increasing rapidly, just as Scripture warned us it would (2 John 1:7). It is critically important that every Christian take seriously the commands to study and meditate on God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15; Joshua 1:8) so that we won’t be led astray by the lofty-sounding ideas presented to us by scoffers (2 Corinthians 10:5). GotQuestions.org

Jude 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.: houtoi eisin (3PPAI) oi apodiorizontes (PAPMPN) psucikoi pneuma me echontes (PAPMPN)

  • who = Pr 18:1; Isa 65:5; Ezek 14:7; Hos 4:14; 9:10; Heb 10:25
  • sensual = 1Co 2:14+; Jas 3:15 Jn 3:5,6; Ro 8:9; 1Co 6:19
  • Spurgeon's Sermon - The Holy Spirit and the One Church

Click for over 60 versions of this verse.

Amplified - It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life.

Barclay These are the people who set up divisions--fleshly creatures, without the Spirit.

NET These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

Wuest - These are those who cause divisions, egocentric, not holding the spirit.  (Eerdmans Publishing

These are the ones - Pause and ask "Who are these?" It is not a difficult question, but as you develop this "discipline" (habit), you will find yourselves more frequently examining the context (See Keep Context King) and in so doing you are beginning to practice meditation and allowing your Teacher, the Spirit, to better illuminate the true meaning of the text (1Cor 2:10-13).

The Apostle Paul alluded to "divisions" using a different verb (apospao instead of apodiorizo) in his parting address to the elders of the church at Ephesus warning them that...

from among your own selves men will arise (an "inside job" - cp "crept in unnoticed" = Jude 1:4), speaking (present tense = continually!) perverse (diastrepho = corrupted, distorted, "crooked") things, to draw away (apospao = lure away, attract away) the disciples (mathetes) after them. (Acts 20:30-note)

How or why will the disciples be drawn away? Clearly it is because they hear men they know and trust speaking attractive words which lure them away from the Truth of God's Word. "Their appeal is usually, “We have a deeper knowledge of the Word that your church doesn’t have! We have a better understanding of prophecy, or of the Christian life, than you do.” They offer a “higher quality” religion than that of the Apostles." (Wiersbe)

Cause divisions (592)(apodiorizo from apó = from dia = through + horos = a boundary line; cf diorízo = to divide by limits, to separate) means to mark off, to put a boundary between, and here to separate one from another “by drawing boundaries to disjoin." The present tense indicates that this is their continual practice and the active voice indicates that it is a choice of their will. The in a sense "draw a line through the church and set off one part from another." (Vincent)

Jude uses this verb apodiorizo to emphasize that these apostates are not uniters but dividers. They make a division by drawing a line so to speak through the church and setting off one from another. This verb is used only here in New Testament.

TDNT - This rare double compound means "to define more exactly" in Aristotle. It might bear this sense in Jude 1:18-19 if the sense is that false teachers engage in endless definition. But the more likely meaning is that they cause divisions in antithesis to the true task of edification (Jude 1:20). Thus in 2Pe 2:1-note the heretics introduce destructive teachings, and often the NT castigates the spirit of contention or division (Ga. 5:20-note; 1Ti 4:1ff.).

John Trapp - animal; such as have no more than a reasonable soul, and are yet in their pure naturals, 1Corinthians 2:14+, and by their profane practices animas etiam incarnaverunt, have turned their very spirits into a lump of flesh.

Kistemaker - Obviously, their purpose is to create schisms and factions, which is the common practice of people who proclaim heresies.


Guzik - Sensual in this context has nothing to do with sexual attractiveness. It describes the person who lives only by and for what they can get through their physical senses, and they live this way selfishly. Their motto is, “If it feels good, do it” or, “How can it be wrong if it feels so right?” Who cause divisions: These certain men had an instinct to separate themselves and make divisions. “The word, found only once in the Bible, denotes those superior people who keep themselves to themselves - Christian Pharisees (Ed: Pharisee - Greek pharisaios = signifying to separate, owing to a different manner of life from that of the general public.).” (Green) (Jude - David Guzik's Commentary)

Worldly minded (KJV = Sensual) (5591)(psuchikos from psuche = soul) is literally "soulish" and pertains to the natural man versus the spiritual nature of man. Psuchikos means soulish, with affinity to natural sinful propensities, the person in whom the sarx, the flesh, is more the ruling principle even as psuchikós and psuche is for the animalistic instincts. Psuche is the nonphysical element which makes one alive, conscious of the environment, and is to be distinguished from pneuma or spirit, which is a distinctive of man as the element of communication with God.

Friberg summary of psuchikos = of life in the natural world and what pertains to it; (1) as governed by sensual appetites and lived apart from the Spirit of God natural, unspiritual, worldly (1Cor 2.14; Jude 1:19); (2) as being a characteristic of the earthly body physical, natural (1Cor 15.44); neuter as a substantive - what is physical (1Cor 15.46). Jude calls the teachers of error worldly (lit. ‘psychic’) people, who do not have the Spirit.

Vine commenting on psuchikos - In 1Cor 2:14+, psuchikos, natural, belonging to the soul (psuche), the lower part of the immaterial in man, describes the man as "in Adam" and what pertains to him. So also in 1Cor 15:44+ (2x), 1Cor 15:46. In James 3:15, psuchikos is rendered "sensual" (natural), referring to a wisdom springing from the sensual desires and affections (as in Jude 1:19). Such a man rejects the things of the Spirit as being unintelligible (1Cor 2:14+) or even distasteful. The motives which actuate the natural man rise no higher than the level of merely human needs and desires. In 1Cor 15:44+ natural (psuchikos) might be translated "soul governed." The natural body is subject to the laws and conditions of the soul; it is an organism by which, through the soul, the self is expressed and developed and enters into relation with others. (Adapted from Collected Writings).

Cleon Rogers on Psuchikos = soulish, pertaining to the soul or life, pertaining to behavior which is typical of human nature, in contrast with that which is under the control of God’s Spirit (1Cor 2:14+). It describes the natural man who does not possess the Holy Spirit. It pertains to the natural life of men and animals alike; unspiritual (James 3:15) In Jude 1:19 psuchikos means worldly-minded. The word implies that these men follow their natural lusts and appetites without restraint or control. (New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)

BDAG says psuchikos pertains "to the life of the natural world and whatever belongs to it, in contrast to the realm of experience whose central characteristic is pneuma, natural, unspiritual, worldly....an unspiritual person, one who merely functions bodily, without being touched by the Spirit of God (1Cor 2:14+). A physical body (1Cor 15:44+). The wisdom that does not come from above is unspiritual (James 3:15). The physical in contrast to the spiritual (pneumatikos) (1Cor 15:46)

Hiebert - “Sensual” (psuchikoi), more literally, “soulish,” that which pertains to the “soul,” depicts them as men who are governed only by their “soul,” the self-conscious life which animates their bodies. In Biblical usage this adjective relates to “the life of the natural world and whatever belongs to it, in contrast to the supernatural world.” The term does not refer to the gross lusts of the flesh but rather relates to the powers and endowments of unregenerated human nature, man as he is in Adam....In terms of the threefold division of man’s being in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “spirit and soul and body,” this adjective characterizes that part of man’s nonmaterial being which he has in common with the animal world, human life in its earthly relations. Jude’s expression stamps these men as being governed by their natural powers and impulses rather than by their “spirit,” which is the recipient of the Holy Spirit uniting man to God. (Second Peter-Jude: An Expositional Commentary)

Barclay (commenting on 1Cor 2:14+) - Even then it is not every man who can understand these things. Paul speaks about interpreting spiritual things to spiritual people. He distinguishes two kinds of men. (a) There are those who are pneumatikos. Pneuma is the word for Spirit; and the man who is pneumatikos is the man who is sensitive to the Spirit and whose life is guided by the Spirit. (b) There is the man who is psuchikos. Psuche in Greek is often translated soul; but that is not its real meaning. It is the principle of physical life. Everything which is alive has psuche; a dog, a cat, any animal has psuche, but it has not got pneuma. Psuche is that physical life which a man shares with every living thing; but pneuma is that which makes a man different from the rest of creation and kin to God. So in 1Cor 2:14+ Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He is the man who lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things. (His interests and aims do not go beyond physical life). A man who thinks that nothing is more important than the satisfaction of the sex urge cannot understand the meaning of chastity; a man who ranks the amassing of material things as the supreme end of life cannot understand generosity; and a man who has never a thought beyond this world cannot understand the things of God. To him they look mere foolishness. No man need be like this; but if he stifles "the immortal longings" that are in his soul he may make himself like this so that the Spirit of God will speak and he will not hear. It is easy to become so involved in the world that there exists nothing beyond it. We must pray to have the mind of Christ, for only when he dwells within us are we safe from the encroaching invasion of the demands of material things. (1 Corinthians - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible) (Bolding added)

Distinguish the following Greek words from psuchikos...

  1. pneumatikos = renovated nature;
  2. phusikos = "physical," instinctive, bestial nature

Distinguish two types of bodies as described in 1Co 15:44+

  1. psuchikón = body governed by the soulish, natural, fallen instincts
  2. pneumatikón = spiritual, governed by divine quality in man, the spirit.

A sensual person is governed by sensual appetites and is living apart from the Spirit of God. Sensual is he opposite of spiritual. These men to which Jude refers think and act not like spiritual men but like natural men (See Vincent's note on psuches - soul)

Psuchikos - 6x in 5v - NAS Usage: natural(5), worldly-minded(1). In OT, only in 4Macc 1:32.

1 Corinthians 2:14+ But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

1 Corinthians 15:44+ it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

1 Corinthians 15:46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.

James 3:15+ This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic.

Hiebert - Psuchikos here refers to "used of the worldly wisdom that springs from the mental and emotional impulses of fallen humanity and is marked by its depravity.

Jude 1:19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.

Comment: Here psuchikos implies that these men follow their natural lusts and appetites without restraint or control.

NET Note adds on psuchikos as used here - Or "natural," that is, living on the level of instincts, not on a spiritual level (the same word occurs in 1Cor 2:14+ as a description of nonbelievers).

Salmond - The Spirit of God was not in the lives or the thoughts of these men, and hence they were creators of division, and sensual. Their pretension was that they were the eminently spiritual. But in refusing the Divine Spirit they had sunk to the level of an animal life, immoral in itself, and productive of confusion to the Church. (Jude - The Pulpit Commentary)

Matthew Henry - Jude guards them against seducers by a further description of their odious character: Sensualists are the worst separatists. They separate themselves from God, and Christ, and His church, to the world, the flesh and the devil , by their ungodly courses and vicious practices...Sensual men have not the Spirit, that is, of God and Christ, the Spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, is none of Christ's, does not belong to him, Ro 8:9. (Jude - Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary)

MacArthur - With a certain deference to Greek philosophy, Jude depicted the false teachers in strictly physical terms. His materialistic description exposed them for who they really were—religious terrorists who lacked such internal qualities as a proper self-perception, the ability to reason, and a true knowledge of God. Even though the false teachers claimed a transcendental understanding of God, they did not know Him at all—they were devoid of the Spirit (cf. Jn 3:5; Ro 8:9; 1Jn 3:24; 4:13). The truth is that they were physically alive but, because they had never been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, they were spiritually dead. They were religious frauds who paid lip service to faith and spiritual life but denied such claims by their actions. As Paul told Titus, “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed” (Titus 1:16-note) (2Peter and Jude MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Vincent - As psuche denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence, "the centre of the personal being, the I of each individual," so the adjective (psuchikos) derived from it denotes what pertains to man as man, the natural personality as distinguished from the renewed man. So 1Corinthians 2:14+; 1 Cor 15:44+ (see Vincent's note on 1Cor 15:44). The rendering sensual, here and James 3:15, is inferential: sensual because natural and unrenewed In contrast with this is life in the Spirit. (Jude - Vincent's Word Studies) "The word (Psuche) is often used in the New Testament in its original meaning of life. See Mt 2:20; 20:28; Acts 20:10; Ro 11:3; Jn 10:11. Hence, as an emphatic designation of the man himself. See Mt 12:18; Heb 10:38; Lk 21:19. So that the word denotes “life in the distinctness of individual existence” (Cremer). (Mark 12)

Henry Alford - The psuche is the centre 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, downward by the other. He who gives himself up to the lower appetites, is sarkikos (fleshly): he who by communion of his pneuma (spirit) with God’s Spirit is employed in the higher aims of his being, is pneumatikos (spiritual). He who rests midway, thinking only of self and self’s interests, whether animal or intellectual, is the psuchikos (sensual), the selfish man, the man in whom the spirit is sunk and degraded into subordination to the subordinate psuche (soul). In the lack of any adequate word, I have retained the ‘sensual’ of E.V., though the impression which it gives is a wrong one: ‘selfish’ would be as bad, for the psuchikos may be an amiable and generous man: ‘animal’ would be worse, ‘intellectual,’ worse still. If the word were not so ill-looking in our language, ‘psychic’ would be a great gain.”

Wuest translates psuchikos as "unspiritual" with this amplification - "having to do with the natural, physical existence as over against the spiritual world of the supernatural." That's a good description of worldly wisdom but take time to read Johnstone's explanation below to get a fuller sense of what James intends by using psuchikos to describe earthly wisdom. (Wuest Word Studies - Eerdman Publishing Company Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3 - used by permission)

Robert Johnstone in his commentary on the Epistle of James has an excellent extended explanation of the meaning of natural (sensual) wisdom in the sense it is used in James 3:15+ and here in Jude 1:19. It is long but worth reading (I had to read it twice).

The wisdom which displays itself in bitterness (and alas, brethren, in the history of the church of Christ, how often has fancied wisdom displayed itself in bitterness! how much of real knowledge and mental power has been wasted in such bitterness!)—this wisdom is not from heaven; but as it displays itself on earth, so it is also of ‘earthly’ origin. And, being ‘earthly,’ it is ‘sensual.’ (NATURAL) The word so translated occurs in the New Testament several times, but is rendered ‘sensual’ only here and in a verse in Jude, where ‘mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts,’ (Jude 1:18+) are described as ‘worldly-minded (psuchikos), devoid of the Spirit’ (Jude 1:19+).
           Elsewhere the rendering is ‘natural,’ as in the contrast between the ‘natural body’ and the ‘spiritual body’ in 1 Cor. 15:44 ("it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.")., and in the statement in the second chapter of the same epistle, that ‘a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God (1 Cor 2:14+). According to its derivation, the original word strictly means ‘belonging to the soul.’ The contrast with spirit and the spiritual, which is expressed in the passages that I have quoted from First Corinthians and from Jude, and implied in that now before us, is the key to the exact meaning. Sometimes in Scripture, as commonly among ourselves, man is spoken of as consisting of a body and a soul, in which case ‘soul’ is used in the widest sense. Sometimes, however, we have three constituent elements mentioned or alluded to—the body, soul, and spirit. According to this division, the ‘soul’ comprehends only those energies and capacities of mind and heart which have to do with the world known by our bodily senses,—man’s mental and emotional nature in so far merely as he is the highest of the animals—an animal able to buy and sell, as the beaver can build a hut and a dam; the ‘spirit’ is that highest power of a rational being by which it can apprehend the idea of God, and hold communion with Him,—by which through faith it can live under the influences of an unseen world.
          The ‘spirit’ should be the governing principle, holding the whole nature under a firm and healthful sway. But, as you know, brethren, in man, as he now is by nature, the spirit is darkened, perverted, and weakened; it is dethroned through sin; and only the enlightening and strengthening energy of God’s Spirit can enable our spirits to take their rightful dignity and rule. Where the spirit does not rule, the soul—that is, as we have seen, the mental and emotional nature in so far as it is occupied with the world open to the senses—tends to become ever more and more subject to the lowest element of our constitution, the appetites of the body. Hence the Apostle Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans, distinguishes all men into two classes—those who are ‘in the flesh,’ and those who are ‘in the spirit;’ the standard on which the division is based being that which I have now indicated: ‘Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you’ (Ro 8:9+). You see, then, that when James here calls the wisdom that bore bitter wranglings as its fruit a wisdom of the soul,’ with an implied and well understood contrast to that wisdom of the spirit which ought to regulate all the thoughts and feelings, words and actions, of Christians, he means that it belongs entirely to the lower elements of our nature, and that its characteristics are simply those of the wisdom belonging to the men of the world, whose aim is personal honour and aggrandisement. The words which this wisdom utters may be of God’s glory, but their real aim is man’s glory. Its plans and procedure have all reference to self and to this world of the senses, though the subjects it discusses may belong to the invisible world, the world known to faith. Rightly understood, then, brethren, you cannot but feel how searching and scathing this word of the apostle is; and it is interesting to notice, that the very same tempers which are here denounced as unspiritual, merely ‘of the soul,’ are those which the Apostle Paul specifies as peculiarly grieving to that Divine Spirit through whose indwelling alone man’s spirit has rule over his lower nature.

Grieve not (present imperative with a negative) the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you’ (Eph. 4:30–32+).

From the completeness with which the distinction between soul and spirit has been lost to our modern thought, it seems impossible to give the idea of the word before us exactly in any translation. ‘Sensual’ and ‘animal’ suggest too exclusively the action of the very lowest propensities of our nature, though, as we have seen, the tendency of the ‘soul,’ when ungoverned by the ‘spirit,’ is steadily towards subjection to these. Perhaps, on the whole, ‘natural,’ in its well understood opposition to ‘spiritual,’ is the best word.  (Lectures Exegetical and Practical on the Epistle of James)(Bold added)


Devoid of the Spirit (pneuma) (Literally = "the Spirit not having") - This statement is shorthand for an unbeliever because every believer has the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:9+)! They lack the indwelling Holy Spirit and thus lack the higher spiritual life. The adjective pneumatikos, spiritual, is everywhere in the New Testament opposed to psuchikos, natural. See 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46. Believers on the other hand were "praying in the Holy Spirit" (Jude 1:20), something these men could not do! What does the Spirit do? He unifies (Eph 4:3), but their lack of the Spirit causes them to divide the Body. They have no capacity for understanding the things of God.

Wiersbe - Because the false teachers (Ed: Although Jude never specifically identifies them as such) do not have the Spirit of God, they much function on their natural soul power alone. One of the tragedies in ministry today is that some of God’s people cannot discern between “soul ministry” and the true ministry of the Spirit. There is so much “religious showmanship” these days that the saints are confused and deceived. Just as there was “false fire” in the tabernacle (Lev. 10:1ff-note), so there is “false fire” today in the church; therefore we must exercise careful discernment. How can we discern between the “soulish” and the “spiritual”? By using the Word of God which is able to divide soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12-note); and by paying close attention to the witness of the Spirit of God within (Ro 8:16-note). A “soulish” ministry magnifies man, but the Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ. When the Spirit is ministering through the Word, there is edification; but when the soul is merely “manufacturing” a ministry, there is entertainment or, at best, only intellectual education. It takes the Spirit of God to minister to our spirits and to make us more like Jesus Christ. (cf 2Cor 3:18-note) (Be Alert 2 Peter, 2 & 3 John, Jude- Beware of the Religious Impostors)

Guzik has a piercing, painful comment to the modern church regarding "devoid of the Spirit" - This same description could be written over many churches, or church projects, or evangelism campaigns, or home groups, or even individual Christian lives. The church and the world truly need genuinely spiritual men and women today. (Jude- David Guzik's Commentary)

Trapp on devoid of the Spirit - Unless it be the spirit of delusion!

Barclay summarizes this picture - We can now see how cleverly Jude deals with these people who say that the rest of the world are the psuchikoi, while they are the pneumatikoi. Jude takes their words and reverses them. "It is you," he thunders at them, "who are the psuchikoi, the flesh-dominated; it is you who possess no pneuma, no real knowledge and no experience of God." Jude is saying to these people that, although they think themselves the only truly religious people, they have no real religion at all. Those whom they despise are, in fact, much better than they are themselves. The truth about these so-called intellectual and spiritual people was that they desired to sin and twisted religion into a justification for sin. (Jude - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)


Go to Jude 1:20 Commentary