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Third Millennium Study Bible
Notes on Jude 1:13-16

Wandering star - Jude 1:13

For the phrase, "wild waves of the sea" see Isaiah 57:20. Wild waves are forceful and unpredictable (cf. Jas. 1:6). They pick up foam and debris from numerous sources. Such is false teaching, it is forceful - kidnaps and murders - and it is unpredictable, as it picks up debris from numerous other false teachings and foams "up their shame." Davids says:

Like a stormy sea they spew out foam and debris, but at this point Jude drops the metaphor. What they are "foaming up" is "their shame." While the literature debates whether the "shame" is their deeds or their words, both could be in Judes mind, for with these teachers there is no charge of inconsistency of word and deed.

Wandering stars are references to meteors, shooting stars, comets or, most probably, planets. Either the opponents' teaching was ephemeral (lasting a short time, like the light of a shooting star) or untrustworthy and useless (as when an unpredictable heavenly body is used for navigation).

Judgment: Past Prophecy - Jude 1:14-16

Jude moved beyond examples of past temporal judgments to a past prophecy indicating the more severe judgment that would take place on the day of the Lord. See "The Final Judgment: Will I Be Judged?" below.

Enoch's Prophecy - Jude 1:14-15

Enoch's prophecy is an Apocryphal prophecy stating that God will come to earth to destroy all his enemies with utter finality. The Apocrypha is not part of the Biblical canon. See "Woes - Luke 11:37-54" below.

Enoch, the seventh from Adam - Jude 1:14

The Enoch of Genesis 5:18-24 is of the seventh generation from Adam; if Adam is counted as the first - a Hebrew calculation of the 7th - (Adam > Seth > Enosh > Kenan > Mahalalel > Jared > Enoch).

In Jude 1:14-15 Jude quoted almost verbatim from the Apocryphal work (probably the Aramaic version) known as the Book of Enoch, or 1 Enoch, which is attributed to this Biblical figure. Compare 1 Enoch 1:9:

Behold, he will arrive with ten million of the holy ones in order to execute judgment upon all. He will destroy the wicked ones and consume all flesh on account of everything that they have done, that which the sinners and the wicked ones committed against him.

In doing so Jude did not imply that 1 Enoch was divinely inspired or that it was actually written by the biblical Enoch of Genesis 5:18-24. He was simply using a familiar non-canoical source (see "Woes - Luke 11:37-54" below, see WCF 5.3) that further confirmed his theme of coming divine judgment on the ungodly. As Kistemaker states:

First, even though Jude cites an apocryphal book, he provides no evidence that he regarded it as Scripture. He used this document because, in the two centuries before and after the birth of Christ, I Enoch was a well-known and highly respected volume of religious writings.

Osborne explains further:

There are three ways to understand the implications of this quote for the issue of canonicity, and all three are represented by the church fathers: (1) Since Jude quoted 1 Enoch, it must be an inspired work (Clement of Alexandria Extracts from the Prophets ; Tertullian Idolatry ); (2) since Jude quotes a noncanonical work, Jude also must be noncanonical (Jerome De viris illustribus); (3) Jude thought this particular prophecy was inspired but not the whole of 1 Enoch (Augustine City of God).

The first is unlikely because all the evidence we have shows that 1 Enoch was never considered an inspired canonical work in Judaism or in first-century Christianity. The Old Testament canon was closed for the most part by the first century, and only a few books (e.g., Esther, Song of Songs, Ezekiel) were questioned. For instance, at Qumran 1 Enoch was appreciated but not regarded as canonical. The second option is unnecessary and unlikely, for Jude is certainly a canonical work (see the Introduction). The third is by far the best option. Note that Jude carefully does not say that 1 Enoch is "Scripture" but rather that this one particular quote is "prophecy." Moreover, Jude was not saying that Enoch actually gave the prophecy but rather that the prophecy found in 1 Enoch was true and from God. In other words, 1 Enoch did give a "prophecy," but just this one time; the whole work was not canonical prophecy.

In saying that Enoch "prophesied about these men," Jude appears to have confirmed that Enoch uttered this particular prophecy, though he did not state his opinion of the authorship of 1 Enoch as a whole.

The quotation from 1 Enoch teaches, in dependence upon and consistent with a host of Old Testament prophecies (e.g., Dan. 7:9-10; Zech. 14:5), that God will come with his heavenly hosts to judge the wicked. Jude was justified in applying the general truth of this Biblically based text to his specific situation.

Holy ones is probable reference to the angelic host that will accompany the Lord's return (Zech. 14:5; cf. Deut. 33:2). Throughout the New Testament, the return of Christ is seen as accompanied by angels (Matt 16:27; 24:30-31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; 2 Thess 1:7).

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