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Jude 1:5

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I will therefore put you in remembrance - That is, how such persons were proscribed, and condemned to bear the punishment due to such crimes.

Though ye once knew this - The word ἁπαξ, here translated once, has greatly puzzled many interpreters. It has two meanings in the sacred writings, and indeed in the Greek writers also.

  1. It signifies once, one time, as opposed to twice, or several times.
  • Altogether, entirely, perfectly, interpreted by Suidas αντι τον διολου, ὁλοσχερως· and of this meaning he produces a proof from Josephus; This appears to be the sense of the word in Hebrews 6:4; : τους ἁπαξ φωτισθεντας· those who were Fully enlightened. Hebrews 10:2; : ἁπαξ κεκαθαρμενους· Thoroughly cleansed. See also Hebrews 10:3. Psalm 62:11; : ἁπαξ ελαλησεν ὁ Θεος . God spoke Fully, completely, on the subject. St. Jude is to be understood as saying, I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye are Thoroughly instructed in this.
  • Saved the people -

    Delivered them from the Egyptian bondage.

    Afterward destroyed them - Because they neither believed his word, nor were obedient to his commands. This is the first example of what was mentioned Judges 1:4.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    I will therefore put you in remembrance - “To show you what must be the doom of such men, I will call certain facts to your recollection, with which you are familiar, respecting the Divine treatment of the wicked in times past.”

    Though ye once knew this - That is, you were formerly made acquainted with these things, though they may not be now fresh in your recollection. On the different significations affixed to the word “once” in this place, see Bloomfield, “Crit. Digest, in loc.” The thing which seems to have been in the mind of the apostle was an intention to call to their recollection, as bearing on the case before him, facts with which they had formerly been familiar, and about which there was no doubt. It was the thing which we often endeavor to do in argument - to remind a person of some fact which he once knew very well, and which bears directly on the case.

    How that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt - Compare the notes, 1 Corinthians 10:5-12. The bearing of this fact on the case, before the mind of Jude, seems to have been this - that, as those who had been delivered from Egypt were afterward destroyed for their unbelief, or as the mere fact of their being rescued did not prevent destruction from coming on them, so the fact that these persons seemed to be delivered from sin, and had become professed followers of God would not prevent their being destroyed if they led wicked lives. It might rather be inferred from the example of the Israelites that they would be.

    Afterward - τὸ δεύτερον to deuteron- “the second;” that is, the second thing in order, or again. The expression is unusual in this sense, but the apostle seems to have fixed his mind on this event as a “second” great and important fact in regard to them. The “first” was that they were delivered; the second, that they were destroyed.

    Destroyed them that believed not - That is, “on account” of their unbelief. They were not permitted to enter the promised land, but were cut off in the wilderness. See the notes at Hebrews 3:16-19.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Outward privileges, profession, and apparent conversion, could not secure those from the vengeance of God, who turned aside in unbelief and disobedience. The destruction of the unbelieving Israelites in the wilderness, shows that none ought to presume on their privileges. They had miracles as their daily bread; yet even they perished in unbelief. A great number of the angels were not pleased with the stations God allotted to them; pride was the main and direct cause or occasion of their fall. The fallen angels are kept to the judgment of the great day; and shall fallen men escape it? Surely not. Consider this in due time. The destruction of Sodom is a loud warning to all, to take heed of, and flee from fleshly lusts that war against the soul, 1Pe 2:11. God is the same holy, just, pure Being now, as then. Stand in awe, therefore, and sin not, Ps 4:4. Let us not rest in anything that does not make the soul subject to the obedience of Christ; for nothing but the renewal of our souls to the Divine image by the Holy Spirit, can keep us from being destroyed among the enemies of God. Consider this instance of the angels, and see that no dignity or worth of the creature is of avail. How then should man tremble, who drinketh iniquity like water! Job 15:16.
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