Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO JUDE\\

That this epistle was written by Jude, one of the twelve apostles of
Christ, and not by Jude the fifteenth bishop of Jerusalem, who lived
in the time of Trojan, a little before Bar Cocab, the false Messiah,
as Grotius thought, is evident from his being called, in the epistle
itself, the brother of James, and which is confirmed by all copies;
and its agreement with the second epistle of Peter shows it to have
been written about the same time, and upon the same occasion. As to
Jude's not calling himself an apostle, but a servant of Jesus Christ,
it may be observed, that the latter is much the same with the former,
and the Apostle Paul sometimes uses them both, as in \\#Ro 1:1\\
\\#Tit 1:1\\, and sometimes neither, as \\#1Th 1:1 2Th 1:1 Phm 1:1\\, and
sometimes only servant, as Jude does here, \\#Php 1:1\\, though in some
copies of the title of this epistle he is called "Jude the Apostle";
and as to Jude's making mention of the apostles as if he was later
than they, and not of their number, \\#Jude 1:17\\, it may be returned
for answer to it, that the Apostle Peter expresses himself much in
the same manner, \\#2Pe 3:2\\, where some copies, instead of "us the
apostles", read "your apostles", \\see Gill on "2Pe 3:2"\\; moreover, Jude
seems to cite a passage out of Peter, as Peter in the same chapter
cites the Apostle Paul, which only shows agreement in their doctrine
and writing; and at most it only follows from hence, that Jude wrote
after some of the apostles, as Paul and Peter, who had foretold
there would be mockers in the last time; and that Jude had lived to
be a witness of the truth of what they had said; nor does he exclude
himself from their number. And that this epistle is a genuine one
appears from the majesty of its style, the truth of doctrine
contained in it, and its agreement with the second epistle of Peter,
and from the early reception of it in the churches. Eusebius {a}
says, it was reckoned among the seven catholic epistles, and was
published in most churches; though he observes, that many of the
ancients make no mention of it: but certain it is, that several of
the ancient writers before him do make mention of it, and cite it as
genuine, as Clemens Alexandrinus {b}, Tertullian {c}, and Origen
{d}: and as for the prophecy of Enoch, cited in this epistle, it is
not taken out of an apocryphal book, that bears that name, for the
apostle makes no mention of any writing of his, but of a prophecy;
and had he cited it out of that book, as it was truth, it can no
more prejudice the authority of this epistle, than the citations
made by the Apostle Paul out of the Heathen poets can affect his
epistles: and whereas there is an account also given in this epistle
of a dispute about the body of Moses, nowhere else to be met with,
supposing it to be understood of his real body, of which
\\see Gill on "Jude 1:9"\\; this can be no more an objection to the
genuineness of this epistle, than the mention of Jannes and Jambres,
who withstood Moses, by the Apostle Paul, \\#2Ti 3:8\\, is an objection
to an epistle of his, whose names are not to be met with in other parts
of Scripture; but were what were known by tradition, as might be the
case here. The epistle is called "catholic", or "general", because it
is not written to any particular person or church, but to the saints in
general, and it may be to the same persons that Peter wrote his; see
\\#1Pe 1:1 2Pe 1:1\\, and who seem to be chiefly the believing Jews;
see \\#Jude 1:5,17\\, though the Syriac version of \\#Jude 1:1\\ reads,
"Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ"--\^ammel\^, "to the nations", or
"Gentiles, called" the design of the epistle to both is to exhort
them to continue in the faith, and contend for it; and to describe
false teachers, to point out their principles, practices, and dreadful
end, that so they might shun and avoid them.

{a} Hist. Eccles. l. 2. c. 23.
{b} Paedagog. l. 3. c. 8. p. 239. & Stromat. l. 3. p. 431.
{c} De Cultu Foemin. l. 1. c. 3.
{d} In Josh. Homil. 7. fol. 156. E. & Comment, in Matth. p. 223. Ed.
Huet.

\\INTRODUCTION TO JUDE 1\\

The writer of this epistle describes himself by his name, Jude; by
his spiritual condition, "a servant of Christ"; and by his natural
relation, "a brother of James"; and inscribes it to persons chosen
of God, secured in Christ, and called by grace, \\#Jude 1:1\\, whom he
salutes, and wishes a multiplication of mercy, peace, and love unto,
\\#Jude 1:2\\, and then points at the subject matter of his epistle,
"the common salvation"; and his view in writing it, which was to
exhort them to contend earnestly for, the Gospel; which exhortation
was necessary, since some reprobate and wicked men, abusers of the
grace of God, and blasphemers of the person of Christ, had got in
among them, \\#Jude 1:3,4\\, and in order to deter them from following
their pernicious ways, he lays before them various instances of
divine vengeance on sinners; as the Israelites, whom God delivered
out of Egypt, and yet destroyed them for their unbelief; the angels,
who not content with their first estate, forsook their habitation,
and are reserved in chains of darkness to the day of judgment; and
the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, and the adjacent cities, who
for their uncleanness suffer the vengeance of eternal fire, as an
example to others, \\#Jude 1:5-7\\, in like manner, the apostle
observes, these false teachers, who were filthy dreamers, defiled
themselves with such sins, and also despised and spoke evil of civil
magistrates, \\#Jude 1:8\\, which sin of theirs is aggravated by Michael
the archangel not railing at the devil, in a contention with him
about the body of Moses, but gently reproving him; by speaking evil
of what they were ignorant of, and by their brutish sensuality, in
corrupting: themselves in things they had natural knowledge of,
\\#Jude 1:9,10\\, and both their sin and punishment are exemplified in
the cases of Cain, Balaam, and Korah; being guilty of hatred of the
brethren, of covetousness, and of contradiction, \\#Jude 1:11\\, and by
various metaphors are set forth their intemperance, hypocrisy,
instability, unfruitfulness, pride, wrath, and lust, for whom the
blackest darkness is reserved for ever, \\#Jude 1:12,13\\, the certainty
of which is proved from an ancient prophecy of Enoch, concerning the
coming of Christ to judgment, when vengeance will be taken on those
men for their ungodly deeds and hard speeches, \\#Jude 1:14,15\\,
who are further described by their murmurs and complaints; by their
pride, respect of persons, and covetousness; by their scoffs, and
walking after their own lusts, as had been foretold by the apostles
of Christ; by separating themselves from the saints, and by their
sensuality, and not having the Spirit of God, \\#Jude 1:17-19\\,
and the apostle having thus at large described these false
teachers, by reason of whom the saints were in danger, directs them
to the use of means by which they might be secured from them; such
as building themselves up in their most holy faith, praying in the
holy Ghost, keeping themselves in the love of God, and looking for
the mercy of Christ unto eternal life, \\#Jude 1:20,21\\, and he
teaches them not only to be concerned for themselves, but for others
also, who were in danger from these deceivers; to deal with some in
a tender and compassionate way, with others more roughly, expressing
an hatred to a filthy conversation, \\#Jude 1:22,23\\, and then the
epistle is concluded with a doxology, or an ascription of glory to
the only wise God our Saviour, who is able to keep his people from
falling into such pernicious principles and practices, and to
present them faultless before his glorious presence with exceeding
joy, \\#Jude 1:24,25\\.