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Similarly, these dreamers[a] nevertheless also defile the flesh, scorn lordship, and revile glorious beings. Yet the archangel Michael, when he argued with the devil in a dispute over the body of Moses, did not venture to pronounce a reviling judgment[b] upon him but said, “May the Lord rebuke you!”(A) 10 But these people revile what they do not understand and are destroyed by what they know by nature like irrational animals.(B) 11 Woe to them!(C) They followed the way of Cain, abandoned themselves to Balaam’s error for the sake of gain, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.[c] 12 These are blemishes on your love feasts,[d] as they carouse fearlessly and look after themselves. They are waterless clouds blown about by winds, fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead and uprooted.(D) 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shameless deeds, wandering stars for whom the gloom of darkness has been reserved forever.

14 [e]Enoch, of the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied also about them when he said,(E) “Behold, the Lord has come with his countless holy ones 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict everyone for all the godless deeds that they committed and for all the harsh words godless sinners have uttered against him.” 16 These people are complainers, disgruntled ones who live by their desires; their mouths utter bombast as they fawn over people to gain advantage.(F)

Exhortations. 17 But you, beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,(G) 18 for they told you,(H) “In [the] last time there will be scoffers who will live according to their own godless desires.”[f] 19 These are the ones who cause divisions; they live on the natural plane, devoid of the Spirit.(I)

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Footnotes

  1. 8 Dreamers: the writer returns to the false teachers of Jude 4, applying charges from the three examples in Jude 5, 6, 7. This may apply to claims they make for revelations they have received by night (to the author, hallucinations). Defile the flesh: this may mean bodily pollutions from the erotic dreams of sexual license (Jude 7). Lordship…glorious beings: these may reflect the Lord (Jude 5; Jesus, Jude 4) whom they spurn and the angels (Jude 6; cf. note on 2 Pt 2:10, here, as there, literally, “glories”).
  2. 9 The archangel Michael…judgment: a reference to an incident in the apocryphal Assumption of Moses. Dt 34:6 had said of Moses, literally in Greek, “they buried him” or “he (God?) buried him” (taken to mean “he was buried”). The later account tells how Michael, who was sent to bury him, was challenged by the devil’s interest in the body. Our author draws out the point that if an archangel refrained from reviling even the devil, how wrong it is for mere human beings to revile glorious beings (angels).
  3. 11 Cain…Balaam…Korah: examples of rebellious men and of the punishment their conduct incurred; cf. Gn 4:8–16; Nm 16:1–35; 31:16. See note on 2 Pt 2:15.
  4. 12 Blemishes on your love feasts: or “hidden rocks” or “submerged reefs” (cf. Jude 13). The opponents engaged in scandalous conduct in connection with community gatherings called love feasts (agape meals), which were associated with eucharistic celebrations at certain stages of early Christian practice; cf. 1 Cor 11:18–34 and the note on 2 Pt 2:13.
  5. 14–15 Cited from the apocryphal Book of Enoch 1:9.
  6. 18 This is the substance of much early Christian preaching rather than a direct quotation of any of the various New Testament passages on this theme (see Mk 13:22; Acts 20:30; 1 Tm 4:1–3; 2 Pt 3:3).

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